Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Choking the chihuahua

"Get out of her!"  Firm shake.  Firm shake.  "OUT!  YOU. GET. OUT. OF. HER!!!"

My hands around her throat now - Chi-Chi's eyes bugging out even more.  She's making gagging sounds, but I can still see it's not her.  "GET OUT!  OUT!  OUUUUUUUUUUUUUT!!!!"


"GET OUT!!!"



David's hand firmly on my shoulder.  "HEATHER."

My eyes pop open.  I've been crying.

"My chihuahua was possessed."

David pats me consolingly.  "It's okay love, I'm sure she's alright now."

"She was possessed."

"I know."

I'm still hyperventilating a bit, wiping away tears  "She was... She was...  I had to... (beat)  We don't have a chihuahua do we?"

"No love."

"Oh thank Christ..."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Good thing she's cute.


She is the smallest of our cats, but she packs a punch when she's headbutting you first thing in the morning.  Her small feline cranium careens into my temple, followed by little cat teeth attempting to groom me.  Then this:

"Puh!  Puh!  Puh!  Gaaaaaaaag!"  as she realizes that shoulder-length human hair is much more difficult to clean than cat hair.

"Lola!  Dude."  My arm pushes her off my head.  I crack an eye open to look at the clock.  I can still sleep for another 5 minutes.

ButtButt BUUUUUUTT.  Her lower cat teeth now failing to comb through the back of my skull.  "Puh!  Puh!  Puh!  Gaaaaaaaag!"

"Seriously, cat."  My hand pushes her off the bed.  Almost before she's hit the ground, she is back up on the bed, headbutting me with added ferocity.


"You are killing me cat."  I open my eyes and she's at my face, all sweetness and light, before headbutting into my forehead.  She then rolls on her back, displaying the tummy she's licked bald.  Oh, look at me, I'm too cute to strangle...

Sleep has abandoned me, I might as well enjoy the bath.

"Give it your best shot, cat."

ButtButt BUUUUUUTT"Puh!  Puh!  Gaaaaaaaag!"  ButtButt BUUUUUUTT"Puh!  Puh!  Gaaaaaaaag!"

Thursday, September 25, 2014

We made her!

Rissa's clear, perfectly pitched (to our ears) soprano drifts down the stairs.  She is in the shower, as she is every night after her dance classes.  For the grace that she exhibits as a dancer, this child, after 3 hours of sweating, smells like a dead goat.  David and I are both working on our laptops on the sofa at the bottom of the stairs.   Rissa belts out a rendition of Lean On Me from above us.  David and I look at each other with parental pride. 

In the next instant, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer joins the playlist.  Rissa sings at the top of her lungs - putting a jazzy twist on the holiday classic.

"We made her..." I whisper, afraid that if she hears me, she'll stop singing.

"We did," David agrees.

How can an egg and sperm make something so remarkable, I think.

From Rudolph, she moves onto Chrisine Lavin's Doris and Edwin: the Movie, I Dreamed a Dream from Les Mis, Blues Traveller's Hook, It's a Hard Knock Life from Annie and then a reprise of Lean On Me to finish the set.

She's in the shower for 20 minutes.

"There's no way I'll have enough hot water for a bath."

"You might have to wait another 45 minutes for the tank to fill."

"I'm okay with that."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Things you should NEVER say to new mothers...

People say the stupidest crap to new moms.  One of my close friends just welcomed her first baby to the world and people have been saying truly moronic, unfeeling, make-a-new-mother-doubt-herself, crap to her.

To these morons I say: Yes, you have had a baby yourself.    THIS baby, however, is not YOUR baby.  THIS baby is different from your possibly decades-long remembrance of the baby you had.  THIS baby, when it (insert action here), might not want whatever the hell you think it wants. You just met THIS baby.  You don't know THIS baby.  THIS baby is an entity unto itself.

If THIS baby is using a soother, do not say, "Oh, you've chosen to use a soother?" in the most condescending tone possible.  Yes, the new mother has chosen to use the soother - that's why the baby is sucking on it.  The appropriate answer to this rhetorical piece of tsk-tsk, judgemental crap should be:  "Oh, we haven't chosen the soother, the baby chose it.  We left random items in the crib, you know, soother, teddy bear, switch blade, nun chucks - he decided to go with the soother.  We're a little bummed."

If the new mother has decided not to breastfeed, 1) it's none of your frickin' business, and B) DON'T say, "Have you tried..." and then list things.  She has.  She has tried.  She knows that breast milk is best.  She knows about the antibodies.  She KNOWS.  The next time this comes out of someone's mouth - make up the worst possible thing you can think of.  Coat your breasts with jam, lift your shirt and bra and say, "My mastitis was worse than most..."

"That baby is too young to be out visiting people!"  

"What's the alternative - shoving him back in, until he's cooked more?"

"Are you tired?"  

"Yes, yes, but not because of the baby.  It's all this spare time I've found I now have. I actually have more spare time than before the baby! I have learned to knit, paint watercolours and speak Italian - and that's just this week!  Next week, we'll be doing some tandem hang-gliding..."

"You have to get that baby on a schedule!" 

"As soon as I figure out how and when this time-sucking remora eats, sleeps and craps, you'll be the first to know."

"Oh s/he's not (insert verb here) yet?"  

"Yes, s/he is smiling/laughing/teething/crawling/walking/running/reading/writing/reciting the periodic table - (sad smile and wince). I don't think s/he is comfortable enough around you to share her/his talents."

"When's baby #2 coming?"  

"That depends.  How long did it take you after recuperating from the episiotomy, hemorrhoids, post-partum, self-doubt, lack of sexual interest/lubrication to get back up on the horse?"

Oh, and when the new mom phase has shifted to toddler mom...  If a toddler mom looks like she might possibly be pregnant?  Never ask,"When are you due?"  Ever.  In fact, don't say that phrase to any woman -  even if she looks like she has three basketballs inside her.  Don't say it.

When first hearing this phrase, an exhausted, overwhelmed, teetering-on-the-edge of sanity toddler mom will probably internalize it, dying just that little bit more inside.  The second, third or fourth time she hears it?  She could lose her shit, I know I did, with varying degrees of meaness depending on the tone of voice that the stranger (and it always seems to be strangers) used.

"Nope, not pregnant, just fat from the first one."
"Nope, not pregnant, stomach cancer."
"No... (sob)... not pregnant... I lost the baby at 7 months...

Give the new mom a break.  Let her lead the conversation - remember what it was like when you were a new mom - remember that.  Be there for her, be a sounding board, check in on her, brush her hair, let her shower, take the baby for a few hours so that she can do whatever she wants...  I know, I know, you've been there, you know it all, your child has turned out perfect.  No, she hasn't reinvented the wheel, but to her, it's still a brand new wheel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This is it, I have dementia!

"I love you," says David as we snuggle in under the covers.

"And I love you," I return.   I contentedly sigh.  "Life is good."

"Life IS good."


Smooch.  Smooch.

You know how sometimes your brain  goes off on these weird tangents?  One minute, I'm kissing my husband and the next I'm doing math.  Rissa is 14.  In 4 years she'll be 18.  She'll be leaving home in 4 years!  David will be 45.  I'll be 50.  We'll be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary!!!  Last year, to celebrate all these events,  we had a huge party - The 45-40-15-13 PARTY.  We invited all our friends and family, rented a fancy hall - David did the lighting design.

Sometime in the midst of all the math, I realize that David's still smooching me. 

"What did we do for our anniversary this year?"

"We went out to dinner."

"We did?"

"Yeah.  You have the most beautiful blue eyes." Smooch.  Smooch.   

"Where?  Where did we go out for dinner?"

"Hmmm....  Wasn't the Northside... Wasn't Cafe Marca...  El Camino...  It was El Camino."

"It was?"

I have a moment of sheer terror in the pit of my stomach.  I can't remember our anniversary dinner!  I don't remember going to El Camino!!

"Was Rissa with us for the dinner?"

"No.  Just us."

More terror pools.

Rissa had come home with homework from her English class, she had to recall a sense memory of food.  Maybe food would jog my memory...  "Quick!  What did we eat!?!" 


"Yes, but what tapas?  What exact tapas?!?"

"I... don't know..."  Now David's eyebrows are down, he tilts his head, swings it a bit, trying to knock free the menu.  "I know that I got you a card..."

I remembered his card.  "And I forgot your card..."

We usually forget the anniversary.  Almost every year.  We're always doing other things when it comes around: moving, travelling, renovating.  We high five each other if we both come down with cards in hand on the actual day.

I close my eyes. I will the terror to abate.  I can do this, I can do it.   Calming breaths...  There, just there... in the back of my mind, behind my left ear, almost there...  almost there..."

"No, we didn't!!"

"We didn't?"

"No, our anniversary was on a Friday, we were driving to my parent's place, I think we stopped and had A&W at the On Route."

"You're right.  You're totally right.  We had a glass of wine and toasted when we were in the family room in front of the TV.  You parents weren't home yet.  I must have been thinking of the Father's Day Brunch we did in June."  He looks sheepish.   "Sorry, didn't mean to Gaslight you."

"Oh thank Christ.  It's not dementia."  I feel the panic slide away.  "I totally get my Auntie Laraine now."

"You do?"

" 'Certain things you remember with no recollection at all.'  We're there now.  At least I'm there now.  You, Sir, are so screwed.  You better pray that I become one of those happy senile people."

"Every day."

Friday, September 12, 2014

What 80s movie are you?

What 80s movie are you?  What's your old person's name?  Which  Dwarf are you? What breed of dog?  What Harry Potter Character?  What ice cream flavour?  What Shakespearean heroine?  What turn of the century inventor?  What Norse God?  What Titan?  What Dr. Seuss book?  What Mathematical Equation?  What Scrabble letter?

Okay, I admit it - when these quizzes pop up in my Facebook feed, I am just as guilty as the next person.  I'll take the 2 minutes to do them. Hell, I'll take the 2 minute quiz that guesses your age based on what three drinks you like.  For some reason, I drew the line at What breed of dog.  I don't know why.  "Oh please, oh please, oh please, let me get Weimerander!!!"   (Fingers crossed, eyes shut.)  

What breed of dog??  I found myself channelling Sally from When Harry Met Sally.  "I am the dog?  I am the DOG?!?"

Then I was thinking - great, next one'll be: What type of slut are you?  Are you a dirty, DIRTY slut - or just a dirty slut?

If a hacker was going to to try infect someone's computer with a virus - all they'd have to do is attach it to one of these quizzes.  Anyone from Generation X is already pre-disposed to eagerly waste time, desperate to grab a quick shot of nostalgia, because apparently, life in the new Millennium is too... much

Way, WAY back, when... quizzes were done in magazines...  Does anyone else remember having to sharpen a pencil? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

He was probably dead by the end of the movie.

It was my favourite day.  MOVIE BINGE DAY.  It's right up there with Christmas Holidays with family and Front Row tickets to Violent Femmes.  MOVIE BINGE DAY has to include at least three, if not four movies.  (Just seeing two isn't nearly decadent enough.)  David's even created an app so that you can plan your day, figuring out the best way to see as many movies as possible while optimizing travel times between different locations and possible healthy food breaks. 

We were on movie three. As I was waiting for Rissa and David to come out of the bathroom, I spotted this guy at the edible petroleum product dispenser in the lobby.  I was on the other side of the lobby.  For some reason, I started counting when he began adding the "butter" to his small popcorn.  I counted to 32.  I wasn't 1-mississippi-ing it, but pretty close.  He held his finger down on the button for a count of 32.  I'm just guessing here, but I figure that you probably get at least 1 tbsp of topping per second.  That would be 32 tablespoons of topping on his small popcorn.  2 cups.  He put 2 CUPS of topping onto his small popcorn.  I think I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

I love movie theatre popcorn.  I adore it.  The salt, the oil.  LOOOOOOOVE it.  I will monitor my food all day so that I can share a large popcorn with David and Rissa.  It becomes a meal for me.  But when they ask " Would you like butter or topping?" I say "Just a little please..."  and then I watch them with an assassin's eye across the counter, shouting after the third squirt, "THAT'S GOOD THANKS!  THANK YOU!!!"

A small movie theatre popcorn, sans topping is about 400 calories.  With two added cups of topping?  This dude was preparing to ingest close to 4500 calories in his small popcorn.  I would be puking my guts out, or at the very least, becoming very acquainted with the feel of a toilet seat for long periods of time.   How many napkins would you need to wipe your hands after ingesting that much topping?  Fats and oils can send your body for a loop.

This one time, David came home from work, looking really green.

"What's the matter, love?" I asked solicitously.

"I was sick.  I had to get off the subway and throw up into a garbage can and then get back on."

"WHAT?  Are you okay?  Do you have a stomach bug?  Food poisoning?"

David couldn't meet my eyes.  "Mumble.... mumble...mumble...mumble..."

"I'm sorry?"

"I ate a few shortbread cookies."

It was becoming clear.  "How many?"

"Maybe 15."

What do you reckon?  1 tbsp of butter in each short bread cookie?  This dude at the movie theatre ate double that amount.  I wouldn't want to be the usher to clean up after that movie.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Trapped in my sports bra

I'm going to have to invest in new sports bras.  More of the kind that do up in the back.  Because, although I can clad myself in one of the pull-over-the-head types, if I very carefully manoeuvre around my damaged shoulder, getting this same sports bra off when it's completely sodden with my post-exercise full-body sweat?  Nearly impossible.

copyrighted to above artist...

It's a couple of months now since I had to start spinning my back-closure brassieres so that I can wear them.  David still needs to help me disrobe at the end of the day, because, by bedtime, my shoulder has said "Fuck It!" and its mobility has vanished.

My preferred sport bra, of which I have a 1/2 dozen, is the pull-over-the-head type that you buy at least one size too small, the type that squooshes your girls near-flat; so that, if you needed to run, like from a tiger or something, you actually could without giving yourself black eyes.  These are the good sports bras.  I feel supported in these bras, I can jump up and down without holding onto my boobs in these bras. Unfortunately, those sports bras, the working ones, if you attempt to get out of them while sweaty, are the equivalent to a spandex, bolero-style, straight jacket.  I remain trapped in its damp clutches until David is around.  Rissa just doesn't have the upper body strength to get me out of the suckers.

At present, I have three crappy, do-up-in-the-back, sports bras.  You know the ones, the ones with no real support for any gal above an A cup. They come on a hanger, in a set of three - originally they were white, but after years of washing they are now a grey dinge.  "This bra comes in white, nude or grey dinge."  Seeing as a frozen shoulder can take up to 24 months to heal, I'm either going to have to buy some more do-up-in-the-back sports bras, shell out some cash for front closure sports bras, or, horrors of horrors, I'm going to have to... hand wash them.  (shudder)

Why not just throw your exercise clothes in the washing machine after each work out, you ask?  Well, in Southern Ontario, unless it's after 7:00 p.m. or on the weekend, you can't just willy-nilly throw loads of laundry in.  They charge you an arm, a leg and 3/4 of your torso for pulling that shit.  I am not a freaking millionaire.  Plus, the idea of running the washing machine with a partial load?  I'm already feeling my mother's hand  smacking me on the back of the head.  "YOU DON'T JUST WASH THREE THINGS IN THE WASHING MACHINE!!!  SOME PEOPLE DON'T EVEN HAVE WATER!!!"

So I'm down to spending money for the convenience of having enough accessible sports bras to last me the full week, or hand washing the three I have in the kitchen sink.  This is the perfect time to tap into my inner 1950s housewife.  I'll make it a game.  I'll put on some of my vintage clothes, tie on an apron and... oh for fuck's sake, I can't tie on an apron, not by myself... wait... wait... I could probably spin it though.  Problem solved!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sorry, I didn't mean to kill off civilization as we know it...

I was just brushing my teeth.

Brusha, brusha, brusha, brusha...

Tongue a little pasty - better brush that too.  Out comes the tongue!  The toothbrush makes contact...


If this had been an animated film, you would have seen the bacteria on my tongue hitting the air, not unlike the spores from the kick-ass fungus that almost killed Scully and Mulder way back when.  A puff of self-produced, poisoned, nearly-sulfuric air - exits my mouth.

"Save yourselves!!"

I could imagine the fallout from this stench... covering the room, the 2nd floor of our home, curling down the stairs to escape under the door - out into the world.

This is a Breaking Story from CBC News ...
A small Southern Ontario town has been quarantined after a local woman brushed her tongue.  The woman and 23 residents from her block have all been hospitalized after they succumbed to the bacteria that was released when it was dislodges with a toothbrush.  Although Health Officials are assuring the public that the bacteria has been contained, a steady exit of vehicles can be seen utilizing the nearest 401 exit.  Though the woman and three of the other initial victims remain in critical condition, no deaths have yet to be reported...

"Smell my mouth!!"

Rissa recoils.  "I am NOT smelling your mouth!"

"Oh come on!!  I just want to check something..."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The carpet's not charcoal - it's beige, covered in cat hair...

"Minuit!  Minuit!  For the love of....  Scoot!!  SCOOT!!"

Minuit lies upon our bedroom floor, a vision of feline pulchritude.  She splays every splayable part of her body.  Rolling onto her back, she raises an eyebrow.


"Seriously?  I just vacuumed.  How can you produce this much hair in 2 hours?"


"Plus, I just brushed you this morning."


"I took a small Siamese worth of cat hair off you."


David wanted the wall-to-wall carpet in the bedroom.  You know, for the cushiness under one's feet,  for the warmth in the winter, for the monochrome colour.  From the instant that carpet went down, Minuit spent her every waking moment rolling on it, leaving cat versions of crime scene outlines all over it.   On her back, with her left leg thrust against the wall and front right paw on her ear.  On her right side, curled into a little ball - but she must have been dreaming because her tail has left a windshield wiper swath of hair behind - sort a cat hair angel on the carpet.   I am this close to shaving her.

You're supposed to live in a house for a year before you make any big changes.  I don't think I'll make it.  Either I will have to devise a vacuum in a backpack that I can wear at all times when I'm in the bedroom, or I will I rip up the wall-to-wall with my bare hands in a fit of psychotic OCD, before manically installing laminate with a small multicoloured - easy to camouflage cat hair - area rug under the bed that doesn't require vacuuming every 12.3 minutes.  Not 100% sure, but I it's just possible that my hormones may have coloured my rationality.  I'm going to pour myself a Scotch and see if it comes back.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

When in doubt, add moustache!

"It hurts when I smile," says Rissa, as we're chatting before bed.

She'd mentioned it earlier in the evening.

"The zit?" I ask commiseratively.

"The zit," she confirms - pointing to the right of her nose.  She then does a Vanna White flourish.  She tilts her head to the side and flashes me her best 'fish lips.'

Yep, there it is.  Poor kid.  Day before she starts high school.  For me, it would have been life over.  The wailing and gnashing of teeth would have been EPIC.  I had been very concerned about what other people thought.

"You could always camouflage it," I suggest.

"Balaclava?" she puts forth.

I take a breath to tell her that no one will notice, that everyone else has zits, that the state of 'beside her nose' in consequential in the 'First Day of High School' scheme of things.

"... or a MOUSTACHE.  If it gets bad, I'll just draw a full-on moustache in sharpie.  That'll distract from the zit plus it will give me an air of mystique!"

"Like a little John Waters moustache?"

"NO!" she scoffs.  She then mimes the most elaborate, surpassing Jaime Hyneman, moustache - but hers, of course, would be more well-groomed and waxed to within an inch of its life.

"Definitely the way to go," I agree.

"I'll be a hit with the entire student body..."

"And the teachers..."

"But for the teachers I'll add in this certain je ne sais quoi..."  she raised her eyebrows and looks at me intensely.

"Awesome.   You could throw in your double wink too."

Rissa dislikes the traditional wink, except when Cat Deeley does it.  She therefore created the DOUBLE WINK, which is like a blink, but slightly longer and with much more personality behind it. 

"Oh yeah..."  She demonstrates.  "Okay.  I think I'll be good to go."

Yes, she will.