Monthly Archives: May 2012

The 24 Hour Camping Adventure

What have I been up to, no one asks? Well, here you go:

This past weekend, I set out on a journey with some of my favourite people in the world. We went camping.

I had never been! Can you believe that? I think was the only person in our group who had never slept in a tent or even been to a campsite. I had to scrounge for sleeping bags and a spot in a tent off a friend in exchange for a ride up in my car. Thank god for that.

After the two hour drive to the park, we finally found our campsite. We only had to turn the car around twice, which was not bad since it allowed us to stumble upon this turtle:

It was huge and it snapped at us! Still awesome, though.

The rest of our day included struggling with camping equipment, checking out the “beach” (all rocks, no sand. Who needs sand, really?), and fending off the two middle-aged creepy guys who overstayed their invite for a quick game of beer pong on our campsite. I still don’t understand that entire situation.

This tent actually stumped the other experienced campers, it’s just a weird one!

Tents should really come with instructions.

Shallow, freezing, rocky water? Not a problem.

That beautiful gatorade bottle makes a cameo in 90% of the weekend’s pictures

We then headed out to the marsh to see if we could find another turtle. No luck, but there were some huge cranes flying overhead which were kind of neat.

did actually have friends with me on this trip! I just didn’t want to post any pictures of them without permission (since getting dolled up and going camping isn’t something we do) and sometimes I just get the urge to post something quickly.

Then we packed up and were on our way home by 11am on Sunday. A good weekend overall, but a few lessons learned:

Look up nearby hangover food places before hand. It was a 40 minute drive to the nearest one, but man that glorious Harveys in Port Hope more than made up for the long drive. You guys are awesome. That is all.

Oh and also, wear shoes, not sandals! Trust me on this one. The mosquito bites and the inevitably dirty feet aren’t worth showing off your cute and comfy Birkenstocks.

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Introducing Tumblr Tuesday

If I’m going to do a weekly Tumblr post, it’s going to be on Tuesdays! Tumblr Tuesday wins the game of the best weekday-related alliteration. This may not be a weekly thing, but hey, who knows?

I will kick this off with a post dedicated to my friend David, who hosts an awesome art/music/general badassadry page at drdavidphd.tumblr.com.

In the fall, he’ll be studying Illustration on the other side of the monster we call the GTA (Greater Toronto Area aka worst commute time in North America. Seriously.)

He’s got a very unique style to his illustrations, which mostly focus on Pokemon and people. (In all honesty, Pokemon are really fun to draw.)

There is some NSFW content concerning some naked ladies, if you need to know.

David is one of the funniest guys I know. Between his extremely talented work, his music posts, and his overall awesomeness, I suggest you check this Tumblr out!

The Great Gatsby Trailer

I usually don’t bother with writing about stuff like this, but I just need to vent.

The Great Gatsby, 2012. Complete with Leonardo DiCaprio’s beautiful face.

The music they chose for the trailer is a little odd, but my main issue is all the CGI. Why is there so much?

Were they going for the crazy dreamland look? It’s not Hogwarts, for gods sake.

Is Hollywood incapable of making a good ol’fashioned movie anymore?  Am I completely off here and this is just computer edit of a real building? I have no idea, but it just looks weird.

Even the street scenes look off, everything just seems slightly “mystical.”

Let me know what you think of the trailer. Do you think the movie will do the book justice?

Most of my problems in life revolve around shoes

At the ripe old age of 20 (that counts as a 20-something right? shh!), I have realized that the amount of shoes I need to cover every situation in my life is infinite. I should probably not attempt to have all possibilities covered,  because it will never happen. Living in Canada and having to deal with snow, ice, and the dreaded road salt almost doubles the amount of shoes I need. (Seriously, do you know how much road salt this goddamn city uses? You can walk down the street on a dry, snow-less day and still come home with your shoes covered in stains. It’s magical.)

Over the past few months, I have needed shoes for everything from gardening to going to “the club”. I’ve needed job interview shoes, walking the dog shoes, winter job interview shoes, winter boots, spring sandals, fancy flats and casual flats.

My biggest issue is WHAT SHOES DO I WEAR WHEN? Maybe I’m a little “slow” when it comes to this, but I’m lost. All of these situations require a specific style of shoes. I can’t imagine a hiring manager’s face if one were to walk in with these on (and these happen to be some of the easiest to find or buy shoes EVER. Why? Why these?) :

Will someone please tell me where I’m supposed to wear these, other than accompanied with a black spandex 20cm long skirt at a club?

Apparently I’m also cursed, because every single time I go to the mall looking for something specific (jeans, a new school bag, low-heeled black pumps), I wind up finding 10 beautiful sundresses I resist buying because I’m off track.

I won’t find anything I need that week, of course. The next week I’ll go back looking for sundresses, instead I’ll find 10 pairs of perfect black pumps but no sundresses.  Pure evil.

Also, lets not forget the fact that I am “blessed” with wide size 10 feet, that sometimes spill over to the size 11 rack (I’m 5’10”, okay?).  Some places don’t even carry size 11s.

The worst part is when, in January, I’m being marketed shoes that look like this:

Oh, for fucks sake.

I can imagine some idiot shoe designer, sitting in his LA office, thinking “oh, we’ll give those women in cold climates some boots for the winter! Open-toed to cool down the feet, of course, and suede because suede really holds up to salt and snow.” You suck at your job and should be fired.

I suppose they’re okay for the fall, but the whole idea that I’m supposed to wear these with no socks (for the open toes) makes me cringe because they’ve got no ventilation.

I even went to the big warehouse sale, the Petite Feet Shoe Sale, in Markham the other day. I was looking for some multi-purpose black, low-heeled pumps, and I came home with these:

But they turned out to only be $40 so it’s totally okay I have no idea where I’m going to wear them, right?

I mean, should I just say “screw it,” only buy heels for now on, and be that crazy lady on every reality show who wears heels everywhere no matter what?

I guess I need to cut those “CROCS EVERYWHERE THEY’RE AWESOME SO COMFY!” people some slack, eh? Haha, no.

Sidenote: if you have size 6 feet and live in the GTA, check out the Petite Feet Sale at the Markham Fairgrounds this weekend. Seriously. Half the warehouse is dedicated to you lucky bitches.

So, what’s a nerd to do over the summer?

I’ll admit it, I’m returning to my old nerd ways. You know, that kid who was always done her work first, or never missed a homework assignment? That was me.

This past year out of school has left me a little bit lost. Sure, I loved when friends would complain about their exams and I didn’t have to worry about studying. But, deep down, I kind of missed going to school and taking notes and the smell of a new batch of school supplies.

Nothing better than some perfectly sharpened pencils, right? Right?!

I’ve always wanted to learn how to code properly. I know basic HTML from when I fiddled around with coding petpages for my neopets account as an 11 year old. Don’t even judge, I won so many beauty contest trophies for my neopets on that site.

That’s right.

Imagine my excitement when I discovered coursera.org. They have free online courses from excellent American universities! What? This has to be a joke, right?

It’s not, and they’ve got a pretty wide selection of courses. No languages, though. My French grammar will have to wait a little while longer.

So far, I’ve finished the first three weeks of the Computer Science 101 course. Every little video I watch I just sit there with a face like “O_O.” All of these things I didn’t know! Codecadamy.com didn’t work for me, since I had a really hard time following along with the written explanations. In contrast, the videos on Coursera are actually recorded little mini-lectures (at least in the case of Computer Science, I think some other courses have 70 or 80 minute lecture videos), with a small video in the corner of the professor speaking. The majority of the screen is a lecture document (notes, really) that the professor teaches which, and you can easily hit a button at the bottom to pause the video and switch to the lecture notes so you can review anything that was skipped over, or try out some code in the case of computer science.

It’s mostly basic coding (not in any particular language, exactly, just getting used to the idea of syntax and variables and whatnot) and technical explanations of hardware, networks, software, etc. There were a lot of  “OOOH, so that’s how it works!” moments.

A self portrait.

If you’re curious, go have a look. You can still get in on the CS 101 course, although on a lot of your exercises will lose marks for being late (which really doesn’t matter if you’re just doing it for fun). It’s really less than an hour of video a week, and a 10 minute exercise for each one.

And then maybe this will start your career and you can eventually code something awesome (like an app!) and rule the world! Or you can just find solace in the fact that you know the jist of what is happening when your computer saves something to your hard drive. Either one.

Saving the world one Instagrammed photo of a squirrel at a time.

Do Not Call Me!

I had alluded to this in my previous post. My home phone number is on the Do Not Call list. It’s worked out pretty well, except for this one company of bastards. If you Google “air duct cleaning telemarkers,” you’ll find messages from other people, mostly from Ontario. These people are awful. They have thick accents, call daily, and hang up on you when you mention the Do Not Call list. I’ve read posts from people who have had the telemarketers end a call with “thanks babe, love you.” What the fuck?

Actually, if you want to know how frustrated these callers are making us, just read through the comments here.

I don’t even know why I am making this into a mini war. I just really don’t like it when people think they can do whatever they want, especially when it comes down to customer service, if you can even call it that.

My previous attempts to get them to stop have been simple.

“Actually we’re on the Do Not Call–” and he’d hang up.
“Could you please tell me the procedure you have when you find out someone is on the DNC list?” silence and a *click*

I have Googled all the different numbers that have shown up on the caller ID. They’re all dead. Fakes. Contacted some “Rogers Helps” accounts on Twitter, since I figured the phone company would at least be able to prevent people calling out from fake numbers. They were no help.

Today I tried to get a little more info:
(This was originally supposed to be some sort of diary-like post, so ignore the awkward tense change here)

April 26th, 12:30pm

Sounded like the same guy with the most unintelligible accent. I asked him to clarify the name of the company before he started with his 5-minute long speech in some sort of weird pseudo-English. “Air duct cleaning,” I’m told again. I asked him where it’s located. “Anywhere in the Scarborough area we come to you.” That’s not what I asked. I asked him for an address, he mentioned something about Scarborough again. I then asked for a phone number where I can contact the company directly, since I “needed to go.” He refused to tell me anything, we bantered back and forth for a few minutes to the likes of:

“Tell me how many bedrooms the house has and I’ll tell you that”
“Are you listening to me? Answer my question.”
“How many bedrooms?”
“What is the address of the company? I just want to make sure it’s the one I’m thinking of.”
“How many bedrooms do you have?”
“Answer my question.”

etc. etc.

I eventually was sick of hearing his stupid voice and hung up.

Who hires these imbeciles?

Oh but wait! All my Googling led me to a phone number. 416-900-2930. I typed it into the yellowpages.ca, making sure it wasn’t a fake number or a number stolen from some innocent civilian.

It came up with some awful skeleton site for “air duct cleaning.” I called it.
A meek, quiet, male’s voice answered. I asked him 4 times if this was the Air Duct company. He finally said it was, and I asked him if they’d called me many times over the past few weeks. He didn’t answer and sounded confused by my question. So I asked him in simpler terms, “Do you use telemarketers?”

“Yes,” he replied, after trying to play dumb and avoid the question.

I went off. I told him to never call again, that we were on the Do Not Call list. He provided some weak excuse about their computer systems (which I had read about on the message boards and was expecting), I cut him off and told him it didn’t matter, because the DNCL is there for a reason and they need to figure it out.

He told me he was “taking my number off the list.” Ha. Ok, sure.

Just for extra measure I reminded him that I now had his phone number, and I threatened to harass the number daily if the calls didn’t stop. (Okay, maybe I actually said I’d “harass the crap out of this number.” Pure class.)

And I will. Oh, boy. I will.

Some other great suggestions I found included: sending them to a made-up address in the middle of no where and keeping an air horn or whistle by the phone to use when they call.

“Fuck youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!”

Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Call the number above if you’ve been bugged by these people. Just do it. If you’re feeling like being a little mean, just go ahead. These people have no right to harass us daily.

I’ve reported them to the DNCL complaints thing multiple times. I doubt they do anything with that, to be honest.

Disclaimer: 99.99% of the time, I am courteous. Any other telemarketer gets a quick “sorry we’re actually on the DNCL!” and he or she usually apologizes and hangs up. Simple. They’re just doing a job, and they most likely don’t enjoy it. These guys, however, have been so awful to so many people they deserve everything they get. It’s clearly some sort of scam. Any reputable company would happily provide you with the address, phone number,  or *actual* company name (Air Duct Cleaning? Seriously?) as soon as you wanted to know.

It’s now been over a week, and I haven’t gotten any calls back. Well, maybe I’ll have some fun with them if they try it again…