Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pickle Problems

The other day I had a slight freak-out.

In hindsight, it was...nothing. In the grand scheme of is nothing.

But, at the seemed like the worlds biggest problem that has ever existed in the history of problems throughout the world.

What was my problem you may ask?

I couldn't get the pickle jar open. Yeah, I know, D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

I tried tapping the lid on the counter, running it under hot water, cold water, using all of my mighty strength, and using towels and jar opening devices to attempt to open it.

Despite all of my attempts...I couldn't.

It just wouldn't BUDGE.

And it was so annoying. So annoying that I spent hours dreaming about pickles and how much I love them and how I just wanted the stupid jar to be open. I think that my desire for a pickle got WORSE just because I couldn't have one.

You know when you get a craving for something...and nothing else will do? That's what happened..and all I wanted was a stupid pickle...and could I open the jar? Of course not.

Frustration mounted...until brother came in the house and I begged him to open said particularily tricky pickle jar...not even caring when he himself (basically the strongest person I KNOW) struggled and then finally opened it, spilling pickle juice all over him.

My selfish self didn't care....because as he wiped pickle juice off of himself and the dog eagerly did his part to help clean craving was more than satisfied and I was SO happy to have had a pickle. I was basically the happiest person on the face of the earth.

When I realized...just how silly I am. Did I seriously just spend so much time agonizing over PICKLES?! Especially when it's a food that really..I shouldn't even like.

I mean...I DESPISE cucumbers.

I REALLY hate them. More than most foods in the entire world.

Like, REALLY REALLY hate them.

I can taste if they've been removed from a sandwich. I can smell them from another room. If I injest a small bite of one..I get a horrific headache. Basically, I think that they're one of the most foul, disgusting foods on the face of the earth..and don't understand how anyone could ever eat them. Let alone eat them because they ENJOY them. Eck.

But pickles on the other hand? I WILL fight you for a pickle.

Okay..maybe not fight.

But I may stick out my bottom lip, put on my best puppy dog eyes and look longingly at the pickle in question until you slowly back away from it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tis The Season

The Christmas season is upon us.

This, if nothing else..has proved it to me. Candy cane doughnuts and christmas scenes on Tim Hortons coffee cups? Yeah. Tis the season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Suzy Not-So-Homemaker

Tonight I got a craving...for rice krispie squares.

A craving so bad, that I had to have them...NOW. And not just now..but RIGHT now.

I have no idea why in the world I desired them so badly..but I did.

So I ran into the kitchen and dug around the kitchen cupboards hoping to find some marshmallows. There were none to be found. My heart was so sad. Then suddenly, out of the corner of my the very back of a top cupboard...I found them.

I questioned their best before date..but couldn't find one. Then, I wondered..can marshmallows even GO bad?

At this point..I just wanted some rice krispie squares...and wanted them I didn't even care...and started on my way to making them. Except that the marshmallows wouldn't really melt. They were going soft, going squishy..but just forming a giant clump of...whole marshmallows.

After a good 10 minutes of them not even coming close to melting...I was absolutely confused..and sad.

Figuring I had nothing to lose...I threw them into a bowl and into the microwave.

Did you know that microwaved marshmallows puff up like crazy..but (in this case) still don't melt?

Being my sad self still...I put the now puffy marhmallows back into the pot.

Discourage at my valiant attempt to fufil my craving...I stirred them some more.

Still..nothing. Just a giant clump of not-so-melted marshmallows.

Figuring I had nothing to lose..I dumped a couple of cups of rice krispies on top of the whole mess hoping that if I poured enough love and muscle into it..they'd still turn out.

They didn't.

Well, unless you count a block of marshallow coated on the outside with rice krispies a success.

Which, audience of Charlie..does.

How does anyone manage to screw up rice krispies?!

...This coming from the girl who once actually burnt pasta to a BLACKENED CRISP which caused the fire alarm to go off. True story.

Wow. I'm impressive. Funny thing is...I usually can actually cook...I swear!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rule Rebellion

Sometimes, I really hate rules.

Okay, that's a lie.

I like rules. I like them when they make sense. When they're there for a reason. When they are useful and purposeful and helpful. And I'm not even really talking about things that you'd get in trouble for, but just general things that society deems appropriate. Some of them are just plain stupid in my humble opinion. Seriously!

Take for instance looking each way before you cross the street. That's a super helpful rule. Means your sorry butt doesn't get run over by a car, truck and/or some other sort of vehicle which is WAY bigger than you. Yep, that's definitely one that makes sense.

Or turning off the oven before you leave the house. Don't want your pretty little house to burn down do you? So, you make sure your stove is turned off...simple as that. Perfectly logical, there's sense to the rule...and if you don't follow the rule..well..that could be bad. Real bad. Follow this rule people, it's a good one.

Or, for a final example (of really, many of our societal rules)...Always brush your teeth. It's not NECESSARY that you do this..but if you don' end up with mega bad breathe, cavities and who knows what else down the road. Makes sense to brush your teeth, it's a pretty smart rule. I personally like being able to chew my food.

Don't get me wrong...there are lots of good 'rules' in life...but there is also a giant pile of them that I can't quite figure out.

Like why do we need to have an objective when we're writing a Resume? I'm pretty sure that the person doing the hiring KNOWS that I want a job. Pretty sure that's WHY I'm handing them a resume and asking them if there are any openings...and if they can't figure that out..then I'm pretty sure that *I* should be doing THEIR job instead of asking them for one.

Or why must our Resumes only be X amount of WHATEVER long? What if we're so important that people SHOULD know more about how awesome we are? Not saying that I am or anything..I just know some people that are pretty freakin' awesome and would probably have crazy impressive long resumes with more important skills on them then 'I haz me some good people skillz' in the 2.5 spaces allotted for describing how wonderful and amazing you are for _____ job.

Speaking of that...Why do we even HAVE resumes? Really? I mean..Who decided that this was such a brilliant idea? What does a piece of paper that's filled with little bits of fluff say about ME? Me as a PERSON? It says basically nothing. Anyone can write ANYTHING down about themselves. They can write that they're organized when really..they are the furthest thing from it. They can babble on about how wonderful they were at their last job..when they sucked more than anything. It's just a piece of paper that determines whether or not you get an interview..which means they take 15 minutes out of their day and determine whether or not they like you.

Which, by the way..I don't know about you..but taking 15 minutes to get to know have a be a pretty darn good judge of character. Which, by the way, I don't think that most people can be in FIFTEEN MINUTES. I know whole bunches of people who can lie for WAAAAY longer than that. I've known people that can lie to me and manipulate me for YEARS. So after 15 minutes...I really don't know how much you can know about ANYONE.

I just don't understand why things HAVE to be done in a certain way and WHY it's necessary to do it this way. It doesn't make the least bit of logical sense to me why someone would care if I have this centered, or indented or bolded or underlined..and I don't get WHY it MUST be done this way because generations previous to us..that's the way it was done.

Maybe I should go eat some red dye number 2? Or maybe take up smoking because it's cool and sophisticated. Or perhaps I'll shun anyone who has a mental illness and advise that they be put into an institution? Logical, right?

OF COURSE IT'S NOT. Of COURSE I would never do those things. That would just be ridiculous.

(Oh wait, North America DID ship all that lovely red stuff to Africa when they banned it and I DID eat it once unknowingly while I was there - Crap. But I will not be fooled again! Word to the wise - don't eat ketchup at fast food joints in Africa. Bad idea.)

ANYWHO. Turns out, generations before us..they don't know everything. And maybe..JUST MAYBE..we don't either. Even when it comes to 'etiquette' that we just HAVE to follow when it comes to writing a stupid RESUME that in the grand scheme of things...uhh...DOESN'T MATTER.

I guess what I'm saying is that I hate this process. Never having had to *gulp* make a resume before. Never having to have looked for a job before...I just can't wrap my pretty little head around it. Buuut..being the one who sifted through resumes that were all carbon copies of each other? puts me in an odd position. A position where I question this entire process even more...and wonder what the point is.

Before you ask, no...I don't have an answer as to how it can be better..or what could be fixed. But man...I already hate it for the arbitrary garbage that it is....and I haven't even begun. You may just think that I'm irrationally angry and taking my anger out on said job-hunting process..but deep just seems like a whole lot of nonsense to me. It's the man..telling me what to do...and I'm sick of being told what to do. Next thing you know..I'm gonna up and join a hippie commune because I'm so fed up with it.

Man, I take it back..rules ARE stupid.

That's tonight's conclusion.

And I'm sticking to least until I go to brush my teeth.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember When...

I've been having little...Europe twinges the last little while.

Kind of like homesickness, except..for Europe. I's worse than cutting out smoking. Not that I would really know, since I'm not a smoker and never have been. But it's completely COLD TURKEY. Europe Done. No chance of a little cobblestone in your life anytime soon little's OVAH.

Sure, I'll go back and visit places that I loved (Berlin - I. want. to. have. your. babies.) and places that have a special place in my heart (Oh Paris - How I loved you and the memories you gave me - 'thank god it's not rats' --2.5 seconds later --> 'OH GOD IT IS RATS') and the places I've yet to make it to (Yeah I'm talkin' to you: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Moscow, Edinburgh, Crete, Istanbul, Sicily, Le Havre, Luxembourg & SO MANY OTHER PLACES - me and you gots us a DATE in the future and it's gonna be AWESOME.) Don't get me wrong..I went A LOT of places. I did a lot of fabulous things..and saw even more wonderful, breathtaking things than most people get to see in their lifetimes. I had an awesome year, and it's even more awesome in hindsight because I think about the travelling I did and the adventures I had (Last time I counted...I'd visted almost twenty countries in a YEAR - FOR FUN - WHO DOES THAT?!) and those memories will stay with me forever and let me tell you..they were awesome.

But still...I would sit here and creep all of the girls I knew who were still in Switzerland. And I would creep the girl who replaced me to see how much fun she is having. I would sit here and think about how much fun I had travelling..and would think about how much I missed being there.

And then, today, I talked to my replacement. I've chatted with her a couple times...and we've sent a couple emails back and forth. All of these seemed very happy, positive and very little reference to any sort of problems or difficulties that she may have been having. Now, a part of me hoped that this was because there WEREN'T any problems. But another (very selfish and very insecure) part of me worried that she was doing a way better job and had figured out how to manage that family better than I could. That I had been over-exagerating. That the things that were conflicts and problems and issues when I lived in that house..were actually with ME instead of with the job and with THEM. That my entire year there had just been a big ole giant social experiment which proved that I suck.

So I sat on my chair here, and worried and wondered about all of the possibilities. It comes as no surprise to me (and, let's face it..probably anyone reading this) that I sat here and overanalyzed and overthought and of course...I wondered the things that my self-conscious, deep down nervous self thinks. Is she having more fun than I did? Do the kids love her more than they love me? Is she better at ironing than I am? Does she yell less? Have more better days? Does she question every.single.little.move. that she makes because as much as she's NOT those children's mother...she knows that one little move can screw them up even more than they already are? And...the MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION...Could she manage to find IKEA? Because I SWEAR...I tried and tried. And I never found it. That, and it was the end of the year and I was tired of being her slave and I didn't actually...erm...really try. Whoops. That one I don't really worry about..but the rest..I do.

Sitting here with my lovely rose coloured glasses on...I dreamed about all of the happy times. The kisses and the I love you's...the list that my lovely middle child made of 'why Erin would be a good mother'. The car dances and sharing icecream bites. And the travels. Oh how I remember the travels with such a fondness in my heart that it makes my rose coloured glasses so thick that I forget about all of the stuff that I hated. I tend to forget about the job PART that came ALONG with the lovely European life. With all of the things that I loved. I've been reading old blog entries..and as much as quite a lot of them are happy..there are definitely ones that are there that make me cringe. The ones about my lack of privacy, the complete and utter lack of respect. The ones about me, and the person I am...being bulldozed into the ground...and treated like garbage OVER and OVER again.

What people don't that being someones personal slave nanny makes as if you're bipolar. If you're having a good day..then life is GREAT. And if you're having a bad sucks more than you could ever imagine. This was so true, but especially in that household...good days meant scoops of icecreams for dessert that cost more than you made the entire day...and goodnight kisses and kids who won't have any homework and a boss who comes home from shopping and hands you a little package and thanks you for your hard work and tells you how much the kids and her love you. Bad days means that every. single. thing. you. do. is criticized and the kids scream and cry over everything..won't eat their dinners and there are huge messes everywhere you turn. Bad days when the dog has crapped everywhere and you're trying to pull yourself together enough to make it through the next hour, the next day, the next week and you just don't know how much longer you can put yourself through it. Especially when you've worked out your hourly rate to be a whopping 4 bucks an hour once you figure in the 'overtime' that oddly enough, gets overlooked when paycheques are dispensed and you've just worked four 80 hour work weeks and only got two sets of EXACTLY 48 hours off in that ENTIRE MONTH.

This job was not unlike life. It has its ups and downs like anything else out there. There is just such a lack of control that is hard to deal with in this situation...which I guess is also similar to real life. You can't REALLY take things into your own hands..because as much as you have taken on the mothering role and do all of the things that a traditional mother DOES..that mother that you are replacing is still there watching ever move you make and judging everything that you do and wanting it done THEIR way. Which, in my opinion, for this not the way. So, when you look at it from a job's hard to validate how it could be worth it. I get wanting to be a mother, and I've always been that girl that wanted kids. But man, this has opened my eyes to an entirely different world of parenting, and I know that if I ever have kids..this experience has taught me a lot of how I would (and wouldn't) raise my own children.

And when I talked with this girl, when she called to ask me what the job was like...I was having a good day. The sun was shining, birds were chirping. The girls had no homework. Their mother had decided on a whim to take them out for sushi and into town for the me some much desired respite (and a still clean house, that the maid had just COMPLETELY CLEANED from top to bottom) and I was getting ready to meet with some girlfriends to lie on a blanket on the edge of Lake Zurich while the sun set.

So you may see how my views were skewed on that particular day.

How I might have been like ''s GREAT! I LOVE IT HERE!'

But, in my defense...I did tell her about the tantrums..and the bad days..and how they're demanding and expect EVERYTHING of you. I told her things...and when I told other aupairs what I had told her..they were like...MAN! IF YOU TOLD ME THAT I'D NEVER COME!.....but until you combine what I told her...with the rest of my stories...with the rest of the things that went on in that's impossible to understand. You can't completely and fully GET it until you're in the thick of it..and I knew that. But still...As much as they used me and abused me and took advantage of me...I care about those girls..and I wanted someone who would love them and take care of them and be good to them. So I told her more good things than bad..and told her that all aupairs deal with crappy circumstances..but as far as wages and weeks off're lucky to be working for them because they pay the most and give the most time off out out everyone that I know. And yes, I know...that the whole lotta CRAZY that comes with the job has a heckuva lot to do with that...but as much as sometimes those kids drove me crazy...I do love all of them. Even when the seven year old like to tell me to bleep the bleep off because she bleeping hated me for bleeping making her take a bleeping shower. I'm an awful person, I know. I mean..SHOWERING. COME ON. HOW COULD I BE ANY MEANER?!?

That being much as it pained me to listen to this poor girl ramble on tonight..I felt a sigh of relief that it wasn't just me. That they still are crazy. That they've ALWAYS been crazy, and it wasn't just me. That the kids are nuts. And the mother is demanding beyond belief. That she's tired of the job, exhausted and just doesn't know what to do anymore.

And then I felt this gut-wrenching-oh-my-god-what-have-I-done pain in my heart. I ENCOURAGED someone to go through this? To be that person who has to suffer through this? Yes, you get a payoff for taking on this job..but at what price? And at what price is it just not WORTH it anymore? Sure, they'll always find someone..but how could I be okay with encouraging someone to put themselves into a situation that I know is not healthy? And worse yet..I told her she'd be okay. I told her that if she wasn't..what was the worst that could happen..she'd go home and be in the same spot she'd been in last spring. I think that the worst part for me is that I DID bend over backwards for them..and I did make it harder for her to stand up to them..because I never did. I never took a stance and said what needed to be said..and my lack of action spoke louder than words ever will. All of the aupairs there took abuse and were used and hurt and never said anything. And if anyone ever did..they were reprimanded and further yet, PUNISHED as if THEY were the children..instead of the ones RAISING the children.

So I did the only thing that I could think of doing. I talked to her..and told her that it'd be okay. And I reminded her of her fabulous Greece trip that she'd returned from a few weeks ago..and talked about all of the fun places she'd get to go in the future. I reminded her that it's okay to give up and go home..and even if she didn't..that it's still okay to think about it. I gave her some things that I figured out towards the end of my year there...I joked and tried to be there for her when she was feeling frustrated, upset, lonely and down. And in the end..she thanked me and told me that it was really nice to have someone to talk to who knew EXACTLY what she was going through.

And I do.

But I still can't help but feel a tinge guilty..that even though I know that she's a fabulous person..and so good for the kids...that I helped to put her into this situation that I don't think is really healthy for ANYONE. I believe that all things happen for a reason...even if we don't know what those things are at the time. And I really hope that there was a reason for this, because she really is a sweet, loving, caring, nice person. I really just hate to think of the circumstances that make it hard for her to continue on there and my involvement in that.

So I will do my best. And make sure that she knows that I'm here..and respond to emails and remind her to focus on the good things. Because there are always good things...even if you have to look a while, put on your rose coloured glasses..and dig through years of old blog posts to find them.

Nagging Nellys

If there is something that really gets under my skin more than most's being nagged to do something.


If it's a reminder of something I've honestly forgotten...then I have no problem doing it. If you're nagging me to do all liklihood..I probably don't want to do it. I probably have reasons why I don't want to do it. And I probably won't share the reasons because I hate confrontation and sharing my true feelings. Oh, and I hate nagging.

I'm one of those people..who when nagged...I have the tendency to do the opposite of whatever it is that is asked of me.

For mother repeatedly bugs me to do something? Yeah, you can bet that it's not going to get done ANY time soon. And the more she asks, the slower it gets done. She doesn't understand that I HATE being asked to do things over and over and over again...and it seems that SO many people just don't GET that.

I have my own agenda..I have my own list of things to do that sits in my head..nagging me all day long..I don't need another person with their own personal list of things that I am supposed to be doing for them...and repeating that list every 2.5 mili-seconds.

Kind of makes me want to claw my eyes out to not see the notes, emails and 'friendly reminders', to rip off my ears just so that they'll stop mentioning it...and to procrastinate doing it even longer. Just to teach them a lesson that their nagging techniques will not work on me.

I paid attention during all of my psyc. classes..and all of my behaviour modification classes...and all of my teachers college education. I do not reward behaviour that I don't like..and thus..when people nag me, which I don't like...I don't give in. It may be me being stubborn...and it may mean that I'm a bad person..but because I'm not using my five years of university in any other way....I'll use it to flat out, without a doubt, refuse to reward this behaviour.

Even if it just means that I'm being a stubborn, mean, vindictive person.

Or, maybe it just means that I'm being a person who REALLY doesn't like being nagged.

Incredible Intelligence

I've been lounging around watching tv the last few days. Which means...a lot-o-commercial judging has been going on.

Also, my brain is a little's been a lot of commercial confusion on my behalf.

Yesterday I saw a commercial for CBC (like the American ABC or the British BBC) ON the CBC which kept flashing these letters over and over again.




And I was like..what the heck IS this for? What is going on? What is this SNEW thing that they keep advertising? I racked my brains, and then the intranet for an answer...with little

Perhaps it the Swine News Epidemic Watch?

Or the Sasquatch Never Eats Whales organization.

Or, perhaps it was...Saskatoon Now Elevating Watchmen.

Point is...I had lots of possible explanations.

That is...until I realized that:




You know, like..the


News (nūz, nyūz) (used with a sing. verb)
1.a.Information about recent events or happenings, especially as reported by newspapers, periodicals, radio, or television.

Today's happenings proved once again that yes, I am a GENIUS folks.

I really don't know HOW I was blessed with quite this much intelligence.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Silly Sorrows

I've sat here for the past few days moaning and groaning about how my body aches. My head hurts. I can't stop coughing. I have no appetite. I'm exhausted even though all I do is sit, then sleep, then sit, then sleep.

And then I check blogger this morning..and have one of those 'ah ha' moments. You know, the ones that make you go..oh right. I'm just one little person in the GREAT BIG WORLD and in the grand scheme of the ENTIRE WORLD...I'm just one person who has a COLD. A measly, little, insignificant who-cares cold.

I stumbled upon a girl named Heathers blog a while ago...I don't really know how..but I did. And from that moment when I first started reading...I was captivated. I spent hours reading and pouring over blog entries and crying about how unfair the world is. I don't have kids, I have no idea what it would ever be like to be in their shoes...but their story shakes me to the core because it's just so HEARTBREAKING. And most times that she writes about her the things going on in her life...I end up sighing (see: bawling) and wondering how someone can be dealt a hand Sucks big bunches of monkey butt.

And then I read this post this morning and spent the rest of the morning pouring over another blog of a woman who has been faced with a crappy hand, overcome so many obstacles that life threw her way..and then, when it was least expected...the dealer played a joker and completely caught her off gaurd. At the age of 35, she has ended up in the ICU after having a stroke...while her family waits and hopes and dreams of her return to them.

It just really made me stop. Sit up. And look around. And realize that I'm pretty darn lucky. The hand I've been dealt has, so far (*knocks on wood*) been pretty good. Life has been kind to me. I found myself sitting here going...'So, I have a cold'...and my brain calmly answered: SO. WHAT.

There are so many worse things in life then a little, stupid COLD. So I realized that I can sit here and wallow in it and cough and be miserable..or I can choose to learn a lesson from these older and wiser women. Women who have faced so many more obstacles and overcome real pain, sadness and heartache in their lives then I could ever imagine. I realized that all I can do is hope, wish and dream this woman,Anissa, a woman who I haven't had the chance to 'meet' via the interwebs yet, who I know that I could learn so much from... will yet again prove that her strengths lie in overcoming obstacles so that she can yet again update her silly, witty, inspiring blog once again.

Oh, and I'll stop whining about how unfair life is that I have a cold while I'm at it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Still Still Still

Still headachey.

Still coughing.

Still feel like a dump truck ran over me.

Still achey and painy. Oh wait, that might be from the whole mass amount of firewood carrying. That was so light it felt like feathers. And not at ALL a co-incidence that it coincides with otherwise feeling like gargabe.


Still whining and complaining.

..Still Sick.


Woe is me.

You may now return to your regularily scheduled program while I go back to hacking up a lung and drowning my whiny sorrows in a would-be-delish-if-i-could-taste-anything homemade neocitrin.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Illness Illusions

I have been doing everything I can think of to not think of being sick. Of getting sick. Of sickness in general.

I have been drinking tea, getting lots of sleep (even if it's not necessarily as early as I should be - I am sleeping in and thus getting 8-10 hours a night) and ODing on vitamin C in the form of delicious, delicious holiday clementines. Oh how I love ODing on clementines and finding out that they're actually good for me and will keep me from getting sick. Or at least that's what I'll keep telling myself to allow my delicious addiction to continue.


I've been telling myself that I'm not getting sick. That I refuse. I find that sometimes when I'm just really stubborn and don't give into the sick that's trying to wrap its greedy little hands around me...that eventually it tries its best..sticks around for a couple of days while I carry on my regular business and then leaves, knowing that when it finally slinks off to find another warm body to host its evil virus in I will laugh triumphantly in its face.

So I'm calmly ignoring this heavy tingling feeling in my bronchi.

Yes, in my bronchi.

Let me explain: A) Me Ma's a nurse. I grew up with entirely too many medical professionals surrounding me and thus know an odd, random amount of information about medicine and illness. No joke, this is the kid that once had a sore throat and told her mother that her esophagus hurt. and B) It's happened before.

I was perpetually sick in the winters of my highschool years with a tight feeling in my lungs and bronchi were an ever constant presence. Cold air seemed to make my chest seize up and then came the ever present seal cough. You know, the one where you sound like a sea animal barking everytime you breathe. Funtimes. My doctor gave me a puffer to use way back in the day..and although it helped a little..the effects didn't last long, and after a really did...well..not a whole lot. That, and sometimes I'm a wee bit leery of a whole lotta medications and stuff. Just never have been all about popping a pill or puffer or any of that stuff..would rather let my body duke it out..and most times it works, far...I can tell when it's not going to.

But, it seems to be back. And I'm coughing like a seal. And the tingly gross tight heavy feeling in my bronchi is back.

But I'm not sick.

And as long as I keep telling myself that...and of course...ODing on delicious vitamin C...I won't get sick. Right?


It's not five am. And I am not awake. I can't NOT lay down because laying down does not mean that I can't not get any air into my lungs. And no air into my lungs does not mean that I can't breathe..and not breathing means that I don't cough and not coughing means THE WORLDS HEADACHE IN THE WORLD does not return.

Bah. I hate NOT being sick.

Firewood Frenzy

Today I participated in such a Canadian stereotype.

And no, I did not use a serviette after eating poutine on my chesterfield.

Instead...I climbed into my long johns and collected wood for the evaporator.

Translation: I turned myself into a lumberjack to get some wood for the fire to make maple syrup in the spring.

After fighting off a blinding headache this morning...I was back to my normal self this afternoon, so I spent the afternoon running around the farm helping my brother to collect firewood for the spring when we make maple syrup. My brother Ben and I are what you call...umm..opposites. We're not EXACTLY a like in such obvious ways. He's good at building things and machines and fixing things. Whereas...I'm good at..uhh..breaking things for him to fix.

So, I jumped in and did my best to help. I used my massive strength to carry huge trees as if they weighed nothing. I scaled rock fences in search for more wood like it was nobodys biznaz. I stacked wood like I've been doing it since I was a baby. I even drove a MANUAL TRACTOR.

Okay, I may be slightly exagerating. I used my strength to carry huge trees as if they weighed as much as...huge trees. I huffed and puffed and pulled and tugged until I got them out of the brush and into the open where they could be cut up into smaller more manageable (but still H-E-A-V-Y) pieces. I may have also been distracted picking up what I thought could have been a-okay firewood..which I quickly got the 'Erin, we're looking for FIREWOOD, not MATCHES' look from my brother as he pointed further down the field to where some giant dead trees awaited us. I may also have not so stumbled and scrambled up, around and...uhhh..down rock fences. Where the rocks may have beaten me up like it was nobodys biznaz. I stacked wood like someone would if they had no idea what they were doing...and let Ben take over that job and took to lifting it off the trailer and handing it to him instead. Hey, it's important..if no one handed it to him..he'd like, have to do it HIMSELF or something.

But the driving the tractor thing...I did. That, I'm not exagerating. It wasn't that the particular tractor was EASY or anything..I'm just AWESOME. And maybe a little bit that the gears had picture guides on them. If all cars had gears that were 'turtle', 'person' and 'car' on them for 'slow', 'medium', 'fast' - I'd TOTALLY know what to do. For those of you who know know that this is kind of a big deal. I had a hard enough time learning how to drive an automatic car...the thought that I could ever be driving a tractor..let alone a MANUAL one..that's HUGE.

It didn't hurt that I had a teacher who actually had some patience and understanding and despite the fact that this stuff doesn't come naturally to me..he sat there patiently showing me how to work the clutch and explaining it to me in lamens terms why it works and how it works and making sure that I was getting it. Those are the best kind of teachers :) It's just funny to watch as we grow up and become responsible adults who can work together, and better yet..teach each other how to better ourselves. As I watch my brother grow up..I see so many qualities in him that I admire..and I see so much of my Dad in him and it just makes me really happy to see the person that he's becoming.

It really was amazing to me how much we've grown up...that we can work together and get things done..and amazingly..still be on speaking terms when we're done. It's not often that we work so closely together in our daily lives, even though we're both here working away on the farm. Our skill sets are just so different that we're both busy doing different things that we're good at..but spend little time actually working together to get something done 'round here. So when we do work together..I think that a lot of time we're destined to clash because we ARE so different in a lot of ways that it's harder to see where the other person is coming from..but today really showed me that perhaps we are..growing up. It also showed me that I'm REAL glad we don't heat our house entirely with wood. Man, that's just crazy talk...getting enough just for the evaporator in the spring is hard work. I did one afternoon of it..and I'm pooped. I'm gonna sleep SO GOOD tonight!

So, I'm proud to say that not only did we collect a bunch of firewood to go in the woodshed..but we did made a dent in filling it up, he taught me how to drive a TRACTOR..and despite working with machinery, chainsaws and EACH OTHER...we both have all of our limbs and are alive and well.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bedtime Blather

I had a lovely little weekend.

What did I do you might ask? Well, here's a little summary:

* Got hugs & kisses * Napped on couch(es) * Ate candy * Took photos * Went for walks * Got fast food way too late at night * Had marathon chats with ones I love and miss dearly * Left my cellphone behind * Drank Timmys * Played with oh so many puppies * Went for chinese food * Forgot my camera at the END of the weekend..doh! * Went to the cinema * Ran into people I know from the past * Danced while baking pumpkin pie * Dug through the 'five dollah' movie bin at walmart * Diagnosed spider bites * Ate lollipops * Got a pup addicted to tic tacs * Giggled * Woke up to puppy dog kisses * Had rooibos tea that soothed the soul * Googled random things with others who enjoy the random * Squished way too many people (and dogs) into my car * Went grocery shopping which has turned into an adventure of its own kind * Had a shushi lunch date where the welcome is alwasy..enthusatic * Took too many pictures * Relaxed * Smiled * Loved *

I had a good weekend :) It was lovely.

But by of my FAVOURITE moments of the entire weekend?

It was late and had decided to sleep over at my cousins house as I was planning on spending the next day with them anyways. So my cousin Edana generously offered to share her lovely and comfy bed with me! After we'd brushed our teeth and gotten ready for bed...we were both more awake and spent the next who-knows-how-long playing the bedtime blather game. You know, the classic girl thing. The one where the lights are off, you should be falling asleep..but instead you lie there babbling about all sorts of things. Your hopes, fears, and dreams. The things that you think are funny, sad, happy or just plain weird. When you're going to get your hair cut, why you can't bring yourself to eat liver and if we'll ever actually 'grow up' and figure life out - or whether that's a realistic possibility or just a rumour someone started to mess with our heads.

It's just so fun and I've always loved those bedtime babbles with friends and family alike....but I just love that last night it just happened so spontaneously and was just so random and silly and serious and...good. Sometimes it boggles my mind...and I can't believe how well the kids from my family, and the kids from their family get along. I guess I just find it odd because for the most part...we were raised in completely different worlds. My brother and I moved once...they moved so often. We always lived in this area, and they NEVER did. They've spend the last 6-10 years in Africa...and oddly enough..that hasn't really been optimal for us furthering the friendship that has always existed below the surface of our family relationship. Sure, if they're back in Canada we have a blast and go out and do things and get together and whatever..and when we went to South Africa to visit them it was the holiday that dreams are made of..and we spent so much time having the adventure of a lifetime.climbing up mountains and dipping our toes into oceans, eating warthog and ostrich and springbok, sliding down waterfalls, petting cheetahs, going on SAFAAAAAARI!, and of course, that pesky little wedding thing where I gained the best cousin-in-law ever known to man! I think that it was that trip that really cemented to me just how well our dynamics as a group of friends mix. Let's just say...that we put the six 'cousins' in a bar in small town rural south africa..and hilarity and laughter ensued...and I'm sure that they had no idea what in the world to think of us. This was of course followed by stuffing my brother and his girlfriend into the oh so small boot of the car so we'd all fit to drive home..while we sang along at the top of our lungs to the radio..enough to probably frighten all of the baboons living outside our cabins into hiding for the duration of our stay. It's just rather amazing that despite the years that span the oldest to the youngest in our little group of six (almost a decade! ahh!)...we all can find common ground with each other and get along wonderfully (for the most part - there are siblings involved too yanno! :P) and I've really being loving all of the time I get to spend with them recently...and even though life has been crazy busy and I wonder how it would ever be possible for it to always be QUITE this much FUN...I've been soaking it up while it lasts :)

So it was no surprise REALLY to me..that as the lights were off and our bodys were trying to wind down from a night filled with silliness and movies and of my favourite things to do with friends just naturally happened. So until the wee hours of the morning...we giggled, shared secrets, discussed our lives and eventually fell into a deep slumber with smiles on our faces.

..Only to wake up to four eager puppies jumping on the bed telling us that it was already morning and time for us to get up and enjoy another day :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Wonder

My childhood was a little different than most.

When I was five, we moved to the farm I now live on. This means that while my Mom continued working at her job as a nurse, my Dad spent his waking hours pouring his heart and soul into making this place what it is today. I can remember collecting sap to make maple syrup until it was too dark to see anymore, because that's what had to be done. I remember planting fruits and vegetables when we were all home. After school, weekends, after dinner..whenever there were enough hands to make it work.

Weekends to me didn't mean lounging around watching cartoons on Saturday morning, or shopping trips in the afternoon. They were filled with farmers markets and our busiest days of the week at our store in cottage country.

My summers in adolesence weren't filled with days at the mall, or even really days at the cottage. We try to make it over to the cottage (which, is luckily, close) after we're done for the day so that we can have dinner and enjoy a couple hours there....and as much as I cherish and love these memories...My summers were often filled with long days doing what needed to be done. My brother and I quickly learned from our parents how to pour our hearts and souls into this place too, each using our oh so different talents and skills to do what needed to be done.

My friends balk at my super-human strength (yes, I can lift lots of heavy fruit and vegetables at once, can't you?) I can chit chat with anyone about anything...and have an uncanny ability to remember faces and vegetables that people have bought weeks previously..and follow up with more chit chatter. I can drive big trucks and even back them up with some sort of accuracy. Sometimes. I know how to program cash registers and get them to work how I want them to work when they're being tempremental. I can multi-task like no other.

But taking weekends off? That's a kinda new one for me.

It was only last year that I got into the routine of having 'time off' and having 'weekends off'. Even though I only had four days off a month while I lived in Switzerland..those two weekends a month came to be cherished like there was no other. I counted down the days and hours until my 'weekend off' to zip off to Italy or France, Germany, Austria or Lichtenstein. (Betcha never been THERE!) I learned the value of weekends there. How lovely they REALLY are. And I learned just how much I hate hate HATE Monday mornings. I realized that while I do have days off at home..I seem to spend them running around doing things so much..that I had no idea how to do..nothing. Sitting on a beach? Who did that besides movie stars? You mean I can lie by the pool in the backyard for the ENTIRE day and there is NOTHING ELSE that needs to be done? REAllY? The art of relaxation escaped scared me..and it tempted me with its laziness and generally lax attitude. And I loved it for that.

Sure, weekends have always been there...but going from school --> work and and work --> school and back again for the last 20+ years has made weekends kind of...wonky. It's made time off..a little known concept..and totally warped my mind of what weekends should be. Like the farm..there was always SOMETHING that COULD be done.

Then there was the fact that I was an arts student while I did my I only ever had classes from Tuesday --> Thursday...which meant that I actually had more days off then I had school days. Which meant that those four days were either spent with friends wasting time and talking about how much work there was to do...or crunch time...when I had so many essays to write and exams to study for..I spent equal parts complaining about school work and equal parts actually doing it.

Now, once again...fall has come. Winter is on its way. The busy season at the farm has come and gone...and for the first time since 1988, I have not been in school come this time of the year. I'm doing some bookwork and other random things for the farm..but I'm not working very hard right now...and need to get my butt in gear. But, I do have plans for the weekend..none of which involve any sort of actual work.

Tonight I have a girls night with Rhi planned..where we will watch movies, eat junk food and play cards..and of each others ears off.

Tomorrow I am going out to lunch with the lovely Miss. Stephanie where we will enjoy good food and good about everything and all of the stuff that has been happening in our lives..and probably giggle about wedding planning for her upcoming 'do.

Saturday night I will kidnap two cousins, a cousin in law and their parents and take them out to a sort of surprise birthday dinner. They think that they're coming to our house for dinner but unbeknownst to them...we're taking them to a restaurant near our house that they've been wanting to go to since they moved back to Canada :)

Sunday we have a long walk planned..where we'll go wandering throughout all of the trails by the university campus...and then warm up with a hot beverage and a movie downtown :)

Sunday night..I'll watch some tv with my Daddio, catch him up on the weekend happenings in my life..and fall into bed...already dreaming of all of the lovely things that I might do NEXT weekend :)

Drinking Dreams

I had a lovely evening spent lounging around with cousins whom I heart dearly.

And then I got in my car..and started to drive home.

And got frustrated. And then angry. And then on top of that..a little bit beyond infuriated.

You see, sometimes when I drive home..I get stuck beyond...for a lack of a better word...complete and total morons.

Now, there are your regular kind of morons who are on the road. The ones who cut you off. Who go too fast. Who go to slow. Who aren't paying attention to what they're doing because they're distracted by their phones/makeup/passengers. The ones who drive too close. Or, the ones don't turn off their brights.

There are lots of reasons how someone can be an idiot while driving...and as much as they're annoying and I want to shake my fist (and sometimes DO shake my fist..) I don't get QUITE as angry as I do when I'm following someone like the complete and total moron that I was following tonight.

The one who drove 50-60 on a 80km highway.

The one who crept down to 40km/h when they saw another car on the horizon

The one who swerved from one side of the white line, right over until they rode the yellow line.

The one who only realized that they were in the opposite driving lane when I gave them a little honk, which caused them to almost end up in the ditch on the other side of the road when they realized and over-corrected.

The one who almost ended up in the lake as we rounded a curve and they attempted to throw their cigarette butt out the window.

The one who was drunk, stupid, careless and irresponsible.

I hate being stuck behind drivers who choose to make such stupid decisions. If you know you have to drive home...suck it up and don't drink. You're old enough to drive? To be responsible for driving yourself and others somewhere? When you take on that should be conciously making the decision to be as safe as humanly possible whenever you're in the car. If you're going to decide to drink..make sure you have a DD or a place to crash. I don't need your stupid ass on the roads making stupid decisions, not in control of the vehicle you're driving and putting my safety and the safety of everyone else on the road in jeopardy. What's the point? Seriously? What good can come of driving home drunk? Where do you get off thinking that it's okay to put MY life and the lives of ones that I love in jeopardy?You may get away with it for a while..but eventually luck runs out...and as much as it's your life and you have the right to put yourself into danger should you desire (which, for the life of me, I can't figure out WHY you'd wanna do that.)'s NOT okay to put anyone else in that path with you. You want to live on the edge with your life? Go jump out of an airplane or something..don't drive drunk on my roads.

It's just that I've seen way too many peoples luck run out. I've seen way too many people in this place buried before they should have been because they, or someone else decided that they were fine. They knew when their judgement had been altered. They knew when they'd crossed that line between being 'okay' and having 'too much'. And that's why at LEAST once a year there is car crash in this area which usually results in a death at my old highschool from an alcohol related incident. Not to mention all of the other alcohol related deaths that aren't related to my highschool directly. It just makes me sick to my stomach when I think about all of the lives lost..all of the potential wasted...because of an inability to admit that they shouldn't be driving, that they COULDN'T drive.

So, when I found myself behind this driver tonight...I did what I always do. I crept down to whatever speed they were doing. I kept my distance even further then I usually do in case I needed to slam on my breaks. I didn't pass them..because I had no idea what side of the road they'd swerve to if I tried to do that. Quite life is worth a lot more then the five or ten minutes faster I might have been home if I'd tried to pass them. I gritted my teeth..and wasn't even mad at the speed we were going. Instead, I was mad at the sheer stupidity of people who think that they're invincible, and worse yet..the ones who think that it's okay to put everyone elses life in danger too, because they're too full of themselves to admit that they're not perfect and they too are fallible.

If this was something that had never happened before...if this was something that was so uncommon it was more shocking then not...I don't think that I would be quite as angry. Sure, I wouldn't be HAPPY about it..but I think that I would be more sad then angry.'s something that's far too common around here. I get stuck behind cars like this far more often then I'd rather admit. And time after time..I wonder what people are thinking. How they can justify their behaviour when it's just so...stupid.

So maybe it does make me sad. Sad that it does happen so often here. Sad that people here think that it's okay, think that they're okay to drive when they're so obviously not. I know that it happens in larger cities..but I also am apt to think that because there is no such thing as public transport here, that because there are higher rates of alcohol abuse in rural areas..and because people so often just have different does happen more here.

I guess more then anything..I just hate hearing about death after death, funeral after funeral..where another young kid smashes into a rock wall, another car, or ends up in the bottom of a lake when there was NO need for this to happen. Hearing about a family who now has to mourn the loss of a loved one, because someone made a foolish decision. It's hard enough for me to think about people losing their lives due to disease and circumstance...let alone think about deaths that are so unnecessary. It just doesn't make sense to me...and it breaks my heart to think about all of the heartache and saddness that could have been avoided. The lost lives that could have been something more.

Life, in my humble way too short and way too precious to be thrown away like that.

So thats why I'll sigh and head off to bed...dreaming of a world where life makes sense. Where happy endings are always there with rainbows, kittens and smiles. And, where people don't ever question driving after they've been drinking..because that's just too silly to even fathom.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Designer Delights

When I look back on my childhood...I realize that I had a fairly sheltered one.'s not entirely my fault. I lived in the middle of nowhere.

I didn't listen to a lot of the 'popular' music. Where I lived..there were two radio stations. It was either country music or the CBC. Quirks and Quarks anyone? Anyone? Can I get a HECK YA! from ANYONE in the crowd?

On top of that...we had 3.5 tv stations..if the weather was okay. It could be anywhere from 0-3.5 depending on which way the rabbit ears were facing and whether or not a storm was brewing. Half of the 90's tv references that people talk about...I'm completely, absolutely, without a the dark about. Talk to me about Saved By The Bell..and I can deal. But when a group of 20 something girls start talking about Friday night TV schema goes DIRECTLY to (and I'm not even joking.) ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FARCE?!

Finally...I didn't even (and yes, I can hear your audible WHAT *GASP* OH NO YOU DID'N comments from the vast majority of all five (?) of my blog readers ALL THE WAY FROM HERE..AKA - THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.) know what jimmy choo's or louis vuitton or gucci or whatever other designer names were out there until I University. Yes, I was that naive. Actually..I take that back..I knew prada and gucci (we were not completely devoid of movies in the middle of nowhere.) but a lot of those other things...I yeah, had absolutely idea about...or really...any use to know. Wearing high heels on the farm? That's just silly.

Infact, I still kind of have no use for them. Sure, some designer things are cute...but I don't base what I find cute on them.

I was actually in a Louis Vuitton store in Zurich earlier this year..

Ha - look how fancy pants *I* am. Be jealous of me. Look far I've come since my naive blank-stare-I-have-no-idea-who-these-people-are-or-why-their-crap-is-so-expensive look days. If you only knew that the only reason I ever entered designer stores was when I was running errands FOR MY BOSS. And it was SO obvious that 'one of these things was not like the other' and that one thing...was ALWAYS me.

ANYWAY. While I was waiting for someone to help me...I *of course* was browsing at things that fell into the category of 'THINGS THAT ERIN WILL NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS BE ABLE TO AFFORD' So while I was browsing....I glanced at the key chains. Did you know that Louis Vuitton sells key chains? For a mere 306 Francs (FYI - the franc is about equivilant to the CND or USD) you could get the small keychain. If you wanted the larger would set you back 506 Francs. Want to know what the keychain was? How it could possibly justify costing what I paid for RENT throughout my university years? Was it gold? Diamonds? Sapphires? Rubys? Well was a glass ball. You know, with the letters 'LV' (granted - the LV DID have sparkles on it!) on the same keychain ring. I'm not even exagerating. That's what it was..for real.

To me, this just be honest...a little bit..insane.

I guess I've just never really GOT that whole thing. So I'll wear a tank top that I bought for five dollars if I think it's cute...does that make my person anything less? Of course not. My boss and her kids LOVED designer things..they THRIVED on them. Little did they know...that they gave me compliments on shirts that I'd found on clearance from WAL-MART. Ha. Suckers. They didn't know where it was that cute shirt..was still cute. Even though they would never be caught dead buying clothes from wal-mart...I'm SURE. This is not to say that I don't have some issues I could battle out with walmart too..but for now...I'd rather give one conglomeration ten bucks, rather then one grand to another....but that's just me. I dunno about you..but I can just think of a lot better things to do with my other 990 dollars.

I'm tangenting as per usual.

Point is, I've never really been that big into blowing huge amounts of money on things that (in my humble opinion) don't NEED to cost that much. I don't see how I personally can justify a coach bag when there are starving children in the world, when I could put a downpayment on a house to live on...when I could think of a million other things to do with that cash...rather then buy a new bag that other people can ooh and ahh over. I guess a lot of the's just not that important to me. And I don't see why these things are SO SPECIAL or SO MUCH BETTER then their counterparts. I've always just sort of avoided that scene..and never really partook in it. I'm not trying to get all up in your face if you are...but it's just..not me, and my head just never got it...and still doesn't REALLY..erm...GET it.

Generally..I've grown up with things being pretty average and there not being a lot of those extra things that are super expensive simply because they have a certain tag on them in my life.

That is, until...I moved to Switzerland. Land of designer purses, private helicopters to go skiing instead of taking the skilift..and THE BEST CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD.

I came home..actually with a stronger dislike for designer purses. Try following two thirteen year olds - from the allowed, but still within visible glaring distance, six feet minimum - who were oh so full of themselves while they flitted around the Flughafen (airport) with their designer purses that are worth more than you make in a month (not bitter. not bitter. not bitter.) while you, the dutiful nanny tried to maneouver more luggage that could EVER be used in a single weekend out of the country for two teenagers. Then tell me that you don't hate designer purses for making you, with your multiple degrees, hard work ethic, morals and values less superior because you're not the one carrying the designer bag.

I also wondered why it was so necessary to spend fifty grand in a day for someone to fly you to the top of the mountain which you could barely navigate down alive.

But, after living in the beautiful Schweiz for a year...I have realized the value of...chocolate.

The value of designer purses and clothes are lost on me. I'm rather blaise about it all. I could live without reality tv and all of the extra frivolous things that our lives are surrounded with these days..I could give up all of the fancy things that for generations before us...all of our ancestors lived without.

But my Swiss chocolate?


I cannot.

I refuse.

That is simply non-neogotiable.

Absolutely, one HUNDRED percent...without a doubt...not happening.

And all can think that you've had've had Swiss chocolate..but the chocolate there? It's not the same. Even the Lindt. It's just, simply, without a doubt..better there. And getting chocolate directly from the Sprungli stores..there is nothing that I've ever experienced in North America that even STARTS to come close to that. Belgium chocolate is good..but it isn't Swiss.

There is a little bit of Switzerland that will always live with me...and it lives directly in my hips. And I'm totally okay with that..because it is THAT GOOD. If you think that I'm exagerating..I double dog dare you to get on a plane RIGHT now and go try it for yourself. And while you're at it..bring me back some too.

I've been going through withdrawal in the last 3.5 months being chocolate supply..ran out. Sad. Sad. SAD. It's kind of pathetic..because I brought home AN ENTIRE BACKPACK full of chocolate. I actually got stopped at security and they searched my bag because there was NO WAY that someone was bringing THAT MUCH CHOCOLATE with them.

I've given up eating most of the chocolate here..because it just doesn't satisfy my love for chocolate. It's just not the same. I, hate to admit it...but I have a become, a 'designer' chocolate SNOB.

Except for these ones that I bought tonight. They are the closest thing to the 'real thing'. The chocolate that has the qualities that will allow me to call them chocolate. Rich, but not too rich. Creamy, but not too creamy. Good flavour..not waxy..and just..melt in your mouth drool worthy stop-me-if-you-can good.

I have been sheltered from many things in my childhood...I missed a lot of those 'omg, lyke, totaaaaally' things that were MUST HAVES..and that's okay. I actually prefere it that way.

I dipped my toes into the world of the rich and fabulous and the lifestyle that goes with it. But to me..the only thing that was REALLY worth keeping out of ALL of that? The thing that I want, that's worth it, that makes life better?

Darn right it's the chocolate.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Even though I've been being a huge slacker around HERE, and I'm currently, for all intents and purposes..basically doesn't mean that I'm just sitting around doing NOTHING.

Take this morning for instance.

I was VERY productive. I watched Ellen. I ate toast..AND I let the dog out to pee.

Okay..and I did some accounting stuff. But that's boring. And frustrating. And I'm now updating here instead of pulling my hair out trying to figure out why cash register tapes from JULY don't correspond to the numbers they should and wondering how there can be so many screwed up things and why the heck asparagus was rung in as garlic. Those two things don't even come CLOSE to being the same...unless you make some garlic asparagus..mmm..yummah.

Now I'm dreaming of asparagus with a garlic butter sauce instead of doing anything productive..

Okay, I let the dog out to pee again..the productivity vs. lazy scales are balanced once again.

To be fair..I also signed up for a sweet seminar that's happening in December. All about organizing festivals and creating events...I'm such a huge the most AWESOME way.

I got super excited when reading the agenda which talked about developing networks, themes, leadership and success tips amongst other things! Life is a never ending exciting roller coaster of fun folks!

AND the email that said that while the public has to pay a grand sum of twenty-five, being the awesome specimen that I am...gets in free..SCORE! I'll just leave out the part where the business contributions made to the program last year by my dad MAY have had something to do with the free registration (AND LUNCH!)..and I will maintain that it's purely my awesome nature which granted me this glorious gift from the gods...I mean. Free lunch AND seminars on event planning? What more can you WANT IN LIFE?

Also. The guest speaker at the seminar? Her name is Mrs. Bonhomme. You know, kinda like the snowman at CARNIVAL. If that isn't a cherry on the cake of AWESOME..I don't know what is. Since reading the outline..I have not been able to think about the seminar without picturing a snow(wo)man being merry and jolly while speaking about events. Kind of fitting to be talking about events and festivals..when the Bonhomme de Neige is the mascott of the biggest festival in Quebec.

So you know that now..not only am I excited about a seminar for event and fesitval planning..but am basically counting down the days until I get to meet Mrs. Snowman and find out all of her insider tricks and tips.

It's going to be a holly jolly seminar. Details to follow...after I meet Mrs. Snowman herself. I just have to remind myself not to call her Mrs. Snowman to her face. Good thing I have 25 days, 14 hours and 26 minutes to prepare myself.

Not that I'm counting or anything.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hollywood Hopeful

Somebody stole my gig.

The jerks went and lived my life, read my mind, wrote a screenplay, convinced famous actors to do their job and made a movie of my life last year.

All before it even HAPPENED.

I spent the day being a bum and watching movies and willing myself to get out of bed..and it was desperately needed.

Then I watched the movie the Nanny Diaries..which I hadn't seen since I myself WAS a nanny...and as much as I had seen quite a few similarities between the movie and my life I watched was a little more then surreal and a little frightening just HOW similar my life last year was to the main characters.

Between the designer bags, the misbehaving children, the demanding employers...and the SHOES..(oh the shoes!) could have been my life. Well, if you switched The Hamptons with St. Tropez & St. Barth ...THEN it REALLY was my life. For real yo.

Brief tangent: Are things automatically better and more loved by the rich and fabulous if their names start with St? Maybe I should change my name to St. Erin? Not blasphomous at ALL or anything :P I really want them to love me? Because that might mean that I'm being their glorified slave again..uh oh!

ANYWAY. It was just such an eye watch my life in movie form. I mean, I had watched the film before. The first time I actually watched was in Deutsch. And because my German is SO HORRIFIC the girls were all like HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING every 2.5 miliseconds while we watched..and it took everything I had not scream back that I knew what was happening BECAUSE IT WAS THE SCRIPT FOR MY LIFE ON A DAILY BASIS.

I watched it later with the settings changed to English..and even more hit home..but was just like..Whoa. When you're in this world..where everyone has a Nanny..and you're just a part of 'that group' of childcare's kind of a surreal sort of life. When you're the ones the kids say their goodnights and their I love you's to every night..When you're the one scraping nutella off of EVERYTHING, including the oh-so-impractical white couches.. When you're the only one that knows what vegetables they'll eat and which best friend is on the 'i'm not talking to you' list each week..and you put up the late nights, the kids crawling into your bed in the middle of the night and the way too early mornings to make cupcakes for birthdays at school. When you're doing all this...when they aren't even your own's just..different. It's not like they were MY kids..and it's not like I know what it's like to raise my own children..but I do know what it's like to raise someone ELSES.

So as I watched..I sat there and thought to did I put UP with that for a WHOLE year? Seriously? I let myself BE THAT PERSON? That person that they make a movie of because it's so surreal that it's RIDICULOUS? Of course I know on some level..why I stuck it out. You see...I'm stubborn, I can't give up on things..and okay..yes...there were SOME good things to living in Zurich for a year. An entire city filled almost entirely with guys in suits? How could I POSSIBLY complain?

And yes, I loved the kids..there is a line where Scarlett Johansson says (and I'm paraphrasing here - because I can't remember the quote) something along the lines of the fact that no one would understand because they're not a part of it, and that she loves the child she's taking care of..and that's why she can't leave. Luckily for me, I had a contract and a visa that made it so that I couldn't stay. But the thing is..even though my contract was flimsy at best, and they didn't stick up to THEIR end of it...I did stick it out. Because I did (erm - do?) love them. Despite the headaches, hassle and high blood pressure that they often caused..I really do. I put my heart and soul into raising them...and even though it only was for a year..I couldn't just walk away from that in the middle of the year...despite ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that DID come along. I stayed because I knew they'd be even more screwed up when they grew up if yet another person in their life left them and disappointed them. I couldn't do that..despite so many msn conversations where people tried to convince me that it just wasn't worth it..aupair meetings where we spent our mornings comparing sick childrens symptoms and previous transgressions...and phone calls home crying at 4am that I was exhausted and just didn't know what to do anymore...I stayed.

There MAY have been other reasons why I stayed...but because this is MY blog and I control what's written shall be noted that I did it because I loved the kids. Oh, and MAYBE those nine sweet sweet weeks of paid holidays to travel Europe. That was a slight perk, maybe a little bit of the reason I felt compelled to stay. But just a little one.

....Or maybe, just a LITTLE teensy bit..because I'm a sucker for torturing myself. But it was mostly the kids I'm telling ya.

ANYWAY. To get off the tangent truck....So now, not only are the aformentioned gig stealers now awesome and RICH, but they also have the ability to TRAVEL INTO THE FUTURE. I'm so tempted to stomp my feet and scream at the injustice of it, power, sweet movie gigs...AND TIME TRAVEL. They leave NOTHING for me. Nothing. I spend the entire year researching..wiping runny noses, being verbally abused, having to watch high school musical on repeat..and what do I get? Nothing. Not even get one stinkin' little MOVIE DEAL? Not. Fair.

I was about throw in the towel and become that crazy lady who wanders around screaming about how life isn't fair...when I realized..that there is still the possibilty that I could write the sequel. Nobodys written 'Nanny Diaries: Abroad' yet...and I bet no one else has some of the stories I do...I mean..really..who else was in charge of three young girls who stole champagne to have a 'disco in a hottub on the roof'...and then proceeded to WASH THEIR HAIR WITH A FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR BOTTLE OF BOOZE when it was too much for them to drink...throw the bottle over the roof of the hotel into the Rhine to hide all evidence and lied their faces off until the little one was given a plea bargin to give up the other girls for her freedom. And no punishments were put into place anyways.

Wow - I just made myself sound like the worst nanny EVAH. Let it also be noted that the aformentioned weekend was my weekend off - and they were in the charge of their mother - not me, the qualified and AWESOME nanny.

That is only ONE of my stories from THE FIRST WEEK I LIVED WITH THEM. I've got so much material to work with..I'll probably have to make at LEAST three movies.

I'd be a little worried about them claiming that I breached some sort of confidentiality and them sueing all of the mad cash that I will presumably make on said films..but seeing as though they saw no resemblence what-so-ever with themselves in the FIRST movie..I'm pretty sure that my future earnings are safe.


Screenplay writing That clearly follows my random career path of teacher --> nanny --> farmer. Might as WELL throw script writer in there too.

Hey Hollywood? Watch out! Here I come!