Monday, December 25, 2006

plett family fun

for the sake of my entire left-hand-side of the family, and because we seem to have only one camera between us, i have uploaded the better fraction of my sister's shutterbugging to my new, created-expressly-for-this-purpose flickr account. for those of you not related to me through blood or dating, please feel free to vicariously enjoy our drunken hilarity here. there's a pug in it for ya.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

bows on bobtails ring

in the spirit of quitting, and of only having (let's count them together, four shifts left at reds, and of being virtually unfireable, i broke every dress code rule i could think of tonight. instead of my polishable leather shoes, i wore runners (with WHITE SOCKS!!!). rather than my plain dark blue jeans, i wore the ones with the worn patches! a snakeskin belt replaced the black leather one, and to cap it all off, i affixed a large velvet bow to my back belt loop. not only did it lend a festive air to my derriere, but it helped disguise the fact that my apron cuts my no-bum in half.

and because albert thinks there should be more of him in this blog, i'll say it again...albert, if jen didn't work so damn hard, you'd be my favorite hostess.

Monday, December 18, 2006

the gory details

so, it all started because we have family coming over for christmas on friday, and family coming over brings out nazi-mom (just kidding, mom, i love you), and nazi-mom makes you do stuff like clean your room and move things into the garage. and so sunday afternoon, while joel was out with steve (the roommate with the cats) doing reasonably vague guy-nothings at the mall, it seemed perfectly reasonable that mom would make me help her take some things down into the garage. it was cold, and i thought it was going to be one of those you-own-too-many-things-and-need-to-amalgamate-your-storage-goods-on-to-one-shelf moments, so my relief on regaining the upper floor was tangible. THEN the phone rang, and i was cryptically ordered to go into my room, and promptly hung up on. i had gone INTO my room to answer the phone, but it took some doing to find it, so i didn't immediately notice the LARGE BOUQUET OF FLOWERS that had materialized on my bed. with a note. and a blindfold? the note read (i paraphrase) 'bundle up, come outside, blindfold yourself, give me a call.' notes accompanied by flowers must be obeyed, and once outside, i was ordered back in so that joel could use the facilities. i hung out blindfolded and alone by the front door, calling out 'it's dark! my eyes...oh long johnson' until he came back. i had to hang out blindfolded and alone again once we got to our unspecified destination, because he had walked me a ways along slippy trails and over branches (i think i stepped in poop) before realizing that he'd left something in the car. [the part of me that embellishes stories to make them a leetle better would like to say that it was the ring...'hey babe, will you...uh...damn! it was in my pocket a second ago!' but it was a rose, or something.] SO, we got to a picnic bench and he made me stand on it and took my hands and said a bunch of stuff about our relationship and all we've been through that i won't repeat here, and then he let go my hands and said i could take off my blindfold. now, i had told joel when we started dating that he wasn't allowed to tell me that he loved me, because those words are scary words, and sometimes they're lies, and i didn't want to hear them if they were lies. but when i took off my blindfold, there he was, kneeling in the wet grass, telling me that he loved me and asking me to marry him. and then i said yes and then i almost cried a little bit and then i screamed for my ring and then we picnicked on the wine and cheese and spiced meats and breadsticks that were spread on the be-clothed, be-candled, be-rosed picnic bench. oh yes, and we were at this park that he and i had gone to one time when we were first dating and fed the squirrels and he took a picture of me feeding a squirrel but my little bum crack was peeking out and that was the picture that he took with him to hawaii to remember me by, and to show people, 'that's my girlfriend, she can't buy pants for herself.' anyway, THAT's the bit (candles, cheese, park, accomplice dressed like ninja to light candles) that probably took the most effort and forethought on his part but that i always keep forgetting to tack onto the story, because the important thing is that here we are, two-and-three-quarter-years, one break-up, two summer-long separations, a handful of fights, a bucketful of miscommunications, a truckload of moments that were just right, and three little words later. and babe? i love you.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

oh don piano

joel wants to get cats. i don't really want to get cats, because i don't altogether like them. they're eerily like furry teenagers, and who wants that? plus, i'm allergic. but joel's old roommate, steve, got cats, and joel looooooooooves them.

see the love? go on, reach out. touch the love through your computer screen. so i guess we can get cats. but only, ONLY, if i can teach them to say things like 'oh long johnson' and 'why i eyes, ya'...

and also, i'm a little bit engaged.

Friday, December 15, 2006

christmas shopping

there was a DOG in metrotown today. you know that dog from the fido unlimited christmas commercials? the ones with the young, disconcertingly attractive mr and mrs claus? it was that dog's older, bigger, bockety-eared brother. i was walking down the A&W-starbucks-bank run that leads from the skytrain to the mall, and this ENORMOUS DOG walks out of the bank. just like that. he heads for the mall doors, and i'm like, dog, you can't go in there. YOU'RE A DOG. but dude, no one tells a massive, mall-walking dog what to do. so he heads in, trots down the stairs, and starts wandering into stores. he's checking out christmas prices, and freaking people out because he's surprisingly quiet, and you're bending over putting your purchase in the back of your stroller, and then all of a sudden this BEAST comes around from the side where your CHILD is, and you scream a little bit like i did the other day when i was stretching downstairs after working out and i still had my headphones in so i didn't hear my sister come in and then these moon boots appeared in front of my face and i thought she was a giant moon boots. ANYway, this dog. security finally rounded him up and carted him off somewheres, and about ten minutes later i heard 'would the owner of a large white dog please report to the information booth.' and i laughed. because don't NOBODY own that dog.

Monday, December 11, 2006

happy hour

children get drunk on snow and wind. nature is like tequila to them. the clarences were in a glorious frenzy today.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

*blink blink*

'i hate working at red robin metrotown...i don't ever want to see the inside of [it] again' - blog exerp, sept. 16

'i can't put my full energy into my jobs-with-purpose because im so dragged down by my 'efficient' job...the most amount of money in the least amount of time.' - journal exerp, oct. 26th

-'&)*#$ people, i'm )^@#$ gonna set this @#(!#@ place on fire' - exerps from all those blogs i didn't post

'you should quit red robin' - joel, jane, robyn, kind of hinted at by my mom

i am more than pleased to announce that i have, for good or for ill, turned in my two-weeks notice. as of boxing day, 2006, i will no longer be employed by the red robin industry. it is well-remarked-upon in the business that no one ever quits for good, and i make no pretense of saying that this is good-bye forever. i've even had several second thoughtses since i decided to quit about a month ago, but every time i do, i have a horrible, horrible shift in which i contemplate my own death. it is as though God is, rather ungently, supporting my decision. so for now, in the interests of my sanity, my well-being as a person, my sleep patterns, and my overall opinion of the masses, i have left the dirty bird.

i have purposely avoided filling my blog with server stories, partially because anything i could say, this guy has said better, and partially because no one who hasn't served gives a damn. as a sort of farewell toast, however, i will now leave you with my favorite *blink blink* moments, as proof that servers aren't really human beings and no one listens to them. (for those not in the know, *blink blink* is code for 'i physically cannot dignify that with a response, so i'll just stand here and blink.' i like to sometimes say the word 'blink' as i blink, as if to emphasize the fact that i'm not answering. just blinking.)

- can i grab you guys something to drink?
- no thanks. i'll just get a water.
- *blink blink*

- can i grab you guys something to drink?
- i'll get a coke.
- is pepsi ok?
- yeah, sure that's fine.
- and for you, sir?
- yeah, i'll get a coke too.
- *blink blink*

- can i grab you guys something to drink? (this one actually happened yesterday)
- yeah, what do you have on tap?
- canadian, rickards honey brown, and heineken.
- ok, i'll have a rickards red.
- *blink blink* i'm sorry, we don't have the red on tap anymore. is honey brown ok?
- sure, that's fine.
- and for you?
- um, don't you guys have, like, heineken, or anything?
- *blink blink*

and then, my personal favorite:
- what can i get for you there?
- i'll have the popcorn shrimp and chips, only, instead of the chips, i'll just get more popcorn shrimp.
- *blink blink*

Thursday, December 07, 2006

some dogs...

...are clever. and have hobbies. like tyson, who is a better skateboarder than i will ever be.

other dogs...

...are idiots. like this one. who cannot distinguish between his own hindquarters and a legitimate foe. and whose limbs seem to operate tauntingly independant of his brain.

and the moral of the story is...people are like that too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

does anyone know...

how to delete comments? particularly random spam comments? i am joining the ranks of word verification-ers, and will soon turn on my comment moderation, if this does not cease.


Saturday, December 02, 2006


my new earmuffs!!!

are they not enchanting???

do you not wish they were YOUR earmuffs? they have sparkles in them!!!

here they are from the side!!! there is a mess on my floor!!!

i would like to thank blogger, the dollar store, and my sharp-eyed neighbor, candy, for making this all possible.

ps. to candy: i received no less than eight compliments on my earmuffs at work tonight. kudos.

ps to jane: while i did take all of these pictures myself, none of them are in black and white, i do not look pouty in any of them (perhaps a leetle drunk in that last), and not a one of them will be making an appearance on my myspace.

Friday, December 01, 2006


so, a while ago, i broached the idea to my boss-who-actually-really-hates-children-but-she-just-does-all-of-our-administrative-work-anyways-and-has-no-real-contact-with-them-and-plus-she-hates-them-in-a-jovial-and-humorous-manor-so-it's-really-all-ok (who differs from my boss-who-has-a-small-square-shaped-growly-child-in-the-infant-program-of-whom-she-is-quite-fond-and-so-am-i,-particularly-because-of-the-way-he-growls-my-name) of our center getting a baby crocodile that we could feed little bits of the kinders to. but just, like, little bits so that no one would notice until one day...hey, where'd the Defiant Clarence go? oh yeah, we fed him to the crocodile.

i meant it as a joke, but i guess it must have happened for real, and i just don't remember because of all that crack i was smoking to survive the Defiant Clarence, but he's gone now. and being replaced with a clarence from the daycare, one i will hesitantly, and perhaps jinxingly, but ever so hopefully, entitle the Angel Clarence (or perhaps the Submissive, Servile Clarence, S.S. Clarence for short, and i will make him wear a sailor's hat) as of monday.

did i mention that my co-clarenceherd had a family crisis for which she had to leave work, and that for the past week and the next week and the week to follow, i am the sole caretaker of the clarences? there is no better time for a Defiant Clarence to take his leave of us, voluntarily or otherwise.

and now, if you don't mind...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

because toques mess up your hair

i know that everyone i've run into in the past month has heard this story, but i can think of at least two people who read this blog who i haven't seen in at least a month, and at least two other people who read this blog who i DON'T EVEN KNOW, so they can enjoy my struggles, and the rest of you can skip this.

i have been looking for earmuffs for over a month.

remember way back in october, when it got really cold there for a bit, and i went on the halloween train and to fright night at the pne, both outdoornighttime activities? i looked for earmuffs then. everyone told me it 'wasn't the season' for earmuffs.

i got the same line a week or so ago. 'are you serious? because it's nearly the end of november, and it's hella cold outside. i can't actually think of a better time to sell me earmuffs than RIGHT NOW!!!'

and then today, because everyone says 'have you checked zellers? because zellers will have earmuffs' but they didn't, but they told me to check shoppers drug mart and they didn't but the girl there used to work at they bay, and they do, she said. they didn't, but they did have these darling brown mittens with an orange and blue flower on the back, and when you put your hands inside, the big finger lump was separated into little finger cavities, and i know that defeats the purpose of mittens, and now you have something that lacks both the fingers-all-together warmth maintanence of mittens and the separate-finger dexterity of gloves, but they were cunning little things, and i wanted them.

ANYway, i am sending out a plea. does anyone OWN any earmuffs? know where i can BUY earmuffs? want to SELL me some earmuffs?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

welcome to utah

for most of the night tonight, my section hosted a bachelor party...of mormons.

if any of your mormon friends are getting married, send them and their buddies my way. hours of good, clean, non-drinking, PG mormon fun. hours.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

That Guy

so, i'm at work on saturday, and i casually glance in the lobby as i stroll by, and HEY! it's That Guy i dated for, like, two years in high school. no big deal, right? i mean, we parted amicably enough (even though that 'amicable' status deteriorated a year or so later when i found out that he had cheated on me A MILLION TIMES!!), and it was eight years ago, so i should be able to shake my head at my adolescent antics and go on about my business, right? RIGHT?

except i didn't. i crouched behind a table so he couldn't see me, and frantically waved the hostess over. 'That Guy in the black fleece, you can't sit him in my section. or i'll shoot you.' and then i went to the bartender for comfort, because i knew she'd cuddle me. and there was fretting and the wringing of hands and the gnashing of teeth and the avoiding of a whole half of the restaurant until he left, because somehow, this shook me.

i mean, he was my first serious boyfriend, and my first kiss and the first guy i thought i loved, and (possibly the most damaging, once he turned up a hypocritical man-whore) my Christian mentor at a time when i was just figuring this Jesus thing out. but years have gone by, and i have dated other, (some only margianally) better guys, and even gone to prayer counseling to deal with this thing, and so i feel like it SHOULDN'T FAZE ME ANY MORE!!!

my oldest friend is getting married this may, and, if i'm not mistaken, two of my ex-boyfriends will be at her wedding (right, jacks? or just the one?) and to that i say, well, hell's bells. but it really doesn't bother me, because a) as her bridesmaid, i will look hot, b) they will not be surprising me at my place of business, and c) they didn't toss my heart under a moving subway just for kicks (did i mention that the two years were packed full of psychological, emotional and spiritual manipulation, and that i never even suspected the cheating, because how could That Guy, who was shocked and apalled by my vampish love of TANK TOPS, be getting his freak on with some other girl?)

the question is, i guess, is does it ever go away? i mean, even though you've 'gotten over it,' does the sight of That Person who hurt you most, or first, or worst, ever not give you the unpleasant shakes? does it get better if you see them all the time? or if you know when it's coming? or is it just one of those things you have to solve by fleeing the country?

disclaimer: while That Guy received marginally bad service, and trevor offered to walk over, whip out his unmentionable part, and gently rest it on That Guy's shoulder, no one spat in his food or 'accidentally' spilled hot soup on him. on the whole, i feel he got off lightly.

Friday, November 24, 2006

i suppose the star over the stable might have been a kind of horoscope

the Prematurely Old Clarence frequently tests my abilities to steer sketchy conversations into clearer waters. with five-year-olds, you don't really want to be discussing predestination versus free will, for example, or their little heads might pop off (on second thought, this isn't looking like a bad idea). you tend to couch things in simpler terms, or avoid those subjects altogether. also, we try to discourage 'bathroom words.'

it's hard, though, when the Prematurely Old Clarence, who is Practically Perfect in Every Way, turns to me and asks whether farts are made of gas. or whether a turd is a kind of poo. the runny kind, right? and does so with complete sincerity.

and there is definitely no appropriate response to this, that i can see...

it's circle time, the clarences are gathered around
rachel: friends, what holiday is coming up?
clarences: merry christmas!!!
rachel: that's right, chrismas is coming! and what are we celebrating at christmas time?
half of the clarences, because the other half don't know: Jesus' birthday!!!
prematurely old clarence: Jesus is a capricorn, you know.

Friday, November 17, 2006

i know jeremy already posted this video to his blog...

but it just makes me SO HAPPY, for reasons i can't explain. the lyrics roughly translated, run thusly:

young brother, young brother, be quiet
you are crying, but our father has left us
he has gone to the place of the dead
to protect the living, to protect the orphan child

i always almost cry at the end a little. i know. but it's just so endearing!!

Friday, November 10, 2006


friends, this is the problem. it's late. it's 2:15 in the a.m. i've only just got home, and i'm not a whit tired. i know that when the alarm goes off tomorrow at 6:30, i'll be exhausted to the bone, and the temptation is to stay up clean through the night. feeling the way i do now, i know i could. four years of college, though, have taught me how that next day feels; your eyes are aliens and your skin tries to slink away without you noticing. this is not a fitting condition to be working with children, particularly when not even a good day leaves you without the burning need to pitch one out a window. still, this is the pattern of my every day. i'm dead beat in the morning, yawny-tired until about 2:00, starting to liven up at around 6:00, and raring to go once the midnight hour has passed. i should get myself some sort of vampire status, and save myself all this grief.

time to talk myself down to sleep.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

rule #96 for the preservation of self

thou shalt not watch the America's Next Top Model season recap with a bowlful of halloween leavings in thy lap.

Monday, October 30, 2006

for pteradactyl's sake

so, back in my college days, if someone made a statement of fact that wasn't common knowledge, like 'david and jonathan were lovers' or 'hezekiah had a pitt bull,' someone else might pipe up with 'state your source!' wherein the first person would be required to qualify how they knew what they knew. this has trickled down into my daycare.

- miss rachel, the biggest muffin in the world is from here to the roof!

- state your source! how do you know?

- i saw it on tv.

- miss rachel, cats is faster than dogs.

- state your source! how do you know?

- i saw a dog chasing a cat, but him didn't catch her.

and then today...

- hey kids, we're having salad for snack today.

- stegasorus, miss rachel, how do you know!?!?!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

spookity spook

- will there be spooks in your haunted house-made-of-blocks, Prematurely-Old Clarence?

- oh yes...what's 'spooks'?

- spooks are things that are scary.

- oh, yes then. all manner of spooks.

the pne fright night also contained all manner of spooks. my throat is still hoarse, my adrenaline pumping. we only made three of the four haunted houses, which i think may be all my frayed nerves could handle. spooks jumping out from every corner, spooks at eye-level, spooks grabbing ankles. spooks colored to match the decor, so you don't see them til they fling themselves at you. spooks that follow you a while after spooking you, so they can spook you again from behind a few feet later. spooks named robyn and joel, who spook me for no good reason, and drag me into these spook-houses.

i hear it's even better if you can bring someone along who is genuinely frightened by these things. i wouldn't know, i was too busy panicking and clutching at my chest to note whether robyn and joel were having a better time with me than they would have without me. i had a myriad of childhood fears (the munchkins from the wizard of oz lived under my bed, there was an alligator at the foot who would nibble my toes if i didn't tuck the blankets under them just so, i had tigers in my corners, and lived in mortal fear that an army of roman centurions would march through my wall [no joke. not an army led by a centurion, but an entire fleet of the broom-headed fellows]) that have not translated over well into adulthood. i'm pants-pissing terrified of spiders, the dark, and chain-weilding maniacs, all of which fright night had in abundance.

these houses are not lame. even if you are a ruggedly handsome, volleyball-playing man, or a tough, parametic-type girl who can insert IV's, you will flinch when fog horns blast you and bodies materialize from walls. if you are a shrieking, pansy girl like me, a hobgoblin lurching straight at your face will leave you on the floor in a quivering ball of nerves (true story).

ryan, sadly, was unable to join us for more than one house. i understand his predicament. everyone draws their spook-line somewhere. myself, i cannot handle death and dismemberment (except for the rather jovial fellow who ended just below the nipples. 'maybe you'll find the rest of me on one of the rides!!' he cried, before hamming it up for a picture). twenty minutes of the 'texas chainsaw massacre' remake had me feeling sufficiently defiled as to necessitate a shower. spook-houses, on the slightly other hand...i wanted to turn back the whole time, every time, but i came out feeling more exhilarated than polluted.

do i have any advice for future fright nighters? go right at six, when it opens, and hit up the houses early. the lines get to be up to an hour long, and we waited in one for nearly half an hour before we found out that the house was closed. another half hour of my life that i'll never get back is the time we spent wandering that wretched maze. DON'T GO IN THE MAZE, PEOPLE!!! IT'S NOT FUN AND QUICK LIKE IT IS ON PAPER!!! THEY WON'T LET YOU CHEAT!!! we found ourselves back at the entrance after twenty minutes of wandering. 'the exits are thataway, folks' said the homely, obnoxious maze-entrance-girl, gesturing back inwards. 'can't come out thisaway, gotta go find them. it's a maze, people.' fine. dandy. and they said there'd be spooks, but there were only two, and they just sort of stood there and hissed 'get out' at you, quasi-menacingly. we are trying, spooks. we don't want to be here any more than you apparently do. so don't go in the maze. the line is short for a reason.

oh, and buy the mini donuts. and a hot chocolate, because it's -2 degrees out there. and wear three pairs of socks. and bring a tall, warm man with you. but maybe one that wont push you into dark rooms, saying 'go get 'em, raych,' while you clutch at his arm and weep in terror.

just a lazy afternoon in paradise, and...

...what the hell?
did you see that?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

a question of taste

go here

everything i need to know...

- miss rachel, didja know dat a dracula izza vampire?

- you don't say, Girl Clarence! and what, prey tell, is a vampire?

- it's a something dat laughs real scary!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

oh, the tangled webs we weave...

- raych, i forgot what the guy at table 73 ordered! the girl was having a bbq chicken wrap.

- k, hold on....(wanders over to table 73)...hey guys, so we're having a little printer trouble back in the kitchen. the ink is running low, and all we can make out on the bill is 'bbq chicken wrap' and 'something burger.'

- yeah, i had the mushroom burger.

- thanks so much. sorry, guys...(wanders back to the service aisle, where slightly but by no means abnormally negligent server waits anxiously) was a mushroom burger.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

because he doesn't drink coffee...

'if i'm falling asleep while i'm driving, i just start screaming, because i figure you can't be screaming and sleeping at the same time.'

the logic is infallible.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

hold on...

dan finnerty was just your average guy, until he got in touch with his feminine side. one drunken kareoke night, he got up to sing helen reddy's 'i am a woman,' and a star was born. before long, he'd found two dudes with nondescript suits, dowdy glasses, and impeccable vocals to stand behind him and do bad choreography. ladies and gentlemen, if you have 4 minutes and 36 seconds at your disposal, and can stand a bit of profanity, i would like to present to you...

The Dan Band

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


i promise not to let this blog deteriorate into a forum for my bitching-about-serving, because i am doing other things with my life (like bringing a pumpkin to daycare so that we could dismember it, and see what was inside. we're going to the pumpkin patch on friday, and i feel it's best to be educated), and because i know, i know that when i go into a bluenotes or an hmv that i do all kinds of things to piss the salespeople off, because i really don't notice that i've picked through an entire pile looking for a small, and then folded them all back up wrong, because i've never worked in retail. i know. however, there are SOME things that i need to say, people. and they are as follows:

take note of when the restaurant closes. when your server comes around saying, 'just so you guys know, the kitchen closes in two minutes, so if you want dessert or anything, now's the time to order it' she's really saying 'we close in ten minutes. please get the hell out.'

it's ok to be particular. it's not ok to be ridiculous. don't want mayo on your burger? that's ok. want your fries extra crispy, or your salad extra-dressingy? that's ok. want a chicken caesar wrap, only instead of the grilled chicken, you want clucks tossed in buzz sauce, and instead of the parmesan cheese, you want cheddar, and instead of the caesar, you want ranch dressing, and if we could toss in a couple of tortilla strips, that'd be great? that is most definitely ok, because that is delicious, and if you ordered it i might ask you for a bite. however, if you want a pepsi with two ice cubes, or your fries cooked for twelve minutes, or half a hamburger (all true stories) then you are an idiot, and should not be breeding.

don't tell me my tip's on the table when it's not. why would you lie to me like that?

today had it's ups and downs. there are certain things a server hates to do, like forget to ring in an order, and then have to lie to the table about why it's taking so long (check), walk away from a table and realize that she wasn't actually listening when the guy told her what he wanted, and have to go back to the table and ask (check), spill coffee in a guy's lap (check), and break a glass (...managed to dodge that one). however, i am surrounded by glorious food, and sometimes we get to eat things for free, like a bbq chicken wrap that got rung in by accident, and a slice of birthday cake from kevin's party of 35 that i bartered for a jug of water, and 1/4 of a beef quesadilla that trevor pimped out for me. so on the whole, i figure i came out about even.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

don't watch this if you're offended by funny little people of a different ethnicity

i can't actually believe this.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

nerdly lucre

i deserve coke-bottle glasses and braces, pants that ride too high, and those t-shirts with the native-american-motif wolf, because i am rampagingly, unashamedly geeky.

i like to dissect words into their latin and greek parts. i like to excavate their origins, and it is to this end that i read books like 'mother tongue: english and how it got that way' and regularly visit sites like 'common errors in english' and 'take our word for it.'

for the most part, my dork complex only pays off when playing balderdash, but finally, FINALLY, i have received some sort of financial recompense for my attention to bad grammar and devotion to geekspeek sites.

thank you, thailand zoo, for neglecting the editing process, and making my $10 possible.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

blognerdia, increase!!

not only can i now link to things from my blog (which jane taught me) and post videos on my blog (which jer taught me), but i have finally discovered a way to check all my favorite blogs at once, without having to view the same, un-updated drudgery day in and day out. it's called bloglines, folks, and here is where you can get your very own. just lay down your favorite sites, and bloglines will check them every number-of-minutes-as-yet-undetermined-because-i-don't-much-care. now, instead of scrolling through blogs, i just check just the one page to see what (if anything) is new. it's saved me a minute and thirty-eight seconds (i timed it) of my life, which might not seem like much, but that's eleven minutes and forty-three seconds a week, forty-nine minutes a month, and almost ten hours a year.

thanks, bloglines. you may send me my cheque now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

thanksgiving day is many things...

...but there are many things it is not.

it is not a day to go out for dinner and sit in my section and be rude to me and ask where your food is FOUR MINUTES AFTER IT HAS BEEN ORDERED because you've already been waiting twenty minutes in the lobby because the restaurant is packed and where the hell are your families, people!?!?

it is not a day to order a lime margarita when you wanted a lemon water, and then to look at me like i'm an idiot when i bring you the margarita, because even though, when i said 'ok, so one lime margarita, one glass of water with lemon, and one bottle of canadian?' you said yes, what you meant was 'no, don't make that margarita, because that will be a waste of two ounces of vodka and a minute and a half of your time.'

it is not a day to not show up for work and to leave us down two servers.

it is not a day to bring your squalling babies out in public.

it is not a day to complain about the three squalling babies, like i can do something about it.

most of all, it is a day of thanks, and of giving...particularly of giving the $9.93 you owe me for ordering and consuming onion rings. it is not a day to pull a soulless manouver we in the business call a D&D (dine and dash, for the uninitiate).

three things i'm thankful for, jane?
1. i'm thankful that i didn't work on saturday.
2. i'm thankful that i didn't work on sunday.
3. i'm thankful that i didn't work for most of today.
in which i continue to attempt video postings

in which i learn to post videos

Monday, October 02, 2006

this smidgen of blog cost me eight minutes sleep

it's 10:40 and i'm home at a reasonable hour, and while i would love to post about my weekend and the various adventures of the clarences and so forth, i have been working for twenty of the past twenty-nine hours (for those of you not in the know, i am now working three jobs. i have picked up a part-time position working as an aide for a little boy who is currently in the process of being diagnosed with autism, so i do that from eight-thirty to twelve-thirty, hang with the clarences from one to four, and then, on days like today, party at the dirty bird from five to whenever i get off). i think i will take advantage of this rare opportunity and get eight hours sleep (after i rinse the plum sauce out of my pores).

red robin quote of the day:
innocent customer - 'do you guys have a wireless connection in here?'
the chad - 'if we did, it'd be battered and deep-fried.'

Thursday, September 28, 2006

in which we meet the clarences

ok, so i've been reading this blog by this woman i don't know (and there's nothing lame about peeping into other people's lives this way, particularly if they're really funny, like she is) who got fired from her job for posting horrendous and inappropriate things on her blog about her co-workers and/or bosses. apparently, that happens. there are few things i can blog about these days besides work, since my last seventy-two hours have looked thusly: daycare-red robin-sleep-daycare-red robin-sleep-daycare. now, i just hope and pray and more or less assume that no one from reds will ever get a hold of this website, but if they do, odds are that they feel the same way about paul as i do (complete and utter re-avowel of paul's SMS, because yesterday i heard kevin make a perfectly reasonable request, which paul denied out of hand. kevin made the error of trying to explain his reasoning, which got paul's back up, and apparently i'm not the only one to force a battle of wills) and hopefully won't tell him.

anyway, the major struggle for me (since i really won't cry if reds fires me) is with daycare. there are all kinds of privacy issues surrounding child care, but i have stories, people. so i'm wondering, maybe, if i don't call them So-and-so P. Surname, but refer to them simply as Clarence, can i steer myself clear of dangerous waters? there's Angry Clarence, who regularly kicks me, and throws rocks and spits, and Fragile Clarence, who goes to pieces every time he's tagged playing Pirates and Sharks (even though it is equally as fun to be a pirate as it is to be a shark, and that, friends, is the reason we have played p&s EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST SIX DAYS), and then there's Thug Clarence and Dude Clarence (who is a dead ringer for one joshua rostek, aka 'dude') and May Be Slightly Retarded (MBSR) Clarence, and poor little Girl Clarence with no other girl clarences to play with. most of their appellations will be negative, i'm sorry, but all of their positive traits are universal (they're all heart-rendingly cute and prone to cuddles and they're total prodigies. they've perfected the exasperated teenaged eye-roll, and the indignant, self-righteous 'whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?' when you firstnamelastname them for having teenage-eye-rolled you. you tell me that's not advanced behavior!) and they can only be distinguished by their...let's call them character deficiencies. but even though most of my stories will be about the time Dude Clarence bit Sulky Clarence hard enough to draw blood, or about how Silly Clarence can turn any word into a 'bathroom' word, and i will sometimes admit that i hate them, know that i also love them, much in the same way that they both love and hate me. love me because i can name any bone that they can feel through their skin and because i'm really good at foosball (relatively speaking) and because i invented Pirates and Sharks; hate me because, for what seems to be the first time in their lives, someone is calling down fire and brimstone for such minor misdemeanors as Giving Sass and Unprovoked Smacking of Friends, and my threats are by no means idle. i will actually plan fun activities so that you have something to miss out on, kids.

let the love fest begin.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

my God is bigger than your HIV

ok, i was just starting a post about how i had my first really good shift at red robin today, and how that balanced out the fact that one of my kids threw rocks at me and kicked me and spit at me today, but this just in:

apilak and supakit (you remember them, right? skinny baby, fat baby, thai, HIV positive?) have both just tested negative for HIV.

THAT'S RIGHT, THEY DON'T HAVE HIV!!! their blood came back clean!!!!!

they're getting re-tested in six weeks just to make sure, but they're clean!!! they're healed!

amen praise God glory halleluiah.

Monday, September 25, 2006

this is what we call 'science'

'miss rachel, do you want to see my eyeballs disappear?'

'nope, i'm afraid i don't.'

'but look! i can roll them all the way back so that they're gone!!!'

'sorry bud, that's not really something i want to see.'

'miss rachel, look! i can see my brains!!!'

Sunday, September 24, 2006

consider the ant, you sluggard

i would like, with the pride of the extraordinary lazy, to brag a bit about how productive and useful i was yesterday. now, i know that there are people out there who get productive and useful things done every day, but i am not one of them. i am disorganized and sleepy. please understand, then, the hurculean effort it took me to clean my room. i cleaned and swiffered my room. inertia in action, i proceeded to swiffer the kitchen and family room, working around koala, who was taking her ease...

i thought she might relocate when i moved the ottoman, but she didn't even flinch. for posterity's sake, here she is earlier today...

and a few hours ago...

that dog is sedentary! anyway, not only did i hang up the clothes in the 'clean' pile, but i did another load of laundry, since i have a nasty habit of eating in bed and dropping loaded bagels, jam side down. and i went for a run, and i had a shower, which i know shouldn't be impressive, but sometimes i take my not-in-thailand freedom-from-showering-thrice-daily a bit too far, so it is. and i emptied and loaded the dishwasher, not because i am awesome, but because the cache of dishes i'd unearthed in my room looked way less incriminating on the rack than on the counter.

and then i went out to mission for beers with friends, which is not useful or productive, but since they comprise almost the entire audience of my blog, i had to throw that in. jer, mike, alan, sometimes ryan...what's up? robbie, we missed you.

i aim for balance in life, so today i slept in late, made brownies with marshmallow icing, and watched three movies and the same episode of 'so you think you can dance' twice. perhaps one of these days i'll usurp koala's spot on the floor between the couch and the ottoman.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


i've been thinking of starting a completely anonymous blog and not telling any of you.

i struggle, when i blog, with how much to reveal. i treasure other blogs, particularly those of people i don't know (i know, i'm lame! i read strangers' blogs), for their frankness, and the bald honesty with which they discuss their friends and family. then i shudder, because i'm pretty sure those friends and families probably read those blogs. apparently, there's a new blogger service called vox which allows you to 'control your community of readers -- like, say, if you want to share stuff with your parents, without them also running into entries about the guy you hooked up with on Thursday night, or the time you vomited into their washing machine and managed to clean it up without telling them' (quote source: the fug girls) but it's invitation only, and besides, i'm not keen enough to go jumping from blogger site to blogger site, looking for the best possible scenario.

instead, i'll sit here and wrestle with how much i should talk about joel, for example. i know he reads this (hey babe, how was your weekend?) sometimes, and i have no secrets from him, but there's a difference between that and actually posting my thoughts about how i think one of his friends is an emotional bully, and how you can feel the tension in the room and the strained desires to both impress and avoid judgement, and how i prefer all of his friends (and himself, and even myself) when this one friend isn't around. and now, if i had a filter, i would block all of joel's friends from ever reading this particular post (if they even knew what a blog was, which i'm pretty sure they don't).

even harmless things, like the fact that my siblings and i recently discovered that we've all been using the thing-that-goes-over-food-in-the-microwave-so-that-it-doesn't-splatter-and-soil-the-micro-walls as a plate to cook things might not go over so well with my mother (hi mom, i think you're cute and i totally don't begrudge the fact that i'm slowly turning into you, though i hope i never have occasion to cook up fifty boxes of KD for no readily apparent reason).

and then there are times where my thoughts are subversive and angry and (usually) temporary, and i don't want anyone reading them, which is why i have thought about purely anonymous blogging. but then, i suppose that is what my good old pen-and-paper journal is for.

so, jer, i guess this is the blog in which i have nothing else to blog about except the nature of blogging itself (someone oh someone please teach me how to create links in my blog to other sites so that one of the words in the sentence is underlined and then when you click on it, it takes you to the blog that i mean, because i would link you RIGHT NOW to the blog of jer's in which he blogs about the nature of blogging, and does such a spot-on rendition of the average-blogger's-first-blog that i nearly peed myself).

Friday, September 22, 2006


with the help of a random comment from alan on how to post videos on my blog (i was not aware that i wanted to know how to do this, but the more skills i have, the higher my dowry, so here goes), i will be making my blogvideoposting debut. i have no intentions of becoming the next jer vis (who, for the uninformed, posts funny videos blogly [that is to say, every blog]), but i do sometimes come across a video that tickles me on the inside. this is one...

ok, that didn't work. my 'copy' won't copy the entire 'embed' code, and so 'paste' only pastes the first fraction, and my 'html cannot be accepted: tag is broken' so now you will all be left wondering which video i thought was so hilarious.

in other news, the advantages of being a 'grown-up,' according to one of my boys, are as follows: you get to drink coffee, you get to fly on a plane by yourself, and you get to get married and have a cake. enjoy your perks, friends.

Monday, September 18, 2006

who loves their job...........s?

daycare went well (in that i neither cried nor thought seriously about throwing children out windows), but only because a full half of our kids either stayed home sick or went home early. bless them.

reds, well...i know that i will probably like it there eventually, but i hated tonight. not with the fiery, keep-me-up-for-hours kind of hatred, the kind where i will say things like 'paul has a tiny dick' in front of my mom (which is usually beyond my level of crude anyways, let alone talking to my mama), but with the bland, reconciled sort of hatred that goes well with the phrase '...but i don't have to like it!' i can't decide if katie (the schedule guru, who is currently not putting me on schedule) hates me because of what paul told her, or if she's just mean. i heard her snap at more than a few people, but i also saw her smile genuinely at someone, so i know that the tight-lipped fake-smile she gives me isn't her real one (some people just have naturally insincere smiles, and that can lead to miscommunication. katie is not one of those people).

anyway, being the last to start, i should have been the closer, but another girl stepped in and decided she was closing. i know it won't kill me to let everyone push me around and treat me like a rookie, even though i've been serving longer than most of them, but it may give me apoplexy. humble pie is not delicious, and reds serves a particularly foul brand. and i don't have to like it.

in other news, upon seeing the bowl of fun-sized chocolate bars on the counter, i immediately thought to myself 'oh goody, it's small-candy time again!' and then proceeded to rack my brains for a good thirty seconds, trying to figure out which holiday was associated with miniature treats.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

a mild retraction

paul phoned on saturday to see if i wanted to work that night. i was in chilliwack, so i had to say no, but at least he called. he called again today to offer me a shift for tomorrow, which he's hoping will be a permanent shift. he says he's trying to get me some shifts, to get me on schedule. i may have to retract some of the things i said about him. not the small-man-syndrome part, he really does have that. and even if he ends up being the nicest guy alive, he's still resoundingly irritating and a little socially inept. but maybe he's trying to make amends.

or maybe he's up to something...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

about 60% of this rage is genuine. all the things i say about paul are true.

i had the day from blazing hell at my one job, and then proceeded to have the day from blazing hell at my other job. i'm still too discouraged and angry and defeated to want to relive this twelve-hour period in blog form...suffice it to say that my boys were all restless and smacky because of the rain, and this exponentially increased their usual restlessness and smackyness. everyone was in tears at some point in the day, and so i figured, who am i to kill a trend? tempted to sit right down in the middle of the room and throw a hairy tantrum with the rest, i rather had a a good old cry in front of my boss. more embarrassing than not, but she was uber-sweet about it, and expressed her displeasure that my co-teacher had made an unbreakable appointment for herself on this day, leaving me alone (did i mention that i was alone with the restless smackers?) in my first week. so i kind of hate that job a little bit.

also, i hate working at red robin metrotown. i know i keep saying that i love it, but the truth is that i loved working in abby, and i'd work every friday and saturday night, and even the dreaded sunday afternoon, if i could only bring my abby staff (even troy, that rat bastard) to this location. it's exceptionally difficult to go from a location where i am queen and have all kinds of weight to throw around to a location where i can't even get my small-man-syndrome assistant manager (paul, i hope you're reading this, because all of those reconcilatory remarks i made were only because having your boss, even a small-man-syndrome assistant manager, hate you, is a bad call. so you can go ahead and keep thinking that we're buddies now and stuff, but i freaking hate you, and i think you're lying when you say your getting married, because i can't fathom that any woman could stomach you, and i hope you're lying when you say you have kids, because i wont live in a world that contains your spawn) to do something he should legitemately do on his own. it's one thing to get your boss to promo stuff because the folks at the table are friends of yours. it's another thing entirely to ask him to take a drink off the bill because the drinks took 25 minutes to get to the table (i will insert here that it was a teeny tiny bit the bar's fault, a whopping bit paul's fault, and in no way my or the table's fault, and i say that in complete humble sincerity). and i may have accidentally gotten into a shouting match with him over the whole ordeal, which was a mistake on my part, because he promptly went around talking trash about me (small man syndrome) to other servers. and this happened early in the evening, so for the rest of the night i was full of righteous indignation, and no small amounts of ire and wrath.

'Everything just feels right tonight. I'm content. At peace. And very tired.' blogs jane. i am the opposite of those things. all is wrong. i genuinely and wholeheartedly (however much those feelings may or may not be influenced by my raging pms) don't want to go back to reds, ever. and i certainly don't want to go back to daycare on monday. i feel nagging hope for daycare, because children can be molded and trained, like monkeys. right now i don't ever want to see the inside of red robin again. paul cannot be coaxed out of trying to rule the world because i outweigh him, and he thinks he has something to prove. nothing is right, and i am still churning with gall (and, i'm not going to lie, still crying). i am not at peace, and i am not tired, and i will stay awake for another angry hour or so, and then dream angry dreams from which i wake un-refreshed.

and also, i made whopping tips and walked away with piddling money, which is a usual red robin occurrance and means that someone made more than they should and isn't telling. whoever you are, anonymous theif, i add you to my wheel of hate.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

hello lars

some wacko is giving out my phone number as his. i had four wrong numbers call today. the last was one of those awkward calls that go thusly:
'hello?' i answer my phone.
'good evening,' says the companiable but unfamiliar voice on the other end.
'hello,' i say, a little more stiffly.
'this is lars. how are you?' he continues, sounding amused, and a little chastising because i didn't know him at the outset.
'i'm sorry, you have the wrong number,' i say, genial and polite now that i know i'm not going to have to make polite conversation with someone i didn't feel like talking to.
'this is lars,' he repeats, as if to say, 'you've made a mistake, baby. it's me.'
i was sorely tempted to reply 'oh, lars! i thought you said it was alphonso' and then see how long i could string on the conversation for, but i'm trying not to do things the five-year-old equivalents of which i would give my kids time-outs for.

i have a hopeless flip flop addicition

i am COMPLETELY unable to dress myself for weather. fall baffles me. vancouver baffles me. this fickle season in this inconstant city leaves me hopelessly underdressed and shiverry, or over-swaddled and sweaty. i can't properly assess the conditions, nor can i functionally layer myself. it was simpler in thailand, where you knew it'd be way too hot for t-shirts and long shorts, but that's what you wore anyways, because anything less would be uncivilized.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

back at the bird

red robin called me at daycare today to ask if i wanted to come in. there are better ways to spend your first shift than sweaty and smelling like dirty children, i'm sure.

i do solemnly swear not to fill my blog with serving stories, unless they're genuinely funny (like today, when chad got a table of blind people, and tanya says, 'but how are you going to talk to them?') or genuinely irksome (like today, when...a bunch of things happened). i know that most serving stories are appreciated only by other servers, who can then say, 'yeah, i hate that guy' (because 'that guy' is at every restaurant), and that most other people think that servers bitch too much. we do. servers spend exactly half their time getting paid way too much for the amount of work they're doing, and the other half getting paid way too little for the amount of shit they're putting up with.

so, this blog is just to say that i'm back at it, working at the ole dirty bird, and it's just like riding a bike (would all who appreciate the irony of that statement laugh here). it was a creepingly slow night, and they put me in the back section where they always forget to seat people. you might say i was eased in.

also, we got new shirts, and they're horrendous. check them out at your local reds starting monday.

thank heavens for technology

remember the days before caller id and abundant cell phones when you would screen calls through your answering machine, and then, when that call finally came that you didn't want, you would all be quiet as the persona non grata left their message, because some subconscious part of you was afraid that if you dropped a plate or the dog barked, they would hear it and know you were there?

Monday, September 11, 2006

may i announce that...

...i am gainfully employed. i am the proud new owner of a 'real' (aka 'not red robin') job. let me disclaimer by stating once and for all that i lurve working at reds. it is not, however, a viable career unless your name is carrie and you work the bar at the abby reds and all the other staff call you 'mamma bear.' then it's legit. i will not be the new carrie. i will also not (hopefully) spend my life working at daycares.

did i land my dreamily-located job up at metrotown? certainly not, i say to you. either their funding was cut, and they're really not hiring more teachers, or they decided after i left that i had something of the psychotic about me, and that they weren't sure they liked my shoes (i wore shoes to that thing. not flip flops, effing shoes!!! one of them scraped all the flesh off the back of my heel, leaving it oozing and tender, so that when, in one of my pre-sleep twitchings later that night, i donkey-kicked myself in the heel, i woke up cursing). shortly thereafter, however (i think it was the same day), my good old friend jody (who i haven't physically seen for over two years, even though we used to hang out daily) calls me up and says, i have a job i need to give to you.

i work at a daycare in surrey. i'll refrain from giving you the first impressions of any of my kids, because they'll all end up being wrong and i'll have to eat them later (my words, not the kids). i'm only working part-time so that i can keep my belurved job at reds, but right now, part time is plenty time. having been madly busy and insatiably productive for the past four years or so, my shiftless bummery was starting to get to me. that being said, i am one day into my job, and nostalgically sobbing overy my days as a shiftless bum. sort of.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


in lieu of the absolutely nothing that is going on in my life just now, let me tell you about my dog (well, dogs, because the story of how we got koala begins with shadow), because i think she's downright hilarious, and everyone who meets her thinks she's pretty great, too. so, the story of koala begins with shadow, who we got when i was about three. this is a picture of shadow...

well, actually, it's a picture of a picture, because i got my digital camera the christmas we put shadow down (which i totally thought was the tragic-est thing that had ever happened, and capped off my rotten christmas in which i also worked two weeks at a job that i hated and then sort of got fired, and my purse was stolen. i got back to school, vengeful and self-pitying, to find that my friend chris' two-year-old neice had been diagnosed with cancer and then died in that two-week period. he took that prize). so we got shadow when i was three-ish, and i was deathly afraid of her for about a week, and then we became romping friends. shadow was a family dog, who loved us all equally, and she was also part border collie, so she couldn't rest until we were all in the same place. she got to be about twelve-ish years old, which is old for a dog, and we figured she wasn't long for this world, so we started to think about getting another dog. if you're dog people, and your dog dies, or runs away, or what have you, this creates a dog vaccuum, and that will suck in any old dog if you're not careful. if you want to have some choice in the matter, you need to pick your new dog before your old dog kicks it. shadow was slowing down, so we got koala to fill the gap. shadow, out of pure spite and obstinancy, lived five more years before she got (quite suddenly) so old that we had to put her down. that's all i really want to say about that matter.

shadow was small and quick, clever and thought she was people. koala knows she's a dog. this is her knowing she's a dog (actually, i think she's sneezing, but you get the point)...

'did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? i think that's how dogs spend their lives.' - sue murphy

that's koala the time she got stuck in the front seat of the car. boo says that trying to get her out was like birthing a calf. needless to say, she's dumb as a rock. i mean, she's smart dog-style (she was show-dog trained when we got her, but she was also thin...she is currently neither of those things), but she totally will go (read: has gone) through a screen door because she didn't notice it was there. she's terribly fat, unreasonably happy, and hopelessly devoted to my dad, loving the rest of us only by proxy. she spent the first few years of her time with us being murderously afraid of my brother. now she is pretty much only afraid of being left alone at the park (not that she ever has been, but she'll never go more than twenty feet from you, and panics when you're out of her sight). and of that sound bottles make when you blow over the top of them. and lawn mowers, and vaccuum cleaners, and...well...a lot of other things, really. but she's docile, and let's us dress her up...

which we do, in the absence of smaller siblings. my mum contends that koala knows she looks foolish, and feels ashamed, but answer me THIS the face of a dog who knows how ridiculous she looks?
not at all!! that beast is LOVING life! the collar you see in that picture is a relic; she goes about in the buff now. her intense fear of abandonment usually keeps her from running too far away.

in conclusion, koala enjoys lying around...


(i just accidentally deleted the picture of koala skateboarding, and you know how blogger is about adding photos once you've started typing, so just scroll down to the next post, and beHOLD!)

and a good laugh...

(although that may be another sneeze). thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your time.



this is sierra sanchez... she's ten and she plays soccer and speaks thai and is really completely rad. also, she keeps me in the loop. she emailed me this morning to let me know that apilak really and truly has pneumonia (well, namoneea, but she's ten). and also that she's lost her email address somewhere (not the 'address,' the account).

here's a smirky face to put to your prayers. karen says that he looked terrible when they admitted him (5:00 this morning, our time), but as they prayed for him and played with him, and the meds took effect, he seemed to get better before their eyes. so pray for a miracle. we only need a little one 'cause, well, he's a little person.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

book stores (and a quick rant about donald miller)

book stores give me happy tinglies. used book stores even more so. today robyn and i went for coffee at the wee cafe where her hubby works (thanks for the stellar latte, ry) and where mike soon will (i expect no less than stellar, mr laroy), and then googled 'used book stores north van.' the first one on our list had been mysteriously transformed into a gymwear shop, but it stood two blocks down from an un-used book shop (i forget which one) and so we browsed the orderly, straight-backed titles there (i am a bindings-breaker; my friend dennis is not. i discovered this upon returning a book to him, its spine rendered limber and readable by my unconscious bending, only to find that all of his other books lay flat when placed on their sides). i found 'plan b: further thoughts on faith,' anne lamott's sequel, of sorts, to 'travelling mercies.' may i just say this quickly: it is currently en vogue to like donald miller. he is current, slightly edgy, clearly loves Jesus, and has written a stack of books in the past few years. i don't like donald miller. for those of you who do, go on ahead, but when you flip over your copy of 'blue like jazz' and read where, on the back, christianity today likens him to 'anne lamott with testosterone,' replace that, in your mind, with 'donald miller has a similar style to anne lamott, but she's semi-olderish and has been doing it longer, so she's better at it, and she may swear just a teeny bit more, but she doesn't insult your intelligence by explaining every cultural reference she makes, and figures that if you don't know who charlie mccarthy or what sarcoptic mange is, you can look it up your damn self. and also, she is white lady with afro hair, and that's kinda rad.' i say this having only read 'blue like jazz,' and perhaps miller has matured in the three books he's written since then, and i have to admit that lamott's fiction really isn't uber-awesome, but her non-fiction is to die for. 'travelling mercies' is a must, 'operating instructions: a journal of my son's first year' would top my gift list if i knew any pregnant ladies who had wicked senses of humor and didn't mind the occasional f-bomb, and would whoever borrowed my copy of 'bird by bird' (alan, was that you?) kindly remind me that you borrowed it and then return it to me? (i swear i didn't lose it, jane, it's just that i love to lend out books, but i haven't developed a sign-out system.) there. whew! this has all been on my mind since i read blj in the summer of 2004. i am a free gal once again. what was i talking about? oh yes, bookstores. so, we finally found an honest-to-goodness used bookstore, which i greatly prefer. the books are not only cheaper, but they have been loved (robyn pointed out that the very nature of used book stores indicates that the books have been rejected and abandoned. i prefer to see them as an inheritance, passed down from book lover to book lover for a nominal fee). i am ecstatic when someone hands me their own personal copy of a treasured book, particularly if the book appears well-read and bears the scars of backpack travel, subconscious reading twitches, and the dog. a man at the shelter where my sister volunteers gave her this copy of 'stranger in a strange land' (which i insist you all go read right now. you can't borrow it from me, because it isn't mine. ask boo). truth be told, i was looking for a copy of this today. it's one of those books you'd like to own, because it's rich and deep and requires several re-readings to fully 'grok' it (you'll have to read the book). ANYway, the reason i started this post was to tell you about this bookstore we happened upon that almost gave me epilepsy...what was the name of that store, robbie? no matter, they'd likely sue me for libel anyways. you know that bin in zellers with the $.98 panties? they're all in a jumble from having been rummaged through, and you can only tell that they started out orderlyish because there's a higher concentration of mediums in the southwest corner. this store was like that, but with books. boxes upon boxes of unsorted books nearly blocked the entry. half of the shelves stood behind waist-high stacks of boxes, sealing the lower books into a mausoleum, of sorts. the boxes being bad enough, the books that were shelved were double-stacked. double-stacked! like i do with my geek-o fantasy novels that i'm too proud to hide in storage, but too ashamed to make it immediately obvious how very many of them i have. behind every row of books was another row of books, praying for the light. i'd say that of all the thousands of books present, maybe a quarter of them were readily visible. even those were in a loosely-arranged order. 'whattaya got there?' 'ummmmmm, i have what appears to be the M's' 'M's, eh? well, that makes no sense, because i'm noting a profusion of T's just here, but there seems to be a cluster of G's in between us.' it made me hyperventilate, a little.

it makes me happy, then, to be sitting cozily on my bed (read: mattress on the floor), flanked by my orderly, beloved, well-behaved bookshelves (plural!!!), having exacted a promise from my own dear joel that i will always have more bookshelf-room than books. my treasures will never meet this buried-in-a-tomb-built-of-their-own-kind fate. i'd give them away, first.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

OH yeah

and as far as i know, golf and apilak are doing better. thanks for praying.


i had thought that things would kind of slow down for a bit once i got back to north america. i suppose the fact that i didn't get dressed today until 2:00 suggests that perhaps they have (although 'dressed' is a loose term. i replaced my sweatpants with fisherman pants, the rough thai equivalent. 'changed' might be a better word for the process). this past long weekend, however, was long indeed. i spent a significant chunk of friday transiting myself out to abbotsford (i know, i'm lame, and i still don't have my license. i KNOW!), where joel and i had dinner with his family and then hung out with his chilliwack entourage at the chilliwack earls (the only earls where, as far as i can see, my 'whores unlimited' theory falls short. if you are reading this and you work at earls, i'm sorry, kind of).

saturday, i went to some basketball game at mei which is supposedly a big deal *shrug* and then caught up with a series of friends from last year. ben and caleb have a new place (except that ben doesn't actually live there. in my mind he does) and, like, thirty new roommates. it's the mt waddington house all over again. since ben is the only person in whose company i smoke, we had a cigarette on the roof. ben started trek on sunday which, since drinking and smoking are verboten while on the trek program, cuts both of our fledgling smoking careers short. a shame, really.

sunday, joel and i headed off to my sweet little church in surrey and then went to the pne. it's the last weekend of the fair, so, needless to say, it was packed. the superdogs were splendid, as usual, with the border collie rocking the show (i'm partial to border collies, since our dear departed shadow was kind of part one. joel says they're prone to nipping at heels. if he and i ever do agree on something, i hope it is of more consequence than our preference of dog). there was a high-diving show that was actually pretty wicked (as in, awesome) and a street performer who drew the 15-second act of catching a catapulted cabbage on a helmet with a spike into a half-hour show. there were some sweet sand sculptures, like this one...

...where you can't actually tell, but saskwatch is sneaking up on an unsuspecting camper. there were some other really intricate ones, but this one caught our eye... being a trifle crude. i mean, i know, art and all, the human form is lovely and whatnot, but this is a family park, and that woman is being ravished by the snake! the miscellaneous security guard informed us that she had begun her sand-life naked, and was sand-clothed at the request of the local powers-that-be. that's her leg up in the air. (there's a sand-dude behind her with a sand-apple in his mouth. probably all of you get the adam-and-eve reference. i totally missed that connection, which i'll chalk down to being shocked and appalled). ANYway, the real reason i go to the pne is to see the animals, cause i'm from the city...

most particularly THIS animal...

look at the SIZE of this cow!!! that little creature in black petting him is me, to give you some frame of reference. MAN!!!

monday saw still more friends i haven't seen in ages come out to hang out, and go to the earls on kingsway to visit more friends. it is good to be home.

as per my job situation...well, as soon as i said i preferred the part-time position, the jellybean daycare cooled off, and said they'd be in touch. i called them today, left a message on the machine, and haven't heard back. here's hoping i still get on there, but if not...them's the breaks. the reason i'd rather work part time is so that i can work at red robin in the evening (i know, working at reds gives me ulcers and makes me lose my hair and curse like a sailor, but i love it, i really do. plus it's good money). reds is more than eager to take me on staff, and the scheduly lady and i will be having an availability chat this evening. i guess this is the real world, and it's time to start making my own decisions, but i'd frankly rather have someone sort out my life just now. any takers?

Monday, September 04, 2006

too soon

so, i knew that this would happen, and that sooner or later, one of the boys would get sick and i would be over here, and not only unable to do anything about it, but at the mercy of everyone there to keep me updated and to shower love and affection on my behalf (which, i have to add, i have NO doubt of their ability to do. i just want to be the one doing the showering). so, i've been home for just over a week, and golf is sick. i got an email saturday night saying that he was quarantined, and that they were hoping that it wasn't TB, that it was just a really bad case of pneumonia, and today i get more mail saying that he's getting better (thank God) but that now apilak is sick, and he's way more frail. so now two of my boys are sick, and there's literally nothing i can do about it, except worry. it feels like worrying over there would be more productive than worrying over here. worrying there, i could cuddle and hold and joke and make laugh, i would be in the know, i would feel connected and useful. worrying here, i just worry. and pray. and ask others for prayer. so if you all could pray for my boys, they're sickly. i hope to have happier updates soon.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


applying for med school isn't like applying for Bible college. you don't just fill out a batch of standard forms, leaving half the questions blank because you don't know your information off by heart and you're too lazy to go look it up, and doodling daisies in the corner. applying for med school is more like trying to get new id after all your old id has been stolen. you have to fill out forms in triplicate, provide two pieces of official mail addressed to you, get a copy of your dental records (well, none of this is actually true for either new id or med school, but you get the idea). i know all this, not because i'm hauling myself through all this muck, but because joel is. since i'm not going to be a doctor, it's really none of my business whatall becoming a doctor entails. except that what he goes through, inevitably i go through (babe, i mean that in the least resentful, most supportive sense, and in the same way that you have been [vicariously] suffering pms for the past two and a half years.) ANYway, part of what is required is a short, biographical essay saying, essentially, this is who i am, this is why i'm awesome, this is why i want to become a doctor, and this is why you should let me into med school, all in two pages or less. he has now written the essay, and it is up to me, editor extraordinaire, to spit-shine it. even though he left at an already-late-ish hour, i know that my writing/editing skills are better at night than they are during the day, so i had at 'er for a while, but there's always that point (you late-night paper-writers know what i'm talking about) where your evening talent peaks, and then you start to sound like you're drinking wine straight from the bottle, and now looks to be about that time, so perhaps i will stop editing vitally important documents, cut short the flow of bloggerrhea, and get some sleep.
also, happy birthday, jacks.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


everyone else who graduated in april has already figured this out, but cut me some slack, i was on an adventure. not returning to school with the rest of the herd leaves you feeling lost and disoriented. it's not just the void left by thailand that is sucking in my sense of purpose, it's the school-vacuum. mike, hurry up and write your book!! i need to learn how to survive after college!!!

who's unemployed?

i was supposed to hang out with my sister today, but she begged off. so i went up to the ole metrotown red robin (wherein i have my humble serving beginnings), resume in hand, to make my face familiar and offer to put my name and number in the back, should they need shifts covered. the manager wasn't in, the assistant manager was busy, would i like to leave a resume and application? truth be told, i would not, as this does nothing towards making my face familiar, and said resume would inevitably be tossed into the drawer of the hostess stand, smothered by scraps of paper with to-go orders scribbled on them, and tossed out within the month. i know how this works. so i said i'd come back tomorrow, and wandered on out.

having this useless resume in my hand, i puttered over to the jellybean daycare center in metrotown and dropped it off, just for kicks. i was exactly one block away from the mall entrance when olga, from jellybean, phoned and asked me to come back for an interview. we clicked. she liked. i have a job. i haven't said yes, but it's mine for the taking. she's dying for me to take it. there are three other people vying for the job, which has to be filled by the 5th, so i have to let her know by tomorrow, but she wants to give it to me. 'what's so special about you, rachel?' she says to me, not in the 'why should i give you this job' sense but in the 'why do i feel overwhelmingly compelled to give you this job' sense. i love Jesus? i have my new pink shirt on? i don't know. the favor of the Lord is upon me? something like that.

i thought i'd be desperately struggling for weeks to find work. to be honest, the thought of lazing around, half-heartedly looking for a real job and picking up shifts at reds, kind of appealed to me. God only knows, though, what's in store. this job feels dropped into my lap; i feel compelled to take it. 'you go on upstairs and thank the Lord,' says my mother.


Monday, August 28, 2006

can your sword do this?

i bought a sword for my brother in thailand. brian falls also bought a sword. bri, your sword may be bigger and heavier, but does it make that *shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!* sound when you pull it out of the scabbard?
does it have carving on the blade?

can it be brandished in such a menacing fashion?

(that notice on the mirror is something to the effect that we are all grown children, and can we please stop leaving our crap lying around everywhere. the articles on the counter are evidence of unclaimed crap)

in other news, i took koala for a jog in the cool, sensibly-temperatured vancouver evening. myself, i have been jogging in thailand. koala, she has been lying her fat self around. here she is having a bit of a tough time, but looking immensely pleased with herself.

it has been dictated that i shall stick to walking her. i shall have to jog in my own time.

my mother has made great strides in moving her belongings out of the-room-in-which-i-now-live (not to be confused with 'my bedroom,' which has been awol since at least the mt waddington house. this will, at best, become the room in which i and my belongings co-habitate with the sewing machine and some spare bedding and a roll of tinfoil). this means that 'a place for everything and everything in its place' is now a viable reality, if not an actual fact.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

now what?

i almost didn't come home from thailand. now you all know.

i'm having trouble re-adjusting. i can and do spend close to an hour, from shower to last touch of make-up, getting myself ready to go out, though i don't know why. i still love to shop (granted, it'll take time before i'm willing to spend $15 on a shirt again). i'd rather sleep in than get up, and i have a hard time reading my Bible on any regular and meaningful basis. how, then, have i changed, and why is it so hard to be here, now?

i ran into a girl today who i haven't seen since we were almost roommates back in october. at seventeen, nat had spent a year in africa, and she says it took her four months to return to 'normal.' sam dyck, mobilization coordinator for mbmsi, asked me upon my return what concrete actions i would take to ensure that the changes that had been effected in me did not dissipate, so that i would not, in short, 'return to normal.' this is a difficult question to answer, since i cannot clearly discern the changes. i can't label them and categorize them and file them away, to be saved for posterity and trotted out as mementos of my trip.

i don't know how i'm different, but i know that i am. i am confused and troubled, and completely dissatisfied with my life as it stands. i know that the most fertile stretches of our journeys are the ones that we spend wrestling with God, jacob-style, but that hardly makes for a good night's sleep. i ache to become comfortable again. i pray God i won't.

Friday, August 25, 2006


just a notice to all and sundry that i am home, safe and sound. i'm desperately trying to reacclimate myself to north america (the weather here is fabulous, though i'm not as sweat-proof as i hoped i'd be) and process my trip. how does one integrate the lessons of an adventure into the torpor of everyday life? on a related topic, does anyone know any good books along the lines of finding God in your achingly boring life?

i'm not sure how often i'll be blogging these days. i'd like to keep it up, but i'm frankly not planning on doing anything interesting. still, all my blogging friends manage to make their lives sound interesting, and my feelings won't really be hurt if everyone stops reading, because i won't know, right? so consider this the close to a chapter.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

getting there...

i said goodbye to the brians (falls and fotjasek) at 2:30, and in doing so, severed the last link to my thailand community. i was in bangkok with an entire afternoon ahead of myself, to do as i pleased, but i want nothing to do with a thailand that does not include my boys and p'ganniga. leaving was heart-wrenching, nearly to the point where i wish i hadn't come. homecoming will be sweet, but there have been too many hours in between.

aside from getting rip-roaringly drunk, i did the only other thing i knew would completely overwhelm my senses and help me pass the time: i went to mbk. the enormous mall did not disappoint, and for a few hours and a few hundred baht, i forgot how completely wretched i am. i was able to laugh at the 'berger king' and the 'grossery store.' now it is 2:30 in the am. i would dearly love to sleep on the plane, so i am awake now, trying to forget what i am leaving behind and focus on what i am coming home to. i am more than ready to come home, but nowhere near ready to leave.

my plane departs in less than six hours.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

shadrach, meshach, and...dao?

every morning just before class starts, the students gather in front of the flag and line up in their classroom groups. they sing the national anthem together, and then recite prayers to buddha. those stalwart figures you see with their hands to their sides or behind their backs are our boys. they are exempt from praying to the buddha by virtue of their status as Christians, but i often wonder what their classmates think of this, and how they respond when questioned. this is yet another one of those things i'll never know, because i don't speak thai.

the national anthem, besides being sung before class, is also played over the loudspeaker at 8:00. this is not just a school function; everywhere in thailand, loudspeakers on trucks or posted on streets, radio stations and television, all play thailand's national anthem at precisely 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. wherever one happens to be at that moment, one is expected to drop everything and stand at attention. traffic will sometimes even come to a halt, as people pay homage to their country and king.

other things you might not know about thailand:

before a movie is played in the theaters, a special video honoring the king is run. once again, everyone stands at attention.

when you fold money, you fold it with the king's face on the outside. if you drop money, stepping on it is a jailable offence (you're putting your foot on the likeness of the king's head).

it is considered rude to pick your teeth in public. picking your nose is perfectly acceptable.

every road worth mentioning has a meridian, because there are no functioning crosswalks. one only has to dodge traffic coming from one direction at a time, resting on the meridian in the middle. you are permitted to cross if you probably won't get hit.

the reigning rule of the road is 'don't get hit.' slightly less prominant is 'try not to hit anyone else.'

people drive on the left-hand side.

many driver's licenses are purchased, not earned.

it shows.

people swim in the ocean fully-clothed, and usually only in the evening. when they sit on the beach, they do so under a host of umbrellas, and they sit facing inwards towards each other, not towards the sea.

you eat with a fork and spoon, using the fork to push the food onto your spoon. you can use your spoon to cut things, if strictly necessary. my house has one butterknife, which i use when no one is around. i call it 'going savage.'

eggs and milk can be left out on the counter, no problem. cereal, however...THAT goes in the fridge.

thai people were voted the 'best-smelling people group' in the world. they shower several times daily.

no one kisses in public. if you must show affection, you put your face close to someone else's face, and sniff them.

friends of the same gender group can and will walk down the street hand-in-hand.

you never touch someone else's head.

that concludes our lesson in thai culture, 101. class dismissed.

5 days and counting...

i don't have much to post these days...getting ready to leave.

yesterday, everyone took me to this waterpark on top of a massive mall in bang was supposed to be a surprise until, i guess, the day before, but then no one ended up telling me, so when the fallses came to pick me up yesterday morning, there i was still in my jammies, drinking coffee.

today i ate a bowl of soup that tasted like human spit.

that's about all.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

pony up!!!

i'm coming home with a hundred bracelets. be prepared to buy them. all proceeds go to the orphanage.

this is my taxi. there's no cushion on that bit that i sit on, and going over bumps at high speeds makes me want to cry. luckily, having so much weight on the back slows the driver down, so we rarely go anywhere at high speeds...

this is apilak in his happy place (note my severely mosquito-bitten legs...i look like i have the pox)...

if i carry him around until he's fake-sleeping, and then sit down and put him in his leg-cradle, he'll open one eye and look around, decide this is an acceptable resting place and that he is still being a burden (he lives to encumber), and then go to sleep for real. this leaves my hands free to read a book or something.

yesterday, karen took me out for dinner-and-debrief to this little mexican food (mmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm) place in pattaya...pattaya is one of the prostitution capitals of thailand, and i had never been there, particularly not at night...i'm still trying to process it all, but it's one thing to read about it in books, and another thing entirely to see teenaged girls lingering, scantily clad, in front of bars, or walking through the streets hand-in-hand with a farang twice their age...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


someone slashed the outer pocket of my rockawesome satchel (read: mom-bag) while i was at the market yesterday, in the hopes that my wallet would fall out. luckily, my wallet is man-sized, and stayed put. still, that would have been a rotten way to end my trip. at least this decides for me the question of whether or not the mom-bag makes the return trip to canada.


the woman who inexplicably shows up on sunday afternoons to iron the boys' school clothes has a little dog named ninja, who is pretty much the cutest thing since kirby (you all know who i'm talking about...that video game where the pillow would eat things and spit them out at other things)...

only in thailand can you bring your dog (or infant child, or husband) to work with you.

the older kids at wat samet, particularly the ones in my classes, are pretty used to having a farang on the premises now, although they all still stop whatever they're doing and stare when brian's big green truck drives into the school. the younger ones, however, just can't get over it. every so often, they'll congregate in little clumps outside my doorway, and dare each other to go in and say 'hello.' sometimes, one of them will come in willingly, bravely, hand held out to be shaken. other times, they'll spend ten minutes trying to shove each other inside...


the boys had made a batch of beaded bracelets to sell to the Full Sail team, and the team leader, geoff, has requisitioned a whole batch more, promising to sell them when he gets back to california. a sight more profitable and less wearying (which we all condone, since they're all still sickish) than selling popcorn in the market, the boys have taken to bracelet-making like they were born to it...

i may be coming home with a batch myself, if bracelet fever holds. they make excellent gifts for your nieces!!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

mother's day photos

p'ganniga and her boys (i'm still gunning for that one perfect photo where all five of them look alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic...this is not that photo)

and then, because they're also kind of mine...

it's getting close to the end, and i'm dying to be home. this has become my life. it seems like i've known the fallses forever; it's perfectly natural that tassanee sanchez would hug me every time she sees me; rice actually is a proper breakfast food. these are my comfortable, familiar surroundings. still, something is missing, and whether that's solitude, or it's rest, or it's joel or family or people who i've actually known forever, it's time for me to go home. i've said a million times and i'll say again that if i could take the boys, i'd come home in a second. that being said, thoughts of leaving are both pleasant and unsettling. could you leave this face...?

or this one...?

there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace...

ecclesiastes 3:1-8

i feel that my time is coming to tear and to uproot, and i'm not entirely ready...