10 Freaky Reasons Cupcakes Could Get You Fired

TORONTO STAR ENTERTAINMENT

My parents visited a favorite spot of ours in the province of Ontario, the town of Orillia. As a treat, they left me with twenty-five Canadian dollars on a prepaid card that can be redeemed at Canada’s popular franchise of coffee shops, Tim Horton’s.

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Photographer: Suzy Hazelwood

Tuesday morning I went in to see that Tim’s “smile cookies” are back, which are cinnamon cookies with the icing of a smile atop them–:). That evening I bought one to take to a friend, as I am a steadfast believer in the power of kindness.

I am part of a not-for-profit in an operations capacity on a year-round basis https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

As I’m in the role of SMM I occasionally draw inspiration from the work for in the blog I keep, which is what you’re reading.

September 2018 I joined for the second time in the third of three-month-long “tea parties” organized by WordPress blogger The Little Mermaid.

For September, the theme for her tea party is the subject of “food.”

https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com/2018/07

I have enjoyed browsing a few of the tea party posts. My curiosity is piqued for what could be around the corner as The Little Mermaid posts a fourth tea party.

I have also reflected on a new idea for a post.

10 Freaky Reasons Cupcakes Could Get You Fired

TORONTO STAR ENTERTAINMENT
TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016 Actor’s heart still beats for old show The Tick

Monday

The Glass is Half Empty

1.You’re sugarcoating the truth, and it can come out easy over cupcakes in the office cafeteria party.
2.You’re entering a relationship with a girl who bakes for you and is challenging your fashion sense.
3.You’re juggling naysayers and gossips.
4.You’re coming home from work only to watch syndicated sitcom programming on late night cable TV… again. If you’re lucky, you have a dog.
5.You’re setting a bad example.

The Glass is Half Full

6.Your parents are out of town, her parents are out of town… when the cat’s away, the mice will play.
7.You’re asking can you spare a dollar.
8.You hope to set your Facebook privacy settings to Who Can See Your Friends… Only Me in order to discourage gawkers.
9.You and the girl baking for you are both Irish.
10.The cupcakes are a vanilla mix and seem to be challenging you to up your game.

In all seriousness, 15 September marked the International Day of Democracy

http://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday/

You are probably familiar, to one extent or another, with the troubles in the White House. I became interested in that when Facebook came under scrutiny for the suggestion of its misappropriated influence on the 2016 US Election.

About 15 September, the United Nations has observed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for seventy years now.

The International Day of Democracy observes the importance of a democratic government for each individual member of the United Nations.

I also observed on this day the reality that I had reached the age of forty-one and a half years old. I feel reasonably good, interested in life in general and grateful for my work opportunities and for my leisure time.

The two people my blog most impacts are women in my family, my mom, and my sister. Both of them respond with compliments about what I do on WordPress. That being said, I should say there is one caveat–if you are a blogger, the feedback afforded you should above all things be the following: honest. Unless the feedback given you by people whose opinion you’re soliciting about your blog is honest responses, no amount of flattery no matter how smooth is going to help you up your game as a blogger.

I am also appreciative of those who “like,” “follow” and/or comment. For that, thank you.

#DemocracyDay #PeaceDay

Mermaid’s September 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Thanksgiving Monday

Updated October 8, 2018

The Little Mermaid is an inspired blogger who has an interesting WordPress event which she organizes.  Over the last several weeks she liked occasional comments of mine.  The Little Mermaid warmed to comments I was leaving on the Beauty Beyond Bones blog.

That’s another blogger’s work, the author of an interactive journal leading with frank writing about anorexia, who is recovering and blogging.

https://beautybeyondbones.com

Consequently about a month ago I looked at what The Little Mermaid was doing in her blog, and for September 2018, and the two months before it, The Little Mermaid busily has organized tea parties.  These are exercises for bloggers, formulated by The Little Mermaid.  I try to take an interest, at least occasionally, in bloggers who express appreciation for my own blog.

The Little Mermaid has organized her third tea party.  Her theme for September 2018 is food.

https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com

Although initially I thought I would feature grocery store items in my refrigerator freezer, I made the decision to shoot a photo of my mom and dad’s kitchen, where they are putting together a few grocery items for me.  I work with my dad at a not-for-profit endeavour, unrelated, but which you can find out more about here.

Food for me is an important privilege and one that’s essential.  To survive is to have grocery store items on hand, I feel,

Thanksgiving Monday
My dad after dinner on Thanksgiving Monday in Canada

For the most part, I divide my food into eating I do at home and also two or three times a week a supper with my mom and dad.

It is considerate of my parents to include me, although of course, I’m family.  Those meals can be quite good.  While typically simple and inexpensive, it is also a meeting time for family information, which is good as otherwise, something important could have missed me.

I appreciate the opportunity to draw attention to bloggers who help me feel inspired, such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty Beyond Bones.  I like guidelines that spur on a concept, as in for example a specific theme.  That is what these WordPress tea parties are about, I think.

I enjoy making the effort.  Thank you for reading.  You’re welcome to “like,” follow, and/or comment as you please.

Join In The Fun! Join In The September 2018 Tea Party!

From what I’ve seen of The Little Mermaid, this is her third tea party on WordPress and the second one I’m joining. Her tea parties last all month, from the first day of the month to the last.

The Little Mermaid

“What better way to suggest friendliness – and to create it – than with a cup of tea?” -J. Grayson Luttrell

Aloha, charming WordPressers!

I’m delighted to announce you that The Little Mermaid is hosting her third monthly tea party on her website. What? A tea party? On WordPress? When? How? For whom? Alright..alright…take it easy. I’m coming on to your questions.

Classically, a ‘tea party’ makes one think of superiorly elegant and elaborate affairs of the Victorian times. It also conjures up images of fluffy scones, flavoursome muffins, Devonshire Cream and dainty sandwiches served on fine silver or deluxe bone china. Still, the elemental part of a tea party remains the affable exchange of dialogue among the invitees. Almost indistinguishably, the tea party that I am organizing is an online social event hosted in honour of bloggers, that is US! Blogging is most enjoyable when it is done interactively…

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How Literature Can Keep You Out of Trouble #LiteracyDay

Blog author with positive contrast

Today, September 8, is International Literacy Day.  It was celebrated for the first time in 1967.  Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.  Celebrations take place in various countries.

From Wikipedia, Retrieved 7 August 2012.

 

If you are intellectually-minded, you will probably find yourself reading a number of works of literature, the best-regarded and the most-often cited.

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Photographer: Jess Watters

I completed two semesters of literature in college, the second part of 1996 and the first of 1997.  The curriculum included a lot of assigned reading material.  It required devoting a good distribution of time outside of lectures and seminars to turning the pages of important writing, historical in the sense it is enduring.

No one disputes that a lot of partying goes on in college.  I’m a mortal, however.  I wasn’t going to the bar environs with my friends much at all, as many peers were doing.  I didn’t see any way around reading in my room, at least some of the time.

I’d been in eleventh grade between 1993 and 1994.  I had elected to take, as one of my high school courses, the subject of ancient history.

When the summer of 1994 arrived, Mr. Simpson, the gentleman who was teaching an ancient history class, signed my 1994 school yearbook with a note that he predicted I’d spend my life doing a lot of reading.  I think he felt I was a smart student.

Ancient history explained what human life was like, as best we could calculate in the day, life in ancient times when other civilizations than the present existed around the planet.  It reminded me a little of the game Dungeons & Dragons.

Mr. Simpson taught us about nations such as the Roman Empire.  I’ve inferred that the historical Roman Empire inspired some of the gameplay of nineteen seventies’ Dungeons & Dragons.

In the school board governing my high school, in the first part of the year 1996, the teachers went on a work-to-rule.  It was my “grade 13,” the year that tried to most closely prepare students if they stayed in schooling.

Blog author with positive contrast
WordPress with positive contrast

“Work-to-rule” meant that high school teachers would only work the hours specifically matched to the student timetable and that teachers wouldn’t support any outside activity or assign homework.  It was worrisome because I needed to get a jump on the skills I’d need for college.  The teachers I had on hand to me simply weren’t working other than carrying out the minimum effort possible.

 

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise”

 

 

Rudyard Kipling

 

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/346219-if-you-can-keep-your-head-when-all-about-you

 

I might not have got into so much bother at that time.  I feel I wasted time partying with friends, as there was no homework to be done and I was characteristically young, an early student.  I wasn’t a self-starter, I would say, as I wasn’t challenging myself to learn all the essential skills to start college.

I didn’t have much help from our teachers–none of the students did–and when it came time to start college, I had a disadvantage.

It was a bad break.  My college grades dipped more than I would have liked, more than they might have had I taken the initiative to develop study skills necessary to deliver the goods in college.

I mentioned the game Dungeons & Dragons.  In various editions of Dungeons & Dragons “initiative” is a rule that game players help decide strategy combat by dice rolls which inform which game character has the first choice to act in the rounds of battle, an advantage in being first.

I should have tried to win the initiative roll.  I plainly didn’t.  I regret it to this day.

I certainly ask for you to “like,” comment, and/or follow.  I wish you well in your own “game.”  Good luck to you, however you decide to play your hand.

How Struggles Can Make You Sick

Abandoned supermarket cart

Too much stress, “bad” stress, can weaken you, deplete your resources and waste scarce time if you are not dealing with your lifestyle well.  Everybody endures stress.

 

Getting older, I believe that lifestyles of Generation Z are significantly common, but I am from a small town.  It is important to obey the Biblical commandment, to honor thy mother and father.  As the father did before you, if you are of a certain age, you too need to heed that you are following appropriately in his steps.

 

That being said, there is lightness.  I think with a touch of envy of the comparative ease of the generation of young people often collectively referred to as Generation Z.  That doesn’t mean that I can compete with the energy of the young and of the attitudes which characterize them, different than for someone my age.

 

Someone like me, I feel, is part of a culture that values stress, that putting a great deal of work into a lifetime is a necessity.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Abandoned supermarket cart
Shopping cart

However, it means fulltime people endure an enormous amount of stress.  The more hours of work we take on, to make ends meet, the more stress we cope with.

 

I believe stress can easily bend one to its will rather than the other way round.  It is all very hard to manage.

 

In the film sequence preceding the climax of the 1978 feature film Superman, Lex Luthor conquers Superman with a chain of Kryptonite, until Superman makes a personal promise to Luthor’s beautiful assistant in order that she remove the powerful amulet–but a promise that puts at risk the woman who has his heart, Lois Lane.  All in all, it is an excellent film.

 

What I did, in my life, is an irregular passage through the years.  In 2008 when my employer closed its doors, I went on to work a part-time job while reflecting on what to do with my future  Then I went full time on government disability, as it was felt that I’d been “compromised” enough to give up on making a living through the avenue of work.

 

I had been reading some books on self-management and I didn’t think the stress of a new workplace was going to benefit me enough to do it.

 

A few years later, my father, perhaps frustrated by my reluctance, had an idea.  He was retiring from many years with a municipal cemetery, where he’d helped manage it from its offices.

 

A small cemetery in our town was searching for new operators.  It attracted him, and the trustees of that property were pleased to turn it over to him, so that he could direct it, pleased to have a focus in his retirement.

 

To my surprise, my dad invited me to help handle the operation of the cemetery.  We commenced in 2011.  The church at the cemetery, formerly of the United Church of Canada, had disbanded in 2006.

 

Headstones under repair
Important headstones of family generations in Maple Lawn Cemetery

We maintain the property ourselves, and work in the interior of the church in dire weather, setting our sights on attending to the cemetery once a week.  We made a not-for-profit out of it.  While I am junior, and there is no certainty how matters will proceed, in the seven years or so, lucky seven, that we’ve handled the cemetery, it has been a luxury of time and experience for me and an opportunity to enjoy the company of my father in his golden years.

 

We have had outside help from brothers of my father, my uncles.   On a few brief occasions we have talked about growth, but I don’t know if I can turn this venture into something in which I can continue in the long-term.  This post is intended to be expository writing, but working for a not-for-profit, when financial gains are generally hard-won, can lead to burnout, and to a minor degree that is what I am experiencing.

 

You see, I contribute several hours a week of work to the cemetery, and as my dad has spoken reassuringly of the flexibility to set our own hours, I have lately started to reduce my workload to a four-day week rather than a five-day.

 

I can’t help, for example, but want to relax on Saturday.  I think the decision to work less on Fridays is somewhat deleterious in that if you want to get ahead, you should probably be hustling with the same energy on a Friday that you do on a Monday.

 

I couldn’t help, in the past several weeks, to admit that the stress of putting nonprofit work at the center of my life, was making me feel a touch sick, by which I mean I was experiencing burnout.  I am sure this is common.

 

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Photographer: Ylanite Koppens

Whether this transition, to four days of focus on the cemetery rather than on each and every business day, will contribute to a soul-searching decision by my dad to relieve me of my work, I don’t know.  I think what will determine my chances of staying on are the quality of work I can produce in the time I devote to the not-for-profit.

 

How this has me feeling, perhaps, “sick,” is that I do care about working and I do feel some prestige enjoying the privilege of doing work that is shaped by our own efforts.  This is in contrast to working for a firm that is structured in predictable ways, with employee equity and positions and demands which could easily contribute to a high-stress load.

 

I am taking this risk because I believe I can do better work if I make strategies to cope with the burnout before there are related consequences.  I am counting on my own experience and abilities to do the same quality of work in a four-day structure than I would be getting done by committing the entirety of the work week to headway and progress.

 

I am sick to think of losing what I have worked for, and I am sick to think of bringing shame onto my father if the quality of my work does suffer because I am having trouble being afield of all that we do.  I feel like I should write something about feeling troubled by what I have to do to manage my role as operator, and maybe even think on how I could express an appropriate apology for how I am feeling.

 

Writing is the act of discovery. – Natalie Goldberg

 

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If my father does finally decide, which I know he won’t do lightly, that I should be dismissed, it will be a sad day and for that, I will pay a price, of having the failure on my shoulders.  If that scenario comes to pass I will take time to mend.  It may be a self-centered attitude, but the best that can be done in the face of failure is to learn from what happened.

 

Everyone has experienced failure, and usually many, many times, sometimes with adverse consequences.

 

If you have never failed, you have stayed well inside your comfort zone.  Life needs to change and grow.

 

If my role in the not-for-profit does end in failure, I will at least have work experience.  I think I can draw on the time spent at this to draw conclusions that will inform my life in the future.  The situation that I think could result, however, is not going to be completely ideal.

 

It will be back to being “sick,” resorting to making ends meet with the help of a pension for disability, and with the support of my mom and dad.  Ain’t no one got time for that.  I will have then have the opportunity to look for a job if I feel I can weather the stress, or return to freelancing and try to find my niche doing that.

 

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Many members of Generation Z work as freelancers in the digital economy, and I would be competing with all of those people, which is daunting.  That being said, there are a few paths ahead for me to take and I will have to ask for guidance from fate and the intentions of The Lord.  I know I shouldn’t emphasize feeling sick about all this and I know I shouldn’t take on a job post that gives me more additional stress than I can handle.

 

For now, I will bide my time–for as much clarity as I can muster.

 

You are welcome to like, follow, and/or comment if you have feedback.  Lately, the blog has been fairly quiet, in terms of visits it receives, but you never know when some I’ve published here will pique the interest of a reader.

 

I appreciate the time of those who are visitors.  I have been tying my blog to the not-for-profit, and also trying to be jovial as I know it is as yet an amateur effort.  I feel blogging will continue to play a role in the time I have to write, as it is a splendid little spot of fun that has a pragmatic purpose.