“I’m right over here, why can’t you see me / I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home / I keep dancing on my own.”
Yep, sometimes life gets summed up by a dance pop song.
I get that it’s a job.
I get that when you need money, you’ll take what you can.
I don’t blame the actual person on the call (usually), I blame the companies who still employ this advertising method.
That said, I will not put up with rudeness and bullshit.
I work at a veterinary clinic. A very small veterinary clinic. And we are in a small, fairly cordoned off area of Toronto. Since most people like to have a vet in their area, we’re generally advertising to a small section of the city. So, when it comes to things like our online listings on directory sites, like Yellow Pages or 411, my boss isn’t terribly concerned with having a fancy one that you have to pay for. Quite correctly, she assumes people will just use Google.
So, when the umpteenth telemarketer from a listing site called to sell us an upgrade, I gave them my standard, polite “Sorry, we’re not interested”. Unlike the standard person who I’ve said this to, this guy tried a new tactic - condescending rudeness. An approximate transcript of the conversation:
“Well, you don’t even know what I’m offering. Can I speak to Lindsay?” (note: when calling a doctor to sell them something, try being respectful and calling them Doctor)
“No, as I said, she in a procedure right now, but you have called us about this before and she’s spoken to you. She’s not interested.”
“So, you have the authority to turn down an important business deal?”
“As I said, she has heard the offer before and is not interested. Also, can you please take us off your calling list?”
“I’m not going to do that on the word of an aggressive secretary. I need to speak to Lindsay.”
Silence while I count to 10.
“Right, well guess that’s all. Bye” I hang up.
And so, I called back and asked to speak to the manager. The manager was out, but I insisted that I speak to him, so a message was left. See, here’s an important fact about telemarketers - if they call you and you tell them to put you on their Do Not Call list, they are legally obliged to do so. This is not the national Do Not Call list that caused some controversy a few years back. Each telemarketing firm must have their own, internal Do Not Call list and they must honor a request to be put on it. So, right there, that asshat did something illegal. Also, I was pretty pissed off at how he spoke to me. I do my best to be polite, but firm when I tell people that we’re not interested and his rapid escalation from slick salesman to brutish jerk was not warranted. It tapped right into my “you’ve fucked with the wrong marine” mode.
A few hours later and much to my surprise, manager called back and apologized. He had listened to the tape of the call (thanks, quality control recordings!) and said that the agent was out of line. I thanked him.
Then he tried to sell me a fucking product.
“We’re not selling upgraded listings, this is about your google rankings.”
“Again, thank you very much,but we’re not interested,” I say, somewhat in disbelief that this conversation is actually happening.
“Well, if I google Rosedale Vet Ontario, you aren’t in any of the top listings”
“Really,” I reply, while typing into my browser, “because I just Googled us and we’re at the top.”
“But you aren’t in the new map feature. Are you seeing three listings and a map, A,B,C? I’ve just typed in Rosedale Vet Ontario…”
“No, what are you talking about?”
“All smart phones now have this small map feature at the top and you aren’t listed in it…”
“Yes, we are. I’m looking at a google search and we’re the A listing, actually.”
“What did you type in?” He sounds like he does not believe that I know how to use Google.
“Rosedale Vet Toronto.”
“Right, but if you put in Rosedale Vet Ontario…”
“That is not something anyone is ever going to search. No one looks for a vet that way. We’re the first listing for Rosedale Vet Toronto, which is really all that matters.”
<stammering while above lines repeated in various configurations for about a minute>
“Look, thank you for your time, but I really think we’re fine. Thank you and thanks for getting back to me.”
Yes, dear friends, I had to teach a man trying to sell me his Google skills how Google actually works.
So, a small hint to the telemarketing community: if you’re going to cold call businesses, actually understand them first. No one searches for a vet in a whole province - I don’t know about you, but I’m not driving my pet to Sarnia for a vet check up. Also, if you want to sell me something to fix a problem I have, make sure it’s actually a problem. I too can use Google, sir, and as a receptionist, I’m sitting at a computer. It takes me under 5 seconds to verify if what you’re telling me is true and if it’s not, well, you aren’t getting a sale.
And finally, you will never sell anything to anyone by being rude to their “secretary”. We pass that info on, guys, and most people won’t buy products and services from assholes who are rude to their staff.
Continuing on from yesterday, it’s part 2 of my year in review!
16. Achievement Unlocked: I finally got a car. I immediately turned it into a nerd-mobile with Firefly, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones stickers on the back and a plush Tardis hanging from my rear view mirror (dice are so 1975). But the actual achievement is that I learned to drive standard. I still don’t get why people like it better than automatic, but if I ever make it on The Amazing Race, I’ll be able to drive everywhere. Thanks for the lesson, Katie!
17. Worst Celebrity Death: MCA. My normal reaction to a famous person dying ranges from “that sucks” to “that sucks, but you know, no surprise” to “who?” (I’m not a big celebrity follower). MCA, on the other hand, really shocked me (even thought I knew he was sick) and really made me sad. He wasn’t a drug/alcohol addict (sorry, Whitney - you were a “no surprise”), he wasn’t old, he was regarded as a good person and he made kick ass music (and pretty awesome music videos too). I love the Beastie Boys and I’m sad we won’t hear any more music from them. I submit this video as not only one of my favorite Beastie music videos, but one of my favorite music videos period. <3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qORYO0atB6g
18. Best New Addition: Captain Jack Sparrow Harkness, the time traveling pirate kitten, joined me in August and has put me precariously close to the edge of Crazy Cat Ladydom (Jack makes 3). But seriously - he’s a one eyed, fluffy orange kitten who purred when I picked him up. I had no choice.
19. Most Likely to Give Me Rageface: Republicans. I could rant this out for a while, but instead, let me just quote Tina Fey: “If I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a two-dollar hair cut explain to me what rape is, I’m gonna lose my mind. I watch these guys and I can’t help wondering ‘am I a secretary on Mad Men?’” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8yNCMkgk9E
20. Best Thing I Can’t Believe It Took Me This Long To Do: Fan Expo! Three days of awesome nerding out. I met Alan Tudyk! John Barrowman! Kate Mulgrew! Julie Benz! I got to sit on the Iron Throne (though it was made of plastic) and see a parade of Daleks. I got to see awesome Q&As (Billy West FTW!) and costumes. I got a free autograph from Alan Tudyk and photos with him and John Barrowman. But really, this event combined my two favorite things: nerdy stuff and shopping. You bet your sweet ass I will be attending this again in 2013.
21. Moment I Can’t Believe I Had The Balls To Pull Off: this year, I discovered The Nerdist Podcast and fell in love. At the aforementioned Fan Expo, I mentioned to John Barrowman that I enjoyed his appearance on the podcast and would be seeing it live in a month since they were coming to Toronto. He told me to pass on a message… then mimed jiggling his boobs. I debated whether or not I would actually do this because, you know, embarrassment. But my Whovian friends pointed out that you cannot deny a request from Captain Jack. So, I go to the show and it’s awesome and hilarious, but soon it was time for the Quemments. I was the third person Chris picked (I did get myself into the first row after all). I could not make eye contact (EXTREME NERVES!), but after a small contextualizing statement about “John Barrowman sends this message”, I did it. Then, Jonah said he didn’t hear the message, so I did it again. Laughter ensued. I realized later, with some sadness, that I was so nervous that I missed the opportunity to tell Mark Little (from Picnicface) that he is responsible for my all time favorite viral video: Powerthirst. At least I got my Game of Thrones book signed by the guys, who were all totally lovely. And an awesome lady a few rows back said I should get my rating bumped up to 9 (Matt had said all Toronto women were solid 8s), and though Matt refused., I appreciated her efforts All in all, awesome and fun times. I’m just sad that they never posted this one - they used the other Toronto show instead.
22. Best New Restaurant: The taco place in the lower east side that our friend Joe took us to in NYC. Sweet holy hell, those were some good tacos.
23. Best Petty Moment: I was talking to an employee at a pet store when it came up that I work at a vet clinic. She asked which one as she is always looking for recommendations. I replied that mine’s not in the area, however, I used to work at one in the neighbourhood. When I told her which one, she said she no longer liked recommending them because she’s had such bad feedback lately and she didn’t know what changed - they used to be so good. I said that I did and though I didn’t elaborate much (high road!), I know exactly what changed. The same thing that made my life hell for almost a year until I finally got another job and could quit. And it shouldn’t bring me joy because I should be over it and not be petty. But it did and I am. Because fuck those assholes, I was right. <insert evil villain laugh here>
24. Saddest Moment: My boss had a lovely little yorkie named Caron. I know, I know, yorkies are generally annoying. But Caron wasn’t - she was well behaved, not yappy and just had such joy about everything. She came to the clinic every day and if I’d had a bad evening or was sad on my way in, her enthusiastic greeting upon my arrival put me in a great mood. One day, while my boss was on vacation, she ran out of the yard she was in and was hit by a car. She passed away a few hours later. We were all devastated and we still miss her. xoxo little Carebear.
25. Best Health Decision: I finally started yoga classes and they’re awesome. Many thanks to Terri for introducing me to her yoga centre. No hippie bs, trend followers or fashionistas here, just instructions and corrections and learning. And the best thing about it is that I have to concentrate so hard on what I’m doing, I can’t worry about anything in my life that’s bothering me. It’s a workout for my body and a break for my mind.
26. Favorite New Song: this is a tough one… according to itunes, I did not download a lot of music this year. So, I’m giving it to Do It Anyway by Ben Folds Five. They got extra points for their Fraggle Rock music video (if you have not seen it, click this RIGHT NOW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEyrfFwf3rI). Plus, I like the lyrics.
27. Favorite Internet Video, comedy division: it’s not from this year, but I saw it this year: David Tennant on the Catherine Tait holiday special as the ghost of Christmas present is the funniest thing ever. I watch it on a loop when I’m sad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV56DJO6pH4
28. Favorite Internet Video, animal edition: Henri, le chat noir, your ennui and malaise will always be welcome on my computer screen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M
29. Favorite Internet Video, message edition: Joss Whedon’s ad urging everyone to vote for Mitt Romney - so we can finally have the zombie apocalypse that we’ve all been saving up canned goods for - is witty, entertaining and on point. I really love that man. Did I mention I got to be in a room with him at TIFF? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TiXUF9xbTo&list=FLW5FqKrEU7HgyezWxqji1Ag&index=6
30. Best Idea: my awesome back tattoo. It took 4.5 hours, I passed out and I got it done while my arm was still not fully functional. And I fucking love it. Mega props to my awesome tattoo artist for helping me out, because I can’t draw to save my life. Those curious can scroll down a few posts and see the whole description of it.
I’m sure there’s more, but I’m going to cap it there as 30 points seems like a good amount. I’ve decided to try blogging more this year (I’ve been reading The Nerdist Way and finding it rather inspirational.) We shall see how it goes. Until next time, all 3 people who read these things!
The end of a year always means two things: best/worst of lists and resolutions. I rarely make resolutions so as not to disappoint myself, but one thing I want to try to do is blog a bit more this year. And so, to start it off, my own best/worst list. Whenever I do these, I don’t pick a subject because I can hardly ever thing of one thing to make a list of. So, here, in no particular order, is the first part my Best/Worst of Things of 2012 list (because I’m tired and want to go to bed and stuff).
Drum roll please…
1. Worst health moment: starting off the year with a broken elbow. Seriously, having pins in your arm hurts like a mofo. I do not recommend orthopedic surgery. Physio is no picnic either. But…
2. Best health moment: … finishing physio and actually realizing that I can move my arm again was pretty awesome.
3. Best trip: NYC in May! We came, we saw, we shopped. And for the first time in about 3 vacations, I did not get sick. Also…
4. Best Thing I Saw Live (scripted edition): BOOK OF MORMON. Original Broadway cast. 7th row. It is even better than the soundtrack (that I had already memorized) led me to believe. Definitely a cultural experience that not only lived up to, but surpassed, my expectations. I wish I could see it every day.
5. Best Thing I Saw Live (non-scripted edition): people, he’s called The Boss for a reason. In a year that I got to see Florence + The Machine (amazing… I may have cried a bit during Shake It Off… more later), Peter Gabriel (finally!) and Garbage at Osheaga, Springsteen was still the most ridiculous/kick ass/spectacular/fucking awesome show I saw. That man walked on stage and just gave’er for about 4 and a half hours. They turned on the house lights, but The Boss cared not. The union roadies were lined up side stage waiting to take down the equipment, but The Boss cared not. They were charging him per minute that he went past 11pm and The Boss cared not. For THE BOSS WAS BORN TO PLAY ROCK AND ROLL, MOTHERFUCKERS. That man has the most joy on stage of anyone I’ve seen. I didn’t know half the songs and it didn’t matter.
6. Best “The Padawan is Now a Jedi” moment: Stef spent most of Osheaga trying to teach me to be entitled. It was an uphill battle. I didn’t want to be “that person” because I really have no connection at all to the music industry. But on Sunday, it poured. By the time The Black Keys finished, I was a disgusting, muddy, sweaty mess. And all I wanted to do was get away from the people. I made a beeline through the muddy, garbage filled field to the backstage access. Normally, it was a breeze to get in, but now there was a massive “line” (by line, I mean crush of people). And in that moment, I thought “Who the fuck are these people?? Do they have gold wrist bands? Because I do and all these bitches trying to be cool and get backstage should just fuck off because I AM ALLOWED TO BE HERE.” I told this to Stef 10 minutes later and she said she was very proud of me.
7. Best Teamwork: Stef and I getting ourselves on our Montreal flight. We were running late and were worried we would miss our flight. They even gave us the warning that our bags may not get on until the next flight. But our years of sharing a brain and general “Stef and Sarah-ness” prevailed and we got our shit together with few words and much awesomeness. We made that flight and so did our bags.
8. Favorite Movie, big budget: I cannot pick, you guys. I enjoyed Dark Knight Returns because it was dark and cool. The Avengers was a Joss Whedon movie and had Robert Downey Jr. AND Jeremy Renner in it. Also, that scene with Hulk and Loki… you know what I’m talking about. Screw it, I love you, Christopher Nolan, but I’ve got to give it to Joss on pure sentimental b.s.
9. Favorite Movie, small budget: There is a Spanish film I saw at TIFF called Ghost Graduation and it was adorable and funny and awesome. I have no idea if it will ever be out here, but if you see it, watch the hell out of it. It’s Ghostbusters + The Breakfast Club + Spanish. Much love.
10. Worst Idea for a Movie Marathon: watching Waiting for Superman, This Film is Not Yet Rated and The Corporation in a row. Look, these are all excellent films, but by the end of it, I was so mad at the world, I wanted to go all Bond villain on its ass. I recommend watching them, just not together.
11. Favorite Movie Experience, hero edition: you guys, I WAS, LIKE, 6 FEET FROM JOSS WHEDON. HE COULD TOTALLY SEE ME AND EVERYTHING. Oh, it was at TIFF for Much Ado About Nothing, which was probably the Shakespeare movie I’ve enjoyed the most. But I saw Joss. And taught Kelly and Matt the value of exiting through the wrong doors (we met a bunch of the cast and they were super sweet). But, I was in a room with Joss Whedon. Now, if I just get close to U2, I’ll have been in a room with all the people I would totally be unable to keep from being a drooling fangirl ass in front of.
12. Favorite Movie Experience, family edition: we took my nephew to his first movie and he was a superstar! He didn’t talk and he was not very restless (I mean, he was only almost 3, so some fidgeting is to be expected). Throw in his love of animals and Pixar and he’s well on his way to becoming an awesome person.
14. Worst Idea Probably Made Awesome By Liam Neeson: yeah, they made a movie out of Battleship. I haven’t seen it (yet… get on that shit, Netflix!), but I’m sure it won’t be nearly as good as Clue. I’m hoping for so-bad-it’s-good, but who knows if I’ll get it. I mean, Michael Bay didn’t direct it. But it was great for the “what’s the next game they’ll make into a movie?” running gag. My money’s on Connect 4.
13. Favorite TV Show, newly discovered: I developed an addiction to the unexpectedly awesome White Collar and the “not too scary for me after all” Walking Dead. But, hands down, this one goes to Game of Thrones. Tyrion forever! Down with Joffrey! Save Sean Bean! Seriously, this show is amazeballs. The only one I liked more was…
14. Favorite TV Show, obviously edition: I finally watched Doctor Who and I went right down that rabbit hole with glee. I can’t even rank it in with the other shows. True Story: I may have taken an inordinate amount of time to finish series 5 and the last few Tennant specials because, though I knew he was leaving, I just didn’t want it to be true. I felt that if I didn’t actually watch it, it wouldn’t be true. Matt Smith is good and all, but Ten will always be my favorite doctor.
15. Favorite TV Show, returning: this is a solid tie between Parks and Rec and Community. Ben is the best thing, on any show, ever. I know it’s not from this year, but when he pops out of a dressing room in a full Batman costume… I laugh every time. But the whole cast is just so dead on funny that I laugh out loud every episode. Community is the weird cult show that makes references I get and has no problem being self-referential and weird. I love it for the same reason I loved Arrested Development - it makes it’s own strange little universe and just rolls with it.
And now, I must sleep. So, to be continued!
I work in Rosedale, which is a rather expensive neighbourhood of Toronto. If you don’t live here, there is no parking anywhere except on the street (ie. no paid lots), so I just park on random side streets (the street I work on has a posted one hour time limit). Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got a ticket. Turns out, there is a bylaw in Toronto that you can only park on a street for three hours at a time. This is a problem, since my shifts are 6 or so hours.
The next time I parked in that spot (about a week later), I left a note on my car for the parking authorities. It was a very polite note that said I work in the area and have no where to park, so please don’t ticket me. Also, if there is somewhere better to park, please let me know.
I returned after my shift to find the following note on my car. As it was pouring rain, the person had taken the time to place that note in a plastic bag.
I was not amused.
At first, I just cried. I was already having a bad day and this blatantly aggressive response to my simple and polite note seemed to be overkill. All I wanted to do was go to work and these people were dead set on making my life difficult for no good reason. Then I was mad. I mean, who the fuck do these people think they are? It’s city property, not an extension of their yard. I actually checked with parking enforcement and the only way to get one of those tickets is a resident complaint. I mean, who has the kind of time on their hands required to time how long people are parked in a spot? Oh right, rich people who don’t have to work for a living.
I could understand if there was only street parking in the area and my being there was preventing them from parking. But all the houses on the street have 2-4 car driveways, so that’s not an issue. And if they’d put a polite note on the car explaining how it’s somehow bothering them, that would have been fine too. What bothered me about it was the overbearing sense of entitlement and unnecessary rudeness that was behind the note. All I was asking for was a bit of consideration so I could go to my job, but no, that was not something they were prepared to offer.
After I calmed down, I decided that I had two options: park somewhere else or fight back as much as I could. And thus, I made a decision. I’m so sick to death of entitled assholes. I’m sick of rudeness. I’m sick of the complete lack of consideration for other people. And I’m especially sick of no one calling these assholes out.
To paraphrase the immortal words of Colonel Nathan Jessup: they have fucked with the wrong marine.
So, the next work day, I put this note on my dashboard:
So far, no response has come, but I’m just leaving it on my dashboard every day and we’ll see what happens.
Now, I won’t keep this up forever - eventually, I’ll get bored and the effort to move my car each day will outweigh my amusement. But for now, whether or not it’s true, I like to think that staring at my bright red Ford Focus each day will annoy the fuck out of these assholes. And that brings me joy.
I got a new tattoo recently. It’s made up of a bunch of lyrics from different songs. Since there are a lot of them, I usually answer the question “What does it say?” with “lyrics”.
There are two reasons for this. First, there are a lot of lyrics and I doubt people’s attention span. Second, and more importantly, the words I picked make it strangely quite personal. I had a really, really tough year and a half and this tattoo comes from that place. So, I’m always afraid someone will react negatively, in a “why would you tattoo THAT on your body?” sort of way.
Anyway, the paradoxical thing is, as much as I worry about people thinking the choices I made are stupid, I really love the tattoo and so I also want to talk about it. So, i figure a blog post no one will read solves my problem.
“feet on ground, heart in hand, facing forward, be yourself”
Jann Arden, Good Mother: http://youtu.be/7SOrmtqTVHc
This song provided the quote in my high school yearbook (though, it was not this one. It was “you can say I’m hard to hold, but if you knew me, you’d know…”), so has been one of my favorites forever. Anyway, this line is how I want to live, but it’s harder than you’d think.
“if the children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger, but our hearts get torn up”.
Arcade Fire, Wake Up: http://youtu.be/z6c9Ejfu-iU
I could listen to this song forever. I don’t know how to express why I love it. I guess… when I was a kid and life was bad, I kept thinking that when I was older, it would be better. But, it isn’t better in the way I wanted it to be when I was a kid.
“what no man can own, no man can take, take this heart and make it break”.
U2: Yaweh: http://youtu.be/GkEQS5SJZPU
To the surprise of exactly no one, there is a U2 lyric. I had a tough time picking one, but I settled on this. I don’t believe in god, but this song sounds like such a beautiful prayer, it gives me strength when I need it. (p.s. watch the video… it’s a live performance and it’s beautiful.)
“it is longing that I feel, to be missed or to be real”
Palace Brothers, Will You Miss Me When I Burn? http://youtu.be/g_KIJGCqZz8
This song perfectly expresses how I feel a lot of the time - “when you have no one, no one can hurt you”. But this line explains why I feel like that - because I believe that the answer that I would get from most people to the question “Will you miss me when I burn?” is no. And I don’t want that to be true.
“blue skies are coming, but I know that it’s hard”
Noah and the Whale, Blue Skies: http://youtu.be/Ul7XLD_AZu8
My boyfriend left and my job that I loved when to shit within a month of each other. I listened to this album - and especially this song - on repeat. A lot. It helped me stay, if not always positive, at least going forward.
“there will be an answer, let it be”
The Beatles, Let It Be: http://youtu.be/RdopMqrftXs
I stress about everything. Every interaction I have with people, I’m worried I’ve fucked it up. I’m a bit crazy that way. I feel like this is some good advice to follow.
“I like to keep my issues drawn, it’s always darkest before the dawn”
Florence + the Machine, Shake It Off: http://youtu.be/WbN0nX61rIs
At the end of a year of hell, I broke my elbow. I had a few really amazing friends help me, but a lot of friends didn’t even text to ask if I was ok. When you’re injured and live alone and you can’t get yourself a cup of tea or go to the store or even really get up, you just feel so broken and alone - especially at 3am when you can’t sleep from the pain. You can’t focus on the few amazing people you know, only all the people who broke your heart. This song came out during that time. The first time I heard it, it made me cry because it was so exactly what I needed to hear.
“all I’ve ever wanted was just to come in from the cold”
Joni Mitchell, Come in From the Cold: http://youtu.be/bbJo-dsFGfI
Because it is.
So, that is what my tattoo says. This is what it looks like.
I fucking love my tattoo artist - she’s the best. She takes “um, can you put these lyrics into a tree and, you know, put leaves or something on it?” and makes this.
It turned out exactly how I wanted it to and I love it.
“I’m right over here, why can’t you see me / I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home / I keep dancing on my own.”
Yep, sometimes life gets summed up by a dance pop song.
Today I read this article by hilariously mustached ”reporter” Geraldo Rivera:
If you are the sort of person who finds reading/watching/thinking about Fox “News” to be akin to sticking your eyeballs with thumbtacks, allow me to summarize. A teenager was shot by a person who thought he was a burglar. The teenager wasn’t doing anything suspicious, other than walking and carrying Skittles, but the neighbourhood watch fellow was not taking any chances and shot him. The kid died.
Geraldo thinks that the blame for this tragedy should fall on the kid because he was wearing a hoodie and hoodies are only worn gangsters and hoodlums. This had never occurred to me and I went out in the world today with my eyes wide open.
I had to walk to an appointment in my neighbourhood. I passed a group of people and suddenly realized, thanks to Geraldo, that I was in the presence of hoodlums. Yesterday, I would not have been afraid, but those little girls were not white and they were wearing (pink) hoodies. Yesterday, I would have assumed that they were just friends on the way home from school, but now I figured it was best not to take any chances. They probably had AKs in their Dora the Explorer backpacks, so as Geraldo advised, I crossed the street. Besides, they probably had heroin inside their licorice.
Later, I saw a big dog start to freak out and bark at a kid on a skateboard. At first I thought it was because the animal was scared of the noise or the movement, but then I looked up and realized that no, that non-white kid was also wearing a hoodie. The dog was just making sure that his owner didn’t get hit with brass knuckles or slim jims or whatever deadly item that gangsta boy had hidden in his pockets. I think the kid, who was probably no more than 10, was just faking that look of fear. Sure, it could have been because the dog was massive, barking and pulling at the leash to try to tackle him, but it’s much more likely that it was to throw people off their guard so he could steal or rape or whatever it is that hoodlums do to nice, hood-free people.
I realized that almost everyone I passed was wearing a hoodie. Even some of the white people! I started to become quite frightened because it was becoming apparent that everyone dresses like a hoodlum now. I mean, if that many people are in gangs and wearing clothing that symbolically says “shoot me”, how are we to go anywhere? They could attack us or get themselves attacked and all the innocent, hoodie free people could be caught in the crossfire. One hoodie wearing woman was pregnant, so the cycle of violence will no doubt continue when her child is indoctrinated into whatever gang wears the Lululemon brand as their symbol (I think it’s the 241Mafia, but GangNames.net - ya, I totally just Googled “gang names” for this post - wasn’t entirely clear)
By the time I got home, I was a paranoid mess. I was so relieved to be back in the safety of my home that I let down my guard. Then, something in the corner of my eye caused me to freeze in terror - there was a hoodie wearing hoodlum IN MY HOME!
I was fumbling with my phone to call 911 when it occurred to me that this person was taking their sweet ass time to attack. I looked around and realized my mistake - I had forgotten that I was wearing my favorite black hoodie and the hoodlum I had seen in my house was, in fact, my reflection in the mirror.
Obviously, I have to stop wearing it. After all, we live in a society where right wing people argue that any woman wearing a short skirt is responsible for her own rape, so it stands to reason that any kid wearing a hoodie is responsible for his own murder. Guess it’s time to start cleaning my closet out before I force some poor innocent man to do me bodily harm by wearing the wrong thing and, dear friends, I strongly suggest you do the same. Oh, and you should probably give up Skittles too… you just never know what message you could be sending.
Today, I got onto the northbound Bathurst streetcar for a 5 minute trip. As always, I sat on the left side in a single seat, because if I can avoid contact with other humans, I will. I am listening to my ipod and trying to ignore everyone, which isn’t too hard as there are not too many people on the streetcar.
Then, from nowhere, a small grey dog runs past me. She is not leashed. (You may wonder how I know she was a she - I don’t. It is an educated guess based on the head to toe pink outfit she was wearing. By head to toe, I mean top and pants. But I digress… my feelings on dog clothes are not relevant to this story)
I look around the streetcar for any reaction from an owner, since I assume this dog has somehow escaped and the person will be trying to catch her. I am wrong. She hops up on the seat beside a man about two rows behind me and on the other side of the car. He pats her once and resumes reading his paper - he was not even trying to catch her. I scowl, but she seems to have settled, so I resume listening to my ipod. However, I keep glancing back to keep an eye on things.
He proceeds to take a phone call and seconds later, the dog jumps off the seat. I now have to get off as it’s my stop and this dog is running for the streetcar door.
“Is this your dog?” I say, attempting to sound civil (so I don’t add “fuckwad” to the end of that sentence).
Yes, yes, he motions while not breaking his conversation and, fortunately, the dog runs back towards him and not out the door and into the traffic.
I cannot understand when people don’t use leashes, especially in a situation like this. Look, I get it. You have the best trained dog in the whole fucking world. But not everyone does. What if someone came on with an aggressive dog? What if a dog hating crazy person got on and kicked your dog? What if your dog saw a squirrel outside the doors, was powerless to resist and ran into traffic? What if a poorly behaved child kept irritating your dog until she bit them?
Putting a leash on your dog is not an insult. It’s not about your ego - it’s a safety device for your dog, other dogs and people.
I walked into the bus shelter this evening to find a woman sitting in the chair and smoking. ”Excuse me, there’s no smoking in here” I say, firmly, but politely.
She shifted her back to me, said nothing and continued to smoke.
“There’s no smoking in here,” I say again, louder this time.
Again, no acknowledgement of my existence.
Fuck this, I thought. I walked over to her line of sight and waved at her while saying, somewhat obnoxiously, “There is no smoking in here.” For emphasis, I pointed to the etched no smoking sign on the shelter wall.
After a moment, she got up and walked to the doorway and leaned on it, still without actually speaking or looking at me. I would have pressed the point since she was not, technically, off the TTC property. However, at this point, the bus - that I had seen was two blocks away when I entered the shelter - arrived at the stop. So, I walked right past her and onto it.
Some might say that I was being a bit of a bitch, making the smoking woman get up and out of the shelter even though I knew that I would not be in there for any more than 30 seconds. I, however, believe that the principle of the matter necessitated my actions. No smoking means no fucking smoking, you smelly, inconsiderate asshole and I’ll be damned if I have to inhale your poison because you’re lazy. It sucks that it’s cold, but I didn’t force you to smoke, so don’t force me to inhale it.
To paraphrase the immortal words of Cameron Frye: I had to take a stand.
DISCLAIMER: The following is not a diatribe against all bike riders. Many of them are quite lovely people who are respectful to motorists and pedestrians. This is not about those cyclists - it is about the cuntsuckingasshatmotherfucker cyclists who are not respectful to others, but are instead self righteous fucktards and all around horrible human beings.
DISCLAIMER 2: This post contains graphic language and is not suitable for all readers. In other words, I plan on fucking swearing like a cocksucking sailor for the entirety this motherfucking post. For anyone offended by that or who wonders why I use such naughty language I tell you this: in the words of an ecard my awesome friend Erin just sent me, the reason I swear is because fuck you.
Now that those are out of the way.
FUCK YOU, ASSHAT DOUCHECANOE CYCLIST.
Yes you, the stupid bitch on your bike who followed me for a block today. As I walked down Eglinton Avenue East. On the sidewalk. You know what the sidewalk is for? MOTHER FUCKING PEDESTRIANS, YOU WITLESS CUNT. Guess which one of us that was?
Would you like to know how you went from being a minor, forgettable nuisance in my day to causing me to write a vituperative, explitive filled rant about you, you empty headed animal food trough wiper? BY RINGING YOUR IRRITATING-AS-SEAGULL-SHIT BELL AT ME FOR THAT ENTIRE BLOCK. Are you seriously using something that is supposed to be a safety device to ask me, the pedestrian, who is walking on the fucking sidewalk, WHERE I NOT ONLY HAVE THE FUCKING RIGHT OF WAY, BUT I AM THE ONLY ONE OF US WHO IS SUPPOSED TO FUCKING BE HERE, to move out of your way? Are you out of your clearly non-functional shit for brains mind?
The side walk is for pedestrians.
I am a pedestrian.
You are a cyclist.
I get to walk on the sidewalk, you do not get to ride there.
This shit is comprehensible by a four year old.
So you should not be surprised when my response to your insipid dinging was to slow down and walk right the fuck in the middle of the sidewalk. If I could have kicked your bike over when you finally passed me, you bet your cocksucking ass I would have. Because fuck you and your little bell. Fuck you and your entitlement. Fuck you in general, you fucking fuck.
Is the street too busy for you? Too fucking bad. Guess you should have taken a road that is not Eglinton Ave East since it’s one of the busiest streets in Toronto. Oh, would that take you out of your way and make your trip take longer? Too fucking bad. It may shock the shit out of you to realize I don’t give a baboon’s ass. You are choosing to ride a bicycle. There was no unforeseen situation on the road making it temporarily unsafe. Therefore, get your fat ass off my goddamn sidewalk and out on the road where it fucking belongs. Do you just hate riding on streets because you think all those evil car drivers are aiming for your cunty ass? Too. Fucking. Bad. If you don’t like riding in traffic, get a metropass and shut the fuck up.
As I’m sure you, dear readers, have guessed, cyclists getting impatient with pedestrians when they’re both on the sidewalk makes me Hulk out something fierce. I already hate the type of cyclist who is holier-than-thou because they ride a bike. Congrats, you’re environmentally friendly. Know what else is environmentally friendly, asshat? Walking. Which I’m doing. I don’t care that you think the cars are all driven by douchebags who will hit you for fun - you are choosing to ride a bike and accepting the risks that come with it. I’ve ridden a bike in the city - and by ridden, I mean I spent three summers using a bike as my main mode of transportation - and I get it, it’s scary out there in with the cars. You know what I did? I took side streets when I could and when I couldn’t, I went at a safe speed and yielded to the two ton vehicles that could have fucking killed me. You know what I didn’t do? Get up on the sidewalk. Because then I’d be a big fucking douchecanoe.
I’ve also driven a car in this city and the way some cyclists ride is terrifyingly unsafe. Some bike riders are impatient fucks and they can’t wait that extra 30 seconds for the light to change and the cars to move. I’m the kind of driver that tries to pull over to the left side of my lane if I see a cyclist coming up behind me, but it’s not always possible. Having a cyclist whip around you on your left side is scary as hell because you don’t expect them to be there and you know if you hit them, you’re the one getting charged, even if it really wasn’t your fault.
MID RANT DISCLAIMER: I am not absolving drivers. Some of them are total douchecanoes in their own right. That counselor who hit a cyclist and ran? King of asshats. This does not give all cyclists license to be asshats in return. Some of us drivers are nice and we’re trying to give you room. But driving a car requires you to watch a lot of things at once and if you, the cyclist, isn’t where we expect you to be because you’re in an all fired hurry, then don’t bitch at us when we nearly hit you because we’re attempting to make a totally legal lane change to the left and you whip around out of no where. Just saying.
And one last point about cars and bikes. If I’m in a car, I have a lot more mass and momentum behind me than a cyclist does. So, while sometimes, cars are fuckers to bikes, sometimes, they don’t see you because you’re not where you’re supposed to be - namely in a progressively linear place from where you were last time they saw you. Drivers may be assholes or they may not, but at the end of the day, you will always lose in a collision, so why not try being the bigger person and actually being as morally superior as you like to pretend to be (but really, are not) and just having some fucking patience?
The Asshat Cyclists go on endlessly about how they’re entitled to a lane of traffic (they are) and if they want to turn left, they can get right out in the lane (they can). Do they consider that it’s a bit of a pain in the ass if you’re in a car and want to go above 20km/hr and you’re stuck behind a bike? Nope. But if I honked my horn at them to get the fuck out of my way, I’d be considered the asshole in a car who is not respecting the wonderful little cyclist who is helping the environment blah blah blah.
However, consider this: logically, if you, the bike rider, are riding on a sidewalk behind a pedestrian ringing a bell at them to get out of your way, you’re doing the exact same thing to the pedestrian that the car did to you. This makes you just as big of an asshole. Actually, you’re more of one, because when you’re on the street and a car honks at you. the car is also supposed to be driving in the road. When you’re on the sidewalk dinging at the pedestrian, you don’t have the right to be there. So, guess that makes you a bigger asshole than the asshole in the car. Think about that, you entitled hipster fuck.
Is there a car pulled over and in your way while it waits at a stop light? Why not try waiting behind it, like the fucking vehicle you are, instead of getting up on the sidewalk. Is there an accident or some other thing on the road that’s making the sidewalk the only option? Get off and walk or accept the fact that you’ll be riding at a slower speed behind some pedestrians. Do not whip past pedestrians and for the love of all that is fucking holy, don’t ding your fucking bell indignantly in an attempt to make us move.
DON’T FUCKING EXPECT ME TO GET OUT OF THE WAY OF YOUR ENTITLED ASS. YOU ARE NOT THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS/THE HIPPIE KING/MOTHER EARTH/AL GORE SO JUST STOP ACTING LIKE YOU ARE FUCKING BETTER THAN THE REST OF US BECAUSE YOU OWN A MODE OF TRANSPORTATION MADE FOR FUCKING 10 YEAR OLDS, YOU ARROGANT FUCK.
I will seriously kick the next bicyclist who does this shit to me. Or at least throw a stick into their spokes. Because seriously, fuck them.
POST SCRIPT DISCLAIMER: if you are under 12, feel free to ride on the sidewalk. You’re small. It’s cool.