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.

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.

dog funny humor

Love Daisy xoxo

Dear Shauna,

I hope you remember me. You were my foster mom a year ago. In November 2017, I, along with 47 of my closest friends, were rescued from up north of Alberta in High Level. I was 5 months old. I was listed as a solo orphan on my intake form. There was a CTV newscast about us. I’m featured at 1:42.

I just want you to know, I’m doing great. You chose me a great family and a year later I’ve come a long way from being Bree – AARCS Adoptable Puppy No. A37174273.

Coming to live here was a whirlwind. While I was at your house learning things like how to sit and how to pee outside, my mommy and daddy had just bought their first home and were on the hunt for a puppy to add to their growing brood of three cats. Having gotten two cats from AARCS already, they naturally turned to AARCS for their canine companion. Originally they chose a different dog and applied for him but were told they needed to pick a back-up dog in case the first didn’t work out. On a whim, they picked me as mommy thought I looked like an Andrex puppy she saw on TV growing up. There was one problem though, I had another application pending. They figured they weren’t getting me, I was adorable, I was bound to be scooped up at my first meet-n-greet.

Then an email came. They were told ‘that other dog’ wasn’t suitable – it has CH like my sister Pickles and needed a home with another dog. But there was good news, I was available!

On December 7th 2017, they huddled in the car and had a phone interview outside mommy’s work Christmas party. The following day they had a successful first meet and greet at your house. On the drive over, daddy had to coach mommy about being so near a dog. She was afraid of dogs. I made a beeline for her as soon as she walked in. She sat on the floor with me. She petted me and played with my ears. She kept apologizing to you for getting glitter on your floor. It was from her Christmas party the night before.

They went home and spent the entire night unpacking boxes. They were getting the house ready for the second meet and greet at their home the next morning. They hung pictures. Set up furniture. Displayed Christmas ornaments. They went to bed a few hours before we arrived.

We came over and hung out for a bit. You commented on how the house looked great! You couldn’t believe they’d just bought the house 15 days previously. Mommy smiled like it had looked this great for the past 15 days and hoped I wouldn’t run into down the basement aka box city. Instead, I fell asleep on the floor. You’d kept me up late the night before, you’d had friends over. You asked if they wanted to come pick me up later that day and they both jumped at the chance. The adoption was going through. Mommy had some paperwork to fill in. While you left with me, mommy and daddy rushed out and bought every dog item at Walmart they could find including my new best friend, Foxy!

Best Friends:

  1. Foxy

That afternoon, I moved in.

And thus began my mission to befriend my new family: mommy, daddy, and my cat brother and sisters, Louie, Pickles and Purrkins.

I didn’t like the heat in the house at the start. Having lived outside a lot of my life, I found it hard to adjust to a soft bed and a warm house so I would spend a lot of time on the floor in front of an air purifier mommy bought me that blasted cold air. It was heaven.

But I soon got used to it and began to try to take over the couches and beds and any soft area I could find.

We went for walks and I loved the outside. I struggled on the leash (and still do) but I love the snow so I got a loooooong leash so I could practice recall and diving head first into snow piles.

I enrolled in puppy school where I met one of my fellow puppies from my rescue. Together we learned fun things like walking nicely, listening and THERE WERE TREATS!! If you did exactly or almost exactly or made a valid attempt to do what the teacher wanted, YOU. GOT. CHEESE…..CHEESE!!!

I almost failed because I smiled too much, rolled around too much, tried to befriend all the humans and was labelled ‘a little ditzy’ but eventually I graduated puppy school!

And THEN I joined daycare and became queen of the castle! The daycare people love me and I love being at day care. It’s my favourite day of the week! I even stayed there for three nights when mommy and daddy got stuck in a snow storm and the highway shut down. They couldn’t come get me and daycare took such good care of me. I’m there in the middle, surveying my realm.

Back at home, my mission to befriend my siblings was going…well…ish….I quickly won over one of my sisters, Purrkins. She had grown up with a family dog but was surrendered to AARCS when she and her four kittens were viscously attacked by the same family dog. They ended up with mommy and daddy as a foster group but mommy refused to give Purrkins back! Luckily, Purrkins holds no ill-will towards dogs and loves me. We’re best friends.

Best Friends:

  1. Foxy
  2. Purrkins

I struggled a little with my other sister…and my brother just never comes near me…he’s not featured in this letter…

Then the BEST THING EVER HAPPENED! Mommy signed up to Barkbox and I had new toys arrive in the mail EVERY MONTH. I loved one of my toys, a pigeon I named Pidgy, soooooo much. I took him outside to pee. I napped with him. I brought him all around the house. I showed him my kennel and my bed and where the water dish is. I let him drink water from the dish and nap in my bed when I wasn’t using it. In fact, when Barkbox got wind of how much I loved him, they drew a picture of me with him and sent me a card!

Best Friends:

  1. Pidgy
  2. Foxy
  3. Purrkins (sorry Purrkins….)

I also guard the house. While mommy and daddy watch TV, sleep, or make food I protect us from cars, humans, bunnies, cats, humans with boxes, leaves, birds, smaller humans, other puppies, even smaller humans and halloween lawn decorations. Those things will kill you.

I save us each and every day, Shauna.


Actually, that’s a lie…when they make food, Purrkins, Pickles and I stand awkwardly close to mommy get a taster of some early dinner…It only sometimes works but that just means we need to try harder.

The entire AARCS posse! 

With mommy and daddy, we celebrate all the holidays! I’d never celebrated a holiday before so I wasn’t sure what was required. There was Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter! There are hats and photos and dinners and usually chicken and treats and GIFTS!!! DID YOU KNOW ABOUT GIFTS?? You just wait and wait and it’s like normal day and then a hat gets put on your head and you sit nicely and a picture is taken and then there’s cheese and THEN THERE ARE GIFTS!!








And a hat. Every holiday has a hat. Humans…I dunno.

In the summer, I learned fetch…kinda…sorta….a little….I mean…I went after the stick, that counts, right?!

Also this year, I ran two marathons! TWO!!! One to raise money for the Calgary Humane Society and one for AARCS!


I look sad but that’s my staring at cheese face. I take cheese very seriously. (I’m also dressed as a unicorn – mommy, daddy, Pickles and I were all unicorns for Halloween!)

I also rode the bus to a party!!

The party was at a bar. I was allowed in. I tried to make friends with EVERY HUMAN I SAW!

It was so much fun. I wriggled out of my collar to mingle but mommy and daddy ran after me after another human stopped me.

At the moment, my favourite things are cheese, the dog park, cheese, making new friends, the snow, cheese, did I mention cheese?

Best Friends:

  1. Pidgy
  2. Purrkins
  3. Socky. My sock mommy’s friend gifted me. It’s a real sock. I love him.

Foxy left. He got a hole and then he got fixed and then he got another hole and then he went away. I patiently await his return. Any day now, he’ll be back and threaten Purrkins’ spot in the Daisy’s Top Three Best Friends List.

This fall, I’ve been working on getting over my fear of water….At first I would jump over puddles and now look at me! I still won’t go into the river but I’m working my way up to it.

Also, Shauna, have you ever seen a duck? They are like birds that SWIM! LOOK AT THOSE DUCKS!! DO YOU SEE THOSE DUCKS? THEY’RE DUCKS!

In the year I’ve lived here I’ve done a lot. I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve eaten many questionable things where mommy was 100% positive I would die. An entire bag of compost. That extension cord. That other cord. All those tissues. Several receipts. Oh oh, that roll of duct tape. She 100% thought I would die from that.

I was on medication to stop me eating my poop for a while.

I also threw up worms on the bed in the middle of the night. They wriggled around on the duvet. Neither mommy nor daddy could eat spaghetti for weeks.

But mostly Shauna, I am writing this to let you know I am happy. I am healthy. I am loved.

And on the one year anniversary of my adoption, I wanted to say thank you to you and AARCS.

Thank you for rescuing me.

Thank you for bringing me to Calgary.

Thank you for picking my parents.

You have changed my whole life.

And I love it.

Love Daisy xoxo

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!
Now you’re wondering when Administrative Professionals’ Day is, aren’t you?
It’s not today, don’t worry.
Nor was it yesterday.
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!
Post-its are nice.
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
Because today was password reset day and within an hour I was swearing at my computer.
I have never related to something more.
And finally, this:
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! 🙂

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.
(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.

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.

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:

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.


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.”


“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.

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!!



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?


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.



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.

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.)


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.

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.



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. 

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.

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.

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.



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…


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. 

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

It’s funny how some things just work out. 

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!


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.


The Road To 5K: The Prelude

The Road To 5K: Day 1 


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.


Like seriously, what bullshit.


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?!!

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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 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 “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 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. 

Canada comedy entertainment funny humor

Learning to Drive, the Calgarian Way

Photo by:

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!

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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.’


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.’



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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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!

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:



It’s Mario.


I mean seriously!


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!

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.


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!)

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

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


Awesome, here he is then:


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.




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.”




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.




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!


Canada comedy entertainment funny humor

Adults playing Monopoly (Game Night No. 3)

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 (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 (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?

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.


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!!


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:


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.

comedy funny humor Photography

I made my first EVER pumpkin….

After a false start last week in which we bought a pumpkin, then it became soft and we had to buy a new, The Canadian One finally managed to get around to teaching me the ways of the pumpkin.

The Start of the Pumpkin
The Start of the Pumpkin


Making the first cut
Making the first cut

Louie comes to see what was going on
Louie comes to see what was going on




Making my first EVER pumpkin cut!
Making my first EVER pumpkin cut!

Louie's still curious
Louie’s still curious







Cat Week funny humor

This week, last year, was CAT WEEK!!!

Does anyone else remember cat week? This week, last year, was CAT WEEK!


A week filled with all things CAT ‘cos God knows, there’s nothing the internet loves more than cats.

And David Hasselhoff.

No, I don’t get it either.

Last year, I had no cat. Now I have a cat and every day is like frikkin cat week. He’s recently learned how to sleep in the bedroom at night-time without waking me up, paws on either side of my face, licking my lip and meowing at me.

Now, when I saw recently, I mean Friday. The Friday just gone. Today is Monday.

It was weird but he’s past the face licking, hair chomping, random pouncing stage and onto the scaring the s*&t out of me stage.

The other night, I was home alone and the house was quiet. I walked into the bathroom and felt something caress my hand. I screamed and then turned to see Louie, sitting on the edge of the sink in the darkness, reaching out a paw to touch me.

Argh! Anyway, here he is doin‘ his cat stuff:

Playing with his favorite toy, the printer. He'll run from the other side of the house when he hears it!
Playing with his favorite toy, the printer. He’ll run from the other side of the house when he hears it!

Getting in on The Canadian One's birthday celebration. One popped. It was HILARIOUS!
Getting in on The Canadian One’s birthday celebration. One popped. It was HILARIOUS!

Hiding in the shopping
Hiding in the shopping

Inspecting the bathtub after a shower. His daily routine. Sometimes he comes in the shower with me. It's weird.
Inspecting the bathtub after a shower. His daily routine. Sometimes he comes in the shower with me. It’s weird.

Balancing above my head
Balancing above my head

Helping me write a novel
Helping me write a novel

Most Saturdays,  I get up before The Canadian One, open the bedroom door to let the cat in while I go make a smoothie and watch Castle and The Mentalist. When I come back, I’m always faced with this:

Morning One

Morning Two

We put a collar on him once...just once....
We put a collar on him once…just once….

He sleeps like a person and snores. Loudly.

IMG_9228 IMG_9099 IMG_8862

Doing what he does best...Sleep
Doing what he does best … sleep

Canada comedy entertainment humor

It’s here…The Snow…It’s finally here…


So I wake up this morning to this text from a friend from work:

‘Did you look outside yet??’

I had not, although given that she had texted me I had assumed that my iPhone app was not incorrect and it had indeed snowed last night. Having spent some of my still-in-bed-yet-awake morning listening to the cat meowing loudly at the window for several minutes in sporadic bursts for about an hour, I had come to the conclusion that he’d spotted a fly / bird / fluff / a person walking half a mile away and was wanting freedom to give chase.

I was wrong.

I had also thought when my friend text me that it was just going to be a little snow. A small smattering of flakes here and there causing a fluffy white yet still specks of green visible on the ground.

I was wrong.


My response to the text was immediate:


I’d been obsessing about the snow coming for  a few weeks. In the form of ‘Winter is Coming‘ terror, it’s been almost three weeks since I busted out my hat and gloves to start wearing daily. When people were wearing flip-flops on the train, I was next to them in my fluffy Costco coat, blue hat and gloves. One day my supervisor at work told me it’d been snowing near where he lives, but I didn’t believe him. The Canadian One came home from band practice one afternoon to proclaim it was snowing, but I could see no evidence of such in the outside world.

I returned to waiting. Checking the weather each day at work. No snow. Hot weather. I began to wonder about the Chinooks, those mystical winds everyone told me about before I moved to Calgary.

‘Oh, you’re moving to Calgary? You’ll be fine, they have Chinooks.’ – said EVERY. CANADIAN. I. MET. IN. KOREA.

Was I in a big Chinook? Was this a Chinook?

Me: “How hot is it during Chinooks?”

Girl who sits next to me: “People wear t-shirts.”

Me: “Would I wear a t-shirt?”

Girl: “You’d probably take off your coat.”

People were wearing t-shirts and shorts on Thursday, I thought. Maybe it was exaggerated. Maybe there was no snow in October.

And then it happened.

The snow came.

Does anyone remember EXACTLY seven months ago (plus a day) when we moved here and it snowed and it was The Most Snow I’d Ever Seen?! This is almost the same amount of snow.

I posted a picture of this morning’s snow on Facebook and immediately got:

‘Oh no Jenny, your greatest fear realised.’ – My Irish Friend in Korea (the one with the Leprechaun baby!)

BUT alas, The Canadian One returned from Wal-Mart and announced that a) we needed to get our driver’s licenses and b) it’s not that cold outside and we should go outside and play. Quickly followed by him asking several times if I was sure I wanted to go outside and yes, I do need to wear gloves.

Before we ventured into the outside world
Before we ventured into the outside world, Louie’s obsession with paper alive and well in the background

IMG_9309 IMG_9311 IMG_9312

We made a snowman!
We made a snowman!



We introduce Louie to the snow...he hates it!
We introduce Louie to the snow…he hates it!

Also this week, I survived my first six months at work (celebrating the six-month-mark with breaking a federal law), discovered Louie likes pom-poms and pipe cleaners, Nenshi is still mayor, I learned why one should never ever, not ever, not even once in their lifetime make caramel apples in the slow cooker and I decided no Nanowrimo for me this year. Well, maybe….

Any advice for an Irish girl’s first winter in Canada? Someone’s already suggested vodka…It’s top of the list of survival tactics so far!

Canada Cooking entertainment food humor random

My First Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Background
Thanksgiving Background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So all week I’ve been battling a probably-not-pink-eye-but-definitely-some-kind-of-eye-infection in both eyes. Well, it started in one eye and then spread to the other. The girl who sits next to me at work had an eye infection and the girl on the other side of me threw up in the middle of the work day so really, there was no hope for me. After four days of pondering and wearing glasses (I hate wearing glasses), I relented and went to the pharmacy while The Canadian One was in the ER…different story, he’s fine. The pharmacist told me ‘it’s not pink eye but it’s some kinda infection so we’ll treat it like pink eye’.

Which in a roundabout way brings me to last Sunday, My First Canadian Thanksgiving. I’d spent most of my day Freezer Cooking while The Canadian One was at band practice.

photo (52)

In the evening, we headed off to dinner at The Canadian One’s co-worker’s house for a glorious Thanksgiving dinner. We met his co-worker’s lovely wife, fluffy dog (no seriously, I say fluffy but  what I actually mean is more-fluffy-than-anything-I’ve-ever-seen), his parents, his aunts, his uncle, his cousins and his adorable grandmother. This was the first time I’d met any of these people and opted to remember how they were related to each other as opposite to remembering their actual names.

His grandmother: “It’s easy to remember my name, everyone just calls me grandma.”

I’d spent some time googling Thanksgiving and learning what is traditional and what is not. Sitting down at the table after two glasses of wine with my mason jar of water, I surveyed the colorful table with glee. There was everything I’d read about online. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy the color of apples (I didn’t understand it, our gravy in Ireland is brown but meh, it tasted great) and cranberry sauce. The sweet potatoes were mashed in a square dish with melted marshmallows on top and had a sugary taste. There was a small debate over calling them yams or sweet potatoes and I realized that a ‘yam’ and a ‘sweet potato’ are the same thing. Earlier in the day, I’d sent The Canadian One to Safeway with a list for my day’s Freezer Cooking bonanza and he came back with a yam and not a sweet potato. I’d made fun of him. I’d always though sweet potatoes were purple. Yams are white. Eggs here are white too. Canada’s weird.

Moving on.

The best part of the dinner was the pie and drinking water from mason jars. I’ll come back to the mason jar thing in a moment, lemme tell you about the pie. It was pumpkin pie. And ohhhh it was glorious. Soft and delicious, without an overabundance of ‘pumpkinness‘. I‘ve not have much experience with pumpkin. I’ve never carved a pumpkin. We don’t eat pumpkin at home. The only pie I’d ever eaten is apple (and blueberry, but that was only recently and because I’d baked it).

The stuffing is also worth an honorary mention. I maintain my grandmother made The Best Stuffing In The World, and I would bet you my cat that everyone else in the world thinks the same thing about their own grandmother’s stuffing, but this stuffing was pretty good too.

English: My own file, freely available
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On to the mason jars, living in Ireland, England and South Korea, I’d never come across a mason jar in my lifetime up until this summer in Wal-Mart. I saw all these jars in a crate for $10 (or something like that) and made The Canadian One buy them and carry them home. Throughout the summer I’ve been using them to store dry ingredients and random coins for the laundry machine. Some Splenda here, some baking soda there, a bunch of quarters in one jar, a couple of dollar coins in the other. Since my discovery of drinking from a mason jar, I’ve been using them as cocktail shakers, which seems like a natural progression from drinking water. My drink of choice: Lime Vodka: three shots of vodka, three shots of lime juice, a few ice cubes and fill the rest of the jar with water (about three more shotfuls), shake, shake, shake and pour into a small glass with ice. You should get three drinks out of it. In theory. I got two as the second time I went back to the fridge to pour my drink, I just stuck the straw in the mason jar and abandoned my glass.

On Monday, I had my second Thanksgiving dinner. I’m told it’s a usual thing to have two, one on the Sunday and one on the Monday. We hit up The Canadian One’s childhood-friends-we-lived-with-when-we-first-moved-here’s house to enjoy the second turkey coma of the weekend. I regaled stories from my first Thanksgiving the day before and asked if certain things were typically ‘Canadian’. There was no comparison between Sunday and Monday’s dinners. Both were unique and full of new and unusual yumminess. Monday’s featured a stuffing made from what looked like bread rolls of some kind (you know what, I’ll ask and report back), a pink beetroot and carrot side dish, purple cabbage, garlic mashed potatoes that were creamy and delicious with delicate hints of garlic as opposite to an overpowering taste I had expected when told they were garlic flavored, and a wonderful oh-my-god baked acorn squash with sugar and butter (only butter for The Canadian One).

Acorn squash
I Acorn squash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best part of the dinner was the acorn squash and the second pumpkin pie in 24 hours. This pumpkin pie was slightly different this time with a pecan topping and a slightly sweeter taste. I slid off as pecans are one of those nuts that remind me of beondegi (silkworm pupae, a popular snack in Korea I was once forced to try while out drinking with my friend’s not-a-date friend, his father and his father’s business associates…that in itself is a story for another day) and I just can’t eat them. By ‘can’t’, I mean ‘won’t’.

And the acorn squash. It was sugary like a dessert but eaten for dinner. Like. A. Dessert. But. Dinner.

As far as I know, it was just sugar, butter and squash baked in the oven. Maybe when I’m asking about the stuffing, I’ll ask about that too.

Just for you.

Also, as an add-on, I had my reservations about eating the beetroot. Lemme tell you why: a few months ago, I ate beetroot at a French dinner in South Korea (!) for the first time in five years and the following day my pee turned pink. I thought I was dying. That this was death. In the form of pink pee. To make a long story short, beetroot makes your pee pink. And vitamin B tablets make your pee bright day-glow yellow. And an antibiotic I was on once made my pee green. No s%*t, frikkin’ green!

Moving on.


Moving on for real.

Anyone else do anything interesting last weekend? What did you eat for Thanksgiving dinner? And what do you do with your mason jars?!

UPDATE 10/21: So, I got a text regarding the stuffing and the acorn squash. I was correct, the stuffing was made with sour dough bread (and kale…I did not guess kale) and the acorn squash is all butter and sugar goodness. Recipe: Half squash, bake for 40 minutes at 400F, add butter and brown sugar (or no sugar if you’re The Canadian One) and pop back into the oven until melted.

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I saw this…

I saw this during the week and thought OMG, magic! Well, not magic…but…no, no, I was right…It’s MAGIC!! If you own this / created this / are the person in the photo, get in touch, we’ll link you up!

photo (50)

Magic, right?!!


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Toy Story Vs The Walking Dead

Well, that’s a title I never thought I’d write…especially since I don’t actually watch The Walking Dead BUT The Canadian One does and I feel like I know enough about it to string together the storyline. The dude from Teachers is married to the chick from Prison Break, there are zombies and an annoying small kid named Carl. And a prison. And a governor. And zombies. And guns. And zombies. Right? His name is Carl, right? That’s the only name I know from that show. Unless Rick is Andrew Lincoln’s character’s name. I could be making that up though and I’m too lazy to Goolge. I’m sure someone will hit up the comments to correct / congratulate me.

Anywoo, I saw this and thought of you guys on this fine, sunny, apparently-last-day-of-warm-weather-here-in-Calgary, day.

walking dead v toy story

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Watch Out For The Hedgehog: Chapter Five – On Grammar

hedgehog (4)

A serialistion of the popular Quote Friday book: Watch Out For The Hedgehog, four years of hilarious kids’ quotes from the ESL elementary school classroom in South Korea.

Chapter Five: On Grammar

While reviewing the present continuous, I point to a girl sitting at her desk.

Me: “What is she doing?”

Kid 1: “She is living.”

Kid 2: “Amy, look at teacher.”

Amy looks at me.

Kid 2: “She is looking at you!”


While teaching the present continuous, we were playing charades. As an example I acted out ‘dancing’:

Me: “What am I doing?”

Kid: “You are annoying.”


Me: “What’s the difference between ‘this’ and ‘that’?”

Kid: “One has an ‘s’…so spelling.”


Me: “What do you use a blender for?”

Kid 1: “Milkshake.”

Kid 2: “Strawberries.”

Kid 3: “Oh teacher, hamster!!!”

Me: “What?”

Kid 3: “Seriously, my neighbor. Hamster. Maaaaany blood teacher.”


Me: “OK, give me an example sentence of what scares you.”

Little Boy: “Women scare me.”


While teaching: ‘If you combine….you will get….’:

Kid: “If you combine blood and cheese, you will get strange food.”


While teaching ‘…is important for…’:

Kid’s example: “A badge is important for saving your life.”

Me: “Um….what?”

Kid: “If you are in a gun fight and you have a star badge, it can save your life.”

Followed by a demonstration of how if a bullet hits a badge, it can bounce off and not hurt you.

Long pause.

Me: “OK, I’ll allow it…but ONLY if you’re in a gun fight.”


While teaching the word ‘bother’:

Me: “Give me an example sentence using bother.”

Kid: “Teacher, you bother me by teaching me English.”



Kid: “What does ‘my tiny nipples went to France’ mean?”

While teaching: ‘If I could do anything tomorrow, I would _________ ‘:

My example sentence: “If I could do anything tomorrow, I would fly to the moon.”

Long pause.

Kid puts his hand up.

Kid: “But teacher, there’s swine flu.”


During a fill in the blanks question in the book:

Me: “I _____________ like my mother….What’s the answer? I….”


Me: “Um….no…Try again…”

Kid: “No…wait…look….I look like my mother!”

Keep in mind; we’d been studying ‘look like’ for about a week!


While teaching ‘be good at..’:

Me: “What are you good at?”

Naughtiest (but smartest) kid in my class: “I’m good at making teacher angry.”

Girl: “I’m good at sleeping.”

Third Kid: “I’m good at doing this.” (he puts his head on the desk and looks bored…)


While teaching ‘escape plan’ in relation to fire safety:

Me: “What’s the escape plan for here?”

Kid 1:”Go out door, turn right, go down stairs, turn left, go outside.”

Me: “Good. And what’s the escape plan for your apartment?”

Kid 2: “I live on floor 21. I will just die.”


Me: “What can you do?”

Kid 1: “I can make CO2!”

Kid 2: “I can fix a TV. I can hit it!”


Me: “Give me a sentence with ‘trip’ in it.”

Kid 1: “Fell down, trip, same.”

Me: “No, a sentence.”

Kid 2: “Fell down is the same as trip.”


Kid 2: “It’s a sentence!”


While learning ‘I used to’ with my grade fours:

Boy 1: “I used to hate math. Now, I like math.”

Me: “Really?”

Boy 2 sitting in front of him turns around, raises his eyebrows and stares at him skeptically…then shakes his head slowly.

Boy 1: “Yes, really.”

Me: “Ok, next?”

Boy 2: “I used to don’t like computer games. Now, I like computer games.”

Boy 1 jumps from his seat, pointing at Boy 2.

Boy 1: “LYING!!!! Him all the time like computer games. Lying, Teacher!”


I show my students a picture of earmuffs.

Me: “What is it?”

Kid 1: “Headphones…no…no wait a minute.”

Kid 2: “I don’t know.”

I write ‘earmuffs’ on the board.

Kid 3: “Earmuffins?”

Me: “Earmuffs.”

ALL: “Earmuffs.”

Kid 2: “Earsmurfs!!”

Me: “No no, earMUFFS.”

Kid 1: “Earsmurfs!!”

Me: “No, no…”

Kid 2: “I don’t like Smurfs. They’re blue and skin like a snail. And no clothes, Teacher. No clothes. Only hat and pants. Where do they poop???!! I don’t like them.”

Me: “Noooo, but they’re cute.”

Kid 2: “They are not cute. They are horrible. No clothes. I like Gargamel. He usually wears clothes.”

Kid 3: “I like his cat.”

Me: “Me too!”

Kid 2: “Teacher, it is disgusting. They have no clothes.”

Kid 1: “I like Pororo.”

Me: “He’s a penguin. He has no clothes.”

Kid 2: “But that’s OK. He’s cute. And when he take off his glasses and then, he’s more cute.”

Kid 3: “Earsmurfs!!”

Me: “EarMUFFS!!”

Kid 3: “Teacher, if you move ‘s’, it’s earsmuffs.”

Me: “What about the ‘r’?”

Kid 3: “No ‘r’.”

Me: “They’re SmuRfs not SMUFFS.”

Kid 3: “No, Smuffs.”

Me: “SMURFS!!”

Kid 3: “You’re wrong!”

Me: “I AM NOT! Everybody, EARMUFFS.”



While teaching, “I am……because I…….”:

Kid: “I am amazing because I learned earsmurfs!”

Me: “What the….NO!!!”


Me: “Who can make a sentence with ‘how much’ in it?”

Little boy (pointing at little girl next to him): “How much is it?”


Kid: “I no understand.”

I look at the book.

Me: “OK, so do you go walking?”

Kid: “Yes.”

Me: “Does your friend go walking?”

Kid YELLS across entire classroom: “LUCAS DO YOU GO WALKING???!!”

Lucas: “Yes.”

Kid (to me): “Yes.”


While studying ‘like’:

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

Kid 1: “My mom likes money.”

Kid 2: “My mom doesn’t like dad.”


During a tick-the-boxes worksheet:

CD: ‘It’s warm in spring’

Choices a) A snowy picture or b) A spring picture.

Me: “What’s the answer?”

Kid 1: “B.”

Me: “And what’s the sentence?”


Kid 2: “IT’S B.”

I look at him.

Kid 2: “It’s a sentence!”


Two little boys are practicing sentences together.

Kid 1: “He goes go camping.”

Kid 2: “NO!”

Kid 1: “He goes go camping.”

Kid 2: “NOOOO!”

Kid 1: “It says!!! He goes go camping.”


Kid 1: “He goes…camping?”

Kid 2 exhales.


Me, while doing a unit on ‘should get’: “What should I get my brother for his birthday?”

Kid: “A girlfriend.”


While doing finish the sentence: ‘If I could do anything, I would…’

Kid: “Stay home.”


While teaching, ‘I wish I could…’:

Kid 1: “I wish I could fly a helicopter.”

Kid 2: “You no fly a helicopter! It’s dangerous!! You…ahhhhhhhh…”

Kid 3, lying on his desk: “I wish I could go home!!”


While telling me three things their partner would do:

Kid: “If she could do anything, she would hit Helen.”

Helen, the kid sitting in front of him turns around and stares at him.

Kid: “Really.”

Me: “What ELSE does your partner want to do?”

Kid: “If she could do anything, she would hit me.”

His partner nods.

Me: “And the third thing?”

Kid: “Only those two.”


Me: “What’s ‘I’ll never forget’ mean?”

Kid: “My head will never erase.”


While explaining ‘move away.’

Me: “Like if you moved from Seoul to Busan.”

Kid: “It’s 10 kilometers.”

Me: “No…No, it’s not.”

Kid: “Yes!”

Me: “No. It’s 87 kilometers to Cheonan.”

Kid: “No…really?”

Me: “Yeah, I lived there. I know how far it is.”

Kid: “10 kilometers to Busan.”

Me: “No.”

Kid: “No, by airplane.”

Me: “That…no, it’s still the same distance. Even by airplane.”


While teaching ‘I’m not __________ yet’:

Kid: “I’m not psycho yet.”


Watch Out For The Hedgehog, out now at Smashwords (for 50% off at Smashwords, use coupon code ‘HX78J’)Amazon Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

For more, check out:

Chapter One: On Love and Relationships

Chapter Two: On Historical Events

Chapter Three: On World Geography

Chapter Four: On Vocabulary 

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Ten Things About Living In Canada

People often ask me ‘what it’s like to move to Canada?’ and ‘is is any different to Ireland?’ and to them I respond with ‘yes, it is very different but it’s also very similar.’

The thing about moving to Korea was I expected things to be different. It’s a different language, different culture, different food, different hierarchy and social structure but with Canada, I had expected it to be pretty much the same as Ireland. Only colder, obviously. And with more snow. A lot more snow. I cannot stress enough how much snow I think we’re going to get. It’s like all the snow in the world…you know, I’ll stop there, there’s a high chance this post may just turn into you witnessing me freak out about the snow.

Moving on.

Some of the differences I have discovered so far:

English: 3 ring binder (opened)
English: 3 ring binder (opened) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Three Ring Binders

Why does it need three rings? In Ireland we have two. And our hole punching devices are smaller. Here they’re ginormous and heavy and expensive.

2. Cars Not Trying To Kill Me

This isn’t so much an Irish thing as a Korean thing but the cars stop here. Lemme tell you a story, my first two weeks here, I never went anywhere without The Canadian One. Then we both got jobs, but his started the week before mine. On his first day at work, I decided to venture to the local Sobeys in search of food. I came to a crossing that had two small turning lanes. To describe it in more detail for those who are thinking, ‘what?!’, there was a tiny turning road, small island of pavement, main road, small island of pavement and then another tiny turning road.

I stood and waited by the first tiny turning road for the lights to change for me to cross. A car slowed down. I didn’t cross. He kept driving. Another slowed then drove on, then another, then another and still I didn’t cross. I noticed all the cars were backing up into a small traffic jam when one of the guys in a pick-up truck rolls down his window and yells out: “Why don’t you cross now? Go on.”

He stopped and I crossed.

I didn’t realize the cars just stop for me all by themselves without any light situation happening.

Also, while we’re talking about the lights, a red hand and a white man are confusing.


English: Pisum sativum var. macrocarpum (snow ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. The Language

For some reason, at work, people just don’t understand my name sometimes:

Me: “Hi, thank you for calling ***, my name is Jenny, how can I help you?”

Woman: “TENISHA?!”

Me: “No, Jenny.”

Woman: “Denny?!”

Me: “Jenny.”

Woman: “Oh…”


Me: “Thank you for calling ***. My name is Jenny, how can I help?”

Man: “Hello Sandy.”


Woman: “What’s your name? Debbie?”

Me: “Jenny.”

Woman: “Debbie?”

Me: “Jenny.”

Woman: “Debbie?”

Me: “JENNY!”

Woman: “I had a friend named Debbie.”

Me: “…That’s nice…”


There also differences in words I use versus words Canadians use:

Me: “We need clingfilm.”

The Canadian One: “What?”

Me: “Clingfilm. Like…it’s…you know, the plastic stuff, we put it on food, it sticks…clingfilm!!”

Him: “Ohhhh, Saran Wrap.”

Me: “That’s stupid. Mine makes more sense.”


Me, while discussing vegetables with The Canadian One: “You know we don’t call snow peas snow peas in Ireland. We call them mangetout.”

Him: “What?!”


There are others, like:

Black Sacks v Garbage Bags

Crazy Golf v Mini Golf

A Dollar v A Loonie

Two Dollars v A Toonie

ANY Fizzy Drink – Pop

Calgary v Cowtown

Beanie v Toque (I just flat out refuse to say that…)

Two Creams, Two Sugars at Tim Hortons v Double Double

Bathroom v Washroom

Zed v Zee

Police v Mountie (but not ALL police are called Mounties, just the actual Mounties, all the others are just called the police…)

Petrol v Gas

Ladybird v Ladybug

Me: “Louie is hunting a ladybird!”

The Canadian One: “You mean a ladybug? Was that a mistake or do you really call it that?”

Me: “It’s a ladybird!”

The Canadian One: “Ours makes more sense.”

Electricity v Hydro (this one took me a while to figure out but I managed to avoid asking anyone, I just kinda got it from context)

Canadian Revenue Agency was another one I didn’t get.

Lady: “I’d like to pay my CRA bill.”

Me: “I don’t know what that is. What’s CRA?”

Lady: “Like, my taxes.”


Me :”Ohhh, I’m not Canadian, sorry, I didn’t know what that was.”

Lady: “Ohhhh, I would be like the IRS in America.”

Me: “I’m not American.”

Lady: “Well, I’m sure they have something like that where you’re from.”

And then she went on to explain in more detail about the CRA. I didn’t have the heart to tell her in Ireland we don’t submit our taxes like they do here. It’s a whole new concept for me. I once had the British government send me a cheque to Ireland for $12 because they owed me tax. I had no idea. In Ireland and the UK, it’s automatic. We don’t touch it. It’s all done for us. Here, well, here I’m gonna have to hire someone cos really, I just have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not even sure when the tax year ends!

A Cisco 7960G IP telephone
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. The Phone Number Situation

When I first started work, three weeks after getting to Canada, I didn’t realize that to call out of my own city, I needed to dial long distance. Neither, it turns out, did my trainer realize it would be important to teach me this information.

Me, while trying to dial a number on the screen: “How do you dial not Calgary?”

My Trainer: “Dial 9.”

Me: “I know but how do I dial the number?”

Her: “You press 9 then the number.”

Me: “No, not Calgary.”

My Trainer looks confused.

Me: “How do I dial this number? 416?”

Her: “You dial 9 then 1 then the number…”

She pauses.

Her: “OOhhhhh yeah, you’re not from Canada. For long distance, you dial 1…sorry! I forget you’re not from here!”


I read out a number to a customer. After I hang up the phone, my trainer comes up to me.

Her, really awkwardly: “In Canada or North America rather, when we read out a phone number, we usually read it 3 numbers, 3 then 4. To sound more Canadian…you…should read it out like that.”


Me, later to The Canadian One: “Do Canadian’s really read out numbers 3-3-4?”

Him: “Yes. Why, how were you reading it out?”

Me: “In blocks of two.”


Blank map of Ireland
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. Some People Have No Idea Where I’m From

Woman: “You don’t sound like you’re from PEI.”

Me: “No, I’m Irish.”


Me: “From Ireland.”


Me: “The country.”


Me: “I’m from Ireland.”

Girl: “Oh, Texas?”

Me: “…No…”


6. The Obsession with Tim Hortons

I don’t get it. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

7. People Are Really Nice

I’d heard, before moving here, that people were really nice in Canada. Really friendly and open. When I got here and realised that was true, I immediately became suspicious that the nice people were secretly out to get me. So far so good but I’m still on-guard.

8. People On Public Transport Are Weird All Around The World

train station
(Photo credit: nolifebeforecoffee)

It doesn’t matter where I’ve been to, what mode of transportation I’m on, or what language anyone is speaking, there will always be at least one person on every train/plane/bus that is just plain freaky.

Like the Korean man that does yoga on my train in the mornings.

The Vietnamese man that gets on and yells at other commuters for the full three stops it takes for him to get to his destination. Every. Day.

The woman who sat near me, opened a can of spaghetti (and not a pull-ring type either), pulled out a metal fork and ate it all.

The man who sat opposite me while he and his wife shared a yogurt with their fingers and then threw the empty carton on the floor.

A man who sat next to a guy in front of me with a hot dog and told him how much he liked his (the other passenger’s) hot dog.

The guy who sat in front of me, turned in his seat and stared directly at me for the entire 10 minute train ride.

The time The Canadian One had to get off the train and fill in a witness statement about a punch-up he witnessed between a group of kids and an old man who started on them.

9. Complaining

I find I’m more willing to complain a lot more to companies about their behavior here. Maybe it’s because I expect more of a customer service experience from them or maybe it’s because they just don’t do what they say they will and when I know I’m right I make sure I tell them!

For example, last week, I read that if we bought 100 Aviva Strips for The Canadian One’s diabetic monitor, we’d get 150 Airmile points and a free monitor…and I would in turn be able to use those points to claim my free year’s subscription to Reader’s Digest, my ultimate goal.

Off he went with his Airmiles card, Safeway card and shopping list.

He returns with 21 Airmiles, no monitor and 100 Aviva Strips.

The following day, I send him back down to show them the flyer and claim our points.

They tell him he needs to BUY the monitor AND the strips to get the points.

BUY the monitor?

BUY the FREE monitor?!

I called their customer service HQ after failing to come to an agreement with the store’s customer service.

Customer service HQ called the store, then called me back to tell me it was on a different brand. I responded with “No no, that is also a promotion. MY promotion I’M referring to is underneath that promotion on the same page.” The guy called the store again then called me back to tell me I was correct and I’ve to go back down to the store and claim my free monitor and 150 points.

Off The Canadian One went and back he came triumphant with 161 Airmile points and a free monitor.

Other examples of companies that annoyed me:

Brita – who sent me a $10 voucher as the Brita jug we bought was faulty and kept spilling water everywhere.

P&G – who sent me a free razor and other assorted goodies after my experience of buying a faulty razor from them that I couldn’t return to the store.

10. Points Cards mean Free Sh*t

English: I, Myke Waddy took this photo, Edmont...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Korea, they love love LOVE their points cards but they’re all in Korean and we couldn’t take advantage of them. Here, however, I’m all over this points card situation. I collect Airmiles, Starbucks stars, Plum Rewards, Shopper’s Optimum points, Sobey’s points, whatever it is that Safeway have a card for and Scene points. I like free stuff and Canada is the LAND of free stuff.

As a side note, The Canadian One says my job is also all about free stuff and is kinda like a Kindergarten. We get Ice Cream Days when we have bad weeks, they give us free coffee throughout the day (a new initiative), points when were are good that we can use to buy things with from a catalogue (The Canadian One tells me it’s akin to giving stars to young children), we have things like Pizza Friday or BBQ Day, we go on field trips to mini golf and get prizes for just showing up (a $25 gift card for a mall!) and there’s a person who dresses as a fluffy bear and hands out gifts each month.

Ok, when you look at it like that, he may be correct…but I still stand by my ‘cling film’ word. As The Canadian One says, sometimes words in British English are just more literal…and make a lot more sense.

The Canadian One, having proofread this article: “A punch-up? Is that a fight? You should add that to your list too.”

funny humor kids quotes South Korea

Watch Out For The Hedgehog – Chapter Four: On Vocabulary

hedgehog (4)

A serialistion of the popular Quote Friday book: Watch Out For The Hedgehog, four years of hilarious kids’ quotes from the ESL elementary school classroom in South Korea.

Chapter Four: On Vocabulary

Almost every day, the kids learn six new vocabulary words. In the next class, we usually review them.

Me: “What’s different about ‘church’ and ‘Buddhist temple’?”

Kid: “Temple they have shiny heads.”


Me: “What’s ‘back to life’?”

Kid: “Zombies.”

Me: “No, zombies are dead.”

Kid: “Teacher, they have an onion allergy!”


Me: “What are eyebrows?”

Kid: “People’s eye fur.”


Me: “What’s a zookeeper?”

Kid: “The keeper of the zoo.”


One of my classrooms has the electrical box in it and recently a timer has been fitted to it. Walked into class to see all my students crowded around it, staring.

Kid: “What’s that?”

Me: “It’s a timer. It goes to a certain time and then the lights go out.”

Kid: “Like a bomb?”

Me: “No, it just shuts off the electricity.”

Kid: “Like a bomb.”

Me: “No, it’s a timer.”

50 minutes later: Kid: “Teacher, the bomb says class is over.”


Me: “Give me a sentence with ‘require’ in it.”

Kid: “Teacher, in a love letter, man writes to woman, I require you.”


Me: “Give me an example sentence with ‘suddenly’ in it.”

Kid: “Suddenly I died.”


Me: “What lives in the sea?”

Kid: “A corrupt official.”


I asked my class what is ‘dark’. One student stood up, all excited and proceeded to explain the word dark using very animated hand gestures and random English words. He made no sense but I could tell he knew what it meant. His friend calmly raised his hand. I looked at him and he leaned over to the light switch next to him, knocked off the light…and then looked at his friend.


Me: “What’s shiny?”

Kid 1: “Diamonds.”

Kid 2: “Ring.”

Kid 3: “Silver.”

Kid 4: “Gold.”

Kid 5: “IRONMAN!!!”


Me: “What do you call a child with no parents?”

Kid: “Irish?”

Me: “Um…no. I’m Irish.”

Kid: “No, Colin’s Irish.” (The other foreign teacher at the school)

Me: “No, I’m Irish too.”

Kid stares and shakes his head.


Me, to my 7 year olds: “What’s the sun?”

Kid: “It’s the yellow ball in the sky that heats the earth”


While teaching the smartest two kids, both 12, in the school in an extra class.

Me: “What kind of things does a designer design?”

AT THE SAME TIME: Boy: “Dresses.” Girl: “Cars!”

Me: “Huh, I woulda thought it’d be the other way around.”

Girl, while laughing: “Yes, I should say dresses and he should say cars.”


Me: “What’s a chef?”

Kid: “The restaurant king.”


BEST definition of sheep from my student:

Kid: “It’s like a cotton bug….”


Kid: “Baaaaaaaaa.”

And then he drew a picture for me.


Me: “Give me a sentence with ‘create’ in it.”

8-year-old kid: “My mother created me.”


Me: “What is ‘soup’?”

8-year-old kid: “Andy Warhol likes soup.”


Me: “What’s a ‘tail’?”

Kid: “A dog’s antenna.”


During the Thierry Henry cheating in the World Cup qualifying playoffs scandal:

Me: “What is ‘cunning’?”

Kid, without missing a beat: “Henry.”


Me: “Name something that holds over a liter of liquid.”

Kid: “A person.”

Me: “What? Liquid.”

Kid: “Their blood.” – my seven-year-old student during a math class.


Me: “Give me a sentence with ‘hide’ in it.”

Kid: “I hide my panties.”


Me: “Give me a sentence with ’empty’ in it.”

Kid: “My head empty.”

And then he stares at the wall looking stoned for a minute.


Me: “What’s ‘addition’?”

Kid: “Add…plus i-t-i-o-n.”

Me: “No.”

Kid: “IT’S TRUE!!”

Me: “Well, yes, but not the answer I want.”

Kid: “Give me a point please.”

Me: “No!”


Me: “What does ‘adult’ mean?”

Kid 1: “Butterfly.”

Kid 2: “Wing.”

Kid 3: “Blue.”

Me: “Ummm, no. I’m an adult.”

Kid 1: “Ohhh, old.”

Me: “What?”

Kid 2: “Young, very very young….can I have a point?”


Me: “What’s a campfire?”

Kid: “Ou ou, teacher, people drink the many alcohol and do the crazy singing.”


Me, teaching the word ‘sew’: “Sew.”

Kid 1: “Teacher, movie, Sew…”

Me: “Ummm…you mean Saw?”

Kid 2: “Yes teacher, Jigsaw, very cute, little red paint on face, very cute.”


Me: “What’s a ‘buffalo’?”

Kid: “We eat them. At Outback. Buffalo wings. Very delicious.”


Me: “What has four pairs of wheels?”

Kid: “A transformer.”


Having just learned the word ‘tasty’ little boy points at little girl next to him and says: “You are not tasty.”


Me: “What’s a ‘broom’?”

Kid: “A small car.”

Me: “What? No.”

Kid: “YES!! Small car, broom-broom!”


Me: “What’s a word starting with ‘f’?”

Kid: “F**k.”


Me: “Well, yes, but I can’t write that down on the board…Next?”


Me: “What’s a ‘bouquet’?”

Kid: “When a man and woman love, they wedding and woman throw bouquet at her friends and one friend will catch and the next year friend will wedding.”

Me: “Um…yes, or it’s a bunch of flowers.”


Me: “What’s a ‘principal’?”

Kid: “School king.”

Me: “Right, so do you like your principal?”

Kid: “No.”

Me: “Why not?”

Kid: “He has a shiny head.”

Me: “You mean he has no hair?”

Kid: “Yes, and his head, shiny!!”


Me: “What is ‘run-down’?”

Kid: “It’s when you run and fall down. Runnnnnnn…..then downnnnnn. Run down.”

This was accompanied by him acting out his fingers running and falling off the desk. Totally not the right answer but an amusing two minutes of class anyway!


While reviewing community jobs (police officer/firefighter/etc):

Me: “Who do we ask for help if we are lost?”

Kid: “Car navigation.”


Me: “Name a community job. A job that helps the community.”

Kid: “Hof house master!!!”


Me: “A barman.”


Me: “What floats on water?”

Kid 1: “Juice!”

Me: “Ummm, no….actually I don’t know…but I’m gonna say no. Anything else?”

Kid 2: “Poseidon!!”

Me: “The ship?”

Kid 2: “No, king of the sea!!!”

Me: “I don’t think he floats.”

Kid 2: “HE’S THE KING!!”


Studying the environment:

Me: “What’s ‘glass’?”

Kid 1: “A wine bottle!”

Me: “OK, what’s metal?”

Same kid: “Terminator!”

Kid 2: “A transformer!!!”

Kid 3: “That thing from Alien.”

Me: “Ok, I’ll also accept ‘a car'”

Whole class: “Oohhhhhhhh yeah!”


We’re studying town buildings / places.

Me: “What’s a ‘post office’?”

Little Girl: “Love letter!”

Me: “OK, what’s a ‘park’? ”

Little Girl: “Couples walk!”


Me: “What’s ‘rent’?”


Me: “OK, for example, Chris, I will rent your pencil for this class for $2.”

Chris: (shaking his head and moving the pencil away from the edge of his desk) “No.”

Me: “No, no, I won’t keep the pencil. I’ll give you $2 and I’ll borrow your pencil for one class.”

Chris: “No, give me $5.”


Me: “Name something yellow.”

Kid: “A color.”


I draw a mitten on the board.

Me: “What’s this?”

Little Girl: “A hand jacket.”


While doing listen and repeat:

Me: “Wound.”

Class: “Wound.”

Me: “Bleeding.”

Class: “Bleeding.”

Me: “Sawdust.”

Class: “Sawdust!”

I drop the open-topped board marker. It bounces off my skirt and lands on the floor.

Me: “Oh shi…” (and I stop before I finish the swear word)

Class: “Ocean!”

Me: “Ummm…”


Me: “Name something blue.”

Kid: “Blue paint.”


I draw a feather on the board.

Kid: “Ou, koala candy!!”

I point at the feather.

Me: “That’s a feather.”

I draw a leaf.

Me: “That’s a leaf.”

Kid shakes his head.

Kid: “Same.”


Kid: “What is it?”

Me: “A hoodie.”

Kid: “Why?”

Me: “Why is it called a hoodie? Because it has a hood, I guess.”

Kid: “No, really why??”

Me: “I think that’s why.”

Kid: “Ask Google!”


Me: “What’s made of glass?”

Kid: “A smartphone screen.”


Me: “What’s the difference between a library and a bookstore?”

Kid: “The name.”


Me: “Name an actor.”

Kid: “Megamind.”


I taught a movie scriptwriting class to some teenage Italian students one year during summer school. While working on their scripts, one of the boys asked:

Kid: “Teacher, Viagra in English is what?”

Me: “Viagra.”

Kid: “Ahhh, good. How do you spell?”

Me: “Why?”

Kid: “My story, baby eat the Viagra and become ninja and kill people.”


Me: “V-I-A-G-R-A.”


Kid: “How do you spell transsexual?”

Unfortunately this conversation took place in the Teacher’s Room later:

Me: “Transsexual has just one ‘s’, right?”

Other Teacher: “No, two, why?”

Me: “Dammit!”

Other Teacher: “You spelled it wrong, didn’t you? You know the rules, teach it wrong, you gotta reteach it the next class!”


Kid, in response to what happens next in the soap opera picture: “I think priest make girl pregnant and she….um….what’s….no baby….um….oh, abortion!”


Me (teaching them the word ‘fancy’): “Fancy.”

All: “FANCY.”

One little boy: “Teacher! Alex say PANTIE!!!”


Me: “What’s ‘grass’?”

Kid: “If you have the many money and the big house, you have many grass.”


Me: “What’s a baby frog called?”

Kid: “A snake!”


Me: “What’s an animal doctor called?”

Kid: “A vacation…no….wait….”


Me: “What’s a vegetable?”

Little boy: “I don’t like vegetables.”

Little boy next to him: “I don’t like YOU.”


Me: “What’s ‘skipping’?”

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.”


Me: “Do you have a pet?”

Kid: “No. My friend have hamster but it die. It live on veranda and cold and die.”

Sad but really, all I could think was, ‘how do you know the word veranda?!!’


Me: “What can you do in winter?”

Kid 1: “Ohhhh ummmmm teacher….ummmm….it….snow….and ummm….ohhhhhhh play……….snow……..SNOW SURVIVOR!!!”

Kid 2: (looking at her friend) “Snowfight.”


While teaching hobbies:

Me: “What would you like to collect?”

Kid: “Money.”


While trying to help another kid spell ‘quiet’, the kid writes a ‘p’ on the board.

Kid 2: “No, NO!! Q!!! Q!!!! No P!!! Q….it’s P’s friend!!”


I draw a fat person and a thin person on the board.



From a written task, describing her friend: ‘She likes brutal.’

Me: “She likes brutal? What?”

Kid mimes killing and stabbing.

Me: “Oh, violence….v-i-o-l-e-n-c-e.”


Kid: “My school teacher called me…um….Goguma….It’s potato’s brother.”

Me: “Goguma? That’s a sweet potato. Your school teacher called you a sweet potato?!”

Kid: “He said I am sweet potato!”

Me: “Why?”

Kid: “I DON’T KNOW!!”


Kid 1: “Teacher, how do spell crocodile?”

Me: “C-R-O-C-O-D-I-L-E.”

Kid 2: “SLOWLY!!!!!”

Kid 1: “C-R-O-C-O-D-I-L-E!!”


My grade two student and I have communication issues.

Kid: “Zebra spelling?”

Me: “Zed-E-B-R-A.”

Kid looks at me for a moment.

Kid: “Zed? Like Zee? Same?”

Me: “Yes.”


Kid 1: “How do you spell crab?”

Me: “Crab?”

Kid 1: “No, crab.”

Me: “Crab?” (doing an impression of a crab)

Kid 1: “NO, CRAB!!!”

Me: “Crab???”

Kid 2 looks over at Kid 1′s book.

Kid 2: “Giraffe.”

Kid 1: “Oh, yes, giraffe. How do you spell giraffe?”

5 minutes later:

Kid 1: “How do you spell crab?”

Me: “Crab?” (doing the same impression of a crab)

Kid 1: “Yes.”


Kid: “Is b-boy a job?”


Me: “Name a job.”

Kid: “Mayor!!”


Kid: “How do you spell TV?”



Me: “What makes you relaxed?” (question in the book)

Kid: “Studying English makes me relaxed.”

Me: “Really?…”

Kid: “Yes, it’s very fun.”


Me: “What’s an adult?”

Kid: “A big human.”


I draw a window on the board.

Kid: “Ou, Denmark!”


Me: “What’s a mystery?”

Kid: “How to make a baby.”


Me: “Who made the pyramids?”

Kid: “Aliens. Aliens built pyramids.”


After explaining to my grade ones what ‘son’ means.

One little boy: “I have a son.”

Me: “No, you don’t.”

Boy: “YES, I DO!”

And then he mimics rocking a baby.


While explaining what ‘shelf’ is to my grade ones, a kid starts shaking his head.

Kid 1: “No. No no no.”

Kid 2: “Yes.”

Kid 1: “No!”

They hold a brief discussion in Korean with the first little kid pointing at my scarf and yelling, “JENNY TEACHER, LOOK!!” at the other kid.

Kid 2: “NO! SCARF!!!”

Kid 1 looks at me.

Me: “He’s right, this is a scarf.”


I’m explaining ‘roll over’ to my students. They all nod.

One smart-alec little kid: “I can’t understand…Do.”


Me: “What’s a vegetable?”

Kid: “Obama.” (and he KNOWS what a ‘vegetable’ is)


Me: “What’s a desert?”

Kid: “The sand land!!!”


Me: “What’s a pyramid?”

Kid: “Egypt king die house.”


On the day it was reported that the rain contained radioactive materials and you shouldn’t touch it.

Kid: “Teacher teacher, water, rain, touch, me die.”

Me: “Um, no.”

Kid: “REALLY?!! I die!!”


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 thrown 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 ‘back to life’?”

Kid 1: “A ghost?”

Me: “No.”

Kid 2: “Dead…then no dead.”

Me: “YES!”

Kid 3: “Zombie.”

Me: “OK.”

Kid 4: “Jesus.”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid 1: “Jesus was a zombie!!”

Me: “No…well, maybe.”

Kid 1: “Yes teacher, Jesus was a zombie!”

Me: “Fine, but …don’t tell your mommy I said that!”


Me: “What’s ‘proud’?”

Kid 1: “Prize.”

Kid 2: “Prize?”

Kid 1: “Prize. Yes.”

Kid 2: “Chicken?”

Kid 1: “What?”

Kid 2: “Fried chicken?”

Kid 1: “No, no FRIED, PRIZE.”


Me: “What’s ‘hungry’?”

Kid: “Stomach…grrrrrrr.”


Kid: “Teacher, volcano is…”

Looong pause.

Kid: “…fire water?”

Me: “Yes.”


Me: “What’s a sheep?”

Kid: “Lambs grow.”


Me: “What’s ‘dry’?”

Kid: “A grape.”


Me: “What’s ‘patient’?”

Kid 1: “Many blood.”

Me: “No.”


Me: “It’s like if you’re at a bus stop and you wait and wait and wait and you don’t get angry.”

Kid 2: “Ah, disabled.”

Me: “No…”


Me: “What’s ‘healthy’?”

A kid jumps from his seat and does a dramatic reenactment of drowning and lies down dead on the floor. I peer over the desk at him and he jumps back up to his feet.

Kid: “Help me! Help me!”


Me: “Healthy.”

Kid: “Oh…no”


Kid 1: “What’s ‘surfing’?”

Kid 2: “Surfing. On the beach.”

Kid 3: “NOOOOOO!” (makes typing motion with her fingers) “Da da da da chick chick chick, the Internet.”


Me: “What are ‘twins’?”

Little boy stands up and makes a motion to signal being fat. He then points to either side of his stomach.

Kid: “Mommy…two…”


Me: “What smells bad?”

Kid: “Alcohol.”

Me: “OK.”

Kid: “But not beer. Other…”

Me: “Soju?”

Kid: “Yes.”


Kid: “Teacher…bad word? As*hole? Bad word yes?”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid: “Son of a b*tch?”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid: “OK good.”


Me: “What’s ‘terrible’?”

Kid 1: “War.”

Kid 2: “Die.”

Kid 3: “Kill.”

Kid 4: “Kim Jong-Un.”

Kid 5: “Rain….wet….”

Watch Out For The Hedgehog, out now at Smashwords (for 50% off at Smashwords, use coupon code ‘HX78J’), Amazon Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Just as a side note, vocabulary, grammar and spelling aren’t really my forte. Ohhhhh the irony! To avoid potentially embarrassing, ‘hey you spelled that incorrectly’ emails, I tried Grammarly’s plagiarism checker free of charge because I’ve learned just because I say something out loud and it sounds both correct and original, doesn’t actually mean it is. It’s always nice to have another pair of ‘eyes’ look over things for you.

Don’t miss next week’s: Chapter Five: On Grammar

For more, check out:

Chapter One: On Love and Relationships

Chapter Two: On Historical Events

Chapter Three: On World Geography

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Watch Out For The Hedgehog – Chapter Three: On World Geography

hedgehog (4)
A serialistion of the popular Quote Friday book: Watch Out For The Hedgehog, four years of hilarious kids’ quotes from the ESL elementary school classroom in South Korea.

Chapter Three: On World Geography

Me: “What’s your favorite country?”

Kid: “USA.”

Me: “Why?”

Kid: “It’s very big and the economy is strong.”

Me: “I don’t think that’s true.”

Kid: “It is!!”


Me: “Where’s London Zoo?”

Kid 1: “Jeju-do.”

Kid 2: “France.”

Kid 3: “Ou teacher, teacher, Mexico!!”

Me: “England.”

Kid 1: “No.”


Me: “What’s America famous for?”

Kid 1: “Terrorists.”

Me: “No.”

Kid 2: “Big people.”

Me: “No.”

Kid 3: “New York.”

Kid 2: “No.”


The same month of the volcano erupting in Iceland, I started at a new school.

Student: “Teacher, what state in America are you from?”

Me: “I’m not American.”

Kid 1: “I don’t understand.”

Me: “I’m not American.”

Kid 1: “You’re not American?!!”

Me: “I’m from Ireland.”

Kid 2, whispering: “The fire island.”

Me: “That’s Iceland.”


Me: “So, why do tourists come to Korea?”

Kid 1: “I don’t know teacher, why did you come to Korea?”

Me: “No, I’m not a tourist. I came to teach English.”

Kid 1: “Tourists teach English?”

Me: “No, what do tourists do?”

Kid 2: “Speak English.”

Me: “Let’s start over….”


Me: “OK, so what do you know about Finland?”

Kid: “Xylitol is made there.”

Me: “OK.”

Kid: “Yeah, true, it is a white tree…look, I draw a picture.” He draws a tree. “See?”

Me: “OK.”

Kid: “I’m not lying, Teacher, it’s true.”

Me: “I believe you.”


Me: “Name a country in Africa.”

Kid: “South America.”


Me: “Name a state in America.”

Kid: “Loveland.”

Me: “What? Loveland?”

Kid: “Yes, it’s a state.”

Me: “No it’s not!”

Kid: “Yes, teacher, my mother and my father go to Loveland and give birth to my brother.”


Me: “Your mother and your father went to Loveland in America and had your brother?”

Kid: “Yes…it’s a state.”

I literally couldn’t teach for five minutes I was laughing so much!


Me: “When is a strong current good?”

Kid: “Ou teacher, it can give our African friends water!!”

Me: “…?”


After I pronounce “either” ahy-ther not ee-ther while reading:

Kid: “In Ireland, it’s ahy-ther?”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid: “Same spelling?”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid: “Same meaning?”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid: “But say differently?”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid: “Like wa-ter and wa-der?”

Me: “Yes.”

Loooong pause.

Other kid, shaking his head: “Irish is strange!”


Kid: “Teacher, if North Korea attacks, you will go home, yes?”


Kid: “Teacher, your country has no money. They say to IMF give me money please. Beg. Give me money please!”


I show my students a picture of a small, country American school.

Kid: “Oh my God, it’s an ant school!!”


Kids all have their books open on the wrong page.

Kids: “Teacher, loooooooook, IRELAND!!!”

I look. It’s a page all about Ireland.

Kid: “Teacher, it’s you!!”

Me: “Oh, yeah!”

Kid: “Teacher, boy’s name is Kevin?” (reading the story)

Me: “Eh, yeah, his name is Kevin. Why?”

Kid: “My boyfriend’s English name is Kevin.” (She’s 8)

Later: We listen to the CD reading of the story by an Irish boy with a thick Irish accent.

Entire Class: “WHAT?! WHAT?!! I NO UNDERSTAND!!!”

Me: “Yeah, I’ll just read it to you instead!”


Me: “Do you know the United Kingdom?”

Kid 1: “Yes, it’s the same as Lego Kingdom.”

Me: “Not exactly.”

Kid 2: “Oh, a king and queen!! And a wall.”


Me: “OK, where am I from?”

Kid 1: “Canada.”

Me: “No!”

Kid 2: “England!”

Kid 3: “Ireland!”

Me: “Yes!! OK, now where is Ireland?”

Kid 1: “Asia!”

Me: “This is Asia!”

Kid 2: “North America!!!”

Me: “North America??!!”

Kid 3: “Europe!!!” (puts his head on the desk!)


Kid, (who failed his test) counting the pages left in the book: “Eight pages.”

Me: “Yes.”

Kid: “Teacher, where you live?”

Me: “You mean where do I live in Korea or where is my home?”

Kid: “Your home.”

Me: “Ireland.”

Kid: “In eight pages, you go to Ireland?”

Me: “No. In eight pages, we get a new book.”

Kid: “Oh….”


Kid 1: “Teacher, why are you smiling?”

Me: “I’m happy.”

Kid 1: “Why are you happy?”

Me: “Because after this class, I go home.”

Kid 2: “To Canada?”

Me: “I’m not from Canada.”

Kid 2: “Oh Iceland?”

Kid 3: “IRELAND. Teacher live IRELAND!!”

Me: “Yes, I do, but I meant my home here. I’m not going back to Ireland after school.”


In my Grade 3 class, I have a Grade 1 student who’s too advanced to be in any other class. She attended my Grade 2 classes when she was in Kindergarten.

Grade 1 little girl: “Teacher, my new name is Erica.”

Grade 3 little girl: “Like America????”


I’m talking to one of my more advanced kids in class a little quicker than I speak to the other kids because she understands me.

Kid next to her: “Teacher, you speaking Netherlands??!”


Me: “What country do you live in?”

Kid: “Japan!”

Me: “NO!! This is Korea!!”

Kid next to her, pointing at her: “Japan spy!!!”


Me: “Where am I from?”

Kid: “Mexico!”

Entire class stares at her.

Other kid, slowly to the first kid: “Ireland.”


Kid: “I go to Canada. I see the Canada famous food. I eat the Canada famous food. I step on maple leaves.”

Me: “Have you been to Canada?”

Kid: “No.”


Me: “Where’s London?”

Kid: “New York City.”


Me: “Where’s San Francisco?”

Kid, looks at map: “Russia?”


Me: “Name a country.”

Kid puts up his hand, puts down his hand. Puts up his hand. Puts down his hand. Puts up his hand and nods.

Me: “Yes?”

Him: “KOREA!!”


Me: “Do you know Denmark?”

Kid: “Yes, elephants.”

Me: “Elephants?”

Kid: “Yes….Africa?”

Watch Out For The Hedgehog, out now at Smashwords (for 50% off at Smashwords, use coupon code ‘HX78J’), Amazon Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

For more, check out: 

Chapter One: On Love and Relationships

Chapter Two: On Historical Events

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Louie Vrs The Box

So, The Canadian One sends me this video while I’m at work:

Then later, sitting around at dinner, this happens:

Me, looking at Louie: “We should give him a box.”

Him: “He won’t get in a box.”

Me: “Let’s give him the Cheerios box!”

We empty out the box of Cheerios we just bought on Sunday and toss the box on the floor.

Within two seconds:

photo (48)

Him: “Oh my God, he’s in the box!!!”

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‘Dude, Telus friended me on Twitter…’

Working in customer service at a contact center, I know how frustrating it can be to suddenly get a customer on the line that was a) pi**ed off to begin with, b) would rather be doing anything else that call you and c) is NOW pi**ed off that they just hate to wait 10 minutes in a queue to speak to you. So imagine how delighted I was when, having played a game of ping pong with The Canadian One when we needed call Telus earlier today, neither of us had much success.

The basics of my issue was, they wrote to us telling us we should switch over to paperless billing to receive a $5 credit to our account. That very day, I switched and then waited. I got my Enmax bill, my Bell bill, The Canadian One’s Bell bill and our credit card bills but no Telus.

Until today.

Today I got my Telus bill dated August 16th and due August 18th.

Now, I work at the bank, I know it takes 2-3 business days to post a bill to an account and payment via credit card will trigger a cash advance fee. It’s Friday. August 18th is Sunday.

Also, where was my $5 credit?

Now, my issues with Telus stem back to when we first arrived in Canada four months ago when I called them for information and they convinced us to sign up to a three year deal to get a free TV to save ourselves ‘buying a new TV’. We agreed. A free TV is always better than no TV and we signed up.

They came. They installed. They said our TV would arrive in six weeks.

Soooooo we had cable but no TV….o.O…YEP….

Now, they proved themselves very helpful in this instance so I assumed they’d be just as helpful this time if they answered their phones!

Tonight, I came home, heated up my stew and sat down to wait for Telus to answer their phone.

In the midst of listening to bad pop songs blaring through the speakerphone of the iPhone, I was batting back and forth with Chris of 2KoB on Twitter when I decided to write a Twitter rant…and got a reply…:

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 21.00.15

THEN I finally got through to a super helpful agent who helped me set up a pre-authorized debit, sort the issue of the late bill arrival and had a general happiness about him for someone working a Friday night.

Among the things said in the conversation:

Me: “Telus are writing to me on Twitter! How did they find me?!!”


Me: “In the letter it says I’d get $2 if I signed up for e-billing. Where’s my $2?”

Him, laughing: “Actually it’s $5.”

Me: “Really?!”


Me: “Where’s my $5?!!”

Lol! He laughed and promised me my $5.

Then I posted this:

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 21.01.07

And then I got this:

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 21.01.20

I guess we’re friends now.

At my work, we get candy and reward point if we get customer commendations, I hope the dude I talked to gets candy and rewards!

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Watch Out For The Hedgehog – Chapter Two: On Historical Events

hedgehog (4)

A serialistion of the popular Quote Friday book: Watch Out For The Hedgehog, four years of hilarious kids’ quotes from the ESL elementary school classroom in South Korea. 

Chapter Two: On Historical Events

Me: “What was the first thing Neil Armstrong said when he stepped onto the moon?”

Kid: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”


Me: “No.”


From American History class:

Me: “Does anyone know what the Sioux Indians did?”

Kid: “Yes, they ate the Pilgrims.”


Me: “Why did the Pilgrims go to America?”

Kid: “To have dinner.”


Me: “Why did the Pilgrims leave England?”

Kid 1: “To find delicious freedom.”

Me: “Ummmm…..”

Kid 1: “No….religious freedom.”

Me: “Yes.”

Later: Another kid mishears ‘Pilgrims’ as ‘Penguins’, bursts into laughter.

Kid 2: “Teacher, the penguins left England to find delicious freedom!!!”


Me: “Who knows about the Mayflower? It brought the Pilgrims, the English people, to America where they met the American Indians and had the first ever Thanksgiving dinner.”

Kid: “Yes teacher, and the next day the Pilgrims killed all the Indians.”


Me: “I don’t think it was the NEXT day…”


Kid 1: “What’s the chicken’s friend called?”

Me: “A turkey?”

Kid 1: “No no, that’s a movie.”

Me: “It’s a country.”

Kid 1: “No no, teacher, a movie.”

Kid screams, mimics killing people with a knife and laughs manically with a creepy grin on his face.

Me: “Oh wait, Chuckie?”

Kid 1: “YES!”

Me: “Yes, Chuckie is a movie. Turkey you can eat.”

Kid 2: “Ah, yes, it’s a bird, in the oven, long time, it’s nice.”


While teaching history on Monday:

Me: “OK so way way way back in time they had no electricity and no lights and no running water, no TV. When do you think way back in time was?”

Kid: “Wednesday!”


Me: “OK, so we live in the olden days and we have no cars and no trains and no planes. How do I get around?”

Kid 1: “Walking.”

Kid 2: “Horse and carriage.”

Me: “Excellent. So I’m in Seoul. Where can I go in a horse and carriage?”

Kid 3: “Mexico!”

Me: “From Seoul?!”

Kid 3: “Yes.”

Me: “But why??”

Kid 3: “It’s fun.”

Kid 4: “Oh, it take a long time!”

Watch Out For The Hedgehog, out now at Smashwords (for 50% off at Smashwords, use coupon code ‘HX78J’), Amazon , Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

For more, check out: 

Chapter One: On Love and Relationships

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How To Write With A Kitten


So, four months ago we moved to Canadaland from Seoul and, almost two months ago, we added to our family in the form of a very small, astronomically fluffy, likes-to-steal-and-eat-people’s-croissants Kijiji kitten. And oh, how my life has changed. I’m now the girl who sneaks ninja-like down the hallway so as not to alert the cat to my awoken presence in the middle of the night. I can’t leave food for more than five seconds without it being commandeered by Captain Louie and everything I own has been reclassified as a ‘toy’.

As for writing, there’s one very important thing you need to remember about writing with a kitten in the house:

You can’t. You won’t. You can try but you won’t success.

At all.

And here’s why:

Cats. Don’t. Care.

They don’t care that you want to write or that you want to watch TV or lie on the couch. They don’t notice that you would love to sleep in longer than 6am in the morning on a Sunday or eat dinner without the background of constant meowing becoming the new white noise in your apartment.

And most of all, they don’t care when you want to write. This article took far longer to write than it should have. Why?



So far this morning, Louie (my five month old kitten) and I played the Ping-Pong game of sit on laptop, get picked up and placed on floor, jump on laptop, get placed on the floor, try to eat laptop, get placed on floor and around and around we went until he spotted a piece fluff that held his interest for more than five seconds.

In his first few days of living with us, he was afraid of everything.

Those pretty little jingle balls cats love?

Terrified of them.

Feather-on-a-stick toy?

Scampers from the room like it was the end of the world.

A tiny ant on the floor?

Don’t even get me started.

And the bathtub?


Wet Cat

To be fair, look at what we did to him. If that’s not a ‘you wait til I grow up I will kill you in your sleep’ look, I dunno what is.

Being thrown onto the bed doesn’t suit him either. Check out his best WTF look he constantly gives me:


What’s he NOT scared of? I hear you ask.

The water bottle. The lamps. My handbag. The printer. He could be anywhere in the apartment, doing anything and as soon as the printer whirrs to life, he’s next to it examining it like it’s a crime scene. Oh, and the screen door, his obsession with the screen door is growing by the day. Here he is doing his daily impression of Spiderman:


He’s also gotten pretty nifty at hide-and-seek:


As for cooking…well, it’s a little hard when he insists on doing this in the middle of the kitchen:


And he cries. Oh my goodness, has he nailed the crying malarkey. At the beginning he was so quiet, I though there was something wrong with him. Now, like a two-year-old who’s discovered the word ‘no’, he’s learned can cry and wants to practice as much as possible. I can’t pee without a scratching on the door followed by a high-pitched whine. At night, he screams so loudly, you’d swear he was being stabbed right there in the comfort of our living room.

Don’t get me wrong, when he sleeps, he sleeps. And sleeps. And sleeps. One minute he’s playing, the next he’s out, but don’t start thinking when they sleep it’s easier to write.

It’s not.

It’s just more challenging.