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."