Taxi Man

After working at my "real" job all day, I went and played server at the restaurant/lounge that I also work at last night. By the time I was done there, after eating butternut squash ravioli (who knew that stuff was so tasty? Seriously I don't get it), it was almost eleven and I was exhausted.

Instead of waiting ten minutes to catch the bus and endure a ten minute bus ride, with a two block walk tacked on (I know, life is tough) I decided to take a cab. Well this particular cab driver was like the East Indian spokesperson for happiness.

" I am not one to ever complain! There is no need for worry! You only make it worse! Life is always as good as we make it!"

This life lesson was taught to me after I innocently asked how his day was. I learnt my lesson - keep your mouth shut.

Anyhow, after the five minute cab ride, him and I were pretty much best friends. Reminiscing about how great life was and how happy everyone should be and how fantastic the stop signs looked (actually, now that I think about it, maybe he was on mushrooms?) He dropped me off at my house and said "if you don't have enough that's ok!"

I hadn't even mentioned the possibility of not having enough money but apparently this was happy-times cab company where "If You Don't Pay, We Do!!" I did pay though, and tipped him well.

As I'm walking up my front steps I hear a crashing noise. He hit my neighbors car. He backed right up into it.


He got out and looked at the front of her car, the back of his car, he was still smiling (probably trying not to cry) but he was saying "it's ok! it's ok!" So I was like ok, dude's going to leave a little note, with smiley faces and candy or something. It's eleven at night, I'm tired, I went inside.

This morning I came outside and saw her car, with a scratch on the front of it and no note. Mr. Happy Cab Driver Man totally hit and ran! I didn't get his license or anything because I was so sure he'd leave a note.

Not sure if I should tell her or just leave it for now and see if she notices. I'm still in shock that the super nice man could hit a car and run. Maybe it is better to be a jerk after all.


Dream Weaver

So I've heard when you're pregnant you have really strange dreams. I happen to have really strange dreams all the time (and no I'm not perpetually pregnant because that would be more than a little awkward).

For example last night I dreamt that I missed work (at my part time job), ran into my boss and her mountain bike and proceeded to explain to her that my key wasn't working so I couldn't go to work. We then went on a bike ride out to Banff where she proceeded to cry about some guy and we ate carrot muffins with raisins.

I used to have a reoccurring dream that I was in a red convertible (with different people in each dream) driving through the mountains. Then the car would fall - either off a cliff, off a bridge or in a weird turn of unfortunate events, off the end of a rollercoaster.

I've dreamt that I was a camp counsellor and the kids were trying to light shit on fire all the time. To get them to stop we had to throw ribbons around and braid each others hair. Wait, that was actually a scene in PollyAnna.

I've dreamt about pigs that danced (Gene Kelly style) in the rain dressed as police officers. Under their overcoats (since that's obviously what dancing pigs wear) they all had knock-off watches they were trying to sell.

The weirdest thing that happens to me by far while I'm sleeping (other then Pistols watching through my window - I'm on to you buddy) is sleep-paralysis. I "wake up" but my body is still asleep. Basically, what happens is that you are totally completely paralyzed but your brain is awake.

Sometimes you even get fun hallucinations, like seeing a man standing at the end of your bed. Of course, you can't turn on the light because you're absolutely paralyzed and your brain doesn't send signals to your body.

Now, it sounds terrifying and mostly it is, but the fun part about it is that a lot of people who get it think they've been abducted by aliens, had an out-of-body experience or seen a ghost. So any time I want to make up wild crazy stories about green toothed martians whisking me away to play bridge and drink swamp water, I have the perfect alibi!

No wonder my dreams are so messed up.


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


Making Fun (Out of Nothing At All)

It's a two post kind of day.

My sisters like to make fun of people, and while I'm far too mature for that sort of thing I love listening to them. We're driving home after spending the last few days together in a hotel room with my parents, since we're all too cheap to spring for our own hotel room when we can mooch for free off mum and dad. So we're driving along the highway, feeling nauseous from the (ridiculous) amount of booze we've all consumed the night before.

Storelady - there are a couple stories to this nickname. Firstly, when the twins were born my parents told my older sister Dizzy (nicknamed such because I couldn't pronounce her name as a wee child) and I that we could help name them. Dizzy (being 5) thought Twinkle and Star were great names. I (being a few months shy of 4 years old) went with Shopkeeper and Storelady.

Needless to say our parents promptly had both our tubes tied and did not go with those names. However, they like to tell us the story of what the twins would have been called had we been left in charge. Also, she really does work in a store so I wasn't too far off the mark. Psychic 3 year old? I think so.

Anyway, Storelady (SL) was doing her usual thing, peering into cars we passed and making fun of their hair, make-up, clothes, choice of music, color of seats, number of passengers, whatever she could think of really, while Shopkeeper (SK) and I giggled beside her. We passed a trucker who had pulled to the side to let us by and when mum went to wave she realized we were already way passed him so tried to nonchalantly run her hand through her hair instead. Of course we made fun of her after that for about an hour.

When we got sick of listening to each other talk we put on a movie and made fun of it for two hours. Must Love Dogs? I'm sorry but most predictable movie ever. And what was with the 15 year old guy randomly showing up at Dolly's? I guess that's what we get for watching a romantic comedy starring Diane Lane. At least it kept us vaguely amused.

I was reminiscing about car games and music when really I should have been thinking about how many things we can possibly make fun of. Who knew that the gas pump you chose to go to can result in a five minute tirade about your poor driving skills, how you must have grown up in a trailer and where did you get that haircut anyway? Driving like an idiot? You must have taken lessons at the ABC Dirvers Ed [sic] School for Les Incompetents.

I'm pretty sure one of these days we'll all be struck down by lightning, spontaneously combust while walking Grandma to church or perish in a fire of epic magnitude started by a stray BBQ spark landing on the pile of stickman drawings SK and SL keep for handy reference to former victims. At least there's never a dull moment when SL and SK are around

Asshats (Can I Title My Posts With an Expletive?)

I hate facebook. I think it's the spawn of the Devil. See, as much as I try to use it for world peace and stuff that's good for mankind (and such as) I find myself turning into a creepy stalker every once in a while. Last night for example I casually clicked on (ex)pseudo-bf's page and looked through his pictures while holding my stuffed rabbit to my eyes, rocking back and forth a little, sobbing and hyperventilating into a brown paper bag.


I did however look at his new girlfriend, who has a little message on her page for me - what the hell? Let's say her name is Beach (and not for the obvious resemblance to another word), she has written "Beach is: B is for Alice" um, wait a minute? Who are you? Why are you talking to me? What is this world coming to? Are you people 30 or 16?

Then I felt like an idiot because that means she knew I would look at her page. Which means pseudo has said something to her about me. Which means I may or may not look like an asshat depending on what he told her.

I do wonder though, because he told me once that this other chick, S, might find me on fb and write me a letter because she was in love with him. I laughed about it then but now I'm thinking; does he think I'll do that? Is that what he warned this new girl?

He must have a huge ego if he thinks I'll care enough to find his stupid new girlfriend and look at all her ugly pictures covorting by the beach and stuffing rib-eye in her face. Hello, I would never look at all her pictures while wondering what exactly is so great about her.

Anyway, the thing that bothers me about the whole thing is the fact that I DID find her, and he knew I would and he used that to rub it in my face like a huge asshole. Last time I checked I was a pretty awesome person, one who would never write a letter to a guy's new girlfriend no matter what he did to me. A person who would look at the pictures but feel that bitter-sweet feeling for them because it means at least he's off my hands now. Normally I would think "aw that's sweet" and move on with my life. He had to make it weird.

The worst part? I broke it off with him and now he's trying to make me look like a crazy stalker. Hell-o?! The restraining order expired three moths ago - get over it already!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a letter to write.


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.


Girls Don't Like Boys, Girls Like Cars and Money

I’m going to a wedding this weekend, in Kamloops – a beautiful little town in BC. My cousin is getting married and I couldn’t be happier for her – they’re a great couple. Plus I get to see the whole family (and with 12 cousins under the age of 27 you can be sure it’ll be a gong show).

Weddings and I have always had a love/hate relationship. I worked at a Private Club (not that kind of club, perv) therefore have worked during many, many weddings. I also had seven separate friends get married last year and several the year before. Let’s just say I’ve seen my share of weddings.

Anyhow, the other day, as I do whenever I have too much time on my hands*, I started thinking about some strange things a little too intently. Why do spiders have eight eyes and live in bathtub drains? Why does coffee taste delicious black unless it’s at Tim Hortons where I need to put their crack-creamers in it to fully enjoy the robust flavor? Why do people (ok, girls) settle for a person they don’t think is the Right One just so that they can “finally” get married?

The answer came to me in a dream**. Girls want security. Girls want to know that they’ll have someone to wake up to every morning, someone who thinks hair-in-a-ponytail and sweatpants is a sexy look for them, someone who will fetch their newspaper and fan them with banana leaves while feeding them caviar and cream cheese on those cute little toasted bread rounds.

One thing most girls don’t want is a guy who is much less successful than her. That’s right, I said it, and you know it’s true. While I personally am not looking for a sugar daddy (although any interested parties feel free to apply here), I also don’t want to tell my parents that I met the love of my life in a romantic exchange involving my spare change and his fingerless gloves wrapped around a Styrofoam cup.

I have friends who are dating complete jerk-offs mainly because they know they have financial security and someone willing to fly them to Palm Springs or Vegas on a whim. I’d rather be living in a (large) cardboard box (with windows and weather proof coating), scraping gum off the pavement and selling it to unsuspecting tourists for a living then be a so-called trophy wife.

Don’t get me wrong. If future Mr. Alice happens to have loads of money and nothing better to do with it then spend it on me (and my shoe collection) I won’t complain. I would still need to have a job, especially if it was the daunting career of researching great vacation spots.

**my alarm was going off and playing some Good Charlotte…there may or may not have been dancing polar bears in said dream. Also, a really large talking willow tree, Pocahontas style.


Weekend FAIL

I received a little delivery of toys and the like on Thursday. Since O/N and I had been joking about this particular delivery for a month I decided to let him know I got it.

Alice: Got a package was your week?
O/N: Good for you! Guess this means I’m out of a job :-(
Alice: Hardly. I ordered them in a drunken stupor, plus it’s more fun with someone else
O/N: Yeah, don’t hurt yourself


I was waiting for a cab outside my house Saturday night, on my way to karaoke (don't judge) and I heard the neighbors a few doors down playing guitar and singing. In the spirit of being neighborly I decided to go over there and say hi. I walked into the backyard:

“Hello, I’m just from a few doors down and heard the music here. I can’t find a lighter to save my life; do you guys happen to have one?”

So this one girl says “There’s a light right there,” pointing to a tiki torch. After I awkwardly light my cigarette, trying not to engulf my hair in a huge ball of fire, the girl gives a little laugh and says “Oh, I actually do have a lighter”.


Sunday we’re rafting down the Elbow River, drinking beers, just minding our own business when we see a group of police officers standing on the shore. Normally I wouldn’t be too worried because the cops are fairly lenient on the Elbow. However, we didn’t have any lifejackets and they began to yell at us.

“Girls in the grey raft! Hey! Girls with the palm tree! Get your lifejackets on!” Keep in mind this river is waist deep at the highest point and most people bring their small children to wade there. It’s not dangerous.

We pretended to root around for the jackets (our boats being so deep we couldn’t find them and all). One of the officers made a half-assed attempt to bike along the shore beside us for a minute and then gave up. Onward-ho we went.

Further down the river we stopped our convoy of five rafts to have a little beer and suntan break on the shore. As we’re lounging by the river we see two cops walking along the banks, stopping to talk to rafters occasionally. Partially because we were drunk and partially out of fear of reprimand for the lifejacket situation we all jumped on the rafts and pushed away from the bank yelling “oleee, ole ole ole!” Yes that’s smart – call more attention to yourselves.

As we were fleeing the cops, one of the rafts ran into a large stick and punctured. Then, in our hurry to rearrange ourselves on the remaining rafts, one of the girls jumped in hers and onto the paddles which promptly snapped in half.



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.


What is it, Monday?

Dear Friday,

What the hell is wrong with you? You are supposed to be my feel-good, end-of-the-week, happy-time day. I even get to leave work at one o'clock whenever you come around in my long, boring life - any day that ends at one is automatically supposed to be a good day.

But no, today you had to go and ruin that for me, didn't you? Why is it that today, of all days, the phone attendant decides to be an asshole and not transfer The Pres through? The couriers decide that not delivering stuff is actually a funny little game? The internet dies and everyone asks ME what's wrong with it? Pseudo tells me he is going on a cruise with his new girlfriend - seriously?

What. The. Fuck?

Friends off.



Revenge of the Letter Snatcher

I know there are a lot of stressful jobs in this world; lion tamer, air-traffic control tower guy, suicide bomber. Somehow I just don’t see bike messenger fitting into this category. Yes, they have to weave in and out of downtown traffic wielding their precious cargo like that crazy guy from Lord of The Rings, ready to get lost under a truck tire at any moment. Ok, so they do have to deal with the police a lot of the time (but c’mon guys – driving in pedestrian lanes and knocking over little old ladies isn’t totally socially acceptable - yet).

Sure, they have some strict deadlines and I’m sure some jackass somewhere asking them to get a package from New York to Antarctica in nine and a half minutes, but really, the rest of the time they sit out in the sun, watching women in business suits walk by, smoking cigarettes and possibly some doobs.

That’s why I get utterly mystified when my courier packages go inexplicably missing, and the courier I call to ask about it sounds like the world is caving in underneath him so he has no time to look for it now but he’ll call me back. Which he obviously never does.

If there were a horror movie based around missing packages, I would be the star – especially if said packages were actually legal letters involving millions of dollars potentially incoming to The Company. The plot would go something like this:

A hard-working girl trying to make it big within The Company always takes the necessary precautions to send deliveries promptly – even marking a big red RUSH on each important envelope. A crazed letter-hungry thief stalks each courier that has the girl’s letters and takes out vengeance upon them. Crazed guy turns out to be her boss’s old assistant, fired for stealing paperclips and toilet paper; now out for revenge. There would be some sort of secondary plotline involving a love story or possibly a plan to take over the world.

So this morning, I hand-delivered a Very Important Letter to avoid any risk of it being lost. Somehow a package was delivered to this same address last week, signed for and everything. However, no one at that company recognizes the signature. Nor can the letter be found. My plotline isn’t too far off I tell you.

Anyhow, walking over there, through the Plus 15*, I discovered one of the greatest joys of having long hair ever: a wind tunnel. Obviously I had to stop and make Marilyn-esque poses. For half an hour.

Don’t you worry; the package did eventually get there and yet again the heroine** saved the day. Now excuse me while I go fix my hair.

[Update: I just got to walk through the wind tunnel again in search of a garbage can (I'm an integral part of the team). The average price of garbage cans at The Bay is $147.99. Seriously for $147.99 my garbage can had better compact my garbage, take it to the dumpster and give me a massage when it gets back. Who the hell pays $147.99 for a garbage can? No wonder they sold the company.]

*Equivalent to a Skywalk. Otherwise known as a gerbil-tunnel that connects one building to another in the downtown core, 15 feet above the ground
** Not to be confused with the drug heroine – which I’m sure has not saved many a day, rather made many a day much, much worse. But I digress.


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)

Busy Work That Sounds Complicated and Time Consuming

Each week, on Monday, I have a meeting with my boss. He is the Vice-President of the company so it can be slightly intimidating. I have to bring with me a report detailing what I completed the previous week as well as any outstanding projects, the details of what I am working on, and anything else that I may happen to be doing.

Most weeks I have a nice, long task list (thank you Outlook) all check-marks and "waiting on someone else"'s filled in nicely. Some weeks the list is longer then others. For last week my list currently looks like this:

- Proposal for Golf Tournament (In Progress)
- Fix Mr. W's Chair (Waiting on Someone Else)
- Confirm Wine Sponsorship (Complete)
- Vacation Request (New Girl) (Complete)
- Vacation Request (Me) (Complete)

I have to meet with him in T minus one hour. Must find busy work.


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.


Flower Pots and Voice Squats

You know how girls always have that cutesy romantic fantasy of making out in the rain? Maybe of getting flowers delivered anonymously to her office? Or there's the one where you get into a big screaming fight and then the girl says something controversial, and the guy yells can't you see it's because I love you? or something along those lines. I'm not sure what's sexy or fantastical about a screaming match though, so that last one may just be my twisted mind.

Anyway, last night I decided that making out in the rain was certainly not cute enough. Or perhaps I figured it was TOO cute. See, I don't really do cute/romantic/sweet. Yet, after a drunken night of two-stepping, cowboy hats and Bud (yuck - Bud sponsors the Stampede, it tastes like piss water to me) and after disrobing to hop in the shower with O/N, he pulls me outside for a little dance.

Side note: Yes. This really happened. To me. Yes I know, it's wrong and cheesy and a little horrifying.

Remember though; I am naked. He is naked. It's raining. We're dancing. Obviously we ended up getting it on in the backyard with me bent over a flower pot.

So afterwards, after the shower, we're laying in bed being idiots (we were trying to see who could make thier voice lower while saying "ohhhhh yeaaahh", like in that commercial? He obviously won, being a boy and all but I think I put in a valiant effort), and he tells me he has a song for me. Keep in mind he is drunk here. He says: "AA [my initials] I think I love you, AA, I think I love you, dah dah dum dah" to which I giggled awkwardly and changed the subject.

What can I say. Dancing in the rain and confessions of love in a song, all in one night? Too much for a self-proclaimed cynic to handle.

Oh, and I just hope his neighbors don't have telescopic-lensed cameras.



"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.


What Happens When...

Pseudo-bf wasn't ready for a girlfriend. I wasn't ready for a boyfriend so it worked out well in my eyes. It was a great set-up or so I thought. It was all pretty cut and dry, until there was that time he introduced me as his girlfriend. Or the time I was on the phone with him and he had to run off for a second so passed me to a friend saying "talk to my girl for a minute".

There was that weekend in Vancouver when we spent the days together; going to the gym, walking to a Vietnamese restaurant for noodle bowls and iced coffee, making fun of his friends who were on the stag with him because they would be drunk messes by four o'clock while he was just getting ready to hit the shower for a full night of drinking. Going for dinner and drinks with my friends in Vancouver while he went out with the guys and having the guys call me at 11 to come meet up, although I told them all I was perfectly happy staying at my friends or cousins if they wanted to have the stripper dance all night or whatever it is that boys do on stags.

There were the times we lay in bed all day on a Saturday, watching movies, eating "bad food" and making fun of each other. Me for his World of Warcraft playing at 31 years old, him for my weird TV habits (namely watching part of the cooking show, flipping to CNN for commercials, taking an intermission for the house-fixing shows then back to the cooking network). There was the fact that we chatted pretty much every night, whether it was via msn or telephone, and if we didn't chat neither of us ever asked where the other had been, or why they hadn't called. There were the poker games that slightly frustrated and bemused him because he was obviously a better player and yet I always managed to win at least some money off the guys.

There were the bad pick-up lines he'd test on me first and make sure they were awful enough for no girl to take seriously and then go trying them out, mostly for my and his friends amusement. There were the 80s tunes cranked at 3 am, much to the chagrin of the upstairs neighbors. There was the time we lay in a field after the bar, talking about our families, the dog I was scared of losing (who died shortly after), and the cancer that ravenged his Aunt's body.

If he was out with his friends he didn't necessarily tell me, he didn't "check-in" on me either and I was free to go out on a Wednesday and make an ass of myself. I could wake up late on a Sunday, go for coffee with a friend and spend all day hanging out with her. I could go to Victoria for a weekend without asking someone else what their schedule was like. All the things I hated about having a boyfriend, I didn't have with him. All the things I wanted from a boyfriend, I got from him.

Slowly and steadily we started breaking each other, putting the acts in motion to destroy everything we had. One week it would be me who did it. Broke him, hurt him in some way. The next week it was him. It all started with an offhand, drunken, misconstrued comment: "If I wanted a relationship I'd still be with The-Ex", "But you don't want a Relationship so you're with me?", "I'm Not With You".

It escalated into a full-on what the hell do we want from each other war. Trying to prove to each other that we didn't need each other. Trying to prove that we were both still the strong, independent people we were when we first met. I don't need you. I have myself. We tried to fix it. Tried to make things right, get over our bruised egos and look past the hurtful things that had been done. We tried to pretend nothing had happened. Then we tried to talk about it and lay everything out in the open. It was too hard. It was too painful. I don't need you. I love you. I don't need you. I hate you. I don't need you. I don't need anyone.


Ad Sense - Non Sense

I don't get the Verizon commercials. "Can you hear me now"? Basically they're saying that the reception is so crappy that this poor guy has to stand on top of fences in the Artic to get a signal. They really should have him saying: "Can you still hear me?" Then at least we know that he could hear them in the first place. Although if I had someone asking me every five minutes if I could still hear them I'd just say no and hang up.

Speaking of advertisements, there are a few slogans that really make no sense to me. If we took them literally we'd all be a bunch of lunatics. AT&T's - "Reach out and touch somebody"? Sorry but that's creepy. Especially when you consider the Yellow Pages ads that say "Let your fingers do the talking". Put the two of those together and we have a serial rapist on our hands.

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there - well it's rather unfortunate that my neighbor is a fat creepy dude who wears sweatpant shorts and no shirt while smoking (who knows what) in his garage year round. If my house burnt down in the middle of the night I'm not so sure I'd want him there while I run screaming out of my house in my little booty shorts and tank top.
Just saying.

How do they come up with this stuff anyway? There must be men in suits sitting around a table discussing their options:

Exec #1: "How can we possibly improve on what we have? I love: "It's what I eat and what I do" it really speaks to the people.
Exec #2: "Yes but how can you DO a burger? Wait, wait, I think I got it - by eating it. Yes I do see the logic there Stanley"
CEO: "Okay, how about: McDonalds, it's what I eat and what I do ALWAYS"
Exec #1: "Isn't that sort of like Coca-Cola's slogan?"
CEO: "Dammit"
Exec #2: "We have to appeal to the kids here fellas. We need some slang in there"
Exec #1: "McDonalds: it's what I eat and what I do - in the hizzle!"
CEO: "I'm loving that"
Exec #2: "I'm loving it!"
*a look of inspiration crosses over their faces and thus a slogan is born*

Sometimes I think maybe they don't really put that much thought into these slogans either. Toshiba's "Choose Freedom" slogan - what exactly does that mean? If we choose a Sony are we relegated to the first twelve channels forever? Where does this freedom come into play with a Toshiba that it doesn't with a Samsung? Oh and there's another gooder: "Digitally Yours". Now they're playing with our emotions and getting all Hallmark on our asses. You can certainly tell what market they're aiming for.

Good thing I don't believe everything I hear...

I'm richer then I think, am I, Scotiabank? Well I think I'll just go on a little shopping spree here and take care of that problem. Oh nevermind, I lost my American Express and I just don't feel right leaving home without it.


May or May Not Have

I think we used up all our funny this weekend. I have never laughed so hard in my life (other then an incident that involved poker, cake, Michael Bolton and dog food but that's a story for another day). I'm not sure if it was the hot (32-38 degree Celsius) weather, the steady stream of alcoholic beverages or just the fact that I was with people I love to be around but holy hell was it a fun trip.

Although there are a few fuzzy details (why was the joke about roofies so hilarious? Who first started comparing Larry to Chuck Norris? Why did we decide that swimming through the lake in pitch black night was far safer then traipsing through the woods to return to the boat?) I guess some things we'll just never know.

In light of the weekend, and since I seem to always have a list once a week here is:

I May or May Not Have:

Left the Following on O/N's Boat (he was there for a stag):

  • 1 leg warmer
  • 2 pink & black gauntlet gloves
  • 1 black skirt
  • 1 rabbit tail
  • 4 beaded shot glasses
  • 1 gold flip-flop
  • 1 sailor hat
  • 2 bikini ties
  • My singledom (more on that another day)

Used the Following Sentences:

  • Damage deposit...? Well, what happens if we lose the boat? ( I was dead serious)
  • I only call you bitches 'cuz I don't know y'all individually
  • Listen you douche-monkeys
  • Nobody can die on my watch. Promise? It's almost Co-Captains turn so lets jump off the edge then.
  • Who knew a mag light was water proof!? What? It's not? Shit.
  • Larry doesn't throw up when he drinks too much...He throws down!
  • Well your damage deposit may be gone...but so are we...ha!
  • It's wabbit-hunting season (while dressed like a playboy bunny)
  • Two toothbrush

Done the Following:

  • A keg stand, after which I promptly projectile vomited beer, then did another.
  • Hit my head on a ceiling fan and loudly announced that I was "concussed"
  • Woken up, poured & drank a Gin caesar, then gone back to bed on the top deck
  • Thought I was going to die on the way home when our driver, going 200 in the pouring rain decided it would be funny to start poking her bf. Around the mountains. While passing another car.

So August-long anyone...?