Sunday, December 14, 2008

Only time for a quick note....

But I think this is really important. Plus, it's really important to a friend of mine, so of course I want to help out.

Second Harvest in Toronto is looking for help in the community to try and get turkeys to those in need. Please take the time to donate money or visit one of the store locations and buy a turkey.

Everyone deserves a nice Christmas meal and now more than ever we really do need to help those who need it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Border Crossings

Time to break out the old passport and silently swear under my breath about the hassles of packing (no liquids!?!), airport parking, flight delays (come on Delta, try a little harder to get your people in on time) and border guards. While I mostly love my job, there are times when I am expected to travel for it. I have no problem with showing up at a customer site and working my magic and making the customers believe I'm completely brilliant and amazing. What I really hate is the grief I inevitably get while trying to cross the border. I understand the need to protect the country and those who are employed within it's borders (especially now in these times of economic uncertainty) but I don't understand why it's so hard to believe that I might be travelling south simply to do my job and then get the heck out again. Believe me when I say I have no inclination to stay south of the border once I'm there - I love my American friends and even the weather that some of the states enjoy - but I'm not interested in picking up my life and moving hundreds or thousands of miles away from my family, friends and everything else I love about this country. I like socialized medicine, multi-cultural harmony and multiple political groups vying for my vote.
If I'm really lucky this time, maybe I'll get a border guard who recognizes that I'm not a terrorist, nor someone who's looking to mooch off the system. Someone who recognizes that I'm just trying to do my job to the best of my ability and that sometimes that job involves visiting our American customers.
Of course, if my bosses could just get their ducks in a row and figure out a way to get me a visa or other work papers to help eliminate this frustration, that would be even better. 8 months later they're still "working on it" :)
Could be worse I suppose. I could be unemployed and bitching about how I have nowhere to go, instead of whining about how I have to travel. Need to remember to always look on the bright side, right?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bells will ring

Was at a wedding recently. I'd almost forgotten how much fun those things are -especially when they're not your own. It was a wonderful celebration of love and I'm really glad we went.

Got to thinking about what marriage is and why it matters. I'm always impressed when two people decide to make that kind of commitment to each other. I like the optimism that seems to ooze from every pore of the happy couple. The thought that this is forever, that nothing will come between them and that there will always be someone right next to you.

Weddings alway bring out the romantic side of me. I know firsthand just how much work is involved in keeping a relationship going. Believe me, no one wants to hear about how you resolved the socks on the floor or the no, I changed the baby last time, it's your turn now issues. That's not fun, it's not pretty, it's just life. A wedding is like the antithesis of that. It's pretty, light, fun, filled with lots of declarations of acceptance and love.

I love the idea of wearing someone's ring again. Making a public statement of my commitment and telling everyone that not only do I love, but that I am loved. Amazing what a simple band can do.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Powerful words

is this your life jackie brown?
poorly educated and forced to live
on the poor side of town
is this your daughter jackie brown?
this pretty little girl
in the worn out clothes
that have been hand me down
is this your wife jackie brown?
sad blue eyes
walking on eggshells so that you don't see her frown
is this your family jackie brown?

dream of vacationing on a mountain stream
and giving the world more than it gave you
what ugly truths, freedom brings
and it hasn't been very kind to you
is this your life jackie brown?

is this your meal jackie brown?
barely enough
i've seen people throw more than this out
is this your home jackie brown?
this three room shack
with no running water
and the bathroom out back
is this your grave jackie brown?
this little piece of limestone
that says another desperate man
took himself out
is this your dream jackie brown?

going nowhere and nowhere fast
we shame ourselves to watch people like this live
but who gives a damn about jackie brown?
just another lazy man who couldn't take what was his

one hell of a life jackie brown
forever more jackie brown
well amen and amen jackie brown

Many thanks to John Mellencamp for writing so powerfully that it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. I never really considered myself a "political" person (although I do admit to having a suitcase full of opinions on just about everything under the sun) but this song really does make me think. Makes me wonder if maybe I could be doing more for my fellow man. I hate seeing people suffer, especially children. We are so lucky to have a healthy girl and to be able to provide for her. She'll never likely know the pain of going hungry or the fear of wondering where she'll sleep at night. I just hope we can raise her to be aware of the world around her and to ensure that she wants to leave this world a little better than she found it. I know I sure do.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Full Circle

I had dinner with a long time friend on the weekend (and by long time, I mean 30 years now) and was speaking with another "older" friend earlier this week and it got me to wondering about where I am now and how I got here.

Growing up in a small town, I was a pretty stereotypical nerd. I was smart, wore glasses and had the social skills of an overly enthusiastic dog. I just wanted people to like me and to recognize that I was cool or special or SOMETHING. Like a lot of young people, I was awkward and uncomfortable in my own skin.

By the time I was ready to enter high school, I was determined to be someone else. A better, cooler, less gawky version of myself. The me I could see in my mind's eye, not the doofus from earlier years. It was easier, I thought, to make the change then, since I wouldn't be constantly surrounded by the people I'd grown up with to that point. The high school was fed by ALL the public schools in town, so I could make new friends, be someone else and NO ONE would know any different.

As with most of the best laid plans, this grand scheme only sort of worked. I re-acquainted myself with some old friends from earlier public school years and was accepted as a larger part of their group. We had a lot of fun in that group - going to theme parks, cottage weekends, parties etc. I felt like part of a group, an accepted member. Things were good.

As I can see now, looking back, being a part of that group made me feel good, but it seriously stymied my forming other friendships in the school. Oh sure, I met a bunch of other people and they were fun and interesting, but I never really opened up to them or became tight friends with them since I already had my own group.

Since most of the gang were older, they all graduated and moved on before I did. Things changed, as they always do. We drifted. Some friendships were finally revealed to be the toxic wastelands that they really were. Some people dropped off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again.

By the time I was ready for university, I was done with the small town and ready to re-invent myself, yet again. This time I would get it right. I would be someone else entirely. Someone who didn't make mistakes with boys or treat people badly. Someone who wouldn't let others dictate the course of my life or try and manipulate me into being or doing something that wasn't really me. I swore that nothing would bring me back to that little town or that old me.

Fast forward a number of years: I've got great friends from my short stint in university, a friendship with my ex-husband and his family, a new relationship and a child of my own. I live in another small-ish town, but I did manage stay true to my never-going-home creedo.

It's amazing how much clearer things become with time, distance and maturity. I realize now that I really didn't have to leave to become someone else and that the memories of my youth really did create the me that I am now. Sure, if I could go back in time to visit a younger version of me, there are TONS of life lessons that I'd be sure to impart. If I could do that, however, I really doubt I'd be sitting here now, writing this.

What I have learned, however, is this. I didn't have to leave everyone and everything from that small town behind. I can and have re-kindled old friendships and they are rich and satisfying in ways that I never believed they could be. While you may not ever really be able to go home, I think, sometimes, you can bring bits of home to you. And that is truly a great thing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So.......what's new???

Where to even begin?

Things in this corner of the universe have been pretty much status quo for the past little while. Get up, feed kid, take kid to daycare, come home, work for a while, pick kid up, eat dinner, bathe kid, read books about bears who are capable of space travel, put kid to bed, try and catch up on: email, friends, family, pile of books beside the bed, latest magazines, crosswords and sudokos and see what my better half has been doing. Pretty standard life I guess. Doesn't sound really very exciting when you lay it all out like that though, does it?

I think everyone goes through phases like this. The whole, wondering where things are going, asking if you're doing what you were meant to with your life, questioning "is this really all there is?" My life, as a whole, is actually pretty good. I'm gainfully employed, my family is healthy (not accounting for the odd bouts of crazy, but that's pretty standard) we have food and shelter which we can afford and generally speaking, really bad things haven't happened to any of us. Still, there is a very little part of me that pipes up on occasion and reminds me that I had always thought that my life would be more, well, interesting. Shouldn't I be famous by now? Won a Nobel prize for something? Found a cure for cancer at the very least?

Bah. Don't mind me. I'm just wallowing in a pit of boredom currently. No doubt there will be another family health scare or several more inches of water in my basement to amuse me in the very near future. Pretty sad that the only thing I have to whine about is how good my life is. We should all be so lucky.

Next week my mom will be here visiting. Can't wait to see what sort of adventures we have. Trips to the mall? Outings to the park? Maybe even a night out with my hubby?? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dreaming of a nap..

Apparently teething and a full night's sleep are two things that don't really go well together. The under four foot set had us up for the better part of the evening for no real apparent reason. Best guess we've got is that there are new teeth in the works (possibly the eye teeth, but really, who knows)

I remember in the first few weeks of her life how exhausted I was from being up every 3-4 hours. This is worse. Instead of getting up and eating and going back to sleep, she's up and wanting to be held for hours at a time. Someone please tell me that this gets better at some point!

All I can say is it's a darned good thing that she's cute, otherwise her father and I would be putting her in a box at the curb with a sign that says "Free to a good home". According to my mother in law, she'd be willing to sweeten the deal by adding her 90 pound, 5 year old "puppy". With a combination like that, I'm sure I'd only have to pay someone $50 dollars to take them both away....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Green with envy

It's bright and early on this gray and dreary morning and while I'm supposed to be working already, I thought I'd take a moment to add a post to my blog (for the 3 people who actually want to know what I've been up to)

Mostly, I've been stewing in a creative funk regarding this silly posting page. I know, I know, it's supposed to be a random thoughts, free association, long winded spiel on nothing in particular and everything in general. I can't help it. I always want my posts to be snappy, witty and catchy. I suspect I'm failing on everyone of those levels, but I still like to try. Of course, what I'm doing in the meantime is checking out other people's blogs and turning green with envy about the apparent ease with which they make a post come to life. I read some of my friend's blogs and I can just about hear them talking to me and I'm laughing as I imagine their nuances and facial expressions. I'm also reading other people's blogs (people I'm never going to meet) and marveling at their mastery of the English language and the clever way they write - darn it I want to be perceived as intelligent and suave. I want to be one of the cool kids!

Instead, my dear readers, what you get is this. Your basic bundle of neurosis and self doubt. I only hope that on occasion you chuckle - if not with me, then at least at me.

Check out some of the blog links I have on my page. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a new favorite.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No comics were harmed in the making of this blog post

It's 15 degrees here and sunny (at least, it was earlier today) and that's a welcome respite from the multiple centimetres of snow that I left on Sunday.

My new job is working out really well. The people are super amazing (just like the people I just left) and the work is challenging and interesting. The only problem I can see at this point is that I'm working 11+ hours every day while on site. I'm sure I'll be back into a more manageable 8-9 hour days when I get home.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't make it a habit to go around threatening my friends' lives. Of course, I'm willing to sacrifice myself and my reputation at the alter of comedy, but only for very important people.

Beyond that, there's not too much to tell right now. Unless of course you count the news that 21 people were laid off from my last company. Very not cool. I only hope that things work out for the best for all of them.

All I need now is a couple hours of sleep and a Leafs win. Which do you think is more likely to end up in the success pile?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Will the ringing ever stop?

It's a bright and cold Tuesday noon as I type this, while waiting for my primary machine to grind its way into life. All of the hard work of chipping away at the ice yesterday has finally paid off - instead of a wading pool in the basement, we now have a skating rink in the driveway. Is summer ever going to get here?
Was out in Hamilton last night (I know, I know, not exactly party central) to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. I honestly think that Copps is a MUCH better venue for rock and roll than the ACC. It's a little smaller and the energy from the crowd was amazing. 2.5 hours of listening to Bruce and the boys give it everything they've got was a fantastic way to spend the evening. Of course, it didn't hurt that we were actually able to get out of the house without the 30" dictator.....
Today I'm wandering around the house, humming "She's the One" and "Thunder Road" and wondering how I became such a Boss fan. I suspect Pat's been sending me subliminal messages for the past 5 years. I'm also wondering when my hearing will return to normal. If my ears are still ringing 12 hours + later, I guess that means that I'm getting old.

Small aside to Darcy and TVA - you guys are just perfect the way you are. Don't ever change.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

If sorry seems to be the hardest word, then goodbye is second

The countdown has begun. Tomorrow will be the last time I board the Greyhound for the trek into the big city. There are so many things I will miss about leaving this job: the people, the neighbourhood, the joy of human interaction every day, the lively debates about reality television and the food (actually, the food is a very close second to the people for things I'll miss)

It's only been 4 months since I returned to the daily grind of office work and while I enjoy the interaction and the new challenges offered, the commute to and from the office is putting a rather serious dent into my "new" life.

I've made such good friends here and it was with a very heavy heart that I came to the conclusion that leaving was really the right thing to do. While the rest of my life will likely align itself in a more orderly fashion, I will truly miss the jokes and laughter over the wall of my cube, the morning bagels, the good news sharing about mutual friends/former colleagues.

No one ever said change was easy, but sometimes it's necessary. To my dear friends, I say not goodbye but, until next time. It has been an honour and a pleasure to have shared the past 3 years with you all.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Infamy is an awful lot of work

Apparently, getting in on the ground floor of new podcast is the best way to get your name mentioned on the internet. My dear friend Todd and his wonderful producer Darcy managed to sneak my name in on this week's podcast yet again. What this of course means for me now is that I need to find new and exciting ways to get them to mention me in future episodes. I'm hooked on the euphoric high of hearing my name on the airwaves. Do you think there's a 12 step program for this?

Of course, it would be better in general if there were more listeners for Todd and Darcy. These boys need feedback people! It's not easy being funny at 7 in the morning every week without ideas for new material. So listen often (heck, subscribe even. It's free!) and feedback with abandon. You too may experience the euphoric rush of hearing your name on the internet. How can you possibly top that?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Who really needs sleep when there's cable?

As some of you may be aware, we have a little person in our house now. No, we didn't take in a midget roommate. Instead, we opted for the "create your own carbon copy" version. Our daughter is a whopping 15 months old already and has been an incredible adventure to date.

As with all adventures, there are good and bad bits. There are the times when you're so glad you have a camera handy to record the stuff you'll probably never see again and there are times when you wish that you could just hit the reset button and try again. Since we've started day care, I'm leaning towards the latter.

Apparently it's pretty normal for a child to become rather ill, many, MANY times once they have been exposed to other children in a day care setting. I can handle this. I was expecting colds, flus and possibly the odd bout of pink eye. What I wasn't expecting was pneumonia in the first 3 weeks and 4 ear infections in the first 3 months. Currently, we've got so many doctors for JP that her day calander is beginning to look like that of a local hospital! She's been on antibiotics almost constantly since she started. Dear Lord, does this ever stop? Was I supposed to become a stay at home mom? Is this a not so subtle hint that I'm on the wrong path?

The one thing helping to keep me sane through all of this is television. I always feel better after watching late night infomercials or re-runs of talk shows that involve circus contortionists and their love affairs with ponies. Compared to all of that, my problems are small and I'm practically verging on normal!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hey it's TVA - I'm practically famous!

My dear friend Todd Van Allen is a comic whom I happen to adore (I also think he's very funny which is apparently a good thing for comics). I try and catch his show whenever I can steal away from the house for a couple of hours (now that I've moved of course, this is much harder than it used to be)

For those of you who would like to sample some of Todd's amazing wit, feel free to check him out at:

He's got a fabulous podcast going, which incorporates a bit of schtick with his producer and his weekly on air banter with in the thousand islands region.

Since I'm such a fan, I've of course subscribed to the podcast and decided to let them know that I was listening by providing them with feedback. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished, so this week's broadcast includes a reference to me (by NAME no less!) and uses my suggestion for a top 10 list.

Being the drama queen that I am (minus the stage or soap box to perform on) I am shamelessly plugging my 3 seconds of (non) fame here on my (not so popular) blog. Head over to the website, take a listen, enjoy the laughs and remember this: pot makes everything seem much funnier.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy 2008 everyone!

Someone much wiser than I once said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Now, I can't really argue with that logic (how can you honestly?) but as someone who sometimes needs to pee on the electric fence, just to prove that it does hurt, it's rather hard to fathom that someone would pay me enormous sums to, say, complete jigsaw or crossword puzzles daily. Far be it for me to argue with the will of the universe though. Things always seem to work themselves out, even if they don't make much sense at the time.

Currently, I'm trying to juggle the whole work/family balance and all I've really managed to do is tip the scales rather unfavourably in the direction of work. Too much commuting time has left me frustrated and stressed out. Needless to say, this isn't exactly contributing to a whole lot of harmony in the house right now.

Couple that with some rather surprising health scares in the past week and what you've got here is a pretty stressed out little puppy. Perhaps if I drank more it would help?

On the other hand, I'm gainfully employed (as is my wonderful significant other) and our little one is mostly healthy (darned colds!). We've got family around and food on the table. Is there anything more to ask for?

Given that the positives are currently outweighing the negatives, it's safe to say that 2008 is starting out fairly well. Now, all I have to do is find those winning lottery numbers before the draw tomorrow night......