Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Tooth Fairy Cometh

My children were young when my marriage reached its end. After everything was said and done they ended up living with my ex husband. It wasn’t the way I wanted things to be, there were things that were worse and things that were better but we made the best of it. Weekends were spent with me, school holidays and summer holidays.

My ex was not the sort of man who believed that children should believe in fairies so while he bowed to convention regarding the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus he simply was not going to play the tooth fairy game. My eldest was the only one losing teeth at the time and I convinced her that since the Tooth Fairy was a lady that she would find her way to my house easier than to her dad’s and so she should save her fallen teeth to put under her pillow at my house.

All went along well in the tooth fairy department for a year or two. The eldest has brought her teeth to my house with unfailing regularity, and had convinced her younger sister to do the same. Number 2 daughter is a spirit unto herself however, and one day she decided to test mom’s theory about the tooth fairy. She announced that the next tooth she lost she wasn’t going to wait till the weekend visit, she was going to put that tooth under her pillow that very night.

I was blissfully unaware of the crisis my eldest faced that night until later. By now she knew that her sister was going to be disappointed as she’d secretly tried this very thing herself, only to find the tooth still there in the morning. So she waited till her sister was asleep and snuck into her room replacing the tooth with two shiny quarters from her own allowance.

She told me the story the next weekend and I tried hard not to cry. Nevermore than in that moment did the guilt and selfishness I’d felt about the divorce rise up to confront me. Nevermore than in that moment when I saw her innocence draining away. I rewarded her with a dollar for her kindness to her sister, hugged her and told her how proud I was of her. She went out to play and I sat and cried.

Believing in the tooth fairy was one of the childhood dreams that are so precious and I had let that be taken from her, I berated myself. I was immensely proud of her though and through my guilt I found a glimmer of hope that some of what I was teaching her was the reason she’d been so compassionate towards her sister.

A few weeks later, she hugged me good night and whispered in my ear. “Mommy, I lost a tooth today.” She showed me the tooth proudly. “Do you think the tooth fairy will come if I put it under my pillow?” Her face was earnest, eager for my answer and innocent of all sarcasm or guile.

“Yes, baby, I’m certain she will.”

Sunday, October 15, 2006

That resonates

One of my favourite reads started back blogging a time ago and I'm glad. Sometimes she's funny, sometimes she's sad. And sometimes she makes me squirm in my own skin when she rales about things that make her nuts and I know that I do them.

Sometimes however, simply, she resonates.

Like this post, entitled "Goal" and it's simply a plaque type picture that says. "Love like you'll never get hurt."

How terribly honest.

How absolutely terrifying.

How immediately I rejected that idea. And I doubt that I'm alone.

yet...there's a nagging honesty there, something that made me stop, pause and look over my shoulder as I ran screaming from that proposal. Why shouldn't one? Why shouldn't someone go into a relationship without all those anxieties and nasty memories of how someone trod upon your heart?

But then all these other branches of thought open up. Do you really want to lead with your heart? Time and time again. Isn't it just asking for someone to step all over you if you don't learn from past mistakes? Isn't it a repetition of the cycle if you repeat and repeat and repeatedly take up with the wrong kinda guy? Or for that matter.

And yet, that honesty nagged and nagged. I've had many people prejudge me by the fact that I looked like, sounded like, thought like someone else. I've seen people not celebrate various holidays because this person or that person did this or that or the other thing on that holiday. I mean really, do we need to outlaw breaking up on Christmas? Sometimes though, people need to just get over stuff.

I've heard sad story after story about how someone let someone go, walked away because of past experiences and not wanting to revisit those feelings. And to tell the truth I've had a moment's pause here and there myself about people.

I wish that everyone coming into my life had the same open chance that others have had. That's just not the way of it though, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Each experience colours my ability to trust, love, believe the next time around.

I wish I could have that goal. In not just love, either. People deserve a chance to be who they are. Correction, I wish I could have that goal as an achievable goal.

What's your goal?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

mountain dew, not just for drinking anymore...

So.. a few days ago I'm returning from an evening visit with my daughter (we went and saw a really dorky movie called You, Me & Dupree...normally I like owen wilson but meh...

I'm driving the sorta supra. It's a year newer than the old one (which we're still not talking about what happened to btw) but it's an automatic. It's still a fun enough car to drive and gets from point A to point B well enough but it's an 'automatic'. It's hard to explain but there's something about driving a standard. It's difficult to explain but there's a sense of being in control. It's like your brain goes to mush when you drive an automatic and you make silly decisions.

Anyway, i'm on my way home. Driving down the main thoroughfare and I see a sudden blurup of flame shoot up from the left side of the hood of the car, and then in my rear view mirror I see a flame shoot out from the car and a trail of sparks.

And yet, the car is still running. There's nothing odd about the sound of the engine and I'm not totally sure I didn't imagine it. I drive a bit further, and there it is again, a fillip of sparks behind me and still nothing indicating that anything is wrong. The car has not lost power, there's no more flames and before a chorus of facepalming and what the hell were you thinking starts, consider this. I was in traffic on a fairly busy road. Averaging 100 kmh. And it's not like any of the other drivers were in any way inclined to move the hell out of the way so I could pull over to the side of the road.

Oh, wait, there we go again, another flashing trail of sparks. Alright, it's time to find an exit. Off I get...still rolling at a regular speed, no hiccuping, no more flames. A quick phone call home on the cell and the concensus is, drive it as close to home as I can get it. It's cooked already is the thought.

Getting off the main road drops my speed to about 60 kmh. Now followed by an odd coloured plume of smoke I'm still moving with traffic and the car appears totally oblivious to any sort of issue. The smoke is not blue, indicating burning oil, nor is it a billowing cloud of white steam that would probably mean a blown head gasket. It's just smoke.

yeah yeah, I know... still no clue.

I am starting to feel uncomfortable and uneasy and all I want to do is get back onto the highway where I can keep up my speed. Miraculously I make every light but one at the very edge of the city and that seems to bode badly for the now starting to chug car. Then, the traffic is moving again and believe it or not, so is the car (and me).

But it's the beginning of the end. The dash has finally gotten a conversation going wth the various computerized controllers and is sending a flashdancing set of signals that are basically telling me to pull the hell over and get the hell outta the car. Apparently that was far too easy to do 20 minutes ago.

A few miles more, a hill or two and the gallant little car is coasting to a standstill at a conveniently located roadside set of selfweigh scales. I call home again and give my location.

Now this car is previously owned and some previous Special Person has had the incredibly annoying idea that removing the radio is as simple as snipping a few wires and yanking... causing a recurring short in the dash that as an interesting side effect requires the headlights to be turned off by unclipping an aligator clip from a wire under the dash. (And no, that was not the source of the yet to be declared problem) As I open the hood, in the dark, unlit area I've rolled to a halt I notice a glimmer of light. Curiosity certainly will kill the cat... I had to know what that flickering was so I walked around to the other side of the car and there we have it folks... a fire. Right there on the back underside of the engine on the passenger side.

I ducked into the car, grabbing my purse, cellphone, insurance and registration, a litre bottle of Mountain Dew with a few sips gone, and a camera case full of cameras and dashed to a safe distance. Setting this stuff down I flip open the cell phone and holler, "I'm on fire!!!"

"You're what now?" Hubby's distracted voice cuts through. "I'm trying to find ..." I'm not listening anymore.

"I mean the car's on fire, not me." Somehow I thought this was an important denotation to make. Now I'm back at curious and circling closer to the car, Mountain dew in hand...

Side note: On any given date or time, the back seat of my car holds anywhere from 3 to 10 half finished bottles of water. The girls are always grabbing a few bottles to take with us when we go to the horses and despite our constant nagging to the contrary, leaving them in the backseat unfinished. This time apparently, they decided to change things up and there were no bottles of anything in the back seat.

"I'm trying to put it out..."

"Let it burn..." I know he's thinking fire insurance, however I'm thinking ...my supra...

"Yeah..yeah... I'm putting it out ..." Splash! Sizzle...splash splash splash...sizzle sizzle sizzle..billow of smoke now scented with the unbelievable scent of hot burnt mountain dew.


So there I sat, for a little while, till hubby and son pulled up in son's chevy pickup. Which he repeatedly and annoying pointed out was running. and a chevy... meh...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Custom make a quiz...

... and receive lots of spam :) or maybe not

So far I'm not but...we'll see I guess.

Anyway... want to know what your friends really know about you? Your significant other? Set 1 to 10 questions about yourself or some other equally scintilatingly interesting topic and send the annoying link to all your friends. Thereby challenging them to admit to you how much or little they know about you. ;P

Here's the link to mine...see how you rate about knowing the unicorn (aka me).


Hee... it suddenly occured to me that some people reading this might not even know that my pseudonym, long before the notion of an online nickname entered my mind, was UNICORN.

I've used it since I was 13, a very long time.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

irish directions

The Quiet Man is the one movie that always makes my very changeable favourite 10 movies list. Not only is it a 'John Wayne' movie, it's also a 'John Ford' movie and a 'Maureen O'Hara' movie. An Oscar winning (for cinematography) 'classic' that almost never was. It is also one of the most visually beautiful movies I remember seeing.

The tone of the entire movie is set for me in the first 10 minutes of the film. John Wayne arrives in a small Irish town. He asks directions to the town of Innisfree of the conductor of the train. A simple enough scene, rather mundane in the way of starting a movie but the dialogue is unforgettable. I begin to smile as soon as the conductor and the engineer begin to fight about whether the fishing is best to the east or the west and the helpful lady with the daughter who'd be glad to show the nice man the way were she here always makes me laugh out loud at JW's reaction. But the sequence that sums up the entire movie for me and how it makes me smile and feel good is the one that goes something like this: "Do you see that road there?" JW nods eagerly, sensing an actual bit of useful information forthcoming, "Don't be taking that road, it'll take ye nowhere near Innisfree."

No matter what mood I'm in that line will draw me into a Brigadoon like state, where the world is suspended for an hour and a half and I live in a world where horse races can decide the fate of a relationship and the anger and animosity of a life long hatred for someone different from you can be turned off to share a wager on a fight.

It's an old story, a 'taming of the shrew' so to speak, love will conquer all and the like. The characters are caricatures of the Irish. The rowdy brother; the stand offish men in the pub until they discover JW's true connection to the place; the little Michaleen; all stand against time to how the Irish have been percieved and portrayed through the years. Remember the Irishman in Braveheart? A little off, talking to God all the time but a lovable character nonetheless. It's difficult (for me at least) to dislike someone with the lilt and charm of the Irish in their voice. So even the villians of movies end up being a little bit loveable.

Years ago I was calling about a groom position at a breeding farm. The lilting tones of an Irishman greeted me over the phone. We chatted for a bit about my qualifications and he invited me to drive over for a face to face interview. While giving me directions he uttered this sentence:

"Do you know the road that goes by McDonald's?"

"Yes," I quickly answered, pen at the ready to take down the directions.

"Don't be going on down that road, it won't bring you anywhere near here..."

My laughter was barely muffled and it was a longish pause before I was able to compose myself and get the correct directions from him.

Upon meeting this delightful man I began working for him and one day he was showing me his racing history, some of his souveniers from his years and years of participation, first as a jockey, then as a trainer and now as a breeder. In the corner, tucked away under a jacket lay an old beat up saddle. He saw me looking at it and explained that it was a souvenier from a movie he'd been an extra in years gone by as a boy in Ireland. The saddle had been used in a race in the movie.

My ears perked up, could it be? Sure enough, he'd been a young lad living in the town that became the fictional Innisfree in my favourite movie. He told me stories about Ward Bond and how the locals had been agog at the man's ability to consume alcohol and still function (no small praise coming from an Irishman), how attentive JW had been to his family and how Miss O'Hara was so beautiful she'd taken his breath away. Listening to his accented tones still strongly Irish after his many years in Canada, I was swept away.

Today, we were a little unsure of where we were. So we stopped to ask an older man, who was sitting on a chair in front of an antique shop, for directions. He stumbled to the car and clung to the door frame for balance. After listening to him tell us not to go that way as it won't take us where we wanted to go we drove off, my smile somewhat fixed as I tried to not breath in the alcohol fumes still hovering around the window.

Finally I turned to hubby and remarked, "trust me to find a drunken Irishman in the middle of nowhere to ask directions from..." He chuckled and nodded and said, "well at least he didn't tell us where the fishing was best."

The words of a child.

Today we took a drive south to visit Jack, #4's 'horse to be' once we get him all paid off. We've been working with him for quite some time and he's become a pet as much as a horse to ride.

It's been a while since we've been able to get there to work with him. Added to that, Jack is entering what amounts to the teenaged angst age group for horses and we weren't too sure of his reaction to being summarily hauled in from the pasture, saddled and ridden. Horses typically have ages where they respond (or don't as the case may be) to certain things amicably or not. Usually what you see as a 1 and 2 year old is what you'll eventually get but there's that ...deadfromtheneckup... time period around 3 to sometimes as old as 5 when they are just cantankerous and unwilling and unpredictable. You know, teenaged angst time.

Jack was a little flat eared and hunchy when hubby got on so we didn't push things. The girls wanted a ride so I led them around on him. I was hot and tired and a little crankily myself with one thing and another, and to tell the truth, trudging around the corral leading a reluctant horse was low on my list of things to do today. #4 enjoyed her ride even if she's a little jaded about being led, being accustomed to being allowed to ride him unaided. Then it was #5's turn.

She clambors up with a little assistance from my knee. She settles into the saddle and picks up the reins. Jack and I start out and her voice trills out, "Mommy when I ride a horse I feel like I'm flying."

"Do you?" I replied in a somewhat surprised tone. The words were clear and the sentiment one I identified with immediately.

"Yes, flying through the air, all by myself."

I couldn't help the smile and sense of wellbeing that rushed through me. I repeated her words to the hubby, adding that I sure could understand that sensation. It didn't really matter that it was hot then, or that I was cranky or grumpy about things external.

To ride a horse -is- like flying. It's something that can't be explained to someone who doesn't get it, whether they've ridden or not. It is something that can be shared in a glance and a sigh but not with words.

The first time I flew my girlfriend tried to prepare me for the take off. She said, "it's like galloping on a horse but instead of running out field, you simply lift up into the air..."

#5 can be a conundrum of emotions and odd behaviours at times. She's got some habits that can set your (well mine anyways) teeth on edge in an instant but that moment then...those are the moments that matter. There's something so brutally and beautifully honest about a 5 yo's enthusiasm and it gladdens my heart that she could tell me so very very clearly, both in the way she spoke and what she said that she understands.

I've often joked that the reason she's the youngest is because God has a sense of humour. At times like this, I see his other reasons too.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I know I've said it before, but as far as you run, you can never outrun your genes.

A few evenings back I was sitting happily watching (read playing Darkthrone) tv and the phone rang. It was my older sister. She lives "back home" in the province and relative area to where we grew up. She married a local boy as did our two older sisters also married locally as did our brother Not me...I moved to Calgary and married a man from England. I've since divorced him. But for the eldest (her husband has passed) they're all still with their highschool sweethearts.

Suffice to say I'm the black sheep. The odd duck and the 'what is that kid thinking' element of our family. Doesn't mean I'm not one of them at heart.

The conversation started out in a normal way, a bit of joshing and goodnatured self dreprecation about our age and weight.

Me: "Hey, how are you?"

Sis: "Old and wrinkled."

Me: (laughing), "well you should have stuck with the family plan of fat, that way the skin's stretched out and the wrinkles don't show."

Sis: (also laughing) "Yes well I've plenty of both to go around."

We exchanged family news, catching each other up on the respective grandkids and children. The talk turned as it often does to who died, who wasn't dead yet and who had already died but I'd forgotten when she'd told me. Now to be totally fair, we aren't totally obsessed with death but the community -is- dying. The young'ns are escaping and not returning and that's sad for people like my sister and myself frankly, even though I can't believe I'll ever live there again. Not only that but she works in a funeral home as part of the catering staff (the woman makes one hell of a pyrogy let me tell you :P and her cabbage rolls are to well..die for ... even if they are her mom-in-law's recipe) so she does tend to mark time by funerals.

Sis: Nick B. died.

Me: (totally shocked the man was still alive) "Uh...wasn't he like 938 years old"

Sis: (laughing) Not quite.

Me: Truthfully, I thought he died years ago.

Sis: No that was ...

And the conversation turned to who was related to whom, and how Nick B. wasn't who I thought he was (he was I just truly did think he'd died years ago I wasn't mixing him up with another old man :P but it's fun to chat about who's who with my sis so away we went).

Somewhere in this long standing conversation (only the people we talk about shift generations or sometimes families) it takes one of those leaps that only do when people know each other well enough to let happen and just run with it.

Sis: S... were you ever in an accident? (somewhat startled tone as it had just leaped back into her mind, and also being the reason she'd called me).

Me: (knowing full well that she meant there and in the time we'd been discussing, a time when I'd been a young teen fool and she'd worried about me more than my own mom did...not because she cared more but because she was closer to my generation and what sort of stupidity teens were capable of). "Yes. I mean no not back then, but here in Alberta yes..." (see as much as I like to play with her mind, there's some things I won't twist about with her)

Sis: Well D. P. (who by the way would have been about oh...3 years old when this particular accident did occur)said you were in the car with B when that happened.

Me: (having a semi tempertantrum flashing back on the reason I wasn't in the car with B. who up until about 2 weeks prior to that had been my first boyfriend) NO. That was some bimbo with bigger boobs than mine and thanks for reminding me of that shithead.
(all said in a tone that she would know to be jokingly)

Sis: Well D.P. said. (dog with a bone, that's our family. We get an idea in our heads and it sticks, right or wrong).

Me: (pointing out the age difference between D.P. and myself ...frankly he's a little suck :P and a tattletale) (oh and we always call him D.P. to differentiate between him and our brother D.) I think I'd remember being in that accident. (it had been one where truly the three in the car had been extremely lucky ... they'd crossed a highway in front of a semi carrying logs to the local mill. It's a blind curve and they had a stop sign but they were also young, stupid and who knows possibly a little drunk although I can't honestly remember if they were or not, or if any charges were laid.)

Sis: Well that's what I thought but D.P. said you'd dated him. (Time you see, is relative to our family's need to connect events. Yes, I had dated the boy in question for the entire school year prior to that summer. And yes I was rather bitter that two days after playing "I Wouldn't Want to Lose Your Love" (by April Wine) to me on the phone this boy had taken another girl to the April Wine concert and had never called me again. Sure it was 30 + years ago but some wounds are easily torn open it would appear.)

Me: Thanks for reminding me of that. (the devil? he's got nothing on sardonic remarks around us).

Sis: You're welcome. (see? Not only do we have sardonic down cold but we own stock in sarcasm as well.)

We're goofy now and giggly, sharing things as we never did when we were younger. The age difference between us negligible now that we are both grandmothers. We see the world through the same glasses now, bifocals that let us see both near and far of the situation and with a little bit more patience and a lot more ability to let things be, instead of youthfully trying to mold the happenings in our lives to what we wanted rather than what was to be.

When I was a young adult (in age, at least if not in brain) she'd seemed impossibly old to me. Stuck in her ways and unbending in her beliefs. We fought a lot then. She wanted to mother me, to replace somehow the mom I'd lost at 16. I didn't begin to understand her reasons, why she couldn't be my sister and stop trying to boss me around. How I wish I'd taken a moment to think and realize how old she'd been when her own mother had died and the woman who was to become mine became a part of her life. We'd fight nearly every time we'd talk on the phone but to her credit she didn't stop trying. When I walked away from the family for nearly 5 years she held onto hope that I would return, looking for me now and again and crying with relief when I finally called home, alone, divorced, without my kids she never chastised beyond why ever didn't you call?

We fought a lot. Our conversations never ending without one or the both of us in tears. She wanted so badly to help me with my life. I wanted so desperately to be accepted for the decisions I was making. Finally one day I realized, actually had what amounted to an epiphany :) that I didn't have to fight so hard to be accepted for them, I simply had to believe in them. I stopped defending them to her. When she'd challenge me on something I'd decided, I'd remark on the weather. And to her credit she took the hint. Our conversations became tolerable, then even pleasant. Now I look forward to enjoying a good yak with her about who died.

I guess this post could also have been entitled, "time heals all wounds" but really it's not just time. sometimes it's a remark about the weather that does it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Resolutions...not just for New year's day.

In an attempt to post more often I'll be putting up the odd Q&A (well hopefully odd, unless my muse takes another sabatical or twelve).

Scooped this one from a blog I recently discovered from another blogger's blog list. (wow can you really use the word blog that many times in a sentence and maintain your sanity?)

Another blog q & a

10 years ago today I was
: heavier, unemployed, in post partum depression and blissfully unaware of it.

5 years ago today I was: also heavier than I am today, heh, also unemployed and also in post partum depression only I and everyone around me was dreadfully aware of it.

1 year ago today I was: Still shaking after being robbed at gunpoint earlier in the month. I'd quit the job and was signing up for school.

I was drinking a slurpee (cranberry) that my manager at the bank decided everyone needed one of.

5 snacks I enjoy: mixed nuts, particularly brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds; raw carrots; crisp apples and old cheese; popcorn; fresh fruit.

5 songs I know by heart:
Two Little Boys, Runaway (Del Shannon), I Cross My Heart, George Strait, Last Kiss, Don't Be Cruel (ELVIS), Can't Help Falling in Love (also ELVIS).

5 things I would do with $100 million dollars: Buy each of my 5 kids a house, set each of them up with trustfunds with ridiculous conditions and tell them "sink or swim I gave you a life jacket use it wisely". Buy land. Invest in a friend's business. Take a cruise. Have a blast doing little favours for people.

5 places I would run away to:
The mountains. Up north somewhere. The deep south but I'd need a guide to keep from getting something squishy to eat or offending someone. Australia. Morocco.

5 things I would never wear: Thong bikini. nuff said.

5 favourite TV shows:
CSI, American Justice, Big Brother, Passions (the soap opera)

5 favourite toys (actual you know, toys, that little kids play with not XXXTOYSXXX): Spirograph. That drawing tool where you could trace over a picture and draw it with the other end, larger or smaller. Yoyo. Slinky and building blocks, megablocks, lincolnlogs, leggo, erector sets, what ever I could stack and build shapes with. Oh does anyone remember little daisy shaped plastic bits? rather like the connector things?

5 *moments*:
Settling into the saddle of a new horse, the little frisson that races up your spine. Taking off in a plane. The first time you make love with someone and realize it is really lovemaking and not just sex. That brief moment just before...well you know... When you know, in your heart, that what you're doing is the absolutely right thing to do at that particular moment.

Your turn.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sometimes I need to listen to myself.

Recently I was talking with someone about their love life. I tend to be a bit of a snoop in that regard, I like to think it comes from being a writer, as to be a good writer one must be a voyeur of sorts. But on the flip side somewhere along the way certain people have found me easy to confide in and have even told me later that my listening and inevitable advice has been helpful.

Anyway, I found myself listening to a sad tale. My friend, and I wish I could say that both parties in this relationhip were my friends, but sadly that's not the case, is feeling somewhat frustrated with his significant other. I like them both. I enjoy both of them as people but only with one did I make *a connection*.

This is hard, as my immediate response is something that was said to me a long time ago by a friend of mine. "You're mine and he's not, and therefore regardless of the circumstances, you are always right and he's always wrong." She went on to add, "unless you're being a big fat idiot."

I listened and nodded and hugged and generally was a sounding board for my buddy to get out what he needed to get out. At the end of it I found these sage words leaving my lips: "...love isn't slavery, subservency or superiority. it's not two people coming together to make one. it's two whole entire people, coming together to make a sum far greater than two."

There's so many old saws that come to mind, 'if you love something set it free...', 'if you can't love yourself, no one else can...', and my favourite...'who wants to belong to a club that would let me into as a member?'

I've always said that people that need someone to *complete* them didn't understand the concept of a relationship. Only I wasn't listening. I was busy saying all the right things just not doing them. I was busy searching for someone to finish me, to add the edging and embellishes that I wanted or thought I needed to complete me.

What I needed was already inside me. I simply had to allow it to be enough. To be what -I- needed, rather than what others were telling me I needed. I don't need fringes and tassels and a fancy lace edging to make me special. I already am. If only I'd believe it.

I'm considering this an affirmation that I am enough. For me. Anyone else can figure out their own standards or levels of enough.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Turning the Other Cheek

You know how people turn the other cheek, swallow the insult that cuts to the very quick of their heart because well... nice people do just that. Parents do that. Friends do that. Sisters do that. Coworkers do that. I'm DONE doing that.

I no longer am a nice person. I no longer will let others' wishes, desires, needs, wants, gratification whathaveyou, come before my own. If I'm not important enough for the common courtesies of wishing happy birthday to, being concerned when I'm ill, accepting that my feelings are also hurt to someone then they can go find someone who is. If they were important to me and that's how they think then I was obviously mistaken about their importance to me.

And I'm going to recognise that fact a hell of a lot sooner now because I'm going to be examining EVERYTHING with a fine toothed comb from now on. Everyone will be suspect until they PROVE their worth to me. I'm not going to sit there and expect humanity from people. I'm not going to assume that because I simply would NOT treat someone else that way, that they won't treat me that way. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm going to assume that they are going to do as dirty to me as they can and defend against it. I'm going to be a lonely miserable suspicious person but damn it I no long will sit there stunned into sobbing tears at the level of inconsideration with which I was treated. I'll be well prepared for it. And I'll do everything in my power to do it first because I'm DONE.

I'm not apologizing for my desires anymore. And you know what else? I'm done explaining just how very simple they are. Because they are; they are the lowest level of respect and consideration for another human being that can be expected. Obviously that's my problem right? Anything that comes that cheap in effort isn't worth it.

So what I need to become is a high maintenance bitch. A person whose ass simply begs to be kissed. I will expect diamonds, even though I hate those hard brittle gems. I won't look for the fire and life of an opal anymore. I want diamonds and gold because when I'm done with whoever gave them to me, I can sell them for money. From now on it's about ME.

I've been accused of being selfish before, man they got nothing. They want selfish? They'll see SELFISH.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mel Gibson

heh... there was a time when I first got connected online when Mr. Gibson (long one of my favourite actors) couldn't make a public move without a network of MELFANs I belonged to sending the airwaves shimmering with the volume of their comments, tidbits of info and opinions.

BTW: if you're going to fill my comments with remarks about his recent remarks, drunken arrest or the like, piss off and read the post first.

It was the first email list I ever belonged to and one of the liveliest, while perhaps not in sheer numbers like the KnitList or eTatters it was one of the most enjoyable lists I've had the pleasure to participate in.

We talked about his pants size, his eyes, his kids, his movie role choices and how he portrayed his characters. We looked for motivation like the very best group of method actor wannabes ever, and we discussed the plot device of Rika (LW2) to death. We were all walks of life, many different religions were evident in the well wishes for the group from various members through the year. We ranged from judges to homemakers to professional extras and back to an ex girlfriend of his (from his teen years I believe) to industry insiders. We even (gasp) had male members of the list who simply admired the man's ability to be a man and or an actor.

The list disbanded just prior to the release of The Passion of the Christ and I believe it was a wise choice on Lisa's (listowner) part. Her reasons were personal, and had more to do with a change in her family dynamic (a teen was becoming quite well known in her chosen sport and time was becoming an issue) than any controversy that film was sure to stir up. We'd weathered more than one bout of *bad press* before that and probably would have come through this a more enlightened group as we had before.

You see the list wasn’t about MEL GIBSON = ENTITY and we weren’t seeing him as a EPITOME of how to live, be and think. We were a group of intelligent, articulate people, who chose to enjoy his abilities as an actor. Sure there were always people who when they disagreed with his choices talked about not watching him anymore. *shrugs*. That’s what free will and free enterprise and consumer’s choice is all about.

I didn’t even know he’d been arrested until the anti Semite hoopla started and my first response was sadness that the demon that he’s dealt with, hid from and fought with all these years had gotten another hold of him.  Then I started reading articles about it all. Man, everyone’s got an opinion hey? I read Mr. Gibson’s formal apology. I know that some will consider it lip service and an attempt to recoup his prestige. I don’t believe those people are correct. Sure, as a fan, I don’t want them to be either, but I really think that despite it being very formal and very well prepared it was an honest apology.

One thing I feel a need to comment on is this: Rob Schneider is simply capitalizing on the press being generated with his “I’ll never work with Gibson” crap ad in Variety. Who cares frankly? And I say that as someone who’s enjoyed both actors in separate films. I had and have NO DESIRE what so ever to ever see the two of them in the same film. So there, Robbie m’boy…smoke that in your publicity stealing pipe and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Getting a little bit antsy after the shitshow that Duece Bigalow European trash turned out to be? Need to jump on anyone’s bandwagon you can’t don’t you? You little shit piece of trash, before you say you’d never work with him you ought to wait to be asked. However, even though the above opinion is pretty strong, I’ll probably have a laugh at one or two of his movies again sometime. But I digress…

Back to Mel.

I can’t forgive him. 1. I’m not Jewish. 2. He didn’t make the remarks to me. 3. Even the person who is Jewish that he did make the remarks to can’t forgive him, truly. The only person who can forgive these actions is Mel himself and I doubt that’s something that’s going to happen anytime soon. People ought to heed their own teachings before they go out making remarks like the above noted, y’know. To err is human, to forgive is divine. I rather think that there’s relatively few that remember that when they’re out there ready to put up billboards. This is turning into a ‘oh look, the high and mighty is toppling, quick throw on a grappling hook and rip him apart’ or maybe just to their level hmmm?

Maybe I’m naïve, maybe I’ve got a Pollyanna people are truly good and life is all good view on the world, heh…maybe I’m selfish and just don’t want to believe that he’s a bad person because then I have to go around defending my admiration of his work.

See that’s where people get confused IMNSHO. The work is not the man. Who he is when he’s with his friends, his family and in his personal life is none of my business. And yes, there’s a line where someone’s personal beliefs shouldn’t be allowed to make them money especially where those beliefs are against the norm or mores of society but there’s far worse *people* out there making money off silly bullshit or off the norm scale remarks. And, I might add, although it’s not intended as a defence of Mel, without the aid of befuddling substances such as alcohol.

Certainly if a celebrity or person of note is found guilty of heinous act he should be accorded the same punishment as an ordinary person but we all know that’s something we as a society don’t allow. We vilify our heroes for stepping the slightest bit out of our preconceived pigeonholes for them. We don’t allow them to have faults; we don’t allow them to be anything other than what we’ve created them to be in our minds. Or what their PR person has created. (Think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt here  or Madonna or a few dozen other ‘don’t have a clue what this is about but my PR person told me to smile and nod so like a bobble headed Chihuahua so I will’ celebs.)

Mel has a problem. One he’s fought and managed and dealt with for many years and likely will do so for the rest of his life.

I’ll still watch his performances. I’ll still count him as one of my favourite actors and certain scenes (not the hottub scene in Tequila Sunrise you dirty minded person you lol) will still take my breath away.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The names of our lives...

Special K has an interesting post about titles. It go me thinking about how what we are taught (indoctrinated) as children affects our ability to address others by or without titles.

In my family 'auntie' is a very important title. Through a set of circumstances that precluded them spending much time with each other during their growing up time, my older set of kids did not automatically give this title to my female siblings. The title was, however, accorded to my best friend and through her Uncle was given to her husband. To this day, she and her husband, although no longer as integral to our lives are still referred to in nostalgia binges as Auntie and Uncle.

I make a point of asking people how they would like my kids to address them. The response has often been just call me *firstname* but now and again a thankful Oh, Mrs so&So will be okay if they're comfortable with that. And despite their teenage years' mantra of 'let's see just how hard we can make that vein in mom's forehead pop out' they usually were respectful.

I always balked however, when someone suggested "Oh, they can just call me auntie " No, that's not an option sorry. Auntie is an accorded honour in our family, awarded to a certain level of relationship. I didn't really realize just how strongly I felt about this until a ...lady? ... who was not to my liking stepped into a friend's relationship and became their *roommate* for a time. She was to watch my kids one day and they were unsure of how to address her. On the phone she mentioned "They can call me Auntie so and so" I nearly bit her head off with an abruptly snapped "No! I seriously don't think so." Thankfully she was the epitomy of blonde bimboness and was totally oblivous to my response. :) she weren't a blondie just for looks y'know. :)

It's in the conference of authority for me. In the comments of SK's post someone mentioned Southern manners. I will always refer to a woman older than I or that I am serving or providing a serving to as Ma'am (or a man older than me as Sir or Mr.) and be quite confused when they get pissy about it. Ladies, it's good enough for the Queen of freaking England quit getting yer knickers in a knot.

When I was a kid, it was the height of my contempt to not address my mom's brother as Uncle so&so. He was and is beneath my contempt and totally undeserving to my 8 yo mind of such a lofty title. This ideal of mine carried on through school when I dared to address a teacher by her first name. *daring do for a kid of my generation*

Now I tend to be a bit offhand with folks, shortening names and using the ubiquitous 'hon' (comes of hanging out with all those 'murricans' as SK would denote them. :P

Where do titles fit in your life?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Excuse me? Blessed? I'll say...

Click, read, click again, read s'more. My very nearly daily evening activity of blog reading, occasional commenting, reading some of the funny bits aloud to my not so very interested other was interrupted today by this random click on someone's blogroll. It led me to here.

First let me say how terrible this whole situation is. How glad I am that this family escaped this experience without loss of life or limb. Truly, they are blessed.

Second...what the hell was this woman thinking? Pictures? keepsakes? momentos? The pets I can understand. I guess I can even understand going back in a time or two...but there comes a point...

THEN she got scared? Then? How does she think her family felt watching her running back in time and time again for this picture or that. Great that some of the neighbours took it upon themselves to grab stuff and run. Great. How would this story have turned out if just one of them had tripped.

Not only were lives risked unnecessarily but repeatedly.


RRRAaaacccceee OVER

I've been chuckling about this all evening long. The titles alone that have wandered through my brain whilst contemplating this post have kept me amused for hours.

Today after work my brief holiday from kidlets ended. I dropped the guy off in Okotoks to work on a car and went on into the city to pick up the littles. They've been staying with #2 daughter since Thursday evening. She's now rethinking the whole 'it's time for me to have a baby' thought pattern but that's another blog.

As I wander my way past a shitload of backed up traffic held up by not one but two multi car mishaps I count myself lucky that I only have *visit* the city occasionally nowadays, rather than driving there every day or weekend as was my life a few years back.

As I travel I glance in my rear view mirror and see a car approaching at what might e considered an alarming rate of speed. It lurches as it brakes and then edges even closer to my back bumper. Now since I've been rearended a time or two, and have rather less tolerance for stupidity than most I was immediately annoyed. I refused to up my speed as he obviously wanted me to do and held steady at (gasp) the speed limit as posted. A few more intimidation attempts on his part had me getting past annoyed well on my way towards cranky. I touched my brakes enough to warn him off and then when he encroached again I shook my fist in my rear view mirror. I didn't flip him off, just a quick shake of my hand and head. Well you'd think I'd ripped off his shiney silver mirror or something. He swerved and pushed his way into the other lane and paced me, dropping gears and revving for about 1 klik or so and then when we came to a halt at a red, proceeded to tell me off in a voice loud enough to be heard over the ridiculous bass pouring out of the ass end of his shiney, slick silver something or other, but it's got a spoiler car. I spared him a glance and rolled my eyes. Then he did it, he pushed me past the point of cranky. He insulted my car.

Them's fighting words. I really didn't give a shit that he called me a fat old bitch. Hell, somedays I'm even proud of being just that. But when he asked what a fat old bitch like me was doing driving a rustbucket of a sportscar like that I saw red. Well, green actually. I turned to him and snarled "smokin' your scrawny ass" and revved my engine working my gearshift through its paces. The light turned and my sanity returned and I didn't jump. He did however...

You know that bit in the movies where the smart ass young punk gets his after tormenting the hero at the light? Well... silvershiney crumples damn good when it smacks into the ass end of a caddy. And you know, that really big black guy getting out of the caddy...he didn't look all that happy camper. Funny how my little buddy didn't even wave back to me as I drove past, and we were having such a good conversation too.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

holding pattern

This movie has in it one of my all time favorite movie quotes. (not to mention one of my favourite all time movie actors but that's another blog post). However, it's one of my favourites, not the people who collect quotes and post them, so I'll have to paraphrase. Mel's character's girlfriend has been knocked down and is in a coma. He's drunk, despairing of her awakening and considering cryogenics (hey I didn't write it ;0) At any rate, he says to his friend about her, (warning bad paraphrase coming) "nothing was ever real till she knew..." I love that quote. That's how it used to be for me with my other half. Nothing was real to me till I got to tell him about it.

Today I got a parttime job at a new bank. Today I had no one to tell. No one to make it real for me.

I told him later, when he got home but it wasn't the same as it should have been. I told a couple of friends and they were of course, pleased for me, still not the same.

I don't really know when it changed or why it had to or whether it can change back or not.

I know I'm not blameless. I know that he isn't either. People fuck up. Make stupid decisions and forget to do things for one another when it's really important that they do. No one in this world is perfect. Well except for this one person I have this sneaking suspicion about but no one else is.

I guess I'll need a new favourite quote. This one doesn't feel the same anymore.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Well I like it ;)

Recently I've *moved on up to the current decade* as my daughter tells me and acquired a cellphone, with a *cool* service provider nonetheless. Yep that's me, cutting edge. *GIGGLE*.

Anyways, one of the links on their website led me here MyTego and ultimately to this.

Now perhaps I'm overly excited by this, and easily amused :) but I think this is great. I like my cell, and particularly enjoy being able to text off it during class time (shhh) as it keeps me amused although I hope I don't get like that Sean character off Survivor that was using a rock as an imaginary Blackberry *MEEP*.

If you get any imaginary messages from me, don't answer, 'kay?

Friday, May 05, 2006

In the blink of an eye

I'm sitting here half dressed, coffee slowly percolating through my sleepy brain, waiting on the dryer that I forgot to turn on last night, and thought I'd enter the snide post I wrote yesterday at school, while I was supposed to be studying Desktop Publisher 2003.

I got it about half typed out, then got distracted watching #4 play with Dexter and Huggie (papillon and pug, 7 and nearly 10). She's teasing them to join her on the couch and when Dex, his tail creating a breeze that I can feel from the next chair, jumps in her lap she laughs and shoves him off as his main purpose for getting into your lap is to smother your face with kisses. Poor old Huggie is getting a little slower, and his snorts and grunts are getting sometimes alarmingly loud. He's trying to climb up on the couch and after a few attempts, finally gets the afghan in a pile on the floor to use as a ramp. Now she's having to fend off two flying tongues and two solid bodies clambouring all over her. Her laughter rings out and fills the room, punctuated with the sounds of pug grunts and tapping nails when they skitter onto the foyer floor.

Somehow I don't feel all that snide anymore. I think that I'll just sit here and watch her play, sip my coffee and contemplate my day.

Enough time to be snide later on.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sage Advice, maybe...

So, my horoscope for May 3rd, 2006 says:
Limits only exist where you think they exist. It's time to ask yourself the payoff for staying stuck in a certain situation. Then think about what frightens you about being able to live your dreams. Go from there.

Well now, isn't that interesting. Of course it's rather general, somewhat like a fortune cookie. I don't necessarily plan my day around my horoscope...in fact I find I often don't read them until a few days later. It is strange though how sometimes it seems just so right on the money.

There are changes in my life approaching, but you know what, there usually are changes just around the corner for folks, aren't there? Do I feel stuck in a situation, yes, a little bit, but I'm willing to bet that most folks do at some point of their week. Everytime the copier jams yet again at work, or the phones are acting up... or maybe the boss has a crappy day and reminds you of the old adage about shit rolling down hill, don't you feel stuck at times likes that? Don't you want to look around the corner and see the changes approaching? And don't those changes give you a little...thrill? A tightening in your stomach, a bit of regret for the good things that might change, anticipation of the new, dread of the new, grief for the old...all these emotions whirl through one at a time of change.

I guess we'll see... if this horoscope like any other that's given me pause, comes true or not.

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Truth or what ever passes for it these days

Things I've learned in my life...


Some people are who they are. They won't ever change, they won't ever care and they won't ever be who we think they should be, would be if they could be or anything but what and how and who they are.

As a corrollorary to that...learn to love them as they are, or leave them as they are. Anything else is a waste of energy on your part; and an insult to the other person.

It's taken me a good long while, but I think I've finally figured out that there's a point where all that's left to do is to make an exit.

We are, none of us, as interesting as we think we are. Nor, are we as non interesting as others think we are. Nor for that matter, are we ever as non interesting to everyone as we are to ourselves. (yeah..okay, still working on that one).

No one will ever do it for us. Whatever it is. We have to find our own mountains, climb them ourselves and write our own memoirs.

Life is too serious to take lightly and too short to take seriously.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Further to the whole Feet of Clay Deal...

Once your hero has crashed andsmashed before you, and you're dealing with the sadness of realization; it behooves one to realize also that not only are your impressions of this person inaccurate and dashed to pieces, but so might be their own impression of themselves. This is the second step in the learning process that having and worshiping heroes teaches us.

Some people, you see, believe their own press releases. It becomes important to them to BE that person that you and others believed them to be. They have fooled themselves into seeing only the hero and not the real person behind the smoke and mirrors. Oh sure, they know they have been behaving in a manner that could be construed as non hero like behaviour; they are well aware that they actions, words, intent, demeanour are at odds with that fine statue others have been worshiping and looking to for guidance, approval and acceptance. They believe they've hidden these anomalies well enough to fool others and thereby themselves. Like the magician agog at the way he makes the doves appear and disappear, they have been onstage in the performance of their lives and now...sadly the curtain has come down. But not before they've stumbled and fallen, crashing scenery and facades down around their ears leaving members of their audience in stunned silence.

Cut them some slack, even in the midst of your own grieving process. Realize that they too have a life lesson to learn here. We can't be all things to all people. We certainly can be the world to someone but not to everyone. We can't always be what someone else wants or even needs us to be; we have to be ourselves. Warts 'n' all, selfishness allowed, true to ourselves people. Not every person can be a Mother Teresa or a John Wayne. Not every person has the wherewithal to be ALL THAT THEY CAN BE (to borrow a catchphrase), some people struggle just to be someone they can like; someone they can look in the mirror at and not wince away from their own gaze.

Turn your eye as they pick up the pieces of themselves. Give them the privacy to rebuild the statue if they so choose. Now you know that the feet are of clay, you won't lean so hard against it the next time, or maybe not ever again. Let that be your lesson and let them have theirs. That's not always easy, or fun but it is the right thing to do. Sometimes doing the -right- thing is all anyone can do; but don't ever forget, what's right for some may not be right for all and everyone's moccasins walk differently. Just because you know a statue has fallen before, that doesn't give you the right to poke fingers at it and tell everyone and sundry of the clay laden feet. Let others learn their own lessons.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Feet of Clay

Do you remember having a hero? Watching that special person, be it a sports figure, or a family member, admiring them, wanting to be them, knowing that all was right in the world because that person was there?

Do you remember the day it all came crashing down? The day the feet of clay on the golden statue were revealed? Some statues just start to lean a little; others fall to the ground in a thunderous crash. The result is the same. Ideals are crushed; people’s hopes, dreams and trust are smashed to small little pieces. Mostly they can be rebuilt, patched back together good as new. Good as new, except for that one tiny little chip that you can never find no matter how you scour the ground where the statue fell.

It’s an important experience to watch your heroes shrink to normal size. It’s traumatic and steals your breath but it’s necessary. It’s best if it happens naturally, the day your mother becomes a grandma, the day your dad claps you on the shoulder and congratulates you on your win, your accomplishment, your best day ever. Sometimes it happens harsher than that. Sometimes the façade is torn away in one fell sweep that leaves bare your hero, broken and shattered, lying scattered at your feet.

Yet it’s still a good thing. It prepares you for the disappointments in life. The day you realize your best friend is a petty do-gooder who’s secretly judged you AND found you wanting all your friendship. The day you look into your childhood sweetheart’s eyes and realize that childhood is over and this grown boy before you doesn’t really love you the way you thought you loved him. The day your child tells you to leave her alone, that you aren’t really the mother she wanted all her life. It prepares you for these days. It doesn’t insulate you from them but you’re not as shocked as you might have been had you not seen the feet of clay before.

It prepares you for another type of shock. Sometimes through no fault of their own people become idols to others. Sports figures deal with this but so do bosses, friends and coworkers. There’s a pressure to being a hero. An honorable person can’t go around being selfish and petty and having shitty days. An honorable person can’t have wants and needs of his own. They can’t be who they want, they have a unwanted obligation to others to be the hero. So they sneak off. They create places, ideals and alter egos of their own to feel normal, to feel not beholden to be a certain way around others. It’s why people slum. It’s why they hang out with people you’d not expect them to. It’s why men cheat on their wives and why wives do also. It’s a difficult thing to just let someone be who they are.

Is it any wonder they have feet of clay? No. Does it hurt to find out that someone you idolize and envision as a hero does. Yes. Very much.