Friday, April 13, 2012

27 Years of Wisdom (and Stamp) Collecting

When I was a kid, I used to daydream about 'future me' and what she would be like. Then I would wish that she could travel back in time and tell me everything she learned so that I wouldn't have to go through the trouble of experiencing it. Sort of like Biff in Back to the Future, except I wouldn't be a bitter old man who only wanted his past self to be rich. That's still something current me hopes that future me figures out and comes back to the present to share.

"It's *leave*, you idiot! "Make like a tree, and leave." You sound like a damn fool when you say it wrong." 

So here we are, on the eve of my birthday, while I am awaiting to turn 25 for the third time, and I'm actually proud to say that in many ways, I have become that woman I wanted to be. True, I may not be a famous musician, or actress, or writer, and until recently was best known for my wildly out of control ketchup addiction, but more importantly, I've learned some character building life lessons. I've also attained some more realistic goals, like my goal of learning how to set goals. Understandably, given this vast amount of wisdom and knowledge I have accumulated in my humble 27 years, there is much of it that I would like to go back and share with my past self, such as:

  • If you leave milk out on the counter, it will go bad. I can't stress this enough. Put it in the refrigerator, or, failing that, a cool, damp sac
  • Oil changes are the single most important thing you can do to extend your car's life. You've heard dad say this many times, but shake me upside down and call me Susan, he was right
  • You know all that money you made at your summer jobs that you are going to blow on frivolous things? Yeah, take all of that, put it into this account called a "mutual fund", and don't touch it until early 2007.
  • Stop plucking your eyebrows. I know you think you know what you are doing, but you don't. Just stop and go to a professional
  • When you are travelling, you should always always pack extra socks and underwear. me on this
  • You are allergic to cats. Know this now before you move out and get a cat. But get her anyway because she is adorable and worth the dried out eyelids and hives
  • "Definitely" is not spelt "definately". It took you far too long to learn this

Then to freak her out a bit, I'd tell her about Justin Bieber and the invention of crocs. 

In all seriousness, I would tell her that the real world isn't as big and scary of a place as she thought it would be, and that it's actually quite an adventure. I'd tell her that happiness is an amalgamation of the attitude you choose to have every day about the world and about yourself, the types of people you choose to associate with, and the amount of effort and action you are going to take and put behind the things in life that are truly valuable. I would tell her that sometimes the best way to get over yourself and what you're dealing with is to shift the focus off of you and onto helping someone else. 

Then I would subtly hand her the 2015 sports almanac and be on my way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maybe If I Could Bedazzle Them?

I discovered something very important about myself today.

After a classic battle of Lorraine vs. herself that has lasted many years and caused many sleepless nights, I finally conceded.

I, Lorraine, third (and favourite) child of Doug and Sandra, lover of all things that are Heinz ketchup, in sound mind and body, declare in a LOUD BOOMING VOICE, AS INDICATED BY THESE CAPITAL LETTERS, THAT................

*dramatic pause*

I totally don't like plain t-shirts.

I KNOW, I KNOW! How can she not like plain t-shirts? What is there not to like? I swear, I TRIED to like them! Oh how I did try. You don't know how many times I stood in a change room after worming my way into a cost effective, comfortable plain t-shirt and convinced my reflection:

a) that it actually looked really good on her
b) to accept that not every shirt requires a design or unique characteristic to look good
c) that the plainness of the t-shirt is, in effect, its very own fashion.

Regretfully, these successful self-convincing arguments triggered countless plain t-shirt casualties. Perfectly acceptable plain t-shirts were purchased and promptly demoted to pajama shirt status. Yes, these plain t-shirts were not even granted the dignity to be worn in public. That is, until they were packed up in the semi-annual closet purge and donated to charity, where hopefully someone who was a little more appreciative of plain t-shirts gave them a loving, accepting home. A home where their self-esteems could flourish, away from the constant degradation they had become accustomed to in my residence; where they could feel the sweet exhilaration of being chosen above all other shirts, and not just worn on laundry day; where they could maintain their fresh laundry scent until the next time they were worn instead of gradually absorbing the wooden odor of the chest of drawers during their six month hibernation period.

As soon as I built up the courage to admit to myself that I don't like them, I felt a wave of freedom wash over me. The shackles were broken. My eyes were opened. Somewhere in the distance, the hallelujah chorus started playing. I don't like plain t-shirts, and THAT'S OKAY. I don't have to be ashamed. It was like I was trying so hard to be someone I'm not - someone who likes plain t-shirts.

Now, let me be clear; I don't want to be labeled as an anti-plain-t-shirter. I am all for plain t-shirts. They are versatile, comfortable, and look great on many, many people - most annoyingly, those girls who could make even a burlap sac look fashionable. (I hate those girls.) However, I need some character to my t-shirts. Some pizzaz. You know why? Because I am FULL of pizzaz. Maybe even some flair, depending on the day. And if my clothes can't reflect who I am, then really...why even bother wearing them in the first place?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Relationship With Tacos

Every once in awhile, when it is near the end of the work day and I am debating what to make for supper, one of the most marvelous words in the spanish dictionary forms in my mind:

(I actually do visualize it in that crappy '97 Microsoft word art format. I clearly need to upgrade my mental operating system.)

No matter how bad a day I am having, realizing I will soon be partaking in savoury tacos is enough to put me in good spirits. The rest of the work day is usually a write off since all I can do after I have this epiphany is bounce up and down in my chair while my brain rhythmically chants Tacos tacos tacos TACOS TACOS tacos tacos T-A-C-O-S, tacos tacos TAAAAACOS!



taCOS! taCOS! TAcos! TAcos!






As soon as 5:00 p.m. hits, I begin the taco obtaining process by racing to the grocery store. I approach with the intensity of a Mission Impossible movie, determined to fend off danger and distractions in any form. Runaway shopping cart in the parking lot? BACKFLIP OVER IT! Driver not paying attention? DRAMATIC ROLLING OFF OF HOOD THROUGH THE AIR WITH PERFECT LANDING! Shoelace undone? LEAVE THE SHOE BEHIND, THERE IS NO TIME! Elderly woman taking too long to go through the entrance? VULCAN DEATH GRIP! (It's possible the vulcan death grip actually appeared in a different movie, but that is irrelevant.)

Upon entering the store, I am immediately greeted with more obstacles and distractions. Slow walkers, delicious non-taco food, cute guys with scottish accents asking for help with their packages...........of sugar. (The latter ONLY happens on taco craving days. It's a cruel conspiracy of the universe.) I skillfully dodge them all, assemble my taco ingredients, pay, and depart for home. Tacos tacos tacos tacos TACOS!

I arrive home in a tizzy. I can't get to my door fast enough. My work clothes fly through the air like a child's refused vegetables and are replaced by ground beef and sour cream splatter acceptable clothing. It's usually at this point that I realize I've forgotten to buy one of the main staples of tacos: taco seasoning. Once I have recovered from this initial blow and have finished blaming past Lorraine for her blatant incompetency, I review my options.

Current Lorraine's Options:

1. Drive back to grocery store. Repeat Mission Impossible theme. Consider repelling through roof over taco seasoning aisle.
2. Go to the nearby gas station in the hopes they have taco seasoning.
3. Call gas station to first confirm if they have taco seasoning as to not waste precious potential taco-eating minutes.
4. Decide all prior options take up too much time and attempt to make own seasoning with pepper, montreal steak spice, and a bottle I'm pretty sure is garlic salt. (I always go with this option.)

Waiting for the ground beef to cook is the part that requires the most patience.

There's so much pink! Why is there so much pink? HOW IS THERE STILL SO MUCH PINK!? Why won't you turn brown?? Are you too GOOD to turn brown? Are you not turning brown just because I want you to turn brown?? Fine, I DON'T want you to turn brown! Okay, I didn't mean it; please turn brown.

Once the ground beef is ready and the ingredients have been strategically placed in the taco shells, the excitement starts to climax. I am SO close to the prize. I take a second to mentally prepare myself. It's time. No more waiting. Everything, everything (from the grocery store) has lead to this moment. I pick up my first taco, which is horribly overstuffed in all the excitement and has already started to fall apart. Handling it delicately and lovingly, I take my first bite. And then.......


Yes, it just doesn't get any better than this.

I eat until I am over satisfied, and put away my leftover ingredients in a post-taco-daze.

Until next time tacos...until next time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Title: Master. First Name: Is what. Last Name: You Will Address Me As.

I logged onto Westjet's website yesterday to book some flights for my upcoming vacation. When I reached the section where you enter your personal information, I saw they had a new title available in the drop down list:

My initial reaction was to wonder if people other than Jedi Knights actually hold the title of Master, and if it is imperative they are addressed as such while travelling?

"Would you like a beverage, sir?"

"I'm sorry, I do not respond to anyone who does not address me by my proper title of Master."

According to wikipedia, it was formerly common (in Anglophone Canada) for the English usage of master to be followed for boys, when addressing letters or in formal address, but use of the title Master has now largely ceased, outside of highly formal situations (such as for weddings and wedding invitations). invitations??

You are cordially invited to the wedding of:

Master Sarah Johnson


Master Tom Henry

Their parents hope that the union of these two Masters will result in exponential growth of Masterdom for the family and will produce many Master sons and daughters, who will then procreate with other Masters creating a Master societal hierarchy in which they will be the sole Masters with the most Masterhood.

At least, that's how I'd write MY wedding invitation.

My second reaction was HEY...I could have some fun with this:

Once I had exhausted all my ideas for things I could be Master of, I started wondering what kind of a debacle the following would cause:

I imagine it would go something like this:

Westjet Rep: First name?

Me: Last Name.

WR: No, what is your FIRST name.

Me: Last Name...

WR: Fine, what is your LAST name then?

Me: First Name.

WR: I just asked you for your first name!

Me: I know. That's why I said Last Name.

WR: Look. Just tell me what your FIRST name is. The one that comes BEFORE your last name.

Me: Last name.

WR: *head explodes*