Monday, February 25, 2008

I needed that!

Josie, you just made my day. Thanks so much!

"Tai's blog really raises the values as far as good writing and subject matter. She raises the bar, and when I started reading her blog, I wanted to emulate her standards. I don't think I have ever seen Tai post a "tacky" blog post, even when her car was hit by a tree (yes...) she kept her cool."

If you haven't already rushed over to visit Josie, I think you should. There's just something about her misnamed 'boring little blog' that shines out with a splendid humour. That, and a very astute view of the world makes her blog one of the ones I read every day (and if I'm lucky, sometimes she posts twice!)
And boy, can she paint!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I've just had it up to here.

I was sitting in my living room last night when I heard a tremendous BANG.
I looked out my living room window and there was the neighbour, firmly backed into the front of my car.
My car alarm blared and car had been hit. Again.

So can anyone tell me which god I might need to make a sacrifice too? And what, exactly, would suffice? A new tire, burnt over a sacred flame? Perhaps a fresh can of oil, tipped gently into the gutter whilst murmuring fevered words of prayer? Would sacrificing a perfectly good air filter release me from this wretched curse?

The universe hates my car.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My car and other people: A rant.

Every time I go out to my car, I see another dent or another scrape.

It's true that it's an older car, but it's a cute little sports car. It's not invisible. And it's not okay to hit my car and then drive away.
But nonetheless, time after time, my car gets hit.

What's wrong with people!?!

Example one:
All of my friends were sitting out one hot night having a gelato when I saw a man pull in front of my car to (attempt) to parallel park.

"Watch this." I said, pointing down the street.
"What?" Jeff asked.

"That guy's going to hit my car."
Sure enough, he backed right into it. Hard. Spider jumped up to run down there, but I stopped her, "Let's see if he leaves a note."

Of course he didn't. He didn't even pretend too. He inspected HIS rear bumper for damage and then turned to walk away. At that point, both Spider and I jumped up.

"Hey!" I yelled at him.

"What?" He replied.

"You just hit my car."


"Don't lie about it! My friends and I all just watched you nail it." I indicated my table of irritated looking friends who were staring at him fiercely.

"It's not that bad." He said.

"That's not really the point, is it. You hit my car, looked at your own damned bumper and you weren't even going to have the decency to leave a note, were you?" It wasn't really a question.
He looked nervously at Spider, who had whipped out her camera and was taking pictures of the incident.

"I'd like your insurance information and your licence." I said.

He looked cross and rummaged around in his glove compartment.
"You'll be hearing from ICBC. And next time you hit someone's car, do the right thing and leave a note."

Of course, there was very little damage, but the nonchalance he displayed just sent me through the roof. I never did call ICBC. But I liked to think he worried about it for a long time afterwards. (Yeah. Right.)

Example two:
I was actually sitting in my car when the person next to me opened their car door so hard it actually rocked my car when it hit. I honked my horn only to be rewarded with blank and glazed-over expressions by the lot of them.

I got out of my car, walked around to the front passenger side door to have a look at the inch and a half long gouge in the side of my car from the impact. "You just put this gash in my car." I pointed at the obvious damage.


They were elderly and enfeebled. So I took pity on them and didn't persue the matter. But it astounded me that they couldn't be bothered to even look at the damage. Nope, they all just stared at me from inside their car.

Might have been the froth forming at the corners of my mouth that concerned them.

Another example?
No problem.

I was walking back towards my car one fine spring day and there, again, the person parked in front of me backed right up into my car. Watched him do it.
I ran up to the car and banged on the passenger side window. The girl passenger rolled down her window and looked fearful.

"Hey!" I yelled at the driver, "You just banged into my car!"

"Oh. Sorry."

"That's it?" I fumed. "Sorry? You weren't even going to leave a note, were you. F*uck. Just get the f*ck out of here." I don't generally curse at strangers. But when they are so obviously disinterested in their effect on me and my property, I tend to get upset.

Where am I going with this?

Well, again, today. I go back to my car and notice a fresh streak of blue paint gracing my left front bumper.

No note.
Of course.

And while I can't say I'm surprised, I sure am pissed off.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Do you think we're supposed to be up here?

When we were about 20, Kimber and I ventured to Vancouver on the B.C. Ferries.

Making our way around to the front of the ferry along the outside deck, we noted a metal girder running 'round the bow just above our heads.

(I suspect it was for the window washers to stand on and not nosy twenty year old women to clamber on).
Of course, it needed to be inspected. Always interested in climbing on things, I managed to hoist myself up and turned to aid Kimber.
Standing like odd mast heads at the front of the ferry, we turned around and discovered we could also peer in the large dark windows behind us. Imagine how surprised we were when we peeked through and saw a tall, slim man in a tidy blue jacket and hat standing there looking back at us.

His beard trimmed to an inch of it's life and his bearing was royal.
He had Captain written all over him.

We cringed down, but too late. He had seen us. And then he beckoned to us.
Oh no! Images of short planks and bloody thirsty sharks swimming in wait rushed through my head.
I'm not sure what Kimber was thinking, but I suspect it may have sounded something like, "My Dad's going to KILL me!"
We slithered off the metal girder and slunk around the side and looked up the long stairs to what we now realized was the ferry 'command centre'. The captain stood at the top of the stairs looking down on us. Waiting for us. A cat'o'nine tails at the ready.

Up the long stairs we climbed, whispering to each other if it wasn't too late to run away.

"Hi! I'm Captain Rush. So you want to see what the captain's station looks like? Come on in!" He grinned, ushering in the dark room.
"Here's the radar, and at night all of these lights get turned off. And over here is my chair. What do you think?"

"Uh. It's. Really. Interesting." I stammered.
Kimber nodded and looked bewildered as I felt.

I hardly remember anything about the inside of the captain's room...I was so surprised not to get into trouble that all I recall is the darkness of the room, the glow of the radar and the Captain beaming at us.
We scurried out of there right quick, shouting 'Thank you's!" over our shoulders, than fell into a fit of giggles as soon as we rounded the corner.

Honestly, if I got into trouble more often, I wouldn't do those kinds of things!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Who needs enemies?

I awoke this morning feeling ill used and terribly sad.
When I reflected back on the night, I realized that every single dream I had had involved someone criticizing me, or making fun of me and generally questioning my right to be on the planet.
I was reduced to running to my room and sobbing wildly.
One of the dream people even made fun of me for not having any clothes from Costco. (!)

How bloody depressing.

I much prefer the dreams I have that see me eating people after wrecking unbelievable amounts of gory carnage in Safeway.

*sigh* Think I'll go out back and eat worms.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I've been reading a report put out by the Vancouver Police department about homelessness, mental health issues and addictions.
It's a vicious triumvirate that, when allowed to flourish, is almost impossible to escape from.

Back in the late 80's and through the 90's, the BC government decided to deinstitutionalize a few thousand people and shut down Riverview, an institution built in 1915 to house and care for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.

The plan was to create several smaller facilities.
Of course, that never happened.

The government quite literally released these troubled people out onto the street without first creating safety nets (or even shoring up the ones that existed) for those who would find themselves out in the wide world, some for the first time in their lives.

Having mental health issues, many of these people were unable to find or keep employment, leading them to dependence on that same government to aid them financially.

The welfare system allows people a monthly starvation payment of just over $800 a month these days; it's barely enough to secure a decent roof over ones head let alone pay for food and (often expensive) medications that so many of them need to remain stable.

Next stop on the way down the pit? Cheap housing. Where do you find that? Vancouver's Eastside, a notoriously evil neighbourhood that's more destitute and drug ridden than anywhere in North America.

It's where Willy Pickton hand-picked his multiple victims.

Next? Well, many people who are mentally ill often lack skills to make and maintain safe friendships, and often have strained relationships with their families due to the difficulty of caring for someone who may not be able to care back. It's a tremendous support system that most people take for granted and when it's not in place or available, has real ramifications on those that lack it.
So who comes to their 'aid' when these people end up in the wasteland of poverty and inadequate housing?

The predators. Drug dealers and pimps are very eager to make a quick buck off of people in such a vulnerable state. Many people who are seriously mentally ill find they are not able to afford their prescribed medications (or are simply not capable of continuing their treatment on their own) and turn to 'self-medicating' with (initially) cheaper street drugs and take comfort in the company of their new 'best friend'.

It's estimated that 50% of homeless people suffer from both mental health issues and drug addictions. Many facilities designed to assist those most in need refuse to aid them unless they are drug free.

Vicious, no?

I read somewhere that a society can be judged by how it treats it's weakest members.
If that is true, then it can be said that Canada is a deplorable country, allowing it's most vulnerable to perish in the streets, either by drugs, suicide or at the hands of predators.