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.

_