Is this 2007 or 1987?

Truro is a town of about 22,000 people, located an hour’s drive north of Halifax. It’s one of Nova Scotia’s most conservative areas, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given the neighbouring “suburban” village is called Bible Hill.

Now comes word that town council voted 6-1 against raising the Pride flag at Town Hall to mark the area’s Pride celebrations next week. “God says I’m not in favour of that and I have to look at it and say, I guess I’m not either,” Truro Mayor Bill Mills said. He then dug himself even deeper by saying, “If I have a group of people that says pedophiles should have rights, do we raise their flag too? I don’t want to lump them in with homosexuals, but that’s the point, the issues, and that’s my feeling.”

So he doesn’t want to lump pedophiles with homosexuals, yet he goes right ahead and does. Plus, the well-being of a whole town is about Mayor Mills’ feelings. Uh, …right.

beaudry.jpgI remember when flying the flag outside city hall in bigger cities was a huge deal, like Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside’s opposition some 15 years ago, and then when he was re-elected mayor a few years later, proclaiming Pride Week was one of his first duties in office. And then there are major cities that openly embrace their gay community all year round.

Don’t assume I’m saying that the Québécois are all that more tolerant. Just think of the recent debate about “reasonable accommodations” of minorities, with the town of Hérouxville (pop. 1,000) becoming the emblem of how rural Québec is not willing to sway from perceived “traditional” values. But just as Hérouxville’s “lifestyle guide” came across as ludicrous, so is Truro’s position about raising the rainbow flag. Refusing to evolve into the 21st century is bound to draw some bad press.

Yay, It’s Vacation Time!

Okay, no more farting around with this vacation planning. Like I wrote in my previous post, today would have been a perfect beach day, but since I’m less than a week from needing overnight accommodations out of town, I thought it a bad idea to delay further.

When I travel on my dime to major cities, I prefer staying in “family” owned and operated establishments, if you catch my drift. So as of now, I have booked Thu., Aug. 9 in Québec City at a “friendly” hotel on the edge of the old city) and Fri., Aug. 10 to Sun., Aug. 12 in Montréal in a B & B in the Village. Then Monday I’ll wander over to the Lanaudière region for a few days. I’ll probably stop in Moncton overnight on my way up or down, or both.

It’s been 17 years since my last overnight stay in Québec City. It’ll be a short stay since I’ll be driving from Moncton (about 9 hours’ drive) that day, and will have a 3-hour door-to-door drive the next morning for a lunch date in Montréal. But it’ll be nice to get reacquainted with La Vieille Capitale, albeit briefly. As for the room I reserved, it might be a bit racier than the places where I’ve stayed in Montréal, but maybe not. It’ll either be an experience or more of the same.

As for Montréal, I booked 3 nights at the B & B where I stayed last fall — the same room, in fact. I tried the B & B where I stayed in March ’06 but got no response to my e-mail the other day and only voice-mail when I called today. I also left a voice-mail with Mr. J, whom I believe has returned to Montréal after a short stint in Calgary, so hopefully we’ll be able to get together. This will be my first Montréal visit in the middle of summer since ’94, so I’m looking forward to just hanging out or going for short jaunts outside the city, like Oka Beach.

My first day back to work was also supposed to be the first day of my new role at the day job, but I found out yesterday that it’s almost certainly going to be postponed by a week. If it’s not, then I’ll be ready; if it is, that’ll give me a chance to be even more ready. Despite the hassle of having to reschedule my vacation twice, I don’t feel it necessary to fume over such things. That’s just the way it is when you work in a large corporation, and there’s no point having a tantrum when things don’t work out as expected. In fact, I’ve come to expect the unexpected in that joint.

Hand Job?

So today’s the first day of my vacation. It’s gorgeous outside and I should take advantage of it to go to the beach, but it’s complicated.

  1. I haven’t formally booked accommodations yet for the road trip I’d like to do.
  2. If I’m to do a road trip, I at least have to get Junior’s oil changed, which is long overdue. Perhaps I could also get his MVI done as well, which is due by the end of this month.
  3. Next Monday is a holiday for just about everyone, meaning I can’t get the above done that day, and I think I should be hitting the road by Tuesday.
  4. I still don’t know what my exact itinerary will be, although I have a tentative lunch date in Montreal next Friday with CoCo, a colleague from the day job, and a projected stay with Cleopatrick and The Boys the following Monday to Wednesday.
  5. I would have liked to surprise my Toronto colleagues and go for a quick, unannounced visit.
  6. My sister, who lives in the Ottawa area, is currently on vacation in the Gaspésie, so Sunday evening would be the soonest I could announce a short visit a few days later — on weekdays, at that, when she’ll probably be back at work.
  7. I have some work to do in the first few days of my vacation.

So yeah, it’s complicated and it has been made more so because of the sudden change in my vacation dates.

Anyway, last night, completely exhauted, I crashed around midnight and refused to set the alarm. Consequently, I only woke up at the crack of 10. I showered and headed to the dealership but found that it couldn’t look at Junior until well into next week. Hence I waited in line for more than an hour and a half at another place up the road for a rapid lube job and oil change. While I was waiting, I was thinking about how Junior desperately needed a bath, and calculated in my head the time it would take to get the cleaning supplies and actually do the job. At that point, I thought, “No way, I’d rather spend that time planning my trip and booking rooms.” So instead I took him to the touchless car wash after his oil change.

I inspected him just before I backed him into his garage, and that’s when I actually said it out loud:

Geez, it’s not as good as a hand job, huh?

Junior blushed, and I think Jesus may have wept a little, too.

For Being Allowed to Bitch

Saw the building’s super around noon today regarding Dr. Snake Oil Salesman and he’s promised to call the landlord immediately. I asked the super to seek confirmation that the landlord sent Dr. SOS that first letter, and insisted that he be issued another one shortly. As far as the super is concerned, this is already my third formal complaint to him, although those from the landlord to the tenant are the ones that really count.

By the way, at 3:00 am last night, that loud squeaking sound went on for about 15 or 20 minutes or so. The odd thing is that it also sounds like someone sawing, which brings me to wonder if the noise is from some kind of exercise machine rather than bedsprings straining due to someone’s copulation or masturbation. But even if it is an exercise machine — in fact, perhaps moreso if it is — I hardly think it’s acceptable to be that noisy at 3:00 am in a wood-framed apartment building, let alone being so blissfully unaware of being that noisy.

I don’t know… You might think I’m making way too big a deal out of this. What you don’t know is the number of times I didn’t bother escalating incidents; what you do know is that I spend almost all my time at home because that’s where I work for my two jobs. As such, it’s not like I can work around the noisy episodes, since the time of their occurrence varies as much as the airing schedule for Lost. I hate this feeling of living in a university dorm, and I don’t think I should have to endure it. But at the same time, I can’t deny that I’m increasingly feeling some guilt about the whole thing, especially if it leads to someone’s eviction …even an asshole’s eviction. In other words, I’m torn between standing up for myself and wanting to be the accommodating nice guy.