Sunday, October 28, 2007

I was born to love you, I was born to lick your face

At some point I'll write something about the weekend in NYC, but because I'm cleaning up my festering sty of a house and later doing yard work because it's leaf pick-up tomorrow (city compost program), thought I'd take (yet another) lame shortcut and just post the contents of a scrap of paper I just found in my home office (so I can throw it out at last).

It's all stuff I wrote down (inexplicably) while watching Caddyshack with some of my best boy friends a year or so ago. (I mean boy friend in the most platonic, least romantic way - they're all married and I'm friends with their wives too.) We were drinking beer. It was someone's birthday.

Most are movie quotes, some are... god knows what.

Oh my god I love the smell of beer in someone's hair.

Want to earn $14 the hard way?

I enjoy skinny-skiing and going to bull fights on acid.

I feel like $100.

Oh, rat farts! stage notes: then is struck by lightning.

Ugly bags of mostly water.

I thought you'd be the man to beat this year.
I guess you'll just have to keep beating yourself.

If you wanna rap, just talk, or get weird with someone...

I have to get inside this dude's pelt and crawl around for a few days.

Note to self: Johnny Captain Reverend, make gopher out of clay for Tom.

In the words of Jean Paul Sartre, "au revoir, gophair". [ed. note: thanks, isoglossia - so much better.]

Saturday, October 27, 2007

breaking up is hard to do

Friday was my last day on the job at a place I've worked for three years. Here's what I sent out to friends and family on Thursday. Since this group largely comprises my blog readership, I apologize for the repeat, but enough people have said "post it!" that I feel I must bow to my public's demands.


Subject: break up

Hi all,

Sorry for a mass email but I figured this was the easiest way to spread a simple message: My work-assigned BlackBerry and I are breaking up on Friday.

It has been a reasonably supportive, occasionally fun relationship, but I suppose I knew in my gut from the start that it wasn't going to last. I did love its full QWERTY keyboard and how I could read clever Salon articles from bed with it, but it was also a very demanding, high-maintenance romance. It would nag me do work when I was supposed to be relaxing, and it would pressure me, weekends and evenings, into answering silly questions I wasn't always ready to answer, like "Can you resize the award graphic so that it's a 150x75 pixel JPEG and send it to a disorganized coworker in the next fifteen minutes?"

It just felt a bit needy, you know?

I haven't told it yet, but if I can make a guess based on my experiences with it, it will take the news with its usual sociopathic, plastic aplomb and move on without so much as a glance back at me.

In fact, I confess without any bitterness in my heart that I fully expect my BlackBerry and its phone number xxx-xxx-xxxx to get involved with one of my current co-workers within days, if not minutes of our break-up. (It's a serial monogamist and hates to be alone.) Just thought I'd warn you all that calling it or sending text messages to that number will fall into the wrong hands as of Friday October 26 (5 PM EST).

My boss here, on the other hand, (the one who set us up in the first place) already knows I'm leaving - I told him three weeks ago. I'm heading off to work with some fun, kind, and very talented people at a terrific, successful little publishing house. They produce best-selling and award-winning books and DVDs on outdoor activities - stuff that's really much more up my alley than software. I'm thrilled about the prospect of being thrilled about my work every morning. I start with them November 5.

I'll likely get involved with a new cell phone sometime in the next few weeks - probably something more straightforward, less demanding, and less techy than the old BB. Maybe a cheap rebound affair with something cute, easy-going, and a bit dumb. Let me know if you want the new number when I get it. In the meantime, I can be reached at this email address or at home xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Don't worry about me though - I think I'm going to be okay with this break-up. It feels right.


p.s. My old work emails will also be defunct very shortly - please delete these from your address books asap.

Then, lucky for me, the responses started coming in, including:


"...a cheap rebound affair with something cute, easy-going, and a bit dumb"...and no doubt, super hot in the sack! I didn't want to say anything, but I always thought of that BB as being a lugubrious piece of twaddle anyways.



Hi R,

I'm sorry to hear about your break up.... as it leaves me with a difficult choice... who will I be friends with after this whole ordeal. I'm sorry but, even though I liked you guys together, I like your partner better.... so I'm going to keep emailing interesting stuff to it. I hope you aren't mad or angry about this.....

Sorry, but I really must speak with my heart here.


And then 5 minutes later:

ahhh, I miss you already, screw you stupid blackberry, I want to be your friend.


Hey R,

I'm so sorry to hear this tragic news! If it's any consolation, from what little I had seen of you two, I had a feeling that you were just not right for each other.

The next few weeks are probably going to be quite difficult for you. Try to spend more time with your QWERTY-equipped computer, and any other electronic devices that will help keep your mind off your loss. Losing something as close to you as a phone can be as difficult as dealing with a death. Remember to take the time to grieve, and I urge you not to try to compensate for your loss by picking up some cheap, pay-as-you-go tart, tempting as that may seem on those lonely nights - believe me, it will only lead to more heartache. Now is a time for you to reflect and to consider what you have learned from this experience.

Maybe you will just never find happiness with a BlackBerry(?) Maybe even all cell phones will eventually lead you to the same pit of dejection. Just remember that in this day and age, it's still quite acceptable to have just a land-line... a intermediate fling with a cordless phone (when you are feeling emotionally ready for a change) may help ease you through that transition if you chose to pursue that avenue.

Thanks for letting me know about this - I have already deleted your BlackBerry number from my phone list, which will spare everyone the uncomfortable situations that may arise were I to accidentally dial that number after tomorrow.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to pass on my warmest wishes to you in these difficult times. Keep the wind at your back, a song in your heart, and some sort of vibrating device in your pocket.

take care,


and the more succinct:

go get yourself laid, it will make you feel better.

5) and finally, from the always helpful isogloss, this wonderful suggestion:

Maybe you could let it down easy by going to this Dear John Letter Generator.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

weighing in

Roo: I really think Victoria Beckham is dull and ugly
she looks weird

Super Gord: agreed

Roo: and I think she's really boring
like SO boring
have you ever heard her say anything interesting even once?

Super Gord: nopers

Roo: plus her hair is stupid

Super Gord: her face is stupid

Roo: her walk is stupid
her hunky husband is definitely stupid, in case there's any doubt
and he has a stupid voice
"I'm buying clothes and pouting!"
"I'm pretending to play soccer!"
"I'm in the latest fashions and have someone do my stupid hair every morning!"
"I'm concentrating on growing my facial hair in a way that accentuates my cheekbones but looks totally unplanned!"

Super Gord: lol

Roo: they must have fascinating conversations
almost as good as this one

Super Gord: sorry, I have to work

Roo: ok, I will work now too

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the semiotics of love-slaves

My NYC travelling companion, a friend who's in grad school, asked me to read I was Michel Foucault's love slave out loud for our entertainment a few evenings ago, as we were winding down from a fun day in The City. One line in particular made me laugh so hard that I choked, wheezed and fat tears rolled down my cheeks.

The wheezing was because this article reminded me vividly of hanging out years ago in the basement of a shared student house* on West 11th in Vancouver with my theory-slurping roommates (handsome, lovable Chris; aloof, charismatic Martin) -- both lightning-witted and hysterically funny, if a little self-serious about their studies.

Who were they always battling about? I recall lengthy debates involving Wittgenstein (mostly Martin) and Derrida (mostly Chris). Folks like Butler, and even the notoriously impenetrable Bhabha were sprinkled in for good measure. But that's not all. We might as well have put out an extra place setting at every dinner for Foucault, (the way many Jews do for Elijah at Passover), so often was Michel's name mentioned (reverentially, authoritatively) over cheap meals of vegetarian chili and vats of South American wine, (the latter of which we often consumed until nothing we said made any sense -- if, indeed, it ever did -- and it was time for an inebriated mock-battle conducted from table tops and standing on the backs of the tatty living room furniture, or a dance-off performed in the dark and mirror-like reflection of our uncurtained, massive picture window). Oh, Michel, how could we not be in love? Look at the man:

(My aforementioned friend in grad school sent me the above pic with the comment "this photograph commands a reevaluation of my so-called orientation".)

*Painted robin's egg blue, and in many places un-insulated, as we discovered one night when we drunkenly and collectively kicked a hole in the wall, before tumbling in a mass of arms and legs to the bottom of the stairs, like the little assholes we were.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

sore thumbs

Conversation earlier today with my traveling companion for this weekend's trip to NYC:

CA: do you think that we will be leaving at 12:00

Roo: yes

CA: great
i will wash my undies and socks tonight
and place them in 4 or 5 grocery bags tied together

Roo: I have a surprise for you. not that big a surprise so don't get excited

CA: is it a green garbage bag?
a Saskatchewan suitcase?

Yeah, Canadians travel in style. A few years ago I went to Europe to wander around and stare at people carrying baguettes and eating fine cheeses. An expat friend of mine living in the UK begged me not to bring a single item of fleece or Gore-Tex, and for heaven's sake, bring some jaunty scarves.

So this weekend I'm finally taking up some folks on their standing invites to come crash on their couches and explore New York.

First stop will be Kripalu on the way down, to visit a Canadian friend who for immigration purposes is officially classified as a nun. You know, a yoga nun.

Then we're off to NYC to see some people I love and haven't seen in a while. One is a personal assistant to a celebrity chef, one is a cellist/architect, one is a urban hipster who once designed suede bikinis for local celebrities with "mailslot" holes meant to show off "ass cleavage". Sadly, we'll be missing the German cardiologist who has very good stories about working in the ER in Berlin, back in the day.

"No, doctor, no idea. I really have no idea what's causing the abdominal pain.... What? The x-ray showed a small vibrator lodged at the end of my large intestine?"

Anyway, we'll be the ones carrying around our socks and undies in grocery bags, possibly wearing jaunty scarves. Keep an eye out.

Monday, October 15, 2007

reactions to me showing up at work sick with a cold

"Hello! Wow! You look like shit!"

"Stay away from me. Don't touch anything. ANYTHING."

"Hey there snottyface!"

"It's actually hard to talk to you seriously when you look so high."

(I would have stayed home and worked from there but I'm on a deadline and the cursed VPN wasn't working properly. No choice!)

UPDATE: Sadly, I've only just realized that the most appropriate response to any of the above would have been "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

reactions to "I quit"

"I'm professionally devastated but personally thrilled for you."

"What? Are you kidding? I can't tell if you're kidding because your sarcastic jokey voice is the same as your regular voice."

"Yeah, right on, get out of this hell hole."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

hearty recommendation

Have something to say? Some E-Cards (with the tag line when you care enough to click send) makes it even easier.

Maybe I should send this one to Melvellous (who is no longer my fabulous white-haired sometimes-roommate, but is still, apparently, my personal astrologer):

Ow, it stings:

What can I say, it's like, totally true:

And so is this, doll:

Friday, October 05, 2007


New Friend (NF): A coworker who doesn't know me that well who is working on the same study sent me an e-mail with the following closer.
"Happy Thanksgiving.* Try not to eat too much, you may get fatter"
Now, her first language is french
so I'm giving her abit of leeway
but WTF all the same

Roo: fucking whore
I think that is horrible and inappropriate in any language
to say that to anyone**

NF: I agree
I should write back "Happy Thanksgiving, try not to sleep around, you may become more of a WHORE!"

Roo: or to NOT get fired, write back
"Happy Thanksgiving, try not to drink too much, you might find yourself saying mean things to nice people."

NF: hahaha
you're good

Roo: it's subtle, yet NOT
and won't get you fired

NF: Just so you know
I can't get fired

Roo: why?

NF: In the past 4 years
this place has fired 16 people
out of over 5000
And they were all criminally related

Roo: hahahahhaa

NF: smuggling
document forgery

Roo: hilarious
hire me

NF: One guy they tried to fire because he literally took off all of his clothes because he was high on crystal meth at work
and ran around the office naked
and they couldn't fire him
instead they had to give him better shifts and more vacation time
as they were obviously putting too much strain on him

Roo: wow

NF: my boss finally forced a woman into medical retirement (that was the best he could get, he couldn't get her fired)
because she didn't come into work for 11 years

Roo: hire me


Roo: this is the funniest thing I've ever heard

NF: Then she fought to get her vacation pay paid out
For the time she WASN'T WORKING
And she won that too
We have the strongest unions EVAR
I could shit into my hand, then throw that shit all over my office
Then run around smearing it everywhere
and it would somehow get me more vacation time

Roo: do it. see if you can get a couple extra weeks.

* You know, Canadian Thanksgiving.
** Mom, Dad, the irony is not lost on me, and I apologize for not using my vocabulary.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

(her birthday is on F to the RIDAY)*

Roo: I'm also psyched because a surprise for you just arrived

Amy: traditionally you order the stripper to the birthday person...

Roo: whoops
how much money do you want me to stick in his thong then? I'll pretend to be you, I promise

Amy: coins are more interesting

Roo: good call

* her words

Monday, October 01, 2007

take a look at where I'm going

I know my posts have been sporadic and lame lately (except for the "8 letters exclusiv") but I've had a lot on my mind.

So hey, I quit my job. Go click that link and hear a terrific little song played in the clawhammer style that I do with such gusto but in such a mediocre--yet enjoyable--way.

As a sidebar, I wrote to Chris Luedecke (the guy who wrote it) asking for a tab for "I Quit My Job" and and he wrote back to say he didn't have a tab but here are some detailed instructions on how to play it, key and chords. Sweet guy! He was at the DCMF this year. He made everyone stomp their dusty feet on the wooden floor of an old wild-west church, without even asking. We couldn't help ourselves.

So I did it today. I quit.

Then, experiencing a bit of giddiness and tumult and aching heart, I went to a friend's for tea (thank you) to settle the hell down, (my cheeks still hot from talking with my boss).

Then I went to the place where I volunteer and worked with some kids on their homework (alliteration, some math, and a short story).

Then I went to a friend's place where her visiting Italian (soon-to-be-lover?) friend from Milan made risotto - the best I've ever had.

Then we all practiced signatures and shared our bad photo ID with each other.

It was more fun than it sounds. All of it.

Now I'm going to go dream about living in a way that doesn't make me rot from the inside.

In the meantime, go enjoy the sensual sounds of the Modern Men.