Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The List

Have you noticed that the latest trend on Facebook involves creating lists? They usually consist of things you’ve done or hope to do, i.e. your bucket list, places you want to visit, 25 things nobody knows about you, books you have read, etc., etc., etc.

All of this list making has me thinking - sometimes the things you refuse to do can say as much about you as the things you embrace.

Without further ado, here’s my List of Things That Mika is Never Going to Do.

1. Go on a group tour/vacation (my idea of hell)
2. Own a mini-van
3. Vote Republican
4. Go for a “cleanse”. (I may be the only person in BC who hasn’t been on one -even Tom claims he does it on a weekly basis!)
5. Buy a gun
6. Read books that are written by either Danielle Steel or Ann Coulter
7. Wear Uggs
8. Become a member of The Kiss Army
9. Eat meat
10. Give up diet coke, Mexican food or chocolate (hell no!)
11. Not have a dog in my life
12. Whistle, ride a unicycle or walk on stilts (three things I’ve always wanted to do, but just can’t master)
13. Sing in tune (but I’m not going to let that stop me)
14. Take up any form of organized religion
15. Stop buying shoes (sorry honey!)
16. Take my family or friends for granted
17. Stop swearing (sometimes, it just feels so damn good)
18. Join the Celine Dion fan club
19. Wear a bikini in public (those days are long gone)
20. Buy an RV and spend my holidays camping in a Wal-Mart parking lot
21. Stop picking up pennies found on the street and making a wish
22. Telling little lies (Of course that dress doesn’t make you look fat!)
23. Appear on Girls Gone Wild (at least not willingly)
24. Watch WWF, Dog the Bounty Hunter, or Fox news
25. Allow anyone to bully me (No! I will not respond to “Who’s your Daddy” when held in a head lock)

Before making your own list of “No, Not Me”, you should know that this comes with significant risk. There have been many times in life when I have found myself doing the very things I said I would never do. You are seriously tempting fate, so proceed with caution.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Tonight I came home from a business dinner to find Tom making chocolate chip cookies. Not only does he make the best cookies - but he makes them with nuts. Tom doesn't really like nuts, but he does it for me, as he knows I dig them.
Now that's romance folks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money

Like many people across North America, our little family is trying to be more mindful of the money we spend. Our goal is to buy only that which is essential, and with any luck pay off all of our debts this year.

Like many couples, Tom and I have very different approaches in how we manage money. In other words, I buy things and Tom lectures me about the evils of spending money. This is painful to admit, but the truth is I’m the consumer in the family………or so I thought.

As part of our New World Order (shout out to CF), Tom is taking on more responsibility shopping for our day-to-day needs. It was actually his idea, the rational being he’s such a paragon of strength that he wouldn’t be tempted to spend frivolously.

Since taking over, he’s learned one of the most important rules of shopping – it is impossible to go into Costco without dropping serious dough. Last two times he’s been there he’s spent a couple of hundred bucks – coming home dazed and confused – uttering “I don’t get it, where did all the money go?”

If this keeps up I’m going to have to lay down the law, and put him on a budget.

Sweet Dreams

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Not to sound paranoid, but have you ever had the feeling that you’re being followed? Last week when Tex, Mags and I were on our afternoon walk, we couldn’t help but notice the strange young woman lurking in the bushes. It took me a little while to figure out that it was shadow girl, waiting for the pugs and I to move down the street so she could make a mad dash for her house.

Shadow girl and her family moved into our neighbourhood about the same time we adopted the pugs. It soon became painfully obvious that they were not your average family. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that the idea of the functional family is an urban myth - after all, we all have our little quirks and idiosyncrasies – let’s just say that Shadow Girl and her family took strange to a whole new level.

For starters they seemed to be afraid of everything, including all animals, boy scouts, shadows, weather and clowns. To put it into perspective, they came into our lives when Tex and Maggie were tiny little puppies – and even though the pugs weighed under 2 pounds each – Shadow Girl's family approached them as if they were man eating lions.

At first we felt really sad for them, and to quote Coldplay, felt it was our duty to Fix them. This meant no sudden movements, always talking in a calm, soft voice, and lots of positive verbal encouragement “it’s okay, when he wags his tail it means he likes you.”

After awhile it became apparent that we were fighting a losing battle, this wasn’t a little family that wanted to be fixed. Time passed, and they just sort of disappeared into their house. The only indication that anyone even lived there was the odd light on in the middle of the night.

So it came as something of a shock to see Shadow Girl, after all it had been years since there had been a sighting. My first reaction was anger – shadow girl was now a young woman – still obviously paralyzed by fear at a time when she should be flirting, driving fast and taking chances. All of this fear seemed like such a waste of youth, the beauty of life.

The whole thing got me thinking about life, and how we’re often responsible for creating the obstacles that keep us from reaching our full potential. While it’s true that my fears are not as obvious as Shadow Girl's, are they any less debilitating? Why do I worry about things that are out of my control, and create unnecessary anxiety?

Thank you Shadow Girl for reminding me that life is messy, full of highs and lows. Sometimes you just have to jump in with both eyes open, confident that what ever life brings, you’ll get through it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Break a Leg

Yesterday I went under the knife, and while I realize it would be a far more interesting story if I told you I had my boobs or nose done, that’s just not the way I roll.
For those of you who read my humble little blog, you’ll remember that I had my right knee operated on last October. It was so successful, and my knee felt so good, that I decided to get my left knee fixed.
My doctor, who performed both operations, is by all accounts a brilliant surgeon –this is a good thing considering he has the bed side manner of House.
During our very first consultation, we had a little disagreement over his recommended course of treatment. While waiting for surgery, he suggested I take some time off work, and rest my swollen knee. When I tried to explain to him that staying home was not a 2010 option, he asked me if I was a Nuclear Physicist. I answered no, wondering where his line of questioning was going. His response was to point out that I was 'only' in Public Relations - and not exactly saving the world.
Suffice to say, things were off to a rocky start - but my first knee surgery was a big success - so we both decided to fix my left (worse) knee.

This second go-around, I was suprised at how quickly he scheduled my knee surgery. My friend Carol pointed out that my surgery was scheduled for Friday the 13th , a day when many people like to lay low and avoid doing anything crazy. Fortunately, I’m not that superstitious, so I decided to just go with it.

The second surprise came when I arrived at the hospital and was going through the admitting process - the paperwork said I was there to get my right knee done. I calmly explained that I had already had the right knee fixed, and it felt perfectly fine. I told them again that I was actually there for the left knee (in the back of mind I kept thinking of those weird news accounts of some poor smuck going in for a tonsillectomy and coming out with a vasectomy). Not to worry, after much back and forth, right knee - left knee conversation, we sorted it all out and I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.

Then, before I even finished the paperwork, a couple of nurses rushed in and ordered the admin staff to get me processed….STAT!
Seems the two patients who were scheduled to have surgery before me no showed, which meant the surgeons were moving me up - and wanted me in the operating room as soon as possible. Chaos ensued as a team of medics quickly (too quickly perhaps?) prep'd me for the big event.
Is it just me or does anyone else find it strange that two people no showed? Seriously, what are the odds? Did they sleep in….have a family emergency….or at the last minute, look at the calendar and realize it was Friday the 13th?!

To make a long story short, I’m on the operating table - and moments before the anaesthesia kicks in - I hear the head nurse say “Okay people - let's prep the right knee for surgery”.
I think I managed to shout out “Nooooooo.......LEFT kneeeeee!” before the lights went out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cry Baby Cry

I’m starting to think there is something seriously wrong with me. Is it possible that I’m a hardass? – and even worse, that I’m the last person to know? – sort of like those people who go on American Idol and actually think they can sing?

I really didn’t clue into the fact that there might be a problem until British Columbia won the right to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. One of the great things about the Olympics are the video vignettes, short stories that capture the beauty of the host nation, it’s people, and most of all the athletes who overcome incredible odds to finally realize their life long dreams.

While I find these videos inspiring, I’m not moved to tears the way many of my colleagues are. It doesn’t matter how many times they’ve seen the same video, there are always tears. In fact, there have been a few instances when people who have not even seen the video cried like a baby - just from hearing someone describe it! (C and J, you know who I’m talking about).

At first I thought all of this 2010 crying was just a girl thing, and I tried to comfort myself by rationalizing that maybe I’ve been living with men for so long that they’ve started to rub off on me (sorry Maggie, but you’re not exactly a delicate flower). Unfortunately, that rationale only worked for a short period of time, as I have now seen many men from our office also get choked up when watching a certain segment featuring the torch relay.

I’ve done some serious soul searching and have come to the conclusion that I’m just not a crier. To make it even worse, the few times I do cry are almost always dog related - in other words, show me a little pug struggling to carry the Olympic flame up a steep hill, against the wind, and I’m a goner.

Truth is, I’m okay with the fact that I am not a crier.

You see, I make up for it by laughing. I laugh at jokes (including my own), I laugh while sharing war stories, I laugh when someone falls down and hurts themselves, I laugh at weddings, I laugh during funerals – and when all else fails, I keep laughing.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

If the Shoe Fits

I recently bought Stuff White People Like, a book that both Tom and I are really enjoying. According to my calculations, my good friend Janice just might be the whitest person I know. Not to worry J, I’m right up there with you. It’s amazing how many of these hilarious stereotypes have my name written all over them.

For example, white people really like buying kitchen gadgets. You name it I have it – over the years I have bought a bread maker, rice cooker, pasta maker, food processor, waffle iron, blender, pizza cutter, potato ricer, sushi mat, etc, etc – just recently I came home with a Panini press.

Like it or not, for the past week Tom and the pugs have been forced to eat, breath and sleep Panini’s. I’ve made fried egg panini’s, a fancy version of beans and toast on a panini, Mediterranean panini’s, classic grilled cheese panini’s, and in honour of Elvis I even made a peanut butter and banana panini (thank you, thank you very much). My current obsession is trying to create the perfect caprisi panini.

Trust me folks, if it can be slapped between two slices of bread - I’m willing to try it. In other words, your favourite panini recipes are most welcome.