An Open Letter to the Moron Living on My Floor…

One of my most hated things about living in an apartment is dealing with the other people living in their own little boxes around me.  For the most part, I have found that my neighbours are great but something that really grinds my gears about living on a floor with 13 other apartments full of people is the other peoples’ use of the garbage chute.

Granted, our garbage chute is smaller than in other buildings I’ve lived in, but it’s not that hard to realized that once the garbage bag is a certain amount of the way full, you then must replace it because anything else won’t fit down the damn chute.

I don’t know how many times I’ve taken our trash to the little room where the garbage chute is and found it jammed with someone else’s garbage.  Most of the time it’s a bag with diapers in it so shame on the lazy ass parent who is teaching their child to be a useless tool in life as well.  Like we need more of those running around.

It’s not even just jamming the chute…I could deal with that with limited rage if it was only that.  However, most of the time some idiot has broken the whole door right out of the wall and it’s hanging there by chains.  Worse, the other day it was just lying on the ground and completely destroyed.  I don’t even know how something like that happens but we only live on the 4th floor.  It’s not that hard to take the elevator down to the basement and throw it in the dumpster if it’s obviously not going to fit down the hole in the wall.

The absolute worst this mystery jerk did was break a glass jar (obviously putting recycling down the garbage instead of into the bins).  There was glass all over the floor in the chute room as well as spread all out into the hallway in front of the elevator.  So at this point it’s just a safety hazard.

I really have no point to this post rather than I’m sure The Boyfriend is sick of hearing about the horrid person on our floor that keeps doing this every time I take the garbage out.  I thought about leaving a scathing note but as of yet I haven’t been quite that angry yet.

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Bob the Car is Now…FrankenBob!

So I’ve already conveyed the Woeful Tale of Bob the Car to you a while ago.  As an update to that, after the steering column was repaired, Bob the Car had been running absolutely perfectly with no problems at all.  In fact, I was starting to think that I was in the clear for any problems at all with my nice little car.

Boy was I wrong.

About two months ago, my sister called me and asked if I could watch my nephew while she ran out to get groceries.  She also asked if she could borrow my car because her boyfriend had to use theirs for something or other.  I of course said yes because I love to watch my nephew and I like to be helpful.  So I went there after work and chatted for a bit before she headed out in Bob the Car to get some food.  Her boyfriend was still there getting ready and I was playing in the living room with the baby when I heard his cell phone ring.  I then heard him say, “Are you okay?”

The first words that went through my mind were, “That’s so not good” and after I heard him ask, “What about the other girl?” my suspicions were confirmed.  My sister had been involved in an accident not even two blocks from her apartment.  He came out to tell me what was going on and asked me if I could stay with the baby while he went to go see what was going on.  I agreed and he left me to pace back and forth while carrying the baby, worrying about my sister and whomever else was in the accident.

About twenty minutes later my sister called me and I was relieved to find out that she was alright and so was the other girl.  After that it was a blur of having the car towed somewhere to store, talking to the insurance company, talking to the appraiser, deciding which body shop to send it to once it was decided it could be fixed, talking to the rental car people, renting a car and then waiting to see whether my sister was at fault or the other girl

Thankfully for us, the other girl admitted liability and her insurance company paid for everything including my rental and the $9000.00 it cost to fix my car.  It was in the shop for almost a month and I had to drive around the city in a freaking TWO-DOOR Hyundai Accent (it was lime green, which was awesome) with none of the awesome features that my own car had.

I went to get the stuff out of my car before they fixed it and this is what my poor car looked like:

1311024288157frankenbob

After waiting for what seemed like forever to get my car back and riding around in a stupid two-door (for the record, i HATE two-door cars because they SUCK), I finally got the call that my car was finished and I could pick it up.  I think they did a great job.

It looks perfect on both sides and it runs beautifully.  However, I just had to take it in to get the ignition coils 1313010433139replaces (thankfully under warranty) because they were misfiring and causing my engine to run rough.  So I have renamed my car to FrankenBob because there are hardly any original parts left on the car.

That Robax Puppet is a Freaking Liar

Do you remember this guy?  That little wooden marionette with pins in his back that keep him from dancing and enjoying life altogether?  Yeah, that’s the one.  He’s an effing liar.

Stupid little man with pins in his back

A week ago tomorrow, I hurt my back.  It was stiff from a long day of moving things and sitting in a new chair and I simply went to sit down in the afternoon and suddenly there was blinding pain from my lower back down to my knees and that was it.  Pinched sciatic nerves on both sides and I was barely able to walk.  I took some Robax and guess what?  Those white hot little pins in my back laughed in it’s face and continued to plague me.  Thursday saw me in the hospital getting much, much stronger pain medication and now here we are, almost a week later and I’m just able to move without massive amounts of pain.

Not that I’m saying Robax doesn’t work at all, it’s great as a muscle relaxant and I’ve used it for that many times.  I’m just saying that the stupid man with the pins in his back is a liar and I’m calling him on his shit.  The pins are still there, little man…they are STILL there.  Screw being able to ballroom dance, it’d be nice to walk upright again.

I’m glad I don’t have cable, because if I saw that stupid little puppet on my television, my nice flatscreen might end up with the remote right through it.  Back pain is not a happy little fix. You can’t just pull the needles out and go on your merry way.  Every movement is like shooting torture right down your spine and through your legs.  I have to get the boyfriend to help me dress in the morning and help me to the bathroom and everything else you can imagine.  I hate to cook, but I feel guilty that he has had to cook everything for the last week.  I hate that I’ve had to eat it lying on the couch and I detest that I haven’t been able to sleep in my own bed in six nights.

To make matters worse, I was working from home this morning, sitting in the reclining leather chair when the back of it broke and sent me flying backwards.

So my back pinched again.  I have since recovered and now refuse to ever sit in that chair again and am plotting it’s eventual demise and replacement with something with less murderous intent.

I believe I’m on the road to recovery (knock on wood).  I was able to work still after the chair incident and though I’m stiff and I have twinges here and there, I’m not in agonizing pain anymore.  We shall see what the morning brings and maybe I could actually get my but into the office and get some work done there!!  I never thought I’d be so excited by the prospect.

Random Thursday Playlist – Week 2

So another Thursday came and went and I found myself paying more attention to the random songs that were playing on my mp3 player again.  I don’t know what it is about Thursdays, perhaps for some reason I need something to distract me on Thursday mornings.  I used to think that Wednesdays were the worst out of the week, but I’m starting to think that Thursdays really suck the most.  It’s so close to the weekend, but still…it’s not yet Friday.  On Thursday, I know that there’s still one more day of the week before I can sleep in.

So here are the 25 random songs that greeted me on this previous Thursday morning:

1. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba: I know that this song is pretty freaking stupid but I love it.  It’s got the dumbest lyrics and I still dance to it every time.

2. She Bangs – Ricky Martin: Yes, that’s right.  I have Ricky Martin on my mp3 player…but just that one song.  I don’t know how it snuck into my “I like it” list of songs, but it did.  Ryan, if you’re reading this, I totally blame you.

3.  Independent Woman – Destiny’s Child: I wasn’t a huge fan of Destiny’s Child, but I love movies where chicks kick ass.  As corny as it was, I loved Charlie’s Angels.  They kicked everyone’s asses in that movie and it was awesome.  Also, Bill Murray is awesome in everything.

4. Eye – Smashing Pumpkins: Lost Highway was a screwed up movie.  I mean, completely messed up.  I was totally sober when I watched that movie and I didn’t understand a single thing that was happening for the entire film.  However, this song was on the soundtrack and it’s freaking awesome.  I love Smashing Pumpkins from back in the day.

5. Changes – Butterfly Boucher ft. David Bowie: The Shrek soundtracks (at least for the first two movies) were freaking awesome.  They had so many great songs and I love this one.  Bowie rocks…he’s had my fan devotion since I was 11 years old and saw The Labyrinth at a friend’s birthday party.

6. Happiness and the First – Our Lady Peace: I LOVE Our Lady Peace.  They have been my favourite band since high school and the only band for which I have purchased every album and gone to every concert that came to my area.  They totally rock and I will probably hit every other concert they play anywhere near here.

7. Lithium – Nirvana: I do have to admit that I wasn’t really a huge fan of Nirvana until I met the boyfriend.  He’s a total fan boy and he got me into them.  It was like a homework assignment; I had to take CD’s to work and listen to them while I was there and I do really enjoy a lot of their music now.

8. Bleed It Out – Linkin Park: I will admit to a wee bit of a crush on Chester Bennington and I love Linkin Park’s style.  If any musical group ever got the combination of rock/hip hop type genres right, it was this band.

9. Through With You – Maroon 5: This one is a repeat off last week’s playlist.  I really like Maroon 5.

10. The First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow: I’m actually rather proud that this is the closest thing to an emo song that I have on my mp3 player.

11. Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison: Yeah, sometimes I like the old school 80’s ballads.  I think this is my mother’s influence (though not specific to this song/band I’m sure).  She usually had me rocking out to Bon Jovi and I picked up some others along the way.

12. Should I Stay or Should I Go Now – The Clash: I am not really a huge fan of The Clash, but I definitely respect how awesome this song is.

13. Cupid’s Chokehold – Gym Class Heroes: Honestly, this song isn’t that great.  I think my cousin had it on her mp3 player when we went to Florida and I heard it  a few times and it grew on me.  It has since grown away from me and I’ve simply failed to remove it from my own mp3 player.

14. Angel – Sarah McLachlan: This is one that will always bring back memories of my Grandfather.  My cousins sang it at his funeral and even though it makes me sad to hear it every time, I can’t bring myself to take it off the player.

15. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell ft. Michael Jackson: This is a very odd song.  The chorus rocks (because MJ sings it) but the rest of it is just so weird.  But it’s Michael Jackson…so it’s still awesome.

16. XO – Fallout Boy: First of all, this band named themselves after a fictional superhero sidekick from The Simpsons, so right away, they get awesome credit for that.  For another thing, until Ashlee Simpson went all Yoko on the band, they were a fun bunch to listen to and their videos were intriguing most of the time.  I miss them and it makes me a sad panda.

17. Heartbreak Warfare – John Mayer: That’s right…a John Mayer song reached the list.  I don’t know how and I don’t know why…it simply made it in.

18. For a Change – Neal McCoy: I picked up a compilation of country music way back in the day while I was at The Beat Goes On (totally great used CD/DVD/video game store where I never fail to find things at great prices).  It looked alright so I picked it up.  This was on it…end of explanation.

19. No Fear – Terry Clark: She’s marvelous and she’s Canadian.  I love her music, it’s some of the best country music out there.

20. Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind: I love that this song is about meth use and they used it in the sound track for The Tigger Movie.  It just makes me smile.

21. November Rain – Guns and Roses: This one is all compliments of my Dad.  Mom contributed a lot to my musical tastes over the years, but my tastes for heavier stuff (and oddly enough, ABBA) came from my Dad.  Thanks, Dad.

22. Santa Monica – Theory of a Deadman: The boyfriend will be glad to know that, so far, no Nickelback has made it onto the random playlists for the world to see that his girlfriend actually likes them.  However, he’ll probably think that this is close enough.

23. I Don’t Want to Wait – Paula Cole: Hey, I’m of the age that Dawson’s Creek was the sh*t back in the day. (I always rooted for Joey and Pacey)

24. Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf: All I can say is, I’m a huge fan of the Loaf.  I love it…this was another contribution from my mother.  I killed her Bat out of Hell tape and bought it for myself on CD a few years later.  I loved him in The Rocky Horror Picture Show for his one scene as Eddie and he was great as Bob in Fight Club.  Everytime one of his songs plays on my radio in the car, the boyfriend says it sounds like they’re from a musical.  My answer every time is that I would totally go see that musical, buy the DVD should they film it and also pick up the soundtrack.  A message to Meat Loaf…do it up Mama Mia! style and I’m there!

25. Alberta Bound – Paul Brandt: rounding things off with a great little Canadian number in the country genre.  Love this song, I always have to sing along at the top of my lungs in the car.  Though I do have to admit, I’ve never actually been Alberta bound.  I generally stay around the Southwestern area of Ontario.  I’m not really one for traveling.

Weird Food Quirks: Dishes and Utensils

Now, I know that technically, dishes and utensils aren’t food and some people would argue that having quirks regarding said objects doesn’t count as a food quirk.  However, this is my blog and I’ll write however I please.  I feel that these objects are the main conveyance of my food and therefore, play an important role in it’s consumption.

Alright, first up…bowls.  I like bowls for the simple reason that I am less likely to shoot my food across the table when it is contained inside a bowl.  This does not mean that I eat things like steak or turkey dinner in a bowl, but I do prefer more than just soup to be served in one.  For instance, I always eat my pasta in a bowl.  Many a noodle has flown off a plate, flung accidentally at the unfortunate people sitting around me.  Bowls are safe…they keep your clothing stain free.  Spaghetti sauce is not your shirt’s best friend.  This has caused a few tiny arguments between the boyfriend and I, as he is a plate pasta person but likes us to eat on the same type of dish.  I don’t know the reason, I’ve never asked.  Despite his many attempts, I refuse to give up my bowl-ish ways and he always begrudgingly serves my pasta in one while he loads up his plate.

There are degrees to bowls as well.  Some are just better than others for the more liquid like foods.  For instance, soup should never be served in one of those shallow bowls with the wide brims.  They need to be served in what my mother refers to as “cereal bowls”.  Which are deeper and have no lip.  They are just all kinds of bowl.  Which is why I call them “bowly bowls”.  Much to my family’s utter confusion when I request one from the cupboard.

Moving on to utensils, I have one thing that I really dig my heels in about.  We have one fork out of all of our forks that I like.  Only one.  It’s the best fork in the entire house and I refuse to eat with anything else if I can help it.  It’s just so much better fork-wise than all the others.  It has the perfect length of prongs, they’re nice and narrow and I like the pattern on the handle because it doesn’t have rough edges that bother me when I hold it.  The problem is, the boyfriend also likes this fork.  I don’t know what his reasoning is, but I suspect it is the same as mine.  So I grab this much sought after fork at the beginning of meal preparation and I hide it until it’s time to eat.  If he takes it, I steal it off his plate.  If it’s dirty in the sink, I will wash that one single fork rather than take a clean one from the drawer.

BEST FORK EVER!!!

Cups.  In our house, there are many different kinds.  Coffee, beer pint, small, large, plastic, glass…there are a lot to choose from.  I have a few of my favourites, I’m not as particular about them as I am about the other dishes, however, there are ones that I will not use.  Thick glass cups are on the banned list for me.  They’re too heavy and big and cumbersome and no one should have to go through so much effort just to have a drink.  I don’t like coffee cups that slant.  I like the perfectly cylindrical ones that go straight up and down.  This is a safety issue.  Over there years, I have discovered that I spill hot coffee on myself far more often from a slanted cup than from a cylindrical one.

A visual warning of the danger of slanted coffee cups.

So that’s pretty much it.  There are other small things here and there.  I have my favourite bowl for popcorn or the one cookie sheet I like to use, but everyone has that.  I don’t like being served in a restaurant on plates that aren’t normally shaped because then I can’t figure out the best way to position my dish before I eat and this causes a little bit of panic, but not so much that I’ve ever freaked out in a restaurant…yet.

Sick and Tired of 3D Movies

Being a huge geeks and loving old school Sci-Fi, the boyfriend and I were totally psyched when we saw the first trailer for Tron: Legacy in March 2010.  Well, we finally got around to seeing it last night and it was as I thought it would be.  Definitely not as epic as the original, the story line was predictable and some parts took too long.

However, this is not a review of the movie.  This is a massive complaint about something else that is haunting our cinemas and has been for quite some time…3D movies.

Let’s face it, people.  This is just something people are cashing in on left and right because people are buying into it.  It’s been going on for a long time and I can’t say as there have been any movies so far that have really impressed me as of yet save one.  Resident Evil: Afterlife had some kick ass 3D and it was kind of cool to experience it.  Zombie brain matter sticking to the glasses?  That was a pretty kick ass effect.

That being said, I wouldn’t have cared if it wasn’t in 3D.  I loved the previous three just as much, probably better, without it.  I detest paying an extra $4.50 for my movie ticket to sit through a film with those stupid glasses on my face to see something in 3D that would have been more enjoyable without.  Guess what?  I saw Avatar in a theatre where they didn’t play 3D and I’m glad I did because it wouldn’t have been worth it.  The movie was only really “Meh” to me and I’d have been livid to pay four extra dollars to see it.

I got a $25 gift card from my sister and her boyfriend to the movies for Christmas and I still had to tack on $3.5o for us to see Tron last night.  I was pissed off.  3D films are annoying in many ways.  I find it distracting from the movie.  I hate it when something pops out of the screen and travels around and then disappears because it left the side of the screen.  That takes away from the fantasy for me, then I get annoyed, and then I miss stuff in the movie because I’m stewing in my annoyance.  Also, I wear glasses.  If you don’t, then you have no idea how difficult it is to wear those honking big, stupid, plastic glasses over a set of glasses you have to wear to see anything, just to see the movie because if you’re not wearing them, the movie is blurry and you get a headache.  If you don’t wear your prescription glasses, the movie is blurry and you get a headache.  So either way, you’re screwed.  You end up sitting there with your head slightly tilted back so the plastic ones don’t fall off your nose because you can’t push them up any more because your prescription glasses are in the way…

Ugh, I just had a moment of rage thinking about it again.  I hate those stupid glasses.  I detest the fact that I have to pay extra money to be able to use them for a movie that I don’t want to see in 3D and then I have to give them back because I’m not allowed to use them again.  I have to pay another $4 for another pair of glasses that I hate for yet another movie I don’t want to see in 3D.

Sometimes, you have a choice and you can see the movie in 2D.  I always take this choice.  I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in 2D and it was freaking awesome.  It didn’t need 3D…it’s Harry Potter.  I wish I had been able to see Alice in Wonderland in 2D because I didn’t enjoy it and I paid too much to see something I didn’t enjoy.

I hate that every trailer I see now says “In 3D” for any kind of movie…even those that having them in 3D is just a stupid concept.  I could see it for the computer animated movies, they look kind of neat in 3D.  I can see if for ones with huge and spectacular special effects, though I would probably still choose 2D when they give me a choice, but if they start bringing out chick flicks and dramas in 3D, I’m done with movies forever.  Or at least until they take the 3D away…

Nausea Rules My Life No More!

I discovered something over the holidays, my friends, and I have to tell you, it’s something absolutely wonderful.  I can play first person shooters again.  I can run around in a virtual world and kill the enemy and not throw up all over the floor.  At least for a couple of hours anyway.  Let me explain.

A while ago, I posted about having Simulation Sickness, a condition where certain people cannot handle the visual graphics and movement of certain kinds of video games.  For me, it was most prominently first person shooters.  I LOVE first person shooters so you can imagine how this upset me.  I missed out on a tonne of triple A titles in the last eight years or so of my life when this little ailment started.

However, over these past Christmas holidays, I was invited by the awesome members and friends of The Games Day Podcast to a marathon gaming session that lasted from 11:00 am until about 2:00 am.  I was stoked because I hadn’t gamed like that since high school when I used to have all the guys over for hours and play the crap out of 007 Goldeneye for the 64.

I knew that first person shooters would definitely play a huge roll in the days events because they are awesome, but I knew there would be a plethora of games for me to play so I didn’t worry too much about it.  When we got there we checked out the demo for Just Cause 2 which was totally awesome.  I was happy because it was third person and the game play rocked.

We also checked out DJ Hero, which is a hell of a lot harder than it looks and despite my original thoughts on the concept, some of the mashups were actually pretty cool.

Eventually, I was drawn to the back room where some people were playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, specifically, the zombie mode.  I sat down and watched for a while before someone put the controller in my hand.  I stared at it for a few seconds before I started playing, expecting the well known hot flash followed by cold sweat and nausea.  However, a few rounds into playing, this hadn’t arrived.  I kept playing, learning the controls and getting used to the feel of it again as I wondered why I wasn’t getting sick.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that playing a first person shooter on an HD television did not cause the nausea I used to experience on an standard definition television.

As you can imagine, I was overjoyed.  This was pretty much the game I played for the entire rest of the day, switching out with the other players, learning how to best play the game and experiencing multiplayer online gaming for the first time.  Eventually, they filmed the last episode of the year, the topic being Game of the Year 2010.  I got to sit in the background and play COD: Black Ops while they filmed it, which was awesome.

Eventually, I played for too long and I did start to feel nauseous, but I didn’t let this discourage me.  Since then, I’ve purchased my own copy of the game and I have found that I can play for about two hours or so at a time before I need to turn the game off.  I’m freaking thrilled.  I have so many plans to play catch up with all the games I missed and to get in on massive online death match rounds.

So happy gaming to all of you out there in 2011…the year I didn’t throw up during a first person shooter!

A badly drawn representation of my joyful reaction to being able to play FPS again