Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Technical Support - Update

Judging from the reaction received from my last post about a service call I placed with our cable company, I thought I'd share a quick update on the status of our affairs.

The Tech dude did call both of us before showing up so Js was able to run home and let him in but it doesn't stop there. He changed our cable box, all the cables that are inside the house and checked those outside. The problem still isn't resolved. We're the only people in our area with this problem so the guy wasn't quite sure what else to do aside from ripping out all the cable from the walls and digging outside to see if a wire was damaged or something.

Cherry on the cake? He gave us his cell phone number - yes, his personal cell phone. He told us to give him a call on Friday if it still does it by then. He's not really working on Friday but he said he could still swing by in the afternoon if we wanted to and he'll just write a work order for the weekend or something. This way, we'll have cable for the weekend.

Yeah, that's right.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Of all things this province lacks, technical support is not one of them.

I am near tears after calling the cable company for some tech support.

Having been a Bell client most of my life, I have to say that I dreaded calling Shaw Cable because our cable had been messy for the last couple days. I never had cable living in Ottawa because I just felt it was a waste of time and money - why stay cooped up at home watching TV when there's a city to enjoy... moving to Saskatchewan suddenly made cable mandatory. I digress...

I called the local number, didn't have to enter my phone number/client number or speak with Robot-Emily - a simple greeting then a click and miraculously, Dylan was there to help me right away. That's right folks, no wait time, no 90s music and I didn't have to be reminded that my call was important and would be answered as soon as possible by an associate eager to assist me. Dylan, an actual human being - we're tight now.

All this easy-ness made the conversation quite awkward. I have to admit, I was ready with my "no, I don't know what my customer number is - I don't have a bill handy and I want to speak to your supervisor" routine.

"Good afternoon and thanks for calling Shaw, my name is Dylan, how may I assist you?"
"... huh... my cable's being wonky."
"Alright! What's it doing?"
"... ... huh, it's lagging kinda and the image gets all pixelated."
"Does the sound cut off at the same time as the image gets weird?"
"Yes, it-sou-li-thi-all-t'e-ti- ..."

What's this I hear, real human laughter on the other end?!

"Alright we'll do a couple tests and if that doesn't work, we'll send someone out there to have a look. Can you confirm your name and phone number please?"
"I don't have my customer information or anything and I'm not sure if the account is under my name or my boyfriend's name... *gives phone numbers*... is that enough?"
"Sure is. Alright, you'll see your cable shut down for a couple seconds and then I'll ask you to turn it back on."

*waits-turns cable back on*

"It's back... and still doing it."
"Then it must be something with the cable that runs to your house or something. We'll schedule a tech to go see what's up."

At this point I'm rolling my eyes because well, it's Canada Day in a couple days, they will be all booked at it will be weeks until we can watch cable TV again... sigh!

"How does tomorrow morning sound?"
"We can have someone there tomorrow morning or between 2 and 4pm or if the evening works best, there's some availability there too!"
"Sure! Tomorrow afternoon sounds fine!"
"It's done then. I'll ask the tech to give you a cell when he's on his way to make sure you're home."

Words cannot express... That's when I really wanted to cry. I couldn't believe how easy, friendly and speedy that was. Dylan had such a "not a huge deal" attitude, he kinda reminded me of Jim and I kinda swooned - not at his rugged good looks which I'm sure he's got - but at his Hero of the Day customer service.

To anyone who's ever dealt with Bell or even Rogers, you know where I'm coming from and no, this isn't a strange fairy tale or a lovely dream. It's all true - you can't make that shit up!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hit or miss

This past week has been really all over the place. Every time I start writing blog post, my mood/mind changes by the time I'm half way through and I end up deleting it or saving it for later thinking - where am I going with this?

There's been a lot of ups and downs around me and I'm kinda torn in between it all. The stress from wedding planning and all that jazz is starting to get to me. The weather has been wacky and my allergies are driving me batty.

I'm not making excuses but that's why I haven't posted as much as I normally do lately. No sense in boring everyone out of their trees because I can't tell my left from my right - well, I actually can't but that's another story.

Ugh, I hate feeling 'beige'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baking Fun - Baby Shower Duckies

Baby Shower Lemon Goodness!

I made this three layer checker board cake with lemon and vanilla cake mixes. I normally don't like to use boxes of cake mix but considering the time restraints, I didn't have much of a choice. The mom-to-be was aware so it made me feel a bit better about it. :)

I used the Wilton cake pans to create the checker board effect. I wasn't able to get  a photo of a slice of the cake because I didn't attend the shower but here's a shot of one of the layers. The process was quite messy and hard to figure out because I didn't have a clear plan or a single clue what I was doing.

I'm glad I used some more subtle colors because the layers of color didn't quite line up. Next time, I'll be more prepared and will attempt a more contrasting combo like vanilla and chocolate or something like that. I'd recommend to give this a try a couple times to get the hang of it before going all color-crazy.

I used some vanilla icing and some basic fondant for the decorating. Not much fanciness there. I don't have a board to measure my fondant and to anyone attempting to use fondant, I'd highly recommend buying one. It's the next thing on my list for sure. because this cake had three layers, it took me quite a few tries before I could get it the right size and thickness. The sided ended up being a bit chunky because of that but I was able to cover it up with some duckies all around. I added some blue buttercream icing for the "waves" and added some little silver candy for detail and a nice finish.

I had some left over cake mix so I mixed in some green coloring into the white vanilla batter and made some marbled mini cupcakes. I decorated them with buttercream icing in yellow and blue topped off with some cute candy. They looked awesome!

Mom and Dad to be were thrilled with how everything turned out and I got a prompt update that everything was all gone. Their guests loved the cake and cupcakes and the baby shower was a success!

Congrats to Sarah and Travis and I wish them all the best as they prepare to welcome their little bundle of joy into the world. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Workin' hard and hardly workin'

It's been a crazy week and a couple days. Short overview :

Last Sunday, I left for Saskatoon for a week of training. It was pretty intense as far as long hours, brain stuffing and being away from home. I thought "Great! It'll allow me to work on some online stuff when I get to the hotel at night and take 'er easy!" - fail. The internet connection in my room sucked giant monkey nipples so I was barely able to go on Facebook for more than 14 minutes at a time. So the evenings were a GIANT waste.

On Friday, my dear dear friend JF landed in Saskatoon from Ottawa for a weekend visit. Js and him met me at work and we drove back to Moose Jaw together. As soon as we got home, we had to get crackin' and bake a cake! Saturday was our friend's baby shower (post with pictures to come soon!) and I promised I'd make a cake. So we baked a three layer checker board cake, 24 mini muffins and dirty-iced the whole thing. Saturday morning, we got up early for the decorations and delivery.

We visited Moose Jaw, did some touristy stuff for most of the weekend. Saturday night we went out in Regina with some friends. It had been WAY too long since I'd seen a drag show. Good times were had by all. We got home super late and got up super early again on Sunday. JF left in the evening - tears ensued.

This week, I'm going back to a more regular schedule so that's good. Tomorrow was supposed to be my day off but now it's meetings and outings all day. How did that happen? We'll have a crazy weekend again soon, I can feel it. We're having friends over for a good-bye party.

The wedding preps are looming over my head and slowly driving me batty. I'm so lucky that Js is involved and doing his share of the work - LOVE!

So that's all I've got to justify my lack of post as of late. With everything that's been going on lately, I'm sure there will be a ton more to come soon enough.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baby Talk

As we count down to the wedding, we realize that we're also counting down to the never ending "So, when are you guys going to start popping out babies?" song.

We had the conversation when we started dating, then again when Js proposed and we started planning the wedding, then again when we moved to Moose Jaw together, then again recently. Every single time, we came to a different conclusion. I think that's a good thing. It means we're growing together, our priorities are shifting which is the normal course of things.

I'm not going to start on here about our decision and what direction we're going on the baby department right yet. We're all for discussing it together but not really to the point of discussing it with everyone else.

A post by Janny at Small Town Gal in the City about babies and decisions made me think.

We're at that point in our 'married relationship' where the honeymoon phase is over. We've been married a year (and 4 months), and we've sort of settled down [...], so everyone seems to be expecting it, which prompts us to talk about and wonder: are we actually ready for this?

It's true that things sort of have a pattern of happening, once you get married, it's like you automatically hop onto the 'baby making wagon' (ew!) but what if you're not ready? You just make a life long commitment to love another person with every ounce of your being... why the rush to make another one? Why don't people encourage you to just spend more time loving each other while you still can.

Sadly, a lot of people think that once you get married, you can stop trying and your relationship will be all smooth sailing. Wrong. All the efforts you used to make before you got married, you gotta keep at 'em! Getting married is not like winning the relationship lotto - it's more like graduating. Sure, the college years are over and it's great but now you have to face the real world. The real world does not need to include babies.

When we think about having babies, we don't want to consider only what kind of life we can offer to a child but also, what having a baby would bring to our life. We want to build a family on love and on solid values - we need to know who we are and each other inside and out before we can do that. Would having a kid torpedo us into that growth? Yes. Are we ready for that wild ride yet, who knows!? ... ;)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Smarties vs. Rockets

My good friend Danielle posted last week about how in the US, Smarties are not Smarties - they are Rockets.

My friends to the North and I have had many a discussion about what Smarties are--to them, they are candy-coated chocolate goodness, and to me (and every other American) they are heavenly pure sugar wrapped into little cellophane rolls.

That got me wondering what "Canadian-Smarties" are called in the US - are they even available? Yes, I wonder about these things.

I think it's funny because both those candies have "ways" of eating them. Everyone has their little ritual for indulging in the sugar high.

Chocolate Smarties are normally eaten one color at a time - keeping the red for last. You can sort them all out and pick and chose which color goes first. My favorite way to do it is by shaking them out of the box, one at a time and stuffing the red ones back in until that's all that's left. They are fantastic because they don't melt - ever. I actually prefer them to M&Ms.

The Rockets, have similar rituals. Some sort out the colors, some crush them into small pieces and roll a lollipop in them. I like to let them melt on my tongue until there is just the teeny middle part - kind of like a disc shape - left. Then I crunch it between by teeth. Cue the sugar overload.

My best friend's husband has a very particular way of eating them too and we were lucky enough to get a demonstration last time we visited. He puts a whole Rocket candy on each row of teeth and crunches. But wait, there's a twist. There are 27 Rockets in each pack so you get to eat the first one however you so please.

That's him, telling me alllllll about that 27th, oh-so-special, Rocket.

I think we have issues.

Garfield is full of win.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tattoo - Done!

I got my tattoo this afternoon and the pain was unreal. All well worth it but I think I may have broken one or two of Js' fingers. I swore for one straight hour in two different languages.

It's totally amazing and exactly what I wanted but somehow a million times better than I imagined.

I wanted to get my maiden name because I've decided to change my name when we get married. I wanted to honor, not only my family but who I am. I wanted it to remind me that even though I'm changing my name, I'm still my own person. I'm the same person I've always been, true to my values and my beliefs.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's the little things...

- This morning, I woke up to a bleeding boyfriend. He totally face planted during his morning run and came back with a bleeding knee, scraped palms and a sprained ankle. All that happened at like 5am and I was still half asleep as he tried to wake me up to show me his booboo (on his KNEE, Nick!) - a couple hours after I got to work so probably around 11am-ish, I realized what had happened and laughed to myself for a good half hour.

- I can drive stick.

- A good friend from Regina will be attending our wedding in Ottawa - I'm so happy about this, there are no words... We met her because she was dating a CF member who was on OJT out here. He VR'd and moved back to Toronto so we haven't hung out together in ages. We invited him to the wedding because he goes to Ottawa quite often - we actually lived a couple streets away from each other a couple years ago, who knew?! So yeah, he asked her to be his date and we are SUPER excited and glad she'll be able to be there!

- Old episodes of Friends *cla-cla-cla-clap*.

- The little bulbs I planted out front are actually growing. Probably not as well as they normally should because of the recent crap weather but I have never gardened before and I'm quite proud of my accomplishments. They make me smile every time I walk in or out of the house.

- I think I've found a way to control my allergies - total bliss. To anyone who's having a hard time - night time sinus medication is a god send.

- Hunting for good songs to use for the wedding.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Free game!

During the Base Yard-Sale a couple weeks ago, my friend offered to keep aside for me an video game for our DS that I wanted. With work and everything, the last 2 weeks have been so insane, I haven't had a chance to swing by her house to pick it up. So she said she'd drop it off in my mail box when she walked her dog or something... so the next day the weather was decent enough for a walk, she did.

I get home to a Facebook message that said "I dropped off the game in your mail box." Excited, I go to the mail box only to find it's empty. I figure Js probably saw it and brought it in the house - nope.

I talked to my friend on Facebook that evening and she says : Yes, I put it there! So we figured she put it in the wrong mail box. But which one?!

She explained to me where she thought I live and I sent Js knocking on their door. The guy walked up to the door saying "Hey! Are you looking for a game?" ... it was pretty funny and I was quite glad to use the "You go, I'll watch Nova." excuse and not be humiliated. The guy thought it was pretty funny and we continued on with our walk.

I told my friend I would leave her $4 in someone's mail box and she'd have to go find it - I gots me a free game! ;)

It's a stupid little story but I thought it was absolutely hilarious and totally adorable. It sucks that she's being posted away next month - we just got to know each other a bit more. I guess that's the life.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Let the wedding-disaster dream hauntings being!

I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was burst out laughing at our redonkulous my dreams were. So far, I've been spared of wedding-disaster dreams but my brain thought last night was a good time to start...

I don't remember all the details or how the story line went. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how detailed and crazy my dreams can get. Here are the elements of the crazy-dream I remember :
  • Maggie had cornrows in her hair.
  • Our marriage license was contained in a 3inch binder and the Officiant had to read through the whole thing before he would marry us.
  • There was a lady there selling jewelry and I noticed that she had a bracelet that my friend had mentioned she liked. I put everything on hold until I could get a hold of her and find out how many she wanted so I could get them for her.
  • A certain someone made a brief appearance and I have to say it'd been a while... I don't remember what he was doing there or if I even talked to him but I remember seeing his face as I tried to tear my eyes away from Maggie cornrows. However, I can confirm that he was a guest... so that's good progress, no!?
  • My gown was not my gown, my veil was not my veil and I decided to do my hair myself and when I looked into my bag I saw a hair straightener and a pink scrunchie.
I'm sure there is a much more elaborate story to tie it all together, but thankfully, my brain didn't think it was important to remember. Good call.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My legs, in pain they are.

Owwwie. Day 2 of my return to the retail world and my legs are not enjoying it. At all.

My legs have always been a lot stronger than my upper body. Mainly because they have to drag my trunk full of junk all day. Also because I started skiing when I was six and as a very nice doctor once put it, they are abnormally fat. I like the term muscular better myself but eh...

I'll get back into the swing of things eventually and I promise to stop complaining. In the mean time... owwwie.

I've also started driving stick (Nicholas, get your mind out of the gutter, woman!) and have been doing good - driving by myself to and from work today for the very first time - for the last 3 days. It's working out some weird muscles in my left leg because of the shifting and for some strange reason, some muscles in my left arm are complaining too. I think it's from being so nervous when I'm driving.

It's still weird getting used to driving and having to manage our schedules and our time around only one vehicle - especially since my work hours is so all over the place. We'll get the hang of that too eventually...

If you'll excuse me, I'll go beg Js for a leg massage now.


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