Category Archives: Rant

The Mysteries of Leaving Messages

In the past two weeks, I have been trying to contact three different offices (2 school, one doctor’s) for various reasons. These offices have completely abandoned the old “stay on the line and someone will pick up in a minute” routine, favouring leaving a message as the only option.

I haven’t received a call back from any of these. I’m dumbfounded, and rather than call again and leave a bunch of angry messages, I’ll hypothesize and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Possible Reasons Why No One Has Called Me Back:

1. I have a lisp that only comes out when I’m on the phone, and no family member has ever said anything about it, nor can I tell. Therefore it sounds like I’m saying “No, it’s cool, don’t call me back please” instead of “please give me a call back! I’ll be here! Waiting!”

2. Every time my message is being heard on the machine, someone slips over a stray power cord and falls on the “delete” button before I’m able to recite my phone number.

3. There is a secret hierarchy of area codes, and 416-ers are always called back promptly, 647-ers are laughed at left to rot. (Yes. I have a 647 number. Don’t talk about it, it’s a sore spot.)

4. The office workers are so used to deciphering heavy accents and mumbled words that my clearly-spoken phone number has thrown them astray.

5. My phone is broken and will only let through the most annoying and nosy telemarkers.

6. The person listening to my message used to date someone with the name Michelle and it hurts too much to listen to the rest.

7. My phone voice is so beautiful and professional they think it’s a recording/robot and are too annoyed/scared to call back.

8. There is a secret code embedded into the robot message heard when you first call the office. I did not mention the secret code in my message.

 9. April Ludgate interns as a phone answerer at all three of these offices.

I have no idea. In all honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t gotten a call back. Is it normal to have to wait two weeks for something like this?

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My English Class Supplement: Ferris Bueller’s New Ad

How much did you groan every time your English teacher would request an analysis of vague symbolism in an old book? I remember a good hour-long rant one of my more eccentric English teachers went on about the snake-clasp belt buckle in Lord of the Flies. Of course, I hated it at the time, but now that I’ve been out of school for a year and out of English class for two, I miss it. I miss weaving my words and creating connections between any two seemingly unattached things or events, and getting an awesome mark for it.

So, hey, why not write about Ferris Bueller?

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that Matthew Broderick has starred in a Honda commercial as Ferris Bueller. If you haven’t, well, here it is: (and please, get Twitter or something. It’s 2012!)

 

If you haven’t seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I have to question why you’re even here and not crying yourself to sleep or something. Go watch it, you will thank me later.

Let’s see. The original movie has Ferris skip school to spend the day in downtown Chicago with his friends, after taking his friend’s dad’s 1961 Ferrari GT.

This commercial features a friend-less Matthew Broderick jump in his super-cool Honda CR-V and spend the day by himself while avoiding his boss.

Well, we all know that getting old sucks. Really sucks. Are we supposed to believe that this is some awesome sequel to the best movie of Broderick’s youth? Are we supposed to appreciate the throwback, and idolize the actor and his rebelliousness now?

He trades this:

For this:

And these:

For…well…a big stuffed panda bear(?)

Shall we even get into how this is a complete sell-out?

So, kiddies. Don’t grow up. You will lose all your friends, have a mid-life crisis where you think buying a reliable compact Japanese SUV is the coolest thing you could do, and will let corporations pay you money to sell out your old dreams and ideas. You will supplement your misery by occasionally skipping work and desperately trying to re-create the spontaneous adventure of your youth, but all alone.

Or maybe you’ll just have some fun driving your cool new SUV around the city. Whatever.

Life’s too short to overanalyze.

Okay, I guess I’ve lost my touch.  Good thing I’m not going back to school for literary analysis.

Ankle Pants and an Awkward Childhood

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in the past year or so, these so called “ankle pants” have sprung up everywhere. Instead of going into any trendy store and expecting everything labelled “pants” to be full-length, you now have to compete with these icons of idiocy. Let me explain.

I am 5’8″ (I think. Maybe 5’9″?) and I’ve always been the “tall, lanky one.” I haven’t always loved it. Already being an awkward, greasy, acne-ridden pre teen with glasses, being the tallest one around wasn’t helping anything. It felt like I was spending years trying to find pants that wouldn’t make me look stupid with one or two washes. Nothing looks dumber than bellbottoms (sorry, “flares”) that are 2 inches too short because you bought them at Wal-Mart and they shrunk. Pair that with clunky, black, thick-heeled “dress” shoes, also from Wal-Mart, and I was a mess. I’d spend whole days tugging at my pants so they would actually cover my ankles and hide my bright white socks.

The tactile sense of even trying these things on and feeling the horrible air on my ankles is enough to make me uncomfortable. It’s against everything I’ve ever thought was true and just about low-end fashion.

However, stores like Urban Outfitters, I guess I should thank you for making “awkward” cool again, in a way. Maybe there’s an 11 year old girl right now who, also awkward and greasy, doesn’t care that her Wal-Mart skinny jeans shrunk two inches because it’s cool. And that’s one less horrible thing to worry about when you’re one of less genetically gifted.

Lovely.

*Tangent Warning* I still hate them with a passion. What are you supposed to do in the winter? Don’t even get me started on open-toed boots.

????

…Seriously, though. What idiot thought these were a good idea? I bet they were invented in L.A.
If it’s cold enough for boots, your toes will freeze off. If it’s warm enough for an open-toe look, imagine all the foot sweat that is saturating the sides of those things. *Tangent Over*
Maybe I’m just too practical for the world of fashion.

I Shouldn’t Dislike Change This Much

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So, we got new bills. Canada has brought out these new “polymer” bills (bottom) to replace the old ones (top). This is the third generation of bills I’ve been alive for! The third! And the poor Queen gets slightly older on each new version of the $20 bill. We got one from 1970 at work, and she was sporting a young, brown hair-do. Splendid.

These things are made of some weird plastic, have a see-through window, and feel very fake when you’re used to paper notes. Contrary to what everyone is telling everyone else, they do not just “bounce back” when crumpled up, they actually are little bitches and don’t flatten out properly to go in the cash drawer.

Now I have to think of new sneaky ways to check the bills without offending the customer (and avoiding the “I just printed it this morning” joke. Shudder). Thanks, Canada!

(In all seriousness, they are pretty neat. Who else has money you can see through?!?)

Concerts and Disappointment

Last night, I attended a concert I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I got the tickets for my boyfriend’s birthday in September, and I’ve had the days booked off work for a few weeks.

This was my first standing-room-only concert at a small downtown bar in ages, and my very first 19+ one. In high school, you couldn’t keep me away from these places, but somehow, for some reason, I just stopped going. The only concerts I’ve attended in the last few years have been in seated, big, corporate venues that sell $20 beers. It was supposed to be kind of a “yeah I’m still awesome and I go out and stuff” kind of thing.

I was super-excited to post an awesome post about the band and include pictures and whatnot…

Things never go as planned, do they? First of all, for some reason, I didn’t take many pictures. I think I took two…on my iPhone.

I began the night thinking everything was going swimmingly. Instead of doing the whole high school thing where you line up at noon so you can stand at the front (and get your ribs crushed) just so you can be slightly closer to the lead singer, we left late. We got there as soon as the opening band started. Pretty good timing. I bought us both beers (this being an extension of the aforementioned birthday present, of course!) and we found a spot pretty close to the front.

As the night went on, we successfully fought back against the rage-inducing idiot girls with no spatial awareness, drunk middle-aged women who were too short to actually see (and insisted on bouncing around, trying to find a good spot), and the people who insist on getting pushing their way through the packed crowd to get them and their 9 friends beers every 20 minutes.

When the main band hit the stage, I had kind of started to go downhill. It was hot, stuffy, and those dumbass girls were beginning to get to me. Come to think of it, the last thing I’d eaten was hours ago…I hadn’t had anything to drink except for the beer…
And then I had to get out. That telltale ringing in my ears was starting. I pushed my way through disgruntled concert-watchers during a lull in the playing, and managed to make it to the washroom. I don’t know why I always run to the washroom, but aside from the concrete stoop outside and the floor, there was no where else to sit. I barely made it, thank god there wasn’t a line. It was one of those old-fashioned washrooms with lids on the toilet seat, thank god, so voila, instant fainting chair.

It was my blood sugar, again. I know these symptoms so well. Unfortunately, this happened in one of the worst locations. I was alone…in a disgusting stall in a dirty, stuffy club, trying not to pass out. I couldn’t get any water or anything to eat, nor could I lay on the cool floor. The last two times this happened when I wasn’t at home, I fainted. Both times were in labs in high school and university, the second time was thankfully on a hospital bed in the nursing lab. (I really couldn’t have chosen a better major for being prone to this).

I heard my favourite song of the band muffled through the walls while I was trying to stay conscious in the bathroom. After a few minutes, the question was: could I I get up or not? How horrible would it be to faint in the bathroom at a concert? Would people steal my stuff? How long would I be out before someone would get security? How would they find my boyfriend? Oh god, what if I land in a puddle of this unknown liquid on the ground?

I managed to get it together, get my coat on, and walk up the street to the pizza place.

The best part of the night was definitely getting in a fight afterwards about why I left the concert entirely. I don’t know, see above?

I have learned a few things: Never overestimate your seemingly young and healthy body. It will screw you over at the worst of times.
Never assume your loving friends and family will understand what it feels like to have a low blood sugar attack in a place like this. Clearly, that’s an overestimation.
Always sneak in lifesavers in your purse.
You are old now, don’t try anymore.

Disappointment is something I’m getting used to.

Anyway, here’s that picture:

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A Halloween Rant

Like a lot of kids, Halloween was my favourite. Who doesn’t love getting dressed up as whatever you want for free candy?

I grew up in an old, working class neighbourhood where the majority of people were older. Every year there would be some great Halloween displays. There was the guy a street over who would cover his driveway in corn stalks to create a sort of maze to get to the front door. He also brought out the ol’ smoke machine, and had clothes stuffed with straw (terrifying when you’re eight years old) hanging in the trees.

The old man a block down in the small blue house on the corner always had the best things to give away. It was a well-known fact that his house was the first one you hit each year to avoid disappointment when he inevitably ran out of treats. He gave away picture books and small stuffed animals, as well as the traditional candy.

The rare house that decided not to give out handy knew the risk, and I’m assuming they regretted their choice the next morning. Good.

And then, I moved into a newer neighbourhood full of creepy recluse-types who worked all the time. The house across the street, I swear up and down, was a drug den or halfway house or group home or something. Only in our town would the “upper middle class” area be more sketchy than the working class parts of town. At least you knew the drug dealers’ names and they were friendly. All the fancily-dressed parents seemed suspicious of each other. Too much Dateline, I presume.

Not many people “did” Halloween. Few decorations, no effort.

What is the problem? You can’t buy a jumbo box of mini chocolates for $10 and spend an evening sitting by the door? You can’t even dress your children up before you shove them up the walkway with their No Frills bag to demand candy? You, annoying teenager, think I’m going to give you the non-stale candy when you walk up in your street clothes and hold your back-pack open?

You’re all missing the point, you greedy, selfish, soul-less people.

Halloween is for fun. It is for scaring the crap out of small children in good humour. It is for dressing up and earning your candy.

For all of you who have been a guilty party in the paragraph above, I have one thing to say.

Stop ruining Halloween, and go back to your sad, loveless lives. 

To the rest of you lovely folks, enjoy it. Have a great October 31st!

7 Behaviours That Annoy Us All: Has Everyone Left Their Manners at Home?

Now, I’m not a violent person. Sure, I used to do kickboxing. Sure, I’ve kicked a hole in the wall out of anger. Sure, I like to yell and rant when I get frustrated…but I’ve never injured a person because of it.

Although, let me make this clear, this is not because I haven’t thought about it.

[You would not believe how hard it is to find a good picture of someone getting punched in the face. So this will have to do. And bro, you have a monkey on a chain. You deserve to get slapped.]

I do my best to be nice to everyone, but there’s always those few who make you want to hit things. Tip: Just remind yourself that they’ll die soon (if they’re old) or they’ll die alone (if they’re young) to make you feel better. Then, laugh to yourself and forget all your anger.*

*Satire. I’m not evil. And if I was, I wouldn’t admit it on a blog.

Now, if you think you’re one of those horrible people, here are 10 helpful tips to help you avoid probably bodily harm!
Your mothers should have taught you this. Picture them crying in disappointment. Do you feel good, now?

1. If a stranger smiles at you after you make eye contact, smile back. It’s not like he’s asking you to give him a back rub. Just contract some muscles in your face and return the sentiment.
Have some old people just forgotten how? Or have they decided to follow the ways of that idiot woman on the wrinkle cream commercial? “Oh, no! Laugh lines! Guess I better stop smiling!”*

*Actual, completely serious commercial.

2. When a store employee asks how you are, respond. Don’t just walk away. It’s a nicety, but it’s still a question. You don’t even have to say “and you?” at the end, promise.

I had so many issues with this when working as a grocery store cashier.
Me: “Hi, how are you?”
Customer: *blank stare* “THESE APPLES LOOK WEIRD, CAN I HAVE THEM FOR FREE?”
Me: …

3. Prompt your little smart-mouthed kid to say please and thank you, and don’t let them touch shit on the cashier’s counter…or play with the conveyor belt if it’s a grocery store. Little fingers can easily be hurt, and I’m sure the cashier doesn’t want to deal with an even louder, crying, smart-mouthed kid. No one thinks it’s cute, except you. And you should probably get out of the house more, alone.

4. If you’re working as a cashier, for the love of god, don’t let me be the one to awkwardly say “Hello” first after 30 seconds of you scanning my items in silence. Come on. I know your job sucks, I’ve done it.  You know what makes it slightly better? Meeting some customers that actually have a few nice things to say, or ones that you can have a bit of a nice conversation with. Trust me. Ignoring them all doesn’t make anyone any happier.

5. Wait you turn. Do not, I repeat, do not interrupt someone when they are talking to someone else. You are no more important.

6.  If you’ve opened up a door for yourself to walk through, take a quick glance behind you. If there is someone a few feet behind you who is going to follow you through the door, for the love of god, do not just slip through the opening and let the door drop.

7. Practice this. Raise your right arm like you’re taking an oath, but just a little bit higher, and spread your fingers out a bit. (Keep all of your fingers raised!) This is what you do when someone lets you into traffic. Not hard, now, was it?
It can even be your left arm *gasp* if you’ve got your window open! Amazing!

Wait! You’re doing it wrong! No! What did I just say?!

There, of course, are so many other little pet peeves that people can list. I think these 7 are the most important, although a few I’m biased on, having worked as a slave person in a grocery store.
Let me know if you can think of anything else!