Friday, April 30, 2010

Our voicemail system....

...at work is set up to be as condescending as possible.

I dialled into it this morning to check my messages and was pleased to hear I had 1 new message. Our machine at home intructs you to push 1 to listen to new messages. Out of habit, I pushed 1.

A completely incredulous belittling automated woman's voice blurted in my ear, "Two?! TWO?!?! That is not an option!"

Wow.....wow. I thought my paycheque was a blow to the ego. But being berated by the automated phone system is even more humbling.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I am losing.....

....my ever-loving mind. We have had four house showings in as many days. Which is great! But I can't do this for much longer. I get knots in my stomache. I have to race home from work a half hour prior to the showing....do a cursory sweep and blow any remaining dog hair of the couch (god bless leather furniture), then light some scented candles, wrangle four dogs into the van and go for a drive while people come in to tour my home.

On Monday, the boy promised he would be home from work by 5:30. Which was perfect timing because the showing was at 6. He could help me with the dogs, and I would have company while I drove around the neighborhood killing time.

There was just one problem with this plan. He didn't get home at 5:30. Nor did he arrive at 5:45. But the realtor did. So did the propective buyers. Strange people milling about in my laneway means 4 excited dogs, barking at the window and jumping over each other. It means me frantically looking for their leashes. It means them completely ignoring my hushed please to co-operate with me just this once. It means panic as I'm trying to wrestle them out the door. It means furstration. It means tears welling up in my eyes as I hear the agent coming through the back door. It means me tripping over 4 dogs while trying to make it out the front door unseen. It means me dropping one leash and having to chase one of the dogs half a block up the road. It means my purse getting tangled in the leashes and spilling it's contents onto my neighbours lawn. It means a combined weight of almost 150 pounds of canine pulling me up the street in my flip flops. It means me cursing the boy the entire way.

Don't ever sell your house. Just stay where you are.

So upon....

....realizing that Sandra Bullcok had seemingly made the impulsive decision to adopt a baby in the midst of an ugly separation from her husband, I admittedly thought that she was clearly trying to fill a void in her life by replacing her husband with a baby. I mean, couldn't she just have gotten herself a dog?

Nothing like a new little puppy to lift your spirits and make you feel less alone/depressed/unloved. And no, it hasn't excaped my attention that I have 4 of them.

Don't judge me.

I have to say....

....a special birthday greeting to the boy. It was his birthday yesterday (coincidentally, I am also taking this opportunity to gently remind him that he's got exactly 10 years on me).

I informed him the day before his birthday that his gift would not be arriving until the weekend so that he would not think I had forgotten to get him something altogether. He immediately insisted that he did not want anything, that I should just cancel whatever it was I had ordered, that it would be "a waste". Then he demanded I tell him what it was I was getting him so he could tell me the reasons he didn't need it. This argument lasted approsimately 10 minutes.

Me: "I'm not telling you! You always end up making me tell you what your gift is and I really want to surprise you this time."
Him: "Tell me. I don't want anything so you better just tell me what it is."
Me: "Fine, it's a new BBQ."
Him: "Oh. Ok, you can get me that."

So much for surprises.

Anyways, the boy unknowingly provides material, fodder, inspiration and content for my blog, on top of putting up with me on a daily basis. Even seeming pleased to do so. He keeps me on my toes. He would do anything for me. And for all this, I am eternally grateful.

Happy birthday Sparky.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My brother is.....

...a nurse. Recently his work paid for him to take some additional training. Here is what he emailed me about it:

"So for the last two days I was at this seminar for my work that would have made you go insane. It was a class were they teach healhcare workers to heal people using their own and their patients energy. And you have to keep in mind that my hospital is paying me to go to this. They made us make "lasers" out of our fingers to cure each other. We also had to open each others chakras and do magnetic sweeping of each others energy fields. All of which only involves waving your hands over other weirdos who are eating up this bolony. I can't believe I kept my composure. I felt like I was with a bunch of smart Children who believed in Santa clause. And just so u know our instructor can't perform "psychic surgery" cause it's too beyond her...but don't worry she can reach into u ( with her energy fingers ) and feel your organs to make sure there ok. And don't forget to ask permission from her pendulums before you use them so not to confuse their energy. I feel like I live in another universe. It's scary. "

My response:

"Ahahahaha.......I am SO glad that wasn't me. I would have totally cried when I got home. I would have had an anxiety attack. Or told someone off. I can't handle that s***."

The house....

....is up for sale. And my anxiety has been in overdrive knowing that at any second someone could call wanting to see it. Who knew so much dog hair could accumulate in between twice-a-day sweepings?

I was so excited the night the sign went up. Of course I took photos. It was as if my child were going off to school for the first time. Ok, it was nothing like that. But still, it was exciting.



I'm not afraid to admit that while I usually try to keep my house somewhat tidy, it's been hard. And it's only been on the market since Saturday morning. Especially when we've got 4 dogs. And sometimes kids. And a boy who works in a rock quarry and comes home covered in dust every night. MY O.C.D. is in high-gear right now. Not to say I haven't picked up a few little tricks along the way to cut down on prep-time before showings. Allow me to share:

-It's ok to hide dirty dishes in the oven. If a potential buyer want to look in there, they do so at their own risk as far as I'm concerned.
-The dryer is just asking to be a storage unit for dirty clothes.
-Scented candles are good. I like to hide them (the ole' "smelled and not seen" trick) so that people think my house just naturally smells like Lemon Ripple or Butterscotch. And not dog hair.
-And yes, I always have fresh cut flowers on my dining room table. Right.

I can't believe I just googled "Superstations to sell your home"...but I did.

"Bury St. Joseph. Because St. Joseph is the saint of family and home, it is a long believed tradition to bury a statue of St. Joseph in your home's backyard. He is believed to bring luck in any real estate transaction. To receive St. Joseph's full power, he is supposed to be buried upside down with his face towards the street."

Who is St. Joseph, how do I get ahold of him, and how do I convince him to allow me to bury him in my yard?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I am re-reading....

.....a book by one of my favourite authors right now, Pamela Des Barres. Pamela was a famous groupie back in the 70's.

Anyways, I love her books, and have become convinced I was a groupie in a former life. In a thinner, hotter & more exciting past life.

It all started with Aerosmith. (If you do not share my affinity for this particular band, I don't think less of you. You may want to skip this blog posting though. And, you may want to re-consider your musical preferences as I think you'll find they will really enrich your overall happiness. Just my opinion.)

When I was a kid, I remember my Dad had an Aerosmith t-shirt. I don't think he particularly enjoyed their music. And I'm 99% sure he'd never seen them in concert. For all I know he may have picked it up at a thrift store. But that winged logo stayed with me for years.

One of the first cd's I ever bought on my own (I use the term "bought" loosely - this is back in the day when ordering dozens of cd's from mail-in record companies and then never paying for them was pretty much status quo) was the soundtrack to Wayne's World 2. I wanted to original soundtrack but couldn't find it so I settled for the second edition. Featuring, of course, Aerosmith. It's mortifying now, but when I was 12, opening all the windows in the house and playing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" at top volume seemed like the best idea in the world. (It's a good thing I grew up in a very small town, where things like this were generally not thought to be too strange. I did move out the day after my high school graduation though. Onto the big city, small apartments and lesser judgement regarding my love of classic rock bands fronted by men 30 years my senior.)

A little later, I dated a guy who proclaimed himself to be the world's biggest Aerosmith fan. The weird part is, I didn't find this out until after we started hanging out. At one point in high school he had even been the singer for an Aerosmith tribute band. I know, right?! "Love in an Elevator" was totally our song. It's ok. You can laugh. Or be disturbed. Embrace your feelings either way I say. Anywho.....I never told him about the extent of the affinity I had for the same band because I didn't want to steal his thunder. Everyone knew that was "his" band. So I let him have it....until one night over drinks, my childhood best friend, having just been introduced to this guy for the first time, brought up the subject my Aero-love. This guy just looked at me in stunned silence. He had many questions...How come I had never told him?! We had so much in common! It was meant to be! (As it turns out, it was not meant to be. At all. But that is another story altogether.)

While in the end this relationship went down in flames, it did nothing to damper my enthusiasm for Steven Tyler & company. In college, two girlfriends, Shanna, Lisa and I road tripped it to Toronto for the weekend to see Aerosmith play there.

Then, about 5 years ago, I headed home to Ottawa to celebrate my birthday. Of course, Lisa & I had picked up tickets to see Aerosmith that same night. See, they were playing in my hometown on my birthday. (As you'll see, this evening eventually goes down in history as one of the best birthdays ever, and henceforth Lisa & I no longer celebrated my birthday, but instead acknowledged it as Steven Tyler Day.) Anyways, after a big dinner with family & friends, Lisa, her sister & I headed to the show. The first thing Lisa & I did was load up on drinks so we wouldn't have to leave our seats. We're classy like that. With that little task taken care of, the second thing we did was buy matching bright yellow, too-small Aerosmith t-shirts from the merch table. While standing in the concourse, sipping our coolers and admiring our new purchases we were approached by an angel. A real, live angel. Or, maybe this person happened to work with the band's inner circle. Whatever. The point is, this person thought we looked like big fans and that we might be out for a good time. We were handed two tickets to the VIP area front & centre of the stage. No questions asked. Tears were shed. Hugs were exchanged with this wonderful stranger. Then more tears. And screams. Drinks were gathered & spilled and we made our down to the front. That night Steven Tyler held my hand. I swear. Just for a minute. But it felt liketime stopped. My friend, after consuimng 8 vodka coolers, took the more brash approach and lunged toward his waist, and succeeded in..um..groping his inner thigh. More tears were shed. More drinks were consumed. Much dancing and singing and screaming took place. Neither of us had a camera. But it doesn't matter, I didn't need one. Those dear memories, and Steven's tender caress, will be cherished forever as a photo developed in my heart.

It was the mother.....

.....of all bad hair days yesterday.

At least I thought it was. Until a co-worker told me how much she loved my hair and I should keep doing whatever I had done differently that morning.

Me: "Um....I didn't...shower."

Sometimes honesty isn't always the best policy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I suddenly understand....

....how people get get hooked on drugs.

I went to an auction on Saturday. This wasn't the first time I've been to an auction. My mom & stepdad go to auctions almost every weekend. But it's the first time I've ever gone, and registered myself as a bidder.

I only bid on one item. But the adrenaline rush was incredible. It was overwhelming. I felt such power. Such control. Even if I hadn't won the item I was bidding on, it still would have been the most exhilirating feeling.

Oh, what did I bid on that could cause such a feeling of pure adrenaline, you ask? Check out this little number......














I know I will never need to gamble or use drugs or go sky diving. No, from now on you can look for me living on the edge at local auction houses throughout the counties.

And the award....

...for the oldest puck-bunny goes to.....ME.

I was talking to a co-worker yesterday about a promotion that is currently running on-air asking listeners to go online to submit their favourite OHL Hockey moment.

Which got me reminiscing about when I first moved to Owen Sound. I was young, and single. Or lonely and desperate, take your pick. Anyways, I had, what I can see is now, a very innapropriate fixation on some of the young hockey players.

Being that I was oh, 24, and most of the players were born in the 90's.....it was admittedly wrong.

I remember half-jokingly inquiring how a young single woman would go about becoming a "billot family" for a player. I was told I was a "lawsuit waiting to happen". That's a direct quote ladies & gentlemen. Visions of a young pool boys, decked out in speedos and hockey pads no longer danced in my head.

"That's the best thing about Attack players. You get older and they stay the same age."

Both Matthew McConaughey and my co-worker were certainly correct.

Amen.

I had the best....

......phone conversation last night. I love when you get a phone call that you weren't even expectin gin the first place and you spend 75% of the call laughing so hard you can't even talk.

My brother & sister-in-law called me on speakerphone last night so we could all chat. The boy had already gone to bed so I was free to make as much of an ass out of myself as I wanted. Let's face it, there are certain senses of humour that appeal only to blood relations and not so much to spouses.

The conversation covered the following topics:

-denim shorts on men (right or wrong?), which morphed into a conversation about Tobias from TV's Arrested Development
-bed wetting (both human & canine)
-peeing in a wetsuit (there was a lot of urinary talk)
-organic rollerskating
-hypochondriacs
-what life would be like if Courtney Love was your mother
-and cock stoppers (obviously not the words I expected to hear my brother say through the course of an ordinary conversation.....turns out a cock stop is not at all what I thought.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I think today....

....might be a good day. I'm in a good mood for the following reasons:

1. It's payday.
Do you know how uncomfortable it is knowing you owe your boss hundreds of dollars, as his wife charged our upcoming flight to California to his credit card? Needless to say, it's not at all the same thing as owing money to your bank, or mortgage company. It's much easier to screen those phone calls.

2. I walked to work again.
And while I still despise it, I am starting to feel pretty good (i.e. I can walk up the stairs at work without being winded. This is a big step.) I've also only had one cigarette in the last two weeks. (Don't ask me why I don't just quit altogether, it's not that easy. That, and I might hit you.)

3. My best friend from college confirmed her June visit to Owen Sound. Consider yourself warned.

4. My Sens won last night!
And I absolutely spent a good portion of the game with my eyes covered because I was so into it. And it made me wish I was home in Ottawa watching it on Sens Mile.

5. I got whistled at by a truck load full of high school-aged rednecks this morning. A good indiocation of how lame my life is is that I was a little bit flattered. Hey, I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On my way to work this morning....

....I saw Elmer peeking out the front window of his apartment as I walked by. He didn't come out to walk with me today though.

So I pretended I didn't see him.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I emailed my mom.....

....to brag about my latest accomplishment (walking to work).

I stressed to her that I was not trying to lose weight, but that if I did shed a couple of pounds, it certainly wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

This is what my Mom responded with:

From: Monique Johnston
Sent: April 12, 2010 2:42:16 PM
To: 'Jamie Johnston'

There is no way you wouldn't loose a significant amount as long as you don't start eating twice as much as normal.


I don't know wether to be offended, or flattered that my Mom puts so much stock in my food consuming capacity.

Oh my! I should have......



....prepared a speech.

My lovely friend, and fellow blogger Michelle (http://michelltiffanypyne.blogspot.com), nominated my blog to be awarded with "The Honest Scrap Award". I have no idea what this is, or what it means....but I never win anything (i.e. currently in Roll Up The Rim, I'm currently oh-for-143) so it was exciting that Meesh thought of me. Anyways, there is a big responsibililty that comes along with this award. Read on....

The Honest Scrap Award Rules say that I must:

1. Brag about the award. Um, Yay! I won! (Ok, done. Easy Peasy.)
2. Include the name of the blogger who gave you the award and link back to that blogger. (Yup.)
3. Choose a selection of blogs that you find brilliant in honest content.

www.thepioneerwoman.com (The grandmother of all blogs. This woman knows her stuff. And she's hilarious. And, by the sounds of it, an amazing mother & wife and cook. I'd take her over Martha Stewart anyday.)

And you must read Michelle's blog too. Link is above. Her life is very exciting right now, she's got so much going on. And I love her. So she gets the bonus mention for that reason.

4. Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with this award.
5. List at least ten honest things about yourself.

………then pass it on with the instructions!

Here are my ten honest things about myself:

1. I love the smell of Canadian Tire stores.
2. I have a phobia of dinosaurs.
3. One time I was shot at. With a real gun. By a cab driver.
4. I have terrible OCD.
5. I can recite every line in Wayne's World. Don't be jealous.
6. I plan to write a book. Someday.
7. When I was a shy, awkward, gangly 11 year old, my parents thought it would be a good idea to have me fitted with braces and headgear. Thank you Mom & Dad. God.
8. This morning I choked up during a Pedigree dog food commercial.
9. I am having a hard time coming up with Number 9 & Number 10.
10. I love planning parties & garage sales. Am currently in the process of doing both.

I walked to work again today.....

...and it still made me want to die.

Halfway through my journey though, I saw a familiar face.

Let's call him "Elmer". Elmer is a very nice guy. Here's the thing though - Elmer is a little slow. Not the brightest kid on the block. But, again, very nice. Anyways, I called to Elmer from across the street and told him to join me for the rest of my walk downtown.

Did I mention Elmer is also brutally honest?

Elmer: "You've been walking a lot lately."
Me: "Yeah, and I hate it."
Elmer: "Well, if you keep walking maybe you can lose some weight."
Me: (pretending to be aghast) "Elmer!! Are you implying I need to lose weight?!"

Elmer cackles loudly, as if that were the funniest line he's ever heard. But other than that, he doesn't actually respond.

After a brief reprimand regarding his ridiculously fast pace, he realized he would have to slow down significantly if I were to keep up. Then later, as we are approaching the main street....

Me: "Hey, Elmer, we could walk to work together like this every day!"
Elmer: "Maybe."
Me: "People will start to gossip....think about the rumours!"
Elmer: "Rumours!!!" *nervous laughter*

Then Elmer got quiet. I think I had made him uncomfortable.

As we neared the corner Elmer told me we'd have to part ways.

Me: "But, you're going for coffee? Right? I see you there every day. I'm going there too."
Elmer: "I go this way. You go straight."

Me: "Oh. Well, have a nice day Elmer. Maybe I'll see you tomorrow."

I get the distinct impression I was just slowing Elmer down.

Sigh.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I would be the first.....

....to admit I can be a bit impulsive.

If you recall, a few months ago I looked at a couple of homes that were on the market. In the end, while some of thsoe homes had more space, or an extra bathroom, I realized that I would be scarificing alot by giving up my current house to move (and thankfully I have a very patient, extremely talented realtor who understands my mood swings). I love my current location, it feels like I live in the Country even though I'm a 10 minute walk from a convenience store, 30 seconds from Kelso Beach and a 5 minute drive to my work. And loads of privacy.

Anyways, last night, on somewhat of a whim, I decided to look at one more house. And I fell in love. I couldn't even sleep last night because I was so excited. I called my mom right away and told her all about it.

Now what?

List my house. Sell my house. Apply for another mortgage. Put an offer on a new house (well under the asking price of course). Have my offer accepted. Pack and move.

Easy right?

Check back on Monday. I'll probably have decided to just stay put.

Sometimes I wish I were one of those rational people who take time to think things through before making important decisions. But I'm just not blessed with that gene.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another enlightening....

....conversation with a co-worker took place today.

We were dicussing calories (one of my least favourite topics) and how many calories might be in an extra large triple triple (the answer? More then I'd hoped).

Co-worker: "You drink an extra large triple tripe every morning?"
Me: "Yes."
Co-worker: "450 calories. Yikes."
Me: "I could get it with milk instead of cream. But that wouldn't taste as good."
Co-worker: "You are right. Like how diet drinks never taste as good as the real thing"
Me: "They can clone a sheep but they can't come up with diet food that contains the same amount of deliciousness?? Give me a friggin break."

Words of wisdom my friends.

I do not know.....

....who created this website. But I am so glad they did.

http://antiduckface.com/



Why do at least 50% of the girls on Facebook insist on using this exact facial expression in their profile pic? Contrary to what you believe, you do no tlook pretty, or sexy or sultry or cute. You look like an idiot.

But the website is pretty funny. Have a look and you'll see what I mean.

We have no groceries....

...in the house. I mean, none.

I could easily remedy this situation. I live within a 2 minute drive of two different grocery stores. But let me explain.

The boy started a new job this week. And he has been working extremely long hours. He leaves while it's still dark out, and I get to sleep for an exta hour and a half after his alarm goes off. And he doesn't get home until an hour and a half after I do most days. (Bliss.)

Anyways, on his first day, I thought I would play the good little housewife. Before he got home I ran him a bath, and then headed to the kitchen to see what sort of culinary delights I could prepare.

That is when I realized, "Holy Martha Stewart, we have a problem."

A bag of Uncle Ben's instant brown rice and a selection of M&M frozen appetizers do not a meal make.

You don't even want to know what I brought for lunch today.

The sad part is, while I have nothing of actual nutritional value in my kitchen right now, I had all the ingredients to make a double batch of chocolate & toffee chip cookies.

Sometimes fate works in mysterious ways.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Don't judge me.....

....but this is why I tend to avoid my neighbours. They know just a little more about us than I feel comfortable with.

video

A brief summary...

....of my Easter weekend. It was delightful. It actually felt like a long weekend for a change.

Thursday after work a pub-girlfriend came over for a little visit.

Friday, was more pub-girl time and I headed home having consued too many banana coolers & amaretto & cokes.

Saturday was a busy one, with a station-sponsored egg hunt. 500 kids. Sugar-highs. Hysterical parents. Wow.



After going through dozens pf photos taken at the event, I realized this one is one of my favourites. The little girl to the right of the frame is not wanting to miss any of the magic show even though she is clearly about to pee her pants.

Yesterday, we cooked a turkey and all the fixings. Stuffing, gravy, everything. I meant to take a picture of all my hard work but I forgot. I did rememebr to take a photo of this cuteness:



So cute in fact, that I didn't even mind they were drooling all over my cowhide rug.

This morning I walked to work. Yes, I walked. It only took me 33 minutes but it felt much longer. Why is it when you walk, time seems to stand still? Sweet Pete, I immediately regretted that decision. I felt all sweaty and dishevelled when I finally got to my desk. Attractive, I know. I don't understand these people who are all jacked about walking. I feel fairly comfortable stating that I hate it.

I did come across this bit of excitement during my morning trek though:



My first instinct was to get on the cell and call in a hot tip to the newsroom. Maybe I could even do a live report from the scene! All this seemed very exciting and made me feel important....that is, until I realized I didn't have the cell phone. So I dug out my camera instead and took this photo, completely useless seeing as how I don't work for a news channel or a newspaper but a radio station.