Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pink Hair

I dyed my hair pink last night.

Not all of it, you understand, but a good chunk of it. It's still blond on top, and a darker strawberry blond on the bottom, but in the middle it is a bright shade of cotton candy pink.

Friends on my dance team told me it was cool.

At work... only one person has mentioned it. There has been a distinct, and I might believe purposeful, lack of reaction, right down to facial expressions.

I can't help thinking that nobody knows what to make of it :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Summer Lovin' reversed

In the classic songs, flash pan romance happens during the summer... in my case, it's taking a summer break... maybe a permanent one, depending on how things turn out down in California. A little bit of sadness to season the warmth of spring.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Nothing Going On

That's what you'd think, anyway, looking at my blog. Nothing going on here.

Life might be simpler if it were true, but there are two major projects in my life at the moment, work, and dancing, not to mention the plethora of other fun priorities - hanging out with friends, getting to the gym, doing things for my house - and evil chores. Sad, evil chores. Taxes, wrapping up the foundation, starting to think about really actually hiring a property manager, really actually giving my house a good clean.

And one other big time-suck at the moment; good clean fun, soon to be over, with a nice man who is moving to California for the summer. The only upside to which is that I'll have time to do stuff for my house on the weekends again - number one priority being to do some gardening!

Nonetheless, I'll try to be someone who opens up to the world again soon, instead of locking it all away inside. Talk to you soon!

Monday, March 17, 2008

On Remembering

Wouldn't it be great for everyone if their rememberer was better than their forgettery?

I notice that my forgettery works best on the things that I don't want to do.

Fortunately today I'm remembering all the things on my to do list, whether I particularly want to do them or not.

Or at least I think I am!!!

Friday, March 07, 2008

On Anger

So why is it that I am so completely convinced on an emotional level that "nice girls don't get angry"?

On the rare occasions when anger breaks through my emotional facade, I shut it down instinctively. It usually isn't even a choice - the emotional damper system cuts in and I lose the perception of anger. But probably not the anger itself, or the consequences of unresolved anger - I imagine those linger on indefinitely.

Is it a fear of rejection? If I get angry, people won't love me anymore? Or a fear of hurting people - another big no-no in the "nice girls" category?

Now, I recognize that there are situations to which the only sane reaction is anger. But in the "nice girls don't get angry" credo, you still aren't allowed to show your anger. You can do things to alleviate the situation sure, to change the circumstances, but not by showing anger.

Where did this come from? How did I ever learn this?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Consumer Beware!

Don't shop at Canadian Tire. Or at least, don't pay cash at Canadian Tire.

It won't hurt you if you like their irritating Canadian Tire money and you actually spend it.

It won't hurt you if you like the product you purchased from then and you actually keep it.

However, if, as I did, you purchase a defective product from them, and then return it, and they don't have a non-defective iteration of the same product to replace it with, you get to lose money.

How does this happen, you ask? Don't they refund you the full amount of your purchase price on a defective product?

Not precisely, I say.

They refund you the full amount of purchase, less any amount of Canadian Tire money you earned on the purchase.

Never mind that Canadian Tire money is not money, and can't be spent anywhere else.

Never mind that you can't refuse to take their stupid Canadian Tire money, despite the fact that all you do is lose it, or put it directly in the charity box by the cash, or have it clutter up your wallet and your pocket and your car and your entrance way and whereever else you tuck stupid pieces of paper that you can't bring yourself to throw out but have no use for. I've never in this lifetime redeemed a single cent of Canadian Tire money.

Never mind that you can't take Canadian Tire money to them and exchange it for cash, which you could do if it was actually a valid tender of any kind.

They still insist that you pull those few cents of Canadian Tire money out of your wallet and give it back to them, and if you don't, they deduct it from your refund.

The policy is not posted visibly in the store. Not even not at the customer service desk, where you might go to attempt to exchange or refund a product.

I suspect they think their policy is written on the receipt... but all it says is "to return an item for exchange or refund, bring it to any Canadian Tire store within 90 days, in its original condition and packing, with your receipt and issue of Canadian Tire "Money"TM. Which implies that I might not get a refund at all without my Canadian Tire Money, but says nothing about clawing it back. And that's if I understand that my "issue of Canadian Tire Money" refers to the stupid pieces of paper they handed me, which I'm not convinced I would have without the background of this experience.

The manager, if asked for, as I did, will not have any sympathy or be willing to bend in any way. Will quote the "it's the system" line at you like a mindless parrot.

My advice? Don't bother shopping at Canadian Tire.

If you do, pay with a credit card. And I hope, in the dark vindictive corner of my soul, that it costs them more money when I pay with a credit card than when I pay with debit. I know, with deep satisfaction, that it costs them more than when I pay with cash.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Partying at QSRV

Spent the weekend in Quebec City at QSRV (Quebec Swing Rendez-Vous). Had a mixed experience there.

I was blessed with a fabulous host - Eric's brother and his fiancee are fabulous people who welcomed me and Rob into their home and fed us well and had exceedingly comfortable beds to sleep in. Couldn't ask for a better situation in that regard.

The classes were pretty good - some were fantastic and some were just okay, as I like some of the instructors better than others. It was a bit tricky due to the combination of having different levels and having different types of dances. If you focus on one dance, then making people register for a particular level has meaning. When you add a couple of other dances into the mix, you've got pretty good odds that not all of your "intermediate 2 Lindy Hop dancers" are actually going to be intermediate balboa dancers, or intermediate shag dancers. The result was that I didn't really get much new in Bal or Shag, and that was disappointing to me.

I have mixed feelings about the parties too. It seems a bit unfair to design a party where you dont' get to really start social dancing until 2 in the morning, and then schedule the classes for 10am. The Imperial was a beautiful venue, but didn't really seem to have enough dance space for all of the people who were attending, and I didn't like the effect of having the dance space divided onto three levels (especially since one level abutted onto the bar, making it an exceedingly uncomfortable place to dance, with all of the people wandering by). There was plenty of space to leave your drinks and sweaters and shirts and breathmints and whatnots up on the balcony... but that meant you had to climb a set of stairs every time you wanted one of those things.

And the bands! They were accomplished bands, but they played 6 minute songs! All the time! No instrumental song is interesting enough to last 6 minutes - and especially not when it is at a very fast tempo - which the vast majority of them were! How can I dance with all the people at the party when each song lasts 6 minutes? Not to mention the discomfort when I realize I've selected someone to dance with that I'm having trouble following, or who seems not to be having fun dancing with me...

And the competitions took up a large portion of both evenings. I'm proud of myself for having competed in the fast strictly (just for the experience - I just wanted to get over the nerves of doing it for the first time), but they took too much time.

The sad thing is that a large part of these problems could have been solved by opening up the lounge first thing in the evening. Have the lounge be the short songs, medium paced, DJ'd environment for the medium dancers in the crowd, and let there be more floor space for those who wanted to dance at the insane pace of the band. Once the lounge opened with blues music at 2am, the dance got to be a lot more enjoyable.

Not that it bothered me, but it would have been nice to have a place to buy snacks - if you are going to keep going until 5am you need some calories outside of alcohol to fuel that activity.

However, I had good company the whole weekend, and had lots of good food at various Quebec City restaurants, so that was nice.

Would I go back? I'm not sure. If I did, I'd have to plan it differently. I can't even remotely survive on four hours of sleep a night, so I'd have to plan to skip some classes, or not bother showing up to the dance until midnight, or some such, so that I could get enough sleep. I think for next year I'll be checking the band and the venue, to see if it looks like things'll be different, before I make my decision.

The Battle of the Plains by itself was almost worth the price of admission - they had three teams battling it off for the "championship" - from Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City - and it was a great spectacle, with lots of aerials and formations, and attitude back and forth between the teams. Well worth watching, and enough to make me want to learn more aerials!!!!

So that was my weekend. Of course, I got back and was very sick on Monday - too much stress from the weekend getting my immune system down, I think. I'm going to have to learn to plan vacation days after travelling weekends. Or at least vacation mornings.