I’m in arrears of rent!!!

Hey, I was out having a fun time with the Tenant Advocates yesterday evening…

…when I came home last evening to this dire message from my landlord:

Auggggh!!! I’m in arrears!!! Will they file to evict me?

Hmm… I’ve just spoken with my new in-house counsel, Gabriel.

He advised that it wouldn’t be worth their while to file to evict me, as it would cost them $150.00.

As prudent counsel, however, he did also advise that if they should file to evict me I should bring up the fact that I overpaid the previous month according to their ledger:

Gabriel did advise that, if the worst happens and they file to evict me, I can claim this $0.68 overpayment as part of a relief from forfeiture eviction (sorry – I happen to like the old language “relief from forfeiture” as it really brings home the feudal aspect of the whole thing… but I’m a bit old school that way) argument before the Landlord and Tenant Board.

However, I decided to do the wise thing and just rectify the situation by payment.

This is only because I don’t know that the Board would accept the “I’m maths challenged” argument, especially when landlord/tenant is my chosen field of legal practice.

However, I’m just a bit pissed off right now – I figure it cost the landlord more than than the $8.86 outstanding to have their staff person print this off and have another staff member hand-deliver it to my door fourteen days later. But this is why the landlords keep making money and fools like me keep paying them rent, I suppose.

Now, if I wanted some real drama, I’d skip Gabriel’s opinion and get my real legal team onto it:

It’s actually such a big legal team that they don’t all fit in one photo! Check it out!

(You will recognise JJ in front. He is the honourary security person. We need him around because people like this start creating commotions in the street by nearly running over a cyclist, then getting out of his car and nearly decking the cyclist, then when someone like me intervenes and says she’s calling the cops, gets out and calls the cops himself, parks his car in one lane on a major thoroughfare in the city at rush hour, then gets laughed at by the cops when they finally show up:

Need I say more, really?)

Anyway, even more members of my legal team:

…and still more again:

… and our glorious mascot, who is a(n) (in)famous actress and has actually been on TV!!!

So, who needs to fear The Landlord when you have all these people on your team?!?

Stay tuned… because if I ever face an eviction hearing for non-payment of rent for $8.68 outstanding, I will be calling in the media.

(And, by the way, it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. I’ve seen many clients with an eviction order for non-payment where the eviction order says the landlord owes THEM several hundred dollars. Such is the beauty of the landlord/tenant law in Ontario.)

But enough shop talk!

A very happy Tuesday to you all.

Regards,

Kristina

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stream of consciousness (oh no not again!)

Well, last evening there was a marvellous sunset for a change… partly, doubtless, because yet another thunderstorm looms.  But hey.

Isn’t it good and spooky-looking?  It actually made me covet (even more) one of these masks which I had seen on the Globe and Mail web photo page yesterday

Now, how’s THAT for a craft project?!?  They’re called “devil masks”.  The photo above is of dancers about to do a Spanish folk performance in Barcelona.

Ah, Barcelona.  Home of Gaudi mosaics!

I wish I could be 1/10 this talented… but at the very least I will definetely visit Barcelona as soon as humanly possible (although with the fuel prices where they’re at and the response of the airlines, I will likely need divine intervention to afford an overseas ticket before long.  Sigh.)

But something else is nagging me about Barcelona.  What the hell is it?!

Ah, yes.

I do hope you’ve all seen Fawlty Towers at some point. If so, you must remember Manuel – don’t you?! “I am from Barthelona” Manuel”, who has even been known to talk to Canadians from time to time!

And, there’s even a pinko poster starring Manuel, much to my general amusement!

I was still laughing at this by the time I came home yesterday.  So much so that the new balcony decoration escaped my normally keen eye until I went out to take the sunset photos:

Now, I do have a black thumb and all, but even stunned little me managed to pick up that these are actually fake flowers, not real ones.  I couldn’t figure out what they were doing in a planter with real dirt. So I asked J “His Master’s Voice” J, who is responsible for the landscaping at the House of Brouhaha (and who, I might add, has fallen down severely on the task this year).

JJ: Ah was waiting to see how long it wuid tek ye to notice… (consulting the ever present watch)…only 3 and a half hours.  No’ bad, hen.

KB: What?!?!?  What do you mean?!?  Are you testing me?  Where the hell did you get those anyway?!?

JJ: Ah’m surprised ye don’t recognise them – we’ve both bin trippin over them on the balcony floor this past month or so.

KB: Hey, there are two adults in this house.  If you noticed them a month ago, why didn’t you pick them up then????

JJ:  Ah was waitin to see how long it wuid tek ye to notice…

You see what I put up with?!?  Lucky for me, despite the global warming, the smog, etc., the sunsets in Toronto can still be lovely.

May I say it’s been pleasant chatting with you all?  But now I must away to get the first coffee of the morning…

Happy Wednesday!

do idle hands make the devil’s work?

I’m not sure about that, but they do make for some fun reading sometimes!

Yesterday while … oh, never mind… I came across this website with perhaps the perfect title: The Idler.

Who couldn’t love a magazine with the following mission statement?

The Idler is a bi-annual, book-shaped magazine that campaigns against the work ethic….

The intention of the magazine is to return dignity to the art of loafing, to make idling into something to aspire towards rather than reject.

Sign me up!  It seems that I may just finally have found my people.  My true people.  The loafers, layabouts, idlers, etc. etc.

So if you’re in the mood to laze around and surf the net, check it out.  I recommend in particular the mini-essays on crap jobs for a wee chuckle.

And – here’s the poster that’s going up on my office door, with a few modifications:

What’s that?  You insist on keeping me busy?  Well, here’s another craft for you all to take up:

Come on – you know you want a fancy macrame swing coat!!!  Wouldn’t these be ultra-fabulous with the Swarovski crystal yarn? (Thanks to Jay for the photo!)

Well, I must confess I’m feeling rather pedestrian these days, actually.  So, I’ve resorted to starting work on the Seascape pattern from the latest Knitty magazine.

I’m using that fabulous blueberry seasilk I got in Nova Scotia.  So far, so guid.

Happy loafing Tuesday!

 

fun crafts and weird phone hotlines

Well, it’s back to the grind – but what better to kick off my working week with some craft ideas, one quick, one interesting if you’ve got a tortured brain like mine? (Besides, I figure I’d better have some craft content on here before my 10 or so regulars wander away).

First up: you, too, can look like a lace knitting genius in ten minutes or less* by making yourself a
fancy lace bracelet:
:

* more than 10 minutes if you actually want to knit the lace… but why not just pick some up and say you knitted it! and don’t quote me, either!

And now for another tip which has haunted and fascinated me since I came across the concept: a tutorial onHow to knit backwards:

And speaking of “backwards”, now for a wee rant. Sometimes I just hate reading the paper. You see, I learned this morning that our Minister for Public Safety, the Honourable Doris Stockwell Day:

in his infinite wisdom, had started up a snitch line for us upstanding citizens to report illegal immigrants by way of anonymous phone call. The Canadian Border Services monitor this line, and they say that “no information, however trivial it may seem, is too small.”

Well, guess what? According to today’s Glib and Stale Globe and Mail, that endeavour has apparently generated a large number of bizarre calls.

Why? Well, some people apparently like to make crank calls. Others, no doubt, are mentally challenged, wandering aimlessly without treatment since they started to defund certain medical services and close beds in certain facilities and are merely looking for company.

And… some other people like to make crank calls. I know this might be shocking to you, but it’s true. Of course, I personally have never made a crank call – unless, of course, you count those ones that we made from the church hall payphone when we were all about 12 and resenting having to go to Greek lessons – we’d phone 411 information and ask for “Hooker Heaven”, etc. and hang up giggling. And let me tell you, the priest was not best pleased when he found out we were doing this. But I digress.

Anyway, here’s the types of calls they’ve been getting:

  • Caller wants personal information about her husband, but doesn’t know when or when he was born.
  • Caller says that psychiatrist is forcing caller to take illegal medication
  • Caller says he is illegally in the country, and demands to be deported.
  • Caller states he has a problem. His wife’s family is interfering with his marriage and he doesn’t want them to come to Canada.
  • Caller would like to deport a couple of people from Canada and she would like the website address to fill out the proper forms.  Caller is advised that it is not her decision who gets deported. Caller does not care.

I particularly like that last one.  I can think of a few people I’d like to get deported, Stockwell Day and his boss Stephen Harper being at the top of that list!

Hmm… where is that website?  I need to get hold of that hotline number!

Happy Tuesday!

“Advised him to speak with his wife.”

idiot of the week award

I know it’s difficult to believe, but from time to time I am prone to feeling rather stupid.  Until, that is, I read something like this news story – and realise that stupidity is really all quite relative.

What am I going on about? Well, the other day three guys broke into allegedly broke into a house in Markham, a bedroom community just north of Toronto. They drove their Hummer up to the house and went right in during broad daylight.  This is the street where the alleged burglary took place:

In other words, the Hummer looked way out of place in the street.  Not exactly the most inconspicuous getaway vehicle in the world.  I mean, why not just put up a neon sign as well while you’re at it?

Anyway, some nosy neighbour apparently called the cops – who arrived at the scene just in time to see the three accused walk out of the house, stolen property allegedly in hand.  They got out of their unmarked police cruiser and told the guys to halt.  

So, what did these rocket scientists do? 

Run out to the Hummer, jump into it and try to drive over the cop car, that’s what.  And they managed to drive partway up the windshield before reversing into another cop car that had just arrived.

So now, instead of just being charged with “theft under whatever”, they’ve now been charged with “mischief endangering life”, “fleeing the scene of a crime”, and (my personal favourite) “dangerous operation of a motor vehicle”.  And I’m sure the Crown will come up with some more of the hundreds of criminal charges which fall under the loose category of “disobeying the cops”. 

Not to mention, no doubt, being read the Riot Act.  And yes, the Riot Act is alive and well up here in Canada:

In Canada, the Riot Act has been incorporated in a modified form into ss. 32-33 and 64-69 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The proclamation is worded as follows:

Her Majesty the Queen charges and commands all persons being assembled immediately to disperse and peaceably to depart to their habitations or their lawful business, on pain of being guilty of an offence for which, on conviction, they may be sentenced to an imprisonment for life. God Save the Queen!

Unlike the original Riot Act, the Criminal Code requires the assembled people to disperse within half-an-hour, and substitutes punishment by death with life imprisonment.

Hmm. Well, it could have been worse for them then, I guess.

But these guys certainly weren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack, now, were they?

Unlike this one:

Isn’t that cool?  It’s in the Royal Scottish Museum in Scotland.  I guess JJ is right when he keeps telling me the Scottish should be known for more than haggis and fried Mars Bars!

Well, back to the mysterious Project Blue which is shaping up quite nicely, thank you. 

Happy Sunday!
 

 

billions are the new millions

Already irritated beyond belief at the late news by ten minutes past eleven, I started to practice some little meditation techniques that came out in the latest head office Email yesterday (you know, the ones where the bosses pretend to care about you by telling you to manage your stress levels and stay healthy).  To my astonishment, this actually seemed to work. 

That is, until two minutes later when the following statement wafted into my consciousness in the anchorman’s dulcet tones:

Billionaires are the new millionaires. 

Exit large mouthful of Diet Coke through nose.

Man, I haven’t even made my first million yet, and they’ve already upped the bar a thousandfold?!?

Where the hell did this nonsense come from?!?

Humph.  I should have known.  And of course being the idiot that I am, I’d actually bought a copy of this issue yesterday on the way home from work.  (Perhaps if I’d stopped buying this at all when it started to get on my nerves and invested the money instead, I, too, would be a billionaire.  Note to self. 

Well, of course I had to crack it open.  Inside was a list of 19 billionaires who live in Toronto.  Hardly a trend.  But then again, they’re hoarding all the money and keeping it from all those wannabe plain old millionaires, I guess. 

At the top of the list is David Thomson with $19.72 billion.  He controls the flow of media information to the Western world owns Reuters.  Next is Galen Weston Sr. with a paltry $6.33 billion. (I guess it’s true what they say – Loblaws, his food store chain, is hurting these days!)

Now, there’s a big difference between those two figures, no?  (I can’t find my calculator and I don’t have nearly enough fingers and toes to count that high.  Another reason why I’ll never be a billionaire.  By the time I got to the end of the list and the people only had $1 billion each).

I mean, do you ever wonder what these guys discuss at parties (and I say “guys” because there’s only one woman on the list, and she’s only there by virtue of marriage, I think).  

“Yo, Galen!  I’ve got $13 billion more than you do, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!!!”

“YEAH?!?  But did you ever play polo with Prince Charles?? Huh??? Huh?????”

“You wanna take it outside to the $900,000 padded and chandeliered boxing ring which I’ve built in my Forest Hill mansion for such occasions?!?!?”

Nah, on second thought they probably all get along very well.  I imagine that they spend most of their time coming up with secret handshakes and discussing purchases such as these:

A $2,000 speaker system for your $150.00 iPod.  I mean, don’t these guys have enough money to buy a whole stereo?!?

And this:

A $50 clip to put on your dashboard to hold those pesky parking passes.  I don’t know why they don’t just do what I do and toss them all on the floor, actually.  

Hmm.  Actually, I have lots of helpful tips for these guys to help them earn even more money.  Do you think one of these would give me a job? 

Good idea.  Off to meditate now.  If I repeat the word “Money” enough times, maybe some will actually fall into my lap. 

a parable for the 21st Century

Well, gang – being as it’s Saturday and I’m recovering from a drinking session with the gnomes busy at housework, I thought I’d reprise a post that I put up on another blog I started in a blog binge last month.

So, if any of you have read it on the other blog, my apologies and I’ll be back tomorrow with more gnome adventures (there’s a new member of the Gnome family!!!) and maybe even some photos of knitting.

And, JJ and I are off later today on a trip to Michael’s craft superstore.  Yippee!

Now for my little fable.  WARNING/AVERTISSEMENT/ACHTUNG: if you are a member of the Conservative Party… well, read at your peril.  And don’t whine to me that you weren’t warned!

**********************************************************************************************

There is a land far, far north of where most people live, and in that land is a little fiefdom called Kanadha. Many people flocked to Kanadha, even though it was a fiefdom, because it was one of the best and brightest places in the world.

However, Kanadha mostly exists in the shadow to its neighbour to the south, Murca. Murca is far larger than Kanadha and is run by a group of dictators known as the Archconservative Party. This is their leader, Exalted Ruler Godfrey. However, Mr. Godfrey prefers to be known as “God” – and this is what most of his people call him (although some of them give him the surname “Damn” underneath their breath).

This is a rare photo of God wearing evening dress. God doesn’t like wearing tuxedos, actually, because he likes to pretend to be a man of the people. However, from time to time he finds his tuxedo a useful tool to intimidate visiting dignitaries, such as The Right Honourable Steve.

Oops, sorry – wrong photo. This is actually the Father of Confederation, Sir John Eh?. However, the new guy, Steve is the current Supreme Lord and Master of Kanadha. He spends most of his time drinking, lying to his serfs and forcing the other nobility to keep silent about whatever it is he is up to, for example, hanging out with suspicious characters:

This is his way of emulating God, with whom he pretends to be best friends. No one is sure whether he actually believes this to be the case or not.

One thing is certain though – Steve has allowed God to scare him about the possibility of harm from this man, Lucifer.

Now, no one knows very much about Lucifer at all. According to God and Steve, Lucifer is a lawless type who hates Murca and should therefore be extinguished. However, people in Kanadha and Murca are not quite sure where he lives, what he believes in, and even whether this army exists or not. (God and Steve might actually know the truth – but if they do, they certainly have not been sharing it with their people).

Despite this, lots of money is spent every year by both Murca and Kanadha to engage in combat like activity far, far away in countries where Lucifer may or may not be found.

In Kanadha, they get the money for this fighting from people like this:

This is taxpayer John Doe. He is just one of millions of Kanadhonians who pay lots of tax money every year to Steve and the rest of the lords. He doesn’t really know where all of that money goes, as that is secret information known only to Steve and his Inner Circle of other nobility.

(It should be noted that In Kanatha, there is currently no right for taxpayers like John to vote. John doesn’t really think that is a big deal because he never voted when it was allowed anyway. Having said that, he does like complaining, though.

People like John, however, typically do not complain about the people in charge, because it’s easier to blame other people like themselves for all the problems in Kanadhian society. Steve encourages this, because it distracts the people and helps them forget that they are actually living in a fiefdom.)

Here are some other taxpayers, Quack and Daisy Duck:

You may have noticed that Quack and Daisy look quite different from one another, and from John Doe. This is because Kanadha is a multicultural fiefdom, although the Lords and Masters all still look like Steve (and like God, for that matter).

Quack and Daisy are hardworking types who don’t really have a lot of time to question what is going on in the wider world. Or maybe they just don’t care.

But that’s not a very kind thing to suggest, really, because I’m sure they’re busy looking after their two kids.

First up: Tina Duck.

Tina is still a young, naive little thing who doesn’t quite understand yet how the world works. Sometimes, especially after being picked on at school because her parents look different from one another, she wonders why everyone just can’t get along.

Everyone, that is, except her and her little brother, that is:

This is Brat Duck. He’s prone to stealing Tina’s crown and running around with it for kicks. He also squawks loudly, sometimes incessantly. This makes him potentially much better suited to get on in the fierdom and the wider world than Tina, unfortunately.

And finally, there is me, your humble chronicler, (Kris)tina.

I live in a place very much like Kanadha. It’s called Trana.

In Trana, unlike in Kanatha and Murca, there is no supreme being. Oh, wait, I’m wrong: of course there is a supreme being in Trana – the Almighty D*llar.

And here I must confess that I actually misled you a bit above. In fact, the Almighty D*llar is also the Supreme Being in both Kanadha and Murca. God and Steve just pretend to be the top entities, really.

I’m not allowed to show you photos here, just as I am not allowed to type out the name in full without changing a letter. However, in Kanadha one version of the Almighty D*llar looks like this, and in Murca like this. The version that you buy things with is referred to as a “dollar”.

As you can see, the Almighty D*llar is a shapeshifter which presents Itself amongst the rulers and mortals who spend their lives in search of it in various forms. And these days, you need at least one hundred of them to buy anything that you need.)

Trana is not a fiefdom, but some – nay, most – days it’s hard for me to believe that.

So, I just content myself with fondling luxury silk yarn, smoking cigarettes and indulging in general apathy like everyone else surrounding me.

Sigh.