Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I don't talk much about my work

Only to say how much I love it and how much fun I have there. Plus the girls I work with are awesome and the kids are fabulous and... where was I?

Yes. I don't talk about work. But something so cool happened today that I can't help but tell you. It was past my normal shift time and I was just wrapping up some last minute paperwork. Just forms and stuff and in my head I was halfway home. A four-year old girl who's not normally in my class came up to me and asked if she could "sing my special song". (I'm calling her Ivy because Scott wouldn't let me use that name for Audrey and I love it. Needless to say it's not hers...)

I mumbled "sure" but I kept on writing and barely looked up. Seriously, I thought she was going to break out the Dreidel Song that I'd heard easily fifty thousand times (no hyperbole here) since the beginning of Hanukkah, or something like it. I'm an idiot because she opened her mouth and this came out:

When I realized, I put my pen down and stared and by the end I was biting my lip to keep from crying. If you say you saw a tear run down my cheek I'll deny it but it may or may not be true. I couldn't believe it!

She had such a sweet voice and knew all the words perfectly. Suddenly I wasn't in such a hurry to leave. I gave her such a squeeze when she was done!

So I just want to say thank you to Ivy who made my afternoon a whole lot more Miserable. Get what I did there?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello Thursday

For today's post I thought I'd regale you with some YouTube clips that have me obsessing lately. Be forewarned that they're pretty geeky so turn away now if you aren't similarly inclined.

1. The first is Will Smith's new movie trailer which also stars his son Jaden. Will and I have a strange relationship. I love him like a brother and I'm bizarrely convinced that if he and I met we'd be instant friends. Our families would hang out together having BBQs and playing board games. In fact around my house we call him "Uncle Will". But that still doesn't silence the part of me who does so enjoy seeing him with his shirt off. Don't judge.

The trailer for Les Miserables. Never before had I even considered leaving my family on Christmas Day to see a movie. I can barely sit through this trailer without tearing up. I simply canNOT wait.

My love of all things Who is unprecedented and well known here so let's not dwell. But I will say that between Les Mis and The Doctor Who Christmas Special, Christmas Day is going to be very very special for Santa's brownest nerd.

4. Star Trek. The trailer for the new movie came out and Oh My Hell, it looks fantastic. I must have watched this 15 times and all it is is explosions and screaming.

5. Strange new movie about a zombie who comes back to life through the power of love. Yes, I know it sounds dumb and mostly for teens but if you think about most of the above clips, you'll see why it appeals to me. Plus why can they have vampire love stories and werewolf romances and nothing with zombies? I'm all for equality.

6. I just added this last one because as most of you know I work in a Jewish preschool and it's Hanukkah this week. This song has been stuck in my head on a loop and I thought maybe by posting it it would loosen its hold. Unfortunately I spent 10 minutes looking for the perfect version (one that was most like the one we sing in class) and it has only served to make it worse. I think at this point if you cracked open my skull, dreidels would spill out.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

At 2:01 pm Tuesday I was

What else? Knitting. What happened to me? I used to be so cool, now I spend my afternoons in my leopard print Snuggie, watching the Food Network and knitting like I live in a nursing home. Please come back, summer. It's the time of year I feel more like an athlete and less like an old age pensioner. Yikes!


PS: To illustrate my point about how long I can stay stationary, please enjoy the finished hat that was started on those needles only yesterday. I finished it about 15 minutes ago...

Monday, December 10, 2012

So the other day I saw one of those bumper stickers.

You know the ones. The braggy ones that say "Proud Parent of an Honour Student". To be honest I only think they're braggy because I'll never get to stick one on my car. Do they even make stickers for the less academically inclined? Where's my bumper sticker proclaiming "Parent of a Student"?

As the mother of 3 completely average kids, can I sour grape the "proud parents" for a minute? They have to take their clever kids to expensive tutoring sessions and extra lessons while I get to spend quality time with my little braniacs shopping at the Mall or watching The Walking Dead. These smartypants kids get to go to enriching music classes while my little darlings are at hockey practices getting their clocks cleaned by other similarly inclined children.

Plus, if your kids are super smart, they inevitably leave to go to some specialised University, learning more and more, far, far away from your loving arms. Whereas my wonderful spawn will be living in my house for a long long (long) time.

So brag if you will, bumper sticker parents. My kids will stay here with me forever and that is what I keep trying to convince myself is exactly what I want. So yeah.


Friday, December 7, 2012

At 2:01 Tuesday I

Was at the library looking for some French books about winter and winter clothes. Incredibly I'm the French teacher for my little preschool class. Don't tell anyone but the senior kindergarten kids in my class who go to French immersion school in the afternoons will be miles ahead of me (language-wise) once they graduate to grade 1. But we still have a ball. For instance, on Monday I dressed in my outdoor clothes then took them off while describing each of them in French  Oh my god, I just read that back and it sounds like the world's grossest and most inappropriate striptease.

Quel horreur!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Three

For today's blog I'd like to share three things from my house that I'd save in a fire. But first I'd like to state that:
  • My family and cat go without saying. 
  • Object weight doesn't count. It's my fire fantasy so I'm going to be bionic and have 3 sets of arms.
  • My purse also goes without saying. My phone and iPod are in there. And my lip gloss for when the   handsome firefighters arrive.
  • Let's also automatically add my photo albums. They're the only evidence of the time I had long hair. Not even my iPod contains that comedy gold.
Dang, I got distracted. Okay, let's start over.

For today's blog I'd like to share 3 things from my kitchen that I'd save in a fire.
  1. My KitchenAid mixer. Ask anyone who has one. Plus she has a name so she's part of the family. You may address her as Terra. There's a geeky explanation for that which will put me off track if I start.
  2. My super sharp, perfectly balanced, all steel (one moulded piece including the handle), gorgeous Wusthof knife that Scott brought me direct from Germany. It's the most expensive thing in the kitchen after Terra.
  3. An Oikos lime flavoured Greek yoghurt. It's my current obsession. So yummy, thick and pudding-like. Plus bananas are for closers. Hey, I'll likely get hungry waiting for those hunky firemen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I've finally gotten organised enough to post these.

Here are photos from our Vegas trip of last week. For those who were out of the loop, an old high school friend won tickets for 24 hours in Vegas, couldn't go and gave them to Scott and me. The trip was Wednesday and Thursday last week. Just a note, the trip was only the airfare down. No hotel, spending money or anything. With 2 days salary lost, accommodations  food and activities, we spent a little more than usual for the middle of the week. That said, it was a total blast!

I thought of several ways to write up this blog but realized the simpler the better since we were on limited time. I set my iPod to ring every hour (except the 5 hours we were sleeping) and snapped a shot. All times were EST...

This was the time we left the house. Had to be at the airport for 5:15
6am: A little caffeine never goes amiss

7am: This was her first flight!

Champagne at 8am? I'm game.

9am: Are we there yet?
10am: Bathroom break

11am: The geek must read

12pm: The Grand Canyon by plane. Desperately searching for  discarded Acme products...

1pm: We've finally arrived

2pm: On our way up to our room at the Tropicana

3pm: Quick walk before our desert tour starts

4pm: Red Rock Canyon.
5pm: Cliff, our enthusiastic and fun tour guide
6pm: See? What did I say? Enthusiastic!

7pm: Tour is over. I thought you'd be tired of desert scenes
8pm: Back to the Trop to change clothes
9pm: Wasn't this in Big?
10pm: SHOES! These little beauties were a steal from Fendi at  $745
11pm: Hot and sour soup and Caesar's Palace. 
12am: The Paris nightlife
1am: Back to our room for a quick rest before our next activity...
2am: A comedy club

3am: Borat before bed? Why not?

4am: This is what sheer exhaustion looks like

After the above shot we went to bed. I wanted to be fresh as a daisy for our final Vegas activity:

11am: Blammo!

Then we went home. The end. We barely even gambled. In fact we put more money in the slot machines at the airport than at the casinos. This was the craziest trip I'd ever been on and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

At 2:01pm I was packing a bag

Inside this bag is a dress, pjs, undies and spanx, jean shorts, a pair of sandals, a bathing suit, 2 blouses and a pair of socks. Plus makeup. Why? We're going to Vegas, baby! For about 37 hours. I'll be taking quite a few photos that I'll post all over the place so that whole "stays in Vegas" thing will be a non-starter. Besides, how much trouble can two middle aged parents with joint issues and less time than it takes to give birth get into?

Oooh, if this was a movie we'd cut to a scene like out of "The Hangover" right now...


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

At 2:01pm today I...

was listening to one of my favourite podcasts. It's the only one around about my favourite soap Coronation Street. And since it's 2 weeks ahead of the broadcast here in Canada so, yay, spoilers! Hi (and thank you) Michael and Gemma!

I've been watching this show since 1990 and stories abound about our relationship. When I went into labour with Elliott in 1996, I stayed home (too long according to my ob/gyn) so I could watch the outcome of a trial before I  left for the hospital.

Audrey and Elliott both have namesakes on the show and every day I pray that a Henry or Henderson will show up.

When Elliott was little, I was part of an Ottawa Coronation Street group that periodically had "meetings" in pubs. I was chosen for a CBC radio interview to talk about the show and the fact it was being delayed for weeks due to Olympic coverage. I sounded both lucid and sane.

A couple of years ago I was on a CBC television special about rabid fans called Corrie Crazy. They actually came over to my house to film that one. In that interview I sounded neither lucid nor sane. I think it all went downhill when they asked me to re-enact Elliott's birth (the part before I left for the hospital) and I agreed. Out of sheer humiliation (and you know me, I'm a shameless self-promoter), I never told anyone when that one aired but since I've outed myself here's the link. I said so many other insightful things that they didn't use. Whatever.

I've never met any of the characters but one day when I win the lotto, I hope to take the Kemptville Travel trip to the set. Yearly, I get the most tempting brochure complete with photos of last year's participants with the stars they met or with their bellies up to the Rovers Return bar. Agony.

I love meeting fellow Corrie fans. There's at least one every place you go. One of your first interactions is always "so how long have you been watching?" You can't help it... it's been on for 52 years. Did you know that one of the current actors has been on since day 1? He's a world record holder.

Sorry, this post must be so boring for non-Corrie watchers I apologise. The next one will be about something we can all relate to. I haven't decided what that'll be yet but I'm sure you'll love it.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

I love this post

I posted this last year on 11 November. It was simple but I like the sentiment so much that I thought I'd repost.

You Don't Know Jack


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

At 2:01 Today I

was trying to book a hotel in Vegas for that crazy trip.

Well, actually from the shot above, you can see that I got distracted. I finally decided on the Tropicana. Please don't tell me everything you hated about it, it took me long enough to decide.

I didn't really care where we stayed but I wanted Scott to feel less grouchy about the imposition this trip creates. Supposedly they filmed a bit of Diamonds Are Forever there (Scott's a James Bond freak) and some of the Godfather Part 2) plus it's old so it has a bit of historical value which he gets a charge out of (uch... such awful grammar). And to be honest, you can't go wrong with a $60 room with a pool and free internet.

Anyway, that's what  was doing at 2:01...


Monday, November 5, 2012

Nom nom nom.

That's the sound of me eating my words. In 2007 I posted this. I'll give you a second to read it...

Back? Great!

Well, it turns out that even though I didn't TRY to win this, it fell in my lap anyway. An old high school friend (Hi Hugh!) won it and couldn't go so he offered to to me. While it never occurred to me to try for it myself, I'm not a total kook and would never look a gift horse in the mouth. So Scott and I are Vegas bound for 1 single solitary day.

 Here are my previous arguments knocked down one by one:

 "I'd need a sitter to sleep here overnight and get the kids to school if it's a school day."
- The kids are older now so what we've decided was to farm them out to their friends. Each one is going on a sleepover and it works out well. All the parent has to do is feed each kid dinner, provide them a bed, then make sure they get to school in the morning which should be easy since they're in each kids' class. The next day they can come straight home since we'll be home later. It's so much easier than having someone sleep here to "babysit" on a weeknight.

"What do I want with a trip that doesn't provide me with an actual bed?"
- Why NOT sleep? There's nothing in the rules that says you can't just book a room. We decided to do one tour (of the desert), have a nice dinner, gamble a bit, then sleep. In a hotel. We aren't kids anymore.

"Then there's the Vegas aspect. I've been there for a four day weekend and even that wasn't enough. There was so much to see."
- Silly. We're going to choose one thing then do it. Walking around and soaking up the atmosphere (and the warm temps) will have to be enough. I have to work in the morning. God, I'm so old...

"Anyway, if you go to Cirque de Soleil, say, then go for dinner and gamble a little you're done. Call me crazy but that doesn't sound like a prize to me. I'd much rather win movie passes."
- Are you kidding? This is nearly the exact trip we're planning. And I do NOT stand by what I said about the movie passes.

"The preparation for the trip would take more time than the trip itself. You'd have to find the perfect outfit since you don't have time to change. No luggage. You'd have to wear (ugh!) comfortable shoes. I don't know."
- Here's the deal... I'm already packed. I love that everything I need can fit in one tiny bag. One pair of shorts, one top, one pair of sandals, a makeup case, a toothbrush and pyjamas. Oh, and a bathing suit. It can actually all fit in a Ziploc bag. Love this. And the comfortable shoes? Please. I have 9 pairs of Converse. The problem will be deciding on a colour.

"This sounds like no prize."
- Ummm, yeah, it does. And I have to thank Hugh again for being so generous about giving it away. When we get back, he is so getting the best steak dinner I can muster. With cake.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Three Things

It's Thursday and, as always, it's time for the Thursday Three Things.

Did you to go back and check if I've actually ever done this before? Ha! I've never done this before but I thought I'd give it a try it today.

So for the inaugural post, I thought I'd tell you three things I absolutely love about myself. Yes, I know how that sounds but as I've said many many times and in fact have that as my slogan on twitter (@mamashake if you're interested), I have high self esteem.

  1. I love that I'm good with kids. I got my ECE (Early Childhood Education) degree under duress in 1993 (long story maybe for another post) but I never looked back. Before I had kids of my own it was handy but now that I have my own, it's been invaluable. Even though ECE studies children up to 12, I'm finding dealing with teens nearly palatable and I blame it on a good foundation.
  2. I love that I know sign language. I'm definitely not as fluent as I used to be but I still remember quite a bit. I have fun teaching the kids in my class and the few times I've run into deaf people in real life, I love that I can communicate. Once, years ago, I translated scuba diving instructions for a deaf couple on our Jamaican cruise and I was never more proud that I knew how.
  3. I love that I can drive. I know that's a weird one but I think every time I take the car out, there's a moment when I swell with pride. My mother lived her whole life without ever driving and I didn't learn myself until I was in my early 30s. My dad (almost) always seemed happy to take her anywhere she wanted to go even when she was a nurse working the night shift. It seemed like such an imposition even though he never complained. With our 3 kids all in activities, a shitty, undependable and expensive transit system and plenty of things to do ourselves, there's no way I couldn't drive.

And that's about it. Well, actually I love lots more things about myself like my teeth, my sense of humour, my vast knowledge of pop culture and my Converse collection but there was a limit. Maybe next time I'll do a Thursday Thirty Things...


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

At 2:01 today I was...

contemplating cleaning out the fridge.

I ended up grabbing a pear and a BonBel and shutting the door. Maybe tomorrow...


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

At 2:01pm today, I

was performing the enviable task of cleaning cat puke off my bedroom floor. Thanks for the gift, Tazzy. I can hear you all now... "Stop effing posting about your glamourous life, Karen. You're making us all green." To that I reply, never.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

My dad is in Dominica right now

That's not the point of today's post (and for those of you not aware of my family history it's Dominica (do-min-EE-ca), nothing to do with, not pronounced like or anywhere near the Dominican Republic). Very few people have heard of it, let's move on...

So my dad is there visiting family and again I have to bring up his travel and accommodation plans.

First, he left for the airport on the red-eye. No problem booking a cheaper 6am flight but there is a problem with how he got to the airport. Driving a good friend to the airport is the test of a friendship at the best of times. Driving your neighbour to the airport for 4 o'clock in the blessed am is just not on. The guy who lives next door actually drove my dad and his wife to the airport at that ungodly hour. And he had to work the next day. Well, later that day. Who does that? Would you even ask? I will mention that he's Portuguese only to explain this point... I think the willingness to do this is a combination of age and ethnicity. I asked Scott if his dad would have ever asked or offered the airport run to someone who he only spoke to to pick up his mail while away and the bark of laughter made the cat jump off the couch.

Next, he's on this trip for 3 weeks. "Wow!", you think. "Three weeks in a hotel must cost a fortune! The Kayes must be loaded!". You're so wrong. Because he's staying at his sister-in-law's house. To clarify, his brother passed away 5 years ago. And before you think what your're thinking (dirty minds), he's staying there with his wife and just... well, ick. The problem is just staying nearly a month with someone you don't really know all that well and haven't seen in ages. Wouldn't it be every kind of imposition there is? Seriously, I'd be hard pressed to offer my house for 3 weeks even if I was out of town.

Does that make me mean? Am I a bad friend? Personally I think that a little distance keeps a friendship fresh. I mean how can they miss you if you won't go away?


Thursday, October 4, 2012

So I'm going to write my autobiography

Okay, that's not true. You actually have to do interesting things to warrant an autobiography but I was thinking about what the title would be, as you do. Also, who would play me in the inevitable movie adaptation (Jada Pinkett-Smith and co-incidentally wouldn't the whole family come out to watch her work on the very same day I go out to see the filming and Will and I would talk and... where was I? Oh yes, the autobiography...).

So I was thinking that the title would be cheeky yet reverential and wise. Like "Karen: The Untold Story of a Woman, Her Life and Loves". Too much? I agree I went a bit overboard with that one. I may have my own blog but I'm not that creative right off the bat. It took me years to come up with an email address that was more interesting than Plus, I've had a very short life (so far) with laughably few "loves". And of course this blog makes it difficult to come up with anything "untold". You guys even know about the most humiliating episode in my recent memory. And I can't believe I just linked to it. Again. You know what? Yes, I can.

So anyway, the crux of today's blog is, well, I have no idea. I was having a blank spell and the resource I use for bloggy ideas said to "write the first line of your autobiography". Then all this happened. Yup.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

At 2:01 yesterday I was...

... well, actually I was er... peeing. But when I came out of the bathroom, this was what greeted me.
Nice, eh? Scott took me out to Perth for a pub lunch for no reason. We had emu burgers (not a typo) walked around, went to some antique shops then came straight back home. Sweet day with a sweet guy. These are some of the perks when neither one of you works full time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My journey to see Journey

So I bought these tickets months ago and I only found someone to go with at the last minute. Thanks Nicole! But honestly... Who wouldn't want to see Loverboy, Pat Benatar and Journey all together on one bill? I mean really! It would have been a steal at half the price. Three bands of my childhood together? They weren't even my favourites but they were played all through my youth that I couldn't help but want to go.

I don't want to bore you if you're not interested (remember my Wicked post?) but I have to go on about it just for a bit. Let me start with the opening act, Loverboy. Pretty short set and I have to say quite unintentionally hilarious. The lead singer Mike Reno has not aged well and could barely move across the stage. In fact, he seemed to be using the mike stand as a cane for much of the performance. Poor guy looked a bit like a pot bellied middle aged dad doing karaoke. The only times he moved from his spot was to get a drink which I'm sure was laced with Pepto and not bourbon like the old days. And I think he may have taken a huff out of an oxygen tank at one point. He wore a bandanna and sunglasses and at the end of his set he wrung out that sweaty square of cloth and threw it into the audience. In the old days that would have caused a riot but everyone in my section let out an audible "EWWWW!" We sure have grown up.

Pat Benatar was next. Holy hell, she was good. She had great rapport with the crowd and told us a lot about the songs before she sang them. Her husband has been her guitarist and she delighted in telling us many times that they were married 34 years. In that industry she may as well said 340. Incredible. She looked young and gorgeous and could still hit the high notes. I knew many more of her songs than the other 2 bands so I enjoyed her the most. I'll never forget learning the choreography to the Love is a Battlefield video and dancing in Kathy's basement.

Last was Journey. I knew going in that Steve Perry the lead singer wasn't with the band anymore but I had no idea who would be taking his place. Wow, was I ever surprised and impressed with the guy they chose. And how did they choose him, you ask? Fricking YouTube. Unbelievable. And was it ever nice to have someone who could jump around and hit the high notes. So much energy. Plus, I have 2 more words for you: Confetti cannon. Here's the band explaining how they found him: So in all, the concert was excellent. My throat is sore, my legs ache and I am happy. What else do you want for $65? kxx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

At 2:01 today I...

Was trying to figure out how to get Google Maps back onto my iPod after their latest "update" took it away from me (as well as YouTube but I got that back too). After about 20 minutes of faffing about I finally figured it out so I'm happy again.

If you're anything like me, you get lost (a lot) and rely on maps and gps for everything even getting around your own city to places you only go infrequently.

Here are a couple of getting lost stories. I have tons of them but these illustrate my ineptitude perfectly:

I had to go to Toys R Us and I got there with no problem but in telling the story later I likened the aisles to being like a game of piñata where you are spun around and around. When I got out I drove for kilometres in the exact wrong direction until I realised I was going east rather than west.

Then there was the time I was going to pick up Scott at work. I was a pretty new driver at the time so I kinda freaked when I got to the exit and wasn't aggressive enough to cut in. I zoomed past the exit thinking I could just take the next one and turn back onto the highway but you know when you make plans and God laughs? I had to call Scott from the airport to tell him I'd be late. Very.

What happens most often is that I can never remember how to get somewhere I only go once or twice a year. My mind is too chock full of other things like the name of the doctor from the Love Boat (Dr. Adam Bricker played by Bernie Kopell) or the exact number of cast-on stitches I need to knit a perfect hat (72). I can't have the directions to the Rideau Canoe Club taking up valuable real estate. I mean really.

So that's what I was doing at 2:01 today.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A vent about this sort of teacher's strike

With 2 kids in high school, I'm annoyed by Ontario teachers cutting or outright cancelling extracurricular activities in a sort of work-to-rule action. This is because the current government is being a bunch of bullying douche-bags.

Think back to high school. Do you remember your workaday classes, your exams or tests? I'll bet you don't. You remember your school play, your sporting events and your terrible band, all of which are cancelled for my kids for the time being.

My kids are both in crucial high school years. Audrey is in her first year and this will colour her attitude about her entire high school career. She was really looking forward to joining the band and maybe choir. Elliott is in grade 11, the year that universities look at when they make their considerations. What are they looking for? Yes, marks but also involvement in extracurriculars. I'm not sure if they're going to care if there was eff all on offer in the first place.

Anyway, I had to vent about this. I hope this job action doesn't screw the kids over. Also note that I haven't blamed the teachers in this. They are just trying to exercise their rights without wrecking the school year. I'm just sad about the kids missing the fun stuff of school. One of my best high school memories was a 4 day grade 11 trip to New York City which wouldn't have happened if this was going on then.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

At 2:01 today I was...

Baking! Today was another day off for me for Rosh Hashana and after "wasting" yesterday by doing absolutely nothing, I decided to bake for my upcoming girl's weekend in wine country. I usually stay for the whole weekend but my niece is getting married Saturday so I have to zoom back home after one night. At least I have Friday. It'd be such a shame to miss it since this is year 4 for us and I'm one of the founding members. Looks like I'll just have to cram all the drinking, eating, shopping and my special yearly bath (in the giant clawfoot tub) all into one night.

So today I baked some savoury muffins made with cheese, bacon and green onions. They pissed me off to no end when they stuck to the cupcake paper I used. I managed to salvage 12 and not throw them against the wall but it was touch and go. The rest look awful with blue and white checked paper fused to their hulls. Not my best work.

I also made a batch of what's called "Slutty Brownies". How could I not make them after seeing that name? And oh hell, are they rich. And good. And fattening. A layer of cookie dough, a layer of Oreos and a layer of brownie? Even though I'm indifferent to chocolate, I couldn't help scarfing down two of them.

And of course I had to make 2 batches of each treat because my family has started getting awkward about my baking for others and not them. So basically it's double the work. They're lucky I like them.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

At 2:01 Tuesday I was...

Gassing up the car.

Funny story. Well amusing. Okay, let's be real here: Story.

I got the final incarnation of my final drivers' licence (there are a whole bunch of levels to go though) when I was 32. For the longest while I tried to take the car only when there was a full tank of gas. Unfortunately there was one time when the light came on and I couldn't avoid it any more because Scott was out of town for work. I had to pump my own gas.

Unfortunately full serve was rare even then and I hadn't been driving long enough to know where those stations were. I pulled up to the place closest to home, hoping it would explain itself to me out of a clear blue sky like the Pump Whisperer or something but it didn't. In fact it was one of those old school tanks with no text readout at all. Most tanks in 1999 didn't have those fancy card readers and cool tv-like displays anyway. I looked at the tank in complete and utter disappointment. I thought about pulling away but I had no idea how long the car could run on fumes. I thought about abandoning the car right there and then, claiming that I had a mental breakdown. When clearer heads prevailed, I pulled out my cell phone (at least those had been invented) and called Scott. In Frankfurt. Germany.

Me: Ummm... can you help me with something?
Him: Sure. What's up? The guys and I are about to go out for dinner so I have to make it quick.
Me: Er...yeah. Look, I'm at MacEwan's and... (humiliated pause)
Him: Yes...
Me (sigh): I have to fill up the car and I don't know how the pump works.
Him (long pause where I could hear his mental laughter coming through the ear pressed to the phone): You know I'll never let you forget this, right?
Me: Yes. Just shut up and help me.

And to his credit, he hasn't. Good times. Now it's my job to fill the car when I go grocery shopping and I actually like it. Especially since I use that Esso Speedpass thingie that you just wave at the pump and it takes the money right off your credit card. I've actually been known to go to a different gas station if I have to go all the way to the store to pay the attendant inside. Spoiled rotten, I am...