The Daily EO: March 5th, 2016

Quiet please.

I’ve been up since 3:30 am because I went to bed at 10 with a little help from Happy Hours.

I was invited out for an Unemployed Person Pub Crawl last night that started at 3 pm and covered 3 bars and eventually my house.

There was a spreadsheet schedule and everything.  No, I didn’t make it.  Yes, I know – strange- I didn’t make it.

I make it sound like there was a huge group of us – but there were only 2.  Until the employed people showed up – they had to wait til they finished work.  Whatevs.

I have some advice.

  • Don’t text and drink.  This is not unique nor uncommon advice, but I just want to say that to bring the message really home.  I did send a very nice picture of my eyebrow to Alison.  It was looking particularly well groomed, I’m sure she appreciated it, looked in the mirror and wondered how she could get a brow like mine.
  • Don’t drink with sales executives.  They can beat us all – its their profession.
  • Don’t answer someone’s phone when it rings.  It causes chaos, and you can’t hear them anyways in a bar.
  • Have some movies ready to go.  By 8:00 am I have already polished off Fast and the Furious 6 (which I also figured out how X character died in Tokyo Drift and still managed to appear in 4, 5, and 6) and Safe.  I love Jason Stratham.  That man can do no wrong – and he is a killer.  But an honest one.
  • Do not discuss potential employment with anyone during bar crawls.  Just.  Don’t.

March 5th, 2016 Extra-ordinary:  Happy Hour is cheap.  (and expensive).

 

 

 

 

The Daily EO: February 25th, 2016

Today I walked to a chiropractor appointment, Granville Island and back again to Gastown.  If I had just walked to the appointment and back again, it would have been about 6 kms – an early morning walk on a gorgeous day (is 8 am early to people? – I’m unemployed, its early to me).  Instead, the walk was about 11 kms because I needed a chai tea – after an embarrassing incident at one of our Starbucks (without any caffeine) about their lack of chai tea bags.  (manage your inventory Starbucks – isn’t there a million stores in the city? – walk down the street and borrow some tea bags).

I was on Broadway about 5 blocks from the Granville Street bridge when I realized that I could get the best chai tea served in the city with a walk down to the Granville Island Market.  What am I doing futzing around with Starbucks when I could go to the Granville Island Tea Company for a Masala Chai tea with ginger and cayenne?

And as I left the house prior to feeling like eating, I knew the perfect pair with a masala chai is a traditional Jewish farmer’s cheese bagel from Siegal’s Bagels.  I even bought 2 extras for “later” and a smoked meat stuffed bagel for Emile.

In the nearly empty market – and that doesn’t happen often, loving this freedom – I watched the boats and water drift by, only leaving after getting attacked by a flock of bold pigeons (people! – stop feeding the the bloody birds!)  That 5 km detour was so worth it.

February 25, 2016 Extra-Ordinary:  That Bright Spot, just starting to illuminate the dark.

IMG_0004Almost-everything-will-work-again-if-you-unplug-i*quote by Anne Lamott

The Daily EO: February 22nd, 2016

Tears gathered in my eyes and streamed down my face.

“What is wrong with me?”I thought as cast my mind back to the past week.  I’d had many emotional experiences in the last week.  I’d been offered a temporary position while I looked for something permanent, LinkedIn keeps sending me the job posting that essentially replaced me, I spoke to a recruiter who referred to me as “high caliber”, I attended a Yuology YuLounge seminar focused on me (quivering nose and flushed cheeks in front of strangers is not usually my thing, but I left feeling lighter)

But what was affecting me now?

I continued to reflect upon the journey I am on (without sounding like a Biggest Loser contestant – you know “This journey is such a gift, I’m getting my life back, I will never go back to how I was before. sob.”).  I know there are going to be up and downs, but never have I stood in my kitchen and had tears start unexpectedly except in the darkest moments of grief.

I don’t particularly feel sad today, in fact, I feel pretty good!  The sun is shining (every outside wall we have in our condo is a window), I spoke with a friend this morning (Hi Nancy!), I noticed on my run this morning that the cherry blossoms are starting (I love living in Vancouver), I had a pleasant lunch with a friend (we both could not read the posted menu because we neither of had our corrective lenses with us – ended up pointing at the display case), and then I spoke to a recruiter about future options (“high caliber”  Yep, that’s me.)

This is a good day, right?

So, why am I moved to tears while making baked beans?  Am I cracking up?

February 22, 2016 Extra-Ordinary:  Onions.

It costs me $.75/day to wear daily contact lenses.  Trying to be cost focused in my unemployment I’ve been only wearing them occasionally (using squinting and glasses).  I forgot that cutting onions while wearing contacts protects your eyes from making sulfuric acid from “onion gas” and tears.  So, when you don’t wear them, lots of tears.

So, I am fine, everyone!  I’m good, everything is okay!  Carry on!  Nothing happening over here!

God, gotta wear those contacts – I could’ve ended up with fish for lunch, and therapy. . . .

 

 

The Daily EO: February 21, 2016

My husband’s boss has the last name of “Dick”.  I know, I am not in Grade 5 any longer, so I should not snigger at it, but let’s just say I am happy with my occasionally mispronounced last name that has no meaning in the English language.  But my husband’s boss, she . . . yes, she – were you assuming she was a man? . . . anyways. . . SHE has a niece who is trying to get into the 2016 Olympics as part of the Trinidad Tobago gymnastics team.

My husband’s boss’s niece gymnast also created a new move that has been recently been recognized by the gymnastics body (I can’t do a backwards roll and you think that I know the name of the official gymnastics governing body?), and she successfully performed her new move in competition.

I cheer for her success, her ingenuity, and her talent.  Come on 2016 Rio!  I am such a sucker for Olympic stories!   But – perhaps due to my recent change in employment status and the feeling of malfeasance that lingers for now – I cheered the most for her chutzpah.  Because when you create a move, you get to name it.

February 21 2016 Extra-Ordinary:   The Dick Move

 

 

 

The Daily EO: February 16th, 2016

I just got restructured – and I don’t care what anyone tells you – business is personal.  People say otherwise, but they live in an incongruant world where they follow up “Don’t take it personally” with “Business is all about relationships”.   Business is personal, our lives are a big mixing pot.  And so being impacted in restructuring hurts you, it causes a stumble, a pause, where you wonder what’s wrong with you.

But just a pause for most, when you pick up the pieces and move forward to something better (while occasionally looking back and thinking “those bastards” and eating lots of grilled cheese sandwiches).

The worst thing about getting laid off is the telling other people.   You have to cause impact to ALL of your relationships.  Spouse, family, mentors, close friends, personal and professional suppliers, customers, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances and strangers.  And that piece of information changes the dynamic of that relationship – you get all sorts of reactions (kind and otherwise – overt and below the surface), but always changing the other person’s perception of you and your relationship with them.

This played out yesterday when I was enjoying the new found freedom of being able to get my haircut during the day on a week day.  My stylist – who I struggle to chat with to begin with because I am intimidated by his hipness (let’s not delve into that issue within my psyche today) – asked me “So, not working today?  Day off?”.  This was his attempt to get conversation rolling – a safe bet normally.

I am sitting there getting my $80 haircut when he asked me that. Yes, I know, one does not *need* $80 haircuts, but if I have to have all of these conversations with everyone, I am going to at least look well groomed, attractive and in control.  It is bad enough I have to now forgo eyelash extensions, manicures, and facials, but I am not going to give up on my hair.  (as I write this, I am realizing the impact to the Vancouver economy my termination is causing and I apologize to my “team” for the impact to their business – Christmas is cancelled everyone.)

I hesitated when he asked, tried to get the right combination of strength/humour/wistfulness in my voice when I answered “Yes, in fact I have every day off now.  I was laid off a couple of weeks ago”.  He didn’t handle it well, he got paralyzed between showing appropriate sympathy, wondering if I am embarrassed/sad/angry and not knowing me well enough to ask further questions for details.  Further attempts at conversation for the rest of the haircut petered out pretty quickly.  Awkward silence was thankfully eventually interrupted by the blow dryer.

That went well.  Only 499 more conversations to go.

February 16, 2016 Extra-Ordinary:  I still tipped the same amount I always do – unemployed or not, I didn’t want anything to change.  Plus he does a great job – my hair is pretty dope  (do the kids still say that?)

 

The Daily EO: February 6th, 2016

I received a response from a very old friend to our Christmas letter email just yesterday. Jason is not very old I suppose, and I suspect I’m not very old either at 41, (though feeling it right about now), but he is a 20 year friend.  That’s 1/2 my life – and unless I end this friendship officially because of some “event”, it’s just going to be more and more of a percentage of my life.   So “very old” seems appropriate.

One of the things that Jason updated me on is that his Dad died just before Christmas.  Jason shared with me that although their relationship had been tumultuous, over the last number of years they had repaired it and he greatly missed his dad now.

I used to live with Jason for a while and so I knew first hand that his relationship with his dad was somewhat strained, and I am glad they had been able to put aside past problems to become close again.

Jason really liked rice krispie squares, and 20 years ago, Mars Bars Rice Krispie Squares were all the thing.   People! – this was before pinterest, food blogging, and food porn being recognized as real thing that was acceptable in polite company.

(An aside here – can anyone else not say pinterest correctly?  My brother just spent 1/2 hour making fun of my inability to say this right.  I say “Pin-interest” because my brain just does not seem to think there is a word that rhymes with interest and starts with a P.  I don’t know what is wrong with me.)

Back on point . . . Jason wanted to share the joy of a Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square with me – and so therefore he WROTE down the RECIPE and GAVE it to me.   Yes, he used a PEN and a SCRAP PIECE OF PAPER and everything.

Through the years, I kept the recipe and many others that were near and dear to me – especially the ones hand written, particularly good and with stains on them.  I had actually organized my recipe collection during my last bout of unemployment – so they were all in good condition and easily located.

Many times, I looked at this passé recipe (one that was not shaped into cute caterpillars to try to one-up the mommy next door or made “healthy” with puffed quinoa) and considered throwing it out.  But it was nostalgic for me – hand-written and a throw back to another time and place.  One in which a bunch of university students procrastinated studying to either clean their houses (“I can’t possibly study in this mess.”), call home (“I don’t want to disappoint mom.”), or cook something (“I have to eat to be able to concentrate.”)  It reminded me of my relationship with a good and kind man that I only have fond thoughts of now.  And it was a small piece of paper that took up little space despite my multiple moves.  And who knows – perhaps it would be the perfect potluck item one day – everything comes back they say.

And so it stayed through 21 moves with me.  So, I have it so I can pass it back to my friend.

February 6, 2016 Extra-ordinary:  On the back of the Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square recipe was a letter that started with “Dear Jason” and ended with:

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And for those of you who want this recipe (complete with margarine and microwaves and PAM cooking spray, here it is – I will not vouch for it – afterall, I kept the recipe, I didn’t say I’ve ever made it).

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