Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Last Night...

Was not a good night.
Not by a long shot.

I had somewhat of an infertility meltdown. And by somewhat I mean a meltdown of epic, titanic proportions. I'm not sure I've freaked that bad since my surgery, so I guess it was a long time coming.
The husband was at work and then went to baseball last night, while I was home planning on having a nice relaxing evening and dabbling a bit on some promo material for work. Ha! No such luck.
As I was sitting at my computer about 20 minutes after walking in the door my mind began to wander. It was all over the place, but finally decided to focus on why I had an ectopic pregnancy. Had I done something wrong? Did I deserve for it to happen?
I've been dealing pretty well with the entire situation I think, but occasionally it hits me all over again and I can't help but feel at fault. It seems the part that I can't seem to get over is the part after I had the medication to terminate the ectopic.
Although I was assured that the medication was doing its job, that was in fact not the case. The baby was actually growing. When I had the injections in the first place I kept telling Chris that I was a horrible person for killing our baby. He kept assuring me that there was no other option, anything else would have killed me. That did little to make me feel better.
But in the aftermath of the burst tube and my life being threatened I rarely think about that. My concern was (and still is) not for me and what happened to my body, but for the baby. I kept asking myself what kind of person doesn't know they have a growing baby inside of them? And that the baby had grown to three months old in a tiny tube because my idiotic body couldn't move them to where they could grow properly. My stupid body was responsible for the death of my child.

When the husband finally got home last night I had managed to pull myself together somewhat, but he knew something was wrong. We laid down in bed to talk about our days and all of a sudden the dams broke again and I was racked with more sobs. It was that gasping, choked cry where words are hard to understand. Poor husband. He could do nothing to console me, so instead just held me and kept whispering that of course it wasn't my fault, and that I was not being punished for something I had done wrong.

Finally I crawled into bed at midnight, only to have a fitful 3 hours of sleep before resigning myself to the fact that rest just wasn't in the cards. Instead I got up, sat at the computer and worked for a couple hours, before throwing in the towel completely and getting ready for work.

The best part about shitty nights like this though? Even though my eyes were puffy and I was quite sullen and cranky all morning, my little team rallied around me to try and make me feel better.
The husband sent me messages and called to make sure I was okay.
Krista was in my office within about 3 minutes after I got in this morning, knowing something was not right.
Zig poked his head shyly in my door several minutes later and asked if I was okay. I smiled and told him I was fine, but he knew better and did his best to cheer me up.
Then James (the other designer) got in a while later, walked in my office, took one look at me and said "uh oh, what's wrong?" He's not much for affection, but he always manages to squeeze in an awkward hug to let you know he's there for you.

I love having so few people in my department at work, the girls are just girls - they know without a word that something is wrong. And the guys - well they are amazing all on their own, though they might not know just what to say, they will speak in a much softer tone and be very careful with you the entire day.

So, a major meltdown, but surrounded by people I love. I feel much lighter about the whole thing - hope I'm good now for another 7 months.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Dirty Thirty

I never get sick of these things...

1. When was the last time you shaved your legs?
At about 5:50 this morning.

2. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Dancing around my apartment to Candyman by Christina Aguilera.

3. Are you any good at math?
Give me a calculator and I'm awesome.

4. Your prom night?
Uh...I didn't lose my virginity that night if that's what you mean.

5. How many different beverages have you drank today?
Coffee, Pepsi, Water and Lemonade.

6. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machines?
Do I ever.

7. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
No, no one will take me.

8. Something you are excited about?
The fact that my fingers are starting to numb up and callous from playing guitar.

9. Describe your key chain:
A heavy four leaf clover - gotta promote my roots!

10. Where do you keep your change?
In the bottom of my purse, in my piggybank, in the ashtray of my car, in cups, in my pockets, in my desk drawers, on the floor...hmm, maybe I have a problem...

11. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
Depends what you mean by large...
10 people, a month or so ago at a meeting with clients.

30 people, doing presentations in college.
300 people, when I was valedictorian in high school.

12. Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?
Yeah, one of my profs in college was pretty spectacular.

13. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Closed. Always.

14. What's a word that rhymes with "DUCK"?
I probably shouldn't say - but it's part of my everyday vocabulary.
I have a terrible potty mouth.

15. Big city or small town?
Small town for relaxing, big city for activities.

16. Who is the last person that called you?
The husband.

17. Do you read a lot?
I go in waves, right now I'm reading a lot.

18.What is one thing that makes you happy?
A good belly laugh.

19. If you're in a room with two beds, which one do you sleep on?
The one farthest away from the door.

20. Ever had a near death experience?
Yes - scariest time of my life.

21. How do you like your eggs?
Over hard, he he.

22. What's a word/phrase that you say a lot?
"Seriously?" or "I was like..."

23. Who told you he/she loved you last?
The husband.

24. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Oh, thousands. I'm a total druggie...if taking two tylenol yesterday for a pounding headache makes me a druggie.

25. Your worst enemy?
Myself sometimes.

26. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"Um, okay then, uh that's not good, okay, love you, bye."
(The husband was explaining something to me about his baseball game over the phone.)

27. Do you like someone?
Yep, I sure do.

28. The last song you listened to?
April Wine - Bad Side of the Moon.

29. What color underwear are you wearing?
Lime green with skulls and crossbones, and they say "Rebel" across the butt.

30. If you could be anywhere right now, where would that be?
Sitting in Monica's house in the Bahamas, sipping wine, eating Sex in a Pan, and occasionally jumping up to dance or sing along to whatever we were listening to.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Tonight I have been forsaken for a hussy.

Or as my husband refers to it...football.

Oh yes, the excitement has been building all week for tonight's game (excitement from him, definitely not from me) and last night he was almost giddy. He had the day off today and spent it with his dad - they have season tickets together - riling each other up.
I cringe to think that I am the person responsible for buying him that huge Bomber flag that he hangs out the window of his car on game day. But man, if you could have seen his face when he opened it on his birthday - like I just told him we won the lottery...or, more realistically, like I just told him I would do the dishes.

Anyways, since I've been left to my own devices while he partakes in manly events, I've decided to really go the girl route.

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store. I had no list of what to buy, and the only thing that I actually needed to buy was milk. While walking across the parking lot I decided to buy a box of popsicles since the weather just seems to call for them lately. So, milk and popsicles. Fine.

I grabbed a basket on the way in to the store and noticed a display of blueberries set up directly in my path. I love blueberries. So okay then, milk, popsicles and blueberries. No problem.

As I strolled through the produce I came to the end of the section...right where the flowers are set up. I always walk by this section because who has money to waste on flowers for themselves? And, you know, it's the principle of the thing...I'm married...I shouldn't have to buy myself flowers. So I walked by.

Then I thought, "what the hell - he's out at football and God only knows the last time he got me flowers" (now that I think about it, it was our anniversary, but still - never "just because" like I'm always hoping for) so I walked back, picked up a bouquet and felt much happier when I put them in my basket.

The next five minutes in that store were spent in much the same fashion - me telling myself I could have whatever I wanted. My inventory when I left was as follows: bouquet of flowers, cool whip (to go with the brownies I made the other day), milk (also for the brownies), blueberries, pitas, a box of popsicles, chocolate chips, and a trashy magazine thrown in for good measure. On the way out I grabbed a realty magazine so that I could drool over houses.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot I decided that I was hungry (due to the medication that rarely happens anymore) so I decided to do the unthinkable...I stopped at McDonald's. Ewww. I loathe McDonald's (except for their breakfast bagels - yum!) so I don't know what possessed me to stop there, but all of a sudden I was thinking that I would run someone over for a Big Mac.
Luckily for me (said with much, much sarcasm) there is a McDonald's about 30 seconds away from my front door. So I went.

Then I came home, spread all my goodies out in the living room, put my flowers in a vase, smiled happily to myself, and thought "yep, this is what I needed today".

So I stripped down, pulled on Chris' old Carolina Panthers jersey (I'm not totally against football) and sat down on the couch to eat my hot, drippy, leathery Big Mac. In true Ali fashion I only ate half of it and I barely touched the fries, but still, it was the idea of eating something so gross just because I could that appealed to me I think.

Now I plan on renting a particularly hideously girly movie on the tv, painting my nails, making a snack of popsicles, brownies, cool whip and blueberries, and laying on the couch until I hear the husband's key in the door and I have to make a run for the bedroom before my father-in-law sees me in my undies.

Life is good.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Notes to Self

I'm totally stealing this idea from Terri, because I am forever saying aloud to myself "Note to Self". I also hold an imaginary tape recorder up to my mouth when I do it...reeeeeeeal cool.

1. When you eat an entire bowl of cherries and you don't have a stomach ache, that does NOT mean you won't get one. Do not eat more cherries. Just wait. The stomach ache will come.

2. If you want to avoid the annoying phone calls from Mastercard telling you that you need to call them as soon as possible, you must pay your bill on time. In 6 years why have you not learned this?

3. Just because an idea sounds good in theory does not make it an actual good idea. Case and point: drinking alcohol through a straw will make it go down more quickly, but it will also make a return visit that much faster.

4. Skirts and windy days do not go so well together. Regardless of what the male population of the office tells you.

5. No matter how hungry you feel before you order something in a restaurant, you will never, ever eat more than half of it. Everyone else knows this (they eat your leftovers) so why don't you?

6. Just because you are able to do something does not mean you should. Able and should do not mean the same thing.

7. Do not go pull the husband's leg hair right now because he is lying on the couch sleeping like a baby. That is mean...you'll only make him mad.

8. You will never be able to eat at your dining room table if you keep using it as a filing cabinet for every piece of paper that makes its way into your life. File it or pitch it.

9. Just because you think something is funny does not mean everyone else does. Sometimes it's just the mood you are in that makes every little thing - like a co-worker talking about "Nacho" cheese (but he's saying it like "Not your" cheese) and to keep your hands off it - it's really not that funny in retrospect.

10. You say "seriously" way too much. You should really work on that.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Compensating Maybe?

As I was in line at Tim Horton's this morning, waiting patiently for my early morning caffeine fix, I noticed the truck in front of me.
It was a big, tough looking Dodge 4x4.
This was his back window.

Please, oh please...can I take this treasure home to meet my dad?

I can tell you right now that he would be waiting in the yard with a smile and a shotgun.

I did laugh when I read it, then felt a little disgusted, then as we pulled up a little in the line I caught a glimpse of the guy driving. My window was open and he was looking right at me through his side-view mirror.
He was maybe 102 pounds, had a shaved head and little spindly arms, he was maybe 21 at the most. I smiled again when I thought about his truck window - I think he thought I was smiling at him.

That made me laugh.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ZIG and the Spider (sheesh, what is WITH the spiders lately?)

I had a guitar lesson tonight - for me it went better than it usually seems to. I only panicked for a brief moment when Zig said "okay, now it's time for you to show me what you know." Usually that's my cue for a full blown freak out and lots of saying "I can't do it - don't make me" before I finally calm myself down enough to just do it. However, tonight there were other plans in the works to help me relax enough to be able to play.
As Zig was waiting for me to quit panicking, he played a little song, showing me how to fill in notes between chords and I happened to glance above his head just as a tiny spider was lowering itself into his hair.
I quickly covered my mouth, knowing that if I told him he would most certainly freak, which I didn't want him to do.
He stopped playing when he saw the look of horror on my face and said "What!? What's wrong?" in a pre-panic, higher pitched tone of voice.
As he was asking me the spider climbed back up it's web just a couple inches and off his hair.
I said to him in a very calm voice "don't move, there is a tiny spider above your head, but it's moving back up its web."
His eyes grew into two huge saucers and he slowly rocked his body a little bit to the left, out from under where the spider was hanging. When he was out of harms way he stood up and had a little baby freak out, then wondered out loud to himself what he was going to kill it with.
I watched as he reached for what I thought would be a book, or tool, or something along those lines. But what he picked up off the desk shocked me completely. He had a gun!

Sidebar here: Before anyone starts to wonder about what kind of a person has a gun just laying around his office, you must know that it was an unloaded air pistol. He is not some crazy, gun-toting lunatic that shoots things as he pleases.

Now where was I?
Oh yes, he pulls up his arm to reveal a gun! Now I should have known he didn't have a loaded handgun sitting there, but just the same, when he aimed it 2 inches from that little hanging spider, I had a momentary lapse in judgement and started begging "No, no, no! Don't shoot it!"

Too late.

With a bang of air I watched the little spider blow across the room into the opposing wall. It took about half a second before I realized that the gun had just shot air, and then I started screaming.
I almost fell of my chair because all of a sudden it hit me how funny it was that this grown man jumped up and SHOT a spider at point blank range while giving a guitar lesson. I sat there holding Ramona unable to control my laughter, and then Zig started laughing too. I just kept screaming at him "I can't believe you shot it!" then more laughter "Who shoots a spider?" then some tears and more laughing.

It took about 5 minutes for me to calm down - and you know what? Once we started my lesson again I started playing right away. Who has time to panic when you just saw a spider get shot?

*Note: Zig was much more manly about the whole situation than I was with my spider situation last week :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Let's Get Physical, Physical

It's Monday. I'm back in the city. And I...am wiped out.
Oh man, it was another weekend of hard labour at my parent's house and I loved every minute of it.
Bright and early Saturday morning my brother and I went out into the backyard, armed with a stereo, hammers, a pry bar, and way too much excitement to demolish his tree fort. I say 'way too much' because we were actually giddy at the prospect of smashing stuff.
Oh, but before I go on - I have to tell you about this weekend's demo outfit - it was just gorgeous.
Thursday I washed all the clothes we were going to be bringing home. I made a mental note to grab all my tank tops because I knew it was going to be hot, plus, when you're sweating that much it's nice to have on as little clothing as possible, provided it's safe.
So, Saturday morning I pull on a pair of shorts, reach for a tank top - and shit! I forgot them all at home. Grrrrr. My brother weighs like 100 lbs soaking wet (and doesn't have boobs), my dad doesn't own a muscle shirt, and anything my mom had would have been too big on me. So - what's a girl to do?
Well, this girl grabbed one of her brother's t-shirts that miraculously fit, pulled it on, grabbed a pair of scissors, then asked aforementioned brother to have at the shirt. I told him to cut the sleeves off, cut the neck out, and cut as far down the back as he could, while leaving enough fabric to cover my bra. You should have seen us, it took 15 minutes of us laughing, him stabbing me, and me finally ripping half the shirt to get the "desired" effect. Then I pulled my hair up on my head, put on my sunglasses, and pulled on a pair of old shoes to protect my feet. It was spectacular, let me tell you. My mom was appalled when she saw the finished product.

So, to the backyard we went, cranked the Fratellis, and started smashing away at the tree fort. The first wall was down within 5 minutes, and came down on my leg. So I'm standing there spouting expletives and my brother is on his knees in the fort, laughing at my pain.
I whipped up my leg and kicked him in the shoulder.
He quit laughing and I started.
Oh the joys of sibling relationships.
A few minutes later we both calmed down and got back to the demolition. We ripped the deck off next and began dragging it over to where my dad deemed the official "mess zone". Halfway there we decided that it was too heavy, so we threw it on the ground and both jumped up on it. Next thing you know we were calling it our "dance off stage" and were both dancing around like crazy people. Soon my dad started yelling from the front yard that we looked like idiots and that people were going to think there was something wrong with us. He was kidding of course, and that just made us dance even harder.
Anyways, an hour later the tree fort was in a shambles around us and we went in to get a drink. Next thing you know my brother is playing Guitar Hero (the husband brought it down for him to try) and he decided that he was done helping for the day. Sigh.
The rest of the day was a blur - my dad ended up coming outside to help me, but my brother, the husband, and a couple of his friends went to the beach for the day. They asked me to go, but I was having too much fun destroying things. I know the husband was annoyed that I didn't go, but I don't think he understands first off how much I love to do this kind of hard work, and second, how much I love to hang out with my dad. Hard work and good company is a great day in my books.
So they went to the beach and I began destroying the rest of the backyard.

Once the fort was ripped down and thrown into a pile we started cutting down the dead trees and branches that line the property. Next we ripped out the old swingset - this was not an easy feat, as my dad had cemented the poles 2 feet into the ground to avoid it ever flipping when we were playing on it. So he shoveled all the way around each post, I would start hanging on the poles to try to get them started, then use the pry bar to loosen the suction of dirt, then grab on again and hang there until they eventually gave way.
Then I started talking about this wild rose bush that grows in the backyard. When I was younger it was just one little bush, but it's slowly taken over part of the yard. There are these thorned branches everywhere you step and they hurt.
My dad grabbed the power saw and I grabbed the axe and we went nuts cutting down all the crazy rose bushes.
Then my dad started talking about moving the shed. This was supposed to be a project for later on in the summer. But I had my dad on a roll and we decided to move it then too. So we yanked everything out of the shed, unhooked it from the base, and dragged it off. Then I demolished the old base.
This entire process took us about 7.5 hours of hard labour. And I mean hard. I drank about 15 bottles of water, some lemonade, a pop, 2 glasses of milk and half a bottle of wine at supper and I was still dying of thirst.
My poor legs look like someone dragged me out to the back 40 and shit-kicked me without me putting up a fight. My left shin has got a nice bruise where the wall of the fort fell on it and I have scratches all over from walking through thorny rose bushes and dragging trees around the yard.
Oh, and then while my dad was making supper I decided to go through the rhubarb patch and get rid of all the overgrown stuff - it will just make for sweeter stalks when it grows in again.
Um, yeah, it must have been years since someone did that. I was wearing my brothers size 11 sandals...take a look at the size difference. Whoa.

All in all it was a fantabulous weekend - and in spite of the aching back today, I can't complain. Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


What to write, what to write...
My mind is a million miles away right now and moving at warp speed.

I have a guitar lesson in just under 2 hours, and I'm feeling a little nervous. I don't really know why, but it seems like the more I learn about playing guitar, the more nervous I am for each lesson. Maybe because I know that Zig can expect me not to completely suck at everything now, I feel the pressure. Whatever; by the time I leave each lesson I can't seem to drive home fast enough to plug Ramona in again and practice what I've learned.

The husband and I have been a little under the weather this past week. It started Sunday when we were both not feeling so shit-hot, and has continued throughout the week. Neither of us feel sick per se, just not right. And we're both completely exhausted by the time we get home.

Tomorrow night after work we're going to hit the highway for a couple days at the parents houses. I've already been talking to my dad and brother about what kind of physical labour we're going to be doing this weekend. It sounds like my brother's old tree fort is going to bite the dust (yay for power saws!) and there are a couple of other demolition projects in the works. I'm psyched!

My bedroom is in such a state of disarray right now that I fear it will never bounce back from the apparent cyclone that seems to have hit it. So many clothes - everywhere. In the closet, in the dressers, on the dressers, on the floor, on the bed, on the winter storage bins that have still not been put away, on the floor in the hall outside the bedroom.
*shakes head in fearful disbelief*
It's hopeless.

The husband is watching the Bombers on tv right now. The game started about 13 minutes ago and there have already been some heavy expletives flying around the room.
I really don't mind football season that much, I mean, I get ignored whenever anything to do with football is on, but for the most part it's not so bad. When his teams win the husband is in a fabulous mood, but when they lose...oh boy, that man can be bitter for days!

I need gas in my car. Lately this always makes me a little grumpy because the price of gas is so ridiculous around here. Crap. Guess that means I'll have to leave for my guitar lesson even earlier...groan.

I'm back to liking work again. I went through a fairly lengthy stretch where I just really wasn't happy there. Corporate bullshit has the potential to make almost anyone hate their job - but finally things are starting to smooth out and get back on track. I'm finally able to make myself focus when I walk in the door in the mornings; that's a good feeling.

Damn, what I would give for some chocolate right now.
It would be shameful really because if someone walked in the door with a chocolate bar right now they could pretty much have whatever they wanted. Ramona? No. But almost anything else would be theirs for the taking.

This weekend I'm taking home my submission for the father/daughter book and I'm going to talk to my dad about it. I realize that I will never be 100% happy with it, but I know if I submit it the way it is now I will be unhappy with the printed result (if it's even chosen for the book, I don't know what the rules are for this).
So, it will be posted on my blog at some point on Monday, regardless of how I feel about it. Please let me know your thoughts though because I value the opinion of each and every one of you.

And, for my last thrilling thought of the day...

I think it's time to clean out my underwear drawers.
Let's put it this way...they don't close anymore.
So it's time to get rid of any I can do without, which of course opens the door for me to go on a spree and spend copious amounts of money on cute pairs of undies.

Whoops, I mean 20 bucks on a pair or two. ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Heels Make a Girl Feel Girly

There's nothing like a hot, new pair of shoes to cheer a girl up.
Shoes in general make me happy, but heels make me absolutely giddy.

The ones I had on today, for instance, were 4 inch peek-a-boo stilettos. I adore these shoes. Yesterday was my first day wearing them and I have to admit that they are wonderful.

And the best part about them is that they didn't hurt my feet! Not one little bit! Usually by the end of stomping around all day I kick them off and cringe at my poor little aching feet, but not with these ones. I didn't take these off all day.

I often get asked how I can walk in high heels. I don't really know, perhaps it's because I'm more aware that I stand 5'9" when I wear them and have farther to fall should I wipe out. But man, put me in a pair of flip flops and I'm tripping all over the place. Go figure, flat foot and closer to the ground I turn into a spaz.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - I am at a mental roadblock.

This submission for the father/daughter book has me at my wit's end. When I started writing it seemed so easy; the words flew from my fingertips and filled my screen. I was thrilled with how quickly it came.

But...and this is a big but...I have "hit the wall" so to speak.

Here's the thing, I love what I've written so far, but it doesn't do justice to the relationship I have with my dad or the importance of how he has raised me. For the record, I'm writing about the greatest life lesson he has ever taught me.

I know, you probably all think I'm over-thinking it in my own mind, but for once that's not the case. Usually when I write something I'm pretty confident when I'm done that it's been written well, and I feel comfortable submitting it for someone else's eyes.

However, on those occasions that I know a piece is lacking, and I just can't figure out how to fix it, I let someone read it ahead of time.

I knew I wasn't getting across what I wanted to, so tonight I picked on two poor souls to give me their honest opinions. Zig and Alyssa became my guinea pigs. And Alyssa said everything that I already knew. She told me where it was strong, and where it was weak, and though it was a great tribute to this particular life lesson, it did little to explain how or why my dad feels the way he does about it, and why it was important for him to teach it to me.


Lately I've been feeling as though my writing and editing skills are not quite as sharp as they used to be, perhaps this is a reflection of that.

Nevertheless, I will finish this piece if it kills me, because the idea that something my dad has taught me may be in a book for all the world to read brings me so much happiness. I wish everyone could meet him, but since most of you never will, at least you might be able to get a glimpse of him through my eyes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ali and the Monster Spider

This morning the husband got home from a night shift at about 8am. I heard him messing around with his Playstation so he could play Guitar Hero, so I yelled at him to come to bed instead, and that we would play it later.
So he came in like a child caught doing something he wasn't supposed to, I asked him how work was, we chatted for a few minutes and then we both drifted to sleep. I rolled and tossed until about 10:45.
I never sleep that long anymore, but my body felt exhausted. My mind, however, had other plans and refused to let me actually sleep. I kept getting awakened by thoughts of the stack of overtime sitting on my living room floor, Ramona and Mack waiting for me to play with them, logging on to the crack that is Facebook, and finishing writing my submission for the Daddy book.
Finally I dragged my butt out of bed, pulled on my bathrobe, and made my way into the living room. I sat down at the computer, checked my email, went on Facebook for a few minutes and then decided that I was too tired to keep sitting up. So I dragged myself to the couch, curled up in the corner, and dozed until noon.
When I forced myself to sit up again I couldn't believe how tired I still felt. It was a chore just to keep myself sitting upright (this may be the beginnings of me getting sick, which I really hope isn't the case), so I decided that the only way to wake up was to have a shower.

Bleary-eyed I stumbled down the hall, into the bathroom and out of my bathrobe. I was just about to turn to the shower to turn on the taps when I saw movement in the sink.
As I turned completely to get a better look I couldn't see anything at first, but once I leaned in a tiny bit I saw a huge spider crawling up the side of the sink!
Within half a second I'm screaming. Standing there naked, screaming at the sink, and then I remembered that the husband was in bed sleeping. I turned down the scream level enough that I hoped I wouldn't wake him, then pushed myself up against the bathroom wall to try to get away from the spider.
He was huge - about 2 inches across - and no, I am not exaggerating for once in my life.
So, as I'm screaming, my mind is thinking about my options in this situation. Do I scream loud enough to wake up the husband so that he will come to investigate and save me? Do I grab some toilet paper and attempt to squish the monster spider on my own? Do I politely wake the husband up and explain the situation to him? He might not be appreciative of me waking him up, but I know he would come and get rid of the monster for me, and laugh at me later. Do I pretend that I haven't been to the bathroom yet and hope that either the monster will go back down the drain, or that the husband will get up to pee and find him and take care of him on his own? Or, do I somehow get past the monster, into the safety of the apartment and find something much bigger and stronger to kill him with?
(While I'm thinking all of these thoughts I'm still screaming.)

I decide on the last option.

I whip open the bathroom door, run into the hallway (still screaming) run back to check if the monster is still in the sink - he is, so I keep screaming - run down the hall into the living room, see my camera sitting on the table, decide to run back and take a picture for a post, scream the whole time I'm leaning over the sink taking the picture, run back into the living room and begin searching for a murder weapon.

I scream while I select a particularly thick stack of flyers from the recycle bin, while I roll it into a deadly scroll of murderous Wal-mart and Home Depot savings, while I run back down the hall into the bathroom, and while I bash the shit out of the little cretin in the sink.

(For any of you that are pro-bug and feel I should have scooped the monster into a cup and released him into a field of daisies and butterflies...I'm sorry - my fear gets the better of me.)

So, I screamed that whole time, when I was sure he was dead I flipped up the deadly scroll to look at the underside, screamed when I was certain that he was, in fact, dead, and then screamed as I ran back down the hall and threw the entire mess into a garbage bag.
After several minutes of violent shuddering and little baby screams still escaping my lips, I managed to force myself back into the bathroom for my shower.

I'm a little worried about tonight, when the husband will be at work and I will be left alone to fend off any other monster-like creatures.

Wish me luck.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ramona...Meet Mack

Today I welcomed another addition to my little musical family.
My first amp. Mack.
I don't really know why I chose the name Mack, it just seemed to fit.
Mack and Ramona.
They just go together somehow.

After work we headed out to one of the best little guitar shops in Winnipeg to check out amps for me. It's a little mom and pop shop but I would rather give my money to them than some bigger name store. I had already priced this particular amp out somewhere else and it was cheaper there, but Zig has made a lot of purchases there, so we figured maybe they would give me a deal.
So we went in, Zig told them what we were looking for, he sat down with a guitar, plugged into the amp, played around with it a little bit and said "What do you think? I think it sounds pretty good."
I mean, I thought it sounded good, but I'm still pretty much a guitar and amp virgin, so if he tells me it sounds good that's good enough for me. He told the owner lady how much they were asking for it at the other place and she said I could have it for that. Yay! It makes me happy to have the amp, but it feels good to have bought it from them too.

So...I came home, changed into shorts and a tank top, ripped open the box and pulled out Mack. I brought Ramona over to where we were on the floor and introduced them - I said "Ramona, this is Mack - he's going to live here now and help you sound really bitchin" yeah, I
really did that - sometimes I am too ridiculous for words.
I plugged Mack in, hooked up Ramona and turned up the volume.
Oh yeah! What an awesome feeling. I started laughing right away because all of a sudden it hit me that I own a guitar and an amp and can rattle my own fillings (and possibly the neighbours) if I want to.
It's a happy day in Ali's world - welcome to the family Mack!

And thank you Zig for being brave to try the amp and ask for the deal for me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Collection of Random Items

First off, today is my brother Matthew's birthday. He is 15 years old today. It's kind of sad that him being 15 makes me feel old, but I guess that's what you get when your only sibling is 12 years younger than you.
Regardless, he's awesome, he likes the gifts I got him, and even though he's bigger than me now, I can still keep him in line!

Today was a weird day weather wise. It was a little chilly (I was wearing a hoodie for shit's sake - it's July) and the sky kept changing from grey and ominous to blue and cheery. We kept getting these waves of rain and wind where you would swear we were going to get a tornado - then you'd look to the west and blue sky would come rolling in. This picture is one of my office windows after we got pelted in rain...see how weird it looks with the blue sky in the background?

The husband and I finally went and got groceries tonight. Hallelujah!
It's pretty bad when neither of us can remember the last time we bought food. I think we should possibly take this as a sign that we need to start eating more in general.

One of the things we bought at the grocery store was fresh cherries. Oh boy...I've been eating them since I got home...my tummy hurts now. The husband is going to Ontario tomorrow for the night - guess what I'm having for supper?
Yep. Cherries.
And guess how I'll be feeling on Friday?
Yep. Lousy.

In other news, Reggie called Zig and I at the office today. I was actually sitting at my desk marking up some page proofs, heard the phone ring, looked at the call display, saw that it was a 705 area code and decided to ignore it. My brain was telling me it was someone from our Gainesville office that I didn't want to talk to, so I let it go to voicemail. About 10 minutes later my email dinged and I checked it to see an email from Reggie that said something along the lines of "I just called you and left you a voicemail, I'll try again later."
Then I realized (duh!) that it was him who called. So I wrote him an email saying to call back and yelled at Zig that Reggie was going to be calling.
And he did. And it was fabulous. And we giggled at each other the whole time, just like before. And I was reminded of how awesome he is, and how cool his accent is, and how badly I want to go visit him and Gigi.
Next time we will call him, and we'll try to do it more often.

Other than that, ladies and gentlemen, I have nothing else to report.
So I bid you adieu.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Let's Make a Deal

The husband and I have made a little deal.

He is allowed to buy Guitar Hero II for his playstation, and I am allowed to buy an amp for Ramona. Yay!

You may be wondering how I've been practicing without an amp.

Well, when I was just practicing my finger placement and how to strum, it didn't really matter if I could hear myself or not.

But now that I'm tuning Ramona, and practicing chords and scales and stuff, I've been plugging her into my computer and using my speakers to hear what's going on.
Of course the quality of computer speakers isn't quite in the same ballpark as an amp.

It's a total rush at my lessons each week to be able to plug Ramona into an actual amp and feel the sound vibrate through my body...especially when Zig screams "Hello, New York!!!!" every time.

For now I will just buy a little baby amp since we're in an apartment and all, but I will be sure to make sure it has a few effects and can turn up loud enough that when our upstairs neighbours have their grandkids stomping around at 10 at night I can crank up Ramona and scare the begeezus out of those little buggers.

Oh joy - I can't wait!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Bahama Mama

So...the Bahama Mama a.k.a. my best friend in the entire world, a.k.a. Monica - where do I start?

We were born exactly one month apart in 1980 - my birthday is June 8th, hers is July 8th - today! Our moms worked together as nurses at our small town hospital, and our dads were both Engineers for CN Rail. Our houses are directly across the street from each other.
Monica has 4 siblings, 2 older sisters and 2 younger brothers - and I was an only child until I was 12 years old. The fact that our parents were such good friends went a long way to us becoming friends. Our moms were together a lot, and when you grow up in a small town you know every single person on your street (if not in the rest of the town) so I was always with Monica's family or she was at my house just to get away from the chaos.

Monica's star sign is cancer. She is dedicated and devoted, somewhat of a homebody, caring and understanding and very intuitive. There is nothing I wouldn't tell her and nothing I wouldn't trust her with. She is also very encouraging. She asks me regularly how my writing is going, is very supportive of me learning to play guitar, and told me a week or so ago that she thinks I'll be famous someday. She's not entirely sure for what (I hope it's for something legal) but she insists it will happen.

Everyone has someone they say understands them better than anyone else, who they can tell anything to. For many people that is their spouse. Believe me, my husband is fantastic and he knows nearly everything about me, good and bad - but Monica knows everything in the sense that she knows who I had a crush on in April of grade 4, she knows about each and every boy I have ever kissed, she knows why I'm scared of the back stairs at my parent's house, she remembers things that I told her when her grandpa died when she was 10, she knows every fear and silly mistake I've made in my entire life. Like I said - everything.

There are not too many people in the world that I want to impress. Obviously I like the idea of making my parents proud, and I always want Chris to be proud of me as well - but I generally don't care either way if someone likes me or not.
I care what Monica thinks. She is so unprejudiced and fair, yet I am always striving to be a better person in her eyes. She has never passed judgement on me for anything - and I have done some not too spectacular stuff in my life - but she has stood by me, no matter what she might have really thought about what I was doing.

She is pathologically late. It was so bad in high school that our teachers knew not to expect us before the bell for the first class of the day. For four years I would go into her room or the laundry room while she was getting ready in the morning and find her a pair of matching socks. This girl can not find socks (especially matching ones) to save her life, so to save time in the mornings I would find her socks and have them waiting beside her shoes when she finally sauntered to the door.

No one on the face of the earth makes me laugh like she does either. When we get together we laugh almost non-stop; that high pitched, wiping tears from our eyes, grabbing our stomachs, can't talk because we're out of breath, kind of laughing. And this is constant, from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed when we're together. It's very loud.

She is very smart. She loves history and loves to read books and watch movies with authentic history in them. But sometimes her common sense is lacking. Not all the time - but she does have her moments when she is a true blonde. One memory I have of her is when we were in high school. She worked as a waitress and when Janelle and I (the bride from the wedding a couple weeks ago) were done at our jobs, we would walk down to the restaurant where Monica worked and hang out after closing. One day her boss sent her to the grocery store to get bananas for banana cream pie. Janelle and I got to the restaurant while she was out, so sat down with her boss to wait for her. She came rushing in looking very flustered and said "Hey Sue, I got the bananas for the pie, but I'm really sorry I had to get you a bunch of 6 bananas since they didn't have any with just 5."

Sue and I looked at her for a minute and then I let out a little giggle and asked her if she was joking. She said no she wasn't, and genuinely looked upset that she had to spend the extra 4 cents to buy another banana. She even told Sue she would pay the difference because she couldn't find a bunch of 5 bananas.

Sue and I kept staring at her, waiting for her to crack a smile to let us know she was joking, but when it became painfully obvious that she wasn't, we let loose with some of the biggest laughs you have ever heard. I remember screaming through my laughter that you can pull apart bunches of bananas - you can even just get one if you want. Sue was on the floor at this point, crying from laughing so hard. I have never let her forget that moment, I keep telling her that when she gets married it's going to be part of my toast to her.

She became the "Bahama Mama" in September of 2001. Chris and I were moving to Winnipeg from Calgary and Monica informed me that in October she would be moving to Nassau, Bahamas with her boyfriend Jeff for work. I was devastated.

Jeff and Chris are friends as well, and Jeff was the one that got Chris into being an electrician way back in the day. So while Chris grew bored of it and decided to get into nursing, Jeff finished his schooling and got his papers. He ended up getting a job for a huge company that needed him in Nassau. So Monica went along, and they've been there ever since. When they left it was supposed to be for a year. Now they're looking at properties and building a house, since Jeff has since started his own company, and business is booming. I'm happy for them but it sucks only seeing her a couple times a year.

Monica's family are not affectionate to say the least. They don't hug or kiss, or say I love you, or anything that might show love and affection. I, however, am from an extremely affectionate family. This has made for some awkward moments in our friendship - when I was excited about something, went to give her a hug, and she would either pull back or stiffen up completely.

But in December when I lost the baby and had my surgery, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. The day I got home from the hospital I was on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket and just staring at nothing. My mom, Chris, mother-in-law and father-in-law were there and all of a sudden there was a knock on the door.
Chris opened it and Monica walked in (she was coming home for Christmas but had changed her flight to come home early), she kicked off her shoes, walked over to me and sat down on the couch beside me. She never said anything, just hugged me quickly and said that she had brought me some treats. To Monica and I, treats are all things yummy and fattening. She opened her bag and pulled out a box of Ritz crackers, a jar of Cheez Whiz, an enormous Toblerone bar, ripple chips and dill pickle dip, a jar of pickles, about 10 chocolate bars, and some gummy bears. And later, when no one was paying attention, she grabbed my hand for the briefest moment, said "Al, are you okay?" and listened with tears running down her face while I told her the whole story.
I gotta tell you, that stupid bag of junk food, and that hand squeeze were just what I needed. It was her way of telling me that she loved me because she couldn't just come out and say it.

When she was home a few weeks ago we were out for dinner and all of a sudden she put her head down and started talking "Al, I know that you have said you would never ask any of us to give up our body for you to have a baby, but I would do it. So if it comes time that your body just won't let you do it, I'll do it for you."

I started crying right there in the restaurant and she was wiping tears from her eyes. Then she said "Shit, enough of this damn crying, I need another Caesar." Then we were laughing again and we started talking about something else, but those couple lines from her have meant more than almost anything anyone has ever said to me.

Since I was very young, my dad has always told me that Monica was one of the good ones, and that those are the kinds of friends you do anything for.
He was so right. I couldn't love her any more, and I couldn't ask for a better friend. Monica is one of the most amazing people that has ever set foot on this earth and I'm thankful every day to have her in my life.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I Feel Good...Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah

I am in one kick-ass, wonderful mood today.
Why that is I'm not particularly sure. I just feel at peace with the world and myself today.
It is a beautiful, sunny day, I should be getting off work around noon today (along with everyone else) because today is our annual office pig roast.
All employees and their families meet at someones house outside of the city and eat and drink and socialize all night. The husband and I will be going out with Zig and Alyssa, and since I plan on having a few beverages, if my husband decides to do the same then we will crash in their basement tonight. It should be a blast.
Tomorrow will be fairly slow moving I'm sure, in light of the fact that we will be "socializing" tonight, then the husband works a night shift. I will be heading out to hang out with some friends of ours, to watch UFC and socialize with a different group of people.
Sunday the husband will spend the day sleeping, and I plan on meeting up with Princess for lunch and an afternoon of shopping.
And, of course, I will spend my spare moments practicing Ramona. My newly re-kindled love for her is burning very brightly, even more so than when I got her.
I'm also working on the piece I plan on submitting for the father/daughter book. (Remember a while ago when that author - Gregory Lang - asked me to submit something?) When I was home this past weekend my dad and I had a very moving, in-depth talk about what I should write about.
By the end of the conversation there was no question. I'm writing about the greatest life lesson my dad has ever taught me. I can't tell you how both difficult and easy it is to write so far. It's easy because I have so many words; as soon as I start to write it just comes pouring out. But at the same time it's hard to do, because I'm worried that what I end up with won't do justice to the love and appreciation I have for all my dad has taught me.
Regardless, I'm so thankful for the chance to do it, and I know my dad will be happy with whatever I write.
So yeah, back to my fabulous mood.
It's weird really, I'm feeling tired and I even have a bit of a headache - but I have this big dorky smile on my face and I feel happy right down to the tips of my dirty little toes.
(My toes are dirty because I was at baseball last night, and I was wearing flip flops, and I was walking across the diamond, and I got diamond dust in them, and I'm wearing those flip flops today and now my toes are dirty - awwwww).
So, to all my lovely, amazing, much-loved blogger friends...have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Bad Touch

You know what I would hate to be?
A chair.
Chairs get a pretty raw deal when you think about it.
Someone's ass is always on your face, you get kicked and shoved around, kids jump on you, things are spilled on you.
If you are an office chair your knobs and levers get fondled by people trying to force you up and down and tilted this way and that, without even buying you dinner or a new set of wheels first.
They have their way with you and sometimes have their way on you.
If you are a particularly comfy chair your figure may get ruined from someone's butt groove. Dogs pee on you, cats scratch you, kids wipe their boogers on you, and ewwww...people fart on you.
Nope, I wouldn't want to be a chair.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

One Hurtin' Unit

Sunday was our 6th wedding anniversary. We spent the day between my parent's house and my in-law's house, amidst exciting activities like weeding the flower beds, doing car bodywork, doing laundry, practicing Ramona, trimming trees, arguing with my brother and general mayhem.
I love you Chris, these last 6 years have flown by. Right? Right!?!

Here's something you may not have known about me. I love Do-It-yourself. I love back breaking, sweating, and sometimes tear inducing physical work. Usually "house" kind of stuff. I don't live in a house, and since I am lacking in that area, my parents' house is usually the victim of my home repair, renovation fantasies.
What you must know about my parents is that they have no idea when it comes to updating, design or modification. Those are their words, not mine. They freely admit that they ask for help when it comes to anything regarding changes to the house and property.
And if there is nothing around the house to do, I will usually find a piece of furniture to spend hours pouring over, sanding, re-assembling and refinishing. It's a sickness I guess, due in part to my being a Gemini.
Anyways...I have a ridiculously long list of projects that I would like to accomplish at my parents' this summer. In no particular order, the list is as follows:

1. Widen driveway into two lanes. This will require a minimum of one day of very intense, back breaking work.
2. Rip off top and railing of existing sundeck and replace with new boards and railing.
3. Destroy brothers tree fort and haul it's entirety and all the crap that goes along with it to the dump.
4. Demolish existing crumbly sidewalk and replace with new patio stones, to create a "garden path" kind of feel.
5. Pour new cement pad in backyard, move shed onto it, and remove existing, rotting base.
6. Clean up my dad's random piles of garbage around the backyard (garbage consists of old siding, old broken flower pots, broken lawn chairs etc. that he has been supposed to get rid of for years). Once this is all gone, I plan on mowing what used to be the "garden" but is now 3 foot high quack grass, and creating a larger lawn.
7. Borrow someone's 4x4 truck and rip out this hideous tree that runs along my parents property.
8. If there is time I would like to finish re-doing the dresser I started last summer, but ran out of time for.

The list is lengthy - and each project is fairly major and will take up a good chunk of an entire weekend. My dad is already trying to convince me that the deck should wait until next year.
That's fine, I can deal with that.
So this weekend after some basic yardwork and upkeep, which involved me balancing on the sundeck railing about 15 feet above the sidewalk, with a pair of horrendous safety goggles and electric hedgetrimmers roaring in my hands, attempting to trim the spruce trees into nice, smooth columns, I convinced my dad that we should rip up the sidewalk on Monday.
My daddy-o, ripping up the first slab to show us how it's done.
It was a holiday so I would be around to do my share - what better time would there be to do it. At first he tried to brush me off, but after a little pouting and saying "but I really wanna use a sledgehammer to smash some stuff", he finally gave in and decided that my brother and I could do it on Monday. Yay!
My brother Matthew, trying to build up that skinny frame.
Sometimes I'm too helpful for my own good.
What started out as my dad saying "you guys will have it all done in a couple hours" turned into 6.5 hours of sledgehammering 72 x 2 feet of concrete four inches thick. Then smashing the extra piece that was 7 inches thick. Then hauling all the pieces into a trailer, then hauling it all back off the trailer at its destination. Then my dad getting the truck and trailer stuck in the ditch and us having to lift the trailer filled with 600 pounds of concrete. It ended up taking 4 trips with the truck just to get it all cleaned up.
The finished demolition - the patio stones will be in later this week.
Needless to say, I am aching today. I've been whining and pouting because every time I move I hurt, and I'm popping Ibuprofen like a chubby kid pops Jelly Babies.
Then tonight, my oh so caring husband said to me "It's usually worse the second day."
Gee, thanks. You are so wonderful. Thanks for pointing out that I will probably be even more miserable tomorrow. Sigh. Sometimes boys are such...boys.

I decided to stay overnight at my parents' house last night, and make the three hour trek back to the city this morning. This involves me being on the road by 5 so I can peel into the parking lot at work by 8. In actuality, I leave at 5:25 and still make it by 8 - you do the math.
This morning though, it was insanely foggy. There was so much fog that there was an eerie feeling to the whole first 2 hours of the drive. The fog hung very thick in the air and made it look like I was driving through a movie set. Plus, there were like 4 cars on the road for the entire drive.
(insert eerie music playing while I stopped to take a couple pictures)
But one of the weirdest things about the drive was the wildlife. Usually it's like a safari when I drive back to the city - animals are not a rare occurrence. But today, in the middle of a huge patch of fog there was this group of four turkey-like birds on the side of the road. I've never seen anything like them. They were quite large and stared at me as I approached them. I was actually a little freaked because they almost looked like little aliens.
So, in true over-the-top Ali fashion, I slowed down to look, realized how freaky looking they really were, hit the gas and peeled out while I screamed at the top of my lungs.
Apparently I thought the alien turkeys were going to develop thumbs, open my door, get into my moving vehicle and attack me.