Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Cashing in for Christmas

As it turned out, dropping off The Slug was pretty uneventful. I thought The Squeeze would have had some interesting anectdote with his brother to share upon his return. Oh well, just as well.

I got up Boxing Day morning (that's December 26th for those who don't know) and decided to do a quick bit of bargain shopping before heading to my parents' place for my family Christmas dinner, which we generally have around noon or 1:00. I hit the aquarium shop which was packed to pick up a few things that I wanted to get while they had their 25% off sale. Went to the nearby mall to check out some CDs and picked up some cologne I wanted, and made my way back home. Too many crazy people out there. I unloaded my purchases and loaded up The Squeeze, our gifts to the folks, and our baked goods.

There were about 24 people there, give or take. We were down a few because there's some kind of crap going on between my brother, his wife, his kids and his ex that is just too complicated and confusing to get into. The short version is his kids hate his new wife (she is a bitch), and she's sort of come between my brother and his kids, so they aren't speaking. It's weird.

Anyway, we ate like pigs, and in true family tradition...well, MY family tradition, we break out a couple of decks of cards and do a bit of gambling with the siblings and nieces and nephews. As the years have gone on, the stakes have risen. It used to be a nickle, dime, quarter type of thing. Now we get into nickles, dimes, quarters, loonies (one dollar coin), twonies (two dollar coin) and for the grand finale, fives. I won one of the loonie rounds which scored me about $24 bucks I think, and I won the fives. Of course, the higher the stakes go, the less people there are playing. Chicken shits. Since there were only 5 of us playing, I only scored $60. $15 from each of them. Ahhh, Christmas. That's what it's all about.

I was planning to tell the folks about what Weezie and I are cooking up, but I just didn't have the nerve. Talk about chicken shit! I think I'll wait another month or so...just get past that first trimester I think. At least I tell myself this now.

Well, I must get a move on. My friend from Vancouver is coming by in a bit for a visit, so I should probably drag my ass into the shower and get dressed and do a bit of tidying up here. We're going to go out and do some shopping! Yay!

Sunday, December 25, 2005


O Holy Crap!

This just isn't what I was expecting for Christmas.

I had done some baking that I intended to take to church this morning. The Squeeze and I got up, did the gift thing (I got an awesome bathrobe, some Simpsons and Family Guy DVDs - yay!) and had our shower while the Brother In Law made breakfast for us. It was a french toast & cream cheese casserole kind of thing. Pretty good. While we were in the shower (The Squeeze and I, not BIL), my father called and left a message. It turns out that he and my mother went out for their morning walk and accidentally left the house with their keys locked inside. They had no way to get in. I live the furthest away, but I was the only one of their 5 kids with a key. So much for church. They had walked all the way to the other side of town to my brother's house, so they waited for us there. I told my father we'd be about an hour.

We ate our breakfast (quickly), and the Squeeze was prepping the turkey so it could cook while we were away. As he turned to ask me if I wanted the giblets and liver and other fun stuff in the roasting pan too, he turned to face me, however I was not in the room. BIL was, and he received Squeeze's full frontal nudity shot because his bathrobe had come undone. BIL was temporarily blinded, but he's over it now (I think).

We drove the hour to Hooterville to rescue the folks through dense fog, and turned around and drove back because, hey, we did have our own dinner to prepare. When we got back, we tidied up the place, set the table, cleaned the bathroom, and the Squeeze hooked up the new computer speakers I got for him (they rock).

BIL headed out to pick up his kids and the other brother, who I refer to as The Slug. While he was gone, his ex showed up to drop the boys off. A bit of miscommunication, but whatcha gonna do? BIL returned with The Slug who, as usual, looked like an unmade bed. It was pretty obvious that he had started smoking again. I knew his attempt to quit wouldn't work - again. Let me tell you, The Slug reeked like ass. And smoke. And bad breath. And dirty clothes. And unwashed body. And did I mention ass? He saw that I had some containers to one side of the kitchen with my butter tarts and empire biscuits that I was going to be giving away to friends when I went to visit them over the next couple of days. Well, I thought he might have just had one or two, but when I went back by the containers, I was down about a dozen or so cookies and a couple of butter tarts. And these tarts are pretty huge. Needless to say, I sealed up the containers on him. I think he got the message because he steered clear of them after that. It was just brutal. He stank so bad, that The Squeeze was looking through the drawers to find some gum to give The Slug to freshen his breath a bit. Not that it would have helped. Oh, I forgot to mention that he once again arrived with a dirty old shirt that had what I assumed and hoped were several coffee stains down the front of it. Really, how can someone go to somebody's home for Christmas dinner looking and smelling like that?????

I managed to sit a couple of seats away from him during dinner, but the smell and his Darth Vader breathing were getting on my last gay nerve! He also spent a lot of the evening on this computer checking his e-mail. I can still smell him on this chair, the keyboard....the room. He stepped outside a number of times to have a smoke and freshen up his odour for us. The topper is that since BIL's kids are staying over, The Slug needed a ride back to his place. The Squeeze asked me if it was ok to use my car to take him home since it was at the end of the driveway. I shuddered, and agreed, but made him promise he'd drive with the windows open. I doubt he'd have a problem with that stipulation. Who could stand to be in a sealed car with him??? My fear is that when we go back to Hooterville tomorrow for my family dinner, The Slug's smell will still be in the car. Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry's car had B.O.? I'm talking that kind of stink. It's an entity. I can't wait for the Squeeze to get home to give me the details! But I'm spraying him with cologne first.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Finally...time to breathe. For now.

Thank God!
It's two days before Christmas and my last day at work until after the New Year. Everything is done here that needs to be done for Christmas, so I have time to kick back, relax a bit and wait for customers to come in to pick up their orders. There are a couple of pieces I could work on that are due in the new year, but I could really use the time to decompress. I'm sure I'll get bored in a bit and start working, but it's the thought that counts.

Which brings me to gifts (good segue, n'est pas?). Last night my buddy Xena came to the shop before we headed out for dinner as we always do on Thursday nights. She brought a couple of little packages for my business partner and me. She insisted we open them right away, so we did. Well, it was the funniest damned thing I ever saw. For Christmas, Xena gave me the Clap. That's right, she gave me the Clap. Gonorrhea. And she gave my business partner Syphilis.
See for yourself.

My business partner and I have always exchanged a little gift as well, and we did so again last night. He's an avid reader, and he loves all of the Gregory Maguire books which deal in strange twists to popular children's tales. He's the guy who wrote "Wicked". He also wrote "Mirror, Mirror", "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister", and a few others. Last year the BP got me "Wicked", as a group of us had tickets to see the show. He insisted I read the book first. Well, Maguire recently released the sequel to "Wicked" called "Son of a Witch", so I got that for the BP this year. I hadn't heard him talk of it at all, so I figured he must not have it yet or perhaps not even know it exists.

So we exchanged gifts last night, he unwrapped his and looked at the title with a chuckle.
"You don't have it already, do you?" I asked.
"No, I don't," he replied with a strange hesitation to his voice.
"Cool, because I was thinking you might have already picked it up."
I unwrapped the large box he gave me, and inside that was another wrapped package. I unwrapped that package, and there it was. "Son of a Witch".
We got each other the exact same thing for Christmas! I guess he actually did already pick it up. But he picked it up for me. How bizarre. We have known each other way too long. Xena thought it was absolutely hilarious. Well I guess it is actually. Of all the things out there we could have bought one another we both decided on a book. Out of all of the millions of books out there, we get the same one. And neither of us have ever mentioned it. It's a small, freaky world.

Tonight I can finally bring The Squeeze's gifts home. I've been hiding them here at the shop until I got them all wrapped yesterday, but I didn't want to leave them in the car last night while we were out for dinner in case someone broke into the car and swiped them. Holiday paranoia. Sadly, they are all wrapped in the same paper. Very nice paper, mind you, but we did have a few different rolls here. I guess BP took the others home to wrap his gifts.

So I heard from Weezie (the baby momma) on Wednesday night. Everything is going along fine with the little peanut. It will be ten weeks on the 24th since Weezie was injected with the junk, and the little baby in progress is doing quite nicely. She's been getting ultrasounds every two weeks. Because she lost the baby she was carrying last year, the doctors just want to keep a close eye on her to make sure everying is ok. She said that you can see arms & legs developing. From the top of his/her head to his/her bum, it's about two inches. Add on the legs and you've probably got a good three inches or more going on in there. When I told The Squeeze, he got all verklempt and teary-eyed. He's so cute :o)

I mentioned the aquarium ordeal recently. Things are coming along nicely. Or going out of control...depends on who you talk to. I started out with 6 fish. A male & female Gourami, a gold barb, a sunset platy, a red wag platy and a red wag sword. Well about a week after getting them, the red wag platy wasn't looking so hot. A few fish were acting weird. That night, the red wag platy was dead. The next day the red wag sword was dead, the day after that the sunset platy was dead. I was running a death tank. Something that nobody ever mentioned was that it would be a good idea to test the water parameters. The what? Exactly. So I got a test kit. The ammonia was just a titch high, the nitrites were brutally high, the nitrates were a bit high, pH was fine. I guess I kinda jumped the gun and added the fish before the tank biologically cycled. Oops. I've learned my lesson. I'm becoming quite adept at fish husbandry. All the parameters are where they should be now. I have added a few other species. A couple of plecos to eat algae, a cory cat to scavenge the gravel, a couple of cardinal tetras and a gold ram. Aside from a bit of agression between a couple of the inhabitants, things are coming along swimmingly. :o)

I've dealt with a case of ick, and have come to the realization that I should really have a seperate quarantine tank. So off I went to buy a ten gallon tank to set up to keep empty for the most part. Then I had to buy a stand for it. So now I'm feeding an empty tank to get the ammonia going, so it can in turn produce nitrites, which in turn produces nitrates to keep the biological filter going. It's quite a process to set up an aquarium so it looks after itself! Who knew?! Hard to believe that just a month ago I wanted a bowl and a goldfish or two. Now I have a quarantine tank that is much bigger than that original bowl I intended to buy. Sheesh. So far I've got two aquariums side by side. I'd love to one day have a marine aquarium so I can see the bright colours of the salt-water fish I admire in the shop every time I go in. I've heard that aquariums can be addictive. Some people I've talked to have over 60 tanks in their house. That's just crazy. Of course, I say that now...

Tonight the craziness of the holidays really begins. Right after work I have to hit the grocery store to pick up all the things I need for Christmas dinner at our place on the 25th, then I have to return some DVDs to Blockbuster and head home to make butter tarts if time permits, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't. We have a party to go to tonight, but I really wanted to get these tarts done to take to my parent's place on Boxing Day (the 26th). Saturday morning I have something to attend to, and that night we're going to a Christmas Eve party at the parents-of-a-friend-of-mine's house as he is home from Vancouver for the holidays. Maybe I can make them Saturday afternoon.

Sunday we spend at our house with The Squeeze's brothers and two nephews. Not sure if I've posted this before, but the brother who lives with us who was dating the Psycho-chicky is no longer seeing her. THANK GOD! She was nuttier than the much maligned fruitcake. She was a bit (and by that I mean completely) co-dependent, paranoid and well, just crazy. She sabotaged her own relationship with her strange fantasy life she played out in her head. Everything finally blew up at a church function she and the Bro-in-law were attending. Psycho-chicky had this idea in her mind that Bro-in-law was messing around with this old female friend of his that he has been nothing more than friends with for a long time. So this friend wanted to assure PC that nothing was going on with her and BIL. Well PC wanted none of it. Old Female Friend gently touched PC on the arm and said that she would really like to work this problem out. PC freaked! She told OFF to get her hands off of her, said that she was going to call 911 on her, started screaming and making a big scene. PC said that she has had it with the two of them carrying on behind her back. She's done with the relationship and she said that BIL and OFF can carry on and plan their wedding and enjoy their life together. Can you say FUCKED IN THE HEAD??? All of this took place in front of a room full of other church-goers. There's a lot to be said for psychotic medications. It just cracks me up that BIL has mentioned to PC in the past that she should probably see a therapist about her trust issues, her co-dependency, etc. but she insists that there is nothing wrong with her and that anything he thinks she may have is his problem to deal with. So.....her calling our house 15 or 20 times a day was him? She would always come up with these bizarre stories as well. She told him that someone came into her business to tell her to stay away from BIL, saying he was bad news. She told him that someone else came in and told her that they saw BIL at a certain mall walking hand-in-hand with another woman (OFF?). BIL just shakes his head at all of this because none of it is true. She just comes up with this stuff so BIL will do something to try to prove to her that he loves her alone. PC is basically trying to make him beg for her love. Well, that backfired big time. BIL is a really nice, gentle guy who deserves a nice sane woman in his life. All I can say is thank God PC won't be with us for Christmas! However, BIL said that PC has been sending him lots of e-mails, and I noticed her number on my call display yesterday. Please don't let this start up again.

Hopefully, all I need to contend with is The Squeeze's OTHER brother. He's a bit of a pill. His hygiene is pretty much non-existent. He breathes through his mouth....loudly. There are some odour issues. And he tells the most long-winded, yawn-inducing, go-nowhere stories about people we don't know that nobody cares about. Can you tell he lived with us for some time a while back? My patience for that guy wore pretty thin.

The next day we spend with my family. There's normally 25 to 30 people for dinner. My mother does it all. Martyr complex / control freak. I come by it honestly. As they say, the nut doesn't fall far from the tree. I'm trying to build up my nerve to tell the folks that they will be grandparents again. This might be the day. We'll see. I hope my parents won't make me marry her. The Squeeze would be pissed.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
or as we used to be allowed to say
Be safe!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Keeping busy!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I've been trying to get ready for the Christmas holidays at home. I managed to spend a day baking....and now that most of that is gone after feeding friends last week, I'll have to do it all over again so I have some things for company during the holidays.
Work has been brutally busy, which is a good thing. We cut off taking orders for Christmas on Saturday, but we've still got people coming in hoping to have things framed before then. Normally it takes about two weeks to turn around a finished piece, but if pressed, we can rush it and have in within a week. Currently, we have about 60 or so pieces to complete by the 23rd. I've been working like a maniac trying to get things done. It's amazing how many people still call or come into the shop expecting us to get their pictures done for Christmas.
One lady called today, "I have an oil painting I need to have framed."
"When did you need to have it done?" (that's always the first question this time of year)
"I need it for Christmas."
"Unfortunately, we're not able to take any more work for Christmas, our cut off was Saturday."
"Can't you squeeze it in?"
"I'm sorry, we're really under the gun here. Our suppliers can't guarantee delivery in time, and we're packed to the gills here."
I explain that we have a large number of pieces already on the list, and we're already working a lot of overtime to try to get them all done.
"But can't you just do this one piece? It doesn't need glass or a mat. Just the frame."
"I'm sorry, but like I said, we can't guarantee that we can get the moulding in time."
The glass isn't an issue. We have cases of the stuff. But quite frankly, she was really starting to bug the shit out of me. Quite likely, we could have got the frame in, but every extra picture adds another 30-60 minutes or so to my already stretched out day. We need to set a limit.
I also had a guy come in today hoping to have something framed for Christmas, and he didn't even have the picture yet. We order nothing until we have the item in our hands so we can measure it and select the right materials. Another unhappy customer.
I don't understand people who drag their ass and expect us to jump through hoops because they couldn't bother to get in sooner.
Two years ago a woman (a regular) and her teenage son came in two days before we closed for the holidays wanting to have some prayer on copy paper framed for her husband for Christmas. We thought we could accommodate her, so we called the supplier, asked if they could build the frame, send it by overnight courier so she could have it in time. They were able to do it, but can you believe the woman asked if we can do better on the price!
My business partner said "Honey, if you came in two weeks ago maybe we could have done better on the price, but not today!" He can be a bit outspoken.
One year (before my time), a woman brought something in a couple of days before Christmas wanting something framed. The girl who used to work there told the woman that they aren't able to do it for Christmas because the suppliers won't be making any more deliveries until the new year. She told the woman that she can have it ready a week after the store re-opened after the holidays.
The next day, this woman came back in and told my business partner that she was there to pick up her finished piece.
"Did you get a phone call saying it was ready?"
"No, but the girl I talked to yesterday said it would be ready today."
"No she didn't tell you that because there is no way it could happen and she knows that very well. She has worked here for several years and she is fully aware of what can be done and when."
"Well," the woman said. "I'll just tell my husband that you didn't get it done in time."
"No, you can tell your husband that you couldn't be bothered to think of him before December 23rd. Don't try pinning your lack of consideration for him on us."
You gotta admire that honesty!

Friday night The Squeeze's company has their work party, and we've booked a room at the hotel where they are holding the party. That means I can't work Friday night and most of Saturday. Maybe I'll put in a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. Monday we'll have to deliver and hang about 50 pieces to a corporate client's office. When will I get everything done???

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?