Thursday, 30 December 2010

21st Century Revival


You may recall that Hubby and I were recently dismayed by the fact that we've lost the television remote.  Not that we don't have three other remotes, but that this one is required in order to ensure that whatever we're watching is stretched to the right screen size - wide or square, short or long, zoomed in or out.

And holy shit - he found it.  "I just had an effing revelation" he claimed.   

The whole recovery started when last night I asked him to go online and find out how much a new one would cost.  40 friggin bucks, apparently.   

"I'm telling you - it's in that couch" he said. 

"No, I checked the couch a hundred times, inside and out, under and behind cushions, behind the lining.  It' not in the couch"  I replied.

"I'm telling you, it has to be."

"No way.  You definitely picked it up with your phone or something and put it down somewhere else in the house.  You just did that last week!"

I had him there.  Last weekend he came upstairs and brought his phone, its charger, and the basement tv remote with him into the kitchen. 

But he wouldn't let it go.  This morning he repeated his hunch:  "It's in that damn couch."

"Nope."

Well, he proceeded to pull out the couch from the wall and dive in behind it.  I ignored him.  He dug around back there for a while and then his head popped up from between the wall and the sofa.

"Oh my god, com'ere!"  he said. 

"No way.  You're kidding."

When I refused to get up from my comfy chair, he explained how he "just knew it" - he just "had a feeling".  He explained how when you reach behind the pillows into the lining, you think you've gone as far as you can, but there is apparently a lining behind the lining - and Hubby was apparently smart enough to know that. 

He jumped up from behind the couch, arm out-stretched in the air, remote in hand. 

Ahh, sweet redemption. 

The obligatory victory dance and crazy laughter followed, and he is, as we speak, singing up a storm in the shower. 

Ok, so, Hubby: 1; Wifey: 3,226,517. 

_

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

What's the 411?

I heard some interesting news stories recently, and as part of my goal to inform and enlighten, I’ve summarized them here (with some editorial comments, of course) for your reading pleasure.

The British government officially recognized the iconic Abbey Road crosswalk as a national treasure. 

Finally, a government makes a good decision.  After years of tourists taking their shoes off and arguing over who gets to be Lennon, this new designation means that the crossing can only be altered with the approval of local authorities, who must consider the historic significance.  I just hope the “local authorities” are put through a rigorous screening process.  We wouldn’t want just anyone making these decisions.  How can we trust them to “consider the historic significance” with the appropriate vigor?  This isn’t some stupid old church or castle – this is the Abbey Road Crossing, for godsake.

Apparently, ballerinas should cut back on the sugar plums.

That’s nice, eh?  A New York Times reviewer “critiqued” the Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy ballerina for her weight.  The ballerina, as many others, has struggled with eating disorders, and some smartass pompous asshole critic said she "looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many."  What a joke.  In fact, I think the friggin Sugar. Plum. Fairy. should actually be chubby – it would be more realistic.  And if he wants to critique the show, fine, but critiquing the show and passing personal judgments on the performers are different things.  Who does this guy think he is?  Well, I Googled him, and it turns out that he does seem pretty effing stuck up.

Avatar was the most pirated film of 2010.

That’s hilarious.  Not only does Avatar make the most money in theatres, but it encourages a proportional amount of on-line theft.  The 3D film, which James Cameron devoted 10 years to making (loser) was apparently downloaded 16.6 million times.  Cameron hoped that 3D filmmaking would combat piracy by persuading more people to see the film in theatres, but Avatar was downloaded 33% more than last year's most pirated film (Star Trek).  Well, that’s what you get Mr. Hot Shot.  I haven’t seen it, and I don’t intend to.  Much like Lord of the Rings, I am stubbornly resistant to all the hype.

George W's memoir has sold more than 2 million copies.

Who is buying this shit?  “Decision Points” was released in November and surpassed the two million sales mark shortly afterward.  Bush was paid $7 million to write about 9/11, his Afghanistan and Iraq war decisions, and his response to Hurricane Katrina – as well as his resolve to stop drinking.  Sarah Palin's 2009 memoir, “Going Rogue”, sold 2.2 million copies.  I can only hope that people read this stuff for a laugh – or perhaps out of pure fascination – because if they are reading it to get insight into these two idiot’s minds, they’d better look elsewhere.  I bet their day-to-day interviews and speeches are far more revealing.

_

Monday, 27 December 2010

Gimme gimme

Charitable and loving spirit... blah blah blah.  Gimme some presents!

We all know we don't need a bunch of new stuff every year.  But that doesn't mean we don't like to get it. 

All of my gifts this year were wonderful.  Ma-in-law made me a gorgeous knitted scarf.  And not a fuzzy old lady scarf either - a silky jewel blue scarf that took her at least 30 hours to make.  Hubby actually spent day upon day making Pops-in-law a Cribbage board too, so I guess Pops and I have to make each other something next year to balance it out.  Maybe I'll make him some hooch. 

We got some other great gifts too, of course - almost everything on our lists.  Beautiful jewelery, home decor, towels and sheets, makeup and bath products, gift cards, squash balls and sauce, just to name a few (those last two are Hubby's of course).

We also bought ourselves a laptop - which we LOVE.  And with his own holiday winnings, Hubby bought himself an Ipod touch.  He is, as we speak, laughing gleefully as he video-chats with his buddies in Hometown.  

Even Patches and Tuxedo are in the gift-receiving spirit. 

Tuxedo just loves checking out the gifts under the tree

And Patch can't decide which she prefers...

her current food bowl...

or the auto feeder that her fairy godmother got her.


As for me, although I received several amazing gifts, I think I've identified my favourite.  


This is my parka cape - ie, my new better-than-a-snuggie snuggie. 

It has a zipper to allow for the conversion from head-hole to blanket, and pockets to keep my hands warm (or, in my case, to hold my remotes).  The only problem is that when I walk up the stairs, it trips me, and when I sit down, it pulls backwards and chokes me. 

Hubby says one day he'll come home to find me strangled by my own parka cape.  That would be a shame, I guess, but nevertheless worth the risk.

_

When it's all said and done

I woke up at 6 am yesterday with a combination of the excitement and nervousness akin to that of Christmas Day as a child, and my wedding day last year (though to a lesser extent, of course).  I was really looking forward to this, and, in the end, it was friggin fun. 

A few things I learned: 

First, when it's your kitchen, you're in charge.  Sweeeeet.  If you ever want to give your family orders, your kitchen on the day you're preparing a giant meal for them is the day to do it.  They're really quite helpful and they generally have to listen to what you say. 

Second, if you are willing to rely on people to do what they do better than you, you will get credit for it.  Without my chef uncle to help me make Cornish game hens, who knows what we'd have eaten.  And if I had not relied on my guest greeters, and game players, and pastry rollers, and gift distributers, and ribbon rollers, and drink pourers, and vegy choppers, and food platers, and desert servers, and dish washers, "my" dinner would have been - and my house would still be - a disaster.  This is not a task you can accomplish all by yourself.  But you do get to pretend that you did. 

Third, no matter what all you scrooges say (haha), two trees are totally worth it.  One tree for us to enjoy upstairs, and one tree for 20 people to open gifts under downstairs.  And, maybe a third tree next year (just to piss off Hubby, who is really looking forward to dragging them out of the house this week).   

And finally, I learned that it isn't really about all that shit anyway. When it's all said and done, Christmas is never about the hell we put ourselves through.  It's about being charitable, and expressing love, and ultimately, getting presents - or wait no - maybe it's just the first two. 

_

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Let the festivities begin!

Well, the day is officially here.  Boxing Day!  The day we've all been waiting for.  The day where 16 family members will be joining Hubby and I for a holiday dinner, the likes of which I have never prepared before.  

Not to say Christmas Eve and Day were not also great, but today is Main Event.   

Christmas Eve was spent on last minute errands, a suchi dinner, and opening our gifts (including THIS brand new laptop!).  We missed our families, but it was nice to not be rushed on Christmas Eve, and to sleep in our own bed. 

But Christmas Day was a different story - of course it was spent preparing for the Main Event. 

We moved furniture, wrapped gifts, set tables, vacuumed floors, prepared food, and peeled endless stickers off of endless bowls, plates, cups, and other serving dishes.

And you should see the refrigerator.  I'm sure I've never seen so much cold food in my life.  

We had one setback though.  

We went to the neighbours' in the afternoon to spread some holiday cheer, and they offered us a drink.  Bad idea, given that I've been too occupied/stressed to sleep or eat.  Two glasses of white on the emptiest stomach of all time is NOT the best decision I've ever made.  Awesome.    

Well, I'm not sure if you've ever had an afternoon hangover, but it isn't pleasant.  After I slept it off for a bit, I battled the headache and rose above it, only to stay up until midnight getting everything just right.  

So far it looks good.  And I have a minor sense of the childhood Christmas-morning glee. 

More to come...

_

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Fa la la la la, la la, la la

Ok.  I am officially in the spirit. 

Deck the Halls with bows of holly!   Yes, we have 2.5 Christmas trees – a little fake one in the front window, and two big real ones for the tv room and basement.  And yes, I certainly did have to buy more decorations for this heightened level of festivity.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

‘Tis the season to be jolly!   I’ve shopped and shopped every night for weeks, and baked and baked all day last Sunday, and I’ve enjoyed nearly every minute of it.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Don we now our gay apparel!   And I’ve been wearing my Santa hat and blinking reindeer nose at work almost every day, too.  Fa la la, la la la, la, la, la!

Troll the ancient Yule tide carol!   I’ve watched almost every Christmas movie ever made… National Lampoon’s Wonderful Life, Home Alone Elf, and Bad Santa Miracle … and I love them all!  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

See the blazing Yule before us!   We just bought MORE fire wood and Hubby is wheel-barrelling it from the giant pile on our driveway through the snow to the back shed as we speak.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Strike the harp and join the chorus!   And I’ve been looking up lyrics and guitar tabs to prepare for the family sing along that I intend on forcing our guests to take part in.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Follow me in merry measure!   Hubby and I even drove around looking at Christmas lights the other night, and actually, I’ve just heard of one more particularly crazy street that we will have to check out in the coming days.  Fa la la, la la la, la, la, la!

While I tell of Yule tide treasure!   And you'd better bet that I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that I was bitten by a rabid Christmas elf and therefore have gone Christmas crazy with yuletide cheer - crazy enough to invite 20 people to my house for Boxing Day dinner… AND that I can’t. friggin. wait.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Fast away the old year passes!   And I’ve been making my list, and checking it twice, thrice, and four times, to make sure we have everything we “need” in time for the big day (including a green table runner, spreading knives, and two sets of salt and pepper shakers).  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Hail the new, ye lads and lasses!   And I expect to get everyone drunk enough that they’ll be more willing to play my games and eat my food.  Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Sing we joyous, all together!   And Hubby was merry enough this morning to sing Christmas carols in the shower. (Only, they weren’t real Christmas carols – they were Hubby’s Christmas carols, with random lyrics and rude rhymes – but I enjoyed it nonetheless.)  Fa la la, la la la, la, la, la!

Heedless of the wind and weather…   Well, despite my seemingly endless Christmas spirit, I continue to curse the winter every damn morning when I leave the house.  Fa laaa laaa laaa laa, laa laa… laaaaa… laaaaaaaaa…..

If you're feeling Christmassy like me, check this out
__

Monday, 13 December 2010

Four day weekend - friend or foe?

I think I feel more tired after four days off than I did before.  

Ok, maybe not.  

But it's close.  

Given that I was brilliant enough to invite 20 some-odd people for Boxing Day dinner (and that 19 were crazy enough to accept), I have a lot to do.  Not to mention all the other holiday related garbage - um, I mean, planning - we have to do in December.  

So I took Friday and Monday off to make a dent in my ever-growing to-do list.  And I was fairly successful.  That's a pro.  But I've also completely worn myself out.  That's a con.  


Day One
  • Woke up at 5:30 when Hubby went to work, and failed to fall back to sleep - con
  • Watched The Young and the Restless for the first time in months - pro
  • Got groceries and other so-called "necessities" at Walmart - con
  • Cleaned the house - con, mostly
  • Argued with Hubby about changing the sheets - con
  • Changed the sheets by myself - bigass con
Day Two
  • Scrapbooked (which is, by the way, a pretty nice gift, considering the time it takes to get it right ) - pro
  • Did laundry - con
  • Invited the neighbours for dinner - pro
  • Cleaned the house better - con
  • Got better groceries - con
  • Ate dinner, drank wine, played games - huge pro
  • Went in the neighbour's hot tub (against my better judgment) - minor pro
  • Took advil - pro, I guess
  • Drank water - pro... yeah, pro
  • Fell "asleep" - big pro
Day Three
  • Slept in (kinda) - pro 
  • Ate Kraft Dinner for Breakfast - delicious pro 
  • Played Wii with Hubby - pro
  • Until we had to work as a team, and it was all downhill from there - con
  • Scrapbooked and watched "The Santa Clause" - pro, and pro
Day Four
  • Woke up at 5:30 when Hubby went to work, but managed to fall back to sleep - pro
  • Went to the dentist for a "check up" (ie, an xray and a dentist poking each of my teeth once with a sharp stick) - con
  • Went shopping... for two hours - um, pro
  • Ate A&W for lunch - disgusting con 
  • Continued shopping... for two more hours - dwindling pro
  • Went to the bank (to beg them not to drop me as a client after seeing how much money I spent today) - con
  • Went to the post office (to pay more money for mailing gifts and cards) - con  
  • Scrapbooked again - pro
  • Took a hot bath - PRO
  • Bloggy bloggy bloggy - pro pro pro

Et voila.  Here we are.  And overall, it was a fun and productive four-day weekend.

Don't worry.  I promise to be more festive in the coming days.  

__

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Is having a car really worth this?

Hubby’s mom recently pointed out – and I wholeheartedly agree – that vehicles are nothing but an utter and complete nuisance.  SUCH a pain in the ass.

Allow me to demonstrate. 

For more than a year, to change from floor heater to window defroster on Hubby’s truck, he has been required to manually click the switch located beneath the dashboard, by his feet. 

Troublesome.

On top of that, for a few weeks, Hubby has been driving around without signals or reverse lights.  He can simulate signals with a complicated brake-pumping, signal-flicking method, but I think we can all agree that's not a feasible long-term solution. 

Troublesome and frustrating.   

And kinda dangerous, actually. 

And so, a few weeks ago, I drove Hubby around the neighbourhood to find a mechanic to fix the lights.  The dirty guy had no idea what the problem was, and ended up avoiding Hubby’s call. 

Ok... let’s try someone else. 

So Monday morning we drove our two vehicles to my regular mechanic to fix the truck lights and heater.  Hubby drove me to work in my car, after which we planned to switch-er-oo the vehicles to get my oil and tires changed. 

Well, in the end, they had no idea how to fix the truck heater, and never even got to my car, BUT, apparently fixed the truck lights – for $300.

So Tuesday we both drove again – this time to Canadian Tire – to fix the truck heater (and to hopefully pull the previously planned switch-er-oo to get my oil and tires changed). 

Well, on the way to Crappy Tire, the truck taillight fuse blew again. 

So… not fixed, then.  Fine.   

And, to top it off, the idiots at Crappy Tire couldn’t fix the heater either.  Apparently, a $500 part is needed.  And when Hubby didn’t want to pay for a problem that wasn’t solved, he had to argue with the Canadian Tire “Service Manager” to get some of his money back. 

Dirty. 

And of course, they never got to my oil and tires. 

So, this morning, my car was the priority.  Again, we followed each other to my mechanic.  Hubby drove me to work in his truck, after which he planned to go argue with my mechanic about the $300 for his un-fixed lights.

Well, there’s not much the mechanic can do about the $300, he says, and they’re still troubleshooting the damn light problem. 

And we can’t really afford to fix the heater right now.    

And although my car’s oil and tires are taken care of, my muffler is apparently hanging by a thread.

Goddam it, you have to be kidding me. 

 

Thursday, 2 December 2010

When life gives you lemons...

Hubby called me at work this morning with some apparently traumatic news.

“I forgot to tell you!” he exclaimed.  “A bus hit my truck yesterday!”

Huh. I gotta say – I’m not surprised.

Apparently Hubby was at a red light waiting to turn left, when a city bus tried to squeeze by him in the right turning lane.  And all of a sudden, his truck jolted.

It took him only a few seconds to realize what had happened, and even fewer to get damned pissed about it.

“So I kinda chased after him for a bit.”

Ok, a little more surprising.

Hubby in his pickup truck, pulling out of the left turning lane and turning right, weaving around traffic, blaring on his horn, racing behind the city bus.

What did he intend on doing about it?

“I don’t know!  I didn’t know what to doooo!  Maybe I’d get out of the truck and talk to the driver at the next stop, or something.”

Yeah.  Good idea.

“So then I thought ‘this isn’t gonna work’”

No, I should think not.

And when he finally pulled over to check the damage, and saw that no real damage had been inflicted, he was really at a loss for what to do next.

“So it was number 644.  I remembered so you could tell them.”

Sorry, so I could tell them?  Tell who what?

It seems that Hubby thinks the City should at least know that a stupid bus driver hit his precious truck.  And that I should be the one to enlighten them.

“I just think it’s unfair.”

Well sure, it's unfair.  But that’s the whole reality of city buses and everything about them.  Unfair.

It’s unfair that they splash people when they drive by, and that they’re never on time, and that I can get a ticket for 'parking and riding'.

And it's certainly unfair that they can hit your vehicle and totally get away with it.

But we all know what they say about fair.  That’s the kicker.  When something is totally unfair, there there is usually absolutely nothing you can do, except grit and bear it.

Or chase them.  Yes, I suppose you can always chase them. 

So when life gives you lemons - chase them.  And when the going gets tough - chase them.  And when a bus hits your pickup truck, whatever it takes and no matter how futile, for god's sake - friggin chase them.

__

Monday, 29 November 2010

21st Century Breakdown

There are some things about our 21st century North American culture that are downright pathetic.

For example:

We never walk anywhere.  Hubby won’t even walk 30 steps to the mailbox on the street corner if he can avoid it.

We rely on Google and Wikipedia for facts and realities – or at least to settle our bets.  And our “social networks” are actually electronically inter-webbed sites where we make “friends” with people we hate.

We have a new holiday shopping day (aside from Black Friday in the States, and Boxing Day in Canada) called “Cyber Monday”, whereby all the Black Friday deals are available for online shoppers the Monday after.  It’s like the ultimate hangover of the frivolous spending that precedes Consumer-mas.

But there is one aspect of stagnant, Googling, material culture that is particularly dismal.

The remote control. 

The clicker. 

The lifeblood of the living room. 

We are slaves to it.  It rules our lives. 

How often have you left some stupid show on because you can't find it?  How often have you gotten all cuddled up on the couch and then cursed yourself because you forgot to put it within arm’s reach?  And how often have you torn your house apart hunting for it?

Too many times. 

And yet, sadly, Hubby and I have friggin misplaced it.  Awesome. 

Although we do have three other remotes (one for the speakers, one for the Rogers cable box, and one for the DVD player and Personal Video Recorder), these are not suitable for the TV itself.

No, I’m not kidding.

The Rogers remote is supposed to do everything we need, but because our PVR isn’t a Rogers PVR, it isn’t compatible.  And because Hubby insists on surround sound speakers, the Rogers remote doesn’t cover those either.  And, while the Rogers remote does allow us to change cable channels, it does not allow us to change the picture size on our wide screen TV.

So, depending on the show we’re watching (or its HD status) we need a different zoom-level on the damn TV - for which only the TV remote allows us to change. 

AND, as ludicrous as it is, we have officially lost the damn thing.

It is not in the couch cushions, and it is not under the coffee table.  It is not in the TV cabinet, and it is not on the kitchen counter.  It's not even in the freezer.  It. is. nowhere to be found.

So, not only are we watching TV on an oddly stretched screen where people's faces are either cut off at the forehead or stretched horizontally, but we are powerless to change it.  We are at the absolute mercy of the current screen setting and not even the manual TV menu buttons will let us adjust it.

My dependence on that goddam thing is so pitiful, so embarrassing, so frustrating.  Ahrg!  I'm disgusted with myself!   

Oh, please let me find it...

_

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Christmas spirit, or Christmas idiot?

I got this really bright idea. 

I started thinking, "Well, traveling to Hometown for Christmas is kind of overwhelming.  It's a lot of work and I'm always in a rush.

So, then I thought: "Maybe we should just skip it."

Although I'd really miss the normal holiday traditions (caroling and gag-gifting with my family, opening presents and playing games with Hubby's family), I really needed a new tradition - a new way to celebrate.

And I don't mean skip Christmas entirely - like my new way of celebrating shouldn't be sitting alone wearing a Santa hat and a blinking Rudolph nose, with my eggnog in one hand and my candy cane in the other.  No, more that I want some holiday celebratory memories in my own house, without having to pile into the car on Christmas eve. 

But then I thought:  "C'mon, Scrooge, it doesn't really matter where you are, rather who you're with, and you'll be with Hubby."

Ok, but despite my undying love for Hubby, with only each other to stare at for the whole holiday season, we might go nuts.  The Twelve Days of Hubby might be a bit much - even for me. 

Which led me to:  "Well, let's have both families come here on Boxing Day!  Like Chevy Chase's Big Old Fashioned Family Christmas!

Aaaannnnd... the brightest idea of ALL TIME was officially born.

"Oh it'll be so much fun!  I can decorate, and make a big dinner, and we can play Wii, and open gifts, and sing songs while Hubby plays guitar, and light the fireplaces, and it'll be GREAT!"

Aaaaannnnddd... the glass-is-half-full approach officially sucked me in.

Turns out, cooking for 20 people might be tricky.  Who can even fit all that food in their oven?  And if you don't want to make a turkey, what the hell do you make that will feed an army?  Oh, and I guess I better get some kind of trough, because where does a person put a table for 20? 

And I guess I should have at least one plate per person.  That's only fair.  But when I was in Ikea on a Saturday afternoon staring at rows upon rows of dinnerware to purchase a set of 20 dishes, I was wondering, (and Hubby's "why aren't there benches in here?!" remark seemed to indicate that he shared my thought), what the eff was I thinking?  How do I intend to pull this off?  I don't even have DISHES, for god's sake!  ...unless I go with the whole trough idea, which is sounding pretty favourable. 

In any case, it's tricky, yes, but I've embraced it.  I'm on the Christmas war-path (poor choice of words), and there's no stopping me now.  

Despite the fact that Hubby thinks I'm totally pulling a "Princess" (ie, my mother) and going completely overboard, I'm super excited about having two Christmas trees, and setting the table all prettily, and making enough food to serve an entire maritime province.  

I've officially embodied the Christmas spirit, and I just. can't. wait. 

_

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Time flies, five of five - Crunch, crunch, crunch again

Alight.  Here's entry number five.  

Crunch, crunch, crunch again.

When we got home the other night, the cats were FREAKING OUT.  

They always freak out.  

They want food.  

Their whole lives revolve around the moment that we go into the kitchen to get their dinner.  Or breakfast.  Or afternoon snack.  

In fact, we can't really go into the kitchen without getting frantically meowed at like death is imminent.  

We were sitting in the living room, without having yet fed them.  Well, apparently Patches couldn't wait any longer.  She started scouring the floor.  Sometimes she can find crumbs or something.  Who can blame her.  

Anyway, she came across a few crumbs all right - a few crumbs of leaves and bark that had fallen on the floor in front of the fireplace.  

And didn't she just gobble them right up.  

One at a time, eating one and then moving on to the others.  

Crunch, crunch, crunch.  

I've never quite seen anything like it.  And I've seen Patches eat a lot of random things.  

That said, neither Hubby nor I were at all surprised.  Oh Patchy.  You're a mess.

_

Monday, 15 November 2010

Time flies, four of five - Commuter Chronicles

Commuting over the past few weeks hasn't been miserable.  Given my long hours, Hubby has been kind enough to drive me to work sometimes, and pick me up sometimes too.  But there was one "incident".  


Commuter Chronicles


I went out with some friends after work Wednesday night to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new baby to the group.  Fun.  


To top it off, Thursday was a holiday for me, and so downing a few glasses of wine was not out of the question.  Except that I forgot that I'd parked at the mall.  


So after dinner I called Hubby to pick me up at the mall bus stop, since I wouldn't be able to drive.  


(Side bar:  there was a girl in the bus seat next to me who pulled a stick of Burt's Bees lip balm out of her bag and started to apply it to her lips.  Only she applied it for, like, at least a whole minute.  Rubbing it in big circles around her mouth over and over and over again.  I was so distracted.  I couldn't stop watching her.  Why would anyone rub that stuff on their lips for more than a few seconds?  She must have been in a trance or something.)  


When Hubby arrived and I got in the truck, I said "Thanks for picking me up Honey."  


Nothing.  No response.  


"You're not happy about it, are you Honey?"  


"Nope."  


Well, consider THIS my official public declaration of thanks.  Hubby, I really truly appreciate that you are always kind enough to pick me up.  Since high school when you had a last period spare and drove back to school to pick me up at 2:30.  And now, when you pick me up at the mall at 9:30 after I've had one too many drinks.  Thank you Hubby.  You are my saviour.   I love you. 


(Oh, and by the way, you're welcome for driving you around the whole sub-urb Thursday morning looking for a some hole-in-the-wall mechanic that you found on Google and then promptly forgot the name and address of - I don't mind.  I love you.)


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Time flies, three of five - The play-by-play

Continuing with rapid updates, last weekend was particularly fun.  Since I can't tell you about everything, here are the highlights.

The play-by-play

All right, let's take a look at this very exciting match.

Uncle and Aunt have arrived.  And Uncle and Hubby are entering the parking lot of the Chinese takeout restaurant.  Oh, aguy in a parked car is starting to approach.  "Hey, is the food at this place any good?" Uh oh, faced with the question, how will they react?  Uncle looks like he's about to answer... "Oh, it's awe-some!"  Aaaand, DEFLECTED!  Uncle expertly avoids the question, lying through his teeth, having never eaten there before.  And Uncle gets the first point of the game. That's one for the record books, folks.  

Now, in the second period, the pace is picking up.  All the players head to a 3D Imax movie.  But they've got to face the bridge first.  And it's no regular bridge.  This open-air, open-grate bridge is sure to pose some problems for one or both teams.  And, yes, you can see there how the little female driver of that first car is starting to lose control.  And, wait, yes, she is officially having a a full-fledged panic attack.  I can see the tremors and the heavy breathing.  That bridge must be more than she can handle.  Ohhhh!  Great save!  Her teammate has taken the wheel.  I can't believe it!  Wow, now that's teamwork.  Things might have been disastrous.  I'm surprised the ref allowed play to continue on that one.

In the third period, the panicker has apparently recovered.  It's her teammate who's having trouble now.  He appears to be too hungry to function. Yes, yes, I think he's breaking away to the cafeteria.  This could be problematic.  If he can't find his team in the dark theatre, he'll be disqualified.  Oh, he's got nachos AND a hot dog.  Wow.  This guy is gutsy.  Oh, and he's entered the theatre.  But he looks a little lost...  Ooohhhh!  Saved by the panicky teammate.  She's come back on the course to guide him!  And they've got it now!  That could be the deciding point!  Yes!  Yes!  And the game is over!!!!  Won by a panicky Annadanna and a hungry Hubby!

What a great display.  You can tell this team has been playing together for a long time.  They showed some real commitment.  Good win.  Well deserved.

_  

Friday, 12 November 2010

Time flies, two of five - I'm so awesome

Ok, so this is entry number two of lightening-round updates from the past several days of which I've been MIA.

I'm so awesome

I was recently making dinner for myself while Hubby was out of town. 


I decided to fry a piece of pork.  I actually hate pork, but I always think I should like it. 


I grabbed a pan, warmed it up, and dropped the little chop in. 


Then I could smell something weird. 


At first I thought the pork was bad, but then I realized that I had chosen the pan that I never use, and that doesn't have a lid.  So there was at least 3 centimeters of dust and cat hair built up in the skillet from sitting on the shelf for months on end. 


I had actually fried a thick layer of dust and cat hair directly into my pork chop. 


Well that's just awesome, I thought.  Friggin brilliant.  Hairy pork dust.  Just what I had in mind.  


Needless to say, the pork was ruined. 


Whatever.  I wouldn't have liked it anyway.


_  

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Time flies, one of five - Hometown Hubby

Sorry, it's been a while.  

I'd love to say that I've been out doing something fabulous like traipsing around Europe, or sailing the seven seas, or visiting the moon, but I haven't .  I've just been busy.  

And tired.

And generally so sick of my computer that I could easily puke.  

In any case, just because I haven't had time/willingness to write, doesn't mean I haven't had tons of pickle shit to write about.

So consider this entry number one - entry number one of five entries that will effectively, though perhaps succinctly, cover the last several days.

Hometown Hubby    

Hubby went to Hometown for a few days.  When he came back he triumphantly declared that his mom had sewed up the two-year-old hole in his work pants crotch.  The same work pants crotch that Hubby has asked me to repair on at least a thousand occasions, and the same work pants crotch that I have repeatedly told him to sew himself.  

So now his mom has sewed the damn pants for him.  Which is great - don't get me wrong.  Moms are awesome.  (And I'm glad that Hubby's mom loves him enough to sew his work pants crotch - because apparently I don't.)  It's just that now I feel like I must be the worst damn wife in Canada.  

Oh.  

Wait.  

No I don't.  

I effing hate sewing so much that I've been carrying around a goddam button in my coat pocket for the last year since it fell off the coat sleeve, waiting for the moment in which I'll care enough to fix it.  That moment has yet to arrive.   

Oh well.  Maybe Hubby's mom will do it for me.

_

Monday, 1 November 2010

Spooktacular

I love Halloween.

I dressed up as Dorothy on Friday at work.  I was originally going to be a doll, but when I found the blue dress and the bright red shoes, I knew it was meant to be.

I’m going to tell you something now, but it’s hard to admit.  Admitting this means admitting that I am my mother.

Ok. 

I bought the red shoes.

And then I bought little plastic red gems.

And then I HOT GLUED the red gems all over the red shoes.  Yes, hot glued them – with the glue gun that my mother bought me – my certifiably insane mother who does everything but bake with a glue gun.  There’s no saving me now.  It’s officially over.

Oh well… at least we can entertain each other in the insane asylum.  Although I don't think they allow hot glue in crazy houses. 

And the Halloween fun didn’t end there.

Yesterday I hung the pumpkin lights in the window, and the plastic ghosts from the tree, and put on my black cape and zombie makeup to hand out treats.

But some kids are too damn old for trickortreating.  I don’t even mind if they’re older, if they would just friggin play along.  One teenage guy and girl came dressed up as Pebbles and Bambam.  They said “Trick or Treat!” and wished me a happy Halloween as they left.  I don’t mind that.  But I can't stand hooligans in jeans and plastic masks who knock on my door and hold their pillow cases in my face.  Lazy bums.

But there were some adorable little ones too.  I’d hear the doorbell, and walk to the door, except their little heads were lower than the window so it looked like no one was there.  Cute. 

While handing out candy we spent the night watching bits and pieces of the best scary movies ever made.  Gothika.  The Ring, and The Ring Two.  Scream.  Poltergeist.  The Exorcist.  Even 1953’s House of Wax, and 1975’s Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It was a Halloween movie marathon.  And it was awesome.

Problem was, I apparently freaked myself out.

At one point I ran upstairs to get something to show Hubby.  (A toy, actually, that was intended to prove me right in an argument.)  I ran into the dark office, grabbed the toy, and started to run out again.  Then Hubby – who was kneeling on the landing by the office door – shouted and scared the effing bejezzus out of me.  I stopped dead, like hitting a brick wall, screamed at the top of my lungs like a pathetic girl in a horror film, and fell backwards onto the office floor in total hyperventilation.

Nice, Hubby.  Thanks for that. 

And I didn’t even really win the argument because it was all part of his master plan to scare the shit out of me.

Frig.

_

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Haven't burned the house down. Yet.

Hubby and I have a new hobby.  Fire.  

Wait, no, we're not pyromaniacs.  We just recently confirmed that our fireplace is not dangerous (or at least we think it's not dangerous), so we started using it... every day.  
  

We've been living here for almost two years.  When the inspector evaluated the house before we bought it, he suggested we have the chimneys cleaned.  So we did.  The chimney sweep said they needed to be fixed.  We weren't sure if we believed him, so we lit our first fire.  Bur after a while, the fire started to smell like cancer - like burning plastic, or a chemical reaction, or cremation.  (Ok, I don't really know what cremation smells like, but it can't be good.)  So we immediately put out the cancer fire and haven't used the fireplace since. 

Until last weekend.  

We decided that we were done living with two - yes two - unused wood fireplaces.  So we called a few guys to book an inspection.  The least expensive company was going to charge 90 bucks - 90 bucks to basically look at our fireplaces.  Whatever.

But then we called one guy, who, despite the fact that he was either drunk, or crazy, or both, seemed to want to help us. 

He talked Hubby through a self-inspection, and helped us diagnose the problem - that is, that there was no problem.  Maybe the cancer smell was coming form the foam insulation underneath. 

Beautiful.

So Hubby ordered wood, had it delivered, and stacked it in our shed. 

And voila!  We've been lighting fires every day since. 

But our fires aren't really burning that well, so I started to think Hubby didn't really know how to build one.  "Did you shovel it out so it gets enough air?" I kept asking him.  "Did you put kindling in there?"  "Did you crumple the paper?"  

Yes, yes, he knows how to build a fire. 

So why isn't it burning? 

Turns out, the wood is wet (haha, that sounds dirty).  So we thought about taking it all back, but who really wants to un-stack and re-stack a bunch of wood?  No one. 

So we're tolerating the wet wood (haha, dirty again), simply because there's nothing like sitting by a warm fire on a cold damp Autumn day (even if it is a slow-burning pile of hissing, damp, and sizzling coals) . 

I just can't believe we waited this long to jump on the fire bandwagon.  I guess all we have to worry about now is that the fireplace is actually safe.  I think it is.  Yeah, I bet it's fine.  No more cancer smell, anyway.  And we haven't burned the house down.  Yet.  

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Mmmm... pudding...

Hubby made a funny observation the other night.  He said he's cooler than me (which isn't the observation, although that is pretty friggin hilarious).  Apparently he isn't just claiming that he's cooler than me - apparently he can prove it.

He said:

Just look at your night table, and then look at mine.  Mine has concert tickets, a book, guitar picks, and a Blackberry.  Yours has Kleenex, Advil, body lotion, lip balm, a mouth guard, and Vicks Vapo-rub.

Basically, the proof is in the pudding, is what he appeared to be getting at.

Well, now, let’s think this through.  Keep in mind that I was SICK.  Vicks isn’t a regular fixture on my night stand – it was a necessary evil for the time being, so I could breathe.  And Hubby doesn’t even read his book – it mostly just acts as a screen to block the blinking light of his Blackberry so Sleeping Hubby can get his rest.

But I’ve since started wondering if this Hubby logic could be applied to other aspects of our lives.

For example, our vehicles.

Hubby’s pickup truck: cool and manly.  My Honda Civic: popular and trendy.

But, let’s think that through.

Hubby’s red 1998 pickup truck says: “I’m a 65 year old retired farmer.”  And my four-door Civic sedan with stereo deck says: “I’m a 40 year old soccer mom pretending to be a 17 year old high school student."

So I guess that’s not very promising.

Ok, what about some of our personal possessions…

Hubby’s squash bag:  On the surface, Hubby is athletic and fun.  But after a closer look, he is competitive and has a significant odour problem.

My purse:  At first glance, I’m stylish with expensive taste.  But upon closer inspection, I experience severe separation anxiety at the thought of parting with my favourite - but very dilapidated - fashion accessories.

Hmmm, this analysis isn’t turning out so well.

How about our favourite tv shows...

If you just met me, you might notice that I like to watch the news, which clearly shows how sophisticated and knowledgeable I am.  But then you’d eventually learn that I record Young and the Restless every day and watch each episode at 1.3 times the speed on weekends, which unfortunately indicates that I'm totally unrefined, highly emotional, and exhibiting some serious addictive tendencies. 

If you just met Hubby, you’d think he didn’t like tv.  He’s too intelligent for that, and is more appropriately entertained by stimulating his musical senses.  But then you’d get to know him, and learn that his new favourite person is Snookie.


So what have I learned from this little exercise?  I think the whole point is, you can’t judge people based on one little insight into their lives.  There are always external circumstances, or skeletons in the closet, or cracks in your logic.  Apparently you can only judge them based on a series of little insights, considered as a collective.  Yeah… that sounds right... doesn't it? 

_

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I HATE being sick.

Ther's really no other way to put it.  I, simply put, effing HATE being sick.  

Of my very long list of things I hate, being sick is damn near the top.  

I hate so many things about being sick that I should make an entire list just devoted to illness alone - like a sub-list of things I hate about things I hate.  

Obviously, I hate that I feel like shit.  That achy joints and sore throat feeling. That hot...cold...no, wait, hot again feeling.  That post-nasal-drip-gonna-make-me-puke feeling.  That I-can't-breathe-and-yet-can't-for-the-love-of-god-unplug-my-nose feeling, and the related if-I-blow-my-nose-one-more-time-my-brain-is-going-to-blow-out-my-eyes-and-ears feeling.  And, finally, that I'm-so-hungry-I-might-faint feeling that is so closely linked to the if-Hubby-mentions-tuna-one-more-time-I'm-going-to-projectile-vomit-on-him feeling.  

Not fun.  

Some people like that they get to skip work, but let me tell you: it ain't worth it.  First of all, I was sick all day Sunday anyway, which just wasted my weekend.  And I'll only have more work to catch up on when I go back anyway.  

And beyond that, it's. so. effing. boring.  All of the physical feeling like shit is magnified by wanting to attack Drew Carey with his own damn Plinko board, and plotting to murder Barbara Wawa for being subjected to her old, rich, white lady "views".

Even with Hubby taking care of me (which he is very good at - bringing me apples and toast, rubbing my neck, and comforting me in general), it's no damn picnic.   

Not only do I have to nurse my illness and my murderous rage for daytime tv hosts, but my hips, back, and legs hurt from sitting on the effing couch all day.  Even when I try to get up, I can barely walk to the fridge without falling over.  And when I think I have the strength to go upstairs (to at least bathe), I end up doing that walk/crawl thing up the stairs until I'm simply a pathetic, out-of-breath, heap of shame at the top of the landing.  

Even when I get to bed, I end up with effing restless leg syndrome while I'm trying to sleep (which I can't do anyway, because I'm a hot-cold, nose-plugged, head-throbbing, gonna-puke mess).

Hubby might say I'm a baby.  He might even go as far to say that he would rather be sick himself - not because he'd rather endure the discomfort instead of me, but because taking care of me when I'm sick is a full time job that isn't really as rewarding as a full time job oughta be.  

Nice.  

He takes care of me anyway, of course.  Perhaps because he knows that just because he never gets sick, I still take care of him all the time.  

Oh, and because he loves me, I suppose.  

In any case, being sick SUCKS.  He can't argue with that.  Nobody can.

_

Thursday, 7 October 2010

We're a whole family of AWESOME

We were just about to go to bed the other night, and Hubby was feeding the cats.  

He reached up to get the plastic container of food out of the kitchen cabinet, and then this happened:





Wow, Hubby, you're awesome too.  

Hilarious and awesome.   



And we have to put the food back in the bin, because Patches and Tuxedo are royalty, and their food costs more than ours does. 


But they don't mind.  It's all part of being part of the family.  We're a whole family of awesome.  It's a group effort to be as awesome as we are.  


And even more awesome when Hubby has to stick a giant folk under the stove to find the left-over pellets - or at least try to find the left-over pellets... Tuxedo is still emerging from the kitchen periodically with a new-found pellet that was previously unbeknownst to us.  


There's really nothing else to say. 


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Dirty Tony Morano

We’re car shopping.  And it’s NOT easy, let me tell you.


We drove a Nissan Morano, but the salesman was a greasy and condescending fool.  I think his name was Tony.


So we spoke with a friend who happens to be a car salesman (we don’t hold it against him), and he gave us a few tips.


#1: The salesman is not on your side.  Even if he’s the nicest guy you’ve ever met, he is only saying whatever you want to hear.  The higher the sale price, the more money in his pocket.


No kidding!  Dirty Tony Morano was pleasant enough (in a you-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about kind of way).  He acted like he didn’t mind helping us – he had nothing better to do.  But he was, right from the start, luring us in... leading us bit by bit into the dark cave…


Test drive the Rogue.  Test drive the Morano.  There’s no reason we wouldn’t like the Morano – everyone likes it, it’s perfect.  Look at the list of features.  Do we want to trade in our Civic?  No?  Well, he’ll check anyway.  What’s our monthly payment price range?  He’ll run that by his managers.


Luckily, we’re not that stupid.


#2:  The salesman is lying to you.  He’s hiding things.  He is two steps ahead of you, and he knows it.


You bet.  Once Dirty Tony Morano got into the numbers, the sharks began to circle...


But we’re RIGHT in our monthly payment price range, just like we wanted.  Sure, it’s at the high-end - and for a LEASE - but it’s worth it!  The base model Morano is better than the best Rav4.  And with a LEASE, we’ll get a new car every four years.  It’s a great deal.


Sure it is.


#3: The salesman will always try to convince you that you can afford more.


Well, of course.


So, if we want to BUY, what’s an extra 100 bucks a month?  Nothing!  It’s SUCH a great deal.  No?  Not convinced?  Well, that’s the best we’re going to get for our old Civic.  No buyer in the city will pay what we want.  So what could he do to seal this deal today?  Nothing? Really?!  Nobody’s ever said there is NO price they’d be happy with!


Yeah, I’ll just get my wallet out.  Don’t hold your breath, Dirty Tony.


But 2010 models are getting scarce.  And we’ll just get confused if we test drive anything else.


Really, Dirty Tony?  Do you get confused when you drive more than one car?


#4: You need to know what you want and how much you want to pay.  You need to know the promotions, and what you can afford.  And then you need to offer thousands below that.


And we will.  When we’re ready to buy.  And in the meantime, I’m happy to waste Dirty Tony’s time – I’ve got nothing to lose.


_