Tuesday, May 29, 2007

No, Really, I am NOT in a 70's Musical Time Warp No Matter What My Friend Jeff Says

......sewage explosion in basement + in-laws in living room = not a lot of time to blog....

Well, I don't know what the weather is like in your part of the world these days, but here in the geographical east/west center of the darkest pits of Canada it has been nothing but rain rain rain for days and days on end. It's so stinking horrible and, I'll be honest here, it has made me crankier than a prettily-frocked bride knee-deep in cow dung. Listen up, Weather Gods, I don't care if we're the stupid breadbasket of the world and the crops shrivel up and dry, as far as I'm concerned everyone can do Atkins next year and carb-starve, just BRING ON THE BLOODY DROUGHT ALREADY!!! NOW!! NOW!! NOW!!!

ha ha.

I would apologize for my foul temper, but most of you who read this are from the same wet and dreary locale as me and will, I know, sympathize. When things are damp and gloomy outside, things become damp and gloomy inside too, and you basically go around wanting to kill everyone. This becomes especially true on buses, especially inner-city buses traveling downtown. Dripping wet, mentally ill men steam up the windows, fart and tell the same stupid jokes that, like mosquitoes, always pop up after a long period of endless rain.

Mentally ill man: (Loudly, after 5 minutes of muttered obscenities): Heh heh. What do Winnipeg and Cher have in common then? Heh? Heh?

All other passengers, including other mentally ill ones: (Unspoken, but because of the collective nature of the plea, pretty audible nonetheless) Oh God, please don't make him look at me, please don't make him look at me.....

Mentally ill man: THEY'RE BOTH NOT FUCKING SUNNY!!!! (Wheezily laughs for the rest of the bus ride.)

All other passengers, perhaps especially the other mentally ill ones: (No words. Wistful looks out of window at independent, single passenger car owners.)

But the worse part about continuous rain is not the damp bus rides spent sitting under moist armpits and cursing your maker for giving you olfactory nerves. No, the worst part is when the radio stations start cranking out those damn miserable rain tunes. Yes, those ones. You know what I mean.

I've done an independent scientific review of this, and I've determined it takes exactly three days of wet weather for those clever DJs to start rolling 'em out onto the airwaves. It's always the same ones. Karen Carpenter curled up in the closet, sawing at her wrist with a sharp- edged, heavily caloric cheese curl, miserably confessing that rainy days and Mondays always get her down; Stevie Nicks warning us to prepare for the worst and stock up on toilet paper because it's raining and that's when all the thunder happens; Annie Lennox and her smooth alto telling us coolly that the rain is coming again and that it's "tearing through her head like a new emotion." I'm wondering if that's kind of like being torn a new asshole: Painful, yet somehow character building. (Annie Lennox seems tough, with a strong and sure personality, so I think the answer to that is "yes.")

The songs that really piss me off the most though are the cheery ones, the Singing in the Rain false optimism tunes that just make me want to go and kick someone in the soggy nuts. The Supertramp Rain Song drives me around the bend, and not just because I've heard it at least 4,876, 756 more times than has been deemed healthy by the World Health Organization. I mean, have you listened to the lyrics? No? I'll give you the two best lines and rest my case:

"Come on you little fighter! No need to get uptighter!"


One song they never play is BJ Thomas's "Raindrops are Falling on my Head." Even Winnipeg DJs are too cool for that. The song has been running through my mind a lot this week though because, darn it, I just can't help being the cheerful, happy-go-lucky optimist that I am. Despite all the crap that has happened around here lately, I find myself smiling all the time and I JUST CAN'T STOP. It's so weird.

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed

Nothin' seems to fit

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head they keep fallin'

Last Thursday, it was the contents of our basement pipes that got too big for their bed. As a result, piles and piles of steaming poo burst forth in a big, melodramatic Shakespearean swoon all over our lower level floor. It was so horrible, I thought I was going to die.

So I just did me some talking to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
Sleeping on the job

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head they keep fallin'

The house smelled like a big stinky poo barn, and I was beside myself with unhappiness. The cold crappy weather just intensified the situation. Basically we had two choices:

1. Turn off the heat, open all the windows to air out the smell and freeze to death.

2. Keep the heat on with the windows closed and asphyxiate on the poo fumes.

It's times like these when one must be thankful for the little things in life, like a big strong male who can take control of everything. I stared at Mr. IQ's unsuspecting back fondly, and then, placing my arm firmly on his shoulder, said, "I'm going to leave all this in your competent hands darling." Then I packed up the kids, grabbed our toothbrushes and headed off to my parents for the night. "See you," were my parting words, "call me when everything is under control."

But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me won't defeat me

When I got to my parents, there was already a message from Mr. IQ lying on the counter. "This is so gross, I'm dying," it said. I phoned back immediately.

"Look, you're not dying," I said. Then I hung up and sank down with a comfortable sigh on the couch with my book.

It won't be long 'til happiness steps up to greet me
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Cryin's not for me

Mr. IQ spent the night shoveling shit. The next morning as the kids and I were eating bacon, eggs and warm cinnamon buns, he went out and purchased eight bottles of bleach to disinfect the floors. As he told the story later, he had gotten his second wind and was feeling pretty motivated. Bleach in hand, he charged down to the basement, dumped a bunch of it on the floor and immediately found himself overwhelmed by the fumes. Staggering upstairs, he managed to find the phone and gave me another ring.

"I just about died!" he said.

"Nyats oo wad," I said, my mouth full of bacon. (I was trying to say "that's too bad.")


"Well, calm down, you seem pretty alive now," I said clearly, having swallowed my bacon.


Cryin's not for me 'cause
I'm never going to stop the rain by complaining
Because I'm free

Nothin's worryin' me

It was pretty obvious I was going to have to be a little more encouraging, if for no other reason than because my breakfast was getting cold.

"Uh, come on, you little fighter," I said, "no need to get uptighter!"

[Musical trumpet interlude]

Mr. IQ hung up the phone.

It won't be long 'til happiness steps up to greet me

I finished my book while my lovely parents looked after the kids. It was rainy out, sure, but all in all, it wasn't that bad a day.

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
not for me
'Cause I'm never going to stop the rain by
Because I'm free
worrying me

Ah life! It's not that bad, even with the rain.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bubble Bubble Bubble

...oh good, it's three in the bloody morning, everyone is finally asleep, I guess I can freaking blog now...(grrrrrrrr)...

Because we are VERY immature in this household with the collective emotional age of about 19, we own a lot of comic books. One book we have is called The Big Book of Vice, and it deals with all the good things in life, namely, drugs, alcohol and sex. In one comic, the life of Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, is outlined. One panel shows a drawing of him standing with his first wife and kids in a typical 1950's functional family pose. Because it is a comic, we, the readers, are privy to Hugh's innermost thoughts: As he stands there with his wife and kids, thought bubbles are popping up from his head, leading us to the cloudy-black words that are running through his mind:

"I'm miserable!"

When I first wandered my way through The Big Book of Vice, Hugh's unhappiness with the whole "happy families" charade really struck a chord with me. Now, whenever I happen to stumble upon Mr. IQ unhappily dealing with some aspect of domestic non-bliss, I say perkily, "Bubble bubble bubble!! I'm miserable!" and usually this makes him laugh, (bitterly sometimes, it's true, but bitter laughs are better than no laughs, I always say.)

But when Mama is in a crappy mood, no-one is there to cajole me out of my crankiness. When the egg on the ceiling is getting me down, or the two small demanding children in my life refuse to nap and don't pass out until well after 10 PM on a day when all I want to do is sit on a couch and read, old momburger is left to stew alone in her own sorry little crank juices. Despite many wonderful traits, like the ability to make a really good ham sandwich, Mr. IQ is not particularly gifted at reading the emotions of others. As a result... I am ashamed to admit this, but sometimes I am more than just a little sympathetic with Hugh and his need to flee the domestic scene. Some days, I too, while scraping egg yolks off the ceiling and dealing with two kids screaming in my ear, have to resist the urge to run away from it all. Taking off to establish a magazine empire, live in a large mansion and make lots and lots of money certainly sounds tempting, I must say. Unfortunately, the idea of surrounding myself with a bunch of studs dressed up as bunnies is where my interest sort of peters out. (If, God forbid, in the throes of passion I were ever to reach out to stroke a set of tawny, muscular buttocks and found myself grappling instead with a large fluffy bunny tail, frankly, I don't know what I'd do: scream and sign up for years of therapy seems one likely possibility.)

So running away Hugh Hefner style is not, sadly, an option. Luckily, there are other things one can do to deal with the occasional bout of domestic misery. When, for example, an off-the-handle High Intensity is raging once again through one of her irrational four-year-old rants, I've found that flashing a surreptitious yet soul-satisfying finger her way does wonders to lighten the tension and improve the mood. I've done it so many times now, though, that the effect is sadly no longer soothing. It's an almost involuntary response at this point, and watching my extended digit slowly rise in her direction now does nothing but make me feel vaguely like a priapic teenage boy ( a discomforting feeling I can assure you.)

I'm not the only one around here for whom old tricks are wearing thin. Yesterday I came home to find High Intensity and Mr. IQ heavily engrossed in the Pretty Fingernail Game. Object: Collect pretty fingernails on your hand. Once you have them all, you win! As I watched Mr. IQ unhappily try to move the spinner, his hand crippled with the garish, purple coloured plastic fingernails he had already collected, his unread book lying beside him, I realized it was time for me to step in.

"Bubble bubble bubble!" I said dutifully, "I'm miserable!"

Mr. IQ slowly lifted his unhappy head and stared morosely at my large, moon-like, fluffy tail-less ass. He then flashed me a not-so-surreptitious finger. Then he lowered his eyes and continued to play the game, silently, without looking at me.

I don't believe in the happy family thing. I really don't, I think even functional families can be pretty miserable sometimes.

But I have to say, all this made me giggle. And later... much later... he laughed too.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

...wow, now I know what the Constant Whiner meant when she was tagged...I feel... I feel so... popular!!...

Jessica at Jessi's Crochet Cafe has tagged me! This means I have to write seven random things about myself. I think I'll write seven random things about my blog.

1. I angst a lot about the grammar and spelling of this blog. Usually when I read a published post over the next day, my heart sinks a little because something is not right. In my last post, it was my use of the word "span" instead of "spun" that had me freaking out. Hyperventilating while frantically turning the pages of a dictionary is never the easiest of tasks, but I managed, and discovered, much to my relief, that "span" is an archaic past tense of spin, and so technically correct to use. Still...

2. I try not to swear too much in my blog, but sometimes a good F bomb just has to be thrown into a sentence for effect. Having said that, this, too, can sometimes be cause for some serious anguish. Do you say:

a) For fuck's sake?
b) For fuck sakes?
c) For fuck's sakes? OR
d) For fuck sake?

I know only one is proper (probably "a"), but what can I say? I love them all.

3. I occasionally hate my blog. This feeling usually crops up after I've read something by David Sedaris.

4. For all you doubters: My buddy Nitroglycol took up the challenge and mentioned ussell-Ray owe-Craye on his blog too, and guess what: HE GOT A HIT FROM ARIZONA FROM SOMEONE GOOGLING THE BIRDMAN'S NAME TOO!!!! I know it's him. I mean, if you were famous, wouldn't YOU want to know what the blog world was saying about you??

We need a third mention for total confirmation. C'mon you guys, humour me!!

5. That last point wasn't really a random fact, was it? The problem with me is that, despite being a math/science teacher, I'm not really a fact person. I'm a head in the clouds kind of person.
That's why a lot of chemistry experiments have gone awry in my classroom. Grease fires spring up and I'll say, absent-mindedly, "throw some water on that Billy, hey?" It's not a good thing. When my principal told me that working part-time next year might mean teaching classes outside of my area of "expertise", i.e., math and science, I agreed, saying, "I'll teach wood-working if I have to!!!" Then I went home and freaked out a bit: What if they gave me home-ec? But, as Mr. IQ pointed out, a recipe is really no different from a chemistry lab, and I don't know what I'm doing when I'm running one of those either, so it should be OK. If nothing else, teaching cooking will probably make for a good blog post or two...

6. A memory: One day my brother was recording songs from the radio while simultaneously having a massive fight with me. We were about twelve and ten, and the fight, I am sure, was all my fault: Being older and more obnoxious I'm sure I was tormenting him about something, but I've forgotten now what it was all about. While recording Don't Go Changing by Billy Joel, my brother suddenly decided he couldn't take it anymore and totally snapped, smashing a bowl that lay on the counter and screaming hysterically, "I HATE YOU!! I REALLY REALLY HATE YOU!!" This outburst was recorded along with the song and, over the course of the next year or so, played so many times around the house that even today if Don't Go Changing is playing in a mall or something, it sounds all wrong when, at the critical moment, you can't hear my brother freaking out on me in the background.

7. The thing that my brother smashed was a bowl containing friendship cake batter. My friend gave it to me. The idea was to add more ingredients, distribute some of the batter to five more friends and make the friendship cake with what was left. Needless to say, the chain was broken with the smashing of that bowl, and I faced seven years of bad luck, i.e., the fun-filled teenage years.

I'm sharing this story because, um, another chain is about to be broken here. Forgive me Jessica, I totally enjoyed BEING tagged, but I... I just don't feel comfortable tagging others. What if they don't want to be tagged? Then I would feel bad.

Although I DID toy with the idea of tagging Dooce...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lady Luck

....Yay! Yay! Yay!....

Several weeks ago, we went out for Chinese food, and at the end of the meal, they gave us more fortune cookies than there were people at the table. Mr. IQ opened one and immediately looked unhappy.

"Mine's terrible!" he complained, looking genuinely pissed off. Moments like this are always cause for great concern for me. Deep down I suspect that a true Alpha male, confident, rugged and wise, would not go into a big sulk over a crappy fortune cookie. Franklin D. Roosevelt would not have crumbled at the sight of a stupid slip of paper, not even one indicating that a Hawaiian naval base was under Japanese attack! Consequently, at such times I feel despair, followed by unspeakable guilt.

"What does it say?" I asked, burying my true feelings under a mask of curiosity, and he passed it over to me. Your lucky colour this week is purple it read.

"Well, we'll just have to dress you up like an Easter egg," I said pleasantly, "and purchase some lottery tickets."

Sometimes Mr. IQ has absolutely no sense of humour, and this was one of those times. Growling, he lunged for another cookie. "Ah, that's much better," he said beaming, and tossed it to me. It said: You will never have to worry about money.

"Yeah, swell, that's a great one all right," I said, glancing at the bill. Swearing, I spent the next ten minutes hunting for my bank card. That damn fortune was right -- during my frantic search, he didn't look worried at all, only a little superior.

"I told you to bring the card," he kept saying, smugly.

I can mock, but the reality is that we are total suckers around here for fortune telling. So yesterday at the thrift store when I found the Where My Heart Will Wander Fortune Box, I snapped it up without hesitation. It had three balls, red, green and black, which would roll into slots indicating, well, where your heart would supposedly wander. Green would happen first, red next and finally black. All three of us were itching to try it, although Mr. IQ, bless him, feigned a certain amount of indifference. I think he knew what I'd been thinking at the Chinese restaurant and was trying to ease my mind, re: the whole Rugged He-Man of the Canadian Prairies thing. Honestly, the way he can read my mind sometimes, you'd think I go around wearing a thong on my head.

We let High Intensity go first. She span the balls around with endearing concentration and ended up with her heart wandering

First: To exotic lands
Then: To something unexpected
And finally: To a cocktail lounge

The last part, naturally, made me giggle.

"What's a cocktail lounge, mom?" she asked and I said, "Where you go for a boozy beverage," because we're not really the types to sugarcoat the truth around here for the young 'uns.

"Oh, like a beer," she said, very pleased with her fortune, and handed the box over to her dad. He got his heart wandering:

First: to beautiful shoes
Then: to solitude
And finally: to cloud nine

Mr. IQ looked vaguely embarrassed. "I DO NOT have a shoe fetish!" he said defensively. Because I have a very pure mind, it took me a minute to understand what he was talking about, and when I did I felt vaguely revolted.

"Ugh," I said, wiggling my toes around uneasily in my (suddenly) damp-feeling sandals. "That's so gross..."

"Let me go again then," he said, and gave the balls a second twirl. This time he got:

First: To a cocktail lounge
Then: To beautiful shoes
And finally: To a deepening friendship

"Someone in the bar is gonna really like your shoes, obviously," I said, and grabbed the box before he could think about that too much. I then spent the next ten minutes trying to manipulate the balls into the places I wanted them to go.

"Where are you trying to land it?" Mr. IQ finally asked, watching my desperate moves with the last remaining ball.

"To chocolate cakes," I choked out impatiently. "Why can't I get it to go to chocolate cakes?"

He watched me curiously until he couldn't stand it anymore. "You know," he said carefully, and only a little bit patronizingly, "the best way to a chocolate cake is perhaps via a car ride to the nearest bakery."

I ignored him. He knew why I wanted things to work out for me in the fortune ball department, just as I knew, deep down, why at the restaurant he had wanted a good cookie fortune. For us, our lives are all about luck luck luck, and fate fate fate. It's how we get through our days, it's our modus operandi: Frankly, it's the only way we know how to live. We are not the types of people who go out and conquer the world, we're the types who sit back and just let things happen. Consequently, good fortunes are excellent and very necessary morale boosters as we weave our unplotted and unplanned journey through life. I blame this pathetic lifestyle choice, incidentally, on the fact that both of us were accidents, people who made it into this world despite no planning on the part of our parents. Consciously or not, we believe that since we both managed, despite some pretty overwhelming odds, to get ourselves conceived, everything else will probably fall into place for us too.

Surprisingly, it usually does.

Honestly, it's sometimes kind of scary how things work out. When we're totally broke and I'm soberly whipping up flour balls for supper because there is no money for groceries, a cheque will suddenly arrive unexpectedly in the mail. If we need a daycare worker because I happen to be returning to work in seventeen hours, an ad will miraculously appear on a telephone pole in front of our house. If I'm craving ketchup potato chips and it's midnight and I really don't feel like jumping in the car because it's -45 C outside, well --- well-- well then I'll probably have to forgo the chips, actually. Most unfortunately, it only works for the really big things in life.

Big things like my job: Back when I was an unemployed bum, living with my parents and fast approaching 30, my friend put my name on the substitute teacher list at the school he taught at. My parents forced me to pick up the phone when they knew the school was calling me to work. (Not rocket science: who else calls at six in the morning?) And then their math/science teacher went and thoughtfully had a nervous breakdown. As a result, I came in to sub for him and just never left. Very tidy. No application letters, no resume, no cruddy interview. Which is very good, because if I am certain of one thing in this world, it is that I would give a pretty lousy interview.

("What's your discipline style, Ms Whippersnapper?" they would ask, and I would bleat out, "Beat them 'til they bleed, ahaahahahaha," and they'd say, "Hey! Thanks for coming in!" and that would be that.)

So back in March when my principal told me he would not consider giving me part time next year, I really couldn't face the thought of sending out my resume to different school divisions. No, I resigned myself to staying where I was and miserably slogging my way through a full time assignment, dealing with not one but TWO daycare workers and living a life of chaos with underwear in the crisper, etc., etc., ugh ugh ugh. Silly me for worrying: given my track record, I should have known something would happen. And it did. My principal called two days ago and, what do you know:



I am so grateful, I rushed out at once and got the BIGGEST box of wine I could find (Northwest Territory Estates, 2008) which I plan to give my wonderful principal later this week as a token of my thanks.

Oh, you have no idea what a relief this is.

Wow, am I happy!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Letter to Fangs

...how dare your birthday be on Mother's Day??? It's MY day, MY DAY, damn it all...

Happy Birthday Sweetie!!

Just think. One year ago today I was in the hospital screaming my guts out because you had the audacity to start heading out into this world during the nurses' paperwork/shift change hour when no drugs are administered. I shrieked blue bloody murder through the whole miserable ordeal and even, at one point, shouted, "I'm DYIIIIING!!" but not even a measly Tylenol was thrown my way. In response to my anguished cries, your father, always the voice of reason and heavily engrossed in some weighty news article, looked up from his reading and said, very matter-of-factly, "You're not dying, you know," before going back to his paper. Funnily enough, I found this incredibly not comforting at all! So I continued to scream and the Powers That Were continued to not give me any drugs or pain relief until finally you popped out. Well, I'll use the common phrasing there, but really, getting you out was not in any way similar to the opening of a champagne bottle, believe me: It was a lot less fun.

No offense.

When we left the hospital, I was given a questionnaire to fill out. One of the questions was:

How well did we manage your pain? Please indicate all that applied to you.

Epidural _____

Gas ________

Morphine ____

Quick puff on crack pipe (which I MOST CERTAINLY would have brought in with me had I known what lay ahead)______

Cool cloth on forehead ______

My X on the "cool cloth on forehead" option was so filled with bitterness and resentment it ripped through the page. Now, of course, I'm sort of masochistically proud that I did it all sans drugs, but it took a while to get me to that point, let me tell you. I was screaming SO LOUD and all that damn nurse did was continuously shove that wet rag into my face. I could have killed her, and her little wet rag too. But time, as they say, heals all deeply traumatic and mind altering psychological wounds. I'm all over it now. Really.

They say it takes weeks, sometimes even months before a mother truly bonds with her child and falls in love with her, but for me it didn't take that long. On our first night home from the hospital, you were lying on my lap, and yer Pa was off picking up a pizza and suddenly you puked up what seemed like a whole liter of the reddest blood I've ever seen. I panicked, screamed, and started to bawl. Your grandma was there and she shoved me out the door when your dad returned, and we belted it for the Children's Hospital. We didn't bother with the baby seat: I clutched you in my arms all the way there, and, thinking you were dying, stared into your face trying to memorize your features. You were awake and stared back at me in that wise way babies sometimes have. I thought you were dying. I thought you were dying.

When we got to the hospital there was a line-up, but I ignored it and went rushing up to the nurses' station, shrieking, "My baby's vomiting blood!" And the nurses -- well, they didn't even glance up from what they were doing. One actually turned her back on me. The other one just looked very bored.

"So," she asked in a really weary voice, "Are your nipples cracked honey?"

...And... so... they... were...

Ugh! You had been drinking my nipple blood!

When you're old enough to read this, no doubt you'll be even more grossed out by that than I was, but remember this: The whole event was the turning point. It was when you transformed from The Baby to My Baby. That horrific and terrifying trip to the hospital was the moment when I first realized how jagged-rich and cutting-deep my love for you was.

Fangs at three months: "Before the teeth came in"

Happy birthday, Baby.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Oooh! Oooh! Ooooh!!!

...don't try to discourage me in my delusions here, OK? And do me a favour: Mention him on YOUR blog too and tell me if you get a hit from Arizona...

Oh my GOD you guys, guess, just guess who came to my blog last night!!


How do I know this, you ask? Because someone from Arizona googled the name into Blog Search yesterday and this showed up on my sitemeter. "Who on earth," I asked myself when I saw the referral, "would be checking blogs for HIM??" Then I thought.... and did some checking... and found that the owe-Cray man LIVES IN ARIZONA!! Well, I'm no dummy, I can put two and two together. It MUST have been him!

(Loud girly scream.)

I should point out that I'm not the kind of person who really hero-worships movie stars. But I've seen Master and Commander: Far Side of the World so many times I probably should be named an honorary third lieutenant and, uh, well, he plays the Captain in that movie, and, uh, men in uniform and all that, and... oh jeez, listen, just go and rent the movie. You'll see what I mean.

Once I realized he'd been reading my blog, naturally I went over the post with a fine-toothed comb and to my horror discovered SEVERAL awkwardly phrased sentences that, for the life of me, I just COULDN'T figure out how to correct. (Does this happen to you too?) In fact, I had to go to bed and sleep on it before I knew what to change. Of course, my corrections are too late for Russell to see. Now he thinks I'm just a big lame blackhead squeezer who doesn't see anything through to completion, including a properly constructed sentence! Oh, this is so terrible! Blogging sucks!

(gloomy black cloud of unhappiness)

Off to sulk now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Finishing Wood, and Other Things

...gotta stop watching those damn home improvement shows...

Yay! Exciting times here at the House of Whippersnapper. Last night, I started yet ANOTHER project that I will NEVER, EVER, EVER finish!! Stripping, sanding and varnishing all the wood trim in our house is a task that I, blessed with the attention span of a two year old child and the innate, stick-to-it abilities of kumquat, have about as much of a chance of finishing as I do completing a doctorate on solitaire chess moves and yet I MUST start this. The inner masochist in me absolutely COMPELS ME to set myself up for failure. It's a compulsion bordering on mental illness: If Mr. IQ collects books and "neat things," well, I accumulate abandoned projects. Quilts, diaries, baby books, old furniture that needs to be refinished, they're all scattered around this house, serving only one purpose, that being to MAKE ME FEEL GUILTY. Oh, and to make you-know-who feel smug and superior.

Everyone I know likes to rub my inability to finish things in my face. Even my brother. Several years ago, when courting his now wife, he wrote a little love poem to her which I just happened to accidentally stumble upon one day while hunting through the far dark corners of his locked desk drawer. It contained the following lines:

My sister stops doing
Everything she starts
But I'll never stop
Loving you

As you may have guessed, he went on to become an ath-may ofessor-pray, not a world famous poet. Hmmm, it has just occurred to me that people tend to like writing poems which highlight all my personal failings. Suddenly feeling quite resentful.

The difficulty I have completing things hit a new low two years ago during spring break, when the only goal I set for myself was to try out this coconut cream cake recipe I read about in a gourmet magazine. I'm not much of a baker, but for some reason, the picture of this cake just triggered something in the coconut cream pleasure center of my brain, and I HAD to make it. But try as I would, I just couldn't get past the creamy filling stage. I made it at least four times, and each time succumbed to the temptation and gobbled it up before managing to wedge said filling between two light fluffy cake halves and covering it with delicious icing.

So pathetic.

I have to say, though, I'm feeling pretty optimistic about this latest project. I bought this great product called Peel Away, which is ridiculously expensive, but pretty fun to work with. You slap it on the wood, cover it with plastic and 24 hours later just peel everything off. I'm feeling optimistic, because the peeling part of the process really appeals to the grosser side of my personality, i.e., the side of me that likes to squeeze blackheads and pick at the cradle cap on Baby Fangs' scalp. Oh my heavens, did I really just admit to enjoying these things? How absolutely embarrassing. If my grade six teacher or my brother read this, no doubt they'd write a poem about it.

I feel quite ill
Watching my sister squeeze her blackheads
But I'll never feel ill
Squeezing you

Damn smug PhD types!! I'll show him! I WILL finish this project! I WILL get it done! It's like the time Russell Crowe and I were walking on the beach together back in 2001. We were holding hands, and he looked at me and said, "Look Whippersnapper, it's

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fever 'n' Ague


Totally ill, and Baby Fangs keeps trying to suckle from my runny, snot-filled nose.

Yeah, exactly.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sunday Night Office Update (Part II)

...posted on a Friday! I love this! Boy, this will be a fun thing to look forward to next week, huh, guessing which day I'll publish my Sunday office update again!...

Well, here's the situation. He SAYS work has been done. I SAY he's full of shit. He SAYS many, many boxes have been removed. I SAY the room looks worse than it did a week and a half ago. He says "Faaaaaaaaaawwwwk," as another pile of books collapses on him. I say, "heh heh heh." He says, "Time to take a break," and doesn't do anything for many days. I say, "Garrrrrrrr," and, snapping, throw everything that is left in the room ( a considerable pile of crap) outside on the front lawn. He says good naturedly, "Gee, why did you do that?" and hauls everything back into the front hallway. I say, "Yay, we can see the office floor for the first time since we moved in here!" He says, "@#&*%*!!, now everything is disorganized." I say, "Are you KIDDING ME??" and search for a hint of irony in his eyes. He says, "Grumble grumble grumble," and pretends to sort papers. I say, "My blog buddies all told me to drink lots of red wine, and I think I'm going to go do that now." He says, "Not only is everything all messy, but I think several very important papers blew away in the wind." I say, "Yay, more stuff gone!" and take a deep slug from the cheap colostomy bag of Cabernet we keep in our fridge at all times.

("Help get me through all this," I whisper, and stroke the gross, bloody-looking bag fondly.)

In other words, things have gotten a little ugly.

Part of the problem, of course, is this blog. I never used the computer before, so I was never in this room. The door was always shut, and what the eyes don't see, the heart don't bleed. But now that I'm in here all the time, well, things have to change. I want flowers. I want warmth. I want a book-lined study that gives the (incredibly) misleading impression that we are very, very clever, academic types. I want pictures on the wall. I want light music playing and a well-worn but comfortably organized atmosphere. I want to hide all the Mauve Binchy novels and have copies of scholarly tomes strewn casually about. Damn it, I want to stare out of my window as I write my wise, poetic, thought-provoking, Earth-changing, face-of-new-literature posts and see nature, a little forest perhaps, with a stream running through it and an occasional deer or two running by. I want. I want. I want to change my appearance so I look a little less like a crazy, moustached, bigger version of Cindy from Three's Company and a bit more like Noam Chomsky. I want an extra 30 IQ points. I want a WHOLE DIFFERENT LIFE COMPLETELY, AND IT ALL STARTS WITH THE OFFICE, BABY!!!! YOU HEAR ME??? ONCE THE OFFICE CHANGES, LIFE AS I'VE KNOWN IT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!!!!

Whoa! Ha ha ha! Well, I guess I let my imagination run a little wild there! Um, anyway.

(so embarrassed)

'Oooooh look, you can see the floor.'

The highlight of the (alleged) organizing process so far occurred on Tuesday, when Mr. IQ came rushing out of the room with something waving from his hand. He looked like the archangel Gabriel himself had descended from the heavens and singled him out for special treatment.

"Look, something stained this paper and made a picture!!!" he said excitedly, shoving it into my face.

I looked at it and refused to be impressed. "If it had looked like Jesus or Richard Nixon," I grumbled bad-naturedly, "we could have sold it for thousands of dollars on eBay and hired someone else to clean out this shithole."

My wise words hit him soundly in the cerebrum. "You're right," he said sadly, and crumpled up the picture and threw it into the recycling bin.

Huzzah! One item down, 7,469,987 to go!!


For whatever reason, whenever things get ugly in the office organization department, things brighten up for me in the form of a Perfect Post award. Thanks, CCE! Really, it made my week.