Monday, June 11, 2018

Cherry Pie & Whipped Cream

On Sunday I had cherry pie and whipped cream for breakfast!

Why is this important enough to write a blog post about?

Oh, my dear, wonderful friends and followers, what follows is a tale of woe!  A tale of gastronomic deficiency. Of a shortfall of flavor. A gluten-free, sugar-free spiral into a reactive hypoglycemic's worst nightmare!

Well, it's not really all as bad as that. I am being somewhat dramatic about it. It is, in fact, more a love story than anything, albeit the love story is not my own.

It all started two years ago... Well, that's not, strictly speaking, true. It really started about eight years ago when it was determined that my grandson has turret syndrome. In an effort not to succumb to any pressure to medicate him, my daughter explored dietary options as a way to help him. She, in turn, determined that a gluten-free/sugar-free diet was the way to go and, in all fairness, there was a sharp and positive change evident in his behavior after she implemented the change.

Fast forward to May 29, 2016 when she and I blended our lives and moved in together.

Even before I arrived, we both knew that food was going to be an issue. My philosophy when it comes to eating is simple: Eat what you enjoy and enjoy what you eat! I pay no attention whatsoever to all the freaky-deaky trends and unending debate about what is good for you and what is not and how anything affects anything. I'm a  consummate pasta-phile. I love pasta. I love chocolate. I love potato chips. I love bread and cheese and pizza and ice cream and pretty much everything that my beloved grandson isn't supposed to eat.

It's not that I'm not supportive. I see and acknowledge the benefit the gluten and sugar-free diet has provided for the lad. When he does eat gluten and sugar in any appreciable quantity he turns into what we have affectionately come to call a gluten asshole. (We don't say that to his face!) He becomes a surly, argumentative, uncooperative and crazy-making beast child. It's rather unpleasant. So I have a vested interest in ensuring that his intake of the Mr. Hyde food is as close to nil as possible. Thus, I hide my food as best I can.

I know, I know... You're probably thinking: Why don't you just change your diet? And my simple answer is: Because that crap tastes awful! And I don't enjoy the attacks of low blood sugar when they happen.

I did try going gluten-free some years ago. It was so... tasteless! Not to mention expensive! You need to take out a loan just to buy a loaf of decent-tasting gluten-free bread. You can, of course, settle for the normal gluten-free bread that tastes like granulated paste and is still ridiculously over-priced.

But let's not get caught up in that aspect of things. Judge me if you want. I'm a wheat junkie and we have managed - for the most part - to keep things relatively gluten and sugar-free for the kids. They still get lots of that kind of thing when they are at friends' houses and at school.

My daughter does 99% of the grocery shopping. We both know full well what I will come home with if that particular task is left up to me. Besides, she is the one with the vehicle and, while I have done it a time or two, schlepping home a week's worth of groceries on the bus is neither easy, nor particularly pleasant. Now that I have Luther Pen-draggin', my new trusty shopping cart on wheels, however, I may just take it on more often.

Again, I digress...

It's time to introduce the love story portion of this post.

Recently, my daughter has taken up with a delightful young man from Grand Prairie. This long-distance relationship, though new and fresh, appears to be unfolding in a positive direction. For purposes of privacy, I shall henceforth refer to my daughter's beau as Darth Vader.

If you are thinking this is a sobriquet of disapproval based on a negative interpretation of his personality, I assure you it is nothing of the sort. For Darth Vader is friendly, kind and possessive of great good humor. He is a self-proclaimed sci-fi/fantasy geek and the real reason I have chosen to refer to him as I have is that he is a member of the 501st Legion - Badlands Garrison and appears in the guise of the great Sith Lord himself.

This past weekend, Darth Vader graced our home with his esteemed presence. While visiting, he participated in the annual Pride Parade along with his fellow Legion members, sporting a rainbow breastplate that stood out in "proud" contrast to the basic black he normally wears.

He also went grocery shopping with my daughter!

My role in the grocery shopping duty is to unpack and put away the food when it has been brought home. It's kind of like Yule for me. Or an Ostara egg hunt. I get to rummage through the bags and discover the goodies that are hidden among the gluten and sugar-free stuff. It's usually just potato chips and normal pasta, but sometimes it's Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and soda crackers. Or a ring of garlic sausage. Or a tempting wedge of Gouda!

So you can imagine the joy I felt when I reached into a bag and pulled out a cherry pie and a can of whipped cream! The heavens opened up and the angels trumpeted the advent of this rare and much coveted treat and I knew, with absolute certainty, that this was love. Not love for pie and whipped cream; love between my daughter and a Sith Lord.

Yes, I took advantage of the opportunity to tease my daughter a little by declaring my approval of this relationship based on my getting cherry pie and whipped cream! But the true source of my happiness is seeing the happiness that my daughter and Darth Vader are bringing into each other's life.

The cherry pie and whipped cream are just a delicious bonus for me.  Best breakfast I've had in a while!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Four Times a Chime at 4:44: Twice

So... I'm taking a course on blogging for profit and the first thing the instructor instructed was to turn off all notifications on all devices and unfollow (not unfriend) everyone and everything on every social media platform. I was dubious, but she's the expert, right!? It took a good deal of time. She assured me that the the lack of distractions would help me be more productive.

Yesterday, I was so distracted by the lack of distractions I was unable to focus on the next instruction and have no idea what that is even though I watched the video twice. And then I was just annoyed at how aware I was of the lack of pings and dings and vibrations that indicate someone has shared something that they think might be of interest to the world.

Determined to get through this disconnection phase and become super productive, I steadfastly returned my focus - over and over - to being productive. I did a little writing. I did a little painting. I did the dishes. I went for a walk. I listened to music. I read a couple of chapters in my book. I puttered. I watched the second lesson video for my course. Then I watched it again. I watched The Staircase. I watched an episode of Midsomer Murders. I watched a movie and ate cherry pie with whip cream! (which will be the topic of my next blog post!) And then I went to bed.

My normal routine when I retire for the night is to read for a while and then meditate. My intention is to end my day focusing on good things, fun things, happy things, anything that isn't/wasn't a "problem" during the day. Since I don't have a partner not to go to bed mad at, I try to go to bed not mad at the rest of the world. (Ha-ha.) Last night my normal routine unfolded quite normally and I drifted off to sleep around midnight.

All was going well. I was sleeping, which was the goal at the time, so I think that is a reasonable assumption to make. I recall dreaming, but not the dream itself. As far as I know, the night was progressing perfectly and I was contentedly resting up, getting ready for my first truly full day of being super productive.

At 4:44 a.m. a faint, yet pleasant chime split the cone of silent sleep I was ensconced within with the force of a bomb and I was launched from my peaceful slumber like I was being shot from a canon. The sensation was visceral (god, I love that word!). I felt like I was being hurled through space and time from the edge of an event horizon back to this space and this time. Heart racing, sweat beading and with a white-knuckle grip on the sheets, I met consciousness in a similar fashion to the way a car moving at full speed meets a brick wall.

My first thought was that I had been dreaming. I released the sheets and reached for my phone, noting the time and collapsing back onto my pillow. "Okay, that was weird," I thought and may even have said out loud. And then I heard the faint, yet pleasant chime again.

It was not coming from my phone. How could it? I had turned off all auditory notifications as per my instructors instructions. It was coming from... Everywhere!

Straining to hear it again and to identify a more precise point of origin, I laid still, barely breathing, tense and focused. The hum of the fan gently rumbling in the corner filled the entire airspace. Beyond that, there was no noise whatsoever.

As time is wont to do, it passed. My muscles relaxed and my vigilance waned as the blissful oblivion of sleep reclaimed me. I remember rolling over to adopt my go-to sleep position, a semi-fetal, right-knee-bent-left-leg-straight-hands-tucked-under-my-cheek left-side repose.

I'm not sure how one knows how long one has slept other than to note the time difference between falling asleep and waking up again, but, if I were to estimate, I would say that I slept for about an hour before... you guessed it!... that faint, yet pleasant chime woke me up again.

This time was not such a shocking and violent return to consciousness. My eyes popped open and I tuned my awareness to my surroundings. The sound of rain falling blended with the hum of the fan, but otherwise there was only the quite of the night.

(Cue the theme from The Twilight Zone, for this is where my tale turns truly strange....)

I reached for my phone to check the time.

It was 4:44 a.m.

Was this just a dream? Did I even actually wake up the first time? My left brain wants to declare it a strange and slightly disturbing dream and put paid to the whole incident. If not for the intriguing, and as of yet unexplained, repetition of the faint, yet pleasant chime sounding for a fourth and final time after I abandoned any notion of going back to sleep and was in kitchen pouring my first coffee of the day, I might accept that.

Was it a notification on someone else's device? There are four other people in the house and they all have phones. Again, in lieu of the dream theory, my left brain likes this explanation. Our ears are designed to not only hear sounds, but to determine from which direction they are coming, though. The faint, yet pleasant chime I heard in the wee hours came from no discernible direction. Like some cosmic surround-sound system the chime came from everywhere all at once.

I have purposely described it as faint because it was not loud. But it was clear and it was, as I have also described it, really pleasant. Comforting. It was neither a bell nor a gong. Chime is the closest word I can find to recount what I heard, but I cannot recall hearing a sound exactly like it ever before.

I have been, however, compelled to re-follow everyone on every social media platform and to re-instate some of the audible notifications (though not all) on my devices and am in the productive (?) process of getting that crossed off its priority position on my to-do list. (Hmmmm... Prioritizing tasks might be the subject of the second lesson...) I shall return to that after I complete this missive. My productivity will just have to be fit in around the potential distractions they may present.

I have been internally debating whether or not to explore the metaphysical/esoteric connotations that could be subscribed to in relation to this (sorry, I can't resist) case. Particularly those surrounding the meaning of 444 as a sign from the Universe. But I think I will leave all that to your own imaginations as I allow this to filter and become fully processed in my own mind. I think I prefer to wallow in the mystery of it. It was oddly uplifting (except for the hurtling through space and time and meeting consciousness so abruptly part) and has left me feeling somewhat contented and feeling inwardly peaceful. It seems prudent to just go with that for now.

Besides, there is cherry pie and whip cream for breakfast!

Blessings, Everyone.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Pissed off and happy to be so

WARNING: strong language.  (In other words there is a lot of swearing in this post and if you read on and still choose to be offended... Well, damn. Sucks to be you.)

It's been over a year since I've posted anything here. Sheesh!  Where does the time go? Where does the motivation, the inspiration and the desire go?

Well, it seems that it gets bottled up until it explodes in a fit of pique!

Today I exploded in frustration and anger and resentment and all sorts of other horrid things. In short, I lost my shit!

While I tend to lose that on a regular basis, it's most often a case of quickly passing irritation at something and blows over in a relatively short amount of time. I swear and stomp about a bit. Then I move on.

Today was different, though. Today I thoroughly and completely lost my shit. Told the Universe to fuck right off, I did! There really isn't any finer point to put on that.

Two hours of shit-losing, Universe fuck-off-telling, exploding.

Through the tears and the fears, and a good deal of spittle spraying, I raged on, hurtling every perceived injustice I could think of having befallen me back at the world. Scared the bejesus out of the dogs, each of which sat wide-eyed and shivering in their kennels or cowering under the bed as the verbal storm I let loose pelleted the house with expletives that would make a sailor blush. It wasn't pretty by any means. But it was kind of cathartic.

The reason for the shit storm was simple. I felt myself capitulating to the wishes of others once again. And it pissed me off.

Oh, it's pissed me off  before. And there have been other equally loud and dog-scaring shit storms as a result. They have all passed as did this one.

But how many times do I have to beat myself up about my propensity to give in and give up before I decide, with finality, to stop doing this to myself? How many?

I could hear Dr. Phil asking, "How's that working for ya?" (Meaning the giving in and giving up? Not the fits of pique.)

Well, it hasn't. I have given up every single dream I have ever dreamed because 1) someone else didn't think it would work; or 2) someone else said it was too risky and they didn't want to have to bale me out when it failed; or 3) someone else thought that everyone else would think I'm weird or think that they were weird for supporting me; or 4) someone else was afraid they wouldn't get what they wanted; or 5) someone else had a plan for themselves and figured that I should be more supportive...

Wait! What!?

I moved to Edmonton with the thrilling and (I thought) focused intention, after all the years - nay, decades! - of trying and failing to make my dreams come true due to some misplaced ideology that dictated keeping the peace in order to belong and be accepted as a pathway to happiness, of finally carving out the life that I have longed for for as long as I can remember.  I was going to write and paint and do Tarot readings. I was going to have a garden and go to events and meet amazing people and do amazing things. While some of that has indeed unfolded, I still keep allowing myself to be dragged back into that fearful place of doing what I don't want to do so that I don't let anyone else down while I watch my dreams crumble like stale crackers and get crushed into the carpet of forgotten bliss under the heavy boots of my own stupid weakness.

It's odd. I have often been told by others that they think I am strong. Well, if strong means that I keep letting myself down, I don't want to be strong. Strong completely and totally sucks. Fuck strong. Fuck nice. Fuck polite. Fuck all that mamby-pamby boulder snot! I'm not strong! I'm wrong!

I'm wrong for giving in and giving up. I'm wrong for taking the easy path. I'm wrong for settling for crappy jobs with crappy wages and crappy rules. I'm wrong for settling for less than I deserve, which is to do and be and have everything I want. And I want to be a Tarot Reader, an artist and a writer. I want an amazing house filled with cool and amazing things. I want a relationship with a fantastic guy who loves me for who I am and not for who he thinks I should be. I don't give a damn about fame or even about (vast) fortune (well, maybe a little vast...). I just want to be ME! I just want to be the creative being that I know I AM.

I want to listen to old time rock 'n' roll. I want to dance. I want to wear tie-dye skirts and put flowers in my hair. I want to revel in the gloriousness of ME! Because I am glorious. I am bloody, freakin' spectacular! And I'm not going to dim my light or tow the line or bow down to the status quo. Why the hell should I?

It's the 21st century, for crying out loud. And still people are writing resumes and clocking in and selling out to the corporate gods. Be professional. Don't rock the boat...

Guess what!? The damn boat needs to be rocked! Hell, it needs to be flipped over and sunk to the bottom of this bloody ocean of insanity. You know what professional means? It means being controlled by a freaking paycheck and the corporate freaking asshole that signs it.

You should read my journal entry for today. It starts out: I give up! (That's how defeated I felt this morning.)

Ha!  I don't give up. I won't give up. I deserve the best of everything. As does everyone. And that doesn't mean doing shit that makes me anything less than outrageously happy.

Joseph Campbell advised us to: Follow your bliss.

Follow it!? No! I'm going to envelope myself in it until it consumes me!

Does this mean I won't do the dishes or sweep the floor or pay my bills? Not at all. While these things can be tiresome, they are also wonderful blessings. Dishes mean I have good food to eat. Sweeping the floor means I have a damn floor to dance on! Bills mean that I have electricity and heat and a roof over my head. I am grateful for all these things and I am happy to show my appreciation for them through the exchange of digits. Yes, I want more digits than the bills ask for in appreciation and I deserve more digits than I'm currently accumulating. There is more than enough for everyone and I intend to get my share.

And when it makes me happy to do so, I will share my share, because I know that I can always get more.

But I won't give up my dreams. EVER AGAIN! I won't trade my bliss for anything. I won't settle. I won't be a drone in this world. 'Cause that just sounds boring. And I'm not boring.

I won't sell my "skills" to make someone else rich. I won't punch a time clock or check my schedule or wear a uniform. I won't drink from the soul-sucking fountain of indifference just to make ends meet.

Image borrowed from :

Come with me and look out my back door where tambourines and elephants are playin' in the band! And let magic (and maybe a little mayhem) bring nothing but bliss our way.

Blessings, Everyone!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Only Time Will Tell

In the wee hours of the night, a strange thing happened. An hour disappeared.

It just vanished as time shifted from two to three a.m. with abrupt finality. Most of us were sleeping when it happened. We didn't even notice that an hour of our precious rest was stolen from us.

Some of us, fully aware and duly warned, adjusted our clocks before we went to bed. Others figured it out after waking up and realizing that something was wrong. While our electronic devices adjusted automatically, our clocks did not. The incongruity confused some people. Others reprogrammed digital time pieces and manually turned analogue clocks ahead to match the rest of the world. Some grumbled and complained. Others took it in stride. Regardless of any confusion or disapproval, life went on and the missing hour remained missing.

Daylight Saving Time (Yes, it is singular! We are not banking any daylight through this process.) has been in practice for 109 years in Canada. First implemented in July, 1908 in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), Ontario, the trend across the country took some time to develop. In April, 1914, Saskatchewan adopted DST and Manitoba followed suit in April, 1916. Eventually, all of the provinces and territories got on board and DST became a thing.

Daylight Saving Time was designed to make better use of daylight. Farmers, for example, had more daylight later in the day for harvesting crops. It kind of made sense and DST was enacted primarily during the harvest season.

Strangely, DST created the illusion of longer days, a misconception that lingers even today. The stolen hour does not (however paradoxically), in and of itself, lengthen the daylight hours; it merely shifts them forward. So if the sun rose at 7 a.m. and set at 6 p.m. the day before DST commenced, it will rise at 8 a.m. and set at 7 p.m. the day DST begins (plus a couple of minutes on either end). The time shift has nothing whatsoever to do with the lengthening of the daylight hours. That is a result of the tilt of the Earth's axis in conjunction with its rotation and position in orbit around the sun. DST does NOT add any extra hours of daylight to the day. The days do lengthen here in the Northern hemisphere as the year progresses because the North Pole is tilted toward the sun. Daylight Saving Time allows the sun to set an hour later than it would if DST were not in effect. That's all.

The other misconception that pervades is that the hour that goes missing in the middle of the night is stolen. It's not! It's only borrowed. It will be returned to us in the fall when we revert to Standard Time. In the wee hours of the first Sunday in November an hour will repeat itself, sunrise and sunset will seem to occur an hour earlier. Time, as it is depicted by the numbers on our clocks, will shift. (The space/time continuum will remain unaffected.)

Daylight Saving Time has, however, been lengthened over the years. While it used to start at the end of April and end at the beginning of October, it now starts closer to the beginning of March and ends at the beginning of November. The reason for this is that it is believed that it helps conserve energy. Less electricity , it is theorized, is required for lighting purposes because of DST over the duration of its implementation. Farmers continue to benefit as well, I would imagine.

The popularity of DST is waning. Every year there is more and more kerfuffle over whether or not it is necessary. Indeed, this relatively minor shift of the numbers on clock faces does have an impact. When we spring ahead in March, people are late for work for a day or two until the adjustment is made. On the other hand, people working the night shift get paid for an hour of work that does not exist. In the fall, the opposite happens: people show up early and those working nights work (and get paid for) an extra hour to compensate. And the debate as to whether or not DST needs to be abolished continues to rage - at least for a few weeks prior to the twice yearly changes.

I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. I know that in a day or two I will adjust to it. There are, it seems to me, bigger and more important things to be making a fuss over in this world. At the same time, if DST were to go the way of the dinosaur, I don't think I would be overly upset about it. No more, at any rate, than I am by the fact that I crawled out of bed an "hour later" than I normally do and, therefore, was not ready on time to catch the bus this morning. It's not the end of the world!

What baffles me is that some people don't seem to connect the start of DST to the end of DST. It's like the time changes are two separate and unrelated events that happen with no apparent correlation to one another. A post that showed up on my Facebook news feed today stated that "The government takes away an hour in the middle of the night." I was somewhat stunned when I read that. Granted, DST is legislated in the areas in which it is practiced. But to say the government takes an hour away from us in the middle of the night just sounds like a deep, dark conspiracy theory. OMG! The government is stealing time from us! Whatever will we do!?

To be fair, the person who posted that statement did so in jest and was taking a humorous poke at the mindset of people who are truly incensed by the apparent loss of time that occurs (for convenience!) in the wee hours. The fact that the weather in the area where he lives was inclement this morning was the real culprit in inciting his displeasure, but there are people who will latch onto this notion of the government stealing time from us and run with it like a sharp pair of scissors through the halls of conspiratorially twisted imagination.

As for me, I am going to let the adjustment happen while I look forward to the bright evenings of spring and summer. If DST is discontinued where I live, I will adjust to that too. Change is a good thing, but I wonder what impact changing to not changing might bring about...

Only time will tell!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Lesson in Manifesting

This manifesting business is... Well, it's big business. I am almost convinced that the best way to manifest is to write a book or create a video on manifesting and sell it. There are a seemingly endless number of books, websites, blogs, podcasts, video blogs and DVDs dedicated to the fine art of manifesting. Everywhere you look, someone is peddling advice on how to make your dreams come true.


I see this as a good sign. Though not long ago I was incensed by the idea of all these people selling their own "method" for manifesting. My inner capitalist, so very nearly starved to death by my ironically greedy inner socialist, finally gathered enough oomph to smack me upside the head hard enough to make me see a different perspective. Making money is good! Making money is even okay.

But this is not what I want to share today. My ideas and beliefs about money aside, manifesting is taking the world by storm and demanding that people wake up and know that they are, indeed, allowed to prosper.

So, armed with a variety of systems, I recently decided to put one of them to the test. In her book, Your Invisible Power, Genevieve Behrend advocates for visualizing. Her method is quite simple and follows the basic tenets of other manifesting manifestos: think it, see it, feel it, be grateful for it (even before it takes form) and watch it happen. She cites an example of having manifested $20,000.00 simply by visualizing herself counting 20 one thousand dollar bills every morning for several minutes. While she does not give the details of how this money actually made it into her coffers, she insists that it happened and so, suspending disbelief, I decided to visualize something similar for myself.

I set an amount that I wanted to manifest - $5000.00. I closed my eyes and imagined counting the money using one hundred dollar bills (I don't think that Canada has a $1000.00 note, but I intend to confirm that). All was going well. For a while.

I kinda got bored with counting the 50 bills over and over and decided to divide the stack and shuffle them like a deck of cards instead. It seemed to me that I already knew that there was $5000.00 in my hands; playing with them sounded way more fun. In my imagination, shuffling 50 one hundred dollar bills was quite easy. I had equated it to shuffling cards, thus eliminating the floppiness of real notes. My visualization continued satisfactorily. I kept it up for about ten minutes and repeated the exercise twice daily for several days.

Now the thing that all manifesting gurus make sure to state is that there is an undetermined time delay. Some say it will take a few days for things to start happening. You have to give the Universe time to get things rolling.  And then you have to watch for the signs that guide you to the right actions that you must take in order to get what you want. Fair enough. I mean not even I expected $5000.00 to drop out of the sky into my lap. (Though it sure would be nice!)

The days passed and turned into weeks. I didn't seem to be getting any signs from the Universe, but I chose to give it the benefit of any doubt, realizing that the Universe was probably just waiting for me to notice the next "shiny object" of my desires and forget about the five grand. I determined to stay the course, though, and I stuck to visualizing myself shuffling 50 one hundred dollar bills like a deck of cards.

Meanwhile, back in real life, arrangements were made to have my daughter and her boyfriend over for a visit. We decided to play crib. In preparation for their arrival I retrieved the crib board and cards from the closet and set them out. When my guests arrived and we had settled around the table to begin the game, my daughter took the cards out of their case and laid them on the table to be cut for first crib. My daughter won the cut and so the game began.

It wasn't until it was my turn to deal that I noticed that the card backs were printed with the image of one hundred dollar bills!

Pretty much exactly like I had been visualizing for days, I was shuffling one hundred dollar bills.  Just like a deck of cards!

I had to laugh. It seemed that the Universe either has a grand sense of humour, or it is extremely literal. Either way, the notion of clarity that is also carefully included in manifesting instructions is now being given its due attention.

* * * * *

In the process of writing this blog post, I decided to research the Canadian one thousand dollar bill. It seems that "Pinkies," as they are called due to the pinkish-purply colour they are printed in, were withdrawn from circulation in 2000. The reason they were discontinued is because they were primarily used in criminal activity. Criminals preferred the higher denominations because they made moving money around easier. A million dollars in $1000.00 notes weighs only one kilogram as opposed to a million dollars in $100.00 notes, which weighs ten kilograms. There are, however, nearly one million (946,043 to be precise) $1000.00 bills still out there somewhere. It is believed that these notes continue to circulate primarily among the criminal element, being used to pay off debts between those of that ilk with very few ever bleeding out into general circulation. I would suppose, as well, that wear and tear will further deplete the numbers as they are not meant to last forever anyway. You can read more about the Canadian $1000.00 bill here.  

There are still a few of these babies left! The Canadian $1000.00
bill remains the highest denomination of legal tender in the
Western world. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Buy & Sell on Facebook

Buy and Sell pages on Facebook
This is how it works:
You post an item for sale.

17 people respond, three of whom ask if the item that you just posted is still available and one person says they will take it.

(Meanwhile two other people have PM’d you at the exact same time – one has questions like: What colour is it?, which is clear in the accompanying photo on the post; and the other one wants your address for pick up.)

You reply to the two people saying that someone is ahead of them.

You  reply to the person who said they would take it on the post.

You go do something else for a while.

The person who said they would take it does not respond, so you PM them to see if they are still interested.

You go do something else for a while.

The person who said they would take it does not respond.

You reply to the first person that PM’d you and ask if they are still interested and two days later they say they are going to pass.

You move on to the next person that PM’d you and they don’t respond.

A week has passed so you respond to the next person on the list in the posting and they don’t respond.

You repeat steps the previous two steps with the same result a few more times.

Insanity begins to set in.

You consider throwing the item in the garbage just to get rid of it.

You let a few days pass and then bump the post.

17 people respond, three of whom ask if the item that you just posted is still available and one person who says they will take it.

You pour yourself a drink and repeat the 4th through 11th steps

You get a text from your daughter saying that someone is going to come and pick up the item.

You pour yourself another drink and run around like a mad person tidying up before they arrive.

They do not arrive.

But your house is tidy and you’re a little tipsy, so you go play Candy Crush.

You notice a PM from someone inquiring about the item and you reply, but you’re still tipsy and you don’t notice that auto-correct has inserted a somewhat suggestive word and hit send anyway.

The person does not respond.

Another week goes by and you consider bumping the post again, but fear holds you back.

You get a PM from someone wondering why you didn’t respond and you go back through all the threads looking for the missed message.

You don’t find it, but you’re ready for another drink.

You respond with apologies and assure them that the item is still available and ask if they want to come look at it.

They do not respond.

The item mocks you from where it is sitting.  By the door.  In the way. 

A drink is now definitely in order and you pour yourself a stiff one.

You put the item away somewhere where it is not in the way, but is also not easily accessible and resolve to accept that it is just not going to sell. (You can’t bring yourself to throw it away.)

The doorbell rings.

You sigh because you don’t know who it is and the house is not tidy.

You answer the door.

A smiling, happy person with a tidy house announces that they are there to pick up the item.

Your eye starts to twitch.

You dig the item out, apologize for your messy house, take the money, realizing that you made about $1/hour after all the time you spent trying to sell it,  and thank the smiling, happy person with the tidy house.

You delete the post on the Buy and Sell.

You join alcoholics anonymous.  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Bad Experience Chapter Two

Last week I wrote about a bad experience I had with a corporation.  The experience was frustrating, to say the least.

The essence of the experience is that said corporation was supposed to complete a task on my behalf, but did not.  In the process of trying to sort it out and get the task completed, things got heated - primarily due to a specific representative of the corporation denying that he (or the corporation) was in any way accountable.

Eventually, the task did get completed.  Well, almost.  I now have to deal with extra charges because the task was not done on time and I don't know how much those charges will be, because another corporation is involved and they don't seem to be able to tell me anything.


The task was performed in a less direct way than originally anticipated.  Let's just say we took the scenic route and dealt with the basic part of the task by manipulating the data a bit and arranging its disbursement in a manner that was more involved on my part than it needed to have been.

And while that was happening, somewhere in the deep mechanisms of the corporate structure, someone got the original memo and completed the task as well.

Now had the specific representative bothered to call the deep mechanisms to see what happened to the original memo, he might have been told - and thus been able to reassure me! - that the memo was circulating through the system and was, indeed, heading in the general direction of its intended and desired destination, which was to complete the task on my behalf.   But he didn't.  He chose to finagle a different solution in the pursuit of pleasing me, a disgruntled and dissatisfied customer.


When I discovered that the task had been completed twice, I felt something in my brain snap!  I actually felt it.  Snap!  This was un-bloody-believable.

So I called the call centre... Mostly because I am still quite unable to talk to the specific representative who screwed everything up in the first place... and suffered through the painful process of getting connected to a real person.  (I won't elaborate on that any further.  See A Rant About a Bad Experience for more details... If you dare.)  Once connected, I tried to explain what happened AND remain calm about it while I did.

The man that answered the call was very helpful, very patient and a bit thick.  It took several attempts to map out the events leading up to the duplication of the task.  But he eventually understood what happened and told me that he would have it rectified as soon as possible.  This time I was not given a specific timeline for the pending taskectomy.  And I didn't ask.  I couldn't.

Remember that little snap I mentioned earlier?

Well, right about the moment that he told me that he would rectify the situation, a second, bigger snap... more like a BOOM... occurred.  It was like a small bomb went off in my head and I burst into maniacal laughter.

I couldn't control myself.  I tried!  Believe me, I tried.  But, after weeks of getting the run around and having heard that before,  nothing could stop the waves of hysterical laughter and while I gasped my thanks between guffaws and tears poured down my cheeks and I rolled around on my bed, this poor guy, I'm sure, was contemplating a new career!   Perhaps something that did not involve answering telephones.  Training dolphins, maybe.  Just anything that doesn't require having to deal with wackadoos like me.

When they play the recording of this call for training purposes, I envision a mass submission of resignations and an influx of frightened souls at the unemployment line.  Call centre Customer Service Rep is not a position for the feint of heart!

I have since decided to leave this whole mess with the Universe to sort out.  The bizarre things that have developed and unfolded since my arrival here have left me thoroughly vexed.

My mind is slowly pulling itself back together.  The hysteria is subsiding and as long as I don't think about it, I am not experiencing any relapses.   A full recovery is likely.

Life can be so strange!  Little problems and difficulties pop up out of nowhere and knock you down or pull you off course.  And then something wonderful happens.  In time both the good and the bad fade away and get forgotten, making space for new challenges and new wonders to come to roost.  I dare say that the craziness of the past few weeks has certainly taken a toll.  Yet I feel hopeful and curious about what the future holds for me here.

A bad experience is just that.  A bad experience.  But all experiences have value.  In time I hope to discover the value in this one!