Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Alluring Sweets

I have been baking a little more than usual these past few weeks, and that is mainly due to the following reason: the majority of the women in my office are on diets, and I get this strange pleasure of offering them my baked goods.

Because my brownies and cinnamon buns are the ultimate forbidden fruit, they enjoy them that much more. No person appreciates desserts as much as someone on a diet. Even if my baked goods were only mediocre (which they certainly are not), they would still droolingly lust after them.

It’s seeing their eyes widen as I waltz in carrying a large chunk of chocolate cheesecake, as I graciously offer them the most seductive and delicious sin of all which excites me the most. I hope they soon learn that deprivation leads to insanity. One day, I fear I will be kidnapped and tied up for my baked goods. Perhaps they will tie me to the phones and force me to answer all the calls, as they ravenously devour my desserts.

Only one woman so far has managed to decline all of my dessert offers. In fact, she has brought in chocolate chip cookies of her own on two separate occasions. The second time, she lamented that she had made too many for her kids, so she promptly stuffed about a dozen cookies in two bags and demanded that my siblings and I eat them. I told her that we could probably handle that.

I think it’s a little silly to deprive yourself so much. If you are trying to cut back on sweets, I say go for it but have a little sugar or chocolate every once in awhile. If you don’t and it’s something that you love, then you’ll just end up binging and stuffing a oblivious yet gorgeous summer student in a dusty closet and tying a phone to her ear.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A balancing act

For some funny reason, I'll often get this odd urge to act or talk or behave in an opposite way of what is around me. When a large group of people are constantly talking about something, are obsessed with it, support it feverishly, wear it, do it, sing about it, well then I get this strong urge to do anything I can to go against it.

Yes, in grade 3 when it suddenly became cool to swear, I made a very strong resolution never to swear. No matter how much flagrant cursing I would witness seeping from my fellow schoolmates' mouths, I would refuse to utter anything considered vulgar. It's not that I was adamantly against swearing because it was bad -- I was adamantly against it because everyone was doing it.

Somewhere along the trek of elementary school, I developed a strong aversion to jeans. I refused to wear jeans, basing it on the fact that everyone else wore jeans, and I swore I would be different. However, I am sure much of my refusing jeans came from my mother never buying them for me when I was a kid. I never grew fond of them nor was I able to enjoy their comfort or their durability simply because I never owned a pair.

Of course, once I was told that jeans were "the most comfortable pants in the world" and that everyone knows that and that I was crazy for not owning any, I then took up my case of being a proud non-jeans wearer. I would not crumble under the incessant peer pressure and would never buy myself a pair!

In about grade 6, my friend gave me a pair of jeans that she had bought but ended up not fitting quite right. She figured, well, Miranda doesn't own a pair, so she might as well have my dud pair. I accepted them and stuffed them at the bottom of my drawer. I figured I could use them for painting or any other messy job. My friend didn't mind.

It turned out that I didn't wear them painting, but I did wear them on a fall hiking trip. Word got out at school that I had worn jeans and that only one friend and my family had seen me in them! So, as a shocker, I wore jeans to school one day, which was a huge ordeal, and all my schoolmates noticed right away.

I still don't wear jeans, and now it's more out of habit than anything else, and I've come to like my jeanless style. I bought my first pair of jeans a year and a half ago because I was required to wear jeans in our choir show. I wore them for the choir show and then a few times after that just for fun, but I still don't make them part of what I regularly wear.

Anyway, enough about the jeans; this entry was supposed to be about me rebelling against something for no reason. Here is another example:

Last summer, the Fifa World Cup 2006 was hosted in Germany, and it just so happened that I was there at the time. I was very excited that the World Cup would be happening in the same European country that I happened to be working in, and on top of that, soccer is my favourite sport. So, there I was in Deutschland, completely surrounded by the Weltmeisterschaft. The hype was fun at first, but I soon grew a little tired of it because it was everywhere all the time. Just because every single German was naturally wanting Germany to win, I decided to root not-so-secretly for Ukraine and Australia. Unfortunately, these were bad choices, as both of these teams were serious underdogs and were soon cut from the World Cup. Since Germany was slaughtering almost all the teams they came up against, I had no choice but to cheer for the country that I was in.

So yes, I wore a black, yellow, and red lei to the soccer game against Italy (incidentally, the one they lost), and I did quietly cheer for Germany. However, for a few days in June (here's the shocker), I took more interest in the Stanley Cup back in North America than the World Cup that was going on in the neighbouring city! Yes, I was actually reading articles online about the hockey games and cheering with Heather, a proud Albertan, for the Edmonton Oilers. I was never a hockey fan whilst at home, but suddenly, here in Deutschland, I wanted to support something that no one around me was following.

That being said, I don't blow off everything that's popular around me. I guess I just feel that I need to balance things out sometimes. Sometimes the scale is so far tipped one way that I feel that at least somebody needs to be standing on the other side.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Our Rachel II

This is how she looked like when she was undergoing large repairs (notice the keys are on the floor!). Now, she is all back together again, and hopefully, all tuned up!

Can't wait to see her next weekend!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Skewed Goals

I love how our gregarious prime minister is going into all of these countries explaining why he shouldn't support Kyoto and dodge the responsibilities basically because the Liberals screwed us all up for. ever.

So he has been in power for a year and a half now, and he still insists on blaming everything on the Grits. I absolutely hate this kind of politics, especially when we are past campaigning. In fact, I just hate this opposition bashing in general. Even when you are looking to collect votes, why do you need to bash and attack the other party, why not just tell everyone of your ideas and say how they are ten times better, more efficient for Canada? Why not say what you can do rather than what supposedly hasn't been done or screwed up by the previous party?

Once you have secured leadership, why on earth do you need to continue this bashing? I understand that you haven't been happy with the way things have been running for the past decade or so, but we know that quite well by now, and now that a year has elapsed, why haven't we seen what you can do for us? Let us see action and less whining and complaining about being screwed over. I hate inaction in every single aspect of life. Those who are all talk and no action should be excommunicated and sent to Antarctica to reside alone in a sooty barrack.

Hah, well it's interesting I say that, considering that I have studied philosophy. Even though philosophy is all talk, thought, and speculation, it can lead to taking action. Of course, it always depend on the kind of person and what kind of philosophy you are pursuing. If you are simply entertaining thoughts and discussing mortality and the rife of good and evil, for instance, then speak to your heart's content. However, if you are saying that you will do something or whining that something needs to be done, then I expect that you get off your lazy arse and start moving.

Speaking of which, I've been told that the word "arse" is more vulgar than "ass", but I don't know on what grounds, and who decided this, anyway?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Work fluff

A friendly man from Pennsylvania phones me up to make four reservations at one of our campgrounds. Each reservation needs to be made separately, so it always takes quite a bit longer when someone needs multiple campsites. His voice sounded pleasant, and I could hear some good music playing. So naturally, I felt a good vibe from this guy, so while I was waiting for a transaction to go through, I asked him what music was playing in the background. He tells me, and we chat for a bit. He says he listens to all of his music from the, as that site offers any and all kinds of music. We chat a little more, I confirm his bookings, and we hang up.
The second I am off the phone, I hear one of the woman say, Oooh, Miranda, what a flirt you are!
She makes her point by rolling the "r" and batting her eyelashes at me.
Another woman,
Well don't you just like to chat up our campers! Asking him what kind of music was playing! Ooh, flirt!

So I get this for another few minutes or so, all the woman teasing me about flirting with this dude, and me just saying, well, I never turn down an opportunity, and then they just laugh some more.

This goes on for a bit until someone says, Well, you know, you aren't nearly as bad as Julie.
Julie groans and wonders why this story of her one slip-of-the-tongue needs to be brought up again.

Apparently, once picking up the phone, Julie boomed out in her usual friendly tone,

Hello, how can I do you?

Yup. Julie takes the cake.

The man from Louisiana

A man with a very thick American accent calls me today:

"Heyllo there. Way-uhl, I want ta know everythin' there is ta know about yer parks. Send me all yeh got. Ya'll there up North are different from the folks down here. Y'all're different. I been told by the folks from up North t'phone all the eight hundert number. They tell me that those kinda people on the phones wanta talk to yuh, and they all be happy to talk to yuh. "

He then gives me his address in Louisiana. His accent is almost unbearably thick. I plug my other ear with my thumb and concentrate hard on what he is saying:

"Now ya see, I'm-a drifter. I'm-a sixty years old, and my clock is tickin', yuh see. I want ter see yer byootiful parks, so just send me ev'rything yuh got. Y'know, I been told that people like you are always so friendly. So you just send me what yer got and God bless yuh! God bless yuh!"

We hang up, and I start telling Carole about this strangely excited American from the South, and she tells me that he has probably already called. Apparently, my co-worker, Terry, also got a call from someone from Louisiana, so it is possible the same man. Later on that day, I ask Terry about it, and sure enough, he called her too, asking her to send him all the information "that yuh got". He probably didn't realize that he was calling the same place.
Like he said himself, he just telephones every 1-800 number he finds because, hey, he is bound to find someone to talk to on the other line, and in a week or so, he'll receive a bunch of stuff from them. For a self-labeled drifter, that's not too shabby.