Monday, December 21, 2009

I wish cars were like clothes

Unfortunately, adorning your car with the staples isn't quite as fun as fixing up your closet with the same.

Nope, the staples of a brakes, master cylinders, struts and the like just aren't any fun. Imagine if it was, though?

If I could strip my car down to its skivvies and then start layering on what fits best and looks the sharpest, regular car maintenance would be a cinch! I can picture it now: oh, a naked wheel thing? Let's dress it up with a brake pad. Perfect!

What's that? An oil leak? Can I see your assortment of patterned seals? Thank you, I think I'll take the Burberry one.

As I write this post, thinking more and more about how car maintenance could be more fun for girls, I think I may just be on to something.

Screw Canadian Tire and Lordco, I'm heading to Holt Renfrew for my next tune up.

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Old people are funny

My granny is the sweetest great grandmother I know, even when she tells you the same story three times in a 60 minute period, even when she toots getting in and out of the car, even when she slices bread unevenly.

At 91 years old, she still lives on her own in a little two-bedroom apartment.

She's the cutest little thing ever, but when I called her the other day, she was getting pretty feisty on the ol' telephone. And just what had her up in arms, do you ask? Well, the "big guys" had moved the post office from its own little spot behind the dental office to [insert gasp] the drug store! And not just to the drug store, to the back of the drug store so "you have to walk right across the store, just to get your mail."
While I had to sympathize with Granny, I had to hide my smirk the entire conversation. It was the cutest thing ever. When I asked her to tell me the story, she obliges.

"Well, Canada Post says that they're not getting as much mail anymore. Everyone's faxing and e-mailing, so there isn't as much going through the system."

Yes, Granny, everyone's just faxing up a storm these days - LOL.

She continues.

"Everyone's so mad about it. And I don't blame them. You can't get any parking by the drug store as it is, now it's going to be even harder with everyone going in to get their mail. And they didn't just put it in the drug store, they put it way at the back by the pharmacy. Everyone's carrying their parcels all the way through the store. Oh and in this weather, everyone's trapsing through the whole store and just making a mess of the floor. I was in there today and it was just awful. Just a mess."

Unfortunately for Enderby, it does suck that they had to move the post office, but the folks who don't e-mail or "fax" are having a hard time understanding that buildings cost money. I would have to agree with Canada Post on this one - it was time to move from their own building.

But, before all the Enderbyites start hammering me for my support, I will also agree with my Granny Mildred that the drug store probably wasn't the smartest place to put the post office.

I mean, after all, who wants to see a dirty floor when they go in to pick up their Christmas packages?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Billy and Barks

Barkley (right) is already teaching his foster brother, Billy, bad habits.

Pretty cute though, hey?

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lost it!

Well, Kelsey pointed it out: I failed!

In all honesty, December was a pretty silly month to start NaMoBloPo (aka a post a day for an entire month).

But, just because I actually have enjoyed challenging myself to come up with topics that don't necessarily have to do with my everyday life, I'll continue to write daily for the rest of the month.

Obviously I'm not going to make any promises, but I will try my hardest to remember.

I have to keep remembering to do it at night because, unlike branch administrators and newspaper journalists, I can't post from my work desk.

Wish me luck for the rest of the month...and thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We attract only the finest employees

During the latest "boom" here in Fort McMurray, anyone with a heartbeat could land a job. Tim Hortons and Wal-Mart were paying people somewhere in the neighbourhood of $17 an hour to take orders and count change. This isn't the first time you're reading about this, I know, but I'm feeling the need to do a small rant that combines the labour shortage with my hatred of grammatical blunders.

Over the past few months, there have been three distinct things that have annoyed me about various radio stations up here. I'm sure there are more, but there are three that stand out, specifically.

#1: The mispronunciation of "address".

In a radio advertisement airing for a woman who was going to give a little spiel about social media at the college, the voice person pronounced address like he was writing numbers on an envelope:"Come hear Lady Soandso as she gives a global ADD-ress on social media...".

Are you fucking kidding me? It's ad-DRESS on social media, you moron. I don't want to send social media a postcard, I want to hear a speech about it.

Now, mispronouncing it is one thing, but this ad surely had to go through other people before airing. How did this grammatical blunder sneak through?

#2: Two hockey commentators announcing the local Junior 'A' Oil Barons game with various phrase screw-ups and then this beauty: "the goalie certainly isn't showing signs of uncomposure, that's for sure".

What are you TALKING ABOUT?! Uncomposure? How about he's staying composed, he's maintaining his composure, he's doing a great job backing up his teammates, he's standing strong in the net, he isn't looking shaky, etc. etc. etc. Now, I know it's live radio, but come on.

The two announcers also went back and forth about what phrase to use after a player from the opposing team lambasted an Oil Baron and received a game misconduct. "You know how it is, 'you make your bed, now you have to lie in it', or, i think that's how the saying goes, or 'you do the crime, you have to serve the time'. The other announcer backs him up, "I'm not sure what it is, but I'm sure there's a saying in there somewhere."

Ugh. I promptly switched the radio station.

#3: The radio guy who emphasizes the wrong words.

About six months ago I was driving to work with my co-worker and good friend, Kristen, when the most annoying radio announcer came on to the station (Rock 97.9) to deliver the morning headlines. I immediately picked up on his improper accenting and became seriously annoyed.

"In today's news: Xcompany ANNOUNCED today that their unnamed PROJECT would be delayed indefinitely. Spokesperson Tom Harry BACKED UP their release by saying they REMAINED committed to the COMMUNITY."

I'm sure that I'm not showing you just how bad it is, but every single time I hear this guy read the news on the radio, I have to change the channel because he continually emphasizes the wrong parts of the sentences. "Today the ALBERTA GOVERNMENT announced it had RUN out of H1N1 vaccines. People who have NOT YET received their vaccines will now have to wait for more to ARRIVE." Now, but accenting the last word, the listener automatically thinks there's more to come, but nope, it always just ends. There's no quote from a spokesperson, or anything.

The way he accents the end of the sentence, is almost how you would talk if you were asking a question: The Alberta government did WHAT?. SO annoying.

What's worse? He has now changed jobs and reads the news for my favourite radio station. FML.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Teen Moms

I know MTV isn't known for having the most educational programming out there, but every now and again you can take a little something away from one show or another.

Today's nugget came from the show Teen Moms. And just what was that nugget? It was this: never have a child!

Okay, that might sound a little harsh, and I probably will have kids one day (breathe out, Mom), but for now, I'm content just taking care of me, the Brodster and the Barkster.

If you've never seen the show, it profiles various teenage mothers (who look as though they range in age from 15 to 18) and their boyfriends/fiancees (who look like they're about 12 years old for the most part). Some of these young ladies have chosen to keep and raise their children, and others have put theirs up for adoption.

Just watching the ones try to deal with their babies on a day-to-day basis stresses me out.

If I had it my way, I would select a child from an assembly line and then be able to put it away when I didn't want to play with it anymore. Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for my future child(ren)), that scenario isn't really accepted "socially".

I know that I'm older than these girls and some of the things they do are definitely highs chool-ish, but they also really do take care of kids (i use the term "take are" loosely). Seeing the little kids squawk and bawk makes me want to do the same thing.

Aah...I wonder if this feeling will pass? I sure hope so!

In the meantime, I'm going to PVR Teen Moms just to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Illegal weather?

If mother nature could commit crimes, I'd be throwing her ass in the slammer for this one.

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Admitting you have a problem is the first step

My name is Lanette Lundquist and I have a problem. I have a wedding file.

There, I said it. A wedding file, complete with magazine tearouts of cakes, favour ideas, table settings and other things one would want to see at her wedding.

I never really thought this was a big deal until my sister said she'd run in the opposite direction whenever I announce I'm getting married so she can avoid bridezilla. Immediately after hearing her comment, I asked Brody if he thought I would be a bridezilla. His response? "I hope not." Followed by: "I'm sure you'll get stressed and bitchy". And then: "It's bound to happen if you marry the coolest guy on earth. Aka me." Aahh...okay. Thanks for making me feel better, babe.

Following this conversation, I revealed to a male friend of mine that I had a wedding file. His response? "Definitely bridezilla material."

Great. Unfortunately for me, it sounds like those unlucky women I want to stand beside me during one of the most important days of my life, may not want the job.

But honestly, I don't think I'll be a bridezilla. Wanna know why? Because I have THE WEDDING FILE! My wedding is basically planned - minus a few minor details (i.e. proposal, ring and groom).

After a day or two of giving this some serious thought, I basically forgot all about it. Well, kind of.

I remembered I had this account at a fantastic site called I decided to sign in (it took me one try to remember username and password). Guess what I found after I logged on? An immediate redirection to a site called "" with a message that said "You've been married for 1,226" days.

Oh my lord. I DOOOO have a problem. Or, at least I did. Apparently I thought my target wedding date would be August 17, 2006.

Well, somewhere along the way, my plan went awry. But, as much as I hate it when things don't go according to plan, I'm okay with this one falling off track.

I wouldn't have been ready to get married on August 17, 2006 (even if I did have the favours, colours, napkins, cake and food picked out [jk]). The person I am today is different than the girl who was planning her wedding in 2002/3.

In fact, the next time I'm in Calgary, I might just track down that wedding file and empty it out. Start fresh. Because you know, I'm sure my taste in dresses has changed in the last six years.

And in case you're interested, it sounds like I'm going to have to start a recruiting campaign for the positions of Maid of Honour and bridesmaids. Tell your friends.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The internet and me

I am sad to admit the internet could consume me. It could literally open its wide jaws and swallow me whole.

Seriously, I am fascinated with the amount of information in cyberspace. I could head to Google to find a substitute for cornstarch and, two hours later, find myself still staring at the screen, only I'd now be reading Hillary Clinton's thoughts on Obama's new committments to Afghanistan. Or, I'd settle in to update my financial spreadsheets and end up reading about ETFs, RSUs and TSXs for hours on some money management blog.

Maybe it's my quest for learning, or maybe it's my tendency to be easily distracted, I"m not sure. If I really think about it, it's probably more likely related to my lack of social life at present time, but the only thing I know for sure is that my laptop should be deemed off limits for a while.

I have to go back to the time when it was okay to wonder about things. To be uncertain. To fly by the seat of my pants. Actually, now that I think about it, is it even possible to "go back" to flying by the seat of your pants if you've never actually done that before?

Let me see what Google says...

Monday, December 7, 2009

The YMCA in Fort McMurray

Dear Fort McMurray:

Please, oh please, will you construct a new leisure centre and/or fitness centre in Timberlea?

I am tired of going to the YMCA dungeon to work out. While I appreciate they do the best they can with the resources they have, the place is just not fit for purpose. There are no windows. The ventilation is less than ideal. The equipment - the pieces from 1979 and the ones from 2009 - is broken too often. There is only one squash court and the place is so busy after 6 p.m. that it's almost pointless going there because you can't get a full workout in unless you stick around for three hours waiting for equipment.

We pay a good fee ($57 a month) for a facility that isn't fully operational. I shouldn't have to see six treadmills and four ellipticals "down for maintenance" in December with signs on them from October.

What happens to our $ every month? Surely my membership fee alone could have paid for some new dumbbells. Or a few months of a few of our memberships could pay for some maintenance people to get up here and fix the cardio equipment.

Oh wait, the young guy at the desk did tell me they were going to paint it downstairs. Unfortunately, you know what they say about putting lipstick on a pig...

Part of me feels guilty for writing this and putting down the facility, but the other part of me is angry that I have to pay such a fee for a facility that doesn't seem to be well taken care of.

Just where does my $57 go every month? At least if there was a premium facility in Thickwood/Timberlea, the Y would be forced to step up their game a little.

Until then, I'll put the pressure on in my own passive aggressive way and continue paying my monthly fee.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Christmas time in the city

Since I'll be a gift making and baking machine today, I thought I would phlog as opposed to blog.

Here's what I will turn into beautifulllll gifts for my friends in Fort McMurray.

I'll post an "after" photo so you can see what I made outta this mess of ingredients.

As a side note, for anyone wanting to go the inexpensive and thoughtful route for Christmas, homemade gifts like this, while more meaningful, are no less expensive...(at least if you grocery shop in Fort McMurray :) )

Best wishes everyone. Let the holiday season begin!

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Take that, you southerners

To all of you people who criticize us and call us crazy for living in this "god-forsaken dirthole" of Fort McMurray, I would like to tell you all to stuff it.

As those in the southern part of the province struggle with four-foot-high snow drifts and shutdown highways, we are enjoying (fairly) clear skies. Sure, it's chilly, but it's not unbearable.

Up here, we have come to terms that winter has begun.

We do not cry when it snows three inches (we celebrate that it's not six or eight or ten).*

We do not mope when it's -20 outside (because when the wind hits and it's -20 here, it's actually -30).*

We do not spend the better part of the winter months criticizing our city's inability to clear snow.*

While I can't exactly say we all embrace the winters here--because trust me, they do suck-- we live with them. We know they arrive in November/Decemberish and end in Aprilish.

However, the one great thing about the winters here is that they make you appreciate every single morsel of sunshine and warm weather between May and September. Seriously, few people appreciate summer like the people here.

In the heart of the summer months, it's broad daylight in the wee hours of the morning (I can't tell you how many times I've sat straight up in my bed afraid I was late for work, only to glance at my alarm clock and see that it's 4 a.m.), and it's light out until 11 p.m. (at least). It's nice to be able to start double-header baseball games at 6 p.m. in April on fields with no lights.

Another point I'd like to make is that many people who live here can afford to take a winter vacation to help break up the cold weeks. I know there are many who can't, but it's definitely a perk if you can plan your dollars properly to enjoy this winter indulgence.

So, before I end up ranting about how much I like this place (because, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, I've kind of fallen for it), I'll stop here and tell you all to re-think the next time you want to bash us for living up here.

*denotes the fact I may perform this action in future without any backlash from readers

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shout outs!

Blogging comes and goes in waves for me. I post often, then I post rarely. But one thing stays the same: I never take a break from reading blogs.

A few of my favourites include:

The Kelsey Chronicles
Blog Voyeur turned Blogwhore

Classic Times (although this would be 10x better if I could actually RSS it into Google Reader)
The Rest is Still Unwritten

Million Dollar Journey

I will link to these tomorrow since I'm typing this on my BlackBerry as I listen to machine guns and hand grenades going off upstairs.

Don't think for a second I don't hate Call of Duty as much as my sister.

It's like I live in Afghanistan.


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Here's my second post for tonight - only to tell you I'm not actually going to post a real post.

I'm tired and need my beauty sleep.

Tricked ya!


One day into my quest to post every single day for the month of December and I fail. Terrible.

Why did I fail, you ask? Well, I wish I had a great answer like my house blew up, or aliens stole my internet connection, but the truth of the matter is that I simply forgot.

Between packing up my belongings for my nearly two-week housesitting and petsitting gig, getting to the house, acquainting myself with the dog, feeding her, walking her and unpacking my junk, blog posting slipped my mind.

So, to make up for it, I'm bringing you two posts for today. Here's post #1...

Title: Loss of an idol

This week, thousands of people around the world lost a hero as one of the most powerful, influential and inspirational sportsmen was labeled a cheater (and apparently, rightfully so). Their dreams of seeing Tiger Woods surpass the records set by class-act Jack Nicklaus, deflated. Their memories of green jackets, Ryder cups and one of the strongest father-son bonds ever televised, all washed away, replaced with an image of a cheating husband and father.

As I sit back and wait for the flood of late-night jokes to pour in, I am left to wonder just where Tiger went wrong.
Sure, he's had his fair share of critics over the last decade or so. He cursed at missed putts, dropped drivers after wayward tee shots and even threw clubs following shanked approach shots. But, through it all, few could deny is insatiable hunger for victory, his intense competitiveness and his unwavering dedication to the game of golf.

He inspired thousands to pick up a club and head to their local courses and even more to turn their TVs to the golf channel on championship Sundays.

I am one of those thousands. Golf became exciting when Tiger entered the scene. A teenager beating old men at their own game. The Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby of the links. Along with the rest of North America, I took notice.

Photo courtesy: Lawrence Donegan's Golf Blog

Now, after years of watching him hunt down pack leaders on Sunday afternoons, I am waiting to see how he emerges from this latest challenge. He's down more than a few strokes this time.

The other interesting part of this story is the overwhelming amount of support Tiger is receiving. Newspaper articles are riddled with readers' comments: "He's only human" "Let him deal with his mistakes in privacy" "We still love you Tiger".

I can't recall a time when a celebrity husband and father of two young children has received so much support following a scandal like this one. And this goes beyond a one-time slip up. We're talking about an alleged 31-month affair.

If there's one thing I know for sure, though, it's that I won't be able to cheer for Tiger like I did before.

In this case, the moral compass beats out my appreciation for a competitive spirit.

Tiger, you've got some serious explaining to do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just for you, mama.

For nine entire months, she let's you live inside her.

For the next 17.25 (approx.) years, she let's you live inside her house.

For the rest of your life, she will let you come back into her house if you ever needed to.

She, of course, is your mother, and I would like you all to know why mine is one of the greatest.

Here are ten things I love about my mom (whose birthday is today!).

1. She is the strongest woman I have ever met. She is one of few women who can hold everyone else up when all she wants to do is break down.

2. She can fix anything. Washing machines, dishwashers, recreation vehicles, hot tubs--you name it, she can repair it. Her nickname is MacGyver.

3. She will never admit it, but she is just like her mother. She is a fantastic cook, she gets sh*t done, and she doesn't like to admit she's wrong...and I love her for all of those traits.

4. She is the hardest worker you can imagine. Regardless of the job, she will give you 100% of her energy until the work is done. Now, if someone would just drop a great opportunity in front of her, I'd really appreciate it. She deserves it.

5. She never expects anything. She is surprised by a hug, a flower (or a dandelion), a cooked meal, or a phone call from a daughter.

6. She made the best birthday cakes. Over the years, I've enjoyed loonie-filled kitty cats, princesses with big skirts and even a sewing machine.

7. She has really great taste in men. Even though she turned him down for three years before she finally went out with him, she ended up falling in love with and marrying one of the best men to ever grace this earth - my daddy!

8. She is selfless. Like many mothers, my mom put the families needs before her own. She was gone long days sometimes, but all her hard work was for the family.

9. She is ambitious. Learning from her mom, she has an entrepreneurial spirit and a can-do attitude that not many people possess. You give her a challenge and she'll find a way to overcome it.

10. She is a great mom. She gave us enough rope to let us trip ourselves, but never hang ourselves. She shared her mistakes so we could learn from them. She taught us when she didn't think we were watching. She made it to every basketball, volleyball and softball game she could. Most of all, she gave her all.

Mom, I hope we make you proud.

Love you so much. Happy 48th Birthday.