Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Life according to Kao

My peeps know that I love my pets, often referring to them as my “kids,” or as close to kids as I’m likely to get.

I was at the dog park a few weeks ago with Kao (pronounced Kay-O) when a fellow dog owner and park frequenter made the comment that I’ve heard before: “Oh, is the boxer yours? He’s gorgeous.” And, like time and time before, my heart swelled with pride and I said: “Thank you,” tears almost welling up in my eyes because I think Kao is just the ultimate (unless he’s eating my underwear, then he’s “Asshole.”). I thought about it for a split second and then offered up this qualifier, which caused the guy’s eyes to well up too – with laughter: “Well, I say that like he came from my loins, but can you imagine the damage he’d do to my uterus with those gangly legs!” He got the picture, you get the picture and it’s a picture I don’t want spread around too much. Or, at all. Imagine my surprise when the baby I was expecting for the past nine months not only has eyes and ears, but also paws and a tail. How the hell would I explain that to my partner, let alone the medical community?!?!

Since I gush on and on about my boy, I thought I would explain a little bit of his lineage and show you a picture of his actual dad, Zeek, with whom I fell in love and thereby started my love affair with boxers.

At approximately 68 lbs. and with a disposition of your treasured childhood teddy bear with a mischievous streak, Zeek is the ultimate. He’s loving, loyal and at five, can play with the best of them, including his own offspring. While he was gentle when they were younger, he now serves out “what-for” on a regular basis, whether it be a nip, a hefty paw on the head or a growl. He loves them but doesn’t take crap.

I had taken a four-week art class with my artist friend and Zeek’s owner. I looked forward not to getting my hands into the paints (which was fun, but frustrating because I can’t draw a straight line even with a ruler), but to share an evening or four with Zeek, who would make rounds in visiting each student, often ending up with his head on my knee as I tried to make my trees look more like leaves and less like blobs of paint.

After I picked Kao up last October (man, it’s been almost a year!), I would plan visits for my boy to bond with his dad and his “Papi,” my friend’s version of “Grandfather” without being too old-sounding. Zeek would often try to sit in my lap – a 68-lb. lap dog with a penchant for stealing kisses. Not that I minded, but the French kiss was a little too much. Sorry Zeek. Scribe don’t play that way.

You can see the family resemblance, with the black face and soft eyes. Zeek is a reverse brindle, which means more black stripes than brown, while Kao looks more like a tiger, with his dad’s black and his mom’s tawny coat. A flashy bib and boots and a small line of white on his nose and that’s Kao in a nutshell.

And he is a nut. We can’t dance in our house because he gets concerned. If he thinks we’re upset, he’ll nose our hand, kiss it and lean into your legs, like he’s giving you a prop to stand a little taller. He knows how to spell.

(Okay, I threw that in there to see if you were paying attention)

The other day he wanted to box. We were outside so I acquiesced, knowing he would stop if I said “Enough.” He’d trained more than I had, so when a jab of mine sent him into the corner, he countered with a well-executed left hook that sent my “eyes tired, just woke up” glasses across the backyard. I couldn’t get angry. It was a fair fight and the better boxer won.

I just wished he was wearing the gloves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hey Mr. Fireman, I have your number

What's the number for nine-eleven?

For the first time in my home-owning life, I had to call the fire dept. to come rescue me.

Just after I left work, I called home to tell the fam I was on my way, but stopping off at the store to pick up more cat litter, because my 15-year-old soccer ball of a cat decided she didn't like the brand of litter I bought. Or, maybe it was the fact that it needed changing and her response was to take a dump just a step away from the box. Nice. What was even nicer was the response I got from the fam. Um, Scribe, the carbon monoxide detector is going off. What should I do? Get the feck out of the house, you nimrod! I must clarify that the man is not a nimrod. He's quite astute, but under that circumstance, he was at a loss. Is the detector working and issuing a warning? Is the detector dysfunctional? I say don't even take a chance. I'd much rather have my family breathing fresh, certified fresh air than wondering whether there is a little carbon monoxide in the mix.

I rushed home to find the man, Kao the boxer and Bella the soccer ball all in the backyard with the carbon monoxide detector still screeching. I went in (like the super-hero I am), reset it and voila! Fixed. Maybe. So I called 911 and asked for them to send the whole crew to come and investigate. You can never be too thorough. I hadn't specified that the firemen be hot, but they did not disappoint. They sent their best men (and their supervisor) to come and take a look.

In the end, all was well. Their sensors indicated not one wisp of carbon monoxide and they suggested I spend the extra money and update my 7-year-old detector, one that comes equipped with a digital read-out and a battery back-up. Oh, and put the unit upstairs because that pesky gas like to rise. Yes, Mr. Fireman. Oh, call you Jay? Well then Jay, what model would you recommend? Would you like to come back to do a follow-up? Please? They were so tall, so uniformy and authoritative that I would have done 50 push-ups and a dozen planks if they'd asked me to. They didn't (praise be to Darwin).

I tried to appear nonchallant with the man around. After all, I didn't want to give him the impression that I was all about the beefcake. I am, but I don't tend to say that outloud or at least within ear shot. I'm just kind like that.

As it stood, they were more in love with Kao than anything I could offer. And Kao was in his glory. He loves meeting new people and these were people the likes he had never seen before. Tall drinks of uniformy goodness.

So tomorrow it's all about new carbon monoxide detectors, and while I'm at it, I might as well replace all of the smoke detectors in the house. Or not - if it means another visit from Fireman Jay. Maybe next time, I'll ask him to do the push-ups. While I lay on his back. Hmmmm... (evil tenting of the fingers). Excellent!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

O is for Ostrich

A fellow blogger started off her post today with a tribute to the letter A. In it she had all nice things to say, inspiring things about the Autumn Equinox, her awesome daughter and a bunch of other images that I wish would melt like butter over my brain. Happiness through envelopment, osmosis.

My letter for this rainy Tuesday afternoon, chained to my desk at a job I wish I could leave, is O for Ostrich. O is for ostrich, and on this muggy, wild, weathery day, it’s what I want to be – stuck with my head in the sand because doing anything else would be too scary, too much, too out there. Too unknown. And I feel like I’m five, walking to my first day of kindergarten for the very first time. Alone. On the verge of something great. But what if…

It’s no secret how I feel about my job. First off, it’s just a job – it’s not my career choice to push papers around a desk and order crap that no one would ever need. It’s all the plastic crap that will end up in landfills everywhere, and if anyone at work reads this I’m sure to be kicked out of the building. Maybe that’s the incentive that I need.

I need to leave. I need to leave so bad it hurts me to get up every morning and trek the whole 12 minutes into the office to sit in front of a computer and churn out purchase order after purchase order, order confirmation after order confirmation. Did you order the courier? Yes sir. It wasn’t fast enough. It cost too much money; couldn’t you get the price down? A shipment is late. Scribe, go and find out where it is. Now. Pronto. Get on that. You’re the worst employee ever. How would you like it if you didn’t get a pay cheque for the week? Really? You really didn’t just say that to me? Oh, you did. Man, if I didn’t need this pay cheque…

That is a typical exchange over less than a week in my office, a small business run by a couple. A couple of what, you ask? I’m really not sure. A couple capable of Jekyll-and-Hyde-like characteristics? Yes. Sometimes they’re nice. Sometimes they aren’t. It depends on the mood or the situation at any given time, or even the moon. I’ve seen it. They howl and grow claws.

Yet I’m still here. What’s holding me here? Loyalty. No, not really. The ostrich? Now you’re cookin’ with steam. I used to prescribe to the notion that if nothing is done, that whatever it is that is wrong will go away if you pretend it’s not there. Not true. It gets bigger and the bigger it gets, the more stress comes. In droves. It manifests itself in inopportune places – knotted shoulders, a quick word, a snappy answer, acne and the shakes. Whatever it takes to get the head out of the sand and the body and mind in action.

I wish my blog started with A: awesome, awe-inspiring, altruistic and amorous. It’s all good. And O can be good too, if only I would send the ostrich out into the fields in search. Of myself? Sure. An extra pair of eyes never hurt.

I do not know yet what I want or what truly makes me happy in a job. I just know what I don’t want. I want a pay cheque. I don’t want my self-esteem to be the price.

O is for optimism.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Channeling my inner stalker

Now before you get out the restraining orders, I must explain. Let me explain. I don't stalk people. I stalk blogs, so it's not as criminal as you may first think. I confess I haven't updated my blog lately (100 lashings with a spaghetti noodle, I know) because I've been too engrossed in what others have to write.

I spent the last two days stalking a sandwich, an Earwig Sandwich, or more specifically a blog entitled Earwig Sandwich that I stumbled upon from another one of my victims. It sounds so forbidding. Victims. Yet, that's how I feel when I sign into Blogger and notice one of my favourites has a new entry. I am overcome with giddiness. Giddy-up.

I've been channelling my inner stalker with Earwig Sandwich over the last two days. I've forbidden myself to read the latest entries before I update myself on the blog from its inception. The author, a chef-cum-filmmaker, has a unique take on blogging. She entertains her followers, her fans, with tales of her one project in particular, making a film on the lives of insects. It's not something I'm usually interested in. I spend a lot of time trying to keep insects out of my house and my hair. Wasps in particular as they have run (or flown) rampantly through my garden oasis over the summer. My boxer Kao has tried to eat a few and I've tried to hit them and maim them, anything to get them away from me and my tasty skin.

Earwig Sandwich attracted me by its name alone. Who in the hell would eat an earwig sandwich, let alone write about it. Two entries in and I was hooked. The blog does not soley talk about the intricacies of filming insects in their natural habitat. Of course, there are entries like that, but mixed in are little glimpses into the life that her and her director-husband have established in a small town in France. I don't know where the town is, but I feel like I know all of its inhabitants. I learned about their search for a house, a location in which to shoot, write and edit the film. I read in earnest the pains they took to tuck themselves into the small town and the lives of its inhabitants. And, I realized that this lifestyle, the interwoven patchwork is what enthralls me. It's a life that holds my interest and perhaps it's what I was meant to do. I like people. I find them fascinating. And, if a blog could hold my interest for days on days, it's how I would like others to find Scribing Life. Now I have to find my angle.

Earwig Sandwich has its angle already - the lives of insects and in that, the lives of the townsfolk, and I can't even describe the effect it's had on me. Besides the fact that I have succumbed to stalking even more, it's made me question what I'm doing here and where I'd like to be. I've been asking that question a lot lately. I guess it's sole-searching in a way. What do I want? Where do I want to be? All the age-old questions. As my old, dear friend Bono sings "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" and I'm not sure if I ever will. As humans we're always in a state of self-discovery and learning and that is something that will never change. It's just channelling that self-discovery and creating a list of the things that hold our interest for more than five minutes.

My list is long and varied, like the jack-of-all-trades that I have sprouted into. In my long and varied life, I've been smitten more than a few times: writer (that's been on my list since I could hold a pencil), boxer (and not the canine kind), dragon-boater, singer, dancer, squash and tennis player, painter. There will be more, but as of late, I've been at a standstill. I haven't had that epiphany that says "Eureka, that's my next project, my next love."

Earwig lady had hers, and it probably won't be her last. She moved house from the UK to France and exchanged her culinary career for the life of a filmmaker. She mastered the life exchange too - trading a more urban lifestyle for one more relaxed, and that's appealing. At least it is to me. An afternoon of cards at the pub with the locals? Deal me a hand. Organizing dinner parties underneath the canopy of the lime trees on her rented Lovely House? Oh hell yes. Making new friends and connections in a town that doesn't take outsiders very easily? It sounds divine.

And that my friends is why I'm a little introspective this evening. Coming away from reading seven months of entries and I was relaxed, rejuvenated and realizing that maybe a change like that is what I need. I don't know where, why or how yet. Or even what. But I know that if reading about new interests like that left me in a state of serenity, then that is what I need.

Now to find my own serenity base and stop reading and salivating over others. Wish me luck and much speed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

He was pretty in pink

Pretty in pink
Isn't he?
Pretty in pink
Isn't he? --- The Psychedelic Furs

Okay, so I was tired, but that's not to say I didn't see what I thought I saw.

It's actually taken me a few days to write about this. I was that disturbed. Or intrigued. I'm not quite sure which yet. All I can say is that on Sunday night, after a night of much dancing, I witnessed an act of... ahem... flexibility. Curious? Concerned? If you've answered yes, proceed to the next paragraph. If you have a weak disposition or are in the least bit prudish, please come back next week where I'm sure I'll be more demure. A little. Not much, but certainly better than this.

And without further ado, here is my latest blog entitled "My evening with a contortionist" or "If you wear pink frilly skirts, have a penis and can flip your legs over your head, you won't have to ever leave your house. Ever."

Did I give it away? Oh probably, but the entertainment part is in the lead-up. Given that Monday was a holiday and Sunday is meant for the holy act of dancing, my friends and I ventured downtown to a house music event of epic proportions - it was the Mixed Signal's 5th anniversary bash at The Mod Club (College and Bathurst area) - complete with big name house music DJ's and one of the best bands I've ever heard (let alone seen) to play live house music (check out King Sunshine). But I digress and this sighting is too important to get off topic.

After dancing for almost five hours straight (with the occasional venture out for "fresh" air on the smoking patio), we said goodbye to our friends (existing and ones we made throughout the evening) and ventured out into the night to walk the 5 miles back to where we parked the car. My friend Buddha had run ahead to grab some apres-dancing veggie dogs and said he'd meet Wen, Zen and me back at the car. We remembered where we parked and actually found it so we praised our good karma. Until he showed us his pink skirt.

Don't ask me how (or why) but I discerned that the fabric was cotton. And it was pink. With frills. And he'd teamed it with a zip-up hoodie. In pink. I couldn't tell what was on his feet as I was more distracted by what else he was NOT wearing. Underwear.

There's more. Oh yes, there is more. It was like a train wreck. You saw it, saw that it was catastrophic but couldn't tear your eyes away. I mean, after he flipped his legs over head you pretty much knew was coming next (no pun, don't even go there. Not. One. Inch.) and still we couldn't look away. Sure, we locked all the doors, the sunroof and made sure all the windows were up, but we still could. not. look. away.

A debate ensued whether we should call 911 or grab the cell and start videotaping. By the time we got the video camera working, he was up and off, jetting down a path leading up to someone's house. We figured out it wasn't his. The reason for the quick exit? While had no problem showing three girls his prowess, he didn't want to expose it to the guy walking down the street. One minute later and he was back, this time on the porch, legs up and over his head and his hands and... um... mouth working in unison. We didn't stay around for the finale, and neither did he. Last we saw, he was running through some alleyways to ensure he was not caught by the patrolling po-po (police for those who don't speak urbanese). While he laughed, Buddha was not really disappointed he missed out on that spectacle.

Needless to say, The Flexiboner was the topic of conversation for the rest of the long weekend, with even Wen phoning me up the next day to verify that her eyes (or mine) were not deceiving us. Friends who did not join us for the evening were kind enough to point out that I was the common denominator (thanks a lot!), for it seems whenever I venture into the Big Smoke as of late, I run into perverts: contortionists and an unfortunately smelly man yelling "Yummy Boobies" for two blocks past Union Station, not to mention my list of stalkers (Nutty Buddy, you know who you are!).

I'm just hoping I don't go blind for this one. Wait, isn't it the pervert who goes blind or has hairy palms, or... One thing is for certain, if most of my male friends had that ability, they would never leave their house. And they would certainly not be walking the streets of Toronto looking to demonstrate to a group of post-dance divas.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peace out, yo

I haven't deserted you... I was a guest blogger over on Simply Mags' blog - Mags needed help and it was Scribe to the rescue. Okay, it was a dare and I stepped up to the challenge. Nevertheless, you can check out my ramblings for the day over yonder.

Happy Friday everyone, and for those in Canada, happy end of (gasp!) Summer. Labour Day Monday is the last official holiday of summer. Kids are back to school, the weather has turned from rain-mixed-in-with-a little-sun-here-and-there to downright winter-jacket-and-toque-cold at night. What the hell!?!?

As for me, I am spending a relaxing weekend at home, dog sitting Rodney the Rat Terrier and trying to keep my Boy Wonder from stepping or sleeping on him. My brutus does not know his own strength. My only other plan: hiding my natural highlights and getting my hair did.

Peace out, yo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It rubs lotion on its skin

It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again… that’s what I would say if I lived up to my words in a recent email to my friend Mags (you have to read her shite at – she’s feckin’ hilarious).

Her arch-nemesis at work – we shall call her Buella – just realized that we (Buella and I) grew up mere steps apart with nary a run-in in the past 20-odd years. Now she works at the same company as Mags, one of my best friends since we decided we didn’t hate each other that much in high school (she and I played the flute and we thought our shite didn’t stink – hers did, mine not so much). “One time, at band camp…”

As for Buella, I clearly remember sitting in the basement of her childhood home painting our fingers and toes. She was older than me and, at the age of five, I thought it was cool to hang with the older kids. They could teach me so much – like what pink to choose for my pinkie finger and the latest disco moves back when I was an aspiring disco dancer.

She moved away well before I did and she soon became a memory, a childhood memory of playing until the streetlights came on, hopscotch on the sidewalk and lemon twists* down the driveway. And, painting toenails in a wood-paneled rec room (we all had them back in the day).

Now she’s full of questions, and if you haven’t read Mags’ shite yet, you should know that Buella and Mags agree on nothing, save their mutual disdain of each other (I’d say hate, but I reserve that word for murderers, rapists and puppy killers). In an effort to keep Mags’ private life, well, private, I provided these tongue-in-cheek answers to Buella’s 20 questions about me, my life and whereabouts. I thought they were somewhat accurate…

Five down, 15 to go...

Mags, is Scribe married?
Well, Buella, she was married, but Scribe had a secret… she lived secretly as a black widow spider, and as those whores would do, she ate her then-husband, who was a prick anyway, so the world is a better place. Good men are hard to come by, so she’s onto Number 17. I think it just might be her lucky number. And if it doesn’t work out, she’s got this rosemary and garlic oil marinade. A dash of Mrs. Dash and she’s all set.

What’s her last name now?
Lucifer. She was going to change it back to her mating name (thanks go out to Ricky from Trailer Park Boys who provided that little gem), but she decided that Lucifer suited her better, especially when she gets all horny. Oh, I meant ornery. Forgive me.

What about kids? Did she pop any out?
Urrgh! No! Oh, sorry, I thought you were asking me. It was an unfortunate situation. Her two kids – a boy and a girl – got stuck in her web and, smelling fresh meat and having eaten her husband days earlier, she got a little hungry and ate them too. Barbecued kids? Choose a nice Chianti.

Where is she living now? Jail?
Buella, she’s currently between places, but she’s set up a nice gypsy camp along the River Styx that she shares with her one-eyed trouser sock. He spews occasionally but doesn’t say a word. It’s lovely. Really.

What does she do?
Do? Didn’t you pay attention to her answers? Man, I should get you to write this shite down and review it. There’s a pop quiz tomorrow. As I said, she’s onto Husband #17. It’s common-law, so she might have more trouble luring him into her web. She’s got the marinade ready just in case. It’s been a while since I’ve heard her utter those words: “It rubs lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again.”

TMI? Perhaps, or in Mag’s case, hopefully. To say that Mags really doesn’t like Buella would be an understatement. And for some reason, the feeling is mutual. All I can say is that she was rather friendly when we were neighbours, but that was over 20 years ago and things obviously change. I can’t imagine who wouldn’t like Mags. She’s magnetic and I don’t choose just anyone to enter my circle of awesomeness. Otherwise, they get the lotion and a nice Chianti.

* Scribe has a lemon twist story. Ask her about it.