Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Cat.

September of 1996 was sunny, as far as I can remember. It might have even been 1997. Either way, I was in a new school (having moved to Canada in '96 and starting 6th Grade and then moving to Middle School in '97).

I went every couple of weekends to my cousin's house near Brockville. She lived on a farm that had lots of chickens, out-of-work school buses and masses of land to run and play on.

There was also Brown Cat, the resident kitten factory. Every few months this ratty old thang would produce a little of balls of fluff and love and us kids would delight in watching them roll around in the grass; jumping from tiny heights, trying to figure out what their limits were.

One of these September weekends we took my Grandma with us, her walking frame in the trunk of the car. We got to the farm and got to visiting with my cousin, her husband and their four daughters.

Brown Cat had given birth to three tabby kittens a few weeks before, and they were in full pounce. We played for hours with Chub-Chub, Tiger and the runt of the litter, Mo.

I was always jealous of them having all these cats that came and went as they pleased. Some would turn feral, some would just lounge around in the workshop in piles of sawdust and soak up the sun beams. I was envious (and still am) of the way of life my cousin's family, and would have spent every waking minute at their idyll.

We were packing up the car at the end of our day visit, and my dad was putting my Grandma's walker away for the journey home. He'd opened up the trunk, gone back to the house to help Grandma to the car, then started to put the frame away.

Two kittens jumped out.

On the way home, Dad said 'Well, looks like we almost had a cat! Good thing they got out of the trunk before we got all the way back to Ottawa!'

He'd forgotten about the third kitten that traveled with the 'pack'.

Once home, Dad opens the trunk to take Grandma's walker out again.

Our new kitten: 'Mew?'

Dad: 'Crap.'

And that's how we got our cat Mo.

When my parent's went their separate ways, Mo went with my Dad to California, got fat and ended up going missing.
I was visiting my dad, and I'd been told that the cat hadn't come home. Turns out it was three months that he was AWOL.

We'd come up with heroic situations that the cat got into:

- He lost a battle with an eagle

- He had turned into the Kerouac of cats and was living in the desert, fighting cyotes and vultures.

It turned out he'd been hit by a car, and dumped on my dad's neighbour's porch. Perhaps not such a romantic death, but at least we knew what had happened.

Oh yeah: He had 7 toes on both front paws. My dad would try to make him hold pens and stuff.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

You little Motherducker. Duck you.

So. There was a duck in my conservatory today. And I don't mean that I have a Conservatory where beautiful music is made. Because this duck was making everything BUT music to my ears.

All it did was get stuck behind a storage unit, and shit EVERYWHERE.
I'm not exactly impressed with this. And now it won't get out of my garden. I think maybe it hurt itself, and to be honest? I'm not fucking surprised.

I phoned my mum screaming about it, and she was equally appalled. And then it shit even MORE.

Anyway. Now it's out of the mess it made, and it can't even hold a fucking mop to clean up its own plops on the floor.

I'm pretty sure it knew I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder because it just kept hissing at me, and making me paranoid that it was going to attack me. Also? Pretty sure it had a switch-blade hidden in its feathers.


Thursday, 6 September 2012


A train races through the night.
Frightened, I close my eyes and try
to stop the train from crashing
into the walls of my peace.

The train races on.
The engine is overheating,
I can't find water to cool it off.
It is going too fast.

The rails are curved, spiraling.
They lead the train into the memories
I'd rather abandon.
My heart pounds.

Caught in my throat,
the fears of my past,
the cries of pain.
The train gets faster.

A handbrake catches my eye.
The relief of calmer times,
though I can't remember perfectly,
gives me pause.

I pull the brake, screaming.
Halting, the train seems to slow,
If only for a moment.
It still goes too fast.

The Fist of God is cushioned with duvets.

Ok, so I may be more excited than I should be. The Bloggess is following me on Twitter. For me, this is a big deal.

Why? Because she is amazing and I wish I was her neighbour (because who wouldn't want to be neighbours with a giant metal chicken and Jenny Lawson?)

She is the person who inspired this blog, after all. So if anyone is to blame for you needing brain bleach after reading my crap then, well.. Ok so it's not fair to blame her, but if you could send a little tiny bit of blame her way I'd appreciate it. But replace the word 'blame' with 'thanks' and we're getting on like a house on fucking fire.

So my story today comes from the shallows of my memory... Let us begin, children.

The year is somewhere between 1996 and 2001, but let's pretend it's further back, because that way it's scarier.
The year is 1903. The place is a farm. In the house on the farm are two cousins (both with the same first name, so it's more confusing and funnier). They are having a sleepover in the basement which is totally not humming with electricity. But it kind of is because it wants to have electricity so it can get the internet someday.

Whatever. My cousin and I were having a sleepover in her kick-ass basement. It had walls of rough wood and would have been creepy as fuck, but it wasn't cuz the house was full of love and kindness.

So we had the night-light on and we were trying to go to sleep (pah, like that would ever happen with teenage girls in a basement.) and then I saw something move on the wall. I figure it's just a little bug that I shouldn't care about cuz I WAS TOTALLY GOING TO SLEEP. Then my cousin says 'Can you deal with that, please?'. Deal with what, you might think? Deal with WHAT?

I then looked at the source of her angst and what do I see? Only the biggest beetle that I'd ever seen in real life. And I think my cousin reckoned it was going to eat her. I thought I was a wimp, but nothing compared to her.

This is still a mystery to me, because I have never EVER lived in the countryside, and that's the only place that she had EVER lived, so I figure she should know better.

Anyway. I go over to the wall, where the beetle was last espied, and it had gone into a knot in the wood. Great. I said to my completely lame-ass cousin that it wasn't going to bother her, and she commanded me like a brat to stay at that wall until it came back out, and kill it with death. So i did. I grabbed a bunch of kleenex and when it came out of its knot, I covered it with tissues and to make a point to my cousin (and hopefully wake her parents up) I punched that fucking beetle with all my little might. It went POP and I then dropped it in the trash. It clanged as it hit the bottom.

That poor little blighter never knew what hit him. I mean, he WAS covered up, so I can only assume it was akin to someone covering you with a duvet and punching you with the fist of God.

Sorry, beetle.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Shark Punch.

Sometime I'm going to have to somehow upload a bunch of stuff I recorded on tape. Such as me doing a dramatic reading of Little Miss Tiny (by Roger Hargreaves) and The Hobbit (the abridged book-on-tape - not the Tolkien - version). They're fucking hilarious. And that's me saying that. You can totally hear my mother getting majorly pissed off with me because, apparently, I was more concerned with reading into a microphone and not getting ready for school or something. I'm glad I'm not my own child. I would have killed me by now.

Seriously, I'm not just saying that. I was the most annoying kid ever, and I'm pretty sure I'm one of the top annoying adults in my age group. I try not to be, but anyone who's ever been near me when I'm manic will know that I'm loud, shrill and boisterous. And the only reason I say those particular words is because I can't find any words that will make it seem like I pity myself. I don't want to be that person. At least, I don't want to be that person with you guys. You're welcome.

As a first world problem, it's kind of difficult for me to sift through my memories and find the funny ones, or find things that I used to want to do. This is because there are a lot of memories I'd rather skip over, because it's much like jumping the shark. If I misstep, the bad memories will bite my ankles and drag me underwater and rip me to shreds.
Again: I don't want you guys to read about the shit that I've been through. I'd rather be someone who is happy-go-lucky and doesn't dwell on the past.
Sometimes, though? The sharks are circling really fast and thick, and those are the days that I can't get through to myself to tell that little part of me that those things are in the past and that I can get past them just by punching them on the nose.

For those of you who find they can relate, I sympathise. I hope you have someone in your life who will let you sink into your memories, but pull you to safety and remind you that you're wonderful.
I'm extremely lucky that I have such brilliant friends. I love them with all my heart and I never thought that I would have people like them in my life.

I know that the sharks may jump up to get me, but I'll always have a hand to pull me out of the water if they grab me. They have given me the strength to know that even if they aren't there, I can pull myself out by thinking of the love we have for one another.

Those sharks are bastards, but you can punch them on the fucking nose.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Mental-scarring doesn't exactly pay well.

The summer that I was 14 going on 15, I spent a week babysitting in the wilds of Quebec.

The week started with me travelling to a cottage (that the family I was helping had rented) in the dad's awesome convertible. I realised about 20 minutes outside of Ottawa that convertibles are not only stupid cars, but also that, if I had been given the choice, I should have chosen to wear a bike helmet. Because it felt really dangerous. And not in a 'Hey man, this is dangerous in a totally cool way', but more of a 'Omigodwe'regonnadieifwegoover50mph' kind of way. I also wouuld have worn a helmet because my hair was basically a birds nest at the halfway point of the journey. And no amount of conditioner would de-tangle it. Not even the amazing-smelling L'Oreal Kids strawberry 2-in-1. With built-in de-tangler. It was horrible. I still have nightmares.

When we finally got to the cottage on the lake (it was real pretty, and had a long-ass dock that I was TOTALLY wanting to fish off of), I got settled in, and got down to babysitting. Which basically consisted of me sitting on some rocks down by the dock while the eldest kid collected toads in a bucket. The baby didn't need looking after because it had horrendous hayfever, I think. Or it was lazy. It basically just slept all the time and when it wasn't sleeping, it was getting ready to sleep while it ate. If I ever have children, I want a more active child, instead of one with allergies to the outdoors. That baby was really boring.

A couple of days went by without much to write home about. Well, there was a moth in my bedroom that I managed to get rid of without any drama.

But then after a couple of days of me wrestling with my birds nest hair and showering in what turned out to be a really poorly built cubicle (the water would drip through to the kitchen below after you were in it for more than 5 minutes, which is obviously not enough time for a teenage girl to shower.), I went down to the dock to help the kid with its toad collecting.
Then I saw a monster. A REAL MONSTER.

It was on the side of the dock and it was about to launch a nuclear attack on the kid I was meant to be protecting for what turned out to be $20 a day. I should have let the monster eat the kid, but damnit, I just couldn't.
Also, it had a friend who would have eaten me. So I took the most obvious action.
I told the kid to get off the dock. I didn't tell it why, I just said 'Get off the dock, Kid*. We need to get away from the dock and get in the house.

Kid: 'Whyyyyy?'

Me: 'Because your mom wants you inside.'


The Mom: 'What? You don't have to come in! Stay out there for as long as you want so I can drink copious amounts of wine and forget that I'm in the wilderness where I am super, SUPER uncomfortable and terrified of every piece of nature around me! You're fine, sweetie!'

Kid: 'Why did you think my mom wanted us inside?'

Me: 'Because there's a giant monster on the dock, that's why.'

Turns out the kid was more bad-ass than I was.

Kid: 'Woah! Cool, I wanna see it! SHOW ME NOW.'

Me: 'Fine, but I'm carrying you, because you're not wearing shoes and I am. And it looks like it'll go for the toes first.'

Kid: (laughs crazily) 'Coooooooooooool!'

Me: 'No, it's not cool, because I only have sandals on. And that means my toes are the ones it's gonna get. We'll look really quickly and then run, OK?'

Kid: 'Whatever. SHOW ME THE MONSTER.'

So I carry the kid to the bit of the doc where I last saw the monster.

I looked over the side.


That's when the fear really set in. It was going to crawl up behind us and drag us, backward into the lake, I just KNEW it.

So I told the kid it wasn't there, and wasn't that lucky? It looked totally bereft, because it wanted to see a monster and get eaten, I can only assume.

I took one last look and that's when it happened.
The monster jumped up onto the side of the dock and its friend was with it. With eggs on its back. Licking its lips.

OK, maybe not the last bit. Lake spiders don't generally have lips, but these were the biggest fucking spiders I'd ever seen in my life, so far.

I picked the kid up in the quickest, most swift movement and sprinted down the dock, up to the house.

The mom was standing at the back door and had heard my strangled scream of 'RUN! RUN THERE'S SPIDERS EVERYWHERE!!!!!' and had prepared a flame-thrower and grenades for getting rid of nature. She said to the kid that she wasn't ever going outside again, and she suggested I do the same.

The best part of the week wasn't the monster evading though.

The best part of the week was when the mom finally allowed us back outside (like, 20 minutes later), and we decided that we should play basketball. There was a rusty hoop in the driveway and a ball that might as well have been filled with sand; the amount of bounce it had in it.

So we're playing a bit of pass the rock (no bouncing would ever happen)and avoiding tetanus, and the mom is given a perfectly good reason not to wear fucking slippers outdoors, in sand, on a driveway. Because she stood on a Garter snake. And it freaked her the fuck out. I have never seen a grown woman run that fast, apart from when my mum sees a mouse. It was one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed.

Needless to say, I was so happy that day that when I was asked if I wanted to go home a week early, because they wouldn't be needing a babysitter so much anymore, I jumped at the chance to get away from Shelob and her husband. And I also never had to see those damn lake spiders again. And the parents paid me $100 for five days work.

Mental-scarring doesn't exactly pay well (hey, that's the title of this post!), but I did buy a front-row ticket to see the Backstreet Boys' Ottawa concert. It was amazing and totally worth a week of hair that resembled a birds nest and spiders the size of a grown man's hand. The cherry on top of the crazy? Never having to babysit for that family ever again

I hated that family.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Mothra ate my baby.

Here's a question:
Why do moths fly toward light? They're nocturnal. If they wanted the light, why not just come out during the day? It would be easier to avoid them, that way. Those critters are nasty.

I mean, sure, they're incredible, but they're the spawn of Hades.
I'm sorry, but my ears are not made of your food, moths. They're made for making my face look less weird. Which is a real job.

And what's up with the moths that look like hummingbirds? They're awesome, sure, but they confuse the shit out of me.
Come on, are you a bird? Are you an insect? Are you some magical cross between the twain?
Neither. That's what you are. You're just confusing. I refuse to believe you're even a moth. Please stay away from where I live. I thank the beings above that you don't live in the same country as me.

I realise that this could constitute as moth 'hate-speech', but I really, really don't care.

If I can be super serious for a minute, I had a traumatising experience with a moth. That's why I hate them.

Here's what went down:

Back in, like, 1998, I was walking with mother and my dog, Mollie (an amazing Bearded Collie crossed with a Bouvier de Flandres, more on her later). We went to the playing field of the high school to let Mollie run free (which was probably illegal because of by-laws in Nepean, Ontario). I was standing under a flood-light (I'd most likely bought a book with me. On a walk. At night. I was fucking addicted to the Babysitter's Club books).
Then I suddenly contracted a really serious case of frivolous muscular convulsions. Because a moth had flown into my fucking ear.

I was thrashing about in the dewy grass, which had that creepy mist that you always see in horror movies, and my mum was just standing there laughing and my dog was going berserk trying to trip me up which was only making matters worse.

If you've never had a moth fly under your hair and basically into your ear, it sounds like a jet-fighter. Who sings opera. Badly. And louder. And more scarily.

Also, I can't say for sure, but I'm fairly sure it was this kind of monster:

But I could be wrong and it might just have been one of those little white cabbage ones.

I'm pretty sure it was the huge one.


Oh yeah. My friend just asked what moths did before man discovered fire? Were they content with the moon?

Yes. Yes they were. And they can go back to being fucking content with the moon.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Yeti vs. Not Yeti.

Geez, being a girl is tiring.
Seriously? Whoever thought girls were sexier for shaving their legs was an asshole. And all the other rituals we go through (to not get called Yetis) is totally lame. I'd rather be a Yeti, cuz then if I saw a human, I'd be all 'Ew, look how not hairy that thing is!'

And also, if I were a Yeti, I'd definitely have a pet marmot called Larry (or Larrina if it was a girl), and it would go around stealing people's razors so that all the people in a 5 mile radius would be just as hairy as me and then no one would tease me for being a Yeti and I wouldn't tease them for being shaved and gorgeous.

I'd live in a tree house and it would be awesome and huge, to accommodate all my Yeti needs. I'd have a huge walk-in shower/waterfall room full of amazing expensive shampoos, a humongous walk-in blow-dryer and all the anti-frizz products that I could wish for. Cuz living in the forest gives you major frizz. Expecially on the crown area of your head.

The only downside of being a Yeti? The shampoo bills. So yeah, in retrospect, it's cheaper being a shaven maven.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

I once melted a woman's face.

I went through a phase (that I may or may not have completely finished going through, but we'll just see about that...) where I made theatre masks. I got one job out of it, and was offered another by the same person (a friend of mine who is a drama teacher at primary/elementary schools).

So there I am, trying to make some masks on a male head and I realise that it's too big for a kid's face. So I decide to use a female one instead.
I figured that if I wanted the eye-holes on the masks to be symmetrical and everything, that I needed to spray it black. With black spray paint.

That's when the face melted.

Oh yeah, I should probably mention that the heads I'm talking about are made of polystyrene. Not flesh.

I used to want to be a bunch of different things.

When I was little (and my craziness was kind of cute), I was convinced that I was going to be an amazing combination of all my favourite things.
In all honesty? I still do.

But truthfully, I don't think that's going to happen. For one, I'm not really a suitable age to be an Olympic gymnast. Rhythmic or not. I'm 26 for fuck's sake, and most of them are, like, 13 and super skinny and have extra elbows and knees and necks.
Also, the fact that I trip over my own feet when I'm sitting down, is kind of a hindrance. Most gymnasts (even the rhythmic ones who bounce balls and twizzle ribbons and throw clubs at people) are very very coordinated and not at all clumsy. Apart from when it comes to their Russian coach's expectations. Then they're all left-feet and nothing is ever good enough. They should have discovered me when I was 11. Then I'd have won all the medals. Ever.

If I'd had my way when I was little, not only would I have been a world-class gymnast, but I would have lived in the Amazonian rain forest. I would obviously live in a hollowed out tree, and make a living making tortilla chips and cougar jerky. And I'd have had a pet panther named 'Blacky'. If I had had this dream when I was the age I am now, the panther would be called 'Gerald' or possibly 'Frank'. Only because I no longer name things after the thing that stands out most about them.
N.B. I had stick insects called 'Sticky' and 'Twiggy'. I also had a hamster called 'Squeaky'.I'm that kind of person. PS- I also had a cat whom I did not name, called 'Kitty'. I got this naming gig all wrapped-up for life.

Blacky and I would have many wonderful adventures. Mainly tending our maize crops for our booming tortilla business, and shooing away the monkeys that would doubtlessly want a part of our fortune. They should have learned to farm and make tortillas for themselves. At least our tortilla business doesn't have any competition. And as we all know, competition from monkeys is stiff.

When the tortilla business was no longer so lucrative much fun and I had to turn Blacky into a blanket because the rainy season had set in set Blacky free (he totally didn't want to leave, because I make the best monkey jerky (he wasn't a fan of the cougar jerky, I don't blame him; it kind of sucked.) and I made sure his coat was in great shape, like, all the time), I had to turn to making my way home to my mother. I hadn't told her I was going to live in the Amazon. But really? If she had been that bothered she would have come to look for me. I obviously had left a paper trail as long as my hair (I had totally long hair in my imagination because my mother would always cut it really short and I'd confuse myself and think I was looking at a boy in the mirror.) and it led straight to the Amazon.

When I got home, I was immediately told that I had a job as a vet. I gave that all up, though, because I didn't like rummaging around in dying animals organs looking for a lost set of car keys. I then wrote a book about said dilemmas and it made me my first gazillion simolians.

After a brief stint on Broadway in Cats I was asked to be the singing voice for every Disney lady character ever. True story. In my imagination.

Oh yeah, and I got myself a zoo and all the animals were free to roam freely, and I might as well have just bought part of the Serengeti for all it was worth, because the lions ate everything. Apart from the giraffes. Turns out, they're the real predators.

So maybe these things haven't happened. Yet.
But I'm looking for happiness and to be content with who I am, so as long as I can run away to my imagination, where I'm not fucked-up and jobless, I'm fine.

Bugs and Shit

I spend a lot of time in my back garden. And there are LOTS of bugs in it. I love it.

Obviously, I don't quite love the idea of having bugs in my hair or up my nose. Or in my rectum. But the fact that they're the most intense creatures on earth (apart from my envy of women my age who don't have grey roots and therefore don't have to dye their hair so that people don't think they're just super-young looking 60 year olds) means that I want to get to know what they do to, you know, get by.

I should add: I spend time in my garden a lot because I smoke and I don't smoke in the house, EVER. This is probably good because there are obviously goblins in the house who have a nicotine addiction too. And I don't want them to give in to this filthy habit. So I'm actually doing a good deed by not enabling their baser desires.

I've seen a lot of cool bugs in my garden. Like a stink bug. And spiders trying to get it on (no idea as to the success rates but pretty sure they get it on). I even filmed some foreplay. Spider foreplay, not human. I'm not a deviant. You're sick.
If I knew how to post videos on here, I would. But I don't, so there.

Here's a picture of one of the stink bugs I found. I named him Buzz. Because he was totally a Space Ranger, and not at all because he was damn noisy.

So, yeah. My garden rocks. And I find cool stuff there.