Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dear Winter

Dear Winter;

How's it going? Good? I'm happy to hear it. 

Let me tell you how it is with me.  I'm not happy.  I'm not happy at all. 

I've been putting off writing this letter to you, because I thought that maybe you would find out on your own. But since that doesn't appear to be the case, I can no longer stand aside and watch you flounder in such obvious oblivious-ness.  

I don't like you.  None of us do. We didn't want to tell you before, because we figured it would hurt your feelings, and you keep the spiders away, however your recent actions have made it impossible for us to keep quiet any longer.

You make us miserable.  You are dreary, and gray, and overall not very cheerful.  You are boring and dull, and you make us unhappy.  That's not even an exaggeration, because in the winter time, there is less exposure to Vitamin D, because you are either cloudy and yuck, or it's so cold we can't go outside. You know what Vitamin D is for?  It's the Happy Vitamin.  Without it; we get the SADs. 

Lots of people have the SADs, maybe you could take some time off, and go look into this.  Maybe you should consider how your actions make others feel. 

I have included a couple helpful tips, if you insist on coming by every year, despite being fully aware that no one likes having you around.
  1. Don't stay so long.  No one likes it when a guest over stays their welcome, and you do that. A lot.
  2. Stop trying to take over time in Spring, Summer, and Fall.  There are four seasons, and we'd like to spend time with all of them.  When you come early, or when you stay late, it isn't fair to the other seasons, and frankly, it makes you look selfish.  You don't want us to think you are selfish, do you?
  3. If you do have to come for a visit, please leave your friends at home.  We are not interested in spending time with gale-force winds, or blowing snow.  We may even enjoy your company more, if we weren't dealing with your bumbling, foul-mouthed, drunken, delinquent friends.
  4. Try being less dreary.  I don't think it would kill you to try and brighten things up a bit.  Maybe you could bring colourful snow.  Orange or neon green.  You've been doing the same white theme for years now, and it's tired and old.  The other seasons have bright colours. Maybe that's a bandwagon you should consider jumping on. Just saying.
I feel that we would all get along a lot better, if you adopted some new policies.  If it doesn't work, we can certainly reassess at a later date, but currently, you are a firm "Needs Improvement" on your team building skills and general likability.

I'm sorry it had to come to this, and that I had to be the one to hurt your feelings. But you had to know how we feel, now that you do, we can all stop living a lie.

Sincerely,
The People

P.S. The other seasons will be receiving letters about how to stand up for themselves, and how to avoid being bullied by you.  Consider yourself warned.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Super-Top-Secret-Identity Name

As fun as it is to read all about me, there are going to be times when I have to put someone else in the story. (It’s okay….. I know….)
I was discussing with one of my co-workers, who I happen to think is really funny, if I could use him in my stories.  Actually, I was trying to cheer him up, and I said I would blog about it, but I didn’t know if he wanted me to use his real name, so then I was going to google really awesome names and pick one that I thought would suit him, but then he gave me a name.
I want everyone to be clear.  He picked his own name for the blog.  In no way am I picking on him, or being mean to him, or making fun of him. He picked it. All by himself.  And he thinks he’s pretty clever for doing it.
Because now, I have to write a whole blog about how I didn’t pick his name, and that he really picked it himself, mostly so that I would have to defend myself against my readers who don’t know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t pick on him.  Unless he deserved it. 

But not today, because he doesn’t deserve it.  He’s actually a really great guy, just has a dark and twisted sense of humour. Which is probably why we get along so well, because if this were his blog, and I got to pick my own super-top-secret-identity name, I would probably pick something that he would have to defend; just to ensure I could laugh about it later.
This is the abridged version of our conversation.
Me: You can pick your own super-top-secret-identity name, not everyone gets to do that. Even my kid got stamped with “child”. So this is, kinda ... special.
Him: Tinkerbell.
Me: Interesting.
Him: Nobody would guess it.
Me: But if someone did guess, then they might think I was being mean to you.  (see, there I am, trying to be all PC.)
Him: haha jackpot.
Me: OR I could write a whole blog about how you picked this name, and that way no one can ever be mad at me because it was your own choice.  Because I don’t want people to think I’m being mean to you. Especially because you don’t deserve it.
Today.  (I added that last part as an after-thought, because sometimes he does deserve it. But not today.)

So I would like to introduce you all to Tinkerbell.  He also chose this super-top-secret-identity name all by himself, and he’ll be making random appearances in my blog moving forward.  He was probably mentioned in a previous one, but I would have left him without a name, because we hadn’t chosen a super-top-secret-identity-name yet.
Obviously.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Email Response to FAQ

I've gotten a few emails from people (obviously from people, animals don't write me emails. There might have been one from a chimp, as they are very smart, but don't really care about grammar and spelling....)

Anyway, I've received some emails from people asking what exactly it is I do.  So instead of responding directly to each email, (which I will do anyway, don't you worry. Probably with a link to this post) I've decided to write a little bit about it.

Top Question:

Q: How are you able to blog at work? Don't you get in trouble?
A: You would think so, but no.  Because I work evenings, it gets really quiet around here.  As long as we (the front line people) are not causing turmoil in the office, and as long as the customers that do call in are taken care of, we are able to do our own thing.

Disclaimer: Check with your boss or your supervisor before doing something online not work related. Different companies have different policies, and while I'm sure I have inspired many of you to blog about your daily lives, I certainly don't want you risking your jobs over it.

Q: Do you only blog at work?
A: No, sometimes something funny will happen to me while I'm at home.  If I can spare a minute from the demands of home life, I'll blog about it.  But time is constrained between, getting child ready for school, and surfing the Internet. Sometimes I'll read a book, and that always takes some time.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I think about things to blog about. It's a surprising amount of work to come up with funny topics.  I'll be having random conversations and think "I have to blog this."  But something shiny will distract me, and I'll forget all about the funny thing that happened.  I also play video games. Yes, I'm a girl and a gamer.  We do exist.

Q: What do you watch on TV?
A: We don't actually have TV. We have a television, it's hooked up to an Xbox and a Wii, but we don't have channels that provide anything but static.  I haven't had TV in years, and I really don't miss it. Even when I worked at a TV company, I didn't have TV. 

Please keep the emails coming, I get so excited when new emails arrive!

Working Part Time

I recently started working part time. This was brand new for me. Never in all my life did I have a part time job.

Part time hobbies, part time pets, for a while I was even a part time parent due to custody arrangements, but a part time job?  Not for me.

I like to work. I like deadlines, and I like pressure, and I like organizing my day.

In July, I went from full time, to part time, to accommodate my daughter's upcoming school schedule.

I work three days a week. Evenings. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  In fact you will likely notice a correlation between my working days and the days blogs get posted.  It's not a coincidence. I blog at work.

The most difficult part of this full time to part time transition, is other people.

It confuses me completely how difficult it is for other people to remember when I work.  It's only three days. Two of them you probably work as well, plus Saturday.

Family will call to invite us over for a dinner:
"It's on Saturday from 5:00pm on, it took me forever to get this all planned."
"Yeah.... I work on Saturdays. I've worked on Saturdays for months now."

Friends want to go out:
"A bunch of us are going to the movie/pub/club/bowling on Saturday around 7:00."
"Remember how I told you I work on Saturdays?"

Birthday Parties for friends or their kids:
"I planned child's birthday party for the zoo from 1-3 on Saturday."
"I've been working Saturdays for almost six months now."

I even had it posted on my facebook page, for weeks in a row.  But that didn't stop the invites, and the shock and disappointment when I couldn't attend.

It's Saturday. I'm at work. Which is why you get to see new blogs.

Kid-isms, Part 1

There are times when it boggles my mind, the things that come out of my child's mouth.  Sometimes I wonder if someone didn't secretly slip me a lot of alcohol while I was pregnant, and there are other times when I am in awe at her 5 and a half year old grasp of the world.

Bit of back story: 

My daughter is highly articulate. I never spoke to her as though she were sub-human, and I never allowed anyone else to do so either. As such, she has a vocabulary that exceeds that of some adults.

I love horror movies. When she gets older, I don't want her to be afraid of theatrical crap, so vampires, werewolves and zombies are a normal part of our household, I won't let her watch the movies, but we will discuss paranormal sub-culture.  Naturally, her favourite show is Monster High.

So from the mouth's of babes ... or in this case from her mouth. Unedited.

Zombies:
Her: "Mommy, what happens if a vegetarian human is turned into a zombie?"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Her: "Vegetarians only eat vegetables, and zombies only eat brains. Brains are not vegetables."
Me: "What do you think happens?"
Her: "They eat cauliflower."

On the Easter Bunny:
Her: "Mommy, does the Easter Bunny really exist?"
Me: "Do you think he really exists?"
Her: "Well, I think it would be pretty hard for you and Daddy to get chocolate to all the kids in the whole world in one night, so it must be a bunny."

On Death:
Her: "If you were walking across the road, and got hit by a truck, and another truck came and popped your head off, I'd be really sad."
Me: "I'd be pretty sad, too."
Her: "No, you'd be dead."

On Zombies:
Her: "If you die and become a zombie, I'll take your head off for you."
Me: "Thank you, baby."

Now some of you may be thinking that I am a horrible parent. And that is okay, you can think that. When she is old enough to date, and Mr. Grabby-Hands takes her to a horror movie, she'll be ready.

To Mr. Grabby-Hands:  You've been warned.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Summer Berries

We grew up in the country, literally a house on a hill, in a field, in the middle of nowhere. So going into town for anything, even grocery shopping was like a special treat.

I love berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, I could eat them all day every day.  Turns out my mother classified them as a luxury. Something that we couldn't have all the time. Maybe once or twice in the summer when they were in season, and not so expensive.

But without fail, we would go by the baskets of berries, and my eight year old eyes would light up.

"Mom, can we buy raspberries or blackberries, today?"

"No, they are too expensive."  She wouldn't even look up from whatever item she was examining.  For all she knew those berries were free. Or people were paying us to take them that day.  But the answer was always the same.

One day I asked why. It wasn't as if I were asking for chocolate (though, I did ask for that too). Berries were healthy.  They were part of the Fruits and Vegetables group.  They were good for you. And yet, the answer was always the same.

"One day, when you grow up and you have to buy food for a household, you will understand that we can't always have the luxury items.  You have to provide staple items for your family, and berries are just too expensive."

That didn't stop me from asking. Every time we went to the store. And every time the answer was the same.

Years later, after I left the Ex, and it was just me and my 2 year old daughter living on our own. I found out that times were tough.  I couldn't buy her everything she wanted at the store, I couldn't even buy her everything that I wanted to at the store.

I would use the no name shampoo and conditioner products, I would start setting aside money after her birthday in March so that I could get her something nice for Christmas.  It was never much, but we managed. We were never on social assistance, and I was proud of the fact that she didn't need anything.  Sure there were plenty of things we both wanted.  But it was hard.

We were grocery shopping one day, and we were in the produce section, and she looked up at me from the cart with her giant blue eyes, that seemed to sparkle.

"Mommy, can we buy raspberries or blackberries today?"

My mind immediately flashed back to the very same scenario when I was a little girl and the only thing I wanted was berries.

It was late fall, and the berries were most certainly not in season.  I could have bought two bags of apples and a box of oranges for the cost of a pint of raspberries that day.

I smiled at her, and I said, "Yes baby girl. We can buy both."

And I did.  And we got home, and we carefully put all the groceries away.  Then we sat down and we ate all the berries in one sitting.  I didn't care that we had ruined our dinner, or that we ate almost a third of the total grocery bill, in about twenty minutes.  All I saw was her beautiful little face, covered in berry juice.

Now every time I'm at the grocery store, it doesn't matter if she is with me or not. I hear my mother's voice in my head saying "One day when you get older, you will understand that you can't always have luxury items."

You're right Mom.  I can't always get the luxury items.  But I can't take my money with me when I die either.
And seeing her little face, covered in berry juice, and having to wash her berry fingerprints off the table, and the walls and the chair is worth more to me than saving those few dollars ever will.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Why I Decided to Blog


I've never blogged before, but I'm pretty opinionated, so it seemed like a natural progression. 

We were having a discussion - yes, still at work - about why people cheat on other people.  Co-worker 1 says he has a friend that could talk his way out of any situation where is he was caught cheating on his girlfriend.

I should back track. 

This all started because something had come up about one of my ex boyfriends.  He and I met shortly after I moved into a basement suite.  This suite had only a tiny little bar fridge, so my sister put an add online, and he responded.  He even drove 3 hours from out of town to deliver this fridge.

We kept emailing back and forth, he came back into town and we went out.

One thing led to another, and we started dating. He was only able to get into town periodically, but that didn't matter to me. 

11 months later, a friend of mine wanted to see a picture, so I tried to pull up his profile on her smart phone, I found one that looked vaguely like him, but the image was small, so I said I would look it up later and send it to her.

Well I found it. Right along with his second profile.  Sadly for him (and I guess for me too) he didn't have this profile secured.  So due to the freedom of point and click, I was able to find out all about this man I thought I knew so well.

Apparently he left out the part where he was married! with a BABY on the way!

So I did what any other girl would do after finding out the man she thought she loved was married with a whole other life.  I linked to her profile, also not secured.

Funnily enough, she had her personal contact information available. So I called her.

I told her who I was, and why I was calling. Her response?

"You aren't the first, and you probably won't be the last."

WHAT?!?!?!?!

Evidently she had  no problem with the fact that her new husband and father of her child was a cheating liar. In fact she EXPECTED this behaviour from him.  Which is probably exactly why he does it.  It all became very clear why they were together.

What hurt the most was that in the entire 11 months we were together, he didn't slip once.  I had no reason to suspect that there was anything going on. No reason at all.

Why did this come up at work? you may wonder.  I received a call from him, apparently he does business with our company.

After four years, this is something I can look back on and laugh about. We all thought it was pretty funny, and I decided to share it.  We can't figure out why people do the things they do, or what motivates them to strive for the cake while licking the beaters.  Maybe some day, someone, some where, will turn that mixer right back on mid-lick.  We can only hope.