Monday, July 1, 2013

Canada Day Catch Up

Surgery has been rescheduled to September 9th.

Instead of going back to Disneyland next May we're thinking of taking a Disney Cruise. Why? Because while Husband will not go to an amusement park full of kids he's willing to sit on a floating hotel surrounded by kids. Maybe because there they have Adults Only areas. And booze. Mostly the booze I'm sure.

I got a nasty head cold that has temporarily stolen my hearing in my right ear, and partially removed the hearing from my left. This has made watching Dexter very difficult. As well as working. I would say it's a good thing I know ASL, but most people in my life do not. They better start practicing.

Speaking of Dexter - holy shit what a way to end the episode last night!!! "I don't fit Harry's code." How the fuck does Vogel know this shit?? I think Matthews has known all along (same with Doris from the records room!). Maybe it was a group decision to create Dexter as a private vigilante. Or Vogel is another of Harry's ex-lovers. Who knows but I'm telling you this season is gonna be goooood!
They're cutting back my hours at work. This is not good for the aforementioned plan for a Disney vacation next May. I may go back to school next week if I can't get the hours I need. I'm a little happy and a little sad for the idea. The two classes I found are awesome: Medieval Scotland and Intro to Politics. Yet I was still looking forward to having more time away from studying. Finances may not allow for that option though. I'll know more today after a meeting with my manager.

Also for my fellow Canucks: HAPPY MOTHER-LOVING CANADA DAY! It's our birthday and damn it we should be celebrating!! We live in the best nation (in my fully biased opinion) and its okay once a year for us to be a little loud about that!!!


Also can we gather soon to remove the douche-bag Harper? Pretty please? Pretty sure he's trying to undo the awesomeness that is Canada.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Delayed

So I should be in surgery right now, or getting out of it, or preparing for it. Who knows, since they cancelled it! Today I was suppose to confirm my status as mother of one but apparently the hospital didn't have the equipment needed to do the surgery. Surprising since they've known about it for months and they are a fucking hospital! So now I wait while they reschedule me for another date and time. Hopefully not through school or over Christmas.

Instead I'm working. A job I like but I was actually looking forward to a few days off from. And I was anticipating having some pampering from my husband and child - a beautiful role-reversal that never happens!! But since I only have this position for a few more days before I am back to my regularly scheduled position of Front Desk, I suppose I'll get some more time to do what I'm awesome at.

Speaking of which, I've been doing a lot of that lately: stuff I'm awesome at. I'm so loving my break from school and the freedom it's given me to read and do what I want.

Last weekend for example I had two days off in a row (an extremely rare anomaly for me) and a baby free night. So hubs and I grilled some steaks and watched movies Friday night and Saturday did a bunch of laundry and errands before Kendra came home. It was liberating to know I could do all that and not feel guilty for ignoring the pile of reading homework or papers due! It was so nice and beautiful. Like standing on top of a mountain and watching the sunset behind the horizon of an ocean.

Sigh.

I've even been reading for fun. FUN!! I have three new reviews over at the Author's Whore's house, including the newest Dan Brown!! And that isn't even all the books I've read since I finished school - just the ones I've reviewed. I'm actually hoping that I'll put a large dent in my reading list before the end of summer. The only problem I foresee with that goal is I keep adding books to read!

Even though I'm not in school I haven't turned my brain off - except to watch the odd movie, hockey game or Dexter (need to finish season seven soon since season eight starts at the end of June <-- what a beaut of alliteration!). One must never stop learning or asking questions - then search for the answer themselves!

A powerful lesson I'm trying to teach Princess Kendra - but she prefers to look pretty and believe the words of others. Thankfully she's only five and still trainable!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Winds of Change

Two years ago the winds whispered in my ear to go back to school, study my passion and follow my dream to have a degree in history. A dream I have busted my ass to try and complete in three years (instead of the normal four). After two years I have only begun to 'find' myself amongst the dusty tomes of the library and within the challenges of deciphering "popular" history with "real" history.

(I use quotations for real because there is no true history - there is only the deciphered and often misinterpreted version that has trickled down to us. With so much destruction to the historical record its a wonder our world isn't more fucked up than it is. However, this is a topic for another day.)

While I started strong, I soon found myself floundering in the depths of research papers, finals and the difficulty of trying to keep up with readings and lecture notes. I found my once beautiful A average slip to a B by the end of my second year. Yet, I knew this would all be worth it when, after four years (I became extremely realistic before this past Christmas that pushing four years into three was a sure fire way of imploding my grey matter), I would walk across that stage, accept my diploma and make myself feel complete.

Then I went on vacation. After a wonderful holiday in the humid beauty of Anaheim I realized that while my passion will always be history,
my vocational calling is hospitality.

When we were in Anaheim we stayed at a Best Western and for the entire stay I critiqued what could be better, and what I would change. I'm pretty sure it drove Sister crazy with all my comments. Then when I got home I wrote a rather detailed email to the General Manager out
lining what I was satisfied with and what I wasn't (the response was not to my liking and I will not be returning there!).

Even at the Disney parks I was eye-balling the staff and thinking of what the training process must be for the "Cast" (LOVE this title!) and what an absolute joy it must be to work there. I even peeked at their job listings and enviously coveted their current posting for Operations Manager for the Disney Vacation Club, a job I would totally kick ass at! If only I could bring myself to live in the States.

Of course right before we left on vacation I was asked to take an interim role at the hotel I work at in Reservations, a position that I did for five years before being terminated. A role that I could step into like a second skin and do with my eyes closed and make fantastic.

Not to get all egotistical on you but I'm really, really good at it.

Like really good.

Like General Manager's fighting over me.

Like my manager going all ninja when someone tries to poach me for their hotel.

It's a fantastic feeling, and one I've earned (at my previous job I went from part-time agent to Assistant Manager to Manager in a year. I was 25 and rocked that department for four years as the boss!).

Yet I knew it would be short-lived, the position not the feeling. I had hoped that it would run all summer but alas, they have found a replacement and I will once again resume my duties at the Front Desk, another position I am well suited for.

Finding myself absorbed back into the hospitality world full-time (I am giving myself a well-deserved summer holiday from school) I've realized this is home. I belong in this world, doing a job I am perfect at (not to say I don't make mistakes, I do. I just don't make them twice!).

So where does that leave my education? My dreams of crossing that stage and gathering that well-deserved and incredibly expensive degree?

In limbo?

Do I go part time and finish my degree a year or two later than originally planned?

Do I stop and simply study recreationally?

Do I suck it up for two more years, finish school and then pursue my career?

Right now the last one is the path I've chosen. The only reason I've chosen this path is because for me to focus on career and limit school I need a position that 1) pays better and 2) gives flexibility with hours. A position that is non-existent in my life at the moment.

And for me to give up the dream of a degree, the position has to be financially sound and worthy of my skills (okay, there's a little ego in that statement). While I enjoy the front line position I'm working now as part time it's fine, but for a full-time position I'd be wasted.

So for now the winds of change remain in the direction of education over career. But within the next three months anything can change, and anything can be possible.

Who knows maybe I'll even apply for the position with Disney.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baby, Baby, Baby

Every time I look at Facebook it seems like there is a population explosion and another of my friend's is popping out a baby. And with each newborn picture my lady parts start to twinge with baby envy.

A feeling I am working very hard to suppress.

When I found myself pregnant with Kendra I was terrified. I wasn't suppose to have kids and her father, well, he never wanted them. We thought we were the perfect match. Then the damn stick showed two lines!

Instead we found ourselves in roles we never planned for and were sorely unprepared to handle. Five years later we're still challenged but at least now she can wipe her own ass.

Yet after Kendra was born I found myself longing for another baby. I actually liked being pregnant (helped that I lost weight during my pregnancy, never felt healthier and didn't have some of the nasty side effects like morning sickness) and thought two kids would be a nice, they would have someone to grow up and play with. Daddy had other ideas: ONE WAS ENOUGH!

I thought after a year or two I could convince him to change his mind. I quickly realized I'd have better luck getting an elephant in a phone booth than convince him to have Baby #2.

Then I started to see things from his viewpoint.

When Kendra was two and we got involved with swimming and gymnastics I knew that if we'd had a second child she wouldn't have had as many options (her options list now includes yoga, archery and rock climbing to start in the fall!). 

When Kendra got sick and they told us it was probably genetic I realized that if we'd had a second child I might have had to live through that nightmare twice.

When I decided to go back to school I knew that if we'd had a second child it wouldn't have been financially possible.

When I planned our Disney trip (post in progress) I knew it would never have been possible with a younger sibling (hence why my nephew didn't come!).

Now Kendra is five and for me the age gap is too big. My parents spaced me out with my two sisters 8 and 9 years respectively (only four between Jackass and I though). For my younger sister I felt more mother than sister when we were growing up and my youngest sister is a whole generation apart and while I love her dearly we have small squat in common.

So on June 5th I go in to have my tubes clamped. Reducing my changes of giving Kendra a little brother or sister to nil.

Yet...I see those newborn pictures. I see the small fingers and toes, the button noses and angry cries. I see the smile of a thousand stars mixed blissfully with exhaustion on the faces of my friends. I see a small child holding their new sister/brother with all the maturity of their short lives, knowing that they will be responsible to them.

With those brief glimpses I almost wish...

But I will never regret my decision to leave Kendra an only child.

I'll never have to make the choices my parents made in giving something to one child only to take away from another.

I'll never fear that one child is favored over another.

I know my limitations as a mother.

One.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Who Art Thou?

Three months! That's how long it's been since I last wrote. I'd like to say that's strange but the reality of the last two years is this is the new normal. Since going back to school my days of writing anything that isn't graded has been limited. This isn't only because my life looks like this during school:


Copy and pasted (poorly by me) from images I stole from the Internet
 But there have been some internal wiring changes for lil 'ole me. For starters I think I have less tolerance for bullshit than I once did. Most of the posts I've concocted and mentally written were responses to the worlds tragedies and stupidities - although funny in my head I feared I would alienate readers.

I started wondering why on Earth I was worried about whether someone liked my writing or not, it's never been a big deal to me in the past. I've lived the opinion that if someone didn't like me it was their issue, not mine. An opinion I continue to believe in. Yet I feared the response of others if I changed the tone of this blog to dealing with political, religious or social issues instead of just the funny shit my kid did or the lousy student I'm turning out to be.

Then I had an "aha" moment and realized that this is my space, my words and my reality. I can write what I like and what is floating through my brain without a care. If someone does not like my words they are fully capable of clicking the red X in the corner. I can't write for others, I should write for me. I may lose what precious few readers I have, but maybe I'll pick up some new ones. Maybe I'll write and launch this into cyber-space to be read only by me in 10 years when I've forgotten what my life was like.

All of the above is okay and change is necessary.

I've finally matched my blog title to the web address and simplified the format of my tiny corner of the Internet. I will write what is on my mind and hope that the writing is accepted, or at least not vilified, by members of my audience. I'm going to hope that those that know me and have read my work in the past keep an open mind to the changes that I've wrought and worked very hard for these past three years (a tale to be told another day).

It's time to stop being timid and step into the world and use the voice I have. To speak against the things that I find abhorrent, offer solutions and maybe, just maybe, encourage some change to the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

knock, knock...Housekeeping

So I've been absent lately because I've picked up some extra hours at work, but in a new department. Normally I work two days a week as a front desk agent but I needed more hours and they're pretty rigid on the shifts that one can work so I looked at the other departments in the hotel for opportunities and thankfully housekeeping was looking for another warm body that could clean. Now I spend three afternoons a week cleaning up after people and I'mma telling you that people are disgusting!

I've also been thinking that hotel owners are crazy for some of their choices. For example why on this green earth would one choose white linen? Really people! Humans are a leaky species and it's not all clear fluids! White sheets make it very difficult to hide stains that, thanks to some of the leaky fluids the human body can produce, cannot be hidden. The white also fades with time and sometimes became hues of white and grey making it impossible to match up sheets and pillowcases to make it look like those professionally designed photos that one sees on the hotels website. Also duvet covers should be used at all times, not this triple-sheet business!! It's a pain in the arse to triple sheet a bed and causes a great deal of strain on my lower back! Fitted sheets and a duvet cover solve that problem.

Housekeepers are probably the lease recognized of all hotel staff, as well as the least tipped, yet they probably do the hardest work. Once upon a time I took housekeepers for granted and could never understand some of the complaints I would receive. Seriously, how hard is it to clean a room? Well, let me tell you, it's fucking hard! Allow me to demonstrate an average room to be cleaned.

1. Bathroom: remove all the soiled linen and garbage. Spray down the surfaces and allow to sit while you do the rest of the rooms.
2. Bed(s): remove all sheets and pillowcases, even when they still look pristine. Pull mattress forward and lay the first flat sheet. Smooth and tuck in, push the mattress back to the headboard. Lay the second flat sheet, making sure to leave plenty of linen at the top to fold over later. Lay the duvet about 6 inches below the top of the linen. Lay the top sheet to match the second flat sheet. Fold flat sheets over duvet and then fold duvet and sheets to make a pretty border. Tuck all around and make it look like a gift-wrapped bed. Then put new pillowcases on and arrange 3-5 pillow elegantly on the bed and try not to notice how white the sheets are compared to the greying pillowcases.
3. Empty garbage and remove all dirty dishes.
4. Dust and try to dust again, because dust NEVER GOES AWAY! Also don't forget to dust all the pictures, lamps, TV's and headboard.
5. Replenish with clean dishes and fresh coffee supplies (minibar is done by another person later). Also don't forget to check the fridge for leftover foods.
6. Return to the bathroom and wet/dry wipe all surfaces, toilet and tub. Make sure no streaks apparent and all water drops are removed. Replenish towels, cloths and amenities.
7. Remove all cleaning products and vacuum.
8. Quick review of the room and then you move on to the next one.

Each checked out room can take 30-40 minutes depending on the size and messiness. I had one suite take me an hour to clean because the person staying there left so much garbage and 60 water glasses spread out (think Signs and all the water glasses in Mel Gibson's house!).

Thankfully stay over rooms only take about 10-15 mins otherwise a housekeeper with 15 rooms on their list would never finish. See each room should average you about 30 minutes to clean - and if the person treats the room like a hotel room then this is manageable. If the person treats the room like a garbage dump, or their own house, then it takes significantly longer. Even a stay over can take up to 30 minutes (thanks lady who left their shit everywhere, soiled every surface and used every towel!). However these types of rooms are rare.

However housekeepers, like the valet who warms up and pulls around your car in -40 weather, should be tipped as well. They are literally cleaning up after you. Below is a tip guide for the mess you leave behind.

1. Overnighters who leave the room almost untouched - you don't have to tip but if you do $2 is fine.
2. 2-5 night stays who leave the room almost untouched - a departing tip of $10 is good, or $2 a day
3. Overnighters who use everything and leave it piled all over the room - $5
4. 2-5 night stays who use everything EVERYDAY and leave it piled all over - $20 or $4 a day.
5. Those staying longer than 5 days then a weekly tip of $10 is fine - as well as at least one day of Do Not Disturb. Kidding...sort of.

This of course is a guideline that not everyone will follow. Many believe that housekeepers are being paid to clean rooms, valets are paid to pull cars around and servers are paid to serve food/booze therefore a tip is not needed. And of course you're correct. However just as most companies offer a bonus to their employees (usually managers and executives), a nice tip is a great way to show your appreciation for the hard work that those within the hospitality industry provide you.

However, if the service is shitty than by all means keep your money to yourself. Even I don't tip bad service and I've worked this industry for the better part of my life (hospitality and customer service). Yet for our Disney trip (which I will write about soon since it's only 72 sleeps away!) I've budgeted $5 per day tip, as well as $2 extra for each day of linen change for a total of $34. This is because whomever cleans up after us will be cleaning up after two women and two girls. We'll need extra towels!!!

Also - as a teetotaler I was not aware of this but if you leave unopened booze behind this is a GREAT tip for a housekeeper!! Also if you're a housekeeper you never steal the booze of another housekeeper - this is cause for having your eyes gouged out, apparently.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lucky Seven

So me and my Baby Daddy have been together for seven years as of yesterday. It seems very, very strange that we've lasted this long. Not because we don't love/like one another but simply for me the longest relationship before this one lasted three months.

I think it's time for a small confession: I have no idea how a relationship works. None. Zilch. Nada. I've been winging it for the last seven years and so far I suppose it's worked. But allow me some honesty here. I suck at it. HUGELY. Growing up my folks, although individually taught me excellent skills, as a couple they taught me none. Not their fault. They realized early in my life that as a couple didn't work and instead of staying together "for the kids" they did the smart thing and split. Not an easy transition for a four year old, but truthfully their friendship now is worth more to me than years of 'sticking it out' would have. However it left me with a fractured view of a functioning relationship.

As I grew older I ran from relationships. My first 'boyfriend' in junior high lasted one month because the idea of 'us' scared the shit out of me. I did stupid things, like irrational anger over a cold (he was sick and couldn't hang out) to shamelessly flirting with another boy. None of this I'm particularly proud of but it forced a split that truthfully left me feeling free and light as a feather. High school I avoided dating altogether. Oh, don't get me wrong I crushed hard on my best guy friend, but didn't pursue it out of fear of screwing our relationship up.

After high school I found a wonderful thing called "friends with benefits" that allowed me the physical release without any emotional attachment. I had one 'friend' relationship that lasted a few months until he found his special someone and we moved on. Twice more I found myself somehow conned into a relationship and when I realized what was happening I once again became 'that girl'. You know the one, irrational with high expectations of what I want from them and when they can't meet them, well just take a long walk off a short pier, won't ya?!

Painting a lovely picture of myself aren't I? Wonder how I lasted this long with Baby Daddy? Many days I ask myself the same thing. These have not been all blissful years together and there are times that, although we love one another, we don't like each other that much. There are times I find myself being that person I once was and doing things to sabotage our relationship. Some days I think of how much easier my life would be without another person there to have input on what happens in my life. Yet it took me awhile to realize that my life was no longer mine. My pronoun has to be plural.

There are also times when I think that if Little Diva hadn't been our link I would have screwed this up years ago. Not to say we're together for her, but she was the bond that solidified our relationship. You see, he was a "friend with benefits". A situation that eventually led both of us into a position of sheer terror when the stick showed two lines! Yet we've made it work somehow and since then we've been navigating this incredibly strange journey neither one of us predicted for ourselves. It's been bumpy, brutal and sometimes downright impossible, yet we've bypassed those insurmountable hurdles and come out the other side.

With those triumphs I've learned that relationships take work, they take communication and most importantly they take compromise (not a term I'm familiar with!). Somehow in seven years I've been able to move slightly beyond my fears and found that companionship isn't a scary thing, but it isn't easy either.

So, here's to another year ahead of us, dear! Unless one of us buys a shovel!