Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brangelina: just another Average Joe couple

The whole media-invented triangle of Brad-Jen-Angelina has been going on for 5 years now. Hard to believe it’s 5 years later and we’re still getting tabloid stories of how Jen is lonely and Angelina and Jen fighting, etc. Now there are swirling rumors that Brad and Angelina are breaking up because they haven’t appeared together at recent awards shows and are not scheduled to appear at the Oscars this year.

We really don’t know these people from a hole in the wall. All we know is what we are told by entertainment media, who will tell us anything as long as we keep reading/watching. Let’s liken this situation down to an Average Joe level.

Guy leaves his wife for another woman. This happens so often in real life that it has almost become the norm. Most people would expect the parties to have moved on by now. Why can magazines still be sold that purport “fights” between these two women? Why does anyone care? There have been plenty of instances of this situation in Hollywood before, but none have kept hanging on this long. How many years will it take before we stop reading these stories? I guess it doesn’t help that, according to the media, Jen hasn’t really had a new marriage-worthy relationship since Brad left. I can’t help but wonder, if Brad and Angelina do break up, and after the inevitable “Brad goes running back to Jen” stories, if we’ll finally be treated to not having to read about the faux triangle anymore.

[Sidebar: Or, another thought: is one of the three parties so desperate for media attention that they feed little tidbits to the magazines to keep them printing stories? My money’s on Jen, but that’s probably because I don’t care for her public image anyway. I think she’s a run of the mill actress who isn’t as gorgeous as I keep being told she is.]

As far as this supposed breakup goes, I’m confused on why not making appearances together constitutes a breakup. They are possibly the biggest celebrity couple going right now. They can never escape the camera, but don’t you think they’d like to sometimes? Do we think Angelina likes taking hours to get ready for an awards show over & over again? If she’s like any other typical American, she likes some time lounging in sweatpants and t-shirts (she just can’t do that in public as that would be image-ruining). According to the media, this is a couple who do a lot for various charitable causes. Angelina for the UN, Brad for New Orleans, etc. They have a charitable foundation. They have stated they would not marry until gay marriage was legal. If they have these strong actions and beliefs, wouldn’t it make sense that they think award shows are fluff and meaningless? I doubt their hearts are breaking that they can’t appear. Stars appear at these shows because they need to promote themselves. I can’t think of two people who need promotion less than they do. Neither have a movie out right now that is in dire need of promotion, and I don’t think Brad’s in the running for any nominations, despite the moderate success of Inglorious Basterds.

All this being said, there can only be so many rumors before we find out it's actually true. Given her previous comments about never wanting to be "the other woman" after what her parents went through, I'm surprised it lasted this long.

Addendum: in the same vein, E! discusses this in Conspiracy Corner.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Punishment for keeping things safe

Regarding this incident.

I applaud the state trooper for chasing a criminal across the border. I think a suspension was too harsh when the guy she was chasing was a potential DUI. So he gets to run the border and she has to just stop and let him go? That doesn't sound reasonable.

Did she have the jurisdiction to arrest him after crossing the border? No. I think she should have been allowed to chase him, radio for Canadian help, and detain him until Canadian help arrived and gave him a breathalyzer. Then the Mounties could have thrown his ass in jail and/or deported him back to the US. I don't care what kind of "situation" happened to a relative, that doesn't give you the right to run from the police. If you don't want to deal with the police, don't do stuff that makes them want to come after you. Dumbass!!!

This is a case of laws and rules not equating with common sense. I agree with one of the comments, I hope the penalty for not stopping at the border crossing was more harsh than a DUI. With the way the legal system works, it probably is.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Unknown ailment

After returning home in September, I developed what I thought was an allergy. Every day since then, I have woken up with congestion, sneezing, nose-blowing, and slightly crappy feeling. Some days are worse than others, a few days have required an Advil cold & sinus tablet, but most days I have just put up with it and went on with my day. It's been frustrating, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go through allergy testing. At first, I thought I was getting a cold, but then it just kept going without really getting any worse.

Yesterday it got worse. I was coughing, the runny nose just didn't stop, and I felt worse than usual. I talked to my mother, and she suggested that I could have a sinus infection going on. Since it is not high allergy season, it wasn't as likely to be an allergy, and that it could be feasible for a sinus infection to hang around since September. She suggests it could also be a sinus infection caught from being on an airplane, and this started right after I flew home from SoCal.

I managed to sneak in on a cancellation with my doctor this coming Monday afternoon. We'll see what she has to say. I will probably have to go in diagnosing myself, and she will probably berate me for not bringing it to her attention sooner as I have been in to see her since it began. Of course, she will berate me quickly without letting me get a word in edgewise, and then throw drugs at me with the hope that it will fix the issue. Always such a fun experience going to my GP.

Today I'm feeling better than yesterday, but it could just be the meds helping me out. It could have turned into a cold now, but I can't tell because half of my symptoms have been there for months. My throat is a bit wonky, but not the usual sore throat at start of cold that I tend to get. I dunno. I just want to not wake up miserably sneezing and nose-blowing every day anymore.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yes Virgina, train tracks ARE still dangerous in 2010

This article made me very angry at lunch today. It should be entitled "I'm too stupid to not realize that stopping on railroad tracks is potentially dangerous".

I've gone through that area many times. I do not sit on the tracks, as I am aware that at any moment, the warning may come on and a train may be coming by. I've seen many people ignore the tracks though, and sit on them [seemingly] without a care.

If you're dumb enough to sit your car there while you wait to get to Retail Land, then it should be a case of natural selection doing its duty.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Facebook color status = LAME

This is lame. Here's why:

1) No explanation of what's going on. How can you raise awareness when no one knows what's going on? Usually these FB things say to copy & paste something to your status. Yes, the mystery does make it go viral faster, I will grant that, but...
2) Simply posting a color doesn't do ANYTHING to raise awareness for a cause.
3) It's called UNDERwear for a reason. The only person I want knowing the color of my skivvies is my husband. I'm bashful that way.

If you want to raise awareness for Breast Cancer, make it clear what you're posting and why. Otherwise, donate time or money and accomplish something that will actually help someone.

Of course, by posting this blog, I have just made you aware of Breast Cancer. I can't even complain without somehow helping their lame premise.

Possible church closures

Regarding this article.

I hate to see this happen, but there is no doubt that church closures will have to happen in my home province. Priest enrollments are down, people are dissatisfied with the ways of the Catholic church, and fewer people are attending services. Everyone has the right to choose if or how they worship. It seems as though a lot of people just don't care about church or religion, and that is their choice.

What bothers me are those who seem to make it a seasonal event. If you go at Christmas, Easter, and insist that your wedding or funeral be held at a particular church, why aren't you there the rest of the time? Is it truly *that* hard to attend weekly, or even monthly? I'm not even talking from a totally religious perspective -- churches need money. If you want this building, this institution, to remain available for you, then you need to contribute more than a few times/year. I am not trying to single anyone out in particular. I am just concerned by the seeming indifference by some people that the church will always be there when they need it. I have heard stories of demanding brides and families over weddings and funerals. Some act as though the church and priest must bend over backward to appease their every whim. The priest is going to be much more accommodating to a parishioner with whom he is familiar, and who contributes to the community, whether it be financially or volunteer activity, etc.

The Catholic church is rich. My local church is not. Are we suddenly going to see the Vatican sell off its riches and dole the proceeds out to the local communities? Not likely. Therefore, it's up to the parishioners of a church to contribute time/money/etc. to keep their church alive, both spiritually and structurally. My church recently asked its members for an additional $2/week to help cover a new rent payment we must make for our rectory/office space. Do I sit back and whine about how much gold is at the Vatican? I can, but that doesn't solve the problem.

I can see the writing on the wall when it comes to possible closures. We have had at least two bishops over recent history who have done nothing to address the problem. We simply have too many buildings compared to demand, and demand doesn't appear to be increasing anytime soon. It makes financial sense that some buildings will have to be shut down and combined with others.

My church is one that I would assume to be on the chopping block. It was built in the 1880s, and requires a lot of maintenance that we can't afford. We're not currently making our operating budget. In this area of the city, there is another church that is only 50 years old, and large enough to accommodate both congregations. There is a third church, the smallest of the three, that remains open despite having a very small congregation. Realistically, we can only support one church in this area, not three, but no one has been brave enough to take action. I would hate to see my church go. I am attached to the building, the organ, the feel. I know it makes sense that we should all go to the newer church and close the other two, but it's a hard pill to swallow.

The harsh reality is that people are moving away from the church/organized religion. We can't keep ignoring it, we have to do something to stem the monetary bleeding. I hope my financial and volunteer contributions can help my church stay afloat and open for people. If you want to keep the doors open too, you need to help more than a few times per year.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Refillable, but how?

I have always been a fan of Staedtler Lumocolor markers. I have full sets of 8 colors of both permanent and non-permanent markers, at home and at work. They are high-quality products that perform well and last for quite a while. Nothing, however, lasts forever. Upon discovering that one of my sets has dried up, I set about researching how to take advantage of the "refillable" option that is stamped on the side of the markers.

The refill option looks very neat and convenient. You stick the marker in a base, and it sucks up the new ink until it's full, then stops. Sounds cool. There's nothing wrong with my markers, other than being dry, so this seems like the way to go... except for a couple of caveats. Despite all 8 colors stating they are refillable, the company only lists 4 colors of refill tanks available. When I researched the price of the refill tanks, I was shocked to see that they are approximately $15 per color. A new set of markers, under corporate pricing, was only $12. Since I do not go through markers that quickly, nor does anyone else in my office use these, buying the refill tanks for only 4 of the colors doesn't make any financial sense.

What frustrates me is that Staedtler seems to be promoting an environmental angle on their website with their "efficient for ecology" tagline and program. They promote the refill option, but don't offer it for all colors of the same product. If it is cost-prohibitive for an occasional user to refill rather than re-purchase, how is that ecologically friendly?

If I had an office full of co-workers who all used these markers, the cost of the refill station could be spread among many people and would end up being cheaper overall. For a single user, it is cheaper to throw out the old and buy new. Why do they not have a single-refill option, perhaps not quite as slick, so that us Average Joes could benefit and do something more environmentally-friendly?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Thoughts on 2009 and 2010

Since coming home from California in September, I have developed an allergy. I wake up every morning congested and sneezing until it clears out. Today, not so bad. Yesterday, so bad I had to take meds. I'm not sure what the trigger is. I don't even know if it is worth getting tested.

I let our bedroom get so dusty that the dark wood furniture was literally white. Although my congestion issue is due to allergies, I was secretly hoping it had to do with the immense amount of dust buildup.

We got a cat this year. Romy has been a good addition to our house, and I like having him around. He isn't the cat I thought he would be, though. I wanted more of a cuddly cat, whereas Romy likes to keep his distance. He also prefers John to me lately. I tried for many minutes to coax him up on the bed so I could pet him, whereas he prefers that I bend over and pet him while he's on the floor. I eventually gave up and went back to my morning routine. John wakes up, calls for him once, and he immediately gets up and leaps to the bed to go and see John. We both expected for John to be the one who was preferred, since he's a cat person and the one who is home all day. It just seems like the preference has gotten stronger recently, and I'm not sure why.

I am not going to apologize for taking a vacation.

I need to try and stop being lazy this year. I have let a lot of things go by the wayside with the excuse that I "never have time for myself", but that doesn't feel like it's cutting it anymore. At some point, I have to do things I don't like, such as cleaning our bedroom, office, and fridge. It just won't leave me with much time to do things like read or watch TV. I also can't say that I'm thrilled to do these things after working all day. Last night, I came home, scrounged some supper, made cherry bread for John to use up the litre of buttermilk, made muffins for my breakfast for the next two weeks, researched a supper idea for the next day, washed lettuce for the next day's lunch, did some laundry, took down some xmas decorations, and by the time all of that was done, it was 9:30. We watched an hour of TV, then I tended to more laundry, plastic wrapped the baking, set things out for the morning, and it was past 11. It felt good to accomplish a lot, but I also wanted to do an hour on the treadmill and read some more of my book. I need to find the balance between self-indulgence and housework, where I get to do some of each, not just all of one.