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Location: Canada

I weigh over 300 lbs. so don't waste your time schmoozing for a date.


Oh, Gawd, it's the Family Holiday Get-Together

It's been ages, but today I blog.

I made a fiscally conscious decision not to connect the internet and cable when we purchased our new home in July. I miss the internet but it is such a time-sucker for me with little accomplished.

And what have I accomplished in 6 months? Getting used to being separated from husband #2 (a plant swung and rubbed against my lower back...I really miss that plant right now) redoing hardwood floors, getting used to not travelling with work, babysitters, kids in a new school...

I said I would write. Being alone at night is good for creativity. But instead my DVD collection is growing (Bridget Jones, please never leave me.)

So today I am hiding in my little brother's room, on his 'puter, waiting for the last of the family/psycho holiday Ahhh to be over. But the girls loved running around with their cousins and I have suppresed my anxiety with the help of Lindor (dear chocolate, you must always be near also.)

All in all, the year is ending worse than I had hoped at the beginning of 2005. I really have to do something about that for next year.

Take Care everyone!



This week our call center finished transitioning 600 agents to another client. It was a lot of training and I am glad to be done my last class.

I was getting a bit bored of the routine of the courses I was facilitating and the agents didn't enjoy working nights, so I asked if they would like to make a video one night. We talked about a few ideas. We were going to make a documentary about sushi (the perfect food) and each part is a vital part of customer service. We scrapped that very bad idea in exchange for a mockumentary about training new customer service representatives.

Ideas were kicked around:

 A drill sargent telling new hires that customer's come first, use empathy statements or else!

 Representatives can talk about their feelings to a psychiatrists.

 A priest-like character were agents that have erred can confess.

As everyone was leaving for the night, I called, "If anyone wants to write a script, bring it in tomorrow." Two minutes later I started writing.

One hour and forty-five minutes later I came up for air. Done.

The next day I was quite nervous, to be honest. I didn't want everyone to say they liked it just because I'm their trainer. I asked if anyone had written anything, of course no one had, so I offered mine. It isn't easy putting yourself out there.

However the script was well received and after a few casting changes the class went home with prop designations.

Filming: What a day! Full of teamwork. The odd grumble towards the end but it really was fun. A few changes and improvements here and there.

Someone with the proper editing program took it home and compiled it.

Today we all got to see the finished product. It worked out really well! Completely novice, of course, only about 6 minutes long, but those that we called in to view it also liked it.

It felt awesome to see our names on the credits. Quite the rush!


Necessity: The Mother of Invention, Unfortunately Based on a True Story

This is the story that got my highest rating ever on Zoetrope (still only 6.5/10):

In the Gaggle of Giggles Day Care it is Friday, a.k.a. Sandwichday for the noon meal. The buns are rising and just a quick jaunt to the fridge is needed to grab the necessary lucheon meats and cheese. Suddenly the realization hits that the first of those is missing.


If only this ridiculous disagreement with the couple next door about the fence was finished so an actual organized thought would be possible. And who is she to complain about colour? One more glimpse of Daisy Colburn's entirely patterned and mismatched clothing and a pair of jeans will have to be delivered to her. Not to mention that catalog specializing in cubic zirconian jewellery the mailman left here by mistake one morning. As if everyone didn't know that garbage she drips in isn't--but enough, back on task.

Okay, the old fail safe PB&J can work.
Frick, frick, frack, out of the latter.

A great substitute for jam is honey. No, all gone a month ago on a Wedne--Bakingday. Time to check the freezer. A vat of soup everyone hated and chocolate icing. The only fruit left in the house is oranges ruling out any chances of apple-cinnamon oyster buns or peanut butter and banana.

A mental note is made to actually allow one of the many grocery lists lying around the house make the journey to the grocery store.

Corn Syrup, syrup...pancakes? French Toast? No, the point of Sandwichday is to escape a pile of dishes.

And didn't Daisy have to cluck her tongue at the porcelain and plastic tower of Piza in here one morning when she dropped in UNANNOUNCED as always. She purposefully comes to the back door to file her report on the status of everyone's kitchen.

Okay, time to start cooking some french fries for a time-buying appetizer. Maybe stick some candies in the top of each bun and...and what?


Fill each bun with something. To the cupboard with its hodgepodge of ingredients. The saving conocotion is here. Vanilla, lifesaver candies, peanut butter, cornmeal, baker's chocolate, oatmeal, dried cranberries, cake sprinkles, cloves, five lollipops--grape, orange, orange, grape, oh, also a lemon that escaped the bag--pure spearmint extract, a small roll of hallowe'en rocket candy...

Inspiration dawns.


The fries are done. Hurry, hurry, get the buns in the oven. Mind reeling at the absolute brilliance of the plan.

It needs a name...thinking, thinking...Friday Funday.

Now to round a small bowl of ketchup with the french fries on a dinner plate, cover and set them in the middle of the large, white-laminent, rectangular table. Done. That won't be enough to hold them. Oranges are hacked into quarters and thrown on yet another plate but remain on the kitchen counter.


Needed: a pestal and mortar.
Substituted: a cafe au lait mug and a large spoon.

The first four ingredients are plucked from their different dark corners. Crushing them a few at a time works rather well. Some powder more than others, some shatter. Hmph.

A moment of uncertainty. What if it doesn't go over? Children can be fickle imps. Damn, there is no way this is going to fool them. Perhaps just scrap it and do Cheese Whiz. No, even if they love it, that stuff is total garbage, not that this is much better.

Point of no return.
Just go with it.

School children come in the door signalling the commencement of the meal hour. Eleven children pounce upon the appetizer.

"No double dipping that's gross!"

"Hey, I was looking at that one!"

"Sweetie, take your hand out of your pants and please go wash them BEFORE!" a lunge to arrest a reaching hand, "you get another french fry."

The timer for the buns sounds. No, they aren't brown yet.

A glance out the window shows Pansy puttering in her garden. Nice sandals. That reminds: Did she see that involuntary eye rolling the last time she was here begging invites to her Lingerie Party? Alright, enough, exorcizing Daisy from this day's thoughts.

Fast, little shrimps out there scarfing it down....come on...buns be done...almost there...time to unleash the orange quarters.

Buzzer again. Out they come.


"Why? Well, we are having the oranges first instead of last because today is Friday Funday, so we are doing everything in a mixed up order. AND!..."

(Really sell it, girl.)

"It is still Sandwich Day, BUT!..."

Good, good, a few eyes are wide, a couple actually halt their feeding frenzy and snap their heads up.

"You have probably NEVER! eaten this kind of sandwich before in your life! SO! There is no peeking into the kitchen or it will ruin part of the fun!"

The buns are halved, slathered and dropped on a serving plate. Make one for each to start.

A triumphant relay from a spy is heard: "I saw peanut butter!!!"

Another roll of the eyes, a call of no peeking and a challenge of, "But can you think of the other part? It is something you have probably never had on a sandwich before."

Eleven children makes an uneven number of sandwiches...keep the extra one in the kitchen or there will undoubtably be a argumentative situation to contend with.

Finally the topping is dashed on.

"Are you READY?!?"


"Okay...here they are...Peanut Butter and Candy Sandwiches!"

Saliva glands begin spewing and anticipatory adreneline manifests itself in excited wiggles.

Doubt is obliterated after one minute and forty-seven seconds when the first batch has vanished.

"I didn't get a piece of purple and that's my favourite colour."

"You made one extra!"

Damn, forgot about that little bugger sandwich. However, the next helping is ready to go and a fight is unable to get off the ground.

"Are we allowed to lick the bits off the plate?"

"Boys that eat pink candy turn into a girl, give it to me."

"I love Friday Funday! When is the next one?"

A sigh of relieved triumph. If only parents knew what a trial it is to rot their children's teeth.


Who could tell?

I've wanted to "be a writer" for as long as I can remember.

As a teenager I wrote poems about death, boys and parents that didn't understand.

I look back and see how silly they were. But I'd like to think they were the start of something worthwhile.

So here I sit again. My laptop and me.

Looking back on my weekend I realize why I didn't write anything other than re-work two lines of a song: The TV.

What's on in the background-mostly-frontground right now? The Witches of Eastwick. It's a good thing I'm watching this again. Heaven forbid I miss Devil Jack eating fruit and snarling.

After we move I am not getting cable. It's become my mantra "I will not get cable, I will not get cable."

Life is about balance. And productivity is one of the things that need to be weighted properly. 'Time to get rid of some of the drains.

Right after this movie.


Moving All Over

We are moving into our new house soon. After 3 years living in a "temporary" one!

Even though I periodically go through things and throw out everything that hasn't been used in the past year (within reason) it's still annoying.


Now what could be worse than moving? Moving twice in one week, of course! And that's exactly what we signed up for!

Here's the sequence of events that got us in this situation:

•I put in an offer on our new house
•They counter-offered
•I accepted the counter-offer
•I gave the landlord notice
•I had inspections done on the new house: home inspection, electrical, furnace, video of the plumbing
•The owner of the home asked for a closing date of July 6th, not the original June 29th and we said we couldn’t
•I put in another (lower) offer to cover some of the repairs. To sweeten the deal I gave them the July 6th date
•They accepted the new offer rendering us homeless for the week inbetween

The thought of moving twice makes this first move seem like more of a chore!


Elena's Steamy Letter

I steamed open a nine year old's mail today. I wanted to know who sent it but didn't want to deprive her of the fun of opening the letter.

I had to make asparagus anyway (the asparagus cravings have not gone away...it's been about a month now!) so steam was readily available. I've read her diary on occasion so this was not a big step.

Nothing is sacred to a curious mother.


Life was too small to contain her...

I really enjoy watching the movie, "Sylvia" with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Her life seems so romantic. A student at Cambridge, meeting Ted Hughes, starving together to get their writing off the ground, usually sacrificing her writing career for his, her discovery of his cheating, her depression.

There are a few scenes that stay with me.

Early in the movie she is at a cottage on the ocean. She has an entire summer to write. But she is blocked and bakes cakes instead.

Another is when she is upset about Ted's unfaithfulness. She says something along the lines of "What should I do, bask in your reflected glory?"

A lastly, the scene where she has her children in the car while she stands on a beach, contemplating suicide. Then the other when she provides for her children one last time before she kills herself.

What makes someone want to end it? Not even try anymore?