Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dear Mordecai Richler, why did i resist you?

i think it may have been due to being forced to read The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz in highschool; i resisted a lot of things back then because there was little else to do in Napanee at the time. Or maybe it was because your protagonist sweat a lot and ran around as if he were on a serious kick of methamphetamines. Nevertheless, i never really read a lot of your stuff until quite recently. i read the odd article you published in Canadian magazines and newspapers and had distant respect for you out of the sheer fact that you were a grumpy Canadian (my favourite kind).

Recently, however, i read your 1998 novel, Barney's Version, and was struck in total awe. It's a shame your dead now and will no longer be publishing anything further. No wonder people have published your miscellaneous works since your unfortunate and untimely passing; you're awesome!

It was with sheer utter glee that i opened my birthday gifts from my Mother and Step-Father this morning as they had sent me Solomon Gursky Was Here and St. Urbain's Horseman. i've been on a Richler kick recently and have also read your daughter's latest novel, Feed My Dear Dogs (by Emma, respectively). It was quite good, actually. Tragic, really. i think i may have cried at the end of it.

Speaking of your offspring, i was once at a birthday party in Toronto, in which one of your sons, Noah Richler, was also present. i think we sat on the same couch. He didn't say much - then again, he was writing for the National Post at the time. i used to be a big fan of Daniel's show on CBC, Big Life - what ever happened to that show? It was great.

Anyway, dear Mordecai, it's a shame you've passed on now and i will have to carefully spread out your writings in due course, now that you are no longer with us. Your published works are catalogued treasures that i eagerly look forward to being enveloped in.

Shalom, Mr Richler.

Monday, May 22, 2006

MAY 22, 1979

On this day, 27 years ago, my young mother gave birth to her second child at the age of 23. The poor dear didn't even have any drugs to dull the unfortunate pain accompanied by most natural births.

My mother is amazing - like a lot of Mums are. But peep this, not only is my Mum one of the best Mums on BOTH sides of the Atlantic; she is also very hip and always classy.

i never really understood birthdays, you know? Sure, it's nice to be appreciated once a year with a cake but really, shouldn't we be eating the cake in honour of our mothers for literally birthing us?! i guess that's what Mother's Day is for.

Thanks, Mum, for having this total bampot of a daughter! i shall raise a Tunnocks Snowball in your honour!

They say it's your birthday...

Happy Birthday, Morrissey!

All hail bitchy vegetarian queens born on May 22!

Friday, May 19, 2006

i got an early birthday present yesterday: Conjunctivitis! It's like summer camp all over - without the sun and summer!

i had to wear my glasses to work today rather than my favoured contacts, and someone remarked that i looked like a porn star. i always thought i looked a bit like a lesbian in these frames.

After work yesterday, i went to the Optometrist to get my eye looked at. Did you know that Optometrists are not considered doctors here? i told my young and cute Optometrist that he should move to Canada in order to get his proper doctor title. Since he's not a doctor, he couldn't write me a prescription. Nevertheless, he advised me to go to a pharmecy and get some Optrex for Infected Eyes. Since it was 7:30pm and EVERYTHING closes at either 5pm or 8pm in downtown, i rushed to Boots to get the drops. i ran into the pharmecy and looked around for the drops. A pharmacist came and offered her help. It turns out that they keep the eye drops behind the counter - even though you don't need a prescritpion for them. The pharmacist proceeded to interrogate me about my health and eye infection. What the hell, lady?! It's 8pm, i'm starving and in high heels. JUST GIVE ME MY FUCKING DROPS!

It turns out, the British keep almost everything behind the counter EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T NEED A PRESCRIPTION! Why?! According to the lovely pharmacist, it is because some of the medication might interfere with other medication that i might be on.

Two points:

1. i've already been to see a doctor; he KNOWS what i am one and therefore i KNOW i'm ok to take fucking eye drops.

2. i am capable of making decisions for myself. So please, give me my drops before my eye explodes!

Europe, you're fucking slaying me here with all your taxes, rules, and bureaucracy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lemon curd is brilliant.

i think it's available in Canada - if not, it should be. What a way to spend a lazy Sunday: a run in the morning, followed by lemon curd on toast with tea and flipping through The Independent. i sound like i am 60.

Another brilliant recent discovery? Russell Brand Sunday mornings on BBC6. Holy shit, people, you gotta listen to this show. Maybe it's just my bizarre sense of humour, but i find myself laughing out loud. Russell Brand, you make me wee a little while i laugh at your show!

i haven't been doing too much - mainly just waiting until payday rolls around. i haven't been doing much mainly because i can't afford to anything else. Who knew that those on salary in the UK only get paid monthly? i just assumed that it was like Canada and people were paid every two weeks.

That's assumption for you.

i am still living without the internet and tv at my flat. i've done a lot of reading in the meantime. Again, i cannot wait until payday so i can set aside some money for internet connections and the new Apple Macbook. Honestly, how beautiful are they? Need i mention that my birthday is this Monday...?

Monday, May 15, 2006

i don't want to sound like a complete whinger...


good god there are some things that are driving me nuts about Glasgow (and by extension, Scotland and the UK)!!!

1. Dog Shit: Why, oh why, do people let their dogs take gigantic dumps here on the sidewalk and then NOT pick up after them? Yes, i know we pay a lot of city tax but nevertheless, it is a vile sight to behold in the morning. What's even worse? It appears that a lot of dogs seem to have leaky assholes and soft stools. If i can tell what is lacking in your dogs diet, we might have a problem.

2. Litter: People here are not shy about throwing gargabe anywhere. And they do so freely. i am astonished while walking behind people and they toss their garbage on the street. Glasgow city council needs to invest in more garbage cans, yes, but they also need to invest in educating people about common sense and courtesy. Yesterday, while running through Kelvingrove Park, i was completely disgusted by the amount of trash that people had left behind from the previous day's activities. There were beer cans, wrappers, and random litter strewn about from yesterday's sun-worshippers. It was absolutely amazing and i wished i had a camera to document how utterly disgusting it was. Sorry Glasgow, but it appears you're a city of fucking pigs.

3. Recycling: There is none to write of. i have three bags of read newspapers in my kitchen that i have been unable to throw away from Canadian guilt.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Glasgow has been oddly warm and sunny for the past few days now. Does it mean i have fully assimilated when i remark how strange it is to not see a cloud in the sky? Not that it really matters as i am no longer on an extended vacation; i am now a fully-employed lass with a National Insurance Number and bank account.

My first week at work has been great; the people are very nice and the office is quite young. As well, i have been taken around to some of the venues that we own and it's quite exciting and interesting. However, there is a fair amount to take in so i have been taking lots of notes and trying to wrap my little Canadian head around how Scotland is run and such things.

i have to admit that i have been somewhat homesick. i really miss my friends, family, and Toronto. My friend came 'round the other night (rightly fearing that i might be homesick) and sucessfully attempted to cheer me up. He pointed out all the positives of moving to Glasgow, and how i made the right decision. However, it's not an issue of it being a "right or wrong decision"; it's a matter of me just being homesick for friends, family and the wonderful city of Toronto. It's not too bad when i am busy at work but since i do not have a television or the internet at home (yet), i am left with little to do but ponder what all my friends and family are doing back home. No wonder immigrants are hard workers: who wants to be left with idle hands and a busy mind thinking of loved ones left behind?

Also, i have to start thinking of Scotland as my "home" - for now, anyway.

It's funny: i was thinking the other day (while shopping at Tescos - brilliant grocery store, by the way. Dirt cheap), how mouth-breathing morons often tell immigrants (or 2nd/3rd generation Canadians/Britians) to "go home" or to "go back" from where they came from. And i realised, that's exactly what i've done!

Some of these racist BNP-voting fuckers often complain about immigrants taking their jobs and telling us bloody foreigners to go home. And yet: this is our ancestral land for a lot of us foreigners. How very odd, indeed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Today was my first day at my new job.

Behold! Working girl in Gap attire!

Since this is my first "Proper" job working outside the Media, i actually have to think about wardrobes, skirts, and ironing. Yes, i have started ironing my shirts! In the past, i would normally just roll out of bed, have a shower (sometimes - although, i found that having a shower at night whilst drunk saves a lot of time in the Hangover morning), and grab the closest pair of jeans that didn't have red wine down the front (just the back, like).

Yes, i started my new job with my new heels in my new city and i have to say that i came away from the first day feeling good. Everyone was warm and receptive and it's even better as the woman (whom i will be taking over from), is still there and makes sure i understand everything going on. Very kind.

As is the norm here, people are paid monthly and as such i am skint! i am looking forward to the last Friday of this month - as are all the other punters - so i can finally get my internet-savvy ass the World Wide Web at home! i've heard so many great things about it!

p.s. Angie G: i miss you!

Friday, May 05, 2006

i'm going to see Okkervil River at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut tonight.

i'm a bit homesick and longing for that obnoxious hipster element of Toronto. So, i've decided to go see the band that all the hipster Toronto kids were masterbating themselves over a couple months ago. i'm a bit slow on the trend (as usual), i know, but i don't have much else to do tonight. i'm also hoping that it won't be as busy and i won't have to jostle for elbow room - as is often the case with whatever Must See Indie Show in Toronto.

i also start my new job Monday morning at 9am and yes, i am nervous and yes, i am excited. Nervous at the "new" element of it all; excited by the prospect that for the first time in my life, i will be making some money and be able to maybe - just maybe - start paying off my student loans.

By the way, when people warn you about living in Europe, take heed folks! It really is expensive to live in. We got it good in Canada, that's for sure. Oh, and we're totally more tolerant of immigrants so far as i can see.

After five weeks, i finally (FINALLY!) have a bank account!

i cannot believe how brutal it was trying to open a bank account here. Now, i can go to being a sad immigrant with no credit rating and having to make deposits to get a landline and internet!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Alright. First things first.

What the fuck is with "lad" (read: men) magazines here? Why are there countless naked nobodies plastered on the cover with that prevelant gaped-mouth and blank stare all the while squishing their boobs - with their finely manicured hands, of course - to resemble mountains of dough straining to be released!?

i mean, what happened to the notion of "no sex please, we're British"?

If this is "liberation" than i could do with some oppression. Yes, yes, there have been topless girls in The Sun on Page 3 for years, but i cannot believe the plethora of naked tits and ass in my local shop when i pop in for some toilet paper! It is unbelievable! i think that every British person, under the age of 40, should be issued a copy of Ariel Levy's book, Female Chauvinist Pigs: The Rise of Raunch Culture or something! Honestly, i'm no prude but really, it is quite ridiculous and frankly, embarrassing.

Now. To the real business at hand. My wish list.

My birthday is at the end of May and so, if you wish to celebrate, please find a list of items which can be shipped at your convenience.

In no particular order:

1. Tim Horton's coffee grinds.
2. Tim Horton's English Toffee mix
3. Classico Alfredo Sauce (any flavour!)
4. Maple Syrup
5. President's Choice Extra Fluffy Pancake Mix
6. Maple Sugar candy
7. Montreal bagels
8. St. Urbain's Horseman by Mordecai Richler
9. Solomon Gursky Was here by Mordecai Richler
10. Any book by Mordecai Richler except for Barney's Version and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

And anything else one may deem necessary.

Hopefully you all have my address.