Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Poem for Queen Victoria

In the event that you are not aware, this weekend Canadians celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria. Our government gives us a day off and we spend the weekend lighting fireworks, camping and drinking. Many people open their cottages and pools this weekend and garden centres are overwhelmed with an infestation of amateur green-thumbs.

You may have heard Canadians refer to Victoria Day as May 2-4, this relates to the fact that Victoria Day usually falls around the 24th of May and that a 24-pack of beer is called a 2-4 (two-four). Victoria Day celebrations generally include a copious amount of beer.

This year the weather is gorgeous and I am very happy to have an extra day off. So I've written a poem to Queen Victoria to proclaim my gratitude.


Ode to Queen Victoria 
With beer and sparklers we salute,
the Queen who never was amused. 
Although you'd think our party crude
It's only because you were a prude.
Still you wore doily hat with attitude. 
and as politician you were shrewd.
For whatever reason I allude, 
you rock Queen V. 
Happy birthday dude!! 


Even if you don't get the day off tomorrow I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend and have a great week.
Ciao!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Being A Mom is Awesome!

I had a bit of a frustrating morning yesterday. I attended a Mother's Day event and although I had a great time with my mom and sisters (we're always this close to being kicked out for general silliness) the speaker left something to be desired.

I'm sure the woman who spoke is fabulous but she got up and talked about emotional and spiritual brokenness, how events from the past (some we may not even remember) can effect our adult life and other stuff that I've blocked out of my mind because honestly, it was freaking depressing and was giving me indigestion.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've encountered this kind of thing - a sad, depressing speaker at an event that should be a celebration. Maybe it's a woman thing to focus on the negative and look at our live in a "glass half empty" kind of way. I certainly don't think men would be sitting around doing that at a Father's Day brunch (I also think there's a serious disparity between the amount of bacon served at Mother's Day events Vs. Father's Day events, but that's another blog post). Whatever the case, I refuse to spend my Mother's Day weekend beating myself up, being negative or making up crap about how damaged I am. So, I'm going to tell you why I think it's awesome being a mom.

Family picture - Day 1


Being a mom is awesome because...


It's a complete life changer. 
Yeah, I could look at this in a negative way. Upon motherhood you're suddenly more aware of someone else's poop than you've ever been before in your life, you're sleep deprived for years (YEARS!!) and you get children's songs stuck in your head for days at a time, but there are so many positives. I loved the changes that happened in my life when I found out I was pregnant with Jacob and then after he was born. I reconnected with my faith, made some long overdue lifestyle changes and experienced an awesome new facet of love in my relationship with my husband. I grew up (well a bit anyway) and loved it.



Kids really do say the darnedest things
Kids don't have the same inhibitions adults do, nor do they have the same social skills to know when something might actually be rude or inappropriate and that can lead to some awesome, embarrassing and downright hilarious zingers. Here's some of Jacob's.

Me: What do I look like the maid?
Jacob: Well, maid and mommy both start with the letter "M".

Jacob: Mommy, when I look up at your second chin I can see your mustache.

Jacob: I'm so glad Grandma can come to my school. She's one of the special women in my life.

Nb. The minute I started writing this I forgot every hilarious thing Jacob's ever said. Figures.





You attain you're very own minion to do your bidding and warp in anyway you see fit.
Jacob wants to be a helper (or a minion, if you will). So, I can get him to help around the house, grab me things from other rooms and just generally slave around on my behalf. I've also had the opportunity to teach him how to make noises with his armpits, how to walk the perfect zombie shuffle and to share a love for Star Wars with him. He likes Jimi Hendrix and knows the words to about half a dozen Bob Marley songs and is a horrible, but exuberant dancer and it's all because of me.

This willingness to do my bidding and like for the things I like won't last forever. At 7, I'm already noticing a decided lack of enthusiasm on his part to constantly do my bidding and a swing towards growing into his own personality, with traits and likes and dislikes of his own (he likes NASCAR!?!), but that's cool. I'm happy to see him developing into a cool kid in his own right all the while knowing that I got to help lay the foundation of his life. (Muahahahah!)




You become part of a cool group of ladies
As a mother you're suddenly part of this sisterhood. Like any kind of female social grouping there are always the crazies or the ladies who'll just plain drive you nuts, but overall I've met some awesome ladies. Some of these ladies are people I never would have met otherwise and others are women I've known for years, but who I now have a special affinity with because I know all of the word's to the "Mighty Machines" theme song and understand the true horror of a snotty nose.

Clearly a stock photo. None of these moms look nearly exhausted enough to be real :)


And more...
All the personalized crafts you could ever want.
"Special" meals made by little hands
An excuse for not having an ultra-clean house
An excuse for being late
Trips to the grocery store are no longer boring
Someone to read your favourite childhood book too
A new perspective on life, the world and love
Etc.

Listen, this Mother's Day, don't focus on your imperfections (we've all got them), don't wallow in guilt (we all do it) and don't think up reasons why you suck as a mom (You don't). Think about all the awesome things you've gained since becoming a mother. Think about all of the life experiences you've had that you wouldn't have had without your child(ren). Focus on the joy, the fun, and the greatness of being a mom.

If you're not a mom and you just read this I suggest that on Mother's Day, after spending time with your mom, that you do things that mom's can only dream of. Enjoy a long nap, luxuriate in a tub full of adult-scented bubble bath, eat a hot meal, read a book without interruptions or enjoy a large umbrella drink or five. Your life is awesome too, just a different kind of awesome.

*Sigh* Sweet memories.

In closing, I can't post something about Mother's Day without giving a shout out to my own mom.
My mom is wonderful. She was not a perfect mother, which she will tell you, but she never gave up on me, always loved me and always had/has my best interest in mind. If I can be half the mother she was or raise Jacob half as well as she raised my sisters and I it will be a great feat.
Love you lady! Happy Mother's Day!






Thursday, May 3, 2012

Adventures At Chateau Horné



My family owns a cat. Her name is Hendrix and yes we did name her for Jimi Hendrix because we're crazy like that ...and Jeff wouldn't let me name her Princess Bubbalicious. Hendrix isn't fixed so every once and a while she makes crazy mewling noises, rubs herself on every carpeted surface and follows Jeff around everywhere. So, when one very early morning she was making strange noises under our bed it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. What was out of the ordinary were the additional noises not being made by the cat that were also coming from under our bed.

Now, my house is over 100 – 150 years old and some of our neighbours have let us know that they've seen birds and critters getting in to a hole near the roof. We've also heard some unexplained scritching and scratching in some of the walls. So it's not a huge surprise that something has managed to get in to the house, but it's under our bed so it's creepy and gross.

Here's how it all went down.

Setting: 5:00 am in the bedroom Jeff and I share.

Me: Jeff! I think Hendrix is stuck in a drawer or something she's making weird noises and keeps mowing. SHUT UP HENDRIX!

Jeff: Unngh.

This dialogue was repeated two more times, until Jeff sat straight up in bed, suddenly awake.

Jeff: Shhhh! Do you hear that? She's got something under the bed.

Me: Oh God! What if it's a centipede. I hate centipedes!
I hid under the blanket, but then thought better of it because, well...there's no polite way to say this...we fart in bed and I don't want to die of methane poisoning.

Jeff: No. It's squeaking. Can't you hear it. It's an animal.

Me: What!?! What if it's a raccoon? You look and see what she's doing.

Jeff reaches for flashlight in his nightstand drawer. It won't turn on.
Jeff begins smashing the flashlight on his nightstand, because to make something work the best course of action is always to smash it. It works for the Hulk, right?

Me: There are two flashlights at the bottom of the stairs in the drawer go get one. I'm trying to sleep!

Jeff continues smashing the flashlight.
No, this one works see I almost...never mind.
Jeff gets flashlight while I doze off.
Jeff comes back to the bedroom and becomes the cat owner equivalent to a soccer mom on speed.
Oh it's a mouse!
(In sing-songy, higher pitched voice) C'mon Hendrix! Get me a mouse! Get me a mouse little girl! Get it! You get me a mouse!

This goes on for what seems like an eternity until Jeff's alarm for work goes off and the mouse escapes to our house's main level where Jeff (in his underpants) and Hendrix follow it.

I doze off again because it's a) freaking early in the morning and I have an hour left to sleep, B) I'm now used to the kitty cheer-leading, and C)did I mention it's freaking early in the morning?

Suddenly I hear pounding. Something is being smashed.

I hear the front door open and close.

Jeff praises the cat one last time and comes to bed.

Me: Where's the mouse?

Jeff: I killed it and threw it outside on the sidewalk.

Me: Ok...what'd you kill it with?

Jeff: The roll of paper towel.

Me: What?!? The fresh roll of paper towel?

Jeff: What? I took a couple of sheets off the roll. What's the big deal?

Me: Arghhhhh!!

Hendrix: (All sad and dejected) You took away my toy. I'm going to puke in your shoes now. I hate you all!

Good times!!

I found the mouse dead and bloody on the sidewalk almost right in front of our house. Jeff said the neighbourhood cats would get it. Like a take-away snack.

I tried to kick the mouse into the street but the blood made it stick to the sidewalk and I may or may not have screamed like a little girl and flapped my arms around.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Today I Love My Job

For the last 2 months I've been hounded at work by a sales rep for a POS (point of sale not piece of shit) device company. This guy's called me 2 to 3 times per week and emailed me the same amount too.

So, on Monday I sent him this email.

Sales Rep Guy,
I really appreciate all of the time and effort that you've put into giving me information regarding Your Company. I see the benefits of switching and believe that it would be a positive alternative to the provider we are currently using.  However, that being said the issue of switching or not is no longer in my hands. I do not have a time frame of when the owner will decide to switch or even if she will.

It is my suggestion that perhaps, you move on to clients that are in more of a position to switch providers sooner and can offer you a more concrete time frame for when they would like to do that. I have your information and if we decide to switch I will be sure that you are the person that we contact.

Many thanks,

Me

This is what I got back.

Let me speak to the owner and see if we can get this done. I hate to put all this work that I did for you for 3 months and only to have the account closed. This does not make any business sense at all? I speak with 100’s of clients a day if they see the savings they are more than happy to switch, but 3 months I have been waiting and chances are the way this is going I may never see the light at the end of this tunnel. It’s VERY frustrating that the owner can not take a few min to look at this and I feel as though I am just wasting both of our times. Thanks

This guy has been driving me crazy since the beginning of March, not the 3 months he's suggesting and really, how rude is that email.  I feel like a high school girl who just went out to dinner with her boyfriend and now he's mad because I won't put out. Gah!

Anyway, I sent an email to my boss about the situation and a copy of the email I would like to send this guy. I expected my boss to laugh and suggest a better way to word my email, but instead, she said as long as I take out the word "knob", "crybaby" and "stalkerish" I could send it. I love my boss today.

Here's the final letter I got to send.

I'm not sure how long you've been in sales or how big your commission is, but let me suggest that perhaps, aggressive, condescending and overbearing behaviour isn't the best way to win a sale.

I have not kept it a secret that I am not the one who makes final decisions in our organization, but only the messenger. I guess I should have interrupted the owner's wedding planning or maybe her honeymoon to get the answers you're looking for or maybe I should have followed your lead and called her twice, sometime three times a week and emailed to pester her into switching POS providers because that works, right?

I attempted in my last email to very politely suggest that you direct your attention to your clients that are more likely to switch providers and that we would contact you when we are ready and what do I get? I get this email in which you basically suggest that the owner, and by default our organization is, out of your "100's of clients, a huge moron because she doesn't want to save $300. Of course you also imply that she's not only a moron, apparently, she's lazy and inconsiderate because she doesn't want to take the time to look over the figures you painstakingly put together.

Also, about all this work you put in for over 3 months, most of it was spending time phoning me and emailing me about when you'd get an answer. The most, MOST you've done is compile figures and isn't that information pretty easy to find. I mean really? It's kind of your job to have that information available to your "100's of clients".

So, in conclusion, being as aggressive and overbearing as you've been has pretty much shot you in the foot because now, I don't want to do business with you and I'm going to suggest to the owner that a business as desperate as yours probably isn't a good business to do deal with. I will no longer be answering your emails AND I'm purposely avoiding your calls.

The owner will be in contact with you and your manager soon,


Ciao!

*I didn't post names because I'm classy like that.