Friday, May 31, 2013

Raccoons are dealing crack in my attic

You know how some people don't want to go to the doctor because they just know it's going to be bad news?  We don't want to put our extension ladder up to the roof for the same reason. In spite of the fact that our good neighbour Neil was pretty sure he saw a family of raccoons shinnying up our drain pipe and then entering our roof.  AGAIN.

Last night, as I was typing this, I heard bigger-than-squirrel noises coming from our eaves.  Which means we're going to have to grab that extension ladder and go up and take a look.  And I just know that we're not going to like what we're going to see. 

Raccoons with switch blades, dealing crack. 

That's what we're going to find.  And holes in our roof.  Ginormous-freaking holes that will have to be repaired.

This spring, I was focused on combatting dandelions - not varmints.  I was planning that kind of attack.  Now we have to evict a raccoon colony from our roof.  Can we use Indiegogo or Kickstarter to raise funds for this?  I know!  I could turn it into performance art!  I'll film it in B&W and use subtitles.

We totally would have had the funds to do the roof this year if we hadn't had to pay if I weren't so freaking honest and demanded that David claim all the income he made from self-employment this year, thereby owing a nauseau-inducing tax amount to the CRA.  Damn me and my wanting to support better education and healthcare in our country!  What the hell is wrong with me?  Why couldn't I just LIE like everyone else?

We headed to bed, but the party above us was so loud that David decided that he'd to take a look.  Naked.  In the dark.  He wanted to suss out the situation and see if he could spy the raccoons out the back window, you know, surreptitious-like.  Instead, he found himself in the middle of the dark attic, hearing close-up raccoon noises that made it sound as if he were surrounded.  Naked.  In the dark.  By raccoons with switch blades dealing crack.  Then,  as I lay in the room below all this, David lost his mind.

The pounding and growling began... 


A Stomp-esque musical number from my vantage point. It went on for a good 7 minutes. I'm surprised that Rissa didn't wake from the pandemonium.  Eventually, David returned to bed.

"Are they gone now," I asked.

"No."  There was a pout in his voice.

"Still in the roof?"

"They are partying over-top of the light fixture.  I'd bang and then they'd skitter away, but then they'd come right back. Taunting me... Banging back...  'Oh yeah!?!  You're going to bang at us?  How about this!?!' "

He put his head on my chest.  "We're going to have to go up with the ladder, aren't we?"


ps.  So we got the ladder out.  It became immediately apparent that the raccoons had eaten their way AROUND the boards that we had placed over their old entry points.  Note to self: find extra money to put sheet metal on the eaves when we fix the roof.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Best trip to the gynecologist ever!

Visiting a dude whose job is to stick his hand up your hooha is not my favourite thing - (unless that dude is my husband) - but I don't dread it.  I don't get all freaked out about it.  I usually sit back with a magazine while I'm waiting... sometimes I read during the exam.  Somebody has to stick their hand up there, right?  It might as well be a person who's trained to do it. 

Although I do wonder why dudes become gynecologists.  It can't just be for the free vaginas.  As a young medical student, I'm sure that in the abstract, having a day filled with women showing you their wares would be titillating and all... but in reality - I'm betting you end up getting a whole lot of wrinkly-ass vag in your face, and I'm pretty sure that not everyone weeds around the garden if you get my meaning.

But I digress...  My most recent trip to the "lady doctor" was fantastically satisfying.  It wasn't like he gave me a leering grin and said "Oh, I like what you've done down here," before he whipped out the Hitachi Magic Wand or anything...  He told me... wait, I'm still bursting with feminine pride here...  He told me... that I have a small uterus.  NEVER in my life have I been told that I have a small ANYTHING. And now it turns out I have a small uterus.  AND small ovaries.  Petite even.  For a gal who has been at least a size 10 most of her adult life - I never thought my incubator and eggs would be defined as small.  I blushed and said in a modest tone as I waved my hand demurely, "Oh, stop... you just say that to all the girls."

So maybe that's the trick, I just need to visit specialists who concentrate on the inner parts of my body.  Maybe my appendix, too, is diminutive!  I could have copies of an MRI kept in my wallet that I could take out when I'm feeling dumpy.  Yes, I may have armpit pudge, but look at that spleen!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Synchronized Soccer with Rissa

Rissa's playing soccer this summer.  She and David went out to buy equipment.  She came back with shin guards, snazzy cleats and... nose plugs. You know, for all those underwater games.

I threw a look at David.  He shrugged.

Rissa put on the nose plugs and complained that they didn't feel right.

"I don't think that these will stop me from breathing.  Air is totally going to get in."

"Try breathing in through your nose," said David.

Rissa tried and went cross-eyed.  "It still feels weird."

"That's because you're wearing them backwards."

She put them on upside down, now looking like a small bull with a ring through its nose.

"No, not upside down," said David.  "See how this is kind of nose-shaped?  Try wearing it like that."

"OH!!!!  That makes SO much more sense," she said  before trying out some synchronized swimming moves.  Soon as this is an Olympic sport, she's going to kick ass.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sure-Fire Cure for feeling like crap

I think I understand why those little jewelry boxes had those pop-up ballerinas in them.  Minature ballerinas make you feel good. You want a sure-fire cure for feeling like shit?  Go see the Pre-Ballet routines in a dance recital.  Seriously.  Bad moods cannot survive a toddler in a tutu NOT doing a dance number.  Tow-headed, brunette, skinny, rotund - doesn't matter the size or shape of the kid - as long as they're under the age of five, crammed into a frilly outfit and smiling onstage, you're golden. We should put those toddlers in a box so that you can look at them whenever you need a hit of joy.

Rissa - the scarf dance
circa 2004

Rissa - the pom-pom dance
circa 2004

Rissa - up to no good
circa 2004

Sunday was Rissa's end-of-the-year dance recital.   After 9 years of dance, Rissa knows what she's doing.   In between Rissa's four maternal-pride-inducing dance numbers, I sat for almost three hours watching other people's kids.  You know the ones.  The ones who can't dance, who look like their parents forced them into boot camp, the kids with no rhythm... 

But amidst the crap there were toddlers.  In tutus.  Abandoning choreography.  There were the toddlers who were orange birdies in their bird nest (there's always some sort of number with a bird's nest), there were the ones who were red robins - who'd had little wee felt spots placed on the floor so that they had a spot on which they needed to stay, there were teeny, tiny prima ballerinas - many of whom did NONE of the choreography and spent their time waving to the audience and galloping across the front of the stage.  I actually tear up watching these kids,  They give me such joy. 

That cute factor doesn't last.  When you have a 9-year old fucking up the same choreography?  Nowhere near as cute.  Just pisses me off.  I want to heckle them. "WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING FOR 9 MONTHS OF CLASSES?  SLEEPING?!?  GET OFF THE FUCKING STAGE!"

ps.  baby chicks in a box work as well.  You cannot remain grumpy when there are baby chicks in a box.  Especially if you pick up each of those baby chicks and hear them "peep-peep" at you.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Rissa killed it dead!

Rissa murdered my hair dryer.  It was a crafting catastrophe.  One minute she was melting crayons on a canvas - the next my hair dryer was the victim of too much "on."  We suggested she use the heat gun.

"That sounds dangerous."

"No, not if you use it correctly.  It's meant to be super hot."

"And a hair dryer isn't?"

"Not THIS hot.  A heat gun will lift paint off of furniture - a quality you don't usually look for in a hair dryer."

She and David went out to buy me a new hair dryer, and then what did she do?  She immediately tried to use the brand new hair dryer to melt crayons...

"Did I not tell you to use the heat gun?"

"Yes, but I'm worried that I'll melt my arm off.  I'm worried it's like the cornballer."

"You will not melt your arm off...   Don't point it at skin though."

Rissa's eyes got VERY wide.  "I don't think so.  The words NOT SAFE are coming to mind Mummy."

Anticipating the demise of a brand new hair dryer, I decided to give her a heat gun demonstration.  I turned it on.  It hummed to life.

"Ooooooh," said Rissa.  "It's purring.  Sounds so quiet and non-lethal.  The regular hair dryer is louder.  I thought when you started it up it would sound like a chainsaw!   You know...

Ring, da-ding-ding-ding-ding..."

When Rissa saw how quickly the crayons  melted, she quickly became a heat gun covert.  Her eyes took on a gleam.  She brandished the heat gun.  "What else can I melt?"

"Whoa there Tex!  This is when we make a rule that you only use the heat gun when there's an adult around."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dandy Dandelions

Ahhhh.... dandelions - those delightful, yellow harbingers of spring.  I know they're weeds, I know that their root structure rivals that of a willow tree, but damn they're pretty!  A hillside of them, from a distance, makes me happy.  I love taking up one of the flowers when it's gone to seed and blowing it as I'm walking on a country road.  Sends me tripping back to my youth.  It's only when you see a dandelion up close, when  you're trying to stop their infestation into your own lawn, that you see that they're evil.

Like say, when you look upon your own backyard and count them.  By the dozens.  And then you calculate the amount of time that you'll spend, bent over, attempting to yank them from your lawn.  And, because you have lots of actual grass in the lawn already, battling said dandelions, the weeds then decide to fight back, grow bigger roots, branch out.  You can't get a clean yank when there's a root the size of Ron Jeremy in your lawn.  Even with a special weed thingie, to loosen up the soil.  'Cause you can't just go in once, you have to go down around the entire plant, multiple times, but nobody ever does that.  You try to save time, so you pray that that single stab with the upward twist will be enough, but instead you hear the crunch of the root as you pull the evil greenery from the ground,  leaving the end of that stinkin' root below the grass, dormant for a time before it bursts forth, yet again, ready to spread it's fluffy payload all over the lawn in probably 8 days' time.

I've heard tell of a water-powered weeder from Lee Valley Tools that tunnels around weeds with a shot of high-pressure water - thereby ensuring easy weed removal.  Takes twice or three times as long but removes them.  One. Weed. At. A. Time.   If I start today, patiently using the regular weeding tool that doesn't cost $49.95, by September I might have a clean lawn. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The luck of the Amish

Rissa, at the best of times, can make words sound nothing like they're supposed to.  Last night she made a weird-ass shape around her belly button, said "DRACULA BELLY BUTTON!" and then dissolved into giggles.  David and I were mystified as to what vampires and belly buttons had to do with one another.

"DRACULA belly button?"  She only laughed harder.

"Not DRACULA belly button!  TRIANGULAR belly button."

"Did you not hear DRACULA belly button?" I asked David.

"That's what I heard."

"THIS shape," Rissa said - indicating the weird-ass finger shape she has around her belly button, "has NOTHING to do with vampires."

"I think that we can safely say that TRIANGULAR belly button makes no more sense.  Can you at least try to make sense?"

"Your ears don't work!  If it were a DRACULA belly button then there would be fangs."

"Fair enough."

"The other night Daddy and I were listening to the radio and this hip-hop dude said he was going to Get Lucky Tonight."  Rissa explained.  "I said 'He must be Amish."

"What do the Amish have to do with being lucky?"

"I didn't ACTUALLY say the AMISH.  I said the IRISH, but Daddy heard it as the AMISH because I did it with an accent."

"The luck of the AMISH makes NO sense."

"Exactly," says Rissa.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He is telling me this because why?!?

David is massaging my feet.   He is the best spouse.  We'd returned from an after-dinner walk; instead of me taking the lead, I'd been dragging my feet a bit, looking a little low.

(I'd had a cardiologist's appointment in the morning.  More tests - this one with me wearing an air-tight mask, riding a bike, hooked up to all sorts of monitors - to see how long it would take for me to get chest pain.  5 minutes.  It takes 5 minutes for me to get chest pain.  "Just another minute or so of data Heather," said the Doc.  "Just 80 seconds more, then we'll have a good reading!"  Giving me the thumbs up sign and smiling a wide, encouraging smile.  Having been instructed not to talk during the test, I said nothing, but I was thinking really hard, "Quit being so fucking cheerful you rat fucking bastard!")

"So," asks David that evening.  "Diagnosis?"

I snort.  "Not yet.  Still have to wait for him to go over stuff.  Although he assured me that 'We'd get to the bottom of this,' and that 'Heart disease in women is different than in men,'  whatever the hell that means.  To me, it sounds like he thinks I have heart disease, which I kind of already had figured out myself."

"He's a cardiologist - he thinks everyone has heart disease.  Don't get all freaked out."

"I'm not freaked out.  Any diagnosis would be a relief."

David is smoothing his hands along my right foot, trying his best to relieve my tension, when, swear to God, he suddenly stops and says, "What is THAT?!?" in a horrified tone.

"What is what?"  I calmly ask.

"You've got this lump on the bottom of your foot," he says.  And then he shows me this lumpy bit of something attached to my foot ligaments.

I poke at it.  It hurts a bit.   And then I laugh.

"Seriously?" I ask.  "You are pointing out more weird-ass health stuff to me, right now?"

"It's probably just a cyst," says David, now realizing his folly.

"Of course it is, why wouldn't it be?  Oooooh!  I'll bet it's one of them ganglion cysts..."

David is now mentally slapping his forehead with his palm.  "Now this in no reason to start researching this sort of thing... "

"You mean I shouldn't research this lump that you just drew my attention to... a lump that heretofore I had never even known about?  Of course not."

"You're actually quite healthy you know."

"HAH!  You mean in spite of all my weird-ass health shit?"

"YES!!  You're not some frail little flower who just reclines on the settee with... with..."

"The vapours?  Consumption?"


"That's not how I roll.   Now look up 'lump on sole of foot" please."

ps.  Totally not a ganglion cyst.  I have Ledderhose's Disease.  I'm going to call it Leiderhosen Disease 'cause that'll be more fun.  Best thing about Lesiderhosen Disease?  Weird-ass foot lumps (plantar fibroma)  completely benign!  Boo Yeah, who says you can't learn good shit on the internet?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We must have a poltergeist

Upon her return from school, Rissa makes her way into the kitchen.  I am writing in the dining room.

"There's leftover tosada stuff in the fridge and some cherry tomatoes,"  I direct from my post at the laptop.  Apr├Ęs school snack reminders are much needed for my child, who, when her blood-sugar is low, can forget things.

"Mother!! OH MY GOD!"

"What?"  I get up to see what the fuss is about.

"DUDE!" she says, indicating the room at large.  "Every cupboard is open!"

I glance around.   It is impressive.  The dishwasher is open, a drawer in the island, the tableware cupboard, the spice cupboard,  the cutlery drawer...

"We must have a poltergeist...?" I posit.

Rissa rolls her eyes.  "What were you doing?"

Both David and Rissa have mocked me mercilessly about my tendency towards Les Placards Ouverts.  Sometimes, I might forget to close cupboard doors. I inherited this family trait from my Aunt Bea. I will admit that this particular instance was truly spectacular, even for me.  I get distracticated.  Usually though, it's a door, maybe two.  I think I was mid putting-things-away.

"You need a snack," Rissa says to me.  "And I'm totally taking pictures of this."

This is what "distracticated" looks like.

I would like to state for the record that the
under-the-sink cupboard is NOT open.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wounded isn't Newsworthy?

Madmen open fire at a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans - but this isn't news??  How has this NOT been on the front page of my CBC newsfeed since Sunday?  Oh wait.  Only 19 people were wounded.  Nobody died, so it's not newsworthy. 

What, did the pitch sessions post 'incident" have news networks postulating, "Naaaaaaah - could've been worse?"  There were over 400 people gathered for the parade and only wounds?  Not as much media punch as Boston or Newtown. And yet there will be another spate of gun purchases and 2nd Amendment Justifications and I'm left shaking my head.

May I please just ask: What the fuck is going on?  Did somebody spike the Kool Aid... again?  'Cause people are getting batshit crazy.  And not just the crazy people, but the people reporting on the crazy people.  Are mass-shootings so common place that they no longer shock?  Has laissez-faire now become the way to govern? The US tried to pass the weakest of gun legislation in April and government couldn't get their heads out of the lobbyist's asses long enough to pass better background checks.  It's like they want crazy people out there with guns.

I'm thinking now might be time to start that commune in the middle of nowhere.  Who's with me?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hair Loss and Lederhosen

"Daddy, why do you have those weird bald patches on your legs??" asks Rissa one morning.

"I'm not sure," says David, standing in his basketball-length exercise shorts.  He peers down at his hairy limbs.  "These ones here..." he points to his calves and shins, "are probably from socks rubbing..."  He points to his ankles - "These ones are definitely from the shorter sports socks."

He pulls the legs of his shorts up a bit and looks above his knees.  "I don't know what these ones are from."

"When you wear stockings?" I ask.  "With your lederhosen?"

And then he did a little lederhosen dance.  I adore my husband.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You Tube Taster's Menu - or how to never accomplish anything in a day

It's Rissa's fault.  She sent me a video,  "Orangutan makes friend with dog."  Next thing you know, I'm using the You Tube taster's menu down the right side of the page.  Instead of exercising before work, I'm surfing You Tube - watching dozens of animals videos.   I could have at least gone into work early, so that I could leave early and then exercise.

I'm watching, "Tiger vs Orangutan," "Silverback Gorilla Meets Tourist," which then morphs to "Toddler falls in Gorilla Cage," "Lioness offering her newborn cub to Kevin Richardson," "Reunion between Anita and the wolves," "Woman details cat - mountain lion encounter," "Housecat meets bobcat," "!!!Squirrel adopted by cat learns to purr," and what may be my most favourite 13 seconds of video ever (from 0:05 - to 0:18): "Foxes Jumping on my Trampoline."   Note to self:  do not open You Tube when you are at all hormonal.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old School Foreplay

Way back when... you know, in the Stone Age... when David and I first got together... We had the best foreplay.  We did.  It was amazing.

We'd snuggle on the couch, as close as two people could be without actually being conjoined, sigh and smile... our hands touching, our minds of a single purpose.

Everything was new.  Everything was possible.  Everything was attainable.  We could have this!  We could do that!   We would contort ourselves into pretzels so that we both got the best view.  One day, we might even be able to create perfection if we just kept on being in tune with each other.

We would open magazines to get ideas.  We used to pore through magazines!  Sorry.  Yeah... not actually talking about sex here.  This was after the having sex all-the-time phase.  We'd moved on.  A dream night for us morphed into staying up late, poring over house plan magazines.  The future opened ahead of us, unobstructed - it was glorious.  We were going to create our dream home.  We were going to buy/design the perfect plan.  We were going to build our own home with our very own hands.  This was before life... before kids...  before debt...

Virtual tours had yet to be invented.  We had to IMAGINE what most of those rooms looked like.  We'd have this great room, that butler's pantry and our very own pedestal tub in a sun-soaked bay window.

We used to dream like that.  ALL the time. Then, as it is wont to do, life got in the way - convincing you that those hopes and dreams you once had?   They're out of your reach.  Well, you know what?  I ain't buying it.  I'm going to do something old school today.  I'm heading to the best bookshop in town... the one with all the great magazines.  I'm  buying me some foreplay.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pass me the Scalpel...

"Pass me the scalpel," I say.

"No," says David.



"Don't you even want to know what it's for?"


"I'm not going to use it for anything bad."

"You're going to cut into your body right?"

"Well, yeah, but just..."

"And it'll probably be near an important artery, right?"

"I would completely avoid any arteries.."


"I'll just get it myself then."

"We don't have one."


"Can we please buy a scalpel?"


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Here comes Mama Bear... or why we shouldn't force our kids to kiss hairy old relatives

Those parents who do not force our children to kiss their leathery Aunt Marjorie upon first meeting, aren't doing it to 'portend doom'  ("Why children need to feel the pinch," Macleans, May 13, 20013).   We do it so that our children will listen to their natural fight or flight response. Yes, it used to be a rite of passage that all kids had to endure. I was swept into many an uncomfortable embrace with complete strangers who happened to be 'family.'

If a stranger in the street wanted to hug your kid - would you let them?  Would you demand that your child kiss this stranger?  Would you poo-poo any ‘childish’ fears they might have about close personal contact with this stranger?  Not a chance.   Why then, when this stranger happens to be family, do people feel that thrusting their children into discomfort is okay, that giving an unwilling embrace to make another person content, is a good thing?  It's not.

That doesn't mean that children don't have to be courteous in their interaction with others - saying "goodnight," or "hello" is a reasonable request and one that I firmly encourage.
Yes, Anna Teitel, “a pity kiss for Aunt Marjorie when you’re 6 is a long way off from pity sex with a manipulative college boyfriend when you’re 21.”  It is a long way off, but that just means that the pattern of offering physical contact under duress has been going on for 15 years.  How’s that for conditioning?  I’m not a helicopter parent.  My 12 year old daughter walks to and from school – sans adult – and has done so since she was eight.  Much to my abject parental terror, she’s ridden the subway alone, and we both survived. 

When we teach children to ignore instinct, we teach them to get into a car with a stranger, to ride the elevator when everything in them screams not to, to offer up affection to make someone else feel good.  


When playing the tickle game?  When the kid is screaming hysterically for you to stop?  Stop. 

Period Ping Pong

WARNING: Female things will be discussed

So you know how when women are around each other a lot, they can start to synch up their menstrual cycles?  Well in peri-menopause that morphs into Period Ping Pong.  My girlfriend Anne-Marie and I are racing to see who can stop menstruating first.

"I'll see your 23-day cycle and raise you a 15-day cycle!"

"Oh yeah?  Finished on Friday - started on Monday!  This is ON!"

"Diva Cup emptied 6 times!"

"Three super sized tampons - at the same time!"

"7 weeks since my last period!"

"Clots the size of toonies!"

What ever will we bond over when the bleeding stops?  Breast saggage? 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A word about 'RETARDED'...

"Yo, your lips are retarded."  This dude said to a friend of mine on the subway.  "Your lips are retarded."  As a compliment.

Never used the word.  Hated the word.  Never in my life would have called someone a RETARD.  I'd rather cut off my own leg.  I bend over backwards to be polictically correct - offending someone makes me squidgy.  I'm a gal who won't even joke about the Grammar Gestapo because of the connotations.   

But after hearing it as a backhanded compliment?  I fell in love with it.  So much better than 'DISGUSTIN' or 'SICK.'  I loved the way it sounded - even tasted - in my mouth as I muttered it surreptitiously under my breath.  Still, I wouldn't say it out loud.  'Cause I know it's wrong. I know not to pull that kind of shit.  There's a campaign to stop using it: Spread the Word to end the Word

And yet, a couple of weeks ago, it snuck its way into my vocabulary.  It was so tasty.   It had punch.  Bad punch, but punch.  Descriptive.  Could mean awesome, amazing or beautiful.  Could also mean stupid, idiotic, mindless.  But sounded so much better.  RE-TAR-DED.  I hated myself for even thinking it, and here I was letting it fall from my mouth.  I had to find something else that would have the punch without the pejorative.  Something that I could articulate that would sound good, sound right - give the situation its proper due - a word that could be both positive or negative depending upon the circumstance.  I needed something less lazy, something clever.  I couldn't just use STUPID - not interesting enough - plus, wouldn't I then be insulting stupid people??

"Your lips are  LUNATIC."

"Your lips are DEMENTED." 

"Your lips are UNHINGED." 

They didn't have the tastiness.  They didn't have the flavour.

"Your lips CREDENT."

"Your lips are DISTRAUGHT."

"Your lips are MOTLEY."

"That's on the SPECTRUM,"  suggested a friend.  But then I'd be pissing off autistic folks who are actually ON the Autistic Spectrum.  I'd be pissing off with pith.

"Your lips are DIAGNOSED."  DI-AG-NOSEDDIIIII-AAAAG-NOSED.  I rolled it around in my mouth for a bit.   It tasted good.  Politically Correct?  Probably not.  But until I make my way through the entire Shakespearean canon, I'm going with that. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What made me think I was a bike rider??

 I must have been on crack when I thought I could do it.  I agreed to ride with actual bike riders who ride many, many kilometers.  For fun.  I was being 'one of the gang,' I was supporting a cause.  I was out of my freaking mind.

When I think of bike riding in the abstract - I think of sunny days on flat roads.   I think of shiny happy people on vintage bikes with wicker baskets on their way to picnics, sharing commiserative smiles with the other riders - joyous in their sense of community and fitness level.  Instead, I was rushing to catch up with actual bike riders, in cold drizzle, the victim of hills. Turns out I don't do well with hills.  I was fucked by those hills.

The night before, David and I had gone out for a ride - you know, to get my riding legs under me.  Problem was, it's spring and the midges are out.  Clouds of the little buggers - all having sex in mid-air and choking any idiot who desires a large breath, if say, you are winded by riding a bike for the first time in a year.  We were out for approximately 7 minutes.  Not one of those 7 minutes involved actual hills.  Had I ridden up a hill, I would have remembered.  I would have remembered that I can't do hills on a bike.  Hills are my kryptonite.

I'm fit - I do cardio every single day.  I power walk - even up hills.  I could manage, I thought.  I tried to 'tough it out' and tackled the first hill.  My angina?  Started the third pedal up that fucker.  The second hill I got off the bike 3/4 of the way up.  The third I got off 1/2 way up...  The last major hill?  I started walking at the bottom but still had people thinking I might have a heart attack.  Apparently, I stumbled as I was just walking my bike.  Given that David was driving the babysitting pace truck behind me, I'm surprised that he didn't load me into the back and escort me to the ER.

Coworkers looking at me all concerned.  "You're looking a little green.  You okay?"  Is it so wrong of me to measure my achievements by successfully NOT having a heart attack? David says I should double check with my cardiologist about that. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Crawling back on the wagon...

I was bad last weekend.  I ate bad things.  I made bad food choices. It began innocently with gluten and sugar, then devolved into potato chips, corn twists, cookies and then ended with (shudder) amusement park donuts. Although I did discover that Chester's Corn Twists...  Pretty much gluten free!  Although deep fried in oil.

My office has bags of cookies that sit by the coffee machine.  Just sitting there.  With their gluten and their sugar and their high fructose corn syrup.  By Friday last week, my willpower had finally evaporated - I couldn't fight it any longer.  I HAD to have the Chips Ahoy cookies.  Which really pissed me off because Chips Ahoy cookies are nothing but crap.  But then I discovered that there was a leftover bag of No-Name chocolate covered almonds!!  Of course I discovered that after I'd already eaten a couple, okay 4, of the crappy Chips Ahoy.  The chocolate covered almonds were MUCH better.

Problem is, once your body has had the gluten and the sugar - you're off the wagon.  WAY off.  This shit must store in your cells, because as soon as it's back in your system - you get high and then you crash.  And it's a BAD crash.  It's a crash that makes you weepy and doubt your value in the universe, kind of crash.

This week has seen me desperately avoiding those cookies by the coffee machine and having a little extra stevia in my caffeine-free coffee with soy milk.  Mmmmmmmm...  Oh yeah, it's as good as it sounds.  For dessert I'm doing the frozen mango pieces - thank God for frozen mango pieces.  And instead of having that Rusty Nail... crap, just typing it now makes me want one... I'm having club soda with lime juice.   One day at a time, right?  I'm sitting my ass back on that wagon and revelling in its Radio Flyer rails and smooth ride. One day at a time.  I can do this.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Canada's Wonderland ain't for wusses...


As I checked my email Sunday morning, this note, in Rissa's handwriting, was to the left of the keyboard:

306 feet high, 80 degree drop, 
148 km/h, 32 passengers p/car

That was the first time on Sunday that I thought I might woof my cookies. The second was when I ended up in the First Aid building at Wonderland, but more on that later.

We'd decided that our first coaster of the day would be the Leviathan.  Get it out of the way, I thought.  Be a brave girl, I thought.  I also thought I might actually DIE as the Leviathan climbed its first hill.

80 degree drop from 306 feet.  10 degrees more and it would be STRAIGHT DOWN!   

I've made a mistake!  I shouldn't be here!  Please, please, please - let my death be quick!  Don't let me be the gal who voids her bowels and has white foam around her mouth. Let me look good when they discover I'm dead.

I had my eyes closed the entire time, I didn't want to see anything. We kept going up and up and up...  How much further up is there, if you're not in a plane?!?  My hands in a death grip on the lap handles. I would not look, you couldn't make me!  I felt the near free-fall, went round the crazy-ass curves and smaller hills - eyes completely shut.  And at the end, I was still alive!  Legs very woobly, but I was alive as we made our way to The Bat and then to The Fly.

The Fly is freaking awesome!  I love The Fly.  I scream every time it takes a sharp turn, because it looks like you're going to fly straight off the tracks.  I know that I'm not going to fly straight off the tracks - they must test for cars leaving their tracks before letting the public on these things - but it doesn't stop me from screaming every time it happens.  Screaming and laughing.  The Fly is equivalent to watching Jurassic Park for me.  You scream, then you laugh, because it's so ridiculous you were screaming.  The Fly is like having primal scream/primal laugh therapy - always enjoyable.  Which is why I was surprised when, at the end of the ride, I was in pain.

My armpit suddenly felt like it had been stabbed.  I was confused, because although sometimes I do pin things into an outfit (you know, those cotton armpit guards to protect a nice dress or fancy jacket from sweat stains), I was wearing a t-shirt and a hoodie and had no recollection of having a razor-sharp, stabby thing in my clothing.  Another sharp stab.  And then two more, now down my arm.  These were different from my usual angina symptoms.  I'm groping at my side, trying to find the pin.  Where was it?  David and Rissa looking at me like I was crazy.

"Mummy, we're in public!" Rissa says, as I'm reaching inside my hoodie exposing most of my bra and a fair amount of breast.

"There's a pin!  There's got to be a pin!"

I wrestle off my jacket.  I'm acting like a crazy-woman.  "Something is there!"  I'm flapping the jacket now... "SOMETHING. IS. IN. THERE!"  David and Rissa watch as a black bug flies out.  Not a bee, not a yellow jacket - a hornet.  Somewhere during the ride, I'd picked up a passenger.  When trapped in the hoodie, it got pissed.  I'd been stung.  Multiple times.  And that shit hurts.

"Holy mother of... Yellow rat bas... Rissa, close your ears!


Only me.  It could only happen to me.  And because David worries that any minor medical deviation for me will lead to a heart attack, we trundle off to the First Aid building where I am given Benadryl and anti-sting wipes, my vitals are monitored over a 10 minute period and I'm questioned.

"Do you have any medical conditions?"  he asks.

"How long do you have?" I respond.

The paramedic looked a bit confused when he found out that I suffered from angina.  I'm sure in his head he was thinking "And you are at an amusement park with thrill rides because why?"

"Are you nauseated?"

"Yes, but that's probably just my hypo-glycemia."

There were a couple of minutes there when I thought he was going to have an ambulance physically remove me from the property.  But eventually, I was allowed to dance off on my merry way...  Now stoned, because WOW...  Who knew that Benadryl was so freaking potent?   I was cozy and sleepy and spent the next hour with my head resting against David's lap as we sat waiting for me to come down.

The only other injuries that day for me happened when I rode Flight Deck - used to be Top Gun - your head gets rattled around in between the headrests and you wind up with cauliflower ear and your stud earrings embedded in your skull.

But really?  Only two injuries after having ridden over a dozen rides?  For me, this was a good day.


Later in the day, I rode the Leviathan two more times.  Eyes wide open as we took that first 80 degree drop. And you know something?  When you're looking down that 80 degreen incline?  It looks like you are going straight down.  And it's AWESOME!!  Arms in the air for the rest of the ride, except where I thought I might whack them on a support beam.  Between rides 2 and 3 I actually ran with Rissa and her friends to line up again.  The ride was that much fun.  It turned me back into a 12 year old girl.  It is my new favourite thing.  I will travel through the world extolling its virtues.  I am a Leviathan convert. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I've won over $5,500,000!!

On 100,000 Pyramid.  On Facebook.  Because I'm such a geek.  And what's stupid?  I get anxious when I play.  I start freaking out... when I can't think of the word.   My angina kicks in a bit.  I give myself angina playing a game on Facebook.  I am a ginormous dufus.

It's understandable though.  On account of the fact that there's so much at stake.  You know... all that virtual money. The angina gets worse when I can't think of one of the answers I have to acknowledge that my dementia's already setting in.  Simple words defy me.  My palms start to sweat a bit.  I have trouble swallowing.

What is the thing that they shoot into in basketball?  Starts with an 'n.'  What is it?  What IS it??  The clock is running out!  I'm not going to get my pefect score bonus.  WHAT IS THE WORD?!?  NET!  NET!  I mistype it, I'm spelling so fast.  Nearly sobbing as I type it again, this time correctly.  PERFECT SCORE BONUS!!  I'M GOING TO THE BONUS ROUND!!!

I need to find another way to get cheap thrills. Maybe it's time to read more erotica.