Extreme Googler

My life should be a TLC Special. You know all those times throughout the day you stop and ask yourself, “What’s that all about?” and the thought soon passes and you go on with your day?

I wish I could do that.I dwell until I give up and Google it.

I don’t know how I lived pre-2003 when we had nothing but dial-up at home. At that time, the encyclopedia was a more reliable reference material. I just looked up how to spell “encyclopedia” because they are pretty much extinct 11 years later (OK, I didn’t look this one up).

When Jack of Most Trades and I get into an argument, I Google the correct answer. If I’m right, do I throw it in his face?
Absolutely! If I’m wrong, do I tell him? Of course not! I look through the pages until I find an unreliable source confirming my story. When our arguments then escalate into not speaking to each other, there is nothing left to do but Google relationship advice.

Do I know how to get to my neighbor’s house without Google Maps? It’s a toss-up.

Sore throat? Google says I have a rare condition called “Get a Life”. Sounds deadly.

The most popular shows on television in recent years have been reality shows, and the more intense or extreme, the more addictive. We don’t even have to waste our time looking for the really good shows because TLC has done it for us. Just adding the word “extreme” to the beginning of the title has automatically put these shows well ahead of the rest of the pack.

It all started with Extreme Sports, but people stopped watching when they realized they could get the real adrenaline by going out and partaking in these sports themselves. Then, there was Extreme Makeover. You remember that show, right? They turned the ugly ducklings into the beautiful swans with lots of plastic surgery, makeup, and designer clothes. I’m guessing this was a little TOO extreme for viewers, (or the participants faces started melting) because that one was cut from the airwaves. They changed the name a bit and make it into a tearjerker called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and it became the talk of the town. I would be annoyed if I was able to hold back the tears during even one home reveal.

Currently, there is a new era of Extreme. Money is tight; most of us have been feeling this. Many women are staying at home with their kids and have a little extra time on their hands for Extreme Couponing. By the way, don’t even try this in Canada, you’ll make more money panhandling. The one that takes the cake for me is Extreme Cheapskates. You are burning garbage in your city backyard. If I were your neighbor I would knock over your burning barrel and have a REAL bon fire. You vacuum at night because energy costs less at night. Is this even true? You’re baking your lasagna in the dishwasher. With the dirty dishes and soap? Get real.

I’m an Extreme Googler and I want a TLC show.

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Asphalt Alligators

I’ve gotten away from the blogging because I actually got a real job and that completely threw off the whole “lady leisure” premise. Even though I get home at the end of the day, make supper, then go to bed at 8:30PM, I’m still cool. I’m leisurely. Here’s a story from when I was definitely still Lady Leisure. . .

When I was a stay-at-home fiance-to-be, I rarely drove. There was no point. I was completely comfortable at home; cooking, cleaning, and inadvertently doing crazy things. But, when I did drive, LOOK OUT.

Maybe one day I will slap a funny angle on my night terrors situation, at which point I will take you on an in-depth journey through something similar to a 1970’s teenage acid trip (and I know you’re excited because the only acid you’re feeling right now is of the reflux variety). For now, I’ll only mention I was on my way to see the Sleep Psychiatrist. Now, I bet you’re thinking all my unfortunate tales happen due to sleep deprivation; I am not certified to refute that statement, but I will anyway. I’m not sleep deprived.

Picture this: a beautiful, sunny, late summer morning. No fog outside or inside the car. I’m going the speed limit or maybe under because even though I’m leisurely, I always obey posted signs and THE LAW. Smile on my face. . . AAANNDD. . .My heart jumps into my throat.

[By the way, Jack of Most Trades (my fiance if you haven’t been following, but I strongly recommend reading up on my previous blog posts) loves that feeling of your heart in your throat. He told me that once when he swerved on a winding road, in the dark on a rainy evening, while I was sleeping in the passenger seat, in order to avoid driving over a skunk. I screamed and clutched my chest, he laughed. He has done this more than once – the time before it was a porcupine.]

PURE ADRENALINE. Nothing like it.

Back to THIS story. We live in Alberta, Canada and reptiles don’t normally roam rampant on our highways. But, I swear to you, there was an alligator on the road! I’ve attached a photo of a similar alligator that I found during a simple Internet search. This is obviously a widespread problem throughout Canada.Image

 

  I hope this will educate the public on the dangers of these animals being on Albertan Highways. Luckily, this one had slithered (scuttled?) it’s way to the shoulder or I would have run it over. I hear the speed behind that jaw snap is nothing less than impressive and their teeth are sharp enough to puncture a tire.

I have come up with a solution for these Asphalt Alligators.

We shall allow them to cross UNDER our roads through culverts. I know the extra fencing and signage will be a huge burden on tax payers, but we aren’t just saving the Asphalt Alligators, we are saving tires and potentially human lives!

Alternatively, maybe I am sleep deprived and this is a photo of part of a tire (most likely off a big rig) and not an alligator at all.

Jack of Most Trades received a text message with this exact photo a few minutes after the incident. I told him anyone could have made this mistake. He would have been scared too. Yeah. Right. Lady Leisure strikes again.

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Snowshoes and Skidoos

Last post, I urged you to take the time to slow down. How did it feel?

That’s only the tip of the iceberg.

When I told myself to slow down, a lot of other thoughts flooded my mind.

Living on an acreage outside the city and working in a busy industrial area don’t mesh well. They aren’t exactly chocolate fondue. I go from slow to the speed of light in 25 minutes. I often think there HAS to be a way for me to work from home. To lead this simple life that will take me away from the naysayers and the Lightning McQueens, but still be able to live comfortably.

This winter hit us like a wrecking ball. The snow is over my head and it’s not even half over. I have to travel a major highway on my commute and ice has been an issue all season. Have you ever tried driving on an outdoor skating rink? It sucks! If you could drive up next to me with your window rolled down, you could probably hear me constantly praising my studded winter tires for saving my life (somewhere in the middle of me cursing Jacked up Truck Guy tailgating the sh*t out of me and shining his LED headlights in my back window).

As I people watch and overhear conversations, the dominant theme I’ve been hearing is, “Why?”

“Why us?” “Why doesn’t this awful weather stop?” “Why do we live here, why can’t we leave?”

And the logical mind tells us we cannot leave because: we have responsibilities, we need the money, our friends are here, WE ARE COMFORTABLE.

But wait, comfortable? That doesn’t mean we are happy. It doesn’t mean change will make us UNcomfortable.

Risk taking is in everyone’s veins – more in some than others, but we all have the courage to take the leaps of faith and change what is bringing us down. In my case, it’s speed. It’s technology. It’s global warming. That may seem like quite the barrier, but let’s break it down.

Yesterday, we decided to slow down, even just a little bit for a little while. It’s a start. We battled technology by putting it at rest and trying our hand at the “Cyber Praise”. There are many other things that could change here, but for now, let’s tackle global warming.

Wow- now that’s some subject matter! Something we can debate forever. Is it real? Did we humans ruin our planet and climate? Probably, but what’s important right now is how to put my helmet on, keep my head down, and charge at it. Slowly, of course.

Wouldnt it be something to ditch our trucks, throw on our snowshoes, and hit the backyard to hunt and gather. Or create a self-sustaining homestead. What if these were an option? How many of us would seize the opportunity to get away from speed? To wean ourselves off the technological mess that has been engrained in our being.

Im going to hop on my Skidoo and ride off into the sunset. A couple of miles into the woods is my new home- a cabin built and powered by sturdy hands and a wood stove.

This is my dream. You may call it silly and I’m sure not all your thoughts seem logical or as possible as they could be. Dreams are not always fairytales or myths. You can reach them.

Make small changes each day.

Follow your heart and your gut.

Maybe today is a tough one, but never let your dreams out of sight.

Push for it- work alongside a trusty partner.

Do these things and you might see some progress towards your equivalent of Snowshoes and Skidoos.

True North Fast and “Me”

Canada- the true North strong and free. Free to rush about everyday life and strong enough to push everyone else to rush until they snap.     

It is true; we are free from wrongful imprisonment and a corrupt governing body. But, some things have a strong grip on us and they are going to keep on squeezing. That’s right- they are technology and urgent haste. This isn’t meant to be an anti-technology rant, just an indication that I’m starting to open my eyes on my world– OUR world, and it isn’t pretty. 

Being a grassroots Albertan, I haven’t travelled much across Canada, so I can’t speak for  other provinces but if I had to guess I would think they are suffering similar to us. In Alberta, we rely heavily on our natural resources. We thrive on oil production and the more quickly this can be managed, the better. 

If we need to get somewhere, we drive  our jacked up trucks and SUVs. We check our hundreds of daily emails in our trucks on our mini computers that never leave our icy grips. 

We not only push our own limits, but those of the opposing party – the bad guys- the people getting in the way of us achieving our manic, hurried dreams. We tailgate, cyber bully, throw everyone else under the bus, because, it’s about me, me, ME! Not you, that’s ridiculous!

An expression my mother used when I was young often comes to mind, “It’s my way or the highway.” We are now taking this to heart. Pushing our own agendas and doing it today– right this instant. If you don’t like it, tough, and while you’re not liking it, we’re going to call you names. We will reject your opposing or even similar ideas; online and behind some sort of screen. 

Hiding behind a screen is like sticking your tongue out behind the opposition’s back and calling them names inside your head. Except, this never caused harm to the opposition.

Look what technology has done to our communication strategies! It gives us a direct route to express what should be hidden deep in our thoughts. Those receiving the communication have the opportunity to receive it instantly. You’ve guessed it – on their phones! Text messaging, email, Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, the list continues to grow. 

If the electromagnetic frequency wasn’t stressing our bodies enough, add the mindless drivel from hurried gamer thumbs.

Today, I urge you to slow down. Turn the ringer off, or maybe even tuck your phone away for a few hours. 

Add another car length between you and the guy in front of you. 

Cyber PRAISE a stranger or a friend. 

Maybe even stick out your tongue in your hand behind someone’s back. 

As long as you are doing something to slow that train down. It will feel good, I promise. 

Follow me, and next time you will find out my hopes and dreams for a much slower and more simple future.