30 November, 2009

Jeff Foxworthy...no it's not about Rednecks (sort of)...


Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Canadians:

The saddest part... I can relate to them all.

  • If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you may live in Canada.
  • If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you may live in Canada.
  • If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Canada.
  • If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialled a wrong number, you may live in Canada.
  • If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Detroit for the weekend, you may live in Canada.
  • If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Canada.
  • If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Canada.
  • If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day, and back again, you may live in Canada.
  • If you can drive 90 km/hr through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you may live in Canada.
  • If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Canada.
  • If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Canada.
  • If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you may live in Canada.
  • If the speed limit on the highway is 80 km -- You're going 95 and everybody is passing you, you may live in Canada.
  • If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you may live in Canada.
  • If you know all 4 seasons: Almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you may live in Canada.
  • If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you may live in Canada.
  • If you find -2 degrees 'a little chilly', you may live in Canada.
  • If you actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your friends, you definitely are Canadian, and proud to be.

27 November, 2009

The Boy, An Update and Modern Warfare....

Instead of my son’s usual trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s when we leave for holidays, he opted to fend for himself and decided to stay at home alone. This was his first “home alone” experience and I’ll be honest, I was a little suspect of how things would turn out.

At the best of times, the boy isn’t the most attentive and is certainly not the most organized person I know. When I speak, he typically listens, but does not necessarily grasp the finer details of the conversation.



For example, I might say “We are leaving now, so please make sure you turn off the lights and lock the door when you leave.” What he hears is “We are leaving now, so turn off the lights.” He completely tunes out the most important part of the conversation – the instructions to “lock the door”.



Anyhow with his attention to detail, I was a little bit concerned that I would return home to an empty house or even nomadic gypsies residing in my backyard. Alas, this was not the case.



He actually managed to keep himself fed and watered and by the looks of my pantry and freezer, his friends too.



His laundry was done, the house was clean, the floors were vacuumed, and the dishes were done. Congratulations on a job well done!



There are however a couple of things that have yet to be explained – like why was a portion of the eves-trough hanging askew from the back of the house, where did all the air soft pellets scattered across my deck come from and why was their duct tape on my banana plant. I suspect all of the above were caused by some form of apocalyptic Call of Duty Modern Warfare role-playing - likely involving the roof of my house; however something’s are better left unknown and ignorance is bliss.

26 November, 2009

Open Letters...

First, I wish to say “Happy Thanksgiving” to all my American friends. I know I had my Turkey Day in October, but let’s be honest – that was a century ago.


I’m a little behind on my letter writing, so here goes...


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own.


Dear Lunch Room Guy,


Wearing your sunglasses in the office makes you look like a dork, but I’m sure you already knew that. Oh and just to clarify, wearing those damn Crocs and the fanny pack doesn’t help your appearance either.


Best Wishes,

SC

************************************

Dear Lazy-Ass Engineer,


Stop complaining that the photocopier is out of paper and do something about it already. It’s not my problem, but you are.


P.S. In case you didn't already know, I wish to point out that you are a whiney-ass troll.


Yours truly,

S

***************************************

Dear Mall Santa,


I would like to know how you got that job. You are creepy and so are your elves. Can you please advise where you found them, as I might be interested in renting them out on Halloween next year?


Kindest Regards,

S

***************************************

Dear Facebook,


WTH is with all the crap you insist on making available to my shallow minded friends. Farmville and Mafia Wars? What’s next? May I suggest midget bowling?


Sincerely,

S

***************************************

To My Loving Husband,


You can stop talking about your lovely iPhone anytime now. I get it – you LOVE it and my phone sucks.


Hugs and Kisses,

Your Loving Wife

****************************************

To My Sweetest Son,


Can you please dump your girlfriend? She is obviously sucking the life out of you and your drama is sucking the life out of me.


Love,

Mom

*****************************************

Dear VP of Manufacturing,

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you stink! There is no reason for that smell. The remedy is called deodorant. May I suggest you use it?


P.S. Using it daily works best.


Your Pal,

SC

25 November, 2009

Reflections of...

With a vacation, comes reflection - reflection of where I’m at in my life, how I got there and where I want to be in 6 months, 3 years or 10 years from now. This vacation was no different. I spent time once again reflecting on both the good, the bad and the ugly of the past years and what the future may hold.

Although I don’t know where I’m going and I certainly don’t have a 10 year plan, I DO know that I’m not where I want to be at this moment in my life – at least not in my career. I took a wrong turn somewhere and I’ve done a bit of backtracking to find where I went wrong, but to no avail. Perhaps it’s time to stop and ask for exact directions to the Golden Path to Career Happiness…

I’m confident it exists…somewhere – most likely somewhere in the Caribbean and believe me - I will get there eventually...

In the meantime, I leave you with my inspiration for this post:

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes by Jimmy Buffett

I took off for a weekend last month
Just to try and recall the whole year
All of the faces and all of the places
Wonderin where they all disappeared
I didn't ponder the question too long
I was hungry and went out for a bite
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum
And we wound up drinkin all night

Chorus:
Its these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane

Reading departure signs in some big airport
Reminds me of the places I’ve been
Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again
If it suddenly ended tomorrow
I could somehow adjust to the fall
Good times and riches and son of a bitches
I’ve seen more than I can recall

Chorus:
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane

I think about Paris when I’m high on red wine
I wish I could jump on a plane
So many nights I just dream of the ocean
God I wish I was sailin again
Oh, yesterdays over my shoulder
So I can't look back for too long
There's just too much to see waiting in front of me
And I know that I just can't go wrong

Chorus:
With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running and all of my cunning
If I couldn’t laugh I just would go insane
If we couldn’t laugh we just would go insane
If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane

24 November, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Vacations are a double edged sword – they are great when you are on them, but when you come back, you are made to “pay” for taking time off.


I have 107 unread e-mails in my inbox and at least 75 of them are marked with that red exclamation mark indicating they are “urgent”. Does anyone actually think putting the exclamation mark on them is going to make me read them any quicker?


It’s great to come back to work only to be greeted by an e-mail from the CEO saying “thanks for all your hard work this year, but no one is getting a raise”. I am not surprised by this and am just thankful to have a job at all, but getting that e-mail still sucks.


While I was away, my local radio station had changed its usual format to “all Christmas music, all the time”. WTH? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas music but NOT in November and NOT every damn song. There was something about hearing Alvin and The Chipmunks that almost sent me postal this morning.



I’m leaving my “out of office” notification on for the rest of the day and I don’t plan on answering the phone either. This will provide me with the opportunity to catch up on everyone’s blogs that I’ve missed. Those 107 e-mails can wait another day - it's not like they are really urgent anyhow..



As always, please be sure to visit The Un Mom for plenty more Tuesday Randomness.

19 November, 2009

Trouble In Paradise...an Update

Just a quick note to thank everyone for their comments yesterday and to let you know that all is right with the world again today - I am still married....for now. *smiles*

It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do for common sense and composure. I guess when you have two stubborn people, sparks are bound to fly and yesterday was "our" day for a firestorm of epic proportions.


18 November, 2009

Trouble In Paradise...

Sorry, I haven't had a chance to post for a few days. For being on island time, things are very busy. We have been averaging 3 dives a day, so by the time 7:30 comes along, I am ready for bed - at least my body is and my mind doesn't know any better. I guess that bedtime comes with age, but I just thought it would wait a little longer.

Today was the first time in my 20 year marriage that I can honestly say that I contemplated my husband's demise...in detail. I know, SHAME on me! But if you were here you would understand that together we were a recipe for disaster. There are days when I need to count to 10 at least 3-4 times daily, but today - counting to 100 backwards wouldn't have helped diffuse the numerous situations we found ourselves in. We are both fairly easy going - especially when we are on holidays, but today was a disaster!

We both woke up on the wrong side of the bed and would have been better served to just stay there. One of my pet peeves is indecisiveness and today J was in fine form and I wasn't in the mood for one of the "I don't care, what do you want to do" conversations. I'm more than happy to take charge, but when I finally decided to move things along, certain things suddenly became "my fault" - because I was the one that decided to do it.

Here is a brief synopsis of today:

  • I decide (because J won't give me any input) that we should try a couple of dive sites on the north end of the island. They are in a remote location, but the promise of "big" fish await.
  • We drive 2 hours over EXTREMELY bumpy dirt roads. J seems amused with my "bouncy" situation.
  • After our 2 hour drive, we "think" we find the dive sites.
  • We gear up, enter the water but can't get over the coral break wall - turns out we aren't actually at a dive site after all. Climb back out of the water, remove gear, drive to another "supposed" dive site.
  • Repeat as above. Yep, site 2 does not = a dive site either. Guess what? This is all my fault because I made the decision to travel North.
  • Get pissed off and start yelling at each other in the middle of nowhere. Very classy I know!
  • Return trip = another 2 hours over the donkey trail in COMPLETE silence.
  • I again make the decision and pick a dive site we haven't been to before because J's criteria is "somewhere we haven't been before".
  • Once again, gear up, enter the water, J attempts to climb over the mound of coral at the breakwater, wave hits him and he stumbles. Guess what breaks his fall? A sea urchin. Yep, a handful of spiny barbs are lodged in his fingers. Abort dive because of all the blood in the water. Of course = my fault. More yelling.
  • Not wanting to be deterred because we are stupid that way, we head to another dive site. In case you are keeping track, we are at 4. Four times we have geared up, wandered into the water, only to have something go wrong. This one would be no different. I refused to enter the water after I spotted hundreds of sea urchins at the entry point - the same kind of sea urchins that just wounded my husband and left his fingers a bloody mess. Regardless, J did not see my reasoning, so this one also = my fault and more yelling.
  • We finally did manage to do a dive - on the 5th friggin try.
Five hours later, we still haven't spoken to each other, which I suppose is a good thing because there hasn't been any yelling either. My momma always said "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".

Truer words were never spoken and tomorrow is a new day.


15 November, 2009

Greetings from Bonaire! Bon Bini...

Hello Everyone! J and I arrived on the redeye this morning and landed safely in Bonaire around 5:00 a.m. It took a grand total of 15 minutes to clear customs and get our luggage and then another 2 hours to get our rental car. As you might not realize the pace in Bonaire runs a little slower than glacial, but it's all good - I'll adjust. Welcome to the islands!

After a quick breakfast, we headed to our dive briefing and soon after, our first dive. We had been given a tip and somewhat of a shady guarantee that "just offshore, you can find 3 seahorses". Imagine my excitement, I was so sure that we would easily find at least one of them. Wrong! Apparently directions like swim straight out for 70 meters and in about 7 meters of water, you will find a large fan coral and somewhere around that fan coral, you will find a yellow and a red seahorse.

Turns out, even though I'm Canadian, I don't know shit about the effin metric system - I don't actually know what 70 meters is and since there is math involved, I lost interest in figuring it out about 5 minutes into my dive. AND since we are diving in the ocean, there are A LOT of fan coral in the vicinity of the mythical seahorses. I might as well of been looking for a needle in a haystack or a unicorn in Central Park, because the seahorse safari was a FAIL and the guy that sent me off on a wild goose chase is an ass! There's apparently a sucker born every minute and today, I was it...

13 November, 2009

I'm Happy...

I’m happy that the sun is shining and it’s still balmy in Canada - in November.



I’m even happier that tomorrow I will be headed for even balmier Caribbean weather. A week of sun, fun and scuba diving awaits my arrival.


I’m less happy that in order to get to the Caribbean, I have to first spend 5 hours in Newark, NJ; however there is an upside. Really there is – you see, there are always a lot of drunken passengers stumbling around the concourses of Liberty International Airport to keep me entertained for at least 5 hours. I kid you not - if Disney is the happiest place of earth, Newark is the drunkenness.



I’m happy that I’ve cashed in all my Continental points and upgraded to a first class seat. Although it’s only a 6 hour flight, it’s a redeye, so I might as well snooze and drool in style.



I’m even happier that the 28 of my other friends headed south with us are sitting in coach. Ha Ha…suckahs!



I’m happy and hopeful that internet service on the island will be available so that I can provide some updates and post some photos of our daily adventures – both on land and underwater.



I’m happy and thankful for the good fortune I’ve been blessed with to have these opportunities of living life to the fullest.



So, sing it with me…

“So kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you’ll wait for me. Hold me like you’ll never let me go. Cause I’m leaving on a jet plane. I don’t know when I’ll be back again…”

12 November, 2009

I'm Humbled and Awesome

I would like to thank Gavin @ Insanity’s Musings for passing this award onto me. Thanks Gavin!

As with all awards they come with rules, so here they are. There are a lot of them, so pull up a seat:

1. Thank whoever gave this to you

2. Copy award

3. Post it in your blog

4. Tell us 7 things that your readers don’t know

5. Link 7 new bloggers

6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog

7. Keep being awesome!


Seven Things You May Not Know About Me…Or Might Not Want To…

  • I hate cake.
  • I review contracts for a living.
  • I can drive pretty much any kind of farm machinery – combine, tractor and forklift.
  • I’m good at home renovation projects.
  • I love to go fishing.
  • I swear way more than I should.
  • I used to play hockey – left wing.


Seven More Amazing People You Need To Know

MJ @ In So Many Words

Fierce @ The Life and Times

Brian @ WaystationOne

JB @ It’s Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy

Sylvia @ Rock The Cage

Michel @ Facts Are Strictly Optional

CrazyCris @ Here There and Everywhere

I Shoulda Been A Stripper Award and Other Erotic Stuff...

JB @ It’s Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger To Make Me Happy has bestowed me with this prestigious award. I am truly honoured since there have been many times in my illustrious career that I have thought about a career change such as this…


I Shoulda Been A Stripper Award

Guidelines:

a. post the award on your blog

- Check!

b. list 7 of your personality traits, as evidenced on your blog

1. Sarcastic
2. Adventurous
3. Semi-Optimistic
4. Grumpy
5. Passionate
6. Funny
7. Protective

c. pass the award on to 7 other bloggers with notable personality, and be sure to let them know that they've been selected

f8hasit – She certainly has been racking up the awards as of late, including the illusive Blog of Note, so with at, she deserves another one. Besides, this one’s in the namesake of her BFF Chrissy.

JW @ Jessi, Bob and The Monsters – Considering she’s living in a male dominated world at the moment, she deserves this award for serving her Country with style and grace.

Fidgeting Gidget – Even at her worst, she always manages to pull through with optimism and a funny story about her cross-border jet-setting lifestyle.

Otin @ The Wizard of Otin – This gentleman has quite the flare for killing people off in his blogs. Makes me wonder what is truth and what is fiction, but not enough to scare me off…he leaves me wanting more…

Joshua @ The Technical Parent – Joshua is a new follower and from what I’ve recently learned, he’s cheap, but not easy. Well I might have made the last part up. For all I know, he might be easy too.

Respectfully Yours @ Here is What I Think – This lady is a new follower as well. She makes me laugh out loud when I read about her shenanigans at the spa with her husband and her observance of the UFC matches at her local grocery store.

Jenna @ Jennaventures - Who else do you know that was in an car accident caused by rampaging elephants? Yeah, well she’s my first too.


And just when you thought it couldn't get any better...it DOES!



Joshua @ The Technical Parent bestowed me with this fantastic award. As I mentioned above, he is cheap but apparently he really likes my blog because he gave me this one for FREE! I would have actually paid for it, but whatever - it's too late now. It's mine...

As with all awards, there are rules. I'm gonna be totally honest, I'm exhausted and need to get back to work so I'm not following them on this one, so if you want - grab the award for yourself.

11 November, 2009

Remembrance Day...


Today is Remembrance Day in Canada or Veteran's Day in the U.S.

Today is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war. It is observed on November 11th to recall the end of World War 1 on this date in 1918.


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army



In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.



We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.



Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

10 November, 2009

Suggestions for Success...

Since I appear to be having trouble sorting through my own thoughts today and have resigned myself that I will not come up with anything witty or creative (not that any day is any different), I’ve decided pass along this instead.



For the most part, I believe these to be true…although I do struggle with a few of the suggestions…


Suggestions For Success
by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

  • Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
  • Work at something you enjoy and that's worthy of your time and talent.
  • Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  • Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  • Be generous.
  • Have a grateful heart.
  • Persistence, persistence, persistence.
  • Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  • Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  • Commit yourself to quality.
  • Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
  • Be loyal.
  • Be honest.
  • Be a self-starter.
  • Be decisive even if it means you'll sometimes be wrong.
  • Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  • Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
  • Take good care of those you love.
  • Don't do anything that wouldn't make your Mom proud.

09 November, 2009

Paranoia or Self-Preservation?


I’ve officially morphed into a germ-a-phobe, with a slight twist of paranoid hermit thrown in.

With only 5 days left until my departure for the sunny Caribbean, I’m living with the overwhelming fear of becoming sick. I’ve taken to screening my co-workers and visitors to my house. Just like at the hospital, if anyone looks or sounds sick, access to my vicinity is denied.

Yesterday’s telephone conversation with my mother-in-law went like this:

MIL: Can we stop in around 10:00? I have some photos we would like you to send to Terry in Ireland.
Me: Hmmm. I guess. How have you been feeling?
MIL: Fine. Why?
Me: Have you or Bob had a cold, fever, chills or aches?
MIL: No. Why?
Me: Are you sure?
MIL: Well, we had had some aches, but we are 69, so some aches are bound to happen. Why?
Me: Have to been around anyone that’s sick? You haven’t been to the Dr.’s office in a while have you? How about the bank?
MIL: What the hell are you asking me all these questions for? Have you been drinking?
Me: Okay, I’ll see you at 10:00.
MIL: Do you want me to stop at Tim Horton’s and bring you a coffee and a donut?
Me: Hell no!

Normally I don’t fret about too much about anything, but with all the media hype of H1N1, seasonal flu, lysteriosis, salmonella, mad cow, dengue fever and god knows what else – I’ve become afraid to go out in public or quite obviously allow anyone that’s been in a public place into the sanctity of my home.

This too shall pass…in about 15 days (give or take).

“It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like.” Jackie Mason

05 November, 2009

Drum Roll Please...

Since the beginning of my humble Blogger beginnings, I have from time to time featured photos that have been taken by my husband, J.



The truth is - I rely heavily on J to capture the memories of both our daily and worldly adventures. If it wasn’t for him, I would live in a photo-less world, because honestly I cannot figure out how to work our television remote control, let alone a camera and then I’d have to upload the photos, resize them, etc, etc. It’s just far too much work…for me.



Now don’t get me wrong, I do actively participate in the photo-taking process. It’s less glamorous than actually being the photographer, but in the spirit of sharing responsibilities, he allows me to carry his camera equipment for him. I know! Isn’t he a peach?



Anyhooo, since it’s my hope and J’s dream that someday one of his photos will get published in a national magazine (aka National Geographic), he has decided to launch his very own blog in order to obtain a little more exposure (no pun intended), so without further adieu, I present - Imagine It Photos.



If you’re feeling adventurous, please stop by and take look….

What Fresh Hell is This?

Oh wait, why am I surprised? I shouldn't be considering I live at the North Pole...




Here is a simulated view of what our parking lot at work looks like at the moment - if I actually had a camera...

04 November, 2009

A Leap of Faith?

I’m a planner and I like to be well-prepared, but in the same respect, I’m extremely spontaneous. I don’t know if that completely makes sense, but in my delusional mind, it does. On occasion, J has suggested that I might be a tad bit controlling as well, but I prefer to call it organized.



In discussing our upcoming trip with our 17 year old, we have determined, with much persuasion whining from the boy, that he is old enough to stay home by himself. Typically he is packed up and shipped to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the week, but we have decided that this time, he can go it alone.


I should point out that the Grandparents are less than a 5 minute drive away, so it’s not like he is being abandoned in the woods with the coyotes, forced to scrounge for berries and nuts as his sole food source.


Am a worried? Of course. I would be a horrible parent if I didn’t. He has never even spent the night by himself and here I am pushing him into a whole week of self-sufficiency without even thinking twice.


Will he be okay? Probably, if his overactive imagination doesn’t get the best of him. If he hears noises in the night, he automatically assumes something is lurking outside of his bedroom window. It might have just been his parents messing with him, but whatever…


Am I concerned that he will have some wild party in our absence? Of course, but I’d like to believe he’s not stupid enough to try it, especially with his nosey concerned Grandparents so close to home. Not to mention, the fear of eternal damnation I’ve instilled into him throughout his lifetime should be enough to dissuade him from doing anything stupid.


Do I trust him? At this point yes, but we might want to circle back on this one in a couple of weeks.


Will he starve? No, he’s the master of the microwave and besides, Grandma won’t let him starve. Grandpa might, but Grandma certainly won’t.


In my planning mode and to ensure a smooth week, I have been diligently preparing The Boy for this adventure – showing him how to do his own laundry, making a list of things he needs to do on a daily basis. Things like:

  1. Feed and water the cat.
  2. Lock the doors.
  3. Don’t forget to turn off any appliances when you are done with them.
  4. Feed the fish and for the love of God, please don’t kill them. If any of them die, I’m making you take a trip with your Dad to the fish store.
  5. Go to school.
  6. Do your homework.
  7. Be good, or else - next time, Grandma is coming to stay WITH you.

Is he listening to me? No. Why would he need to? Apparently teenagers know everything.