Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Quiet day thanks to snow

It snowed for most of the day on Tuesday. I went out briefly before lunch to fetch some food and buy a few items when the snow took a brief break. As I drove back to the hotel, it started to snow again.

It was nice spending some quiet time in my room. I watched a lot of TV, took a nap, ate and drank, and had me time.

I love being on vacation. It's getting cold here, so staying indoors isn't a bad thing.

Monday, December 27, 2021

It's snowing post-Christmas

We didn't get snow on Christmas. Instead, the snow came late on Boxing Day. It's snowing overnight.

I'm not sure whether I'll be going out in the morning later on today. I kind of like that housekeeping doesn't come once a day during this pandemic. It means that I can stay in my room later, watch TV, eat breakfast at a leisurely pace, write, and relax.

My first week of vacation has flown by. I love waking up without an alarm clock going off. I still get up relatively early at around 8 am. I feel that it's the excitement of exploring the Twin Cities that makes me so enthusiastic to wake up early and get on with my day.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Mrs Prindable's apples

For years, I have heard great things about Mrs Prindable's apples. They are special caramel apples with extra toppings that adhere to the caramel.

I decided to buy a box of ten apples. Five were s'mores and the other were triple chocolate. I had them shipped to my hotel because you can't ship produce over the border.

When I checked in to the hotel last Monday, I had a nice man at the front desk get me set up. We both recognized each other from my previous stay. He knew that there was a package for me and would look for it.

The next day, I asked the morning front desk folks about my package. I got it. I was so happy that I ripped open the box when I got back to my room and had an apple. The s'mores was so good. You need a knife to cut through it.

That evening, after returning from being out and about, the man at the front desk and I said hi. He asked about the package and I said that I got it.

A day later, I came back from being out. I had a caramel apple with me and wanted to give it to this man. I found him in the kitchen area, preparing paper bags for guests like me who fetch breakfast and use them.

I thanked him for being him. I remembered returning from a hockey game the last time I was in town. It was snowing. I got to the hotel and he was shovelling snow. I said that most would take that action for granted, but I appreciated it.

He was moved. He said to me that he often can tell whether guests at the hotel are "fake." He said that with me, it was nonexistent and that I have a good heart. It was so kind of him.

On a great note, he loved the caramel apple. It is large and he's still working on it. I'm glad that I brought some joy to someone who deserves it.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Wishing you and yours a happy, safe, and memorable holiday season!

All is well stateside. I have a bunch of stories, but I have unplugged since I got here. I'll try and get back into the swing of things soon.

It's the first time in years since I haven't cooked on Christmas. I decided to order some catering and am looking forward to someone else cooking for me!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

All packed

I am all packed. I fly out tomorrow.

Before I fly out, I need to take an antigen test. Rules have changed where it has to be taken within 24 hours. On my last trip, it was 72 hours. I'm getting this test done tomorrow morning before I head over to the airport.

My setup is different on this trip. I'm carrying a backpack with my laptop and charger instead of my rolling bag. I also and bringing a larger piece of luggage that I've had for nearly two decades. I will be saying goodbye to it (one zipper works out of the whole thing) and getting a new piece of luggage while in the States. I may also buy a smaller rolling bag that fits in the overhead compartment. I love my rolling bag, but it no longer fits up there. The airline has made this compartment a lot smaller now.

Here's hoping that everything goes smoothly!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Booster shot thoughts

My manager and a guy on our team who doesn't do a lot are well over fifty years of age. They are able to book booster shots.

The problem is that they are difficult to book. My manager has an appointment at my local drugstore. He doesn't live near me. His appointment is December 27. The other guy has his on New Year's Eve.

Considering that the province has opened up the appointment floodgates to folks eighteen years of age and older as of next Monday, I doubt that I'll get an appointment until mid- to late-January, if I'm lucky. I don't think that the system is ready for a large number of folks wanting to get booster shots.

Today is my last workday before I go on vacation. I am cautiously optimistic about travelling. My hope is that this advisory causes many to not travel. For folks like me who are taking a risk, but will play it safe while in the States, I hope that it's not too busy.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Travelling when the recommendation is to avoid travel

The recommendation by the Canadian government is to avoid travel outside of Canada. According to a doctor on the news last night, he recommends that folks with travel plans go ahead with them, but exercise caution.

I feel that it's what I want to do. I have been careful during this entire pandemic. Despite rules stateside in my hotel that I could roam around without my mask on if I'm fully vaccinated, I had my mask on in public areas.

Entering a restaurant? Mask on. Huge hockey arena? I wore a mask. The largest mall in the States? I definitely wore a mask.

Booster shots are finally being rolled out to folks 18 years of age and older on Monday. I will need to wait till I return and hope that my being cautious, like I have for month, will serve me well. I doubt that I can get my booster shot before I fly off.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Omicron variant and my upcoming trip

The Omicron variant is threatening the holidays and more. I'm not sure whether it'll affect my travel plans just yet. The good news is that I can change my plane ticket details without a penalty, if required.

Booster shots in Canada are now available for folks fifty years of age and older. I still need to wait for mine. In the meantime, I continue to be cautious, which has always been the case since this pandemic started.

My guess is that capacity limits will be imposed in public places. The Omicron variant seems to be spreading faster in communities than through travel in Canada.

My worst fear is that the border closes between Canada and the United States, and I am in the latter country. Here's hoping that it doesn't happen and I can complete my upcoming trip.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Nose bleed while stateside

While in the States, I did have something odd happen to me. I didn't write a whole lot while away because I wanted to immerse myself in everything. I did want to write about this weirdness, but I didn't want to alarm everyone.

Just before I went to bed, which was a Friday just before 2 am, I had sneezed three times. I am normally not a sneezy person, so that was a sign. I then felt the need to blow my nose. I did. That's when I ended up with a nose bleed.

I don't normally get nose bleeds. The last time I did before this incident was in grade 2. I was standing in line behind two boys in my class. They were fighting. An elbow landed on my nose and it bled. My teacher helped me stop my nose bleed.

So, here I am, trying to pinch where my nostrils are starting, find a can of vodka soda to put on the bridge of my nose and forehead to stop the bleeding, and lean more forward than tilting my head back. After maybe forty minutes, my right nostril stopped bleeding.

Weird. My take is that it was so dry in my room that my nostrils weren't as moisturized as they typically are at home. The sneezing and nose-blowing ended up rupturing a blood vessel. Thus, I had a nose bleed.

I rested for a bit. I then decided to take Friday off as a sick day and sleep in. At this stage, it was just after 3 am when I recovered from my efforts to stop my nose bleed.

I'm glad that it wasn't an epic nose bleed that couldn't be stopped. Thank goodness I kept calm. I didn't drink the vodka soda after that, but I did the following evening.

Later on that day, I got saline spray from the drugstore to moisturize my nostrils. I have been nose bleed-free ever since.

Things are never dull. Sometimes, I prefer dullness!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Good people on a plane

When I flew down to Minneapolis, an older woman sat next to me. She had a tough time finding one part of her seatbelt. I managed to scoop it up between our seats. We ended up chatting here and there throughout our flight.

The sun was shining through the window directly in her face. I asked if she wanted me to draw the small blind down. She liked the sunshine and was okay.

"Do you have family in Minneapolis?" she asked me.
"I used to live in Rochester, just south of it. I'm returning after nearly two years," I replied.
"I'm seeing my son and his family," she shared.
"That's so nice. My mom used to visit me when I lived in Minnesota," I replied.

Towards the end of our flight, I wished her happy times reuniting with her son and grandchildren. It has been ages since anyone has gingerly held my arm as a token of affection. She did just that, which was sweet. She thanked me and was thrilled to finally see them.

Travel seems scary during a pandemic, but there are still stories to tell and good people out there.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Travelling to Minnesota and COVID-19 tests

My trip back to Minnesota was great. I worked remotely and started each workday at 7 am. It was great ending my workday at 3:30 pm. It allowed me to be a tourist.

I may need to write a how-to for Canadians travelling to the States. I needed to get an antigen COVID-19 test to fly into the States. It had to be administered within 72 hours of my departing the country. I got a check-in counter guy at the airport who said that it was 24 hours. He was wrong after consulting with a colleague.

With the recent changes by the US administration, this check-in counter guy is now correct. It's now 24 hours. It means that for my next trip, I'm taking my antigen test hours before I board my flight. It all works out fine. I have booked my appointment.

To get into Canada, I need to do a PCR or molecular COVID-19 test 72 hours before boarding my flight in the US heading back home. I actually did a NAAT test at a local CVS pharmacy. I got to self-administer the test at the drive-thru and drop my swab in a tube in a special box. I got my results in just over a day. It was also free. Had I done a PCR test at the airport, it would have cost me $200 USD.

I am glad that everything worked out. I fly again in over a week, so I'm more comfortable now with the experience that I have gained.

Friday, December 10, 2021

I'm back! I have new panties

Hello! It has been a while.

I returned home on Monday. I have spent a lot of time unpacking, doing laundry, and other post-trip tasks. I did enjoy unplugging to enjoy being in the Twin Cities, but have missed writing here.

Yesterday, I got new panties from my subscription. These panties look comfortable, which I appreciate. 

Here's the back:

On my trip, I wore panties that were uncomfortable. I had bought a six-pack of them, thinking that they would be comfortable. I have worn this brand often, but the comfort level of these panties were horrible. I'm now stuck with them and I don't want to wear them.

I hope that all is well with you. I'll be back posting more often.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Checking in to say hi

Hello, everyone! It has been a few days since I last checked in. All is well.

I am in the States and I am having a great time so far. I have been constantly in motion since Thursday. Luckily, it will be a slower-paced Monday.

I did take in a Minnesota Wild game on Sunday afternoon. The team won. Yay! It was my first time seeing the team win at home.

I hope that you are all doing well. I'll write more soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Dentist, antigen test, and packing

Several hours from now, I'm getting my COVID-19 antigen test done. It's finally hitting me that I'm about to travel.

Packing is going well. I'm nearly done, although I feel like I'll miss something.

My dental appointment went well. My teeth are great. They feel so clean.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

My rolling bag preserved since March 2020

I have a rolling computer bag that has enough room to also be an overnight bag. I haven't used it since early March 2020.

In a few days, I'll be travelling. I took my rolling bag out of hibernation.

It's like time had stood still. I have a few pens in there. They all work. They are there to fill out custom forms and more.

My bag doesn't have any candy or snacks. I was always good at making sure that they were consumed.

It feels both foreign and familiar to rummage through it again. I have missed travelling.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Good weekend and packing

It has been a great weekend. I saw two friends on Saturday and went out on Sunday to fetch a few things.

I'm starting to pack for my trip. I leave on Friday. This week is rather busy, especially with a concert on Thursday night.

It'll be nice to relax a bit once I'm over the border.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Great conversation and dinner

On Friday night, I went out for dinner with a good friend. She was sweet to treat me to dinner. We are also colleagues.

I gave her Christmas gifts early. Next week, I'm travelling. I get back in early December and fly out again in less than two weeks. I didn't think that we could squeeze in another get-together.

It was great chatting with her. I don't normally talk about my ex-hubby or exes in general, but I did, as did she. It was therapeutic and I realized that I am in a good place in my life.

Later on today, I am getting together with a couple of friends that I haven't seen in over a year. I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, November 19, 2021

I'm famous!

I had mentioned a while back that I have a shake named after me at a local cafe. On Monday, I went there to pick up my order after getting my winter tires installed on my car.

There was a woman waiting for her order. She heard one of the owners say my name.

"Is that Cutiebootie as in the shake named after Cutiebootie?" she asked both owners.
"Yes!" they exclaimed.
"I feel so honoured meeting you," she said to me.

I didn't let the fame go to my head... haha!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

My costco trip

I hadn't stepped foot in a Costco store in 1.5 years. I ended it last night.

It didn't feel intimidating going into the store at 5 pm. There weren't a ton of customers and I felt safe.

I had to get contact lens solution. A box contains two bottles and a small travel-sized version, which is perfect for my trip next week. I can't believe that I'll be flying soon!

It was great finally using my voucher, although it took multiple tries to get scanned on my phone. I hadn't used it in a long time. I did save $88!

I got lobster ravioli. I am definitely looking forward to trying it out tomorrow.

A hot dog with a fountain drink is still $1.50. What's different is that you have to pay at the kiosk and then pick up your order at the counter. You no longer approach the counter to pay and get your food.

I have been living under a rock for 1.5 years when it comes to dropping by Costco. I had a great experience getting reacquainted with the store.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021


I haven't been to Costco since April 2020. I have a voucher that I need to use. I'm thinking that dropping by later on today is in order.

I generally go grocery shopping on Wednesdays. Here's hoping that I don't end up buying $200 worth of stuff that I don't need!

While I'm there, I may hit the food court and get something to eat for dinner. It has been ages!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Winter tires and appraisal

When I filed my insurance claim on Saturday, I decided to give uploading photos of my car's damage to an appraiser a try. I was supposed to get a link to upload them within 24 hour. I never got it.

I got my insurance advisor's name and sent him an e-mail. He was kind to not only write to me, but also call me.

He let me know that there are problems with this link. He first offered to get an appraiser to come to my home to inspect my car's damage. He then asked where I wanted to get my car fixed. I had a shop that I worked with in the past. He let me know that it does both appraisals and the actual work.

He arranged to get my claim information to them and I could simply drop by. After getting my winter tires installed, I drove over there.

The man helping me was nice, but not all there. He couldn't find my claim number after we verified it three times. He finally found it in his system.

He then couldn't get the printer to work. His counterpart wasn't wearing a mask when the sign on the door clearly stated that everyone needed a mask. Hmm...

He then asked whether I knew what my deductible was. I said that it was waived because I had reported the incident to the police. He asked me to check with my insurance. I said no. I got that fact from my insurance advisor this morning.

Sure enough, this guy saw the note that my insurance advisor had made on waiving the deductible. Yes, I don't need to do any checking.

Weird. I had a better experience my first time at this shop. Maybe he needed some caffeine.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Sunday thoughts and snow tires

I spent Sunday cooking and relaxing. I savour weekends a lot these days.

Later on today, I get my snow tires installed on my car. It's currently snowing lightly. Perfect timing!

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Hit-and-run bumper scratches

On Friday night, I went out for a drive-thru event. After it was over, I went to order some pizza for dinner.

I parked in a plaza that I hadn't been in over a decade. It was raining and windy at around 8:30 pm. I got my goods and headed back to my car. The rain had stopped.

There was enough light for me to notice that my passenger front bumper had yellow scratches on it. A yellow vehicle must have grazed my car.

On Saturday, I went to file an accident report. It went smoother than I had anticipated. I then went ahead and called my car insurance to create a claim. I am waiting for a link to upload photos of my car's scratches and then find out when I can get my car fixed.

Ah, the joys of a hit-and-run incident. Luckily, I wasn't in the vehicle and this issue can be fixed.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Weekend and a new cafe

Happy weekend!

My ophthalmologist appointment went well. Instead of going in for a follow-up appointment every six months, it's now every eight months. Yay!

There is a new cafe that has replaced my favourite one next door to my ophthalmologist. It has Japanese-style sodas. I got an orange mango soda and it was so good. I will return.

I also got a chocolate croissant. This place is extremely generous with the chocolate filling. Yum!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Ophthalmologist appointment without the cafe next door

I've got an ophthalmologist appointment today. It's weird that this place no longer does reminder calls.

It will feel weird dropping by. My favourite cafe next door closed in late August. There's a bubble tea place, but it opens at noon. I never stay there long enough to drop by.

Thursday, November 11, 2021


I got a frother. I can't wait to use it.

My main reason was to make hot chocolate and have it froth up. It is also great to make omelettes and scrambled eggs.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sore neck, GPS, and social meetings

I have a sore neck. It's only on the left side. I'm not sure what I did. I'm trying to stretch it out.

I pulled out my old GPS. I charged it and updated the maps on it. It's interesting how outdated it looks, but it's reliable. I am happy that it works.

As far as work goes, I finished adding a bunch of content into two documents. I haven't looked at the output because the system that builds our documentation libraries was down.

Things will start to pick up socially. I made plans with three friends to meet up for dinner. Fun!

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Antigen and PCR COVID-19 tests

I am a researcher. I have been researching COVID-19 tests in my area and in Minnesota.

Here's the weird thing. To get over the border and enter the US, Canadians need an antigen test. A test starts at $40, which isn't horrible.

When coming back to Canada, an antigen test is not accepted. Instead, a PCR test is required. The cheapest price that I have seen to get this test done is $199 USD at MSP airport, which is where I'm flying in and out of.

It's not cheap. I am glad that I am staying for over a week at the end of this month to take in two hockey games. Before this pandemic, I would have made two separate trips. If I did the same thing now, just these two PCR tests would cost me the price of a round-trip flight to the Twin Cities. Yikes!

I am hoping that, down the road, PCR tests won't be required. Either Canada will accept an antigen test or possibly drop the test for those who are fully vaccinated.

Monday, November 08, 2021

Weekends need to be longer

Weekends are so short. They are much needed for me to recharge.

I liked the extra hour to sleep in. I felt refreshed.

I would love a three-day weekend all the time.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Daylight saving time - falling back

I like when we fall back an hour. I get to sleep in.

On Saturday, I finally saw Chang-Shi at my local movie theatre. I loved it. It's even more special when I used a voucher and didn't have to pay a thing.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Weekend and a pro

Yay, weekend!

I got an extension on the last-minute work that I couldn't complete by Friday. I'm good not killing myself.

I got a nice request from a fellow colleague to edit his work because he needed "a pro" to help out. I appreciated that compliment.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Ridiculous workload that impacts me and no to a cryptocurrency seminar

It looks like someone dropped the ball at work and I will likely be working more hours to get a rather large update into our software build. Fun.

We have a freeze deadline of Friday to get all our updates in. I won't likely get this new chunk of content in by then, as I have two other documents to get through.

Our team is asking that this freeze date be changed. We'll see what happens. I'm leaving it up to our two project managers, who aren't that swift, so I'm just continuing with my work.

In other fun news, someone followed my social media account and became overly chatty with me. I figured out that she's a part of a cryptocurrency wave. It took her a few days to get to this stage. She isn't that swift, either. She asked me to join her seminar this weekend.

I told her that I wasn't interested. It sounded like this seminar was in person. She's in the States. I am not. I made it perfectly clear that I was in Canada.

No means no. She continued asking if I was coming. I unfollowed her and then blocked her. No.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Health card renewal

I need to get my health card renewed. I can't do it online. I need a new photo.

I plan on getting it done later on today. Here's hoping that the lineup isn't horrendous.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Long nap and later meeting start

I took a long nap after work on Monday. I did so much that I crashed after my workday was over.

Here's hoping that I can sleep well tonight.

Every month, I normally have a ridiculous meeting at 7 am that goes for four hours. Since Daylight Saving Time happened in Europe, and not in Canada, my meeting starts an hour late. So, I start at my usual time of 8 am. Sweet!

Monday, November 01, 2021


On Sunday, I went out to pick up a dessert order. I rarely go out on Sundays, so it felt weird.

I managed to drop by a popcorn store that I haven't visited in over a decade. I was so happy that it's still up and running.

I love popcorn. I bought three large bags. There was a special where you buy two bags and get your third for free.

My popcorn stash should last me another week. 

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Rainbow horn incident

The hairband with rainbow devil horns that I got from the dollar store the other day looks like the following:

You are also seeing my new Chromebook.

Yesterday, I went out wearing a sweater with a built-in cape (it's pretty cool), this hairband, and a comfy pair of joggers. Sadly, I busted the right horn of my hairband, so I was working on reduced devilishness.

I got to my usual tea place. The owners were so great. I indicated that I had busted one of the horns. I had recommended Alien Tape to them to hang up a small rug on the wall. The female owner went to get her Alien Tape and cut a small piece off for me to re-attach the horn. It worked. Yay!

I'll be going out today to do a pickup downtown. I'm be wearing my fixed hairband. I like it.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Luggage check and a rainbow devil

Yay to the weekend!

It has been over 1.5 years since I looked at the contents of my luggage. Since I am travelling in less than a month, I opened it up to check out what I had there.

I'm glad that I am a planner. I ended up placing a travel facial scrubber in there, along with branded hockey team socks for the hockey games that I'll be attending.

I'll be wearing my quick-and-dirty rainbow devil costume later on today. It'll be fun, although it's supposed to rain all day.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Hairband with rainbow horns

I decided to get a hairband that has rainbow horns and some feathery decoration in light of Halloween. I also got a feather boa. Both items cost me $2 at the dollar store.

I haven't dressed up for Halloween for years. I'm actually doing the minimum to enter a raffle on Saturday.

I do like the hairband. It's like I'm channelling energy or something with the rainbow horns.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Touching base through texts and loving my new wifi extender

I like when former co-workers end up being friends with me. One of them texted me yesterday to ask for a reference and to meet up for dinner.

It was perfect timing. She rescued me from a rather boring all-employee meeting.

On a completely different note, I got a wifi extender. I find that my wifi in my basement tends to be spotty. This wifi extender works well. I'm impressed!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Rare Monday night outing

On Monday night, I went out to get a free meal at a cool Mexican-Latin-America eatery. The food was amazing. I'll definitely need to return for more.

The place is owned by a husband-and-wife team. They were so warm and welcoming.

It was raining all night. It felt soothing driving through the rain heading over there and then home.

I did stop to get some bubble tea after eating dinner. It was the perfect way to end my outing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Stop contacting me!

People are interesting creatures. I wish that they wouldn't contact me sometimes.

I have a contact on one social media platform who decided to message me on the weekend. He noticed that a business listing that he had created had changed to something else. I continued checking into said place. He basically said that it looked like I was checking into a government site.

So, what's the purpose of your contacting me? I told him that I was fully aware that I was checking into said location and treating it like the original. He wrote back and said that he knew that, but the new location was further away from where he was.

Buddy, why are you contacting me? If the listing is wrong, go report it. I had already done that, but I didn't want to break the news to him, which I think is what he wanted me to do or was simply clueless.

Folks are not clear with what they are trying to accomplish. Don't complain about it to me. Do something about it yourself.

The diva contacted me about an apparent issue. She inherited part of my workload over two years ago. She still doesn't get it. I couldn't tell whether she didn't understand how document revisions worked or if she didn't understand how to interpret document numbers.

Woman, you have taken over the job for over two years. It was such a basic question where she included our manager that she now looks like she can't comprehend the work that she is tasked to do for a while.

Don't bug me. I've got work to do.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Meatball soup and nail polish colour

On Sunday, I made meatball soup. It turned out well. The recipe is a keeper.

I used a beef-veal mix for the meatballs. I also used a veggie-beef broth mix. So flavourful. I'm glad that I made a large amount of it.

I decided to use nail polish on my nails. During this pandemic, I switched to using clear shellac. I looked at my nail polish collection and kind of missed seeing colour. It's nice to change things up.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

SIM card activations online and notifications are annoying

Yesterday, I bought a new SIM to activate on my old phone for my dad. Trying to activate this physical SIM online with a specific cell phone provider isn't working.

Why does a straightforward procedure tend to be so aggravating. I don't get it.

Chat support is unavailable right now. We'll see if it's available later on today.

Last night, I didn't sleep well. For some reason, my hybrid smartwatch vibrates whenever it disconnects from my phone. It never did that before. I changed the notification setting off. My alarms thankfully still work.

Technology is great and frustrating simultaneously.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Fixing a novice document design issue

When it comes to document design, it's an interest of mine and I'm passionate about it. I think of how useful the document is to the end user when I'm either creating or updating a document.

A few months ago, when I looked at a document that a fellow colleague was working on, she had repeated the service that she was documenting in the title of every page. I asked her why she did that. She told me that her team lead, the diva, told her to.

Ugh. That's poor document design. It's pretty clear that you're in a document talking about the service. Why have it as a prefix for the title of each page that you have? You're taking the user read the same prefix over and over. Is that practical or helpful? No.

Her argument was that it was a best practice from a previous solution that she worked on. Um, no. Your page titles needs to be meaningful, but not monotonous and redundant.

My manager sent her a request to fix this issue in multiple documents. 

I'm such an advocate for the end user. This person wants answers immediately when looking at a document. It's not happening with unnecessary fluff.

My colleague had brought up this issue, but the diva was adamant that she was right. The issue is that the diva doesn't come from a writing background and it shows here. Our colleague does. I do, too.

The other sad thing is that she has been a writer on our team for seven or eight years now. She hasn't caught on.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Pushback from a colleague that rubbed me the wrong way

At work, a couple of months ago, I was given a task to take data from two horrible spreadsheets and create documents out of them. I am doing this task again for our upcoming software release.

I have made it clear that I don't want to be stuck with this task forever. I was given this task because I am normally the one who is good with taking a first stab in designing it and outlining a potential process. 

My manager agreed. He met to with my two peers who have taken over my software release work. He wants them to own this task. I was also in attendance. 

One of them did not like it. He basically asked me what my challenges were. He then said that was the reason for this meeting was that I needed help.

I find that when I handled everything on our team, very few people on my team understood just how much work I did. I have done this grunt work for far too long that I have better things to do. Anyone can do this work. I have earned it. My experience and performance speak volumes.

My manager put his foot down and said that he wants them to own this task because it's considered a part of the release work. It's true. They don't realize that I have been handling another task for years that anyone can do, but I am stuck with that for years. I shouldn't carry the burden of having two such tasks.

It was interesting to see how this guy started to push back on this task and the second task that was discussed. It was fascinating observing him.

I am on my Chromebook. I love it. Such a great purchase.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Posting from my new Chromebook

Yesterday, I got my new Chromebook. Setting it up was easy.

I like the look and its performance so far. The keyboard is noisier than my other laptops, but is comfortable to type on. I'm loving how straightforward everything is.

It's the lightest laptop that I have. It's cool.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Clothes to donate

I spent the last hour going through articles of clothing that I want to donate. Since I started this exercise on the weekend, I have two bags of clothes.

I am happy with my progress. I hope that folks who end up with my donated clothes will enjoy them.

My boss is away from work today. Yay!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Proof of vaccination and antigen tests

Ontario now has a COVID-19 proof of vaccination certificate. I downloaded mine a couple of hours ago.

I was eligible to download it on Saturday, but didn't know about it until yesterday. I like that it clearly lists both my shots. I no longer need to flag my two receipts on my phone. This one works well and comes with a QR code, which I hope works.

I have been researching places to get my COVID-19 rapid antigen shot here. I have read that Shoppers Drug Mart doesn't issue a professional-looking receipt according to some unhappy customers. Although valid for travel to the States, I have heard some horror stores of negative test results being written by hand and don't look professional when presented at the airport.

After doing quite a bit of research, I have found three other drugstores that provide certificates for the same price as SDM. So, I'll give one of them a try next month and will report back with my findings.

I am excited about travelling again. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Wardrobe donations

On Sunday, I spent a bit of time looking at my wardrobe and picking out clothing that I want to donate. It was good. I have two bags of clothing and a couple of pairs of flip flops that I have never worn that will be donated.

I decided to get rid of a blue and white stripped shirt that the ex bought me years ago. I only wore it once. I don't know why I held onto it. I'm glad that I am getting rid of it and hope that someone will love it.

He also bought me a striped cardigan that same day. I still wear it to this day. I like it.

Even though I don't want anything to do with him, there are some gifts from him that I still have and use. They are practical and I like them.

I am continuing the wardrobe purge. The first step yesterday was good.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Visiting a mall and a restaurant after a decade

On Saturday, I visited a shopping mall that I haven't frequented in nearly a decade. It has changed quite a bit.

I used to go to a Vietnamese restaurant located in this mall with co-workers when we all used to work nearby. We all don't work at this company anymore.

I was pleased to learn that this restaurant is still alive and kicking. I went back to get some takeout. I felt the need to support it and find out whether the quality is still there. It is!

The food was delicious. I was relieved and happy.

I will try not to wait another decade to drop by this eatery and mall.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Weekend and a new Chromebook

Yay, weekend!

I like a good deal. For years, I have been interested in getting a Chromebook. I've never found one that is of good quality at a decent price. Out of the blue, I found one on sale for $200. I like the specs. I saved $280. Crazy!

I'm so happy with my purchase. I'm looking forward to receiving it soon.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Half the day off to break

Yesterday, I decided to take half the day off. I was tired and felt like I needed a break. I'm glad that I did.

I slept. I felt much better afterwards.

The good thing about a shorter workweek is that it's over faster. The downside is that folks seem to feel the need to cram more work into the week. Weird!

I managed to book my second trip to the States. I leave in late November and return in early December. I then go back just before Christmas and stay there for three weeks. Yay!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Ordered takeout from the wrong location

I did something odd last night. I ordered takeout with my app, which isn't all that weird. I didn't realize that it defaulted to a place roughly an hour away from where I was. I drove to the closest restaurant where I thought that I had placed my order.

I had already paid for my meal and it was ready. It was too far away for me to pick it up. So, I had to cancel and forfeit my purchase. I was oddly okay with it and hope that someone else orders the same meal.

It was so weird. I normally am pretty careful about location. I'll need to pay more attention next time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Shorter workweek and travel plans

It's a short workweek. I thought that yesterday was Monday, so I'm already messed up!

I am planning to travel at the end of November. I am contemplating making it a work-from-across-the-border trip. I'll take a couple of days off to be a tourist and I'll also have the weekend to continue exploring. It'll be a decent mix as I ease into travel, but not going crazy like I used to.

I see more of my friends travelling these days. I feel more comfortable planning travel myself.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Ending a nice Thanksgiving weekend

My long Thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end. It has been nice.

This year, I was able to get a smaller turkey to roast. Since this pandemic, turkeys have been massive such that I easily had leftovers for over a week. It won't be the case this time.

I am making good use of my leftovers. I like being creative with them and creating new recipes.

To break things up, I went out for a couple of hours. I needed to get bagels, which are perfect to make turkey sandwiches.

Monday, October 11, 2021

My friend's final resting place and Thanksgiving Day

A couple of days ago, it was my friend's birthday. She had passed away in January. It was odd not sending her a message to wish her a happy day.

A few hours ago, her daughter friended me on Facebook. She had shared a photo of her mom's resting place. It actually helped me locate the area and lot where my friend is buried. I managed to find a map of the cemetery and pieced everything together.

I am still contemplating plans to head down to the States in late November. I haven't booked anything yet. I need to plan a few things out. For sure, I'm there in December.

It's Thanksgiving Day. I made a Thanksgiving feast yesterday for my parents and me. I have a decent recipe for leftover pastries that I hope to make later on today.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Weekend and food

It's the weekend. Finally!

Last night, I pre-ordered some chicken pot pie samosas. They sound as yummy as I'm sure they taste. I also pre-ordered some lunch at the same store.

Here's hoping that my turkey-stuffing shopping goes well later on today.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Thanksgiving weekend

It's Thanksgiving weekend coming up. I got the vegetable part of my shopping list done on Wednesday. I have the turkey and stuffing to get on the weekend, and I'm all set to go.

I am looking forward to the longer weekend. I like making Thanksgiving dinner. I also love leftovers.

Happy Friday! I'm so glad that there's one more workday to go.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Rest and working from home

Yesterday, I needed the morning to get some more sleep. One of the nice things about working from home is that I can get away with it when I don't have many meetings to attend.

I woke up at 8 am and didn't feel great. I attended a meeting at 10 am. I went back to bed. I woke up at noon and felt better.

It was perfect. I had meetings at 2 pm and 3 pm and attended those. I was so productive thanks to some rest.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

New panties

My new panties came in the mail. It looks and feels festive.

Here's the front:

The back has this look:

I'm looking forward to wearing them. They feel so soft for lace.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Rummy bears

The other night, I made rummy bears. Yep, they are gummy bears soaked in rum.

My friend noticed my gummy bears loaded tea. It had a few gummies in it. She gave me her recipe to make rummy bears:
  1. Place gummy bears in an air-tight container.
  2. Fill the container with your favourite rum (I used Cruzan coconut rum) such that it barely covers the gummies and stir.
  3. Let them soak overnight.
  4. Take them out of the boozy solution to dry and bounce back to gummy form.
  5. Eat!
They had full coconut rum and fruit flavours. So good! I'm sure that they'd taste good with vodka, too.

My gummies were lower in sugar. They worked out nicely!

Keep out of reach of children, if they last that long... haha!

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Thai restaurant suggestion - success!

Yesterday, I recommended a bunch of eateries to the couple who have named a shake after me at their business. One of the suggestions was a Thai restaurant.

They actually went there for lunch and loved it. It was nice seeing a video of what they had to eat. It was cool that they trusted me.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Skin care

I feel the need to change my skin care routine. My skin looks blotchy. I can't tell if it's due to the sun or aging at this stage.

I admit that I don't moisturize as much as I should. So, I've started doing that more.

One more day to get through and the weekend is here. Yay!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

My favourite cafe just closed for good

Yesterday was my favourite cafe's last business day. It is now closed, but will be opening somewhere else down the road.

I stopped by to get a drink. The man who co-owns the place with his wife made me my usual drink. I will miss the awesome service and their knowing what I want without saying a word.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Early meeting and a nap through the first hour of it

Yesterday, I woke up early for my 7 am meeting that typically lasts for four hours. I managed to sleep through the first hour after I said hello at the start.

It was a productive day. I worked on a PowerPoint presentation that I haven't had a chance to do in weeks.

On a completely different note, my friend and I made plans to get together on Friday night. Yay!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Drinks, beer, and ID

Last Thursday, I dropped by RendezBrews. It's a large outdoor patio in downtown Toronto where you can get different beers from all over Ontario and yummy eats.

I ended up getting two alcoholic drinks. One was a blueberry blonde beer. The other was a raspberry lemon vodka soda. The latter didn't have any sugar in it. Both were refreshing and enjoyable.

I also bought some tom yum wings. They were so delicious.

Ontario has a new rule to show proof of vaccination at restaurants and bars. This one never asked me for it. Instead, it was more concerned about whether I was of legal drinking age. Interesting.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

My mom fell and is on the mend

On Friday morning, at around 6:30 am, my dad called me to say that my mom had fallen down at home. He needed my help to lift her off the floor.

I sleep with earbuds on. Luckily, I also sleep with my hybrid smartwatch on. When he called me, my wrist buzzed and that's how I knew.

I also don't live too far away. I basically went to the washroom, put on presentable clothing, and drove over to their house.

My dad and I managed to lift my mom off the floor and onto her commode. We then rolled her over to the washroom.

She got up to go to the washroom. We have been trying to figure out what happened. She likely lost her footing, slipped, and fell.

She ended up with a bump on her head and a sore back. I asked her whether she had hit her head on the floor or wall. She has no recollection. Maybe she banged it on her walker as she went down. 

On Saturday, she was doing much better. It was quite the scare, but I'm glad that she's on the mend.

Thursday, September 23, 2021


It has been years since I have experienced heartburn. The last time I had it, I was taking pain killers and I had to wean off them to get rid of my heartburn.

This time around, pain killers weren't the issue. It felt like anxiety of some sort, except that I haven't had to worry about anything major as of late.

It was weird, but I had a can of sparking lemonade yesterday and my heartburn went away. Interesting.

Today, my heartburn was minor. I decided to get some antacid while I was out and about. I wish that I could find antacid tablets that don't have any sugar.

I'm happy that my heartburn is on the way out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Crepes and an iced latte

After work today, I went to get some crepes for dinner.

I had the crepe monsieur with ham for my main course:

For dessert, I got a Nutella crepe with sliced strawberries and bananas:

Both crepes were yummy. I also got an iced salted caramel caffe latte. I'm not a regular coffee drinker, but this espresso drink was fantastic!

Mondays should always be crepe days.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Weekend, rapid COVID-19 test, and sleep

Another weekend has come and gone. I slept extremely well last night. I love the cooler weather.

I have been doing more research on travelling to the States. Things are looking better. I simply need to figure out where I can do a COVID-19 rapid test before I leave. Shoppers Drug Mart offers the test, but you have to call the drugstore and ask. It doesn't give any indication when you look up your local drugstore online.

Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Telehealth experience

I did something different this morning. I had my first telehealth experience. My company offers EQ Care as part of its health benefits plan.

For a while, I have not been thrilled with the health care that I've been receiving from my doctor. We have a good rapport. I have liked doing phone calls with her during the pandemic. I don't have to wait at the doctors office for at least two hours.

I don't like her support staff. Everything from telling me to get my health card renewed when the province of Ontario says that it's okay to have an expired one during a pandemic, to another saying that I have to come in for my appointment no matter what, has rubbed me the wrong way.

The catch to doing EQ Care is that you do need your camera turned on. It works rather well through a browser on my phone. I can also download the app.

I had a great experience. I got my prescription renewed and it got sent to my regular pharmacy. A person from my pharmacy called me to say that it would be ready whenever I was free to drop by. Yay!

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Muhammad Ali as a category on Jeopardy! and my dad's boxing idol

I watched my parents watch Jeopardy! on TV the other night. One of the categories was Muhammad Ali.

I had forgotten how much my dad loved him as a boxer. My dad got every single answer in the form of a question correct. It was nice seeing him run the board in the category.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Wine, Pusheen, and joy

Last night, I went out to pick up a couple of bottles of wine that were a perk. I had the nicest chat with the woman who owns the store.

I then went to a mall close by and spent more time that I had anticipated looking at Pusheen and other plushies. I was in heaven. There was so much joy!

I am looking forward to drinking the wine. I was told that the white can be consumed immediately. The red wine will be even better in a couple of months.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Thunderstorms, a weird transaction, and telehealth

It's thunderstorming hard right now. We are under a severe thunderstorm warning. Here's hoping that it's not as bad as it sounds outside.

I noticed earlier yesterday that I have a pending transaction on my credit card that I do not recognize. I can't dispute it because the transaction hasn't gone through my account. It's a bit of a concern.

I am going to try telehealth soon to see if I can renew a prescription online. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Travelling in December and January

The other night, I booked my first flight in over 1.5 years. I am flying to the States just before Christmas. I'm spending three weeks there.

I am hoping that it'll still be safe to travel by then. I am there to attend three hockey games and to pay my respects to my friend.

I am contemplating whether I want to fly in late November. I can see two hockey games and work away from home, but away from home, if you catch my drift. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Supporting two local businesses

On Saturday, a couple of cool things happened to me. Both deal with small local businesses.

For one business, it had a campaign that invited folks to suggest new flavours for teas and shakes that have no to low sugar. I suggested German chocolate cake. The business tested out the flavour suggestions, and names one tea and one shake after the person who suggested it. I now have a German chocolate cake shake named after me. It's on the place's permanent menu starting on Monday.

I am thrilled to bits to have a menu item named after me. 

The second business is closing its store and strictly operating online to save costs. Its last day is today before the store closes down for good. I went there to visit it one last time.

I am a loyal customer. It's to the point where the owner recognizes me when I walk in and knows my name. 

We had a good chat today. I bought a sugar cookie in the past and she asked me whether I enjoyed it. She also showed me a secret project that she's working on. It was lovely to get that inside scoop from her. I am excited for what she will be offering down the road.

Although I'll miss dropping by this store, I am happy that it's still in business and I can continue supporting it.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Voted early at a shopping mall

We've got a federal election coming up this month. Yesterday, after work, I voted early.

In the past, my advance poll was either at a community centre or school. I feel that the pandemic has changed things. The former tends to be used as a vaccination centre these days. School just started for many here and it's in-person, so having the auditorium as a poll with students, teachers, and voters was probably not the best idea, either.

My advance poll, which is also my poll on election day, was at a shopping mall. It was different and deadly. There's nothing like shopping and eating after voting!

I'm glad that I voted. Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, September 10, 2021

A twist with spreadsheet hell

On a good note, I managed to create my documents based on two ugly spreadsheets. I was supposed to get an updated set of spreadsheets.

There's a twist in the plot. The woman who created these spreadsheets has left the company. She didn't bother giving me new ones before she left. How considerate.

Then again, since she did such a poor job with them, I can imagine why she walked away from her job. She probably didn't enjoy doing this work.

Two people are taking over her job for the time being, so it'll be interesting working with them.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Spreadsheet hell

I have been writing two new documents for work. They are based on two spreadsheets that are horribly designed.

This person interchanges the software product's name and the software company's name. On top of that, she has merged a bunch of columns, so it's difficult to comprehend. Ugh!

Finally, this person repeats the same list of software products for every software release that our company does. Yet, the list is supposed to reflect a specific release. Huh? It's such a waste of time going through each software release because the versions rarely change.

I am nearly done with this set of spreadsheets for the previous release. I am expecting a new set this week. I have a feeling that they will look equally horrible because this person hasn't bothered to make her spreadsheets meaningful and useful. Instead, it's a dumping ground for her data.

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

A favourite store is closing, but will still be online

I found out on the weekend that one of my favourite stores is closing its physical store. The owner has opted to do business online instead. It makes sense to cut down on costs.

The sad thing is that I always found it magical to enter her store. I have been a regular customer since the start of this pandemic. I have done curbside pickup to reduce shipping costs. Now that it is operating online, I will have no choice but to shell out for shipping.

I'm thrilled that this store is still going strong. It closes on Sunday. We'll see if I can get down there for one last visit.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Long weekend catching up with friends

This long weekend has been great. I met up with three different friends on three different days. I spent Labour Day at home, resting!

It was great catching up with them. I hadn't seen one of my friends for two years. It was long overdue. It was like no time had elapsed when we chatted.

Thank goodness it's a shorter workweek.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Accidental photo

Hello, everyone! If you have Labour Day off today, enjoy it!

I haven't been writing much this long weekend. I have been catching up with friends and being more outgoing.

I am sharing an accidental photo that I took yesterday. I was attempting to hold my phone and pull up my shorts. I ended up with this photo, which I like. 

It makes me happy.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

SIM cards for stateside travel

I have been looking at SIM cards to use while in the States. In the past, I used Roam Mobility and it was awesome. Sadly, the pandemic caused this company to close for good.

I have found a SIM card that provides unlimited calls and texts for thirty days, along with 5 GB of data. It sounds promising.

Down the road, I'd like to subscribe to Mint Mobility. There is a deal where you pay $15 a month for three months. You lock that price in when you buy in batches. The catch is that I would need to buy a SIM card when I am stateside. I can't get it shipped to Canada.

My plan is to get the first SIM card first. I'll then get the Mint Mobility SIM and use it going forward.

It has been fascinating doing research on details that I didn't have to pay attention to in the past.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Hockey games and travel plans

I am analyzing the hockey games that I have tickets for this upcoming season. They require that I travel down to the Twin Cities. One of the tickets is for the Winter Classic games, which is so exciting because it's outdoors at Target Field. I have never been there.

I have my regular vacation just before Christmas till after New Year's Day. I am considering using some of my 2022 vacation to add an extra week to my vacation. It will allow me to take in three hockey games.

There is also thought about travelling in early October for a longer weekend. I can also try working abroad for a week in late November, so I can catch two games after work.

The good news is that I can fly. I am still a bit concerned about the mask situation in the States. It seems less reinforced than it is in Canada. Even though I am fully vaccinated, I don't know whether it's true for those around me.

I am doing a lot of planning right now. It's exciting to think about travelling again. It will be different.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Compression socks and foot pain

Last week, I bought a pair of compression socks. They are open-toe socks that go past my ankles. I wear one on my right foot before I go to bed because my foot pain happens with that foot only.

Last Saturday, I did a lot of walking downtown. The following day, I could feel my foot pain starting. I put on my compression sock immediately. Between one to two hours later, the pain went away.

It seems to be a great purchase. I'll need to test out my theory some more to determine whether it truly works or if this first experience was a coincidence. I'm hoping that it's the former.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Cooking, baking, and the long weekend ahead

I spent Sunday cooking and baking. I made cornbread muffins, and brussels sprouts with maple syrup and parmesan.

It's the last workweek before Labour Day weekend. I don't have any travel plans, but hope to get together with a friend and pick up a couple of orders.

Here's to a good week ahead!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Thoughts about the in-person Immersive Van Gogh experience

Yesterday, I went to the walk-in version of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit. Between the drive-in and walk-in versions, I like the former better. I felt safer in my car.

I was lining up to get into the exhibit. I woman behind me asked if it was the lineup. Seriously, you can't tell? I turned around and she was a foot away. On top of that lack of physical distancing, she was not wearing a mask. It explains why she couldn't tell that there was a lineup.

The QR code used for contact tracing didn't work for my phone. On the whole, I can typically get one to work, but not this one. I don't know why places don't include the URL with the QR code. I'd be happy to manually enter the URL into my phone's browser.

Instead, I had to fill out a form using a clipboard and pen that weren't sanitized. Ugh.

The experience seeing Van Gogh's works come to life was the same. I stayed there for three iterations and loved it.

You got to sit in circles to take in the artwork. I don't know how staff sanitize the circles on the floor where folks have sat down and touched it. I saw none of that. They also handed out cushions to sit on. I didn't get one and I don't know whether they get sanitized, either.

I miss the drive-thru where I didn't have to deal with or think about these risks.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Weekend and Immersive Van Gogh

The weekend is here. 

Later on today, I'm revisiting the Immersive Van Gogh experience. In early July, I did the drive-in version. I ended up getting free tickets to do the in-person experience once the place reopened. It has!

The downside was that the place never disclosed how to get these free tickets until I sent an e-mail. I had to wait a few days for a response. I finally got a code to use on their site to get my tickets. However, the code was invalid.

So, I had to send another e-mail with a screenshot showing that something was wrong with the code. Sure enough, it was some weird issue on their end. I used this code again after their fix and it worked. yay!

I'm looking forward to this outing in downtown Toronto.

Friday, August 27, 2021

New pillows

The other day, I bought two pillows. I realized that I have been sleeping on the same pillow for a decade and it wasn't supporting my head as well as it used to.

I bought the same pillow style and brand. It's amazing how a decade of making small enhancements to it makes a huge difference. My old pillow did not have trim stitched around the pillow's perimeter, which made the fill inside move about more. My new ones do, which I love.

These pillows also come with pillowcases. I don't remember my old pillow coming with one. I had to buy one separately.

I'm going to replace the flat pillow that I use under my knees with the second new pillow. I am looking forward to analyzing my sleep quality.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Travel planning and thoughts

Planning travel is both exciting and weird. I haven't done it for so long that it feels so unfamiliar, but not really.

I have three NHL hockey games in Minnesota that are close together in December and January. I may do a longer vacation and see all three.

I am still adventurous. I'm doing research to figure out what I need to fly down without a hitch.

I'm optimistic and hopeful. Things are looking up even thought we aren't fully out of this pandemic yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Cutting it close for an early conference call

I had to wake up early yesterday for a 7 am conference call. We had a couple of months off from it, but it's back.

I had two alarms set up. I sleep with earbuds. I typically set my watch that I wear to buzz, but I forgot to.

Luckily, I heard my phone's alarm at 6:53 am. It was enough time to boot up my laptop and sound sort of coherent for the first ten minutes of the call where I needed to speak.

It's never a dull day. The good news was that I ended my day at 3:30 pm. Yay!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Travel plans

I am contemplating travel. If I were to go somewhere, it would be stateside to pay my respects to my friend who passed away earlier this year.

It's not a normal travel goal to have. It is mine, which is normal to me right now.

I can fly to the States. I need to do a COVID-19 test, prove that I have been vaccinated, and take plenty of time to travel.

Part of me is excited. Part of me is not looking forward to the extra overhead associated with travelling during a pandemic.

I haven't decided when I'll head down, but it will be before this year is over. I'm hopeful and optimistic. I'm also overly cautious.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Sleep and hope for next weekend

I slept a lot better last night. I was tired, so my sleep was sound.

My weekend is drawing to an end. Here's hoping that this week is a good one and the weekend arrives for everyone to enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Less sleep than expected

Last night, I woke up at 5:30 pm. It was a weird combination of my being warmer than normal, having my right foot start to stiffen up, and my bladder wanting some relief.

I ended up turning on my fan, even though the air conditioning was on. It has been extremely humid lately, but the humidity must have risen overnight for me to sense it. I also took some potassium for my usual right foot issues and attended to my bladder.

After 1.5 hours of being away, which included placing an order for pair of compression socks to help with circulation, I went back to bed and woke up at 9:30 am. I had roughly five hours of sleep. I tend to be functional with five hours of sleep, but crave more of it.

When I came back from running a bunch of errands, I had dinner and took a nap. It explains why I'm still fairly alert, but I'm ready for bed.

Here's hoping that I sleep better tonight.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

A jerk of a manager

My manager has tendencies of being a jerk. I got to experience it yet again.

On Friday, he was explaining the vision he had about what I was doing. I agreed. He felt that I didn't get what he wanted. Nope, I reassured him three times that we were on the same page.

I don't know what got into him. He said that he wasn't feeling it. I then told him that I was getting frustrated that I had to explain the same thing now more than three times to him and that he was misinterpreting everything. I was so worked up that I truly did not want to be in this meeting.

He does have tendencies of having a one-track mind and not being an attentive listener. A jerk.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Team lunch and expense predicament

Our team get-together was a lot of fun. We spent over three hours eating, drink, and chatting on a hot, humid day on a shaded patio. Eventually, the humidity dropped a bit and it was more comfortable.

The good news is that my corporate credit card worked to pay for our outing, which was nearly $400 
CAD. The downside is that my manager shouldn't have asked me to expense this meal. There's a corporate rule that if the manager is a part of a group activity that needs to be expensed, he needs to file it, and not someone on his team whom he manages.

It opens quite the can of worms to get my money. He doesn't like using e-transfer. I don't want to meet him somewhere to get the funds in cash, hit a bank machine, and deposit them. Ugh.

Anyway, we'll see how diligent the expense folks are in figuring out my expense report.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Fixing my back with my heated car seat

I tweaked my back yesterday. It's amazing how great and flaky my back can be. Depending on how I sit, I'd be either fine or I'd get back pain.

My car is great. I got heated seats that came standard with my car. I used it on my back and it's all good now.

My car is my back saver!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Team lunch and a budget

In a couple of days, I am having a team lunch. I haven't seen many of these folks in person in 1.5 years.

I look forward to seeing most of them. There are a few people that I could do without, but you can't win 'em all!

I had a one-on-one online meeting with my manager yesterday. He asked if I could pay for our entire meal. It was an odd way to make a request without my follow-up question. I asked whether I was to expense it, too. Yes.

Here's where I put my foot down. I don't think it should be my responsibility to put the charge on my personal credit card. Frankly, my manager doesn't have a backbone to charge and expense things himself because it goes to his manager for approval. He'd rather hide that fact and have me do it. I have a budget. This request was unplanned in said budget. I'm not dipping into my emergency fund. It's not an emergency.

I suggested charging it to my corporate credit card. He indicated that he went out with his management team and two people had their corporate credit cards declined.

My thought is that there is a limit for charging expenses on this card for restaurants. I called the credit card company to ask what limit was established. I had to answer eight questions, with some of them being ridiculous, to get an answer to check with my plan administrator.

Not helpful. I tore a strip off this guy. He said that he asks many customers for a verification ID and none of them know what that is. Neither did I. So, why not get rid of that question?

Asking for my work phone number is also ridiculous. I don't call myself. It's a virtual number. Why not ask for my cell phone number first?

Finally, asking for my employee number, when I feel that providing my name, date of birth with the year, my cell phone number, and mailing address are sufficient to verify that I am who I am for a single question about my account. I do not want an interrogation when I call. Posing eight questions is excessive.

Anyway, I had to open a ticket at work to ask what my limit was on restaurant transactions on this corporate credit card. We'll see if I get an answer later on today.

It's painful trying to get an answer to what I believe is a straightforward answer. Things shouldn't be so complicated.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Friends from grade 7 have found love

I found out through a friend that she has found new love. It's nice.

We all know one another. We all met in grade 7. She is dating a guy from our class.

It's interesting how life unfolds. We all got married. We all got divorced. We all carry on.

I am thrilled that they have found each other. They haven't made it official. She quietly shared the news with me. It's saying a lot, for she is like an open book, in general. They are being cautious for the time being, but are definitely together and enjoying being in love.

It's sweet seeing budding love.

Monday, August 16, 2021


On Saturday, I did a lot of driving. It was fun, except for traffic jams. The theme was honey.

I visited a honey farm and learned how to make honey. It was cool. I learned that it's best to hold still when bees are near you. They aren't stingers.

Roughly forty minutes away from the bee farm was a ribfest. I needed to grab lunch, so I got a full rack of ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread. There was so much food that I brought the rest home for another meal.

I then drove to a mead store on a farm that also has beehives. I got two cans of mead and a bottle of apple peach jam.

My last stop was getting a sampler of mac and cheese, iced tea with honey, and cornbread. I then went home.

It was a great day. I was too tired to write anything last night, so here I am writing tonight before I hit the sack.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

White moth visit

On Thursday night, I ran a few errands. I normally go grocery shopping on Wednesdays. This past Wednesday, I headed downtown for Beyond Monet. As a result, I delayed my grocery run till Thursday.

After having completed my errands, I was unlocking the front door to my home when a white moth came over. A white moth generally represents someone deceased who has come to say hi.

I knew immediately that it was my friend who passed away in early January. I have been thinking about her more this past month than usual.

I opened the door and the moth followed me in.

"I miss you," I said out loud, looking right at it.

I then headed indoors. I felt happy seeing a good friend.

Friday, August 13, 2021

The week and Friday

This week has flown by. I am pleased. I simply need to get through Friday and all is well.

I have dinner plans later today. I rarely go out on a Friday night. It's nice that I get to see the world a bit.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Beyond Monet

Yesterday, I dropped by Beyond Monet before its official opening, which is today. I had a wonderful time.

Here are a few highlights:

I'm so glad that I got to go.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Busy event and perks week

This week is shaping up to be a busy, exciting one full of events and perks. Later on today, I'm going to Beyond Monet. It's an immersive experience held a day before its official opening day. I am heading downtown, so it'll be interesting. I haven't been in this particular part of the downtown core in a decade!

I am currently planning my weekend. I'm getting free ice cream and beer in two different cities. I hope to hit a rib festival midway between these two cities. I will be doing lots of driving!

Monday, August 09, 2021

Cooking and the ex

The weekend has come and gone. Why are they so short?!

I spent my Sunday cooking and relaxing. I pan-fried pepperoni. I haven't done that before. It tastes so good. I added it to cheesy angel hair pasta that low in carbs. Yum!

The ex wrote to me. He wants to meet and grab a bite to eat. I am not feeling it.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Saturday outing with a friend

On Saturday, I met up with a good friend for ice cream, a stroll along the main street in a small town, and a late lunch. It was a great day!

I normally come to this town for ice cream. It was nice spending several hours here with great company. 

We ate indoors. It was a great call. Moments later, a thunderstorm rolled into the area. Rain was coming down sideways. Wow!

Friday, August 06, 2021

New red panties

My panties subscription came in themail yesterday. I like them!

Here's the front:

The back is mesh, but extremely comfortable:

I like them!

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Received my replacement phone and sent the defective one back to Google

I sent my defective phone back to Google. I also got my replacement phone on the same day.

On Wednesday, I spent a few hours configuring the phone. I also had to get a screen protector for it. 

Here's hoping that it's a good phone that doesn't die on me.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Day off and the KitKat Chocolatory

I took Tuesday off as a personal day. I got a lot done, from getting my car serviced, to hitting the KitKat Chocolatory.

What's the KitKat Chocolatory? You can make your own KitKat bar. It's pretty cool! I got a voucher to make a free KitKat bar and it was a lot of fun.

I'm still going through the entire experience in my head. It was such an enjoyable day.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

My phone died

I was about to work out last night and my phone fell from a small table to a carpeted floor. It always has a screen protector and a case on.

My Google Pixel 4a 5G didn't make it. The screen kept on flickering and it went black.

I dealt with Google support twice. The first woman was great. The second one was a dud. My phone is less than a year old, so a replacement phone is coming my way.

The crazy thing is that I need to print labels to have my old phone shipped to Google. I no longer have access to anything at the office because we all have been locked out during the pandemic. I have sent my files to a local printing place. I feel that it would be cheaper to pay for these printouts than getting printer ink cartridges on a printer that I haven't used in years.

So much fun! Thank goodness for my trusty Google Pixel 2XL phone. I am thankful that it works.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

New loaded tea place

I found a place roughly ten minutes away by car that has loaded iced teas. They are loaded with vitamins and flavour, and don't have any sugar. Yay!

I had one called the mermaid, which is like an orange blue candy in liquid form. It was so good and huge. It took me the entire day out and about to consume the whole thing.

The weekend has started on a great note.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

New panties

The other day, I got two pairs of panties from a local vendor. Years ago, I got a pair of bamboo briefs for the ex. I never got anything for me.

Recently, this store had an online sale, so I had to take advantage of it.

I got a pair of seamless penguin panties:

Here's the back:

These are the bamboo panties with a roller skates pattern:

Here's the back:

I'm currently wearing the roller skates one. They are comfortable and don't ride up. They stay put, which is awesome!

It's a long weekend here. I took an extra day off, so it's a four-day weekend for me. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Avengers STATION

I went out on Wednesday night. I visited the Avengers STATION experience and had a fabulous time.

I'm soaking the experience all in. It was wonderful and free!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Installing my new licence plate sticker

On Friday, I received my licence plate sticker in the mail. Mine has been expired for a year, but it's considered valid during the pandemic. I finally decided to renew it online.

I didn't do it last year because a colleague of mine had ordered it online in June 2020 and received it in the mail a few months later. I got mine within a week, so things have definitely improved.

On Sunday, I installed the sticker on my car's licence plate. I had to unscrew the protective plastic cover on top of the licence plate, remove the outdated sticker, place the new one on, clean the licence plate, and then screw it and the protective cover back on my car. It was nice, relaxing work for a Sunday.

I'm now waiting for my driver's licence to come in the mail. It will make me feel better to flash a piece of ID that isn't expired, although it is also valid during the pandemic. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Long weekend coming up and asleep during an online meeting

I found out that this weekend is a longer one. Yay! I am thinking about extending it by taking a vacation day next Tuesday.

I didn't sleep all that well last night. I had foot pain thanks to doing more driving than I had anticipated on the weekend. I actually fell asleep during an online meeting on Monday morning and I'm pretty sure that no one noticed!

My foot is much better now. I should be able to sleep better tonight.

Monday, July 26, 2021

My spider plant and an online concert

On Sunday, I went out. It was a rare outing, but I hit a farmers' market to pick up a free plant.

I enjoyed hitting the market. I ended up buying some cool items, such as lemon shortbread and blackcurrant kombucha.

My new plant is a spider plant. I feel like naming it Spike. I have never owned a spider plant in my life until now.

I'm watching a concert online. It's still going and it's nearly 1 am. Thank goodness I'm a night owl.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

A colleague saying hi and sending a virtual hug

On Friday, a colleague whom I haven't chatted with for a few months pinged me on Teams. She said hi, wanted to know that I was good, and sent me a hug from afar. It was so sweet of her.

On the whole, our working relationship has been decent. I've been at this company for nearly eleven years and she was there when I started.

We had some rough waters when she transitioned from a quality assurance team lead to a program manager on my team. She was so stressed out that she took some of that out on me and I wouldn't have it.

Eventually, another colleague took over my role on those two teams as I moved over to reviewing everyone's work on our writing team. When this colleague resigned, I had to step back in and complete the work that she hadn't done. That's when the program manager realized how valuable my contributions were and our working relationship went back to what it was before. I completed everything that the previous person had left behind and the program manager was thankful.

Late last year, she was involved in a serious car crash. My manager let me know about it because he knew that we had worked closely together. I sent her e-mails of encouragement and let her know that I was pulling for her.

It's great when you have a lovely chat with someone on a Friday afternoon. She is doing much better these days, which is wonderful news.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Blind interviewing

I'm conducting an interview with my manager at 8 am later today. Sadly, I don't have any meeting details. I know that I'm interviewing one of two candidates. I don't know which one.

Stellar organization... not!

To make an extremely long story short, the person whom I trained back in late April didn't work out. My manager decided to terminate his contract. We need to fill that position as soon as we can, which means that I'll be training this person.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Lip serum

I am doing fairly well in the giveaway department this month. Last week, I managed to answer a bunch of questions and got a prize. It was sent to me yesterday.

The company makes and sells beauty products. I ended up with an anti-wrinkle lift and plump lip serum. I had no idea that such a product exists until now! Its value is $60. Not too shabby!

I tried it on my lips immediately. It has a subtle cantelope scent that I love. I have full lips already, so we'll see what happens to them over time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Sushi win

On Tuesday, I received a pleasant surprise. I had entered my name into a draw for a chance to win one of ten sushi trays. I won a medium tray of sushi, which consists of sixty pieces of yumminess. Woo hoo!

I am thrilled and am looking forward to trying this eatery's sushi. I have never been to this place. It's a lot of sushi!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Making chili from scratch, but with a kit

On Sunday, I made chili that came in a small kit. It included raw beans that required soaking overnight.

I see why I like buying canned beans to make chili. I don't have to deal with soaking them, simmering them, and then getting to the actual chili-making phase. I went through the whole process and my chili turned out well.

Frankly, I like making my own chili. I can control the sodium in it. I used a chili flavour pack that came with this kit and it had more salt than I was used to.

The chili tasted a lot better a few hours later. I imagine that it will be fabulous later on today. I made a lot and it's so filling. I may change things up and make nachos with some of it.

I have two more weeks before there's a long weekend. I am enjoying not doing as many online Zoom calls. It's so much better to use see the world as safely as possible. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Saying goodbye for now to a friend as she moves to the west coast

Ontario has moved to step 3 of slowly getting out of lockdown. Indoor dining is now available. Yay!

On Saturday, I met up with two friends. One of them is heading to the west coast for graduate school. We decided to meet up before she moves over there.

The restaurant that we chose was by Lake Ontario. It also is one of my favourite eateries. The restaurant does not accept reservations for either indoor or outdoor dining.

We had 1 pm as a meetup time. I got there fifteen minutes early. The hostess was so great. There were many tables available. I went with indoor dining because it was raining outside.

The food was fabulous. I got our friend a parting gift. My other friend got me a belated birthday gift. I felt so bad that I didn't get her a gift for her birthday back in January. I hope to make it up to her by taking her out to dinner.

It was a lovely day. We managed to take photos by the water, with the Toronto skyline as our backdrop.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Renewing one out of three expired items

Last July, my driver's licence, driver's licence plate sticker, and health card all expired. It was the expiration trifecta!

Due to the pandemic, the government of Ontario said that these expired items were still valid until further notice. I decided not to renew online. I thought that, for sure, I needed a new photo for my driver's licence, but wasn't sure about my health card.

The situation is the same a year later. However, the government estimates that there will be huge lineups once these ServiceOntario places reopen to everyone that it recommends that folks renew online.

I just did my renewal for my driver's licence plate sticker online. It felt normal. Part of me didn't do it last year because a colleague did and got his sticker several months later. I believe that our mail system is doing much better these days that it shouldn't take that long.

Maybe when I get paid next, I will see if I can renew the other two items online. It doesn't hurt to try.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Humidity and Starbucks

I didn't sleep as well as I could have last night. It was so humid overnight that I woke up all sweaty. It's still humid outside and I appreciate the air conditioner. It's effective.

My usual Starbucks is a five-minute drive away. As of late, I don't enjoy going there. Staff keep on saying, "So, it's just the iced green tea?" What's up with just? I tore two baristas by telling them to drop it. I don't want to buy anything else and my drink matters to me.

I actually said to one of them, "You aren't just a barista. You are a barista."

I also don't enjoy going there right now because it is out of iced peach green tea.

My third-closest Starbucks is my new favourite place. When I order iced peach green tea, they never ask whether I want lemonade in it. I don't. If I did, I would have specified lemonade. They get it right.

This place also has plenty of iced peach green tea. It's now my go-to cafe for a cold drink on a hot day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Letting go of a colleague

A person that I trained back in April hasn't worked out. He hasn't taken his work seriously, so he is being let go from his contract.

It's a bit sad that a bunch of us have invested so much time to help him out. I trained him for 1.5 hours, starting at 8 am each day for half the day. My friend and colleague, and another colleague, were his co-team leads, and basically handheld him.

This person was being monitored for two weeks, which coincided with my two-week vacation. I got the news officially today that he was being let go when I was asked to take a look at potential candidates to fill this person's position.

It is bittersweet, but it's the right call given how unproductive he has been.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Back to work and my reaction to the jerk's e-cards

My work e-mail inbox had just under 300 messages waiting for me. It took me half the day to get through it.

I also provided support for my colleague who was training a new colleague. It was nice to ease into work.

The ex sent me two e-cards on my birthday over a week ago. The only positive thing that I can think of is that he was on time for a change. I don't understand why he sent me two.

I wanted to ignore them. I wanted to confirm that they were boring. They were. No emotion. Nothing heartfelt on his end.

One of the bucketed greetings indicated that I was "one of the greatest people that [he] knew." It's interesting how hindsight works. The damage has been done.

My reaction to those cards:

I'm okay. Time has certainly help me deal with this jerk.

Monday, July 12, 2021

First day back at work

In a few hours, I head back to work. Vacation is over and I need to pay for all the outings that I did over the past two weeks! It's nice working from home and not commuting.

I will be in a supporting role training a new colleague. I tend to do the training on my team. However, I went on vacation and my manager had no choice but to give that task to my colleague that I have trained twice. He was an intern and returned as a full-time employee in May.

I have a feeling that I'll be going through my inbox for half the day. Here's hoping that it's not a crazy first day back and that my work laptop is operational!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Thoughts about my vacation as it winds down

Today's my last vacation day before I head back to work.

I feel that a two-week vacation is perfect. It's not too long. It's not too short. I feel well-rested and relaxed. It's great.

I am not looking forward to reading and sifting through a bunch of work e-mails. We'll see how crazy all of that is when Monday comes.

In the meantime, I'm listening to some relaxing music before I hit the sack.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Street market eats

I went to another street market location on Friday. I had a great time getting tandoori garlic parmesan wings. They were so good. I washed them down with watermelon lemonade. It was a small bottle, which I appreciated.

This week, I have dropped by two different street markets. Both times, the weather has been gloomy and the rain held off.

I just learned that there's a third street market that opens today. I may hold off on going because I don't want to visit all three in four days and overdo it!

Friday, July 09, 2021

Spending some relaxing time at home

I spent Thursday relaxing at home. It was raining out and I simply didn't feel like doing anything.

It's all good. This staycation has truly been so relaxing.