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