Happy New Year


As I do every year on New Year’s Eve (you probably do this, too), I think about the last 12-months of my life and contemplate just what went on.

Was it a good year? Did some bad things occur? What good things happened? Was I grateful enough? Did I learn anything? Am I a better person or…a worse one? Do I feel grief for anything? What made me smile and what made me weep?

Oh… So many laughs and way too many tears. We said goodbye to my best fur friend of 17-years and turned around and said hello to a new forever kitten who lit up our lives. We continue to work and cope with mental illness and drug addiction in my family and do our best to forgive. It’s hard work. It’s worthy work. It keeps me up at night and it offers a wealth of learning.

I try and be the best version of myself, but then I slip up and disappoint. I get up again and for a while, I am the best I can be. Then, I fall down, once more and anger gets the better of me.

I think it’s called ‘being human’. We all rise and sink to our occasions.

I think New Year’s resolutions should be kept simple:

  • Be the best you can.
  • Love with your whole being.
  • Forgive, forgive, forgive (include yourself in there).
  • Be open. Open your heart, your mind and your soul.
  • LISTEN (shhhh!)
  • Be happy in the NOW. Now is the only time that actually exists. Always remember that.
  • Dance. Have fun. Be silly. Laugh. Please, laugh until tears are in your ears!
  • Remember who you are: A Soul having a Human experience.

Can you do that? Can you be better? Can you do better and make the changes in your life that raise your vibrations and add to the light in the world?

Can you?

I know I will. See you in 2020. xo

On the Edge of Dream

Money and Happiness Are Not Synonymous


When we picture money in our lives (especially a windfall) we feel all giddy about what we can get for ourselves, what adventures we can afford and all of the potential GOOD we can do with it.

So it stands to reason that having money = happiness, right?

No. In fact, although money is an essential means of existence and to ‘not’ have it can and does cause unhappiness…it’s not money in itself that creates happiness or negates it.

Let’s be clear. Money is nothing but a medium of ‘exchange’ …and most of it isn’t even tangible, anymore, it’s digital. So we have a digital form of energy that is a medium of exchange for goods and services.

Think about it. What’s the history of money, anyway? While no one is completely certain, we do know that around 5000 BC, people were exchanging pieces of metal for goods and services. At around 700 BC, the Lydians (an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor) were using coins.

Before that, we bartered and traded: you give me 10 apples and I’ll give you 2 bags of rice. If I didn’t need the apples but wanted meat, instead, I took those apples to someone who was ‘selling’ meat and traded the apples for some of that.

So, were we all unhappy prior to using money?? NO! Of course not.

That said, our planet, today, is completely obsessed with it.  That is because most believe that money also = power. To some degree, it does…but that would really depend on how you measure power and what it means to you.

Are you powerful if you are in control of your own life and are able to manifest your own happiness without the aid of anyone but yourself? Are you powerful if you allow yourself to do what you LOVE and be who you really are rather than conform?

Or, are you powerful because you have a lot of money?

These are great questions and I don’t think I can address them in just one blog post!

That said, we all have our own truth and if you believe that you can’t be powerful without money, I tell you to look at people such as: Gandi, Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama.

“But!” you yell… “Look at all those rich and powerful people …!” as you go along to list a bunch of people WITH money AND power and suggest that this is truly the magical formula.

Yet…are they happy people? I could argue that and I suspect some of them truly are. It doesn’t mean that they are happy because they have lots of money.

Was Gandi happy? I’m going to say that he was.

The thing is – money is not happiness and happiness is not money. They can be found together or apart – kinda like chocolate and peanut butter; some find them delicious together while others (maybe you’re allergic to peanuts) find it devastating.

So there you go. You CAN be happy with or without money. It’s not a necessary ingredient as happiness is really an individual and exclusive thing and it is not a byproduct of having ‘stuff’ or having certain people in your life. I know people who have taken their lives because they didn’t have that one person with them, anymore, but when I asked if they were ‘happy’ when this person was with them….they said ‘no’, ultimately not.

You and only you are responsible for your happiness and no amount of cash, beautiful people or other outside influences will create happiness within YOU.

They can be influential and they can contribute but ultimately it’s up to your own conscious being to decide whether or not you will be or are, ultimately, happy.

Dear Neighbours to the South


I’ve been pretty quiet about the impending US Election but hey, it’s crunch-time …

Hey there,

It’s Canada, here. We’re rather concerned about who may be running your country, next. In fact, the whole world is on the very edge of their seats – and not in a good way.

Now…not everyone is a big “Hillary” fan and I get that but the alternative is, well…it’s insane, really. I won’t get into it because I think there is enough out there on the Interwebs to explain what I’m talking about and unless you’ve been living in a cave on Mars for the last 6 months or so, you’re well aware of the multiple scandals, shenanigans and whatnot.

So…

You’ve gotten yourselves into quite the pickle, haven’t you?

Which evil to pick??? Well, neither are evil, really, just flawed human beings like the rest of us, however, the rest of us are not wanting to run the most powerful country on our planet. Just sayin’.

So let’s keep with this ‘evil’ theme just for shits and giggles. And, to keep it simple in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way.

Here is what I think: You’ve got the Wicked Witch of the West VS Satin-in-all-his-glory. Now, no one wants a wicked witch running the show but hear me out. After all, as long as the flying monkeys are fed, you should be okay’ish, right?

Now, Satan…he pretends to be on your side but we all know his objective is to take your soul. You need your soul! And he doesn’t really care which souls they are, either. Oh….he’s spewing off about African Americans, Latinos, women, people who are physically challenged, LBGT, Muslims, Rosie O’Donnell (have I left anyone out?) and, there’s a great deal of question around his sexual deviancy & decency but it’s your SOUL he really wants.

If you’re not on this list, it’s only a matter of time. Trust me.

We love you, America, and I’m not just saying this because you’re our biggest trading partner but because you’re kinda like a big brother to us. I know people with older siblings who have issues, so I’m not judging. You’re already GREAT so no one has to make you that way, again. Don’t buy into this hogwash.

Plus, you’re our neighbor and all; we’re stuck with you. It’s not like we can pick up our HUGE landmass and move it adjacent to Australia. Although, that would be really cool given that it’s way warmer and Canadians and Aussies get along quite well.

But I digress…

Pick the witch, for the love of all that’s HOLY! She may make your life a living hell but at least you won’t reside there, permanently.

You are always welcome, here, after all, we’ve got lots of space (even if much of it is frozen).  And I understand we’re very polite (most of the time). We do say, “sorry”, a lot, and I apologize for that.

Anyway, we’re counting on you to do the right thing; please don’t let us down.

Your pals to the North,

xox

Dealing With an Elderly Parent


Or…in my case, helping my 80-year old mother hook up with a new man by setting her up on a senior’s dating site.

Yup. You read that right. Just because you’re in your twilight years doesn’t mean you don’t get lonely, from time-to-time. My mother gave birth to three kids; I’m the much talked about middle child. And from three offspring only one grandchild sprung forth. Thank you, big Bro for that! As soon as she was born (my niece) I was off the hook!

She’s now nearing 22-years old, lives in Berlin and Nana doesn’t really get to see her a lot. You get the picture.

We DO visit mom, occasionally…but hey, we all have our own lives. I check in regularly and joke about making sure she’s still alive (as in not lying dead on the kitchen floor of a sudden heart attack). Thankfully, she finds this humorous and I’m kidding, but only half kidding.

When you’re 80, anything can happen!

Although I may not be the doting daughter, I do love her dearly and we chat/text on a regular basis. We were never super-duper close but we have an understanding. Also, I’m always available, so when she can’t get a hold of the other two, I’ll always answer her calls or call her back shortly thereafter. The irony that I’m last on her list of calls but the only one who is always available (and reliable) isn’t lost on me, either.

It’s okay, I’m over it. Mostly. Really. *cue my big brother to chime in about me and my middle child issues*

Anyway. I’ve found what looks to be a respectable site (Our Time) and now I have to load pics for her. Once she’s all up and running and getting much wanted emails from suitors, I’ll have to have THE talk with her. She won’t want THE talk. She’ll be snippy and shitty about it, being all insulted that I think she’s stupid, etc., but I’ll have THE talk, nevertheless. I’m bracing myself for the inevitable push-back and arguments I’ll get from her.

She’s already been taken (not financially, thank GAWD) by a scammer on Facebook so I think THE talk is relevant.

And really, this goes for every woman out there who is online dating, not just my vivacious Mother.

  1. Don’t bother with anyone who isn’t local.
  2. This is how to spot a scammer: (list all obvious traits).
  3. Always, ALWAYS meet someone in a public place.
  4. NEVER give out your phone number first – let them provide theirs and when you do give a phone number, DON’T give out your home one, give them your cell #. That way if they’re a creep, you can easily block them and they can’t look you up on 411 to get your address, etc.
  5. Find out their full name before you meet them – do a little internet research to see if they’re real and who they say they are. No, this isn’t cyber stalking, it’s necessary homework to keep you safe.
  6. Let your daughters know (or your son, pick one of us) when you’re going on a blind date – when/time, who it is….etc. Call us when you get home! If you don’t we’ll worry sick about you.

I don’t want to cramp her style, by any means, but my younger sis used to make me text her the license plate # of the guy who I was meeting in case I went missing… I wasn’t pissy about it, I thought it was cute and hey, you can’t be too safe.

An 80-year old woman is much more vulnerable than a 50-year old one. And, she’s my mom; I take no chances.

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A Funny Thing Happened in Life, Today…


I’m on a work conference call and I usually dial in via my laptop. I always, always, always check to make sure that the mic is on MUTE. As it turns out, the ‘mute’ click didn’t work. This, despite me double and triple checking. It simply wasn’t going to comply – but, I honestly thought it did!

That dirty rotten mic scoundrel. And, just my luck, too.

Everything is going along fine and I’m not saying or doing anything so I don’t notice and neither do the other 50 people on the call.

That is…until…

My phone rings.

I promptly put mute my laptop speakers (THEY are working just fine, thank you very much) and carry on with my call. I ‘could’ have disengaged from the conference call with work (and really I would have missed nothing) but I didn’t. What we SHOULD have done and actually DID, in life, often give us all sorts of insight into why we do or don’t do things.

Anyway. I fucked up and didn’t log off when I should have and because my speakers were muted just fine, I didn’t hear the screaming and yelling from the speakers telling me to hang the hell up.

Damn it.

Seconds later, when the call ends, my boss’s boss chides me like a naughty 5th grader and all I can do in my head is wonder how the hell the mic didn’t mute when I was SOOOO sure that it did. Really, he was pissed and all I can think of is: I’m SURE I muted it, how could this happen?

He went on and on and I think he may have thought I was lying. I’m not sure what that would have accomplished as why wouldn’t I mute my mic?

“It was very disruptive.” he says.

“Yes,” I thought… “I bet it was!”

I can imagine there were a lot of pissed off people for approx. 5 min of today. I can imagine that had ‘I’ been on that call, I would have wanted to reach out and slap that person! But hey…now I’ll be much more understanding. I’m sure this is my lesson. I’d have rolled my eyes at ‘me’ …had I not been ME and didn’t realize what was going on.

Even though I’d apologized 3 x (4 in total) at one point, the Big Boss still felt he needed to drive his point home. I’m not sure what that point was because once I realized this error, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s NEVER going to EVER happen again. I can see if I were a repeat offender but I’m not.

As well, can we do anything about it now? No. Just tell me what happened so that I don’t make this mistake again. I get it, it wasn’t a good thing but it wasn’t horrible, either. I didn’t shoot anyone – I made a human error.

Bawling me out isn’t going to make one bit of difference because he knows I’m already embarrassed and seeing as I apologized many times, he knows I’m regretful.

Then (after the FORTH apology) he says….have a great rest of your day. I told him seeing as I wasn’t going to be on any further WebEx conference calls, I suspected that I would. I don’t think he found that funny…

So yeah, THAT happened.

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What’s It Like Being a Hopeless Romantic?


Gosh, I’m glad you asked! Even if you didn’t.

It’s really kinda sucky. You’re constantly wanting to put your best foot forward on all occasions and can come across as ‘over the top’ even when you mean well. You are compelled to do all the cute, romantic, wonderful things for the person in your life, even if they never return the favour.

Most people give up, but not us hopeless romantics; nope, we’re driven! We feel eventually you’ll ‘get it’ and will appreciate our efforts. Usually, you never do and don’t. In fact, you tend to feel guilty that we do SO much, rather than just being grateful.

I’ve written a plethora of love poems, been always supportive, loving, and generous and all the things that you’d THINK would make someone fall in love with you. Nope…that is not a given. In fact, most don’t and can’t comprehend why they even should consider it. It seems, people are drawn to the ‘bad’ girls and boys of the world…the one they CAN’T have, and with all common sense considered, really shouldn’t want.

People are focused on what we LOOK like rather than how we treat others. It’s the beautiful bitchy girls who somehow manage to get the sweet lovable guys to swoon over them and think because this person looks like an angel that they actually are. Usually they’re quite the opposite.

Now, I’m not unattractive by any means but I’m no Jennifer Aniston, either.

Looks aside, and even if this doesn’t even factor in (that being if someone actually thinks we’re all that and a hottie to boot) they still don’t really appreciate what us hopeless romantics and all the things we do for them. Again, remember, we’re compelled…to do stuff. We actually enjoy it!

But, we expect, at the very least, a thank you. You don’t need to reciprocate (although you’ll never hear us complain if you do) but a small gesture of appreciation, now and then, would be nice.

Flowers are always a good idea for the ladies. Just saying.

These days I dial it back a little; don’t want the new guy running for the hills. It’s happened; a LOT.

OMG, she wrote me a LOVE poem, about LOVE!!! FRIG!!! I can’t take it! She’ll expect something from ME and I SUCK at poetry! Whattodowhattodowhattodo…. I know! I’ll break up with her, that way, I don’t have to think about it because I don’t know how I feel. I’m a guy, I have ONE feeling, just ONE! Fuck, this is hard!! Best I be single and look for that hot girl to fall for, instead, even though she’ll break my heart and I may never fully recover. Yes, that’s a much better plan.

WRONG ANSWER.

No, we don’t expect an epic poem back. No, we don’t even think you love us (in fact, we already know you don’t) but we are getting there (if we’re not, already) and just want to test the waters a little to see if you MIGHT be there. Some. Day. Yes, we’re that hopeful (or hopeLESS).

So, just thank us, next time. Be sweet (force yourself if you have to). Be kind. Be respectful of our feelings, we are very much thinking about yours.

I suspect, like amazing artists, we’ll only be appreciated after we’re dead.

Gosh, that girl was SO awesome!

Yes, she sure was the one who got away!

I SO miss her!

There will never be one like her, again!

*SOB!!*

 

Yup. I should write a book and bequeath the inevitable riches that will occur after I’m long gone to a special charity set up for Hopeful (less) Romantics.

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Brain Farts and the Science Behind it


Today I was chatting away with a coworker, during lunch. We often talk about different movies and television shows that pique our interest. Most of these are on Netflix. This has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, but I thought I’d throw in a little distractor. I’m sneaky that way. Now you’re thinking about the latest thing you’ve watched on Netflix, aren’t you?

Moving along.

I was trying to remember a series of very well-known movies that this particular actress (which we were discussing) was featured in. I came up blank. In fact, I couldn’t remember a single name of ANY of the famous actors who played in the movie or even the general topic. Bizarre. Someone had snuck up behind me and managed to remove half of my cerebral cortex without my written consent.

I’ve watched these movies a number of times. When I tell you what it is, you’ll completely get it. But there I was…stumped. It’s as if Gandalf, himself, was standing there with his magic walking stick, thrusting and shaking it in my direction whilst screaming at the top of his lungs, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!”

My brain was locked up. I decided to try the back door to see if I could get in that way. I got in, alright, only to discover a gang of crickets just hanging around, smoking and scratching their groins. They didn’t even have the decency to chirp. One even turned to me with an annoyed look on his face as if to say:

What…?

Apparently the aliens had removed my entire brain.

I was starting to look like some frantic lunatic in front of my poor coworker as I spat out words into incomplete sentences that went more or less like this:

“It’s the…!!! You know, that guy…who…, his name is….!!! Oh GAWD! I CAN’T!!! JEEEZ!”

“Who the frig STOLE MY BRAIN?!”

Short Term Memory Loss Support Group: 'Good evening. You're probably all wondering why you just walked into this room.'

As it turns out, there is a perfectly logical explanation that’s not only been documented but several people have given this phenomenon, serious thought. In fact, one of them first started researching this socially awkward and random occurrence in 1890. Possibly that’s when someone noticed it was nearing an epidemic and thought it wise to look into it.

It was then coined: TOT (tip-of-the-tongue syndrome). Then, in 1966, a fellow named David McNeil published a whole paper on it in the Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior. You can download it here.

So, what’s this TOT thing all about and why is it happening (mostly to me, I’m convinced) anyway?

Evidently, it’s partially to do with age. No huge surprise, there. There are also a number of other factors that contribute to this annoying irritant. Sleep deprivation, anxiety, alcohol and distraction and basically anything that can affect your physical and cognitive health will be party to this and make it happen more often.

In recent years the causes have become much more interesting: psycholinguistic, for example. My, that’s a fancy word, now what the heck does it mean? Essentially, it’s the study of how the psyche responds to words and languages. So, an issue would be a temporary breakdown in your vocabulary word retrieval.

A large portion of: names, dates, places and numbers decided to go on vacation without checking with the rest of us, first.

Unfortunately I don’t have good news, fellow cranium-flatulators, on fixing this intolerable behavior. There are not a lot of ‘fix it’ solutions out there. However, one fellow made a few up of his own. Dr. Gary Small, a ‘professor of psychiatry and aging’ at the UCLA SEMEL Institute developed the: “Look, Snap, Connect” technique. If you’re interested, you can find out all about it, here.

I’m quite relieved that this is a relatively common phenomenon, even though I suspect I suffer from it far more than others.
I’m going to go with the: My-brain-was-full-and-I-needed-it-for-more-important-things theory.

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Oh! And the move was X-men. See? Completely common, everybody has seen it and I haven’t a clue why I drew a blank.

Which Muppet Would You Be?


I’ve always adored the Muppets. In fact, I used to watch the show, (when it aired) religiously. I particularly love the Grumpy Old Men and the Swedish Chef. Beaker, was another fave.

Funny, because my first husband was a ‘real’ Swedish Chef. Well, okay, he was a cook with Swedish Heritage. His dad, however, was a true Swedish Chef and actually taught the Chef Training Course at the college I attended.

But I digress…

I’ve given this a lot of thought. Really! It’s a bit silly, but I need ‘fun and silly’ in my life, right now.

I truly believe I’m Kermit.

Lest you ask: “What is up with that?! Kermit is a DUDE!”

You’d be right. But…there is only really one true female character and I’m definitely NOT Miss Piggy.

So yeah…I’m Kermie. Kermie sans Miss Piggy. Or…just Kermit.

Here’s why:

  • Kermit struggles with himself. He’s said (and sung): “It’s not easy being green” I completely agree. I’m not green…but that can’t be easy. Also, it’s not easy being me. I don’t think any of us have an easy go at life, but I tend to torture myself (emotionally) just a little bit more than others. Also, he’s insecure about how he looks and what he can achieve. I’m not the only one who does this, but as a single girl, I tend to compare myself to younger, prettier, girls. I also have issues on what I’m really good at and just what I ‘can’ accomplish.
  • Kermit is a really nice dude. He means well and if he makes mistakes, it’s certainly not on purpose. I can relate to this. In fact, I’ve been accused of being TOO nice, on occasion. I also fuck up. A LOT.  Recently, I had a major award-winning, all-time book-worthy… fuck-up; I really don’t want to go there, though. Kermit is kinda like that, too. He feels the need to explain himself, a lot. Also, he’s helpful, kind and empathetic. I’ve been told I am like this, as well. I do mean well. Kermit does, too.
  • Kermit sings. I sing! Kermit may actually be a bit better than me; certainly he’s more famous…but I do okay with the vocal cords.
  • Kermit is short. I’m a little short. Not too short…but in my stocking feet, I’m a whopping: 5’4”.
  • He’s got a pretty decent sense of humour – albeit, it’s subtle. I can be funny! Not hysterical-type funny…but amusing, for sure.

Now, we’re not twinsies or anything, but the point of this is to pick one Muppet character that you identify with. I identify with Kermit the Frog.

Which Muppet are you?

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An Experiment in Sleep Deprivation


So.

I’ve been awake since Monday morning. From 4:30 am,  to be exact. The why isn’t important but what’s interesting is that I’ve been conscious for 37 or so, hours? My math skills are deplorable.

And…! I’m feeling great! I can stand, function, write (see? I’m writing coherently) and even entertain clients for dinner. Things got really fun when I came home to cat puke on my bedroom carpet and then, said kitty evidently had a runny tummy whilst I was slaving away at work.

This = cat shit all over his ass leading to being forced to wash him in the kitchen sink. (see pic, below). Normally I’d be pissed, but I’m totally fine with it!

Apparently not getting enough sleep (never mind being awake for going on 40 hours) is a bad thing. Funny…I kinda feel fantastic.  Here is the reason:

  • Sleep deprivation, such as pulling an all-nighter, can lead to short-term euphoria, however, your brain’s rational, decision-making regions largely shut down when sleep deprived, which means you may be in a precarious mental state that encourages you to take risks you normally would not. Wait, I’m taking a risk? It’s a blog for heaven’s sake! 
  • Sleep deprivation for as little as 29 hours has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or disease. I totally get the stress bit.
  • Sleep deprivation is linked to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and bipolar depression, while getting the right amount of sleep has been linked to positive personality characteristics such as optimism and greater self-esteem, as well as a greater ability to solve difficult problems. I’ve been not sleeping properly for a while -but I SWEAR I’ve been in a pretty good mood. Definitely not suffering from lack of self-esteem, etc. Okay, that’s a bold-faced lie. My mood is not good but lack of sleep isn’t the cause. And, the cause isn’t bipolar depression or anxiety. It’s more heart-related – not murmur but of the ‘relationship’ variety.

Now…I normally don’t do this (stay up for this long) but… circumstances and all that jazz.  I fully plan to go to sleep, or at least attempt to, shortly. I have lots of alcohol available but this will make it worse. In fact, alcoholics often suffer from insomnia. Don’t worry, I’m not one.

I took all my sleeping aids (to no avail, I may add!) last night.  Something is rotten in the state of Denmark because they did NOT work. In fact…here I am, 37 hours, later.

Still. Awake.

It’s been a long and hectic day, too. Somehow I managed three meetings (don’t forget entertaining clients for dinner), several lengthy phone calls, driving around town and …coming home to cat poop and puke.

I’ve got another client meeting, tomorrow, so if I don’t sleep tonight – things are going to get very interesting, indeed.

I’m off to bed…with a wet cat in tow.

Nighty night.

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Hey there, me…it’s me…miss me?


My coworker talks nonstop to himself. And when I say ‘nonstop’ I’m not kidding. There’s a constant stream of dialogue going on inside his office and for the most part, it’s one-way.

Now, we ALL do this, from time-to-time. I am as guilty as the next person, but I DO try and limit my outer conversations to simple comments or, if I simply have to not use my ‘inside voice’, I make damn sure I’m ALONE. Because…people think you’re a freak if you’re jabbering away to no one in particular.

So. I had to look it up. Is talking to yourself an indication that your friends and family need to have an intervention that involve men in white coats? Or…is it simply normal to do this.

As it stands, the jury is (more or less) out. Some say that this is not only completely normal but good for you! Others disagree and I’m certainly not trying to make light of mental illnesses. There is even a wikiHow on: How to Stop Talking to Yourself.

It’s okay to chat away all by your lonesome if you are truly alone. So if you’re lonely or if you need to verbalize decisions, or if you just have to get something off your chest…and no one is around to ‘listen’ to you, I think it’s okay.

In an office environment where you are clearly NOT alone and DO talk to clients all day? I’m not so sure. When is it best to use our inside voice and when is it okay to let it all out (no matter who is listening to or watching you)?

We all have  self dialogue or “Intrapersonal Communication”. Sometimes our thoughts leave our heads and go skipping, blissfully out of our mouths.

I’m not really sure what to think on the matter and for ‘that’ matter…does laughing out loud, count? If so, I’m extremely guilty on that account.

I DO talk to my cat. He does answer me, quite often, but I can’t count that as a conversation. Not. Really… I’ve read that everyone talks to their pets. As I live alone, this happens all the time. I think he understands me a little bit but pretends not to and generally, he just doesn’t care.

Or maybe he does and thinks I’m a nutcase:

“Lady, you’re talking to a CAT. Don’t you know? I’m a CAT, you stupid bi-ped. Now go and fill up the sink with water. That’s right…do my bidding and stop answering me in that ridiculous baby voice.”

In all fairness, HE usually starts it.

Just sayin’.

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(Insert Colourful Explanative Here)


You’ve probably heard the latest about the little town of, Taber, AB, and their new law against public swearing, spitting and yelling. Whilst I’m keen to ban spitting, (horking up a goober at any time, defies disgusting, I mean, c’mon, people! NOBODY wants to see that) yelling, has its place.

I don’t personally enjoy yelling, per se, but I understand there is a need from time-to-time. I mean, what if someone were to step out into traffic and they didn’t see the oncoming semi rushing towards them? What is one to do? Whisper?

“Hey! Watch out!” she gasped in a hushed tone, hoping no one in particular heard her… as the poor little old lady was squished beneath the giant wheels of crushing steel.

Swearing, on the other hand, is a MUST. At least, I think so.

Why?

It’s freedom of speech, for one thing. It’s also how many of us emotional beings deal with things like: stress, anger, pain, surprise, joy (think….bedroom), and general all ‘round bullshit.

Wait…what..? Did I just…swear…?

But, hang on for a sec… Fear not! I have a solution. I think we should create interesting acronyms. Now, I don’t use ALL of these words, mainly #2, 3 and 4. Next to never, #2. I do use # 5, a lot, though. Let’s start, shall we?

  1. For unlawful carnal knowledge.  I think this has been used before, but I’m stealing it, anyway. It’s a mouthful, I’ll admit, but hey – it works and it’s rather appropriate, don’t ya think?
  2. Cunningly ugly notorious terrestrial. Too much?
  3. Sudden, happenstance, interrupting time. I’m on the fence with this one but will take suggestions; look for the special “I don’t give a sudden happenstance interrupting time) what you think”, suggestion box.
  4. Any self-serving, highly oppressive, lunatic ego. This one is growing on me.
  5. Babe in total control, honey. Is this even a swearword??

I could go on, but you see my point; it would take far too long to express ourselves, properly! It’s madness, I say, madness!

Really, though, these are ‘just’ words; stick and stones, right?

My guess is that this was brought on by the Religions bunch.

Oh, YOU know who you are!! Don’t think we don’t know.

Southern Alberta boasts quite a Bible Belt of Holy Rollers. I should know, I used to live there. In fact, I’ve been to Taber many times.

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far, away on a dark and stormy night…I sold crummy ads for a local crummy weekly newspaper run by a bunch of crummy people. The HQ was/probably still is – in Taber, AB. Yup. I used to have to go there, once a week, for proofing said crummy ads.

And then there’s Taber corn. Truly…it’s as delicious and delectable as they claim.  I mean, mouth-watering, taste bud tantalizing, good! There is a serious ‘yummy’ factor with this corn.

And that, my friends, may actually be the culprit that has Taber Teens running off colourful expletives from their little baby-like mouths, in PUBLIC, no doubt!

Clearly they are all a bunch of hooligans and this is completely out of control. It has to stop…really. I mean…any cunningly ugly notorious terrestrial that has sudden, happenstance, interrupting time (for brains) can see that a teen doing this is either a babe in total control, honey ….or any self-serving, highly oppressive, lunatic ego. For unlawful carnal knowledge’s, sake, already!

Yup. When in doubt, blame religion. I think we can safely say it has a lot to answer for.

May the corn bless you and keep you.

The Significance of Toast


I’ve always found it rather interesting how we sometimes associate a taste, smell, texture, etc., with an emotion or positive/negative memory. While it all makes sense and our memories a are vast cornucopia of events with a multitude of minute details (like food) attached to them, I still find it amusing that toast makes me happy.

I’d have to backup a bit (okay…a lot) into my past to explain the significance of toasted bread; perhaps you can come long with me in this journey and remember your own associations with food.

Before we skip along memory lane, there is something you should know. My childhood sucked. Well, most of it, anyway. It sucked A LOT – and it was so sucky that I had (and sometimes, but rarely still do have) terrible nightmares related to my father.

I won’t get into details, but the point is not ‘everything’ was terrible/horrible/awful. There were good memories, too. This is a good segue into the whole toast thing and why I love it. More specifically: cinnamon toast has a special place in my heart.

Long before my father changed, (and not for the better) he and I had a pretty good father/daughter relationship. I was about 4 and he was my hero. He was my hero for a number of reasons but particularly because he LOVED cartoons.

And I mean…

Seriously.

Loved.

Cartoons.

He didn’t have them, growing up as a child seeing as the cathode ray tube had yet to be invented, and like many men, he was really just a big kid at heart. He loved cartoons so much that when we were older and playing games outside with our friends, he’d open the front door and call us in to watch the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.

I’m NOT kidding.

There we were, being kids, playing outdoors, getting exercise in the sunshine and pretty much having a good time doing ‘kid stuff’…when he’d want us to come indoors and watch cartoons with him. Clearly my father didn’t like watching them, alone. My mother, although never understanding this, found it humorous.

“Let them play outside!” she’d yell at him.

“They want to watch it with me; they asked me to tell them when it’s on!” he’d yell back.

Part of that was true. When I was really little, I DID want dad to tell me when the cartoons were on. This was partially because I didn’t have a watch but mainly because even if I DID have a watch, I didn’t know how to tell time, yet. Plus…when I was that little, nothing mattered more than cartoons , except for maybe candy and toys. Those two joys were right up there on my small list of must haves.

So, back to the toast.

When I was ‘pre-school’, I used to wake up early, anyway, and as dad was getting my older brother off to Galbraith Elementary School and mom was looking after my little sister (she was still a baby)…he’d make me two things that I still LOVE, today.

Cinnamon toast and a teensy little bit of coffee.

Yup, coffee. I doubt my mother knew that he was feeding caffeine to a four-year old but I adored it, he only gave me a tiny little bit in my little girl cup, and he put tons of cream and sugar in it. I think he felt a little bit guilty about allowing this small luxury to his oldest daughter, but every morning I BEGGED him for it and loved him dearly for obliging me.

That, and the cinnamon toast were delectable, delicious and as I sat watching Rocket Robin Hood (after Batman and Robin) and then, Spiderman…life just didn’t get any better! My mornings with my dad were pure bliss.

He’d sit in his chair with feet propped up on footstool in front of him, before he got his deliveries ready for the day (at that time he was the Watkins Products Distributor for Southern Alberta) and I’d either be lying on the couch or sprawled out on the floor in front of the black and white TV.

If I choose to remember things about my father and I, it’s the smell of creamy coffee, the aroma of cinnamon toast and the two of us completely enraptured by an episode of Batman and Robin.

So, whether it’s cinnamon toast, banana bread or cookies that bring on the positive/happy memories, I say relish in them. Too often we focus on the bad stuff that happened in our past and forget the really cool fun stuff…

Like watching cartoons and Batman, on a little black and white TV at 6:30 am, when you’re four…with your dad.

batman

A Lesson In Communicating (Or Lack Thereof)


Besides being the dominant form of human communication (be it written or oral) – words are power. As a blogger, poet and fiction writer, words have been my best friend (and when I’m really pissed, my ultimate weapon) since I could talk. By the way, I talked at 9 months so you can imagine I’ve had a lot of time to practice.

It’s interesting, though, that despite humans using their ‘words’ since they could figure out how to…people don’t often communicate very well. There are a lot of misunderstandings, misinterpretations and general clusterfucks of people not understanding what others are trying to say. Or, what seems quite cut and dried/to the point/obvious – is over analyzed to death by the other person and the ‘true meaning’ is completely lost out to sea.

In hindsight, there have been plenty of times where my communication skills have sucked. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t express yourself well. We’ve all been there.

How does one solve this? How do we ‘know’ that our message was received/deciphered/understood? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve S-P-E-L-L-E-D things out to the point where I didn’t think it would be possible to be more concise, but somehow my words were misconstrued.

A good example: Last weekend, I was spending some time with ‘that boy I really like’. Well, my sister texts me. Now… I’m busy with that ‘boy I really like’ but I’m polite and I don’t want to ignore her. I tell her –   I’m busy (insert his name here) is over.

My wonderful sister immediately thinks I’m saying the budding relationship with ‘that boy’ is OVER and proceeds to threaten to HEX him if he’s hurt me. Well…this brings up another, and closely related, subject of punctuation… as in ‘Commas’…but you get the idea.

The boy and I are definitely NOT over. But he was…standing in my kitchen as he was ‘over’ at my place.

It’s an easy thing to do. Thankfully, I quickly corrected her and tried to send her on her way. Thus, the hexing was (although narrowly) avoided. This didn’t end, however, because I stepped out of my typical sister-communication box and called her: “hon”.

Setting off a whole new set of alarms for my darling little sis, she now is concerned that maybe ‘that boy’, or God knows who else, has borrowed my phone and she’s no longer texting her own flesh and blood, but a stranger.

Egads!

The next text was: This doesn’t sound like you… What’s my middle name?

Now ‘the boy I like’ and I (still standing in my kitchen) are laughing! He wants me to text her a middle name that isn’t hers. I didn’t – thinking I’d much rather pay attention to him than carry on all night with my sister.

So, I called her. It seemed the right thing to do considering my frustration at trying to tell my suspicious-hexing, baby sis, that I was BUSY.

We chuckled…there was an awkward moment when I asked ‘the boy I like’ to say hello and the call was quickly ended.

And all because I forgot a comma.

See? It’s easy to miss-communicate.

Words have power. They can hurt (and possibly hex) and heal. They can create and tear down. They can bring joy and pain. They can make us laugh…and cry.

We achieve nothing if we can’t communicate, properly, with each other.

~FIN~

bridge_of_possbilities_by_quiescent_reverie-d47zzgh

When We Were Wee


Remember the good ole’ days? Specifically, I’m speaking to the 45+ crowd (or so…). We didn’t wear seat belts, there were no air bags; wearing a crash helmet whilst riding your banana bike would get you beat up…or at least laughed at.

Computers were the size of an entire building and our telephones used a little turn-thing called a rotary dial. If you were lucky, you had a ‘private’ line rather than a party one. The concept of smart phones, the internet, texting, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

Yet…

Social media? Was that some sort of Tupperware party for newspaper reporters? Our cars were big, our dreams were even bigger. Mine were humongous.

No one had a cow and thought you’d die of poisoning (possibly within seconds) if you drank from the garden hose. In fact, it kind of tasted good; it had an interesting bouquet with a hint of sunshine and July-rain notes and was warm and earthy on the palette. It tasted like summer holidays, hot afternoons, oh, and rubber.

I grew up on the Southern Alberta prairies. For fun there were no video games, iTunes, home theatre entertainment or any of that sort. We built forts in the dirt and weeds. The day consisted of being covered in mosquito bites and smelling like stink bugs. Oh, and we had a fine coat of dust from the clay dirt; it was very windy in my town.

In the winter we froze our little bums off – again building forts but this time in 10’ of snow.  Fort building should have been a career choice for some of us. I hung out in alleys playing games of hide and seek with a group of 8 or so, friends. Our territory extended for about 3 blocks. We had a game of monopoly going for 6 weeks straight.

We had fun.

Life wasn’t glamorous but it wasn’t hectic, either.  I liked life, back then. We got hurt, dirty, were bullied but we learned to fight back. In third grade, a boy stole my hat and smacked me in the dead of winter. When I caught up with him, not only did I get my hat back but I nailed him in the kisser (with my fist, not my lips). He never bothered me again. And if he did? I had a big brother who was 6 years my senior.

We dealt with things and life in an almost wholesome way. I didn’t swear for fear that somehow my mother, who had ears like a cat, would find out and I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week. We got spanked and then we learned to behave. I had the fear of authority in me and I respected it.

I didn’t grow up to become a killer or victim and I didn’t die from rubber poisoning from the garden hose; when I fell off my bike, I healed.

Despite not having Facebook, seat belts, electronic readers, smart phones and every other wonderful thing that we seemingly can’t live without when I was young – I’m actually thriving!

Go figure.

Pardon me, eh?


Canadian’s are ridiculously polite…on the outside, that is. Inside we’re thinking something entirely different. Take for instance the fact that we line up for elevators. The building I work in quite possibly has the worst and longest wait for its elevators within the known Universe.  Yet, while elevators 1, 2 and 3 are conveniently ‘parked’ on floors, 16, 5 and 12 – the 4th elevator will eventually glide down (stopping on every single stop) to the lobby.  You just know that only one person gets out.

However, there we are – cued up like good little boys and girls for the oncoming ride. All that is…except for those few individuals that march right past the cue and stand at the front of the line, pretending the nice, neat row of 12 or so people behind them just doesn’t exist.

And we say nothing.

No one speaks up.

We stand there placidly looking at the floor, or our watches or cautiously  glance here and there almost nervously.

But you know what we’re thinking, don’t you?

How DARE she cut in front of the line, why that &!@#@#!!!, did she NOT see the rest of us?! She must not be Canadian! Pft! Next time she’d better at the very least say: Pardon me or excuse me or even sorry! Then, of course, she’s perfectly welcome to jump the cue and we won’t stand quietly staring at her in disbelief whilst showing no expression on our faces, whatsoever. No, we will acknowledge her apology and smile at her. We may even say:

Oh, that’s ok!

And that, my friends, is what really goes on in our Canadian heads.

True story.

I’m Really Not Having a Good Day…


Brace yourself, I’m an a whiny/venting mood.

The evening started and ended well until about 3 am. Then it just went downhill from there. I watched Inception (for about the 5th time) on my teeny little 25” monitor (still waiting to purchase a new flat screen)…then much to my pleasant surprise, a boy I rather like (alright, he’s a man) leaves me a cute and flirty email (thank you for that, T). So off I went to bed feeling all warm and fuzzy.

Then I wake up (3 am), and when I wake up the cat thinks it’s his job to keep me awake thus proceeding to become a major pain in the ass. Just before my alarm goes off (many hours, later) I’m throwing various items at him in my sleepy stupor and promising that terrible things will soon bestow him (as if he understands or cares…) so he’ll stop pawing at the ^%!*%!!# blinds. I miss, completely, of course and this does not deter him.

Fine. My new boss floats in later in the morning, also not having much luck in the sleep department, and I think it would be very nice of me to buy her a coffee…or a latte… As it turns out, she wants milk for the office, as well. This turns out to be my downfall as I only have two hands and to carry two coffees, a nibbly for myself AND the milk, I need at least three, possibly more.

You’re guessing what happened, aren’t you? Indeed, latte all over me and half of the elevator.  Uh huh… yup.  And because I’m such a good little citizen, I even went back, waited for about 3 to come and go and cleaned up – latte-covered elevator.

I now stink like a somewhat off, latte mixed with undertones of Marc Jacobs, Daisy. I’m also extremely thankful that I wore black, although I look splotchy. I want to go home and soak in the tub.

Remembering the Days of Innocence


When I was quite young, often my family and I would venture out to Waterton Park on a Saturday. This was during the 1970’s – long before we knew it just wasn’t a good idea to feed the wildlife. We were in the car, a light blue Oldsmobile. My father was happily stopping every chance he could, when we would see deer wandering down the narrow road (which was quite often), opening up the window and offering said deer potato chips.

Today, we’d never do that (or maybe you would, but it’s not good for the poor deer) but back then it was perfectly acceptable. I was known for blurting out odd things here and there but typically, I was a quiet and sullen child.

I think I was about seven or eight, well, maybe a bit younger, at the time and on this occasion I decided that it would be a good idea to express my knowledge on the sex of this deer that was quite content accepting and devouring delicious, salty chips.

“Mom, “I said very astutely. “That’s a girl deer.”

“Oh really??” Suddenly she was unusually interested in what her middle child had to say. “How can you tell?” She eyed me somewhat suspiciously and with great interest. I found myself thrown into the centre of attention…which was odd for me.

I was extremely puzzled that she didn’t know and giving her an I’m amazed you haven’t figured this out on your own look…I said very proudly.

“Because, mom, she has long and curly eyelashes!”

With much relief, my parents burst out laughing.

It would be several years before I figured out why…

Interview Question


Someone that I watch on another site posed this interview question and asked how one would answer it. Now, I’ve been on and given more interviews than you can shake a stick at. I’ve answered and asked this question many times and it’s a stupid irrelevant question because no one is going to answer it honestly.

Here it is. Get ready to cringe:

What is your most obvious weakness?

Next time I’m asked this I’m going to:

Lean in….look frightened and nervously around before whispering:

“I see dead people.”

The alternative would be to sit up straight, looking the questioner right in the eye whilst maintaining a stoic pose and say very seriously:

“Kryptonite.”

Unintentional Smut


Ha. Made ya look.

I always think this is the best and most humorous kind. I sell software. Our license key sits on a USB. This USB is called a ‘dongle’.  You can start snickering now. Most of my clients are male……

Now….would you be able to keep a straight face when asked:

My dongle doesn’t work, what should I do with it?

I’ve lost my dongle; I’ve no idea where I put it!

Which port do I stick my dongle into?

I have a networked dongle, many people can use it at the same time, right?

I think I broke my dongle.

Why do I always have to take my dongle with me?

It just goes on and on…..I’ve had to bite my lip often; there has been blood.