Monday, November 30, 2009

I have a job interview later today

I'm not one to let the grass grow under my feet. I'm determined to work my fourth job of 2009 before I receive my first benefit cheque.

I was shopping at my favourite clothing store with a friend Friday (trying to burn through our savings) when I realized that this store is one of my faves. I go there first when I need to look cute and I'm in there easily once a week checking out what's new. I really wouldn't work retail but if I did, it would be in this store. So I thought "what the hell?" and asked if they were looking for anyone. Lucky for me the person I see in there all the time and have quick little chit chats with is the manager. She told me to bring in my résumé. And I did later that day. See? Motivated.

So I'd really appreciate any stray good thoughts you may have around 3pm. By the end of the day I might be a sales associate. That is if I can get past the fact that I have to guarantee availability on Boxing Day.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Can you stand another beef about So You Think You Can Dance?

Isn't is refreshing not to have a blog dedicated to my joblessness?

Last season on the Canadian version we had a tapper named Everett. He was amazing and came in second place. The wise producers threw in tap as a dance style and fortunately he actually picked it and did a great job with his partner Tara Jean (who won btw) who was a total non-tapper. The American version is different.

This year they had three tappers make it to the final 20. Yay, I thought, finally a US tap routine. I was anxious to see them throw a Contemporary or HipHop dancer in a pair of tap shoes. But no. They went to great pains to tell the hoofers that they'd never get a chance to do their own styles; that they'd have to learn everyone else's. What happened? All of the tappers are out already. The dancers have to do so many styles... Bollywood, Waltzes, the kiss of death Quick Step and even Russian Folk dancing. So why not tap? It sure would show how well those kids can pick up a difficult style.

This is yet another reason why the Canadian version is actually better. And I'm not even mentioning the fact that we have had a classical ballerina and a white female krumper in our top 20. Go Canadian mosaic!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh what to do?

I've been to the Unemployment Office, written up resumes, called for information at a local college, cooked a needlessly complicated dinner, baked, cleaned the house and done all the laundry. I've even gotten a new cell phone. Don't worry, the previous one was so old the battery charged completely in 15 minutes and died within 24 hours. The only extra feature it had was a dial tone. Anyway, it seems to be thumb-twiddling time. And I'm not talking texting, baby. Well maybe just a little. It's either that or clean out the garage and that ain't gonna happen.

So today I think I'll watch some DVDs. I have a pile where I collect the ones I had planned to watch eventually. Frankly it seemed like I'd never get to them when I had a job, now I can put a dent in it. These are the ones I have in my "pending" pile:

  • Barbershop
  • Serendipity (which I've seen in the theatre but not at home)
  • Balls of Fury
  • The best of Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • The complete first season of Wonder Woman and;
  • Season 2 of Dexter
I also have PVRed copies of The Thomas Crowne Affair and an Indian movie (Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna starring the yummy Shah Rukh Khan) that I've been meaning to watch for ages. Incidentally I've been watching Bollywood movies for years waaaaay before the Slumdog Millionaire bandwagon rode into town... but I digress.

It may well be time to invest in some bonbons. I'm going to randomly choose one of these DVDs and watch it guilt-free. Maybe 2 of them (unless I choose a tv season, that is). Or maybe I'll just ditch them all and watch Auntie Mame; a movie I've seen easily 8 times. I've been thinking and talking about it a lot lately and I think it's time to check it out again.

What do you guys think, my "little loves"?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And now a very special message from my shoe closet

Yes, I have a special closet just for my shoes. Doesn't everyone?

These are the best shoes ever for pounding the pavement and standing in line at Unemployment. They're leather, wide with rounded toes, cute (in a fashionable Nana kinda way) and even have a little height for us shorties. I can comfortably wear them all day and not whine. Well not about my feet, anyway.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Learning some perspective

I'm feeling better about everything now that the sore is a bit less raw. Scott is his normal loving self and I got to spend a lovely afternoon at the Unemployment Office. What better way to kill an afternoon than to spend it in an H1N1 paranoia, lined up for half an hour in front of a mouth breather and a cougher? I wanted to Purell my neck. Good times.

After I got to the agent, he asked to see my record of employment paper. Of course I couldn't find it and I swore up and down that I put it in my purse. As I left the office swearing (hm. a lot of swearing today), I reached into my coat pocket for my car keys and found that effing piece of paper. No wonder I got fired. I haven't got a brain in my head.

Instead of heading home I went back to that line, this time with the paper never leaving my hot little hand. Thankfully the mouth-breather and the cougher were gone and the line was shorter. The only person who stood out was the woman who was talking loudly to the job bank of computers. Literally speaking to the screen. After I handed in the paper to the agent, I was told that I could have filled in everything I needed to online anyway. Well, there was 2 hours of my life I'd never get back. Thanks.

I figured that since I was already there I may as well use their computers in case a question came up. I soon realized why that lady was talking to the computer. The connection was slower than if I was in fact, mailing my forms back and forth to the federal government. I narrowly avoided acting like the kook in the corner by opting to ditch the thing and go home to my precious DSL. An hour later at my laptop and I was done. I should expect my first payment in 28 days. Nothing goes better with the cracker that is Maury Povich than government cheese. Them's good eats.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Another job well... done.

This is so not good. Friday I heard the dreaded words again for the 2nd time in 3 months: "Karen, can I see you in my office, please?"

How does this keep happening? Can I not keep a job for more than a few months? This looks so bad on a resume. And the thing is, both times I was blindsided. I thought I was doing a good job until the end. It's a lot like the way I look at people. They're always "super nice" until I get left at the Corel Centre with no way to get home (a story for another day). Both employers had nothing but good things to say about me personally, it's just a lack of some skill-set I have that is deemed necessary for the job. Wouldn't it be great to have a job that relied on a good personality and straight teeth?

So what do I do now? It's nearly Christmas and at least 2/3 of my kids still believe in Santa. Where are their presents going to come from? I'm thinking of telling them to ask Santa for Subway sandwiches.

Look, if you know of someone hiring, send me an email. All I'm looking for is $11/hour plus benefits. I need those benefits for another reason that I'm not at liberty to talk about with you guys. I'd be happy to interview if they're looking for a smile, a positive attitude and great shoes. Looks like I'm obviously not good for much else.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Oh boy.

Well, you'd smell your finger too if it had just spent 15 minutes in one of those rubber page turning thimble thingies. It's so not weird. It's actually the opposite of weird. It's completely, totally sane. For the record my finger smelt funny. Real funny.


Yeah, I'm going to file this one under "Things Not To Get Caught Doing At Work". Incidentally, this file is growing on a daily basis. It also includes: Dancing, Singing Aloud To An iPod Only You Can Hear, Referring To The Man In Front Of You As "This Guy", and any and all Underwear Adjustments. This is not to say don't do them, just don't get caught. Again I say, oh boy.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Open Letter

To Whom It May Concern:

As someone who deals with email addresses quite often, isn't it time to change the computer keyboard? I'm fed up with having to press the shift key to get to the @ symbol. Everyone and his grandfather has an email address. Literally. My elderly father has email access and he's really proficient at forwarding kooky religious messages and ridiculous urban myths about exploding cell phones. In fact, email is the only thing he's good at. That and buying airplane tickets. Go figure.

Anyway, Mr. Keyboard Configurer, can you please see your way clear to providing a symbol we use every single day in a more easily accessed spot? Like where the backslash (\) is. We always use the forward slash (/) the other one is expendable. Hey, and while you're at it would you do something about the question mark? It's in a stupid place too, eh? Thanking you in advance,

Mrs. Karen Kaye

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We're looking at the shoes, people.

Oprah often has this "Things I know for sure" segment in her magazine. I know because I glance at it in the checkout, smartypants...

Anyway here are some things I know for sure. I'm 42 and I'm very very wise. Sometimes trite, but wise. And a little sage. No, not the spice.

  • Kindness is it's own reward
  • Smiling make you hot
  • The right shoes can make an outfit
  • There is nothing better than '80s alternative music. Nothing.
  • Scars do not give you character
  • I make a kick-ass cupcake
  • TV is a blessing from above
  • It's possible to be both funny and unable to tell a joke
  • Always have a box of KD in your pantry
  • A diary is a great way to see how stupid you used to be. Learn from it
  • There is something out there... up there... bigger than the both of us
Those are some of the things I know for sure. What about you? What do you know for sure?


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken scratches vs. hieroglyphics

One day last week at work I spent putting emails into the computer. Not too bad of a task actually, except for the part where I had to try to decipher people's hand-written scrawl. It was like decoding hieroglyphics or a doctor's prescription. It, no joke, gave me a headache. I could only read about 3 out of 10 emails without squinting, guessing, making things up or assuming.

I know typing and computing are the wave of the future. In fact the future is now. All told I spend about 15 minutes of a nearly 9 hour workday with a pen in my hand. I get it. But now, when penmanship is pushed to the back burner and peoples' eyes are used to typeface, wouldn't it make more sense if handwriting was more clear?

When I was in school (you know the one where I walked uphill both ways?), handwriting counted. In fact, you got docked marks if the teacher couldn't read what you handed in. There were whole sheets to be completed with one letter on the far left and you had to write that letter over and over until you ran out of space. I did really well with that and even later in college one of the projects was to write a poster of a child's poem. The printing was all important. They don't do this anymore.

Three fifths of our house has legible writing. Henry and I are the best. Audrey has the irritating tween girl habit of dotting her i's with enormous circles but other than that it's entirely readable.
Scott's is pretty bad but Elliott's takes the cake. I actually get mad at his teacher for letting his penmanship get this far out of hand. She has my permission to fail him on a project if the writing sucks but she never does. The worst is his awful habit of not closing his a's, making the innocent word "can't" look very very unfortunate.

All I can do is perform a hieroglyphics spell-check when he completes a project. I wouldn't want his teacher to think he's being rude to her if he writes that he "can't" do something...


Monday, November 16, 2009

Grocery follies

So I went grocery shopping Saturday as I do every weekend. I go to Costco first then head to the smaller store to find things I either couldn't find at the big box store or just come too darned big. Have you seen the pickles? They'd keep an army of pregnant women happy for the duration of their conditions.

Anyhoo, I often glance into people's carts to check out their situations. You can always tell who is married or single and who has kids. Today I saw someone look into my cart. I had already gone to Costco so I had most of what I needed but I needed to top things up. I had:
  • lettuce
  • a bagel cutter (no bagels... I bought those at Costco)
  • sunflower seeds
  • a salad kit
  • sweet potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • cat treats
  • root beer
What must she have thought? A single, vegetarian cat lover about to spend a romantic night alone with her... bagel slicer?

I've got to stop analysing people's carts...


Friday, November 13, 2009

Here's an interesting slogan

It was brought to my attention one day at work. It was a slogan on a badge that my company worked up for the Canadian Embassy to hand out to American dignitaries...

"We can't be neighbours without U"

I love cleverness, don't U?

kxx (I wish I had it. That was so lame. It's turning into a Prince song up in here)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hello? Helllooo...??

Okay, peeps, here's the deal. I need to know how many people read this blog on a daily basis. My lame guesses of between 20 and 60 just aren't cutting it for me anymore. So here's what to do...

  • If you are reading this on facebook, just hit "comment" and put the word "hi" in the box. If that's too much, just click "like".
  • If you are reading this through blogger, click the "I read Karen's blog today".
  • If you got here through twitter, you were led to blogger so do your thing above.
So please co-operate today. Seriously. Can you do this one little thing for me, for the love of God? This one tiny favour? I'd just like one day where I know exactly how many people read this thing. I mean, I write one of these every day so the least you can do is tick a box, right? It'll help me feel less guilty when I take a well-deserved break from this infernal blog. Okay, I said that but I didn't mean it. I don't think I'll ever stop blogging. And for that I am truly sorry.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lately there was a game going around twitter

You may have seen this. People were changing (adding or subtracting) one letter of a movie title to make it funny... they were calling it "one letter off". Some funny ones were "Citizen Kanye" and "Shaving Private Ryan".

Anyway, that got me thinking about other opportunities to do this. I was brushing my teeth at the time. With "Crust". Then I gargled with "Lusterine". So okay, those weren't the best but I'm sure you can do better.

So what items would you get at the cheapest store in town? Cap'n Crunk? Wander Bread?

Add your funny in the comments below. Maybe we'll start an internet sensation...


Monday, November 9, 2009

That wascally wabbit

Audrey has a rabbit she named Coco for 2 reasons. One was because she's brown and the other is because we got her on Easter. Coco replaced Monkey, rabbit number one, that she got the previous Xmas. Monkey met an unfortunate end when someone* bought and used cedar chips for bedding which she thought made the cage and subsequently the house smell wonderful. It took 3 days for the rabbit to suffocate, frothing at the mouth.

Because someone* felt guilty, someone* got her another rabbit. This one has been around for nearly a year and is very well taken care of (no cedar shavings ever). Last week we noticed that she wasn't as active as usual. When Audrey took her out of the cage and put her on the floor, we watched in horror as she pulled her back legs pathetically behind her. Audrey burst out crying. Looks like it was time for the vet.

Scott took her and Audrey in and the vet said the words you most hate to hear from a medical professional: "I don't know what's wrong." For this we went to animal emergency with a paraplegic rodent and spend $60 for a consult? Anyway, she suggested we put the rabbit on antibiotics for ten days. One look into Audrey's wet brown eyes and out came the credit card for nearly $50 worth of meds.

The irony isn't lost on me over using a syringe to dribble medicine into a rabbit's mouth while wearing waterproof mascara and shiny lipgloss.

So that's what's new over at the Kaye's. What's up with you lot?


*name withheld to protect the stupid

Friday, November 6, 2009


Okay, I'm completely ill prepared for a blog today. I usually write them in bulk on the weekend then "post-date" them to come out all week. Unfortunately it was so crazy last weekend, my math was off. I only wrote four blogs so I'm writing this in the morning for the first time since before I had a job. So please excuse the obvious suckiness.

Here is what needs to get done that I'm shirking because of this:
  • shower and get myself ready first
  • wake up Audrey and Elliott
  • make sure they have breakfast and all their school stuff like musical instruments and lunches
  • fix Audrey's hair... it takes at least 10 minutes
  • push the older ones out the door at 7:15
  • wake up Henry and Scott
  • make sure they have breakfast and all their school/work stuff like instruments and, I dunno, quarterly reports or whatever
  • have my own breakfast and brew a travel cup of tea that I'll drink at my desk at work
  • say goodbye to Scott who takes the bus to work
  • take Henry across the street to the neighbours who watch him for 45 minutes
  • drive in stop-and-go traffic to work. The 15 minute drive takes half an hour
So yeah... I have lots of time for this... gotta go.


Thursday, November 5, 2009


Can someone explain why in olden days movies they used to lick the end of a pencil before they wrote with it? It's been bothering me since I watched the mute cat do it on Pinocchio over the weekend.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My invention

My honey is in the process of inventing something and it got me thinking: what would I invent if I had the chance? They say that necessity is the mother of invention so what do I need? What do I complain about most? The answer? Winter.

My biggest complaint about winter (frankly the only thing going for it is no bugs) is having to scrape off my van windshield. I don't mind the side windows, just the windshield. Yes, I'll admit it. It's not a new thing. I'm er... diminutive. It's impossible for me to reach the entire front window. The middle part of it looks like I've scratched it with my fingernails. I'm too short to get enough pressure on the scraper to remove the ice. I end up just sitting in the car with the heat cranked trying to melt it from the inside.

I was thinking while sitting in the car once last winter that they should have some sort of plastic film (like the "sticker" that tells you it's time for an oil change) that is run through with wires like the rear window. You'd just apply it to the windshield, plug the other end into the cigarette lighter and voila. The ice melts off like a sheet in minutes, saving time, body heat, sanity and your cute new suede jacket.

Anyway, that's my invention. If you steal it, please remember where you saw it first. If not, remember that Karma can be a bitch.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My movie review

Just to save you a rental, never ever get Confessions of a Shopaholic. I loved the book... thought it was hilarious. But the movie absolutely, completely sucked. They took out everything that made the book funny and charming. The only thing that stayed the same were the names of the characters. They changed the plot, took out main (and essential) characters and even made the heroine American instead if British like the book. And in a truly bizarre Hollywood twist, the lead actress was an Australian putting on an American accent. How does that make any sense at all?

Anyway, my advice, do NOT see this movie. It's 104 minutes of your life you'll never get back.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween protocol

So now we have tons (and I say that without hyperbole) of chocolate candy and chips in the house. What's a mother to do? Do I throw stuff out? Do I hide them... and invariably eat too many of them myself? Do I dole them out a little at a time so they last until next Halloween? Frankly, I hate having to be the junk food police. It makes me the bad guy and creates stress in the house. It also fosters begging for the crap the minute they wake at 7am until the time they close their eyes at 9pm.

So here's what I do. Unlimited candy. Yes, it sounds crazy but I'm strict about the times. They can eat whatever they want from noon to an hour before dinner. Then again after dinner until an hour before bed. This serves many purposes. No begging at breakfast, no chocolate left by the end of next week, no stress, and I'm not the bad guy. So they're eating thousands of calories and potentially rotting their teeth out of their heads. Whaddya gonna do? Crunchy with the smooth, right?