Monday, September 14, 2009

Mondays and Pig Heads...

Every Monday I complain that it's a Monday. Last week, I was irritated that Tuesday was Monday.

I can't really promise this week is going to be any different. I think I'm just going to have to admit that Monday mornings are just not fun. It doesn't matter if they're labeled as Monday or Tuesday on the calendar; they're still the sign that the weekend is completely over and only work days lie immediately ahead.

But that sounds so negative, doesn't it?

I'd like to begin this work week with a new attitude, a bright and shiny desire to excel at my job. Unfortunately, there really isn't much room to excel at my job which is, in itself, a sad fact. My company, as I've mentioned, is not particularly forward thinking and their acknowledgment that you're doing a good job is pretty much to let you stay employed. Awkward Bagel Days are usually only scheduled for new employees. When we have a barbecue, we have to bring in the food. I've been told that we used to get bonuses but I have a horrible feeling we won't because we're still struggling to find our feet after being sold earlier this year.

Still, our sweet Warm Vanilla Sugar squirting HR lady has taken it upon herself to give us small perks. Though I still hate the smell of that damn room spray, I do appreciate her efforts to give us these small perks. She buys Coke and Pepsi at the store and then charges us .25 cents a can for them. That's just a bargain, if you ask me. We were never allowed it before. One thing I've learned about my company is if you want to do something, you should just do it. Asking usually leads to getting a no or being made to feel guilty. This includes asking for time off or skipping lunch to leave 30 minutes early. The most they'll do is have a staff meeting in which we're all passive-aggressively scolded and told to stop whatever bad behaviour we were exhibiting. Everyone knows who actually did the deed, no one admits to it.

Anyway, despite this, I mostly do like my company. So, despite the fact that it's a Monday, I'm going to actually attempt to get some work done, even though I'll mentally be counting down the minutes until I can go home and relax.

I can't really complain about not getting relaxation time anymore. I had a nice relaxing weekend. I did make a trip to IKEA for some curtains. Naturally, I came out with the curtains in addition to several other items I had not planned to purchase. That's the problem with IKEA; they have all kinds of nifty gadgets and kitchen stuff and I can't resist. I was very restrained this time, however, and only bought a citrus zester and a melon baller. Of course, this was followed by a trip to Jungle Jim's International Market where I had fun wandering around and just looking. I discovered they sell entire pig heads. I was a wee bit alarmed by this. I probably wouldn't have been so alarmed but I'd just watched an Iron Chef America in which the secret ingredient was suckling pig. This basically amounted to a heap of baby piglets, heads on and looking cute but slaughtered lying there on my TV. When the chefs got hold of the piglets, it was indescribably disgusting. Let's just say they use every part of the piggy.

It would have disgusted me even if I hadn't been eating bacon at the time. I'd DVR'd the episode not knowing the secret ingredient, you see. Then I chose breakfast time to watch it. Fortunately, I'd eaten all the bacon by the time the piglets came on screen. Still, there's nothing more likely to put you off the breakfast than a chef lopping off Piglet's ears.

So, when I saw that giant pig head staring up at me in Jungle Jim from the captivity of its cellophane prison, I was a little taken aback. It looked like something from the Amityville Horror. They also had entire ducks heads packaged up. I know they're used a lot in Asian cuisine but I think I might have a hard time eating a duck head.

I will say, though, I find that sort of thing fascinating. It's also vaguely disgusting but still intriguing. When I lived in L.A. I used to enjoy going to the Asian markets with seafood counters. It was a little like going to an exotic zoo. There were live giant frogs, crabs crawling out of the mound upon which they were piled for sale, nasty looking clams that resembled yellow elephant trunks and, of course, tanks and tanks of live fish. I thought nothing of the tanks of fish until one day I saw one of the staff capture a giant fish and then violently club it over the head until it stopped thrashing. That was an eye-opening experience. Someone bought frogs once and I feared for the lazy-looking creatures but fortunately, they were just bagged up in a cellophane bag and taped tight. I happened to be behind the purchaser at the checkout and those frogs were still trying to leap to their freedom as the cashier rang them up.

I know it's all cultural; it seemed that as the minority in the store, I was also in the minority at being horrified/fascinated by such 'different' practices. I suppose if that's an everyday thing, you become desensitized to it; it seems almost normal. To me, I don't think it'll ever become normal. I actually hope it doesn't. I think I'd rather be slightly nonplussed at the sight of a giant pig head staring at me than accept that as an everyday thing.

I admit though, I did go back a second time to stare at the pig head in Jungle Jim's. It seemed like I wasn't the only one. I was behind a couple who were clearly on the Unusual Food tour of the store; looking, like I do, for the weirdest, most disgusting things to see. I admit, it's slightly wrong but it's also a new way to look at a grocery store. I love Jungle Jim's; they sell kangaroo meat, antelope meat and alligator in the same freezer section. That's pretty fascinating, you have to admit.

Anyway, so that was probably the most interesting thing I saw this weekend. Aside from that, I spent hours upon hours weeding my garden only to discover it didn't look like I'd done much at all. Although it does look better, there are still a ton of weeds there but my sore fingertips and stiff back belie a lot more work than it seems I did.

My neighbour with the yappy dog did come out a couple of times while I was outside. I only had to have one "pet the dog and make awkward conversation" encounter though. Otherwise, I just waved and ignored him. I feel a bit sorry for him anyway; his wife never seems to do anything outside, including grilling dinner. The only one I ever see doing any work is him. I wonder if he's as henpecked as he seems. Maybe he likes escaping into the garden to be the Dog Whisperer.

Still, with pig heads, weeding and IKEA, I had an interesting and productive weekend. Of course, in typing this, I just realized I'm having ham for dinner. I probably should have thought of that before I started talking about piglets and pig heads.

Oh dear.

Happy Monday.

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