Friday, August 31, 2012

"Really North of Wiarton and There's No Checkerboard in Sight"

So there's this blog called Just North of Wiarton and East of the Checkerboard and it's run by this lovely lady whose name I don't know because she hasn't posted it, so I'll just call her Checkerboard. Every day Checkerboard records the events of her life with gazillions of photos which is great because, unlike me, Checkerboard has an interesting life. She also has SO much energy that I swear she has a closet full of Red Bull, sneaks in there, guzzles it by the case and burps gaseous globules of meth-like and enthusiastic zip. Not that I'm making fun of Checkerboard. Well, not on purpose anyway. I do love her blog and visit it every chance I get. Still, I can't help but envy the cool stuff she does every single day. I thought, man, if I recorded the details of my day, it would bore everyone to death. To prove the mundane-ness of my existence, yesterday I took my camera everywhere I went and recorded the day for posterity. Yes, yes, yes, it's BORING. If you want real action, go visit Checkerboard. (LOVE YOU CHECKERBOARD!) Meanwhile, in pic number one, that's my Travelocity garden gnome saying farewell as I head to the Jeep to begin the work day. I actually went to take his picture and realized the camera battery was still in the charger, so back into the house I went, car keys floundering in the lock, hissing under my breath about my complete lack of foresight and thinking there was no way Checkerboard would do something like that. Meantime, Travelocity Gnome sat there, trying to be patient, while Karsh here fumbled around with the camera. No wonder the little man in the red hat travels. Can only stand our incompetence for so long at a time.

8:50 a.m. Jeep's thermometer says 15 degrees Celsius. That's 59 F in case you're not up on your Metric equivalency. (I'm not. I had someone google it for me.) Either way, it's fricking chilly for an August morning.

8:51 a.m. "Our"  bridge. My favourite part of coming or going, crossing this bridge. The guy in the car gives me a funny look. Probably thinks I'm with the FBI. Which I totally am. (Fat. Bald. Ignorant. Yup.)

8:52. I stop on the bridge, blocking all traffic, to take a photo of the river. Look! Red leaves! Fall's coming! So is a big guy in a pick-truck, ready to punch my lights out for being in his way! Gotta go!

8:52 In the kerfuffle my sunglasses are knocked to the floor, right next to my pink flip-flops and my lizard green toenails. It looked good in the bottle but the green makes me look like a corpse. I catch glimpses of it sometimes and it scares the crap outta me. Dave says it's like sleeping with The Walking Dead.

9 a.m. and not a minute later, I swear. Late? Who me? Pffft.... This is the front of my work, where the important people park. People who are "on time." (Keeners.)

9 a.m. The back entrance, for people like me. The garbage bins and pallets are nice decorative touches. As is the butt bucket under the picnic table, which you can't see from this angle. One summer we had a problem with raccoons getting stuck in the garbage. We made little raccoon ladders and put them in the bins and watched them climb in and out. It was the BEST summer ever!

9:02 a.m. OMG! DOUGNUTS! Somebody bought doughnuts from the World Famous Gravenhurst Bakery and put them on MY DESK! They're not just for me, of course, but my corner is in a central location, close to the door. My co-workers call me the Wal-Mart Greeter because everybody wanders by. It's a natural place for food placement. The plastic container has my lunch. Leftoever farfalle. Nom nom.

9:0-something a.m. Who cares what time it is! I'm focused on doughnuts! These aren't your everyday run of the mill doughnut shop chunks of lard. Oh no. These. Are. Choice. From a local bakery that makes the most phenomal stuff. I try to avoid it like the plague or I'd be the size of the Goodyear blimp. Gawd, I'd  be a happy blimp, though.

9:05 a.m. Signing in! (I should totally be a hand model.)

9:10 a.m. This is Cathy Black, who bought the doughnuts. While camera-shy, Cathy is the Greatest Woman on the Planet, second only to whoever the next person is who plies the office with food.

9:15 a.m. That is MY fat-free french vanilla coffee creamer. MINE! I don't mind if you ASK me to use it but don't just TAKE it and leave nothing left in the bottle except for VAPOURS. I put this sign on it the other day and hope the culprits will get the subtle message. One of my colleagues saw it, laughed and said he was going to write on it: "I spit in it, too." HAHAHAHAHA! (Good thing he didn't say 'shit.')

9:something. Coffee: make, drink, repeat.

As a direct result of expensive Pike Point Keurig coffee, the mid-morning pee break: OBVIOUSLY I hung this roll of toilet paper in the ladies washroom. I say "obviously" because you will notice it is hung the correct way. Unfortunately there are many deluded people in this world who have swallowed the Toilet Kool-Aid and insist the toity wipes be hung incorrectly.

Every workplace kitchen has its slobs. I am not one of them. I have done more work dishes in my time than the kitchen staff at Le Sizzler. Even these tactful signs don't seem to motivate the office slobinos. (I bet they're the ones who steal my coffee creamer.)

The inside of the Gravenhurst doughnut. Go ahead, drool. I did.  I'm sure this sweet whipped cream delight has absolutely nothing to do with the tremendous weight gain I've been experiencing lately. In fact, I'm positive carrots are to blame. I hear they're full of sugar. Nasty buggers, carrots are.

My son once said that all adults talk about, when children aren't around, is pie. He's actually right. Especially when someone like Salesman Rick brings in a homemade-ish pie from the Minett Bakery. Peach and raspberry, I think it was. I took a photo but I didn't actually get a slice. Ya gotta be quick around here. Somebody sent and e-mail around the offices yodelling the renowned Battlecry of the Refoodlic: "There's PIE in the kitchen!" One of the guys in a sister office, an hour's drive away, sent back a message saying he would like a slice e-mailed to him. That prompted Supervisor Gail to take a photo of our deliciousosities and ship the pic his way.

The guy said it tasted like plastic .... does this look like plastic to you?

By now you're probably wondering if I do any work. Well yes, occasionally. When the doughnut-eating, coffee-drinking festivities ground down to a sugar-and-carb-laced-low, I got to the business at hand which, on this day, was making real estate ads. I pretty much did this for eight hours straight. Oh, I designed the front pages of the Bracebridge and Gravenhurst Weekenders, too. But then I did more real estate ads. (This is just as exciting as it looks.)

My Betty Boop candy lip gloss was a gift from the editor of the local papers, Pamela Steel, who is also the fiercely talented author of SEVERAL bestselling cookbooks. She is one of the coolest people I know. And she gave me this. Don't you wish you had a friend like Pamela?

My iPod and the front of the Weekender. Yes, it's pink. All things should be pink.

Jason, who sits across from me, rants every once in a while about bad drivers and Apple computers. Today he was rantier than usual so I took his picture. Look at his angry little yellow head. I'd be be angry too if I had such a little yellow head.

Hey, now this is cool! That's my column laid out in the Weekender, ready to go to the printer and dazzle the world! The good news is I haven't got any angry letters to the editor lately. The bad news is they're not paying me yet.

5 p.m. and it's time to go home! There goes my pointy little modelling finger moving my magnet to the "out" side of the in/out board. Naturally the "out" position is my favourite.

Holy doodles it got hot out! That's a big temperature difference since this morning! Who cares! It's time to go home!

There's the bridge! I'm almost there!

Time to check the mail. I wonder what Rembrandt painted this beautiful mailbox?

Ooooh! A letter from Google! It must be a big fat cheque from everybody clicking on my ads! (Wot? It's junk mail? Rats.)

I open the front door and Misty the Wonderdog rushes out to greet me! She's all happy until she sees the camera in front of my face, then she thinks I'm a dog serial killer. She hasn't peed since 8:45 a.m. I could NOT hold my bladder for eight hours. Could you?

We're in a rush tonight because I have Writer's Group and Dave is fixing a guy's car, so we decide to head into town for a bite to eat. The plan is after we stuff our faces at A & W, I'll go north to Group and Dave will go back to the garage, so we take separate vehicles. That's him following me on his super cool motorcycle. He is such a stud-muffin.

Oh gawd, I'm getting bored with all these photos. I can't even imagine how bored YOU are. So I'll rush through the rest. This is Dave getting off his bike.

A & W. Love the Papaburgers. Hate the onion rings. Why do you make such sucky onion rings, A & W? Why?

Can't go to Writer's Group without a Timmy's! (How Canadian is this picture? Timmy's coffee, Canadian Tire money and a bunch of loose Canadian change?) Sorry my console is a mess... I wasn't expecting company. Besides, Dave was the one who spilled the coffee. Even though he doesn't drink coffee. Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking with it...

Meet the girls!!!! These are three of the most rockinest writers you will ever want to meet. That's Linda McLean, Dawn Huddlestone and Paula Boon. (Mizz Sasha Pringle wasn't able to make it tonight and we miss her terribly.) We meet twice a month, usually at Paula's house although we did have a FABULOUS dinner at Linda's last time (nom-nommy homemade hummus). We read each other's manuscripts, we offer helpful advice, we talk, we laugh, we talk some more and sometimes the laughing gets out of hand. Like here. (I think Dawn has lost it, frankly.... ) I LOVE THESE WOMEN. Hugs to you all.

When I got home at about 10:30 p.m. I was met by our surprise company! Carol Holden is Dave's sister and she had gallbladder surgery in Toronto in the morning and so wasn't feeling so hot. Her hubby Zane brought her to our house for a sleepover/stopover so she wouldn't have to have that awful jiggling and she could rest. Poor Carol. Get better soon!! 

Midnight. Time to go to bed while a beautiful full moon shines through the white pines. Good night moon, good night you. Good night longest blog post in the history of blog posts.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz


  1. OMG my new blog name, North of Wiarton & EAST of the Checkerboard, I will be then living over at Colpoy's Bay ... love it over there, thanks for the relocaton, Muskoka Woman ! Hohum think the most exciting part about all this is the looser toilet paper photo as it is still Dave & I against, who??? oh dear that would be YOU ! We take over the Walmart washrooms tomorrow ... Ha !

  2. Um... if he thought it tasted like plastic, why did he eat it? He -could- have give it to someone that would appreciate it. It sounds to me like he was just trying to keep you from wanting some.

  3. Bored? Not this black duck. I thoroughly enjoyed sauntering through your day with you, not doing any work and not getting any empty calories. I can't pick up empty calories through just viewing food can I? Rats. That is what I thought you would say. Get well soon Carol. Travelling the day of surgery sounds really sucky to me. The sort of sucky that only flowers and good chocolate could fix. Tell Zane to get onto that task. Soon.

    1. Absolutely no calories in viewing food, EC. Unless you're viewing it on a fork as it's entering your mouth....

  4. Well, don't you have an interesting day!
    • Doughnuts are good, especially at the start, with some pie on the side.
    • Love that bridge and the red leaves (we don't get many red elves out west).
    • Real estate ads. Can people afford to buy in cottage country?
    • Writers' group; great way to spend an evening.

    Um, where were the boys, or have they run off on you?

    1. We sold the boys to the circus. Got a pretty penny for 'em, too.
      (Nah, they were at their father's.)

  5. Thanks. I really appreciate the memories, especially the shot of Tim Hortons coffee and Crappytire money. Been a long time since I last saw that in the flesh, or even a photo. I also miss A&W. Mmmmmm

    1. Awwwww..... sorry Torggil. *passes you a Timmy's extra large double-double and a root bear in a frosty mug*

  6. I want to know how that fellow knows what plastic tastes like. As we said in the really old days, what a party pooper.

    1. I still say party pooper. Then again, I'm really old.

  7. I enjoyed your day, Cathy! Not eating plastic and my computer rants involve my fists on the desk not in the air, but it was fun!

  8. It was fun following you around for a day. And that pie looks so delicious!

    1. I wish I had a piece, Daisy. It did look good. You have to be quick at my work, though. When there's food around everybody turns into piranhas.

  9. Any day that pie is around is a good day. And those doughnuts... ooooo. That's what I miss most about work, the yummies. The rest, not so much. ;)

  10. I loved this look into A Day In the Life of You! Great pics! And the donuts: YES PLEASE!

  11. Any post with a garden gnome and donuts is a good post.

  12. Phew, I read through the whole thing and it certainly wasn't boring plus I got to know you, which is great since I have not visited your blog for ages. But I do remember that I thought you were funny back then and I am so glad to see you still are. Will be back here sooner rather than later and will also check out Ms. Checkerboard.

    1. You read the whole thing, Inger? You totally deserve a medal! Thanks for all your kind words and thanks so much for dropping by! You'll love Checkerboard, she's awesome!

  13. Misty the Wonderdog, huh?

    I've been up in the area, and I'm having a devil of a time figuring out where that bridge is!

    And sooner or later the gnome might get abducted by airline attendants and you'll get photos sent back from all over the world....

  14. YOU MADE LADDERS FOR RACCOONS????!!! That is AWESOME. I always knew you were cool, Cathy, but now....WOW. Raccoon ladders...can you imagine how much something like that would sell for on QVC??

    ...I'm going to go make one right now. :D

    P.S. Please send me some pie. xoxox


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