Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Angels

If any of you live in Southern Ontario (or perhaps various places in the northeastern States) you will be aware of the piles and piles, heaps and heaps, and mountainous amounts of snow that has fallen over the weekend.

Ok. I exaggerate.

Let's just say there are piles and piles, and leave it at that.

My current living arrangements only include one parking spot. The problem is that both Jen and I own a car. Assigned parking is a bit of situation in these parts ~ making street parking very common. The simple solution to this parking dilemma is that Jen drives to work everyday, and I take public transit; meaning that it makes more sense to leave my car in the lot, and her car on the road, where we have to pay for the parking. No point in paying for my car to sit on the street during the day if there is an empty spot in the lot.

When we discussed this, the thought crossed my mind "What about winter? Can we really keep a car parked on the road when the snow falls?"

The answer is yes. You just have to be prepared to dig your way out.

Today's winter wonderland brought about the digging out. Jen's car had been A) snowed upon as much as everyone else's and B) plowed into her spot on the road by the considerate snowplow guy. Nice. Very nice.

Shovels in hand we set to work. Digging, struggling, giggling. But for two girls who hail from small towns, we work pretty hard and fast. Though we did spent a fair amount of time cursing the guy who plowed her in.

As we were just over half way of shovelling out the car, a nice man in his snowplow rolled over to where we were. We asked if he could help us with the mountain of snow heaped along the front of her car. He looked at the snow, looked at us, back at the snow and says "But if I move that snow, I'll block the driveway up." He looks back at us, and must have taken pity. He says he's going to continue up the road, but he'll be back and help us out. Sweet. Who doesn't want to play the helpless dame every now and then!?!?

Back to shovelling. From the apartment building driveway across the road, who should appear?? No, not Santa. But the plowman who plowed Jen in. He turns left out of the drive and creeps his pickup truck towards me. For a moment, I thought the guy was going to run me down. Then I realise, as I start walking to the back of the car, that he intends to move this mountain of snow for us!!! He looks over at us through the rolled down passenger window, his brown eyes peeping out beneath his ball cap, and gives a slight nod. We tuck ourselves safely at the rear of her Honda, and he shimmies his truck back and forth, moving snow here and there, keeping the driveway clear, and diminishing this barricade. He starts driving away, but then turns around. He comes back, and with precision, removes the built up snow from beside the car that we had not finished yet ourselves.

Sweet hallelujah!!

But we realise, he is now barricading in the car directly behind Jen. Packed in that spot tighter than Jen's car had been. We laugh with astonishment and mutter "Dude, that sucks!!" to each other. Meanwhile, snowplowman has freed up Jen's car. He tips his hat, and I wonder for a moment if I should offer him a beer. It seemed like the kind thing to do. But then he drove off.

Jen successfully got her car out of this spot, and moved further up the road to where all the parking spots had been plowed earlier. Before she drove away, we agreed that we should help a neighbour out and shovel the snow that was just plowed up against their burnt orange Optra. The moment she started to drive away, I set to work again. What is one more car? We shovelled out my mom's car earlier, shovelled out mine from the lot so they could plow it, no big deal. Call it the Christmas spirit.

The first snowplowman returns; he makes the obvious comment that we got our car out. Then he asks why we are still shovelling. I tell him that another snowplow had come along and helped us out, but in the process, did this ~ and I point to the new pile of snow. I tell him we thought it wasn't very nice if we just left it, since really, it's our fault he's now plowed in. He smiles, asks me to move out of the way, and proceeds to maneuver his snowplow to remove the snow recently accumulated. He was a plowman well practised at fine movements. He ran his blade along the length of the car, a mere few inches from the doors, and plowed away the snow. He calls out the window to us that's the best he can do. We emphatically say thank you and extend our appreciation. Then he drove away.

We laugh over whose car this might be. Would be pretty funny if it belonged to someone who desperately wanted to call in a snow day tomorrow: "Good morning, sir...No, sorry, I can't make it in. My car is impossible to get out. Not a chance of getting to work...." then he peers out his window and sees his car can miraculously be driven out of his spot on the side of the road, and mutters "oh shit" under his breath, and then says to his boss "never mind......I'll be there in 45 minutes..."

Would also be nice if the car belonged to an older couple. Poor ol' Grandpa could use a break like that every now and then.

Then we look at each other and say this son of a bitch better have to drive his car to get somewhere tomorrow!

Alas, as we are nearing our completion, I notice a couple staring down at us from the third floor. The venetian blinds had been drawn up, and they just stood there watching. I wondered if this was their car. Then they disappeared. I kept expecting to see them appear at the building doors, the gentleman coming out with his scarf wrapped around his neck, toque pulled down, and thank us for the kind gesture. But no. No one appears.

Jen runs back into our apartment building to get change for the meter at her new spot. I make my way back across the road to put away our landlord's shovels. As I come back around the front, I see the couple standing at the front door. I am tempted to wave. But then I think, without my shovelling partner extraordinaire, they likely don't realise it's me. So I just carry on across the front of the building, and let myself in the side door.

When Jen gets back in, she shakes the snow off of her. She said as she was walking back, she saw a young couple approach the car we just freed with their own shovels in hand, and in a contented wonderment, ask the street who just dug out their car. The couple at the building doors stepped outside and told them two girls had done it. Jen didn't make mention that it was us. Instead she smiled to herself and turned down the side of the building and let herself in.

We'll just let them think it was snow angels who did it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Well that's just pimpin'

When it comes to qualities in roommates, I know exactly what to look for. Someone who possesses the ability to make me laugh, is considerate, relatively tidy (ahem, someone who likes doing dishes more than I), and someone who can bust a move like nobody's business.

Luckily, in the past 5 years, all of the roommates I've had landed on this list. Now, when it comes to qualities that they are looking for in a roommate, well, I sure do hope I've fit their list.

This past weekend, we added one to the list. A roommate who has the ability to get the guy she's mackin' on, to pimp out her roommate. That sounds awkward, but it's on the list!

Jen and I went for a dancing fiesta this weekend -- back to the bar we went to last time. Where, you might recall, I was successfully picked up, and later went on the date. Mr. Date did not call me after our date. Could have something to do with how quickly and awkwardly I jumped out the car when he dropped me off.

I digress... Rhianna, Kanye, even Bon Jovi. Jen and I were on fire with our sweet dance moves! And who do we spy? Mr. Date. I tip my imaginary hat at him, cheers my only beer of the evening with him (I was the DD for the night), and carry on. Jen got the giggles (ok, we both got the giggles) and tells me that Mr. Date keeps staring at me. Shuffle, shuffle, pivot, turn. Yup. He sure is.

I give the guy credit, because he danced his way over to us and started chatting. Started flirting. Made sure to not exclude my dear roomie from the conversation (which is rather important, in my books. Two girls at the bar....don't separate them). The guy did not leave our side for the rest of the night. He had us in stitches, and we had him in both shock* and stitches.

But what really got us all going, was when he was adamant that he and I were going on another date, and that Jen was going to double with one of his buddies. He points to his three friends, and tells her that she can have her pick of any of them. To which she replies: "Just three? What about the rest? I'd like to expand my options." He was quick on the ball, his answer was these were the best of the best, his other friends were lazy, unemployed, and, I quote, "one minute men," which she clearly should not date at all!!!

I believe someone is being pimped out here. Though now that I have relived this little story, I think he's pimpin' out his friends, not mine. Phew. Though, did I inadvertantly pimp out mine?

So if he calls like he said he will....he won a second chance.


*Turns out that girls like Jen and I don't have the girly filter on our brains that stops us from saying inappropriate things. I call girls like us "real". He was not expecting about 41% of what we were saying. Being "real" is also a prerequisite on my roommate checklist.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Facebox....Facebook...Face something

I did it. I finally signed onto Facebook. How long have my friends been pressuring me to join? Well, from the moment facebook took over the world with it's intriguing popularity, that's when. But I stood strong, my iron will firmly planted. No.

That is, until I decided it would just be a lot more easier to see my friends pictures from their travels, from their weddings, from their what-have-yous, if I just joined the bloody network. So there I am, the newest kid on the block. And I have to admit two things:

1. I can see how people are addicted to facebook, and I now have spent hours looking at other's profiles. I giggle and sigh and wistfully think about these people, some of whom are on the other side of the world, some of whom I haven't seen for a few years.

2. I need to have a flippin' tutorial in facebook because I am confused and don't get all this stuff that you can send people, and that people can send you. I look at my page and think WHAT IS THIS???? And it's not that I think "what is this" with curiosity and glee, I think it with annoyance and frustration. Because what the bloody hell is a twisted Christmas carol?? (If that is what it's called). And then I'm not sure if I even want to click on it to find out.

I've only been on it for a couple weeks now. Maybe even not that long. But it's already wearing on me. Both my brother and sister are on facebook, which is fun cause then I can see Mike's pictures of Olivia anytime, and I can send my sister smart remarks a la little sister style. But I think that what irks me is that it my sister makes attempts at conversations with me over facebook -- when really, if she wants to talk to me, then just call me!!!! I think I am from the wrong generation. All these super speedy technologically enhanced forms of communication is just too much for me. I like my sister calling me to tell me something, trivial or personal, joking or serious. (While I am at it, I like going into the bank to the teller rather than online banking or using the atm...see?? Wrong generation.)

I just don't know about this facebook business. Do I really want to connect with people who I went to elementary and high school with? No....because if I did, I would have tracked them down in the past and maintained a relationship. I would like to think the same thing back from their standpoint too. Earlier this year, my brother told me that one of my friends from high school had contacted him on facebook, and asked why I wasn't on facebook, and could she have my email? He said he'd give me hers. So he did. I didn't really want to email her. There was a reason I was not her friend anymore. But then the guilt washed over me, and I thought I'd just drop her a quick hello. And what happened? She didn't reply to me for about a month, and when she finally did, her entire email was pretty much a brag bag about what she's got. What did I do? Hit delete. Guess who is not invited to be my friend on facebook.

So....I begrudgingly have a facebook account so I can see Sophie and Emily's pictures. Let's not lie here. That's pretty much the biggest reason. And now I must rely on my own character to not feel guilty for declining invites to be other people's facebook friend when I really don't want to, because a little part of me feels it's mean to say "no, I don't want to be your friend...."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The unexpected

I made a secret plan when I moved. And that plan was to actually go on dates. To be nice to guys I meet, which would result in them asking me out.

Ok. Well it wasn't really a secret plan. I jokingly told my friends of this plan. Included was also speed dating, which I have yet to venture to. Did you notice that I just said 'which I have yet to venture to'? Which means....(Insert the Star Wars theme music -- that's the tune I sing when I am excited about telling something or showing something and I want that person to feel anticipation. Yes. I'm an 80s kid.) I went on a date!! In the life and times of Melissa, this is pretty big news, I assure you.

I met Mr. Date out at the bar. Which, in my books, is not always the best place to meet people. Why? Well because of a few things:
1. Chances are I was drinking and my judgement was impaired
2. Chances are if a guy is trying to pick me up when he's drunk, he wants one thing and that's about it
3. And well, bars are like meat markets. And that's just kind of gross.

But alas. I waived aside my usual wall of ice and gave this guy my number after he had made me laugh many times. I didn't expect him to call me. But then Tuesday night rolled around and he did. Actually, he got my voicemail, and then we played a bit of phone tag for a while. Once we actually got on the phone, talking to him was pretty easy. I agreed to go out with him for dinner on the following Monday. We didn't really make a plan of where and what, just when. A bit of flirty text messaging ensued, and voila! I was anxious for Monday to roll around! I was also anxious because I could not remember what he looked like, just that he was tall, broad and had a fair complexion. His facial features? Not a clue. Curse the gin I drank that night!

I feel I must interrupt myself here. Seeing as I just got my cell phone a couple months ago, flirting by text message was weird for me. True, I have some experience with flirty convo's over msn...but on my phone...and my texting skills are horrendous...well, it made me laugh more than I should have, and revel over this new delightful form of flirting.

Anywho back to the story. Monday night.

I am impatient by nature. I try to work through it sometimes and ease myself back to patience. It does not always work. Also, I am a fan of set plans. So true, I willing made unspecific plans for Monday, but it was driving me crazy waiting for him to call me after work to make the real plan. At about 7pm, he called (which is a reasonable time, I know this), and we agreed that he'd come and pick me up in about half an hour.

Interrupt again. As I agreed to him picking me up, all I could hear in my head was my Grandma's voice saying that's not safe!! I should have said I would meet him somewhere. What if he was an axe murdered and now I had given myself a hard escape plan!!! Foolish girl, this is the big city!!!! BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He didn't get to my apartment until 8. My patience was wearing. There was nothing I wanted to watch on tv. I was already ready. So I pet the cat and flicked the stations. Tick tock tick tock, where the heck was he??? Ahhh...the phone rings. He's lost. Ha!!! Who is the fool now?? Just kidding. He finally gets to my apartment. I meet him out front, and the snotty saucy side of me arches her back.

He's driving an old Mazda with a severely cracked windshield. There really is nothing wrong with an old car, let's get real. I was judging poorly. Well, I was judging more over the windshield than the car itself. Hello!! Cracked windshield going into winter? It's going to crack even more!! Not very safe!!!!!!!!! And not very nice of me. I got into his car. Awkward hello. But then the awkwardness faded away and we started to chat. A quick evaluation of his casual attire, I suggested that we just go to the pub for a pint and some pub grub. He seemed pretty game for this.

In all sincerity, the evening was pretty good. We talked and laughed a lot. Lucky for me (and him) he's quite chatty, so when the conversation came to a lull, he was quick to think of something else (I usually am not). He was a nice guy. A perfect gentleman.


I didn't feel the 'thing'. I think he'd be a really fun friend, but that's about it. If I had indeed felt the 'thing', it would have been a perfect date! But what can you do? You can't really make yourself like someone just because they are nice. Hmmm...

I'm off to a good start though!!! Next up...speed dating!!!!!!! Just kidding.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My friends are my friends because....

Lately, I've been thinking about my friends. How funny they are, how nice they are. How much I like them.

Here are just a few examples of why I like my friends.

:: Erin ::

Upon moving into a new apartment in London, Erin came over and got the grand tour. The closet in my bedroom was weird. It was deep, yet the floor of the closet only went back about a foot or two, then raised up to a crazy waist high platform that carried back a good three feet or so. We look at each other, and both say at the same time "Do you think there is a dead body in there?"

:: Jen ::

Just today, I was gushing to Jen that there was a devastatingly good looking man in our boardroom having a meeting with my boss. Her reply was "What are his shoes like?" A very important question in my books. Glad she's on the same page.

:: Chris ::

I left my office best friend Chris behind in London. In a recent email, he says:
"Are you still drinking like a fish or have you met that special man and looking forward to children now….lol." He knows me well.

:: Mary Jane ::

Well, there are too many funny things that MJ says and does. But to pick one out. We were out at a club drinking, and stumble upon a pair of boxers on the floor. We giggle some, and start to walk away, when a guy sitting on the nearby couch asks MJ to pass him his boxers. She looks at him, and with the straightest face, answers "Well, are they clean???"

:: Sophie ::

In my many emails with Sophie, now that she is living in Slovakia, you can imagine that we often say "I miss you!!!!" My favourite version of this was:
"HHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAI'm listening to "I've got friends in low places"....reminds me of you. omg, melissa i love you in a non sexual way. I'm so happy to have you :)"
I nearly peed my pants at my desk. Then I asked her if she had been drinking.

:: Charlotte ::

Well, she says things like "chuffed" and "trousers". And she does not have an English accent. I mean, how can you not smile when someone says "He was all chuffed up with himself over it"???? And because she was always an active participant in many crank calls to our friends (and several to her boyfriend).

I have many more moments I could share, but it could get a bit redundant.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sounds of the Season

Sniff. Sniffle. Snort. Sniff sniff, wheeze.

The month of October has been quite mild and pleasant to the delight of most residents of Southern Ontario. Ever so slowly, though, the fluctuating temperature of warm-not so warm-a little chilly-back to damn near hot has brought about a case of the sniffles to many people who ride on the subway. (Including myself these past few days.)

Listening to the sniffles is like listening to the oh-so-dreaded nails on a chalk board for me. In fact, my biggest moment of high school bitch involved a girl named Kelly and her sniffling nose. (Now, I really wasn't a high school bitch. I wasn't really cool enough -- uhh, or mean enough -- to be one of those... Sometimes though my humour is mistaken for bitchiness. This situation was a neat little combo of both.) There I sat, studiously listening to my English teacher--not passing notes and giggling with Liz and Derek, I swear--about The Stud Horse Man (it's a real book, check it out. Actually, don't literally check it out. I do not recommend reading it.) My concentration had been broken for near a month due to poor Kelly's cold. Every day. Sniff sniffle sniff. Not once did she bring along tissues. Not once did she stand up to get a tissue from the teacher's desk.

Her sniffling grated on my nerves. Finally I could take it no longer. Derek, Liz and I had joked around many-a-lunchtimes that one of us should just get up and put the box of tissues on her desk. Drop the big hint, you know. We thought it was a pretty funny idea, but did not think any of us would actually do it.

Until......I was about to scream.

I understand we all get colds, we all get the flu. We all get a case of the sniffles and sometimes do not have a tissue handy, so the only thing to do is sniff that snot back up. What I do not understand is why you would purposely not wipe your nose, why you would not use the tissues available to you for that specific purpose.

I did it. I stood up, and with the stealth of a cat, I moved to the front desk and picked up the tissues. Kelly sat one row over, and one seat back from my desk. So I was not going out of my way to put the tissues on her desk. I was not walking around the room to a desk on the opposite side of the class. While now, I am sure it was obvious what I was doing, I felt at the time, I was not.

She looked up at me with big glassy eyes, and quickly averted her gaze. Embarrassment, shame. I don't know. But thank the good lord the sniffling stopped and she used the tissues. I suspect a handful of my classmates were happy I did it.

Surprisingly, I did not get in trouble for this. Was it mean? Can I count this as my official 'high school bitch move'? Should I track down Kelly and give her my apologies?

I keep a travel pack of tissue in my purse. I suffer from a rather regularly stuffy and/or sniffley nose myself, so I always want them handy. I'm sure that someone out there is grossed out by me, wiping away at my nose in public, and wants to rant about it too. I send my apologies good sir--or good lady. But I'd rather you be able to look away and not see me wiping than you not being able to block out the sound of the sniffles.

Do you know how tempted I am to hand out tissues around town? To record the sound of someone sniffling and play it back to them and ask them how they like it? Oh dear, now that is mean. I would not do that. At all, ever. But hand out a tissue. Yes.

So if you ever happen to be on the subway in Toronto, and some girl hands you a tissue because you are sniffling away...chances are it might be me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's Monday

Ms. Claassen,

It's Monday. I'm sitting at my laptop stumped of what to blog about. Trying to think of something funny for your benefit....

I have not put any new holes in the walls (well, not any serious ones) nor have I spilt any grainy substance all over the floor lately. (Please note, that I am still sweeping up the damn rice.)

Let's see.......

I went home for the weekend, to take care of my stepdad, as my mom had to go away, and he's just had shoulder surgery. I'm a good daughter. I decided to take advantage of being back home and catch up with some friends.

Saturday night found us at the local bar, drinking overpriced pints (HELLO!!! $6.50 for a bloody pint of Keith's!!! I don't even pay that in the city!!!) (Ranting is now done). Charlotte saw a couple guys she knows from Hamilton, and they joined our table. Chit chatting, joking, awkward know the regular kind of evening with people you don't know.

The Bruce was spruced for Halloween. Buddy in his white shirt decided it would be a good idea to steal some of the decorations. In particular, the mummy hanging from the ceiling. It's about as long as a foot. Maybe two. I don't know. But he shoved the mummy down his pants.

Enter the dirty joke.

"Wow, I was ready to call you daddy....but I guess now it's mummy..." I even winked when I said it.

He did not laugh.

Inappropriate joke, yes. Unexpected joke, yes. Funny joke, YES!!!!

Gah! Why are these people not laughing at my jokes these days???

I'd say I'm beginning to doubt my wit and humour, but honestly, I'm just doubting these people.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One and Two


A noise of downtown I am getting accustomed to is the fire engine and police sirens. Who knew there were so many dire situations in a day?

My boss said one day, when there was an excessive volume of sirens, "I've been here for 5 years and I've never read about any actual fires. I think they just put the sirens on to get attention."

I said "Well, you know, it's because all the fires are on the 13th floor."

He didn't get my joke. C' was funny.


Does it make me weird somehow that I find glee in seeing the mice at the subway station??

To see them running along the tracks before the train comes, their coats so surprisingly shiny, puts a smile on my face. I like to know that even along the grit and grime of the subway tracks, where people carelessly throw their trash, where people get whisked away every 5 to 8 minutes, little creatures are living their own little world.

Granted, I'd be happier for these little mice if they were running free in a field of grass, or borrowing in a barn. But it's the city.

Yeah, I like mice.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Last week I....

1. ...Suffered from mis-matching my clothes and not really caring too much about it. Woops. Not very sleek or stylish in my new city flair. Sometimes I enjoy mis-matching though. It makes me feel cool and unique. I think I do it more often than I should.

2. ...Spilt rice all over the kitchen and dining room floor. I have inherited a giant bag of rice from my old roomie Erin. Seriously, five pounds of rice for me, that comes in a cloth zip up bag. I am coveting that rice bag right now and want it for my lunch bag, since I lost mine in the move. Thursday morning I made my move on the bag, which is currently sitting atop the dishes cupboard. I mounted myself on the stool, reached up, unzipped....and suddenly it was raining rice. Who knew the rice would not be in a secure plastic bag inside the cloth bag?? Not me.... I think my roomie is going to kick me out. First the hole in the wall, and now rice. I told her as I was cleaning up, "No remember, if you see something small and white, it's not a maggot..."

3. ...Was phone-flirted with at work on Friday. A supplier and I had set a meeting up for training on our internet site where suppliers submit pricing for approval. I had thought it was a telephone training session, he had thought it was an in-person training session. He called over in the morning to ask about parking, and a very flustered me said that we can do it on the phone, it will only take about 20 minutes or a half hour. He said he was going to be downtown for lunch anyways, so he can just pop around. Still flustered, I put him on hold to find out about the parking. There is none available. I reiterate to him that it's just as good on the phone, and then that way he's at his desk with his computer in front of him etc. He accede's to the phone training instead. We reschedule for Monday, to which I say I'm open all day, so whatever suits him is just fine. And he says..."I'm flexible. Well, not really my body. Just my schedule..." How could I not laugh at that?? Then he stumbles on his words and says that came out wrong, I carry on laughing and say that's ok, and then he starts laughing too. Phone-flirt?? I think so.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dearest Roommate

On this Thanksgiving Monday, I left my grandparents house mid-afternoon with the intent of seeing to some housekeeping issues in my apartment. Such as hanging up some pictures in my bedroom.

My grandfather--the handiest of the handymen--had recently provided me with some good screw anchors for hanging up pictures. You know the kind, plastic things that butterfly out behind the drywall. He also gave me a drill bit, that would make the perfect size hole to put these anchors in. Fabulously easy.

I started to turn the bit. By hand, mind you, since grandpa didn't give me the actual drill. But still, hammer it in a bit, throw in a bit of muscle, and I'm turning that bit round and round, making progress with my hole. Round and round I'm turning, and I think sheesh, when am I going to get to the gap between my wall and Jen's wall?? Ahhh...finally the drill bit eases and I think I've found it. I raise a little on my toes to get a look in the hole and what do I see?? Light. I see light.

I put a hole in the wall clear through to Jen's bedroom!! Opps.

Quickly finding my way into her room, I see that a small crack has formed in the paint, and an actual chuck of paint has fallen off. Hmmm....some of the mud has sprinkled out across the bedspread. What to do, what to do.

Stroke of genius!!!

I rummage through my craft box for my white glue. Grab a tissue from the bathroom. Douse the tissue in glue and stick in in the gaping whole in Jen's wall. Success!!! Now to find the large piece of paint on the floor. Got it. Cover the back of that in glue, stick onto the wall....just like a puzzle, really.

Ummm....doesn't fit like a glove. I managed to mangle the wall some, it is pushed out and no longer flat. Now how do I fix that!?!?

I'm currently waiting for the glue to dry. I might try to put a cloth up against the wall and hammer the bulge back in. We'll see how it goes.

Jen has not yet arrived back from her parents. But when she does get it, I think I'll suggest she hang a picture there. Sans the butterfly anchor.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Well, there were really only two weddings, and no funerals. That might have been a bit hectic. Two weekends ago, my brother got married, and this past weekend, my friends Gillian and Dan got married. And good news for a girl like me, both weddings were open bar. The Best Man at my brother's wedding, his gift to them was the open bar. Nice friend!!

Top Ten list of the Top Two Weddings (in no particular order)

1. My brother's speech to the Bridesmaids: "Jen told me I had to give a toast to the bridesmaids. I wasn't really sure what to say, so..." he reaches into his tuxedo jacket pocket, and pulls out two pieces of toast. One for each of the ladies. Then he literally sat down and took a sip of wine. Smooth, Mike, smooth. I can see why it took ten years for Jen to marry you.

2. My brother likes to cut the rug on the dance floor like no one would believe. While he lacks rhythm and grace, he still likes to shake his groove thang. There were times it was just Mike on the dance floor, wiggling about, smiling like the drunken fool. Typical wedding music being spun by the DJ, my roomie--who kindly posed as my date--and I decided it was time for a Conga line! Mike was easily persuaded to join, in fact, took the leading position. We snaked, kicked, giggled, and tripped our way around the room. I steered Mike towards my table so I could pick up my beer, and like a good brother, he obliged. After all, what are big brother's for? Nearing the end of the song, I glanced back over my shoulder to see that nearly everyone in the room had stood up and joined in! Did not expect that to happen! I feel that the conga line made it officially a wedding. Though thank heavens there was no chicken dance....

3. Lovely Laura, as I like to call her, has been a long time friend of my mother's. They met when we were just kids, and she's been in our lives ever since. As an impromptu speech, she took to the podium, and began a nice toast. What started off as a happy, thoughtful toast, full of comments like "I'm so happy for you guys," "I feel so blessed to be in your lives" turned in a hyperventilated stuttering of "I feel like it's one of my own kids getting married" and "oh fuck, I'm drunk and I can't finish saying this". She stumbled back to her seat, and cried on the shoulder of the poor gentleman who was seated next to her. Poor Laura, overwrought with emotion. Ahhh...she's a dear woman.

4. My niece, Marlee, is 16 years old. Though she's got the figure of woman a few years older. Sly little girl, wearing a dress cut to there. Her date, whose name I have forgotten, could not keep his eyes (or hands) off of her. Marlee was seated at my table, along with my sister and brother-in-law Brian. Boyfriend and Marlee continually kiss each other, gaze lovingly into each others eyes. Jen leans over to me and says in a hushed tone, "Do you think they do it?" I giggled and said they better not be, or I'll kick his ass. Her reply was to pay attention to their hands, and when the disappear under the table, if her eyes glaze over, we'll know. My roomie is a perv.

5. I had a dress situation. I bought this really cool dress. It's a giant wrap around skirt, made from old sari silks. You can wrap it around all these different ways, as a dress and skirt. Very cool, I tell you. Very cool, that is, until you are struggling with a two year old child who is missing nap time and not wanting to get her photos taken down by the lake, and you realize that with each and every move you make, the dress is coming loose and slowly sliding down your front. I thought it was just a momentary thing. Until I realize that this problem is going to occur through out the entire evening, and ladies would keep coming up to me, tug up the back of my dress to no avail because my bra was showing...It's a shame it's such a pretty dress, because I'M NEVER GOING TO WEAR IT AGAIN.

(Moving on the next wedding)

6. Speech from the Groom, introducing his side of the wedding party. When he got to Dave, he seemed kind of stumped on what to say. "Next is Dave, he's been my friend forever, and he's my cousin. He's just great... [pause] I don't know if all of you out there know Dave or not, but well, I'd recommend you put him in your wedding party anyways, cause he's great to have around." I know Dave, it's true. One of the best laughs I've ever heard.

7. It was a small town wedding. If you know me, you know I love small town. As easy as it might be, I just can't get the two step down pat. (Yes, I know, it's two steps. But it doesn't work well for me. Hush now.) Roger, who is 'one of the guys', (and Dave's older brother, they share the same great laugh), has a keen knack for two stepping. We've danced before, with him twirling and whipping me around the dance floor, and me giggling, getting dizzy and thinking I might barf. The wedding was no different. I sidled up to Roger, and requested a dance later in the evening. He seemed a bit taken aback, but honoured my request. After we two stepped, I got harangued by my friends boyfriend Mike. He gave me the serious eye, and said that Roger was creepy. I'm pretty sure he was telling me not to go for Roger. I think I had my classic WTF look on my face, and laughed. Roger is not creepy. Weird yes, creepy no. Mike looked at me funny, said ok, and walked away. At the end of the night, Roger came to say bye, asked if I was still in London. I told him I moved to Toronto, and he looked a bit disappointed. Hehehe, maybe Mike had overheard something and thought he was taking a preventative act. Who knew I'd get the cock block from Mike?

8. I seem to suffer from dyslexia every now and then. Muddle up my word. Early in the evening, I was talking to Tara about Gillian and Dan. But instead of saying Gill and Dan, I called them Jan, and we thought that was quite hysterical (remember, it was open bar?? Everything was quite hysterical). Ha! Must've stuck in Tara's head, because when she got up to give a toast, she called them Jan... I think I'm the only one who found that actually funny.

9. When the wedding was over, the party was just starting. Being that I was the date to the Maid of Honour (seriously, folks, the only 'dates' I've had lately are with girls. Is the good lord trying to tell me something here!?!?!) (Erin -- my old roomie -- was the maid of honour. At the time when the invites went out, she was not dating her current lover, Keith, and suggested we go together) (Um, I love side notes in case you can't tell) and friends with most of the wedding party, I had an in to the after party. Also had an in to the after party because it was happening in my hotel room that I was sharing with Erin and Lara. Dave sweet talked the catering staff and scored us several bottles of wine. See, he is handy to have around! We filed back to the hotel, realized there were no cups, and in true party fashion, we cracked open the wine and just passed it around and around the room, taking sips (ahem, gulps) one at a time. I haven't done that since before I graduated from university. Oh the good times...This story would be a lot better if someone fell off the bed or something. I just really like that Dave scored us all that wine.

10. And finally, I had a dress situation yet again. After deciding I would not be wearing my very cool sari wrap dress, I decided to wear this other dress. It's brown, it's a wrap, it's cute. So cute, that Erin chose to wear it on her first date with Keith. A date that they got a little frisky a little later on in the evening. After I found out that Keith would likely be attending the wedding (not as Erin's date, haha...sucker), I thought to myself, well hell, I can't wear the dress now. This dress has a reputation that I can't keep up with!!! Poor Erin, I'm just kidding.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Call to Duty

Dear Ms. MacWhatsYourName,

I was writing to complain about the current state of your Blog – Kickin’ it in the SWO. Reading your blog had become a part of my daily route, a moment I looked to forward to each day. It has become a source of amusement for me. A treasured break in the daily monotony of my life. And while I understand the disruption in your commentaries do to your recent relocation, I’m disappointed to find that a month later, you are still neglecting your duties.

Please note that I shall be forced to find another blog should your abandonment continue.


Ms. Claassen


Dear Ms. Claassen,

Please be advised that I have consulted with my public affairs department in regard to your concern. They have informed me that there have been other complaints about my apparent neglect of the ever-so-popular blog, Kickin' It in the SWO. Regardless of the fact that I am making all of this up, I can assure that my attention will return to my blog in the very near future.

While I have been dissuaded by the fact that I can not log on to my blog from my new place of employment, I have been struck in a moment of glory that I can write a post on email and send it to myself at home, to later post in the evenings. Sheer genius takes time, Ms. Claassen, and I thank you for your patience while I figured this out.

In the mean time, might I recommend you peruse some of the blogs I have listed on my blogroll. I rather enjoy the writing style of Little White Liar, however, like me at this time, she does not post very often. Pioneer Woman, on the other hand, is an avid poster, and quite amusing. I learned a lot about farmers sticking their arms up cow's butts from her blog.

Thank you for taking the time to draw this to my attention. As a gesture of my appreciation, please find the attached gift certificate to my favourite restaurant, Chez Melissa, which is valid for a free meal. The head chef, Melissa, is a wonderful cook, and her dishie, Jen, sure knows how to make things sparkle!


*NB: If the attachment does not come through, you are invited to randomly show up at Chez Melissa. Should the staff be unaware of the situation, and not allow you entrance, shake your fist at them and give them the evil eye. This will ensure you the best seat in the house.


Ms. MacWhatsYourName,

Thank you for your prompt reply on this matter and for the gift certificate for Chez Melissa. I was fortunate enough to had have the pleasure of being served breakfast there and was quite impressed. I look forward to my next visit.

In regards to exploring alternative blogs, I will be sure to check out your recommendations, however I already have ample experience with farmers sticking their arms up cow’s butts as I have spent the better part of my life on a farm.

Ms. Claassen

Thursday, September 27, 2007

TTC = Toronto Troubling Commuters

My daily subway rides have been occuring for not quite a month yet. Those first couple days, I felt a little timid, paying attention to everything around me. The people, the signs, the stops. I soaked in public transit, and thought to myself, hey...this ain't so bad. I love to people-watch, and now I get to do it everyday.

During that past week, however, my opinion seems to be changing. Perhaps now that I am more relaxed with my commute, my senses have levelled out; it's not just my eyes that are alert. sniffer seems to be set on high lately. Smells and odours of my travelling counterparts waft to my nose. Poor hygiene, stale cigarettes, greasy morning breakfast, stinky feet. Those scents that cling incessantly to the inside of my nose, that last long after we have parted ways I am sitting at my desk at work. Makes me wonder if it's me that smells....

(Picture it....Sitting alone at my desk, taking a quick look around to make sure no is coming, and do the sniff test. Hair--nope, smells like the lavendar shampoo, arms--nope, smells like fading soap, underarms--not today, remembered deodorant, and finally shirt--again nope, smells like a regular silk shirt [woot! who knew this shirt was silk? I thought it was polyester!])

Perhaps what I need to do here is to be alert once again. Not to focus on the smells, but on everything. Let the waft waft right by me. Stop being another faceless entity on the subway, avoid eyecontact and staring only in space, with an expressionless look. Just sit up and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Welcome to the city

Call me naive. Call me sweet. Call me ignorant. Call me whatever you want. Last weekend was my soon-to-be-sister-in-law's bachelorette party. And it was a giant welcome to the big life.

Saturday night was one of those rare occasions that I let down my guard. Out at the bar with Jen and her friends, most of whom I'd only met in passing. I was afraid of how the night was going to go. When it comes to strangers, or near strangers, I often feel like an odd ball, and keep to myself. Maybe it was all the wine and gin I drank, but Chatty MacTalksALot was the girl at the bar, not regular Melissa.

I took advantage of my jovial attitude and flashed my pearly whites, made saucy comments to guys who eyed me up, and actually got into conversations with some. Usually with one of the other party girls with me, but sometimes by myself.

So there I am. There he is. And he's working hard to chat me up. Point scored for him, because he's hysterical. Then he decides it is time to list off what he wants in a woman. (Cause really, why wouldn't you tell a girl you just met this??) As he rattles on about this and that, he throws in there that she can't do drugs. He emphasized on it. I think to myself what a weirdo, how did the convo turn to this? And then I think that's nice, he doesn't want a girl who does drugs. Standards. Everyone needs standards.

Bachelorette party girl #3 wobbles over to the table. In a dramatic moment, she announces that her drunkeness just isn't doing it for her. The guy asks what she wants. Party girl says she wants a line.


Romeo and Juliette ready themselves for a line, and I walk away. I'm not that kind of kid. Is this regular practise in such a metropolis? Is that the big city glamour? I'd rather hole myself away in my apartment than hangout with a strungout junky who thinks it's ok to do a line, but not okay for their lady love to.

No thanks, Toronto. You better show me something more to win me over.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sing it with me...Dah, daaah dah daaaaaaaaah!!

The time has arrived. My new website (for my business, not a blah-blah-blah-blog) is finished!!! Check it out, You can get the gist from there.

And in more exciting news, I've just started taking a certified power coaching course from CLI, so I can be a life and a business coach along side my momma. Woot!!!

And in less exciting news....the apartment is still a mess. In the plans for this weekend to organize it all. Jen is going home, so I can make a bigger mess in the process of cleaning of the mess, and not have to worry about being in her way. Oh the fun times I'll have.

On an unrelated about those comedic actors in Oz who posed as a Canadian motorcade transporting bin Laden in the security restricted zone in the Sydney CBD and made it nearly to Bush's hotel??? All I can say is.......AH HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good post is brewing....most likely going to be about the subway. We'll see. Could be about the weekend, when I was at the bar, talking to some guy who randomly pulled a little bag of coke out of his sock. It's a toss up.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Life and Times of Me

1. The new apartment is great.

2. The new job is growing on me. Haven't really done too much yet to decide if I'm going to like it, but hey, it's paying my bills now.

3. Feeling like the successful small-town kid in the big city. My first venture on the subway all by myself~which included transferring to a different line~got me to work safe and early!! Woo-hoo for me. I'm like a city slicker or something now.

4. Decided to change my phone service to Roger's from Bell. Right now I am cursing that because there is a connection issue with the phone, which means it's not working. Yet the internet and the cable are working. WTF. If you can imagine my pissed off's happening every now and then.

5. Had to stop on my trek from the subway station to my office building yesterday because a movie was being filmed. Didn't see anyone I recognized getting out of the cars, but that's still pretty cool.

6. And last but not least, hot damn there are some fine looking fellows all suited up for work in these parts!!!!!!

And now this busy bee must flee.....

Friday, August 31, 2007

Over caffinated

I worked for a while in a cafe in the land down under, where I like to think I perfected making coffees. Lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites. Whatever you wanted, and I could make them pretty with designs on top, like this one...

It was here that I learned to not just like, but to appreciate coffee. I've always been a tea drinker, and found percolated coffee to be bitter and kind of gross (and I still do). Flat whites were my favourite. Upon returning home, my new found thirst for European style coffee was not quenched, as with the exception of Starbucks and Williams, cafe's serving these coffees were far and few between. Though they have been increasing in popularity.

So the point of my post today is not to tell you I was a fabulous barista, or that my love of coffee is less than 5 years old. Rather, it's to complain to a slight degree (SURPRISE!!!!). To ask for a flat white in Canada is like asking for a kangaroo. You just don't get one, as we technically don't serve them here. So I usually ask for a latte, with no foam. It's no big deal to not get the foam in there.

So here it is. My last day here, I decide to treat myself to a nice coffee and scone from The Little Red Roaster for breakfast. Delicious coffees and homemade baked good. Order my latte, forget to say no foam. And much to my disappointment, the lady making my coffee piled the foam in there. Hello!!! Did I ask for a cappuccino??? I sure didn't......Son of a b, I hate the frothy milk.

I know, I know, what the hell am I really complaining about, and why did I make it a post!? I'm just irked when barista's don't know the difference and make them all the same. Gah!!!

(Uhhh....better post to come later. Maybe.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Unemployed Sloth

It's only Wednesday. I have officially been unemployed since 5pm on Friday.

It feels great, it feels panicky. It also feels like sleeping in is a great thing and who knew there was so much lame tv in the mornings???

I haven't really ventured too far this week, what with the packing that is supposed to be at the top of my list of things to do. So....I've pretty much been in my pj's all week long. Nice.

Today I met a low I don't think I want to meet again. Not only have I pretty much been wearing the same thing since Saturday, but today I had to run a quick errand....and by quick errand I mean I went back to the office to pick something up. And wore the shirt I've been wearing all this time. I am an unemployed sloth. It might even be a smelly shirt.

Hmmm....good thing I came home to a message on my answering machine saying I've got a job for Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woot woot!!!!!! With the place where I had the fiasco of an interview. WHO KNEW!?!?!?!?!?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Two Faced

My friends tell me I look like a sweet girl. A nice girl. So I often wonder what is it that makes me look like a sotty bitch instead. One who gets approached by a certain type of guy at the bar...

Picture it. Erin and I head to the classy bar in town (ahem, there are only a few in this city), as our last weekend before we each move. And as planned, we got all dressed up. Well, she wore a dress, I wore sassy long shorts and sleeveless/backless top. Me and a dress and booze--not happening unless it's a wedding. So there we were, all pretty and shit, sipping on our cosmo's, laughing at each other as we delve deep into a conversation of our sexual experiences. When who should walk over and seat himself at our table?

Mr. Nice Looking (notice...not good looking).

He says: Don't mind me, I just want to sit for a few minutes. If you want someone else to sit at your table, just tell me to get lost.

And then he looks around the room, literally ignoring us. How bizarre. Erin and I stare at each other with WTF looks on our faces. Can't really carry on our conversation, so we start to ask him a few things, thinking perhaps he's lost his nerve so we'll just be nice to him.

He doesn't really say much, yes and no answers. Perhaps he really did just want a seat. Ok. Then he asks what we are drinking, so we tell him. He thinks for a minute. He asks where our boyfriends are. We laugh, say our boyfriends were busy tonight. (We do not have boyfriends.)

He says: So what, you girls just out here looking for rich guys to buy you drinks and then take you out in their fancy cars?

Pretty much my chin hit the table. The waitress arrived at the perfect time because after that comment, I needed another drink.

And then he gets up and leaves. What the hell was that??????????????????

Do I look like a sotty bitch to you?

(That's me and Erin, in our apartment, pre-Mr Wanker.)

On the plus side, we left the classy bar, and went down to my fav pub, The Brass Door, which is just a little this side of sketch. True, we stood out like sore thumbs in our fancy clothes, but Jim McGuinly was singing his songs and strumming his guitar, and the bartenders know my preference for gin & tonic, Bombay, please. But best of all, my favourite hole in the wall draws a crowd of people without much pretense. Just a great, general crowd of people having a great time. No one there makes me feel like a sotty bitch, just the nice kid I am. Ahhh...I'll miss that bar.

Farewell, L-town.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Mundane Array

Today I seem to be out of steam, but I still feel like blogging. Perhaps bullet points is best today.

  • Have not heard yet from the interview I had on Monday. The half hour before the interview was quite a fiasco, and it totally threw me off my game. I went to the location where I was instructed to go by the recruitment agency, only to get there and be told I had to go somewhere else. When I got to somewhere else, I realised I was not told what floor and suite number to go to. I scrambled to find a pay phone (call me old school, I don't have a cell phone), and called up to the agency to find out what was going on. Turns out the company I was set to interview with made a mistake and contacted them early that morning to change things. I was interviewing with a company affiliated with the original. So A) I was flustered because I didn't know where I was going, B) I was flustered and annoyed that now I didn't know anything about the company I was interviewing with and C) I was just plain ol' annoyed at the miscommunication in the first place and now felt very unprepared. Not a good start to go into an interview with.

  • I found out that the cost of a pay phone has doubled to 50 cents since the last time I used one. Eek!!! I guess I can no longer say 'Here's a quarter, call someone who cares.' Not that I really ever say that or anything....

  • I have less than two days of work left. Yippee!!!!!! And I am trying my best to not get frustrated by the actions of my coworkers and managers. I am keeping in mind that I am out of here so soon, it's not worth it to get myself riled up over their silly actions. It's hard to do this, I tell you!

  • This Saturday my roommate and I are throwing a dress-up party since we are both leaving town. I think this will be the first time that I will have worn a dress to a bar when it hasn't been New Year's. Hehehe, I believe martini's are going to be in order!

  • What I can only suspect is due to reading Little White Liar's post yesterday about the fear of terrorism, I had a dream last night that sticks in my head today somewhat hauntingly. I was riding the train into the city, and a woman of middle eastern descent boarded the train. She was dressed in a western fashion, the only thing that made her stand out was her skin colour. Everyone eyed her up suspiciously, and she quietly made her way to a seat at the back, near the exit door to the next car. I was seated just a couple rows ahead of her. Individuals started coming up to her and saying slanderous things. I stood up and defended this woman, blocking people from reaching her. Pretty soon, it seemed like everyone on that train car was rallied up in front of me, and I was standing there holding onto the seats on each side of the aisle, barricading this mob. The few people in the seats behind me just sat there quietly, while this woman cried in fear. I kept yelling at the rush of people to leave her alone, it was not her fault. Eventually, the train came to a halt, and in the jolt, my grip on the seats released and the people pushed passed me. The woman saw this coming, and she struggled with the door to exit to the next car. She made it out in time before anyone reached her. This is when I woke up. I have not been remembering my dreams very vividly in this past year, but the details of this one won't seem to escape my memory.

  • And now there is definitely no more steam.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Telemarket this!!

Number One reason it pays to sound like a kid on the phone when you're really an adult:

Telemarketers call and ask for Mrs. MacWhatsHerName. I always say, "This is Miss MacWhatsHerName." About half of the time after I say that, they ask for my mother, so I tell them she's not here.

And then they hang up.


The Real Deal

Sweet!!! The recruitment agency has set me up with an interview with a posh hotel's corporate office!!! Interview Monday morning, will be sure to mind my p's and q's, not babble, not crack jokes, say all the right things. It will be glorious.

So that means, taking Monday off. Which means only four more days of work left!!! Woop woop!!!

On an unrelated note, my dear friend Emily has just moved to China for one year, to teach English. I had found an article in the past while that noted that Chinese officials are cracking down on illegal roadside stalls that sell pirated dvd's, blackmarket makeup....and puppies. Yes, puppies. So of course I forwarded the article to Emily. Now that she has arrived to China, her email to me to let me know she has landed safely goes as such:

They sell donkey meat on road side stalls, and you once told me they weren't allowed to use horns; well they never got the message all they do is honk and then cut each other off. It's odd.
And I have yet to find a puppy.
I must go now, but we'll talk soon.

Ahhhh....she gives me the giggles. First of all, I wonder, people really eat donkey meat????? I have enough troubles with the thought of eating animals who don't reside on regular farms. But donkeys??? I could not imagine a donkey to have a nice...texture or taste. Hmmmm.... oh well, apparently someone likes it.

Happy travels Emily!!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

One Big Sigh

It seems that I over-prepared for this interview. Which, on one hand, made me feel extra confident in my abilities, but on the other, made me feel a bit annoyed.

I have not ever interviewed at a placement agency before. It was a whole new experience ~ one that I don't think I want to repeat.

I arrived in Toronto two hours early. I completely overestimated my time-frame. But that two hours game me time to lunch and read over my notes (a hundred times), so it was great that I was not feeling rushed. It was a beautiful day, I enjoyed the sunshine while sitting in a concrete park surrounded by skyscraping office towers. So different from my environment at home.

Bored of wasting time, I decided I would just head up to the 9th floor and hang out there with hopes they might be ready for me early. The receptionist ~ who was filling her time doing a word jumble* ~ kindly handed me a package to fill out, and she directed me to a quiet room off to the side. While completing this, I overhear in the office next to me a kind, yet slightly annoyed, female voice saying "Yes, I know you are desperate for job....something is going to turn up for you soon. I promise."

Deep breath, Melissa....deep breath. She is not saying this to you.

I try to ignore what I am overhearing and carry on with my package. After handing it back in, I am left to wait until about 2:10 for Jenna to come and fetch me. I'll be the first to admit, I am impatient; punctuality is something I value, and do my best to achieve. So when an appointment is set for a specific time, and the other party does not stick to toes are tapping.

Regardless. Jenna fetches me and brings me around to her cubicle for the 'interview'. All we really discussed was my current position, what I want to do, what my target salary is, and confirmed my contact details. No "Tell me about a time that you had to deal with conflict" or "Where do you see yourself in 5 years". Just strait up details. Which, I guess is good, knowing my own interviewing skills. No room for slipping up on unnecessary information.

Once she has all this information in her computer, she says she'll grab someone to do the interview. Ahhhh, I think. Jenna was just the pre-interview gal.

But no. A lady with a smile that didn't cease the entire 5 five minutes we spoke came into the cubicle. I stood up to greet her, shake her hand and then reach for my purse thinking we are going elsewhere. She says I can sit back down, we'll cover everything here. She pretty much asks me the same questions Jenna did, smiling and nodding vigorously at me. She said my resume looks great, and someone will snap me up in no time.

Her smiling and nodding and encouragement made me feel better about this 'interview' I just came in for. But then it hits me. She smiles and nods and encourages everyone who comes through this door. I felt a slight deflation in my chest. She left the cubicle and Jenna started to ramble on about the procedure of what will happen next, explaining time sheets to me, and saying I should call her about 3 times a week to check up.

There was nothing mentioned about the posting I applied for. Just that there a ton of jobs coming in everyday in all kinds of industries.

Oh heavens above....please let this work out. Please place me somewhere decent with better pay than I am getting now!! I don't want to be the desperate person in that room, being told that something will turn up for me soon.

But. An interview is an interview, right? And like I said before, it's one interview for several jobs. It's a good thing. And I avoided the grilling of a typical interview which should make me happy. I just have to relax....and wait.

*Alas, I should not judge the receptionist for doing a word jumble out in the open. After all, I blog from work. Although I try to be discreet about it. But still...not judging....

Thursday, August 9, 2007


In 26 hours from now, I will be sitting across from a Jenna trying to hide my sweaty palms and calm the ants in my pants.

Job interview number one. After months of resumes I've finally had a bite. While it is not my first choice, right now it is my only choice. I got a call from a recruitment company, and I am gladly going in for an interview. While I don't necessarily know what job/company I am precisely interviewing for, the positive side is that I am interviewing for several positions available. One stone, many birds.

I must admit, I hate interviews. When I get nervous, I get chatty and honest. You might not think that is a bad thing, but let me tell you, it is. I can't stop blabbering on and say a lot of stuff I probably should not. I most definitely should not be cracking jokes. While it's great to make the interviewer laugh, I should realise I am not trying to make this person my friend, I am tyring to make this person hire me.

Last night, I was talking to Simon online.

Simon: So are you ready for your interview?

Me: Not really, I'm going to prep tomorrow night. It's not like I can review the details of the company, since I don't know the company I am applying for.

Simon: Makes sense.

Me: Maybe when I am at work tomorrow I'll write shit out. Be productive, you know...

Simon: Hey I know....wear the blue bikini to your interview.

Me: Simon.........

Simon: What??? It will work! I promise!!!

Me: It's not that kind of job interview.

Simon: I know. But I really like your blue bikini.

Somehow, I don't think this will help me. But nice attempt at helping me out. Rather, I've spent sometime this morning on reading tips etc for interviews, and writing out what I need to expand on this evening. But thanks, Simon, thanks.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Verbal Spasms

It seems that I suffer from a neurological disorder that only appears when I am approached by suitable bachelors. And by suitable, I really mean when just about any guy approaches me to strike up conversation.

All intelligence and the ability to string together sensible sentences seems lost.

Saturday night I was invited to a bachelorette party. I didn't know the bride, however, my roommate to be, Jen, asked if I wanted to come along. Sure! Why not!?! How could it be anything but fun??

A bus full of ladies pulls up to my house to cart me off downtown. Full of giggles and glee, they gift me with an item they all have--a glow in the dark penis shaped straw. How can you have a bachelorette party without fake penises? You just can't. It's like it's the law of pre-wedding parties or something.

We arrive at the bar, penis straws in hand, and the rounds of drinks begin. We all toss aside the plain little black straws that come with our cocktails and sip away on plastic penises. So lady like.

The time came to dance ~ and we could not dance with out our special straws. So there we are, waving them in the air, having a great time. And this striking man comes over to me, I don't even know what he said, but of course it was about the straw. In what I think is humour, I tap the top of the straw like a mic and ask him to repeat the question. He stares at me, says "I'm not talking into that" and walks away.

Well sir, if you ask me about the penis in my hand, you are going to have to actually deal with the impending answer and the way I present it to you.

We continue dancing and drinking. Hours later, back on the dance floor, Jen excuses herself to the ladies room and hands me her straw for safe keeping. So there I am, keeper of the straws. And the striking man comes back over. I think to myself, "Sweet lord above, I have a chance to redeem my coolness!!"

But no.

He makes a crack about the straws, and asks why I now have more than one. And what do I say?? WHAT DO I SAY???

I say "Oh, it's 'cause my friend is taking a leak."

Really, I might as well have said "I carried a watermelon." Just call me Baby and assume the world is full of Johnny's.

Dear lord, will the verbal spams not end?? When will I say something reasonable to entice fine fellows into further conversations!?!?!?!

*On a side note, I would like to point out this is my 100th post :) If you are reading this, Thanks!!! And I hope I've made you laugh just a little! Hope you stick around for my 200th post!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Much like Peanut Butter and Tabasco sandwiches, It Just Wasn't Meant to Be

With much disappointment, I found out today the tickets to the soccer game fell through. My sister was not very explanatory as to why we didn't get the tickets, other than 'someone f*cked it up.'

I should have known when they announced that Beckham would likely not be playing, that it just was not destined for a kid like me to be in the near vicinity of such a fine fine man. Sigh....

(see look, Becks is angry about this too...)

Just as well. That saved me well over $100 (what with the ticket, the bus ride and the gallons of beer). Now I can go and buy some shoes or something.

Shoes are so much better in the long run.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bend this!!

Bah!!! Just found an article on msn sympatico that reads Beckham will likely not be playing at the TO-LA game this coming weekend due to his ankle injury.

Not to say that the only reason I want to go the game is to see the beautiful Beckham, but really. Soccer really is one of the only sports I like. So yes, I am happily--and willingly--going to a match. Which I am paying too much for. I'm not an advocate of paying insane amounts of money to see sporting events, concerts, what have you.... But when my sister rang up and asked if I wanted to go with her and Brian, I said yes.

Reason number One: My brother-in-law Brian loves soccer more than what is normal. It has become something we bond over since I started playing and watching soccer on tv. So it would be great to actually do something with them outside of a pub or a family function.

Reason number Two: TO SEE DAVID BECKHAM!!!!!!!!!!!! Hehehehe...not just for his fine looks, but I think it would be pretty cool to see one of soccer's great men in action. Who knows if I'll get the chance again. And who knows if I'll ever agree to pay that much money to watch a game again!

Poor David. Fair enough to step aside with an ankle injury. I've been skipping out of my soccer practises and last game because I fell down the stairs at work and mucked up my shins. Cause you know, that's the same. My swollen and bruised shin prevents me from rec league where I pay to play, versus his ankle injury prevents him from playing a game he's being paid millions to play. That's totally the same.

Keeping my fingers crossed his ankle is better by Sunday.

Tools and Meat

First point in order: 16 days of work left.

Now for the rest.

Struck in a moment of genius, my roommate suggests an outing for last night. Why not take a tour over to Home Depot, and look at men. Not at cordless drills, not siding, not at lumber. But men. Hopefully good looking, strapping men with rippling biceps.

So we prettied ourselves up in a casual 'I belong at Home Depot' sort of way, and hopped in the car. The plan also involved grabbing dinner there, as many Home Depot's have a Harvey's built right in them. With grumbling bellies and wander lusting eyes, we pulled into the parking lot. Hmmmm....good looking guy pulling out of the parking lot. Should have gotten ready faster.

Once we quelled our case of the giggles, we emerged from the car and made our fake reason for coming. Checking out paint swatches and looking at bath fixtures. Right. And in all sincerity, I wanted to buy a new little tropical fern since mine died way back in February, and I had yet to replace it.

So enter we did. A quick scan of the front of the store revealed no Harvey's. To my utter disappointment and increasing hunger, dinner was put off. My opportunity of hilarity to order a nice piece of meat and a burger at the same time was gone.

We looked at paint samples. We looked at kitchen models. We strolled down the bathroom fixture aisle. And right there, our plan came to fruition. Insanely good looking guy coming down the aisle right for us. I'm pointing to a shower head asking Erin a random question about it, and stop mid question. He breezes past us, and I am at a loss for words. I feel the giggles coming back. I suppress them. Erin is watching him walk away with look of adoration on her face. Neither of us thought so far ahead as to how to get the attention of the good looking men we find at Home Depot. We've been foiled by our own lack of proactive planning.

And then he's gone. We blink at each other, smile, express how nice his arms were, and carry on to the next aisle. After making our way back to the garden area, and not finding any more men to admire, I find the plant I wanted and head to the check out.

Shining glory, there he is. His items are being swiped, he's reaching for his wallet. We pick up the pace and decide that if I go through the self-check out aisle we'll match him for time and can accost him in the parking lot. But the check out girl at his counter must have had a plan of her own. She was chatting him up, slowing him down. I swiped my item, inserted my five dollar bill. I slowly reached for my receipt. Check out girl is still holding him captive.

We realise we would look like idiots if we hang around the exit, so we walk out into the parking lot. Stop and look for traffic--a girl can't be too safe walking to her car. Or, stop and look for traffic to stall even more and wait for the man of our dreams to follow us out. Not working. We get to the car, Erin fumbles for the keys, we both keep looking back at the exit way. He's not coming out.

We look at each other and decide that next week, we are going to the Home Depot in the north end of town where there is a Harvey's and surely, there will be more than one good looking guy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Shark Week

"I think it is very exciting that a man-eating shark has been spotted off the coast of Cornwall," Mr Baxter, an Australian marine biologist said.

I don't know about you, but if I was taking a holiday in England and spotted a man eating shark at the beach, I would head for the hills. In fact, I would head for the hills in any country where I spotted a shark at the beach. This article I just found on Nine MSN tells how there is potentially a great white shark up there, even though England is not the typical playground for these sharks.

I have to admit, I am fascinated by sharks. I love watching documentaries about sharks and different programs, and I love love love Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.


I am also terrified of sharks. And I say that is rightly so. Um, my flailing legs, their sharp teeth, it just does not paint a pretty picture. Have you not seen Jaws??? Do you not watch CSI Miami?? I like to play it safe most of the time, and have been known to behave like a chicken. Right before I left for Australia, I was invited to go sailing on the Great Barrier Reef with the family I was originally bunking with shortly after my arrival. I was pretty damn excited. Excited until my mom said "Oh! If you have your period, don't go in the water!!! There are sharks!!!!!!!!! They will sniff you out!!"

Now, I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but my mom is a professional psychic. And when she gives out warnings, sometimes, it is hard to decipher if she is being a protective mom, or if she has been struck with some intuition that I am going to die a horrible death by being eaten by a shark.

So there I was. There we were. Sailing upon the ocean blue, singing silly folk songs to each other and losing our hats to the wind and ocean. A family of four, plus two. That makes for five people all trying to coax me to jump off the damn boat and get in water because there are no flippin' sharks around. Woo-woo Melissa, watch out for that sea cucumber.

So I relented. I was safe, it was good time for me to go reason for a shark to 'sniff me out'. (Damn you mom...). I snorkeled and swam. I recited in my head in my fake French accent "Welcome to Jacques Cousteau's underwater adventure..." and made up names for all the pretty fish and coral I saw. It was quite hysterical in my head, I assure you.

And there were no sharks. I survived~we all survived! In fact, most people who go to the beach survive because sharks are not attacking them. crazy imagination.

But I will add this, to emphasize what a chicken I am. Later in the year, MJ and I went to Byron Bay for a week, she took surfing lessons. I did not. I was still scared of being eaten by a shark....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Counting Down

I have 19 working days left at my job. Sigh of relief.

But I still have not found a new job yet. Sharp breath of panic.

Moving in exactly 36 days. I have packed two boxes and a suitcase of my winter clothes. Not very good progress. I have not arranged for movers yet, nor have I called to cancel my phone, my hydro, or set up new phone or hydro. Eek.

My plans involved having a new job to start in 38 days. This better work out.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Call of the Day

Me: "Good afternoon, Melissa speaking."

Caller: "Hi! I just got your new directory. We used the new attractions feature to find something to do for a day activity with the kids. Will you look on page 38?"

Me: "Sure thing."

Caller: "Ok, now check out the park you have listed in the bottom corner. Just read through it."

Me: "Ok."

So I read. It looks ok to me, sounds like a nice place to visit. You can go kayaking, paddle boating, picnicking, hiking. There is even a playground for kids.

Me: "Ok, sounds like a nice place."

Caller: "Well, that's what I thought. A nice family day. We paid $20 a person to get in."

Me: "20 bucks per person, wow!"

Caller: "Yup. Only to find out once we were inside and parked that it's a clothing optional resort..."

Me: "Hmmm....really?? Trying to suppress laugh.

Caller: (He's starting to laugh now) "Do you think you could indicate that in the write up next year?"

Me: "Yeah, I think we can do that. In fact, I think we probably should...."

And then we both laughed together for about 30 seconds. Then had an awkward moment, and I thanked him for letting us know.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Gist of the Conversation

As msn'd earlier this week......

Me: Yeah, it's messed...growing up

Simon: Yeah, I think I want to change things

Me: Like what?

Simon: I want to go back to school or something.


Simon: I'm going to sell out of the company so I can do that.

Me: Are you kidding??

Simon: No, for real.

Me: Hmmm.....and what do you want to go to school for?

Simon: Environmental Management

Me: That's pretty cool.

Simon: I could apply to school anywhere....Here in Australia, or New Zealand, the UK...


(As I search for the York and U of T post grad websites to send him the links)

Simon: I could, lol!

Me: Ha. Ha. Ha. So selling out, eh??

Simon: Yeah, I don't want to be tied down

Me: TIED DOWN!?!?!?!? Does this mean you are NOT going to marry me after all!?!?!?!?

Simon: Geographically, Melissa, geographically....

(Breathe a sigh of relief)

Simon: So would you ever live in New Zealand????

  • I'm pretty sure that meant he is going to propose to me. Any day now. I've finally worn him down. Thank heavens.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Just In Case...

If you have been wondering, I have 25 days of work left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woop Woop!!!!!!!

And just a little something more....

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.
You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.
But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.
You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.

My two cents on this....
  • Ahh, further proof that I am intelligent
  • Fabulous that I am not very neurotic
  • My post I just put up says I am not very organized. I might have to reconsider since this test says otherwise, and since it's a test from the internet, it must be true....

It goes over there, in that box. No, not that one....

I crave organization. I want things to be neat and orderly; a place for everything and everything in it's place. Yet somehow, I never manage to actually get organized very well. Instead, my stuff becomes a clutter and I get annoyed at it. I attempt to organize, put things in piles, throw out unnecessary items....and then I get distracted and forget to finish.

So. When I move, I am going to make better attempts at staying organized. Perhaps buy some boxes, shelves etc to help me stay organized. Ikea seems like a great place to find these things. I have already purchased one of those cloth shelf things that you hang in the closet, but still need some clothes storage boxes, like these ones, because I have too much crap to shove in my closet now, and it would be nice to actually go in the closet and have some room to see what is really in there.

It's true, the thought of organizing thrills me.

Definitely need a shoe organizer. Well, actually, need several. Turns out Jen has a plethora of shoes as well. And I'm kinda pumped that I am going to buy this shelf unit too. I'm going to buy two of them, one for each side of the bed. They aren't very flash or anything, but I'm on a budget know what I'm saying... Hence the Ikea items.

Jen seems like a rather tidy, organized girl herself. I've gotta do what I can to keep up.

At least the packing to get ready to move will help out in the purging department. Get rid of stuff I don't need. I went through my closet and dresser the other day and filled a big garbage bag with clothes I don't wear any more (though some of them I truly love, and had to fight with myself to give them up), which I am going to bring over to the women's shelter sometime soon. I might as well clean out my jewellery boxes too--so much junk jewellery that I don't wear anymore. Hmmm....I see this going well. This is probably why I like to move so much, gives me a chance to purge.

Yes, moving forward, I will be an organized woman. Starting in September. I can still be slovenly until then. And I'll enjoy every last minute of it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Presents for who?

This coming weekend is my soon to be sister-in-law's wedding shower. I've already picked up their gift--some swank 460 threat count sheets (hello, they will be sleeping on heaven, it was hard not to buy any for myself), extra pillowcases in a different shade, and a throw that matches the extra cases. All done up pretty in a linen basket. Done and done, perfect present I say.

But here is my dilemma. I know it's a celebration of Mike and Jen. But do I buy Olivia a present too?? I mean, how is sweet little Olivia going to feel watching her mommy open present after present and know that not one of those is for her?? Blenders and babies, not a good mix. Negligees and babies, not a--oh wait, that is how the baby got there in the first place.

So while I know that I can buy little Livvy a present any time I want, would I be a bit much to shower her with gifts at her mom's shower?? I just might have to.

Then again, she might be satisfied with the ribbons and bows from all the presents. Maybe I'll just get an extra fancy bow and give that to her.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lists upon lists

I don't know what it is about the summer time that keeps me so busy. I get frazzled easily and have moments of 'ohmygoodnessthereisnotenoughtime' just like Jessie Spano every now and then, that I don't experience in the fall, winter or spring.

And yes, I know that I have some big things on my list this summer, but that doesn't explain why my past 4 summers have been hectic times. The invitations/requests/demands seem to multiply when the heat goes up.

I am trying to keep on top of everything I need to do. Lately, I've resorted to writing out lists of things I need to do. And they really have been helping me. I've been quite productive lately actually, which always elicits an inward smile. However, last night, I strayed from the list--went out for dinner, sat on my rear watching Sex & the City (it was the ones where Carrie first met Aidan, how could I turn those off???), and whitened my teeth with Crest Strips (which I must say, don't work since I am too forgetful use them more than three days in a row...good job Melissa, good job...). When bedtime rolled around, I didn't even hit the hay--instead I stayed on my laptop and msn'd with Simon down in Australia. All productiveness went down the drain, unless you count the further convincing of Simon that we should marry as an achieved goal. (Which, he said he told his mom of my plans, and she laughed. No Bev, you're supposed to tell Simon that is a fine idea.)

I haven't written my list of things to do for tonight. Perhaps I'll just use last nights.

Home Sweet Home

I have had some great luck in the past when it comes to finding places to live. It usually goes along to lines of seeing only a few places, and bam! I've found a great place!

This weekend was no different. The very first apartment we looked at shone like a jewel in the sky. The moment we walked it, I just knew it was the apartment to be. A little flutter in my heart, a little jump in my step. Decent living space, two bedrooms about the same size, recent renovations, closets bigger than my current closets. How is a girl to say no to that? And ironically, it's in the building where Jen already lives~talk about an easy move for her!! So she's already in with the landlord, and 'trusts' the building. The coolest part of this apartment is the main wall in the living room has a bamboo feature on it~strips of bamboo running the length of the wall, floor to ceiling. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the bamboo stays.

I haven't lived in an actual apartment building for a few years now. While the building is still small, (I think it's somewhere around 26 units), it will be an adjustment. For the past two years, I've only had my landlords who lived on the main floor of the house-turned-apartment to worry about. No real worries about noise, about sketchy or bothersome residents wandering around*, about sharing laundry facilities with others (oh my, it will be painful getting used to that again!)....all that stuff that comes with apartment buildings.

The other apartments we saw, I literally walked into each, took a quick glance and said in my head "ummm...I don't think so." I had my mind made up, and prayed to God and all his friends up there that Jen was in the same mind frame. Luckily....she was. Though there was one apartment she really wanted to see across the street, but the landlords didn't ever call us back. Though I'm sure it still would not compare! LOL!!

Did I mention how insanely affordable this place is???

It kind of feels like it did when I first moved to this city. I only looked at one apartment, though I had a slew of appointments set. It was that same flutter, same jump. I turned around to the super and asked if I could sign the lease right then and there. Though I only lived there for a year, I really loved it. But the notion of fun times with a roommate was creeping in, and I left my one bedroom behind.

Roomie-ville has proven to be way too fun, and kind of cheaper (though, having a roommate means there is always someone who will agree to go out for dinner, to go out for a beer or two...having a roomie means there is always someone around to spend money with. So maybe it's not that much cheaper. Eek!!) But the fun overrides the spending. And now nearly 3 years later, I don't think I would go back to living alone if the option presented itself.

When I got home on Sunday, I packed two boxes. I was on a roll, and it felt great! In just a month and a half I will be a resident of Toronto; I will be a city dweller (oh wait, I am one of those right now...) in an awesome apartment with a brand new roomie.

I'm so excited!!!!!!!!

*In the first building I lived in here, my elderly neighbour, Sally, was the chattiest neighbour ever. I suspect she suffered from Alzheimer's disease or something similar, as she could not ever remember my name or anything about me, just that I was her neighbour. She would catch me in the hallways and fire away endless questions, only to ask the same ones the next week. Though she always remembered my friend Mary Jane when she stopped by...Oh Sally...bless your dear soul.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Growing....Growing....Grown up

The facts of life have been hitting me hard lately. They have slapped me in the face and stated so clearly "You are a grown up" that there is no denying it.

I have been waffling through life for several years now, accepting my responsibilities but not really taking notice of them. Now I am staking them as my own--taking claim on what is mine and what is expected of me.

And it makes my heart race. Both in panic and in excitement.

During the past few months, I feel like I have shed my 'kid status' skin. And that the decisions I am currently in the midst of--such as quitting my job without having another one lined up, and packing up my life and moving to Toronto--that while on one hand seem irresponsible, on the other hand....make me feel like a grown up. I am taking the steps I want to take, I am taking control of the direction of my future. I have been overcome with some inexplicable self confidence that feels great.

One thing that has opened my eyes is the continual application to jobs. I have revamped my resume so many times now, and sent endless cover letters, that with each revision, I have found a little more value in my work experience each time. When I spell it all out in letters to head hunters, I read it again and think wow....I should be able to get a rather good job with all these things I've done!! I should not be thinking in terms of applying for administrative assistant jobs, I should be aiming higher, I deserve better, I can do better.

And feeling like that, makes me feel less like a kid and more like an adult.

But not everything is coming up roses. There are also negative situations that make me realize I'm not a kid anymore. Having friends who are not only getting married, but having friends who are also getting divorced--or at least, separating. That is a decision that one does not come to lightly. This is a grown up situation, and it's sitting right in front of my face. In fact, it's picketing around in front of me, signs so blatant and large--Deal with the facts, Melissa, you aren't a kid anymore and neither are your friends. So we all have to face life together, taking one stride at a time, and each step is farther away from those youthful days when what mattered most was who liked who, and what you and your bestest were going to do that weekend.

What else screams I am growing up? My new concern over my bank balance, and my sudden urge to get a control over my ill spending habits. About a year and a half ago, maybe two, I suddenly lost track of my good budgeting skills, and haven't managed to find my way back. Summer time never helps either, it's just too easy to spend spend spend in the summer. I have pull back on those reigns.

But alas. I will only look forward, and balance out the good and bad as best I can. I will accept this new found adulthood graciously.

Mostly, anyways.