Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bowling, bowling, bowling

I’m starting the New Year in the best possible way … bowling, bowling and more bowling. 

The short version:

·       A bowling party at New Year’s Eve
·       A tournament on New Year’s Day
·       League bowling the day after. 

If this isn’t THE WAY to start a year, what is …

The long version:

On New Year’s Eve Kennedy Bowl is organizing a bowling party, starting at 10:00 p.m.  The atmosphere will be cosmic bowling.

While cosmic bowling is a lot of fun, it also presents a few problems.  The alley is lit up only by black lights and strategically placed spots, aimed at a glitter ball.  So, not only is lane visibility limited, every now and then colourful images (projected from the glitter ball) glide and sweep across the lane.

I find cosmic bowling particularly challenging as I rely on the target arrows on the lane to direct my ball.  In the darkness, I can't see those arrows until I’m right by the foul line.  Then again, we’ll be bowling for the fun of it, so I shouldn’t care (too much) about my score.

On New Year’s Day I’ll be taking part in a bowling tournament.  While this will be fun too, it will also be very serious business.  I don’t think I stand much of a chance, competing against men and women far better than I am, but … one never knows, right?  
January 1st might just be my lucky day.  I’ve won tournaments before, on my own and with Dieter, so I know I can do it.  The main thing will be to keep my cool and not be too impressed by my competition.

Then on Wednesday it will be business as usual with league bowling.  It’s a very serious league, with very serious bowlers.  We’re doing well though.  We, “The Expendables”, were at one time in last place, but by winning a few points here and a few points there, we’ve managed to scramble into 10th position.

Anyway, I’m planning to have fun in the next three days and continue to do so in the year that follows.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Resolutions for 2013

New Year’s Eve is around the corner and if you’re like most people, you have a few resolutions in mind.  Are you planning to lose weight?  Get more exercise?  Be more productive?

I am not planning to lose weight.  The last time I checked I weighed 120 lbs and for my height (5 feet 10 inches) I’m actually underweight.  According to Robinson’s formula I should weigh 145 lbs.  I'm not fanatic about my weight anyway, as long as I fit into my jeans I'm fine.

As for exercising … I’ve tried all sorts of things in days gone by.  I practiced Shotokan karate and achieved the status of black belt, second Dan.  For reasons we won’t get into now, I don’t practice anymore and I doubt I can still execute the moves.

A brief exposure to yoga didn’t go so well.  I could manage the basic stretch exercises, but when attempting the lotus position it looked like I was trying to tie myself into a knot.  I managed to place my right foot onto my left thigh without any problems, but when I tried to twist my left foot onto my right thigh my companion burst into peals of laughter.  First I fell backward, next I rolled sideways, and just when I thought I was headed for success an almighty cramp shot through my left foot.  It was enough to put me off yoga forever.

I tried aerobics and oh boy, that was a complete disaster.  The floor workout went fine, the leg movements posed no problem, but where it came to the arm exercises … they spelled disaster.  Fired up by the rhythmic music I spread my arms a little too enthusiastically and flung lampshade clean off the dresser.  Oh oh … how was I going to explain this?  Blame it on Jane Fonda?

After that, I would have dearly loved to take up fencing or archery, but my family wouldn't allow it. 

So I took an interest in music instead.

The first instrument I learned to play was the Melodica.  

I loved this type of flute.  Unfortunately, Pitoe (our cat) did not.  As soon as I started playing, he left the room.  He didn’t just leave the room though, he went upstairs to one of the bedrooms.  Cat lover as I am I thought I’d save him the trouble and I would go to my room to play.  According to my family this plan didn’t really work.  Even though there was a ceiling between me and Pitoe, he would wake up from his slumber and start meowing toward the ceiling like a dog howling at the moon.  Eventually I retreated to the garden to play, but then the neighbors started complaining.

Fine, I packed away my Melodica and bought an acoustic guitar.  That didn’t last very long.  I wasn’t very good at it, and I was even worse when adjusting the strings.  I had a tendency of giving them too much tension to the point where the snapped.  One moment I would turn the nob and the next … ping, there went a string.  When one of the strings narrowly missed my eye, I knew it was time to try something else.

To cut a long story short … I got into writing.  All things considered, that didn't go too bad.  I wrote three novels and two children's books, but with the arrival of the Internet – and especially Facebook and its many games – I became horribly distracted.

So that’s my resolution for 2013 … more writing, less games.  I’m planning on keeping a journal and to finish a book I’m working on.  I have a title … “Temporarily Yours” and I have five chapters so far.  Let’s see if I can make it to the epilogue before 2014, shall we?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

From the frying pan into the fire

A month or two ago, the building where we live installed a new fire alarm. 

Residents complained that the old fire alarm made too much noise.  They had a point, the alarm sounded like an old-fashioned coffee grinder.  On and on and on it went until we were all half deaf.

Was there ever a fire?  Of course not, the alarm was tripped because someone let dinner burn or by obnoxious kids.  Regardless, when the alarm was set off, the fire brigade visited the building and $500 had to be paid.

After yet another false alarm, the fire marshal suggested that a new fire alarm system was installed.  And so it was.

The new alarm was different from the old one.  Instead of one alarm box in the corridor, every single condo unit was fitted with its own alarm system.

Just what exactly that meant became apparent the first time the alarm went off … OMG the thing was so loud we had to yell at each other to be heard.  The thing went peep, peep, peep, on and on and on.

While annoying during the day, at night it was absolutely unbearable.  Nobody, but absolutely nobody, got another wink of sleep.  I tried to block out the noise by putting my fingers in my ears and by putting a pillow over my head, nothing helped.

Tonight the alarm was yet again set off and when the peep, peep, peep, started I nearly jumped out of my skin.

We got creative though, to block out the noise, Dieter held a pillow against the ceiling speaker.

This position was not the most comfortable one though, so he had to come up with a better system that was not as strenuous on the arm muscles.  He found it in the form of a broom.

Of course, it’s not much fun just standing there, one has to have some form of entertainment.  As it turns out, Dieter can block the noise with a broom stick pushed against a pillow and read a book at the same time.

Yep, we Maneros are multi taskers …

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


The importance of beauty while job hunting

Do not let anybody tell you that physical appearance while job hunting is not important. It is important. It is very important.

Forget a diploma. Forget experience. Forget everything you ever heard was important to successfully securing a job. Breasts, that's what you need! And the more there is to put on display, the better.

Successful ladies do not hide their biggest assets in a sensible white bra. No, they choose a frilly lacy thing, and put what Mother Nature or a good surgeon gave them on display.

But don't take my word for it. Next time you are in town during business hours, take a look around you. See the young women traipsing around in their business suits? Skirts so tight they can barely set one foot in front of the other, with shirts and jackets straining over their bosoms. Let's not forget their stylish feet, pushed into high heeled shoes that make you wonder why gravity isn't working. And, yes, a trendy designer bag slung over their shoulders. Are these women unemployed?  I think not.

Just the other day a vacancy for an administrative specialist became available in the office where I used to work. Human Resources were reluctant to hire someone outright; so a temp-to-perm position was are created.

An employment agency was contacted and they sent a temp. Her name was Angela. Angela was forty-seven years old and barely stood five feet tall. Angela lasted three weeks. She was there at 9:00 a.m. and at 10:00 she was gone.

Next in line was Nicole. Nicole was the complete opposite from Angela. Although she too was forty-seven years old, this woman was built like a wrestler. Arms that could stop a bus, legs like heavy load pillars. This no nonsense image was further enhanced by her daily tweed or knitted outfits, with skirts well below the knee, blouses buttoned up to the neck and sturdy lace-up shoes. Nicole lasted one week and then she too was gone.

I was in the Human Resources office when the manager, who needed the administrative specialist, came to make his wishes known.  "Get me someone young," he commanded.  "Someone, if not beautiful, then at least attractive." 

Apparently "attractive" means different things to different people. The manager's wish was apparently Human Resources command, because the following day we got word that Tinny was to start work the following Monday. Tinny? Eyebrows lifted and meaningful glances were exchanged. 

The moment Tinny walked in I knew she was going to be a keeper. She was in her early twenties; average height, average weight, and if my eyes didn't deceive me, a D-cup bra. If she was wearing a bra.  It was hard to tell as I didn't see the telltale signs of shoulder straps. I did see plenty of flesh though. Flesh spilling out of a shirt that was at least two sizes too small and more flesh when she sat down and crossed her elegant legs. Two months down the line Tinny was hired full time.

It's hard not to sound a little bitter as I look for my own temp-to-perm job.  No one has ever complained about the quality of my work, but at an advanced age I’m no longer a "Tinny" .

Age discrimination is alive and well, in Canada anyway. I don't know how physical appearance applies to male job hunters, but beautiful, well endowed, young females definitely have an advantage over those with - shall we say - less impressive fixed assets.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Voice

Those who have been watching “The Voice” know that there were only two serious contestants this year: Amanda Brown and Trevin Hunte.


Trevin Hunte loses the hunt for top spot on The Voice

When Amanda was votes off, the show lost some of its lustre, when Trevin was voted off this week, the show all but died.

It comes as no surprise of course … the really talented never make it to the finish line.  Whether it’s “The Voice” – “American Idol” or “X Factor”, the really good singers are voted off and the rubbish gets to stay.

Let’s have a look at the finalists of “The Voice”:

There’s Nicolas David, a nice enough guy, but not star material.  With his long hair, long beard and weird sense of fashion, he’s a child of the 60s and it shows.

Terry McDermot isn’t bad.  He’s got a good voice and nice stage presence, but he’s ordinary.  Guys like Terry are thirteen in a dozen.

Finally there Cassadee Pope.  When I first saw this girl on stage, I found her quite bothersome.  There was something about her that was both familiar and off-putting.  It didn’t take long for me to figure it out … she was an Avril Lavigne wannabee.  The way she sang, the way she moved, even the way she tossed her hair, it’s was clear she had been studying Avril Levine and copied everything she did.


So who is going to win “The Voice”?  My guess is, Cassadee Pope.  Nicolas David is too old and Terry McDermot is too ordinary, that leaves only Cassadee as a real chancer.  I guess copying a star pays off.

I wonder what the judges think of America voting for their favorites.  I imagine they must be shaking their head in wonder and thinking … “What are you all doing!”

As I said, Amanda Brown and Trevin Hunte were the only really good singers.  Good being the obvious understatement, they were excellent, captivating, mesmerizing.  Watching them and hearing them sing was sheer joy. 

Then again, you don’t have to win to become famous.  Look at those who were voted off “American Idol”.

Jennifer Hudson went on to become a successful singer and actress with an Oscar to her name.

Chris Daughtry made his mark on the music industry.

Adam Lambert made a splash and seems to be going strong.

As for X-Factor … who can forget Susan Boyle?  She didn’t win, but look at her now, touring the world.

As for the winners of X-Factor, American Idol and The Voice, where are they now?  Has anyone seen or heard of them.