Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ho Ho Ho!

Christ-mas: (noun) the annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus: celebrated on December 25 and now generally observed as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts.

Christmas is coming. I don't care if it's not even past Halloween yet. Christmas is coming! In fact, through the wonders of Facebook statuses, I have learned that The Bay is even transforming their window into Christmas goodness already! JOY!

I love Christmas so much. I'm contemplating putting up my tree on Sunday. That's not too early, right? AND I've got about half of my Christmas shopping done, which is wonderful. Some of my Christmas gifts are hand-knitted wonders and right now, I'm almost halfway through a scarf for my mom. Scarves take sooooo loooooong. Seriously, I've been putting in three hours some nights and I feel like I'm getting nowhere. This is why I enjoy mittens. I can knock off a mitten in a day. But I've already done the mittens and now Mom is getting a matching scarf. Hat is next.

But it's all okay, hand cramps and all, because it's for Mom. And it's for CHRISTMAS.

I'll have to post some pictures of my knitted items but not until after the holidays, as some things are gifts and I don't want to give them away.

Monday, October 27, 2008

You must remember this

mem-o-ry: (noun) the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.

It's strange how some random and irrelevant tidbits of the past can stick with a person, while major things can go completely unretained.

When I was in grade seven, my mom bought me a Stephen King book for Christmas. This started a four-year run of reading all things King but also spilled over into other horror writers, including Dean Koontz and Peter Straub. There was one book I read that I cannot remember the title of and I believe was written by Peter Straub but I can't be sure...but what I do remember is that one of the bad guys in whatever was going on had pores the size of the head of a matchstick.

Why do I remember this? No idea. Why can't I remember, say, my professor's explanation of The Wizard of Oz and how it represented the American economy at the time it was written? I really do wish I could remember that because it was cool.

I can also remember my phone number from when I was six. The last four digits were very close to the number for the doctors' offices main reception in my hometown, so people kept calling for their doctor. For that reason, I also remember the phone number for those offices.

But no matter how many times I bake chocolate chip cookies, I can't remember the recipe.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


printing press: (noun) a machine, as a cylinder press or rotary press, for printing on paper or the like from type, plates, etc.

I'm a little bit of a nerd when it comes to certain aspects of my job. I work in print production for Chatelaine magazine and I get maybe a bit too excited when I get to see the printing presses. They are web presses and they are HUGE so the plant is, of course, not local. Today I got to go to Owen Sound (bah) to tour the plant we will soon be printing with. And the plant is AWESOME.

Web presses use paper that comes on huge rolls (rather than in individual sheets) and the paper goes so fast through the press and the colours are printed and then the paper is folded and trimmed and bound and - voila! - you have a magazine. What I find so cool is the sheer scale of the operation.

These presses are bigger than most Toronto condo units. They have flights (yes, plural) of stairs to get to the top of them. One roll of paper would fill my bathroom. There are vats of ink that I could drown in. The paper moves so fast through the presses that it doesn't look like it's moving. And then it makes a 90-degree turn without ripping or folding or smudging and then it goes into an enclosed area and comes out folded and ready to bind.

I love it. All of it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

For shame

shame: (noun) the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.

Since many people today seem to compensate for their lack of common sense with their overabundance of laziness, I think it should be completely and totally acceptable to shame people into doing what is most common-sensical.

For example:

When someone at my office gets on the elevator on the ground floor and takes it up one floor, it should be absolutely fine for me to make a comment about their laziness and inconsideration for taking up space in the elevator and for making an extra stop when the rest of us have to go many more floors. (It should be noted that there is a lovely double staircase in the lobby of my building that is a nicer and faster way to go from the ground to the second floor and that the stairwells are nice and wide and full of windows and not at all dodgy and very nice to walk up and down when going between, say, the 7th and 8th floors.) I don't think the comments should be directed at the person; I'd rather pontificate to the packed elevator, "Wow, can you believe how lazy some people are? No wonder obesity is such a problem."


When I can't get on the streetcar because the back-door-challenges imbeciles of the world decide the front doors are the only way they can possibly exit. I have seen some streetcar drivers make comments, but not nearly enough. I'd prefer it to be deemed proper to ask the offenders, "Why are you incapable of understanding that passengers can only get on through the front doors and, therefore, you should not be an ignorant prat and should exit through the back doors?" No swearing, no threats, just ask them why they're dumb.


When two (or more) people decide the best place to stop for a conversation is in the middle of a busy sidewalk or right in a doorway. I'm actually working my way up to making comments to these idiotic oafs; right now I just glare and push. But really, why not? Again, no swearing or threatening or yelling. Simply comment on the situation in an attempt to shame the offenders into thinking a little clearer next time: "What makes you think it's appropriate to hold your conversation in the way of dozens of others? Would you stop dead in the middle of the 401? I hope you don't drive because people will die."

Those are the three big ones I can think of right now. I try to be patient, I really do. And I take things into consideration, like children and strollers and such. But really, people are just dumb and I think it's high time they know it. And, by all means, if I'm discovered to be such an offender, then I deserve to be shamed too.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

X marks the spot

de-moc-ra-cy: (noun) government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

I'm glad we're voting next Tuesday. I've got complete election fatigue. It's mainly because of the U.S. election but that's been enough to even make me not care as much about the Canadian election. Really, if I have to see one more headline about Sarah Palin in a Canadian newspaper, I just might have to declare a moratorium on media until November. Even my beloved Maclean's has a cover tag line about her.

Now I totally love and adore Tina Fey's take on all of it but beyond that, I'm kinda done. I guess it scares me a little that people could actually consider voting for someone who can see Russia from her house and doesn't know what magazines she reads. And this is good for women? Sigh.

As for Canada, I'll call it right now: Conservative minority. Double sigh.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A letter to Jim

per-sist: (verb) to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, esp. in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc.

Dear Mr. Balsillie

There has been speculation in various media outlets that you just might be back in the picture for part-ownership of the Nashville Predators. This fills me with much joy. I would like nothing more than to see you become the owner of an NHL franchise. Wait, there is one thing I would like more: for you to bring your team to Hamilton.

I am a life-long hockey fan who unfortunately lives in Toronto. This means that any NHL game I might want to attend comes with exorbitant ticket prices (when tickets are even available) and an incredibly sub-standard product on the ice. In business terms, buying incredibly expensive tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play an uninspired game and inevitably lose is a terrible return-on-investment.

I very much want to see the Tampa Bay Lightning play this year but I simply cannot afford to go to a game at the Air Canada Centre. If you were to bring your team to Hamilton, I’m sure the cost of transportation to and from the game, accommodations, tickets, food and beer would come in less than the price of just one ticket for the Maple Laughs.

As I mentioned before, I am a hockey fan. This is why I was thrilled to attend – and watch you play – at the Festival Cup during the Toronto International Film Festival. I want to be able to see other teams and players and I believe this should be accessible to hockey fans. MLSE has made sure this is not the case and they have even gone on record saying they don’t particularly care about winning the Stanley Cup.

Even if you are unable to buy into the Predators or are unable to bring them to Ontario once you do, I have faith that one day you will put another team in Southern Ontario and I will be able to not just boycott the Maple Leafs but also MLSE for keeping true fans such as myself so far away from the game.

I have a question for you, Mr. Balsillie. As a very successful business man, you are able to afford certain luxuries. Could you please explain to me why other men and women who are able to afford such luxuries choose to spend on the Maple Leafs? Why –WHY? – do these smart, successful, capable people want to spend their hard-earned money and precious spare time on something so shitty?

I look forward to the day I can purchase my official NHL Hamilton jersey.


A Hockey Fan