Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A La Carte

Ken and I don't cook for ourselves much these days. We're just too tuckered out by 6pm to face shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Maybe we should try harder. Sometimes I think so. But it's so much easier to pay someone else to hand over a plate of food.

Sometimes we throw caution to the winds and eat whatever. All day breakfast with really fatty salty bacon. Big, juicy burgers with fries and onion rings. Chinese food glossy with oil and cornstarch. Last time we went to Asian Legend, the lemon chicken was like a sweet, citrusy chicken donut covered in gooey sauce. At a certain point "decadent" becomes "gross".

For my birthday we went to Baton Rouge, the ultimate Canadian slightly-classy pig-out destination. They specialize in grilled meats, especially ribs, served on large oval platters with your choice of sides, usually a pile of fries big enough to choke a horse. This one time I was eating dinner there, and a horse actually came in, gobbled all the fries off my plate in one mouthful, and then choked to death right there on the floor. No one was willing to attempt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Well, it seriously could have happened.

Like I said, it was my birthday. We showed up on a Monday, which happens to be the day for discounts. 10 oz. of ribs usually goes for $19 and 16 oz. is usually $25, I think, but on Mondays the 16 oz. is only $ 20. So of course I ordered the larger portion. That's why doggie bags were invented.

We also ordered up a couple of strawberry Daiquiri's. If you can believe it, neither of us had ever tried one before. They are very easy to drink. I could barely taste the rum. We waited for our food to arrive. Ken took advantages of pauses in the conversation to thoughtfully lick sugar crystals off the rim of his glass.

Ken ordered a second Daiquiri when we were partway through our meal. He said that it tasted stronger than the first one. By the time he got to the bottom of the glass, he was claiming that either they made that one a triple or someone had slipped him a roofie. He did seem a little loopy.

"You've seen me drink!" he said. "I can have six drinks before I get tipsy!" I'm not sure sure about that. The fact is that when you're at home on your couch, drinking to unknot a stiff back at the end of a long day, it's a lot easier to miss how tipsy you're getting because you're not expected to get up and walk around, or carry on a civilized conversation. Ken doesn't drink all the time, don't get me wrong, but when he has one of his nights I do notice that the Most Watched YouTube videos suddenly seem much funnier to him than usual. By which I mean, there is uninhibited giggling. Therefore: tipsy!

But not after only two drinks. This was something unusual.

Fortunately we were within walking distance from home. On the way back I held Ken's elbow just in case. He walked in a gentle slalom pattern, and serenaded me with an improvised song about how there are a lot of condos.

I wonder what the hell Baton Rouge put in that drink.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pickle Music

The fridge had gotten to that point. The point at which it was so packed full of half-empty sauce bottles; unopened jars of chutney and antipasto that had arrived in gift baskets two Christmases ago; and other abandoned condiments; that there was hardly any room left in it for actual food that we might actually eat. It was time to clear out the crap.

I apologize to Ken if I threw out anything valuable of yours by accident. I'm pretty sure you won't miss the jar of Patak's Curry Paste that had only a teaspoonful left in the bottom, but what about the half-full Chicken Tikka Sauce? Was that from last month or last year? If I got rid of anything I shouldn't have, just say the word and I'll replace it.

We did have some odd items archived behind the mustard and the peanut butter. For example, a 2 Litre (half-gallon) jar of cubed pickled beets. I assure you, I did not heft that sucker home from the grocery store. There's only one other person shopping for our fridge, and he hates beets. Will not eat them. I have tried. I like beets (just not the pickled variety), but Ken most definitely does not. So why was that jar taking up valuable real estate in our fridge? That's another story to be told another day.

Speaking of econo-sizing, we also had a 2 Litre jar of dill pickles (expired in July). I drained the brine down the sink and then tilted the jar over the trash bin, dumping out a large quantity of whole pickled cucumbers, giving them a poke to get them moving when they got jammed in the mouth of the jar. For reason I cannot justify, I found myself humming the William Tell Overture while performing this operation. That there is pickle music!

I rinsed out all the jars, took out the trash and the recycling. Now I have space in my fridge! For food! Trust me there are still plenty of sauces available. Sauce is always better when you've got something to put it on.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

South Asian Wedding Show

The South Asian Wedding Show could be heard pumping out thundrous techno-raga beats from all the way down the conference centre corridor and around the corner. From the ticket booth, we caught sight of flashing laser lights and clouds of fog from the smoke machines. Once inside the turnstile, we could barely hear each other for the din.

I haven't been to a ton of weddings, but from what I saw at this show, South Asian weddings put boring old white-people weddings to shame. Deep shame! There are various religious and cultural traditions which fall under the South Asian umbrella. From what I witnessed, this show covered weddings mainly in the Hindu tradition. I tell you, those Hindu kids know how to party!

The hall was bedlam. It was so crowded in the aisles that it was a challenge to get from A to B. Despite the fact that I'm obviously not of South Asian descent, the salespeople behind the tables were more than happy to pitch to Ken and I. He's half-white-half-Asian so maybe they thought we were engaged and our wedding would be in his family's tradition, which could be anything seeing that he's ambiguously brownish.

When I was two steps into the hall, a woman thrust a promotional postcard at me, held flat like a plate, a miniature iced chocolate cupcake balanced on top of it. I accepted the card and immediately downed the yummy cupcake. The next booth was promoting, and sampling, Johnny Walker Scotch Whiskey. We declined the booze, but helped ourselves to the plate of bite-sized dark chocolate pieces. The next booth after that was selling security services. After determining that we both work for a business that is rather under-serviced in terms of security, the sales guy gave us his card and his shpiel. Then, just as we were turning to go, he said "Would you like some chocolate?" He stepped aside revealing a plate full of Hallowe'en treat-sized candy bars. We declined, having had our fill already. No shortage of sweets there!

There were several dj-and-light-show services, all vying with each other for the loudest, flashiest booth. One of them literally drummed up an audience with a trio of live traditional drummers. Another advertised that their services included "pyro". Man, where were they when I was planning my wedding? We could have blown the lid off the church with some wicked fireworks! That would have been totally rad.

The sample table settings on display were extravagant, as was everything there. My favourite was the company who offered "silk" canopies tented over each individual table. There was a fake peacock (made with real feathers, I'm sure) perched on the edge of one of the canopies. Seriously, it makes me want to renew my vows just so that I can plan a wedding in which fake peacocks figure prominently in the decor.

If Ken weren't allergic to horses, he could ride in to our second wedding on a white horse. This is a Hindu tradition, and sure enough there was a white horse in the hall, munching on hay and looking rather annoyed by all the comotion. He was wearing a fancy red headpiece with gold ornamentation, and his front two hooves had been painted with gold sparkly nail polish. Hoof polish? Anyway, since I grossed out enough of you with my snake stories, I won't get into detail about how the horse sneezed all over Ken. Let's just say that Ken, and the guy standing next to him, were not pleased.

Lastly we took in a fashion show. Here's a link to the official photos from the show. Click on the small photos for more detail. It would take too many words to describe these outfits properly. If I had to put it in a nutshell, they were: silky, sparkly, elaborate, amazing. South Asian style is very different. I didn't like everything I saw, but many of the outfits that were jaw-droppingly beautiful.

I wish I had some Hindu friends who might invite me to one of these unbelievable weddings. If the show was impressive, the real thing must be even better!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Snakes Quite Near Planes

Sometimes Ken and I swing by the convention centre out by the airport just for the hell of it. We check out the digital signboards to see if there are any good conventions going on that might be open to the public. This Sunday, we hit a double jackpot.

The first thing that caught our attention was the Reptile Retailers' Convention. Never been to one of those before - let's go!

It was in a giant airplane-hangar type space with bare, concrete floors: around 100 booths of all things reptilian, from snakes to frogs to turtles, and all the attendant gear. Most of the breeders were fairly low-key, running small, family businesses. The smaller live goods were on display housed in clear plastic take-out food containers.

I marched straight up to the first table loaded with stacks of small snakes coiled in plastic tubs. The vendor was a breeder of pythons. It only took a few curious questions before the guy on the other side of the booth pulled one of the snakes out for a closer look. It was all coiled up, napping I guess. I put out my hands and received the knot of snake. I thought it might react to being handled, but it didn't move a muscle.

After I'd held it for a few moments, the snake guy took it back from me to demonstrate the appearance of its belly. He uncurled the snake like it was a length of pliable wire. That got it going. When he put it back in my hands it stretched out and started flicking its tongue out to smell me. Yes, you heard it here first (or maybe not, but the fact remains) snakes smell with their tongues. It was a little freaky until I got used to the feel of it moving around and breathing, but once I did I would have been happy to hang out with it indefinitely. It was a beautiful creature.

It was happy to hang out with me, not so much like a dog is pleased to make a new friend, but because snakes like to be anywhere warm. As far as it was concerned I was a convenient source of body heat. I started to think that I might like to have a snake as a pet, considering that Ken is allergic to everything with fur and feathers. At least a snake is a semi-realistic option.

Supposedly snakes are easy to take care of. This is what I was told at the convention: they only eat once a week and only poop once a week. They don't bark, shed, or need to be taken out for walks. They'll hang out with you and watch TV if you like. And you don't have to feed them live prey. Yes there were quivering piles of worms and grubs available for sale, probably more for the geckos and lizards anyway, and the pinkies... Poor pinkies. Pinkies are baby mice or rats that have not yet grown fur. The mean old snakes like to eat pinkies for lunch.

Yes, it's kind of awful, but hey, I'm not a vegetarian. I'm a scavenger, eating meat that someone else has killed for me. No reason why I couldn't do the same for a snake: go to the pet store and buy a pack of frozen pinkies, then thaw one with a hairdryer once a week and leave it for the snake. That's the easiest way to do it. I don't think I'd be able to throw a live pinky in with a snake and watch the food chain at work. If you think that means I'm a hypocrite, fine. I maintain that I'm a product of our culture, and I have more important things to do than get all turned around trying to change that particular piece of my brain.

There were live pinkies available for sale at one particular booth. Four varieties actually: mouse pinkies, rat pinkies, and then the next stage up of each. Little rats and mice with their eyes just starting to open and a fuzz of the softest fur. The guy selling them was handling the furry ones like they were nuts and bolts, absently picking up a handful of them and sifting them through his fingers back into the pile. They didn't fall far, and then blindly burrowed their way back into the warm huddle. I reached out and touched one. It was soft as could be. Well, that's the natural order for you. Cute little things get eaten by big ugly things. If it weren't for all the comforts of civilization I'd probably have been eaten by angry bears ages ago.

The only thing that truly gave me the willies was the scorpion. It was stuck in the smallest type of plastic tub, the kind I fill with olives from the antipasto bar at Fiesta Farms grocery. That scorpion was pure bad, I'm telling you.

The turtles were kind of cute, in their wrinkly way. So were the exotic frogs, in every colour of the rainbow. We met a 2.5 foot-long monitor lizard sitting on his owner's lap, and some really, really big snakes. The big snakes eat full-grown rats, which were being sold, stone dead, in plastic-wrapped six-packs by an unsavoury-looking fellow at a barren booth full of styrofoam coolers. I wouldn't take his job, let me tell you. Can you imagine that? Running a business where your valuable inventory consists of cases upon cases of big dead rats? Could that possibly be fulfilling?

Anyway, I don't think I'll be getting a snake anytime soon. Those pythons grow to be three feet long, and pretty heavy. They're not really so cute then, I guess. Well, if I had a giant mansion where I could keep them in a special snake room with tropical plants and whatnot I might do it. But for now I think I'll stick to my houseplants.

Coming next post: what was the other part of the double jackpot? Stay tuned to find out!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Free Sauna

I'm in charge of all five thermostats at work. Or at least, that's what I've been trying to explain to people since we moved in May. I thought I could trust my co-workers to leave well enough alone, but no, everyone's busy fingers were pressing those buttons whenever my back was turned.

Here is how a thermostat works, for the benefit of the many, many people who seem not to understand. The AC or the heat is either on or off. It's not like your stove. You cannot make the temperature change more quickly by cranking the controls. If it's going to take 10 minutes to adjust the temperature by one degree, that will be the case whether you've set the temperature at two degrees difference or ten degrees difference from whatever the temperature is right now.

It drove me crazy when someone, always anonymous, feeling that their office was a tad warm, would set the thermostat down to 62 degrees. Or they were a little cold, so they'd crank it to 83. When people do that, the thermostats set to reasonable temperatures in other areas fight with the unreasonable thermostat. Much energy is wasted and everyone ends up too hot or too cold.

After sending memos and posting signs did absolutely nothing, I finally gave in and purchased lock boxes to cover the thermostats. Or tried to do so. For a while it seemed that they would never be installed. I called the HVAC guy every other day for two weeks and he always said "tomorrow". It was frustrating.

At 6:40 pm last night I was just stepping in my front door when the phone rang. It was someone back at the office. "There's some guy at the door saying that he's here to put on the Honeywell covers?"

Nice! My HVAC guy finally sent one of his subcontractors, well after office hours and without warning me that he was coming. It was a lucky break that anyone was there to receive him. Fortunately the woman who called me was willing and able to stay late to supervise the work.

This morning I came in to the satisfying sight of the thermostats enclosed in clear plastic boxes. The keys were on my desk. I inspected them all, and everything seemed to be fine. My co-worker said "It took a long time. He had to dis-assemble all the thermostats, mount each box on the wall, and then re-install the thermostats." I had no idea that it was that complicated. I thanked her for staying late.

Everything was fine until around 2pm, when I got a call over the intercom system. "The ladies washroom is unusually warm. You should look into it." That seemed kind of weird and random.

I went to check it out, and sure enough, this one-seater washroom was warm as a sauna. It was all the more strange because all summer long the washroom had been as cold as a refrigerator. It was so hot that I wondered if there was an electrical fire in the ceiling, except that I couldn't smell or see any smoke. Nevertheless, I was worried.

I ran around and checked all the thermostats again, and they were still set to 73. However, the one closest to that washroom was registering an actual temperature of 76. Yes, it was set to "cool". Yes, the fan was working. I played with the buttons hoping that it might reset or something. No luck. I put two and two together and realized the most likely cause of the problem: when the dude re-assembled the thermostat, I bet he switched the heat and cool triggers.

Sure enough, the heat kept blowing. The temperature rose to 78. After running around a bit, calling the contractor and explaining to worried people why the little washroom was toasty as an oven, I finally had the presence of mind to turn the system right off. At least it wasn't getting any hotter.

In response to my URGENT e-mails, HVAC guy sent his dopey sub-contractor back to our site to take a look right away. He pulled the thermostat off the wall, and sure enough he had re-wired it backwards. That was fixed shortly. He also adjusted the air flow to the washroom, which was obviously getting more than its fair share.

The happiest part of this ending was that I was still able to escape and get to my massage appointment on time, because by then I really needed it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Year Closer to the Grave

I called my best childhood friend a few weeks ago to wish her a happy birthday. She was turning 38. I'll be catching up to her next week.

*ring ring*

- Hello?

- Hey Laurster! Happy Birthday! How are you doing? Having a good day?

- Oh well [she laughs] you know. One year closer to the grave!

I scolded her for saying that, and she was kind of joking, but then again I guess it's true. And lately I seem to find reminders of human mortality everywhere. For example, on the radio I heard two morning show hosts have this conversation:

- When do you think middle age begins?

- I don't know. I guess that's open for debate.

- The most recent statistics show that the average North American lifespan is 76. So technically, when you're 38 you're in the middle.

- So you're saying your life is half over once you're 38?

- That's what I'm saying!

Way to hammer the point home, radio people! Aren't you supposed to be cheering people up in the mornings?

Then there have been actual deaths. The friendly, energetic handyman who took care of our premises at work, who couldn't have been more than 55, dropped dead of a sudden heart attack. Not right before my eyes, mind you, but it still came as a shock. One day he was up on a ladder, whistling a happy tune, changing lightbulbs, and the next, boom, he's gone forever.

A woman I work with, someone 2 years younger than me, lost her father very suddenly last week.

And my own step-dad could be doing better. He has high cholesterol but can't tolerate the medication that was prescribed to him. He also had a scan done on his heart, which shows that his heart muscle is enlarged. I know from watching Dr. G., Medical Examiner (a forensics show on the Discovery Health Channel) that this is a Bad Thing. The bigger the heart muscle, the more likely that person is to die of a sudden, massive heart attack. Now every time I see him I wonder if it will be the last. He's in his early 70's already. He seems lively and full of plans for the future, but you never know.

It's all adding up. I've been feeling kind of introspective lately. It's not all bad. I'm feeling very grateful for every day I have with my loved ones, as I hold that consciousness of life's fragility. I guess that's all I can do.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hair Wars

On Sunday Ken and I went together to get our hair done. Yes, we always go together, because
a) If I book Ken's appointment with mine I get a ride to the Very-Far-Away salon I prefer and
b) If I don't book Ken's appointment with mine he lets his hair grow down past his collar and that is definitely not a good look on him.

These days Ken puts in more chair time than I do because he gets a few bright streaks of colour layered into his naturally black hair. It's totally punk-tastic, for reals, but it takes ages. Anyways, my hair was all done and he still had an hour left to go, so I told him I was going out to window shop and I'd be back for him later.

I shmoozed around for a while, cruising the boutiques and shoe shops. I stopped into a fancy women's clothing store just to kill time, when the girl behind the counter struck up a conversation with me. She was a lovely young thing: perfect skin; big, dark eyes; and an abundance of wavy, glossy black hair twisted up into a loose bun on top of her head. She was also one of the chattiest people I've ever met.

Before long she had broken through my usual keep-to-myselfness and we were blabbing away to each other freely. We came to the subject of haircuts and salons. There were some stories told and comparisons of our worst salon experiences (no shortage of those). She divulged that she has trouble getting what she wants from stylists because she's not comfortable giving them direction.


Well, you know, they're the experts, and you have to defer to them, so if your stylist gives you a haircut you don't like, better just go try a different one, and hope that they do it the way that you secretly desire.

I wasn't following her. So, the stylist should be willing and able to read her mind? Or she's hoping to randomly find a stylist who happens to share her exact taste and vision for her particular head of hair?

This gorgeous girl, who had everything else going for her, obviously lacked the basic skills for dealing with stylists. As an older, wiser woman, I offered her some instructions: Tell them what you want! It's your money and your hair! And if they don't share your vision, find someone who does - before they get their hands on you!

My regular stylist was on vacation, so for this haircut I had to instruct a newbie. I was very specific. "I want the back and sides short, but leave these bits by my ears and the bangs long, with lots of layers, and lots of thinning at the top or it grows out into an ugly hair bulge." When she handed me the mirror at the end I said "This is exactly what I wanted!" and she said "Well, you gave a very accurate description." It was a win-win.

I hope that my sage advice will help the salesgirl deal with stylists more successfully in the future.

And now the floor is yours, people. Hairstyle horror stories from all of you please. Go!

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Portuguese Baptism

The invitation said to come to the church at 2 pm for the baptism of baby C. Then, after a break, there would be a dinner at 5 pm at a Portuguese restaurant. I didn't know what to expect, but I assumed that it would be fairly low-key. I was so, so wrong.

The baptism itself was more or less what I expected. A Catholic priest in white ceremonial robes spoke of C's future and his parents' faith, many blessings be upon him, etc. The baby fell asleep during the speech and then woke up and cried when the holy water was poured over his head. There were around two dozen relatives and friends clustered at the front of the church to watch.

What I did not expect was for the women to be dressed up for church like they were heading out to go clubbing. In my old church, no one would dare to wear a short skirt or show cleavage. It was all very proper. Apparently this isn't so much a concern in the modern Catholic tradition. Baby's mama was dolled up in a strapless, royal blue, satin cocktail dress. The hemline stopped well above her knees.

Another woman showed up in a leopard print halter-top dress, with a bare back and a swingy little skirt. Man, if she had walked into my old Baptist church in that get-up she would have been the target of some serious stink-eye, especially from all the white-haired board members.

Later in the day, Ken and I showed up at the restaurant where we were expecting to have dinner with the two dozen friends and relatives who were at the church. In fact, we were ushered up to the banquet hall over the restaurant, which eventually filled up with, I'm guessing, more than 60 guests. From that point on, it was like a mini wedding celebration, complete with multi-course meal, drinking, dancing, and gifts for all the guests: each couple received a picture frame decorated with a pouf of gauze wrapped around white almond confetti candy.

Baby C was a trooper. During the entire evening, from 5 pm to 11 pm, I never once heard him cry. Every time I looked up, he was in someone else's arms. Most babies I know would get fussy being passed around so much. In fact, his father made a point of bringing him around to each person for a little one-on-one. I got to hold him, which was a treat. He was very handsome in his special, white onsie with "My Baptism" embroidered on the tummy, with the matching white bib.

Someone had clipped a $20 bill to his soother. His father explained "It's a Greek thing".

Ken and I were seated at a table with a retired teacher and his wife. They were pleasant company. Then Alec Baldwin showed up. Alright, so his name wasn't Alec Baldwin, but this guy looked exactly, precisely like Alec Baldwin. He may have been another Baldwin brother that decided not to become an actor, for all I know.

Fake Alec Baldwin brought a date, but he seemed to enjoy staring at me from across the table. I kept looking up and finding him watching me as if I were a mildly engaging television show. He did not have a winning personality. Literally from the minute he sat down (we were in the middle of a conversation that immediately pressed his buttons) he was argumentative. Sadly, Fake Alec Baldwin was a hater. I tried to ignore him as much as possible.

After the first dessert course (dessert buffet still to come later) a live Greek band got going and there was much energetic dancing. I was encouraged to join a kick-line of dancers, doing fancy footwork to a 6/8 time signature. I barely managed to keep up, but I did, and after a few minutes I even had the steps figured out. Phew! Remember how last week I was all excited that I could walk to the bus stop by myself? Yeah, it's kind of a big step from there to dancing all night, but I did it anyway. I was a wreck for the rest of the weekend, but whatever.

Ken danced the Zorba, which includes dancing around a shot glass full of Ouzo and then picking it up from the floor with only one's teeth to do the shot. Our host performed this manoeuvre expertly several times. Then it was Ken's turn. He managed to flip the Ouzo all over himself, and break his belt into the bargain, but we were all very impressed and gave him full marks for showmanship.

All in all, it was an incredibly fun evening. The Greek and Portuguese relatives were all lively, joyful people, and excellent, tireless dancers. My only disappointment was that no one smashed their plates at the end of the meal. You know, Opa! and all that. Too bad. Everything else was fully fantastic.

Monday, September 6, 2010

CNE Fair Photos

Welcome to the CNE fairgrounds. You enter here, through the lovely Princess gates.

First stop was the petting zoo. This photo doesn't fully capture the intensity of the horse's stare. He wanted some of those Nom Pellets, right now! Yes, that's me under the hat.

I believe that llamas were invented by Jim Henson.

Look at that smile on the smallest piglet. I wonder what she's dreaming of.

Aaaaaaaaah! Attack of the zombie beasts!

The lovely, placid burro. His lips were very fuzzy.

These birds are from the Canadian Raptor Conservancy. (Raptor means a bird of prey.) This little kestrel is called Andre, after Andre the giant.

There was some audience participation.

This is Harley the owl. Ain't she a beaut?

There were also dozens of rides, games, and a huge indoor mall, but all our best photos were of our furry and feathered friends.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wonderful Normal

I travelled home from work on my own steam for the first time in weeks, and it was thrilling. Look at me, walking to the bus stop! Like a big girl, all by myself!

It's amazing how much coming back from a prolonged illness increased my appreciation for all the little things in life. I went to the Canadian National Exhibition, a giant fair that comes to Toronto at the end of each summer, and it was the best CNE ever. Not because of anything special at the fair; I was just so damn grateful to be out and enjoying myself.

My brain has also come back online. I feel smart again. I swear I dropped around 50 I.Q. points while I was ill. Now I'm busy reading again, and this morning I even watched the news. Wow, all that stuff going on all over the world! So interesting!

In other good news, my employers were quite worried by my illness, and they're actually taking tangible steps to make sure I don't overwork myself. The next Super Stressful Project is scheduled to kick off sometime within the next month or two. Previously it would have been expected of me that I continue to manage my two departments and 13 staff members; advise other departments' managers at their request; complete the writing of our health and safety policies, protocols, and employee training materials before our next Ministry of Labour inspection; and a million other little things; and manage the enormous project all on my own.

This time, having pleaded exhaustion to my bosses convincingly, they have signed on an experienced business associate to manage the Super Stressful Project. I will still be heavily involved, but at least it won't all be on my shoulders. That's an enormous relief. It was one thing for me to run projects on my own when we were a smaller business and my staff was half the size, but we have grown too much for me to be able to do it anymore.

Also fortunately, I know the business associate who I'll be working with, and I'm happy with their choice. He's a very smart, down-to-earth guy with a sense of humour. From what I've seen, he likes to like to roll up his sleeves and get things done efficiently. This is a relief, as I'm sure you all know people whose "help" you could do without. We'll see, but I think he's a keeper!

So, that's me. Just humming along, enjoying feeling normal. Enjoying the freedom to make social plans. Enjoying being able to run for the bus. Have a great weekend, everywebby!