Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lovin and Laughin: the Apartment Life

hello comrades! i am having quite a day. on tuesday, i received notice from my building that there would be some contractors coming into the building on wednesday and thursday of this week to do some cleaning and modifications to our baseboard heaters. always nice to hear that we are slowly, ever slowly bringing the antiquated building into the 21st century.
anyway, i have no problem with this sort of thing, as some people do, except if at all possible, i like to be home. this isnt really a privacy issue or a personal space issue or a "dont steal my stuff" issue (i really dont think i have a single possesion that anyone could possibly want), its a "one of my cats has some psychological issues and gets very upset and stressed about stuff like this so i want to be here for her" issue. of course im talking about carmela, that former alley cat that a roomate rescued so many moons ago.
so yesterday morning before hitting the y, (for those following my swimlog, this is the reason i was late to the pool and didnt get to finish my workout) i went down to the office to talk to the super to see if there was any possible way he could give me an approximate time to be home for the contractors. when i got there, the custodian was puttering around so i told her i was looking for mike (the super) and she said, "oh you didnt hear? he quit. he gave his two weeks notice." and i said, "oh really? no i didnt know that."
now, i dont really care one way or the other, but i think that the owner of the building should have at least informed us that there is no longer a super in the building. according to the custodian, we are getting a new one soon. i had my suspicions that mike had left, because there was a note posted on the office door like a week and a half ago with a phone number to call in case of emergency and no further information. it really floors me how many superintendents these giant corporate building managment companies go through. they should really treat their staff better. (although i am pretty sure mike was having an affair with a tenant, who i also havent seen around, so maybe they moved in together and thats why he left).
anyway so i gave the guy who is helping with the maintenance at the moment a couple of different time spans that i could be home for the contractors and he was very friendly and nice about it, and away i went.
fast forward to this morning when i was trying unsuccessfully to sleep in when i get a knock at the door. realising that i was naked i yelled "hang on! im coming!" only to be answered with more knocking. for those of you who have never been in my presence first thing in the morning, i have issues with brushing my teeth. i am generally a morning person, but i am NOT a happy camper until i have spent a few moments with my toothbrush. anyway, so someone keeps knocking and im trying to find some clothes to put on and im like "I SAID IM COMING" and i finally get to the door and its the friendly and nice maintenance guy with the contractors and hes like "sorry i didnt hear you." no kidding.
so then the leader of the contractors, lets call him the contractor captain, starts giving me guff about not having moved my stuff away from the heaters yet. remember: chloé still hasnt brushed her teeth. i make a point of keeping my apartment sparse, i like the feeling of open space, so the only things i had to move were my desk and my bed, i was like "that will only take two minutes to do" but i was REALLY snarky and pissed. so the contractor captain was like ok well be back in five minutes then. and im like fine, WHATEVER.
so he leaves and i go brush my teeth and move the furniture and sweep. i dont think the area under my desk has seen a broom since i moved in three years ago. it was pretty gross. by this time carmela was already upset because i moved the bed, which is where she likes to hide when there are strange people in the house. so she was hiding under the pipes behind the toilet in the bathroom and i felt bad for her.
anyway, the contractors came in, and i must say they had an impressively smooth operation. even more impressive is that i mopped under the desk before i put it back in its place. i gave the cats some treats and that was that. another day in the life of an apartment dweller.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quick Update

hello comrades. sadly, i dont have much to say today, because nothing much has happened since yesterday. however, i do want to inform those of you who may be interested that my swimlog has been updated with my week of working out thus far.
on a related note, i placed an order at a print shop today for a laminated, ringed notebook that i will be using to write out my workouts at the pool before i get the chance to blog them. i realise this isnt that interesting for you, my beloved readers, but im actually pretty excited about it. also, it was funny trying to explain to the woman at the print shop what i wanted and she was actually interested in why. i have to give her credit though, she was super professional and non judgmental, and she didnt even blink about me having anne with me. so i was very satisfied and impressed with my printing shop experience.
other than that, the only thing i really have to share is that when i sat down at this computer, some guy walked over to his friend (? i can only assume theyre friends) who is sitting two computers over from me, and farted really loud, said excuse me, and walked away. it was gross. im sure youre all laughing at this story but i just thought it was idiotic. oh, hamilton. so classy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vague Specificity

i really get a kick out of the way some people choose to speak. im not referring to dialects so much as the way in which some people, without realising it or meaning to, betray quite a lot about their character in the simple way they speak in any given conversation. the example that prompted this post? VAGUE SPECIFICITY.
as anne and i were arriving here at jackson square where our beloved library is, i overheard a man asking the woman he was with what time it was. her answer: "not quite one minute to." (by the way it was "not quite one minute to" 12:45, as opposed to "not quite one minute to" the hour). this is vague specificity. the answer is vague, as the more direct answer would have been 12:43, but its oddly specific, because she is suggesting that there are only a few seconds remaining before it will be 12:44. why would someone speak this way? she obviously didnt do it on purpose, she was answering a simple and direct question from a person who was familiar to her. i have two theories. make that three.
1) the simplest explanation would be that she is simply a verbose person. we all know people like this. they always find the most circuitous and obscure way to articulate themselves. i think it derives from not really having anything to say. i find that sort of behaviour irritating, as a solid four years of post secondary scientific writing has made me somewhat psychotic when it comes to economy of language. flowery communication shows lack of ideas as far as im concerned. but that is another blog to be written another time, i suppose.
2) the woman is kind of controlling but also insecure. she doesnt want to be seen as not having a correct answer, hence the specificity, but she also doesnt want to be percieved as being totally anal retentive, hence the vagueness.
3) its possible that both the woman and the man had to be somewhere at 12:45 and she was therefore telling time relative to when they would be officially late.
i suppose the likliest explanation is that it is a little bit of all three. that being said, i think this example speaks to a much more interesting aspect of our lives as human beings. language is obviously one of the things that defines us as a species (although it has been shown that other species do have less sophisticated forms of language, and even that some primates are capable of learning higher forms of language), and the corollary of this is that how we use language is one of the ways we define ourselves as individuals. how and why we speak and the words we choose and the way in which we deliver them all coalesce into the outward expression of our personalities, and that is what is so fascinating about overhearing a conversation as simple as "what time is it? not quite one minute to."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogging News

as you can all see, at the top of my page there is a link called "swimlog." i have been working on this all week, and it is finally up and running, and i am excited to share it with you!
i get the impression that some of my readers are very interested in my swimming training, and i assume that some readers are considerably less so. in an effort to be both organised and accommadating, i have created a new blog called SWIMLOG for those of you who are keen to follow my training regimen. although i will not always be able to post my workouts every single day, i will write notes to myself and then post them when i can. i hope that i can share with everyone who is interested my knowledge of the ever-technically demanding sport of swimming and my highs and lows in my constant effort to improve. thank you for your patience dear readers! i hope i will not disappoint!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Current Events

well i read something interesting in the paper last week that ive been meaning to share. and by interesting, i mean idiotic. so the powers that be (i forget who, exactly. i believe it was the people at participACTION and the canadian something something physiologists and something) published somewhere that they are decreasing the number of minutes of activity per day recommended for a healthy lifestyle. these numbers have, until recently, been long standing. up until last week, it was recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day and adults get at least 90 (i think. im totally going on memory on this one because i dont have the paper in front of me, but im sure you could look it up). now they are suggesting that children get at least 30 minutes of activity per day and adults get at least 150 minutes of activity per WEEK. why the decrease? let me tell you.
it may look, at first, like for all these years they were telling us to over exert ourselves and now they have seen the error of their ways. this is not the case. the reason they have decreased the suggested times is because people in general are so sedentary that even the decreased minimum activity recommendations would actually be an improvement on the amount of activity society is getting on the whole! unbelievable! keep in mind that "moderate intensity activity" includes average walking speed. are children really not getting 30 minutes of activity a day anymore? what are they doing at recess, i wonder? honestly, way to set the bar low.
in other news, i just skimmed an article in rolling stone about ke$ha, that horrible pop star whose auditory crack cocaine is constantly running through my psyche and hips, and i came across this gem from her producer: apparently he is "amazed how the things she says become embedded in people's lives." first of all, im not a doctor or anything, but i dont think that makes sense. second, how delusional can one person be???? is her poetic brilliance about "not getting none of this, not in the back of my car because of blah, blah, blah [her blahs, not mine, in case you were unaware]" really becoming "embedded" in anyones "life"? or could it be the awe inspiring eloquence of "kicking them to the door unless they look like mick jagger"?
you know dave gets frustrated with me for living in my news vacuum, but quite frankly, i dont think im missing much.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

test

swimlog test

The Tangled Web of Blogging

alright comrades, i wouldnt normally do this, BUT i have noticed that some of my followers of THIS blog have also started following girls wearing glasses, the blog i run with my sister. SO just to give you a quick update: apologies for the long time it has been since there was any girls wearing glasses activity. unusually, this was my fault, not callies. i was having a little bit of trouble trying to figure out what, exactly, i was going to do with it. but i think i may have found my voice, so there are girls wearing glasses updates for the first time in a long time. also, we have tweaked the format a little bit to make reading a little easier. ALSO once again, when i get a card reader for my camera, i will be able to post pictures both here and to girls wearing glasses so you can all have a chance to read callies writing as well as mine. in addition, the card reader acquisition is going to enable me to make some more serious changes to this blog which i am not going to reveal yet, but stay tuned everyone, and thank you for your patience and continuing readership!!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

If One Thing Was Different

do you ever wonder if your life might have turned out differently if your parents had made one decision on your behalf or done something different in raising you than what they did? think about it. its kind of freaky.
the best example of this in my life is i often wonder why my parents didnt enroll me in competitive swimming when i was a kid. i was always a talented swimmer, but for some reason they kept me into the lifesaving aquatics side of things instead of competition. i have come to the conclusion that my life would be different in the following ways if they had enrolled me in competition:
1) i would have gotten an athletic scholarship to university
2) i would not smoke
3) i would not have flabby arms
4) i probably would not have been friends with any of my high school (or even current friends)
5) i might have gotten to travel more

im sure there are others, and not all of these things are good (im referring to number four) but it makes you think. its amazing how one small thing can affect the outcome of a whole life. we really are the sum of our experiences, so i guess i wouldnt change it, because otherwise, i wouldnt be who i am today.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pick Up Artist

alright, so over the last couple of days, there has been a massive, volatile, vicious battle happening over at 20 something bloggers and its been so damn entertaining i just have to write about it. that and i think it brings up some interesting topics that i would like to wax eloquence about for a moment.
as you may or may not be aware, there is a somewhat hush-hush society of guys who are "pick up artists." they have classes, workshops, weekend retreats, the whole deal. these are guys who have tried to make a tried and true formula for picking up women. the reasons for doing so vary, i suppose, but the initial goal for all of them is the same. getting women's numbers, and ultimately into their pants.
i realise, of course, that most men and women are eager to meet partners for all of the obvious reasons, but the difference between traditional dating and pick up artists is profound. pick up artists really objectify women and see the whole thing as a game. in fact, when i first learned about this bizarre, and i must say sickening, practice, it was when i read a book by an ex pro pick up artist called "the game." i just happened to pick it up at the library, and once i started it, i had to finish it. it was so unbelievable but i couldnt put it down. the way that these guys talk about and act toward women is astonishing.
but thats not really why im writing this post (although this was the source of the near bloodbath at 20sb, believe me. if you have some time and want some good reading, check it out. total outrage. total). why im writing is because of a sort of secondary related issue that was touched on in the book and brought up again by the guy who started all of the fighting at 20sb. and that is this: although the guys who started the formal "education system" of training pick up artists are obviously douchebags, the guys who join and stay in the community now are generally lonely, lonely men who have poor social skills and few friends. they reach out to this community as a last ditch effort to meet someone and make it last and will try anything. in a way, they are almost victims of their own ignorance. or perhaps they are victims of their own lonliness. maybe both. anyway, it kind of takes the moral outrage down a notch and almost makes you feel sorry for them.
the real problem is that although you cant totally blame them for wanting to be happy and trying to find that happiness in a way that they think will work for them, they have a completely backward view of women, the world, their place in it, and the way relationships work. this in and of itself is the cause of their solitude that drove them to the pick up artist community, and the pick up artist community isnt going to rectify that. it only fosters it. these men need to learn how to communicate in a way that is honest and effective and they need to address the real reasons why they want to be with women in the first place. until someone has reconciled this to his or herself, there is no way he or she can embark on the trepidous journey called "the adult relationship." and therein lies the real tragedy of the whole pick up artist movement. it is just a bunch of lonely, misguided guys who are looking for something real outside of themselves, when in fact, the only place to find it is within.

Feline Horror Movie

well last nite i came home to a feline horror movie. and it just kept going and going and going. so heres the story. yesterday, being monday, i had come home from a weekend in toronto with dave as usual. the cats were all being super cute and cuddly and i felt guilty for leaving them alone all weekend. so i decided to treat them to some catnip. i dont give my cats treats very often, they are fat and spoiled enough as it is, but like i said, they were being cute and i was feeling guilty. also, catnip isnt fattening and they get more out of it than tasty treats anyway. so i gave them the catnip and went to work.
that afternoon, i brought anne back to the apartment with me for three reasons. 1) i wanted to make lunch at home instead of buying lunch to save money 2) i wanted to do my dishes 3) i was still feeling guilty about the cats and wanted to spend some time with them. plus, anne was cranky when i picked her up so i figured she needed a nap. which she did. so while she was sleeping i spent most of the afternoon cleaning my kitchen. just to clarify, my kitchen wasnt a train wreck or anything. one of my secret bizarre hobbies is cleaning my kitchen. i can do it for hours and hours and hours even if its already clean. i know that sounds like OCD but it isnt, because the rest of my house is a mess. i just find it soothing. and it makes me feel like im in control of my life. and like im not going to get food poisoning. but i digress.
so when anne and i left, the cats were happy, i was happy, anne was groggy and the kitchen was clean. spotless, in fact. glimmering. etc. and off i went to take her home and go to my next client. after an hour and a half of grade four homework followed by an hour of rock band, i headed to the y for my swim. (which was awesome, by the way. i am a tank). i finally got home at ten pm, which is a little later than usual, so i called dave right away.
as i was talking to him, i was unpacking my swim gear and turning on the lights in my apartment and turning them off behind me. (this is another hangup. unless im cooking or somehting, i only have one light on at a time. it sounds psychotic, but i am proud to say i average ONE KILOWATT HOUR OF ELECTRICITY A DAY. david suziki would love me. it pays to be a madman sometimes.) eventually i made my way into my beloved kitchen and turned on the light. and then the horror began.
apparently, i had left the catnip on the kitchen counter in its plastic bag when i left the house. and the cats found it, ripped it open, and bamboozled it ALL OVER MY SPOTLESS KITCHEN COUNTERS AND STOVE AND SINK! I WAS SO LIVID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! also, i knew that try as i might, i would not manage to locate every single particle of catnip, so the cats would be trying to jump up on the counters for the rest of the night. well guess what. i was right. puppy, in particular, because she has no respect for me at all, was trying it for hours and when she finally gave up she was so stoned she was all over me like everything was cool. then carmela and neo, in their drug addled state, started in on each other and all three of them were chasing ghosts.
they finally settled down when i went to bed, but at four am i was awakened by neo's relentless puking. i say relentless because unlike puppy, who is a puking machine, neo has trouble puking, and it takes him forever to bring anything up. so he was puking and puking and puking and i was just like, this is unbelievable.
anyway, they are all fine now, in case youre interested. but im still pretty pissed.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Glad It's Friday

hello comrades. i am posting on this rainy friday without much to say other than i am glad its friday. i have had a lacklustre week and am looking forward to science rendezvous this weekend, which should be fun. science rendezvous is a festival going on in southern ontario that is meant to bring science and the general population together. so hopefully it wont be too boring for someone who is both educated in the sciences and part of the general population. heres hoping.
in other news, this week was my first of cross training, and i have to say i am feeling pretty good about that. i must confess i didnt go for a swim this morning as i had planned, but i will probably go on sunday making my total number of swims for the week three, which is always the goal. i think if you did a statistical analysis of which swims i tend to skip, id be willing to bet that they are almost always on fridays. such is life i guess.
finally, as im sure you can tell, my long standing poll about super powers is closed, with only 33 votes. not very good turn out. i was hoping for at least fifty. then they would have been SOMEWHAT statistically significant. i think i will leave the results up for a while longer and then come up with a new poll and maybe probe 20 something bloggers for some advice on how to get more people to vote in my polls.
anyway, i guess thats all for now. sorry this post wasnt more interesting. i am in a crabby mood and just feel like going to daves and getting drunk. but i cant do that for like another 8 hours. boo urns.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Cross Trainer

hello comrades. i hope you all had a good weekend. i certainly did. i bought a long overdue new helmet and it is AWESOME! once i buy a card reader for my camera (maybe this week?) i will be putting up pics. ALSO i will be putting up a number of things, including a couple of videos, that have been waiting for said card reader. i wont go into too much detail, but i am pretty excited. it will be some mega-blogging, for sure. anyway, thats not what i was planning to write about, because those are posts from the future! (wow. i kind of time traveled with my words. i feel so powerful).
SO, i have been doing super excellent at the pool lately, but almost to the point where i think ive hit a bit of a plateau. the solution? get STRONGER. particularly the upper body. i have neither the need nor the desire to do strength training in my legs due to hyper excessive cycling and the simple nature of wheelchair pushing. so, i thought to myself, how am i going to go about this? i tried a women and weights class for a while when i first joined the y and it was ok, but i wasnt fond of the time slot of the class, and i just dont really like doing weights. its more like a necessary evil, as far as im concerned. it doesnt help that i take after my mum and i bulk up rather than tone down, and i really dont want to be getting bigger, just stronger. so i went to the y on thursday knowing full well i had missed my chance to go to lane swim (this is my other problem. its hard for me to go to the gym and do strength and conditioning when i know i have the option of swimming) to do some free weights, upper body only. and of course, i got bored with that in about ten minutes. but i wasnt about to hit the shower that soon after arriving. so i started wandering around, and what did i see?????? THE ROWING MACHINE!!!!
generally, i hate working out with exercise equipment, but i remember enjoying the rowing machine when i was just a child, so i thought hmmmmmmmm that sounds like upper body strength conditioning and possibly fun. so i hopped on, left it on the highest setting and programmed it for 5km. after 27min17.13 sec of pretending i was rowing down a river i was done. i doubt thats a very impressive time but its good to remember such things for future reference.
man oh man was i sore the next day. my pecs and biceps were on fire! it was awesome! SOOOOOOOO i am happy to report that i have found the cross training regimen for me. alternating swimming with rowing. i just have to pick up some hockey tape for my hands because the rower gave me nasty blisters. just to tide me over till the end of the month, when my mum is going to hook me up with some gloves. :)