Sunday, September 30, 2012

I ain't 20 any more...


So yesterday I spent a lot of time on my feet.  A LOT.  And those feet were in boots with heels.  Not crazy-high heels, but high enough that when I stopped moving at the end of the day?  I thought I might die.  I'm pretty sure that the balls of my feet exploded.  I might just be walking on stumps now.

How is it that it's only when you STOP that you realize how much your body has betrayed you? Not just the feet - which to be fair had been wearing said boots for about 6 hours and had every right to explode (memorial service later today), but my hips... GOOD GOD my hips!  And my back, and Achilles tendons - which totally relates to wearing the heels as well...  Done... Gone... Kaput.

See, we were dancing.  The regular dancing was fine.  David and I then decided to a little bit of swing dancing.  That's when my hips went. 
Sexy, non?
"Well Mary, I'll tell you...  My hips are giving me such grief.  I can barely get through Flip, Flop & Fly without having a rest break for these old girls."

There's something about the doing the triple step, triple step, rock step ... that bounce on my joints? In heels?  After one song the pain started.  A smart girl would have stopped.  A smart girl would have said, "Thank you darling, but no.  I need to rest now and take some Advil for my inflamed hips."  But swing dancing is so much FUN!  It's about the most fun you can have without it turning into an orgasm. (Although maybe if you kept dancing...)  Some might say that roller coasters would offer more bang (HAH!), but swing dancing has much less screaming, more laughter and lasts longer than a typical roller coaster.   

It goes back to my youth.  I was a gymnast.  Between the ages of 8-16, I was very bendy.  (Steady there boys.)   That's what's done me in.  I have these hyper-flexible joints in my hips and back.  I was TOO flexible, or so the physiotherapists have since told me.   "Oh here's your problem... your tendons don't support any of your joints any more.  Nope, we can't help you with that. By the time you're 60, you're pretty much fucked."  Which is why my back, hips and even Achilles tendons began to betray me as early as my 20s.

But I've figured it all out!  The NEXT time I swing dance?  No heels for me!  I'm going to wear saddle shoes! Or Keds with the rubberized soles all slidey and worn out.  I'll take the Advil first, ice between songs and get David to rub me all over with Traumeel afterward.  'Cause I ain't NOT going to dance.
A little rub'll do ya!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Not for the squeamish...



Okay, seriously.  Acne? I am 44 frickin' years of age!  I shouldn't be getting any.  Peri-Menopause is wreaking havoc with my skin!!  I mean, COME ON!!!  I know my period's coming, but I don't need any extra facial detailing at present.  It's right beside my mouth - the size of... of... I want to say Vesuvius, but I know that really it's only the size of a large pinhead, but it freaking hurts.  Mostly because I've been picking, won't leave it alone and can't get what's in there to come out...  but the pain is real!

And every time I pick, I can hear my mother's voice in my head "STOP PICKING!!!  YOU'LL SCAR!" Her mantra from when I was an adolescent.  Which, just so you know, I totally didn't.  I have four, count 'em FOUR, scars on my face and they are on my forehead and from me scratching CHICKEN POX, not ZITS and that happened when I was 8, and my bangs hide them.  So there.  That's not to say I don't have have lots of other scars, but they just aren't on my face.  I was a terribly accident prone child.

You HAVE to squeeze zits.  You know what it's like.  That feeling that SOMETHING is in there.  Something that if you just squeeze hard enough will shoot out, maybe landing on the mirror as a sebum trophy, maybe not, but almost certainly relieving that pressure under your skin.  Then you dab on a little zit cream and you're good to go, but until that moment of release - it's torture.

I freely admit that the primate instinct in me is really strong.  I'm a groomer.  I'm a picker.  If I am offered the choice between sex and squeezing a really deep blackhead on David's back,  I have to think about it really hard.  (I know!  I know!!!! EEEEEEW!!!!)  I will  TOTALLY choose the sex, but there is a really big internal conflict that occurs within me first.  'Cause the satisfaction that comes from a really good blackhead squeeze?  Unparalleled.  Truly.  Especially the ones where you can squeeze and squeeze and squeeze and ALL THIS STUFF COMES OUT??  Like in one long stringy bit?  (I know!  I know!!!!! EEEEEEW!!!)  But come on... everyone has their thing.  My Mom loves peeling sunburns.  My brother loved to pick scabs.  I have friends who SQUEEEEE!! over stripping wallpaper in one long strip.  My thing just happens to be disgusting on a primordial level.  A level that no one wants to talk about but almost everyone acts upon.  Anyone who says that they don't is lying and isn't in touch with their inner gorilla.

The hardest thing now is that Rissa is getting blackheads and it takes every bit of restraint within me NOT to go at her.  David says I'm not allowed to.  She is out of bounds.  He barely lets me do it to him because he HATES being picked at.   David hates being picked at but he lets me, because he knows that I'm a twisted mess of a girl who has a primate grooming kink.  See that?   Right there?  That's love.  That is how much he loves me.  Oh the glory that is him!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Plenty of Batteries...



WARNING: THERE IS ADULT LANGUAGE/CONTENT IN THIS POST!!  IF YOU DON'T BLANCH AT THE WORD 'FUCK' -  FEEL FREE TO READ ON.  IF YOU CAN'T SAY THE 'F' WORD - I'D STOP IF I WERE YOU.

I've been brash, bodacious and lived with bravado most of my life.  While in Theatre at the University of Ottawa, our acting teacher had the class define each student's public persona.  You know... how others perceive us, the facade we present to the world, our safety net. I was 19 years old, thought of myself as a bit of a clown. I was interesting-looking, but not pretty; intelligent, but not Einstein.  The class decided that my persona was a 35 year old attractive woman named Gwen.  She was confident, had many acquaintances (mostly male) and few close friends.  If Gwen fell onstage, not only would she get up and pretend it had NEVER happened, she would have the entire audience convinced that it had never happened.

I didn't have a whole helluva lot of tact when I was younger.  My mother despaired that I would never discover it.  I would rush into situations and bowl people over.  I was like a 120 lb Labrador puppy (who am I kidding? 140 lb.  The last time I was 120 lbs was when I was 12).  I'd sit on laps. (NEVER putting my full weight on a guy, 'cause of course they would be crushed under my true feminine weight.  I would barely rest my ass on their legs.  Most of my weight pushed through the balls of my firmly planted feet, my thighs more than likely shaking from the prolonged half squat. All to avoid hearing this: "Holy Crap you're HEAVY!"

I'd say shocking things for effect.  When an acquaintance said that she was dating a guy with whom I had previously been intimate,  I actually uttered these words, "Oh yeah, I fucked him."  Who SAYS that?  Who says that to another girl?  You know what that was?  That was FULL-ON JEALOUS BRAVADO talking there. My thoughts probably ran along the lines of Why am I just good enough to sleep with, but she's good enough to sleep with AND be his girlfriend??  But what it came out as was, "Oh yeah, I fucked him." ?!?

People took it for granted that I was a destroyer of men.  All tits and ass and red hair - I terrified guys.  I couldn't be embarrassed, told off-colour jokes, flirted and stood REALLY close.  Most of the time that tactic worked for me.  It kept men a safe distance away.  Very few called my bluff.  When there actually was  a guy who who'd say "Alright, you wanna play?  I'll play."  I wouldn't know what to do.  I'd blush, get butterflies and generally lose any nerve I pretended I had.

I had a crush in university on a  french actor in the theatre program.  He stole my powers of speech.  I became nearly mute around him.  Quite a feat.  What was funny?   This guy was not even attractive.  He was balding, didn't have great teeth and was really hairy (think Robin Williams hairy), but to me?  Oh, to me, this guy was IT.  He had CHARISMA.  Must have been pheromones.   I was so enthralled I couldn't even flirt with him.  I tried one time, he blew me off and I never attempted again.  Too much.  He was too much for me.   I was but a naive girl and he was a MAN.

A couple of years later, french crush guy and I were working together, and I guess I seemed like a safe bet for an easy lay and he was laying it on pretty thick to test the waters.  By this time I'd grown up a bit and had regained my powers of speech... or maybe by then I just had a better sense of a man's true character.

"Look," I said.  "I'm flattered and all that, but I am not going to fuck you tonight.  If you want to have a date, go to dinner, see a movie, then great.  But we're not going to end up in bed at the end of the night.  More than likely it would be a quick fumble.  Might be good, or might not, but frankly, I've got enough erotica and batteries at home to keep me busy for a long time without enduring a one-night stand that is sure to make the next time we see each other really awkward.  So what you you say?"  He didn't take me on a date. No-nonsense, in-control Heather was a bit too formidable, I guess.  Honesty...  It really is a great way to separate the boys from the men.


 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Meatloaf vs Meatloaf

Meatloaf vs Meatloaf

Rissa: "Is 'Meatloaf' - Meatloaf's actual name?"
David: "No, I don't think so."
Rissa:  "That's good 'cause that would be really unfortunate - it would be like naming your kid brussels sprout or candlestick."

***

"Wait!  Wait!  You go to my room, but don't go on the bed.  Stand by the... stand by the closet!!  I want to make a grand entrance!!!"  Rissa gallumphs down the hall and appears in the doorway,  poses in a Superman pose and then launches herself  onto the bed, landing on her stomach. 
"You done?"
"Not yet!"  She extends her arms and legs off the mattress and makes whooshing noises.
"Are you trying to shoot light out of your fingers and toes?"
"YES!!!  Is it working?"

***

Rissa's review of the Dark Knight Rises.  "It was alright I guess.  But holy camole!  Anne Hathaway's butt was parading itself to the universe!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm older than Mrs. Robinson!!

While reading Wired this morning at breakfast, there was a photo for Marriott (EXPERIENCE the world of MARRIOTT!)  with 40-somethings laughing and using an IPad to show how hip and 'Now' they are while enjoying glasses of red wine.  Two gentlemen - one with a greying, well-groomed beard and another with trendy glasses + a woman, I'm guessing early 40s - looks kinda like Robin Wright in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  And I thought:  GOOD GOD!  THAT'S MY DEMOGRAPHIC!!! THIS AD IS AIMED AT ME!!!!  I am THAT old now.

Think back to when your parents would have cocktail parties - remember those?  When you would stay up, maybe sneak to the first landing on the staircase to listen in?  They'd be all dressed up...  smoke and drunken laughter would fill the living room?  Remember that?   Remember how OLD they seemed?  Well, more than likely, they were only in their 30s.

Then I got to thinking about Cary Grant.  Who, even now, when I re-watch Notorious, is the most mature and debonair man on the planet.  He has always seemed so much older and world-wise than I could ever hope to be in my lifetime.  He was only 43 years old when he made Notorious. That's a year younger than I am now.  Which means that I'm older than Cary Grant.  This makes me ache with such a sense of defeat, because there's just no way that I can compete.  I can't ever be that together, that deep that grounded.   I can't ever move the way he did.  I'll never be that graceful!  He moved like a freaking cat.  And yes, I know he's a dude, but let's say there was a classic female actress in her 40s - which is laughable  because it just didn't happen then.  I mean think about it.  Maybe Bette Davis in All About Eve - she was cast as a 'fading' star at the ripe old age of 42.  Actresses of a certain age just didn't get screen time then.  If you were over 40 you were relegated to the crazy roles, the mother roles, the spinster roles or the over-the-hill rolls.  And you know something?  Anne Bancroft when she starred in The Graduate was only 36 years old!!!  I'm older than Mrs. Robinson!  HOLY CRAP!  And what's worse?  Most kids don't even know who the hell she is!


Oh look!  There's Dustin Hoffman at the window of the nave! 
Whatever is HE doing there?
If only I'd had my own leopard hat and coat!

"Let me be your Mrs. Robinson."
"Who?"
"Seriously?  You don't know who Mrs. Robinson is?  What about Simon & Garfunkle?  Have you heard of them?  OH GOOD GOD!  How 'bout this?  We'll skip any sort of inappropriate sexual come on... Let me be your teacher of iconic cultural moments?"
"I could be down with that."

OY.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weapon of Choice

I'm over there on the left...



I am in stress-containment mode. Not for me, but for the other people in my house.  The daughter.  The husband.  When did I become the sane one?

As the parent of a 12 year-old daughter, there are certain instances when you find yourself treading very carefully.  Last Thursday Rissa was in tears before heading off to school.  "I can't go to school today!  I can't!" she wailed. Now for most parents, this phrase would be a common one, but Rissa NEVER opts for missing school.  NEVER.  She can be hacking up a freaking lung and have a fever of 104 and she will say, "Mummy, I can't miss school.  I'll have homework."   So last Thursday when she was weeping and saying that she couldn't go - I was momentarily at a loss.  She had a kink her neck, was in pain and obviously over-emotional... so I did what every understanding mother does... I gave her drugs and sent her on her way.  Then on Friday I took her to the chiropractor.

More than a little bit of 'crazy eye' going on here!


Saturday, David and I got into a fight.  A really big one.  And the thing is?   David and I DON'T fight. In the almost 16 years of our acquaintance we have fought maybe 6 times.  It started off with me asking if we could get a lazy susan and ended up with me leaving the kitchen so that I wouldn't bludgeon him with a frying pan.

 "I'M GOING OUT!!!"

Then, I jogged.  And I am NOT a jogger.  I really don't have the stamina, it gives me shin splints and jogging for a person who suffers from angina is just stupid.  But there I was JOGGING.  (I'd put on two sports bras - 'cause I KNEW that I was going to run when I left the house - I was THAT mad.)

You see, David had questioned my budgeting.  He made a disparaging remark about my fiscal responsibility. And instead of realizing that David is really stressed right now with a whole shitload of extra crap on his already full plate of responsibilities - instead of talking him down logically,  I got mad.  I yelled even.  And I'm not a yeller.  You know why I yelled?   Because I'M the one who PAYS all the bills and ORGANIZES our taxes and DOES the automatic transfers every month so that when December comes around and we have to pay our house insurance we HAVE that money ready. I freaking rock at budgeting!!  I am a budgeting goddess!!  Hence my being pissed.  REALLY REALLY PISSED.  And that's why I felt the need to run.

Well, I'm just not going to go home!  I'll stay away ALL freaking afternoon and he won't know where I am and then he can just STEW in his worry.  See how he likes that!  

I'll grab the next train out of here!  That's what I'll do!   I'll go to Toronto and stay at the... I'll stay at the... the freaking Royal York Hotel and order lots and lots of room service!!!  He wants fiscal irresponsibility?  I'll show him fiscal irresponsibility!!   OH FOR THE LOVE OF... I don't have my wallet!

Look!  A squirrel!  Bet that squirrel wouldn't accuse me of mis-managing funds!  (now sobbing on the sidewalk with said squirrel patting my knee in sympathy)

Why isn't he driving after me to apologise?  Why is EVERY car NOT our car coming after to me to tell me how sorry he is for being an asshole?!? Why is he NOT taking advantage of this romantic-comedy, conflict resolution moment?

Good thing it's sunny outside.  At least it's nice weather!  Look!  Butterflies!  I love butterflies!  They're on their way to Mexico.  That's where I'll go!  MEXICO!!! 

I will just walk right into the lake.  That's what I'll do.  Fully dressed.  And then I'll catch hypo-thermia and see how he likes THAT!!  Then he'll be sorry. 

OW!! OW!! OW!!!  MY FREAKING CHEST HURTS!!  STUPID FREAKING ANGINA!!!  (slowing my pace to a walk)

Oh hey! Look, kite surfers!!  David LOVES kite surfers!  I should go home and tell him... (scowl)  NO! I'm not even going to tell him that they are down here!  I'll just horde all the kite surfing joy myself!  He'll never know that there were kite surfers here!  NEVER!!! 

After an hour, I managed to calm down.  Then I walked home and told David, "Come on - we're going down to the lake.  I want to show you something."  Then the two of sat and watched the kite surfers playing in the waves and we talked.   'Cause we made vows.  And a couple of them were this:

"I promise to talk to you, especially when it's difficult."
"I promise to listen to you, especially when it's difficult."

And you have to decide, are you going to keep promises or break them?


Monday, September 24, 2012

Taming your Tatas...

Two is so much better than one!  Double the sports bra - 1/4 the bounce.

Okay ladies.  If you have ANY more than a B cup and you do ANY sort of exercise that has you moving faster than a saunter, you need to wear the appropriate sports bra.  Hell, wear TWO sports bras.  AT THE SAME TIME.  OVER TOP OF EACH OTHER.  Unless you are aiming for breasts that settle around your navel, in which case, keep doing what you're doing - by Christmas you'll have met your goal.   Good for you!

I go to the Y.  I ride the recumbent cycle.  As I pedal my ass off, I have a view of the treadmills and elliptical machines and there are WAY too many ladies out there who are WAY too under-supported in their breastal region.  Frankly, I'm surprised that more of them aren't leaving the building with black eyes from those breasts just a-flapping and ba-doinking all over the place.  I watch these gals and MY upper chest muscles hurt.  Please ladies, strap your girls down - I promise it'll serve you well.  I PROMISE.

I recognize that not everyone can afford the fancy schmancy sports bras that will offer Total Tata Support (TTS).  But we can all afford the cheap-ass sports bras.  Just buy them a size smaller and wear two of them!  I'm a D cup and I wear the tightest possible sports bras - ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.  The ones that accentuate my armpit and back pudge and leave nasty dermatographia (those lines that you get on your skin when clothes are too tight or your pillow is too wrinkly).   But you know what?  When I go for a fitting at Victoria's Secret, the salesgirls are astounded that not only  did I breastfeed my daugther, but that my boobs belong to a gal who's 44.  No, the girls aren't as firm as once they was, but they are at least in the same general area at which they started.

And by the by... In regular bras?  Your nipples?  They should be aiming OUT, not DOWN.  So heft your girls up, using those adjustment straps, OWN your curves and bask in the beauty that is you.  You have boobs.  Treat them well and they'll stay relatively where they're supposed to and not become something to tuck into the top of your pants.

DOGGIE Boob Scarf as seen in The Regretsy Christmas Special Featuring JACK the PUG
http://www.etsy.com/shop/boobsRus?ref=shop_sugg


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Multi-Breasted Female of Galaxy NGC 1512

Previous post from Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Praise be to every deity in the universe!!!  After a week of insomnia - I slept through the night!!  Halle-freakin-lulljah!! (insert angels' chorus here)  

There's been a heat/humidity wave in Southern Ontario.  A direct result of this is my morphing into the biggest belligerent bitchy bitch in several galaxies.  (I think there's a multi-breasted female in Galaxy NGC 1512 that could give me a run for my money, but really with 22 breasts and a fashion history in her neck of the woods that hasn't allowed for brassieres, you could fully understand her bitchiness.)
Home to the Papilla-Multi-Praeclarus People - a shout out to Big Bessie! (From HubbleSite)


My period is due any day as well.  And not to become a cliched 'female' type who blames moods on her hormonal cycle, but WHAT THE POOH DUDE?!?  It's like I'm losing my mind a little bit more every day.  And I KNOW that I am, and I'm freaking helpless to stop the journey into The Hell of Irrationality.

Yesterday, I burst into tears when David asked me to go down to the beach.  I knew that I should get out of our stifling house, but also knew that I would then have to attempt to thrust my clammy sweaty body into a bathing suit.   (sidebar - I'm NOT a beach person to begin with.  I burn very easily, even with sunblock 9000 on, and I don't like getting wet.)

Sniffing back tears, I went upstairs and started the process.  I stripped off my now-sodden cotton clothing and then forced my sticky flesh into my one-piece bathing suit.  In retrospect, I could have put on my impetuously purchased pin-up girl bikini, (Rissa said "Mummy it looks GREAT!) but my mind was WAY skewed to self-loathing at this point, and no way was my fish-belly white stomach going to be put on view for Victoria Beach.  Instead, I opted for the one piece with attending melon-coloured overskirt.  Imagine if you will - a sausage casing trying to accommodate way too many fleshy bits.  Still in too precarious an emotional state, crying behind my half closed door, I could not see the humour in the situation.  NOW - this morning I do, but last evening at 4:42 p.m. NOTHING WAS FUNNY.

Determined not to give in to the hormones, I waded into Lake Ontario.  I was going to be the well-adjusted wife and mother.  I was going to participate in a family activity.  It was cold.  Not just a little bit cold - but the kind of cold where men's testicles crawl back up into their body cavities - or so David told me.  My legs ached from the temperature.  But I persevered.  I was in the water and I was wet and I was almost enjoying myself.  After about 30 seconds in the water, David looked over at me.  "Your lips are blue."  "Probably," I answered.  It was invigorating though.  The surf was all wavy which is a lot fun - even in hypothermic water temperatures.  After about 3.5 minutes David made me leave the water.  I was okay to stay and be wet even, but I guess my colour looked a little off and I was all goose-pimply and shivery and I didn't have the presence of mind to lie when he asked "Are you having chest pain?"  "Just a, uh, little bit."  If I were more petite, he would have scooped me up into his arms in a romantic gesture and carried me to the beach.  As it was, he threw an arm around my waist and dragged me out, wrapped me in a towel and told me to stay put while he went back in to make sure that Rissa and her friend didn't drown in the waves.

There I was on the beach - in 30+ degree heat and sun, clutching my white terry towel around me, teeth chattering.  He had been right.  It was good to get out of the house.  I was no longer hot.   My mood was vastly improved.  A brush with death will do that for a girl.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My version of 'Jazz Hands'



I provide my mother's friends with entertainment.   They love to hear stories of my outrageous life.  Oh that Heather.  The actress.  The writer.  The extrovert.  They love to hear stories of...

  • My slapping of strangers.  "If you do that again, I'm giving you full warning, I will slap you."  He did it.  I slapped him.
  • My unique style of parenting.   "Mummy I don't HAVE to be a lesbian do I?" Rissa has said.    "Of course not sweetie.  It would just make life so much easier for your father and me.  Just until university.  Wait until after university and then you can date whomever you want - boy OR girl.  Hey!  Look at that girl.  She's very cute.  Hook up with her, she won't get you pregnant."

  • My getting my nosed pierced. Wow.  Bad idea. For me.  For other people, a fantastic idea, and it looks all sassy and trendy and cool, but I changed the ring too quickly to a prettier one - had a perpetually irritated nose for months until I removed it.
     
  • My having a talisman of rowan berries tattooed on my lower back, to ward off possible ghosts in my home.  It's not a tramp stamp - it's too low for that.  What would a lower equivalent be? Something that people only get to see if I'm full-on naked?  Preen Scene? Signed Behind?  Fetching Etching?  Tart Art?  Tail Grail?
     
  • My being a surrogate for a gay couple. That's worth a WHOLE other post.

According to my mother's friends I am ENTERTAINING.

A few years back, Mom was gearing up for her annual weekend with her girlfriends.  They'd been going away together every year for 2 decades at that point.  Mom and I were walking from a restaurant through the Wal-Mart parking lot.

"You haven't done anything interesting lately," she complained.  "What am I going to tell the girls?"

"Are you kidding?" I said.  "In a week's time I'm having a tummy tuck.*  Is that not enough to keep them occupied?" 

"Yes, but the tummy tuck is not happening until AFTER the weekend.  I've got nothing to tell them NOW."

So I whipped off my top and walked in my bra in the WalMark parking lot.  "There," I said.  Will that do?"




*
So... the tummy tuck.  I had one.  I blogged about it in ALL ITS GORY DETAIL.

theskinnyonmytummytuck.blogspot.ca


Friday, September 21, 2012

Freak of Nature


I love SO many things about the autumn.  It's cooler.  It's crisper. Leaves change colour.  My ass doesn't get heat rash.  I get to wear my stripey Victoria Secret Long Jane PJs with warm socks!

I want these pjs in EVERY colour!

We light fires in the family room - in the fireplace - we're not just going around willy-nilly setting fire to the sofa or anything.  I make stew in the crock pot and David and Rissa act as if I'm a freaking Cordon Bleu chef.  I can wear a wrap draped artistically around my shoulders overtop of a sweater and look all arty...  I get to drink hot chocolate in my Max Brenner mugs.


Hold this mug between your hands and I swear that you will get all squishy inside


I smooth gingersnap body lotion all over my body.   Which, some might say, I could wear year round, but there are spring/summer scents and autumn/winter scents and when the temperatures drop I crave those darker, more tasty scents.  Plus then David starts smelling me more and saying things like "OH MY GOD, you smell AMAZING!"  So basically, changing body lotions = MORE SEX!!! 

And yet, in the cooler seasons, David frequently says to me,  
"YOU ARE A FREAK OF NATURE!" 

When the temperature starts to drop outside, my circulatory system gets a bad case of Dissociative Identity Disorder.  It's 15 c, my lips are blue, my still as yet undiagnosed chest pain kicks in and David starts making me drink Scotch to force my wee arteries open. (Just the blended, not the single malt - I'm not a heathen.)  The other night I had to run myself a bath.  Apparently a scalding bath, because when David came to keep me company and stuck his feet in, he was pretty sure that the top layer of his skin had been boiled off.  To me, it was luke warm.

Could be my thyroid, could be my peri-menopause, whatever the reason, from September basically through to June, David is on constant "Is she having a heart attack/vascular failure"  alert and has my endocrinologist's number on speed dial.  Code Blue is how I think of it.  I go blue and David threatens to take me to the ER. After DOZENS of these trips where I am NOT having a heart attack or near death, it gets harder to convince me to go.

"I cannot keep wasting 4 hours at a time like this.  Next time I'm NOT going"

"Next time I will sling you over my shoulder and strap you to a gurney myself."

"Will not."

"Will too."

See, that's the trouble with chest pain.  Apparently, you're not allowed to ignore it.  So every time it happens, I have to then gauge whether or not I'm having any new or more severe symptoms, which becomes a little bit stressful.  And stress?  Well, stress exacerbates undiagnosed chest pain.  That fight or flight response seems to be a bit fucked in my body.  Bit of  Catch 22. I promised David that I'll pay attention and I will.  I am.  I have my nitro spray handy.  I can sip some scotch.  But I'm NOT going to let my freaky body stop me from enjoying the autumn and winter and early spring!

So bring on the extra sweaters and the woolen socks and I'll wear a freaking scarf and gloves inside so that I can enjoy these fantastic temperatures because I LOVE the autumn.  The crock pot is on with apple ginger porkloin simmering away, I'm going to snuggle under an afghan while making notes in my script (possibly with up to three cats on my lap), and I might just go make myself a hot chocolate RIGHT NOW!  :-)  'Cause you know what?  Autumn is freaking AWESOME!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Neil Patrick Harris and Demon Poodles

Did I mention that Rissa doodles? 

Graphic novelist in the making?  Demon Poodle and her sidekick Bloody Bedlington Terrier?

***

This week we made pumpkin pie muffins/cupcakes for the bridal shower.  We covered them in cream cheese icing.


Ours looked pretty much as good as these ones. 

"Cream cheese icing is my GOD.  I worship it," Rissa says while packing mini muffins into her lunch.

"Only two!  Take ONLY two!  Do NOT give me that look - you may have more when you get home from school."

Then, after school, she sits with more mini muffins.  She offers up a dramatic and satisfied sigh.

"Mummy I have an announcement to make.  I think... wait... no I am sure.  I'm getting married."

"Oh really, who is the lucky guy/girl?"

"Cream Cheese Icing.  The invitations are going out tomorrow.  We will marry and then I will EAT my spouse.  And when that doesn't work out, I'm going to marry his brother More Cream Cheese Icing. "


***


Rissa has a huge crush on Neil Patrick Harris.  Last year she watched him in a simulcast of the New York Philharmonic's concert staging of Sondheim's Company - that's how much crushes for him.
What Rissa loves most in life: babies and Neil Patrick Harris

"Mummy, I love NPH.  He is AWESOME.  And even though I know that nothing can ever come of it between us because he's gay, close to 40, married and has two kids, I don't care.  I shall always love him. For he shall always be AWESOME!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bridal Shower Sugar Coma

I was dead certain that the outline around the ice cream cone here  was twinkling, that's how stoned I am on sugar.

OYEESH.  So Amber's Adopted-Mom brought these peanut butter squares to Amber's bridal shower on the weekend.  I just ate the last one.  Since Saturday I've probably ingested maybe 6?  Okay it was closer to 8.  They were too sweet for Rissa and David, so the one person in the house who shouldn't have a lot of sugar ate them instead.  From what I gathered, the ingredients are:  possibly an entire jar of peanut butter, 2 cups of sugar and rolled oats.  I think.  I'm not sure, because I might actually be in a sugar coma right now and this is all a dream.   I'm all dopey and muzzy headed on account of the fact that my hypoglycemic bloodstream is full to the brim with all the simple carbohydrates that are in my system.  If David were home right now, he'd totally be getting lucky.  As it is, the shag rug in our study is looking like a really good place to have an impromptu nap. 

I hosted the shower and people were kind enough to bring along some food so that I didn't have to get completely psychotic with food prep.   There ended up being A LOT of food.  REALLY A LOT.  Thank God I didn't get a chance to make the egg salad sandwiches with the crusts cut off!  Plates of appetizers and treats were barely touched during the shower.  There were piles of leftovers.  And of course no one took anything home - except Brandy, because I strong-armed her into it.  See, she brought this amazing cheesy dip that  I knew that I would end up eating all by myself,  because Rissa and David wouldn't like it, and though this dip was astonishingly, 'make-a-girl-salivate' good, my arteries are re-clogging at the mere mention of it.  And now my fridge is full of bridal shower food.  Most of which I shouldn't eat, but it's in the fridge, just looking at me and beckoning with its little food fingers, showing a little food shoulder and making little food kissy noises at me.  I'm thinking this is probably a dream.  Plates of Nanaimo bars don't say "Take me.  Just take me!  You know you want me, come on you dirty little food whore, just take me!" do they?

When I was little I could eat almost anything and my body didn't even blink.   Cookies, cakes, breads, chips, pop - bring it on!  And now, I kind of want to hurl a bit because the peanut butter square is warring with the glass of soy milk that I drank to wash it down.  I'm hosting a Stag and Doe in a couple weeks.  I'd just better make sure that someone else takes those food leftovers with them.  I will avert my eyes, they can pack food into bags and take it all to their houses and they can war with food guilt, nausea and not getting anything done because they're high on sugar.

And I?  I am going to take a couple of Tums and NOT go make myself throw up, even though I know it would make me feel better.   See that?  Common sense right there.  Long after the fact, but I do still have it.  If I could just get it to come to the surface a little quicker when food addictions abound that'd be ever so helpful!



Monday, September 17, 2012

And that loud crash from the basement was...


My sewing box.  A big-ass toolbox containing every kind of sewing notion a gal could want.

Look!!  Extra storage in the roll-back top compartments - perfect for thread.


www.jandofabrics.com should totally pay me for this ad!  Also underneath all the crap in the bottom - there is a corset waiting to be re-boned.  Sounds dirty right?

I had forgotten to close said box after grabbing needles, thread and big-ass snaps for Rissa's revamped duvet cover.*  I had also forgotten to chase the cats out of the craft room - hence the loud crash.  I headed downstairs in trepidation, to discover the ironing board overturned, my sewing toolbox face down on the floor and all of its contents strewn across the craft room.  My cats, Steve and Lola, were looking oh-so-innocently at the destruction they had recently wrought.  "Don't mind us here.  That box?  It must be on crack.  It just jumped off the ironing board all on its own."

Lola Ebola Virus
Steve
Needles, measuring tapes, thread, buttons, thimbles, piping, busks, hooks & eyes, boning, ribbon, pins, snaps, fringe, iron-on patches, stitch-witchery, bobbins, seam rippers, regular interfacing and... that white fabric marking pencil thingie... all on the floor.  And there I am, in my bare feet,  having miraculously managed to walk into the middle of the room without impaling myself on the hundreds of nearly invisible straight pins that had flown from the sewing box to the concrete floor and rag rug.  Frankly, I had forgotten that I even owned straight pins.  Any sewer worth her Brownie sewing badge knows to use only the coloured large-head pins, in case accidents like THIS happen.  I was lucky, the only thing I trod on were thimbles, hooks & eyes and the small thread spools.  Of course, all of which still have a comparable pain-inducing level to that of walking barefoot upon Lego.

Bobbins hold approximately 180 feet of thread.  Murphy's Law of Bobbins states: When a bobbin falls to the floor, it will always roll to the farthest point in the room, leaving at least half of its thread tangled behind it.  And unless it is cheap-ass thread you DO NOT just cut and run.  If you sew with Gutermann, you gather it up and wind it all back onto the bobbin patiently, grumbling and cursing to yourself, and in my case, threatening to take the cats' intestines and turning them into violin strings.




*Back to Rissa's re-vamped duvet cover, which started this whole debacle.   It wasn't a duvet cover at all, but rather a somewhat quilted comforter.  A huge, honkin', bigger than queen-size, but not quite king-sized comforter that was too big to be washed in my washing machine, but really needed to be washed, because it had blood on it from when David stubbed his toe one night and bled all over it when he was getting Rissa settled into bed.  (breath)  Not wanting to spend the money on dry cleaning nor on a new comforter/duvet cover,  I got it into my head that I would open the sucker up and take out the haphazard stitching that held the quilting batting in place so that I could then wash it.  You know how sometimes you start a job thinking that it will be a simple feat, but then it turns out that you've now wasted  SEVERAL hours of your time and energy and would have been better off just running to Zellers and buying two sheets and sewing them together to make a duvet cover, except that you're already SEVERAL hours into the project and can't stop or all that time will have been for naught?  This was one of those times.  By the time I finally got all the stitching out and washed the cover and ironed on the stitch witchery and had to find 8 snaps (only 4 of which matched), it was two day's later.  And as soon as Rissa put it on her bed, all the snaps opened and the quilting batting escaped, which means I need to buy many more snaps or at least sew a bag for the quilting, which would kind of be like a duvet cover for INSIDE the duvet cover, which is retarded.  Yes, I am THAT stubborn and cheap.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Stoned on Chocolate


Yep, I'm thinking exactly what you think I'm thinking!

I went to SOMA with Margo and Jon.  For the uninitiated, SOMA is a  Chocolatemaker in  Toronto's Distillery District.  What they serve?  SEX in cacao form.

Porn for foodies


It's pretty much always an expedition verging on the indecent.  I frequently feel as if I've been caught having sex in public while enjoying SOMA's delicacies,  and yet I revel in the exhibitionism of the act.  Today I had multiple mouthgasms - at least three of them.  The Bergamot, the Douglas Fir and the Passionfruit w/ Coconut truffles.  OH.  SWEET. MOTHER.  Not to mention the few spoonfuls of the salted caramel gelato that I stole from Jon that made me stop talking (quite the feat) for at least a good 30 seconds while I took the time to catch my breath.  Then, before I left, the Fleur de Sel Caramel...

Fleur de Sel Caramel is on the right... just remembering it right now... I need a sec...
 
This is chocolate that makes a girl clench... DEEP DOWN INSIDE.  If you're not a chocolate person, you might not understand the thrill it poses, but for those of you who are...  and if you live ANYWHERE close to Toronto...  GO.  Savour each and every bite.  Sip water, or enjoy fruity gelato in between bites, to cleanse your palate before the next morsel has you falling to your knees calling the Chocolatier Master/Mistress, willing to sell your body for the next hit.  I'm not really even hyperbolizing here folks - it is THAT GOOD.

The three of us walked out, completely stoned on chocolate.  I could feel it behind my eyes, that dopey, post-sex, wanting to snuggle under the duvet until spring, kind of feeling.  I'll warn you, it ain't cheap, but it is totally worth it and gives a girl almost as much punch as the Hitachi Magic Wand.  Seriously.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yes Sir, that's my baby...

Rissa is at the piano.  Surreptitiously, I watch from the kitchen.  She sings as she plays Adele's Someone Like You  - she's been working out the chords with David.  How she can sing and play at the same time mystifies me.  Her lovely soprano drifts across the room, she has perfect piano posture - she is stunningly beautiful.  I find myself in awe of this person whom David and I created.  Then she notices me watching her... and she turns into a velociraptor and starts growling the song and banging on the keys with her little raptor arms and her head.

Sometimes in a lull in the conversation at the dinner table, Rissa will play a trumpet voluntary with her navel.




Or this...


Rissa, nearly choking on laughter in bed.  "You know sometimes when you're talking, and spit from the back of your throat squirts out?  That just happened to me!"

"So Mummy, you know how I'm playing this Sims game with cats and dogs?"

"There are cats and dogs who play Sims games?  Those are some smart mammals..."

"NO!  The characters are cats and dogs.  I am on the cats' side."

"Right.  Okay.  I'm with you now."

"Well in the game, you can do tasks to build up points and stuff.  So I just spent the last 1/2 hour... (she's so excited she can barely speak) ...WEEDING!!"


We're saying goodnight - it gets a little sloppy somewhere between the regular kiss and the butterfly kisses...  Rissa nearly ends up in hysterics.

"Why are you laughing so much?"  I ask.

"I remember when I was little and I tried to kiss you in the front hall - a big wet sloppy kiss with my tongue.  You asked me what I was doing and I said, 'I'm kissing you like Daddy does.' "


"Mummy, you know who would be a FANTASTIC superhero?

"No, who?"

"A NUN Superhero.  'Cause you know that crucifix belt thingie that nuns have with all the beads and stuff?"

"Uh-huh...?"

"She could totally whip that around and leave the sign of the cross on the criminals' faces!"


And tonight, just before dinner...
"Wait!  Wait!  I need to put on my bag!"  Then she arrives, clad in her ballet leotard, tights and a blue recycling bag which she has turned into a ginormous bib, by cutting holes for her head and arms.  "What?  I don't want to get stew on my tights!"

David looks at her, obviously impressed "That's quite ingenious."

Rissa shakes her head dismissively. "This one isn't as fancy as the one I took to school last year.  That one was a clear bag and I wrote "Rissa's Pomegranate Bag" on it... in red Sharpie - you know... (she is obviously excited at this part)...  to coordinate with the pomegranate JUICE when I was eating pomegranates..."

This is my daughter.  There is no one else on the planet like her, no one even comes close.  The joy of being her mother is something for which I am thankful EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I did for fun in the 70s...

Brace yourself.  I'm about to wax nostalgic.  I grew up in Winnipeg.  Twice.  Once between the ages of 3 & 8 and then again between the ages of  15-18.  My Dad was Air Force.  He was a navigator.  He 'told the pilots where to go' is how he used to put it.   We lived off of Ness Avenue in PMQs.  (Private Married Quarters)  We weren't technically ON BASE, but we were pretty frickin' adjacent to it.

We moved to Conway Street when I was four, I think.  Memories from before the age of eight are all sort of ... fuzzy.  I've had a head injury... okay three... I've had three head injuries. 

Ticky Tacky Houses as contracted by the Canadian Forces.  I think mine might have been the yellow one.

Now one of the great things about Winnipeg, is that there were back alleys.  Any garages were to the rear of the properties, which made for tidy front yards without cars cluttering the scenery.   No fences anywhere - as a kid you could basically run rampant through everyone's yard ... so we did. 

This was the time of playing outside until the streetlights came on.  The time when your Mom would say "If you can't hear me call you for dinner, you're too far away!"  You pal'ed  around with a gang of kids, all Air Force brats, all your parents knew each other so you couldn't get away with anything. Because this was also the time, when the parent of your best friend would grab you by the arm (or ear) and march you back over to your house and tell your parents what you did.

I took swimming lessons at the St. James Assiniboine Pool.  We walked from our house on Conway across the western stretch of the Assiniboine Golf Course in the dead of winter.  The golf course didn't have fences back then either.  It was like trekking across the tundra to get to the pool  I arrived cold and exhausted and I departed cold and exhausted. I want to say that those lessons were late at night, but really, I think it was just after school and it was winter and already dark at 4:00 p.m.  My mother would do her best to dry my hair underneath the hand dryers and then would throw  me back into my snowsuit, with an extra hat AND my hood.  I remember the bone-chilling wind driving across that golf course as we walked for what seemed like hours to get back home in the dark.  In actuality, it was probably all of 8 minutes.  I thought I would die on that walk home - I was so cold.  To this day, swimming at ANY time of the year is not my favourite of activities.  (It's sort of a coup for David and Rissa to get me into Lake Ontario - now a mere 8 minute walk from my present house.)

I remember skating  on the duck pond at Assiniboine Park.  Sunday afternoons, cold air, blue sky, white snowbanks and evergreens.  Mom would have thermoses of hot chocolate and maybe some fresh-baked cookies.  My feet would practically drop off from near-frostbite, but I never wanted to leave.  I just wanted to skate and skate and skate.

Winnipeg in the summer was a different thing altogether. Prairie HOT.  A blessedly DRY heat, not like what you can get in Ontario.  Running around barefoot - ALL summer long. That was the best.   Kids' feet must have some asbestos-like quality to them, you can walk on gravel, hot pavement and never seem affected.  Apart from a stubbed toe here and there, you're good to go.  Who needed shoes??  They were so limiting!  When it got REALLY hot, I'd go play in the back alley.    The heat of the sun would soften up all the tar used to seal the cracks on the road and it would bubble up.  And thank God I wasn't wearing shoes, because if I'd had shoes on, I would not be able to pop the tar bubbles with my big toes.  I could spend hours going up and down my back alley popping tar bubbles.  Then I'd go to another back alley, and another - all within PMQs and all within the range of my mother's voice - in case it was anywhere near dinner time.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tea Towels are NOT Dish Cloths!

I iron quarterly. Beginning of school.  Christmas.  Spring. End of School.  Last week I hauled down the ironing that had been waiting since June.  I ironed dress shirts for David, some pillow cases, tablecloths, napkins and tea towels.   Oh yes, I DO iron tea towels.  I'm not anal enough to iron sheets, underwear or jeans, but tea towels need to be ironed - especially after you've washed them the first time.  Especially the crappy cheap ones that I bought at Canadian Tire for a song in the spring - which were never used after the first washing, because I didn't do the ironing all summer.   And after they were ironed they looked like this - well, not really like this because mine were much cheaper... but they looked nice and fresh and most importantly clean and ready to be used to dry the dishes.  So I laid them over the oven handle and smiled at their beauty.

I got 12 tea towels for what this probably cost.

Then, this morning I came downstairs and walked into the kitchen. It must be noted that I hadn't had my coffee yet. 

"FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY...  TEA TOWELS ARE NOT DISH CLOTHS!!" 

When I looked on the oven handle where I had just YESTERDAY put freshly laundered, not to mention IRONED, tea towels ... there was BBQ sauce and smudges of someone's hands that had used the tea towel as a cleaning rag, rather than as a towel we use to DRY THE FREAKING DISHES!!!   They are not dish cloths, paper towels, nor are they napkins -  they are for drying dishes or drying CLEAN hands. 

You DON'T use a tea towel to mop up cat vomit, juice or tomato soup.  The only substance that you may mop up with a tea towel is WATER and only if that water has spilled on a completely clean counter or floor.  Or club soda.  Club soda would be fine.  Or say, blood if your child has just cut a finger off.  That is then allowed.  You DON'T use a clean tea towel to wipe hands that you've just had inside the lawn mower, or your ASS.  Thankfully only Rissa saw my rant.  David, towards whom the rant was targeted had already left for work.  By the time I saw him tonight I managed to say in the most pleasant of voices.

"My love."

He knew something was up.  "Uh.... yes?" (he might have already started wincing in anticipation)

"Please, I beg.  From the bottom of my very soul.  Please do not use the tea towels as a..."

"I know.  I know.  I try, I really do, but can we at least have something CLOSE to the stove that I can use?"

"You mean like a dish cloth??" I ask in my sweetest tone.

"Uh... yeah...."

"You mean like THISTHIS DISH CLOTH right here - TWO steps away from the stove?!?"

"Yes.  If we could just have something that I AM allowed to get dirty, you know, closer to the stove..."

"You DO have something like that!  It's  a freaking DISH CLOTH and it's right here!!!!"

Other than the tea towel thing?  David is the best man on the planet and I'm the luckiest woman in the world to have him as my husband.  He puts up with my petty craziness over tea towels and the unwashed juice container.  But really, is it so FREAKING hard to wash the juice container when you've finished the last of the juice so that the freaking fruit flies don't lay their larvae in it???

Monday, September 10, 2012

PMS Diet

25 days of the month I succeed in eating a healthful diet.  I snack like a good girl.  I eat almonds,  drink soy milk, avoid gluten and sugary treats.  My blood sugar is stable - I'm not quite as crazy.  Those other 5 or 6 days in the month?  The ones leading up to my period?  I pretty much lose my mind.  Apart from the accompanying emotional instability, Rissa and David LOVE those days; Rissa in particular.  "I love when your period is coming, you let us buy ANYTHING we want at the grocery store."

Chocolate covered pretzels?  OH YEAH!!   The perfect breakfast treat!

Hey LOOK!  Greek flavoured President's Choice potato chips.  No gluten in those!! My blood sugar will be stable.

David asks, "What are you eating?"
"All the extra crumbly bits from our various nacho bags.  I smoosh them like this (I demonstrate with another bag - crunch, crunch, crunch).  See? This is me NOT wasting food."
"You're eating them in a cereal bowl with a spoon."
"Yes, but it's a teaspoon.  This way I won't eat as much.  Plus I didn't want to get my fingers all icky with the extra salsa I poured on...  I am a genius!!"

Healthy dinners devolve into glutenous, fat-filled, saliva-inducing foods from the bad side of the grocery store.
"What's for dinner tonight Mummy?"
"Pizza!"
"YAY!!! Pizza!  Is it the frozen kind?"
"Yes.  Yes it is - one full pizza per person!  I call dibs on the extra meat one!"

"What's for dessert tonight, love?"
"Lava cakes..."
"Oh, lava cakes.  I like la..."  (David is a bit of a chocoholic himself.)
"I'm not done... with rolo ice cream..."
"I like rolo ice..."
"Still not done... covered in caramel sauce..."
"I..."
"I. AM. NOT. DONE.  ... and chocolate sauce, and chocolate chips and cool whip and...."
"And a cherry?"
"Yes."
"You had me until cherry." 

You know how sometimes you're craving your 2nd dessert even before you've finished your first??


I think the sugar coma is setting in, I've started writing bad limericks about the PMS Diet Phenomenon.

For few days she forsakes her food sense
Before her period, she spares no expense
Chips, cookies and chocolate
PMS throws its gauntlet
With junk food the only defense.


PMS rules our lunar calendar
Oh hormones, you maternal saboteurs
Salty sweet things might assist
Shake her a martini - we CAN co-exist
QUICK!  Dark chocolate is what she prefers.

Tomorrow.  Tomorrow I shall eat properly.  It'll be easy.  We finished the ice cream tonight, I'm out of Drambuie for my Rusty Nails and Rissa took the last of the Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies to school with her today.    Tomorrow morning I shall enjoy my Rice Krispies... that's right my BROWN Rice Krispies. Oh yeah... Mmmmmmm... the anticipation... it might just kill me.  No seriously, that crap turns to dust in a gal's mouth, I'll need extra soy milk nearby.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Exactly how rich ARE you???

On Lakeshore Drive there is a house.  Situated on the south side of the street, its back yard opens to  Lake Ontario.  I pass it every time I go for my extended walk.  The new owners seem determined to transform this 1980s homogenized architecture into... something... more.  I've been watching its transformation for months.

In the spring, there was a new roof.   (TA-DAH!!!)  An oddly shaped,  pseudo-Mansard, steeply-sloped roof was added ON TOP of the original, standard suburban roof.  ON TOP OF IT.  What the...?  First there were roof trusses, then plywood was laid upon that and then...  SHINGLES! And they weren't just crappy shingles, they looked like the faux cedar shake, much more expensive than regular type, shingles.  This roof was a high class call-girl in a roadscape of suburban housewives.  The windows were out of proportion with the house - it looked like it was wearing the wrong hat.  I thought, "It's missing something - maybe they're going to add dormers.  That MUST be it!  There will be dormers!"  Course then, it would just be a house with a weird roof that had dormers - for that to work, you really need a house that has at least 3 floors underneath, all with 10 foot ceilings.  Really you need to be in Parisian townhouse to get away with that merde.


The original roof, with the profile of the 'new' roof.


Then a few weeks later, the fancy roof was gone. The original roof remained, it was as if the more elaborate roof had (POOF!) never existed.    Had we not seen the remains of the trusses in the garbage bin out front, it might have been some architectural hallucination.  We couldn't figure it out.  Why would they put a roof up ON TOP of the original one, and then tear it down? Why would somebody do that?  I joked that maybe the owners wanted to see what it would look like, but that couldn't possibly explain it - who would do that?  It was a mystery.  It was killing us.  One morning, the construction crew looked to be on a break and were enjoying their double-doubles.  David and I HAD to stop. 

"I'm sorry," David said.  "I just have to ask... What was with the roof?"

Every person on the  construction crew rolled their eyes.  One older gentleman, probably the crew boss, closed his eyes for a moment in... could it have been... pain? "She wanted to see what it looked like."

"The homeowner wanted to see what it LOOKED like?" I asked, incredulously. 

The older dude gave a short, mocking nod of his head "Yep."

"You are KIDDING!"

"Nope."

"Was she unaware that there are programs on a computer that can do that sort of thing?"

"It was suggested to her."  He looked like he might have an aneurysm.  "She said she needed to SEE it."

"So, I guess she didn't like it?"

"Nope."

"And she asked you to tear it down again?"

"Yep."

It was then that I realized how rich these people must be.  They would rather spend...   let's say $20,000 as a rough estimate for a completely new roof with near-Mansard sloping and then the fancier shingles.  Who?  I ask you, WHO, has that kind of money to throw around to just see how something might look?  And then, THEN, she had them TEAR IT DOWN, which would be another day's work for a crew of demo people, so I'm thinking at least another $5K in demo maybe, plus fixing any issues underneath.  $25,000 JUST TO SEE HOW IT LOOKS??  WHO DOES THAT?  In theatre you don't just BUILD the set, first you build a scale maquette  to see what things will look like.  This woman was one of "THOSE wives."  The worst I've ever done in a one of "THOSE wives" moments, was when I made David move an armoire all around the house because I didn't like the way it looked in the 2nd bathroom. 

One day, I plan on being rich.  It will happen soon.  When it does, I vow that I will never be THAT kind of rich.  The kind that just throws money AWAY.  You, know, just to SEE WHAT SOMETHING LOOKS LIKE!  You could have an architect show you a computerized mockup of that roof for probably $24,750 LESS than the cost of building what amounts to a life-sized maquette.

Now if it were $25,000 to put on a show...  THAT is totally reasonable ;-)




Friday, September 7, 2012

PMS and the Grammar Gazpacho*

What you don't see is the dude on the left then beats the other dude - TO DEATH


Okay, so YES - it IS that time of the month again.  And this time around, I noticed something...  The closer I get to my period, the greater the chance I might lose my mind over grammar/proper usage.    It's like I'm out for... wait for it... and I hope you've got a Band-aid handy... BLOOD.  HAH! 

This week, I nearly had an aneurysm when the word "nauseous" was misused in an otherwise well-written book.  All I could think was - "Does this person not have an editor!?!"  Even if the author doesn't know which word to use, an editor is supposed to catch this sort of shit, aren't they?  Unless the editor doesn't know 'nauseous' and 'nauseated' mean two vastly different things.  In which case the editor should be shot by a firing squad and then drawn and quartered, their body parts jettisoned to the far corners of the world.  Too harsh?  Perhaps if the editor where just beaten into unconsciousness with a copy of The Elements of Style, then fired?

Wired magazine recently had an article about the love of Japanese cutesy cat videos.  http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/08/ff_cats/ 

ff_cats_f
Musashi the cat, photo Panda Kanno

I am a cat lover.  Nay, that is too tame a title.  I am a cat adorer.   I have three cats.  If I could have a domesticated house cat the size of a tiger - I might possibly reach a state of nirvana. 

After I read the Wired article, I got suckered into watching Maru cat videos http://www.youtube.com/user/mugumogu?feature=watch and laughed myself silly at the antics of this large Scottish Fold beastie jumping in and out of various boxes.  The big box video almost had Rissa and me peeing ourselves. 


I love cute cats, kittens, puppies, virtually any fluffy mammal.  You'd think this would translate into my going nuts for the "I can haz cheezburger?" cat photos.  You would be wrong.  I know that these photos most likely were originally created by people for whom English is not their first language, but I simply cannot get past the poorly phrased, cutesy and incorrectly spelled words in these nauseous  photo/posters.  Plus, what cat do you know would talk like that?  Seriously?  All I want to do is create my own posters saying "NO!  You may not have a cheeseburger!!"  Then I want to drown those cutesy, baby-talking cats/kittens - which horrifies the cat adorer in me, but the proper usage gal in me is more dominant in these situations and will always win in the end.

* Yes, I could have used Gestapo.  It didn't feel right to make a quick alliterative joke with the word.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fleas = BLACK DEATH

Fleas, the bringers of the Black Death, have infested our cats, our home, yea verily, our souls.  I am posting this picture of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers because photos of actual fleas make me want to hurl.  A lot.   I have to say that as pictures of Flea go - it's a pretty good one - usually he looks way crazier, more gap-toothed and less, uh... toned.  This photo makes me want to get really close to him to read the tattoo above his left nipple and maybe just see how his chest might feel, you know, under my hands...  But I digress.

Flea


 Barely tolerable graphic of a flea deservedly about to be drowned.  Suck it you bastard!!





In a fog of repellent I type. (hack, hack, wheeze)  I despise fleas.  I despise that they can jump 150 times their height and escape if you're not vigilant when trying to kill them.  They freaking BOUNCE!  Fleas turn me into a vengeful, predatory, serial killer,  laughing manically as I catalogue my death count.  My eyes glaze over in a haze of vengeance as I watch them drown in 2 qt casserole of dish soap and water.  I see them struggling and do NOTHING to help them!

I get such satisfaction when I take a flea and pop it between my thumbnails.  It's gross and disgusting, but that POP! when one of these suckers dies, is frickin' music to my ears.  I wish I could find the milk of human kindness somewhere.  I rescue spiders, bats, mice, those hairy millipede thingies... worms on the sidewalk... but fleas... (shudder) I get all twitchy and itchy as soon as I find one and then go on a primate-esque grooming binge with the cats.  We have three freaking cats!  And Lola, the littlest, seems to be the tastiest.  I probably got a dozen (shudder) of the little parasites off her.  What is the emoticon for vomit partially filling one's mouth?

As soon as David gets home from work, I will be heading to the vet to get some Advantage and probably more flea spray. See?  This is the peril of a one-car household.  I NEED Advantage to start my home grown extinction of a species and I am car-less!  It had been such a great idea to go down to one car, when he was teaching in town, but now he teaches 50 km away and I am car-less  and we NEED to start Advantage treatment right NOW!!! And I need more flea-killing spray.  I already went through one full can which sprays 2000 square feet.  It conked out on our 2nd floor and I still need to do the attic.   And then I'll need to do it AGAIN in a couple of weeks.  EEEEEEEEW!!

I wish there was something like an EMP, that instead of knocking out electrical devices, it could fry every frickin' flea's brain - make their grey matter explode in their own devious, disgusting, disease-carrying craniums.  Wait!  David's totally a techie!  Maybe he could make me an app that would do that.  You hold your IPhone up to the flea-ridden animal and hit a button and presto the fleas' brains explode!  Just for fleas though.  Not cats, or dogs, or kids, or grownups,or mice, or bats or spiders or worms.
*Except fleas - that's the subtitle on the interior page
p.s.  
David, upon his return from work today: "What is in this casserole dish doing here full of water and, cat hair and... specks of... are those fleas?"

I laugh cruelly.  "Yes, fleas.  FLEAS.  FLEEEEAAAAS!  (my eyes get very wide and very crazy) This is the Casserole of Death - none shall survive."  Now I totally want to have a little gangplank up to the casserole with miniature palmtrees and signs around the casserole saying things like "Flea Spa Day, all parasites welcome!"  "Mani-Pedi specials here!"  "Aromatherapy Massage included!"   Then when they get to the edge and see that it's just dish soap and water...  I submerge the gangplank and watch them not tread water.

MOOOHOOOHAAHAAHAA!!!!
 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Duck Butts

Duck Butts.  They make me laugh.  I just can't help myself.  They provide sheer joy.  Their little webbed feet dancing to keep them underwater - delightful.  They then bob back up, reminiscent of that bobbing water toy from the 70s, adding an odd sense of nostalgia for me.  It's a two-fer.

hee hee hee


Sometimes they do it in duos and trios and that's even funnier.  They are like little feathered synchronized swimmers. 

They could give the Russians a run for their money in snchronicity.

It's the simple pleasures in life.  Duck butts make me happy.  They make me laugh.

True laughter, when it hits, is like a modern-day miracle.  I once laughed so hard in a film that I was "shushed" by the patron in front of me.  He was about 4 - the film was Horton Hears a Who.  The scene was with Vlad the Vulture who threatened to devour his prey...  "First I will devour it and then [coughs] regurgitate it and devour it again - so, two times devoured."  I almost wet my pants giving in to the true laugh, hence the vehement "Shush!!!" by the 4 year old.   It was that deep and chortley laugh - the kind of laugh that we all used to have when we were little - the contagious kind. Giving into that laugh is akin to rebirth for me. 

I stop and smell the roses too.  Truly.  There's no reason I would make that shit up.   I will actually back up and smell a rose, if I catch it out of the corner of my eye.  I gaze with awe at monarch butterflies - especially now before they make their trek to Mexico.  There are hundreds of them out on the beach - it's like walking through a fairy tale illustration.  I ask strangers if I can pet their dogs.  I carpe the diem as much as I can.  I've basically become my mother, which is a good thing.  She's like freaking PollyAnna - it's awesome to see her in action. 


I have not always been this way.  My mom was the ultimate optimist, my dad the ultimate pessimist.  It could have gone either way for me, but I took after my father.  Then, in my 20s, I suffered from depression.   The big, dark, seething pit of vipers in a bottomless pit in your stomach kind of depression.  I clawed my way out and basically had to rethink the way I looked at the world.  I had a choice.  I could either a) Be afraid that every day I would get hit by a bus and wallow in existential angst or b) I could live my life.  I chose b).   It wasn't easy.  Wallowing in existential angst takes way less effort.  I basically had to re-wire my brain.  It was like that episode of Seinfeld where George did the opposite of what his instincts told him.   I forced myself to focus on the positive and after a while, it became habit.  And now, I smell the roses.  I laugh at duck butts.  I find humour in a bad situation. 'Cause if you can't laugh at all the bullshit?  You're wasting an opportunity.  How often do you get the chance to almost pee your pants nowadays?  (Unless you've had a couple of babies squeezed out through your vagina and that happens every time you sneeze or cough.)