Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Strike Ends

So 51 days later, and the bus strike has ended. Hours before the federal government would have forced bus drivers back to work, the city and the union have decided to send the contract issues to binding arbitration. Something they've been proposing for a month. Something that could have ended the strike a month ago. Assholes.

So what does this mean? Nobody wins. Here are the numbers:

1 : Week until the very first buses will return. Luckily one of my bus options is within the first group of options.

15 : Weeks until 70% of bus service will be reestablished.

51 : Days of stupidity.

380 : Dollars I spent on parking, gas, taxis, etc.

500 : Number of bus drivers that will be temporarily laid off while bus service returns at a reduced rate. Congrats to 25% of the drivers screwing themselves our of any pay at all. I bet that $50 per week in strike pay looks pretty good right now.

2,300 : Bus drivers who will be facing copious amounts of verbal abuse by many of the

860,928 : Angry citizens of Ottawa.

24,000,000 : Dollars saved by the city. I'm sure we'll all see that coming right to our pockets real soon. Hah.

I have no respect for anyone involved.

The Storm Pics

What a clever title. Pictures of a storm, which happen to be the first pictures taken on my Storm! God, I'm good.

Ottawa has been receiving a shit ton of snow. As usual.

My drive to school took 30 minutes. That results in an average speed of 12km/h. Ridiculous.

You see, Ottawa likes to plow the streets when the snow has stopped, and a foot of snow is just totally fine to drive through until that stoppage happens. Thanks.

Here's the snow as seen at school:

And here is the snow in the Loblaws/McDonalds parking lot near home. Look how much snow fell on that van!

At Loblaws, I got a couple thinks so I can enjoy them at home. You know, foodstuffs. Since I'm poor, I bought a majority of no name products. I have ALWAYS loved no name. The food is just as good, and I've always loved their yellow packaging. These days, they are moving back toward their AWESOME plain and boring original packaging. Just a yellow box with black letters and a very simple picture of the product. It's brilliant! So eye catching. It's basically Dharma Food.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Nothing

I've had nothing to post lately.

I've got a cold which sucks. School is going well... its already the 4th week of the semester, which is a little crazy. I'm slowly going broke thanks to paying for parking every day, which means I'm not doing anything else.

I haven't taken a picture this month. Not one. I've got six days to change that. Maybe I'll take a picture of myself sitting at home doing nothing.

The government is finally back after their 7 week holiday. It's Day 49 of the bus strike. I'm going fucking insane. The government has chosen to not force the drivers back to work. I guess MPs don't mind having no buses running by Parliament. I watched a few minutes of government-ness on TV tonight, and they're just a bunch of fucking children. How did these people get elected? Seriously... watch them for five minutes and be mortified on how childish they all are.

The city and the bus union are no longer talking to media about the bus strike, so the news last night had a psychic. A FUCKING PSYCHIC. He [I know, right? It wasn't even Miss Cleo!] said that the strike will end at the end of February. That's fucking stupid-tacular. Grr. Fucking way angry. Thank God my reading week is in three weeks and I wont have to pay for parking that week. Grr. I need to call about maybe getting my wisdom teeth out. Better do that while I'm still covered by my parents.

I guess that's it for tonight. Just because I love you, I give you this little gem:

And this, just because its hilarious:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Snuggie

What. The. Fuck. Is. This?

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Storm

Sometimes, you just need to put aside your three year old Motorola RAZR and get the snazziest new BlackBerry on the market.

I got the Storm today, and I absolutely LOVE it. I have zoomed lightyears into the future. I remember when I got the RAZR and it was top of the line [see: a year or two after it came out, I was the first person I knew in Renfrew to have one hah].

Well this time, I jumped on the bandwagon early on, and got the first touchscreen BlackBerry and I don't know how I lived without it. BlackBerry Messenger? GPS? a screen that is actually a giant button? Amazing. Love love love love love!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Business Response

My sister provided me with this little gem. Clearly Ottawa's porn stores aren't so happy with the lack of business due to the bus strike. Love it!

The Super Cool AC

I'm in bed and sleeping right now. I swear.

Other than that, I have loved Anderson Cooper since 2000, when The Mole was still hosted by him, and was amazing. You know it, I know it. He is fantastic.

But what do I see on CNN right now as I lay my pretty head down on the pillow, there are two things that make me love him a little more.

1. Anderson Cooper just did a montage of the stupid hats his coworkers wore on TV throughout the day. Awesome.

2.Then, Anderson Cooper repeatedly and adamantly told some chick on the news that he warned the large crowd behind him to not wave while he delivered the news. He finds it tacky.

I find it tacky. Stop waving like a yokel. Yes you're on TV for ten seconds. Woo!

All hail Anderson Cooper.

Oh, and something about a new president down south named Obama? Maybe you've heard. Good luck to him.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Ketchup

Just so you all know, and can be proud of me, I spent much of the weekend reading. Two weeks of this semester are already over, and I had to wait until I had money to buy my books [3 of them, which cost almost $300. Lame!]. I had 9 readings to do, but now I'm all caught up and ready to start week 3 tonight! Woo! Just 49 more readings to go this semester! Oh god :(

I realize that I didn't take a special moment to share with you all what classes I'm in. Here goes! Anything you'd like to take?

- Cold Regions Hydrology [gonna be a lot of work]
- Geography of Transnational Migration and Settlement [love it!]
- The Earth and How It Works [rocks for jocks!]
- Child Development [the textbook is small and cute, which makes me enjoy reading it]
- The Psychology of Aging [gotta learn about old people too if I'm gonna learn about kids]
- Special Topics in Psychology [this one is basically Russian Roulette. you sign up for the mystery class and learn the topic on the first day. it turns out to be Power in the Workplace. its fantastic!]

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Book of No Faces

I think/hope that Facebook is lying to me.

The Anti-Book Club

For what is possibly the first time in my life, I am completely rejecting a book. [NOTE: This is a rejection after starting it, not without even giving it a chance. See: Twilight]

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon is one of the oldest recorded personal accounts of anything that comes from Japan. It is a very random collection of poems, lists, descriptions, etc. Basically a weird diary.

A friend gave me this book a year and a half ago, and I've been looking forward to reading it ever since [yes, that's a long time haha].

After about 10 pages, I have determined that I just cannot read this book. It is ridiculous. I can't read it, and I wont. On to something better!

I honestly considered throwing out the book, but I've decided that I'll go on and leave it somewhere for someone to pick up. Maybe they'll enjoy it more than me.

Have you ever quit a book?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Lost Generation

This video is friggin' awesome and you should watch it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Parking Situation

The parking situation at school is not good.

Right now, I should be sitting in some crappy Psych class, but instead I'm in a computer lab killing time until my next class, because it took me close to an hour to find somewhere to park. Lots are full everywhere. I thought I'd caught a break when I got to the top floor of the lot at the far end of campus, and there were no empty spaces in the whole building. While I was turning around, a girl got in her car. I had a space. Yay!

I pulled in, got out and walked to the ticket machine. It didn't accept credit cards. I walked around and found another machine. The machines weren't even turned on. The entire garage was now permit parking only. What. The. Fuck.

I got back in the car, rode around and around til I was back to the ground, and I started driving to the Rideau Center. Traffic was insane. I got trapped in many an intersection. I almost backed into a girl. I should have done it. LOL

Finally, I found a spot on the rooftop of the new Rideau garage. Congress Center was full and BLOCKED OFF [how people were to get in or out, I have no idea].

I was close to the course pack printing place, so I grabbed one of my books for a class on the way to school. The only bonus in these -25 but feels like -34 with the wind chill temperatures.

Now, I'm off to my next class, which is naturally on the very other end of campus. I'm giving myself 25 minutes to get there [it should take like 10] because I'm using the indoor tunnel system. Having to go outside just once briefly is way better than getting there quickly haha.

The Past Few Days

Thursday night, several people Facebook messaged me. They wanted my old textbooks, and they wanted them fast.

Friday at noonish, I headed to school. I entered the library in order to get through the indoor building-connecting tunnels for warmth. I immediately ran into Josh or the first time in a long long time. We chatted a bit, and then he introduced me to the familiar looking girl he had been talking to [a classmate of his]. I turns out that her name is Michelle [I remembered this] and I met her on the 3rd day of university on a bus trip to IKEA. We hung out that night, 3.5 years ago, and never saw each other again. She rememebered everything. My full name, my roommate's name, what we discussed that night. She told me things about me that some of my good friends may not even know. I told her straight up that it was very creepy.

I walked to the hallway outside the gym where I was meeting a Facebook random to sell a book. Standing there was Rebecca C. Absolutely crazy, since she goes to Ryerson in Toronto. She was in Ottawa to play basketball. She had to leave, but it was cool to see her! Someone from my very own street in Renfrew! A few minutes later, a girl that I recognize from previous classes approached me, handed me 80 bucks, and I gave her my textbook, wished her luck, and I was richer. I grabbed a hot chocolate and waited in the new building for my next buyer. A few minutes later, I was another 50 bucks richer and my bag was lighter. $130 bucks in half an hour... not a bad day's work!

I headed off to Derek's place since he lives downtown and I was downtown. We hung out all afternoon and night, eating and drinking and playing SingStar [its like Guitar Hero for your vocal cords!] which I did NOT want to play, but ended up LOVING.

Saturday, I didn't do much, which gave me lots of time to find a great SingStar knockoff [UltraStar] that I can play on my PC. After much time spent downloading the right song files for it, I can finally play, and its awesome.

Sunday, my wildest hopes and dreams came true: my mother agreed to lend me her car for the rest of the bus strike. This means I'd be able to actually go to school [and pay outrageous parking fees]. Yay!

At 6:45 that night, Nathan dropped me off at the bus station for my 7:15 bus to Renfrew. By 7:10, when no one else was waiting for the bus, and there was no bus at Gate 5, I got worried. At 7:25, when I was still sitting on the bench, I resigned myself to the fact that I did a poor and fast job of looking at the bus times. 7:15 was Renfrew to Ottawa. The bus from Ottawa to Renfrew was at midnight.

I spent some time contacting all my downtown friends, and they were all useless. People either didn't respond, or they were too tired to hang out. What kind of downtown living losers am I friends with? It wasn't even 8:00. I broke one of my rules, and went to a restaurant for dinner alone. Then I broke another rule and went and saw a movie alone, after about an hour of txting people [thanks to an outlet near a table and chair that I found, which charged my dying cellphone]. I saw Slumdog Millionaire, which was quite good. Sadly it was longer than I expected. I missed the last couple minutes because I was running down the middle of Bank St. at 11:48 trying to hail a cab. Eventually I got one, and he got me to the bus station in 3 minutes. He got a 70% tip.

Before boarding the bus, I was metal detectored. That's new. My bag was also searched. Quite frankly, it made me feel a little bit comfortable knowing that now my head likely wont be cut off on my ride. Good for you, Greyhound. I got to Renfrew at 1am, and after walking across town [and only seeing 12 cars] I was home by 1:35.

Monday afternoon, I headed to Ottawa with the car. I basically went to Renfrew to sleep, and I stopped in at mom's work for a few minutes. I did a very large grocery trip, and then hung out at home for a bit. I paid $8.50 for 3 hours of parking at school. Insane. This is gonna get expensive. I loved class. B.Ray is the best prof ever... he's the only one that is lively enough to keep me awake during a 3 hour class. Glad to be back with him!

Today I saw the movie Bride Wars and it was pretty good. Huzzah!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Continuation

The bus drivers voted ~64% in favour of staying on strike.

In order to keep this post not offensive to all people, please fill the following lines with your own favourite string of expletives. I know I could:

Thank you.

Now, I shall tell you that I completed my photo book for the year 2005. You can find the link to it on the right side of this page, and see a 15 page preview. The first 15 pages are like the worst layouts in the book. Most of it is pretty awesomely done. But the cover is so super fantastic that you need to look at it. It's my prom suit! Also, if you want to own a little piece of me, for some reason, you can buy it. Kind of expensive just for something random, but I'd get 20 bucks from it, and it contains some beautiful pictures of scenery and the parliament buildings, so maybe you'd like that. HAH. Check out the cover, and enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Downtown Adventure

On Tuesday, I was supposed to go downtown. Instead, I chatted online with a friend all day. It was the right choice. But Tuesday night, I heard the call for snow, and lots of it. Wednesday was primed to be a Downtown Adventure!

My downfall was waking up too late. After lunch [I needed to eat my own food and not be spending like a wild man on lunch at a fast food joint] I called a cab at 12:15. No way in hell I was walking 90 minutes in that snowstorm. Based on the price, I'd decide whether or not I cab or walk home. The taxi came in just 5 minutes. A record on any day, let alone a snow storming bus strike day!

As we drove by a woman waving to also be picked up, the driver told me about some ridiculous story about how one time 15 years ago, he picked up some woman one stormy night while he had a gay guy in the car. The woman pressed the guy on where he was going until she found out it was a gay club. As all good Italian Catholics would, she started freaking out and swearing like a sailor. But she stayed in the cab. LOL I'm not sure if the driver could tell I am gay or not, but it was a bizarre story to tell regardless. But he was nice. The drive cost 14 bucks. I assumed it would be 20+. I tipped well LOL.

I went into Tabaret Hall and instantly found myself in the line to get my OSAP form filled out. Over the course of the next hour, I trudged slowly down the hallway, txting people and giving me a chance to check out the series of paintings ["High Tea" by Manon Elder] of successful Canadian women and their tea cups. My favourites were of Mary Walsh pouring her tea into her purse, and the one below of Julie Payette, which is titled "There are no cups in space". Really makes you think! Also, I love how you don't see who the people actually are. No heads. Just chests and cups.

At about 1:40, I reached the Former Chapel, which is probably the most beautiful room on campus. It was a sea of chairs. I got my number and sat down. I was just 2 away from being called. What?

I went to see the lady, forked over three pieces of ID and was 3rd in the mini line in order to get my form filled out. I showed the girl my 3 pieces of ID [didn't they just see those?] and then signed a piece of paper once, and an electronic screen once. Then I was sent to see a lady. The Lady gave me the number B380. I sat down. The screen popped up in front of me... B272. This was going to take a while.

Across from me was a girl. To her left, her male friend kept staring at me. I stared back. To the girl's right, there was an empty chair, and then a guy on a laptop. He had the same bag as me. We both used our feet to try to hide the pattern on the front that would be a dead giveaway that they're the same. But the boy and girl knew. Damn them!

I sat a few more minutes, and wrote my banking information on my form. That would save me 9-10 seconds later on. A girl came and sat on my right, and her friend sat beside her. They were chatting away. Chat chat chat. A real Chatty Cathy situation. But I knew her voice. 40,000 students, and I know the voice sitting beside me? But I couldn't just look right at her... the seats were so close together. Then, while discussing her banking information, she told her friend "I don't know my bank's address, I just know it's on Raglan St." Huzzah! Main St. Downtwon Renfrew. Home Sweet Home. I glanced at the name on top of her OSAP form. Jen and I chatted for a good 40 minutes. She knew it was me but didn't want to say anything in case I didn't recognize her HAHA.

At 2:58 I was finally called to desk 10. The guy at desk 14 intercepted me. I remembered him from September. Did he remember me? I signed the form 5 more times [its quite the form] and then he took the top copy, gave me the bottom two copies, and told me that in 7-10 days [including weekends!] I'd have my money. Day 10 is a Saturday, so I assume it will be 7-9 days. Sweet!

That part took 4 minutes. Thank God I waited 2 hours for that!

I walked down to Rideau St. I decided that I would cab home, since the weather was just plain awful. There were no random cabs on the street, so I walked down a few blocks to the taxi pickup/dropoff zone at Rideau Center. There was a line. I took a number. I was 8th. LOL Someone left. Then two taxis came. I was now 5th. Then someone left and a taxi came. Then someone left. I was 2nd in line. But fuck that shit... a new line started to form 50 feet up the street. That is NOT the taxi area. A taxi came and picked up three girls there. The guy behind me in line stopped the cab when it got to us and yelled at him.

After standing on the street for 50 minutes waiting for a cab, a van taxi started heading our way. Two people ran into the street at the new line to try to get it, but it passed them and came to the real line. The two guys behind me and the guy in front of me were all headed East, so we joined up and the four of us we on our way. I wondered how the payment would all work out. The first guy paid 15 bucks. The next guy paid 20. Me and the other guy got off at Montreal @ St. Laurent, and paid 10 each. Sweet! I trudged up the hill in the snow, and at 4:50, I was home.

4.5 hours just to fill out a piece of paper.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Strike Update

WARNING: This post rambles. Deal with it.

So as you can see in my masthead, it is now Day 29 of the OC Transpo driver strike here in Ottawa. Unless you're reading this a few days later, then the number is likely higher. Grr.

So, I'm getting pretty freaking sick of it. Today was the first day of the new semester [Hopefully the last of my university career ... pray for me!] and I didn't go. Class is always useless in the first week, so I'm missing nothing by extending my Christmas break. Next week I'll need to start taking the 90 minute walk to school. In the cold.

I'm doing a whole lot of staying home, which is fine because I'm currently too poor to spend a dime [The government has just informed me that my taxes were reassessed and I get to pay them $370. Thanks. Students really need that.] So as for saving money, its fine that there are no buses, and that the bar I go to is closed for 2 weeks due to last year's fines LOL.

So back to the strike. On Thursday, the bus drivers are being forced to vote on whether or not they accept the city's most recent contract offer. Up until now, the union president [See: yokel] has not allowed the drivers to have any say. They have been forced to comply with whatever he says. But now the feds are forcing a vote. So there are two possible outcomes here:

1. Yes vote: The drivers use their first opportunity to change things for good, and the city doesn't entirely hate them anymore.
2. No vote: The drivers make a choice to continue striking, pissing people off entirely.

The economy is hell, and these people are turning down like a 12% pay increase. Fucking super insanity. They better get off their lazy asses and go back to work.

Apparently the morons will take SIX days to actually get the buses back on the roads once the strike does end. Fucking dumb idiots. Grr.

Finally, city council is considering turning the bus-only Transitway into a car-accessible highway if the strike is prolonged. On the one hand, I'd damn well make sure I get a car ride on the Transitway at some point, because it would be a rare experience [I'll take any rare experience I can get HAHA] but on the other hand, there aren't very many exits off the Transitway, and no one would actually know how to drive on it and where to get on/off, so people would be fucked up and it would be a bad idea.

I apologize for how rambling this was. I really do. Screw bus drivers.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Movies

I've never been the world's biggest movie fan, and I never will be. When it comes to watching something, I would rather watch a good TV series that I can go back to every week. It becomes familiar, and you get to watch the characters grow over the years. A movie is over in two hours, and then what's left? Maybe a sequel that will be hit or miss?

I am trying to embrace the movie world, so when people suggest them, I wont be totally against watching. Mando was able to just meet her goal of watching 100 movies in 2008. Now, I don't think that I could possibly watch 100 movies this year, but you never know. I am indeed going to keep a list. I've already watched the following 7 movies this year, and I have 7 more sitting on my desk waiting to be watched. Who knows. Maybe I WILL reach 100 movies in 2009. It's not a competition y'all.

So far, in 5 days and 2 hours, I've watched: Baby Mama, Crocodile Dundee*, Flashdance*, Misery, Napoleon Dynamite, Superstar*, The Simpsons Movie.

* denotes first-ever viewing.