The Post Birthday Aftermath Mashup

What a great title.  I have no clue what it means, but what a great title.  I hope I can live up to all of your expectations after reading that. 

Yeah, so yesterday was my birthday. I found it to be quite…meh, at first. I went home to grumpy children, a messy house and an incessantly barking dog.  Awesome.

After that, the evening was much better.   Out to dinner and friends for drinks.  Can’t be depressed with alcohol, feuding dogs and besties in my house.  AND cake.  Fudgy icing…the. Best.

Birthdays are one of those occasions where coming up with something original and fun to do is kinda old hat by the time you hit your…older-years.  I’d rather just kick back with a glass of wine, eat good food and visit with friends.  That’s perfect.  Sorta like a DH night Spectacular only happening mid-week.  That’s what I’ll do next year for ma birthday.  Get all the ladies together mid-week for a DH Special Edition…I’ll remember to get the next day off of work so it should be spectacular.  Only 364 more days to go!  Rock on, winos…

I’m drinking a coffee from yesterday that D2 bought me, but I was too full to drink.  Is that bad?  It tastes okay…just a little funky.  Probs should have tossed it, but couldn’t bring myself to toss a perfectly good coffee.  If I get sick, I’ll be sure to post something of my untimely demise…or get one of ma family members to do so.  I’m sure they’ll be all “If she just hadn’t have drank that day-old coffee, she could still be here drinking yukky wine instead.  She bequeathed me this here blog, so I’ll be the one writing here from now on.”  (I imagined one of ma family members talking like a southern redneck…not sure how or why they would spontaneously become southern…maybe it had to do with the fumes from the day-old coffee.  Turns peeps into rednecks…you have been warned.)  Good luck with that, kids….I should try to stay alive to save you from hearing about D2’s rowing and constant living at the boathouse and how she tragically missed ma birthday supper; or son’s escapades on the golf course with 80 year old men who threaten to sue him because he hit a line drive and almost hit an old geezer who was just about to finish on the green; nice;  or D1’s attempts at securing her own car whilst working two jobs and whining incessantly about all of the above; or Hubby lamenting about his job and the knee surgery he’s about to undergo in the fall and how it really is tragic and sad that hockey isn’t a year round sport.

  It really is awesome being me.

  Just think, by keeping myself alive, I’m saving you from all of that shit.

 You. Are. Welcome.

So here are a few fun facts to keep you entertained and enlightened on this auspicious day:

·       25 – the number of times I’ve said ‘fuck- off’ in my head today.  It’s only 9:30 am.

·       3 – the number of  times Mags bit me on my ear to try to wake me up at 5:30am to go out and pee.  Most of the above bullet could be from the Mags episode alone….

·       A Year and A Half – the amount of time it’s going to take me to read Under The Dome by Stephen King that one of my Besties gave me last night and I’m dying to start.  It’s friggin’ huge.

·       10 – the number of glasses of wine I WANTED to drink last night

·       3- the number of glasses of wine I ACTUALLY  drank last night

·       29 – had I been turning 29 yesterday, that would have been the number of candles on my cake

·       74- The number of candles Hubby actually put on my birthday cake.

·       5- the number of pages in the divorce package

Miss H, had I voted on your ‘who’s the couple most likely to be divorced first?’ question last Saturday night, I would be able to say “I WIN!”…ugh.  I kid, I kid….Hubby still wants to be married to me, and vice-versa…despite the candle explosion.

There you have it, some enlightening numeral facts that you all should be proud to know.

 I live for this shit….

Apparently, this describes me quite accurately...ugh.

Apparently, this describes me quite accurately…ugh.

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Top Ten Reasons We Drink

It’s Friday, people so how’s about a little Top Ten to end your week and blast off your weekend?

Since the beginning of time, or thereabouts, the properties of alcohol have been extolled for its abilities to soothe the savage beast, provide comfort and make people forget…well, everything passed the phrase “I’ll have just one more.”   Ever see a western where there ISN’T a shot-up cowboy needing a bullet extracted, but first they pour whisky over the wound, then get him to take a swig straight from the bottle?  Yeah. Not only were they trying to ‘cleanse’ the wound and keep him calm, they wanted him to down enough of the bottle to forget who performed the surgery.  I wouldn’t want to be the surgeon who had an armed and pissed off cowboy looking for the asshole who stitched him up using fishing line and a hook. 

 Even in the Bible, Jesus turned water into wine for a wedding.  That’s why Jesus wanted to go to the wedding.  All those miraculous acts were taking its toll. He wanted a nice glass of Merlot and a chair.  The use of alcohol for celebration and merriment is infused in every legend imaginable.  Robin Hood and his Merry men?  What made them so merry?  That’s right!  THE ALCOHOL!!

So in the spirit of such raucous celebration, raise a glass and read on:

The Top Ten Reasons We Drink (Alcoholic Beverages)

You. Are. Welcome.

10.  To relieve Stress- A well-known fact steeped in tradition, alcohol gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, taking away the tensions of the day with a few good sips, or chugs…or jello-shots.  They’re so pretty with all the colours!! 

9.  Enhances your time with friends- Nothing says ‘friendship’ like sharing a bottle or five of wine and some laughs.  Like the night before my first block party on my street and we were supposed to be thinking of questions for the game we were doing the next night with all the neighbor couples…by the next day it was “questions?  What questions?  THERE’S A GAME?!!”  Good times.

8.  Peeps were getting tired of tea –  There is only so much tea one can drink at a tea party…or underground casino. 

7.   Watching somebody get shitfaced is funny – Like the time Bestie came over after being at a party with her work-friends and she started drinking water out of one of my mason jars…and telling me about her most recent trip to Florida.  Again. 

6.  Passes the time –  What else is there to do on a random Friday night?  Nothin’.

5.  Enhances creativity/everything is fucking hilarious –  Yep even the dots on the ceiling take on a whole new meaning…and who DOESN’T  enjoy a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner outside their window at midnight? Huh?  Who, dammit?! 

4.  Sexual encounters are clumsier but nobody notices because you’re drunk – Yeah, it’s all good until you wake up in the morning with a fat lip and vaguely remember something about Hubby smacking you with his elbow, whilst….yeah. 

3.  Helps you sleep/passout – It used to be even in Victorian days that a good shot of Cognac before bedtime enhanced the sleeping experience.  All it really did is make one very sleepy.  Then you get that drunk sleep which isn’t really good sleep and you wake up groggy and tired the next morning and think “whose idea was it to drink fucking Cognac before bed?!”. 

2.  Gives you a reason to be cranky the next morning – Can you say ‘hangover’??    

1.  Naked bar dancing would be pointless without it – One definitely needs to have some alcohol under his/her ‘belt’ in order to pull off this little escapade into dance-fever history.  Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, Guap

So, there you go.  Great reasons to stalk up your liquor cabinet this weekend or empty it!  Have a great time, drink responsibly and remember:  Only YOU can prevent sobriety.

Keep it clean, peeps. 

Be safe and have fun. 

Adventures in Puppy School

This week we have embarked on a new and wild adventure.  Bad Girl Puppy School for the one and only Mags.  Her behaviour isn’t as crappy as her You-are-my-human-and-will-bend-to-my-will attitude.  Yeah.  So, in getting the Magster to bend to OUR will, we have decided to take her to some puppy training to get her used to dogs…and other human beings.  She tends to get highly offended at the mere presence of another human of whom she has not yet approved waltzing into her house.  It’s all very dramatic.  Here are a few things I learned at Bad Girl Puppy School thus far:

There are more messed up hounds than mine

The trainer trains the humans, not the dogs

Treats are the best way to learn something new…works for dogs too.

Drunk-walking your dog is apparently not a good way to teach proper leash technique. Who knew?!

It’s a good idea to have a witness with you in attendance for Bad Girl Puppy School so that when you get home your family is not giving you the you-are-totally-shitting-us-with-this-messed-up-clicker-crap look and think you went to the bar and had a few whiskey sours and met up with some hobo (are there hobos around anymore?  Is there such a thing as a hobo?  This is a whole other post)  who insisted you take the 99 cent clicker he found outside of Pet Smart so you took it to appease him and shut him up instead of going to puppy school.  Which I totally think would be awesome if the puppy would sit quietly so I could enjoy a few at the bar, but that’s the reason the puppy is in puppy school in the first place.  She can’t sit.  Apparently, I’ve done everything wrong up until now and so should not be in charge of any living creatures that have more than two legs.  They’ll probs call social services and remove the kids as well, since they have trouble sitting too.  It’s all ego-bashing and eye-opening at the same time.  I’m confused.  I’ll probs be leashing the boy and trying to take him for a walk while incessantly clicking the fucking clicker in his face instead of taking Mags , who by the way, is afraid of the stupid clicker thingy.  Awesome.

The best dog name I’ve heard so far: Benny.

He’s a messed up cross between a cocker spaniel and a pit-bull.  He’s fucking awesome and barked at everything that moved.  He was about to take down a huge boxer but the boxer wimped out.  Made our Magalicious look sweet and innocent by comparison.  Bad Girl Puppy School is making Maggie look like we won the puppy lottery…until we go home and see her with other well-behaved dogs.  Then we revert back to ‘we suck as puppy parents’.  It’s a vicious cycle, really.

We go again on Monday night and we have a few ‘assignments’ to complete in the mean time.  So far Mags has learned the sum of a big fat zero.  On the positive side, she loves her treats!  I shall keep you all updated on her progress, but I’m not guaranteeing any results.  If I can get a snap of Benny, everybody’s fave wild-mad-dog, I shall post if his puppy parent agrees.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses a treat…and gets a detention at Bad Girl Puppy School.

Maggie after a hard day at Bad Girl Puppy School..."That Benny is one crazy puppy!!!"

Maggie after a hard day at Bad Girl Puppy School…”That Benny is one crazy puppy!!!”

Things I Learned While Drunk-Walking My Dog

Yes, drunk-walking…what?  Oh, like you’ve never done that.  Stop looking at me like that.  It happened to be a lovely summer evening with little breeze and the moon out in full glorious glow.  I had a few glasses of wine on my front porch and with Hubby inside watching some soccer match or something that kills all my brain cells just thinking about it, I thought taking Magalicious for a walk before her bed time would be a totally fantastical idea.  Yeah.

I learned a few things during this walk.  First, I can’t walk straight if I’m drunk. 

Second, everything is fucking hilarious.  Maggie was walking happily along, or pulling along, and I thought “Oh My Gawd that’s so funny!”  The neighbours probs was about to dial 911 when seeing me laughing hysterically at nothing while stumbling behind a 10 pound puppy at 11 o’clock at night.

Third, I was expecting Freddy Krueger to pounce out at me at any given time, so I was ready with my vicious dog all decked out in her bad ass polka-dotted bow.

GAH! Get ye away, Matey!

GAH! Get ye away, Matey!

  Yeah.  We be bad, yo.  I was ready to sick her on his ass as soon as he darted out from the neighbours’ bushes or darkened garage.  In my mind, he had a pirate’s accent and would be all “Arrgh, matey’s.  What ye be up to this fine evening?” and then show us his Kruger-like fingers with the stabby knives and shit.  Maggie would bark and scare him away and we would return home all happy that Freddy got scared of a little girly puppy with a red polka-dotted bow.  Awwwww…..

The terrifyingly cute Mags...that bow is scary, people.

The terrifyingly cute Mags…that bow is scary, people.

And THIS  is why I should not drunk-walk my dog….

An Open Love Letter To Newfoundland and Labrador

We moved to Newfoundland in 1994 from the burgeoning cottage country of Ontario with the expectations of a quieter and simpler lifestyle.  We were partially right.  In the spring of that year, Hubby had his first foray into contract policing.  This meant wearing a uniform and taking down drunks on a Friday night.  A far different cry than the busting down doors of drug dealers and grow operators in the outskirts of Toronto that he was used to.  A few months into his new job and he had a brand spanking new concussion and bruised shins to prove it.  My first impression of our new life in Newfoundland wasn’t going so well.

Our first winter found us locked down in our house with gale force winds, snow and ice knocking out power to the Avalon Penninsula for three days.  Pregnant with my second baby, we were taken in by fellow transplanted mainlanders who were in possession of a butane heater.  There we sat eating whatever came out of the freezer and sleeping on their floor.  We were warm and fed and in good company. 

The two further years we spent in the Bay Roberts area were speckled with a faltering monologue of false starts and growing pains.  Mostly by me.  Hubby grew up in central Newfoundland, used to its dialects and tones.  I had a difficult time translating my brother-in-law’s mumbled and unsettled vernacular into actual English.  My sister-in-law noticed my blank smile signaling my uncomprehending fugue.  She was happy to translate and obliged by saying “She don’t understand what you’re sayin’, b’y.  Slow down.”  

We were moved to the central part of the island in 1997 with two young girls in tow and a whole new perspective hitting us in the face.  We spent seven happy years getting reacquainted with Hubby’s family, weekends at the rocky shore and a part time job for me that permanently cemented me in the working mother category.  Two years into our stay in Central, our son was born.  Our family was complete.  We were a young family living an island life and raising our kids surrounded by family and a stable environment.  Not bad for a three to five year posting.  We were now into year five and no hint of any further relocations making the rounds.  We continued to stay for another four years watching our children grow and marveling at our son’s incomplete grasp of the English language.  His preferred linguistic style was strangely akin to Cantonese.  Just as he was regaling us with his new found singing ability and obvious hatred for anything to do with crayons, pencils or creative work, an impending move came knocking on our door and we were uprooted once again. 

This time, it was back to the mainland and we called New Brunswick home for eighteen short months.  As lovely as it was, our hearts belonged to Newfoundland and we were shuffled back on ‘home’ to St. John’s in 2005.

We’ve now been in St. John’s for eight years.  Our longest posting yet.  We have been faced with an impending decision regarding yet another move and it’s daunting and heartbreaking.  Our daughters, now grown into lovely young women will be in University full time in the fall.  Our son, now going into grade nine.  Our children have had the best of both worlds, living on different parts of the Island and getting the opportunity to taste life on the mainland albeit, a short lived taste. 

I’ve had the unique opportunity to be an outsider looking in.  I’m not a native Newfoundlander like Hubby and I had some time adjusting to living on an Island when were first relocated here many years ago.  I still remember the long nights waiting for Hubby to come home after his shift, my young babies not sleeping and both of us exhausted and trying to grab sleep when we could.  The late night phone calls from residents threatening suicide and Hubby on call having to talk him down from the virtual and sometimes tangible ledge.  The long days when we lived in Central and Hubby was gone chasing down ‘suspects’ and saying “I can’t tell you where we are or when we’ll be home.”  Good times. 

Those were the days I relied on family to help out.  Those were days when having people close by proved comforting. Like when D2 had pneumonia and had to stay in the hospital for a week, the nurse looking after her being my next door neighbor and her Nanny and my sister-in-law taking turns looking after my other daughter and son when Hubby had to be working and I had to be at D2’s side; or the birth of my son being witnessed by my sister-in-law and Hubby and a thousand other in-training nurses at the local hospital that was, unbeknownst to me, a training hospital; or having the guys working Christmas shift with Hubby come to the house Christmas eve as I sat wrapping Christmas presents and watching Die Hard and happily ladled coffee and Christmas cake into their mouths before sending them off once again into a cold night.  Yeah.

I’ve had the privilege of living in a world where crime was on a much smaller scale, the children that my kids went to school with have become life-long friends no matter where on the island they live, and we have had family close by and far away, but never completely gone.  From Danny Williams’, our former and most prolific Premier’s mouth, came the phrase “Newfoundlanders have an innate sense of responsibility for their communities” and I have witnessed this several times over.

  There seems to be a sort of communal outpouring of care for each other that is lacking in other provinces or even towns west of our shores.  Here in St. John’s, we live in a neighbourhood that embodies that spirit.  No child can walk down our street without the mother or father being friends with other mothers and fathers.  We make sure someone is home; we make sure there is an adult present and if there isn’t by some happenstance, we step in.  That’s called community, people.  Fundraising for playgrounds, for sports teams, for Girl Guides it’s all in a child’s life and my kids have done their share.  The understanding that family is the main portion of a child’s sense of self and giving that family the support it needs to sustain a life is an inherent part of being and living in Newfoundland.  The past year we have seen many challenges to that family life, with the provincial cuts and layoffs, however, I have also seen a spirit here that will surpass these pitfalls with the never-ending belief that their home is not away, it’s here.  Even if the jobs are scarce and the times are difficult, the young people forced out to look for work in other provinces, come back with a fervor that this is always ‘home’.  We have made friends here that have become part of our family.  We vacation together, live on the same streets, share the same worries and celebrate each other every chance we get.  There’s a foreboding that this could all somehow end.  That we could lose something or someone to change.  No matter where we end up, I will have my SLS family, my family in Central, my family now on the west coast and my mainland family.    

These provincial cuts have had a hand in our impending future.  Hubby’s job is tenuous at best and with the thought of another move forging its way onto our doorstep, I can’t help but be grateful for the past eighteen years here.  We have been able to raise our children in an environment free from abhorrent abuses of power, bullying, crime and rampant drug use.  Oh sure, all those issues are here, but we seemed to have escaped their reach.  The recent drive-by shooting has all residents appalled and angry that such violence has reached our rocky shores and so we should be appalled.  So we should be angry.  This isn’t indicative of the province I have come to know and admire.  This is what happens on the mainland, not here.  A mainlander I am and a mainlander I shall always be, but crime to this speaks of higher issues and greater responsibility.   Get ye home, b’y we don’t want this shit here.  We don’t want to be like everybody else.  We are unique. We are the home of quiet acceptance and hospitality.  Warm hugs and raucous kitchen parties. Tea and biscuits kind of people.  We are Newfoundland.  The only city I know of that when a TV show is shooting in any area of town, they broadcast the street closures on the radio and then the star of the show tweets his apologies for the inconvenience.  He’s sorry that you had to detour making you five minutes late for work.  He’s from the Goulds, Newfoundland.  “Innate sense of responsibility for his community”.  Yeah. 

That’s Newfoundland.

Thanks for the eighteen beautiful years.  I’m just looking for eighteen more….

God love ‘ya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tribute For Kirk

Image

My brother Kirk in the back in the blue t-shirt. Not sure what he is holding up.

This is a repost of a special tribute I wrote for my brother and appeared on my previous blog.  I wanted to post it again.  Thanks for indulging me.

Today would have been my brother’s forty-eighth birthday.  At the tender age of twenty-one, he died much too soon.

As tragedies go, Kirk’s young life was punctuated with struggles and awkward growth. He was the middle child of us three, adopted as a baby.  My mother was told she would never have children again after several miscarriages and my parents began adopting.  My eldest brother first, then Kirk when she found out she was pregnant with me.  I was born one year and seventeen days after Kirk’s birthday.  She had three children all under three by the time she was 36.  Fun times, I’m sure.

Kirk was always the most mischievous and curious of us three.  Dark haired and deep brown eyes, his coloring matched that of my eldest brother and my mother, but with my flame of red hair and pale skin, I was mistaken for the adopted kid.

Kirk’s journey into academia was, to put it mildly, just awful.  He was put into what was called ‘Special Ed’ in those days for his poor reading and writing skills.  He just didn’t have any.  School was the catalyst that set his behavior into spiraling temper tantrums and downright defiance.  His esteem suffered with every failing grade and the segregation of Special Ed only served to feed his negative self-image.

By the time Kirk had hit his teens, he was functionally illiterate. He had basically dropped out of high school at 14.  He could take anything apart and put it back together again…maybe not in exact working order, and there may have been some random pieces left over, but for all intents and purposes, it was together.  His behavior had escalated to new and frightening heights and he was relegated to a group home in Dover, a country town outside of Chatham, for a period of time; a life altering event for him, but also in my young eyes.  He transformed from a troubled youth to a caring socially contributing member of society in the mere few months of living there.  I remember visiting him at the group home when I was thirteen. The people who worked at the home presented a whole different perspective than the troubled difficult youth he had been known to be.  He was responsible for chores.  He chopped wood, cleaned rooms, mentored other youth in the home.  He was learning to read, getting some perspective on his behavior and learning the meaning of the word ‘respect’.  I instantly felt a kinship to the people who had made such an enormous impact on my brother.  Kirk was discharged from the home a few months later, deemed ready to return home.  He returned to a sick father, dying of cancer and a distraught mother.  His behavior flailed, but the people from the home were instantly at our house when my Dad got the news he had cancer.  He died that September and Kirk reeled.  We all did.

The high school years were difficult with Kirk hardly attending and his absences felt.  There were run-ins with police, and a few harmless asides but he was struggling.  Then he got a job.  The local bowling alley hired him to take bookings and bowl on the local team.  He was good.  He worked hard and met a girl who ran the snack bar.  She helped him with his reading and writing since taking bookings meant he was forced to write people’s names.  They became inseparable and she became his constant. A few years later I graduated high school and was embarking on my own journey to head to Toronto for school.   I had decided I wanted to be one of those people who had helped Kirk find his way when he was at the group home a few years previous. I applied to a college in Toronto for the Child and Youth Worker program and was accepted.  That Christmas, he gave his girl a ring and moved out into his own apartment.  My eldest brother had moved on a few years previous, going to university in Thunder Bay and making a life with his then girl, now wife.  My mother moved from our townhouse we had lived in for fifteen years and moved into a brand new co-op going up on the opposite side of town.

The year had proved to be a good one for Kirk.  He had a job, had a girl and a new apartment. His relationship with my mother, rocky at times, was beginning to mend itself into a more mother/adult-son union.  I came home from Toronto a couple of times during my first year and we were able to see each other.  He was proud of me for taking a big step to Toronto and me of him for his big step into adult-hood.  In our last conversation I remember teasing him that I was getting older.  He said I would always be his little sister.

The following fall, with the help of his girl, he bought a brand new motorcycle.  It was fast and big, but he was not licensed to ride it on the main roads of town.  He decided to take it out on the back roads for a bit of fun and to test it out.  He took a buddy who had his own bike and off they went.  Never taking anything slow, Kirk rode that bike down a dirt road, took a turn too fast and hit a rut in the road.  He flew off the bike and into a hydro pole. He was killed instantly. Yes, he was wearing his helmet.

I was telephoned the news while in Toronto just beginning my second year of college.  I got home the following day. The ensuing days are still a bit of a blur.  I remember Thanksgiving was the same weekend as the funeral and we went to my Aunt and Uncle’s for dinner.  A joyous reprieve from the tragedy at our feet, I remember laughing at the dinner table.  The next day was Kirk’s funeral.  The air was fraught with tragic despair and mourning for a life taken too soon.  I remember riding to the grave site and looking behind me at the procession.  There were so many cars that I could not see the end of the line.

It is true that Kirk had impacted a lot of people in his short life.  Despite his difficulties, he proved to be a young man with heart and abilities that were not clearly defined, but were budding as he edged further and further into adulthood.  I graduated in my program and worked with kids like Kirk until I began having my own.  Life comes full circle and again, I have been presented with working with young adults burgeoning into their own path and learning to work with the challenges that have been bestowed upon them.  I feel his presence when I sit down to work with another student flailing in the wind of Learning Disabilities and I know he approves.  He greatly contributed to what I do and who I am without even knowing the impact of his life on mine.  He is missed.

Happy Birthday, Kirk.

July 5, 1965 – October 2nd, 1986

An Open Letter To Ellen DeGeneres

I couldn’t resist the urge to help a young girl out in her quest to be on the Ellen DeGeneres show…that and the fact Hook’s promised a favor…muahahahahaha…No seriously. Just read this.
Thanks….

You've Been Hooked!

Dearest Ellen,

Hello. How are you? That’s great to hear, seriously. Listen, I know you’ve got a full plate in front of you right now (Okay, maybe not literally; you don’t look like you eat that much, to be honest. However, I stand by the statement.), especially considering how many challenges you have to deal with right now.

  • Voicing animated fish is no mean feat. (How do they record your voice underwater anyway?)
  • Arranging for Sofía Vergara to be “accidentally” deported so you can be the reigning CoverGirl has to be a lot of work.
  • Teaching millions of people to dance like no one is watching while hosting a kick-butt talk show must be exhausting. And sweaty, no doubt.

Normally I use this forum to write about my life as a bellman in Niagara Falls, but today I want to write to you from my heart.

I’ve been married to…

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