Posted by: Hannah | 08/29/2013

Surly Thursday – THE RETURN

I understand so clearly now why Allison went with “Surly Thursday” as opposed to, say, Monday or Wednesday.

On Thursday, you can see the weekend, shimmering in the distance like heat waves on the highway… but it’s still two working days away. On Thursday, ‘hump day’ is behind you but you’ve still got to make it down the hill and around the corner until work is done.

On Thursday, everyone just wants it to be done.

And so! I bring you, with pride, the return of Surly Thursday, because nothing cleanses the palate like a good solid rant about First World problems.


Miley Cyrus, or I don’t give a shit

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or sensibly avoiding all forms of media since Sunday, you know that Miley Cyrus was selected to be this year’s White Chick Who Does Something Mildly Scandalous on the MTV Video Awards. She wore an ill-advised outfit and did possibly racist things and faux-masturbated with a giant foam finger and stuck her tongue out more than my aging dog does after a long walk on a hot day. She performed a medley with Robin Thicke of their hit summer songs “Blurred Lines” and “We Can’t Stop”.

In case you, like me, had managed to carefully avoid hearing either song until this week, here are the stupidest / most offensive lyrics from each one, as chosen by my totally objective Panel Dictating Tasteless Things (i.e., me).

From “We Can’t Stop”

To my home girls here with the big butt
Shaking it like we at a strip club
Remember only God can judge ya
Forget the haters cause somebody loves ya
And everyone in line in the bathroom
Trying to get a line in the bathroom

From “Blurred Lines”

Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two

Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that

They are stupid, stupid songs, and in the case of “Blurred Lines” it’s a grammatically-incorrect paean to mansplaining date rape.

However, that’s not what everyone is all up in arms about after their performance. Instead, it’s all “Miley is troubled!” and “twerking is slutty!” and the feminists are fighting with the people who are calling it racist and everyone’s giving Robin Thicke a pass except for whoever came up with this

I actually thought this was what really happened until about noon on Monday, that’s how uncool I am.

and then this morning I saw someone calling it “child p0rn” and my head straight-up exploded all over the laptop.


There. That’s it. The sum total of my argument. Chemical weapons in Syria (maybe) and rising personal debt levels in Canada and pestilence and horror, and on Monday CNN led with a story about a twenty-year-old millionaire doing a stupid thing on MTV.


My local paper set up a paywall and I can’t subscribe because it’s broken

Halifax has an independent daily newspaper – one of the last in Canada. It’s pretty good, and if you want to stay informed about city and provincial politics it really is your best option. However, I refuse to subscribe to the print edition, because it just wastes paper and creates clutter all over my house. I’ve been reading it free online for some time and promising that once they went to a pay-for-use model I would subscribe.

Today this was featured on the front page of the online edition: so I clicked on the link to subscribe to the digital edition – and it’s now four hours later and I still don’t have access.

First it said that my mailing address for billing purposes didn’t exist. Then it sent me to a screen that said cheerfully “click here to start reading immediately!” which caused a login window to pop up, even though I hadn’t been given a username and password yet. Then I got two copies of this email:

Thank you for your recent subscription request to the The Chronicle Herald E-Edition. An email notification with a direct link into the e-edition will be sent to you as soon as your subscription has been processed. In the meantime, we encourage you to use the following link for temporary access for the next 5 days. Thank you for subscribing to the The Chronicle Herald E-Edition. If you have any questions or would like to speak to Membership Services, please email us or call 1-902-426-2811.

Please read it carefully because you will notice that the email address and web link both refer to the LA Times, which I’m sure is a fine publication but has exactly zero coverage about municipal politics in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I tried sending tweets to @ChronicleHerald, because they’re usually pretty good at responding. Nothing. I tried posting a very polite note on their Facebook page detailing my issue. They deleted my post (!) without answering it. I waited on hold for half an hour with their call centre, where the poor girl answering the phone was able to duplicate my problem, but couldn’t fix it.

I was forwarded to the IT department, who sent me an email asking that I forward all correspondence from the LA Times to them. I tried three times and it was rejected as spam every time, probably because of all the hot links in it. I finally resorted to expanding the headers, saving it as a PDF, and sending the email with an attachment. I’ve had no response.



I will go weeks and weeks without hearing from family. Then in one week I’ll hear from all of them, one right after the other, and they all have weird problems or last-minute things, and I love them all so much but is it too much to ask for them to maybe stagger things a bit?


Yesterday the kids played together beautifully, cooperated, kept their voices down and were generally delightful. Today they are all screaming hellbeasts from beyond the pit who hit, yell, tattle, whine, scream, and refuse to be cheered up, cajoled, distracted, or otherwise turned from their apparent goal of driving me right straight into a bottle of wine before noon.

Wonder if I should show them the Miley Cyrus thing as punishment if they don’t smarten up?




  1. You know, I think I just went with Surly Thursday because I was cranky on a Thursday and there was a ‘ur’ in both words and then I just went with it – your theory is so much more sophisticated.

    Couldn’t agree more about the Miley Cyrus thing. Did you happen to see that they listed Angus’s favourite song as Blurred Lines in one of the games, and now I’m typing this as a dead woman because when I saw that I died of mortification? I asked him last night if he had actually ever listened to the words and he said no. I said we would talk about it more when we were both less exhausted. Bleah, bleah, bleah! And yeah, Miley’s trying to transition from being a kid to a grown-up on tv, chances are there are going to be awkward periods – everybody just settle the fuck down, whaddya say?

    And that newspaper thing? Just…..just…..son of a bitching bitching bitch, I HATE shit like that. And as someone who still gets the local paper as a paper, you are SO RIGHT about the clutter. I am DROWNING in informative litter-box liner over here.

    May the rest of Thursday and all of Friday FLY BY. Wait, you get to have Chinese tonight, right? At least there’s that. HUGE HUGS.

    • Oh, Angus. That’s up there with his teammate persisting in saying A-Rod is his favourite ball player. :p

      They *finally* resolved the newspaper issue… it only took six hours and not one person apologized for the inconvenience or rage-stroke it induced. I mean, I get that new tech systems aren’t perfect, but a simple “wow, that’s unfortunate, we’re sorry that happened” is all it would take. JERKS.

      I do get Chinese tonight. First I have to get through a possibly-fraught visit with Michael’s siblings (long story) but then IMMA GONNA EAT ALL THE THINGS.

  2. Today was my summer assistant’s last day. So naturally I made the mistake of letting the kids know so they could be extra good for Mrs. C on her last day. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how that went. Thursday, you suck.
    Am I one of the few who has noticed Miley Cyrus doing many things in the last year or so to shed the Hannah Montana imagine? I thought her performance cringe worthy, but not because she’s “Hannah Montana” because I think it’s somewhat sad she feels this is the way to show everyone that she’s grown up. That, and I feel embarrassed for anyone who doesn’t realize that masturbation in public is socially unacceptable. But really, her performance was par for the course this last year or so. I don’t understand the outrage. On a side note, her tongue seems freakishly long to me, and while her boyfriend must love it, I wish she would keep it rolled up in her mouth.

    • Yes, I was embarrassed for her, too – mostly because I also did a lot of Very Dumb Things when I was 20, except no one was filming it for MTV.

      And I agree that she’s trying to shed the Hannah Montana image, and that there are far less cringe-worthy ways of doing it – but nor do I think her performance is a ‘cry for help’ as several pundits opined.

  3. I’m super embarrassed to admit this, but I kind of love Blurred Lines – the tune is extremely catchy, and I find myself singing this to my husband in a gross and distorted kind of way. I still don’t know what twerking is and I don’t really want to google it, so could you tell me? Is it that thing where she’s all bent over? I was kind of thinking when I saw a clip of it – hey, that’s good hamstring flexibility. She’s keeping her spine really straight! So, probably I’m missing the point. Also – the foam finger – we have one of those and not once have I gyrated with it but now I’m probably going to as a sexytime thing. Oh, Mr Boyhouse! You’re number one!

    Hope this evening goes well and may Friday fly by and all the kiddies be good for you.

    • You should google twerking, honestly. First you bend over, then you stick your butt in the air, then you shake it INSANELY fast. It’s actually really, really impressive, and I cannot do it and MAYBE I TRIED ONCE DON’T YOU JUDGE ME.

      I know lots of people who like “Blurred Lines”, but I just can’t. I’m all over that Daft Punk song, though. I tell the kids it is lucky to stay up all night and watch movies. 😉

  4. I am completely baffled by the Miley Cyrus thing. I saw a lot about it on Facebook but since I get about 2 minutes of computer time a day, I asked PH to explain it. He said she wiggled her butt on TV. I said “so what?” He said “everyone’s upset because HANNAH MONTANA WIGGLED HER BUTT” and I said “WHY” and PH said “BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE MORONS”:

    I see people do that constantly on pretty much every music video. So why is it a big deal that someone else did it? BAFFLED.


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