Thursday, May 31, 2012

My brain might be melting

The release of steam at the end of a day.  This is what blogging is for.  Things like my cat.  Lola.   Or as we affectionately call her - Lola 'Bola Virus - who decided that she wanted to wear my rhinestone necklace this morning at 4:47 a.m. Our little cat burglar tried to abscond with it whereupon I had to chase her down the hall in my all-together, retrieve said necklace, and then hide the necklace and lock the bedroom door.  Plaintive meowing and pitiful paws under the door did not move me.

Plus, my daughter has a disease.  Not a dangerous one.  Don't freak out.  Fifth's Disease.  She has that "just slapped" look to her face and a lacy rash upon her body - which she shows off with pride.  "Look at my BELLY!!!  It's all rashy!!!" (pat, pat, pat upon her tummy)   Thank God she doesn't have any other symptoms other than the rash.  No aches, no fever - just this crazy-ass rash.  And Rissa can be prone to some interesting shit.  From  the time she was little-little, she could spike a fever of 104 to 105 (or 40 - 40.55 for those who know what SICK is in Celsius.)  Sometimes with an inner ear infection - for which she apparently had no pain at all, but when we took her to the Emerg they looked like they were going to call children's services when they looked in and saw how inflamed her ears were.  "She wasn't crying.  She wasn't in pain.  I DIDN'T KNOW!!!"  Sometimes the kid will spike a fever with the Common Cold.  I guess that should be common cold - if it's common it shouldn't be capitalized. 

Speaking of crazy-ass... I have this weird thing with my circulatory system.  (Well, to be fair, I have weird things with many of my systems.)  My fingers, toes and lips turn blue if my body thinks it's cold.  (Reynaud's Syndrome)  It can be like 22 degrees out and I'll start shivering.  David popped me into an emergency warm-up bath because one side-effect of my crazy-ass circulatory system is, um... chest pains.  That aren't real chest pains - trust me, I've had them for 4 years - I probably have small vessel disease for which you can do NOTHING but maybe take a shot (or 3) of Scotch - (I'm not saying take 3 to any docs that are out there - it's hyperbole), which I do, and the pain generally goes away.  Problem is now - when I get stressed - like as I'm working out the scheduling of important people for a big audition, this chest pain tends to stand up and want to be counted.  David's suggesting that I just stay slightly drunk most of the time to counteract those effects because alcohol helps with the relaxation you know.  He likes to fix things.  I suggest that perhaps that's not a good thing to start doing.  Although having a chocolate martini every afternoon might well be delicious, the extra calories would be bad.  Yes it appears I'm more worried about gaining extra weight than becoming a raging alcoholic.  I look at the world through Cosmopolitan glasses.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Good God the heat - the HEAT!!!


I used to placate my mother when, in her 40s and 50s, she would say "Is it hot in here?"  Our whole family would.  My father, brother and I would say "PHEW!! Yes, MAN is it HOT!  Steaming!!!"  She was not amused, and she always said to me, "It'll come back to haunt you, you know."  And it has.

Holy Crap I am BURNING from the inside out.  I am SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTING!!!  I started flashing when I was 36.  (Hot flashing.  The regular flashing I'd been doing from way earlier than that.)   36!   Hot flashes and torrential periods all at the same time - you'd figure that if there were any justice in the universe it'd be one or the other.    So I'm sitting here at the computer and I have a jet engine through my freaking torso, but this time the jet engine has some blow-back down my arms and up to my neck and head.  Seriously??  I could take off every item of clothing that I'm wearing and it wouldn't make a difference.  If I had a candy thermometer handy and put it under my breasts, I'd be way past the soft ball stage - I'd be at caramelized sugar stage -  I'm THAT HOT.  Maybe I'll submerge myself in a cool bath.  Oh God, I just started salivating at the thought. 

My mother has said a lot of things will come back to haunt me.  "I hope that you have 6 daughters - all like you!!"  Then I had Rissa.  My mother will freely admit that Rissa... is enough. Rissa is awesome and deliciously off-centre and is almost never quiet.  I remember calling my mom when Rissa was about 4.  I was beside myself. "She NEVER stops talking!!!"  From my mother's end of the phone all I could hear was maniacal cackling and the phrase "REVENGE IS MINE!!"  In her wallet, my mother has a piece of paper.  It says, "When my daughter is 16, I will let her do whatever she wants."  It is signed by the 16 year-old version of me.    When I am 48 - oh GOD,  that's only 4 years from now -  I will have that 16 year-old daughter and my mother will be gleefully flapping that piece of paper at me, dancing around singing "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-HAH!  Ha-ha-ha-ha-HAH!"

Tomorrow I have signed on to be one of several chaperones on a Grade 6 trip to a camp in the Kawarthas.  A 36 hour overnight trip where there will be 8 girls in my cabin with another chaperone and apparently they discourage the wearing of ear plugs, you know in case something might happen to one of the little darlings. Come on, throw a mother a bone here!

I am NOT an outdoorsy person.  Camping for me is not having 4 inch baseboards.  It's still buggy and when looking at the weather forecast they are expecting THUNDER STORMS!!!  And apparently I have to be happy for all 36 hours.  All of them.  Happy.  David says so, because he's going as well and is chaperoning the boys, so he'll know if I'm crabby.  I have not been on a field trip since the disastrous Jiggi Jump Jive trip in Grade One which sucked IQ points out of my brain.  (shudder) You may witness below what I had to endure.

So I just haven't been.  I have  a lot of time to make up for.  And who knows?  Maybe spending 36 hours with my kid and her friends in the freaking wilderness will be a good thing...  I will coat myself in bug spray and smile for 36 hours.  I can and will do this and I will be magnificent!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

La La Land

I thought the cold was done.  Kaput.  Finito.  I was misinformed.  I woke up this morning and I was - to quote Will Farrell - "a cotton-headed ninny muggins."  I was in freaking La La Land.  Eyes, ears, balance?  Blurry, plugged, OFF.   And I'm not sure, but I might have had a seizure this week.  Possibly two.  The second one could just have been because I was downwind of the Mr. Sub shop, or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

What I think I actually had was an olfactory (smell) hallucination due to a migraine.   I was sitting at the desk typety-typing along with a titch of a headache (brought on by a stray reflection in the stainless steel sink when I was rinsing my lunch dishes) when suddenly I smelled burning wire.  I turned to David who was working across the room at his desk and said "Did you smell that?"  He said, "Smell what?"  Then I felt like my head was in a bit of a vice and my brain kind of went whoomp whoomp for a sec and I thought it might be best if I sat on the floor for a bit.  So I did.   It's amazing how quickly David can move - really quite impressive - like ZIP-BOOM fast!  And then after a couple of minutes it was done.  Olfactory hallucinations, I was pleased to read soon thereafter, can in fact be associated with migraines.  YAY - it's not necessarily a seizure!!!   If it happens again I'm seeing my Doc, but until then I'm not worrying too much. 

I swear that I'm not being lackadaisical about this - my body is just so freaking bizarre and sensitive to weird-ass crap that I really only pay attention now when I absolutely have to.  I wonder if the script-writers for House are looking for any new symptoms - I could give 'em a run for their money for sure.

When a person is sick they shouldn't exercise, they're supposed to rest up.  But when I don't exercise I find it hard to sleep at night and then I tend to just get sicker.  Because I know this about myself, I might exercise sooner than I should for fear of the Cold Catch-22 happening.  Which is probably why today I felt like a zombie and did next to nothing.  My big accomplishment was diving under our deck to get the stand for our off-set patio umbrella so that I could doze on our outdoor sofa in relative shade.   I had to sleep for a whole hour to get over the excitement of it all.

It's the long weekend in May and I refuse to be sick for the whole weekend.  Je refuse!!  I will get a good night's sleep tonight and arise tomorrow a new woman!  A woman with purpose.  A woman with verve!!  And I shall eat pancakes!!!  I need to chest bump something.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So here's something...

Sometime today, I got it in my head that the perfect graphic for the blog would be a dung beetle pushing... yep, you guessed it...  a ball of pooh.  So I started looking for pictures of dung beetles and then it struck me - WAIT A SECOND!  We HAVE pictures of a dung beetle pushing a ball of pooh from the Bronx Zoo carousel!!  The Bronx Zoo has this amazing Bug Carousel and one of the stationary riding spots is... (wait for it)... a dung beetle pushing a ginormous ball of pooh!  So I went searching through our photos from the Bronx zoo and I found it!!!

Problem is - there's this random stranger also in the picture and the dung isn't really in focus.  So I would have to do some major photoshopping to make it look good.  I tried for about 5 minutes and didn't get good results.  So I went searching for other pictures online that maybe didn't have random strangers in them and were in focus and I did find some on Flicker, but then those pictures really belong to other people and I have real issues with copyright infringement so I felt I couldn't use them.  But then I got to thinking... WAIT A SECOND!  What if the graphic was of a person pushing a giant ball of pooh?  I could have a graphic of someone pushing a giant ball of pooh with her legs the way that a dung beetle does.  So I started looking for pictures of people standing on their hands with their legs against something and nothing was quite right.  And then tonight, after dinner, I made David take pictures of me outside in a handstand, propping my legs up against a telephone pole...

... which he has now photoshopped (and much faster than I would) into looking like I am pushing a ginormous ball of pooh. 

  When in doubt - become your own stock photographer!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is it a standing coma or just a cold?

Children are plague carriers.  Mine gave me her wretched cold.  But on the plus side I just got to type 'wretched,' so that's good.  I think I have mucous behind my eyes.

Colds don't completely knock you out but they do limit your brain power and as I have shit to do, this is an inconvenience.  I've got lists.  Or I would have made lists if my brain was working.  I have to make lists for the lists I have to make.  My multi-tasking skills aren't at their best.  In the Red corner we have: vampire rock opera with all its attending jobs: production, fundraising, casting, audition venue acquisition, music transposition and housing for artists. In the Green corner we have Peter Pan with all its attending jobs: production, fundraising, casting, scheduling, set design, personnel juggling.  (Ladies start your angina!) At the same time?  I'm doing this at the SAME time?  For a smart gal, I can be really dumb.  When David sees the whites of my eyes his go-to is: "Chocolate Martini?"

Things are slipping through the cracks.  Like last week we had no bread.  Or cheese.  Well, we had cheese slices, but the child won't eat cheese slices, she only likes real cheese, so for all intents and purposes, we had no cheese.  Or yogurt.  The little ones that fit in her lunch.  With the real ingredients - like cream and sugar and no aspartame.  I'd been doing so well.  I was making pumpkin ginger muffins for lunches.  I would put them into freezer bags.  I was organized.   Then it all went to hell.  And now she has Nutrigrain bars for her lunch.  Which taste a bit "sawdusty" to quote said child.

How do families with two working parents manage?  Who cleans the house?  We have dust rhinoceroses.  They're freaking massive!  I keep noticing things that I need to do, like paint the baseboards in the kitchen in the corner where the dishwasher is.  And wash the basement floors.  And sew those slipcovers for the dining room chairs that have been cut out for 2 years now, and strip the paint off the trunk that my friend Nathalie is convinced has "dove-tailed joints!"  Is there an alternate universe where all my baseboards are clean??  I just want to see it once.  Just once.  Then I could die... and I would be content.  "Just look at them.  Look at those beautiful clean baseboards!"

As I lay upon the sofa today, I made David promise that if I were to suddenly die he would use my passing to capitalize on all my artistic endeavours.   The rock opera would make it to Broadway, my children's books distributed through Scholastic, my screenplays made into multi-million dollar films.  "Have no shame," I told him.  "Show pictures of my dead body and Rissa weeping over me."

'Course that could have been the cold talking.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ned and Susan

Bedtime is the best.  Especially when you have a 12 year old daughter who is still willing to snuggle with you.  Tonight's conversation:

Rissa:  Is there anything you might want to ask me?

Me: Is there anything you might want to tell me?

Rissa: .... maybe...

Me: Is it something really good?

Rissa: (turning away presumably already beginning to blush) ...maybe...

Me: Is it about you??

Rissa: (muffled from behind the covers) ... maybe...

Me: Is it exciting??

Rissa: (shrugging shoulders nonchalantly) ... maybe...

Me: Oooooh!  Yay!  Yay!  Yay!!!

Rissa: You sound like Kermit the Frog.

Me:  Did you kiss so-and-so?  (name not included to protect the innocent - yes she's 12 and she has her 1st boyfriend and has been 'going out' for 9 months which is like celebrating a diamond anniversary when you're 12.)

Rissa: (with disgust) NO!

Me: Okay, then what?

Rissa:   Say a particular person let's call him...

Me: Ned?

Rissa: I was totally going to call him Ned!!

Me: Okay, so Ned...

Rissa: Has a friend who might possibly be a girl named... we'll call her Susan...

Me: And....?

Rissa: Ned might want to have Susan come over to his... place of residence... sometime around Susan's upcoming birthday... to you know...

Me: Celebrate?

Rissa:  Maybe...  and Susan might wonder what Susan's parents might think of that.  (shrug)

Me: Would Ned's parents be there?

Rissa: Yes.

Me: Then I think as long as Ned and Susan were in common areas and not making-out behind closed doors...

Rissa: Mummy!  EEEEEEEWW!

Me: I'm just saying... that Susan's parents would be okay with that.


Rissa: Susan is very happy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day without the crap

In my search for the perfect Mother's Day cards for my mothers-in-law this week - (and that isn't a typo - I have THREE mothers-in-law.  Do the math on that one!) - I came upon the worst of the worst of cards.  Treacly, forced rhyme crap cards that had me near to vomiting in the aisles of Zellers.  I mean, c'mon if you're going to force a rhyme at least make it interesting.

For my husband's MOM
Whose loins he sprang from
You make my heart sing
As you cut his apron strings
So glad I don't hate you
And that I can truly eschew
The cliched complaints
'Cause bad you ain't!

When I did read a card that was okay on the sentiment and not bad to look at, it was $7.99!!!  This card did not sing or pop up into an elaborate 3-D perennial garden, or have ribbons or buttons upon its face - it just had words and pictures.  I nearly choked on my muffled sentence that began with "Back in my day..."

This year Mother's Day and my husband's birthday fell on the same day.  When Rissa is a titch older she will do everything for us next time these dates coincide.  In the added chaos of celebrating both joyous events, some things were left out... on the Mother's Day side and, for that matter, David's birthday.  I read my wonderful home-made card and gave my daughter big hugs and kisses for her crafty handiwork.  There was a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the table for me as well.  I got up to go to the bathroom and when I came back there were rolled bead earrings surreptitiously added to my card that had been forgotten.  We sat enjoying our usual Sunday pancake breakfast basking in the carb rush and lazy Sunday joy.  

Rissa then began a game of charades that involved a lot of head jiggling and eye-rolling with elaborate hand gestures towards my husband before I twigged that perhaps that David might be desirous of acknowledgement for his own special day - his 39th birthday.  He was partial to the box of chocolates.  (A good thing about his birthday and Mother's Day falling on the same date - chocolate is cheap and for a chocoholic like my husband this saves us a great deal of money as all the Valentine's chocolate that was put away after Feb 14th is pulled out again and put on sale for the moms.)

As Rissa collapsed into a spring-cold induced catnap, it struck me that the spa day which I had ever-so-subtly demanded from my family had not appeared.  As passive-aggression set in and internal war began... do I mention something, do I not mention something, because I really, really, really was looking forward to being buffed and polished and having my pores reduced, but I don't want to come off as being whiny and not grateful for the beautiful bouquet of flowers and hand-rolled bead earrings.  As casually as I could, I said, "So, it's okay this week if I just treat myself to something, right?"  

Whereupon David's eyes got really big and he said "CRAP!!!  Don't go anywhere!  Stay there!"  

Then he rushed upstairs and I heard him thumping around, presumably opening drawers and doors until he located his Holy Grail of Husbandom before he careened back down the stairs breathless with a lovely little envelope in hand. 

 "Here...  It was... (pant, pant) in the... (pant, pant) drawer.  I hid it."  Opening it I saw these wonderful words:  

This card certifies that Heather is entitled to a 
30 minute massage, organic facial and perfect pedicure.  

I love my family.

Friday, May 11, 2012



So this is me getting back on the Blog Wagon.  Typety-typety-type up in the office.  Listening to my almost 12 year old daughter telling her friends as they come in from the back yard, "PEOPLE!!!! Feet... covered in dirt!!"  Wonder where she gets that from?  Yep it's her voice, MY speech patterns.  Freaky.

She's become a mini-me.  I didn't see it for the longest time, but now when I post pics to Facebook  people who have known me for decades say "OH MY GOD!  She's just like you!!"  Which I take to be a huge compliment because I think she's stunning.  I'm supposed to - she's my kid.  I'm biased.  But really...  she's freaking gorgeous.  Long legs, beautiful hair, smile to die for.  I was never that beautiful.  I still cringe when my husband calls me that.  I am getting better at just taking the compliment when it's offered.  I still, however, wrestle with my inner vampires lisping around their extra-long teeth "Look at thothe wrinkleth!"  "How can one woman have that many ingrown hairth on her neck?" "Your hair... ith... thinning... a lot."

Speaking of vampires....  I've written this show - it's a rock opera about vampires.  Mythos: The Crimson Chorus.  Check out the website Think Beauty and the Beast but instead of a prince getting cursed by a witch, it's a vampire getting cursed by a Greek Goddess.  I hadn't planned on writing it.  I was aiming to write the book to a Bat Out of Hell musical and got a wee bit sidetracked.  I wrote a song and then another and another.  Then I found a composer and he wrote melodies and then my husband orchestrated them.  And now we have an entire rock opera.  Which is amazing, right?  A whole freaking rock opera - that's 100 minutes long!  Holy crap.  I should bask in the brilliance that is me, shouldn't I?

'Cept I tend to stress about stuff.  Like we're going to be workshopping this sucker in Toronto this summer and we're fundraising (and why hasn't anyone donated in two whole days?!?) and I have to find a musical director and singer/actors and a place to audition them and... this is when the hyperventilation and angina usually starts.  OY.  And I'm not even Jewish.  OY.

And my husband just reminded me of the production of Peter Pan that I will be directing in winter is on the radar and we'll have to give measurements to the flight director for the harnesses for all those who will be flying so that they won't... die.  Where's the paper bag I can breathe into?

As it is now after 5:00 p.m. and I have accomplished much this afternoon - not the least of which is having written a blog post - I think it's about time for me to mix a chocolate martini and make some tacos.   'Cause that's how I roll.