Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Karma is a spiteful bitch

My pixilated pictures on here don't show it, but I wear glasses in real life. I've been wearing these particular glasses for about 9 years or so. In that time, I've replaced the lenses, but that was 6 or 7 years ago, so not by any means recently.

The lenses desperately have to be replaced, but over the past year, I've held the notion in my head that I was going to get laser eye surgery and I don't need to invest in a new pair of glasses or lenses. It would be a waste of money, after all.

I was recently talking with a friend about this and he told me about ordering glasses online; he's done it and has had success. Plus they're cheap - two pair for $100 kind of cheap. And they're not crap-pieces either. I thought this was a great idea and decided I was going to get an eye test and order them online in the new year, once I recouped some of the money spent on Christmas.

Last night, I went for a walk in the rain. Normally when I do this, I either bring an umbrella or wear my contacts so that rain doesn't get all over my glasses. For some odd reason, I decided I didn't need to do that. I ventured out into the night and walked around for over an hour. Practically cursing myself the entire time seeing as I repeatedly had to stop and wipe my glasses. No easy feat when you're bundled up to protect yourself from the rain.

I was on the "heading home" leg of the journey when I stopped under this tree to wipe my glasses. Almost instantly, I felt the lens pop out of the frame. These are not lens-popping-out-frames. I knew it was bad. I inspected my glasses and discovered the metal holding the lens in had completely snapped off the bridge of the nose.

My first thought, aside from "Oh no!", was "I should have worn my contacts". I lovingly put the pieces of my glasses into my pocket and started the blinded walk home. I figured I'd bring my glasses to my dad's place the next day (I was going there for Christmas dinner anyway) and have him look at them. I figured he could solder it, or glue it, or something, so that I could last into the new year, or at the very least, last until I could get myself to the optometrist.

As I was walking home, I became increasingly paranoid about losing the loose lens. I started constantly routing around my pocket to make sure the lens was still there. As I approached my home, I went into the same pocket to get my keys. It felt like something was missing, I made sure the lens was still in place, which it was. I took an inventory of my pocket contents and everything seemed to be right.

I was walking up my driveway when it dawned on me; I spun around and looked into the night from the direction I just came. I made a half-hearted-blind effort to retrieve my lost goods. I knew I'd never find it; I didn't know where I lost it and I couldn't see anything because of the dark and the fact that I broke my glasses.

All I have left of my journey in the rain is regret, shame and a single eyeglass lens. Guess I'm going shopping sooner than I thought.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas at the White House

Growing up, Mom was a bit of a hard ass. About a lot of things, but especially about Christmas. There were a lot of rules surrounding this holiday; it's a wonder we got any joy out of it at all.

First of all, we had to decorate the tree "as a family", while listening to Christmas music, drinking egg nog and eating her Christmas baking. It was a rough life, I tell ya.

But one thing that was actually hard, was the time between the tree decorating and Christmas morning. The time that dragged so slowly because everyday the presents were there, staring you in the face, just begging to be opened.

Must not cave

Probably a week before Christmas morning, once we were off school and stuck at home, the begging began incessantly. My brother and I would bug Mom constantly.

Can I Open one

Every time we asked the same question, yet expected a different answer. The answer never changed.


The outcome also never changed.


Eventually, Christmas Eve would roll around and we would have dinner at Granny's place. We would get to open the presents from Granny, Uncle Jim & Uncle Keith. You'd think this would satiate our hunger, but in reality, it only fueled it.

By the time we got home, we'd be hell bent on opening our presents. We would beg and we would get the same answer. After enough time, we'd convince Mom that it was Christmas Eve; the day has the word Christmas in it and we were allowed to open Granny's presents, so therefore, it is Christmas.

Mom would cave and allow us to open one present each.


Mom got to pick which one we opened and it was almost always clothes. Kids love getting clothes. Technically we opened presents, even if they weren't good ones, so we would go to bed and wait for Christmas morning.

Nowadays, Mom lives away and we don't see her on Christmas. She ships presents to us and we ship presents to her. Typically, I get her package in the mail about a week before Christmas. Since, most years, we celebrate Christmas with my dad on the 23rd, I never have anything to open on Christmas morning except for the present from Mom.

And since she engrained it into my soul, I never open her present early. Even though I'm an adult and I can make my own decisions, thank-you very much. Turns out, I would like a little something to open on Christmas morning. Otherwise, it's just another morning.

Tonight, Mom called to let me know that she got my package (I received hers a couple days before). Every year we have the same conversation:

Mom: Have you opened your present yet?

Me: No, I haven't.

Mom: Why not?

Me: Because it's not Christmas yet.

Mom: Well, why don't you open it now?

Me: What? No!

Mom: Oh, come on... just open it!

Me: No way!

Mom: Why not??

Me: Because then I won't have anything to open on Christmas morning.

Mom: Oh, man...

Talk about role reversal. I know why she does it. Since she can't be here to watch, she wants to hear me open my present. Every time, I say no, I can hear the disappointment in her voice. This year, I decided to compromise:

Me: If you want, I can wait until you call before I open it...

Mom: Oh... alright....

Me: But you have to wait to open yours too, so we can open them together, okay?!

Mom: OKAY!!!!

All traces of disappointment were gone; all that was left was excitement and happiness.


Merry Christmas, Everyone!

A Beer For the Shower

One of my favorite blogs is having a contest. This post is my entry into said contest. I must be funny and/or creative. We all know these are not my strong suits, but here's my attempt so that I win a prize.

Ironically enough, the prize is having my picture drawn in MSPaint.

Heather - Smiling - Hi!

I'm oddly excited about potentially winning the prize... So it's pretty much like every other prize I've been in the vicinity of. I should really stop being so damn excitable.

Anyway, back to the post... I don't quite recall how I first came to read A Beer For the Shower (ABFtS) , but within reading a post or two I decided to go back to the beginning of time and read their entire blog. I got through it and I'm still reading to this day, if that's a testament of their awesomeness.

It probably isn't. But it should be!

The blog is written by two dudes and started out as purely prose, but it eventually became a comic-laden blog. The difference between these guys and someone like, oh... let's say... me, is that these guys are actually writers. Like professional writers. They make books and stuff.

This is where this post comes in. They recently released an e-book available on Amazon. The book is called The Missing Link and it's cover was drawn in, you guessed it, MSPaint. It's about the day the internet died. They released it this way because the publishing world is a crock and they got tired of being dicked around.

It makes me glad that I don't have those sorts of goals.

So why am I doing this? Well, for one, the prize (duh!); for two, they too have asshole neighbours. Mostly though, it's because they they like drinking beer in the shower, so they're okay in my books. In fact, they actually have instructions on the best way to enjoy a beer in the shower. Tips that you don't want to learn through trial and error; after all, trial and error often results in wasted beer.

Very few people know, that drinking while bathing is a guilty pleasure of mine. For a long time, I deprived myself of this luxury. I thought it made me a bad person, or an alcoholic. It's not that I can't bathe without a drink, but sometimes, I simply choose not to.

I don't really drink beer anymore; I switched over to vodka and never really looked back. But every so often, I get a hankering for drinking while bathing, and a vodka cocktail does not do it justice. Trust me, I've tried. When this happens, I go out and buy a case of beer just so I can drink one while I bathe.

Heather in the Tub jpg

Which results in me having nice, long, relaxing baths 6 days in row. I've always enjoyed it while in the bath, as opposed to the shower, however, this was before I read their tips; I was always afraid of watering down the precious nectar. Not anymore.

So there you have it. Read their blog, buy their book and convince them that this is the funniest, most creative entry they've received.

And... ... ... GO!

Big thanks to EliseArt for providing the [good] illustration!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Growing up is hard to do... part two

Eventually hurt feelings and wrongdoings were forgotten and the bullies backed off. It got to be so that we merely narrowed our eyes when we ran into each other in the neighbourhood. I was all right with the situation; I've got a pretty good scowl.


However, eventually hurt feelings and wrongdoings were remembered and I decided that I had to exact my revenge. I remember the summer it happened. Dorian just got his first car - it was a piece of shit, but he thought it was the shit. It was an older Chevy Cavalier (considering this story takes place in 1993, it was a very old Cavalier), yet he was always outside, diligently, washing, waxing and ogling his car.

Ironically enough, my first real car was also an older model Chevy Cavalier, so I know how much of a piece they are. I, however, never tricked myself into thinking it was anything but that.

Being in (very early) high school at the time, me & K decided the best way to knock him down a peg would be to attack his car. I wish we meant figuratively. We did a lot of things to his car just on the legal side of vandalism.

However, TP-ing and egging quickly proved to be an inadequate method of expressing ourselves. We had to do something that was not only an inconvenience, but also nasty as hell. We also wanted to walk by the next day and watch him clean it up.

One night, we started emptying the contents of my fridge into a juice jug: ketchup, horse radish, salad dressing, syrup; you name it, it was in there. It was disgusting.

I'll show them! jpeg

We started out strong, but by the time the concoction was prepared, the noxious fumes had gotten the better of us.

I dont feel well jpeg

We went outside to throw the mixture on his car, not only as punishment, but also to get out of the god forsaken house. The cloud of grossness had certainly engulfed the house by that point.

Even after two wrongs made a right, the fumes would be too much and we would be left sitting out on my front porch, while every window and door was open to (hopefully) air out the house. It was the concoction's way of punishing us for creating it.


We'd often have to spend the better part of the night on the stoop before the house was aired out enough to go back in and sleep in it. By the time we got out of bed the following morning, the mess was long cleaned up and we didn't get the satisfaction of watching Dorian suffer.

Dorian, however, got the satisfaction of watching us suffer through our Horse Radish Hangover, although he probably didn't know what caused us to be under the weather. On the other hand, he probably did.

The concoction was a double-edged sword.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Growing up is hard to do

When I was a kid, we moved out of one neighbourhood and into another. With a new neighbourhood comes a new school, and a new school brings new friends. It isn't always easy and it doesn't always work out.

Shortly after my first day at my new school, I was befriended by a girl named Honey. Seriously - I did not change her name to protect her identity. She was a nice enough girl and we came to be pretty good friends; I had dinner and sleepovers at her place and helped her with her paper route. At one point, we had a falling out; I honestly don't remember what sparked it, but I vividly remember what maintained it.

I guess Honey was upset by the ordeal and her big brother, Dorian, decided to take it upon himself to fix it. And by fix it, I mean pick on me and make my life hell. The pair of them became my bullies.

Wimpy Heather

With names like Honey & Dorian, I guess the only defense is a good offense. Dorian used to hit me, push me down and whip me with rocks tied to string. Again... not making this up. My brother would chase him off, but Danny wasn't always around. Sometimes it was up to me to fend off this older, bigger, boy. That and his tag-teaming sister. It wasn't always easy.

My parents tried everything short of my dad kicking the ass of Minor Dorian, or Elderly Max (their dad - seriously, he was so old that he was retired... did I mention I was in elementary school?)

One night my dad took us over to his friend's place; Dad & his buddies got nice and liquored up. At one point, my dad approached me and told me that this Honey & Dorian fiasco had to stop; I had to stand up for myself. I said that I try, but when I do stand up to Dorian, Honey steps in and then it's two against one... what else can I do?

Why, learn to fight, of course. Since I was a 10 year old girl, Dad didn't want to teach me how to actually fight, so he taught me to fight like... well, a 10 year old girl.

He told me to slap him in the face. I laughed and didn't do it. Dad became more and more persistent. He wouldn't take no for an answer.

That's when I made the decision that I was going to have to slap my dad. My first swing was half-hearted at best. I couldn't very well actually hit my dad in the face, after all.

Wimpy Heather 2

But that simply wasn't good enough for him.

Wimpy Heather 3

My slaps became harder and harder.

Wimpy Heather 4

Dad was crouched down in front of me accepting blow after blow, never phased. After each and every slap, he'd say "That's better - but you can hit harder". Once I became accustomed to slapping my dad, I stopped being afraid and I just started giving it my all. At one point, I wound up with all my might and smashed my tiny little hand against my dad's face. He was impressed.

Wimpy Heather 5

This continued on until his left cheek was bright red and I was beginning to enjoy the game. At that point, he thought he did his job and he left me with the following advice: Next time Dorian picks on you, you hit him like you just hit me.

Thanks Dad.


Big thanks to EliseArt for providing illustrations!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Music soothes even the savage beast

I went to a music show last night. I'm not sure if I've ever felt so out of place before.

My friend's kid plays drums in a band and his band was among many that were performing at this benefit concert. Just trying to support the arts... sometimes it happens to be painful.

Oh, did I mention that it was a heavy metal/hip hop show and how I'm not into heavy metal or hip hop? No? Well it was and I'm not. Thus... painful and out of place. Bad combination. Needless to say, the crowd was divided into two categories: baggy, low-ridin' pants and black, skinny jeans. I didn't think those folks got along.


The first act got on stage; a girl started making a speech in honour of the guest of honour, the late Scott Day; she seemed like a normal girl.

Thanks for coming

After her speech, the band started playing and she didn't leave the stage. They were playing death metal and I wondered what she was doing still holding the mic. And then she started 'singing'. You ever hear death metal and hear what constitutes as singing? It's more like a deep, snarling, growling, screaming... to music. Really fast, head pounding music. That's what she did.

Devil child

It was unbelievable. And scary. I nicknamed her Scary Mary. Dave whole-heartedly agreed. Throughout the duration of their set, Dave and I sat there with wide eyes and open mouths, only tearing our eyes away from the stage long enough to look to each other for support.

Dave & I Scared

That band finished their set and Dave's kid's band, Magnus Rising, took the stage for sound check. Once that was done, they left the stage, which I thought was weird, but then two rappers got on stage and did their set. Then another one came on after them and did a set. It was a huge shock to the system to go from heavy, heavy metal, to rap.

After the rappers were finished laying down their beats, Magnus Rising went on stage. Even though it's not really my type of music, I enjoyed the show and I'm not just saying that because I'm biased. It's actually true. Why? Probably because their singer actually sings instead of screaming. Okay, he might scream a bit, but it's not growling and it has a melody, so it's good. Dave's kid is the drummer and he's been a superstar ever since he first picked up a pair of sticks... he was probably 13. The guitar and bass players in the band are also crazy talented, so it makes for an interesting show.

The next band was going up, but not before another rap group came on. The final band, Ninja Spy, got on stage and what a show they put on! Again, not my kind of music, but they make heavy metal so very interesting. First of all their stage presence, secondly, all three of them are super talented and third, they're three brothers that sing three-part harmonies to heavy metal riffs. Pretty cool.

By the end of the night, I was reminded how much stamina and talent is required to play this kind of music. Not that I have a desire to play it, but it makes me wish I had those qualities. Alas, no, but I'll take what I got.

Dave seems thinks that if I get a kick-ass electric guitar, I'll suddenly be a shredder. I tried telling that him it's not the guitar, it's the player. But then he told me that he was going to build me said kick-ass guitar. That's about the time I stopped talking.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mexico Part 5

Even though, I've left so many stones unturned, I think this will be my final installment on this subject. Aside from all that craziness in Parts 3 & 4, the rest wasn't all that crazy. I swear.

Thursday night was the last night I allowed for debauchery. Since I had a rocky flight on the way down, I really didn't want to be hungover for the plane ride home. And since I had to check out of my room at noon and couldn't have a siesta, I didn't want to be hungover for the day in the heat. Thus, I kept it low key on Friday night. I didn't even bring out the big guns.

Thursday, however, it was on! I was walking to Bar 1 when I passed this table. I instantly recognized one of the people, but also knew that I had never spoken with her. Her face lit up and said "You have to join our party, come here!". I guess she recognized me too.

Who was she? The other terrified person on the plane that I looked to for support during the turbulent times. Her name is Rose and she lives about 5 minutes away from me. Weird.

I managed to convince her party to go to the disco. Mostly because I was like "I'm going to the disco" and so they decided to come too. We danced all night and I may have gotten more drunk than I did any of the other nights.

The boys that let me play pool the night before were there again, playing pool. They tried to get me to join in. I declined due to my level of intoxication. I didn't know how to say "I'm drunk" in Spanish (which is probably a good thing). The game would have gone on forever, and I wouldn't have sunk a ball... except for maybe the white one.

In hindsight, Wayne was there too, and he spent a lot of his time watching me on the dance floor. Creepy.

During my stay in Mexico, I came up with a system for determining how much I had to drink the night before. I called this method "counting limes". Every time I got a drink in my big blue cup, they'd put a new lime in. In the morning, I would empty my cup of any unfinished drink and count the limes. Friday morning I woke up feeling under the weather, I counted the limes and nearly choked on my own saliva.

Seven? I sure hope I got double-limed at least twice. Dear God, no wonder I wasn't feeling well. Turned out to be a bit more than that and I spent the majority of Friday feeling unwell.

Rose had plans to go to Puerto Vallarta Friday evening and do some karaoke. I was invited and intended to go, but when Friday afternoon rolled around and I still wasn't feeling well, I met up with them and said "Thanks for the invite, but I can't go".

Rose was understanding. She said she was looking for me all day long to see if I was going to come, apparently she was asking around for me. One of the guys we were partying with the night before got asked "if he'd seen Heather". He laughed and said "Heather? She only comes out at night... have you seen how white she is?? She can't handle the sun!" I laughed, but also made a mental note to tan before going back.

One of the girls that was going to karaoke was a little less understanding, she said if I had a couple drinks I'd feel better. I was skeptical. Turns out she was right. I saw them at the disco that night (even though I wasn't going to go there) and I was feeling much better three drinks in. We danced until I tapped out. Which was early... Like midnight.

After going home and packing, I realized it was only 1am and I could go back to the disco for another drink. I did. When I went back at 2am everyone was much less surprised to see me again. When I said I was going home for real, they said "See you in 5 minutes". I didn't go back, because that's what willpower looks like.

A guy was playing pool that Friday night. A guy that I saw everyday on the resort. Multiple times a day, in fact. Actually, I pretty much saw him everywhere I went. We never spoke more than "Hola". When I saw him at the disco, I couldn't help but go up to him and say hi; we introduced ourselves (his name is Dan) and he told his friend how he saw me everyday and how he thought it was weird that we hadn't spoken. I thought it was funny that he had the exact same thoughts on the subject as I did.

Meanwhile, I went up and got my picture taken with Gabriel & Cesar. When I was coming out from behind the bar, Dan was there. He looked shocked. He said "What the hell was that? How'd you do that?" and I said "Do what?" and then turned and said thanks to Gabriel & Cesar. The bartenders were all "No problem, Heather, you come back soon, okay?!" And I said "Definitely!". When I turned back to Dan, he looked astonished. He asked me how I had that connection. I shrugged. He caught on... "You've been here every night haven't you!?". I shrugged again and said "Yeah... I have..."

He laughed and said that he should've hooked up with me a week ago and he can't believe we went the whole week without even talking. I agreed that it was weird that we hadn't spoken and then I asked if this was his first night at the disco. He confirmed. I said "Well, then, you should have come here sooner".

So, all in all... I didn't do all the things I planned on doing. I didn't go into town, I didn't kayak, I didn't snorkel, I didn't eat tacos off a street vendor, I didn't see the sights, I didn't experience what Mexico has to offer. I didn't do anything I thought I would... except drink and lie on the beach. Therefore, I must go back soon. Next time I go, I'll be less inclined to be happy "just being there" and will actually do all the things I wanted to do (... ... like Jose...). One can hope anyway.