Sunday, December 16, 2007

Goddess, T minus two hours

Tonight is our Christmas party. I just got out of the shower, am about to go dry my hair, paint my nails, put on makeup, slip on the fabulous new dress, check hair again, and emerge stunningly gorgeous for Husbandly One.

Wish me luck and many dropped jaws!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Just sedate me

We leave on our trip to Florida in five days. I have been planning, dreaming about, and looking forward to this trip for eight months. But today it hit me: WE LEAVE IN FIVE DAYS.

Ever the procrastinator, up until today it felt like I had loads of time to prepare. Then this morning, I woke up at 3:30 am, and all was not cool in my world. Reality came crashing down and I immediately got up and made thre lists: Things To Do (such as photocopy documents, get a haircut, pay bills), Things to Buy (kitty litter, one last Christmas gift, food for the next four days) and Things to Pack (well....I never got around to packing today, but I DID make a list of things I commonly forget). Between the three lists, there are over seventy items for me to accomplish.

I left the house at 9am this morning, and only got back here at 6 pm. I therefore had the right to relax with a beer for an hour before I got back in to stuff around the house. Well, it is now almost 9pm, I am about to get in to the bathtub, and only eight of te seventy items have been crossed off my lists. Not good.

Tomorrow is Sunday. Husbandly One needs to go in to work to prepare for our staff party, so I will have the better part of the business day uninterrupted to do things around the house before I begin getting ready for the party. But seriously, I want to be gorgeous tomorrow, my party preparations may take a while. So over-all housecleaning and what have you will clearly suffer. PLUS, we are expecting 30 cms of snow tomorrow. Which I will have to shovel, seeing how Husbandly One won't be here. So, between shovelling and showering, looks like tomorrow is going to be a write off.

And then I go back to work the next day. And I work straight until the morning we leave.

I am sooooooo screwed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More advice

If, hypothetically, you have spent approximately a million dollars on lobster for dinner to surprise your Husbandly One... and if, hypothetically, you decide a half hour before dinner to clean your bathroom.... and if, hypothetically, you are using a bathroom cleaner which contains bleach.... do NOT decide that you don't need to use rubber gloves and go in bare-handed.

I have washed my hands three times and the smell of bleach is still so strong that I'm nauseous. Can't WAIT to dig in to the most expensive dinner of the year with my bare hands. Yumm...bleachy goodness....

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Power outtages and you

I have a lot of respect for the chefs I work with. Over the years, they have given me tons of advice about food in general, and tonight, I am going to share with you the simplest, easiest trick in the world. Seriously, your jaw is about to fall open and hit the floor. And then you are going to call all your firends and share this with them, it's that good.

Are you ready?

Okay, then.

We have all experienced power outtages. Sometimes it's for an hour or two, but sometimes it's for a day or more.I think most of us who have lived through extended outtages have then turned to our significant other and said, "Shit, what about the stuff in the freezer?" Or, as once happened to me, I returned home after a weekend away and discovered that, at some point, the power had been off. WHen? For how long? And what about my freezer??

So here's what you do (but you have to do it now). Throw a few ice cubes in a tupperware container and put it in the freezer. After your next power outtage, check the ice. If it still looks like cubes, your food is still safe. If it has melted into anything other than pristine cubes, you have a problem.

See? How mind blowingly easy is THAT?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

There's a reason why he usually cooks

For dinner, Husbandly One had taken a roast out of the freezer. "But," I protested, "I have shrimp in the fridge that I need to use before it goes bad. I'll mkae some shrimp pasta tonight."

When we got home, I realized that I had grossly overestimated the contents of my pantry, and I essentailly served him fishy noodle water.

God bless his soul, he had a large portion and praised my efforts. I, on the other hand, just kinda stirred the mess around on my plate, and when a decent interval had elapsed, got myself a bowl of potato chips.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

40 centimetres of snow, and counting

Stupid, stupid WINTER.

Major storm began blowing in last night when I went to bed. This morning, I stumbled out of my room at the regular time (big mistake), looked out the living room window, and hightailed it back to the bedroom to wake Husbandly One, who was actually off today. "Hon, you gotta get up. There is a ton of snow, we need to shovel, and I can't be late for work today, I have a meeting at 8:30."

Him, all snuggly warm and not quite awake, "Yeah....I'll get up in a minute...."

"DUDE, you have no idea what the end of our driveway looks like. I'm scared."

That got his attention, and he got up immediately to see what I was talking about. In retrospect, I wish I had had a camera in my hands, because the sight of my buck naked man standing in front of the picture window saying, "Fuuuuuuuuuuck" was priceless.

I finally made it to work, a half hour one had showed up for my 8:30 meeting, anyway, so that was one less thing to worry about. I had a TON of work I needed to get done, so I thought that, seeing how most of Atlantic Canada was cancelled today, I could get some serious office time.

HA! There are nine of us in, only two of us made it in, me and the catering coordinator. And the phone rang off the HOOK, and she only had one person to forward the calls to. It was pure chaos, and while part of me was cursing my co-workers, the other part of me was cackling in glee: today alone I met my bedroom sales quota for the month, simply because I had to deal with everything, whether the booking in question was traditionally my market or not.

Still, at 3pm, our general manager decided that the weather was getting too out of control, and shut down the administration offices (not that there were many of us around.... there are normally 20 people on our floor, today we were 7, including the two of us in Sales). Whatever, I was totally surprised to be sent home, that has never happened to me during my 20 years in the hotel industry. I said, "ummm....don't you want me to go bus tables in the restaurant? Or clean rooms in Housekeeping? Or wash pots in the kitchen? Or stay over night in case people can't get in tomorrow?"

It was just so far out of my realm, this idea that non-essential personnel were actually, gasp, being told to go home to their families while it was still safe to travel. But I was very, very glad to get home.

It is 9:45pm, and still snowing. Looks like tomorrow will be another morning of shovelling. But at least I'm home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Men, I am talking to you, because I care about you and your continued happiness.

If you are going to a fancy party, when your Wifely One emerges from her toilette with a new haircut, fresh manicure, actual make-up, and a new dress she bought in an attempt to look beautiful for you, do not just glance at her without saying anything. Do NOT force her to say, " do I look?"

And if you have forced the woman you love to ask such a needy, desperate question, do not -- I repeat DO NOT -- tell her she looks nice.

Girls, you know what I'm talking about.

Guys, I know you don't. But just trust me on this one, okay?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nostalgia, and a year older

Just to set the tone, here are two related posts from my old blog, posted a year ago. My thoughts from today will follow...

Christmas lights
Tonight at 5 pm, I drove home in the dark....guess I better to get used to that.

I love Canadian winters, truly I do. I love the "time stands still" flavour of frozen, silent winter days. I love the quiet beauty of a gentle snowfall. And I particulary love a violent storm on a day when I know we don't have to leave the house. Can there be anything better than looking out at a blizzard and truly appreciating the solid warmth and comfort we all take for granted?

And, oh, the Christmas lights. Because it is still November, there aren't many illuminated houses yet, but I also know there will be more each day. Silky multicoloured lights in a sea of frozen black.My heart swells, and my eyes well, with each twinkly home. Because the homeowners reap no benefit from bedecking their homes; they come home and the decorative lights are off. Then they go inside, where they can not possibly enjoy them, and turn the lights on.Christmas lights aren't about making yourself happy, they're about making other people happy.

Each day of this season, my heart is filled to overflowing by people I will never meet, who only want to make me happy.I'm glad I am one of them, and I'm glad my home sparkles in the dark.

Christmas Lights, Part Two
When I wrote the previous post, I was gazing through my window on a beautiful dark evening. Now it is the harsh light of day, and I have learned a valuable life lesson.

This morning I unpacked my outdoor lights. The first string wouldn't light up. I cut my finger on the second strand; apparently something heavy was tossed on top of them sometime over the last year, because the bottom of the bag was littered with tiny pieces of glass. I didn't even bother looking at the third or fourth string, I just got myself a garbage bag and got them ready for the curb. Husbandly One entered the room at this point, I explained what I was doing and he said, "Look, just leave them, I'll look at them tomorrow."

And at that exact moment I felt myself take another incremental step towards becoming A Grown-Up, and I laughed aloud. I'm sorry, I am almost forty years old, and my days of sitting cross legged on the floor all afternoon, swapping out a hundred tiny bulbs to find the problem, are OVER. I may have had the patience (and lack of bank balance) to do that at 24, but at 37 I say, "That's why Jesus gave me a debit card."

The lesson isn't that getting older has given me more money (ha!), but that getting older her given me more perspective, and as crazy as it may sound, more of a sense of self worth. My time is worth far too much to fritter it away on a futile mission, when there's a Home Hardware store five blocks away.So now I'm going to set up my Christmas tree. It better not piss me off, or it'll be on the curb, too!

And now, a message from November 24, 2007

This afternoon, I went in to my garage and couldn't even FIND my only-a-year-old Christmas lights! Remember: renovating. There is so much crap piled up in the garage that is amazes me that the house hasn't begun to tilt to one side. I spent 10 minutes pawing through camping equipment, painting supplies, odd ends of drywall, and discarded furniture before I decided ENOUGH.

Yeah, I know 10 minutes isn't a long time. And I know Christmas lights can be expensive. But this afternoon, I couldn't get my debit card out of my wallet fast enough. I would far rather buy all new lights, for no real reason, instead of slogging through my garage.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Soooooooo bored

Husbandly One has to work late tonight, so I am home by myself this evening.

As soon as I got home, I called Mum to wish her a happy birthday. Mum, however, isn't home, undoubtedly out celebrating with her friends. Because, pfff, she actually has a LIFE outside of being our mother. What the hell is wrong with this woman?? I'm only 38, I should be able to get ahold of her whenever I want. Selfish bitch. I did leave her a musical voicemail, though, in true Floresta form:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you
You're pretty fucking cool for an old broad
....and we're on vacation in four weeks!

Everyone sing along. And if you think it is rude for me to tell my Mum she's an old broad, I would like to point out she is only 11 months older than MY Husbandly One... I am definitely not ageist! And when your Husbandly One is the same age as your mother, you're pretty much allowed to say anything you want, thanks.

After that, I sent an email to my BFF, but she is three time zones away so won't get home from work for hours. I then checked out my favourite blogs / websites, but due to American Thanksgiving, most of the internet seems to have been cancelled due to lack of interest. I then turned on the TV but again, due to American Thanksgiving, regular programming has either been suspended or is all reruns.

I suppose I could make a vague attempt at being USEFUL, you know, do some laundry or unload the dishwasher.

Nah. I'd rather be bored.

Edited: Ok, so I just put some laundry in. But only because I'm out of nylons.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nuthin but two bad photos tonight

First photo is the gorgeous bulletin board made for me yesterday. It sits on the hutch which tops my scrapbook table. Looooooove it. I slapped a 4x6 photo on to it to give you a sense of the size. (Photo, by the way, is of Rockstar and his beloved wife, Hot Wife. Hey, it's what he calls her.)

Second photo is of the china cabinet we acquired last week. If you live near me, you know I have coveted this cabinet for six years, and now it's ALL MINE. All of the decorative detail you see is raised work (click on to the photo to enlarge). It is fabulous and I spend an inordinate amount of time each day just staring at it. Clearly, it has been abused over the years and needs a lot of TLC, but I am really looking forward to coaxing it back to its orignial glory.

Oh, and I am perfectly aware that it is filthy in the photo. Hello, pay attention: we are renovating. I have made my peace with drywall dust.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reason I love him, #248

My stacks of scrapbooking magazines are getting way out of control, so I have started going through them and cutting out the layouts I want to scraplift. (Non-scrapbookers, read "duplicate".)

But now I am left with a big handful of assorted clippings and no way to keep track of them. I have tried stuffing them in a notebook beofre, but it didn't work. So I said to Husbandly One, "You know, I need a bulletin board so I can just pin up my favourite layouts and have them right in front of me for inspiration."

One piece of plywood, one power saw, one staple gun and a few quilting leftovers later, he has built me a gorgeous padded bulletin board. All in ten minutes.

Tomorrow he plans to paint some decorative wood trim and apply it to the front.

Soooooo good to me. He totally gets that it is the little things that matter to me. And I have a fab idea board to boot!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holmes on Homes, anyone?

Husbandly One and I are in a state of perpetual renovation. He's your typical do-it-yourselfer, no task is too big or too complicated for someone who puts his mind to it! Hmmm. Whatever, as long as he doesn't get it in to his head that he is somehow qualified to change our windows, I let him do his thing. (Windows are just waaaaaaaaaay too important to do yourself, in my opinion.)

He does a good job, though....the occasional mismatched miter be damned. But the longer I live through this renovation (read: adventure of discovery), the more I want to ask him if his home inspector ever actually entered the house, or just slowed his car down on the way by. Because Husbandly One is an intelligent man, and I just can't believe he would have bought this house if someone had pointed out the delightful little things we keep finding.

Husbandly One is starting to remodel our bathroom downstairs, and tonight he realized that all of the tile (floor, shower enclosure, shower floor) was laid directly on to plywood, and I'm done speaking now. Yeah, but what about the studding, the drywall, the shower pan, Irma? No no, I said I'm done speaking now.

He took one whack at the tile with the crowbar and almost removed his own foot when it continued through the old plywood. Faaaack. And of course the plywood is now of a questionable colour. I told him to stop IMMEDIATELY..... I hve seen one too many episodes of Extreme Makeover Home Edition where the family was poisoned by mold. I mean, neither of us saw mold, but 1) ewwwwww and 2) I am SO glad he is going to fix this, and 3) get a mask before you go any further, ok???

Friday, November 9, 2007

No saliva for me

A few months ago, I wandered down to the kitchen at work and found all the sous chefs gathered around the stainless steel work table, all dipping chunks of bread in to a bowl of orange coloured dip. Oh this? It's the last of the roasted red pepper dip we made for the reception last night, dig in.

I took one bite -- one spectacular, life changing, soul affirming bite -- and lurched for the phone. I called my Manager and hissed, "GET DOWN HERE NOW."

Manager and I proceeded to shovel amazing dip down our gullets until we were (frankly) asked to leave.

Fast forward to today. My birthday falls over the weekend, so I knew my office would have a cake for me today. We're big on birthday cake in my office. No one is left out, everyone gets a cake. The problem, of course, is that I don't like cake, I have a very limited tolerance for things that are sweet, and the cakes at these office parties are always at least 95% pure sugar. YUCK.

So I suggested to Manager a few weeks ago that perhaps we could have some red pepper dip for my birthday. Manager had been with me on that fateful, cream cheese based day, so she was on board immediately. And we both started hounding Chef to make it for me, we brought it up at least twice a day.

BIG SURPRISE, this afternoon everyone paraded in to my office with a platter of crisp tortillas, toasted bread, and a BUCKET of yumminess.

At first my co-workers seemed a little unsettled by this unexpected turn of birthday events, but as each of them placed that first taste in their mouths, the cries of "Oh-mee-od" grew increasinlgy louder. Oh-mee-od, of course, is how one says Omigod when one's mouth is full.

We ate and ate and ate. And then the allotted 15 minute celebration time was over, and everyone returned to their respective offices. Except me and Manager. WE sat in my office, shovelling dip, wishing for glasses of wine.

About a half hour after the feeding frenzy ended, I waddled to her office. "Manager, weird question, but does the roof of your mouth feel funny?"

"Yes! Does yours???"

I immediately got on the phone to the kitchen to ask what was in the dip. Roasted pepper, shallots, cream cheese, garlic.

"Raw garlic?" Yeah.

"How much garlic??" A staggering number of cloves was named.

"No way, I could barely taste it." Well, that's cause I just made it, it takes a while for the garlic flavour to emerge.

TURNS OUT that, based on conservative estimates of our own gluttony, Manager and I consumed about eight cloves of garlic EACH in less than an hour. My mouth is as dry as sandpaper, and something tells me that, when the garlic starts escaping from my pores, I will end up sleeping in the spare bedroom.

Happy birthday to me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Yeah yeah, CLEARLY I am not participating in this campaign which encourages bloggers to post every day for a month. But I support its aims all the same. So if you are a blogger, start writing, baby. And if you're a lurker, look for your favourite sites to have daily updates. Lord knows I'm enjoying it.

My list of favourites (look right!) is pathetically small, just Pioneer Woman and Kelz. By NO means is this the extent of the blogs I read every day (there are fourteen for anyone who cares), but at the end of the day, if I only had five minutes of internet access per day, I would read Butterscotch Palace and Pioneer Woman, in that order, and consider my life complete.

My work day was a combination of the usual hell, the amazing co-workers who make me laugh, a few high-coups with clients, and general sarcastic hilarity, mixed with a high level of stress. (Truly, bloggers, my job is very stressful but the people I work with not only make it worthwhile, but fun, too.)

My manager (who will remain nameless until I can think of a good alias) is so much fun. Granted, she WAS given the promotion that The Powers That Be had hinted would be MINE....but whatever, I'm over that. I see what she has to deal with and I think, "There but for the grace of God go I..." ANYWAY, my manager is bringing her 14 year old stepdaughter in tomorrow for National Bring Our Daughters To Work Day. I was teasing said Manager today, telling her that I would be SURE to come in to her office multiple times tomorrow, asking basic questions and then praising her wisdom and guidance in front of her step daughter.

Manager laughed at me (she DOES get a joke), but at the same time, I WILL make a point of making her look good tomorrow, making her step daughter see what a powerful, knowledgeable woman her step-mother is. We could ALL use a litle help in the P.R. department when it comes to our kids, am I right??

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Waiting for the storm

It is 11:20 pm in my part of the world. Rain has been falling at a truly staggering rate since 6pm, but the winds haven't really picked up yet. We are currently at 40km sustained, a far cry from the 90km sustained with gusts up to 140 km expected to begin around 2 am.

(And for my American friends, who may not understand "km's".... well, actually, I can't help you, I don't understand miles. I know 90 km = 55 miles per hour, but my comprehension ends there.)

Husbandly One is spending the night at the hotel where we both work. Because he is a department head, he is required to stay on-site when it looks like the shit is going to hit the proverbial fan. He just called to tell me that a few meeting rooms are leaking through the windows, and there is a bizarre leak from the ceiling in the middle of the kitchen, but other than that things are pretty normal.

Here at home, Son is asleep downstairs, I have the hockey game on at low volume, and I can hear the rain bouncing off my windows.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Batten the hatches

Based on many, many weather reports and warnings, my part of Canada is going to get its collective ass kicked by the remnants of Hurricane Noel tomorrow. Great.

I would far rather face the remnants of a hurricane than, oh, I don't know, an ACTUAL hurricane, but it still looks a little grim. Here on the Canadian Eastcoast, we always end up with the tail end of these things...I just can't remember the advisory warnings ever being this bad before. Which means either nothing will happen, or sinners should in fact be repenting at this very moment. (I'll get to that when I'm done posting.)

All the fun and excitement is slated to begin late tomorrow afternoon, so I have a bit of time early in the day to take care of a few details: bring all patio furniture, garden equipment and miscellaneous junk in to the garage, etc. Still of two minds what to do about my barbeque: I'm not keen on bringing a propane tank in the house, but I don't want my Grillmaster 2000 flying through my neighbour's window, either.

This evening Son and I made a quick trip to the grocery store, because although I have a ton of food in the house, I was pretty low on things that don't require cooking. See, I'm not particularly concerned about the storm per se, but with the winds they are predicting, I think it's a pretty safe bet the power will get knocked out. Lantern and fresh batteries? Check. Radio? Check. Triscuits, onion cream cheese, and dried chorizo? Oh baby.

Wish us luck. I'm pretty sure we won't need it, but I know it won't hurt.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You do the math, Halloween edition

Giant box of chocolate bars
fifteen trick or treaters
many, many Peanutbutter Cups inside Irma.

I feel sick.

In other news, this morning on the radio I heard about an initiative a local church launched this year for their youth group (read: tweens who KNOW they're too old for trick or treating, but still want to go out.) This year, the youth group is going out "Trick or Eating", they get to dress up and go door to door, but instead of candy, they are collecting cans of food for a local soup kitchen.

Oh yes PLEASE.

I was frankly a little disappointed that no "Trick or Eaters" made it to our street tonight, I had an entire grocery bag of stuff to share. I applaud these young people, and hope they were very successful. Tomorrow I'll take that bag of good food to the food bank myself, promise.

I may even throw in some Peanut Butter Cups.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Further to yesterday's rant, I just want to say, PS, I am aware that leaves blow all over neighbourhoods, I don't think my neighbours are plotting against me because "their" leaves end up in "my" yard. But they could rake occasionally is all I'm saying. Bitches.

And wow, big hint thatI should get off the couch more often, because today I am so sore. My back hurts, my arms hurt, my butt hurts. I'm using that as my excuse not to go rake up all the leaves that migrated to my house today...

Monday, October 29, 2007


Dear Neighbours,

I so enjoy living here amongst you, that I just wanted to give you your due in public. Thank you for never letting me forget that you drive this year's hottest car, while I drive a sensible second hand vehicle. Thank you for raising your eyebrows at the little garden I tend so carefully, while your yard is kept green and lush by a service.

Thank you for complaining about my barking dog, while your teenage children tear up and down the street in the cars you bought them, stereos blaring. Thank you for your kind suggestions that I prune my lilac tree, which was EXACTLY how I wanted it, in order to provide more sunlight for the shrub you just planted. Thank you for once again giving me all the details of the neighbourhood cocktail party to which we were not invited. Thank you for never letting me forget that I run a middle class household on an upper class street.

And most importantly? Thank you soooooooo much for not raking your leaves. I spent four hours outside today, picking up thirteen bags of leaves, even though MY tree has yet to release a single one. You see, I now know what you know: due to the wind currents -- and shape of my front yard -- all of YOUR leaves will eventually end up in MY yard. No no, there's no need for any of you to clean up your own mess. Just leave it there, would you? As the photo of our street shows, clearly you have taken my wise counsel: not ONE person on our street has done anything about their leaves, smug in the knowledge they will all end up in the Floresta's yard.

I have lived here four years, and up until today I have taken all of your shit with a smile and a grain of salt. But this afternoon, as I tied up yet another bag of leaves, and felt my lower back trembling from my prolonged hunched position, and watched you pull in to your driveways, literally taking the time to turn and look at me distastefully as if I was hired help instead of your neighbour, something in me snapped.
Actually, I take that back, that comment about hired help. I have HAD hired help in my home, and I never looked at those ladies the way you look at me. When I have outsiders in to help me with my housework, I look at them with thankfulness and appreciation. Maybe I'm just weird.
The kicker is I know that, if I don't rake YOUR leaves off my of lawn next week, you will all talk about us, discuss how unsuitable my family is for this street.

And you know what, dearest neighbours? I am OVER you. I don't want to fit in anymore, I have a wonderful family, a wonderful life, I don't need you. Maybe my family didn't pull in $350,000 last year, but you know what? We DID make enough to stay here, buwah ha ha, so you're stuck with us.

Bring it, bitches.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Random thoughts on Shaving

(Wow....I'm deep)

I am the first to admit I don't shave as often as I "should". I enjoy the feel and look of my freshly shaved legs and pits as much as the next girl, but even as I revel in their silkiness, I know my laziness and apathy are only a step behind, and it'll be a week (at least) before I revel in their loveliness again. I mean, ugh, who has TIME? (And don't even TRY to tell me I'm The Only One who feels like this!)

Is it funny that I don't include scraping a razor blade over 25% of my body among my "can't skip" daily grooming habits? I mean, shaving isn't exactly a fun activity you look forward to, but neither is brushing your teeth, and I've never gone more than ten hours in my life without doing that.

I find it interesting that, historically, the concept of a woman shaving originated in Europe several hundred years ago. Yet today, if you go to a beach in California, you will see women whose bodies are (ahem) completely devoid of hair. Go to Europe?'ll see both extremes.

I recall about a year ago, Husbandly One and I watched a Biography on Sophia Loren, and he admitted she was his boyhood crush. (He's older than me, get over it). I remember the documentary included a pin-up shot of Sophia, not the one above, but a flat out arm behind-her- head shot. At first I was struck by her loveliness. Then I saw the bloody NEST under her arm, and my first thought was, "Ewwwww!!" But then I realized that here was the Most Beautiful Woman In The World, showing off her pit hair for all to see, and she didn't CARE. Her beauty, sexuality, and general desirability weren't tied to her Bic razor.

Yeah... I am following in Sophia Loren's sexy example. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Many years ago, there was a time when I wouldn't leave the house unless my legs were totally smooth. After all, you never knew if a man would put his hand on your leg, right?? Well, let me telling you something from my lofty position as a woman five years into a relationship: A man puts his hand on my leg at least once every day of my life. And usually it's all stubbly, and he doesn't care. He'd rather have ME, all sandpapery, than anyone else who was glassy smooth.
That's not to say that he might not prefer if I were glassy smooth, I suppose.
I guess the point I was trying to make (but, having just re-read this post so far, I see I have not even hinted at) is that I am always fascinated by the expectations of beauty and perfection women put on themselves. You heard me, I said "women put on themselves". Husbandly One could give a crap about my shins. All HE cares about is that I come home to him every night, and that I look forward to coming home to him. Sure, he loves it when I look sexy, dressed to the nines, sleek eyeliner, red lipstick, glossy skin. But, in the overall scheme of life, does he CARE?
No, my friends, he does NOT. I have several hundred days of sweat pants and no makeup to back me up on this, believe me. He loves ME, not my kneecaps.
SO why do women continue to feel bad about themselves, over tiny issues like gray hair, crow's feet, moving in to a larger dress size, or stubbly legs? REAL MEN DON'T CARE. And the sooner we all realize that, the better off we will be.
Stepping off my soapbox now. Gotta go shave, after all.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm eight years old

I have been planning our Christmas trip to Florida since early May. Books have been purchased and consulted, websites have been read and discussed. Anyone who knows me in the every-day-world knows that all of my vacations are carefully planned, scheduled, and investigated.

All of my many tickets and necessary reservations have been taken care of over these last few months, with the notable excception of one thing. So, on Saturday, Son and I took a trip to the Disney Store to purchase our 5-day tickets to Disney World. I told the nice lady what I wanted, she told me the total, I died, they managed to bring me back to life long enough for me to hand her my credit card, and we left.

And when we got to the car, I calmly turned to Son, and then freaked out completely. All of a sudden, this trip was real. "OMIGOD, WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY! WE'VE NEVER BEEN THERE, IT'S GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO FIRST????"

And Son was all, "Mum, bring it down a few notches, okay?"

I may be a giant geek, but I am still grateful that the eight year old inside me is alive and well.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Wow, did not see that coming. JK Rowling has revealed that the much-loved Headmaster Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame is gay.

Keep your Headmaster jokes to yourself, please.

On one hand, I am thrilled that she has told the world that he is gay. Dumbledore is a hero, he is brave, he is wise, he is all-that-is-good-and-noble. Oh, and he's gay. That is so cool.

On the OTHER hand, I wonder what kind of negative impact this may have in certain quarters. For example, Ex-Husband loves HP, but hates gay people. When we were married, I managed to get him to curb his comments in front of Son, but now... well.

So this morning, Son and I are talking about the whole thing, and he says to me, "I used to think Dumbledore was te best, but now....I guess I respect him less."

Ever the cool headed mother, I said, "Then, Son, that makes you an ASSHOLE."

Yes, I called my precious baby, my greatest love, an asshole to his face.

Ugh. We ended up having a good talk about it, and I guess I AM thankful that he told me he thinks (ahem, is being TAUGHT to think) that way so that I can try to counter-balance it. It's just that I never thought Harry Potter would be the vehicle to bring this topic to the surface.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I knew Husbandly One for quite a while before I considered him to be Husbandly One Material. I really liked him, but that was pretty much where it ended.

If you have read my previous blog, you know what happened next. If you haven't, here's the short version: eventually a day came when he kissed me, and my world changed forever.

And I remember that two weeks later, he sent me a quick email and ended with two simple words. "Love you."

I reacted to those shocking words IMMEDIATELY. "Please don't use Those Words cheaply. I know you were just being cute, but Someday, you might Really Mean Them....wouldn't you rather that those words actually mean something?"

He just looked at me, patiently.

Not so very many weeks later, on a blustery winter night, he drove me the 500 feet from my office to where my car was parked, so that I wouldn't have to walk it. It was out of his way, but he couldn't bear the idea of me walking along the sidewalk, huddled in my coat, to my cold car. In his car, we had a meaningless discussion about (who cares) and I turned to him, out of the blue, and said, "Say it again."

"Say what again?"

"Say IT again."

He hesitated, I had humiliated him before. "What do you want me to tell you, that I love you?" Defensive, sarcastic.

I took a deep breath and whispered my heart to him.

I can still hear his sigh to this day, still see the stress I never knew existed leave him in one exhale. He closed his eyes for a few seconds before he was able to look at me again.

And that's how I knew.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Out of nowhere

Man, grief is an evil, evil bitch.

My father died 18 months ago. But tonight it feels like it was yesterday. For reasons unknown, it hit me again tonight like a ton of bricks, like it happened yesterday.

Husbandly One is at work.

I called my brother, but no one's home.

I called my mum, but she was on the phone to my sister. "Oh, ok, no big deal, call me later." (No, I didn't tell her why I was calling.)

Guess I can scratch my sister off the list of people to call too, ha ha.

God, when will this shit EVER END?

Best salmon. Ever.

Husbandly One doesn't care for salmon (heathen!) so this recipe doesn't get play in our house. In fact, I had forgotten about it until Ex-Husband called me for the recipe the other day.

I did not create this, it comes directly from the original Canadian Living cookbook. From 1987. Yikes I'm old.

1/2 cup sour cream (I use low fat, never tried the no-fat stuff in this recipe)
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp minced onion
1.5 tsp dried dill, or 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper (if you're anal about cooking, that's about 1/8 of a tsp)

1.5 lb (or about 750 grams) salmon fillets, skin on

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients and mix well. I always tend to use more dill than it calls for, but that's just me. Taste sauce and adjust as necessary, but think long and hard before you add more salt. There is so much flavour to this sauce, don't kill it with saltiness!

Place fillets skin side down, in a single layer in lightly buttered baking dish (Instead, I line a baking sheet with foil, turn up the edges to keep sauce from getting everywhere, and then give it a shot of Pam instead of the butter.)

Now -- omigod, spread the sauce all over the salmon in a thick layer. It's like putting down spackle. In the good way. Cover that baby good.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for.... a while.

See, here's how you cook fish. Get out a ruler. I am so not kidding. Measure it at the widest (and by that, I mean tallest) point. Cook for ten minutes per inch. Seriously, it's that easy. EXCEPT for the fact that you just put a heavy sauce on this fish. So, use the inch rule, and whatever you come up with, add five minutes for the sauce.

Let me know if you try this.
You're welcome.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This just in...

BIG shout-out to my friend Annette for telling me to buy my nylons at the Dollar Store. Yes, I went out and bought nylons for $1 a pair and they are fabulous. I was afraid they'd be all thick and nubby and gross, but quite frankly I don't see much of a difference between them and the nylons I've been buying recently for $7. And I notice that the $7 ones don't last any longer than the $1 ones.....Omigod, the money I'm going to save just boggles the mind.

My two cents on CK

Disclaimer: If you are not a scrapbooker, this post may not seem like a big deal to you. That's okay, I'll see you tomorrow.

Well well well, so Creating Keepsakes magazine has been caught with their pants down over the Hall of Fame scandal, or, as some are calling it, Scrapgate. Quick synopsis: they run this prestigious competition every year, and it is a VERY big deal to be named to the HOF. Entire careers have been launched based on this one moment in the spotlight. There are many rules you must follow in your submission, including the fact that all photos in your layout must have been taken by you personally.

Blah blah blah, cut to the chase, one of the HOF winners used photos which she clearly did not take. And the magazine knew this because, in their published book of the winning layouts, they gave a photography credit to the lady who did take it. The kicker is that the HOF winner herself was the one who told the magazine who took the picture: she wasn't trying to hide anything or be deceptive; my understanding is she didn't see/read/remember that part of the rules. I can understand that, but the fact remains she didn't follow the published rules, and she won anyway.

The magazine's public statement over all this is weak to say the least, with a smattering of "truthiness" and a big ole bowl of "avoiding-the-issue" thrown in for good measure. And scrapbookers all over the place are going wild, cancelling suscriptions (or at least threatening to), calling for legal action, calling for this particular HOF winner to have her title stripped, etc.

Others are saying, "Look, no distrespect, but keep it in perspective: it's just a scrapbooking contest, nobody is dying because of this, just let it go."

And you know what? It is just a contest. A contest my BFF entered.

She worked so very, very hard on her entry. She emailed me all her layouts before submitting them, for my opinion, comments and encouragement. She worried about her chances. She put her heart and soul and non-existent spare time in to it. She sat by her phone, on the day she knew the winners were being contacted, and her emails to me throughout the day became more and more despondant. She tried to cheer herself up with the consolation that the runners-up would be contacted by email the following day, but no email ever came. She was devastated.

Her work is among the finest I have ever seen. I don't say that simply because she's my's actually the opposite. Her work is so good that, if I didn't already love her, I'd hate her for being so mind-blowingly talented. There are lots of talented women out there, though, I'm not saying that BFF should have won necessarily.

But I guarantee you she followed the rules. All of them.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I truly enjoy a well crafted commercial, one that makes me laugh, cry, or think. Do not underestimate the power of advertising, my friends: it is a modern day artform, and should be appreciated at that level. Conversely, a BAD commerical grates on my nerves and makes me want to scream, it certainly does not make me want to purchase the offered product.

This may be a regional commercial, but have you seen the Rogers Communications commercial where they're trying to sell their bundle package? It shows a happy family, relaxing in their family room, all telling the camera what they want.

Son: I want movies, when I want them
Mom: I want to talk to my sister long distance, whenever I feel like it.

And then there's the vacant-eyed teenage daughter (who clearly thinks she's The Shit) harping in the background, "Talk more, talk waaaaaaaaaaaaay more. Faster internet connection...Faster, waaaaaaay faster."

I hate that little bitch.

And I just want Rogers to know that I would rather eat my own pancreas than look at her simpering little face one more time. And she most certainly does not inspire me to purchase your product. I now hate you, because of her.

That is all.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


English is Husbandly One's fourth language, not his first, but he speaks it phenomenally well. No, I don't mean he speaks well "for an immigrant", I tell you honestly that he has an extraordinary vocabulary. Other than the accent, you'd swear he had been born here... except when it comes to idiom.

God love him, after more than 25 years in this country, he still can't the slang right. Today he informed me it was "going to rain dogs and pigs", and I chuckled heartily. But for years, my favourite expression of his comes from a day he described lazy employees...."I caught them screwing the cow."

After I could breathe again, I explained that, when you are neglecting your duties, you are screwing the dog, not the cow.

He looked at me without blinking. "Maybe in Canada. But in my country, we're Real Men."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It is very rare that Husbandly One and I entertain. In the last four years, we have thrown one wedding shower, three parties, probably six family get-togethers, and an equal number of impromptu fondues when my friend Watermelon has come over to devour kilograms of melted cheese.

Husbandly One and I had two other people over for Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, and despite the tiny number of guests, I was excited to welcome them to my home. I don't cook much, but I do make a mean turkey. I knew it would be a lovely time with a delicious meal.

The turkey was expected to be done at 3:30. At 2:00, I wanted to check on my masterpiece (plus allow more of that yummy turkey smell in to the kitchen.). I opened the oven door, only to get a face full of flames.

Okay, it wasn't flames. But it was a blinding spray of electrical sparks. My element had somehow broken, and the "flame" was slowing travelling along the entire length of the element, reminding me of those Wile E Coyote cartoons when he would light the long fuse and you would watch it slowly hiss along the ground, until finally, Kaboom!

Wait. Kaboom??

Always the cool-headed person in our home, I freaked and screamed, "Holy F***, Husbandly One!! Turn off the power!! NOW!!"

He, running to the basement, "I don't remember which fuse it is!"

"Then turn them ALL off!"

Five minutes later, when my heart rate returned to normal, I called my mum, and, sigh, told her to turn her oven on because Husbandly One was on his way over with a half raw dead bird.

Of course, my oven simply couldn't blow up on a day we were just having dinner by ourselves. No no, this could only happen in the ten minutes before my company arrived.

Maybe that's why we don't entertain, we know what our luck is like and would prefer to keep our house standing.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Emotionally, I dig the timing of Canadian Thanksgiving (October) much more than American Thanksgiving (November). This preference is certainly based on the fact that, umm, I am Canadian, but look at it this way. Traditional story of American Thanksgiving is that a bunch of immigrants to the New World were pretty much hooped until some Native Americans bailed them out. Traditional story of Canadian Thanksgiving is finalizing the bountiful harvest the earth has given us, and celebrating that fact. "My" story just seems more self affirming, with all due respect to the poor settlers in America who at least had the presence of mind to accept help and advice from the Native Americans. Both are good, positive stories. I just like mine better.

Turkey Day in our house has been postponed to tomorrow, due to Husbandly One's work schedule. Turkey is defrosting, just called my Mum for her stuffing receipe (something I do EVERY turkey-related'd think I would write it down some place safe and keep it forever, but, oh no, I call her every time I need to shove my arm inside a dead bird. It's one of my most sacred traditions.)

Have spent a great amount of time researching and planning our trip to Disney / Universal / Seaworld / Nasa during the Christmas break. I think I have a pretty good handle on it, but let me throw this out to Blagger Land: I have never been there before, so any advice or secret information you may have is much appreciated. We have 5 day flex tickets to the Disney stuff, two day tickets to the Universal stuff, and one day at Seaworld. Help me.

Oh, and like I said in the title, happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Melissa Etheridge, Goddess

My admiration for this woman knows no bounds. I remember her from the early Nineties. Pretty girl, long hair, good music.

New century.
Love and children.
New love.
More children.
More music.

In my whole life, I have never seen anything as sexy as she was in her "Wake Up" video ( a song which garnered her an Academy Award, thank you very much.) I look at her short hair, growing back after chemo, I think about her passionate wife who stood beside her and brought two more children in to their family. Especially, I imagine Melissa being told she has cancer. I imagine her looking at her two children, I imagine her looking at her pregnant wife. I imagine her shearing off those long dusty locks herself, not waiting for the hair to fall out, but taking the power of that "decision" for herself.

The power she gave herself during that time is the sexiest thing I can imagine. She was a mother, just like the rest of us. And in love, just like the rest of us. But when the Big C-Word came knocking on her door, she said, "HELL NO. I have my babies, I have my wife, and I have other babies yet to be. GO AWAY." How sexy is that????

And, oh my God, I hear her voice. Her wife Tammy calls it a "sandpaper waterfall", and I really think that, in all the books I have ever read, I have never heard such a gorgeous, fitting analogy.

I am as straight as they come, but if I was gay? I hope I would meet Melissa Etheridge, and she would love me, and I would have her sing quietly at night, just to me. No offense, Tammy. And no offense, Husbandly One. But seriously, come ON, I'm talking about Melissa Etheridge.

The struggle between French and English

Not only do I live in a bilingual part of Canada, I am completely bilingual myself. My French is almost as good as my English, and I move easily between the two languages without giving it a second thought.

My parents hailed from Ontario, a VERY English part of Canada, so although they could not speak French themselves, they insisted that my brother and I enter the bilingual education system at the tender age of five, and for that I will always be grateful.

Because I have always been bilingual, I never really thought about what it was like for a uniligual anglophone in this area, until I moved back here in 2001. My Ex-husband's (he was my husband at the time, mind you) career as fire chief of our old town, and security manager to a major corporation, had been very successful, so neither of us anticipated the closed doors we would find here. Yes, his resume and credentials were flawless, but, umm, do you speak French? No? Well, nice to meet you, good luck.

It took my very talented (ex)husband a YEAR to find a job, simply because he couldn't speak French. Never MIND that he is razor sharp, has been trained within an inch of his life to help others, and is, quite frankly, brilliant. No French? No job.

I remember what a slap that was to us, but in particular to ME. I had dragged my family here in order to move on with my career, and my own ignorance to what faces "English people" almost destroyed us. I tell you truthfully that he is bitter about the bilingual movement to this day.

I further remember that, thirteen years ago, he and I drove from one side of Canada to the other. It was an amazing trip, a chance to see our glorious nation. And then we hit Quebec, that bastion of French pride and "distinct society".We needed gas, and pulled in to a service station. Ex-husband was driving, so he had to deal with the attendant. Ex-husband had asked me along the way to give him useful French phrases, and so he tried, my God he TRIED to be respectful of where we were and to use the prevailing language. I will never, as long as I live, forget him saying, "S'il vous plait remplir??" The syntax was wrong, the accent was horrible, but he TRIED.

And the seventeen year old FUCK, who thought we were just ignorant English, turned away, making fun of us under his breath, never dreaming that I understood every word. I was so ashamed by this person, showing such comtempt for an English person who was TRYING to converse in the local language. Tell you what, Jean-Marc, how 'bout you fuck off and speak English to ME? Who's the person struggling NOW, you dick???

That was the very first time I ever felt that underlying tension between French and English, and I did NOT like it.

All of this is simply a preamble to what happened to me in the grocery store today. Yes, I live in a bilingual area, but within that area, some cities are definitely more French, and some are more English. I happen to live in a predominately English area.

So I'm in line at the grocery store, and Matthew, the 17 year old clerk, is going thru his drill with the lady in front of me, "How are you? Did you find everything you were looking for? Do you have an Airmiles card?"And the lady in front of me keeps answering him in French. She clearly understands English, because she answered every question he asked appropriately, just in French. And everytime she spoke, she raised her voice juuuuussst a little bit more, as if to point out to him that She Was French, By God.

And here's this poor highschool acne victim, just trying to earn his $8 an hour while Whore Face keeps screaming her right to the language of her choice, and clearly aware that this poor teenage boy CAN'T speak French. She tortured this child to make her point.

I'm sorry, sweetheart. If you want the government to serve you in the language of your choice, fine. If you want ME to serve you in the language of your choice, fine. But how 'bout you lay off the CHILD and take your ridiculous posturing in to the parking lot with me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Apparently they all hate us

I just went outside to drag the barking dog inside. To say this dog wasn't socialized as a puppy is putting it mildly, she barks at anything that moves.

Anyway, I go out to drag her inside, and there is a neighbour standing in the street. A neighbour who has come out of his house to give me a piece of his mind about how no one in our neighbourhood can ever have a peaceful, enjoyable evening in their homes because of Dog.


Up until a minute ago I knew that the dog bugged the shit out of ME, but I had no idea the dog was making people hate us.

I am humiliated and exceptionally embarassed. The dog is seven years old, what can I do???

Seriously, you guys, I'm looking for advice. What can I do?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


One book that changed my life This may seem like a cop-out, but I read voraciously, so I can't pick one. They have all changed my life, even the ones I didn't like, even if all they did was make me realize, "My name is Irma Floresta, and I do NOT like this book." They all teach me something.

One book I have read more than once Tough one. If a book is worth keeping in my library, I have read it at least twice. Many of the books I own have been read ten times or more, and I am not ashamed of this. I will give a sample of (some) of these books at the end of this post.

One book I would want on a deserted island The Grapes of Wrath, which I have read at least twenty times. It never gets old to me, and I find something new everytime

One book that made me laugh The Shopaholic series. I can not relate to that way of life, because I hate shopping, but she still cracks me up.

One book that made me cry Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. My God, that scene where Vivi gives her daughter the vial for her tears...stop it, you're killing me. And furthermore, I lose it everytime I reread it.

One book I wish I had written Anything. I wish I had followed my dream and written anything. God bless those who have the courage.

One book I wish I had never been written Bridges of Madison County. Don't misunderstand me, the movie directed by Clint Eastwood was flawless and among my top ten movies of all time, but the book? Spare me, and bitch-slap buddy who wrote it while you're at it. I have a pretty healthy talent for "suspension of disbelief", but don't expect me to believe that ANYONE in the history of Language, turned to their beloved and said (more or less), "Robert, I am almost afraid of your physical presence, it overwhelms the senses so. Molecules seem to fall out of their preordained place when you enter a room." Ummm....yeah....I said that to Husbandly One just the other day.

One book I'm reading now The Mapmaker's Wife by Robert Whitaker, a slightly fictionalized account of Isabel Grameson (real person), who, in 1769, crossed the Andes and travelled the Amazon River on a 3,000 mile journey to join her husband in French Guinea. I am still in the formative chapters, which explain how cartography was the hottest (and most elusive) science of the day. So no real character development yet, and I have no idea what happends to Isabel, but it's fascinating to think about a society where kingdoms were racing to figure out how to calculate longitude.

One book I have been meaning to read Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

One book I recommend to others Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. Her books in this series are looooooong, and they don't fit in to a nice, neat category (well, at least not until they create a category called "Really long - historical - fantasy - romance - thriller - contemporary - mystery - social commentary - did I mention REALLY long??") But omigod, the books in the series are worth it.

Books I love (in no particular order, and not an all-inclusive list) Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck. Madame Bovary by Flaubert. Most D.H. Lawrence. Gerald's Game by Stephen King. The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Fall on your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. The Stand by Stephen King. I am ashamed to say it, but the Clan of the Cavebear series by Jean M. Auel. Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. To be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin. The Griffin & Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock. Every "Dummies" book I have ever bought-- computers, gardening, wine, Disney, whatever. And, of course,last but assuredly not least, the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Here comes the sun....and I say, it's alright

Husbandly One and I stayed up all last night, only closing our eyes in slumber after we stood in front of our picture window, watching the sun rise.

Why were we up all night? Was it a soul searching conversation in which we bared our souls? Was it because we had secrets and dreams to share? Was it because we made wild, passionate love until the sun caressed our bodies?

No no, it was because neither of us had ever seen "The Lord of the Rings". We put the first movie in the DVD player just after 8pm and only finished the whole trilogy at 6:30 am.

We are losers on so many levels that I can't even bear to speak about it. But you know what, we are losers the same way, and we make each other laugh, and we already know each other's secret dreams.

Tired now, going to bed...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Financial Freedom

I don't have it, by the way. And based on the way my work day started, that's probably a good thing. I did NOT quit my job today, everybody calm down, but by 8:37 am (think about that) I was so furious and frustrated that it is probably just as well that our family really needs my income. God knows what I would have done otherwise.

We have all had those days where you are thrown for such a loop -- such an infuriating, humiliating, blown out proportion loop -- that your first reaction is, "Fuck you, I quit."

Nice, happy way for my Friday to start.

Our accounting dept roled out a new policy three months ago: everything we send to a client has to be signed. More specifically, let's say client orders stuff worth $1000, I need to get it signed. Fair enough. But the next day, when client says, "Oh, and add 5 cups of coffee to that", I need to get it signed. And then when three days later, they say, "Turns out we don't need that coffee, after all," I need to get it signed.

I worked in accounting for many, many years and I completely understand why this needs to be done. Within reason. Any idea how many clients I had in August, or how many times I needed to get something signed? Quick research today showed over 680.

Which brings me to the first email I read this morning, I was goin gto summarize it but instead I'll treat you to the actual text, and I don't even CARE if it gives away my real identity:


As you should be aware, we had an Audit during the week of May 26th and it was found we have a major weakness, with regards to ensuring we are consistent with having signed Contracts and BEO's. These signed BEO's must be in the files of the credit manager.

Shortly, after having developed an action plan and communicating this weakness, we have been auditing this for the last 3 months and continue to have unsigned BEO's for 3 months straight . Because we need to answer about 45 key audit questions as part of our month end process, we had no choice to answer the BEO question with a "No" answer ( Not compliant ). You know I'm going to say this is unacceptable.

Please note , last months BEO's not signed are files under the responsibly of Irma Floresta.

Going forward, we expect 100% compliance, therefore would everyone in Sales and Catering please confirm your understanding. This requirement will be tested every month and is subject to follow-up conference calls with corporate office every month.

I thank you and appreciate your co-operation,

Giant Asshole

* * * *

Okay, gang, couple of things to point out: My name appears in red above because THAT'S HOW HE WROTE IT, he took the time to change my name in to a different colour to ensure it really stuck out.

Out of more than 680 documents I needed to get signed in the month of August, there was ONE that wasn't signed. So yes, he's right, we did not have everything signed, ergo we can not say we are 100% compliant, but he makes it sound like I didn't bother to get anything signed, like I didn't spend hours chasing people down, or that in the chaos of everything else I do in the run of the day, I let one piece of paper get lost in the shuffle.

And the reason he refers to me in the third person? Well that would be because he sent that email to everyone in my department, my boss, my boss's boss, the general manager, the regional comptroller, and the regional vice president.

At no point did he speak to me directly, at no point did anyone in his dept say, "Hey, Irma, you missed one, do you think you can get it signed now, even if it's after the fact?" No no, just straight to the vice president.

Ummm.....fuck you, I quit?

Lucky for me and my temper, neither my boss nor my boss's boss were in today, so there was no office I could march in to and give my resignation. Truly, that alone probably saved me. But of course, this also means I get to hash the whole thing out, over and over again, when they get back on Monday. I know they will both be indignant at the tone and substance of that email, so while I am not looking forward to hashing it all out on Monday, I know they will defend me.

Still, if anyone knows how I can pay off all my bills between now and Monday, I'd be happy to hear from you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Apple picking, and what it taught me

Son is at such an awkward age...believe me, it's not awkward for HIM, but for me because I don't know how to react at any given moment; he's not a child, exactly, but he's not quite a Tween, either. He still wants me to kiss him goodnight, but has ZERO interest in me reminding him to brush his teeth after each meal so that he can put his retainer back in. And, in case you were wondering, girls are yukky and he plans to live alone, but very much wants to be a daddy. How do you answer that? "Sorry, son, but you'll actually have to have yukky sex to make that happen?"
I am doing the best I can as his mother (and he is doing his best as My Son), both of us moving in to this new stage in his life, but sometimes we clash over the silliest thing.
This past weekend, we went apple picking, something neither of us have ever done before. I looked at the trees, and carefully selected the fruit I wanted. He, on the other hand, saw an apple at eye level, and ripped it from the tree so he could place it in my bag.
Him: "Here you go, Mumma!"
Me: "But it's not ripe. Look at the gorgeous colour on the apple I picked, how I looked at it from 360 degrees before I picked it, I got the best fruit possible because we are paying good money for this so I want the best."
Him: "Oh, sorry. I just picked it because it's fun."
He can learn much from me. But I can learn so much more from him.


I took today off work to run some long-put-off errands (helllooooo? Passport??) and do some things around the house.

I slept in until 9:30, made coffee, surfed blogs, looked at Whoopi on The View, and am about to watch General Hospital for the first time in more than 10 years. Not because I plan to get in to a soap opera, but because I want to see if I can still recreate the Great Soap Opera Phenomenon from the summer Son was born, eleven years ago.

I watched GH faithfully in high school, but the autumn I was seventeen I left it behind forever. (Young Robyn finding a naked space alien in her garage pretty much did it for me.) So nine years later, I was at my mother's house with my newborn (read: "about to become someone who was going to home during the day.") My mother was ironing, and turned on the TV to keep up on Her Stories.

After my nine year hiatus, I still knew most of the characters, and was able to figure out most of the plots in that one sitting, simply by applying my decade-old knowledge of these characters' pasts. I was hooked again.

I stayed home for three years, but after about a year of tuning in religiously, I let it go again, first and foremost because one can easily allow an age-inappropriate TV program to run in the background with a three month old, by the time your child can actually focus on the TV screen, it's time to turn the idiot box off (or at least make more child friendly choices. Stupid Barney.)

I work during the day, and have no interest in learning how to use my VCR so I can keep up on a soap opera. But for the next hour? Go away, because Sonny is about to do something dramatic....

Friday, September 21, 2007

All's right in the world

Friday night, 11 pm. Husbandly One is still at work, but there is a certain eleven year old Son asleep in his room downstairs. A certain eleven year old who, when I went down to declare lights out and put the book down, said, "Mumma? I love you. Good night."

How did I get this lucky?

Sometimes I look at him, and am floored by the fact that I made this. At one point in time, this person did not exist, and then at another point, he did. And I did that. Call it biology, call it Divine Plan, call it luck of the all instances, it's a miracle.

I remember that, while giving birth, the room suddenly filled at the end: the anethesiologist came back, the doctor who had checked on me while my regular doctor was napping came back, nurses I had never seen before all came in and stood wordlessly inside the door. Between contractions and my team's bloody annoying shouts to "PUSH!!", I had time to think, "What the HELL are all these people doing, looking at my girlie bits when they are at their ugliest??"

I know I didn't say that out loud, because at that point I didn't have the strength to speak, I had been labouring for several hours or several weeks, not sure which, and my whole world was centered on the impossibility of what was happening to my body. But my nurse clearly read my mind, because when she had finished listening to my belly with her stethescope, and had taken one last long look inside my snatch, she said, "Everyone's here because you're so close, Irma. We all know it, and you need to know it, too. And none of us ever gets tired of seeing a brand new person."

A brand new person.

I remember that one phrase lodging itself in my brain. I wasn't tired anymore, I wasn't in pain anymore, I just wanted to see a BRAND NEW person. My brand new person.

And when Son was finally born, he was far more beautiful and wonderful than I could ever have dreamed. Such a perfect, perfect baby. All mine. Brand new.

And eleven years later, sometimes I look at him and feel the ghost of that moment.

All's right in the world.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yesterday's Post

has been removed by your truly because frankly, I was in a bad mood and it was a little on the mean side. I don't mind making fun of things that happen in my life, but I don't want to be a bitch to anyone, either. So there you go.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Be careful what you wish for

Never one to shy away from the grossly personal (wow, why do I feel like I've said that before....), let me tell you that Husbandly One is recovering from a major injury that put our sex life on hold for the last nine months. Ask me how happy I am. Shit.

I'd like to tell you that, in my ever supportive way, I have told him that this doesn't bother me in the least, that spending my overall life with him is more important than what we actually do at any given moment. I'd like to tell you that, but who are we kidding, I'd be lying my fool face off. The last month or so I have started going slightly bonkers, saying things that actually make no sense, such as "Look, I cleaned the oven. Remember when you couldn't keep your hands off me?" Or, "I'm going to run to the store to pick up dog food. You still find me attractive, right?"

Going batty.

Last night, we stayed up past our bedtime to watch the Emmys and then kind of shuffled to our room. I was just settling in when he hinted that he might actually feel well enough to, umm, make me shut up.

And I was all, "DUDE, it's one o'clock in the MORNING, are you NUTS????"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Now open for surgical patients

My kitchen in CLEAN. Not only is my kitchen clean, it is entirely possible that, in the history of eating, no one's kitchen has been this clean.

The scary part is that, prior to today's scrubbing orgy, I thought it was....well, not clean, but clean-ish. Dude, did I ever blow the lid off that theory this afternoon. It all started because I sprayed my oven with caustic chemicals last night, thinking I would then give it a quick wipe this morning and be done with it. Ha! I spent 90 minutes bent over on the ceramic floor (just ask my knees!) with my ass sticking out of the oven. Breathing those toxic fumes for so long clearly addled my brain, because next thing you know I was taking everything out of all my cupboards and drawers so I could scrub them down, too.

Can I hear an Amen?

No, I hear a Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

How can a cabinet which contains only clean glassware get so dirty? I was astounded and frankly a little queasy. Hey, I store my glasses upside down, the part where I place my lips rests on that shelf. Ewwwww.

Still, the act of looking at every item in my cupboards was rather enlighteneing. I discovered that we had three bottles of oregano. I discovered that I really need to stop buying so many kinds of tea and start drinking them. And, in the liquor cabinet, I discovered that at some point, grown StepSon helpfully replaced the alcohol in four bottles with water. (We only keep hard liquor for company, so it has been at least a year since I was in that cabinet.)

I threw a lot of stuff out today, including those four bottles of water. I threw out old spatulas, broken lobster picks, mismatched measuring cups, five corkscrews. (Hey, I said we don't drink liquor.)

Oh, and speaking of wine....which we weren't, we were talking about my clean kitchen and my bottles of water....Yesterday Husbandly One, Mum and I made wine at a local "microwinery", which is the fancy name for a do-it-yourself place in a strip mall.

We have never made wine before, and while I have long had romantic visions of creating my own delicious wine, I have neither the patience, space, or overall intelligence to perform this miracle. Enter "microwineries". You go in, tell them you want to make some Merlot, they stir some stuff up in a bucket, and then you add a packet of yeast. (which, for some reason, is a legal requirement.) The yeast thing was the only "hands on" moment of the experience; I think we were there for twenty minutes total , and I certainly wouldn't classify it as fun. In eight weeks, however, we go back to bottle the resulting hooch ourselves. That has the potential to be fun.

I couldn't believe, though, the massive quantity we will end up with: thirty bottles of Merlot! Our wine rack is full, where the hell am I supposed to put thirty new bottles?

Well, at least I know there's room for four of them in the liquor cabinet.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The joys of non-custodial parenting

Last evening I had to be out for a few hours. Ex-Husband (custodial parent, lives two hours away) called my house around 5:30pm, was told by Husbandly One that I was out for a few hours, and left the following message; "Ask Irma to call my cell."

I got home at 8pm. I called the cell. Straight to voicemail. I called the house number, no answer. I didn't worry about it at the time, but as the evening turned to night, I began to get uptight. Where were they? Why wasn't anyone answering? I believe that the message I left at 10 pm was, "Ok, I can't get ahold of you, which freaks me out and makes me think you have turned off your cell because you're in a hospital. CALL ME."

No call ever came. My last, now frantic message was at 1:30am. By that time I had imagined (in graphic detail) there had been a car accident. Or my son had tripped on the stairs and broken his leg. Or his arm was being surgically amputated after a bizarre accident.

This is not a joke, and not an exaggeration. I literally lay in bed last night, trying to make myself glad that, although Son's arm was probably gone, at least he still had his life.

This morning when I got to work, I finally managed to get ahold of Ex-Husband. Long story short, there is NOTHING wrong. Ex-Husband found out very late Wednesday night that he had to travel to the U.S. immediately to investigate a fatal accident. Had to leave so suddenly that he got Son out of bed and immediately left for the States. He called me yesterday afternoon just to tell me where they were. And the whole "Tell her to call my cell" ?? The reason he wasn't answering was because he was, in fact, in a hospital, taking statements. Not watching our son's arm being removed, just taking statements.

As he told me this over long distance this morning, I fell apart in ways I had never experienced before. I sat in my office, door open, with tears of thankfulness and left-over fear running down my face, too upset to even speak to my son directly. I sobbed to Ex-Husband, "WHY couldn't you have included the fact that you were away from home in the 'get her to call me' message? I wouldn't have worried like this..."

He didn't mean to scare me, he just didn't think. I have never felt so powerless and helpless than I did in those hours when I couldn't find my child, and didn't know what to do about it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Open mouth, insert foot

The things we say without thinking.

I have a girlfriend whose body is lush, curvy, womanly, generous. And she was humiliated the other day when a new co-worker asked her if she was pregnant. Yikes. I feel bad for my sexy friend, having her weight cast at her like that, but I also feel badly for the thoughtless woman who asked the question in the first place.

The other day, I saw a pregnant coworker outside smoking. I am a trying-to-quit-smoker myself, but I have limits, and after she went inside, I turned to one of my friends and said, "Nothing in the world disgusts me so much as a woman who smokes when she's pregnant. How can she be so selfish, so irresponsible? What she is doing is goddamn child abuse."

And my friend says, "Ummm....I smoked when I was pregnant."


Don't get me wrong, I still know I'm RIGHT, but maybe in future I'll keep my comments to myself. Probably not, though.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This can't be a good idea

Those of you who have known me for a while are aware that our home is quickly being flat out destroyed by our dog and the two cats. Code names: The Shedder, the Clawer, and the Vomiter.

They work as a team, and every night when I open the front door, I dread what I will find. Tonight I hauled me a big ole pile of cat puke out of the heating vent in the bathroom. Don't tell me I don't know how to party. The dog was happy that I was home, and as I watched her vigourously thump her tail, the explosive halo of hair flying off her body was almost eerily pretty. And while I was on my hands and knees, covered in golden fur with a pile of cold vomit in my hand, I could hear the other cat in the livingroom, tearing in to our upholstered furniture. She has clawed one of the chairs down to the wood interior, and I guess that means it's not fun anymore, because she has now moved on to the OTHER chair. That chair, by the way, is the dog's favourite place to hang out during the day, and is so hairy that People have not been able to sit on it in several years, I just can't get all the hair off.

And how are we dealing with this? Why, by buying all new livingroom furniture, which should arrive sometime in the next hour. That's right, folks. New couch. Yummy new chairs.

Why do I feel like crying?

Monday, September 10, 2007

No humour here

I try not to be too serious on my blog, but this is really bothering me on about eleven different levels.

This past Saturday night in my city, four 16 year old boys died in a senseless car crash. The simple truth is that they (or at least one of them) caused the accident, playing silly-buggers, trying to pass a car of teenage girls, just messing around and playing. The boys crossed the double yellow line and hit an oncoming truck head-on. (The people in the truck were taken to hospital and later released.)

So, so, so sad to lose four young boys like that. So sad for the people in the truck, whom they hit. Sad for the girls in the third car. Just a frigging mess all the way around. I hope that, eventually, young people will learn a strong lesson from this.

And here's the kicker: the teenage girls have just witnessed something so horrific that they will never be able to forget it. In the aftermath, there is screaming, there are flashing lights and ambulances, there are body bags. And while all this was going on, there sat these frightened teenage girls, who were undoubtedly in shock.

Teenage girls. Teenage girls with cell phones. Who proceeded to do what teenage girls do: they called people. In near hysterics, they began calling their friends, and nobody stopped them. There were cops, there were fire fighters and paramedics, but no one thought to take the phones away from the girls. They called their friends with the shocking news that So-And-So was dead, and the news spread like wildfire. So much so that, in one case, several other teenagers showed up at So-And-So's house, crying, before the police had told the parents.

And I hope The Authorities will learn a strong lesson from that.

I don't even know what I'm trying to say.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Still waiting for inspiration

Back when I was blogging every day, I always found something to say. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was poignant, and sometimes it was downright boring, but at least I said it. The Inspiration Fairy hasn't been around lately, though, so I figure the only way to get her to come back is to write here until she finds me again. And you get to live through the lacklustre results.

I helped entertain 25 clients in our corporate tent at the big Tim & Faith concert on Saturday. Weirdest thing to happen to me this weekend / in my career? Bending over to get something out of my purse which I had left on the floor, and having a client yank the back of my jeans down. Apparently, in my crouched position, the tattoo on my lower back became slightly visible, and she wanted to see the whole thing. "Off with her pants!", she cried! Well, noooo...what she really cried at the top of her healthy lungs was "OmiGAWD, look at the tattoo!!!"

And I was all, "'s actually a really elaborate birthmark. Now get your hand out of my panties."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

On Coffee, Jewellery, and the Future of Humanity

Welcome to the third and final site of my blog. If you have been with me since the beginning, let's get back at it. And if you are new here, let's go play.

Random thoughts, questions, and answers from my day.

I am addicted to my travel mug. Well, technically, I am addicted to coffee, but it never tastes right unless it's in my honkin big insulated mug. I have used the same coffee mug for five years now, and literally refuse to drink this sacred beverage from any other vessel. Creature of habit? See below.

I love good jewellery, and am fortunate to possess quite a bit of it. In my daily rotation, pieces come and pieces go, but I wear two bracelets Husbandly One gave me every day of my life, and I never take them off. He has given me quite a bit of jewellery over the years, but to me, these two bracelets are My Wedding Rings. We'll see how I feel when I actually GET a wedding ring, ha ha.

The following occurred to me on the drive to work this morning, and clearly indicates that I need to find a hobby, but humour me -- work has me pretty stressed out right now:

Even today, in some circles, it is considered taboo to marry someone outside your own "race", but many people have embraced the idea that you can marry (and reproduce with) anyone you love. Good, go with that.

So let's assume it's 10, 000 years from now, and the whole planet has intermarried over many generations. White with Black. Native Canadian with Russian. Scandanavian with Maori. Polynesian with European. Japanese with Lebanese. We are all now One Race.

What do we look like??

Look, I'm not saying that all races should assimilate in to one, because I don't believe that. I believe that each person should choose who they want in life, sure, but I don't have some bizarre belief that we should all be the same. But, the question asks what if, over generations of intermingling, we WERE the same? What would our common face be?

Hmm...guess I do need a hobby.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Welcome back

So here I am at my new site....see you soon