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A Different Kind of Hat Trick

Whenever I end up in downtown Toronto, I always think of 3 things.

#1 What kind of panhandler would I be?
A girl of many hobbies, I often wonder if I would juggle, sing karaoke, tell jokes, or perform some type of lyrical dance for attention.
I know I have good hair, but I don’t think it’s good enough to make money on it’s own.

Hmm.

#2 Being in Toronto and not seeing a baseball game seems odd.
The epic Sky Dome, now called the Rogers Centre, has always been a place of excitement for me.
On this day I eventually made it there, which brings me to the next observation;

#3 I wonder if Cataldo is working today?
Ever since I’ve know him, my brother in law has worked at the CBC.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is a TV station.
This educational note is for my one follower in the US.
I remember going on a trip there with my Broadcast Journalism class and being fascinated by our class work in action.
I have to say; it’s a pretty cool space.
I revel at the sheer magnitude.
The place where shows I never watch are created.
It doesn’t make them bad, it makes me selective.

On this particular day, I do what I normally do.
I text Cataldo and show up at the CBC unannounced, with the assumption he will drop everything he’s doing and entertain me.
And rightfully so.
The programming of the nation should come to a halt whenever royalty stops by.
I smile at this analogy.
It gives me an added level of sophistication.
Like the Brand Name party mix.
Clever.
This time he’s in a meeting.
I chuckle.
I used to be in “meetings” too, the classic get out of jail pass for the working man.
I used that excuse many a time and then realize today’s blog protagonist might actually be in a meeting.
I’ve heard of this rare breed of productive meeting, but I’ve never attended one.
Which is why it made complete sense for me to teach Effective Meetings.
The first lesson in my 12 hour class;
“Ask yourself, do you really need to have a meeting? Wouldn’t a phone call or email do?”
Mmhmm. That’s what I thought.
I digress.
Just like the wonders of a tv oven, Cataldo magically appears (ready, not raw) and we foray to the Jays shop to kill his lunch break.
I need a new Blue Jays hat.
I say that every game I go to.
I am team colour purist.
I strongly believe a team’s colours and general style should be respected.

I mull this over.
Does a country change the colours of its nation’s flag whenever Pantone makes a hue trendy?
No!

Do gangs adjust their colours just to change things up?                                                              No!
Does a Mother Duck abandon its ducklings if they came out a different colour?
Perhaps if it’s ugly.

Hmm again.

Speaking of ugly, The Jays shop is a hidden treasure with many different versions of offensive headgear.

In no particular order, let me present to you some heinous hats, and the fictitious people that wear them.

The Duck Dynasty Douche-bag. 

17904150_10158633541675595_3629060358432483935_nDrinks bitch beer. Voted for Trump during municipal election due to influence of said beverage. Favourite hobbies include manspreading and NASCAR. Spits in public. Wears a white cloak to unwind on weekends. A night out on the town always includes a trip to Cash Money followed by the hunting section at Walmart.

The “I’m 1/8th Irish”

17884156_10158633541695595_5730767293445508373_nThe results are in from Ancestry.com. This person has no real existing European lineage. Irish Spring is about as good as it gets. Notoriously unlucky. Might be colour blind. Argues at length about these colours being the team’s exclusive fifth uniform. Highly argumentative. Most likely home schooled. Only child. Self-explanatory.

 

The Occasional Fan.

17862605_10158633541400595_4389584003044460524_nCrappy golfer. Crappy mid-level executive. Crappy at everything in life proven by lack of interesting hat colour. Wears this hat at the weekly golf game that his wife picked out for him. Wears matching oatmeal outfit. Drives something obnoxious like a Hybrid.

The Fan Girl.

17795787_10158633541550595_5049873464515454853_nNo real interest in baseball but likes this hat because pink is fun and cute. Will force her boyfriend to take her to baseball games with her and the guys. Asks stupid questions i.e. “Why is it called Baseball, and not Diamond Ball?” “Is it done yet?” Cannot recall any part of the game but has 78 selfies posted during said game on insta.

The Raver.

17630185_10158633541415595_3828071005878227729_nHigh on life, opiates and other questionable means of chemical highs. Believes Unicorns exist because they’ve spent many a time being chased by them. Believes in peace, love and the legalization of marijuana. Does not watch baseball but thought the dragon on this cap would ward off evil vibes.

The Self-Proclaimed “Life of the Party.”

img_7146

For the record, anyone who calls themselves the life of the party is probably unenjoyable. Has an endless repertoire of fart jokes. Took 6 years to complete a 2 year college program. Will hit on anything with a pulse. People are too nice to blow him off, so he spends lots of time in fictitious relationships. Aloha!

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Stupid things people say in Yearbooks

I never wanted to return to high school.

While I considered it to be a mostly positive experience, I was never that girl who wanted to go back in time and enjoy the spoils of yesteryear.

You see, I’m a firm believer that the past is in the past for a reason.

Perhaps this belief stems from a combination of superstition, independent thought, and  watching too many movies where the main character ends up being chased by spirits who want to castrate them.

At the time, high school was considered the height of freedom.

Getting crazy bread for lunch, then slushies, then lottery tickets, watching fall football games…I had an eclectic group of friends and it was fun working through the system together.

Ironically, a lot of classmates who hated high school, whose apathy was palpable have become teachers.

And we wonder why the system is flawed.

Keeping this truth in mind, last week I had the opportunity to teach a couple sessions at a high school.

If my former classmates who hated high school could become teachers, shouldn’t someone like myself, who actually enjoyed it have a profound experience?

This is how I approached last Tuesday morning.

I was looking to educate, enthuse, inspire.

Channeling the teachers in movies, I approached this assignment with the tenacity of Michelle Pfeiffer, subject matter expertise of Richard Dreyfuss, and motivation of Robin Williams.

This day was the first day of my new life.

I started thinking about all the cool school supplies I could buy myself for my new career.

About 90 seconds into my return to high school experience, I realize I’m good.

I will stick to my day job and leave high school teaching to the pros.

Or prose.

Lol, I’m too clever to teach. Wise choice.

My decision not to pursue teaching is rooted in philanthropy.

Does the world need another teacher?

No.

I’m actually assisting with job creation which is quite nice.

I digress.

Fresh from my decision, and in an attempt to conduct some much needed fall cleaning, I come across this beauty:

Highschool Yearbook
I find my 1997 High School Yearbook.

This publication was the height of awesome almost exactly 20 years ago.

What?!?!

Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Have I dismissed teaching too prematurely?

I mull this over.

Opening the yearbook I realize a couple of things:

1. I hope none of the Yearbook staff obtained publishing jobs. The contrast colour to ink make everything hard to read. I made the photo noir for emphasis.

2. Once I get past the legibility issues, there are some really silly messages.

In no particular order, I give you; stupid things people write in yearbooks.

Note: I have not attached the person to the message because I’m classy like that.

And it might be libel.

“I can’t believe we’re graduating already, it seems like we just started high school!” Does it? Does it really? We received this yearbook at the start of Grade 12. Our first day of high school was over 1100 days ago. Pfft.

“Lidia, Lidia, your so cool, Lidia, Lidia your so not a mule. That’s the end of my career as a poet.” It’s also the start to your career as an English teacher. 

“I can right in here. I see you all the time. I’ve got nothing to say.”                                Also a future English teacher. Note: I haven’t seen this person since this message. Hmm.

“Hey Lidz! I miss you you stupid, funny girl!”                                                           Stupid?! How rude! I contemplate adding this person’s name and social media accounts to this post.

“Hey Lidia! DON’T EAT MEAT! Show this to people, k?”                                                       I’m pleased to report this person is now a server at The Keg. Not sure if that’s true. As I write I wonder if it’s too early to have a burger. 

“Lids, You know I love you even though we can both be annoying. Good luck with your future and I’ll see you at grad.”  This message is flawed for many reasons. It’s Lidz, not Lids! You wasted real estate on on yearbook to tell me I’m annoying? Apparently we aren’t going to converse until grad in June, and that’s it for the rest of our lives.

“Lidia, I remember you from Grade 8. You were a great Valedictorian. I hope we can become better friends this year.”  I make a note to look up this person with good taste. 

“Lidia, I am the first to right on this page. I feel special. I really like these pens. I may have to invest in them.” Future Chair of NAS– Narcissists Anonymous Society.

“Lidia, You are an awesome friend and so funny. Don’t forget you have to write my speech.” What came first? Me being awesome and funny, or this person making me write their speech? Spoiler alert! I never wrote that speech. 

“Lidia, It’s ME! Right now I can smell watermelon bubblegum and I want some. Yummy! We’re in English class. I wish the teacher would shut it about answering the actual questions asked in essays. Doesn’t she get it? Nobody cares about this stuff. Oh well, that’s life.”

This person needed to upgrade her English mark in summer school before applying to university. She also developed a severe watermelon allergy–several years later.

“Hey Lids, Your the funniest girl I know. I can just see you in like 10 years; you’ll have your own show and there’s an annoying kid that will say ‘Here’s Lidia!’and then you come on and say something funny and sing a common song.                      

So far, so good! Finally someone has embraced the true meaning of the yearbook! This post has been salvaged. And then this…

…I’ll be one of those loser people that tune in everyday because I have nothing better to do with my life.” 

She should have stopped at “song.” 

I smile.

With the brief trip down memory lane, I realize reminiscing can be fun, as long as it’s not taking up the present.

I may not have become a high school teacher, obtained my own tv show or had classmates that understand the difference between possessive terms and contractions, but I have memories, a decent sense of humour and my own blog.

No need to thank me for my literary contributions.

Your welcome.

🙂

 

 

Making Memories at the Polish Grocery Store

This morning, I find myself desperately seeking refuge from the onslaught of “First Day of School” Facebook photos.

You see, the day after labour day reveals an ugly truth.

There are a lot of unfortunate looking children on Facebook.

I probably don’t need to single out anyone, because by now, if you’re a parent or legal guardian of a school-aged child, you should know that your bundle of joy has a face for radio.

Oh, stop.

She can’t possibly be talking about my spawn, can she?

Most likely, yes.

And the good thing is, other people are probably thinking this too.

They’re just polite and don’t abuse their social media savvy to share their ignorance.

Sure, we’re gonna like your photos and pretend to be supportive, but the reality is, most of us without children don’t care.

Your child made it to school!

Congratulations!!!

Make sure you buy them a present as an award for doing something that’s mandated by law.

Make sure you also teach them how everyone’s a winner, so that any future setbacks can have them good and ready for a lifetime of delusion.

As I write this, I just finished my final conversation with nieces and nephews, inquiring about their respective first days.

Your kids might be ugly but mine are perfection.

Sorry, that’s how the world works.

Part of my refuge involves looking at the “On this day” feature on Facebook.

Maybe I’ll see something amusing.

I suddenly realize digging through my Facebook memories involves many a Facebook friend tagging me in “Back to School” photos from yesteryear.

I smirk.

Some of the children from today’s display  had exhibited signs of pre-ugliness.

In the interest of brevity, I decide to coin the term prugly.

Say it with me.

Prugly.

I enjoy this term because it rolls off the tongue.

It can be used to describe many things; including children before a growth spurt, bases loaded nobody out, and my blank canvass before I do anything to it at Paint Nite.

Now that’s pretty prugly!

Say that 10 times fast.

Alliteration always amuses.

I digress.

Satisfied with my new term, and dissatisfied with my search, I keep scrolling until I find something useful.

At the very least, I’m pleased to report that through the years, some of my Facebook friends have improved the quality of their crappy photo taking.

Suddenly I see something of value!

Exactly five years ago, while children went back to school, parents went back to work, and the world around us breathed a communal sigh of responsibility, being the THINK (terrifically happy, income, no kids) that I am, I decided to take that first week of September off from work.

A staycation had me enjoying pool days, catching up with friends, and of course, a trip to the Polish grocery store.

And a dare.

I have done many a stupid thing for a laugh (completely sober by the way) and this story is no different.

Part of the day’s plan involved my mom and I meeting my cousin for lunch and shopping.

We were a bit early for lunch, so ended up picking up groceries.

As the story goes; my dear cousin (who can prove the validity of all these stories) says;

“Hey Lidia! I bet you can’t get those ladies to take a photo with you!!”

I glance down the aisle and noticed two really cute ladies having a rather intense conversation.

How or why we come up with these dares shall remain a mystery.

Not one to back down from a challenge; I start sauntering down the aisle, trying to think of my strategy.
At this point, my mom calls out after me;

“Santa Lidia!!”  Saint Lidia, her pet name for me, otherwise known as a war cry for whenever one of my ideas was about to take place.

For all of my religious readers; Saint Lidia is the patron Saint of awesome.

I digress again.

I make it to my new friends and decide the best approach was to lie.

I tell Patrycja and Magdalena (who knows if that’s their real names?) that I’m on holidays, away from my homeland back in Eastern Europe, and those two ladies remind me of the many women who raised me.

I have an accent they don’t recognize, partly because it sounded equal parts Australian, Yiddish and Klingon.

I use lots of hand gestures and speak louder to ensure understanding.

When I symbol towards taking a photo with them; at first they disagree.

Oh no! I’m going to lose to bet.

What did I even bet on?!!

I try even harder, becoming louder and using more swooping hand gestures.

Just when I thought my ladies were going to walk away from me; Patrycja looks over Magdalena who shrugs her shoulders and says “ok.”

Success!

Proof that prugly situations can work in your favour.
And your photos too!

Pulling Weeds

Labour Day.
The big, fat contradiction of a day when most of us lucky ones celebrate the world of work by having a day away from it.
I mull this over.
Celebrating one thing by doing its opposite is appealing.
I enjoy this level of juxtaposition as it allows me to use the term juxtaposition in my blog.
If you happen to be a card carrying member of the Grammar Gestapo; read no further.
You’re judgement isn’t welcome hear.
The above statement was written just in case they kept reading.
They appear to be gone.
Phew.
I digress.
Let’s examine my latest social theory in more detail.
Becoming smarter by watching Netflix? Awesome.
Making fun of the Blue Jays with the intention of improving performance? Perfect!
Being healthy by eating tacos? Sign me up!
Speaking of tacos, today my oldest sister invited the clan over for a “Back to School/Labour Day” lunch.
Another glorious juxtaposition disguised as a family tradition.
It’s quite simple.
Every year, the unofficial end of summer is recognized for the children of our family.
We celebrate a fresh start of expanding and strengthening their intellectual capacity by ensuring their last day of freedom is spent in a food coma.
Ah, traditions.
I decide to walk to my sister’s house. I smile at my being proactive–surely this 20 minute walk will balance any future unhealthy eating, right?
Living on that river in Egypt can be a wonderful thing.
Speaking of wonderful, it’s lovely outside and I’m quite pleased with the weather.
En route, I see a man sitting on the curb. He looks like he’s slumped over.
As I did not see a flask; I walk quicker towards him, in case he’s in need of medical attention.
False alarm.
The man is pulling at weeds.
Hmm.
I walk past and do the obligatory head nod.
Walking etiquette suggests a polite gesture of acknowledgement but not enough care to warrant an inaudible grunt.
I resist the urge to say; “Hey! Nice weed!” because I’m thoughtful like that.
Pulling at weeds in September is the equivalent of buying a real Christmas tree in March.
There’s no point.
Judging from the extent of weeds surrounding my new friend, I’m not sure he understands that concept.
I can think of other ways to spend my Labour Day that don’t involve pulling at weeds.
Who does that? I mull this over and move on.
A few minutes later, I notice another couple slumped over on their lawns, engaged in weed pulling.
I can assure you that’s not a metaphor.
I want to call out and say; “Hey! All of those weeds are impressive! Can I take a pic?” but I resist because they don’t seem friendly and appear rather annoyed at my presence.
Maybe its because I tried to take a photo without asking.
Either way, the couple was reasonably unattractive, so I will substitute their tableau with this:

Weeds everywhere.
Growing in every direction.
It’s something I rarely notice until walking past an ill-manicured lawn.
Or people trying their best to pull them out.
Weeds can have different meaning depending on how they are handled.
As an avid fan of the Food Network, I can tell you when Chefs are “in the weeds” it means they are behind with service.
Weeds don’t exist on some people’s lawns because they pride themselves on landscaping prowess and immediate disposal.
Weeds don’t exist on other people’s lawns because they’ve been consumed as a very high iron delicacy.
If eating weeds isn’t your thing, consider this; what if weeds represented the unnecessary extras in our lives?
Is there something you’ve been doing in your life that gives you no joy, but you feel you forced to do?
Maybe because you’ve always done it, or its expected?
You are pulling at weeds.
If there’s something in your life you no longer want to do, or no longer need to do, how about changing it up?
I’m proud of myself.
Such insights on a sunny September day.
I vow to myself; this impromptu decision is one that will follow me for the rest of my days.
I choose not to pull at weeds.
If something doesn’t please me, I will try my best not to include it in my day.
And if that doesn’t work….
There’s a barrage of neighbours that can help me out.
🙂

Always a Career Bridesmaid

On May 10 2014, I had the proud role of being the Master of Ceremonies for my best-friend’s wedding.

Ok, I was officially the Mistress of Ceremonies, but that sounded far more promiscuous than I’m comfortable with.

So let’s stick to MC.

It was a glorious spring day…when everything comes together seemingly without effort, celebrating two people whose love for one another made the day even more beautiful.

Add to this reverie, a charming, articulate, good looking MC…and you have a dream wedding.

It was that good.

People are still talking about it.

I digress.

Upon wrapping up my duties and handing things over to the DJ, I did, what any self-respecting MC in my position would do—I made a beeline towards the bar.

A middle-aged man was already there, and congratulated me on a job well done. We started chatting, you know, friendly bar banter, and then, just when I thought I was safe, I receive the loaded statement.

“Oh, you’re single?!? Don’t worry, you’ll find someone.”

I chuckled.

By his tone and look of concern, it was quite obvious this person considered being single an excruciating disease…one, that with proper treatment could be inoculated.

I thanked this man for his well wishes, took my drink and poured it on his head.

Ok, that part didn’t happen, but I did make a polite exit and continued to enjoy myself with the wedding guests—back to the land of reality where people aren’t defined by marital status and wishing their time will come.

Months later, I find myself relating this married versus single context to career development, in particular, employment status.

On one extreme, you have Career Brides. These folks are professionals with salary, tenure, vacation, benefits and, for lack of a better term, continuity.

They may even be supported by a union and aren’t afraid to let you know it—particularly if you ask them to do something that isn’t in their job description.

Our blushing Brides revel in their status and assume that if you aren’t a bride, you want to be a Bride.

Good for them.

The other extreme showcases our Career Bridesmaids.

A Career Bridesmaid may have a series of part-time jobs, live off of different contracts, and does not have the safety and stability of a Career Bride.

They do what needs to be done to make ends meet, and are just as proud.

Our blushing bridesmaids may enjoy the freedom and flexibility of their work, and may even assume if you aren’t a Bridesmaid, you want to be a Bridesmaid.

Good for them too.

Where do you see yourself within this spectrum?

Who would you hire to do the work?

Would employment status even matter?

The point is, let’s stop judging people on their employment status and begin to appreciate the value they bring to the organization.

A Career Bride may long for the flexibility of a Bridesmaid, and maybe there are Bridesmaids who want the stability of a Bride’s career path.

Wherever possible, let’s not have processes trump the competence of great people.

Stay true to your professional convictions and let the rest follow.

Later that night, after rejoining the wedding party, I scanned the crowd and saw that same man, sitting beside his wife.

They were clearly having a heated discussion.

Proof that it’s always better to be a single bridesmaid than in a committed, unhappy marriage.

I waved to him and smiled.

🙂

Notice: This post was originally published through the ABC: Alumni Blog connection. Check out this blog for some great career tips and musings!

https://alumniblog.mohawkcollege.ca/category/lidia-siino/

FullSizeRender
First on the left–that’s me as a real bridesmaid, in Rome, back in June 1999!

 

Peculiar encounters of the Purple Hair kind

**I found this draft, 98% complete on my phone so decided to finish it a few days later. Enjoy!**

-Management

==

This morning I realize I slept in.
I typically wake up 5 minutes before my alarm tells me to, which is about an hour earlier than anyone else.

At 5:27am, I glance at the clock and realize the alarm was never set.

As I stare in horror at my cell phone screen, I realize a shoddy attempt was made to set the alarm but I never did swipe the screen to the right.

Everything in life favours right handed people.

Grr.

If I was to set the alarm and swipe to the left, I’m sure I would have still forgot.

Fighting off sleep to watch a documentary on Randy Johnson’s illustrious baseball career was better than  any type of sleep aid.

What he loses in eloquence, he gains by ensuring the beaning of batters became a fixture of the modern game.

I mull this over.

If I was beaned by Randy Johnson, I probably wouldn’t charge the mound, either.
He always has and always will remind me of a Transformer.

Hmm.

As I scramble to find something else to wear other than a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt and flannel pants, I make a mental note that this is the weekend Mount clothing will move off of my floor and into my dresser.

It could happen.

In my haste, I get to the washroom, look in the mirror and smile.

Today is one of the first day I haven’t scared myself by doing this.

Why, you may ask?

It’s because I’m currently sporting purple hair.

I have to admit, it’s been a big change for me.

Here’s what my hair used to look like:

I went from sporting the Angela Bower look to President of the Mindy Cohn fan club:


Hey, at least I’m loyal to my 80’s sitcoms.

With purple hair comes great responsibility.

I cannot tell you the amount of feedback I’ve had because of it.

“I don’t have the guts to do that to my hair!” 

I get that a lot.

Newsflash; you don’t have the looks, either.

Yikes, that was harsh.

Perhaps the colouring has seeped in.

Out of the many encounters and conversations I’ve had about my hair; these three peculiar encounters stand out.

All in the same day too.

Consider them parables with poignant lessons.

Because this blog is also educational.

Peculiar Encounter #1 occurs when a friend of mine sees my hair for the first time and says; “daaaaaaaaaaaaammmn!”

I’m impressed by her seventh inning stretch of the word.

This is followed by two astute observations;

#1 She tells me “You know, that’s going to be a bitch to maintain!”

She’s right. As someone with a hair stylist in her family, she can say things and not get voodoo dolled afterwards.

To this, I respond; “Luckily it’s not me doing the work!”

We laugh.

The way that beautiful people with awesome hair typically do.

#2 She also tells me; “You know, your clothes will never match your hair ever again! Everything is going to clash”

Such a prophecy haunts me this morning as I avoid throwing on a red sweater and curse her name out loud.

Lesson learned: In a world of fake, hang onto those who speak the truth. They are keepers, even if you want to cuff them.

Peculiar Encounter #2 occurs literally outside the office building.

I’m walking along the street and am stopped dead in my tracks by a young woman.

I never knew what dead in my tracks meant until I literally almost killed this person.

“Your hair…it’s amazing!! I love it!” I say thanks because that what nice people do.

For someone who loathes small talk, I certainly have been a catalyst of it.

I ask the student; “What program are you taking?”

“Oh no! I’m not a student! I don’t have a job. I walk up and down the streets all day! Why, are you hiring? Can I work for you?”

I briefly mull over expensing a Personal Assistant or Bodyguard.

I do appreciate her proactive approach.

After more chatting, I send her on her way with a couple of resources and the location to a career centre about 13 minutes up the road.

Lesson learned: It doesn’t cost anything to be a decent human being. Besides, maybe this person will remember you and win cash for life. 

Reciprocity in action.

I kinda like that.

My third and final encounter of the day occurs at the No Frills grocery store.

I can’t think of a better name for a place where good customer service and replenished inventory go to die.

I’m buying soap because there appears to be a soap shortage at home.

Having eaten it regularly as a child, I can say the taste of Ivory is much better than Irish Spring.

The alternative would have been to stop swearing but then I wouldn’t have developed such a discriminating palette.

As I place my soap products out of mouth reach and onto the conveyor, the cashier looks up to say; “I have to tell you, I just love your hair!”

I say “Thanks!” because that’s what nice people do.

He is then joined by a coworker who tells me she wants her hair my colour but her boyfriend won’t allow it.

Allow.

Interesting.

She looks really sad.

I say “He sounds like a real piece of work!”

And she proceeds to tell me and her coworker how he really is a nice guy, he just likes things certain ways and she just has to ask his permission.

I shrug my shoulders, grab my scented products and leave.

I have nothing positive to add.

Lesson learned: Hair colour can fade but a jerk significant other can sting for a lot longer.

Also, wear a cap next time you go grocery shopping.

🙂

“Et tu, Brute?”

This morning, I find myself more perplexed than usual.

As I arrive on the train platform, I realize the feng shui of my train towers has been altered.

To the left, my usual 6:18 train has its doors closed.

To my right, the 6:48 train has its doors open.

Except I soon realize the alleged 6:48 is actually the 5:48 due to mechanical problems.

My suspicions are affirmed with the following announcement:

“Ladies and gentlemen this is STILL the 5:48 train out of Hamilton. We’ve had some delays this morning. The moment the brake tests are finished, we will be on our way”

Yes, you go ahead and fix those brakes before leaving.

It’s the courteous thing to do.

I board the alleged 5:48 at 6:11 and wonder what to call it.

Is it the new 6:18, or the alleged 5:48 once removed?

I’m mild annoyed with this change in events because it’s disrupted my chi.

Let’s be clear, the train has done nothing wrong, it’s more the obnoxious lady who keeps articulating that she’s sooooo late for work!

And then continues to swear out loud, towards other passengers, the Customer Service Ambassador and anyone that can hear her.

I’ve managed to ignore her a couple of times, but our eyes lock and then I nod at her and smile.

Lidz on the Go faithful know with that one point of contact, Crabby McCrabberton has awarded herself a place in my blog.
Regardless of what one does for a living, eventually, everyone has work with customers or clients at some point in their lives.

I can’t think of a time when someone was being an unpleasant waste of humanity and that inspired me to work faster and harder on their behalf.

Here’s a tip.

If you’re in a verbally abusive frame of mind, no other customer service provider will advocate for you, either.

It’s the reason you end up with hidden fees on your cell phone bill, and your burger tastes a little funny after you’ve complained about it.

After being irate, your products have been altered, likely not for the better.

And the best part; you’ll never track down the representative who is operating from a call centre in Mumbai, either.

I digress.

Back in Hamilton, I’m about to ask this lady if she’s a surgeon and late for a life altering operation (the only real reason she should be upset) when a new announcement emerges:

“Ladies and gentlemen, this 5:48 train is now your 6:18. We will be leaving shortly.”

Hmm.

I’m pleased with this announcement as it might prompt Dr. Grey to shut her pie hole.

So the 5:48 is now the 6:18 once removed, and the 6:18 is the 6:48 once removed.

Dr. Grey is now joined by a nurse and they  both lament at how the 5:48 never runs on time.

Never?!!

Ever?!!

Just who do these folks think they are?

Some sort of clever commuting bloggers?

Pfft.

If she is a surgeon, she really could afford to buy closer to the city.

Just sayin.

The train leaves and I think of today’s date.

March 16.

Yesterday, March 15 was the ides of March.

What does Ides mean?

Good question.

The Ides was one of three markers used each month which related to the position of the moon.

It’s a special day for me and my Roman ancestry, as it marks the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar.

All the poor man was trying to do was unite the Republic.

He was thanked for his efforts by being stabbed, multiple times, by friends and peers.

Poor Julius.

It’s also seems like a peculiar, reflective date for me.

It’s a day when I’m reminded of multiple memes involving salad with a knife stuck in it on Facebook.

It’s also a time when I perform my annual relationship review.

Made famous by the Shakespearean play, Julis Caesar, “Et tu, Brute?” is now used to express surprise and dismay at the treachery of a supposed friend.

See?

The interwebs can teach us so much if we let it.

I think back to situations where I’ve felt betrayed.

It’s not a good feeling.

It’s actually hard to recover from.

One never completely recovers from treachery.

I think each time treachery occurs, we feel wounded, remove the blade and try to move on.

The problem with being stabbed…it does leave a mark, in the form of a wound that could have varying degrees of recovery.

We get on with our lives, but the markings are still there.

Be careful of how you treat people.

Not everyone is a crash test dummy.

Not everyone is a surgeon either.

Hail Caesar.

The Boys Of Summer

This morning, our blog’s protagonist returns to the big green chariot with an overwhelming sense of fervour.

For the past 36 hours, her beautiful hometown of Hamilton hosted quite the winter spectacle.

She was physically unable to get to work as snow ravished the city, closing transportation routes, malls and just about everything.

***

I was hoping people would read that  introductory section just like that one guy in Hollywood narrates all the movie trailers.

Think Cameron Diaz’ conscience in The Holiday.

Go ahead, give it a try.

It sounds way cooler.

Now back to the first person.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled to have to work from home.

The one thing that was working was the internet which makes this role a lot easier.

Isn’t it ironic…the only day of the year whereby elementary and secondary schools would have closed for a snow day occurred during March Break?

Don’t you think?

Ya, I really do think.

Oh great, now that Alanis Morisette song Ironic will be lodged in my think tank for the next little while.

It’s also ironic that all the scenarios from that chart topper of 1995 are not ironic…merely a combination of poor life choices preceded by bad luck.

I’m about to digress, then I realize some true dramatic irony.

What’s also ironic is that Alanis Morisette was likely unaware of the definition of irony while crafting this hit.

I’m sure she sleeps better than I do at night, using her millions of dollars from royalties to fluff her Sealy posturepedic pillows.

Ironic?

Sardonic?

Semantics.

Now I digress.

I board my chariot, a random cab car du jour and see this glorious sign:


The Boys Of Summer Are Back!

I cannot help but see this sign and have a big smile.

Think of the Grinch, once he realizes he can destroy the Whos’ Christmas.

Typically, the only signage that excites me on the Go Train involves their unintentionally ironic etiquette posters, but here I can make an exception.

I’m easily excitable and impressionable.

I love loving things, especially Blue Jays baseball.

I can tell you when my affection for the team started…long before the ’92 World Series and ’91 pennant.

Damn you, Kirby Puckett!

I was a Jr. Lidz and accompanying my parents for a visit to the CIBC Bank.

It must have gone well, because there were all smiles and McDonald’s afterwards.

During our visit, Bank lady commented on how cute I was.

I still get that a lot.

Once the meeting was over, she gave me a small package that looked like a deck of playing cards.

It was a pack of baseball cards from the 1985 Blue Jays roster.

Jesse Barfield, Lloyd Moseby, George Bell…all of these people had their own card!

Each came with the CIBC logo.

Super cool.

I wanted my own card too.

From that point onward, with very little to go on, I decided I would enjoy the game of baseball.

It was and still is one of my favourite sports.

Of course, growing up in an Italian household, soccer is a cult like phenomenon, but baseball was the sport that became truly mine.

Baseball is polarizing. People either love it or hate it.

Kinda like me.

Note: If you hate me, I’m likely already plotting your demise.

And I’m a great actor so you don’t notice.

That is a true story.

I digress again.

Baseball really is the sport that truly everyone can enjoy.

It can be easily understood or critically analyzed.

It’s not ironic, but coincidental that I see this sign within hours of receiving my Blue Jays game tickets and getting the MLB network back on my tv.

It is ironic that these baseball related coincidences occur during the worst winter weather of the year.

It is also ironic that the alleged Boys Of Summer begin their training in February and if successful, will end up playing through October.

Who would have thought, it figures?
I know I did.

🙂

Winter Storm Warning

This morning I wake up rather conflicted.

Is it 4:09am or 5:09am?

Meh, doesn’t matter. Either way it’s too early.

I, like millions of others before me, will continue to blame my general sense of apathy within the next few days on daylight savings time.

Having desperately craved the sunshine, us winter warriors finally gain an hour of daylight and now everyone becomes slightly stupid.

A series of events has me lined up waiting for the early train, not the early early train.

As anticipated, the train itself is on the platform, yet no one is allowed to board yet.

Board.

Bored?

Board.

I smirk.

Semantics.

I’m about to ask the relic beside me why she wears her scarf outside of her jacket and how does that provide warmth when the train makes a groaning sound that I suspect regulars are accustomed to.

Onto the train we go.

I have slight hesistations.

Anytime I take a train other than my usual big green chariot, I feel like an adulteress.

I’m in a committed relationship with the 6:18.

He’s a Gemini. I’m an Aquarius.

He’s loyal. I’m loyal too.

He has multiple personalities.

I elect to ignore them.

We have our issues.

So too do all of my friends in committed relationships, and this bastard doesn’t get to talk back to me.

Based on these stipulations, I realize I’m doing ok.

I find a new perch to share my wonderful stories on and am about to decide where to start, when this muse pops up on screen:


Winter Storm Warning.

As someone who works for a living, I can assure you there’s no greater feeling than the potential to not have to work.

Especially on company dime.

Special Weather Statements are like stockings on Christmas morning.

Winter Storm Warnings are like presents, and Winter Storm In Effect is the crown jewel or diamond ring of the weather statement triumvirate.

There’s nothing like the threat of a winter storm to turn even the most aggressive of atheists into believers.

Side note; have you ever meet an atheist or a vegan that wasn’t aggressively obnoxious?

You have not.

How do I know?

Because within the first 30 seconds of meeting them, they always tell you.

I digress.

Most professionals, regardless of their trendy hipster beliefs and tendencies become meteorologists with the threat of snow looming.

I think back to a time at an old job, where it was almost Christmas break time and was myself and a coworker in the office.

The snow came down in a flurry.

You can smirk at my clever use there.

We had the “Manager of the day” come around and tell us we can leave now and only be docked half a day’s worth of pay.

I smiled sweetly and told her I’d rather wait a few minutes until the company officially closes that way I’m paid for my time.

Once she left, and she likely left to go home, my coworker and I proceeded to have a snowball fight outside until we received official word it was paid time to go home.

On company dime.

Winter Storm Warnings are exciting but typically don’t turn out.

I take them with a cautious optimism.

Last Friday afternoon, the power went out in our building.

I always have hope.

With the weekend rapidly approaching, rather than being sent home, we were given the alternative to go work somewhere else for the remainder of the day.

A proper Snow Day doesn’t come with these types of sanctions.

If the weather is bad, you go home and stay home.

As the good Lord intended.

Also, don’t be a Martyr and compromise your safety if you feel compelled to go into work.

I can assure you that more work will be there for you once you get back.

However, if the weather is bad, and you have to go into work, blame your apathy on daylight savings times.

After all, that gaining an hour of sunlight really screws up everything.

Safe travels.

Here’s hoping there’s no need for a blog tomorrow.

🙂

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