The Summer of Awesome – Day 29

The last few days have been ridiculously tiring and amazing all in one. I have met quite a few celebrities and got some amazing stories out of it, but just the quick rundown of who I saw most recently:

Jessica Chastain
Idris Elba
James McAvoy
Andrew Garfield
Andy Serkis
Claire Foy
Liam Neeson

SUCH amazing people and so, so gracious and kind. I am actually planning, once I am done with  The Book of Awesome (soon!), to create a GIGANTIC list of every single celebrity I have ever seen or met (“met” in this context means anyone that I have interacted with, talked to and/or have had them talk to me).

The list of celebs I’ve come across is a big one, so I’m thinking I might just make a list of EVERYONE first, then differentiate by Seen and Met or something along those lines… And/or adding the circumstances. I think I am going to try to go chronologically, as much as possible, rather than alphabetically (and still haven’t decided if I’ll include ALL the Bollywood people because that could be a WHOLE list all on its own…)

We’ll see! I’ll figure that out in time. If you have any suggestions or ideas on how you’d like to see it, let me know!

For now, my other project…

(168) Getting into a bed with clean sheets after shaving your legs (pg 305)

Oh for sure, I can attest to the fact that this is amazing, but more often than not, when you have coarse, black hair this is what it’s really like… 😛

(169) The gas arrow (pg 306)

If it weren’t for this little helpful hint, I kid you not, I’d have no idea which side my gas tank is on, even after many times of getting gas!

Even though at this point I am fairly certain because I know which way I always drive into the gas station, I still give a perfunctory glance at the arrow, just to make sure.

(170) Snow falling on Christmas Eve (pg 308)

There was one year, many years ago, when there was hardly any snow in December. Given that I live in Canada this was very weird.

The ground was completely and totally green in the days leading up to Christmas… There was no sign whatsoever that it would snow.

So you can imagine my surprise when I peeked out on Christmas morning and what did I see? SNOW! TONS AND TONS OF SNOW! I almost thought it was fake snow because it seemed a little too good to be true.

Even more shocking than this is the fact that it all melted again by Boxing Day (the 26th, for anyone not from here).

That, my friends, is something of a Christmas Miracle!

(171) Playing with a baby and not having to change its diaper (pg 309)

I have said it before and I’ll say it again and again – Aunty life is THE BEST.

I’ve been an aunt since I was young, as I have older cousins and when our cousins have children we don’t do the whole “first cousin,” “second cousin,” “once removed” (which I still don’t get) thing in our culture.

If they’re older than you and of a different generation then they’re an aunty or an uncle, if they’re around the same age or younger, they’re a cousin. (Even if you’re not related by blood, but if it’s your cousin’s child, then you’re most definitely an aunt or an uncle.)

Thus, when my cousin had a child when I was nine and I told my (not Indian) friend that I was going overseas to see my niece, well, that just resulted in a HUGE fight between us because she was adamant that if my sister or brother didn’t have a child then I WASN’T an aunt at nine years old. My teacher corroborated that usually a cousin’s child is also referred to as a “cousin” and I was extremely irritated and still didn’t believe it…

I actually don’t think I even delved into what all these relations mean until I watched Lord of the Rings and Pippin says he and Frodo are cousins twice removed. Like I said, I still don’t understand that, fully… For the longest time, I actually thought “second cousins” meant your cousin’s cousins…

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Luckily, I am not nearly as clueless as Karen…

Random aside out of the way, point being, I, in my mind, have been an aunt for over TWENTY YEARS and in all that time I have NEVER ONCE changed a diaper!

Even when I actually became an aunt in the “real” sense (i.e. in the way my childhood friend was saying, through my brother or sister)… I still never changed a diaper.

Once I came close, when my baby nephew needed a change, but YAY my mom came to the rescue at the last minute.

So… lucky me! That is, of course, for now… If I ever have children of my own in the future, I guess I might have to… But here’s hoping someone invents a diaper changing robot in the next couple years to save my perfect 30+ year record at this point. 😛

(172) Squeezing a little more juice out of dying batteries (pg 310)

Well, this just goes way back to the Day 4 post about smacking things to make them work, doesn’t it? When the batteries start to go in the remote, my gut instinct is to give them it a good whack, as if they’ve just forgotten they need to be doing something and just need to be woken up.

After that, I am on board with his “Ay, there’s the rub” technique of taking them out and rubbing them, as if that’ll do something. I especially like Neil Pasricha’s scientific explanation of “It has to do with the ions.” I, personally, never even questioned why I do this, it’s just something I was taught and, so, continue to do. In my mind, I guess I thought I was warming them up from being to cold to work…? But this idea that it might have something to do with friction intrigues me too.

Just last week, I changed the batteries in the remote without even attempting a single one of these things. It was a shocking moment – not literally, because that would’ve been frightening if I got a shock from some batteries.

At first I thought maybe the remote wasn’t working, as my friend had said that just happened to her with the same type of one, but I thought, you know, maybe it’s just time for the batteries to be changed…Even though I swear we changed them only just a short time ago. Surprisingly, that’s exactly what it was.

Now I’m mourning for those old batteries…wondering if maybe I should have given them one more chance with the ol’ “flip-flop till they drop.”

(173) Falling asleep in the backseat of a car late at night on the drive home (pg 313)

Some of my earliest memories are of lying in the backseat of the car starting to fall asleep and watching the trees, power lines and moon go by, trying to guess how far we were from home.

Nowadays, now that I think of it, this would be highly illegal because I can clearly remember lying down and not being that old… But hell, before that my parents told me about how people rarely used seat belts in cars… And when you think about it buses still don’t have seat belts (public transportation or the school variety).

So before I continue, please don’t leave your little children lying in the backseat of the car now, even if you’re sitting back there with them. Not only will this be illegal, but it’s very unsafe for your children! We lived in a simpler time back in the ol’ days, what with the wagons and the buggies and all, I guess… 😛

Anyhow, this does remind me of my childhood because it reminded me of seeing the moon out the window which I always liked but also made me think of a funny story about my poor little nephew. He’s older now, but when he was tiny he noticed that wherever he went the moon seemed to “follow” him and his uncle (I think?) told him that it was following him (Someone did, I just know it wasn’t me!). To this day, even though he’s much older than he was when he was told this, the moon still freaks him out!

Given my phobia of waterfalls was borne out of something that happened at three or four years old, and same goes for him and the moon (that’s selenophobia, by the way), I think that must be a very sensitive age. We should all protect our little toddler and preschool children so as not to scar them for life by simple things later! 😛

Well, there we have it with the last post in the 20s, onto Day 30 next and soon… THE END!

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The Summer of Awesome – Day 24

It’s the very last day of summer vacation! 😦 Once again, the school year is back on as of tomorrow… I’m not sure where the summer went, but at the same time I know I did a ton! Somehow, I did more this summer than previous summers, and yet still feel like I didn’t do enough… Very odd indeed.

At least I got back into writing (and hopefully entertaining some of you, a bit). And before the summer is totally done, I better get a move on with the rest of these:

(138) When your suitcase tumbles down the luggage chute first after a long flight (pg 248)

I literally have the best luggage. As I’ve mentioned before, in my early twenties I worked in a shoe store that sold accessories and handbags as well as shoes. One of the bag companies had a competition between all stores at one point where the person who made the most sales of their brand would win something.

Welllll, wouldn’t you know it, I turned out to be that person!

Funniest part of all this was the fact that I had no idea this competition was even happening. On top of that, everything I sold was totally by fluke, just because people walked in specifically asking for those items and I just, luckily, happened to be the person working at those times.

So what did I win?

LEOPARD PRINT LUGGAGE!

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This isn’t actually mine (since I currently have no idea where it is), but it looks similar. Mine is a little more bright.

At 21, I will admit, I wasn’t all that into this…

Actually, no, I was completely disappointed and hearing that it was a retail value of $200+, I was really disappointed and asked if I could just have the money instead (they said no). This, however, was all because I had yet to discover my inner girly side.

Within a year or so, though, I had become full-fledged girly, to the point of even wanting – and eventually getting – leopard print shoes (which I didn’t want nearly as much as hot pink pumps. Those were my dream shoes and I eventually got those too, thanks to my sister!).

Once I hit this point, I was more than happy to use my brand-spanking new luggage.

The great thing about this luggage is that it’s REALLY recognizable. You might have one or two other people with similar patterns (as seen above), but they never look quite exactly like mine. So whilst everyone else is scrambling to find their black or blue luggage, lucky me, I can grab mine ASAP. My first time ever using it was when we went to Las Vegas – seemed like a good place to test out the flashiest of flashy luggage and it really was!

(139) Peeling off your wet bathing suit and putting on warm clothes after swimming for a long time (pg 250)

I can’t remember the last time I wore a bathing suit, or even owned a bathing suit, so it’s no wonder that a topic like this just brings me right back to childhood.

I was one of those kids that liked to play in the water…but to a point. After a while, I would just want out of it and into the warm coziness of pyjamas.

Even to this day, when I get a bit wet, I am not a fan of the icky wet clothes feeling and want to get into pyjamas or at least dry clothes ASAP. (Probably has something to do with my dislike of water…)

(140) Bedhead all day long (pg 252)

I actually tried this today, not brushing my hair and even though I’ve just been at home it really bothered me and within half an hour or so, I did brush it. I feel like there’s only two ways bedhead can go – really great or REALLY terrible.

As a girl this is especially true, because some women can pull off that rumpled, mussed-up hair look…some (me) cannot. I always stand there on windy days, wondering how the heck I am the only one whose hair is blowing into my hair – and mouth – while other women look like they’re being hit be a glamorous wind machine. On this note, did anyone hear about how everyone’s hair was being blown about by wind at the Venice Film Festival? So I guess it isn’t just me and even those on the red carpet can be affected!

Occasionally, I get lucky and if I don’t brush my hair and just give it a little twist after a shower, I end up with perfect curls. I was once the envy of my friends for this “skill” because to get the same look they’d have to use a curling iron for an hour. Somehow, in the last few years, this doesn’t seem to work as as it used to… probably because my hair is so thin and falling out!

(141) Successfully moving all your clothes from the washer to the dryer without dropping anything (pg 255)

I just had this happen! Luckily my laundry load was a small one today because it made it easy to carry. The worst is when you’re washing your “unmentionables” and one of those gets lefts behind.

There’s that inevitable moment of horror when you are throwing things into the wash or dryer and notice… wait a second… something IS MISSING, so you run back the way you came, trying to act as inconspicuous as possible, just so you don’t call attention to what’s been left behind in case no one else has spotted it yet.

And there they are, your bright pink or blue polka dot or stripey underpants… sitting in a crumpled heap right in the middle of the foyer floor.

It’s times like these that make the perfect transfer even more amazing. No embarrassing moments for you today!

(142) Backseat car windows that go down all the way (pg 256)

My sister and I were just reminiscing about old car windows last week and how they’ve changed over time. She was recalling how she used to have manual windows, so there was no chance she could ever open the back ones if she needed extra air. To be honest, I totally forgot that there was a time when some car windows didn’t go all the way down!

In my first car, my driver side window was the opposite – press it once and it would go ALL THE WAY DOWN and, worse than that, NEVER come back up! So eventually I just had to stop using it altogether.

I’ve been driving a different car (same make, later year) for three years now, but to this day, I am not used to having the driver side window open because I got so used to not opening it for fear that it would get stuck.

(143) Getting grass stains (pg 257)

I’ve found in recent years, there are actually more kids who don’t like being dirty than do… I was never one who liked being dirty, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t sit on the grass or roll down a hill now and then.

When running programs with kids in the last few years, though, I’ve found any time I’ve asked them to take a seat on the ground – whether that be dirt ground, grass or even inside buildings – you’ll have 75-80% of them stare at you as if you’re crazy and/or looking at their pants as if to say “What if they get wrecked?!”

I don’t know if this is something instilled in them by their parents (a friend who works at a preschool told me she is not unaccustomed to seeing students sent to school in Burberry jackets and coats:\ ) or if this is something the kids, themselves, just feel deep down inside, but I don’t feel like this was always the norm…

When I was a kid, and further back than that, children seemed more than happy to roll around in muck and grass and have fun without caring the least bit about the dirt. Are we becoming such a neurotic society that our children can’t handle even the tiniest of grass stains?

Given that, as time has progressed, we’ve also had tons of products made expressly for this purpose, you’d think it wouldn’t be such an issue, but it is! (But I guess if you’re spending $600 on a kid’s coat, the $10 detergent really isn’t going to be your go-to anyway…)

And that’s that for today. I’m going to go back to enjoying this Harry Potter marathon on TV – doesn’t matter how many times I watch these movies, I just don’t get sick of them (especially the one they’re on now – Deathly Hallows, Part 2!)

 

 

The Summer of Awesome – Day 12

Hellooo readers (said in the manner of Yakko Warner saying “Hello Nurse.”)

My posts may be a little more sporadic for the next little bit, as I might be busy for the next couple weeks and I haven’t been feeling 100%. BUT I will do my best to keep it up, since I did start this because I wanted to keep honing and brushing up on my writing skills again.

So with that in mind, let’s get going with The Book of Awesome:

(67) The smell of the coffee aisle in the grocery store (pg 126)

Did you know there are some people who HATE the smell of coffee?

I am not one of those people!

My sister, however, gags at the smell of coffee.

chapters
I also had no idea that you could find that delicious smell independent of Chapters locations…

For me, it’s a pleasant reminder of one of my favourite places – Chapters – and the memories from days when we would go hang out there and take a look at all the books during my childhood.

Back then, it was just this amazing, magical place that smelled so nice and was so fun – I had no idea that it was a chain of bookstores that you could find everywhere.

To this day, I still love going to Chapters, Indigo or any other bookstores and the wonderful smell of Starbucks is a huge part of that! (It’s almost too tempting NOT to go get a Java Chip Frappucino.)

(68) That pile of assorted beers left in your fridge after a party (pg 127)

I don’t drink beers, so this doesn’t really apply to me…but assorted cakes? Now that I could get on board with.

I do remember a time when, after a big party, our freezer and fridge were FULL of assorted cakes and desserts. You’d think I’d have gotten sick of sweets then, but instead, here I am today, trying to force myself not to have sugar because I just love sugary treats way too much!

(69) Staring out at calm water (pg 129)

There’s really not much I can say about this topic that this photo I took last year can’t say better:

Photo 2016-09-20, 12 38 55 PM
Lucky me, getting such a pretty view!

I am very lucky because I live within driving/commuting distance of a number of lakes. The above photo was from when I did my “30 for 30” – 30 things before my 30th birthday. I gave myself the challenge to visit a park I’d never been too, and as luck would have it, I discovered this little gem, by a lake I’d never known about – only about a 1/2 hour north of where I live! I’d drive through this area often enough for work, but had no clue this was here.

This past week, a friend and I went for another visit, and it’s just as nice as I remembered. I’d say it was slightly more enjoyable on my first visit, though, because I went in September when it was so quiet and the humidity was lower, making the water look much nicer and bluer (as seen in that above picture).

(70) Sneaking McDonald’s and hiding the evidence (pg 131)

This little exchange that Neil Pasricha wrote up between his friends Molly and Scott reminded me of an – opposite – exchange between myself and a childhood friend of mine.

We’d stopped into the McDonald’s drive-thru so she could get fries and to get my sister an ice cream. She turned to me and said, “What do you want?”

And I, at the time very healthy and diligent about my food intake, said, “Nothing, thanks. I don’t eat McDonalds anymore.”

  • Her: “WHAT. Wait, WHAT?”
  • Me: “Yeah, actually come to think of it… I don’t eat fast food at all.”
  • Her: “You don’t eat ANY fast food?!”
  • Me: “Well, I do eat Subway, but I don’t think that counts–“
  • Her: (at the same time as me) “Yeah, no, that doesn’t count.”

She stared at me suspiciously the entire drive back home. I should probably add, just so you get a full – hilarious picture – that this friend of mine is a beauty queen. A literal beauty queen, I’m not just using the phrase to describe her, she actually won a local, well-known beauty contest about 10 years ago. This exchange just makes me laugh even more when you take that into consideration – she was willing to have McD’s…but I wasn’t.

This was probably about four or five years ago, though, and I’ve eased up since then (as my waistband can attest to!), but I still try to limit the amount of fast food I eat.

mcdonald-s-greek-salad-kale
Greek Salad. Yummy, yummy

Now, if I do go to McDonald’s, I am one of those weird people who actually eats their salads! I know, it sounds ridiculous, but their Greek salad isn’t that bad! (By now I’ve eaten it too often that I’ve gotten quite sick of it, though.)

The other thing that McDonald’s always sucks me back in with is the complete opposite of healthy – their cookies.

I was a bit miffed by their rebranding as McCafe, at first, but I soon realized what a brilliant idea it was to compete with the (aforementioned) Starbucks allure and, here in Canada, our precious Tim Hortons.  I actually know more people who enjoy McDonald’s coffee and pastries than most other coffee shops around here! So kudos to them. Their cookies are, for sure, so worth the trip.

(71) Your family car growing up (pg 133)

We were just talking about our family cars from when I was a kid yesterday and how I always knew who was picking me up from school by the sound the cars made. My dad had a diesel car, and those make the MOST noise. Apparently, as I just found out yesterday, my dad was not a fan of diesel cars because of the noise, but once he got one, it’s been his favourite of all his cars since!

One of the cars Pasricha mentions in this section actually brought back memories of another big car from my childhood. Amongst his examples, he lists a Chevy Lumina van, which I never experienced, but my brother’s car when I was a kid was a Lumina that we affectionately referred to as… “The Lumina!” (We have become more creative with names since. I named my current car Buster Keaton, after my favourite silence movie actor/director.)

I don’t know that the car was as awesome as my memory makes it out to be, or if it’s just the fact that the memories I have of it are awesome. It’s probably just the haze of coolness of having a big brother who’d take me to buy toys or introduce me to new songs in his cool car.

My best friend’s family also had a Lumina, not sure why they were so popular with everyone around here in the mid-90s, but they were! When my brother’s car, sadly, finally gave up, I warned her there was a good chance the same would happen to her family’s car in time. And what do you know, a few months later, theirs also conked out for good.

Funny enough, what I most remember about The Lumina was that my brother always had McDonald’s food boxes and napkins in there… which totally falls in line with the previous topic too!

(72) Eating a free sample of something you have no intention of buying (pg 135)

I am going to announce a really unpopular opinion and I need you all to brace yourself.

Are you ready?

Okay…

I…am not a fan of Costco.

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I know! I know! Everyone loves Costco. Costco is God’s gift to shoppers. Costco is the greatest thing since sliced bread and it SELLS sliced bread.

Problem is, I can’t shop somewhere that doesn’t have all the products I’m looking for and Costco rarely ever has anything I need. I visited with a friend who was trying her hardest to convince me of how wonderful it is, but I went in with a list of things I needed to find (vitamins, food, clothing) and found maybe 1 of the 10 things on my list.

Due to food allergies and sensitivities, I have to be pretty particular about the things I choose (likewise with family members) and because of that, I can’t handle the inconsistency of Costco having different items in stock every week. It’s a total waste for me to go there for ONE item that I can get much cheaper, only to waste gas to go to the mall/grocery store to pick up everything else.

That being said, I learned from my dermatologist that even if you don’t have a Costco membership, you can still go to their pharmacy, which, let me tell you, was a pretty amazing discovery – a prescription medication that cost $65 at my regular pharmacy was only $12 at the Costco pharmacy.

And yet with that wonderful discovery came my further annoyance with Costco, in the fact that they told me I could pick it up in a half hour – which left me wandering the store because trying to get in and out of that parking lot was just ridiculous at that time – and when I came back… they said it wasn’t ready and would be another half hour.

I assume this was a scheme on their part, attempting to get me to buy things while waiting. But as we all know, I don’t have a membership! So, what did I do for that hour (really, hour and 15 minutes by the end of it)?

I went around and ate ALL THE FREE SAMPLES I COULD!

And thus, this entire topic just screams out – my relationship with Costco

 

The Summer of Awesome – Day 10!

Whoa, already at Day 10!

It completely slipped my mind to post yesterday. The day just seemed to fly by, and next thing I knew, it was 10pm!

Before I go onwards with The Book of Awesome, part of why I was distracted was because I was catching up on American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson mini-series on FX (they are smart to put their shows on in marathons, they’ve sucked me in twice now! First Fargo, now this!).

If you haven’t seen it already, and especially if you lived through the actual OJ Simpson trial, watch it! It’s very well made and well acted. I was young at the time of the trial (7-8 years old), but remember it very clearly – they announced the verdict over the announcements at my elementary school because everyone was so caught up in it. Seeing the inner workings (even if fictionalized), of both sides is very interesting.

Anyhow, back to the book!

(55) Getting gas just before the price goes up (pg 107)

I’m not sure what gas prices are like around the world, or even how gas is charged in others places, but here, it’s by the litre.

At last glance, gas prices around here were around $1.06/litre…which in the olden days, would have been pretty dang high, but is actually, nowadays, pretty dang low! The last time I needed gas, it was up to $1.13! (Notice I say “needed” because I am not one of those people who smartly gets gas when the price is low, but gets it when I am almost at empty and am at the mercy of the gas stations and conglomerates and their crazy – seemingly arbitrary – prices!)

It’s rare to ever catch the gas under $1 these days, but the moment when you do, just like Neil Pasricha says, it’s an exciting moment! Even more exciting is when you manage to get a perfect pump, by which I mean $25.00 instead of $25.01 (though in these days, getting $25.01 is pretty exciting too because we don’t have pennies here anymore, so you get a FREE CENT OF GAS! 😛 )

I still remember when the gas prices started to rise… I remember talking to my friend’s dad when he was driving us to an amusement park about whether or not he thought the prices would ever come down again (it was around $0.75 at the time)… Both of us agreed it wouldn’t happen any time soon. Here we are, about 12 years later, and they haven’t been anywhere close to that price since!

(56) The pushoff (pg 109)

Image69 If there’s one thing that encapsulates my first time learning how to ride a bike without training wheels, it’s the phrase “NO U-TURNS!

My dad taught me how to ride my bike, and much like Pasricha writes in the book: “Dad’s holding you steady as you pedal, pedal, pedal” – which is exactly how it went.

Somehow, for some reason, any time my dad would let go, I would end up wheeling back around, making a “U-Turn” – I assume it must’ve been because I was nervous when I realized he let go, so I started turning back towards him instead of just going straight.

Then, my dad gave me a good pep talk and said the phrase that’s stuck with me, “No U-Turns!” One time, I heard my dad yell out “NO U-TURNS!” behind me, and guess what? I didn’t U-Turn, I just kept on going straight!

What a moment. What a memory.

(57) Wearing sandals when you shouldn’t be wearing sandals (pg 110)

I haven’t been able to find a good pair of sandals for years. Either they’re really clunky and ugly, OR they’re really adorable and flat.

Even when I worked in shoe stores (I worked in two different ones), I could never find sandals that suited me well. Ones that look perfect would rub or be itchy or have a seam that just dug into you!

I am very lucky that I had a manager who was super cool and told us – encouraged us – to try on our store’s footwear when it was slow, so we could actually get a feel for them and be able to share that with customers.

This wasn’t the best when I finally gave in to my long-time desire to try on 3-inch heels and I happened to so so right when someone came in asking for the shoes on the HIGHEST POSSIBLE SHELF!

I had to climb up the shelf – already dangerous – in 3-inch heels – definitely dangerous, which I had never attempted to wear before in my life – extremely dangerous.

Thankfully, that all went perfectly fine and taught me that:

  1. I CAN wear 3-inch heels!
  2. I can get stuff DONE in 3-inch heels.

I became a fan of extremely high heels at that point and never looked back! Even when people tried to “tall-shame” me (I don’t know if that’s a thing, but I am making it a thing 😛 ) by saying “Pshh, you’re already so tall, what do YOU need to wear heels for?!”

You know what for?

MY BACK.

My fellow tall-ies out there will know, being tall takes a toll on your back! And in my case, being tall and wearing flat shoes really takes a toll on my back. This is why I have struggled with sandals. I finally found ones last year that seemed to work and then this summer… back to the back pain. 😦

So, I can’t say I relate to this at all because I don’t wear sandals in the summer, much less at any other time of year.

BUT I can relate to wearing shoes that really shouldn’t be worn at certain times at those times (as I said above).

(58) Getting off an airplane after a long flight (pg 113)

I don’t want to make this all about being tall again, but… you can imagine what plane rides are like when you have added height! Same goes for the movie theatre. I am so thankful for IMAX and VIP cinemas for their spacious leg room!

In terms of plane rides, I have found the best and worst spot all in one:

Why is it the best?

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All that spacious, spacious leg room!

Why is it the worst?

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Me, worrying about my emergency preparedness abilities at the age of 22!

Because it’s the EMERGENCY EXIT SEATS!

The flight crew works under the assumption that if you sit there you will be calm and rational enough to help people escape under duress. I did agree that I could do so and I have, since, helped kids out during a Fire Alarm and know how to handle such emergencies, but a plane emergency might be a little more anxiety-inducing.

STILL, for that sweet, sweet leg room… I will muster all my bravery to help the good people off the plane if need be!

(59) Picking a q and at the same time in Scrabble (pg 114)

Ever since Words with Friends came along, our family has become very adept at Scrabble-esque games.

downloadNo, wait, it actually started way before that. With this amazing incarnation of the game, Yahoo’s Literati!

We used to play this so often and then segued into Words with Friends once apps started to take over. To give you an idea of how often we play, I currently have 8 games going (which is actually less than some days!)

With all these games, I’ve learned you don’t necessairly needto make the most of a Q. Neil Pasricha mentions one of the U-less Q words: qat, BUT you can also make qats, qi or qis. A search just now told me that there are actually WAY MORE words than that, but those four are my standard ones; the ones that helped me realize a Q isn’t as hopeless a letter as I’ve previously assumed.

You know which letters are hopeless?

and V.

When you’re down to your last few letters and you know all you can make are two-letter words, squished into a crevice – a C and a V are the LAST things you want (which makes my phrasing here pretty ironic because “crevice has both…)

Can you think of a single 2-letter word that starts or ends with a C or a V?

No! You can’t! For they don’t exist!

Don’t believe me? Go check for yourself!

And now that you’ve been provided this knowledge, go out into the word and make good use of those TL and TW tiles, to get yourself 30+ points!

(60) Old folks who sit on their porch and wave at your when you walk by (pg 116)

I am sad to report that my area doesn’t have a ton of porches… or old folks, for that matter. I am happy to say, that thanks to one of my jobs, I get to chat with old folks often enough and it’s actually one of the best parts of my day!

I give tours at a museum and find the older people always have the best anecdotes, the best stories and are just full of conversation, unlike a lot of younger people who are just quick to grab their phones for pictures.

Some of my best tours have been ones where I learned more from visitors than they have from me!

A lot of older visitors are just happy to share their memories and connections to our site and artefacts, which I am glad to partake of – I have actually picked up on a few things that I’ve then incorporated into tours with other people (i.e. I learned what a manure wagon is and I met descendants of the people who used to own some of our artefacts).

Also, the older I’m getting, the more crotchety I’m becoming. I find I actually relate much better to the 80-year-olds with my “Kids these days…” and “This newfangled place, full of construction, isn’t how remember it…” comments, than I do to the trendy twenty-somethings. (Then again, I was a crotchety teenager too, so I suppose it’s nothing new, and has just grown from there!)

Have yourselves a good rest of your Monday (or . Until next time!

The Summer of Awesome – Day 9

And away we go… Onwards with The Book of Awesome:

(49) The thank-you wave when you let somebody merge in front of you (pg 96)

9ed6bcfa1ffc8aad10aa1d639483c9eb--jerry-seinfeld-on-the-phone.jpgI just experienced one of these right before I sat down to write this and realized, do you know how rare I find the “thank-you wave” is these days?

Mr Pasricha sets out four types of courtesy-waves on top of just your good ol’ Thank-You wave (the one you give when you switch lanes to thank the person who lets you in):

  1. The Red Light Squeeze – when you need to make a right turn and the person ahead of you goes up a bit so you can squeeze by and make your turn earlier than you would have otherwise.
  2. The Pre-Wave – when you are already squeezing your way into an already packed lane and are giving them a wave so they’ll let you in and “build up some goodwill.”
  3. The Apology Wave – when you do something like block up traffic trying to get out of your parking spot (though the example he gives is the much more aggressive, “side-swip[ing] a van of teenagers.” :p
  4. The Go-Ahead Wave – when you let someone go ahead of you at a four-way stop.

I’d say I manage to do all of them at some point – but probably #2 the least because I am not a very aggressive driver and rarely try to squeeze into tight places. I do give it if I need to switch lanes because of construction blocking part of the road, that I just noticed as I got closer to it, and someone is nice enough to let me in (which…really…they’re supposed to do anyway and I usually don’t have this happen because I’ll spot the sign well in advance and switch ASAP), but that seems more like an Apology Wave.

How many of these have I found people give me? In recent years? Practically NONE!

I don’t know if it’s just my area (could be) or that people are too busy to even give a little wave these days (might be), but getting the wave I did today (it was a #3 – apology wave because I had to wait to pass by because she had been pulling out of a parking spot awkwardly) I was actually surprised to get a thank-you wave.

This leads me to think, there’s actually a FIFTH thank-you/courtesy wave that I just gave to that lady today myself:

  • 5. The OMG you actually gave me a thank-you wave, I feel I need to thank-you wave back at you just for that! Wave

Then again, I am Canadian, so this might be just one of our over-the-top politeness moments too…

(50) When you’re really tired and about to fall asleep and someone throws a blanket on you (pg 98)

As nice as this is in theory, I am one of those people who, if I do happen to start napping (which, as you may have learned from Day 2, I don’t tend to), the slightest change in the environment will wake me up.

Gets a bit warmer? I’ll wake up.

Someone shuts the TV off? I’ll wake up.

Someone throws a blanket on me? I’ll wake up.

And to be honest, I don’t mind because when I fall asleep in the middle of the family room… I’m usually drooling all over myself, so better to stop me earlier!

(51) Getting your ID checked when you’re way over the legal age (pg 100 – woo hoo!)

hqdefaultI was never a rebellious child or teen. I never had any need for a fake ID because I never did anything that would require one.

I probably could’ve gotten away with way more than the average kid too because I was a head taller than almost everyone I knew. When I was in grade 3 (8 or 9 years old for those of you not in the Canadian school system), someone asked me if I knew a boy in Grade 8 – so that tells you how tall I actually was (still am, but I think it was more confusing to people when I was younger.)

Now, thanks to the good genes of my awesome parents, even though I have been alive for a full (*shudder*) THREE DECADES I still get asked for ID. Just to let you know how young people think I am, you may remember from my birthday post that I was excited to turn 19 years old because I was legally able to gamble – that’s the same age you need to be to drink and buy cigarettes too (not that I want to).

At the ripe o’ age of 30 (31 in six weeks!), I still get asked for ID when buying lottery tickets! In fact, a week after my 30th birthday, a cashier asked me for ID when I bought a scratch ticket. I burst out laughing and said, “I’m 30!” (First time I actually said those words out loud too), but produced my licence anyway for inspection, all while he was saying “No, no! It’s okay! It’s okay! I believe you!”

You’d think I hate that, but boy do I love it. I was more than happy to show off my licence to him.

You know what I do hate? When people say, “You look just like you did in high school.” WELL, what kind of backhanded compliment is that?? I like to think I look better than I did in high school, thank you very much! But, as my sister pointed out when I ranted about this very thing to her, “There’s a huge difference between someone saying you look 16 and you look like your 16 year old self.” Not many people I know want to look like their 16 year old SELF again!

(52) The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk (pg 103)

We’ve had a severely rainy summer this year, unlike one we’ve had since my childhood. Usually, in the last few years, we’d get spurts of five minutes of rain and then it would end and be back to blistering heat.

This year, we’ve had some proper thunderstorms, kinds that, actually, do remind me of being a kid and jumping around in the rain. The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk (or driveway, even more for me) totally reminds me of childhood because of this very reason. I used to love when I’d go out just after it rained and I’d see the rain already starting to evaporate away into hot mist. At the time, I didn’t quite understand what was happening, it just seems to like some cool sort of magic.

(53) That friendly nod between strangers out doing the same thing (pg 104)

FrodoNod
The irony of using a Lord of the Rings GIF on an entry that’s primarily about Harry Potter is not lost on me… 😛

I am really trying to wrack my brain to remember a time when I had this happen…

If anything, I don’t think I’ve ever have gotten a nod, so much as an awkward smile OR strangers who just randomly start up conversations.

This never happened more than when I started reading the Harry Potter books in 2005.

I was in university at the time (late to the party, mostly due to my own stubbornness of not wanting to give in when my friends tried to convince me they were amazing – that’s a whole other story that could warrant a post all its own), and I found myself reading them all over campus.

With every single book, I would get at least ONE weirdo person who would yell to me:

“OH MY GOD! THAT’S THE BEST ONE!

When I finished all six books (at the time), I soon realized… I was that person weirdo.

Whenever I saw someone reading one of the Harry Potter’s  I would get all excited inside and want to talk to them, and I do believe one time, when someone was reading Goblet of Fire, I did the exactly thing people had done to me and yelled out:

“OH MY GOD! THAT IS THE BEST ONE!

(Since then, I’ve come to think of Half-Blood Prince as my favourite, but Goblet of Fire is still my other favourite…though Deathly Hallows is up there too!)

Maybe it’s just because I am a chatty person, so rather than a nod, people are more likely get an awkward conversation instead…

(54) Really, really old Tupperware (pg 105)

Ahh there’s only one thing this calls to mind.

The pink container.

Since I was young, we have had these pink Tupperware containers that we have constantly used for everything.

In this day and age of BPA and all that freaky stuff, it’s probably not the best thing to still be using… But we’re just all so used to them. Not a day goes by where at least one of us doesn’t use the “pink containers” for something! (That sentence came out weird; a lot of double negatives… What I mean to say, is that we always use the dang things!)

And that is where I must leave you all today. Try to contain your disappointment! 😛

The Summer of Awesome – Day 7

Wow, we are only a few days from the end of July? When did that happen?!

I guess time flies when you’re writing about The Book of Awesomes awesome things…

(37) Licking the batter off the beaters of a cake mix (pg 76)

Ohh yes. As a child this is the whole reason to even HELP making a cake. You think maybe, just maybe, your mom – or whoever is making it – will be nice enough to let you lick the beaters or bowl.

My mom was always that nice.

Then you get those occasional Debbie Downers, who yell not to because the egg in it will kill you. I did this often enough, and I am still here 20 years later, so I think it’s okay just for a teensy bit!

Just remember to turn the beaters off first because that might cause some serious danger…

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Is there anything you can’t connect to a Simpsons GIF? Sure doesn’t seem like it… 😀

(38) Being the first person into a really crowded movie theater and getting the prime seats (pg 77)

Nowadays in the era of IMAX, VIP, UltraAVX and the like, you can book your seats well in advance.

*Prepare yourself for a “Kids these days” moment.*

But seriously…kids these days have no idea how difficult it was to make sure you got the prime seats before online purchases!

In fact, buying tickets alone took forever. My brother and sister waited in two lines of a good few hours for Star Wars: Episode I – one just to BUY the tickets and one to get us good seats!

I was still young at the time and had to go to school, so didn’t get to partake of those line ups. I did get to come for the midnight screening, but was dropped off around 8pm, while they had been in line since about noon! From what my sister told me, it was exhausting and insane, but there wasn’t anything else quite like it and a whole level of bonding that you just don’t get these days.

In terms of the people Pasricha sets out, I am definitely a “Middle of the Packer”  – I don’t like being too far back because you don’t get the full immersion of being at the movies, too far front and your neck hurts. Middle, centre is where it’s at. And, frankly, I’m surprised anyone would want anything else (except occasionally, my family opts for side/aisle because as tall ones, it’s good to have the leg room.)

I did once have to sit very close to the screen – it was for the theatrical playing of the first episode of Doctor Who with the 12th Doctor. Thankfully, I got so into the episode that I wasn’t so fussed about being so close.

There were probably TWO times in my life when I almost had a theatre to myself. The first time was with my sister and we went to see Recess: School’s Out, the theatrical movie based on one of my favourite shows – Recess. It was SO empty that we actually played tag in the theatre for a good while… But then people showed up. Dang.

The second time was when I went to see Eye in the Sky:

eye_in_the_sky_ver3_xlg.jpg

This was actually quite momentous for me in two ways:

(1) it was the first time I ever went to see a movie in the theatre on my own

(2) Eye in the Sky was (my other favourite actor), Alan Rickman’s last (live-action*) movie.

I happened to be near the theatre for a job interview (went okay, but I didn’t get it, in case you’re wondering) and it just happened to be playing right then. This seemed too fortuitous to pass up, so I went for it.

I had no idea at the time, but that was the last week that it was playing  (even more fortuitous!) so when I got in there, I was excited to find:

I was literally the only person in the theatre.

This lasted almost right until the movie started, when about five others came in. I was really hoping it would’ve just been me, because that would’ve been a Bucket List worthy occasion, but sharing it with five other sporadically spread out other people was fine too.

Might I just add: Eye in the Sky was a tense and brilliant movie and not one I would have ever usually watched. I saw Helen Mirren on The Graham Norton Show last year talking about how she thinks Alan would have been proud of their film and proud that it was his last one. I think he would’ve been too.

*Note: His actual last performance was as the voice of Absolem in Alice Through the Looking Glass.

(40) Waiters and waitresses who bring free refills without asking (pg 80)

I know this is meant to be awesome, but it just makes me feel bad. I usually just about get through my one Ginger Ale by the end of the meal, and then they show up with another and I’m left to wonder… Do I have to drink this? Should I let them know I don’t want it? Should I take a few courtesy sips, even though any more sugar and my brain will explode?

Also, I stopped drinking pop for the most part when I was 18. I used to LOVE Coke, love it so much it freaked everyone out when I stopped drinking it. But I heard about the excess sugar in it and thought, maybe I’ll give it a shot and stop it. I was starting to get tired of it was it was, so why not?

Once I stopped drinking pop, within a few weeks, I lost FIVE POUNDS, literally.

Weight loss excitement aside, it wasn’t that exciting to go to restaurants and ask for things other than pop (apple juice was my go-to, until I became allergic to apples in my mid-20s), and see everyone else get refills, while I paid $1 more for things I got only one time…in a smaller glass.

And now that I am allergic to apples? It’s a rare Ginger Ale, tea (which costs upwards of $1.50 more, but at least I can get hot water refills) or that always trust and good ol’ liquid sidekick – water!

(41) The final seconds of untangling a really big knot (pg 82)

Oh yes, that’s quite a thrill! There’s that little moment when you think it might go awry, and that somehow you’re just making it worse, much like:

9b1dc7503e003476376a5b0a0df327e7

But when you start to realize that no, wait, it’s going in the right direction, there’s a huge celebration of triumph.

I used to work at a shoe store (two, actually) so I got pretty good at undoing knots in laces. The knots that I have found particularly difficult to deal with, though are grocery store produce bags.

They’re flimsy enough to get tightened too much, even when you don’t mean them to, and then become like a Fort Knox for green peppers when you bring them home… (My dad has found a way around this; he just rips into them like the Hulk. 😛 )

(42) The Five Second Rule (pg 84)

Recently, I dropped something – a chip maybe? My nephew, a very neat and tidy boy, who didn’t even like getting his fingers the least bit dirty in the past, stared at me wide-eyed and I thought “Better get this into the garbage.”

Instead, he shrugged and said, “That’s okay – FIVE SECOND RULE!”

If a kid as meticulous as him can be okay with it… I’m sure there are not many people who aren’t.

Somehow, picking it up ASAP, giving it a little rub with a clean cloth, and a blow of air seems to make us all believe that no germs could ever do damage.

That being said, there I have rules and standards here, people. Unlike Neil Pasricha’s claim that you can “tear off the wet, soggy piece of crust piece that fell in the juice puddle,” in my mind, there are a few things even the Five-Second Rule can’t save.

If it’s wet and/or gooey, like peanut butter on toast (soy butter on toast, in my case) – the very food he mentions – and it falls face down, NO. That is not happening.

If it falls bread side down, somehow that seems fine because the little particles of dirt can’t stick as easily to it.

If it’s something like a cake, or cupcake that falls on the floor, then if the layer of frosting that fell can be easily cut or wiped away, then maybe that’s okay. (See: Chandler and Rachel trying their best to eat cheesecake that “doesn’t have floor on it.” But DON’T follow Joey’s example! Floor pasta should stay floor pasta…)

Pretty much, if it’s anything gooey or liquid, I say just leave it as floor food.

And that’s all for today…

that_s_all_folks__by_surrimugge-d6rfav1.png

The Summer of Awesome – Day 6

Hello people of the Internet! I feel like I should follow that up with something like, “It is I, your Empress of the World.” Alas, I have yet to reach that goal.

One day. One day.

Truthfully, Empress of the World would probably be such an exhausting and time-consuming job. I often wonder what Emperor Palpatine got up to after conquering the galaxy. Probably just tons of paperwork! Why did he work so hard for that?!

But I digress…

Back to awesomeness!

(31) When the socks from the dryer all match up perfectly (pg 63)

My favourite part of this section is how he describes the socks as “husbands” and “wives” and then says, “It’s free and easy love all around.” That’s just so kooky, I don’t even know what to do with it and my kookiness is pretty high up there.

We’ve had many inanimate objects come to life in movies: toys, cars, food, emojis…is clothing the inevitable next step?!

But back to what he is talking about here – I have been doing my own laundry since my teens, and I think I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve had socks that perfectly match up. One of these was just two weeks ago! What an exciting moment. It probably helped that it’s summer and so I only had about three pairs in the load, but that doesn’t matter, the excitement was still real!

(32) When there’s still time left in the parking meter when you pull up (pg 64)

Truth-time:

I’ve never parked at a parking meter.

I actually haven’t parallel parked since practicing for my highway test (seven years ago!). I don’t live somewhere that requires this kind of parking, and, to be honest, I don’t even remember seeing a single parking meter around here.

That said, of all the types of people he describes, I think I would vacillate between them, depending on the circumstances.

There’s the person who opts for the No Dollar Dash – i.e you try to make use of only the time left by the previous person; the Tight Quarter Squeeze person, who adds a bit of change to up the time a little, so they don’t have to worry as much; and the Slot Machine folks, who are too anxious about a ticket or running out of time, that they fill that meter up ASAP.

On a day when I’m feeling particularly lazy or anxious, I would definitely for with the Slot Machine approach. The last thing you want to do is be running errands and worrying about having to run back to your car to check on the meter. But on a random risk-taker moment, maybe I’d try one of the other two.

I guess this is one of those things that I’ll find out when it happens. I did say I would try the things I’d never experienced, so… I guess if I find a parking meter at some point I have to try this out to see which of these people I really am.

(33) The smell of crayons (pg 66)

Ohh this is like the cutting of construction paper, but even better. Crayons and the smell of crayons takes me right back to childhood. I was so lucky because I had the big tin of Crayola crayons, with all the coolest and best colours.

Which colour was a little nub the quickest for me?

This guy right here:

enhanced-18557-1468513893-19.png

Such a beautiful blue.

Perfect for skies, seas AND princess dresses. Nothing else quite like it.

The smell of crayons also reminds me of one summer when I was a kid, when my sister and I had this amazing idea to make a picture using melted crayons. Apparently this has become a huge thing these days?

But crazy brilliant as we are, we thought “HEY, it’s really hot outside, I bet if we just left it out in the sun it would melt easily!” (I think we may have also tried the microwave – note: I do not condone this, whatsoever. Don’t go do this. It’s a bad idea!)

Needless to say, the heat of a Canadian summer (which is actually MUCH hotter than any of you not from Canada would likely expect) was not sufficient to create a proper melted crayon picture… But it did create a hilarious story and memory to last a lifetime!

(34) Peeling an orange in one shot (pg 67)

Legitimately the first thing to come to my mind was this:

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Homer’s take on marriage, actually shows an ingenious – though impractical, in truth – way to eat an orange

I don’t tend to eat large oranges, but am a fan of the little tiny ones – mandarins? Clementines? Tangerines? I’m not sure which one they are, but those ones are the best – until they get dried out and taste like dust.

I’ve never attempted to peel an orange in one shot. Actually, I hate peeling oranges because I hate the smell of oranges. The smell of oranges is actually a popular one, going back to the olden days of the 19th century, when they were given as gifts at Christmas. (They were especially precious up here in good ol’ Canada, where it’s not possible to even grow oranges!)

And yet, for me, oranges just recalls this time when we received a free sample of something orange-smelling in the mail – I want to say detergent, because it was powdery, but why would orange smelling detergent ever be a thing? (Maybe other people like it enough for that, but I can’t see that being a trendy item at all). Anyhow, whatever it was, it spilled all over the kitchen when we opened and it and so, the smell of gross, manufactured orange lingered…forever. Or, at least, what felt like forever.

So.

Orange smell.

Gross.

And yet, I do like the taste of oranges and the Vitamin C boost they give, so I’ve had to give in and get the disgusting smell on my fingers if I want to eat one. I’ve never attempted an uninterrupted peel, though, so I am going to try that, right this second!

(Before I begin, let me just say, reading Neil Pasricha’s actual entry on how to accomplish this is making me more anxious about getting it done. It’s like reading instructions on how to diffuse a bomb, right before you have to diffuse a bomb! It’s going to blow up in my face aka, squirt juice at me and leave me smelling like horrible orange!)

Step 1: Selection process

image1.JPGI realized after deciding to do this that we were really down to only the last few, and pretty pathetic, oranges…

So this might not work.

They were all either really dry on the outside OR really squishy. I picked this fine competitor because it looked the most normal.

 

 

Step 2: THE STAB!

It has been punctured!

image2.JPG

Step 2b: Adding a face

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This couldn’t be helped, it looked too perfect to not make it a face.

Step 3: The Peeling:

Within a, literal, 2 seconds of peeling, I realized:

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Here is how far I got before realizing this:

image4.JPG

Why? Because:

  1. My orange is too tiny
  2. My fingers are too big
  3. It’s too drippy
  4. The drippy-ness is grossing me out
  5. I am now covered in smelly orange drippings (you may call it “juice” – but, no, this is just drippings. Also, note the change in location because I had to run to the kitchen to wash all the drippings off of me!)

So in conclusion: NOT AWESOME!

But… this may be my own fault for picking a paltry orange. 😛 Sadly, now my pants got some orange juice on them, so I reek of oranges… And it’s the worst. 😐

(35) Using all the different shampoos and soaps in someone else’s shower (pg 70)

I don’t know about everyone else… but when I travel, I bring my own shampoos and soaps, so this doesn’t really apply to me. Those are very personal items, so I can’t see wanting to use anyone else’s to begin with.

Just reading this chapter made me feel really uncomfortable and icky. I don’t care if you’re not using their bar of soap (because that would be really disgusting), the idea of using any of another person’s shower products is gross to me!

But…maybe that’s just me.

There’s also the case of, as he mentions, the “forty-dollar-a-bottle-salon conditioner” – I don’t care if it’s my sister, my cousin, my best friend – if someone paid FORTY BUCKS for a product , I am definitely not wasting any of that! (I also have the added problem of not knowing what the heck is in other people’s products and having a MASSIVE list of allergies, so… it’s easier to bring/buy my own.)

(36) When the vending machine gives you two tings instead of one (pg 74)

Okay, after two questionable entries, this is one I can get on board with. There’s nothing quite like the sweet surprise of an extra candy bar or chips bag coming your way.

Then you are just obligated to turn around and yell out to your friends, family or coworkers exactly what this woman does on Seinfeld.

free candy
“FREE CANDY!”

And that, is where I’ll leave you. Wishing you all a good day and free candy!