Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Friday, March 02, 2007


One of my coworkers, whom I will refer to for blog purposes as Marie Perrault, calls me a thief. She says it in her quirky Quebec accent, and so it sounds like 'teef.' She's a lovely young woman with masses of red hair and a nervous, high-strung disposition, which means it in in my nature to torture her. I try to be very gentle. I steal her saran wrap and make small objects disappear. As soon as she stops looking for them they reappear in plain sight. She'll swear blind she never even took her eyes off what I moved, but she did. You all do. And whenever I've yet again managed to blip the piece of saran wrap she carefully laid out right out of existence, she calls me a 'teef.'

It's my turn to call 'teef,' and I call it on the Calgary Police Department. It seems that the day after we returned from California, Ed was driving along 5th avenue, very close to our house. Right past the intersection of Crowchild and 5th, there is a (badly marked) playground zone. It's definitely there, but very hard to tell when exactly it begins and ends. There's a small park with one lonely swing that is almost always deserted, and several blocks up there's a middle school that also has a playground that sullen preteens smoke in. We're very careful driving there, as it's a very residential area, and never thought to be overly concerned about the playground zones in particular.

Just the other day, Ed got a piece of mail from Calgary law enforcement. It contains a picture of our (very dirty) Corolla, and a ticket for $82. A ticket for $82 that was issued because Ed was driving 42 kms/hr in a 30. FORTY-TWO IN A THIRTY. 30 kms/hr is less than my car's IDLE SPEED. Eve at 42, if the playground had been populated by baby sloths and one of those sloths managed to DART INTO TRAFFIC, we'd still be able to stop safely.

But we aren't going to fight the law, for the law will win. Instead, I am going to write a cheque for $82 and make fun of the law on the internet.

I should probably let it go with no more than a grumble, but that's a lot of money. Ed and I don't spend money. Even without our resolution to Buy Nothing in 2007, we're a very frugal couple. We buy groceries and plane tickets. That's about it. Since I've been stewing over it anyway, here are Several Things I Could Have Done With $82.

- purchased most (91%) of a Le Creuset grill pan. Oh how I lust after it. Tiffany over at One Red Sock has one, and I am painfully envious. I currently use a cast-iron grill pan I got for $10 that's impossible to clean.

- had a Very Nice Dinner out somewhere with Ed. With the exception of the occasional bit of food at the KP or eating Wendy's in the car because I yet again have to go straight from work to an event, Ed and I don't eat out. We used to; then we redid the budget.

- purchased 46% of a Perfectly Decent laser printer. My crappy little hp 3-in-1 is on it's last leg. It won't print black ink -- it claims there's a paper jam that doesn't exist -- but will print blue ink. Even printing in blue, there's a ghost blur in the center of every page and it binds up every 3-10 pages. It hasn't scanned in a year.

- purchased most of Warren Ellis and John Cassaday's Planetary. I say most because it isn't finished, though the trades that are available are AMAZING.

- Purchased a beautiful, hardcover, complete collection of Alan Moore's Lost Girls. I saw it in a comic shop in Santa Monica. It was there, and beautiful, and impossible to get in Canada. I left it because of our resolution, and have been kicking myself ever since. It was $75.

- paid for 35% of my plane ticket to Vancouver in April.

- bought Very Good Tea for months.

I hope you're happy, City of Calgary, for all the comic books and cooking utensils you've taken from me. Teefs.


Natalie Zed updated @ 11:16 a.m.!!