Sunday, 20 January 2019

Tip: How to Get the Best Table at a Spa

New Friend turning 50 and deserves Fancy Lunch.
Open app to make reservation at Fancy and no tables for 2 at 12:30 available.
No tables at 12, 12:15, 1pm or 1:30.
Reservations for 2 people not available on app.
Tell New to meet me at Fancy anyway, will figure something out.
Get there early.
Do you have a reservation?
No. There were no reservations available but I thought I would try my luck (smile).
Let me see what I can do (no smile).
Server wearing catsuit and mink eyelashes sees me to table and just as other server pulls out chair, a guy comes over and says. She had no reservation.
Mink says Yes but we have this table available.
Other guy says Without a reservation you can sit over here (less desirable part of Fancy restaurant).
Thank you I say. But there was no way to make a reservation because we are two people and the app doesn't take reservations for two.
Guy looks at me like I am dim witted.
That's right he says. The app doesn't take reservations for two. That's why you pick up the phone and call us to reserve your table for two.
Never even occurred to me. App said No and I took No for an answer. No Questions Asked.
Pick up my coat and purse and slink over to less desirable section of restaurant which was still extremely Fancy and had a lovely time.

Couple of weeks later Someone Else is turning 40 and spa day is proposed. E-mail suggests that we book our own spa treatments and meet up after to chill and whatnot.
Open app to make reservation for river rock stone massage and no reservations are available for that day. No herbal wrap facials. No aromatherapy reiki sessions. Everything fully booked.
Oh, hey, I know this one.
Pick up phone and ask for reservation for exact time and date that I want. I say nothing to them about the app or possible lack of available reservations online.
They don't mention it either.
Sure, let me book you right in here, says chirpy voice and e-mail confirmation pings before goodbyes are said.

Soon after that, I miss important 45th birthday party and Friend deserves Fancy Lunch just the two of us.
Call Fancy and ask for hot stone seaweed wrap.
Just kidding.

Things to Remember:
1. Apps are convenient but sometimes they are liars.
2. Alexander Graham Bell went to a lot of trouble to make sure we could get tables for two and sometimes he is under-appreciated.
3. If all your friends have birthdays around the same time, you are going to live like a king briefly and spend the rest of the year at Tim Horton's.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Six Things About What Happened When My First Book Review Was Published

1. Cherry Broken: I have been reading since I cracked open my first Trixie Belden mystery when I was four, but this is my first ever published book review. Click here to read it.

2. Heart Broken: I was so excited for the review to come out but I almost missed it because my beloved (revered, adored) great uncle died in his sleep at the age of 93. Read more about him here.

3. Heart Singing: During that same week, my spectacular niece won the Governor General's Gold Medal for the highest marks in her graduating class of high school. This is unrelated but I have been working this achievement into every conversation because I am blown away.

4. Toronto: We were in Toronto for a basketball tournament and my daughter's team won the Gold. (Also working that into conversations.) While I was there I saw my cousin and while I was telling her about the book review, I realized how much she would like the book because cooking features heavily and she is a Cordon Bleu chef. It's on its way to her right now.

5. New Beginnings: Somewhere in this same week my sister left her old job and is starting a new amazing job which is related to the book review because my sister also reads books, also cooks a lot and the narrator of the book has a sister (I think she has two sisters, but all you really need is one).

6. Book Submitted: At the end of this very week (yesterday) I completed my own book and sent the first draft to the publisher. Chances are by next year at this time, someone will write their very first book review about my book. And post six things about it on their blog.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Deep. Dive. Into. What.

Problem Statement:  Going on vacation and have decided to be screen free for a week. This includes no kindle or iPad.

Acknowledgement: This is not a real problem.

My sister: Calls non-problems like these champagne problems.

Justification of Pressure: If pick a dud, will not be able to download something else.

Opinions: Brought this up with fellow writer yesterday who said: "I went screen-free for three weeks last summer and it was wonderful. I spent six months curating the most interesting list of..."

Oh: Leaving shortly and so far curation strategy has been wandering from bookshelf to bookshelf to see if there are any books lying around that I haven't read and that don't weigh a lot.

Roasted: "That isn't going to work," said fellow writer. "You need to take a deep dive."

Problem Statement #2 (Acknowledgment implied):  Deep Dive Into What.

Crime Books Would be Perfect for this But: If I'm going to deep dive into anything, it really should be non-fiction because I got to keep my head in the game (first draft of new book due Jan 15).

Also: Crime books weigh a ton.

Other Things That Swirled Around in My Head: Am listening to James Patterson Masterclass where he says that it's interesting to combine things from all different parts of your life and that's how you come up with the best plots. Before that, I listened to Malcolm Gladwell who says that Janet Malcolm is a writer's writer and that she takes deep dives into her topics and that he never understood why she is not a huge commercial success.

Doing the Math: James Patterson's advice to combine a bunch of thoughts (Fellow Writer's suggestion to deep dive + Malcolm Gladwell's recommendation for an author that deep dives) - Crime/Suspense/Thrillers = Problem Solved.

In Case You're Confused: Which means between inter-library loan and amazon I now have six books by Janet Malcolm in my hot little hands.

Also: Deep diving on vacation can mean different things to different people.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

This Was Supposed To Be An Obituary

This Blog nearly died a tragic death today but CPR was administered by four local bloggers and a vat of tzaziki.
Blog was seen gasping for air and clutching a souvlaki pita until Blogger 1 stepped in and said “I will not let you perish!”
Amy Fish, writer of the Blog attempted to defend herself with the statement “I haven’t written a word since May, I honestly thought she had passed away peacefully.”
Onlookers believe that Fish has committed herself to a book and  has not devoted enough time and sunshine to the Blog. “I heard Amy got a book deal from New World Library in, California
said an onlooker who asked that her name not be used. 
Fish confirmed that she does have a book coming out November 2019  “I Wanted Fries With That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need”, but she added “that’s not why I left the Blog behind, is anyone finishing that Greek Salad?”
Local bloggers convinced Amy that the Blog was worth saving, even if she only contributes sporadically. They also suggested she skip the onions next lunch.
“What if you have something to say and the Blog is gone?” Insisted Blogger 2 quite loudly. “Then you won’t have a platform!”

The Blog was last seen passing out breath freshener and sticks of mint gum. 

She is grateful to be alive and thanks all the local Bloggers for their CPR, TLC and SEO.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Put Away Your Grapefruit Scented Bath Bombs and Your White Chocolate Kitkats

Here's what I want for Mother's Day this year:

I want you to talk to your kids about sex.

Reasons Why This Is Important:
1. Sex can be complicated and can get kids into trouble
2. If your kids get into trouble it will eventually become your problem
3. Lots of sex related issues are preventable with information
4. You have the information that can help your kids

Reasons This May Not Pertain To You:
1. Your kids are too old
2. Your kids are too young
3. You do not have kids

What To Do In Those Situations
1. Skip over today's blog and we'll catch you next time. Thanks for showing up.

Amount of People Who Have Told Me They Don't Have to Talk About Sex With Their Kids Because Their Kids Aren't Having Sex

  1. Too many to count
Amount of People Who I Think Are Dreaming in Technicolour May Be Underestimating Their Kids' Sexual Knowledge and Involvement
  1. 100%
Risk of Talking About Sex With Your Kids Even If They Are Not Currently Engaging
  1. Zero risk. Information is always a good thing.

Suggested Sex Topics for Discussion With Examples

1. Condoms.

  • Idea for how to bring up the topic: Let's say your kid is older and going away for the summer. Bring packing list into room and say: "Condoms. Is that something I'm getting you or something you're getting yourself?" 
  • Supportive comments might include: "If you don't use a condom and get an STD your junk will burn and drip until you wish you were never born." Or, "Do you know where they need to swab to confirm an STD?" Then, shudder visibly for extra effect.
2.  Morning After Pill
  • Depending on where you live this could have varying levels of complexity. Know the laws.
  • Your kids should be aware that this exists and is designed for situations where condom breaks or where you accidentally forget to use one. They should know where to get it.
  • Supportive comments might include: "You don't have to tell me all the gory details but if you or any of your friends need the Morning After Pill and you can't get it on your own I can help you."
3. No.
  • You are allowed to say no to sex. There is a video with tea that you might want to watch with them here.
  • Or you can text it to them and tell them to watch it.
  • You may want to quiz your kids on this topic for example: "What if you are in the middle of hooking up and you change your mind?" And the reverse: "What if someone changes their mind on you? Are they allowed?" 
  • Supportive comments might include: "It's your body and you can say No any time. If you ever need me to come and get you, call me. I won't ask any questions."
4. Sex at Parties
  • If you hook up or fool around or have sex with someone you only kinda know at a party, you are taking the following risks:
    • The person might tell everyone your private business and you might be embarrassed (this includes taking potentially embarrassing pictures of you while you aren't paying attention and posting them even if you don't want them to)
    • If you are a boy and have sex with a girl and she gets pregnant it's up to her whether or not she wants to continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby and THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
    • If you are hooking up with someone who is drunk and therefore can't consent to sex you might GET ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
  • Your kids need to know that this is risky
  • Supportive questions might include: "If you get into trouble at a party, do you know how to get out of it?" "What if one of your friends needs help? Do you have a code or something so that you can call each other?" 
5. Heteronormativity
  • This means acting like girls will only like boys and boys will only like girls. In fact, there is tons of variability here and there is really no reason to assume that your children will be heterosexual, cis gendered or binary. If you don't know what I'm talking about ask your kids.
  • Therefore, when talking about dating and sex with them you may want to consider avoiding pronouns or using he or she or they. I personally get tripped up with they so unless someone asks me I find it easier to be vague. 
  • So here's an example. Instead of saying "Were there any cute boys at the party?" you may want to say "Anyone worth discussing at the party?" 
  • Or, if discussing sleepover rules, instead of saying "You can't have girls sleep over", you may want to say "No sleepovers with people you are dating."
Complaint Tie-Ins
  1. Many of us have complaints/issues re Mother's Day so I thought I'd create a diversion
  2. This is the one day a year where your children are not allowed to complain about how annoying/embarrassing you are so I thought you could use this time wisely
  3. Rather than complain about the gifts I want like for example clean your rooms please and am not getting, I thought I would ask for a gift from you.
  4. And, in case you haven't figured it out yet, this post is actually my Mother's Day present to you! 
Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Civil Servant Job Security

(Click here to read yesterday's post so that this story makes sense)

Birth certificate, eligibility document, daughter T and I go to her new school for tour and registration.

Emerge two hours later with lots of information, excitement and long list of errands to complete.

Take a wrong turn and accidentally end up at Amy Schumer's new movie.

Turn phones off.

Emerge two hours later feeling pretty. 

Turn phones back on and have multiple messages, an insta DM  and a snapchat all from son G.

He is looking for his birth certificate.

(That's hilarious. He read my blog.)

He also needs his citizenship.

(Oh. Not joking. And clearly hasn't read it.)

He is finna (fixing to) get his SIN number (like SSN but Canadian) which he had and lost. He went to get another copy of his SIN number and the government office people said he needs his birth certificate and his citizenship even though he already registered for a SIN and it is in the government office computer. 

He came back home to get his birth certificate and citizenship and couldn't find them. I didn't answer my phone because I was laughing my head off in a suburban movieplex  in an important meeting. His stress did not de-escalate.

Potential new job calls and tells him they need his SIN by 4pm. Government office closes at 4pm. It is now 3:17.

Again, stress level not shrinking as clock ticks.

Luckily I know exactly where the documents are because I had them in my hand yesterday.

I tell him to look in gray folder on my desk.

He says it's not there.

I tell him to look in gray folder in my drawer.

He says it's not there.

G says. I just found a gray folder. The only thing in it is T's birth certificate.

That can't be possible. T's birth certificate, second copy and third extra copy are all in folder with me.

(If there's a fourth copy I don't want to know about it now).

I suggest FaceTime.

He hangs up.

Calls his girlfriend.

She says. No problem. I read your mother's blog. It says your documents are in a pink folder.

Oh hey G says. Here is my birth certificate. In a purple folder. Don't believe the blog. Mom makes everything up.

Lessons Learned:
1. You wonder why there are such long lines at government offices. Now you know.
2. Rules of Creative Non-Fiction include merging characters, timelines and locations but substituting pink for purple could actually cause a problem.
3. Turning off your phone in movies not only prevents disturbing your neighbours but actually prevents you from being disturbed as well.