Friday, 6 December 2013

Dear Air Canada: You suck

Dear Air Canada,

I am flying to Calgary today, although now I will be ariving two and a half hours later than I had planned, because even though I was at the airport 45 minutes prior to departure, there was a line and I could not get through the line fast enough and you wouldn't let me on my flight.
I had checked on online yesterday and already had a boarding pass. The only reason I had to stand in that line was to get a luggage tag. But because it took me 15 minutes to get through the line, by the time I arrived at the counter, I was told that the plane was already boarding and that I was fubared.
I checked in online so that I could avoid lines, but then had to stand in a line anyway, which made me too late to board a flight that I checked into yesterday.
She said she would call her manager. I thought he would get my butt fast through and on the plane. Nope. He sat at a computer and looked through a bunch of screens and then said I would be arriving in Calgary at 6:55.
So then a manager was called because I was not happy. I could not understand how myself, and the two people behind me, could not get on a plane that was not scheduled to depart for another 30 minutes, all because we were told we had to be here earlier.
I replied in frustration and said I WAS here at 2:30 and it took me 15 minutes to find a parking spot and walk to the departure desk.  Then he basically said close only counts in horseshoes and it was my fault because I should have allowed for that time. Like I thought it would take 15 minutes to park at the Grande Prairie Airport! IT HAS 4 GATES!! I think I have parked faster at YEG (Edmonton International) than here.
 Rather than filing that plane up with us three passengers who had already checked in online and were standing at the departure counter at 3:01 pm, you flew a plane with three empty seats, then put us on a later flight. To ice the craptastic cake further, because who doesn't love cake frosted with crap, I checked the departures board and saw that my flight actually departed EARLY. By 6 minutes. Which is about twice the time it took me to go through security at 3:10. So I sat at my gate, watched my actual flight leave at 3:24 because someone decided that I was too late to board.

There is a reason people don't like flying Air Canada and that you need government bailouts to keep you afloat, and this is it: because you suck.



PS - you suck.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Accidental Pixie

The kids have been gearing up for today all week: a costume-halloween party at a friend's house. Everyone was dressing up, adults included. My kids have had their costumes figured out for a week (iBean for much longer) and leave it to me to be making mine at the last minute the morning of the party.
But it's not my fault. I am not good at dressing up for anything, and I saw this cute idea online of how to make a Paper Bag Princess costume. So I was busy cutting away paper this morning and putting it together in the living room, making a total mess of the place. The kids were pretty happy with that and iBean was colouring on the scraps of leftover paper, Keesadilla was colouring and cutting and glueing. All very good crafty wholesome stuff.
Once my costume was done, albeit too wide for my shoulders, but whatevs, I hopped into the shower and began making myself look like I had just had my castle blown  up by a dragon. Which was not hard, since my entire living room had been blown up by a last-minute DIY costume attempt.
As I was teasing my hair and back-combing and hairspraying and rubbing mascara on my face to look like soot, I heard Sashimi yell: MOMMY! SOMETHING BAD IS HAPPENING!
I'm thinking, oh no, another creeper on Minecraft which I don't understand and what the hell is a creeper anyway.
I run into the living room. iBean is sitting on a stool. Clumps of her ice-white lockson the table, alongside some darker chunks of brownish blond.
Audible gasp. LOUD GASP. Hands to mouth, almost choke on my fist from all the vacuum-style inhaling and OHHHHing.
Woe is me and my poor barely-grown hair
Everything was quiet. But my loud gasping and sighing and near-moaning. Then I asked the obvious question: Who cut iBean's hair?
Keesadilla: I did. Are you mad, Mommy?
Me: Well...WHY did you cut her hair?
Keesadilla: I think it looks better this way.
Me: Noooooooooo, it doesn't. And we have family pictures on Monday!
Keesadilla: Don't worry Mommy, hair always grows back.
Me: It won't grow back by Mondaaaaaaaaay!
Keesadilla: When is Monday?
Me: in two daaaaaaaays!!!!!!!!!1
Keesadilla: Oooooohhhhhhhh. 

Then I look. The hair chunks are glued to a piece of paper. There was motive behind this. I don't know if I understand it, but there was some sort of reasoning. For a split second, I actually pictured myself madly gluing all those white locks back onto her head. OH THE DEVASTATION! THE TRAGEDY!

Then I look. iBean says: Mommy, Kees is cutting my hairs. My hairs is short now!

And she smiles.
Obviously not bothered. At. All.

Punk-chic by Brother
She just sat there. She smiled. I tried to smile, but all I wanted to do was continue breathing into the paperbag costume. I know hair grows back. But not in 2 days. 
I texted my hairdresser the picture of the hairpocalypse. She texted me back right away and said she could fix as best she could f I took her right away.
Keesadilla was looking really concerned. I told him we would NOT miss the costume party, so not to worry. But that's not what he was worried about.
"Are you gonna take me to the police?"
"WHAT? No. I am not going to take you to the police. But can you just promise me that you will NEVER EVER cut hair again??"
Keesadilla looked at me, hesitant. I know he was really thinking about it.
"Yeah, Ok, fine."

Then I grabbed iBean and ran to the salon. Wait, did I mention that I was half decked out like a paperbag princess whose castle just got blown up?
Like this?
Who needs a hair cut NOW??
With mascara all over my cheeks and leggings and a top meant to go under the paperbag ,and backcombed to high heaven, we went to the salon.
The stylist said it was bad. Not the worst she's seen, but there would definitely be cowlicks she just couldn't fix.
When all was said and done, iBean came out like this:
Add a bunch of hoops in her ear and she could be me circa 1999
She had a sucker, she was happy.

Then mad dash home to go dress up for the party:

My sweet little Punk-Chic-Pixie Scooby Doo.

Good thing she's so cute!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Cake that Almost didn't Make It

If there is one thing I love in this world, it's making beautiful and delicious food. But who can eat a cake every day? Or even every week? Wait. Let me rephrase that. I know that cake is a sometimes food, so I don't make it every week. Plus, I am all about making from scratch and using best quality ingredients. Full fat. Full flavour.
One of my friends is celebrating her birthday today, and I had told her husband a while ago that I was planning on making a cake for her. Because, see above reason. Food. Love. Eat. Love.
But that was a few weeks ago. And I kinda forgot about it until, ohhhhh, yesterday. I know she loves peanut butter buttercream and dark chocolate cake. But I made that last year. And for Sashimi's birthday. And I gave her the leftover cake from his birthday.
So I wanted to tackle a new recipe.
Today. Without pre-reading or whatever. Just OOOOOH! I wanna make that awesome Sweetapolita cake with the peanuts on the side!
I get home from work at 12:30. Quickly look up that nutty recipe on my absolute drooltastic favourite blog Sweetapolita. Look at a bunch of other fantastic looking tasties. Get back to the peanut throwing cake. Figure out what ingredients I need, which fortunately is not much. Eat lunch, get iBean dressed (that's right...she was still hanging out in her birthday suit at 1:00 pm) and head to the store.
She's excited, I'm excited. There will be butter and sugar being creamed together. Whipping cream. Cream cheese. PEANUT BUTTER.
Ooooooooh baby.
Pulling into the parking lot of the store, guess who falls asleep.  And NO, it wasn't me. I figure she just fell asleep, I'll take her out of her carseat and she'll be good to go.
You know what? My arms are the best bed EVER. I hauled iBean in the crook of my left arm, and did all my shopping with my right arm, while also holding my phone, which had a shopping list in it. Open the cooler door with right arm, prop open with right hip, grab dairy products while trying not to bang iBean's head with the door as it slams shut. What else do I need? Oh yeah. FLOUR. That's not at ALL hard to grab with one hand and put into a cart without dropping your snoring 2 year old sleeping in your armpit. Because as strong as I am, my muscles may just give out and my arm may spontaneously fall off.
Oh. But guess what? There's no whipping cream in the entire dairy cooler. The entire rest of the cooler is full. I wonder if they are just putting it out. I go see Tony at the pharmacy and ask him to tell me where I can go to get more whipping cream. He calls someone. Immediately afterward I hear a page for someone, then that person responds with a page for someone else. Snore snore drool drool.
Aaaaaaaaannnnnd 10 minutes later they call back: no whipping cream.
For the love of freaking throwing peanuts. I have to go to ANOTHER store??
I go to the checkout, hear some poor employee get totally ripped into by his "superior". "Where's your handheld" she asks him. He says he doesn't know. She pulls it out from behind her back: "Mmmmmhmmm.  I KNOW you don't know. Because I have it. You are never allowed to blah blah blah humiliate belittle tears and crying into a pillow at night."
iBean is still asleep.
I finally pay, get everything into my cart, wheel out to the car, put the groceries in the back, put iBean in  her carseat.
And THEN she decides to wake up. All smiley and silly.
So we hit another store just for whipping cream and to look at pumpkins -  "Those are BIG ones! And it's a petit one!"
We get home and it's time to get at 'er!
I have to separate some eggs. The first egg I crack has something red in it.  But not just a red dot. I look closer. It was probably 2-3 mm in diameter. It's a freaking embryo. I can tell. It was fleshy, pink chicken-like.
Shudder shudder shriek. Garbage. And then I meticulously inspect each egg afterward to make sure there is no surprise protein. Ughhhhhhhhh.
The rest of the cake is easy. iBean adds ingredients, she tosses the chocolate chips with a pinch of flour when needed, and voilà.
Then we made the peanut butter mousse filling. Cream cheese, icing sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and whipped cream. iBean's words: This TASTEEEE! between mouthfuls of licking the spatula.
I start getting ready to assemble the cake. I grab a serated knife to do some trimming, and there is goo on it. From the cake. Holy. Poo. On. Melba. Toast. The middle is not baked. How the hell did that happen? I toothpick tested it and it came out clean!! Can you actually put a cooled cake back in the oven to finish baking? I dunno, but I'm gonna find out.
Turns out, you can. Sort of. The middle bakes, but the edges get quite, um, crunchy. But there is nothing I hate more than undercooked gooey cake.
This setback totally delays my estimated time of cake.  By a good hour, because now I have to let the thing cool all over again. In the meantime, my friend's hubby texts me: We are patiently waiting.........

By the time I put it together, the cake is not totally cool, but it is well past cake time and it needs to get in people's bellies. So I do my best to get it to stay upright and look pretty.
And thanks to my turn table and expert peanut-throwing skills, it turned out pretty darn good.

It was also tasty. Pretty. Tasty.

And there are a bunch of platters on sale this week at Walmart. I think I'm gonna go grab a bunch. Beacuse seriously? That platter cost me under $5. And it's awesome.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Happen' Hummus...what?

Today was one of those days where I got home from work, picked up iBean, went home for a few hours, worked out, prepped supper and loaded it into the crock pot and put the baked macaroni and cheese in the oven on auto-timer, piled iBean back into the car, picked up the boys from school, drove to Tony's work to grab Sashimi's piano books out of his car, and had a few minutes to spare before taking Sashimi to his piano lesson. And then I realized I was HUNGRY. The kids were also hungry, as I normally have some sort of snack ready for them when they get home OR supper is ready to serve. iBean had passed out in the car, so going into a store was not happening. So I drove to a McDonald's drive-thru.

For the record, I rarely eat there. I love their lattés (which I also have not had since June), but the food: no thanks.  The kids like their fries. Which, to be honest, are scarily tasty with all that crispiness and salt. But I can never handle eating more than a few before I feel like I am on day 59 of a trek through the Sahara and the mirages of Culligan water trucks are singing to me. So I ordered the kids each a small fries. But I was SO HUNGRY. Then, like a sign from the angels, I saw a sign that said Happen' Hummus. What? McD's has chick pea spread? Then I saw that the meditteranean wrap, which contained said Happenin' Hummus, was vegetarian.  No "meat". Veggies, cheese, whole wheat wrap (aka enriched-white-flour-dyed-brown, probably with some sort of corn byproduct). I ordered one thinking it would calm my ravenous hunger and get me through until our actual supper.

I bit into it. First taste: salt. Then a bit of sodium, tomato, red onion, then salt, crisp green leaves, white saucy goo, more sodium. And crispy things.  What? Brown flaky crisps? Were they croutons? No. Bacon bits? No. Was it bits of coating from the fryer? Possibly. They tasted like onions. Are they mediterranean? I've never had mediterranean batter crisps before. I kept eating. There was some sort of white sauce in there, too. Was it tzatziki? Only if tzatziki tastes like ranch. But it wasn't quite ranch either.  Like ranch with extra vinegar. WAIT! Miracle Whip left out in the sun! Winner winner chicken dinner!

And HOLD THE BUS. Where was the Happenin' Hummus? I specifically ordered a Happenin' Hummus Wrap! The guy even laughed when I ordered. Where was the hummus? Was it the crispy things? Did McDonald's somehow find a way to deep fry hummus? They must have, because it was the only thing in that wrap that could possibly have been even close to the same colour as hummus.
Unless...the hummus was invisible. Oh you crafty buggers. You disguised the hummus so all those fast food junkies wouldn't know what they were eating!


And then? I looked up the nutritional information on that wrap? I was right. Sodium 900 mg. 38% of your recommended daily intake. Well shit. Between that and my occasionally relapsing hypertension, I am figuring I need to drink a LOT of water to keep myself from having a stroke.
And also, that Non-Happenin' Invisible Hummus wrap has more calories than a bacon cheeseburger.

Maybe the bacon cheeseburger got my Invisible Happenin' Hummus.  If I'm gonna have a cardiac episode, may as well be bacon related.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hello, I am back in Jr High.

If there was one thing that I dreaded every year of my adolescent life, it was this:
School picture day.
I had cool clothes, I had killer dangly earrings, my hair was on point. Well, other than that year that my bangs were cut just a wee bit too short.  Like one inch long. On purpose. Somehow I thought that would be a good idea. Until I saw the picture come back in the plastic envelope and I said: WHAT THE HECK?? THAT'S what I look like?
I had terrible acne. Not the white bulbous sores all over the face. Not the blackheads that occasionally are visible or maybe a bit read. PIMPLES. Horribly infected, sometimes green, sometimes pus-yellow, but always visible. On my chin, on my forehead, on my cheekbones. Big. Green. Nasty. UN COVERABLE.
So for my entire teen existence, I really did not like school pictures. This was in those pre-digital pre-photoshopping days. A pimple was a pimple period end of sentence.  Sometimes it was actually my period. But that is a totally different yet painfully related story.
Then, my high school grad photos came. And the photographer used airbrushing! Well, I am sure he did.  Those were the most beautiful pictures of myself I had ever seen. Not a pimple in sight. Smooth skin! I looked like a fairy goddess who had just bathed in milk and honey.
Those photos were the cherry on top of a pretty abysmal cake of years of teeny prints of pimples to share with the boys whom I was most wanting to keep away from. Hey creepshow, you want to get down my pants? Here! Have a school picture.

Now, I am an adult. I have kids. I would love to say I USED to have acne. But that would be a mother trucking lie because I still DO have acne. All those people who told me you outgrow acne are liars and they make baby Jesus cry. Although if I had been told as a teen that I would still have moon craters on my face at age 31, I probably would have drank myself to oblivion. Wait.  I did do that a lot. But not because of acne. Mostly because of the failproof combo of tequila and boys. Who cares about acne when you have booze and a nice rack to put it on?

But I am now a responsible adult and mother, and I cannot deal with my horrible green and yellow pus pimples by drinking or pretending to like wrestling. I wear concealer so the neigbourhood kids don't think the Man in the Moon has actually come down to grant their three wishes, and my husband loves me regardless. But I still get pretty bad outbreaks once in a while and they always come at the most convenient of times.

Like two days before SCHOOL PICTURES at my school. Where I work. And have to get a picture taken. To be posted. On a wall. For people to see.
And yes, I am an adult and I tell my students: you look great! Be yourself! Love the skin you're in! Blah freaking blah. My skin sucks. I inherited my dad's oily skin and his incurable need to pop every pimple in sight. Even on someone else's face.
So yeah.  I had school pics taken. I wore about half an inch of coverup, turned my face at an angle to avoid the BIGGEST unconcealable volcanic eruption on my face, and smiled.
My proofs came back. They were not terrible. My dress is cute. Well, what you can see of it from the rack up. I could live with that picture.
Then it's like I AM 31 YEARS OLD! Who am I going to give my pimply school pictures to? 
Oh right. Kids I want to punish.
Don't do your homework? I post my picple on your desk.
Forget your books at home? I sneak a picple into your backpack.
You use your iPhone or iPod touch in class? I text you my picple. You can't unsee that, foo.

And that is why you should not allow pimply adults to take school photos. Because then they obsess over it to the point of forcing you to read about their pimples.

Oh well. At least this isn't a post about tonsil stones.

Now you're gonna google tonsil stones. And you'll watch a video. And then you can NEVER unsee that...