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Mr. Dave Gripes

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6th December 2011

3:49pm: Canada Post / Canada Customs
What does "40 USD" sound like you to you? I read that I think 40 U.S. dollars. That was the value written on the package.

But apparantly Canada Customs / Canada Post just see a package from the U.K. and charged tax and handling charges on 40 British pounds.

Plus, they got me out of bed to demand C.O.D. Now, if I want to have them review/correct their mistake, I have to send a letter to a PO Box in Scarborough. So, they woke me up, cost me money, and it will still cost me more time and aggravation to try to get them to fix their error and get back what they overcharged.

Current Mood: angry

21st October 2010

6:35pm: Tired
I am goddam tired.
Current Mood: tired

4th October 2010

9:54am: Workplace blues
I don't ask for much from my workplace - just that the office is room temperature and that my computer doesn't take 30 seconds to open an goddam email.

Is that too much to ask?
Current Mood: cranky

11th August 2010

5:59pm: Fucking cold
Everywhere I go today it's fucking freezing.

Is it not possible to use air conditioning in moderation anymore?
Current Mood: cold

4th August 2010

3:05pm: Frozen Hot Chocolate?
Frozen Hot Chocolate Chiller?

What the hell? Am I the only one who sees the redundency of this name? What's wrong with calling it a "Chocolate Chiller" or even a "Frozen Chocolate Chiller"?
Current Mood: irritated

14th August 2009

10:17am: Can't believe you're lying in my arms when you're lying in my arms.
No, these aren't the lyrics of a country song, but they should be don't you think?
Current Mood: quixotic

9th January 2009

5:15pm: Dragostea din tei
Hello, greetings. It's me, an outlaw.

I heard the beginning of the "Numa Numa" song ("Dragostea din tei" by O-Zone) on the radio today. I was so excited: "It's the Numa Numa song!" I cried! But it turns out that it wasn't. It seems that Rihanna and Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. (aka T.I. / T.I.P.) have sampled this for their song "Live Your Life".

My co-workers, of course, had never heard of the numa song, despite it reportedly being the second-most watched viral video of all time, with 700 million views (second only to the "Star Wars Kid").

But I still have the "numa" / "Love From the Linden Trees" song in my head - which is better than that Britney Spears "Womanizer" song that is still playing on my co-worker's radio station 2 or 3 times a day.
Current Mood: bouncy

24th October 2008

12:03am: Smoke
Why do all the fucking kids smoke?

Jesus fucking christ, isn't there any kind of cool in this city that doesn't involve people smoking all around outside the fucking event?
Current Mood: grumpy

23rd October 2008

9:48pm: Fritz Leiber
Sadly, I think I am finally admitting to myself that even though I very much enjoy his writing, Fritz Leiber was, in the end, a dirty old man.

Current Mood: reflective

18th October 2008

4:45pm: My After Dark Film Festival Experience
I had a less than satisfying experience at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival opening gala last night. I wrote a letter to them today expressing my gripes:

Dear After Dark organizers,

I'm curious as to what you have to say for yourselves about last night's opening gala fiasco.

I was one of the many, many people in line last night who thought that, having paid for tickets in advance using a credit card (actually, my friend used her credit card) that we just needed to claim our pre-paid tickets to get into the movie. I didn't realize that we had only put down a deposit (in this case, a $60 deposit) that allowed us to stand in some kind of first-tier Rush Line, and that in fact anyone who didn't have their tickets in their hands was NOT guaranteed admission to the film.

My friend is apparantly getting her money back, but I feel jerked around by you folks and am strongly dis-inclined to try to see any other films at your festival, since I don't trust you to live up to your end of a bargain (that is, not to sell tickets that you can't honour on the day of the show.)

It is particularly irksome to have heard from my friends who DID have tickets in their hands at 6:30pm (they actually received comp tickets and who therefore got into the theatre ahead of most paying customers) that you did nothing but congratulate yourselves that this was the first show to sell out at your festival. What you should have done is to announce that anyone who was saving seats for friends who were in the line to pick up pre-paid tickets should stop saving those seats because you had over-sold the show and anyone who wasn't already in the theatre would not be admitted. What you should have done is apologized for having to turn away people to whom you had already sold tickets.

Actually, what you should have done is give everyone you screwed over a free pass to another film of their choice. Maybe two free passes to other screenings, since the gala screening was actually the one movie many of us were most excited to see. The people in line behind me (who had also bought tickets through your website) actually had friends drive up from Buffalo to see this movie with them - only to be turned away.

And now that I'm onto things that you should or could have done - maybe you should have seen if it was possible to have a second screening of this movie. (How long do you have the print? Could you add a midnight showing? Could you have pre-empted the monthly Oz/Darkside screening last night instead? Or maybe had a midnight screening after Oz/Darkside let out?), so that all the poeple who bought your tickets but were nonetheless turned away could still have a chance to see it. Not to mention all the hapless people standing in the actual Rush Line, some of whom had been there since 5pm expecting that there might at least be one or two seats available somewhere in the theatre - that you hadn't actually over-sold tickets beyond the capacity of the theatre's seating.

(And in fact, because my friends were holding seats for me - based on the not unreasonable expectation that we had reserved and paid for tickets in advance - there were actually 3 free seats next to my friends on the balcony throughout the entirety of the screening. You didn't even manage to fill the "rush seats" to capacity. There were seats for me if you would have let me into the theatre!)

It was disappointing that you didn't come out and face the crowd of disappointed people yourself, but just sent some hapless volunteers to deal with angry ticket-holders instead. I am disappointed that you seem to have no sense that you have fucked up and fucked off a whole lot of people (including our friends inside the theatre, once they found out what had happened) but instead are just congratulating yourselves on the success of your event.

I hope you at least learn from this and fix whatever caused this unforgivable problem that has soured me and others on your film festival.


David F.
Current Mood: frustrated

13th October 2008

10:40pm: Kids!
I don't know where parents find the energy to raise kids.

I'm exhausted just having been around children this weekend - nevermind actually having to take care of them!
Current Mood: exhausted

28th September 2008

10:38pm: Can't get no satisfaction (KISS medley)
I've had this mash-up / medley running through my head for a couple weeks now, so I decided to put it down in writing. Unfortunately, I don't remember enough from my junior high band classes about how to read (let alone write) music, so it's just the lyrics - but hopefully it's enough to give the idea of how it would go. I realize that KISS and The Rolling Stones are unlikely to perform this together, but maybe someone else can make this happen - because something like this shouldn't only be in my head.

I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night / (I can’t get no) Satisfaction

[open with Rock & Roll All Night]

You show us everything you've got
You keep on dancin' and the room gets hot
You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy

You say you wanna go for a spin
The party's just begun - we'll let you in
You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy

You keep on shoutin', you keep on shoutin'

[one two, one two - and shift to Stones]

I can't get no
I can't get no
'cause i try - and i try - and i try - and i try
I can't get no
i can't get no

When i'm drivin' in my car
And that man comes on the radio
He's tellin' me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can't get no - no no no

[one two, one two - and shift to KISS]

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day
I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day!

Hey hey hey … that's what i say!

You keep on saying you'll be mine for a while
You're lookin' fancy and I like your style
You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy

'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy

I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day
I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day!

You show us everything you've got
oh Baby, baby that's quite a lot
And you drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy

[guitar riff - shift to Stones for a bridge]

When i'm ridin' round the world
And i'm doin' this and i'm signing that
And i'm tryin' to make some girl
Who tells me baby better come back later next week
'cause you see i'm on losing streak

[shift back to KISS]

You keep on shoutin', you keep on shoutin'

[still to the tune of Rock & Roll All Night]

I … can't get no satisfaction (and party every day)
I … can't get no girl reaction (and party every day)

'cause i try and i try and i try and i try
I can't get no - oh no no no

I can’t get no! (rock and roll all night…)
I can't get no! (rock and roll all night…)
I can't get no! (rock and roll all night…)
Satisfaction! (rock and roll all night…)

Hey Hey Hey … that’s what I say

No satisfaction (…and party every day)
no satisfaction (…and party every day)
no satisfaction (…and party every day)
no satisfaction (…and party every day)

[fade out]
Current Mood: music in my noggin

15th September 2008

3:30pm: The Ribs
The rib bones in the pan next to the BBQ outside my back door?

They're still there.
Current Mood: yuck!

14th September 2008

6:24pm: Aftermath of the back-lot party
So, the huge party that my downstairs and upstairs and next-door neighbors planned seemed to go off OK yesterday, in spite of the rain. Actually, even though there was a keg, there was also a good selection of Ceres juices and bottles of fizzy juice out back of our building. And on the other side, they had a good number of tents, some wine and cheese and crackers, and they were also cooking and bringing out other food. In the brief time that I was down there, I got a rib that was pretty tasty from a batch that one of the women was passing around. I even got to talk to one or two of my neighbors.

And this morning (well, at noon - but it felt like morning to me, having been out late at the last screening of the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness programme) they seemed to get out there pretty quickly to break down the tents and generally clean up, which was nice. However, when I went out back this afternoon, I found that our side of the lot was not really cleaned up. The keg was gone, as well as the umbrella it was under, and there wasn't really any trash on the ground, but the furniture was still all helter skelter and was still some junk on the makeshift table they made by inverting two trash cans and putting a board across them. And there was a tray of gnawed rib bones sitting on the side of their barbeque attracting a veritable host of flies and wasps. (I flash back to the movie, Chocolate from last night: "Flies! Flies!" - you'll understand once you see the movie.) In fact, as I write this, I can look out my window and see that it is still out there. Although I at a rib yesterday, I threw my bone in one of the compost bins. I don't know why they didn't leave one of those bins handy for all the organic garbage.

Also, the woman next door (from the house next to our lot, not the apartment building which co-sponsored the party) who had previously accosted me about all the garbage that was accumulating along the fence last year (because the other people in my apartment building never take out their trash) came up to the fence to get my attention: "Excuse me," she said. "Who can I talk to about this truck that has backed up and broken the fence?"

Seems one of the trucks that is parked in our back lot (which I think belong to another of our landlord's businesses - or maybe they just rent out the parking) was backed into some baskets and things which were crushed against the fence and had broken some of the wooden planks loose leaving a gap in the fence. I could tell she wanted me to take some responsibility for this, even though I never spend any fucking time out back because of all the trash that accumulates and all the smoking that the other people do when they are out there. "I don't know, the space for those trucks is provided by our landlord. I guess you could talk to our landlord about it." So I went inside and wrote down our landlord's number on a piece of paper. I really really didn't want to deal with this shit.

Anyway, I'm sad to see that our apartment building is still kind of a shit-hole out back.
Current Mood: yuck

29th August 2008

3:53pm: Rotten day / Rotten way to do things
Due to bad planning, I was the only person at work to take calls today as a massive promotional mailing hit the homes of serveral thousand of our customers.

Oh, and a bunch of them wanted to sign up for this offer to start in September, which meant they had to rush to get their documents in before the end of the month (which is basically today, since our office will be closed from Saturday through Monday.)
Current Mood: unhappy

7th August 2008

10:30am: A friend recently wrote me wondering why I haven't been griping in a while.

I have to admit that I've fallen far from my initial goal of posting a gripe a day. I'm not sure if there are just too many little gripes to choose from or if my inspiration has just waned, but I don't seem to find the time or motivation to write up gripes much anymore. I guess I also had a goal of generally writing something amusing, and I haven't felt able to write very amusingly or interestingly about the things that bother me lately.

Maybe things will change in September, as the summer draws to an end and I spend more time at home again.
Current Mood: apathetic

16th July 2008

12:52am: Locked Out
Ever since my room-mates went to Montreal I've had this nagging worry that I was going to leave my apartment without my keys and not be able to get back inside. (The doors lock automatically when you close them.)

I guess it has happened once or twice that I needed one of my room mates to let me back in after I'd gone out without my keys (once my keys weren't in my bag when I went to work and another time I just went outside to check the mail or throw out some garbage.) But I always take my metropass with me, and I usually leave my keys next to my metropas (if not in my bag) so it seemed like a somewhat irrational worry - a result of not having the 'safety net' of room mates in case I should forget or lose my keys somewhere. In fact, it seemed like I was suffering from an over-active imagination about losing keys, because I was also thinking about how I could get my spare key for the Jeep Cherokee to my room-mate in Montreal if she lost her car key for some reason.

However, tonight I locked myself out of my apartment. I had been out earlier today to run some errands, and when I left again this evening I was wearing the same clothes and took the same bag with me. But somehow I didn't have my keys either in my pocket (where they were earlier) nor in my bag. So I came home with a couple bags of groceries but with no keys to get back into my apartment.

I walked over to a friend's house (a good friend who wasn't angry at me for ringing her doorbell and getting her out of bed) who had a spare set of keys to the apartment (because, being such a good friend, she also sometimes takes care of our cats if I and my room-mates all go out of town at the same time) and am now able to blog about this in the comfort of my own home. But I can't believe that, after all this worrying about forgetting my keys, I actually still managed to forget my keys!

I guess it wasn't such an irrational worry. In fact, I wonder if it wasn't some kind of prescient worry. Maybe I should pay more attention to those worries. While I may not be able to prevent the thing I'm worried about (perhaps I was fated to forget my keys this week?) maybe I can at least plan against the consequences. Or maybe having a friend with spare keys who lives nearby WAS planning against such consequences?

Bah! Too much speculation! I should be going to bed!
Current Mood: befuddled

13th July 2008

7:49pm: Room mates are out of town
My room mates went to Montreal this morning. I said goodbye to them around 11am and went out to help a friend move some furniture out of his ex's house, then get some new furniture for his apartment from Ikea.

When I came back home, knowing the apartment would be empty and that I'd be alone for the rest of the evening and for the next several days to come, I was surprised by my sudden sense of heartache. The fact that it's only temporary doesn't seem to afford any consolation right now.

Silly isn't it?
Current Mood: sentimental

1st June 2008

12:54pm: Why is polygamy a crime?
I caught a headline on the Toronto Star today that said "Polygamy is a crime, non?"

It is a crime, but really I have to wonder: why? Who cares if people choose to have more than one spouse?

Even after reading the article on-line (where a man is complaining that his wife married his best friend and nobody will prosecute her for it) I don't really see any problem with polygamy. There is a moral issue at stake if it is not consentual; and we already have a word for that - it's called 'infedelity.' But infedelity, or adultery (or cheating) is not a crime. There are plenty of legal recourses for that, including divorce or other civil law suits. But I don't see why we should care who marries who. Why should the government police our personal lives?

"Marriage is a contract. A contract requires a licence, and once a marriage occurs, it has to be registered" says Ontario's Government and Consumer Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin. Well, if that's all that marriage is, then we should provide the same legal recourse to the parties of that contract that we provide for any other legal contract - they can sue for breach of contract.

So I ask again, why in this day and age, when we have overturned so many outdated laws about what kind of relationships people can have, is polygamy illegal?
Current Mood: puzzled

14th May 2008

12:09pm: So rude! (eating & talking)
For the second time in as many days, I have been on the phone with someone who is chewing food while talking to me. Yesterday, they started eating what sounded like an apple halfway through the call. Today the person just kept chewing and smacking loudly into the phone.

That is so fucking rude!

If you're making a phone call, the least you can do is put down your apple or sandwich or whatever while you're talking to me. I mean, for fuck's sake, you called ME - it's not like I caught you in the middle of eating lunch.
Current Mood: annoyed

5th May 2008

6:49pm: Non-stop phone calls
All I did at work today was answer the phone, one call after another.

I could not get any other work done, and the only break I had from answering calls was actually picking up messages and returning calls.

Couldn't they have planned just a little bit better for this marketing campaign than to just expect the 3 of us (actually, only 2 of us on Friday and today) who work on retiree insurance plans to answer all the fucking phone calls from the 100,000 people (literally - the information went out to 100,000 people!) who received information about our insurance plan?
Current Mood: grrrr

23rd April 2008

3:06pm: The fartiness is spreading!
Holy shit - the concourse area where the elevators let out underneath my building has become all cloying and humid and smelling of farts.

What the hell is happening to this city? I keep coming across these pervasively stinky areas underground.

I think there must be something under the city that is producing these noxious vapors. Maybe a pathway to hell is opening up under Toronto.
Current Mood: gross

22nd April 2008

10:39pm: Doritos
I tried the new "Collisions" Doritos which have Hot Wings and Blue Cheese flavor chips in the same bag.

And you know, I realized something: All Doritos pretty much taste the same.
Current Mood: okay

20th April 2008

5:48pm: 5pm on Sunday
Gotta remember the liquor store closes at 5pm on Sunday. Not 6pm. 5pm.

I don't know why I can't remember that. It SEEMS like I should be able to buy alcohol up until 6pm. Actually, it seems like I should be able to buy wine at a supermarket or grocery store, like they do in other civilized countries.

Oh well, once again, no bottle of wine with dinner for me.

God dammit.
Current Mood: annoyed

11th April 2008

8:49pm: More than one kind of Webster's!
I bought a dictionary some time ago that was on sale. It was a Webster's New World College Dictionary. I figured it was about time I updated my old Webster's dictionary that is starting to get pretty well-worn.

But I was recently trying to look up a word and couldn't find it in my new Webster's dictionary. This had happened to me a couple of times recently, and so I'd look on-line or pull out another dictionary (such as the Oxford) to try to find the word. But for some reason this time I checked my old Webster's dictionary, and guess what? It was in the older dictionary!

I started comparing the two Webster's dictionaries, wondering if I had somehow bought a condensed version or if maybe the editors tended to take out old or archaic words as they go out of use (seeing as Webster's is more of a descriptive dictionary, rather than a prescriptive dictionary like Oxford.) What I discovered is that I have two completely different "Webster's" dictionaries: the newer one published by MacMillan out of Cleveland, Ohio and my older one a Merriam-Webster published by G & C Merriam Company out of Springfield, Massachussets titled Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. They are very similar looking dictionaries, both having red covers and a red-speckling wash on the outside of the pages. It seems that one company is trying to cash in on the prestige of the other. My suspicions are further raised in this respect when I note that the cover declares in bold letters across the bottom "THE NAME YOU TRUST".

My older dictionary actually seems to be a much better dictionary. Not only does it have words I don't know (or at least more of the words I don't know), but it has more useful illustrations. I don't need an illustration of a delta, a headset, a level, or a pellican; but I sure as hell appreciate having an illustration of a phaeton and the musical staff notation of pitch and of pilasters and proofreader's marks and runes and a squinch! Not to mention tables showing the Beafort scale, different countries' denominations of money, or the distance, revolution and equator of the 9 planets.

I guess I'll be getting rid of this new dictionary and keeping the old one. I mean, what's the point of having a dictionary that only contains words you already know?
Current Mood: disabused
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