Thursday, May 24, 2012

So how's your day going? Mine? Not so good.

I fell down yet again. Seriously, I fall with staggering regularity.  And contrary to what KW might think, it has fuck all to do with the fact that I was wearing flip flops.  I fall off of sensible shoes too.  I once hit the dirt in my bare feet.  I'm clumsy.  Always have been.

So the truly sad part is not that I fell again.  Nor is it that I fell in the street on one of those hideous dark days when it rains so hard that the worms come to the surface and lounge on the pavement to avoid getting crushed by the weight of the water-logged earth.  It's not that I scraped a toe, bruised my knee  and ended up with the possibly permanent indent on my key ring on my thumb in the process.  It's not that I tore my coat on the way down or that no fewer than ten people witnessed it.  The sad part is not even that I'm sitting at work in icky, wet jeans with mud encrusted on both knees, all the way down my left leg and across the fattest part of my arse.

No.  The truly said part is that the force of the fall made the still-warm crusty baguette I was carrying go shooting out of the end of the bag like a golden brown torpedo onto the wet ground.  and I'm sorry, but the five second rule goes straight out the window in the rain.  Or in the street for that matter.

So, while I'm having a green salad for lunch, bugs, worms and an entire flock of shit-hawks are feasting on my baguette.  Bastards.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In my defence...

I didn't consciously set out to snarf down seven Pirate cookies in the space of thirty-five minutes. I only meant to eat one or two, three at the most, with my morning tea. But because I was stressed to the hilt and freakishly busy, I mindlessly reached for the bag every time some arsehole infuriated me, and before I knew it, the row had vanished. (Sidebar - seven arseholes infuriated me in the space of thirty-five minutes! Isn't that the real problem here?)

In my shame and embarrassment I decided I couldn't let my coworkers know that I ate seven cookies at a sitting (although if the size of my can is any indication they might already have an inkling) so I quickly figured out a way to save face and I did it. I am not proud. And while my binge won't hurt anyone else, I can't help but visualize myself standing in front of a room full of fellow tubbies at some 12-step meeting saying "Hello, my name is Helen and I'm a binger" and the rest of them chiming in "Hi, Helen" as they surreptitiously lick their lips to remove any traces of the glazed doughnut and mochaccino they stuffed down on the way in.

Although I'm probably overreacting. We all stuff ourselves with shit that we shouldn't from time to time, don't we?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quick Question...

This is just between you and me so you can tell the truth. Have you ever eaten an entire row of Christie Pirate cookies (arguably the best cookie on the planet) in one sitting then, as you wiped the crumbs from your chin, removed the plastic tray from the bag, turned it 180 degrees, slid it back into the bag, and eaten just one more cookie so that the next person to open the bag thinks that you only ate one? (And if so, is this reasonable grounds for your friends and family to stage an intervention?)


Me neither.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Feeling hot, hot, hot

I hate summer. Heat and humidity make me feel pukey, grumpy and tired. It's June and already we are in the middle of a heat wave. The other day the humidex reading was forty-one degrees. Usually we don't get heat waves until July when we've had several weeks of warm to help us prepare for it, but this heat wave came out of nowhere, like that police officer who gave me a ticket for failing to come to a complete stop in the middle of buttfuck nowhere with absolutely nobody in a five mile radius, (except for the officer obviously. Bastard. That, friends, is a story for another day). Last week, I still had the duvet on my bed and sleeping was quite comfortable. This week the only thing on the bed is me in my granny knickers, not a pretty picture, let me assure you. I've spent the past three nights sprawled on top of the bed with the fan blowing on high, trying to get a decent night's rest, but it's hard to settle in for a night of blissful slumber with rivulets of sweat trickling down your cracks and crevices. Again, I have procrastinated and I am paying the price. I have a perfectly good air-conditioner sitting in the closet waiting to be installed, but I thought I had at least a few more weeks to do it. And now, it's too bloody hot to do it. Rumour has it that the humidity is going to break for the weekend so guess what I'm doing. I'm sure there will be funny little stories to tell about that. I am useless with tools and the air conditioner is heavy, large and awkward. Should be interesting. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Really must revise the mail filing system...

About eight weeks ago I received a little pile of mail. I don't actually remember it, but if my usual routine is any indication, I stepped inside my apartment, dropped the mail, my bag, my keys, a carton of milk and quite probably a small selection of other odds and ends on the dresser in the hallway (and by hallway I mean tiny, tiled area barely big enough for me, never mind a dresser) just inside my door. I kicked off my shoes, sprinted into the bog for a pee. I came out, probably made myself a drink, popped something frozen into the nuker and sat down to watch Will and Grace, now on every day at five-thirty, which makes me very happy indeed. I likely ate my dinner (and by dinner I mean scarcely edible pasta with fatty, white goo, one chewy white chunk and a very light sprinkling of nameless green - marketed, incidentally, as Grilled Chicken Parmesan Penne with Broccoli Florets. Is a speck the same as a floret? I think probably not, but I digress.) After dinner, there's a pretty good chance I poured another bev, stuffed in a Mars bar and changed the channel. I might have done a load of laundry. Maybe I checked my phone messages. I certainly didn't call anyone back since I am notoriously bad for returning calls. It's not that I don't want to talk to anyone. I just have bugger-all to say and small talk makes me itchy. In my defense, my outgoing message says, 'I can't take your call right now. If you'd like to leave me a message, please do so after the tone.' It doesn't even hint that I will call back. I probably took a shower at some point to save time in the morning, maybe made tea, popped in a movie and puttered until the news finished at midnight at which point I brushed my teeth, got into bed, read fifteen or twenty pages of whatever was on the nightstand at the time and fell asleep.

Fast forward eight weeks.

Last night, I received a little pile of mail. I stepped inside my apartment, dropped the mail, my keys, my bag, a carton of milk and a small selection of other odds and ends on the dresser in my hallway. I kicked off my shoes, sprinted into the bog for a pee. (The variety in my life is staggering, yes?) When I came out of the bog I reached for the mail but it was gone. I looked on the floor, the kitchen counter, the vanity in the bog. Nothing. Then I pulled the dresser away from the wall a few inches, and behind it was my little pile of mail. Sitting atop another very dusty little pile of mail. Now normally this wouldn't be of any concern to me whatsoever. The bills come in, I pay them - I don't necessarily open them - I just pay them because they don't change much. I'm not sure exactly why, but this time I opened all of it, and was not remotely surprised to find out that it was largely the same old shit. Phone bill - paid already. Visa bill - paid already ( and by 'paid' I mean, paid enough to keep them off my back for yet another month but nowhere near paid off. Life is debt. I've made my peace with that). Mastercard - paid already (Ditto). Cable/ internet bill - you get the drift. The last piece I opened threw me for a bit of a loop. It was a lateslip from the library telling me that I had two overdue books which I should return and pay the fines immediately. I had absolutely no recollection of any overdue books. That's when I looked at the titles of the books and the name on the letter and was mortified to discover that it was not me! The letter was addressed to my neighbour, who I have never seen. I didn't even know someone lived there.

So here's the moral dilemma I faced. The admirable course of action would have been to seal the letter, knock on the neighbour's door, explain what happened, apologise profusely, insist that I never completely read the letter or the titles of the books ( since they were books about a medical condition with a bit of a stigma - nothing dangerous or contagious, just horribly embarrassing), offer to return the books for her and pay any additional fines incurred since the day I received the letter. That is what social responsibility and common decency told me to do.

What I wound up doing, and I'm not at all proud of this, was popping the letter into a larger envelope with an anonymous note saying "I got your mail by mistake. Sorry for the inconvenience.", shoving it under her door and bolting from the scene before she had time to lift her arse off the couch.

Shredding the damned thing and playing dumb crossed my mind but that, I am reasonably certain, is punishable by jail time, so I nixed the idea. I also considered going to the library and quietly paying the fine, but with my luck I would have got a scathing lecture from the dour librarian with absolutely no sense of ha-ha, just like I did that one time I opened my M and Ms packet too loudly and interrupted the other patrons. Again, not an option. This is all probably irrelevant since the library folks ring you and leave an automated message about ten days after they send you a notice, so my neighbour likely returned the books, paid the fine and got on with her life a good six weeks ago. I really must get over the guilt. Am I overthinking this?

Monday, March 17, 2008

They put fitting rooms in shops for a very good reason...

This is how the exchange probably should have occurred:

Me: Hi there, I'd like to return these pants, please.

Twelve year old assistant manager, hereafter referred to as Assman12: Certainly, may I have your receipt, please?

Me: Of course."

(Assman12 pushes a few buttons on the cash register, makes some small talk about the weather and the new spring line, gives me a new receipt.)

Assman12: Here you are, madam. I'm sorry they weren't suitable, but please come and see us again. Thank you."

Me: No, thank you. (Exit shop).

Here's how the exchange actually occurred:

(I walk into the shop, a bustling little hive of industry, and see Assman 12 behind the counter folding merchandise, another sales assistant ringing up a sale and two others discussing the mammoth snowfall of the night before with each other and a few browsing customers. I take a look through the rack of pants closest to the door then approach the counter.)

Me: Hello, I'd like to return these jeans, please. I have a receipt and I just bought them last week.

Assman12: Certainly, madam. What seems to be the problem?

Me: They don't fit properly.

Assman12: Did you not try them on in the store?

Me: No, they are the same style and size as the ones I have on but they are a mile big. (Refreshing change, incidentally, as things are usually a mile small for me.) I'd like them in a size smaller.

Assman12: Do we have any more in stock? (I assume she is asking the other staff members or just thinking out loud, but I answer anyway.)

Me: I looked but you don't seem to have any in the smaller size.

Assman12: Really?

(Assman12 steps out from behind the counter, walks past me to the rack that I have just checked, in full view of her, and riffles through them one by one.)

Assman12: Hmmm, we don't have a size smaller.

(Assman12 returns to the counter, takes a blue tape measure from around her neck and measures the pants.)

Assman12: The label says they're a size 8 but they seem to be more like a 10. (Keep in mind that this is one of those fashionable big girl shops, so with the 8/10 thing I'm taking huge liberties, but there's no bloody way in hell I'm telling you my real size. Let's just call it fiction and move on, shall we?)

(Assman12 steps back over to the rack, pulls another size 8 and measures them.

Assman12: Here, try these on. Sometimes they get labelled wrong.

(I humour her and try them on, even though I am about to be late for the evening's festivities - stuffing my trap with leftover shepherd's pie and watching The Biggest Loser. I step into the dressing room, take off my boots breaking a lace in the process, take off the old jeans, put on the new jeans which happen to be miles too big as well. I am now slightly encouraged that my arse is not quite as big as I had thought, since surely two pairs of pants can't be wrong, and pissed off at having broken the lace for nothing. And I understand that it would have eventually broken anyway, but this is not the best time. It's difficult to authoritatively demand customer satisfaction when you're dragging your foot behind you like Quasimodo, trying to keep your shoe from falling off. I fold the pants and take them to the counter where Assman12 is engrossed in a conversation about adjustable bra strap extensions with a buxom older woman whose hooters hang so low that mere adjustable bra strap extensions would almost certainly not solve the problem. But it's none of my business. I scan the shop for another sales assistant but they have all disappeared, like triple fudge brownies at a Weight Watchers meeting. I spin the earring rack and have a look while Assman12 measures the missus for a bra.)

Assman12: Did you know that seventy percent of women wear the wrong size bra?

Me: Did you know that one hundred percent of me is wearing the wrong size pants? Can I have your attention again, please? (Okay, I didn't say it, but I wanted to, and could you really blame me if I had? The second the missus steps into the fitting room I'm all over Assman12 like stink on shit before someone else gets to her. She takes my receipt, punches numbers into the cash register and hands me a new receipt.)

Me: Don't you need my credit card?

Assman12: Not for an exchange.

Me: I'm sorry. I think you misunderstood. I'd like my credit card to be reimbursed. The other jeans are too big too.

Assman12: Really? They're big too? (Again, she takes out the tape measure.) Well, these ones are two inches smaller in the waist than the other ones.

Me: I'm sure they are but they still don't fit. Can I just have my money back, please? Time is a bit of an issue unfortunately.

(Assman12 forces a smile, picks up my receipt and furiously assaults the keys on the cash register. When she finishes, she hands me another receipt.)

Assman12: Thank you. You have a great night. (It is quite clear that she doesn't mean it.)

(I leave the shop happy that I have succeeded in getting my money back and determined never to shop there again, although when your can is the size of a chevy there are few other options.)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tonight, we hunker!

It is effing snowing again! Okay, I know that back in December I talked about how lovely the falling snow was and how festive and Christmassy I was feeling and how the weather outside was frightful but the fire was so delightful, but I am, emphatically, over it. I still love a good snowstorm but this is getting ridiculous. The weatherman said that this will be the worst storm of the season. They're predicting up to fifty centimetres of snow which is hard to imagine if you don't get much snow, but 50 cms is a buttload of snow, especially when you consider that the city has yet to move the 27 cms we got on Wednesday and the who knows how much we got last Saturday. At the end of the lot where I park my car there is a townhouse with the kitchen window looking out on to the street. The little woman who lives there with her teenagers can often be seen sitting and sipping her morning coffee and watching the world go by. Little snippets of other people's lives, even people we never speak to and don't really know, can become part of our routine. They can comfort us when our own lives occasionally spin out of control. I have not seen this woman since the end of December because the snow is piled up five feet above her window! She could be trapped under something heavy for all I know. I have to admit, it's somewhat unsettling, although curiously, not quite unsettling enough for me to walk the twenty extra steps, knock on her door and say "Hi, I'm Helen. Just popping round to make sure you're alright and not pinned under your fridge." I tell myself that the teenagers would have called 911 by now if something were amiss, and if I'm wrong and she is trapped under her fridge, there's a pretty good chance she won't answer the door when I knock.

I'm ready for the birds to return, the sunshine, the stench of dead earthworms after the rain, the eighty-three cents in loose change I will find in the street after the snow melts. I'm ready for Easter eggs and tulips and a clean car and sandals and a pedicure and pink polish on my toes. But it is quite clear that none of that will be happening any time soon. So I suppose I should just stay in my jams, make more tea, hunker down and enjoy sitting in my favourite chair, reading, while fifty centimetres of shit, crap and corruption furiously batters my living room window.