Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Miranda vs. The Landlord

I'm really starting to wonder if you have to be an asshole to be a landlord or if that's just a symptom of the job. Maybe it's a bit of both. In any event, I have had the absolute worst experiences with every landlord, property manager and superintendent I've had contact with since I started renting in 2003. I'm actually starting to wonder if it's me.

Take this week for instance. The super at my current building decides that he should restrict tenants access to the laundry room past 10 pm. I had three loads of laundry going around 9:30 and when I went to retreive them at 10:15, the door was locked. It wouldn't be a huge problem except it doesn't open again till 8:00 am and I leave for work at 7:30. I'm sure as hell not about to leave my literal entire wardrobe unattended all day long for any creep to come steal a nice bunch of second-hand, newly washed clothes. So I called him. Big mistake. He yelled and swore at me saying things like "Do you know how to read a f*cking sign?" "I make allowances for all my tenants why the f*ck should i make allowances for you?" etc, etc, etc... so after much begging and pleading, he agreed to open the laundry room with the guarantee that he is not to ever hear from me again. No problem!

You make stupid rules, expect to get stupid phone calls.

Or how about the ongoing Grand River Property Management issue I had with my friend PH after my basement apartment flooded twice, soaking the carpet with toilet water and ruining the contents of my closets. After several formal letters and zero reimbursement, I'm to take his rationale that "because I live in a basement apartment, I should expect that it floods periodically." What a dick.

And then there was my all time favourite place at 98 Bridegport with Eleanor and Graeme; the sweet old British couple who turned out to be the biggest jerks of my renting experience. My car was blocked in daily in a parking spot that I paid for, they entered our house without permission on a regular basis, the basement also flooded several times and they refused to do any sort of maintenance including fixing the leaking roof or removing the squirrels that lived in the ceiling. That experience nearly ended in a court case. In the end, I left a month early and lost a month's rent just to avoid the constant bullshit.

And most recently, before I even move into my new home, I have problems with the super intendent. I called to proactively inform my new super of our move-in dates to which she informed me "were out of the question." Apparently, you can only move in on the dates and times that she approves. Well, that's fabulous. I have a very small window of opportunity where I can get time off work and people to help me move and she tells me it's not possible. Before i've even moved into this new place, we've already had three rather hostile phone conversations. In the end, I managed to smooth things over with my superiour negotiation skills and endearing personality and the conversation ended with her making some accomodations to suit my needs and her telling me to "remember around Christmas time that she likes red wine."

If you're a super, you should expect to have tenants calling you regularly about issues. Why do they act like it's the biggest bloody inconvenience to have to do their job?! It's not like they didn't know what they were signing up for when they applied.

Clearly, my frustration is evident. I can't beleive I've had this neverevending landlord/tenant drama for almost 5 years. I'm really starting to wonder if maybe it's not them, it's me...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


It must be a sign that I'm getting older when the years start to seem shorter and shorter. Someone asked me at work the other day about school and I said "I just graduated last April..." Just? I suddenly realized that I graduated a year ago! I've been working full-time for the past year! A working adult for 12 months, working 9-5 every day of every week for an entire year. It was actually sort of shocking. I am definitley not a student anymore. Has it really not sunk in yet?

So as time creeps by quicker and quicker, I can't help but wonder if one day, I'll wake up elderly and reminisce fondly about "the good 'ol days" or a more frightening thought: maybe not be able to reminisce at all. Seeing my ailing grandmother in the hospital over Easter weekend was a really depressing indication of time. After 85 years on earth, her life is reduced to a chair with a table tray that holds her hostage because "she wanders." She is a literal shell of a human being with no awareneness of where she is or who's around her. It's terribly sad to see her like this. I like the vision of the elderly as old and wise with some innate knowledge about the world and a million stories and life lessons to tell. To live to 85 only to die like this is an awful tragedy. It comforts me some to know that she really lacks the mental capacity to feel sorry for herself. Her life is reduced to sleeping and eating.

In any event, I shouldn't be depressed about time at 23. Someone who's advice I greatly value once said: If you can't be happy now, you never will be - A simple but astute oberservation. I still have a lot of great years ahead. I'd like to continue with my rationale that I just keep getting better with age; like a fine wine.

Friday, April 20, 2007


No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Many Faces of Yours Truly

Church Secretary

Yes, this woman and I likely share nothing in common except our name. She seems like a very wholesome, noble woman though.

Scottish Radio Host

The resemblance is uncanny. haha

And my all time favourite...

Fairy Princess

Yikes! I think the scariest thing about this is that she LIVES in the Toronto area. Imagine I ran into her?! Although I doubt that Snow White and I attend the same gatherings. She seems to frequent the 4-6 year old crowd ;)

There was in fact, a real reason I was google searching my name today. There's been a barrage of email and phone calls from random reporters pitching stories directly to me and my team lead wondered where they were getting my contact information. He suggested I search on Google. Turns out among my many talents, i'm also listed as a media relations contact on our company website. hah. News to me. ;)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

On Coaching

Alas, my experience as an assistant coach of the Kitchener Wildcats has come to an end... and not without a high-stress, incredibly close, nail-biter of a final game. For that incredible effort, those kids deserved gold, but we'll have to settle for bronze. Even waking up at 6 am after less than 2 hours of sleep and semi-consciously speeding to Elora after missing my ride was worth it to see that win.

As much as I whined about the long drives and the often thankless effort on my part, I really did enjoy this experience. In retrospect, it was definitley worth it. I'm not sure that my presence on this team will have any lasting impact on these kid's lives, but they've certainly made a mark in mine.

Here's a copy of the speech I said at the appreciation dinner.


I've let Joe do most of the talking this season so I wanted to take this opportunity to share my experience coaching this team. I played ringette for 11 years and I'll never forget a coach who, at the end of the year during our appreciation dinner, would stand up and give this long-winded, hour-long speech about the team, going girl by girl and highlighting everything from unforgettable goals to unfair penalties to injuries. We all hated it. And ironically, when I sat down to write something about this team, I started doing the same thing. It's hard not to when you have such great memories about each player on this team. You'll all be pleased to know that I tossed that speech out the window and I promise to keep this short and sweet.

First let me just say what an incredible bunch of girls these are. I feel lucky to have had the privelege to get to know each of them over the past 8 months. It's pretty amazing to look back and remember what their first game was like after watching them win the bronze in that fantastic final game against Guelph on Sunday. I couldn't be more proud. This team had several first time players and huge variety of skill levels. I'll never forget the first game where I told one of the girls, "Okay, you're left wing" and she looked back at me with utter confusion and asked: "What's a wing?" It's been a really satisfying experience for me to watch this group of girls go from a disorganized bunch of skaters to a really sucessful ringette team.

One thing I noticed right away about this team is their sportsmanlike attitude which is incredibly admirable. There was never any animosity or fighting between the girls. They played as a team and helped each other do well and it paid off. They're a happy, energetic and genuinely nice group of girls that were never discouraged with a loss.

Having moved to Toronto mid-season for a job opportunity I really put this team in a tough position and I'd like to thank everyone for bearing with me in the last four months. Thanks to the moms that stood in for me when I couldn't make it, thanks to Frank for dealing with the paperwork and the administrative stuff and thanks to Joe and Jay for keeping me in the loop on tournaments and games. Thanks also to the girls for welcoming me back after a mysterious 4-week absence as I got my self settled in Toronto.

Being a part of this team has been an absolutley unforgettable experience. I wouldn't have made weekly trips from Toronto and gotten up at the crack of dawn to attend their games if I didn't totally love being there. Beleive me, there's not a lot of things in this world that can get me out of bed before 6:00 am. You've inspired me to seek out a Toronto local team and play again. As much as I loved being a coach, I think i'm a player at heart.

So thank you for this opportunity. It's been fun. Best of luck in your future ringette seasons!!