Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A couple for the grandparents - it can't be ALL about me...

More Snow Fun

Matthew & Emma had a great time sledding this past weekend.

Got Snow?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A Roadtrip With The Folks

A few months ago my mother called to inform me that my aunt had passed away and that the memorial would be in Sechelt B.C. on the weekend. Sad news but not overly shocking as she had not been doing very well over the past couple of years. My father thought it would be best if we all drove to Vancouver (13 hours) and then we could take the ferry (3 hours) over to Sechelt. A sixteen hour drive - to attend a memorial - sounds fun right? So now then how about a little road trip with the folks?
My parents are both highly educated, witty, intelligent, and wonderful people but there is something about driving anywhere with them for any length of time that makes me want to gauge my eyes out with a rusty butter knife.
Oh-nooo... I feel some flashbacks coming…

Driving with them - Flashback #1
In the summer of 1989, we took a family vacation to Kelowna, B.C. I was 16 and I distinctly remember thinking that my parents were trying to ruin my life by dragging me along on some lame vacation specifically when my best friend Dawn’s parents had already said that I could stay with them for the week. SO, I didn’t even have to go! My parents made me go with them anyway and naturally I hated them for it. I was also sure that that slut Tracey was probably going to take this opportunity to try and steal my boyfriend away while I was gone. Proof in itself that my parents were ruining my life.

To say that my father is a pretty thrifty guy is a huge understatement. The man never and I mean NEVER pays retail. He can smell a sale like a shark smells a drop of blood in the ocean and he knows how to maximize coupon usage to achieve the cheapest possible solution – to do otherwise would be wasting his hard earned money. Now if he can meet all of the afore mentioned criteria and the establishment also happens to be giving something away FOR FREE as a promotion, well my father is camping out for some of that action.

At the time, there was this “free with fill” promotion going on at a local gas station that also conveniently offered bonus airmiles as well. My mother and I were instructed by my father to ONLY gas up at that location until we were notified differently. The “free with fill” items were these cassette tapes, of the ‘you can collect them all’ musical compilation variety entitled: The Best Hits of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s etc.

Me: Dad can I borrow the car?
My Father: Do you have five bucks for gas?

Me: Sigh… Yeah.
My Father: Okay here’s another ten dollars. Make sure that you fill up at the gas station on 149 Street and make sure you get the airmiles and this week’s tape.

Me (groan): Okay.
My Father: Oh and here use this coupon – it’s for a free wash.

We were about an hour into the nine hour drive to Kelowna, B.C. We were coming up to Red Deer, when my dad pulled out the big tape cassette holder briefcase, you remember the kind lined in red velvet on the inside. I shuddered. My father announced that it now was time for us to be entertained by the complete set of the “free with fill” tapes. At 16, surprisingly, I wasn’t really into ‘the best of the classics’ type of music. To tell you the truth, even now when I hear the Big Bopper bellow “Hellooooo Baby! You know what I like!” I die a little on the inside…

So for the next 4 hours:
My Father (two notes into the song): Do you know who this is?
My Mother: Sounds like Buddy Holly?
My Father (shaking his head): Not even close, this is THE GREAT Roy Orbison. I have to tell you this sounds great! Cathy, doesn’t this sound great?

My Mother (for the millionth time): Yes dear, it sounds pretty good.
My Father: You would think that free music would be of inferior quality but I have to say this is sounding great. Oh, Do you know who this is?

My Mother: Sounds like Ritchie Valens?
My Father: Are you kidding me, this is THE GREAT… and so on…

My Mother: Lexa, this is the music that probably inspired the groups you listen to today. Like those Jalapeno Peppers.
Me (losing my mind): It’s the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – UGH!

Driving with them - Flashback #2
My Father will tell you that he is a superior driver. I would call him an aggressive driver. My Mother could provide you with many more colorful names for my father depending on the situation but that’s neither here nor there.

My Mother (looking over): Jesus Paul, slow down.
My Father (grumpy): I wouldn’t have to slow down if we would have been out of the house at 8:00am like we were suppose to. Now we are WAY off schedule.

My Mother: I’m sorry, WHO couldn’t find his wallet?
My Father: You have to quit moving my stuff. If you wouldn’t move my stuff it would have been where I left it.

My Mother: Paul, I didn’t touch your wallet and where you left it was in with the dry cleaning.
My Father: Exactly!

My Mother (looking out the window as a red car went speeding past): Just look at that idiot – he is going to kill someone.
My Father (giddy): AHA! There’s my rabbit – heehee!

Definition of a rabbit: An idiot driver who is speeding excessively while driving down the highway, thus permitting a superior driver to follow closely behind said idiot driver without risk of getting a speeding ticket. Naturally the police will spot and pull over the idiot driver thereby giving the superior driver enough time to slow down avoiding penalty and give a little wave to the idiot driver while the police officer is issuing his speeding ticket.

Driving with them - Flashback #3:
The family dog, Licorice was a cute little poodle terrier unit who also happened to have a severe doggie car ride-a-phobia. We knew this, so during extended car trips my mother would go out of her way to cater to the dog’s comfort and emotional well-being. She would pack up the dog’s dish, toys, chew bones, a baggie full of treats, a bottle of water, the leash, a few more treats, the dog’s pills, the dog’s brush, a package of chicken wieners (because the dog had one chicken wiener every day with her dinner for 17 years), a couple of balls, and the dog’s blanket. She would create a special area in the back seat of the car for the dog to sit. She would spread out the dog’s little blanket and arrange the dog’s favorite toys and throw down some treats and finally she would put the dog in its nest like designated area. The car would start to move and Lic the dog would stiffen up and start to shake and pant profusely every now and then emitting a deep guttural moan.

My Mother (soothing): My goodness Lic calm down. It’s oookay. Gooood dog. Lexa, pat Lic and tell her it’s okay.
Me (sigh + petting the dog): Good dog.

My Mother (reaching back and grabbing the dog): Okay come here Lic, you silly old girl.
Lic: pant, pant, pant, shake, wince, shiver, pant…

My Mother: Stop it Lic, you’re fogging up the windows. It’s oookay. Paul, look at this dog. Does she look okay to you?
My Father: She’s fine. Good Lic. Calm down. Good dog. Give her a cookie.

Lic: pant, pant, wheeze, pant, moan.

My Mother (concerned): She won’t eat the cookie. Look at this dog. I can’t believe you Lic, it’s like she’s having a bloody seizure. Look how much she’s shedding – Oh! There’s dog hair everywhere now.
My Father (irritated): Lic! Calm down Lic!

My Mother (worried): Do you think she has to go outside? Lic, do you have to get going? Go for a pee outside?

My Father: We are NOT stopping again until Jasper. The dog is fine.

At the ripe old age of 31, I have to tell you that I definitely vetoed the 16 hour drive to Sechelt B.C. with my parents. I once had to have a procedure called a sigmoidoscopy. I won’t get into the particulars but let’s just say it involved about three feet of fiberoptic tubing, my ass, and 100psi of air to ‘inflate’ the area so that the doctor could poke around and check things out. That being said, if I was forced to choose between reliving that procedure, or driving to Sechelt B.C. with my parents – well, pass me the hospital gown…

My Father: We can get out of town early, nice scenic drive – it’ll be fun. Remember that nice trip to Kelowna we took when you were in high school?
Me: Yeah so, I’m going to catch a flight. I’ll see you people there.

Sometimes it is nice to be a grown-up.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Jake the Shlab is getting “tutored”

Last night’s telephone conversation with my mother.

My mother (laughing): So what has that free dog of yours wrecked today?
Me (tired): Oh, let’s see… a deck of cards, and it looks like he got into something black…

My Mother: Black? What?
Me: I don’t know there are just these itty-bitty black pieces of something all over the floor.

My Mother: What do you think it could be?
Me (concerned): I have no idea.

My Mother: Well what do they look like?
Me (irritated): Little bitty pieces of hard black plastic!

Emma (calling to me from the den): Mom! I can’t find my Sleeping Beauty movie.

Me (cringing): Ohhh nooo…

My Mother: What? What is she looking for?
Me: Mystery solved.

Emma (from the den): Hey there’s a bunch of black tape behind the couch….
*Rustle, Rustle, rustle….


My Mother (matter of fact): You need to get that free dog of yours fixed.
Me (crabby): I KNOW!

* Appointment is booked for January 28th.
Lick ‘em while you got ‘em Jakey-boy.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Actual Cause Of Mad Cow Disease:

7:00am yesterday morning.

Me (freaked out edgy voice): Hello???
Assistant from work (apologetic): Sorry to wake you – just calling to let you know that I won’t be at work today.

Me (looking at the clock & trying to sound polite): S’okay I was up. You know, you can just send an email. I mean, I’m glad you called but you don’t have to call, you can send me an email. Just for next time… you know? Never mind, nothing that comes out of my mouth before 7:30am makes any sense…
AFW: Yes I know, I just figured you wouldn’t be in either – what with the school busses not running and the daycare being closed due to the extreme weather conditions.

Me (sitting up fully in bed): The busses aren’t running? The daycare is closed? Jeez! What’s the temperature out?
AFW: Well, It’s –40c out here at the farm but I’d say close to –58c with the wind chill.

Cow: Mooooooooooooooo!

Me (groggy): What? Is that mooing in the background?
AFW: Fraid so. I’m actually calling from my cell phone. Me and the husband are out in the field with the blow torch trying to melt the cow’s water so they can get a drink.

Me (damn that sucks voice): Really? Damn...That sucks! What do you do with the cows when it gets this cold?
AFW: Nothing, they just huddle together and pretty much freeze their knackers off.

Cow: Moooo…jesus…christ…moooooooooooo!

Me (giddy): So I guess it’s a snow day then. Well at least the kids will be thrilled. Stay warm and see you tomorrow! Oh, and good luck with the blow torching. Boy, you farm people are sure tough folk.
AFW (teeth chattering): You bet, stay warm!

Cow: Motherfuckingmoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Site Update

I have added my new Gmail address,, to my profile. I would like to thank the newly engaged AnonymousCoworker for the invite. Gmail is indeed pretty spiffy – thanks dude.

That being said, I really enjoy receiving email that isn’t about where I can get the cheapest Viagra online, so please, send me an email if the fancy hits you. Or you can leave a comment, or not - whatever, it’s not like I’m begging, or that I didn’t feel loved enough as a child or anything. Did I ever mention that I am an only child?

FYI: I had to break up with my site meter. Yeah that’s right, I had to take that bad boy down. Seemed the blasted thing was interfering with my life in a negative and unproductive way. Picture me compulsively checking to see how many people have read my latest post and you are getting warm. Add to that, me then getting irritated because, wait a minute, 13 seconds isn’t long enough to read that post and then being miffed at Mr. IP address# 123. 456. 789 - you had better come back here and finish the story buddy – don’t you recognize pure genius when you read it?

So anyway, now all three of you who read my drivel can be secure in the knowledge that I am not stalking you anymore…

That’s it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Daddy says...

Last weekend my father, my daughter and I went on a trip to the big city to take advantage of some of the boxing week sales. Oddly enough I found the selection at Extra Foods and the SAAN store here in town a little limited. Anyway, we are driving through a city called St.Albert when my daughter piped up from the back seat.

Emma: I don't like driving through St. Albert.
Me: Hmmm? Why not?

Emma: Daddy says all the people here drive like retards.

Grampa (nearly choking on a sip of coffee): Ahem... Cough... What sweetie?
Emma (matter of fact): Well it's like this Papa, see all these people driving down the road? They're retards!

Me (shocked): Emma! That is NOT a nice thing to say.
Emma (indignant): Well Daddy says that they are!

Me (mortified): The things that come out of her mouth... Emma, I am sure Daddy didn't mean what he said. He probably just got angry when he was driving because someone cut him off or something.
Grampa (soothing): Emma sometimes people can lose their patience when they drive and get angry and maybe say things that they don't mean.

Emma: Like swears?
Grampa: Sure, or just not nice things to say about other people and they do have a lot photo radar in this area.
Emma: Okay.

Emma: Papa what is photo radar?
Grampa: Well it's when this guy hides in his van and then takes mean pictures of Papa's van as he is driving by and then he sends him a bill in the mail for $118.00.

Emma: Yeah Daddy says those guys are sneaky bastards.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Shlabby And His Barbie Fetish

What would Ken say about this?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Resolutions: Past and Present

Okay it’s time to come clean. Deep breath okay, here goes. I’m not perfect. Nope, not even close. I mean, I suppose that I am okay and I that do fairly well in some areas, and even excel in a few select others, but for the most part I am your standard run-of-the-mill flawed human being.

That being said, I do like New Year resolutions. Yes, even when/if they get broken. Why? For the simple fact that for one day a year you are encouraged to open your eyes, I mean really open them and take a good look at what is going on with yourself and the world around you. You can then assess the situation and make a conscious choice to try something different, even if it is only for a few days. I believe that is truly a positive concept.

So before I post about my current resolution (yes only one, just keepin’ it real people) for 2005. I wanted to go over what went down in 2004.

New Years Resolution 2004: Horrible flawed non-perfect human problem. Smoking.

My success rate for quitting smoking up until last year had been 0-3. I had started and stopped a few times. I was getting pretty good at quitting but not so good at staying quit. I quit during both of my pregnancies; I quit when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also quit for about five minutes back in University that time when I went out with that guy, oh, let’s call him Jeff, who so adamantly hated smokers that he tried to make me choose between going out with him or smoking. I believe Jeff’s exact words to me were “It’s my way or the highway.” So naturally I lit up a smoke and told the bastard to hit the road.

Anyway, the week leading up to New Years 2004, I psyched myself up about quitting. I chain smoked right up until the bitter end. I stubbed out the last cigarette at approximately 11:59pm. I then promptly went to bed very excited and truly committed to being a non-smoker, oh yeah, and the wine had hit me pretty hard so I needed to lie down.

I woke up the next morning feeling none too perky and then the realization set in – that’s right today I don’t smoke anymore. I hid in bed for another hour. Then Jack made me get up. It was at that moment that I decided to hate him for the next few days and make him suffer.

I am not going to lie, it really sucked. I was mad and grumpy and emotional even the dog was avoiding me like the plague, unlike Jack, she knew when to lie low.
Exactly four days later, with a scowl on my face and shaky hands, I ventured out to the grocery store and promptly bought a pack of cigarettes.

I remember sitting in my car and just looking at the package. After about fifteen minutes of trying to justify to myself how I could have just one and none would ever know, I had to admit that I needed help with those bloody cravings. I went back in the store and bought some Nicorettes and on my way out threw away the package of cigarettes.

For those of you who don’t know, Nicorettes is the nicotine gum that is supposed to help you get through the kind of moments like I had just experienced. Once I was back in the safety of my car, I ripped open the package popped a piece of gum in my mouth and started to chew the hell out of it. The effect was horrifying – it promptly made me gag, sweat profusely, and I even got the spins. It’s a good thing I hadn’t eaten yet because I would have most likely sprayed down the interior of my car with puke. The Nicorettes were awful, the most vile thing ever, ugh… Fruit flavor my ass! With the delicacy of a major leaguer, I lugied the gum out the window and crammed the rest of the offensive smoking cessation aids in my purse. I spent the next 10 minutes cussing to myself for throwing away a perfectly good pack of cigarettes for this putrid Nicorettes crap.

A couple of hours later, I wigged out at Jack because he had improperly loaded the dishwasher by placing the bowls where the cups should go. I mean come on, it’s like the man was blatantly going out of his way to drive me nuts! I realized, while I was haughtily rearranging the dirty dishes to their correct dishwasher locations that I could possibly be experiencing another one of those silly little “nicotine cravings.” I remembered the Nicorettes were in my purse and went and got the box. This time I stopped and read the directions. Wouldn’t you know it, it seems that you have to chew the rancid gum slowly… well okay then. I chewed… slowly… and it didn’t taste quite so vile.

Thus began my love affair with the Nicorettes. I basically ended up chewing the gum a lot. It started out innocently enough, as per the directions on the box, but ended up – well never ending. The plan was to chew the gum for a few weeks to get me over the bumpy bit and then, well stop chewing, see good plan right?

Not only Jack, but also other people began to notice that I was always chewing the nicotine gum and not actually progressing to the stage when you stop chewing. I remember thinking that they were all being absurd. I mean I smoked for years, so of course it would take a bit longer to get it under control. Stop chewing? Are you people nuts? Yes my jaw ached and I now seemed to get these weird tension headaches, but stop chewing? Hell No!

It shames me to admit this but I would actually start to freak out a little if I was down to my last couple of pieces of Nicorettes. I would then resort to rationing them by cutting them in halves until I could get to the store to buy more gum. Jack used to joke that I would have to go on the patch to get off the Nicorettes. Ha-Ha.

So basically, I chewed my way through January, February, March, and April. By May even I had to admit that the whole Nicorettes thing might possibly be an issue. I was really afraid that I would start smoking again if I stopped chewing the blasted gum. I went to my doctor. I secretly hoped that he would tell me about some shocking new study where by Nicorettes was found to be more harmful than actual smoking and he would simply recommend that I light up immediately. Unfortunately he just commented (with raised eyebrows) that I should definitely get off of the nicotine gum pronto and he suggested another smoking cessation aid called Zyban. I asked about the patch – but something about if I still “accidentally” chewed the nicotine gum while wearing the nicotine patch might possibly result in a massive heart attack or some such thing, so the Zyban route may be a better option for me. I know some people have mixed opinions about Zyban but I will say, that for me, it must have helped because I finally gave up my precious Nicorettes for good on May 31st, which was also the annual world no-tobacco day, it seemed fitting.

I guess that technically I can now celebrate one year without a cigarette and believe me I am very proud of that, but I think I will also celebrate again on May 31st. Might even get me a pack of Trident and remember the good ol’ days.
So yay me! Last year I quit smoking and now I am a 300 pound alcoholic, but whatever…

Segway into New Years Resolution 2005: Horrible flawed non-perfect human problem resulting from two childbirths and last year’s resolution: Weight loss.

I got on an actual scale and took actual measurements. Okay realistically it is not that awful but it turns out that the amount I need to lose is a tad bit more substantial than I had predicted (damn rum & eggnogs.) So the reason I haven’t been posting for a few days is because of the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and the fact that counting points and tracking every bloody thing you eat is a bit time consuming. I am in fact doing the Weight Watchers Points thing but I would not be surprised if I have to go on Atkins to get off the Weight Watchers. Ha-Ha.

But, so far so good. Knock on, dammit - laminated wood look surface.

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