Thursday, August 27, 2009

it's a date

November sixth. That's the date. The day I move out of my home, my country, my old life. Which is pretty....well, BIG. And the airline really did their best to make the magnitude of the occasion hit home. I mean, if the length of time it took to actually book the tickets is any indication, this is the most monumental of all moves in the history of the world.

Let me take you back in time:

Last March My Guy was out to visit, and on the day of his departure my sister nicely offered to lug us and his suitcases to the airport. Only to have to lug us back again the next day after the airline offered My Guy a stay at a four star hotel and a voucher for future air travel if he would only consent to go through the hassle of staying an extra day. Well, let's see... we get a free night in an incredible hotel, free food for My Guy, an extra whole day together...

Sure, I think we can make the sacrifice. Just so long as you realize how much you're putting us out.

So, a trip to the Imax, dinner and movies in our room and some giant King-sized bed fun later, we were once again in the airport saying goodbye. Mollified slightly in our parting by the $200 travel voucher sitting warmly in my pocket, we made our tearful farewells.

Fast forward several months, and I am on the phone with the airline armed with a list of questions and every intention of booking my one-way flight to the first day of the rest of my life. I had a moment of tongue-swallowing hysteria a few minutes in when I found out my one-way ticket would cost twice as much as big sis's round trip ticket. (She is accompanying me to England, sleeping in an airport hotel, then turning around and flying back to Canada the next day. Cuz that's what sisters are for. Also, I am not getting any birthday, Christmas or anniversary gifts for the next thirty seven years or so.) Now the woman I was speaking with was abrupt, kept interrupting, and had no patience for my clearly idiotic questions. I could hear her rolling her eyes at me. This woman was obviously having a "hormonal" day. Either that or she was a bitch. One of those. Anyway, pre-menstrual ticket agents aside, and keeping in mind this phone call had already taken up fifteen minutes of my precious life, the whole thing came to a screeching halt when I was informed I could only use that wonderful travel voucher if I actually went to the airport and purchased the ticket at the airline's ticket counter. Okay then. Click.

So big sis once again hauled me to the airport so we could buy our tickets in person. We waited our turn then went up to see the very friendly man at the counter who looked remarkably like John Denver. In a wig. Only worse than you're imagining. Trust me.

I handed over my precious voucher then had another moment of tongue-swallowing panic when he asked me for photo ID. Now, the only photo ID I posses is my passport. Which I only got a few months ago for the express purpose of getting my Visa and moving to England. It had never been used. It had never been needed. It didn't occur to me I would need it now. It was 45 minutes away, tucked safely in an envelope at home. Great. I had visions of having to brave the airport a second time. Luckily, Mr.Denver accepted big sis's driver's license as proof of ID. Even though the voucher had been signed over to me, not her. But I was not about to argue the point.

In the end I wound up with not the one-way ticket of my dreams. I couldn't afford it! So I had to go for the return ticket, even though that leaves me with a ticket back to Canada that a) I have no use for and b) leaves me feeling a little nervous. I don't want to tempt the Fates. Or worse, the British Immigration people when it comes time to get my next Visa six months after I arrive there.

"Well, it says here this TeDiouS girl wants to stay for another two years."

"She does have that ticket back to Canada, though. No sense that going to waste."

"True. And how badly can she want to stay if she came with her getaway already planned?"

And then the big red stamp comes crashing down: DENIED.

But I'm trying not to think about that.

By the time the tickets were purchased, the seats were reserved, help was arranged to get to my connecting flight, and the counter guy had sung us a stirring rendition of Leaving on a Jetplane, almost an hour had passed! An hour of standing in a sweltering hot airport on a thursday night in August, watching John-Denver-wannabe's hair tilt a little more to the left. Fun.

And then came the kicker. The one that literally made me want to kick something. Or, more to the point, someone. Our friendly and pleasant counter guy with the interesting taste in hairdos suddenly says " You do know you could have done all this by phone, right? They could have gotten all this info from you, saved it, then you could just have come down here with the voucher to finish up. Would have taken five minutes."


Sorry, that was me dropping my purse. And my jaw.

Now, if you all will excuse me, there is a woman somewhere in an Air Canada headset with a bottle of Midol on her desk that I need to go have strong words with. Or beat around the head with blunt objects. One of those.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

an evening in Vegas...sort of

I went out to a dinner theatre for the very first time in my life last night. And yes, it was even cornier and cheesier than one might expect. And I'd expected a lot of corn and cheese. Enough for several burritos. So it was even better than I had ever dared to hope!

We were celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary so it was them, plus both sisters and their spouses, myself...and an empty seat beside me. Which is the story of my life, really. The Big Sis has been married for something close to forever and the Lil Sis usually has some spouse or other. And I have my trusty empty seat beside me. Plenty of elbow room for the TeDiouS one on these family outings.


Honestly, though, it didn't much bother me anymore. I had gotten used to it over the years.


But now...I know there's someone who could and should be sitting there with me. And his absence beside me in that empty seat is a palpable presence to me. Which sounds oxymoronic, I know. But I can feel his absence, as though it were a physical thing.

Still, there was a lot of fun to be had. The theme for the evening was "Luck be a Lady", and the show was all about old Vegas, the rat pack, Frank Sinatra and the songs from that era. The waiters and waitresses are as much a part of the show as what's going on onstage. Our waitress....uh...waiter?....was a girl in drag playing a cheeseball lothario. And you have not lived until a gender-confused waitperson with a glued-on soul patch and badly disguised breasts has been suggestively hitting on your mom for an entire evening.

The show was funny and entertaining, the atmosphere fun in a "yeah, we all know this is corny as hell, isn't it great?" sort of way, the music really well done with quite good voices among the cast, and the food was...edible. Mostly.

My overall thoughts on dinner theatre after this first experience?

Go for the corn. Go for the cheese. Don't go for the food.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Garage Sale Part I: The Wrath of the Gods

I am so tired today. This was the long-awaited garage sale weekend. We had been previously outwitted in our sale efforts by weather and prior commitments, but this one was gonna be it, come hell or high water!

Be careful what you wish for. Or about saying anything within hearing of the Fates.


Yesterday dawned....cloudy, drab and wet. As per usual this summer. But, having faith in the Gods of summer despite their lack of general attendance this year, I got up at stupid-o'clock ( by which I mean any hour before 8am. At least.) to set up tables and plaster pre-printed price stickers (thank you, WalMart!) on all that stuff that I no longer wanted and/or couldn't be jammed into a suitcase for a cross-Atlantic flight. Which, as you may recall, is roughly ninety percent of everything I have ever owned in my entire life or vaguely equivalent to the complete contents of a high-rise apartment building, courtesy of the spacial rupture in my bedroom closet which somehow allowed it to hold approximately three thousand times it's actual mathematically-calculated physical capacity in accumulated junk... erm... treasure.

*gasps in a deep breath, recovering from that sentence*

So. Tables were up, stuff had prices, spare change was hurriedly found. I should mention that all of this was taking place literally inside the garage which, though we insist on calling them garage sales here in the rural wide open spaces of prairie Canada, is actually completely wrong as these things invariably happen in the driveway or on our front lawns. However, despite my unflinching faith in the Gods of summer (you can't help but believe in Gods who will throw blistering sunshine and plague-like hordes of mosquitoes at you in the same afternoon, then make sunscreen and bug spray impossible to wear together. Only a spiteful... I mean playful... God would dream up that particular hell, forcing you to choose between third-degree sunburn and disease-carrying, itchy mosquito bites)...where was I? Oh, yes, despite my irrational faith I couldn't really help noticing the big dark clouds accumulating overhead. And the ominous thunder in the distance. Oh...and the fact that it was already raining. Yeah. Determination can only get you so far. Still, I lived in hope that there would be a quick shower then sunshine and rainbows would rule. Tra la la.

So you know what happened. It was bound to. I mean, I had flagrantly mocked the Fates and tempted the Gods beyond all endurance. The heavens opened up and it poured. Great gushing gallons of rain spilling from the sky, with me trapped in the garage along with all my worldly possessions. Just typical.

Thank the stars for those hardy garage saling souls who will not be turned aside by flood, fire or frippery when making their Saturday rounds. The sale was open for a grand total of an hour and a half before being shut down due to the combined power of the second scariest thunderclap/lighting bolt of my life and the fact that everything from my very first baby doll to my very recent and expensive craft books were mouldering and wilting in the damp air. And yet I still managed to make almost a hundred dollars. Go figure. I think a large part of that had something to do with people not wanting to actually step back out into the wet and the very real risk of death by lightning once they were in the relative dryness (and by dryness, I mean air so wet you practically needed scuba gear to breathe) and safety of the garage. Or it could have been the superior quality of my second-hand junk beckoning them in from the street and mesmerising everyone with the previously-owned goodness of it all. One of those.

So...two hours of lugging and sorting and pricing for an hour and a half of selling, garnering me a whole $92.85. Oh yeah. It was worth it.

I can hardly wait for next weekend, when I can have the pleasure of experiencing Garage Sale Part II: Sell Harder, where we will see our plucky heroine spit in the eye of the Gods and win a victory for garage salers everywhere. The heartwarming tale of the summer.

At least I don't have to price anything next time.

*gets a sinking feeling*



...except that giant pile of superior second-hand stuff that was somehow completely forgotten in the basement when the sale items were being dragged out into the storm yesterday.

Well, crap.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

one man's trash...

I realize I need to get on a regular schedule with the whole blogging thing. Sometimes I write in the middle of the now, at 4:12 a.m. Other times in the morning before hauling my butt out of bed to start the day. And I publish whenever I finish, making the whole thing pretty much random and inefficient. Which kind of sums me up nicely, really, so I don't see that changing any time soon. Organization is one of those things I always say I'm going to do, or look into, or plan on investigating. And that's about as far as it ever gets somehow.

As evidenced by the sheer amount of trash that has been taken out of my room in my quest to purge before making the big leap over the ocean. Now, my bedroom has never been what you might call neat. It's ...lived in. Which is about the truest statement you'll ever hear, as I spend a good 22 hours in here on an average day. The other two hours are me in the bathtub. Cleanliness is next to...well, I'm clean, at any rate. Just not neat.

I never quite realized, though, how much actual stuff I had accumulated in thirty-plus years living in the same spot. I am still not sure how it all FIT in this room. Imagine a little room, ten by ten, with a corner of that taken out for a built-in closet. It is wall to wall furniture with a small floor space in the middle. That's it. But somehow I managed to throw away eight garbage bags full of total junk. We're not talking little Kitchen Catcher bags either...these are full-on Man from Glad black garbage bags with room for a small German car and that fridge-freezer you've been meaning to toss out. And lest you think I had nothing but garbage in here, there is at least that much set aside for the garage sale this weekend as well. The sale stuff seems to be taking up every available corner of the rest of the house. Where did it all come from? I swear the closet in this room defies the laws of physics, being somehow bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, my very own TARDIS of built-in storage.

Only now I have to whittle down my worldy possesions to what can reasonably fit into two suitcases and a carry-on bag. Which probably hold more than the little flat I am moving to anyway. It's what you might call compact. Sort of like a can of condensed soup.

Oh, and to update you, because i know you are waiting on tenterhooks for news, my laptop has decided to go for the full benefits package of humiliation by deciding to work! AFTER I had already performed the angry-customer phone rant. A bit of a glitchy start, but now the thing is working perfectly fine. Which annoys me more than it being broken ever did. And there's no one I can reasonably phone to rant about it!

So much for my new laptop. Now I have to work out how to break it again before I move. Dammit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

we are experiencing technical difficulties...

Sorry about the excruciating wait between posts. I know that all one of my followers have been waiting with lip-biting anticipation for an update from the TeDiouS one.

Don't blame me, though. I am having serious HP hate today, with a good dose of Future Shop enmity thrown in just because. The laptop has just been in for yet another repair, and I get it home tonight, plug it in with shaking hands, anxious for my internet fix...only to discover that the thing I brought it into the shop for in the first place is still broken. For the fourth time. It didn't even make it home this time! I actually called up the shop to yell at them over the phone, I was so overwhelmed with peevishness. Generally, I prefer to do my yelling in person. Much more satisfying to be able to look the completely unconcerned shop guy in the eye while you vent your ire in his general direction, rather than screaming over the phone lines and listening to him yawn on the other end. Plus, it avoids the whole irrational fear of the telephone thing, which is always a plus in my book. (Don't even ask...I said it was irrational!) The thing is, I can't get back into the city now until Thursday and I didn't want to let a perfectly good indignant rant go to waste. Because by Thursday my justifiable anger would have fizzled out from a self-righteous rant to a mildly annoying whine, and who wants to see that happen? The shop guy at the other end remained irritatingly calm, though. Which is...well, irritating. Maybe I can work myself up to a good cry on Thursday. Get myself a free usb port or flash drive thrown in with that brand spanking new laptop I am going to demand they give me. Mmmhmm.

On the plus side, I went shopping today and, having spent little to none of my own money, came home with bags full of new clothes and shoes. Woohoo! I should have made plans to get engaged and move to England years ago! People give you lovely parting gifts. It helps to pout and complain about how expensive clothes are over there, then sigh dramatically about how tight the budget is going to be for us newlyweds, never mind having to pay for the wedding itself...

And then they take you shopping in good ol Canada! I came home tonight with a haul of jeans, tops, shoes, belts, underthings, even a lovely little nightie. And I have to say, trying on three outfits and two pairs of shoes when I got home really went a long way to soothing my HP/Future Shop hate-induced headache and/or eye twitch. To make the new-clothes-high even better ( I know, who knew that was possible, right?), I got everything in shops where I had previously only been able to press my nose to the glass, looking pathetically in at the tiny, size 0 1/2 clothes that wouldn't fit my big toe. But now - this needs a trumpet blast or something - my big ass fits into Garage jeans!

*waits for the cheering and hearty congratulations, the tears of joy*

*keeps waiting*

I think you are maybe not quite grasping the magnitude of this news. This butt right here (*points vaguely behind me*), wriggled itself into a pair of black super-skinny jeans from Garage. And they looked gooooood. So good I tried on two other styles of jeans, which also came home with me. Granted, all three are the biggest size Garage has to offer, at a mind-boggling 11 (which I think is something akin to shamu-esque proportions in the world of Garage clothing), but they fit. And so did the tops, again in the biggest size going, large. But who cares? I will wear those gigantic jeans with pride. I can shop at Garage now, and suddenly all the Weight Watchers points counting is so worth it!

Not to mention Urban Behavior. I got a couple of truly gorgeous tops from there, another store which does not carry sizes for anyone tipping the scales at average. The jeans there turned out to be a disappointment. Or my butt did. One of those. Funny, because the tops there fit perfectly, but the jeans were so ridiculously tiny in the ass department. My only conclusion is that the clothing in that store is made for top-heavy girls with no butts whatsoever. You know the ones...they look like candy apples, sort of round on top with stick legs. My boobs fit into their tops no problem, but no hope for even one butt cheek squashing itself into those jeans. I won't complain too heavily, though. Because even if everything I can wear from Urban Behavior is on the top half, their clothes make my top half look truly cool. And now I can skip on over to Garage to clothe my bottom half. Everyone wins!

So, kind of a day of highs and lows for this TeDiouS girl. More highs than lows though, really. Because I will get that free laptop. Just watch me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I have puppies

Imagine me saying that along the lines of "I have herpes". Because that's how I mean it.

They're not my puppies, mind you. (I'm just holding them for a friend, I swear!) I have been dog-sitting for the big sis, who has two of those yappy little dogs whose voices are about eight times the size of their bodies. One is old and curmudgeonly and we have spent many a weekend together while big sis and the hubby have been away over the years. Not the brightest dog, I'll admit, but we understand each other.

The new puppy is...well, he has been very useful in some ways. I always thought it would be nice to get a dog again, once my guy and I are finally on the same continent and all that. A warm fuzzy to have around the house to keep me company. Something small enough for me to handle, but large and manly enough for my guy not to feel ridiculous taking it out for a walk. Here are some things the puppy (let's call him Giblet, just for fun) has made me realize:

1. even a ten pound dog is not small enough for me to handle when it is hurtling at my ankles with all the speed and purpose of a professionally thrown bowling ball.

2. people will laugh at you if you get knocked off your feet by a ten pound puppy. No matter how impressively purple the bruises are.

3. some dogs have brains roughly the size and complexity of a lump of kibble. And that's being generous.

4. the smaller a dog is, the more deaf, dumb and blind the owner becomes to its shortcomings. Ten pounds or less, and every annoying behavior and bad habit gets laughed off with "aw, but look how cute he is!" To get the full effect of that, say it out loud in baby talk while scrunching up your nose and puckering your lips into a kissy face
. Sorry about that.

5. Cute loses all meaning and power to sway me when I am cleaning up a lake of pee off the hardwood for the third time in a day.

Which leads me to my biggest revelation:

6. Some dogs refuse to learn to pee outside. Seriously.

Take all of those together and I am no longer eager for dog ownership. I think maybe I am forever spoiled by the one dog I've ever had. He was a genius among dogs, the best dog ever. And yes, I know everyone says that. But Sandy actually was. You'll just have to take my word on that one, because it is entirely true. This was a dog who learned hand signals in one day when he went deaf at the age of fifteen. Just saying.

Giblet on the other hand has an intellect that makes me believe his squashed-in face is not a natural genetic occurrence, but the result of a freak accident at birth that resulted in shards of his nose being pushed into his brain. That is the only explanation I can come up with for a dog who does not have enough instinct of self-preservation to actually move off a seat if you are about to sit on him, or out from under your feet after you have stepped on him an even dozen times.

Aw, but he is cute!

Unfortunately, poop on the carpet outweighs cute in my book every time.