Thursday, May 27, 2010


Papa Bear

The Squeeze and I offered to take the kidlets this past Victoria Day long weekend so their mother could enjoy a weekend off to do chores and have some fun with her friends. Baby Mama dropped the girls off Friday night and we had a fun night, keeping busy with colouring books, stickers, and of course, running around like lunatics playing with the dog. We even managed to squeeze in a visit to the local park to play on the swings.

We kept them up a bit later than their usual bedtime, but it was all part of the plan so we could sleep in for a few extra minutes Saturday morning. Surprisingly, the plan actually worked. After spending the morning playing indoors due to rain, we headed out to a matinee of Shrek (whatever number this last one is). This was our first attempt to take the girls to a movie. While watching videos at home, they have the attention span of fruit flies. They are, after all, five and nearly four years old. Since Baby Mama had passes for the girls, at least I wouldn't be ticked off about wasting the money for something they wouldn't sit through. I'd only be out about $50.00 for the two adult tickets and refreshments. Ya, much better. I couldn't believe how focused they were on the movie! I hardly heard two words from them.

The weather on Sunday couldn't have been better. We slathered a cup or two of SPF 60 sunblock on the kids (and our leather ottoman) and headed out to a park on the lake where the girls had a blast playing on the playground equipment and swings.

There were a couple of kids there who I'll call Punkass1 and Punkass2 and their dog. Punkass1 was about ten years old and Punkass2 was his younger sister who I'm guessing was around eight. PA1 and PA2 were there with their little dog that they placed in a child's swing and swung back and forth, which I'm pretty sure the dog wasn't thrilled about. Then they began twisting the swing until it was tightly wound and released it sending the dog into a dizzying spiral. I approached a couple sitting on a nearby bench to see if they happened to be their parents, but they weren't. Apparently the kids were there unsupervised. While I was expressing my shock to this couple over PA1 & PA2's actions, they removed the dog from the swing. As I approached The Squeeze and the girls at the swing set, PA2 picked up the dog and walked back toward the swings. I had seen enough. "Don't you DARE put that dog on that swing again!", I shouted. PA1 & PA2 just gave me this look of attitude, and I said "If you put that dog on the swing again, I'm calling the SPCA, and you're going to lose that dog. What you're doing is abusive and stupid." They got the point and wandered away. When I looked over to the bench where they were sitting, I saw PA1 on a cell phone. I assumed maybe mom was checking in on him. I guess distant parenting is better than none at all.

A short time later, the girls were climbing on the playground equipment, having a good time running around and going down the slides when this new addition to the mix I'll call Punkass3 came on the scene. He was about 9 or 10 and apparently a friend of PA1 and PA2. He carried a toy shotgun which he proceeded to point at Brynn and chase her making shooting sounds. Brynn came crying to me because this strange older boy was scaring her. I told the kid to knock it off. Then he started doing the same thing to Zoe. He pointed the gun at her and asked "Do you like this?" She was also not impressed and came over to the safety of her dads.

I had had enough. I walked around the playground structure where PA3 was now standing and calmly asked him "Does it make you feel like a big man making a 3 year old girl cry?" He looked a little shocked that I actually confronted him, and simply said "no". I told him "stay the fuck away from my daughters or I'll kick you ass." PA1 heard this and said "you can't do that!" "Pardon me?", I asked. "You can't threaten him", to which I replied, "I can and will do anything in my power to protect my girls." "You can't threaten a kid," PA1 said again. "Watch me," I said as I turned to go back to my kids.

PA3 left the playground in one direction and PA1 and PA2 walked out another way and as they did, The Squeeze heard PA2 say to her brother, "I told you not to call him!" So it appears that PA1 had called in reinforcements after I chastised him and his sister for their antics with their dog.

The Squeeze pointed out something that got me thinking. He said "you know, I have a feeling those kids are abused." As I thought about it, I realized he could be right. The first two kids were mistreating their helpless, frightened dog - something I can't fathom, especially after being blessed with the best, most loving dog ever. And the third kid pointing a gun and asking "do you like this?" It brought images to my mind of that child being hit and his parent asking the same question.

I discussed the incident with a teaching assistant friend of mine and she said she can't believe how mean kids are to one another. She told me that if she had young kids she wouldn't send them to the school she works at. It's a rough, inner-city school where many kids are under-privileged, and it made me stop and count my blessings. And it made me realize that I have to watch over my girls closely. Because I want to protect them and shelter them from what other children might do to them, mirroring what they know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Wait and Weight

Hi again...remember me? I'm the one who swings by these parts every month or two to keep you updated on my life. I'm a procrastinator, I admit it. Always was, always will be. I remember back in school I would hear the phrase "What are you waiting for? Christmas?" from countless teachers. Things haven't gotten much better. In fact, it nearly IS Christmas, so apparently this is what I've been waiting for. OK, that was a stretch, but I'm tired and hungry. Give me a break.

Speaking of winter, I decided to finally bite the bullet and fork out the money for some snow tires for the car. I've always relied on the all season tires that came with it, but truth is, I've been sliding around this past winter and promised myself I'd try to stay on the road and alive this winter. I called the dealership where I've been getting all my work done for the past 16 years, and told them I wanted 4 tires and winter rims installed. They took my info, told me they'd mark the rims & tires and put them aside for me for my appointment on Monday.

I showed up Monday morning at 11:30 and was told it would take 30 to 45 minutes. No problem. So I went into the waiting area and hung out there, waiting patiently. Shortly after 1:00, the guy from the service desk came in and propped himself in front of me and said "We have a bit of a problem with your tires. We have the snow tires here, but we can't seem to locate the rims. The computer shows that they're here, but we just don't know where they are."
"It took you 90 minutes to discover this?" I asked.
"I'm really sorry, we've looked everywhere, and we don't know if they've been stolen or what's happened to them. Unfortunately, we've taken your other tires off the car, so we've just got to get them back on for you and you'll be ready to go."

I sat there stunned for a while. They left me there for 90 minutes while they knew they didn't have the rims. By the time they got the tires back on, I had been there for two hours. For nothing. I sent an e-mail to the shop's customer relations person, so we'll see what happens. When I got home last night, there was a voicemail from the guy at the parts desk saying that some wheel-something-or-other was in and that I should call for an appointment to have it installed. It should take 2 1/2 hours, he said. Hmm...only 30 minutes more than it took them to do nothing. Not bad! However, I think they've made some sort of mistake because putting on four snow tires that should already be on the rims should take somewhere in the area of 20 minutes or so. I've seen race cars get all four tires changed in about 20 seconds, so I really don't know why it would take 2 1/2 hours. But I digress.

Earlier on that same day I visited my chiropractor to go over my MRI results. My back sucks. Bones are degenerating, discs are's not pretty. So he's referred me to another chiropractor who does decompression therapy. Apparently I'll be laying on the rack while it stretches me for 30 minutes. I'm not really freaked out by that, in fact I'm looking forward to seeing if it will relieve this constant pain. If not, we'll look at other options, including surgery. I SO don't want to have back surgery, so keep your fingers crossed that the rack will work. At $75 a session, it better work! My chiropractor thinks I'll have to go for 6 to 10 sessions. But let's discuss the elephant in the room (pardon the pun). I need to get back to losing this excess tonnage. I want to get back on the treadmill so bad, but currently I'm afraid to go on in case my back/hip locks up on me and knocks me flying. The Squeeze and I are currently examining a food plan that some friends are on. We'll see about it. Unfortunately, Christmas is coming.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Another Month. Another Post

I'm not sure what's up with my infrequent posts lately. How can a month fly by without so much as a "here I am wasting time at work" update? Perhaps Facebook is becoming too addictive and time consuming. Or maybe my life isn't nearly as exciting as I once thought. Nah, that can't be it.

So what has been happening in my life this past month?

Well for starters, my business partner and I have been getting ready for me to fully take over the business. He's been at it for about a thousand years and he wants to find something else. Something full-time so he doesn't have to have all these little side jobs. Something that pays. We're pretty much there. He's got a few things here he wants to finish up, then he'll be in one day a month to do the book-keeping for me.

I had an appointment with a specialist to get a throat scope done in early August. Before my father passed away earlier this year, he complained of a burning sensation when he ate. I've had that sensation a few times lately, and being the hypochondriac that I am, I demanded that my doctor send me for a scope to make sure I didn't have esophageal cancer like my father. I was all worked up getting ready for this scope to happen, only to discover it was only an initial meeting. The scope won't take place for a couple of months. Sheesh. The doctor put my mind at ease though. Based on my complaints and symptoms, it sounds like I might have some reflux, but he said it's not a bad idea to get it checked to put my mind at ease.
Thank you, Dr. Specialist!
Screw you, shitty family doctor-in-training who didn't want to give me the requisition for the scope!

Just before the end of August, Zoe, my little 4 1/2 year old had her soccer finals. Her usual games took place on weeknights right around the time I get done work. Tack on the hour drive, and I didn't get to see any of her games. Luckily, the finals were on a Saturday, and at that time I still had Saturdays off. I drove in to Hooterville, stopped by my baby-mama Weezie's house, but the door was locked and there was no answer. I assumed they were already at the soccer park, so I headed on over. I arrived to find the parking lot jam packed, except for the large muddy pit that I managed to park in. I fumbled with my lawn chair, camera case, umbrella, the dog, her water bottle and my coffee and made my way onto the field.

Apparently there were about 6 or so different games going on at the time. I wandered about with all the aforementioned gear, trying to find the right pitch. The problem with not being at any of her regular season games is that I had no idea what colour her uniform was. I was wandering around blind. Three of the pitches had kids under the age of 5 playing, so it could have been any of them. I had no luck finding Zoe or Weezie, so I called the house and Weezie's friend answered.

"What time is Zoe's game?" I asked.
"2:50" I'm told.
"OK, it's 2:48, where are they?"
"They're in the bathroom. They had a little emergency."
"Oh my god, they're still at home!? The game starts in two minutes. OK, just tell me what colour uniforms they have."
"There are three different shades of blue out here. Do you know which one?"
"Not the really light one, and not the navy one."
"So the royal blue. Alright I see them on the field. I'll go set up there and wait for them to get here."

As I hang up the phone and try to walk, I feel resistance on the leash. Stella is in the process of taking a steaming dump on the grounds in front of countless little kids and their parents and coaches. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that sometimes she has very wet poop which often doesn't break free and I need to wipe the little girl. So with an audience watching, I put down all of my accessories and do what I had to do. I bagged up the evidence, picked everything back up again, walked to a nearby garbage can and made my way to the sideline of the pitch. Ten minutes into the game, Weezie shows up and gets Zoe padded and dressed to go on. The only one who didn't want to be there was Zoe. She had played a game that morning that her team won, and now she was just bored. She kept wandering off the pitch to come over and play with the dog.

"Get back on the field Zoe, you're team needs you!", we shouted.

We were met with any number of protests including, but not limited to, "I'm tired, I'm hot, I want to play with Stella". The only time she wanted to play was when she was on the sidelines with the other kids. Then she came to life. On the pitch she just stood around and watched the ball whiz past her. Good times.

Oh ya, they lost that game.

That takes us to the cottage. On August 29th, FWIG, his mother, The Squeeze and I went up north for a week of relaxation. Nothing terribly exciting happened, which is fine by me on a vacation. Oh. Except for spotting a black bear upon returning from town one afternoon. It certainly made me think twice about going for walks in the woods for the rest of the week.

It was a week filled with reading, eating, and a bit of knitting. Right up until the point where I realized I screwed up and had to pull out a few inches of my scarf. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, or some such crap. All is well, and it's nearly done now.

This morning I stepped on the scale. And I wept. Actually it was more of a gasp of terror. Now that my chiropractor is getting my back somewhat back in shape, I might be able to get my ass back on the treadmill and work off some of the poundage I've packed on over the past year and a half when my mother became ill and was hospitalized. It's SO easy to fall off the wagon.

Last night I watched the season premiere of "The Biggest Loser". Mainly so I could feel a bit better about myself. Now I'll watch them lose 20 pounds a week while I try to lose one or two. They're gonna piss me off.

And with that I'll end my monthly rant. Really, I'll try to be back sooner!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Was I Too Harsh?

So I'm cooking away in the kitchen yesterday afternoon when the phone rings. Some unknown phone number appears on the call display screen. I answer and am greeted with something like "This is your second call regarding interest rates on your credit card...blah, blah, 1 to speak with one of our friendly operators."

Naturally, I press 1 because I'm pissed that I get about five of these calls per week between work and home.

"I understand you're interested in lowering your interest rates...", the friendly operator starts.
"Actually, I'm interested in not getting any more of these calls from you people," I replied. "I get these calls constantly, and I'm on the Do Not Call list, so why are you still calling me?"
"The Do Not Call list is only for sales calls. We're not selling anything," she says.
"Oh, really? Well tell me, what exactly is it you're not selling? (I may have been born in the morning, but it wasn't this morning!)
"We're offering you a reduction in your credit card interest payments."
"You have no idea what interest I'm paying now. I'm not interested in your services. Remove my number from your list."
Then the friendly operator says "Enjoy your high interest rates."
To which I replied "Enjoy going to hell."
Good thing those telemarketing parasites don't have feelings.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009



Let me preface this by saying I am not a fan of critters. Spiders, snakes, rodents, name it, I call for The Squeeze to rescue me. Unless I'm feeling really butch at that moment. So you get the picture. Moving right along...

I left the house this morning with my dog on our way to work. Luckily I happen to work a block away from my house, so I usually leave about 15 minutes before I have to open my shop. This gives me ample time to let Stella do her business, and to arrive at the shop, unlock, and power up the computer, and turn on the lights.

This morning, I left a bit later than usual. There was laundry to be done, and some tidying up in the kitchen that was desperately needed. I stepped out the front door, and started walking down the main driveway of our complex when my next door neighbour called out to me from her garage.

I can't think of the last time I saw her, let alone spoke with her. She and her husband are pretty quiet, and keep to themselves. The look on her face showed some distress.

"How are you doing, Mary?"
"I'm OK. Can I ask you a favour?"
"There's a dead mouse in front of my front door."

I'm sure I looked at her with a very blank, dissociative stare, both waiting for and dreading the upcoming question.

"Could you pick it up for me please?"

I could feel my eyes protruding a little bit as I shuddered inside.

"You don't have to do it right now. You can take the dog for a walk first."
"I better do it now, because I'm actually heading to work right now," I informed her.

I stepped to the side to see the offending critter at the entrance to her home, and there it was, lying on its side. Certainly dead. I looked back at Mary and asked if she might have something I could use to pick it up.

"I have a plastic bag," she said, which she then provided.

I've been picking up dog poop for nearly a year, so I just imagined that I was putting the baggie over my hand as if to pick up one of Stella's little piles. I grabbed the mouse by the tail, flipped the bag inside out, and tied it up. I looked in Mary's garage for their garbage can, and she looked at me like I had lost my mind.

"No, no! Put it in yours!" she said.

With time wasting, I didn't have time to go back into my house to throw our HER mouse, so I just said "Nevermind, I'll throw it in the can down the street."

Naturally, Stella had to leave another pile for me as we walked to work, so there I was balancing my bag with my lunch and other things I bring to work, my umbrella, Stella's leash, and a bag with a dead mouse, while I tried to stoop and scoop.

I am SUCH a multi-tasker. And SO butch! The Squeeze won't believe me. Of course, if I do tell him about this, he might expect me to kill my own spiders at home. This just might be our little secret.

Friday, June 05, 2009


Are You Freakin' Kidding Me?

OK, so I've mentioned about a thousand times that people who are lost have a real knack for coming into my shop and asking for directions. The one that happened moments ago pretty much takes the cake.

I was sitting at the computer, eating lunch and surfing the interwebs, when in walked an attractive young woman.
"I'm not sure if you can help me," she started. "I'm looking for #___ This St."
"Is it a business you're looking for?"
"It's __________."
"Oh, ok, that's just in the next building over, up the stairs on the second floor."
"How do I get upstairs?" she asked.

WHAT!? Did she just ask me how to get upstairs? Ya, I believe she did.

"Just walk in the front door and you'll just walk up the stairs."

Seriously. "How do I get upstairs?"
I guess I could have told her to walk around the back of the building and shimmy up the drain pipe, and shift herself along the eavestrough, and knock on the window, but I kinda have a feeling she would have done it. And that would just be mean.

The really sad part is that she appeared to be holding what I'm assuming was a resume in her hand. Good luck with that.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


At Least She Wasn't Wearing A Dress

Saturday morning I met up with my baby-mama for the hand-off of the girls. My niece was having a birthday party for her son who was turning three, and for the event she rented a pretty cool indoor playground facility for a few hours that we ventured to.

There were about a dozen or so youngsters in attendance along with a variety of parents. All of the kids had a blast climbing up the platforms and weaving their way through paths and across bridges and down a variety of slides. There was an eating area where we had a bite to eat and to do the customary birthday cake and singing of 'Happy Birthday' and destruction of wrapping paper, after which the kids returned to the play area.

Throughout the time we were there, I had to take Zoe to pee once and had to take Brynn a few times to wash various food items from her hands. Each time we were in there, Brynn said "I don't have to pee yet." She's getting so independent.

About an hour before we were due to go, Brynn came running up to me. "Daddy, I have to pee!" "Uh-oh...hope it's not too late," my niece said.

I took her to the bathroom, she pulled down her pants and I lifted her up onto the toilet and I waited to hear the sound of success. She said something about her underpants being wet that I didn't quite catch. Not until after she hopped off the toilet and wiped did I notice that she hadn't pulled down her underpants when she pulled her pants down. I didn't notice because her shirt was just long enough to cover them.

Since I wasn't given a change of clothes for such an emergency, she had to go commando and I had to wash out her underwear in the sink and bag them up for the drive home.

When I came out of the bathroom, my niece asked me if we made it in time. "We did, but things didn't go well once we were in there."

As word of our misadventure in the bathroom made the rounds, much laughter filled the place. Brynn went back to playing and having fun with the other kids, and I was ever so grateful that she was wearing pants that day.

The next night I discovered an e-mail from my baby-mama that said she got quite a laugh out of Brynn saying "Daddy made me pee my pants" several times that afternoon and the next day.

I hope this won't require years of therapy for her.

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