Thursday, May 13, 2004


Liz came to visit for a few days because she had a job interview in Toronto on Friday (pssst...she got the job on the spot as she is a veritable superstar). Her interview was in the morning and very close to the Ontario Science Centre, so we spent a blissful few hours exploring an indoor rainforest, riding a virtual bobsled and watching cool coral reefs die (but don't worry - the man in the movie will fix our ecosystem by planting a lot of mangrove trees) in an IMAX film that almost made me throw up. After I worked in the afternoon, we ordered pizza and watched The Muppet Show and played boardgames (Life and Trivial Pursuit). I got my ass kicked in the game of Life. At one point I was $307 000 in debt and wound up gambling my car, husband and only son on the number 6. I did not spin a 6.

It's really fun to act like you're eight for an entire day. I highly recommend it.

Lindsay (fresh from Belize) also came to visit for three hours on Saturday and we had a nice extended lunch at Marche along with Liz's McGill friend, Tony. The company was lovely, but I couldn't shake the thought that it would have been an unpleasant afternoon indeed had I not been so observant during the creation of my lunch.

Marche guy: What do you want in your stirfry?
Me: Vegetables, udon noodles and teriyaki sauce. Also, I'm kind of allergic to peanuts, so would you ensure that you not use peanut oil and please fry my food in a clean pan?
Marche guy: Okay.

Ten minutes later...

Marche guy: (dumping a strange, chunky sauce all over my almost-done and delicious-looking stirfry).
Me: Uh...was that ginger and garlic that you just put on my stirfry?
Marche guy: What?
Me: What did you just pour on my stirfry?
Marche guy: Spicy Thai peanut sauce.
Me: Uhhhhhhhhh....but I told you I was allergic to peanuts.
Marche guy: You didn't ask for peanut sauce?
Me: No. I am fairly sure I did not.
Marche guy: Oh (starts up another stirfry for me).

Anyway, I can't entirely blame him; that place is noisy and busy and (as Rob would put it) he has low job satisfaction and probably doesn't care very deeply about what sauce I want with my noodles. Next time I will just wear a t-shirt that says, "If you feed me peanuts I will get hives and my lips will swell up and I will wheeze and with my last breath I will totally lose my shit and kick your ass."

Ryerson accepted me to their journalism program. Not to sound cocky or anything, but I had few doubts that they would. Their journalism post-grad program is three times the size of Concordia's and I also had a bit of an in who was willing to help me out if I needed it. Anyway, Ryerson's lame, impersonal and poorly-worded acceptance letter(in comparison to Concordia's nicely-worded, sunshiney one) made me realize that I probably made the right decision. Good for me.

All right, at the risk of making this the longest blog entry of all time, I really have to share a somewhat unpleasant anecdote about my day:

On the ride to the subway, a rather large woman got onto the bus. Probably about 400 pounds (although that really is a ballpark estimate), mainly concentrated around the stomach region. It was so large it was sagging down to almost her knees. Anyway, she stood in front of me, despite the fact that there was a seat next to me. I figured out that she was standing because she wouldn't be able to fit into the one seat, so I decided (after some internal debate - would this be a nice gesture or would she be offended by it?) to offer up my seat to her. She said she was fine, thank you. And continued standing directly in front of me. She smelled like sweat and vegetable soup and the bus was getting hotter. Not so good.

As the bus continued, it got more and more packed, so she was sort of forced really close to me. Her stomach ended up practically resting in my lap. Needless to say, it was a really, REALLY uncomfortable and socially/physically awkward 30 minutes.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not judging this lady. I'm not Kate Moss myself and although I do not consider myself to be an extreme in any way, I could easily stand to lose some weight. So I understand what she must be going through in her day-to-day life and I sympathize completely. The situation was really really weird, though. I mean, where do I LOOK? Does she REALIZE how uncomfortable I must be? Is she not backing down/away because she was offended that I offered my seat and this was a sort of revenge? Does she have no concept of the unspoken "personal space bubble"? It got me to thinking about that contentious really-obese-people-should-buy-two-plane-tickets-instead-of-one-if-they-don't-fit-in-the-seat issue. That made me really angry. I mean, people who are 300+ pounds already have so much to deal with, why punish them for something that they haven't yet been able to control? Now, after having had some complete stranger's belly in my lap for half an hour, I am not so sure if my kneejerk reaction to the issue was completely thought out. The obvious answer to this problem: business class, economy class, big fat ass class!


(Now playing: "Little Pink Stars", Radish)


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