Monday, November 29, 2010


After spending many hours searching (read dreaming) through the real estate listings, I think I have finally translated them. It is all about reading between the lines.
Here is a sample of commonly used words in the ads and my translation.

CUTE/COZY: Or any other combination/synomym of these words mean the place is not much bigger than living in your car. It is a suitable size for one small elderly lady and her pet bird. As long as they don't want to move at the same time

NEWLY RENOVATED: They slapped a fresh coat of paint over the mold before you arrived

SAFE NEIGHBOURHOOD: Last week the police raided the crack house next door and they haven't made bail yet.

QUIET NEIGHBOURHOOD: SEE: Safe Neighbourhood or else it means you are next to a cemetary

ACROSS/NEAR GREENSPACE: The neighbour only cuts their grass once a year.

APPLIANCES INCLUDED: We were too lazy to move them and they only work part of the time. They are your problem now.

NEUTRAL DECOR: I hope you like white

DRY BASEMENT: It is today as long as it hasn't rained or the spring melt hasn't started yet.


ORIGINAL HARDWOOD FLOOR: The house is uneven

ORIGINAL OWNER: Nothing has been done to the place since they moved in the house.

HANDYMAN SPECIAL:  Be carefull where you step you might fall through the hole in the floor.

NEWER AIR CONDITIONING: Bullet holes or broken windows.

ALARM SYSTEM INCLUDED: If you don't already own a guard dog or gun you better get one to live in this neighbourhood.

QUICK POSSESION: I need to leave town today or I know the roof is going to collapse and I want out before it does or jail sentence starts next week and I need money to pay for a new lawyer.

CLOSE TO SHOPPING: Above the store

CLOSE TO TRANSPORTATION: Next to the train station or bus station

CLOSE TO WATER: Leaky roof/ basement or flooded lake

Last but not least

OPEN CONCEPT: Someone stole the doors.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I am so angry I am spitting nails. I made the mistake of watching the news this morning. Actually watching the news wasn't the mistake. The mistake came when one of my least favorite city counsellors came on and I didn't change the channel. This man is pushing to make panhandling illegal. Don't get me wrong. I don't like aggressive panhandlers. They sometimes scare me. What made me angry was what he said. He said they are all able bodied and there is no reason for them not to get a job and contribute to society. I beg to differ. Mr. Steeves they may seem able bodied but that does not mean they are able to hold a job. Some of these people may be able bodied but not able minded. Some of them battle addictions. Sometimes these addictions prevent them from getting or keeping a job. They lose everything. A lot of the shelters won't let them stay if they are drunk or high. What are they supposed to do. The safety nets fail them. How are they supposed to live? Some of them sit all day trying to get a day labour job. Some days there are not enough day labour jobs for them. What are they supposed to do then? You don't qualify for Unemployment if you haven't worked the required minimum number of weeks. How do they live? Some of these people battle mental illness. These mental illnesses sometimes prevent them from holding down a job. Again, sometimes this can lead them to lose everything. Tell me what are they to do? I understand that panhandling can be an annoyance to some people. I understand that they can be a traffic hazard. But to assume they are all just too lazy to get a job is just plain wrong.

I have to tell a story about a panhandler. I used to work downtown. I took the bus to and from work because it was much easier than battling for a parking spot every morning and it was cheaper than having to work for a whole week to pay for your monthly parking fees.  Anyway, I was sitting with a Co Worker at the bus stop waiting. A pan handler came along and sat down beside Clint. He asked Clint for some spare change. Clint said he was sorry but all the money he had until payday was his bus fare. The pan handler then dug into his pocket and pulled out some change. He then asked Clint if HE needed some money. Clint declined but that incident stayed with me. This man was down on his luck but he was willing to try to help someone else. Yes Mr. Steeves. These are the people that you vilified. People that is the key word there. They are still people. I hope Mr. Steeves never has to experience life like that but maybe he should try talking to these people before he paints them all as lazy.

Thus concludes my daily rant.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I love my friend Idiot
The more I get to know him, the more I think we were separated at birth. For example; I am a Canadian, he embraces his distant Canadian heritage. We both have the sense of humor that very few people get. We both speak English and Canadian fluently. We are both scared of snakes. We love the same movies and have been known to exchange emails that simply have one line from the Blues Brothers Movie in it. That is the whole email. We are both Twitter virgins and have no desire to start.We both play the clarinet. We both battle Depression. Well you get the idea.

Lately, I have begun to think we are more alike than I previously thought. I have done a few things in the last week. They were not the smartest things in the world. These activities were usually followed by the thought "I bet The Idiot" would have either done that too or else will totally understand why it happened. Let me explain.

On Tuesday I had to take my life in my hands and go downtown. I hate going downtown. I hate the traffic and there is never any parking. It is a pain. I managed to avoid the panhandlers, drunks and traffic. I did this the easiest way I know how. I asked my Dad to drive me. Ha ha not so dumb after all. I had to get my Criminal Record and Child Abuse Registry checks updated. I needed to have an updated version for my interview this Tuesday. I had one from January but they want them done every six month. Which is kinda silly when you stop to think about it. The Child Abuse check takes 6 weeks. If it is only good for 24 weeks I am going to become a very regular and broke customer. Anyway. Of course it is in a government building. So what you ask? That means that every parking spot in a 5 mile radius is for the employees. So basically I could park two streets over from where I live and limp my way downtown or we could drive around forever to see if we could find a spot. Did I mention we brought my Mom along for the ride. She is a little bit of a nervous person. You know the type. You are travelling along happily through a green light when she grabs the door handle and gasps.
"That car almost went through the red light."
"What car Mom? "
That one.
You mean the one PARKED there missing two wheels? That car?
Yes. Didnt' you see it?
We finally found a parking spot on the street. Only four blocks from where I needed to go. Hooray. We won't talk about the Homeless man's cart that was parked there first.
Out we get and head over to the building. On the way back, my Mom begins to run. For an small older lady, she can sure move. As I am limping after her like Quasi Moto, I yelled why are we running. She announces she doesn't think we are allowed to park there and must move this instant. OK. By the time I get to car they are peeling rubber. The smoke from the spinning tires is making it a little hard to find the door handle. I finally grasp the handle and attempt to throw myself into the back seat. In the process I manage to whack my head on the car door. Not the door frame. Nope. That would be for smart people. Nope I actually attempted to close the door on my head. I have managed to give myself a slight concussion. Talent or what?
For my next act I will tell you about my experience in the kitchen. Now I am not a Master Chef by any stretch of the imagination. We live on the 4 food groups. Canned, frozen, take out, and microwavable. When my son was little, the only way I could get him to eat was to tell him it was OK his Grandma made it. Then he would gobble it up. Didn't matter if Grandma made it or not. If he thought she did then it was delicious. I was going to cook a roast in the slow cooker. I got it all ready to go. I then turned it on. I came back a little while later and took a look at it. It was at this point I freaked out. That was when I noticed that I had left the cord tucked in the slow cooker under the pot. I was so worried that I was going to ruin the slow cooker and melt the cord. I immediately turned it off, prepared the fire extinguisher, put on protective goggles, and cleared all children and pets from the kitchen. I then put on the oven mitts and carefully lifted the pot out so I could retrieve the cord. Has anyone else picked out what stupid thing I did? Yup. You guessed it. Hello? How can the pot be hot and the cord melted? Dumb ass here. The slow cooker was not plugged in because the cord was under the pot. Dumb dumb dumb.

These are just a few of the reasons I am starting to think that Idiot and I were separated at birth.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I am now going to reveal myself as a hypocrite. Not really proud of it but I am what I am.

Just a little news story caught my eye and raised my temper. A few posts ago I mentioned how I was tired of all of the Breast Cancer Campaigns. Here is where I flip flop slightly. AS the story goes, Winnipeg Blue Bomber player, Jon Oosterhuis wore pink gloves in a game to bring awareness to Breast Cancer. Just as NFL teams have done. The players were warned not to do it. I understand there are sponsorship contracts and what not the CFL must honor. This player wore them anyway. The CFL has fined him$250 for the infraction.  The player said he knew he was breaking the rules but figured he has never been fined by the League before and this was a good enough cause to risk it. He has no issue paying the fine even though many fans have contacted him and offered to pay his fine.  I understand why the CFL did it. They have to honor their sponsorship contracts. What upsets me is that the CFL had a chance to look good. They had a chance to improve their public image. I don't think anyone would have complained. BUT, instead of turning around and donating the money to Breast Cancer Awareness/Research. They kept the money. They lost a huge goodwill gesture.  In my opinion, the CFL is a small thinking league. They are the bush league of the NFL. I am disgusted with them right now. While the attention to Breast Cancer instead of all cancers sometimes bother me, I am annoyed that the choice by the CFL and my reaction to it, makes me a hypocrite.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I have been a bad blogger again. I have neglected you. I am so sorry.

What has been happening here? Not much. Still unemployed? Yup. Any prospects? Nope. However, I know one place got my application. In order to apply for the job you must do it online. Not a problem. However, you have to attach everything. Your transcripts, diploma, certificates, criminal record check, child abuse registry check, CPR and first Aid certificates, etc.  I am surprised they have not asked for fingerprints and birth certificates. I tried to attach them all but ran into some trouble with a couple of the forms that were too large to attach. I had to try again later. I got a call a couple of days later. Apparently, I had applied for the job twice under two different SIN numbers. Whoops. I guess when I logged back on to complete the application, I reversed the first three numbers. Good thing I wasn't applying for a computer teacher job.

We finally have heat. I was putting of turning on the heat for as long as I possibly could. Makes the heating bill lower. Finally I could stand it no longer and had to turn on the heat. Well, I tried. It warmed up in the house and then it got colder and colder. We tried turning up the heat, still no luck. Finally I clued in. Perhaps I should check and see if the pilot light is still on. No pilot light. NO heat. We re lilt it and had heat again... then it went out again.... and again... and again. Now it is freezing in our house. OK. Time to call the repairman first thing in the morning. Saturday morning we called. They assured us they would be there sometime on Saturday. OK, perfect. We waited and waited. About 3:30 they called and told us they would not be showing up that day, they were too busy but they assured us they would be there Sunday Morning. OK. One more day won't kill us. We got up early Sunday in anticipation of having heat once again. We got the call at 9. Did we still need them to come? YES!! Okay they will call back in half and hour. They called back three and a half hours later. He said he would come soon. Uh huh. I heard that one before. They did finally arrive and three hundred dollars later, we have heat again. Yippee.

Halloween has come and gone. It was a different one for us. Over a week ago some nut opened fire on innocent people in the North End of the city. Two men were shot dead when they opened their door. One young girl was shot when she said she didn't want to buy drugs. They still havent' found the shooter. People are scared. Parents were not taking their children Trick or Treating and people were scared to open their door. The Friendship center opened their doors and asked for donations so the kids could go there and get some candy in a safe place. The public responded and the children were able to have Halloween anyway. It is so sad that the children pay the price.

Up until the last minute the girls were not going out for Halloween. Then they changed their mind. Hello? Unemployed and you want me to make/buy you a costume two days before Halloween? Have I mentioned that my idea of sewing is duct tape and staples? My one daughter threw together an outfit out of her closet. They other one wasn't as creative. So a quick trip to Value Village and I told her she had to be a ghost. Ghosts are u underrated. No one is a ghost anymore. Plus no sewing is involved. She was a ghost. Until she got to the bottom of the stairs and discovered she could not see to the side or down, just straight ahead. I told her that was the only direction she needed. She disagreed. She ended up ditching the costume and just going door to door as herself. She did not bad. The only ones that wouldn't give her anything was our neighbour. Go figure.

Our Civic election is over. The incumbent Mayor won once again. Plus, we have a new take on "Bring Back the Jets". Former Jet, Thomas Steen was elected to city council. We will see if he can play the politics game as well as he played hockey.

I am still making my way through the hell that is known as Parent of A Moody Teenage Girl. If you have not experienced this little piece of heaven let me tell you. IT IS NOT FOR THE WIMPY CHICKEN. I am not quite sure I am up to the job. If I say something, it is wrong. If I look at her, it is wrong. If I don't say anything, it is wrong. If I make her bed or make her dinner, it is wrong. She growls at everyone. I am not sure I will survive this one. I have decided one thing. I would rather have 10 more boys than one more girl.
God help me.