Sunday, December 31, 2006

Top 10 Things to Tell Relatives Over the Holidays When Asked About Your Love Life

In retrospect, this information probably would have more useful prior to any holiday get-togethers with family and friends so that you could actually use any of these one line zingers should the occasion warrant. Oh well, timing was never my forte, just ask my ex-husband.

Warning: The following material is to be used with caution and while consuming alcohol - it'll make you sound much more believable. In fact people will feel so sorry for your [potentially] new found alcoholism that they probably won't probe any further. Yes, it's that easy. Above all, have fun with it. These are only ideas, but the possibilities are as endless as your imagination, and your supply of Argentinian wine.

Top 10 Things To Tell Relatives Over the Holidays When Asked About Your Love Life:
- Fabulous! In fact, there's someone I want you to meet [turn to the empty space beside you] and say "Brad [or other imaginary boyfriend/girlfriend's name] this is [name of nosey relative]. " You need to keep a straight face for this one.
- Do you think Mary ever asked Jesus about his love life?
- My therapist told me not to talk about him.
- "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh." If they ask you what that means say "That's Wookiee for none of your business."
- I was captured by a couple tall TALEs (Terrorists Against Love Everywhere). They implanted a tiny microchip into my brain. If I go out on a date again [narrow your eyes at this point for effect], the chip will self-destruct and I will die a painful death, more painful than watching any Madonna movie.
- My gynecologist told me not to talk about him. (Note: might only work if you're a girl).
- Ponder out loud, "What would Brian Boitano do?" And then do a triple axel in the direction of the kitchen.
- Say, "Hey, how's your sex life going?"

Ok, I know that's only 8 but what kind of relatives are you dealing with that you need 10? I'm not a machine you know. But I do like mechanics ;)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Out With the Old, In With the New or Slightly Used

Dear clothes closet,

Regretfully, I am writing to announce that tonight some of your inhabitants will be removed. Prepare to be raided, inspected, and modeled like you're in a 1990's movie music montage to Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name."

Yes, sadly it is the day when cute little dresses and cardigans everywhere [at my house] whimper at the thought of not being worn once again on a first date to meet that hunky beau full of possibilities and instead are being chucked. Without feeling, without remorse. Like an ex-mate who is neither your current tango partner under the sheets nor your friend but is that symbolic saloon door swinging in and out (and in and out) of your life.

Any inhabitants found with holes, pulls, lowered hems that cannot be mended, missing buttons, missing sleeves and/or holes in unmentionable places shall be sent to clothes heaven. That magical place where all clothes who have lived a good life and seen some action on the field must go to, I mean live out the rest of their days in pieces. Oops, I mean peace.

Much like the latest bobble-head celebutante, I need to purge [my closet] in order to feel free of the chains of 2006. Said purging is a necessary evil. And must be done to make room for new inhabitants, like that sweet pink chiffon blouse I got on sale for $9.99 CDN.

Closet, I hope you understand that as painful as this is, it hurts me more than it does you. And not just because you are an inanimate object devoid of any feelings. Although, that is a big reason.

In love and war,


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Kissing Balls and Other Things Not To Be Talked About At the Office

A girl at work was selling kissing balls for the holiday season for the great price of $10 per ball. (If you don't know what kissing balls are for god's sake don't look it up on Google without the moderate safe search enabled).

A guy I work with went home and told his wife that he wanted kissing balls for his birthday being sold by a girl at work, and that they were $10 per ball. His wife bluntly told him she didn't care that it was his 50th birthday, she wasn't doing that. (Obviously she did a Google search without the moderate safe search on).

A true story. Also one that should not be talked about too much at work unless you want your productivity (and quite possibly a performance evaluation) to be effected.

Sometimes you might hit the afternoon slump at work, and feel a little energy drained. While it is suggested to pour yourself a nice herbal green tea, it is not suggested to send an email to a male friend about said kissing ball story because it doesn't lead to productivity.

Most likely it will lead to other suggestive topics, not limited to French cheek kissing, Russia and Roseanne Barr. It will also result in one or both parties splashing their faces with cold water and definately not lead to any work being done.

So that you don't fall prey to this type of workplace distraction, I have assembled a list...

The Top Ten Things Not To Be Discussed At Work (unless you work from home you lucky *******):
- Coco Puffs
- Sean Connery or James Bond movies
- Cinnamin buns
- Showering
- Monkeys
- Monkey wrenches
- Bar wenches
- All that athletic ass-slapping that goes on in football
- Italy
- David Beckman

This is not an exhaustive list but should get you started. Or not started as the case may be.

P.S. You're welcome ;)

[Post Blog Post Note: Kissing balls are a big ol' ball of garland type materials - like a ball of misletoe but bigger, and made from spruce boughs, etc. You can also make them out of flowers. Anything really. Except maybe not pudding.]

Friday, December 22, 2006

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You...

I've been out of the loop for a bit trying to get everything ready for Christmas - baking yummy treats, shopping, wrapping presents, and then there was that unfortunately incident with one of Santa's helpers at the mall...

But I digress.

I have some good** blog posts in the works and will get to them as soon as I can, and for as long as the wine lasts. Here's some of the shameless writings you can look forward to:
- Kissing Balls, and Other Things Not To Be Talked About At the Office
- Sweet Dreams #2 (which oddly enough involves an elephant)
- Top 10 Things to Tell Relatives Over the Holidays When Asked About Your Love Life
- The Secret
- Ryan Patrick: The Cutest MacNeil Brother

Until then, Happy Holidays from all of us here at the Redhead-Next-Door. Ok, there's just me here. But I'm sending lots of cheer - may all your holiday wishes come true! Yes, even THAT one.

**Good is a subjective opinion and may not be shared by all readers.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm... #2

On Thursday I travelled to a neighboring "city" for a meeting. A group of young professionals were getting together to hear some highers up speak about succession management. This was the first of these "young professional" events I had attended so I wasn't sure what to expect. The only thing I did know was I wanted to sit at a table located near the back of the conference room (in case I wanted to make a quick retreat back to my office).

Starting time for the session was 9am, so when I arrived at 8:59am (after a quick pit stop at the ladies room) there were only three seats left. Two were at the back table (good), but there was a problem (not good). Seated at that table was a totally cute guy. I can hear you now..."and this is a problem why?"

For one, Regular Erika is a smart, witty, pretty girl. Put her next to a hot guy and Erika becomes a blumbling, rambling, mess. Messy Erika let's call her. Regular Erika would normally take a seat at another table, thus avoiding the cute guy and any possibility of making a love connection. Obviously this is one of the reasons (on a long list) why I don't meet many single guys. I'm too busy avoiding them.

But something was different on Thursday. I was feeling different. Could have been the "I'm feeling lucky" thong I had on. Could have been the Shreddies I ate for breakfast. I decided to go for it.

I sat down. Made chit chat with everyone at the table (including him), shook hands (including his). He was tall, broad shoulders, oh so rugged looking, had really really great brown hair and a mischievious twinkle in his eye. Even better, no wedding ring. So, I did that whole flirty lowered eyes, look up and smile combo that Glamour is always going on about as a tried and true method of "come hither big boy". I could picture this guy building something with his bare hands (ok, and a hammer).

The session starts.

And then out of freaking nowhere...

Another cute guy sits down at our table. Initial reaction - panic! Ok, ok...breathe. Breathe. You are ok. You are smart, witty and pretty. You can rhyme. Two cute guys are no problem.

Guy #2 was cute in a totally different way. He was tall and lanky, with blonde curly hair and a
mischievious twinkle in his eye. There was a ring there, it might be a wedding ring, it might not. So, I did that whole flirty lowered eyes, look up and smile combo that Glamour is always going on about as a tried and true method of "come hither big boy". I could picture this guy kayaking down a raging river with his bare hands (ok, and a paddle).

After all that eye lowering and looking and smiling (while trying to fain interest in mentoring) I really needed to pee. Then again, it could have been the three cups of coffee I drank to calm my nervousness. Still distracted by the eye candy at my table, I ducked out of the conference room to go to the ladies room.

I think I actually broke into a mad dash (I have a petitie bladder ok). I barreled into the washroom. And thought to myself, hmmm, I don't remember the ladies room having a blue color scheme...or urinals. What the ****? Urinals! I was in the men's washroom.

Initial reaction - panic! Ok, ok...breathe. Breathe. You are ok. You are smart, witty and pretty. You can rhyme. Being in the men's washroom is no problem.

Calmly, I spun on my black stiletto heels and leapt out the door. Luckily no one was looking.

When I returned to my table I picked right up where I left off.

Regular Erika - you go girl!

[Bloggers Note: None of the
flirty lowered eyes, look up and smile combo that Glamour is always going on about as a tried and true method of "come hither big boy" actually resulted in a date request. I plan on not renewing my subscription of Glamour, you know, after this year].

Let's Play "Six Weird Things About Me"

I've been tagged by Sean (who is so NOT getting a Christmas present from me this year ;)

Here's how this little game works...

"According to the rules, each player of this game starts with the title "Six Weird Things About Me." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own six weird things and state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose six people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says, 'You are tagged!' in their comments and tell them to read your blog!"

For the record, I am not tagging anyone (much like Amy opted to do). And will try to throw in a few extra weird-isms as a consolation prize. Yes, I am the girl who does not forward that email within 5 minutes to 10 of friends or risk bad luck for the rest of my life. Those emails stress me out (hmmm..this could be on my list). Unlike Amy, I doubt I can come up with 42 weird-isms.

If I was tagging (which I'm not) I would definately include Marvo, Peter, Grins, Hannah, Mark and my sister Kirsten.

So, let's get going shall we.

Six Weird Things About Me (Or as I like to call it, what makes me unique :)
- I got my first (and only) cavitity at the age of 23.
- I have to tint my eyebrows/ eyelashes every few weeks or risk looking like I was involved in a fire because my lashes/brows are freakisly invisable.
- When I sign a document, I write with the paper sideways.
- I wear purple-framed glasses (like the ones pictured at right, only a bit smaller, and purple).
- I broke my ring finger on my right hand playing an agressive game of balloon volleyball and had to be taken to the hospital. It took at least 5 minutes for the ER doctor to stop laughing.
- I am afraid of balloons, like really really afraid. They make me throw myself into the arms of the first man I see. You can imagine how much fun I am at children's birthday parties.

Wow - that was strangely quite easy.

Here's a few bonus weirdisms:
- I'm only 5"6 and 3/4's but I wear heels (99 % of the time) so people think I'm a lot taller than I really am. Heels easily add 3 inches to my height.
- I think Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean is sexy.
- If I could guest star on any soap, it would be Coronation Street.
- I've never dated a guy with blond or red hair.
- I'm obsessed with cleaning (don't analyze it, it's a good obsession unlike my fixation with slogan t-shirts and 3-ply napkins).
- My middle name is 10 letters long.
- Some days, I don't even brush my hair before I go to work - I just put a bit of pomade in it and tousle for a sexy just-rolled-out-of-bed look. Surprisingly, this is when I get most of my hair compliments. Apparently, effortless is sexy.
- Sometimes I wonder if I have undiagnosed Tourettes syndrome. Usually I am in the car or talking to my coworker Rowan when this happens.

Ta-da! There you have it. An intimate look into [some of] the weirdisms of the Redhead-Next-Door. What? Did you think I was perfect? Oh wait, that was me...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Waiter, I'll Have A Salad

"In the vegetable garden of love, which veggie best sums up your single's attitude?" Yes, it's thought provoking questions like these [posed by LavaLife's online dating magazine] that keep me up at night pondering the answer to singleville's little questions. It's right up there with "if you were an animal what would you be?" Ok, I have been known to ask guys this pre-first date, but only to sort out the labs from the dobermins, er...I mean sort out the gentlemen from the weirdos or certifiably insane.

So let's get to it shall we?

Here's my summary (so you can avoid reading the whole article - you'll thank me). And in true Redhead-Next-Door style, I've added in some of my own comments and suggestions for people attracted to these vegetables. I mean people.

The Mushroom:
Pros: You have a versatile, diverse outlook, dry sense of humor, cute-as-a-button temperament, not shy in bed and love making mastery has been known to cause hallucinations and fantasies
Cons: Earthy mysteriousness (not to be mistaken as earthy mustiness), potentially bad roots
Suggestions: Deodorant and frequent visits to hair salon, limit walks in woods
Warning: Mushrooms may cause fantasies

The Cucumber:
Pros: You keep things real and raw in a relationship (hopefully this does not include cooking meals), shape of body can arouse people from across the room much like the effect Austin Power's mojo has on women with names that sound like naughty-bits
Cons: Can appear standoffish, tough, thick-skinned exterior, you play it cool
Suggestions: Always cook meat until well done, use lotion to soften tough skin
Warning: Austin Powers-like effect

The Potato:
Pros: Chill-axin' kind of person, take note - have eyes in the back of your head
Cons: A bit of a homebody, somewhat lazy in the sack, have an attitude for every occasion
Suggestions: Make potato salad, the spicy kind.
Warning: Anything that conjurs the phrase "chill-axin'" can't be good

The Pea:
Pros: A total people person (as opposed to a half a people person – I’ll spare you by not naming which half). Like smaller, tight quarters as opposed to massive ones (i.e. nightclub). Sweet, cuddly personality.

Accused of being a close talker, occasionally snap [at lovers who get too mushy about the relationship]. You keep things fresh and crisp.
Who cares?
Objects in mirror are even closer in real life than they appear.

The Onion
Injects pearls of wisdom into exuberant 5 minute talks in crowded rooms.
Cons: Dramarama! Love to make dates laugh and cry. Can be tricky getting to know the sweet, juicy core behind your layered exterior.
Wear less layers – I know it’s winter but a turtleneck and a sweater? Forgetaboutit!
Leaves crowds exhausted, much like reading this blog post.

The Carrot
Pros: No-strings attached kind of person, fiery, showy/ colourful personality [read: not good looking], speak your mind.
Cons: No-strings-attached kind of person, has a tendency to stew about things.
Suggestions: Instead of stew, try meatballs. Make ‘em spicy.
Warning: Paper bag might be required.

The Asparagus
Spring is your favorite season, when new love blossoms so easily <**gag**>. Believe yourself to be sexually spectacular. Have a natural breaking point when clinginess starts to set in. Keep a tight bunch of friends, and depend on them to keep you in line.
Lovers tell you that whiffs of your musky love permeate them the day after.
Showers (for you and your lovers), and maybe some new friends.
Avoid spring unless on a constant diet of Gravol.

Despite LavaLife's neat little pros and cons (and my witty suggestions/warnings) dare I say that I'd rather date a combination of veggies, and not one in particular (though the mushrooms are tempting). Therefore, I guess my single's attitude is having a soft spot for a salad-type lad. If such a salad exists. I mean guy. I wonder what the options are for dressing? Waiter, don't forget the cheese!

Answering Your Burning Questions

Today's question comes from Amy.

She writes: "What are Tangy Tarts?"

My answer: "Only the best sugary tarty sour sweetness you've ever tasted!"


[Bloggers Note: I couldn't find a pic of Tangy Tarts, so here's a pic of Zingy Zaps which are actually my number one favorite candy.]

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Red Light District Christmas

At work we're having a cubicle decorating contest. No wait, it gets better.

Prizes will be awared in 3 categories: "pretty", "tacky" and "funny". We threw "funny" in there because let's face it, what guy is going to want to do it for the "pretty"? Exactly.

So I decided (naturally) to go for the funny category because:
a) I'm funny (and apparently have a healthy self-esteem)
b) I like competing with the guys and then saying "who-ya!" when I win.

Then I got to thinking...what's funny about Christmas? Sure, immaculate conception. But not funny enough. Grandma getting run over by a reindeer. But it's been done to death [ahem]. Uncle Arnold getting sauced and then proclaiming he's drinking a warm cup of piss when really it's apple cidar. Hmmm, getting warmer [tee hee].

And then, it came to me...prostitutes!

What WOULD Christmas be like in the Red Light District? At least, in the extreme made up version because the harsh cold reality (much like being single during the holidays) is way too depressing.

I strung up some red icicle lights around the top of my cubcile (only half of them work which is so perfect). I placed a sad little spruce tree (think Charlie Brown) with pop can tabs and sugars packets for decorations at the entrance to my cubicle. Under neath the lights, I put two knee-high fishnet stockings (sugar plum in color). Beside the stockings...the piece de la resistance! I posted this little diddy that I wrote:

A Red Light District Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the streets
Not a creature was sturring, not even the deadbeats
The fishnet stockings were flung on the floor without care
In hopes that Nick soon would be there
To be continued...

I figure I'll write a bit more each week, with the whole story being completed by Christmas vacation.

I began "Operation Red Light District Christmas" at 4:30pm yesterday, after most of the staffers went home; so it will be a surprise when they get in on Monday. I'm out of the office Monday and Tuesday, so hopefully I have a job to come back to.

[Post Blog Note: Nicky if you're reading this, Nick is short for St. Nick so don't go getting any ideas]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

All I Want For Christmas (Or At Least 90% Of It)

Saturday morning I got an email from my sister [and fellow blogger], Kirsten, asking me what I wanted for Christmas. To assist my sister (and anyone else who might be Christmas shopping for moi) I decided to do a list of...

The Top 10 Things I Want This Year for Christmas [in no particular order]:

1. T-shirts with slogans " Writer's do it with action verbs" and "You are so NOT going in my book" and "You don't want to know where I get my ideas".

A Sarcastic Ball from Office Playground. Sample messages include: "Dumb Question Ask Another", "In Your Dreams", "Not A Chance", "That's Ridiculous", "Yeah and I'm the Pope" and my personal fav "When Monkeys Fly Out Of My Butt". Ok, I made that last one up. It's not included but feel free to use it at your discretion.

3. To enjoy a old ol' fashioned turkey dinner the way it was meant to be tasted...without being pureed. Goodbye oral appliance! And while I [temporarily] have it out how about...

A passionate-as-hell kiss under the mistletoe. We're talking high-caliber front cover of the Harlequin romance novel type of kiss.

Swiss Army Knife multi-tool key-ring attachment, for the Single Handy Girl in all of us just waiting to get out.

6. Gift certificate for LaSenza.
I repeat, s-l-o-w-l-y, LaSenza.

7. Personal chef/ robot for those days I just don't feel like cooking. Ok, that would be just about everyday.

Toyota MR2 in cream (hey, a girl can dream!)

A one-year subscription to Glamour magazine. To stay in the know on "important" matters like the lastest blow-out techniques and aucurrent lipstick colors.

Big bag of Tangy Tarts. Mmmmmmm full of tangy tarty goodness.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm...

You get out of your car and go into the store. You're just picking up a couple of "necessities" hair dye and lip gloss.

You get back in your car, purchases in hand, only to feel something on the back of your pants.

Oh no. Oh no. It is ketchup. Left over from your drive home from the big city. Who said eating an A&W Teen Burger combo in the dark while driving [and singing] was easy?

You feel silly. The sales clerk didn't mention anything. Oh no. Did she even know it was ketchup? She probably thought it know.

And then you feel it. The ketchup package also stuck to your pants AND a pickle. Yep, I'm sure she thought it was ketchup.

Single Girl's Guide to Being Handy: Tip #1

Here's the scenario...

You've retired to your fru-fru hotel room for the evening, intent on catching up on some "Sell This House" episodes. After all, carpenters put the handsome in handy. Or something like that. [You don't think well on an empty stomach in this scenario].

You grab a drink, from the four-pack of Pina Colada Bacardi Breezers you drove an extra half hour out of your commute to purchase, at the only liquor store open on Sunday.

You grab a white fru-fru hotel towel from the bathroom so you don't do a number on your nails, and use it to cover the top of the bottle whilst you give a quick twist. But the top doesn't come off. You're really going to town but the cap isn't budging. And then you realize...

Pina Colada Bacardi Breezers aren't twist caps. Frantically, you search your fru-fru hotel room for a bottle opener. Nada. Ok, breathe. You've just got to put those brains to good use and come up with an invention. A bottle cap opener invention. Easy peezy.

Look for something metal you can use for leverage...the lamp? No. The iron? No. The bath tub water spout. No. Getting warmer. The remote control? **** no. It's plastic. You were doing better in the bathroom. Go back in there.

And then, it appears. The small metal square plate on the door frame. Where the movable metal thingy from the door knob clicks in to. Yeah - that! This can be used to pry each little individual groove of the bottle cap open slightly. Then after about a good 10-15 minutes work, presto! You are ready to consume a Pina Colada [or some similarly silly drink made by a manufacturer that has not come into this century and added twist-caps to their beverages].

See, you don't sweat it - you're single AND handy! Whatcha need a guy for when you got great inventions like this? Oh yeah, that whole "penis" thing. Damn.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

These Boobs Are Made For Walkin'

I'm not sure why, but anytime I gain weight it goes straight to the T&A area. Yes, you read me right...the T&A area. You know...the headlights & bumper, the jigs & reel, the alter & pew, etc etc.

When my "condition" flares up, eventually I become motivated to get back into my workout regimen [tae bo, roller skating, jello wrestling, jogging]. Lately I've noticed that jogging has become, shall we say, uncomfortable. My sports bra puts in a good effort but there's a bit too much forceful bouncing going on.

Naturally this reminds me of the slow-mo running down the beach rescue sequences from Baywatch. How did Pamela Anderson, who is a few sizes (a dozen?) larger than my modest C cup, run in a bathsuit which offers almost zero support? Maybe if you're paid a high salary running foot loose and chesty free doesn't bother you.

Maybe you do it because your male director told you to.

What if when guys gained weight, it went right to your round and wrinklies? I bet that male director wouldn't be up for some running then. Unless he was carefully cradled in a Speedo. But then that would remind me of this...

And I would forget the point of this blog post...if there was one.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Jiggle Bells

[to the tune of "Winter Wonderland"...}

Lunch bell rings...are you listenin'?
In the coffee shop, bagels glisten.
A beautiful sight, we're carb loading tonight.
I should be walking instead of sittin' on my ass.

Yes, dear readers. THAT picture (extreme right) was taken during our annual Supervisors Breakfast in October and provided the inspiration for the little didi I wrote above. Not that I didn't lick my lips at the pancakes and sausage and bacon (oh my!). I did. Should I have had seconds? Um, probably not.

I already have holiday eaters guilt and it isn't even December! I want to cringe instead of Kringle. [sigh] Sadly, now I am thinking of Pringles.

I guess it doesn't help that I'm heading into this holiday season single, with "D" day fast approaching. For all you marrieds and/or those in a committed shagging relationship, you might not know about D day (no no, not that one). For singles, D day usually falls at the end of the first week in December. We singles know that if we have not had at least a second date with someone by then, we will be officially single for the entire holiday season. That's Christmas AND New Year's Eve. That means no exchanging meaningless presents with a [could be special some day if one/both of you don't *** it up] someone, no groping about at office holiday parties, no playing sit on Santa's, you get the idea.

Not that I'm looking about anyway. You know, I'm working on the list and all that.

I've just been slightly unfocused lately. Which is so unlike me.

I guess I've got things on my mind. Like why my computer speakers no longer work for sound but will emit one side of a CB radio conversation. FYI - they say 10-4 a lot. And who will win the tacky-as-hell Dancing With the Stars trophy (please please be Mario). And how to forget about the sassy little size 5 black dress (maybe size 7 if I keep eating those bagels) that's just calling my name at Smart Set.

Plus, there's the whole novel thingy that I'm supposed to have half-way completed.

I guess there's only one thing I can do...

Bartender! I'll have a whiskey sour. And make it a double.**

** The Redhead-Next-Door does not condone drinking as a way to solve and/or forget about world problems/life concerns/fantasies about coworkers. But approves of drinking for it's intended medicinal use - writing an ok blog post.**

Monday, November 06, 2006

NaNoWriMo Procrastination Tips

For those of you living under a rock, November is National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. Would be/ should be/ never be writer's sign up for the NaNoWriMo write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. That's almost 1,700 words per day.

Understand and embrace the insanity of it all.

Day one, I wrote about 500 words. By day four, I was only at 1,000. I was quite pleased with my first page but pages 2-3 are complete and utter ***. Needless to say, I'm slightly behind schedule. And the more off-schedule I get, the easier it is to procrastinate.

So, in the name of even more procrastination, er, I mean research and information sharing purposes, I've come up with a list...

Ways to Procrastinate and Avoid Doing Your Daily NaNoWriMo Word Count:
- Write a blog post about procrastination
Wonder what it's really like to ride a unicycle
Run 6km
- Make delicious cup of coffee
- Music montage
to find the perfect work outfit for your appeal hearing tomorrow
- Do 4 loads of laundry
- Work on Career Theory parcticum that you forgot to submit before deadline last week
- Drink delicious coconut rum
- Resign yourself to the fact that Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris are gay but T.R. Knight...say it ain't so
- Drink more rum
- Try out new squash soup recipe (yummy!)
- Watch Corner Gas episode where Hank starts a blog
- Take a nap

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy. Period.

[Note: If you are a guy reading this...Stop. Right. Now. Right now I say. You DO NOT want to read any more of this post. Trust me. And no, I'm not using reverse psychology.]

Every day, if you're attuned to the world and what's revolving on around you, you have the opportunity to learn something new. Maybe you have two coworkers meeting after-hours to go over spreadsheets roll over bedsheets.

Today I learned that Always wants women to "Have a happy period." And how am I privy to this information? They told me. Well, they didn't actually "tell" me. I read it. On one of their individually-wrapped products. It actually said "Have a happy period." Are you ****ing kidding me?

I was so offended I threw this product. Well, I didn't actually throw it. I wanted to. But I needed it.

This brilliant new marketing catch phrase must have been created by a man. And since I told the guys not to continue reading this post, they won't mind if I blame men for being insensitive and/or not having a clue. About Periods.

Maybe it's just me, but I know when I'm retaining 5 pounds of fluid, so cranky that Simon Cowell looks like a polite alter boy compared to me, and there's that one pimple that came out of nowhere and has erupted into something the size of Jay Leno's chin, I'm not gonna have a happy period.

On the other hand, if you thought you might be pregnant. But you learned you weren't...I guess then you could have a happy period. You'd be all "Yeah, I'm not pregnant! I got my period." But that's probably the only time that would happen.

Unless ofcourse, if I have 2 L of "cookies and cream" ice cream sitting in front of me, big spoon in hand, while wearing my fat pants watching some senseless-dribble-of-a-movie like "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" that might make me have a happy... nope. It wouldn't. It might be a slightly better period. But that's it. Period.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Burn Baby Burn

#3. Donate items to charity including subtlely sweaty and sweet smelling alma mater sweatshirts from ex-boyfriends/ex-dates/ex-repair men, soft fuzzy stuffed bunny, and compilation CD of "our songs". COMPLETED

And it goes a little something like this...

Boy likes girl (it's obvious WHY).

Boy gives girl little tokens of his affection (mixed tape of cheesy songs that remind him of how sweet she is, jewerly, unlimited use of his Acadia University t-shirt to wear to bed because it looks way better on her anyway, cutesy stuffed animals that remind her of how cuddling stuffed animals is no substitute for his manly muscles, lock of his hair, key to his condo).

Boy breaks girl's heart.

Girl tosses anything remotely resembling boy or his favorite things in garbage, except maybe the stuffed animals because they deserve better.

Girl takes everything out of the garbage. And instead decides to burn items in symbolic bad-dating/relationship purification ritual.

Girl underestimates power of fire fueled by gasoline and anger.

Fire Department is called. Hunky firefighter rescues girl. And she rescues him right back. Sigh.

I can't tell you how many times this has happened. Oh

I tried to find some items to donate for the cause, but only a cassette, a CD and stuffed bunny surfaced. What would be the point of donating a cassette? Do people even use these archaic systems anymore? Instead, will consider adding to community time capsule so people in the year 3040 will understand the concept of the boombox. The CD is an exact replica of Beatles #1 which I lost and last boyfriend thoughtfully replaced (complete with song title insert and faux Beatle autographs). What good would come from getting rid of that? Gone would be the days of belting out "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" while consuming morning coffee and pondering whether it's a skirt or goucho pant day. Had already given the bunny to my son Aidan.

I'm not one to hang onto the past. What can I say? Like a good dose of post-relationship bulemia; purging tokens from a relationship really helps me start fresh. And I can only speculate at this point, but I think a hunky fireman would too. What?!? I'm just saying...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The List: Re-Cap

Thought I'd do a quicky re-cap on where I'm at with completing items on the no-dating-until-it's-all-done list. It's been 3+ months since I began and I'm only 45% completed. By my calculations, I will be committed to being single for another four months. Perhaps, I should just be committed...

Note how I tackled the easier ones first.

I should have went for the karaoke straight off. And perhaps that "Minor Celebrity" item is going to come back and bite me in the ***. Not literally ofcourse. Canadian celebrities aren't savages or anything (although I have heard rumors about Tom Green).

Write the list (an easy item to check off!) COMPLETED
#2. Rent every movie I've always wanted to watch but didn't, begin chronologically with Bus Stop. IN PROCESS
#3. Donate items to charity including subtlely sweaty and sweet smelling alma mater sweatshirts from ex-boyfriends/ex-dates/ex-repair men, soft fuzzy stuffed bunny, and compilation CD of "our songs".
#4. Go horseback riding (Note: something my married sister always wanted to do...and thought it could go on my list. She has forgotten all too soon about what the dating world is really like and is having way too much fun thinking of items to add to my list). COMPLETED
#5. Pay off a credit card ($798.13 to go).
#6. Build something. Out of wood. With tools. Assembling "something" from box labelled Ikea with Allen key does not count. COMPLETED
#7. Do online research to discover why above mentioned tool is called an Allen key.
#8. Sign up for a dance class (leg warmers optional).
#9. Wait in line at a book signing for author's autograph. Book topic/ title do not matter, as too busy checking items off list to read. Make small talk. Add book to items to be donated to charity.
#10. Decide to make time for reading, take on "Tabloid Love" a memoir by Bridget Harrison as more of reference material than shameless reading. COMPLETED
#11. Take cooking class.
#12. Learn foreign language.
#13. Go on out-of-town vacation. COMPLETED
#14. Buy new "little black dress" (a necessity for black tie affair at end of the month at my friend Charlene's house, which is also out of town - a way to cross two things off my list!). COMPLETED
#15. Run a 5km race. TRAINING UNDERWAY
#16. Get a fab new haircut (perhaps the biggest challenge on the list...what else can you do with curly hair except wear it a la SJP?). COMPLETED
#17. Join a "non-competitive" sports team (but secretly play competitively). COMPLETED
#18. Get a tattoo.
#19. Attempt karaoke [again].
#20. Run through a sprinkler (naked optional).
#21. Get card/palm reading done from well-known local psychic. COMPLETED

#22. Hob nob with minor Canadian celebrity.

Bloody hell. What have I gotten myself into?

[Post Update:
#7. Do online research to discover why above mentioned tool is called an Allen key. COMPLETED Thanks Peter! Make that 11 down, 11 to go. ]

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Little Black Box

#6. Build something. Out of wood. With tools. Assembling "something" from box labelled Ikea with Allen key does not count. COMPLETED

I am woman, hear me roar! Or, at least hear me out.

On Monday, I got to build something with my very own wrinkly hands. Ok, I didn't actually "build" something persay, it was more of an erection. No, wait. That doesn't sound right.

I erected, wait.

A mailbox! A mailbox! I put up a mailbox!

There. I'm sure we're both glad (and some disappointed) I clarified THAT straight away. (Hi Mum!)

My grandmother asked me to help out with this seemingly simple task (if only, if only). She bought a brand-spanking-new black mailbox. But it had a dent in it. So, in true grannie style, she took it back to the [shall remain nameless] store that sells hardware and oddly enough, tires...

I removed the old grey-ish blue mailbox. The wooden platform had to be resized because the new black mailbox was smaller than the old blue one. So I removed the wooden platform with a hammer. And took some measurements with the tape measurer thingy.

Then, I took out the SAW. Well actually, it was three saws. Not a three-in-one saw (that hasn't been invented yet) but three seperate saws. The first one had a good handle but was semi-dull. The second was bigger and sharper but my Nana thought the third one might be better still (grass is sharper from the other saw syndrome). She was not concerned that it was a meat saw back from the family farm's animal slottering days. Nana made me swear I would not tell anyone that we used a meat saw. After all, she has a non-meat-saw-using reputation to uphold.

A half an hour later, badda boom badda bing, the new little black mailbox is securely in place onto of the wooden platform and post. It looks fab.

Well, except for the white paint she used to print her name onto it. But I had nothing to do with that. I'm responsible for getting it up, not the white stuff.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The 2 P's

#21. Get card/palm reading done from well-known local psychic. COMPLETED

I've been waiting to check this one off my list for over a month. But things (fate perhaps?) kept getting in the way. The first time, I was out of town when they called to book an appointment. The next time, the psychic couldn't stay til 5:30pm (my appointment time). I mean, what kind of psychic wouldn't know these things in advance. So right away, I'm skeptical.

My coworkers Marco, Undercover Mother, Aunt Margie and Sally have all gone to this particular mystic. I was interested to see what Psychic Ike saw in store for me. I was also interested to learn how anyone named Ike could make it as a psychic. It's just too rhymey.

I made loads of effort to make my brain a blank slate (ok, not that much effort is needed on a Saturday). I didn't want him picking up on any vibes or random brain waves I was tossing about. Besides, his voice is, feminine and I didn't want him to hear the laughing going on inside my head.

Psychic Ike asked me if he could read my cards. "Actually, I was hoping you could read my palm." Again, I think he should have known that without me telling him. But I digress.

I waited for his reaction when he saw my palm. His eyes grew very wide. You see, my hands are very, um wrinkly. Alright, alright, I admit it. I have old lady hands ok! While they look like they put in a good half a century's work, they are very very soft. The wrinkles have nothing to do with lack of moisturizer but just the luck of the genetics draw. Guys, you know what I'm talking about...

So Psychic Ike read my palm (a first for me). Cards would be too easy for someone to twist what a psychic said into something applicable, something that makes sense. For a palm reading, you really have to be accurate, or be a master bullshitter. Either way, I was ready to be amazed.

"Wow! You certainly have quite a road map here. There are so many things going on with you!" You don't say....

I was told many things: about traits I posses as a person, about my past and about my future. Psychic Ike records all of his readings on tape (included in the $25.00 Cdn fee). I played the tape for my family - they couldn't stop laughing because so much of what he said (about me as a person and the sordid details of my past) are true.

But what fun would it be if I shared THAT? Instead, I offer...

The Future That Awaits, According To Psychic Ike and Other Interesting Palm Reading Points:
- will be coming into a settlement of money within four months (yes! loves it!)
- will under go a test in January or February (hmmm...not crazy about tests)
- am going to meet two men - one is right for me, the other is not. I will know which is which (sounds like fun, innie meenie minee moe....).
- the right guy will also have money
- am going to have three children to this man (two boys and a girl), equally spaced (highly doubted, I still remember what childbirth feels like ten years later)
Stick with the writing, within the next five years it is going to make me lots of money (ok, that's believable)
- am going to be famous, everyone will know my name (dido)
- will travel to Eurpoe for at least two weeks, trip to be paid by someone else
- am going to live until at least age 95 (hopefully, they will have invented brain to body transplants by then)
- have a lady "spirit guide" (I didn't think rum could be attributed to male or female)
- have lived two previous lives (or at least my hands look like they have)

At the very least, it was quite entertaining. Going into it, I certainly didn't think it would alter the course of my life in any way. But you know, Psychic Ike made some interesting observations about my personality. And whether he knew how on-the-mark he was or not, it brought some things to my attention. Things to consider.

And best of all, now that I know I'm going to live until I'm 95, maybe I can finally take that airplane ride.

Office Prank #2: Show Me The Monkey

On Thursday, a local vendor came to pick up his wares.

He travels around the local offices with books, toys, etc. for sale. Some time ago he had brought a toy monkey with stretchy arms that could be used as a sling-shot to sail through the air while making monkey screeching noises. Rowan wanted to purchase said-monkey but the vendor came and picked up the merchandise before he had the opportunity.

Well, on Thursday, the monkey was back. And Rowan had his money at the ready. I was on training in the Hub city and arrived back at the office, unaware of what purchases had transpired in my absence.

After chucking my purse and leather tote on my desk, I could hear Rowan's voice saying "Is she back?" Next thing I remember is a monkey sailing through the air and hitting me in the head.

[fade to moneky screeching sounds...]

I'm chatting to some cubicle mates when I realize there's something going on behind me. It's the monkey, and Rowan is dancing it on the top of my cubcile. I lunge for it. Rowan pulls back holding tightly to the monkey, who's arms are beginning to stretch and is screeching for all he's worth (the monkey, not Rowan). Rowan, not wanting to rip his moneky in two, let's go. Faster than you can say, "Monkey's Uncle" I shoved the monkey up the back of my shirt. Rowan enters my cubicle.

"Where is he?" Rowan asks. Staffers are really hooting at this point.
"I don't know" I say coyely sitting in my chair. "I don't have him."
Rowan begins looking throughout my cubicle for his monkey.
"I don't have him." I say.
"Stand up" he said smiling.
I stand up but since the moneky's arms are under the back of my bra strap, the monkey stays put. And Rowan moves on to look elsewhere assuming I gave it to someone else to hide.

The next day, I put the following note on Rowan's computer screen.

Dear Mr. Monkey’s Around,

Your favorite stuffed toy is currently being held for ransom.

It is partly because being hit in the head with a flying screeching monkey is not fun.

If you follow these instructions, you will be rewarded with more than bananas**; you’ll get your monkey back. Frankly, your monkey is not easy to handle and I look forward to washing my hands.

#1: Sing the phrase “good morning” to every staffer you encounter today (up until 10 o’clock am
#2: Anytime someone says your name, respond with “Eek Eek Eek” in true monkey fashion. Bonus points if you scratch your arm pits.
#3: If you are asked a question, you can only respond with the phrase “This **** is bananas”. Questions from the Ivory Tower are exempt. [this is what we call our head office where the big wigs work]

If you do not follow these instructions, well…Planet of the Apes is recruiting for their next installment. We have ears. Not big ears like your, er…monkey. Yeah, that’s it. Monkey. We’ll be listening.

DO NOT involve the authorities or you’ll be sorry (sorry like Davy Jones when the Monkees recorded “Tapioca Tundra”) but I digress.


Cha. Key. Ta. Banana

PS. My apologies if you couldn’t sleep last night without your bedtime companion.

**Please note bananas are not actually included with the monkey’s return**

My coworker Laura put a banana in Rowan's mailslot with a sticky note attached saying "please help me".

It was completely coincidental that one of the specialists from head office made an appearance. Rowan was telling her someone stole his monkey (apparently not concerned how it looked for a grown man to have a toy monkey) and he stopped at my cubicle. I began talking, saying his name as many times as possible in a sentence to see if he'd do step #2 as part of the ransom demand. But instead, he just blushed. The rest of the office laughed uncontrollably. I'm sure the specialist made a note to herself to test the air quality in our office.

Following lunch, I emailed this picture of the monkey to Rowan (courtesy of the office scanner):

Laura put a milk carton in the middle of the office, with a picture of the monkey on it with the caption "Have you seen this monkey? If you have information call Rowan at [Rowan's phone number]. Reward offered."

Rowan stopped by several times to ask for his monkey back. I informed him, that a couple little "Eek eek" eeks was all it would take and he could have him back. He said, "I don't negotiate with with..." he was lost for words. "Terrorists?" I offered.

To top off the prank, I emailed him a recipe for Monkey Balls, a breakfast dish that I thought sounded yummy and was considering cooking over the holiday weekend.

In the end Rowan got his monkey back. You can imagine the number of references to Rowan's monkey that were used throughout the day. There was more to the prank but it was a "you had to be there" or Lord of the Flies kind of thing. Needless to say, the whole office is super impressed with my pranking abilities. Now I need to keep one eye open at all times. Because I know Rowan is going to try to get me back for this one. But I doubted he'll top this one.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Office Prank #1: Anal Glaucoma

On Tuesday morning I rec'd the following email from my friend Charlene.

A women calls her boss one morning and tells him that she is staying home because she is not feeling well. "What's the matter?" he asks. "I have a case of anal glaucoma," she says in a weak voice. "What the hell is anal glaucoma?" "I can't see my ass coming into work today..."

Finding it completely hilarious, I printed it off and posted it outside my cubicle for my coworker's enjoyment.

Debbie, who works in the cubicle across from me, sent the staff an email suggesting we all call in sick tomorrow from anal glaucoma. Rowan was going to be the only supervisor in (the rest would be away on training) so he would be the one to receive all our messages. He comes into the office every morning by 8 o'clock, so the voicemails would have to be left before that time. Debbie directed staffers to my cubicle to read more about this "condition" in case not everyone had the opportunity to check it out (were busy working perhaps?). Ofcourse, we were all planning on actually coming in to the office, but we wanted Rowan to sweat for a bit.

This plan was so ingenious I laughed all afternoon. Then I laughed in the car on the drive home. Not a regular laugh either. The head-thrown-back laugh so other commuters though I might possibly be off-balance. It was hard to get to sleep that night, you know, from all the laughing.

[the next morning...]

I attempted to call Rowan's voicemail. I called three times. And hung up three times. Because I was still laughing my *** off. Then I wrote a script, to make it easier:

Script: [in a weak voice] Hi Rowan, It's Erika. I can't come into work today. I have a really bad case of anal glaucoma. I was diagnosed yesterday with anal glaucoma. The doctor said it's going to be a really bad year for anal glaucoma. There's a really good article about this condition outside my cubicle, if you want to learn more.

This did not help with the not-laughing part. I looked at the clock - I was going to be late if I didn't leave now. I decided I could send the message from my voicemail at work. I just couldn't let Rowan see me before I did it.

[at work...]

Debbie jumps into my cubcile - "Did you do it?" I explained what happened and then assured her I was going to send my voicemail right now. Debbie had already left her message and was remaining incognito. She had even gathered some intell: Rowan's red light was still flashing on his phone, meaning he had not checked any of his messages. Hmmm...the whole prank could possibly tank if we didn't take action.

I decided there were two choices: Choice #1: I could go over in person (hold my *** for emphasis) and do my script. Pros: Would be hilarious and I would go down as acting legend. Cons: Could burst out laughing and all our planning would be for nothing, be the victim of "good going" comments from staffers and possibly be hit with random flying objects around the office. Choice #2: Send high priority email to Rowan. Pros: Quick and could laugh as much as I like. Cons: ???

So I went with the email. Six staffers crowded into my cubicle as I typed out the following email:

Hi Rowan,

I'm so sick I can't even stand up.

I started feeling sick yesterday. There were a couple of people at work who also thought they might be coming down with this too. I went to the doctor last night and he said I have anal glaucoma. And that it's going to be a bad year for it.

Can I go home?


We were laughing so loud I was sure Rowan would hear us from his cubcile across the office. Two seconds later, I received his reply:

I'm not going to ask about the sickness, there's a joke in there somewhere. If you're sick, go home.

Rowan saw me about 10 minutes later and asked why I wasn't on my way home. So I had to explain it all to him.

I consider myself to be quite crafty when it comes to pulling pranks. I successfully pulled them on Marco (and vice versa) countless of times. So I'm not used to this feeling of prank failure.

Ah...revenge shall be mine!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Undiscovered Dating Techniques #3: The Blogmance

[Cue the violins]

Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler brought us the romance.

Big Brother Allstars Will and Boogie brought us the bromance, the showmance, and the less poetically homance.

I'm pleased to bring you [wait for it]...the blogmance. Ta Da!

The concept of the blogmance is cutting edge dating technology. Observe.

Have you ever read a blog? Well, ofcourse you have, you're reading one right now. But not just any blog. I'm talking about one that is so witty, so carefully crafted, so bloody brilliant, you're left amazed. **Ah hem**

You read every day, without fail. You make comments, without fail. Ok, maybe you don't comment on the slightly boring posts about boy bands and sports but everything else is fair game.

You check out your fav blogger's profile a few times (ok, dozens). Then you start to wonder what this person is like in their regular non-blogging life. You Google them. Then you wonder how some crazy **** like that ended up on Google.

You start to think emailing them might be a good idea. You pose a question, just to make it seem like you're interested in the answer. But you're not really. Unless ofcourse it's to ask if they like to "do the fondue" or about their knickers. Or maybe the Knicks. Because even though you don't fancy basketball, they do.

Then they email you back. Score! You could be onto something here. So, you reply to their reply to your inquiry. Your mind is all swirly with possibilities and low blood sugar. Hotmail must add extra servers to keep up with all the emailing activity. And that's just for the ones you're sending. Actually, you're doing more than your fair sharing of emailing. You shouldn't be doing that.

Wait a minute...oh no. Oh. No.

You, my friend, have become a Blocker [Blogger + Stalker = Blocker]. Now why did you have to go and do that for? I can't coach you on how to have a blogmance if you're going to act like that. Put down the boiling pot of rabbits. Back away from the stove.

Perhaps it's best to leave this technique to the professionals :)

[Note: Let's take care of a little thing I like to call copyright enfringement. The hillarious faux romance novel cover on the left can be found at

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thsssexy Like Cindy Brady

Yessterday was D day. No, not THAT D day. The other one...the day I went to the dentisth. And, no that was not a sspelling error. Neither wass that.

My brand sspanking new sshiney plastic and wire oral applicancess has given me a lisp. Yess folks, I'm the proud owner of my very own sspeech impediment. Ssuper.

It's alsso made people not want to ssthand in front of me when I sspeak, probably due to the exsthreme amount of ssalvia I'm creating and ssubssequently projecting.

I desided to write thiss blog exsactly as I would ssay it. Which is quite hard come to think of it so I'll stop now.

In addition to my new hardware, I'm also consuming a bevy of vitamins and muscle relaxers. So at least now I'm somewhat calm about my lisp. In fact, I'm so relaxed it's slowing down my typing quite a bit. See how slow that was?

It's not just the drugs that are affecting me though. People are treating me differently. My coworkers think my new way of speaking is "cute" and "adorable" like Cindy Brady. Sure, Cindy might have been cute till she opened her mouth, then she was just plain ****ing annoying. I'm not a snitcher, I just tell it like it is!

Strangers just stare at me with this look. You know the one...big sympathic eyes, tilted head to the right. Yeah, like that one you're doing right now. It's given me a new appreciation for speech imperfections. My dentist assures me it will go away. When it does, and I meet someone who still has their speech impediment, I won't point and laugh at the dorks like I used to. No, I'll give them a hug and say, "Some day, some one will love you, you dork."

For me, it's not just about the variation of speech in my effort to realign my jaw. I can't eat anything hard. Actually, even soft things are challenging. It took me 60 minutes to eat 3/4 of a biscuit because you can't chew, but just mush things with your tongue. Possible side-effect: unplanned weight loss.

I guess I'll have to add "Realign Jaw" to my list. Unless ofcourse, I missed the episode where Cindy Brady gets asked out on a date. Then again, she was only ten on the show. But still. In the words of Cindy, "I'm cool but no boy ever calls me for a soda." You said it Cindy, you said it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sweet Dreams

Marsha Norman once said "Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you."

Here's an illustration my soul passed along. I think it's trying to tell me something.

Perhaps that I should stick to writing and not drawing...

Or maybe that I look good in the color purple!

No, must be that I should take up carpentry ;)

Literally, it may mean that the last man on Earth may not have any hands. Which would be a shame. How else is he going to help tear down those walls I've built?

What kind of illustrations is your soul drawing?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bye Bye Miss Canadian Pie

On Thursday, one of my dearest coworkers, "Aunt Margie", retired. We held a proper high tea, complete with silver serving tea set and real china cups and saucers to commemorate the occasion (we're also having dinner and drinks at a [formerly fancy] local hotel at the end of October so this was to hold us over until then).

Any time there is a special event, a sign up sheet is posted in the kitchen, for staffers to commit to what yummy things they're going to bring. The unwritten rule: bonus points if it's homemade.

I always manage to rustle up something from my recipe box. And Thursday was no exception. In between helping Aidan with his class project on mosquitos, doing 3 loads of laundry, and tidying up the house, I made an apple pie. Nothing says yummy sweetness like homemade apple pie. And just to be a bit fancy, I cut a star in the centre of the top layer of crust, worked my crust pattern making magic on the outter rim of the pie and sprinkled sugar on top. You know, for that extra bit of sparkle.

Rowan, is usually the first to sample my wares, and always seems somewhat surprised and amused that I made something so perfect. He always asks, "Who made this?" in between mouthfuls when he knows full well it was me. Rowan then tells me it's "Not bad" before having another piece. I've become good at reading between the lines.

After the tea, I was picking up my mail at reception, when my coworker Debbie said that she only attempted to make a pie once and it was a complete and utter disaster. Then she turned and asked, "Erika, is there anything you're not good at?" Without missing a beat, I said, "Yes, marriage." She laughed.

But think about it. Apple pie, even if it's freshly out of the oven, doesn't keep you warm in bed at night. It just gets really mushy. Apple pie doesn't comfort you. It doesn't listen to you when you need to vent (Actually, pie might listen but it doesn't answer back. And if it does, you've got bigger problems my friend).

For now, I'll stick to what I'm good at. But maybe one day, I'll be good at everything. ;)

I guess practice makes perfect.

Random Compliment, #3

On Wednesday, I went to work as per usual (yes, there's nothing wrong with my work ethic).

I was dressed very smartly, as per usual; wearing my black short-sleeved fitted cropped blazer, buttoned, with a pink lace cami underneath and my light lemon yellow 1950's era-esque flared skirt. To top off my outfit, the piece de la fav pair of black stiletto boots. I looked quite smashing.

My coworker, Rowan, was on his way to an important meeting on the other side of the province. But he made a point of telling me how great I looked before he left.

Ok, he didn't actually say I looked great. But he did say, and I quote, "If there ever was a Lady Zorro, you would be it." And his eyes went kind of sparkly when he said it too.

Not exactly the look I was going for (I didn't even have my sword with me!) but I took it as a compliment.

I could never lay claim to being the original "Lady Zorro", that's Catherine Zeta Jones' territory. Perhaps Rowan didn't see The Mask of Zorro. I can't blame him for not seeing The Legend of Zorro (Antonio what were you thinking?).
But Ms. Zeta Jones is sexy. And I guess that's where Rowan was going with his compliment. Not about Catherine Zeta Jones. About me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Career Theory: Providing Answers to Life's Awkward Social Questions

This week I travelled to the Hub city. And that can only mean one thing [Ok, maybe two]: I wanted to put my LaSenza discount membership card to good use, or for some training for work. It might not be an either/or situation, or it might. I'll exercise my right to maintain a bit of mystery. And perhaps a bit of dignity.

I'm an employment counsellor. Which is much like being a regular sort of counsellor in that you hear people complain, er..."share" a lot but you don't get paid quite as well. Not by the hour at least. Which is much like being a street walker. But I digress...

Sometimes the sharing is about their careers, or lack thereof. Other times you're privy to TMI, like the warts they got "down there" because their husband's extra-martial conquest gave him a burning, itching, festering parting gift. Often, you're the only one this person has to talk to. Probably for good reason. I can imagine it is hard to maintain composure for a non-professional, much less keep down what you ate for breakfast, while hearing about such things. And the mental images. Oh my *** the mental images. Hold me tight Bruno.

This week's session was a refresher course on basic career theory. I won't bore you with the in's and outs, unless ofcourse you are on the edge of your seats in anticipation (in which case, email me and I'll divulge all my worldly knowledge. Or at least the part I took notes on).

Blah blah blah. I wasn't paying attention when it hit me; the server who was refilling our water pitcher gave me a knock on the back of the head "accidentally" with her tray. Ok, now I was awake. And bleeding. Which is good (well not the bleeding part, but the awake part). Because what was about to happen, was big. Monumental. We're talking Superman versus Batman monumental.

Our faciliatator reminded us, it's all in how you frame something. No, not that way. This way. For someone who is unemployed, they feel better if they say they are "between jobs". And there it was. So simple. The key to handling life's awkward social questions.
The answer to the question I get asked over and over, and over.

Question (usually from insensitive smug marrieds): "Why are you single?"
Answer (usually from me, unless I feel like using Ed the no-nonsense sock puppet to speak on my behalf): "I'm between husbands right now."

Absolutely. Bloody. Brilliant!

And applicable to other "don't deserve a decent answer to that question" questions.

Question: "Why does that dog always **** on my leg?"
Answer: "I'm between dog trainers right now."

Question: "What's that smell?"
Answer: "I'm between showers right now."

[Note: These are only examples. I do not have a dog. And I do shower. Twice daily.]

The beauty of this framing is, there's no way the questioner can come back from that. End of questions.

Question askers = 0
Erika = 1

[Note: linen napkins are very absorbent and can assist with superficial head wounds.]

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Amazing Race Eh

Season 10 of the ultimate (ULTIMATE) top notch show has begun - the Amazing Race. And I can't help but plead my case to cutie pie Phil Keoghan to allow Canadians to enter the throws of non-stop action adventure. I'd consider "settling" and be a contestant on Fear Factor but lost-in-your-eyes Joe Rogan doesn't permit North of the Borders. Come to think of it, sweet cheeks Jeff Probst doesn't want to cosy up to a Canuck during a friendly game of Survivor either.

What's with the Hoser ban? I'm sensing a conspiracy amongst American networks. And there can only be one reason for keeping Canadians out in the reality TV cold...because we'd win. Every time.

Sure, the game wouldn't be the same if the country that coined the loonie and toonie were given all-access passes. But think of what we would bring to the show! Just think...[I feel a list coming on]

Top Reasons Why Canadians Should be Contestants on The Amazing Race:
- Endearing Canadian accent
- Ability to convert from metric to imperial (or SI) system and then back to metric again
- Great sense of direction and map reading. Bonus: can point out location of America on an unmarked map
- Possible sponsors would include Tim Hortons - free Timbits for everyone!
- Drag a** because of gained weight from free Timbits
- Renowned for politeness. Examples include: "I'm sorry" (even when we know it's not our fault!), "no - you go first to the pitstop", "don't highjack our plane please" etc.
- Ability to speak many languages: English, Acadian French, Quebec French, and Newfoundlander which will come in handy when travelling, Canada.
- Supply of Canadian flag patches for backpacks
- Unique storeytelling ability, "This one time at Rubber Band Camp..."

And if that wasn't enough to convince you Phil, perhaps you could make an exception just for me? If you say "I'm Erika" really fast, it sounds like you're saying America.

Coincidence? Not bloody likely. I take size small in a t-shirt btw ;)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sorry Ma'am, We Don't Sell That

This has got to be some sort of record. It's been an exhausting two+ weeks of online dating and I have decided to delete my profile.

Hmmm, why you ask? Well could it be that...
a) I've met someone absolutely delightful
b) A computer virus has been unleased destroying hard drives of online daters, so I'm taking evasive action ASAP
c) Have quickly realized there are no fish worth catching in the online sea
d) Am accepted into the seminary

Yes, it's "c". In the words of Undercover Mother's daughter Bridget, it's like looking for Filet Mingnon at the corner store. They just don't sell it.

Besides, it was just for fun. And it was becoming quite the opposite of perhaps? I have no problem attending functions by myself but thought how nice it would be to have someone spin me around the dance floor. Have you ever tried to spin yourself? It's quite tricky really.

Pity party, table for one?

First up is my end-of-the-softball-season dance at the end of the month. Cost = $5 per couple. Coach said to make sure to bring our husbands/boyfriends.

Me: "What if you don't have a boyfriend?"
Coach: "You don't have a boyfriend? You don't have a boyfriend?" [No, there was no echo, he really asked me twice]
Me: "No."
Coach: "What's wrong with you that you don't have a boyfriend?"
Me: "Er, if I knew that I'd have a boyfriend."
Coach: "You don't have a boyfriend? Well, if you don't have a boyfriend, $2 for you."

I have a feeling that single men do not have to go through this type of humiliation.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Random Compliment, #2

Yesterday morning, I spent an hour in my dentist's chair only to find out my brand spanking new oral appliances (one for day, one for night) didn't fit properly. In fact, my daytime appliance got stuck on my lower teeth. And since I am sporting a pair of french tip fake nails, I couldn't be of any assistance. In fact, this is one of many times during this week I needed assistance because of my nails (starting a new roll of tape for my dispenser, folding socks, and zipping up my pants to name a few). But they look fabulous.

My dentist is part of some cutting edge stuff when it comes to minimizing the effects of TMJ. If this doesn't work, I'll have to get braces. It's my teenage nightmare coming true, 15 years later. Only worse. Braces in high school are common; a fair share of nerds, geeks and uber band geeks get them. But women, single women at that, single sexy women at the age of 30... name one. Ok, possibly me.

Apparently, it isn't bad enough that my current night appliance slightly resembles the plastic mouth guard worn by sports participants like boxers and hockey players. It makes it quite difficult to talk providing a slight lisp, and ups the drool factor when sleeping. Painting a pretty picture eh? Needless to say, I've only ever had one boyfriend I felt comfortable enough wearing it around. And, he was usually asleep when I put it in. Strangely enough my last boyfriend had the exact same mouth guard; at first I thought it was a sign that he might be "the one". [Note to self: plastic mouth accessories are not relationship indicators].

Back in my dentist's chair...

My dentist is telling me they'll have to take another mold of my upper jaw, when in walks an old man. He's completely starting at me (in his defence I did have on my very flatering pink v-neck long-sleeve clingy cotton t-shirt).

Old Man: "Wow, you are beautiful! I think you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. "
Me: [blushing] "Why thank you" [I smile]
Old Man: "Are you married?"
Me: "No, I'm divorced."
Old Man: "What the hell was wrong with your husband? You're beautiful. If I was 90 years younger, I'd be on you. You're so beautiful."
Me: "Um, thanks, you're sweet." [and slightly perverted]
Dentist: "Now [Old Man's Name] you've been married for 64 years, you don't want to start getting into trouble now."
Old Man: "Are you kidding, look at her. Why do you get all the pretty ones Doctor? Must be your sex appeal." [chuckles]

If you knew my dentist, you would also chuckle. Sex appeal = zero. I think it's partly due to the the large wooly-esque caterpillars, er....eyebrows he sports.

The old man proceeded to ask me questions about where I was from and left after giving me a Worthens candy; I saved it (you know, in case it had love potion #9 in it or something). Then I thanked him as he'd made my day. Because truthfully, old man or not, he did. It had less to do with what he said, and more to do with his intention, trying to bring a smile to someone's face.

Wait a minute, am I getting philosophical here? Must have been that glass of rum ;)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Do You Smell That?

Ah, yes. The smell of fall is in the air. Either it's fall or...nevermind. It's crisp, it's fresh. There's just somethin' about it. Fall is my favorite time of year (apart from New Year's, my birthday, summer rain, Johnny Miles Marathon Weekend, the first snow fall and when Justin Timberlake releases his next album *ahem*).

For me, fall means many things, like back to school (horray!). Just kidding. Ok, I'm slightly serious. Fall is an exciting time, a switching of gears. The camis, capris, sun dresses and sexy sling-backs are packed away (at least they are when you live in Canada). And out comes the wool sweaters, corduroy jumpers, tweed mini-skirts, leather platform boots and ever-so-sexy long johns.

Despite the fact that during fall us Candians bundle up, I find it the most enticing time of year. Summer's too sluty. Everything's "out there". But fall, ah, now there's when the imagination has to get you going. You have to wonder just what's under that camel skin-cotton-cashmere blend sweater.

Personally, I think there's nothing sexier than a guy in a wool sweater. Ok, maybe not a wool sweater because I'm allergic to wool. But a thick cable-knit sweater, or turtleneck. Mmmmmm...turtleneck. Um, not sure what my point was here. Ah yes, it's that leaving something to the imagination is good. You may never know what's under there. Or, you might. You tease.

And don't even get me started on hot chocolate by a roaring fire.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Save A Cowboy, Ride a Horse

#4. Go horseback riding (Note: something my married sister always wanted to do...and thought it could go on my list. She has forgotten all too soon about what the dating world is really like and is having way too much fun thinking of items to add to my list). COMPLETED

It's official...I am a cowgirl. Well not "official" in a got-a-diploma-from-cowgirl-college kind of way, but pretty damn close. Yee-haw! [See, can speak in cowgirl-isms] and I really know how to show off a great pair, boots. Yes, that's it. Boots.

While on mini-vacation in New Brunswick, had the opportunity to saddle up at the dude ranch. [Note: dude ranch is NOT a literal term, there were no dudes there.] Studs (of the equestrian variety) yes, but no dudes (except that one guy who was there with his girlfriend but he was kind of whimpy). Alas, I polished my pair, boots for nothing. Yes, that's it. Boots.

I even met a celebrity at the dude ranch. Well, not an actual celebrity per say, but there were some parallels between my horse and a certain Mr. Tom Cruise. But I'm putting the cart before the horse here (brewhaha).

To start off, we completed a short form/ questionaire. Blah blah blah no libility, ride at own risk, helmets available, have you ever rode before (keep a straight face), how long since your last ride (stop frowning), what would assist with choosing the right horse for you? Hmmm...answer: a horse that likes to go s-l-o-w. I even spelled it just like that "s-l-o-w."

The horse lady didn't even look at our forms. She just chucked them in a pile on a shelf in the stable. And that's how I ended up with [Tom] Cruise.
Well, that and the fact that I'm 5"6 and 3/4's and that's how they pick your horse, by height. The similarities between the two were definately list worthly so...

The Parallels Between My Horse Cruise and Tom Cruise:
- Both have brown hair (I know! It's like they're freaking twins or something!)
- Bud, the oldest and slowest horse of the group was ahead of us and I had to keep pulling on the reins to stop Cruise the horse from riding into Bud's a**. Please people, don't make me spell the parallel out for you here
- I am a redhead, Nicole Kidman is [sometimes] a redhead
- When I tried to direct Cruise the horse with the reins, he just tossed his head and then rode headlong into the bushes (no doubt to teach me who's boss). Much like Tom Cruise has to have control over everything. Katie, I mean, Kate are you reading this?
- Tom Cruise has been known to jump on yellow couches, Cruise the horse stepped on a yellow dandelion

[Note: This list is very funny when you're drinking white wine].

My time with Cruise lasted 60 minutes (longer than most Cruise encounters I'm told). And, it was kind of boring to be truthful (again, parallels). I know I said I wanted a slow horse, but the couple of times we trotted was the best part. Turns out, I'm a cowgirl who likes to go fast.

The ride left me refreshed and sore as hell. The picture of the cowgirl (above) was obviously taken pre-ride. But nothing beats having the breeze in your hair, riding horseback through the open field. Now I remember why I wanted a pony when I was younger. Ok, who are we kidding, "pony" was on my wish list last Christmas. I guess there's always this year.