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Friday, September 21, 2012

Crappity Crap Crap...and then more crap

So, since we last met a lot has happened from being caught on the street (well bushes) in my nightgown at 6:45am to cranky and just plain mean cab drivers, to Mr. & Mrs. I ate a lot of garlic last night and thought it would be fun to sit next to you on the plane, to Air Canada (need I say more?) to the members of parliament who can't figure out a crossword puzzle on their own time.

So, I arrived home on a sunny Sunday afternoon to see signs all over my street saying that for the rest of the week, starting Monday, I could not park there.  There was no exact time given so I believed that I could park overnight and just move it when I went to work in the morning.  Seems a lot of folks on my street thought the same thing.  Round about 6:30am, through my open bedroom window, I heard that sickening sound that every driver knows - the sound of a winch on a tow truck lifting your wheels off the ground.  I bolted from my bed and grabbed the car keys I keep on a hook by the door and ran outside.  I almost melted with relief when I discovered it was not my vehicle - yet.  I quickly hopped into the drivers seat and figured I would just move it quickly and quietly into my parking garage.  Turns out everyone and their dog also decided to park there and I could not get into my assigned spot.  I had to tour the neighborhood looking for a place to rest my behemouth of a car until I left for work in about 90 minutes.  I felt lucky and found a spot just a block and a 1/2 away.  I parked and as soon as I swung my legs out and they hit pavement it dawned on me.  In my rush I was barefoot and looking down, still in my nightie.  My pink satin nighty no less.  I had no choice, I had to make a dash for it back to my house.  How many people would really be on the street at that time of day?  Turns out everyone within a ten mile radius who owns a dog is out at that time of day.  I did the only thing I could - I kept my head down and bobbed in and out of the shrubbery as I hastily made my way home.  By the time I made it back I had to spend 10 minutes just picking leaves and flower crap off me.  Great way to start the week.

Fast forward now to Ottawa.  The problem with going east is that your whole day is shot to hell.  I left my house on Sunday at 8:30am.  After my usual body search and drug testing of my laptop, I got on the plane at 10:am.  I arrived at my hotel in downtown Ottawa at 7:30pm (eastern idiot time).  The cab driver held my luggage hostage after his machine would not take my credit card.  I tried to explain to him that it was the machine and not my card as the reader kept stating "Error - host connection".  He said, and I will use direct quotes here "You are wasting my time.  Not my machine.  You might be deadbeat.  I have been using this all day no problem."  If you know me at all you will most likely know the type of response I came back with. 

After suggesting alternate locations for his machine, some of which would require surgery for removal, the Bellman opened the cab door, understood the issue and said he would pay my fare while I checked in if it still didn't work, if the cabbie would get out of the car and try his machine out in the open one more time.  Well, it worked.  However, there was further interaction even after he got paid:

Dumbass cabbie - "You are great waste of time.  I could have had 3 fares in the amount of time you wasted.  You woman too much trouble than you are worth"

Me:  "well, aren't you just a bundle of joy.  Your mother must be so proud of you."

DAC: " F*** Off

Bellman: " Please leave the area at once.  We have recorded your vehicle registration and you are now banned from any pick-ups or drop offs to our hotel."

DAC: &^&*(^&*^&*^&*(^

Bellman:  "Please, let me help you and accept my apologies on behalf of the Westin hotel and the country in general."

Me:  smile

I raced to my room to change so that I could attend the opening reception to the conference where I was to mix and mingle with all my peeps.  I was starving and very late.  I made my way to the shortest line, which happened to be the pasta bar.  I don't know what it was but it tasted good.  My shirt thought so too.  5 minutes into my entrance and I was forced to return to my room to change.  yeesh!

Overall the conference was fine and the folks at the hotel treated me very nicely - even when I locked myself out 3 times.  Turns out, you cannot put your room card anywhere near your blackberry or it will erase itself.  I am a slow learner.

I had some time off so made my way to the parliament buildings (I have a couple of pics for you).  They are really very beautiful - even with the protestors and the police presence.  After going though the first screening I made my way to the House of Commons to watch some of the action.  You must go through a second set of scanning machines and they take your purse and phone away from you.  I warned the guard that I had $6 in there and it better be there when I return because one of my coins was a brand new toonie and I was saving that for gum.  I got an extra pat down.  Not sure if he just liked me or if he thought I was mouthy.  Guess I will never know.

I have to say, I was thoroughly disgusted.  There were only a few members present along with the Speaker of House.  Of those present, one woman was reading a newspaper, 2 were doing crosswords, one was knitting and three were using their handheld devices.  People just got up and left as others were speaking.  Our tax dollars at work.  Managed to enjoy myself anyway.

On the final night of the conference, we were treated to a dress-up affair at the Museum of Natural History (I think that was the name).  We hopped on buses and 10 minutes later we pulled up to our venue and hurried inside out of the cold.  I was puzzled at first that all the signage was french first instead of the standard english then french.  Then I looked out the window and saw the backside of the Parliament buildings.  It dawned on me then that I was not in Kansas anymore.  I didn't have a visitors visa or my passport with me and yet somehow, I landed in Quebec.  It was very surreal.  I thought I would never actually be allowed into that province given my rather vocal opinions on separation issues.  Ahh well, it was a very nice evening and the museum is really something worth seeing.  Just don't wear heels like I did otherwise you will find yourself sitting in the lap of Tecumseh (?) in the middle of an exhibit with everyone laughing.

I made it back to the airport for my flight home.  After obtaining my self-service baggage tags, I was directed by an Air Canada employee to the line to drop off my suitcase.  There were only 3 people working.  I stood there long enough to read 2 full chapters in my book and answer about 6 emails.  I finally made it to the front and over to a young woman standing under a sign that says "Baggage Drop Off".  I gave her my boarding pass and as I was hefting my bag onto the moving beltway, she shut it down.

AirCanada dumbass:  "I am sorry, you need to go to that other line"

ME:  " Scuse me?  You are baggage drop off yes?  I was directed here"

ACDA:  "I am just helping out because it is a long line"

ME: "I am well aware of the length of the line to which I was directed to wait so that I might end up at your booth for BAGGAGE DROP OFF"

ACDA:  "Please go to the other line.  I have other people to assist"

ME:  "I need you to assist me.  Please take my bag.  My plane is boarding in 10 minutes"

ACDA:  Silence....as she walked away

In the end, after waiting some more to drop off my bag, I could be seen flying like OJ through the airport to arrive just in time to be amongst the last to board my flight.  After all that, you would think that they could leave on time.  Personally, I think they were just waiting until the air inside the cabin was nice and ripe before taxing down the runway.  As I mentioned earlier, I was seated beside the lovely garlic and farts couple.  I spent a lot of time in the aisle and the bathroom for the next 5 1/2 hours.

Which brings me to today.  I have a real love/hate relationship with IT as many of you are aware.  I have been with this company 1 year now and I am on my third blackberry and second laptop.  I spent the majority of my day dealing, in equal parts, with our head office IT department and Rogers - providers of my blackberry service.  It is now 5:45 and I gave up.  I just simply do not care anymore.  I think at one point I was actually crying to Rogers (like they care) as I tried, valiantly I might add, to get this new BB to work.  All to no avail.  I am BB less this weekend and will probably suffer severe anxiety and depression along with cold sweats and heart palpatations.  You will know if I survived the weekend by my next posting.


Parliment hill


View from Quebec






Sunday, September 9, 2012

What if ???

A middle aged woman falls out of her truck in an empty parking lot and there is no one there to hear her fall, does she still make a sound?
Short answer - yep!  Loud and long.

Now that I have given you the ending of my tale, let me take you back to the beginning of my weekend.

Friday afternoon found me at the lawyers office finishing up the requirements for the sale of the house and helping to pack a few boxes for a lazy soon to be finalized, ex-husband.  I said I would come back Saturday morning to help (stress the word -"help") clean and get it ready for the new owners the following day.

Early morning I recieved a phone call to pick him up at his hotel as he left his car at the pub the night before.  Afterwards, we headed to the house to clean and pack up the last of the items to go to storage until he moved to his new home at the end of the month.  After 4 hours of me on my hands and knees cleaning the fridge, stove, washer, dryer, both bathrooms, floors and cupboards I started to wonder where he had gotten to.  He was supposed to be making a dump run - 2 hours earlier.  My cell phone rang.

Him (AKA Dumb Ass) - Hey Holly, how's it going?
Me:  Almost done.  You just need to clean the top cupboards as I can't get up there to clean.  Are you on your way back?
DA:  Well......I just stopped for a beer and then I have to meet a friend in Delta at 4:30 so it will be a couple of hours.
Me:  ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME?  I am busting my hump cleaning YOUR HOUSE and you are off sitting in an air conditioned pub enjoying yourself.  What the hell is wrong with you?  Do I look like your cleaning maid?  I am outta here.  You, my friend, are completely on your own.  Oh, and by the way, this is going to cost you more than you can possibly figure.

I packed up the rest of the stuff that the kids were taking and left.  I was so angry that I was physically shaking.  I was hot, sweaty, sticky and cranky.  I managed to make my way to my eldest child's house without driving off the road and unloaded what was now theirs as far as I was concerned.  They offered me a glass of wine, a shower and dinner while I calmed down.  (anyone still wondering why this is my EX-husband?)

After a couple of hours of relaxing with the family, I made my way home.  However, I first had to stop at the store.  I pulled into the underground lot, reached in to the back seat to get my re-usable bag and opened my door.  Even today I could not tell you what happened.  However, next thing I knew, I was on my hands and knees on the parking lot floor clutching the handle of my bag.  The rest of the bag was around my steering wheel and my floor mat was half hanging out.

Turns out, when you fall in an empty parking lot, you still make an awful lot of noise. 

Just for those keeping score, within a 6 day period, I have sustained a smashed up shin, bruised thighs (one is huge and beautifully colored - the bruise, not my thigh), banged and scraped elbow and now we can add two bruised knees and the palm of my left hand is swollen while my right is simply sore.  On the upside for those of you keeping track, NOTHING IS BROKEN.  This a big breakthrough for me.  I am thinking my bone strengthening drugs must be working.  If this had happened last year, I would be in a body cast by now for sure.

I never made it in to the store.

Well, the new owners get possession at noon today and tomorrow I am officially "unemcumbered" and can proceed with my divorce online.  For a couple of hundred bucks, I can file for divorce on the internet.  How cool is that?  This of course, pre-supposes that I can operate the system and not accidently remarry the man instead. 

I figured out the other day that while we have been married for 26 years, we actually only lived together for 11 of them.  This includes the multiple times I moved back in to give it another try.  I am either a complete idiot or the laziest person alive.   I will go with lazy.

Ah well, yesterday was the final straw.  I will be divorced for my Christmas present and will be holding a divorce celebration - PARTY TIME.  How does Vegas sound?  My cousin Barb is in and understands the rule of the sock on the door (I would use a tie but I don't own one).

I am off to Ottawa at the end of the week for another road trip.  My attempts to see good ol' Stephen Harper while there have been thwarted.  However, that will not affect my mood at the conference.  I will keep you posted on what I am sure will be an eventful event.  Another upside I just thought of, since I obviously will not be able to wear a dress during my time there, I do not have to shave my legs.  How cool is that?  There is a silver lining to having a banged up body.

Today's  plan is to first disconnect the phone, then watch my saved TV shows for a couple of hours and then clean my own house.  Yeeha - the exciting life of a single woman in Vancouver.

Monday, September 3, 2012

My cousin was right

I messed up my Karma by stating that the band Trooper was looking kinda old.  I spent Friday night at the PNE to watch Trooper.  I had a great time with plenty of flashbacks (or maybe hot flashes, hard to say).  The music was fabulous but I noticed that while I felt very much like the 17 year old that loved them, they kinda reminded me of my granddad.  I made mention of it on facebook and was warned I had messed with my Karma by my cousin Tracy.  She was right.

Ten minutes left in the rental of my electric bike on the last day of my vacation and without warning it happened.  A fence jumped out in front of me cutting me off and causing me to crash with a 140 pound bike landing on top of me.  I tore up my shin, took paint off the fence and think I may have broken my baby finger.  However, the white carpi pants I happened to be wearing stayed perfectly clean.  My bike friend, Cammie, was somewhat amazed that my pants stayed white and that crap really does just happen to me.

I bravely got back on the bike and we headed back to home base.  After dropping Cammie off at home, I limped into the house to tell my tale of woe to my brother.  I told it much better and I was a hero in the tale where I swerved out of the way of a small kitten thereby hitting the fence in my effort to protect her and her brothers. 

Not sure he actually bought it after my spazz out and threats to kick his cat off the roof for crapping on my bed again this weekend.  However, that is irrelevant.  I am sticking to it and no one can actually prove me wrong as my biking partner was behind me and could not actually see what happened until I fell.

As penance for my heroic tale, I sat down to ice my leg and watch Eat, Pray Love.  I have to say, I wasn't really looking forward to it but decided to check it out as a number of people said it was worth watching.  The caveat being "for someone like you".  Never quite knew how to take that - until now.

Don't get me wrong, I feel truly blessed.  I have an incredible family, wonderful friends and happy and healthy children and grandchildren.  However, I do feel like I am searching for something.  I have no idea what it might be but I am feeling like I have this hole that needs to be filled with something.  Might need pie.  I have a confused mind.  All I really know is that I do not want to arrive at the pearly gates and find myself pleading with St. Peter for just 10 more minutes at my desk so I can finish that last report.

My plan to begin the fall is to do polar opposites and see which way my brain tugs me.  I am going to sign up for Yoga and Salsa.  By combining the slow and meditative with the fast and loose, perhaps my mind will pick a direction for me to seek out in my search.  For the life of me, I really have no idea what is missing but I do aim to find out.  I wonder if I will know it when I see it or if, like the bike crash, I won't even recognize a fence when I see it and will crash and burn.  (by the way, will not be wearing a dress or shaving my legs anytime soon - the gash is black and blue and growing).

Maybe I need to get married again - no wait, I just bought new towels and bedding so that's out.  Isn't that the only reason to get married - new sheets and towels?  Maybe I need to travel half-way around the world and eat my way across Europe and then while I am there, I can solve the Euro crisis.  Nah, sounds too much like work.  Maybe what I really need is to chuck it all in and move to some cheap carribbean island and braid peoples hair for the rest of my life.  While I can certainly live without doing the hair bit, I actually think the rest of it sounds mighty appealing. 

Well, only hours remain in my all too brief holiday.  My plan was to start the fall with a scrubbed house, clean clothes and shaved legs.  However, my leg is sore, swollen and bruised so that actually gets me out of everything.  Besides, summer still has a couple of weeks left.  I will do it next weekend and wear pants for a couple of weeks.  Who am I trying to impress anyway?

Stay tuned.  I head to Ottawa on the 15th.  Perhaps I will find that missing piece in the parliment buildings.  Perhaps I am destined to run this country one day.  Can't be any worse than those who came before and certainly better than good old Stephen.  Who, by the way, wouldn't take an appointment with me.  I tried.  I figured since I would be there anyway, what was the worse that could happen?  All he could do would be to say no.  You don't get if you don't ask right?  Wonder what the penalty is for storming the halls of parliment univited?  We might just find out.  Perhaps I should give a heads up that I might need bail money.

Stay tuned.