Thursday, December 27, 2012

Delicious Drool

14 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
This happened about 10 minutes ago.

Pretty gross, and I haven't even been able to eat yet today. Thanks, dogs.


Gross: My great dane, Schultz, just shook his head heartily from across the room. A big, long goobery drool flew off and landed on my hubs' laptop lid.

Grosser: I realized all the dog spit cloths are in the dryer, so I looked at it for a second, but didn't wipe it up. The kleenex box is way over there, and the laptop lid looks pretty gross already. Right? Riiight?


Grossest: Ella, the lab, came along, sniffed the laptop case, and licked up the dane's drool. She ate it completely. Blaaaaaaaargh.

The moral of the story: This is why dogs shouldn't have chocolate**. The deliciousness would be wasted on them, since they are content with cat turds, poop and each other's saliva.


** And the fact that chocolate is toxic and can kill them if they have too much or too pure. Like coke for people. Not the drink, the powder. Ahhh, nevermind.

________
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Air Canada and Passenger Fu

2 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Recently heard on the loudspeaker, while waiting to board Air Canada Flight 033 departing Toronto, Ontario, bound for Vancouver, BC:

"Paging passenger Fu."

*silence*

"Air Canada paging passenger Fu... passenger Fu..."

*pause*

"EFF YOU"

*I laugh heartily out loud, and the speaker system flicks off*

'Tis the season and all.

_______________
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Elvis & The Vancouver Christmas Market 2012

4 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Go ahead.

I can feel you judging me from there already.

I can practically hear you snickering at the assertion I'm making in the title of this post.

But it's true.

I really did leave the house and go to the 2012 Vancouver Christmas Market. I know, I realize it's shocking.

It required me to both change out of my pajamas AND brush my teeth in the same hour. It was utterly exhausting.

But after we paid $10 to enter, sacrificed an arm and a leg to get some mulled wine and apple cider, the unthinkable happened.

Elvis showed up.


I am not talking some two-bit weekend actor playing the part. I'm not referencing the on-site entertainment consisting of the woman playing various-sized cowbells alongside the gentleman equipped with the accordion. No. I mean motherf_cking Elvis.

A bit of history:

When I was a wee lass, my mother had an extensive Christmas album collection on vinyl. It consisted of THIS GUY singing all your favourite holiday hits:

The bouffant. The realistic back drop. The uber-relaxed posture. The epitome of Christmas, that Elvis.


What else was in the collection? Well... that was it, actually. But the record had TWO sides, so it was double your Elvis pleasure.

I recently found BOTH sides of this nostalgic album on YouTube to enjoy over and over again, like the days of my youth. I quite like it. My mom LOVES it. Interestingly enough, it would seem that the Hubs HATES it.

So he's been forced to listen to it maybe six or more times already in the past few days.




Fast forward to the Vancouver Christmas Market, 2012...

I saw an alpaca teddy bear I wanted. It was $55. I did not get it.
I saw a pretty Christmas ornament, that I assume must be handmade or else equipped with a high gold content, for $27.
I saw a stick with fruit on it that cost about $6.50, but hey, they'd dip it in chocolate for you!
I saw lots of good looking carbs, all fairly expensive in my eyes.

I saw a candle for $17. A single small candle. For $17.

You know what? There was no fudge. None.

I saw a massive lineup for french-fried potatoes on a stick. Call it a tornado and they will come.
My friend got a small hot chocolate. I believe it cost her $5 or $6. Not artisan chocolate, or specialty hot chocolate, or German chocolate. Just "Christmas Market" hot chocolate, at low, low Christmas Market prices.

But then my pessimism was halted. My focus? Redirected. My mind.... = blown.

On the loudspeaker, what rained down like an eargasm on a rare non-rainy day in the city?

You guessed it.  Spongebob Squarepants   Mariah Carey's horrible song on loop   Metallica  Elvis mother-effin' Presley and his Christmas album. In stereo. In loud, beautiful stereo. The Hubs stood slack-faced with his ridiculously overpriced pretzel in hand, as I danced about with jazzy hands singing along at top volume.

Our new friends (who invited us) may have even been embarassed.

But at least we got legit Elvis at the market. My mom is going to be sooo jealous.

________

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

$400 off a kitchen appliance? Me, break nice things?

6 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Yeah.

Skimming through the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales was relatively disappointing. But I can tell you, with certainty, the one phrase that will make me click away faster than a dog caught looking at cat porn on its owner's laptop.

The phrase:

"Save $400 on the _______________ for your kitchen! Today only!"

Da Fahq?

Rule #1: If you are SAVING $400, you are going to have to bleed to pay for it in the first place. Hell, even at 50% off, that's terrifying.


I would most certainly sever an artery with those pricey knives, and what the hell is with the overpriced, wonky silverware? If I'm going to pay that much for spoons, don't make using a knife even harder for me, the Bay.


Rule #2: If it is a kitchen appliance/accessory, I am not interested. If it is an expensive kitchen appliance/accessory, I will (and do) run, screaming, as fast as my feeble legs will carry me in the opposite direction.

Rule #3: The more expensive something is, the faster I accidentally break it/destroy it in the laundry/accidentally spill bleach on it/lose it.


Don't even get me started on a VitaMix.


There is a method to my madness. My $15 Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen watch? That baby lasted me over 12 years, until I dropped it rushing through my anxiety-laden trip at the Vancouver airport in July. The second hand busted off inside the watch, and it was cost prohibitive to fix.

:...(  *tear* My old tried and true, that fit on my wonky, scrawny wrist. That had more spent on batteries over the years than on the watch itself...

I hummed and hawed and debated getting an actual "grown up" watch, but I was super hesitant because I know how I operate. I knew the life of said "adult" watch would be limited. 

I finally bought myself a spiffy new Skagen watch - worth over 7 times as much as my original, beloved watch from the Twins from Full House - and I accidentally placed it too close to the edge of the bathroom counter.

It slips to the floor, passionately kisses the ceramic tile, and ends up with a crack the glass face from the tryst. This happened after already denting and damaging the steel band from being so swift as to wear it while we moved furniture in and out of the house for our move.

I leave it for a few days and attempt to wear it anyway, only to discover it is now fully cracked, and fully f_cked.

I actually cut my finger inspecting it. I clearly need Playskool branded wares.


And, to quote my very own mother, this is why I can't have nice things.

So, I tend to stick with what's safe. Corelle dishes from Canadian Tire. Cheap watches from Wal-Mart. Kitchen Aid blenders on clearance from nearly-defunct Zellers. Shit that you EXPECT to break, that often far outlasts when you think it will.

In my case, quality doesn't necessarily trump quantity. When you are this accident-prone, you need to take proactive measures. If you come over for dinner and I offer you a paper plate, now you'll know why.


__________________
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Dear Insomnia:

6 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Dear Insomnia:

Piss off.

Love,
Me


___________
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Wedding Wire is full of shyte.

10 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
So, when I was a stressed out bride, I was searching all over the place trying to find reputable, real-person reviews of hair and make-up places, DJs, etc., so I could get the real scoop on services out there.

The best review is an honest one, so that is what I sought out.

There are a few websites that claim to offer real reviews on vendors, DJs, caterers, hair stylists and make-up artists, and pretty much ANYTHING you could possibly think of that you might want at your wedding.

We didn't go over the top. We tried to keep costs reasonable. I read quite a few sites, but found a lot of Ontario vendors on WeddingWire.com. You would have thought this was a good thing. I thought so, too. I learned fairly quickly that this wasn't the case.

I stressed about my hair and make-up, like any vain bride is wont to do. I didn't want to look like I was covered in spackle, but at the same time, I kind of wanted to be covered in spackle so as to hide the innumerable flaws on this mug-o'-mine.

I looked around. I debated. I contacted, and found that the top two I liked the most were already booked for the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Then I came across Mobile Makeovers. It looked pretty snazzy, with the "before" and "after" pictures where ordinary normal women appeared glamorized and beautified with magic.

It never occurred to me until later that there ARE things like Photoshop and sneaky marketing. DUH.

I went with my mom. I paid a deposit on May 3, 2011 for me and my ladies via Paypal to Mobile Makeover's owner, Alexandra. A while later, in September, I went for a trial run.

DEAR GOD WOMEN, ALWAYS TRY THE TRIAL RUN.

This is my face without make-up on a given day:

Dorky sexpot? No... not really. Moving on...



I have to say that Alexandra was nice enough and polite during the trial. But when I asked for a pale green eyeshadow, she didn't have it. She said she would use something close. Apparently that means PURPLE eyeshadow. I wanted a light blush. Didn't have that either.

Also? I sat in a room without the lights on or the blinds fully open, while she painted on the foundation. I cannot EMPHASIZE ENOUGH that light is required in order to see what the hell you are doing! In any situation! Unless you're working a dark room!

And after Mobile Makeovers finished my make-up in an unlit room, this is what I looked like:

WTF? Shiny. Waxy. Purple-y.


I was smiling because I hadn't seen myself yet.

Now, I know some folks prefer a more dramatic look. I, however, was not SEEKING the whore/streetwalker look for my wedding. It took all I had not to cry when I looked in the mirror. At this point, time was running out, and there was no freakin' way that I was letting Mobile Makeovers do my face.

My face after I got out to the car:

BOO, motherf_cker. Pretty natural, as requested, right? I really like how it looks like there is a dark circle of makeup around both eyes, top and bottom.


My husband thinks I look good without make-up. I didn't think he'd be pleased that I looked like a $5 whore. I figured I was worth AT LEAST a solid $250.

I hadn't wanted him to see what style my hair would be, but me and mom decided we had to stop at his work to show him just how... er... um... PRETTY? I looked.

He actually laughed. And he's a very polite fellow. I think I warranted about a two dollar coin at this point.

I ended up panicked the same day at the Keora Aveda salon in Burlington, Ontario begging the make-up artist Ashley F. to help me, and asking her if all wedding make-up had to be that thick and that poor.

Thank goodness she was awesome. She gave me stuff to wash my face and redid everything. On the day of the wedding, she went above and beyond and I was thrilled with how patient, kind and GOOD at her job she was.

Ashley F. was fantastic. The lipstick choice was my own (I bought it at Sephora two days before) and regrettably more peach than I wanted, but that was alllll me. Ashley was such a pro.


Here's the great part. I paid Mobile Makeovers a deposit, as well as for the trial run. I felt that I had a moral obligation to share my experience with other brides because.. well, holy shit, those photos speak for themselves.

I posted my review to WeddingWire.com ... remember them?

Turns out that the owner of Mobile Makeovers disputed my review and said that I had never done business with her and that I was not telling the truth.

'SCUZE ME?
The F_CK??

So I sent WeddingWire.com my screen shots of my PayPal transfer, the photos of the make-up, and forwarded the email threads from Mobile Makeovers.

They said the merchant still disputed it.

THEN, Mobile Makeovers sent me an email begging me to take down my review. She said that she would refund my money if I would take it down. I felt that was wrong, because a customer should be able to hear ALL experiences, not just the good ones.

I may have added my own tag line up there in blue.


Turns out WeddingWire.com didn't want to upset her, so they pulled my review, even though I have all of the proof to back it up. So while Mobile Makeovers tried to bribe me, turns out WeddingWire.com just needed to call me a liar and the review was gone.

So, world, consider this my review of WeddingWire.com and Mobile Makeovers in the Toronto area of Ontario.

EDIT: Just found this on WeddingBee where other brides have had the same experience. Weddingwire.com is full of shit. Look elsewhere!

I also had something not complimentary with my experience with Rockin' Robin DJ service out of Hamilton, Ontario, and a similar thing happened. Except I just got the notice a few weeks ago that I was "lying" once again, since apparently the vendor hadn't logged into his WeddingWire.com account for some time.

So, if you are looking for legitimate poor experiences to base your wedding vendor choices on, I highly recommend that you look somewhere else. You are not being given the entire picture, as long as the business/vendor challenges anything they don't like.

Happy weddings.

_____________________
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Semi-Annual Clean: Doggy Detection

18 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
So... I hate our rental house.

I know we are lucky to have it, the yard is huge, and we had no other options for a place to live.

I get that. I should be thanking my lucky stars. Though I don't know if I actually own lucky stars, and if I do, which box they were packed in from Ontario, but I digress.

The house smells. And it's grungy. And it's got some serious structural problems and is cracking everywhere. It's the smell, combined with the aroma of two dogs' farts, that really sends me into stomach convulsions most days.

So, here my enthusiasm is nil. I withdraw into myself and don't have much get-up-and-go. Needless to say, between the hubby's work and play schedule and my general malaise and  laziness   shameful housewifery  couch-potato-ness   fatigue, the house has been, shall we say, neglected?

It's hard to be  even willing  enthusiastic to clean a place that CAN'T BE SCRUBBED. Shit is so dirty and had previously been SO NEGLECTED that it simply cannot be scrubbed clean or made devoid of the stains and spots that seem to be everywhere.

So as the MLS real estate papers pile up, the "need to file" paper list expanded, and the tables seemed to become covered with crap, I felt no pressing need to rectify anything. It was like "who'll notice?" and even "it looks better covered up", etc.

Well kids, that all changed when the Hubs let me in on a little secret. A good friend would be staying with us for a couple of nights.

HOLY HELL.

A minor sampling of what I let it get to. And the Dane. I'll let you imagine the fart/house odour.

 It's amazing what shame and embarrassment can do for a girl. I highly recommend it. Not only does it make you feel gross and inadequate, but it could make my queasy, apathetic ass turn it into high gear in the matter of a day.

The Hubs turned  me  it on. He let me go to bed early last night while he did all the large-awkward-not-immediately-needed dishes that were in the queue. He vacuumed the stairs and all the upper floor carpeting (well, you know, AROUND the stacked up piles of my shit everywhere). He gathered up all the crap that he could. He cleaned both bathrooms and scrubbed the tub. He's a good man. A lifesaver, even.

So today was my job to "tidy" up, which doesn't sound nearly as terrifying and all-consuming as it turned out to be. (Flair for the dramatic much? No, not meee.)

I did at least 9 loads of laundry. I found a pile of delicates I left because the rain started and I couldn't dry my stuff outside, so I figured I would wait for a nice day before washing it. I remembered one dress I wore to Jericho Beach and that was back in mid-September. LAUNDRY HAD BEEN SITTING THERE FOR TWO MONTHS... dear Jebus.

I washed the guest bedding, the towels, my clothes, blah blah blah.

Didn't even have a fraction of the time required to actually SORT through all the papers everywhere, so took hours just GATHERING. I wish I was joking here, but I am not.

I would have posted pictures, but the Hubs probably would have divorced me.

The best part? The dogs damn well know that we are having company today. Schultz, the Dane, has been on the lookout with hyper-sensitive-hearing all damn day.

How could the dogs know, you ask? Considering we've had two guests in the house so far?

BECAUSE SCHULTZ KNOWS I ONLY CLEAN WHEN STRANGERS ARE COMING INTO THE HOUSE.

Not only is that fascinating, it's also terribly sad.

Those two guests I mentioned? Our moms. At different times.

So not only am I a horrible house wife, I have no friends I can invite over. lol. Truth be told, I don't WANT people to see this house and its grossness. I want to get into our new house, but that's not happening until mid-February.

So, I still need to put away my semi-wet delicates. I have to hide that stack of piled papers in my bedroom closet. And I have to pretend that the dogs aren't strung out on stranger crack and hope that the Dane isn't a jackass when our friend arrives.

Wish me luck.


___________________


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Friday, November 2, 2012

Record Breaking

8 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Now that I have your attention...

I feel like I should be posting more often, but my heart is just not in it.

Surprisingly, I shattered my page view statistics in the month of October even though I've been a slacker. I wondered why the display had changed when I viewed my stats, and I realized it was because I had surpassed 10,000 views last month. One month.

10,000.

Those stats are almost as big as this rhino. At least, in my mind anyway. FYI: In Kenya they don't seem too concerned about that thing called "liability" or "litigation" and "deadly injuries".


First of all, that 10,000 should maybe be spelled out in words, and probably shouldn't have a period at the end of it. You know, not actually being a sentence and all.

Also? That number is probably squat to most people, but I am pretty damn impressed.

I know there are lots of lurkers that read the blog (why? I have no clue, but I'll take it), and lots of misguided souls who come here via some disgusting search terms that make me shudder/lose sleep. And then there's the bajillion or so who come because they are searching for SkinnyGirl Sangria reviews. They really seem to plump up the numbers.

But it sort of blows me away that stupid images I can post on my blog, from my computer, can somehow show up in the top images in Google Image search. Of all the blogs, in all the cities, and Google walks into mine.

Or something.

I don't know. It's just pretty cool.

I started this ranting space because I found Ally Brosh so damn funny. I was bored, alone, and decided I would bitch and publish it. That was just over 2 years ago.

I haven't done anything meaningful with it. I am not terribly intelligent. Obviously. I can usually get my point across (with the unnecessary use of profanity in most cases, though I try to underscore f_ck as much as possible these days), but there is nothing special here.

So thanks to all of you who take the time to read. To skim. To care enough to peel the skin back from my face and peek into my twisted and tormented brain. Ew.

Like this, but with less skull in the way.


To those of you who stop and take the time to comment and let me know that the page is actually being viewed.

Thanks to you who know me in real life and lurk along, knowing how crazy I am, and hearing my voice tell the story. And thanks for not judging me (at least to my face) for the crazy in my mind.

I hope my mood picks up. I hope my apathy goes away. I hope some of the homesickness goes away. I hope people start responding to emails and texts from me in their real lives. I moved away, but I am lonely as hell and not dead.

I hope to be funny again, and to write more, and to keep people interested in whatever this is I am living. There are more stories to tell, more crazy things happening.

And I STILL haven't finished the honeymoon story OR the cross country story.
Perhaps I'll work on those next.

Thanks everyone.

________
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Friday, October 26, 2012

OMG, That Was Unexpected, "Anon"

22 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
So, as a blogger, I suppose it's expected that we should anticipate hateful comments and personal slags online.

I was actually surprised that the first two comments, left by the same "Anonymous" commenter (all in caps, of course, because I suppose they were yelling at me), threatened me and implied I should die and that I am a piece of shit.

Okay, sure.

Though I don't think I leave brown smears on the furniture or anything. Do I???

Which post pissed someone off so badly they had to tell me to die?

Was it the emotionally charged post about Amanda Todd and the widespread, out of control bullying going on in the world? Nope.

Was it my video log about my personal experience with bullying and rape, that I posted as my small contribution to the "It Gets Better" campaign? Nope.

Was it me sharing Rick Mercer's rant on the tragic and unnecessary death of yet another young gay teen? No, it wasn't.



Was it about my heartbreak over the abuse our Great Dane suffered before he was rescued by Loyal Rescue? No.

I must be heading in the wrong direction here.

Someone upset over my personal health-related posts? Nope.


Could it have been the douche from the tux rental store that I railed on over a year ago? Hmmm... nopers.

When I posted the graphic and risque post on cocks and gay marriage?

Was it someone appalled that I would post Cee-Lo Green's message on my website, with such profane language? Um, no, try again.

Perhaps it was an angry interior designer, certain I had ruined their livelihood, furious that I was attempting to educate the world on throw cushions? Close.

Schultz prefers to eat throw cushions, actually.


Nope.

IT WAS THIS POST.

The fourth post I ever published, from August of 2010. 

As such, I am a "fruit", "fag", "make less money than him" who "has no life but to publish an entire site of hate about an amazing artist" and, apparently, this is "why people hate Americans".

Let's check the facts:

Just to be clear, it was one post. In which I admit my dislike is unwarranted, but real nonetheless. Also? I am a Canadian female who figures you must be a dickhead if your zinger "insults" are to imply someone is gay. Really?

No - seriously? Really?

I... I feel a little sorry for anonymous. Homophobic much?

Also? I guess it's not okay to post my own opinion about a celebrity, but it is okay for a commenter to threaten my life and insult me.

Sound argument. (This is another reason why comment moderation is on now).

If only anonymous had shown me the way sooner!! (At least they gave me blog fodder for today).

What kind of vitriol are you other bloggers subjected to?

____________

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Amanda Todd, Bullying, and Bullshit Committees

28 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
I usually try to keep this blog light. And by light, I mean frivolous, pointless, full of profanity, and lots of ridiculous photos modified in MS Paint. (Don't mock, I'm using a PC and have no apps. Also? I suck at art).

But this post is extremely serious.

An issue far too close to home, literally and figuratively, has shocked and saddened me, along with most of the world aware of it. I have been losing sleep over it. So I figured I would take to the blog to vent and decompress a little.

For those of you who aren't aware of the suicide of a 15 year old girl named Amanda Todd, you can read about her heartbreaking experience and tragic early death here. You can also view the video cry for help that she posted on YouTube here, one month before she took her own life.

This post is for 15 year old Amanda Todd, who took her own life in Port Coquitlam, BC. (Image credit: Facebook)



I am furious. Furious that no one could help her. Furious that kids are that cruel. Furious that some sick bastard lured her into trusting him and then would not cease humiliating her. And furious that all kinds of school board members and politicians are making heartfelt statements about bullying being a community issue that should be stopped... without any real plan, course of action, or tangible solution for kids experiencing this.

Solutions suggested thus far? Talk to your parents. Talk to a counsellor. Seek help.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Because that will stop the asshole kids who taunt, name call, harass, humiliate, follow, shout out, circle, threaten, assault, and terrorize victims.

Think I sound harsh? Think I am only referring to extreme cases? I am not. If you were lucky enough to escape bullying in your youth, you are one exception to this.

Why am I so very extremely furious? Because I was in her shoes 22 years ago, and I continued to wear them until after my sister was married. Yet without the proliferation and immediate humiliation of social media, which only makes things exponentially worse.

My personal hell started in grade 5 or so. I held hands with a boy two years older than me. That is when I recall the worst of the torment starting. I was called a slut, a whore, a hooker. I had groups of girls who would walk around me in a circle, yell obscene things at me, and tell me I was a worthless piece of shit.

I WAS TEN YEARS OLD.

TEN GODDAMNED YEARS OLD.

Wash, rinse, repeat. It didn't matter if I was kind, or quiet, or crying. It didn't matter if I ignored them, pretended I couldn't hear them. It didn't matter if I ignored the boys who liked me, or if I played terribly in gym class. Didn't matter if I made the volleyball team, found excuses to not go outside at lunch or if I didn't go out socially.

Back then the biggest technological advance was three-way calling, in which you could be convinced to share something personal only to find out that your crush, or your enemy, was listening on the line the entire time. But then, the worst was through word-of-mouth, and I dreaded getting on the country school bus the next day. It wasn't broadcast instantly to hundreds of others via Facebook. The thought makes me shudder.

I know, and I think that you will agree, that most kids just have a deep, deep desire to be accepted. To be "one of the group", and to feel like they have a place to belong. If kids reject you, you try to make friends with other people. You try to find your place. The place where you can be yourself without being torn to shreds and left in tears. You try to find even one friend who will let you feel like you are not alone in this world.

Amanda Todd did just that. She was trying to meet people. She chatted online with others. And being young, unaware and impressionable, when someone showed her that friendliness and acceptance, I imagine that Amanda felt a huge weight lifted off - a huge relief to finally connect with another person. She found solidarity and someone who was kind and complimentary to her.

Amanda M. Todd died October 10, 2012. (Image Credit: Facebook)


How could she have known, at 12 years old, that the sick f*ck on the other end of the chat was a man looking to destroy her sense of self worth?

Amanda Todd trusted her new friend, and in a moment of youthful indiscretion - a moment that she could not have begun to comprehend what possible consequences would be involved - she did something risky and "big girl" and she flashed her webcam as asked.

Before you say "Amanda should have known better, she should never have done that, she didn't know who it was, or what they could do with the image", I'd like you to ask yourself the differences between your jaded, aware adult brain (aware of the evil that some people are capable of in this world) and what your mind was thinking of at the age of 12. My guess is that the two are very different, and that the 12 year old you was simply seeking the connection, acceptance and compliments of that seemingly kind person on the other end of the chat.

People keep talking about how she "made mistakes" but shouldn't have to pay for them for the rest of her life. But I take that even a step further. She was twelve years old. She likely had no idea that those few seconds in time could last the last three years of her life. Her tormented, lonely life.

Amanda Todd was having an online chat. She wasn't drinking and driving. She wasn't shoplifting. Amanda had fleeting seconds that changed things forever. If it was a normal person on the opposite end of her chat, it would have been a non-issue. It wouldn't be considered a mistake. The moment would have passed and she may have realized she didn't want to do something like that again. In the moment she was being a kid - having fun, trying to be accepted, trying to please. It is only because the twisted idiot that she was chatting with turned it into a disgusting, life changing moment for her. So was it really her mistake? She had no control over what the bastard did with her image after the fact. The blame lies with the harasser, people.

When Amanda didn't provide more graphic content to the harasser, he threatened to share the image with the world. And he did. And the police were called once her exposure was shared with her teachers and friends. And her life would never, ever be the same again.

I remember watching a movie recently where the starlet was accused of sleeping around the school. It was entirely false, but the entire school was made aware within a short period of time. I commented to my husband how horrible bullying and harassment must be today in school, with people being able to simultaneously take your photo or video, upload it online, and share it via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Remember when you tripped in the cafeteria and landed face down in your chocolate milk in grade nine? People laughed, kids pointed, you were called a dumb klutz, someone might have even kicked you when you were down. You may have endured teasing for the week, or a few weeks. But you were never immortalized at once on social media sites for the entire world to see.

And we aren't talking chocolate milk here. We are essentially talking what comes down to some sick pervert posting and circulating a version of child pornography with the world. With malicious and cruel intent.

My personal torment continued into high school. When I wouldn't sleep with my boyfriend at the time, Jay C., I was subjected to being called a "tight bitch", baby, suck, and was told I would die with a tight p**sy. His ex girlfriend Tina, her friend Tammy, his friend Curt, and himself, decided to shout this to me regularly around the door to the school cafeteria.

And this was after months of being followed by Tina and Tammy, with them waiting and staring at me outside my geography class door. I used to feel sick knowing I had no choice but to walk by them to get to my next class. They used to bark at me. Because I was a female dog, a bitch. I assume she was mad that I was dating her ex.

It became so severe and so consuming, I eventually had to drop out for a semester, even though I was on track to graduate a year early. I was being constantly followed in the halls, yelled at, threatened, being told in the same breath that I was a slut and that I was tight. That I was a bitch and that I was a goody two-shoes. It was relentless.

And this was before digital cameras, webcams, hell, even scanners. I have to thank goodness that it wasn't worse than it was, which is really saying something.

Amanda Todd STILL persevered throughout this. She changed schools, twice. It haunted her and followed her no matter where she went. It wasn't just the harasser from the webcam. It was her classmates, people who claimed to like her/be into her/be her friends. Her Mom tried to find help for her. She saw doctors. She was "referred to services".

You know what? IT DIDN'T HELP.
You know why? BECAUSE THE BULLYING DIDN'T STOP.

If you have had traumatic events in your life, you never forget them. Depending on the severity of the traumas, a person can be plagued with flashbacks, intrusive dreams or thoughts, general anxiety, fear, constant vigilance, depression and low-to-non-existent self esteem and feelings of no self worth.

But if they happen, and they stop, you can try to talk through the pain and the hurt and take medication and do your best to survive through it. I've been through some horrible, horrible things that I haven't shared on this blog, but may some day. I still cry about them to this day. And I stumble and struggle and muster through my life as an adult, still not sure how to cope with some of it.

Amanda Todd tried to cope with this from age 12 to 15.
You tell me how the hell A CHILD can make sense of something like this.

I had to stand and testify at 16 years of age. I had the support of my parents, my sister, and I sat there wanting to just die and never have to think again.

Somehow, we got through it. Somehow.

Amanda was dealing with such torment on such a massive scale, and she tried to get away from it. She moved schools, she moved out of her city, she could never get away.

Amanda Todd's suffering was inescapable, because no matter what medications, therapies, counselling or support that could have been offered to her - no matter the amount of love from her family, or those who were as close to friends as she had - the harassment never stopped.

If, for some reason, you are a teenager, or a young adult, or adult reading this who is experiencing such torment - please know that ONE DAY it will stop, even if it means changing your name completely and moving to another province, state or country. Even if it means adopting an entirely different email address, cutting off communication with people from your old life, and deleting any and all Facebook, YouTube or Twitter accounts. YOU CAN ESCAPE IT, even if it seems impossible.

But this is where I am also furious.

It's damn hard, and the effects run deep.

The elementary school where I was followed, circled, and threatened to be stabbed at the end of the school year? Yeah, they had a "zero tolerance" policy for bullying. The girl threatening to kill me, Tricia G*****s, was part of the "troubled child" part of our school. They got to play video games and go bowling because they "had issues". I got to cry myself to sleep at night and live in fear at school.
That's a really clutch policy there.

The high school where my friend was beaten and had her head slammed into ceramic tile? The one where I was shoved, barked at, humiliated and followed? Well, P.J. also had a zero tolerance policy. Even on the stand, when I testified at my friend's trial about the abuse she suffered, one of the school counsellors, Pam B., managed to quote the wrong date on the stand and essentially throw both her and our testimony into question. Nothing was ever done. The tormenting didn't stop, until those bullies left school, and then finally when I got the hell out and went to college in another city.

You can make all the committees you want, school board. You can have a compendium on bullying and vow that the community needs to step in. You can have think tanks about what services should be available to students.

IT'S ALL BULLSHIT.

Why?

Because the very thing that needs to be changed is ALLOWING THE BULLIES TO KEEP BULLYING.

I talked my face off through my experience. My mom listened to tears and worry and sadness for days on end. My dad tried to step in and tell a few to stop or else we would pursue things through police. I had counselling, I talked to doctors, I was medicated.

IT ONLY CHANGED ONCE THE BULLIES WERE REMOVED FROM MY LIFE.

So while I would be pissed off if the community didn't respond with some kind of strategy to improve things, it ultimately comes down to the fact that TALK IS CHEAP.

I wish they could start implementing mandatory reporting from classmates, surveillance on the school ground, strict expulsion for students who bully, kids who monitor for such activity in case the bullies corroborate each others' stories and claim innocence, and strict legal and criminal record penalties for verbal, emotional and physical abuse for anyone regardless if they are under 18.

But you know what? Then the bullies wait until kids like Amanda Todd are off school property and are walking home. Or until they are on the city bus, or at the mall. Or they take to the internet, where there appears to be no goddamn consequences or follow up to online harassment.

THERE NEEDS TO BE SERIOUS, LEGAL CONSEQUENCES FOR BULLIES. If this were adults tormenting each other with hurled insults, stalking and threatening emails, it would be taken slightly more seriously.

But yet the burden of proof still lies with the victim.
Our justice system is warped. Victims are being further victimized.

When I was 15 and trusted an older guy who seemed to like and accept me, I was victimized. I even went to trial. I sat on the stand and had to detail every last humiliating detail.

You know what happened?
He got 3 months of house arrest, and the local paper cut me to shreds.

It's bullshit.


Amanda, I'm so sorry that you endured this and that no one could stop the bullying. (Image Credit: YouTube)


I am so sorry you had to endure this hatred, this evil, Amanda Todd. I wish that you didn't take your own life, as do the GOOD people of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby, Vancouver, and the rest of the people who have a heart and a soul in this world.

I hope that you may rest in peace finally, since there is no way for us to help you now. I wish we could get you back and help you escape it and make the bad guys pay for all they have done. I hope that something, anything, positive can come of this, since we can't get you back, but the world has noticed how insane things were allowed to get, with nothing being done.

I hope that your sad, early, unnecessary death will help others out there hang on a little longer, be able to find others experiencing the same, and be able to survive the torment.

Amanda Todd didn't deserve this.
Something big needs to change.

_______________
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Um... Still Sick. And More Stuff.

8 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Fan f_cking-tastic post again.

It's October 12, and I have posted once this month. Awesome.

I've become an insomniac. With my continued mouth breathing (though improving), and my fatigue and rapid heart rate, I just lay and look at the alarm clocks, wondering which light in the dark is more annoying - the Hubs' red display, or my green display.

The answer?

Both. 


Because I am f_cking tired and cranky.

(Yes, this is the part where you feel a pang of pity for my Hubs)

I keep thinking of things to write about when I am desperately counting down from 500. I think "I should blog about that tomorrow"... then I eat some cheese and make some lemonade and then proceed to do exactly not that.

I usually resort to counting down from 800, only to get distracted repeatedly by useless thoughts and guilt for not completing anything off my to-do list. I have lost important papers I need. I seem to only remember the significance of that to-do list when I am lying in bed, yet I don't seem to reference it at ANY point in the day, when I can actually act on the items.

I feel betrayed by Blogger. The new layout confuses my feeble mind, and it feels like I have to learn all the new bells and whistles before I can adequately post.

I use the term "adequately" quite loosely there, obviously.

Kind of feels like since we moved away, we have fallen off everyone's radars. And then, if I remember the damn 3-hour time difference, I hesitate calling people because I don't want to interrupt them or put them in the awkward situation of having to take my call so they don't come across as rude.

I know it's a distorted way to think, but nonetheless that is how it goes.

The rain has finally begun in BC, and the grey skies are impacting my mood already. Obviously.

My mom came to visit, and that was nice, but now it's gloomy and quiet and lonely. I had lots of plans to do social things, but then falling ill sort of threw everything off. I get winded going up stairs. I can play with the dogs for about 30 seconds before my legs go all shaky. And I keep coughing up lung chunks (I assume), so not the best position to be out socializing. It's been 9 days since I have driven.

My computer mouse stopped working, so I've been retraining myself, perhaps significantly less successfully than a monkey, to use only the trackpad on my laptop. I suck at it. I like me some mouse-y double-clicked-ness.

So... not much new to report with me.

What's new with you guys? Those of you who still come 'round these parts to read my ramblings?


_______________

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I iz sick. (⊙_◎)

10 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
I iz fevered and sinus pressure is ready to kersplode all over the remnants of my neck.

I will write more about the last days Cross-Canada, as well as some crazy shit I've been seeing around here.

Also? What the hell, BC?!??! Every container of juice I buy comes with a $0.26 environmental/recycling fee. That I can't get back. Even though I recycle. It makes the smaller juice containers so not worth it!

How do I know this?

I have been drinking juice like a fiend, in between my mouth-breathing.

God, I am SUCH a sexy bitch.

Stay well!

___________________
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quick, irrelevant post

14 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Does anyone want to hear about the last half of the trip across Canada?

I don't want to be a spoiler, but we MIGHT have made it back here alive. It's hard to know, though.

I should be writing funny things and being consistent and stuff, but I have been too busy drooling over shoes I will never, ever, ever own... and laughing at dogs who have been shamed.

See? Irrelevant and random.

Exhibit A:

Aaaaah mah gaaaaaaahd. This photo doesn't do them justice. Jimmy Choo, I love you.

These shoes made me wet my pants a little. I saw them, in person, in my size, in Vancouver. I had to resist like hell to not try them on. I knew it would result in me having a 4-year-old-esque temper tantrum in the middle of Holt Renfrew, stomping my feet (carefully, mind you, in these babies), and crying and whining until my mother-in-law could convince my husband over the phone that these would be a sound purchase at $2,195.

Meeeeeeep:

Jimmy Choo's Kani heels from the back. GOOOOOORgeous.

Now, before you think I've gone all Fashion Blog on you (hahaha, okay, we all know that's just silly, you have SEEN me before, right?), please note that I WISH I would be paid to pimp this shizz out. In my DREAMS. I've been searching online trying to find a knock off pair of Kani's. No luck so far. C'mon eBay sellers, make a girl's day, wouldja?

These shoes are one of 12 pairs available in Canada. They were runway. They are at Holt Renfrew, and I would cut a bitch for these babies.

Finally, if you haven't seen the best website ever in my sidebar over there ---->, you need to go to Dog-shaming.com.

Exhibit B, a sampling:

Oh. Hai. Lovez my head wrinkles. Ok. IMAGE FROM dog-shaming.com


Yeah, that's right. Dogs looking guilty as hell, or cocky as hell, after destroying and/or eating something. It is hilarious. I check it every single day, and I always laugh. It makes our crazy dogs seem so much better behaved. (SEEM... seem).

That's it for today. If you find those shoes as a knock-off, let me know!!!

___________


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who Wants To Eat Off The Floor?

21 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Goddamn Blogger finally got wise to me and switched me over to the new layout/scheme.

I hate it.


Anyway, yeah, so who here wants to eat off the floor?

It is so sparkling clean that we totally can.

Totally.


We are renting a house.
The owners decided that a house that had been owned/occupied by an ill elderly lady for YEARS, until her passing, and then left empty for another year didn't need to be cleaned.

At all.

Before we moved in.

I never actually saw the place before we paid for it. My father in law took a gander and knew that the size of the house, and the fact they would accept dogs, was enough to make it work.

And we were damn lucky to find a place that would allow two big, stinkers. And the dogs, too... nyuck nyuck. (I searched for months and months trying to find a rental house that would accept dogs, and all but one other owner said no. So we had no real choice. The yard is great for the dogs, and we need the space in a house, but DAY-UM).

But I knew my feet felt icky on the floor.

I busted out the Swiffer wetjet, bought new solution, and swiped an area of floor downstairs about 2 feet wide by about 8 feet long.

I think swiffer pads now come in an assortment of colours. I unknowingly picked out "filth".



All I could think of was:

"Holy hell this place is so disgusting, I can't live here even temporarily, dear lord I feel dirty and this place is creepy and there are spiders and ewwww and it's so nasty, and I hate cleaning and ahhhhhhhhh"

along with:

"I have to take a photo and blog this shit".

So, there ya have it.
My mouth is watering already. Pull up a cushion and a fork, we're having mud-spider carcass for dinnah!

Now, to take nice, long, hot bath.

You know, after I spend an hour scrubbing the SHIT out of it with bleach...


_________
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Holy Shit, BC spiders. #iwantmymommy

26 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Holy hell, Batman.

I want to take you back in time for a moment. Imagine a young, lethargic, hopeful, bedwetting me.

I was young (once), and I wanted to hang out with my sister and her boyfriend. Said boyfriend (who may or may not have been a car thief, who am I to judge?) brought over a movie to watch.


ME: Neato Bandito!


And I was invited to watch with them.


ME: Wowzers! Totes cool!


And so I watched. And I regret that shit to this day. The movie?



SOMEONE GRAB THE RAID!!!! Don't let the pretty pastels fool you. This movie has scarred me for life. (Image via)


I checked every ceiling corner of every room that I entered for at least the next decade. No word of a f_cking lie. I would get goose bumps and freeze if there was even one small spider in a corner.

Eventually, I grew to be able to squash the smaller ones with a shoe or kleenex box. Go ahead and snicker at the overkill, but I am NOT taking any risks with bites or rogue spiders skittering across my shaking hands!

Then we moved to BC. To a house with a lot of cracks and nooks and crannies.

And this:

"Good morning!

How are we doing today?

Gonna have some cereal are you? Yes?

Let me scare the shit out of you and reduce your appetite!"



Holy hell, Batman.


My mind's immediate interpretation of the scenario:

"Grrrrrrr RARRRR! THTHSSSS! Rawr, Rassum, Frassum, RALARRAGHSHFGHG!  Heeey... nice toaster."


Screaming ensued.

My dogs are TERRIFIED of me right now.



I don't know how I am gonna do this... and once the rain comes...

*shudder*

______
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 3 Cross Canada: Thunder Bay, Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba

5 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
The next morning after the stair incident (and subsequent damn luckiness that no dog or person sustained any broken bones), we had to get Schultz back down the stairs.

We both showered that morning in overwhelming anxiety, and loaded our continental breakfast plates up with dread and a serving of intense fear. (Okay, okay, that might have been me. I think the Hubs might have actually had muffins and yogurt).

By the grace of Northern Ontario's angry Moose Gods, we somehow managed to get him down and out of the stairwell, safely to the boulevard to pee, and into the SUV.  A group of bikers made many comments/references about making sure we had control of him. Another man wanted to approach our Dane (fully decked out in a cage muzzle, remember), but mentioned something about the smaller dogs around us being Schultz' breakfast.

We headed out for the long, loooong, loooooong boring drive to Winnipeg.

I think this was to indicate we crossed a time zone in Winnipeg. Either that, or I am passed out at the wheel. The latter is the more likely scenario.


We hit so much construction - a Provincial highway improvement initiative translated into more areas than I can count that were reduced to one lane. One lane in total. So one side of the road would be given a green light, and we got to sit, idle and enjoy all the fumes surrounding us in the beauty of nature.

The sign holder wouldn't make eye contact, but would carelessly swing the sign back and forth, sometimes flipping it to slow, simply because she wasn't paying attention. Pretty dangerous/confusing, dumbass.


No, we're not in England, we're in the only open lane on Hwy #1 in Northern Ontario during the season between spring and fall: construction.


Just when I thought we had reached the end of the long day, it turned out that we got to sit through EVEN MORE construction along the city streets in the 'Peg. I was ready to snap. People cutting in, cutting me off, sitting. Waiting. Seething.

I've had enough of these motherf_cking cars, on this motherf_cking road: my summation of my emotions of having to drive an additional, unplanned hour after a full and tiring day.


We headed to the home of some of Hubs' relatives who were kind enough to offer their yard and home for a pit stop/run/stretch/dinner/hotel break for a few hours for the evening. They ordered vegetarian gluten-free pizza!! They even played with the dogs outside and let us do laundry there, which was so appreciated. (Trust me - when I am stressed, I "stress sweat", and it's an ENTIRELY different universe of stink. Potent enough to kill vampires.)

Sharing a drink, or using this bowl as a chin rest. Hard to tell.


The dogs were once again fairly well behaved, until the mosquitoes started to swarm us. From there we moved inside, where Ella tried to steal all the toys of the resident dog, and Schultz bumped into furniture and seemed generally out of sorts and stressed.

Background: We knew that Schultz' vision was getting poor. We knew he had trouble seeing some things, usually in low light. But as stuff was moved out of the house (before the drive), he started walking into light coloured walls (occasionally, not constantly) where large, dark pieces of furniture used to sit. Again, I thought it was worse because of the low light in the room at the time, but I knew it wasn't a good thing.

Then add in to the equation his stair terror. Add in falling off a low deck because he didn't know where the stairs were. Him stressed out in a strange house... not because of the noise or the people... but because we realized that he couldn't see most of it, if not all of it.

As he hunkered down once again, terrified to go over two small wooden stairs to the exterior door in an unfamiliar building, the gravity hit us that he must actually be blind. Really and truly blind.

I know there are bigger issues out in the world. I know there is unbelievable human and animal suffering around the globe. I most certainly get caught up and overwhelmed in my own life, but I do realize that major, awful things are happening right now in the world.

That being said, in that moment, we realized just how scared and how fragile our little fur baby was. His memorization of our old house hid how bad his vision was. Our vet explained a few months earlier that he had cataracts and that his pupils were fairly dilated, trying to allow as much light in as possible.

The blue-green sheen in his eyes was showing us the truth all along.


But when he trembled and pulled back when four of us tried to coax him down the stairs, it really became real. I know I have a flair for the dramatic, but it felt like my heart was breaking right then and there in Winnipeg. A part of me knew it was inevitable, but I really didn't think it had progressed as badly as it had.

With the help of the Hubs' family, area rugs were moved to provide traction for him (Schultz, not the Hubs), peanut butter was brought out, and kindness was showered on him as we tried to lift his 140 pounds over those two stairs.

S & S - If you are reading this, thank you for your patience and kindness.

We made it back to our Winnipeg hotel in good time, as traffic had cleared and we avoided construction en route. I was able to keep the tears at bay until we were in our SUV.

I cried for him, for his fear, for not being able to fix it or console him enough. I cried for my Hubs, who has such a bond with Schultz, because I could tell his heart was breaking, too. I cried remembering how hard it was in Scooby's senior years. I cried remembering the difficulties our blind cat (Mr. Grey) had when he was with us. I cried with fatigue, with hope, with sadness, with helplessness.

We got to the hotel, and I unloaded while the Hubs watched the dogs. I snapped at Ella. I snapped at the Hubs. I was mad at myself. And then the angry turned into what it really was - sadness and fear/anxiety, masquerading as outward anger. I cried on the hotel room floor beside Schultz, with Hubs sandwiched between us.

Everything is darkest before the dawn.


______
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 2 Cross Canada: Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario

10 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!

 Some stressful stuff with the dogs closed out Day 2 of our drive across Canada.



Arrival at the hotel. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

On day 2, after the roach motel stay, we were in Thunder Bay, Ontario. We were staying at a pet-friendly hotel, in a room on the second floor. We were near an exit door, which is good for us with the dogs, as we need to spend as little time in common spaces/stairwells/corridors as possible.



If you are not familiar, we have a 2 year old yellow Lab cross Ella, and an aging Great Dane, Schultz (he's about 7-9 years old). Both are rescue dogs. Schultz was abused badly before we adopted him and he has certain extreme behaviours and aggression triggers that we can't seem to help or overcome with him. If anything, I think he feeds off of my anxiety and that I have made it worse for him. If only Cesar Milan knew I am simply not capable of "calm, assertive".

Now he wears a wire basket muzzle that he can pant, drink and bark safely out of. It's the best way to keep everyone from trouble, though we regularly get dirty and/or terrified looks from people. I understand that it must be intimidating to see him coming towards you...


Schultz got the cargo area and Ella had to share the back seat with our clothes. She consistently moved the bars on the barrier to always end up nose first in the centre arm console between us.


When we tried to get him down the stairwell at the hotel for a bathroom break in the evening, he was absolutely terrified to traverse down the tile stairs, and he resisted and splayed his legs out to hold steady.

There was no elevator, so we knew we had to get him down. We assumed this would happen with a little reassurance and cooing. He was not having it. We had to move him ourselves, as gently and kindly as possible.

Somehow, we made it to the landing. Half way there.

We had to move quickly to get him out of the stairwell before others could come in and have the shit scared out of them. Plus, Ella was waiting for me in the room and you're not supposed to leave the dogs alone in the room at any time. I was high strung and my heart rate was up.

Following the landing on the landing, he braced himself with all his might. And his paws slid. And as we moved to the first stair, something went wrong.

He wouldn't move any more.

He couldn't move any more.

And he was in full panic mode. It took a minute for us to realize that his foot wouldn't move because it was stuck in the steel stairway framework. Somehow, he pushed his foot hard enough, and just awkwardly enough, that it somehow got stuck below his back ankle.

He was full out shuddering and we couldn't figure out what to do. My normal panic reaction is to  forget where I am and piss my pants  cry, but I knew I didn't have the luxury this time. We needed to free him, and fast. "Man, I wanna cry, holy shit what do we do? I really need to cry. What do we do?" : A brief glimpse into my brain functioning during panic.

Then a man came charging through the main floor stairwell door. Me and the hubs both shouted out. I  begged  asked the stranger to please give us a minute. If Schultz even started to bark or jump in the position he was in, he would break his leg. The man waited for a moment, cursed us, then went another way. Thank you strange man at the hotel in Thunder Bay. We owe you one, for real.

What could we do? We tried pulling on his leg. The stair depth was too deep and his leg was at such an awkward angle, it wouldn't come out. We both tried various angles. I was in full fledged panic, and feeling so bad for him because he had no idea what was going on.

If we broke his leg, not only would it be horrific, but where the hell were 24 hour vet clinics in Thunder Bay? What do we do with Ella? How can we ensure he doesn't get hurt?

So I actually thought under pressure. It may have been a first for me. Nothing short of a miracle.

I climbed under the stairwell on the right side. The stair was sealed off, so we were screwed. I tried climbing under the left side. Lo and behold, there was his foot pad and all his Great Dane toes. I tried to be as careful as possible as I pushed one shaky toe up and out, along with the others. There was still a risk of his leg twisting or breaking, but we had to try.

We were fortunate. His toes came out eventually, with the Hubs engineering the front, while I pushed below the stairs. That sounded really dirty... sometimes you really shock me with the way you think, people...

He was free... but he still had several more stairs to get down. It was f_cking terrible. When a 140 pound dog is terrified and shaking, and you can't soothe him, it's pretty easy to feel like a shitty owner.

I had to basically push his bum down, while trying to keep his paws going forward. The Hubs was so good at staying calm-sounding and reassuring Schultz, while he led him down the front of the stairs.

I ran ahead to check just outside the door, then cleared them to exit, and ran back upstairs to get Ella.



And now for something completely different: The moose look REALLY angry in Northern Ontario.


Outside, with Ella on leash around my waist, she darted to the right. The leash slipped up over my hips onto my stomach and back. Without warning, she darted left, as if the flower bed had the opposite magnet to her within it. Maybe she saw nail clippers... Who knows? I flew after her, totally unprepared, and she did something painful to my lower back. I ended up bawling my eyes out right there on the boulevard. 

Not five minutes later, as we tried to get to the grass behind the hotel, she saw something else interesting, and as I tried to run her forward, she went full stop, and ran the other direction, making direct contact with my shin bone via her skull.

I dropped and was in a LOT of pain. I was bawling as the Hubs tried to calm Schultz down (a lady had come out of the hotel with two small yapping poodles), offer to take Ella, and make sure I was KO  ok. I imagine he was pretty stressed then, too.

I'd like to think that my getting hurt was the trade-off to the Universe for Schultz not breaking his leg.

After several minutes of being unable to get up, I couldn't take the mass of grasshoppers jumping on and around me. The pain was intense. Between my back and my leg, I couldn't breathe quite right.

Fast forward to sleeping in one position all night in my clothes, and I was much better the next day. My shin still hurts, and that was over a week ago.



So pretty in Northern Ontario. But it really smelled like dogs.


We still had to get Schultz up the stairs, and back down the next morning. The dread hung between us like one of Schultz' massive drools...


Anyone have a towel? And an appetite still? No? Okay.

_______


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day One Cross Country Canada

12 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
So we started our trip cross country on Saturday.

I took a video log/vlog/video blog on day one to share with you guys, as I sat in the Bel-Air Motel in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario.

Then, on days 2 and 3, shit got REAL.

So, here is day 1. [Better late than never edit, video contains some swears].



You may get a day 3.5 post, but probably not.



Yeah.

_______
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Cheapest Homeowner Ever

13 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
So I had an amusing conversation with my husband the other night.

No, he isn't the cheapest homeowner.

As I've been pulling my hair out, rocking in the fetal position, and packing the odd box or so, it seems like I am being forced to make decision after decision about whether or not everything I've ever owned is worth packing.

As a frame of reference, the reputable moving companies are quoting us around $1.52/lb to move our shit. Yes, PER REMOTHERBLOODYFRIKKENDICULOUS POUND.

That 30lb ceramic slow cooker from 1972 that doesn't even have one of those one-prong-bigger-than-the-other-electrical-cord-safety-plugs? GONZO.

That sweet stereo from 1995 that took me forever to save up for? You know the one... with the real, ADJUSTABLE equalizer on the front? With the double cassette deck? The one I was listening to when I heard Kurt Cobain killed himself? That doesn't even have a CD player, just an auxillary plug where you've housed your sister's ancient 6-carousel CD player? YOU KNOW, for those DISC things that us old people use to play music?

(Jeez, kids these days, what with their minuscule iPods and lack of interest in hulking stereos and obscenely huge CD storage cases that outweigh the car's spare tire) . GONZO.                                                                                                     (._.)   (<- That's me looking all sad at it, while I grieve the loss)

QUALITY = Goldstar. Although, in all fairness, it HAS lasted me almost 20 years... Christ I'm old. (Image = my own, yo).


That six thousand pound ORANGE wall unit from IKEA that cost a whopping $780 about 8 years ago? You know the one that took up the entire dining room wall? The one that took a day to assemble with your handyman father? That had a GAJILLION pieces, screws, shelves and was dearly beloved by your husband?  / sarcasm font. Yeah. GONE. For a huge loss.

I only bought it for the 649 free Allen keys. And so I could get the 99 cent ice cream cone. (Image = my own, yo).



Lather, rinse, repeat.

House in shambles? CHECK.
Giving shit away for free online? CHECK.
Donations through the wazoo (again - is it good enough to donate? should it just be thrown out?) CHECK. Then second guess. Then change your mind. Repeat.

So I dismantled the lamps in the house as best as possible. We'll see if they make it to the end destination in usable condition. It's a crap shoot, really, when you throw something with a lamp shade into a wardrobe box.

Yeah, I live on the edge, motherf_cker.

After said dismantling, I have a pile of energy efficient CFL bulbs, full of trace amounts of harmful chemicals. Not supposed to throw them out, you know. Don't want to pack them poorly, have them break, and end up with shattered glass and MERCURY on, or in, our shit.

So I am on the phone and I ask the hubs what I should do with the light bulbs. He pauses. Then he says:

"Aren't we supposed to leave them there?"

Careful, there, photographer person. You rattle that change too much and you're lookin' at mercury poisoning.
Okay, not really.  (Image VIA)



I ponder this. I'm pretty sure that lamp contents were not signed over in the deal. So I sass him about it.

He still seems unsure of what to say to me.

It is at this point that we realize that I am talking about loose lamp bulbs, and he thinks I am contemplating removing every single light bulb from every single overhead light fixture in the house.

In the midst of my stress, I had to laugh. Could you imagine moving in to a house and some bastard taking all the light bulbs? Moving in the dark?

In some ways I am surprised the people we bought this house from didn't do the same. They took all the toilet paper and even window coverings that were supposed to stay with the house.

Ah well.

MOVING F_CKING SUCKS, Y'ALL.


_________________


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