Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Long and Short of It

Today's post is chock full of sugar and spice and all things nice.

Not.

Except for, maybe, the part about Mr. Handsome having spent many long hours preparing a big and really important workshop he is holding at the same moment as you read this sentence, and about how wonderful it is that Mr. Handsome is all happy and joyful that his workshop planning has all come together quite well, and he's not even all that nervous about presenting. Because Mr. Handsome works very very hard, and is a perfectionist, and it sure is damn nice if once in a blue moon everything comes together solidly for him and works out all tickety boo like that.

That, and the fact that Mr. Handsome gave yours truly the go-ahead to buy a new dishwasher without any worries about what Mr. Handsome might want or think about said chosen dishwasher. Let me just tell you that this just does not happen.

Oh, and the fact that my interview on Monday went quite well, thank you to everyone who sent me good wishes and vibes and happy rainbow unicorn thoughts. I should know in a couple of weeks whether I am one of The Chosen Ones. I had three librarians face me across a wide table and ask me questions that, surprisingly, I answered without too much of a problem. And, the best part was, I didn't have to run out of the room in the middle of the interview and rush to the toilet to have a Number 7, if you know what I mean, because lo and behold! I am still suffering with the Intestinal Cramping and the Shats, which is now also turning into the Pukes.

And then! Then, I went to the plumbing store with my very dead bathroom faucet, because the plumber (who came to our home on Friday and spent over two hours dealing with our numerous pipe issues) told me to. He told me to tell the plumbing store guy that the faucet's guts (that's what he said, the guts) were dead, and would they be able to replace it, or perhaps replace the entire faucet since it's a Grohe and apparently that company is nice like that. So, I told the plumbing store guy exactly that, and this guy gets on the phone to a Grohe representative, and you know what guys?! They're replacing our faucet FOR FREE!! That's right! I didn't even have to provide a proof of purchase! And as I walked out of the store, I asked myself what is this world coming to, that all these strangely wonderful, pleasant things could actually be happening to ME!

But all that came crashing down to a quick, violent and fiery death when firstly, Em comes home with a gash on the back of her head, her hair all matted with blood, and tells me her friend's tooth went into Em's skull during gym class, and the teacher ignored Em as she stood there, bleeding and almost passing out in class! What.The.Hell? Em's okay, and the cut isn't all that huge, but she did bleed, and she had a bad headache, and --- I still can't get over the fact that the teacher ignored her. And, to put a funny twist on it, which I apparently tend to do, they were in the midst of learning first aid. Go figure.

And then, Dee came home from school, all pouty, which is actually more the norm than not these days, if truth be told. Lately, he's been complaining about a boy in his class who's been giving him a hard time. And I was all Oh no, not this again, because, as you will see here , here, and here, we went through this last year with another boy, and it was not fun. We even had to get the Po Po involved, and you know I don't do that unless it's absolutely necessary. So, now I have to call the school and meet with the principal and the teachers and get this all straightened out because if there's one thing I can't stand, it's having some little punk pick on my son. And, while we're on the subject, I'd just like to know why my son seems to be a target? Is this normal? I have no idea. All I know is I want to keep my son home from school until he can grow a beard.

I'm hoping today is a better day for everyone mentioned, except perhaps Mr. Handsome, because if his day were any better, he'd be pooping rainbows out his butt.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Active Poopsters, Job Interviews and Clinique Bonus Time Don't Mix

Quite a weird and wacky last few days, I must say. And what's weirder is actually starting a sentence with that. Maybe not.

I spent the weekend getting things together for my job interview this morning. Had to put together some references (now, that's a job in itself, actually finding people who would say nice things about me!), polish up my knowledge of all things library, and last, but not least, find my damn job interview clothes. And all this in the midst of what seems to be a stomach bug that's been creating some havoc with my insides (as if they need any help in that respect). It's tough being me.

I ended up in bed for most of Saturday with gut cramps that would down Rocky Balboa for the count and a headache that just would not leave me alone. Needless to say, I didn't get any job interview preparations done that day, or much of anything else, including speaking more than three words to my family, unless you count "Uhhhh," "Ohhhh," and "Meeeeeh", which you probably don't. I did, however, manage to take Dee to his hockey game that day, and I think I deserve a prize for that. Anyone? Especially since the day ended with me pooping my pants. And don't all go "ewwwww" and "GROSS!!", as if YOU'VE never done that before.

Of course, my thoughts then sped to the H1N1 virus that is scaring the poop out of everyone and their neighbour these days, and I began wondering if this was the beginning of it, and possibly the end of me, and only because I am thinking of NOT getting vaccinated, because that's sort of how my life rolls.

The weekend began on Friday, with my mother's birthday. She would have been 83. She passed away back in March of this year, so it was a strange day, and yet, not. You see, I had chosen many years ago to divorce myself from that relationship in an effort to save myself and my children. So, for the past 10 years or so, I really had nothing much to do with her, besides asking about her once in awhile to make sure things were okay with her, because I still cared about her despite all that. Nevertheless, the absence of her this year made the day a sadder one than usual, because in some strange way, I missed her. I guess it's the finality of it all, her death and the fact that I will never see her again, and will now never even have the possibility of having a relationship with her again, however superficial it may have been. I suppose that's why I've been having a harder than expected time dealing with her passing, not that I really knew what to expect when "that day" actually happened. It's just that, when you feel you've done all you can to make amends with someone, and you're doing what you have to do to survive (which, unfortunately, sometimes means severing yourself entirely from that person), you think that it's all in a day when that person finally dies. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's not necessarily so. Not even close.

I woke up relatively early on Sunday and spent a few minutes with Mr. Handsome before he sped off to work for the day. And then I monitored my health situation, because the Clinique sale is on now and I am so in need of 7-Day Facial Scrub and some Black Honey Almost Lipstick, so I had to decide whether I was in good enough shape to actually venture to the mall to pick up my scrub and lipstick, or whether I should just stay home near a functioning toilet. I decided to stay put.

And while we're on the subject, am I the only one who does this, or do others actually wait for the Clinique Bonus Time to stock up on their powders and such? Or am I the cheapest skate in the locker room? Either way, it's like Christmas when they hand over, not only your purchases, but a nicely packaged case chock full of gorgeous make-up and other doodads that make me drool.

And can I just say that I love the 7-day Facial Scrub? I got a sample the last time Clinique had their bonus time, and mislaid it somewhere in the house, or perhaps it was in Kingston, and boy, am I missing it. My face hasn't been the same.

So, that was my weekend, in a nutshell. Exciting? Yes. Very. As you can plainly see, I lead an extremely stressful life, which is probably why I can barely manage to put socks on every morning before stumbling down the stairs to push the kids out the door to school.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Celebrations

So, it's my blogoversary today! Yes, one year ago today, I was finally convinced by my best friend Slut to start a blog.

I'm still trying to figure out what to write...


Me celebrating. Notice the large cheeks, not unlike those of a very full chipmunk.



So, I thought, all in the name of celebrating, I would have the plumber over to do some repairs, because nothing says "happy" and "woo hoo!" as much as a working bathroom sink and dishwasher. It almost makes me giddy enough to do a striptease for Mr. Handsome just thinking about it. Almost, but not quite. I might, however, install a dance pole in our bedroom while he's at work.

Yes, my happiness is entirely dependent upon functioning pipes and running water. Such is my life.

In other celebratory news, we were told on Wednesday that Dee does not need more surgery in November. This is not cancer-related, but surgery is surgery, and Dee already went through this back in February, and he was not looking forward to having it again. Apparently, the first surgery didn't quite "take", as they say. Whatever. The surgeon said come back in a year for another look-see, or earlier if we need to.

And Dee said, "I'm a happy man today." Yes, a small, very young man, but a man just the same. So, we celebrated with pizza and Pepsi and a bag of chips. Oh, and I had a day-old croissant and some tea.

I am also celebrating the fact that Dee was asked by a girl to the Hallowe'en Dance! This might make me cry, it makes me so happy. Why, I don't know.

As Dee put it so nonchalantly as he told me, "Oh yeah, I forgot. I got asked to the Hallowe'en Dance at school. So, now there's another girl who likes me." However, he declined the invitation, explaining to me that, although this girl is "nice", she's not "cute". They start so young.

And we are also celebrating Em's amazing success so far in Grade 9. Mr. Handsome and I went to parent-teacher interviews yesterday, and all her teachers told us how wonderful she is, what a great student she is, and how she has one of the top marks in the class. Parents can't ask for more than that. We are so very proud of her.

Now she just has to learn to tone down her "chattiness", as the teachers all said in the most politically-correct way possible. In other words, "Shut up and listen!" I obviously would not last long as a teacher.

And lastly, may I just say that I have a job interview next week for a part-time job in a library, which would be just dandy, because not only would I be surrounded by books, I would also be surrounded by homeless people and perverts. I'd feel right at home.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weather Systems

You know it's fall when ...



... Dee is out raking leaves (because it's "fun", not because we asked him to, because remember? we don't care how our lawn looks) ...


... and he can't quite decide how to dress, because fall here in Ottawa is often a jumble of every type of weather system in the book, and then some.

Thank god I never put the winter coats away ... But, more importantly, thank god he's at least colour co-ordinated.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Farty Hazes Are Nothing To Sneeze At

This morning, I lay in the comfort of my Kingsdown king-sized bed, eyes closed, listening to the sounds of the morning. And then, suddenly, I was violently ripped out of my dreamlike state by Mr. Handsome shining a very bright flashlight on my face and shouting, "HEY YOU!"

For a moment, I thought I had somehow landed in jail and was being woken for my court date.

What. The. Hell?

I guess it was Mr. Handsome's loving way of letting me know I needed to get up and help with the crisis at hand. I don't know about you, but a nicer and gentler, "Hey sweetheart, I need you to get up," would have worked a helluva lot better in my mood department. Are all men like this, or did I just luck out?

Anyway, apparently Dee had lost his glasses AGAIN, and was all in a kerfuffle trying to find them, and Mr. Handsome had been helping him, but Mr. Handsome is not known for his patience, and he also had to get his butt out the door and to work, so that's a roundabout way of explaining why I was so rudely aroused this morning.

Dee said he placed his glasses on his IKEA shelf last night, and then watched as they slid downdowndown to NeverToBeSeenAgainLand, also known as Dee's Bedroom Floor.



Because, as you can see, his room would not be described as immaculate.

The crap you see in the above photo is actually everything that was found beside and beneath Dee's bed. Because that's how Dee cleans his room. He takes everything off his floor and surrounding areas, and stuffs it all under his bed, and in-between his bed and the IKEA bookcase. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Right.

So, after spending a good length of time searching for his glasses all for naught, Mr. Handsome found Dee's older pair and handed them to him so that he would at least be able to sort of see for the day. And then I drove him to school because he was already late, and Dee was all chipper and happy, singsonging the whole drive in (which is only about 3 minutes), all smiles, which is not unusual for Dee, but still, it was making me crazy because of the way I had been forced out of bed against my will, and that's after having to sleep in a cloud of Mr. Handsome's After Roast Beef Dinner Farty Haze.

Which, now that I think about it, is perhaps why Dee's glasses fell in the first place: Mr. Handsome's seemingly perpetual nighttime roasty gaseous emissions could have possibly infiltrated Dee's bedroom, which is just down the hall a tad, and forcefully knocked his glasses to the floor. Or, better yet, the stomach-turning farty stench may have caused Dee's glasses to disintegrate into nothingness, never to be seen again.

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beauty

I can no longer say with certainty that summer is my favourite season.



As I get older, I am starting to notice the beauty in all, regardless of how cold or rainy it is.


Because even raindrops are amazingly beautiful.




One of the last berries the birds have apparently missed in their usually fruitful ventures through our front bushes.

The Spirea is waning, and even that has its very own sort of beauty about it.




This smoke tree is almost Christmas-like in its appearance after a recent rainfall.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Screaming Banshees and Sick Pigs

One of my least favourite ways to wake up in the morning is to the sound of high-pitched, screeching tires, with a touch of wailing as if the person (or thing) is in extreme pain.

Unfortunately, I wake up to this noise more than only once in a while in this household. The cause of this noise, you ask? My children, of course! What else?

Em and Dee often get up on school days before I manage to fumble my way out from between my warm blankets and to the bathroom to put in my contact lenses so that I don't stumble down 20 stairs and break my nose. They don't really need me any longer to come down and make their breakfast, make sure they're dressed, etc. They're pretty much self-sufficient, but I still like to make an appearance to show them I care, to make sure they eat something and brush their teeth, and, on some days, to ensure that they don't kill each other.

Such was the situation on Wednesday when I awoke to the screeching banshee sound and knew that either someone on the street had just lost half their muffler and a transmission, or one of my children was about to die. So, while I jumped out of bed faster than you can say, "Holy s*&t! What the f#$k is going on?!" and rammed my lenses into my eyeballs so that I could save the day, Mr. Handsome rolled over and kept sleeping, although he claims he actually heard the cries, and ignored them. Not sure which is better -- sleeping through the noise, or hearing it, but pretending not to?

Anyway, no one died. Apparently, Dee had ripped Em's bread into little pieces, so Em slapped him upside the head, which caused Dee to begin the Banshee Scream of Death. I'm sure there's much more to the story than that, but I will probably never know. And do I want to know? That is the question, folks.

Both kids ran out of the house earlier than usual to get to their respective schools, which I didn't mind in the least, except that it was minus-1 out there (that's Celsius), and that means COLD, and Em had forgotten her winter jacket at school yesterday, so she was leaving the house in only a hoodie, and Dee thought it was "weird" that it was "so cold", even though he's lived in this climate for all 11 years of his young life.

I then stood there, in the quiet of our home, and tried to remember whose idea it was to have kids in the first place. Damn it. It was mine.

I then went to feed our animals, Gryphon the dog and the guinea pigs, which is supposed to be the kids' job, but since they had both left and didn't have what I would call a "good start" to the morning, I decided to just do it. And I'm glad I did, because I noticed that our older guinea pig (one of our "originals"), Furry, was totally ignoring the fresh green pepper that I put down in their cage, which is very odd, because if you don't know guinea pigs, they are just that: pigs with a capital 'P'. They eat all the time. And they love their fresh veggies, which we give them twice a day. Furry rarely ignores the vegetables we put in front of her. So, I watched, and after she sniffed the bowl, she turned around and faced the wall. And then I got all worried because we lost a guinea pig almost a year ago, and that's sort of how she started to go downhill, and I know it sounds all weird and crazy, but you really do get attached to these little rodents, and although I know all about the life cycle and all that, but it's still really hard to deal with.

And Furry is my favourite guinea pig. She always has been. She just has this personality that makes her more like a tiny little dog than a guinea pig. She can play with you, and she actually notices you when you come up to her, and she gives you little kisses. I love that little pig.

So, I took her out of the cage that she shares with her new buddy, Mo, and sat with her on the couch, trying to figure out whether she was actually sick, or just not wanting green pepper at this moment. I didn't have a good feeling about things as I watched her just sit there, not moving, just snuggling deeper into the crook of my arm. And then my stomach did the weird dip it does when I get scared, and I felt like I was going to puke. Story of my life.

Mr. Handsome eventually came downstairs, and I asked him to bring me some lettuce to see if she'd eat something else. I'm happy to report that yes, she ate the lettuce, and then a cherry tomato. But she still wasn't quite her jolly old self.

So, now I'm on Guinea Pig Watch, because guinea pigs (like all animals) hide the fact that they might not be feeling well, and guinea pigs can get very sick very quickly. I'm not sure what we'll do if she is indeed not well, because she is almost six years old, which is old in guinea pig years, but I don't want to think about it.

Now do you see why I'm not working?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank-Full

I am happy to announce that our Thanksgiving was a success. Yes, including the entirely homemade apple pie that Em and I made FROM SCRATCH, crust and all.

I KNOW!

I'm still reeling from the thought of it.


My hands working hard at making the apple pie crust. Notice the flour that happened to end up everywhere, including halfway up my arms and on my sleeves. Despite our inexperience, the crust turned out perfectly.


No pastry cutter tool needed for these experts.


Look at that pile of apples. That's what I'm talkin' about!


Mr. Handsome's and Dee's extraordinary pumpkin pie. To.Die.For. Excuse me while I run to the fridge for some leftovers. Be right back.

The long weekend went by way too fast, as it always seems to. Today, Mr. Handsome is back at work, the kids at school, and me? I'm still here, fumbling along, looking for work, trying to figure things out. Feeling rather out of sorts, withdrawn from life, forcing myself to take nibbles of whatever is put in front of me, despite wanting to stay in bed and keep my eyes closed.

But enough about that. Thanksgiving. Amazing. Despite my depression and lack of energy.

We had Mr. Handsome's momma over, and my brother Adonis and his lovely wife Wood Nymph. We had a roast turkey (which was roasted to absolute, delectable perfection), mashed potatoes, turnip, Brussels sprouts, stuffing (OH MY GOD the stuffing), carrots, onions, and homemade cranberry sauce (to DIE for). Almost everyone had secondsies. Some even had thirdsies, I think, although they tried to hide the fact. But I see all. Yeah, I'm talking to YOU.

And then came the desserts. Yes, plural. Momma brought a marshmallow cherry cream conconction that was quite tasty, while Mr. Handsome and Dee made a pumpkin pie that was really very good, with just the right amount of spice and pumpkin. Pumpkin pie's got to be my all-time favourite pie in the world. Put me on an island with an endless supply of pumpkin pie, and I'll be just fine, thanks. And Em and I made an apple pie, which Mr. Handsome admitted to being "the best apple pie" he's ever had. WHAAAAT?!

Yes, that's right, folks. He actually said that. Well, first he said he'd "never had an apple pie like that before", to which I asked for clarification, because really? That could mean anything, as in, "This pie really really sucks, but I can't tell you that, so I'll say it in a really round-about way so that you don't get angry with me and withhold sex from me for yet another season."

But guys, he really meant that he loved it! Which just melted my heart in every direction because I rarely hear that coming out of anyone's mouth, let alone Mr. Handsome's.

I know I promised everyone pictures of the making of the now-famous apple pie, but in the midst of all the excitement and stuff, we kind of forgot to take photos of the process. But I did take a shot or two of the final product. Voila!

The finished product, replete with egg-brushed pastry, topped with sugar crystals.


Another view, demonstrating the mountainous pile of apples See? I wasn't kidding.


Isn't it wonderful? Delectable? Can you taste it? I can, because we still have some tucked away in the fridge, just waiting for me.

Let me just say that this pie was about three feet tall, filled to the brim and then some with almost four pounds of apples. Holy god.

After our delicious dinner, we sat around the living room, unable to move for the first hour. Everyone was groaning while their stomachs stretched to their limits, while Gryphon snuck around under the dining table looking for dropped pieces of turkey and stuffing. My brother Adonis lay prostrate on the floor next to the fireplace, and I was pretty sure I would go to bed and get up Monday morning and still find him there, but he managed to move eventually and make his way to the couch.

Dee then pulled out a Wii game, and that was the end of any rest for anyone. He even got Adonis and Wood Nymph to play some Mario Kart, and I'm pretty sure it was waaay more fun to watch those two try driving their cars than to actually be playing myself. You see, Adonis and Wood Nymph don't have children or a Wii, so when they come over to our house, they are inundated with things like the Wii, and puzzles, and basketball and hockey, because Dee misses them and wants to make them more a part of his world. But Adonis and Wood Nymph go into a sort of shock because they are suddenly pulled into our world of activity, which is probably a health risk to say the very least. It's like jumping into Lake Ontario in January, which is to say it's a HUGE shock to the system, makes your blood stop in your veins and your brain go to mush.

But I'm happy to say both Adonis and Wood Nymph passed the test with flying colours yet again, taking full control of their Wii steering wheels, and managing to at least finish the Mario Kart races (most of the time anyway), with smiles on their faces.

And all the while, Mr. Handsome's Momma laughed and laughed at Adonis' self-deprecating comments, and watched with glee as her family sat before her, happy and warm.

I think we all ended that day very thankful for what we have. And even though I complain a lot, I really do realize what I have, and that I am extremely fortunate for it all. Because I could have none of it. I have a wonderful husband who would do anything for me and loves me with all his heart. I have two amazing children who bring me loads and loads of happiness and joy just by being. I have a home, food, clothing, and all the hair products anyone could ever need. I have an extended family who continues to wrap me in love. I have the best friends in the world, people who will stand by me through thick and thin, who love me unconditionally and would do anything for me, and me for them. And I live in a country where safety and freedom are paramount, where I can do whatever I please, whenever I want, and know that I can trust pretty much anyone I meet.

So, despite my blathering on and on here about how awful my life is, and how much my kids bother me, and how I wish life was this way instead of that way, and how I wish I was anywhere but here, I am very thankful for all that I have, and I know in my heart and soul that I would not trade my life for anything else in this world. Mine is a life worth living, worth having, and worth loving. I just find it really hard to remember sometimes.

Thankful for everything, including my son, who decided to dress up in a sheep's costume for Thanksgiving. Yup. Thankful even for that. And if this photo seems blurry to you, it's time to lay off the mojitos.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gobble Gobble!

We're gearing up for Thanksgiving here in the cold North, which is also called Canada, eh. Our Thanksgiving happens in October, unlike the Thanksgiving in the States, which happens right before Christmas, which doesn't make much sense, if you ask me (which you didn't, I realize), because then it means you overdose on turkey and the tryptophan, and end up splayed on momma's couch for a month, tongue lolling, drool pooling around your armpit.

Nice image.

We're celebrating this Thanksgiving on Sunday, although it actually occurs on Monday, because having it on Sunday gives us Monday to recuperate from -- you guessed it -- the turkey dinner.

We're going to have a big turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, roast carrots, roast onions, and probably some brussels sprouts, parsnip or rutabaga (although everyone around here erroneously calls it turnip, which really confused me for years and years until I grew a brain), and homemade dessert.

Yes, folks, that's right. Em and I are going to try our hands at a homemade apple pie. I've only made pumpkin pie, and I try very hard to forget it, it was that good. My memories of really good apple pie stem from our neighbour down the street where I grew up. She made these amazing pies, homemade crust and all, and she'd bring one over once in a while as a neighbourly gesture. So, I'm going to try and replicate her pie this Thanksgiving. I'll give you an update next week, photos and all. Talk about exciting, eh?! I know!

We've invited Mr. Handsome's mom over, as well as my brother Adonis and his wife Wood Nymph. So, they'll come over, play with the kids, talk to each other about things like the educational system and the many uses for floss, and then eat, and eat, and then lie about on our couches and our carpet, and talk some more. Of course, Adonis will be half asleep, because apparently he's extremely sensitive to the tryptophan in the turkey, which he doesn't really know for realsies because HE DOESN'T ACTUALLY GO TO THE DOCTOR AND GET CHECKED OUT. Oh no, Adonis just knows. And Wood Nymph will shake her head and sigh heavily and say, "Oh Adonis, what is WRONG with you?" And Adonis will say, "It's the tryptophan in the turkey. I'm very sensitive to it."

And then they'll go to their respective homes, and Mr. Handsome and I will shoo the children off to bed, and we'll eat the remainder of the apple pie, which will be even more delicious than the neighbour's, because it just will be. I know, it's almost too much to bear, the amount of fun and games we have on holidays. Just be glad you're there, because if you were here, you'd probably be trying to get a last-minute ticket to ANYWHERE. Just kidding.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

And for all my vegetarian friends, the turkey isn't really meat.



See? No harm done. Don't get all huffy with me now. Yeah, I mean YOU, Slut (she likes it when I call her that).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Day of Firm Buttocks and Fall Colours

Mr. Handsome's been working his tail off lately, which I now understand is why his buttocks are so firm.

Anyfirmandtinybuttocks, he decided to take a day off yesterday, which was nice because it meant actually seeing him for a change instead of swearing under my breath as I can only think of him while I pack Dee off for yet another hockey game. Yeah, being Canadian is JUST SO WONDERFUL.

Because, if you haven't noticed yet, I am now in charge of everything under the sun that has anything at all to do with our household and family because I am not currently working full-time, which apparently also means that I have all the time, energy and inclination in the world to take Dee to a bazillion gagillion hockey practices a week, take Em to her waterpolo games, take them to all their various and sundry doctor appointments, and why am I complaining because really? It could be much worse. So, I'll just shut up now and show you lots of pretty pictures of the lovely walk Mr. Handsome and I took yesterday in the Gatineau Hills and through the Mackenzie King Estate.




This is part of what are called The Ruins at the Mackenzie King Estate, which is where Canada's 10th prime minister made his home during his summers.


Mackenzie King apparently brought together odds and ends from homes in the area to create this area of ruins, in an effort to retain a part of history.

If I remember correctly, he had intended on turning the ruins into a sort of historical building, but it never happened. The ruins remain as he left them, and they're beautiful just the way they are.


This is the actual stone fireplace from an Ottawa home that Mackenzie King placed here.


Mr. Handsome and I wandered about the grounds as well, taking in the beautiful fall colours. This old stump was just sitting there, beckoning me.



Red.

Fall in the Ottawa area. It's still not as colourful as it will be in another week or two. Talk about beauty. I have much to be thankful for.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Right In Front Of My Rather Large Proboscis

Trying to find work is a job in itself.

I know, I know. I didn't come up with that saying. It's not in the least bit original, unique, or "smart". What it is, however, is very appropriate for my present condition -- that is, in the process of trying to find a job.

I went for yet another test on the weekend, this one for a part-time job with the city as a library page. What's that, you're asking? Well, heck, I'll tell you! Another word for 'library page' is 'gopher'. Which is to say, someone who does anything and everything she is asked to do for nominal payment. Yeah, that would be me.

Anyway, it's a job, right? And that's what I need. So to the test I went, with photo ID and pens in hand. I had no idea what to expect, only knowing the test was an hour long, was being held in an arena, and that I wasn't psyched.

After showing the big bossy people my identification and finding a spot at one of the long tables, I watched as person after person filed in and found a seat. There must have been close to a hundred people in all. And they all looked like me: dishevelled, would rather be anywhere else on a Saturday, and desperate for work. Not a good combination.

They gave us 45 minutes to do the test, but I was out of there in ten. Yes, the questions were that easy. Or else, I only hope they were that easy, and that I didn't make some huge mistake, and actually ended up doing everything wrong, which wouldn't be all that out of the ordinary for little old me. I should find out soon, I'm guessing.

Later on that day, I was telling Mr. Handsome about the test, and I mentioned that one of the multiple-choice questions was "How many branches of the public library are there?" And I made a stab at it because, although I had some idea, I really didn't know. And honestly, who does, unless you actually work in the library system already, or you're "one of those".

And then I told Mr. Handsome that they had also included an information sheet that they wanted all us hopefuls to fill out, stating which branches of the library we would be willing to work at, to a maximum of eight choices.

Mr. Handsome listens as I speak, but I notice he starts looking at me like I'm talking in Esperanto, or like an ear is growing out of my forehead. So, I finally ask him what's up, and he says, "So, this information sheet, did they give this to you BEFORE or AFTER the test?"

To which I reply, "During, because it was part of our package that they gave us when we sat down. Why?"

And Mr. Handsome said, "Because, ummm, all the library branches were written out for you. So, you counted them, right?"

And I'm like, "What?"

And he's like, "Right?"

And I'm like, "I don't understand."

And then, after another moment of intense concentration, I figured out what he was saying, and then I started to laugh and laugh, because really, I know I'm sometimes not the sharpest tool in the shed, but this? This is over and beyond any stupidity I could possibly even imagine. And I MISSED IT!! I didn't even realize they were giving away at least one of their answers right there in front of me!

Yeah, that's how smart I am.

P.S. By the way, I actually answered the "number of branches" question correctly, despite unknowingly having the answer right in front of me the whole time. That's right. I'm damn proud of myself. My children can only hope to be as smart as me when they're as decrepit as I am.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gimme A Plate of Those

Let me just start out by saying I love my husband very much.

There, got that out of the way. Now on to the important stuff: Nacho Figueras.

No, it's not an appetizer. Wait a minute! Yes, it is! Here, let me show you.


OH


MY


GOD.

Oh.My.God. Save me from myself. Excuse me while I pull my tongue back into my mouth and wipe the drool off my chest.

Order me a large plateful of that, please.

I saw this guy on Oprah the other day, and I have to say he has got to be one of the most handsome men alive in this century. Nay, this millenium. Just look at him, will you? I know even straight men will probably have a hard time not getting a bonk on when they take a look at this fine specimen of mankind.

Not only is he amazingly handsome, but Nacho is also a polo player. That's right. I said, a polo player, as in, he rides a horse and deftly hits balls with a mallet, all the while looking stunning as the sweat drips off his forehead, his hair curls "just so" around his ears, and ...


Help me.


Please help me.

Yeah.

Oh, and he's also a model for -- anyone? anyone? -- Polo Ralph Lauren, of course! What a coincidence, eh?

The only unfortunate thing about Nacho is just that: his name. What the HELL?! Who in their right mind would call their child NACHO?! Someone, please enlighten me. Because that, that is not sexy.

Can you imagine, calling him to bed for a little one-on-one polo match? Yeah, me neither. It just wouldn't work. The whole atmosphere would, no doubt, be ruined.

Out of curiosity, I looked his name up, because I just couldn't believe someone would actually name their child after an appetizer. And, lo and behold, his name is simply a diminutive for Ignacio, which GOD HELP ME is NO BETTER than Nacho itself! So, I'm back to Square One, which is no place to be when you're looking at a man who rides a horse and makes millions of dollars a year, and looks like that no matter what he's doing. I mean, he could be sitting on the toilet, grunting loudly, and I'd still probably want to jump him.

So, I've decided, in the interest of keeping me focused, I am changing his name. Sort of like Prince, who for a long time was known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Except for my Nacho, I think I'll go with something romantic, something sturdy and strong, something non-edible.

Rock. Nah. Too boring. How about Stone? Meh. Same same. Maybe Lance would work? Or perhaps Wolf? Or Stirling ... Nah, I know what.

Hawk. Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket. Hawk's a good, strong, manly name. Says it all for me. Hawks also have a very WIDE wingspan, and we all know what THAT means...

Hawk Figueras, you will be mine.

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