Monthly archive for April 2009

Money money money (must be funny) in the rich man’s world

Happy Pay Equity Day to all you ladies out there.  This comes to us from our friendly neighbours to the south, although I would expect that as with most things, our stats and our situation are not all that different.

From the National Committee on Pay Equity:

The day, observed on a Tuesday in April, symbolizes how far into the year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year. (Tuesday is the day on which women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from the previous week.)

A report issued in 2007 by the American Association of University Women reports that for most women the gap begins as early as their first year out of university or college.  As far as I’m concerned, most special days call for cake, but you know, there’s not really much to celebrate here, is there?

It adds personality

We play a game from time to time with the youth group at church, where each person is given a handful of candies, and then we all sit in a circle and take turns sharing something unique about ourselves.  There is a cup in the middle, and if anyone else has done the same thing or visited the same place or is scared of the same thing, they have to put one of their candies in the middle.  If someone shares something unique and it really is unique within the group, they get to take all of the candies from the cup.  There is some policing involved to make sure no one shares a detail that is too specific (i.e. you can say you chipped your brother’s tooth when you were a kid, but you can’t say his name was Darren and you chipped his tooth by slamming a door in his face when he was relentlessly chasing you through the house, and that you feel bad about it now but at the time you kind of enjoyed it) but all in all, it’s a fun game and it’s always entertaining learning new facts about people you see every week.

The second time I ever played the game, my friend Pam was visiting for the evening, and I was excited for her turn, because she has had an interesting life and I was aware of at least one detail that was generic enough to pass that sniff test but unique enough she’d get all the candies in the cup.  I ended up being surprised when she shared something other than what I was expecting, and gleeful when it turned out we had something strange in common – I too had eaten Cheez Whiz and peanut butter sandwiches when I was a kid.

I know, it’s disgusting.  I see that now, but as a child I think I loved them.  It’s remarkable how your tastes evolve as you get older.  Some stay the same (such as my deep and abiding love for Fun Dip) and others, like the sandwiches mentioned above, work their way out of your lunchtime rotation because you just can’t stomach the idea of ingesting that combination anymore.  They say that the reason kids fight you on the broccoli or brussel sprouts issue is because their taste buds are extra sensitive to bitter and sweet, making the bitter extra gross and the sweet extra wonderful.  Supposedly that all evens out as our bodies mature, which is why we can discover as an adult that we really do like liver after all.

The food thing that I struggle with most as I enjoy my late 20’s is not really taste or texture, but more that I can’t stomach eating anything that looks like something.  I could never ever eat anything octopus-based, and chicken wings ook me out.  I love tuna, but I can’t eat salmon because there is often skin in the can that reminds me that yeah, what I’m eating was a fish that once enjoyed the little things in life, like meeting a she-salmon and swimming upstream to spawn.

I accidentally encountered this on the internet  the other day, and while it doesn’t look like anything specific, it looks like something that could potentially exist and would be really gross to encounter in a dark alley or in the wild.  Go on, click the link.  I’ll wait.

Horrifying, right?  Apparently it is a treat that is much-loved by kids the world over, especially in Hawaii (a food culture that’s frankly already a bit weird – they invented the pina colada and macadamia nut ice cream, but they also eat a lot of Spam) and even though the photos made me gag a little, the comments on the article more than made up for it.  (A sample of the suggested names for this delicacy:  pork calamari, pighetti, hot doodles, and weineroni.)  Discussions of food always have a way of inspiring and developing a sense of community in an otherwise unrelated population.  Even if you have nothing else in common, a discovery that someone else doesn’t like nuts in their cookies or enjoys putting ketchup on mac & cheese or dipping their french fries into ice cream can make them your next best friend.

So tell me, friends:  what’s the grossest thing you ate as a kid?

Friday flash fiction – Inconspicuous

I wrote this one a number of months ago, after actually seeing a woman in an incredibly yellow raincoat on a day with no rain in sight, and I’ve been tinkering with it ever since.  Something’s not working and I’m not sure what it is.  I couldn’t quite figure out how to feel about the woman – she was stylish and cheerful and pessimistic all at the same time, and I wasn’t sure whether to love her or loathe her or covet her confidence – and I’m having the same problem with the story.  If anyone has any feedback, I’d love to hear it.  (more…)

I would walk 100 miles, and I would walk 100 more

One of the few items in the pro column of the list of reasons for or against spending the week being sick is that it gives you time to catch up on your TV watching.  My usual go to sick day Entertainment, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, was inexplicably absent from the listings, so I watched a lot of Family Feud (which is hosted by J. Peterman from Seinfeld, much to my surprise), and America Plays Trivial Pursuit (which I still don’t understand, and which was hosted by someone who looked suspiciously like a former Brady kid), and the Cosby Show (which I have a deep and abiding love for that I do not have plans to forsake any time soon).  In the evenings, Mike and I also caught up on many of the shows cluttering up our PVR.  This included the 100 Mile Challenge, the new Food Network show based on the ideas from this book(more…)

This entry is brought to you by Life Brand Total Cold & Flu

I’ve never been very good at taking sick days.  I’m not sure whether it was bad bosses who would rather you infect the whole team than take any time off, or my overactive sense of responsibility, or an unreasonably inflated sense of my own contributions to the workplace (or a combination of all three) but I have always felt so guilty taking time off when I’m sick.  I once came down with The Dreaded Influenza and went back to work after only a day and a half off, with a raging 102 degree temperature, and rather than send me home my manager gave me a lecture about missing some arbitrary deadlines while I was off.  I am pretty sure I had some rather psychedelic hallucinations at my desk.  (more…)

From the department of musical science research

I have discovered irrefutable scientific evidence that song-writing ability is not passed down through DNA.

Leonard Cohen:

The birds they sang at the break of day
Start again, I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what has passed away
or what is yet to be
Ah the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen’s son:

Without you, I’ve been standing ’round just like a statue
Laying on the couch all day like cats do
Waiting for the phone to ring, but it won’t ring
Without you, I’ve been standing ’round just like a statue
Laying on the floor thinking about you
I talk to myself like the crazies do
Otherwise I’m great, what about you?
What about you?
What about you?
Yea you, what about you?

Friday flash fiction

I posted this one over at the old blog iteration, but I know I have some new readers and I keep thinking about this kind of stuff as I trawl the internet for photos of abandoned buildings, so I thought I’d post it again and see if anyone has any feedback.  I think maybe, someday I’d like to turn this into something longer, but maybe it’s better as a little snapshot.  I can’t decide. (more…)


Okay, I’m just going to come right out and say it:  I love Garth Brooks.  Well, I love his music.  (Songs about having two pina coladas just speak to me, y’know?)  I had plans to drive to Guelph at lunchtime today, so I made a new playlist for my iPod, as I am wont to do any time I have to drive anywhere longer than 20 minutes.  As I am also wont to do, I tossed a little Garth into the mix.  I have always loved “The Dance” and I believe I am not alone, since I think it is one of his most popular songs. The middle couple of verses go a little something like this:  (more…)

This calendar is stressing me out

Yesterday’s page in my Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff daily calendar said:  “Make a commitment to becoming less bothered, especially by little things.”  The fact that it should be “become” rather than “becoming” is probably one of those little things I should be committing to not being bothered by, right?