Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cond-woes

I live in a Condo and I love it! In Toronto, it snows a lot in the winter. Shovelling snow sucks, but not if you live in a condo. Removing a foot of snow from the top of your car before you go to work sucks, but not if your car is in a parking garage. In the summer, mowing the lawn sucks, but not if you don’t have a lawn. The final kicker as a lot of Torontonians just found out, that you can’t get a flooded basement in a condo. These are some convincing arguments as to why I enjoy the condo life.

There are a few things about it that drive me crazy. Before anybody lectures me about these being ‘first world problems’, I’ll point out that you can always choose to mind your own business šŸ˜‰ If bloggers didn’t bitch about stuff like this, how interesting would the first world be? I’ll stick to one major pet peeve, because after all, I’m a fan of the condo lifestyle.

The thing that drives me absolutely nutty is our security team’s lack of competence using the intercom. They do fire alarm testing all the time. I guess it’s a good thing that they want to make sure the alarm works in case of emergencies. When there is an emergency, or an emergency alarm has sounded, our security team springs into action to announce over the intercom, every possible fucking detail of their emergency response. TWICE! This is policy I’m sure. Better to over communicate than under communicate, and I sort of appreciate that too. If they are going to say it twice though…. and bear in mind that this is almost always happening in the middle of the night…… I wish they would just say the whole sentence once, and then repeat it. They don’t communicate like this. THEY think that it’s clearer for everybody if they chop the sentence up, and just repeat fragments of the sentence.

For example, INSTEAD of saying……..
“May I have your attention please. The Fire Alarm has sounded. The Fire Department is on its way. Please stay in your units and await further instruction…….. May I have your attention please. The Fire Alarm has sounded. The Fire Department is on its way. Please stay in your units and await further instruction”

THEY SAY
“May I have your attention please…. I repeat… may I have your attention please……the fire alarm has sounded….. I repeat….. the fire alarm has sounded…….The Fire Department is on its way…..I repeat (now imagine it’s the middle of the night and you have a mute button which you can press so the fire alarm isn’t so loud while you, your wife, and perhaps even a new-born baby who may not have even been that easy to put asleep to begin with, are now trying to sleep, but you have to wait for them to stop talking before the mute button will work) The Fire Department is on its way……..Please stay in your units and await further instruction……. I repeat…….. Please stay in your units and await further instruction. (now imagine that you have finally waited out this announcement that could have been communicated in a fraction of the time, and these jokers don’t know how to turn the mic off, so you hear at least 10-15 seconds of fuzz/background noise/murmuring, which feels like 10-15 minutes, and then finally click, and then the alarm sounds, and only now can you press the mute button, and guess what???? You’re wide fucking awake!!)

So the fire department arrives, and it’s almost always a false alarm. They get all of this sorted out just as your falling back asleep and then suddenly you hear….
Cackle Cackle cackle fuzz fuzz fuzz cackle background talking fuzz….. “May I have your attention please…..May I have your attention please………(then a huge pause…..C’MON MAN!!!!!!! Then he starts over) May I have your attention please…… May I have your attention please…….The Fire Department has completed their investigation…… I repeat……. The Fire Department has completed their investigation………There is no emergency…….. I repeat….. There is no emergency (SHUT THE HELL UP, DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!)….. Thank you for your co-operation

Now I love my security guys. I’m also willing to accept that they didn’t write the script. You need to understand, however, that at 2:30 in the fucking morning, I don’t have the patience for you to read that slowly, not only that, but what’s with all the dead air??? It sounds like someone pocket dialed from a cell phone. If it was the first time you’ve used the intercom, I could understand, but some of you fuckers have been working here for 5 years. HOW FUCKING COMPLICATED COULD IT POSSIBLY BE TO TURN A MICROPHONE ON AND START TALKING???? I CAN HEAR YOU AS SOON AS YOU PRESS THE BUTTON!!!! EVERYONE IN 2 BUILDINGS CAN HEAR YOU EVERY TIME YOU PRESS THE BUTTON, SO IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT AT 2:30 IN THE FUCKING MORNING, THAT YOU GET A FUCKING CLUE AS TO WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SAY BEFORE YOU PRESS A BUTTON THAT BROADCASTS EVERY SOUND YOU MAKE, FROM CLEARING YOUR THROAT, TO NERVOUS INDECISION, TO SCRATCHING YOUR HEAD. UNLESS THIS IS AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY, AND YOUR DESK IS ON FIRE, THERE’S PRECIOUS LITTLE THAT I WILL ACCEPT AS AN EXCUSE FOR YOU NOT HAVING THE FOGGIEST IDEA HOW TO DO THIS SMALL PORTION OF YOUR JOB AFTER 5 LONG YEARS!! THE LEARNING CURVE FOR THIS PARTICULAR EXERCISE IS NOT THAT STEEP!! IT’S NOT THAT STEEP!!!! MUST YOU WAKE EVERY BABY IN THIS BUILDING???? FUCK!!!!!

Was that harsh? Should I dial it back? šŸ˜‰


Bitching About Royals

I’m not saying I don’t like Royal Babies. I just prefer regular babies. See what I did there? I didn’t even capitalize regular babies. The difference in how they’re being treated has started already. I’m obviously part of the problem.

I come from a family that’s FASCINATED by the British Royal Family (see how I capitalize??? I swear I’m not doing this on purpose). I’m really not though. Some of the longest days of my life have been spent watching coverage of either Royal Weddings or Royal Tragedies. I always seem to be stuck somewhere remote when these things happen, and there’s only one TV, and I’m not in charge of it, but I’m super bored, because as a kid, I was not into all of the Pomp and Circumstance (I wanted so badly to use that phrase, but rarely get the opportunity…… when I’m not sure about a phrase/word and whether I should use it in a blog or not, I like to look it up in some internet dictionary just to make sure it means what I think it means….. in this case according to Dictionary.com it means ‘splendid celebration with ceremony and fuss’ which is almost a better phrase than Pomp and Circumstance….. in fact, I really think you need to re-read the sentence again and substitute, and let me know which one you like better…..I will be equally satisfied with both of your choices), and as an adult, not much has changed, and I just feel trapped and manipulated all day.

The thing I hate the most about these celebration/tragedies is the coverage. You can’t just watch it once and be done with it. It goes on and on and on like the OJ trial. Let’s show it again and again. Let’s break down every aspect through detailed analysis. This isn’t football!! I know you kids are like, ‘so what, watch something on your phone or laptop if you’re bored.’ THERE WERE NO PHONE AND LAPTOPS!!!!!! JUST BOREDOM!!! Now that I’m older, it doesn’t matter too much anymore because I can easily escape a situation where there is lots of Royal Coverage. I have a car, a bus pass, and 2 televisions, 2 computers and a cell phone. Damn, when I say it like that it sounds like I’m very well established. This might just be my ‘I HAVE ARRIVED’ moment!! My personal identity and how I define my freedom has now become deeply intertwined with my ability to dodge watching TV coverage of the British Royals.

I really don’t want to bitch too much about the Royals. To be perfectly honest, I have nothing against them. I only hear about them when they marry or breed or take pictures of their dicks. I really just wanted a) to have a blog topic which is getting harder every week, and b) to sit on my high horse and say some very judgemental things about the rest of you peasants.

1) Don’t be so fascinated by Royalty or famous people. They don’t care about you. This is a one way street. I’m sure everyone is interested to see the Royal Baby, but what about the Non-Royal babies? They need your attention too! Are the people in your life getting the ‘Royal Treatment’? If the world cared about each other the way they seem to care about what these people name their baby….. well you know the rest. The world wins!

2) When I refer to Royal Tragedy, you know which one I’m talking about. Princess Diana dies in a car accident because her and her new man were in a high-speed chase with Paparazzi. I remember thinking at the time that we were all to blame for supporting the gossip industry. I remember thinking ‘I’ll bet people will think twice before going out and buying another gossip magazine to see exclusive pictures of their favorite celebrities’………… Wrong again, as I always am when I give humanity the benefit of the doubt. Nothing changed, nothing solved, same old bullshit.

3) I really wanted to have a third thing, because 2 just isn’t worth listing off numerically. As you can see, I’m out of things to complain about. I will try to stretch this out a bit though, as I’m sure some bloggers are just skimming to the bottom anyways, so they can click the ‘like’ button and make me believe that they read the whole thing. Come on man….. we’ve all done it! Especially some of those long-winded ones. Those people will be blissfully unaware that I couldn’t come up with a third thing to finish my trifecta of Royalty Ramblings.

I hope the Royal Baby gets an appropriate name, and is happy and healthy, but more importantly I wish the same for all your Non-Royal Babies too!


Mom’s Choice

There are a few products around my home for babies. Anyone that’s had a baby in their home knows that there will be baby products around the home too. A lot of them. I often wonder about marketing as it pertains to babies and their preferences. My baby is almost 9 months old. He’s male, and like every other male in his family tree for as many generations back as I can intelligently vouch for, he’ll eat whatever you put in front of him. Maybe this isn’t the same for all babies. Sometimes my wife and I will be in an aisle of the grocery store, and she’ll wonder aloud ‘Which one do you think he’ll like better?’ I always find this funny because I have received zero feedback from my son regarding food, the entire time he’s been alive. He seems to like everything. That isn’t the commitment to an answer that my wife is looking for when she asks me a question. We’ve been together long enough that I know this, so my answer is very much influenced by how happy the baby looks in the picture. This goes for food, toys, furniture or any other baby related product. As far as I’m concerned, if the baby is happier on the cover of one product than they are on the other, then it’s a slam dunk as to what I’m going to decide is the right product for my baby. Marketers take note!! I’m quite certain that my son doesn’t give a shit as long as he’s comfortable. If he’s not comfortable, he might wiggle around a bit or possibly cry, but with so many outside factors at play, I’ll be damned if I can pinpoint whether it was the mango or the pineapple he didn’t like, or if he’s just tired, or he pooped. He has never told me what he thinks about his crib mattress (although I agonized over the decision), his outfits, the music we play or anything. The key to all purchases, and I’m yet to be proven wrong, is the perceived happiness of the actor baby on the packaging. It’s never steered me wrong (that I’m aware of).

I also find some of the branding interesting. The one I saw today (which prompted the blog, because God knows I don’t come up with ideas much before I actually start typing) was ‘Mom’s Choice’. Mom’s Choice is the obvious choice isn’t it? I would buy that. I mean after all, Mom sampled all of these products and narrowed it down. She did all the work for me, right? How does a company get to be ‘Mom’s Choice?’ Is there a rigorous selection process that all of these products go through? Is this a government regulated thing, or can anybody slap ‘Mom’s Choice’ on the label?

More importantly, whose Mom? My Mom? The baby’s Mom? Everyone has/had a Mom. Which one of them made the call on this? Was there a panel of expert moms that got together on this? A secret society of taste-making moms that run the baby food game? Is there a criteria for Moms that get to be on the ‘Mom’s Choice’ selection committee? Do they need to have more than one kid to qualify? Or are they teenage Moms (Who most recently were eating baby food themselves)? Or an even number of Moms from each age group to properly represent the spectrum of Moms. Are all the different ethnic cultures represented in this Mom group? Or does it depend on the ethnicity of the baby on the cover (What??? We all eat different shit as adults, does a baby’s cultural background not matter at ‘Mom’s Choice’?).

What if you started a company called Dad’s Choice? Why does nobody in the baby food industry care what Dad thinks. Dad probably eats more than Mom. He should be more of an expert. What if all those names were taken, could you just take another member of society and have them vouch for the taste of baby food?

Bartender’s Choice
Raquetball Coach’s Choice
Zookeeper’s Cousin’s Choice
Necktie Designer’s Choice
Zipline Technician’s Choice
Stamp Collector’s Choice
Librarian’s Choice
Assistant Manager Of The Meat Department At The Grocery Store’s Choice

These are all fresh ideas, but let’s face it. Mom knows best, although I don’t believe in the legitimacy of the representative amount of Moms, endorsing and quality checking ‘Mom’s Choice’ food, I do think it’s clever advertising. It found its way into my home so clearly, at least one of us fell for it.

I just want to go on record as saying that I don’t think there were any Moms involved in the choosing of ‘Mom’s Choice’. I also don’t think that being a Mom qualifies you to know the first thing about what baby food tastes like, or how it should taste. I’m no expert, but in my short stint as a parent I’ve learned that if your baby is hungry enough, they will eat anything, whether it’s ‘Mom’s Choice’ or ‘Macaroni Necklace Sales Representative’s Choice’, or their shoe.


Stop Hatin’ on Mondays

I’m sick of hearing it. I don’t like Mondays, it’s just another Manic Monday, Blue Monday, wah wah wah wah wah wah wah. To put it simply, if you don’t like Mondays, then something’s wrong with the rest of your week! That aint Monday’s fault! It’s yours! Stop blaming Monday for beginning a week that you set up to be crappy. Take some responsibility for your life people!!! Mondays only suck as bad as you allow them to suck!

I think I should announce something here…… I’ve been looking for a new career path, and just at this exact moment, I’ve figured out what my calling is! MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER!! Except I don’t like public speaking that much, so what’s it called when motivational speakers write books, and get paid an absurd amount of money to do so?? (Looking up on google…….. not really helping……… Oooohhh ‘Self Help Books’…. that’s what I’ll call it) I will be an author of ‘Self Help Books’!! I will make it my personal mission to whip you suckers into shape!

Chapter One

How To Fix Your Mondays

In order to fix one’s Monday, one must understand what the issue is with Monday anyways. It typically signifies the beginning of a work week, or the end of a weekend. People that hate Mondays generally hate the entire week, but Monday of course represents the beginning of the week, or the longest duration of time before the week finally ends. It’s not healthy to look forward to Friday. Fast forwarding your weeks will only lead to you getting old and dying quicker.

There are numerous ways to fix this.

1. Get a job that you enjoy going to. I know it’s easier said than done. I myself, haven’t had many of them. If you dread Mondays, then you need to start making a move in this direction. It might be a long term fix involving taking some sort of training, or it could be as easy as recognizing a crappy job, and quitting. Just so I’m not being arrogant I want to take a moment to recognize that due to various circumstances this may be impossible for some of you.

2. Have better/worse weekends. If you don’t have awesome weekends, you need to start. This way you’ll look forward to Monday so you can brag to your co-workers how awesome your weekend was. On the flip side, if your weekends are too amazing you’ll never want to return to work. If that’s the case, dial it back a bit, hot shot!

3. Dwell on the positive. Logically, Monday should be as rested as you’ll feel for the entire week. It will only get worse from here as your profession mercilessly beats you into submission before Friday. Enjoy that battery recharge that you should have just had. (What?? You didn’t recharge your batteries on the weekend? You ran around and used all your energy working on the house or running around and doing errands?? You probably hate weekends too, there’s no winning with you!)

4. Take solace in the fact that you actually have an automatic scapegoat on Mondays called Monday. You can blame everything that goes wrong, and just shrug it off and say ‘what do you expect? It’s Monday!!’ What other day of the week can you blame for sucking at life? Monday just takes it and never complains. Monday just shows up on time every week like the true professional it is. There’s a lot to admire about Monday.

5. Finally, you get to read Thoughts And Rants In Jogging Pants every Monday (or Tuesday) without fail (except when it’s Tuesday), rain or shine (or Tuesday). This will always give you something to talk to your co-workers about. ‘Oh, did you hear what he said this week?? Hahaha, he’s so clever witty, he makes Monday the best day of the week! I’m going to tell all my friends about this blog!!’ (Well, you see where I’m going with this….)

Pep Talk

Now listen here all you whiners and complainers. Start taking responsibility for the fact that your whole week is entirely fucked up and do something about it! Change your habits…pack a better lunch… start an inner-office romance…. wear special Monday cologne/perfume that smells better than your Tuesday-Friday one…. be productive in the morning and while everyone else bitches and moans, and you can enjoy a 2:30 cappuccino because you got all your shit done…. join a league….embrace your adversaries…..

Love Mondays, and be the reason that other people love Mondays too! It’s first on your calendar, let it be first in your heart šŸ™‚


Theories on Toronto, Pride, Politics, and Canada Day

Haha…. LOADED like a baked potato this blog promises to be. (Complete apparently with Yoda style sentences). For those that don’t know me personally, or are new enough to the blog, I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I couldn’t be happier about that, especially on Canada Day. Happy Canada Day by the way, to all Canadians reading this, and Happy early Independence Day for all of my American readers, as I won’t blog again until after that is over. It’s like 2 friends having birthdays 3 days apart. We should really celebrate together, but each of us wants our shine. Oh well.

This past weekend, Toronto has been host to Pride Toronto which is an annual event for the Gay and Lesbian community. I’ve never taken part, but I’m really happy for those who do, and I’m proud to live in a city that’s open-minded enough to throw a kick-ass party every year for this group. My stance on Gay/Lesbian rights is the same as my stance on human rights. They are human, therefore, they should have the same rights as other humans. It’s pretty cut and dry as far as I’m concerned. Even when I was young and didn’t have the same level of perspective as I do now, I never had a problem with Gay people. I always thought that it meant more women for me! I find it fascinating that Homophobia even exists. As a heterosexual man growing up, I was way too concerned with chasing women to even care whether everyone else was or not. What goes on in your house is your business. So I’ve always had this theory that Homophobes are possibly Gay also, but haven’t liberated themselves by being honest about it. Just a theory! If you dig deeper it makes a lot of sense. Who in their right mind would really be angry enough at the world to try to stop other people from being happy? Misery loves company, so the answer is people who are unhappy, although I’m sure it’s not that simple. I think as long as you can’t be yourself, you will probably be unhappy. Therefore we should live in a world where everyone is welcome to be themselves free from prejudice, and just see how that plays. It’s probably better, but what do I know?

I do have another theory involving Pride, Toronto, and Politics. Our Mayor is under a lot of fire, and has been for various things over his entire term. People from outside Toronto will have probably heard about the ‘crack-smoking’ video, but if you’re from around here you know that this guy can’t move 5 feet without stepping in shit, and the crack video is at least the 10th stupid thing he’s done. He thinks that the left-wing media is out to get him. The thing is he’s absolutely right. The media IS out to get him. Now that’s not to say that he’s not a complete embarrassment as a mayor. He is, but what came first? The chicken or the egg? I think he started to suck really badly right off the bat, and that’s why they’re out to get him, but make no mistake… they ARE out to get him. I’m a little amazed that they haven’t got him already.

Mayor Rob Ford’s first massive blunder in my opinion (and I said this to anyone who would listen at the time) was blowing off Pride Week the first year he was in office. He wanted to go up to the cottage, which he says is a family tradition dating back to god knows when. While part of me respected his commitment to family (although a friend of a friend of a source’s brother’s nephew said that these are a bunch of business associates from the family business, and it’s relatively formal and catered…. not just cooking franks on a BBQ and throwing the frisbee around, but I don’t know the source, or his brother’s nephew so take with a grain of salt), this guy had to understand what he was turning down. This is one of the hugest events in the city that he’s mayor of in the entire year. Not to mention it’s an event that celebrates diversity in a city that’s renowned for having lots of it. You don’t want to snub this group (many of whom, I’m sure are ‘Left Wing Media’ during the day) during their proudest moment of the year! It’s the wrong thing to do, both politically and in real life. You’re the mayor, you could come down to a couple of events and say a few uplifting things about supporting the struggle for equal rights, and how proud you are that so many of your voters have risen through such adversity. Nobody’s asking you to wear leather chaps and run up and down Church St. with a water gun. Just show up at a couple of places and say a couple of things. Supportive things that don’t sound like they were written by a speech writer, but that came from your heart!

Now if he had done that in his first year, I’m not suggesting that the whole crack smoking thing just ‘goes away’, but that was the first chance for a right-wing politician to really make a good impression with a lot of left-wing voters, and he screwed it up. Who knows how different things could have been for him if he just had the foresight to make some friends in the early going. I think if he could have put his best foot forward in that situation, there may have been some more people out there who would have been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on some things. These are the moments you can’t get back though.