Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?

I know everyone has done tons of these with all sorts of characters from the Muppets to My Little Pony, but I'm at work and needed something to do, so here it is. I never thought I'd be a Shroeder type of girl...but then again it makes complete sense from the description. Sad how it takes an online "Which Peanuts gang member are you" quiz for me to learn and understand more about myself. By the way, I took the Muppets quiz - accordingly I'd be the Swedish Chef:

chef jpeg

You are the the Swedish Chef.You are a talented individual, nobody
understandsyou. Perhaps it's because you talk funny.

In other news, I managed to talk down one of Rogers' corporate peons today into giving me a full credit on my bill for some long distance charges I was forced to charge to my bill while my parents were away and our Rogers Home Phone service was down for TWO WEEKS. At first he tried to shut me up by offering to credit me $30 just for being "a good customer with good payment history". But said that since the charges were made by my own self, he couldn't credit me for that reason specifically or for the full amount.

Psssshhhh yeah right I said (well not to him, but to myself). But I reasoned with the guy and explained (while trying to use my lawyer bargaining skills) as to why he should give me the FULL credit for the charges - there were about 20 calls made all for about 1-3 minutes because we were trying to track my parents down in their hotel since we didn't know that they had checked in. If I was just talking to someone for the hell of it, wouldn't my conversations be all at once and longer? Plus after having numerous chats with their tech support people who said I should have no problem in getting a credit for this, they owed it to me.

At last Jeff saw the light and caved (I bet he'd be a Charlie Brown...), and said I was right (isn't that true all the time?) and he would credit me the full $39.50 for the long distance charges on my bill. That's right I fought for the damn $9.50 - it was the principle more than the thought of the money (ok, yes it was the money too). But Rogers claimed fault. Major breakthrough in my testy relationship with them. Next month my cell phone contract is up with them, let's see where negotiations take us then...

Thursday, November 24, 2005
I find I'm losing my patience these days. With people, things and myself. I have no idea why, but at times when I would drive myself insane trying to be nice and wait out a situation, I'm starting to snap earlier.

I'm a bit of a push over and people-pleaser (not the best traits for a soon-to-be lawyer to have) so I tend to bend over backwards to be nice to people and do what I can to keep them happy and avoid confrontation on all costs, even if this results as a disadvantage to me. Though the odd thing is that I'm quick to defend other people and do it well.

I envy those people who can say what they way, when they want, and to whom they want to say it to. I'm sure it gets them in trouble sometimes, but I think I'd rather live with saying what's on my mind, then have the horrible feeling of regret by not having said it at all. Whether it be telling a friend her haircut really does look bad on her (rather than making a lame attempt to make her feel better though she hates it), tell a manager that I'm not happy with something, or just tell off that customer service rep that I will not stand for their crappy service (DAMN YOU ROGERS!!!) - I want to be able to be honest with others and myself.

It would not only be a way for me to stick up for myself, but it would help me in the future when I'm trying to defend someone else in a case. And slowly, I'm starting to realize this and emerge from my shell. I don't think I've become rude or short, but I am understanding that there are moments when you have to speak up and make yourself understood.

I think work has brought it out in me. I was always one to shut my mouth whether a customer was yelling and swearing and frantically look over my shoulder for a manager to help me out. Though there were the odd moments where I would be firm, but never would I set them straight.

Today I had a client come in who I loathe. I mean there's people who come into the bank who annoy me, but I just dread seeing this man because of his pushy manner and because of my constant, but reluctant, giving in to his pushiness. So today he made another one of his demands as he waddled into my office, but I stopped him there and said that I'd no longer be able to serve him because his requests were not something I was able to do any long and he was welcome to take his business to someone else in the bank, or to another bank altogether. He was taken back a little, but then said a few mean things and got up left.

Ok - so it's not the most inspiring and applaud-worthy speech made by anyone and looking back I now remember other things I could've added, but the point is that I did it. I no longer have to dread his staunch presence in the bank. And if he does decide to show his face, I can look the other way without trying to hid behind a file cabinet.

The moral of the story? No clue. I'm sure there'll come a time when I say a little too much, but I know I'm getting better and hopefully will soon find a balance. Guess that's what growing up does to you - the more comfortable you become in your own skin, the more resolute you become.

My next task? Call up Rogers (a wireless/cable/phone/you-name-it monopoly of a corportation) and tell them that they will reverse those long distance charges on my cell phone bill that only came about because their damn home phone service didn't work for two weeks.

Wish me luck.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Here is a good article about introverts - it is right on the mark. I feel introverts are often misunderstood; I know I have been - people assume that I'm being a snob, angry, or perhaps aloof, when it's nothing further from the truth. I also like the distinction between introvert and shy:

Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say "Hell is other people at breakfast." Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses."

Although I'm not as *shy* as I used to be (I think my job helped to overcome that), I will always be introverted. I used to think it was bad to be introverted, because the extroverts always seemed to be more fun and just better overall. I guess as you get older, you become more comfortable in your own skin and learn to like the traits you have developed over the years.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Disclaimer: This post is not a personal attack against specific doctors, other than the ones mentioned, because I do realize there are many good ones. If you are, or are related to, a doctor I sincerely apologize for any misunderstandings and hurt feelings. My experience with a few doctors has made me generalize my feelings for all doctors. Logically this isn't very logical. But they still suck.

I do not like doctors. They prick you with needles, stick giant Q-Tips down your throat to make you gag, they make you pee into tiny cups, they give you expensive prescriptions, their writing is not legible, and let's face it - once that incentive to get a lollypop after your visit is no longer available, what's the point?

All major diseases and emergencies aside, I refuse to see a doctor unless I am left with no other options. Sure you can yell at me when I'm sick (though yelling at a sick person isn't very nice) and run down the list of all the benefits of going to see one, but I would rather sit and pop Tylenol, if I even bother to take those (don't get me started on pill-poppers), and let the cough/cold/flu/tonsillitis run it's course naturally then disappear. Sure it may take longer, but I can tough it out, most of the time.

Take now, for example. I've had a sore throat since about Sunday. It's not the I-have-a-cold-and-cough type of sore throat, it's just painful. Eventually it occured to me that it's actually my tonsils and lymph nodes that are hurting. Suspecting that I have tonsillitis, off I went to WebMD to search for it on my own. I read up on it on my own and figured out what I have and how I'd go about treating it. All without having to see the doctor!

So maybe right about now people with shake their heads at my heedlessness with my own health and the lengths I'd go to to avoid a doctor. Shake your head all you want, but I've had such a barrage of bad experiences with doctors in my family that I've given up on my luck with them. Most of it is just doctors showing a major lack of interest in me or my case, or just making carless mistakes...

Just how many times can you suspect a person to have cancer before you just say yes or no?
And "mistakenly" cutting a major artery to put someone in a near death state? It's not right to put people through that...

The last time I went to the doctor (after much consistent persuasion by well-intentioned friends - thanks) I waited about 45 minutes, and when I eventually made it into the examination room, the doctor came in, didn't ask me my name or introduce himself; he checked me over about 3 minutes while asking a few questions (to which he didnt give any feedback to my answers), printed out a prescription, signed it, handed it to me, then walked out. I sat there wondering whether I should wait for him to come back or run after himself to find out what exactly I had. As I walked out I looked over the prescription I had in hand and was suprised to see that he had prescribed a strong antibiotic for something that wasn' all that severe. So I did what I thought I should do - I tore of the prescription outside the clinic and tossed it in the garbage on my way back to my car.

There'll come a time, not so far away, where the antibiotics we use now will be useless because of how often they are used and how resistant our bodies will become to them. The (evil!) pharmaceutical companies will then come out with stronger medications and will have to subject ourselved to that. Sound like a lot of nonsense? It's becoming more and more apparent - why else is tuberculosis, malaria and measles making a comeback?

I won't get into whether my experiences are part of the problems of the Canadian health system or maybe just that one doctor (I've had similar experiences with other doctors). I know I can't live by WebMD my whole life and will eventually have to see a doctor for something, but whenever possible I'll avoid that visit and reach for the over-the-counter stuff first.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I don't understand and don't think I ever could understand the human race. There are too many people who don't feel anything, too many people who put on this facade and pretend to be something their not, too many people who are self-absorbed and inconsiderate, too many people who will do anything even if it means losing their self-respect.

It seems like as good a person you believe the average stranger to be, they have just as much potential to be deranged. I think I'm a pretty patient and understanding person, but the more things I see in this world the more I feel like my heart is shrinking and I'm losing faith in goodness of people.

I know it doesn't help matters for me to start thinking this way, but then with the type of news you hear these days, it becomes harder to find the silver lining. Just today I had a lengthy conversation with a friend over the stories that start off "did you hear about that poor ____".

The odd thing is that it doesn't seem that stories like these were that prevalent in the past. Many parents seemed too afraid of kidnappers and pedophiles to let their kids out for Halloween this year. But I can't blame them - they feel helpless and afraid and are just trying to protect their children.

Whether it be gun violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, hate crimes - it just seems to get worse every day when you turn on the news. Sure, I know the media is partly at fault for over-exaggerating certain stories to make them seem worse, but many times there's no manipulation to a story, though with the gory details you hear, you almost wish it was made-up. I'm sure there's still a large number of people in our society who don't fall into this category.

Just have to pray that it's enough to save us all.
In regards to the post above this one...I guess I found some of those people (20 mins after posting...odd)...the kind who give you a tiny bit of hope back that money/power/respect (said to be the "key to life") aren't what everyone is after...


Wish them lots of luck :)
Saturday, November 12, 2005
A young woman walks briskly between traffic in the front of a mall, both hands grasping her take-out box containing her lunch, on her way back to her car in the parking lot. She has spent most of her lunch hour in the mall and now, fearing that she'll be late, is now making her way back with her meal so she can finish it back at the office.

She walks through the underground parking lots balancing the take-out box in one hand, and is rummaging around in her purse for her car keys when she hears the cries of a young child. She looks up at a car parked across from where she stands. There is a large stroller beside the car's open backseat door where a woman, likely the child's mother, is leaning into the backseat with a child in arms. The child, no more than a year old, is screaming at the top of its lungs. From the looks of the black and red winter coat the baby is a boy. The baby is refusing to settle into its car seat and continues its shrill screams.

The mother is now forcing the child into the carseat by shaking the child and harshly thrusting it backwards into the seat while shrieking at the baby to "shut up and sit".

"SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!! SIT DOWN NOW!" she screams trying to drown out the child's voice with her own yelling.

The young woman is so startled by this scene that she stares in disbelief. She can see everything that is happening through the rear window of the mother's car. The young woman takes a step forward thinking she should leave. The mother then raises a hand to hit the baby. The young woman cannot see where he was hit.

The young woman then frantically looks around for help. For another witness. She doesn't know whether she should confront this woman. She doesn't know how to confront her. Should she call the police? The mall security? What if the mother leaves before she comes back? It is the crowded lunch time, and despite there being a sea of cars around her, the young woman sees no one that she can call out to.

The young woman turns towards the mother's car attempting to step forward. Then, she suddenly turns around and maneuvers quickly around other cars and finally reaches her own. The childs cries seem to have quieted. Or maybe she’s too far to hear them. She shoves her hand into her purse again once and comes out with her keys in hand. She unlocks her car door, sits down inside and slams the door shut again. She stares straight ahead and can't move. What should she do? Her heart and mind can only hear the screams of the child and mother, though her ears hear nothing now. The young woman starts the car and pulls out of her spot.

Rather than go towards the exit sign, she swerves around the other way and drives up to the car with the baby. The mother is now folding up the stroller and placing it in her car trunk. “Can I block her car?” thinks the young woman to herself, “would I call 911 or the local station? Maybe I can leave the car parked behind her and look for help.”

The young woman, however, does none of this. The mother now closes her trunk and gets into the driver’s seat. The young woman makes a mental note of the mother’s license plate and speeds away and out of the parking lot, breathing rapidly.

Now she will never know what becomes of that little boy. Was this was a habit of the mother to treat her baby this way, or had the mother had a very frustrating day. The mother had been shopping so it’s not likely that she was suffering from bad news. Could she have post-partum depression? Was the child okay? Were there other children?

The young woman thought about all these things as she drove back to her office. But because of her foolishness, she’d never know and would have to face her own guilty conscience.

She missed her chance.

What would you do had you been in the young woman's shoes?
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
It's be just about a year now since starting this blog.

In keeping with my trend of reflecting on the past (I guess 23 mark some sort of pivotal moment in a person's life because I've been looking back on the past a lot lately) I thought I'd look back at my blogging experience in this past year.

First off, I can't believe I actually kept this going for a whole year. Normally my unfortunate trend is to enthusiastically start a project then leave it not-quite-finished. I have no idea why I do this, but the fact that I realize that I do it must count for something? I usually have the best intentions and a well-thought out plan, but I guess I have a faulty 'Execute' button in my head. Or I'm just lazy. I'm leaning towards the first one.

So it's been and year of online journaling, and never did I think I'd write so much, let alone share it with the world. It was always a kind of odd thing to do this blog, I used to think. People would tilt their head to the side (usually the right-side) and look at me with a puzzled expression when I said the word "blog".

>"A blob?" asked one well-intentioned friend.
>>"No sweety, a blog. In full form it's call a web log, like an online journal to write about your life and things you're interested in and post it on the internet. I guess it just became known as a 'blog' for short".
>"What's it do?" she asked
>>"Well it doesn't exactly do anything in specific. Just a web page of your own to post whatever you want".
>>"Well...I don't know. Maybe cuz all the wannabe-cool kids are doing it? I never really thought about why..."

I guess I started this blog because I think of it as a way to have my opinions and thoughts validated and heard (in this case, read).

I'm normally a fairly quiet and shy person, so I now see this blog as a way for people to get to know me better and for me to know me better (how's that for being deep?). Ever since I was little, I've wanted to write. I thought about being a journalist at one point, but certain people did a lot to discourage me and at the tender age of 12, you don't have much cause to be stubborn about a career that you have over a decade to start. It's not that you don't think that far ahead in the future - it's that you can't. So I dropped the idea altogether.

Now that I'm on the verge of a career in law, I've gained a more vivid interest in writing, so thankfully I am able to use this blog as a place to carry out that faded desire to be a writer/journalist.

I find myself thinking of topics to write about at the most random times. Driving to or from work, grocery shopping, while working, and even when I'm writing a different blog entry. It might make you sad (or amused) to know that I actually start to mentally write the damn post that I come up with at these most inconvenient times.

A couple weeks ago I was opening an account for a 73 year old lady at work when the idea for a post on ageism popped into my head and along with it a fury of sentences and ideas. But with the task I had at hand and lack of pen and paper to jot these notes and the fact that this sweet lady was asking me questions (and distracting me from my distracting thoughts).

But in the end, I think I should thank the people who read all this nonsense that I end up being so keen about, whether you read it sporadically or regularly. Whether or not you comment, it makes all the difference in the world to me that you take the time out of you day to hop over to my humble blog, out of all the millions you could go to, just to read my even humbler words.

I'd launch into an Oscar-esque 'thank you' speech to end this post, but I'm afraid it's too cliché even for me. But I will say thank you to all you who are blog writers and/or readers - never did I think that a little blog would go so far.


Maybe I'll tangle in the power lines
And it might be over in a second's time
But I'll gladly go down in a flame
If a flame's what it takes to remember my name

John Mayer (song: "Bigger than my Body")

Sunday, November 06, 2005
So didja hear? A unanimous Supreme Court ruling, announced on September 29th, will allow the province of B.C. to make claims for health costs of smoking and sue different corporations in the tobacco industry, upholding the constitutionality of B.C.'s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. Now, Ontario health agencies have urged Premier McGuinty to adopt legislation allowing the Ontario Government to sue the tobacco industry for smoking-related health care costs too.

They claim that the direct health care costs in Ontario, and other provinces, due to the use of tobacco industry products are increasing and that to recover those costs, we should simply reclaim them from tobacco companies.

Now usually the words 'corportation' and 'tobacco' would set off a lengthy list of hate words from me. But at the risk of siding with the devil, I have to say that it's not fair.

It's the same reasoning behind the frivolous law suits people with obesity-related problems start against fast-food companies like McDonald's and Burger King. Their claim is that they are facing life-threatening health problems because of the type of food being sold at these and other big name chains.

Unless Ronald McDonald is stuffing Big Macs down your throat on a weekly basis there is no reason why you have any grounds to blame your problems on McDonalds. A half-wit knows that oily french fries, a Super sized Coke and and greasy red "meat" on a white bun (despite the lettuce and tomato slice) is not good for you in large quantities.

Hell, maybe you're a lesser half-wit and you don't realize this. But, when you start to pack on the pounds and you have difficulty getting a chair unstuck from your behind once you sit in it - something has got to click.

Same goes for the tobacco companies. You know they are bad for you. For crying out loud they have obviously-placed, repulsive and graphic pictures on the damn cigarette carton. It can only be more obvious if a little voice screamed the same information every time you flipped open the carton to pull out a lethal stick.

You see the public service ads and announcements. You're friends and family rag on you for the filthy habit. Yet when you inevitably get sick, you turn to the government to pick up the tab for all the expenses you've incurred for going to the doctor who he/she can now attempt to save your sorry self after you've diseased your body on purpose.

Face it. Whether it be Malboro or McDonald's, these are all legitimate businesses. Granted you may not like their products, but they are not manipulating you. They have a right to promote thier products and make money (regardless of how disgustingly high the amounts are). The information on any product you consume is out there. If you choose to not look for it, or ignore the information offered to you, why should others pay for it?

The doctor's who spend vast amounts of time trying to cure people who are now suffering due to their negligence could be helping people who need attention to ailments that they could not have prevented.

I do feel badly for the people who are sick - it's not that I don't have compassion for their conditions, but I hate to think of all they ways they could have prevented it.

It's the blame pushing that is so frustrating. I don't think I'd be that upset had the Province simply asked for cigarettes to be banned completely. But they know how much money tobacco companies provide in the form of taxes. And the uproar that would occur from people hooked to the habit. So instead they sue them for the expenses and blame them for the effects their products are having.

Same goes for the people suing the fast-food companies. They're looking for someone to blame, other than themselves, who will repay them for their awful condition. It would never occur to them that self control and a healthy lifestyle would have saved them from many of their ailments.

Banning tobacco altogether makes sense to me. It's an undoubtedly harmful substance with so much literature that proves it so. But the goverment would never do it. Sad, but true. Sure they're are a legitimate business, but they are selling harmful products and rather than just acknowledge the problem after it has been infested, why not stop it at it's root?

People just need to accept blame for their own actions and the consequences that are a result of them.

That's all.
Friday, November 04, 2005
You may have seen these before, but it's just too funny to not share again...

"Curry and Rice girl"...lol

"BSB - I want it that way"

- you need the speakers on for both; if you're at work, just make sure the music won't get you in trouble!