Wednesday, October 24, 2007


And The Freaks Just Keep On Coming

I've been wondering recently, where have all the freaks gone? I mean, I've had the occasional slightly odd person cross my path, but I'm talking about the type that you can't make up. Wonder no more. I met her this morning...and it stretched out to this afternoon.

I was sitting at the computer at work doing some on-line research, hoping to locate a print that a client asked us to look for, when the front door opened. In stumbled a woman with high heels and huge hair. I'm talking tall, curly, streaked, with some kind of bandana thing going on in there somewhere. She dragged with her two large framed pictures, a cardboard tube and a very large purse. She asked if I was The Partner. "No, I'm his partner," I informed her.
"Oh, ok...I know his partner," she said, meaning his life partner, not me. Still with me?
Since she could hardly seem to recall his name, I'm sure they're quite close.
While she was talking to me, she opened the door and walked back out to her car, still talking, to drag in another huge framed oil painting.

The woman proceeded to remove two prints from the cardboard tube and I recognized the artist immediately, since I purchased some of his work on the east coast a few years back. She brought one of the framed pieces along as a reference of the kind of artwork she has in the room she planned to put these pieces in. OK, it's a seascape, so are the two prints. I get the idea. Why she felt the need to bring it in is beyond me because she said the new ones don't need to match it. Allllrighty then.

I pick out a blue mat and she immediately protests. "But it's a blue picture, what other colour were you thinking of putting in there?"
"I don't know...maybe brown to go with that rock."
Oh dear god, kill me now. I pulled out a brown mat that matched the rock, and immediately she said, "Oh no, I don't like that. Maybe a blue will work."
Guess what shade of blue she liked? Anyone? Yep, that's right. The first one I had picked out. Then she asked if we had any marbled mats. I had to break the bad news to her that although the other piece she brought in (her daughter's diploma) was done with a marbled mat, they were, in fact, quite out of style and rather unavailable. I showed her the six or eight remaining colours available in a marbled mat, but they weren't just ugly, they were fugly.

"How much would it cost to do another one like my daughter's diploma?"
"I'll have to figure that out in the computer, but let's finish this one first."

We settled on the mat and frame for the first piece and I began entering the information into the computer. When I asked her for her postal code, she drew a blank, but said it's out in the car. Again, while talking to me, she walked out to the car, kept talking as if I could still hear her, and brought in some form of ID that had her postal code. I got everyting entered and gave her the price.

Then she rolled out the next piece, another seascape. Part way through that one, she starts asking me how much it would cost to frame a mirror she has at home. I told her that since we have about 1400 samples, it varies quite a bit. So off she went pulling samples off the wall for her mirror when we hadn't finished the second seascape yet.

"Oh what time is it?", she asked.
"It's 11:20," I told her. She had been in the shop about 45 minutes by that time.
"I should be going, I have such a migraine from the weather. So what frame would look good on this one?"

About 15 minutes later, she finally came to a decision on the frame for the second piece. While I had my back turned and was beginning to enter the components into the computer, she had rolled up the two pieces and put them back in the tube before I had a chance to measure the second one. So she had to pull them back out so I could get that information. I gave her the price on the second piece, and that's when she asked for a discount. So because she at one time met my business partner's spouse, yet didn't even know his name, she figured she could get a discount the very first time she brings something in. I explained that generally we do bulk discounts when doing many of the same item, since our suppliers give us a break on those orders. I didn't bother to tell her that we give discounts to our regular loyal customers. She'd learn that down the road somewhere.

"Oh, I really don't feel well...I should be going. Do you think this oil painting could be revived with a new frame?" OK, aparently she's not that ill.
So I start showing her some new combinations for the large oil painting that would give it some new life, and within seconds she was back on the mirror. "It's about 3 feet by 5 feet," she said.
"Well, let me enter everything in for the oil painting and then we can look at a frame for your mirror."

I gave her the price of the large oil which was over $500, so she wanted to see other options. Of course she didn't like anything else she saw because the first one looked so great on it. Since she had rolled up the other prints, I kind of figured she was just getting prices, so I told her we could just leave in what we had and later on when she's ready we can take a look at other options for it.

Next she began pulling more frames off the wall for this mirror of hers. Of course, she's looking at some of the most expensive moldings, and she wanted to stack two of them together to make a huge frame. Ca-Ching!

"What time is it?" she asked again.
"It's 12:15," I answered.
"Oh, I need to go, I have a client at 1:00," she said.
"Well, I'll just enter the information for the mirror and give you an idea of the price."
"Do you have a bathroom I could use?" she asked.
"Sure, just back there in the corner, light switch is on the left."

While I entered the information for the mirror, she walked to the bathroom and washed her hands, and then my jaw hit the floor. She left the door open, and next thing you know, she was pissing like a racehorse in there. Then there was a flush, and no sound of washing hands after the deed was done. I don't know what grossed me out most. So many things to choose from.

I gave her the price for the mirror, which was about $1200 using the frames she selected. She didn't seem too bothered by it. She gathered up her pictures and took them out to her car, and brought in a photo of her daughter. "What frame would look good with this?"

For someone who didn't feel well and had an appointment, she sure did take her time hanging around here. I showed her a couple of ideas, but didn't bother to put anything in the computer at this point. She borrowed a couple of samples to check the colour for the mirror, and I'm hoping I get them back. She said she'd bring them back tomorrow or her husband will bring them back this afternoon.

I'm hoping he brings them back today. I'm dying to know what kind of guy could put up with a scattered character like that. If things get more interesting I'll be sure to update.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


An Empty House

Wednesday night we took our old cat, Calicoco, to the vet to be put down. It's a terrible thing to have to go through, but we knew it was the right thing to do. She was so thin and lethargic. She wouldn't even eat a piece of turkey I offered her. Not a good sign. We also discovered that she had started to use the carpet in the soon-to-be master bedroom as a litter box. I guess we'll be replacing that.

As much as we anticipated this coming, it didn't minimize the pain or amount of tears shed. The Squeeze and I often joked, telling Cali that if she keeps up whatever annoying thing she was doing, she'd get the big needle. Ya, we're morbid like that sometimes. When it actually happens, it's not so funny.

We were greeted at the vet's office by their resident cat who looked bang-on like our old boy Emmet who had to be put down two years ago. It made us think that Emmet was waiting for Cali on the other side. This time we chose to not stay and witness her passing. It was torture to watch Emmet's life end, and we just couldn't bear to do it again. We held her one last time and handed her over. As we walked out to the car we both sobbed. I have some guilt over not being there to comfort her as she slipped away, but I know she was in caring hands.

I'm trying to find some comfort in the thought that Cali is once again with her pal Emmet and The Squeeze's mother (Cali's original guardian). Even though we no longer need to worry about keeping her from eating my orchids, or stepping in a puddle of her vomit, or making sure we're home at a regular time to give her her meds and feed her, we're really going to miss her. I miss her loud purrs and silent meows. I even miss when she would find her voice at 4 or 5 in the morning and wail throughout the house.

She was the furthest thing from a lap cat you could imagine, until I managed to coax her on my lap with her Feline Greenies. For the past couple of years you could hardly get her off your lap. I'm glad we we able to share that contact. I'll miss the way she would drool while you pet her, and the way she would sit at the patio door for hours watching chipmunks and squirrels in the back yard. I still expect to see her on the couch when I walk through the house. It's pretty quiet in here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Thanksgiving, Kids, And The Cat

This past weekend was Thanksgiving for those of us up here in the great white north. The good folks at Ripley's are calling me because for the first time in humankind, someone actually lost weight over the Thanksgiving weekend. That someone would be me. I can't believe it. Somehow I managed to lose 1 1/2 lbs on this homage to gluttony holiday. My body fat has now gone down to 25%. Woohoo!

Sunday we had The Squeeze's younger brother and his two sons over for dinner. It was the usual fare. I kept the pre-dinner snacks light so we wouldn't be too stuffed to eat dinner. Then we broke out the usual suspects. Turkey & stuffing, mashed potatoes, lots of veggies, gravy. The Squeeze and I each had a full plate of food and halfway through them, we felt stuffed. There was a time when we'd finish it no problem and go back for more. One plate was the limit, and after that I could hardly manage to sit up and lean forward in my chair. The Squeeze's bro brought his trademark pumpkin pie for dessert. Good stuff. Of course, we did have to wait an hour or so to enjoy it or we would have died after our first bite.

Monday The Squeeze and I drove to Hooterville where we met with Weezie and the kids at her new house. Very nice place. Good neighbourhood. Nice sized rooms. She's had a crew of people in there painting and getting the place ready to move in at the end of the month. The paint colours are very fresh and cheerful. But enough of that....

We swapped vehicles (rather than go through the nightmare of taking the kids' car seats out of Weezie's SUV and installing them in the Ark, and swapping them back a few hours later) and took the girls to my brother & sister-in-law's place for my family Thanksgiving gathering. It couldn't have gone better. My nephew and my niece had their daughter and son, respectively, there, and they're right there between the ages that Zoe and Brynn are. There was even a 5 week old puppy there, much to Zoe's chagrin. I just don't quite get what there is about a soft, fluffy, cute little puppy that makes a two year old shriek in terror. Then again, this is the same kid who had a meltdown over TMX Elmo. Brynn didn't even flinch. Even when the puppy jumped up and knocked her over on the lawn.

They both had a good time playing, getting passed back & forth between relatives, eating lunch. Everything was perfect until Zoe veered from her path back up my brother's laneway and jumped right into a mud puddle. Those things are like magnets to kids. When I called Weezie to let her know we were ready to bring the girls back to her place, I let her know about the puddle incident. I told her that only the shoes, socks and dress were affected. She laughed and said "well, what else is there?" The diaper was not involved, but did need changing anyway.

On a sad note, our 20 year old cat Calicoco appears to be on her way out. She's been off her food for over a week. I had her at the vet's last Monday for bloodwork and X-rays. She wolfed down the food they offered her while she was in their care, so of course we bought some of that. She's now lost interest in it. The vet said her liver enzymes are elevated, and the X-rays show either a mass on her liver pushing against her stomach, or her innards are just sagging and shifting. Of course a $500 untrasound could pinpoint that. And there's the option of surgery. Oy! She's 20!

She's been peeing outside of her litter box. So far she's keeping it in the laundry room and not going on the carpet or hardwood. The Squeeze discovered that she had been going under the basement stairs and peeing under there. I caught her doing it behind the furnace. This morning, there were two puddles right there in the middle of the laundry room. I dread the thought of waking up one morning or coming home from work and finding her dead on the floor. I think we might be taking her in to be put down in the next couple of days if things continue like this, and I'm sure they will. :o(

Friday, October 05, 2007


Weight Update

As good as this looks to me, I heard something on the radio this morning that kind of chapped my ass. A mother and her son were on CBC Radio 1 this morning talking about how the son was grossly overweight and he then lost a ton of weight and ran some crazy long distance run. He's the same height as me. He now weighs 210, but was at 320 at his heaviest. At one point in the interview he said "I'm never going back to size 44 pants again."
Bitch, that's what I'm in now!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Creepy TV

This morning I was watching The Today Show as I usually do while taking my stroll on the conveyor belt to nowhere. There was some sort of glitch that resulted in no audio for a few minutes. Growing tired with the silence, I checked out the on-screen guide and saw that an episode of Diff'rent Strokes was about to start on TBS. Sorry...I mean The Peachtree Network. What's up with that? So I switched channels and waited for that familiar song to start.

Now the world don't move
To the beat of just one drum
What might be right for you
May not be right for some...

What I didn't realize is just how creepy that into to the show is. I'm not talking about the corny music, I'm talking about the whole pedophilia-ishness of the visuals accompanying the tune.
It starts with the New York skyline and fades to millionaire widower Mr. Drummond (Conrad Bain) riding in the back of his chauffeur-driven car as he peers out the window at the sights of Harlem.

Cut to a shot through a chain link fence of Willis and Arnold (Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman) playing basketball with several other children. Willis holds Arnold up in his arms while Arnold throws the ball horizontally, ending miraculously in an arched shot right into the basket. A couple of "gimme five"'s and a little finger-gun action, not unlike that from Isaac from The Love Boat, and the boys look up. Arnold actually has a look of fear in his eyes as he grabs Willis' hand and they break into a run. One would think someone was after them.

Cut to a shot of Mr. Drummond squatted down beside his waiting car with the back door open. He reaches out his hands with this "come here little boys" look and when they arrive, he pretty much pushes them both into the back seat before getting in himself and signalling to the driver to burn rubber.

There are a few other slum shots before another peek into the back seat with Mr. Drummond sitting beside Willis as he slings his arm around him. The driver stops the car in front of Mr. Drummond's building and the boys get out, looking up at the building while Mr. Drummond cleans up slides over. The camera tilts from the base to the tip of the tall column, before cutting to a rear-view of Mr. Drummond, Willis and Arnold walking into the front door of the building.
Before walking in, the three of them glance back over their shoulders.

I'm guessing Mr. Drummond was looking to see if there were any witnesses. I can't help but choke back a tear thinking that the boys were taking one last look at their innocence.

Look for yourself. That's what I'm talking about, Willis!

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