Monday, January 3, 2011

I have started my new job. It is a challenge and takes a little adjusting. I am working on it. Until the middle of the month, I am on a casual basis. Basically I go in when someone is sick. I was called into work on New Year's Eve. It was for the day shift so I didn't mind. After that day though, You will NEVER EVER EVER get me to work a night shift.

It was a slow day since a lot of the residents had gone home for the holidays. For lunch supervision we had more supervisors than students. Not a big deal. It is a good time to get to know my new co workers better. We had some time to kill so my co worker D asked if I wanted to walk laps with her. I had nothing better to do and I get a big kick out of D so I agreed. As we walked we talked about a resident who had passed away. D told me she always says a prayer for the person who has passed on and in return, they usually visit her in a dream to let her know they are OK. I thought it was a very sweet thing. We had already gone around the building. D asked me if I had seen the basement. I had not so we headed down there to take a look. For now the basement is used mainly for storage. Until recently it held the laundry too. The laundry service has been outsourced so the basement is not busy anymore.

Originally the building was a sanatorium and had a morgue in the basement. This too is long gone. It is still a very creepy place to be. There are narrow, dully lit hallways, gated areas and the most frightening thing of all... mouse traps. When I started work and was told it was once a sanatorium I did wonder if it was haunted. No one said anything so I forgot about it. As we strolled along D was telling me about the spirits who have visited her in her life. She asked if I wanted to see the daycare. You can access the daycare through the basement tunnel. As we continued on D told me how the hallway was supposed to be haunted. People have reported hearing footsteps when they are alone or feeling something brush past you in the hall. She said when the daycare has to use the tunnel they all run through it. I admit I was getting a little creeped out as visions of every horror movie I have ever seen flashed through my head. We passed a gated hallway and I fully expected someone in a mask to jump out and bang against the gate. Since nothing happened I told myself to stop being so silly. As soon as we entered the haunted hallway both D and I heard a loud growling sound. At first I thought I someone must be trying to scare the newbie. When D screamed and grabbed onto me I quickly decided it wasn't a joke and I was out of there. Let the little children brave the ghost I was getting the hell out of there. So one week into the job and I have already learned a couple valuable lessons. D is just as much of a fraidy cat as I am, I will NEVER EVER GO INTO THE BASEMENT AGAIN, and you will never get me to work a night shift there either ( just to be on the safe side). I have also learned this. I am not the stupid girl in the movies who always goes to check out the scary noise in the basement. Nope I am the one who runs screaming from the haunted house and actually lives to the end of the movie. So there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Once again we reach that dreaded time in our yearly calendar. No, I don't mean the last minute Dec. 24 11 PM WallyMart run. I am referring to the time of year that strikes fear into the hearts of every parent. The time of year you will find parents begging their boss to enforce mandatory overtime. The time of year where you will find parents in the parking lot ripping random wires out of their cars. No, I am not talking about going to work in a blizzard. I am of course referring to the time honored dreaded SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CONCERT.

When political correctness started to kill common sense, I thought perhaps it would take the concert with it. Nope. They just changed the name to 'CELEBRATION OF THE SEASON" and away we go. Don't get me wrong. Five year olds singing, crying and wetting their pants is always a joy to observe. I just find them a huge inconvenience. You know how it goes. The "school" concert cannot be held in the school because it is too small. Instead they move it across the city. You now must rush home from work, feed the children, dress them and then fight your way through RUSH HOUR traffic so you can make it in time to watch your little darling stand on stage, frozen in fear, until the teacher has finished her solo (it is a teacher solo because all the children either forgot the words or have stage fright) then you can try to find your car in the parking lot and fight 300 other parents to the exit. The preparation for this enchanting night is always fun. Personally I would rather rub my forehead on  cheese grater but to each their own. The teacher usually asks the parents to provide a costume made from virgin Alpaca fur. Preferably the albino virgin Alpaca. After all, doesn't everyone have a virgin alpaca in their back yard? Don't forget the matching shoes and hat. The costume must also be hand sewn. My version of sewing involves a stapler and duct tape.  If it can't be fixed with those supplies, it isn't getting sewn. My children were always the ones with the paper bags as a costume. The other children have beautiful hand made costumes made from the finest silk and Alpaca. Mine look adorable and orphaned in their paper bag shirt and garbage bag jacket held together by neon pink duct tape. How can you not love the concert season?
Have I mentioned that the concert is always held on the coldest night of the year. The one where the weather man is warning you that exposed skin will freeze in 5 seconds. If you stand in one spot too long, you will be frozen there until spring. This is also the night where a car will stall in the middle of the one and only exit to the parking lot.
 Two of my children are in the school band. The band concerts are a special kind of hell. Each grade plays two songs. Grade 6 -12. Wonderful. Oh I forgot the important part. Each year the grades play the same song. The song the Grade 6 class played last year is the same song the Grade 6 class will play this year. By the time you are done, you have sat through at least 6 years of the same damn songs. God help you if you have more than one child in the band. I am in year 6. I still have 4 more years to look forward to. Lucky me.
My favorite concert of all time happened when my oldest child was in grade 5. Two boys in Grade 4 got into a fist fight. ON THE STAGE DURING THE CONCERT
That was the best one. I doubt very much this week's concert will ever top that one.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear Santa,

I can explain. It wasn't my fault. I swear it wasn't. I was just trying to put a little Christmas spirit into the house. All I wanted was a nice pretty Christmas tree. One with lots and lots of lights. Not as many as last year. You remember that one? The heat from all the lights overheated the tree and it burst into flames. The Fire Chief said it was the most beautiful Christmas tree fire he had ever seen. All the pretty lights set off a lovely glow as they exploded from the heat. And now we have very original ornaments. After all, how many people have melted ornaments that  Salvador Dali would be proud of?

This year I was going to test the lights BEFORE I put them on the tree. I did. I tested everyone of those damn bulbs. Do you have any idea how long it takes to test 2000 bulbs? Let me tell you it takes A LOT of time. God made the world in 6 days. It took me three weeks to test all those damn bulbs. For a while I thought the world had become polka dotted. Turns out it was just the results from staring at all those bulbs for so long.When they were finally all working, I carefully put them on the tree. Well first I had to chase the cat to get the string of lights back. He thought we were playing a game. I would start to put the string of lights on the tree and he was on the other side pulling them down. I finally put all 2000 lights on the tree. I was ready for the big lighting. I gathered the family we sang songs and I began to plug in the tree lights. Guess what. Nothing happened. NOT ONE DAMN LIGHT LIT UP! I carefully removed the lights and tested them again. Yup they all worked. I carefully strung the lights up again. Again they didn't work. By the third time I tried this I just lost it. I am so sorry Santa. I tried. I really really tried. I just lost my mind. The kids have told me I got a strange look on my face and then began to kick the tree while frantically ripping the branches off the tree while screaming something about a conspiracy by the tree light manufacturers to force me to buy all their lights and send their kids to college while they retire to South America. I can't vouch for this story as I have no recollection. The next thing I knew the tree was halfway through the window and the children and cats were cowering under the bed.

The children have now purchased me an early Christmas present. I now have a beautiful artificial pre-lit tree. It looks very pretty all lit up. I wish I could get a closer look but the children have forbidden me to get anywhere near the tree. I still think it would look better if I put a few more lights on it. Just a few. What can it hurt?

I believe that the pre lit tree was invented by some poor damaged child. I think this poor child was traumatized by memories of their parents throwing a tree through the window in some crazed frenzy of frustration. See I didn't damage my children. I created memories and perhaps sent them on the road to future entrepreneurship.

See Santa I told you it wasn't my fault. I tried. I really tried. Next year, do you think you could bring me pre wrapped and bought presents? I think it might save my sanity.


Monday, November 29, 2010


After spending many hours searching (read dreaming) through the real estate listings, I think I have finally translated them. It is all about reading between the lines.
Here is a sample of commonly used words in the ads and my translation.

CUTE/COZY: Or any other combination/synomym of these words mean the place is not much bigger than living in your car. It is a suitable size for one small elderly lady and her pet bird. As long as they don't want to move at the same time

NEWLY RENOVATED: They slapped a fresh coat of paint over the mold before you arrived

SAFE NEIGHBOURHOOD: Last week the police raided the crack house next door and they haven't made bail yet.

QUIET NEIGHBOURHOOD: SEE: Safe Neighbourhood or else it means you are next to a cemetary

ACROSS/NEAR GREENSPACE: The neighbour only cuts their grass once a year.

APPLIANCES INCLUDED: We were too lazy to move them and they only work part of the time. They are your problem now.

NEUTRAL DECOR: I hope you like white

DRY BASEMENT: It is today as long as it hasn't rained or the spring melt hasn't started yet.


ORIGINAL HARDWOOD FLOOR: The house is uneven

ORIGINAL OWNER: Nothing has been done to the place since they moved in the house.

HANDYMAN SPECIAL:  Be carefull where you step you might fall through the hole in the floor.

NEWER AIR CONDITIONING: Bullet holes or broken windows.

ALARM SYSTEM INCLUDED: If you don't already own a guard dog or gun you better get one to live in this neighbourhood.

QUICK POSSESION: I need to leave town today or I know the roof is going to collapse and I want out before it does or jail sentence starts next week and I need money to pay for a new lawyer.

CLOSE TO SHOPPING: Above the store

CLOSE TO TRANSPORTATION: Next to the train station or bus station

CLOSE TO WATER: Leaky roof/ basement or flooded lake

Last but not least

OPEN CONCEPT: Someone stole the doors.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I am so angry I am spitting nails. I made the mistake of watching the news this morning. Actually watching the news wasn't the mistake. The mistake came when one of my least favorite city counsellors came on and I didn't change the channel. This man is pushing to make panhandling illegal. Don't get me wrong. I don't like aggressive panhandlers. They sometimes scare me. What made me angry was what he said. He said they are all able bodied and there is no reason for them not to get a job and contribute to society. I beg to differ. Mr. Steeves they may seem able bodied but that does not mean they are able to hold a job. Some of these people may be able bodied but not able minded. Some of them battle addictions. Sometimes these addictions prevent them from getting or keeping a job. They lose everything. A lot of the shelters won't let them stay if they are drunk or high. What are they supposed to do. The safety nets fail them. How are they supposed to live? Some of them sit all day trying to get a day labour job. Some days there are not enough day labour jobs for them. What are they supposed to do then? You don't qualify for Unemployment if you haven't worked the required minimum number of weeks. How do they live? Some of these people battle mental illness. These mental illnesses sometimes prevent them from holding down a job. Again, sometimes this can lead them to lose everything. Tell me what are they to do? I understand that panhandling can be an annoyance to some people. I understand that they can be a traffic hazard. But to assume they are all just too lazy to get a job is just plain wrong.

I have to tell a story about a panhandler. I used to work downtown. I took the bus to and from work because it was much easier than battling for a parking spot every morning and it was cheaper than having to work for a whole week to pay for your monthly parking fees.  Anyway, I was sitting with a Co Worker at the bus stop waiting. A pan handler came along and sat down beside Clint. He asked Clint for some spare change. Clint said he was sorry but all the money he had until payday was his bus fare. The pan handler then dug into his pocket and pulled out some change. He then asked Clint if HE needed some money. Clint declined but that incident stayed with me. This man was down on his luck but he was willing to try to help someone else. Yes Mr. Steeves. These are the people that you vilified. People that is the key word there. They are still people. I hope Mr. Steeves never has to experience life like that but maybe he should try talking to these people before he paints them all as lazy.

Thus concludes my daily rant.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I love my friend Idiot
The more I get to know him, the more I think we were separated at birth. For example; I am a Canadian, he embraces his distant Canadian heritage. We both have the sense of humor that very few people get. We both speak English and Canadian fluently. We are both scared of snakes. We love the same movies and have been known to exchange emails that simply have one line from the Blues Brothers Movie in it. That is the whole email. We are both Twitter virgins and have no desire to start.We both play the clarinet. We both battle Depression. Well you get the idea.

Lately, I have begun to think we are more alike than I previously thought. I have done a few things in the last week. They were not the smartest things in the world. These activities were usually followed by the thought "I bet The Idiot" would have either done that too or else will totally understand why it happened. Let me explain.

On Tuesday I had to take my life in my hands and go downtown. I hate going downtown. I hate the traffic and there is never any parking. It is a pain. I managed to avoid the panhandlers, drunks and traffic. I did this the easiest way I know how. I asked my Dad to drive me. Ha ha not so dumb after all. I had to get my Criminal Record and Child Abuse Registry checks updated. I needed to have an updated version for my interview this Tuesday. I had one from January but they want them done every six month. Which is kinda silly when you stop to think about it. The Child Abuse check takes 6 weeks. If it is only good for 24 weeks I am going to become a very regular and broke customer. Anyway. Of course it is in a government building. So what you ask? That means that every parking spot in a 5 mile radius is for the employees. So basically I could park two streets over from where I live and limp my way downtown or we could drive around forever to see if we could find a spot. Did I mention we brought my Mom along for the ride. She is a little bit of a nervous person. You know the type. You are travelling along happily through a green light when she grabs the door handle and gasps.
"That car almost went through the red light."
"What car Mom? "
That one.
You mean the one PARKED there missing two wheels? That car?
Yes. Didnt' you see it?
We finally found a parking spot on the street. Only four blocks from where I needed to go. Hooray. We won't talk about the Homeless man's cart that was parked there first.
Out we get and head over to the building. On the way back, my Mom begins to run. For an small older lady, she can sure move. As I am limping after her like Quasi Moto, I yelled why are we running. She announces she doesn't think we are allowed to park there and must move this instant. OK. By the time I get to car they are peeling rubber. The smoke from the spinning tires is making it a little hard to find the door handle. I finally grasp the handle and attempt to throw myself into the back seat. In the process I manage to whack my head on the car door. Not the door frame. Nope. That would be for smart people. Nope I actually attempted to close the door on my head. I have managed to give myself a slight concussion. Talent or what?
For my next act I will tell you about my experience in the kitchen. Now I am not a Master Chef by any stretch of the imagination. We live on the 4 food groups. Canned, frozen, take out, and microwavable. When my son was little, the only way I could get him to eat was to tell him it was OK his Grandma made it. Then he would gobble it up. Didn't matter if Grandma made it or not. If he thought she did then it was delicious. I was going to cook a roast in the slow cooker. I got it all ready to go. I then turned it on. I came back a little while later and took a look at it. It was at this point I freaked out. That was when I noticed that I had left the cord tucked in the slow cooker under the pot. I was so worried that I was going to ruin the slow cooker and melt the cord. I immediately turned it off, prepared the fire extinguisher, put on protective goggles, and cleared all children and pets from the kitchen. I then put on the oven mitts and carefully lifted the pot out so I could retrieve the cord. Has anyone else picked out what stupid thing I did? Yup. You guessed it. Hello? How can the pot be hot and the cord melted? Dumb ass here. The slow cooker was not plugged in because the cord was under the pot. Dumb dumb dumb.

These are just a few of the reasons I am starting to think that Idiot and I were separated at birth.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I am now going to reveal myself as a hypocrite. Not really proud of it but I am what I am.

Just a little news story caught my eye and raised my temper. A few posts ago I mentioned how I was tired of all of the Breast Cancer Campaigns. Here is where I flip flop slightly. AS the story goes, Winnipeg Blue Bomber player, Jon Oosterhuis wore pink gloves in a game to bring awareness to Breast Cancer. Just as NFL teams have done. The players were warned not to do it. I understand there are sponsorship contracts and what not the CFL must honor. This player wore them anyway. The CFL has fined him$250 for the infraction.  The player said he knew he was breaking the rules but figured he has never been fined by the League before and this was a good enough cause to risk it. He has no issue paying the fine even though many fans have contacted him and offered to pay his fine.  I understand why the CFL did it. They have to honor their sponsorship contracts. What upsets me is that the CFL had a chance to look good. They had a chance to improve their public image. I don't think anyone would have complained. BUT, instead of turning around and donating the money to Breast Cancer Awareness/Research. They kept the money. They lost a huge goodwill gesture.  In my opinion, the CFL is a small thinking league. They are the bush league of the NFL. I am disgusted with them right now. While the attention to Breast Cancer instead of all cancers sometimes bother me, I am annoyed that the choice by the CFL and my reaction to it, makes me a hypocrite.