Friday, September 30, 2005

Highway to Hull

Always the optimist and full of GREAT ideas, I decided my family needed a vacation. To Ottawa. Five hours away. Going fast.

In nearby Hull, we went on this beautiful steam engine ride into the hills to see the fall colours. The brochure said (and I quote) : GREAT FOR KIDS! OLD-TIME FAMILY FUN! ENJOY A WONDERLAND OF COLOURS FOR YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE!!!


This makes me think there should be more truth in advertising. Here are my revisions for the brochure descriptions of other tourist destinations in the Ottawa area...

National Museum of Science & Technology: "We have hands-on exhibits, exciting live demonstrations, real steam trains & actual NASA equipment but it won't matter because your kid will park in front of the stupid video game demo and stay there all day."

Cosmic Adventures Indoor Playcentre: "Lose your children in our 3 storey high, 2 block long, dimly-lit climber! Kill yourself trying to find them up there! 100% safety record until YOU arrived!"

White Lake Resort: "Our raccoons aren't scared of you!"

St. Laurent Shopping Centre: "We have nouveau art sculptures in our food court that will frighten your children!"

Highway 417: "Highway 417 is conveniently located---ha ha ha! You'll never find us! You are LOST permanently in middle-of-nowhere Ontario! Drive in circles you pathetic Torontonians!"

But we are smiling in the pictures, and that's what counts!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Enter the Boudoir

Welcome to my bedroom. We have the candles, we have the Sarah McLachlan CD on, we have the warm bodies, the soft bed, the 2am darkness, the building passion and the sweet sound of

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the bedroom door.

Hubby: "Ignore him, he'll go away."

Me: "Good idea."

We continue.

BLAM BLAM BLAM on the bedroom door.

Hubby: "Let's just be really quiet."

Me: "Umm, okay..."

We continue, uneasily.


Hubby: "We're SLEEPING!"

Me: "Great, now he knows we're awake."

Hubby: "What do you want me to do, IGNORE him?"

Me: "Well it was YOUR idea!"

I roll over. Hubby's cut off.


Me: "Okay, I'm coming, hold on."

Hubby: "No, you wait here, darling. We'll pick up where we left off. I promise!"


Hubby hastily makes himself decent and scurries off. I wait, feeling as hot and passionate as a wet cardboard box. 60 to 0 in .8 seconds.

Hubby returns, smiling and all sure of himself. 0-100 in .8 seconds.

Hubby: "So where were we, baby?"

Me: "We were arguing."

Hubby: "We were? Arguing about what?"

Me: "Nevermind."

Hubby: "WHAT? What did I do now?"

Me: "Just forget it."

Hubby: "But I thought we were having a great time!"

Me: "We were."

Hubby: "So why are we fighting?"

Me: "Cuz I'm mad."

Hubby: "Fine then. I'm mad too."

Me: "Why the heck are YOU mad now?"

Hubby: "Because I am in bed with a beautiful woman and she is irrestible but she won't let me get close to her."

Me: "Oh."

I remedy the situation. We continue to remedy over and over and over until


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Beware the Word Police

Have you ever known a person who had no ideas of their own? We all do. You know, the person who never takes an initiative, who does things as they have always been done, who never looks for a better way, who has no optimistic drive/innovative spirit/sense of humor? Have you also noticed that these moss-covered, stagnant pools of humanity are the SAME PEOPLE who are the literal SHARP SHOOTERS when it comes to bringing down a new idea/perspective brought up by someone else? Even if they don't fully understand the context or the point, if someone else is saying it, it MUST be wrong:

Jim in HR: "Since we have had such high turnover and job dissatisfaction, I thought we could start doing surveys based on the new best practices manual -"
"Sheila" in Ops: "POW!"

Andrea in Finance: "The year end budget is looking phenonenal! By the end of the quarter, we can expand into several new areas -"
"Sheila" in Ops: "POW!"

John: "My beloved, we make each other so very happy, we have been dating for 10 years, I love you (*gets down on one knee*). I guess what I am trying to say is (*takes out a small box*), would you make me the happiest man in the world by saying- "
"Sheila" in Ops: "POW!"

Sheila is a member of the WORD POLICE. They think everyone needs the honor of their two cents (usually offered over the shoulder as they are walking away). Their favorite line : YOU CAN'T SAY THAT!

To make their lives easier, I have composed the definitive list of...

1. Any opinion that is not the same as everyone
else's in the whole world.
2. Any admission of a fault or a personal failing.
3. Any remarks that are funny or scary or creative or courageous or thought-provoking.

To help Sheila and her buddies out, kindly print this list and post it on every doorway, on every pen & pencil, on every sheet of paper and on every computer keyboard as a handy reminder. Sticker versions will be made available soon for use over the mouth.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Nice Girl

Everyone who knows me thinks that I am SO NICE and lovably neurotic to boot. In many ways, they are right. When I make a mistake, I am the first to apologize. When I'm inappropriate, expect me to feel guilty in .0074 seconds. Blind lady crossing the street? Lost puppies? Litter on the beach? Shoulder to cry on? I love to help out. Whatever you need, whatever you expect, whatever makes you happy, I'm your girl.


DON'T PISS ME OFF. I am not one to overlook a random act of unkindness. If one goes out of their way to be rude/unfair/unkind, they become, instantly, my mortal enemy. And I don't merely want my enemies to drop dead. Oh no. When I'm pissed, I get creative.

My revenge fantasy goes something like this: my enemy "offender" falls upon their knees, dressed in rags, begging forgiveness before a stadium full of booing and hissing people throwing scraps whilst I, dressed in gowns of gossamer white and upon my raised dais, try to coax my adoring crowd into calm.

The "offender" then pleads for leniency, begs for forgiveness, rents their clothes in mental anguish and calls him/herself a "crap-sculpted loser", a "fat, disgusting beast-cow" and/or "an impotent micro-shithead"(etc, etc) in many tongues.

I nod kindly. I am magnanimous, but my people are now BEYOND bloodthirsty. They are not very forgiving, and they want revenge upon the person who would DARE address me as if I were an equal.

Suddenly, I raise a fist, and the thousands instantly hush. I must now give the thumbs up, or the thumbs down. (Coincidentally, it's always thumbs down). Once I give the signal, cheers erupt, and the host of this exhibition, (that Joe guy from Fear Factor), comes forward with the bucket of maggots/10-yr-old eggnog/hissing cockroaches, and gives them to the offender.

Chewing bravely, with maggots/rotten eggnog/cockroaches hanging out of his/her mouth, the offender alternately gags and smiles hopefully, pleading with his/her eyes, to gain my approval and my forgiveness. I watch impassively.

After the bucket is emptied, and with the crowd bursting at the seams again, I give a gallic shrug. I turn on my heel and without a word, I depart, leaving the rest of the work to the angry crowd.

Later, during my pedicure by the pirate prince, I hear rumors of dismemberment and mob justice.

I casually wonder if the offender ever recognized me as the girl he gave the finger to in the Fortinos parking lot ;)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Determination vs. Fuckit

I believe that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. But, I also realize that there are some things not worth setting your mind to, cuz you'll just get your ass kicked. Yes, I have learned the difference between optimism and stupidity. (It's a very, VERY fine line.) Allow me to demonstrate:

Optimistic: "I am gonna get that promotion even though I accidentally sent that personal email about my wild weekend to my boss."
Stupid: "I am gonna get that promotion even though I accidentally sent that personal email about my boss' b.o. to my boss."

Optimistic: "My children are just going through a 'phase'."
Stupid: "Your Honor, my children are just going through a 'phase'."

See what I mean? Now, to make matters worse, you can be both optimistic and stupid at the same time. Some people call this "naivete". And similar, but not the same as "being naive" is "living in La-La Land". (Also a very fine line.) Here's the difference:

Naive: "My fiance is out all night, gets phonecalls from strange women, and comes home smelling like Chanel No. 5, but I trust him 100%!"
La-La Land: "My fiance is out all night, gets phonecalls from strange women, and comes home smelling like Chanel No. 5, but he's just getting it out of his system so he can be faithful once we're married!"

Naive: "Maybe these gigantic sharks that are circling us only eat plankton..."
La-La Land: "Maybe these gigantic sharks that are circling us only eat plankton, but wouldn't it be cool if they were just like that shark from that movie about the giant shark? What was that movie called, do you remember? Help me out, I'm drawing a blank here. You know that movie we saw with---JESUS CHRIST! NO! NO! OW! ARGH! ARGHHHHHHHH!" (water turns red, bubbles)
Naive: "Jaws."

So, naivete is a preference for denial, whereas La-La Land accepts the truth, but with "spin".

Yes, this is complicated.

Let me make this simple for you and for myself.

Basically, if it LOOKS like your ass is kicked...if it FEELS like your ass is kicked...if it TASTES like your ass is kicked (ew)...your ass is kicked.

Go get the icepack, and set your mind to something else.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Preschool

I volunteered at preschool today. It was the twins' first day. It was BAD....BAD BAD BAD. Like, wild kingdom bad. My daughter won't even LOOK at the teacher. Mrs. R. gets down to her level to talk to her kindly and asks her kind questions about what she's doing and Natalie, clearly sensing weakness, yells "NO! NO! NO!" and storms away. Doesn't even give the poor woman a chance. She tried like TEN times, and Natalie told her "get lost bitch" in toddler language every time. The teacher smiled patiently, but I know she went home to shoot herself.

And here's the list of what Nicholas ate today:
-one orange crayon
-a handful of red playdough
-two pieces of chalk (yellow)
-sand licked off of one miniature dinosaur

Also, my children do not interact well with other children. Nicholas found a spot behind the coat rack to hide and eat his latest treasures. Natalie, on the other hand, regularly surveyed the room to find kids that had toys that were remotely interesting or offensive to her. Then she would stomp up to them, (shrieking so that they would know harpy justice was on the way), and RIP the toy out of their hands and CHUCK it as far as her midget arms could throw. The victim would then crumble to the ground in tears. And you'd think the other children would cry or be afraid, but no. Much like gazelles in Africa, they watched casually as the lion munched on their gazelle friend with aloof looks that you just know meant "oh well, it was his time to go." That fatalist attitude continued throughout the day, until my precious girl had had a chomp of everyone, once or twice.

Meanwhile, where is Nicky? Oh, there he is, methodically emptying the water table onto the floor with a small cup, occasionally stopping to take a sip. Gotta wash down all that sand and chalk you know.

Then there was circle time. The ever-effervescent Mrs. R handed out little laminated stars. Each child took theirs and held it in wonder. Natalie folded her arms and and raised her brows with a look that clearly said "you back for more, bitch?" I finally took the star and gave it to Natalie. As the teacher sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", Natalie glared at her suspiciously as it it were "Mein Kamfp, the Musical".

When it was time to hand back the stars, all the other children gave theirs back. Except Natalie. My precious girl would not give that damn laminated star on a frigging popsicle stick back. She held it with both hands and yanked it fiercely as the the teacher tried to take it away gently. Natalie pulled harder, sneering. It became a tug-of-war, Mrs. R smiling and pulling gently and using her Happy Voice, and Natalie shrieking and pulling and thinking I AM NOT LETTING GO NO MATTER WHAT YOU STUPID COW YOU MADE ME TAKE THIS DAMN STAR AND NOW IT'S FUCKING MINE SO SHOVE OFF! The parents watched in reverent silence. It was her time.

Meanwhile, where is Nicky? Oh, there he is, stuffing his face with fun foam shapes at the craft table! Hmm, weren't there FOUR cups of paste here before?

So then it was snacktime. Natalie sat primly at the table, eating quietly and calmly and politely - a vision of good breeding. The teacher noticed and took this as a sign that Nattie was in a better mood. Mrs. R sat next to her and tried to make friends. DANGER! DANGER! I tried to shout, but it was too late. There was this tasmanian-devil type whirl, a sippy cup went flying, apples hit the ground. Mrs. R. excused herself, smiling. I think she went to take her meds.

Meanwhile, where is Nicky? He is staring at his food, looking disinterested.

At storytime, this sweet little girl named *Kristy (*name changed to protect the innocent) handed me a book shyly and how could I resist? We began to read a Muppet Babies book. Looking back now, I realize that this was a totally preventable tragedy. I take full responsibility. I KNEW what Natalie was like. I KNEW she was bossy and unpredictable. I KNEW she was posessive of her things and her space. What ever posessed me to take another child in my lap to read them a story???!!! Why God, why? Will I ever learn?

I cannot tell you Kristy's whereabouts right now, but I have been made aware that she is currently in a safehouse awaiting a new identity under a government protection program.

Meanwhile, where is Nicky? Oh look, he's under the snack table, eating other people's crumbs off the floor. Cuz, you know, we don't feed him at home.

When it was time to leave, I rounded up my little angels. "So, we'll see you and the twins next week?" Mrs. R's voice trembled. She was wringing her hands. She was clearly nervous. When I replied "No." she relaxed a bit.

"Actually," I said aloofly, "my husband will be volunteering from now on."

It's his time.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Theology and Condiments II

I have noticed lately that most people, no matter their religion, believe there is only one, supremo bad guy. Many Gods, one baddie. Phew, I like those odds! The devil's purpose is to keep you on the straight and narrow. Kinda like the threat of going to jail, but going to hell for eternity would be like, TWICE as bad.

Okay, talking about baddies, you know how in every movie the head bad guy is educated, well spoken, has a british accent, dresses well and enjoys torturing (*insert hero here)? For example:

Professor/Dr./Sir Killsalot: "Now Mr. Bond, we shall take the laser and slooooooooooooowly wait for it to make you a we go then.................goodness, it IS getting late................sorry about the wait chap....................look, I hope you don't mind, I really must leave for my manicure. I expect you will refrain from escaping this time? Very well then, cheerio!"

Every good evil professor/doctor/district manager needs people to do the dirty work while his nails dry. This is where the expendable henchmen come in. To be an expendable henchman, you must posess the following:

1) Be shorter than 5 feet tall.
2) Have the IQ of a rabbit.
3) Be easily distracted by the hero's distraction techniques. (Look over there!)
4) Have some sort of speech impediment or at least a limp or a glass eye.
5) Be unable to shoot the good guy with your 100 rounds per second machine gun at point blank
6) Be willing to die from the one and only bullet that the hero shoots at you from an acre away.

No movie would be complete without the opportunity for gratuitous violence presented to us by the ritualistic cull of dumb henchmen. The result? Hero gets some practice whoop-ass in before he goes after the british guy, we are relieved that our hero is winning, and the henchmen are lucky to be moving on to a better place because let's face it, they weren't going to amount to much anyways. Everyone is happy!

This is something all religions have failed to address. There just aren't enough dumb henchmen in religion. Imagine how perked up mass would be if Father Ignatius cracked every Sunday?

Father Iggy: "The mass has ended. Go now in peace to love and to serve the BAD GUYS THEIR ASSES FOR DINNER!"
Sister Florence: (Swings incense lamp wildly) "You'll never take me alive! Hiii-YAH!"
Iggy: "Look! You've got ketchup on your habit!"
Flo: (Looking down) "Where?!"
Iggy: "Karate-CHOP!"

I am gonna pee myself next mass.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Theology and Condiments I

I admit, I take much for granted in life. I was thinking today that it's a very good thing that we only have one God (in my religion anyhow). I just don't have the time to kiss up to more than one, let alone ask 100 gods for favors, cash and vengeance upon mine enemies. If you have many gods, how do you find the time? Do your gods share the responsibility for different aspects of the world, eg. "Get Good Grades in School" god, the "Let Jimmy Ask Me to the Dance" god, and the often petitioned, seldom discussed "Please Don't Let Me Be Pregnant" god? Also, do the many gods get along? Who sits at the head of the dinner table? Who has to sacrifice for your sins?

Lose Weight God: "Umm, Mic, the emperor's guards are here for you."
Get Great Abs God: "HELLO, I sacrificed my life LAST TIME!"
Lose Weight God: "Back me up here Jim."
Please Make the Kids Stop Yelling God: "No, actually, Mic's right, and
YOU'RE at the head of the table. Could you pass the mustard?"
Lose Weight God: (switching seats) "NO I'M NOT!"

You can clearly see my point. Not only would the mustard get forgotten, but we would all perish in mortal sin while they sorted out their differences. How blessed am I that I was given 15 years of Catholic education, during which we were made vaguely aware that there were other religions, but that they would come around someday.

The only religion that makes sense to me is Buddhism. I want a Buddha. I just like the way he sits there, all smiling with his gut sticking out, no cares in the world. Sure he is 2,568 years old and his cholesterol is through the roof, but he has reached nirvana. And who wouldn't want to hear the sweet sound of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" one more time?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Cataldo's Flying Circuits

To save some $$, I bought a second-hand wall lamp. First, it was the wrong color, so I painted it. Paint was see-thru, so I painted it again. Then the shade was yuck, so I bought a new one. But then the shade was boring, so I trussed it up with some beads and fuzzy trim. And painted it. Then the cord was sticking out the wrong way, so I got a canopener and twisted the metal and bent it until the hole was big enough to get the cord out and move it to a new location. Then I didn't like the way the cord just hung there on the wall. So I made hubby drill a hole in the plaster. A BIG hole, with the intention to weave the cord through the wall to the outlet. But lamp plug didn't fit into the hole, so we cut it off (we intended to reattach this severed limb once the cord was through). But the cord didn't go through the wall because it got bunched up in the insulation.

So we used a straightened coat hanger, and removed a ton of insulation (asbestos?) by accident. Since the hanger got stuck, we drilled another hole with a better angle. Still got stuck. Abandoned this attempt and went to Home Depot and bought a new cord/plug to replace the mangled one, plus a cord cover. So I tell hubby to cut the cord to the exact right length to reach the outlet, so that the kids don't play with it. So he plugs it in and measures how long it should be. Then he gets the pliers to cut the electrical cord. NOTE>> NOT UNPLUGGED!!!! So ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT! Flash of light, explosion, flying sparks, hubby screams, lights go out. Hubby lives to tell the tale because of the rubber handle on the pliers. I have a spark burn on my ankle. Joey is laughing his ass off:

"Daddy, you are supposed to use sparklers OUTSIDE!"

The kitchen fuse is blown, so hubby runs back to Home Depot before the Swansons melt. I make myself useful by stuffing painters tape into the hole in our wall. How much can go in? I wonder if I can stuff the whole roll in the wall, a little at a time? What about a box of Q-tips? Luckily, hubby returns to replace the fuses. Wall lamp is now in the basement in little pieces. No cord, no plug, just a wasted abomination of the home decor item it once was.

Now that my power is back, let's assess how much money I saved buying second hand:

Retail price of nice, perfect store-bought lamp: $30

Second-hand lamp cost: $2.00
Paint & brushes: $6.00
Beads & trim: $5.00
New shade: $7.00
Wall damage: $100.00
Insulation loss: $60.00
Destroyed hangers: $2.oo
New cord & cord cover: $18.00
Fuses: $5.00
Gasoline: $10.00
Huband's near death: $300, 000
Total cost of the cheaper, money saving option: $300, 215

But the fireworks? Priceless.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Okay, why do people wear thongs? I am sure you all thought of this. They HURT. REALLY! I tried it and they are basically a harness for your private parts that seriously punish you for trying to bend over. Isn't it enough that we need bras (breast harnesses!). What about belts (pant harnesses!). Seat belts (car harnesses!). Children (sex harnesses!) We are all trussed up like a bunch of frigging clydesdales pulling the Budweiser coach.

Horse1: "Hey Ed, this this harness is chafing me."
Horse2: "Yah me too, where the heck are we going with all this beer anyways?"
Driver: "Shaddup you lousy horses or I'll make you wear thongs!"

When not on the average person, I think thongs are pretty sexy. I'm talking about a svelte, tanned young woman in her skin-tight lowrisers and heels with a hint'o'thong showing. But, however appealing she may be, remember that thong girl is HIGH maintenance. Every time she drops something, you gotta pick it up for her. "But honEYYYYY, I'm wearing my thonnnng!" She is VERY uncomfortable sitting in your lowrider sportscar, and imagine childbirth with this chick - "PUSH PUSH PUSH!" "AIEEEEE I can't the thong is CHAFING!"

And why are these girls always wearing WHITE thongs? Is there any color less suitable for the enviroment in which that garment occurs? If anyone knows the rationale for this, please let me know.

So, no thongs for me. Not any more, and not ever again. This a call to revolution! JUST SAY NO TO THONGS! If a man needs to see harnesses to make him happy, tell him the Triple M Ranch is just up the road.

Monday, September 05, 2005

What would YOU do for money?

I heard one of those radio contests the other day, and they were asking contestants what they would do for money. I must really be a cash-whore, because while these poor contestants recoiled in horror at the mere suggestions offered to them by the zany, outspoken host, I was casually responding "oh sure, i'd do that...i'd do it for half that!" Example--for $1000, shave your head...hell yeah! For $10,000, streak a professional sporting event...why the heck not? Now, my husband objected saying that you could go to jail for streaking a professional sporting event, and THAT wouldn't be worth it...but d'uh! They'd have to catch you first, right? And since you're naked, (and hopefully have a shaved head) they wouldn't have a lot to grab onto without REALLY getting to know you. Also, you wouldn't be carrying any ID, so if they caught you, you take the 5th. And who would be stupid enough to choose, like a football game? That's a LOOOONG way to run. I say, streak a HOCKEY game! Small area, you can kinda slide your way across, the players will be busy fighting and the refs will be breaking up the fights! Okay, yes, I know it will be cold, being naked on the ice and all, but think about this ladies...the cold is a detriment to MEN, but not to not only would you be making a cool $10,000, you'd look perky doing it!
Yes, I have thought this out.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Human Nature

Okay, a few days ago, I received proof that the human race was not at all wicked and unkind and greedy and selfish. A good friend of mine threw me a lifeline when I was drowning, and it's not the floating that counted, just the fact that someone CARED enough to try. So naturally, I was happy. And then things got worse, so then I was sad. But I talked it over with some loved ones, so I was happy again. And then, I found out something I shouldn't have and KABOOM it was my own personal nervous breakdown again. So now I have faith in some that I thought were lost to me, and no faith in some that were my foundation. I am getting nowhere fast and my psyche can't take this minute-by-minute change in atmosphere! Is there such thing as yo-yo dieting for the soul? Happy...Sad...Happy....Miserable...Excited...Ecstatic...Devestated...there aren't enough smiley icons for what I go through in a day. Someone should write a book called "The Human Nature Handbook". Here are some suggestions, if someone wants to write it:
Chapter 1-Pain is Bad
Chapter 2-Pain is Not So Bad
Chapter 3-Trust No One
Chapter 4-Okay, Trust Everyone
Chapter 5-You CAN be Happy!
Chapter 6-Happiness is Just an Illusion
Chapter 7-Closing Doors, Opening Windows, and other meaningless analogies that don't really
help or apply to your life
Chapter 8-So, You've Finally Been Diagnosed!
Now that that is off my chest...I think I am overtired.