Thursday, November 25, 2010

I know I am ahead of the curve, but hoping to head off any more 2010 catastrophes by wrapping things up a little early. I believe it was in her 1997 New Year’s address that Queen Elizabeth said it was a year she “would no look back upon fondly”. 2010 has been my 1997. I don’t know if it is the 20 or the 10, or the combination of the two, but good times, it was not. Sincerest hopes that it was not the 20 or this is going to be a really bad century.

My castle was not ravaged by fire, but with the loss of two uncles, a cousin and my father, let’s just say there have been brighter years on the calendar. Optimistic is a word I would use to describe myself and I try to find the silver lining wherever I can.

It has been a chance to come closer as a family and, we hope, realize that life is short so we better make the most of it. Sorting through dad’s things, I have also stumbled across a few things that have reminded me just how wonderful it was growing up in our family.

While there have been some grumblings about his pack rat ways, the man never met a tuna can he didn’t put soil in and plant a seed, we have found some treasures amongst the ‘trash’.

He kept a reel-to-reel tape recorder that would compete with any jumbo 1980’s VCR in terms of size and a few old tapes of us as children. IronGirl got her hands on it one day after I upset her, probably not justified, and after saying my name, repeatedly stated what a f**k I was. Shocking, but good for a laugh.

We have become cautious about putting things in bins for charity as we have discovered numerous books with money stuffed between the pages. A paper peso from 1945 and a Trinidad and Tobago $1 bill from 1964~ odd since the man was never in either country?

Mother sorted through a huge box of cards that yielded a couple treasures. One year for Christmas, my brother gave my Catholic mother and Presbyterian father a Happy Hanukkah card. I guess he was distracted by the glitter covered poinsettia on the front. You'd think that would have been my excuse. Now, for those that don’t use ‘that’ word in your homes (and you know who you are), skip the next paragraph.

There was a birthday card from my grandmother. It was one of those painted by what we now call a ‘handicapable’ person. But back before being PC was expected, the inscription “Happy Birthday from the retarded people” seems to have been appropriate. Maybe not, but it was in there anyway.

My favourite item to date has been a cassette tape, recorded in the 1980’s based on the boom-box it was found in, that has my dad interviewing his father. He asked him about his life and what growing up on the farm was like. The best story, in my humble opinion, was about his uncle’s prize winning sheep.

It begins with my grandfather saying that ‘motor cars’ were just starting to appear on the roads. One day, he and his brother were given the responsibility of caring for this blue ribbon winner, but as they were bringing it out of the barn, began horsing around and the door slammed on its neck and killed it.

Not wanting to get into trouble, they knocked down a piece of fence and dragged the carcass to the street so it would like the sheep had escaped and been hit by a car. It reminded me of a certain hair gel incident that got my sister into a lot of hot water, courtesy of yours truly. Maybe that was the day she made the recording.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


You will excuse me if I offer that most sincere form of flattery to Seth and Amy and ask ~ Really? Are you serious? If you don’t know what I am referring to:

So I’ve been in a bathroom stall before doing my business and can hear people next to me clicking away on there blackberry’s, cell phones and what have you. Responding to e-mails and texts, really? I know you can wash your paws after, but how do you wash your hand held device? And I mean the electronic one. I mean really?

Chatting with a former co-worker the other day and laughing at the aforementioned etiquette, or lack thereof, she mentioned that her friend thinks nothing of chatting on the phone while sitting in the WC. And there is no hiding that either, the echo alone would give away one’s locale. I know I’m not in the room, but still, really, are you serious?

But my WTF, OMG are your serious moment was today when I found an empty yogurt container, complete with plastic spoon sticking out of it, perched atop the toilet paper roll dispenser. How hungry are you, or badly did you have to go, that you couldn’t take that extra 30 seconds to eat at your desk? Really, are you serious? I mean, doesn’t that affect the flavour?

Of course, he could have needed the yogurt's help… Jamie Lee Curtis:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

On a wing and a prayer

All I can say is thank goodness for safety pins, duct tape and fishing line. Without these three things, my last minute Halloween costume would not have been possible. If I hadn’t flip-flopped between Stefon, Cruella and where I ended up, I could have actually made the costume, but as it was, I was pressed for time.

IronMan sat patiently cutting fishing line into certain lengths while I hacksawed into a jumbo sonotube. Add some leftover cushion stuffing, drape the fabric and voila, dress complete. Creating a fake neck was my biggest challenge but after a suggestion from Kitkat and a mask from Fauntleroy, all become clear and I saved myself an elaborate fan to cover mistakes on the back.

This headless Marie Antionette, who FYI had a very long neck and was about 8 feet tall, costume, in the grand scheme of things, was on the cheaper side. The majority of fabric was leftover from my bedroom walls, the jacket re-cycled from my Scarlet O’Hara costume and the head was a pre-purchased decoration.

I spent an additional $40 on fabric and $19 on a wig. Not as cheap as Lizzy Borden, but much cheaper than Scarlet, although she has now practically paid for herself.

Head in hand, our smaller than usual group ~ two day of the dead dolls, Frankenstein & his Bride and King Tut ~ hit Church Street and let me tell you darlings, we were the hit of the evening!

I did have a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction however. Given the size of my costume I had to dress the Fire Hydrant's place and realised I forgot my boobs. Two zip-lock bags, a few cups of sugar, some duct tape and 3 minutes later all seemed rectified. We underestimated however the weight of sugar.

While my left chest stayed in place, the right side, ever so slowly started moving down. One adjustment must have been a little too much and I was soon leaving a sweet trail down the street in my wake. Oh well. I kept it covered with my decapitated head.

You can always judge your success by how often you are stopped on the street and I can honestly say none of us took more than 3 steps without being swarmed by the masses. It was FABULOUS! Fools that we are, we didn’t get a group shot of ourselves.

Thanks for another fabulous year! And here I was thinking I was getting too old for this.