Friday, July 24, 2009

Who Needs A Disaster When You Have Mary?

Guys, I can hardly believe my amazing luck and good fortune.

You won't believe this.

Just a few blocks from my house, just up the street, are hundreds upon hundreds ... of uniformed policemen, firefighters, and paramedics. And you all know how I feel about these guys, right? Well, if you don't, let me just put it this way: put me in front of a Dairy Queen chute full of endless chocolate-dipped soft serves, a Cheetos factory, and these guys, and the uniformed men win, hands down.

Oh. My. God.

Okay, just imagine ... you're driving down the street, and suddenly, a gaggle of hot, muscular, sweaty men in uniform gather in front of your eyes. That's what I saw as I drove in to work. And can I say that I actually enjoyed going into the office for a change?

Because there they were, right in front of me as I turned the corner and neared the stoplight: a veritable slew of paramedics and firefighters, a field of tents, and lots of testosterone. I think my neck underwent a bit of a strain as I turned my head almost Linda Blairish in nature. If I was quick on my feet, which I am not, I would have stopped and gone over for a little one-on-one neck first aid with a couple of the guys.

So, apparently the city is hosting some national mock disaster in the field of an old, empty school in the neighbourhood. They've demolished parts of the school, and pretend injured persons are scattered throughout the building, waiting to be saved.

If I had known about this mock disaster zone earlier, I would have been first in line to lie under concrete blocks for hours at a time, fake blood smeared on my face, just to be saved by uniformed, sweaty, serious men who love to save people and risk their own lives doing so.

Can you imagine the multiple orgasms as you lie there under rubble, waiting for a dozen of these hunks to come and bring you to safety? I bet you this would even be a great porn for women. Think about it.

I just searched the Internet to see if they were still looking for volunteers. Honest to god I did. Yes, that is just a smidgen of my desperation. And then I ask, why was I not specifically asked to partake in this amazing experience? I mean, I'd do it wholeheartedly, forego a week's pay. That's how selfless this gal is.

The only thing that might be better than this is if they threw in a few hot and muscular construction workers, holding shovels and picks and stuff. That is what my heaven is made of. That and Cheetos, of course. And yes, Slut, dear dear friend of mine, I would whistle at them.

Heck, I might even fling myself prostrate across a speeding car's hood just to get some attention from some burly, buff and beautiful specimen of the male variety. Or maybe I could just wander out onto the field, all confused like, as I often am, and slouch down all sexy-like, and pretend to faint or something dramatic like that. It might work.

But, goddammit, my kids are back home now, and I have to act like an adult again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Kids Are Coming Home!

The kids come home tomorrow afternoon. Bittersweet, it is. Because I love my kids, and I miss them when they're gone for 11 days straight, but I sure don't look forward to the constant bickering, quarrelling, nasty comments, and WWF rounds in our living room every single day when they return.

I'm sure they had a blast at camp. They went to Camp Trillium, a camp for kids with cancer and their siblings. It's located on Garratt's Island, which is close to Picton, Ont., which is nowhere really for most of you reading this, but I'm mapquesting a link for it anyway because I'm nothing if I'm not meticulous and helpful. Except when it actually matters. Then, don't bother looking for me, 'cuz I won't be there, homie.

Camp gives the kids the chance to just hang, and have nothing but fun from morning to night. It also gives us (read parents) a break from the daily routine (see above), which is really sanity-saving, to say the least.

Dee and Em look forward to camp every year. They get to go sailing, rock climbing, kayaking, swimming every single day, play silly games during lunch, have a campfire every night by the lake, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. They've both formed great friendships at camp, and they look forward to seeing their buddies every year. For Dee, it's Dan, and Dan, and Jake. For Em, it's Haisha, Shirley, and about 10 other girls. Oh, and of course, the cute boys. Heavy sigh.

And while the kids are gone, Mr. Handsome and I try to do some couple activities together, since those opportunities are few and far between throughout the year. We usually go out a few times for dinner, a few movies, that kind of thing. This year, we've both been working way too much, which doesn't work well with hanging out together.

We did, however, manage to go out for egg rolls once (well, it was take out, but whatever), an awesome dinner Saturday, and a double feature movie, after which we saw a fatal car accident on the highway which kind of made me feel really sick and ruined the evening for me.

But, even though Mr. Handsome and I haven't had the chance to do much together, I still look forward to seeing my kids tomorrow, because ... well, they're my kids, and I miss them. A lot.

I may not have time to write again this week, depending on how much my kids let me smooch them. I'll let you know.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Could Live The Kobe Life, But I Don't Like Beer

Today's lesson is about Kobe.

You know Kobe the Japanese cow? Yeah, that one.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kobe Saturday night when Mr. Handsome and I took advantage of the fact that Em and Dee are still at camp and we are spawnless, so we went out for an actual nice dinner at a place called Milestones.

This was a first for us at this eclectic restaurant, a place I've wanted to try for a couple of years now, but have never gotten around to because there are more important things that keep coming up, like laundry and grocery shopping, and washing hair.

Anyway, Mr. Handsome left it totally up to me to choose a place, which was stressful because I don't do well with choices. Ask me to choose which crayon to use, and I have to take an extra Xanax.

I started out choosing a Japanese restaurant, but Mr. Handsome made one of his faces at me, which told me he wasn't happy about it but would go and pretend to enjoy it for me, so that one went out the window pretty quickly. Then, I thought maybe we could try one of those cool restaurants in the Market area that we rarely get to, but they were all hoity-toity with their menus and their prices, and I got angry pretty quickly with their trying to pretend they are something that they most probably are not, and also Mr. Handsome probably wouldn't be able to go dressed down in his shorts, and I in my jeans that make me look slim, so that's how we ended up at Milestones.

After perusing the menu at Milestones, we decided firstly and most importantly on drinks, because we're nothing if we don't get sloshed. Mr. Handsome finally decided on a special Milestones drink with raspberry and appletini alcohol in it, and I got a raspberry mojito, which was quite delish.

I then decided on what sounded like a very interesting and eclectic, yet down-to-earth meal: garlic mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, and meatloaf. But this wasn't just any kind of meatloaf, my friends. Nay. This was meatloaf made with a Kobe cow.

I knew Kobe beef was "special", but I never really knew what made it special. Until now.

You see -- and I realize here that I may be the only one left on the face of the earth who did not know about Kobe cows -- but apparently these cows are treated to classical music, massages eleventy times a day, and they drink beer and sake every day of their relatively short lives. Yes, my friends, they are drunken cows who live at the spa, in an effort to create the master beef of all time, for we gluttonous and never-satisfied folk.

So, I ordered the Kobe meatloaf, and then discovered what Kobe really means. And when the waitress first described it to me, I thought, 'Lucky cows, being pampered like that their whole lives.' Because, not only do they drink beer all day long and get massages and listen to Bach and Beethoven, they are also not allowed to move. And then I started to get sad.

Tthe more I thought about it, the more I decided that maybe having continuous massages and drinking beer and sake, and not being allowed to move aren't really a cow's idea of heaven. They're a person's ideal, maybe, but a cow's? I'm pretty sure that, given the choice between that and grazing in a field, they'd choose the latter.

I'm not one to ignore the chance to try something new, so I went ahead with the Kobe meatloaf experiment, regardless of my gradual and apparent distaste for the whole idea, and how it's made to seem that the cows actually prefer this lifestyle. Because I'm sure they don't.

And I'm here to tell you, folks, that it wasn't all that wonderful. I'm here to tell you that my meatloaf, made with regular freaking beef from cows who graze to their heart's content, and don't get their asses massaged, is a thousand times better than the $20 meatloaf I had at Milestones. Yes, guys, that's right. Twenty farking dollars. And I decided right then and there I was going to try and sell my meatloaf recipe to anyone who was interested, for $25 a head, because my meatloaf is mucho better than the Kobe cow one, and so I deserve it. Right?

And what did I get for this experience, you ask? Well, I got a bit tipsy from the mojito, which was all well and good. I also got very full, because I was tres hungry, so I ate all the potato and veggies, and a good portion of the meatloaf, despite my growing discomfort with the whole notion of sedentary and drunken cowness.

I should have known better, guys, because my stomach issues are continuing, which means my whole intestinal system is upside down and inside out, and because of this, and the fact that I was really quite upset about the whole Kobe thing (and I'd also just like to let you know that I do not eat veal for this very reason) I was up half the night with pain not unlike the labour pains I had many years ago that I am still trying to forget, and I'm positive the Kobe cow kept me up and writhing with this pain in the very depths of my gut.

I think that maybe the little Japanese cows were doing the Karma thing with yours truly and letting her know they weren't all too happy about my uncaring attitude toward their sorry little lives of beer guzzling and massages, having eaten the loaf of Kobe meat despite my consternation.

So, that was my first and last taste of Kobe cow. But I know it's not the last of the Kobe cow experience for yours truly, because tomorrow, I go to the masochistic gastroenterologist who did this to me in May, and instead of telling me I have stomach cancer or huge issues with my gut that can be fixed, he's going to say there's nothing wrong with me, and that there's nothing they can do for me, and the little Kobe cows will be standing there, laughing as they get their tender asses massaged.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How Much Tongue Can Fit In One Mouth?

Hey guys!! Guess what today is!!

That's right! It's Shannon Tweed Day here in town! As if you didn't already know, she is an Ottawa gal, now shacking up with Gene Simmons of Kiss fame. However, as I just found out, Ottawa council has now proclaimed that Shannon Tweed cannot in fact have a day, eh. Why? Because she was a Playboy playmate, that's why. Whatev, guys, because everyone wishes they could put Playboy playmate on their CV when they're looking for a job with the municipal government. Damn right.

Oh, I remember those days back in the 1970s, when I heard she was named Ottawa Valley Girl, while I was a lowly high school student trying to look like Farrah Fawcett, except my nipples wouldn't get all perky like hers did in that red bathing suit, so it was all for naught. Yes, that's right. Shannon Tweed was an Ottawan. There's hope for me yet...

I like Shannon Tweed, although I remember being disappointed in her when I found out she had left Ottawa and had become one of Hugh Hefner's bunnies. Or maybe it wasn't quite disappointment so much as HUGE jealousy, because who wouldn't want to be a bunny? Seriously. Even if just to be able to tell your grandchildren you were once a bunny, and actually had tail.

Anyway, apart from this momentous event in our fair city, and KISS actually playing at our famous Bluesfest as I write this (that's right, I'm NOT there right now, watching Gene Simmons swing his abnormally long and snakelike tongue through the air), things are pretty much normal, except for the fact that I'm having panic attacks that rival Mount Vesuvius' blow-up (and this is where I say, HELLO!! Doctor's receptionist, are you going to freaking call me back?!?), my kids have gone away to camp for 11 days, and Mr. Handsome has a big and Very Important project due like yesterday that the Privy Council has deemed "extremely important", fortowhichthen means that Mr. Handsome and his crew of government weanies must drop everything and work soley and profusely on that and only that until it is done.

So, as a result of Mr. Handsome working his tiny buns off, and my kids having gone away for 11 days, I sit here all alone, with Gryphon and the guinea pigs as my only friends. And I think about being a Playboy bunny, and wonder if I could even be one at my age, with my old breasts sagging more and more every day, and whether Gene Simmons would look at me twice, or even once. And would I even care?

I've never been a fan of KISS, or of Gene Simmons. But since his show Family Jewels came out a few years back, I've found myself watching it, and wondering what it must be like to be "one of them". And even kind of ... ummm ... liking Gene himself, in a strange and wonderful way. Although I think he's very arrogant, he's also very smart, and I like smart men. I also love that he couldn't care less what anyone thinks of him or what he does. I guess it helps that he has more money in the world than anyone actually could spend in a lifetime, but's sexay.

So, although I didn't think I would, I am sad that I'm missing the KISS show as I write this, and I'm missing my kids, although I promised myself I wouldn't, because they drive me bonkers when they're home. But, even though they're not babies any more, I still miss their cuddles, and snuggles, and warm softness, and just want to give them a good night kiss and tell them I love them.

And, of course, I'm missing Mr. Handsome, because this is our annual "Time To Ourselves", when the kids are gone, and we can be lazy and slovenly adults who don't wash the dishes, and fart whenever we want, and swear constantly, and go out for nice little dinners and egg rolls and things. This time, we've only managed the egg rolls so far, and that was take-out because, as Mr. Wing Hong Long stated, swinging his penguin arm at me, "We close now. Only take out. Fast. What you want?"

And now, as I finish this, I notice I am getting a sore throat. What the hell? In July?

Maybe I still have time to run down to the Bluesfest site to see if Geney can give me some of his medicinal tongue injection.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Net That Will Finally Garner Us The Popularity Quotient, Or Something Like That, AKA Mr. Handsome Cannot Tell Time

Mr. Handsome is a true man. For what other man could spend an entire weekend putting together a basketball net for his son?

He found the net online at some place in the United States, because apparently all they have available here in Canada are those portable nets with the big black stands that Mr. Handsome decided weren't good enough for our family. Everyone in the neighbourhood seems to have one, so we had to one-up them, apparently.

The net was Fed Exed to us the other week, and the battle began.

That Saturday at noon, Mr. Handsome sets all the little nuts, bolts and other doodads on the floor, proclaiming his space and the importance of his task at hand. I, on the other hand, quietly went about my business of solving the world's latest economic crisis, and doing 10 loads of laundry. Oh, and supplying my dear husband with coffee while he toiled over the basketball net.

I knew this was real serious business when the tools came out. And when I say tools, I mean all the tools Mr. Handsome has ever owned, and some new ones I'd never even seen before. There were ratchets, socket sets, wrenches, vice grips, screwdrivers, more ratchets, and even a hammer. These things rarely make an appearance in our household, so when they're strewn all about the living room floor, you know a major event is on the verge of occurring.

"Insert the piece into the crimped slot," Mr. Handsome murmurs under his breath.

"What does that mean?" Dee asks.

"I don't know," Mr. Handsome answers.

Or, there was, "How the hell is this supposed to attach?"

And my favourite: "There's a whole bag of widgets I have no idea what to do with!" Oh yeah.

And such was our weekend.

At one point, Mr. Handsome shook with The Exertion as he had to bend two thick pieces of metal for some strange reason that made no sense whatsoever. Just picture Superman with his super-human strength. Dee was very impressed with his father's strength and aptitude, and the children cheered, and I chuckled because his whole body shook with The Exertion, and it just looked funny. I have to add, however, that the poor guy has no shoulder ligaments (due to various injuries that involved falling clumsily on the ice more than once), so I guess I feel for the lad, in some small part of my being.

As we neared the dinner hour on Saturday, and Mr. Handsome and Dee had visited Home Depot to buy more tools and wood and screws and things, I kept asking Mr. Handsome what about dinner, because as far as I was concerned, it was his turn to make dinner, and there was no way in hell I was doing it just because he was spending all his time putting together a fancy basketball net for his son. I don't roll that way often, and Saturday was one of those days. I remained steadfast, refusing to bend to the begging and pleading.

After about the 32nd time in 10 minutes of reminding him that it was dinner time and that he hadn't yet put anything together to eat, he gave me "the look", and I stopped talking. I'm no idiot. But I sure like bugging the hell out of him, especially when he's all stressed out and hot and bothered like that. That's why we've stayed together this long. I swear it's true.

Sunday, Father's Day, Mr. Handsome was up bright and early, continuing with his task at hand. In-between eating his Father's Day breakfast and downing a cup of coffee, he was outside drilling and climbing ladders and feeling very manly. Luckily, the day wasn't one of those hot and humid ones we often get in the summer months, so he wasn't sweating buckets and complaining bitterly, which would have made me really cranky, and we can't have that.

By mid-afternoon on Sunday, The Net was ready to be raised to its rightful position above the garage door, like the god it had become and would always be.

The only problem was, the instructions (such as they were), stated quite plainly that this required two adults. Well, I'm here to tell you they were wrongwrongwrong. Three adults is more like it, which is nothing like one adult and two children, which is what we actually had.

Somehow, we made it work. Mr. Handsome set two ladders up side by side, leaning against the garage. Em and Dee both climbed the ladders, whimpering as they did since the ladders shook and wobbled, and our children are not the bravest of the bunch when it comes to ladders. But climb they did, and they stood up high, above my head, as I steadied both ladders as well as I could from below.

Then, Mr. Handsome lifted the assembled net, and handed it to the children, who were to hold it there for "maybe 30 seconds or a minute at most," according to Mr. Handsome. Well, that 30 seconds turned into about four minutes of pure hell for the little ones, who began crying as their muscles began losing steam, because that net is not the lightest thing in the world to hold up above your head for minutes at a time. And they couldn't drop it, or put it down either, or move even, because they were up high on their ladders, which were not steady, and holding this damn net while Mr. Handsome screwed it into the wall above the garage door.

And then, the piece de resistance, the skies suddenly opened and the rain fell. Big huge drops of wet water plopped down more and more quickly and heavily on Mr. Handsome and the kids as they continued holding the net above their heads and Mr. Handsome shook with The Exertion again as he tried with all his might to screw the damn net into the boards over top of the garage door. The net was getting heavier and heavier, and more and more slippery, as the rain deluge came down and drowned all three of them.

Where was I, you ask? In the garage, of course, staying dry, as I held the ladders, because that was my job. What?

Anyway, the net finally got up, I hugged the children because they had been extremely traumatized by the whole experience and were shaking with The Exertion and The Wetness, and I told them those 30 seconds Mr. Handsome was talking about sure seemed a lot longer, didn't it, as I gave Mr. Handsome a "I told you so" look, knowing full well we had needed adults, and not little children with no muscles, to hold up the damn net made of metal and heavy non-breakable plastic.

Alas, now we have a basketball net Wilt the Stilt would envy, let alone the entire neighbourhood. And now, I'm sure we'll be invited to all the neighbourhood parties, because everyone will want to have a little piece of us.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bully Frog, Or How To Piss Off A Rich Person

Today some rich people yelled at me.

And I say, "Bring it on!" More power to you, rich, snobby people with the airs and the perfectly manicured lawns, and with more time on your hands than you know what to do with. You go right ahead and yell at me, and point your gnarly little rich fingers at me, and scuff rich dirt in my face. We all know you do these things because in your heart of hearts, you know I'm better than you, always were, always will be.

It all started when I dropped Dee off for his soccer game on Wednesday. The field where he plays most of his games is located in a "hot" neighbourhood. It's an old neighbourhood, one that has been rejuvenated, with young rich blood coming in, tearing down the old homes and building gargantuan mansions and castles and things. It's always been a nice area, but now, it's THE area to live in, if you know what I mean. In case you don't know what I mean, what I mean is that, you want to live here because it means you are "someone". It also means you pay lots and lots of money for a tiny house on a tiny lot that isn't all that special, except for its location in this nice neighbourhood.

Of course, I don't live in this neighbourhood, but I do live close by, so what does that make me, I wonder? An "almost wannabe who doesn't wannabe"? Yeah, that's it.

Anydough, I digress hugely.

So, I dropped Dee off at soccer, in the midst of an oncoming thunder storm (don't worry, it only thundered, no lightning, and the game went on and no one was struck down), and I decided to stay in the car because it was raining and ... well ... I don't like getting wet, even if it is to watch my little boy play soccer.

I had parked on the side of the road closest to the park, fully realizing there was no parking on this side of the road. I did so because (a) I am a lazy bitch, (b) I am a rebel without a cause, (c) I had a lot of junk to haul around once I actually exited the vehicle, and (d) I have a handicapped permit, which entitles me to be allowed to park in no parking zones. One of the few perks to having a shitload of physical problems.

So, I parked there, two of my tires up a bit on the curb, to give cars coming through a larger space through which to drive. I thought it was rather thoughtful and safe of me, and I was rather proud of myself, because usually I don't think about anyone but myself, and that's at Christmas time.

Anyrichbitch, after a few minutes of watching Dee through the car window, I decided I needed to be up closer, so I inched the car up a couple of yards, and stopped right smack dab in front of a No Parking sign, which I thought was kind of ironic, in an Alanis Morissette kind of way.

So, I continued watching Dee make his amazing moves in the light rain, and watched as his knees and clothing got dirtier and wetter, and then the rain kind of stopped, so I thought I'd go out and sit on the sidelines and pretend to enjoy the game.

And, as I left the car and took out the camp chair and slowly slung it over my left shoulder, two women came stomping over to me from across the way. One stopped some distance back, the other kept on coming, her fat little hippo legs wobbling cellulite underneath the hems of her rich person shorts.

Frogfacehippowoman then smiled at me and said, "Hello there, do you see that there is a no parking sign? You can't park on this side of the street. And, you see, it's a safety issue, and well, you know, last week during soccer, there were probably 12 cars parked on this side of the street, and the bylaw officer was giving out tickets like crazy. Because, if you haven't noticed, we are having some safety issues on this stretch of street, what with no stop signs, and people speeding, and stuff. And so, you're here parked in a no parking zone, and you're parked on the grass a bit, which isn't safe, because as you can see, we have children here playing."

No freaking kidding?! Kids playing soccer? Here?! I.Had.No.Idea.

After I whizzed my head around 20 times in disbelief all Exorcist-like and said, "What the Hellokitty?!" another 30 times in my head, I nodded as I listened to Frogfacehippowoman, and when she was done blathering on and on about WhatIdon'tknow, I said to her, "Well, I actually parked up on the curb like that so that it would be safer because now there's more room for the cars to pass by, you see, so it's actually safer this way. And, yes, I do see the no parking sign, but I'm actually allowed to park here because I have a handicapped permit, and we are the luckiest people in the world because we hurt and can't walk and don't you envy us we are allowed to park in no parking zones."

OK, so after I said all that, I smiled all friendly-like at her, not in a taunting way, but more in a 'See, I'm not a bad person' kind of way, Frogfacehippowoman's mouth gaped open, her bottom lip all floppy-like (it was actually quite nauseating to watch), and she stood like that, her mouth open, bottom lip flailing in the summer wind, staring at me with disbelief.

I actually didn't know what to make of it at first, thinking that maybe she didn't hear me, or didn't understand what I had said, but then I got this feeling that she was not pleased with me, and was actually bullying me in her rich, yet very miniscule, way.

Then she smirked, and said, "Handicapped? What are you doing here at a soccer game if you're handicapped?"

And I said, "Ummm, if you haven't noticed, I'm not the one playing soccer." What an idiot.

So, when she finally had sucked her lip back, and closed her mouth, Frogfacehippowoman said, "So, irregardless of a permit or not, you can't park here, because it's not safe. And you're also on the curb, and on the grass, and you see, you can't do that. And I could call the bylaw officers and they'd be out here in 15 minutes." Before I go on, I cannot stand anyone who says "irregardless". It's one of my pet peeves, and it's tripled when a rich person says it, all haughty like that.

And then I smirked just a little bit, and I said, "Well, I suggest you do call the bylaw officer because I'd be happy to have him talk to you and explain that I am allowed to park here. So, you go right ahead and do that."

After another moment or two, with some quick blinking of her eyelids, Frogfacehippowoman turned on her heel, and met back up with her flunky, who had remained back quite a ways, and yelled out over her shoulder as she walked away, "Well, we should all have handicapped permits then!"

And I stood there in utter disbelief, that someone could have so little to do in their life that they would have the desire, or the utter gall, to come out of their house, walk over to me, and blather on and on about something they knew nothing about. Not only that, but to actually add that little nastiness to her already extremely nasty behaviour just blew my mind.

Anyfreakoid, I set up my camp chair all smuglike, and was watching the kids play, but all the while I kept watching behind me, to see if the po po was actually coming. And I was actually looking forward to it, because sometimes the po po can be quite handsome in their uniforms and all that, and wouldn't that be something if I had the bylaw officer go and talk to Frogfacehippowoman and explain to her, in monosyllables, what the law was?

About halfway through the kids' game, a man started yelling at someone, and I caught the following: "Don't you have something better to do than harass a young woman who's handicapped and just trying to watch her kid's soccer game?"

OK, he said "young woman", so stop laughing. I may not be young, but I'm not old. Much.

I didn't see what the commotion was about, but this same man then came over to me and said, "Can you believe that? What is wrong with these people?"

Apparently, Frogfacehippowoman's neighbour (let's call him AssholeToTheNthDegree) was out taking pictures of my car and its situation on the curb. And when the nice man yelled at him, AssholeToTheNthDegree explained it was "all about the safety."

Freaking freaks.

So, this very nice soccer dad told me he had overheard my "conversation" with Frogfacehippowoman, and he couldn't believe these people and how they seemingly had no lives. "They have no lives, and they have to be perfect, with their perfect laws, and their perfect lawns, and they think the laws are made for them."

And I said, "Umm, you don't live around here, do you?" And he actually does, guys! But on the other side of the tracks, where it's still really nice, but not quite, if you know what I mean.

And then I told him I didn't understand them either, and I had no patience for people like that, who not only had no life, but made everyone else's life their own concern. Because once you've had a child with cancer, or any other major trauma in your life, you realize what's truly important.

And a car parked on the curb, entirely legally, is no biggie. Even on a tiny scale.

I can't wait for the next soccer game. Because guess who's coming out to watch?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Have A Day, Eh

Many of you live in the US of A, I realize. So, for you, July 4 is like the be all and end all of summertime holidays.

For we Canajuns, it's July 1, Canada's Birthday. The day Canada became Canada. It happened 142 years ago. That's a long time ago. I feel older than that most days. And I also realize I probably look that old. Not only that, but I realize that this post should have been posted last week. Such is how I roll lately.

I planned on spending the day with the family, doing fun family things that fun families do on Canada Day, like going for a bike ride, all cheery-like, or maybe going for a picnic and enjoying the warm summer breeze, or perhaps going to the beach, since we in Ottawa are fortunate to have plenty of beaches to enjoy.

But nay, guys, none of those things happened. Why, you ask? Because it was cloudy. And cool. And the weatherman said it was going to rain.

But it didn't, guys. And that just pissed me off even more. Which made me want to do nothing all the more. Which really doesn't make any sense, when you really think about it. But whatever. It is what it is, and it's too late to change it, because it's now July 8, and life is passing me by like a freight train, and I'm aging by the second, and getting more and more depressed as we speak.

So, as the day progressed, and the rain threatened, and the children kept proclaiming that we had not yet done anything of substance on ye special day of Canadians, I decided to take the kids to see the fireworks. We usually do that on Canada Day anyway, but because of the iffy weather, Mr. Handsome and I were humming and hawing and wondering about it for the better part of the day. In the end, I said we'd go, but if it started raining, I wouldn't be a happy camper.

Then, I gave the kids the choice of either going to our usual spot to watch the fireworks, or to actually venture downtown to watch them. The difference, in case you care, is that downtown is where the fireworks actually get fired, so you're up close and personal with the sparks and noise and just "the thing" of it all. You're also right in the thick of drunken idiotic folks who do things like scream, "YAH CANADA!!" in your ear as you stroll by, or pee in the bushes in broad view of 3,425 people, or vomit in the middle of the Confederation Square. This is in inverse proportion to the place we usually go to watch the fireworks: a nice, family-oriented park full of greenery, water, geese and fairgrounds, where crowds gather just to be together and enjoy the day, along with the nice perk of a gander of fireworks at the end of the day.

So, as I was saying, I gave the kids the choice. Em, when asked where she'd rather go, said, "I don't care. I don't know if I even want to go. Oh, I guess I'll go, maybe. Whatever. I don't care." And Dee said, "Downtown! Downtown! Downtown!" And Mr. Handsome said, "I don't want to go," as he lay on the loveseat, his head buried in three pillows.

So, although he felt very guilty, Mr. Handsome stayed behind as the three of us rallied against the masses and made our way downtown to watch the fireworks. Parking the car should have been a massive problem, but we found a nice spot on a side street about 15 minutes' walk away from where we wanted to be, so that was great.

After ducking and diving between many a drunken idiot, most of them 20 years and younger, we got to Confederation Square, which is smack dab in the middle of downtown Ottawa, and provides a pretty good view of the fireworks. All the streets down there are closed down for the day, so it's easy to get around, once you move past the throngs who all seem to think that they can only walk on the sidewalks, although the streets are carless and totally doable for pedestrians. But nay, we are talking about sheep, people. Sheep who do not think. And these were drunk sheep, which is the worst kind of sheep.

Anyway, we finally got there, and I decided to try taking night pictures with my newish handy dandy Canon XSi, despite not knowing much about this camera yet because I haven't had the time to really sit down and learn it. And we won't even talk about PhotoShop. Still.

So, in my effort to be artistic and all things creative, I decided this would be an awesome photo.

And this is the kids in front of the statue commemorating the soldiers in World War I. I was actually quite proud of this photo, seeing as it was dark out, and I know nothing about how my camera works. Of course, the kids were totally embarrassed by my phototaking, telling me everyone was looking, blahblahblah.

Very touristy shot, isn't it? That's the Chateau Laurier behind the little punkins, all glowy like. I will never stay in that hotel because a room costs a thousandty dollars, and I'd rather spend that kind of money on liquor and bon bons.

And then the fireworks began, right on time at 10 p.m., and this is what we saw:

I would just like to point out that the guy that seems to be in a lot of these photos, I do not know. Can you even see him? Try hard, because he's in most of them. Right in the forefront, hanging on to some babe. I have no idea who he is, and why he is there, standing with his back to the fireworks extravaganza. What the hell? Oh, I forgot. He was probably beyond drunk, and trying to talk to his girlfriend, who was holding her hands over her ears because the lights were too bright.

Not that there's anything wrong with being drunk in public, especially if you're a slap happy drunk who does silly things and makes everyone laugh, because that can be construed as a social service of sorts, I would think. Nay, what's wrong with being drunk in public is when you swear at the top of your lungs when children are present, or you bare your buttocks to anyone who will look because, hey, that's damn funny stuff! Or, the piece de resistance, you puke in the middle of the square where everyone obviously walks, and then a nice little Indian family does what? That's right, they walk right into the humongor pile of puke, their shoes now laden with chunks of sub sandwich and beer and all things alcoholic, and probably some pizza too. That is not so funny. Well, I snickered when it happened, because really, I was glad it wasn't me, and it almost was. Thank god Em has such good eyes and screamed at me as I neared the pool of vomit.

Anypuke, after the amazingly splendiforous fireworks, we slowly made our way back to the car, and Dee started whining that he was staaaaaarving, and Em didn't say much, but I knew she probably had a hankering for some munchies as well, so as we passed a fry truck that had been turned into an ice cream truck, and I bought them a Twistee cone, which is a cute name for chocolate and vanilla softserve ice cream twisted together and plopped haphazardly on a cone that contains no flavour, unless you think 'wet cardboard' is a flavour.

It wasn't really that good, and it sounded better than it was, which is almost always the way, even with things like a day at the beach (who wants to be cleaning sand out of their ass crack for the next week?).

But the evening itself was great, and the kids had fun, so that was all that mattered to me. That, and the fact that they went straight to bed once we got home, and I ended up not being able to sleep, so I read skanky magazines, one of my son's Archie comics, and then I dreamt of work all night long. The End.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Spoonful Of Song Makes The Medicine Go Down

My son does it right.

Any job he has to do, he sings. Washing the dishes (as he's doing right now as I write), he's singing a song he's made up in his head.

When he vacuums the downstairs, he sings. Taking out the garbage, he sings.

And it's not just any song. It's often a song he's totally made up, with pretend words and a tune that plays somewhere in his head. And it's always happy, and full of life.

I once asked him why he sings all the time.

"Because, Mommy, it makes the job much easier."

I'll have to remember that next time I'm on the verge of tears at my job. Singing makes it much better. Thanks for the reminder, Dee.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Frustrating, But Amiable, Grocer

There is probably nothing more irritating than standing in a grocery check-out line, being in a hurry, and watching as the cashier slowly takes each of a customer's items, passes them through the scanner, one by one, ever so slowly, and in-between each scan, tells the customer a story that said customer really couldn't give two hoots about.

I dare you to find anything so unamusing, frustrating, and homicide-inducing, except perhaps when your husband throws a pair of his used underwear across the room and they land on your head and then he laughs because he thinks he's so farking funny.

I happened upon perhaps the most irritating such cashier last week, on a day when I had both a migraine and a very sore arthritic foot, and I was in a big hurry to get back home, and the last thing I wanted was this guy taking his bloody time with the food scans.

But take his bloody time he did. I should have known when I got into the line, seeing as every other line was three times as long. At first, I thought I had lucked out, there only being two people in front of me. But soon after, I realized that everyone else was simply much smarter than me, because they realized that standing in this line would make them 10 times later than getting into any other line in the entire store.

So, as I neared the cashier, as he served the person before me, I could hear him talking. And he spoke about how exhausted he was, and how he had fallen asleep on the bus, and had ended up way on the other end of the city, and how he had to take another bus all the way back, but that was after he discovered he was actually lost and didn't know where he was, and then he mentioned that he worked two other jobs as well, and that it was time he give at least one of them up, because that's why he was falling asleep on the bus, and maybe it was time he get a car...

Yeah. Real interesting crap.

And then it was my turn at the cash, and as I started piling the groceries into bags, he began talking to me. I tried not to look him in the eye, because I knew that would be construed as an invitation to talk to me even more, and would seem that I actually cared, but it didn't seem to matter, because speak he did.

On and on. And on.

And guess what it was about, folks?

That's right. He talked to me about sleeping on the bus, and how he missed his stop and went all the bloody way to the other side of the damn city, you know, and then he didn't know where he was, bloody hell, and then he had to find his way back, which was awful, and maybe he should drop one or two jobs so that he could get more sleep, because you know, he barely gets any sleep working three jobs, and that's probably why he fell asleep on the bus. And did he mention he was exhausted?

Yes, all that, in one breath.

I still remember his face. And I will make sure to avoid that cash next time I'm there. Even if there's no line-up. Because I'll still be the last one out of the damn store.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mutant Fly Invasion Of Epic Proportion, Or, Pass The Vodka Now

Mutant flies have invaded our home.

Mr. Handsome spent the entire weekend killing these larger-than-life flies that had suddenly appeared, as if overnight. One day, no flies. The next, a fly inundation of epic proportion.

To the tune of Queen's Another One Bites The Dust, Mr. Handsome made it his job to kill every single flying monster that appeared. And appear they did, over and over and over again. As soon as he would be finishing off the last of 20-some flies, another group of 20 would start flitting around, coming from out of nowhere.

And these weren't just your average house fly. Nay. These flies, they are the Hulk version of the house fly. They're all relatively young flies (how can I tell, you ask? Because they don't yet react to movement. They just sit there, oblivious to everything around them, kind of like most husbands), but these flies are the size of three full-grown house flies. I kid you not. They're HUGE.

Both Mr. Handsome and I came home from work Friday to the home invasion. Immediately blaming the kids, since it was their first full day at home since school let out for the summer, I thought surely they had left a door or two open or something. After all, isn't it always their fault, regardless of what the issue at hand is? Why else did I give birth to children if not so that I could blame everything wrong in this world on them?

But nay, that was not the case. Because apparently, they are breeding somewhere in the house, and everytime I think of it, I have to throw up, so excuse me for a moment...

OK, I'm back.

Just to set something straight: we're not neat freaks, and oftentimes, our home is in quite a bit of disarray, but it is nowhere near bad enough to house a fly whorehouse. That, my friends, entails warm, moist, decaying matter, and not even our house has that. Well, not a lot. At least, not that I'm aware of, which doesn't mean a helluva lot, I guess.

We do have an open garbage bag in the kitchen since our garbage can died a violent death a few months ago, and we haven't had the wherewithal to buy a new one (such is our family). But, really, could one garbage bag be the source of these damn mutant flying monsters?

I'm guessing it can be, which makes me want to drop everything, get in the car right now, and drive waaay over the speed limit to Home Depot and get the mother of all garbage cans. But I won't, because my side hurts, and my big toe on my left foot is aching, and my scapula's out of sorts as well. Also, it's not a good hair day.

So, instead, I thought I'd do a little research on our friend, the fly. And boy, am I glad I did.

Did you know that the fly is our enemy? The fly is our enemy because it is one of the biggest disease carriers in existence. And they are so because they feed on human and animal waste. Yum. It only takes eight hours for freaking fly eggs to hatch. And the best part? One successful fly hatch can result in more than 2 million baby flies swimming around the house, depositing their poisons, their poo-infested little feet touching our food, thereby depositing poo particles on the food we are eating as I write this.

Oh. My. God.

I had a fly friend once, a long time ago. I named him Steve. Honest to god. I felt sorry for the little guy. He was hurt. He was landbound, making cute little buzzing noises, but only going around and around in circles on my desk, unable to fly. I could see the sense of utter futility in his face, and see it in the beat of his one working wing. So, I nursed him, hoping I could bring him back to flying health. I left him by my computer keyboard for the night, covered in a tiny little fly blankie and the next morning, he was a goner. I felt sorry for the little guy, wishing I could have saved him. That experience marked me for life. Until now.

Alas, I no longer have the Fly Saviour urge. Because now, now all I want to do is kill every single one of the buggers who dare to exist in my space, buzzing around my head like they own the world, banging into the windows, hanging off the blind cords, creating even more havoc in my already havocful life, such as it is.

Flies aren't the only things coming out of our garbage bag. Gryphon apparently got into the garbage Saturday night, because all day Sunday he proceeded to leave puke piles all over our living room carpet. Would you like to come to our house for dinner?

Mr. Handsome took me out for brunch Sunday morning, and as we waited for our meals to arrive, my cell phone starts vibrating, and unfortunately I didn't have it resting in my crotchal area, and it's Dee, who proceeds to tell me that, not only has Em left the house to go to the beach for the day with unknown people, but that the dog has left vomitous pools around the house, and Dee was freaking out all over the place because puke and Dee don't mix, and what should he do, oh my god.

We told him to lock the dog in the bathroom so he could puke to his heart's content, and then we started trying to track Em down, because god knows who she was with and where she was going and what kind of parents would we be if we didn't know who was getting her pregnant? So, using my Super Sleuthing Skills that I developed over many years as a newspaper reporter, I found her in a van on the highway on her way to a lake with her best friend. So, it was all cool. We then proceeded to continue with our brunch, relaxing as it was.

And then we came home to more flies, and a still puking dog who also knew he had been a very very bad dog, so he stood there shaking, with his tiny, clipped tail between his legs, as he watched Mr. Handsome clean up various piles of vomitous pukola in every room in the house, muttering swear words under his breath as he sprayed the pukies with special pet puke spray we had bought specifically for said Dog of Much Puke.

And that, my friends, adds up to a pretty damn successful weekend. Onward.


Oh, and Happy Canada Day, eh! to all my Canadian friends. It's Canada's official birthday, but to me, it's another day to sleep in, hang with Mr. Handsome and the kids, and drink copious amounts of mojitos while my children serve me my meals. What?

View my page on Moms Helping Moms