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

Archive for September, 2008

Don’t try this at home!

I went to visit the boyfriend this weekend. I had a credit on account with WestJet, so I used that baby up and took a 50 minute flight instead of making a 5 hour drive each way.

Now, I hate flying. I am utterly helpless, in a big heavy tube that shouldn’t be able to float let alone fly, my life is in the hands of someone behind a door I’m not allowed to look behind and it is a long fucking way down. I have had several nightmares of crashing to my death in a plane, though luckily I always wake up before impact. It’s just not my idea of a good time.

I’ve popped several Gravol in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve popped several Ativan in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve stayed up full nights before a flight in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve taken books, portable DVD players, knitting, crossword puzzles, sudoku, homework, magazines, anything I’ve been allowed to bring on a plane, I have tried to use as a distraction. None of them work.

I have a very strict set of rituals that I have to follow before I fly. I won’t go into them, but they are strict and must be followed. I have always followed them, and to this point, I have not crashed to my death, so they must work. Right.

The only thing I am allowed to change in my set of procedures is the way I try to calm myself down.

This time? I got drunk. Drunkity drunk drunk in the airport bar. I teetered my way onto the plane and took my seat. Contentedly grinning to my drunken self, I eavesdropped on the conversation my row-mate was having with some other person across the aisle.

I am a very personable, chatty, lovely drunk. When I’m drunk, I’m funny, you’re funny, that guy over there is funny. When I’m drunk, I don’t hate everybody…which is a big difference from my normal sober self.

I offered my 2 cents on what they were talking about, and that was that. From that point on, I had made myself a plane friend. He was an older guy, 60ish, and was nice to talk to. We talked about the upcoming election, agriculture, western Canada, the environment, university, this that and the other thing. We talked about doctors, traded scary doctor stories, about the french vs. the english in Canada….everything.

I completely forgot I was in a plane!! It was the craziest thing. Turns out the amazing powers of wine can extend to curing phobias as well.

We continued on with our lovely plane chat and after we talked about how I didn’t have a car cuz I live in downtown Toronto, and neither does the boyfriend, he asked how I was getting back to the boyfriends if he wasn’t picking me up. I shrugged and observed that I’d probably just grab a cab.

Now, this is where the title of this post comes in:

HE OFFERED ME A RIDE TO THE BOYFRIEND’S.

I AGREED.

http://lolabrigada.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/shocked.jpg

Folks, do NOT do as I do. It flashed through my mind that I wasn’t about to die in a plane as I had so often pictured, but I would instead die after landing safely in an ironic and awful twist. But as soon as the thought popped into my head, it was gone. There was just something….okay about him. No bells went off. No sirens, no red flags, no second thoughts.

The thing is, for anybody who knows me (and I care about), they would totally pick me as the person most likely to beat them to a pulp for doing what I did. Taking a ride from a stranger will qualify you immediately for the custom Talea Freak Out and Bitch Slap combo.

I got into his truck, at night, and allowed him to drive me to the boyfriend’s house, in a city that I know nothing about. He could have been driving me in the completely wrong direction, and I would have been none the wiser.

But he didn’t. He drove me right to the boyfriend’s house, wished me a good night and that was that. He wouldn’t even let me buy him a coffee for the ride.

I don’t know. I have no explanation, no excuse. It was possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but in a small teeny tiny way, it restored my faith in people. He gave me a lift just because it was nice and because cabs are expensive. He wanted nothing for it, just some conversation.

Go ahead, yell at me. It was dumb. Downright unintelligent and showed total lack of self-preservation on my part. I may need to get my head examined. It’s 2008 and this isn’t fucking Mayberry. I repeat: DO NOT DO AS I DID.

But Terry, thank you so very much for the ride. I really appreciated it and also appreciated the $40 I saved on cab fare.

Oh, and flying while tipsy? Totally works. By the time I was able to register that there was turbulence and make sense of what I was trying to tell myself, we were through the turbulence. It was pretty sweet.

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In Which I Scam Two Governments at Once

**Warning…..This is an epic post….very long……sorry. Get comfy**

So yes, the boyfriend has moved five hours away. We had three of his friends lined up to help him and drive him and his stuff in a rented cargo van. Of course, all three of them fell through, leaving him and his stuff stranded. We could have hired a mover, but that would have cost a small fortune and we weren’t really up for that. Plus, we still had a dog to move and she wouldn’t do so well in a plane.

Now, I couldn’t drive cuz I’d let my Saskatchewan license expire a year and a half ago. I live downtown and don’t need a car. The boyfriend couldn’t drive cuz his license got revoked when he forgot to show up to court for a speeding ticket (moron). Now, I had rented a car once before with my expired out-of-province license, but wasn’t certain I could risk it this time, as it really mattered this time. By the way, good job Budget at training your employees to look at the expiry dates of licenses! Thumbs up!

Since everyone else had fallen through, and the boyfriend had to pay a gajillion dollars to get his license back, it was up to me to get his ass and all of his stuff to his new city. Fine. It was time to bite the bullet and switch my license to an Ontario one. It was a rough thing to have to do, cuz I clung to that Sask license as though I still lived there and didn’t want to admit that I was now completely an Ontarian. But whatever.

I called Ontario and explained my situation. It had expired, blah blah blah, but I knew how to drive and wanted a sparkly new Ontario license. Ontario said, ‘okay, go to a service centre and we’ll get you all set up’. I said ‘yay’ and planned my visit.

I took off early from work one day (all sneaky-like, without telling my boss….yeah, I’m a badass) to go to sit in a room with 100 of my closest friends who also wanted something from the government. I got there and took my number. After two hours of waiting, finally, it was my turn to talk to some government drone who’s salary I pay for.

My wicket agent was quite lovely. She listened to my story, nodded appropriately and told me that it shouldn’t be a problem. Then she asked for my birth certificate.

Um, my….birth certificate? Well, see, I don’t know where my birth certificate IS per se…..but here’s my driver’s license, health card, Social Insurance card and visa…..so obviously I am who I say I am. Plus, I am in possession of a bonafide Canadian accent, so yeah, you don’t need my birth certificate. Ha ha….ha?

My wicket agent didn’t believe I was who I said I was. She asked if I had a passport. Well, no, no I didn’t. But I called ahead and they told me I didn’t need that. She didn’t care. She told me I needed a passport or a birth certificate.

Try to explain this to me….cuz I still don’t get it. I don’t get why I need a passport, enabling to leave my country, to drive within my country. Seems stupid to me. I can’t drive in my homeland until I leave it? Whatevs.

I didn’t feel like pitching a fit in a government office (too many security guards and cameras for a good throw-down), so I just gave her a nasty glare and left. Fine, those fuckers wanted a birth certificate, I’d go get one. Other than that, the road seemed pretty straight forward.

I called Saskatchewan. Asked for my birth certificate. It could be mine the next day for $75. Wow, $75 for a piece of paper? What a steal! Fine, asstards, ship it out here…please! So the next day, I had a brand new birth certificate and was only moderately poorer for the privilege of proving to someone that I was born.

Annnnnd, back to the Ontario government office once again. This time, I got a priority ticket cuz I’d been there already and was just back to quickly remedy the only roadblock in the whole game. So twenty minutes later, I was making a new friend behind the wicket booth. It was a guy, so I acted all sweet and innocent while doling out the paperwork….old license, birth certificate, fax from old province saying that I can indeed operate a motor vehicle, la la la. He was falling for it, he laughed at my lame jokes, thought I was funny and I thought I was finally going to be able to get the boyfriend to med school on time (cuz that’s one thing you don’t want to miss the first day of). He was absent mindedly punching numbers into the computer when he suddenly stopped.

Stupid Ontario Government Guy: “Um. Your license is expired.”

Me: “Oh. Uh…yeah. I know. But I was here two days ago and the person I saw said it was fine!” (note: she didn’t actually say it was FINE, she just didn’t get around to saying it WASN’T fine. Sure, okay, maybe she hadn’t yet LOOKED at my license, but whatever)

Stupid Guy: “Hmmmm. Who did you see?”

After I pointed her out, he sauntered over. I tried not to look at them while they were discussing whether or not they’d bend the rules for me. Instead, I tried to look as non-angry as possible while examining the insides of my purse. I thought this would bring them to my side. I was wrong.

Stupid Guy Returns: “Yeah. See, since your license expired more than a year ago, we can’t renew it since you’re from out of province. If you were from Ontario, we could renew it for three years after it expired, but….”

Me: “No. Nobody told me that. That’s retarded. Can you double check on that for me please?”

Stupid Guy leaves. Stupid Guy returns: “Yeah. No. Sorry. We can’t renew an out of province license if it expired more than a year ago.”

Me: “Well, that makes no sense. Roads are roads and cars are cars, in Ontario and Saskatchewan. I don’t see the difference. Driving is driving. It’s within the same country.”

Stupid Guy: “Blah blah blah, I suck, blah blah blah”

Me: “Okay. So, I need to rent a car for Friday to help my boyfriend move. I need a license. What can I do?”

Stupid Guy: “Well, I could give you the temporary one, but it’d get cancelled in iike, three days when someone catches it.”

Me: “Perfect. Do that. I don’t care, I just need it for Friday.”

Stupid Guy: “Uh. Well, I mean, I can’t really do that. ”

Me: “Well, why did you say it? Okay….whatever. What can I do?”

Stupid Guy: “Well I can give you 6 months experience for your license, so you could take your road test 6 months sooner.”

Me: ” Whoah whoah. Road test?”

Stupid Guy: “Well, you’d have to start all over again. Go through the process.”

Me: “WHAT? That’s retarded! I’ve driven for eight years and I get no recognition from it cuz I’m not from this province? I have to start all over again with the 16 year olds?! No.”

Stupid Guy: “Yes. That’s all we can do for you.”

Me: *Exasperated glare*. “Okay. Just lie.”

Stupid Guy: “I can’t do that.”

Me: “Just change the date dude, just lie.”

Stupid Guy: “Uh……”

Me, sensing that I’m starting to break him: “Okay, okay, I won’t make you lie. But let me understand this. If I had renewed my Sask license, but had never used it, you could give me an Ontario license even though I still wouldn’t have driven any more recently?”

Stupid Guy: “Yeah….Oh! I know! See, if someone from Ontario calls us from out of province, we’ll still renew their license within three years, even if they don’t intend on returning. Call Saskatchewan, maybe they’ll do that for you.”

Me: “So if I can do that, you’ll transfer my license? Even though I haven’t gotten behind a wheel between now and them getting me my renewal?”

Stupid Guy: “Yes.”

Me: “Well. That’s fucking stupid. It’s the same fucking country. Geez.”

Then I left. I went upstairs to the food court and thought to myself that there was no way I was going to be able to pull that off. So I felt sad. Then I got pissed off at bureaucrats and red tape. Then I called Saskatchewan.

I was greeted by a lovely lady whose name escapes me. Anyways, her and I? We bonded. Big time. I explained to her that I was out of province and my license had expired and I needed it renewed.

Lovely Lady: “Oh, so you’re still a resident of Sask then? You must be a full time student, right?”

Me: “Mmhmm!” (I reasoned that if I didn’t actually say anything, it was safer, since I couldn’t possibly be incriminated due to uttering some random noise.)

Lovely Lady: “Okay, yeah, we can do that! You have five years to renew it! So what’s your license number?”

So I told her that, and then regaled her with my tale of woe about what an evil province Ontario is and how you’d think that I was asking them for a million dollars and their first born child (she really cracked up at that one) and tried to keep her distracted before she could notice on my record that I’d already renewed my license four times from out of province as a student. Or so that she didn’t have time to do any math and start questioning my ‘mmhmmm!’

So things are going along all dandy and she goes, “Oh….oh no.”

I panicked. Not only was the boyfriend’s ride hanging in the balance, but I was also not looking forward to the possibility of going through three years of graduated licensing and several tests to get my license back. If this woman refused me my license, not only would the boyfriend suddenly need a mover at the busiest moving time of the year, but I was looking at a 3 year road to getting my license when I already knew how to drive. This was not acceptable.

She explained that my photo ID had already expired, and that I needed a valid picture to get my license.

I stayed quiet, since I’ve learned from experience that if you don’t get the answer you want, your best bet is to be quiet. People hate silence and will want to fill it in with a potential solution. This woman was no exception. She decided (on her own) that since I was a student, I’d obviously be going home for Christmas and I could get the picture taken then. In the meantime, she could use some loophole to get around it.

All she needed was my Visa number for the $15 renewal fee and she could fax it to me. Fax? I didn’t expect to get my license in 20 minutes in the middle of a food court. So off to Orange Julius I went. I nonchalantly asked their fax number, then got Sask to fax it in. When I saw the fax machine warm up, I told them it’d be mine.

The fax was just what I needed. A copy of a brand new, legitimate Saskatchewan license. Though I hadn’t driven in the last twenty minutes or taken any type of test, I was now legal to terrorize the roads of Canada once again.

I went back into the office, had the guy give me a weird look and state that ‘gee, how did you get that done so fast?’. My response? “It’s a good province.” He was smart enough to read between the lines and gave me the stink eye. Whatevs jerk, gimme my license! I played your stupid beaurecratic game, I walked around the red tape, give me my fucking license!

So anyways, the whole thing was retarded. But the one thing that bugged me is that I felt absolutely awful about scamming Saskatchewan. I had lied to them and used their niceness to my advantage. Ontario would have demanded a current student ID, but Sask isn’t used to dealing with assholes like me, so they didn’t. I feel like I’ll eventually be the reason that they become as awful as other places.

So here I am, feeling guilty.

A few days later, I check my mail and see an envelope from SGI; Saskatchewan Government Insurance. I freak out a bit, thinking they’ve figured me out and now they’re going to sue and bankrupt me, and possibly torture me in some dark basement somewhere.

I open it. And I find? A $15 REFUND CHEQUE. Since Ontario cancelled my Sask license immediately (can’t hold two licenses at once), Saskatchewan thought they’d made a mistake and GAVE ME BACK MY
 MONEY.

I felt awful. I adore that province. I abused them. And they gave me back my money. I got rewarded for being an asshole.

I will NOT be cashing that cheque.

But I will be tearing up the roads from now on, and I won’t be standing in line with some 16 year old wanker waiting my turn for the road test. Cuz at this point? I’d totally fail it.

I’m angry and I won’t apologize for it.

I don’t smoke and I’m not getting paid by Nicoderm, but I had to post this commercial here.

This? Was me today. And has been me at work for the last little bit. I mean, not quite so obvious, but trust me when I tell you that I am doing EXACTLY what she is doing inside my head.

I’d say I’m ashamed, but I’m not. I don’t have time for douchebaggery or supreme idiocy. If you are stupid enough to not understand ‘2’ carry on bags, then you deserve to get the third one chucked at you. You are dumb and you are making my life harder. Of course, I don’t work as a flight attendant, but it’s easily extrapolated to other jobs.

Enjoy:

I have to go track this chick down now. I think her and I are soulmates or something. Angries, unite!

I just wanted clean clothes

It is my triumphant return to internet land!

I am working on a rather hilarious post detailing how I scammed two provinces at once for my own needs. But it’s incredibly long, so instead of finishing it half-assed, I will instead amuse you with a short post so that you can become reacquainted with my blog nice and easily.

Anyhow, since I’ve moved in, I haven’t done laundry. Haven’t had to. My general rule for laundry is to put it off until the absolutely positively last moment that I can without offending those near me on public transit with my disgusting stench OR until I have no more clean underwear.

I was getting dangerously close to breaking both rules, so I bit the bullet and started cramming my clothing that was strewn about the apartment into my hamper.

Since I moved in and saw the laundry room, I’ve been amassing quarters. The machines downstairs only take coins, which is new to me, so I started scrounging for quarters ever since. I’d built up quite the shiny collection.

I took my laundry downstairs into the worlds SCARIEST laundry room EVER (dark hall, steep stairs, old fashioned light switches, big empty room with no windows and only two washers and dryers and tons of open space, perfect for murders), dumped my shit into the machines and put my quarters in. I pushed the thingy in, and it didn’t eat my quarters. I did it again. Still wouldn’t take the quarters. I slammed it shut this time, to no avail. It dawned on me….the fucking thing didn’t take quarters, it only took loonies (the Canadian $1 coin, yes, laugh at the name and then when you think nothing is funnier, learn that our $2 coin is called a toonie).

I was annoyed. So, I took my container of quarters and marched down the street in my Laundry Day Outfit (sexy) to the convenience store where I had to beg the nice lady to exchange my quarters for laundry, while I was hoping nobody would steal all of my clothes from the machines.

I felt like the 8 year old kid who goes to the store and turns out their pockets with all their gutter-change and remnants of shitty allowances in an attempt to determine if they have enough money to buy a popsicle. But I was in laundry clothes, and I’m 25, so it was super embarassing. Anyways, turns out that a lot of quarters doesn’t actually equal a lot of money, and I walked out with $4.50. Enough to wash my clothes, not enough to dry them. I started the machines, then took my Laundry Day Outfitted self the other way up the road to the gas station, took money out of an ATM, then bought stuff I didn’t need so I could get change. “As many loonies as you can spare please! Thanks!”

Whatever, now I have clean clothes and will start hoarding loonies and spending my quarters wildly. Watch out gumball machines!

And now, cuz it seems as good a time as any, here are pictures of my fantastic new apartment! Seriously, I ADORE this apartment. Though it has SEVERAL quirks, which will warrant their own blog post shortly. I present to you, Chateau Talea:

I realize some of those are sideways. Yeah. It’ll take you less time to just tilt your heads than it would for me to figure out how to flip them.

There you have it, my triumphant return to the blog world. But there’s so much more, oh yes, so much more. Stay tuned.

Not the most uplifting post you ever did read.

Emerald has been kind enough to let me overtake her internet tonight, cuz after a disappointing attempt to use the free wifi at a cafe up the road, I was out of ideas.

The last three weeks? Kind of sucked, dudes.

The boyfriend now lives five hours away. The puppy lives with the boyfriend. I have no internet. I have no TV. I have so much stress at work that I finally snapped on Friday and informed my boss as to what I think about the place. Ahem.

And I discovered today that I have a mouse living under my kitchen sink. Bastard. We’ll see who wins this fight, you dirty little monster.

I’m back to being poor. I’m very good at being poor, but in no way do I like it.

I’ve started going to the gym again. I despise the gym. But I also despise the jiggle I am starting to notice on my fat days when I walk down the road. Jiggle = bad.

I has a sad.

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And, as with every single fall, I am deeply homesick right now. I’d love to go home for the fall. But I can’t (see aforementioned ‘poor’ status).

I do have some funny stories to post, but those will be posted next week when I FINALLY get the internet at my place (the delay on the internet is one of the ‘funny’ stories).

All I have today is complaints. Meh. Complaints happen.

Some dumbass bitch on the subway today decided it would be a good idea while on a train to unwrap the new Fisher Price drum that she bought for her 2 year old. So she took it out of the bag, gave the plastic bag to her child to play with while she concentrated on getting the box open. Then she took the plastic bag from him (luckily before he shoved it down his windpipe) and instead gave him a drum with two mallets attached to it with brightly coloured strings. He, being a little boy, immediately started banging it and squealing with delight.

Now, I’m glad he wasn’t screaming, cuz that’d suck to listen to. But what the hell are you thinking giving your toddler a fucking drum on the subway? You are ASKING for it, sweetie. Luckily, I got off at the next stop, or I might have informed her of her complete retardedness. People on the subway want silence, they want to sit there uninterrupted and undisturbed until their stop. It’s subway code. Don’t bother the other riders. And no matter what, don’t go handing out noise making toys to small children. She was damn lucky it wasn’t rush hour. I suspect the drum would have been ripped from the kids hands and placed not-so-gently onto her head.

My life is all in a flummox right now. I realize that I dislike flummoxes.

Maybe it’s better I stay offline til I get back to my normal, cheery (cough) self.

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