Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A day late and a dollar short.

Weekend flew by. As usual, was half good, and half crap. Friday was mostly good, actually. Except that I didn’t finish (actually, didn’t even start) my reports. Didn’t even call Liz to let her know I wasn’t coming in. Really, Dr. P should just fire me. Not sure why he hasn’t, actually.

Went for sbux with the boy. Spent money I shouldn’t have on overpriced beverages. Dropped the boy off at school which was mostly painless. Visited my mum, which was also mostly painless. Went home with every intention of working - but ended up watching random crap on You-Tube for several hours instead. Went to StupidStore, which was INSANE. (did manage to get a case of diet lychee pop though, so YAY!). then met up with husband for a late lunch at Montana’s. That was kinda crappy actually. The food was pretty good, but the service totally sucked. Waited about 15 or 20 minutes for a beer and a glass of water. Ended up waiting over an hour for 2 appies and a bowl of pasta. If it had been the lunch rush, or suppertime, I might have understood…but it wasn’t. There was hardly anyone in the place. So I wrote my displeasure in large angry letters on the brown paper “tablecloth” with the supplied crayons.

I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Voicing my displeasure, that is. I made up some parking ticket looking notices to put on people’s windshields when they park illegally in front of my house. If it were only 1 or 2, I would let it slide. But the entire block is filled with cars from people walking over to the train station. Which is all well and good, but then the people who actually LIVE here, have no where to park. It’s finally been made permit parking only, but still they come and park. So I had enough, and I have “ticketed” them all (and taken down license plates, in case there are repeat offenders). I know, I know, I sound really bitchy and cranky. But just lately, I’ve sort of stopped putting up with bullshit. Normally, I’m very good at smiling and saying “whatever”, and just letting things go. Not so much lately. Not sure how far I’ll end up taking this new attitude, and I’m not really sure if it’ll prove to be positive or negative yet. But for now, I’m going with it. It feels rather liberating, actually.

Yesterday, slept in, which was nice (totally ignored all my reports still sitting there NOT done). Went out for a Family Movie Day with husband and the boy. Went to see Bolt. Seriously, there is something wrong with me though. The opening credits hadn’t even finished and I was already trying not to cry! I think I should stay away from anything Disney until my mood settles. Either that, or just walk around with handfuls of Kleenex for the next while. After the movie, took the boy to a birthday party (which again, thrills me like you wouldn’t believe. I can’t express how happy I am that the boy actually has FRIENDS now!!) Then I went to Jimmy’s place to do his hair. So far the braids are working for him…every time I’ve done his hair, our football team has won. Today is the Grey Cup…so of course I had to do his hair last night. It’d just be bad juju not to! I ended up staying way longer than I wanted to. It’s just….he is so LONELY! Sitting alone in his cold, dark little house, getting drunk by himself in his snowpants and cornrows. So sad. So I stayed till after 8:00 pm. Went home stinking like an ashtray. Spent hardly any time at all with husband (we had originally planned to spend a nice evening at home watching movies). Then went back out at 10 pm to go pick up the boy, only to find out that he had crashed halfway through the party, and spent most of it in another room by himself trying not to cry. Well SHIT! It’s not like I didn’t call or text him about 5 times during the course of the evening, to find out when to come pick him up. I gave him numerous excuses to come home early, but he didn’t. Just sat there being all miserable and shit. Fine.

So. Back at work today. Which sucks on a number of levels. First, it’s husband’s birthday, so I’m here at work, instead of spending time with him. Second, I still have ALL my reports waiting for me at home that I HAVE to have done for first thing tomorrow. Third, the boy is still horrifically pissy today. I do NOT want to deal with him when I get home. Fourth, I just really hate my job these days.

Today, I’m pretty sure, is not going to end well. I have pretty much no money to buy husband a bday present. And, even if I had more than $10 to spend, I have no idea what to buy him, and to be honest, I really don’t care lately. I have no interest whatsoever in bdays or xmas. Screw it. I really just want to spend it by myself, alone, not spending money or worrying about family politics.

Also, checked my email this morning. Apparently the boy didn’t hand in an assignment last week at school, and has 2 more major assignments due this week. What’s the problem? It’s certainly not that he’s stupid. No, according to him, the CLASSES are stupid. The TEACHERS are stupid. So, they are somehow not worth his time? Or something? I don’t know. But I get made out to be the Bad Guy, because I’m the one that gets to tell him he hasn’t done the assignment. I’m the one who has to ask him to actually DO the work. Obviously, I’m evil incarnate. So I get the brunt of his attitude. I’m pretty fed up, actually.

Oh, I also yelled at the boy, LOUDLY, in the parking lot the other day. He had a hissy fit (and was so much like his father I wanted to scream and tear my hair out), and made me miss my bus, making me almost an hour late for work. I literally screamed at him. I threw his lunch bag at him. I actually swore in front of him. These are all things I pretty much never do. I HATE losing my temper. I HATE yelling. I don’t want to be one of “those” moms. But I am so unimaginably TIRED of people not listening to me. They all say, “I know, I know”, but they DON’T. They have no idea how close I am some days to saying “fuck it”, hopping in my car, and leaving the whole sorry lot of them to do for themselves. Seriously.

I had a whole week off work…sort of a ‘stress leave’. Not sure what good that did, really. It didn’t solve anything. All my work/family/emotional issues are still here. A week off is not going to miraculously FIX everything that is wrong in my life. Seemed sort of pointless. The only thing that I did find out though, was that all my chest pains and shortness of breath were NOTHING. They say it was stress-induced. So really, I’m just a big BABY who cant’ deal with my own life. Yippee. I feel soooo much better now. Actually, I sorta do feel better in that once I knew I wasn’t actually having a heart attack, the pains went away. But now it seems like every Saturday night/Sunday morning, when I realize that I have to go back to work I get a fluttery, nauseated, slightly panicked feeling in my chest and belly. This is obviously a sign that I need to change something in my life, but honestly? I don’t know what to change, or how to change it, and really, change scares the shit out of me…even if it might be better in the long run.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

here we are broken.

So much for updating the new blog. sorry about that. things have just been...hard. life i mean. i am just feeling so overwhelmed lately. and tired. and heartsick. and i just don't know what to do to change it. part of me feels like i should write it all down, that it would be cathartic. but mostly i just start crying and can't get the words out. so they just stay in my head....and hurt.

we still have no money. that never changes. 10 years, and we're still at square one.

i'm tired.

the boy is broken. i hate that he is bipolar. i get so used to his 'normal' times, that i let myself forget the badness. i convince myself he's OK now. that he's "better". and then he crashes and i am faced with the reality that he will NEVER be fixed. he will always be broken to some degree and i will always and forever be walking on eggshells, waiting for the next crash.

the boy breaks my heart into a thousand pieces every single day.

i'm so tired, and i hurt so much.

my soul feels raw.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Apolitical ramblings

For the most part I consider myself pretty much apolitical. I don’t follow it in the papers or on TV. I don’t discuss it with friends or family. And I don’t vote. In fact, I think I have only ever voted once, about 16 years ago, when my ex-mother-in-law nagged me into doing it. I had no idea who the candidates were, or what the issues were. I basically just ticked off a random box, not even looking at the names on the ballot. I have not voted since. I get a lot of grief about that from many people, my dad in particular. But I refuse to vote just for the sake of voting. I refuse to randomly tick off a name when I don’t know exactly who or what I’m voting for. I have no time (or interest) in reading the papers or watching debates on TV to find out who is lying the least. That’s how I see pretty much all politicians. I am not going to vote for “the lesser evil”. I want there to be an honest choice that I can trust. So far, I haven’t seen anything that makes me want to start listening or following in their political pageant. I have even less interest in American politics, although it seems to be everywhere I look.

Having said that, I have to say that even I watched a good part of Obama’s speech last night. I hadn’t meant to. I was just flipping through the channels seeing what was on. I watched him. I felt genuine hope. He certainly looked and sounded sincere. He said all the things I would want a world leader to say. Seeing the size of the crowd in the stadium, all of them riveted to his words, was truly awe inspiring. Every now and then they would zoom in on someone staring up at him with tears in their eyes and rapture on their faces. They were looking at him like a savior. This one man. This politician.

I found that to be very powerful, and also sad. That is the way that people used to look when hearing the word of God. It is sad that the preachers, the teachers, the religious speakers of our time have fallen so far from grace and God’s will that we have to find other sources of hope. New saviors. The new scripture is political reform.

I have to admit, though, that watching Obama last night there were times when I actually got goosebumps. I felt that this was a Turning Point, somehow. That this will change history. Oh, I hope so. I truly hope so. I hope he can keep his promises. I hope that the people who insist on living in the past don’t feel so threatened by this man that they turn things violent and plunge the world into even darker times (I am Canadian, and the president is not MY president, but I’d be na├»ve to think that what happens in the United States doesn’t have an effect on the rest of the world). Chris Rock had a bit on having a black president. He said it would never happen. Because they wouldn’t LET it happen. That if a black president ever gets elected, he will be assassinated, because there is no way the United States would have a black president. He phrases it in a way that allows you to laugh, but really….is it so far fetched? I hope not. Because the thought of another Good Ole Boy running this half of the planet for another 8 years is pretty damn frightening.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A rosey hued twilight

Spent one of the most pleasant evenings I’ve had in a long time. Sat on my front step in the pink evening light, reading To Kill a Mockingbird and sipping wine from a glass while the warm wind dried the sweat on my neck. Every now and then I would look up to watch a family going for their evening stroll, and one time a young man and his pretty, pregnant young wife, talking softly while her hand absently caressed her gently swelling belly. Just as it was getting too dark to read by, my son called me in for the supper he’d cooked for us. The house was ripe with the smell of pasta and fried mushrooms, and the light from the kitchen gave of a warm, welcoming sort of glow that I normally only associate with winter time.

Tonight, I am at peace with the world.


:::


The boy and I decided to eat our supper on the front step. We talked, and ate and laughed watching the sky go from pink to purple to navy. Even after the food was gone, we stayed there on the front step, telling stories, discussing literature, society, and religion. We slapped mosquitos and watched the fireflies dance around the porch light. Eventually Husband came out to see where we’d got to. He joined us and chatted and laughed for a while, enjoying the cool of the evening. Eventually we all went back inside. Husband let the dog out one last time and locked up the windows and doors. The boy went back to his room to listen to music. I finished up the last of the dishes and then headed up to bed, tired, smiling, and very content.

A rosey hued twilight

Spent one of the most pleasant evenings I’ve had in a long time. Sat on my front step in the pink evening light, reading To Kill a Mockingbird and sipping wine from a glass while the warm wind dried the sweat on my neck. Every now and then I would look up to watch a family going for their evening stroll, and one time a young man and his pretty, pregnant young wife, talking softly while her hand absently caressed her gently swelling belly. Just as it was getting too dark to read by, my son called me in for the supper he’d cooked for us. The house was ripe with the smell of pasta and fried mushrooms, and the light from the kitchen gave of a warm, welcoming sort of glow that I normally only associate with winter time.

Tonight, I am at peace with the world.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Husband and his belly

So, husband eventually went to the Emergency Department. He did try to get in to see our GP, but she’s on vacation for another 2 weeks. He sat in the waiting room for about 2 1/2 hours, which really, is pretty quick (even though he disagreed somewhat). They hooked him up to IVs and gave him drugs. None of which seemed to help at all. They gave him a Pink Lady, which didn’t seem to help at all. They checked his heart (again), and did a chest x-ray, but no other tests. they gave him another pink lady (which is Maalox and lidocaine). Then they gave him some Percocet. They seem to feel it is just severe reflux, combined with abdominal pain from retching for 3 days, and possibly some small esophageal tears. But they did no tests, and didn’t seem overly concerned. And then they sent him home. He at least got a doctor’s note. I am convinced he at least needs an endoscopy, to actually make sure there is no damage, but what do I know, right?

He tried to go to work again yesterday. Lasted about an hour, then they sent him home because he looked so wretched. He’s still in a lot of pain. If he was anyone else, I’d tell him to suck it up and just get on with it. But he has a pain tolerance like no one I’ve ever seen. Sometimes, you don’t even know he’s in pain, cuz he just holds it all in, doesn’t wince, grimace, or cry out. But he’s been whimpering in his sleep. Every time he moves. So I know he’s in pain. He’s hardly eating anything either. Not that the both of us couldn’t stand to eat a whole lot less, but not like this. But a full grown man can’t exist on 2 spoonfuls of yogurt and a saltine cracker.

He’s gone in to work today. The pain is slowly getting better, but the fact that it’s still there, worries me. Also, his work seems totally ok with this, even though he’s only been there about 2 weeks, and at least half that time he’s been sick. I’m not entirely convinced though. He’s had employer’s say that before: “no, no, everything is fine. Don’t you worry about it! You just look after yourself!” …and then they fire him.

So ya. I’m a little concerned.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The more things change...and all that.

Husband has been sick for 3 days. Lots of abdominal pain. I think he needs more tests. Half of his symptoms sound exactly like mum’s diverticulosis, and the other half sound exactly like severe GERD (which is what they told him in hospital last month). Not sure what he ate/drank that set him off this time. Fortunately, he didn’t have to work on Tuesday. Unfortunately, he had to call in sick yesterday and today. He did go in to work yesterday…but only lasted about an hour before going home. Dammit. He’s only been there a week, and already had to go home sick. Not to be all negative and stuff…but ya, here we go again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I eat toast for breakfast.

Something I’m finding really annoying lately. People’s insistence on mentioning an actor’s sexual preference. It has happened several times lately. I was talking to someone about Stephen Fry, and his TV program QI, and how I doubted some of their “facts”. We were discussing how all you need to do is talk confidently, in a BBC British accent, and people will believe anything you say. Then, related to absolutely NOTHING in the conversation, the other person says, “he’s gay, you know.”

A few days later I was discussing Star Trek with my son, who informs me that George Tekai is gay. Which really had nothing at all to do with the show. Not 2 days later, I was talking to Husband about Star Trek, and couldn’t remember the name of the guy who played Sulu (for some reason, I can never remember George Tekai’s name). He promptly informed me it was George Tekai…you know…the gay one.

Yet another example….was watching a movie with Jodie Foster in it (whom I have always liked), and randomly, out of the blue, my husband makes a comment about her being a lesbian.

Those are only a few examples…and only from a couple of people, but I hear the same thing over and over, from numerous different people. You mention an actor, or a singer, or a politician, or whomever…and instead of making a comment on their talent/accomplishments/values, the first thing people say is, “oh, they’re gay, yanno.”

WHY??? Why do people feel the need to add that? What does it have to do with their ability to do their JOB?? Also, why do people only feel it necessary to mention when someone is gay? You don’t say, “hey, that’s Bruce Willis…he’s totally straight yanno.”

It’s ridiculous. It is totally irrelevant to the subject. It’s like saying, “hi, my name is Joe…I eat toast for breakfast!” SO?? Who cares??

Why does it make a difference? Why are people so fascinated by it? Why do they INSIST that celebrities “come out”? I mean, if a person went for a job interview, and one of the questions was “sexual orientation”…people would be totally offended! They would be outraged that someone even DARE to ask them that? You don’t have to tell them how old you are, what religion you are, how much you weigh, and you certainly don’t have to tell them who you like to curl up with in bed at night. So why does the public feel so outraged when an “obviously gay” celebrity refuses to admit it in front of the world?

So basically, unless it is totally and completely relevant to our conversation, do NOT tell me whether someone is or is not GAY. I don’t care….and neither should you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Um....what?

Got this from LA's diary, and tried it out myself. I *think* it's accurate? but to be honest, i'm not really sure what it even says. Is this me? i don't know. Somehow, though, reading it makes me feel like i am not Living Up To My Potential. try it for yourself...see what YOU think. also, if you happen to 1) know me in real life and 2) actually understand what the hell this all means, then please feel free to leave a comment and let me know how accurate you think it is. i'm curious to see what other people think.

"sue, you show a slight right-hemisphere dominance with a moderate preference for auditory processing, an unusual and somewhat paradoxical combination of characteristics.
You are drawn to a random and sometimes nonchalant synthesis of material. You learn as it seems important to a specific situation, and might even develop a resentment of others who attempt to direct your learning down a specific channel.

Your right-hemispheric dominance provides a structure that is only loosely organized and one which processes entire swatches of reality, overlooking details. You are emotional in your reactions and perceptual more than logical in your approach, although you can impose structure and a language base when necessary.

Your auditory preference, on the other hand, implies that you process information sequentially and unidimensionally. This combination of right-brain and auditory modes creates conflict, as you want to process data more rapidly than your natural processes allow.

Your tendency to be creative and free-flowing is accompanied by sufficient ability to organize and be logical, allowing you a reasonable degree of success in a number of different endeavors. You take in information methodically and systematically which can then be synthesized rapidly. In this manner, you manage to function consistently well, although certainly less efficiently than you desire.

You prefer the abstract and are a theoretician at heart while retaining the ability to be practical. You find the symbolism in a great deal of what you encounter and are something of a "mystic."
With regards to your lifestyle, you have the mentality which would be good as a philosopher, writer, journalist, or instructor, or possibly as a systems designer or social worker. Perhaps most important is your ability to "listen to your inner voice" as a mode of skipping over unnecessary steps to achieve your goals."

Monday, August 11, 2008

A VERY long, rambling post about nothing in particular.

What follows is a long, rambling, pretty boring account of my weekend. Feel free to read it, but I basically just wrote it so I could remember what I did this weekend.

:::

Pretty much had a great weekend. Was up bright and early(ish) Friday morning. Did my hair, makeup, put on nice clothes and cute new $4 shoes that I got from the Goodwill the other week. Went to see my favorite chiropractor in the world. I adore Dr. Tom. Our family has known him pretty much for 34 years or more. My brother and I even went to school with his kids. He is funny, and quirky, and always makes me giggle. He also knows just how to make my spine crunch in all the right places. *happy sigh*. Unfortunately, he’s also upped his prices by $5. It is now $25 a visit. Not a HUGE amount, but when I really feel I should be seeing him at least 2 to 4 times a month, it adds up. Which is why I only end up seeing him once about every 4 or 5 months. *unhappy sigh*

After I left Dr. Tom’s, I went to the do-it-yourself car wash. If I hadn’t had on a nice WHITE blouse, clean pants and cutesy shoes, I actually might have washed the whole car, but seeing as I actually made the effort to look pretty, I didn’t want to risk getting all wet/dirty. (plus, my hair was all fluffy curly, the mist/steam in the car wash bays would have turned that into ‘drowned rat’ in about 30 seconds). I settled for vacuuming out the entire car, including cleaning out the 40 billion empty popbottles/cans on the floor and in the back seat. I even spent $2 on one of those microfiber cloth thingies to dust and shine the dash and all the little knobbies and dials in my car (mmm….dog hair).

I then filled up with gas. Wow. I haven’t actually filled my car my car all the way up in at least a couple of months. Because of the stupid gas prices, I’ve been nickle and diming it, hovering in between fumes and 1/4 tank. This weekend though, I was feeling very optimistic about things because of Husband’s job, so I filled Sunny all the way up. It cost me about $66. That is just STUPID! I do NOT have a big car! I have a sporty little Pontiac Sunfire! Ok…I’m gonna get all “old people” for a minute and say that I can remember when I could fill the tank of my little Dodge Colt to overflowing for about $20!!! Seriously. The cost of living is getting ridiculous. If I didn’t think I’d have a heart attack and DIE right on the road, I’d haul out my bike and start riding to work. (actually, that is a goal of mine…to be able to actually ride my bike to work. However, realistically, that isn’t going to happen any time soon. The last time I rode my bike, I was passed by a 6-year-old little girl on her bike. With training wheels. True story).

With the car clean and full up, I went and picked up mum for coffee. We went to Lena’s (Italian deli/coffee shop/grocery). I actually had a latte (but only because there were absolutely NO tea products on the menu anywhere. Maybe they don’t drink tea in Italy??) and we ate delicious biscotti, and then wandered around the market trying to read labels in Italian. I have to say though, that now that I don’t eat meat, there was very little in the market to hold my interest (other than the gorgeous looking baked goods and chocolates). After Lena’s we decided to go to Planet Organic (who knew that my mum actually shops there occasionally?!). We took the long way, so we could drive around and look at houses, and passed a really beautiful Buddhist (?) temple of some sort. Mum only made one racist slur (not about the Buddhists). We had a couple of heated words about it, but I think neither of us wanted to ruin the nice day we were having so we both just sort of changed the subject. Fortunately, that was the only “off” comment she made all day. You know, growing up I don’t ever remember there being racist comments or overtones, but as my parents get older, they seem to have become completely intolerant of certain races/religions/cultures, and they don’t seem to care what they say. The rancor in their voices when they make their little comments is really quite shocking to me.

Anyway, Planet Organic was uneventful. I bought some spices, and some organic deodorant, and sampled the sweet potato salad from the deli. Mum bought some free range eggs and an organic stain remover that my auntie says is fantastic. We debated going somewhere else, but unfortunately, my feet hurt so much I thought I was going to drop to the ground weeping piteously at any second. I now know why those cute little shoes were donated to the Goodwill. It’s because they are fabricated out of pure Evil. Hey…anyone wanna see my blisters???

Dropped mum off, went home, crashed for an hour, and then took the boy to Callaway Park. Before we’d even made it a block past our house, I heard a clunk then a horrible rusty rattling noise. Turned out my muffler was in worse shape than I thought. The good thing is, the coat hanger I had used to truss it up was still holding. The bad news was, the rest of the muffler had just come off and was dragging along behind the car. So, technically, I still have a muffler…it’s just that it’s in my trunk now. Anyone know how much it is to replace a muffler??

After picking my muffler up off the road and stashing it in the trunk, we hit the Subway and headed for Callaway Park. It was about a million degrees outside, but we still had fun. Only went on 1 ride though (the roller coaster of course!). We wanted to go on the Log Ride, but didn’t want to walk around the park in moist trousers all afternoon…denim tends to get a little um…chafey. We agreed to go on it towards the end of the day, but by the time we were getting ready to leave, we were hot and tired, and the line up still looked about an hour long and we really just couldn’t handle standing out in the heat for an hour just to be squashed into a fiberglass log-boat with a bunch of sweaty strangers and then doused in dirty pond water. Maybe next time. We did eat some delicious swirly, fruity, softserve ice cream, which always makes me feel like I’m about 7 years old. We had a round of mini golf, and actually didn’t do too bad! Normally by the end we are just making up numbers/scores/rules, but this time we actually had fairly decent scores, and almost tied (Chicken beat me by 1 point). I passed on the whack-a-mole (usually I only play that when I have some built up anger to get out, but I was feeling pretty good…so the moles were safe), and I passed on the squirty gun game, but only cuz the prizes were lame. We played a couple of games of kerplunk, or kerplink, or whatever the hell it’s called. I sucked rocks, as usual, but Chicken won us a couple of stuffed pingwings, so I was happy. Mine’s name is Al. It’s short for Alopecia. My shirt was covered in shedding penguin fluff about 2 seconds after I got him. We stopped at the little restaurant for a drink, discussed book banning, Of Mice and Men, and human euthenasia for about 30 minutes, then hit the candy store on the way out of the park. Got some potato chips and a bag of Jelly Bellies (for Husband), and headed home.

Stopped at Safeway on the way home. Picked up Epsom salts, pop, ice tea for Husband, bread, cheese, fruit salad, sausage rolls, and sushi. The boy went into the fortress of Chickentude, and I soaked in the tub for about an hour. Spent the rest of the evening chatting with Husband, watching Holmes on Homes, and then finally crashed.

Unfortunately, there was a huge thunder storm and our big fierce dog had to get up on the bed and climb all over us while she had a panic attack. I also started to develop a migraine type headache at about 2 am that lasted all night, and all the rest of the next day. Pretty sure it was because I forgot to put a hat on when we went to the amusement park. Not sure what I was thinking. I guess it shows how little time I’ve spent outside this summer.

Saturday ended really well, but started really bad. The headache that started in the middle of the night and kept waking me up had reached full Please-kill-me-now-oh-God-why-won’t-anyone-just-KILL-ME capacity by the time I tried to get up. Took 3 or 4 Tylenol, tried to go back to sleep, failed miserably, and then just lay there watching lame home improvement shows, occasionally twitching and/or whimpering. After about an hour or 2 of that, decided I might as well finally henna my hair. Unfortunately, the batch I’d previously mixed up (4 weeks ago *cough*) was no longer any good. I did have another box of henna in the cupboard, but didn’t have the 12 hours to wait after I mixed it up before it was ready to use. Someone had told me (a very reliable source, actually), that if you mix the henna with boiling water, the dye would release right away, and you could use it and not have to wait the 12 hours. So that’s what I did. Unfortunately, the water was too friggin hot for me to mix the henna properly, so it was all lumpy and gross, and not wet enough. I slapped it in my hair, wrapped it up in kling film, put on my “henna toque”, took another 2 Tylenol, and went back to bed for 3 hours - not sleeping mind you...just laying there being all pathetic. After about an hour, Husband came up and put a movie in, and we sat and held hands, and giggled, and watched a movie. Charlie Bartlett. Was actually really cute. I adore the actor that played Charlie (can’t remember his name at the mo, but there’s something about him I find infinitely charming). Also, Robert Downey Jr. was in it. The man’s life has been pretty effed up…but I sure do like him as an actor. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that he’s cute, too. I’m glad to see him back doing movies again.

About 1 o’clock I rinsed the henna out and….bleh. It hardly took at all. Sure, the roots aren’t blond anymore…but they still don’t match the rest of my hair. They’re really kinda orangey. *sigh* guess what I’ll be doing again next weekend??

Forced the boy to get out of bed and took him down to Planet Organic. I had noticed when I was there with mum the day before that they were having some sort of meatless chicken schnitzel BBQ. Was only $2, and you got a burger/dog and a beverage. Alex didn’t want anything, but I had the “chicken” schnitzel on a bun with Vegenaise, and some maters (they had vegan cheese, but I don’t really care for the taste…I find it tastes of oil and chemicals.) I have to say, it was pretty tastey. I didn’t finish it though, as my blood sugar was being whack, and the tables they had set out for people to eat at were in the middle of the sunny parking lot with no shade, and that was just a little too much for me to handle. I did take home a tofu dog for Husband. They looked more “meaty” than the other dogs I’d bought before, plus it was BBQ’d, which automatically makes it better. Stopped at WallyWorld too. Still trying to find a damn pair of jeans that fits. I USED to always find the best jeans there! And cheap too! But this last year, it seems unless you are a size 8 or smaller, then ALL the jeans for us fatties basically look like denim trash bags. Most of them have cropped legs (cuz us fatties don’t look stumpy enough already. Thanks), and a lot of them have ELASTIC WAIST BANDS!! GAH! Elastic? Seriously? I got so fed up I went and looked through the sewing pattern books and found a fairly decent pattern for jeans. I would have bought it too, but the drawer that had the pattern I wanted, was the one drawer that was jammed shut (I looked like some deranged crafting mom had rammed her shopping cart into it just one too many times). I tried pulling it open, and only managed to break a nail, tearing it off too low and making it all sore and bleedy. I still need new jeans…but I’m a little too traumatized at the moment to go back to the mall and try again.

To consoler ourselves, we went through the drivethru at Micky D’s and got some frosters, which had improved my mood considerably by the time I got home. After I got home I crashed for about an hour, then got ready, did my hair, put on make up, jewelry and perfume even. I met Stevo at Chili’s for dinner. Food was good but there was just too much. We started off with pints (of course), and the spinach artichoke dip, which was delicious. Really, that would have been enough for me, but we ordered dinner as well. I had the portabello and veggie fajitas. Was really really delicious, but I was just too full to eat very much. I ended up taking everything home in take out boxes. We walked over to the Jubilee, got a couple of drinks, then went in to see the show.

Spamalot. Holy Crap. I laughed so hard! And my brother laughed so hard. It was neat to hear the audience members saying some of the lines along with the actors. Was better hearing my big brother laugh though. I don’t think he has enough of that in his life. He also made a comment that I hadn’t really thought of, but have to agree with. He said that every time he goes to see live theatre, he realizes that he doesn’t do it nearly enough.

After the show, I was totally ready to head home to bed, but Stevo offered more pints, so who am I to say no?? we ended up at this little pub that ive driven by about a million times, but had never really taken notice of before. Apparently, stevo has been going there since he was underage, although it was called something else back then. They had a live band playing which, while not bad, were way too loud. Had a good conversation with my bro, even though it was rather shouty to be heard over the music. Ended up getting home just before midnight, but was too keyed up to sleep right away. Chatted with the boy and the husband for a while. Finally managed to settle down sometime after 1:00 am. Not too bad, but the alarm going off at 6:30 sucked. Big time.

So Sunday…I worked. Or slacked, mostly. My ADD is totally kicking my ass lately. Wish I knew a quick & easy way to fix that. Sunday night I sat in bed eating my leftovers from Chili’s, sharing tasty bites of roasted veggies with Husband. We also watched Nim’s Island. Was very much a kids’ movie, but really cute for all that. Husband even laughed right out loud on a couple of occasions.

So, ya…that was pretty much my weekend. (believe it or not...it could have been longer. i had so many segues and asides and rants while i was typing it...i actually cut it back a lot. those little tidbits may turn into other individual, specific topic entries at another time...or i may just forget what the hell i was talking about by tomorrow).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Here a pea, there a pea, everywhere a chickpea.

“Then there are some things that sound too funny to eat. Some things are too humorous to swallow. Guacamole. That sounds like something you yell when you’re on fire. ‘Guacamole!!’ Or sounds like something you can’t remember the name of. ‘Where’s that little…guacamole I had here?’ Something else that sounds too funny to eat: garbanzo beans. I mean, that’s the first four letters of the word garbage in there. ‘Hey, did you take out the garbanzo beans?’ And, of course, the funniest food: kumquats. I don’t ever bring ‘em home anymore. I sit there laughing and they go to waste.”

-George Carlin on Fussy Eaters.

I have to say, that since becoming a veghead, I have a new appreciation for garbanzo beans. Still not a big fan of just sitting down and eating them straight outta the can…but they have lots of protein, lots of fiber, very little fat, and you can make yummy stuff out of them. Oh, and they are cheap.

I only bring this up because we had what I call Birthday of the Month Day yesterday at work. Basically, we pick one day toward the end of the month when we celebrate all the birthdays that fell within that month. (We used to celebrate each birthday individually, but management complained that we were spending too much time socializing over birthdays, so we amalgamating them). So, once a month 2 or 3 or more people bring in a tasty treat of some sort. Usually something savory, and something sweet. When I volunteer, I almost always bring hummus. Mostly because it’s cheap and easy. Also, for some reason, it impresses the hell out of people that “you made that YOURSELF??” I think being mostly Whiteys, everyone here views hummus as foreign and EXOTIC and, therefore, difficult to make. In fact, it’s just about the easiest thing in the world to make…except maybe the onion soup/sour cream dip that I could eat by the TRUCK LOAD. However, as I am trying NOT to eat my body weight in fat every day, and am also trying to wean myself off dairy (not going so well, actually), I am trying to avoid bringing buckets of sour cream based dips to work. So, this morning before work I hauled out my food processor and whipped up a batch. Another thing I like about hummus - I am a big fan of recipes where you get to throw everything into a food processor, crank it up to 11 for about 5 minutes and then call it done.

There is something I find interesting, and perhaps a little frustrating/confusing about when I bring hummus to any sort of potluck situation. Half the time it disappears and there is barely even a teaspoon left for me to take home…and the other half of the time I end up taking home almost the entire batch, and end up eating it for lunch every day for the rest of the week. What gives? Maybe you have to be in a hummus sort of mood? Maybe they just don’t have their chickpea GROOVE on that day? Yesterday though, everybody was totally digging the hummus. There was still about a quarter cup left, but I think that’s only because they ran out of bread before they ran out of hummus. I do have to say that the hummus turned out even better than usual this time. It’s WAY creamier than usual. When I first learned out to make hummus, it said to drain the can of beans, and add only lemon juice and oil to the mixture. I found that to get the creamy consistency I liked, I was adding absurd amounts of oil! Which sort of defeats the purpose of eating hummus as a healthy snack! Finally yesterday morning, it dawned on me..DUR…just add some of the bean “juice” from the can! So I reserved about 1/4 to 1/2 of a cup, and slowly added it back as I pureed, and OMG! Amazing! It’s PERFECT. It’s EXACTLY how I like it.

(As an aside…do you know how confusing it is to try and make hummus, when you don’t know that chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the EXACT SAME THING??? Ya…boy did I feel stupid after going to several different stores looking for chickpeas, when all I could find were cans of GARBANZO BEANS.)

Now…if I could only get my son and husband to actually like chickpeas…life would be a whole lot easier….

(Anybody have any interesting hummus recipes? Anything unique that you like to add to the mix to spice it up a bit?)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

To sleep, perchance to ..*sniff*....what is that funky smell?!

Have been looking into getting a new mattress. The one we have is over 10 years old (probably closer to 15 - the Husband had it before we got married). There are permanent depressions in it, both sides, either end, so flipping it has long since stopped being an option. There are also random places where a spring will jab you in the ass while you’re sleeping. It’s been a good mattress…but it’s time to go. At the moment, we’re putting up with it mostly because we don’t have the money to buy a new mattress. Sure, we could get a super cheap one…but with a combined weight of Oh My God sleeping on it every night, by the end of the year, we’d just have to go get another one anyway. Better to save up and get a good one. We even toyed with the idea of a Sleep Number bed. For the last year I have been content to curl up in one of the “hollers” in the old mattress, whereas the husband has been sleeping extremely well on an inexpensive ‘memory foam’ mattress on the floor. When he slept at my house, on the tired, beaten down old mattress, he was nothing but aches and pains the next morning. And when I slept on the floor at his house, I could barely even make it to standing the next morning. Obviously our sleeping needs are different. That’s what brought the Sleep Number to mind. Besides, if the Bionic Woman can sleep on it…then obviously it’d be ok for a couple of lazy fatties, right?

Of course…at the moment, it’s not the mattress that has me aching and exhausted from lack of sleep. It’s the husband. But before you get all *wink wink, nudge nudge*…it’s not even LIKE that! Basically…I have spent the last year not having to share a bed. I can roll over, sprawl, and even sleep sideways on the bed - whatever is the most comfortable and doesn’t make my back/neck/shoulder hurt. Now when I try to do that though, there’s a big hairy guy in the way! Sure, it’s great to be able to snuggle my honey when I’m going to sleep, or if I have a nightmare I wake up to find his big arms wrapped around me and him stroking my hair until the terror goes away, and with him in the bed I will never have to use the 5+ hot water bottles I used to have (seriously…I had at LEAST 5 of them). Looking back at when we were first married, I don’t remember it being this difficult learning to share a bed…but I have a feeling the blush of new love is clouding my memories. Also, I’m 10 years older, and have a slew of aches and pains I didn’t have back then. But, as I am not planning on getting rid of the husband, I’m putting all my hope on a new mattress.

So, on that note, has anyone ever tried a Sleep Number bed? Or any other sort of mattress they would recommend? Keep in mind that Husband and I are Big Folk, so we need a sturdy mattress. Also keep in mind, though, that we have somewhat limited funds…so don’t recommend some NASA developed, hand made by Tibetan monk, woven out of gold thread and the down from 10,000 rare baby hyacinth macaws mattress.

And please don’t recommend the classifieds…because used beds? *shudders* just…ew. I’m sure not EVERYONE is dirty and has lice…but I did actually see an ad in the classifieds for a used queen size mattress that someone’s granny had, but no longer needed (oh God, did she DIE on it???!!), and her little doggy had only peed on it ONCE! Plus, they were asking for only a little under what it would have cost BRAND NEW!! Mmm…mattresses…NEW AND IMPROVED! Now with more URINE!

Monday, July 28, 2008

a typical conversation

While driving…

Boy: I had a dream last night.

Me: You actually remember it??

Boy: Oddly, yes. There was this cardboard box, and when I opened it, it was full of penguins. So I climbed into the box to play with the penguins.

Me: So…just sittin’ in a box playin’ with pingwings? Cool.

Boy: You know, in The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, one of the characters was dreaming, and there are all these trunks. When she opened them, about a tenth of them full of all of her thoughts, memories and such, both good and bad, and the rest of them were filled with penguins.

Me: So, what…basically he’s saying that the 90% of our brains that we don’t use…is just full of pingwings?

Boy: yup.

Later…

Boy: blah blah blah *physics* blah blah *numbers* blah blah *math and probabilities* blah blah, now do you see?

Me: *pained expression*

Boy: One of your penguins just died, didn’t it?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What i have learned this summer

So far this summer I have learned how to build a window screen and am now the proud owner of a small hacksaw as well as a shiny red splining tool (I’m not sure if this has another name or not). I am also happy to report that since the last time I looked into making a screen they have done away with mitered corners and now provide handy little plastic corner clippy things (these do have another name, I just don’t remember what it is), allowing me to just hack right through the frame in a (relatively) straight line. Yay!

I have also learned that not all leaky faucets can be fixed by replacing a washer…because not all taps even HAVE washers!! Turns out that our kitchen taps have a little plastic/metal/rubber doohickey called a Cartridge. While not exactly expensive (about $6.50 at our local Crappy Tire), it’s not the 25-cent rubber washer I was expecting either. During this very same learning experience, I also learned that not all sinks have water shut-off valves under the sink (like it shows in all the DIY articles I found). Also, not all houses have really obvious water shut off valves in the basement with a clearly labeled bright red handle, like in my last house. In fact, some houses have water shut off valves that are not only NOT labeled at all, but don’t even HAVE handles. They basically just look like a peculiar metal nubbin with thoroughly stripped threads sticking out of some random pipe coming off of the water heater. To that end, I am now the proud owner of a set of wrenches/pliers (on sale at our local Crappy Tire).

This summer I have also learned how to use an unbent wire coat hanger to hold up a dragging muffler on a car when the rusted up clamp finally snaps. Cuz, you know, I’m CLASSY like that.

Just yesterday I learned out to make homemade fruit fly traps, which is both a good thing, and a bad thing. Good, because now I don’t have to pay the $8 each that Lee Valley wants for them, but bad because…well, I need them. Not sure where they came from, but holy CRAP there are a lot of the fat little bastards buzzing around my kitchen. I mean, the kitchen is disaster enough already, and totally not conducive to cooking already…but now…just..EW! The good news is, the traps are easy to make, and basically didn’t cost me anything, so I can make as many as I want. Empty tin cans I pulled out of the recycling box (see? I knew there was a good reason for putting off taking the recycling!), some cling film that my friend gave me when I cleaned her kitchen (she had about 5 rolls of it…she kept forgetting she’d already bought some, so she gave me a roll cuz I was out), and some elastic bands I saved from various packaging and threw in the junk drawer. Oh, and a cheap plastic pencil to poke holes. Also, a frozen banana that I just happened to have. (I had put in the freezer about 8 months ago with the intention of making banana bread, and then totally forgot about it). You just put a slice of banana in the bottom of the tin can, cover it tightly with cling film, secure it with an elastic, and then poke 5 or 6 little holes in the film. Set then around the kitchen, and within 24 hours you’ll be amazed (read: horrified) by how many of them you catch. I’ve never been able to understand how they can find the tiniest little hole to get in..but can’t find their way back out through the same tiny holes!

Anyway, this morning I came down to see how my traps had worked. I’m not sure which horrified me more…the nasty buggers who’d avoided the traps still cruising around my kitchen, or the somewhat frantic buzzing of the dozens caught in the traps, now throwing themselves against the cling film trying to get out. It’s a horrible sound, and reminiscent of every horror movie I’ve ever seen. What’s even more horrifying still, is that the DIY article I found the traps on suggests REUSING THEM!!! Which means I would have to *gag* empty them out and *yark* clean them out!!! Oh HELL no! Those bitches are going directly into the garbage, outside, double-bagged, and if I had some sort of giant backyard incinerator that’s EXACTLY where they’d go!

Next on my list for this summer is how to sharpen a lawnmower blade. I bought a second-hand electric rechargeable lawnmower when Old Red finally died. I love it. I love how quiet it is. I love how there is no choking clouds of exhaust. I love that I don’t have to practically dislocate my shoulder to start it as there is no cord to pull. Unfortunately, there are a couple of things I don’t love about it. I don’t love that it has a fairly small cutting path. It’s great for my front yard as it’s small, and grows poorly anyway, but it takes just about forever to get through the large, overgrown jungle of a backyard. I don’t think it’s designed for large yards, or really overgrown grass. Which brings me to the second thing I don’t love about it. The battery runs down before I’m finished. I imagine part of this is because I am trying to mow down cornstalk sized dandelions and waist high grass with a tiny electric mower. I am hoping that once I finally get the lawn under control, to the point where it only needs a weekly trim, the mower will be able to finish it. Lastly, the last thing I don’t love about it is that the blade is totally dull. I was actually mowing my front lawn, having to go over my cutting path 2 or 3 times to actually cut it, and a random Asian lady walking up from the bus stop stopped to watch me and helpfully point out, “It doesn’t cut very good” before walking away. Fortunately, this last issue should be a fairly easy fix. At least, I’m hoping it is. Everything I read said that you just need a file and some elbow grease. What I didn’t know what the name of the file. When I tried to look it up, everyone just said that you need a bastard file. I assumed that just meant any random file you had laying around your house…you know, maybe one that used to belong to a set, but now the set is long gone and you only have this one bastard file left floating around. So I take myself down to the local Crappy Tire, find the aisle that sells files and…I’ll be damned! Whaddya know?? They really ARE called “Bastard Files”! huh. You learn something new every day. So, now I am also the proud owner of an 8” Bastard File! I find this totally awesome. Any time I get to use a legitimate word in every day conversation that is ALSO a swear word? Well, that just makes my day. So, I havent’ gotten around to actually dismantling my lawnmower and sharpening the blade yet, but the weather looks like it’s going to be good over the weekend, so hopefully I can get it done.

So far there have been no injuries from all my little fixit jobs. No stiches. No blisters. No bruises or scraped knuckles. In fact, I’m not even sure I broke a nail.

The only injury I’ve dealt myself this summer was from a totally unrelated incident where I learned that cranberry juice, club soda and peach vodka is yummy, playing yahtzee on the patio with good friends, listening to the radio and sitting in the sun is super fun, and under no circumstances, in any universe, can I perform a roundhouse kick over my HEAD and that I should never ever, at any time attempt it because a twisted knee is a REAL bastard. I also learned that I am a Slow Learner. On the bright side…I now know how to properly ice and wrap a damaged knee.