Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Adventures in moving, part 1

I'd like to start off by apologizing for the lack of blog posts in the past few weeks. But there's a good reason for it.

Girlfriend and I are moving; since she's starting medical school in the fall, we've decided that we'll sell the house and move closer to the school.

Selling a house is horrible.

First you have to fix the place up. So all the little things you've been able to live with have to be repaired. All the things you keep meaning to do have to be done. And it takes time. A lot of time. And money (thankfully, not too much money).

And you have to keep the house clean. I feel like it's a ridiculous game: let's keep the house so clean that it looks like no one lives here. Which means sweeping and mopping every day. And hiding anything that might suggest that someone lives in the house.

It also means that I have to hide the dogs before anyone comes over.

Well, not really "hide". More like rush home from work, scoop the dogs into the car, and drive up to my parents' house for a few hours.

Adding to the general pain of house-selling is the fact that Girlfriend decided to go away for the week. And we just listed the house on Monday. Meaning that I am doing all the annoying little tasks on my own.

So, moral of the story is this: there won't be many blog posts in the next few weeks (well, maybe when I'm on vacation in a few days I'll be productive), and most of the posts will be about moving.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

It's the end of the world...now what?

So, the world is coming to an end. For argument's sake, let's imagine that the end is taking the traditional "rapture" format (as opposed to the much more likely zombie apocalypse).

I'm a little hazy on the details, but I'm pretty sure these guys are involved:

You've been a good Christian your entire life. This is your big day! you're going to go hang out with the big guy upstairs, while the rest of us suckers spend the rest of our lives in the burned-out remains of Crap Town.

There's only one problem: what about your pets? What's going to happen to poor Fluffy when you've been taken up into the loving arms of Jesus? Fluffy's going to be left behind with the rest of us sinners (Jesus knows what Fluffy did to your carpet).

No need to fear, Dear Reader! For the low, low (up-front) price of $99.99, I will take care of your pet! That's right - Post-Rapture Pet Care is here for all your rapture & pet-related needs. I'll be here to make sure Fluffy is fed, watered, walked, and loved as long as he lives.

Simply attach a tag to Fluffy's collar with "In case of rapture, contact Random Acts of Randomness", and I'll take care of the rest.

(*Please note: this service is restricted to dogs and cats only. I don't want to be stuck with your snakes, mice, or children in the event of the rapture. )

(**Also note: no refunds in case the rapture is averted.)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Confessions of a Book-aholic

As you may or may not remember, Girlfriend is starting medical school this coming fall. A few years ago we made an agreement: once she got into med school, we'd sell the house and live together year round (instead of continuing long-distance for another three years). So I've been trying to get the house ready to sell.

Part of this is going through all my stuff and deciding what will make the move and what will be donated to Goodwill. I decided to begin with my books.

I love my books. I love to buy books. I'm not a huge fan of borrowing them from the library; they sometimes have a musty, "old book" smell (I realize that some people love library books for this very reason). I love the look of my books on the numerous bookshelves throughout the house. But I realize that I need to purge before this move. And now, thanks to my Kobo, I can get rid of some physical books and still read a digital version at a later time.

While Girlfriend has spent the past two weeks in Europe, I've spent time fixing the house and going through my books. I managed to fill 3-4 boxes with books to take to the used bookstore, and I had a bit of an epiphany as I was going through the shelves:

I don't own enough books.

I mean, I have a lot of books. But not enough. It took me less than an hour to go through all of them and pick out the ones I want to keep. And now there are gaps on the shelves. Gaps just aching to be filled with new, wonderful books!

So how to solve this problem? Visit chapters.ca, of course! A few clicks here and there and presto! new books.

Unfortunately, my new books haven't arrived yet. And Girlfriend will be home tomorrow night. I had planned to incorporate the new books into the book shelves while she was gone, making it look like they'd been there all along. Now my plan has been foiled and I will have to admit that while I have managed to purge the shelves of some excess books, I unfortunately have found 6 new friends to join us on our move.


(Note: for those of you who are curious, I purchased the following books - 3 Sookie Stackhouse** books and 3 historical fictions by Sharon Kay Penman)

(**additional note: I realize these are trashy, but I'm enjoying them so shut up)

Friday, 1 June 2012

A Random Post of Seriousness

I'd like to start off with an apology to my readers: this post will not be my normal style of post. As the title implies, this one will be serious (don't worry, I'll get back to my usual style soon).

About a month ago Girlfriend and I went on a vacation to Florida. This was to celebrate Girlfriend's graduation, as well as to pass the time until she heard back from med school with regards to her acceptance (side note: she was accepted).

We travel quite often, usually taking at least one major trip a year. We've been to Florida together before, as well as Cuba, London, and Amsterdam. And, since we live together, we fill out one customs form.

However on this trip we were told that the US doesn't recognize our relationship. I realize that they don't have the same enlightened legislation we enjoy in Canada, but I was confused: this happened while we were still in Canada. We were at Pearson Airport in Toronto. Sure, we were going through US customs, but we were still in Canada.

Let's look at what he said: the US doesn't recognize same sex relationships. That is incorrect. Sure, as a whole the US doesn't allow for same sex marriage. But there are currently 6 states that do (New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire). Several other states recognize civil partnerships between same sex couples. (**note, there are 23 states that allow first cousins to marry)

In contrast, Canada was the 4th country in the world to legalize same sex marriage.

There are other things to look at than just gay marriage:
- In the US there are still states where it's illegal for gays and lesbians to adopt children
- the US now allows openly gay people to serve in the military; this is as of 2011. In Canada it's been since 1992
- There are at least 19 states without any protection for LGBT employees (meaning, you can be hired/fired based on your orientation)
- The Boy Scouts of America is allowed to exclude people from the organization based on sexual orientation
- Sodomy was illegal in some states until 2003

Although we enjoyed our vacation to the US, it was still very nice to return home to Canada where our relationship is recognized.

In closing, two things. First, this wonderful quote from "Dear Abby", in response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighbourhood:

"You could move." - Abigail Van Buren, "Dear Abby"

And finally, this: