Profiled

A few days ago, I saw a red flag hovering above the LinkedIn app on my phone. “Ooh,” I thought. “Is someone interested in being my friend?” Now, I know that connections on LinkedIn aren’t technically called ‘friends’, but what exactly DO you call them? ‘Business peeps’? ‘Corporate posse’? ‘Kudo Klub’? (If you know anything about LinkedIn, you know it’s always pressuring you to send kudos to people as if the mere fact that you’ve been connected to them for five years is cause for celebration, like ‘You’ve never once LIKED MY POSTS, MARCIA, so kudos for that.’) At any rate, when I opened the app, I was even more excited to see that it was a personal message. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have been so thrilled but after socially isolating for over a year, any form of communication is exciting. Even the stupid Norton on my computer popping up to tell me it’s protected me from several threats recently is a bit of a thrill. Of course, Norton is just a tryhard, because I have the free version and Norton keeps trying to impress upon me how much better off I’d be if I paid for a better package. But why have a cow and buy milk, am I right?

So I clicked on the message icon in breathless anticipation. There was a message from Jarod. It read, “Hi Suzanne! I wanted to reach out because, based on your profile, I thought you might be interested in discussing your sports flooring needs. Please reach out to me anytime!” Now, there were several questions I had about this message:

1) Who the f*ck is Jarod?

2) What’s with all the exclamation marks? This is LinkedIn, not Twitter.

3) What in the name of all that is holy could possibly have led Jarod to read my profile and glean from it that I had ‘sports flooring needs?

4) What even IS sports flooring?

And because I had no interest in engaging with Jarod about his weird flooring fetish, I will answer these questions myself:

1) I have no goddamned idea. He is neither a Business Peep nor a member of my Corporate Posse.

2) Jarod is very excited about sports flooring and the idea of potentially connecting with me over it. Perhaps he envisions us, sipping wine on a terrace somewhere, discussing whatever the hell sports flooring is.

3) I re-examined my profile. It says my name and that I’m the author of Smile and The Dome (I should probably update that with my two new books, The Seventh Devil and Feasting Upon The Bones and if that isn’t a shameless plug, I don’t know what is). It also says I’ve been endorsed for Public Speaking and Educational Leadership despite the fact that the only thing I ever post on LinkedIn is my blog. Where, in ANY of that, is there the slightest indication that I’m a) athletic b) interested in sports c) interested in floors?

4) The only thing I can even think of is astroturf. Why would I ever in a million years need astroturf? I HAVE GRASS, JAROD. Or is sports flooring that bouncy stuff? Because that MIGHT be cool, maybe in like one room where you could go when you were stressed and just bounce around on your sports flooring like Tigger until you felt better. Then it occurred to me—could ‘sports flooring’ be a euphemism? But I couldn’t for the life of me think what it might be a euphemism for, so I asked Ken:

Me: What could an interest in sports flooring be a euphemism for? Like, you’re a professional killer and you bury someone under concrete at an arena?
Ken: That’s very dark. Hmm. The only euphemism about sports I’ve ever heard is ‘Water Sports’.
Me: Water sports? Like water polo?
Ken: No, like…”pee play”. You know, Golden Showers.
Me: EWWWWWW.

So I immediately wrote back to Jarod: I DON’T DO THAT. What a creep. Then I looked and realized I had two other messages, one from ‘Matt’, who wanted to know if I was interested in an AI Training Pilot Project. Now, if that’s a euphemism for teaching my robot butler how to bring me wine, count me in. The other was from someone who thinks I like camping. Guess which message I’ll be responding to based on my profile?

Quilt Update for those who are following: I’m now at 270 squares. Thanks to those who recommended the rotary cutter. That thing is a godsend.

Patching Things Up

A little while ago, I decided to make a quilt. Let me state upfront that I have never made a quilt before, have no idea how to make a quilt, and I don’t know how to sew. Yet, there I was, wide awake at 3 am one morning, considering the numerous pairs of old jeans currently in my closet, as one does, and wondering what to do with them. “I could make a patchwork quilt,” I decided, with the confidence of someone who has never made a patchwork quilt. But I am nothing if not determined, so here are the steps I’m following.

First, I had to decide how many squares I would need. I lay there at 3 am, doing math, and if that doesn’t tell you about my level of determination and/or boredom, I don’t know what will. So, a king-size bed is 72” wide and probably the same in length. No, I didn’t bother to actually MEASURE it at any point during this process and have yet to do so, and that’s just fine. Anyway, I need a 6 “ drop on either side, so this quilt will be 84” square. And if the patches of denim are each 4” and I have to cut them at 4 ½ so I have a hem around each one, that’s…well, I don’t know, but it’s a lot of f*cking squares. After some painful mental gymnastics, I finally resorted to using a calculator and discovered, to my horror, that I will need approximately 441 squares of denim. At first, I didn’t believe it, then I counted the number of squares on the patchwork quilt my mother-in-law made us and it was just about the same. How many pairs of jeans IS that? Am I actually going to have to buy more jeans just to make a damn quilt? Luckily, I have 14 pairs as well as a few of Kate’s old jeans, so I might be OK. Otherwise, they sell them cheap at the thrift store.

Next, I had to decide how to cut the squares. Note that at the time of this writing, I have not yet cut the squares. But when I DO, I’m going to make a cardboard template that I can trace around. Or maybe two. I need the squares to be 4” but as I said before, I need a border or something that I can sew, and it should probably be like a standard width or whatnot, because I don’t want people to think my quilt was made by an amateur.

Me: So when I make my template, should I make a big one and a small one, or a big one with holes at certain spots?
Ken: What are the holes for?
Me: So I can take a Sharpie and mark the places where the pins need to go. Ooh, I have to buy pins!
Ken: Can’t you just fold the fabric over the smaller piece of cardboard and mark it that way?
Me (scoffing): You obviously know nothing about quilting, Ken.

Now that the squares are hypothetically cut, I have to sew them together. Normally, I just use a staple gun when I work with fabric—in fact, I recovered all of our breakfast room chairs a couple of weeks ago and all I needed was a pair of scissors and a staple gun. At first, I figured I could just hand-sew the squares, like the way I sewed up a rip in Kate’s leggings the other day. But when I considered the sad state of my sewing basket (it’s actually a Quality Street tin with a hotel sewing kit in it) and the time it took me to thread the needle, let alone the ten minutes to stitch up a 1 inch rip, I decided against that. So I needed to buy a sewing machine. And wow, those f*ckers are expensive! Luckily, I was on Facebook Marketplace and saw an ad for an old Singer that some woman was selling for thirty-five bucks, which seemed like a good deal. And in the ad, to prove it worked, she was demonstrating sewing a piece of denim! Talk about kismet.

On Thursday after work, Ken and I went to pick it up. What should have been a quick trip took a little longer than I expected because, even though I had already e-transferred her the $35, she hadn’t accepted it yet, and insisted that I wait while she booted up her Commodore 64. Then she got the answer to the security question wrong, even though I had messaged it to her and then told it to her AGAIN while standing in her kitchen, causing the transfer to fail which meant I had to resend it. Finally, she tried to print me off a receipt, even though I kept telling her I didn’t need one. Was she lonely? Maybe. Did she talk about making horse blankets and barn coats the entire time I was there? Yes, she did. Was that helpful to my quilt-making endeavours? No, it was not.

Sewing Lady: I have so many machines, it’s time to get rid of a few.
Me: What do you use them all for?
SL: Well, I use some of them to sew barn coats and horse blankets, but some of them are just for display. I really like sewing machines. I’ve been collecting them for years.
Me: Well, lucky for me you’re selling this one.
SL: I’ve taken off the plate and oiled it and set up the bobbin for you.
Me: Those are all English words, yet…
SL: It’s easy to use. See?
Me: That needle looks very sharp.

At any rate, the sewing machine is now sitting by the door where we left it. Today, I’m going to buy some pins and cardboard, and I will be giving regular updates on the quilt. Hopefully by this time next year, my mother-in-law will have taken pity on me and made the quilt for me. And that, my friends, is how you make a patchwork quilt.

Update: I have not yet purchased either pins or cardboard. Maybe tomorrow…

Pump It Up!

I like cream. Not whipped cream, not ice cream—in fact, I hate ice cream, and I can hear you muttering right now, “Weirdo”—but no, I’m talking about body cream. Lotion that comes in all different scents, with luxurious ingredients like hemp oil, shea butter, infusions of collagen, and jojoba, which is the best word to say in the world. But do you know what I hate? The damn pump containers they come in. Every single one of these things is designed specifically so that the pump stick thing (I just googled it and it’s call a dip tube, and if that isn’t the most sexual term for a thing that isn’t particularly sexual, I don’t know what is, and don’t pretend that you weren’t all like Ooh! as well) doesn’t go right to the bottom, leaving you inevitably with an inch of cream that you can’t access. Then you have to take off the lid, and try your best to get the rest out of the container by a) turning it upside down and slamming it against your hand if the container is small or b) sticking your hand INTO the container and scooping it out, if the container is large enough, thereby getting it all under your fingernails, which is what I’ve been doing for the last few days with a particular favourite. The only problem is that every time I take off the lid, the dip tube pump thing falls out, forcing me to reassemble the whole damn thing every time.

And here’s where I found myself on Wednesday night, in a perfect storm of circumstances. On the weekend prior, I had stupidly carried a heavy bag and re-injured my bad shoulder, eradicating all the good, and the extensive number of dollars, that the recent round of shock wave therapy had provided. My shoulder, like the rest of the world, went into lockdown. And there I was, in my bathroom, half naked, trying to scoop the last of the collagen cream out of the bottom of the stupid container, when the dip tube not only fell out but the whole lid fell on the floor and rolled under the bathroom vanity. And what did I do? I waved the arm that wasn’t in agony imperiously and yelled, “You know WHAT? You can just f*cking STAY THERE!!” You may be surprised to learn that the lid did not respond and is, in fact, still under the bathroom vanity where it is paralyzed with fear.

And then, to add insult to injury, I had to see my doctor, he of the dick-ish bedside manner, who matter-of-factly referred me to an Orthopaedic surgeon. While he was looking for the referral form on his computer, all the while muttering, “Where is it?” and forcing me NOT to respond “Would it be under ‘O’?”, kind of like trying to help your elderly parent figure out how to reset their password on ‘The Facebook’ or akin to watching my colleagues walk me through how to download and edit a document in Teams, he DID offer this:

Dr.: I’ll also give you a cortisone shot.
Me: Oh, Ok…um, will it hurt?
Dr. (laughs): No. Oh, I found the referral form! It was under ‘W’.
Me: Makes sense. Are you going to do it now?
Dr.: No, I don’t have any cortisone. I’ll fax a prescription to your pharmacy and you’ll need to pick it up, then make another appointment and bring the vial back here next week.

NEXT WEEK? How many more cream jar lids will have to die before I get some relief?!

In other news, I couldn’t resist sharing this ad, which I saw last week after my post about my chair, and I wish there was a way to tell the Facebook algorithm that I ALREADY BOUGHT ONE and to stop sending me ads for chairs. But this one for a ‘single seater couch’ is the best marketing strategy I’ve ever seen:

There are four pictures, all of the same chair, with one showing a huge rip in the arm, and they’re STILL asking $150 for it! And it made me think of other ways to advertise things to make them sound more valuable than they actually are, so here are some examples for you to guess:

Upright bathtub
Winterized motorcycle
Compact minivan
Organic glass
Semi-liquid product with dip tube

But I’m sure you’ll be able to think of lots of better examples than I can.

Don’t Think of Elephants

As I sit writing this, I’m thrilled beyond belief. My wonderful daughter, due to having all of her classes online next year thanks to covid, is moving home. It makes perfect sense that she shouldn’t be paying rent for some tiny room in a unit that she shared with several other strangers, even IF the wifi is better, and since she’s one of my favourite people, I can’t wait to have face-to-face conversations with her where she doesn’t respond for an hour instead of doing it by text. So she started bringing things home this past week, and that’s where the trouble started. As we were helping her take some boxes upstairs, I couldn’t help but notice that one large box was thoroughly duct-taped. Even more, it had written on it in permanent marker the ominous warning, “DO NOT OPEN”.

Me: Why does that box say ‘Do Not Open’?
Kate: Because I don’t want you to open it.
Me: What’s in it?
Kate: Nothing.
Me: Then why can’t I open it?
Kate: Because I don’t want you to.
Me: But what’s in it?
Kate: I feel like this conversation is very circular.
Me: Is it porn?
Kate: OH MY GOD Mom, no it’s not porn. It’s nothing that you would find interesting.
Me: Well now it’s interesting BECAUSE I can’t open it!
Kate: Don’t open it.

So there the box sits, like a small rectangular elephant, in the middle of the room, surrounded by dozens of other boxes that I’m ALLOWED to open if I wanted to, but I don’t want to—I only want to open the one I’m not allowed to. Did I secretly open it after she left? Absolutely not. I respect her privacy. Also, duct tape is notoriously difficult to peel off cardboard without damaging it, so she’d obviously notice if I tried. Which I haven’t. But I WILL have my revenge. I found this empty box and I’m just going to leave it in random places around the house:

In other news, I was driving to my shock wave therapy appointment last Tuesday and noticed that my odometer read 80 041. I did some quick mental calculations and realized that I had 44 kilometres to go before I would reach the nirvana of mileage, the incredible 80085. ‘There’s no possible way it will take more than 44 kilometres to get to the clinic’, I thought to myself naively. And so I proceeded to drive across country, trying to reach my objective before I got to the highway where I wouldn’t be able to pull over and take a picture. Unfortunately, I’m as bad at distances as I am at math, and I pulled onto the highway at 80066. ‘That’s OK’, I comforted myself—there’s no possible way that it will take 19 kilometres to get to my exit. And then, after a few minutes, the odometer hit 80083. I was still two exits away from my destination, so I did what any normal person would do—I got off the highway immediately. I drove down the off-ramp, heart beating in my chest (because where the hell else would it be beating? But I do love a good cliche) as it clicked to 80084. Then, like a beacon in the night, I saw a small laneway leading into a townhouse complex. I turned the corner, literally and figuratively, just as the odometer hit 80085, and slammed on the brakes. So here you are—I did this just for you:

And then I sent the picture to Ken with the caption, ‘HAHA it says BOOBS!’ Because I’m a grown-ass woman with a juvenile sense of humour and an indomitable will.

Finally, here’s a story I’ve been meaning to tell for some time. I came into the bedroom about a month ago, and found Atlas chewing one of my slippers. He’d already managed to destroy the sheepskin insert and was gnawing on the suede. “What the hell!” I yelled to Ken. “I thought you were watching Atlas! He has one of my slippers!”

Ken: I know. He was getting bored so I gave it to him.
Me: You did WHAT??
Ken: It’s not like you ever wear them.
Me: I literally wear them every single f*cking day, Ken. I’ve been wearing them every day for over seven years! How could you not have noticed that? Is this your revenge for that time I buried YOUR slippers in the garden?
Ken: You did what?!
Me: Nothing…
Atlas: This appetizer is delightful. Shall we proceed to the main course?
Me: You’re not getting the other slipper! Let go!

Ken was very abashed and agreed to pay whatever it cost for a new pair. We looked online but couldn’t find anything remotely similar, so the next day I drove to the store where I’d originally bought them. “Ah yes,” the owner said after I gave him my phone number and he looked me up. “The ‘Leandra”. Excellent choice, very comfortable. I see you made the purchase on February 7, 2013. Unfortunately, this model has been discontinued.”

I was aghast, and devastated that my most comfortable footware had been destroyed, but then I realized that you can order new inserts from Amazon. So I did, and now my slippers are just like new, aside from the slight toothmarks on one heel. Is there a point to this story? Not really, except that I was vindicated and was able to say, “Hah, Ken—you see these Leandras? I bought them in 2013!” and that’s all that matters.