Friday, April 28, 2006

Seriously? No soul?

I got this over at Janice's blog.

You Are 36% Abnormal

You are at medium risk for being a psychopath. It is somewhat likely that you have no soul.

You are at medium risk for having a borderline personality. It is somewhat likely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at medium risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is somewhat likely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at low risk for having a social phobia. It is unlikely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

I'm mildly offended by this. Only mildly though, so maybe it's right.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Question of the Day!

So, I was having a conversation a little while ago with my lovely flatmate Buffy about what you call the person that you're dating. Obviously, it's easy if you're married. But what about before then?

She felt she was too old and grown-up to have a "boyfriend", so was looking for an alternate word. Now, I've got to be honest with you. When I hear people call their significant other their "lover", I want to vomit. I don't know why it grosses me out so much, but it does. I think it's because in my mind it brings up 1) the idea of those people having sex, which is not always pretty or 2) them saying it with a ridiculous accent "Have you met my lovvvvverrrrrrrrrr?"

But the alternatives aren't that great.

"Partner" really only works if you're gay. Otherwise, it just doesn't work for me. It sounds like you're trying too hard, you know?

And I also have a problem with people who are all "my man" about their men friends. I don't know why, but it gives me the skeeves.

Personally, I have no problem with "boyfriend", even though I would hope that the next person I date is not so much a boy.

Now that I've offended you all by being mean about the words you use to describe your special fellas and ladies (Hi! Sorry about that! Don't hate me!), I'm going to take an informal poll. Internet, this is your chance to have a say. What do you think? What's the ideal word? Or, if you've got alternates, votes in the comments please!

What is your word of choice?
Boyfriend or Girlfriend
My man or My woman
Person with whom I shop at the Do-It Centre
Free polls from

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Age Gap

One of the editors we work with pretty frequently is Canadian, although he's lived in the UK for ages and ages. But because we have the Canadian-ness in common, he often likes to regale me with Canadian facts and trivia. One of our previous converstaions involved Vancouver, and how I possibly would end up out there if I moved back to Canada. He then told me that it rains six months of the year in Vancouver. That was maybe a week or so ago.

This is a conversation that occured this morning. (And I'm not being as abrupt as it seems - I was making a cup of tea. It takes a lot of concentration.)

Editor: You know, it rains six months of the year in Vancouver.

Me: Yeah, you mentioned that.

Editor: That's what you get when you live in a rainforest.

Me: That's true, I suppose.

Editor: And their team didn't do well this year.

Me: The Canucks? Do they ever do well? I thought they sucked.

(Note: I know very little about hockey. The Canucks could be awesome. I've got no idea.)

Editor: Well, they've never won the Cup, but they've made it to the playoffs a few time. You'll remember the playoffs in '82?

Me: Not really. I was 5 in 1982.


Editor: Well, maybe you've seen history programmes about the playoffs in '82?

Excellent recovery! Well played, Editor. Well played.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Welcome to Barcelona!

What's that you say? You'd like to see photos from my trip to Barcelona? Really?

That's so sweet.

Okay, here you go!

And sadly, no. There are no photos of the fashion avenged. I'll do better next time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fashion Avenger: Barcelona Edition

Dear People of Barcelona, Both Residents And Tourists,

Hi there! How y'all doing? It was super to see you all when I was in Barcelona last weekend. Wasn't the weather nice? And yes, I did get a bit of a sunburn, thanks for pointing that out. I did forget that you can burn when it's cloudy, it's true.

But we're not here to talk about me, are we? No. No, we are not.

I can't address all of the issues that we encountered on my trip, but there are a few of you that I wanted to speak to. And yes, I'm sure you know who you are.

Girl wearing the asymmetrical short stripey skirt with black checked patterned tights and white flats? Yeah, what the hell were you thinking? Do your friends hate you? Did you lose a bet? Are you actively trying to repel guys? You didn't really think this was a good look, did you?

Lady wearing the white macrame-type top with a skirt that looked like a jean miniskirt with more white macrame-type crap hanging down to your ankles? First of all, ew. I'm really really hoping this was a holiday look, and you don't actually wear this crap in public in a town in which you know people. Because they must be so embarrassed for you, and I don't want that for them. They've done nothing wrong.

Woman with the too-tight jeans/crop top combo with quite a fair bit of stomach bulge hanging out? Look, I don't mean to be cruel, but the size that you think you are? Is not the size that you are. And I really don't want to hurt your feelings, because I'm sure if you dressed in clothes that were the right size, you'd be all cute and stuff. But as is, you made me turn away from my giant beer to comment "sweet mother of god, did you see that?" to my friend, and it wasn't in the good way, if you know what I'm saying.

Lady wearing see-through plastic stiletto heels for a day of tourist type activities? Just FYI, those shoes make you look like a whore. It's 3pm and you're in line for a cable car. More of a "daytime" look is really appropriate here. Your whoreish-ness is scaring the children. You can't tone it down for the day? Seriously?

I know I seem like I'm being a bit harsh on the ladies, but there are just so many more ways you can go wrong in women's fashion. And, oh people of Barcelona, so many of you were getting it so wrong. Now, that's not to say that all of you were badly dressed. Lots of you looked perfectly fine. And you're a lesson to those who persist in wearing clothes that make me want to poke my own eyes out with a fork to prevent myself from having to look at them.

Let's just hope that lesson gets learned.

Come on, Barcelona. I've got faith in you. You can do better. I know you can.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Amusing Stories from My Recent Canadian Visit, Part 2

I went out for dinner with an old friend from back in the day while I was in Toronto. Not that she's old. She's my age. We've just known each other since we were 10, which is definitely the longest I've known anyone that I'm still in touch with, not counting family and/or family friends.

Anyway, I haven't seen her in ages, and we met up for dinner and drinks at this really nice restaurant in the Annex which I will not name due to the incriminating story I am about to relate.

She got to the restaurant first, and was waiting when I turned up. (I wasn't late, just to clarify. I got there mere moments after she did.) We were eating at a cute little restaurant, and there was only one other table of customers when I got there. As I was about to sit down, the waiter (and possibly owner) swooped over to take my coat. We took the bold move of ordering a half litre of wine - red, not white, as I no longer drink white post "The Incident", which we no longer speak about so I don't know what you're talking about.

Waiter/owner man left us alone with our menus and wine for a while, and there was much catching up and amusing banter of the "my mom saw your grandmother at the airport" and "hey do you know what so-and-so is up to?" and "your little brother has a beard??" variety.

We'd pretty much decided on food when waiter/owner man swooped to the table again. He was a swooping kind of guy. The other table had left by this point, so we were the only customers in the place. We ordered our main courses (I ordered the paella) and smiled politely.

Waiter/owner man: No appetizers for you ladies? You must have the appetizers!

Us: Thanks no, we're thinking we'll get dessert instead.

Waiter/owner man: The desserts are disgusting.

Now, this caused us a moment of confusion. You've got to understand that he said this with absolutely no humour or sarcasm in his voice. It was a total deadpan "The desserts are disgusting." Needless to say, we weren't sure quite what he meant by this. Were the desserts actually disgusting? Was he kidding? Were they so good they were disgustingly good? What did he mean?

After an awkward pause, we decided that he was kidding and laughed awkwardly. He chortled to himself and swooped away.

We exchanged a look of "well, that was weird" and continued the catching up and amusing banter. Much merriment was had.

The food arrived and the waiter/owner man insisted on introducing himself and learning our names. Um, okay. Sure, why not? It's a friendly place, right? That's nothing to think is weird.

The food was really nice, and when we were done, we did indeed feel in the mood for desserts, assuming they weren't disgusting. Once again, waiter/owner man swooped to our table.

Waiter/owner man: You're finished! How was the meal?

Us: Delightful, thanks. What desserts do you have?

Waiter/owner man: Oh, they're disgusting. We have an awful chocolate cake, it's very rich. We've got a disgusting lemon tart, it's horrible. Our rice pudding is absolutely repulsive. The apple pie with ice cream is sickening, and our house speciality is the cheesecake, which is nauseating.

Us: [confused pause]

Waiter/owner man: [smiling in anticipation of our disgusting order]

Us: [confused look exchanged] Uh, I guess the chocolate cake please?

Waiter/owner man: [grinning] You'll love it. It's disgusting.

So, he clearly meant disgusting in the "disgustingly good" sense, but that so was not clear when he was describing the desserts. What is up with that? How is belittling your food and calling it gross a good selling technique?

From now on, I will be using this terminology at every opportunity.

"And your haircut is finished. What do you think?" Disgusting.
"Congratulations! You've won a million pounds!" Disgusting!
"And how do you take your coffee?" Disgusting?

And for the record, the cake was pretty good.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Amusing Stories from My Recent Canadian Visit, Part 1

The day after I flew into Toronto, a friend of mine had his thirtieth birthday party. The timing, was she not excellent? It was at a bar/restaurant type place in Toronto called Alleycatz. Note the super cool "z". This is no ordinary bar, my friend.

Actually, it was really nice. There were about 20 of us for dinner, and the bar bit had a band playing and they were really good. The food was excellent, the drinks were plentiful, Sean got some great gifts, there was cake and party favours. An excellent night, wouldn't you say? But what could make this night better? What could add some hilarity to this night?

That's right. The fakest English accent ever. Ever!

When we got to the bar, we were seated by the hostess lady (after the mandatory coat check - clever bastards!) and then the waitress came over to the table. Now she looked completely normal. And then she opened her mouth.

Waitress: Fancy a drink, luv?

Now, I am prone to exaggeration. I'll freely admit that. But you need to believe me when I say that this was the fakest English accent ever. It was just so bad. It was a mix of every stereotypical accent you can imagine. So, so bad.

Now I assumed that as I live in England, I would be more aware the badness of this atrocity than the others I was with.

But sometimes, I underestimate my friends sometimes. As soon as she left, I couldn't hold in my disbelief. And that was quickly backed up by the others at the table. Seriously, such a bad accent.

Anyway, they all were pressing me to bust her on her fakity fakeness. And I would have loved to have done it, really. But at heart I am a nice and somewhat shy person (shut up, I totally am), and want to make her cry in front of a huge table of people. A goodhearted friend tried to step up and help me out.

Goodhearted Friend: That's a great accent. Where are you from?

Waitress: Oh, thanks. I'm from Manchester.

Me (in my head): Manchester? Like fuck you are.

Now, I'm sorry for the profanity, but really. Manchester has a quite distinctive accent. It's easy to figure out when someone is from Manchester, just by their accent. And sure, if people live in London or the south, they can lose their regional accents, blah blah blah. If she was from Manchester, I'm from ..... well, somewhere that I am clearly not from. Paraguay, let's say. If she was from Manchester, I'm from Paraguay.

And, because I would like to be a meaner person than I am, I devised a clever test to check her supposed Manchester origins.

Me (planned clever test): Oh, you're from Manchester are you? I live in England myself. I forget, what are people from Manchester called again?

Waitress (anticipated response): Um, Manchesterites? Manchestersons? Manchesterians? Fine. Fine! I don't know. I'm really from Mississauga. Stop harassing me! [runs away in shame]

Me (anticipated glee): Glee!

Because there is no way she would have known the answer to that question, unless she'd actually lived in Manchester, or at least somewhere in the UK.

For those of you that are curious the answer is Mancunians (pronounced Man-cue-nee-uns) or Manks for short.

And seriously, fakest accent ever.

(And just for the record. I did not actually confront her. That was all imagined. Did I not mention I'm a wuss?)