Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Business Time

Like many people, I like to celebrate the joyful things in life with a little caloric splurge. Say, a nice dessert and a glass of wine or three. And because I'm a bit of an emotional eater, I also tend to grieve with calories. And cope with stress with calories. And enjoy my holidays with calories, and have a romantic evening at home with calories, and snuggle up with some calories and just chill after a hard day. Or a relaxing day. Or a Wednesday.

So my waistline was relieved this week when a coworker suggested a revolutionary, calorie-free way to celebrate the lowly middle child of the work week. We were at a training course, and while he usually errs on the 'business' end of 'business casual', he was dressed way down for the day in jeans and a really chachi tee.

Me: Hey, you're looking casual today.
Him: Yep, it's casual Wednesday. Casual hump day.


When syntactic ambiguity and the crass double entendre collide.

The more I thought about it, the better it sounded: Mondays would still be pretty far from Fridays, but you'd have that glorious Day of Casual Humping to look forward to, smack in the middle of the week. And Wednesdays happen all the time, not like those other crappy holidays that you have to wait around for all year.

As I see it, the success of Casual Hump Day would rest on everyone's buying into the concept, or things could get pretty awkward around the water cooler. So until we reach that critical mass of willing participants, mark it on your calendar, friends, and don't forget to spread the word.

Presumably, you'll still want to wear your business socks.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Message to My Minions

I keep hearing what a pain it is to leave a comment on Blogger. I recently changed my settings, so hopefully you're able to leave comments now.



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mysteries of the Unexplained

There are a lot of things in life I would like to know. Not enough to do any legwork over it, but sortof in a vague, "it's fun to think about it" sense. Some items in question:

- Why no stripedy dogs?

- Where do babies get their intestinal flora?

- Why do spiders always crawl into my roasting pan to die?

- How do teeth grow in? (And don't go saying gravity, because at least half of them grow up.) Or do they not 'grow' at all, but instead precipitate stalactite-style out of the rivers of snot and saliva that children exude?

- What is it about the Y chromosome that precludes correct execution of the act of laundry?

Ah, yes - the heart of the matter.

I'm not just talking the occasional red-sock-in-the-whites-load here. That can happen to anyone. No, men exhibit a special kind of ineptitude when it comes to laundry. As a public service, and to assuage my own irritation, I'm going to explain some common laundry mistakes here today:

- Agitation is the means by which the machine washes your clothes - no shaky, no washy. Handy hint #1: It's a washing machine, not a suitcase. If you have to sit on the lid to get it to close, it is too full. Remove half the contents and try again.

- Try breathing through a single layer of fabric. Now try breathing through four hundred. Note the increased resistance. The dryer notices, too. Hint #2: Remove the lint more than once a year to ensure maximum performance. (For advice regarding acceptable clothing density in the dryer, refer to Hint #1.)

- Bras have a series of teensy little hooks on the backs which serve to secure the bra around the torso. Those hooks are why you never got laid in high school, and also why every single sweater you own looks like it's been run through a herd of angry kittens. Hint #3: Doing the hooks up will reduce their destructive power, and placing the bra in the little mesh bag that lives on top the dryer (yes, that is why it's called a laundry bag, good for you!) will completely disarm it.

- It is called hang-drying, with hang here used in the same relaxed sense it is in the phrase "hang out". Recall that "hanging out" is a very passive, mellow activity. Hint #4: If you find yourself stretching garments to their full extent and violently binding them to the rack, you are channeling the wrong kind of "hang". Get out your thesaurus and start over.

- The wind speed in the basement in zero, thus the clothing cannot actually be blown from the drying rack. Hint #5: If you must use clothespins, consider your placement carefully - no one wants to go to work looking like they started their day with 12V to the nipples.

That's it for your lesson today, I hope you've found it helpful. Be sure to tune in next week for more hot topics, like "How to Tell When the Garbage Bin is Full".

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Hippiest Place on Earth

I *heart* recycling.

I like to imagine all the happy little elves situated somewhere in the bowels of Calgary, whistling joyfully whilst they sort through my recycling, which I can now - perhaps even more joyfully! - simply dump unsorted into my personal Blue Behemoth and wheel out to the curb on Wednesdays. And they're not just sorting my recycling, but everyone's recycling! Vast mountains of recycling! It's one of those things where you sortof wish you could see how it was actually done, but it might just spoil the magic. Like Disneyland. Or sweatshops.

So I stick to imagining. However, in my view it would be stingy of me not to share all my fun imaginatings with all those happy elves/sad children. But how to effectively pay the joy forward? I mean, a big shout out to 'em and all, but there's so much recycling to do that I doubt they have time to read my blog.

My opportunity presented itself while canning yet another batch of jelly. (Cherry-rhubarb, if you really want to know.) The problem: DH and I don't own a funnel, which makes pouring boiling cauldrons of syrup into weensy little half-pint jars a real bitch. So, because we a) didn't have time to go out and buy a funnel, b) are incredibly enterprising, and c) used to smoke a lot of pot, we created what we like to call a "jam bong" to fill the funnel void.

Pop quiz: How many of you immediately deduced what a jam bong would consist of?

Answer: Frankly, I'm so confident in my friends' sordid pasts that I'm not even going to bother detailing my construction methods.

Anyways, our jam bong eventually came to the end of its useful life, and the question of what to do with the component parts arose. Call me paranoid, but what might people think if they found it in the recycling? (And since we're talking green here, you know it's not even a question of throwing it in the trash.) But then I got to thinking - if I were employed as a sorter of recycled goods, even if the job paid alright and kept me out of the Nike factories or whatever, I might find myself substantially bored and longing for a little something to tweak my imagination. Seeing the occasional recycled makeshift bong would probably make my day. Possibly even my month.

So there it was - and here it is. My message in a bottle, as it were, to all you variously happy, always hard-working elves out there. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In a Pickle

Maybe it's a little TMI for some of you, but lately the instant the offspring hit their respective pillows, DH and I have been really steaming the place up. We've been going at it for hours, then finally collapsing into bed, utterly exhausted and drenched with sweat. I don't mean to gloat, but we've been doing this every night for weeks! It's like an obsession! It's the best it's ever been!

Yep, we just can't get enough of canning season.

We've canned pickles, tomatoes, corn, fruit, jelly, and so incredibly much jam that nearby bread products have begun to orbit our house. I have to launch the kids out the door in rigorously-orchestrated trajectories to reduce their risk of collision with items in the debris field (a stale baguette to the head can be life-threatening, you know). Fortunately, I'm about as handy with a calculator as I am with a pair of jar-lifting tongs, so multiple unmanned spacekids have traversed it without incident.

Haven't figured out how to keep them from coming back, yet, but I've got a call in to NASA. I'll let you in on any handy hints they provide.

I used to know this fellow who saved money by only ever carrying large bills in his wallet. He just couldn't bring himself to break a fifty. Now, I do not have this problem - sometimes I even break several at once! - but I do have a problem cracking into my precious jars of homemade preserved goods. They represent countless hours of planting, weeding, watering, peeling, chopping, and general slaving over cauldrons of boiling water.

Plus, they're just so darn pretty. And if I eat them now, I won't get to artfully arrange a few on the counter whenever someone drops by so they can properly admire my inner earth-mother/pioneer spirit/Martha Stewart/latent psychopath made flesh.

Ah, jewel-toned jars of potential admiration. That's what it's all about.

But don't tell DH, he actually thinks we're going to eat the stuff.