Episode 3: at Verizon Wireless

Week No. 3 of Canuck in Kantuck writing on location.

OK, full disclosure: I am not actually writing inside the Verizon Wireless store. Instead, I am in my car in the Verizon Wireless parking lot, but not parked too closely to the door because I don’t want them to think that I’m crazy or, worse, plotting. Instead, I have a rather soulless view of the nearby Lowe’s.

Anyway, let’s back up.

On Saturday, I dropped my phone while attempting to put it in the fanny pack I wear when I walk the dogs (don’t judge).

I drop my phone on the floor by accident so often that I didn’t even think of it, just placed it in my pack (don’t judge) and Tilly, Fitz and I went on our merry way.

When I returned home, I saw that my phone was dead. So I plugged it in and tried to restart it.

That ingenious attempt didn’t work.

Long story short, my phone was irretrievably broken, and I needed a new one.

Read more

Episode 2: at the airport

Week two of Canuck in Kantuck writing on location! Insert flamenco dancer emoji (my favorite one forever and ever) here.

I am sitting in Minneapolis airport after a lovely Easter visit with my family. It is 8:30 a.m., which meant a painful 4:15 a.m. wakeup in Winnipeg. I will go ahead and hazard the guess that it meant the same for a lot of people around whom I’m sitting, which makes it doubly, possibly triply impressive how loudly the guy in front of me is talking on his phone.

There are many, many subjects upon which you could comment when it comes to airline travel. In fact, watch Netflix comedy specials enough and you’re hard-pressed not to listen to a comedian complain about his or her time spent in airports.

But how people behave with their cell phones while traveling merits a whole podcast. Possible even a Planet Earth episode. And certainly the remainder of this column.

Read more

Episode 1: pedicure at Sonellex nail salon

Writing on location month! For the next four weeks, I will bring my laptop wherever I go and write about wherever I happen to be.

So here I am at Sonellex, typing away on my laptop with very blue water bubbling around my feet.

How to describe this little place? The word “efficient” immediately comes to mind. This is not the kind of spot that you go if you want a 20-minute massage involving three different kinds of unguents. It’s more the slam, bam, thank-you variety, which is just fine by me because one reason why I don’t like going for pedicures is that I find it very dull.

However, as I write, I realize there are aspects to a visit to the nail salon that are positively fascinating.

Read more

Fitzi goes abroad

It was like any other weekend when we visit our best couple friends Sean and Hannah in Knoxville. Time at their house always means we reunite our perfect Boston Terrier doggies, who spend the time affectionately (usually) biting each other’s throats.

We learned pretty quickly that Fitzi, our boy, is fascinated by their neighbor’s yard and needs to be kept on a tight leash whenever he goes outside to potty. Otherwise, he will run up the neighbor’s back porch and proceed to bark at their back door as if incensed he hasn’t already been invited inside.

I knew this and yet didn’t know it enough while I was helping to sweep Hannah’s kitchen. The floor quickly gets dirty with the dogs coming in and out of their back yard, which is fenced in. I had a pile of dried mud and dog hair swept up and was in the process of knocking out the dust pan out the front door. I had gone back to retrieve the last of it and, seeing his opportunity, Fitz slipped out the door I’d left open.

Read more

Living with the Chop

With no one to blame but myself, I am suffering from the worst hairdo in, nearly, my life. Every day, I walk out the door with a wince, wondering to whom I might run in. Every morning, I brush it knowing that, no matter what I do, it will explode when it dries, leaving my head looking like a peony.

To be clear again, there is no one to blame but me. Certainly not my beloved hairdresser Kathy, who, for nearly a year, gently tried to talk me out of cutting off all of my hair. But six weeks ago, I was firm.

“Let’s do it,” I said, sounding disturbingly like Tone Lōc.


“It’s time.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m too old for long hair.”

“I hate to tell you this, but you don’t have long hair. You have a bob. A short one.”


“Still what?”

“What am I waiting for? Life is short.”

Read more

Because I am miserly

So, I didn’t listen. I kind of knew I should have, but I didn’t because, well, I didn’t want to. And so, I have a big problem on my hands. And it’s possible that the problem might be multiplying this very second right here in this house. And there’s not much I can do but wait. And clean. And listen for a SNAP!

Because, yes, we have mice in the house.

Judging from the amount of mouse poop I found in the closet where I kept the dog food, a healthy lot of them. A battalion at least. An army, more like. A big, hungry, greasy army of vermin that I could step on at any moment.

Read more

Good in the world

One of the highlights of my day-to-day is an ongoing text conversation between my friends Julie and Jessica.

Julie and I can especially rely on Jessica to inject effervescence into our day by regularly updating us on everything from her shopping purchases to celebrity gossip to makeup tips to funny memes to the latest in hip slang to her yoga class to how much she really, really loves Aldi.

But last Tuesday morning, she was decidedly deflated after losing her wallet.

She had been picking up a kombucha in Lexington (see what I mean about Jessica?) and had her wallet in her pocket. But it must have fallen out when she got into her car, because when she got to the office, her wallet was gone.

Read more

Remembering the sun

Don’t get me wrong, folks, I can get behind moody weather.

In fact, it’s possible I have a college degree in Curling Up on the Couch During a Blizzard. I love a good sweatshirt and a sharp coat. I appreciate an umbrella not only for its practicality, but as a fashion accessory. And while I don’t own a pair, I can spend an impressive amount of time admiring people’s rain boots.

But the amount of rain we’ve had this winter has been, in a word, shocking. Roads are flooded. Signs have disappeared under water. And Cumberland Falls is in danger of just becoming, well, Cumberland.

But, rather than adding to the list of weather-related complaints I’ve been hearing (and have contributed to), I decided that we might do well to stay positive. Stay positive and compliment the sun instead.

Read more

Mystery in a box

OK, so I was going to write my post this week about Kroger’s ClickList. But then I was updating this blog and looking for a photo to illustrate last week’s post about online banking. So I’m scanning unsplash.com and pexels.com (if you need beautiful, free photography online, these sites are gold) for not-boring pictures about banking, which is nearly impossible, when I come across a photo of safety deposit boxes.

Like, a row of the old-timey kind, made of brass, surrounded by art deco scrollwork, with numbers in Coventry Garden font so that you feel like maybe the 1920s were the coolest decade ever.

So I stare at this photo and then I go to Kroger.com to write about ClickList and then I realize, you know what? I can’t do it. I cannot write about ClickList. I must write about safety deposit boxes instead. I must.

Read more

Check’s in the phone

It’s possible that the best invention in the history of man is being able to deposit your checks on a banking app so you don’t have to leave your house or even your couch and you never have to wait in line at the bank ever again.

The activity is so wondrously simple that you wonder, for a moment, whether or not you’re awake. Granted, it takes a bit of work to get your banking app set up (which was enough for me to put this off for far too long), but once you have it downloaded and you’ve set up your password and login, you are basically good to go.

So, you take your check.

You press “deposit” on your app.

You type in how much you want to deposit.

You take a picture of the front of your check.

You take a picture of the back of your check.

And, voila, transaction completed.

Just to underscore how luxurious this activity is, I have half a mind to deposit a check while in a bubble bath sipping a glass of champagne. Or on horseback wearing a wedding dress and eating leftover cake. Or possibly aboard a yacht while drinking guava juice, as photographed above.

Whatever the scenario, having something to drink or eat in celebration seems essential.

Because, I’m telling you, it is that good.

Read more