Categories
Canada comedy entertainment funny humor

Tuesday Timewasters: 14 BEST Tweets from No Name Brands

No, you read that correctly. No Name Brands. The Brand.

So my obsession with all things Twitter continues with @nonamebrands.

I love them!

For those who don’t know, No Name Brands is a line of generic grocery items owned by the Loblaw Company in Canada. They’re sold in a bunch of stores around the country, the nearest one to me being Real Canadian Superstore.

They have quite distinctive packaging: black font on yellow background, and have very very generic product names.

BUT, their Twitter account is where they really shine. Here are some of my favorite Tweets of theirs for you to enjoy!

And of course, they’ve been posting helpful tweets such as:

They also live-Tweeted the Emmys and Oscars!! WHICH. WAS. AMAZING. Here’s a taster, read from bottom to top. Head to their Twitter for more!

ending paragraph.

signing off.

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor timewasters

Tuesday Timewasters: 29 Best Tweets from Lawrence PD's Twitter Account

Sometime last year, I became obsessed with the Lawrence PD Twitter account. Someone in my feed reposted something of theirs and in typical fashion on a 1 hour bus ride, I went down a rabbit hole of reading ALL. THEIR. TWEETS.

Things I know about them:

They have two dogs: Cheeseburger….

…And Deuce:

Cheeseburger is more popular though. It causes….problems….

They encourage people not to crime.

And encourage people to help them solve crimes – both were found. #yaytwitter

They also give helpful life tips:

Here are some more of my favorites:

This same Tweet-a-long went a little off topic for a bit:

Officer Inman’s mom also made a appearance and later cupcakes did indeed arrive at the station!

If you want more, I highly recommend this thread:

Thanks Lawrence PD, for both keeping the residences of Lawrence safe and everyone else amusing.

Post more Cheeseburger.

Categories
comedy funny humor

Tuesday Timewasters: Admin Edition

I have been an admin assistant for almost 3 years. 2.5 years with one company and 3 months with this new company. I adoooore my new company and my boss. Also, math is not my strongest asset.
Here are some things I happened upon I could not relate to more in my old job…and one I could not relate to more in my new one!
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Now you’re wondering when Administrative Professionals’ Day is, aren’t you?
administrative-professional-doesnt-know-funny-ecard-Fp0
It’s not today, don’t worry.
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Nor was it yesterday.
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But good news!
Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 8.03.30 PM
You still have time to buy a gift!
A whole 24 hours in fact!
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Post-its are nice.
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Or vodka.
Only those two will be accepted as gifts.
Failing that, not walking to my desk to tell me you sent me an email asking me to print a piece of paper to the printer you walked past on your way to my desk would be nice.
Unrelated: regarding one of the posts above, I was asked to plan my own goodbye party and book the restaurant. #truestory
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Because today was password reset day and within an hour I was swearing at my computer.
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I have never related to something more.
Never.
Ever.
And finally, this:
a46580deef7f506948e6a20799e35a1a
Not office related but….I just couldn’t not post it!
That face you just made reading that, that confused face, I would like free rein to make that face at people just once a day.
Maybe twice.
Three tops!
Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day – It’s April 25th! 🙂

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor internet random

Tuesday Timewasters – 04/17

We’re back with a weekly roundup of five awesome timewasters for you to avoid doing anything productive today!
Sorry not sorry.
Happy Timewasting!

  1. 10 Honey Recipes For Every Occasion – Buzzfeed

One can never have too many honey recipes. Although, if anyone has any hints on how to stop my honey hardening, requiring a soak in hot water and then…well, it explodes.
Ugh. Honey on the floor.
Why?
(Bonus points for the awesome URL with this one! ‘those donuts tho’!)

2. Periodic Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad.

It’s exactly that.
EXACTLY. THAT.

3. Magnets and Marbles

Still from Magnets and Marbles

*Rabbit Hole Alert*
Ok, so this I became every so slightly obsessed with one day and wasted a lot of data on my phone watching You Tube videos of magical magnetic marbles doing their own version of Rube Goldberg Machines.

4. …I am genuinely unsure how to describe this….

Safe for work.
Also don’t sit too close to the screen.
I warned you.
Yep.

5. 12 Weird Things The Have Washed Ashore – Mental Floss

God, I wish I was there the day they found the life-sized E.T.. Could you imagine?
(I had trouble typing that sentence as I was laughing so much!)

Still got time to waste? For more Timewasters, check out:

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor Korea South Korea

So how did YOU end up in Korea?

So how did you end up in Korea?

*This was written 6 years ago, a year before I left Korea for Canada* 

I get asked this question a lot and so here…here is how I ended up in Korea: 

Recently, I called a lawyer. 

A lawyer in Canada, no less. This lawyer I called was very polite and helpful, apparently it’s the Maple Leaf disposition. He asked how I found out about his company as I was calling all the way from South Korea (‘South Korea, wow!’ ‘Yeah, I get that a lot when I call overseas from here.’). I explained I googled what I was looking for and clicked the first one I found with a Facebook page. Although it is also worth noting I was drinking a vodka and orange in an Irish bar on a school night while calling him…. 

This morning, I had a visa medical exam. A pretty standard test. One I’ve had a few times for my Korean visa so I knew the drill. Blood, chest x-ray, pee in paper cup, see doctor, deny knowing what an illegal drug is, the usual. On one of the stack of forms I had to fill in to give permission for them to view my medical records, test me for a wide varity of diseases, declare I wasn’t lying in any of my statements, give them custody of my first-born and the rights to name him Bob (one those is not true), it asked for my future occupation in my intended country of residence. Pointing out I wasn’t moving for another 12 months and hadn’t planned that yet, I was told to put ‘housewife’.

And so I did. 

I laughed and shook my head and wrote the word on the page.

In a mere 48 hours, I’d called a lawyer, had a visa medical and declared myself a future housewife. 

My entire life I’ve just kinda fallen into thing. Not really making conscious life decisions. I’ve just been presented with an opportunity and going with it, confident in the knowledge that it’ll all be fine. It’s no coincidence one of my favourite phrases is ‘Let’s see how this all plays out, shall we?’ 

I stumbled into going to university in England. I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my life and unwilling to choose computing suggested by one career counsellor and to ‘give up the idea of directing a movie because my teeth were not straight enough. So when I talk or give direction people will not understand me and HOW can I direct a movie if people can’t understand me’ (direct quote that will stay with me for life) by another career counsellor after I said I wanted to write movies.

To the UK I went, to study writing and film (a completely useless degree in hindsight). Unlike universities in the US where you can study many different things in the lead up to your eventual degree, in Ireland and the UK at 17 we have to choose our path and stick to it. Every course I took lead directly to the degree I applied for. I applied to ten universities, got into four, picked the one with the open day that was soon, flew over, looked around and signed up to attend in September.

Graduating at 20, I fell into working as a project supervisor at my previous job. 

How? 

I was there when the previous project supervisor quit. That’s it. That’s all it took. I just happened to be there in the building. Later, when I moved into human resources, again, it was because I was there when the previous HR girl quit. For a while I was doing project supervising, HR, interviewing potential staff, running training seminars, doing wages (a terrifying month) and flying to Germany to brief new center managers. I took a two week holiday and went to Washington DC. It took three people to do my job while I was gone. 

Having gone to Salzburg on a Sound of Music tour with my mother for her 50th birthday, I returned to my job bored and unhappy. I didn’t like it. It was depressing and I could do it drunk, hungover, half asleep, on the tail end of a bar hopping pub crawl (I kid you not!) and could coordinate client documents while talking on the phone, supervising staff and playing on the Internet all at the same time. The challenge was gone and thus I put in for a transfer. To London. My transfer approved, my contract drawn up and ready to be signed, apartment hunting was a go-go and I was packing my house up.

Six weeks later I was on a flight to Korea to start a new life. 

It’s funny how these things just….happen.

So what happened? 

Nothing.

Nothing at all. 

Nothing major or dramatic or life changing. Nothing I can pinpoint on my life map and say ‘this was the event that caused it’. I just woke up one day and realised if I don’t leave now, now, this very second….if I don’t make the decision to leave when I get the chance, when my current contract is up, I’ll never leave. And then I’ll stay. I’ll stay here in a job I don’t like. In a country I really have no reason to be. With a car I can’t drive and a lethargic attitude towards work that ranks it just barely above ‘napping’. I’ll stay and be that person in the bar who stayed too long.

I needed a change. I needed to leave. And I needed to do it now while the idea was new and fresh and I was suddenly motivated. My contract at work was up for renewel. My current landlord was looking into selling off his house and thus, I’d have to move anyway. The stars were aligning and it was my shot!

A quick phone call later and i was offered a chance to either move to Korea the following month or Japan in 6 months. I choose Korea, because it was sooner and hanging around for 6 months would lead to a change of heart, second guessing and I have a short attention span. Left for 6 months to stew and think, I’d back out. I told my job. (‘I moving to Korea.’ ‘Korea…where’s that?’ ‘KOREA.’ ‘Ohhhhhh KOREA….I seeeeee.’) I sold everything that wouldn’t fit in my Opel Corsa on eBay and my mother drove me back to Dublin to await my Korean visa. 

A few weeks later, visa and one way plane ticket in hand, large suitcase borrowed from my mother, and a world of opportunity ahead of me, I left on a plane to start anew. It would be a few weeks before I got around to reading the Lonely Planet guide I’d brought with me and a few more before I discovered what ‘Skype’ is…and I worked for eBay when they acquired Skype which made that so much worse. 

Oh, how badly prepared I’d been when I arrived.

But alas how could I know that one decision, that decision to pack everything up and start again would change my life the way it did. 

I didn’t. 

I took a shot.

And now, as I prepare for yet another country move, people keep asking if I’m scared, apprehensive, what if it all goes wrong, what if it doesn’t work out…etc.

To them I say, maybe it will. Maybe it will go wrong. Maybe it’ll be great. Maybe it’ll be the greatest decision I’ve ever made. Maybe, maybe, maybe. 

I don’t want the ‘maybes’ to rule my life. For every ‘maybe yes’, there’s a ‘maybe no’. For every person that says ‘Maybe it’s a good idea’ there’s another saying ‘Maybe it’s a terrible idea. You should stay here’.

When I moved to England, people said I’d be back within a month. I said ‘Maybe.’ I returned 6 years later. 

When I moved to Korea, people said, ‘Ohhh it’s so dangerous there! You won’t be safe!’. I said ‘Maybe.’ I’ve been here 3 years and 4 months. The most dangerous thing that has ever happened to me was almost being hit by a taxi cab when I walked out in front of it.

In less than a year, I move to Canada. People say it may not work out. That couples who meet in Korea and leave together don’t last. That we’ll regret it. That we won’t find jobs. That we’ll have no money. That it’s cold. That I’ll hate it. That it’s a risk.

To them, I say ‘Maybe.’ 

But for now, let’s just agree on one thing, let’s all sit back, relax and see how this all plays out, shall we?

#spoileralert #itworkedouy

(Oh and that’s The Canadian One with my Pingu the Penguin in his backpack in the pictures above on the day we moved me from my apartment into his!) 

Categories
Canada comedy funny health humor

You know how I’m convinced my foo is trying to kill me…

So I talk a lot about how I am convinced my foo is trying to kill me. Every month, my period rolls ’round and I tell this website, Facebook, Twitter, my friends, my cats, The Canadian One, anyone who’ll listen that I am convinced that my foo and all it’s connecting parts including but not limited to the main foo-dome (or uterus if you’re a doctor) is actively trying to kill me.

Sure, I dull it with heat pads and vodka and painkillers and, did I mention Vodka, but yet still, it downs me each month and costs me a valuable sick day I could be using as vacation time.

It tries to kill me. Snuff me out. Steal my energy and make me eat all the oat cookies.

THEN it makes me cry because there are no more oat cookies.

And then I feel sick because you’re not supposed to bake and eat 12 oat cookies in 30 minutes.

To sum up, I was/am/will forever be convinced my foo wants me dead.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that that might actually be true.

I’m not nuts.

It IS trying to kill me.

Ok, lemme back up.

So about 3 years ago, I had a serious of failed PAP tests – always a fun time – and I was sent off to the colposcopy clinic where I had a series of biopsies. These fun lil let’s-rinse-you-out-with-vinegar-and-cut-off-slivers-of-your-skin tests resulted in a ‘low grade changes’ result. Other than ‘You’re 100% healthy’, one would assume that’s the next best thing.

I was sent home and told to return in 6 months.

I returned.

We vinegared up the foo and got to snipping. THIS time I remembered to take Motrin before the test so it went muuuuuch better than the first one. The results were the same as the first so I waited another 6 months.

Again, I returned. Motrined up. We biopsied. We got the same results. However as it was my third visit, I was offered the chance to watch the foo biopsy on the big screen.

I politely declined.

No one wants to see their foo magnified up on the big screen.

No. One.

This time, since there were no changes in results from the first time, I was released back to my family doctor.

FREEDOM!

I was told I needed 3 more all-clear PAPs in 18 months to be considered fine.

Over the next year, I collected 2 fully fledged perfectly healthy PAP tests (and a yeast infection from some ear infection medicine because….ugh…life).

And then came the third.

‘You have HSIL. You need to return to colposcopy.’ 

Like…COME ON!! #soclose

I was told what this meant. There was a possibility of ‘pre-cancer’ and a LEEP. I would need time off work. I had a wedding coming up in the USA. This was seriously going to interfere with all this. I cried on the train and began to miss my sunglasses. My face seriously puffs up when I cry. I can’t watch puppy videos at work. Ever.

Now here is where I went wrong.

I Googled.

I literally cannot stress this enough: DO. NOT. GOOGLE. LEEP. SURGERY. And then hit images. Don’t. Just…don’t.

The Canadian One threatened to confiscate my phone. He, at regular intervals, would send me gifs of Michael Scott yelling NOOOOOO.

The only thing that calmed me down was a Reddit thread where people explained it actually wasn’t that bad and that you shouldn’t Google it.

Reddit.

Reddit, the place I turned to last year when there was a Red Bull shortage in Calgary. (That’s true, you can probably still find my question. I have no idea how to log into Reddit so it must still be there)

Two weeks later, I find myself in the colposcopy clinic again. Feet cold in the stirrups, happy I remembered a pad and took the Motrin, staring at the ceiling, the big screen, declining the offer to watch, chitchatting with the nurse about summer plans (it was my fourth, I knew the drill).

The doctor said she saw some HSIL, we talked about my trip to the USA, when my LEEP would be, when the biopsy results would be back to see how deep the abnormal cells go.

Two weeks later I get the call.

Results are in.

That was quick. The last time I had to call them.

‘Oh my God, it’s bad.’ I say.

‘You don’t know that. We said we would call either way.’ said the nurse, no air of emotion in her voice. I had no idea if she was calling with good or bad news.

She confirmed I am who I say I am and then said it.

All the biopsies were perfectly normal. The PAP was wrong.

What the sh*t?! – Actual Quote

After swearing at her a few more times and then apologizing several times and making her explain again…and again what she meant by ‘all clear’…I thanked her, arranged my 6 month follow up to check that the biopsy results were consistent and hung up.

So now I’m left in this position: Either my PAP was wrong and I’m that friend you get to tell all your other friends about who’s PAP was wrong and she was fine.

Or I’m not fine, the biopsy was wrong and I am f*cked.

My 6 month follow up is tomorrow…

Ugh, I need an oat cookie.

Categories
Canada comedy entertainment funny humor

‘I’m a bee!!’ – Halloween Memories

While trying to explain Halloween in Ireland to The Canadian One I was remembering all sorts of different traditions we have that are different from his.

For one, in my family we never carved a Jack-O’-Lantern (or Pumpkin). People in Ireland did but in my family we just didn’t do it.

Pumpkin Spiced PicklesOur pumpkin…with our cat…dressed as a pumpkin. Note: Only one of us is excited in this photo. And it’s not her. 

As child, we would dress up, go trick-or-treating, drop all our candy at home and hit the bonfire for some staring at fire and watching of fireworks. Other side-traditions that may have been more my-family-centric included finding the cat, coaxing the cat indoors, locking the cat in the living room, hiding all the wood in the weeks leading up to the bonfire night (for fear of it being stolen) and, of course, no Halloween was complete without the eating of the Halloween Brack.

Barmbrack

Oddly, The Canadian One actually already knows about barmbrack. A few months ago, he excitedly told me about this Irish fruitcake that was baked on an episode of Deadwood he’d seen the night before. He said there were items baked into the fruit cake and…

I stopped him there.

“Like a ring and whatnot?” I asked.

“YES!! You know about this cake? Is it a thing?” he exclaimed.

‘Is it a thing?’ is an often asked question in our house.

“Yeah, it’s called brack. Like Halloween brack. Or barmbrack. We eat it at Halloween. It’s got stuff inside it. You know, I was always so excited to get the ring from the brack when I was little. You buy it at Dunnes.”

He stared at me. It was the same expression he had on his face when I was acting out the game ‘conkers’ to him. I often forget when I’m explaining things to people who didn’t grow up with this being normalcy, they may find it fascinating.

I almost told him about bobbing for apples but opted out of it. Also thinking about bobbing for apples now. I mean, you get one kid with a cold playing that game and everyone is wiped out! 

It’s strange to think back on some of the things we did as kids on Halloween. As a child the only rules were be home before dark (and ‘stop slamming the frikkin’ door on your way in and out’). My mother never really knew where we were or what we were doing. We went out unsupervised trick-or-treating. We would wander too close to the bonfire which was basically a pile of wood in the middle of a grassy community area set alight. My brother said there was a shopping trolley on it this year. We ate our candy without thinking twice about if it could be dangerous. Is wasn’t so much, ‘was there poison in our apples?’ it was more ‘why did someone give us apples? Which house was that, let’s never visit again.’

And why were there always so many peanuts in shells. 

So. Many. 

No one ever worried about allergies. Or gluten. Or dairy. 

Me as Julia

Me, as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, aged 7 or 8

As for costumes, I’ve dressed as a plethora of different things growing up including, but not limited to, my hooker outfit above. I wanted to be Pretty Woman. I went around telling people I was a hooker until my mother told me I should probably just tell people I was Julia Roberts.

My mother would make all my costumes (yes, including the one above). I was a robot one year in a cardboard box covered in tin foil and remember being sad I couldn’t pee most of the night. People used me as a candy table for a bit. I was the World Cup another year with a gold covered lampshade on my head. I won a costume competition. I was a witch. A ghost. I dressed all in white once and stuck a glowing star to my chest and was the Star of Bethlehem (the curse of attending an all-girls catholic school). 

Witch

Me as a witch

As an adult I’ve been a snowman…

Snowman

With Stan looking dapper as a cat. 

…and Minnie Mouse in the same weekend. This is me (a mere 24 hours after the above photo was taken in a 2am McDonald’s dance-off with Spiderman…that ended in a song because of course…). Poor Stan looking embarrassed in the background:

Minnie

Last year I decided to be a bee. 

In Canada I’ve been a bee twice. Once while working at a call center a bunch of us dressed as worker bees.

Get it. 

Worker Bees. 

Hahahahahaha. 

No? 

Nevermind. 

But last year, I made the whole family get in on the bee theme: 

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Only one of us is truly happy in this photo

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I would later get drunk and yell excitedly ‘I’m a bee!!!” at a Calgary police officer sitting in a truck as we were leaving a Halloween party. ‘He’s a beekeeper!!!’ I would continue to yell across the sidewalk to him as I pointed at The Canadian One. The cop waved to me and yelled back, ‘I KNOW!! WE MET YOU EARLIER!” 

Oh yeah. That’s right. 

He was the same cop who complemented The Canadian One on his beekeeper outfit and suggested we round up all the many bees at the party and take a picture with them. 

We didn’t. 

But dammit, we should have! 

It was only later when I was looking at old pictures to find the one of me as a witch, I remembered this: I was a bee before. In Spain. With my brother. 

20161101_190543

Again, one of us is way more excited than the other. 

I’ve now dressed as a bee three times in my lifetime. 

None of them were in Ireland. 

Go figure. 

What are some of your Halloween memories or traditions? Got a funny childhood costume you want to share? 

Categories
comedy conversations entertainment funny humor

I Recently Made A Weird Discovery…

I recently made a weird discovery…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I discovered that my phone had been recording every phone call made on my phone from Feb 2015-Jan 2016. 

Every phone call. 

Now, while you may be thinking, ‘HOLY SHIT!! WTF?!!! SPIES!!! MALWARE!! OMG!’. I immediately thought, ‘Ohhhh…so that app did work.’ 

See here’s what happened, I downloaded an app back in February 2015 to record my voicemails separately as my phone will only save three and then starts deleting them. I had the bright idea that if I could record the voicemails separately, if I needed the information later, I could retrieve it.

It was a solid plan.

I would run the app, call the voicemail and the app would automatically record it.

Perfect.

However, I couldn’t figure out how to use the app and quickly abandoned it. Then, while cleaning out my apps in January because I had run out of memory (there’s that mystery solved), I deleted the call recording app. 

Over the year, I had updated my phone. Turned off and on my phone. Closed all apps hundreds of times. Had a battery problem where it kept shutting off (a problem that just kinda went away by itself…). And still, this app kept on chugging away.

Until, when testing out my new C25K app’s in-app music, it pulled from my ‘music’ folder a call The Canadian One made to me on his first night in Hamilton for work.

Not a great soundbite to workout to.

shopping-cart-1467039-638x542As strange as it was to discover it did record all my calls, I also realized 95% of the calls were from The Canadian One…at a grocery store…mostly regarding the shopping list. Things like:

“They have no onions.”

“HOW CAN THEY NOT HAVE RUFFLES?!! THERE’S BEEN A SPIKE IN RUFFLE SALES.”

“The toilet roll is not on sale…what do I do?”

“I’m going to Safeway. Your bread isn’t here.”

And the other 5% were my doctor and dentist confirming appointments.

I do not lead a very exciting phone call life.

I listened to maybe 10 to get the gist of them – they were so clear it was like I had recorded it in the room with both people – and then I deleted them.

I deleted the HUNDREDS of calls my phone had been saving.

It was very weird.

And probably very illegal.

But mostly, very weird.

Categories
Canada comedy entertainment funny humor

The Road To 5K: Injured Runner

The road to 5k copy-2

It’s been a few weeks since my last update on how my Road to 5K is going and…

…it’s not been going well.

In my second week of training, I started to get these twinges in my right knee. I didn’t think much of it. Maybe it was from suddenly starting to do an exercise that didn’t involve Netflix and the couch. Or from having an inability to run in a straight line.

Why is that so difficult?  

The first time it happened, I ignored it. Meh, it’s nothing. Just the usual muscle pain associated with new exercise. It soon wore off and I was fine. The second time, it took longer for me to get over it. I sat around my house, my knee feeling hot and puffy but generally looking fine. Normal. Like a normal knee should look.

No swelling. 

No redness. 

No bruising.

Again, I thought, maybe it’s normal.

It was not.

I jogged again two days later – keeping with my every-second-day schedule – and quit midway through. The pain was shooting through me and I worried I would become stranded a 15 minute jog from home unable to walk. I briefly considered locating a Car2Go and then realized I should probably just continue walking.

I went home and lay on the couch, sad.

Then it hurt when I walked. Or when I stood. Or when I was just sitting around at my desk.

It had become a problem.

I put heat on it.

You should not put heat on it.

I called my regular physiotherapist thinking that may be the solution but she was out of town. I quickly acquired a new one and set up an appointment for the following week.

I happened to be seeing my regular doctor for completely unrelated issue (renewing a migraine meds prescription) and casually asked if I should be using heat or ice. We established no heat. Heat makes it worse and I got a prescription for some kinda, I don’t know, like gloopy gel you rub on your knee. It’s sort of the consistency of Vaseline. It’s weird. I’m not sure I like it. And I’m not sure it does anything.

And also I lost it somewhere.

My appointment with the physio came and poof, I was quickly diagnosed with patellofemoral injury aka Runner’s Knee.

20160502_171821.jpg

Seriously. Was there ever a more apt name for an injury?

I got all taped up, got given my set of exercises to do and was ordered to jog a little on Sunday…which I failed to do. It was raining.

And I was hungover.

But mainly, the rain thing.

20160502_180314.jpg

I returned to physio on Monday and, having been through a year of physio before and knowing these lovely magical people don’t take kindly to bullshit, I trailing my ‘Hi, how are you?’ with ‘I have done minimum exercise and didn’t jog’.

Just wanted to admit that right off the bat.

We did a little physio, some ultrasounding, some stretches and I was sent home with the same exercises and schedule I had failed to follow the previous week. We also discovered pain in my left knee and things started to look bleak for the marathon.

20160509_181736.jpg

Between my second and third appointment, the following Monday, I managed 2 short jogs (I did Week 1: Day 1 again, twice) and got through some of the exercises I was given.

Yes yes, I know, you should follow your physio’s advice, blah blah blah.

You try it.

Moving on.

The pain was hovering around a 1 on the 1 to stabbed-in-the-eyeball scale and I was feeling pretty good. At my third, and last, appointment (13 days from Race Day), my left knee had healed and my right knee was doing so much better I was given new exercises, the go-ahead to at least attempt the race and a doctor’s note to excuse me from the fire drill that was due in my building. I work on the 40th floor. Evacuating during a fire drill from that height is bad enough when you are completely fine (hot, pissed off, and wishing you’d brought your coffee doesn’t count here), but with an injured knee, a 5K race looming and 3 physio appointments behind you, it’s not a good idea.

Which brings me to 6 days ago. I set out, sans Couch25K app, to just generally get a feel for what the distance of 5K felt like. I miscalculated the yellow ball in the sky and overheated almost as soon as I left the apartment. I made it to 4.16km before I genuinely thought the sun would kill me and I needed to wear less clothing.

Two days later it snowed (welcome to Calgary), so I waited until the following day. It was rainy and windy so I dressed appropriately in long pants, a t-shirt and sweater. About 20 minutes in I felt ill. I was hot, nauseous, a little dizzy and winded and, let’s be fair, I wasn’t really going that fast I should not have felt like that.

Then it happened.

I got itchy.

All over my legs.

I was overheating and itchy and my chest started to hurt. My breathing, however, was fine and I quickly worked out this was not an emergency situation. I slowed to a snail pace and meandered home hitting 4.06km

Once in the door, without the distraction of the outside, the itching intensified. I took off my sweater and pants and stared at my legs.

Hives.

FRIKKIN HIVES!

EVERYWHERE!

My legs looked like bubble wrap.

I grabbed an ice pack for me knee and a glass of cold water and sat down…then did what any normal person would do in this situation. I took a picture of my legs and sent it to The Canadian One.

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This a picture of my matching ice pack, dress and knee tape. Not the hives. Sorry. 

I do enjoy co-ordination. 

The hives disappeared within 40 minutes and I narrowed the cause down to:

  1. Allergy to exercise – which is a real thing according to the Internet
  2. Some freak allergic reaction to spending too much time outdoors (freak allergic reactions are not too uncommon for me…remember that throat closing incident?) 
  3. The migraine medication I took before I left the house to jog triggered a reaction

Now, while it is most likely that last one, I did seriously consider the first one as the answer.

Not giving up, I jogged 2.5km yesterday and, though my different-pants-I-wore-a-lot-when-training were itchy, they did not produce any hives leading to believe perhaps the itching was imaginary this second time. 

Tomorrow I’ll attempt another 4-5km (today I’m taking a break) and I’ll update you on #HiveGate. And yes, I carry my EpiPen on my runs now…it’s in my cellphone holder belt…and is super inconvenient! Where am I suppose to put my phone now?!

Remember 6 weeks ago when I was like ‘Oh, hey, you know what might be fun, running a marathon. Yes, I know I’ve never run or even exercised before but how hard can it be?!’….A hurt knee, $50 worth of running clothes, 3 physiotherapy appointments and an outbreak of hives later and I think my brother may have put it best:

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And yes, it routinely takes him 24 hours to respond to my texts. 

However, I am still determined to do this 5K. If it takes me an hour to wander through the thing, I will do it. I set out on this mission and I am going to achieve it.

I WANT MY MEDAL!

Wait……do I get a medal? I should look that up.

OR The Canadian One can just get arts and craftsy and fashion one out of gold foil and Sharpies.

I would say ‘out of tin foil’ but I want a gold one goddammit.


Follow along with me as I go from binge-watching Scandal with gummie bears and Ruffles to running 5K in the Calgary Marathon in the space of 7 weeks supporting Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Feel free to sponsor me here or just laugh along at my running journey.

Previously:

The Road To 5K: The Prelude

The Road To 5K: Day 1 

The Road To 5K: Day 2

The Road To 5K: Day 3

The Road To 5K: The End of Week Two

Categories
Canada comedy funny humor

I Provide A Running Commentary For A Baseball Game….

I have only recently taken to baseball.

Three years ago, a week into living in Canada-land, my father-in-law took us to see a Blue Jays game with my brother-in-law and his kids. I had never seen a baseball game before which is surprising given its prevalence in Korea. I spent the game mostly having no idea what was going on and no idea when it would end. The thing I was most excited about, and excited about the entire month leading up to the game…and in the car ride to the game…and at dinner before the game was the FOAM MITTEN!!

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FOAM MITTEN!!!

My father-in-law bought me a foam mitten after listening to me talk about it for days. I had always wanted a foam mitten as growing up I’d always seen them on American TV shows and thought they were the epitome of Americana. Or rather, Canada-ana…?

Or well, technically it would be Americana since Canada is part of North America…right?

Right?!

And before anyone starts kicking off on my Facebook, it is not the same as the ‘Republic of Ireland is part of the UK’ debate.

Because that is wrong.

And Canada actually is part of the continent of North America.

Geographically.

Boom.

Moving on.

Now I understood the basic rules from playing rounders at home, a game very similar to baseball but with less intricate rules. Of course, we would play using our sweaters as bases and a tennis racket as a bat but still, same concept. You hit the ball. You run. You stop at a base. Someone can tag you out while you’re running about or before you get to a base. The other team runs around the field like maniacs with no formal position other than ‘over there on the left’, ‘over there on the right – mind the STOP sign there next to you’ and ‘somewhere around this kinda middle area’. Also there are no baseball gloves in rounders 

Last year, around the same time the Jays started to get good, The Canadian One got really into baseball.

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I have no idea what’s happening here. None. At all.

And since we still had the Sports package from Telus which I hadn’t cancelled after hockey season (because their hold time is ridiculous!) we caught a few games. 

By the time we lost and were knocked out, I came away from the season knowing three things:

  1. Bautista rides a scooter home from work.
  2. The Jays really like throwing champagne on each other.
  3. And I really liked the Japanese fella. 

This year, I aimed to come away with a bit more information. I learned his name was Kawasaki. I learned he was traded to the Cubs. And I learned that I had learned pointless information. 

And so, I have been diligently asking questions about the games the past month. But since I am struggling with names, I have just renamed the players and it’s up to The Canadian One to remember who is who.

Which brings us to this past Wednesday, The Canadian One got stuck at work during the baseball game. Now, usually I would record the baseball game and we would watch it when he gets home at 8pm however this was an early game, it started at 1pm, so we both missed it.

At about 5pm, he text me to find out the score and I discovered the game was still afoot. I spent the next 90 minutes providing commentary of the game while he was working. (FYI I knew in this particular game the pitcher bats as it was explained to me both the day before and the day before that. Also I can spell nobody’s name…just the general gist of their name is usually sufficient for The Canadian One.)

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screenshot_2016-05-12-13-21-592.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-12-13-22-052.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-12-13-22-122.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-12-13-22-232.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-12-13-22-302.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-12-13-22-413.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-12-13-22-472.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-13-12-50-372.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-13-17-45-242.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-13-17-45-332.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-13-17-45-442.jpg.jpgscreenshot_2016-05-13-12-51-122.jpg.jpgI feel like I might have a little more to learn.

Categories
Canada comedy funny humor

The Road To 5K: The End Of Week Two

The road to 5k copy-2

And so I come to the end of week 2 and get my nifty new app skin to not even pay attention to other that when I press ‘Start Workout’ and bitch about why my Spotify isn’t working. 

screenshot_2016-04-18-17-05-43.pngSpending two weeks jogging around my neighbourhood has made me realize that a lot of people use our quiet little area for learning how to drive. Hell, it’s where I learned how to drive. It only gets a little weird when I’m jogging faster than they are driving. Or when they stop randomly thinking I’m going to jump out onto the road and become a risk to them. 

I think this with every pedestrian I come across. 

Week 2: Workout 1 started off just like all the other workouts and when the jog beep kicked in and said I would be jogging for 90 seconds instead of 1 minute, I swore. 

Aloud. 

In my nice quiet neighbourhood. 

It was not my finest moment.

I did, however, make it up the small incline (the mini hill, if you will) while jogging without stopping. OK so I wanted to stop. I needed to stop. I thought I was going to keel over on someone’s pristine lawn. But alas, I did not. And I made it up the top of the ‘hill’ before the walk beep went off.

Going back to the lawn for a second, I feel like we are barely out of the depths of winter and people are already out gardening. I mean, come on, it’s Calgary. There could be a snowstorm next week and yet a few days of sunshine and everyone’s lawns look freshly mowed and green. 

…ish.

Greenish. More of a browny green.

Week 2: Workout 3 had several things going against it: 

  1. It was Monday afternoon.
  2. It was hot.
  3. It was Monday afternoon.

I was technically supposed to jog every 2nd day so Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday BUT I missed Sunday because it was our wedding anniversary on Saturday and well….I didn’t feel like it. For our anniversary, we spent some time at the park playing badminton. We quickly discovered our shuttlecock wasn’t very good so we ventured off to a nearby Sportchek, picked up better shuttlecocks and returned to the park. Then we went out and ended up at a trivia night at a local bar drinking half priced vodka and whiskey. We cleverly named our team (of two people) ‘Anniversary1′ and bagged free drinks from the bar and from a neighbouring table. 

Needless to say I was in no shape to jog on Sunday when I woke up. Unless tired, hungover and preferring to lie on the cold, hardwood floors of the apartment is considered a ‘shape’.

Around 2pm, feeling guilty about not jogging, we decided to venture out. After pumping up our tires and squishing our bikes into the car, we hit the park trail and went biking along a trail instead. 

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View on the trail

And then it was suddenly Monday. 

And hot.

So. Hot.

And I had to jog.

Dammit. 

As it turns out, I was actually fine. More than fine. I was super fine. OK, no, like somewhere in between fine and super fine.

I jogged around during the last workout of the Week 2 training session and was pleasantly surprised when the jog beep told me I was on jog 6 of 6.

I have discovered with the arrival of the sunshine, I have a new jogging nemisis other than the out of breathness, overheating and general achiness that’s become my default setting. Sprinklers. I almost got attacked by a wayward sprinkler on Monday. I narrowly avoided it after briefly considering running through it, arms spread out, soaring like a deranged sweaty eagle regretting some of its most recent life decisions. 

Namely, jogging at 4pm in the afternoon heat.

Oh well, onto Week 3. 

Also, on a side note and unrelated to jogging: I saw this bird in the park, it’s not a goose…what is it?!!! He looks like he’s wearing a little tuxedo. 

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Edit: It’s a pheasant! Thanks Courtney!!

Follow along with me as I go from binge-watching Scandal with gummie bears and Ruffles to running 5K in the Calgary Marathon in the space of 7 weeks supporting Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Feel free to sponsor me here or just laugh along at my running journey.

Previously:

The Road To 5K: The Prelude

The Road To 5K: Day 1 

The Road To 5K: Day 2

The Road To 5K: Day 3

Categories
Canada comedy funny humor Korea South Korea

How I Met The Canadian One

April 16th 2015

People always ask me ‘How did you and The Canadian One meet?’, ‘Why is your blog called The Ketchup War?’ and ‘Why is the printer beeping? Can you come fix it?”

To answer that last question first, I have no idea. I’ll turn it off and turn it on and if that doesn’t work, I’ll call IT.

Except it always works. And then people think I know how to fix the printer.

Looking at our beginning, if how The Canadian One and I met was a TV show, it would be full of annoying near-misses that keep the storyline alive and almost-meet-cutes around sweeps week.

How I Met Your Mother The Canadian One

3871_99952386345_2340153_nSeason 1: Spring 2008 – 12 Days In And Still Jetlagged

My second weekend in Korea back in May 2008, I got invited to a poker game at my supervising teacher’s home and it was there that I met a long-haired guy we shall dub Drummer-Boy. He had lived in my apartment and worked at my school the year before and was swiftly beating me at poker. I’ve covered my skills (or lack thereof) at poker previously but the fact that he took all my money is not the point here. I liked Drummer-Boy. He was my first new friend outside of my workmates that I had made, he lived an hour and a half away in Seoul and the subject of how his mother made Teletubbies quickly came up.

Teletubbies!

TELE-TUBBIES!

Moving on.

After a brief chat, we discovered we’d both worked in the same chain of betting shops in the UK around the same time a few years prior. We even figured we may have even spoken on the phone a handful of times as it was often required to call other branches to verify information.

Unstoppable Trio
H, Patrick and Me: An Unstoppable Trio

While living in Cheonan, an hour and a half south of Seoul, I had somehow managed to live in a three bedroom apartment alone for the first few months until Em arrived. Drummer-Boy would often come visit old friends (and new friends) in my town and crash in one of my spare rooms.

We would go on to become firm friends, hanging out in his town (Seoul) and my town (Cheonan). He introduced me to his friend H, from Scotland, who would go on to become my travel and touring buddy (and partner-in-crime) in the years to come.

I, meanwhile, would visit Seoul a lot over the next 2 years, sleeping on H’s floor and spending our evenings watching Drummer-Boy’s band, Angry Bear, play in local bars and clubs.

And that, kids, is how I met…your Uncle Patrick. 

Christmas Tree
My 2009 Christmas Tree

Season 2: Christmas 2009 – A Trip Back To Cheonan

In 2009, Patrick brought his British friend, Sam, to Christmas dinner at our poker buddy’s home. Both Em and I had moved out of Cheonan by this time – having completed our year-long contracts there – and were living separately up nearer to Seoul. We met up and journeyed down to our old home town together, stopping in at a Burger King for a pre-dinner lunch of burgers and fries.

Now, Sam was memorable for three things:

1. He was also drummer but in a different band

2. He was also British, like Patrick

And 3. He insisted on calling me British for the entire night. 

Some weeks later, as I’m leaving a magazine launch party with Em not paying a bit of attention to the band on stage, I suddenly spot my British nemesis from Christmas dinner on stage playing drums with the band. A passing “Hey, isn’t that Sam from Christmas dinner?” and a confirmation that yes it is and we were whisked out of the club and onto somewhere else.

The band Sam was playing with was Bedroom States…

It was their first live show…

And The Canadian One was their lead singer.

MountainSeason 3: Spring 2010: An Album and a Retreat

Between March 2010 and April 2010, I would move back to Cheonan and The Canadian One and I would attend two Angry Bear events in small venues and never meet. 

The first was the Angry Bear first album launch that I attended with H, maybe Em and my date from speed dating a few weeks before. Yes, I went speed dating. Yes, it was awesome. I’ll tell you about it sometime. Actually, there’s a picture of me attached to an article online written by the guy I went on the date with. However, due to a dispute I had with that publication, I’m not linking to it. The guy was nice though. He was there covering the event for an article he was writing and I ended up dating him for a short period of time. For the record, my dispute with the publication and the non-successful continuation of my dates with my speed-date date were unconnected. That ridiculousness would come years later.

IMG_2050The second event both The Canadian One and I attended at the same time was the following month. H and I had signed ourselves up for a Buddhist Temple Retreat and I was up in Seoul to catch the bus with her early the next morning. The retreat seemed like a really good idea at the time however Patrick’s band was playing a gig the night before and since I was up in Seoul for the retreat anyway, we figured, meh, let’s go.

They were playing in a bar behind a coffee shop with a man dressed as a clown tending bar. I want to say it was 80’s night but it was Korea so it’s entirely possible it was just a regular Friday.

As we were early we went off to play darts in the corner and take advantage of the cheap shots that were on offer that night. The band arrived, we stood around with them for a bit, then went off and danced and hung out by ourselves. We were working on drumming up support for our cause to pressure the band into playing an old song of theirs. We loved the song but they rarely played it anymore as it was several years old (although it would be the last song I heard them play live at our leaving-Korea party). Our plan that night basically consisted of us gathering a small crowd to yell the name of the song at the band during every song interval until our plan worked.

After several rounds of drunk people yelling ‘Clementine’ at them, they caved.

Hours before our tour bus left and we were still at the party. Or rather, we were outside the party on the street with one of us throwing up (H) and the other not helping at all (me). At this point the Buddhist retreat was seeming like one of those plans you make for a Saturday night on a Tuesday but when Saturday rolls ‘round you’re thinking ‘Someone cancel, SOMEONE CANCEL, GOOD GOD PLEASE!!’ so you can just stay home.

But we still made it.

I remember being hungover, wearing inappropriate shoes for a hike I wasn’t warned about and ultimately becoming upset and frustrated during a ‘relaxing’ lotus flower making session. 

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My mouth is smiling but my eyes say ‘Kill me’

 

I also recall eating flower pancakes and no, that’s not a misspelling. I do mean flower.

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Flower pancakes…literally. Flowers. 

As it turned out, in that very same bar on that very same night was The Canadian One. He was at the same clown-man-behind-the-bar-show as us and had we hung out with the band more and not been off downing colourful shots and gathering a posse, we would have met.

Season 4: Summer 2010 – The Almost Meet

At the end of July 2010, I had a week off work which coincided with the Jisan Valley Rock Festival in Icheon. H, Em and I all decided we would go and camp for all three days of the festival. We bought our tickets, planned our weekend and I jetted off to Jeju-do for the few days prior and did exciting things like beach drinking and visiting sex parks

sex park
This is the least graphic photo I could find that I took at the sex park

 

When I got back, I was dying of a cold (probably due to the massive amounts of beach drinking I did) and not feeling the tent-sleeping aspect of the trip. I eventually turned up two days late but had missed meeting The Canadian One who’d been there hanging out with Patrick and left a few hours prior to my arrival.

This would also become the weekend everyone referred to as ‘Remember that time Jenny was 2 days late for the musical festival?’

IMG_2045Season 5: Fall 2010 – A Train of Wine & Dance

Skipping forward to November 2010 and Patrick’s band had acquired a fourth member. The fourth member actually joined prior to summer but this was the first opportunity we would have to see them as a new four-piece. When Patrick called to tell me about adding a guitar player, I made fun of him.

“Why would you need two guitar players?”, I said. “Get a keyboard player. Keyboard players are cool.”

H and I were invited to their show and planned to go, however, it did clash with a Wine Train we were going on for H’s birthday. 

‘What’s a Wine Train?’, you say.  

Well, let me tell you.

A Wine Train is tour-guided day of drinking wine on a train, in a vineyard, at some kinda museum type place and then some arts and crafts to round out the day. It ends with more wine and bad dancing on the train home.

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Fairly certain I’m drunk here

 

I found out later that in preparation for us perhaps actually turning up for the show, the band had practiced the song H and I loved with the new guitar player. They had fully explaining our peer pressure antics and general ‘play our goddamn song’ mentality to him.

Patrick, however, theorized that we would not make it due to an overabundance of wine and merriment. 

Patrick knew us very well.

We didn’t make it anywhere near the gig.

In fact, I’m surprised we all made it home at a decent hour.

Season 6: Winter 2010 – Six Seasons and A Movie

Days after the Wine Train, Patrick announced his band would be coming to my town, Cheonan, and playing at our local hangout. I busied myself promoting the band’s gig. First I made my own tiny poster:

angry Bear poster
This was about the size of a large Post-It

 

And then Patrick mailed me some ‘official’ posters.

H was coming down too and we quickly made dinner plans for his band and us and another friend. December 3rd rolls around and I arrived to dinner.

Late.

Meh.

At least I wasn’t two days late for a musical festival kinda late.

When I got there, no food had been ordered, only drinks. I sat down next to Patrick, who was sitting next to their new guitarist:

The Canadian One.

I struck up a conversation with the little information I had: He was a guitarist. He was in a different band. Then he joined Patrick’s band. I was disappointed he was not a keyboard player. I thought perhaps I shouldn’t open with that. And that was literally it.

Our first conversation went something like:

Me: “So, I hear they stole you from another band?”

The Canadian One: “Well, no. I’m still in the other band. And in this band.”

Me: “What’s the other band?”

TCO: “Bedroom States.”

Me: “SAM’S BAND?!!”

TCO: “You know Sam?”

Me: “Yeah, he came to Christmas dinner last year. He kept calling me British.”

TCO: “You’re not British.”

Me: “No.”

We chatted a little about his other band and this new band and then he says: “I was in a band before Bedroom States called Animal Dads.”

And I stopped.

Me: “Wait…what?! I have your album on my iPod….”

And that was true.

As it turns out, waaaaaay back in March 2009 (so over a year and a half prior) Patrick had invited H and I to his friend’s band’s album launch. We went because we’re supportive like that and the bar had a great happy hour deal. Let’s be fair, we were probably more leaning towards the latter reasoning.

We paid to get in, got our albums, drank our drinks, danced our little hearts out and went home. We paid zero attention to the band on stage and moved on with our lives. Back at my apartment the following day, I put my CD into my laptop which automatically copied albums onto my iPod.

And thus I ended up with this album on my iPod.

The band: Animal Dads.

The lead singer: The Canadian One.

After the gig in Cheonan, he offered to buy me a drink for my wonderful ‘postering’ and promoting of the gig. I explained how, due to a misunderstanding, the barman actually bought me flowers as he thought we were promoting my birthday.

I also told him about how I was unimpressed that he wasn’t a keyboard player.

He spoke to Patrick about if I was single and if it was OK if he asked me out.

We chatted some more…

And then later that night….

He asked me out aaaaaaaanddddddd….

I said…

No.

2010 tree
My 2010 Christmas Tree

Series Finale – Part 1: Winter 2010 – Seoul-Mates

Our series finale, 2-parter episode opens on December 4th 2010 at a train station in Cheonan a mere 12 hours after I declined The Canadian One’s date offer.

Patrick, The Bass Player and I are all catching the same train up to Seoul as I was going work at a music festival for the most of the day and night and they lived there. The Canadian One and The Other Guitarist had left earlier in the morning.   

While The Bass Player watched over the guitars, Patrick and I ventured to the ticket line. We were standing in line…waiting…waiting….waiting…and when we got to being the next to be served, an old man cut in front of us like a ninja and was at the ticket desk.

Patrick exchanged some words in Korean with the old man and then sighed, looking forlorn and defeated. He looked down at me: 

“I said ‘no, it’s ok, you can go first, that’s fiiiine’ to him but clearly I don’t do sarcasm very well in Korean because he just thanked me.” – Patrick

IMG_2047The next 12 hours would be a montage of me working at the Rubber Seoul 2010 World AIDS Day Music Festival (a festival I would later go on to run for two years). Included would be: 

My friend and I modelling the small beaded doll pins we were selling.

Being paid to stop trying to sell tickets to a group of people:

“Stickers are $1? If we pay you $5 and take no stickers, will you go away?” – Guys

“YES!” – Us

Me dressing as a condom and trying desperately not to be knocked over by drunk people. 

No seriously. 

I can’t find a picture. 

But drunk people are mean. They kept trying to trip me up! 

I had memorable conversation while handing out free condoms (dressed in normal clothes, my condom-costume hour was up). I hand one to a girl, who turns to look at her date, looks back at me and says:

“No, thanks.” 

And hands me the condom back.

And then finally, I vividly remember dancing with my friend to ‘We No Speak Americano’ by Yolanda Be Cool at the after-party and spotting The Canadian One and Patrick standing nearby. The Canadian One asked if he could buy me a drink and I said yes. I told him about my speed dating adventure from earlier in the year and we decided to pretend we were speed dating. 

We sat opposite each other at a table.

We took it seriously.

And then we got kicked out of the bar because it was 3am and they were closing so we all headed home in our different directions.

To be continued….  

xmas eve
Christmas Eve dinner at a friend’s

Season Finale – Part 2: Christmas Day 2010 – First Date? 

We montage through the next few weeks. 

Given the 1.5 hour distance between us, The Canadian One and I would chat briefly and intermittently on Facebook and via text. Then it became less intermittent and more frequent. And then it was no longer brief and no longer intermittent and was pretty much taking up all of our spare time.

And here’s where the coincidental only-on-TV thing happens: The Canadian One was supposed to head to Ireland – where I am from and where he had never been – for a wedding over Christmas while I was off to sunny Malaysia with H for some winter beach time. A misspelling in his name ended with his ticket being cancelled last minute and he ended up spending Christmas in Seoul (while his friends jetted off for the wedding). Meanwhile I found myself in Seoul on Christmas Day to see a ballet and to fly out to Malaysia with H early on Boxing Day morning.

maylasia bound
Me and H, Malaysia 2010

The Canadian One and I had arranged to meet for a drink near where he lived after I had said goodbye to my friends. After a miscommunication about which train station to meet at, we eventually located each other and headed to a bar and then to his place to watch a Christmas movie we’d earlier voted on.

He’d said Gremlins.

I’d said Die Hard.

Clearly we both have the same idea of what a Christmas movie is.

But we watched Gremlins.

He gave me a one half of a small penguin magnet set as a Christmas gift as I’d mentioned my favourite animals were penguins. I put it in my purse and it travelled to Malaysia with me as I flew out the very next morning with H.

He kept the matching one on his fridge.

A year and a half later, it would be reunited with The Canadian One’s penguin and now they live together on our fridge holding up our wedding photo from exactly a year ago today. 

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Our Wedding Day: April 16th 2015 – Held up by penguin magnets and a fluffy pineapple

It’s funny how some things just work out. 

Categories
Canada comedy funny humor running

The Road To 5K: Day 2

The road to 5k copy-2

Previously on The Road To 5K: The Prelude and Day 1.

Yesterday morning, I breathlessly completed Week 1: Workout 2 on the C25K app and, though I had figured it would be easier than Workout 1, I was wrong. It was not.

It was much harder.

My body was still sore from the first workout two days before and as soon as I hit the pavement, I knew it was going to be rough.

I got through the 5 minute warmup walk, passed the playground and realized I was incorrect in my last post, it was not a hippo the baby was on, it was a purple dinosaur.

During Jog 1, I was almost immediately out of breath and my throat started to burn. The jogging minute felt like an eternity and I almost quit right there and then. I reached a stop sign and almost considered heeding its warning but kept going.

I used Walk 1 to slow down and catch my breath before the next Jog Beep kicked in.

Jog 2 was awful. My chest burned, my mouth was filling with hot saliva, I was overheating already. I was not going to make it.

During Jogs 3 and 4 I was starting to get into a little bit of a stride. I made it to my turning point, Moosh’s House, and was on the way back to my house.

I had crossed the halfway point. Things were going well. Things were looking up!

Then I started to feel like I might throw up. I started jogging slow enough you could almost call it a fast, bouncy walk. My brother had told me to try to jog slow like if I was going any slow I could consider it a fast walk, but not quite. I was trying to aim for that speed. As I didn’t want to actually  physically stop, I alternated between fast and slow as I bounced along the sidewalk.

I began to realize eating a cereal bar right before I left the house was not a good idea and began to panic about what would happen if I really did throw up.

A while back, I got sent home from work ill. I was sweating, pale (more pale than usual for an Irish girl) and visibly hot. My manager called a cab (the company paid for it) and sent me home. Midway though the journey, I asked the cabbie to pull over as I was going to vomit. He stopped in the middle of the road in a suburban neighbourhood, I jumped out and threw up several times on an apartment building lawn. A shirtless man watched me from his balcony as a row of cars began to pile up behind my cab. It was a very classy moment for me.

It was noonish, I was wearing an office outfit and nice shoes (I was very concerned about getting puke on my shoes) and there I was, throwing up several times on a pristine lawn.

I got back into the cab, the cabbie thanked me for telling him advance that I was ill (apparently most people don’t) and off we went to my apartment.

Good times.

I imagined throwing up in my own neighbourhood to be like that, except it would be a house lawn not an apartment building, which is somehow so much worse!

And as I jogged past the now-completed trampoline I started taking deep breaths which didn’t help and I started coughing.

I managed to fumble through the rest of the workout, ending at my house at the exact moment the workout ended. The first time I had to go around the block on more time as I was a little faster.

The pain afterwards was less intense, however, and today I feel absolutely fine. I headed to Winners to pick up a sports bra and a belt to keep my phone in so I don’t have to carry it during my next workout and am overall more positive about this whole thing.

I’m not longer looking at this as a larger goal of ‘Running 5K’, but more of a smaller, achievable goal of ‘Running Jogs 1-4 without thinking I’m dying’.

Once I do that, I’ll up it to ‘Running Jogs 1-6 without death’.

Then it’s just a quick hop, skip and a job to the 5k!

Right…?

Follow along with me as I go from binge-watching Scandal with gummie bears and Ruffles to running 5K in the Calgary Marathon in the space of 7 weeks supporting Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Feel free to sponsor me here or just laugh along at my running journey.

Previously:

The Road To 5K: The Prelude

The Road To 5K: Day 1 

 

Categories
Canada comedy entertainment humor running

The Road To 5K: Day 1

The road to 5k copy-2

For ‘The Road To 5K: The Prelude’, click here

So it’s the morning after the first training session the night before and….ouch! Had I written this post last night, I would have replaced ‘ouch’ with ‘OH GOD WHYYYYY?!’. But alas, I waited.  All that lying on the floor overheating, downing water and eating Chickpea Curry Soup kinda took up a lot of my afternoon.

At the end of Day 1 I came out of the workout knowing one thing: my favourite part of the entire thing was the cool down 5 minute walk at the end.

But let’s start at the beginning.

My brother had given me advice of don’t jog too quickly on the first one, keep an eye on what I eat beforehand and how it affects me (Does it make me ill? Lethargic? Give me energy?) and if I start to feel sick or waver, I should slow down and just walk, get that distance in.  

The first hurdle I hit was my phone battery was dying so 1.5 hours and two laundry loads later, I was finally ready to at least leave the house. 

The next hurdle was what to wear. I quickly located my short yoga pants, a sports bra, t-shirt and light sweater. Most of this had been purchased and never worn when I had aspirations to do yoga some months back. I bought the clothes. I bought the Groupon. The Groupon expired. No yoga was done. The clothes sat pristine in the wardrobe. 

After that was the location. I had decided to run around my neighborhood as it’s quiet and not too hilly. I opted to run in a rectangular shape starting and ending at my home as I wanted to avoid zigzagging all over the place and getting myself lost in the suburban maze of pointy houses, bungalows and trees. I picked a location that would be roughly midway through my session and dubbed that my turning point. We could also call it Moosh’s House. 

Moosh
Moosh at my house

He lives at my turning point, the point in which I should head back towards my house in order to end the workout there on time.

I was using the C25K app and once I worked out how to get Spotify to play at the same time as the training app (open C25K, open Spotify, play Spotify, start workout), I was off. The workout instructions were pretty easy to follow and the trainer’s voice was not nearly as annoying as my GPS’s voice.

God, that GPS I just…Nevermind. A rant for another time.

Running race
Photo by Sergis Blog

Workout 1: Day 1 basically consists of a 5 minute warm-up walk followed by 1 minute of jogging then 90 seconds of walking then 1 minute of jogging, then walking, and so on for 20 minutes. Then there’s another 5 minute cool down walk. It tells you how many jogging sessions you have left, 3 of 8, and so on. It also tells you when you are halfway done which was nice to hear.

Jog 1 of 8 went ok. I kept a nice pace and thought to myself I could do this, I can do seven more of these, it’s all good. I jogged past a playground where a woman was taking off her shoes and unclipping a small child from her stroller. She stood to survey the empty playground as I went by.  

Jog 2 was a little harder. There was a slight incline to the road. My chest started to burn. I was keeping a ‘conversational pace’ (pace in which you could still carry a conversation) but I was still getting out of breath. It was day 2 of my period and I already needed to pee which was elevating my discomfort.

Jogs 3 and 4 were awful. My legs started to hurt. I became convinced I wouldn’t even make it to my halfway point. I could see Moosh’s House in the distance and it helped a little but it wasn’t enough to make me not start to panic and doubt that this was a bad idea. Me? Running? 5K? WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!

running 2
Photo by Jordan Fischer

On the walk after Jog 4, having made it to Moosh’s and turned around, my app congratulating me on making it to the halfway point and I felt a little better. I was spurred on. If I could do half, maybe I can do three-quarters, right? I sped up my walk to get over a hill before the jog beep and during Jog 5 realized running downhill was actually quite nice and also one of my neighbors has a really pretty porch.

I was beginning to overheat at this point and carrying my phone and keys in my hand were becoming inconvenient. I originally had them in my pocket, but the keys jangled and the phone kept tapping against me. I need to come up with a better storage system for them. The distracting feeling of needing to pee was diminishing, replaced with a cramping feeling I couldn’t distinguish as period pain or workout death, I mean related…workout related.

It was during Walk 6/Jog 6 I began to return my thoughts to the seemingly insurmountable task of running an entire 5K. I mean, I couldn’t even run for 1 minute without my legs burning, a stabbing pain in my rib cage and a general feeling of ‘WHY THE FUCK AM I DOING THIS?’ washing over me with each escaping bead of sweat! Then I passed by a yard with three guys in it trying to assemble a trampoline while small, impatient kids crowded them and was instantly enthralled. One stood with, what I imagine to be, an instruction sheet while the other two men stared at the half completed trampoline. Their confused faces made me flashback to trying to put the Cat Tower together or anytime we’ve bought anything from IKEA.  A safety net lay strewn on the grass nearby and a kid was bouncing his hands on the side of the trampoline itching to climb onto it as I panted past. 

For the entire of Jog 7 I kept repeating ‘I can do this, I can do this’. In my head. Not aloud. I didn’t want to be that weird jogger talking to herself. I was already not exactly jogging in a straight line and I had awkwardly caught up to an orange-jacketed walker and didn’t know what to do. I crossed the street and heard the walk beep. 

Jog 8 actually went OK. It was the last one so it had that going for it. I passed by the playground again where the woman was now perching her 1 year old-ish (too small to walk) child on a bouncy hippo type thing. She was cooing and talking to the baby while the baby just kinda stared at her with almost the same expression as the trampoline-constructors.

During the 5 minute cool down, I recapped my first workout. I noted the cereal bar and handful of All-Dressed Ruffles I’d eaten beforehand had no negative effects on me…although I can’t say for sure they had a positive effect.

Then it was done and I got my virtual trophy.

screenshot_2016-04-07-14-37-55.png

The entire 30 minutes felt a lot shorter once it was over, however each jogging minute felt like an eternity. My Spotify playlist served me well, Classic Rock Workout by Spotify UK, and as ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ blared through my little headphones during the cool down, I felt victorious.

And today, with my legs hurting and my stomach muscles feeling like they have been awoken from a life-long hibernation, I can’t help but think now I just have to do this three times a week for seven more weeks. 

Easy, right?

RIGHT?! 

Follow along with me as I go from binge-watching Scandal with gummie bears and Ruffles to running 5K in the Calgary Marathon in the space of 7 weeks supporting Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Feel free to sponsor me here or just laugh along at my running journey.

Previously:

The Road To 5K: The Prelude

Next: 

The Road To 5K: Day 2

Categories
Apps Canada comedy funny humor

The Road To 5K: The Prelude

The road to 5k copy-2

I’ve never run in my life.

Not once.

Not ever.

I used to see kids running around on the playground when I worked in Korea and think, ‘I couldn’t run like that if a bear was chasing me’. And now that I live in Alberta and the chances of an actual bear chasing me is significantly more likely than on the streets of Seoul, I STILL think the exact same thing.

‘I couldn’t run if a fucking bear was chasing me. I would just get eaten.’

So, on Sunday, with The Canadian One at work, I decided to change all that and take up running.

I downloaded the C25K app on my phone (because it was free) and…well, that’s all I did that day apart from the three episodes of Scandal I watched. Oh and that one episode of Law & Order: SVU.

On Monday I was ill and home from work and by the time Tuesday rolled around, I’d kinda abandoned my spur of the moment idea only to have it reawakened on Wednesday.

I saw an ad for the Calgary Marathon and, though at the time I was struggling to breathe due to period pain at the time, I decided I would sign up.

So basically, in a nutshell, I’ve decided to run a marathon.

The Calgary Marathon.

Ok, not the full marathon.

Just the 5K.

But come on, I’m planning to go from binge-watching Scandal with gummie bears and Ruffles to running 3.1 miles in the space of 7 weeks.

If anything, this is going to be entertaining to witness.

When I texted my brother to tell him I was going to run a 5K, he laughed. And laughed. And laughed a bit more. And then gave me some advice.

He’s run the full Dublin, London and Paris marathons and the advice he gave seemed sound.

Training starts today so I’ll update you on how it goes. I’ve decided to add a little incentive to it so I actually do it so I signed up to the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. I chose to support the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), who, not only do fantastic work in animal rescue, they are also the people we adopted Pickles from a year ago!

img_20160120_181530.jpg

(You can see more pictures of her on her Instagram: @picklesatnoon if you’re into cute cat pictures)

Feel free to sponsor me HERE or just follow along on my progress/downfall (we’ll delete as appropriate later) here.

‘This should be interesting’, she says, typing on her laptop, eating a handful of Ruffles and contemplating rum, ‘Very interesting.’

Read More: 

The Road To 5K: Day 1

The Road To 5K: Day 2

Categories
Canada comedy diet funny humor internet

The Energy Crisis Is Over!

You will all be happy to know the energy crisis of 2016 has been resolved.

The Red Bull energy crisis that is.

You see, I eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sesame-free and preservative-free diet (not by choice) and, because The Canadian One is diabetic, we also eat low-carb. Salad. Lots of colorful vegetables. Salad. Fruit. Grains. Salad. Chickpeas. Lentils. Did I mention salad?

Given this, I do not feel bad about my 2 Red Bull a week habit.

Not at all.

Not one little bit.  

The Canadian One: “Do you want a coffee?”

Me: “No. I don’t. I wish coffee came cold…and carbonated…and came in a tropical flavor.”

The Canadian: “That’s a completely different drink you are describing. That’s not coffee.”

Me: “No. It’s Red Bull. I want a Red Bull.”

Now, a few weeks ago, I started to noticed stock of Yellow Red Bull dwindling in the local Walmart. Thinking nothing of it except maybe Wally’s was not stocking it anymore, I wandered to the 7-11 across the street to discover they were sporting just the original and no-sugar versions.

A week later, I noticed the convenience store in my work building had only original flavor and a few color flavors and Shoppers had ONLY colored flavors.

I mentioned to The Canadian One I thought something was going on in Calgary with the Red Bull and I started to get suspicious.

A few days later, I mentioned it again.

And then again.

And then last week, I went into full ‘WHAT IS HAPPENING THE RED BULL??’ mode when Shoppers’ designated Red Bull fridge was completely empty and Safeway only had 8 Green Red Bulls in stock.

Green.

Like seriously, what bullshit.

Green.

Who drinks Green Red Bull? Nobody. That’s why it was the only flavor in stock. It’s like Blue flavor. Why does it exist?

So The Canadian suggested asking Reddit. He loves Reddit. My only interaction with Reddit has been him showing me things on Reddit on his phone.

A quick tutorial on Reddit later and my question is up online.

Lo and behold, within 10 hours, I had heard from someone who works in the building of the old distributors and someone who works for the new distributors, someone who got suspicious like me and emailed Red Bull HQ, several people who had noticed it but not to the point of investigating it, and a bunch of usual suspects complaining about Red Bull in general (bad taste, unhealthy, blah blah blah) that I kinda just glossed over.
 
Turns out the changeover to the new distributors did not go as smoothly as hoped and there was a supply problem in the west of Canada. The problem has since been resolved and Red Bull shall be winging its way back into stores very shortly.

My excitement at solving this mystery was slightly dampened when The Canadian One pointed out that at any point in the past three weeks, I could have solved this with one question to any of the staff members of any of those stores by asking:

‘Hey, so what’s going on with the Red Bull shortage?’

But my way was more fun.

Now to solve the next mystery: Why were there 4 police cars and an ambulance outside the Wendy’s yesterday?!!

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor

11 Fun Facts About St. Patrick’s Day

  

1. St. Patrick was actually British. The Irish kidnapped him and forced him to work alone on a mountain as a shepherd. One day, he escaped and returned to Britain where he studied Christianity for many years. He later returned to Ireland to teach the small island about Christianity and spread the word of the Holy Trinity. 

2. He is widely believed to have gotten rid of all the snakes from Ireland.

3. Though now associated with the colour green, St. Patrick’s colour actually used to be blue. 

4. Until 1970, as it was declared a public holiday, no pub was allowed to open in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.

5. In 1903, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in Ireland. 

6. It’s St. Paddy’s Day not St. Patty’s Day. Patty is a girl’s name. And the name of a hamburger. And something you would get decked for if you called a guy it in Ireland.

7. March 17th is the day of his death, not birth.

8. It was St. Patrick who granted permission to St. Brigid to allow women to propose to men on Feb 29th.

9. Other than also being Irish, leprechauns have nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. There is, however, a museum dedicated to them in Dublin. 

10. Despite many depictions to the contrary, the four-leaf clover also has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick used the shamrock, with its three leaves, to explain the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland and thus making it a constant symbol of Ireland. 

11. The shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world happens in Dripsey, Co. Cork and travels between two of the town’s pubs.

Categories
Canada comedy funny humor

The Twelve Steps of Christmas Shopping by The Ketchup War

The Twelve Steps of Christmas ShoppingStep 1: Search and find gifts online.

Step 2: Order gifts…and wait.

Step 3: Discover UPS is on the way to your home with your gifts. YAY!mail-box-1190160-1600x1200

Step 4: Return home from work to find NO UPS tag on door.

Step 5: Log into UPS and discover someone REFUSED your package. At your home. While you were at work.

Step 6: UPS reschedule delivery to your home against their protocol and without you calling them.

Step 7: 24 hours later discover your item has been damaged, then refused by someone at your home while you weren’t there, then the damaged parts discarded, then the rest mailed back to the sender and an investigation opened.UPS

Step 8: Call UPS while hungry, tired, in period pain, lacking vodka and bananas and feeling ill from too many gummy bears.

Step 9: Call UPS to apologise for behavior and swear you are not usually like that.

Step 10: Discover sender is closed for the weekend and has DISCONTINUED the items you ordered so you can’t reorder them…EVER…Go drinking on 17th Ave with visiting friend. THIS STEP IS ESSENTIAL.

Step 11: Opt not to call – as it didn’t work out with UPS – and instead send nicely worded email to sender to explain UPS issue ending email with ‘Although this does not reflect on my feelings towards your company nor will it have an impact on me ordering from you in the future, it will, however, lead me to never use UPS for personal use. I expect my refund in full within a business day.’

Step 12: Receive full refund and apology 24 hours later. Celebrate by beginning Step 1 again.

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor

No One Ever Got Nerve Damage From A Dress…Right? RIGHT?!

I recently came across an article on the dangers of wearing skinny jeans while perusing the People.com website. I’m obsessed with that website. I know way more about the Kardashians than one should having never watched their show. The Canadian One has watched more of their reality show than I have. 

Me, reading People.com: “Oh, Kim Kardashian is pregant again.” 

Him, nonchalantly: “Oh, she was getting fertility treatment in the episode I saw. It must have worked.” 

I should point out he was on a plane at the time and it was the best of bad TV options. Apparently. 

Now, I am not avid skinny jean wearer. I am more of a dress-wearing girl all year round. Snowing? Lemme just grab an extra pair of tights for the journey. I have dresses for work, dresses for nights out, dresses for fancy events, dresses for casual events, dresses designated for doing housework in, beach dresses, this-dress-can-withstand-any-washing-machine-at-any-temperature dresses and dresses that can go from day to night in a flash. 

Here I am, rockin’ the skinny jeans. Bob looks about as surprised as some of my Facebook friends to see me in jeans

I do own two pairs though. A pair of black and a pair of grey. But I find them constricting. I wriggle into them. I do the skinny jean dance to get out of them. A piece of penne can cause waistband issues for hours. And as for a first date outfit…or a third date outfit depending on your…eh, view of what’s appropriate on first dates, it’s a no-go. It’s taken me ten minutes, no lie, to think of a way to word that sentence in a PC way that won’t trigger emails. I have a friend who would purposely not shave her legs on a first date so she wouldn’t be ‘tempted’. This later turned out to be not such a foolproof plan when she bought a razor from a 24hr 7-11 and shaved her legs in the bathroom of a bar with the help of another friend.

The article on People.com did entice me however, not to look into whether or not a pair of skinny jeans could potentially damage your health, but how this small one-off event of the woman helping a family member move and suddenly found herself the subject of a skinny jean study, was covered by the mainstream media. You know how you sometimes read something on the Internet and then suddenly need to know every single thing about it, then 6 hours go by and you look up and wonder why it’s dark outside?

It was like that. 

It took all of 1.7 seconds to locate my answer in a stream of panic-inducing headlines. 

The 2nd photo, perhaps ever, of me in skinny jeans...adapting to my Canadian surrounds
The 2nd photo, perhaps ever, of me in skinny jeans…adapting to my Canadian surrounds

First on the list was Business Insider with a report on a June 22nd 2015 study by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry titled “Fashion victim: rhabdomyolysis and bilateral peroneal and tibial neuropathies as a result of squatting in ‘skinny jeans,’”…no, seriously, that was the title of the study. 

The article mainly recounts how the woman, while both wearing skinny jeans and squatting while emptying cupboards, began to feel pain and discomfort in her legs which turned out to be nerve and muscle damage in her calves caused by the skinny jeans. She couldn’t walk and crawled to a cab and landed herself in hospital. She’s fine now. The study did, however, mention it may not have been the skinny jeans but the squatting that caused the problem. I’m not a scientist, but I guess with a study sample of one it can be hard to come up with any definites. 

ABC News had Dr. Thomas Kimber of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, who does not wear skinny jeans himself ( – it states this in the article) quoted as saying, “I think it’s the non-stretchy nature of jeans that might be the problem.”

The BBC went with: ‘Skinny jeans and other hidden health risks in your wardrobe’

In case you’re wondering, the other ‘health risks’ the BBC outs in the article include heels, zip flies – which resulted in 17,616 genital injuries between 2002 and 2010 in the US – tight shirts, earrings, g-strings, and tight underwear, which they state can cause heartburn and acid reflux…I wanna read the study on that. 

Can we go back to 17,616 people injuring themselves with zip flies for a second? Zip. Flies. From jeans in general. Not just skinny jeans. 

Seventeen thousand six hundred and sixteen people. 

Moving on.

The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, CBC, CNBC, NBCNews, The National Post, Live Science, CTV, The Today Show, they all had something to say to add to the panic.

Over at Gizmodo, they went with the very definitive ‘Skinny Jeans Are Bad For Your Health’ headline while Medical News Today had ‘Skinny Jeans Cause Health Problems For Men’ as their article header and CBS had ‘Warning: Tight pants, skinny jeans and Spanx may be hazardous to your health’.

Since I don't have another picture of skinny jeans, here's my cat trying to help write this blog post
Since I don’t have another picture of skinny jeans, here’s my cat trying to help write this blog post

What’s the difference in those last three articles you may wonder? Well, those three articles were published way back in 2012. CBS’s made mention of the heartburn and food digestion problems and Gizmondo’s focused on women suffering lower legs pain while Medical News Today talked about men with UTIs, low sperm counts and, good God this sounds horrible, twisted testicles. 1 in 5 men have experienced a twisted testicle due to skinny jeans wear.

I don’t know, I feel like men have it worse in the jeans-injury department than women. Penises in zippers and twisted testicles… 

1 IN 5!

Turns out the dangers of wearing skinny jeans have been around long enough for hipsters to consider adopting a different form of fashion statement. (I’m kidding, Hipsters, I’m kidding. No emails.) 

It was when I came across the UK’s National Health Service website that I found my favorite article about the whole event however. Their article reads like your rational BFF sitting you down and telling you ‘The guy you’re dating is an idiot, look at the signs and dump his ass’, imagining, of course, your BFF is the NHS and your boyfriend is skinny jeans articles.

The NHS helpfully points out that the ensuing media frenzy regarding the dangers of skinny jeans have all been started by the ONE Australia patient who suffered leg pain while emptying cupboards, an injury that may not have even been caused by the skinny jeans. They also pointed out that the only reason most media outlets covered the story was because it gave them an excuse to publish lots of pictures of skinny jean wearing celebrities.

I went back to the original People article that kicked off my distracting Googling of ‘skinny jeans danger’ to see if this was true and sure enough, the first thing that popped up was a picture of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in her skinny jeans.

What a waste of several hours of my life. All that time I spent reading medical articles about nerve damage and bladder problems when I could have been reading something much more newsworthy, like Scott Disick falling off the wagon and speculation about Cameron Diaz possibly, maybe, at some point in the future but not now, having a baby. You know, the important things in life. 

Categories
Canada comedy entertainment funny humor

Learning to Drive, the Calgarian Way

Photo by: depositphotos.com/razvanphoto

Here’s the thing about being a pedestrian in Calgary, it takes forever to get anywhere. For example, I had a physiotherapy appointment on Fridays after work and while it would only take 13 minutes in a car to get there, it takes me a 15 minute walk, plus a 48 minute bus ride and then another 10 minute walk and so I had to leave work an hour early to make it on time. Now, that’s not to say Calgary doesn’t have a good transit system, it does, and you can get pretty much anywhere…although it may take a bus, a train, some walking and another bus, you will get there. Plus all of Calgary Transit workers are, without a doubt, lovely, but there gets to the point where you’re walking from the bus stop to IKEA along an unpaved road in the snow, uphill and you think, I’ve gotta learn how to drive.

The Canadian One and I don’t drive. He never learned and I have had lessons, owned a car and held the different learner’s permits in two different countries and yet still, I never got my full license.

And so we started.

1389680_87339321We quickly obtained our learner’s permits (my third in a different country in 10 years, I feel like I’m collecting them!) and set about signing up to driving school. We started with our classroom lessons (surrounded by children who weren’t old enough to drink) back in February and then  hit the road with spring-time positivity.

My first time out I almost hit a pedestrian. Like came-so-close-we-could-almost-say-I-did-hit-him. We were driving along and I stopped suddenly. ‘Suddenly’ as in I jammed on the brake, the car made a horrible eeeeeeeeeeeek sound and jolted to a stop. Thing flew off the back seat and landing with a thump on the floor. I looked up and there was the pedestrian, on the pedestrian crossing with the lights flashing, staring at me. He did not look happy, to say the least. And I, well, I was alive, he was alive, ok so I was stopped in the middle of a crossroads, my tires barely touching the white lines painted on the road but still, an achievement in not hitting the pedestrian.

I’m now obsessed with pedestrians. What are they doing? Where are they going? Even the ones just walking along the sidewalk with no intentions of crossing the road, I stare at them, their minds could change at any moment. Like the cars on the highway that don’t signal. What are they thinking?

Having been a pedestrian all my life, I’m used to cars not giving much of an indication of their intention. Take for example recently, when crossing the street on a red light, two cars from a perpendicular road took a fast left on their red light, almost running me over and when I jumped out of the way, I found a woman, on my side of the road, pulling up onto my pedestrian crossing and trying to do a lane change to the right lane by pulling forward and backing into the other lane in front of the car stopped before the pedestrian crossing. I walked back to my side of the road and waited for the next red light go around, I wanted no part in this madness as I felt there was a good chance I might actually be killed by one of these people.

But driving almost makes me miss being a pedestrian. Cars lane change, turn, cut in front all without signalling. They beep at me for going the correct speed on a highway even though I’m in a car with a giant STUDENT DRIVER sign on the top. There are a minute few who show patience and understanding toward me. They wait for me. They stop for me. They keep their distance from me and don’t panic me with their cutting across two lanes of traffic and appearing like magic in front of me. They slow to allow me to merge but of course, then I panic and wonder why they’re slowing and so I slow down too.

I can parallel park, but can’t turn into a parking lot space. I can drive in a straight line but slow when I have to change lanes. I stop for stop signs, yield signs, bunnies on the road, pedestrians half a mile away and expensive cars that look like they have stupid drivers in them. I can back out of a parking space like a pro but have trouble figuring out how to start the car. I can turn right but not left and it took me a full hour to stop turning into the wrong side of the road in my first lessons. It’s not my fault Canadians drive on the wrong side of the road!

The one thing I do like about driving in Canada though: automatic cars. Having learned in both Ireland and England in manual cars, and spent more time causing small traffic jams on tiny residential roads, the ability to just stop and go as you please is reason in itself to learn here. My mother still regales people with the story of how, when I was 23, I stalled the car so many times on our residential street with a plethora of cars building up behind us that in the end I just stopped the car, got out and she had to shuffle into the driver’s seat and take over.

I do miss my manual car a bit though. It was a white Opal Corsa I’d named Fleelo, after my inability to pronounce the word ‘phyllo’. My brother had a blue car called The Escape From Fleelo.

1390189_28082882Fleelo was dented on both sides. Once from me misjudging the distance between the pillar in my mother’s driveway and the side of my car and the other was caused by my brother. He denies it. But there was a dent where there was no dent before. There was a blue streak of paint inside the dent. There was a white smattering of flakes sprinkled on the left back bumper of his car. I’m not a CSI expert but…well, you can guess where my thinking went.

I’d forgotten about my car when I moved to Korea, having given it to my mother to look after. She had, after all, driven it to England for me and then come back and got it and drove it back to Ireland after I decided to embark to the Land of the Morning Calm. I was walking home from the mall one day after my return to Ireland 4 years ago and saw Fleelo drive past me, an unfamiliar driver steering her wheels.

I walked into my mother’s house, demanding to know how Fleelo got into the hands of this person to be told she’d been sold to a guy down the road for 100 Euros. Shocked and saddened that Fleelo was gone, my mother couldn’t help but point out:

“You’ve been home for a week…didn’t you notice your car not here?”

No. No I did not.

Hopefully things go a little better with my second car!

Categories
comedy entertainment food funny humor random

Lemme Tell You How I Ended Up Owning An EpiPen

Settle in, friends, this is a long story. Get yourself some snacks and wine. I’ll wait here.

Ready?

© Depositphotos.com/Subbotina
© Depositphotos.com/Subbotina

Ok, so I can’t eat chocolate. I know! When I tell people that, they’re all ‘WTF’ and ‘OMG I’d die!’ but in reality, I’ve known this for eight years so I’m pretty over it by now. Struck down with debilitating migraines at 21, chocolate, mature cheese, red wine and pink wine were all axed from my diet, eventually after rounds and rounds of the ‘is could be this’ game. Slowly, I got over it. Declining red wine at parties, accepting then regifting boxes of chocolates from friends, carefully calculating how much chocolate I could tolerate (the tiniest amount), eating some (way more that I’m supposed to) and lying on the floor in pain holding a pillow over my face like I was practicing to suffocate myself (this actually doesn’t help a migraine).

And then came May 2014.

Ah, May, the month when pizza got taken away from me forever. And ice cream. And Starbucks Frappucchios. Less than a week after the Caramel Ribbon Crunch returned and Frappy Hour kicked off.

Here I am with my last ever Frappy less than twenty minutes after my diagnosis. You can’t see it, but there’s also a Buttermilk Blueberry Muffin there too.

IMG_1038

You know, I feel like May was one of those months I’ll look back on a half a year down the road and think, ‘wait, what?!’

So I had this lactose intolerance test…no wait, lemme go back a bit because it’s important to understand why I was having this test.

All this stupidity kicked off 18 months ago, just after we moved here, when I started to get weird pains in my right abdomen.  Nothing crazy. Just run-of-the-mill, oh-that’s-probably-just-period-pains…in my right side…when I’m not on my period…OK, fine, when I look back on it now it was perhaps not as not-weird as I initially thought and I shoulda really thought ‘appendix’ and not ‘right-sided period pain’. BUT I’d just spend five years living in Korea being ill Every. Single. Day. so this pain was a welcome break after a sea of cramping pain, nausea and diarrhea every single day. Did I mention it was every single day? They couldn’t figure it out in Korea. I had tests. And more tests. And blood tests. And an endoscopy. And took drugs. And more drugs. And antibiotics…for months at a time…and destroyed my immune system…and still, I didn’t get better. Until one day, 3 weeks into living in Canada, I realised I wasn’t sick every single day anymore. I was sick maybe one day. Out of 21. It was suggested it was soy and / or sesame causing my illness and eating a western diet I was just naturally avoiding these. I test this theory out, I had some soy sauce. Next day I got ill. Soy was eliminated from my diet. But yet I was still getting this weird side pain and random cramping/diarrhea every so often with no discernible reason.

So fast-forward a year later, May 2014, and I’ve had the pleasure of five abdominal ultrasounds, three pelvic ultrasounds (there’s a difference boys, Google it), a CT scan which really does make you feel like you’ve peed. Funny story, the male doctor who did my CT scan told me I had ‘women’s problems’ and needed to see a ‘women’s doctor’ without going into too much detail other than a scientific explanation as to how eggs are released from ovaries and then discharged me and sent me home. I was livid. I was more livid that I thought possible. A few weeks later I saw on the news my doctor’s house had sadly burned to the ground.

My friend wrote to me to ask if it was me.

It wasn’t. And no one died.

After one of my super fun 6am blood tests!
After one of my super fun 6am blood tests!

Following on from that, I’ve had too many blood tests to count (I have fantastically healthy blood apparently), a HIDA scan ( – where one is LITERALLY strapped down to a table unable to move while being injected with a radioactive tracer and put into a scanner machine for an hour…AN HOUR…), two colposcopies, a hysterosalpingography ( – it was so painful I don’t want to relive it by talking about it – I sweated through the hospital gown I was wearing it was so painful – although I’ll give credit to a girl at work who warned me to take the full day off and not attempt to come to work after), took pointless antibiotics, had an argument with a gynecologist who refused to do a laparoscopy for endometriosis despite it being the only reason I was referred to her in the first place. This was after a six month wait to actually see her. She referred me to the Regional Fertility Center to get the laparoscopy done ignoring the fact that I was showing zero fertility problems and back on a waiting list we went to see a doctor there.

I got misdiagnosed with IBS after one appointment with a family doctor and changed clinics, got jabbed in the butt with an injection (“This will hurt.” – my nurse), experienced morphine for the first time, had a lactose intolerance test, a celiac test, a test that involves the collection of…um, bodily waste…and putting it into a very small (WTF?!) tube…TWICE! It was so much worse that this. Honestly, you have no idea how ridiculous your life has gotten until you’re asked to collect poop that has not touched water and put it into a small tube…the first time I was all ‘is this something I really want in my Google history?’ and the second time I was all ‘I got this! Gimme the test tube’. And I thought that time in Korea when I had to stick a cotton swab up my butt was bad. And then finally it was all capped off with an eventual laparoscopy and some endometriosis removal by the fertility clinic. The Canadian One had some fun wheeling me around the hospital in a wheelchair after the surgery.

Yay...still probably slightly sedated in this picture! But happy, despite the stitches in my stomach and the inability to walk! Woo-hoo!
Yay…still probably slightly sedated in this picture! But happy, despite the stitches in my stomach and the inability to walk! Woo-hoo!

So, lemme get back to the lactose test. For weeks beforehand I’d maintained I was not, under any circumstances whatsoever, absolutely, positively NOT lactose intolerant and this test was a GIANT. WASTE. OF. MY. TIME. I told everyone. I told friends. I told Facebook. I had to get up early. I had to fast. I had to drink a stupid drink and get four blood tests and live at the blood clinic lab on a Saturday for three hours with all the other impatient, annoyed people. IT. WAS. POINTLESS.

Then the results came back.

I’m lactose intolerant.

First thought: ‘Pizza!’Pizza

First thing I said to my doctor: “But…pizza…”

I also have endometriosis but let’s not dwell on that, it’s the pizza thing that really hurt.

Now, I’ve realized when I tell people I’m lactose intolerant they think ‘oh, you can’t have milk’. No. No no. I can also not have cheese. Cheese. CHEESE. Cheese is on pizza.

I cannot have pizza.

Or Starbucks Frappucchinos. I mean I do realize that this is not really a problem in the grand scheme of things. The Canadian One is diabetic and gave up everything and eats lots of salad.

Although, looking back, May was also the month my friend discovered she has an extra rib in her body that’s been causing her an incredible amount of pain so in hindsight it could be…no, no, the pizza thing is so much worse.

I love pizza.

Now, since May, I’ve learned how to make my own pizza. Lactose free. With no cheese. The first time I had no cheese pizza, I didn’t get ill, I didn’t throw up (I’ve done that twice literally in pizza places, never put two and two together), it was glorious and it was the way forward.

Ta-da! Whole-Wheat Lactose-Free pizza with tomato, onion, garlic and Buffalo chicken!
Ta-da! Whole-Wheat Lactose-Free pizza with tomato, onion, garlic and Buffalo chicken!

Homemade Pizza Sauce
Homemade Pizza Sauce

Despite all this, none of these tests has actually solved the pain-in-right-side problem just the stomach cramping / illness side of things. I was still in pain. And lots of pain. I couldn’t walk properly, pick things up, carry heavy objects or stand for long periods of time without pain. It was causing stress, headaches and sleeplessness not to mention despair as no one could figure it out.

At my next doctor’s appointment in June, my doctor suddenly asked if I’d ever injured my back. I told her about moving to Canada, how I ended up in the hospital my second day in Ontario with back pain suspected to be kidney pain. I told her how I’d taken antibiotics. That sometimes my back hurts periodically but I’ve always been told by many doctors that it would go away and to wait. That ‘patience is the key’ and ‘here, take these Percocet’. Here I am my second day as a Canadian paying for healthcare as I was in the wrong province:

Here I am, pointin' at my hospital bracelet!
Here I am, pointin’ at my hospital bracelet!

My family doctor suddenly had a theory and a friend who she thought could help me. I immediately left her office and called her friend who said she would see me 48 hours later. I turned up promptly at 5:30pm for my first meeting with my physiotherapist, a lovely, brilliant, funny Irish woman who’s so full of smiles and optimism you just want to kidnap her and take her home with you. After a 10 minute conversation and medical history, she announced she knew what was wrong and how to fix it. I must have looked skeptical because she went off and got a medical book and showed me diagrams of what happened to me and why I’m in pain. I almost cried.

When moving here, I’d torn and damaged the muscles in my back with the twisting and turning and carrying of heavy boxes (for weeks beforehand as we moved twice before we actually left Korea) and bags (as we moved here, with a stopover in Ontario) and it was all compounded by the fact that I sat at a desk all day and it was causing referred pain my lower right quadrant.

Within an hour of physio involving massage, electrotherapy and ultrasound therapy I felt a billion times better. Better than any of the painkillers, heat pads or muscle relaxants ever did. This little AMAZING Irish woman had found and solved my 14 month-long problem in less than two hours. Well, not solved, I still see her every two weeks and follow a strict daily physio regime, but we are on our way. And my pain? Ohhhh my pain. That spends its days either being non-existent or it comes along and I know exactly how to get rid of it in a timely manner. No more afraid to stand at concerts. No more oh-my-god-the-pain-is-so-bad-I-might-die days. None.

So, at this point, I bet you’re thinking, so where does the EpiPen come in?

Blue to the Sky, Orange to the Thigh...and NOWHERE else, this isn't Pulp Fiction
Blue to the Sky, Orange to the Thigh…and NOWHERE else, this isn’t Pulp Fiction

August 4th, the Monday holiday in Canada, I was at work as I’d volunteered to do overtime in lieu of a day off and a day and a half’s pay – not a bad compromise for working one day. Things were going fine. We were a little busy but not overly so and I was working on some online courses I had on the go in my spare time. Lunch rolled round and I took my homemade lunch out to the couch to eat alone. I usually never eat alone but it was a holiday day and there was maybe twenty people in the building. My lunch was rice, tomatoes, white beans, sage, beef sausage from Safeway and onion. All food I’d have previously many times, except the sausage, which I’d only ever had once before. After the first two bites, I started sneezing uncontrollably. My eyes felt itchy and like they were on fire and my ears felt hot. I suddenly realised I was having trouble breathing. I was wheezing. I text The Canadian One to tell him what was happening and while waiting for his reply, I went to pee because 1. I needed to pee and 2. I was fairly certain this wasn’t going to end in anything other than a hospital trip and so I didn’t want to need to pee that whole time. As I left the bathroom, I got dizzy. Really really dizzy. And my breathing was slowing. I began to realise I might be dying. That this was it. I was going to die alone on the couch at work surrounded by strip lighting and my half eaten lunch and lonely fork. I called The Canadian One who told me to go find my supervisor as at this point I was struggling to talk. In hindsight, that’s what I should have done first before calling him but anyway…

I bolted back to my supervisor’s desk, flailing about in a panic, explained I was having an allergic reaction and was marched over to the manger on-duty’s desk. I sat, wheezing, not allowing them call 911 as I felt it was ‘too dramatic’ but as we were right next to a hospital, I agreed to being driven there by the manager. I was making weird wheezing noises but my throat had stopped closing at this point, although my nose was blocked and all puffed up at the back. I called The Canadian One who was with our vet neighbor and both got in the car and headed to the hospital to meet me.

An hour in the ER and, although I had yet to be seen by a doctor, I was feeling fine but couldn’t talk properly. I was diagnosed with an allergic reaction, (obviously) given two Benadryl (which knocked me out) and was told to follow-up with my family doctor.

Honestly, you should have seen her face when I went back and explained all this to her.

I would later be diagnosed with a mystery ‘preservative’ allergic, issued an EpiPen for safety and made see a dietitian as all my foods were being taken from me and I was running out of things to eat.

My Family Doc: “Do you know what an EpiPen is?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve seen the ads on TV.”

Doc: “Ah, yes, with the little girl.”

Me: “Yes…but I’m not allergic to anything. I’ve never been allergic to anything.”

Doc: “Yes, you are. You’re getting an EpiPen.”

And so I did. I got two.

For more information on food allergies or anaphylaxis, check out Anaphylaxis Canada or Anaphylaxis Campaign UK. The Canadian site has the option to sign up for a Food Allergy Alert service oddly enough sponsored by where I work!

For more information on living dairy-free, check out Go Dairy Free for hints, tips and recipes. Also I recommend Daiya as a preferred cheese alternative, although it does take some getting used to and also almond milk for coffee is quite nice if you are also soy-free. My addiction to Veganaise soy-free ‘Mayo’ is outta control too. It really is so much better than mayo! And Earth Balance produce a really good line of vegan alternatives.

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor random

Day 4: Up and At ‘Em

I originally started this day-by-day breakdown of my wisdom teeth removal and week of recovery because:

  1. I wanted to give myself something to do that was still writing but didn’t require a lot of work as I was fairly certain I’d be on painkillers most of the week.
  2. I found, when Googling about wisdom teeth removal prep and recovery, there wasn’t a lot of information other than ‘how to not get a dry socket’, horror stories and clinical prep of what to do and not to do. Oh and eat soft foods, like yogurt.
  3. Because wisdom teeth removal can be terrifying and it’s not something one should Google. I know this. You know this and if you’re reading this and you’re about to get your wisdom teeth out, you already know this…but yet here you are…hello! I just wanted to explain to prep and recovery in an easy, non-scary, but very honest way.

Considering the last three days of my life (and bear in mind, I thought today was Wednesday for the majority of the day) were filled with lying around the house in bed, on the floor, on the couch (delete as appropriate) complaining about my toothache, stomachache, headache (again, delete as appropriate), today was, by comparison, filled with action and adventure! I left the house and went to Safeway. OK, so yes I did only make it as far as Safeway BUT I didn’t have my bus pass in my possession and I don’t have a car so really, there wasn’t too far I could go. And Safeway has a Starbucks. And ice-cream.

Having been awake last night until 1:30am eating bananas and reading Pinterest, I opted to take Tylenol Night as oppose to regular Tylenol in a bid to get more than 3 hours of sleep at a time. I’d never taken Tylenol Night before and had bought them months ago when they first came out and were on sale for $2 a bottle. I threw them in the medicine drawer and forgot about them until last night. I took two, went back to bed and suddenly it’s 11am. I awoke refreshed and painless and bouncy further proving a good night’ sleep solves everything. I needed to leave the house and do something. It was sunny. The snow was melting. The house wasn’t too cold. I allowed Louie experience snow for the first time:

Thinking about it!
Thinking about it!

First (voluntary) steps in the snow...I threw him into it yesterday...he was not pleased
First (voluntary) steps in the snow…I threw him into it yesterday…he was not pleased

photo 1 (5)

Then he got stuck and upset so I built him a path in my pjs with a cooking spoon.

photo 2 (4)

Then I made myself some mashed potatoes with lactose-free margarine, almond milk and garlic salt (I put that on everything) and gravy for breakfast, bid The New Roomie good luck on his job interview and text The Canadian One to tell him I was venturing out of the house and to ask his opinion on my Starbucks order.

I had a barista at Starbucks get confused last week by the fact that I didn’t want milk in my iced coffee but I did want two (not the three they usually put in) of caramel…it was a kerfuffle for him and another barista got involved after he tried to get me an iced coffee no milk two shots of espresso. Today, I was aiming for, while not being able to speak properly, ordering an iced coffee no milk with caramel in a hot white cup with lid as oppose to an ice drink cup due to the fact that I can’t have a straw. I puttered around the empty Starbucks counter nervous to approach in case I was greeted with a teenager who hates their job and has no time for me. BUT instead I got a lovely lady who not only apologised for not initially understanding me and then apologised for not having any iced coffee, made me a huge normal coffee with lots of ice (to make it cold – it worked), in a hot coffee cup with lid and caramel – no milk – charged me a small coffee price and gave me a discount.

My iced coffee and I wandered around Safeway unable to find almond milk for a while until The Canadian One text EXACTLY where it was in Safeway and I realised I send him to Safeway waaaaay too often.

As I walked home and began to feel the familiar cramping and start of my period (a week early) I realised the world was f*cking with me. Although a car tearing out of a church carpark like it was on fire, rounding a corner and almost knocking over a yellow tripod thingy in the middle of the road (no idea) and then rounding another corner and disappearing was momentarily distracting. As was my landlord’s son talking loudly in Greek on his cellphone in our lawn while hacking down trees with a small handsaw just as I arrived back.

Once home (and confirming, yes the world is f*cking with me, I wasn’t imagining it) I laid out all my loot for scanning.

photo 3 (4)
My no-dairy, no-soy shopping trip

We’re part of the Neilsen Homescan Consumer Panel Program. Honestly, I have no idea why I signed up, I think I just wanted to play with the scanner. But they did recently send me a $15 Neilsen pre-loaded Visa card in the mail…which I then lost…so I guess there was that. Anywoo, so as part of the program we use the little scanner…

photo 5 (1)

…to scan the barcodes on everything we buy (everything) and the little scanner transmits it to Neilsen all by itself each Saturday as long as I remember to put it back on its little stand. I call him Scanny and I find him highly annoying when we shop anywhere other than Safeway as Safeway populates the price by itself. Nowhere else does and have you ever come home from a huge shopping trip at Walmart and had to scan everything one-by-one, find it on your receipt, punch in the price and then move on to the next item? No? Then you do not know how annoying this little thing is. And yet I do it. I have no idea why.

I did a little icecream eating – I would highly highly recommend Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss Vanilla Ice-cream Bars (no soy, no dairy, no gluten) – followed by some internet shopping at diabetesdepot.org and roasted some chicken legs for The Canadian One’s dinner, which turned out aweeeeesome. Well, they looked awesome. I had mashed potato and carrot soup for dinner but he swears it was lovely!

I modified a Bittman recipe for Roasted Chicken Parts from How To Cook Everything. I took two chicken legs with back attached (on sale at Walmart), cleaned ’em, patted ’em dry and plonked them on the cutting board. I preheated the oven to 450F, put a lump of lactose-free margarine (though you could and should use butter) into a roasting pan along with some chili flakes and placed it in the oven for 5 minutes. When I took the roasting pan out, the margarine was all melted and liquidy so I put the chicken into it, flipping it around to get it all covered in fake-butteriness. Then I placed it skin-side down (because I didn’t read the recipe correctly), sprinkled some cut up onion around it and whacked it all in the oven for 15 minutes. Then I took it out, sprinkled St-Laurent Steak Spice on it, flipped it skin-side up, and sprinkled Steak Spice all over the top of it too, patting it with the tongs a little to make sure it really stuck on there. Back in the oven it went for 10 minutes, then some basting, then 5 more minutes, more basting, then 5-10 more minutes until it was done. At this point, if you’re making it, stab it with a thermometer in the thickest part and if it reads 175F or more, it’s all good. Baste it again. Then serve.

Tomorrow, lemme tell about how I ended up owning an EpiPen and what it took to diagnose me as lactose intolerant. It’s the most ridiculous long-winded story I’ll probably ever tell you.

Prepare yourself.

Come with wine.

For more information on my Wisdom Teeth Journey, check out:

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor random

Day 3: Awaking in a Power Outage and Mild Panic

I awoke this morning to the sound of a weird alarm going off for a split second. Deciding to go pee, as one does when they wake up at 6am all of a sudden, I putter to the bathroom in complete darkness. I flip the light switch. Nothing. I wander to the kitchen. Nothing. I look outside. No street lights. I open the fridge. Nothing. Dammit. The power is out. Completely.

I immediately think about the safety of my freezer meals. And then almost straight away got upset at the thought of their demise. I was tired, the painkillers I’d taken the night before had worn off and I was facing all my meals being destroyed. I grabbed my phone and did the thing I do whenever something major happens, I checked Twitter. It led me to the Enmax website which said they were aware our power went out around 4am and were working on it.

Which was unhelpful. But oddly comforting.

Then I took one look outside…

photo 1 (3)

…And wisely I decided to stay in bed until the power came back on after having a mushed banana and honey and two painkillers for breakfast. Our landlord has yet to turn on the heat in our apartment – even though it’s -7 outside and she has a legal responsibility to ensure her apartments stay 22c or above at all times – so I resorted to two blankets in lieu of the space heater not working. Louie and I snuggled in bed reading old copies of magazines and trying not to play on Pinterest

Although we did do a little Tweeting too:

photo 2

My friend sent me a picture of a weather warning for Calgary to cheer me up:

Weather warning

VIA

And then another friend sent me another picture:

ALS challenge tweet

Incidentally on Twitter, #yycsnomg is in full effect!

Around noon, The Canadian One text to say he wasn’t coming home from work as his power had just come on and as he was telling me, OUR power miraculously came back on! I rushed to the freezer to check on my food and everything was still rock solid. The New Roomie celebrated with some coffee making while I jumped in the shower to wash my hair, FINALLY!

With the freezer food out of danger, I turned my attention to my teeth. Though the pain has lessened significantly (although I still can’t open my mouth too wide) the taste and weird smell is still there. Another quick look with a flashlight revealed a whiteish yellow coating covering the wounds. I panicked. My mind immediately jumped to infection, dry socket, pain, death. I jump to extremes a lot.

I padded about the house thinking about my teeth. I consulted The New Roomie, The Canadian One, my mother, the Internet and eventually got around to calling my dentist who told me it was completely normal and it meant the wounds were healing correctly. Having calmed down, I opted for some coffee and soup. Once I turned on the heater, Louie immediately abandoned me.

photo 4 (2)

Just a note about the Red Lentil Curry Soup, if you’re eating it during wisdom tooth extraction, you want to blend it well until smooth and creamy so no lentils get stuck in your extraction holes. The Potato Soup is working out well too but if you freeze it and defrost it, you want to add a little water when reheating and blend it one more time before eating it. Always make sure you eat them lukewarm during wisdom tooth healing.

Finding it getting colder and colder and I made a quick call to my landlord – after two texts went ignored – and she answered on the second ring. We talked a bit about how she is, how I am, how I just got my wisdom teeth out and subsequently how painful it is until she paused and finally said ‘WHO IS THIS?!!’…After literally giving her my address and explaining I wanted her to turn on the heat, she agreed.

I’m still waiting.

This is me waiting:

photo 5

I’ve been keeping my tongue like that because when my mouth is fully closed, the swelling touches the top gums and teeth and hurts so my tongue is playing barrier. And my face! Look at my face!…It’s squirrelling! But isn’t my hat awesome? I love my hat.

In times like these frozen oat baggies are your friend.

photo (15)

To make an oat bag simply cut two pieces of material 7inx7in each. Pin together pattern side down and sew around the edges. If using a sewing machine, you’re all good. If hand sewing, you may want to sew over it twice. Nobody likes an oat bag that pops open…spilling oats all over the place…especially The Canadian One…for example. Leave a small opening at the top to pour in your oats. You want to fill the back maybe just over half full with oats. Half full plus half a cup let’s say and then seal it. Shake it about, make sure it doesn’t leak oats, and then either pop it in the freezer or pop it in the microwave. Freezer is pretty self-explanatory. It takes about an hour to get cold. For the microwave, the first time you do it, you want to put it in for 30 seconds, then check it. Then maybe another 20 seconds, then check it. Max 60 seconds altogether or else the oats will burn. Each time you use it, it will retain more and more heat so the first few times it may get colder quicker but then it will start to remain hotter for longer. BE CAREFUL. It can get pretty hot. Consider yourself warned. Never give hot packs to babies while they are super hot, I would recommend a 30 second microwave stint for a small child…or pet…Louie LOVES the heat pack. LOVES. IT. I only ever let him near it while it’s lukewarm though. He’s not too bright and will burn himself. I use the heat pads mainly during my period. They’re like magic. So much better than Google’s advice of ‘time’, remember that?!

Achievements today:

  1. Eating lots of jelly. I know, I know, you people call it Jell-O but my mother sends it from Ireland so it’s jelly. And it’s glorious.
  2. Finally getting to take a shower.
  3. Watching the last 5 episodes of season 5 of White Collar. Notes: A: Neal reads Danielle Steel books?! And B: OMG what’s gonna happen him?!!!

Things I Failed At Today:

  1. Stopping the pain.
  2. Taking my painkillers on time. The battery-powered clock stopped. Yes, you read that correctly. In the power cut, the BATTERY-POWERED clock stopped. I just…there are no words….
  3. Leaving the house. It’s -7. Maybe tomorrow.
  4. Getting the landlord to turn on the heat.

In other, unrelated news, a website called DailyPotatoNews has liked some of my previous posts. Their mascot is a potato. A happy smiley potato. Remember when I became obsessed with the dancing potato? It’s a bit like that. Too Irish?

Well…onto the next day…

For more information on my Wisdom Teeth Journey, check out:

Categories
comedy entertainment funny humor random

Day 2: I’m Glad This Is A One Time Deal

A few months ago, after eating in a local restaurant by my house, I awoke in the middle of the night with crippling stomach pains. For next 12 hours, I would intermittently lie on the bed and the floor flat on my back barely breathing due to the pain and then several times an hour rushing to the bathroom to throw up and / or poop blood. Just blood. Nothin’ but blood. I eventually got it together enough to go to the hospital who pumped me full of medication, including Morphine, and it was only at about 3pm I realised I should call my manager at work to let her know I wasn’t coming in…I text my friend instead and got her to tell her, I didn’t trust myself not to say something stupid on the phone.

THIS pain, today, has been worse.

I woke up at 3:29am and was wide awake in zero pain and spent my morning playing with the cat and reading Next Issue.

Louie is never impressed when I wake up and promptly covers his eyes
Louie is never impressed when I wake up and promptly covers his eyes

At around 5am, I napped a bit and at 6am, I took more painkillers. I hung out in bed reading and looking at wedding invitation templates for a while (and emailing them to The Canadian One) and eventually got up at 11am, in a bid to have some soup. And threw up.

Then I ate the soup and threw up all over the floor, twice. I mean, for anyone who’s actually been to our apartment is probably wondering how on earth this happened as our apartment is tiny and you literally can’t make it to the bathroom in less than 3 seconds but meh, I’m as confused as you.

And The Poor New Roomie rushed to my aid and cleaned up the puke from the floor. That was probably the worst part…watching someone else clean up your puke…and the action of throwing up with stitches in my mouth. I would not say positive things about that either.

Deciding it was maybe the blood swallowing in my sleep or the masses amounts of painkillers I’ve been taking, I stopped taking the painkillers as I technically felt fine. I know what you’re thinking, ‘because of the painkillers’….I’ll give you a moment to roll your eyes and predict how the rest of my day went.

Anyway, so I’m looking at my mouth with a flashlight, because that’s what you do right, you want to look at it, and I realise, holy sh*t, my crown is missing from one of my other teeth…and it all comes back to me why my dentist was explaining to me about my crown while I was high on sedatives yesterday. He took it. He took my crown! A quick call later, and I’d explained that my pain is ok (because it was at this point), that I have weird taste and smell from my mouth which I was assured may be normal but if I want I can pop into the dentist anytime tomorrow for a checkup and I booked an appointment to reclaim my crown. If Game of Thrones was this easy, I probably wouldn’t watch.

n-JON-MONTGOMERY-AMAZING-RACE-CANADA-large570
Photo by CTV

Next up was a call to my manager to ask for the crown-day off work, some accidental swearing and a quick apology (for swearing) followed and then my assurance to her I would be sending out an email about The Amazing Race Canada tomorrow. I was on a roll. I was getting things done. My work sponsors The Amazing Race Canada and so we’re running some employee games revolving around it. I’m the chief get-people-enthusiastic-about-it person for my team. I’m sure there’s a better title for it than that. I’ll ask my manager. But I basically just send out reviews of each episode and remind people to vote for their favorite to win next week. And then remind them again. And then stalk them until I know they’ve done it.

And no, I don’t work for Mentos.

But wouldn’t that be awesome?!!

Moving on.

After all this, I was feeling good. I feel like I could eat. Which is what I did.

Then I threw up again. And again. And then again. In the bathroom this time though, GO ME!

I gave up on eating, being awake and my planning viewing of the last 5 episodes of season 5 of White Collar (yay, they got six more!) and went back to bed. I stayed there (with Louie for company) in ungodly pain, having taken no more painkillers, until about 1 hour ago when The New Roomie and The Canadian One convinced me to take some painkillers…and brought me ginger ale….then The Canadian One had to shake the ginger ale in a jar to get all the bubbles out because I very quickly realised why my dentist said no carbonated drinks.

photo (13)

And so here I am, still in my pajamas, at 8:41pm, still sitting next to Louie (who’s been with me all day and had to be coerced not to walk in the puke…or lick the blood pool off the bed…) having only had a 1/4 mason jar of ginger ale in the past three hours and waiting for The Amazing Race to come on.

Lessons learned today:

  1. Take your painkillers. DO it. Do it even if you don’t want to. Do it. At one point I was in so much pain I started sweating. SWEATING. Our heat isn’t on and there’s a snowstorm outside (for God’s sake Calgary!) and I’m lying in bed sweating. It went away. I’m normal temperature now. But my cheeks have puffed up. I’m starting to look a little squirrel-like.
  2. Do not trust that being on painkillers means you don’t have to take painkillers because you’re no longer in pain. That’s stupid.
  3. Always look in your mouth after oral surgery, someone may have stolen something! My crown. They stole my crown. Now it’s just a weird looking tooth with no lid and I still don’t know if it’s safe to touch. But if I touch it, I’ll let you know.
  4. The discovery that there are stitches in your mouth will be momentarily odd for you until you realise, logically, they should be there. Resist the urge to poke them with your tongue. They say not to. I did. I couldn’t help it.
  5. They tell you not to drink carbonated drinks for a reason. If you don’t believe me, try it.
  6. Whatever you do, always, ALWAYS try your best not to puke on your very fluffy cat. ALWAYS.
  7. Switch with salt water a lot. Swish swish swish. Gently. Swish gently.

Hopefully tomorrow’s update will include the words ‘I finally had a shower’ and ‘I no longer look like I had cotton balls stuck in my cheeks’. Wish me luck!

For more information on my Wisdom Teeth Journey, check out:

 

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comedy entertainment funny humor

Day 1 – After Wisdom Teeth Removal: Awaking to a Snowstorm

After yesterday’s preparations, the day had finally come. The day that’s been on my calendar for over a month. The day in which my wisdom teeth finally get evicted from my mouth to go live…somewhere else, actually I have no idea where they keep pulled out teeth.

All three of us, me, The Canadian One and The New Roomie arrived at the clinic promptly at 7:15 in the pouring rain. After a coffee run, for them, and some paperwork signing and a payment made, for me, I dutifully swallowed 2 tiny blue pills along with a tiny cup of water and was told I was in ‘my room’ I would be in for the surgery. I asked about why I couldn’t wear nail polish – it interferes with the heart monitor in my finger – and also if I would get to watch TV during the surgery. I then asked if I could go back out to hang out with the boys in the waiting room and was told I could go ‘socialize’ but had to come back when I felt like I wanted to sleep. The lovely Dr. Lee and I agreed we would take out all three remaining wisdom teeth, something I still disagreed with but the thought of having to return to get yet another one out outweighed my desire to keep the tooth.

I hung out with the boys watching the Global news report on the terrible traffic in the area until I started staring randomly at things, at which point The Canadian One panicked and brought me back into my room to lie down. I was covered with a fluffy blanket and next thing I know, my dentist is hovering above me, injecting me with a needle. After what seemed like ten minutes of me listening to them and watching them put things in my mouth and scold me for moving my head…and then holding my head steady, we were all done and I was free to go. It was told I only had two taken out and was allowed to keep the fourth (in my mouth…in case that’s not clear…not like in a Ziploc baggie) and that also something had happened my crown…it was explained to me…twice…and then my dentist decided he would just call me tomorrow as I clearly wasn’t getting it.

The New Roomie has waited in the waiting room for me and rushed to my side to help me with my coat and to re-sign some paperwork after it ended in a two-tooth extraction and not actually a three-tooth extraction. I have no idea how we got outside. Or into a taxi. Or where the taxi came from. The New Roomie did put my seatbelt on me, I remember that bit.

I mentioned I’d been in there a short time, it felt like ten minutes only to be told it’d been three hours, up from the original hour allotted to me, as there were complications with numbing me and getting the teeth out. Three hours?! THREE?! I still can’t believe that.

So now I’m home and it’s several hours later. I’ve changed the gauze, I took the painkillers using a measuring spoon to spoon water into my mouth, I napped, I woke in a puddle of blood and freaked out a little, I changed the gauze to a tea bag, I took my homemade barely bags outta the freezer and held them to my face, I watched six episodes of The Mindy Show and ate some Carrot Soup.

Overall, I’m doing pretty well. This was me about 45 minutes after surgery, proving my inability to take a selfie while still under sedation:

photo 1 (2)

Things I was not warned about:

The blood. The masses and masses of blood. It was like my mouth had a period, I’m not even kidding you.

The sleep. I was told I would sleep after, that I would sleep until the next day, that I would not feel much pain as I ‘would be asleep’. I am wide awake.

The pain. I was told the worst part was the needles. It was not. Now it the worst part. Right now. In real time, as I’m writing this. The afterwards pain. It sucks.

The sore throat. Probably because they literally injected me in my throat. I would imagine that’s it.

The snow.

THE. SNOW.

When I awoke from my nap, there was a snowstorm outside. A. SNOWSTORM. It’s September. It’s barely even fall. And there’s snow?! Honestly, at this point I don’t know which is more upsetting, that yesterday I wore a summer dress, sunglasses, flip flops, no cardigan and went to an outdoor BBQ and that today there’s a snowstorm outside and it’s minus who-cares, it’s not hot OR the pain in my mouth.

LOOK AT IT:

photo 2 (2)

LOOK:

photo 3 (2)

Argh!

For more information on my Wisdom Teeth Journey, check out:

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Canada comedy Cooking entertainment food funny humor random

Day 0 – Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Removal

So in less than 24 hours, I’m going in for oral surgery to get all my remaining wisdom teeth removed, all three of them. Which is, incidentally, something I don’t quite understand as I was originally under the impression that I would only be getting the bottom two out, the top right one having been removed previously and the top left one not doin’ anything exciting other than being a fully grown, popped out tooth. The bottom two are not popped out thus some cutting will be involved in this endeavour. I’ve been told no, however, I will indeed get all three out. I argued and was told by the receptionist that she’s the receptionist…which pretty much ended the debate.

I’ve spent the last few days preparing myself. As I have to be there at 7:30am, The Canadian One can drop me off but as I’m having conscious sedation, I am required to have an adult pick me up. When I was told this I thought ‘An adult? Who else would pick me up? A child? Oh hey, this is my two year old, he’ll be accompanying me home…No no, he knows how to call 911 if I choke on my own blood, we have him well-trained’

Moving on.

Luckily, one of our Korean friends (we met him in Korea, he, himself, is not Korean. He’s Canadian) has ventured to Cow-Town in search of work and fortune and has moved in with us while he gets on his feet. Unemployed and literally already at my house, The New Roomie’s job will be making sure I don’t die, choke or try to swallow the gauze in my mouth while suffering the after-effects of the sedation.

When I first made the appointment, I had figured they’d put me to sleep but alas, no, that was not an option. It was conscious sedation or nothing. And conscious sedation is $70 extra I was told. It was kinda like the time I had an endoscopy and was asked if I wanted to be knocked out or not. You mean, do I want to be WIDE AWAKE when you shove a camera down my throat and make a small movie in my stomach? No, no I do not. $150 for sedation you say? Would you like cash, credit or debit, where do I sign?

For my laparoscopy earlier this year I wasn’t given a choice. They knocked me out. But right beforehand made some amusingly inappropriate jokes about Cape Bretoners which I told The Canadian One about when I came to.

The past few days have been whiled away trying to avoid Googling ‘Wisdom teeth removal’ (…again…I looked at pictures. I should not have looked at pictures), seeking out advice from anyone I could about the procedure and recovery (my friends, my dentist’s receptionist, my physio’s receptionist, The New Roomie, my manager at work…who made a scrunchy face when I told her I wasn’t being put to sleep) and cooking up some homemade soups. So far, the soups have been my favorite part…and I’ve already started eating them, even though nothing has happened yet. Just practicing, you know. It’s always good to practice your soup eating. I also had one of my smoothies for breakfast this morning.

I made a large batch of five soups, each consisting of 4-5 servings each. I don’t know how long I won’t be able to eat solid food for so I figured 20 soups would be enough to survive on and I don’t want to risk getting hungry and eating carton or canned soup. Being dairy-free, soy-free and sesame-free, life can be a little challenging when you have to rely on store-bought food for survival. Currently housed in my freezer are:

Curried Zucchini Soup: A mass of zucchini, curry powder, potato, garlic and onion blended together to create…well, a slightly odd curried green soup. It’s not bad. I made it because I found myself with a lot of zucchini in my house after a co-worker said, ‘Hey, my boyfriend’s parents own a zucchini farm, do you want a zucchini?’. I’m thinking, tiny Walmart-type zucchini so I say ‘Sure, I like zucchini, I eat it every day’. That’s not an exaggeration, I do. I grate it and add it to my sandwiches at work. Or I add it in strips to lasagna to cut out some carbs.

Zucchini Lasagna

Or I make Zucchini Chips out of it. Or I make Zucchini Spaghetti and serve it with some Garden Lentil Bolognese – which also has zucchini in it.

1375197_10151899822341346_143966974_n

Or it gets thrown into a Thai Vegetable Curry or a Spicy Vegetable Curry. So when my co-worker arrives in the next day with these:

Two Large Zucchinis

And then a week later with this:

Large Zucchini

I’m at home with all this zucchini wondering, what the hell do I do with all this zucchini?!! The cat started sleeping next to one. I think he was upset when I killed and ate his friend.

Louie and the Zucchini

potatoes 2The second soup I made was Potato Soup. I’m Irish, it’s almost mandatory I have a potato soup recipe up my sleeve. All the potato soup recipes I found all had milk or butter in them so I had to improvise. I grabbed 5 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced, 3 diced onions, 4 cups of chicken broth, 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, a pinch of Cajun spice, salt and pepper and tablespoon of dried parsley and threw them all into a pot and brought it to the boil. I simmered it for an hour. THEN I added 2 tablespoons of plain flour mixed with 4 tablespoons of water to the pot and allowed it to simmer and thicken for 5 more minutes. I took it off the heat and blended it in batches in the blender – NEVER filling the blender more than halfway full – and boom, Dairy-Free Potato Soup. It’s like Ireland in a bowl…almost.

tomatoNext up was Pasta Soup. Now, in my hunt for soups to make, I wanted to make sure that I was eating well-balanced…ish…soups. If I was going to survive on soup for a week and not lose any weight I would need to make sure they all contained enough carbs to help me power through. Also, apparently, nourishment is the key to healing. Not losing weight, was the main goal though as up until recently – and we’ll talk about this another time – I was sick for maybe 5 years, stomach sick…and all that entails. The 6-9 months has been a whirlwind of tests and medication and the accidental loss of 4-5kgs (9-11lbs) in weight. Bear in mind, I was tiny to begin with at just over 49kg (110lbs) so losing a bunch of weight without wanted to was not ideal. Luckily, I eventually found a family doctor who figured it out – again, we shall discuss at a later time…if this is a blue link NOW is that time…. – and I started eating properly again. I puffed back up to my original weight pretty quickly and mourned the loss of Frappy Hour at Starbucks. Oh God, it’s all coming back to me now, I feel like I need a moment. Frappy Hour, I miss you.

Moving on.

Pasta Soup was something I thought up while eating my Homemade Pizza Sauce with a spoon out of a pot…what, I swear I am not the only one who does that! I gathered a handful of cooked minced beef (like maybe a cup, it was a large handful. Let’s agree on 1 1/2 cups), a large can of whole tomatoes (Unico brand if we’re being specific), 2 tbs of tomato puree, 1 tbs of Italian seasoning, 1 tsp of oregano, 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, 3 cups of beef stock, 1 diced onion, 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 1/2 cups of broken uncooked spaghetti pasta (both the stock and the pasta are approx, if you add more pasta, add more stock) and then some salt and pepper. I literally just threw it all in a large pot, brought it to the boil, simmered it for 30 minutes with the lid on, then for 20 minutes with no lid to thicken and then took it off the heat and blended it all in batches into a smooth, easy-to-swallow meal in a cup.

The last two I made were Carrot Soup with some added ginger and zucchini because obviously, we have a lot of zucchini and Red Lentil Curry Soup, which was finished off in the blender to get a smoother consistency. I also added a potato to it for extra carbs and because I have found myself with a lot of leftover potatoes.

I feel ready. I feel prepared. I feel like 6am on a Monday morning is definitely not too early for a vodka-shot-of-courage. Hell, ten years ago, 6am woulda been still-at-the-party-playing-drinking-games time so it’s all good.

The only thing helping my nerves is that by this time tomorrow, it’ll all be over. Heck, in 20 hours it’ll all be over and I’ll be on my couch with The New Roomie eating soup and watching The Mindy Project high on painkillers, him poised with his iPhone camera ready in case I act stupid while still sedated…so also we have that to look forward to!

Bring on Day 1!! Any advice, hit up the comments below!

For more information on my Wisdom Teeth Journey, check out:

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comedy entertainment funny humor kids quotes random

Flashback Friday: ‘I did my homework with a paintbrush.’ – June 15th 2012

Welcome to Flashback Friday: A look back at some of the most popular posts in the archive

This Quote Friday from June 15th 2012 (original link) proved to be one of the most read Quote Friday’s on the entire site:

For anyone who wasn’t following Quote Friday, it was a weekly round-up of the funniest things my elementary school students said to me that week. They were all aged 6-12 and were in my English class in South Korea.

First up, a non-school quote:

Girl at party last weekend: ‘Where are you from?’

Me: ‘Ireland.’

Girl: ‘Oh, Ireland, Texas?’

Me: ‘No, Ireland the country.’

…Pause…

Girl: ‘You must think I’m really stupid.’

Me: ‘Actually, I’ve been asked that exact question before.’

***

In the middle of repeating vocabulary:

Kid: ‘Teacher, I’m hungry.’

Me: ‘That’s nice. I don’t care.’

Kid: ‘You don’t have food??’

Me: ‘I’m not giving you food!’

Suddenly, a piece of candy hits him on the side of the head. We all turn to see one little boy has throw a candy at him. The kid picks it up and throws it back at kid 2. I take it away from them both and put it on my desk.

Kid 2 has a funny look on his face. I look at him, quizzically. He lifts his hand to reveal a second candy, smiles and then bursts out laughing.

***

Me: ‘What’s skipping?”

Papa Smurf
Do I look like I skip to you?!

Entire class, breaking into The Smurfs theme song: ‘La la la la la la la la la la la!!’

Me: ‘What? That’s The Smurfs! Skipping is this.’

I skip across the classroom.

Kid: ‘Yes, you look like a Smurf.’

Me: ‘Did you just call me a Smurf?’

Kid: ‘Yes, look.’

He gets up and skips across the classroom just like I did.

Kid: ‘See, like a Smurf.’

I look unconvinced.

Kid: ‘I’ll do one more time.’

He does.

Kid: “See. A Smurf.’

***

Kid: ‘I did my homework with a paintbrush.’

Me: ‘What?’

Kid: “I didn’t have a pencil.’

***

One kid touches another kid’s arm.

Kid: ‘Teacher, he’s touching ME!!! Teacher, he’s GAY!!’

***

While studying ‘like’:

Me: ‘What does your mommy like?’ (options on the page include a variation of fruits and vegetables)

Kid: ‘My mom likes money.’

Kid 2: ‘My mom doesn’t like dad.’

***

Two boys are hitting each other with pencils.

Me: “What are you doing?!’

Kid: ‘We’re swordfighting!!’

***

There is paper ALL over my floor.

Me: “What the hell is all this on my floor?!!’

Kid 1: ‘Oh my God, you said a bad word!!’

Me: ‘No, I didn’t.’

Kid 1: ‘Yes, you did! You said ‘what the hell’!’

Me: ‘No, I didn’t!!’

Kid 1: ‘I hear you!!!’

Kid 2: ‘The fan and the paper and whoooosh and paper on floor.’

Kid 1: ‘YOU SAID A BAD WORD!!’

***

From The Canadian One and his Kindergarten students:

I was teaching my students can and will.

One wrote ‘I can ride a bike’ and then, ‘Soon I will smoke.’

That’s a good goal!
***
While I’m checking off a name, a kid grabs a marker and proceeds to write on the board. She’s written the first letter, a ‘C’, when I grab her hand.
Me: ‘WAIT!’
The kid looks down to see she’s holding a permanent marker.
Kid: ‘Oh no!!’
Me: ‘Oh my God!’
Kid: ‘Wait, I can fix.’
Me: ‘What?’
The kid grabs a normal board marker, colors in the ‘C’ and erases the whole thing off the board. It’s spotless and no trace is left.
Me: ‘Wow, that’s magic!!’
Kid 2: ‘It’s no magic, it’s SCIENCE!!’ (shaking her head at me!)
***
A kid is looking under the desk and making a disgusted face. She puts up her hand.
Kid: ‘Teacher, come here. Look.’ (pointing under the desk)
I look at her skeptically.
Kid: ‘It’s ok. No bug.’
***
A kid speaks Korean in my class several times so as punishment I make her stand up with one hand on her head and the other over her mouth. She’s wearing a green sweater. Her friend next to her bursts into laughter.
Kid: ‘Hahahaha, she look like a cactus!!!!’
***
For more Quote Friday, check out:

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comedy entertainment funny humor internet random timewasters

Tuesday Timewasters – The TruthFacts Edition – 06/17

Aaaaand we’re back with an all new Tuesday Timewasters! Woo hoo! A weekly round up of the awesome, weird and wonderful world of the Interwebbie.

First up, and a site I have become increasingly obsessed with checking out on my way to work in the morning, is Truthfacts!

Correct responses to your girlfriend's question When do you discover spelling errors in an email Ingredients in a successfull chicken:bacon sandwich
Wasting Time How to utilize hashtags on Facebook Statistics about Statistics Stone's Throw Most difficult things to complete

What Smoke Detectors Warn You Of Statistics Blame the heterosexuals Varying levels of entertainment value When electronics don't work Know the difference between various fruits When you want to hear a song on YouTube

What helicopters do in movies

Remember all media here belongs to TruthFacts. Head over there and check them out for more awesomeness!

Categories
comedy entertainment funny

It’s a Me, MARIO!!

I grew up in a piano-playing household. Primarily due to the fact that my mother is a piano teacher and my brother and I were always surrounded by a piano, sheet music and pupils who struggled to play their scales. Each year we would be bombarded with differing renditions of ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ and ‘Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’, all played at different speeds, some in a stop-start jingle and some with so many wrong notes, I’d sit in my bedroom thinking ‘Is that Rudolf they’re trying to play or some unknown Christmas tune I’m about to be introduced to…Nope, no, it’s Rudolf.’

There was one memorable year when I returned home to visit during exam time and all the students seemed to be studying ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’…I still can’t listen to that song without shuddering. Hours after hours of listening to kids play it over and over again. I feel like I could play it through sheer osmosis.

My mother taught us how to read sheet music as children. I learned the right hand and some of the left and mastered most of the nursery rhymes before I quit. My brother, however, went on to absorb music as an exponential rate. He could read a piece, play it, read it, play it, have it memorised. Whenever I would return to Ireland to visit, he would play me the most recent pieces he learned plus some oldies I liked too. He moved onto a ragtime phase where a favorites of mine came to include almost anything by Scott Joplin. He doesn’t play much anymore, preferring to focus on art and woodwork but I have never, in all my life, never ever wanted to force him to learn a piece and play it via Skype to me so badly:

mario-sheet-music

(via)

It’s Mario.

IT. IS. MARIO.

I mean seriously!

MARIO SHEET MUSIC!

For those of you who have never heard the Mario theme tune, (honestly, I’m surprise you know what the Internet is, but anyway), here it is:

My obsession with Mario dates back to my owning a N64 and every Mario game (and yes, Goldeneye) that was released. Now, we own a WII and the obsession continues with Mario Kart. This month at work we’re even having a Mario-themed staff incentive program running…no, seriously. I spent an entire day cutting out those tiny Mario flowers, Bowser, bananas (I hate them) and shells. Lest we forgot, I still work at a bank.

Mario has dotted my life in random unexpected places here and there as an adult. I once found myself dancing to a disco version of the song at a basement nightclub in Seoul with The Canadian One. My friend and I once stayed at a hostel in South Korea and one of the girls sharing our room had gone out for the night, while my friend and I stayed in. The girl’s phone kept alerting her to a text every so often with a ring that reminded us of ‘It’s a Mario!’…We spent the rest of the trip saying ‘It’s a Mario!’ over and over again each time her phone went off. We were beyond annoying. Now and then, I’d find myself humming the Mario theme tune at work, much to the amusement of my 10 year students who would break into song with me occasionally, surprised I, a 26-year-old teacher, would know who Mario is.

I mean, please, I know no one (NO ONE) my age who does not know who Mario is. NO ONE.

NOW, all I gotta do is find someone who can play the piano, is almost my age and who I can convince to learn to play this piece for me…

I’m gonna go call my brother!

Categories
comedy funny humor

Bunny Versus Barfi

I write to Frightened Rabbit to say hi!
I write to Frightened Rabbit to say hi!

This time last year, The Canadian One and I had been in Toronto for about a week and he was still trying to convince me that Canadians did not call it T-Dot. We were embarking on a trip into the city to see Frightened Rabbit, a Scottish band we both really like, play in a dark bar in a shady area. The Canadian One thought we’d be kidnapped on the walk from the venue to the bar later that night and we spent a good forty-five minutes wandering around looking for a pre-gig place to eat. We settled on a basement bar for fries and cheeseburgers and I wallowed in the fact that having hated my Tim Horton’s earlier in the day, I would never adapt to Canadian culture.

Now, the coincidence of going to see Frightened Rabbit on Easter ‘Bunny’ Sunday didn’t escape me, or my mother who thought it was hilarious, although they did put on an awesome show (the first of two of their shows I would see in 2013). One memorable moment being when the lead singer messed up the words to a song and then just flat out stopped and said “I’m sorry, I’m distracted by a girl in bunny ears at the back just not paying attention to the show…oh wait…no…wait, no she’s working. Sorry!”

Moving on.

Last week, we went over to our neighbor’s (also The Canadian One’s childhood friend and our vet) house for some friendly board game / drinking action. About three hours in, our neighbor’s cat, Barfi (Persian for Snowy) emerged from his hiding spot under the couch. With the declaration of ‘Oh, Barfi’ from our host, The Canadian One lept up, pointed at the cat and said ‘BARFI!’ thus putting him in a solid 4-0 lead in our made-up summer game.

Barfi, incidentally, is one of the most beautiful cats I’ve ever seen. I mean, look at him!

photo 2 (3)

Isn’t he gorgeous?! Here he is with The Canadian One while we were cat-sitting while The Canadian One tries to prove to me his moniker should be changed to The Cat Whisperer.

The Canadian One lies down and the cat just come to him...
The Canadian One lies down and the cats just come to him…

And here’s Barfi helping get ready for the Stampede in April 2013. A little early, but meh.

photo 3 (1)

So, here’s what happened: Last summer, Barfi made a bolt for freedom and we were tasked with helping find him. We wandered. We ran. We shook packets of Temptations and called his name. We asked neighbors. We asked passers-by. One of us, dressed in a hoodie and skirt standing as tall as the average teenager, joined a search-party group of teens and accidentally caused another neighbor to retreat from her porch, shut her door, lock it and turn off the lights. Oops.

The Canadian One and I worked as a duo and several times I spotted what looked like a white furred creature in the bushes which would always ALWAYS turn out to be a bunny.

Always.

It’s hard. In Ireland we don’t have bunnies just wandering around doing their bunny stuff thinking ‘I ain’t no pet’ but here they are everywhere!

And thus began ‘Bunny versus Barfi’, whereby the spotting of a bunny while The Canadian One and I were together and being the first to yell ‘BUNNY!’ would garner the yeller one point whereas the spotting of Barfi would earn you three points. We ended 2013 with me far far faaaar in the lead and so this year The Canadian One has come back fighting and is already ahead with four points but fear not my little Ketchups, I will win this year as I did last year!

Incidentally, I spotted the never-before-seen-mythical-trio of bunnies…a TRIO…a month ago but alas, as The Canadian One and I weren’t together I can’t claim it.

photo (61)

Yells of ‘DOESN’T COUNT!’, ‘THAT’S NOT A BUNNY! MINUS A POINT!!’ (mainly because I thought both a small dog and a small gnome-like garden ornament of a bunny were both really bunnies) and ‘BUNNY!!!’ became commonplace around our house last summer and now this year, the ante has been upped and the game is ON with The Canadian One wanted to reclaim the title and me wanting to keep the title of ‘Awesome Bunny-Spotter’. Keep up with the current score at the top on the right of your screen.

I. WILL. WIN. 2014.

Have you and your friends ever come up with a stupid game to play? Lemme hear about it below so I know The Canadian One and I aren’t the only ones in the world playing a highly competitive, bunny spotting game!

(Oh and Barfu was found and returned safe and sound a week after he went missing!)

Categories
comedy funny humor

Is A Dancing Potato Too Stereotypical?

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! It’s genius. This and the dancing potato. I have no idea why I find the dancing potato so funny. I almost cried with laughter. The Canadian One is convinced there’s something wrong with me!

Happy Almost St. Patrick’s Day! And remember it’s PADDY…not PATTY…not now, not ever.

irish stew
source: https://twitter.com/busselling

Now, back to the question at hand, do you think it’s a little too stereotypical to end this post with a dancing potato?

No?

Awesome, here he is then:

source: http://imgur.com/gallery/zs0X9oP
source: http://imgur.com/gallery/zs0X9oP

Categories
Canada comedy humor random

The Wolf of Work Street

So, on Monday, I’m outside work waiting at the bus stop. It’s about 6:15pm and it’s a little chilly but I opt not to go into the little glass bus hut.

During a discussion on the phone with The Canadian One regarding what we were having for dinner (a Betty Crocker Home-Made Beef, Zucchini and Cheddar Pie with Salad in case you’re interested), I say:

“I think I see a wolf. Or a big dog. But it kinda looks like a wolf.”

The Canadian One reacts the way one would when his fiancée says she sees a wolf and you’re 99.99% sure it’s just a dog. He doesn’t react. I tell him to heat the oven to 350 degrees and I hang up the phone to await the bus.

Having forgotten my headphones and my book, I had nothing to do but stare into the abyss, i.e. the car park of my building. I slowly start to realise the ‘wolf’ is zigzagging his way through the stationary cars in the car park. It’s looking more and more ‘wolfy’ as it stalks it’s way down the pathway of snow. A security guard appears at the doorway of my building in an orange reflector jacket, too far for me to make out what he’s doing but not too far away for me to come to the conclusion that he was doing nothing. Nothing at all. Not a Goddamn thing.

There was a wolf in the car park.

A. Wolf.

A. Mother. Fu…

You know what, I’m gonna let that go. Moving on.

So, I’m standing there in my giant winter jacket staring at this wolf. I’m across the street. I think, it’s not going to cross the car park, cross a busy street and attack me….until it starts to cross the car park and cross the busy street.

At this point, there’s one other pedestrian on the pavement far ahead and me, standing at a bus stop, next to a glass, enclosed shelter with an open door. It occurred to me briefly to enter the shelter…then it occurred to me the wolf could also come join me in the glass hut in which case, I’d have no escape.

Glass hut out.

Running?

Doesn’t running agitate wolves?

Didn’t I read that somewhere?

Or possibly seen it in Twilight? Which is, incidentally, the only reason I know what a wolf looks like.

Running was out.

Walking?

Walking fast?

WALKING FAST.

Definitely moving from the bus stop. Walking fast it is.

I started walking with the intention of making it to a nearby bookstore for safety.

I walked. Wolfy followed.

I walked faster and Wolfy was across the street, stalking me on my side of the road.

I walked so fast one could almost call it a ‘small run’, fast enough to escape a wolf but not fast enough that it would realise you were running and chase you. And then eat you. Which is what I was fast becoming convinced would happen to me.

This is it. This is how I die. Eaten outside a Chapters by a rogue wolf.

I came to a stop light and had a decision to make. There was a car and a truck on the opposite side of the road making a right turn. Do I cross or do I stop?

Hit by truck or eaten by wolf?

I was not enjoying how my Monday was progressing so far.

Luckily, as I my foot hit the road and off the pavement, the light turned in my favor and the truck (not the car, mind you) stopped and I ran across the road while Wolfy veered into a bush. I panted my way to the bus stop, hailed the oncoming bus and hopped on. Five seconds between road decision and seat on the bus, not bad.

12 minutes later I receive a text from a friend who’d left work an hour before me:

‘Did u leave yet! I left and there was a wolf outside.’

AN. HOUR. LATER.

I COULD HAVE BEEN EATEN.

EATEN!!

Turns out she was chased by Wolfy to her car where, while on the phone to her mother, she dropped the phone while scrambling to get her car open. Naturally, her mother thought she’d been attacked but luckily, there was a bunny nearby that caught the wolf’s attention.

Obviously I mean lucky for my friend.

Not the bunny.

Shortly after, from the safety of her car, she snapped a picture of it:

photo (13)
Photo by Carah Gibson

I showed the picture to The Canadian One and he admitted he thought I was joking on the phone.

Just goes to show, when your fiancée says she sees a wolf in the car park of the building where she works, you should believe her.

This isn’t the girl who cried wolf!

And no, I have no idea what happened to the wolf but I did eagerly check the Metro on Tuesday and there was no reported Wolfy activity as of yet.

Today, The Canadian One texts me to make sure I made it onto the bus safely. I don’t text back as my phone is still in ‘moon mode’ and doesn’t alert me to the text. When I finally check it there are two texts, sent a few moments apart reading:

‘On your way or did a wolf get u?’

and then:

‘OMG a wolf got u!’

Categories
Canada comedy funny humor

I really hope CSI NEVER goes through my handbag…

So, The Canadian One asked me earlier for some lip balm and I root out my Nivea stick (he bought me) from my bag and hand it over. It’s then that I realise I have a lot of random cr@p in my handbag and really, do I need all that stuff?

 

photo (54)

 

To do an inventory, I have:

 

1 x Readers Digest, which came in the mail a few weeks ago from a free-due-to-Airmiles points subscription I signed up to and that I took to read while sitting around in the ER recently (long story, they ended up doing a CT Scan on me, have you ever have a CT Scan, OMG, lemme tell you…actually I’m getting off topic, back to my handbag…)

 

1 x Wallet, containing cards, money, receipts, a tiny penguin magnet, business cards, bank cards, September’s transit ticket, notes from The Canadian One and some Korean cards I refuse to give up.

 

1 x Umbrella, I’m Irish, we’re raised that way.

 

1 x half a packet of sugar-free Polo mints. I love Polo mints and I buy them whenever I can as I like mints but hate chewing gum. I once swallowed it and now think I’ll swallow it everytime which makes me look super-awkward when I do actually chew gum. Which I don’t. Ever. I don’t like putting things in my mouth that I can’t swallow.

 

I’ll wait while you say ‘that’s what she said’.

 

Moving on.

 

1 x Bag of JuJubes. The Canadian One packs our lunches every night. Last night he packed me an assortment of healthy nuts. (Do I need to pause again or can we continue?) This morning, I took out the healthy nuts and replaced them with an entire bag of Jujubes.

 

Why?

 

Because I’m an adult and I can.

 

1 x Bag of Lego Candy. I work at a call center, one never knows when one may be either peckish or bored or both.

 

1 x Bag of Almonds. To balance things out.

 

5 x Emergency Ketchup. That’s a thing, right? You just never know when you may need Emergency Ketchup.

 

1 x Bach’s Rescue Remedy. For those ‘of-course-let-me-just-place-you-on-mute-while-you-yell-swear-words-at-me-for-five-minutes’ moments.

 

1 x Nivea Lip Balm. That should be self-explanatory but if not…Google it.

 

English: A Swingline-brand Stapler
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 x Pens. I was at my manager’s desk the other day and here’s what happened, she pulls open a drawer to get me a Post-it note:

 

Me: “Wow, you have a lot of stationary. I have one pen. Just one pen. And for two days last week, I lost my pen! So technically, for two days, I had nothing.”

 

And

 

Me: “Do you have a stapler?”

 

Her: ‘Yes…Do you?”

 

Me: “No. Can I borrow your stapler?”

 

Her: “Yes.” (handing me the stapler) “One day you’ll have your own stapler.”

 

So now I have two pens in my bag in case the work one ever ‘disappears’ again. It’s also useful for crossing off items on my shopping list.

 

1 x New iPhone earphones. I broke my old ones and paid a crazy amount for these ones. I swore I’d protect them with my life and store them as I would a tiny kitten or my last Rolo. Three weeks late, I find them stuffed into the bottom of my bag. Best laid plans…

 

…lead to buying new earphones.

 

This image shows two whole and a cut green Hay...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 x Body Shop perfume sample. It’s glorious but we’re not allowed to wear perfume at work due to allergies. We’re also not allowed nuts, onions or kiwis.

 

KIWIS.

 

All fruit I understand but specifically kiwis? There’s a picture on the door too reminding us NOT to bring a kiwi to work. A picture. It’s almost like ‘Don’t bring kiwis. This is a kiwi. Also this is an onion. Don’t bring those either. Like your drama and your problems, leave them at the door when you come to work.’ It doesn’t say that. But it should.

 

1 x Small cosmetic mirror my friend got me in Spain. The pink disk on the front fell off and it kinda broke but it was a gift and I refuse to toss it.

 

Random paper. I dunno. I get bored at work and doodle.

 

1 x Imigran migraine medicine. I suffer from horrible migraines. I should take Zomig but I ran out so I take it’s not so smart, not so fast, occasionally completely useless cousin Imigran.

 

1 x Contact Lens Case. I wear contacts but at work I wear glasses because I stare at a screen all day in air conditioning. I’m not sure why this is in my bag.

 

2 x Always Infinity Pads. Because they are awesome. And handy. And I’ve had waaaaay too many it’s-been-three-weeks-already?! moments.

 

1 x Motrin. Life is too long NOT to carry painkillers in your handbag.

 

1 x Keys. Without my keys I can’t leave the house, access my desk at work to do my job or…actually I have no idea what the third set of keys is for. Maybe The Canadian One’s friend’s old apartment?…So I guess without my keys I can’t randomly break into someone I don’t know’s apartment. Or should that be someone I’ve not met yet?

 

1 x Tissue. I’m actually surprised that was still in my bag. Usually Louie is all over my bag and pulls the tissue out.

 

And finally,

 

1 x Transit Pass. I don’t drive.

 

Not pictured: My phone (being used to take the picture), my ID badge for work (for obvious reasons) and my Kindle (which is charging).

 

How about you? What’s in your handbag? Hit up the comments below and lemme know!

 

Categories
Canada comedy entertainment funny humor

Adults playing Monopoly (Game Night No. 3)

Monopoly
Monopoly (Photo credit: Mike_fleming)

I’ve never finished a game of Monopoly. Not once. Not ever. I’ve not even ever come close to finishing a game, since most games have ended in crossed arms, pouted faces and claims of ‘that’s not how you play!’ and ‘NO, you can’t trade a beer for the Water Works!!’.

Last weekend, we headed off to The Canadian One’s friend’s house to have a few drinks and play a few board games like civilized adults. Due to an overwhelming vote of no Killer Bunnies (dammit!), South Park Monopoly won out and we soon found ourselves wondering if the game will actually end or will it be another one of those times The Canadian One and his friends find the game has come to an abrupt halt with a hockey puck being thrown into a wall / a person being thrown into a wall / an adult-sized tantrum being thrown, delete as appropriate.

We started off slowly. There were the usual Monopoly related problems such as:

‘Do we play house-rules or follow the book?’

‘Do we put the money from Community Chest in the middle and get it when we land on Free Parking or no?’

Tradesies allowed for beer and favors?’ It was important to establish that right at the start. It was voted ‘no’ but I later traded The Canadian One one of my red properties for a glass of water, a vodka and orange, one of his blue properties and some cash.

‘Is buying allowed after you’ve gone around the board once or right now?’

Monopoly
Monopoly (Photo credit: urbanwide)

And then, since some at the table don’t watch South Park, there were the less traditional questions of:

‘Who’s Butters? I don’t know who he is.’

‘Wait, who am I again?’

‘We have two Kyles? Someone needs to change.’

‘Wait, I got moved. I’m Kyle. Someone moved me!’

‘Who’s the SD card?’

‘Ah, Chef. I know who he is. He sings all those racist songs.’

‘I don’t know who Butters is!!’ ‘You wanna be my engagement ring instead?’

As some points in the game, as there were six of us playing, there were long lags between turns and I felt like bursting into some:

It is the game that never ends,

It just goes on and on my friends,

Some people started playing it not knowing what it was,

And they’ll continue playing it forever just because,

It is the game that never ends,

It just goes on and on my friends…

Until it ended.

And it ended in the spectacularly traditional way of accusations of cheating, money stealing, swearing,

Monopoly
Monopoly (Photo credit: Mike_fleming)

name calling and threats of ‘I’ll flip this board, I’ll flip it right now!’. A quick toss of some money into the pile on the board and the game was done.

I won.

I’m kidding.

No one won. We’re adults who fight over Monopoly, none of us deserved to win.

The last time I played Monopoly was at home in my mother’s house at Christmas in Ireland. The Canadian One and I were visiting and my brother and I decided to break out the Monopoly game. My mother, brother, Canadian One and I all sat down for a game and a drink. Two hours later, with no clear winners in sight, my mother making up her own rules and me stealing money from The Canadian One while he wasn’t watching, the game ended in a four-way tie.

Although my mother will probably swear she won.

Like mother, like daughter, eh?

Have you ever finished a game of Monopoly? What other games have you had end in craziness?

Categories
Apps comedy funny humor random

Getting Appy: Carrot

So, I love apps. I adore them. And I collect them in the same way I used to collect POGS, for no reason other than some are awesome and some are not and some are shiny and pretty and some most are useless. I have way too many and have been trying recently to whittle them down to a select few.

Here’s one of my favorites: Carrot.

promobanner

I also love lists. I just love them. Shopping lists. To-Do lists. To Write lists. Gift lists. Cards lists. Lists of Lists to Make. If it were a choice between making a list and eating a Dorito…no, bad example…eating a cookie, I would pick making a list. I’m not that fond of cookies.

Among the many to-do list apps I have on my phone, this is by far my favorite. For one very unique reason, it freaks me out when I’m being lazy…but also rewards me when I’m good.

I’m now thinking about Doritos. This is probably why I never get any tasks done.

From the brain of Brian Mueller, basically, you create your own to-do list and as you check off items it rewards you.

With. A. Kitten. And who doesn’t like a kitten?

IMG_8794 IMG_8981 IMG_8982 IMG_9054 IMG_9055

And when I’m not productive, it hurts my kitten!!

IMG_8980

I didn’t name him. And I haven’t reached the level where I’m allowed to rename him yet. Although, if I want, for 99cents I can buy him a pirate outfit. No, seriously.

Carrot also becomes disappointed when I abandon it for long periods of time:

IMG_9057

But when I’m good, and complete things, it rewards me again, with a self-portrait of myself:

IMG_9109 IMG_9110

And then when I ignore it, it starts texting me. A lot.

IMG_9111 IMG_9136 IMG_9210 IMG_9259 IMG_9335

Download it in the iTunes store today. Now! Do it! And report back how Carrot has punished you for being lazy.

Categories
comedy funny humor Photography

I made my first EVER pumpkin….