A Few Quickies for Now

  1. I was speaking to Poupoune tonight and she’s game to join aMMusing. Yay!

  2. For the “I Don’t Understand Why I’m Getting These Spam Messages” file: I’m often invited to visit sites filled with lolitas. Talk about barking at the wrong tree! (The latest one seems to have originated in Taiwan.)

  3. The Raelians (international HQ in Quebec), with the help of Clonaid, are claiming that a cloned baby girl should be born in the next 14 days. I find this development deeply disturbing, regardless of whether it’s true or just a publicity stunt.

  4. I’m not one for resolutions for the new year, but I do plan to retain the services of a house cleaner — “maid,” if you prefer — starting in 2003. No Molly Maid for me: I want whomever does the work to get every cent I pay.

  5. My primary phone number is one digit off Speedy Muffler on Robie Street, and my secondary phone number is one digit off the Canada Post counter at Lawton’s Drugs on Duffus Street. I no longer find amusing the long pause at the other end of the line before finally being asked, very tentatively, “Are you Speedy?”

  6. OF COURSE it’s short on specifics and really only meant to be provocative but, by exisiting, Rooting Out Evil takes a commonly tauted set of arguments and turns it around …rather embarrassingly. Actually, being short on specifics is exactly what the Bush administration in the U.S. has been doing with regard to Iraq, which is what makes this site so masterful.

On Home Improvements

This coming February 1st, I’ll be celebrating 8 years in the same apartment. I really like my pad:

  1. It’s in an historic part of town — Richmond/Fort Needham — which was essentially blown off the map in 1917 following the largest “man-made” explosion prior to the nuclear age.
  2. The neighbourhood that emerged following the explosion, known as The Hydrostone, has become a very comfortable place to live.
  3. I live on the top floor of a 3-storey building on top of Fort Needham hill, looking towards the harbour and the Macdonald Bridge.
  4. Can’t beat the cheap rent: just over $600 for a large two-bedroom apartment.

In short, it’s a perfect setup.

Except that the building and my pad in particular have fallen into shameful disrepair in the last decade. There’s even been a fire in late 1995. But what was getting to me lately was the paint peeling off the ceiling; the fact the place hadn’t been painted properly when I moved in; the white enamel kitchen sink was worn beyond repair; so were the counter tops and the tiles in the kitchen and dining room; the toilet would only flush once every 30 minutes; the heat couldn’t be turned off, even in the summer when it was 30+C outside; high humidity and mold attracted mice, especially in the summer and fall… It reached the point where I was too embarrassed to have anyone over. At the same time, I would be damned before I would put a penny to improve a rental, especially after paying over $50K in rent over the years. I felt I had paid for the needed repairs, labour included.

Finally after several requests, the squeeky wheel got the grease. But that has meant turning the apartment upside down to accommodate the workers. I dreaded that part because I knew it would bring me to go through all the junk — mostly paper — I’ve been accumulating. I’ve been pitching a lot, but I also found a few gems, namely stuff I wrote for various reasons and that I can’t bring myself to pitch because I get a kick from this past work.

I’ll share a sampling with you shortly…