Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Week in Old and Bitter

Last night I went out for fish and chips at this British style place on Cote des Neiges. It was delicious. I also had a half pint of beer, and finished off the meal with an ice cream cone with a chocolate flake. Well all that fat was not good for my aging stomach. As someone who never suffers from reflux, may I say that reflux is AWFUL. I was awake at 3, hating life.

So I stayed home today. Taking my final "sick day" of the year. They won't miss me and my (non)work.

What did I do yesterday at the office? Glad you asked. I spent a good part of the morning on the website of our pension fund. They have a benefits calculator. And I plugged in every year from 2013 to 2023. 2023 should be my official retirement date. Of course, retiring in 2023 is a joke, because I assume by then our HQ will be located in Beijing, and I won't be going there. We've started constructing a "sub office" but who is kidding who? They are moving to China in the next decade. I'm betting on it.

Anyway, so I now have a nice list of what I would be earning if I took retirement or QUIT at any point in the next 10 years. What does this serve? Nothing. But it was fun to plug in the numbers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Today in RIP Dead Career News

They announced the name of the new head of our department, and to nobody's surprise, it isn't me. Ho hum.
On the positive side, neither is it my incompetent colleague.
It is some guy from Europe. It will take him 3 months to move here, so we will continue to have no boss until the middle of February. We have been without an official boss since June.
With no boss, one would think I would be doing a lot more blogging.  I've been doing nothing for so long, I can't remember what it is like to put in a full day's work.
My biggest fear was that Ms. Incompetent would get promoted and become Ms. Incompetent Drill Sargeant Boss, but that didn't happen, so it is a big relief.
I'll just continue to (non)toil away here in my (non)career.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Celebrity Death News

Larry Hagman died. Now the I Dream of Jeannie theme music is stuck in my head.

I hope that having shared this, the I Dream of Jeannie theme is now stuck in your head, too. All day.

Ta-ta, ta-ta-ta-ta-ta.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2 more months! 2 more months!

Take a moment and imagine, if you will, a tasty, unopened bag of Doritos. Cool Ranch, if that is your preference (as it is mine) or Nacho Cheese or whatever your favourite flavour may be.

Now imagine that unopened bag of tasty morsels is at your fingertips, just ready for you to rip it open and indulge.  But...your fingers are broken. Both your hands are in plaster casts.  All you can do is stare longingly at the unopened Doritos bag. You wish you had sufficient telepathic power to open the bag using your mind alone. But alas you cannot.

Now. For the bag of Doritos, substitute a 14-month full-pay severance package. And for your plaster cast hands, substitute JAW Fan trying to wrap up his job.

As Al Pacino might put it, every time he gets close, they pull him back in.

Instead of 30 November, it now appears that JAW's last day at the office will 31 January 2013.

Those Doritos were so close he could almost taste them. But they shall remain achingly on the shelf for two more months.

Last day of work: 31 January. Plane to Mexico: 1 February. That's barely enough time to pack his Speedo.

I'm only 9 years late, old man

In 2009, sis, bro-in-law and I went on vacation to Maine.  We took a winding drive back home and went through New Hampshire.  When we were kids we vacationed in New Hampshire and I remember looking up at the mountains to see the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation that looked like the profile of an old man. It was a well known symbol of New Hampshire.

So, in 2009, we are driving in NH and I am looking for the Old Man of the Mountain. We drive and drive and I say to my sister, that's really weird, I thought we couldn't miss it.

Cut to this morning, in 2012, and while reading a totally unrelated story, I learn that the Old Man of the Mountain collapsed back in 2003. Nine years ago. Why did I never hear about this? No wonder I couldn't find it. Somebody should've told me!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Local News

Applebaum has been sworn in as Montreal's interim mayor, making history as the city's first elected Jewish mayor and the first anglophone mayor to lead the city in a century. (CBC)

In other news:  Parizeau's Head Explodes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Morning After the Night Before

The Grand Bouffe went off without a hitch. This is the first time ever that FF has come through and not let me down. Amazing.

Most of the dishes were courtesy of the girlfriend and they were all successful, so at the end of the evening, I said to FF: "So what do I need you for?"  He said "I know".

Twice during the day, I got panicked calls from him, asking if I could go to IGA and pick up this and that because they were running late and forgot stuff. This stressed me out, but I did it. Then at 5:20 he calls and says "uh, I have to cancel".  Long pause on my end.  "Just kidding!" he says. "We're almost ready to go". He is the type of person who should NEVER make a "I have to cancel" joke because it's too likely to be true.

Anyway, my guests seemed to be impressed. We were stuffed to the gills. One person brought home two doggy bags, and I have tons of leftovers.  I didn't get the bill for the food yet. That's going to hurt because I know that, in true FF form, he overspent like crazy. But I was expecting that.

Now I can relax.  And eat leftovers. Until I am unwell.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Toodles to the Twinkies

A big business story today is that Hostess is filing for bankruptcy, going out of business and putting over 18,000 people out of work.  This is in the US, apparently, it will not affect the Canadian biz.

Despite my acknowledged love of fatty foods that are bad for me, I have to say I have never been a fan of this type of snack. I'm not a cake person. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Hostess existed here when we were kids.  Seems to me that when I saw t.v. commercials for Hostess Twinkies they were some exotic foreign American delicacy that was unavailable at home. We had Vachon, and that was enough.  I didn't eat tons of Half Moons or Jos. Louis as a kid, though I admit I had an flaky apple turnover in my lunch pail on a regular basis.

On the other hand, if Frito Lay announced that it was going out of business, this blog would be wreathed in black, and I would be on long-term distress leave from work. Despair.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Modest Update

In an email sent at 9:50 p.m Tuesday, FF assured me that he and the GF will be at my place at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday to commence preparation of the meal.  And that everything is under control.  He also apologized if his lack of communication had caused me any "stress".

(He added that he now understands that the expression "explosive diarrhea" is literally true.  Should that really have been in the same email?)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Was Wrong

The Petraeus scandal is a FANTASTIC scandal. It grows more sordid every day. Just what I like in a scandal.

I hope it keeps adding new Generals and other Real Housewives of Tampa on a daily basis.

If he was head of the CIA and he didn't know that your private email account can still be checked, well, he was one lousy head of espionage.  Didn't they at least make him take a computer literacy test?

I have images of Mrs. Petraeus whacking her cheatin' husband with a frying pan. You [whack] scoundrel [whack]!  Go back to Kabul, you cad.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Feast Update

On Thursday evening, I emailed FF with some questions about the dinner. Things like: will you do the prep at your house and bring it over, or are you doing all the prep at my place? How many pots and pans will you need? Do you want money in advance to pay for the food?  You know, practical questions.

On Friday, he emails me "I'll get back to you over the weekend."  I sent two texts and last night another email, saying "call me on your break at work".  I'm still waiting.

None of this is a surprise. One of my guests dropped by yesterday while I was raking endless leaves, and I told her to be ready for a meal cooked by Yours Truly. She said she's ready for a pot luck.

So I'm planning my own menu. At least the dining room has been cleared out and the good dishes are ready to be used for the first time in years and years.

I hope he's in jail. Nothing else will be a good enough excuse. (But am I surprised? No. Not at all.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm Clueless

Somebody explain to me why Petraeus has resigned.

OK, he had an affair. So what? That's his business and his wife's business (and his girlfriend and her husband's businesses, I guess). But how does that affect the CIA?

It was an affair a) with a woman who was b) of the age of majority and c) consenting and d) apparently not a spy.  I don't get why he had to resign and why Prez O accepted his resignation. In Europe, this would get a yawn.

The Americans really need to develop better sex scandals.

Update: it's now clear why Petraeus was running those 10 k's in the Afghan hills every day. He had to stay in shape for multiple extramarital boinking. Happy Veteran's Day, General.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Fancy Feast's Fancy Feast

Let me preface this post by saying "Why, yes, actually, I am crazy."

I have planned an evening of fine dining at my home, with the cooking to be done by Fancy Feast (and his gf, more on this later).  Next weekend, three of the girls from work are coming over to be dined. (They will be wined also, but have offered to bring their own. Nice.)

Is it possible to calculate the number of ways in which this evening can go terribly, terribly wrong? No, it is not possible. So let the chips fall where they may. (Not those kind of chips.)

My primary worry right now is that state of the romance between FF and PS (Poor Sara). Things are rocky. They are supposed to be moving to a bigger place, so they are apartment hunting. But things are tense on the homefront, so FF decided that once the apartment is rented, he needs to move into it ALONE for a month or so because he needs some "space".  He told her she and her 2 kids can stay in the current place, and move a month later. So, how could that possibly be a problem, right? After all, they've been living together for a good two months now. Insanity.

I asked: How are these problems going to affect my dinner? Is she going to show up or what? He insists that yes, she'll participate. The dinner will not be affected by their internal affairs.

Second problem: As of this week, FF is working two jobs and is away from home (i.e. away from the girlfriend) from 6:30 in the morning til 11:00 at night. It must be bliss for her.  So what kind of shape is he going to be in next Saturday, two weeks into this two-job schedule?  Will he fall alseep in his butternut squash?

Fortunately, the girls from work are aware that they are guinea pigs in this catering biz and have said "Hey, if we end up having to order pizza, so be it."  So be it.

Stay tuned...

Monday, November 05, 2012

Montreal is So Exciting (not at all like Edmonton)

Our ding-dong of a mayor has announced his resignation tonight. One mention of his name during the corruption commission and he hit the road.

And worse yet, the most likely successor for the job is Applebaum, the mayor of my "arrondissement". Yes, we call our 'hoods "arrondissements" so we can pretend we are JUST LIKE PARIS. So fucking pathetic we are.

I'm so SICK of living in this corrupt city in this corrupt province. I need to move to a nice, clean-living place.  Maybe Sicily.

P.S. Yes, I do recognize that in his own way, Mayor Blimp of Toronto, is worse.

U.S. Election Eve

The Big Day in the US of A is tomorrow.  Honestly, when Obama was elected, I expected him to spend four years dodging bullets like Chow Yun Fat.  I am shocked, shocked, that he has made it through his first term without getting shot at.  Kudos to the Secret Service, I guess.

This puts Prez O. miles ahead of your average Montreal crime boss.
This morning in Blainville:  "Honey, there's a body in the driveway of the house across the street."  "Is it that old Italian guy?"

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Oh No! Expos Death News

Our man Pascual has been killed.

"Police in the Dominican Republic say former major league pitcher Pascual Perez has been killed during an apparent home invasion robbery." (CBC)

How awful.