Friday, January 05, 2007

On a (egg)roll

Dinner last night was nice. Everybody got along fine, the food was good, family members kept handing me money. All signs of a good evening LOL. I got a gianormous carry-on bag from my mother. Seriously. DD and Ruby could fit in there, plus some snacks and toys. But it is fashionable, and smooshie. Which are always nice in a carry-on item. They also got me a lemon squeezer. The metal kind that is yellow and turns the lemon inside out. And here I am without a lemon to squeeze. The humanity of it all. I do, however, have a clementine or two that are too sour to eat out-of-hand. I may just juice them. You know, as punishment for being unpaletable - BWA HA HAAAA! If only I could figure out a way to use the juicer AND the robo-raptor together, all would be bliss. I am rapidly running out of things to harass with that roboraptor. Which is sad, because it brings me infinite joy to harass things with it. The i-cat. DD's toys (barbie dolls and stuffed animals work great. Electronic toys work best though. DD has hidden her animatronic baby monkey and tiger cub and baby alive. She is just NO FUN). The real cats, Ruby. They are all wise to my reindeer games and keep away. I need a new pet. Maybe a puppy. Hmmmmm. Would that be wrong? So my birthday worked out, after a few bumps (workwise) earlier in the day. We ate our fill of buffet chinese food - which was very good last night. The veggies were fresh and not overcooked, the meats cooked perfectly and not odd and rubbery (don't ask). The veggie spring rolls were the best I ever had. Even my brother (who does NOT eat chinese food regularly) had two plates of assorted things. I think DD ate her weight in wonton soup and chicken wings LOL. No cake, but there was a sparkler in a spring roll. Which was a perfect ending.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Marks in the butter

Because it is now officially my birthday (by mere minutes - I should be in bed) I have decided to blog now while I have the chance. Tomorrow (today, actually) promises to be a very busy workday, then we are going out to dinner. Yes, to dinner. In an ill-fated moment of delerium, I decided to call up my family and invite them out to pay for their own dinner in celebration of my 35th year on this planet. How nice of me. But since we will be "unavailable" over the weekend and next week, my husband insists we do SOMETHING. Luckily I came to my senses before I could call and invite MIL. No, we will save the hour or two of listening to her sob because we are going away for a few days for Friday. That way the trauma will be fresh in our minds when we leave. What trip you say? Never mind. It's not important. I still have to work. Instead of being connected here, I will be connected there and my calls will be forwarded. For all intents and purposes, I will be here even though I am there. Only the weather will be nicer and Ruby will be sleeping on a different head while we are gone. I was looking over some pictures, and showing DH and DD all the nice cakes my mother made for us on birthdays. There are some good things that came of my childhood, and cakes were one of them. She "made" us parties. Never complained. She did it all, planned it and bought it and made it and arranged it, smiling through it all like it was second nature. There was never a question about WHETHER there would be a party, but rather WHAT KIND of party did we want. There were no real themes then, not like now. But we could decide the food, or the colours, and the cake design if we wanted. Aside from birthday pictures, there are literally hundreds of "dinner" pictures. Just every day dinners. Dinners in the kitchen on my mother's every day plates with the little green circles around the rim, water in wine glasses, a proper place setting at each place even if we were only having make-your-own sub sandwiches. Always always always a fork, knife and spoon in proper arrangement around the plate. Whether you used it or not, it was set at the table and treated as dirty after dinner was done. I admit, this is something that stuck because I usually set the same table as force of habit. Drives DH nuts to always get a knife and spoon he won't use, and that I will not allow him to place them back in the silverware drawer as 'clean'. "They have touched the table" I say, pointing towards the dishwasher. It's funny that I retained this, when there are other habits of hers that I have rebelled against and taken up the exact opposite. For example I don't care if the butter dish is neat and crumb free (dh is picky about this, I tell him to get his own container then. He decides to live with it ROFL). Growing up, we used margarine. Sometimes from a tub, sometimes an unwrapped block (remember those 1/2 cup blocks in gold foil? They're back, BTW lol). Butter was reserved for special occasions only (read for the GUESTS). Because she hated trying to spread it while cold, it was usually left open on the counter, and brought to the table for each meal. Mom was very particular that there not be marks from steak knives or fork tines (butter knives only please). And that butter knife was NOT to touch the bread and then go back into the container or touch the block - no sirree. That would leave crumbs. You used the butter knife next to the margarine to scoop some out onto the bread plate, and you used the butter knife next to your place setting to then spread said product on your bakery item. Any smudge on the plate was easily taken care of with the last bite of crust - *swipe*. I can't tell you how many times she flew into a rage, upon discovery of "marks in the butter!". I am not sure what bothered me more, when she called the margarine butter - or when she called it 'mar-ja-reen'. But I digress. Ahem. Dad would beg us. PLEAD with us. JUST STOP ABUSING THE BUTTER. She won't freak out if we use it properly and not leave marks. Every night he would smooth over the margarine to make sure there would be no early-hour screeches and dragging-of-kids-out-of-beds by their hair. Thanks dad. But still, come morning, there would be marks. He would shake his head in disappointment at us while mother raged and ranted and pinched and pulled and slapped. It must have been one of us. MUST have. Years later (way after regular meals together disappeard but while we all still lived at home) I caught the cat up on the counter licking the margarine. And lo and behold - MARKS. Marks that looked suspiciously like those my mother freaked out about almost daily. No wonder the cat always had such a shiny coat and rarely touched her food. She was living on margarine. I kept that information to myself, and started putting the butter in the cupboard (on top of the dinner plates) every night. And while there was little risk of another night of outraged screaming and being forced to say the rosary on our knees until somebody "confessed" - it had been years since my mother touched bread, let alone something to spread on it (remind me another time to talk about our years of diets)..........well let's just say I know where cats walk (read litterbox) and how they clean those dirty paws (read with the same tongue that was leaving marks in the Imperial). I suppose one day this secret will be spilled to my family(they all are, eventually). And there will be screaming and laughing, maybe some hard feelings about how we were treated and accused for all those years. Some of the punishments were cruel, to say the least. And I will insist I didn't tell because after all the cat WAS mine and I didn't want her to be sent away. And what purpose would it have served for everybody to know about it, so much time had passed and we were at a different stage in life. I am sure I will come up with something convincing. I think maybe I haven't told for all these years just for the satisfaction of KNOWING something they don't. And still, I have not decided what was more damaging to my psyche. Mother blaming us for the marks in the butter (and her finding the marks every day I am sure did not help her mental illness) when it wasn't us. Dad not supporting nor defending us. Or the fact that, being the germaphobe I am especially with "bathroom issues", knowing we regularly ate margarine that a cat licked. Nightmares, my friends. Nightmares.

You know that old joke?

There is a joke that I heard once. It is a derogatory one, dealing with a minority or ethnic group. Which group? Doesn't matter really. But it goes like this. Why don't factories like to employ (insert minority group here)? Because they have to retrain them after every break. Now, it's a bad joke no matter what you insert in there. And it has nothing to do with any minority or nationality. But I have always found, that after a major holiday (especially this time of year when we have two in rapid succession and many people take vacation time in between), I can make my OWN observation. "The problem with office workers, is that they need to be retrained after every day off". For gracious sakes! Could another thing go wrong today? Even the simplest of tasks needs "fixing". By the time I read, comprehend, and start to answer one request, another one comes flinging into my e-mail. The phone has been ringing off the hook (and dd is pouting because it is "never for her". And DH is pouting because he wants to use the phone and I won't let him. And I am pouting because I am tired of answering the phone ROFL). Yesterday was busy, but NORMAL busy. My normal every day deadline, maintenance, check this and start that busy. Today? Today is FREAKING CRAZY. This morning, DD got up, wandered down here rubbing her eyes, yawning, and requested pancakes. Well, crepes specifically. There is no way in heck I had time to make crepes, especially since DH and DD can eat their weight in them faster than I can flip them off the pan. I suggested cereal. She then requested a more reasonable breakfast of poached eggs. On toast with no crust. And bacon. And some potatoes would be nice, if we have them. Where did this kid come from? I sent her back upstairs to hassle her father for the queen's breakfast she wanted. She got cereal ROFLMAO. Poor kid. It's not even sugar cereal. We deprive her, it's like it's our duty or something. Ruby is in her glory. The people across the street have a junk hauler there, with work men going in and out. If there is anything Ruby loves, it is barking her fool head off at trucks and work men. She keeps asking to go outside so she can throw herself into that habit with true abandon. We are talking taking a little hop with every bark, strip down her back raised (do pugs have hackles?), spitting when she barks. Once the truck leaves I am sure she will sleep all afternoon, worn out from her fun. DD has a friend over right now. Dh stepped out to get some things, and boy is he going to be ticked off when he comes back. But come on, the kid has been cooped up here for days and days. She has nowhere else to go, and she wants to PLAY with somebody. So I am sure later on this evening we will have a nice argument about the mess and that kind of stuff. Perhaps I should pencil it in, with work being this busy I anticipate having to work late. Boy, I hope we have enough cereal for dinner. *SNORK!*

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The longest tattoo I ever got

Last night was a rough one. I know I slept, but it was not restful because of the dream I had. I woke up a few times to "get comfortable" (more on that later) and the dream continued right on after I went to sleep. It was like a single-dream marathon. A while back I saw a show called "Miami Ink" for the first time. It is a show about people travelling to get tattoos at a certain parlour with certain artists. I found it fascinating for no good reason ROFL. I don't MIND tattoos, and I have seen some nice ones. But I don't have any (low tolerance to pain. And I can't keep focus long enough to choose a flavour of ice cream, how the hell can I choose a PERMANENT body ornament I will like five minutes from now, let alone years down the line?). And I am not part of what one would call the tattoo culture. But I still found the show interesting. Over Christmas my dsis mentioned it and I was surprised she knew what it was, turns out she watches it all the time. Go figure. Anyway, it must have nestled into a comfy corner in my mind, because last night I got the LONGEST tattoo of my life. Yep, I dreamt I went all the way to MIAMI to get a tattoo. I handed them a design and they all oohed and aahed like it was the prettiest thing they had ever seen. "So colourful, and it suits you pefectly!". And where was I getting this marvelous piece of art? On my STOMACH. Who the heck would I let touch my stomach roll long enough to tattoo it? Blech. Traumatizing, it would be, for the poor sucker who had to do it methinks. The whole dream was spent "getting prepped" for the artwork. And I would ask "is it going to hurt" and we would have some conversation, and the artist would wander away and another one would come over and it would start again. Not only did I never get that darn thing, I never got to see the design either. And it is really bugging me LOLOL. As for getting comfortable at night, still having difficulty there. Re-fluffing the feather bed each night is helping a little, but my hips and legs are still giving me some trouble. Once or twice a month I splurge and take some motrin before going to bed and get a blessed good night of sleep, but I really can't do it more than that or else I am punished in OTHER ways. I'm keeping my eye out for a sale on a memory foam section to try that instead. A family friend with arthritis and other problems swears by her memory foam insert covered in a faux-lamb-skin cover under her regular sheet. At this point, I would try about anything.