I Make Her Laugh

I was chatting with an ex colleague today.  We talked about the challenges at my former workplace, what’s going on in her life and her health.  She thanked me for always being a sympathetic ear, providing good advice and making her laugh.  She was part of my trusted network and we helped each other with a lot of deals.

What’s interesting is that we both didn’t meet each other until I left my company.  We both worked from home.  And when we did have to go into the office, our schedules never meshed.  So we never met but had developed a great working relationship.

I told her today that some people are a bit surprised I develop these types of relationships with people I’ve never met.  She believes we knew each other from a previous life.  I don’t know if that’s true. It’s sort of like the relationship I develop here with fellow bloggers.  I’ve gotten to know some of you very well. I’m always touched when people feel they can trust me and confide in me.

Life is good.


Too Dependent on My Mobile

I’m bringing my iPhone 5s in for service tomorrow.  I got it in fall of 2013. I had the battery replaced in fall 2016 when it kept dying after an iOS upgrade.  The new battery was a bit better.  But I always had to carry a portable charger with me.  I don’t have Bluetooth on, I shut down all my apps when I don’t use it, turned off background refresh etc… It used to last the whole day with moderate use.  But nowadays, if I’m on my phone for about 15 to 20 minutes, the battery can go from 100% to 80%.

It needs the equivalent of a Viagra boost every few hours depending on how often I use it.  Prepping to bring it in for service is a pain. I have to log off some apps like Instagram, Twitter, WordPress on my phone.  I backed everything up and then deleted all my chats and photos.  I just hope no one will text me weird stuff when the phone is in.  The last time I brought it in, they asked for my code to unlock it.  I didn’t realize that when I showed up for my appointment.  The store is an Apple authorized repair shop.  This time, I’m deleting like my mail just to be safe.  I’ll have to add it back in afterwards.

It’s a first world problem.  But I just don’t like it when others have access to my stuff.  I hope I don’t have to get a new phone.  I didn’t budget for that.

“OMG I Hate Reading”

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading with this 7 year old girl at the library.  She asked if she could read with an accent. I said sure – go for it.  She starts to read with this fake English accent.  I decided to do the same thing except my English accent has a bit of a lisp. Oh dear.

Sometimes we play games which is not my forte.  She likes those plastic cups for stacking.  Except she’ll build up a pyramid and knock them all down.  Everyone will then look at us.  She doesn’t care while I’m trying to tell her to keep it down and play on the carpeted floor.

plastic cups

source:  Getty Images

The other one she likes is this tumbling tower game.  The part she likes is when it tumbles down (most of the time, she just “accidentally” knocks it down).  After the dust settles, she’ll turn to me and say “Oh Matthew, you’re so noisy.”  I pretend to be embarrassed which seems to please her.


The experience opened my eyes to children’s books.  I had no idea how well written and illustrated some of them are.  I like asking her questions about the story.  What do you think will happen next?  Or I’ll point to something in the illustration and ask her what it is or how she feels when she sees the illustration.  There was a story where an animal was being picked on by the other animals in the farm.  So I’ll ask her if she knows anyone at school that gets picked on.  I don’t make the session too deep.  If she wants to chat a bit, I’ll let her.

The other day, she told me “OMG I hate reading!”

I give her my arched eyebrow look “Oh?”

She sighs back “Well, not all the time. Sometimes the stories are boring and there are a lot of words.”

I decided not to tell her about university texts.

Overall, it’s been fun.


Watching The Days Go By

I’ve been sleeping in the past few days.  This morning, I woke up around 9:30.  I looked at my phone and didn’t even hear the alarm.  I also missed some text messages.  Good thing they weren’t important. When my days aren’t productive, I tend to stay up late trying to make up for it.   This just perpetuates the problem.

My back is also starting to stiffen up.  I should restart all those exercises that my chiropractor has asked me to do.  I have a basic Ikea dining room chair that I use as my “office” chair.  I saw a store that sells refurbished office furniture and I might buy one.  It’s a good brand (Steelcase) and I’ve sat in quite a few of those chairs when I was working.

It’s also been perplexing for me these past few months.  I’m so easily distracted by social media – especially US politics.  I have to get back to some of the good habits I developed when I was working.


Making Moments Count

I follow a lot of accounts on Instagram.  It may surprise you to hear that some of them are fashion designers, planes, cats and fitness trainers.  There’s a local guy that I follow who seems to know what he’s doing.  He’s Chinese and seems to be well liked within his community.  I’m not really a fitness guy but I like his tips.

In his last few postings, he mentioned his latest podcast and it’s his first time interviewing a guest, a local trainer – another Asian guy.  In accompanying Instagram Stories (sort of like Snapchats – they disappear within 24 hrs), he mentioned how he’s trying to get out of his comfort zone more by doing podcasts and interviews.  Getting out of my comfort zone is something I like to do too so I related to him.

He started to post some clips from his podcasts – nothing unusual.  It was just 2 guys chatting and trying to act cool.  But in one of these clips, his guest seemed to make fun of a question.   The guest trainer went on about people who want to get as big (physically) as him.  He started to laugh and swear.  The host started to laugh too.  I think the message the guest was trying to say was it’s not just working out, it’s the dedication required to workout when you’re tired, it requires rest and a good diet.

But the tone was of elitism and exclusivity.  Both of us are  “in” and you’re not.  While I have been known to use 4 letter words (I can swear in Greek too but that’s another story), watching the 2 of them swearing and laughing stung.  They could have done a lot better and be more professional instead of acting like kids.  Turn the moment into something educational and maybe even inspirational.

I’m just venting a bit.

Makeup Please…

My weekly networking meeting with 3 other  job hunters was reduced to just 1 person.  2 of them said they had conflicts.  One of the things we did was to practice some interview questions.  She told me my answers were good but I looked old and tired. She reminded me I was competing with 20 year olds who have tons of energy.  I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before so maybe that contributed to it.

“Old and tired”.  Ouch.  That hurt.

I felt better after a haircut and a walk. I debated about retail therapy but decided not to.




Mixed Emotions

I had a mixed day today. I got a text in the morning from someone I recently reconnected with.  He was an old squash buddy.  I had a great networking session with him last year.  He told me he has stomach cancer.  I mean, how do you respond?  I just told him I will keep him in my prayers.  I think I’ll write him a note this weekend after I gather my thoughts.

Lunch was better.  I met up with a classmate from my writing class.  When we introduced each other at class, I found out she knows my cousin from a film project they worked together.  And she heard of me and my siblings from my cousin.  During lunch, we chatted about writing, her next project, film making in general, a refugee she is helping and spirits.  She flies out next week for a teaching assignment.  Her life seems so rich with experiences and the people she knows.

Tonight, J came by with some take out food because it was just too cold to walk around.  We (well, just me) watched the basketball (Raptors won!) and the Junior Hockey gold medal game (Canada won!) and the usual political news.

It’s almost 2 AM and of course I can’t sleep.