Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Spirits in the Material World

Yesterday, I saw a cute little Buddhist monk (the Dalai Lama is currently visiting Toronto, so we've had a sudden influx of Buddhist monks recently) wandering in the Eaton's Centre. I found that really funny and incongruous. (He must have heard that Old Navy was having a sale on yellow and orange robes.)

Also, this totally sucks. It means I'll have to find a new band to hire to play my future wedding.

(Now playing: "Everywhere With Helicopters", Guided By Voices)

Friday, April 23, 2004


Aside from my vision and my poor wrists (diagnosis: tendonitis) going straight to hell, I'm worried that working in an office for a year has also caused a slightly larger problem in my overall well-being. I'm just not very interesting anymore! It's true. I can't hold up my end of a conversation. It's scary. The other day, I hung out with my friend Angela from Queen's. Ange is cool because she saved my life in 2nd year (literally as well as metaphorically) and she waters her plants with an I.V. drip. Anyway, so we were catching up over dinner. She had been doing most of the talking because her life is actually cool and exciting (she works in a hospital doing respitory stuff and she's getting married in September) but kept trying to get me to talk about my life:

Angela: So! Tell me! What's new?
Sofi: Duhhhh....the finale of The Apprentice was pretty good.

Hopefully this is just a temporary thing and going back to school will kick-start my brain and social skills. These gimpy fingers of mine are certainly crossed.

Here is some free advice for all: do NOT participate in or even GO to a wedding one month after the end of a relationship of yours. There is nothing more depressing. Bill & Jenn's wedding was stunning and sophisticated and beautiful, but the gorgeous flowers and sumptuous seafood course and the My Big Fat Greek Wedding band and elegant organza dresses sort of faded into the background while Sofi's Self Pity took the mainstage and threw some bottles into the crowd. Late in the evening they played a lot of slow songs. I promptly went to the bar and shot some Bailey's. And then I got some wedding cake. And then I acquired more Bailey's and sat down at an empty table and ate the cake all alone and watched all the happy in-love couples dance to Unchained Melody or something equally corny and weddingish. Once tipsy, I got a bit upset and - taking my cake and Bailey's with me - marched right up to my mother (dancing cutely with my father) and loudly proclaimed, "Booze and cake are MY boyfriend!" She laughed a lot. I nodded solemnly, marched away, and finished eating my boyfriend.

This is about all the typing I can handle for now. I'm looking forward to buying some speech recognition software this weekend so I can update more frequently and start writing things (emails, articles, stories) again. That will be nice. I'm a little worried, though. I tend to think best through my fingers, not through my mouth.

(Now Playing: "Hindu Times", Oasis. Which is causing pretty crazy nostalgia for the summer I worked at the Used Bookstore in Kingston.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The Wrist Bone's Connected to the PAIN Bone

I have apparently developed RSI (that's Repetitive Strain Injury, genius) in both wrists - seven months of near-daily data entry (not to mention MSNing, emailing, writing, blogging, cooking, waving at people, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, reading, exercising, putting in my contact lenses, taking notes, flipping channels, playing cards...etc.) have finally taken their toll. My wrists are very achey and tired and my left hand feels numb sometimes. And both of my hands are very very cold all of the time (moreso than usual) which may or may not be related to the pain in the wrists. At work, we filled out a form to send off to the Worker's Safety Insurance Board or something like that just in case "you eventually lose the use of your hands." Um...yikes?? I am reminded of that fairytale "The Girl With No Hands" that I studied in beautiful wonderful Dr. Tim Conley's short story class. I don't recall an especially happy ending.

Anyway, I'm hazardously typing this post just so people don't start leaving smarmy "update your blog!" comments. I won't be updating my blog for a little while. I need to rest these puppies. Dig? Groovy.

Easter was this past weekend. My entire extended family (upwards of 35 people) descended on our household and it was joyful chaos, as usual. Too much food, as usual. I demolished half of the blueberry cheesecake, as usual. Blaurgh!

Bill & Jenn's wedding is this Saturday, which blows my mind. It's always seemed so far in the future, and now it's here! Pretty exciting stuff. I am seriously considering fake 'n' baking because my arms are just so pasty and I want to look hot in the gorgeous bridesmaid dress. Morals + intense fear of skin cancer vs. desire for golden glowing summery beauty for one single day. We shall see.

My wrists doth protest too much. Over and out.

(Now playing: "Tell Her Tonight", Franz Ferdinand)

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Work is a Four-Letter Word

I've been trying very hard not to turn this blog into a soapbox for me to bitch and complain about work, but the following conversation I had with a customer this morning pretty much blew me away. It encapsulates every stupid stupid stupid (one stupid is not nearly strong enough) person who I have ever had to deal with while at my current place of employ.

I have one really big pet peeve; I absolutely cannot stand talking to a customer about their account while they shout across a room/kitchen/massive fjord/abyss on speaker fucking phone while they water their plants/pets/children. I think it's only fair that they give me 100% of their attention. After all, I am giving them 100% of mine (usually). So I no longer condone the use of speaker phone. I won't help them unless they pick up the damned receiver and speak to me like a human being. Every time I hear the faraway voice and telltale eerie echo of a speakerphone, I tell them to pick up. I don't think that's particularly unreasonable, do you?

Ahem. Lights, camera...

Me: Toronto Star, blah blah blah, Sofi speaking..
Him: (speakerphoney) Hello, I'd like to...
Me: Sorry, sir. I can't hear you. Are you on a speakerphone?
Him: Yes.
Me: Would you pick the phone up please, sir?
Him: Okay.

40 seconds silence while I wait.

Him: Hello?
Me: Hello.
Him: I'd like to...
Me: Sir, I still can't hear you. Could you pick up the phone, please?
Him: Oh, yes. Okay.

20 seconds silence.

Me: Sir?
Him: Yes, hello.
Me: Sir, have you picked up the phone yet?
Him: Yes.
Me: Sir, you're still echoing. Would you pick up the phone?
Him: I did.
Me: No sir. No you didn't. I can tell you're still on a speakerphone.
Him: No.
Me: YES SIR, you ARE. Please pick it up or this conversation cannot continue.
Him: Okay.

10 seconds silence.

Me: Sir?
Him: Fine

You can't make this kind of shit up, folks!

Anyway, it wouldn't have been nearly so irritating had the sir in question been a) old b) infirm c) old and infirm or d) in the possession of less-than-stellar English comprehension. But he was middle-aged and normal-sounding and only had the faintest of accents, so he understood the meaning of pick. up. your. phone. sir. just fine.

Am I being overly grumpy? If I am, I am sorry. I had one of those I'm-so-tired-I-can't-sleep nights (oh, lookie that! I worked in a Nirvana reference on a particularly good day to do so) and my brother was up all night with the sick while my parents clucked and cooed over him, so I probably fell asleep around 4:45-ish. And had to get up for work just over an hour later. So I am more than a little out of it. Loopy, even. Valerie recently used that word to describe what happens to her after listening to too much Velvet Underground, and I've decided that it's a pretty boss adjective.

On a slightly higher note, this weekend I went to the One of a Kind Show with my good highschool friend Ameet who I haven't seen in a very long time. We visited Erin, saw her beautiful sculptures and had an all-around good time. Also, I bought these freaking adorable Batgirl undies . Everyone should own Batgirl undies.

(Now playing: "I Keep Mine Hidden", The Smiths)

Saturday, April 03, 2004

La Vocabulaire

I'm a French-speaking genius. I had my first class at the Academie Francaise the other day and everything I learned in Extended French in junior highschool and h.s. came flooding right back to me right then and there. I know a lot more than I thought I did. So I'm happily feeling 100% more confident about covering francophone press conferences and I still have eleven classes to go. Maybe I'll even download a little Mitsou and expand my vocabulary exponentially. (Cowboy = mon cowboy. Noted!)

Yesterday, I had ginger chicken at Ginger with Lindsay Lynch. She is lovely and always fun and has the inside scoop on the Canadian music industry. It's pretty impressive how much she knows. Oh, and her eye make-up was really pretty (hi Lindsay!). She and I are at very similar stages in our lives (the "new start, clean slate, finding myself" stage), so it was very comforting talking to her. Later on, Katherine and I went to see Lederhosen Lucil, who krautrawks mein hosen. If you have never experienced her live, I suggest you do so because there are very few things more entertaining in life. (I've often described her as a novelty act gone horribly, horribly right.) Anyway, her theme for the night was gardening - in tribute to springtime, which has yet to arrive - so there were plastic flowers littered all over her Yamaha, and Krista/Lucil wore red-and-white checkered lederhosen and gardening gloves. The highlight of the night was when she brought up her back-up band...two studly rockstar-looking guys dressed as garden gnomes. Vests, beards, gigantic hats. The works. It was pretty priceless. Unfortunately, I couldn't enjoy her set 100% because she didn't go on until 12:20AM and I was already sleep-deprived. Also, we had to tolerate two really awful openers - this girl Jenny from the Barmitzvah Brothers (who I hear are pretty good as a whole) and Parka 3 who pushed the "We're good because we're so painfully bad!" irony thing a little too far. Shaggy hair, nasal & insanely off-key singing and a kooky smattering of xylophones do not a cool indie band make. They should have just stayed in their basement.

I bought my first bustier today. It kicks a whole lot of ass.

Also ass-kicky: in the latest issue of Chart, my name preceeds Patrick Pentland's on the Contributing Writers list on the masthead. Our names look really good standing next to each other. I'll have to point that out to him someday.

I'm going to go to bed now. Seriously. Daylight Savings Time means I will be waking up at 4:30AM RealTime for work tomorrow. Pray for me.

Oh, and also pray for my dear Ben's eternal soul. He went to Brazil and I doubt he'll ever be coming back...

(Now playing: "Ooo...OMG", Lederhosen Lucil)