The Daily EO: May 15th, 2012

As I promised last Tuesday, Emile and I returned to the United Church for the final movie in the “Think About It” movie series today.  The movie was called “The World According to Monsanto”.  It’s a documentary about Monsanto, one of – if not the largest – Agro/Biotech companies in the world.  It had allegations of FDA/government/Monsanto collusion, scientist smear campaigns, worldwide food/farmer control and destruction of our natural specimens.  If only half of the things in the movie were true, then it is horrifying.

The movie was presented by two gentlemen who care deeply about many issues the world.  One was moderate, and I listened while he spoke.  The other was a rabid protester who was practically foaming at the mouth just introducing the movie.  “The most EVIL company on earth.” foam, foam.  “Agent Orange!”  drooling, foam.   Emile and I were avoiding eye contact so we wouldn’t giggle.  And what is funny about poisoning our world?  Nothing.  But it’s the messenger in this case.  Get ahold of yourself, man!

See, there are a bunch of us in the middle – we care, we modify our behaviors when educated about the impact, but we just don’t care *that* much.   So, when faced with an activist or protestor that seems to only see the Black and White of an issue, it turns us off.  I start to think that this person doesn’t truly understand the complexities of the issues, hasn’t researched the problem and I really shouldn’t take anything they are saying as anything more than ranting.  The hallmarks of such a protestor is someone who presents opinion as facts, whose conversations connect not through facts but instead unrelated “evil acts” by corporations/governments and who cannot see small marginal changes as improvements.  So moderate types like me have difficulty relating to such a person and therefore we toss the message out with the messenger.  That only harms the cause.  You’re losing me – and I am the majority!  The people in the middle who care, but just not as much as you do.

The “discussion” at the end of the movie was more of the same.  Are all genetically modified foods harmful?  I don’t know.   Are there any pesticides that can be used in moderation without damaging our ecosystem?  I don’t know.  Is Monsanto the most evil corporate on earth?  Well, heaven doesn’t seem the goal.    But we didn’t discuss that.   Instead, all the participants seemed to think it was more helpful to bring up all sorts of scandals, conspiracies, cover ups, corruptions, etc that have ever happened (or alleged to have happened, or even probably didn’t happen) that were unrelated to the movie or the issue.  Then an activist stood up to invite us all to a “peace picnic” on Sunday evening in the park.   She then used it as an opportunity to brag about all the protests she has been involved in.  “That was me!” echoed through the church.  Get me out of here.

I occasionally wonder what is wrong with me – why don’t I care enough?  I do try.  I buy organic when I can afford to, I avoid GMOs in soybeans, I drive a small fuel efficient car, I buy natural and organic health and cleaning products.  I am doing okay.  But I am not suddenly going to move into a yurt and shun all corporations, screaming “Kill the corporate pigs!” while banging on a hand-made drum.  Let’s be real here.

So, you want my heart?  When speaking to me, bring a coherent unbiased presentation of the facts, speak about one issue at a time, tell me your ultimate goal in this protest and then tell me what I could do in my every day life to make a difference.  I will listen, I will think about it, I might support you and I may even make the suggested changes in my life.

Because right now? I am thinking you are all a bunch of wackos – and that you should be avoided – along with your message.

May 15th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Giggling in the sanctuary with my husband about the lack of grey in some people’s worlds.

Maintenance May Day 15:
Left my quarter in my shopping cart for the next person.  (soul)
Attending the movie as noted above to learn more about BioTech and GMOs. (knowledge)


The Daily EO: May 14th, 2012

I was a smart kid.  I always did well in grade school and I found it easy to navigate the world’s requirements.  I actually looked forward to taking tests and exams because it allowed me to prove to myself (and others) how smart I was.  Hey!  I said I was smart, not modest.   Anyways, I eventually learned that I wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.  And became much easier to live with in the process, I’m sure.  You’d have to ask my mom.

I was contacted on Friday afternoon by a recruiter to request a second interview.  She warned me, the second interview wasn’t going to be easy like the first – they were really going to “grill” me.  Hmmm.  I accepted the second interview and set it for Monday at 11:00 am.  As I was driving to the interview, the recruiter called me again to let me know the HR person called to warn there would be a lot of managers in the room – “Don’t get intimidated”.

This is where my childhood desire to prove how well I know my stuff came into play.  Grill me?  Bring it!  Intimidate me?  Just try it!  Ha!  Ask me anything about Materials Management, Manufacturing Philosophy, Management Principles!  I’m ready.   Pshaw!  Grill me, will you?  I Grill You!

And they tried.   The questions were intelligent, appropriate, and normally perhaps difficult.  But I’ll tell you this – once you’ve worked at a well-managed company that eventually went into receivership during the midst of unprecedented upheaval in your industry (automotive) and watched the American financial system collapse, there isn’t much that can faze you.  And afterall, I am a Materials Manager and that’s was they were looking for – its not like I had to name all the bones in the human body.

May 14th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  That was no grilling – that was a tanning bed.

Maintenance May Day 14:
Packed a healthy low-calorie lunch to eat on the drive home from the interview (body).
Asked the President of the company why there was a sign in their lobby that Read “31 Years of Excellence.  1980-2011”.  Did the excellence stop?  (career or not?)
Extremely courteous and friendly to the cashier at Shopper’s Drug Mart who was having a terrible day.  (soul)

The Daily EO: May 13th, 2012

Today was mother’s day and my sister-in-law’s birthday.  We all decided on a quiet day – brunch and dinner together and hanging out in between.  Not too much flair and fuss.  After brunch, my MIL and SIL and I decided to go shopping at the local mall.

At Sears, I tried on a Jones & Co summer dress that I didn’t need, but it was 50% off, and everyone else was trying on dresses, why shouldn’t I?  It was size 12.   It was close-fitting cut and needed fit properly or you’d be fussing with it all the time.  The  dress was too flappy in the bosom and too loose in the waist.  It didn’t fit right.  Sigh.  But, wait, . . . if it was too big in two different places, then perhaps I needed a size 10.  And a 10 fit perfectly!  It know I shouldn’t care.  I know the size number should never matter.  But a size 10!  I had a huge piece of Vegan Chocolate Cake that day and 30 ounces of wine in the previous 48 hours.  Pretty good.

Off to Old Navy where cheap shorts were my target.  I took all my size 12s into the fitting room – as surely the size 10 was a fluke.  (do not tempt fate) Apparently the 10 was  – all of these size 12 shorts were too small.  I had to bump up to a 14 in all of them.  Do you think it is possible to expand whilst walking through a mall?

Then to The Bay were I found a pair of Jessica Simpson jean shorts – that were sized logically – based on the universally accepted INCHES of your waist measurement.  I grabbed a 32  because my waist is 31 or 32 and looked on with confusion as fell on the floor.  I had to drop down to a size 29, and really a 28 would be even better.

May 13, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  When did the length of an inch change?  I am so behind the times.

Maintenance May Day 13:
Didn’t let my MIL purchase those weird almost-skin-tone shorts at Cleo.  (family, soul)
Had a good heart-to-heart with my MIL (connection)

The Daily EO: May 12th, 2012

Alcohol is poison. It takes a large dose to kill us but nonetheless it is poisonous. It slows your reactions, impairs our judgement, affects our metabolism and pushes our liver to process out the toxins.  But yet, we wrap it up in fancy bottles and talk about strawberry undertones and food pairings.

The detrimental effects of processing alcohol on my body was obvious than when I ran Saturday morning. (see how committed we are?)  After consuming about 10 ozs of wine on Friday with delicious food pairings, I ate a healthy, low-calorie healthy dinner and went to bed at a reasonable time.  We drove to an area of vineyards near Emile’s parent’s house (read: nice and flat) and started out.   The flatness of the area had that dessert oasis effect where things seem much closer than they are.  I ran and I ran and I ran and when I finally made it to my goal – a cross street – I checked my GPS and found I had run . . . . . 7/10 kms.  Huh?  This is not possible!  And the worse part?  The car was now .7 kms away.

I managed to sprint, stumble, and drag myself 3.3 kms, but it wasn’t gazelle-like nor inspiring.  Emile, of course, dug deep and managed to get in 5.0 kms.  I walked another 1 km and collapsed by the car.

This is how I know alcohol is poison.  Because it couldn’t be my will that is weak.

May 12th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Visiting 18 Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries today despite the first-hand knowledge of the impacts of alcohol on my body.  Food, wine, summer weather, and good company.  Who cares what tomorrow brings?

Maintenance May Day 12:
A day with Emile’s parents – a nice break for two extremely hard-working people (Family)
Baked a vegan chocolate cake that the who family could eat (vegan due to allergies) for my sister-in-law’s birthday on Sunday.  (Body/Connection)
Did not steal extra Bergamont Cupcakes at the final winery of the day despite an overwhelming desire of the delicious orange frosting and moist interior despite the host’s back being turned.  (Soul)


The Daily EO: May 11th, 2012

At 1 am Friday morning, my husband – and therefore me – awoke to his phone ringing.  He is on call 24/7 for IT issues at his company (for the next month anyways) and according to Murphy when problems are going to happen, they happen at night.  I too have had to carry a pager, and I often was paged in the night.  More frequently than I could believe, the caller was surprised to find that I had been sleeping when they paged me.  I am not sure why this would be – I always understood that night shift workers probably wouldn’t relish a call from me at 2 pm.

Often I was paged with a problem I could not solve from my bed linens.  “Susan, we can’t find the blah-blah capacitor for the production that was scheduled to start 3 hours ago.”  Well, let me look in my pj’s. . .  no, not here.   “Susan, we can’t find the key for storage room.”  Yes, really.  “Susan, the line is down, so we can’t run SMT (surface mount technology) for your product you needed”.  Um, do I need to know that NOW?  Do you want me to get my wrench and come into work and try to fix the machine?

And such was the call Emile received at 1 am.  The caller was gobsmacked to hear that he had been sleeping.  Granted she was new to the position – although not the human race as far as I know.   I am sure she intellectually understands that most people sleep at night.  But somehow, she missed it on this occasion.  Yes, Emile could likely solve her problem quickly and  in this case, he said “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”  (yes, IT people really do have to say that sometimes).  And it worked – although he then had to explain to her what her log-in passwords are and that SQL was a programming language and in no way had anything to do with Squirrel the Resort Software.   Yes, all of this on-call thing is part of his job, I get it, but the day shift/night shift relationships are funny to me nonetheless.  (when I am not crabby from lack of sleep anyways)

Is this punishment for us day timers because we got the “good” shifts? Do you just call us to play with us?  And laugh away with all of your sallow complexioned night shift friends?

 May 11th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  The lack of empathy from night shift team members on sleep schedules of the day shift team members.

Maintenance May Day 11:
Gave $10 back to the teenaged girl at American Eagle Outfitters who dropped it at my feet.  I had put it in wallet as I thought I had dropped it, but when she started panicking with her friend and searching for her missing $10, I put things together.  (soul)  (part of me wanted to keep it when I saw the skimpy tank top she wanted to buy with it)
Ate Savory Lemon Verbana Scone, Basil Panini, Thai Lemongrass Spiced Pulled Pork Taco with Mango Salsa, Arugula Pesto Pasta, Pineapple Sage Marmalade, Lemon Thyme Citron Tart and Chinese Five Spice Pork Loin with Chive Salsa in Niagara perfectly paired with Niagara wines during the Wine & Herb Festival on-going in May.  (Body & Soul)

The Daily EO: May 10th, 2012

They say “love happens when you’re making other plans”.  I’ve always taken that to mean don’t be desperate in your search for things, instead focus on what you can control in your life and things will come to you.  Put it out there, and it comes back to you.  Karma.  Whatever you want to call it.  My mom calls it “full circle”.  She has always told me, everything comes back around again.  (this was less helpful in high school when a week felt like forever) Repeatedly find she is right.

I feel pretty good these days.  I don’t have a job yet, nor a firm plan yet, but I feel good about me.  It seems that all the energy that I have put into fitness, health, finance organization, friends, blogging, connections and everything else is coming back to me.  I like that – I need that energy coming back to me.  From where I was in January, it seems incredible that my outlook, buoyancy and feeling of well-being are turned around.  Yes, tomorrow may come with its downers and anxiety, but those days feel fewer, and I am better able to deal with them.

So, if life seems like “a winter’s day in deep and dark December”, hold on, push through, and do something for yourself and see if it doesn’t come full circle.

May 10th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:   I feel good today.

Maintenance May Day 10:
Printed out my entire blog and mailed it to my grandmother.  We should not penalize those who do not have/use computers.  (family)
Personality Approved, Interview requested.  (career)

The Daily EO: May 9th, 2012

I sign up for e-mails and surveys if there is something immediate in it for me.  If I am asked for my opinion on something I am not going to give it to you for free nor even the “chance to win”.  If you want me to tell you my opinion, I need something now.  (Um, except when my opinion is on my blog – what a deal you are getting!)  Some goes with my e-mail address.  Marketers, you want my e-mail address?  Then you better give me something for it.  Like AirMiles, or Petro Points, a Point of Sale discount, a cupcake, or something.

A while ago, I was shopping in Banana Republic.  They asked if I wanted my receipt on paper, or e-mailed to me.  As well, if I gave them my e-mail address, I would get 25% off my purchase today.  25%?  No thinking required.  Here is my e-mail address.  The girl told me that I would get some pretty good deals.   Sure, I would, honey.  At worse, I could just point them to the spam bucket.

This practice of POS discounts at the company that owns Banana Republic, The Gap and Old Navy eventually led to all three brands having my e-mail address.  I mean a discount is a discount – and I’m a sucker for a deal.   Last time I purchased something at Banana Republic, they gave me 40% to give them my e-mail address again.   Whaaa?

Well, I will tell you – that girl was right.  There isn’t a week that passes without me receiving an email from each of these retailers with a sale or discounted price.  And regularly it is 40% off regularly priced items, and free shipping over $50.

But there is a price for these crazy deals.   Today I received my 8th, 9th and 10th email from these companies this month (yes, 10 in 9 days!).  4 from Banana Republic, 3 from The Gap and 3 from Old Navy.  Seriously Guys, maybe you should focus on other marketing techniques?

May 9th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Volume discounts from retailers.  And I mean volume.  Hope your inbox (and credit card)can take it.

Maintenance May Day 9:
Called my grandma (family).
Called my grandpa (family).
Sent a note to my Nurse Practitioner to thank him for my blood work (body/connection) and curing me.
Baked and delivered gluten-free/low calorie muffins to my friend who deserves them.  (connection).