Monday 29 December 2014

Me vs That One Christmas Gift

Hope everyone had a wonderful and magical Christmas season. Next up: New Year's. I think I can survive at least one more party. I think. My liver may not agree, but we will have that disagreement on the 1st.

You may have read my post about Jem and the Holograms, and how as a child, I desperately wanted her magical earrings for Christmas. As you can imagine, that didn't happen. Well, apparently my mother read the post and decided that she needed to elaborated on Santa's failings. 

So this happened:

Sorry for your childhood disappointment. You were too young
to handle the magic. Here are the real gems. Watch out for
two-timing boyfriends. 

As a side note, these aren't really even close. Jem's didn't dangle.

Thanks Mom. :-)

Friday 19 December 2014

Me vs Christmas Tidings of Joy

The kids are done school, I'm done work for the holidays, baking is done and the presents are wrapped (btw, those last two items aren't even close to true), so it's time to sit down and take some time to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas.  Or happy Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa . Or Festivus. Or whatever holiday you celebrate or choose to rile against. Don't be a dick, it's the holidays. 

Basically go out and have a good time with good people.  

A not-terrible photo of my Christmas tree
I'll be back in a week or two with more stories
Thanks for reading. This has been a fun endeavour and I hope to keep the stories coming. I know there is certainly no shortage of material for me out here. :-)


Wednesday 10 December 2014

Me vs The Dog

It’s possible that I’ve lost my mind… actually, it’s fairly likely.  For reasons that are getting fuzzier as time goes on, I thought it would be a good idea to get a dog.  Millions of people have them, how bad could it be?
This is what "no dogs on the bed"
looks like. 

I’ve had a dog before.  Sort of.  It was a shitzu, and had eyes only for my mother, but he was technically our dog too. He was cute and didn’t bark.  Easy, right?
Let me tell you about how a small, easily outweighed foot cushion does not prepare you for 70 lbs of motivated dog. 

We picked up JJ from the shelter to words of encouragement and promises that he was a lovely dog and would be a great addition to the family, and to be fair to the dog, he isn’t aggressive, and he does occasionally show some restraint. Some, and occasionally. 

Our rationale for getting this dog was more or less that I wanted something to warn me about wild animals in the vicinity, and to make me feel irrationally better about walking in the dark while simultaneously lessening my risk of getting eaten by cougars.  He does this, and that’s good. We also opted for an older dog vs a puppy because I didn’t want to deal with house training and major discipline issues. He is less good at this.

First, this dog begs for food with a tenacity I’ve only seen in the seagull population of Granville Island in Vancouver. He sits there and stares at you…pretty much at eye level because he’s surprisingly tall…and just stares. He doesn’t blink. You can feel him breathing on you. The one thing that he has going for him is that he doesn’t try to grab the food off your plate or out of your hands, so credit where it’s due, but  that said, the amount of dog breath he desperately exhales onto your food is enough to make it unpalatable.

He’s also less than enjoyable to walk right now.  Partly because it’s -17 outside, and walking is unpleasant with or without a dog, but also because he brings the added pleasure of an excited, heavily muscled dog pulling you down the icy driveway. I need a harness and a sled. He could pull firewood for me. Basically it’s something of a miracle that I haven’t ended up face down in a snow drift yet.


I also live in fear of him running free around the house. Despite supposedly being house trained, he doesn’t always take it outside. I have very little tolerance for this. If I didn’t mind pee everywhere, I would have gotten the aforementioned puppy. They are cute in part so that you don’t kill them for defiling your carpet. I get that heading outside in the cold every time you need to take a leak is not awesome, but it’s a requirement. If it makes you feel better, I don’t much like taking you out there either. Please have the decency to be quick about it.

He’s not. Apparently it is impossible to pee without first walking around for 10 minutes, temperature be damned.

On the up side, he hasn’t tried to consume the children, despite the fact that the youngest is often covered in peanut butter, and to date he’s shown only moderate interest in the cat. For the most part they ignore each other. In those instances when they are caught together, or the cat feels irrationally cornered about the dog’s existence,  the cat puts on a display that is more puffy-cat-showing-he’s-big, than any actual aggression. Mostly, the cat plays with the dog’s constantly wagging tail. The dog, on the other hand, just wants to know what the strange little white thing with sharp bits is.
The dog and cat have settled
on a mutually beneficial demilitarized zone

I’m holding out reasonable hope that the dog will settle into his new home quickly and eventually will even allow me to leave the room without him. He’s currently my shadow. I cannot go to the bathroom without my escort, I cannot make food without him offering up himself as my food taster, and God forbid I go into the garage without him! It’s probably good that he’s attached rather than indifferent, but it’s a huge change for us, and I now have a 1 yr old, 5 yr old, cat, and dog competing for my attention every waking moment of the day.

 I’m exhausted, but I suppose I kind of like him. :-)

Monday 1 December 2014

Me vs Working with People

While in high school and university, I worked a number of bad jobs, and really, who hasn’t? For example, I realized pretty quickly that I hated being a waitress with the burning passion of a thousand dying suns. When people ask how the food is, apparently it’s not ok to tell the truth.  Colour me surprised.

I also made a poor door-to-door knife salesman. And yes, those are actually a thing. Thanks CutCo. I lasted until the end of the interview when they offered me the job. I politely told them that the job was basically a massacre waiting to happen, and I would be safer trying to live out my life as a penguin avoiding leopard seals. As far as I’m concerned, no one in their right mind should A) go door to door selling things. Ever. B) go door to door with a case full of knives, or C) consider buying anything from a person who shows up at their door with a case full of knives.  Want to buy some knives? BUY THEM OR I’LL CUT YOU! I’LL CUT YOU!

Then there was my stint as a cell phone sales rep.  This job taught me that anytime you have to deal with people and their money, you should just run the other way. Selling things wasn’t even the problem…it was the customer service issues that came along with the sales:

-     -  People who had missed payments and had their service cut off: No, I did not personally shut off your phone. No, I don’t have a big button that will instantly reactivate it. No, I didn’t do this TO you because I hate you (however you are being kind of a dick). Pay your bill jerk face, and maybe this wouldn’t happen. So few of them caught on.
 -    -  People whose phones had stopped working for reasons that completely escaped them: So you’re telling me you dropped it in a toilet…no, I won’t touch it. It’s not working because it fell in the shitter, I don’t need to hold it to come to that conclusion. Get a new phone. Oh, so you woke up and the screen was broken? Well, must have been the fairy folk, and not just you sitting on it. I can see the divot from where your ass crushed it. Piss off.  

-     -  People who just didn’t get how phones worked: Yes, you do need to charge it for it to work. Yes, it is important to push the call button in order to make a call. Similarly, please push the hang up button to hang up. I can show you how to navigate the menu…..please stop swearing at me.

And then there were the special few customers who stood out among all the others. These were my favourite people because they made for the best stories at future interviews when I was asked about how to deal with difficult people. 

First there was Barky McBarkerson. He liked me and despised the other employees. He was also as crazy as a sideways fuck in a rainstorm. He would walk down the halls of the local mall screaming my name, so I knew he was coming. As a plus, this frequently gave me time to hide. When he did arrive at our little booth, he would bark at the other customers at the kiosk. You read that correctly. Bark. Like a dog. 

Frequently the barking would tire him out and he would fall over. On a particularly good day he decided to show me the ultrasound picture of his upcoming baby. He pulled the picture out of a duffle bag full of weed, winking at me like we were conspirators, or maybe it was code for “do you want some?”. In either case, father of the year.

A close follower to Sir Barks-a-lot was the crazy lady who didn’t like paying for her phone, since she never used it. Our encounter went something like this:

Me:  I can help you disconnect the phone it if you like, if you never use it?
Her: No. I still want it, but I don’t want to pay for it all the time.
Me: Ok, can I help you set it up on a pay-as-you-go system?
Her: No, that sounds too confusing.
Me: Um, ok, I can explain it to you, and write down directions for using the system?
Her: No, I don’t like reading direction, and I hate your company. 
And then she proceeded to reach across the counter and wrap her wizened old lady fingers around my neck to try and strangle me. That escalated quickly. Granted she was pushing 80 years old, and wasn’t a really big threat, but still, what the hell old woman???

Now to be fair, I did this for a long time, and if customers were polite, I did everything in my power to help them, regardless of how stupid the issue was. I even managed to achieve a level of zen that allowed me to look at them in the eye while the told me stories about their damaged phones that were blatantly false.  

The ones I had trouble tolerating were the rude and entitled people who treated you as if you owed them. It was like they expected us to bow obediently to their command because the customer was ALWAYS right. Um, nope. Customers, as a group, are frequently dumb as shit and completely outside-of-reality wrong. Anyone who has worked in retail knows this, and has come to accept it as a cross they must bare.

Happily there were more good people than bad, but it really firmed up my opinion that everyone should work at least some stint in customer service, because it really shows you how important it is to be nice to the people who are trying to help you.

All this being said, most of my jobs weren’t completely dismal, and as seen above, often brought me some worthwhile stories, however the following bit of unexplainable idiocy still boggles my mind.

Several years ago I came across a sales coworker who really made me question everything. This individual made me wonder how on earth they were able to get up in the morning and remember the route to the office, because so many other things seemed beyond them. This person was mostly harmless, but that is likely because they lacked the capacity to do anything clever enough to be dangerous.  
So then this conversation happened:

Me: I brought in some M&M cookies I made. Would you like one?
Them: Oh, did you make these?
Me: (pause) …..yes.
Them: Wow, can I have one?
Me: Um….yes?
Them: Really? They’re for everyone?
Me: (Sweet fucking hell) Yes. Enjoy.
Them: (omnomnomnomnom) These are so good. Did you make them?
Me: (I may pass out from the physical exertion of trying to keep my inside voice inside) Thank you, and yes I did.
Them: I just have one question…..
Me: That really seems more like a fifth question. Hahahaha. (attempting to make joking smile that doesn’t devolve into a sarcastic grimace…probably failing, but they didn’t notice)
Not M&M cookies, but you get the idea that
I'm not exactly Martha Stewart when it comes
to nice looking cookies. They look like they were
made by kids. They were.
Them: Huh?
Me: Never mind.
Them: I just wondered how you got the M&Ms into the cookies? Did you poke them in one by one???

I’m going to pause here to describe these cookies for you folks at home. They looked like cookies a 2 year old made, because a 2 year old helped make them. They were a mishmash of cookie-dough-wrapped candy bits that could not possibly have been neatly “poked in” after baking. Is that even a thing?

Me: (stunned silence…literally no words)
Them: I mean, I just don’t get how you got the M&Ms into the cookies…was it hard?
Me: Well you know how you make chocolate chip cookies? Like stirring chocolate chips into dough?
Them: Yes.
Me: Like that.  (this was honestly the best I could do, and I recognize it wasn’t great)

I had just explained the concept of mixing to a grown human being that was presently in a position of authority over me. I died a little inside.

It was at that moment I decided I was ready to retire.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Me vs The Internet Connection

I realize I’ve moved to a small town, and with that comes some major life changes.  Some changes are fantastic. People are great, there is no soul crushing hour-long commute to a thankless job, and there is a pleasing lack of precipitation. Friends tell me I will miss the rain eventually, but that hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t see that changing, well, ever. If it does I will invest in a sprinkler and a lawn chair, and let nature take its course. 

All those wonderful perks must be tempered by some shortcomings, of course, or this would be a dull story. 

One of the most notable downsides is the internet connection. It’s nice having a connection at all, however we would probably get similar results using carrier pigeons with USB sticks. I guess that’s still a step up from smoke signals? Honestly though, my phone is 3G, and my at-home connection is somewhere around 3G and a half. The dead chipmunk in my kiddie pool moves faster. 

Before our move to Small Place, BC, I came from a technological wonderland where if it took more than a second or two to load a page, that page was closed. End of story, find another site. There are literally millions that will load faster. If that still didn’t work, you changed internet providers. On a monthly basis we would get calls from these guys who were throwing all kinds of free shit at us to promote a jump to their new and improved faster something-something service.   

Now that we’ve moved and left that glorious speed behind us, the problem is two-fold. First, I live in an extremely small town. Secondly, I don’t actually live in that town; I live 6 or so kilometers outside of it. Most mainstream internet providers won’t even service the town, and those that do offer a sub-basement version. Read: Not fast.  Actually, read: So mind-bogglingly slow that videos on YouTube take longer to load than their actual play time.  Get a book, you have time to catch up on your reading.  And to learn a new trade.  Become a plumber.

Outside of town you haven’t got a hope. Those companies that do provide service don’t have the words “high” or “speed” in their vocabulary at all. Netflix still runs, but buffer time is painful, and if you can avoid those irritating auto-play Facebook videos, all the better. More often than not, the whole thing works better if only one system is running at a time…no World of Whatever group gaming marathons for us. Not that this is really something I was looking for, but still, options would be nice.   

Not Siberia
And don’t even get me started about getting these guys out for a service call. You’d think I live in Siberia. I don’t, although the snow belies that sometimes.

Society is all about getting things fast, finding things quickly, and optimizing everything.  In the workplace this can be bloody annoying. If one more person says to me “Lets streamline this process to optimize our productivity this quarter!” I think I will punch them in the throat. That said, lets make my internet connection as fast as fucking possible. I’m impatient, and I accept that. I’m also aware that this is contradictory. I also accept that.  Slow loading recipes on Pintrest suck. Don’t judge me.

This all said, to be fair to these smaller local providers, their customer service has been better than the larger company which I now have to put up with. And for the most part, the speed it pretty much the same: glacially slow.  And sadly, on the days when nothing will do but a marathon geek-fest of Sherlock and Firefly, it would be nice to have a bandwidth that supported me in that antisocial predilection.  I don’t think that’s a lot to ask, and yet apparently it is.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Me vs the Mice

Just over a year ago, our family relocated from Big Place, BC to Small Place, BC. This meant we hadn’t yet lived through a full cycle of all the seasons, and while this may seem obvious, the seasons bring more than just weather changes, they bring about changes in animal behavior as well.  
What we had managed to skip last time around was early Fall in the magical forested woodlands where we lived. Again, doesn’t sound so bad. You’re wrong. It’s terrible. September in mouseland means that while it’s still nice during the day, it gets colder at night. This in turn drives all the mice to find comfy, warm places to breed their little food-lusting offspring.

As an aside, I want to point out that outside I don’t mind mice. They are reasonably cute. I just don’t want them inside, and to be fair, I generally don’t want many animals inside. I imagine I would feel unhappy about a coyote in my living room too.

The mice had been around all year. We caught the odd one under the sink and in one of the downstairs closets, but that was about it. I’d just learned to live with that. It’s amazing what you grow to tolerate. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, started with a short vacation to visit family.  We do this often, and had never had problems before. Why would we expect anything different this time? Because fucking mice, that’s why. 

We arrived home to mouse poop all over the kitchen table and counter tops. Somehow, they hadn’t found the pantry yet, but I knew fear.

Rather than eating dinner that night, I washed the kitchen in bleach. Well, not bleach exactly. In my panicked haste to avoid contracting the Hanta virus, I bought ammonia instead of bleach. Close enough. Mouse shit in your house blurs the lines a bit, and cleaner is cleaner.

My thought process went something like this: If it burns my eyes and makes breathing an unpleasant task, it must mean mouse-bourn viruses are dying. I also took the hypochondriac-based precaution of warning friends and family that if they didn’t hear from me for a few days, it probably meant the family was dying from the Hanta virus. Please send help.

I'm going to lead this next part with I can't make this up….

I was 110% done with vermin, and I was starving, having forgone dinner to clean. Kids had been fed pseudo-food and were hustled off to bed, and Husband went out on the deck to light the barbeque to finally make dinner for adults. He glanced over at the kids baby pool on the deck. Hanging out on the bottom of the pool was a very small, very dead, chipmunk, in what was fast becoming our watery chipmunk trap. This was the second floater of the season, and I was having a difficult time explaining to the kids why swimming was off the table until the pool was disinfected again. How do you tell them that their pool ends small cute furry creatures? I was 150% done by then.

Ignoring the suicidal chipmunk for the moment, we refocused on the barbecue, my hunger blocking out the untimely demise of a stupid rodent. One less to worry about, as far as I was concerned.  Husband popped open the barbecue. Inside was a rodent nest, full of little rodent collectables, poop, and hate. I missed the city that day.  Deeply.

I didn’t sleep much that night. I waited to hear the small, delightful sound of a mousetrap closing in on its victim. Creepy, yes, but revenge is sweet.

Day Two opened with the satisfying discovery that we’d caught one of the fuzzy bastards overnight.  The celebratory feeling that washed over me brought an unsettling thought to the surface: I was not nearly as horrified by the corpse of a dead mouse under my kitchen sink as I felt I should be. I actually enjoyed the fact that I'd reduced the population by one.  

The contents of our kitchen
When did this happen? A few short months ago I would have run to Starbucks to get a large caffeinated beverage to calm my shaken nerves if such a macabre discovery had been made. The lack of Starbucks up here not withstanding, I conversely felt like celebrating over my catch, and so help me, I was tempted to stake the carcass out for fellow mice raiders to see and know fear!

My feelings of elation vanished quickly. Opening the pantry showed me that in retaliation for their fallen comrade, they had upped the ante, turning our food stores into provisions for increasing their population.

After another fun-filled day of cleaning, bleaching (ammonia-ing), throwing away half our food, and reorganizing the entire kitchen, I began to consider burning down the house as a viable anti-mouse tactic. The Mice had declared war, and made their manifesto clear, and I was answering their call to arms with my own: an arsenal  of mousetraps, cleaning products, and a cat. Vive la resistance!

As I write this I’m looking at my kitten. He’s cute, but for the most part a useless hunter so far. He eats spiders, which is handy, though with only about a 70% success rate, but that's about it.  And though part of me wishes he was a ninja-like mouse assassin, the other part of me enjoys not finding mouse entrails on my pillow each night.  

The other aspect of this drama that still weighs on my soul is that I will never know if I’ve won. There is no mouse-count that tallies up the kills against the remaining population. I can never be sure I’ve decimated their forces sufficiently, and without stemming the constant flow of new recruits, I can never be safe from their furry blitzkrieg. I still know fear.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Me vs Me finally getting the internet back!

Well, it finally happened. After a month and a half of carefully focused hate, I finally got through to the internet company and it seems I have internet set up at the new house. It isn't really fast, but I will expand on that later.  At least it works. 

Now, I need a computer desk. Perching on a moving box with my computer on my dresser isn't really conducive to comfort. It is, however, a great way to develop a hunch. 

You'll also notice my cat glaring at me in the background. He's plotting his evening assassination attempt. While he looks innocent, understand that he hugs with his teeth, and that my hands are a study in feline dentition patterns.  

More to come soon, now that I've finally rejoined the internets. :-)

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Me vs The internet provider

First off, please excuse any terrible errors in this post, as I'm being forced to type this on my phone because the fuck ups who were supposed to install my internet BEFORE we moved in basically gave us the finger and went home. 

in case you were wondering, apparently a months worth of notice to get our internet hooked up just wasn't enough. I thought that would have been reasonable...we aren't living completely in the middle of nowhere, but nope, I was wrong. 

Yesterday we were told it was hooked up, and maybe we were just doing it wrong. 
Today, well, let's just say we discovered it wasn't us, it was them. 

Basically fuck all has been done.
And then this conversation happend:
Me: When will the internet be hooked up?
Them: Oh, well the work order has been put in.
Me: Um...good. When will I have more than my phone for internet?
Them: Oh, someone will be out to set it up soon. 
Me: Soon?
Me: Define soon.
Them: No. 

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Me vs Daylight Savings Time

An open letter to Daylight Savings Time:


I used to love you. 

Now I have kids. 

Kids don't understand the extra hour of sleep you afford. They don't respect your authority. 

Now I get no extra sleep, and for at least two weeks my kids are demon spawn at bedtime. They don't care that the clock says 7:30pm, they say 6:30. Fuck you.

Now you're an asshole. 


Sunday 2 November 2014

Me vs Not having enough hours in the day

Sorry for the lack of posts this week...and if I'm honest, for this upcoming week as well. We are finally getting the move underway, and I'm a bit behind on the packing. And by a bit behind, what I actually mean is that we're so far behind that I'm unable to decide where to start, so I panic and eat a piece of cake, then go to bed. 

Hopefully life will calm down somewhat in a week or two and I will go back to my normal craziness, which at least I am proven capable of dealing with. 

Now, back to the boxes. Oh look, Halloween candy!!! 

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Me vs Being Sick

Being a mostly stay at home mom has up sides like that of an incredibly tall (and lets face it, somewhat phallic) skyscraper, and down sides that rival the depths of Mayan sacrificial pits.

While the ups are amazing, one of the things that I really, really dislike about being a stay at home mom is being sick. Not that I actually enjoyed being sick while I was an office slave, but at least then I could stay home and spend the day binge watching every episode of something on Netflix, and eating ice cream without having to care for anyone beyond my pathetic sickly self.

Well, those days are gone.

Being at home with kids means that they are no longer in daycare; I am the daycare, sick or otherwise. If I’m sick, tough shit, I have to deal with it. Breakfast must still be made, regardless of how the thought of toast makes you want to die, kids must be shuttled to their various activities (try not to puke en route), and you must still provide enough coherent adult supervision to ensure your kids don’t play with the mousetraps.

It also leads to conversations like this: Honey, could you please entertain yourself and your brother for a few minutes while mommy goes to the bathroom? Why? Mommy feels sick. My tummy hurts. No, please don’t watch. Fine. Stay. Yes, thank you, I know it’s gross.

And then there is the guilt mixed with hate that I feel for my husband when I’m sick. For example, I spent a large portion of last night debating whether or not to beg my husband to stay home from work so I could be sick like an adult...which basically means acting like a big baby all day. At 4 in the morning, the rational side of me had pretty much fucked off for the night, and I lay there feeling guilty for even thinking about asking him to take time off work so I could stay in bed, yet despising the fact that he got actual sick days while I had to tough it out.  At 4am that pretty much translates to hate, with very little direction or focus. He could call in to work if he felt like he was dying, why couldn’t I?

Despite the guilt of having to ask, I did finally wake him up to tell him not to leave me at home with kids by myself. Well, asked isn’t really the word. It was closer to begging and threatening mixed together: Thregging? 

I don’t break down and do that very often, but he is also very aware that I don’t handle being sick very well…especially being sick to my stomach. Having two kids for me meant 18 combined months of pregnant vomiting hell. I tend to panic a bit every time I feel sick, like it’s the harbinger of unending stomach upset. In any case, luckily he was able to stay home, allowing me to wallow in my own misery and pity. Not a pretty picture, but an honest one.

And with that, I’m pretty much tapped out. Time for some rest and hopefully some relief. I have nothing but respect for any parent who can cope with illness and kids at the same are better people than me.

Monday 20 October 2014

Me vs The Bear

We’re two weeks away from our move date. I’m so close to being in my newly build house, with it’s built in garage. I can’t wait! We’ve been living in our rental house in rural Small Place for 50 weeks (which is about 34 weeks longer than expected), and so far have survived a mouse army invasion, daily face-offs with deer, tides of elk (kind of nice actually, you could even call them majestic), coyote hunt-festivities just outside our window (soooo fucking creepy, I’ll tell that story soon), cows defecating on our front steps (again, story to come), and chipmunks killing themselves in the kid pool (part of the upcoming mouse story.  There’s something about the rodents out here).
For more awesomeness visit
But no bears. In fact, in the almost full year we’ve been in Small Town, we’ve never actually seen a bear. And to be fair, I guess we still haven’t.

I know bears are out there. In town they are a constant problem because of garbage left on the curb for weekly pick up. This isn’t an issue for us, as we never get pick up outside of town, so we stored our garbage in a shed in the carport until we could take it to the dump.  The landlords had recommended this, and I feel like I can safely make the assumption that this was also their system. No mention of bears being a problem.  

Ironically, I’ve seen more bears in the city where I used to live than I ever have in the out of the way hamlet I currently live in. It was completely normal to go for a walk and have a big black bear wander across the path in front of you. There was even an occasion where two cubs playing bear-tag ran right at us before realizing we were there and veering off into the bush.  To be fair, that was a bit terrifying in a where’s-the-mother-bear kind of way, but in hindsight we didn’t get mauled, so it was neat to see.  

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that we haven’t seen a bear yet; we didn’t really have anything to offer them, so what reason would they have to show up? It wasn’t like I was tying salmon to my roof to lure them in, like some kind of demented nature photographer. And yet, apparently I didn’t need salmon, I had a room full of garbage. 

Two nights ago we were visited by what I am assuming was a bear. I assume this only because I have no visual proof, though I’d be surprised if it was something else. I’m pretty sure that even an enterprising bastard deer wouldn’t have been able to rip the shed door off its hinges.  Not even off it’s hinges, really. More like ripped the door and it’s entire frame out of the wall. And if some idiot were going to break into our garbage room, well, they can have it. They could have also just opened the door. So, probably a bear then. 

Door wasn't rated for determined bears,
also, fuck you white bag of cat food.
Truly I wasn’t sure if I was more concerned about the fact that a bear had gotten in and redistributed the contents of our garbage all over the carport and surrounding yard, or if I was simply impressed by the herculean feat of strength it would have taken to rip the door off. Also, I was a bit surprised I had slept through the demolition of part of the building. Usually I wake up if a piece of wood in the fireplace shifts. How did I miss a 200 pound hungry hungry hippo? 

The other incredible part of this chaos was how bloody picky the bear was.  It ate diapers, rotten leftovers, and plastic containers, but didn’t touch the brussel sprouts from a night or two ago. Really? Diapers over sprouts? I get that they brussel sprouts are one of the most (unfairly!) disliked foods around, but still, that’s just bizarre. You're a bear. Eat food that's actually food. 

The other thing the bear determined was unpalatable was a bag of cat food. This animal ate through a tupperware bin of stuffed animals, but wouldn’t touch the cat chow. It even went so far as to gently place the unharmed bag on top of the remains of the door it tore down, as if to say “Balls to you, I’m not eating that”. Not even a tooth mark in the bag. I have to say, I’m kind of glad I’m not a cat. The food must be horrific if even the bears think it tastes like shit. And they apparently enjoy diapers full of shit. Just saying.

So now we have a garbage room that is, effectively, unusable as a garbage room, and I still haven’t figured out where I’m going to store the trash for the next two weeks. Thankfully it should only be for two more weeks! New house, here we come!!!

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Me vs Retro Cartoons and the End of Santa

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I had the opportunity to snuggle up with my 5 year old and watch cartoons. I don’t have cable at home, which is not to say, unfortunately, that we don’t watch tv, but that we’re mostly a Netflix-centered crowd.

Little did I realize going into this that she had chosen Teletoon Retro. Basically, think back to all the amazing the cartoons you watched as a kid. Now imagine it’s the mid 1960’s, and it’s worse than you imagine. 

I had to suffer through The Mighty Hercules. It was terrible. Actually, that doesn’t really do it justice.  With pretty much no preamble, the show opened with some guy with his back to us, mumbling something about a helmet. He puts it on his head, turns around, and is pretty much a guy with a large pot over his head. To his credit, he did have the foresight to cut eye holes in it.
So now we have a skinny guy in a shirt-dress, cape, and pot, walking around talking about how even Hercules can’t hurt him. You know, because of the pot. *sigh*

Out of nowhere Herc shows  up and starts punching him in the stomach. Cookware says to him ‘Hahahaha, stop, you’re tickling me’.  Yup. That’s about it.  There might have been more, but since the animation was pretty much the same 12 frames with different script (and I use that term loosely), I figured I’d pretty much covered it by that point.

Time I can’t get back. 

This got me thinking about cartoons I watched as a kid, and how great they were. I remember loving them. The songs were catchy (which as a parent, is a quality I now loath – Everything is AWESOME…), the animation was top notch (apparently I was willfully blind as a child), and the plots were engaging (if you were a zombie and you had, effectively, no brain). 

This led me to YouTube to look for the shows of my past, which was an appallingly bad decision and I should have known better.  Begin revisiting the cartoons of your youth in all their online, poor-quality glory?  Yeah, it was that bad.

image courtesy of
For all the girls out there who were 80’s cartoon watchers, Jem and the Holograms was an unparalleled favorite. I really, really loved Jem. I wanted to be Jem. As a kid all I saw was this ordinary girl who had magic earrings and turned into this pink-haired rock star whenever she needed to. Who wouldn’t want that? Don’t want to go grocery shopping today? No problem, now I’m Jem. Send someone else. Jem doesn’t do house work! I’M JEM! Hell, I can still sing the Glitter and Gold theme song. I know, I’m embarrassed for me too.

And then I watched Jem again. Like really watched Jem.  It’s amazing how as a child you don’t pick up on the fact that Jem and her non-famous alter ego are both dating THE SAME GUY. It’s also just a wee bit disturbing that she is more concerned that he will find out they are the same person, than she is that he is a complete asshole, and is actually cheating on her....with her. Seriously? How did this get past the focus group???

Let’s pause for a minute and just think about how incredibly terrible this role model actually is. To their credit, the 80’s really tried: A female rock group who kicked a bunch of ass, and basically rock battled it out on a weekly basis with the Misfits (an equally messed up punk girl group). But then they went ahead and ruined this with a misogynistic boyfriend that Jem/Jerica just adores. All Jem wanted to do was make him happy, and she spent an inordinate amount of time worrying that he wouldn’t like her anymore if he knew her secret.

Really? Have we really just skimmed over the fact that he is a complete douche sack? Um, yeah, apparently we did. Can I get a little of the Spice Girl’s girl power please? Something about not needing a man to be happy…or at the very least, not needing a man who cheats on you while you look the other way because his other girlfriend is YOU!

The worst part of this whole thing was that Jem, as much as I loved her as a child, was the mechanism that shattered Santa for me.  This goes off into left field a little, but just stay with me.

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to be Jem, asshole boyfriend be damned! I wanted those bloody earrings.  So, being the clever thing that I was, I went to the one person who I knew could deliver: Santa.  I was very specific. Could you please deliver some magic earrings that allow me to transform into anyone at any time. Seems legit.

Christmas morning came, and with it a small box under the tree. I could almost taste the magical powers radiating from the box. I was one small wrapped package away from being some chick with pink hair and a guitar! Kick ass!
You can all see the train of disappointment chugging down the mountain at this point. My parents gently explained why Santa couldn’t deliver on the magical Jem earrings, but he thought I might like some clip-on pearl earrings instead. I was 8, I don’t think pearls were the look I was going for. 

That night, after my younger sister (who’s soul hadn’t recently been crushed) went to bed, my mom explained the whole Santa situation. That sucked. I think on some level I had known that a fat man in a chimney wasn’t really going to work out long term, but that didn’t make it any better.

To my parent’s credit, we didn’t stop getting Santa presents until both my sister and I were well into our teens, and with the exception of the year of the earring debacle, knowing that Santa wasn’t an actual person never dampened the fun those Christmas mornings.

To this day, Christmas still remains one of my favorite holidays, however I have a decidedly love/hate relationship with Jem and the Holograms. On some level I may always hold those Saturday morning 80’s cartoons somewhat responsible for the death of Santa.  

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Me vs Road Lemmings....again

Given that I have only just posted my rant about road lemmings, also known by their more common name: Deer, this update could be considered somewhat ironically timed.

Only days following my post about what a hazard these demon spawn are, Husband calls to tell me that he's ended one on the road. Actually, his exact words were something to the effect of 'the bastard jumped out at my truck, but I ran over him'. He handled it somewhat better than I would have. 

It took us less than a year of living out here to ruin a perfectly commendable 18 year streak of not killing anything while driving a vehicle. 

Again, I realize this sounds somewhat harsh, but humour me a moment. This half-witted deer leapt into the road in the total darkness pretty much as soon as it registered that there was an oncoming vehicle. We don't live in a place where there is a constant stream of traffic, so him and his tick-ridden buddy (who unfortunately continues to be part of the breeding population) could have crossed the road at ANY OTHER TIME and not become part of the pavement. No, they choose the one moment where some unsuspecting driver is happily driving along, and then leap. I am honestly thankful that Husband is ok. If I had been driving I probably would have had an shock-induced heart attack and driven off the embankment.  

I'm happy that the only thing we lost was the front part of the truck, and that the beastly thing went under the vehicle and not through the windshield. That said, I now have to worry about the fact that our up-to-this-point perfectly reliable vehicle will be written off, and there is no way we can afford anything else. 

Thanks deer. You're a bunch of assholes.