Saturday, January 31, 2009

negative nighties

my family is obsessed with words.  we like to know what everything means, then we give it a new meaning, or connotation.  we make up words and sayings and sometimes even languages. my best friend says my house was like a different country because she could barely understand what we were saying to each other.  

This is a typical family conversation over lunch 

dad: "What does disingenuous mean?" 

me: "its the opposite of genuining yourself at someone" 

dad glowers at me and looks imploringly at mom 

mom: "I am not sure of the exact definition, but is obviously the opposite of 'ingenuous'"

dad:"i know, but what does 'ingenuous' mean?"

me: "i've got the dictionary!  ok now....pigeon....lemur...."

dad: "disingenuous starts with a d, honey.  d-i-s-"

me: "I know!  i am getting there!  diving bell...ha ha ha, diving bell.....display...., ok!  'disingenuous: being not straightforward, not frank, candid'....etc.  see!  i told you!  the opposite of genuining yourself at someone!  oh and 'lying'. oh, its like obfuscate!" 

mom:"now what is that?" 


me:  "well, actually it is obscuring something, like the truth.  ooo! a disingenuous obfuscation!  oh wait!  that's a double negative"

dad: "yup" 

me: "so that would be something that wasn't very good at obscuring, like a sheer nightie, or a light denier stocking, you can still see everything through them!"

watch out for those disingenuous obfuscations, they'll come to get you one day, likely when you are wearing a white t-shirt.

Friday, January 30, 2009

portents! =shudder=

not all of you will know that "portents of evil" is actually an inside joke between my best friend and i.  i do not like crows, or ravens or other similar big black birds for various reasons, and so whenever we saw one, i would shudder and say "portents of eeeeevil" in a really spooky voice. my friend loves this, and i suspect chose routes to get places that had a lot of crows (which i must admit is not hard in victoria)

the thing i hate the most about crows is when they amass in great numbers.  This is, in fact, a portent of death.  it is also unnerving to encounter.  when i was in fourth year university, they amassed at the top of the hill on the edge of the university grounds, behind the only house on the side of that street that was not owned by the university.  this house was owned by an elderly couple, and the husband was dying.  more than 200 black birds hung out in the trees around his house for almost the entire fall semester.  the trees were dripping with crows, and very little disturbed them into flight, but they called constantly.  I had to walk through these trees in order to get to class.  not a fun time.

then one day they were gone.

i heard from my mother that the elderly gentleman had passed away after a long illness.  

they didn't go far though.  they started amassing again around the corner from us in one of our neighbour's yards.  her husband had MS and had come down with pneumonia.  the birds were only there for a few weeks when her husband passed away.

i just went upstairs for a cookie.  there were five giant black birds in our backyard.  i opened the door to shoo them away and disrupted a much bigger flock than i had expected.  it encompassed almost our entire block.

i hope they are just passing through.

that rosy glow

the birds around our house have started to glow, and we all know what that means..... mating season!

what?  you didn't know?

yeah, i didn't either.  not only that, in my numerous years of bird watching while eating breakfast (read, all my life) i have never noticed this phenomenon before.  until a few weeks ago, when i saw a still very dull brown goldfinch with a neon yellow spot on his chest.  

well, the sexy bird vibes have certainly been ramping it up since that first sighting, especially with the cardinals.  mama cardinals are getting red crests and tail feathers and bright orange beaks.  I even saw one today whose breast was all mottled brown and red.  and the papa cardinals are brightening up.  It is so funny to see the cardinals who aren't quite so hormonal beside the sexyfied ones, they are so dull and the others are so bright it hurts, it plays tricks with your brain.  unfortunately, the goldfinches are still an ugly mix of neon yellow-green trying to poke through dull grey-brown.  very weird.

so now you know more than you wanted to about the sexy thoughts of the birds in my backyard.  you probably know more than you wanted to about me too, a person who thinks about the sexy thoughts of birds over her honeynut cheerios.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


so, one of the jobs i applied to in september has finally gotten back to me.  i had to write two exams for them in october, the same weekend as my great-aunt's funeral.  now they want me to write another test via email.  so i wrote them back to ask them what the topics being covered in test were and this is the response:


Please remember that the ability to communicate effectively in writing is one of the elements on which you will be evaluated.

Have a nice day

yeah, they are real helpful.

all grown up

last night i was invited to go over and have a glass of wine at my neighbour A's house to meet our new neighbours. A is a young person as well and we have started going for walks together occasionally and traveling together on the bus into Toronto. She is a really nice, quiet hypochondriac doctor at the University Health Services. Our new neighbours are young people as well, just starting out with their first house. I don't even think they are married yet (gasp!)

Anyway, A had asked me if i wanted to participate awhile ago, and i sort of said yes, in the back of my mind hoping i might not be around when it actually happened. I hate meeting new people around my age. They usually make me feel totally inadequate and childish. It makes me nervous and i say stupid things (like revealing too much medical information) that usually end the conversation in an awkward silence. i can't help it, it just happens!

I think A knew I was nervous, because she called me at 7 to come over at 7:30. I hadn't even washed my hair that day, but i was wearing jeans and a nice top, rather than my usual sweatpants, so i decided to go as is and hope she hadn't improved the lighting in her house.

Huzzah! My new neighbours are really nice people! They change out of their work clothes and visit neighbours in jeans and holey old sweatshirts! I actually got the conversation started by asking them how they were doing in their new house and quickly moving on to what I really wanted to know, what our old neighbour had left behind (a ringer washer, a credenza with a working record player, the original stove that was actually made here in Guelph). Somehow we found out that the girl and i had gone to the same highschool for a year (she was in OAC/grade 13 the year i was in grade 9).

We had a great chat with hardly any pauses at all and talked about everything possible! It ended up being a really fun evening. I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time. First time I have felt my age since I moved back home. awesome.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

childhood dreams

ok, so, today i finally did it.  i applied to work as a costumed heritage interpreter at a historical village.  and not just any historical village, the historical village. (i won't name it in case i actually get a job there)

this is a historical village in a town where my cousins used to live and they were very involved in this village.  My oldest cousin actually worked as a costumed interpreter one summer, the younger two volunteered to be costumed kids, and my aunt was a volunteer sailor on one of their replica schooners.  The summer all this was going on, I came to visit for a few days, and they arranged that I could dress up too and come and volunteer with my girl cousin because they were opening a new building that day, and so felt it would be ok to have a few extra people in costume.  

it was one of the best days of my life!  

I got to dress up and pretend to be someone from the past, I had all the time I wanted to explore the historical building that i was posted at, i got to help bake a gingerbread cake in a reflection oven in front of fire and i learned how to card and spin wool, all with my cousin.  see! i told you!  best. day. ever!

I have wanted to work there ever since.  I am not sure why I forgot about it when looking for summer jobs during first year when i ended up with a soul destroying housekeeping job. anyway, last night i was so excited about filling out the application this morning and potentially getting the job that i hardly slept, instead i dreamt and planned about working there.

I have some misgivings, like the fact that it probably won't pay much, and i will likely have to find somewhere cheap to live for the summer in a town that boasts a high security mental hospital and a high security prison, but, this is really my last chance to do something like this, as my days for a "student summer job" are numbered.  My last hurrah before i have to get a "real" job.  And since my "real" job plans involve something to do with culture and heritage, i think this is a good way to get some much needed experience in the public presentation side of things.

so, keep your fingers crossed for me!  i might get to play pioneers all summer!

Monday, January 26, 2009


ok, i am back here. right where i was in september.  I want to sew. now. very much so.  if you could see me right now, i have a very grrr face on and a lot of demonic heavy breathing through clenched teeth.  you might actually be a little scared. be happy you aren't here.

must. create. something!!!!!

but i cannot create anything.  i have to finish this chapter by the end of this week.  i am not allowed to do anything but read and write and breathe thesis.  

so what am i doing?  blogging, surfing the net for new sewing and craft ideas, playing sudoku (actually, cheating at sudoku) anything but writing.  

procrastination at its worst.  procrastination at its best would actually be productive.  this is not.  it makes me feel worse. and gives me a crick in the neck.  gah!

ok, so here is my list of things i want to sew when i am allowed to:

1. table cloth for my mom
2. pillows for my mom 
3. flannel nightie, this sort of thing.  my first ever sewing project was very similar, so comfy!
5. this bag.   and i am so in awe of her selvedge stuff, especially the dress!

so, can you all think nice productive thoughts at me this week so that i can finish the damned thesis and move on to better stuff?  thanks! love you all!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

you like?

so, i got tired of the dots, and how everything showed up so small and squinty on my macbook.  plus, i was jealous of people with cool pics in their header, and the other one only gave me a little square.  and really, "portents of evil" actually requires some portents in the header!  hence the beautiful pitcher plant!  nothing says evil portent like an endangered carnivorous plant!  well, actually, it was either that, or one of my pictures of the giant flock of turkey vultures we saw at the cottage back in september, there were well over a hundred, all having a little noisy convention over the uninhabited island across from the cottage.

What does the Beach do in the Winter?

Make ice castles!

can you believe i took this with my cell phone?  see the wall of snow coming across the water? it didn't hit land until 9 hours later! and it came with high winds!  see what i mean about having my own ocean in Ontario?  Bow down to the "Great"ness of our lakes!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A green clean

Since I have adopted the Baz, I have become very sensitive about the cleaning products I use.  Everything in the rabbit's cage gets cleaned with white vinegar and water, and occasionally the scrubbing power of baking soda.  Why? Because rabbit's tummies are so sensitive, they can react to soap or any other chemicals left on their dishes or on things they chew.  Makes you wonder just what you are ingesting everyday (especially when you have roommates who don't always rinse their dishes after they wash them)

So, when I was cleaning our rental house to move out in the summer, I tried to limit the number of noxious chemicals we used (comet with bleach was necessary in some places though).  I even used baking soda to clean the oven.  You buy a new package of baking soda (it needs all the oomph it can get), sprinkle it about half and inch thick over the entire bottom of the oven, and spray it with water until it is all wet.  then as you remember it, spray it again throughout the day, and leave it overnight.  Next morning, wipe up the baking soda.  It was the cleanest oven our property manager had ever seen.

So yesterday, after watching some Kim and Aggie (best show ever for non-chemical cleaning tips)  I decided to tackle the basement bathroom.  The basement is the b&b owner's child with no shoes.  We only use it when we are full, and so no one thinks to clean the bathroom, because we only use it one or two days in a row.  This is not so good in a city with extremely hard water. But Kim has shown me the wonders of vinegar on hard water stains (huzzah!) so I wanted to try it right away and see if it worked.  it was great on the taps in the sink and the shower (remember to rinse it off though, because it corrodes)  and then I used it on the glass shower door.  It didn't work miracles right away, so i did it again and left the vinegar on the door overnight and rinsed it away this morning.  Very good results, but I probably should do it a few more times if i wanted it as good as new.

And don't even get me started on the importance of an old toothbrush as a cleaning tool!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

=le sigh=

my brother's hot friend came to dinner on sunday.  I had no idea this was happening until it was too late.  I thought we were just having some friends over for chili.  these particular friends are so much like family that we don't dress for dinner, just wear what we were wearing all day.

well sunday i helped dad snow-blow and shovel for a couple of hours (extremely long driveway, plus corner lot's worth of sidewalks), so i didn't have a shower cause i knew i would get hot and sweaty.  Then my friend across the street called and asked if i wanted to go for a walk, so i immediately went out for a walk with her.  it was a long walk.  i obviously missed all discussions of dinner and didn't realize another friend had been invited.  i got back about ten minutes before everyone arrived.

the other friend happened to be my brother's hot friend's mom (who was also my high-school french teacher one year and looked the other way when i potato-peeled a mean guy in my class.  awesome!) and guess who just happened to be visiting from montreal for the weekend?

we were seated at the table before i found out that my brother's hot friend might also show up at some point for dinner.  riiiight.  when i hadn't had a shower all day, hadn't washed my hair in two days, and was still wearing the sweaty t-shirt i had shoveled in.  lovely.  and he, of course, was seated next to me at the dinner table, looking just as fashionably, gorgeously rumpled as usual.  =le sigh=

oh well. he has just always made me feel so inferior, but he was actually pretty ok this time, teasing me about not being done my thesis, but that being ok. maybe we are fine when no other young people are around, cause last christmas he made me feel like a gawky 13 year old in front of my brother and his sister, but then we rode the bus back from toronto on new years, and we had a great chat about marriage, and responsibilities of living with other people (like letting them know where you are going when you go walkabout for a few weeks).  we decided he wasn't ready for marriage yet.

i know too much about him to ever want to marry him.  and i know being married to him would probably be hell.  but he is just. so. hot. 

wouldn't anyone want to be wanted by someone as beautiful as him?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Canada

The MacDonald-Stewart Art Gallery is showing some of its Canadian Masterworks as well as the L.M. Montogery stuff. Among them are some Group of Seven and a wonderful Tom Thompson (bad repro, but it is the one on the left) . These are pictures after my own heart.

Tom Thompson (and the G of 7) did alot of work in Algonquin Park, which is likely where The Drive was painted. My grandfather grew up right on the edge of Algonquin Park, in Dwight, where his grandfather had all the prime patronage posts, and made my great-grandmother (his daughter) do all the lousy ones (like sit in the unheated Post Office all winter). We always went on drives to visit the area when we were at my grandmother's house when we were kids. I feel a great afinity to this area, as I do to the Bruce Peninsula and Georgian Bay which is where my father grew up and my mom had a cottage growing up. Can you tell we have deep roots here?

Actually, on a date once out in Victoria, we went to the Victoria Art Gallery, and they have alot of Group of Seven stuff in the shop. I had been trying to tell him about me and the beauty of my Ontario homeland and he was obviously not getting it (typical BC person, thinks Ontario is all Toronto). So when we got to the gift shop and saw the Group of Seven stuff, I said "See! This is home!" and he was all confused "You mean this painting of trees?" "No all of them! well, obviously not the glacier, but the rest. The trees! And the river! and the lake! Aren't they gorgeous?" He still didn't get it. hmm, maybe that's why there was only one date.

Anyway, seeing The Drive brought out some stories about my great-grandma. Apparently when all the logs were jammed in the bay, the great fun was to go out and dance on them. This is extremely dangerous. If you fall in, the logs close up after you, and you can't get out again. My great-grandma was the champion. This was in the late 19th century. My great-grandma was out dancing on the logs in her heavy long skirts and highheeled button boots!

It also led my mother and I to start singing "Log Driver's Waltz" which was made into a NFB film and played continuously on TVO while I was growing up. It was not up for Obama's Playlist, but we think it should have been! But i pointed out that none of my BC friends had ever heard of it, so the rest of Canada probably hadn't either. Anyway, here is a link to it on the NFB website. You all must watch it because it is awesome! And think of my great-grandma dancing on the logs in her long skirts!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Green Gables in Guelph

Well, today my mom and I and a friend finally made it to the L.M. Montgomery exhibit at our local art gallery. It has only been open since September and closes on Sunday. we are sooo on the ball, I mean, the art gallery is at the end of our street, a grand total of a 10 minute walk.

anyway, most of you know all about Maud (as she was referred to throughout the entire exhibit), and most of the excerpts were from her journals, which can be read by all in their published, and much edited, format. so anyway, here are a few points of interest:

1. She was a photographer, there is actually a rather racy photo of her as the "Island Nymph" in the exhibit, sitting on a rock in a very skimpy bathing costume! as well as some "staged" photos of her in her ginormous hats.

2. There was a little "what i did in my summer vacation" from one of her sons when he was 7. it is wonderful! he found that "I tell you it was grand" to sleep in the top berth on the train, Aunt May's cookies were also "grand", as were the number of kittens (there were so many "I tell you" you had to kick them aside). They also got to show the other boys that Ontario boys know just as much about baseball as P.E. Islanders.

3. The Guelph connection was hilarious! While lecturing at the MacDonald Institute (U of G), she felt haunted by her cousin who had gone there and died. She also had a connection to our other institutions, her husband having spent some time in the Guelph General Hospital as well as the Homewood mental Institution, and Chester (the bad son) was incarcerated at the Guelph Reformatory at the same time as his estranged son. aww, family reunion! Thems some connections to be proud of! and yet somehow our archives have her diaries.

anyway, it was a fun exhibit to walk around and read everything, and now i really want to watch some of the original Anne of Green Gables Movies, one of which actually inspired the actress to change her name to "Anne Shirley" because she liked the character so much!

The best quote from the whole thing was Maud lamenting the fact that she couldn't just write books that were "fun for fun's sake" and that, in order to sell, they had to have an "incidious moral message".

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the iTunes shuffle

How would you describe yourself?  I Hope Dixie Chicks.  hmm this is going well so far.

What is your motto?  Two Thousand Places Polyphonic Spree. "You gotta be good, you gotta be strong, you gotta be two thousand places at once"  interesting motto for someone who is not very good at multitasking.

What do your friends think of you?  Something Beetles.  ummm, ok, ya, i know you all love me!

What is your life story?  The Championship Polyphonic Spree.  "Someday the world will be won, if we try, somehow we will keep it alive." weird how i have gotten away from this, but I have always felt drawn to helping to save the world and righting injustices.  must get back to this.

What do you want to be when you grow up?  Unforgettable Fire U2.  oh yeah, unforgettable and firey?  that would be cool.

What do you think when you see the person you like?  Glycerine Bush.  hmm, longing for a failed, abusive relationship.  no thanks.

What song will they play at your wedding?  Jellybelly  Smashing Pumpkins.  I don't like this one.  "Nothing here lasts forever" "We'll go nowhere fast" yeah, not a wedding song.

What will they play at your funeral? Galapogos Smashing Pumpkins.  So iTunes was stuck in the Pumpkins section, but this one is kind of trippy and pretty, an instrumental would be fine, I don't think the rels would be able to stand Billy Corgin's voice.  or the actual lyrics. 

What do you think about love?  Angel of Harlem U2.  i still can't tell if this is good or not.

What is your biggest flaw? Pulse The Tea Party.  "I think I've waited too long", yeah, that would be me.

What is your best trait?  Across the Universe  Beetles.  "thoughts meander like a restless wind"  really?  that's my best trait?  thoughts "drifting through my open mind"?  maybe i am one with the universe.  i knew i was a bit fey, but really, that's what's best about me?

Monday, January 12, 2009


My mother to young male B&B guest who is taking over my bedroom:

"Have you met my daughter? You'll be sleeping in her bed tonight."

My brother after I let a young male pedestrian cross the street in front of me:

"Yah, don't hit him. Oh wait!  If mom were here she would say 'Oh just give him a little tap, C, he might be cute!'"

I love my mom, but she is definitely the "mama with the gleaming gloat" 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

staving off boredom one book at a time

I am bored today. so bored that i can't even find anything entertaining on the internet. but, right beside the computer is my bookshelf. I have spent the last half hour just trying to figure out what is on it. see, most of my books are packed away in boxes in the garage. this bookshelf is filled with such randomness, i believe it needs to be catalogued.

so here goes:

bottom shelf: Our good children's books, i think mom brought these out for some little b&b guests. James Herriot plays a big role here, as do the Berenstein Bears and Madeline.

second shelf: computer stuff, packets of printer and lined paper, a watercolour of a first nations woman done by my grandfather (the only one of his paintings that i can claim as mine, why is this not up, its in a frame and everything?!)

second from the top shelf: box of computer software, 4 photo albums mostly from my London semester, copies of The Beaver (yes I am a good Canadian Historian), Fast Talking Dames, and a book on how to make Rag Dolls.

Top shelf: various textbooks I did not bring to Victoria (who really wants to re-read The Theaetetus of Plato?), some Colette, some Roald Dahl, 2 What Not to Wear books from the original British series, and a stuffed cat that plays Jingle Bells.

But the Ultimate is the middle shelf, it contains: 6 Thornton W. Burgess books about the "Green Forest" (My and my brother's favourite show on TV when we were little, who knew my Dad had the books?), two Sewing books from the 50s and 60s, and 8, count them 8 Pollyanna books! The Pollyanna books were gifts to my grandmother from one of her aunts back in England. The scary thing is, these are 1960s editions. She received these books when she was in her 50s. I actually read the original two one summer, just to see what they were about. Everyone is annoyed by her until they grudgingly take part in her "gladness" and become happier nicer people. Its actually a pretty good attitude towards life, finding things to be glad about even though your life is crap, but she just takes it too far (just watch Happy Go Lucky) Inflicting one Pollyanna book on someone is enough, but 8! That's torture!

I hope you enjoyed your tour of my "Bookshelf o' Randomness"!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Further adventures of the Creche

ok, since there was so much excitement about the wisemen's journey to the manger in my last post, here is another story about the nativity scene. It must be an Anglican thing, because my new minister talked about how baby Jesus wasn't allowed in his nativity scene growing up either until christmas day.

Anyway, here is the story:

one year for advent, our church sent the Mary and Joseph figures on a journey too. They spent a day or two in every family in the parish's house (or almost every) and to transfer them, you had to go over to the next family's house and visit with them. lots of fellowship with people you might not know.

well, the day after Mary and Joseph arrived at my parent's house was the day of my first ever final exam in a history class. I missed it. Everyone's worse nightmare. I thought it was an 11:30 exam, when really it was a 9:30. I realized this at about 10am, hyperventilated while my roomate called a taxi, and made it to the exam with only half an hour left. Luckily it was a first year course and the prof let me write for the last half hour. So i left, having finished only one section, and wandered slowly home to my mom's house, giving myself permission to cry.

On my way across campus, I met my minister. his wife was the ecumenical minister on campus an he was dropping her off. He started to say Merry Christmas, and i started to cry. i explained what had happened, and he turned me around and said, "Explain it to your prof and they will probably let you write the rest of it."

So, I ran back to the gym, found my prof and the T.A.'s dividing up the exams. I explained what had happened, and my TA heard and said "You have to let her finish! She was my best student!" so, they let me write the rest of the exam in the prof''s office while they started to mark the exams as a group.

When I finished, I wandered home to my mom's house in a daze and told her what had happened. She immediately cited divine intervention as evidenced by the arrival of Mary and Joseph at our house just the night before, and my chance meeting with the minister.

That was my first University History class. If i hadn't been able to write the exam, I would have failed the course and not been able to take any more history classes. I would not currently be a history master's student.

So, if I believe my mom's theory, it is God's will that I am a Historian.

I am not sure I am ready to believe that just yet, but something must be keeping me going to finish the horrible thesis.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Party in the Creche!

Happy Epiphany! Did you receive your twelve lords a-leaping?

Today, January 6th, is the day celebrated as the day the Magi/Three Wisemen arrived to give Jesus his prezzies. In the Orthodox church, this is the day when people give their christmas presents (often referred to as "Ukrainian Christmas" in Canada), and really, it makes more sense, but I am Anglican, and we give presents on the 25th.

Anyway, in my house Epiphany is the day that the three plaster wisemen finally make it around the table to the nativity scene, and we take down all the christmas decorations.

I am not exactly sure why Epiphany is the day when the decorations "must come down", but it is, and so we take them down. I asked my grandmother once (actually I whined that I wanted the decorations left up longer) and I was given a vague answer about it being bad luck to leave them up past the 6th. It is also apparently bad luck to take them down before Epiphany, although we do cheat some years, but usually, like today, the decorations all come down in one fell swoop. They usually sit around on the table for a few days afterward waiting to be put in boxes, and the naked tree still sits in the corner, but they apparently don't count as decorations if they are not on the tree or in their special spots throughout the house.

This year was a bit different though. in our family the players in the nativity scene are only allowed out on their appointed day, before that, they are hidden behind the picture frames. So when the decrations go up, Mary, Joseph and the animals are set up on the table. Then on Christmas Morning, Baby Jesus comes out and the Wisemen start their long journey around the edge of the table, until they arrive at the manger on the 6th. Well, this year, we forgot about the wisemen until about 2pm, when we moved them from the corner of the table to in front of the baby Jesus, so mom and I decided not to put them away just yet, because they had only just got there and needed time to visit. Then, when all the boxes were packed up and being put back under the stairs, we told my dad he couldn't take the nativity box yet because the Wisemen needed some more time to party in the manger.

I believe I actually told my dad they were still "Rocking out with Baby Jesus"

Friday, January 2, 2009

Firsts in 2009

1. First time I had ever dialed 911
2. First time my mother has ever asked me to dial 911
3. First time my mother has been a patient in a hospital since she gave birth to me

My mother does not like hospitals. It isn't an overt phobia, you have to be paying attention to figure it out. Like observing the fact that every time my dad has had to go to emerg, mom has dropped him off at the doors and told him to call her when he was ready to come home. One of those times he had had a stroke. also, when i was a teenager, I had to have a bone marrow test, and mom made dad take the day off work to take me to it, even though he didn't even know how to get to the hospital (it was in another city).

She has good reason for this dislike of hospitals. When she was a little kid they thought that strawberry birthmarks, of which she had three, were cancerous. We now know that they just go away as the child grows up. So she had to have them surgically removed, at around two years old, when your parents weren't allowed to visit you in the hospital. When her parents came to take her home, her dad had to drive home with her around his neck because she refused to let go.

So, when she woke me up last night and told me to call 911, I called. and asked for an "amblance" (i was still asleep). so, of course, we get the ambulance, and then a few minutes later, two firemen and a police officer. party in mom's bedroom! the cop and firemen left soon after, slightly disapointed. she left for the hospital around 12:30, we got to go in and see her after all her bloodwork and x-rays etc at 1:30, they told us she had to stay overnight and we should go home at 2:30. Fastest time through emerg that I have ever heard of. 1 person came through triage the entire time we were there, and no ambulances even came in. Apparently the night of New Years day is a quiet time in the ER, who knew?

Things we learned:
1. Complaint of "Chest pain" trumps everything, even what you ask them to test for and should have been obvious in a diabetic patient.
2. The ambulance desk doesn't communicate well with the rest of the hospital and does not pass on key information, like the fact that she is diabetic!
3. Volunteers and staff only know their little bit. The information volunteer has no idea that you can't park on the street at night, or where to park instead, the ER coffee shop volunteer has no clue how you would go about picking up a patient from the ER, and of course, the nurses aren't allowed to give you their opinion or tell you what they think.

all in all, a pretty uneventful trip to the hospital, but still nothing i would like to repeat anytime soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year from the couch

I am just finishing up the best christmas present of all (she says oozing sarcasm, and, well, snot) a lovely cold. and to top it off, i have somehow given it to my mother, who is of course a day or so behind me, so i know just how she feels, but am still too sick to help her out much.

yesterday was the best though. i had plans for new years. not big plans, just my friends coming over to veg out, maybe going down to the city fireworks at 8 o'clock, but generally just alot of catching up and gabbing before they fly back to victoria and edmonton.

this is as elaborate as i usually get. i am not a big crowd person, especially if there might be erratic drunk people in that crowd. i have been down to the big CityTV countdown in Nathan Philip's Square in Toronto twice, once last year, and you can't see anything except maybe one big screen if you put your head a certain way to see over or around the crowd, you lose your friends, end up in a cloud of pot smoke (the bad ontario kind), you can't hear anything, and then you guess at the count down, which is of course a good second off everyone at the front of the crowd. to top it off, you can't hear anything from the speakers themselves, you just hear the music reverberating off the other buildings in the square (and really, who are the people they get to sing? i have never heard of half of them!)

the best part was that last year, the family in front of me, that i was mashed into by the crowd, had all obviously had beans for supper. a giant vat of beans. well, i guess i was a bit warmer that some other people.

anyway, this years plans were scuppered by the contagion. my friends came over for about 45 minutes for a last minute exchange of christmas prezzies and gossip, before going off to the fireworks without me. i spent the evening watching movies and Air Farce Final Flight with my mom and a few boxes of kleenex. we actually stayed up until midnight and toasted in the new year with a tiny bottle of bubbly (and were suitably creeped out by Dick Clark. omg put the guy out of his misery already! i just wanted to see the ball drop, but i had to look away because Dick Clark was so scary!)

it was wonderful. best New Year ever. so nice to have the responsibility for an awesome new years taken off your shoulders and just let go. I couldn't do anything else, and it was great to do just exactly what i really wanted to, and not feel like a loser for watching videos on new years.

gee, i hope my brother had fun at his big party.