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 chords.
  • 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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