Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I now understand my husband...

He'd suddenly gone all grumpy.  We were installing the chrome cup pulls in the kitchen and by 'we,' I mean him - 'cause he was hogging all the tools.  He had two drills, two screwdrivers and was hoarding all the bolts.  I had a cardboard template of the new cup pull and a pencil.  I took off the old pull, lined up the template to conceal the old holes, drew my little circles and then David went to town.  Or he was going to go to town before he realized that he had to use three different drill bits and he'd already fucked up one hole.

He was also probably sucking up my nearly apoplectic mood on account of the fact that when we went downstairs to find the right sized drill bits, we'd discovered that the spring rain of the last few days had left about 3 inches of water in our basement - which should have been sucked away by the sump pump, but said sump pump had apparently committed hari kari.  We found this out because our neighbours who own the other half of our semi-detached home - witnessed its demise as it ripped itself out of the wall on their half of the basement.  Bright side?  The cats hadn't been in the basement to cover themselves in mud since we moved the kitty litter upstairs before the weekend, and our neighbour's dad knows enough about sump pumps to install a new one.  Nevertheless, I had that wild look in my eye and David put the bottle of scotch in front of me as soon as we got upstairs.

David began prepping once more to drill the new holes for the cup pulls, so I decided to put on the chrome knobs on the upper cabinets.  It became immediately clear that the template we had used originally to drill the holes for the upper knobs was... inaccurate.  Two knobs up and my OCD nearly gave me a stroke.  Almost every hole on the upper cabinets was mismatched.  Off just enough to make me wince and bang my head on the island.

"FUCK IT!!!"  I sang out.  "We will not worry about this now.  No knobs tonight!"

David looked a titch frustrated with me.  He was going to try to use job-finishing logic, I just knew it.  I head him off at the pass.  "NO!  No knobs!  Because if we put these knobs up, then we'll have to adjust all the cupboard doors and that will take forever, and if I come downstairs to an entire wall of uneven knobs I WILL FREAKING LOSE IT!  So NO KNOBS!!!"

Strange how he got grumpy after that.  I didn't understand why he looked like he was going to throw each of those drills and screwdrivers through the wall, until (after I hemmed the closet curtains in our bedroom during my cooling off period) I finished the last four cup pulls myself.

Because our kitchen drawers are a mish-mash of new drawer fronts on old uneven drawers - they are a little finicky.  The old cup pulls were not the same size, nor the same mounting centre dimensions as the new ones.  We had to hide the old holes, which meant that we had to drill the new holes slightly higher and slightly closer together.  The cup pulls themselves had to have one size hole for the attaching channel, but the screws had to have another sized hole and where the old drawer front was coverd by a new drawer front, the screws themselves had to be ever-so-slightly countersunk.

Old Pull
Old Pull's holes
New Pull with smaller mounting centres
New Pull's Template
Drill Bit to fit bolt size
Large Hole, Small Hole
Change to bigger drill bit to fit cup pull channel,
but don't use too much pressure or...
oh for FUCK'S SAKE!!!

Large hole, larger hole

After much cursing - the finished product

Only six tries it took me to get the first cup pull done. I am recuperating with scotch.  I now understand my husband. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mor Mor goes on an adventure...

Where does your 68 year old mother like to shop?  My Mom's a pretty typical grandmotherly/motherly type.  She bakes cookies, knits sweaters, sends cheques for Rissa's RESP.  Rissa has a cute pet name for her.  She calls her Mor Mor,which means 'mother's mother,' in Danish.  My Mom has a grey pixie cut and shops at Sears.

"Ooooh," says my Mom.  "I went on a shopping excursion!!!"  (Since she has beeen retired, Mom has allowed herself to shop. After decades of frugality and with the house finally paid off, her paltry Canada Pension Plan has given her new-found spending freedom.  She goes to shoe outlets and housewares stores.  She putters on the main streets of summer getaway towns, she'll take a gander at an art gallery and stop and get a plain black coffee at a cafe.)

"Really?" I ask expectantly.  "To where?"

"To Wicked Wanda's."

Wicked Wanda's is a sex shop in Ottawa. She'd been thinking about going  for a while.  Probably for an entire moth.  She'd recently learned of its existence and had decided that it was a 'mustn't be missed' shopping destination.  My Mom is my hero.

"Annnnnnnd....?" I queried.

"It was veeeery interesting.  Everything is very shiny now."

"I'm sure it is."  The last time my Mom had gone to a sex shop was probably three decades ago.  She and my Dad had gone together and he'd turned on a vibrator that rested on one of the glass shelves and couldn't get it turned off.

"Anything, uh... catch your attention?"

"Well there were lots of very colourful things, to be sure," she said.  "And the staff was very helpful.  There was a lovely young girl who was very informative."

"Did you come out with anything?"

"I did! Have you ever heard of Kegel Balls?"

My eyebrows raise.  "I have."

"Well, in the 70s they would have been Ben Wa Balls, but now they are Kegel Balls."  She gives her tradmark guffaw of laughter.  "I now have Kegel Balls!"


"They certainly make you feel interesting down there."

"That they do."

p.s. After my failed trampoline excursion, a friend gave me the exact same brand of  Kegel Balls for my birthday.  "Look  what Narda got me Mom !"  "Oooooh!  They're just like mine!!!"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Would the real Dance Moms please stand up?

I know... I know... I just ranted about this.  However.... What I saw over the past weekend warranted an update.

So... picture something similar to this,  but with 6-10 year old girls wearing special-ordered versions of this inflatable costume and dancing to....


I'll give you a moment and let that sink in folks...

There were probably 12-15 little girls in this dance number.  Which means that their dance teacher, AND all of their parents signed off on these costumes AND the theme of the routine.  Almost 24 hours later, and I'm still gobsmacked.  In bad taste on so many levels. Thank God the judges gave it the lowest mark of the morning - if they hadn't, I would have had to stand up and incite a riot.

In Dance of the Sugar Plum Sluts, I voiced my concern about 15 year old girls wearing fishnet seamed stockings as part of their costume.  Imagine if you will, 10 year old girls wearing fishnet seamed stockings... shaking their asses for the audience...  to the applause of their parents, 'cause that's what happened yesterday morning.

I recently was in a show where I wore seamed fishnet stockings.  TO BE SEXY ONSTAGE.  I had several men tell me that they were giving me a standing ovation, while still sitting.  Men and women alike become aroused by the appearance of seamed stockings.  You know why?  Because seamed stockings basically draw the eye right up to a gal's ass - which, when you want someone to be salivating at the sight of your ass and imagining what it would be like to become intimate with it, is great, but when the wearer of the seamed stocking doesn't even have pubic hair yet - should cause horror.

I'm not saying that all these dancers should be going the Shirley Temple route - not that their parents would know Shirley Temple if they fell over her, but a little less Tits  & Ass would be awesome.  I was thrilled when one of the judges gave a special award to a number and specifically mentioned 'age-appropriate' choreography.    More than a handful of routines over the weekend had choreography that was not age-appropriate.  There was a group of  competitive 16 year olds dancing to Fever who were so freaking hot they had me wanting to have sex with them.  All these kids are under 18.  Can we please agree that no audience member should want to have sex with any of them?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I don't think I've really lived until now.

Says Rissa.

This morning, Rissa experiences our friend Leslie's homemade jam for the first time.  She has two pieces of toast - each sporting Leslie's gourmet jam.  Strawberry balsamic on one, peach bourbon vanilla bean on the other.

She sits for a moment in front of her plate of toast.  "I am about to have a jam moment Mummy."

"Excellent.  You won't be disappointed."

She takes a bite, and then another, and another...

"This... this..."  Rissa's eyes are wide with pleasure.  "I have never experienced anything like this in my life.  This is the best jam ever.  This jam gave me an epiphany - you know what it was?  To eat more jam.  It was a jampiphany!!  You know when the end of the world will be?  When we run out of these jams.  I am now a jam connoisseur!  Eating these jams has opened a whole new world of opportunities!  Jamportunities!!!  What am I going to do when the jam runs out?!?"

She hyperventilates for a moment.

"What if you make the jam Rissa?"

"...Maybe... But I think maybe I would prefer to receive the jam, rather than make it myself."

"What if you became one of those judges at the county fair and only judged the jam?"

She gasps with excitement.  "That would be THE BEST JOB EVER!!"

It's the little things.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happiest cats on earth...

Toms and Kittens, Strays and Collared, the Curious and the Curiouser... Step right up!!!  We welcome you to the Best, the Brightest the most BREATHTAKING of playgrounds!  A veritable

Mainzer Cat Circus circa 1950s

Never in your cat lives have you experienced such Magic, such Mayhem, such MAGNIFICENCE!!! Stare for hours at the mouse-sized holes in the floors!  Hide in the floor joists!  Taunt your furry sibling through the unhemmed wall of curtains in the bedroom!  Balance precariously on the standing drywall.  We have it all and it can be yours!!  Demand food whenever you want - there are no bedroom doors to dampen your yowls.  All this, PLUS an unfinished basement that's as close to being outside as you can get!

Channelling Fred Astaire - Steve and Lola sing ...

I'm in heaven
And my heart beats
So that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find
The happiness I seek
When we're out together
Playing hide and seek...
at 3:00 a.m...
In the bedrooom closet curtains
That you just hung
So that you didn't have to see all the crap,
But now you have to put up over
Top of the curtain rod because
The rustling is so loud when we play
That you threaten to decapitate us..

Adding bedroom doors has now become a priority.


Minuit, not quite back to her old self, still  prefers to enjoy the Hannibal Lector basement for the most part.  Pleased to say though, that last night she came up on her own steam to interact with humanity.  It's only taken three weeks.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hadn't counted on the wet season.

It didn't really come as a surprise that it's dirty.   The basement, I mean.  Seeing as its floor is comprised of dirt and gravel.  And seeing as the foundation leaks a titch, it should also have come as no suprise that the dirt part of the basement has a tendency towards muddy after a good spring rain storm.

If there were only humans living in our home, it wouldn't be an issue.  You know why?  Because all three humans residing here are not going to cavort around in the dirty, gravelly, wet basement.  Our feline housemates, on the other hand, live for that shit.

Paw prints. Frickin' cat paw prints, all over everything!  Seems as if Steve and Lola have discovered the creek that runs through the stone foundation when it rains heavily.  (Not Minuit, because she's still mostly just lying on the heated blanket that David put down 'cause he was worried that she might die while lying on the cold tarp we have down there because she still refuses to come upstairs.)  Where the creek hits the dirt sides and floor, Steve and Lola had their own Grauman's Chinese Theatre moment and imprinted their way into immortality.  Then, with those same wet paws, they danced their way up the basement stairs, all over the new sofa bed, across the living room floor, through the foyer - circling back through the living room, then again through the foyer to eventually end up in the kitchen where they planted themselves on the off-white (now beigey-brown, kinda looked they've wiped their asses on them) stools in the kitchen.  I'm so glad that I had washed the slipcovers of the stools two days prior.

It's like they deliberately explore the dirtiest, dustiest, cob-webbiest corners of our  cellar and then share their journey with us, usually on the cleanest, close-to-white thing they can find.  We basically have dirty dogs - without the unconditional affection and obedience.  So we either a) have to find a way to miraculously coat our entire basement in concrete or a near facsimile thereof to eliminate the dirt, or b) we have to move the kitty litter upstairs, so that they won't get dirty in the first place.  Option a) will probably run us into the tens of thousands of dollars.  Option b) it is!!   We just have to find a place where we can carve out some room for three litter boxes.  Although if Minuit does kick the bucket, we would be down to two...

I'm going to lose my under-the-stairs closet - I just know it.  I'd been so jazzed about having a place for the vacuum and recycling to live...  and the shopping bags and shoe racks and extra folding chairs... and cleaning supplies.  I just wish that cat shit didn't smell so much like, well, cat shit.  If it smelled like lavendar and ylang-ylang it could just go in the 1/2 bath, but with 3 cats doing their business daily?  I don't particular relish the idea of sharing that particular olfactory experience in a somewhat public space.  I could say that I'd keep the litter pristine so the stink would be manageable - but I'd totally be lying.  Cleaning the litter is not at the top of my daily chores list.  I hate that job and I hate how the cloud of kitty litter dust coats my very soul after I've done it.

Wait!!  WAIT!  We build a false floor for under the stairs!  The cats go in underneath the false floor and on top of that could still be used for storing other stuff!!!  We'll rig up an elaborate trolley system with remote control to get the litter boxes out of the closet for cleaning ease...  With a motion-sensor light so that they don't have to crap in the dark... and automagic odor neutralizers!  David's a genius at problem solving those kinds of things. Maybe he can somehow Tardis the under-the-stair cupboard and find us that extra space!  'Cause I'm telling you right now that if the muddy footprints aren't dealt with - my tenuous hold on sanity may well leave me. I can't guarantee the cats' safety if that happens.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Does this look infected to you?

It's spring.  Honest-to-God, grass-greening-up spring.  Warmer air, buds on the trees and... cats.  The cats are outside once more.  Lazing on sidewalks in sunbeams, trotting up to you when you "puss-puss-pussssss...", rolling around on their backs, begging for a tummy rub.

There I am, walking back from the bank - I'd already had my cat fix twice on the way there.  Stooping to pet a tabby and some sort of Maine Coon mix.  I am a pretty happy kitten myself as I walk home.  Whisting off-tune, I spy the same Maine Coon cat on the other side of the street.  Maybe I can get a double dose of kitty love. 

"Hey sweetie..."  He saunters over to me and "prrrrrrrrowls" his enjoyment as I scritch him behind his ears.  Poor beast is matted beyond belief.  He has a couple of shaved spots where his owner has attempted to rid him of the worst of them.  He rolls on his back and I rub his tummy (just the way Steve likes it). 

When a cat bites you?  Really bites you?  They really give no warning.  One minute I'm rubbing his tummy the next I have two massive teeth marks in the heel of my hand.  Maybe he didn't break the skin...  It was probably just... Nope, there's actually torn skin... and blood.  I'm bleeding.

Oh crap!  Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!  David is going to kill me if I have to get rabies shots again.  Shit.  Oh shit.  The cat doesn't have a tag.  He's wandering the neighbourhood - I have no idea where he lives.  The cat is winding around my legs and 'prrrrrowling' at me.  I absent-mindedly reach down to scratch him... maybe if I don't rub his tummy... will I NEVER learn?   I take a breath.  I look at him.  He's not rabid.  He doesn't look rabid.  Plus, somebody shaved him, he must belong to someone and if he belongs to someone, they probably got him his shots.  Right?

I'm formulating my excuses as I walk home.  I sneak in the house - maybe David's not downstairs.  I go over to the sink and rinse out the punctures.  Still bleeding a bit. 

"Ummmm, Rissa?"


"Could you go upstairs?"  I lower my voice.  "Up in the white cabinet in one of the cubbies is some hydrogen peroxide..."


"Shhhhhhh.... nothing.  Nothing's wrong.  I just need some..."

"Daddy!  Mummy's injured herself again!"

David comes into the room.  "What did you do?"

"Nothing!"  I hide my hand behind me. 

He raised his eyebrows and gives me the look.

I roll my eyes and present my hand.  "I'm sure he wasn't rabid.  He was shaved in spots - that means he has someone who shaves him!"

David takes a breath to berate me and then closes his mouth.  He knows there's no point.  He knows that I will never give up touching stray cats.  It will never happen.

"Rinse with the peroxide."

"Yes David."

"If you start foaming at the mouth, I'm putting you down myself."