Thanks For: Canada is Running Out of Cowboys

Dear Canadians Everywhere,

There is an urgent need for cowboys in Canada. Remember how you wanted to be a cowboy when you grew up? CANADA WANTS YOU. This is phenomenal. I didn’t even know that you still had the option to have the profession ‘cowboy’. I thought the cowboy when the way of the viking and the knight – straight out of existence and into imaginations.

Not so! Canada’s west is holding tight to the rough, rowdy, cow driving, horse riding, man with boots and a hat. In fact, we need more. We want cowboys. We’re actively looking for more people to get on horses and herd cows. There are JOB DESCRIPTIONS TITLED ‘COWBOY’ SOMEWHERE. I once applied to a job sololy because I wanted to write ‘Software Ninja’ on my resume. I wanted to be a ninja in any capacity.

But someone out there is a cowboy.

That’s it right there. That’s what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that someone can legitimately write cowboy on their business card. I’m thankful that the old west isn’t quite so old. I’m thankful for the little 6 year old inside who is thrilled at  this concept.

The Hedgehog shouldn’t be a teacher. He needs to drop out of school, get this butt in gear, and take his 6 foot something tall self over to Alberta and the other prairie places and be a real cowboy. That would make me a cowgirl by association. Without any of the dirt or camping or cows or manure. Yes. This is a good plan.

But seriously, cowboys still exist and we actively want more.

Thank you so much Truth North Strong and Free. Keep being Strong and Free and the new home of cowboys.

Regards,

Aria

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Thanks For: There are Apprentice Ninjas On The Roof

Dear Literally Ninjas or Really Fat Seagulls,

STOP SETTING OFF THE ALARMS! I know it’s you causing the mind-numbing, brain-piercing siren to go off periodically during the day. You’re not even consistent with you timing. You land on the roof all stealthily then mess up or tip your fat seagull selves over and set off the alarm.

You know what I’m doing while you plan your assault on the building? Working like a good little employee. Then you set off your siren and I jump. Every. Single. Time. It’s not a great arrangement. Please improve your ninja skills or take a seagull weight loss program. Pretty please?

Or take me with you to your ninja academy to learn your ways.

But really, the siren is right above my head. I’m not appreciating it. It’s bad enough when the workmen are on the roof next door and bang on the window to our office accidentally with their tools. You ever turned around to a second story window and seen a large hairy man waving at you? Do not recommend.

However, you know why I’m thankful for you? Because you’re bringing the office together. Everyone emerges from their little rooms to discuss the noise, what could be causing the noise, if we should send someone onto the roof to investigate. It’s a party.

But still, increase those ninja skills.

Aria

Thanks For: Winter Slip N Slides

Dear Giant Icy Hill of Death,

I used to be convinced that the river was going to overflow, flooding the city, and only those of us who lived on the hill would be safe. I was thankful for you hill. Now, I have a car, it’s winter, and I’m a little less thankful and a little more ‘WHEEEEEEE!”

That’s a whee of “wheeee are all going to die because this hill is large and covered in ice and there are three stoplights that require attempted stopping on the Giant Hill of Icy Death plus a bridge at the end! With water! And Ice! And rapids! And a big ol’ dam!”. Guess who can actually stop on the Giant Icy Hill of Death? No-one. It’s one giant slip n slide. Not that snow sliding isn’t fun, I just prefer it to be on a toboggan. Or skis. Or snowboard. Or really anything not a car, I’m Canadian, ice is part of life.

But here comes the thanks people who live on the Giant Icy Hill of Death, those of us who are stuck on the ‘wrong’ side of the river’, we’ve become fabulous now drivers simply by necessity.

Everyone slides all over the place on that hill. Everytime. You see fishtails everywhere. Going up and down.

But rarely crashes.

No bumps. No bangs. No ditches. No rolls. No sliding into oncoming traffic. Just a lot of revving engines, sliding, fishtailing, and spinning tires. But rarely does anyone get hurt. We’ve learned. The Giant Icy Hill of Death teaches its students well. It forces parents living on the hill to take their children our for ‘Giant Icy Hill of Death’ sliding training. We are well equipped for winter.

Also it’s like a community. You’re sliding? ME TOO! I won’t honk at you. I see you’re stuck-ish. Let’s push together! I don’t mind that you’re only going 20. I get that you may be new to the Giant Icy Hill of Death. It’s terrifying. You’ll get use to it.

And when we did hit? Little bumps because everyone knows what the’re doing. No-one gets mad. Just pull over the car. Look at it. Shrug. Smile. Silly hill. Really. I’ve seen it more than once. It’s amazing.

Thank you great teacher, Giant Icy Hill of Death, for showing us your secrets.

Aria

Thanks For: Old Men Who Fall Asleep During Meetings

Dear Spiffy Elderly Gentleman,

I saw you. You were sitting right behind the COO and I saw you fall asleep for 10 minutes during the last staff meeting. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. Actually I applaud your seating placement, that was prime real estate for subtle sleeping without anyone who has actual firing powers seeing you. Just little ol’ newbie me and some of the accounting folks.

Maybe they didn’t even notice, there were budgety number up on the screen and accounting folks love that jazz.

So maybe it’s our little secret. But your eyes were definitely closed, your head was drooped, and you were doing the head-bounce thing where you no you shouldn’t fall asleep but can’t quite help it. Eyes close. Head up. Head slowly drops. Yes, sleep. Sleep would be good. 1 sheep, 2 sheep, red sheep, blue sheep. NO! MEETING! Head jerks back up.

Restart.

It’s precious. Even better it was entertaining. Clearly you were having a rough day sir and I’m glad that you didn’t get caught napping which would have made everything worse.

Do you know that I know? I think so. Your smile gave it away. So thanks for the head bobbing entertainment. Thanks for the secret. Thanks for reminding me that meetings, while they have their benefits, aren’t always the best way to communicate with your staff. That’s a lesson I can take with me.

Sleep on sir,

Aria

Thanks For: The Hope of A New Flanders Fields

Dear Soldiers,

Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you to all those you lie in Flanders Fields and in the ground around the world. Thank you for standing up.

I’m so thankful for your sacrifice and I honour your memory. But I pray what I believe that all soldier pray, that one day soldiers will not die. That we will live in a world of peace. So most of all I’m thankful that despite the war and the violence we can still believe in that dream. I’m thankful that we can still believe in a world where Flanders Fields can exist in two forms, one to honour our fallen. And one to honour those who no longer have to fall.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
In empty field, without woe,
They mark our grace; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Heard freely with no guns below.

We are not dead. When wars forgo
We live, feel dawn, see sunset glow,
Love and are loved, never to lie
In Flanders fields.

We had no quarrel, not even a foe:
To you from aging hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
You shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Thanks for the hope of peace,

Aria

Thanks For: Mother Desperately Trying to Understand Technology

Dear Technology Challenged Mom,

You’ve mastered the Kijiji ad, you’ve adjusted to Windows 8, you’re mostly okay with the majesty of touch screens. But now you want to work on Dad’s advertising both at the office and at home – as your daughter it’s fallen to me to take on this hair-pulling, mind-blowing task of teaching you how. Mother. It’s time to understand The Dropbox.

I’m sorry for laughing when you didn’t know how to get to your files. It was laugh or cry a little. I was trying to keep it all upbeat. That’s difficult when you seem to think that your Kijiji account can only be accessed from one specific computer. Thanks for not questioning me when I popped a shortcut onto Chrome. Thank you for rolling with it. Thanks past me for teaching mother how to use Chrome and not Internet Explorer like the Father.

Sigh. Sadness.

But thanks for trying so hard mother. I know this is frustrating for both of us. I promise that ctrl c and ctrl v really are the same as clicking with the mouse. At least you know how to copy and paste. I’m thankful that you can at least do things. I’m thankful that you realize how aggravating it is to move at a pace that a turtle could beat without all that sketchy rabbit napping.

Just remember how happy you were when you first got it the dropbox to work at home! You said, and I quote, “It’s just like magic.”

Let’s not do it again,

Aria

ps Hedgehog little  brother – I DON’T CARE IF YOU HAVE A MAC AND DON’T ‘KNOW THOSE WINDOWS THINGS’ STOP LYING. YOU CAN STILL TEACH THE PARENTS ‘TO EMAIL’. I’M ONTO YOU!

Thanks For: Canadians Cope with Winter By Eating More Broccoli

Dear Flowering Headed Cabbage Vegetable,

Not that I have anything against broccoli but as a Canadian I can say that this a course of action I’ve never considered. Granted, there’s a lot of winter here. Stretching endlessly on into a white abyss from which you believe there is no waking and that the meters of snow will never recede to once again reveal the small sprigs of triumphant grass. But I’ve never thought ‘hey, you know what would combat this winter? More broccoli’.

But apparently I’m missing out. Move over poutine and beaver tails (the sugary kind that takes like a heavenly waffle, we don’t eat real beavers), Canada’s loading up on broccoli.

So why is this a thanks? I’m not a fervent lover of broccoli. I’m not even sure if anyone fervently loves broccoli, it’s sort of a general meh vegetable. But I’m thankful for the image of Canadians hunkering down, hiding from the snow, with troves of broccoli.

Even better. This was put out by an American magazine. Come on America? Is this what you think of us? Slapping a hockey puck around our igloos, chased by polar bears as we fend them off with projectile tim bits, and munching on broccoli.

I love it. Yes. That’s perfect.

At least it makes sense. Broccoli is a stellar source of vitamin C which is what you tend to be missing in the months of deep dark snow. I know. First bio class was devoted to extracting vitamin C from broccoli. I, the ever skillful, managed to badly burn my hand steam. Sigh. Broccoli is dangerous.

But apparently Canadian,

Aria