Shiny, Pretty Office

Yup, too busy to do much more than post pictures lately – but that’s a good thing! Having told myself to get off my ass and actually go do things instead of saying “huh, I should really check out that new underground theatre” or “maybe there is something to this whole camping business,” and “Dammit, I missed another Farmer’s Market,” I have actually (dramatic pause…) been out doing things!

Checking out that new coffee shop instead of always going to the same place??? Done! Catching that documentary on polygamist communities and their adolecent outcasts??? Done! Getting that immigration paperwork together??? Getting there! Rekindling my love of reading and soaking up some intellectually challenging non-fiction (much of which intentionally counters my opinions?) Done like dinner! Participating in protests? Voicing more opinions? Getting more involved in my local and global community? Done and done and done!  Going to that highly publicized debate between Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens??? DONE!

Every winter it boggles my mind that another year has zoomed by without my consent, but this I can say has at least been a year of good, important, motivating life improvements.

One of which has been my working environment, which has changed drastically for the better, including the work that goes along within said environment. Setting up my glorious new office to my liking has been an exercise in awesomeness. Just now I arranged and rearranged my collection work-appropriate music. No soft-rock station for this chick! If I can’t listen to  new rock or even classic rock, then at least my bosses put up with my love for Andrea Bocelli, French film soundtracks, French-Brazillian contemporary fusion and my assortment of symphonies and operas. Imagine! Calmly steeping a tea and settling into my desk every morning to the sounds of Pachelbel instead of rushing through a disgusting kitchen to get on to the next annoyance amidst an endlessly ringing phone. Natural daylight, efficient layout, nice decorating, plants galore, and a marked lack of characters who used to make my skin crawl – now replaced by grateful, sane people who thank me for such pittances as delivering mail and keeping the kitchen tidy. I actually have time to blog at work again (shhhhhhh!) and yet am not so bored that I feel unproductive.

I even got an unexpected corporate letter last week saying “Hello – we’ve determined you deserve a raise. It’ll be on your next pay.”

Ahhhhh, perfect!

So yes, I do have a few things to do, but for now I feel like sipping my rooibos tea and posting a few photos.

The Grand Weekend Move In! It took forever to organize our hundreds of boxes and afterwards we replaced the carpet.

Fabulous reception avec new carpets and accessories. No more 1980's darkness with maroon couches or the jungle of fake plants in front of that mirror panelling. I shiver to remember...

The tres sexy boardroom with sunlight from the atrium and some crazy wallpaper that switches from striated rectangles to intertwined oblongs depending on the light. Escher would have a field day. Also wired for internet at every seat, say what???

Other side of sexy boardroom, including fancy new projector and HD tv! No more fuzzy videoconferences!

My favourite new thing: the cafe. New stainless steel appliances! Double decker dishwasher! New coffee machine! Fancy pants guest computer! And another flat screen tv with 24 hour news! Plus, nobody wants to dirty up a pretty new office, so the mess quotient has plummeted! What used to be the majority of my work is now a place I can actually relax!

The atrium below our offices. More plants, sunlight from the glass roof and a water fountain that you hear as you come and go through the front doors. Plus, once you get off the elevators you have to cross a bridge over the atrium to reach our suite, so you can walk the catwalk every morning!

Another boardroom. Smaller. Cozier. Mostly just less expensive - and NOT featuring faded wooden furniture from the 60's! Yay!

Guest Office, in case yours is messy and you need to pretend you’re this neat and tidy for that important one-on-one. Really though, *I’m* the one who’s that neat and tidy. ‘Cause it’s my job.
The business lounge, for those romantically lit private time with just you, the internet, and your spreadsheets.
Fancy pants elevators to parking! Which I don’t have to use, because the building connects to the subway. Sucks to be you, non-subway commuters! Your parking costs alone are more than my metropass! Bahahahaha!
My desk! My little cozy desk, all organized and be-planted. No more sharing space, no more clutter! No more dark little cave! I have a window and my own storage and my own stuff and a nice chair! And a nifty little mail chute! It’s mine, all mine!
So! That’s what I’ve been doing as of late, just in case you were wondering. If you have been wondering, I’m flattered, but I hope it hasn’t been keeping you up or anything – I’m not *that* interesting 😉 
Oh, and I also visited Josh twice this year. You know, business as usualy – pictures coming next!
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A Collection of Oddities

If I didn’t have a tendency and honest love of living in itty bitty spaces requiring hyper-organization and detachment from cluttering trinkets, I’d probably hang onto a lot more of the oddities I’ve stumbled upon in my days.

A couple of years ago I worked in a bubblegum factory. That isn’t relevant to anything, but people often find it amusing. Anyways, I was leaving the factory early one morning, a bit dreary after my twelve-hour shift under fluorescent lighting, weaving down the sidewalk towards the bus stop. I cursed this bus stop as I went. My downtown address had acclimatized me to instant transportation, and I was not at all thrilled to have to schlep my way out to bus-only land to work a night job. By the time I reached my stop though, I was glad to have been working overnight and not amongst the car pieces still scattered all over the road. The accident must have been early in the night because there was no sign of anyone, or even the car itself. No crime tape, no cruisers, no investigation, no nothing.

So I picked up a few of the remnants; a bolt here, a bulb there, a piece of taillight and scraps of acrylic whatnot. I cleaned them and kept them in a jar, thinking they might be good for an art project. A year later while in school for professional makeup, I glued them to a girls face for an edgy applique look – and promptly forgot to take pictures. It turned out pretty good, even though my instructor didn’t always approve of my tastes (he preferred ‘pretty’ looks) and assumed the weight of the objects would peel them right off her face before I could finish. Good thing for that surgical adhesive is all I can say.

Then there was that deformed single-serve creamer that fell out of the box as I refilled the tray in the kitchen a few months ago. It’s intact foil-sealed lid covered not a hollow pocket for liquid, but rather gave way to an odd corkscrew of plastic. Clearly churned out of the machine on the quality inspectors day off, this thing looked vaguely inappropriate in about six different inexplicable ways. Talea and I studied it, flipping it over on the desk and poking at the foil, not speaking our individual hypothesis as to its potential uses for fear that each of us had a far dirtier mind than the other suspected. Instead we settled for a rounding fifteen minutes of Beavis-and-Butthead style snickering.

It might still be at the bottom of one of her desk drawers somewhere, but if I had a trinket box it would definitely go in.

weird plastic deformed possible sex toy thing?

Uhh...wait, what?

Since work is where I spend most of my time these days, it would follow that most of the oddities I’ve discovered recently have been happened upon at the office. None have been so exciting as car pieces or possibly-sexy dairy products, but there’s been a few head-scratchers.

There was that blue sucker I found stuck to one of the picture frames, back when we had a rowdy group of hoodlums calling themselves clients wandering around and making a shit hole out of my kitchen. (It may be the corporation’s office, but I’m the one fist deep in their ungrateful dishes, that is MY goddamned kitchen.) I peeled it off, wiped the goo, and marveled at it for a bit before chucking it in the trash. Fascinating in its irreverence for common decency, and historical in that it’s probably the grossest and saliva-iest thing I’ve ever had to peel off anything (keep in mind I used to work in a daycare, and even those tots had more sense of where to keep body fluids), I still wouldn’t want to keep it in a trinket box.

Mmm...sticky.

(Couldn’t find a pic of blue lollipops, but found this from bakerella.com. I’m sure they’re delicious and not at all saliva-ey.)

Today’s discovery was surprisingly less gross despite it’s vast, VAST amounts of thankfully untapped gross potential. The only reason it remains lower than the lollipop on the yuck-scale is because it was found still in its original packaging. A relieving fact at first, but later leading me to hope that its intended wearer also remained in his original packaging, as well as untapped, at least while on the premises.

Yep, just casually wandered into the kitchen this morning, chatting it up with clients and coworkers, none of whom seemed to acknowledge the strangely commonplace yet clearly out of place object nonchalantly placed on the table. I likewise ignored it, and then quickly snatched it up as soon as the room was empty, lest other innocent passerby stumble upon it and be forced to play the same game of ‘I don’t see that, do you?’

So far nobody has brought it up or asked about it, and I’m pretty glad. Because I, like them, haven’t a clue as to where it came from. And really wouldn’t want to know.

Definitely not one for the trinket box.

Licking Pigs

I’m going to do it.

I’m going to go out there and start licking pigs, and end this madness once and for all.

This hysteria has got to stop! Upon the start of the regular flu season, at which point the delerium of the summer-of-swiney collided with the traditional early-fall panic to create a new breed of monster freak-out, the shit very subtley hit the fan at my work, and apparently less subtley everywhere else.

Without alerting the in-office clients, we were quietly told to start making hand sanitizer available everywhere. Ok, not a huge deal. We were also told to start Lysol-ing the crap out of our phones and keyboards. Oooookay, I guess one should be more cautious than usual in a public area that sees such heavy pedestrian traffic. Not my style personally, but hey, I just do what I’m told.

Then we were given alerts about symptoms, precautionary measures, emergency procedures, and brightly coloured easy-to-read mini-posters alerting us to the death that was surely waiting a sneeze away. Documents that looked more like something out of District-9 than inter-office memorandum.

Then I was handed a cleaning schedule, and that was the final straw. Cleaning is already enough of my usual 9-5 taskload, because frankly the only swiney I’m worried about around here are the pigs that leave wadded up paper towels in their slowly moulding coffee mugs in the sink. I already wipe mystery goo off walls and scrape a depressing amount of filth off counters. I’m more than aware of how to keep bacteria off my hands. So when I’m handed an anti-swiney cleaning regiment to be completed EVERY HALF AN HOUR that I soon realize takes TWENTY MINUTES to complete, my gut reaction is as follows:

a) Dear bosses: If you think I have that much spare time in the average day, what exactly have you been paying me to do up until now?

and b) No. No, no, no! I will not!

This is craziness! If you’re that concerned, hire a damn antibacterial-masked bubble-wrapped she-bot to do your bidding. I have shit to do! Like make sure about 500 calls a day get answered properly, mail for nearly 100 different companies get sorted and delivered, documents get shipped out, shipped in, signed for, bound or requested from various legal entities, make sure the kitchen is cleaned and stocked, boardrooms appropriately scheduled and tidied (and I don’t mean ‘tidy’, I mean ‘pens are placed logo-up on pad of paper at 45 degree angle as per 1000+ identical locations company-wide policy and so help you if the boss shows up and it isn’t done right’ kind of ‘tidy’.)

I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR HYSTERIA!!!!

I get it, this isn’t just the regular flu. But breeding super germs within my body by way of this ultra-sterile behaviour was not part of my job description the last time I checked. And another thing: if you really are that fearful for the lives of your clients and maybe even staff, then may I suggest you spend some of those hard earned dollars on getting us all vaccinated?

Not that I’m not suspicious of a hastily formulated, poorly distributed, side affect riddled, overly hyped innoculation. I just figure if hockey players and private school students get to jump the lines ahead of young mothers, children and the elderly waiting for hours in the cold and rain outside of under-stocked pop-up clinics, then surely my white collar, benefits-up-the-ass colleagues and I deserve preferential treatment as well. Right?

Hells no. Wash your hands, drink your vitamin C, and if you’re that concerned – go to your doctor. This is Canada; they’re backed up, hectic, but free.

come and get me, you pork punk little bastard!

“Funny Little Quirks” or: A Brief Glimpse into my Crippling Neuroses

Ever notice little things about yourself that are a bit odd? Not necessarily quite ‘strange’ or ‘unusual’, but just funny little details that help you set yourself apart from the rest of the herd on those depressing Monday mornings when you realize those cute shoes you bought are about as unique as the fake Louis Vuitton purses sported by the frumpy office moms who apparently also thought that sensible ballet flats were special and different this year?

*pause for breath*

Ugh. Nothing I love more than the constant reminder that to the average onlooker, I’m just part of the flock. I put on pants nice enough to qualify as ‘business’, avoid open toed shoes or tops that leave my shoulders bare.  But in reality, I fall into the category of apathetic gen-Y office dweller. I’m not quite the post high-school slacker just working hard enough to not get fired, uselessly pushing the dress code with black sneakers and nailpolish. I’m not the razor sharp, well dressed, killer heeled Career Woman with expensive accessories. I’m not a Frazzled Office Mom with a mismatched pantsuit and the wrong sandwich in my knockoff purse that isn’t fooling anyone. I don’ t have a kid and/or mortgage, and I’m not stuck here doing my frantic best to make it through to retirement, realizing that one day I’m going to wake up amidst sit-com reruns, wondering where my youth went.

No, I’m just paying my rent, happy enough that I usually like my job and get to work with my best friend, before secretly running away to live in the south and save up for a trailor.

This last option actually kind of terrifies me. No, no, not the trailor thing. I mean, that’s scary, but crazy exciting. No, it’s turning into a Frazzled Office Mom that scares me. Because Slacker Girl won’t be able to pay bills, but at least she’s hip and cares not for ‘the man’. Career Woman may not have her looks forever, but for now she kicks a lot of ass. But Frazzled Office Mom? There’s plenty of  ladies sporting kids and bellies and mortgages wandering around my office looking lovely and ridiculously pulled together, but somehow I don’t think I’d be able to pull this off. I’m already flying around by the seat of my pants without throwing kids and “caring about my career” in there. And I seriously do not want to turn into my cubicle dwelling mother, shouting at the kids to hurry the hell up and get in the minivan, poking my eyes with mascara at stoplights and hating every minute of it.

And so this is why my morning arrival into the elevator banks is often nothing short of a brief, dizzying bout of introspective crisis. If I see in my fellow ascenders enough terrifying glimpses into the possible future to remind me that it’s a slippery slope from ‘just paying the bills’ to ‘stuck here for life’, it makes me want to throw down my latte and run, shrieking “I’m not one of you! I just have to wear these pants!”

Unfortunately, that probably wouldn’t be a good idea since while waiting to eventually say “Screw this noise!” and run away to the wilderness, I happen to enjoy at least electricity and a roof over my head. So I wear my pants and drink my latte and remind myself that aside from my crippling neuroses, I’ve got a few other traits that, at least internally, set me apart from the herd:

– I used to have eight barbells in the back of my neck. I didn’t take them out for my job, I took them out because it turned out I’m allergic to nickle and it would have cost an assload to have them plated in titanium and put back in (see: cost of roof and electricity). I still have the jewelery though – just in case.

– I get a sick kick knowing that even when I’m pushing the ‘doors close’ button on the elevator, it looks to the rushing fat guy that I’m pressing ‘doors open.’ The elevators are lined with mirrors, perfect for displaying the vaguely frantic expression of  ‘oh, so close!’

– I value my sleep enough that I’d rather show up with wet hair, put my makeup on at work and greet my clients blotchy-faced and blurry-eyed than show up looking professional and have someone ask me for stuff before 9am.

– Somehow, my ‘desk job’ involves an awful lot of ‘moving desks.’ Not sure how that happened. In fact, my ‘white collar’ job is actually about 25% blue collar. I feel this gives me the right to scratch and burp in a manner that would otherwise be deemed inappropriate for an office environment.

– At least once a day I belch fairly loudly at Talea. She usually belches back.

– I can pretend to give a shit in four different versions of engrish.

– While Josh enjoys my occasionally sexy corporate wear, he really wishes I’d dress like Joy from ‘My Name Is Earl.’ Secretly (in that ‘I just said it on the internet’ kind of way), I think I could pull it off.

– I get ridiculously annoyed at bathroom dwellers, like that ugly chick from across the hall who stands in front of the mirrors for upwards of ten excruciating minutes, morosely adjusting her ill-fitted clothes. I hate her. Yanking on your shirt will not make it fit, get out and let me pee in private!

– I consider corner cutting to be an efficient skill worthy of honing. Sort of along the same lines of “If you ignore it long enough, it will fix itself.” I’m also of the belief that sometimes, violence is the answer – particularly in relation to the Xerox machine.

– I sent one of my superiors the so NSFW links to ‘Like a Boss’, ‘I’m on a Boat’, ‘Powerthirst’ and ‘Powerthirst2’ because I felt he was not adequately in the cool kids club. I like my bosses to know when I’m making fun of them, or at least understand the humour of being ‘uncomfortably energetic’.

– Freaking out about something completely unnecessary is a part of my balanced breakfast.

There you have it. A little bit of me, myself and my brain. I hope this has been an enlightening or at least amusing adventure. At the very least, if any of you have the good fortune of meeting me in person, particularly at work, you may be less perturbed when I suddenly bust out with The Lonely Island. Because, you see, it’s very important to my peace of mind. So until I can kick this creased-pant habit and start wearing slutty tank tops, I’ll be here, drinking my latte, directing workflow.

(Like a boss.)

Danger: No Swimming (Or Complaining)

Happy Tuesday, my Internet friends.

How’s your Tuesday going? Good? I hope so. I hope it’s going swimmingly. Mine sure is, with several buckets worth of water coming down from the kitchen ceiling at the office this morning.

Yeah, kind of like this

Oh, would you care to hear the tale? I bet you would.

Now for the sake of e-scrutiny, I need to be wary of identifying my workplace for fear of happenstance reading by a workly superior. Thusly, I can’t go too far into detail as to what it is I actually do. Suffice it to say that I work in a professional environment wherein it is our responsibility to make sure that people looooooove their offices, simply loooooove coming in to work every single day because our company makes running your business just that much easier. To put it bluntly, we keep your shit running so you can do your thing.

Naturally, this service isn’t free. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than muddling through all the details of an office by your newbie lonesome, but it isn’t free. Of course, people seem to forget that. And so the crux of my week-daily life is that I’m surrounded by people who are paying for my very presence, but aren’t exactly thrilled about it. I pretty much just come with the furniture and serve as a reminder that the luxury of appearing important comes with a monthly bill.

A good chunk of my job revolves around keeping the place quietly functioning. You know, the background. This means photocopying, faxing, scanning, printing, all things courier related, keeping everything ordered and stocked, booking boardrooms, about a million and one other non-specifics that change on a daily basis, and of course the full time job it is keeping the place up to the white-gloved scrutiny of the aforementioned powers that be. I get in trouble for dusty picture frames. This part of my job is fantastic, because I am anal retentive and get a thrill out of a completed list of things to do. However, we of course would have no reason to exist without the clients who need us so very, very much.

Ahhhhh, the other part of my job. The big part. The big, whiney, complainey part. Because they do complain. Ohhhhhh do they complain. If it’s a big complaint about money or whatever, it goes over my head. Someone else deals with that. I am nowhere near important enough and damn well wouldn’t want to be. But all the little piddly shit? That’s me. Is your internet being stupid? I’ll jiggle the wires until it works and make you think I have a clue as to what I’m doing. Do your phones sound like crap? I’ll yell at someone until they sound better. Did you forget your mothers birthday again? I can arrange that floral delivery and even call her to lie about it for you. Are you unhappy because we called someone in to replace the jack that you decided was slowing down your internet, and now its faster…but still not enough to run Word as fast as you’d like? (Yes, you read that clearly: some people think Word is controlled by the internet.) Or even better, are you befuddled by my inability to program your phones so that you don’t keep getting these ‘anonymous’ calls, being that you apparently live in the century before call display? Well then I’d be more than happy to stand there with a retarded grin on my face while you berate me for your own damn stupidity.

Yes, indeed, a disproportionate part of my job requires placating the masses, the Great Confused Unwashed who wander these hallways leaving smeared coffee handprints on the wall and kitchen cupboard doors flapping in the breeze. I’ve seen lollipops stuck to picture frames, shredded paper dumped on the floor *next* to the garbage can, and all manners of inconsiderate tomfoolery.

Today kind of took the cake though, I have to tell you.

So we have this water heater. It apparently lives in the ceiling. I couldn’t tell you why, but that’s where it is. Said water heater stopped working some time ago, and so we’ve endured weeks of complaining. I like to respond with the sympathetic head nod meant to imply “I’m so sorry I’m not a tradesperson capable of climbing in the rafters and welding leaks myself – please note the career wear meant to imply said inability despite my constant wriggling under your desks to fix all kinds of shit that shouldn’t be my problem. But please rest assured that I will take your strife very, very personally.”

Today was the day we had been scheduled to receive a new unit. Joyous occasion!

However, for whatever cause that should reasonably be expected, the installation did not go as smoothly as (not really) anticipated. These things never go perfectly, right? No biggie. Until of course the installation fellow wandered off for some time and someone at some point thereafter apparently came in to use the sink. That’s where it got ugly. To be fair, installation fellow should have put up a sign saying “don’t use the water yet”. But to be equally fair, there were plenty of displaced ceiling tiles, hanging pipes, and other assorted dangerous accoutrements that should have been a signal to even the least logical of the crowd that perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to venture into the kitchen. But venture they did, taps they turned, and out of the ceiling the water began to pour. Where installation fellow was for the ten minutes or so it took us to find him I still don’t know. What I do know was that our kitchen and any water-related appliances were SNAFU for most of the day.

Now, I can see this as an inconvenience. A pain in the ass even. What I can’t see is how having repairs done in a kitchen can turn into a launching pad for all sorts of huffing, puffing, and general jackassery. Here are my two favourite responses to being told “Sorry, we’ve got a bit of a situation here. We won’t be able to use the kitchen for the next little while.”

1. From too-thin client whisping down the hall with a dish of fruit and a packet of soluble-fibre oatmeal (as well as a look nothing short of absolutely despondent): “But…but where am I supposed to get boiling water for my oatmeal?”

I don’t know sweetheart. Ours is broken. Do you not see legs dangling from the ceiling? Pipes and wires and cables everywhere? Oh hang on, you need oatmeal. Let me just fire some boiling water out of my ass for you, because by this point I feel like I could. Are you kidding? I know it’s inconvenient, I really really do. I’d be pissed too. But I also know that it’s very obvious that nothing can be done about it at the moment. In fact, I know that it’s very obvious that the only thing that can be done about it is currently in the midst of being done. What I’m not sure of is what exactly you would like me to do. Oh, and I also know that there’s a foodcourt downstairs. Have at it. Or you could eat the FRUIT you’re carrying.

And on a totally unrelated note, do you eat your cigarettes? You can’t be 30, how do you sound like that? Also, you’re married. I get it. You can stop casually mentioning it three times in an unrelated conversation.

2. Weird little troll like guy, who seems quiet until the occasional passive-agressive outburst of assholery: “You know, if we can’t get coffee from the kitchen, you should be supplying it for us from the Starbucks downstairs.”

Wow. Just…wow. Really? If the pipes were to burst in my apartment, do you think I’d be hammering at the landlady to cough up vouchers for a spa to clean my self-entitled ass? No. I’d carry on my way, complaining loudly so that nobody attributed my dirty hair to a lack of hygiene or anything other than what boils down to a MINOR INCONVENIENCE!!!! That’s what I’d do! Just like you, upon realizing that the kitchen is under about an inch of water, should take your four fucking dollars and buy your own goddamn latte! Starbucks? Are you kidding me? Does the repair shop loan you a Lexus while your Ford is getting fixed? No. No they don’t. Especially not if you’re a jerk.

Here is your latte and I hope it hurts you in your sleep.

Has nobody in their right freaking mind ever heard the term Shit Happens? You know why they say that? Because SHIT HAPPENS. We wrinkle our noses at the smell, buy a fruity cup of java to make ourselves feel better, and move the hell ass onwards.

So! In conclusion, today’s lesson has been as follows:

The next time shit goes wrong anywhere at work, I’m just going to leave it. If there’s water streaming down from the floor above, I’m just going to let it fly. That’s right, you can all get your loafers soaked and wade around in your own self-serving crap.

But hey, at least you’ll have your coffee flavoured oatmeal or whatever the hell else you’d like me to pull out of my ass for you.

LOOOOOOVE!!!!

Dear June

Dear June,

The month, I mean, as opposed to anybody in particular named June. May was a little awkward for me, since it’s very difficult to scream ‘fuck you May!’ when one of your bestie’s has the same name, no matter how shitty the month has been. However, I don’t know anybody named June, so here goes.

jcle

My name is June and I will fuck your shit up!

It’s only day 1 of you, dear June, and you’re already pissing me off.

Firstly, you took forever and a goddamned day to get here. Do you not realize that I’ve got a year-in-the-making vacation scheduled mid-you? How about showing up on time instead of making each day drag on until it feels like my time off is still six months away? Can you swing that? Hell, I show up to work on time, and I’ve only been there for two years. Have the centuries of your existence in the Gregorian calendar made you so bitter that you just started showing up whenever you damn well feel like it? Apparently so.

Secondly, you’ve chosen to start on a Monday this time around. That’s just thrilling. Because Monday’s don’t suck enough without it being the first of the month as well. I’m sure you don’t care, dear June, but in my particular industry there are reasons (that I won’t go into here, as rumour has it my uber bosses now float around the interweb) why the first of the month is particularly shitty. Nobody likes the first of the month. Bills are generally due on the first of the month. People are shitty, cranky, and oftentimes downright unreasonable on the first of the month. They’re impatient, busy, and intolerable. And as an added kick, most people I’ve had to deal with today are a little bit extra pissy since you’ve decided to start off with shitty grey weather instead of your much hoped for clear skies and warmth. Good job, keep up the excellent work.

Also, speaking of keeping up employment, of all days to load heaps of criticism on my work environment, it’s sure awesome that you chose today. Really adds the icing to the cake. Nothing makes me feel better about my life, 90% of which costs money, than to hear from the source of said money “by the way, you suck.”

Super.

Lastly, it’s really sweet of you to send my landlords over to fix a plumbing problem in my bathroom today. I haven’t yet fixed some of the damage caused to the walls and floors by former rabbits/tantrums/roomies yet, so the extra paranoia has been a great touch all day. I’m hoping that they didn’t venture into the bedroom, where the damage is my fault as opposed to the condition of the main areas, where the damage is mostly due to unsticky floor tiles and ancient plumbing.  However, I still don’t know. Why? Because on the way out, my landlords naturally turned the lock on the doorknob to my apartment, instead of just the deadbolt above it. Unbeknownst to them, as I rarely need to call them, I don’t use it. It’s a shitty fiddly closet lock, and rather superfluous with a deadbolt above it. So on my way out, I flip the deadbolt and head on my merry way. Never in a million years would it have occured to me this morning that they would, as good landlords, lock up properly after vacating my place instead of the half-ass job I usually do. It’s only today that I find the need for that second key, locked neatly away inside my apartment with the key to the garbage room.

Greeeeaaaaat.

So now they’re on their way, from way north of the rush-hour besodden city, with much in the way of unnecessary apologies. I can’t even pretend to blame them for this one. This particular mishap is nobody’s fault but my own. But given how the rest of this day has gone so far, I’m going to go ahead and just pile that on with everything else you’ve screwed up today, dear June.

Consider this a performance review, June. If you don’t have a better attitude starting tomorrow morning, you’re fired.

By a fat guy in a wig, no less.

Holiday Hootenanny

Ok, so we weren’t supposed to have any kind of ‘Holiday’ gathering at the office this year, over-PC’d or otherwise. Economy blah blah blah. It’s not as huge a deal as one might think – the nature of our business requires a very small staff. The majority of those around us are clients renting space. So while you’d be miffed if your roommates didn’t invite you to a Christmas party, it’s no big deal if your landlord skimps on the Seasons Greetings, dig?

Still, I was having none of it. To hell with my clients, I want a day or two to revel in my emerging domestic tendencies. I do a little breakfast thing once a month for the office. Its generally a thankless job but it provides a creative outlet and a break from the humdrum of complaints and photocopying. So I convinced the Boss Man and his cohort Talea to let me spend a little more of the company cash this month and holiday it up, yo!

So yeah, I slaved over an oven for a few thank yous, but I also got to take a day off work and bake all day. That means sampling all day.

Peep what I can do!

Sugar Cookies - Almost There

Sugar Cookies - Almost There

Sugar Cookies - Done!

Sugar Cookies - Done!

Sugar Cookies - Lots!

Sugar Cookies - Lots!

I made several dozen Sugar and Brown Sugar Cookies and used up the last of my sprinkles on the plain sugar ones for decoration.  They’re colourful and take up space – and who doesn’t love eating cookie bears head first?

Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares

My lemon squares are awesome if I do say so myself. I got basic recipe on AllRecipes.com somewhere, and made a few adjustments by adding tons of vanilla and almond. I’m starting to think I can spike them with rum too, but I’d like to remember Christmas this year. These are addictive.

By this point I’d been baking for about four hours. Break time!

chillin1

Chilling with my sexy man

Yeah, this is how Josh and I spend quality time together. Over MSN with a not-always-functioning webcam. Stupid technology. Thankfully the cams were working well on this particular night so I could chat with him while being able to actually step away and use my hands for baking instead of typing.

Here’s my other recreational activity:

Eventually, they approved of the cranberries

Eventually, they approved of the cranberries

The bunnies! They turned their wiggly noses up at the dried cranberries at first, but eventually when I wasn’t looking they decided to like them.

Back to work!

I spent all of Wednesday running back and forth between my kitchen, Honest Ed’s for bakeware, and the local Metro for a ridiculous amount of baking ingredients. I lugged so much sugar and flour up my ridiculous winding stairs that my ass literally hurts. I’m baking, and my ass hurts. Fantastic.

These are the last two pictures I managed to take before I fell into a sugar-based daze that I’m only now coming out of:

mmmmmmm delicious...

mmmmmmm delicious...

mmmmmmm delicious side view

mmmmmmm delicious side view

These. Are. SO good. I’m not quite sure of their name, but they shall henceforth be known as Fantasmic. Fantasmic in bar form. Super buttery shortbread on the bottom, brown sugary caramel ooey gooey oh-fuck-its-melting-everywhere-gimme-a-spoon deliciousness in the middle, and chocolate-peanut-butter-cranberry goodness on top. You can’t eat more than two of these. Well, you can eat as many as you want, but chances are the paramedics will find you twenty minutes later huddled in a corner with drool and butter all over your silly face.

And um, yeah. I ate several. Not to mention I was under a bit of a time constraint, because everything always takes three times longer than you think it will. So I spaced out at this point and forgot to document the shortbread topped with hand whipped cream and berries. As well as the cranberry walnut cookies and the rice krispie squares.

Anyways, it was a magnificent spread. I threw it all in the boardroom and topped it off with a nice assortment of fruit and cheese to lighten the sugar-shock a bit. I wanted to throw on a Christmas movie at the last minute, but Shoppers across the street with those $9.99 dvd’s didn’t have anything even remotely holiday-oriented. Littlest Hobo something or other, and that just wouldn’t do. So the shindig was held to the soundtrack of “Oooh, yes I’ll try one of those, I – oh wow. These are SOOOOOO good!” Which was the only thing I needed to hear amidst the occasional “What, no wine?”  (“Um, it’s noon.”) and “Where’s the burgers?” to keep me happy.

Also, my uber boss showed up. He’s quite nice but very nerve wracking because while being  nice he’ll discretely brush up against a wall and judge you based on its cleanliness. If he picks up a piece of marketing propaganda placed on a table and asks “Why is this here?” the answer is always “It’s not!” *toss* You know the type. So I was out to impress and impress I did. He ate enough of those Fantasmic things that the sugar sent him into the most hilarious state I’ve ever seen. Very concerned with his appearance he rarely indulges in sugar – hadn’t, he confessed, for about six months. That he took seconds, thirds, and then some for the road was a compliment indeed. I’m pretty sure that by the end of the day he thought he was a hummingbird.

And now, at the end of a week long stretch of prepping, baking, hauling and coordinating, after being up until 1am Thursday/Friday to get the last of the shortbread done and spending all of Friday fussing and organizing (eating various forms of sugar because I forgot to feed myself real food) rushing and cleaning, and then attending an impromptu family-friend art event (What? Where the hell did that come from? That was this week? Who am I? What’s a hypotenuse?) followed by a Stitch n’ Bitch today, I am finally home and I’m starting to think that I’m the hummingbird.

I.

Am.

Pooped!

I go now. I go to the couch and the tv and the bed. I sleep. Then I wake up and clean like a madwoman – but I shall pay that no mind tonight! Tonight I kick my feet up with some reheated pizza, and I don’t want to see any more shortbread for a good long time.

By which I mean probably tomorrow night.

The Douchebag Story

Ok folks, here it is.

The other week, I had a seriously, seriously good day. A magical twist of karma and come-uppance. It was fucking fantastic. Why? Because I am terribly vengeful.

It’s a fault, I know. Excuse me for having issues I don’t work on.

This is really part two of an earlier story, but here it is: Before Talea, my best friend was Ami. I didn’t know her for very long and she kind of sucked, and she drank too much. Through an odd series of events involving mutual poverty and her two-year seniority advantage in the shitty telemarketing industry, Ami ended up as my manager at an appropriately shitty energy company.

I was a phone monkey. Ami was our manager, or coordinator, or whatever the hell. Turns out she spent most of her days looking at kittens and reapplying her lipstick. Talea was the office manager/receptionist, who later became my best friend and had me bumped up to reception when she became overworked. Scott was the recruiting manager. And by recruiting manager I mean sole, overpaid recruiter. By the very nature of the job at hand, you kind of have to be a soulless fucker to be a recruiter.

But I liked Scott (this was about two years ago, well before Josh, please recall.) And he was friends with Ami. We all hung out together, and eventually Scott and I had, well, a fling I guess. Then Ami’s boyfriend of two years dumped her, and she didn’t take it very well. Not the kind to ever handle being single, you know? Within a few weeks, her crazy (literally, and this is coming from another crazy) ex boyfriend moved to Toronto from Montreal to move back in with her. That lasted about a week, during which Scott and I spent most nights together mulling over what the hell our friend was doing.

Yeah, seriously. It’s a hell of a story.

We’re all hanging out one evening after Ami’s second breakup in as many months. I’m tipsy, Scott is drunk, Ami is near passed out in the next room. Scott turns to me and says “Yeah, so I’m probably going to end up with Ami now, but we can be friends, right? You’re a really cool chick.”

Douchebag.

Crazy ends up living with me for six months, because I do completely stupid spontaneous things like that. Kind of like how I spontaneously decided to drop out of university in favour of private makeup school that put me ten grand in debt because I couldn’t figure out the UofT course schedules one afternoon. Needless to say, I needed what little rent money Crazy contributed. It kind of sucked.

Oh, but my predicament was a sunny, sunny day compared to Scott and Ami. Oh yes, they moved in together. Within a few weeks of holding hands, they were signing a lease on a nifty little townhouse in the far north regions of not-quite-Toronto. Within a few months, our company went under. Scott quit in a huff, and Ami in all her ineptitude, had a no-hire written on her interdepartment resume. Everyone else was given a new job within the parent company. Talea and I, best pals by now, quickly regained employment together elsewhere.

Scott and Ami? Fucked.

I take this as a pretty decent ending in and of itself. I move on, get a fantastic job, meet my wonderfully incredible totally ridiculously amazing boyfriend, and get many aspects of my life so very on track. I run into Ami with not-Scott and hurry away snickering at her obvious unemploy.

It’s mean, I know. But I would do anything and everything for my friends, I really am an overall very nice person. Once on my bad side, however, I will laugh at your misfortune. I donate to charity, leave me alone.

So imagine my surprise then, when I get a message from Ami asking what I’m up to, and that Scott wants to get a hold of me. I ignore it. Imagine my further surprise when Scott calls me.

“I’m so sorry” was mentioned a few times. There was the standard “I just wanted to tell you” followed by “I made a huge mistake,” then a series of expletives essentially translating into “Ami was a psycho hose beast” and other similar niceties.

But since I am trying to be a nicer person and get over things like, oh, revenge and all that jazz, I think ‘Shouldn’t I be able to forgive and forget? If I’ve really moved on, shouldn’t I be able to hang out with someone whose company I once enjoyed?’ Okay, sure, why not? Josh is fine with it, he knows he has nothing to worry about, so I call up Scott and say “okay, sure, lets hang out – you can tell me all the details.” Of course I mention right away that I am in a serious relationship so as not to give any wrong impressions – the proper thing to do. We make plans to touch base later that week.

Two days later, he asks me to come over to hang out. Odd. Not so much, says I. Let’s go out somewhere, grab a beer, coffee, wherever. I really don’t feel like trekking all the way up to your new not-quite-downtown location. Nah, he says, just come over. I got a buddy coming by, I’ll make margueritas.

Are you serious? Did you not hear me mention the boyfriend? My slight sense of propriety? The fact that I haven’t seen you in over a year and have no idea what kind of loonie you might possibly be? A buddy coming by? I don’t think so, no. I’m not going to be ‘hanging out’ at your place. You want to catch up, but you won’t leave your apartment?

“Okay, well call me if you change your mind.”

“Whuu – *snicker* Uh, okay.” Click.

What the hell just happened? Change my mind? What mind? You called me!!!

Dear Scott: Thank you for calling me to validate my feelings of superiority over your drunkard ex. It had been kind of a shitty day, and the ego boost was much appreciated. I’m going to go back to having a conversation with my non-delusional boyfriend now, thanks for playing. I’m sorry you feel you made the wrong decision in choosing Ami over me.

Actually, you know what? I’m not sorry. Not one little bit.

Douchebag.

Meme Me Up, Scotty!

Okay, okay, I couldn’t help myself. I got sucked into a meme that I found on JavaQueen’s place, mostly just cause I like the first question. So you can play along if you’d like, or just enjoy 😉

What side of a heart do you draw first?

The right side. And my left is always lopsided 😦

Can you dive without plugging your nose?

Yes I can, though you will never catch me at a public pool because I don’t like swimsuits or at least not in public. I also have a horrific fear of open water (a lot of it has to do with the fact that I can’t wear my glasses when I’m swimming, and I’m so blind without them that I feel vulnerable – if I wake up in the middle of the night, I need my glasses to hear)

What color is your phone?

I have two phones. One is black and silver with an orange screen. My cell phone is silver. I also have a pink phone in my drawer, but it’s shitty and not cordless. I’d say my next cell phone will be pink or green or something else snazzy, but it probably won’t be because I think spending a lot of money on a fashionable cell phone is retarded.

Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours?

Surprisingly, not Talea, even though she’s my best friend. That would probably make us both very squirmy and uncomfortable, like the time I told Josh Talea and I were wearing the same shirt. I meant identical shirts, but he though we were both crammed into one sweater in some vague male fantasy. I could stay tied to Josh for 24 hours because it would go very quickly – sex, nap, food, sex, nap, shower, sex, sleep, oh hey you wanna stay tied together today too?

Where are you right now?

Relieving my receptionist for her cigarette break. Why don’t I get a cigarette break? Just because I don’t smoke means I don’t get breaks? I want to say I’m going on a smoke break and just stand outside for ten minutes, crossing my arms and lounging while everyone stares at me confused.

* actually, by the time I hit ‘publish’ I’m now sitting here nursing a wicked hangover.

How do you feel about carrots?

Good snack food, and I can share with my rabbits. I don’t mean ‘take a bite of carrot, give rabbit a bite of carrot, take a bite of carrot.’ That’s gross. I just like to eat a bowl of mini carrots with one of my rabbits next to me and let them have one here and there. Sometimes they’ll eat them, sometimes they’ll be hideously offended that I would even suggest they might like one and throw it back at me.

How many chairs at the dining room table?

Me? Dining room table? Mahahahahahahaha!!!! Have you SEEN my kitchen? It’s a walk in closet in front of my couch.

Who is the best Spice Girl?

Uhhh, the slutty one.

Do you know what time it is?

10:13 am. Of course I know what time it is, I’m writing this on a computer which always has the time.

What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator?

Nap. If I woke up and I was still stuck, I’d start crying probably.

What’s your favorite kind of gum?

I don’t like any sort of minty crap, I like fruity stuff. But gum is one of those things where I’ll swipe a pack from work now and then or ask Talea to give me a stick of whatever she’s got (which is usually watermelon or otherwise fruity, she’s got good taste – and I usually pay her back in baked goods). I never really buy gum because I always think “But why? It’s useless. I mean, ice cream doesn’t serve much of a purpose, but at least you get to eat it.” Gum is a waste of money in my mind. Of course, that may have to do with working in a bubblegum factory all those years ago. I still can’t bring myself to pay for something that I feel I should be able to just pick up and put in my pocket.

T or F: All is fair in love and war?

Well, you have to define those words clearly. All is not fair in relationships – I can’t take a bad day out on Josh because that’s not fair, even though he loves me and could probably take it in stride. And no, you can’t pull unfair shit in a war, because eventually (*cough*America*cough*) someone is going to turn around and kick you in the teeth. Though I guess that’s a very special sort of fair…

As for *getting* love, yeah, all’s fair. I don’t know if it would have mattered to me if Josh had been with another girl when I up and decided I wanted him for my own. I’m pretty determined sometimes 😉 And of course when it comes to protecting those you love, things that would normally be considered assault are probably pretty fair.

Do you use words that you don’t know the meaning to?

I try very hard not too. Especially if I’m going to be giving someone shit for something, cause that’s the worst time to make an ass of yourself. My mother once stated very sternly that she had ‘no toleration for this kind of behaviour.’ Right. That’s a good way to discipline and smart 15 year old…

Do you like to sleep?

I do love sleeping, and get nowhere near enough. I find napping isn’t often a good idea though, I usually end up waking up sickish and groggy.

Do you know which US states don’t use Daylight Savings?

I don’t know about states. But I know Saskatchewan doesn’t. Pfffft. Saskatchewan.

Do you know the song Sugar We’re Goin‘ Down?

No.

Do you want a bright yellow ‘06 mustang?

Um, no? I wouldn’t mind a Dodge Ram V8 Sport, and my dad just bought a sweet new Malibu.

What’s something you’ve always wanted?

Have you ever seen Iron Man? No, I don’t want Robert Downey Jr. in excessive make-up. Well, maybe just for a while. What I really want is Jarvis, the computer that runs the house and knows what I’m talking about when I say “That…thing, that fiddly thing, bring it over here.” Having a physical extension of my brain without the limitations of the human body would be friggin RAD, and I wouldn’t have to keep pads of paper around for all my thought processes.

Do you wear a lot of black?

Yes. It’s slimming, fashionable, matches with everything and works well in the corporate environment. I’m not so sure you can get to that snazzy CEO position in a floral print…

Describe your hair

Grows FAST! Just over a year ago it was Orphan-Annie short and curly, and now it’s past my shoulders. It’s curly and can either look clipped up and classy or circa 1987 gnarly, depending on the day.

Are you an adult?

Let’s see, I bitch about my commute, my bills, my clients, my life (even though for the most part my life is pretty damn sweet) and I’ve got a desperate need for a hazlenut coffee with two cream and one sweetener every weekday morning. I’m worried about mutual funds. Yes, I am an adult and I don’t know when the fuck that happened.

Who is your best friend?

Talea, closely followed by May, and of course Josh is pretty rad too, and we were friends before we were all in love and junk, so he counts too.

Do you have a tan?

Not particularly, though when I do tan I keep it for a long ass time. I just don’t go outside often enough. I spend about five minutes outside in the morning and evening gettting on and off the streetcar, but from the streetcar to work it’s all underground. And when I’m at home I’m in front of the computer on website/blogging business or knitting.

Are you a television addict?

Nah. I generally know what show is on what channel at what time (which is easy when you only have about five channels – yeah, clearly not addicted) but I’ll say “I have to watch the Simpsons at 7:30!!!” but then when it comes on, I’m always doing something else like cooking or knitting or cleaning.

Do you enjoy spending time with your mom?

In very small doses, yes. She’s adorable, but frazzled and listening to her stress out stresses me out.

Are you a sugar freak?

YES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!
What is your favorite movie?
I have no idea, but lately I am so all about Iron Man.

What’s your sign?

Saggitarius, but on the cusp of Scorpio. I’m stubborn AND demanding – awesome.

Where do you wish you were right now?

Frankly, I wish I were in North Carolina getting laid and not having to worry about the effects of the upcoming winter on my poor brain.

Who did you copy this from?

JavaQueen! 😀

How do you know them?

The blogworld.

Would you have sex with them?

Ummmm, no?

What brand of shirt are you wearing?

H&M. Pretty much everything I own is from H&M, because it’s the Ikea of clothing. Cheap, fantastic, but unlike Ikea, it’s conveniently located at the mall, and right by the subway entrance too, which means I don’t have to wander into the idiot-packed mall itself.

Have you ever smoked anything?

Hi, have we met? The only time I’m NOT smoking weed is when I’m at work. Need to be on my A-game when people start bitching about phones, internet, mysterious charges that they don’t agree to despite the signature on their lease, blah blah blah blah blah. I don’t think laughing at them and/or trying to explain global economics would be much appreciated…

Why Ami Sucked

I’m going to tell you a little story about someone I used to know. It’s a long story, not very crafty, and only relationshippy if you kind of stretch your definitions. But I think it’s worth sharing. I was inspired to share this tale with you by Ginny and her Tupperware Story, because nothing is more awesome than tales of woe about people who pissed you off in your past. This is the tale of a douchey girl, how she pissed me off, and how I kicked her ass at life.

I was about six months out of my first year at university, in which my aim had been Forensic Psychology. I still love the topic, but math makes me angry. A lot of other factors were involved, but long story short, I went a little crazy and flipped university the bird.

So! That summer I went back to work at the Bubblegum Factory. I won’t get into these details right now, but suffice it to say that working from 7pm to 7am in fluorescent lighting and a white jumpsuit really isn’t good for your failing and flailing mental health.

And yet it was better than uni (though clearly not for very long with those hours), so come September, I asked them to extend my contract for another six months so I could earn buckets of cash while figuring out how to turn my new interest (painting up models for photographers) into a career.

After wisely drinking away most of what I earned at the factory and taking out a huge loan to pay for three months at a private makeup school, I was broke like nobodies business. Things are back on track now, but the makeup thing didn’t work out. Turns out everybody and their mother is a makeup artist in Toronto, and frankly I wasn’t in any kind of mental shape to start my own business.

And so, like so many, I resorted to the world of telemarketing. My first gig was calling up people who had filled out a form at some trade show for what they believed to be a free vacation because they didn’t bother reading the back of the form. My job was to call these people up, listen to them excitedly tell their toddlers that they were going to fucking Disneyland (it wasn’t actually Disneyland, it was somewhere with dolphins but I’ve blocked most of it out) and then hear their disappointment after telling them that it wasn’t free, it was just seriously discounted and of course they had to pay their own airfare and sit through a presentation. 

Ami was an admin assistant there. Eventually, we both left the company, and wound up selling gas contracts. It was a difficult sell given the dip in prices at the time, but those fuckers would be laughing now. The difference now is that Ami was my manager. And she was terrible at her job.

This is where I became friends with Talea. She was the quiet office manager who also answered all the phones. She ran the entire office from her little desk. When we became friends, she had me bumped up to reception because it was too much work for her. I quickly began to realize why. Everything Ami touched went wrong. Not a week went by where she claimed to have never received an email despite the record of it having been sent from Talea’s or my own computer. Not a day went by where I didn’t have to set aside forty five minutes to fix something she had fucked up. Not a day went by where I didn’t look over at her desk and see her surfing through cute animal pictures. Not an hour went by where she didn’t spend ten minutes in the bathroom reapplying eight coats of whore red lipstick and adjusting her tight-bottomed skirt. Talea later told me that she had initial doubts about talking to me because Ami was my friend and frankly, Talea can’t handle stupid people. Thankfully, neither can I, so Ami and I were destined to part ways eventually.

To be fair though, Ami wasn’t skanky, despite the ill-fitted skirt. No. She was a relationship whore, the kind of girl who doesn’t seem to know who she is unless she’s in a relationship. She was never Ami, she was always Ami-and. Ami-and-whoever.

Ami had a friend at work. His name was Scott, and he did the recruiting. Recruiters for shitty telemarketing jobs are, by the very nature of the task at hand, soulless little fuckers. But I liked him. We got along, watched some games, drank some beer, and before long, had a casual little thing going. Before it could go anywhere, Ami’s boyfriend dumped her and moved out of their apartment. She took back her psychotic ex from years ago, and within a week he had moved back to Toronto from Montreal to live with her. Woah nelly, a little fast do you think? “I’m not afraid to just jump in,” she would explain. Well, I hope she’s afraid now. It took about a week before she realized what a terrible idea it was and went crying to Scott.

Scott turned to me while I was sitting next to him on the couch one night while we were all hanging out at his place pretending to be friends, and told me that he was going to be with Ami now. Ami was in the other room, passed out from their mutual love of too much booze. I got to share the cab home with her. Less than a month later, they had moved out of their apartments and into a nifty little townhouse together. Woah nelly, a little fast do you think? And very expensive too, she admitted. They had decided that instead of spending money on going out, they would spend that money on their cute little home.

Well. Isn’t that darling? Just fucking precious.

Now here’s the thing about me. I’m very, VERY vindictive. But the details of how I plotted to overthrow her, my careful documentation of her every screw-up are not necessary here. Because another thing about me is this funny luck I have where things just work out.

This happened in late January, I would say. In early March, our division shut down. We were given 24 hours notice but assured that interviews had been arranged for each of us in other departments of the parent company. Talea was moved to the other side of the building and I missed her terribly all of five minutes away. I was kept in the same position at reception – seems they decided to give the little project one last go with new people. Scott quit in a big huff.

Ami was given a ‘no hire’ on her resume, and was very quickly out of work.

I went over to their new place one evening in some vague effort to patch things up back when I still thought that “that’s what you’re supposed to do.” Scott was snippy at her for not being able to find a new job yet, while he was at least looking. He was miserable, she was sick. She didn’t get that job at the vet’s office she had hoped for, since they chose someone with more education. She was considering getting a job as a cashier at a grocery store. They were broke, drunk, and a lot of tension was in the air. I left, knowing I would never be back. If nothing else, their place was damned inconvenient to get to.

But, as is often the case in Toronto (which means ‘meeting place’, by the way) I’ve seen her here and there in the subway system. I don’t know if that was her latest boyfriend she was walking beside, but it sure as hell wasn’t Scott. I saw her again a few weeks ago during rush hour, and Talea saw her just the other night. I don’t know if she is working, but if she is, it’s not in any kind of corporate environment.

Whatever she has tried to do, she has failed.

Me? I’m doing great. I have a great job (my clients can be difficult, but the job itself is sweet), I make decent money, I have good benefits, and I work with my best friend. My apartment is cute, cheap, and all mine. I have an amazing boyfriend who showers me with more love and affection from 800 miles away than any man has within the city limits, and yet still knows when to just let me be retarded. I love him dearly, and one day we will be together. One day we’ll even be married, with inevitable little hell-raisers nipping at my heels. But we’re not rushing into anything because frankly we are smarter than that.

We’re smarter than Ami. I’m smarter than Ami. Talea is smarter than Ami. Your left shoe is smarter than Ami.

Ami sucked.

And I won.

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