Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Thing She's Cute

Suddenly I feel brilliant.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It seems another roller coaster ride is coming to an end as we got through Vince's service even though it was heart wrenching. I didn't realize that he was a couple of years younger than me...just makes no sense when someone so young/good is ripped out of everyone's lives. Weird to bump into my ex sister in law and her family there...I didn't even know she knew him. But it turns out she grew up with him and they were in "puppy love" in school. Funny - she still had a little tiny shovel that he'd given her back said "I dig you" on it. Kids. Anyhow, small world - I guess we're all connected somehow.

I'm feeling hopeful after the service, which made me reflect a bit and think of how lucky I am, despite all that's been happening. I try not to take life for granted, however hard it can be at times. Maybe all the bad stuff is behind me and the new year holds promise? I seem to recall feeling this optimism every year at this time though, only to be let down when the shit starts hitting the fan. But this year is my year - my horoscope says all kinds of good stuff is coming. So I'll run with that.

* * * * *

In other earth shattering news...I was a maniac and actually went and lined up at 5 am for a boxing day sale, which I've never done before. And never EVER will again. Why? Because I like my sanity (and my bones all in one piece)....all the savings in the world aren't worth crawling out of bed at that ungodly hour to freeze my ass off with 500 other crazies who are all cranky and cut throat. And then the doors open.

It's a scary business, that boxing day madness..I swear some of 'em were packing. I, being a rookie and all, didn't know the game. But my move to fly up the broken escalator and bypass 100 lazy people who were riding up was a good one....managed to butt in front of at least 80 of them. Hey, it's a dog eat dog world and I can't help it if Grandpa's slower than I am. Screw him, I needed a camera. Sales make people lose their minds, as well as their manners. And I am not above that.

So my high school running back moves paid off - I managed to score one of the few cameras that were advertised. I lucked out, as the "15 in store" actually turned out to be 30 and I got one of the last ones. Someone actually had a seizure inside the store...ha, cheater. Took the easy way out (by ambulance). In all seriousness, that particular shopping experience did have that effect...nauseating, dizzying and what the hell did I go there for again? Oh yeah, because I'm the mother of the century. A camera for Linda....saved 250 bucks. And, in all honesty, she's so extremely passionate about photography that I really want to encourage it as much as I can. I mean let's face it - a 16 year old girl interested in photography is much better than some of the alternatives (drinking, partying, etc.). So I'm all for supporting her in that if it means keeping her on track at this vulnerable age. The thing hasn't left her hand since she got it and I feel that it's money well spent. I'm pretty sure that the near death

* * * * *

wow, this is weird.

I was interrupted midpost by the phone only to learn that my brother and his co workers had all been rushed to hospital, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning while on the job. Apparently they spent the night in hospital, on oxygen.

And then I learned that Dad had a fall (not serious, but worrying all the same).


Seriously, I haven't been posting because I wanted this to be more than just my whine sessions.

But waaaaaa.

It's o.k. - they're all going to be fine.

I just can't believe that at the very moment that I was typing the words near death experience, my brother was actually having one. He'd been up on some scaffolding when he began to feel sick, dizzy, etc. and climbed down to report he couldn't go back up there. Then a co worker got seriously ill and they quickly realized that they were all suffering from the same symptoms so they called 911. The firefighters arrived and cleared them out of the building, as the carbon monoxide levels were through the roof. They were then rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

What was I saying about shit and a fan?....let's get this year over with already. I'm so done with it.

Next post: good news, happiness & rainbows....back later, to spread some more sunshine. Debbie Downer, signing off....

Monday, December 24, 2007

Whoever said "only the good die young" must've met you at some point.

A politely quiet man with a giant sized heart.

Who took in, cared for and gave a home to foster children who were deemed "unplaceable". And didn't just, "raise" them - gave them a life worth living. One of holiday vacations and fishing cabins with friends. One who endured Spice Girls slumber parties of giggling girls, phone calls and all night talk of cute boys because it meant the world to them. And so it did to you.

Linds tells me of times you joined in and made them all laugh. Put on a wig or did a hoochie dance. A man with enough confidence to ham it up with the girls. A real man, through and through.

I'll never forget how you treated my daughter. That you did for her what I, at the time, was unable to do. Or the time, not long ago, that we saw that movie together and what you did for your own girl that day. A broken man on the edge of death, putting aside his pain and a brave face on to carry her up the stairs, despite the suffering it caused you afterward. It meant her dignity, so you found a way. I wish we could've found a way for you.....

The last time I saw you, just a few short weeks ago, I think I knew. But I didn't want to accept it, so I told myself that you'd be better. I recognized the sadness in your face, it was different and so unlike you. But, looking back, I think you probably had already resigned to the fact that "this was it". I know that plans were being just came too soon. It just came. Damn it all.

Despite our optimistic "exchange", you probably knew. And maybe you came by for that one, last hug....I didn't give it to you because I was sick and trying to protect you. How ironic is that?

I'd love to have that last hug my friend. But it shall never be.

Rest in peace Vince. We shall truly miss your wonderful were a good man. A very good man. And you were far too young to leave us, but we'll never forget you and I promise to live my life a little bit a little kinder, in your honor. Yours are big shoes to fill my friend.

Too, too sad.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 1989 (or at least dress like it)

Today, I am proud to be a Vancouverite, for it is here, in this city, that we come together to celebrate this.

Hell yeah. If I wasn't sick I'd actually go.

Instead of the usual "I have nothing to wear" pre-party dilemma, there'd be a whole slew of choices...."hhmm, do I go with the purple angora with red/yellow triangles or the black/white polyester zigzag with padded shoulders?". Imagine the possibilities.

Grandma would be proud as hell as you reach back, far into the closet, for that little gem she picked out for you. Or, better yet, made for you. To think, she probably had bleeding fingers after investing countless hours in front of Jeopardy. Are you sure she loved you? Or did she just have a sick sense of humor? Did she know that, as a child, you had rocks thrown at you and years of therapy couldn't undo what wearing that hideous garment to school for one day did?

Anyhow, apparently this event has people frantically scrambling around Craigslist trying to find themselves an ugly sweater for tonight. I wasn't aware of the shortage...come to my place, I'm sure we can fix you up with something.

I raise my glass to those in truly know how to party. And I seriously think that every city should consider making this an annual could be huge.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Two words: ROCK BAND baby

(O.K., well three)

Ty spent his birthday money today and the inner drummer in me has been set free.

A cross between Bonzo, Moon the Loon and Neil Pert.

O.K., O.K.....maybe it's more like Goofy, The Tin Man, and Spongebob. Whatever, I'm learning.

I wasn't liking the idea at first, as Ty had arranged to meet some dude from Craigslist in an underground parking lot to buy it for much more than it's worth. I was worried about it being a set up (do you think maybe I've watched one too many crime programs?). Anyhow, it all went smoothly and now we're rocking out. Later.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Boring Post Alert

I'm puttin' on the body armor and heading down to the mall today to finish my Christmas shopping. If you never hear from me again, I'm probably buried under boxes somewhere but just leave me's easier that way.

I did go out to do some last week - found a whole bunch of lovely things for people and then realized I'd left my bank card at home and couldn't pay for them. So it seems my new technique is to waste an hour pretending I'm shopping and then go back when it's really crowded on the weekend to actually do my shopping. And here's the deal with that - the ex is (once again) in arrears with support payments so I have to give the clerks IOU's.Not much else happening...I'm still fighting this SARS or whatever the hell is giving me a cough that scares poor children. It is worrying when you work in the public and handle money...I don't really even have access to a sink to wash my hands. So I'm constantly soaking in the antibacterial hand cleaner but I don't know that it's enough. Yesterday a woman actually blew her nose, still had the kleenex in her hand and put the money in that hand before she gave it to me. I've bitched about this before and have tried gloves, but trying to work with the tickets in those suckers is kind of like picking up rice with your toes.

* * * * *

And now for something that's actually funny and not boring. I stole this from somewhere else (thanks Mr. Bruno) but found it so hilarious I wanted to pass it along to you:

This is George Carlin/Bill Maher's List of New Rules:

New Rule: No more gift registries. You know it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduation from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop ad for! There's a reason you don't t talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull! People are acting all shocked that there was a finger found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it costs less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout?

New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.

New Rule: If you need to shave and still collect baseball cards you're gay. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done. (I love that one)

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket - water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

New Rule: Stop f#@king with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time Grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a decaf, grande, half-soy, half low-fat iced vanilla double shot gingerbread cappucino, extra dry, light ice with one Sweet n' Low and one Nutrasweet, oooh, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing "ENTER", verifying the amount, deciding no, I don't want cash back, and pressing "ENTER" again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

New Rule: (My favorite one) Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it, doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli". The last time you did anything that was spiritual, you were praying to God that you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recenty televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called The Howard Stern Show.

New Rule: I don't need a bigger M&M. If I'm hungry for M&M's, I'll go nuts and eat two.

New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember that the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

New Rule: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. "27 months". He's two. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place.

* * * * *

Anyhow, how are your Christmas chores coming along? Any tips for survival? Dr. Kervorkian's number?

* * * * *

Edit: I'm going to make this the longest post ever because I love Charlie Brown - especially at Christmas. Enjoy!

Friday, December 14, 2007

When Life Hands You Lemons, Throw Them At Somebody

Some days having a teenage girl in the house makes me want to shoot myself in the foot. With a bow and arrow.

And forget all those nice things I said about my ex. After my foot's gone, he's next.

I'm in a break in a poker tourney right now (and about to win it), so I'll be back later to elaborate further on this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This One's For Us (KW)

Everyone that knew us, knew.

How many cold afternoons, like the one today, would this be played?

Who could've known back then that the two kids would eventually have two kids and that, over 30 years later, you'd still call me when it comes on your radio? That I'd still get shivers directly related to you/this? And that, given the right ingredients, we'd both still cry.

Another one said "when mountains crumble to the sea......". It's just not the way we thought it would be, that's all. But best friends will just have to do.

Our boys did a good job last night it seems. And they will always make me think of you. And I know, you of me.

Another....I love how it's done here. Immediately transports me to another place/time - but you can never go back, right? For some, last night they did (lucky bastards)...I would've given anything to have been there. With you this time? Obviously, this one's not from last night. But it still holds the same punch with me that it did all those years ago....

Led Zeppelin is my religion. And this is my God.

(now, go check out the post below this one's double header Tuesday)

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THE ANSWER IS: He had a heart attack today


A mild one, no worries.

When I googled his name, this little gem popped up. Who knew?

And then there's always my favorite take on things:

Monday, December 10, 2007

There's nothing quite like coming home from work and heating up a nice bowl of chili, sitting down to enjoy it, then looking out the window and seeing crows pick away at something on the boulevard. And then, upon closer inspection, realizing it's a big, bloody heap of roadkill, complete with guts hanging out everywhere. Yum.

* * * * *

Yesterday I told you I'd bring you up to speed on the 2010 Winter Olympic mascots so...(drumroll please) Tada, here they are.

Now I understand that some will actually find these guys "cute"...I suppose they could be (with crows on them out on the boulevard). But, for me (and, apparently, several thousand others here), they do absolutely nothing to represent Vancouver. They appear to be the love children of the Pokemon boys and Hello Kitty (slut) and I think a visit to Maury Povich is in order ("Who's Your Baby's Daddy?).

Seriously, who wants a big, cat-coughed-up hairball, a mohawk wearing penguin (?) and a razor-footed tricera-bear as mascots? (mind you - they ARE big in the BC wilderness...saw some when we were camping one year. A lot of beer was involved).

I really didn't know what the hell they are but, after reading this:

"Miga is a mythical First Nations sea bear that is part killer whale and part Kermode spirit bear.

Miga was based on the legends of the Pacific Northwest First Nations of orca whales that transform into bears when they arrive on land, but is also a snowboarder.

Quatchi is a sasquatch, but a shy and gentle giant, that loves all winter sports, and is especially fond of hockey and dreams of becoming a world-famous goalie.

The third mascot, Sumi, is an animal-guardian spirit who wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty Thunderbird and runs on the furry legs of the black bear."

I still don't.

Snowboarding half whale/bear?...Ross Rebagliati must've had a hand in this one (after he smoked a few).

Hockey playing sasquatch? Sounds like a Kokanee commercial to me. (At least Luongo will have another back up for the playoffs).

The last one (Sumi) just makes Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" pop into mind. A furry legged, flying hatted creature...wait, isn't that Whitney Houston? (Come to think of it, she's more the Crotchey/sasquatch kind).

We do have a large (majority) population of Asian people here so, undoubtedly, these will be popular and possible big sellers. But Crotchey, Sue Me and My God really don't appeal to an overwhelming number of Vancouverites, who think the designers totally blew it and failed to represent this city at all.

I guess I should try and be positive...maybe Junky's right, it could've been a lot worse:We could've ended up with something like this cracked out rainbow full of fun. Wow.

(*To go "play" with the mascots, copy/paste this link. It won't allow me to directly link to it, but go have yourself a headache on me):

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Well it seems that I survived last week (barely).

The kicker came on Thursday. I got up early and then proceeded to fart around until 9:00, which is time to wake Linds up (she sleeps through her alarm). When I did, she freaked out and said:


Yeah. So what?


Silly girl, it's Friday...we're not late.

What? It's Thursday? - IT CAN'T BE!!!
(I did a quick really was) OH MY GOD, WE'RE LATE!!!

I'm supposed to have Linds at school by 9:00 and be at work by 9:15 on Thursdays - the lightbulb moment occurred at precisely 9:11. (Fitting) Oh Joy. We really were late.

I got to work at 10. I'm never late so I wasn't too worried, but it did set me back all day. When I had a quiet moment I actually stopped and had to think back over the week to figure out how it was only Thursday. How did that happen?....I felt so gypped. Some may call it a blonde moment, I, however, attribute it to being on overload. Yeah, that's it.

So, according to my calculations, I should've just stayed home on Friday because it was technically Saturday to me - no? Have I lost you yet?

* * * * * * * * * *

Speaking of Christmas - I wrote about 20 cards out last week. Today I actually addressed 5. Tomorrow, who knows - they may even get mailed. Maybe. There have been years that I've done all my cards and not mailed them. Efficiency's my middle name.

The ex and Linds did get a tree today so that's a step in the right direction. It's in the carport, waiting for a sudden burst of energy by me, which would actually get it inside and in a stand. Maybe tomorrow.

I don't know how this happens....December just sort of quietly sneaks in and hangs around until it smacks me over the head with Christmas. I think I'll start in October next year. Maybe even August.

Well friends, hope things are falling into place for you. Is anyone else feeling behind this year or am I the only one who ignores calendars and wings it. It obviously isn't working and I think I need a new plan.

(Oh, remind me to tell you about our Pokemon Olympic Mascots tomorrow. Pitiful)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tis The Season....

Who goes grocery shopping for a family of 3 and spends $439.00? (And still needs tin foil & dish soap!!!.)

So Merry Christmas Linds....dont'cha love your new bagels?'s that new pudding you've always wanted.

Actually I did splurge on some Bailey's Irish Cream chocolates (kinda pricey). I was going to give one box away but Ty's already sampling them so I'm quite sure that, come Christmas time, we're going to have to open the other box too. It's the law in this house...once chocolate enters here, it can never leave.

Christmas is breaking me...I love it, but I wish I was rich. Or not poor even. I've only started shopping and one of my problems is that I give gifts early and then need to go buy new ones. Not good on the budget at all, but a helluva lot of fun.

In other Christmas related news:

Today at work two men pulled up in a truck and proceeded to unload a nice, fresh (live) Christmas tree. I had no idea who they were and had never seen them before (nor had any of the other merchants). They had heavy (Scandinavian?) accents and semed to be awfully jolly. (Drunk?) They brought the tree in and then started carting in bags of brand new decorations and that's where the fun began. Understand here - Bjorn and Johan looked like they were ready to chop logs to build a ski chalet in their work overalls, boots and toques - but apparently they'd come to "decorate"? I went about my business and they set off to work. I glanced over on occassion and gave them a thumbs up as they bumbled along. Things quickly became comical, as it was obvious that they had no clue how to decorate a tree. A lot of standing around looking at each other, head scratching, walking back and forth to the truck, belly laughs and wise cracks and even a few cell phone calls (to get direction I'm sure).

They started off well enough - they untied the tree, put it in a stand (no water mind you) and put a lovely star and some blinking lights on. Really should've just stopped there. The girls (hairdressers) and I were impressed - this was far nicer than the plasic tree we have every year. But what came next was nothing short of a catastrophe and may well have been treeslaughter.

Bjorn grabbed the fake snow and started spraying like a maniac...he went a little blizzard on us. He was coughing and spraying and I'm quite sure he should've worn a gas mask...he held the can straight armed out in front of him, head back and eyes closed. Yikes. Where the hell's my tazer when I need it?

In no time at all, he'd turned the lovely green tree completely white. Murdered it.

Then Johan got excited and started zap strapping ornaments on. He must've really liked one spot (down low) because 22 of the 28 ornaments ended up there. Then came the tinselly garland stuff and, oh Lord, it was bad. They didn't drape it around or make nice, uniformed scallops. No, they were men so they heaved it on in big, manly clumps. Some of it just got caught up on the top and went straight down to the bottom and hung on the floor. Beautiful. It looked like a puking tree. It was absolutely hideous. It then dawned on me that someone had sent drunk janitors over after the Christmas party to put up a tree for us.

The color scheme was something to behold:

Tinselly garland:
1) Two strands of gold
2) Two strands of green
3) One fancy gold, with leaves
4) One silver/black combo

Ornaments: blue / red /silver / purple

Nice. We've covered every possible combination now.

Then the final know those molded white plastic shapes of candy canes, bells and candles that have lights on them and are to hang in windows and on balconies? They had one. And they finished off by hanging it on the bottom of the tree (with a zap strap), so that it weighed the branch down and it was almost touching the ground. I think I felt Martha Stewart wince.

One of the hairdressers ran out of the shop at this point, cornered me and then whispered (in a panic) "who the hell ARE these guys?". Then she had me reassure her that we could "fix" the tree when they left.

I thought Team Christmas had finished at this point, but they then took turns standing in front of their masterpiece and took pictures for twenty minutes. They were as proud as shit and I found them hilarious. One joked to me "who made this nice tree, hey?" and I really wanted to say "a blind man with no fingers?". But I didn't.

I wish I'd had my camera.

It was extremely amusing to watch these two - they were as clumsy as hell and they'd look at each other and shrug, as if in approval. They made calls on their cells (to confirm that purple went with green?). It took them 4 hours to do a 20 minute job. And, the minute they left, I went over and undid the entire tree and then redid it (minus the black/silver combo).

So I'm starting to feel the Christmas "spirit" now, thanks to two 7 foot elves in a white pickup. Bless their big, burly hearts - they tried.