Friday, November 30, 2007


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
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?"


For the first time in my life, I've had my eyebrows and eyelashes tinted. Twenty-five years I've spent drawing them on because they're so blonde they're otherwise invisible. Why did I wait this long? I'm happy with the result, obviously, and will likely do this again.

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

First Day

Today was my first official day as a reference assistant. I didn't actually work at the reference (a.k.a. information) desk. I spent my time training at the circulation (a.k.a. checkout) desk, learning the computer system. Why these areas each have two different names, I haven't a clue.

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


I'm baffled by the popularity of tattoos in recent years. When I was in high school twenty (gasp!) years ago, a tattoo was a sign of a low-life, poorly educated near-criminal from the wrong side of the tracks. Just what every upper middle class girl wanted for a boyfriend, but not the kind of guy you'd take home to meet your parents! A girl with a tattoo? Well, that was the kind of girl who was a guaranteed party on your first date, but not worth asking out a second time.

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

How OCD Starts

Overheard as a mother and preschool daughter are walking through the library, past the washrooms on their way to the Program Room for storytime:

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

Action Hero

I'd have preferred a picture of Sean Connery in his prime, but Pierce Brosnan is my second favourite Bond.

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with
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.

James Bond, Agent 007


Lara Croft


Neo, the "One"


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Terminator


Indiana Jones


William Wallace


Batman, the Dark Knight




El Zorro


The Amazing Spider-Man


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Job

After being at my local library for a little over eleven months, I have just received my second promotion. Insert big, cheesy grin here. I am now out of the workroom and in the public eye. Next week I will start my new job at the reference desk. The nice thing about being in the back is not having to deal with the three C's: customers, cash and complaints. The flip side, however, is that it's not mentally stimulating and the job quickly becomes routine.

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

Self Portrait?

Thanks to Dr. Zeus's Forensic Files for this quiz. I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of books. I'm not sure what's funnier - that my score gave me the ranking of The Librarian or that technically I tied between The Librarian and Nanny Ogg!

Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with
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.

The Librarian


Gytha (Nanny) Ogg


Carrot Ironfounderson


Commander Samuel Vimes


Lord Havelock Vetinari






Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax




Cohen The Barbarian


Week 1 Summary

It's been a week without the television and I couldn't be happier. The kids still have their squabbles, but over Lego or skateboards rather than the PS2 or which inane show they want to watch. The boys have spent more time outside playing in the fresh air, getting physical exercise by bike riding, skateboarding, and playing at the nearby park. My daughter has spent more time on her homework rather than rushing through it so she can finish in time to watch her show. Hubby has spent time playing cribbage and Monopoly with the kids instead of sitting beside them on the couch, and he and I have both done more reading.

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

Darned Electronified Contraptions

Yesterday my husband came home with a new computer - a Mac. I'm still not sure exactly why he decided we needed a new computer and why it needed to be a Mac (we've been a devoted PC family until now), but there it is. Thank goodness I had squirreled some money away into our savings account. So, this is my first post from a Mac. I have a lot to learn but I'm getting the hang of things.

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


cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

OK, this REALLY made me smile. Genius? Hah! I know I tend to use polysyllabic words when a monosyllabic one will do, but c'mon - get serious!

I'm Not a Doctor, But I Play One on TV

When our kids were little, my friend's daughter bumped her head hard. Instead of going to a clinic, my friend phoned me. OK, yes, I knew the signs of concussion and that they can be different in toddlers than adults, but I'm not a doctor! Not even close! A B.Sc. is not an MD. She turned out to be fine but I kept repeating to my friend that if she was at all concerned about her daughter, she should take the little one to a clinic and not rely on my opinion.

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

A Gift

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

Diamonds in the Rough

As a parent, I think of my children as diamonds in the rough. It's my job to polish them (knock off the edges) and make them the best they can be so that the rest of the world can recognize and appreciate the many facets of their brilliance. Some kids require more work than others and the beauty may be hidden a little deeper, but it's there to be found if you work hard enough.

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.