Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where Did I put my Magic 8 Ball?

I freely admit that I'm a procrastinator.  And I'm consistently a procrastinator.  I don't go to the dentist until I am in sooooooo much pain, the only reasonable choice is to go to the dentist for a dreaded root canal...of which I've had 5.  And I say reasonable choice, because a guy at work had a sore tooth for a couple of days and decided that the only logical thing to do was to PULL IT OUT...himself...on his break.  Logic, common sense...different for everyone, I guess. 

My son almost didn't go to kindergarten because I waited until the last minute to enroll him.  I started thinking about it in February, but by the time I actually got around to doing it was late May.  By then, I was having panic attacks.  Not so much that he wouldn't get into the school, but moreso that I would be chastised for waiting so long to do it. 

"What kind of irresponsible parent waits til the end of May to enrol their child in kindergarten?  Don't you care about your son's education?  Don't you know that a good education is the corner stone for anything that is important in this world?  It's parents like you that make me sick."

Well, that's how the conversation went in my head, anyways.  It was more like, "Okay, I just need you to fill out these forms, and I need a photocopy of his vaccinations and birth certificate."  She was probably thinking all of the above though.  I mean....I was...

Unfortunately, I don't seem to learn from my experiences as a procrastinator.  Because if I did, I surely would have enrolled Q in his new school for grade one way before the end of June.  Again, totally thought about it when we moved into the new house in the beginning of February.  I even drove by the school multiple times every single day, so it wasn't like I had forgotten. 

The problem addition to being a procrastinator, I'm also really indecisive.  I think they probably go hand in hand.  And I'm even more sure that they're genetic (which's not my fault.  It's my mother's!) 

The school Q went to Kindergarten in was a fabulous school.  I loved his teacher.  I loved the SEA (Special Education Assistant)  I loved the kids.  I just loved every aspect of it.  So moving him broke my heart for all the emotional reasons.  Practically, I had to drive 20 minutes there and 20 minutes back every day when there was a perfectly good school down the street from my house.  So, logically (there's that word again!!) it makes more sense for him to go to the new one.

The new school is a French immersion public school.  I know this sounds fabulous, but Q has a bit of a speech delay and has been in speech therapy sessions since February.  He's improved by leaps and bounds, but throwing a whole new language in the mix when he's not 100% with his first seems a little daunting to me.  And it's 100% immersion, no English at all until he's in grade 3. who is going to teach him English?  Me?  I don't think so.  Uh...ha, ha, ha...

However, the new school does have an English program, so there goes that excuse. 

His dad lives near the old school, and currently he's unemployed (damn airline industry).  But, he has an interview with Gulf Air in Bahrain on Friday.  I don't exactly know where he will be in two months time (here's praying real hard for Bahrain...)  The tough thing is that I don't know where I'll be in two months time.  Everyone is being really tight lipped about the whole "delayering" process at work, so for all I know I could be out of a job completely come September.

It would be really great to have him in the new school so he could meet kids in the neighbourhood.  I mean there's oodles of the little buggers running around.  We just have to meet them.  What better way than school!

I enrolled Q in the new school last week.  I was super shocked and a little excited that it's a Montessori grade 1 program!!!  I'm not super educated on the whole idea of Montessori.  I've done research on it in the past, and understand it in theory...but I'm not sure how letting a 6 year old take charge of his own academic learning works in the real world.  I figure he's either going to excel and surprise us all by being the next Nobel peace prize winner or we'll be pulling him out because he's forgotten how to spell his name (To which he laughs and says, "Mommy, I won't forget that.  I spell it like, every day!! Silly me)  I like the principle of Montessori schools.  There's research to back it up.  I really do believe that Q will excel in an environment that's less classroom, more hands-on.  He's always been that kind of kid.  And I cannot think of anything more empowering for a child than to take the reins on his learning and education.  I really, really hope it works.

Currently, I have him enrolled in both schools. 

What's life without a few surprises along the way?  I guess we'll all find out on September 8th!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Is it Friday yet?

Oh my goodness, I am a stress-ball.  Work has been (more-than-usual) crazy lately.  But, I don't really want to talk about it. 

Oh, okay.  I will but just the nut-shell version.  The to-make-a-long-story-short version. 

Basically, we're going through some massive changes.  Our CEO, who has made sweeping changes during her reign has just resigned to take a position with Royal Mail.  That's fabulous for her.  There's just one problem...she didn't finish what she started.  I have huge issues with that, because she's basically caused chaos within our unionized environment.  She's rocked the boat, huge.  And now she leaves...6 months before our union's contract is up.  Can you spell S-T-R-I-K-E?  Have I mentioned that our union's collective agreement is 525 pages long.'s gonna be a fun New Year.  And I cannot decide whether I feel she's super-smart to get out now or a coward for not finishing the battle she began.

We're also "De-layering" in the next month and a half.  Someone somewhere (probably the aforementioned CEO) has decided that we're management heavy and so they're bumping Superintendent's (as in my boss) to Supervisors (as in me...) No one knows where this leaves anyone and anyone who does know is totally tight lipped, because God forbid if we were all on the same page.  I'm in the bottom ten on the seniority totem pole, so things do not look good for me.  I'm kind of kicking myself in the arse because I know the signs...I come from the airline industry.  Hello!!!  You start limiting how many paperclips we can buy and the alarm bells should start dinging immediately.  But I didn't really see them this time.  I mean, it's the post office.  No one ever gets laid off from the post office...right???

Then we've decided to "modernize".  This might sound silly to most of you, however....we bought our last mechanized postal system from the great US of A when they retired their system.  Now (and I am not stretching the truth at all here....) if we need parts for our machines, we can go to the USA Postal Museum and hope and pray and cross our fingers that it hasn't been taken already.  Yup...our contingency plan is a postal museum.  Scary, right?  So someone (ya ya, okay...our CEO) decides we need new machines that come with new parts and faster parts.  Sounds great, right?  Well, not if you're used to the same thing that you've used for the past 35 years.  That shiny new machine spells terror in the hearts and minds of every single one of our employees. 

Funny thing, we've also discovered that letting employees take 45 minute breaks instead of 35 (30 + 5 minutes for "Wash up"...and you thought I was joking when I said the collective agreement was 525 pages long...) is not viable for a company who gets more money when they produce more volume.  Huh, hey...go figure.  I'm no CEO...but I could have told you that. 

And we have a new manager.  Who's way, way different from our last manager.  And it's rattled all our cages just a little.  For good or for bad.  You know, you get used to same ol' same ol'.

Wow.  That was the short story.  Can you even imagine the long story???  But like I said, I really don't want to talk about it.

It all just makes me want to hide under my blankets and not get out.  Ever.  I feel reasonably happy until I get into this place and then the puke green walls and the dirty floors just drain any remaining energy or happiness. 

I'm in a funk. 

I don't know why I'm here.

My employees hate me.  And not that I'm here to make friends.  I'm not.  The point is whether you want new friends or not, the fact that people actually despise you is pretty depressing in and of itself.  I'm the mouth piece for all the sweeping changes, so I'm the easiest one to hate.  I get that.  But I'm cute and I'm adorable and for those reasons alone, you are not supposed to hate me.  You're supposed to love me because I'm just so darn lovable. 

And who's life am I really changing for the better?  No one's gonna be at my funeral fondly recalling how I suspended them because their attendance was atrocious or because I made them actually do their job correctly. 

I need a purpose other than being someones scapegoat.

Psssst...don't tell anyone, but....I have an idea.

Well...unless I win the Lottomax tonight that's at $50 mill...and then my idea doesn't really matter anymore.

Has anyone ever heard of Arbonne?  For lack of better's kind of like Mary Kay or Avon only like 150% better quality.  Ladies, it is high class. 

What does this mean for me?  It means parties and selling and more parties and ohhh, Margarita parties and cupcake parties and networking and selling.  It means working on my own schedule and being my own boss and seeing my child. 

And make-up is not just make-up.  I know first hand what it feels like to put on a pretty face and actually feel pretty.  When you're down in the dumps and someone takes the time to tell you that you're means the world.  Self care, even if it's only a cuppa tea or a bubble bath...although it could be a spa day, is vital to emotional health.  I know that when I had post-partum depression taking care of me first and Q second is probably what kept us both alive at times.  If I could share this with other ladies....well, that would just be meaningful

On the side, I would love to start a charity where I would use my new products to give make overs to women who are entering the workforce after a long absence.  Maybe they're coming out of a divorce or coming back after maternity leave.  Maybe they've left an abusive relationship and they need a little bit of confidence.  Looking as good on the outside as you feel on the inside is never, ever a bad thing.

And then, if I were on my own schedule...I could be a foster mom...which is something I really, really, really want to do.

That's the plan.

Now, I just need the cash...

Oh...that'll be easy....



Setting the scene: 
Me: in bathroom...inspecting my large pores and plucking eyebrows.  In barges the kid...

Q:  What are these?  (holds up a pack of cigarettes)

Me: Where did you find those?

Q:  In your purse.  What are they?

Me: uhhhh....they're smokes...

Q:  I'm throwing them out.

Me:  uhhh...okay...

Q leaves.  I continue plucking.

Q:  What are these? (holds up matches)

Me:  They're matches....

Q:  How much do smokes cost?

Me:  About $10.00

Q:  You can't afford that.  You only had $100 in your bank account (recounting a random number I gave him when he wanted me to buy him a toy and I told him I didn't have enough money.."How Much?"  he asked..."$100.00," I replied.  This kid remembers everything!!) and then you spent $10.00?  On smokes?  Now you only have $90.00.

Me:  You're right.

Q:  And do you want to die?  You could die.  Tomorrow.

Me:  No.  I don't want to die.  You're right.

Q leaves the room...

Me:  Hey dude?

Q:  Yeah?

Me:  Um....what were you doing looking through my purse?

Q:  Looking for candy.  If you really wanted to hide your smokes, you should have put them in here (holds up my makeup bag).  I wouldn't have looked in here for candy.


What am I going to do?  Take four...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fashionista, baby!

In my humble opinion, the 80's was the absolute worst decade for fashion.  I'm no fashionista, but c'mon...I remember my first love...a pair of patent baby blue high tops.  I think I was 11.  They make me shudder now, but I was young and it was the 80's.  Much to my dismay, the 80's are coming back with a vengeance.  It's horrific.  I mean...look...
I don't know what to comment on first.  The flowers or the shoulder pads.  I'm pretty sure it's the shoulder pads that horrify me the most.  I don't understand why any woman would want to make any part of her body look bigger, even her shoulders.  Are you a football player?  No?  Then take the shoulder pads out.  It looks so much more feminine.  And the small flower lady - not stylin'.  And sorry if I offended any little old ladies...

Again, with the shoulder pads...Ms. look ridiculous (again, in my humble opinion...) but what gets me is this gold/silver stuff.  I like bling just as much as the next gal, but these ladies (okay, Selina Gomez aside) look like two-bit hookers.  You can afford skirts that look much better than shiny plastic.  Come on, ladies...step up.

Well, this is just allllll wrong...we have flower print, shoulder pads and socks with high heels.  I'm pretty sure these pics were all taken in California, where it's always warm so I don't think that their feet are cold (although girlfriend on the far right is also wearing a scarf...)  I think they just look stupid.  And what colour is Kelly Osbourne's hair?  I think it's silver.

Now, I will admit that there were a few "fads" that took a while for me to warm up to.  Now, I'm not so sure that I even really like them...I think it's moreso that I'm used to them.  They're familiar, they're comfortable, and...well, I guess marketing works...for me...anywhoooo.  I love the side braid.  I am actually wearing one right now, isn't that a coincidence!  But look how stylish and cute Ms. Alba looks.  She just looks so approachable.  Like...let's go to the beach, Jess.  Playdate!!!

Initially, I thought the oversized sunglasses made everyone look like bugs.  Then one day, something just clicked and I now have like a tonne way more than any girl needs.  But like I always say:  A girl needs options.  Who knows what I'll be in the mood for.  I just bought a pair of fluorescent pink ones.  Oh, I heart them so.  And hello practical!!  They completely keep the sun out...they're that big!!

Grey nail polish? I was like ummm, mud?  I saw it enough that I actually started to like it on other people.  Get this...I now love it on me.  It's cool, it's's awesome!!

I hated the gladiators.  Hated them.  I recently tried a whole bunch on, and while I think they're super cute, I just don't 'get' them on me.  I think that may be because I haven't found the perfect pair yet.  And you know what that means excuse to go...SHOE SHOPPING!!!  Even Q knows, a girl can never have too many shoes!  (oh, btw that's a direct his, I love that kid!!)  These ones I found on-line, and I'm thinking I may just have to make an on-line purchase (yay!!)  Aren't they fabulous?  Can you imagine the tan lines?!?!
p.s. yes, yes I am...I am a little worried that I knew the sames of all those celebs...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Not Exactly Desperate

I've loved Desperate Housewives ever since the beginning.  Scandal, short skirts and high heels, all in the confines of white picket fences....who can resist?  I think it's hilarious how they all have their nails done, their toes done, their hair done, their face done just to go to their next door neighbours house to play cards.  And every new neighbour is greeted with freshly baked muffins in a cute little basket. 

My neighbour brought over some socks and sunscreen for Q in a cardboard box the other day.  Socks are not as fabulous as muffins.  And I was a little bit insulted to tell you the truth.  Do I look like I can't afford socks for my child?  Was the sunscreen a hint?  He wears sunscreen.  All the time, thank you very much.  But "Al" gets them free at work all the time, so who was I to say no?  This leads me to another question.  Who gets socks and sunscreen as perks?  I mean, I get a fabulous benefits package, and discounts for cell phone plans, and a pension...but socks?  Never.  I wonder where "Al" works.

Our new little street is on a cul-de-sac.  To the right is an older European couple.  They seem very nice.  She chain smokes on the porch.  She's the one I hope will take pity on me and smuggle me a contraband cigarette through the fence. 

Behind us is Johnny.  Johnny's a big black lab.  He comes to visit us every now and again.  Usually by pushing his 100lb frame through the fence.  He's chewed well over $50.00 of Q and Molly's toys over the past few months.  And if he comes over, I'm supposed to say, "Johnny, go home."  Usually, I'll let Molly chase him around for a bit and then point over the fence and say, "Johnny, go home..."  He sticks his tail between his legs and goes home.  I laugh every single time, wishing Molly were half as obedient as Ol' Johnny.

To our left is the aforementioned Al - as in Alfred, and his nosy wife Ervina.  (BTW, nice names, huh?!!)  Ervina watches out her windows, so she knows everything that goes on in our backyard, and front yard, and everyone else's for that matter.  She can talk for hours about nonsense, and she knows everything.  Everything about gardening and cooking and raising children and marriage and world peace and well, you get the idea.  And she's a real Witch, with a capital B.  She barks orders at poor lil Alfred, and if he doesn't hop to it fast enough, she'll yell another command with an insult just to make a point.  I had the fabulous honour of seeing Alf without his shirt on the other day, and okay, okay...he's not Brad Pitt or David the least...but do you have to be soooo mean, Ervina?  Really? 

Beside Alf and Ervina is another two car, one child doubly happy family.  Again, the smug marrieds.  He's balding salt and pepper and she's lululemon and running shoes.  With a poodle named Maya.  They just annoy me for being. 

Both Ervina and Maya's mommy don't like me.  They don't speak to me.  They speak to my mom, they smile and wave.  They ignore me.  Unless their husbands are around, and then they are really, super me and their husbands. Their husbands are really friendly when their wives aren't around, and ignore me when their wives are hovering. 

I kind of get this little jealous feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see these smug marrieds.  They seem to have it all figured out.  They seem to have it all.  The whipped husband who's home to cut the grass on Saturday morning and take their sons to baseball on Sunday morning.  The cute kids and the froofy dog.   And they're just so damn smug around me.  With their high-waisted mom jeans and running shoes, their frizzy hair, and their perma-frowns...I know, I know....what's to be jealous of, right?

That's what got me to thinking...

Who cares the how's or the why's of these women's marriages.  Would I want it?  Would I really want a man who is balding and has a beer belly?  Would I really want a man who allows me to insult him and command him to do things without standing up for himself?  No surprises?  No excitement?  No, I really, really wouldn't.  I wouldn't want a yappy little poodle or a red minivan either.

I know that part of the reason why they look at me the way they do, is probably because they're a little jealous of me.  I don't have to wake up to the same man every single day for the rest of my life.  I don't have to make sure dinner is on the table for my husband every single day.  I don't have to drive a red minivan.  I think they think I want their husband.  I think that's why they watch me from the corner of their eye and from their windows. 

I don't want their husbands.  I want my own husband.  I want my own happy ending.  I don't want theirs.  And if ever I need reminding, I just have to remember what Alfred looks like without his shirt on.


Not quite Wisteria Lane.  Not exactly Desperate Housewives. 

This is Watson Court. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stop the Clock

My life lately has been a mish-mash of mommy things.  This isn't much different from the past 6 years, except for the fact that it's been 6 (Holy Moly!) years.  I no longer have a baby or a toddler.  I have a boy.  A real live 6 year old boy!  He's growing before my eyes, quite literally.  Some times when I pick him up from his dad's house, I hardly recognize the child standing before me.  

It's a crazy ride, and so surreal sometimes.  I know everything about this little person.  I know how he acts when he's tired, I know he love the Calgary Flames because his daddy loves them.  I know that he's a worrier just like his mommy.  I know he falls asleep in 2 minutes flat, and sometimes talks in his sleep.  When he's asleep, I lay beside him and listen to his breathing, trace my finger over his little nose, his rosy cheeks.  Man, I am in love with this kid.  I know he's not so much into Shrek 4 (but really, who is...I lost interest after Shrek 2...), but he's excited to see Toy Story 3.  I know he won't lie to his mommy, ever (or at least until he's a teenager...), and that given the choice of a Moose (a quarter) or a duck (loonie), he'd pick the Moose any day.  
And I know he's got a wicked slap shot.  A true Canadian boy, he'd rather spend the day playing ball hockey in the street more than anything else.  Last weekend, I was the "Goalie" while he whipped (I'm such a girl when it comes to this that the right word?  I don't know, but it was effin' fast...) a slap shot right into my left knee.  It was a bonding experience as we sat there and watched the bruise form in front of our eyes in 5 minutes or less.  Mommy's a little gun shy now, to say the least.

Every Saturday morning at 11:00, I'm at the ball hockey rink with little man while he runs around with 25 other 5-6 year olds.  It's truly the cutest thing ever.  I'm a hockey mom.  A proud hockey mom.  I cheer when he scores a goal, although between you and me, he's an awesome defenseman.  Two weeks in goal, though, was enough for him (and me...geez that's alotta pressure), "One things for sure, Mommy.  If they ask who wants to go in goal, I am NOT putting my hand up again!"  The poor little guy who got chosen had to be picked up by the coach twice after he fell and couldn't get up for all the padding he was sporting.

Mr. Ex is the annoying hockey dad.  "Hustle Q! Hustle!  You gotta hustle!"  and then to me, "What's he doing?  He can shoot better than that?  He knows better.  He's not playing his position.  He's defense, dammit, not foreward.  What's the coach doing?  That's not a slap shot.  He can do a better slap shot than that.  We spend 4 hours a day playing hockey, he's freezing out there.  What's he doing? He's zoning out...he's not paying attention!"  To which I respond, simply, "Uh...he's five.  He's having fun.  It's ball hockey.  Relax.  We should be glad he's running in the right direction."  I try not to sit too close to him, because he's just so darn embarrassing.  But whatever.

Here's the future star...

And look at how little they all are...

One more reason to stop the clock...he's lost his first tooth.  And I wasn't there to see it.  He was at his daddy's house.  He called me as I was on the skytrain to work, and my heart almost stopped.  It was comparable to his first steps or his first hair cut.  His first tooth.  My baby is growing up.  Soon it will be grade one and then high school and then marriage, and big adult smelly feet with hair...oh, his little toes are still so cute.  How do I stop the clock?  Can I just bottle him up and keep him little forever? 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Take Three

This time I managed to go without a smoke for two months.  I was like, totally prepared for it this time.  I was wiser.  I had quit before and failed, so this time I knew what I had to do to quit right.  I knew my weaknesses.  I knew that given the opportunity, I would have a cigarette without even batting an eyelid.  It's obvious to me that I am weak and have no will power. 

(Even as I type this, I am sniffing the air.  I'm hoping that the neighbour will come outside and have a smoke and I'll be able to smell it.  Maybe she might even give me one if I look pitiful enough.)

It's been almost 48 hours.

My friend says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

So this time, I'm doing everything exactly the same as before.  I'm going cold turkey.  That's my only plan.

The thing is...I don't so much want to quit this time.  I missed it soooooo much the last time.  I really, really missed it.  Oh, I really missed everything about it.  

But the other day, Q found me smoking and totally freaked out.  Like, we're talking total melt down.  I couldn't calm him down.  He tried to claw my eyes out and rip my clothes off, and I only wish I was exaggerating.  My mom had to drag him away from me kicking and screaming, but not before he grabbed the smoke and broke it into a million different pieces.  The irony is a flashback 27 years ago, when my Auntie June was dying of brain cancer, and I broke all of her cigarettes.  I was horrified that even as she was dying, to weak to leave her bed, she still wanted a smoke.  It's one of my earliest memories.  I was five, just like Q.  Auntie June died shortly thereafter. (Which co-incidentally reminds me of my second earliest Mother swears it never happened.  She says she would never ask her 5 year old daughter if she wanted to kiss her dead aunt in her casket....I remember otherwise...)  My uncle, a chain-smoker for the majority of his life, has just been diagnosed with a brain tumour.  The reality is overwhelming.

I know that Q is the number one reason why I must quit.  I know that.  I know he needs his Momma until he grows up.  In fact, just as much as I need to be with him and watch him grow.   He is the world to me.  It makes me sick that my addiction to nicotine is stronger than my devotion to Q.  What a terrible, terrible mother.  It's even worse to hear the words out loud.  And that's what Q sees.  His weak momma loving smoking more than him.  Ugh.  It makes me sick. 

Quitting three times in a year and a bit is like deciding you want to gain weight just for the joy of being 30 lbs fatter.  Honestly, I've gained 30lbs.  One day a few weeks back one of the little boys in Q's class comes running up to me, and says, "Mrs. Miller, I know you have a baby in your tummy!!!"  "No, D.  I don't.  I just have a lot of fat in my tummy."  That puts the count at 3.  Three people have asked me when I'm due or if I'm expecting.  One a friend, one a stranger, and one a child.  I've gone from a size 6 to a size 12.  Maybe they're onto something.  The last time I was this size I had a 10lb baby growing inside me.  But horribly, looking in a mirror just gets me even more down in the dumps.  No more chocolate bars?  Well, that just makes me want to smoke.  Ahhhh, now you see my problem. 

I can't even imagine how this time will be different.  But they say third time's a can you lose with a saying like that?  Third time's a charm...riiiight.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This Must Be Why I'm Still Single...

Skytrain time is MY time.  I don't really know why people don't understand this.  To all the crazy strangers on the skytrain, my time becomes theirs.  They feel the need to touch me, make small talk with me, sit next to me when there are a million other seats available.  All I really want to do is read my book.  Most days, I'm on the go from 9 am until 2 am.  I get an hour on the skytrain to myself.  I'm not mommy, I'm not supervisor, I'm just me.  Let me read my book.

On Friday night, I was reading one of the most understatedly fabulous books ever.  I found it in a bookstore for $6.99.  This usually means the book isn't so fabulous, so they're cutting their losses and just trying to get rid of the evidence.  Not the case with this book.  "The Seamstress" is about two sisters in 1920's Brazil.  Their lives diverge in their late teens, and two sisters who grew up with the same values, lives and love for sewing become strangers.  The only thing that connects them is their blood and their memories. 

So, I'm 10 pages from the end of the book.  10 pages.  It's been a long day.  It's been a loooooong day.  I am in Brazil.  I am in the minds of Luzia and Emilia.  And I hear this voice.


I look up and see this moderately handsome black man a foot away from my face.  He looks a little goofy, with a goofy smile - all teeth.  Like one of Bill Cosby's characters from Fat Albert.  I don't remember his name, but the tall and lanky one with the over sized hat, who walks really slow, kinda like he's floating.

"Hi." I say and continue reading my book.  10 pages away.  Did I mention that?

"You're very pretty!"

I barely look up as I mumble, "Thanks."

"So, I guess you can tell I speak french."  Okay, so I did detect an accent.  Big deal.

"I don't mean to be rude."  I look up. "But I'm reading.  I'm at a really good part.  I'm sorry, but I'm not interested."  And I continue reading.

"Ah.  Well, have a good evening."  And he leaves me be.  Returns to his equally goofy looking friends who are laughing at him.

Maybe this is why I'm single.  Maybe this is why I'll remain single.  I'd rather read a book.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Ever since I admitted I don't have any strong convictions, I've been digging.  Digging deep down to the core of my being to find what I really, really feel.  I mean, seriously.  There's gotta be something, right?  Who goes through life without burning convictions and beliefs.  You know what they say, "If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything."  So, here is what I've come up with.  This is my list of convictions.  I'd never win any elections, and I'd never be Miss America (well, that shipped sailed long when I was born Canadian.  And I'm not sure I could ever say, "World Peace" with a straight face...)  But this is what I believe:

1.  I believe you cannot have too much compassion.  You can never give too much (rarely ever can you give enough even) to those who have nothing.  You can never care too much for those who cannot care for themselves.  A meal for a hungry man, a hug for a loveless child, a smile for a lonely woman.  These are where the true jewels of life are found and they mean more than anyone can imagine.

2.  I believe the God of the Old Testament scares the living daylights out of me, and the Savior of the New Testament confounds me.  And the fact that they are one in the same...well that just blows my mind.  Not so much the Trinity itself, but the differences between them.

3.  I believe in the parable of the mustard seed.  It takes only one teeny tiny seed to grow a multitude of good.  However, weeds multiply just as quickly, so you must decide which to grow and which to pull.  The choice is yours. 

4.  I believe that if politicians really truly cared about the future as much as they proclaim, instead of trying to find ways to conserve renewable resources, they would be building our youth to be leaders and scholars.  Instead of cities investing money in recycling bins for every street corner (which I agree is important, but...) the money would be spent investing in our youth.  Music programs, sports programs, debate clubs and more...all provided to enrich our youth.  Teachers would be highly revered and supported in their role to nurture and create brilliant, artistic, gifted children.  Children with learning disabilities, physical or mental would be given the extra attention they deserved in order to be given a chance in the adult world.

5.  I believe my generation (disclaimer: for the most part) is the laziest, most ungrateful one thus far.  As children of baby boomers, who had to work hard for everything they had, we've never had to work hard for anything.  It's all been handed to us on a silver platter.  As a result, we have little to no work ethic, no value for tangible items, no desire or drive for something better. Of course I speak of the collective "we" and not me, because I've been blessed with a fabulous work ethic and I value stuff.  Really, I do...

6.  I believe you can never give your children too much love, too many kisses.  You can never tell them you're proud of them too may times.  The more you build them up, the stronger they will become.  Charles Gavin said, "It is easier to build a boy than to mend a man." Well said.  Having said that, you can only blame your childhood for so much.  There comes a time when you have to drop that excuse and take responsibilities for your actions.

7.  I despise needy women.  Women are fabulous, strong and nurturing.  Women do not need a man to complete them, or others to validate them.  Find the voice within yourself and then proudly shout from the rooftops.  Girlfriend, if you can get thru your monthly gift, you can handle anything! (Shout out to angry uterus)

8.  I know without a doubt that I will never, ever understand men.  They are beautiful creatures, but I will always be astounded as to how their minds work.  Everything they do is complicated and oafish...that is why they need women.  Hahaha.  Oh, and a cheater will always be a cheater, a liar will always lie.  Remember that now.

9.  What doesn't kill you definitely makes you stronger.  When I was going thru post partum depression, I noticed these two bushes outside my home.  One had been virtually ignored, while the other had been carefully pruned every spring.  The one ignored had grown wild, yet sparse, with huge holes that bore no leaves.  The pruned one was strong and bushy, with beautifully vivid flowers.  The strong one had protection from the elements, the sparce one died eventually, not strong enough to protect it's roots.  Allow the pruning.  No matter how painful at the time, it allows you to grow in insurmountable ways.  You will flower and flourish. 

10.  Already?  Wow.  Tell the ones you love how you feel.  The more the better.  You never know when you'll never have the opportunity again.  And doesn't it feel wonderful to know you're loved?  Things are just things, work is just work, the people in your life are priceless.

There, see....I'm not superficial.  I do have conviction.  I could probably go on and on with more things that are important to me.  But I think I've made my point. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Men Fix Toilets (at least better than me...)

You know how when you start dating someone and you just love all their little *quirks* until the day comes when the little quirk becomes the biggest, most annoying thing you've ever experienced.

Take for instance, Mr. Ex.  When we first started dating and such, it was endearing that he could sleep through absolutely anything.  No, seriously, we're talking anything.  Especially his alarm.  It was cute, though, how he set the alarm, reset it, then reset it again, then checked to make sure another 5 times that he had set it properly.  And then he'd start on the second alarm on the other side of the room.  He'd sleep through them anyways, but at least he could say he'd set them. 

It was not so cute, however, when baby Q came along and he slept through every feeding, every diaper change, every cry, every everything, including the alarm.  Only now, there were three of them.  It became a 30 minute process just setting his alarms, for crying out loud.  And every morning, after I had just drifted off after being up all night with the newborn, alarm one would startle me out of my slumber.  30 seconds later, before the shock of the first alarm had dissipated, air raid siren #2 would go off in the other corner of the room.  Not to be out-alarmed, the third one would start blaring bloody murder about a minute after that.  Once I'd realize I wasn't in the middle of World War 3, I would roll over and...wake Mr. Ex up.  Usually by pushing him out of the bed.  It makes me livid all over again, just recounting the sound sleeper.

This one really annoyed me too...."Oh, I can't sleep toni....*snore*"  While I remained wide awake for another hour or so listening to the freight train that rumbled beside me.  But that one annoyed me from the start.

The new house.  Remember the toilet that flushed when I turned on the sink, and how I kinda liked its subtle reminder that it was there if I needed it...ya, it got to be not so much likable, and a whole lot annoying. 

I decided to fix it.  It was driving me bonkers.  It had decided to constantly remind me of its existence, especially in the middle of the night, until the point where all it did was run.  It was time.  How hard could it be, right?

Right.  Well, first of all...toilets are complex pieces of porcelain, the ins and outs of which I can't even begin to comprehend.  But it's running all the time, so the little arm thingy with the big ball just needs to be adjusted right?  Right.  So I grab my tweezers and try to adjust the screw, but it just keeps slipping so I go to the tool box (and by tool box, I mean underwear drawer) where I have a shiny screwdriver from the dollar store that Q bought me for Mother's day last year (I know, practical kid, huh?  Came with a wrench, also from the dollar store.  In a jewelry box he had made for me out of a Kool-aid box...which I absolutely love to this day!) and grab my handy dandy screwdriver and screw the um...screw tighter.  Now, before you ask how I knew which way was tighter, I will say this..."Righty tighty, Lefty loosy."  Priceless.  A better saying does not exist, as far as I concerned, when it comes to plumbing. 

Guess what, it worked.  I put the lid back on, turned to leave the room and I hear....running.  My running toilet.  Open it up, tighten again.  It stops.  I wait.  And I wait.  And then it starts running again.  So, I lift the arm thingy up a bit just to see if that's what the problem is...and the arm snaps off. 


Water is pouring everywhere.  I find the valve for the water shut off, and I freeze.  Is it lefty?  Is it righty?  Does the same law apply to water shut off valves?  I try both and finally something works.  The water stops pouring.  And I can see from the lower left hand side of the bowl this tube that isn't attached to anything....and it should be, I figure, attached to something.  That's the problem.  It wasn't the arm with the ball at all. 


I call my mom and ask her to call the land lord.  "Okay," she says.  "Just don't touch anything.  That way we can say it wasn't us.  It was just the toilet."


"Uh....okay.  I won't touch anything." 

"Hey, Q" I say once I've hung up on my mom.  "You wanna go to Home Depot?"

Turns out, you can't just buy the arm thingy with the ball.  You have to buy the whole thing.  I'm starting to get a little worried, but I am woman.  I can fix a friggen' toilet.  No problem.  If guys who can't figure out their waist size and buy jeans too big (uh...plumber's crack) can figure this out, certainly I can.  So I buy the whole thing.

Turns out, I can't just replace the top of it.  My toilet's an older model, so it only has three screws.  The new ones have four screws.  I know this because I went to three different hardware/plumbing stores before I conceded.  It also happens that you need more than a dollar store screw driver and wrench to fix this kind of thing.  It's got something to do with tight seals, and leaking and floods and stuff.

So, I call my mom.

"Uh, can you tell the landlord that the good news is I have all the parts he may require..."

"You tried to fix it, didn't you?"

"Yes.  But there's no more flooding...."

While he was there, he also fixed the shower head.  Woo hoo, I have water pressure!!!  My wrench couldn't fix that, either. 

Sometimes, I guess you do need a man.  Sometimes.

Like this weekend...when one is coming to mow our lawn out back.  Don't get me wrong, our big back yard is fabulous.  Mowing it, when 1/2 of it is up hill, you've left it for three and a half weeks, and Q is in between me and the lawn mower 'helping'...not so fabulous.