Friday, October 21, 2005

It's that time of the year...

Whilst out running errands today I found myself at the local Esso, needing air in an annoying tire and since I was there (and in need of some legitimate daydreaming time) decided to pop in and pick up some lottery tickets.

As I entered the store my eye fell upon an older couple. I’d noticed them walking ahead of me but when the gentleman turned to face me and smile, I took note of his royal blue blazer. On his left chest were a number of beribboned medals. I wish I could tell you what each one stood for but 1. Sadly, I don’t know. (I’m working on rectifying that) and 2. I didn’t get that good a look as I was more interested in studying his face as we chatted. I smiled and said, oh yes, it’s that time of year isn’t it? He nodded and agreed that summer had passed us by as its usual speed of light appearance and disappearance.

Ordinary waiting in line conversation for Canadians; chatting about the weather. As we spoke the people in front of us concluded their business and they gestured me forward. I said oh no, you’re ahead of me (more Canadian line etiquette in action :P). Besides I added, I’m only buying lottery tickets, your business is more important than mine. Pshaw, he says, I’m not important. I have to tell you, my eyes filled with tears and I stroked his arm. You’re awfully important to me, I replied and gave his arm a squeeze. I did go ahead then, as it was getting awfully cloying in there, GRIN.

As I sat in my car afterwards I was a little ashamed of myself. I really wanted to go back in and give this man a hug and thank him properly. I’ll go by later today and buy a poppy to wear. I think that maybe this weekend I’ll pop in to the legion and have a few beers, throw a game of darts or two and talk with some of the veterans there. Maybe I’ll get my chance to thank one or two of them too.

Go buy your poppy today, teach your children why you wear one and you know what, when November 11th passes by, leave the poppy on your coat or hat or visor and remember when you see it. This isn’t a once a year thing. And if you get to hug a veteran on a regular basis, give them one for me, will ya?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

“I am Woman, hear me roar…” …or whine…

There is an awful lot of worship of the girly girl going on around me these days. I’m starting to look at the grass over there and think that a few mouthfuls might just be a tasty treat.

Alright, now that I’ve compared myself to a cow O.o Let’s get on with this.

I used to thrive on being the self-sufficient type. I liked being the one who killed the spider, shooed the mouse outside, changed my own flat tires, put up my own drywall, taped and mudded it and then sanded, painted and finished the room. I’ve cleaned horse stalls for a living, working on the race track and being the only one on the crew who could handle the studs I had 7 studs and one cantankerous old mare on my string. As well as receiving the respect of all the other grooms for it. It was good being that person. Mostly it is good being that person. I remember enjoying being that person…

Sensing a change in the air that doesn’t feel like fall?


I really did enjoy being that person at one time. However, when I look at my rough worn hands, feel the crick in my back and can’t escape the smell of paint cleaner that hangs about me, I’m starting to think that maybe this isn’t what I signed on for. Strangely enough I don’t mind the smell of the horse manure.

I detest girly girls. I don’t want to be a girly girl…but sometimes… the grass looks pretty darned green over there…

I’m thinking it might be nice to be the delicate beauty that all the guys (and gals) flock to when she sighs. It definitely would be cool to not be the one crawling in under the sink with the hammer to try to flatten er chase the mouse. Fainting at the sight of a spider would be okay, so long as no one expected me to climb up on the chair and squish it into a tissue. Of course, under the condition that the Fabio clone, Marlboro Man version caught me gently in his arms instead of hitting the floor. Clunk!

I know that at least a couple of friends of mine will roll their eyes and mutter about whining if they were to read this, but you know what? TOUGH frozen titties.

I’m sick of being expected to do all the tough chick shit and the obviously not so tough chicks sit around and collect all the baubles and accolades and attenion. Next time you look at a tough chick, take a good look at her hands, and her hair.

Check out that manicure…guess what guys, that costs anywhere from $35 to $50 a month to maintain. Oh, don’t forget the hair? That will cost an easy $80-120 every six weeks not counting the dye job. There’s likely a pedicure in there every few months, too. But since I’ve never had one in my life I have no idea how much they are.

Low maintenance my ass :P. $200 plus every 8 weeks, hah.

Bitter? Yes, just a touch.

Why so cranky, you ask? This isn’t something new, or sudden in my life. Most of the time I’m quite content to leave things the way they are. Or it’s possible that it’s just less hassle than trying to change it.

This is like being the nice guy, and always being the friend instead of the hero who gets the girl. It’s one of life’s little imbalances that everyone says will even out in the end, but it never really does. The nice guys and real girls end up with the short end as often as not, regardless of how well their lives turn out and how many of God’s unanswered prayers there are.

Because at the end of the day, they still see themselves as inadequate rather than recognizing the inadequacy of the girl that goes for the hot bod and snazzy car and that little touch of danger that she’s sure she’ll be able to tame out of him. Or the missing part of the guy with the snazzy car and hot bod who thinks that fake nails are just an affectation and not really what she’s like and she’ll really want to pull wrenches with him on every Saturday evening instead of being taken out to the newest club.

These imbalances exist.

There’s always someone at the office who buys all the birthday cards and often no one remembers their birthday. Hello, people, why the hell do you think this person goes to all that trouble? Because they know what it’s like to not have the one special day that’s only theirs acknowledged.

There’s the one person in the family who everyone tells their troubles to, and no one bothers to ask about theirs, because they must be okay if they have time to listen to whines and moans from everyone else.

So the next time you forget someone’s birthday, phone your mother to whine about your boyfriend or drool over some hot chick on the street, think a minute, are you a nice guy or a tough chick that’s getting the wrong end of the shaft or are you the one handing out the shaft.

Friday, October 07, 2005

My own special talent

So to those of you who know me this won’t come as a huge surprise. More like another piece of evidence of the aura that surrounds me.

Things break around me. I don’t mean I walk down the street and buildings crumble in my wake (looks over her shoulder...) but things have a habit of going wrong or breaking when no breaking is expected, anticipated or usual, when around me.

Case in point, years ago I had a Chevy Cavalier. We were rear ended and when we took the car for an insurance assessment at the shop, I noticed the one mechanic/adjuster looking under my car and appearing puzzled. I went over just as two others joined him, all looking under the car and then nodding to each other and appearing puzzled.

“What’s up?” I asked.
“How’d this happen?” one fellow asked me.
“We were rear ended.” I replied.
“By what?” asked another.
“mmm, Grand Am I think,” said I.
“Huh, I would have said a gravel truck.” He laughed and I stared.

“You see, miss (grins, I was younger then) that part,” I looked and sure enough, there it was, some little brackety piece hanging down from the underside of my car, obviously broken. “That part never breaks.”

This is a true story, I kid you not.

Some dear friends online were quite disbelieving of my ability to break stuff without even trying. However after a couple of them helped with installations of various OSs and other apps and found annoying little mishaps happening when no such incident has happened before, to them, to anyone…ever. They changed their minds.

We went from this is so easy, it’ll take us about an hour. To, well let’s see I can probably help you on Saturday I’ve got a few hours free then. To, want me to just do this for you? What’s your password? To forget it, I’ve still got the access I set up to fix this for you and I’ll do it myself.

Some might think that tells you that I’m simply an idiot. The perpetual loose nut behind the keyboard. I’m not. I can do these things and do, do them. However if there’s a little niggly thing that can screw things up I appear to have a multi-leveled talent for finding it.

We won't even get into the whole 'get this car, it's the best car and you'll never break it' thing. :P

Which brings me to this.

And the flipside of things.

Go figure huh? That’s after 5 days too. The kicker? I did this sitting down. Well, sitting on a horse. And not the obvious way of falling off the horse, I did this sitting in the saddle. I did eventually fall off, but my ankle was already done in well before I hit the ground.

Here's how this little fun house event happened. The horse I was ponying had an issue with being led (suddenly and out of the blue) and popped up (bucked). Since I’ve walked home a time or two, I’ve learned to never let go of the reins. This was enforced as a habit when I worked as a studgroom on the track. The last thing anyone wants to deal with (other than a whiny owner who can’t understand why his horse isn’t winning) is a loose stud, so you just never let go. Guess what? I never let go of the lead line, so when he popped he also tried to climb the horse I was riding. My horse is pretty cool but when another horse tries to get into the saddle, most horses have issues. So he shied away from the popping horse. Strangely enough, the lead line is still stupidly clutched tightly in my hand. By now I’m stretched between one horse who simply wants to get away and another who’s having a pretty cranky attitude attack. Something had to give. For most people it’d be a shoulder, but I’d gotten yanked off center when he lurched away in a buck and my foot got twisted in the stirrup. See that dark bruise, that’s the part that stretched. I really don’t think that your foot is supposed to bend that way. In fact, once I climbed out of the patch of thistles, (why is it always thistles? Or manure?) and up on my feet I was pretty damned sure that your foot isn’t supposed to bend that way.

My horse hadn't gone too far so with some assistance from hubby and a low spot I was back up in a few minutes. I was very pleased to see that my fear that I've spent the last 4 years conquering hadn't cropped back up and it felt good to get back in the saddle. I rode back up to the barn, caught hold of the idiot stick horse that had caused all the uproar and led him back too. Alls well that ends well after all.

And the next time someone tells you the best way to get over something is to get back on the horse, listen. This is the voice of experience telling you so.