Category Archives: This and That

Are big, lounge speakers really necessary in a small condo?

Warning: this is a rant.

When I lived in the heart of downtown Toronto, there was condo construction across from us and being in the heart of downtown, there was a lot of noise – cars, sirens, banging – you name it. None of it bothered me. I was able to tune all the noise and sleep right through them.

Now in a different neighbourhood, I have a neighbour who plays music with a lot of bass in it. The bass drives me absolutely crazy. It vibrates though the walls and floors and his living room is next to our bedroom.

We chatted about this trying to find a solution. He agrees that the bass is quite loud in our unit, even with the bass option turned down. The problem he can’t seem to grasp is not the volume of the music but it’s his crazy speakers. This guy has speakers meant for a lounge or small club and he lives in a 600 sq. ft. condo. I mean, seriously, do you need speakers like that in a small condo?

We have a home entertainment system from when we lived in a house and guess what, we don’t need it in the condo. So the subwoofer is always off. I mean, with a 2 ft. space between us and the tv, a sub is not necessary.

So what is this guy thinking with big-ass speakers? Why oh why does he feel the need to use those speakers to play his music? They’re very bass heavy. Our other neighbours on the other side also plays loud music. But at least I can hear the music, not just the bass. All I hear all day long with this guy is bass, bass, bass. It gets irritating. And I used to love drum and bass.

What’s even worse is that being a new mom, I need to sleep whenever the opportunity arises. And guess what? I can’t sleep when the bass vibrates inside my head!

Sigh…I wish he would move out. I’m tired, sleep deprived and cranky. I should be sleeping right now since baby is napping. But can I sleep? Noooo, thanks to my neighbour.

Any takers to go in his condo and destroy those speakers with a hammer?

New blog

I now have a newborn. She’s 5 weeks old today and is the love of my life. I haven’t been posting here lately as I was just too exhausted during the last trimester of my pregnancy. And now I’m exhausted from lack of sleep.

Having said that, I love writing way too much to completely stop, so I decided that since my posts going forward will mostly be about the baby and being a first time mom, I decided to start a new blog. I’d love for you, my current followers, to follow my new blog: Above the High Tide. I probably won’t be able to write everyday, as I have to sneak writing in between feedings, diaper changes, play time and naps. Oh, not to mention housework.

See you there!

By the way, I still plan to keep this blog active when I need to ramble about non-baby related topics. 😄

Stroller made for my car

Compact strollers for compact car trunks do exist!

Yes! I finally killed those two pesky fruit flies!

I know, this blog title makes me sound like a horrible person who likes to kill insects. The truth is, I don’t. But I have had these two fruit flies flying around my kitchen for an entire week, and they were driving me and my cat Puzzle absolutely crazy.

Whenever I get fruit flies in my home, I always ask the same question: “Where do fruit flies come from?” Since I only have them when I have bananas out on my counter, I can only come up with one conclusion (disclaimer: I never said it was a smart conclusion): that fruit flies come from bananas. But how?

Apparently, according to google, these little tiny guys can smell over-ripened fruits from miles away and get in through the tiniest crevices. They’re attracted to the alcohol produced from rotten fruits. But wait a second, my bananas weren’t rotten. They were just super ripe! *Shrug* One of life’s mysteries…

In any case, these two fruit flies had been in my kitchen for a week. Both Puzzle and I have tried endlessly to smack them dead, with very little success. I just don’t understand how these things can be soooo slow, they seem to just hover or float through air, but yet, we have a hard time catching them. Puzzle can catch just about anything. She can even catch her toy mouse in mid-air. But yet, she couldn’t get to the fruit flies, which of course, drove her into mad obsession.

Here’s a picture of her sitting on the counter, completely alert and aware of the fruit flies mocking her, ready to pounce when the time comes…but with not much success :(.

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So, I was going to title my blog, “Where do fruit flies come from?”, but since I finally killed those fruit flies just before I opened my laptop, I changed the title. Yes, I’m being smug. I feel like a little kid who just discovered how to put on his own socks. The truth is, I think these fruit flies were tired and reaching the end of their life expectancy anyway. One of them sat on the edge of my garbage can and didn’t fly away when I came close, it only moved a mere half millimetre away. The other one was flying ever so slowly very close to me, and when my hands went in closer to smack it, it just hovered in the same spot. I think they wanted me to kill them. Since I finally finished my over-rippened bananas and replaced them with green ones, I think they were low on energy. They were done.

But forget all that. Let’s just pretend that after a week of obsessing over them, my fruit fly killing skills are finally in high gear. Let me feel triumphant and bask in my glory!

Bagging groceries sucks

Friday is the day I’ve dedicated for grocery shopping. As soon as I leave work I scoot over to Food Basics. In order to get a cart I have to put a quarter in. Sometimes all goes smoothly. How hard can it be to put a quarter in and pull the cart out anyway? Well, sometimes this process is frustrating. I put the quarter in and it jams and won’t go in. So I try another cart. Or I put it in and it’s fine, but I can’t pull the chain out because it’s stuck. Or sometimes I put the quarter in, pull the chain out but the cart won’t budge. Argghhh. All I want is a cart damn it!

Some days I don’t mind grocery shopping at all. On those days, I enjoy taking my time looking at ingredients outside of my grocery list. I imagine that I’m an awesome cook who loves being in the kitchen. I get giddy at the possibilities of creating all these different, wonderful meals.

Ooh, what’s that? Lamb chops. I can make lamb chops. What about this kale thing? I can make some kind of dish with this. But aside from it being a vegetable, I’m not even sure what kind it is or what it tastes like. I keep seeing people’s posts and pictures of ‘kale this’, ‘kale that’. What the heck is it though? I mean, look at this thing. Okay forget it, there’s no way I can make kale. Hmm…maybe I’ll try this tempura batter. Hubby would love that!

Credit: domesticdiva.com

Credit: domesticdiva.com

I can go on and on, mouth salivating every time I think of a crazy meal I “think” I can make. That’s the thing about grocery shopping after work. I’m usually starving and thinking about food. Then I snap out of it and realize that I’m no domestic diva. So I end up looking at frozen food options instead because I’m still so damn hungry. Maybe I’ll get this huge bag of chicken fries. And sausage rolls. Ooh ooh and dim sum! I go around picking up food, planning when we’re going to eat all this. We can make sausage rolls for snacks tomorrow (Saturday) and I’ll leave the chicken fries for Sunday dinner. My mouth is salivating and my stomach is screaming at me to feed it.

Oh, but who am I kidding? I live in a 700 sq. ft. condo with a condo-size fridge and even smaller freezer. Where am I going to store all of these? Plus, we’re supposed to be eating healthy. So I go around and put every thing back, trying not to be too disappointed.

Finally, when the items in my cart look more realistic, I proceed to the check out counter. This is the part I hate the most. Checking out. No no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I have to pay for all of these items. That’s the least of my worries. What do I dread the most? Bagging groceries! What happened to the days when the cashier also did the bagging? Or the days when they had separate grocery baggers?

First, I put all my stuff on the conveyor belt (is that what it’s called?) as the person behind me in line is impatiently inching her way towards me, bumping my cart with her cart. I look back and give her a cut-eye. Then she backs away. When my cart is empty, I push my cart forward so I can now go behind my cart. Because there’s not enough room for me to go beside my cart, which I think would make more sense.

The cashier starts scanning my items and putting them on the other side of her, on another conveyor type belt. I push my cart further out so I can start bagging my stuff as she continues to scan. But I’m not fast enough. I’m not good at bagging groceries. I can type fast, I can write, I can create posters, I can use photoshop. But I can’t bag groceries.

The cashier finishes scanning before I can even get half of the items in my recycable bags. So I stop bagging, dig into my purse for my wallet and give her some cash. I start bagging again and the cashier has moved on to the lady in line behind me. She’s going fast and omygod talk about pressure. If I’m really unlucky, the lady behind me only has a few items so she’s done paying before I’m done bagging. This time, she pushes me with her cart. I look over apologetically (no cut-eye this time) and frantically start to stuff every thing in my bags. Who cares if I don’t do it right, if they’re not neatly placed in the bags to maximize the space? I have to get out of this lady’s way before she bruises me with her cart.

She’s not patient so she squeezes between me and the bar dividing our lane from the next. If she’s thin and can get through easily, no problem with me. But hey man, if you squeeze through and you end up squashing me against the belt, well now, I won’t be very happy and you’re damn right I’ll give you another cut-eye!

Do I hate bagging because I’m just lazy like what this picture depicts? No, not at all. It has nothing to do with being lazy (or being a teenager because I’m not one, I’m a grown adult) and has every thing to do with the entire anxiety-causing process. Who knew bagging groceries could be so stressful. Those grocery baggers back in the day deserved good compensation. Definitely not an easy job.

Credit: quickmeme.com

Credit: quickmeme.com

Finally I finish bagging and load them into the cart. By this point, I’m overly stressed out but relieved that I’m finally getting out of here. I put my groceries in the trunk and put away the cart because you know, I want my quarter back. For next time. But is putting the cart back as easy as it theoretically is? I mean, all I have to do is push the cart into the cart in front, stick the chain thing into the coin thing, and voila, my quarter comes out. But no, some days this is not the case. Either I try to push my cart in and it won’t go in, or I push it in but the chain thing refuses to go into the coin thing (I know I say “thing” alot but I really don’t know what they’re called). Or I push the cart in, the chain goes in but the quarter is stuck. Waaahhh. I just want my quarter back!

So there you have it. Now you know why I dread grocery-shopping-Fridays.

Does common sense still exist?

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Credit: billmullins.wordpress.com

Today, I asked someone to help me ship a couple of fragile items out. She said she didn’t know how to do that, so I explained it to her.

“Put them them in a box and tape it up using packing tape. Make sure you wrap them with bubble wrap first because they’re glass and are breakable,” I explained.

She replied, “Okay, sure. But I put them in a box first and then bubble wrap them, right?”

“Huh?!” I didn’t quite understand her question. “What do you mean put them in a box first?”

“I mean, put them in the box, and then bubble wrap the box.”

You’re kidding, right? Who does that? I was speechless for a few seconds because I thought she was pulling my leg. “No,” I replied after determining that she was indeed serious. “You wrap them with bubble wrap first, and then you put them in the box.”

She was quite persistent. “No, I think I should pack them in the box and bubble wrap the box after. That’s what I did when I shipped out the mug last time.”

I was bewildered. I had hoped she was kidding, but she wasn’t. What a conversation to have on a Thursday afternoon. It was my amusement for the day.

Once upon a time when I worked in HR, we introduced online pay statement, where employees could choose to have both their pay stubs and T4 online, or just their pay stubs. At the end of that first year, an employee asked me where her T4 was. I checked the system and as it turned out, she had chosen to have it available online, which meant she wouldn’t get a printed copy. I explained this to her and off she went to print it off.

She came to me that same afternoon, freaking out. She explained that she had printed it, and because we didn’t have a secure printer at work at the time, her T4 came out, free for viewing by whoever was at the printer. Luckily she went to the printer immediately so I don’t think anyone got to her T4 before she did. But she was fuming. She asked why the T4 was printed just like that, and why it wasn’t in a sealed envelope.

This was another “huh” moment for me. I had to explain to her that the printer can’t possible pick up her printed T4, stuff it in an envelope and seal it.

Seriously guys? Did you leave your common sense behind somewhere?

Have you ever come across a similar situation? If so, please share it as I can never get enough laughter in a day :).

I had a weak moment

I had a weak moment today. I was at Rexall with 10 minutes to kill, waiting for my prescription. So I walked around just looking at stuff and came across a bag of BBQ chips on sale for $0.99. My mouth started watering. But I knew I shouldn’t buy it so I walked away.

But having gone straight to Rexall after work, I was hungry and my stomach was growling. The chips were calling my name and so I walked back to the chips aisle, quickly grabbed it and paid for it before I could change my mind.

After dinner while catching up on the bachelorette, hubby and I decided to crack the bag of chips open. We ate about 3/4 of the bag (it was a medium size bag) and by the end of it, I just wanted to rinse my mouth with water. Those chips had way too much sodium that my mouth felt like it shriveled up and my brain was dehydrated.

After months of not eating chips, I can’t believe I broke our streak. This is what happens when I go to the store on an empty stomach. Never again.

So…because of my moment of weakness, hubby and I now need to go on a cleanse.

Spring forward

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*Yawn*. I am still half asleep as I’m typing this. Why? Because I just lost an hour of sleep.

It would be okay if I had nothing to do today and I could just sleep all day. But it’s Sunday and that means Church. So even though my clock said 10:00 am, in my head it was 9:00 am and my body and mind struggled to get up.

I know, some of you are probably thinking, “What?! You sleep in until 10 on Sundays?” And my answer is, “Yup, the beauty of not having any kids.”

Actually, I usually wake up around 7:30 am to feed the cats and then back to bed I go. But this morning, 7:30 was already 8:30 and so in an attempt to maximize my sleep time, I didn’t get up to feed them. What a bad mom I am. But trust me, if they wanted to eat that badly they would have woken me up. Since they didn’t and seemed perfectly content, I thought they’d be okay waiting a few more hours for breakfast. And they were. Thank you Nikki and Puzzle for letting me sleep!

So what does Spring Forward mean for me? It means I’m going to have an even harder time getting up in the morning. It means I’m going to walk around like a zombie all week. It means I’m not going to be as sharp as I need to be at work and if I have any meetings I might be tempted to close my eyes and sleep (which obviously is a no no at any meeting). It means I’m going to want to sleep as soon as I get home.

It’s crazy how losing 1 hour of sleep can have such a profound affect on my mental and physical state.

I often wonder why we even have daylight savings time. I mean, I know it has to do with the days getting shorter during the winter season but sometimes I wonder if it’s better to just let nature be?

Someone posted this video explaining the history of
daylight savings time which is quite interesting, but I still don’t like the fact that I have just lost an hour of my life. I guess Fall Back can make it up later by giving that one hour back. And of course I love Fall Back. But for now, if you see me grumpy you’ll know why. Losing one hour of my life is not anything to celebrate about. But well, that’s how life goes. The good thing is, spring is just around the corner and this weather we’re having is a mood lifter!

Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach

Trust me, you’ll end up buying the entire store if you ever go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Everything looks good and you can’t wait to get home so you can eat, eat and eat.

I’ve done that many times. And every time I do, I get home and I kick myself because there’s a huge cloud of regret looming over my me. And there’s the storage issue. When you have a condo sized fridge and a condo sized pantry, you’re kind of limited with space. Not to mention that we don’t need all that junk food!

So…what happened last Friday? I went grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Yup. I ended up with a BIG jar of cheese balls.

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Oh how I love cheesy stuff. But the truth is I actually bought it for work. For my coworkers. Really I did. I’m bribing them to like me. Sad. I know.

The thing though, this big jar of cheese balls is currently sitting on our dining table since it’s the weekend and so it will sit there until Monday morning. Now, if you’ve ever had a big jar of cheese balls sitting on your table or counter, you know how hard it is to pretend that it’s not there. So I cracked it open thinking I’m just going to have one. Just one. But that one turned into two and that two turned into four and well…now I’m in trouble.

So let’s hope there’ll be some left for me bring to work on Monday or I’ll have nothing to bribe my coworkers with. Trust me, they love junk food and well, happy coworkers make a happy team.

You know you’re a ‘valued’ Rogers customer when…

From Pintrest - this is what the Rogers customer service rep is thinking...

Thinking of switching to Rogers? Are you sure you really want to be one of their valued customers?

I found the above image from Pintrest and I think it describes the attitude of Rogers’ customer service reps quite accurately. Hubby and I’ve had our cell phone service with Rogers for over 15 years and having longevity with them means we’re truly valued by them.

Here’s what it’s like to be a valued Rogers customer:

  1. After you negotiate or “re-negotiate” your plan with them, your next 4-5 bills after will be completely screwed up.
  2. When you call customer service to resolve your billing issue, you end up talking to at least 3 people (sometimes as many as 6) in one day.
  3. You have to take a day off to talk to customer service at Rogers because guaranteed you’ll be on the phone with them for hours, and you end up wasting your day because your issue is still not resolved by the end of it all.
  4. When you call to resolve your billing issue, no one ever believes you because the reps never actually record your conversations in their notepad, so the answer is always, “I don’t see that in the notes”. When you ask them to pull the voice recording they refuse to do so.
  5. Quotes are always inconsistent between all the different reps and managers you talk to. And when you try to tell them about a quote that you got, you go back to #4.
  6. You get charged for services you never signed up for. And then they give you a hard time for “cancelling” when there should have been nothing to “cancel” in the first place.
  7. After you get off the phone with them you feel completely defeated and your issue is still not resolved. Your anger is masked by total exhaustion.
  8. You’re tempted to pay the $500 penalty just so you can get rid of them. But then again, $500 is a lot of money and are you seriously going to let Rogers run off with your money?
  9. You’re not sure why anyone would go to the “Ted Rogers School of Business” just so they can learn how to provide horrible customer service.
  10. Every time you hear the word “Rogers” you get anxiety.

I know there’s probably about 2% of the population who have never experienced what it’s like to be a valued Rogers customer and for that, they are very lucky. Unfortunately we’re not in that 2%.

If you’re wondering why we’re still with Rogers – well, it’s like having a monkey on your back. Monkeys are cute until they steal something from you. As for us, we fell for Rogers’ feigned “niceness” once again. And now we are back to #1. It’s a vicious cycle.

Such is the life of a valued Rogers customer…

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