I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

Archive for April, 2008

Fuck you too, TTC

I think the title gives the general impression of where this post is going.

For those of you who don’t live in the Centre of the Universe (Toronto), I’ll give you some background info. Toronto is a city that has managed to avoid downtown blight. Toronto’s downtown is thriving. The midtown is thriving. Hell, even the uptown is doing not so terribly. With any large, bustling city, we have to have a great transit system. Which we do…the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission).

I love the TTC. People from Toronto bitch about it all the time, but clearly these are native Torontonians and have never gone north of Steeles, let alone tried to ride a transit system in any other city. I have. And trust me, Torontonians have no idea how good they have it. I’ve almost forgotten that things like bus schedules exist……..I just go to the subway platform, streetcar stop or bus shelter and stand there. I don’t have to worry about timing it, cuz I know there’s going to be one in like, 3 minutes. Unless I’m on Bathurst. Don’t get me started about the Bathurst streetcar. Overall, the TTC is amazing, I love it, I use it every day. They chauffer me around, while I don’t have to worry about traffic, but get free time to read, knit or ponder the meaning of life.

The TTC is V I T A L to this city. Over 1.5 million people ride it every day. Every single day. Anybody with a brain uses the TTC when downtown rather than drive. Driving makes no sense in Toronto. It’s not like other cities, where only losers take transit. It’s sort of the reverse here. Pedestrians and transit riders have the holier-than-thou attitude, usually assigned to drivers in other cities.

So anyways, TTC is good. It’s important. It’s big. I believe they employ over 10,000 people and have 3 unions in total. And all of them Suck. Capital S.

The TTC employees have shitty jobs, granted. But they know when they sign up to drive a bus, they’ll be driving a bus all day. That driving busses includes dealing with people; good, bad, drunk, crazy, chatty or otherwise. It’s allllll part of the job. It’s how jobs work……they have ups and downs, drawbacks and benefits. I’ve not yet heard of a job that is only puppies and rainbows.

But since the TTC is so huge and has been unionized since 1899, they are FULL of themselves. Every time their contract goes up, they whine and cry. These people have such a sense of entitlement, it’s ridiculous. Their union saps this city dry every three years and then they bitch and moan that they don’t have enough money to run the system.

You know what? Maybe if you didn’t pay toll booth monkeys $27 fucking dollars an hour to sit on their ass, doing crossword, Sudoku and looking at you like they want to shoot flaming spears through your head when you ask them to DO THEIR JOBS by making change, you wouldn’t have such a financial problem. Seriously, these people are overpaid. You know why? Unions.

Every time, they whine. Every time, they get raises. This time they had threatened to strike about a week back, but PROMISED the people of Toronto that they would give 48 hours notice if they did so. They didn’t strike. They reached a deal of 3% pay increase a year and blah blah blah. Uh….I do NOT get a 3% raise each year. I don’t know anybody who does. You’re getting a 3% raise on top of your already astronomical wages.

Then, Friday night rolls around. All of a sudden…..at about 10:30 PM, they tell us they’re striking. At midnight. What happened to the 48 hours? Oh, they had a temper tantrum and changed their minds. Now, it didn’t affect me, but this was HIGHLY retarded.

Think about it. Friday night, tens of thousands of people flood into the Entertainment District (my neighbourhood). They get liquored up and stumble to the subway stations and take themselves home responsibly. They were in the clubs when the TTC announced it’s fun little prank. By the time they got out at 2:00 AM, the city was shut down. They’d spent their money on booze, cuz they knew they could just hop on the train to get home. But wait! There IS no train service, there ARE no streetcars!! Hope you kept $60 in your pocket in case of a TTC strike! Oh, you didn’t? Well, weren’t you dumb to believe them that they would keep their 48 hour promise.

Now you have ANGRY drunks roaming the streets. Super. Fighting over cabs. Brilliant.

Let’s also think about the single women, elderly, disabled, anyone else who went out that night thinking they could get home. They couldn’t.

Fuck you, TTC. Fuck you and your overprivileged, shitty work ethic attitude.

What they were TRYING to do was screw the city over. What they FAILED to remember is that every time they pull this, they get legislated back to work almost immediately. This isn’t a small town transit system. This is a necessity.  If it would have been a weekday, they would have been smart. When the TTC goes down, people can’t get to work, school, medical appointments, grocery stores, dentist visits, hospitals, anything. I can’t get to work if they strike, I live way too far away.

So, all they did was piss off the public AGAIN. They pull this shit way too often (let’s think back two years ago to their wildcat strike….they just decided one day to stop working! Fun!!) They irresponsibly stranded people all over the city and didn’t really get any impact. If they would have pulled that shit on a weekday, they probably could have gotten whatever they wanted. Instead, they gave people a nice, slow Saturday off and wasted their two-day strike allowance.

They claim they work in horrid conditions, don’t make enough, are worried about being contracted out, don’t get enough benefits, have bad schedules, blah blah blah wah wah wahhhhh. Cry me a river. You chose that job. There’s plenty of other ones you could get out there. But you took this one BECAUSE it pays so well, and has such amazing benefits. Plus you have a union that is retardedly powerful and know that you can’t get fired even if you do nothing…….which coincidentally is what most TTC employees do.

They’re worried about the rising violence against their front-line workers. Well, NO SHIT brainiacs. Every time we turn around, YOU get a raise and WE get a fare hike. Every time we turn around, YOU’RE on strike and WE’RE the ones not able to get to work. You know what happens if I don’t go to work? I GET FIRED!! My boss doesn’t give a rats ass if you’re on strike, I need to get myself to work. Every time we turn around, you’re breaking promises about strike notice. Every time we turn around, you’re threatening to cut another line. Remember the time you threatened to shut down the entire, brand new Sheppard subway line? Who the fuck shuts down subway lines???

It’s no fucking wonder you’re scared about rising violence. We’re pissed. And it’s YOUR fault. Stop your moaning and do your job, assholes.

Now I know, not everyone driving the bus is making the decisions. It’s the union heads. But still, the workers vote on the contracts that the union deems acceptable. The public knows this, they know that the union is full of shit when they try to bargain for raises, this that and the other thing.

I HATE UNIONS.

They served their purpose back in the day, no doubt. But nowadays, there are labour laws and all unions do is suck money out of employers and governments. There’s no need for them. We now have laws that make working fair.

Way to go TTC. I’ll see you tomorrow morning. And despite the city’s speech, begging commuters not to beat the shit out of employees when they see them tomorrow, because at this point we have had E-NOUGH, I hope you get what you deserve.

Your latest strike has only pissed off the public, taken away your right to pick your own mediator, taken away your striking power for this round of negotiations and you’ve possibly set the wheels in motion to render you an essential service. This will take away  your right to strike and bitch and moan altogether.

Ah, right. Also, due to your little Friday night prank, if you try and pull that again, you get to pay the city $2,000 per employee, plus $25,000 per union each day. That’s $20,000 plus $75,000. Hell, make it an even $100K. You can make the cheque out to T-A-L…… Way to go.

Hope you’re proud of yourselves, guys. Next time you pull this crap, I hope you all get fired. I GUARANTEE there’s 10,000 people in this city who would walk away from their jobs to take yours, no increased wages or benefits. I would. You have no idea how lucky and overvalued you are; you’re too busy whining to notice.

Advertisements

Finally the stars align for me!

So for those of you who follow my blog, you’ll remember that my parents had a 5 hour layover at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

Due to me and my stupid big mouth, I was expected to show up and visit. If you don’t remember how this came about, want a refresher or have never read my blog but are already so intrigued by my life you want to know every boring detail, click here.

Now that you know that I really didn’t want to go and that I have virtually no relationship with my parents, I will tell you that that visit is scheduled to occur today.

Last week I sent a very faint-hearted, half-assed email telling them that I’d probably not be coming, due to blah blah blah, lame excuse, dumb reason, etc. They didn’t answer.

I know they got the email, so I assumed that they didn’t answer out of anger or denial. I fully expect a call from my mom, in her best rage-act, demanding to know why I’m not there and then informing me that I’m a worse being than Satan himself and blah blah blah.

Well Mom, bring it on.

You know why? Because the stars aligned last night and I have a GREAT reason why I can’t get my ass out there.

The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) who runs our streetcars, subways and buses in my fair city of Toronto went on strike last night at midnight. With 1.5 million people riding the TTC every day, myself included, this city is paralyzed at the moment.

Their timing couldn’t be better. I can’t take a $50 cab ride out there and back to see them! I’ll plead poverty. I certainly don’t have a car, I’m a typical snobby urbanite Torontonian who wouldn’t be caught dead driving a car around being stuck in traffic. Give me a cute pair of shoes and a metropass any day.

TTC, I really hate you and your pansy ass whining about contracts blah blah blah. But that is a whole other post.

Today TTC, I LOVE YOU, for giving me a marvellous alibi. Sorry Mom! Can’t get out to the airport! Can you BELIEVE that they went on strike just last night?! Shucks. Whatever, enjoy your stale $7 muffins and $4 bottles of airport water.

See you in a few years! Mwah!

Next stop: expensive clothing store.

This week has been a rough one for my wardrobe.

On Monday, while riding the subway, I looked down at my feet and noticed one pant leg was longer than the other. The hem on one had just let go. So the ugly serged seam was hanging down to the floor, while the nicely folded and hemmed leg was behaving and sitting where it was supposed to. Since I do not sew and neither does anyone I work with, I had to hold up one leg of the pants whenever I walked anywhere. I looked like a moron.

Tuesday, I was standing in the work kitchen when someone comes in and goes, ‘you have a hole in your pants’. I informed said person they were crazy. Then they pointed to just under the pocket of her own pants, on the side of the upper thigh. I looked down at the same spot on me……to see my leg. Through my pants. Which was super, obviously. It was made even more super being that my regional bigwig director guy was coming in that morning and going over stuff with me.

I was forced to sneak a stapler into the bathroom, yank off the pants and staple the inside seams of my pant leg together. The rest of the day there was a silver glint coming off of one leg, from one staple that went through the fabric. Hot. I also jammed the stapler. Niiiiice.

On Wednesday, I went to put a vest on that was ribbed along the bottom, and the seam between the non-ribbed and ribbed areas had just ripped…….a big ol’ hole near the small of my back. Well. Find something else to wear. Later Wednesday night, my dog also gnawed on a pair of my work shoes, so I’ve been wearing shoes with fucking bite marks on the heel for half a week, but luckily nobody has noticed. Or they haven’t said anything about it at least.

This morning I put on a super cute, short sleeved little black sweater I have, cuz again, Mr. bigwig director guy was coming back in. I noticed that half of the sleeve wasn’t attached to the torso of the sweater. Fanfuckingtastic. So I threw a little blazer over it and just wasn’t able to take the blazer off at all during the day.

AND, during this week of fashion milestones, my face decided to accesorize with a nice ol’ zit. Mmmmmm, nice!

Moral that I’ve learned this week?

Pony up and buy clothes worth more than $20. Twenty dollar pants are bad. They just suck. Flashing upper thigh in meeting with bigwigs is looked down on and perhaps worth buying pants not from the ghetto clothes stores.

Also, perhaps consider carrying around thread and needle in all purses, at all times.

Uh, and also, learn to use needle and thread….and keep shoes away from dog.

My name is Talea, and I am a lazy bastard.

I am lazy. This isn’t something I hide, or find myself ashamed of, it just is what it is.

I’ve always been lazy, though it may not be apparent to those who encounter me on a daily basis, it’s an undeniable fact. Though I was super crazy smart in school, balanced work, dance and my part time job, got through university with only minimal bumps and now carry on quite well in a full time, somewhat stressful job, I am one lazy fucker.

This never ever bothered me until recently. Only in the last few weeks has it really started to piss me off. But I’m too damned apathetic to do anything about it.

When I get home, I’m tired. Taking a nap occurs probably 50% of the time. I come home, decide I’m over being conscious, take a nap that will undoubtedly last 2 or 3 hours, wake up, maybe go for a walk with the dog and then come back and go to bed.

No, my life is NOT this carefree. I can’t afford to be this damned lazy. I have shit to do just like everyone else. I just….don’t do it.

I literally paralyze myself. I will be lying on the couch and be STARVING, but I’m too lazy to wash the dishes and make some food, so I just sit there and starve. The floor really really needs to be vaccuumed, it’s grossing me out to walk on it cuz of the dog hair. But I’ll just stare at it, then fall asleep. My phone bill needs to be paid to avoid late fees, but I’m too lazy to go over to the computer and click a button a few times, so I get late fees.

I need to shower, but fuck I hate showering and I’m too lazy to get up, so greasy hair it is. Even fun things get pushed to the wayside……I want to knit, I want to read, I want to blog, but I’m already on the couch so none of those things happen. It’s a gorgeous day out after the WORST WINTER EVER, and I want to go out and see what’s happening. But that means getting dressed. It’s easier just to watch TV.

My close friend whom I seriously regard as a guardian angel in my life, recently moved out of Toronto to a small town about an hour away. I was going to go and say bye, see her before she goes. I didn’t. I kept putting it off and putting it off and before I knew it, she was in a different area code.

It’s starting to get to be a problem.

I’ll be sitting there, truly wanting to go do something. Knowing that I am wasting my days, my hours, my life. But I CAN’T get up. I will literally sit and stare at the wall, while the boyfriend does his best to convince me to get my ass off the couch or out of the bed. It often doesn’t work.

I’d like to change this awful habit, but I don’t know how. How do you motivate yourselves? Seriously? I don’t understand how people just get up and do things. My grandma is a doer. She just finds out that something needs doing and it’s done. She finishes it. Takes care of it, doesn’t complain, gets it out of the way with no muss or fuss and moves on with her day. My mom is like that too. Clearly, this trait skipped me. I’ve never been in posession of a ‘get up and go’ kind of attitude.

But as I get older and the strains on my time multiply everytime I turn around, I’m starting to think that I should seriously attempt to change this.

If you have any suggestions, um, please help. I might not reply to your comment quickly, I’m too busy doing nothing. But I’ll appreciate it, I promise.

I didn’t think I was old enough for this yet….

Yesterday at work, I was washing my hands in the potty and noticed something glinting off of my gorgeous hair (seriously, go to Emerald’s blog, there’s pics of ME and my cute new ‘do!). I leaned in, cuz I’m super vain and wanted a closer inspection. I thought it was a very light brown/almost blonde hair. Since I have a strange obsession with pulling out hair that isn’t uniform (too dark, too thin, curly, too thick, blonde), I yanked it.

It. Was. Grey.

I clamped it between my thumb and index finger and promptly marched up to Emerald’s desk and held it in front of her black monitor to confirm what I already knew. It. Was. Grey. A grey hair.

That’s it. It’s over. Emerald had some witty line that I unfortunately can’t remember, but I’m sure she’ll put it in the comments.

I’m 25. I have grey hair. It’s over. I thought I would be like, 40 before that happened.

*********************************

My second odd story that I thought only happened to older, overweight or possibly pregnant women begins with our extraordinarly transparent attempt to make up to our clients about what had happened at work this work that inconvenienced them all (see previous post). We made a lovely breakfast for everyone.

This included fresh pineapples for our very pretty fruit platter. I cut the pineapple. I’m not sure if you’re all aware, but pineapple is a meat tenderizer. I was covered in it. I washed my hands and went on about my day. My hands started to get a bit itchy throughout the day, but I didn’t pay attention to it.

Last night, while we were out with the dog, my hand started killing me. It was throbbing and SO itchy. As we were walking, it started to swell up like nobody’s business. I guess my hands had been tenderized by the fucking pineapple. Oh, fuck you pineapple and your tropical goodness!!

By the time we got home, it really felt like my skin was going to burst and whatever’s inside my hand was going to explode out like those new Pizza Pop commercials. Unfortunately, my ring was on my finger.

I tried running cold water over my hand. Didn’t work. I tried icing my finger. Didn’t work. I tried water again. Didn’t work. I tried holding my hand above my head for a while. Didn’t work. I tried jumping up and down and flapping my hands uselessly like an overweight pigeon, in hopes that the ring would fly off. Didn’t work. It HURT.

I resorted to spraying my finger down with Pam. Like, cooking spray Pam. The fucking ring was STILL stuck on my finger as my hand continued to swell like a fat kid at a buffet. I doused my finger with Pam, then froze it, then pulled like there was no fucking tomorrow and finally the thing came off! I smelt like butter and couldn’t feel my finger, but it was off and free to expand as it wanted to.

The only time I’ve heard this happening is to people who break out in hives, fatty mcfats who eat too many fries, and pregnant women who are in their third trimester and falling apart anyways. I felt so old.

Next thing you know, I’ll pee a little when I sneeze.

It wasn’t my fault, but it was sure as hell my problem. Dammit.

I distinctly remember the moment when I realized that life’s a bitch.

I was working at a flower farm. We grew flowers. It was pretty sweet, as far as jobs go. I could get covered in dirt and play with flowers and be out in the country. The bad part about it was that it was a husband/wife team who were in the midst of becoming not-husband/not-wife. Which was tough, to say the least. They lived on the farm and worked on the farm, so they never got away from each other and we also shared their house with them for the day to use the washroom, kitchen, grab a coffee. We were in the midst of their relationship meltdown. I was in the midst of my own meltdowns at the time too. And that summer, it seemed like every time I turned around, something else went wrong.

I had been the target of one of my boss’s freakout earlier that morning and was not in the mood. The other boss came out to the field that I had isolated myself in, trying to hide in the 7 foot tall sunflowers, but he still found me.

And he asked me what was up and I lost it. I was bawling and screaming and my arms were flailing like I was a frenchie. After I cried myself out in a very dignified, dirt covered way, I had a moment of clarity.

I looked around the field, the beautiful views, the gorgeous sun, the cloudless skies, the hummingbirds and butterflies that were always hovering around. I focused on the ground, the green plants, the smell of the dirt, the sounds of the birds far away. It was a perfect scene.

I turned to my boss and stated oh-so-eloquently, “This is life, isn’t it Paul? Life is a fucking bitch. I thought I was just going through a rough patch, but this is the new norm. It’s always going to be full of shit.”

He looked at me, narrowed his eyes a bit and just nodded.

An epiphany. A depressing, godawful, death-of-innocence epiphany. I’ve held that memory in my mind, crystal-clear since that day. I was 21.

Today my friends? Oh fuck. Today I was planning on writing a cute, short little confessional piece, admitting that the reason I haven’t posted often is that whenever I log in I get lost in knitting blogs. I am a woman obsessed. I can’t stop reading them. I read them so much that I forget to knit lately.

But my cute little knitting post is getting the boot. Today is a holy-fuck-I’m-glad-that’s-over post.

I woke up with the worst hair ever. I know, but it sucks, still. Then as I was about to get off the subway, after it’s 10 minute delay at Sheppard station, I realize that the hem on my pants has come undone. One pant leg is now a good inch longer than the other.

So I took my uneven pants and bad, standing in all directions hair and I went to work.

WHERE ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

I have vowed not to talk about work any longer on this blog, cuz I gots me a big ol’ promotion and don’t want a stupid blog post to jeopardize that.

Let’s say that a service went down and I had 60 fuming customers on my hands. I had vendors who couldn’t get their story straight. I had three possible suspects, all equally deserving of my accusations, who were not pleased with my screaming at them. My job requires me to be a bitch sometimes, and a punching bag other times. I was both today, but mostly I was a punching bag. A punching bag pleading for humanity with people who had NO INTENTION of giving me any slack.

I could do nothing but sit there and take it. I was yelled at for 3 and a half hours.

I was threatened, I was glared at, I was sighed at, I was threatened some more, I had people stand inches away from my face uttering not so nice things. And I could do NOTH-ING. It wasn’t my fault. But it was my problem. All my calls went unheeded, all my avenues were exhausted, all my help had been deployed, and I was left with my own fantastic, dazzling personality to defend myself with.

Well.

We can all figure out how THAT went.

As I was sitting there, putting out fires, I thought back to the 21 year old me standing in a field.

Life’s a bitch sometimes and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.

Instead of screaming back at them, I narrowed my eyes a bit and just nodded.

My taste in bad TV knows no limits

I love them. They only come around a few times a year.

I used to hide my love for them. But I coveted them, everything about them. Sure, they’re bred from the dreams of small town hicks, but I am all over this shit.

The cheese, the corniness, the scripted ‘humour’, the stilted movements, the big hair, the vaseline-covered teeth, the double sided body tape, the blank stares. The southern drawls regardless of living in the south or not, the ubiquitous love of puppies and hopes of world peace.

Obviously I am talking about beauty paegants.

I love that these still happen. Why? Cuz they’re SO BAD. I crack up over the fact that we as a society still think that this is worth prime time slots on television. It isn’t. Of course, I watch it.

First off, these girls are not good looking. Some of them look like they rode the short bus and most of them probably can’t count to 20. These girls have been raised by their overweight, stained-shirt wearing mama’s who think that the epitome of class is blue eyeshadow. These girls grew up sleeping with curlers in their hair and owing SEVERAL Bedazzlers. Sequins, feathers, rhinestones and sparkles were the norm for these poor children. Cowboy boots? Check. Unusually shiny dresses? Check. Hidden doses of X-lax, slipped into the other girls’ water bottles? Check.

We’ve all seen the documentaries/showcases on these children’s paegants. It’s no wonder to anybody that they lead to the Miss USA or Miss America extravaganza.

The bad music/musak, heavy with saxophones, synthesizers and beats. The shockingly white teeth, the big big big hair. The pounds of makeup. The dull lifeless eyes, the bouncy steps, the classic ‘hand on one hip trying to be sassy and cute in the same way’ pose. The heartwarming 30 second videos into their lives back home where they help fix sparrow’s broken wings, stop traffic for old ladies who can’t make it across the street in time, but still play touch football on the weekends in cute, cut-off tops.

MY GOD.

What world are these girls FROM??? Obviously as a kid, I wanted to be up there. I wanted to strut around and have people clap for me. Now I feel sorry for these girls. One, they’re delusional. They are uglier than a regular ‘good looking’ girl on the street. But they were put into paegants at such a young age that nobody knew how they’d turn out visually, but now that it’s too late, it’s all they know and they stick to it with the assistance of hairspray and pounds of makeup. Spackle, really.

It’s sort of like watching a livestock auction. Line ’em up, walk ’em around. Turn, turn, inspect, poke, inquire as to the breeding (which isn’t politically correct for humans, so instead we ask them questions in the last round). They have that same look in their eyes as cows do when you stare at them. Kind of ‘uhhhhhh’.

Can we get to the question round? These girls are better than politicians at screwing up these answers. I mean, not better than George Dubya but I think they trump everyone else with their brilliance and directness in giving us answers. Right. Let’s all think back to last year, where that girl made that thrilling speech regarding geography, Iraq and poor kids not having globes or some such nonsense. I’m too lazy to find the link, but feel free to post it in the comments section. IT WAS FUCKING PRICELESS.

Right along with the girls, I love me my paegant hosts. Ohhhhh yes. I’m watching Miss USA right now, being hosted by everyones favourite Mormons, Donny and Marie. Marie’s looking a bit thick and I think Donny’s forehead is threatening to take over his face and his shitastic imitations of Elvis are kind of causing me to throw up in my mouth a little bit. But I love them. They really try. They take scripted lines and deliver them in timely fashions, punctuating them with the worst canned laughter they can muster.

And who can forget the judges? Washed up celebs who were only C-list achievers to begin with. They always make you go ‘Oh yeah! I remember them! They’re still around?? Huh!’ They’re so proud of themselves and their resurrection on TV. Granted, we see them for about 43 seconds but they’re still great. Good for them, swallowing their pride and grasping whatever straws come their way.

And what’s the point? Nobody remembers these girls and there’s nothing for them afterwards. Except maybe being one of Bob Barker’s Beauties on the Price is Right. But wait! Bob Barker has retired and nobody wants to be Drew Carey’s Beauty.

Dudes, I could go on forever about why I love these spectacles, but like I said, they’re elusive and rare. And since one of the best is on tonight, right now, I have to go and get my guilty pleasure on.

Bring on the beauties!! It’s been a long week and I’m ready to tear them apart! I LOVE this stuff!!!

Tag Cloud