Sunday, January 27, 2008

Long Time, No hear

Yeah, yeah. I know it's been a while. Well, here's my update.

I left my former job back in May to go work for a new bank. Sadly, the job wasn't quite as it was originally described. In fact, a monkey could have done it. So I didn't mind it too much. I mean, I was making 6K more than I was making at my last job--which was actually more challenging. The old job was more challenging, I mean--if that wasn't clear.

So, I'm at a new bank, working a product that is about to go belly up big time. But the bank is so psyched about this product. Quick explanation, this product is backed up by mortgages. So... this HUGE bank that I'm not working for... is hugely invested in this product and the housing market is about to bust. I mean, this HUGE bank has no freaking idea? HELLO!!!! WTF?!?!??!

Anyway, after 8 months, I decided that this huge bank full of idiots is not for me and I'm back at my old bank. At the same level as my old supervisor! Not bad, right?

So, hopefully I'll have more time to post in the future. One of the "perks" of the nightmarish place was working oodles of overtime. I'm not into that.

Sweet release!

Oh, and the cats are both alive and well! It's amazing.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Little Old Man Cat

I'm sorry I'm a slug. Can you believe we're not supposed to be on the internet at work?? Seriously! I think they should just be grateful that we show up at all! They don't deserve me. And really, most of us have almost nothing to do. So, we sit with our iPods and look busy.

Some people may have been interested in a cat update. Many of you know about my little old guy who needs his saline subcutaneous injection (and how I stabbed myself with the needle).

He's doing pretty good. He looks good. He's pretty energetic. He has high blood pressure. Yes, my cat has high blood pressure. Can you believe it? He's now on HUMAN high blood pressure medication. Oh, and he takes pepcid AC. HA HA HA!! I swear, it cracks me up. But my childhood cat stayed alive on a diet of cat food, bran and metamucil (she preferred the strawberry flavored stuff).

In case you are wondering if my vet is a ripoff artist... we do have another cat. And she is fine and more than a little queenly. I just want you all to know that even though the queen is obsessed with food, I really don't think she'd eat my cooling corpse... unlike Marie Prevost's dog.

Most of you wouldn't remember Marie Prevost. She was a silent film star who didn't convert well to talkies. She became an alcoholic and died in poverty in 1937. Poor Marie's corpse was found partially eaten by her dachshund.

I don't think Oscar would eat me. I've trained the father to feed the fur kids. I'm confident they would go for him first.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dating horoscopes

Dating is always a chore. One never knows what they might end up with. That is why I have been gracious enough to suffer for mankind. I have faced hell so you may avoid it. If that is what you choose to do. By the way, if you’re offended by your horoscope, remember, it’s not you but the people you are dating.
Of course there is a way to avoid excessive hideousness… one can date a Cusper. The wonderful, complete souls born on cusps are the best people to get involved with. Cuspers were born right on, or directly around, the changing of the signs. Sadly, most Cuspers will only involve themselves with other Cuspers. Good luck finding one of your own.
Also, for your reading pleasure, I have added some notable members of each sign.

Aries (March 21-April 20): Think twice before you consider dating an Aries. Trust me on this one. I lived with one AND I dated one for far too long. These people tend to be extremely self-involved, obsessive and scary. They live in a plastic bubble that has their name written all over it. Although, if you enjoy playing the subservient, Aries could be the perfect dating experience for you. William Shatner, Joan Crawford, Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier

Taurus (April 21-May 21): OK, they seem nice (in spite of being a little slow), but remember, they are not nice. If you are sharp (as I am certain you are), you will see Taureans as the manipulative bastards that they are. The Taurus is crafty and evil in ways unimaginable by most of us normal folk. Spare yourself the agony of dating a Taurus. The best part is that Taureans are completely unaware of their antics and are probably wounded by these statements. Ha. Oppenheimer, Rudolf Hess, Jim Jones

Gemini (May 22-June 21): Go ahead and date a Gemini… if you have some kind of a death wish. I understand how you feel. They seem so nice, so caring and concerned. They’re not. The Gemini is two very different entities dwelling in one vessel. Normally (if I can use that word and associate it with the Gemini), they don’t even realize they have an evil “twin.” Sometimes medication can help—usually not. Walk away and don’t look back.
LaToya Jackson, Marquis de Sade, Richard Loeb

Cancer (June 22-July 22): Cancers are high maintenance. They need constant reassurance. Sometimes they freak out and bolt, just when you think you have them. If you enjoy a project that might pay off in the long run, the Cancer just might be the way to go for you. Edward III, Clarence Thomas, Lizzie Borden

Leo (July 23-August 23): Leos are great dates—if you’re looking for a trophy. What the Leo lacks in brains, they more than make up for in social encounters. Of course your friends will laugh at you later on, but you probably got laid—and if you did—it was probably really good. Max Heindel, Sally Struthers, Fidel Castro

Virgo (August 24-September 22): Virgos are lovely if you don’t mind having your hand slapped every two minutes. God help the soul who inadvertently rearranges the Virgos stuff, there will be hell to pay. You may not suffer initially, but you’ll feel it someday down the line. Virgos never forget and they’ll make certain you don’t either. (On a side note-my mother is a Virgo and I enjoy going to her house when she is out and rearranging—slightly—all of her knick knacks. She can always tell, no matter how slightly I rearrange. Tee Hee.) Ivan the Terrible, Caius Caesar Caligula, Robert Blake

Libra (September 23-October 22): Libras are great. If you like someone who tells you they don’t want to get serious… which is fine. But then, when they find out you are dating other people (hey, they said it wasn’t serious and you said you’d date other people), the Libra suddenly becomes emotionally devastated. So the Libra goes to the Pink with your “friend” and says how heartless and cold you are… yet they just can’t help being totally in love with you. Yawn. Martin Heidegger, Ethel Rosenberg, Chevalier D’Eon

Scorpio (October 23-November 21): We all know about the frightening Scorpio, but what about the Scorpio who is secretly a little school girl on the inside. It’s true, for all the psychosexual creepiness that surrounds the beloved Scorpio; there is a fretful, nervous person, terrified of making a bad impression, somewhere. You will think you had a great time with your Scorpio date, and you will wonder why you never heard from them again. The Scorpio is afraid that they have made some terrible social gaff and would rather die than to face you again. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true. Charles Manson, Bill Gates, Larry Flynt

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21): Speaking of social gaffs… Seriously, the Sagittarian reigns supreme in the department of social gaffs. Make sure you have a sense of humor when dating the Sagittarian. And make sure you wear your kneepads—don’t be yucky, that’s not what I meant—as you will probably fall as you are moving from bar to bar. Dating a Sagittarians can be really fun, but make sure your more uptight friends aren’t around, or they probably won’t be your friends in the morning. Just picture yourself rolling around in a drunken stupor; laughing so hard you can’t breathe. Have fun, I did.
Richard Speck, Nostradamus, Uri Geller

Capricorn (December 22-January 20): You probably won’t get to date a Capricorn unless you’re really attractive or very wealthy (or are in a position to improve the status of the Capricorn). Yet riding the Capricorn train can be a riot. Or even riding a train with a Capricorn can be almost as much fun as bar hopping with a Sagittarius. Sure, you might get in a fight with some hillbillies, but with a Capricorn by your side, the offended party will be too confused to resort to fisticuffs. J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, Rush Limbaugh

Aquarius (January 21-February 19): OK, if you want to date an Aquarian, go ahead, but don’t expect to have much conversation—unless you want to discuss Nietzsche’s theory of Christianity as antiquity or whether or not Marcus Aurelius was a complete idiot. The Aquarian can certainly be interesting, but you’ll have to be up on your reading.
Boris Yeltsin, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jimmy Hoffa

Pisces (February 20-March20): Ah, Pisces, Pisces, Pisces. Sad and lonely Pisces can be forced to do anything. If you really want to get married or have a baby and you can’t find anybody? Find a Pisces. These people can be talked into anything. Unless, of course, it’s somebody reasonable doing the talking, then the Pisces can find any excuse in the world to not face reality. What empty lives, waiting to be filled by the experiences of others. I have a friend (who lives far away and won’t read this) who was about to get married, until she found out her betrothed was ripping her and her family off right and left. Do you think she listened to her friends? No! It’s because she is a Pisces and just wanted to get married to anyone—even if he was a cheating scum. Liza Minelli, Sirhan Sirhan, Jimmy Swaggart

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Maybe it's not so bad after all...

Have I mentioned that my whole problem with Christmas is due to my gift anxiety? It is. I always buy too much. It's really because I never feel like I'm giving enough. I hate birthdays for the same reason. I periodically contemplate this issue I have. Is it because I'm adopted? Do I have some deep-seated need for approval that generally does not manifest in regular daily life? I don't know. But I still feel like I'm not buying enough for other people.

But... on a happy note. I'm really almost done shopping. I have one gift left to buy. One gift! And the wife can really pick that out. It's for my grandma. He's much better at picking stuff out for the little old ladies. It makes me gag. He's less good at picking stuff out for me. I don't know what his problem is. I always tell him what I want as the year goes by. I even email him gift ideas. Forget it! He won't get me something I like--because then I might be expecting it!

Well, to be fair, I don't think he likes what I get him either. I can't help it! He always buys what he likes... where does that leave me. It doesn't matter anymore. I know that this year he'll get at least three things that he'll like.

I've put up the tree. The needles aren't falling off. And honestly, I'm sort of enjoying the holiday season this year!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hating the Hellidays

Ok. I admit it. I really don't like holidays. They're always a let down. The wife makes me put up a fake tree because his mother gave it to us (and he hates finding needles all over the house).

The last time we bought a tree, well... I can only blame myself. I let him go alone. He brought the tree home. Most of the needles fell off before he even carried it in. What the devil?? Didn't he check??? Sheesh! Never again!

But I'm getting a tree this year. At least our house will smell like pine. It'll be fine. Really it will.

But I do dislike the holidays. This year, I lied to my whole family about Thanksgiving. We didn't really have friends over. I just wanted to spend the day at home. And I made the best turkey ever. It was amazing.

How do I get out of Christmas?? I know. I can't. But maybe we can just go early in the day and then be free in the evening. That wouldn't be too bad, right?? I mean, after that whole wedding disaster--it'll be years before I can happily spend time with my family without the bitterness welling up, right?? I know that people are going to give me pictures. It's not like I can say, "gee, thanks. It's too bad that I can't even think of that day without gagging."

I like getting gifts for people. But I hate getting arbitrary gifts. I had the best birthday this year because the wife and I decided not to get gifts for each other. Maybe that can be a permanent thing going forward? If I really want something, I'll buy it myself.

Finally--and I know this ties into absolutely NOTHING--I'm applying for a job. The rumor mill as of a week ago is--I was the most qualified person to apply for the position. After all of the internal postings (I'm an external). This would be a government job utilizing my love of Accounting, academia and the arts. So... If any of you readers out there are praying folk... Well, pray for Miss Keeks--who is more than ready for a new job!!

Well, Happy Hellidays (or holidays) to all of you out there. I feel another blog coming on... The scents of Xmas.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gasbag Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I have to confess that I really did enjoy this movie. But it irritates me so much, that I am compelled to use it for this week’s gasbag review. Please allow me to explain my reasoning. This movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets cuts out oodles of actual information that was in the book. I understand that. I really do. I may like a movie that is eight hours long, but I’m probably in the minority. The director must eliminate non-essential portions of the book. This is my beef is, why do they have to add stuff that never happened? Did they feel it wasn’t entertaining enough as is?

Well, here it goes. You will get to read my annoyingly persnickety irritations with a movie that I actually enjoyed. I think I’ll just number my list of offensive particulars.

1) Why doesn’t Harry have eyes as green as pickled toads? This fills me with rage. The cats better look out because I’m really pissed off. Dobby’s eyes are supposed to be green too. How hard is it to make the kid where contacts? It’s just plain laziness.

2) I love Aunt Petunia’s pudding. It’s really magnificent. But why does Dobby dump it on Mrs. Mason’s head? In the book Dobby smashes it in the kitchen. What drives the Mason’s out is the owl dropping a letter in Mrs. Mason’s hair. It’s not like there is any shortage of owls in the movie. I find this annoying.

3) When Ron, Fred and George come to rescue Harry from the Dursley’s, Uncle Vernon falls out of the window trying to keep Harry in the house. What’s the point of that? I’m sure they had to pay a stunt-person for that.

4) Why do they even bother having Harry ending up at Burgin and Botts (or whatever it’s called)? They ignore the point of landing in the wrong flue. You see, Harry ended up at B&B’s because he was supposed to hear Malfoy selling stuff so he doesn’t have incriminating things at home. Duh! And why did the Hand of Glory grab Harry’s hand? I’m telling you, it was just to startle the audience. And why does Hermione repair Harry’s glasses in Diagon Alley???? They’re not supposed to do magic until they’re back to school? Would it have been that hard to have Arthur do it? Is it that important that Hermione gets some more action? Why bother, it’s not like they allow movie Hermione to say book Hermione’s lines anyway.

(Side note: I think Kenneth Brannagh is a perfect Lockhart. I don’t think that’s a compliment. Jason Isaacs looks great in his Paris Hilton wig.)

5) The movie clearly shows Malfoy putting two books into the cauldron. And it’s too bad they left out the fight.

6) When Ron and Harry take the car to school, Harry almost falls out of the car. That doesn’t happen in the book. They waste precious moments on this stupidity. In the book, they dip the car below the clouds to see what direction the train is going. They could have added more actual book to the movie. This truly irritates. I know, you’ll all say that the flying car cost so much that they wanted to give it decent screen time.

7) Why do they have to give lines to different characters? I find this personally offensive. For example, when Harry and Ron get back to the castle after flying to school, they meet Filch instead of Snape coming up behind them. Even though I personally believe Allan Rickman is way too old and too strangely attractive to be Snape (hook-nosed, greasy-hair, approximately mid-thirties), there really can’t be too much Rickman/Snape on screen. And what does Rickman know that we don’t? I swear he makes Snape look kinder and gentler than he really is.

8) Why does Neville have to faint when he sees the mandrake? Instead of that, they could have introduced Justin Finch-Fletchely (or whatever his name is) and set some background for him as a muggle-born. It’s just plain stupid.

(Side note: Aren’t those Cornish pixies adorable?)

9) I know I’ve already mentioned the whole changing of Hermione’s lines and everything. I swear this movie has turned her into a…well, I don’t know what. When they’re in Hagrid’s hut, Ron is supposed to explain the whole mudblood thing. Frankly, I don’t think book Hermione would care too much about being called a mudblood. She knows she’s better than everyone else. Movie Hermione gets all weepy. Whatever. This movie makes Hermione really seem like a weepy harbinger of doom rather than the horrifying logical girl she is.

10) You know, all that time they wasted on the stupid car trauma could have established Filch as a squib and given him reason to accuse Harry of petrifying Mrs. Norris.

(I really like the actor who plays Filch. I saw him on an episode of Midsummer Murders.)

I could clearly go on and on and on and on. Seriously. I think my last beef is the basilisk. I think it’s supposed to be a vivid poisonous green. It’s not. I think it would have been cool if it had been.

I know it’s hard to make a movie from a book. I try to look at the HP movies as separate entities of the books—it’s the only way I can enjoy them. I mean, look at The Shining. Kubrick’s version is a cinema great, but it’s not the book. Stephen King had to redo it in his own style.

Frankly, I can’t remember a movie ever being as good as a book (although I’m sure there are a few examples where the movies are better than the books). I think the ultimate point of my beef is to make sure we read the books. We get a lot more out of the experience if we read.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The American Dollar

I confess I pay attention to the value of the American dollar. I can't imagine why. I guess it's because I remember the days when the Canadian dollar was worth about three cents of the American dollar--not like today--it's 89 cents! Can you believe that??? Oh, the horrors. Maybe the majority of you aren't affected by these major issues, but I live on a border town. We go to Canada for dinner on a regular basis. I love saying that. I stop into Canada for dinner. Ha.

Of course, now that the dollar is toast, it's a lot more expensive to go to Toronto for the weekend. Paying $175 a night really costs $175 a night--or it's pretty darn close. I would tell you that I'm glad the Canadian economy is doing better, but I don't think it's that much better--I think it's our economy is doing worse.

I know you want to know the real issue. Am I angry that I can't shop on the super-cheap up in Canada (or even over in Canada)? Sure. Yeah, I'm mad. But more than that, I'm really unhappy about comparing the dollar to the British pound. You see, I'm going to London in two weeks and I can't help but wonder how much we're going to spend. Don't you think the British pound should be devalued because Tony Blair likes George Bush so much?? I do. At least for the week we're there. I fully apologize to the English (and the Welsh), who are my ancestral people, for being so utterly cheap and selfish.

That being said, if anyone knows of any good, cheap places to go in London. Please let me know.