Monday, April 27, 2009

something to think about

Some countries have now posted travel advisories against Canada because of the recent swine flu outbreak.  To date, about 150 cases have been found worldwide.

Over 30 million people on the planet have full-blown AIDS.  Six out of every hundred people are HIV-positive.  So what's the real pandemic?

Let's not live in perpetual fear, people.  After all, you could be hit by a bus. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

sus domestica

Have you all heard about this swine flu epidemic?  Apparently it started in Mexico and is on its way to Canada.  I shake my head at this latest virus to freak out the masses.  West Nile virus made us all want to stay indoors all summer.  SARS made everyone wear surgical masks on the TTC.  Bird flu made us fear our feathered friends.  Mad cow disease was a crime against potential barbecues and now it's a pig. 

That's right kids, a blasted pig.  An animal that's great for ribs and bacon sarnies.  Does this mean that no one's gonna eat pork anymore (it is indeed the other white meat)?  I can't wait for the news to report that we shouldn't eat pork because of the potential for SIV.Add that to the global recession, a hotter planet and it equals out to good times!   

Stay calm, everyone.  It too, shall pass.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

greener grass

It was a lovely day in Montreal - clear skies, trees in bloom and smog covering the Stade Olympique.  I swear, Montreal even smells better than Toronto!  Once of my neighbours decided to throw some shrimp on the barby so there's this wonderful BBQ scent in the air.  I've got a lovely breeze coming in the window; a cold Boreale apricot beer would top this off nicely.  Since I'm on an inch-loss mission, I must stick to water.

About last night... I finally understand what it must have been like for all those fools I dated in the past to look me in the eye and say let's just be friends.  I had plans to hang out with Emile last night after his shift ended around 11:30.  I had it in mind to check out the new restaurant that replaced the $8.95 buffet at Sherbrooke & St-Denis but Emile wanted me to go to his place for a bit.  I said fine as long as there's no monkey business.  Talk about lost in translation.

Emile's apartment is a studio pequeno.  I'd say it's about 200-300 square feet at best.  There was only one light that came through the kitchen.  I could tell this was the flat of a man who just doesn't give a blank about his living arrangements.  I think my favourite part was the Rainbow Brite sheet that covered his futon.  That's right, you read correctly.  

The man with a plan made some food and shared it with me.  We watched a bit of an old Bond flick on TVA then he showed me some pictures of his travels.  While I was looking at these photos, a feeling of sheer ickyness washed over me.  I knew I was not attracted to this guy in any semblance of fashion.  Sigh.  Plus all the pics were of him standing in front of somewhere important.  I told Emile that when I travel, it's very rare you find me in the shot because I don't like taking pictures.  Let's move on.

We're sitting on the couch and Emile does the old stretched-arm-around-the-shoulder routine (very Degrassi, I might add) then BAM!  He moves in for the kill.  It took me a bit by surprise then I told him to stop.  He asked me what was wrong and somehow I told him in English & busted French  that I was just not that into him and I would like us to remain friends.  

His response?  Emile then asks to see my ass.  I said absolutely not.  Then he asked to see my knee surgery scars.  I said fine and he got an eyeful of cellulite.  He was kind enough to walk me home and I made sure he understood where I stand.  I think he got it... I think.   The one thing that really bothers me about Emile is his height.  I am a bona-fide heightist!  Ever since Matthew I cannot for the life of me date a guy who's my height.  I remember my fling with Kieran last time I went to England... he went to find himself on top of a mountain. And yes, he too was short.  

So this is what it's like to be on the other side.  I've always been on the receiving end of the F-bomb but finally I got a chance to experience it for myself.  I feel okay about it because at the end of the day, I refuse to settle.  Still, I believe Emile is in my life for a reason, even if it's just to be a friend.  All the same, my one is out there.  I'll find him one day.

p.s.  I lost 1.5" last week!  I own this!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

it's Earth Day!

I took out the recycling and walked to the grocery store with my reusable bag in hand.  I've got the energy-saver lightbulbs on right now so as not to run up my light bill.  I don't have a car and if I can't get somewhere on my own two feet, I take public transit.  Looks like my carbon footprint isn't really a footprint at all - it's more like a carbon fart.

Back in my high school days everyone was on the 'green' bandwagon.  Then for some reason it fizzled out and as of late, everybody's doing it.  Green is most certainly the new black.  Everyone seems to understand the problem however no one is willing to do anything about it for fear of losing another shade of green.  People, wake up!  If I were Mother Earth, I'd evict all 6 billion of us.  Ever seen the movie WALL-E?  We're going to end up as boneless slobs unless those in the higher tax brackets stop being so damn greedy.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

niveau de langue

In my travels I have met a nice bloke named Emile who fancies me like a chicken craving.  Emile is from France and doesn't speak much English so that means my inner francophone has to come out to play.  Emile is quite intriguing - he's intelligent, engaging and a real gentleman.  Too bad for him I'm just not into him however I do enjoy his company.  Dare I say the F-word?  Yes, he is a good (dum dum DUM) friend.

We went into town for a Tims run and we got to talking about my desire to find out what the next chapter holds for me.  I told him how I'd apply for jobs and get no response and I'd always wonder why - am I not qualified enough?  I know I'm not an idiot and I can do these jobs.  Emile says it's because people are intimidated by my CV.  For some reason the word "intimidate" has been synonymous with my persona for as long as I can remember... especially in my university days.  I was told how I 'intimidated' guys because I could dance and party it up without being wasted.  Now I'm being told I 'intimidate' potential employers because I went to post-secondary and I have some letters after my name. 

According to Emile, he says employers look for the insipid - people of average achievement who pose no threat to their station in life.  Employers don't want smart people who will change things up.  Employers want simple-minded lemmings who will do their bidding without question.  Too bad I'm not one of those people; in fact, I've never been like that.  I worked really hard in school and in all my past jobs because I was under the impression that by doing that one can move onwards and upwards.  Now I know better AND different.  

Emile also went on to say that English is becoming more prevalent.   Employers also want people to speak English more than French.  I found this odd because Bill 101 says otherwise.  English is indeed an international language and immigrants are more inclined to learn English than French.  Interesting, isn't it?  It made me consider teaching English as a career.  I like the renegade undertones of it all - doing something to upset the hoi polloi.  I could be contributing to the greater good and really make a difference in someone's life.  

BTW - Emile & I discovered that these Ben-Hur-Ten-Commandments sandals are back 'in' for summer.  I even saw a pair that went to the knees!  May I be the first (and certainly not the last) to say these sandals look hideous.  You might as well wear Birkensocks & sandals!  The gladiator look is fiercely repugnant!  They're busted!  I'll stick with my Sketchers, Cons & Pumas, thank you very much.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

virtual soapbox

I heard on the news this morning that the city is going to ban wood-burning stoves because they were allegedly the cause of winter smog.  Seriously?!  Wood causes smog now?  Since when is burning wood more toxic than, oh, car fumes?  What about the crap that factories spew out into the air?  Clearly that's OK but not wood.  What's next to be banned - campfires?  

Surely this is a ploy orchestrated by oil & energy companies.  They want us to burn chemicals to heat ourselves in the winter so they can earn record profits instead of the masses waking up to realize that wood is sustainable and more renewable.  I'm picturing the time when the Europeans first came here to settle... indigenous peoples had been burning wood for ages and then King James sent over a proclamation that wood burning had to cease because it was causing smog and the King didn't like smog over the New World.  Sounds silly?  Of course it does.  It's just as silly as banning wood-burning stoves.

Did you know Ontario banned clotheslines about 20 years ago?  A bunch of constipated home builders decided that they didn't like the look of them in backyards so they got together and lobbied the provincial government to ban them so they can sell more houses.  I remember when my father was taking down the clothesline in our backyard and I asked why - it wasn't winter yet...?  He said we weren't allowed to have them anymore.  I said, "that's stupid," - standard speech for a kid of my age.  In my child mind I didn't see the point of banning clotheslines.  What harm were they doing other than the potential for embarrassment if you've got tattered undergarments hung out for the world to see?

The clothesline ban was lifted a year ago when environmentalists told the government that it would be the 'green' thing to do.  Well, duh.  Now they're en vogue again.  My mother is rockin' her clothesline and she loves it!

By the way, this is why I'll never wook pa nub on craigslist again:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

thirty-two years on

I sit here waiting for my pizza to arrive.  My buzzer doesn't work very well so I have to silence everything in my house to make sure I don't miss it.  That's why Survivor is on pause... just after Coach told this outlandish story about being captured in the Amazon.  Shrug.

Today, incidentally, is my birthday.  Thirty-two years ago my parents gave birth to a baby girl named Athena.  I'd love to say that the world was forever changed but that would be too egregious of me, wouldn't you say?  I have indulged on this birthday.  I spent a fortune at Simons the other day.  Plus I've eaten a ton today which will be capped off by pizza, fried chicken & chips (as soon as it arrives, which I hope is soon because I'm getting hungry).  It's okay for today because it's my birthday and this is the one day out of the year where I can indulge (read: get fat).

This day felt more grown-up than any other b-day I've had.  It's my first b-day in Montreal for starters.  It was a beautiful day - sunny, no clouds, increased UV index... I couldn't ask for a better day.  In some ways I feel more mature and in other ways I don't.  I went to pick out paint samples this afternoon and now they're all over my apartment.  In years past I'd be wasted by now.  I know that my tastes are evolving just as I'm evolving into adult Athena.  I guess it's not a bad thing now that I think about it.  

Life isn't meant to be the same all the time.  We all get comfortable in a routine and when that changes for whatever reason, we panic and long for that comfortable feeling we had.  One thing I strongly believe in this that everything happens for a reason.  My own life is changing and since I've never had a situation that brought me comfort so now I welcome change.  I know that I'm being led in a direction I've never been in before... daunting as that sounds, I'm fine with it. 

Praise the Sun, my pizza is here.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

thick madame

Christiane & I spent most of the day liming about Ikea.  On our travels we came across some bathroom scales.  Thinking I weigh an okay amount I get on the scale.  I almost fainted when I saw 13 st 13 lbs.  O Holy Sun of the Heavens & Skies.

Being that today is April 13 and I weigh an startling 0.09 metric tons, I'm going to lose some inches.  Not pounds, mind you - I stand to gain a lot of muscle in the next few months so weight won't mean much to me.  I want my clothes back, dammit!!  

The best part of all is that I have all the time in the world to do this.  Being a statistic means that Steve-H is going to help me fund this endeavour.  D-Mac didn't give me enough dosh and now look at him... karma, I tell you!  

I took my measurements a few minutes ago which will give me an idea of where I want to end up (this has yet to be determined).   Tomorrow I'll figure out a workout schedule à la Biggest Loser - plus I'll start watching that show for inspiration.  

Perhaps I could train for something... a friend of mine lost over 40 lbs training for triathlons.  I could learn to swim since there's an Olympic pool down the street.  I'll start with yoga first - I need to de-stress in a bad way because stress is how I put on all this blasted weight.

Between my existential crisis, my love misadventures and my own personal inch-loss challenge, my life is getting to be fun!  How could you not want to stick around?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

the greatest story ever told

I got a miracle today, no word of a lie.  

Aunt Marion called to wish me Happy Easter.  I also wished her a Happy Easter, even though I don't believe in it since this holiday was originally designed to worship sun gods of yesteryear and it's also a great time to eat heaps of chocolate... where was I?  Yes - my Aunt Marion.  She told me to sit down because she had a story to tell me that would blow my mind.

One thing about my aunt is that she's really religious.  That's okay with me - everyone is entitled to their beliefs, right?  So she's at 8am mass and she's sitting next to this elderly gentleman whilst giving her devotional (I think this also means testify... I don't really know for sure but testifying sounds like a lot of fun).  She talked about how she wanted to reach out to her Titanides family and the only one that would respond was me and for that, she was thankful.  Aunt Marion went on to say how I lost my job and I wasn't doing too well so she sent me a Benjamin to help out.  This man must've felt moved by Aunt Marion's devotional... so much so that he asked Aunt Marion to hold out her hand.  This man - who is barely known to my Aunt and a random stranger to me - put a $100 bill in Aunt Marion's hand and told her to send it to me in Canada.

You read correctly - one hundred dollars.   That works out to $122.74 according to the Bank of Canada as of last Thursday.  Aunt Marion is going to send it to me so I might get it by the end of this week.  

I had tears in my eyes as I listened to my aunt's story.  Here was this perfect stranger - someone who I likely will never meet in my lifetime - willing to help me out while my supposed family turned their backs on me, even to this day.  There is a man somewhere in Queens with a smile on his face because on this day, he made a difference.  He gave because he thought it was the right thing to do.  Aunt Marion told me to thank (Sun) God for it.  I'm here to say thanks - to what I call higher power.  It's out there, kids.  It's looking out for me.  

As a Easter treat, peep this:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

flash in the pan

How fleeting is this thing called love.

I've decided that this bloke I met on craigslist is for later.  He seemed way too keen on my physical highlights than anything else.  What did it for me was the fact that while chatting on MSN, I casually mentioned that I am a Corrie fan and I never heard from him again.  Doosh.

Was it my overwhelming aura of femininity?  My adoration of all things Liverpool Football Club?  Perchance he wanted a shagging partner.  Better still he just wasn't that into me.  Either way, I do believe that if a guy wants you, he'll come after you.  This chap just didn't seem up for the chase.   

As I chuckle to myself, I do feel a sense of relief.  I found myself checking my email and MSN several times a day just to see (read: confirm to myself) if he sent a smoke signal of sorts.  I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore because it drives me nuts.  Nevertheless, I still believe that whoever is meant for me is out there somewhere.   

The moral of the story is that craigslist is great if you're looking for apartments, odds & sods and couches for sale.  Love (at least for me) is not meant to be found on craigslist.

Friday, April 10, 2009

breaking news!

Okay kids, you ain't gonna believe this!  Right now I am chatting to a real live boy I met on craigslist.  Yes, that's right.  I, Athena Titanides, who has lost her mojo and most likely her mind, is attempting to put herself out there.

Yesterday I was on craigslist trolling for jobs when a sudden wave of curiosity hits me.  I click on "men seeking women" just to see what I can see.  There are really some disgusting people out there.  One guy posted something along the lines of how he wants younger women so he can teach them about life... what the ____?  There was also a lot of people asking for booty calls.  That puts me in the mind of harlotry.  With all the cooties out there it just seems kinda sick to put an ad on the web like you're advertising your services like those annoying carpet cleaning companies that call you during dinner.  Come on, people - have a bit more respect for yourself than that!

Let's move on.  I come across this ad that was quite personable and it made me laugh.  Then I got a feeling - not like a boner feeling but a sneaky feeling.  I remembered that I have an alter ego email address so I sent this gentleman a message.  I thought he wouldn't reply back (my defeatist self-fulfilling prophecy) but he actually did! He seems really nice and not too long ago he sent me a pic.  He's really cute!  Nice eyes and all.  Only one problem - he doesn't know my real name yet.  Yeah - I sorta told him my fake name.  Oops.

Now he's asking for pics.  I sent him a few of me.  He wants to see my body.  I can't think.

Pics are sent - he likes what he sees.  Phew!  Best part is that he's tall.  Praise the Sun!   

What does it mean when a guy says "let's hang out?"  Does that mean a date?  The last date I went on was an hour of my life I'll never get back.  There's been no one in my life since Ian the Overall Disaster and that was years back.  I always thought I didn't have anything to offer anyone because I have no job and I don't know what I want to do with my life and I have to rely on Steve-H to pay my bills... I need a drink.

Now I'm armed with a glass of red wine.  This is why I love this province - you can buy a decent bottle of vino.  He's gone now - says he's going to the movies.  I can relax now.

You should know that I have been writing this the whole time I was chatting with this bloke.  Everything that I've written here is just like an episode of 24 - in real time... even when I went to get a glass of wine. 

Good gravy, I could very well be going on a date in the near future.  Thank God I got my hair did.  For the first time (I think) in my entire life, this chap seems like a guy I could actually date... for real.  Sure, he alluded to wanting to bone me right away but he'll learn soon enough that I don't do that kind of thing... at least not anymore.  

What happens next?  I'm going to finish my glass of wine and take a bunch of deep breaths.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

opinions of elephantine proportions

What a week!  I got money from my buddy Steve-H snce he announced that he was going to give everyone an extra 5 weeks of dole.  I'm sure for most of us on the pogey that's all going to bills but oh well.  So far I've paid for the lights, the Internet, my PVR and my phone... tomorrow I'm going grocery shopping.  I know this may sound routine to those who are more moneyed than I but if you were in my shoes, knowing that this stuff is OK is a great feeling.  

On the last episode of the Celebrity Apprentice, they had to make a viral video for All.  I remember that stuff... it came in this huge box that my mother used to keep by the washing machine and I swear, it cost $3.  All executives and Perez Hilton were chosen to judge the videos and give their opinion.  To make a long story short, both teams blew the big one however what struck me was Perez Hilton.  Granted, he is my inspiration for this blog yet how did he become an expert on all things viral?  Just as I am sitting here writing this, he does the same thing except I don't comment on celebrity goings-on.  My years working for TIFF has taught me that stars are mere mortals like us - except they're much shorter.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a blog as "An Internet website containing an eclectic and frequently updated assortment of items of interest to its author." This is what blogs are about.  I guess I'm now a 'blogger' per se... yet I have no clue if people are actually reading this (other than Christiane & her conjoint).  I have no interest on keeping the planet updated on who's shagging who and who forgot their gitch this morning.  That stuff is for others who really wanna know.  My blog is my opinion on life.  Sure, the x-Lists have lives - yet the masses fail to realize that once you strip away the photogs, the PAs and the requests for wheatgrass juice, they're just like us.  They pay taxes like us.  They fart like us and I'll betcha a penny it really stinks since most of them don't really eat.  

Maybe I should turn this blog into a tell-all about Athena Titanides.  Wouldn't that be funny!    
Athena Titanides was spotted in Montreal today after getting her hair did.  She looks like she's on fi-yah!  Work it, girl!
Our favourite Greek goddess, Athena Titanides, is sportin' some fierce digs these days.  Sources close to Athena say she's got her hands on some guv'ment cheddar!  Paparazzi are already staking out the Provigo store near Athena's fab flat in Montreal.  

Law & Order is on right now.  La-ters!