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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Scientific Proof

So, during my time off last week I happened to view a TV program which proved my lifelong conjecture about my wieght.  I have always contended that I am just too short for my weight - basically, I am vertically challenged while being horizontally enhanced.  There just had to be something to my weight vs. height conondrum.  Well, this show proved I was on to something - and long before I got the proof.

What this doctor contends is that short (petite) women CANNOT lose weight like tall people.  Our centre of gravity is lower and we are pulled closer to the earth by gravity  making weight loss a bit of a tug of war between our bodies and the earth ( I KNEW IT!!!).  So, this doctor has written a new diet book for those of us vertically challenged 'rubenesque' women. 

In the end, now that I am vindicated, I no longer care.  Who am I trying to impress?  The drug dealer?  The stalker?  The Spy? The alcoholic gun collector?  I mean really, the time for me meeting anyone sane who would give a crap about my waistline has passed.  And quite frankly, I am pretty happy living my life as it is.  I cannot even imagine sharing my bathroom let alone allowing some schmuk to pick off my plate during dinner or eating my popcorn during a movie.  Chances are he would lose a finger anyway.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas season!  That's right, I said CHRISTMAS.  Not "holiday" season.  It is Christmas - period.  Don't like it?  suck it up sunshine cause I am a horizontally enhanced woman with the last bit of chocolate and no more leftovers.  Basically, I am on the edge.

  Thank goodness I had the kids for 3 days before Christmas otherwise I would have had no real holiday time.  I picked them up on the Sunday prior and we spent the next few days visiting the Christmas German market, Bright Lights at Stanley park, decorating my tree, playing in the park, visiting Granville Island and feeding ducks.  It was wonderful.

We made candles and decorated cookies at the market.  We sat with Santa in the park and wandered around a truly wonderful light display.  We watched movies and Christmas shows and stayed up late eating junk food.  I had some great pictures of the kids feeding the ducks who came right up and ate from their hands. Lexie and Xavier actually had one let them pet it. Something happened with my camera and I am not sure where they went.

It was a wonderful time.  By the time I took them home Tuesday night, they were exhausted and were sound asleep before I even hit the highway.  Not sure my children like it when I bring the kids home so cranky and tired.  oh well, they will understand when it is their turn.  Besides, my parents used to do it to me whenever they had the girls.

The oldest children came back with the grandkids on Friday.  We had Christmas dinner - no smoke detectors went off so it was a win - and we opened gifts.  It was a very nice time.

Saturday morning I woke up a bit disoriented.  My head was the size of a basketball and filled with fluid.  My ears were ringing and I was pretty sure I should be updating my Will.  Suffice to say, I went back to bed and stayed there until this morning - 4 days later.  It was a very quiet Christmas needless to say.  I ran out of food by Sunday.  I was not a happy camper. 

I had to crawl out of bed this morning to make my way to work.  There is no one to cover for me as everyone else is on holiday.  It's not so bad really.  I have a bottle of cough syrup that I am swigging directly into my mouth.  Turns out, I approve just about anything on this stuff.  My rule today - if it won't kill me, I don't give a crap - do whatever you want. 

Anyway, I am hoping to be better by friday.  I am taking my youngest child to dinner and a movie to enjoy a joint birthday and Christmas celebration.  If I am still alive on Saturday, I just might stay awake until midnight and bang some pots and pans to ring in the new year.

Stay tuned and happy New Year to All and to all a Good Night.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The 50's have a rough start

With great expectation, I looked forward to the beginning of a new decade.  I have heard that the 50's are now the new 40's.  Since my 40's were actually pretty wonderful (all things considered), I could quite enjoy that decade again.

Turns out this is a lie.  Those who are saying that 50 is the new 40 are quite obviously skillful liars who are in their 30's.  Just wait, you little buggers, you will get yours!

I have now been 50 for exactly 23 days (I considered not including weekends as I tend to nap my way through those two days.  Do you really age while you sleep?).  Of those 23 days, I felt 40 for exactly 5 of those days - Nov. 25 - 28 - on a high from birthday celebrations and December 4th, the Santa Claus parade .

Recap:  November 29 - Dec 3 - see previous posting on trip from hell.  I was cold, cranky, tired, frustrated, angry and in constant pain from perpetual headache
            December 4 - broke my tooth.  See posting of dentist who did root canal on wrong tooth and split it.  Well, now it is broken right in half.
            December 5 -  10 - IT department at work has it in for me.  AND I got sick.  If someone told me I had the black plague, I would not have been surprised.  Our home goes up for sale and we only found out due to for sale sign out front.  We have a deceitful landlord.
           December 11 - 12 - Had wonderful time visiting family for advance Christmas fun and follies.  Still not feeling quite up to snuff and travelling on the BC ferry system makes me want to poke my own eyeball out with a sharp fork.
          December 13 - got my heel caught on the edge of my vehicle step and fell out of the truck onto the pavement in garage tearing a hole in my pants and getting bloody knee and bruised ego.  Not even drunk.  Too bad, might not have hurt as much
        December 14 - had horrible Christmas wrapping event which caused me to break three nails all at once on my perfectly manicured fingers. 
       December 15 - Payroll forgot about me again.  WTH??????  They promise to fix immediately but I am left with twitch above my left eye.
      December 16 - GIANT annual Christmas zit forming on my chin.  Ok, so this should make me feel younger since zits tend to happen during puberty.  However, I was informed by the girl performing my birthday facial that now I am getting hormornal zits.  Great.  Real nice.  First the hot flashes, the night sweats, the peeing when I laugh, the beard that is filling in nicely and now zits.  I am quite the catch.  Betcha can't wait to see who I finally land who is willing to overlook these issues.

So, now that I am done with my whining, I can tell you I am actually very excited about this coming week.  I fully expect to feel young again - until it is over and I crawl into my bed to sleep for three days as I recover.

I am off now until after Christmas.  Yehaa!  I will pick up my favorite grandchildren on Sunday morning and we will set about moving my living room furniture to fit my tree.  We will then decorate the house and build our gingerbread house.  We will stay up late watching cartoons and have sugar coated cereal for breakfast (more zits to come from that I imagine).  We will ride the Christmas train at Stanley park once it gets dark and we will visit the German marketplace where I will pay the children to try some borscht.  I am very excited.

After I awaken from my three days of sleep, it will be Christmas.  I still need to decide what to cook.  While I am admittedly a disaster in the kitchen, I can do a couple of things well - Turkey, Roast beef (ok, some would debate that but the gravy usually works out well) and ham.  Perhaps I do a roast for Christmas eve, Ham on Christmas day and Turkey at Easter.

Stay tuned.  The next few days will be a blast.

H

Monday, December 5, 2011

Have To Learn To Temper The Fun

Given who I am and how much doo doo seems to happen around me, I have always tried to live by a simple rule:  Never let them (the overseers) see you having too much fun.  If you are discovered too happy or having too much fun Karma will come down and strike you with a foot up the ass and wipe that silly grin right off your face.  This is a simple fact of my life.  This rule has proven itself yet again and I have a sore ass as proof.

As you have read I had a pretty incredible birthday weekend last week.  I had almost too much fun and the silly grin stayed on my face for a full 48 hours AFTER I returned home.  Because of that, I forgot the rules and paid the price this past week with the trip from hell.  It was soooo bad that I was ready to cave - jump out of the plane, quit my job, start dating the drug dealer, dye my hair black and become a Walmart Greeter.

Tuesday, November 29th - started off nicely.  I arrived at the airport on time and was energized and ready to go.  My cab driver didn't try to take me on the scenic route nor did he give me whiplash with his lead foot driving.   I was still smiling as I was frisked at security and they felt up my pant legs.  This was ok as I remembered to shave the night before.  I settled in for a 95 minute flight to Edmonton.  It was uneventful.  I was lulled into a false sense of security for the doom to come.  I landed and made my way to the car rental counter.  "I am sorry Ms. Millar but due to the weather, we have come up short on cars.  However, if you don't mind waiting about 60 minutes we are expecting one to be returned that we can give you."  Uh Oh.  "So, Ms Car Rental lady, reservations are optional?  I have a confirmation number right here that says you owe me one car."  "Please have a seat Ms. Millar and we will sort this out and just as an FYI, I don't react to sarcasm".  Just great, that's all I have in my bag of tricks.  While waiting I also checked with the other car rental places in the airport - nada, nothing doing.  Approximately 65 minutes later I was told my car was ready - did I want GPS?  Of course I did, I had reserved it.  Jeez.  90 minutes after landing and 30 minutes late for my meeting, I was on the road.  The GPS was great - unless I drove through fog.  Suffice to say I managed to attend my meeting and all went well for the next 4 hours.  I arrived at my hotel safe and sound.  They had a Mr. Mike's for me to settle into for dinner.  I ordered a Mike burger.  Turns out I wore most of my Mike Burger.  I had planned on wearing that suit the next day.  Oh well.

Wednesday November 30th -  Up at 3:50am as I had to be on the road by 4:30 to be at the airport for boarding at 6:30am.  Remember, in actuality it was 2:50am BC time.  It had snowed all night and I was 50KM from the airport.  Turns out GPS also does not work during a snowfall - even a gentle one such as this one.  I got lost twice.  That annoying voice made my fingers curl on the steering wheel and the hair on my arms stand up and do the hokey pokey.  I was like OJ running through the airport with my shoes in my hand as I arrived with seconds to spare after going through the normal security routine of being felt up by strangers.  I was the second to last to board.  And then we sat.  And we sat and then we sat some more.  The pilot came on after about 90 minutes to state that we were still in line for de-icing.  After another 35 minutes we were finally pushed back and made our way to the de-icing trucks.  I let out a sigh of relief as they began.  We were then surprised by the fact that after only about 2 minutes of spraying the trucks drove away.  The Pilot then got on the loudspeaker laughing (he was the only one) and saying they had run out of fluid and were going for a fill-up.  He assured us we would be on our way in about 45 minutes. 
We arrived in Calgary 3 1/2 hours late.  I was to stay on the plane to Regina.  I waited as patiently as I could as the new folks boarded.  Imagine my surprise as we sat and then sat some more before the loudspeaker announced we had a problem.  The luggage did not match up to the passengers.  Suffice to say it took another 3 hours while they did roll call - twice, reviewed everyone's boarding cards (mine had my gum in it) and unloaded all the bags and put them back on.  I turned my blackberry back on so I could cancel my meetings in Regina.  Obviously I was not going to make them.  The "Air Hostess" (loose translation for this broad) came by and saw me typing furiously and threatened to take it away.  I said that since we were still on the runway and through no fault of my own I had to make arrangements for missed appointments.  She said too bad, put it away.  I ended up locked in the bathroom furiously typing messages.  I happened to ask if the hotel I was booked into for that night was close to the airport since I had a 7am flight to Winnipeg in the morning.  I was informed that the "hotel" that I had been booked into was a biker bar and people die there.  In fact there were 2 murders the week before.  Back to the bathroom and more furious typing as I asked the person who books my trips to "GET ME THE HELL OUTTA HERE".  I made it to Regina 7 1/2 hours after boarding in Edmonton.  I could have driven.  Hell, I could have strapped on a pair of skis and made it quicker.  My ass was hurting.  I made it to the baggage carousel to await my suitcase.  I waited and then I waited some more.  Sadly, I was not at all surprised to discover it did not make the same trip I did.  I just looked at the WestJet lady and shook my head.  Her response was to give me $50 (5 X $10) lunch coupons to be used in the airport.  Having limited choices I had a Kitkat, Coffeecrisp, clorets, pineapple chunks and water.  My booking agent was able to get me on the next flight to Winnipeg rather than spend the night in Regina.  By the time I got there it was just after 8pm.  I must have looked really bad as even my cabbie said "Are you alright Madam?  Do you need a doctor?"  Crap.  I dragged my sorry butt into the hotel and spent the rest of the evening laying on my stomach.

Thursday December 1st - a clear, crisp rather cold day dawned.  Everything went as planned.  I made both meetings and they went well.  I was very pleased (see above - too happy with a big grin).  I made my way to the airport for the flight to Toronto.  I had a great seat with lots of leg room.  I was pretty happy.  My distress started when I noticed that we were about 30 minutes late being pushed from the gate.  It rose as we passed the hour mark.  The Captain then announced that some warming part on the wing failed the test and so they had sent someone out to find a new part.  We waited another hour before another announcement.  They found the needed part however it was about 50 minutes away in another hanger off the airport.  Almost three hours later we were pushed back from the terminal.  As we were headed for the runway we came to a stop.  That's about the time I was ready to try to flush myself down the toilet in an effort to get off the effing plane.  Turns out all that waiting caused us to ice up and now we had to wait for the de-icer.  Suffice to say that I should have pulled up to my hotel in downtown Toronto at about 8pm.  Instead I arrived shortly after 1:00am.  They had given away my room.  Of course they had.  However, they would upgrade me to a suite.  Finally, some good news!  Until I went into the bathroom and noticed someone else's hair in my bathtub and a used emory board on the floor.  I called downstairs and told them that while I was not going to move that night I did fully expect to smell nothing but bleach upon my return the next afternoon.  I had to be in Mississauga at 8am.  I had a car coming at 7:15 and a wake up call for 6:15am.  I was exhausted.  It must have been around 2am when I finally fell asleep.  I awoke to complete disorientation around 5am.  I couldn't figure out where I was and why there were people talking in my room.  Turns out the putz before me had set the TV to come on automatically at 5am.  I made my way downstairs around 5:30am and told the consierge to cancel my wake-up call.  "Really, why?"  I am afraid the sarcasm kicked in rather quickly.  "Really?  I am STANDING right in front of you!  Do you want time to think about why I don't need a wake up call?" 

The rest of my stay in Toronto was somewhat uneventful save for one thing.  Friday night was the staff Christmas party.  I am guessing they wanted to see how I would react to being lost in a strange city.  (and I mean strange literally).  I had the wrong address and what should have been a 10 minute cab ride and approximately $12 turned into a 35 minute $31 ride.  At one point my very nice cabbie said he would go inside this place and ask directions.  "I will keep the car running.  Keep the doors locked and you might want to keep your head down and your electronics out of site."  Well, you can imagine how safe I felt.  Finally arrived and had three glasses of wine and some sort of meat and headed back to my room by midnight.

Saturday December 2nd - I was heading home!  Yeah!  I wanted my own bed and bath.  It was a winner of a day.  We were only delayed 40 minutes.  It was a win!  I got home 6 1/2 hours later and dragged my sorry ass to a cab for the final few metres home.  I got home about 7:30pm and collapsed on my bed.  My fav. wee man called me and said he and his sisters were looking forward to Sunday.  I agreed to be there for 9am.  They needed to dress warmly and be ready to go.  It was going to be a big day!

Sunday December 3rd - I have been taking the kids to the Santa Claus parade for the last 7 years.  I picked the children up at 9:am.  They were all set with snowpants, heavy jackets, mitts, toques and boots.  We came back to my place and picked up the food we were donating to the food bank and our big blanket and headed for the train.  We stopped at the grocery store first so we could pick up some picnic items.  Off to the train.  Two stops later we were downtown and in line at Tim Horton's for the rest of our picnic items - extra chees sandwich for Rae, ham & cheese for Lexi and a BLT for Xavier and I.  We each had our own box of Timbits.  Now we were all set.  We just had to find the perfect spot to set up for the parade.  Xavier found it.  He likes to sit on the curb in front of mailboxes and news stands.  This way he has something to lean up against and no one from behind can kick him.  We ate our picnic lunch and played eyespy while we waited for the big guy to arrive. 

Something happened while we waited.  This proves I have the most wonderful grandchildren.  The food bank folks came buy looking for cash donations.  Xavier stood up and took his small bank from his pocket.  He had brought his money so we could go to the store but instead and walked right up to the ladies and said "I would like to give you all my money."  He had $2.52.  I felt my heart swell a bit.  The parade started.  As they made their way past us, a number of participants would throw candy canes, chocolates, stickers and in a couple of cases, toys, to the children in the crowd.  My wee man would scoop them up and make sure that his sisters each had one and then one for himself and then he turned to the children in the crowd behind him who were too far away to get their own, and he would hand out everything else.  Rae and Lexi took notice and they too started to ensure the children around them had treats as well.  My chest swelled with pride.

The children fell asleep on the way home to their parents home.  It had been a full day and they had behaved so well even as we made our way through the crowds of 300,000 to the train ride home. 
By the time I returned home that night exhaustion hit me upside the head like a hammer.  I had not had enough time to recoup after that trip from hell.  It has been most difficult today just trying to stay awake.

Tomorrow I am off on another road trip.  This time it is only 2 days and then I think that is it until the new year.  However, I have a new rule....NO MORE FLYING EAST AFTER SEPTEMBER 30th.

Well, as you can see I have paid a hefty price for being so happy the weekend before.  However, if this is the price for having such a cool birthday, then I am prepared to pay.  However, going forward I will be careful to hide my grin.

These two pictures are of the kids at the parade. 

Stay tuned....I am sure there is more to come.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Forgot to mention

Another great birthday present.

I made my way to the Motor Vehicles department to get my new drivers license.  As I stood at the counter the fellow said (in a rather loud voice) HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  I thanked him and wished this would just move along.  How was I to know he was about to make my day?

"So, Holly, how tall are you", he asked.  "well, since I am wearing heels today, I happen to be 5'3"", I replied.  "And how much do you weigh?"  Really, I thought?  Do you have to ask this?  "Come on, "it's my birthday.  Cut me some slack here," I responded.  "well, how much do you want to weigh", he asked.  It took me all of 1/2 a second to respond "122 pounds".  "Let it be so, and happy birthday!"

He then asked me to move around the corner so he could take my photo.  He had to tell me twice to stop smiling but it was hard.  I was now officially, on a government document, 5'3" tall weighing in at 122 pounds. I haven't been 122 pounds since my first drivers license.  He took 6 photos and let me chose the least offensive.

It was a pretty good experience.  However, I have warned my family that they will now have to do a visual identification should anything happen to me since my description will not match my ID.

Anyway, next time you need your license renewed, might I suggest the cute young guy at the DMV on the corner of Burrard and Georgia Streets in downtown Vancouver.

Cheers

Lucky Lucky Girl


I know I should be answering the 194 emails I received after being off the last couple of days but I just had to post my update.

Well, as some of you might have taken from my recent postings, I had not been looking forward to turning 50.  However, I now have memories to last me a lifetime that had me all verklempt!  I broke my own rule about "no crying allowed".

Let me back up a bit.  As you know, I had the pleasure of lunching recently with old friends and a surprise afternoon visit by one.  Well, on Wednesday the 23rd, I enjoyed the pleasure of being taken to lunch by 3 former Colleagues who I now have the wonderful pleasure of calling friends.  It was fabulous - lobster fettuccine and cake!  What's not to love.

The following morning I turned 50.  I must admit I was a little disappointed when the warranty people did not come knocking at my door telling me my parts had expired.  I fully expected my boobs to have shifted overnight and I would spend the first 15 minutes of my waking trying to pull them back into position.  Imagine my surprise when nothing happened.  No lightening bolts or clash of thunder.  I was just me - only older.  Perhaps a new wrinkle around my mouth but who cares - I don't have to look at it!

I spent the day relaxing, cleaning my bathroom, doing laundry and waiting patiently for when I could leave to go to my eldest childs home for dinner with the family.  5:30pm arrived and we were off!  My brother Kris and I hopped in the truck for the slow crawl through rush hour traffic to go see the kids.  When we arrived I was greeted by excited children saying happy birthday and showing me their decorations - hand made "50's" made of construction paper were hung throughout the house.  As I was being regaled with tales of excitement, my cousin Aly and her husband arrived to join us.  I was so pleased.  Dinner was perfect - spaghetti, salad and cake - perfecto!  I received artwork, a beautiful candle and a pair of earrings that Aly made for me.  It had been a wonderful birthday.

At around 9:30pm, I was picked up by my dad and Joyce for a trip across the border for Black Friday shopping to begin very early the following morning.  I was actually a little surprised to see them since we had experienced a horrid wind storm that day that caused ferry delays.  I was very touched that they would sit at a ferry terminal for 7 hours in the hopes of catching the only boat off the island just to spend time with me shopping.

We were off and running.  After a brief 10 minute wait at the border, we were at our hotel by about 11pm.  We spent a nice evening chatting and checking out dad's legs (that's another story - suffice to say, his look better than mine).  I was very excited at the thought of being part of the excitement of Black Friday.  I had a budget and a credit card - I was good to go! 

After a somewhat sleepless night - Dad snores and I was afraid to so I tried to stay on my stomach all night - not a good position for me - Joyce and I were up at 6:30am and out the door for the short walk to the mall.  By 9:00am, my credit card was on fire and my cash was just about gone.  I had power shopped.  The children will be pleased this year I hope.  Dad joined us at about 10am so we had someone to hold our bags if necessary.  We loaded up the truck and hit the ground running again.  By noon we were all hungry and our feet hurt.  We hit the Red Robin for lunch.  Turns out you get a free burger on your birthday so while we ate, I signed Dad and I up on line (his birthday was earlier in the month) with my handy dandy crackberry.  As lunch neared the end our crackpot of a waiter came up with a birthday ice cream sundae for me.  I thought "how sweet", until the lunatic asked me to stand on my chair.  He, along with the other servers then asked me how old I was  and from the peanut gallery I was sitting with I hear "she's 50!".  I think I heard clanging in my ears about that point - saying it aloud sounded just plain wrong.  However, it was not the clanging in my head that I heard but the shout from our server "Can we have everyone's attention - it's Holly's birthday and she is 50!" and they all started to clap and sing "happy happy birthday." 

Just so everyone is aware - you don't actually die from embarrassment However, deep consideration is given to wishing the floor would open up and swallow you whole!

After lunch we hit the shops again.  I struck it rish in one store.  I bought the softest, coolest purse I have ever seen.  It is a brownish, pumpkiny colour of the softest leather imaginable......wait for it....$16.  Best buy ever!

By about 3pm, we were shopped out and I was reduced to crossing my fingers at the last cash register hoping my card still had room to pay for my final items.  All in all, not badly done.  I even had enough room left on the card for ice cream should I have needed it.

We were off to the next place - the Silver Reef Spa and Casino.  Seems I was booked in for a body scrub and massage, courtesy of my family, for 4pm.  It was wonderful.  I fell asleep on the table.  I know I fell asleep because I snored and my arms fell off the sides and I startled myself awake.  Afterwards, we were to meet in the lobby for dinner.

I came around the corner to find my older brother (contrary to what he tells people, I am NOT the big sister and I wish he would quit introducing me that way) and my sister-in-law Angie (David, don't screw this up, she is a special one) talking with my parents.  After hugs and kisses hello, my father tells me to turn around.  Holy crap and knock me over with a feather - there is my cousin Barb and my Aunt Sandye.  They had come all this way to join us.  What a wonderful surprise.  Dinner that night was full of laughter and fun and I lost the rest of cash in the casino.

The following morning I discovered that everyone else was going off shopping and I was to have a morning facial followed by a swim, a walk and some blackjack.  All in all, a pretty good day.  We were to meet at 6pm for dinner.

I wandered downstairs shortly before 6 to cash out my remaining 75 cents when I turned around to see my Cousin Rob with his lovely girlfriend Karen standing there.  Being the fool that I am and the fact that my mind was stuck in stupid mode, I did not connect the dots right away.  I stood there with my mouth open, not really saying anything except sounds of surprise.  I was amazed at the coincidence of them being here too.  I said the rest of the family was having dinner and they should join us (duh - he must have thought I was the blondest blonde he had the pleasure of knowing).  While I caught up with my big brother and sister-in-law and said "look who's here" (no one gave anything away), I got a tap on the shoulder and I turn around in time to see another cousin, Fred, and his lovely girlfriend.  It finally clicked in and I broke my rule and started to cry like the fool I was.  I was stunned and amazed.  My dad was having a great time laughing at me.  He pointed me into the restaurant and said we were at the very back.  I made my way inside still a little shaken but giddy. (yes, you read right - I said giddy.  Don't worry though, it won't come up again)

I found our table because there was a giant christmas wrapped present at the table.  I had sat beside this present all the way down thinking it was for Joyce's neice who lives nearby.  I thought we were going to drop it off on our way home.  As I was standing there looking at it, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and as I turned, my heart felt like a jackhammer in my chest.  There was my Uncle Don and Auntie Linda - all the way from Pender Island.  They had taken 3 ferries and a bit of drive to come all the way to spend my birthday with me.  I started to cry again.  I felt like a giant goof.  By this point my dad was laughing outright and I was hanging on.  He then whispered in my ear that in about 1 minute I would turn around and see another surprise.  Quite frankly, I wasn't sure my heart could take it.  Lo and behold, I turn around and there was my Uncle Richard and his lovely girlfriend, Lindsay.  I almost couldn't stand anymore - literally.  I had never been so surprised and shocked in all my life!  I was shaking like a leaf.  No one has ever done anything like this for me before.  I was so touched that they all travelled to spend my birthday with me.  I was almost beside myself with happiness.  I was shaking so badly that I had trouble with my knife and fork during dinner - forget about drinking anything, I couldn't hold my glass still. 

It was a wonderful meal with great conversation.  I received gifts of nail products, wine and funny cards - one filled with a $50 bill (yay - I was flush again).  I loved them all.  However, I recieved one very very special gift from Joyce.  She worked on it for 2 years.  Keep in mind, I had long stopped crying and still had some vestige of mascara on.  The last of it was about to come right off and slide down my cheeks.

That christmas wrapped gift held a painting - a special painting, of me and the grandkids on the beach in front of their home on the island.  It is beautiful and my brother Kris has promised to build be a special frame for it.  It is a keepsake I will treasure always.  Just like I will this birthday.

As we all said good-bye the following morning and went our respective ways, I couldn't help but feel like perhaps this decade will be a good one.  I have always felt loved by my family but this weekend, the fact that they all took the time to be with me has made me feel a little humbled, a lot grateful and very very very loved.  Crap, I am ccrying again as I write this - everyone turn away for a moment while I collect myself.

As I said off the top, I am a lucky lucky girl.  Thank you to everyone who put this weekend together - it must have been like herding cats to pull it all off with everyone - and thank you to my family for being there.  I am truly honored and grateful to have been blessed with such a special family.

Since I did not take my camera with me (thinking I was just going shopping), I don't have any personal photo's to attach.  However, I have taken a photo of my painting and of the children's artwork which I have hung on the wall of my office.  take a look and tell me how lucky I am.



Stay tuned.  I am about to head out across the country for a whirlwind trip of Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg and Toronto.  Talk about your hot spots.  I am just a one woman wonder of excitment - what a jet setter!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Do I look like I would know this stuff?

Well, it has certainly been an eventful time of late.

Last week I left work and stopped at the grocery store on the way home.    I was in the pharmacy department picking up some Aspirin (due to my many many tech headaches) and as I walked down the aisle on my way out I was stopped by a fella of about 45 years of age.  I did not pay any attention to what products he was standing in front of.  He stopped me and asked if I could help him out.  I was about to mention that I did not work there when he jumped right in and asked if I could tell him which product was the best to buy.  He then moved aside and and pointed to the product shelf.  "Which is the best for me to buy.  what works best?" he asked.  I found myself staring at a display of condoms.  What on earth made him stop me to ask that question?  What is it about me that makes him think I would have any idea?  Was I wearing my trollop clothes?  Did I have floosy tattooed on my forehead?  A friend of mine said I should have pointed him to the smallest ones and make reference that size doesn't matter.  However, I wasn't thinking that fast as I was mostly stunned, so what actually came out was "how the hell would I know?  I've never bought a condom in my life."  I almost ran down the aisle and out of the store.  Not too swift.  I really hate that it made me embarrassed.

In the 10 weeks or so that I have been in my new position, I feel like I have been run a little ragged, so I am looking forward to a couple of days off to celebrate my 39th birthday.  I am a very lucky woman.  I have been blessed with a most wonderful family a girl can have- parents, kids, grandkids, brothers,  aunts, uncles and cousins - all of them. I have also been blessed with the best friends money can buy :).  Most of my friends live out in the valley where you need a passport to visit or at least 4 hours away in Kamloops where in addition to the passport, I also need a visitors visa.

Well, due to my momentous birthday, I have had the pleasure of having some of these friends taking the time to visit with me.  Last Friday I spent 4 hours sitting in White Spot just eating and talking.  The following day, my friend in Kamloops came all the way to spend an afternoon with me as a surprise.  My daughter helped arrange it.  It was a wonderful surprise.  And today, I spent the entire afternoon with another friend who took the time to get her passport out and hop on the train to come all the way into the city to visit and have lunch as we wandered the city.  Aside from the obvious, what these wonderful women all have in common is the ease and comfort of a perfect friendship.  We may not see one another as often as we would like, but when we do, we can slip right into a conversation like it was left off yesterday.  I don't have many friends but these woman I have chosen carefully for their compassion, caring, truthfulness and trust.  They have been my friends rangings from 20 to 43 years.  A hole would be left if they were not there.   It has been a wonderful birthday celebration. 

I have to admit, I could get used to my birthday celebrations lasting a week.  I have been invited by my grandchildren to dinner on Thursday.  My favorite wee man says he is making me dinner.  I understand my Dad and my step-mother will also be making the trip on the ferry to come spend time with me.  How great is that?  My head is swelling.  Although I am not looking forward to the fact that I will soon get the seniors discount, I am loving the birthday attention.  I have been told to pack a bathing suit, a dress and my passport.  Wonder if I am going to the valley?

After my birthday, I am heading on  a hop-scotching trip across the county culminating in Toronto.  I will be back just in time to partake in my annual Santa Claus parade event with the grandkids.  It has become a tradition that started when my wee man was just 2 years old.  I am not exactly sure who enjoys it more.  We bundle up in blankets and picnic on Tim Horton's while we await the big man.  It is the beginning of the season for me.  We put up my tree and once again attempt a gingerbread house - which never works but makes for great fun.  I have yet to figure out how to make it stand upright.  I even buy the kit that comes with a stand and it still falls over.  I think it would throw a wrench into the tradition if it didn't fall down.

Anyway, must dash so will update after the birthday and the cross country trip.

Stay tuned

Friday, November 4, 2011

Small Children and Old Men

Let me back up two weeks.  I recieved a phone call from my grandson as I sat on a bus on my way home from work (the correct bus this time).  He was requesting that I make the birthday cake for his party the coming Sunday afternoon.  I was very touched.  He said he wanted it like what I did for his sister's birthdays - lots of colors and designs.  We settled on an orange flavored cake, in the shape of a diamond with butter cream frosting in multiple colors with lots of different flowers and designs.  He also invited me to come to his party.  Again, I was very touched and the people on the bus wondering what the hell was wrong with me as I am discussing this on my phone with a tear or two running down my cheeks.

I hopped off the bus at the next stop - in my excitement to get started I did not realize I was 2 stops too early - and made my way to the grocery store with a list in my head of my requirements:  2 Betty Crocker cake mixes (you didnt really think I was doing this from scratch did you?  I love this boy and would never subject him to my "home baking"), 1/2 doz. eggs, canola oil, 2 lbs of butter and 2 lbs of icing sugar and a package of disposable razors.  I also bought another cake tin so I could design a special diamond shaped cake.  I know, this is where most of you would jump in with "why didn't you just bake a square cake and turn it sideways?"  Quite honestly, I was too busy thinking about the invitation to the birthday and the need to bring my swim suit as it was a pool party.  I was going to have to spend the better part of Saturday weed whacking my legs (hence the razors).

Up early on saturday morning, I got all my ingedients ready.  I had the butter out so they would be room temperature when it came time to ice and I set the oven on bake - even got the temperature right on the stove.   I merrily mixed and masted and had a great time as I slid the cake into the warm oven.  I was thinking how quickly time had flown by.  How could he already be 9 years old?  For goodness sakes, his mother was 9 about 10 minutes before!

40 minutes later the house smelled all warm and fuzzy and wonderful.  I opened the door to see if any disaster had befallen me.  I was actually pleasantly surprised to discover the two cakes looked wonderful, had risen properly and were not burnt.  I carefully placed them on my cooling sheets and started preparations for decorating.

I had all my tools laid out, I had mxed and made 4 different icings, I filled 4 piping bags and attached the different styling tools to each one.  I then, very carefully, iced both cakes in plain white icing and cut  the smaller of the cakes to fit the larger, in a diamond pattern.  I was very proud of myself so far as I placed the cakes in the fridge for the undercoated icing to harden.

30 minutes later with tools ready and cake all set, I turn the TV on to my saved recordings of NCIS and set to work.  I worked hard - to the point of hand cramps -  for the next 3 hours decorating my masterpiece.  I was on the last corner, the last flower, the finishing touch.....then it happened.  I have no recollection of how or why.  My cake, my beautiful cake, fell off the edge of the table and landed upside down on my carpet. 

I stood there for a minute in complete and utter shock.  When the shock wore off the horror set in and then the anger.  I let go with a string of words that would shock a sea captain.  In fact it was so bad my brother came up the stairs to see what all the yelling was about.  He stood about 4 feet away and I swear, I saw a smirk on his face before he very wisely said nothing and disappeared back where he came from.  I got down on my hands and knees to survey the mess up close.  Nothing could be saved.  I had to pull myself together, clean up the mess and start again.  It looked like all the Shriners had hopped out of their little clown car and threw themselves face first on my carpet and all their clown make-up rubbed off on my floor.  Did you know that food dyes do not come out of carpet without heavy duty assistance?  Heavy duty assistances costs $16.95 a bottle.

Nothing I could do but head back to the store.  It was now 4pm on Saturday.  I had to deliver the cake for noon the following day.  I was in a bit of a panic but I was on a mission.  2lbs of butter, 2 lbs of icing sugar,  2 cake mizes, 1/2 doz eggs and this time, throw in a tin of merangue powder (since I had used my last on the pervious icing at $11) and heavy duty carpet cleaner.  I was about to deliver the most expensive homemade cake a 9 year old ever recieved.  As I proceeded through the ritual all over again, my mind wandered to thoughts of "did this ever happen to Sara Lee?"  Would he notice if I just bought a Sara Lee cake?  But, this is my favorite wee man in the whole world and he had asked me to do this for him, I wasn't going to let him down.  Needless to say, when I finished the process by midnight on Saturday night, I was very proud of myself.  He didn't get the diamond shape of the previous cake, but he did get a great cake and it was a big hit at the party.

It was a great afternoon as I swam and played with the grandkids.  It made the weed wacking and the cake disaster worth it.

Fast forward now to the other day.  I was minding my own business as I hopped on the train to head downtown for a morning meeting.  The meeting went well and I made my way out of the building and onto my beloved Granville street.  I stood for a moment as I took in the sights and found myself longing to be back in the midst of hustle, bustle and bizarreness of the area.  As I was standing with a silly grin on my face, a man of about 65 or so came up to me with his shoe in his hand.  It took me a minute to realize what was going on.  He was pushing it in my face and in a manner some might think of as threatening, I took as endearing, he was demanding I figure out his laces.  They were in a knot and he couldn't get it out.  He figured that since I had long nails I could help.  I must say, it felt good to be needed.  As I helped him with his shoe, one of my favorites began setting up across the street.  Skinny white rapper dude was back!  And he had a girlfriend.  I felt at home.  I want to go home.  I hate where my office is.  The only stuff that seems to happen around here is people peeing at the side of the highway.

By the way, as I am new to this company, I was invited to participate in a town hall meeting.  Up till now, no one really knew who I was and it was tough getting into some of the offices.  So, the meeting was a place for me to be introduced and I could speak to my mandate and my philosophy.  After what I said, I no longer have any trouble booking meetings.  In fact since that day, my phone and emails have been full of people wanting me to come and see them - sooner rather than later.  Let me give you the gist of my foot in mouth disease and it will become clear as to why they seem to want to see me.

ME: "Thank you for the wonderful introduction and thank you for the opportunity to be here.  As DB stated, I have been around the block a couple of times (he actually said I had been in the industry awhile) and I quite enjoy working at street level".  After the laughter died down I realized how it actually came across "here is our new Director whose been around the block a few times and really enjoys working the streets".

I don't normally let people know my true reputation until they know me better.

Well, thats it for me for now.  Stay tuned.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Where does the time go?

Holy smokes!  It feels like we just had New Years and here we are at Thanksgiving again.  Time has been flying at rates never before seen.  Perhaps you recall your younger years when on the eve of your 12th birthday you were so excited because in just one more year you would become a teenager (and your parents would finally let you stay out after dark).  However, that year seemed to take 3 years to get there.  Then you were a teenager and in just 3 years you would be able to drive.  My God!  Those three years until your 16th birthday took the equivalent of 5.  Time was dragging by so slowly.  Then, you were finally 16 and had some real freedoms.  You could not wait until your 19th birthday when you would be an adult and could get into any bar in the country that you wanted.  Those next three years were the longest ever!  It felt like it took 8 years before you went from 16 to 19.  Now, all you were waiting for was your 21st birthday and you would be legal all over the world - gambling in Vegas was big on my hit parade of "things to do".  How those last two years dragged.  It seemed forever before I turned 21. 

Something happened after that however.  There is something in the cosmic realm that then speeds the world up.  I went from 21 to .........well, not 21.   At 21 plus 1 day someone stepped on the gas and time since then has just picked up speed.  I am pretty sure their foot is stuck on the accelerator.  The years are beginning to pass in something of a blur.  Each decade has gone faster than the last. 

What I can't quite figure out though is how come I barely recall any of it.  I do not recall getting old.  However, my face tells a different story.  I look in the mirror and I see someone else completely.  I still feel like the 21 year old I know I used to be but I seem to have been invaded by body snatchers and they left behind this old woman with gravity issues.  Gravity is no longer my friend.  In fact, I now have to wake up 10 minutes early just to ensure I have enough time to roll my boobs up and put them back where they are supposed to go - in front and up - not on my back and armpits.  I remember sitting in front of the bathroom mirror one day when I was about 13 years old and trying to envision what I would look like when I finally grew up.  All I could come up with was the same me, only taller.  Turns out taller didn't come into play at all.  To this day, I can still fit inside a high school locker.

Did you know you have to make a conscious decision as you age, as a female, on how to sleep if you happen to be sleeping with a partner?  I mean, think about it.  If you are on top then your boobs hang in the right place - in front.  However, your face also falls forward as all the air gets let out.  This means it must be very dark in the room - pitch black.  If you are on the bottom then your face falls back and your skin smooths out and the wrinkles fall away.  However, now your boobs are trying to escape and hide in your armpits.  These are tough choices to make and require careful consideration.  One the one hand, I am glad I am alone.  On the other, I wouldn't mind meeting someone who is ready for the challenge of playing "gravity games - find the disappearing boobs."

Can you tell I must have a birthday coming up?  I am feeling somewhat melancholy over it.  I think this is because I was invited to a very dear friend's 60th birthday party - a surprise thrown by her wonderful children.  She looks absolutely marvelous and to all intents appears to be taking the age in stride - perhaps even revelling in it.  However, on my way to the party, I happened to tell a member of my family where I was going and he reacted with surprise "Wow!  She's really 60?  She sure doesn't look it.  In fact, no offence Holly, but you look older than she does."  Right - no offence taken.  By the way, please send all contributions to my bail fund.  One day I am going to snap this family member's neck and will need to bail myself out of jail.

Well, off to spend a long weekend ordering in Chinese dinner (for which I will be thankful) and watching all my saved up recordings of Burn Notice. (fantastic show by the way).

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Proof of a Tech Underground

I happen to have proof now that there is an underground tech consipracy against me personally. 

At my previous employment I was the brunt of too many to count tech issues.  In my almost 6 years at the firm I was the proud owner of 5 differnet laptops.  Each time I had issues they would send me a "new" one.  This was usually a laptop that was already on its last legs but they would manage to hobble it together and with I am sure were snide giggles amongst themselves decide to send it to me to see how long it would take before I lost my mind.  In one case, I had been having more problems than I could even keep track of and was on the phone daily with the IT department begging for a new computer so I could function.  I was told to just keep 'rebooting' as "it still has plenty of life left."  I did this for a few weeks when one day, I smelled smoke and then saw the sparks and my laptop screen suddenly became the blue screen of death.  I called the IT department and told them of the problem.  They suggested I just let it cool off and try again.  I tried to explain to the little pisher, "it is on fire.  I am pretty sure waiting for it to cool down will have no affect."  The kid wanted to know if I was sure.  I said "the fire is kind of a moot point now.  I threw it in the sik with lots of cold water so as to ensure that the entire office did not go up in flames and then I took it down to the garbage incinerator.  Please send me a new laptop."

Well, in the 10 minutes that I have been with my new firm I have spent 9 of those minutes dealing with the new IT department.  Nothing is working.  I started to do some digging to ensure that none of the former employer's IT techs were now employed with my new employer.  They are not here.  This leads me to believe that there is an underground network working surreptiously to get at me specifically.  I am not paranoid - I have been tested.  I now have proof that they are in business just to make me lose my mind.  Well, I won't let them.  I have decided to fight back.  Everytime I recieved a call today that required me to access any technology, I gave the person calling the phone number of the tech department with the direct line to the last Bozo I dealt with.  I will continue this until they fix my problems - all my problems.  This includes my problems with Telus, my landlord, my children and my oven (which a story in of itself).

Not much else exciting at the moment since I am no longer downtown.  With the exception of this afternoon.  I was looking out my window which overlooks highway 1 at Willingdon and Canada Way.  Out of nowhere this woman jumped from the bushes from the highway side.  At the same time a silver Toyota pulled into the cul-de-sac in front of the office.  She ran toward it and grabbed the back door and tried to open it.  The car took off with a squeal of the tires and pulled to the sidewalk about 100 meters away.  She hurried to the car and again tried to open the back door.  It was obviously not opening.  She then appeared to speak to the passenger in the front seat while trying to open the door.  The next thing I knew she started to swing her bag in the car and kick the side door.  The car sped away.  My guess is the poor woman was short changed on her transaction in the bushes.  But that is just me - not paranoid, just nosey.

Stay tuned for more

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lotsa stuff

So, where do I begin?  Since I last left off I have been a very busy girl.  I had a wee holiday, started a new job, had a trip to Niagara Falls and took the wrong bus to nowhere.

I began my vacation immediately following my last day at my previous employer.  I picked up my wee pack of grandkids for a few days of fun and frolicking at the PNE, Vancouver Island and the water park.  We had a blast at the PNE.  We arrived on a day they happened to have the track open for thoroughbred racing.  We went in to watch a race.  We were at the parade ring as they began saddling up and I made a comment about how number 2 looked jumpy enough to jump right out of his skin.  I said he would most likely do well as we began walking to the rail to watch the race.  As we passed by the betting window, I asked the kids if they would like to each have $2 to bet on the horse of their choice.  Then we would cheer on our horse to win the race.  The kids were excited and having heard what I said 2 of the three chose #2 to win and the third picked #3 and I also liked #6.  We placed our bets.  I bet on both #2 & #6.  We then took our place at the rails and cheered and yelled and holy cow!  We won!  They came in - 2, 6, 3.  The kids won $11.70 each and I won $47.40.  Not a bad way to start.  However, I may being paying for this for years to come.  Dragging the kids out of there after they won was only accomplished by the promise of ice cream and the superdogs show.  I have created the next generation of gamblers.  Oh well, given their genetics it would have happened sooner or later anyway.  I must tell you though, that money was burning holes in their little pockets.  After a very very very long day at the fair it was home to bed as we had to get up early to head for the ferry and a campout in the great grandparents back yard. 

We had a blast on the island.  However, a wee glitch when it was mentioned to the children that they may need a horn to scare away any racoons that might try to get into the tent during the night.  They clung to me so tightly when I got into the sleeping bag I could barely breath.  We spent out time playing on the beach collecting shells before the tide came in and when it did, we piled into cars and headed off to another beach and water park for a picnic.  What can I say, it was fun to watch and play all day.  As we packed up and headed to the ferry for the ride home the kids began asking when we could return.  Great Grandparents have better toys than grandparents.  Silence fell in the car and snoring began before we had even turned the corner.  They awoke with renewed energy for the ferry ride home - just as mine was waning.  The following day was spent at the water park on Granville island.  My energy level was most certainly ebbing as we made our way home at the end of the day.

As I drove away from my daughter's home after dropping the kids back, my personal holiday began.  I had 4 days of reading and relaxing ahead of me and I was looking forward to it.  I finished 2 books just in time to pack a suitcase and head to Niagara Falls on the Saturday to begin my new job.

The Falls themselves are beautiful.  The town is about the tackiest place I have ever seen?  What to dinosaurs have to do with the falls?  There were at least 4 places regarding pre-historic times.  Also, along with Ripley's Believe it or Not, there were too many horror shops to count.  What's up with that?  Personally, the only correlation I can see is between horror and the many folks who go there to get married or honeymoon.  I know I equate marriage to a horror movie but hey, that's just me.  It's not like I'm bitter or anything - just stating facts.  It's no one's fault but mine that I married idiots.  But I digress.

The first night was fun and easy - dinner and conversation with my new boss.  The next day I was given a tour of the place by a new collegue.  On the surface, this was fine.  However, when I went to pay for lunch, I lost my wallet.  It appears when I went to replace it in my purse, I missed it altogether and my black wallet fell onto the black bench in a darkened corner of the Hard Rock Cafe.  When I discovered it missing, I ran back and the Hostess kindly handed it to me - minus the cash inside.  Oh well, live and learn - pay attention and reminder to buy bright pink wallet.

The evening was a welcoming reception and opening to the National Wealth Conference.  I had brought my best dress for the occassion.  Since I was about to meet 400 new people, I needed to make a good impression.  I did my hair and make-up and was relatively pleased with the results.  I stepped into my dress and slid the zipper up the side.  As I was about to take a twirl in front of my mirror I felt a draft.  I looked down to see that while I had indeed zipped up, my zipper did not actually function as a closing device.  It was broken.  The draft was the air coming in and playing along the fat roll of my belly.  Not a good impression.  After changing clothes, the rest of the evening went well.

To make a long story shorter - the following also happened:  1) the iron in my room spilled rust out on my new blouse that I was ironing to go with my new suit so I could make a good impression on the first day of conference. 2)  lost bank card when leaving hotel in a hurry.  3)  lost shoe on ride at Marine Land during adventure night with fellow conferencees.  4)  missed bus back to hotel  5)  ate $12 hotel room cashews because I slept through dinner one night  6)  had horrible head cold that turned to flu and spent one afternoon throwing up in my room.

Other than all that - it was a fun trip.

I am now on day four in my new office.  It's an ugly office in an out of the way place that requires some effort to get to.  However, it will not be for long as the lease is up soon and as per my contract, I have a say in where we move to.  Having tried public transit for the first time today, it cannot be soon enough.

So, we are up to today.  It started off well.  My brother is heading over to the island for a few days and I assured him he could take the truck as I am sure I could figure out transit all by myself (remember, it only took me three minutes by transit at previous employer).  How hard could it be?  Well, it started as the #84 bus to a different train station where I would then transfer after a 10 minute or so ride, to the train.  I would then depart the train about 10 minutes later at Brentwood Mall and catch "any" bus (I was told " any " being the key word) as they all go down the hill from that station to where I wanted to go.  I want the name of that dumb broad at Translink.  I want her boiled in oil.  I followed the crowd across the street to the bus stop and when one arrived I got on with a bunch of other folks for what should have been a 2-3 minute ride to my desitination.  Imagine my surprise when my bus, instead of going over the overpass and stopping right outside my office, veered right and headed back to the freeway and my home.  I began to panich and pull the cord with all my might.  Perhaps if I shed a few tears the driver would let me out on the freeway and I would walk back.  Alas, he yelled instead.  I ened up about 10 minutes later on Hastings at the first stop after the freeway.  I held my head high - this is actually better and what I wanted to do anyway - and crossed the street to await another bus to take me back so I could start all over again.  Needless to say, not a good impression for staff when the boss can't even find her way to work.  Turns out Donuts will by that respect right back.

Anyway, as you can imagine, starting a new job is frought with technical difficulties but I figure in 10-12 months, I will have it down pat.

Stay tuned - lots more to come.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Very exciting time

Well, these last couple of weeks sure have been full of fun and games.  Very busy time at the Millar home.

Last weekend I went to a cousin's 50th birthday party.  What an absolute blast.  It was held at a horse farm in Langley with live music, free flowing booze and a rather large pig on a spit.  I am afraid my wee granddaughter Rae may now be a tad traumatized by the experience.  She was not at all that pleased at seeing the pig spinning around with its head and tail still intact.  The other two kids however had their pictures taken with it. 

We had a wonderful dinner followed by live music.  I approached my grandson Xavier to see if he would dance with me.  He refused.  I offered him a quarter.  He looked at me and continued to eat his corn on the cob.  About 45 minutes later I was dancing with his sister when he joined me on the dance floor.  I was touched.  (Little did I know how literally I was about to be 'touched').  As the next song started, I expected him to leave but he turned to me and said he loved that song so we continued to dance.  This scenario replayed about 5 more times.  Finally a waltz was played and so he was ready to leave the dance floor.  However, before we departed he announced "that will be $2 please."  Little shyster.  Not only did he actually charge me per dance but he added a service fee as well since  6 dances are only $1.50.   He will go far in this world.

Today is my final day with my company.  It is with mixed feelings that I depart.  Everyone has been so kind.  Kind to the point that I made a complete ass out of myself yesterday.  I was invited to one of my branches for a bit of a farewell where I was presented with a fabulous Coach bracelet, chocolates and a wonderful card which everyone had signed.  I have lived by the rule - "there is no crying in business and there is certainly no hugging".  Well, holy crap - broke my own rule - first my eyes watered, then I sniffled and by the end I was sobbing as I ran back to my office.  I even HUGGED!  What is happening to me?  This is so unlike me.  Must be my hormones or something.

To make myself feel better, I packed up and headed out early.  I had places to go - I was off to meet my destiny.  I knew this day would come sooner or later.  Last evening was a little later than I wanted but at least it was finally here.  I even bought fresh undies - 2 pair.  One to wear and one to toss with my phone number inside.  I arrived early.  I grabbed something to eat, pulled up a piece of grass and patiently waited for destiny to begin. 

As the sun started to set a hush fell over the crowd.  As his name was announced a cheer arose from the crowd.  As he walked onto the stage the crowd went nutso.  As he began to sing, our eyes met across the crowd and I knew, just knew, he was singing to me and only me. Oh sure, there were other people around but he had eyes for me alone.  It was destiny as I knew it would be when I began kissing his picture goodnight those many years ago.  This was the man I was meant to be with.  I finally had my moment with the man of my girlish dreams......Donny Osmond.  It was magical.  The open air of the concert held at the park in the PNE only leant itself to the wonder of it all.

I was there by myself as none of my friends wanted to go with me.  I didn't understand why not but was secretly glad that I alone had this moment.  I did not even invite my brother to tag along.  As you can imagine he was devestated.  Oh sure, he covered it up well with laughter  but I know he was hurt that I did not want to bring him with me.  It would have ruined my image.  A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Well, will have lots to write about the next time.  I am off on holiday for a week or so.  Taking the grandkids to my Dad's and the PNE and then I am off to Niagara-on-the-lake for the beginning of my new job.

I will keep you posted with all the goings on.

Cheerios

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Spiritual than Religous

So you can imagine my surprise when I ran smack dab into Jesus while eating my lunch on Granville Street.   He came right up to me.  I was touched to think he chose me out of everyone else on a very busy street.  He began by introducing himself and continued with how well he knew me too.  He said I had been chosen as one of the very few who are gifted enough to pass the word along.  We are doomed.  Nice way to ruin my lunch.  I am to rush forth and spread the word that we are all going to pay for our sins unless we make amends by Sunday.  I told him that while I was pleased I was chosen, I am very busy at the moment and Sunday is not good for me.  He gave me until the following Saturday.  I thought that was very nice but in fact I will be busy until at least the new year.  He left uttering something I could not understand.  Now, won't I look a fool if this was really HIM?

It has been a busy summer.  I have had each day jam packed with fun and excitement.  August started with me taking all three grandkids for the weekend at my house which included a trip to Playland.  We have a deal - we go to Playland each year and they can ride the rides until they puke if they want.  Then, when I take them to the PNE, there are no rides as it is so busy you end up spending the day waiting in line for your 60 seconds of fun.  We had a great time and spent about 7 hours there before heading home.  Rae and Xavier are big enough now to go on many more rides than last year.  However, poor wee Lexi is too little again.  I tried to make it up to her by letting her spend extra time on other rides by herself.  Rae fell asleep on the bus.  Do you know how hard it is to hold up the dead weight of a 5 year old while wrangling the other two on a crowded bus?

The following Tuesday was spent acting as support system to my brother as he had his hearing against his company finally heard by the Public Service Relations Board.  What a nightmare.  I will not bore you with details but rush straight to the last hour.  After three days of hearings, testimony and the obnoxious pontificating of an overzealous Perry Mason wannabe, I was sitting at the defence table listening to closing arguments when I looked down at my blackberry.  I had turned off the sound but left it on so I could keep track of what was going on at work.  I happened to notice an email from my daughter "I really do not want to add anything more to your day but I have some news.  The kids have lice."  I looked down in shock, started to laugh and showed my brother the email.  He laughed out loud which threw the pontificating jackass off his stride (bonus).  As it wrapped up, the jackass stuck out his hand to my brother and said "no hard feelings".  Kris is a better man than I and accepted his hand.  If I had been smart, I would have run over and rubbed my head all over him in case the kids had passed their guests along to me.  Instead, I just said "well, I have hard feelings.  I think you are an ass."

The following week, I met with some people from another dealer who quite frankly, made me an offer I could not afford to pass up.  I would have been an absolute fool to do so.  Fast forward to yesterday - I gave my notice to my current employer.  Well, at least I think I did.  I spoke to the third in command and sent the formal notice through to the bigger bosses - the powers that be.  I have not heard a word since.  Not sure if I still work here or not.  In anycase, I have heard nothing but positive from the other people I work with and I will miss them all very much.  As of September 12 you will have the pleasure :) of communicating with the new Director of Compliance, Western Canada.  Cool eh?  Beats the hell out of getting a promotion to "Senior Compliance Officer" because you happen to be the oldest person in the department. 

I will miss strolling around Granville street on a sunny afternoon.  Just this afternoon I came out of the drug store in time to watch 2 obviously derranged Native women go batshit crazy on an old man who just got off the bus.  They were screeching, screaming, jumping around punching, kicking and scratching him.  Just as I approached he made a fist and was hauling back to punch the older one in the face.  I have no idea what came over me but I stepped in between the two of them and yelled - loudly.  "What the hell is wrong with you people?  This is embarrassing and you look stupid."  They then said the man was the devil and needed to be deported (he says he was born in Burnaby) where he would be dealt with like they do with devils where he comes from.  (I guess Burnaby has some pretty strict rules).  Ahhh, I will miss the street shows.

Anyway, I will keep you posted once I find out if I really quit my job or not.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Flirting 101

It seems there is a tradition that one is supposed to receive 50 items in the year one turns 50.  I am in favour of this tradition.  Since it seems to be a tradition, who am I to argue?  And in that tradition, I received a small gift of a book entitled "Flirting 101 - How to charm your way to love, friendship and success".

I will be the first to admit that my dating experiences have been somewhat abysmal and so am quite prepared to take any help I can get.  I can also tell you that if nothing else, this wee book has done wonders for creating opening lines.

For example, I have taken to carrying it in my bag everywhere so that I can take every opportunity to learn me real good the lessons needed in landing me a big one.  So, this morning on the train, I was standing there holding the rail and whipped out my trusty guide book.  I started to read the part entitled "Personal Branding".  I think I was laughing out loud when a gentleman leaned over and pointed at my book and asked me if it was working.  Since I had just finished the chapter on self-esteem, I answered "well, it got you talking to me so it must be working" and then I winked like I had been instructed.  He backed off immediately.  I think I had him till I winked.

When I got to the office I popped into the ladies room to see what I look like in the mirror when I wink.  Once I saw myself, I must admit, the man showed considerable restraint just by backing up.  I wanted to run screaming from the room.  I have no idea why I look like that when I wink but it is kinda scary.  My face goes all crooked and the left side scrunches up and my nostrils flare.  Whats up with that and how can I make it stop?  I will either have to take wink lessons or stop the practise altogether.

The part I am working on now, self branding, has me deciding what type of car I am (BMW - quick and sporty), what kind of animal I am ( Dragon - I have mystical powers - more about that later) - what kind of smell I am (donuts -self explanitory) and finally, what color am I (purple - strong and opinionated).

I plan to use the lessons learned today on branding when I enter the train this afternoon.  I will try to send out the vibe to all the males around me that I am a purple BMW that smells like donuts but is fierce like a dragon with the ability to turn them into toads if they do not play nice.

I will keep you posted on my lessons and progress.  I plan on having a date sometime during my holidays this summer.  I just have to decide who can handle the dragon.

Stay tuned

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

literally falling at my feet

I like to think I  have some effect on the opposite sex but I never pictured them literally falling at my feet as it happened today.  I was sitting in the sun outside of Sears on Granville Street enjoying the scenery when I heard a commotion.  I looked up just in time to watch a grown man get tackled from behind and fall right at my feet.  Might not have been too bad had the tackler not then slapped a pair of handcuffs on him.  Oh well, perhaps next time I will get luckier and carry my own set of cuffs - just in case.

Seems we now have police officers strolling Granville street dressed as bikers, hikers, buskers and the like.  Not sure what this guy did but I waited around until the paddy wagon came to pick him up.

The sun has also brought some of the more colourful characters out to the street.  Last evening as I left the office heading to the train station, I was stopped short by a sight you really do not see very often.  Picture a middle aged man, slight and scrawny, perhaps 5' 2'' tall, wearing a polyester blue and black shirt (think 70's disco) with the buttons open to the navel and enough gold chains to cause serious damage should he hit himself in the head with them.  I was intrigued when I saw him setting up a boom box.  I had to sit down and watch what was going to happen.  Out blasted the theme from the movie FAME and our boy started to dance.  He also kept his own beat by clapping every 2 seconds or so.  Those chains whipped up quite a frenzy as he twirled and danced around in about a 10 square yard area.  It was quite the sight.  After that song, he had to sit and wipe off the sweat before starting the next number - "I need a hero".  It was mesmerising to watch.  After his two songs, he packed up and left.  I love street theatre.

This afternoon I popped downstairs and was treated to another site - skinny white rapper dude was rapping Lady Gaga.  I think I might have peed my pants a little as I started to laugh.  I have to hand it to him though - he was changing things up a bit.  I was getting bored with the other stuff.  He must have sensed it.

I was also the recipient of walking lessons yesterday.  Specifically, how to walk down the stairs in a dress while wearing sandles.  My freak magnate must be at full throttle at the moment as this was only one of the encounters I had yesterday.  So, I was heading out the back door of our building - while wearing a dress and sandles - and heading down the stairs to street level when I was approached from behind with a tap on the shoulder and a gentle smile from a man of about 50 or so.  It should be noted he was barefoot and in cut-offs with a giant hole in the backside.  He said he could help my walk so as to protect me from falling down the stairs (where was he the last  decade when I recorded at least 16 separate falls down stairs?).  He then moved in front of me and showed me how to walk sideways while moving my hips in a funny circular motion and my feet crossing in front of one another.  I have to admit, he was pretty good at it.  I however looked like a constipated crab as I tried the manouver.   Much practise will be needed. 

The second incident was when I had successfully navigated the stairwell to my companions appreciation and  made my way into London Drugs.  I was standing in line waiting to pay for my purchase when a fellow in his 30's or so, leaned over and and sniffed me.  Let me say, I was a little taken aback.  I mean really, who goes around sniffing people - other than dogs?  He then smiles at me and says "Chanel's Chance, by chance?  It's my favorite." I have to admit, that was a first for me.  I have never had a man notice a scent I was wearing and then tell me he liked it.  I am far more used to something along the lines of "what the heck is that smell and tell me it's  not you." 

Anyway, it's a lovely day on the street.  I will keep you posted.

Cheers

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crazy Weekend

I can finally lift my arms enough to type and therefore am now able to update my blog on my wonderful weekend.

First I can report - no major accidents resulting in the use of crutches, tensor bandages, slings or canes befell me during the 24 hour period.  However, I did have a slight eye injury when I hit myself in the face with my own water bottle.  Not quite sure how that happened but it was early on and most likely I was just excited at the prospect of a turn around the 4 KM field.

It started out a cold and chilly day with a lower than expected turnout on the field.  I think most people were huddled around their campfires trying to stay warm until it was their turn to take to the track.  We had a fabulous team captain who would run each team member, with our team flag around the lap of the course and out the stadium gates.  He would then pick you up on the other side so you could make your entrance to great fanfare. 

The track consisted of one lap around Swaanguard stadium and then up and out the gate to run a complete circuit around Central park and back to the stadium.  I was looking forward to my brisk 'walk'.  We were actually about 30 minutes ahead of schedule when it came to my turn but I told them not to worry as I would slow it down for us and get us back on track.  That was my intention.  How was I supposed to know there would be kids lined up along the way cheering me on and offering me words of encouragement and water (one young kid was so enthusiastic that when I refused water, he ran after me saying I had to take it).  When I saw what was happening with the cheer squad, I had no choice but to pick up the pace.  You can't very well cheer on someone walking.  I also had no idea, when I went back to walking when I was out of every one's line of sight, that I would then come upon a group of soldiers also cheering on the runners.  Well, you must know what I had to do.  I perked the girls up high in front, squeezed the butt cheeks in and winked as I calmly jogged up beside them.  One even fell into step with me for a hundred yards or so.  Let me tell you, that damn near killed me.

While my plan of walking the 4KM didn't quite pan out, I was pretty proud of myself.  I did the circuit of walk/run in 22 minutes.  As I came up the hill into the stadium I was looking forward to my turn to be run in to the cheers of the fans with my team flag flying high beside me.  No one was there.  Literally, my team had disappeared to the tent.  I was the only one cheering me on.  I must say, I felt a little let down.

When I arrived at the tent, they were all sitting there eating hot dogs and surprised to see me.  They all figured I would be at least 40 minutes.  There was nothing I could do but scarf down three wieners and a bottle of water.

It was quite the day.  I ended up doing another circuit at about 9pm that night - much slower as the soldiers were now gone.  I listened to some incredible live music throughout the day, enjoyed the beer garden, boccie ball and meeting a wide variety of new people.  I had such a great time and readily committed to doing it again next year.  That is until I tried to get out of bed the next morning.  Oy Vey!  I was a hurtin girl Sunday and Monday.  The "lotsa fat carbs" didn't seem to help at all.

As for the cutey on my team, he did seem receptive to my outfit, hair, makeup, earrings, perfume, sneakers and bra.  However, turns out he had a wedding to attend and had to leave early.  Oh well.  I did find out he is neither married or gay (asked his friend for confirmation - felt very high school).

I have included a picture of part of my team - Heather, Nancy and I.This is after my non-entrance back to the field, And of me and Nancy prior to my first turn.  This is after my non-entrance back to the field,


Stay tuned - it seems I am going zip lining at Grouse this weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Can a girl wear Spanx to a 24 hour relay?

That is the big question of the day. 

I was talking with a friend and telling her about my participation in this weekend's 24 hour relay and she told me the only way to survive the ordeal was to load up on carbs.    I immediately thought "I can do this" and with a grin on my face immediately set off to order a cupcake for breakfast.  I had heard that if you eat all your fatty stuff in the morning then it doesn't really count as you burn it off by noon - assuming of course that you do not have a desk job where you sit on your ass all day.

Wanting to be really ready for this weekend, I also headed to Tim Horton's as about 11:30am (still morning) and ordered a fully buttered bagel and 5 tim bits (they never count, morning, noon or night).  Oy Vey!  I have this lump in my stomach now.  It feels like a 5 pound weight is just sitting there in a very tight ball (I might be constipated for weeks).  That cupcake weighed about 2 pounds.

I contacted my "friend" and asked her if this was really right.  After the laughter died down she swears she said "low fat" carbs but surprisingly, what I heard was "lots of fat with carbs". 

There is only one thing left to do now.  I must leave my office and head to Sears to purchase a pair of Spanx.  After all that I have gone through with the runners, the outfit and the bra, there is no way I am letting a cupcake, a bagel and some tim bits get between me and my goal of attracting the attention of the cutey on my team.  Wish me luck.  I may not be breathing on my own by the end of this thing.

On another note, Crime Stoppers has set up shop on Granville street and have been handing out hats, pens and flashlights to passerby all day.  The police have also set up a car in the plaze where people are writing notes either right on the vehicle itself or on post-its to thank the police for their efforts and it looks like The Bay will be keeping the thank you boards up for awhile as more people take a minute to sign them.  Also downtown today was out very own "haven't met a camera I didn't love" Christy Clarke.  There she was in front of London Drugs waging war on violence (kinda ironic).  While you could hear her speak, no one could see her.  She didn't have a box or anything to stand on so it was like a disembodied voice floating across the gathered crowd.  Oddly disconcerting.

If I am still in one piece on Sunday night I will update my blog to let you know not only how the relay went but when my wedding will be.

Cheers

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Necessary update

I felt I had to do a short update with some positive news.

Hundreds of people have decended on Granville, Georgia and Robson street today loaded with mops, brooms, garbage bags and Brillo pads.  They have scraped, scrubbed, swept and picked up after the idiocy that was last night.  I don't think I have ever seen the area cleaner.

Thousands of others have left written messages on the wooden boards still covering The Bay, Sears, Starbucks and various other store windows.  The messages are of condemnation of the behaviour and pride in the city.  There are even a group of girls standing on the corner giving free hugs to passerby (oddly, a long line of men are waiting).

And finally, skinny white rapper boy is back.  I guess he figured we needed to smile and indeed, he certainly made me smile.  In fact, he made me laugh out loud.  He was just rapping about what a bad ass he was but Superman could clean his clock.  What's not to laugh about that?  Two little boys most likely about 3 years old, were dancing in the street (while dad waited in line for his free hug).

All the stores, except The Bay, are open again but there is a bit of a subdued feeling that may take awhile to dissipate.

Well, just wanted to updated the good news.

Stay tuned

Angry and Embarrassed

I was kept up most of the night due to the 5 helicopters hovering overhead.  What the hell were these people thinking?  I hesitate to refer to them as people as they behaved like animals.  The group responsible were mostly young men and a few women, under 25.  See?  This is what happens when parents stop spanking their kids and teachers became afraid of the ugly teenagers.

As reported yesterday, it started off with so much excitement and promise.  I was actually having a great time (well, except for the eye thing) and it was easy to get caught up in the energy all around you.  However, even before the game started, there seemed to be a bit of a shift.  You could feel it in the air.  In fact, one group of kids walking down the middle of Granville street started to shout "Riot 94" at the top of their lungs.  I really didn't pay much attention at the time as I figured this particular group was either in diapers back then or still just a twinkle in daddy's eye (wonder if that particular daddy wishes he could take back that twinkle?).

I watched in awe from my office 29 floors above Georgia street as the crowd surged to at least 100,000 below me.  It was quite a scene.  I was invited to watch the game from an office on the 8th floor as they had a party going in their boardroom with wine and food (two popular favorites). 

The game started off great and it was exciting to be in a room where everyone else was excited.  After the first goal and at the end of the first period, I ventured down to street level to take in the crowd.  A bigger shift had started.  The young men were no longer just yelling "Go Canucks Go" but now swearing about the Bruins, pushing and shoving and kicking the garbage can in front of the building.  The change was palpable.  I went back inside for the second period.

As the second goal was scored half way through, I figured it was time to get the hell outta dodge.  Not only did I expect a huge number of people to leave the downtown core now making transit a bit of a nightmare, but I had a feeling it might get ugly on the streets.  I had no idea how ugly.  I only thought perhaps some fighting, perhaps a broken window or two.  What happened next caught me completely by surprise.

I made it home safe and sound and totally oblivious to the mayhem that had started to take place only a few blocks  from my home.  I knew the helicopters had been up there since about 3pm - but there were only 2 - one for the police and one for a news organization.  By about 7:30pm, I looked up and counted 5 plus 3 small airplanes.  By 8:30 billows of smoke were rising above the city.  The city was on fire - cars, garbage cans, newspaper stands and the awning on The Bay.  I could hear what sounded like canons going off in the distance as police set off smoke bombs and tear gas.

I ran back inside to turn on the news to see what on earth was happening.  I was sickened to see the mayhem and the idiots who were standing around taking pictures.  My office building was surrounded and I watched while looters broke windows in The Bay, London Drugs, Pacific Centre stores, Sears, Chapters and the list goes on.  My children started calling by 9pm to make sure I was home safe and sound (aww, they love their mama).

As I arose from the train station this morning, it was to a bit of a surprise.  While I could see the broken windowns of the train station, the boards covering the windows of The Bay and London Drugs and the others, the streets themselves had been pretty much cleaned up and other than the stores being closed, it appeared to be business as usual.  Mind you, most of us were looking in around in shock and it was eerily quiet for a bustling weekday morning.

I am embarrassed by what this makes our city look like to everyone else.  The vast vast majority are feeling the same.  I think those idiots, when they are caught - and they will be as they smiled for the cameras taking their pictures - should have to not only pay the cost of clean up, but have to perform their community service by wearing  bright orange and yellow vests emblazoned with "Forgive me for being an idiot" or "I'm too stupid and need help tying my shoes" while they pick up garbage on the side of the road, paint park benches, clean the beaches or any other menial job we can think of.  Then they should have their drivers licences revoked until the value of each of the cars they burned is paid in full.  I understand that Hummer they burnt to the ground could take a few years to pay off.

I will keep you posted.  I now need to focus on this weekend and my training for the 24 hour relay.

Cheers

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You have got to be kidding me!

So, here we are - 2pm on Wednesday afternoon - game 7 of the Stanley cup finals.  By 10am, the streets were getting crowded.  By 11am, I had trouble moving around the streets.  By 11:30, all the street vendors seemed to be set up ready to go.  By noon - I had a headache.  The horns are honking, the people cheering and someone poked me in the eye with a flag.  I might just get a black eye from it.  I mean really, a group of young men, already drunk, walking down the middle of the sidewalk waving a Canuck flag around.  I was busy minding my own business just trying to pick up a sandwich for lunch when wham!  Right in the eye!  Of course, I had just taken my glasses off because a bug landed on them and I was wiping them off so I had no protection.  I yelped - mostly in surprise - and the kid with the flag says "You should really watch where you place your eyeballs lady"  Really?  Are you kidding me?  I did what any sane person would do, I called him a rather unladylike name and kicked him in the shin.  The security guard standing in front of the Scotia Bank came over and escorted me inside.  He started to laugh and said that was the funniest thing he had seen in a long time.  The kid didn't quite know how to react.  Good thing the guard pulled me off or I might have done some real damage....not sure to whom, but still....

The silver hockey player arrived dressed up and ready to go bright and early this morning as he was already there when I emerged from the train station at 9am.  Two hot dog vendors were also already set up.  There is something about the smell of hotdogs at 9am that really does the trick in putting you in a good mood.  I really want to tell you about the woman I saw though (when I still had two good eyes).  So, I was walking down Granville and I noticed this woman coming towards me surrounded by 3 young men.  It took me a minute or two to figure out she was not wearing a Canuck jersey.  She was topless but had been body painted so well that it really looked like a very skin tight top.  The men were there to prevent other men from reaching over and trying to rub her 'shirt' off.  I must admit, I was envious.  Ahh, to be young and have your boobs stay upright without magic wires or anything.  There are other people also obviously artistic out there.  A group of three were wearing home made Stanley cup hats that are about 3 feet tall.  Hope they are not going to the arena with those.  I would hate to be the person with the seats behind them.  There is also the young lady with "Kesler, marry me" embroidered across her back.  That must have taken some time.

Well, I just looked out my window as I heard a crowd let up a huge cheer and I can see about 15,000 people all gathered around the black screens of the giant TV's.  Not sure what they are cheering at but they are tossing a couple of beach balls around.

Anyway, will keep you posted

Cheerios