Monday, November 30, 2009


I am feeling particularly Bitchy today so, in that spirit, here’s a list of 5 Random things that Piss me off:

1. Too much noise in the morning: I suck ass at getting up even remotely close to the time required to make it to work at the hour they seem to think I should be at my desk. To help combat this problem I have 3 alarms that go off. This morning I had those 3 alarms PLUS a handy wake up call from my husband (he manages to get up and out of the house by 5 am). So this morning the phone is ringing, the beep beep alarm is beeping the two clock radios are battling it out to be louder as they pump out some horrendous “rock” tune, one cat is howling, one cat is mewing, and a dog is whining. The only thing that could possibly have added to the noise level in my bedroom at 7 am was some asshole with a bullhorn screaming at me.
Did I wake up? Yes. Am I happy about it? No. Was I still really late for work? Absolutely.

2. GE Appliances requiring Water or Cold. When we moved into our house it had no appliances and we were lucky enough to have some wiggle room to get all new appliances. We researched appliances and decided based on ratings, repair rates, and consumer reports that we would purchase ALL GE appliances. Our Stove, Oven, Microwave and Dryer work perfectly fine, some of them even work remarkably well. Everything else though, sucks ass. The washing machine was repaired once on warranty and now that it’s off it bangs like a son of a bitch. The dishwasher has been repaired twice and since it is also off warranty the water leaking problem goes unresolved. And today, we find, our fridge is fucked! Looking on repair websites I have found the “technical” term for what is wrong with the fridge is that it is “not cooling”. Since the fridge, in my humble opinion, has only one job and that job is to cool shit down and keep it cold the fact that it isn’t “cooling” is thereby the definition of fucked!

3. Drivers. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this. (and yet here I go) There is roughly 1% of the driving population who don’t piss me off. There is another 1% that actually cause me to remark on how good and capable they are of piloting their vehicle and that’s it. The other 98% piss me off. Always. It is impossible for me to make a trip anywhere, where I am driving, and not get pissed off by some “spectacular fuckwhit”! Even just pulling out of my driveway and repositioning to park on my street will cause me to encounter one of those 98%.

4. Responsible people in their 20’s. Who ARE these people? In my 20’s I was running up debt, drinking, and working a shitty job while I got my degree. These assholes are buying houses and renting them out to their roommates giving them home equity by 25! They have things like RRSP’s and SAVINGS! (I’m not sure what that second one is but people tell me its like a Visa you don’t have to pay back). I am tired of getting financial advice from some baby just out of high school whose parents have put money in an education fund for them so they don’t have to take a student loan. Me and my debt don’t need to feel even worse about our situation by some young shit who’s “got it all together”

5. People used to getting their way regardless of the affect on others. I can describe what I mean by this best with an analogy. I tell my husband when we are rich I’m going to scream for Mu Shu Pork. MU SHU PORK!! I’ll yell! I will rant and rave that I want to have Mu Shu Pork and I want it now! Whats that? You’re busy detailing my car, doing my laundry and balancing my chequebook all at the same time? I don’t care! You stop all that (but still somehow manage to get all those things done at one time) and you get me Mu Shu Pork!!! Then, when someone finally presents me with moist and juicy Mu Shu Pork I will say, “What is that? Oh, right, well, just put it over there, I’m not really that hungry”. You’ve met these people, they want you to fix their problem and they think you should be able to do it in 5 seconds flat. Oh, and you should be happy they have thought to make you do this for them, what else would you be doing with your poor little life any way?

***Disclaimer*** I have no idea what Mu Shu Pork is, what it tastes like, if its even a food, and if it is if I have spelled it correctly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Menagarie

Due to our plethora of pets,(2 dogs 3 cats and around 30 fish, Oh My!) I feel less like a human who owns a home and more like a zoo keeper who cleans the large, beautifully decorated, “cage” we have purchased for our menagerie.

Since I’m not Dr. Doolittle I have no real proof but I feel quite confident in saying that the apparent goal of each of these pets seems to be to make their “cage” as gross as humanly possible. Actually, humanly possible is probably not the right expression in this circumstance, because they are much more skilled at debauchery than any human I have ever met.

The Fish are, well, fish. They swim around in their fishy-ness, eating and shitting. Now that I’m thinking about it I must say, with the bottom feeder catfish and plecostomas who seem to pick up after the rest, they are possibly the cleanest animals in the house. Or maybe it just seems that way because their mess is contained in their tank in one corner of the “cage”.

The Cats give the air of cleanliness, but I am not so easily fooled! They lay around on the couch licking themselves clean. This is really a bait and switch though. They are not “cleaning” themselves! They are dirtying whatever surface they are sitting on! While they “clean” themselves they spread their hair all over whatever happens to be within a 50 mile radius.

All cats shed, but my cats are professionals. There is a chair in the “cage” that used to be black. Through years of “cleaning” and “sleeping” in said chair it has been turned permanently orange. It is actually physically impossible to rid the chair of enough hair to get the colour back to black. These cats are the Jedi masters of shedding. They can projectile shed from a distance of at least 30 feet, I’m sure of it. In fact, if my cats were travelling in a vehicle going 100 miles an hour on the highway with the windows closed and you passed them doing the same speed travelling the other direction you would find soon after, that some how, you have cat hair on you.

It’s not just their hair that makes the mess either! They seem to be incapable of eating without spreading little food bits everywhere around their dish. They haul gravel around on their paws after using the litter box. They leave bits of dead things strewn around the house and if all else fails they get up on the counter and start throwing things off on to the floor. Little fuzzy masterminds of mess!

Where the cats are masters of the shed, the dogs excel at stinking. Don’t get me wrong, they make a great effort and huge contribution to the hair and detritus that is strewn about the “cage”. They even have an added advantage of hauling things in from the outside that have just been “stuck” on them. But while they are good at shedding and generally mudding things up, where my dogs truly shine is at smelling utterly horrendous. I’m not talking about regular old dog smell either. I’m talking full on, oh my god there is something dead in our house, ranky-ness. The older, fluffier one is MUCH better at it and much more practiced but the other one is coming right along. Just yesterday someone commented that she smells awful, I swear she smiled.

I have to give them credit, they work damn hard at smelling as horrible as possible. You know how when you go for a walk you enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of the great out doors? Not my dogs. A walk is clearly a mission! That mission is to find something disgusting, and to roll in it. Is that a rotting deer carcass? Roll in it. Horse shit? Roll in it! Elk shit that is teaming with bugs? ROLL IN IT!! Rotting, meat? Eat it, then, fight with the other dog and slobber all over them with the rotting meat slobber… THEN Roll in it!!

While I appreciate that all the pets are putting a full effort into dirtying and smelling up the “cage”, I would like to somehow explain to them that my employment as zookeeper does not hinge on the necessity to clean 24/7. Until I get the ability to break through the inter-species communication barrier however I’ll have to make do with my subtle hints. Things such as bequeathing the chair to the cats, chasing the endless reams of hair, and occasionally the pets themselves with the vacuum, and frowning and sighing audibly while staring at a large tumbleweed of hair float across the floor I JUST swept, vacuumed and washed.

While those hints don’t ever work, I do relish in small acts of revenge against my furry friends. Things like, putting something sticky in the cats fur causing them to lick obsessively until they get it all out. Letting them smell what yummy thing I’m eating and not share, or the mother of all revenge tactics for the dogs… the bath! Tomorrow I will take my stinking bags of fur to the groomer after which, they will smell beautiful, look and feel silky and hate every minute of it!

For at least a week I will be the conqueror of stench in our house. I will relish in that thought, while they watch me with their beady eyes, and plan out new and increasingly disgusting ways to exact their own revenge.

“Hey zookeeper! Watch me eat this cat shit while I roll in that vomit encrusted rotting deer carcass…Its on!!”

Monday, November 23, 2009

Writing for an Audience

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Of course it does! How conceited of humans to think that a sound in nature requires their presence before it is validated as occurring. If the tree falls and you’re standing beside it and it makes an audible noise, then it made that noise. You didn’t cause the noise by listening to it. If a tree falls in the forest and no human is around to hear the noise but a deer is standing below it, do people honestly believe it would fall silently thus creating the possibility of it killing the deer? Ridiculous!

Where was I going with this?

Oh right! I was going to use the analogy to discuss writing. I took a course some years back, where we were taught to consider your audience when writing. If it’s a letter, a technical manual, a paper on the juxtaposition of characters in a play, you need to know your audience to write clearly and concisely. It was early on in my university career, and I think the important lesson for many in the class was not who the audience was, but that there was an audience.

Sure, we all considered that our professor would read our paper, how else would we get a grade, but writing on a topic they are teaching rather than writing for someone who is not teaching the material is very different. Is your prof looking to have you explain something they taught you to them as though you are teaching it? Or are they looking to have you explain your mastery of the material as a peer? The idea of audience becomes important. You have to decide, above all else, who do I want to have read this?

The memory of that lesson was sparked in me as I was wondering, would that lesson still even need to be taught? We are living in a world where we have blogging, myspace, facebook, twitter, instant messaging, email, text messaging and a host of other media available to us. Most people today just assume they have an audience. They update their status or comment on a picture, all the while expecting others to read it. Not just read it, but comment on it as well.

Everyone wants to have an opinion, and want others to have an opinion on their opinions. Well, maybe not really an opinion, but to validate their assumption of audience. We want to send our opinions out into the ether…but more than that, we want someone to read them. We don’t want to be the tree, falling, crashing down, making noise regardless of who can or can not hear. We envision an audience and want the witty banter and remarks that go with it. We want the acknowledgment, your voice is heard.

I write for an audience. I may not have one, but I write for one, at all times, even if the audience is me. A reminder note at work needs to be clear, what if I forget what I was thinking at the time? The grocery list needs to be spelled correctly, (tomatoe, tomato?) what if I ask my husband to go for me? An entry in my journal reads like a letter to a long lost friend, I don’t want to sound stupid when I read back through it, and what if I don’t remember the event I’m discussing? I need enough details to conjure up an image to someone who didn’t write it, even though that mythical person would never read it.

I write for an audience of me’s, a group of people who, like me, like to read interesting, funny, or witty things. They like to laugh, and occasionally think of a witty remark and comment. The problem with my audience of me is that we consider too deeply the audience and tend to not comment, thereby removing the validation of the audience altogether. We have moved to an age where we are considering the audience at all times when we write. The most mundane of things in our lives have become public, true we make them public, but now we consider that someone is watching, listening, reading. There is always an audience. This consideration causes censoring at times, and liberating locked versions of ourselves or our thoughts at others. When I write I hope for the latter, but know often I don’t write, and instead censor something I fear would be considered stupid.

To my grande old audience of me, and the occasional friend who reminds me about my blog giving audience to my lack of writing, all comments here are accepted, and encouraged. How else will I validate my assumption of audience?

I certainly don’t want to just crash through the forest with pomp and fan-fair only to end without acknowledgement, or better yet, applause.