Monday, December 24, 2012

A Very Kijiji Christmas

Brahm and I have had a couple of old computer monitors sitting around our apartment for a while.  We haven't used them in years and we didn't plan to use them ever again.  They are in perfectly good condition, and modern flat-screens but not being students anymore, we really only use our home computers for surfing the internet and stuff.  I think eventually, someday, maybe, I want to learn about photo editing a bit, but I still have yet another monitor I can hang onto for that purpose - basically, we do not need 3 monitors.

I had tried with no luck a few months ago to get rid of one of them on Kijiji.  I posted it for 40 bucks OBO, figuring I'd let someone talk me down to 20 bucks, but the only reply I got was from a guy who barely spoke English and kept asking me to call him, but I couldn't pronounce his name so I didn't want to call him (and I had put in my add that I only wanted to email).  Eventually I got fed up and gave him my phone number and told him to call me, and I never heard from him again.

So, desperate to get rid of the monitors ASAP this time, I listed them for 10 bucks each OR both for 10 bucks.  I guess it was the best deal to ever hit Kijiji because in less than 24 hours I had well over 20 replies.

I have posted before about proper Kijiji etiquette for sellers but now I am going to complain about buyers.

So basically my ad said that I was selling 2 flat screen (NOT the tube style) monitors, and described the brand and size.  Then I said the neighbourhood in which I was located and that I was not going to communicate over the phone.

Then, I got a bunch of replies like "Are they tube style, if so I don't want them" and "Please call me at ___".

GUYS!  I already said NOT tube style and that I am NOT going to call you!  The best was "are they flat screen?"  UMMM YES they are flat screen, that was the TITLE OF MY AD.

I did not take pictures because I was selling them for so cheap, I am doing you a favour by giving you a perfectly good flat-screen monitor for 10 dollars.  I am not going to waste time taking pictures because I clearly got over 20 replies in like 10 hours.  Of course, someone requested a picture.

PERSON WHO REQUESTED A PICTURE:  if someone is selling something awesome for super cheap, please understand that a LOT of people are going to jump on the ad and the seller is not going to waste her time taking photos for you to leisurely peruse.

So anyway, I gave dibs to the first person who replied.  I told him he needed to come on Sunday between 10-11 and if that didn't work to let me know.  He said okay, he will let me know when he's on his way.

The next morning, I got up and made sure I was showered by 9:30 in case the guy showed up right at 10.  10:55 came and went and I emailed the buyer asking if he was planning to show up or if I should sell them to someone else.  He said "I am coming, but between 12-12:30 if that's cool" and I was like WTF no that is not okay, I will be selling to someone else.  Immediately he replied that he was on his way and would be here in 10 minutes.

Half an hour passed, with me receiving a message every 5-10 minutes or so saying "almost there, 5 minutes away".  At 11:40 I texted back and said "I want 20 bucks for both.  I've been waiting around for you all morning."

Eventually he showed up at the door, apologized for taking so long, gave me 20 bucks, and complained that I should only be charging him 15 since originally I was going to give them both to him for 10.  Ummm excuse me?  I definitely wasted more than 5 bucks of my time waiting for you for almost 2 hours.

Next time I sell something on Kijiji I have a new rule for the buyer.  You come pick it up within 10 minutes of when you say you're going to pick it up, or I don't answer the door.  This is going right in my ad, and possibly as the signature of all subsequent email communications I have with them.

Anyway, Merry Christmas!  Posting will be sporadic for a while.  My Christmas wish for all of you is to not be bad Kijiji users.

Friday, December 21, 2012

If it was loud on Monday it's also loud on Tuesday

I lived in the same rental house (split into 4 apartments) from 2004-2012.  During most of those years, I had a very noisy neighbour either next to me or above me.  She would blast her music most days, and I cannot count the number of times I had to phone and tell her to turn her music down.  I even tried to invite her to come into my apartment to hear what it sounded like on several occasions but she would refuse and always seem incredibly surprised that I could hear it.  DUDE PLEASE I don't just phone random people for kicks and tell them to turn their music down.  Have I ever phoned you when your music wasn't on?  No?  Then I'm obviously hearing your music!

It has always boggled my mind, the music blasting neighbours thing.  If someone calls you on Monday and says "your music is too loud" and you're like "OMG I'm so sorry, I will turn that down immediately", what is a logical volume to set your speakers at on Tuesday?  Hint:  Probably not the volume you had them set at on Monday before your neighbour told you to turn it down.

And yet, this is what noisy neighbours always do.  Brahm and I have a noisy neighbour in our current apartment too, and yesterday his music got so loud that Brahm went and told him to turn the bass down.  He was very apologetic and didn't seem to realize his music was so loud and turned it down to a respectful volume... and then promptly at 6:45 this morning (we don't need an alarm clock) started blasting it again at full volume.

WHY?  This is one of the mysteries of life I just don't understand.  I'm sure it's always a bit embarrassing to be asked to turn your music down... why invite that again, or worse, complaints to the landlord?  You MUST know it's still too loud, because it was too loud yesterday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Brahm and I are both on holidays for 3 weeks for Christmas!  This is excellent however it marks the first time in several years (yes) that we've actually seen each other every day for 3 weeks in a row.  And definitely the first time ever that we've spent this much time together.

Needless to say within a few days we realized we needed something else to do besides watching TV and walking to Broadway/the Farmers' Market to accidentally spend a bunch of money.  We decided to start playing card games.

We started off with Dutch Blitz, which was the only card game we own besides a deck of cards (but we weren't sure what to do with the deck).  Eventually my mom informed us that UNO was basically Crazy Eights, so we looked up the rules and started playing that too.

Here's the thing we realized:  playing simple card games like Dutch Blitz and Crazy Eights is totally underrated.  It is SO FUN.  Even after losing about 6 straight Crazy Eights games in a row yesterday I still wanted to keep playing (and later redeemed myself by winning 6 straight games).  We might have to learn a few more games over the next couple weeks because playing cards really is a free way to get hours of fun!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Something Nice by Kate Beaton

This comic (if it shows up tiny just click on it to enlarge) by the amazing Kate Beaton, one of my favourite people on the internet, made me cry this morning.  Isn't it the truth, when you grow up you realize how much your parents gave you over your life and you just wish you could do the same for them somehow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our First Tree!

Brahm and I bought our first Christmas tree a couple weeks ago.  We got a real tree, which I haven't had since I lived at my parents' house, and it is awesome.  It makes our apartment smell great and I just like it so much more than an artificial tree.

Buying and setting up the tree sort of just felt like something to do for fun, but eventually I realized that it was actually kind of a special thing - we were starting a tradition together, that we'll eventually pass down to our future kids.  A big deal!

Buying the tree, buying some lights from Costco, and borrowing an old tree skirt and some garland from my parents wasn't the big deal.  But when we sat down with Brahm's mom to pick out all of the ornaments from their Christmas box that belonged to him, we realized how we want to decorate our tree every year.

Nothing against beautiful stylish trees with matching decorations - they are awesome and I bet really fun to decorate, especially if you do a new theme every year.  But we decided that other than lights and garland, everything that goes on our tree forever has to mean something.  It needs to be a gift, something we bought somewhere special, etc. 

It doesn't have a topper yet - it's still a bit of a work in progress.

Moose I got from Norway, guitar was a gift to Brahm's mom from a friend but she gave it to us, and that white puff in the top left corner is an ugly little cotton ball lamb Brahm made in Sunday School when he was 4... so of course I LOVE IT.

The ball in the top corner was given to me by my grandma last Christmas - all of the grandchildren received one of these balls, which were the ornaments my mom and her sisters decorated their tree with every year growing up.

We don't have many ornaments yet which is okay because our tree is small this year.  It will be fun to build our collection together and remember where each ornament came from every year when we decorate our tree.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Google Plus Thinks I am a Teen Girl

I got a Google Plus account around the time it first came out.  It hasn't seemed to really take off, as I only have two Google Plus contacts who actually post anything.  The rest is random posts that Google thinks I am probably interested in.  The problem is that most of these posts lately have led me to believe that Google thinks I am an angsty teenage girl.

I was telling my friend Jess about this one night, describing the various teen girl posts that were showing up in my feed.  Generally cute Instagrammy pictures of hearts (with the old timey filters OF COURSE) with some quote about "love" on them, like "one day you'll wake up and realize that the perfect person for you was in front of your face the whole time" or my personal favourite lame quote to hate on, "life is not measured by the number of breaths that we take but by the moments that take our breath away" blah blah blah and then all the teen girls would comment and be like "OMG this is soooo true, I realized I love my next door neighbour but he doesn't like me back :(" "This is exactly what love is all about, I should know, I have the perfect bf" etc.

The next morning I checked Google Plus to see if there were any new developments in teen girl culture.  Sure enough:


Okay, Google Plus actual users, I know.  I haven't subscribed to actual feeds I'd be interested in seeing so this is half my fault.  HOWEVER, I got a Gmail knowing full well this meant Google now had permission to basically read my emails so they could target advertising to me.  So what are they reading my emails for if they aren't going to give me some interesting suggested Google Plus feeds? 

Come on, Google.  Get with it.  Start reading my emails and Google Reader subscriptions and give me some actual relevant Google Plus suggested posts!  Show me some cool things to buy!  Otherwise, what was the point of gaining that permission if you're not actually using it?

Friday, December 7, 2012

More about massage therapy

Recently I blogged about how awesome massage therapy was.  Let me elaborate a bit more.

I had started going this year because of a stiff neck which eventually led to tension headaches.  The massages I had were extremely helpful but focused mainly on my neck and shoulders because that area was obviously causing me problems.  I started feeling little twingy tension headaches coming back, so went back for another massage.

My previous two massages were only half-hour massages because when booking them, I figured I only needed a half hour because it was just a small area (neck).  However it seemed at the end of both of them that the RMT started finding other tight areas but had to quit, so I booked in for an hour this time, and told the therapist to basically do whatever needed to be done.

My old RMT recently switched to a different location and I don't know how to find her :( so I had to go to a new girl.  At first I missed my old therapist but the new one seemed to do a good job overall... and waking up the next day, she definitely did something right.

For a REALLY long time now, I've only been able to comfortably sleep on my left side.  I'll try to sleep on my back or right side but my head would always start leaning over to the left and I'd eventually just switch to my left side.  But the night after my massage, I slept very soundly, almost the entire night on my back.  At one point I rolled over onto my right side and was able to sleep that way for quite a while too.

I didn't realize how badly stiff my muscles had gotten until a massage fixed them.  I'm so grateful to be able to sleep on my back again.  This is why I am now a massage convert - it is totally a good idea to go get a massage every few months or so to loosen up your muscles.  I'm lucky my health plan covers quite a bit of massage but even if you don't have such a plan, I think it would definitely be money well-spent.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanks Jian! (The Casual Vacancy Review)

I'm sure most CBC Radio listeners think about how much they love Jian Ghomeshi on a pretty regular basis.  To be quite honest when Brahm started swooning over him a couple years ago I thought it was kind of silly and made fun of him a bit but now I TOTALLY GET IT.  One of my friends, who is in an 8-year very happy relationship, expressed to me recently how she was so sad to find out Jian was 45, because she really wanted to marry him, but not really... but kind of actually.  There's a reason that if you type "jian ghomeshi" into Google it sometimes auto-completes to "jian ghomeshi girlfriend" followed by "jian ghomeshi gay."  It's official - men and women alike are in love with Jian Ghomeshi.

Anyway, so Jian Ghomeshi is pretty awesome, but we all know that.  (If you don't know that, please start downloading some Q podcasts ASAP.)  I'm actually trying to get to my point, which is a bit of a review of J.K. Rowling's new book, The Casual Vacancy.

I am a giant Harry Potter fan.  I LOVED the books and every time a new one came out, I'd wake up early and go buy it first thing in the morning (I never went to the midnight parties - I'm not that into parties but also I wanted to be well-rested to take on a full-day reading marathon).  I didn't do the same with The Casual Vacancy though.  I was cautiously skeptical (I know that is super redundant) because... what if it wasn't very good?  What if it soured my love of J.K. Rowling?  I should have known to trust in one of my favourite authors but hey - all she had written was the Harry Potter series.  It's hard to call someone your favourite author based on one series of books, and know what else they can do.  I'd also heard some negative reviews through the grapevine so I figured I'd eventually read it but not right away.

Then as fate would have it, I was driving in my car and caught part of Jian Ghomeshi's interview with J.K. Rowling.  Now if we want to do some more Jian-loving, or if you're on the fence about how good of a broadcaster he is (yeah right) the fact that he scored an interview with J.K. Rowling is HUGE.  And it's an awesome interview as well - if you have 25 minutes, and especially if you aren't sure if you want to read The Casual Vacancy or have any interest in J.K. Rowling, please listen to it!  She discusses the book, the negative reactions to the book, and puts to rest those media accusations that she is reclusive (she just wants to write, and hang out with her kids!  Not give interviews every waking second).  The interview will make you love J.K. Rowling and want to read her book, and also make you love Jian for being the best interviewer ever.

Anyway so after I heard the interview, my interest was finally piqued enough that I decided to read the book.  I wasn't sure what I was expecting.  The plot, which is actually a bit slow-moving, is still page turning.  The characters, who I basically either hated or felt really sorry for, were still fascinating.  If you read a quick summary or get someone to tell you what the book is about, it sounds boring.  But it's not.  It's amazing, you won't be able to put it down, and you will finish reading it and won't be able to stop thinking about it for a long time.  And you'll want to discuss it with people so why do I not know anyone who has read this book arghh someone please read it so we can talk about it!

I absolutely hate that the most common description of this book is that it's nothing like Harry Potter.  Umm, no one said it was going to be anything like Harry Potter?  The only similarities are that a) it's a book and b) it's by J.K. Rowling.  So FORGET Harry Potter, stop waiting for Voldemort to pop out, and pick up this book with an open mind.  Because if you read it expecting Harry Potter you will be let down, as were most of the people who posted Amazon reviews of this book (I don't understand the one where someone said their ENTIRE book club either couldn't finish the book because it was so boring or passionately hated it.  That just baffles me).

The Casual Vacancy is not G-rated, as you may have heard.  If you are uncomfortable reading about adult situations, you probably shouldn't read this book.  But like J.K. Rowling tells Jian in the interview, nothing is gratuitous.  Every sentence in the book is important to the story or to the character development.  The characters are so realistic and so honest, it kind of gives you goosebumps.  You want to yell at them, you want to rescue them.  You will wonder as the characters get into deeper and deeper trouble how the book is going to end without being majorly depressing.

Without spoiling anything, some readers might think the ending is majorly depressing.  Some might think it is incredibly hopeful.  That's the beauty of this book - there's so much to think about and debate about in your head.  It's not cut-and-dry good vs. evil.  It's a book that's really about the characters, and the consequences of their actions.  J.K. Rowling said that the working title of the book was Responsible, which makes sense.  Responsibility is the major theme throughout the book and something you'll be trying to process long after you put it down.  Did everyone get what they deserved?  Who ended up taking responsibility for their own actions?  Did anyone?

If you've been on the fence about whether to read this book because of the mixed reviews and boring-sounding plot, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.  If you're an old J.K. Rowling fan or have never touched Harry Potter, I think you'll enjoy it.  Maybe enjoy is the wrong word because it's not necessarily a happy book to read, but it will move you.  Even if you hate it, it's the kind of book that will still make an impact.  J.K. Rowling is an amazing writer and I can't wait to read everything else she publishes in the future.  And she's definitely secured a spot among my favourite authors.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Breaking News

I recently found out that my grandma, who has stated before that she only likes "reality TV" like American Idol, The Amazing Race, Dr. Phil, Oprah, and the news, has a new favourite show.

The Big Bang Theory.

My grandma, who refused to watch CORNER GAS because it was apparently too vulgar, watches The Big Bang Theory and enjoys it.

I am so confused.  And sad.