Canadian cliches

I’ve been speaking with a potential client for a few days this week and he keeps asking me about Canadian cliches… except not about the realistic cliches, about the stupid/silly ones. The problem is, I’m sensing that he really has no idea and he might actually think that we own polar bears as pets. He keeps implying that polar bears are as common as cats and dogs in Canada. He also definitely thinks we eat beaver tails. He also thinks that all Canadians know one another. When I told him there are 37 million people in Canada his response was ‘Holy shit, where you all been hiding all these years?’

He seems like he’s lead an incredibly sheltered life. He was born and raised and has never left where he’s living now, not even for a holiday (from what he tells me). Which, hey… some people lead simple lives and don’t desire globetrotting, I can understand that much. I just… as someone who’s always been curious for information, find it hard to comprehend someone reaching their forties and never asking or trying to learn. I guess it wasn’t a priority to him. He learned what he needed too and left what he didn’t. lol

I just… I always assumed that it was mockery when people made fun of Canadian’s for stupid cliches. It never dawned on me that people might actually believe them. Perhaps that’s my bad. He seems to like his sheltered bubble, so I don’t want to burst it at this stage of his life. On the other hand…?

Groundhog Day

Anyone else feel like every day is exactly the same? Like nothing is every going to change.

There is officially community transmission of the UK variant of COVID 19 here (first place in Canada… another record for us). Up until now all of the cases of the UK variant had been directly traced back to someone who’d been to the UK, or lived with someone who’d been to the UK. 2/3 of the known UK variant cases in Canada are here (another record for us to hold). While there could very well be more, the UK variant requires extra testing of samples collected for COVID testing and they’ve been running the testing on less than 1/4 of collected tests each day. So… we just don’t know, I guess.

What does this mean? I can’t help but feel like we’re exactly where we were a year ago.

There’s a new, more contagious strain of the virus which some people are taking seriously and some people just don’t seem to give a fuck about. It was also January 24th of last year that the first cases of COVID were discovered, and within a week, it had infiltrated four different cities. It’s already in 8 Canadian cities.

Sure, there’s a vaccine. But there’s also 30 million people in this country and only a tentative timeline for everyone to have access to said vaccines by September. By that measure it’s going to be a long eight months ahead of us.

Moral of the story, this is definitely not going away.

Groundhog day will continue.

The Federal Government is hinting at restricting international travel into the country. Since the two variants are already spreading within the country, it’s a little late to that ball game. What do I know, though?

Our Provincial Government doesn’t seem to care about COVID anymore, they’re more worried about picking a fight with Joe Biden. We’re obviously in capable hands. Maybe? Probably not. Certainly not.

My great aunt and uncle’s obituaries appeared in the paper yesterday. They were married for 60 years. They got married when they were 18 and 19 and they were together for 60 years. They passed away just over a week apart.

60 years. Imagine having someone at your side for 60 whole years.

I don’t know. I’m just disappointed with everything right now. There’s no end to any of this in sight. People will continue hosting and going to spreader events and we’ll continue hearing how bad it is and that we need to stay home for everyone’s sake. Then 50% of the population will continue to say ‘Fuck everyone else, I deserve to get sick if I want to get sick’ and the cycle will continue.

It’s groundhog day and I am feeling defeated.

Jim and Pam for life.

I know that I’m about 15 years late to the party but I recently started watching The Office. Jim and Pam are so perfect. I love them. I know it’s a completely fictional story-line but wouldn’t it be wonderful if all love was rainbow and sunshine like their love?

The sarcasm on this show is incredible. I don’t know why it took me this long to actually sit down and watch. It’s not like everyone and their dogs have told me that I need to see it throughout the past 15 years.

I actually left my house and didn’t manage to get anything from my list

I’ve been putting it off going into a store for weeks. While COVID case counts have come down considerably in the city from where they were at the end of December, they’re still much higher then they were last fall. There’s also the new UK and South African variant on the rise, so I’ve basically been ordering everything online.

I actually went into a store today. It took some serious convincing but I did it. I needed washer fluid, cough syrup and conditioner.

I got none of those things.

I did, four months later, get a blanket for my bed. I’ve been looking for a blanket since last fall. We’re half way through winter and I’ve been sleeping under a fleece throw all winter. But I saw it today and I had a gift card that my brother gave me for Christmas and I just bought it. I guess that I got so excited about finding a blanket (albeit halfway through winter) that I forgot about the things I needed and I left.

So, I guess I’m going back tomorrow. Or… in a few more weeks. What’s a few more weeks? Well it’s 2021 and the whole world can change in a few weeks, but I’m not going to think about that right now or I’ll get anxious.

Today was productive. Yup.

I’ll just keep telling myself that.

Letters to Anyone

Never underestimate your power, your potential and your ability to change this world for the better. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the one’s who end up doing so. The people who talk themselves out of it will spend their lives wondering ‘what if’.

If you want to make a difference, do it. If you want to have an impact, do it. So many people believe their circumstance limits them to nothing more than being average or chasing mediocrity, when in reality that mindset alone is their biggest roadblock to leaving a meaningful legacy.

Make a change.

Chase your passions, dreams and desires. Stop underestimating yourself.

Yeah, you heard me, stop underestimating yourself.

Life Lessons from Me

If you have neighbours and like to walk around naked at home, close your blinds.

I caught quite a show from one of my neighbours this morning. It was early so I’m not sure if he just wasn’t entirely awake yet, or if he doesn’t understand that windows work two ways. Whatever the reason…. you do you in your own home, just make sure that you close your blinds first.

So… Jake quit.

Am I surprised? Not really.

Am I glad? Absolutely. Dealing with the man was exhausting. I’m pretty sure that misogyny is his middle name. He clearly did not appreciate having to work with a female. (I was going to add more to this sentence, but the truth is, he just seemed like he didn’t like me because I was female. He also took the liberty of blaming his blunders on his assistant, exclaiming that she was female. I reckon that most of his interactions with females are the same)

I’m exhausted.

Last week he said in an email that I was ‘probably PMSing’ and that’s why I was so particularly hard on him in the meeting we had with my company’s CEO. Firstly, those were all legitimate questions that I asked. Secondly, what a fucking idiot.

Honestly, they had to talk me down last Thursday when I saw that email. Part of me wanted to get on a plane and go visit him just so that I could feel the joy of punching him in the face.

We all thought he was going to quit. We were waiting for him to quit. Yesterday when he “took a stand” and defended his character against my “perilous attacks”, the three of us in the meeting simultaneously thought “what took you so long?”.

What caused him to quit was a surprise to me. Well actually, I guess I’m not really surprised at what caused him to quit when I think back on it. In the moment it seemed like an easy-exit and oooooh boy did he throw a temper tantrum. Jake quit because I asked that he sign a confidential disclosure agreement. I honestly didn’t think it was a lot to ask. He wanted me to provide all of the analytics for my website, my budgets, sales aggregates and administrative views of all of our digital platforms, access to certain clients and a full list of our direct, closest competitors. I wanted him to sign an agreement that said he wasn’t going to take all of the data we provided him to our direct competitor to say ‘Hey, pay me double and I’ll give you their data’.

Jake took my asking him to sign a confidential disclosure agreement as an attack on his character and his business.

Surely I can’t be the first person in his 12 years of business who’s asked for some sort of an agreement to ensure our data and client information is protected?

He was MAAAAAAAAAAD.

I have a two year old nephew and my nephew’s tantrums are easier to deal with than Jake was in that meeting yesterday.

He stomped his foot (actually, he stood up on camera to stomp his foot), he said ‘how dare you’ with great passions and even exclaimed that his twelve years in business, he’s never been so disrespected by a client before me. Which… holla! If asking someone for a totally legitimate legal agreement that he’ll protect confidential information is disrespectful, I’ll take that trophy.

Due diligence is a lot more important to me than hurting his tiny ego.

I don’t know him. And from the interactions we’ve had, I’m not that impressed with his character. How on earth am I supposed to trust that my company’s private data will be protected in his care?

After his tantrum Jake said that he would speak with us in a few hours and promptly ended the call.

About a half hour later he had his assistant send us an email letting us know that he cannot work in partnership with a company that would so boldly call his character and his business into question and for that reason he is terminating our partnership.

Good fucking riddance.

Bye Felicia.

Our CEO wrote him back saying that he’s expecting a full refund by Friday of this week and that if we don’t have it by that time then our lawyers will be in contact.

I officially have ‘Veto Power’ from here forward. I no longer have to deal with Jake, and I’ve been given the green light to leave reviews about his sexist emails and remarks (administrative duties, babysitter and PMSing) online.

To those who were asking why I don’t name/shame him in the stories I share on this blog, I can’t. Well, I could, but I won’t. I can only speak to his shiteous personality, bad attitude and absolutely uncalled-for comments about me because I am female. Sure, I think his business is a scam, but I can’t prove that. If I cannot prove that, I cannot speak to that. The internet is forever and it wouldn’t be right for me to leverage speculation on the internet that could negatively effect his business and the jobs of those who work for him, no matter how much I dislike the man.

I think his business is a scam, yes. I don’t know his business is a scam, though. So he’s just Jake. No last name, no business name. I’ll be leaving appropriate reviews in adequate places that explain his distaste for the female gender. People deserve to know that much.

Anyways, Jake is gone and I am so dang happy about that.

Meeting with Jake in one hour

He sent my boss a really salty email about the fact that he should be able to do his work ‘without a babysitter’ (direct quote, referring to me as a babysitter), but that if we don’t trust him, he will allow us to see the process. It will inevitably take him longer, though. As a result, he will charge us more.

He then said ‘Can’t wait to meet Katie. If she’s anything like Vee, I’m going to be earning a lot more, you know what I’m sayin?’ (Katie is a coworker that I work with a lot)

I’m trying to figure out why this moron is so dense that he just thinks the entire male gender is a part of his ‘broo-ha-ha’ boys club, or if he shoots emails like these into the dark as a test, hoping he’ll get the response he so desires.

If I were a betting woman, I would suggest the majority of his clients are men.

Wish me luck.

Cutting down on food waste

For 2021 one of my goals is to waste less food.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You purchase something from the grocery store and you just don’t get around to eating it on time. It goes stale, or it goes bad and inevitably winds up in the trash.

When I throw out food I feel like I’m throwing cash directly into the garbage. To be quite honest, I’m not a huge fan of doing such. So, one of my main goals for 2021 is to waste less food. I want to eat what I buy and I want to minimize trash made.

Here are some steps I am taking to help combat my own personal food waste:

Only buying what I eat. It sounds more simple then it is. When things are on sale, when things are a good deal, or when I tell myself that I’m boring and I need to ‘change it up’, I often wind up with things in my cart that I don’t want and won’t eat. If it’s not something i eat regularly, I’m not going to buy it on a whim. Odds are, it’ll go bad while I’m deciding whether or not to make it.

Utilizing my freezer. Things like vegetables can be frozen when they’re reaching close to their expiry date. If I don’t make it to those carrots in time, I’m going to freeze them. If I don’t make it to that cole-slaw mixture in time, I’m going to freeze it. If I don’t eat that spinach in time, it’s going in the freezer to. All of these things can then be baked, cooked into fried rice, or put in smoothies.

Using scraps to make broth. Utilizing broth is actually incredibly healthy for you. And, when you have the power to control what goes into it and what doesn’t, you can make it healthier than that you’d find on a store shelf. When I cut the ends off my veggies or take the bones out of my meat, it’s being turned into a broth. Broths can be used for soups and stews, or you can use them as a replacement for water when making rice.

Composting. Composting is something I think everyone should take part in. That’s my own personal bias, but it’s just so easy. If you have a yard, you can compost in your yard. If you live in the city like I do, check google for local composting options. Even if you don’t have a yard, or a composting option, if you have indoor plants, doing something so small as adding your egg-shells to the soil of any potted plants you might have. There’s so much calcium in egg-shells that the shells can help your plants thrive. The neighbourhood that I live has a composting program where we provide all of our compost and they use it ground up in the soil they use for the flowerbeds each year.

Utilizing stale food. This sounds silly at first glance. Truthfully though, there are a lot of ways to utilize something that might be a little too stale for you to just grab and eat as is. For me, if a cereal is stale, I’ll put it in my yogurt. It doesn’t taste stale when you put it in yogurt like you would granola. I have a bad habit of eating half of a protein bar and then leaving the other half until it’s stale. In that case, I’ve realized that I can blend it into little bits and mix it into the muffins I make for myself. Stale chips and pretzels make great coating for chicken.

Speaking of blenders… if you have an immersion blender… like a Vitamix or a Ninja blender… you can actually blend the peels of fruits directly into smoothies. Banana peel or apple peel… the blender is powerful enough to just blend it into the smoothie so that you don’t even know it’s there. Not all blenders are powerful enough to blend in the peels. But, if you have one that is, the added nutrients you’ll get from those peels is worth testing. If you can get past how weird it is to think you’re consuming a banana peel.

Air Fryers make great leftovers. I got an air fryer for a Christmas present last month. One thing I’ve noticed about the air fryer is that it heats leftovers evenly and doesn’t make them rubbery like a microwave can often do. I use my air fryer for a lot of leftovers, and I highly recommend it to anyone who owns an air fryer.,

Not buying single serve food containers from the grocery store. This one isn’t really to do with food waste, more to do with packaging waste. I don’t like those individually wrapped sandwiches or single use packages of side dishes at the grocery store. They’re usually 2-4 times more expensive then if you were to just buy the item individually and make it, and there’s so much packaging. Packaging that, because it’s been holding messy food, likely will never get recycled. I’d rather get bread and ham and lettuce/spinach for $4.00 and make twelve sandwiches than buy one pre-made sandwich that’s $4.99 or more with clunky packaging that goes right into the trash after ten minutes.

I know there are many more ways to cut down on food waste and I know that I’m definitely not perfect. What are some ways that you cook/eat to ensure you use as much of the food as you buy as possible? How do you minimize food waste? And if you don’t already do any steps towards minimizing food waste, do you think it might be something you consider in the future?