Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gone Post-Al

Every week i need to assign a short answer question to the students in the genetics class. It has always been the worst part of my job, particularly this year. It seems they go out of their way to give me the most incoherent, wrong answer they could muster. It's like a challenge. "Chris, I dare you to fail me... I DARE YOU!!! Yeah, i wrote that genes were something you wear on your legs! I did that!"

I received a short answer question the other day where by the student tried to define what non-random mating is. I should be understanding. There is no crime in not knowing something. Or is there? When I read this particular answer I thought back to the previous week when I assigned the question in the first place. I openned the chapter we were studying to the very first page and asked a question based on exactly what is written. All they needed to do was copy that information out of the book, they didn't even have to read the chapter. But that's not all, so desperate was I to make the question easy for them, I actually told them the answer. "This is the answer class! It's in your book! Write this! You can copy out of the book, or you can write down what I'm saying right now!"

So I sit down to correct these questions and I go totally nuts. Wrong answers??? VERY WRONG ANSWERS??? How is this possible?

Non-random mating. The answer in the book: "Individuals may mate at random or they may mate preferentially with close relatives, or preferentially with individuals with similar or disimilar traits.

Among the answers I received from students, "Non random mating... When people mate outside of their own subgroup...ie.. When a Russian mates with a Chinese."

Russian mates with... Sub... group??? What the bloody hell is this??? Man, I marked up his page with some good sarcasm and condescending rhetoric. Then I got even angrier when I realized he would never read what I wrote cuz it was the last class. Sometimes I feel like emailing this guy. "Are you mental? Did you do this just to provoke me? I gave you the answer you stupid piece of s**t!"

I'm also pretty frustrated with the buses. The 162 is one of the most foul buses to drive the roads. It should come every half an hour and it can't even commit to that! I mean, fine, there was a snowstorm last week. Yet, this week, I still find myself waiting for a bus for at least half an hour. And I stand there, staring into the horizon hopefully thinking to myself, "It hasn't snowed in days. The streets are clean... I can't live like this." Then the bus pulls up, busdriver scowling. Don't scowl at me! I know this bus starts it's route just down the street. There's no reason for you to be late, and every reason for me to pummel you until I'm satisfied that your physical pain is proportional to my emotional pain resulting from waiting for your sorry behind for so long. I pay 65$ a month for this s**t, so get your mother f**king act together and drive. I mean... why?!? Why even give out bus schedules. Just give out little pamphlets. On the front it would say 162 Bus and then you open it up and it says, "F**K YOU!" No times, no street names... Just a sincere expression of the true intention of all bus drivers, in two simple words. Hell, I'd even keep it in my pocket, so when the bus actually does show up I can say, "Hey! You're right on time!" And show him the inside of the pamphlet. Then he would nod and smile and we'd be on the same wavelength for a change.

But perhaps the thing that really got to me last week, was when I had been working all day, and at around 8:30 at night, I decided to get a little something to eat. The Loyola campus where I work, has no significant restaurants. There is the vermin infested greek place, dagwoods and subway. Then finale, there is a little diner called new moon. I hate them all. But, i need to eat, no? So I go to new moon, figuring I'll get something quick. I order some hot dogs. For half an hour I wait, while these morons are chatting with each other, looking at me with big smiles on their face and telling me, "It won't be long sir!"

It won't be long? It has been long! And when i get up to ask them about my food, the cashier, as if she forgot I was sitting 2 feet away from her becomes animated, "Where is this gentleman's hot dogs?" The guy who made them for some reason decided to pack it up and put it on top of some shelf instead of the counter where the food is distributed. They give me the food and I gave that old lady such a dirty look... Half an hour... for a few f**kin' franks!

I'm the kind of person who tries to find meaning in everything. I try and justify the fact that in any given week I literally spend hours, standing in the snow, fretting and fuming, or in a restaurant waiting for ironically named, fast food. As for students, i always thought I was super patient... But when they can't just regurgitate what I said in plain english...

I wish every second of my life was packed with action!!! Constantly stimulated like James Bond... You never see him waiting around. Or Chev Chelios from Crank. All the productive things I could do with those many forfeit hours... You know what I need? A car! I could drive to the beginning of the bus route to see exactly what it is that happens between the terminus and my stop that results in a 15-30 minute delay. Then, when I find the bus parked there, with a bunch of bus drivers, reading comics or doing God knows what, I would smash the bus to bits so they would actually have an excuse to be late. Then I could run over the dumber portion of my students... repeatedly!!! Then I would turn New Moon into a drive thru. Just put the pedal to the metal and drive right through the front of it. "That's the old school s**t!" I'd declare.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Montreal always amazes me. Every year you would think that it's the first time we've ever had a snowstorm. For the past two days now the bus has just decided not to come. And you'd think I would have the good sense to go wait for the bus, the old unfaithful 162, with my Ipod earbuds firmly secured into my ears. But instead today, for some reason, I just walked out and waited for the bus leaving myself vulnerable to all kinds of... socializing.

So this guy comes up to me with a big grey moustache and stuble, the slight smell of alcohol wafting from him. I just knew, deep down in my soul, that whatever hapenned next was going to be good. I really did. I was so excited to hear what was going to come out of this guys mouth. Let me tell you, he far exceeded my expectations. He immediately starts cursing and swearing, "Where's the bus? You know, there's a bunch of people at home not doing anything. Why not pay them to clean the f**kin' streets? Hello!" He ends 45% of his sentences with the word Hello!, said in a sarcastic way. "I mean, I work every day! How is that fair? Pay some people to clean the f**kin' snow! Hello!"

I just smiled and nodded. He continued, "I'm not racist or anything but..."

YES!!! I was right! The moment someone says they're not racist or anything you KNOW they're going to go on an incoherent racist tirade. I'm such a nerd, I'm thinking, "I can't wait to blog about this guy!"

So where were we? Oh yes, "I'm not racist or anything BUT!!! I hate when Arabs tell me what to do. I go into this guys house for work, he tells me to take off my shoes! With that rag over his head and... Back in my day you'd never hear people on the bus talking arab! If I take off my shoes, who's going to protect me if something falls on my foot? A f**kin' arab?? F**k no!!!"

BRILLIANT! And he just kept going, "Listen...I don't care if you're black or white...." That's a relief, otherwise whatever you were about to say might have come out wierd and awkward.

"...But back in the day when i was in jail, there would be some white people, and like two black people... Now! There's like... 150 black people in jail! I mean... I don't do anything but I sometimes end up in jail. Man I really gotta piss..."

So he walks out of the bus shelter and pees on a tree. Grood... That's some good blogging material. Or is it? He comes back to the bus shelter, by now we've been waiting about half an hour, and then some old lady comes, and they start cursing together about the terrible bus system. She says she might just take a cab. The old man says, "Oh, if you call a cab, remember, I'm your son!" She says, "My son?? How old do you think I am? This guy (points at me) could probably be my son, though."

Agewise maybe, but even this old drunk must have noticed I'm black, even if he's not racist or anything. So finally a bus comes. It's the 105, not the bus we're waiting for. Nevertheless, the drunken fool decides to start complaining to the bus driver about how it's ridiculous, yadda yadda, we pay so much for bus passes, don't they work? Why don't they hire more bus drivers? This driver just shrugs his shoulders. What could he really say?

"F**k the bus!" the drunk said. And I was inclined to agree with him. Another 105 bus comes. "F**k!!! I'm going to high jack the bus and tell him if he doesn't change the number to 162 I'm going to beat him... You know.... Like Speed? With Sandra Bullock??? Hello!! I don't care... What are they going to do? Put me in jail? Fine! No rent! Free Food! Hey... don't worry about it."

I wasn't worried at all, but some of the ladies at the bus stop worried when the 105 stopped and he actually started yelling and screaming at the bus driver, "Hey what's going on with you guys? I've been waiting here for an hour! Where's the 162?"

The bus driver says in french, "there's a lot of snow sir, I don't know if you've noticed."

Instant swearing! The drunk starts cursing the guy's mother and all bus drivers, gives him the finger. The bus driver then puts the wheel of the bus in that neutral position then he stands up and says, "Why don't you come here and say that?"

The drunk keeps yelling and the bus driver keeps egging him on. Wow, he would have killed that drunk. He was a pretty fit bus driver. In the distance I could see the 162 coming down the street, while these two idiots really look like they're going to start fighting. People start getting off of the 105. "F**k your mother! You bus drivers are idiots! Is this a joke? Then they call me ignorant. Hello!"

Bus driver says, "You think you could do better? Why don't you go get a job application you homeless so and so..." Then finally he drives off, realizing the drunk really isn't doing anything to hinder him.

Anyway, finally we get on the 162 and the drunk curteously lets everyone on before him. I make my way to the back of the packed bus while he continues his inebriated ramblings. Finally someone shouts out, "No one is listenning!" To which he responds, "That's good. I like talking to myself." Well, that's that. Honestly, I liked that little idiot. He was a lot of laughs. Goodnight, Sweet Prince.

Then some white guy in a red coat gets up and starts rapping some song about how nobody should f**k with him and he's a soldier or something. As he leaves, an older white man says, "Rap music is an amazing embellishment (what?). It all started with Shaka Khan. (Is it a full moon tonight?)" Then he goes on a little rant.

Long story short, it took me 1 hour and a half to get home, when I could have walked it in 30 minutes.

The End

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Most Important Criterion of All

This Saturday I was killing sometime, openned up MSN to discover they had finally chosen a sexiest man alive for 2007. I clicked on the link expecting to see my name, picture and reasons why I was so sexy when I see Matt Damon's ugly mug, beady eyes and all as sexiest man alive. I was somewhat irate. Is Matt Damon actually a good looking guy? I mean, is it just because I'm a guy that I can't see it?

A friend of mine, who I know has a thing for Matt Damon was pleased by this news. I told her that Matt and not Masta had been voted (chosen) sexiest man a live. She then went on to list certain criteria that were necessary for one to be voted sexiest man alive. Among those criteria was not being a thug rapper. Another was being fairly old, around 40 years old.

But she had missed the most important criterion of all... BEING WHITE!!!

My racism sense was tingling the moment I saw Matt Damon with that ridiculous simper on his face. Were there any non-white sexiest men alive? Just one... Denzel Washington some 10 years ago. For over two decades they have been choosing sexiest men alive, and only one of them was not white. I went on to tell my friend that People's Magazine was racist and so was she for supporting their non-ethnic choice of sexy men. The list is also inherently discriminatory towards the deceased. What kind of a world is this? She then argued that there are few ethnic people in the media as good looking as their most popular white counterparts.

I was outraged and embarked on the awkward and confusing mind trip that was rating the super hunks. I first looked at the list from People magazine in disgust. Even if they're going to pick old white guys, where's Captain Picard on this list? Where's Blair Underwood? I guess they discriminated against him because he has a moustache.

Then I decided to think of non-white people who should have made the list. Aside from myself, I think Tyrese... I think that's his name... The black model? Or am I thinking of Taye Diggs? He's a good looking man, no? What about that asian guy who played Seraph from the Matrix? Ummm.... The Brown Guy from Heroes is pretty good looking.

There! You can see my outrage. 20 years of sexiest men alive, and they haven't included Tyrese the black model or the asian guy from the matrix. Eff People Magazine! But I suppose that generally speaking if there's a black guy or an asian guy in a movie or TV show they are present, mostly, to be the black or asian stereotype. Black guys are around to be criminals in movies. Even Denzel! How many images of Denzel Washington do we have of him getting dragged away in handcuffs, riddled with bullets or brooding passionately in a jail cell? Oh man, does Hollywood love to see Denzel Washington's characters get in trouble with the law. Not the sexiest images, but Denzel was sexy enough to overcome it. As for other black people, they're usually portrayed as thuggish criminals, not really the good looking super hunks/knights in shining armour, who save the day and get all the ladies. Or these days doctors... Either way at some point you see them covered with blood.

Contrast that to the people on the sexiest man alive list... When you think of the white guys on the list, you immediately think of them in suits. I know I do. Several of them were in Ocean's 11, 12 and 13. Brad, George, Matt. They all got to wear nice suits. Bernie Mac and Don Cheadle were in these movies too, but Don Cheadle was some kind of engineer and where as Brad, George and Matt were in suits, seducing women and being stylish in casinos, Don Cheadle was somewhere digging a tunnel or stealing some device. Not so sexy. Meanwhile George and Brad were living it up. Where are they in this picture, by a pool or something? NOT in some freaking mine? Big surprise. I can see Don Cheadle in talks to do this project,

Don: "Cool! Ocean's 11? Do I get to wear suits and go around carousing in Casinos and hotels?"
Producer: "No... You'll be in a dark dank tunnel, while the white people are topside, making sure everything runs smoothly."
Don: "Man... This is some bulls**t!!!"

So we have miners, criminals... Black men in dresses anyone? Big Mama's House, Tyler Perry movies, Eddie Murphy movies... In fact, not only is martin lawrence wearing adress but he's holding a gun too! Not only is he demasculated but stereotyped as well!!

I'll continue to do my homework to see how I can become the second Black, sexiest man alive. This is definately something that has to change in our world... Starvation, aids, crime, poverty should all be put on the back burner while we adress this issue.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Punk Kids

I was about to take the metro the other day when I saw some punk kids attacking a poster with a metal pipe that they found somewhere. "LOOK AT THAT!!! RIGHT IN THE FACE GUY!!!" It was sunday night. Poor stupid kids... They can't have a very happy homelife if sunday night is juvenile vandalism night.

Last week I had to start going to work a little bit earlier, and I ended up taking the bus with the high school kids in the neighbourhood. You know what's fascinating? The meticulous way that kids sort their marijuana. They have a little case, and they often seem to be manipulating it somehow. I never quite understood what they were doing. Removing the seeds? If only they were that focused on positive things like... homework. The day after I saw that display, there was a guy who got on the bus smelling of weed and playing his DS.

I was just thinking about back in the day, there was a news story about some american kid who went to Singapore and decided to spray paint one of the cars. The punishment for that in Singapore is to beat the transgressor with a ratan stick. I have one at home. It must have really hurt. And somehow this turned into international news, whereby the kids parents tried to get him out of his just desert. I'd love to have heard the conversations between the kids parents and the owner of the car.

Parents: "Couldn't our son just apologize?"
Car Owner: "Of course he can apologize. After he gets his ass demolished and I'm compensated for damages."

I was so happy when he finally got his beating. And you know what? If you read the story, it seems that he really took it like a man. He should be proud. It's a shame that the best discipline he received in life was from an inanimate rod instead of his parents. Seriously though, the kid did have a really tough life. I don't think that means he should be exempt from caning. In Singapore, if you are on Death Row they don't even bother caning you. You're just hopeless. The kid should be grateful they even thought he was worth beating. I think there are some kids in Canada who would benefit from a good beating.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Soul Restoration?

I was watching some entertainment news show a few minutes ago and was SCANDALIZED to hear that some animal protection group has a vendetta against Ellen Degeneres. As the story goes she took some dog into her home and then gave it away, which is against the rules. So they took the dog away from the family who Ellen had given it too.

Subsequently Ellen wept on her show, begging for them to return the dog to the family who had grown to love it so much. When asked how he felt about the situation the dog licked its nuts and then took a dump on the carpet.

Honestly... Maybe I'm just mean but... This is a story? There are stray cats all over the place. Ellen is crying because she feels responsible for the family's suffering. Get a life! You can aquire a new and better dog! That can do tricks, guard the house, say I RUV OOO in a doggie voice. It would save babies from fires like the littlest hobo and solve crimes like Scooby Doo. The dog they were crying about was barely the size of my fist. I can just see them winning some court case and following the judges ruling, he would strike his gavel, unwittingly hitting the dog on the head and smashing it like mound of jello.

Also, Oprah has somehow "burned out" her thyroid. I don't know what that means but she "came out" publicly about it. Then she said something about how she had to take a few months to "restore her soul". I love how Oprah is too rich and divine to take a vacation anymore. Everyone else in the world takes some time off. Oprah restores her soul. I guess they just needed a phrase that could encompass the virtual nirvanna that she attains when she's taking a bath in liquid gold, burning candles made from humback whale oil and eating saussages made from the meats of 17 endangered species.

All this to say, I think Oprah and Ellen are some terrific ladies, but I don't think these people should be using their television program to talk about their personal problems. I'm sure Ellen is very upset about this dog, but I don't think that warrants an international display of tears. And I'm sure Oprah isn't feeling so good, but she could just buy a new thyroid. In other news 45 civillians were killed in South Darfur when the cease fire was broken. 45 souls! 45 thyroids! I imagine some of the kids in those parts of the world would be thrilled to come into possession of Ellen's dog. It's probably tastier than what they usually eat... nothing!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Geeks

Man, I'm so excited for this Harry Potter book next week. It's sad really... I have a bad history with these books. Every single one of them has been ruined for me. I always know who dies, before they die. Last week the COVER of the gazette had as a headline, "Is main character X really dead?" How pathetic are we that the ending of the 6th Harry Potter book is front page material for the local newspaper?

Anyway, these books have left us wondering who the unlucky bloke is who will end up getting killed in the conclusion of the series. I'm hoping it's Hagrid. What a jerkstore. For 6 years he's been endangering the idiot kids by exposing them to unnatural, dangerous creatures.

Hagrid: "Hey kids! I found a new creature. It's a radioactive, bladed, fire breathing horse. It emits gamma radiation."
Hermione: "Doesn't that cause cancer?"
Hagrid: "Does it ever!!! But it's so cute!!!"

SLIC'D Takes his head clean off, first chapter. That'll learn him.

There are also theories going around that Neville is the one the prophecy speaks of and that he might bite the bullet when he and voldemort engage in Wizard fisticuffs. I think that would be an interesting twist.

Perhaps neither harry nor Neville will die. I think a great twist would be to see a noble sacrifice by Snape. Harry becomes defence against the dark arts teacher at long last and survives for a semester, breaking the bad luck that has come with the position for so many years.

Then there's so many other seeds that she's planted. What's going on with the Giants? The Centaurs? The House Elves? What will happen to the dementors? Are the beloved characters that we lost in previous books really dead?? Is Snape Harry's father??? Hermione Harry's sister??? Cedric Diggory is actually Cedric the entertainer??? So many possibilities. Next week I will find out.. and hopefully none of you jerks will ruin the ending for me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Masta and Vrej on Isaiah Washington

Vrej says:

MastaC$G says:

Vrej says:
hmmm So i dont get ostracized for the q word, eh? Interesting

MastaC$G says:
Isaiah washintong claims he wasn't even calling the gay guy queer. But other guy who only seems gay. Rather... He said, "you can't treat me like a faggot."

Vrej says:

MastaC$G says:
effin' right you can't treat him like a faggot.

Vrej says:
nor a bitch

MastaC$G says:
eff grey's anatomy.

MastaC$G says:
I like the old stereotype, though. He can be all dignified and calm, spouting out lines about medicine... But when someone crosses him...

MastaC$G says:
Isaiah Washington: "I ain't no bitch, motha f**ka... You think I'm some kind of f**kin' faggot, f**k?"

Vrej says:
Patrick Dempsey: "No, just the regular kind"

MastaC$G says:
Isaiah Washington:"Fuck you... I'll stick my d**k in yo mama's #@%^@, bitch-a$$ n***a!!!"

Vrej says:
he draws a diagram

MastaC$G says:
Then he gets fired.

MastaC$G says:
Sandra Oh: "wow that escalated quickly. He just asked him to pass him the script book."

Should someone really get fired for that? We've all used unkind words when we lose our temper. More often I use that language simply to exercise my natural belligerence that I have to curb all day long in public. What a burden. And what a relief to be able to just let her rip and use all sorts of foul language when someone ticks you off.

Patrick dempsey and that gay guy who's name I can't remember should be flattered that Isaiah feels he's close enough to them to use such harsh language. The word faggot is a word reserved only for those I feel closest too. The people I allude to are not gay people mind you... That would be rude. You don't call retarded people retarded... You call your friends retarded when they act like retards... Similarly words used to imply homosexuality are set aside only for those who you are comfortable enough with to chastise in such an innappropriate manner. What does that imply about this blog, filled with more profanity than a Chris Rock stand up routine? It means I love all those who read it.. well, most of you homos anyway.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fortune Telling

I rarely watch the news but like many things, the news makes me angry. What's the deal with a weather report??? What exactly do you have to major in to qualify to be a weatherman? It's the only job I know where you can be consistenly wrong day after day and not be fired. A weatherman can easily give you a 7 day forecast and not even be close for seven of the seven days. "Tomorrow's forecast... 60% chance of rain..."

The next day comes... No rain... You turn on the news... "Well, it seems the rain has 'passed over' us and MAY fall somewhere in the Eastern townships." All the while they beguile us with cheesy cartoons of clouds with eyes and smiling suns. YOU WERE WRONG MOFO!!! Fess up!!! What are you paid for if you can't predict the weather? If I were to randomly guess what the weather is going to be like a few days from now I bet I would be right 50% of the time. Try me... Tomorrow, the forecast is going to be rainy... The day after that... No rain... It's going to be 38 degrees... Then on Friday there will be an earthquake and a volcanic eruption... And it will rain cats and dogs... And the rain will have cat-dog hybrid babies... and these mutants will maul the population... And if that doesn't happen, I'll collect my paycheque anyway! I'm sure there are some animals out there that are more reliable at forecasting the weather... They probably pee on the east side of a tree when the wind is going at a certain speed.. or something... Someone must have knowledge of how to predict rainfall by animals urinary habits.

Health reports are an insulting farce. Today's offering, a "report" about the benefits of a polyphenols in delaying neurological diseases. But if you watch it, there are very few scientists speaking. Just slack-jawed locals, "My dad is old... My dad drinks a lot of wine... My dad is not demented.. Therefore wine cures dementia." Cut to a scientist saying, "Wine contains polyphenols!!!" One woman even had the audacity to claim that her mother was LIVING PROOF that whatever fermented leaf, tiger urine or holy water her mother drank was what kept her mind so sharp throughout old age..

They did "interview" one scientist. They had a few shots of him using a pipette. He alluded to the fact that polyphenols may scavenge antioxidants and suggested they could make a polyphenol pill in the future.

Again... I could EASILY spout out a bunch of mumbo jumbo about anti-oxidants. But if I'm not accountable, what credibility do I have? I could say, KFC contains chicken, which contains fats. Fats are found in brain cells. Therefore KFC could cure alzheimers... I eat KFC and I don't have alzheimers. That's pretty strong evidence for my hypothesis.

You know what delays old age, in plain english: "Exercise and Eat properly." The equivalent information in a news report. "New studies reveal that GRAPES are good for you. They contain polyendoamenic acids that prevent old age."

Some hapless bumpkin: "WOW GRAPES!!! Good for you?? I'd better eat lots of grapes and I'd better eat them exclusively. And I'd better go to the pharmacy and see if they have grapes available in pill form. All the goodness of a bunch of grapes, in one convenient pill. For the on the go slob, who doesn't know any better."

The more things change the more they stay the same. The evening news portrays little more than a bunch of modern day fortune tellers and sorcerers getting paid to convince you that they know something that you don't. Sure there are a lot of facts in there, but they have such a bias slant that people are bound to misunderstand or come up with the wrong conclusions. Maybe the scientist in me makes me a little critical of these feeble reports, but what else could they show the general public? That being said, I WILL go and have a bunch of grapes right now. Grapes contain neuron "mightiers" like polyphenol.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

AM /EFF 'em!! Radio

Man, am I ever tired of random people calling me asking for survey information or trying to sell junk.... Normally I ask them if I could have their phone number so I could call them back. Of course they seldom allow incoming calls and after I'm informed of this, I generally decline doing business with them.

Today, I was called by someone who wanted to gather information for a survey about ratings on the radio. I was not pleased at all. I particularly hate it when they introduce themselves and ask a question right away, as if they're so fast I won't even notice the survey has already begun.

Survey Guy: "Hello, my name is Guy. We're a non-profit organization collecting information to evaluate the ratings that different radio stations are receiving-Are you over 18??"

Who said I wanted to participate in this survey anyway. I'll ask the questions if you don't mind. "Wait a minute... What interest does a non-profit organization have in getting information for a radio show?? Are you a volunteer??"

Survey Guy: "Well.. I'm an employee..."
Me: "So you are getting paid."
Survey Guy: "Well... we're part of a cooperative..."
Me: "That's irrelevant... Basically, you're asking me to do this survey, so you can collect information that has monetary value to you."
Survey Guy: "Yes..."

The guy then says that he will only take 3 minutes of my time by phone and eventually asks if he can send the survey to my house so I can fill it out and mail it back to them.

Me: "So you want me to fill out this survey for you, which will provide YOU with valuable data. What incentive do you provide for the time it will cost me to do all of this."
Survey Guy: "Well... you will be able to influence the quality of the radio programs you enjoy."
Me: "I don't listen to the radio... EVER!!!"
Survey Guy: "We need information from people who don't listen to the radio as well. Is your adress *****"
Me: "How do you have my adress???"
Survey Guy: "Phone book.. 411... ummm..."
Me: "I see... I ask you again... Why should I do this for you???"
Survey Guy: "Well, there may be a few dollars in the enveloppe if you complete the survey."
Me: ...
Survey Guy: ...
Survey Guy: "Can I count on you to complete the survey??"
Me: "Count on me??? I guess decide when I receive the survey after I've seen what kind of "incentives" you provide. Won't I??"
Survey Guy: "Thank you, you'll be receiving the package in a few weeks."

Jerk.... I feel he owes me money for calling my house. He's already indebted to me. Now he's going to send me some freaking survey. I refuse to do it for anything less than 5$ at this point. The most disturbing thing however, is that I took the time to even converse with this guy. I should have just said I wasn't interested, and hung up. At least once a week, someone tries to get something from me for free. They're stealing my time and money simply cuz they picked my name out of a phone book. I'm mad as hell and I won't stand for it anymore!!! Radio stations now??? I have to spend time telling them how I hate that song by Rihanna that they play every 10 seconds? You want better ratings, play music that doesn't suck.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Silver lining

A guy spends the night with a 5$ hooker. The next day he wakes up and finds he has crabs. So he goes to the hooker and says, "Hey, you gave me crabs!" And the hooker says, "Well, you only gave me 5$. What did you expect? Lobster?"

This weekend I had lobster. I wasn't too impressed. I can't believe people make such a big deal out of it. I find when I look at lobster it begs the question, who was the first person to decide that a lobster was edible. It kind of looks like a bug. A scorpion to be exact. It has antannae and claws. It's a truly awful looking thing. If I saw one running around for the first time I'd want to step on it, kill it and get rid of the remains as fast as possible.

A co-worker of mine told me that lobster used to be considered a poor persons food, given to prisoners and children. Servants actually complained about having to eat lobster all the time. http://www.gma.org/lobsters/allaboutlobsters/lobsterhistory.html

But now it's considered a delicacy. I must applaud the genius who decided to smother lobster in garlic butter and sell it for 30$ a pound. What does it take to prepare lobster? Nothing. You just dump it in boiling water. Basically what you have is a garlic butter delivery system. It's pretty crazy if you ask me. And pretty brilliant.

I think there's a moral here. It's like, seeing the silver lining in a dark cloud. Making something negative, positive. Lobster is basically a disgusting arthropod that people loathed having to eat. Someone put a value to it and turned it into a huge industry.

Where are the lobsters in your life? What could you do to add value to a negative situation you're in? There are things we take for granted or even look upon as problems. Relationships? Work? Faith? It's time to make lobsters out of those things. Take the problems in your life, boil them in the water of hope and smother them in the garlic butter of potential!!! Turn a 5$ hooker into a million dollar wife. Make your job at the office an opportunity to get some well needed rest. Use an unpleasant coworker as an outlet for your scorn and disgust. Lots of the things we avoid in life are opportunities waiting to happen.

Take your problems and turn them into lobster!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Props to Heroes and Sheroes

My approach to life is to get things that don't need immediate attention, out of my way as soon as possible. I don't necessarily hang up my clothes when I get home. Why fumble with a hangar like a chump when there are chairs all over my apartment? There's only one of me, and two sofas, 4 kitchen chairs, and my best friend, the lawn chair in my bedroom. After a few days that chair is stacked so high with clothes it looks like the leaning tower of Piza.

I also apply this philosophy to coins. Except whereas I do hang up my clothes at some point, I have never wrapped coins in my life. EVER. And it never really occured to me that I have coins hidden all over my apartment. There was of course the pile of coins on my bureau that grows every time I come home when I empty my pockets. Jen made the mistake of offering to role them.

Well, once she started those I was finding cans full of coins all over the place... And of course there is my pride and joy, not one, but two, ghetto ziplock bags filled with pennies. Long story short, I had a little over a hundred and fifty dollars in pennies, dimes, nickles and quarters.

And it's props all around for alpha posse. Jen gets props for paying the pizza delivery guy 35$ in dimes. I don't think any man could have pulled that off. Of course the delivery did draw the line as he pleaded in a middle eastern accent, "Fine.. But ... no pennies."

Props to Rez and Jbo for bringing snacks, fancy sodas in glass bottles and pretty much everything electronic from Justin's living room. Guitar hero? Sick... But the real heroes are the people who play actual guitar. Jimmy Hendrix... John Maher? I think that's his name.

Props to Vrej for DVD player that plays Divx files. That is truly a kingly gift. And props to Dave for once again, depleting my supply of milk. If I've said it once, I've said it a million timess, it's not the Crizzouse, without the posse.

Pics available on facebook... And if you're not on facebook, get on!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Playing Randomly

I can't quite put my finger on what it is that annoys me most about Facebook... I must admit I'm not a fan of the total addictiveness of it. I'm a weak man. And anytime my mind wanders it seems to wander back to facebook. Email is becoming obsolete. Even if I do get an email, it's usually alerting me that I have a message on facebook. And when I go to check that message I get a new feed about all the mundane things that have been hapenning during someone's day. I admit I often stalk other people's conversations.

Person 1's wall: "Hey I didn't see you at the place today."
Person 2's wall: "I didn't go to the place I had things to do."
Person 1's wall: "Like what? Go on facebook?"
Person 2's wall: "Yeah, facebook is super addictive. Did you see what that slut, Person 4 said to person 5??"
Person 3'swall: "Woah.. I went to High School with Person 4."

Jbo has the most exhaustive list of interests, favourite music and activities that I have ever seen on one page. And as if the dozens and dozens of songs, and movies and TV shows he puts up there isn't enough, he even has the balls to put entries like, "ANYTHING BY Ronald Dahl... for example." "ANYTHING from the 80's!" His list isn't long enough, he has to include all the music from an entire tacky decade. We discussed this phenomenon at length and Jbo concluded that having many diverse interests make him a fascinating person. To which I replied, "Wow! You like the Simpsons??? that's an AMAZING SHOW!!! You're fascinating and complex."

But the biggest Facebook grab for attention is the relationship status. Why would someone announce to the world that they're in an "open relationship"? What is an open relationship? Does it mean you're sleeping around but you sleep with one person more than others? Isn't that just not a relationship? Or a "complicated relationship"? What's complicated about it aside from the fact that now everyone knows something's going wrong? And wondering... And waiting for the day when the news feed reveals (with that tell tale broken heart icon next to it), "So and so is no longer in a complicated relationship...They are single and interested in dating individuals of the same sex..." Then I have to waste my time checking to see how their relationship is going, seeing if there are any revealing messages being exchanged between partners involved in said "complicated relationships".

And what does it mean when people say on their profiles that they're looking for "Random Play"? What is Random Play? Those two words together mean nothing to me. Then there's looking for, "Whatever I can get." I wish someone would give me one example of what they can get from facebook besides a place to flush your precious time down the toilet.

I think Facebook is one of the most interesting social experiments of our time. It really reveals the disparity between who people are, and what people want others to see. The best example is Vrej's FAVOURITE QUOTE: "Have fun!"

First of all, that is not a quote. I mean, who said that first? Even as far as a motto goes it's kind of iffy. Second of all coming from Vrej it's downright offensive.

Me: "Vrej want to go to Cabane a sucre?"
Vrej: "It's far... I already went... I need to go to city hall to attend to some paper work."

Or the yearly New Year's Eve conversation. Every year since 1998 I have this conversation with Vrej.
Me: "Vrej, want to do whatever for New Year's Eve?"
Vrej: "I'm boycotting New Years. New Years is overhyped, overrated. I'm staying home."

Or clubbing?
Vrej: "I'm never going clubbing ever again."

Want to go to the restaurant Vrej?
Vrej: "I'm trying to eat out less. And whatever restaurant you suggested is too expenisve, or too far or too unhealthy..."

Few people don't enjoy Vrej's company, but "fun" is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Vrej. On Facebook however, Vrej, much like Cindy Lauper, wants nothing less. I think I should start a facebook group, "People who think Vrej should change his favourite quote to, "Don't have fun!""

But yeah, facebook is awful, awful stuff... To all those of you in "complicated relationships". Good luck! To those of you looking for whatever you can get, I hope you get whatever. And please, if you play randomly, use a condom.

Those bureaucrats are some crazy cats

It should have been simple enough. I just needed to submit some documents for a Graduate Award I was applying for. In all fairness I was late but I was told it was okay.

So I called up the office for the people actually offering the award and naively asked the secretary if I could submit the required documents. She immediately replied, "Sure, but you'll have to make 10 copies of them."

Me: "10 copies??"
Secretary: "YES!!!"
Me: "Of everything?"
Secretary: "YES!"
Me: "Why?"
Secretary: "Because they'll all be asking for copies!!"
Me: "Really? All of them? All of who??"
Secretay: "YES!!!"

Anyway, I hung up the phone wondering if I had misunderstood something. Clearly I wasn't going to make 10 copies of the application and ask my references to make 10 copies of their reference letters. I just concluded that the secretary was completely insane and decided I would send my documents to the graduate awards office at Concordia.

I went to the wrong building and was redirected to right adress. When I arrived there I explained my situation to the receptionist who immediately donned the most dumbfounded look she could muster. "GUUUUUUUUUUHHHH???" She then pointed a trembling finger to a door behind me. There was a woman seated at my desk.

I asked her one question. She made a phone call to get the answer. I asked her another question, and she called the same person back. Finally she just took what I had and went into some dark hallway for a few minutes. While she was gone I noticed the receptionist on the phone looking very perplexed. Whoever she was talking to must have been asking her some really tough questions. "OH really? I don't know.. I don't know... That's strange.. I'll transfer you."

I can just imagine the person on the other end. "Hello... Is this the graduate awards office? What number have I dialed? What time is it? What's your name? Do you know anything?"

Receptionist: "Duuuuh.....??? Uuuurggghhh....?? I know nothing... Buuuuuhh??? I'm an idiot... Let me transfer you to someone who can help you. Gaaaahhh...." And while she warbles the frustrated noises of an over-taxed brain, her feeble mind tries to decipher the strange numbers on her phone and eventually she transfers the person to another random department where an answering machine is primed to take a message that will promptly be deleted the moment someone hears it.

Person: "I need to graduate! Help me!"
Receptionist 2 looks at her phone in disgust: "DELETED!"

The most surprising thing is that the receptionist answered the phone at all. I have never, EVER called a number at school and gotten an answer unless I was actually in a secretary's office already using their phone so that the cretin on the other end would know it was an internal number.

It would be very interesting to see what would happen if you eliminated 90% of the work force in a school. No one really seems to know anything. I mean, 3/4 people I had spoken to today were just there as foils, to lead me somewhere else. And in all of these cases, if you're persistent enough, you'll find someone who has access to the person with the brains. Some sinister mastermind who holds all the keys to solving all the problems. One day I hope to meet this person, so I can bypass all of the simple minded bureaucrats who waste hours and hours of my time anytime I need any help with anything.

The story basically ends with me going back to this lady with a completed application. The fun part is they need an official transcript. I'm told that it takes 3 business days to get. Something that I can print out on my computer right this instant in 5 seconds except it wouldn't be official. I love it.

*disclaimer* some secretary's are lovable, competent and super efficient. They know who they are.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Old School

So a few days ago it came to my attention that Kardinal Offishal was going to be giving a concert at the Hive, basically a crummy hall at the Loyola Campus of Concordia. I thought he was a pretty well known rapper and the tickets were free. So I decided to go and ask a few people if they were up for it. I got responses like: "Who is Kardinal Offishal? What does he sing?" To which I would reply with a blank stare, "I'm sure you know songs by him... ummm... Money Jane? Everyday Rudebwoy?" Those were pretty much the only songs I could think of by him.

So tonight was the concert and the doors were supposed to open at 10 but they kept us waiting out in the cold until about 10:30. I was pretty irate, "Could someone please tell Kardinal Offishal some of us have work in the morning??"

They frisked us and stuff. My first thought was, "They really fixed up the hive." It looked presentable and was bigger than a lot of lounges I'd been to. My second thought was, "Why does every white person who comes through the door feel obliged to do some crazy dance move."

One white guy walked through the door and went, "OOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!" No one turned around. He skulked off in shame. Then a white girl came in and flailed her arms in a most embarassing manner that I suppose was supposed to pass for dancing. I glowered at her. She looked back at me and scurried away. I was proud of that.

11pm rolled by..... I started feeling like an old man as often happens when I'm out past my bedtime. I thought of the quizzes I needed to correct, work I needed to do in the lab. And I was losing my voice to the point where it was completely impossible to communicate. I asked my friends if it would be unacceptable to buy a girlie drink. "I feel like an amaretto sour." They said that would be embarassing so I settled for a rhum and coke. By 12:30am I felt like Kardinal Offishal was Offishally late...

I also started feeling old when I realized I didn't recognize a lot of the songs, until they played some Al Greene, which seemed quite out of place. But I was pleased.

Finally at 1am someone busts out and starts rapping. I didn't even realize it was Kardinal Offishal even after a few bars of ... errr... fresh beats? He promptly sang Money Jane and Everyday Rudebwoy, getting that out of the way as early as possible. Then he went into cheesy showman banter. I couldn't shake the feeling that he was just going through the motions of being a rapper and wasn't really feeling what he was saying, "Where my ladies at? Where my dawgs at?? Canada is good! Bush is a pussy! Throw your guns in the air! etc..."

I thought to myself what an ironic punishment it must be to be forced to live out most of your life as if it was a party, feigning enthusiasm until the wee hours of the morning, blurting out every MTV cliche that comes to mind at a given moment to a crowd so mentally crippled by substance abuse they're barely aware of who's on stage.

Kardinal Offishal: "How many of you have never been to a Kardinal show?"

*everyone raises their hand*

Kardinal Offishal: "How many of you have already been to a Kardinal show?"

*everyone raises their hand*

Kardinal Offishal: "So the set of people who have been to my concerts is the same set of people who have never been to my concert before?"

White girl: "Sorry Mr Offishal! We don't speak Black!"

Whatever... I'm getting to old for this. But I did enjoy the music. Good show I say. I will repay Kardinal for his free concert by stealing his album in the near future. He's a very talented young man.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pussy... ... Cat Dolls (graphic)

It was a typical slow evening at the Gregg household. I went to my Dad's and after supper he my sister and I flicked through the dismal television shows on his many channels. "This Pussy Cat Dolls show is disgusting!" My dad said.

I have been living under a rock the past few years and didn't even know there was a Pussy cat Dolls reality show. There's a group of ugly girls trying to be the next pussy cat doll. I guess a member of their group. The girls themselves are for the most part, dreadfully unnatractive and embarassingly untalented. The entire show they walk around wearing really short shorts, practically underwear but even this fact can't bring you beyond the fact that they're not good looking enough. I'd even go as far as to say they're kind of dirty.

Apparently last weeks challenge involved showing their "confidence" by executing a dance move that involved twirling around a pole and spreading their legs so that the audience could get a view of their vaginas (yes I could have minced words or used a euphamism but... they're the ones showing their vaginas to everyone! Don't hate the messenger.) It was quite graphic.

The show is embarassingly bad. Then before a challenge the ACTUAL Pussy Cat Dolls appear on screen to impart their words of wisdom. One of the pussy cat dolls starts talking, "One of the cornerstones of being a Pussy Cat doll is confidence. You demonstrated that by spreading your legs like a whore... Another cornerstone is... persona!"

Persona, eh? I didn't quite know what they were talking about but one of the blonde contestants was on board, "I think I can capture the essence of confidence AND persona." I wonder what the other cornerstones are? Boob grasping followed by ass slapping and graphic gyrating? Whoreism? (It's a word!)

Now I could go on about how I think this show is another nail in the coffin of the music industry's integrity. I could even wine about how I think it's a terrible example for young girls who are going to want to capture the essence of confidence by spreading their legs and subsequently capture the essence of genital herpes but what's the point? I just hope that people are keeping a close eye on their children during prime time.

A few weeks ago I was flicking through channels and I saw an episode of Family Guy that was making light of the guy's wife having an affair on him. They attempted to solve the problem by arranging for Peter to have sex with his wife's mom. The show was very, very sick... Later on I stumbled across the first 120 seconds of a show called Nip and Tuck. There was an EXTREMELY graphic sex scene during which a stripper was negotiating with the guy she was with to get a free breast reduction for more sexual favours. This was at 10pm on CTV! And the only thing that could distinguish this show from actual porn is that you couldn't see the woman's nipples. It was very graphic.

I fear for the generation of kids who are growing up watching these shows. I can't see how they can grow up right. I can see an entire generation of little girls succumbing to a culture of whoreocity (It's a word).

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bible Thumping

I remember seeing this clip a while ago. There are a bunch of children at a Christian Camp and a somewhat psychotic woman is brainwashing them into believing that Harry Potter is evil.


Wow... Someone show me where it says that children who study at Hogwarts are to be put to death? She didn't even quote the bible once. Now that's power. Just mention God somewhere and you have an argument for anything. Just last week a co-worker of mine was trying to explain why people in the states believe it is wrong to have sex for reasons other than procreation.

Here's a gross embelishment of his rant: "Yeah... Having sex for reasons other than giving birth is wrong. Aren't you familiar with that story in the bible, where God's like, 'Don't have sex unless you want kids.' And the guy's like, 'I just want to get off'. And so the guy does his wife from behind and pulls out before he climaxes. So God strikes him down... Or created AIDS... I can't remember."

I wasn't familiar with that story obviously. But it just goes to show you that people can use the Bible can be used to prove any ridiculous point even using stories that don't exist. Take the story of David and Goliath. The champion of the Israelites decides to face Goliath (who is a giant apparently) for supreme rulership of the universe.... Or Israel or Judah I can't remember which kingdom. Anyway, just when they're about to start fighting, David hurls a rock into Goliath's face and Goliath is killed. David becomes a king and goes on to murder a man to steal his wife. Read the Bible. David's kind of a jerk but we're tought to empathize with him.

He faces off with Goliath for a battle to the death and when Goliath pulls out his sword ready for a fair fight, David slingshots a rock into his eye. Is it just me or is that cheating? That's hardcore cheapshot. I wouldn't be surprised if they cut out the part where David kicks Goliath in the nuts. It's like going into a boxing arena with barbed wire on your gloves. And the moral of this story is, people who pray to God are good and everyone else is bad.

I'd like to read the Philistine's bible (Goliath was a Philistine). Just to get a non-bias view of things. "And so Goliath pulled out his sword ready to face David in hand to hand combat. The sinister David, who was 20 feet tall, began spitting flaming rocks from his mouth. One struck down the noble Goliath. But Goliath will live on in our hearts forever because he died holding his sword. An honorable death... A hero's death."

Man all the wars and prejudice you can instigate with an almost non-existant knowledge of the bible... So this is just a warning. In the near future someone will use the bible to sway your weak mind. Remember, Jesus loves Harry Potter and Goliath... and... Gollum... why not?

Monday, January 29, 2007

I say, "Ah, Washinton" :-(

There's nothing like a good old insincere apology to let you know that someone is truly full of crap... And sometimes desperate. This year the media has been full of them. We've had what in my opinion was the least offensive which was Mel Gibson who apparently let some racist remarks slip while he was drunk. Then we had the most offensive which was Michael Richards who went on an awe inspiring tirade against black people later in the year. Then falling somewhere in between was Isaiah Washington who called one of his co-stars on Grey's Anatomy a derogatory word for gay people.

I find it interesting that the media chose to make an example of these people this year. But what's most interesting is the worthless apologies we get afterward as these celebrities desperately try to save their career. I don't know what Mel Gibson's apology was like but Michael Richard's was just hilarious. After saying that black people should be hung upside down with forks in their ass he claimed that he "wasn't even a racist." Of course, he doesn't have a job to lose. Isaiah Washington's going to some kind of counseling? That's interesting. It all reeks of desperation.

So what exactly are we playing at here? Are we pretending that we're a society of tolerant nice people when clearly we're a load of bigotted monsters? Do celebrities now serve the extra role of being a scapegoat for what's inside of us anyway?

I'll tell you what bothers me most. Rosie Odonnel says ignorant things every week! Most recently she said that American Idol was a show about making fun of the mentally challenged. Who is she to say the people on the show are mentally challenged? Who is she to say Clay Aiken is gay and Kelly Ripa is a homophobic? And if she's so righteous why was she mocking Asian people a few weeks back? I'd like to say this isn't another I hate Rosie rant... but for the record I hate Rosie.... rant. She can get away with being consistently ignorant now? Why? Because she's a gay, woman. The mantle of saying whatever the hell you wanted in the media used to belong to the black people. Anyone who's seen Eddie Murphy's delirious knows that. Oh, the things he said about gay people back in the day. 50 cent, Beanie man even P.Diddy have had lyrics in their music that would be offensive to gay people. But when Eminem used the "f word" he was quickly reprimanded. Ah yes, it was quite a time to be black not long ago.

But those days are over. Isaiah Washington (and Mel Gibson) was punished for saying in private what Rosie Odonnel says on a weakly basis in front of billions of people. What a world. I guess it's a good thing that we're more vigilant about what we say, but it seems like there's a lot of pressure building up. As if biting our tongues for so long is going to result in an unleashing of verbal hatred so foul it will destroy the world in one all encompassing slurr. Soon, all the bigots of the world will go into the streets and scream the word "ChakiNaggot-Bitch!!!" (that's my attempt at putting several racial epithets into one word. You like?) and all the minorities of the world will cry. Maybe everyone living in a multi-cultural society needs counselling.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stephen Lewis

So last night Jen invited me to go see a lecture given by Stephen Lewis, a journalist/diplomat etc... who is very vocal about his dissapointment in the global community's failure to respond to the the continuing deterioration of the quality of life on the African continent. He's actually very interesting and I encourage anyone to read up on him and of course, if you feel moved make a donation to his foundation.

After a quick stop to pick up some non-perishable food items for a donation we went to the Hall Building. The lecture was being given at Concordia and organized by the CSU meaning the potential for a riot was already high.

I'm very wary of these politically vocal students, not so much because I believe that people shouldn't be politically active, but rather because I believe that many students are passionate about certain issues more because they need something to identify with, some place where they feel like they belong. Which is all good except I sometimes wonder if having a bunch of emo hippy types supporting a cause is more of a hinderance than anything else. I find they lack a certain amount of credibility but that's just me.

Sure enough when waiting in line all the usuals were there. The line was full of oddly dressed, socially akward individuals who seemed to be taking the entire event as a big social event. They were cutting in line, hugging each other and giggling away at anything and everything. They all seemed to be vegan somehow. I saw more than a few people putting humus on some kind of cracker. People were told to bring non-perishable food items to the talk but I find that the receptacle for such items was suspiciously empty. Way to go ya bong smoking, hemp wearing simpletons. You showed no love for the hungry.

During the talk there was a girl in back of us who really got on my nerves. She forced laughter at the oddest times. Any time Stephen Lewis used a big word she would blast this pretentious cackle. I believe she was trying to prove to her friends (or herself?) that she had a big fancy vocabular and in actual fact had NO IDEA what the guy was saying. Finally after the talk it was time for the question period, otherwise known as, "Let's kiss Stephen Lewis' ass."

One after another, students would get up and thank him for being such a compassionate human being, before asking there question. "Thank you Stephen Lewis for being such a humanitarian... I love you so much. I tatooed your name on my vagina!!! Please remember my name!! I dont' shower because water depletes the St Lawrence, home to many organisms that need that water to live... But I hope you'll marry me anyway."

The oddest question was when this white girl got up and asked a two part question (of course).

White Girl: "Stephen Lewis I want to have your baby!!"
Stephen Lewis: "That's not question."
White Girl: "My second question is, why aren't there more black people at these events??"

As all the black heads in the audience turned around grinding their teeth, she went on a tirade of how she always goes to talks about conflicts in Africa and finds that for the amount of black students at McGill and Concordia, they always seem to be underrepresented at these talks. I was hoping a good old fashion ConU riot would ensue but alas, Stephen Lewis in a pretty intelligent way. He suggested that one of the reasons for the low turn out of African students may be that they were suspicious of what a non-Africans motives are when they claim to be concerned about the situation in Africa. He even said that they might suspect Stephen Lewis of having some political agenda.

And for that I admire Stephen Lewis. Very sincere straight forward kind of guy and obviously very perceptive. I think it shows true empathy when you can even imagine why people might be suspicious of you and just take it in stride. You can tell by the way he speaks that he is very passionate and hurt by how people are being dehumanized on the African continent.

Then one girl got up and berated us all for not signing some petition for something... I can't remember. But again... the total opposite attitude. No empathy, just an accusatory, self righteous emotional outburst to an audience who was probably unaware that there was any petition to sign. I certainly hadn't been aware of any. Besides, I always wonder what happens after a sign a petition. What power does a petition have? Has a petition ever accomplished anything aside from alleviating the guilt of an over-priviledged North American population?

Of course there were lots of people there and not all of them looked like naive flag burners. Stephen Lewis' talk was really interesting. Of course a lot of the impact of the talk came from the details and the numbers he was able to throw at you. Did you know that the US spends more than 8.5 billion dollars a month on the war in Iraq? A MONTH! Lewis brought this up to emphasize the point that the war on Iraq has become an excuse to reneg on all the promises that were made to fight certain travesties that take place in Africa. To name a few, the maternal death rate, sexual violence, hunger, AIDS and other horrors that may or may not come as a surprise to you. It's worth learning about. I do hope people with some clout and some power can get on board with his kind of thinking and make a difference.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Spy Who Thugged Me

It was an odd day in the lab. Rather an odd half day. I had started relatively early to finish off an experiment when at about quarter to 10 a security guard came into the lab and said, "Don't wander off too far. We're looking for a 'suspect'."

I was showing someone how to do the experiment I was doing and we looked at each other. "Was that a joke?" Regardless I continued walking around doing my work as if nothing was going on then I commit the ultimate sin... I wandered off too far. I went to the third floor to make photocopies for the student I was working with while she went to her locker. The third floor was almost completely deserted. Then I hear, "Madame il faut sortir!"

Apparently someone had escorted the student away. I was left stranded. Lacking any better ideas and not wanting to go outside in the cold I went back to the lab where I spent the next few hours mostly alone. A guy from the lab next door gave me the summary of what was going on. Apparently a janitor called to say that someone wearing army fatigues was carrying a suspicious looking bag. A bag that COULD contain a gun.

Of course it could have contained a lot of things... Books, kittens maybe lunch. Anyway, whatever was in the bag, the entire school was evacuated leaving only a few zombie like scientists roving around on the fifth floor. It was funny how I ended up being the only person in the lab. I got a few phonecalls from people asking if I was alright. I heard ambulances and things in the background. Someone actually called to ask me to tend to their experiment, which I found somewhat inoble. My life could have been in danger after all.

My mind started to wander as I started to imagine what kind of heroic feats I could describe about how I dispatched with the gunman. Then I started thinking about James Bond and how cool James bond is and wondered what bond would do in such a situation.

Then I thought I should write and produce an "urbanized" James Bond movie called, "The Spy who Thugged Me." I like the word "thug" as a verb. Very versatile. I immediately thought of the Jay Z song where he says, "Yo I, Thug em', f**k em', love em', leave em' but I don't f**kin need em'!!!"

What does thug mean in that context? During my inexorable descent into madness I imagined all my friends outside, partying it up getting all excited about the minor drama taking place. I was trying to figure out how there was absolutely no one else in the lab at that time. Honestly I kind of enjoyed the alone time. Perhaps I should take the opportunity to... remove all my clothes? Sit in the lab naked??? This would be my only opportunity...

But before I could undo one notch on my belt my supervisor came into the lab and described to me what had been going on outside. Cops and guns and ambulances and a huge media circus. And what did they find out? The mysterious bag contained what appeared to be a pair of kendo sticks. Makes sense, they offer a kendo class across the street.

People are saying it's good that people are so vigilant, but i wonder now. All it took was a 9-1-1 call to basically shut down the entire school for the day. It doesn't seem very efficient. If I didn't want to go into work all it takes is a 30 second phone call to shut EVERYTHING down? I suppose it's better than people getting shot but then it also occured to me that if someone really wants to go on a shooting rampage, then there's really nothing anyone can do to prevent them from doing just that? I mean, the gunman just has to have better sense than to go into school with something as large as bazooka, maybe he could wear something less conspicuous than army fatigues like say... some unremarkable shirt from the Gap.

All this to say, all that hooplah for nothing. If someone was going to get shot today, I don't think all of this would have made much of a difference. I think the best prevention is to assign every school an emergency James Bond. And as I was at ground zero during this incident, I think I'm the most likely candidate for this position cuz ...

Noboday does it better
Makes you feel sad for the rest
But I'm MastaCSG
The spy who thugged thee
And I'm keeping all the students safe tonight!