Saved by a Cupcake Recipe

This is huge. I baked with my daughter. I’m still waiting for my mom award. Baking is so not my thing. Big mixers intimidate me, so I don’t own one. I can’t even get Pillsbury cookie dough to come out looking even cookie-ish. Some are too small and crispy, others are uncooked, it’s really unpredictable. Imagine my delight when they invented the pre-cut ones, very convenient if you like the dough way better than the actual baked cookie. Why waste time preheating an oven?

Needless to say my kids have never known the smells of fresh-baked goods coming from our kitchen. It’s not like I don’t understand the importance of the bonding, it’s just I never felt my kids were deprived. They had a phenomenal day care provider who showed them all around flour and a rolling-pin. She is/was amazing and even though my kids don’t go anymore there are times when I still give thanks for all she did and one of those times was this weekend.

The Girl wanted to bake, “From scratch. No boxed stuff.”

I got totally defensive, “I can bake without a box.” Total lie.

She rolled her eyes and choose a red velvet cupcake recipe because she’s twelve and spiteful.

I tried to embrace the idea. The first thing I did was go out and buy a cheap hand mixer because I’d be damned if I was going to whisk until my weak nana arms reminded me of all the body sculpt classes I’ve missed. In the end I’m only hurting my own self esteem, right?

We looked up a cupcake recipe online. This one here, by Paula Dean. It looked simple enough, but that’s the thing with baking, it appears harmless until it kicks your ass and makes you feel like a loser. Baking is bullying. Self bullying. Sort of like cutting, but only with emotional scars.

We tried to commiserate the occasion with photos.

Just forget it…

Can you believe The Girl gave me permission to post these pictures? She’s one secure tween. I did manage one with her eyes open. They’re rare so I thought I would acknowledge it even though she doesn’t approve.

“OMG, Mom, my hair is wet!”

“But, you’re letting me post the ones with your eyes closed?”

Those are funny.”

Don’t ask me why we have a rolling-pin on the counter for a cupcake recipe.

So, we mixed all the dry ingredients as per the recipe. Don’t be jealous of my professional sifter.

Then we mixed the wet ingredients together and stared at the pink batter.

“Why is it pink?”

“Because it’s not baked yet,” I said, crossing my fingers.

We got out the new mixer and tried not to spray the cupboards, then put the cupcakes in the oven. That’s when The Girl went up to her room and left me to clean up. So I did, very passive aggressively until the timer went off. I said a prayer and pulled out the cupcakes with this thought in mind.

Except…

They looked about as appetizing as a sponge left out in the sun. Not a red velvet sponge, but a pink sponge. If SpongeBob and Patrick had sextuplets this is what they would look like. It’s hard to see in this picture just how pink they were, but The Girl wanted to call them Candy Floss Cupcakes.

Someone told me it might have something to do with the vinegar? The truth is I don’t really care. I’m not sad about it. I can accept some of my downfalls. I suck at baking and these cupcakes prove it.

“Total fail, Mom.”

“You were apart of this, you know.”

“You can’t bake. You better stick to a box.”

Obviously she’s taking no responsiblity, but on the bright side she’s given me permission to nix the baking which banishes any guilt I might have and leaves us to do our bonding at the mall.

Plus, she ate them anyway so it worked out for everyone.

By the way, I may not be a baker, but I can cook the hell out of a chicken breast, it’s just my kids don’t appreciate it nearly as much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vagina Is A Real Word.

My friend posted this on Facebook the other day. It made me smile. It also evoked some thought. There seems to be a lot of nonsense recently over the word Vagina. In June Lisa Brown, the Democratic state representative for West Bloomfield in Michigan – was gagged (figuratively) after house Republicans took exception to her using the word.

Really?  What was she supposed to call it, her Suzy?

And what about the new Carefree commercial that’s received numerous complaints over the words “vagina” and “discharge” being used.  Really? I’ve seen commercials for pharmaceuticals describing side effects a lot more horrifying. Hello? Oily rectal discharge?

In the words of my twelve year old daughter, “Ew, just ew.”

Who are these objectionable people? It makes me want to seek them out, hide and then jump out at them yelling, “VAGINA!”

Even Anastasia Steel (aka, Fifty Shades of Grey) calls it her “sex.”  You would think someone who allows pretty much anything done to her vagina would at least call it by name.

I can understand having personal pet names for it but when it comes to describing it for public purposes could we all just agree to stick to what it is? It would save everyone a lot of confusion. But really who am I kidding, there’s no way we would all agree on a new one. The list is endless.

Vajayjay, Suzy, Muffin, Ms Pussykins, Juice Box,  Snatch, Beaver, Cookie,  Foof, Muff, Coo-Kah, Honeycup, Twat, Woo-Who and my personal favourite “Vajazzle.”

Be grateful, I could go on for days…

I admit vagina, isn’t the best sounding word. It could’ve been sweeter, softer, gentler, but I doubt women had any say back when they were naming body parts. So we all know where it came from and let’s face it, it could’ve been worse. Besides there’s nothing gentle about the vagina. I don’t know about yours, but mine has taken a beating. I mean menstrual cycles, child birth, sex, not to mention the time I fell riding a guys ten speed or more recently when I was bitten square on by a gigantic black fly.

My vagina is tough. So I don’t think it needs a prissy name.

If you own one be proud. Because as I told a male friend of mine during a friendly argument, “Vagina trumps everything.”

And it does. It always wins. Think about it.

My Dad is Better Than Your Dad

Image from father2navy.com

One of my first memories of my Dad is of him yelling at me after I picked up a red hot bolt while trying to “help” sweep up his garage. He owned a Shell gas and service station in our small town and he had just gotten finished working on a car. Of course I screamed scaring him half to death. I would like to tell you he ran over and cradled me in his arms, but that would be to Leave It to Beaver-ish. I remember the smell of his work clothes, a combo of grease and gasoline, which I still love to this day. He plastered thick jelly onto my burn and continually asked me what the heck I was thinking? He wasn’t exactly a patient man.

We laugh about it now.

At 35 he had a heart attack which resulted in a triple bypass. He had a scar that ran from his throat to his ankle and every time I saw it I was reminded of how easily he could be taken from us.

The surgeon told my Mom the bypass could give him a maximum of 10 years. A secret she kept to herself until he died 23 years later, four months after I was married.  I can’t imagine the stress she was under counting down the years with two young girls to care for.

My Dad taught me how to ride a lawn mower and a mini bike both of which I always somehow jammed into the neighbours chain link fence. I can still picture him coming out the back door shaking his head. Or through the snow on the coldest days because I stalled the Ski-doo half way across the field.

Yes, maybe there was a reason he was impatient…

Lucky for me I got three traits from him;  my patience, deep forehead wrinkles and a freakishly long back with a hint of a butt attached.

Thanks Dad.

He was honest, humble, hardworking and kind. Everything a straight up man should be. He had the kindest eyes I’ve ever known and the most genuine smile. He whistled when he did chores, watched The Guiding Light (he’s gone now so I can tell you), ate chicken wings against doctors orders, loved Archie Bunker, stole smokes behind the shed and spent many hours in his “workshop” where he made tables, shelves and drank beer with his BFF.

Everyone in town knew him and liked him. He made no enemies.

He also snored like a freight train, wiggled his foot back and forth the entire time he watched TV and crunched chips incredibly loud. He built a pontoon boat with my uncle that almost sunk half way across the river. He smelled like Icy Hot, chewed Rolaids, always had dirt under his nails, took forever to BBQ anything, swore like a sailor when he thought I couldn’t hear, taught me how to whittle with a pocket knife, probably wished I was a boy and said he hated the dog but secretly loved him.

He hardly ever raised his voice but when he did shit was about to get real and whatever it was my sister or I had done you could be sure would never happen again.

He was an astounding Grandfather and had all the time in the world for my sister’s kids. Suddenly patience wasn’t an issue. I wish he could’ve met mine. What an incredible loss for them.

The moment my son was born I saw my Dad in his eyes. Now, when I watch him play ball and he sits all hunched over on the bench, the way I’ve seen my Dad sit a million times, I feel him there.

It’s been 13 years since I held his hand when he lost his last battle and I’m grateful to have been there, to have been able to say my goodbyes, to have had the extra years I didn’t know was borrowed time. What an incredible gift.

When we made the procession from church to cemetery, bells tolled and policemen came out of the station to salute him in the street as his body was driven past. I’ll never forget it.

My Dad was a man of honour, a master of duck tape, a trusted friend, and an incredible soul with a stubborn streak. No, he wasn’t perfect.

But I miss him every damn day.

Lie To Me

Last night I failed at dinner. Totally and utterly failed. This upsets me because I take my cooking personally. I like to try new recipes when I have the time which is usually Sunday. Except this Sunday seemed to get away from me as I attempted a magnificent Lemon Chicken with Croutons. You can find the recipe at the link below, (which pisses me off because I spent $50 on the cookbook). http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-chicken-with-croutons-recipe/index.html

What followed is too hurtful to post in detail. Let’s just say I underestimated the cook time, maybe burned my hand more than once, glued my hot, expensive pan to a plastic cutting board and had an adult sized pre-menstrual tantrum while Homer tried to avoid eye contact while slapping sandwiches together.

I announced I was too pissed to eat, grabbed a chocolate cupcake and walked past my family to go watch the Oscars. After a breather (two hours) and a glimpse at George Clooney, I went back and finished the dish and put it in the fridge for later.

Tonight I warmed everything up and served the dish as planned. The kids ate in between smart ass comments and Homer raced in the door, panicked to get the boy to hockey practice and ate fast before trying to make a getaway. It was then I noticed the crouton part of his supper still on his plate. I also noted he had left his plate on the table but this isn’t about that. This time.

So I asked, “Are you done?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Are you not going to eat the croutons?” Thinking he must be trying to cut out Carbs and silently wondering how long it would last.

“I didn’t like them.”

All the sound was sucked from the room. He didn’t like them? Really? This man witnessed my mental breakdown yesterday after trying to piece this meal together and he dared to say he didn’t like every last morsel?

He said it all nonchalantly too, like it was no big deal. Of course it was no big whoop, he didn’t have to make it. Yes, I like to cook but we aren’t siding with Homer right now and it adds nothing to the story. Besides like I said I was in no womanly condition to take criticism; I’ve been dieting, and haven’t had a class of wine in two months.

TWO MONTHS!

But, I’m fine.

The kids ran for cover.

“What? Do you want me to lie to you?”

Fair question. Here’s the answer. Yes. I do. I wanted him to eat everything and say it was the best thing ever…even if it wasn’t. And I mean that with every fiber of my being.

This reminded me of a couple of years ago when I was over at a friends house for lunch. She’d made us burgers and served chips and veggies on the side. I ate all of it. Then as we were talking, she brought up the subject of friendship and honesty. I started to get uncomfortable because she always had a reason for bringing up such topics.

“I think friends should always be honest and give their opinions.”

I nodded (I didn’t agree, but at least I didn’t lie out loud). I didn’t know where this was going so I was being cautious.

“For example,” she said.

Oh shit. Here it comes.

“I’ve noticed you have put on a few pounds.”

What? WHAT? Did she actually just say that to me? How did she expect me to respond? Was I supposed to thank her?

She was clearly confused between telling the truth when asked a question and just sucker punching someone in the face! What really threw me was she just volunteered the information. Did she think I didn’t know?

Oh my God, you’re right. I never noticed the waist of my jearns was trying to severe me at the torso. It’s a good thing you brought this to my attention before it got out of hand.

“I would want you to tell me.” She smiled sweetly.

I cocked an eyebrow and looked around for hidden camera’s before I told her how I felt about lying to friends, which is the same thing I said to Homer tonight and I will repeat here just so everyone is clear.

If I ever ask your opinion on how I look, how my cooking was or if I looked ridiculous in the short shorts and cowboy boots I wore to your cousin’s wedding, I want you to look me in the face and lie. Don’t ever, EVER tell me the truth. I want you to tell me I look fantastic. Always. Lie to me. I do not care. I give you permission to blow smoke all the way up my ass. You will not fry for your sin. Didn’t God want us to do unto others? I would never tell a friend she put on weight, not in a hundred million years. I will lie to your tripled chinned face and I expect you to do the same.

AND if you cook me dinner, I’m going to eat it, or spit it in my napkin, but make no mistake, if you ask me how it was I’m going to tell you it was fanfuckingtastic!

Ms. Honesty and I aren’t friends anymore. Not because of her obvious craziness, but because of her not so obvious craziness. One day I emailed her to tell her we couldn’t make it to a Christmas party (our daughter was sick..total TRUTH), she never returned my email and I didn’t pursue an explanation. I haven’t seen her since. Which is totally better than being around her and all her honesty.

So what do you say? Do you want the truth? Be honest now.

 

 

 

 

The Bachelor Canada (Muffs & Pucks Edition)

This Fall The Bachelor is coming to Canada. I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan. Although, I really can’t say I’m not a fan because I’ve never watched more than a few episodes. There‘s just something about women competing for one man that just drives me bat ass crazy. I don’t get it. If he didn’t pick me up front, right out of the limo, there isn’t a chance in hell I’m sticking around to see the end.

Not up in here, stud.

NOT. UP. IN. HERE.

Now I don’t want to make any enemies with the regulars. I’m not judging and I can’t very well take a moral high ground; being the biggest Big Brother fan ever really leaves me no room for criticism. But even though I have already determined this isn’t for me, I can’t help but think how the Canadian version will compare with its counterpart in the United States.

I can’t imagine it going over very well unless this guy is sporting some serious hockey hair and has a signed contract from the NHL in his back pocket.

Canadians aren’t exactly known for their cunning, conniving ways. How interesting will it be to tune in to a bunch of Canadian women hanging out in their Uggs and pyjama bottoms, drinking Double Doubles (that’s coffee, for the U.S. readers) while politely discussing who should be the lucky one to get a private date?

“Oh, no, you should really be the one to go, you haven’t gone yet.”

“No, I think he really likes you.”

“No, you go.”

“You really should go.”

“No, you go.”

“But I’ve already had time with him.”

“You’re so sweet, but I totally see you two together.”

“You’re so pretty.”

“I love your hair.”

Barf.

Even more entertaining will be watching these snow bunnies be stripped of their Lulu Lemon and poured into some Spanks and high heels. It makes me wonder what the criteria could possibly be to be cast in this spectacle.

  1. Must love hockey.
  2. Must understand and prove she knows the rules to hockey.
  3. Must support boyfriend who plays hockey.
  4. Must love to watch hockey…Constantly.
  5. Must be prepared to put manners aside and act like a complete fool for the sake of ratings.

Wouldn’t it be fun if the rose ceremony was in a pub with beer and wings instead of wine and tapas? Also, for promotional purposes all the girls could wear Roots sweatpants with their first names spelled out across their asses.

Although I’m not holding out for a Canadian ratings winner here, I do think we could pull ahead from the U.S. version in one distinct way. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a whole lot of romantic success for the “winning” couples from past shows, however I truly feel the couple of The Bachelor Canada will be together forever, if only because they don’t want to hurt the others feelings.

But, just for shits and giggles, if you want to try out for the Canadian cat fight I’ve put a link to the site here. At the very least you could score box seats to an NHL game on one of the dates; the stuff Canadian girls’ dreams are made of.

Bad. Ass. Dimples.

Whoever said dimples are cute has obviously not seen the ones on my ass. I was prepared for many things when I hit and rolled over 40; gray hair, saggy stomach, laugh lines, but I gotta say ass dimplage wasn’t even on the radar!

I have to admit, I haven’t exactly been pushing myself the last few years. I work out regularly but I eat and drink enough to cancel out my efforts. Yes I have stamina, but I also have ass dimples.

After my wine and food binge this weekend I was in a rush to get back to the gym. While dressing I quickly realized that in my gluttony haze over the weekend I neglected to do my laundry. I had one pair of shorts to wear to step class. Light grey, cheap material; I think I actually paid $7 for them. I hate them, but they had to do. Flash backs of the McDonald’s I’d inhaled in the Sobeys parking lot yesterday (don’t judge) shamed me into them.

Today is my new beginning. My fifth new beginning this year! I put on the shorts and got to the gym all motivated and repeating positive mantras to myself.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. You have to be strong. Only good things to eat; No alcohol (Lord help me). I know what you’re going to say; One glass of red wine is good for you. Well, here’s a heads up; I can’t drink just one glass of wine. I don’t see the point. I’m very much the same with chips. If the bag/bottle is open, I’m done. No self control. And if I start in with the wine, then the carbs are only moments behind. I like a little bread to soak up the alcohol.

Achem, where was I? Right…

At the gym the regulars gave me the once over and I took my punishment and held my head low as I got set up. The instructor was petite and I noted, older than me. It was then that I made the biggest mistake a person can make when getting back to the gym; Never ever underestimate the abilities of someone older than you. She ripped her jacket off to reveal a stomach so tight I think I gasped out loud. I never knew a stomach like that was possible at her age. Magnificent! That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to work out so hard people are going to gasp when I walk in a room. Of course, it didn’t occur to me this woman has been doing this for years, is extremely dedicated and probably doesn’t drink a bottle of wine and wash it down with a jumbo bag of Lays…but I digress.

So we get going and I’m feeling pretty good. Some of the routine was complicated and involved but I managed. And I think at one point I actually smiled. I was swirling around that step like no body’s business, that is, until I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Now I know, it’s a classic mistake but it happened and I can’t take it back. Clearly, I wasn’t as smooth as I felt. Just as I was doing the “revolving door” I saw my ass in these cheap shorts and there it was… A huge butt crater.  I wish I was kidding. It is gianormous and glaringly obvious in the pale coloured pants. I’m the first one to say Lulu Lemon is way over priced, but at least I can’t see butt dimples in them and to me that’s worth the $1000 dollars a pair!

Horrified, I beat hell out of there and went home to stare in judgement at my naked self. I think I actually pulled a back muscle twisting around. As it turns out I just don’t have one, but several.

Oh. My. God. How did this happen? I mean, they had to have been there for a while but I normally don’t go inspecting my ass cheeks on a regular basis. Why hadn’t Homer said anything? Oh, poor Homer! How do I get rid of them? Will diet work? Is there a wrinkle cream for dimpled asses?  Botox?  I always said I wouldn’t go the Botox route, I don’t want to look frozen but does it matter if my ass has no expression? I think not! In fact, it might give it a lift. Am I the only one who has thought of this?

Now I’m trying to talk myself back into a positive state of mind by looking for a bright side, but for the life of me I can’t come up with one situation where someone would want to have ass dimples.

Ughh, I gotta go make an egg white omelette and eat it with NO BREAD..sigh

Welcome Winter (Sort of)

I’m not a big winter person. There’s just not much in it for me. When I was a kid, it was a different story, but only because I had this awesome green snow suit with silver patches that made me look like Mork from Ork (Yes, I know his suit was “red” but I lived in the country and needed a good imagination)… AND I had a snowmobile with plenty of empty fields to run it in, but now I’m in a city with nothing more than a plastic sled from Wal-Mart.

I do enjoy watching winter sports, but sadly I suck at absolutely all of them. First of all, I can’t skate.  My brain refuses to transmit any rhythmical movement to my legs and I end up with an awkward step, step, glide situation that’s graceless and sans attractive.

I really, truly want to be one of those people that can careen down a mountain on two sticks without a care in the world, but I’m better off being the one by the fire with a fake
cast and a hot toddy.

Two years ago I went skiing for the first time with some girlfriends. I was having a real hoot until I was over taken with a false sense of security and left the bunny hill to go with them up a lift. Well, naturally I fell to the ground as soon as my skis hit the snow and couldn’t get up. I had to roll out of the way of oncoming passengers which made me laugh so hard I peed my snow pants. My last memory of that hill was my friend’s voice calling out, “Oh My…Oh Goodness… PIIIZZZAAAA”….

So with seeing the first flakes of snow fall recently I felt I better nip this negative attitude in the bud or it will be a long, cold winter. So I decided to make a list of 10 things I like about it so I can refer back when I’m cursing my frozen car doors.

  1. Red Wine – There is hardly anything better than a cold night and a nice glass of Boudreaux…or five. The glass is all so romantic and stylish looking. What isn’t so great is the headache that follows, but as a woman I’m more than willing to feel a little discomfort in order to be fashionable.
  2. Christmas Trees – I love them. They possess the same meditative relaxation as a camp fire. Unfortunately, they don’t provide warmth unless you set them on fire, which is obviously, frowned upon.
  3. Falling – There is nothing I love more than seeing a total jerkface slip on a piece of black ice and bust his ass.  Side note: Even if you aren’t a jerkface, I’ll still laugh. Sorry, but it’s hard wired in my system, no offense. I will help you up though just as soon as I get control of myself.
  4. Snow Storms – Really deep down, I love them. I only hate them when I have to drive, but since I’m technically unemployed for at least part of this winter, I’ll enjoy watching them while secretly mocking the working class people in the traffic jam on TV. Karma’s a bitch, I know.
  5. Shovelling – Only if it isn’t stupid cold out. There’s really a sense of community on my street when we all go out to shovel after a big snow. For that moment we’re living in a Norman Rockwell painting and forget about all the crap we hate each other for.
  6. Snowballs – I`m probably the worst mother ever but I love pelting my kids with snowballs. It’s the only time you get to abuse them so take advantage. Of course when they get older you’re in for shit loads of trouble so enjoy your time while their young.
  7. Christmas – This year I swear to like it. Past years have been so stressful with all the prep work and working full time; it really makes a woman resent it. Well, this year I say screw it; I’m going to like you Christmas…I’m even going to bake regardless if it sucks.
  8. Winter Wear – This is awesome. Now when I bring my kids to school, I don`t necessarily have to be “completely” dressed. I can still be sporting my penguin pyjama top with no bra under my coat. I don’t even have to brush my hair, just shove a hat on and get going.
  9. Sweaters – A tag on #8. Sweaters allow you the freedom to not worry about your back fat or your chicken wing underarm for a few months… if you get one large enough.
  10. Tobogganing– There is nothing more pleasant than watching someone (usually a middle aged man) try to make recreational tobogganing an Olympic event. Watching them call on their own eight year old boy with nothing more than a piece of plastic and whiskey in their veins makes my heart sing. There is truly nothing better.

And that’s it. I can’t think of one other single thing Winter is good for, can you?

Sleep Alone? Yes, Please!

It’s finally happening. People all over are starting to come around to my way of thinking, well, at least on this one issue…but, it’s a start.  It’s taken some time but finally couples are starting to see the benefits of sleeping alone…GASP!

A 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found 11% of married or partnered couples don’t share the sheets with their significant other. I know it’s only a low percentage but sign me up because I’m totally on board.

This is no news to my husband (whom for this post I shall refer to as Homer). He knows if we had a room to spare and he agreed to sleeping in separate beds that I’d be all over it like a fat kid on a Smartie…And I just might get my chance, I just have to move to Britain by 2015 because according to the National Association of Homebuilder’s, 60% of new houses there will have “his and her” master bedrooms by then.

I better start planning my move because I’m getting me one of those houses!

Is it wrong to want to sleep alone? It’s not that I’m in a loveless marriage (please don’t send me inquiring emails) I love me some Homey, it’s just that I prefer to have a bed to myself. I have a hard time getting to sleep, my mind is in a constant state of GO!!  So, when I fall asleep I like to remain that way. And if for some reason you disturb me, well, let’s just say you better bring protection.

When I was working full time I would be in bed before Homer so I could try and fall asleep before he came to bed, it was my only chance to fall asleep gracefully. Somehow this worked to a degree because if he woke me when he came in with his moving, tossing, gas passing business then I would already kind of be relaxed and had a better chance of falling back asleep.

But now that I don’t have to get up so early, I go to bed later, which means most of the time we are turning in together. This is not working for me. He seems to be doing just fine. Albeit, he has his own issues with sleep but they seldom have anything to do with me.

I settle in with my pillow tucked under my neck, turn on my right side and stare for about fifteen minutes, making sure not to get too close to Homer because I hate to be touched when I’m sleeping. Yes, I have lots of rules. Then, I move onto my back and lie there like a plank of wood and wait for sleep. Just when I’m dozing off, nine times out of ten, Homer clears his throat or does one of his famous double rotations with a twist and startles me awake causing my anxious little heart to race. And the cycle begins again.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame him, I mean I guess he can move if he wants to but it’s very disturbing.

Lately though, well, two times this week he has taken his life in his hands by waking me up because apparently I’ve been snoring; I must add here that I never snore, but Homer has been known to let a few lose after a night with Bud Light. I know he’s getting a little of his own medicine by having to deal with this interruption and that should be satisfying but somehow it’s overshadowed by knowing that I’m snoring and not lying peacefully like Snow White. Snoring is so not sexy.

The kicker to all this is those two nights when he woke me, I was having the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. So you see, if we could agree to sleep in different rooms (with mandatory options for midnight visits) we could snore, flip, fart and scratch our way into a better night’s sleep. We would wake up refreshed and ready to tackle another day with possibly enough energy left over for a “conjugal visit” before retiring.

Your room or mine?

To Hell In A Hand Basket

This post is long, but so true. I can’t make this shit up.

I had a customer service day from hell.  I noticed my online file with a government agency was incorrect. They had an important date wrong in their system. I know because I have a photocopy of the original. Thinking it would only take a second to fix (my first mistake) I dial the 800 number provided under their heading, “We’re ready to help you.”

It rang busy six times before I was lucky enough to talk to the automated attendant.  Of course then I had to monkey around with pushing one, then enter my social insurance number and my password, then push two, then one, only for the computer to recite the same wrong date. Good, I think, I’m finally to the part where I get to push zero for a real live person.

“We’re sorry we are experience a high number of calls. Please return to the automated information line or hang up and call back later.”

Obviously, they had no idea who they were dealing with. I hang up and call back and keep calling back (because that’s who I am) until their computer finally identifies that my
SIN has been entered eight times and finally puts me in sequence. However, “the call volume is high.”

Was that supposed to scare me? I’ve got time. I call their bluff and wait. After about five minutes Angie picks up.

“Can I help you?”

I always fall for it; they set you up right away pretending to want to help you.  I tell her the issue with the date. It says 2010 when it should say 2011. She asks me some
security questions and then punches some buttons.

“Is says 2010.”

“Yes, I know. That’s why I’m calling,” I said with absolutely no tone whatsoever.

“Well, I’ll put a discrepancy in the system and have them look into it.” Then she continues to tell me the multitude of red tape that had to occur to fix it.

First of all who are they? They are everywhere, doing everything. Don’t they
get tired? I sense her about to hang up. “How long will it take?”

“5-10 days.”

This is a standard answer. I know because I used to give it for a living. So I explain that it doesn’t need investigating it’s an obvious key punch error. I have a photocopy of the original document in front of me, the date is 2011.

“Well, I don’t have the copy in front of me, just what’s on my computer.”

Sigh.  Obviously Angie had a big lunch because she doesn’t want to go digging through files for paperwork.

“Do you have access to the original copy?”

“I can get a scan of it.”

“Okay. I’ll wait.”

Angie hates me. She drops the phone, probably mumbled to her co-workers and made crazy hand gestures to the phone; maybe even flipped me the bird.  Hey, I’ve been there and I’ve seen worse.

“Okay I have the document. It says 2010.” Suddenly Angie’s voice has a hint of snarky.

Now I’m flabbergasted because I’m starring at a photocopy that clearly says 2011. “Are you sure you’re looking at the right document, #999654?”

“Yes.”

“A scan of the original?”

“Yes.”

There’s a problem here somewhere. “Where is the original?”

“Nova Scotia.”

Sigh. For those who don’t know me, I live in Ontario. For those that don’t know Canada; this document might as well be at the North Pole. Of course I know she doesn’t control where the originals go, so I’m still trying to be supportive. See how I’m working with her here?

“Well, something has been clearly mixed up. Since you have access to scanning can you email me a copy of what you’re looking at?”

“It clearly says 2010, but I can put in a request that you require a copy and they will mail you one.”

Again with the they, “And how long does that take?”

“5-10 days”.

Again, I’ve been on the other side of this conversation and she’s going to do nothing further to help me.

“Please send it.” I give the necessary details and hang up. This is not over, I think as I leave to pick the kids up from school. If I hurry I can make it to the local office before it closes and maybe they can clear this up quickly.

I drag the kids there all grumpy and hungry (me and them) and went in. The lady was very pleasant and sort of smushy and warm like how I like to think of Grandmas. She
takes my paper and looks up my account. Clearly on their system someone had typed in the date, my original is handwritten. So it wasn’t a scan after all. Angie,
you did me wrong.

“Well, you are absolutely right we’ll get that fixed up right away.”

I was kinda disappointed; she had really struck me as the type of person who would’ve said, “In a jiffy.”

“When will that be?” I asked.

“5-10 days…”

You would think the day would have ended there, but alas, it did not. If you still have the strength, read on…it’s worth it.

By this time, I’ve had it. My daughter is in tears because she had a terrible day dealing with hormonal grade six girls and she was “starving!” I tried to be sympathetic but really all I wanted was a glass of wine and some chips.

“Hey kids eat free on Tuesday,” said my young, innocent and yet to be scorned son.

The advertising restaurant (who shall remain nameless…Oh, who gives a shit, it was Denny’s. That’s right; those who judge shall be judged themselves…or something like that) was right across the parking lot. Well, I’m no dummy. This is the answer to my prayers, who cares if it’s 4pm.

In we go; kids instantly happy. I looked around. There was no one, I mean NO ONE in this restaurant but us, two waitresses and a cook. I’m concerned, but I feel myself
being lead to our table.

The kids order a hot chocolate, but their machine is broke, so they get lemonade and pizza. At this point I wanted a big greasy burger and fries to wash down the distain, but I did a bunch of self talk as I looked at the menu, which had more grease on it (I mean physically on it) then I wanted in my entire meal. I decided on grilled chicken on a whole wheat bun and a salad. And begrudgingly, a Diet Coke.

A bit later the waitress came back with my salad. The same salad you get in a bag at the grocery store. Now I know what I’m getting at these restaurants but did they have to make it so obvious?  Iceberg lettuce, bits of red cabbage and the dried up shreds of carrot? Yummy.

It didn’t matter. I ate it. But, like the kids pointed out, “Where the heck are our drinks?”

The waitress comes back and announces they have no whole wheat buns. What other kind of bun would I like?

“Well, do you have multigrain or rye?” I don’t know what I was thinking.

She tells me she “doesn’t know their names” and went to get a menu so she could point to the pictures of sandwiches.  As it turns out, my choices were a white bun or bread.

I tell her bun and she goes away. But, shit what about out drinks?

I look to the kitchen where I can see her behind the glass reading the paper. She must have forgotten. Give her a break I tell myself, you’re extra sensitive right now. Finally
she starts to fiddle with some plates.  With her bare hands, I watch her arrange our veggies on a plate. She grabs a handful of Goldfish crackers and puts them in a bowl, leaving a few in her hand that she promptly pops in her mouth, fingers and all. And if that wasn’t enough, she picks up more veggies and places them on the plate.

Was she kidding me? My first reaction was to walk out. But it quickly occurred to me that I would have to cook dinner. Plus, my daughter would go absolutely, hormonally ape shit if she didn’t eat soon and although I don’t let her rule the roost there are times when I just can’t deal with it.

“Excuse me, but I’ll need you to wash your hands and re-plate these,” I said to her before she could leave. “I saw you eating with your fingers in your mouth while you were getting this.”

She nods, clearly confused and takes our plates back to the kitchen.

My daughter says, “Um, our drinks?”

Crap! I forgot to ask again!!

I watch her wash her hands and plate the (hopefully clean, but doubtful) food. She brings them and my chicken sandwich. No pizza. No drinks.

“Can we have our drinks?” I finally say.

I have to mention again that up until then, we were the ONLY ones in the restaurant. I mean, she wasn’t exactly busy.

She disappears, clearly shaken. At this point the other waitress springs into action (not really but whatever) and seats another couple beside us. It also should be noted that these two came in with NO KIDS. Why on earth would you eat there unless you had kids that could eat for free?!

Our waitress brings the kids pizza. We all stare at her.

“Drinks?”  We say in unison.  She disappears, I assume to spit in our food.

I hear the man beside us asks if the turkey club is made of lunch meat or real turkey. A fair question I think.

“Oh,” says Waitress #2, “we’re outta turkey.”

OUT OF TURKEY!…SERIOUSLY?

Our drinks arrive, but I’m too busy listening in on the conversation next to us to acknowledge it.

The lady wants nachos, but doesn’t want the peppers, they give her heartburn.

“I’m sorry, they can’t make them without peppers because earlier in the day we cut up the onions, tomatoes and peppers and put them in the same bowl to save time.”

The woman just stares at her and then looks around at the empty restaurant.  Hey, at least her waitress was sorry!

I look at my son who was staring at his dinner like it was dipped in ass and scoffed down my sandwich figuring if I eat it fast, it might stop my gag reflex.

“I know I`m in public but I have to fart,” he says out of the blue.

I nod and tell him to do it at the waitress station.

He doesn’t because I raised him to behave better than how I tell him.

“How much did you tip her?” He asked on our way to the car.

“I told her not to pull on Superman’s cape. That’s a good tip.”

“We better get moving, what if she comes after us?” he said, concerned.

“I’d like to see her try.”

“Would you punch her in the face?”

“Probably,” I said, just totally done.

“I would to then.”

“Me too,” says my daughter.

They make me smile.

Spinning Out Of Control

I was late. My heart accelerated the closer I got.

Please let me get there before her.

I pull into the parking lot, park and grab my water bottle, towel and gym membership. I speed walk to the front doors, scan my membership and bolt through the security doors. Out of breath before I even start.

I’m first! Yay me! 

I scored my favourite bike at Spinning class. I had won the race before my butt even had a chance to get chaffed from the seat and it felt awesome.

The same woman and I have been doing the dance with this particular bike for five weeks. She knows it and I know it. There are at least 25 bikes to choose from and the max number of people who have ever attended a class are six. So there is no doubt we have fallen for the same cycle.

Nothing hurts more than walking in to see her sitting pretty on my ride. Don’t get me wrong, I have no ill will toward this woman, as far as I know she could be a fabulous human being, a real Mother Teresa, but at that moment only one word comes to mind.

Bitch.

And today, when she rounded the corner smiling at me and began adjusting a less superior bike I knew what was on her mind.

Right back at ya.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, I do have bigger things to worry about considering I left my job 3 months ago and money is a little tight. But if you’re thinking that all bikes are the same (like I did in the beginning) then you would be wrong. It’s like sleeping in a strange bed; it’s just not the same. Besides, it’s not just the bike, it’s
where it’s positioned; just slightly off center to the instructor, close enough to hear but far enough away that she can’t tell when I’m not increasing my resistance as much as I should. And most important, it’s right underneath the fan, which is the ultimate bonus.

I know, it’s a little foolish. When I first started, I was stunned at the fanatical relationships people had with particular bikes. The class was clicky. I felt like I was back at school. One man would actually elbow you if you so much as looked at his bike. And if you were a newbie and accidentally saddle up on his baby, he would stare you down until you got so uncomfortable that you would never show your face there again.

They scared me, but luckily now that I’m unemployed (I’m grasping for upsides here) I don’t have to go to that crazy ass class anymore. I can go to a morning class, where people are calmer because the day hasn’t beat the snot out of them yet. We are nice to each other and don’t announce any distain for not getting our favourite bike. We suffer in silence like adults.

A different crazy ass group where our only oddity is the older gentleman who wears his racquetball goggles during class; which I find more eccentric than psychotic given that I’ve never ever seen him with a racquet or a ball.  Maybe he’s been around the block
for a while and wears the goggles for protection in case he mistakenly takes someone else’s ride.

On a side note, I wouldn’t be surprised if he also sports a cup. He’s just that kind of guy.

You know what’s funny? Not getting my bike is more distracting than having
racquetball man beside me conquering his highest mountain for 60 minutes.

Enough said.