Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Post Christmas Contentment

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to sit back and relax. Probably take some time to digest the massive amounts of food that most of us consumed over the last few days, and prepare for any New Year’s Eve plans we may have.
That is, unless you are like every other person in this city of one million.
Then it’s time to shop.  Shop, shop, shop.
There’s no time to enjoy the gifts that were received, we have to go out and spend money on other stuff.  I mean, those holiday sales won’t last forever.
I’m not condemning it. I got gift cards for Christmas too, and frankly some of the deals that are out there this week are just too good to pass up. 
I went shopping with The Man yesterday. We had received several gift certificates and wanted to take advantage of the amazing bargains. We spent several hours wandering around the mall, being pushed around by other frantic shoppers.
We went to the stores that we didn’t have time to go to before Christmas, maybe get something for next year. We went to the stores we had gift cards for.  We looked in the stores that we wouldn’t normally shop in. We went to familiar stores and looked at things we’ve always just put off or said we would get ‘next time’. We walked and walked through store after store.
And we came home with nothing. 
Aside from lunch at a truck stop because they make the best club sandwiches in the entire world, we didn’t spend anything. We didn’t even get fancy coffees which is really unusual because we get coffee all the time.
I have to admit I was very sad. A whole bunch of family members gave us an opportunity to spend their money on stuff we wouldn’t normally buy for ourselves and we still came home empty handed.
But don’t worry, we’ll try again. And again, and again, until we spend the money, get the best deals and make sure we top up on that holiday shopping cheer. We have to make sure we have enough to remind us why we avoid Christmas shopping to begin with.
Tomorrow I go shopping with Sister.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Decorations

This may be incredibly surprising to learn, but I don't like decorating the Christmas tree. I don't know why. It just seems like so much effort even though I don't even take the lights off of it each year.  We have a fake tree because I think it is terribly wasteful to get a real tree every year. Might smell nice, but I don't think that justifies the eviction of countless forest animals.

This year the tree made it up pretty early in comparison to other years.  It is standing in the living room, by the window. Looking very green.

I had asked The Man to decorate it with the kids but that hasn't happened. Which kinda works out.

The Daughter must have gotten tired of looking at a plain boring tree all the time, so she took it upon herself to make, colour, and hang decorations.

She used construction paper and regular paper and elastics and paper towel and markers and various colours of glitter paint (which makes everything better), and to be perfectly honest I feel that this is the best decorated tree in the whole world and I'm not just saying that because I hate decorating trees and since I didn't have to do it that makes it the best. I'm saying this because she took the initiative to sit down--for an extended period of time--and focus on ONE task.

She told me I couldn't look until she was done.

When she was finished she proudly showed me her homemade decorations.

There are:

  • Four skulls and crossbones
  • Three paper towel ghosts
  • Two candy canes
  • And a picture of a zombie eating a kitten (so she says, I don't think it looks like that, but I'm not going to crush her creativity)
Since then, I have asked The Man a couple more times to decorate the tree with the kids while I am at work, because it would be a good thing for them to do together (since I did it alone last year) and not because I'm at work and wouldn't have to help.

I came home the other night, and it was not decorated. At first I was a little upset. And by a little I mean I was super pissed because I had been asking for over a week, and a week is a really long time, and in my head it was all a conspiracy to see how long it would take before I just did it myself.

Well I'm NOT going to do it. I don't want anyone else to do it either. 

She put a lot of effort and work into these decorations. The ghosts even have happy faces. Yeah, they're happy ghosts. Probably because they get to hang out around a tree and not some creepy house that no one is brave enough to go into and really Christmas is about being together and this lets the ghosts do that.

And frankly, I don't think there are any other decorations in the whole world that better depict the awesomeness that is our family.

Random Incident

This is an actual text conversation between me and The Man the other day while I was at work.

Me: I love you. SOOOO much!

The Man: .... how come? (nice eh?)

Me: Cause you're awesome.

The Man: I love you soooo much too.

Me: I am extremely happy that you used the same number of "o"s as I did.  It's okay that you didn't use an exclamation mark. I know how you feel about them. I even limited myself to one*. Just for you.

Me: SEE how much I love you?

The Man: LOL

Me: Can I buy a llama?

Silence.

*The Man feels that multiple exclamation marks are silly.  I feel that if I use four of them, it means that I am four times as excited about the sentence than if I had only used a period. And even though I was exceptionally excited about my sentence and pretty much everything else happening around me that evening, I restrained myself because that's what you do for people you love.

I didn't end up buying a llama because the website was far too complicated and I had a very limited attention span that evening.  Also, even though it was a charity thing that I was trying to support they wouldn't have given me a tax receipt because I am Canadian. And while it isn't about the tax receipt, it would be nice to get one that says "Thank you for your purchase of a llama".

I did however find e-cards on the same site and I sent three of those, but only two made it to the recipients, which made me sad, but I didn't pay for the cards.

I feel I won.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Vision of My Daughter Dating

I went to check on my daughter while she was sleeping the other night. I do it every night, sometimes she wakes up and we have a sleepy conversation more often she just sleeps through it.
My mind flashed forward 10 years, I wish it was 20 or 30 or 100, but realistically it was 10.
This is how I imagined it will happen:
Knock. Knock. Knock.
The Man opens the door.
Intense silence and stare down time. People find The Man very intimidating. This is a good thing.
Date: “I’m here to date your daughter.”
What the Man hears: “I’m a psycho axe murderer and I’m here for your daughter.” (This is probably what Cheryl Bradshaw’s father/stepfather would have thought if she had actually agreed to date Rodney Alcala after he won the Dating Game. Luckily for her she refused to go out with him even after she chose him to be the winner but then decided he was too creepy.)
Date: “May I come in?”
What the Man hears: “I’d like to scope out your place for future potential illicit activities. IE: Break and Entry or a quick getaway.”
What the Man says: “Come in, have a seat.”
What the Date hears: “Come in, I’m going to cut you.” and the faint click of a shotgun.
The date comes in and sits down, because the Daughter will not be ready, of course .  There is a long awkward silence when I come into the room.
Me: “Would you like something to drink?”
What the Date hears: “I’ve poisoned everything in sight. Good luck.”
What the Date says: “No, thank you.”
What I hear: “I’m way too nervous, and I might pee on your coach.” Which would suck because it’s not actually our couch it belongs to The Man’s sister and I don’t think she would appreciate having some strange boy who was attempting to date her niece urinate on it.
What the Man hears: “I’d rather just take your daughter and leave it takes a long time to dismember a body and I kinda wanna get to it.”
The Daughter then comes down the stairs.
What the Date says: “You look fantastic.”
What I hear: “Your daughter is beautiful.”
What the Man hears: “I’m going to cut her into little bits so her beauty never fades.”
They then leave after I take a dozen or so photos to remember this moment in my little girl’s life.
What I think: “They look so cute. I hope I don't have to take a hit out on him later.”
What the Man thinks: “I’m going to tell Trina I’m going out to the store, and I’m going to follow this little punk and the moment he tries anything I’m going to pounce like a tiger (roar!!!!) and he’s going to be in for a world of pain and that will be a lesson to every other low life scumbag who tries to ‘date’ her.”
What the Date thinks: “Holy crap, she gave me the right information. I’m the luckiest guy in the whole world.”
What the daughter thinks: “He is the luckiest guy in the whole world.”
More likely The Man will meet up with the Ex and they’ll both follow them around then the Date will have Dad and Step Dad just hoping for him to do something really dumb.
Like pay for her movie/dinner or hold a door open.

Best Bus Ride. Ever. So far.

I got on the bus today which was busier than on the weekdays but then it could be because everyone who works downtown on the weekdays probably doesn’t start in the afternoon so there are fewer people, but on the weekend when most people don’t work they apparently take the bus downtown to do other stuff.
There was an elderly Asian woman probably in her late seventies if I had to guess who was standing near the front. The ride proceeded as usual, until this woman started to sing. She sang “The Sound of Music”. At full volume.
But she didn’t know all the words to the song, so she would mix the words with other songs like “How do you Solve a Problem like Maria” but she kept the tune to “The Sound of Music” which was awesome, because the words don’t match at all and it makes the brain wonder “WHAT IS GOING ON?”
After a few songs – at full volume, she then moved on to singing hymns and started yelling about God. When it appeared that no one was listening to her, she began to spell the words. C-h-r-i-s-t is K-i-n-g, just in case we weren’t sure which Christ she were talking about because it is always best to cover your bases when on a bus filled with people of different ethnicities and probably different beliefs. It's your R-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y.
She would switch between singing hymns and yelling at the atmosphere “he is the only way to happiness” and “he is the only king” and “we must put our trust in him to be saved” all in a sing-song voice in mostly English words with an Asian accent to the tune of “The Sound of Music”.
As the bus slowed she made her way to the front, stopped, and turned to face us all.
She then raised her shopping bag filled arms in what I can only assume was her best impression of Jimmy Swaggart during a faith healing frenzy. She spoke so quickly that I wondered if she had begun speaking in tongues.


She looked serious—not like “hello! I'm trying to save you...” but more angry like “why must I always be surrounded by evil-doers who don’t pay attention when I sing songs with the wrong words to the wrong tune and all must perish."
Then exited the bus to a notable lack of applause.
I was left completely uncertain if she was blessing us all with her spirit or if she were casting us all to the fires of eternal damnation as unbelievers.
Best. Bus. Ride. Ever.
The whole time part of me was waiting for someone to tell her to sit down and be quiet or for someone to pick a fight because they were offended with what she was saying.
Another part of me was all like “wow, good for you.” It takes an incredible amount of courage to speak about your beliefs with anyone, let along sing them in the wrong tune to a bus full of strangers.
Now I have “The Sound of Music” score stuck in my head but that’s okay because I really like that movie and I’m sad that I only have it on VHS, when I was sure I bought it on DVD but I can’t find it so maybe I dreamed that I did but after today I’m going to have to go get it for real. Because it is awesome.

Monday, 12 December 2011

All Grown Up

I’m an adult. This is new.
I mean I’ve known about it for some time, I’ve been able to vote for over a decade and I drive a car and I pay bills and I have my own credit report.  So I knew I was an adult but it didn’t really hit me until very recently.
A friend of mine wanted to get together and go for dinner or a movie or a pub where I could watch her drink or something, just out. I was unable to accept this very open invitation because of ‘stuff’.
Stuff includes work and getting the Child to school and being there when kids get home from school and Christmas shopping and doing laundry and washing dishes and bathing the Child—and relaxing.
Yeah, relaxing counts as doing something. 
She was all like “what’s your plan?” and my honest response was “relaxing” and she understood. Have some tea and read a book. With chapters and no pictures.
Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead relaxing. Relaxing meant going to the club and letting off steam, or going for drinks with friends, or sleeping until two or five-ish in the afternoon. Relaxing didn’t mean having tea and staring at a wall, but I’ll do that now.
I’ll just sit. Like a cat. And stare. At the wall. I’m not sad or depressed or easily seduced by the pattern the lights make on the walls, okay well sometimes it happens but for the purposes of this we’ll say I’m not. I’m lost in thoughts. Real thoughts. Thoughts about adult stuff.  Like global warming and utility bills and “M” rated video games.
I never thought I would say things like “turn the music down” or “can’t you just sit still?” or “act like a normal human being, why do you have to skip everywhere you go?” But these are all things I find myself saying to my child. I used to listen to loud music and skip, I don’t remember when I stopped doing it.
I don’t understand how she gets bored when she isn’t doing anything.  I would love to have nothing to do. There is always something that needs to get done, oh don’t get me wrong,  I’ll procrastinate and I’ll avoid it like the plague, but it’s still there. It’s still something that needs to be completed. Sooner or later.
I even think twice when asked “wanna go drink?” I think about going to the bar or the pub and then I think about how much less it would cost to just buy liquor and drink it at home. Not to mention how much quieter it will be.  And if I decided to drink myself into a stupor, I don’t have to even think about how I’m going to get home.
I’m an adult.  But I can still stay up as late as I want for no good reason because no one can make me go to bed because I’M THE BOSS OF ME.
Unless I’m at work.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Awesome Socks: They're Awesome

There are relatively few things that will make me exceptionally happy. And by relatively, I mean not a lot of things at all.
One of these things is socks. Not just socks, awesome-socks.
They make me far happier than I ought to be considering they’re just socks, but don’t tell them that because the dryer monster already kidnaps enough of them and I wouldn’t be able to handle run-aways as well.
Anyone can scurry down to the store and pick up a six pack of white socks that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about seriously awesome socks.
I have dozens, literally, and none of them are the same.
I have socks with bats or cats or witches. Socks with stripes or dots or zebra patterns.  Rainbow zebra pattern. There’s a pair of socks that have black leopard print on them, but those aren’t mine and I don’t know where they came from and it would be really weird to wear someone else’s awesome-socks.
The Man doesn’t understand my awesome-sock happiness. He doesn’t understand how I can go out shopping all day long and come back with nothing more than five new pairs of awesome-socks and be pleased about my productivity for the day.
To be fair, I usually come home with lots more stuff, I also really like shoes and purses and bags especially ones with lots of pockets. My point is; if I ever did come home with nothing but five pairs of awesome-socks I would be okay with that.
I have socks with baby chicks, frogs, ladybugs, army camouflage in various colours, and skulls. I have super bright socks in yellow, orange, green, pink and blue.
The plainest pair of socks I own are all black but made out of super fluffy short-cropped-pseudo-boa material.  I don’t know if that is what they are actually made out of but I can’t think of another way to describe them.
My best pair of socks are jail striped knee highs with Jack Skellington on them.  My sister bought me those when she was down in Disneyland.  In fact Disneyland has an entire store dedicated to awesome socks. She took pictures.
The Man immediately told me I couldn’t go. I can’t even go if I have an awesome-sock budget.
I think he secretly wishes he had awesome-socks so he could share in my awesome-sock joy. Which I can understand because all his socks are white, gray, or black, and while that’s functional it’s also less awesome.
But that’s okay because I’m sure when no one is around my awesome-socks hold support meetings for less fortunate socks that are awesomely-challenged so they don't commit sock suicide.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas Cheer and Entitlement

I was out Christmas shopping today, mostly for the kids, though I did buy myself something. I won't say what it is because it'll make me jump like 10 more points on the geek-o-meter or more.  The point is, I was waiting to get through an aisle, and it dawned on me.

I was the ONLY one waiting my turn. People were pushing and shoving and the store wasn't even really that busy, people would actually move other carts and not say anything.  One of these same people actually shoved a child out of the way so that they could get a better look at something they didn't even end up putting in their basket. They didn't apologize, or help the child up, or even look remotely remorseful about the fact that they just provided a life lesson to a very impressionable individual.

Push people around. You'll get what you want.

I really hope that person is or one day will be one of my readers. Yeah, I saw you.  You're getting coal from Santa this year, my pushy friend, and probably every year after for the rest of your life, until you can open your own coal store and the little kids that you pushed around will all be environmentalists who will have you shut down for ruining the earth and then you'll be on the street and everyone will push you around. You deserve it.

Typically Canadians are the politest people around.  We apologize when someone bumps us. But when Christmas comes around —look out! We turn into after-midnight-over-fed-gremlins. Yeah, and we'll push kids around to get what we want.

Remember a few years back when the Tickle-Me Elmo doll came out or those creepy Furby things, and people DIED during the shopping frenzy? They died! And it was probably someone related to Mr. I'm-gonna-shove-a-child I saw earlier.  Merry Christmas, I killed someone in your family so I could get a ridiculous doll that was the least popular item by Easter but I don't feel bad about it because I-GOT-THE-DOLL.

This is what Christmas has become. A show of I'm bigger and I have more money, so I can push others around (even kids!) because I'm more entitled to that item than the average person who has to work like mad to make ends meet.

All year long, we teach our children to respect others and to treat others the way they would want to be treated. To care for those who are less fortunate.  We all like to talk about Christmas being the season of giving, about good will towards men and all that, but that's not the case.

Christmas is a free-for-all, we'll talk a good show and we'll even donate to the local church or to the food bank, but if anyone gets in the way of the newest fad item this year, we'll cut you.

It makes me sad that I'm raising two, soon to be three children in a world where full grown eligible voters have no problem pushing kids around to see a toy on a department store shelf.

You know what, those kids are going to grow up and have the final say in what sort of establishment passes for an acceptable nursing home.  Those kids are going to grow up and make laws about what senior citizens can and can not do.

So maybe just maybe pushing around the people that are going to be running this country when you are sitting in adult diapers is not the best plan in the world. Just sayin'.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sticky Note Destiny

I have this quirk about paper.  I like it.  A lot.  Probably an inappropriate amount.
But I don’t feel that it’s unhealthy.  I mean paper comes from trees and trees were living and there are lots of people that chain themselves to trees so that loggers can’t chop them down and make stuff out of them.  I don’t do that.  I don’t chain myself to the photocopier to keep people from making copies.
I do, however, get moderately upset when static in the machine causes blank pages to come out with the pages that were printed and people just throw those pages in the trash. 
They get angry at the paper because there are blank papers every second page of their five hundred page (single sided) PDF, because “looking at the screen hurts their eyes”.  They should be getting mad at the copier. It’s the copier that is creating the static that causes those papers to stick together.
The paper didn’t ask to be attached siamese-twin style to a page that gets printed on.  And throwing that blank page in the garbage is denying it its paper destiny.
Years and years ago, a seed began to sprout and grow into a really big tree. There it was minding its own business when loggers came along and chopped it down because the tree-hugging hippies didn’t find it worthy of saving.  After that, it went to the lumber mill, so on and so forth it becomes paper.
That paper is then packaged up with more paper, and sent to businesses where we photocopy pictures of our hands because it entertains us.
The least we could do is put those blank pages back into the photocopier so that they can fulfil their paper destiny.
Tinkerbell thought it would be amusing to put sticky notes on my jacket.  This didn’t bother me at all until I discovered that they were blank. He didn’t even write on them or draw little smiley faces or tell me what an awesome job I’m doing.
He robbed these little sticky notes of their sticky note destiny.
So I saved them.  I pulled off each piece of fluff, fuzz and hair, and wrote sticky note protests directed at Tinkerbell and how he was not respecting their rights as a once living thing.
Each of the six sticky notes has been given its own voice and I have ensured that their protest will remain heard by using scotch tape to secure them to my file cabinet.  Scotch tape likes being part of a good cause. 

Two Digit Entry - Simplification

I’ve mentioned that I work in customer service.  We have an automated phone system to help simplify things.
There is a step in the system that says:
“Using two digits for each entry; please enter your birth month and year, (then there's an example) followed by the pound sign.”
I feel that these instructions are pretty clear.  There’s even an example.
But it never fails. Someone will be transferred over saying that the automated system will not accept their birthday.
“I’m sorry to hear that. What did you enter?”
“My birthday.”
“Yes, what numbers did you enter into the phone?”
“04-26-1875.* That’s my birthday. Should I have put the date before the month?”
“No, it’s asking for two digit entry for birth month and year.”
“But I entered my birthday.”
“Yes, however the system is only asking for the month and year.”
“Oh! So I should enter 04-1875.” (Statement, not question).
“No, the system is asking for two digit entry for the month and year. So you would enter 04-75. For April, 1875.”
“Okay, so what do I do now?”
“Once you hang up with me, call the same number back and follow the prompts on the phone.”
“I have to go through that all over again?!”



*Please note, this is a completely arbitrary date. This does not refer to any particular instance of this happening. To my knowledge I have never talked to anyone born in 1875.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Brain Battle. I lost. Or did I...?

I was up late the other night, very late, really, really very late, and all I could think about was maintaining my funniness levels.  I had this entire internal dialogue going with my brain about how staying up late would or would not help my blogging abilities.
Me: What if people stop thinking I’m funny, and they determine I don’t deserve to have webspace.
Brain: Your pages hits are getting higher every day, I don’t think that is the case.
Me: But what if I’m having an off day and I write something no one thinks is funny?
Brain: Has that happened yet?
Me: No, but it could happen.
Brain: We can figure it out tomorrow, it’s time to sleep.
Me: No, I have to figure this all out now.
Brain: It’s 2:30 in the morning, seriously?
Me: When else would I think about it?
Brain: I don’t know, maybe during the day like normal people.
Me: Have you met me?
Brain: Way off the point. It’s late, time to sleep.
Me: Can’t sleep, I have to think about this now.
Brain: You can think about that in the morning. Now we sleep.
Me: No, in the morning I have to think about getting Child ready for school.
Brain: Okay, think about it when she is at school.
Me: No, then I have to think about other stuff. Right now is the ONLY time I can think about this.
Brain: Is not.
Me: Is too.
Brain: No, it’s really not. You need to get sleep.  Do you think you’ll be able to produce anything anyone will want to read if you deprive me of sleep?
Me: Maybe.
Brain: No, you won’t. I’ll be too tired to make coherent sentences.
Me: Maybe people think that’s funny.
Brain: Unlikey. I’m shutting down now, good luck thinking about anything without me.
Me: Don’t go yet…! We need to think about this!
Brain: Muahahahaha…. Zzzzzzz
Turns out, you really do need your brain to cooperate in order to get anything done. Especially when it involves a lot of thinking stuff. 
Also turns out my brain was pretty serious about not helping me that night, after the brain shut off, the subconscious kicked in and I had to endure dreams about people hating me for not being funny.
Maybe subconscious and brain are working together to teach me a lesson, but really I doubt that'll work. In the end, I just ended up with one more thing to write about. So maybe I did win after all.