Monday, December 31, 2007
The up side: I've been able to stay up late, sleep in late and lounge around the house in my jammies with the family.
The down side: I've ascertained the source of the loud sucking sound I've been hearing. It's coming from the bottom of my bank account.
One I've found particularly amusing is ER Stories, by a relatively new blogger. Back in my university days, I worked part-time at a local hospital in the housekeeping department. One of my regular areas was the ER and I found it fascinating despite being on the periphery of the action. I might have to write a few posts about stories from those days.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Up until now, I've not needed a cell phone. In fact, I'm still not sure I need one. My family, on the other hand, thinks I should have one. I can be found at one of a small number of places: home, work, my kids' school, or the grocery store. I should add the gym to that list, but I'm being realistic - I haven't made it to the gym all that often since I started working. Besides, cell phones aren't allowed at the gym in the locker room or on the weight room floor: something to do with privacy and people not using the camera function on the phones. Other than the grocery store or in my van (dubbed the "loser cruiser" by my pre-teen daughter), I can be reached by land line at all of these locations. Tell me again why I need a cell phone?
I'm sure it will come in handy and I know I'll have fun playing with the various features such as the camera, camcorder and text messaging. Still, I wonder how much influence my daughter had in this purchase. She has been bugging us since she started grade seven for a cell phone of her own. A few of her friends have them and she thinks she's being left behind. She has already begun her campaign on why I should lend her my cell phone when she goes out. Hah - not yet, chicky-pie. It's my new toy!
Monday, December 24, 2007
He wanted blueberry pancakes but we didn't have enough frozen blueberries. Solution: blueberries and chocolate chips. Yum! Not the healthiest, perhaps, but c'mon - it's Christmas Eve morning! Besides, my kids' favourite topping for pancakes is yogurt. Today's yogurt was strawberry, very nice with blueberries and chocolate chips, and healthier than syrup.
It's nice to see my kids learning their way around the kitchen. At least I know they won't starve when they move out!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
What Infectious Disease Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Malaria|
You are one persistent, annoying son-of-a-bitch and your motto is 'if at first you don't succeed; try, try again'. Once you get a foothold in someone's life, you're loathe to let go and honestly, after a few feeble attempts, most of those poor suckers just give up. You're easily distracted by a good beverage, although you prefer beer to mixed drinks. There's something about tonic water that just turns you off. You may not always be at the forefront of everyone's minds, but you never get completely ignored, either--you're too irritating.
I helped an older gentleman find books he needed and even got him signed up for a couple of (free) classes. He asked for computer books for absolute beginners - simpler than "Computers for Dummies" - and he was pleased to hear that not only did we have some, but also they are very popular books. It made him feel better to know there are others in the same boat as he. When I explained that we have computer classes for seniors who have never touched computers before, his eyes lit up. He told me how he wants to be able to email his grandchildren. That one gave me the warm fuzzies.
A little later, a nice man with an adorable toddler came in looking for travel books. They are leaving in two days and he was hoping to find books about their destination. I found a couple of books for him and then determined that a nearby branch had a different book that would be even better. I asked him if he was able to drive to the other branch (there wouldn't be enough time before his trip to put the book on hold and have it shipped to us) and he said yes. When I phoned the other branch, they informed me they had an another book (in addition to the one I requested) that looked perfect. I had them put both books aside for him and was gratified to see his grin when I told him about the books. I hope they have a wonderful vacation.
I don't have any shifts scheduled between Christmas and New Year's, but I told my supervisor I'm available. Hopefully I'll get some more experience then, while the library is a little quieter, and lose the "deer in the headlights" look which has been on my face the last few weeks!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Limit Lady approached the checkout desk five minutes before closing with two big baskets of books. One basket of materials she was returning and wanted to check in, and one basket of items she wanted to check out. I told her that I wouldn't waste her time by checking in the materials while she stood there since it could be done after closing. I scanned her library card and tried to check out her first book to her. Oops, no can do, the computer beeped at me with the message "Item limit exceeded! Unable to check out book." What the #&$% ? The limit is 99 items! I tried again and got the same warning screen. Hmmm. I explained the situation and said I'd have to check her returned items into our system before I could check out her books to her. She smiled and nodded as if this was what she expected. I checked in all her returned materials, 23 items, and then went back to checking out the things she wanted. There were 22 items in that basket, putting her total items out back up to 98.
After we closed I mentioned this to a colleague who chuckled and gave me a little pat. "She does this at least twice a week," I was told. "She counts her items to return and takes out the same number pretty much every time. If we had a higher limit, she'd take out more."
You'll never catch me doing that. Even one day late on returning that number of items and the fines would put a serious dent in my pocketbook!
*: If you don't remember, it's a song by the Eagles.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
"Hi, I just wanted to call and let you know I'm going to be late for work this morning. I'm on the train; we keep having mechanical difficulties. We've been stopped for ages!"
I wanted to yell into the phone "Lies! All lies! She just got on this train!"
Saturday, December 1, 2007
This is why my high school English professor was disgusted when he found out I was majoring in science at university rather than English. I don't know why, but grammatical rules come easily to me, as does spelling. With spelling, though, I've noticed that if I write out one word repeatedly or look at it for a long time, it starts to look odd and I begin to question whether it truly is correct or not. Let me glance at the word and I can tell you if it's spelled correctly, but let me stare at it for a minute and I'm not sure anymore. I wonder if this happens to other people too, or if it's just a quirk of mine.
Matt over at Better and Better had a post a while back that made me smile. He said "An apostrophe's function is not to warn the reader of an impending S." Thank you, Matt. Well said.
Friday, November 30, 2007
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The West
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
I'm not surprised to find that I don't really have any kind of American accent - after all, I'm from Canada! I've been told on occasion that I sound somewhat British. Not because of pronunciation, but because of phraseology. I remember saying to my son "You needn't shout" and getting an odd look from my brother-in-law. I believe his response (the brother-in-law, not my son) was "I don't think I've ever used the word 'needn't' in my entire life." Yeah, well, I do.
I can also speak "Canayjun", such as the proper use of the term "eh". It should be used at the end of a sentence where you are looking for agreement, as in "isn't that right?". For example, in reference to the weather one might say "Pretty windy out there, eh?" Now THAT's pure Canayjun. Translated into English the same comment would be "Rather a blustery day, wouldn't you say, old chap?"
A few years ago my brother-in-law dropped in early on a Saturday morning. I was fresh out of the shower and had not yet put on any makeup. As he walked through the kitchen and said good morning to me, he did a double-take. Furrowing his brows as he looked at me, he asked "Did, ... did, ... did you have a barbecue accident?" I started to chuckle. He had never before seen me without makeup and he thought I had singed off my eyebrows and eyelashes!
I can see this being a real timesaver, speeding up the morning makeup routine and also being a blessing when camping. I'm very self-conscious and use mascara and eyebrow pencil daily, even while living out of a tent for a week. Next summer, booking the brow and lash tinting will be the first thing on the camping "to do" list! Ahh, vanity, thy name is woman!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
It was a good morning and I hope I remember all I learned. I did card renewals, a new library card application, return of a lost item, found items on hold that customers couldn't locate on their own, received payments for fines, and plain old checked out books. My coworkers were helpful and the customers were wonderful - patient and supportive. I was told that it's rare in our branch to have a problem customer, but it does happen from time to time. I'm thankful it didn't happen on my first shift!
In the future it will be rare for me to be at the checkout desk, but I do need to know how to do it. Next week I'll have my official training on the computer system followed by a few days working at our branch, cementing in the knowledge. Once I have that under my belt I'll be learning how to do my real job - helping customers with research - and eventually I'll be trained to run the many programs offered by the library.
I'm so glad I worked as a support staff member first before getting this position. Knowing the staff, the branch layout and our collection gives me a bit of a head start and should make the learning curve slightly less steep.
This afternoon I volunteered in my son's grade two class and was able to watch him present his Home Project - a five minute presentation in front of his classmates on a topic of his choice. He chose Monkeys and Apes. When asked why he made this choice, he told the class "because my brother is a monkey". Nice!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Nowadays it's not just teenagers and twentysomethings getting tattoos, it's their parents. I happened to be discussing tattoos and piercings with the parent of my daughter's friend one day. I made the mistake of referring to lower back tattoos as "tramp stamps". You guessed it: she had one. Oops! My hubby has referred to these tattoos as "'ho tags". Another hilarious term, and I'm really glad I didn't use that one during that conversation.
I've heard that lower back tattoos may prevent one from getting an epidural during childbirth if the anaesthetist feels there's a risk of pushing the ink into the spinal area during insertion of that honkin' big needle. I don't know if this is true or just an urban myth, made up by some mum trying to scare her daughter out of getting one of these tattoos.
I don't have a tattoo, nor do I ever intend to get one. If I can't decide from one year to the next what colour to paint the walls in my living room, why would I have something permanent embedded in my skin?
Friday, November 23, 2007
Little girl: "Mummy, I want to wash my hands."
Mother: "No, sweetie, we washed your hands at home before we came. Let's go to storytime."
Little girl: "Nooooo! Wash hands! Wash hands now!"
Mother: "We'll be late for story time. We can wash your hands afterwards."
Little girl: "NO! NO! NO! I WANT TO WASH MY HANDS!"
I don't know if the mother held firm or capitulated.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as James Bond, Agent 007|
James Bond is MI6's best agent; a suave, sophisticated super spy with charm, cunning, and a license to kill. He doesn't care about rules or regulations and is somewhat amoral. He does care about saving humanity though, as well as the beautiful women who fill his world. Bond has expensive tastes, a wide knowledge of many subjects, and his usually armed with a clever gadget and an appropriate one-liner.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
My manager was the one who encouraged me to apply for any openings on the customer service side of things. She obviously had more confidence in me than I had in myself! The interview yesterday morning was made much less stressful by her being there alongside the Human Resources representative. I was told a decision would be made by the end of the week - I was shocked when I received a call yesterday afternoon with the job offer!
Today I will meet with my manager to get signed up for training and to figure out my new work schedule starting on November 28th. I have a big learning curve ahead of me. Thankfully, the library has lots of good training courses. I'll have two full days of training on their computer system and I'll be taking part 2 of their customer service training: how to deal with difficult customers. I've already taken part 1 and felt it to be plain common sense. Funny, though, how uncommon common sense tends to be.
Since I will also be expected to run some of the existing programs (Baby Story Time, Cyber Seniors, etc.), there will be lots more training associated with the different programs. My manager was interested to hear some ideas I have for new programs, particularly a discussion group for parents/caregivers of children with anaphylactic allergies. I've dealt with it for nearly 12 years and I think I can pass on some learned wisdom to parents with newly diagnosed allergic children. There's a lot I need to learn before I'm ready to do that, but I think it could be fun.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as The Librarian|
You're the Librarian! Once a wizard, now an Orang-utan (due to an unfortunate magical accident), you refuse to be turned back for a few reasons: In this form, it's easier to reach the shelves and hold more books; having the strength of five men makes people return their books on time; life's great philosophical questions boil down to "when do I get my next banana?" You say "ook" but are usually understood well enough.
I really would be happy if we never got a TV again, but I know that's just a pipe dream. Hubby will want to watch Sunday NFL, particularly as the Super Bowl looms. We don't really get into CFL football so the Grey Cup at the end of the month is no biggie. If hubby gets talked into going to a buddy's house or a sports bar to see the event he will, but he won't go out of his way to watch it. I've always preferred NFL over CFL. The extra down and smaller end zone makes for a more exciting game in my opinion.
Oh, wait, I'm Canadian - I'm supposed to prefer Canadian products over American regardless of their quality, right? After all, that's the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) policy! Will my Canadian Girl moniker be revoked?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
About an hour after the Mac was out of its box and running nicely, one of the boys went to turn on the TV. "Dad, the TV isn't working!" echoed from the family room. Yup, you guessed it, our sixteen-year-old TV died. Not a growl, not a whimper, it just rolled over and kicked the bucket. We've just spent big bucks on a new computer (tell me again why we needed a new one?) and now we have no TV. Many people have expressed surprise that we as a family of six managed to make do with just one television. Now we have none. Hubby talked with the kids for a bit and explained that we could buy a small, crappy TV now or go without one for awhile and buy a good one on Boxing Day at a post-Christmas sale - after we've had nearly two months to save up some cash. They surprised me and all voted for the "no TV until the end of December plan". Well, it has been nearly 24 hours without a TV and so far, so good. Twice I've had one of the kids ask if they can watch TV and I've said "Yes (snicker!)" just to watch them run to the blank black screen, press the power button and then get smacked upside the head with a dose of reality. Am I a bad mum to find this so amusing?
We'll see if we can handle life without a television. Personally, I don't mind. I rarely watch the thing - I read the local news on the web and prefer to read or sew instead of staring blankly at the idiot box - but I'm not sure how the rest of the family will cope. The kids will be without their beloved Nintendo/PS2 or whatever the hell the darned thing is, and hubby won't be able to vegetate on the couch every evening. I foresee more reading, board games and cards in our future. Sounds good to me!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Does this happen to others who have a science degree (biology, microbiology, that sort of thing)? It seems to happen to me all the time. I regularly get phone calls from friends and relatives when they or someone they know receives a diagnosis and they don't know what it means. I guess I'm a walking medical dictionary. Try WebMD, people, it's more reliable!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Our library participates in a Secret Santa program, brightening the Christmas season a smidgen for someone who would otherwise have little to celebrate. This year, one item on our recipient's wish list was a lap blanket. I thought we could do better than a purchased blanket and voluntold (LOVE that word!) two quilty coworkers they were helping me make a quilt. One week later, this is the result. It's hard to see the colours in the above photo, but they're browns, creams and greens with a dark green border. This one definitely made me smile.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I'm incredibly proud of my 10-yr-old son right now. His friend, who moved here from Europe last year, went trick-or-treating with us last night. This is his second Hallowe'en in Canada and he doesn't really get the concept of the greedy candy grab with which North American children have been indoctrinated. This friend had a great time with my three boys and was amazed at the amount of candy he amassed in an hour. Then, however, he had had enough. He was satisfied with his haul and was ready to be done. My boys, on the other hand, were still raring to go. The weather was cooperative this year and they were taking full advantage of the mild weather - one can run faster to many more houses when not encased in a snowsuit! My son, who usually is oblivious to the concerns of others and doesn't think more than three seconds ahead, opted to stop with his friend and hang out at the house with me while my husband continued with our two younger boys. My son did this to keep his friend company, knowing full well that he was going to end up with significantly less candy than his siblings. Wow. Self sacrifice for the benefit of someone else. Who is this kid and what has he done with my son?
At times like this I think that perhaps I'm doing something right in this parenting game. Repeated grinding and polishing is revealing a beautiful facet of my son's personality. I'm a very proud and happy mum.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
How does one tactfully let another know that they need to shower/wash their clothes more often? I didn't know how, so I dumped it on our supervisor to deal with. Unfortunately, the situation didn't improve a whole lot even after said coworker got "the talk". I'm glad I don't work with that person anymore - now it's someone else's problem.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
One minor drawback to the culinary experience: as my husband was bringing the pan of chicken manicotti in cream sauce to the table, he tipped it accidentally. At least I hope it was an accident! My shoulder ended up covered in cream sauce - very hot cream sauce - and of course I was wearing a sleeveless top. Lots of cold water and a couple of leaves off my aloe vera plant later, I have a red and tender shoulder but no blisters. On a positive note: I got out of cleaning up the mess because I was cleaning up myself!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
NameThatDisease.com - Test your disease knowledge
At one time I thought I wanted to become a doctor. Two years of biochemistry cured me of that. I did get my B.Sc., but never applied to medical school. I guess I know just enough to be dangerous!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I would like to write about things that make me smile. Many things make me smile - funny things, cute things, stupid things, crazy things. The other day I had to smile when I saw a man at the library, so comfortable there that he had kicked off his shoes and lain down on a couch for a nap (making other patrons around him decidedly UNcomfortable).
I have four kids but this isn't a mommy blog. I work in a library but this isn't a library blog. I have three cats and a dog but this isn't a pet blog. I quilt but this isn't a quilting blog. This is definitely sounding Canadian - I may not be able to define what it IS, but I can define what it's NOT. That makes me smile, too.