Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'll take Lloyd Christmas for Halloween...

I trust my family to do anything for me. If I’m hungry, they feed me. If I’m dirty, they clean me. If I’m sad, they hug me. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? However, I can now - with blinding certainty - drop one request from the trust tree.

The day in question started like almost any other – innocuous and virginal in the blank slate that it offered. Let it be said that I had been toying with the idea of giving my one-year old daughter a haircut for some time. The poor thing was born a hairy creature and she didn’t lose it like most babies. Rather, it continued to grow at an exponential rate. Lacking the ability (or desire) to push her hair out of her eyes, it was time I did something about it.

Now I can do most things myself if I put my mind to it, however after a dozen or so wrestling matches with my son in an attempt to give him a haircut (cue images of steer wrestling, mixed martial art holds, Twister mats drenched in canola oil…all these images would work), I decided to enlist the help of an expert. In hindsight, the expert was a rather vociferous, self-proclaimed one – let it be said my sister holds no certification whatsoever in the arena of hairstyling. At any rate, she offered to help and that was good enough for me.

So I packed up my daughter and we headed over to my sister’s place.

I asked her to take off a few inches.

In the flurry of hacking and snipping that followed, one would assume what she heard was: “Make her look like Lloyd Christmas.” I guess it sort of rhymes. One can see how these mistakes are made.

My job was admittedly easy - I was to hold the video camera to capture the inaugural first haircut. The first order of business was to introduce the concept of bangs so as to eliminate stray hairs from getting into her eyes. I must admit, the first cut looked darling. My sister occupied my daughter with a cupcake and snipped just above her eyebrows, revealing the perfect arches on her adorable face. At this point, I remember being momentarily distracted by my nephew and I turned to film him for a bit. Mere seconds later, I turned the camera back to the stylist and her prey, and damn near dropped the camera.

Me: What the @#$% are you doing?
Sister: I’m layering the bangs a little to thin them out.
Me: What? You can’t do that to a girl! She looks like the victim of accidental electrocution.
Sister: This is what I did for his. (waving scissors, rather maniacally, in general direction of her son)
Me: Yeah, but she’s not a boy. You can’t layer the top of the head to make it spike out. That only looks cute on a boy.
Sister: Good point. @#$%. What do I do now?
Me: Well, it looks ridiculous. I guess you’ll have to cut it all down to the shortest layer so at least there’s a chance of it lying in a straight line.
Evil One: Hmmm…I’ll see what I can do.

Now I’ve been told a picture paints a thousand words…here, in blinding detail, is the result of my sister’s “I’ll see what I can do.” I believe it’s called witchcraft.

That avocado Peanut's holding?
I believe she was intending to smash it over Auntie’s head,
however she lacked the requisite fine motor skills
 to complete said task.

My sister was quick to point out that the wrap-around fringe was completely unintentional, as was the upward skewing to the left. We thought maybe it would look better if we wet it down; this resulted in the complete and utter destruction of two grown women, as we lay rolling on the bathroom floor, our collective bladders releasing a little urine as they can no longer cope with this level of amusement.

So if your friend asks you to go as Dumb and Dumber for Halloween this year, don’t bother fretting over who’s Dumb and who’s Dumber…that’ll work itself out in the wash. Just insist they go as Lloyd and you stick with Harry.

p.s. For the record, I'm now a firm believer that a good cut at age one will lead to thick, healthy, shiny hair. Don't believe me? See photo below. Tell me this...does this mane belong on a three year old? Even the cat looks scared, attempting to camouflage itself against the towel, limp with fear at the jungle cat rising from the tub. I rest my case.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

38 years old. Never kissed a girl...

Yes, I'm 38. To those whom I have profusely lied to over the years, my utmost apologies. I seriously forgot how old I actually was, although this time, I pulled out the birth certificate to confirm. 1974. The year of the Tiger. Now I'm not big into astrology, nor was I aware of my actual sign until befriending a (magnificently frightening) woman on a train, whilst travelling through Peru.  She asked what my sign was, I told her I didn't know, so she asked me for my birth date so she could consult her guide(s). Did I mention her nose had a white, powder-like substance on it? Likely insignificant. Upon hearing my actual birth date, she inhaled sharply and squawked, "Oh my God! You're a CUSP!" I immediately thought she had shouted another "C" word, and our friendship, still in the infancy stages, was immediately put on the rocks.

So yes, I'm a cusp. And a Tiger. Recently, I received this link from an online Chinese horoscope guide. If it weren't so true, it would likely be funny.

Tigers do not find worth in power or money.They will be completely honest about how they feel and expect the same of you. On the other hand, they seek approval from peers and family. Generally, because of their charming personalities Tigers are well liked. Often, failing at a given task or being unproductive in his personal or professional life can cause a Tiger to experience a depression. Criticism from loved ones can also generate this type of Tiger reaction. Still, like all felines, Tigers always land on their feet, ready for their next act in life, pursuing it with unyielding energy and hunting it infallibly.Tigers are also incorrigibly competitive - they simply cannot pass up a challenge, especially when honor is at stake, or they are protecting those they love. Tigers are unpredictable and it would be unwise to underestimate their reactions. They may appear cool, but they have the Big Cat's instincts to pounce at a moment's warning. Natural leaders, they have a strong sense of their own dignity, and if they find themselves in the ranks, they can be stubborn and obstinate. In positions of power they can be difficult though stimulating bosses. Tigers are intelligent, alert, and farsighted. They have their fingers on the pulse.

A Tiger’s home will be filled with exotic treasures from trips past and will include items such as Tibetan prayer mats or African carvings, confirming their desire to travel to distant places.A quickness and an alert intelligence make Tigers fast learners. Tigers need a challenge. Add this to them being easily bored and it explains why Tigers tend to change careers more often than other Chinese Animals. Some Tigers don’t change their occupations frequently enough and thus tend to juggle jobs all at the same time. Most Tigers are natural born leaders who perform best knowing they are working towards positions of power and influence.

Tigers, born under the third Animal sign of the Chinese Zodiac, have the ability to lift the spirits of even the most depressed or lonesome individual they meet. Because of that attitude, Tigers have no problem making new friends. Actually, a Tiger person without a friend is quite miserable and sad.

Tiger parents are quite similar to the characters of their wildlife counterparts.They will walk through fire to protect their children or to defend them to others. As warm and affectionate as they are, they can become fierce and defensive when their kids are at stake. They lavish their offspring with treats and spoil them with generosity. Tiger parents can be fun as kittens, playing family games and getting great enjoyment from it. On the whole, they enjoy their children's company, having a good laugh and sharing a funny joke. Still, adult Tigers will become enraged if one of their children has gone too far, or is disrespectful. As open-minded and liberal as they are, they will not, under any circumstances, tolerate bad manners, or a lack of respect for other adults.They take their role as parents very seriously, and they believe in the value of a good education. When their kids are small, Tigers like to tell them tales and read them stories. They like to talk about their childhood experiences, and use their stories to instill moral lessons or any ethical feelings. Tigers are decidedly convinced to make themselves the very best role models for their children that they can be.

As friends, Tigers are exceptionally warm and incredibly generous with their time, attention and money. Friends are always welcome in a Tiger’s home and will most often be greeted with a cup of coffee, an ear, a tissue, an open mind and an open wallet. Few friends could be as caring and affectionate, as quirky and surprising, or as genuinely interested as the Tiger.

Tigers tackle everything in their lives in brief bursts of energy, collapsing afterwards in a heap of exhaustion. Normally they are soon back to full strength, but their approach can cause their long-term health to suffer. They should take it a little easier and learn to pace themselves to keep active longer and to prevent early burnout. They are blessed with flexibility and recover quickly from illness or pain. They owe it to themselves to relax a little. Along with the fitness of their long-term health, Tigers must be aware of how they react to and are affected by the consequences of their tempers. A Tiger’s meanest enemy is the damage he can inflict upon himself in the midst of a temper tantrum.

Well said, Chinese horoscope person. Currently, I'm in the heap of exhaustion stage. To give you an example, when I sit down to write late at night, here's what happens:

I stare at my fingers.
I wonder when exactly, my hands got so wrinkly.
I get up to go find lotion.
I lubricate generously.
I sit down to write again.
My fingers slip from keyboard as they're too greasy.
I wander into kitchen to wash my hands.
I decide to clean the kitchen.
I go back to write.
I notice a pile of unopened mail.
I open it.
I find some sort of pill lying under the pile.
Not sure what it is, but I take it cause I feel like shit.
Pray that it's not something that causes drowsiness.
Decide that it tastes like a Flintstones vitamin.
Notice my nails look horrid.
Go find nail polish.
Sit down to write again.
Get really mad at myself for being a complete loser.
"Focus Loser", I say. FOCUS.
Ruin nail polish.
Go find nail polish remover.
Get high as a kite.
Start to feel drowsy.
Wonder if there are chicken fingers in the freezer.
Forget what I was doing
Wander into kitchen.
Remember there's an email I need to reply to for work.
Find homework that Jack was supposed to do.
Lecture myself that I really need to get my shit together.
Eat obscene amounts of pistachios.
Giggle to self about scene from Naked Gun when Leslie Nielsen ate that mound of  pink pistachios, and couldn't open his car door.
Wonder why they don't make pink ones anymore
Wonder what the pink stuff was exactly....
Wonder if it fucked with my brain.
Go to bed.

I recently shared with a friend that I fear my brain has been ruined. I shamelessly admitted that I had become that person who usually has approximately 18 unchecked phone messages and 468 unopened emails sitting in my personal computer. I fretted that my life required some recalibration. I believe I used the phrase shit-show of epic proportion. This tiger could hardly lift her paws to wipe her face at night, never mind write. My friend responded to my lamentations of exhaustion and brain ruination with the following email:

"Yes, I was wondering why you had slipped off the web.
Three little kids and a job is impossible. Once things are impossible,
adding tasks like writing blogs or articles doesn't make things "more"
impossible. Impossible is an on or off thing. Sadly, impossibility
doesn't get you off the hook. Nor does a ruined brain. In fact, a
ruined brain may just make you a better parent and writer.
All that stuff is a blur to me now, not because I was so busy, but
because I was drinking heavily. That's not a recommendation. It doesn't
work for everyone. Still..."

Did I mention I love this man? He's one of the funniest human beings on the planet. And I adore funny human beings. Check out his blog here. He also writes for the Huffington Post. Yawn. His first article was right under Yoko Ono. Well, not actually under her. He's married. Check out his most recent article from the Huffington Post. He even uses the word "boner". You gotta love his sensibilities. Click here to read it.

To summarize, I am a Tiger. I will continue to be honest about how I feel. I will continue to be easily bored. I will continue to be fun as a kitten. I will continue to tell tales and read stories. I will continue to tackle everything with brief bursts of energy. I will continue to collapse in heaps of exhaustion. I will continue to inflict damage on myself in the midst of my internal temper tantrums. But most importantly, I will continue to love fiercely. That is, unless I find out one of those little pecker heads has eaten the last of the pistachios. Then my friends, fur is gonna fly.

Here forthwith, are photo highlights from this cat's actual birthday. Yeah, babe. They make me purr.

Isla's first day of ballet. She continued to "purse" her lips for six full minutes
following lip gloss application. Whatever works.

After ballet class, off on family trip to Moose Jaw!
James enjoying the stretch break...and likely also wondering why we went to Moose Jaw.

We simply CANNOT go to Moose Jaw without a visit to
Mack the Moose. Apparently Mack's been neutered. Too many kids
were spray painting his balls. True story.

 Peanut down...still in her ballet outfit no less.
 Peanut very angry that Jack has deemed this HIS rock.
Did I mention that mere minutes after our arrival, every other tourist vanished?
 Multiple attempts at family photo on the rock.
Peanut's only focus was on her big swirly sucker.
James went missing.
Jack was mad we were on HIS rock.
Even Mack the Moose had to look away.
 Attempted a few family self-portraits. Fail.
Too many kids. Too many big heads. Not enough rock.
 This guy here? Best decision I've ever made.
 Still working on it...
Now to find some literature on Type 2 diabetes.
This one loves to sing and dance to the music! 
Recently I told Roddy that I think James has magic eyes, just like Peanut.
Roddy claims he's never seen it. He thinks I'm imagining things.
Well, imagine this...captured on camera.
Jacks finds this extremely amusing.
He says we have to get Dr. Kimery to check out James's loose eye.
Nice. Stay tuned for that visit.
 Regardless of the outcome, he's perfect.
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