Category Archives: reality

Me, Myself and I

I think in total I had 9 hours of sleep this weekend. It was even a long weekend so I had three days to rest and relax, clean my house and get organised for my upcoming trip to the East Coast. Of course, I ended up not getting anything done at all and will now have to come home after working both jobs and clean my house top to bottom since the furnace guys are coming tomorrow (goody).

I won’t be home to enjoy the furnace men although I can imagine they are named Larry and Ted, wear pants that are slightly too tight for them and would not be found in any porn movie involving home repairs. At least that’s what he sounded like on the phone. Y’all.

This morning, bored and tired at work, I googled myself and found out that I am apparently a photographer, a model, a folk singer, a Doctor (natural health practitioner actually), a video game tester, a news anchor, a member of a womens lacrosse team, a contestant on a popular reality TV show, author/artist, and a nanny. I’m a very busy woman. The good news is that my name is so common that future employers will have a hard time finding any dirt on me via Google.

Either because I’m intrepid and resourceful or sort of a creepy stalker, sometimes I look up the name of the guy(s) I’m interested in on Google. Most times it generates either their Facebook profile or the time it took them to run a marathon and that they came in 357th out of 400. Guess I need to pick some more interesting men.

In other news, I hate when people talk to me in the elevator. Unless you are complimenting my shoes, I don’t care about small talk. What the weather is like or how fast the elevator is or what your son is going to name his dog is not a detail I care to discuss with you. I talk to enough strangers every day, I don’t need random dude in an elevator to be my new friend. Unless you are gorgeous and on your way to check-in on your multi-million dollar company that you preside over from your home in the Carribbean, feel free to chat. Otherwise just please don’t talk to me. It’s awkward.

Oh yes, it’s my adorable niece’s birthday today and she’s one year old

Happy birthday Meredith!

Pointing Out the Obvious

Today I’m guest blogging for Miss Well-Intentioned over at the Well-Intentioned Heartbreaker. She’s charming and adorable so it’s worth it to check her out. While you’re there you may as well read my post too.

First a little story:

One of my closest friends is a blonde (not surprising you say? Since I am a blonde and we tend to move together like a pack of lions stalking our prey? Well, you are correct). Anyhow, she is an intelligent girl with a degree in English and plenty of life experience.

She is actually a natural brunette, but the blonde definitely suits her better. There are times when Blondie says or does things that make everyone around her pause and think “yes, the blonde stereotype is still alive”.

Her and I went to get our passports one cold day in January. We both had our forms filled out, passport photos in hand, waiting in line to talk to the officer inside. I went in first and the woman checked over my forms twice before handing me a number and calling “next!”

Blondie walks in, lays her form on the desk and says: “Um, ok, so I’m not really sure what to put for hair color. Should I put my natural hair color or the color that my hair is now?”

The woman peered at her over her wire-rimmed glasses and with a slight frown said: “Just put blonde, honey”.

Now skip on over and visit Bee oh and read my post too: Deal Breakers

Road Tripping

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m off on a delightful adventure this weekend to Kamloops. Tomorrow morning I’ll be sprawled across the back of a luxury SUV in my evening gown, reading STAR magazine, drinking champagne and eating bon bons. Actually, I hallucinated all of that. I’ll really be crammed in the back seat of a little Mazda with my two younger sisters. Not younger as in “they are 5 and oh em gee how cute are we?” but as in they are both 20. So three 20-somethings in the back seat of a tin can with wheels for seven hours.

My mum will be in the drivers seat because apparently dad’s driving is too erratic, although I don’t see how cutting two hours off our long-ass drive could be a bad thing. So what if we get pulled over twice? The BC cops have no jurisdiction in Alberta!

I remember when I was little, every time we got pulled over I thought my dad was going to jail. I even had a dream about it when I was in kindergarten (that’s true). My dad likes to speed, especially through the mountains. My mum apparently likes to live, therefore she is taking the wheel this time.

I haven’t been on a car trip with the family since…oh I dunno, 1999? Back then Christina Aguilera was still messing around with genies, The Verve was breaking up and Lenny was singing about American Women (or possibly just one in particular).

When I was even younger, we went on road trips as a family all the time. No one ever agreed on the music. Dad liked kind of heavy rock music, mum liked top 40 style music, my older sister Dizzy liked a mix but mostly lower key stuff and I was usually all about the girly music: Ace-of-Base all the way.

There were certain tapes we could all agree on: REM, Out of Time; Sheryl Crow, Saturday Night Lights; that sort of thing. Usually it was dad’s music though, so a steady diet of Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails (who I’m actually going to go see on Tuesday, more on that later), The Doors, The Who, New Kids On The Block – oops, I actually just slipped that in his tape deck when he wasn’t looking. Step by Step! Ya!

Ok, moving right along. Actually, side-tangent again: when I was sixteen I was listening to the Backstreet Boys in my room, singing along with the beautiful, melodious and completely non-commercialized lyrics when my dad came up, turned off the stereo and said: “Here. Listen to this.” and handed me Alice Cooper. Thus began my (upward) spiral of rejecting crappy pop and embracing real music. Thanks Pops.

Ok, now moving along for real. I’m actually a little excited to play driving games such as “Find The ABCs on Random Signs in Order from A-Z”, “What Does That Guys License Plate Really Say”, “Name A Band/Place/Movie Using the Last Letter of My Word”, “I Spy”, “Categories” and my all time favorite “I Have To Pee..No, Now!” Back in the day, these games mostly resulted in time outs and tears. Don’t worry, Mum eventually got over it and joined back in on the fun.

Of course these days we have a laptop with a connector cord so we can watch movies and make fun of hilarious skits on YouTube. And by hilarious skits I do mean people falling and monkeys throwing feces, oh and that cockatoo that dances. He’s awesome. I’m not sure if the road trip will feel quite the same with all this modern technology.

Either way all I’m bringing is a pillow, The Selfish Gene and an extra large black coffee. Or possibly a venti, sugar-free, half-caf, extra hot, skim-milk, no-whip hazelnut latte. They love it when I come into Starbucks.

Debt Cards

I got a lovely call today from a gent over at Mbnba bank (at least I think that’s what he said – he spoke so fast an auctioneer would have issues keeping up with him). See, apparently I’ve been pre-approved for a credit card! This is so exciting, I can hardly stand it.

Nevermind the fact that he called me Mrs. Boland for the first five minutes, and when I said I wasn’t her he switched and said that I had been pre-approved as well. Imagine that, getting approved without them even knowing your name. What a world we live in!

I can’t be rude to these guys though. I feel sorry for them. Like how you feel for Girl Guides selling cookies, Walmart greeters, or ex-boyfriends who wait outside your work and follow you home. If I can half listen, throw in an “uh huh….yup…” and still do my work, just to make some poor unfortunate soul feel like he got through to one person well then by God I will do it.

I’m a humanitarian, what can I say.

I liked this guy’s outlook on life though. After asking me a few questions such as what my position was at The Company, yearly income, where the office was located etc., he responded enthusiastically the same way each time:

“Oh, that sounds nice!”

I have a feeling if I told him I was a roadkill scraper making $8,000 a year and the office was located in a sewer he would have said “Oh, that sounds nice!”

He then asked me if I remembered how much I pay for rent each month. No actually, I have no idea. I just give blank cheques to my landlord and let her fill them out. Some months I slide my credit cards under the door and let her go shopping. I just cross my fingers when the statements come in.

I don’ t think anyone has ever let him finish his whole speech. He seemed thrilled to read the last ten minutes and kept pausing to check if I was still there. I especially liked how he closed with: “Thank you for choosing mbnba bank”. Sorry but actually you cold-called me. I happened to answer the phone but I definitely didn’t choose you.

I didn’t want to break his poor little heart though so I said nothing and am eagerly anticipating whatever it is he just signed me up for.

The Real World: Resume Edition

I’m working on the ol’ resume. No, I’m not planning on leaving my day job anytime soon, I have it pretty good here. It’s my part time job that is starting to drive me crazy (see the ridiculousness here). I love serving, don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t because I don’t need to.

I just know it’s time to leave a place when I start dreading having to even enter the code at the back door to get in and start my shift. And I don’t just dread it because my memory friggin sucks and I can never remember the stupid code.

Anyway, while updating (read: embellishing) my resume I started thinking about resumes in general. If I was honest my resume would look something like this:

03/2007 – Present
The Oil Company I Work For
Exec Ass’t & Office Admin

– Delegating responsibility to my underling
– Writing Blog entries
– Dealing with whiney sarcastic jerks at phone/xerox/computer companies
– Trying to appease 5 bosses
– Writing letters, filing letters, signing letters, posting letters, assigning letter-writing to others, responding to letters, stacking letters, unstacking letters

10/2006 – Present
The Restaurant I Serve At
P/T Server

– Seeing how many wine glasses I can carry in one hand without dropping any (I’m up to 9)
– Chatting with hostesses in hopes they will seat my section when I am bored
– Making fun of guests in the service alley
– Telling new people to find something (like a bacon-stretcher) in the basement. There is no basement. There is no bacon-stretcher.
– Flirting with cute co-workers/managers/guests

Volunteer Experience

10/2007 – Present: Chair of Oil Company Charity Committee (pick random charities, give them company money)
07/2006 – Present: Global Parent, Unicef (give them money)
1998-2006 – Bingo/Casino (was forced to do this for extracurricular activities)
2001 – Bilingual Debate Tournament Judge (received desperately needed bonus marks in Social Studies)
1995 – 1999: SPCA (got to play with dogs and skip church on occasion)

Summary of Qualifications

– Demonstrated excellent hand-eye coordination
– Prone to make others look superior
– Ability to deal with aforementioned whiney, sarcastic jerks
– Happily find ways to rid you of hard-earned money via charity organisations
– Superior winking, giggling & eyelash-batting skills

I Need Another Vacation

[Aside: Surviving Myself put on a writing contest, which I entered yesterday. Check it out here – he announces the winner tomorrow. The criteria was that it was supposed to be humorous and start with the sentence “He was confused.” Great idea – check it out!]

I hate traveling to places that I know nothing about. I watch the Amazing Race, I know what those people look like. I don’t want to be one of them. “Why isn’t anyone speaking English??” Well you fucktard, you are in China. There’s your first clue.

Anyway, to prevent this from happening, I always like to do a bit of research. I went to Cuba with ten girls, so before we left I read up on the history of the last one hundred years. Che Guevera? Check. Fidel Castro and his little band of governement-over-throwing militants hiding out in the mountain ranges? Check. Cuban Trade Embargo? Check. I was an expert on the topic (Side note: did you know that JFK was going to end the embargo, but the week before he was to sit down with Castro, he was shot? Um…Conspiracy?)

What else I learnt was to bring shampoo, soap, toys, crayons, clothes you never wear, spices, first aid supplies, cream, toothpaste, gum etc. They have none of this stuff, or what they have is really poor quality. We left gifts on the pillows in the morning and in return we got little animals shaped out of our towels.

The first night we were there, we all decided to go party in Veradero. At one peso per beer how could you go wrong? Well in this outdoor/indoor bar – walls but no roof? Check. Bathrooms but no toilets? Check. Trees growing out of the dance floor? Check. We all drank copious amounts of alcohol and by the time we decided to leave, we were all stumbly, hooker-drunk losers. I grabbed one of the girls and we headed back to the resort.

In the condition I was in, I never should have tried to speak to the cab driver in Spanish but I did. I was trying to say “¡Es tan oscuro aquí! La noche es tan negra” (It’s so dark here! The night is so black) because it is literally BLACK out. You can’t see ten feet in front of you. I ended up saying something along the lines of: “¡La noche es tan oscura como un asno del negro!”. I still go red thinking about it.

Not sure where I came up with that, but I didn’t realize what I’d said until I told my dad about the cab driver giving me a very strange look. After I told him the sentence, he laughed for about five minutes before letting me in on what it meant. The night is as dark as a black man’s ass. Nice one Alice. Way to not be an ignorant tourist.

The Problem With the Gym

Alice: I need to renew my gym membership. Like, yesterday.

Frenchie: I need to renew my will power. Can I pay for that? I would… a lot

Alice: I think they accept your soul as payment

I meet with my new trainer this week. He is Scottish and sounds very intimidating on the phone. The first trainer I had was from Newfoundland and laughed at pretty much everything I did. And not in the “gee you sure are funny!” way. No, more of a “haven’t you EVER stood on one leg on a teetering Bosu Balance Trainer while throwing a ten pound medicine ball rythmically against the floor and simultaneously doing leg presses with ankle weights on? No? Ha ha – wow you newb!” sort of laughing at me way.

I’m always nervous meeting a trainer. I actually asked for a girl trainer the first time but was paired up with the Newfie. I’m sort of glad I had a guy because although I wasn’t attracted to him, I wanted to work harder to impress him. Or something like that. With a girl I’d just try to gossip with her to distract her from the fact that I wasn’t really working out. At all. Ever.

The thing with the trainer though is that if they’re too good looking you’re embarrased to work hard. Sweat pouring down your face, arms quivering with the strain of that ten pound weight (kidding – I lift at least 12.5), real or imaginary flab jiggling everywhere as you jog in place. I need to not be thinking about what my trainer would look like naked and instead be concentrating on how many more times I can lunge before I collapse on the floor like a puddle of out-of-shape Jell-O.

Another thing? All the trainers seem to have photographic memories. “Alice! We haven’t seen you in three weeks, two days and six hours! Have you been away? No? Well, you can sure tell” *wink* Do they take that as a class in preparation to become a trainer? Memorize all members’ schedules. When you see a member, mark it in the little book. Always check this book the next time they are in to ensure you can embarass them with the knowledge that it’s been 24 days since they were last in.

Also, what’s with the hip thrust maneuver? In case you are unfamiliar, it’s where you lay on your back, put your feet on a slightly raised area – like a step, bend your knees and rhythmically raise your hips up and down. Yes, just like when you’re having sex – well, if you were having relatively boring sex. Somehow when I do them it always seems to be perfectly timed to the worst song. I just start with the hip thrust – and up, and down – when inevitably “This is Why I’m Hot” starts playing. Way to call attention to yourself and look like a huge narcissistic asshole at the same time.

(It’s my picture and I’ll make myself as damn skinny as I want to)

Most. Awkward. Night. Ever.

I had a fabulous day. I was woken up at 8:30 am (yes, I realize an early wake-up does not a fabulous day make – wait for it) by my friend Blondie to let me know West Jet was having a seat sale. She’s been trying to get me to come to PEI with her for ever. We booked our flights round trip for $380! To understand the ridiculousness of this you have to know that it’s across the country (obviously) and that when I went to Newfoundland in 2002 it cost me $1100 – and that was considered “cheap”.

Anyhow, after booking it (in one month I’ll be in Halifax, traveling through New Brunswick, over the Confederation Bridge and into PEI!) a whole group of us decided to go rafting down the river. Since Calgary has no real beaches, unless you count the slew in the South which is more of a man made sewage lake, this is the next best thing. There are literally thousands of people who go on a nice day, drink beer, listen to music and float along down the river. It was fantastic – my day was shaping up very nicely.

My work sponsored a Heavy-Horse Pull team this year (I sound like such a cowboy lately – I swear it’s just because the Stampede is here this week) so I brought two of my very good friends – PA and his wife Frenchie (one girl whom I can tell anything to without ever being judged – love her). We watched the event and drank free beer and generally had a really good time. The cute singer of the band at the event even came and introduced himself to me, which was sweet.

One of the Committee Chairmen and I were chatting and he asked where my boyfriend was. I said I didn’t have one since O/N and I haven’t really talked about it or anything. So he goes into the whole “Well, why not? Pretty young girl like yourself?” To which I always feel like answering:

“Because I don’t actually need a boyfriend to feel good and secure and like I’m worth something. I’m perfectly happy being myself, independent and knowing that I have all my fantastic friends and a great guy who I like spending time with. I don’t necessarily need the labels and the crap that may come with it and maybe in a few years time I’ll be all over that like white on rice but for now I’m actually quite content just living and taking things as they come.”

But of course I didn’t say that. I laughed, shrugged and said something awkward. You know with the whole batting of the eyelashes. “Tee hee, I dunno”.

So that’s fine. Cab drivers ask me if I’m married all the time and when I say no they ask why. When I was a receptionist, the clients in the reception area would ask me if I was married and why not. Strangers always ask me if I’m married and although I feel like telling them that I’m not sure I ever even want to be married and it’s none of their business anyway, I don’t. I laugh and blow it off, but it does get kind of annoying.

It wouldn’t have bothered me so much except that walking to the bar with PA and Frenchie we ran into my friend Bubbly and her new boyfriend. Then my friend PartyGirl and her new boyfriend. We proceeded to the bar with Bubbly and bf, where we met her friends. Another couple. I’m normally very good at not being awkward or even feeling like a 5th (7th?) wheel but this was like coupledom embodied. So between the texts with O/N (who was out with his guy friends for a birthday) I had to enjoy 3 new couples and a married set. Granted the marrieds are the best and I never feel awkward with them. New couples however? Totally different story.

So I left.

And here I am, drunk and rambling. Maybe I’m being a big baby and should have just sucked it up and enjoyed spending some QT with my friends, but really? Not feeling it. Plus I met three really awesome people while waiting for a cab outside, which we ended up all sharing. To thank me for sharing (cabs are impossible to find this week) they paid for my fare so I guess all in all the day was actually pretty great. I think I’ll just have to stay out of those awkward 5th wheel situations for a while.

Sorry!

“Do you know where I can get a FastForward [newspaper] around here?”

“Hmm, I think the Unicorn Pub down the street may have some. It’s a few blocks though”

“Is that place still open?”

“Well it was the Dubliner for a while but it’s back to The Unicorn now…”

“Nowhere closer?”

“I don’t think so, sorry”

Canadians apologize for everything. We apologize to people we pass in the street, even if we’re the one to step off the curb to make room. We apologize to cab drivers if they take a wrong turn, we somehow figure it was our fault; “Sorry my house is actually ten minutes in the other direction. So sorry”.

We apologize for missing a friends phone call. We apologize for taking the last drops of coffee, the last donut, the last piece of cake. I woke up in the middle of the night, went to get a glass of water, tripped on my coffee table and promptly apologized to it.

We even apologize for apologizing too much, and for that, I’m very sorry.

Bistro Watching

The tomatoes sit on the saute station; shiny, red, ripe – the green stems holding them together like a trail of school children holding hands while crossing the street. The smell emulating from the fourno oven is that of pine nuts roasting; pungent and woody. As I sit at the bar, watching the chefs in a somewhat calm disorder garnishing, tossing, grilling; I bite into my warm, sweet, walnut-stuffed fig after carefully slicing through the crisp, salty prusciutto enveloping it.

The girls next to me emit a high shriek worthy of having stumbled upon a graveyard of spiders, or perhaps finding a pair of Louboutins on sale. Certainly not a shriek worthy of the mere mention of her friend Dave. She tosses her hair and smiles broadly. Her friend speaks to her in a low voice. The gales of laughter that follow are a testament to the easygoing triviality of the conversation.

I catch the waitress’ eye and she gives me a knowing half smile. These girls are here all the time, the high heels and skirt suits at odds with their girlish demeanors. The hairstyles may change; the shoes, the facial expressions, the outfits will change but the girls will remain the same in essence. I am these girls. We all are.

The men across the bar sip their wine, swirling it pompously in their goblets, watching as the legs trail down the interior of the glass to the burgundy pool below. They discuss the merits of “liquid lunches”, which are especially rampant during Stampede week. They argue about the possibility of rain. The one with the glasses being of the point of view that rain is inevitable; the grey-haired, slightly heavy man believing the sky will remain cloudless; the sun continuing to emanate rays all afternoon. The one with the glasses is the one who will end up being right.

A family sits behind me, the son wearing an expression of resentment and boredom. His mother scolds him, telling him to take his earphones out while they are eating dinner together, as a family. I smile, remembering our family dinners all too well. I once cried because we went to the same restaurant and they sat us at the same table and I was sure we were going to order the same thing we had last time. There were six of us, my parents and their four daughters, so table choices were limited. Even back then, at five years old, I needed change – thrived on it.

After dropping off my bill, the waitress sighs heavily and begins rolling cutlery in large white cloths. She has had tourists all day; Europeans who are used to having the tip included in the cost of the meal. Children who can’t stop exclaiming over the horses! Outside! Look mommy, look!

She has been wearing her boots for five hours, without stopping to stretch her toes, massage her feet or even pull up the sock that has fallen indolently below her ankle. She pauses now to turn up the country music that can scarcely be heard over the din of chatter in the bistro. By weeks end everyone will be sick of country music but for now it is a welcome distraction.

I place my money in the bill fold, leaving an extra large tip as I know too well what she is going through. I walk out of the bistro as the first raindrop falls to the earth. The door swings shut behind me, and still the chefs garnish, toss and grill. And still the tomatoes hold hands.

%d bloggers like this: