Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Facebook Status Updates

My one little outlet of creativity, besides this blog, is my Facebook status update. Now, I realize Facebook is the root of all evil and is selling away our privacy for a song, but hey, it's how I stay connected with friends without having to actually *cringe* talk to them.

The following are status updates that have, or will be appended to my name.

has angered the voodoo priest.

contrary to rumour, doesn't dream in iambic pentameter, unless iambic means 'awesome', and pentameter means 'robots'.

has hoarded nothing, and wishes you'd stop insinuating that he has.

sleeps soundly on his ill-gotten gains.

is surpressing the desire to say 'Wheee' when he boards the Skytrain.

has a reasonable excuse.

avoids all things hip.

thinks that the umpire/referee/official's call was completely bogus.

is abusing the status update, as this is neither a status nor an update.

wonders how much more politically charged the song would be if it was renamed
'Rocket The Casbah'.

is celebrating 'Talk Like An Technologically-Challenged Bureaucratically-Inclined Paramecium Day'.

can't believe it was the pirates' fault again.

has plumbed the depths of his soul, the limit of his thoughts, to bring you
this status update.

curses the status word limit everyday.

can handle the truth, just prefers the lies.

wonders where he's heard the phrase 'mechanistically translucent' before.

has photographic evidence.

lacks sensitivity to the plight of his technotronic trans-galactic sociopathic robot overlords.

would blame it on the rain if that wasn't a morally repugnant thing to do.

can't remember if it's the red wire or the blue wire.

knows it's only a matter of time now.

has realized slush isn't just a fund used by ethically lax corporate executives.

thinks this plan just might be crazy enough to work.

is not singing 'Ohhh rescue pack, coming to the rescue!' under his breath.

protests the change in policy as being not nearly as lenient towards the Radical Badger Faction as was promised.

would like that thing that 'you know who' borrowed, back right away. Post haste even.

thinks bribery, while untoward, is not unwelcome.

wants to rock and roll all night, but thinks partying every day is kind of overkill.

is safe, for now.

suspects, contrary to what the noncy Scotland tell him, that the game is indeed, afoot.

hopes his ransom note isn't overwritten.

foregoes manly pursuits to slog through impossibly long, convoluted books. Current read has 17th Europe, calculus, the emergence of the stock market, & pirates

questions the veracity of the latest studies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

'Knock Knock' 'Who's There?' 'Interrupting Cow' 'Interu--' 'MOOO!'

Another submission to my work newsletter, the topic is 'office relationships'. Hope you enjoy it.

Say 'office relationships' and images of recklessly placed mistletoe, a highball or five, and a wild Christmas party immediately come to mind. But 'office relationships' are more than just something to keep workplace lawyers employed. Being stuck in a basement with a thin shaft of sunlight and literally hundreds of hours of complete silence, I feel I'm uniquely able to speak on this topic.

One of the most important things to try and bring to the workplace, is a sense of humour; or a lighthearted approach to life; or at the absolute minimum, the ability not to scowl constantly while maintaining a blood-pressure that one might expect in a small steam engine. (This is what I've been told. Here in the Basement, humour is frowned upon; the merest glimmer of a smile is seen as a sign of weakness, and the offending programmer is often beaten with bludgeon-grade keyboards. We are a dour sort.)

But luckily, you most likely do not live by the arcane and unforgiving rules of the Basement. There is perhaps banter, maybe even repartee where you work, but then there are other things to consider. How far is too far (usually if you are asking this question, it is), did my coworker just laugh at that jest or is his chronic asthma kicking in, is it too soon to joke about the Lusitania?

Even before that, there is the question on when and how to open up the lines of humour, as it were. It can be a risky gamble, but if you're going to do any amount of work together, it's a good idea to at least try (for me, this was with coworkers outside of the Basement, I have no death wish). With one colleague I started ending each email using a classic line from an action movie (at the moment, however, I can't recall one that doesn't end with a terse yet colourful expletive). It made the endless amount of communication we had to do that much more bearable.

How to start? This is mainly an Art, there is no formula for starting a bit of fun. Start with a knock-knock joke (which might be a sign neither of you should be jesting), or maybe with latest poltical humour from The Economist (ditto). Everyone has a different humour level, for some, it's very low, for others, every interaction is an opportunity to do their impression of Rodney Dangerfield (and non-ironically do an even better impression of a certain regional manager of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton Branch), and still for others, any direct eye contact will send me scuttling to the safety of my dark, dank cubicle. I mean, for some people.

So, this is my call to bring humour, if only a little bit, back to the workplace. It'll make the day go faster, lower stress levels, and at least be a welcome distraction from the one time you had that fifth White Russian, bumped into the temp, and then noticed the mistletoe.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Craigslist Posting for Free Water Generator

A workmate of mine asked me, half-jokingly, to write up a blurb for a air-water gatherer, thing... Here it is, in all it's lurid glory.

Are you a crazed, fringe militia leader with a cache of weapons, a near best selling manifesto, and yet are continually surprised you cannot keep your chapter strong and thriving? The problem is not with your message (how the Illuminati controls the CBC and forces mind-altering substances into our brainstems via the 'security-strip' of the new $20 bills); no, the problem is that all your past adherents have been DYING OF DEHYDRATION. Who would have thought that the next upheaval and revolution of the Canadian government was being stalled by something as simple as water?

If only there was some way to procure water without debasing yourself and your group by plugging into the fluoride laced 'water table' that all the sheeple suck from? If only there was a way to automagically create this life-sustaining, revolution-supporting 'water' that seems so necessary!

Lucky for you! And lucky for whatever chiropractor is going to service you after you pick this up, there is the 'Wataire Atmospheric Water Generator '. Jesus, just look at the title, water is in it almost twice. Call it one and a half times. You can't go wrong.

Water, for you, your Chapter, and for whoever decides to side with you before the Cleansing Nighttime Death Squads are activated.

It's worth like, $1000, but what do you care, you're going to create upheaval in the System and stick it to the Man. You care nothing of monies.

This has also never been used, so you can be sure that no bourgeious lips have tainted the finely crafted water spouts.

Pick it up, no questions asked, no identifying information given.

PS you will need to 'hook into' the Grid for power to operate this machine.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

People You Meet on Transit #4

The Raving Lunatic
I've known someone who suffered from mental illness. It's not very pretty, poetic or a sign of artistic merit. It's painful and awkward and just shitty all around. Maybe that's why the Raving Lunatic is always troubling to me. Not that I'm sure he doesn't disturb other passengers, but I have a personal connection with that sort of disease, and well, it helps to have a reason to tell yourself why you are the only person leaving the bus because of the wild-eyed looking person talking to his Texas Instruments calculator and raving about the coming Dark Underprince and his many wing'ed minions, black with pitch and the tell-tale soot of burn'ed souls.

I remember sitting behind two teens, they might have been girls, or two effeminate boys, I'm not quite sure. But one of them comments that "Oh yeah, he has bipolar", and they go on about it like it's a trendy thing to have, like ironic 80's shirts or a passably real-looking fake Fendi bag. No, he's probably not bi-polar, he's probably really moody and wants to pin a name on the endless torment and pain he feels that compels him to wear black and listen to Black Sabbath in hopes of finding messages from the Dark Prince. Real mental disease isn't cool or pretty and certainly not something that sensitive people gather around and attribute to that really cute yet volatile guy with the messed-up-on-purpose hair and well worn but unread copy of Kerouac.

And every so once in a while there is the fellow in the terribly cramped subway compartment, raving. Full-on raving, and not with glowsticks and computerized musak, no, I mean, full on, diatribing about this that or the other. I can see why ipods sell so well. The entire trainful of commuters try to avert their gaze or continue their conversation about Sally and her poor choice of top for yesterday's meeting, but the big bloody elephant is in the room, so to speak.

There are several ways to approach this. One, really hone in on that iPod you have blasting overpriced music into your ears, try for the twenty third time to finish that particularly tricky sentence in the novel you are holding, or just get up and leave, and take the 5-10 minute ding in your commute.

I dunno, I'm a softy or a wuss or some other affable term for someone who can't quite 'take the heat', but I take the ding every single time.