Thursday, 18 December 2014

Good Thing I Didn't Send Oreos

Bake sale at T's school to raise money for local food bank.

Knew I wouldn't have time to bake for bake sale.

Bought two boxes of nut-free, individually wrapped, chocolate covered granola bars.

Night before bake sale get frantic email from organizers:


Email the organizers not to panic, I am bringing two boxes of CHOCOLATE COVERED GOODIES to sell, so their inventory is up by at least 16 items.

Bake sale is adjacent to Craft sale.

Setting money on fire Purchasing only on highly necessary items at the Craft sale and bump into Home and School President.

Your email was So Funny. We all just cracked up that you actually bought stuff for the bake sale instead of using fresh local farm to table free trade organic ingredients.  That was so cute.  We all just laughed and laughed.

Smile politely and wander over to bake sale table expecting to see granola bars pathetically leaning against vegan carrot cake and hemp seed pumpkin latte brownies.

No granola bars.

Look in between egg-free meringues and sugarless candy canes.

Still no granola bars.

Volunteer mom leans over. Can I help you.

Yes. I'm the one who sent in the granola bars.  Just wanted to make sure you received them.

The boxes of granola bars?

Yes.  Where are they?

Those sold out this morning. They were the first things to go.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Things That Never Happen At Tim Horton's

Nice thing about being lazy is knowing a lot of short cuts.

For example.

When ordering latte, hand barista two packs of sugar so that you don't have to rip the packets and stir yourself.

Ordered coffee.

Forgot to hand over sugar.

(Not nice thing about being lazy is sometimes you forget stuff).

Apparently every store has a little table with milk and various sweeteners just for situations like this.

Walk over to table.

Some overly made-up investment banker Another patron is quite spread out.

Purse, briefcase, laptop bag, iPad, cell phone, make up case all on top of milk and sugar table.  Will she put sweetener in her coffee or apply two more coats of blackberry extra shiny lip gloss?

Tapping my feet and looking at my watch patiently wait my turn and wonder why a corporate raider would need a full make up case.

Inch my way over and casually slide purse and briefcase over to make room for my to-go cup.

That sounds like a bark.

Oh my g-d yes it is.

The make up case is not a make up case.

The make up case is now licking a bit of spilled soy off the table.

Unanswered Questions

1. If you are not in fact carrying 1.4kg of make up around with you, how do you keep your skin looking so dewy all day?

2. Handing the barista two sugars is now not only about being lazy but also about avoiding skin contact with dog spew.

3. How does Fido like the new Pumpkin Spice Latte?

PS Remember when I offered to write up your story in exchange for a donation to the Breast Cancer Walk? Refresh your memory here.  This is one of those stories.  Thank you so much JS for your generous donation.

Friday, 19 September 2014

And The Envelope Please

Best Quote From A Shiva Visitor 

My mom is driving me insane.  She is so annoy-.  Oh. Sorry. Guess it could be worse.

Most Inappropriate Shiva Drink 

You know those diet Coke cans that say Mom? They also have ones that say Sister, Grandma, Best Friend? Yeah those.

Most Appropriate Drink Or So They Tell Me

Scotch.  Anytime after 11.

Most Appearances By A Sandwich in A Seven Day Period

Party Sandwiches.  Yum.

Best Quote From A Shiva Visitor In A Supporting Role

Did anyone like tape the funeral?  Because I heard that like your sister um spoke like really well?  And I also heard it was like standing room only.  But like I was uh in Toronto? Because um you know it was a long weekend. So like uh can I download the video? I really want to see it.

Worst Outfit Worn By A Mourner

Well I hate to brag but on about day four I wore a black skirt with giant holes that I thought was super cute.  Every person who walked in offered to just nip down to Wal-Mart and pick me up a black slip so I guess it wasn't as super cute as I thought.

Worst Outfit Worn By A Mourner - Vindication

But then best family friend and Celebrity stylist walked in and exclaimed from the doorway Oh My G-d that is the Best Skirt Ever Where Did You Get It.  So suck it, bitches  all's well that ends well.

Best Quote From A Shiva Visitor (Male)

Do you two lovely ladies have anyone to fix me up with? Not sure if you heard but I'm uh newly single and looking to meet someone new.  Preferably a little younger.  I've tried older women and lets just say they aren't working for me.

Most Montreal Shiva Moment

Wait a second are you the plastic surgeon from Long Island that I sat next to at a wedding last night?  Asked the rheumatologist from Johns Hopkins.

Most Overwhelming Shiva Sensation

Gratitude.  We are so thankful for all of your love, support, cards, challahs, donations and breath mints.  

Sunday, 29 June 2014

First Rule of Comedy: Timing

I want to visit Bubbie before I go to camp says 13 year old G.

Me too says 9 year old T. I love Bubbie.

Bubbie is in what appears to be one of the final stages of Alzheimer's Disease.  Communication and mobility are sporadic but somehow she is still able to have a relationship with her grandchildren who hold her hand, play 80s music for her, and even get her to dance a little.

Kids took bus to the best long term care centre in Canada visit Bubbie yesterday and I agreed to drive them home.

I am so relieved says T getting in the car. She wasn't in her wheelchair, she smiled and she ate really well.

Yeah and it was so funny. Two residents were eating supper and one fell asleep.   Then the one guy made sure no one was looking and stole dessert from the other lady and ate it and put the dish back on her tray before anyone noticed says G cracking up.

Get home in time to shower and change and meet other set of grandparents at restaurant for Friday-night-pre-camp-and-Florida-cousin-in-town dinner.

T asks for crayons.

Waitress forgets.

T asks for crayons again.

Waitress says: Oh must be my Alzheimer's acting up.  Smacks her head.

Ha ha ha. We all laughed politely.

I'm lying.  No one laughed. And no one was politely.

T looks at me, mouth open, eyes big.

I return the look.

Is that even allowed? T asks. Is that a thing? How can she be allowed to be a waitress and say things like that?

I don't know sweetie.  I just don't know.

Things We Could Have Said To The Waitress:

1.  Ooooh you should have that checked. I just saw online that the first sign of Alzheimer's is forgetting to bring crayons with the kids menu.

2.  Funny you should say that. My mother has Alzheimer's and I find these jokes absolutely hilarious.

3.  Alzheimer's? Are you sure it's not a brain tumour?

4.  Smack your head.  Good idea.  That will probably cure your Alzheimer's in no time.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Good Thing They Liked the Lasagna

Company for dinner.

Arrive empty handed.

Come on in and can I get you a drink.

What do you have?

Orange juice, Perrier, cold sake, beer, diet Pepsi lime, canned sake, red wine, organic Moroccan mint ice tea, I think there is some sake back here and white wine.

What kind of white wine?

Chateau de Noclue.

Mmmm. Guest says, thin lipped.

Looks at her husband.

Hon she says. Can you go to the car.  Remember when we were shopping yesterday and bought all that  white wine. There are still a few bottles in the trunk.  Can you go and get me one because clearly we are going to die of thirst if we stick around here.

Husband goes to the car, gets the bottle of white wine and hands it to me.

Maybe we can have a glass of this.  And can I grab some ice cubes?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Outlet Olympics

Visited American cousins.

Stopped at Outlet Mall on way home.

Bought two dresses which I thought were 50% off. When I got to cash, they were in fact 70% off of 50% off plus $10 discount which brought total to $30.97.  For two work dresses.  Both of which are four months out of season One of which has black pleather trim.

Oh yeah and bought 13 year old G a pair of shorts for $49.99.  That's a bit steep I said to cashier while my children cringed in embarrassment looked on with pride.

Cashier said If you buy a Second Pair then it will be $34.99.


No. For both.

(This story sounds familiar.)  Grabbed second pair and total for two shorts is $34.99.

You think that's great? asks Husband.

Yes I do.

Listen to this.  I went to buy shorts.  They were $33.48.  I got to the cash and the cashier said Where is your Second Pair.  Buy one pair of shorts and get the Second Pair for free.

Um, yeah, same thing happened to me.

Hang on.  I'm not finished telling my story.

Oh look cashier said.  Last guy here left his 48 cents change.  I will apply this change to your order and you will pay a cool $33 for your two pairs of shorts.

Choose A Moral:

1. I didn't know cashiers can apply random bits of leftover change to my purchase.

2. Even without the leftover change Husband paid less than I did for two pairs of shorts.

3. After three years of blogging, the cashiers are still the stars of the show.

4. My dresses may be out of season but come November I will be very happy to see them scrunched in an unmarked bag at the back of my closet neatly hanging on peach coloured satin padded lavender scented hangers.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Breast Cancer

Lots of complaints about Breast Cancer.

Worst part is that we have to end it.

60 g-d damn kilometers at the end of the summer.

Second worst part is have to raise $2K to walk.

(And you think chemo is a problem).

To make the fundraising more fun (yup, went there), my awesome team and I put a spectacular action together.  There are tons of cool stuff to buy, none of which I am featuring because they don't benefit me directly.  This hat is not worth clicking on, neither is any of the other knitted stuff, and the tickets totally suck.  Probably not worth browsing for jewellery or father's day gifts.

Getting back to me -

I am selling two things:

1. Complaint Celebrity: A chance for a starring role in this blog.  Click here to bid on the opportunity to tell me your complaint story and have me write it up and post it here.  I can feature you or put you in my witness protection program which often features a sex change. Up to you.

2. Complaint Consultation:  For all of you who stop me after my talks to tell me about your problems with the bank, the cable company or your mother in law, click here to email your complaint dilemma and I will give you a few options for how to resolve your complaint. If a letter needs to be sent, I will write it for you. If a phone call needs to be made, I will give you talking points.  I used to think this was a possible business opportunity but since it is now on the clearance table flying like hotcakes it may just be time to cut my losses the chance to explore other opportunities.

Amy that sounds so, uh, interesting. But honestly I don't want to buy you that badly.  Can't I just give you money so that you will go away?

Oh thank you so much for offering.

Yes of course.

Click here: Amy's Breast Cancer Donation Page to give me money.

Thank you in advance for your generous support.

Your Complaint Story Will Go Here

Monday, 19 May 2014

Wait, Lena Dunham Was Your Hebrew Teacher?

Lena Dunham forced my 15 year old son, B, to teach my eighth grade Hebrew teacher to use her iPad.

You know Lena Dunham? That's amazing.

Well actually it wasn't Lena herself. It was Hannah, the character she plays.

You know Hannah? That's amazing.

 No I don't know Hannah either.

(If you have been too busy watching this amazing show and you have missed this amazing show, you clearly need to jump into this century I will bring you up to speed.)

There was an episode where Hannah met a fabulous looking guy who ended up being a doctor and she spent the night at his stunning, modern, spotless townhouse.  They played a naked game of ping pong there was absolutely no gratuitous nudity.

Were they not playing ping pong on her iPad?


Did your eighth grade Hebrew teacher guest star?

Uh, No.

Was your son, B. an extra on the set?


We are not getting the tie-in here, Amy.

(Um, yeah, it's not an obvious one.)

Not everyone finds Hannah as good looking as you and I, so this episode was widely speculated upon, with the emphasis being How Could Someone who looks like Hannah snag such a good looking guy and a doctor to boot.

Response to this speculation was How Dare You judge Hannah by her looks, Tons Of People find her cute, plus maybe he was attracted to her sparkling personality and On Top Of That you are objectifying women.  Women who play ping pong stark naked on national television are not asking to have their bodies judged.

I watched the episode and immediately removed my clothing and grabbed a ping pong paddle did not see it that way at all.

I thought the point of the episode was that sometimes random things happen to you in life.

I think it is so great to meet all kinds of different people and have a wide range of conversations.

When I heard that my eighth grade Hebrew teacher was looking for someone to teach her and her sister in law to use their iPads, I immediately thought of Hannah and volunteered B.  When else will he get the chance to have a cup of tea with two elderly Israeli women, teach them both how to Skype their grandchildren, take selfies and download episodes of Shtisel (look it up)?

Experiences like this one enrich the fabric of day to day life. Much like Lena Hannah and the doctor, this is an opportunity to try something a little odd that will ultimately be enriching.

I dropped my son off with instructions to hang up his jacket, be polite, speak slowly.

And one more thing - I said -  if either of them picks up a ping pong paddle keep your eyes on the ground and inch your way towards the door.

That Lena Dunham can be a bit unpredictable.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Where Once Again, Costco is Clearly the Problem

A million years and several cities ago we went out for dinner with another family.

That we didn't know very well.

How did you two meet?

Blah blah blah blah (pause) blah blah.

Something in that (pause) makes me ask the next question.

Have you been married before?

Fork clatters to table.  Blood drains from face.  Furtive glance at children colouring their placemats.


Oh jeez. So you have been married before.

YES (whispered caps) but my KIDS have no idea.

Oops.  Sorry about that. Will try to keep my part-time job for the psychic network lucky guesses to myself then.

More polite conversation.

No second date.

Lesson learned and all future double date conversations restricted to safe topics such as money and religion.

And groceries.

Millions of years and several cities later.

Out for dinner with another newish couple, no kids this time.

Blah blah blah blah (Costco) blah blah.

Really? Because I hate Costco. With the passion of a thousand suns.  I hate having my food inventory tied up in 2kg of sunflower seeds.  I hate storing the huge bottle of dishwashing soap under my sink.  I hate that they trick you into thinking you are saving money when you are clearly overspending.

That's all true, but I like their produce.  They have a great salad mix, the one with the kale.

Oh right, I say innocently. My friend had a bag of that for lunch the other day, the one with shredded brussels sprouts?p

Fork clatters to table.  Blood drains from face.  Furtive glance at Husband.

Her husband leans over, furious: Brussels Sprouts?  Did you say BRUSSELS SPROUTS? (These caps were not whispered).

Me trying to retrieve moment:  Yes, the shredded salad from Costco. With the kale, the endive. The Brussels-

Husband to wife: You promised me when we got married that never, EVER, under ANY circumstances would you ever bring a brussels sprout into our home.  And now I find out that I've EATEN one? Are you SERIOUS?

I pause, both wondering how I could have possibly seen this one coming and searching for a placemat to colour.

Then it comes to me.

I know how to change the subject.

Umm, have either of you ever been married before?

Friday, 21 March 2014

It Would Just Be in Poor Taste

Hi I would like to place an order for delivery.

Go ahead.

Three hot and sour, eight won ton.

Shrimp or pork?

Shrimp.  Then I'd like two chicken with crispy spinach, two General Tao, two spare ribs one eggpla-

Eggplant spicy or not spicy?

Well, spicy, but not like too spicy. We want flavour but not to burn my mouth. Know what I mean?

Yes yes.  You like peanut butter dumplings?


Six dumplings in an order. Very good peanut butter dumplings.

Ok I have NO CLUE where anyone is so I'll just decide.  Sure we'll take the dumplings.  Two dumplings.

How many rice?

Six rice.

Let me repeat your order. Three hot and sour. Eight shrimp won ton. Two crispy spinach chicken, two General Tao, two pork spare ribs, one eggplant not spicy. Two Hunan dumpling. Six rice.

Sounds great.  When will you be here?

30-45 minutes.  I have one more question please.  Is this for a shiva?

Excuse me?

I have to ask you.  Is this food for a shiva?

Oy g-d forbid.  What kind of question is that?

I'm sorry ma'am but I need to know.  We never send fortune cookies to a shiva.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Probably Laughing All the Way to Hunting Lodge in Jackson Hole

New craze going around Facebook called #feedthedeed (#needthefeed?).

Get nominated to do something nice for total strangers.  Take pics or video and then nominate someone else.  You have 24 hours to do it.

Have not been nominated.

In line at Grocery Store, guy ahead of me wearing scruffy hunting jacket.

Total bill comes to $15.33

Trying multiple credit cards.

Nothing works.

Line not getting shorter, people not getting more patient.

Think about all the #feedtheneed videos on FB, and feel motivated.  Don't have to actually be nominated I tell myself to do something worthwhile.

Admiring all the good works I have been seeing lately, and with all the knowing confidence in the world, I slip the cashier a twenty and say I got this.

Guy in scruffy hunting jacket does not make eye contact.

Takes forty-two fifties and about thirty-seven $100 bills out of his wallet.

Selects a crisp red $50 and hands to cashier.

No wonder have not been nominated for #seedthefeed.

Have worst sixth sense ever.

Almost tried to buy groceries for a millionaire.

Two Thumbs Up (For the Price of One)

Went to esoteric local film festival with fellow documentary aficionado last night.

Tickets were $11 per person.

Tried to buy them online and got obscure error message.

Asked aficionado to try her luck.

Got different yet still obscure error message.

Luckily film festival was sufficiently esoteric as to attract very minimal crowd.

Tickets were $11 per person.

But 2 for 1 if you have a bus pass.

Oh too bad, I said to cashier.  I should have borrowed bus passes from my kids.

Heehee, she laughed noncommittally.

Wait a minute, aficionado said to me and to the cashier.

If she has two bus passes, don't you think she should be entitled to the discount?

(Bear in mind that I had no actual children with me, let along children with bus passes)

Cashier thought it over.

Ok she said. I will give you two tickets for $11.  Enjoy the film.

Choose A Moral:

  1. No wonder film festival is not attracting crowds.  Advertising budget clearly blown on giving bus pass discount to apparently undeserving aficionados.
  2. If you carpool your teenage children, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that they arrived at school on time.  However, you may possibly be encouraging their dependency on you, and to add insult to injury, you will have to pay full price at the movies.
  3. If you ask nicely, sometimes you can get free stuff.
  4. Last Woman Standing. Highly Recommend.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

I May Not Be Able to Wear a Kippa or Hijab to Work But G-ddamit I Can Get $26 Off My Room

One thing led to another and I pull up at the Hampton Inn unexpectedly.

How much is a room?


Really? That's a lot more than I usually spend here.

Try Expedia.  I can't beat any rate that you find online.

Before I try Expedia I look on the Hampton Inn web site.  Hampton is not showing a Hampton in this location even though I am standing in it (and using the free wifi) for my search.

But look. Here is another third party vendor showing the room at $126. That's more like it.  Website will not take my postal code. However, there is what used to be called a 1-800 number but now it's 1-888.


Hold. Bad music.

Ok ma'am I have a room for you, before I take your credit card number let me just convert the total to Canadian funds, and of course there is a Canadian processing fee - which takes us to - $159.

Oh.  No thank you then.

I guess I should take the clerk's advice and look on Expedia.  Here it is - a room for $138.   Am typing as fast as I can on my phone trying to pretend those are not my children grabbing the free chocolate chip cookies in the lobby because there are only two rooms left.  Phew. Nabbed a room. With a king sized bed.  For the four of us.  I don't love them that much.  Expedia not going to work.

It is slowly dawning on me that the kids have abandoned the cookie platter and are now making themselves hot chocolates that I may have to pay full retail price for this sucker.

Then I remember.

I have one card left to play.

Sir? I ask the clerk hopefully.  Do you still have a room with two queens available?

Yes we do.

And the room is $159?

Yes it is.

Do you have a government rate?

Yes.  $133.

I work for a hospital in Quebec, and the hospitals are government owned, do you need to see my i.d. card?

No that's OK, I believe you plus if you don't get your children out of here they may start eating the wallpaper.

Thank you so much.  Have a lovely evening.

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Back Story

Driving home from Toronto with 3 kids and no Husband.



No visibility.

Down to One Lane.

Stop for Extra Large Two Milk Two Sugar and see multiple tow trucks lying in wait for their prey coincidentally all having coffee on the 401.

Four hours later we are still one hour from Kingston.

(In other words, this is taking twice as long as it should).

Slippery roads, 18 wheeler, our car ends up in the middle ditch.

Oh poor you, sounds like a nightmare.

No it was actually OK.  Kids fine. I'm fine.  Everyone breathing multiple sighs of relief.

Hampton Inn, Wal-Mart for bathing suits, dinner out.

Ouch. Unexpected budget hit.

No it was actually all very reasonable. Plus we were a bit giddy.

Kids hyper, didn't get to sleep till after midnight.

Ugh, totally exhausting.

Ended up fine, we all slept in, took a mental health day.

Um, Amy, we are all here for complaints.  Sounds like everything went, er, swimmingly.

Not everything.

Go ahead, we are listening.

(Prepare yourselves this is going to get ugly.)

Well I got to talking to two lovely ladies in the hotel lobby.  Turns out they were in town on business.

They work for the government.  They investigate complaints.  Police Complaints.

Awesome!  What a coincidence!

Not really.

Can you believe after all that I didn't have my book with me?

Moral of the Story: There used to be an old saying about wearing clean underwear in case of a car accident but I think they meant wear clean underwear and pack extra purple books.