Thursday, December 31, 2020

New year's eve

It's new year's eve. It feels odd. I also feel some sense of relief.

I can't wait to get rid of 2020. I am hopeful that 2021 will be better. It's the optimist in me.

I may venture out later today. For now, I'm off to bed.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Free frapp

Yesterday, I ran my errands a day earlier than I typically do. It was such a sunny day that I needed to get some vitamin D. Later on today, we are expecting a mix of snow and rain. I want to simply stay at home and avoid driving in it.

I dropped by my local Starbucks. I am a regular customer. I approached the drive-thru and the barista knew who I was just looking at my car.

When I got to the window to pick up my beverage, she said that she had made an extra drink by accident and wanted to give it to me. She knew that I'd likely want it. She was right. It was a double chocolatey chip creme frappuccino. I thanked her for the free drink.

I have never had one before. I must admit that it was pretty good. It was nice that she thought of me.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Getting hardened fluid from a stress ball off my dresser

Monday was a productive day. I decided to reorganize what's on my dresser. I thought that it would take me an hour. Nope.

I found out that my blue M&M's stress ball had exploded. The clear fluid in the squishy stress ball must have oozed out days ago. It was solid on my dresser, between items.

I learned that the fluid is corn syrup. It's a question of submerging items in warm to hot water to melt the residue away, such as on my hand lotion. Naturally, I can't submerge my entire dresser in water. Instead, I poured some hot-warmish water on the surface and started to chip away at the mess.

Later on today, I'll finish the work. I ran out of elbow grease!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Cooking and week 2 of vacation

I spent Sunday cooking. I like taking leftovers from Christmas and making other yummy meals out of them.

I made turkey stew for lunch and salted caramel French toast for breakfast. I am pleased with how they turned out.

My first week of vacation is over. I have one more week to go. It goes by quickly, but I am enjoying the downtime.

Sunday, December 27, 2020


My Christmas was quiet, but nice. I spent three hours cooking. I spent the rest of the day relaxing.

I roasted a turkey. I love my convection oven. It does a great job crisping the skin and keeping the turkey juicy.

I made mashed potatoes with ghee. It was a first and it turned out nicely.

Stuffing is a must. I no longer stuff the turkey with it. Instead, I make it on the stovetop and it's so much easier. I live for stuffing.

I did something different and made salted caramel quick bread at the same time that the turkey was roasting. It turned out well for my first try. It was nice to have dessert.

I also roasted sweet potatoes. The key is to poke a ton of holes with a fork before they go into the oven, so the sweet potatoes don't explode.

I fed my parents. They seemed to enjoy the food. They took a nap afterwards.

Oddly, I couldn't nap. I slept well last night, though. I'm happy that they had a great meal.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The ex and his boring e-card

The ex decided to send me an e-card on Christmas Day. It was roughly around when I posted yesterday.

I took half a day to finally click the link. It was what I had expected. He wished me a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Boring. It could technically be a form letter.

Months ago, I told him to do me a favour and not contact me. Apparently, e-cards are exempt in his eyes.

The only positive thing is that he was on time sending such a greeting. He's still a jerk.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! For those celebrating, I hope that you have a safe and joyous one with family and friends in your bubble.

Happy holidays! It's snowing, so it feels like Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Groceries and a white Christmas

On Wednesday, I went out to fetch groceries. I needed to get my Christmas dinner ingredients in order.

I actually visited two grocery stores. The first one tends to sell main staples, such as celery, onions, and bananas, at cheap prices. The quality is excellent. The other place had the whole turkey that I needed.

I feel accomplished. I really didn't want to hit the grocery store on Christmas Eve. It'll be crazy and we are also expecting snow. It will be a white Christmas here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

My friend checking into a hospice

My dear friend wrote to me in the wee hours yesterday morning. She was to be air-ambulanced from Houston to a hospice later on that day. She should be there by now.

It is painful that she started her year being able to walk, went for cancer treatment during the summer, and ended up paralyzed a few months later thanks to an aggressive form of Leukemia.

I'm on vacation, but have been reading up on this horrible disease. The thought of losing her is scary and normal. I am trying to be as supportive as I can be.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Profile and business write-ups

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire for an upcoming profile feature that I'll be a part of on Instagram. It's related to the review recognition that I wrote about in my previous post.

The other part of this exercise is to feature five businesses that I love, and write a brief blurb about them, along with including a photo for each of them. I finally got it all done yesterday. It's nice that I can focus on such activities on my vacation.

I don't have anything adventurous to do on my vacation. I'm just taking it a day at a time. It's nice so far.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Recognition for being a reviewer

On Friday, on a review platform, I got recognized for making the top 50 prolific reviewers in North America. There were only two Canadians on the list. I was the highest ranked Canadian on the list.

It was a nice honour. It was weird how I heard about it, though. It was from a fellow reviewer that I didn't know.

I sometimes wonder how some folks find out about such details well before I do. I have a local manager who didn't say a word all weekend. Odd.

Anyway, I'm delighted with the recognition. It was a nice way to kick off my weekend and vacation.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Bittersweet week

My vacation has started. It has been a bittersweet week.

I will write more about a positive recognition that I got on Friday. I'm simply exhausted right now.

Friday, December 18, 2020

My friend's cancer turn for the worst

I got some discouraging news from my friend who has been battling leukemia for several months. I've been bummed about this news since learning about it just after 4 pm on Thursday.

She let me know that her treatment in Houston has failed. The cancer has now spread to her spine and she is paralyzed from the waist down. Radiation hasn't helped shrink her tumour, either.

She will be air-ambulanced back to the Mayo Clinic in my former home of Rochester, MN either today or shortly thereafter. 

It's encouraging news that she will be with family before Christmas. However, this news wasn't what we all wanted or expected.

Her message to me had an ominous tone to it. It's understandable, but I may be reading into it more. She ended it with the following:
"I really enjoyed our friendship. I love you and wished we could have travelled more together!"

I let her know that I treasure our friendship and said that I love her back. She is a dear friend and the thought of losing her is devastating. I continue to pray for her.

I hope that my seeing her in March wasn't my final time. Not being able to see her during a pandemic and with a closed Canada-US border is frustrating.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

With a nice honour come drama

On Thursday, I got acknowledged on a platform that I am one of the top reviewers in my area. I am honoured and shared that news, which a friend had tagged me on, on Instagram.

I have another friend that I have known since we were in grade 8. She basically made a stupid, insensitive, unfounded remark in this chat exchange:

"You eat out a lot," she stated.
"Not really. I do takeout twice a week. Reviews aren't all food."

I proceeded to show the last five reviews that I had completed. Only one was a food review. I didn't have to. I did it to prove a point to her.

I was annoyed at her comment. Why can't she simply say congrats? Why make such a ridiculous, random, unfounded statement? I actually told her that it was a momentous occasion for me and to let me enjoy it.

Her statement can also be construed as targeting my weight. I feel that it's some sort of internal issue that she has. She sees a happy moment that I am soaking up and she can't stand it. She needs to ruin my day by lashing out with a false statement about me.

I do have a number of supportive friends who got me through this drama that I was not expecting. I'm so fortunate.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Others putting themselves in my old shoes

I am not as stressed out at work, mainly because I don't lead our software release work these days. It's a nice change.

However, I am the one who troubleshoots and makes decisions on my team that either no one has thought about or can't come to a conclusion. It's one many reason why I did everything seamlessly.

I also find that my colleagues whine and complain about minor things that I never did. Perhaps I need to join in and see how that feels.

I still feel that they took what I did for granted. Now that they are enduring what I used to do, I feel like there's a quieter respect that they have for me.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Le Creuset fry pans are awesome!

I am going into my last week of work before my two-week vacation. I do need a break.

I recently bought a couple of Le Creuset fry pans. They were on sale. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bought them.

The fry pans are great. I made breakfast in the smaller pan and it's amazing how evenly things cook in it compared to my T-Fal.

They are an investment. I'm so happy with them.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Hot water and a lockdown are back!

The good news is that I have a new hot water heater. It was installed on Friday and I am so pleased to have hot water again!

I enjoyed taking a warm shower on Friday night that I didn't bother writing a post yesterday.

On Monday, York region goes into lockdown. I frankly won't notice much of a difference, other than getting my hair cut on Saturday before said lockdown. I had already scheduled it before the lockdown announcement was made on Friday. Great timing!

I mainly go out to fetch groceries, hit the drug store, and order takeout. These stores will all be available during lockdown.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Broken hot water tank

On Wednesday night, I went downstairs to the basement to do some laundry. There was warm water on the floor. Luckily, I had caught it early. My hot water tank had a leak.

A nice water tank expert came over on Thursday to inspect the tank. I need a new one. He's returning later today to swap my old tank with a new one.

For the last couple of days, I have been using cold water to shower. I was oddly fine washing my hair and showering the first night. A few hours ago, it felt too cold. I did take breaks.

I will say that I like cold showers. I feel so relaxed afterwards, which I wasn't expecting!

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Last early meeting of 2020

Yesterday, I had my final 7 am work meeting for the year. It's the four-hour marathon that I attend every five weeks.

It was an interesting, good meeting. I don't enjoy such an early start, though.

The good thing about such an early start is that I got to end my day at 3:30 pm. I ended up taking a nap and organizing a few items with some storage container that I had recently purchased.

It's good to feel accomplished.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Vacation changes and old phone

Monday went well. A meeting got cancelled. I got two documentation libraries out the door for a release. I felt accomplished.

It's crazy to think that in less than two weeks, I will be on vacation for a couple of weeks. I had thought about doing three weeks of vacation. However, staying at home for such a long run is too long for my liking. Instead, I'll take a week off in January.

My old Google Pixel 2 XL no longer gets Android updates. It's sad, but I still love and use that phone at home daily. It's a nice phablet.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Reviews and talk

I like writing reviews about local businesses. I find it relaxing. I also feel that it helps folks with researching whether a business is worth their wild.

Last week, I received a message from a community manager, inviting me to a forum to discuss how I write reviews. It's pretty cool and it's a nice honour.

This casual talk happens in January. I am looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

A compliment over purple corduroy leggings

A compliment goes a long way, especially when it is unexpected.

On Saturday, I had to stop by a store. Due to the pandemic, only three customers are allowed inside the store. I was waiting outside with roughly five other people.

I managed to get inside the store at long last. I was waiting for my order to be fetched. The man behind me started a conversation with a compliment.

"I love your purple pants," he said.

I had purple corduroy leggings on. I thanked him and said that they screamed my name when I saw them. He said that he wouldn't mind wearing a pair because they are purple and he loves corduroy. He saw them on me and thought that they were cool. I loved his fashion sense. He even said that he would wear them with white sneakers. Yes, a pop of colour goes a long way.

What is cool about these leggings is that they have full front pockets. You don't normally get that with leggings. You often don't get pockets. Sometimes, if they are jeggings, you get a small front pocket and two back pockets. 

He brightened my day. I'm glad that I was able to brighten his with my purple corduroy leggings.

Saturday, December 05, 2020


On Wednesday night, I visited my local post office to pick up some parcels. I was waiting in line. There was a mother-daughter duo ahead of me.

The daughter turned around and looked at me. I looked at her. It's tough to gauge others with masks on.

My hands were a bit full. I still managed to shift whatever I was holding in my left hand over to my right. I waved at her. She waved right back.

Humans are cool, especially young ones.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Being taken for granted and dealing with insensitivity

This post is a rant. Frankly, I am tired of dealing with dealing with people who take me for granted and come across as being insensitive.

At work, I have an incompetent colleague. She decided to join a holiday committee to determine what our entire organization should do this year for our holiday company bash. This committee of four people didn't really come up with ideas, other than to have each department in this organization arrange something.

When it came down to my manager asking her was she would recommend, she caved. Instead, she threw the question at me. I told her that it was a horrible action on her part. In the past, I arranged a number of lunches and outings. Heaven forbid, what happens if I get hit by a bus? Who will be your go-to person for organizing such events? I flat out said in front of my team that I should not be the go-to person. I did offer a suggestion, though. I am not lifting a finger because this team can't arrange a thing.

Idiot. The folks in my department can't think for themselves. We also have an incompetent older guy who, every year, says that he's fine with whatever our team comes up with. He can never make a decision on his own. Ugh.

Then, there's my blog. I write what's on my mind. I'm entitled to. It's my blog.

Don't ask me when I am going to self-spank. My mood dictates when. Not you. I don't customize my blog to suit your needs.

Oh, and if you're reading along and you spot a typo, don't point it out to me. It's rude. I don't point out your grammatical or mechanical issues. Why? Because it's rude. I write blog posts before I go to bed. I find it relaxing and therapeutic. I am not perfect. Let the typos slide and cut me some slack.

I am not at work. My blog is my down time. I didn't ask for you to proofread my blog.

So, you found a typo. Does that make you feel good when you tell me to go find it and time how long it takes me to fix it? Who the hell do you think you are? That post was a perfectly joyous one for me and you decided to rain on my parade. Does that make you feel good, too?

This incident feels just like my manager telling me to report an issue to human resources about a field that only he relied on and no one else. He simply had forgotten to wish me a happy ten-year work anniversary and his actions put a damper on that special milestone. 

How about putting away your negativity so that I can enjoy being happy about something? We are in a pandemic. We need something cheerful. One step further: How about thinking about how insensitive you come across when you have to bring up a minor imperfection? It's not the first time that you have pointed it out, either. Let it slide.

And, don't tell me to go find my typo. I'm not playing your hunt-the-typo game. Good for you for finding it. I hope that your achievement makes you feel accomplished and you can sleep well tonight.

I'm done. Frankly, I shouldn't have to write such a post. However, not everyone gets it, or what the effect of their actions or comments is on others.

Thanks for reading along. I have more cheerful content to write about.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Packaging and waste

Last week, I placed an order for five items. I received four packages with lots of packaging. It's such a waste of materials, among other things.

It makes me shake my head when it comes to how over-packaged things are. I then ordered a cell phone case from Pela. I got one for free and the packaging was minimal. It was quite the contrast.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Panties have arrived!

My bi-monthly shipment of panties has arrived in the mail! My panties subscription brings me so much joy.

This shipment is a bit different. Let's start with the usual. I got this pair of blue panties with white lace trim as part of my subscription:

I love how buttery soft the blue fabric is. The lacy is pretty and the cute bow puts a feminine touch on them. 

Both the front and the back have a cross-cross pattern, which is all elastic: 

I also got the special Christmas edition set. A while back, my post described the naughty and nice set. I ordered it along with my regular subscription.

Here's the cheerful red thong that is the naughty part of the set:

The material is soft and stretchy. I haven't worn a thong in a while. I will give this one a try, as the back fabric feels more comfortable than floss:

I am currently wearing the nice panties. They are so comfortable and I can't remember when I wore a cheerful green pair of panties:

The back has lettering, which I love:

These panties are so much fun. I am aroused thinking about spanking myself in that thong.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Dealing with an ill-informed lab technician

Yesterday, I got my bloodwork done. As expected, it didn't go as smoothly as it should have.

I pulled into the parking lot and called the place from my phone. It's confusing, as you don't enter through the main doors. You go through the side door to the lab. However, the sign says to wait until someone opens the door. I got none of that until seven minutes later.

I finally sat in the lab chair. The technician drawing my blood looked at my Ontario health card and insisted that I get it renewed. Um, no. According to ServiceOntario, expired cards (mine expired in July, which is my birth month) are still valid. ServiceOntario wants to limit the number of folks visiting each location during the pandemic. She continued to tell me to call the Ministry of Health. What?

She went on to explain that her daughter went to a ServiceOntario location to get her card renewed. That action doesn't mean that I need to do the same, to "avoid being charged if labs don't go through on [my] expired card." It's not my problem. It's between the province and the lab. I'm a patient who is informed. What is frustrating is that bloodwork woman should be informed, but isn't.

She wanted to draw blood from my right arm. Again, no. I always have it done on my left, non-dominant arm, which apparently required moving the chair over for her. Getting up caused my hoodie to fall on the floor, which I was not impressed about. I have since laundered it.

It wasn't the nicest start to my morning. To ease my mind, I did call ServiceOntario while driving home from grabbing breakfast out, and spoke to both the health and transportation sectors. My health card, driver's licence, and licence plate stickers are all expired. Both representatives said that I was good using my expired cards and stickers, as they are valid during this pandemic until further notice.

Take that, ill-informed bloodwork woman.