Wednesday, September 27, 2006

List Day: Traffic Tips

It’s Wednesday, and it feels like it should be Friday already dammit, and it’s only 10:30am (shh. work blogging. shh.) and feels like it should be 3:30pm, so, the only appropriate use of my time is obviously to make a list.

(I love lists. Don’t know why. I just do. I could make a list of the reasons I like to list things.)

Driving Tips by Lori:

1. When driving on Deerfoot Trail (main “freeway” type road in Calgary) the signs reading “100km/hr” are important. That means you are meant to go that speed. Think about it.

2. When driving on Deerfoot, the signs reading “Slower Traffic Keep Right” are important. That means that you (yes YOU) should pull over out of the left-most lane into the right-most lane because you (yes YOU) are driving 80km/hr (see Tip #1)

3. When driving (especially on a main thoroughfare), it is helpful to pay attention to the other drivers around you. You may find that checking/sending email, talking on your cell phone, reading the newspaper, applying makeup, and turning around to smack your child may interfere with your ability to pay attention.

4. When driving, if you are coming up to an area where a merge lane will deposit drivers onto the road on which you are currently traveling, it is common courtesy to move over if there is no one in the lane next to you. This is, of course, as opposed to purposely blocking the merging driver.

5. If you are the driver attempting to merge onto another road, the drivers behind you might not appreciate if you come to a dead stop. Especially if the lane you are trying to get into has NO ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

6. Most modern vehicles have come with a handy, built-in device to enable you, the driver, to communicate your intentions with the drivers around you as you navigate from lane to lane to lane to lane to lane. You might even refer to it as a Signalling device. Contact your car dealer to get more information about this.

7. If you are attempting to make a left hand turn, and there is a long line of cars behind you all waiting to make a left hand turn, please consider making this turn at a speed greater than 2 km/hr. This way, more than one vehicle will be able to get through on the turn arrow.

8. If you are making a right hand turn, consider the fact that the driver behind you might not want to stop completely while you contemplate the unique nature of the right-hand turn in a traffic environment in which the drivers sit on the left in the car and drive on the right of the road.

9. If you drive a Honda Accord, you have no reason to park diagonally across 2 parking spots. Ditto almost ANY OTHER MAKE/MODEL of vehicle. If your car is too precious to risk having another human being come close to it, keep it at home, in a glass box, surrounded by those velvet rope-chain things, with a high tech security system as intended by the manufacturer.

10. I don’t have a number 10. I just always need to have a well-rounded list. 9 items is not well rounded. Sorry.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fully aware that i am breaking my own rule...

I was NOT going to blog about work. Honest. But, seriously, it's just so funny. It's that kind of funny where you have to laugh about it or else it becomes one of those news stories with the footage shot from a news-chopper of the building surrounded by police vehicles. You know.

I have nicknames for many of my coworkers. These nicknames are strictly inside-my-head (and sometimes in my stories to my friends)(and now on my blog)(which I promised never to do) mostly because I don't know that the co-workers would necessarily find them as humorous or as fitting as I do.

Today is one of those days where I wish I had a video camera set up. My desk looks out on a fairly open space and towards the reception area. On the wall behind the reception desk hang framed certificates for training that our service shop guys have completed. It makes sense to display these, since we are a factory authorized service facility.

Funny thing about the wall o'Awesome Achievement #1: Our receptionist, Muffin Top (if you're not sure where that nickname came from, I can explain it) felt that we needed MORE proof of our awesomeness and has started to frame and display other sorts of certificates. Certificates from "courses" that various employees have attended. I say "courses" because these are the 4-6 hour "How to (insert vague work related task here) Effectively" type courses that are "taught" in a conference room at a hotel and in which at least 25% of the time is given over to promoting whatever self-help books are sold by the company that tie in with the "course". The remainder of the time seems to be taken up with the "instructors" telling you things that you could figure out just by reading the outline on the brochure.

(by now you may have recognized that I, myself, have been sent on a couple of these "courses". Ask me how much new and useful information I learned)

The certificates for these "courses" are handed out, completely filled out at the very beginning of the course. So, basically it's a certificate of attendance. Thank you. I'll put that right next to my BA and display it proudly. Along with all the yellow "Participant" ribbons from Elementary school Track and Field day.

(I have never in my life won anything in any sort of sports/physical activity competition. I had a lot of yellow "Participant" ribbons... )

Funny thing about the wall o'Awesome Achievement #2: Muffin Top had asked our shipper, Dumbass (not his real name) to hang the frames. So, he eyeballed the placement and not a one was either a) level with its neighbor or b) straight. So, when asked about this, Dumbass said that there was no way to get them level and/or straight. Seriously.

Now, this alone is pretty funny, but here's the funnier part: The company I work for stocks and sells laser levels AND measuring equipment.

When one of my (nicknameless at the moment) coworkers mentioned the laser levels to Dumbass, his response was "It didn't help. None of the hooks are in the same place." Now, the thing is: Dumbass did not try using a level to get them, oh, I don't know, level, but of course made it sound as though he had exhausted all possible avenues in his quest for perfect frame placement. This is a fairly typical response from him. No matter what he did or didn't do, there is no way in hell he will take any responsibility for it.

So, now he's hanging more certificates and now, he's hanging pictures. Without making sure anything is level. The pictures are permanently affixed to the wall. Without making sure anything is level.

I wish I had a video camera. Seriously.

Great Moments in Auntie-dom

I love being an Auntie. I currently have 7 nieces and nephews and there are 2 more on the way. The oldest is 13 (!!!) and the youngest (currently) are 1 year old twins. I don't live close to any of them, which is sad really because I love hanging out with them. I get to do that "cool-auntie" thing and play with them but then they go home or I go home so I don't have to deal with any risidual crankiness...

Yesterday was my nephew T's birthday. He turned 5. I called to say Happy Birthday and ask him what he wanted (I know. Bad Auntie). This is a transcript of that conversation:

(My brother puts T on the phone)
T: I'm 5 now!! Who is this?
Me: It's Auntie Lori. I know you're 5, I'm calling to say Happy Birthday!
T: It's my birthday? (turns away from the phone and shouts to his family) IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Did you not know that?
T: Yeah, I know that. I'm 5 now!
Me: Yeah, I know. So, how's school? You started Kindergarten, right?
T: (shouting)YES!!!!!!!!!

T is a "man's man" but will ALWAYS come running to give you a hug when he sees you. He'll wrestle you to the ground or pull you off the couch (very very strong child) but he loves being cuddled. He is ridiculously polite but when he gets excited, he tends to shout-talk. Loudly. He is also a farm kid through and through. He talks about farming constantly. He knows more about a lot of the equipment than I do.

Me: So, what would you like for your birthday?
Me: oh, really? 5 cultivators?
T: YES!!
(incoherant babble)
Me: Well, I should let you go. Did you have supper already?
T: I already ate!!! We had LASAGNE!!!
Me: Oh really? I'm having lasagne too!
T: You ARE??? (turns away to shout at his family) AUNTIE LORI IS HAVING LASAGNE TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I'm guestimating the amount of exclamation marks based on his total excitement over what he was saying)

Me: Guess what I'm doing tonight?
T: What?
Me: I'm going to a hockey game later on.
T: Oh. Bye (hangs up)

Love that kid.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I swore that I wouldn't write about work. I swore it. I think I can rationalize this one though as, even though it happened at work, it has nothing to do with work.

I frequently overhear inane and seemingly endless conversations due to the placement of my workspace. I won't get into the whole thing but this one just made me laugh so hard I had to share it. (lucky you) Also, I'm gonna spare you the verbatim transcript of the first 15 minutes of the conversation and just give you the line I like best (the subject matter of the conversation should be directly inferred from the following exerpt):

"George Foreman must be a very intelligent man. He designed an AMAZING grill!"

Monday, September 18, 2006

What kind of day are you planning?

Brief Administrative Note in an effort to hold myself accountable and/or develop some sort of self-discipline:
I started this here little blog with the thought that I would try to write something most every day. That has not happened. I want to develop the practice of writing and so, therefore, dear reader(s) (are there more than one of you? is there even one of you? oh! there you are! Hi!) I will probably be posting a lot of nonsense until I get more into the habit. Or, maybe once I get going I will be posting a lot of nonsense because maybe that's where my brain is and will be at. We'll see.

Yesterday afternoon I was at Safeway stocking up on Mini Wheats (in order to
break off more of my tooth) and sandwich provisions for another week of mind numbing junior high drudgery work. While at the check out I happened to look at the small pile of goods the man behind me had placed on the counter*:
1 - 250ml carton of half & half
3 - toothbrushes
2 - razors

I started trying to figure out what was going on in his house and I ended up laughing, to myself, with him standing a foot behind me, while the check-out boy attempted to flirt with me.

(BTW: Note to Check Out Boy: I'm sure that you are probably one of the nicest, cutest boys in 10th grade, but you're just not my type. I think it's best if we see other people. You understand.)

All day, and into today, the image of that little pile of stuff keeps popping into my head and I keep trying to work it out. I wonder if anyone ever looks at what I'm buying and wonders what I'm doing. Maybe I need to re-think my purchasing habits. Maybe I over think things too much.

*Why has my brain completely blanked on the name of the "counter" where you put your stuff on one end and it gets carried to the other end as if by magic?

Friday, September 08, 2006

of course 2: look out for falling anvils

You know how you always think "Well, it can't get any worse right? It's all better after this". Well, you would be wrong (as would I for thinking that).

Wednesday morning, because my car was on the street by the service shop, I had no way to get to work. I walked down to the service shop with a key, got it checked in and was told it would probably be looked at later that day. I walked home and tried to figure out what to do. My friend Julie offered to drive me to work (Thanks Julie) and I actually felt like I was accomplishing something throughout most of the day. The service shop called and said that it looked like it was the alternator (which is what I thought) and they were going to get it into the shop that afternoon and it would be done "first thing in the morning". My friend Sunny Jim* offered me a lift home from work and the day was going okay. I figured things were looking up.

(do you sense the foreboding?)

Thursday morning, because the Service Shop Guy said it would be ready first thing in the morning, I didn't bother trying to arrange a ride to work and had told them I would be in when the car was ready. Then I waited. And waited. And maybe I waited a bit.

I called the Service Shop and couldn't get the Guy who was looking after my car. When he finally called he said it was "just the battery" so that would be "$200". I talked to my friend Sunny Jim just after that and told him what the Service Shop Guy had said. Sunny Jim said he could get me a battery for about $60 and install it himself so I called the Service Shop Guy back and left a message to not do anything.

THEN 20 minutes later the Service Shop Guy said that they had finally done the evaluation on the car and it needs an alternator. (this was the THIRD time that the SAME GUY told me that they had had a look at my car and here's what's wrong with it) He said this with a note of surprise in his voice, even though that was what he and I had originally thought. Then, SURPRISE, it was going to come to just over $500! (they said just under $400 the day before)(yikes) I told him that my friend was going to be there with the battery soon and when Service Shop Guy heard me say that my GUY friend was coming to the Service Shop, suddenly my alternator dropped about $200 in price!! Shocking!!

So THEN it took about 2 hours longer to do the work than what they said and it was too late to bother going in to work anymore.

I was a bit concerned about how things would be at work today, since I missed a whole day. I had kept them informed about what was going on but my internal dictator is telling me I shouldn't have missed work.

THEN this morning, a bunch of really unsettling stuff happened at work, but since I would really like to not end up losing my job because I wrote about work, I will be cryptic. Let's just say that people I liked don't work with me anymore and people I don't necessarily get along with as well still work here but have said interesting things about me and everything feels really shakey.

*Sunny Jim is obviously not his real name. His real name is Sneaky Pete.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

of course.

You know how sometimes you wake up and just can't get moving? And, of course you have cramps and a migraine before you get going. And, you get a little shampoo in your eye so you end up doing that little "I have shampoo in my eye and dammit it hurts" dance? And then, your hair doesn't quite work? And then, while having your cereal for breakfast you break off another big chunk of your tooth that the dentist said she would fix but then she kept just having you back for appointments that had nothing to do with actually fixing the damn tooth? And then, of course, you're late heading out to work and you get cut off by some ass hat in a really big 3/4 ton truck? And, then, of course because it's the Tuesday after the long weekend it feels like Monday and it's more of a Monday than any real Monday would be? And, no matter how hard you try to get stuff done you never get to the first item on your to-do list? And you start thinking that the only thing that would make the day any worse would be if you got dumped, you know if you had a boyfriend, which you don't so of course then you start thinking about that? And then you start thinking that maybe you'll get through the day afterall so you leave at 5:30pm which is, of course, 30 minutes past the time you are supposed to work until? And then, driving home your transmitter thing so you can listen to your ipod craps out and right about then you realize that the gauges are kind of flipping up and down and then suddenly they're not working at all and the vent fan isn't really doing anything either and it's about 30 degrees Celsius and it's pretty warm and you start to realize there's something wrong with your car? And then, because you were passing it and it's close to your house you stop at a dealership that has a service shop and your car dies completely as you pull in? And it's 6:02 and they just closed? And you don't have your cell phone because the battery on IT died that morning? And you have to walk 10 blocks in the 30 degree Celsius heat with the cramps and the migraine that never went away? And you just feel like crying?


Friday, September 01, 2006


There should be a universal rule or principle or law that states that if a person, tired from a long week of pettiness and stress at work, finds themselves dreaming that they are at work, and not only that they find themselves at work, but they find themselves trying to sort out several extremely stressful situations at work, situations which are vivid and authentic enough that the person wakes up and still is trying to mentally problem solve while said person is getting ready for work and then driving to work, then that person should not have to actually go to work the next day.

Don’t you think?

(Do I win some sort of award for the longest run-on sentence in history?)