Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Almost Forgot to Add a Title

I saw this article today when I was at work and even though it seemed like the perfect time to read it (I wasn't busy at all until the last couple of hours) I only read it now.

I saw the headline and thought to myself I will go home and come up with 7 reasons that combat those reasons because obviously working from home is the shit.

And then, as so often happens, I read the article and changed my mind.

At least I did after points 1 and 2 because let's face it, I'm all about staying in my pyjamas, unshowered,  as long as possible and other people annoy me on a pretty constant basis.

But then he had to go and start making sense. Obviously I'm not looking to do the start-up thing. I do not have the brain power or the creativity. I'm thinking more that I stay home and do the Carrie Bradshaw

So I've come up with a new list (we've established that I love lists right?  Good because that has actually come up three different times today): Reasons Why I Will Never Be Carrie Bradshaw

1. Am not a Whore. Obviously have top respect for Carrie and Samantha, even Miranda and Charlotte. Are you kidding? I worship at the SATC alter. But let's be real for a second. No one has that much sex with that many different partners. I don't even think that there are enough days in a year to accomplish those kinds of numbers. So no whoring, no writing about whoring, no Carrie Bradshaw-ing.

2. Do not get paid to Write. Why would I? I can't even decide to stick with any kind of format when making lists. Capitals? Some? None? But getting paid to write (even about whoring) is kind of an essential part of the Carrie Bradshaw way of life.

3. I can't do the SJP pout. You know the one I mean. I can't do it. I can't even do my own version of it (unless you count the Barbizon phase of my life when I was 20 and that's an inside joke so you can't count it) - I just look confused. But Carrie? There is a pout for all seasons! Angry pout, thoughtful pout,  Paris, Big, make up-checking pouts!

4. Less Well Shod. Like women everywhere I cannot resist a beautiful shoe (I'm looking at you here Blasina) but I'm also a) much poorer than Carrie (see #3) and b) prone to falling down and also hurting my feet. The falling is getting better but it doesn't seem like there is anything that I can do about the bleeding feet. This probably has to do with budget. Bigger budget = better shoes.

5. I'm Not Neurotic. Again, don't get me wrong, I love SATC (you know, before they jumped the shark with that second movie) but Carrie has issues. And I'm a no nonsense kind of gal when it comes to relationships. Don't like something about a guy, don't dump on him to your girlfriends, tell him directly so that he knows and he can stop guessing why you're pissed. But if Carrie were so direct, what would she write about?

6. NYC is Not my Home. And I suspect I wouldn't fit in well there at all. Pretty sure that I am lacking that je ne sais quoi quality that is required to call a super metropolis like NYC home. We've all heard NYC referred to as the fifth lady on the show, so I feel like its safe to say that NYC is an essential Carrie-esque life quality.

7. I Don't Have Curly Hair. Always wanted curly hair. Don't have it. Can't even manufacture it. And let's face it, curly hair comes with Carrie territory. So unless I look into a perm...

There you have it. A list of all the things I don't have or am not. I'm pretty ok with it. But I would still like to work from home. In my pyjamas with cookies and greasy hair. 

I guarantee The Boyfriend is thrilled that I do not work from home right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am not a morning person.

That might be the biggest understatement that ever was. I can’t say for sure, I don’t live with me.

In so many ways, the Boyfriend and I are alike. Values and stuff. Also neither of us tan. At all. There are also many ways in which we are different. He’s Mr. Clean, I’m more likely to be slovenly. He’s a runner, I’m a couch surfer (at least I mostly was until we got Hugo). He was captain of his high school basketball team, I was in public speaking.

But all of these pale in comparison to our differences in the morning.

He’s one of those “let’s take on the day” kind of people. The kind that when doesn’t need an alarm because they get up before it goes off anyway. The kind of that gets right out of bed the moment they wake up/the alarm goes off. I’ve been told that he might as well get up because he’s already awake.

Which, to me, sounds insane.

I run more to the snooze button side of mornings. Once upon a time I used to set my alarm for 6:25 even though I didn’t have to be up until 7:00 just because it took me that long to gradually wake up. The snooze button went off every 10 minutes. Can you imagine living with that? Yeah, I’m not allowed to do that anymore.

We manage to work around the other on week day mornings. We leave at different times, have different responsibilities. The Boyfriend deals with all dog related business and I try not to walk into walls or fall down. Sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how stumbly I am when I am drunk with sleep. My eyes are unable to focus, my reflexes are slow and my spirit? Broken from lack of sleep.

But on the mornings where we get up early to either get things done or go away somewhere we have to coexist. And this. Becomes tricky. We’ve come up with a few ground rules to get us both safely through the morning.

1.       All outfits are to be selected in the evening.
2.       Any required packing is to be done in the evening.
3.       There is to be no talking until caffeine is introduced.
These ground rules go a long way to saving the relationship and getting me safely out the door.

But I still don’t like mornings. And I don’t think I will ever learn to be good at them.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Link Happy

Why don’t I write down the ideas that I have for blog posts?

I swear that I do spend more than a millisecond coming up with things to write about – although evidence that proves my dedication is decidedly light in these parts.

What happens? I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at a blank screen, willing inspiration to strike. What ends up striking is a fit of randomness that threatens to destroy the shred of credibility that I might have built up with last week’s impressive roll of like 3 posts.

I could tell you about the work party that I went to last week but it got so out of hand that I’m not even sure that it’s appropriate to discuss the finer points in the safe anonymity of my blog. Not that I was the one doing anything untoward, but you know-there may or may not have been nudity.

I could bitch and moan some more about the lack of direction in my new role but I’ve been told that I’m not really allowed to complain anymore because I’m not the receptionist anymore. In many ways, I suppose that this is true. People really don’t want to hear any more bitching and moaning from a first world nobody when there are real problems in the world.

So what then? Do I regale you with more impossibly adorable stories of my little man Hugo? Do I recount, in detail, how we bought him a bunch of treats that ended up costing more than our weekly grocery shop? How we bought him a puppy puzzle that he figured out immediately? How I took him for a hike in the morning and he didn’t move again until late evening?

That part was actually awesome.

But it doesn’t fill up an entire blog post. But feel free to comment on the fact that our dog is clearly spoiled.

I could chronicle my chase for pictures of Kim Kardashian’s wedding dress. But you don’t really want to hear about how I can only find pictures of her from the shoulders up at this point. And I would have to tell you that I’m not terribly fond of the little headband thing, despite everyone saying that she looks like an Armenian Princess. I’d have to agree with you, and of course that would be extremely appropriate given that she is a self described Armenian Princess. But I just want to see the dress! And I still don’t really like the circlet thing.

In that same vein I could tell you about my excitement upon realizing that the September Issue of Vogue is already out. And, my delightful surprise that a real supermodel on the cover. And the pictures inside. Kate Moss. Wedding. I guess I could say that I’m going to need to carve out some time for that this week. I could tell you that I should finish reading the August one with SJP on the cover first  but that I’m not sure how much “I struggle just like any other working mom” crap I can take out of that one. Not that I don’t love her as Carrie Bradshaw I would say, but her choices since Sex and the City – she ain’t no Carrie Bradshaw.

Or I could just give up on today and keep googling pictures of Miss Piggy and listen to the Backstreet Boys. And if you’ve read this whole thing, then that might just be the safest course of action.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Google Me

I’ve been trying to do a better job posting regularly this week. It’s been a while. Know that I’ve missed it but I couldn’t think of anything interesting and some days I was just too busy to squeeze the time in (see posts on my dog). But you’ve been missed and I will make a better effort.

So in this frame of mind I decided to take a look at what kinds of searches brought people to me in the hopes that it would enlighten me as to what you would like to read about and maybe serve as some kind of inspiration. I have to say that I think some of these searchers and I would get along very well. Also, a lot of people seem to think that Dutch people are insane because that is a common search that brings you here. Here are some of my other favourites:

·         Umbrella smells
·         Video Russell brand homeless man jerk off
·         Hangover policy
·         Jobs for people with extreme patience (not sure how this brought anyone here though)
·         Gloria bridezilla unibrow

This really is a safe space for all people. But sadly I don’t know what to write about for those of you looking for unibrows and homeless jerk offs. Good searches though. Creative. Hope you eventually found what you were looking for?

Today I forgot that there were going to be a bunch of clients in the office that I would have to dress nice for. It’s my Friday so I’m wearing jeans. But subconsciously this morning I must have remembered something because I managed to dig heels out of my closet and pop on a blazer. From my ankles up I look respectable and I’m comfortable, a masterful combination.

Ankles down it’s a different story. My heels were taller than I’ve worn in a long time. Turns out that when clients are in the office I run around a lot more than I’m used to. So my pretty feet were running around in size 10 torture devices. The round toe that make my clown feet look petite became frilled foot prisons, rubbing the skin off my toe knuckles. The nice little cushiony rubber bubble things (some might call them insoles of some sort) for the balls of my feet suffocated my swollen dogs (dogs as in another word for feet) until I could barely even fit them back in the shoe. And thanks for a skyscraper pair of shoes I tried on my knee is a little messed up, aggravated today by the height of the shoes I had chosen.

Solution? Flip flops. Which are no solution in an office. So my feet are tucked way under my desk and whenever I need to run back down to the meeting room to ensure the clients’ are accommodated I force my poor feet back into the shoes and hobble over. Until they can see me and then I walk proud hoping that no one can see the tears of pain in my eyes.

Also? My nails are a disaster. Someone actually asked me if I painted my nails with white out. I did not. But I can see how people might think that.

I need weekend. Thankfully, for me, it’s here.

PS if you have time (and you do) click here and do some good for the world. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lady Drama

My new role that I was kind of tricked into taking (its seriously a whole other post, that might never happen until I know exactly what the hell happened), involves being a part of a group of about 12 women that are in the same role on various other projects. We work closely together in that some of us are paired up, we are supposed to help each other out where possible and if we were a well oiled machine – well we could easily run this place.

But. A group of 12 strong personality-ed women can be a bit like navigating shark invested waters with a bloody steak in your hand.

Oh Lord the drama! The DRAMA. Everything is so horrible/stressful/difficult/life changing. The backstabbing. The constant undermining and under-the-bus-throwing. Women have come so far in the workplace and yet? Have we really?

This happens to be a more male dominated office (and industry). I feel like this really spotlights the different work habits and I am way more sensitive to the way that I, as a woman, am perceived in the office. Oh I know, we’re all supposed to be equal in the office, but we’re still not. And do you know why? Because of the following things that women still do at work:

1.       Bake. Yes it’s nice to have the talents to whip up a batch of homemade cookies/cupcakes/pastries and I enjoy a nice treat as much as the next pleasantly plump jerk but why do you always need to bring these things into the office? It’s callous to say but if you bring in tasty treats like little Susie Homemaker, you are immediately demoted to housewife. If you want to be taken seriously, leave the treats at home.

2.       Dress like a Ho. I don’t know in which Life manual it tells women that the way to get ahead is to dress like a skank. Yes, men will notice you. Yes, you will probably get male attention. But do you think that you will get taken seriously when all people see when they look at you are breasts and legs? Oh I’ve heard the stories of the girls who work in restaurants for a decade and have enough money to buy their own place, but at what cost? If you dress like a ho, the wrong kind of assumptions will be made. Cover it up.

3.       Bring the Drama. It seems to me that, for some women, the only way to get through life is to be extra dramatic. Every little thing from stubbing a toe to extra paperwork is the end of the world. These women take their perceived troubles to their managers to get a boost. They create drama because, although they profess to hate it, they actually thrive in it. There is nothing an office needs less than drama.

4.       Cry. Sometimes life is just overwhelming and that one harsh word from a colleague or a manager is the thing to start the tears flowing. Just like in baseball, there is no crying in the office. As per the book title of the infinitely wise Kelly Cutrone, if you need to cry, go outside. Ms. Cutrone knows what she’s talking about and these are words to live by. If you must cry at the office, might be a good idea to take a walk, or go to the bathroom. Just don’t go into your manager’s office and let him/her see you cry. This isn’t the schoolyard and your manager is not your teacher.

5.       Talk About Their Kids. This might be my biggest pet peeve. I don’t have an issue with those people that occasionally offer up a funny anecdote about their kids or those that list an exceptional achievement by their offspring. Pride is natural and I enjoy a good laugh at the expense of others. But those women that constantly discuss all the brilliant/hilarious/adorable/disgusting/ridiculous things that their kids do on a daily basis? Not even daily. Constant. With the pictures too. All over their desks, on their phones always ready to show you the next adorable shot of their kid covered in cake, running around naked, wearing  a diaper as a hat. And the baby voices. It has to stop. I can’t take much more. You never see a man engaging in the same kind of paternal pride. And they? Tend to reside more in corner offices.

It may not be fair, you may rail against the establishment for not catching up to 2011. But this is the way the world works. So you either have to play the game, or get left on the bench.

Put the baby pictures away, leave the baking at home and for god’s sake, stop with all the drama.  I can’t take much more!

On a personal note I'd like you all to send some extra good vibes to my friend The Record today. She could use them! Record, you're on my mind today. Hang in there, I will talk to you later.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weather Or Not?

Weather is an obsession in this coastal city of mine.

Weather conversations have moved well beyond the realm of polite banter topics to an all consuming passion that is discussed with everyone from your nearest and dearest to the bus driver to the barista that makes your favourite caffeinated beverage.

For the record, I do not indulge in this bellyaching hobby. I prefer to take the weather as it comes. It’s not like I’m X-Men’s Storm and I can change it.

This year, weather griping seems to be at an all-time high. Ask any of the amateur weather casters in this city and they will tell you that it has been the coldest, wettest summer on record. Ask any professional meteorologist and they will probably tell you that this isn’t so.

When I was still the Receptionist here I would have upwards of 25 different conversations with people about the weather. Every day. I had to smile and listen to a-hole things like “sure glad that summer decided to stop by today!” or “hope you enjoyed summer yesterday” or even “ju-vember is sure shaping up nicely”

Ha! You’re so funny. ‘Ju-vember’- because its July but it feels like November right? Hilarious!

Shut up.

You know what’s nice about not suffering through some ridiculous heat wave a la the east coast? Old people don’t die from heat exhaustion. Entire forests don’t burn, swallowing homes and business as they tear through whole communities leaving only devastation and heartbreak.

And on a personal note, I can sleep at night, cozy in my bed, wrapped up in blankets because I’m not sweating out of every pore in my body. I don’t need to sleep on a cold wet towel, or take a cold shower before I spend the night wide awake on my bed willing the fans to blow cold air around instead of just circulating the hot air. I also don’t need to spend precious moments talking The Boyfriend out of spending hard earned dollars on an air conditioning unit we would use for maybe 2 whole weeks in the year.

I’m not sure what good it does to obsess over the various weather forecasts in this city either. Turns out we live in a coastal rainforest which means the weather often changes faster than we can predict it. I feel bad for the meteorologists in this city – they so rarely get it right and people here…they just set so much stock by the weather. Oh my god, what do you mean they said it would be sunny today and now its cloudy? You had a picnic planned and everything?!

Move on. Get on board with my philosophy: Vancouver weathercasters can tell you what it did today and what it’s doing right now. That’s all (and it’s really not their fault, they are victims of their environment). Admittedly its annoying to have to carry around an umbrella, an extra sweater, and different weather shoes every day but while you’re bitching about the weather, stop and take a look at where you live and maybe the extra load will be worth it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Water Monster

Bonus post! After weeks of nothing, 2 posts in one day? Lucky you!

The other day The Boyfriend was running a bath and nearly got knocked over backwards into it when a 50+ pound “puppy” came barreling into the bathroom to try and jump in the tub.

I expect these kinds of hi-jinks from a Labrador, but a German Shepherd? Especially a (generally) well behaved shepherd? Never!

We did a lot of research about the breed before we took the plunge. We recognized that we were taking on a BIG dog (oddly enough it still surprises us on a near daily basis just how big the dog is actually turning out to be) that a lot of people are automatically intimidated by and we wanted to make sure that we socialized him properly and introduced him to all kinds of situations. And in most of the books it said that German Shepherds are not real water dogs. They don't hate it, but they don't search it out either.

We decided that, living in Vancouver, it would just be silly for the dog not to be a water dog since we are so perfectly situated along oceans and inlets. Plus in the summer we see a fair amount of lake time and we wouldn’t want little Hugo Stiglitz to be left out would we? No. So we took baby steps. The first time we bathed him in our own bathtub it sounded like we were murdering him. He screamed and struggled and scratched and screeched and afterwards he looked pathetic and drowned and adorable all at the same time.

We took him to the water’s edge when we went up to the lake and let him get his feet wet just so he could see what it was like. We threw his toy just out of reach to encourage him to go get it. I went in the water to show him that it was ok (and even though it was June at the time, that water was FREEZING).

We set up a little kiddie pool in the backyard when we were up there and encouraged Hugo to play around in it, get his feet wet, splash around.

Hugo's favourite place: the lake.
But the real help came when The Boyfriend’s parents’ dog ran straight into the water from the boat launch, so excited for some swim time that she had little regard for the poor little puppy sitting at the water’s edge. The last time we were up there the two of them were swimming circles around me, almost daring each other to jump straight off the dock into the deep water (as it happened, they both fell off the dock anyway and were none the worse for wear. I’m sure next time we will vainly yell at them to stop before the disappear over the edge of the dock into the fresh cold water).

We were so proud of our little water adventurer, bucking the supposed German Shepherd trend.

Now it’s getting out of hand though. We can’t walk past any body of water without Hugo straining at the leash to throw himself in it. He walks through puddles just for the sensation. And hours after we sent him to the puppy spa he was frolicking off leash when he saw the pond at the university and ran for it. He stopped momentarily at the edge in response to our cries to do so, but only for a moment before he gave himself over to the wonderful feeling of being submerged in clear cold water on a hot summer’s day.

I laughed at the time, but this bathtub business is going too far. He’s way too big for my bathtub. I like taking baths and I’m not sharing my bathtub with some giant hairy dog, as much as I love the little bastard.

No, no. We’re going to have to nip that in the bud. What’s that? Close the doors you say? Would be an effective solution, if he didn’t know how to open them.