Wednesday, 30 June 2010

M.C. Slammer

That’s my roller girl name.

You may remember that I was very excited about going to a roller derby.  Well, we went last weekend.  And it was awesome.

The rules are hard to catch, but here are the basics:
  • The two teams line up on the track at the starting line - this creates the “pack”. 
  • Each team also has a jammer. 
  • The two jammers chase the pack. 
  • The jammers’ job is to get through the pack, and then lap them around the track as many times as possible. 
  • Each team earns points for every member of the opposite team that their jammer passes. 
  • Problem is, the pack isn’t going to make it easy for the jammers to pass.  (Although your team will help propel you, the other team will stop you by pretty much any means necessary.)
Friggin cool.

So, I’ve since decided that in my imaginary life, I’m a roller girl.  I’m tough.  I wear fishnet stockings and knee pads.  I know how to roller skate.  And I’m good at it.  I grunt.  And when I hit the pavement, I get right back up.  I have a pack of roller girl friends.  And an even bigger pack of roller girl enemies.  On a roller rink, I am the epitome of power.  And I love it.

In my real life, I was just a spectator on the sidelines of a very cool, but much less melodramatic display of feminine superiority.

It wasn’t actually as rough as I expected.  Perhaps I just have a violent nature, but I thought they’d be beating the shit out of each other at every opportunity.  Not quite.  It was actually pretty tame.  (Well, if tame equates to a pack of girls shoving each other into the cement, then, yeah, it was tame.)  Don’t get me wrong – it was no picnic at Grandma’s, but it wasn’t an ass-kicking brawl either.  It was smarter than that.  More strategic.

Also, it turns out that these two teams were sister teams.  The Slaughter Daughters have taught the Riot Squad everything they know.  And it shows.

They still creamed them, however.  The score was, like, 250 to 40, or something ridiculous.  Imagine if they were playing a rival team.  Imagine if they were trying to cream them.  Now that would be amazing to watch.

In any case, it was friggin sweet.  And I gotta give those girls credit where credit is due.  Not only can they remain (mostly) standing on their skates, but they can race on them.  They can evade and block their opponents while strategically manoeuvring their teammates through a pack of angry women. 

It’s really quite a sight.  I wish I was cool/brave/stupid enough to take part...

Friday, 25 June 2010

Commuter Chronicles - Twilight Zone

As usual, I took the bus this morning.  Everything was pretty standard – nothing out of the ordinary.


Some random guy hopped on at a downtown stop, sneaking through the back doors just as they were closing.  No big deal.  Nobody noticed.  People hop on and off all the time.  You can board at the back doors if you have a monthly pass.  If you don’t have a pass, you have to pay at the front door so the driver can give you a transfer as proof of purchase.

Sometimes security personnel (i.e., meter maids/hall monitors for buses) roam the routes and ask everyone for proof that they paid for their ride.  Some people, though, are quite the rebels.  Some people board the bus without… I can’t believe it… paying.  Shocking.  Why some people wouldn’t want to pay for the pure joy/convenience of riding the transit system, I’ll never know…

Anyway, the random guy hopped on.  He seemed normal enough.

Then the bus driver yelled into the mic: “Hey!  You there!  Who just jumped on at the back!  Let me see your pass!  You, in the grey sweatshirt!”

Woah.  Weird. 

And then, even weirder - the guy just ignored him.  Like he didn’t even hear it.  He just kept sitting and staring straight ahead.

How could he not hear it?  Even if he had headphones on (which he didn’t), he’d notice that

Drivers rarely use the mic.  They rarely even announce the stops like they’re supposed to - let alone yell at the passengers. (Except for one time when a driver serenaded us the whole way home – in both official languages!).

Everyone was just staring at the random guy.  Looking from guy to driver, driver to guy. 

Nothing happened.  Maybe he was deaf…?

At the next stop, the driver pulled over and walked back to approach the guy.  He leaned down to look him in the face.  “Let me see your pass," he said.  The guy never looked at him – just kept staring straight ahead.  "Hey!  Do you speak English?” 

No reaction.

“Fine. I’ll just call security!” the driver called as he made his way back to the front. 

What the eff?  What is going on here? 

The driver moved on to the next stop while on the phone.  When the bus stopped to let other passengers off, the random guy just very slowly stood up and casually stepped off the bus.

Huh?  He just gets to leave?  What is happening?

We all just looked at each other with that familiar 'what the heck just happened?' look on our faces.

That was it.


Every day, weirder and weirder.  That bus is a goddam twilight zone.


It’s not what you say…’s how to you say it.

Sometimes a phrase becomes a cliché because it’s damn true.  This is one of those times.

For example: cursing.

My ma-in-law recently determined that she’s been knitting wrong for years. (How a person can knit “wrong” is beyond me – if it holds itself together without duct tape and hot glue then there shouldn’t be a problem).  She said that if she’d looked up a demonstration on Youtube sooner, she’d have saved herself a lot of cursing.

My first thought: why would you want to save yourself the opportunity to curse?  I told her cursing was therapeutic – good for the soul.  She said that her soul must be in great shape at the moment.

It doesn't matter anyway.  Cursing is less about what you say, and more about how you say it.  Like, if I yelled “GRUBBY REPUGNANT MONKEY!” that could be just as effective as screeching the F-word at the top of my lungs.  It doesn’t really matter what the words are – it’s the outburst (or in some cases, the under-the-breath mumble) that relieves the internal tension.

Another example: emphasis.

My husband has this way of putting emphasis on the right words, on the right syllables, to get a totally different message across.  The other night he said: “If you’re going to park your car in the driveway, can you please make sure you move it in the morning so I can get in the garage?”

Except that isn’t how he said it…

“If you're going to park in the driveway at night, can you pleeeaaassse make sure you move your car in the morning so I can get in the garage?”

When I smiled back at him, I made our ‘you’re being yippy’ hand symbol (clapping my thumb and fingers together like a bird beak).  To which he replied:  “But I asked so nicely!”.

Bull shit.  He didn’t ask nicely.  He asked yippily, making excellent use of his emphasis trick.

Later, he used his dirty little trick again.  He was pointing out why his newest cheap guitar is not as good as his fancy-dancey expensive guitar, even though he seems to like the sound of the cheap one better.  He said: “It’s just a campfire guitar.  And, it’s ugly.”

But that’s not how he said it…

“It’s just a campfire guitar.  And it’s Uhg-ly.”  He put pressure on “ugly”, emphasizing that even though the sound is ok, he’s disgusted by the colour – which, in his opinion, makes it the perfect ‘campfire’ guitar.  He uses this one a lot.  He can’t just say he thinks something is unattractive.  He has to say uHG-ly.  Really grunting into it.  Uhg!  Uhg-ly.  Oh, that’s so Uhg-ly!

Let's be honest.  My husband is SO not the only one who does this.  You know you do it too.  And so do I.  The fact is, it’s all just in our tone.  Our words don’t really matter - it’s what we mean by them that counts.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Shaken - and stirred

Yep.  There was an earthquake yesterday.  And not a ‘Hmm, I wonder what this is’ earthquake, either.  More of a ‘Holy shit what the eff is happening?!” type of earthquake.

People keep asking: “Did you feel it?”

What do you mean ‘Did I feel it?!’  Of course I friggin felt it!

I was in my office.  On the top floor.  The 21st floor.  At first, I could just hear it.  I thought maybe people were working on the roof.  ‘Cmon guys’, I thought.  ‘It’s the middle of the day.  Cut it out.’

And then it kept going.

And it wasn’t just loud.  It was SHAKING.  Really wobbling.  Literally quaking beneath my feet.

I jumped from my desk and stood in the opening of my cubical (as if the cubical walls could be considered a safe door frame – idiot).  I just stood there, knees slightly bent, staring at my colleagues.  They were just staring back.

“What’s happening?!” I said a couple times, almost shouting.  “What’s going on?!”

They were all just staring back.  They didn’t know either.

Did something explode?  Had something hit the building?  Is it collapsing beneath us?  This can't be an earthquake… we don’t get those here.

Then a nearby co-worker (who was on the phone with someone in another city) confirmed it:  “It’s happening there too” he told us.

I started to kind of panic. What do we do? How are we going to get out? We can’t take the elevator. But it’s 21 stories down. Can we get to the roof? No, bad idea. Should we hide under the desk? Should we wait for an emergency announcement? Or get the eff out of here now? I’m trapped. I'm exposed, and I am trapped.

My phone rang and I knew it was Hubby.  I reached over to my desk and grabbed the receiver.  “I know!” I said as I picked it up.  We were both almost laughing.  I don’t remember the conversation.  The building was still shaking when I hung up.

All this in a matter of 30 seconds.  The shaking subsided (after what seemed like 5 minutes).  It’s amazing how many thoughts you can have in a few seconds when your heart and mind are racing.

“I’m going to puke” I said.  “Or cry. …Or pee my pants”.  Then I giggled.  Surreal.

I started packing up my purse to evacuate, but I wasn’t sure we should.  We did anyway.

My legs shook the whole way down the stairs - adrenalin rush.

We sat on the grass (not really far enough away from the building) and ate strawberries.  Fire trucks were around.  And people were everywhere.  Some had fluorescent vests and megaphones.  Everyone was all hopped up.  Almost giddy.

Eventually people started making their way home.

But everything was fine.  Even politicians were making jokes… “You know, when the Liberals were in power, there were no earthquakes!” “Yeah, we like to shake things up”.

Yeah.  Fair enough.  I guess it was pretty funny in the end.  Who knew that such an event could be so friggin hilarious?  And despite my still-shaky knees, in hindsight, I think the whole thing was a goddam crack-up.  (Except for my calves - my calves are sore from the 21 flights of stairs.) 

Check this out. 

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Whew, what a day

Wow.  I. am. TIRED.  

Hubby and I worked outside this whole friggin day. Yesterday too. 

No, the godforsaken fence is not done yet.  But it is getting close.  It's more of a half-fence:  fully done at the back of the yard, with a mostly-finished gate at the front of the yard.  It remains, however, totally empty in between.  There were two lingering we-hate-you-so-much-that-we-want-to-ruin-your-lives holes that needed a jackass hammer, so we rented the bastard yesterday.  It poured rain on us while we dug them out (in this case, "we" mostly means my husband, while I watched from the relative dryness of the neighbours' front porch).  But we did get them dug.  So, holes - check.  

This morning we picked up where we left off.  The plan was: a) set the last two posts; b) start building the fence; and, c) go buy a load of dirt to fill in the gaps.  Good plan. 

But things never go according to plan, do they?

Hubby found a random wire that we somehow manged to cut through while hand digging the last hole.  How'd we manage that?  Not a goddam clue.  In any case, fence-building was delayed by the need to repair the effing thing. 

In the meantime, I trimmed our very odd and infected tree. By "infected", I mean a weird thing called canker that grows on the branches.  Apparently the cankers are "a concentration nutrients".  Harmless but gross and kind of transferable, and they'll eventually drain the tree's life.  And by "trim", I mean get up on a ladder and cut every effing canker off every effing branch, being careful not to spread the shit from branch to branch.  AWESOME.  

And, so, broken wire - check.  

And canker tree - check.  

We then set the friggin fence posts (check) and then made a trip out for the dirt (check).  

THEN we went around to the other side of the house (where we built another fence last year and left it a gravelly, clay-filled, and weedy shit-show).  We dug up that mess amd got it ready for mulching later this week.  So. side-of-the-house-disaster  - check. 

Huby loaded up the truck with all the mess (canker branches, gravel, etc) and I cut the grass.  (Sidebar:  Of all the work, lawn-mowing is the most satisfying because I can see the results immediately and I'm always pleasantly surprised by the dramatic improvememnt to my yard.)  Tidy-up and regular maintenace - check.  

In the end, my back hurts, my arms are sore, and my nails have never been so filthy.  But, on the upside, it feels gooood.  Good to get shit done.  Good to get some sun and some exercise.  The downside?  After all that, it's still just a stupid half-fence.    

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

High five!

I’ve recently learned something about myself.  Well, not learned, exactly, but confirmed.  I always knew it was true, but it recently become glaringly obvious.  It’s not just a general knowledge anymore.  It has become a cold. hard. fact.

Drum roll please…

Here it is:

I am – brace yourself - an ACTION person. 

I know what you’re thinking... Duh.

Well, yeah, 'duh'... but get this:

I’ve been working in this same unit for about a year and half.  My job title has changed a bit, but I've stayed in the same unit.  I’ve explored other options, but nothing has seemed quite as appealing.  I love it here.

But that’s not the revelation.

For the first year I worked on one team that was very fast-paced.  Everything was rushed and urgent, and, by our standards, very “important”.  I loved the people who were on my team, and I loved the work.

After that first year I was asked to move to another team.  Same unit, but a different set of files.  It was still ok.  It just wasn’t urgent.  Everything was on a slightly longer timeline.  It was slower and more secluded.  I liked the people on this team, too, but I didn’t get to see much of them.  My work was more independent.

Well, now I’m back on the old team.  Ya hoo! 

And here’s the revelation: I hadn’t realized how much I missed that type of environment until I had it back. 

Amen for having to work past 6 every night!  Ye haw for not dreading Monday!  Cheers for not enough hours in the day to finish all my work! – let alone time to pick up groceries, or study French, or go to the gym, or eat lunch.  HIGH FIVE for not having time to eat lunch!

I know that’s unreasonable.  And it probably can’t sustain.  (I mean, some of us need food throughout the day.)  But I still love it. I thrive on it.  I’m more productive, and more motivated.  And, frankly, I’m just in a better mood.

Not every day is perfect.  Some shit still just pisses me off.  But that’s true for everyone.  So, there’s no debating it – the fact is, I need the ACTION.  I crave it.  And I won’t be giving it up anytime soon – not without a fight. 

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Finally, some good news.

Every morning I receive an automatic email at work listing the day’s media highlights about health issues.  Yesterday morning, the following was staring me in the face:

Short people more prone to heart disease: study
Short people are 50 per cent more likely than tall people to die prematurely of heart disease, researchers reported Wednesday in a major review of three million people.

Well isn’t that just really, really good news?

Anyone reading this knows that I am very barely 5 feet tall.  Perhaps 5’1” on a good day.  Maybe 5’4” if you count my high-heeled pumps.  In any case, not tall.  And now there’s a whole new reason to be pissed about that fact.  Not just one reason, but 50 reasons – 50% more likely?! What the eff?!

To share my misery, I emailed the story around.  I received the following responses.

First, from my husband:

And then from my mother-in-law:
Oh, for heaven’s sake

Other friends decided to poke some fun.

First this:
Yes, but tall(ish) people are more likely to look like stupid giants in photos - and that's a life-long curse.

And this:
Skewed study. They are also 50 per cent more likely to live longer owing to (no) risk of knocking heads on door jambs.

And then this:
Another major advantage for short people is that they can pretty much cross the street whenever they want, just the tires to watch out for.

And finally, I received this pleasant pick-me-up:
To quote Randy Newman: "Short people got no reason to live"

That’s nice, eh?  Just hilarious.  And just what I need - to feel even more pathetic about the fact that “short stature” will be added to the list of “known heart disease risk factors” alongside obesity, old age, high cholesterol, and smoking.

They don’t even know why being short threatens my heart.  One theory for it: short people have smaller arteries.


But my friend has a better theory: short people are closer to the counter top, closer to the tabletop, and on eye-level with the refrigerator shelves, and therefore have easier access to food, and therefore over-eat, and therefore get obese, and therefore have heart attacks.

Check MATE.

It doesn’t matter.  I'm just wondering if scientists shouldn't have better things to research?  Not that heart disease isn’t important, just that perhaps we should nail down the things we CAN change in trying to avoid it.  Height is not something I can alter.  It isn’t a lifestyle choice.  I can’t quit short.

Whatever.  The fact is, I may be short, but I’m not that short.  I’m not under 5 feet, which, apparently, is the starting point for the heart-disease danger zone.  Either way, I so do not need yet another reason to feel bad about being miniature.  I guess I’ll just hope that wearing heels will totally negate any health risks posed by shortness.  (Except for my knees – heels are probably bad for my knees.)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Wow. I’m really awesome.

I’m really starting to believe that this is not my imagination.  I think I truly am losing it – my intelligence/sanity, I mean.

The other day I was in my bathroom, about to wash my face, and I called to my husband: “I think there’s something wrong with my arm.”

He came into the room and I told him about how I’d spent the last few days studying these dark freckle speckles on the back of my left hand and wrist.  They were miniature specks, kind of like a rash.  But with very tiny dark dots.  And it wasn’t itchy.

I told him about how I’d spent the last few days trying to get them off.  About how they were only on one arm.  About how at first I thought maybe they were the remnants of mascara splatter, but how that didn’t make sense, because days had gone by and they hadn't washed off.

“Something must be wrong with me” I said to him.  “Maybe I have a disease.”

He came over to me, and gently took my hand in his.  He pulled my arm close to his face and examined my skin.

He then quickly flung my hand away from his face and, just as quickly and calmly as he’d walked into the room, he walked out.

“It’s spray paint!” he called back to me.

Oh wow.

I’d spent a day last weekend spraying some plastic patio chairs.  And then spent the following four days trying to figure out what disease I had.  I'd spent at least 15 minutes of my life over the last couple of days trying to scrape the speckles off, and when that didn’t work, I was sure I must be ill.  I was this far away from Googling my condition.

So, there’s no doubt about it now.  I am awesome.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Commuter Chronicles - Eff you, Rent-a-Cop


You may recall that I’ve recently had a wrench thrown into my regular commuting routine.  The mall that I park at before taking the bus each morning is no longer (as) supportive of the ‘park and ride’ concept.

So I’ve been walking a little further in the morning (and waiting a little longer between bus pick-ups) to get a route closer to my house.  Fine.

I have still been able to ‘park and ride’ on Thursday mornings, however, because I have an early French class (and there’s more parking spots free at 7 am than at 8).  It’s particularly convenient, because I have Yoga on Thursday nights – which is located in the mall.  Excellent.  So Thursdays still work out as they should.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, when I started my car, I was horrified at the disgusting sound coming from the engine.  Shit.  I ran into the house to get my husband to drive me to the mall (which left me without the convenience of going straight to Yoga after work).

To make my mood even better, my very clever husband then says to me: “Oh yeah – I forgot – your car was sounding pretty bad last night.”

He forgot?!

What the hell does that mean?

Apparently he drove it the night before, and between our driveway and our living room, he forgot to tell me that it was in pain.  What a mental case.  Fine.  Whatever.

So he (apologetic) drove me (pissy and pouting) to the mall and pulled up next to the bus station.  I jumped down out of the truck onto the curb, only to be approached by another effing rent-a-cop in a security coat.

What the eff do they want now?!

I tell ya – I have been quickly losing patience with this shit, and that land troll picked the wrong goddam day to mess with me.

The conversation went something like this:

Rent-a-cop: “You guys can’t stop here to get out.”
Hubby, as he’s driving away: “Well, I’m gonna!”
Me, staring at her ugly face: “Are you f*ing kidding me?”
Rent-a-cop: “No, you can’t stop here!”
Me, as I’m storming off: “Yes I can!”
Rent-a-cop: “Well, I’ll just give you a ticket tomorrow!”
Me: “A ticket?! For WHAT?!”
Rent-a-cop: “For blocking traffic and causing accidents!”

[SIDEBAR: Causing accidents?  In the parking lot?  Because we pull over to the side of the curb?  These people are effing delusional.  No doubt about it.]

Me: “Hah! Causing accidents?!  What accidents?!  You are an idiot.”
Rent-a-cop: “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow then!  Have a nice day!”

I continued to glare at her until my bus came – oh, I glared her down gooood.

That was pretty much the end of it.

AND, on top of all that, I just found out that my car’s AC Compressor is going to cost $1000 to fix.



Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Oh. My. God.

So, my husband calls me this morning and whispers: “There’s a crazy guy on the front step of our house cutting himself with scissors.”

Holy shit.

I guess Guy (crazy and/or disturbed and/or high-out-of-his-TREE... to be determined) approached Hubby out front, asking for Andrew.  Hubby doesn’t know an Andrew, and he definitely doesn’t know Guy.

So Hubby retreats from the driveway into the house and locks the door while Guy wanders down the road… wanders down the road, only to quickly return to our front porch and proceed to peer into our front door, and then begin to use my garden scissors to carefully cut his right shoulder.

Hubby calls the police. 

Hubby then cautiously observes Guy from the distant family room while anxiously waiting for Cop to show up.

Hubby gives me the play-by-play via telephone.  He says he’s ready to escape out the back door if needed.  And I, of course, ask “where are the cats?!” to be sure that he will rescue Tuxedo and Patches if a hasty exit is required.

Finally, Cop shows up and is yelling at Guy to put. the. scissors. down.  Guy is laying on our front lawn/porch.

Cop cars #2 and #3 arrive.  And then the Paramedic vehicles drive up – 3 of them.

All these people try to secure Guy – one even pulls out the hose from our backyard (the reason for which does eventually reveal itself) – all while Hubby watches from the relative safety of his Panic Room.

Hubby kindly points out to me how crazy this must look to our neighbours.  Both mine and Hubby’s vehicles are parked out front, and it can’t look good.  Oh, wow, what’s going on with the cute newlyweds?  The honeymoon’s over!

I then realize that I feel really badly for Guy.  Something must be very wrong with him.  But I reserve my concern for AFTER he’s not a threat to my house/husband/cats.

Hubby eventually emerges from the house.

Cop has placed our scissors in the mailbox!  How… thoughtful?  Hubby quickly confirms that, no, we don’t want the scissors.  Cop puts his rubber glove BACK ON and removes the scissors. 

Cop then informs Hubby that when he arrived, Guy was on our front step trying to cut off some very important body parts.  

Oh.  My.  God.

And so, because Cop had to stop Guy somehow (he didn't want him to regret THAT later) Hubby will now have to wash the PEPPER SPRAY off our front door.


Hubby gets out the new pressure washer to blast the front door and ends up breathing in hoards of the "minor irritant"  (Cop's description) as it dislodges from our front step and fills the surrounding atmosphere.

Hubby finally goes to work and stresses about the whole traumatizing event all day.  Who could blame him?

This cheesy post also appears at Cheesy Bloggers.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


In keeping with our recent theme (optimistic pickle shit), this entry covers the third and final voter-preferred topic of discussion: unicorns.  (Which, based on my opinion alone, will heretofore be known as unihorns, because it makes more sense that way.)   

So far we've determined the following:  Lollipops = delish. Rainbows = gorgeous.  But what about unihorns?  Well... unihorns = freaky. 

Sorry.  I know unihorns are supposed to be mystical, and merry, and lucky, and pretty, and all that jazz.  But really, they’re just plain freaky. 

Consider all the other mythical creatures you can think of.  They’re almost always half one thing and half something else.  Isn’t there a half-person, half-horse?  And mermaids.  Half-woman, half-fish.  You cannot tell me that mermaids are not friggin cree-py.

Unihorns are better than that, I guess.   At least unihorns are not cross-bread with humans.  And at least they can fly, can’t they?  Flying is a nice upside.

However… they do have a HORN growing out of their head, which kind of negates the other stuff.  Can you think of any animal with a horn that is not threatening and weird?  Rhinos are apparently pretty vicious.  Dinosaurs too. 

Sorry.  There’s really no way around it… a cross-breed of a horse and a rhinoceros is downright nuts.  I don’t care what you say - I just can't see the good side of a Rhinocorn.  

Somewhere over the rainbow

Voted topic number two: rainbows.  How cheerful.

Rainbows are one of the greatest wonders of the world.  Ok, maybe not the world in general, but at least they’re one of the greatest wonders of my world.  I even like them when they simply appear in the sprinkler steam when I’m watering the garden.  Hypnotic.  

They're sort of majestic, aren't they?  I love that somewhere over the rainbow, a magic world exists in which talking animals, emerald cities, and singing munchkins are the main attraction.  And I especially like that pots-o-gold are expected to be found at the end – despite the fact that I’m terrified of evil thieving leprechauns.  Except those leprechauns that distribute sugary cereal.  Those ones are ok – they’re more like munchkins anyway.

Rainbows are not only wonderful (in the truest sense of the word); they’re also gorgeous.  It’s so stunning to look up - usually to a hazy half-blue, half-grey sky – and see a set of faintly coloured stripes misting across the universe.  Spectacular.

I remember grade five when we were learning how rainbows come to be.  I obviously don’t remember the mechanics.  But I do remember Roy G. Biv.  Roy G Biv is the guy who can always remind you what order the colours go in… Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.

I also remember when crayons were the utensil of choice.  I used to use crayons to colour a rainbow in a gorgeous blend of primary and secondary shades and then cover my drawing from edge to edge with thick black crayon wax.  Then I would scratch designs in the black coating, revealing patches of the lovely streams of colour below.  It’s a good representation for our world, actually: sometimes I think we’ve buried all the beauty with black wax, and we have to strategically scratch the surface to unveil it.

Rainbows remind me that some things aren't so obvious.  Sometimes things aren't what they seem.  Sometimes beauty arises when you don't expect it.  But then again, sometimes it's a mirage.  And sometimes there's an evil leprechaun or wicked witch waiting for you on the other side. 

My pa-in-law at the camp site in his late father-in-law's super cool retro camper van...  Ahhh... this is the life...

The most amazing rainbow ever (yes, better than the double rainbow). 

Lollipops, good. Blowpops, better.

Well, since the initiation of this little online diary of mine, you voted, and, despite my desire to write about whatever pickle shit comes to mind, you have determined that I should write about lollipops, rainbows, and unicorns.  Bunch of effing optimists.

So, because I refuse to let you win that easily, I’ve decided to compromise.  I will therefore try to meld the two concepts.  I’ve decided to let the words flow freely – just let the thoughts rush out of my brain, and then put them to paper.

I’ll start with lollipops.   Here goes.

I love lollipops.  And as a kid I loved that song "Lollipop, Lollipop, oh, Lolli Lolli Lolli.  Lollipop.  POP".  (That "pop" at the end of the chorus is the best part - where you put your fingers inside your cheak and pop them out.)   

Although I do love lollipops, I love chocolate better.  Actually, a chocolate lollipop is the ideal combination.  In the strict category of hardened sugar on a stick, however, I like those rock candy lollopops, with all the crystallized candy that coats a wooden stick.

But I think my favourite lollipop is a Blow Pop.  In case you don’t already know (what’s wrong with you, anyway?), a Blow Pop is a candy sucker with a wad of bubblegum on the inside.  Like a Tootsie Pop, but better.  (How many licks does it take to get to the centre of a Tootsie Pop?)

I used to tiptoe into the closet in the spare bedroom (where my mother ‘safely’ stored my three giant pillowcases of Halloween candy kindly bestowed by neighbourhood strangers) to pull out my favs: mini chocolate bars, Rockets, and, of course, Blow Pops.  One morning I was in the basement watching Saturday morning cartoons enjoying my Blow Pop – and nearly delirious thanks to a massive sugar high.  My mom called my name and I went bounding up the stairs two at a time, reaching the top with my hands on the kitchen floor, looking up at her, before I remembered that I had the damn thing between my teeth.  Busted.

Now I always give Blow Pops out at Halloween, since they’re probably every kid’s favourite.  And if they’re not, they oughta be.