Thursday, October 28, 2004


This morning, like every other morning, I was completely successful in incorporating the sound of the alarm clock into my current dream. I find it amazing that my mind is able to instantly and seamlessly integrate the sound of the alarm with whatever I happen to be dreaming. And it seems like the dream goes on for a while, although in reality, I’m up within a couple of seconds of hearing the alarm. It’s amazing how our mind can trick us in dreams. Or is it just me?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I Don't Want a Pokie!

I’m taking the family for their flu shots tonight (for all you Americans out there - I'm honestly not trying to rub it in). I’d signed up to get the vaccine at work, as we have a clinic here every year, but there’s also a clinic in my town tonight, and I’d rather get vaccinated sooner rather than later. Last year all of us except my son came down with the A-fuegian flu and it was horrible. I’d like to spare Frankie this year.

I mentioned our trip at the dinner table last night and my daughter had a giant flip-out. The second I mentioned the word “shot” that was it – complete and utter breakdown (my bad – I should have said “vaccination”). “I don’t want a pokie!” she wailed. I tried to explain that getting this pokie would save her getting several pokies should she have to go to the hospital like she did last year. There was no calming her down.

I finally had to tell her I was joking (who would joke about that?) and she told me that it was a good joke - "You really tricked me, Mommie!" Wait till we get to the clinic! We may have to blindfold her and have her go first (before she knows what’s going on). Wish me luck.

UPDATE: We got our shots last night and it didn't go as bad as I thought, nor was I able to secure the magic dermal medicine that keeps it from hurting. Little girl exit polls indicated that "It didn't hurt that bad". She was very brave and got to have a big chocolate for her troubles.

Monday, October 25, 2004


Grande Non-fat Chai Latte. With a bit of honey. Mmmmmm.

Friday, October 22, 2004


The last couple of days have not been good for my soul. One of our directors got back from a 3 month honeymoon and decided to make a whack of serious changes to my project that I was just wrapping up. It opened a whole can of worms and the CEO is now questioning my research methods and vendor rating systems. Of course, all of the changes have to be made without affecting the deadline, adding more people to the project, or paying me overtime, and my manager is siding with the director. Good times. I’m pretty sure the CEO is seeing this as a credibility problem on my part, but there’s conflicting opinion on that one.

There were some warning signs last year that I had jumped from the frying pan into the fire when I left my last nightmare job, but I chose not to see them, since all I wanted was to get out of that place. Now history is repeating itself. Based on this, I’m inclined to think that I’m somewhat, if not almost entirely, to blame in this fiasco. Arthur says it’s the industry I’m in. IT is a young industry filled with arrogant, inexperienced people who can’t make up their minds – everything is always on the table and no topic is ever closed for discussion, despite deadlines and commitments.

Anyway, despite everything I’ve been preaching on my blog, I’m now stuck in a miserable job until I can either dig myself out, or move on to something else – in a different industry (one run by adults). Of course, finishing my novel is now of utmost importance – I must push myself to really get jamming on that. Then, for good or bad, I will be largely in control of my own destiny.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Hobson's Choice

My pet peeve is the utterance of the phrase “I had no choice.” I hate that. It’s both pathetic and inaccurate. Whether you know it or not, you always have a choice, even if all of them suck.

Example A:
A man holds you at gunpoint unless you reveal the whereabouts of the Super Friends. You have a choice. You can not tell him and risk him shooting you, or you can tell him the secret location, thus sentencing the Super Friends to a certain doom. These are both choices. (Carmi would call this Hobson’s Choice). There are more choices too. You could make up a false, but believable lie. You could try to start a psychoanalysis session with him to find out why he is so focused on death and destruction. You could pretend to faint. And so on and so on.

Example B:
You’ve fallen into a rapidly moving river and are rushing towards a perilous fall. You have a choice. You can accept your fate, or you can flail around and look for a route to escape. And even within these two choices there are more choices. If you accept your fate, then you can a) sing show tunes at the top of your lungs until you plunge over the edge, b) ponder all of your loved ones until you make the fall, c) attempt to drown yourself before you reach the edge.

“Trill,” you ask, “What the hell is your point?”

“First of all,” I reply, “Don’t call me Trill. It’s Trillian. Second, I’m just sick to death of the complete lack of accountability that seems to be the trademark of today’s society.”

Truly, the vast majority of people seem to think that their fate is controlled by some external and nebulous “they”, when in actual fact, we have choices, and are responsible for our own fate. We get the chance every second of every day to improve our lot. Certainly we can’t control all aspects of our life, but the choices we make with the cards we are dealt is the difference between the “done to” and the “doers”.

End of rant.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Greatest Canadian...NOT!

CBC started The Greatest Canadian last night. Canadians around the world nominated people for the show. CBC showed the Top 50 most popular nominations, and then showed the Top 10 – who will be showcased in one hour shows over the next 5 weeks.

Arthur and I made a bet about who would be in the top 10 (and no, I’m not going to tell you what the wager was!). I lost because Don Cherry made the list, and not Marshall McLuhan!!!! I’m sorry, Don Cherry may be many things (annoying, obnoxious, loud, irritating, brash…), but a Great Canadian he is not. This is what happens when hockey fans don’t have enough to do. They vote hockey people into lists they don’t belong.

Hmmm. Let me think. Who’s the Greatest Canadian? Pierre Trudeau? Fredrick Banting? Alexander Graham Bell? Terry Fox? David Suzuki? Lester B. Pearson? John A. MacDonald? Tommy Douglas? Maybe even Wayne Gretzky*?. No, no. Clearly it must be Don Cherry. Good fucking lord.

*who is no doubt the best hockey player of all time, though I would be embarrassed if I were him, being up against all of these people who helped shape our country and our world!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Get Your Own!

I’d like to make a comment about Commenters. Until the advent of the “Next Blog” button* I found cool blogs the old-fashioned way – through the bloggers who commented on my blog. I’d check out their blogs, enjoy them, and then find links to other cool blogs on their site. It was iterative and interesting - like an adventure, without all the trouble of getting out of my office chair. That’s how I find about 90% of the blogs I read.

But here’s a curious twist. There are a number of active Commenters who HAVE NO BLOG! This is very irksome – especially when the comments they leave are witty and interesting, and I think to myself, “I bet this guy’s blog is great!” It’s so disappointing to click on the link to their profile and find out, alas, nothing is there.

It’s cool that non-bloggers read blogs and all, and I’ll take all the readership I can get – especially when they’re the well-written and fascinating people that I’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon. But I think it’s time for those of you (Dean) with no blog, to go ahead and create one. Go on! It doesn’t hurt. Not much, anyway.

*which is both a blessing and a curse – but that post has been done to death, and besides if it weren’t for that button, we would not have Wheelson’s link to Blogs of Pure Comedic Genius, but I digress.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Beware the Vanilla People!

Over dinner this weekend, my son announced with open pride, “I’m the most different kid in my class!”

It’s both thrilling and heartbreaking to hear those words uttered from your child’s mouth. Thrilling because you’ve done your job in ensuring that he understands how special he is and isn’t conforming, but heartbreaking because you know you can never fully protect him from the Vanilla people.

My son is a Rocky Road in a world of Vanilla. (Albeit, the world is becoming more Chocolate than it was when I was a kid, but it’s still not Rocky Road). Vanilla is middle of the road – don’t stick out, bland, fine, good enough, part of the pack. Chocolate is a little more different – but a different that is widely accepted, like being “gifted”. Rocky Road stands out. Rocky Road is different, especially when it’s surrounded by Vanilla. There’s no hiding when you’re Rocky Road. Sure, select groups (usually other weird flavors) REALLY like you, but you’re not the same, and that makes you a target.

Vanilla people don’t “get” Rocky Road people, especially when they’re kids. Vanilla people want to find ways to make Rocky Road people like them. They want to pick away all the bits of marshmallow, nuts, and chocolate chips until they’re just Vanilla. Vanilla moms confide to you that their son was Rocky Road too, but they gave them Drug X, and now they’re Vanilla. Vanilla people think that it’s bad to be Rocky Road.

But if you look at all the really great historical figures – they were all weird flavors. People didn’t “get” them. What would Einstein, Quentin Tarantino, Tolkien, Galileo, Steven Hawking, Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Steve Jobs, or countless other creative minds be if we’d tried to make them Vanilla? Without Rocky Road, where would we be? I shiver at the thought of a world without crazy flavors.

I’m so proud to have a Rocky Road child. May no one ever scrape away all the bits that make him unique!

Road Kill

Harvest season is upon us. For my community, that means lots of tractors on the back roads and myriad wild animals skulking through the fields to eat the remains of what the machines left behind. Last week I hit baby raccoon on one of these roads as I sped along (albeit, obviously too fast). I felt horrible about it. I swear, they wait until they see a car, and then make a beeline for the road. I don’t get it.

This morning, I was driving along minding my own business, and a bird flew into the upper right quadrant of my windshield. It hit with a thud and went bouncing off behind me. Lovely. Just up the way, the road was covered in, literally, thousands of black birds eating the corn off the road, scattered there from farm equipment, I suppose. I slowed down and marveled as swarms of the birds flew up around my car. Not only did I not get any bird poop on my car, I didn’t hit a single one of them. It was incredible. I can only assume that the bird I had hit earlier was full and incapacitated from all the corn it had consumed. Or maybe it was myopic. I’m not sure.

I saw a mom and baby deer eating carrots or some other vegetable in a recently harvested field. It was really cool. And I’m happy to report that I didn’t hit them.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Orical, Ahem, Oracle Told Me

If you’re not familiar with the current Oracle-PeopleSoft hostile takeover situation, then…well…you’re clearly in a different industry than me. And I’m jealous. Just kidding – writing about technology is fun (heh heh), in a “Yeah! Root canal!” kind of way.

Actually, I like my job very much, and until I can feed myself by writing novels, I’ll take writing about tech. It’s just that I’m doing a report on Oracle, and one of the call center staff wrote “Orical” under the Name of Vendor section of a survey I’ve had them conducting with Oracle clients. That was pretty funny, but what topped it was the response from our recent intern (she’s in the midst of getting her Master’s). Instead of adding the information to the Oracle entry in the database, she started another one called “Orical”.

It’s probably not nearly as funny to anyone else as it is to me, but that’s why it’s my blog and not yours.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Sick in the City

I’ve made an observation. When you’re sick, you’re so involved in how shitty you feel that you don’t give much thought to all the germs you’re spreading around. This happened to me last year – I had killer virus after killer virus, and many of them turned into bacterial infections that hunkered down into my throat and lungs. And every morning I’d pack myself up and go to work. I’d sit at my desk, not 5 feet from the woman at the next desk, and cough and blow my nose all day. I was oblivious to my highly contagious state.

And, of course, when people would say, “Trillian! Get yourself home, Girl!” I’d act like a martyr and decline the offer. I thought they were really concerned for my health. Now, I realize as one of my officemates hacks and honks her way through the day, that while they may have been worried about me, they were mostly wanting to not get infected with whatever I had.

So, I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. A woman at work (who is now at home with pneumonia) came in all last week though she quite obviously should have been in bed. Now most of us in the office are coughing and sneezing. If you’re contagious, and can work from home, then work from home. If your kids won’t go hungry or you won’t default on your mortgage if you call in sick when you’re under the weather, then call in sick.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Jack Frost Nipping At Your...

I just went to check the thermostat, as I'm trying to work from home today and it's bloody FREEZING in here! Arthur had set it to 18 degrees Celsius!!! (That's 64 Fahrenheit!!).

What is it with men and thermostats? I mean, come on!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Giving Thanks

We must be entering the holiday season. There are a few telltale signs:

  1. Leaves are changing colour and falling;
  2. There’s a bit of a nip in the air;
  3. Decorations are out in stores;
  4. Our families are bickering over who is coming where for the holiday meals.

Thanksgiving is next week (in Canada) and the guilt and resentment over where we will be eating, with whom, and when has begun. And not just for Thanksgiving. Resentment is already building up over the possibility of where Christmas dinner might be held and who will attend when.

Ahhhh. I love the holidays.

This may be the year that I stick to my guns and tell both sides of the family that Arthur, the kids, and I will be eating quietly at home on ALL the days. Just maybe…

Monday, October 04, 2004

Gmail Invites

I've got a few gmail invites if anyone wants one. I've run out of friends who want an account! Just send me an email.

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

Wasted almost 30 minutes on very bad movie this weekend. Never, never rent Boxing Helena. Bad movie!

Bridget Jones: edge of reason is v.g., but not as good as Bridget Jone’s Diary. Still, very sad I finished last tape on way to work this morning.

Hmmm. Police Officer is directing traffic at Colborne & Dufferin this morning. Who the hell did he have to piss off to get that job? Or is that a she? Difficult to tell.

Mmmm. Tim Horton’s coffee is très délicieux this morning. Low fat muffin not v.g. (note to self: fat is needed in order to make good muffin).

Came into office and was shushed. Who the fuck does that? If you want me to be quiet, then ask. Don’t fucking say “shhhhh.” She’s not even a librarian! (I can make that joke because I am).

New opinion of new contract graphics person: Thought she was a flake, but I now see that she is just young and stupid. She doesn’t know that she doesn’t know anything yet. Will come with time.

Hmmmm. Should probably be working instead of writing on blog.