Another Triumphant Roll!!

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Third win of the season. My losing streak is definitely over! I’ve won two free coffees and a doughnut so far this year. Still trying for that new car though…

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The Duck

A while ago, the boyfriend and I were making our way across the city to babysit my nephew.  At the boyfriend’s request, we pulled into a Timmies to get some coffee and a snack on the way.

I parked Bob the Car and the boyfriend got out as I fiddled around with getting my purse from the back seat, removing the keys from the ignition, etc.  I too eventually removed myself from the car and close the door only to be puzzled by the single word that then exited the boyfriend’s mouth.

“Duck.”

In utter bafflement, I looked around, trying to see if something was flying at my head and required carefully timed movement to avoid impact.  Seeing none, I looked at him with a frown on my face to indicate my confusion.

He pointed in the vague direction of the rear end of my vehicle and said, “A duck.”  I then looked about in an effort to see if there was perhaps a painting of a duck on the side of a truck or something, but still I was at a loss for what he was trying to communicate to me.  I moved around the car to his side as he said, “There’s a duck behind your car.”  (something I felt would have saved a great deal of time and confusion had he spoken this entire sentence in the first place).

I looked on the ground behind my car and, lo and behold, there really was a duck just standing there, looking at us.

The random duck

How it was that I had not seen this duck while pulling into the parking lot, I don’t know, but there it was.  It started waddling around and quacking, coming close to us but not too close.  I watched as other patrons, jonesing for their dose of caffeine, pulled in and stared at this sight in awe as well.  Eventually, we went inside, figuring the duck probably came looking for Timbits that people dropped on the ground, and we ordered our delicious treats.

Upon leaving the store, it became clear that this duck really enjoyed standing behind my car.

I had to chase her away and up onto the grassy area so I could leave.  She was not impressed with this action and she quacked at me in great annoyance, strutting around and flapping her wings.  I had to do this twice as she walked behind my car again after the first time.  I chased her further away the second time and then left.

Now when I drive by that particular Timmies, I always look to see if the duck is there.  So far, no second sightings.

Death of a Squirrel

I love chocolate covered coffee beans.  I love coffee in general but those delicious little beans covered in chocolate are a treasured item that I only get once in a while.  One bag of them at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory costs almost $10.  So you can imagine that I hoard these delicious little beans whenever I get my hands on them.

Someone bought me a bag of them a few years ago and I took them to work, keeping myself caffeinated throughout the week and thoroughly enjoying my gift.  Then Friday rolled around and I pondered taking my treat home but decided against it, twisting the bag closed and leaving them on my desk.

I don’t remember what my weekend was like at all, I suppose it was probably your average weekend.  I’m sure television was watched, I probably ate some food, I might have gone to a movie.  This is beside the point.  The focus of this post is what happened on Monday morning.

I arrived at work and was the first one on my floor.  I put my purse down, I grabbed a coffee, I did the general morning routine.  Then I went to boot up my computer.  I frowned because something was off…askew if you will.  I concentrated on my desk for a bit before I noticed that there were bits of coffee beans all over the chair and the floor and there were little, chocolate footprints across my desk and the scanner I worked with every day.  Upon further investigation, I discovered the remains of the plastic bag they had once been contained in on the floor.

I was still standing there in confusion, knowing the footprints were too big for a mouse, when a co-worker arrived and suddenly commented that something had eaten half the apple she’d left on her desk.

The Half Eaten Apple

We both stood there pondering the situation until we heard a sound that lead to the revelation of the entire situation.  Another coworker had arrived and discovered the culprit.  A squirrel had somehow made it in through the attic.  It had quite the time over the weekend…more memorable than me apparently.  He ate a little apple and scurried around and the little bastard found my precious chocolate covered coffee beans and nibbled them all up.  He devoured the deliciousness and partied by himself all weekend.

As sometimes might happen, the squirrel partied a little too hard.  The coffee beans were too much for his little body and we found him on a spare desk chair, having tried to get out of the window and given up, passing away on someone’s empty laptop bag.  It was rather a sad scene.  We disposed of the little guy and from then on, I always put snacks away in the drawer overnight…just in case.

Also, never feed a squirrel chocolate covered coffee beans.  Just don’t do it.

The scene of the crime

Small Town Halloween

I have very fond memories of Trick or Treating in the little town I grew up in.  It was small (less than 1000 people when I was a kid) and for a really small child, it was great because you felt safe and it was fun and when you got to be older, it was awesome because you could hit almost every house in town and end up with two pillow cases full of candy by the end of the night.  It was great to show up at everyone’s door, have a small chat about this and that, and then head to the next house.  The parents who take their kids out go in groups and chat, dress up and have a great time while monitoring their youngsters.  Everyone is polite and compliment the kids’ costumes and I always felt overall that it was a great place to celebrate Halloween as a child.

When I moved to the city, I tried to become one of those awesome people handing out candy that made my childhood so great.  It never seemed to work out as well.  I have noticed a few things about Halloween in the city (and remember, I did not grow up here at all, and am probably biased).  For one thing, there are WAY less kids trick or treating in the city.  I think the most I have ever had come to the door was about fifteen and I was always left sad at the end of the night because no one came to my house for candy.  I asked around and this is a common occurrence.  At my mother’s house back home, she had 250 + kids come to the door last year.  This is a significant difference.

I also find that the kids are less polite here.  I don’t know why, some of them seem really great and their parents are nice but some of them come to the door in half ass costumes and don’t even say thank you.  After the first time this happened, I adopted a personal rule: If I can make the effort to dress up to hand out the candy, people aren’t getting said candy unless they’re nice and they made a decent effort in dressing up.  Show up at my house dressed as a “rapper” or a “hipster” (basically wearing street clothes) and you get no candy.  These are the rules.

Anyway, on we go to the point of this post (I know, it took a LONG damn time to get here, sorry about that, folks). I was hanging out with some

An awesome little costume, before we covered it up with a winter coat.

friends at work on break when one of them mentioned that her daughter was six years old and had never had a decent Halloween experience because trick or treating in the city kind of sucked.  Everything was far apart, you didn’t get much candy and it just didn’t feel very much like Halloween.  DING!!!  Lightbulb over the head kind of moment.  I immediately spoke up and volunteered to take her and her daughter (and another friend and her daughter, who unfortunately got sick and couldn’t come) back to my hometown and let them trick or treat there.  So Sunday rolled around and I got dressed up as a witch of sorts, all excited and eager to go home again for Halloween and I picked them up, driving the forty or so minutes to my home town.  Her little girl was dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast and she looked freaking adorable.

We arrived at my parents’ house and were pleased to find special made candy bags for her little girl and the other one who fell ill (thanks Mom, you rock) and a bowl of assorted candy on the table that said, “Help yourselves”…which we did.  We headed out into the town and I was thrilled to find that her daughter was immediately commenting on how much fun it was and that she was having a great time.  I was having a blast.  It was like flashback central.  I chatted with parents who had their kids out, got candy from my relatives’ houses and admired all the decorations and effort that some people put into making the night that much better for everyone.

Some people had entire scenes built in their front yards complete with fog, lasers, spooky music (or in the case of one house, endless remixes of Michael Jackson’s Thriller), and tonnes of different decorations.

This house had everything: lasers, fog, awesome decorations and endless remixes of Thriller

My awesome cousin, who got into the spirit and painted herself totally green with Acrylic paint.

I loved the atmosphere of everything, but it was definitely freaking cold.  I was silly and didn’t have any mittens or a coat or anything.  Darn the fact that my mother wasn’t home when we left so she could tell me I was being stupid and give me a pair of mittens and a sweater at least.  You’ll notice to the right that my cousin was smarter than me and had a coat and mittens on and still looked awesome.  This is required for Halloween in Canada.  Costumes designed to fit over snowsuits are a way of life up here.  I had forgotten that little tidbit in the 13 or so years since I had gone trick or treating for myself.

I will say that I had a great time and I loved seeing my friends daughter have such a good time and

Perfect, no sugar, no cream...just epic coffee goodness as it was intended to be. I was so warm after that and we were able to trick or treat for another forty minutes.

ask if we could return for trick or treating next year.  However, I must mention the best part of my night.  Actually, there were two.  We stopped at one older woman’s house and she was absolutely sweet as sugar and she gave “Belle” her candy and then looked at me and said, “Aren’t you going to come get your candy too?”  She thought I was a kid!!!  It made my night, I felt way younger than my 27 years of age.  I thanked her and told her that it was alright and I was old enough to buy my own.  The second favourite thing for me that night was stopping at the local volunteer fire department where my father is the chief.  They were handing out candy to the kids and I got my favourite treat of the night: coffee.  Yes, that’s right…I trick or treated for coffee and it was wonderful.

A Coffee Mug Gone Astray

When things go missing in an office, it causes a ruckus.  When you work with the same people day in and day out, you become somewhat of a family, albeit, a dysfunctional one.  When you suddenly come to the realization that something of your own has gone missing, it causes a horrible feeling in your stomach somewhat akin to betrayal (or possibly like you just ate at Taco Bell).

It’s a well documented fact that such behaviour from my coworkers doesn’t just annoy me, it drives me into a rage-filled frenzy during which my head spins in circles and I start to foam at the mouth.  It’s not a pretty sight.

Previously, I have only experienced the thievery of coffee (see here and here) and office supplies (see here, here, here, and here).  These were technically things paid for and supplied by the higher ups and were easily replaced.  These were not my own personal property and we all know how well I took it when these things we missing:

This is what it metaphorically felt like to find out that my stuff had gone missing

Today, however, was something different entirely.  Today the item that went missing was something of my own that I had brought in from home.  Something that was a birthday gift from my sister.  Let me set the scene for you.

As you may or may not be aware, I am a HUGE fan of the movie “Office Space“.  In my opinion, it embodies the exact way of life when you live half your day in a cubicle (with humerous exaggerations of course).  For my birthday two years ago, my sister gave me the “Office Space Survival Kit”.  There were many goodies inside, all relating to the film, but my favourite was Lumburgh’s coffee mug with the Initech logo on it.

I love this mug because I makes me giggle every single time I fill it up at the coffee machine at work.  I always hear Lumburgh’s voice saying, “Yeah…”  It makes my morning.  So if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty attached to this particular conveyance of hot beverages.

Today, I was on my way down to cover the break for our receptionist.  I put the mug in the little receiving part of the machine, put the coffee cartridge in and hit the button before I went to do a few other things.  I forgot about my coffee until I got downstairs to the reception desk and I decided to get it when I went back up to my own desk.  Well, imagine my surprise when I reached my destination and there was nothing sitting in the coffee machine, waiting to be consumed.

At first I thought someone had needed to use the coffee maker and simply set it aside or dumped it and put it up on the shelf, as this has happened before.  I checked the surrounding area and oddly, did not find any sign of my beloved mug.  So then I pondered, “Who in their right mind would take a mug of coffee off the machine that they didn’t make?”  This seemed like a ridiculous notion and I thought, “No, I simply must be very scatterbrained from my allergy medications and put it on my desk.”  I checked…it was not there.  Then I thought, “Surely I actually took it down to reception with me and left it behind.”  I went and checked…not there either.  I then retraced my steps, my anger building with each new area explored only to discover a lack of awesome coffee mug.  Eventually, I got angry and started mumbling and ranting as I again checked all the places I’d been that morning.

Someone finally asked me if I was alright (they probably thought they should stop me before I had a complete meltdown and went Office Space [yes…my friends and I use the movie title as a verb to describe freaking out in the workplace] and tore the floor apart looking for a coffee mug).  I explained my situation and the dire need to have my precious mug back in my hands and someone started laughing and told me that one of our higher ups (we shall call him Bob) had been talking about coffee and had probably taken mine in an fit of absentmindedness.

I went to Bob’s office and there it was, my awesome mug in all it’s glory.  When I explained the situation, Bob was very apologetic and nice enough to even wash the mug for me before giving it back.  I trotted back to my desk, happy as a clam (after filling it up with delicious coffee of course) and sipped at the life giving beverage as I continued my daily grind.

So this story actually has a happy ending, unlike those of the stolen coffee cartridges (which is still happening now and then, this time by the entire box) and the missing staple removers (though I am happy to report that tying mine to the desk has actually managed to keep it around thus far).  So thank you Bob for so nicely returning my mug and keeping my head from actually exploding.

Life’s Little Brain Farts

We all know what a brain fart is; it’s one of those stupid little moments we have when we’re not paying quite enough attention to what we’re doing and as a result, something gets screwed up.  The result of a brain fart can be small and barely noticeable, something funny to laugh at later and wonder how you could have done such a thing or it can drive you crazy when you discover your error and it’s resulting disaster on your daily life.  I don’t know if it’s the time of the year and all the allergy medication I’ve been having to take lately, the fact that I’ve been forgoing sleeping a full eight hours in order to try and beat Batman: Arkham Asylum, or just some cosmic alignment that I’m not aware of, but my brain has been cutting in and out all over the place lately and I’ve been noticing a rising count in these little annoying errors and it’s starting to drive me a little round the bend.

First up, today whilst in the shower, enjoying the nice hot water and washing my hair, not only did I finally notice that I had purchased two bottles of shampoo the other day instead of shampoo and conditioner, I did not realize it until I had washed my hair, rinsed it out and then grabbed what I thought was the conditioner and applied it to my hair.  So in essence, I washed my hair twice and started rinsing before I realized that my hair was not conditioned in any way, but merely double washed.  When you have hair like mine, not being able to condition it is a disaster of epic proportions.  Luckily, I had about a quarter of a bottle left of the old stuff to get me through and my hair has not risen a foot off my head in crazy frizz, likely to attack the first person it sees.

The other day, the boyfriend requested I make some coffee, since I was downstairs at the time and he was on the upper

What the coffee should have looked like that day

floor.  Since I was feeling the need for a little caffeine myself, I agreed and was suddenly looking quite forward to a steaming cup of Maxwell House.  And so, I poured the water into the coffee maker, I got the little filter all prepared and popped it in and then I turned it on, going back into the living room to continue watching whatever was on the television.  About a half an hour later, the boyfriend wandered down and inquired about the coffee, causing me to suddenly realize that I couldn’t smell that delicious aroma that always drifts through the house, reminding me that it was ready.  And so, we went to the kitchen to investigate.  Did I forget to plug the machine in? No.  Did I forget to flip the little “on” switch?  Not at all.  However, I did manage to forget to actually put the three scoops of coffee into the little filter thing and ended up running water through the system to sit nicely heated on the little burner.  So the boyfriend made the coffee.

Last winter, when I parked my car on the road and walked to work, I somehow unknowingly

My little silver baby. Old but great for getting me where I need to go. (unless of course I've killed the battery)

managed to turn the overhead light on over the passenger seat.  I worked my day away, managing files and whatnot, keeping the overlords of the office happy and then at five, I cheerily made my way back to my little silver Kia Rio.  I situated myself in the driver’s seat and put the key in the ignition, turning it and heading off home.  Or so I thought.  Absolutely no response from my little baby.  That one little light that I had turned on when accidentally pushing that button in the morning had left my battery completely dead.  Fortunately, I had roadside assistance.  Unfortunately, it took an hour to get there, it was more than ten below and I had to pee.  We can all imagine what fun it was for me to sit there in that situation until the nice man finally got there and jump started my car.  I didn’t regain feeling in my feet until a few hours later.  Always make sure the lights are off in your car…ALWAYS!!

What kind of brain slips have you been having lately?  Wear two different socks to work?  Put a shirt on that had a stain you didn’t know about until halfway through the day?  A little salt in your coffee instead of sugar?  How many times a day does your brain go on a ten second vacation that leaves you frustrated, annoyed and defenseless later on that day?  I can’t be the only one.