drama queen

We came home from our trip a week early, because:

cominghome

Basically, something was wrong with Hobbz (oldest kitty and Ed’s one true love). In the weeks before we left, he had started peeing on the floor in the downstairs bathroom. We’d catch him in the act, he’d stop for a few days, then start up again. Nothing else seemed wrong – he would just very deliberately pee on the floor, then leave like nothing happened. He hadn’t done it in the few days before our trip, so we just hoped he was being a prima donna about the state of his litterbox.

Unfortunately, the floor peeing got a lot worse. Our neighbour and cat sitter both reported in that he was a veritable fountain of pee; hosing down the bathroom at all hours of the day and night. He was also being unusually skittish, wouldn’t let anyone touch him, and was looking pretty rough. All of these are highly unusual, but when pee started to appear outside the downstairs bathroom, we knew something was seriously wrong. We asked our cat sitter to please take him to the vet, which went about as well as expected: he fear-peed all over everything to the point where he had no more pee for the vet to take. Blood was drawn, then they were sent home so Hobbz could be put in isolation in an attempt to capture some pee for testing (didn’t work – puppy pads are REALLY ABSORBANT).

Meanwhile, Ed and I are in Lille and feeling like horrible cat parents and terrible people all around. We discussed it briefly, and made the decision that we would cut our trip short and fly home as soon as possible. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, which complicated matters – but I searched through every possible combination of cities, trains, and airports and managed to come up with a return trip home that didn’t cost $2500 each, leaving on Saturday. It was Thursday at this point, so we left Lille and headed to Brussels as originally planned. We’d get a day and a half in Belgium (better than nothing), then leave from Brussels early Saturday morning to take a train to London and fly from Gatwick at noon.

Brussels was truly lovely, but both Ed and I were really distracted with worry about Hobbz so we didn’t get to see nearly as much of the city as we normally would. We made the best of a bad situation with many beers (for Ed), statues of small children peeing, crazy waffle concoctions, and huge epic castley things. I ate a weird taco. Pay toilets are both awful and great. Tourists are fucking rabid about Manneken Pis, which is surprisingly tiny. A great gay store named Boris Boy reminded me of my long-standing grudge against women’s sex toys and roused my outrage all over again. I drank the Diet Coke I smuggled into the country smugly. Angst aside, we had a lot of fun.

I was struggling, though. There’s a 9-hour difference between Brussels and Vancouver, and our cat sitter would arrive around 3pm each day so I’d be awake well after midnight, waiting for updates and passing along information for the vet. We had to be at the train station by 7am on Saturday for our train, so I was up at 5:30 to shower and finish packing and make sure everything was ready to go. Worry for Hobbz, stress about being so far from home, lack of sleep, angst over cutting our vacation short, and wracking internal sobs about having to return to the reality of my work situation a full week earlier than intended has taken a huge toll on me – I am not myself, something Ed has repeatedly noted over the last few weeks.

Still, we made it home. Our plane landed on time, all our luggage arrived, and by 4:30 we were pulling into our garage, desperate to see our cats.

All of whom were totally fine (and beyond ecstatic that we were home).

The vet thinks Hobbz has a slight kidney or bladder infection, or possibly a stone. Most (but not all) of the peeing has stopped, leading me to suspect he was being a complete fucking drama queen because Ed wasn’t home. We had to collect a urine sample from the floor to take to the vet, but that’s happening today and we’ll get a course of treatment for Hobbz .. who, incidentally, perked up a thousandfold the instant he saw Ed.

I am trying very hard to be pragmatic about our melodramatic diva of a cat, but there’s a liiiiiittle bit of resentment there. I’ve STILL never been to Amsterdam, damnit.

I know we did the right thing, and Hobbz isn’t out of the woods yet. Still, I can’t help but feel cheated out of what was supposed to be a complete distraction from the last few months – it kinda feels like I can’t catch a break. I wasn’t supposed to return to work until the 17th, but since we’re home and I don’t get paid time off, there’s no reason for me not to work the week. We’ll also need the money to cover the extra train tickets and flights home, because even though we had trip insurance, I don’t think it covers pet illness or emotional manipulation via floor urine. I haven’t been able to submit the claim yet, but I’m not hopeful. And I feel just weird overall – I’m glad to be home, but at the same time this is the last place I want to be.

I’m trying not to be all fatalist about this maybe being the last vacation we’ll ever take because once I lose my job we won’t be able to afford stuff like this (not to mention this trip was booked with proceeds from the sale of Sparta), but I am REALLY GOOD at being fatalist.

Pictures soon!

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two point two pictures

HELLO

I’M STILL ALIVE

Funny story: I haven’t written in a long time because I had nothing good to say – my life is a never-ending series of whines, rage tears, and vaguebooking. I didn’t want to make a triumphant return to my poor neglected blog only to complain about how awful my ridiculously priviledged life is, so I kept my head down and cried my sad tears and posted dumb little Facebook updates about my unhappiness and then guess what.

I sort of exploded from the stress, and desperately needed an outlet that wasn’t poor Ed talking me off the ledge. Oh, if only I had a safe outlet in which I could vent about my FEELINGS. If only there was a friendly, non-judgemental place where I could air my dirty laundry and extreme dissatisfaction at my lot in life and also throw in the occasional random reference to movies from the 90s. OH IF ONLY.

I never claimed to be as smart as I tell the internet I am

So, here we are. Strap in, everyone. I’m going to cleanse my soul the only way I know how: dumping it out onto the internet for the seagulls to pick through and poop on.

Continue reading

insurance?

For the last year or more, we’ve been sending my mother post-dated cheques each month to help her out with whatever she needs. It is a royal pain in the ass, because who the fuck uses cheques anymore. I’ve done the research, and it is literally the only way to get the money to my mother because you can’t e-transfer cash to someone who has no e.

The cheques ran out this month, and I had a brilliant idea: why not replace the cheques with a credit card that mom can use whenever she needs anything. Several times this year I’ve had to provide my credit card information to strangers over the phone, because mom needed my help paying for something. I’d have her go and get/do what she needed, then have them call me for payment. It, like most things involving my mother, is a royal pain in the ass. If mom had a credit card she didn’t need to worry about, she could get these things herself. Less ass-pain for me, more freedom for mom. It’s win win!

I just spent half an hour on the phone with my mother, walking her through the complicated scenario of “use this card whenever you need to buy anything”. See, she used my monthly cheque to pay health/car/whatever insurance – how would she pay those without the money I give her? Easily, I explained: use the new card for anything you buy. You won’t be spending your money, so when your insurance payments are due, it’ll just come out of your account like normal.

“Okay so I take this card to my insurance and pay there?” No, you don’t need to do that. Because you aren’t spending the money in your bank account when you do groceries or go shopping, you can pay for insurance. “How will I do that without your cheque?” When you use the card, you’re spending MY money, not your own. “So I can use this card and pay my insurance?” No, mom. You don’t use the card for insurance. You use it for everything else. “Oh so I can buy whatever I need, like insurance?” NO, MOM. “I take the card to the bank and they pay my insurance?” WHAT. NO. “But then how do I pay my insurance?” MOM. LISTEN TO ME. THROW AWAY YOUR BANK CARD. USE THIS CARD INSTEAD. “For my insurance?” NO, MOM. FOR EVERYTHING ELSE. *explains how money works* “Why couldn’t you just give me cheques? This is so complicated!” Mom, we’re giving you more money this way. It’s not complicated. Cheques are complicated. “Well, I’ll take this to the medical office and see if they can pay my insurance with it.” .. sure, mom. Let me know if it works. If you need more help, tell [current elderly man friend] to call me and I’ll explain it to him. “Hah! He doesn’t understand anything, that won’t help!”

As we said our goodbyes, I was slow to hang up the phone. The last thing I heard before my head exploded was “aye yi yi!”, said to her cat and the TV.

Please do not let me have any further brilliant ideas when it comes to my mother.

[end scene]

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the toppings contain potassium benzoate

When we last saw our spunky* heroine, she was stressed the fuck out because of Many Things. Although it’s only been three days, enough of those Many Things have moved and warrant an update of some kind.

  • The completion date of our new place has been pushed out by over two months. That’s bad**!
  • Photographs for our listing are still being taken this week. That’s good!
  • The open house has to move: we’re now going to be listing Sparta in the new year. That’s bad!
  • Ed won’t have to deal with moving in the middle of his Metal Man Cruise. That’s good!
  • I am officially Annoyed to Fuck with my current 3-computer setup. That’s bad!
  • I got a work laptop, so I get my own laptop back for personal use. That’s good!
  • I accidentally bought a new 34″ curved ultra wide super HD monitor. That’s bad!
  • I’m selling one of the aforementioned three computers to make room for it. That’s good!
  • By the time we actually move, some of my stuff will have been in storage for almost ten months and I am vibrating with annoyance over this. That’s bad!
  • Mere hours after my plaintive post about work uncertainty I had a meeting that basically allieviated that stress until at least 2020. That’s really, really good!

So, yeah. Completely grumpy about the new completion date. It’s giving me a whole new exciting set of things to worry about and lose sleep over. On the other hand, the next few months should go by pretty quickly what with all the Fun Times and hand-made tortillas to eat. I’m super angsty, though. Patience is not my strong suit.

*: think less Mary Tyler Moore and more .. sticky

**: This may be a bit of an understatement, as I am literally flipping tables in and with my mind

_tbt_to_when_we_were_creepy_af.

this says it all.

#tbt

It’s October, which means every goddamn thing is pumpkin flavoured. It reminds me of that time I had a Squash Blizzard:

It’s no secret that I enjoy pumpkin pie. I’ve been known to enjoy it year ‘round, thanks to the marvels of deep freeze.

Every year I get excited to see commercials for Pumpkin Pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I like pumpkin – I like pie – I like ice cream – in theory, it can only be a small frozen cup of deliciousness. There is no possible way you could screw up something so simple. Right?

Oh, but no. Last year I was delighted to find myself in a position to actually try a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. I ordered it, almost bouncing with anticipation – pie! Pumpkin pie! Smooshed up into ice cream! This is gonna be SO AWESOME!

As I watched her prepare my treat, I found myself filled with a sudden trepidation. The pumpkin part of the blizzard was being scooped out of a can – okay, that’s fine, I wasn’t exactly expecting them to slice up a pie and toss it in the blender – but something didn’t look right.

I took a closer look at the can she left on the counter. It was pumpkin.

JUST pumpkin.

As in, not pie filling.

As in, canned plain non-spiced uncooked unprocessed pumpkin.

All jack-o-lanterns and delicious fall treats aside, a pumpkin is no more than a festive member of the squash family.

The Dairy Queen made me a Squash Blizzard.

There was a chance I was wrong, but I was pretty damn sure she had made me a blizzard using not pie filling but regular canned squash that may eventually have been turned into pie by someone who wanted to control the flavour explosion but was definitely in no way meant to be poured into a shell and baked at 400 degrees for 45 minutes as is. I didn’t know how to bring it up – “hey, you made my Blizzard wrong!” – so I just took it and went on my way.

It looked about right – orange and creamy with pieces of cookie meant to simulate pie crust. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Then I took a bite.

Picture yourself eating a zucchini.

Now picture that zucchini mashed up into ice cream.

Yeah, that’s about how good it tasted. It was fucking HORRIBLE. It was a goddamn Squash Blizzard! It tasted like frozen death! I got through two bites before I had to throw the thing away; the pumpkin was too thoroughly mixed with the ice cream for any of it to be salvaged. I was very sad. My delightful treat turned out to be an unholy terror from beyond the grave.

I hate it when that happens.

#neverforget

punk rock feels

Once of the first (PG13) things Ed did when we started dating was introduce me to punk. Until that point, the only punk I had really listened to was some early Green Day courtesy of a boy I had a huge crush on (which was unreciprocated because his “type” was the complete opposite of everything I am but dang if I didn’t try), so the music Ed played for me was utterly new and totally fascinating. I loved the music, and bands like Descendents, ALL, Bad Religion, Lagwagon, Strung Out, and No Use for a Name became the soundtrack for that period of my life.

Last night we saw the Descendents play the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, and I was immediately hit with ALL THE FEELS for those early, confusing, libidinous days. The show was a bucket list item for Ed, and I’m so glad we went (we have a really bad habit of buying tickets to shows but not going) – they sounded amazing and it was a high energy show with multiple encores. Lots of old songs mixed in with the new, a comfortable venue with great vantage points, and just plain fun to be at a punk show with old friends. I mean, it wasn’t a white boy rap show, but it was still a good time – just faster.

I can’t help but wonder if the not-insignificant amount of longing I am experiencing for the early days of our relationship aren’t caused by the current upheaval in my life, our upcoming Big Anniversary, and my wayward hormones. I recently went through 25 years of non-digital photos to weed out duplicates and things that should never have seen the light of day, so those early years are fresh in my mind. It’d be easy to say “life was simpler then”, but that’s absolutely not true: life was messy and confusing and complicated as fuck. I like the now much better.

I do not know what to do with all of these feels, so I will go back to packing boxes and suitcases. We leave for Ireland in 24 days!

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us in a few weeks