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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.

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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 :).

It’s not a cold, it’s just allergies!

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Ever since the SARS outbreak, people have become super paranoid about germs. At the sound of caughing or sneezing, we cringe and we look around to make sure that person caughing or sneezing isn’t anywhere near us.

The other day, I was at the Dundas subway station and I sneezed. And of course I just happen to be one of those people who sneeze really loud. I try to keep it down but I just can’t. I’m always amazed at people, like my sister, who can sneeze so quietly, so subtly. I always tell my sister she sneezes like a cat and I secretly wish I could sneeze like her. But I can’t.

So this guy who was walking in front of me turned around and gave me a nasty look. Like I just did something horribly wrong. I mean, I didn’t sneeze on him or anything and I used my germ pocket. And he wasn’t even close to me. If I had sneezed like a cat I bet he wouldn’t even have noticed. Oh why do I always have to sneeze so loud?

I felt like telling him, “Buddy, chill out. It’s just allergies!

Damn allergies are causing people to be scared of me, like I’m going to give them kudies. These allergies are new, I recently developed them about a year ago and I haven’t got a clue what I’m allergic to. I sneeze constantly – at home, at work, in the car…everywhere. And I’m congested 24/7. It sucks not being able to breathe properly.

So yeah, I already have to cope with my new found nuisance, so please stop giving me the “I hate you” look every time I sneeze. Trust me, I don’t want to sneeze as much as you don’t want me to sneeze.

And I swear, it’s not a cold, it’s just allergies!

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!

Oh how I love conferences

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Of course I’d rather be at a conference than at work. I just love conferences. The PowerPoint presentation slides are packed with important information, the speakers are so engaging, the presentations are alive and the exhibits are fun! Why would anyone pick work over a day like that?

The speakers are always so great. They don’t tell jokes or stories. They don’t integrate any multimedia. They talk with the same tone throughout the entire presentation. Oh, these “professional” speakers are just lovely! I just enjoy listening to them yap all day.

You know they’re doing a wonderful job when I have this uncontrollable urge to slouch on my seat, put my sunglasses on and close my eyes.

Even the exhibits are usually super entertaining. You know, with all their brochures on their tables, luggage tags giveaways and charming sales people, who could resist from stopping at every single booth?

Yes, I love conferences. Oh how I can’t wait to attend the next one!

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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…

10 reasons I love cats

It’s no news that I love cats. After all, I let 3 of them run all over me on a regular basis. But how can anybody not love them?

Well, if the following reasons don’t make you love them, I don’t know what would.

  1. They’re independent and they do whatever they want. Oh they hear me alright. I can tell by the way their ears perk up or by they way they look at me through the corner of their eyes. They just don’t like being told what to do. I don’t blame them. I don’t like being told what to do either.
  2. They don’t play fetch with me not because they’re stupid. It’s the contrary actually. I mean, why should they fetch their own toys when I can do it for them? If that’s not considered smart then I don’t know what is.
  3. They’re clean animals. They’ll even bury their waste deep deep down, as deep as the litter box would allow. And they will never ever walk around the house with dirty paws.
  4. It doesn’t matter if I’m trying to sleep in on the weekends. When they want food, they want it now. It’s not about what I want. It’s about what they want. But they probably get that from me.
  5. They do really cute things like sit on the stove, chase their own tails and snuggle with us. And they do funny things to get our attention like jump on the T.V. and on my back.
  6. They’re determined. When they want in they want in. This means we can never sleep with the door closed.
  7. They know how to open my closet doors because they really really want to sleep on my clothes. They can sleep anywhere they want but they want my clothes. That makes me feel loved.
  8. They always greet us at the door and they know who we are.
  9. They keep me warm when I’m cold and they soothe me with their purr.
  10. They are never in a bad mood and can cheer me up instantly.

Oh, and they don’t talk back! Not that getting a scolding means anything to them. Okay, that’s more than 10 reasons but really, I can probably rhyme off 100 reasons. But for your sake I’ll just stop right now.

So…love them yet?

Maybe this picture will help.

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Super Bowl Sunday makes me fat

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Every year, Super Bowl Sunday calls for a party. Whether it’s a party with friends or a party of 2, one thing is for sure: there’s always drinking and lots of junk food involved.

This year is no different. Last week hubby already put in his request for hor d’oeuvres and other junk food. So on Friday I went to Food Basics and bought all kinds of food for this special day today: chicken wings, fries, popcorn chicken, jalapeño poppers, mushroom pastries, cranberry and goat cheese phyllo pastries, samosas, apple blossoms, Oreo ice cream, and Cheetos. Yup. All for today.

Welcome fat. Welcome.

It’s been like this for years. The difference is, I never had to worry about weight gain. I was always one of those girls other girls envied. No matter how much I ate, I never gained weight.

But now things are different. I guess being in my early thirties has sent my metabolism tumbling down. So late last year hubby and I decided, enough is enough. We’re going to start exercising and eating healthy. So I stopped shopping for our snack cabinet, started doing cardio every other day and started practicing Bikram yoga regularly, much to my body’s kicking and screaming.

You might remember from my new year’s resolutions that I have to lose 8 lbs. so I can fit into my beloved skirt. Well I’ve lost 2 so far. But guess what? All that hard work is going down to hell today. I’m probably going to gain that back and more all in one day. All because of our Super Bowl Sunday tradition.

I think maybe it’s time to change that, starting with next year’s Super Bowl. I’ll be buying a tray of veggies and fruits instead.

So…what’s in your Super Bowl?

You know you’re a Bikram newbie when…

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A friend sent me a link to a blog post titled, “Are you a Bikram yoga addict?” a couple of weeks ago as food for thought for my practice.

I couldn’t stop laughing throughout the entire post. First, I could totally see truth in everything that was listed. Second, I’m so far from it I actually do the exact opposite of what an addict does.

So I thought it might be appropriate to post what it’s like to be a Bikram newbie.

  1. You bring 2 bottles of iced water to class.
  2. You can’t wait until the first four poses are done so you can take your first water break.
  3. You take large gulps of water in between every posture.
  4. You use words like ‘brutal’, ‘torturous’, ‘killer’ and ‘painful’ to describe Bikram yoga.
  5. You miss Moksha yoga.
  6. You swear under your breath every time you lose balance or can’t hold your pose anymore.
  7. Instead of feeling good after your practice you feel completely drained and unable to move or do anything else.
  8. You need to eat a chocolate – just one small piece – to get your energy back after your practice.
  9. You have a love-hate relationship with Bikram yoga.
  10. You dread your next class already even though it’s one week away.

Now you’re probably wondering why I even torture myself with Bikram yoga. Well, I believe in the health benefits it claims to have. I believe that this initial phase of “newbieness” will pass and that I will eventually start to feel pleasure instead of pain after each and every practice.

I do this because I refuse to give up. Every pose is a challenge that I have to overcome. The feelings of mastering a pose is truly indescribable. I do this because it teaches me patience. And it teaches me to push myself but also to know what my limits are so I don’t get hurt.

I do this because it’s good for me. I do this because I have to lose 8 lbs. so I can fit into my skirt.

Namaste.

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