Friday, August 31, 2007



Well, first off, the pictures: I've taken some good ones, but I have to wait until tomorrow morning to post them. Mr. IQ is at work. I still can't believe I'm posting about this crap. Sorry it's so boring, I'm doing this mostly for myself, to keep me focussed and hopefully encourage me to finish everything. I have, as you know, a bad track record for finishing things.

This morning we pulled back the mouse turd-encrusted carpet, confident that it would reveal a breathtakingly shiny and beautiful hardwood floor. As the picture I will post tomorrow will reveal, this is not what we found. Devastated, we decided that we needed to take a break to collect our thoughts. So we went thrift store shopping, and purchased several fine books for our collection.

"Ah good," I said dryly when he showed me this two inch thick copy of some crap labour law thing he planned to buy, "a book! Just what we need around the house to make us look smart or something." (I say this every time he brings a new book into the house. It ceased being funny about six years ago.) (I'm getting a strong sense of deja vu writing that: I suspect I've already told you this.)

It's here I wish I could post a picture of our sunroom for you, because it is now stacked high with the books that used to be in our TV room. They have been piled in there, because the plan is now to install some cheap-ass wood-looking flooring tomorrow. I cannot even BEGIN to describe how much I am dreading this. Just clearing the room this evening caused us to have 234 fights, and no I'm not exaggerating. It's not my damn fault he kept dropping things on his stupid feet, and I really didn't find the words he was shouting appropriate for a house filled with small language-learning children. Of course, when I shouted these words because things landed on my feet, it was entirely appropriate. He seemed to have a problem with this. I had problems with him having a problem. You get the picture.

Anyway, I don't have time for this, I have to get back to painting the halls.


Seriously mad at myself.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Boring Painting Update

...actually, I can't even believe I'm making posts like these...

Well, I got most of the TV room done today, at least the green part. This picture is terrible, as are all the other ones I took. It's actually a pretty darn nice green, not all pukey like it looks here.

Of course, this whole process is killing me. I hate hands-on stuff.

And don't even ask me about the stupid office.

Tomorrow: We pull up the mouse turd-encrusted carpet! Be sure to tune in!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sunday Night Office Update Part Whatever which the blogger gets boring and shows off some more pictures of her House of Chaos...

I'm back at work on Tuesday. I've been off for 16 months and honestly, it feels like 16 days in a way. So weird.

Typically, I've left everything to the last minute, and we're all freaking out around here trying to get everything done that I (and only I) want done. So help me, if the TV room and halls are not painted in the next five days someone is going to die.

Because pressure's on, I'm not going to be writing much over the next week or so, but just to ensure I finish these projects, I'm going to post pictures of our progress everyday until everything is done.

Honestly, the green looks a lot better in, uh, person.

Look, don't get offended by this picture, I'm not giving YOU the finger. I love YOU! I'm just doing this to express my exasperation with the whole stupid aesthetic process. Damn that cavewoman who first started painting pictures on the wall to "brighten up the place." It's all her fault! You know how people are. Her neighbour saw what she had done and thought, "Hmmm, I want that for MY cave!" And so the whole concept of "home decoration" started.

Truly, I sometimes think I would be a lot happier if I did live in a cave.

Hey, don't get offended by this picture either. High Intensity doesn't even know what "giving the finger" means. When she sees me doing it, she thinks I'm playing magic fairy and pointing my magic wand at daddy. WHO WON'T STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME TONIGHT, EVEN THOUGH I'VE ASKED HIM REPEATEDLY TO STOP.

See you tomorrow.

PS: Please, don't enlarge on the soap dish of this picture. Please. It's... appalling.

PPS: Uh, what about the stupid office??

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Musical Interlude

...oh GOD I love the Internet...

Hey, I wrote you guys a song.

Here it is.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


...I'm going to live forever! Unless I'm stabbed first!!!!...

Aughh!! Guess what!!! I'm going to be on the CBC six o'clock news tonight!! That's right, there's been a stabbing!! A fifteen year old boy!! 100 meters from our house!! They interviewed me on my thoughts and took some shots of me loading the kids into the car!! The car was a mess!! My moustache wasn't bleached!! I'm pretty sure I looked terrible!! My opinions were rambling and nonsensical!! What if the shot of me putting Fangs in the car seat makes my ass look big??!! I'm scared to watch tonight!! Wait a minute -- we don't even have a working television!!

Yup, that's right, there is a fifteen-year-old clinging to life in the hospital because someone tried to stab him to death and here I am excitedly contacting every person I've ever known to let them know I'm on TV tonight.

What a stupid world.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bummy Blog which my buns play the starring role and my children hardly appear at all, except as minor secondary characters ...

My friend Jeffen, whom I have known since grade eight, recently started up a blog. It's a music blog and the theme is right there in the title: Music Ruined My Life. On it, you can download great music and read neat things about music. Yip, it's a music blog all right; there can be no argument about that.

Jeffen calls my blog a Mommy Blog.

"It is NOT a Mommy Blog," I said, totally horrified when he told me this. "It's a.. a... a 'Complain About My Health and Mr. IQ' blog."

"Get out of here," he said, "All you do is write about your kids."

"No I don't!" I shouted. I got off the phone and sulked for a while. Then I went and found Mr. IQ.

"JeffensaidmyblogisaMommyBlogwaaghIdon'twanttobeknownasa MommyBlogger ismyblogaMommyBlog?" I asked shrilly, my hair standing slightly on end.

"Well....uh, yeah.... it's a mommy blog... isn't it?" Mr. IQ said, looking totally confused. He seemed uneasy, too, as in Oh, crap, what's the right answer? sort of uneasy. I hate it when I see him looking like that. I mean, for crying out loud, at this point shouldn't he have me all figured out?

"Hello! It's a 'Reflections on Life' blog!" I said indignantly.

"Pretty shallow reflections," he said, and then quickly added, "In all the right ways, of course."

Leaving aside the obvious question, namely, why does the Mommy Blogger label bug me so much, I ask you, are these guys wrong or what?? Listen, don't answer that! Let's read through the following story and then analyze it at the end for so-called "Mommy Blogger" content. I think you'll quite agree with me when I say that what I'm serving up here isn't your standard mac n' cheese mommy fare! My blog is deep! Complex! Controversial! Politically insightful and deeply textured! Its smooth finish is nuanced with subtle hints of chocolate, ripe bursting plum and dangly cherry! Oh crap, sorry. Got distracted and started describing the wine I had for dinner tonight instead. Anyway.

The Story

So, yah, like, I was getting dressed this morning, and, as per usual, the sight of my naked pale butt proved too much for High Intensity. Racing over, she began pummeling the old hamcakes like they were a set of bongo drums. She sang a little song, too, while she was doing this:


Such a charmer! She does this kind of thing a lot, even when it isn't spring.

Now, I don't know how other mothers deal with their little pre-schoolers doing Ringo Starr impersonations on their asses, but I imagine the responses would be pretty varied.

Gentle mom's response: "Now dear. Mama's bum doesn't like that."

Sneaky mom's response: "Say, is that a chocolate bar over there?"

Intellectual mom's response: Oh yeah, right, as if I would know.

'End of Her Rope' mom's response: Censored.

It just so happened that this morning I was tired. I was apathetic. I wasn't feeling particularly gentle, but then I wasn't energetic enough for a full scale attack either. So I chose the easy, "Maybe if I ignore it, it will just go away" response, which didn't work: it didn't go away. BONG-GA bong-ga BONG-GA bong-ga. The tribal beat she finally settled on was admittedly pretty mesmerizing. Combined with the hypnotic "ripple and wave" bum flesh vibrations, it knocked the baby out cold. And of course, eventually it got Mr. IQ's head popping in through the doorway.

"What's going on?" he asked. "It sounds like a Caribbean festival in here."

"Oh, like the kettle drums," I said, blushing, assuming he was making a coy reference to my amazing buns of steel.

"Heh?" He looked confused, so I explained.

"More like buns of mashed potato," he said, staring at them thoughtfully.

"BUUUNSSS OOOOOOF MAAAAASHHHH!!!" High Intensity shouted, like the announcer from The Muppet Show shouting PIGS IN SPACE.

"CHEEEEEEKSSS OOOOOOOF CHEEEEEEESE!!!!" Mr. IQ bellowed, getting right into the spirit of things.

"GEEEEEEEEET THE HELL OOOOOOUUUUUTTT OF HERRRRE!" I snarled, but they didn't budge. Glaring didn't get rid of them either. There was only one thing left to do, and that was put my pants on. So that's what I did.

-End of Story-

Analysis: The above vignette neatly illustrates how this blog has NOTHING TO DO WITH MY KIDS AT ALL AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MY ASS THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I'd write more, but I have to go bathe and feed my kids ass, and then take them it to the park. So I'll see you soon. I'll regale you with more delightful tales of my behind. (Get it?? "TALES??"Ahahahaahahhahahahahaha)


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dali Day in Seven Short Scenes

..the weird thing is that once you start LOOKING for surreal things, you realize that they're everywhere. So your challenge for today is notice one of them, and report back...


Some mornings you wake up and for some inexplicable reason you are filled with a terrible sense of unease and dread. That's when you know you are in for a bad day. Other mornings you wake up and you are a melty-face clock. Then you know you are in for a surreal day.

The Day

You wake up. A honky tonk version of Pink Floyd's Young Lust ("Oooh; I need a dirty woman") is blasting in your ear. You have never heard this particular version, but it is bad, so bad it's almost creepy. "#@%$&@ CBC!" you swear, and burrow your head in your pillow. But it isn't the radio, it is a CD being played by that person you live with. You stare at him strangely all through breakfast. That someone would choose to record such a horrible version of this song is weird. That someone would voluntarily listen to it is freaky beyond all possible description. Who IS this person?? you think, and why am I suddenly so afraid of him??

You head off to the Motor Vehicles Branch to renew your driver's license. Outside the building is a sausage stand, and as you near it you realize it is being run by a pleasant looking woman wearing a headscarf. A Muslim selling kubasa? You feel uneasy. Worriedly, you look around for the "Our Sausages are 100% Beef!" sign. But there is no "All Beef" sign. You start to hyperventilate.

You get your license and leave. As you walk nervously towards home, an expensive sports vehicle rounds the corner. It is being driven by some reckless young hooligan and he is blasting music. POUND! POUND! POUND! sounds the music, and the noise is deafening.

"Mommy, that music is TOO LOUD," your oldest child says.

"Yes. Yes it is," you say unhappily, casting an anxious look at the young delinquent. You hustle your child off in the opposite direction. The punk squeals his tires and rips down the street. You look about crazily. Has the world gone insane? He has been blasting CLASSICAL MUSIC. Something with VIOLINS and maybe even a CELLO or two. You whimper unhappily. Something is definitely up. You just want to go home.

Unfortunately, when you get home you find yourself locked out and wandering around lost in the forest-like back yard like Dante's little hell-bound boy. It is forest-like back there because you have neglected to mow the grass for a while, but no matter: You feel despondent. You remember that the guy you live with has gone off to do errands and won't be back for a while. You would stay home, but your fear of sitting there with two bored and whiny children overrides your new-found concerns about the BIG WEIRD WORLD. You decide to go for a walk. Before you leave, you scrawl a message in play chalk on the front door.

Locked out.
Meet us at Flying Pizza.
Hurry, please save us.
Everything is Freaky.

You hope when he sees the message he hurries.

You walk east of Arlington Street with your offspring. A thug on an old rusty ten speed bike with curved handlebars approaches you from behind and you edge out of his way. "Thanks very much ma'am," he murmurs politely as he passes. At the Portuguese bakery a pimp and two lovely and stoned prostitutes make way for you as you walk by. The pimp helps you carry the stroller up the two stairs to the bakery and then waits for you so he can help you bring it down again when you leave.

"He's a very nice man," your oldest child whispers when you are out of earshot.

"Mmm, really swell," you murmur.

You head for Flying Pizza. Once there, you have a long and painful conversation with the man behind the counter whose English vocabulary is limited. Your order for a medium Greek vegetarian pizza with black, not green, olives doesn't appear to be registering with him. He seems angry with you and keeps shouting something. You don't get it, and would consider hanging out at the vacuum cleaner shop across the street instead, except that you suspect their pizza wouldn't be as good. "A medium Greek!" you shout. "Black, not green!" You break out into a sweat and hope your order isn't being perversely misinterpreted.

Suddenly there is a tug on your arm. Your four-year-old child is looking up at you. "I know what he's saying," she says, "He's saying the medium and large ones cost the same." And so he is. You change the order to a large pizza and the man beams at you. He was on your side all along! You think about this as you wait outside at the picnic table. Then you suddenly realize that the guys making your pizza are Muslim as well.

The guy you live with appears.

"Is it odd?" you ask after greeting him, "that the guys in there are Muslim and cooking up pork products? I mean, instead of the Greek vegetarian pizza I ordered, we could have had one with ham, sausage and bacon, no problem."

The guy you live with looks wistful. "Ham, sausage and bacon," he says mournfully and gives a heavy sigh. You sit silently waiting for your pizza. When the Greek vegetarian arrives, you decide not to take it home but to eat it right there outside on the old and faded picnic table. It is about as un-Rome-like a setting as you could find. You feel a strange longing to have an Italian man with a violin come play at your table, and the surreal gods kindly grant an interpretive version of your wish: A shirtless man carrying a large Big Gulp walks by and gives a big musical belch. You start to relax a little. Perhaps surreal days aren't that bad after all!

Then just as you are finishing your pizza, a scary-looking thug approaches your table, and you brace yourself. What will he ask for? Money? Cigarettes? A lighter?

"Say," the guy says, "Wanna buy some frozen pickerel fillets?"

The guy you live with starts to say no, but you know that you have no choice but to buy some. This is YOUR surreal day, and just the words "pickerel fillets" brought up casually on a busy urban street by a scary-looking stranger makes you feel like you're tripping on acid. Besides, you recently re-read A Year in Provence and felt a wistful sense of longing when reading the descriptions of the outdoor markets. Purchasing stolen frozen fish fillets from criminals on the corner of Arlington and Sargent is the Winnipeg West End equivalent of going to a charming French stall and sniffing melons for freshness and wandering home with a couple of freshly baked loaves in your basket. You feel giddy. "I'll take two pounds," you say. After a complicated series of whistles and hand gestures, a second thug-like gentleman arrives with your purchase. You take them home and put them in the fridge.

For dinner, you cook them up.

"What's all that white stuff?" your oldest child asks, pointing to the glistening parts.

"White stuff. Everything's got white stuff," you say, trying to normalize it for her so that she'll accept it and eat it.


"Sure. If I was frying YOU up, people would ask the same question," you say. "They'd say, hey, what's up with all that white stuff there?"

"No they wouldn't," the man you live with says reasonably, "they'd say, 'Hey, why is there a small child being sauteed up in your frying pan?"

"Oh, of course they would," you say, "good point."

Naturally enough, the surreal day ends with dinner.


Embrace your surreal days, don't run away from them. And on the days when the local food bank is handing out pickerel fillets, hang out on West End street corners and look hungry. You'll be glad you did.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Boring Medical Update

...I should have posted this earlier but I was SO SICK of writing about my STUPID HEALTH and I sort of assumed you were SICK OF READING ABOUT IT...

I think I have mentioned that one of Mr. IQ's summer jobs is an overnight-dealy where basically he gets paid fairly substantial coin to sleep. I think he actually loves going to these shifts. Unlike here, at work there is junk food in the cupboards, plus cable: He can, if he chooses, not sleep, but sit and stuff his face with Cheetos and watch TV all night. He comes home to our TV channel-less house filled with nothing but chick peas and green leafy veg a refreshed new man. I think he likes this job a lot. I, on the other hand...

You know, there are not too many things I'm very good at. I can't draw; I can't sing; I couldn't organize my way out of a paper bag and the things I cook are often burnt and never delicious. But I must say, when Mr. IQ is off doing one of these overnight shifts and I'm alone in the house, I am a freaking GENIUS at imagining the different ways psychopathic home invaders could get in here and kill me. Lying in bed alone, listening to every creak and moan this house makes, I can work myself up into a right tizzy, mentally going through all the possible "Kill Whippersnapper!" scenarios I can think of. I've spent many a scary night holed up in this pit picturing myself being shot at, stabbed, poisoned, hacked in the skull with an icepick and shish-kebobbed Bavarian style with a side order of fries. I've even imagined myself being sat on in the face and smooshed to death by a big fleshy pair of robber buttocks. (Clothed buttocks. Oh my god, if that actually were to happen to me, fat ass mister robber man better bloody well have a pair of pants on.) In this manner, I terrify myself into a psychotically freaked out paralysis and then a coma-like trance takes over. It's like sleep, but when I snap out of it the next morning I find that I'm really not as well-rested as I would like to be. Also, I've usually peed the bed.

If you've been reading this blog for a while you probably know that all this is leading up to something and it is: Being sick for an extended length of time (like, oh I don't know, maybe HALF OF MY FREAKING SUMMER) just happens to be another one of those things that gets old Whippersnapper's imagination running off the deep end. I start envisioning some pretty bad scenarios, all of which end up with me in a casket and everyone bawling at my funeral. (Balling whom? Hahahaa) Anyway, because of all this I have a message I'd like to pass on to Winnipeg's health care professionals, in the wild and totally irrational hope that they read my blog: IT IS MEDICALLY IRRESPONSIBLE TO LEAVE AN AGING HYPOCHONDRIAC LIKE ME UNDIAGNOSED FOR FIVE BLOODY WEEKS. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? ARE YOU CRAZY???

Let's recap the last month and a half of doctor's visits, shall we?

Visit #1: (To the walk-in clinic, one week after illness first appears) "Well, the blah blah blah blahs on your throat indicate that the infection is viral in nature. Go home and take it easy."

Visit #2: (Two weeks later, to my family doctor) "Why are you coming to see me for a virus?? Here, take these antibiotics."

Visit #3: (Another two weeks or so later; again to my family doctor) "Hmmm... you're dying you say?? You think you have West Nile? Maybe Hantavirus? Ebola? Well, maybe we'll take some blood and, oh, why not, let's swab your throat for a sample as well since it's bugging you so much. Wow, would you just look at it down there, it's redder than old Karl Marx dressed up as Santy Claus!"

Gaaar. Anyway, the trips to the doctor are done and the tests are in: We have an official diagnosis. What have I been suffering from for all this time?? (Drum roll please... )

Strep throat.

(Strep throat?????)

Yip. Strep throat. Strep freaking throat. Half my summer wasted because of strep motherpluckingcanucking throat.

You know, I have been known to stretch the truth a bit on this blog. For instance, in the last post, it is not even slightly true that I regretted not having meatballs on the floor to cushion Mr. IQ's fall. In fact, if I had had meatballs down there and he HAD landed on them, truthfully, I think my first thoughts would have been ones of irritation. (Hey! That bastard just ruined my meatballs!) But it's important to me that you know that, on my honour, EVERYTHING I wrote about my symptoms last month was absolutely true. When I said I had a fever, I really had a fever. When I said my throat was killing me, it really was killing me. And every time I said I was suffering a relapse, darn it all, I was totally relapsing. My July was a ruin.

However! One good thing has come out of all this! My roll of fat around my middle, compliments of Baby Fangs and her nine month sojourn in my belly has -- well, not entirely disappeared, but definitely shrunk a lot. I'm happy about this and recognize this is a fabulous thing, however I'd also like you to know that I had become rather fond of my Fangs Roll. I liked to lie in bed and fondle it the way some people like to fondle their well I'm not going to finish that sentence, suffice it to say it was my comfort tire and unless I was looking sideways at myself in a mirror (something I rarely do) I didn't really begrudge its presence. Now that it's gone I must admit a small part of me is a little wistful and melancholy. Besides, what am I going to do at night now in bed? Besides freak myself out with my freaky little death visions, I mean?

I really can't believe I just asked that. If that's not a cue to end a post, I really don't know what is.

Uh, good-bye.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mystery Life

....oh those pesky forces of nature...

Ingmar Bergman died last week. Perhaps because I spent a significant chunk of my childhood driving through the (holycrapcanwesayboring) forests of Sweden on the way to my grandparents' farm in Norway, the news of his passing has affected me quite a bit. I haven't been this sad about an entertainment figure passing away since Oliver, the original singer of Good Morning Sunshine from the hit musical Hair, succumbed to cancer in 2000. Ah, Oliver. I still hear his song occasionally, played late at night on the golden oldies station, but I'll tell you, it's just not the same; I hear it as Good Morning, I'm Dead now, and I find this is a less perky version, even if the scooby-dooby-bow-wow chorus lyrics haven't changed.

I mention this because last night the kids and I made some popcorn and flipped on The Seventh Seal and what do you know, for the first time EVER there were all these themes of DEATH and HELL flashing at me and it was all very confusing. I've watched this movie at least three thousand times, and, until last night, all I'd seen were happy Swedish beach scenes complete with hunky Swedish stud-muffins playing chess. People think beach volleyball is all that and then some, but, wow, you really haven't seen anything until you've watched a beach chess game. Raaar. Anyway, it's all different now: Just because Bergman is dead, his cute and, let's be honest, chick-flick genre movies have become PHILOSOPHICAL NIGHTMARES for me. I must have a morbid personality or something. What's wrong with me??

Death ruins everything.

Anyway, because the movie got me thinking about death and hell and things, I thought I'd share with you that generally speaking, I am of the opinion that hell is:

70% other people (Not you. OTHER people. THOSE people. You know who I mean.)

5% Mr. IQ

15% entropy (With regards to my messy house, not the thermodynamic-y thing-y.) (Yes, it is official, I will only be teaching chemistry next school year; piss off.)

10% gravity

That's right, you heard me, gravity. My dinner plate-sized hands have never really reconciled themselves to "playing for the team" and they're always fumbling stuff, making my life a misery. They're spiteful things too and like to drop things on my feet, and when they're not doing this, High Intensity is doing it for them. And of course every ten seconds or so, old Baby Fangs is hurdling her tiny baby frame down a flight of stairs or crashing down from a shelf or something. Then she cries a lot and the whole house is miserable for a while, feeling her pain and then some. Gravity is horrible. I hate it.

I mention all this for a reason.

Because I am a very lazy person, when the cloud of inertia descends on my spirit, I tend to try to fight it. That is, I sometimes try to fight it. At least once a month, in a desperate attempt to once and for all rid myself of the "slothful bum " label, I force myself to do something that I absolutely hate doing. This usually involves tackling some ridiculous and grim household chore like "cleaning out the fridge" or "colour coordinating the dried legume jars in the cupboard" or "light dusting of the mantelpiece and cocktails." It takes much inner dialogue, but I usually manage to do something. Or, at very least, get started.

A few days ago, when every bone in my body was directing me to go lie down on the couch and re-read East of Eden for the 786th time because it would be comforting for my brain and non-demanding on my body, I managed to summon the will necessary to clean and shine our hardwood floors. I didn't really want to do it, oh god, I soooo didn't want to do it, but I got myself into the kitchen and under the sink to search for the necessary cleaning supplies. Naturally, I perked up momentarily when I discovered we were out of Murphy's Wood Oil, but I didn't let myself get off that easy. Giving myself a stern, if silent rebuke, I stubbornly grabbed the wood furniture cleaner and defiantly got down on my hands and knees and gave the whole house a good floor polishing. Actually, the furniture stuff did a beautiful job. The floors glowed. I lay on my couch under my Penis Wall Hanging feeling very self-satisfied, and, cool beverage in hand, congratulated myself on a job well done.

What I didn't know was that furniture polish, when used on hardwood floors, takes the notion of a "frictionless surface" to a whole new level. We spent a scary and tense day wiping out and showing off our bruises. By evening, both Baby Fangs AND High Intensity had reverted to their crawling stage, fearful of another skidding fall. It was terrible. I silently calculated the cost of carpeting the place in sandpaper. We were pretty miserable.

Then Mr. IQ came home.

If the world had a kinder, gentler moon-like gravity and we were kinder, gentler moon-like people, slipping on freshly polished floors would not be so catastrophic. Mr. IQ would have gone GA-BOING GA-BOING and then landed on the sofa or something and we would all have had a good laugh because daddy looked silly END OF STORY.

But alas, we are but mortals; Earth is our playing field. And really, let's face it, Mother Earth is one impatient, grabby little bitch, isn't she? You try and jump away and she yanks you back so fast, hurting you in the process! She's a possessive mother but without the soft cushy breasts to sink into. What I'm trying to say is that there would be no gentle GA-BOING GA-BOING for old IQ as he smashed down onto the floor, despite his moon-like proportions. Oh no. Instead, 200+ pounds of solid IQ came crashing down like an avalanche the world has never seen. The house gave a kind of seismic shudder and a terrible silence followed as we collectively waited for it to collapse. Even Baby Fangs froze, waiting for the end. We watched as slowly, slowly, a mushroom cloud of fury formed above his motionless, supine body.

Sometimes, as we all know, life slows down and things move along much slower than they normally do. I always thought this happened when we were about to die, but the fact that it happens when you are witnessing the potential death of someone else came as a bit of a surprise. In the eternity that it took for him to respond to his fall, all kinds of things went flashing through my head. I thought, Aughh, I can't believe he fell! And then: Ouch, that must have hurt! And finally, I guess because I had Ingmar Bergman on the brain, a heartfelt, Gosh, I wish there had been a layer of Swedish meatballs down there to cushion his fall. High Intensity tiptoed over to see if he was OK. I think we were all a little freaked out by his lack of reaction. Was he dead? Was his life insurance policy paid up? If it was, would I buy a new dining room set with the money or take a trip to Europe first? These were some more of the things that went flashing through my head as we watched him lying there.

Then he responded.

"&$*%#@ ICE RINK &%#$*&!!FLOOR &%$@*!!! SLIPPERY$*$$*# @*$??????" I didn't try to talk. I wisely knew that the best thing for all of us would be to let him bellow incoherently for a while. Interruptions would only intensify his rage. So he went on and on and on. I played with the baby for a while, did H.I.'s hair, made a sandwich. Finally there were signs that he was calming down so I explained about the furniture polish and apologized.

"Well, I'm going to have to start wearing a @%$$!! pair of *&*#!!!! mountain spikes just to navigate around the &*%$@# house!!" he shouted. And then something shifted in his expression. The old pack rat paused and looked at me, and I could tell he was thinking... deeply. "Luckily," he said slowly (and I really hope you're a long-time reader and can appreciate what I'm about to quote off here), "Luckily," he said (he who has put me through hell and back with his massive collection of stuff), "Luckily, " he said, (and his voice reverted to his regular one), "Luckily, I have a pair in the basement." We stared at each other, not moving. And then both of us collapsed onto the ground, because honestly, that was one of the funniest thing anyone has ever said to me in my whole stupid life. I laughed until I cried and then I made him go down and get them. I tried them on and plunked around the living room in them for a while. Then High Intensity tried them on. We had a good time.

Oh Ingmar, Ingmar. I don't believe in a biblical hell, so I don't think you're there right now. If it's true that the only immortality we have is via our genes, then the 732 children you had with your 567 assorted wives and girlfriends have well-assured you of that. Death is the big mystery I guess, but the fact is, I don't get anything about this world, never mind the Great Equalizer. I don't get gravity, pain and why I would want my stupid floors to shine in the first place anyway. I don't get why breaking my hair-straightener would send me into a despair that borders on the pathologically ridiculous. And your movies! I didn't get that weird dining room scene in Hour of the Wolf where the Bjorndiggy-diggy character said, "Fonken splunken fishball plunken"; it left me confused, and searching for herring sandwiches and answers, both of which I never found. Instead I wake up each morning, drink my coffee and stumble through my day not getting anything, feeling like a fool and bawling occasionally when the news comes on.

But I got the mountain spike reference. Scenes like that that keep me going. I guess that sounds a bit more morbid that I mean it to.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007


...and did I ever mention that I'm not a patient person?....

They took blood, and it's off being tested for the presence of West Nile antibodies as I type. I'll be honest: I was really hoping it WAS West Nile, because when you've been sick on and off for as long as I have, you just want to know what the hell is going on: If the test comes out negative then I'm right back to square one, not knowing what is wrong with me. Also, five weeks is a long time to be moaning and carrying on about how crappy you feel to all your friends and relatives. You start to feel a little self-conscious about it, like you're a big sniveling whiny hypochondriac. Receiving conformation that I have indeed fallen victim to a potentially very serious disease would, obviously, relieve me of THAT particular worry. See! I HAVE been sick, I WASN'T just trying to make you do all the work around here cuz I'm lazy... heh heh...well, maybe partly...

Last night, though, I spent some time reading up on the disease and, holy crap, no, I DO NOT WANT IT. Long term effects sound pretty bad, and include impaired motor control, headaches, tremors and DEPRESSION. Three words, people: "Permanent neurological damage." Aughhh, freaking out here! If my brain becomes impaired everything is going to suck! My students will know I am a big dummy and call me mean and hurtful names like "Ms Big Dummy." My chemistry lessons will be over my head. Kids will raid my chemical supply room and make pipe bombs in class and I'll be too dumb to figure out what's going on. (Ha ha ha, having fun guys?) My plan to master the Russian language and read the complete works of Tolstoy in the original? So out the window! And when the Globe and Mail arrives on Saturday I'll just stare blankly at the day's top stories and then head straight for the Style section to ogle the pretty pictures of smart furniture. Oh wait a minute, I already do that...

After reading about all the long-term effects of WNV, I went to Mr. IQ and said, "Hey, did you know permanent neurological damage can result from West Nile Virus? I could end up with BRAIN DAMAGE if that test comes out positive."

He looked up from the paper he was reading. "Well then," he said, "I guess you'll have to rely on your looks for your survival then." He gave a little guffaw -- well, not that little, more along the lines of a hearty "AHARHARHARHAHRHARHAR," sort of thing, and then, wiping the tears from his eyes and obviously very pleased with himself, went back to his reading.