Digging Deep: The Agnony of Revisions

My dog is an opportunist she watches perched on top of her chair and waits patiently as I prep dinner in the kitchen.  She always  knows there are morsels of scraps in the trash bin and will seize the opportunity to raid the bin as soon as I leave the room.

The end result is disaster across my kitchen floor and the only words uttered across my breath are “SADIE!”  She then like any scolded child slinks to her room and hides for the next hour.

idea

The other day as I removed the chicken bones from the stock and threw them in the bin. The girl could not contain herself and within seconds she had lifted the bones from the trash in front of my very eyes.

The NERVE! She didn’t even have the impulse control to wait until I left the room.

In my life I can be just as impulsive!  It is that moment of throwing caution to the wind  with that extra shot of tequila or two  on the beach and  enjoying the freedom to dance all night long.  A good idea can have the same effect and it  strikes when you least expect it!

The next day usually results with a very strong hangover. The spur of the moment of creating and the end result always a  disaster! But the key of a good idea gone ugly is surviving the  hangover.

My routine is to awaken with weary eyes, blink several times, slumping down in my chair, and then force myself into the process of revision.  The room  spins  from the agony of it all but deep down I know there is a story to tell.  Just as there is poutine waiting to rescue my belly from the heaviness of a hangover – there is a keyboard waiting for my fingers to connect to my brain and revise the story.

If you are good opportunist you wait to share that story not at its first, second, third, or fourth draft. You wait until it is perfected and that your words will be understood.  All you need to do is lift the idea from the  bottom of the bin, polish, and then trim it with cautious love. Some days revising  feel like a  spinning hangover but in the end I know with patience I will be sharing my first novel with you.

Falling into the New Year

If there is one thing I am good at it is falling and it is never done with grace.  My fear of falling extends into many aspects of my life and one particular aspect is skiing. My husband and children  ski two runs with me in the morning before ditching me for the call of the black diamonds.

phone home gully

I  don’t mind skiing alone because there is no one exclaiming  “Hurry up, Mom! You are sooo slow!”

On my own I can make my way down the mountain at my own leisurely pace and soak in the views inhaling the fresh mountain air.

The other day as I was skiing I made my way into a narrow corridor  of the run it was then I heard the swoosh of a snowboard right  behind me, a very loud expletive, and a thud.

I knew I was a goner.

My ski was clipped by the board, I went down letting out a very loud expletive, and smacked my head against the snow. I laid there for a moment looking up at the blue sky and accessing the damage. Only one very sore thumb, some stars, and the humbling experience of falling once again.

The young wiper snapper that clipped my skis  was already up and down to the next portion of the hill. I sat for a moment and attempted to pull myself up on my poles. I tried once, “Damn it!”

A large tribe of snowboarders then descended upon the run  and one young man hollered with warning to the ones above, “Mom down! Mom down! Mom down!”

They all swerved past me in a speed of lightning and it was at that moment I made the decision I would no longer be the “mom down.” I pulled up with one ski pole, then pulled up with the second pole, and with an elation exclaimed out loud to myself “This mom is up! Mom is up! I am up!”

As I skied down to the next chairlift   I contemplated going back to the lodge for my traditional  end of the day Bailey’s and coffee sitting in the lodge with all of the other Moms who were ditched that afternoon by their families. Instead, I took a deep breath and knew the coffee could wait because I was ready for my next run.

My fear of falling is big and when I do land on my back staring at the sky I know there is always a way to get up. It just takes humility, patience, and plenty of time. I have no idea what the New Year will bring but I wouldn’t expect it any other way.

Santa and his Evil Elves

Once upon a time I loved the Christmas season, the decorating, the baking, and the good holiday cheer that spreads amongst most people during the season. However, all of that changed thanks to being at the same resort as Santa Claus this summer.  What turned into a simple misunderstanding between Santa and I has opened the gateway of  evil elves attempting to toy with my computer and create havoc in my life.

hh2

I will be honest I had a few too many rum punches when I spotted Santa in an uncompromising position. I thought it was hilarious because he was so red and jolly!

I should have respected his privacy but instead took several photos. I thought they would have made the perfect Christmas postcard for the holiday season.

However, one of the elves spotted me taking the photos, tackled me for my camera, and I socked him in the nose. An elf might be quick on their little feet but they cannot compete with my Jackie Chan moves.  You can only imagine the mayhem at the resort when a full-out brawl broke-out on the beach.

The next morning we were kindly asked to leave and never return to the resort.  Who knew Santa had so much pull everywhere he went?

Once we arrived home there was phone calls from his public relations office requesting the photos. They were very concerned if there photos fell into the wrong hands that it would be a publicity nightmare for Santa and tarnish his name over the Christmas season.

I did what any guilt-ridden person would do and handed over the photos to the elf bureau.  But let me tell you those elves are paranoid and they were convinced I made copies on my computer!  They hacked into my system and planted a virus!

I wanted to sob!  They erased everything! My content Calendar! My drafts! My Photos! Everything!

I have no way to exact revenge on Santa Claus after all he was the naughty one at the resort and if anyone did see those photos…Well lets just say you wouldn’t be very comfortable with him coming down your chimney on Christmas Eve.

I hear a knock at my door! It sounds like elf shoes shuffling in the snow. I better go before they attack me with a candy cane hook and poisoned hot chocolate.

I have to dig back into my bug-out shelter  under the snow before it is too late!  I just wanted to pop-out quick to wish you all a warm holiday season may it shine bright with love and joy. I hope to see you all in the New Year! If not,  you can assume the elves have had their way with me and I am imprisoned somewhere beneath Santa’s workshop.

Onion Boy and his Hot Dog

My first minimum wage job at the age of fifteen was  working the late shift  at a small town convenience store .  On the night shift one of my duties was to clean the dreaded hot dog machine. I would take the hot dogs out that had been sitting there for fifteen hours, drain the water,  try not to gag, and  then clean it.

I can still smell the putrid aroma of rotting hot dogs floundering on the edge of hell. It was disgusting.

onions

Another part of that job was dealing with a wide array of customers renting and returning videos. My favorite customers were the ones who would attempt to rent a video while they had a  fifty dollar late fee for not returning the latest porn video on time.  Usually, they would blush,  give you a good  reason for it being late , and with  a “one time only” warning  I would waive the fee.

However, there was always the exception to that  rule with  the one belligerent jerk that insisted on berating you, calling you names, and then wait for you to remove the late fee.

It would never happen – I would get the very scary manager and she would tell him off.

Problem  solved! He would storm out of the store flabbergasted that: 1) He was out of line for verbal abuse 2) Expected to pay the late fee 3) And now looked like a complete asshole in front of everyone at the store.

So when I go to my local convenience store for odds and ends I remember being swamped at the cash, dealing with a wide array of people in the public, and all of the dirty jobs of keeping the store clean while working for very low wages.

Just the other day I felt lucky and popped into the local convenience store to purchase a lotto ticket.  I waited my turn in line as the clerk worked to serve each customer. It is when I heard one angry gentleman yell across the store, “Onions! Where are the onions?”

The clerk politely smiled “I will be with you in a minute.”

“There are no onions for my hot dog!”

“Just one minute, Sir!”

He huffed! He stomped! And he huffed some more! I was waiting for him to blow the store down.

As I watched his silly gesturing and anger I thought only one thing  - you sir are a huge asshole!

This  lovely clerk working by herself did not deserve to be bullied into rushing to the rescue with onions.   What I wished for this clerk was that her manager was standing close by to usher onion boy out the door.  No one deserves to be treated like a doormat over the simple case of missing onions.

So as I watched onion boy hold his hot dog all I could think of was the putrid smell and how long that hot dog had been sitting in the machine. I imagined the pain he would feel in his  stomach and  the sudden rush to go to the washroom countless times that night. One can only hope his stomach is weak!

If he had only been polite maybe someone would have warned him not to eat the hot dog.

The Horror of Shopping for the One Piece Bathing Suit

If you were to peek into my swimwear drawer you would see an array of colors in bikini and tankini styles for fun in the sun. The one piece that is missing is the dreaded Speedo bathing suit.  It’s not that I have not tried to purchase that perfect one piece but fate has it that all swimwear companies are against me!

Back to the Beach 1-1

I believe there is a swimwear conspiracy were long-waisted curvy women are doomed never to have the leisure of finding that perfect one-piece for their active lifestyle. I say this as I have gotten back into swimming my tankini’s just are meant for more fun in the sun and not swimming laps. Everything moves and I am constantly readjusting my top in the middle or at the end of each lap.

The worst part is there is someone always looking from above at all of us lane swimmers which means I have innocently flashed a lurking bystander watching from above while attempt to do my back stroke.

I dream of a one piece that goes above my chest line! The effort of struggling into the contraption is almost as bad as SPANX except once pulling the bathing suit on I would make Pamela Anderson blush because it barely covers my nipples.

So if Speedo, Nike, TYR, or any other swimwear company is listening I want you to think of me in my plight in finding the perfect one piece bathing suit. It just has to cover my breasts and keep the girls in place for one hour of swimming three times a week. If you create this miracle suit I will forever be in your debt and will an add an extra day of swimming to my routine just for you!

My Week of Uncensored Tweets

I have a Twitter rule which is attempt to be upbeat and positive with most of my tweets. However, I recognize at times that I can be borderline snarky and sometimes cranky.  So if I am having one of those “special weeks” I think before I compose and tweet.

So I thought I would share with you all of my past week of uncensored tweets that never made it to my Twitter Profile.

to tweet

Day 1

Dear God! What is that smell? OMFG! What the hell is it?

Day 2

People it is a girl swinging on a wrecking ball. Big Whoop! Please divert your attention back to Syria.

Day 3

CRUNCH is the sound of my front bumper in the parking lot.  I think I might effing vomit.

Day 4

Holy Hell! It is 3 am in the morning and someone just tried to break into my basement window.  Holy Hell!

Day 5

In celebration of Friday the 13th I am becoming agoraphobic. Did I spell that right?

Day 6

You did not just say that! You did not just say that! #angry #weepy

Day 7

Wiping drool from my mouth after a long nap on the couch. Why is my dog on TV? Wait! I am on TV! I am a CBC rerun! #squeal

As I look back through the list I realize they are just the day and a life of an average person going through a very bad week.  Also, I actually would have tweeted Day 7 but I couldn’t find my phone (that was stuck in the middle sofa cushion next to the stale Cheetos).

My only hope for this week is a warm cup of coffee each day because my standards for the good life have succumbed to being very low. Can I  Tweet that?

I Have Been Held Hostage by FedEx

It is day two as I sit and wait for a parcel to arrive.

matter of time

The condition is scarce. I have not left the house.

I have not showered.

And I was brazen by taking a chance to bake blueberry muffins. I am hoping the scent of cinnamon and blueberries will lure the FedEx driver to my house and deliver the parcel within a reasonable time.

It was only yesterday I sat and waited, doing laundry, taking care of my to do-list,  only to trace the tracking number on my computer that evening to discover they were at my house at exactly 2pm.

I was in my house at 2pm! I will tell you this! There was no knock or note on the door and there was no ringing of doorbell!

I quietly wait and lurk through the back pages of McSweeney’s.

I am getting nervous , twitchy, and wonder if I leave the comfort of my main floor – will  he appear, sneak on the deck, and run-off again with the package.  I wonder what is this FedEx drivers game?

I contacted their customer service and explained my plight. Her only advice to me was “to leave a note on the door for them to knock or ring the doorbell.” If the FedEx man does not already have the commonsense to do any of that – I wonder is he playing with full deck?

Only time will tell as I sink into the stinky abyss of my stringy hair and day old yoga pants.  I wait as time marches on. I wait for that one hope of  a knock on that door, a friendly smile asking for a signature, and the freedom to go about my day.

Please keep me you in your thoughts my deodorant is beginning to fade and the odor. Oh! The horror of the insidious odor!

Once there was a Bear and Elton John Enters the Room

Sometimes music  can be the inspiration needed to keep me writing at my desk. However, I have to be careful about my musical selection because my mind wanders to the beat of certain songs. All of a sudden that song  can become the  front and center  story smacking me right in the face.lurking bear

I discovered this as I was working on my almost bear encounter and I turned on Elton John for a little background music. I started  to write about the woman attempting not to frighten my children, whispering, and pointing up the road “Bear!”

I exclaim, “What!? Bear!” which of course frightens my children.

And then Sad Song comes on! Of course I take two minutes to sing  it into my  coffee mug. I then muse over the last time I sang this song with friends in the middle of a pub over fifteen years ago.

Now I then try to focus back on the men emerging from the woods excited over the bear.

“You can go see the grizzly right there! She is right there!”

“Ummm. No thanks.”

I clutch bear spray the bear spray can tighter,  attempting to walk back to my trailer , keeping the kids calm, without running into a bear.  The bear you know is being contained by park rangers but still it’s a bear close by in the bushes.

I then begin to write about the anxiety of the bear and then I Don’t Want to Go On with You Like That starts playing which reminds me of that one guy I dated and badly danced with to this song in a smelly bar after  sharing our second  or third grog. It is inevitable to discover years later that he was gay and that this song meant so much more to him than I could have ever imagined.

So I then go back to the bear, the thoughts running through my head, about what if we had stayed on the trail, and had run into the bear.  Of course, I have to note the British couple that we run into along the way who think “It would be charming to see a grizzly bear.”It is obvious they never watched Grizzly Adams or Legends of the Fall or read what to do if you see a bear which is posted all over the God Damn national park. So then Nikita comes on and it’s not my favorite so I skip it!

Obviously, it  goes straight to I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues which takes me back to India alone in the apartment missing my future husband who was in the final stages of finishing his engineering degree. I may have played this song, over, and over again. But don’t tell him that because I don’t want it to go to his head.

I then snap back to the bear, we make it back to the trailer,  only to discover my husband  snoring the afternoon away,  obviously not concerned about his family. I tell him excitedly about the bear, he grumbles something illegible, and rolls over to go back to sleep.

Only in the final moments of attempting to finish this blog post This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore magically plays and I am left with a sigh. I think about everything else and I belt it out. Oh! And there was a bear. But this is what happens when I try to write and listen to Elton John at the same time.

In Defense of Hair Metal

Over a week ago I was destined to see Motley Crue take the stage.  But life happens and I sighed in defeat knowing that I would never get the chance to catch Tommy Lee’s drum sticks  in the air at the end of the show.

shout-at-the-devil

As a kid caught at the end of the Gen-X curb I was brought up in two worlds the first was my early teens in tight jeans singing out loud to the sounds  of hair metal. Only a few later years  I had evolved  into grunge  with my Walkman volume on high looking very angry all of the time.

I am now that parent in the car complaining to her kids that they just don’t make music like they use too.

As the sun was shining on Sunday afternoon I pulled out May’s edition of the Atlantic,  curled up on the patio chair, and went straight to James Parker’s article “Bad Hair Days.” It was about the rise and fall of hair metal. I cringed and agreed as he made his long list of complaints about the decadence and excessiveness of hair metal. He points outs “…hair metal was inherently forgettable – perhaps the most forgettable music ever.”

This is the part where I disagree with Mr. Parker  as I have not forgotten the big hair, the make-up, and when Dr. Feelgood comes on the radio I hit my pedal to the metal. I still sing Talk Dirty to Me and I embarrass my kids when I start to sing We’re Not Going to Take It with their friends in the car (the perfect anthem for a really bad day).

The purpose for Hair Metal was to have a good time and perhaps it is not for the pretentious at heart.

You know that one music friend.

“Did you hear the new Lumineers album?”

“Yes, I heard it a while ago.”

“Isn’t it great?”

“Well. It was. But now it is just over-commercialized.”

If we have learned anything popular music has an end date and  moves onto the next newest thing. It keeps Mr. Pretentious Music happily on his toes so he can admit to be the first to listen to it.

“You know before it was big.”

As Mr. Parker put down hair metal with gusto “There art was flashy and disposable – and is has been disposed of.” He forgets that millions of people still listen to these catchy tunes because sometimes they do not want to wallow in the depths of despair to the recent sounds on the radio or the anger of grunge.  Sometimes people just want to have a good time and that will never be a disposable art but a fact of life.

 Do you still listen to hair metal from time to time?

What Does Your Swimsuit Reveal About You?

As we lounged on the beach sipping our Moijtos an Italian Jennifer Aniston came bouncing out of the water, pulling her lounge chair directly in front of us, and with flair removed her bikini top. My husband’s face began to turn beat red and he shut his eyes tight turning to look the other way.

The expression on his face revealed  he was in an utter panic!

If I look she will make fun of me and write about it in her blog.

If I don’t look she will make fun of me and write about it in her blog.

It really was a no-win situation for him because of course I was going to write about it in my blog!

It was at that moment he let out a heavy sigh and exclaimed, “Would you like to go for a walk?”

In kindness I put down my Jackie Collin, slathered on the sunscreen, and took one last long sip of my Moijto.  On our walk I began to put several things together based on nationality and swim wear.  I could easily surmise the man in the blue thong was French Canadian, and the women in the string bikini was a modest Spaniard. It was on that  journey I created my own classification of Swimsuit styles.

Observations on Swim Suit StylesIn my assumptions I would like to point out that I did have to classify some nationalities together such as The Europeans (French Canadian, French, Italian, and Spanish). As well I would like to clarify not all North Americans are orange, flashy peacocks, but many of us staying at the resort were trying to don that fake tan ( I would also like to point out Canadians are much different from Americans with our own colorful history and are always modest to point out that we did win the War of 1812).

Well, for the Brits, they are always the best to share a drink with but are very shy in their swimwear selection.  My favorite, however, was the Russian Oligarch he sat by the beach everyday in his Daniel Craig shorts surrounded by two  beautiful women and from the looks of things they were not his daughters.

In theory this chart is full of stereotypes and I am positive someone is going to scold me for being off the mark! Perhaps, not all Brits are modest, and maybe there is a shy French Man out there lounging on the beach. Who knows? What I do know is long as there is sunshine, a beach, there will be swimsuits, and everyone will have their own style!

Are you modest Brit? Or a flashy European with your swim suit style?

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