Tuesday, September 30, 2008


"Swift" Chalet

The Squeeze and I were driving home from Hooterville after visiting the kids and my father and we were really getting our hunger on. The original plan was to get back in time to do our grocery shopping, but that didn't happen. Since we didn't have much in the house to eat, we coasted on to the nearby Swiss Chalet drive-through for some chicken to go.

Let me just say that you always get screwed at the drive-through window. If it's Tim Horton's, you wind up with a burnt, deformed or "substituted" cookie or burnt coffee or watery hot chocolate. At McDonald's, you drive off only to realize they didn't give you the ketchup you asked for. There are, however, eight packets of salt, so that's pretty close.

But back to Swiss Chalet. I drove up to the mic, was told to hang on for a second, and eventually began to place our order. Two 1/4 chicken and shrimp dinners, one dark meat, one white meat, both with rice, and one order of fries and an extra chalet dipping sauce.

$25.15 was the total, so I paid the young guy at the window and while we waited I read our bill and realized that he rang in two soup and sandwich meals instead of the 1/4 chicken and shrimp dinners. Who would order two soup and sandwich meals for dinner? That's more of a lunch thing to me. I flagged him down and told him of the error. He yelled at the kitchen guys to scrap the order and told them what we actually wanted. He then called for someone else to help him with the register to figure out how to cancel the wrong order and enter the new one. Naturally there was going to be a difference in price.

I heard them discussing that the new price was $29.67, and my freakish math brain kicked in and gave me the difference of $4.52. I reached into my pocket and had the exact amount in my hand while the two guys at the till were pulling out calculators and cell phones to punch in the numbers and come up with the difference. Our guy finally announced to us that we still owe $4.52, and I dropped the money into his hand. He turned back to his till to count out what I had given him so he could make change, and the startled look on his face when he realized I had handed him the exact amount, made me think that he had seen a ghost. He turned to me with a stunned look, cracked a smile and gave a chuckle. Not sure if it was a "how did you know?" or a "damn, you're good!" response.

So there we were at the drive-through window, still waiting for our food as two other cars now waited in line behind us. At this point, about 10 minutes had elapsed since we placed our order. A woman who seemed to be a supervisor came to the window to announce that they had run out of rice, and asked us if fries would be ok. Sure. Why not? So now we were getting two dinners with fries and an order of fries to go with that. I was tempted to cancel the extra order of fries, but I was really hoping to get home to eat that night, so I didn't bother.

The supervisor came back to the window to apologize for the long delay and told us she would give us a discount on the meal for the inconvenience. Sounded good to me. She came back a moment later, realizing that we had already paid, and offered us our choice of desserts instead. We each asked for a caramel chocolate cheesecake, and a few moments later our order was ready and we were on our way.

When we arrived at home we fed Stella and sat down to our meals and complimentary desserts. By the time we were done, I was feeling quite full. That dessert just crossed the line. I should have had the soup and sandwich.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Another meme...Why not?

My favorite age: 19...oh, the angst!

My best friend: The Squeeze.

My celebrity crush: Don't think I really have one.

My defining characteristic: Good sense of humour (or so I'm told).

My most evil moment: Wow...Grade 8...Catholic school...caught chewing gum...ordered to weed the nuns' garden...keyed their car (just a little).

My favorite food: I can't say no to chocolate.

My grossest injury: Not visually gross, but I broke my back in high school while tobogganing (nun karma?).

My biggest hatred: Slow drivers in the passing lane.

My most illegal activity: DUI (years and years ago), liberating music files.

My need for justice: Abusers of children and animals.

My most knowledgeable field: 80's music and pop culture.

My life's goal: To not be living in a cardboard box under a bridge.

My mother's influence: Love, Family, Kindness.

My nerdiest point: Playing sax in the high school band and having to wear the red velvet vest and big bow tie.

My oldest memory: I have a snapshot in my mind of me at about age 2 wearing a red velvet vest red overalls, and dancing as my sister and her friends were listening to 45's on the portable record player in the living room.

My perfect date: A leisurely walk through Niagara-On-The-Lake, a picnic in the park, and snuggling at home afterward...that's how I got The Squeeze.

My unanswered question: Why are the right-wing religious fundamentalists the most hate-filled people?

My random fact: I have a touch of OCD that forces me to see if words/titles/names/sentences are divisible by 3. (the preceding sentence was! whew...now my house won't burn down.)

My stupidest decision: "Moving" to BC in the late 80's...it lasted about 3 days.

My favorite television show: The Office.

My style of underwear: Boring briefs. Anything smaller would disappear.

My favorite vegetable: asparagus.

My weakest trait: envy...greed...sloth...I'm sure there are 3 or 4 others.

My X-men power: I've never seen the X-men, so I don't know what my options are, but I'll take a guess at invisibility. Admit it, you can't see me right now! OK, how about a great sense of hearing?

My strongest yearning: drop 100 pounds or so.

My moment of Zen: Holding Brynn when she was a baby, giving her a bottle and having her hold my pinkie with her whole hand. Best. Moment. Ever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Rude Awakening

The Squeeze was up at the crack of 6:00 this morning. He took the puppy out for a pee and let me stay in bed a bit longer. At 6:45 the phone rang. What the hell? The Squeeze came in with the phone. "It's the alarm company. Your store alarm went off."

I was told by the alarm company that the alarm went off, someone was in the store that did not have a password and that the police have been dispatched. "Did they give you a name?" I asked. They gave me the name. It was my superintendent. "Call off the cops!" I hate those false alarm fees.

While I was on with the alarm company, the super tried calling me. I called her back, the alarm was still blaring in the background. It appears I failed to inform her that we switched alarm companies last month. My bad.

As it turns out, the water heater in their apartment directly above my shop broke and was spewing water through their place. They had just installed new hardwood floors up there. I'd be pissed. At any rate, water, as we all know, has a bad habit of running downhill. "It's leaked down into your place and your whole table in back is covered in water.

OH! MY! GOD! Yesterday a customer dropped off an antique map to be framed and due to the size of it, I was not able to put it into a folder. I left it on the main table out back. I was also half-way through framing a wedding invitation for a client that needs to be done for the wedding this weekend. I felt like throwing up as I made my way to the store.

Thank god it wasn't leaking on the main table! It was the side table that got soaked. There was still damage. The walls are bulging from the water, a collage of war medals had their mat destroyed. Luckily the photos weren't destroyed. I had a few pictures of my own that were on that table waiting to be framed. They should dry out alright. There was also a stack of prints belonging to a local politician that had been left here about a year and a half ago. They were going to call us whenever they needed one framed. They never called, and there they sat. Believe it or not, I called their office yesterday to let them know we still have these things here and they keep getting moved back and forth because we have no room to store them. Watch them show up today for them.

A number of banker's boxes filled with our files got soaked, so we're waiting for the papers and folders to dry out. I've already picked up new boxes to put them in. The store smells like wet wood and cardboard and I can't open the doors to air the place out because Stella will run outside. I've got the A/C running to try to get the humidity out of here.

I'm ready for bed.

Friday, September 05, 2008


The Screamer

Yesterday the Business Partner and I were at work and our accountant's assistant was scheduled to drop in to do some bookwork for us. I was on the grassy area across the parking lot from our store letting Stella have a pee when I saw the bookkeeper enter the store. I walked back in, praised Stella for being a good girl, and as she always does, she sat while I took off her leash. What a good girl...yes she is. Yes she is!

Stella, always the social butterfly, walked over to the bookkeeper to greet her with a sniff at her feet. The bookkeeper let out a strange shreik that made me think Stella had licked her toes and tickled her (she has a thing for licking feet).

"Oh, is she licking you?" I asked.
Again she screamed. "I'm terrified of dogs!"
"Really?" I asked, incredulously as I scooped Stella up.

The bookkeeper apologized several times for the outburst and for the fact that we had to keep Stella barracaded in the back of the shop while she was working here.

I understand that people have irrational fears, but there is just something funny about this woman in her late 20's or early 30's, freaking out over an 11 week old puppy. It was also very difficult for me to think of her as a mature, competent professional after witnessing her outburst.

Would it have been out of line for me to suggest hypnotherapy to overcome this fear?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008



I can't believe I haven't thrown up a post (wow, I bet THAT would hurt!) in nearly two months.

What the hell have I been up to?

Well, I've been spending my days at work, my evenings working around the house, weekends running around, visiting kids, visiting my father, attending family functions, and for the past few weeks every waking moment has been spent keeping an eye on Stella, my little Boston Terrier pup.

Stella came into our lives somewhat unexpectedly. Although The Squeeze and I had long planned to get a Boston Terrier, and we had the name picked forever, the time was never right. (Translation: $1500 for a dog? Are you crazy!?) Well, lo and behold, I saw an ad in the local paper at the end of July. "Boston Terrier pups for sale $650.00"

Tempting. Very tempting. But I put the thought out of my mind. The next week, there was another ad. "Boston Terrier pups. Two females left. $350 firm." I called The Squeeze. "Call them" he said. So I did. That night, August 8th, we took the short drive to see the two pups, and we picked our little girl from the two remaining. They were both spoken for, it's just that whoever got there first got their pick of the litter, as it were. Had the other not been claimed, it would have broken my heart not to get both.

I have the luxury, owning my own business, to bring her to work with me. Luckily, the Business Partner has fallen in love with her too, not to mention all the customers who just can't get enough of her and the other business owners in the plaza who keep coming in to visit her. The Squeeze and I have finally met all of our neighbours in the complex after two years. It's funny how when you walk a little puppy down the lane way, everyone comes out to introduce themselves and get a few minutes of tongue time with the pup. Umm...the dog's tongue, not the neighbours'...that would be just too weird.

Needless to say, what with trying to get her housebroken, I haven't been exactly getting a whole lot of work done here. There have been two times where customers have been in, taking waaaaaaay too much time to make up their minds than is necessary, where Stella gets up from her nap and winds up peeing on the floor. Not her fault. I'm pretty on top of things when there's nobody else here. She goes out several times a day, and quite often just flops on her back and soaks up the sun. Sometimes it's hard for her to empty what needs to be emptied because people keep coming up to her to pet her and play with her, and she forgets what she was about to do.

We're also doing crate training, which she's been great with once we realized that it's best to keep the crate in the bedroom with us. Those first two nights when she was in the living room were hell. All is well now. She begins puppy class on Friday, so that should be fun. Eight weeks later we should have a perfect dog. Pfft...ya, right.

We just spent the last week up north and we brought Stella along with us. She had a blast as all dogs tend to do when they spend their days sleeping, eating, playing in the sand and water and farting. Oh, that's right. Bostons are notorious for their flatulence. Ohhhh...speak of the devil. Damn it! How can something so sweet and cute be so foul smelling?

The cottage was fun. The worst part was getting up in the middle of the night to take her out to pee. This cottage is in the middle of nowhere, with no electricity. That means when it is night, it is black. I mean, can't see in front of your face black. The Squeeze and I made an agreement that we would both get up with her so we could have one of us hold a flashlight and check for bears or wolves, and the other keep an eye on Stella. It's so much easier at home where there are streetlights...and no bears or wolves.

On the trip back home from the cottage Saturday afternoon, The Squeeze and I had a bit of a vehicular breakdown. Electrical problem, it turned out, but we were faced with the very real possibility that we would be stranded for three days in a small Northern Ontario town until the shops re-opened on Tuesday after the holiday Monday. Luckily, Canadian Tire (aka Crappy Tire) managed to resolve the issue and sent us on our way, only a couple of hours behind schedule. I'm getting Honda to look at the car before this weekend's trip away.

Once I get a chance to sneak away from Stella, I will upload some pictures from my camera onto the computer so I can post some (hopefully) amazing shots from the cottage, as well as some new pictures of the quickly growing puppy.

For now, I leave you with this one which was taken the night we brought the little girl home. Oh crap, this is where all my spacing gets screwed up. Sorry about that.

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