Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Island Living

Hubby and I did some minor cottaging this past weekend.  More like island living.  His family’s family has a little island on a little lake.  It’s amazing.  We sometimes get to visit, and we were lucky enough to spend this past Sunday sitting on the dock in the hot sun.

There are many things I adore about island living.  It occurred to me, though, that there are two sides to island life... much like living in a small town – pros and cons.  

For example, pro of living in a small town: everyone knows everyone.  Con of living a small town: everyone is related to everyone.  

So, I thought I’d share some of the really lovely things about island living.  And some of the minor downsides as well.  

First, there is nothing better than resting on a dock, soaking up the sun, eating little cubes of watermelon. 

However, while little cubes of watermelon have a real “we’re so classy” feel, the cold buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, although delicious, tend to exude a different “y’all toss me a drumstick” sorta vibe.

Second, the buildings on the island are exceedingly charming.  They were built in, like, the early 1900s, or something.  They have real character – screen doors out of every room, nooks and crannies, and they make you wonder what the walls would say if they could.

On the other hand, they were built in, like, the early 1900s, or something, so they require a lot of up-keep (and, in the case of the adorable floating boathouse, are sometimes feared to be a possible safety hazard, or, at the very least, a bat cave).

Finally, people to and from the island are so welcoming and kind.  Hubby honks the car horn at everyone he passes.  And they all wave.  At one point, driving home, there were two guys sitting on lawn chairs between the highway and the lake shore with fishing rods dipping into the water.  When Hubby honked, they each quickly raised their free arm in the air above their heads without even turning around.  Priceless.

Unfortunately, welcoming and kind can sometimes coincide with hick-ish tendencies.  At the Tim Horton’s on the way home there was a really sad little kid at the cash.  He was nice enough, but unfortunate at the same time.  Mostly because his name was Yardley.  No, I’m not kidding.  Yardley.  Enough said. 

Anyway, it was a gorgeous day, at a lovely lake, on a perfect little island, with a truly wonderful bunch of people.  We can’t wait to go back.  

Monday, 26 July 2010

Larry, Hubby, and Moe

We were at a friend’s wedding recently, and Hubby’s best buddies were there too.  It was so cute, seeing them all together.  They’re like the three stooges, but more idiotic.  Larry, Hubby, and Moe.  

The whole day was filled with constant taunting and teasing and practical joking.  It was hilarious.  

Larry was taunted because his shirt was the exact same bright teal blue as some other guy.  Moe kept repeating a line from Seinfeld, when Kramer and Mickey are going on a double date and both want to wear the same shirt.  Mickey says to Kramer, “We can’t BOTH wear the shirt!  We’ll look like IDIOTS!”

Hubby teased Larry for refusing to eat his butternut squash soup and spinach salad.  And for thinking that Yorkshire pudding was actually pudding.  And for insisting on sneaking out at midnight.

Larry taunted Hubby for drinking his beer out of a glass.  And for spilling food on his 650-dollar pants.

When Moe went to the washroom, Larry shook salt onto his plate – piled high onto one little piece of cauliflower.  “More, more!” Hubby cheered.  There was so much salt that Larry had to spread it out with a knife.  Too bad that Moe didn’t eat his vegetables.

When Larry went to the washroom, Hubby rimmed his beer bottle with sugar.  The look on Larry’s face was priceless – surprise, mixed with disgust, mixed with confusion, mixed with laughter.

Later, Hubby offered to get Larry a beer.  “What kind?”  “Surprise me.”  Hubby got him the same kind he already had.  “I said surprise me!”  “That is a surprise – you weren’t expecting the same one...  Surprise!” 

After dinner they all danced like idiots.  Hubby hung his arm around Moe’s shoulder, with Moe’s arm around Hubby’s waist.  Hubby would lift his feet and Moe would spin in circles.  Hubby would paddle his legs while spinning – full-on stooges style – running in circles in mid air.

When the pub snacks came out, the stooges somehow decided that the pizza smelled like puke.  No, I don’t know why.  Well, sure I do.  Because they’re idiots.  “Welcome to the pizza puke corner” they said when I approached them. 

The three stooges were in rare form that night.  It was a ridiculous fun-fest.  Yuk yuk yuk. 

Nine Years

Will you take this man to be a constant pain in your ass?  To snore, to always forget to put the BBQ cover back on, and to piss with the door open?  Do you promise to tolerate him, even on days when you really don’t want to, as long as you both shall live?

I do.  

Will you take this woman to be the most wonderful/frustrating thing that ever happened to you?  To be a relentless backseat driver, to make you do your own laundry, and to irrationally nag at you pretty much all the days of your life?  Do you promise to accept the fact that you are always wrong (even if you aren't) as long as you both shall live?

I do.

I now pronounce you husband and wife.  (Suckers… ) 

The thing is, for some people, the “I dos” don’t change anything.  For Hubby and I, not one iota of our lives was altered by the vows.  (Except that I started referring to him as “Hubby”… but then again, I kinda did that anyway.) 

We’ve been wed-locked for almost a year now, but it really doesn’t matter.  We’ve been living together for nearly six, and been putting up with each other for nine altogether.  

Nine years.  Today, in fact.  

Nine years ago today, a 16-year old Hubby asked me if I would “go out with him”.  Nine years ago today, I kissed him for the first time on my mother’s front porch. (He’ll say he kissed me – LIES).  Nine years ago today, our lives changed – our lives really started.  

And yet, it feels like much longer.  Has it really only been nine years that my life has revolved around his?  Has it really only been nine years since we were those lost little kids so ass-over-head in love?  Only nine years since he picked me up every day after school in his Gran’s 1988 white Chevy Cavalier?  A lifetime has passed.  

And now, nine years later, my life revolves around his even more.  And we are still, I think, ridiculously, pathetically, embarrassingly, and honestly in love.  And he still picks me up when I work late, only it's in a 1998 red Chevy Silverado.  

It’s really been no time at all.  Only a fraction of our life together.  We have at least 50 more years to constantly bicker about EVERYTHING, and to hog the covers, and to put up with each other's irrationalities, unconditionally, as long as we both shall live.  And even longer than that, no doubt.  

Nine years.  Not that long, really.  But long enough to come so far, to change so much.  But somehow not long enough to be long enough.  Not long enough to call it forever.  Not long enough to get it down-pat, to stop making mistakes, to make it perfect.  But not long enough to get utterly sick of each other either.  

Nine years.  Oddly nestled somewhere between the tiniest fraction of time and the longest forever after.  

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Why walk when you can ride?

Have you ever heard of Neil Rideout?

Of course you haven't.  Neither had I.

And then I heard today that Mr Rideout, a 42-year-old from New Waterford, Nova Scotia, was ticketed under the province's Motor Vehicle Act this week.  Bummer.

He was riding a motorized vehicle on the sidewalk that, according to police, is not permitted under the Act.  His vehicle can go up to 50 km/h, but he apparently prefers to keep it between 5 and 10.  He often rides it to the local Tim Horton's.

What's interesting about Mr Rideout is that his motorized vehicle is unusual.

It isn't your typical scooter or mini-jeep.

It's a cooler.

Yes, a motorized drink cooler.

Mr Rideout has souped up his "Xtreme Cooler", increasing the horsepower, reinforcing the suspension, and adding an mp3 jack.

He says the cooler, which costs about 3 bucks to gas-up, is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than driving his Chevrolet Impala around town.

When the cop pulled him over - on the sidewalk - and asked Mr Rideout if he could search the "vehicle", the officer must have been pleased to find nothing but a combination lock and half a bottle of Orange Crush inside.

Can I just take a moment to point out how utterly hilarious this is?  It's the most remarkably absurd (and yet side-splitingly comical) thing I've heard in months.

Can you picture him?  This silly 42-year-old Easterner riding a motorized red cooler down the sidewalk - complete with bike helmet and headphones?  Priceless.  I can't get enough of that image.

Not to mention that I think it's effing brilliant.  Why walk, when you can ride?  And why not have your cold drink with you while you're at it?

Thankfully, Mr Rideout intends to fight the 222-dollar ticket he received.  He feels he's being discriminated against.  "I just wish they'd focus on criminals, and not coolers." 

Read the whole story here

Friday, 16 July 2010

I got the bluuuuees….

I’m not usually a weeknight adventurist, but last night we ventured outwardly.  Bluesfest 2010, baby.  Oh yeah. 

You’ve likely not heard of him, but Derek Trucks is hugely popular among guitar players/lovers.  Unlike most of the Bluesfest acts, Derek actually plays blues.  He’s a blues slide guitarist.  And he’s amazing.

He’s currently touring with his wife, Susan Tedeschi.  Susan plays guitar too, and has an incredible classic blues voice.

So, of course Hubby had to see them.

We met some friends for dinner, and after backtracking a bit to retrieve the tickets that I forgot (yes, I’m awesome), we made our way through the crowds into the festival.

First we watched Mathew Good.  Neither of us are fans, really, but he has a few good tunes.  Part of my problem is that I’m remarkably un-tall, so I can barely see anyway.  Hubby was just yawning like a big baby the whole time.

We left Matt Good’s stage early to get a good spot at the Trucks stage.  A perfect spot, actually - close, but on a hill (so I could see) and at the edge so we weren’t totally suffocated by people on all sides.

Before the concert started, Hubby was totally antsy with anticipation.  Like a crazy person.  He kept saying “I can’t believe we’re this close to Derek Trucks!” and “Oh, look, that’s Derek’s guitar!... and there’s Susan’s!”

He was pretty much quivering.  No word of a lie.

And you know what?  I don’t blame him.  What a friggin AWESOME show.  Derek slides and solos on that guitar as if it’s simply an extension of his body.  And Susan's voice is perfect.  And they have a wicked cool band, including a male singer with a fro who can reach low bluesy tones as expertly as he can reach high Michael Jackson falsettos.  And a bassist who grooved like you wouldn’t believe.  And two drummers.  TWO.

When the show ended, Hubby was pulling on my arm to leave.  Not because he knew I had to work in the morning, but because Derek and Susan were going to be at the merchandise tent signing autographs.

So he rushed me along through the crowds, having little to no patience with our friends who didn’t quite understand the urgency.

We got in line and I held his place why he found something to buy that they could sign.  A cd was the final decision.  He then held a conference to determine where they should sign it.  On the front cover, or the inside cover?  Maybe on the top of the disk?  On this lighter patch here?  Or would they have a white marker for that darker patch there?

Adorable. And so much fun.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Worst book EVER

I guess I'm a reader.  I never used to be.  I barely even looked at the books we were supposed to read in high school.  Then in university I just read text books and articles, which isn't the same as literature.  (And the highlighter kinda took away from the sense of 'leisure'.)

Don't worry.  I hate readers.  Readers are pretentious and annoying.  But when I became a commuter, I became a reader too.  Which is weird, because I spent most of my life getting motion sick in any and all moving-without-looking-where-I'm-going situations.  But I worked up a tolerance, and slowly found a way to read on a bus for a solid 40 minutes twice each day. 

At first I read scary stuff.  His highness, King Stephen.  (No tv and no chocolate make Annadanna go crazy.)

Then I went on a classics kick.  I decided I would read all the books I was supposed to read in high school, but never really did.  (I think I was a Coles Notes preferred client.)

So I read Wuthering Heights, and some Jane Austen novels, and, my absolute fav, Jane Eyre.  (Best book ever, by the way.)

Then I read Twilight and True Blood and became totally consumed with all things vampire.  Sidetrack.

Then I joined a book club (which really pushed me over the 60-year-old-in-a-26-year-old's- body cliff) and read some critically acclaimed stuff.

And then I thought I'd get back to the classics.  So I picked up Madame Bovary.

And what did I think?

Worst. book. EVER.

Not even kidding.  Least read-worthy book of all time.  I don't even have to actually read all the books of all time to know that this one's the worst.

Basically, this old French asshole wrote this whole load of crap about a woman who reads romantic novels, which convinces her to cheat on her husband.  She's generally unsatisfied and is pretty much a wretched and bitter harpy who resents her loving husband and daughter.  Awesome.

Some people might say it was just honest.  No way.  Some stuffy old guy trying to write from a woman's perspective just doesn't work.  He basically oppressed his lead character to the point where she hated her life, which made me hate her as much as she hated herself.  Not one redeeming quality.

I hated this book.  I couldn't even finish it.  And I always finish books if I start them.  For me to quit a book is a big deal because I always have to know what happens.  

So I Googled it.

The crazy bitch just kills herself with arsenic.

What a cop-out.  What a friggin joke.

I'm telling you - worst. book. EVER. 

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Commuter Chronicles - Canada day

Where: Downtown in the Nation’s Capital
When: Canada Day
Why: It’s unclear

Riding the bus is the best option for Canada Day celebrations in O-town.  Driving is a real pain, and parking isn’t cheap, nor convenient.

The ride downtown was something else.  Keep in mind, I’m used to commuting with other commuters – people in suits and dresses, with briefcases and blackberries, who mind their own business with their books and music.  I am not used to commuting with high-flying hoot-in-anies wearing bikinis and carrying beers.  (Yes, one particular older “lady” was wearing nothing but her red and white barely-underwear bathing suit… glorious.)

We eventually arrived, met up with friends, and had a ball.  Music and buskers and beer – oh my!  There were even barenaked ladies – the band, as well as topless body-painted women strolling down la promenade, garnering whatever attention they could.

News reports said there were over 100,000 people in attendance.  And after the fireworks, there must have been a million people waiting for a goddam bus.

Hoards of people flooded the streets, spilling over from the sidewalks.  Hubby tried to follow me as I quickly deeked through the crowds.

And then there was nowhere left to deek.

We were all pathetic cows being herded.  Standing on the curb, pissed off and pitying ourselves.  Just waiting for a bus – any damn bus – to open its doors.  Every single bus that passed was packed beyond capacity.

Hoards of people – Hubby and I included – we so… defenseless.

We finally got on a bus.  Not even the right one.  We’d have to switch later.  But we’d do anything not to have to stand there like idiots one minute longer.

And then it was packed.  PACKED.  And damn hot.  And so rank that I thought I might puke.  I buried my face in Hubby’s arm just to avoid smelling the air.

We made our way at a snaaaiilll’s pace through downtown. Every time the driver had to open the doors, people tried to cram in.  Mob mentality.  Cops were restraining people.  Crowds of drunk, tired, and trapped people – all just staring at us through the bus windows with pleading faces.  It reminded me of Rose and Jack floating in the North Atlantic in “Titanic” (but with less death/melodrama). 

Eventually we got moving.  Amen.  But that was only moderately more tolerable.

At one point there was a young drunk girl standing behind Hubby.  She was texting, and had totally abandoned all concern for holding herself up.  Hubby became the brace to fully lean against, and, at one sharp turn, his shirt became her lifeline as she nearly fell to the floor.

We were pretty much laughing by then.  It was all so ridiculous.

Next year, I will read this posting and revaluate, making an informed decision about whether or not to attend.  Probably will though.  It was still a shit ton of fun.

For your enjoyment, some photos:

First, a clown escorting our friend out of the driver's seat of his little cart.  And there, on the right, is Hubby, sitting in the back.

Second, the red and white view from a high bar balcony. 

And the crowds on Rue Rideau.  And there, in the middle, my dear friend with her arm raised in a celebratory cheer.

And finally, the fireworks behind the Peace Tower. 


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Is it chilly in here?


No it is not chilly

It's freaking hot. 

Does it have to be so freaking HOT?

I mean, I love summer.  And I love heat.  But this is a bit much.  35 degrees – 45 with the humidex.  10 degrees of humid?  Is that even possible?  Really?  Honest and for true?

When you can’t walk 5 minutes, at 9am, without wanting to faint, it’s too hot.  When you are surveying the landscape for any patch of shade between you and your destination that will provide a few steps of minor freedom, it’s too damn hot.  And when you are panting like a dog, gasping for a fresh breath as you sluggishly pull yourself forward, it is too effing hot.

And I can take it.  Work is air conditioned.  Home is air conditioned.  Even the bus is air conditioned (for the most part, if some idiot doesn’t open the windows).  Imagine people who actually have to expose themselves to the outdoors.  I can’t.  I can’t imagine it.  It’s too traumatic.

I heard on the news this morning that even the reported temperature can be a low-ball.  The thermometers at airport weather stations are usually in the shade, which means it’s actually as much as 5 degrees hotter than we think.  That’s just awesome.  Great news.

There has to be something we can do.  Some way of cooling ourselves.  Like elephants who fan their bodies with their giant ears.  

We should grow giant ears.  

They could wrap around us when it’s cold, and fan us when it’s hot.  They could protect us from the wind, and provide shade from the scorching sun.  

It seems like giant ears could be the solution to most of my problems (including money woes, because if I had giant ears I could go on the road with a rodeo or a freak show).

It’s settled then.  Giant ears are my next goal in life.  University degree – check.  Good career – check.  Wonderful husband – check. Giant ears – pending.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

I'm wiggin out here, man

All those people who effing hate earwigs, say I.

Eff it I hate those bastards.  Effing disgusting.  And terrifying as sin.   

Have you noticed, or is it just me, that they are freaking everywhere this year.  Everywhere.  Everywhere I look, they are there.  Squirming and creepy-crawling. 

They emerge from every corner of my universe.  They are on the deck, and under plant pots, and on the hose nozzle, and in the cracks of doors.  Even on the kitchen floor.  And they love our garage door entry code panel thingie.  Every time we raise the cover, there they are.  Scurrying away like the disgusting, pathetic, puke-inducers they are.

And this morning they crossed the line.  This morning there was one – oh god, I can’t even say it out loud – in my towel.  My TOWEL?!  Are you effing kidding me?

Too far, earwigs.  TOO DAMN FAR.

I almost put the towel over my head to wrap it up into one of the babushka head things and there was an effing EARWIG waiting for me.  Just what need – an earwig to actually climb into my ear and eat my brain via the direct route of my bath towel.

I’m going to throw up.

And get this.  Then Hubby went down to the basement to get his clothes off the laundry rack.  Guess what was lurking between the folds of fabric?  Yep.  You got it.


What are we supposed to do?  The house isn’t infested (yet), but they are getting in.  And they are finding the worst effing places to hide.  I shouldn’t have to be on constant effing earwig guard in my own damn house, should I?

Am I the only one with a mind-numbing hatred / pee-my-pants fear of these wiggly pinchy effers?  I think not. 

If you, too, are suffering from earwig mania, let me hear you.  C'mon folks, sing it from the rooftops.  Chant it with me.  Too damn far, earwigs.  Too far!