Friday, December 10, 2010

How I saved Christmas - The Shaw Fireplace

Christmas almost didn't happen this year. I bet you didn't know that but it's true and it was Shaw Cable that tried to take it away.
My sister called me a few weeks ago asking me about the Shaw Fireplace (or the Yule Log, as you may know it) and when it was going to be coming on. I hadn't seen anything yet so I told her to relax, that Christmas wasn't going to sneak past her somehow and that if she REALLY needed a hit she could turn on her own fireplace (but only during the day when D is at work. He is too cheap to pay for the gas to run it).

Fast forward one week, J calls again to tell me the fireplace is there, but it's $0.99 cents to watch it this year.Yeah right, I tell her, but as I'm flipping through the channels to prove her wrong low and behold there it is - The Shaw Fireplace, on pay per view. For $0.99 per day. Not for the whole season,  PER DAY! For full disclosure purposes, the proceeds are going to be matched by Shaw and donated to some (mystical) charity, however, no one tells me when I have to donate to a charity. I'm pretty sticky about who and when I donate to and I'm certainly not going to bullied into it by a corporation with the highest paid CEO in the city who can certainly afford the full donation out of his own pocket without taking away my sacred fake tv fireplace.

Moving on....I was pissed right off by this. You see, the yule log is quite a tradition in our family and we watch it all through December (even though yes, we all do have our own fireplaces - but they don't crackle like on TV!) so I emailed Shaw my displeasure and here is the exchange:

Re: Shaw Fireplace I was extremely disappointed to see that there is a charge this year to watch the Fireplace. We have had this on for many gatherings over the years and always look forward to its return but will not be subscribing to it this year.$0.99 for 24 hours of viewing? I don't think so! It will be cheaper to just go and buy the DVD. I understand the charitable angle, I really do, but I choose what charities I donate to throughout the year and don't appreciate being nickled and dimed to death (i.e. $0.05 for plastic bags, $1.00 donation at the grocery store, drug store, restaurant, $0.99 to watch the fireplace etc). Shaw is a huge company with huge profits - you don't need to take our money to make a donation, we are quite capable of making our own donations thank you very much.

On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 8:50 AM, Shaw - eCare Account Support <> wrote:

Good morning Suzanne,

Thank you for your email dated November 29th. My name is [shaw guy] and I will be happy to address your concerns regarding our charitable donations.

I’m sorry to learn about your disappointment. You should be happy to know that we are still providing four, 30 minute showings of the Shaw Fireplace in Standard Definition and High Definition starting today (on The Frame channel, two during the day and at 6pm and 8pm daily) and going until the 10th of January. And from noon on the 24th to noon on the 26th the Shaw TV channel in your area will have the Shaw Fireplace showing around the clock.

In regards to the donations specifically, we are actually matching customer donations. This has proven historically to be a fantastic way to engage customers as opposed to simply making a donation that would otherwise go unnoticed. I know that you can appreciate this decision as you’ve also noted that you make charitable donations yourself.

We donate and raise millions of dollars for dozens of charities each year – we just raised a collective 2.6 million pounds of food through the Shaw community and our partners Campbell Canada and Safeway as a matter of fact. We were so delighted with the results (our initial goal was only 1 million pounds of food) that we have added an additional cash donation of $250,000. This is also separate from our annual Season of Warmth where we come together to help shelter and cloth the lesser fortunate in our local communities.

I’m sorry if you had the wrong impression and felt as though this was a cash grab. This is very far from it. I trust that knowing what I’ve told you know, you can come to appreciate our decision and agree with it. If not, I’m sure you can at least see that we’re trying to engage our Shaw customers as best we can. This is similar to when cell phone providers were offering their customers a chance to send a text message to make a charitable donation in response to the natural disasters in Haiti recently. We are doing our best and will continue to make both cash donations in the background, as well as other more public fundraising events and programs that engage the community. Thank you for your understanding.

Please let us know if you have any additional concerns, or feel free to contact us through our Live Chat. Simply go to We look forward to hearing from you.

Hi [shaw guy],
Thanks for the response.

Just to clarify, I in no way was seeing this a cash grab by Shaw, I completely understand  the charity angle and the matching of donations. I'm not against the donations to charity at all, what I am unhappy about is the fact that you are taking away a service unless I donate. If Shaw wants to make a donation, then just do it. If you want to make a big splash about it (which they clearly like to do) to try and look good in the public light, then go for it, but don't force your customers into it $0.99 a day. This is unlike the example you have used of donating to Haiti via text message - nothing was withheld from me if I chose not to make that donation whereas here I have to pay everytime I want to see it - charity or not it is still money out of my pocket and this year I do not have a choice to a) turn the fireplace channel on for free or b) decide for myself where I would like to spend my charitable $'s. I respect the note about the Frame channel, but seriously, who has time to care about tuning in during those 2 half hours in the evening (I work during the day) when there is news or better prime tv to watch. Do people even watch that channel? I had no idea it even existed until researching this issue (and I still won't be watching it). Will they be doing the same thing with the Christmas tree channel or will that not even air this year?

Look, I know this wasn't your decision and in all honesty you could care less. Complaints don't make it any further than the front line -  I know that and I get it. It's just so annoying to be forced to participate in something if you want another product. If Shaw wanted to raise finds they could have made a "Fireplace DVD" and sold it locally with all proceeds going to charity - people would buy it. My family is all buying them this year rather than have to go the PPV route. And do you want to know the funniest thing? We all have fireplaces that we could use! Just thought you would like to know what a serious tradition the yule log is in our family.

Thanks for your time and Merry Christmas.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shaw - eCare Account Support
Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 10:40 AM
Subject: RE: eCare Email Submission
To: Suzanne Ferguson
Cc: Shaw - eCare Account Support

Hi again Suzanne,

Thank you for your honest response. I want to assure you that we do care, and that your opinions definitely make it past the front lines. In the last year we introduced a platform where the 10,000 plus employees at Shaw can discuss anything that’s on our mind. Whether we have a concern about our sick policies, a channel request or a customer concern that we’d like to share it’s all fair game. And everyone from the front line representatives to the highest people in senior management including our current CEO Brad Shaw or our president Peter Bissonette, etc, take part in this regularly.

We all participate in this forum and are strongly encouraged by our supervisors, managers and senior management to communicate our concerns without any fears of reprimand or rebuke. We very often escalate customer concerns because in one way or another we all are here to serve our valued customers and make them feel valued and loyal. Remember, we do not rely on contracts so it’s imperative that we keep customers happy. We are all Shaw customers, as well as partial owners through our stocks and investments so that is also kept in mind at all times.

Whenever there is a large change or announcement (or in this case, extreme customer dissatisfaction) we are all very vocal on the front lines and. Our superiors are very supportive and receptive to these concerns because we pass them on immediately. Without acknowledging our mistakes we are missing key opportunities to improve. And whenever there are situations that cause a large amount of customer dissatisfaction it’s something that’s recognized immediately. You can be sure that if something is bothering you, there are problem many other customers that are bothered by it and we are aware of it by the time you’ve contacted us.

I’ve done my best to touch base on your initial concerns in the first email. And I hope that this second email reminds you that we are a genuine company with caring employees. Although a large corporation of our size can seem cold and mechanical, I can assure you that we are very cognizant of our actions and never make a move without careful consideration. Everyone has a say at Shaw and that includes valued customers like yourself.

I would also like to thank you for your suggestion about selling a Shaw Fireplace DVD. That’s a very great idea and I shared it with a few colleagues that sit near me and they all agree. We’ll pass that suggestion along. I think our aim was to utilize our Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View services as it’d make a lot of sense. In my personal opinion, I think we should have continued to air the Shaw Fireplace 24/7 on TV. We could have chosen to include an occasional notice on the screen or in the Guide Information to advise customers that they can order the channel as well and make a donation that will be matched. I will propose these suggestions using the communication forum I had mentioned earlier. Although I believe it’s too late to make an impact this year, hopefully we’ll head in that direction next year.

Thanks again for your time, Suzanne. I hope this email helps to restore your faith in Shaw Cable.

[shaw guy]
E-Care Team
Shaw Communications Inc.
310-SHAW(7429) or
When sending a reply to us, please remember to include all previous correspondence! cid:image002.png@01CB7C15.31FAD270 cid:image003.png@01CB7C15.31FAD270 cid:image005.png@01CB7C15.31FAD270 

So I still wasn't pleased and there was no way I was going to tune in to this Frame channel in hopes that I would get my yule log fix, so I was just going to buy the yule log dvd.

But friends, if you have made it this far, you will be pleased to know that I have indeed saved Christmas! The Frame channel is now all yule log 24 hours a day at NO CHARGE! The PPV option is still there for you suckers who want to spend $0.99 a day to get the fake fire on your screen, but my cheap traditional ass will be watching it for free and playing the Fireplace Drinking Game for the next 4 weeks (every time the hand stokes the fire or puts in new logs you drink!)

So there you have it. Christmas is back on. Your welcome.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Calgarians Shocked By Winter. Again.

It's November 16 and we've had our first big storm of the season. The phrases most uttered today were "I can't believe it snowed!", "Can you believe how bad the roads were this morning?" and my favorite "I wasn't ready for this AT ALL!". To the people who have spoken these words today I have one work for you: REALLY???? Did you think that this was the year that the California coastline was going to push up to the 49th and it was going to be sunny and warm all year?
The snow doesn't surprise me, it doesn't even phase me anymore. I grew up in Lethbridge and was used to waiting for the bus in -30 degrees and windy as fuck conditions. You had to bundle up to STAY ALIVE and you had to be prepared to bundle up from Sep - June because you never knew when shit was going to go sideways and you would walk out of work into a snowicane (I'm trademarking that term so don't even THINK about using it!).

Things are a little bit different today,  however. I work from home, wake up to 2 feet of snow, make my hot chocolate and enjoy my nice warm fireplace while I watch the suckers stuck on 17th try to fight their way into the office where they can tell their coworkers about just how bad the roads were (just in case they didn't already know). Even before I worked form home on a full time basis, I would exercise the telecommute option when it was really crappy out not just to avoid waiting for a Calgary transit bus that would never come, but mostly so that I wouldn't have to hear your stupid stories about icy roads and how you had to brush your car off in the dark. Even before work, when I was in college, I would take snow days. I know what you're thinking, snow days=drinking days, but news flash: every day in college was a drinking day. Snow days were for recovery, watching the View and napping intermittently.  Ahhhh the good 'ole days. But now cars have heated seats, kids are apparently too delicate to wait outside for the bus and parking on the street and having to brush your car off is for losers. I may not have a car, but I sure as hell have a heated underground parking spot for my visitors (mostly for my BF - I'm NOT getting into a cold car thankyouverymuch).

So what does this first snowfall mean for me? Not much really. It means I won't go for long walks through the neighborhood (which I never did anyway), I won't walk or take the bus to the grocery store (for $8 Sunterra will do my shopping and deliver it to me. Hello new level of laziness which I actually discovered a few years ago and have been abusing ever since!) and I will be cursing every unshoveled sidewalk that I have to walk over (which is basically none, but I have to have something to complain about).

I'm thinking about skiing again this year, I haven't done it since I broke my ankle 3 years ago but there is nothing like standing on top of a mountain and then swooshing down the hill spraying snow children and other crappy skiers who can't stay up on their skis. I'll keep you posted on this endeavor, it could be a death trap because I'm so old and generally fall over at odd times so I may end up being one of those losers who gets carted off the hill on sled by the ski patrol (if I was single, this would be a pick up trick).

Well, I'm going to 7-11 for a hot chocolate. I swear they put crack in that shit because I'm so lazy I won't go downstairs to check the mail but I'll sure as hell bundle up and walk across the street for it. Hmmmm, I wonder if they would deliver it for 5 bucks?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What Remembrance Day Means to Me

Tomorrow is November 11, Remembrance Day here in Canada, and it is the day we honor our military personnel with ceremonies and thank them for their continued service.
I won't claim to come from a large military family - my aunt and her partner both served in administrative roles and my grandpas served in the World Wars, although I really know nothing about what they did and sadly their medals and other memorabilia is long gone. I myself was an Air Cadet for several years as a teen and participated in many wreath laying ceremonies as color guard and other ceremonial positions (I have some great Air Cadet stories but I will save those for a more appropriate time) and I was also part of choirs and groups who sang and/or recited In Flanders Fields (see below) on many occasions so I still feel a strong connection  to November 11.
Last year, on Dec 23rd, one of BF's best friends brother was killed in Afghanistan while serving our great country and I will never forget how we found out. It was Boxing Day and we were at his parents house watching Hockey Night in Canada when at the intermission Don Cherry did his usual salute to the troops and honor to those who had been killed in the past week. He gets very emotional when he has to report a soldiers death and when he said Lt. Andrew Nuttall I just stared at the TV thinking "please don't let that be J's brother" over and over. BF didn't say anything for what seem like hours, but after a minute or so he confirmed that it was indeed his brother. I didn't know him, BF had met him once or twice, but it was still a hard pill to swallow knowing that his best friend was spending Christmas dealing with this loss. It has been a rough year for the Nuttall family and I'm sure the Christmas  is never going to be the same for them again. I know that the military has been taking good care of them and they have been involved in several ceremonies over the year like this one, so I feel like the least I can do is get my butt out of bed early and get out to one of the services and show some support for those who are missing their loved ones and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrfice.

In Calgary, the services are here (taken from Metro Calgary) :

The Military Museum, located at 4520 Crowchild Tr. SW, will host a service at 10:45 a.m.

A service will be held at the Naval Museum of Alberta at 1820–24th St. SW, which will begin at 11 a.m.

The Jubilee Auditorium, at 16 Avenue and 14 Street NW, will also host a ceremony at 10 a.m.

A ceremony and wreath laying at Central Memorial Park will begin at 11 a.m.

After the services you can hit up a Legion or the Miners Club and get smash faced with the Veterans and their families. What? That's what they do and God Bless 'em for it!

In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do I hate kids or parents? Some days it's a toss up.

Update, Nov 9, 2010

Just as I thought, these whiny bastards are getting $1000 from Alaska Airlines. I saw one comment that said they were going to start a blog called "Alaska Airlines Hates Responsible People" (the original assholes started a blog called "Alaska Airlines Hates Families") and that just about sums up my thoughts on it. People like this that want the world to cave to them disgust me and I hope karma gets them back 10 fold. Remember, it's you and I, the airlines customers who play by the rules who end up paying for these schmucks and now that the precedent has been set how many more idiot sticks are going to come out of the woodwork when they are too moronic to look at a clock and figure out what time it is? Stop the insanity!


Maybe it's not the kids I don't like, maybe it's parents that fuel my hate.
This story is all over the papers today: Diaper disaster ends in travel mess for Edmonton newlyweds and if you are too lazy to read it, the gist of it is that the parents arrived at the gate 20 mins before their flight was scheduled to take off but their baby had an explosive shit episode so the mom went to change it and in the meantime Alaska Airlines gave their seats away because they were not boarded per the airlines posted rules. It then cost the couple $1000 for new tickets to fly home the next day.My 3 words to sum up this story? Boo fucking hoo.

Ok, so we all know I'm not a fan of babies, or children in general, but this isn't the kids fault so I'll look at the stupidity of the parents here.

1. In Las Vegas, Alaska Airlines requires that passengers be checked in and available to board at least 40 minutes before posted departure - it is clearly stated on their website and presumably in the e-ticket info these people would have also received but obviously ignored. Yet this family of mornons clearly state that they "arrived at the gate more than 20 minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off". So were they on time? NO! If they had been on the plane and the kid shit himself they would have pissed people off around them with the smell etc. but there's no rules broken in that (see, I understand that kids being a stinky pain in the ass isn't illegal).

2. So they were admittedly late and they are pissed because Alaska Airlines followed their own rules to keep the flight departing on time thus not holding up the other 100+ passengers on the plane. From that I gather here, just because you have a kid that means that rules no longer apply to you, correct? Um, I don't think so. These people also believe that because they have a kid that their time is more important than everyone else's in the world so delaying the boarding process specifically for them is a no brainer and the rest of the people who were there and on the plane on time and ready to go mean nothing. The best part is that they are completely unapologetic for being late!

3. "The company offered Blais and Roberge each a $400 travel voucher as a "service gesture," said another spokeswoman, but they have so far declined".
"With memories of their wedding weekend forever tainted, Blais said they want an apology and $1,000. "I don't think I'm asking for anything unreasonable here.It was a terrible, stressful experience. But I'm not asking for any emotional damages. I just want them to pay me back for what it cost me to get home."

So Alaska Airlines puts forth a good will gesture which they didn't have to do but that isn't good enough and you're doing them a favor by not seeking emotional damages and publicly posting that "Alaska Airlines Hates Families?" Are you kidding me???? What about the emotional damages of the world having to deal with people like this who have a sense of entitlement and believe that the world revolves around them? Where do I sign up for emotional damages for THAT? Also, I hope Alaska sues this couple for slander on the hating families bit.If anyone hates families it's Las Vegas - God bless Vegas for that!

4. Who the hell flies through Seattle to or from Vegas/Edmonton? What were they trying to save, like $25 a ticket to extend the trip by hours? When you have a little poop machine with you just pay the extra few bucks and fly direct you cheap ass bitches! It's long trips and changing planes and the like that make kids cranky and piss off the rest of the plane (and I'm sure it can't be fun for the parents either). I also wonder where they stayed, I bet it was Circus Circus for $29/night - bedbugs included at no extra charge!

5. You took your 9 month old to Vegas for your wedding. Seriously. How do you stay out all night getting smash faced and gambling too much when you have a 9 month old with you? Oh, you were there to see the sights? The sights are hookers and blow, what the fuck were you thinking?

I have a feeling that in the end the stupid people might win this one, but then what? Where will we ever draw the line? These people went to Vegas, gambled that Alaska Airlines wouldn't enforce the rules on them and lost.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mexican Curling Team

So last Friday at the curling club they had a Halloween party and we decided to go as The Mexican Curling Team.

This worked for us for 3 reasons:
1. We looked awesome.
2. Everyone loves a creepy mustache
3. We curl about as well as a team of real Mexicans would

Obviously, we didn't win our game because we never do, but we gave the other team a good run for their money and we had a great time. J and D left early which thwarted our run at best group costume, but never fear, the best couple was:

This week is back to our regular team uniform (we're the only ones who dress alike, it's very intimidating to other teams until they play us and see just how terrible we are). I'm also skipping this week - and to you who think that means I'm not going to the game it actually means I'm the captain and will call the shots on the ice. I hope I don't eff this up!

In other news, I hate Calgary transit more and more every week but because I refuse to go into debt for a car right now I'm kind of stuck. Yesterday a 15 minute trip by car took me 2 hours on 1 shuttle, a train and 2 buses(when you pay your fare you get a ticket that is good for 90 minutes). I can't even get from the mall to home on one ticket anymore! You could pretty much see that my head was about to explode by the end of that trip but what can I do? I can't blame the bus drivers, it's not their fault. I call and complain but they don't care either...hello, they all have cars! I'm still not sure why drivers make $25+ an hour - unskilled and protected by the union, nice gig if you can stand driving around thousands of ungrateful assholes every day.

I joined my buildings condo board and last night was our first meeting. Guess who got elected President? I didn't even ask or suggest it be me, the people just knew it was right. ha ha! I think we have a good board and we are putting things into action that have been stalled for months and some even for years. The new board had no problem making decisions - our new motto is Git R Done! Well, maybe that's just my  motto, but I am the Prez, so....

That's it, it's been a pretty quiet week. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Craziest Work Email I Have Ever Recieved

So every couple of months my company sends out a newsletter which contains info that will assist them on the compliance side of their business (because that's what I do, compliance stuff). It is not meant to spam anyone but when you have several thousand people on your distribution list you have people that ask to be unsubscribed which we do immediately upon request. 99% of the people on our list appreciate the information we send, but I guess I crapped in someone's con flakes because this morning I got this:

To: The lovely compliance ladies  (that would be me and B)
From: A crazy Asshole (I should put his email on here just so everyone else can show him what spam is all about!)

Guys, how the fuck did I get on this shit list?

What gives spamming me with this shit?

 Our thought to this was "where did this guy get his manners from?" After a good laugh and a coffee I responded to him with this:

To: The Asshat who clearly hasn't been laid in years, if ever
From: A Ray of Sunshine in Your Cloudy Day

Mr. Asshat,
Our newsletter is sent to those who are listed as contacts for publicly traded companies and contains information relevant to their operations.

Upon investigation I have not found your email address "" listed in our database which receives communication from us. If you are connected with a public company it is possible that another email address is forwarded to you (i.e. and info@pucliccompany) and this is how you received our newsletter. If that is the case please let me know what email address should be removed and I will be happy to unsubscribe you immediately.

Best Regards,

Now I thought that was a pretty decent response giving him every opportunity to provide me with further information to remove him from our list. Well, I guess he didn't like it too much because this is what I just got back:

To: The Girls Just Trying to Make a Living
From: Some Coked Out Whack Job Who is Likely Up In The Clock Tower As We Speak

What kind of fucking bullshit is that???????????

I am CFO of 8 TSX-V listed companies, how the fuck am I supposed to know which email you sent it to, you are the bitches that fucking sent it! I have never dealt with you in the past and consider this spam! Just because an email is in the public domain does not give you the right to fucking spam people.

Now get me off this fucking bullshit list!

SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!?!? Did this crack smoking nut job just write and send that email? This has to be a joke, right? The best part is, he didn't tell me which companies so there is nothing I can do and I have now blocked him and he will be on our email list for all eternity. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. People are so stupid!

I'll let you know if I hear anything more....crazy is just too fun not to share!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Food and Wine Festival Round Up

So my little buddy died this weekend. Steve and I have been together for 10 years and he's taking a lot of my secrets to birdie heaven with him. He left behind his long term girlfriend, Elaine, who is none to pleased with his disappearance and is letting me know all day long. Poor girl, doesn't she know her constant nagging is what drove him to the grave???

In other news, I played in my first official curling game on Friday night and we only lost 11-2. That's an improvement over our last game loss of 17-1 (I didn't play in that one though). At one point during the game DE, who was skipping for us this game, comes up to me and says "J and B are throwing really great shots". Message received, thanks asshole! We're hoping that this week we can keep the other team to 10 points or less. Or maybe, just maybe, we could pull off a win (if the other team doesn't show up we win, and we'll take it!). We should fare better when we get moved down to the bottom division, we're good at dominating other teams of assholes.

Saturday was the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival. This had disaster potential written all over it given it was BC, TB and I to start with and then BF and AM joined us later. Our first trip around was pretty much in line with the rest of the snobs there - we tasted different wines and checked out which foods we would try later in hopes that they would soak up the booze. I was actually looking for a specific wine I had tried last year but couldn't remember the name of so every table I was asking "do you have a spicy white wine?" and they would proceed to give me free samples to see if that's what I was looking for. TB blew my cover about halfway through - hey it's not my fault if I can work the system for free wine!
During our second round we added in a few more beers and began drinking much faster and I did yell at TB once ( I was just trying to yell at her before she yelled at me, as she inevitably does when we're out). BF joined us and he immediately starts double fisting the tiny beers - "Steam Whistle is the New Co-op!" he declared, referencing Beerfest earlier this year when he drank so much cheap co-op beer that they actually cut him off. Our third round is where things really picked up. AM made his way down from work (super nerd!) and jumped right in on the shots with us. We finally decided that it was time to dive into the Absinthe, which will now forever be known as "assmouth" thanks to AM, and 4 shots later we were all feeling pretty damned invincible. It was at this time that Tabby asked me why I wasn't wearing a Bumpit and I told her because they are for white trash and I will not make it that easy for people to identify me. BF then pipes in and says "What's wrong with bunk beds? R and I had them when we were kids". Oh drunk BF, you are so goofy, we said BUMPIT, not BUNKBED!
Big Rock saved us at the end of the night when we still had tickets left and they let us cash them all in for a bunch of beers which we shot like water before we headed to the casino. There wasn't too much more excitement there, BC made new friends as usual, BF went home not long after we got there and for once we all made money when we finally rolled out of there at 2am. I left with $225 which was enough to pay for my night so I was happy - plus I like having $100 bills in my wallet, it makes me feel like I'm more important than I am (insert rolly eyes here).

Oh I forgot, we totally got reverse rascismed on Sat night! AM, our token Asain, called to tell us he was there and we waited and we waited and when he finally showed up we asked him the heck took him so long? His answer: "You try finding you four white people in here". We look around, pretty much everyone was groups of 4 white people. ha ha!

Random thoughts:
Our civic election was yesterday and for the first time ever my guy won! He's only 3 years older than me which makes me think what the hell am I doing with my life when this guy is mayor and I was sitting on the couch eating cookies watching him become mayor.

I'm still going to they gym and I still hate it. I wish my fellow fatties would come out and try to get healthier with me, it's getting to the point where I might have to start snapping the skinny twigs in half just to slow them down a little.

I figured out why I'm scared of Spiders - they move way faster than me and I don't like that

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Miners, Diners and Whiners

I've just spent the last 24 hours watching the Chilean miners be rescued. This is the most amazing thing I think I've ever seen and looking at this rescue should give everyone some perspective on life. My only concern is that they are so happy about bringing the miners home that they are going to forget about the rescue workers and they are going to have to live underground. Also, the Chilean Mining Minister is kind of hot.

So how was your Thanksgiving long weekend? Mine was pretty good. I didn't over stuff myself on turkey dinner for the first time EVER and I saved my sister's dog from certain death (She will in fact eat anything, anytime, anywhere). We had dinner at my parents place, and seriously, immediately after dinner everyone else went downstairs and watched TV (read: fell asleep) while my mom and I cleaned up (I'm not going to lie, she cleaned up). My parents are heading down to Texas for the winter in a couple of weeks so now I wonder, where are all of us kids going to eat on weekends for the next 6 months??? Moms diner is the only place I can afford these days.

Sat was also my brother's 40th bday party and in order to avoid a break up BF and I decided it would be best for us to cab it to and from so that we could both drink. I was going to drink anyway, really it was just him who would have to be DD - now do you see why I don't have my licence? hee hee. The party was a good time. We went through 2 bottles of Jager and my brother was passed out shortly after 11pm. I think the excitement of recieving that new walker (with seat and brakes!) really wore him out.

So we never made it to the corn maze, which was pretty disappointing to me (yeah, I whined about it several times), but everyone (except me and BF) were hungover disasters so it was probably best to not scare the small children by us showing up looking like death. Right? Next year for sure though - BF and I already have plans for a milk off (they have fake cows) and I'm sure the corn cannon will produce some sort of a story that will be turned into a PSA.

This week I play my first curling game. We've had 3 practices but I'm still concerned that we might not make the Olympics any time soon. Maybe we should play for another country, like Albania or Nigeria - I bet one of those Nigerian Prince's could sponsor our team! I wish I could get some video of us in action because I usually fall over and my sister is SO cranky and swears like a trucker for the whole 2 hours, it's actually quite comical. We did get matching jackets though, so at least we will look like we're supposed to be on the ice.

Random thougts:
It's almost time to get my annual smelly pine cones for the Fall/Winter season. They are the closest thing I have to a plant - A bowl full of brown, dead useless plant.
I was sure I saw a UFO last week. For the 4th time in my life. No anal probes yet.
Civic election on Monday - Only losers don't vote. Don't be a loser! In case you care, I'm voting for Nenshi - I think he is the best choice to take this city and move it forward and the least likely to spend city $'s on hookers and blow.
Nickels annoy me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bitches, Ditches and Stitches

Nothing really exciting has been going on around her and I don't want to blog just to take up space so that's why I haven't posted in a while But here's the roundup:.

BC and a couple other "friends" went out on a Sat night a couple of weeks ago and the other two ending up ditching us. Really? Who does that? No courtesy text that they were leaving, nothing. Yeah, that's what I call a friend! BC and I ended up getting separated and didn't know the other 2 had left so it was a disaster all around. The 15 jager bombs he and I had probably didn't help and we're quite sure we were probably 2 feet apart, walking around in circles looking for other but we never met up again. Ranchman's can be a confusing place when you're smashfaced, wearing eye patches and being hit on by Captain Morgan. At the end of the day, I've decided to cull my friend list. When I can't support you're actions and am embarrassed of your behavior it's time to call it quits. Life's too short to be a bitch or be treated like a piece of shit and neither of the girls cared anyway.

BF and I went to the Palomino to see Hayes Carll a couple of weeks ago and it was great. The only shitty thing about that venue is that it is in the basement and there are only about 20 chairs and 6 tables for 200 people. Now I'm not a stander, so thank goodness we got in line early and BF scored us the last table and last 2 chairs in the joint (they were plastic lawn chairs but that suited me just fine). I also noticed that both exits were in the same location so if there was a fire (which I was sure there was going to be) we were all going to die. We didn't die, but I'm still a little uneasy about that set up.They have a nice big bar with fast service and the bathrooms were big and fairly clean (bathrooms are very important to me. I can't go into dirty public bathrooms because my head spins out of control with that must have happened to get it that dirty and what diseases I am sure to leave with).

I went with my mom to some sort of crafting/quilting show at the Round Up Center and found some neat new projects that I will work on never. I bought some more fabric for a quilt that will not see the light of day and got excited about scrapbooking projects that I have no intention of starting (or finishing).

We (my family and our SO's) have also started curling on Friday nights. So far we've had 2 practices and 1 game and the only Olympics we'll be making are the Special ones, although if you know my family that sounds about right. Our dad is coaching us but he laughs at us more than anything (even though he says we've improved already). You may be asking yourselves, why curling? Well, it only takes 2 hours, the whole family can participate and it's in the rules that you have to go for drinks after every game with the team you played. For reals! Also, throwing rocks on ice, how could that possibly go wrong????

Other than that, it's been all quiet on the home front. We have s few things going on this weekend that may be fun to report back. Want a hint? Corn Cob launcher. Oh yeah!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Heart Chickens

So we didn't make it to the football game. The weather was too iffy and  I refused to sit in bleacher seats so we watched the game at my brother's place and had cake and ice cream for dinner. I also had cake for breakfast this morning becuase I thought I started at the gym this week. Turns out it's not until next week, so I'll be shovelling chocolately treats in as much as I can until the gym torture begins again. I hate the gym, but you'll hear more about that at a later date.

On Sunday I met BC for coffee and umbrella shopping before we found a bench to watch the Pride parade. BF decided to stay home and study which was probably for he best since half naked guys dancing on a float to Britney Spears isn't really how he likes to spend a Sunday afternoon...
Things at the parade started out a little shaky when I was getting hit on by more men than BC (see how I clarified it was by men? I wasn't wearing my lesbian shoes for a reason this weekend!) but the tides turned and BC didn't end up having to throw me in a puddle or light a fire for attention. Crisis averted. There was also a fake mustache club...this caught me by surprise because I've wanted to have a  fake mustache party for over a year now - except I don't want to do the same things that these ladies do. Feel free to google it.

So after the parade we made our way down to Olympic Plaza to check out the after parade party and inadvertently ended up IN the parade at one point...but I was just looking for more candy. As we're wandering around we come to a t-shirt booth and I stop, stare and am thoroughly confused at a shirt something like the this (ps - google now thinks I'm a gay man after searching that):

"I *heart* chicken" What? I love chicken but I don't need a shirt advertising it. And what does this have to do with the gays? I don't get it. Wait...chickens...roosters..cock...OMG that's a dirty shirt! I giggled to myself because I'm immature and then laugh at my stupidity. Next year I really think BC needs his own parade float - he could have all of his fag hags with him (he has a harem), Bella (my sister's Chihuahua, not that vampire girl from the stupid movies) could have some sort of a rainbow bed and I'm sure my brother would dress up in drag just for good measure. We need to make this happen people! Oh, BF could drive the truck - there were lots of straight guys driving the trucks/floats because you know that had to be left to either them or the lesbos.

Now, the rest of the weekend was covered by spending time with BF and dog sitting for my neighbor. Turns out, I am NOT a dog person and waking up early on weekends to feed and walk the dog are not my thing. I like to sleep in, make bacon and have naps. I don't like picking up poop, stinky dog breath and dogs who swat my zucchini bread off the counter and eat the whole damn loaf! Dog's mom comes back tonight so my dog sitting days are over.

I'm not sure what's going on this week other than this stupid wedding - some friends of ours are getting married on Saturday and probably divorced on Sunday. This could be a complete gong show so I'll report back if it is, otherwise I'll let you know if I win the divorce pool. They also just decided that it is going to be a toonie bar. Like just decided this week. You can't do that, you have to put that shit on the invitation! I realize $2 is not a big deal, but when you can afford a $40,000 golf membership you can damn well pay for drinks for 60 people at your wedding. Cheap people suck! Out of principal I refuse to spend any money at this shit fiesta so I hope my brother brings a pocket full of toonies to cover me!

I feel like a slurpee. Later skaters!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pioneers and Rainbows

It's long weekend Friday and I can barely wait until 430pm. Yes, I do work at home and no one would really know whether I cut out early or not, but inevitably if I leave at 4:28 then some panicked client will call at 4:29 and rip me a new asshole. I swear my clients are the only ones who are ever around on long weekends and during Stampede.

So what is everyone doing this weekend? I'm dog sitting for my neighbor so we're staying in town and if the weather is decent (decent meaning not pouring rain and windy) then I want to got to Heritage Park and reminisce about the good ole days of pioneer life - and be thankful I never had to strap a plow to my back and hoe the land. I never would have survived in the olden days - no Starbucks? No feather beds? No M&M's? No doubt I would be the weakest link and be found in a heap of cocoa trying to figure out how to turn into a chocolate bar when I should have been kneading bread or churning butter.

Did I tell you my parents moved back here? I can't remember if I did or not. Anyway, they bought a house in Okotoks and will be living here in the summer and winters in Texas (they have a house there as well). My mother thinks that family dinner once a week is a necessity - I'm not that much into my family and twice a year would suit me fine. So far I've seen them 4 times in 2 weeks - good compromise. Sunday dinner will be at my parents place because as BF puts is "who are we to turn down a free meal when we're poor?". Can't argue that. I'll tell you about my poor ass and my cheap living ways next week. Dide you know you can use 1 ply paper towel as a coffee filter?

My bud spud BC reminded me last night that it is Pride weekend in Calgary and that his people would be taking over the city. I think it was more of a warning to keep BF out of downtown and away from the parade on Sunday. BF is still pretty homophobic (he grew up one of three boys in a small town, what do you expect?) but over the last year he has really lightened up and what started as a tolerance of BC as one of my friends has grown into a genuine friendship with him for which I am thrilled because BC is a very good friend to me, rainbows and all!

Speaking of pride, the very first summer I moved here I spent pride Sunday with a couple of my gaybot friends from Lethbridge who had also moved here and the bar we went to (I want to say Boyztown but I'm really not sure) was a riot! There were drag queens everywhere and this one guy kept hitting on me all night thinking I was one, and no, I was not offended in the least. Those queens put in a lot of prep time and look damn good - all I had was long bleached blond straight hair, real boobs and a sparkle shirt.

Monday is the Labour Day Classic football game which we'll be going to with Tabby. She'll get drunk at yell at me (as usual) and I will try not to get in a fight on the train home. This will be my last football game of the year unless we get an Indian summer - I am not a super fan who bundles up in 20 layers of clothes to watch men in tight pants chase a ball around. I will, however, watch Grey Cup at a bar with lots of  Jager if the Stamps make it that far.

Ok, so that is what I have lined up for the long weekend - hope everyone has a good (and safe) one and I'll let you know how it all ends up.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scald Warning

I had a conference in Lake Louise last week. Rooms at the Chateau were $350/night and up (for a shoebox and no lake view) so I booked at the Deer Lodge which is a 5 min walk down the road and a fraction of the price. I figured by saving $1000 I was a genius but as per usual I was bitch slapped by reality again.
First of all, let me just say that the service at the Deer Lodge is second to none. All of the staff I encountered where genuinely over the top friendly and could teach the staff at the Chateau a thing or two. So I get to my room, which is about 12x12ft and has 2 twin beds. I knew I was getting a twin bed but when I saw it I knew it was going to be a problem because I like to twist, turn and thrash all night and this bed was not going to cut it. I did consider pushing the two beds together but apparently the one upgrade that this place has ever done it so install permanent box bottoms for the beds.
I go into the bathroom to get my paint and primer set up and notice a sign on the sink that says "Scald Warning: We recommend that when using the shower you do not use the sink or the toilet at the same time". Have I stepped into 1945? And how does one get warm water in the sink when the hot and cold taps are separate? At this point I started to panic because this is getting to be too much like camping. And I hate camping.
Since I had the gala and stuff up at the Chateau I didn't realize how "rustic" this place was, but when I got back to the room and got into bed the trouble really started. First, the water from every room ran through the pipes in my room. Then I could hear some couple arguing about what time to get up in the morning. And then the thump thump thump slam! noises of people walking up and down the halls and slamming their doors shut - on all 3 floors. It's 1230, I get up and try to cover the 2 inch gap at the bottom of the door with my suitcase. This will stop the hallway light from coming in and keep out all noise, right?
Stomp stomp stomp slam! beep beep, beep beep (blackberry message on someone's phone likely 6 or 7 rooms away). I'm tossing and turning in my tiny bed watching the time click by until 615 when the people above me decide it's time to get up and have a clogging competition.
Same thing happens the next night and by day 3 I can barely keep my eyes open because of this place which I have decided must be an over priced hostel. Did I mention there were 2 pianos that guests are welcome to play? And that there were many, many guests that took the opportunity to entertain the masses?
When I got home I reralized the true error my ways - I should have gotten smash faced every night and slept in a canoe.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The River Nazi's

It's hot and sunny out (in theory) and I want to float the Elbow river (not the Bow, I don't have a death wish).  I do not, however, want to have to wear a life jacket in 6 inches of water - a tube barely has enough room for my fat ass as it is, never mind trying to squeeze a life jacket in there too.

I can't help but wonder, where did this silly bylaw come from? I bet it was spearheaded by some over protective mother whose nerdy kid lost his glasses while playing in the water and he was so scared to go home without them that he nearly drowned looking for them.

I just can't wrap my head around how I can go to Texas, rent a tube from one of a million tube shops (they even come with plastic bottoms so you don't scrape your ass along the way!) take my beer and float and drink all day and no one seems to die like they are sure to in the Elbow if they aren't squished into a life jacket at all times. Have you never floated in Texas? Well, here is what it looks like on a summer day on the Guadalupe river:

Look at all of those people not wearing life jackets an not drowning right before our eyes! They even rent separate, smaller tubes specifically for coolers - no shit! And everyone (or at least one in every group) gets a mesh bag to put their garbage in so the river isn't full of floating trash. Genius!

And now here is a summer day on the Elbow:

Yup, I can see how we are all gonna die right there.

Look, I'm not saying it should be a complete free for all, but what about life jackets for 16 and under? Or even 18 and under? Just let the adults make their own decisions - I don't have to wear my life jacket when I'm in a speed boat on a lake, why do I have to wear one on the dribble river? I'm even fine with the no booze on the water - that definitely cuts down on the jackassery and helps to keep it a family activity (although I hate families and wish we could banish parents and their children to outdoor pools where they can scream and piss in the water all they want and I never have to see or hear them).

Until there is some common sense in the future I will skip floating the Elbow unless someone wants to cover the $500 ticket I would get for breaking the rules...floating sponsorship is now open.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Big Balls in Cowtown

So last weekend we (BF and I) went to the Stamps game (for my out of town friends, that is out CFL football team). We sprung for decent tickets on Kijiji which nearly caused a break up (but that's a whole other story) so for once I wasn't going to sit in those brutal bleachers, or worse yet the family section where it's not only alcohol free it's filled with kids who never shut up because a) they are too young to understand what is going on and b) it's way past their bed time but their parents think it is ok because it is summer time.

Anyway, we started at Tipperary's where we grabbed a bite to eat and BF began getting football drunk. Football drunk is way different than hockey drunk (which I will cover sometime during hockey season) mainly because McMahon Stadium doesn't have draft beer, only cans. Bleh. Because of this it was BF's goal to have 5 draft beers before we got there and then 2 at the stadium. He meets his pregame goal and we walked over to McMahon. For those who don't know me, I don't like walking. Ever. I'm a fat girl, and if I could put a moving sidewalk from my couch to the fridge I would (if anyone can make that happen, please let me know!). It's only about 10-15 mins max to walk from the restaurant to the stadium but I bitched the whole way, naturally. And don't worry about BF having to listen to me complain about exercise, he's used to it and just tunes me out - I was fat when we started dating so he knew what he was getting into. Ok, totally got side tracked there...oops! So I've been to a few Stamps games in the past, but I think this is the first time I've ever been sober and there were some things that really took me by surprise. As we got within a few blocks the sidewalks became more crowded with avid face painted cape/flag wearing fans from both teams (The Blue Bombers being the other) and there was excitement about the night to come. This is WAY different from a Flames game where it's usually  3/4 full of corporate drones all trying to impress each other. Also, everyone seems to know everyone - it kind of felt like a church picnic, but with no bingo or potato salad .

We get to our seats and BF hits the beer stand and returns with 2 beers since he's now upped his quota to 1 per quarter...I'm wondering if the lemonade guy will come by for me. As the game goes on, the crowd stays loud (but not obnoxious) and the players are even encouraging the noise. Would that happen in an NFL game? I don't think so. The cheerleader sluts make their rounds (I know I know, they aren't actually sluts, but they are skinnier and prettier than me, so that automatically makes them whores in my book). It's almost half time and BF if going to get his 3rd beer and to get me a lemonade. He's gone about 2.5 minutes and when he comes back he has 2 beers and no lemonade because he "couldn't find the lemonade guy". Oh really? Well I'll tell you where he isn't - at the beer stand! So I get up and who is standing right at the top of the stairs? Mr. Lemonade! Can't find him my ass....

The game goes on, BF's drunk smile gets bigger and I even start to cheer out loud a little bit. In the end the Stamps won and we decide to take the train back (it's only 1 stop) because it is getting a bit dark and we pretty much always think we are going to get robbed for the $12.00 we have. The train platform is packed, as expected, and when the train pulls up everyone pushes to get on. We make it but immediately this chick starts calling me a bitch and going on about how I stepped on her foot (she was wearing flip flops, so I can imagine it hurt. Well, as it happened I didn't step on her foot, we got shoved and someone cut both of us off and stepped on her in the process. She's s going on and on so I snap, and I mean S-N-A-P. I've got lemonade courage and I am not afraid to use it! I tell her exactly what I think of her, call her every name in the book and offered her a kick in the twat to match her her poor little foot. I'm still furious when we get off the train and she happens to get off at that stop as well and actually admits she was wrong, that it wasn't me (I guess one of her friends told her who it actually was) yet she doesn't apologize, she called me a bitch, again. I let another string of unmentionable words go and she decides to walk in the other direction. Why am I sharing this part of the story that makes me look stupid? For exactly that reason - I made myself look like an idiot by stooping to her level and I never should have done that. There is a time to speak up and time to ignore a fat bitch in flip flops and I made a bad choice (even though BF later admitted that he loved how I called her every name in the book right to her face...twice).

So the lesson I learned this week is this - there are assholes in this city and even though I have balls big enough to stand up to them, sometimes I just need to stfu and let it go.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Love and Hate in the Heart of the New West (Do they still call it that?)

Some days I love Calgary and can't imagine living anywhere else in the world .And then there are those other days where I would pack up and head south never to be seen or heard from again. I was born in Calgary, raised in Lethbridge and moved back to Calgary in 2001 - because that is what people in Lethbridge do when they finish school and aren't married or mormon.
This blog is going to be about what I see and experience throughout the city (and occasionally outside of the city if I ever manage to get away). I am not a journalist, a socialite nor an important person in any way shape or form. I'm a regular girl, (woman?) just trying to make a living and get by in this place that a million of us call home. Oh, and I'm NOT running for mayor either, so you won't have to vote for me.
I'll tell you what I like, what I don't like, and if you are in line in front of me and you piss me off, you'll hear about that too. I'll tell you about restaurants I overeat at, bars I drink too much in and will keep you up to date in my mini golf adventures as well. I won't fluff it to appease anyone and if you don't like what I say I don't care - really, I don't! I have a lot of things to talk about, so stay tuned.