Friday, March 31, 2006


What's wrong with you people?!?!

This is one of those days when I'm glad I don't own a gun. I'm still feeling like crap, but I think (hope) the worst is over.

I have been working like a bastard today getting pictures put together and I think I deserve a break, so here I am. I can't get over the number of people who have come in here today. Before I even had the lights on in the place, a car pulled up to the front of the building. As soon as I hit the OPEN sign, they headed in. I didn't even get a chance to take a sip of my coffee. And might I add that I still haven't won sweetboodiddlysquatfuckall from Tim's!

One couple came in with some big canvases from the Dominican that they need stretched. As soon as I came to the front when they walked in, I started this coughing/choking thing. I tried stifling it, but I felt like I was gagging and ready to puke my tubes. Thank God I didn't! After they left I ran out to grab a pack of Halls from an adjoining business, and that seems to have helped. Of course, I'm coughing up a storm right now while I type this...maybe it's time for a refill.

This has also been a day for "lookie-lou's". I had one woman bring in 5 or 6 pieces and she told me right away, "I'm not ready to have these framed, but I want to know how much it would cost to do them". This shit always happens when I'm swamped. I knew I was in trouble when she took from her bag these two old ratty-looking, cheap-ass frames with the miters cracked apart.

"I'd like to reuse these frames if possible."
Translation: cheap bitch.

Did I really have to point out to her that the frames were smaller than the pieces she wanted to put in them??? Unreal. So I told her they can't be used and to move on to something with a bit of style. I went to work and picked the mats and frames and gave her a price. Every time it wound up being over $100 she let out an audible gasp. Lady, this ain't Wal-Mart. I'm not sure how long I was dealing with her...maybe 20 minutes, and we still had a couple more to go. In came a regular client to pick up the piece we framed for him. Knowing it would be a lot better for everyone if I got him on his way, I grabbed his picture and showed it to him. He was happy, and the nickle and dimer with the shit frames thought it was beautiful. I gave him his total - around $400, and as usual, he didn't bat an eye, paid and was on his way. Follow the example lady, let me do my thing and have some great looking things on your wall.

Back to El Cheapo. I got the rest of her things in the computer and after asking me how my prices compare with other framers in the area (How the hell would I know? Like I take my framing somewhere else.) she was on her way with every single thing she brought in. Thanks for wasting my time lady.

The weather out there has been amazing lately. However, today it started to look kind of gloomy, despite the warm temperature. Finally the sky opened up and it began pouring. About a minute after the downpour begins, this snazzy Mercedes Benz pull up out front and this lady walks in.

"Can you bring in some things from the back of my car?"

I rolled my mind's eye and thought 'Ya, it figures. Hasn't rained for four months, and the one day that I've got the flu it pours and someone has me going out in the rain to bring in the stuff she doesn't want to carry. Don't want to chip that new manicure.' Incidentally, the rain stopped about half an hour later. She wound up not being as big of a pain as I thought she would be. Except for the fact that she's one of those 'we just painted and the mat colour just doesn't go with the new walls' types.

This one piece is mostly a smoky lilac colour with a teal accent. She's painted her walls pretty close to this teal colour, but not exactly. She claims that the lilac mat (you know, the same colour that's IN the picture) doesn't go with the wall. She wants the mat changed to the teal colour which is close to her wall colour. The thing is SHE'S STILL GOING TO HAVE THAT LILAC COLOUR THAT'S IN THE PICTURE AGAINST TEAL!!! And what's worse, the mat colour will be slightly off of the wall colour, so it's going to look like she tried to match the wall colour, but didn't quite get it right.

People! Do it right, do it once. Frame it to suit the picture, not the room. Whew...ok, I'm better now.

Alright, break is over. Time to get back there and finish up before leaving for the night. One more day and I get my weekend. WooHoo!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I hate being sick!

Ya, so the exercise thing was going great up until this morning. Simply put, I've got the flu or some such thing. All I know is I feel like crap, yet here I am at work (working hard, no hardly working). I'm hopped up on Dristan, so at least my nose is no longer dripping like a faucet with a cracked washer. I just couldn't drag my ass out on the path today. Everything aches. Feet, legs, knees, name it, it hurts!

I blame 'Norbert'. Norbert is the young guy who works here on the weekends. He's a nice kid. Dedicated to the point that he came in to work on Saturday after being in bed all week with the flu. He looked like crap. Frog-belly white, dark circles under his eyes, and ten scarcely affordable pounds lighter than he was the week before....hmm...sounds like so many fashion models out there. Heroine chic, donchaknow.

We were working away together, and the whole time I'm thinking 'I am SO going to get sick'. He left for home at the end of the day, but I got stuck here an hour after closing, due to some freak who pulled up while I was outside locking the door. In all honesty, I was already leaving about half an hour or so late because of some friends who I haven't seen in a long time who brought some work in. The time flew by as we chatted, but I finally had to kick them out because I was meeting my family to celebrate my parents' 55th anniversary.

Like I said, I had all the lights turned off, the alarm was set, and I was out front with my key in the lock, and up drives some woman who starts crying the blues about needing us to mat some pictures for some fundraiser or other. We get hit up for this a lot. So, being the sucker I am, I unlock the door, disarm the alarm and let her in. Like I said, we get a lot of people coming in looking to have us frame pieces for fund-raisers, so we wind up doing the work pretty much for our cost. She put the pieces on the counter, I selected the mats to suit them, measured them up and gave her the greatly reduced price. Time spent already was about 15-20 minutes because she just kept giving me details about the group and people I've never heard of. Give me a break already! When she was told the price (about $30. each) she nearly fainted.

"Can't you do any better on the price?" (I just love that one)
"Actually, that is already greatly reduced."
"Oh my God, we can't afford to spend that kind of money. We just wanted to make them look a bit better so people might bid on them. We won't make that money back on them."

I explained to her that in all likelihood people will bid more for a matted piece than they would for a non-matted piece, but she didn't think so. She was thinking that a mat might be $5.00 or so. Ya, it's called bristol board. I told her that we only use acid-free preservation matboard and backing, but she just didn't get it. She packed up her pictures and headed out.

You know, if I had just made some shopkeeper re-open his place of business for me, I sure as hell wouldn't be bitching and moaning about the price of something.

At this point, it was just after 5:00 (closing time is 4:00), and I had to rush home and meet my family at this dinner theatre place at 6:15. Not a big problem, except that this place we were going to is about an hour's drive from my house and it would still take me 10 or 15 minutes to get home from work.

I flew! I got home around 5:20, ran inside, washed my face - no time to change, I looked acceptable. Got The Squeeze and I into the car and sped like a madman to the show. Got there at about 6:10! Thank God for the lack of police funding! The first thing I did when we got in that door was head to the bar for a drink. I needed it.

The show and dinner was good, but I didn't have any one-on-one time (or one-on-two time) with the folks, so I still haven't told them about the baby. Soon...I promise.

Sunday came and went. Monday I had an oil change booked, so I started reading "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote while I waited. Damn good book! Grabbed lunch at this neat little Indian buffet place, and then I was off to drop a pile of money.

I'm pretty sure I'm one of the last people on the planet, but I finally bought an iPod. I got the 4GB Nano which holds about 1,000 songs, and right after I bought it I wondered if I should have bought one of the larger iPods with a 30 or 60GB memory. I figured 1,000 songs ain't bad! 15,000 is much more though! I'm sure it will do. I brought it home, installed the software, and about two hours later (sheesh!) I was recording music and ready to hit the path. It sure does help keep your pace up. I did some updating of music files on Monday night and updated the iPod, so things are much better organized.

Tuesday morning I was rockin' on that path! And it almost makes it acceptable to be anti-social when you have earbuds hanging down your face. I worked up quite a sweat, and I noticed my nose was running a lot...and my throat was sore. The beginning of the end. Last night I felt even worse. Muscles ached, head pounded, voice going...ya, this isn't good at all. Luckily The Squeeze had picked up some Dristan, so I took a couple around 9:30 last night. I tossed and turned, coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose and drowning in my own ick. Got up around 12:30, took more Dristan and back to bed. Finally got to sleep, but when I got up this morning I felt like crap.

That brings me to here. I don't want to be here at work feeling like this. Hopefully I won't have a lot of people come in today so I can actually get some work done. I'm falling behind. Yesterday was so busy. So many people bringing stuff in. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about having business, but it's feast or famine in this business. It seems everyone brings their stuff in at the same time. I'm booking work for completion 3 weeks down the road. Normally it's less than 2 weeks, but that's the way it goes.

I guess I should stop procrastinating, sign off here and get back to work. So much to do, so little time.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


On The Wagon (again)

I've noticed recently that my clothes seem to be fitting a big more snug. I jokingly attributed it to our new dryer. "Damn thing seems to be shrinking all my clothes!" Hehe...ya, right. The fact of the matter is that I can't seem to stay away from really good food. And by really good food, I mean the stuff that any sensible human knows enough to stay away from. But let's face it, when it comes to healthy eating, I don't have the good sense God gave cabbage. Cabbage...ya, I should be eating more of that.

In all honesty, I don't know that it's so much the eating because, quite frankly, The Squeeze and I eat pretty well-balanced meals for the most part. It's those other times that are killers. Take yesterday for example. I had a bowl of raisin bran cereal with 1% milk for breakfast and grabbed a coffee with milk from Timmy's on the way to work. By the way, the record of not winning anything with the Roll Up The Rim To Win contest still stands. We prepare our lunches for the week and bring them to work with us. This week we are having beef stroganoff (made with extra lean ground beef) with a ton of mushrooms and peas over brown rice. For dinner we had vegetable lasagna. I had a couple of bananas somewhere in there and a cup of decaf and a can of caffeine-free diet coke. That was it. Not a bad day actually. Most of the week looks like that.

Thursday nights are a killer. It's my late night at work, and a small group of us go out for dinner after we close. This is when I tend to go crazy. There's this little Italian bistro we often go to and I'll give you an idea of an average meal there.
I'll probably have one or two Long Island Iced Teas. One of the staff there makes the BEST! I usually get an appetizer of calamari (breaded and deep fried, 'natch) or maybe a nice artery-clogging caesar salad. Then for the main course I usually get this amazing baked ziti dish with a creamy cheese and garlic sauce, and there's always a loaf of fresh baked bread on the table. Generally, I don't get dessert there, because by the time we finish, I'm stuffed. Thank God!

Sometimes on Friday night I'll get some chicken wings and hang out in front of the TV if I don't go out to a movie or something with friends. Quite often we'll go out for dinner somewhere over the weekend.

Suffice to say, I know the difference between right and wrong, but wrong just tastes so much better!

So here's the real problem: exercise! Obviously, the only way to really make an impact on this ever-expanding waistline of mine (not to mention the man-boobs) is to get off my ass and move. My job doesn't allow much in the way of movement. I'm pretty much in the same situation as a calf in a pen awaiting his call to become the veal special.

There was a time not long ago that I was determined to lose some serious weight. I really monitored my food intake, and I exercised like there was no tomorrow. I walked 5K every morning before work, and even got a treadmill for those cold winter months. I dropped about 35 pounds and felt great, even though I had much more to go. I had more energy than ever. I was at a point when I was running on the treadmill twice a day for 45 minutes each. Then I screwed up my knee. That was the beginning of the end. The next thing I knew I had gained back the 35 pounds plus another 20. Right now I could honestly stand to lose 10 or 150 pounds give or take.

Excuses, I've given them all. I haven't used the treadmill is ages because The Squeeze's brother has been living in our basement for several months now (has it already been a year???) and our rec room is his living room and that's where the treadmill is. I don't feel comfortable invading his space down there and we don't have any other space on the main floor to put it. Not that we could easily move this thing - it's HUGE. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I won't be using that until he gets his own place. No idea when that will be.

So I've come to the conclusion that I do need to get moving again. If not on the treadmill, then at least I can get back outside and get walking. I started again on Monday, the first day of Spring. I'm slowly trying to ease myself back into the routine. I'm walking about 3 or 3 1/2K every morning. I'll do this for a week or so, then I'm going to get back up to 5K. I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful path very close to my house.

Yesterday morning I was a bit freaked out though. There have been reports of coyotes in the area. Very scary. This is a purely residential area. Some people have even had their dogs attacked. These things are quite brazen. Anyway, as I began my walk, I saw a large animal ahead of me down the path. A couple of women who were just getting on the path with a dog on a leash stopped in their tracks, looked at each other, turned around and headed back the other way. Did they know something I didn't? I'm looking at this aminal wondering "Is this what a coyote looks like?" It looked very much like a big wolf-ish looking thing, and when I was about 100 feet or so from it, it turned and stared at me. I thought, "Oh God, I'm going to be ripped apart by this thing." It crossed to the other side of the path and continued sniffing around. As I got closer, I realized it had a collar. Whew! However, it was still a very large dog out here on the loose. I made sure to change my course on the way back. I'll have to check eBay for TAZER guns.

Temptation always looms large when trying to smarten up like this. Last week, before making this decision to change my evil ways, some charity or other brought in a bag of chocolate bars to leave on the counter to sell to customers. It's right beside the box of hard candy left there by some other charity. In the past, I can quite honestly say that I bought the majority of the chocolate bars, and in fact, last week I bought a few. Chocolate is probably my biggest weakness. This week, I haven't even thought about them. I really need to do it this time.

I recently saw a story on 60 Minutes / 20/20 / Dateline / Primetime Live / 48 Hours one of those damned shows. They had five or six overweight people that they took photos of wearing bikinis (even had a guy wearing a Speedo). They didn't show the viewers any of these bodies. The incentive was that if they lost 15 pounds in a set period of time (I think it was two months...I could be wrong) they get the pictures back. If they failed to lose the weight, their pictures would be shown on the air! GASP!!! Needless to say, there was some real success going on there. Only one person fell short of that goal, but they still gave her the photos. Nobody was shamed, but the threat that it might happen was enough incentive to get people to change the way they ate and exercised. Some people lost way more than the 15 pounds. Good job.

I've been tempted to set myself up on some such plan. I should set up the camera, get some shots and promise to post them here if I don't drop 50 pounds by my birthday on September 24. That's about 2.3 pounds a week. How scary that would be if this were a widely-read blog! But why punish the few readers I have? ;o)

I noticed this morning that I'm already down 5 pounds, but I'm seriously not going to be a scale-watcher. It's far too easy to be discouraged when you don't see the numbers drop fast enough. I'll let my clothes be my guide.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The TV Critic is in.

It's very rare that a new television show is entertaining. So many of them are the same lame formula that has been done to death. It wouldn't be so bad if the writing was actually clever and had the ability to actually solicit a laugh from the viewers, but sadly, this is not normally the case.

One exception is The New Adventures of Old Christine with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The premise of the show puts Louis-Dreyfus in the lead as "old" Christine, so named because her ex-husband is dating this younger cupcake who is also named Christine (aka "new" Christine). Old Christine lives with her young son (guessing he's around 7-ish), and her younger brother. She maintains a friendly relationship with her ex, who normally brings new Christine into the picture with him.

I am so thrilled to see Louis-Dreyfus back on the air. I LOVED her in Seinfeld. Quite frankly, she was the main reason I ever watched the show. Her Christine character brings along many of the Elaine-isms that I so enjoyed watching in the past. A bit desperate, a bit aloof, self-deprecating, and always hilarious. There were a few occasions in last night's episode that actually caused The Squeeze to literally (yes, I MEAN literally) fall off the couch onto his knees pounding the chair trying to catch his breath because he was laughing so hard. Hearing Christine tell her son that he has to go to his swimming lesson because he can't keep telling people that he won't go in the water because he's having his period cracked up right up. Later on when she was talking to her friend (played by Wanda Sykes) about having a Brazilian wax and saying it looked like "a hair arrow pointing to my C-section scar" we just about died.

The premise of last night's show was Christine's desire to find a decent guy to date. Her friends set her up on a blind date, and she reluctantly agrees. In preparation for the date, she goes to a spa, and after a few minutes of uncomfortable chit chat with the girl at the front desk, she decides on a Brazilian wax.

She waits in the lobby of the restaurant and in walks a tall, attractive man who tells the hostess that he's meeting a blind date and has no idea what she looks like. Christine hears this, and comes over, introduces herself, they start chatting, so comfortably, in fact, that Christine tells him that she got waxed for the date and told him it felt like she slid down a sandpaper banister. As it turns out, this guy was actually not her blind date, but someone else's. Her blind date walked in after this was discovered. Of course, her date was a bit of a lunchbag letdown, complete with his own lunch bag. As if things weren't bad enough, her blind date has this "thing" about people touching his food, so he brings his own chicken leg out of his coat pocket.

I won't tell the whole story, but suffice to say, things took a turn for the better, but let's see how long that lasts. All I can say is I certainly hope the Seinfeld curse misses this gem.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Roll up the rim to LOSE!

Tim Horton's is doing their usual spring ritual. For those of you who may not be familiar with Tim Horton's, they are a Canadian institution. It started out in 1964 with one little coffee & donut shop opened by the famous hockey player of the same name and his business partner. They went on to spread wider than Paris Hilton after a six pack of Zima. In most Canadian towns you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Timmy's. They were bought out a few years back by Wendy's, and soon Timmy's stocks will be available on the public market. They are making their way into the U.S., so it's hard to say where they go from there. Actually, there has been talk about building one in Kandahar so the Canadian troops feel more at home. But I digress.

Here in Canada, you know spring is around the corner when you see Timmy's Roll Up The Rim To Win cups littering the streets and parking lots within a six block radius of one of their outlets. Like I said, these shops are everywhere, so your odds of seeing one of their discarded paper cups blowing around in the wind are pretty good. The idea of the promotion is that hidden beneath the rim of their paper cups could be any of a number of prizes. Free coffee, muffins, bagels, donuts, barbecues, $1000.00, plasma TVs, or even a Toyota RAV4 SUV. There is actually a court battle going on in Quebec right now because a ten year old girl found a cup in a garbage can, asked a friend to help her roll up the rim because her little fingers couldn't do it, and there was the Toyota! The parents of both children are suing each other claiming they should get to keep the SUV. There is even another person suing both of them claiming that the cup that the girls found in the garbage was hers! Too fucking much! But again, I digress.

The promotion has been going on for nearly three weeks, and even though I hit the Timmy's drive-thru every freaking morning (and quite often a second time later in the day) I haven't won a damned thing! Seriously though, I have probably had at least 30 of those cups in my possession, and all I ever see under that rim is "Please Play Again". It's really become quite the routine. Get in the car, drive toward work, make a pit stop at Timmy's, get to work, scald my tongue, get tied up with customers as soon as I open the door, an hour and a half later I get back to my coffee which is now quite cold. I can't reheat it because I usually get an extra large coffee, and the damned cup is too tall to fit in the microwave. So I chug it cold and tell myself it's actually a five dollar iced coffee. Whatever gets me through the day. I rip off the plastic lid, roll up the rim and there it is. "Please Play Again".

OK, I can take not winning anything. Not even a freaking cookie! But what really chaps my ass is The Squeeze has been winning non-stop since this thing began. I'm really beginning to think that this is some kind of conspiracy. The Squeeze has won countless coffees, and I'm sure he's got a few tabs with cookies or donuts too. A few days back he brought me a coffee at work, and after I finished that, I rolled it up, and finally there was a free coffee. The problem is, I'm still pissed because technically I didn't buy that cup of coffee. It belongs to The Squeeze. (Please note however, that if it were a larger prize like the cash, the tv, or the SUV, I would certainly lay claim to it. So figure that one out!)

Now, The Squeeze is on the road a lot for his job, and he pretty much navigates by Tim Horton's, so he stops at one a few times a day. Today was a short day for him, so when he finished work he stopped in at my store for a visit. As he was leaving to run some errands, I asked if he wouldn't mind grabbing me a coffee and swinging back by the shop. He returned with the coffee and told me that he just rolled up the rim on a cup that was still sitting in his truck from earlier in the day and he won another coffee.

Today he won not one, not two, but three coffees! Guess what? When I rolled up the rim on the cup he brought said "Please Play Again".

Why is this driving me nuts??? I just want to win ONE thing. I'd be happy with a donut...a cookie...anything. I'm a regular customer. I'm not just some Johnny-come-lately hopping on the bandwagon hoping to win a prize when I never go to Timmy's on any other day. I'm loyal, baby! The frustration is just biting at my ass. I can feel my blood pressure rise when I think about this.

I'm wondering if the caffeine has anything to do with it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Freak co-workers from the past

While preparing for work this morning, for some strange reason I was thinking about past jobs I've had and some of the odd-ball characters I've worked with. A couple stand out in my mind as being truly bizarre.

First up - Tammy

Many years ago in a past life, I worked in a hardware/department store. It was a really great work environment as far as co-workers go. Everybody got along, we had a lot of social activities, and we often went out for a few drinks after work.

One day a new hire was introduced. A short, plumpish little woman in her mid to late twenties with a penchant for excessive make-up. Due to this fact alone, we came to call her (behind her back) Tammy Faye. She was a pleasant enough person to work with, but she had this annoying habit of trying to one-up everyone's statements about the status of their lives. For example, I was requested to fill in for our department manager because a family member of hers was rushed to the hospital and she was unable to come in to work. When Tammy Faye came in for her shift, I explained what was going on and told her that our department manager wouldn't be in.

"Well, THAT'S okay," she said dismissively, "my nephew got into my make-up case this morning. What a mess he made!"

That was her thing. No matter what was said to her, she replied with "THAT'S okay..." and carried on with the current disaster of her life that rendered the original comment null and void.

"The doctor confirmed this morning that I have an inoperable brain tumor."
"THAT'S okay, I got up this morning and realized my clothes that were in the dryer were still damp!"

There was a song out around that time by a group called The Thrashing Doves called Jesus On The Payroll. The chorus was "That's alri-i-i-ight, we got Jesus on the payroll", of course other co-workers and I changed it up and would often sing "THAT'S OK-A-A-AY, we got Tammy on the payroll" any time we heard it on the radio. I still sing that when I dust off that little gem.

I do have one funny memory of her that still gives me a chuckle. We were at opposite ends of an aisle one boring evening, and as she shuffled down the aisle toward me, she somehow wound up kicking up her foot and launched her shoe into the air. I'm not sure if she slipped or what happened exactly, but I just recall seeing that pink shoe sailing through the air toward me and landing on a pegboard hook. She couldn't pull that one off again if she tried.

I recall going to a reception after her wedding. As I recall, the whole ordeal was a bit of a nightmare. The couple fighting, the family having disputes leading up to the wedding. Grief all around. I would say that we went for the entertainment and the free booze, but I'm pretty sure it was a cash bar. Or was it a dry wedding? Either way, I don't recall much of it, so that should give you an idea of how good it wasn't.

Shortly after the wedding, as I recall, they split up and she moved up north. We actually stopped in for a brief visit while on vacation in the area the following summer, and I haven't seen her since. I occasionally wonder what ever became of her. Did she ever get back with her husband or anyone else for that matter? Is she still up north or did she head back home? And most importantly, is her nephew still getting into her make-up case? He would be in his twenties now. Now THAT would trump a lot of other stories!

Next - Karen

There isn't a whole lot to say about Karen. She was one of the on-air hosts at a television studio I worked at for a while. She was one of those nose in the air types. She was a very attractive woman, but the problem was that she knew it.

One day she was in the control room, yet again expressing the grief of growing up as a minority in a white neighbourhood. Apparently she did this a fair bit. Always talking about her experience as a minority. To be quite honest, I didn't know she was a minority. I just thought she had a nice tan. After she left the control room, the surly Caucasian woman who ran the audio board came out and said "What the fuck was that all about? She's whiter than I am!" Kinda cracked me up.

I'll never forget one day while Karen was on the air talking with a guest about some health and medication issues. Several times she tried to show her knowledge of certain medical ailments, but the one that topped it for me was when she spoke of the unending pain and fatigue caused by FIBROMALAYSIA.

Leave it to Karen. Always getting the minorities in there somehow!

Finally - Annie

Where to begin with Annie? Annie is physically very much like Tammy. Short, plump, with curly blond hair, but with very, very ample breasts, not to mention a bit of junk in the trunk as well. I recall one day someone pointed out to me in the lunchroom that Annie had her pants on backwards. Angled pockets in the rear, square pockets in the front. Sadly, they fit that way quite well.

Annie was a middle aged woman in a 30 year old body. She used phrases that nobody says anymore. When she would leave for a break or for lunch, she would always say "Toodle-loo". Who says that!? I am at a loss for other examples, but she would say things that you would only hear on TV shows from the 70's complete with those inflections that bad actors use. Things that might be said by Gloria Stivic on All In The Family, Anne Romano on One Day At A Time or Edna Garrett from The Facts Of Life.

There's something about Annie that seems just a bit slow. She is extremely close to her mother. They lived together until her mother started seeing some guy and moved in with him. Annie would frequently call her mother from work and called her "mamma" or "mommy". When I finally met her mother one day, I realized that the nut didn't fall far from the tree. Very spooky.

Another disturbing thing about Annie is that she didn't have the best of social graces. One day Annie was in the lunch room, zoned out, staring into space, and began picking her nose. After her digging was completed, she actually wiped her finger under the lunch room table. Steph, a co-worker who was in the lunchroom at the time, followed her into the hallway and said "I saw what you did in there and it's disgusting. Get back in there and wipe that off of the table and don't do it again!" Annie said "I'm sorry", went back in and cleaned up her mess under the table and thanked Steph for being discrete. She wasn't TOO discrete because everyone knew about it by the end of the day.

Annie had a real love of baking, and would often bring in cheesecakes that she would make to share with the staff. Nice gesture, but quite frankly, people who were willing to take her up on the offer were few and far between. Like I said, everyone knew about the nose picking, and the way she would serve the cake was less than appetizing. She would cut a slice, put it on a plate, wipe the knife with her fingers and lick that off her fingers. Then she would cut another slice, steady it with her freshly licked fingers and repeat the process. As time went on, there were virtually no takers. She would just exclaim in her 70's sit-com tone "Everybody must be on a DIET or SOMETHING!"

The last I heard of Annie, she had snagged herself a man on the net. Or did I hear that wrong. Maybe it was "she snagged herself a man WITH a net". Ya, that might be it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Gender Unknown

I talked to Weezie, my baby mommy, last week. She was in to have an ultrasound done to determine the sex of the baby. At that time, however, they couldn't get a good shot of the baby because s/he was facing Weezie's spine, essentially mooning the camera. She was scheduled in again for Monday, so she went in, and the baby was facing the right way, but was moving around so much they weren't able to get a good picture. So we still don't know if it's going to be a boy or girl. Not that it makes a difference to me, but it's almost like s/he is going out of his/her way to keep us in the dark. It's just past 20 weeks now. I am so looking forward to this. The time is getting near for me to give the news to my parental units. Their anniversary is at the end of the month and the whole family is going out to a dinner theater performance. Maybe that will be a good time to break the news to them. I was hoping to be able to tell them if it's a boy or girl. Maybe I'll hold off until I find out. I'm such a wimp. :o)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


a shitty day

Have you ever had one of those days?

Monday was mine.

Got up, puttered around the house a bit in the morning (it was my day off), went to my chiropractor appointment, went to the bank, did a couple of other errands and headed back home. My plan for the day was to clean my aquariums, do a water change, clean the bathroom within an inch of its life, tidy up the house and get dinner ready. Since The Squeeze was having people over that night for a meeting, I figured I really needed to do the cleaning...the bathroom sink was getting a nice coat of shaving cream and soap skiz.

I walked into the guest room / computer room and I took the lids off of the aquariums, turned off the heaters and filters and began cleaning the algae off the sides of the tanks. I brought out the siphon and was about to hook it up to the sink to drain the tanks when I heard my cat making the frightening sound she does when she is about to vomit all over the house. It is the freakiest thing to hear. It's sort of like a disembodied child's voice mixed with a bit of Linda Blair in The Exorcist with a bit of harmonica thrown in for good measure. The first night I heard her do it I nearly ran screaming from the house. I kid you not, it is right up there with that scary sound from The Grudge.

Now, when this cat vomits, it isn't done in one spot. As she is preparing to puke her tubes, she runs around the house leaving little drops of saliva, then when she's ready for the main event, she hunkers down, her body starts convulsing, and you hear this sound like when you hold a big bottle of Coke upside-down and let it glug out. Ya, that's it. A glug. While she's glugging and puking, she keeps backing up, leaving a trail of vomit that spans anywhere from six to twenty feet. That's what normally happens.

In a few instances, for the sake of easy cleanup, I go behind her and hold her body in one place while she pukes. Sort of like holding the long hair of a high-school friend while she's puking in the toilet. That's friendship! Normally when the cat is done, she runs away, stepping through the vomit and tracking it around anyway, but it's the thought that counts. It's still a lot easier to clean! Again, that's what normally happens.

This particular time, I heard the scary sound and thought "Oh shit! Not now!"
I went running from the bedroom to the living room, dodging a couple of saliva drops on the hardwood, and try to grab her so she can puke in one spot. She was having none of it. She started running away from me, down the hallway, and I was hoping she was going to head down to the basement to do her thing. No such luck. Instead, she ran straight for the spare room where I was working on the tanks. She hopped up on the bed where she often sleeps, and continues her possessed child sounds. "Oh no you don't!" I thought....or shouted. I grabbed her in an effort to prevent her from making a mess on the bed, and she decides that while she's being held in mid-air, it was the perfect time to empty her bladder. That's right, this damned cat pissed all over the bed, the books, papers and recipes I had sitting on the bed, the scale on the floor, the brown wicker waste paper basket and a good portion of the floor. I managed to get her held in the hallway where she finally threw up. Of course, the hallway, being porcelain tile, has grout lines, and the gastric juices naturally flow into the porous spaces. Fuck!

So she prances off to relax in the living room, feeling much better, I'm sure, and leaves me to clean up the aftermath. The first step was to wipe off the books, actually, they were binders, so I was able to clean them off and get rid of the smell with the help of bleach. I figured I would have to type up some recipes again and toss the ones she hit. I cleaned up the pile in the hallway and scrubbed the grout. Washed and bleached the scale, the floor, and cleaned the brown wicker basket in the bathtub and left it there to drain. I stripped the bed and washed the duvet cover in the first load, and while I was drying it, I put the duvet in the wash.

While I was doing this, The Squeeze arrived at home because we had an appointment at the bank to review our mortgage at 4:00. It was about 3:30 and I clearly was in no mood to go, besides, I still had my aquariums to finish with and then I still wanted to clean the bathroom. It was at that time that the brother-in-law came up from his basement lair to inform us that the washing machine was leaking all over the floor. The Squeeze went down to pull the duvet out and put it in the laundry tub and empty the washer. For some reason, the washer was unable to handle the duvet (even though I've washed it several times before). It was making a terrible noise apparently, but I didn't hear it over the rage in my own head.

So The Squeeze went to our appointment alone, I finished the tanks, and started to tackle the bathroom. When I looked into the bathtub where I had rinsed the brown wicker waste paper basket, I realized that an awful lot of the brown dye from the basket was puddled in the tub. That's right, brown dye, bone coloured acrylic tub. I'm sure I screamed "NO!" again when I saw this, thinking for sure that I now have permanently stained our tub. Thank God it washed away, but baby, I was stressed! I managed to clean the bathroom without further incident and was able to get dinner ready and the kitchen cleaned up before The Squeeze's guests arrived. I almost had one person willing to take the cat off our hands, but I had to cancel the negotiation process. As much of a pain in my ass as this cat is, I can't part with her.

This whole incident reminded me of one Christmas day when The Squeeze's family was over and I had the place all done up, and our other cat who has left us now, decided to wander around the room while we were eating dinner and threw up on the area rug under the table. The whole place is hardwood and tile, and he had to find the 20 square feet or so of carpet to puke on. Cats. Can't live with them, can probably easily live without them!

Now I just need to wait for my next day off so I can put that wet duvet into a garbage bag and lug it off to a laundry mat with a big-ass washer. To be safe, I think I'll double...better yet, triple bag it. I don't need diluted cat urine leaking out and messing up my car.

I'm sure one day I'll laugh about all of this. Today isn't the day though.


The Squeeze took the duvet to a laundry mat (or laundromat) on Saturday to wash the duvet we left to drain in the laundry tub. He put it in a nice roomy front-loader and added the soap and let 'er rip. A couple of minutes later he looked up from his book to see mounds of foam pouring from the soap compartment on the top of the machine. The little Vietnamese woman who was working there started screaming at him "TOO MUCH SOAP!!! TOO MUCH SOAP!!!" The Squeeze told her he only added one of the little single load boxes of soap that they sell in their machines, so that shut her up while she mopped up the mess. A couple of minutes after that The Squeeze had a lightbulb moment. We never did rinse the soap out of that duvet at home. So it appears that, in fact, there was TOO MUCH SOAP used. It just so happens that half of it was already in the duvet. The Squeeze thought it better to keep that information to himself. Better to think to yourself that you screwed up than admitting to the one accusing you of screwing up that you actually did!

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