Monday, March 26, 2007

What do you mean the weekend's over?

6:30 a.m. this fine Monday morning:

Nearly 4 year-old girl child, with hair touselled, eyes sleepy, and diaper droopy makes her morning appearance. Dragging her cozy (blanket) she shuffles over to me as I sit at the kitchen table drinking my steaming cup of java:

"Can I have a coffee?" she says in a raspy little voice.

Kid, if I could, I defintely would, 'cause you look like you could use a thermos full.

Next I will find her out on the back porch having a morning cigarette...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Living in colourful Alberta

Recently overheard at a conference of people in charge of our health care system

Conversation #1
Fat, balding, aging white guy in a too-tight, out-of-fashion suit: “Well, Janet, what in hell did you do to yourself?”

Woman in leg cast: “Christ, if I didn’t trip over the manure fork!”

I am not even making that up.

Conversation #2
Event host introducing a very closeted, local Olympic gold medal-winning female cyclist unwittingly says:
“And speaking of same-sex marriage, I have been having the same sex every since I got married. Har, dee, har har."

And people actually laughed.

Conversation #3
Fat, balding, aging white guy in a too-tight suit sitting next to me:
“Yah know, I have heard her talk three times already (the above mentioned Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist) and now I just want to tell her to shut up. One time okay, two times eh, three times enough already.”

Thanks so much for diminishing her accomplishment because you are bored. No wonder most Olympic athletes in Canada have to work at Home Depot to support their training.

Conversation #4
Same fat, balding white guy leaning over to me and saying: “That’s a really interesting ring you have there. There must be a story behind it. It looks old” referring to the plain silver wedding band I wear on my left hand.


Me, looking at him and saying very slowly: “Uh, it’s your basic everyday wedding band. It looks old because it's cheap.”

Him: “Ha, ha. So, do you have a family?”

Me, straining to be polite: “Yes.”

Him: “Uh huh. So, what does your husband do?”

Ahh, there it is. Another person assuming that I am exactly like them.

Me, not wanting to get into my personal business with him or to waste air trying to educate him on "alternative" relationships: “He’s in the oil patch.”

Clap, clap, clap. Oh, time to listen to the cyclist’s boring story of tragedy and triumph as she achieves her life-long dream. Yawn.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Get a job

With his fourth birthday approaching, boy child has already checked out a number of career options.

About this time last year, he was exploring art. Quite regularly while “napping” he would soil his diaper, remove it, and use the contents to decorate himself and the walls, floor, and door of his room. It was always a visual and olfactory delight to “wake him up”.

He has since moved on to science. We got a cat the other day and boy child has been very interested in animal experimentation ever since.

“What happens when I pull his tail?”

"Throw him down the stairs?"

“Stick him in the shower and turn the hot water on?”

“Put packing tape all over his fur?”

“Hmmm, the cat poos in the litter box, I think I will, too.”

Sounds awful, but rest easy, the cat's okay. We don't let him or the kid come to any harm.

Besides, in the last few days, boy child has been checking out options in the service industry. Every morning this week when he goes to the cupboard to get a juice box for himself, he yells to me while I am still lying in bed, “Mama, do you want a beer?”

I love that kid.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Not for the squeamish

Not sure if I am the only one who has experienced this phenomenon. In the bathrooms of each of the last two office buildings I have worked in (this includes my current work place) someone has taken in upon themselves to tape a sign inside the door of each cubicle which reads: please flush toilet after use.

Who is it that is so busy they can’t bend down to flush away the product of their visit? Don’t we all know by now what to do after we use the w.c.? And if people need to be told to flush, I can only imagine that they don't wash their hands, either.

Then there is the person who wrote the sign(s). Just how many unsightly toilet bowls did they endure before they resorted to signage?

At any rate, as someone who does flush, I am offended by their signs and in an act of silent defiance have systematically removed them all. And not once since I have done so, have I walked into a cubicle with "leftovers". Huh.

Plus, as a reluctant greenie, in our house we don't flush unless it's brown (not that I necessarily advocate this in public loos).

On another bathroom note. I work in public relations and of course, we are always trying to find new ways to get our messages across. I drew the line when my former boss in all of her wisdom decided a good form of employee communications was to put posters up in each toilet cubicle. I was sooo waiting for her to assign that job to me so I could tell her just where to stick her idea.

That and her charming personality were more than enough reason to prematurely quit working for this evil and ubiquitous utility company.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Quintessentially Canadian

Today I started drinking bad coffee again for a good cause.

It is “Roll-up the Rim to Win” time here in the Great White North. For those not familiar, it is the time of year when otherwise smart people like me stand in long lines, using up valuable coffee break time to buy crappy cups of coffee in the hopes that we will find a super good prize, eh? under the rim of our red paper cups.

I want to win the Toyota Hybrid car. Great marketing, I say. Offer up an environmentally-friendly vehicle when your company is known for having the most product littered on the streets of our town, particularly during "Roll up the Rim" time. Those red cups are like fields of Poppies poking up through the snow.

I drink Timmie’s large double-doubles to be exact. Admit it, people. This coffee sucks, but we all drink it because a) it’s cheap ($4 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks? You must be joking. Think of how many lottery tickets I could buy with that kinda dough), b) it reminds us of when we were kids at the hockey rink, freezing our asses off as we scarfed down hot greasy French fries topped with fake Heinz ketchup and vinegar, and c) we are really not as sophisticated as we think we are. I mean, really, how does one sophisticatedly roll up the rim to win? I usually do it with my teeth when I think no one is looking. So sad.

I am also looking forward to reading the next tragic story (which seems to happen every year) detailing how one person throws out their cup without rolling up the rim (gasp!), and someone else finds it and wins and then the two parties duke it out in court.

Last year it was two pre-teen girls (well, their parents) fighting over who owned the SUV their kids won (one girl found the cup, her friend helped her roll up the rim). Added to that mix was the teacher who had supposedly thrown the cup out at school which the girls later found. Don't remember how it all played out.

We are all just too silly.