Tuesday, September 30, 2008

if I had 700 billion dollars...

If you haven't heard about the USA's bright-bulb idea to give $700 billion dollars to investors who blanked everything up, get out from under your rock and check out this funny funny stuff!

How much is 700 billion dollars?  According to Global News, it can buy every team in the NFL 20 times over.  Is that even fathomable?  Where in the name of everything green & good do you come up with 700 billion dollars?  Do you just print more money?  Stamp out a few extra pennies?  

While watching the news this morning, I knew I had to say something on my blog.  These people are pooing themselves because the deal got struck down.  Heavens to Betsy, what will we do?  Are we going to have to let Carmelita and Julio go?  Are we going to have to sell our weekend estate in the Hamptons?  How will I fill up my Maybach and my son's Saleen?  Boo blanking hoo.

Remember the guy in France who screwed over his company to the tune of a couple of billion euros some time ago?  I have to say, that was kinda funny.  All this time this unsuspecting bloke is siphoning money from everyone & their mother and nobody notices until it's too late.  Talk about an HR issue!  I think our hero is in jail now feasting on bread & water.  So let me be so bold as to ask this: why aren't the fools who buggered up the US economy on the hook for it like the France guy?  It's like rewarding poor performance.  If there is enough cheddar to bail out the markets, where was that same chunk of change to fix New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina?  The USA would indeed be the richest nation on earth since that money could be used to bail out the millions of people in debt and improve their way of life.  No personal debt = more money to spend in the economy = happy days!

Then again, why should I care about what's going on with our neighbours to the south?  I'm a proud Canadian.  I don't even think Canada even has 700 billion dollars to its name.  In light of the upcoming election, can you imagine if my buddy Steve announced that he would give 70 billion dollars to Bay Street?  I'd be hopping mad to say the least!!  Both Wall Street and Bay Street are going on about how this is the end and our way of life is going to pot.

Do they really know what that's like?  Somehow I don't think so.  I would invite the suits on Bay Street to live a day in my life.  How would they deal with bill collectors ringing down their CrackBerries?  What kind of investments would they make with a net worth of 82 cents?  How would they buy an Armani suit with $400 a month of government cheese?

My point is this - it may seem dismal that the markets are all over the place and people's investments are all buggered up but at least they have money to save.  They have money to put away for a rainy day.  Think about those people like myself who are struggling each moment of each day just to survive.  The sky already fell on my head so now these folks have a chance to experience that crashing sensation - even if only for a moment.

It's payday today so I'm off to get myself something to eat.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

three days ago

Three days ago I had a charity event to attend.  Thinking I could get there early, I left 10 minutes early to get there in time to schmooze a bit and stuff my face with free food.  When I got to the station, there was this rather surly man shooing people away from the subway entrance saying that the subway was closed.  Oh, bother.  I overheard various explanations from passers-by: shooting at Eglinton Station, signals out, another rush hour jumper.  So I headed to the street to catch a shuttle bus.

There were people EVERYWHERE on the street.  I saw tons of southbound shuttle buses but no northbound ones.  Odd?  Not for the TTC.  I should note here that I have approximately $2.82 to my name and I had to use most of that to get on some form of public transit. I waited and waited and watched as all these shuttle buses came and went.  Aargh!

I kicked the bus and I liked it, blank it all.  Is this seriously where my tax dollars go?  I struck up a conversation with this friendly bloke named Raj.  He had to get to Finch so we both decided that on pain of death, we were getting on the next shuttle.  Of course, no luck.  People were being generally unpleasant the moment the bus doors opened, thus further reaffirming my hatred for the general population.  The bus doors closed and drove off in a cloud of carbon emissions on its way to disappoint more people.

Raj caught the attention of 2 women in a car heading northbound.  They asked him what was going on and he told them about the busted subway.  Then Raj asked them where they were going and they said Eglinton.  Raj looks at me as if to say, do you wanna ride?  The women offered to drive us to Eglinton.  Sure, I got in car with 3 complete strangers.  I did have my phone on me and my trusty mini-bottle of Lysol just in case someone wanted their eyes disinfected.  

Out of all this, I find out that Raj is some big cheese at a credit union and could possibly hook me up with job à Montréal.  I don't care what anyone says, that's Providence at work.  He gave me his business card and told me to contact him since he's pretty much the man at this credit union.  I'm freaking out by this point - what are the chances?!

We arrived at Eglinton and Raj & I thank the 2 women profusely for their act of kindness.  I also saw that Raj did get on a bus to Finch after all that.  

So what, you say?  So this - there are still good people in this world.  These 2 women took a chance and helped out 2 total strangers who were just trying to get from point A to B.  If the subway hadn't broken down, I would've never met Raj.  Sure enough, there is a job at the credit union in Montreal that Raj could totally hook me up with.  

Here's to Providence - it might have just changed my life forever.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Tonight I witnessed an incredible display of sheer bollocks.  I work with a volunteer group a few times a month and we have a senior member who will be leaving in the next few weeks.  This person stood up in front of the group and said her peace - she had her reasons for leaving but she wanted to clear the air before her departure.  I watched the remaining group members' reactions to the things this person had to say (I adore people watching... it's not only great fun, it's cheap fun!).  Instead of just politely acknowledging her views and saying adieu, people began to tell her that it's okay, we don't think less of you for saying your piece, blah, blah, blah.

I'm so glad I have this blog because I can say my piece so nyah to you all!  This person had the bollocks to let the group know just what she felt.  Whether or not the rest of the group agrees with it is irrelevant - we should've just said thanks for letting us know and moved on with what we needed to do.  Did we?  Oh no.  I then witnessed another great spectacle - one group member who I'll call Toolbox says to the person's face that we don't think less of you and how could you say such a thing?  When the person left, he was the first one to say all kinds of smack.  Are you blanking kidding me?!  What does that say about Toolbox's character and integrity?  Not a blanking thing, that's for damn sure.  

Toolbox then went on to question my expertise in my field.  Good thing I can hide when I'm getting vexed about something.  I don't question the crap he does so what the blank?!  I'm confident I don't speak ancient Aramaic because tonight, it seemed like whatever suggestion I made, Toolbox was the first one to say no to it.  The things I wanted to discuss weren't out of the ordinary for what I do in my field so he needed to shut his yap and let me explain myself.  Nothing vexes me more than when people assume that Athena is an idiot.  Got news for ya - I'm not an idiot.  I know what I'm talking about when I open up my piehole.  Obviously Toolbox's life experience stems from playing The Sims in his parent's basement that he calls home but hey, that's his cross to bear, you know what I mean?

Either way, tonight was pure jokes.  It just further reaffirms that there are some mothercluckers out there that have the IQ of a toilet paper roll but somehow, they get through life... they get the hookups, the perks and those who have some semblance of complex cognitive thought processes get left behind to pick up the mothercluckers' scraps.  No way, I say!   Athena will stand for no sort of this nonsense!  Up with people!

May the Force be with us all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

existentially speaking

It's almost midnight, the moon is high in the sky and I've just ordered a huge pizza.  I had no idea that it would take me almost an hour to find a pizza joint in Toronto that will deliver at this hour.  What the blank is up with this city??  Don't they understand my cravings when the moon is high in the sky?  Have they no concept of my tendencies to stuff my face for comfort?

For the last two days I've been feeling lost... like I have no clue where my life is going and if I make a step in one direction I might 86 another opportunity... therefore I stay put and wait to see where the chips fall.  I hate this feeling.  I'm sure you all know the score by now - I'm tired of thinking about money all the time.  I don't know what it's like to not have to worry about money.  Will that day ever come for me?  Or am I destined for destitution?

Dr Phil has just published a book about the seven worst days of one's life.  So here are the days, according to Athena:

Loss -- the day that I have lost myself

Fear -- the day that I realized every choice I made up until this point was dictated by other people's expectations, not based on my own goals and desires

Adaptability Breakdown -- the day that the pressures of balancing phone calls from bill collectors have become way too overwhelming and I realized that I am in way over my head

Physical Health -- the day that my body revolts against itself because of illness, trauma, or disease as a direct result of worrying about money

Mental Health -- the day that the mind breaks down over constant worrying about lack of money

Addiction -- the day that addiction to fried food and chocolate takes over and my backside swells to catastrophic proportions

[my personal favourite] Existential Crisis -- the day that I lost the purpose, compass, and connection to meaning in life and have no answer to the question "Why?"

Ain't Dr. Phil great?  I can say I've had all these days.  As I write this, today has become tomorrow... or has tomorrow become today?  I don't really know.  

Can't wait for the pizza to get here.  I'll just eat my sorrows away for the time being.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

my new friend Leroy

What a week!  I've been all over the place.  Definitely a change from spending hours on end denting my couch.

So I wake up this morning to a lovely rainy day in Toronto to find a greenish bug on my window screen.  I should preface this by saying I don't like bugs of any sort.  This one, however, peaked my interest.  There's a hole in my screen so this bug must've crawled through it.  Trouble is that this bug hasn't moved all day long.  I did watch him unload a bug-sized dump... impressive.

I ate breakfast, had a shower and this bug hasn't moved at all.  I figured he'd come to stay with me so I named him Leroy after Encyclopedia Brown (if you remember those books you are my new hero).  I've been checking on Leroy for most of the day.  I think he's hurt - looks like his leg is stuck but hang on (just ran to the window) - he's making some progress towards the hole in the window screen!  I think his leg is broken though - ouch.

I tried helping Leroy to freedom by rattling the screen a bit.  Each time I do that he shakes his head to let me know he's still hangin' in there.  I feel a little helpless right now... should I help Leroy out of my window into the wild?  He might end up on the windshield of a Audi A4 only to be washed off by some disgruntled gas station attendant.  

For some strange reason, Leroy is bringing me comfort.  I'm really not sure why that is but I'm sure he was sent to tell me to hang in there.  Forces bigger than me are at work to set me free. 

Perhaps I'll try to help Leroy out now.  Back in a sec.

All right kids, Leroy has been liberated!  I took out one of his antennas in the process... oops.  Plus I don't think he flew away.  For all you entomologists out there, I was not involved in any cruelty towards bugs - I just wanted to help my new friend Leroy out!

Goodbye, Leroy.  You were a comfort to me today.  May you grow back your leg and your antenna you lost in the emancipation process.  May you begin again in the grass underneath my window.

Monday, September 8, 2008

life update

What a weekend!   I volunteered at a very lame TIFF event and got rained on at at Big Brothers & Big Sisters fundraiser.  I've been volunteering at TIFF for the last 5 years and this year will be the last year I do this tomfoolery.   For such a high-profile event, the logistics are atrocious.  How hard is it to put together a 2 hour showcase?  The event started late, the talent looked like they'd rather do laundry and they had this court-jester entertaining the crowd while they got themselves together.  At least I got some free stuff out of it so it wasn't a total wash.

I have, however, decided that when I move I want to join a dragon boat team!  I love sports and I love being active; best of all I love being on a sports team.  I don't just want to work out - I want to train for something.  Going to the gym is great & all however if you don't have a goal in mind other than weight loss it's kinda pointless.  As much as I like going to the gym to watch the juice pigs pick up the stick insects, it's time to move on to something else.

The relocation continues - I'm still looking for jobs and places.  I think I'll find a place before I find a job so now I'll have to decide if I go before I find work.  Christiane's recruiter says I'll have a better chance of finding work if I'm actually there.  I don't know what I'm going to do just yet so for now we'll just roll with it.   

Words can't describe the excitement I feel about moving.  I finally can have a real life - a life that I choose for me and not for anyone else.  Only 54 days left!

And that's all I have to say about that.  For now, at least.

Friday, September 5, 2008

untitled thoughts

I'm sitting here watching Maury and man, I've seen it all.  Get this - woman is dating man, man cheats on her with woman's 18 yr old daughter, daughter gets pregnant and woman dumps man for cheating.  After all this, the baby is (say what?) NOT the man's.  Good gravy.  Now there's a story where a man has a secret to tell a woman and of course, turns out he's cheating on her with her much thinner and younger sister.  If you've ever seen the Maury show, you know 100% of the time when someone has a 'secret' to tell it's always cheating.  If I got a call from the Maury show telling me that my man has a 'secret', I'd go straight to him and say, what's up & tell me now, cuff him upside the head then scarf the free trip to New York.  You know you would do the same thing!

These days I've been mad busy!  It feels good to be busy... I've spent enough time making a dent in my couch. My volunteer work is really going to take off next week however I like what I do and it feels rewarding to do some good in the world.  I may not be making money, but at least it's better than nothing.  Christiane is going to check out 4 apartments for me starting on Sunday and I've got some great leads on jobs.  I can start to see the light - it's been a long time coming.

I just wish Bree & Jazz felt the same.  It hurts me knowing that they're 'concerned'... why?  When they come over to hang out, I've either got no money to do anything, no food to feed them or a combination of both.  I can never go on holiday with them because I'm always broke.  Is that any way to live life - skivving off your friends all the time?  Not for me it isn't.  I want to have fun; hell, right now I can't even afford to go out on a date.  This is not the life I had in mind for myself - living hand to mouth, bill collectors ringing down my phone like a 1-900 number... I can't help but wonder if that's what they want for me just so I can stay.  I don't think so however... oh, I dunno.  

Bree & Jazz, if you're reading this, please know that life is constantly evolving and I'm evolving with it.  I've wanted to make a fresh start for months now and finally it's now my time to shine.  I will miss you both like going outlet shopping in America!  The good times aren't over - they're only beginning!  We've all got our lives to lead and for the first time in my life, I can finally have a life.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

times a-changin'

I can't remember the last time I felt this excited.  As of today, I have 60 days left in Toronto!!!

(happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance)

Yes, folks, in the next 2 months I'm going to pack up my life and move to another province in search of a better life.  Kinda reminds me of those cartoon characters from back in the day... you know, the ones with the handkerchief tied to the end of a stick slung over the shoulder... okay, so you might not get it but oh well.  

I spent most of the long weekend checking out jobs and apartments.  I've got a few good leads so far, so here's hoping.  

The one thing that's really floored me about all of this is the fact that there was something inside of me that kept saying, "Why bother?" every time I would look through the Toronto job boards.  Now I realize it was my gut Wilbur telling me that my time in Toronto was up yet I refused to listen as I thought my place was here because I was destined to be here.  Boy, was I wrong on that one!  

How empowering is it to finally realize I am in control of my life.  I do what feels right.  I do as I please.  Sure, I will lend an ear to the kind advice of my dear friends and selected family however at the end of the day I will do as I see fit.  WOOT!

Crazy how life can change for the better when you will it to be so.