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.


The Woeful Tale of Bob the Car

I purchased a new car in September 2010 because the one I was driving really old, had lots of problems, and I figured it would be better  to start off new with a fresh 5 year warranty, a fully functional gas tank, and lower mileage.

I named my new car Bob the Car and it was great to have new wheels.  My old one was the bare minimum and Bob has all the features.  Power windows, heated seats, a USB drive for listening to music, and heated side mirrors for those cold winter mornings.

Lately, however, I’ve mostly just been wishing that the earth would open up and swallow Bob the Car, leaving my insurance company to replace him with something else.

First of all, for some mystery reason, half of the fuses blew around the beginning of December.  So into the dealership we went to put that nice new warranty to work.  The fuse panel and busted fuses were replaced and all was covered.  At this time, I mentioned to the mechanic that the USB function of my radio had been malfunctioning and frying my flash drives.  So they ordered a new one of those as well and off I went, confident in my new fuse panel and ordered radio.

Then, 2 days after Christmas, I went to move my car for the boyfriend’s father so he could get out of the driveway and I was shocked and dismayed to discover that all the same fuses were blown again.

I had no panel lights, no automatic windows, no rear defrost, and no dinging sound to tell me my seat belt was not fastened.

I was livid.  I called the dealership and left a message (it being the holidays and all) and they called me back the next day and told me because the mechanic who had worked on my car the first time was on holidays until after New Years, they wanted to know if I could wait to bring it in.  So I agreed and waited a week to take Bob the Car in again.  This time, apparently, it was the modulator, which of course, was on back order.  So they did the same temporary fix as last time and on my not so merry way I went.

The fuses did eventually blow again a few days before the part came in, so I got to spend another few days avoiding night driving as I couldn’t see how fast I was going and not being able to do drive through Timmie’s in the morning because the window wouldn’t go down.

The good new was that the radio was in when they did the temporary fix (the second one) and they installed it for me.  The bad news was that they didn’t hook it up to the antenna and all it did was scroll through the radio stations, searching for some kind of a signal.  And so, back I went again to wait 20 minutes before work while they hooked the radio up to the antenna and Voila!  The radio picked the invisible signals from the air once more.

I will say, after all the problems with the radio and the eventually replaced modulator, Bob the Car has been working perfectly…until the other night.

Let me set the scene for you.  We had just returned home from an all you can eat wing night with The Games Day Podcast and friends, dropped off by IT Mike and his awesome girlfriend.  The boyfriend went upstairs to do some homework and I told him I would be back, as I had to return the movies we had rented for Valentine’s Day.  I grabbed them and headed out to Bob the Car.  I sat in the driver’s seat and went to insert the key into the ignition, frowning when it was a little difficult to do so.  I figured it was just a little frosty and shoved a little harder, the key finally going all the way in.

But this was not the end of my tale.  The key would not turn.  No matter what I did; wiggling the steering wheel, the gear shift, pressing the brake or swearing like a drunken sailor on leave…that key wasn’t going anywhere.  So I sat and cried in my little car, so angry and upset that I couldn’t do anything else.

Then I grabbed the information from the glove box, went inside and called the free roadside assistance that I got when I purchased my car (another bonus with buying the new car).  I called and the lady on the other end heard what I had to say and immediately said, “Oh, just wiggle the steering wheel, press the brake and turn the key at the same time.”  I sighed but humoured her, performing this task to no avail.  She then told me I would have to have a tow truck come and get it (thankfully covered by the roadside assistance).  So I waited for almost two hours for the tow truck to show up, try the same thing I already had, tell me that his flatbed tow wouldn’t work as I had front wheel drive, a long and narrow laneway, and a wrong way facing vehicle.  He then told me he’d cancel the order and that I should call again in the morning, request a tow truck with a dolly and have it towed to the dealership.  He was very nice and polite and I thanked him, went inside and called my boss to tell him I’d likely be late in the morning and working from home, and then I went to bed, cursing Bob the Car.

So in the morning, I did all the rigamaroll with calling roadside service again, getting the right tow truck and watching him come and take Bob the Car away.  I caught a cab to work and got down to business, ignoring the boiling anger inside me that my car wasn’t working yet again.  I received a call later that morning to tell me that the ignition column was shot and was on back order (shocking) and that they were setting me up with a rental car.

So now I’m driving a giant vehicle (as compared to my little hatch back) around with no idea when this new part will come in and reunite me with Bob the Car.  I kind of feel like I’ve gone from riding a tricycle to powering around in a monster truck.


From tiny to GIANT



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…

More Than a Feeling: How Gaming Ties Into Our Emotional States

Picture the following scenario: you worked your butt off all day at your job, were constantly answering questions for people needing answers, running around like a crazy person trying to solve a whole bunch of problems that could potentially become disasters in the future and despite the fact that you had a completely exhausting day, you got almost no physical work done to show for it.  You stumble home, shuffle through the door and sigh, thinking about your options and what you can do to make up for such a crappy day.

When I reach this point in my day, several options come to mind:

  • Run a nice hot bath and light some candles to relax – that’s a nice sentiment, but way too girly for me and honestly, it’ll just put me to sleep.
  • Alright, so option number two is have a nice strong drink – this one is sounding more appealing and there IS a nice bottle of wine just sitting there on the counter, beckoning me to have a wee sip.  Alas, I am one of those people who will be very tipsy after a couple of glasses and I haven’t eaten yet, so that’s out (but totally an option to revisit for later on)
  • Watch some television and zone out – this used to be what I did, but I fell out of love with television a long time ago and we have since gotten rid of cable.

You might be asking me by now, “Gee, Shan…if none of those options are appealing to you, what on Earth will you do to relax after that insane day at work?”

I will tell you what I am going to do…something that brings me great joy and happiness and never fails to bring me to a completely relaxed state of zen.

I’m going to slaughter hundreds of zombies.

No, you didn’t hear me wrong, but don’t go running to the windows in a panic, wondering if the apocalypse is finally upon us; it’s not (yet).  When I am stressed/angry about something, I play video games and the best choices for stress relief are those in which you kill stumbling corpses out for blood by the masses.  Somehow, it’s utterly satisfying to take them out one by one, to scream your frustrations at their uncaring faces as they all line up to try and get you and the feeling of succeeding against this unending wave is fantastic.

I will scream whatever I want at them and take them out, running through a maze of creepy design in an effort to secure the essential object of the game (rescue the president’s daughter, find out [finally!] where the T-virus really came from, etc…).  Some people work out, some people will go out dancing, I like to kill the undead.

Yes, this is what I picture. I'm totally badass, just like Sheva. Taking all those Zombie Bastards down with my big gun!

I will admit, though, that this is not the only use of gaming I’ve ever seen used as a stress reliever.  The boyfriend does this too.  His game of choice, you ask?  Well, he likes to play Rockband.  When he’s upset or stressed and needs to blow off a little steam, those plastic drums get dragged out of the corner, the microphone gets plugged in and he’ll spend a few hours singing at the top of his lungs and slamming the drumsticks down on the little round pads, effectively draining any bad emotions and leaving a satisfied sense of well-being behind.

Gamers may not realize it, but gaming is an emotional thing just as much as a mental one.  We get attached to our characters and the story lines that they are going through, almost as if we were experiencing it ourselves.  I have never played a game (one that was worth it, mind you) that I didn’t get emotionally involved in.  Who hasn’t cheered their character on as they battled through any game, trying desperately to make it through the next boss and further into the story?  Who hasn’t sat at the edge of their seat, tensed to the point of almost being in pain as they battled heroically against Gannon at the end of a Zelda game they’ve invested hours of their lives in, just to see the story play out to the very end and save the Princess?

Rage is also a very prominent emotion when gaming; at least for me.  Sometimes, I can get so mad at something in a game, that I will eventually turn it off and not play again for months, because I hold such a grudge against the boss that is keeping me from progressing through the game.  I typically have several games on the go because I reached a point in all of them that made me angry and I had to walk away, lest I do something drastic…like this:

Anger is a powerful emotion and I love my PS3, so I wouldn't want to do this just because something in a game made me angry

What about you guys out there?  Does gaming evoke an emotional response from you as well?  Or is it just a game to you?  Are you attached to certain characters?