I wanna start a fight!

angry lady

courtesy iclipart.com

I got a brand new attitude
And I’m gonna wear it tonight
I wanna get in trouble
I wanna start a fight

Ever have one of those days where you wake up feeling tired and grumpy and each and every little insignificant thing  morphs into a massive soul-destroying catastrophe.

And you wanna start a fight?

Things like…

listening to your husband’s snoring all night, every night

mansnoringwife

courtesy iclipart.com

having to stay inside and work on a long-awaited gorgeous summer day

womanundies

courtesy iclipart.com

going into your bathroom and finding no toilet paper, the toilet seat up, your husband’s nail clippings on each and every surface of your bathroom, except in the toilet or garbage and wet stinky towels on the floor

Embarrassed

courtesy iclipart.com

 

the way the dog moans and whines and looks at you even after you’ve fed him and he’s done his business outside

whinypup

iclipart.com

discovering you have no coffee beans or milk in the morning and your usual routine includes 2 triple shot lattes

coffeespill

courtesy iclipart.com

learning that your daughter has been so busy working her four puny 6-hour shifts a week that she hasn’t had time to sort out a couple minor administrative matters that will allow her to graduate from university with good marks

girl_girl_puffed_up

courtesy iclipart.com

So you send the 5 second email on her behalf and are then livid with yourself for cleaning up her mess. Again!

Hairpull

courtesy iclipart.com

that critically acclaimed, multiple award-winning book you’re reading sucks swampgas – a technical term my kids use

bad book

courtesy iclipart.com

And you have a unwanted, unwelcome birthday coming up just around the corner, which everyone in your family will probably forget anyways

older2

courtesy iclipart.com

Okay, so I had one of those days yesterday and rather than yell or kick the dog or hit my husband over the head, I decided to do something positive –  I decided to meditate. Yep, that’s right. I have officially gone over to that weird side – the one where the hippies (like my daughter) and the lazy dropouts (her friends) hang out

Hippie2

courtesy iclipart.com

as well as movie stars like Hugh Jackman and Clint Eastwood, celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Seinfeld and CEO’s like Arianna Huffington and Larry Ellison.

So this Terrible Awful Mother decided to do it – I mean there must be something to it if it`s good enough for all those folks. I should mention I have been attempting to meditate on a somewhat regular basis. But some days I don’t can’t find the time and some days I try but I can’t keep physically still, let alone focus my mind. Recently I’ve been working through Oprah & Deepak’s 21 day meditation experience called  Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life! Sounds good right? – I figure I could use getting unstuck and a limitless life sounds pretty darn amazing.

So yesterday I was determined to do it. I went into my office, closed the door and clicked on the guided meditation.

girl_music_meditation_girl

courtesy iclipart.com

I sat comfortably in my chair, listened intently to the discussion, got into the zone and repeated the mantra when…

bang

courtesy iclipart.com

 

my husband, the Original Obnoxious One, kicked in the door, yelled howdy and shocked me right out of hard-fought focus

Yoga

courtesy iclipart.com

And started to laugh uncontrollably and loudly. For a very long time.

LetsLaugh

courtesy iclipart.com

My response ?

Na na na na na na na, I wanna start a fight
Na na na na na na na, I wanna start a fight

1765_angry_wife_with_a_rolling_pin

courtesy iclipart.com

I hadn’t told the Original Obnoxious One about my meditation attempts because I knew this would be his reaction. And that he’d intentionally bother me during crucial zen moments. He just wouldn’t be able to help himself.

And he couldn’t. But as for me?

So what?
I’m still a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don’t need you

ladyrocker

courtesy iclipart.com

Yep, meditation works wonders for me! How ’bout you?

Really!

Song lyrics courtesy So What by Pink

London Calling

Last summer when our kids came home from university to work and study, Vancouver had one of the driest, warmest summers in recent memory or at least in my recent memory. And my son, the Obnoxious One, took full advantage, burning the candle at both ends all summer long.

Perhaps it was the serious health scare with his grandmother and then father. Perhaps it was because he and his long term girlfriend broke up, or the fact that he graduated with a BA in History after 4 years of partying university.  The day after he arrived home he started the prep course for the Law School entrance exam and attended  5-6 days a week, 7 hours a day, and completed all the homework assignments and test, which was pretty amazing!

Regardless, he still plunged himself into every activity known to man, work-wise, sports-wise and fun-wise.

He started with the same boutique law firm he had worked at the previous two summers.557682_334349746677236_966526195_n-001

He and his dad took a number of Scuba Diving lessons with the hope of becoming certified,

 

Snorkle

courtesy iclipart.com

which unfortunately didn’t quite work out, but that’s another story.

 

He attempted Kiteboarding at Squamish with a couple buddies and lived to tell about it, more or less.boys kite sailing

He bought and enjoyed a couple paddle boards for he and his friends and paddled all over Howe Sound. Apparently one of the paddle boards was for me, (the great big wide beginner one) but I have yet to check out its charms.

paddleboard

courtesy  seatoskyadventurecompany.com

He went kayaking down a steep concrete chute at Lions Bay with a couple super-crazy friends

xtremeraft.jpg

courtesy iclipart.com

and yes they ripped a hole in one of our plastic Costco kayaks although the Obnoxious One denies it to this day.

He attended the Pemberton Music Festival and…let’s just say he had a very good time.music festival

He climbed numerous mountains and fiorded numerous lakes and streams, kind of…hiking

But then the dog almost died and his best friend from high school did die.

It’s a hard thing for a mother, even this Terrible Awful Mother to watch her darling experience such pain at the tender age of 22. You may think that’s life, so suck it up. You may be right, but somewhere along the line that precious obnoxiousness that defines my son vanished and was replaced by a sea of tears, frustration, desperation and lots and lots of soul-searching. I encouraged him to seek a therapist and luckily he found one with whom he developed a great rapport – an expensive one but a wonderful one.

And gradually he put himself back together.

But he decided it was time for a change. For a number of reasons he decided Law School in Canada was not an option, so he did the unexpected – to me anyways! He applied to law school in London, England late in the summer and was accepted; he left in mid-September. Darn those  family trips when we drove all over Europe, exploring the sights and sounds and smells – he developed a far too-keen appreciation  for big cities and travel!Big-Ben-and-London-Bus

He found a place to live with a few friends who were just starting banking careers in London, and now he’s having a blast. And working very hard at school of course. A couple months after moving halfway around the world he sent me the following message:

“Mom, I’m so happy I moved to London – it’s been the best decision of my life !”

“So what is it that makes you so happy, darling? The energy? The architecture? The museums? ”

british museum.org

courtesy britishmuseum.org

“The football (soccer for North Americans) and rugby games Mom – they’re brilliant! I even saw Jeremy Clarkson (his Obnoxious hero who was fired from Top Gear a year ago) sitting just across from me.chelsea football

And the pubs are pretty amazing too!”

Oh right. Of course. There’s a reason we call him the Obnoxious One.

alec

Really! But at least I’ll have a place to stay whenever I can afford to visit London, that is if he doesn’t spend too much in the meantime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our very own Goddess of Green

Before it was mandated by our local government and before it was trendy, our daughter, the Wild Child, was totally obsessed with Saving the Environment.

recycle_plast

courtesy iclipart.com

Maybe it had to do with living in a temperate rain forest and the hiking we do here, rain or sun. 1048195_10152958698655290_974192805_o

Perhaps it’s because of the summers we’ve spent on Indian Arm  swimming and tubing and boating.

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Whatever the case, the Wild Child has always loved lecturing us about the dos and don’ts of looking after the planet and all of its amazing natural inhabitants, including mice and bats and snakes. Oh Joy.

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In fact, for her father’s Christmas present this past year, she made a generous donation on his behalf to the British Hen Welfare Trust. The Original Obnoxious One is now the very proud sponsor of Sky and Sparkle, two thankful British hens who are enjoying the great outdoors for the first time ever .

british hen stuff

 

See, I’m not making this stuff up!

She was the one who insisted we collect and recycle as many water bottles and tin cans as humanly possible, even if it meant trolling the neighbourhood and the beaches and the parks. She was the one who took part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup over and over and over again. Funny that she was rarely the one to clean up after the dog – asking, commanding, coercing never worked with her but sometimes bribery did. Especially when she was broke and wanted a couple dollars for candy.

She was the one who decried smokers – she loudly and frequently insisted smoking was Evil and she would never ever be friends with anyone who smoked.

smoking

courtesy iclipart.com

Fast forward several years and our Hippie-Dippie Wild Child’s boyfriend smokes cigarettes constantly,  but well, let’s not go there today.

She’s been the only member of our family who has embraced vegetarianism because it’s good for the environment – all that flatulence from all those cows and all that waste material in the watershed from all those pigs . And don’t get her started on the wonders and glories of PETA.

AdThinkAgain

Tragically the rest of us are hard-core carnivores; we adore meat and poultry and fish. But I do buy organic meat and poultry and the seafood I purchase is Ocean Wise. The Hippie-Dippie Wild Child desperately aspires to be vegan, but is not a huge fan of beans or nuts; she loves her cheese and omelettes and Nutella way too much.IMG_1464.JPG

And she hates to actually prepare food.

Of course she also talks a lot about water conservation, but heck, we live in a rain-forest in one of the rainiest cities in Canada! We frequently experience road and bridge washouts because it rains on the North Shore an average of 180 days per year.

1rain2

courtesy Vancouver Sun

And the water in our taps comes from the creek raging river beside us – our small community accesses, purifies and tests the water on a regular basis, and it tastes amazing.

water_faucet_with_smiling_water_drop_cartoon_character

courtesy iclipart.com

So there’s not a lot of incentive on our part to cut back on heavenly long hot showers or totally thorough toothbrush sessions. She also advises us not to flush the toilet after every use, but now that we’ve moved to the outskirts of the city, we actually have our own septic system, and it which benefits from regular flushes, believe me!

But this past summer she came home with her latest and greatest idea to Save the Environment. And she just had to share this exciting news with my son, The Obnoxious One, right when he was diving into an amazing brunch he’d just concocted of eggs  and fresh guacamole and artisan toast and…kinda like this.

omlette

“Hey guess what? I’m so proud of myself, you have no idea!”

“Oh, yeah…?” Chomp, chomp. “So what is it?”

“Well I’m really helping out the environment big time. I’ve started using reusable pads.”

“Whatever, that’s nice.” Chomp, chomp

“Yeah it’s so must better for the environment – none of that waste in the landfills or in the sewage system. And it’s no big deal, really. I just have to do a little bit of extra laundry once a month.”

“Wait, what the heck are you talking about?!”

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“Reusable pads, I told you.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! EEEWWW!! GO AWAY! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!!”

“Mom?!”

“Darling, not the best time (when someone is eating) or place (the kitchen table)  or even audience (The Obnoxious One) to have this discussion.”

Really!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t handle the truth!!!

You may remember that we entered a brand new era in my household. A hint that the universe was unfolding as it should. An indication that perhaps, just maybe,this Terrible Awful Mother had done an okay job raising her children. Yes, this summer both of my children friended me on Facebook. This took some trial and error on my part: learning that I should observe but not “like”, that I could read but not “comment”, that I could post photos but not tag. But just when I felt like I was starting to get the hang of it, disaster struck . In a most unlikely and unforeseen manner.

As my daughter , the WeirdOne, (recently the Demon Child) is spending her first year of university in the UK, various hoops needed to be jumped through, numerous forms needed to be filled out and several interviews needed to occur. However, paperwork and busy work and organization are not the Weird Ones forte; as a typical kid with ADHD, she thrives on creative and stimulating circumstances, bizarre friends from every walk of life, music, dancing and of course, chocolate and Nutella.

But give me a situation to analyze, criteria to review, paperwork to plough through….well those are things that this accountant can cope with. I may not thrive on them, but I can certainly handle them.
So it turns out that because the Weird One is spending more than six months in the UK, she needed a special visa. To obtain that, she had to fill out a number of forms and schedule a compulsory interview with the representative of the British consulate. I sent her a text confirming when this was happening.But a better time became available and I may have neglected forgotten to tell text inform her of the change. Maybe that’s one reason they call me the Terrible Awful Mother . The night before, I reminded my daughter and guess what happened: the Demon Child appeared in all her glory. And then some.

courtesy iclipart.com

courtesy iclipart.com

Apparently a very good friend of hers planned to get a tattoo at that particular time on that particular day and it was of the utmost importance that my daughter accompany her. The Weird One gave her word after all. My husband and I tried talking to her. We tried rationalizing the situation. We tried bribing her. And yes we yelled at her. Finally I threatened to contact her friend on Facebook and explain the situation. Turns out that was the last straw for the Demon Child.

“You are a Terrible Awful Mother! You can’t handle Facebook! You can’t handle the truth and you certainly can’t handle being my friend!”

And with a quick click that was it. Not only was I defriended but I was also blocked. Banned. Back to square one. Rats!

Half an hour later she informed me that she had spoken with her friend and that the timing of said tattoo had changed and that my daughter could now attend her interview. But I was still defriended and still blocked.

About a week later my status was reinstated and all was well once again.

So here’s the thing. Summer is now over and I am on route to the UK with the Weird One. Just the two of us. No husband, no son, no Franklinstein. We are spending 7 nights and 7 days together before I deliver her to the University. Will there be blood? Will there be casualties?
Only time will tell.

Stay tuned and wish me luck. Lots and lots and lots of luck.

Really!

P.S. I am posting on my iPad rather than my desktop computer, so feel like a total blogging newbie. Please bear with me. 🙂

How to influence people and land the job of your dreams

Wandering the streets San Francisco the past few days while my husband, the Original Obnoxious One, attends a work conference,

courtesy  Paul.h at wikipedia

courtesy Paul.h at wikipedia

I’ve had time to ponder how to influence people and land the job of your dreams.   I thought I knew a thing or ten about this, but I will grudgingly freely admit that the Original Obnoxious One is a master at it – hands are shaken, witty jokes are made and business cards exchanged. Apparently some of this personality and piazzas has rubbed off on our son, the Obnoxious One as he clearly has the gift of the gab and the charm of the Irish. (just not the luck – yet!)

courtesy iclipart.com

courtesy iclipart.com

The Obnoxious One landed a plum position interning at a very successful property management company for a month and then somehow talked his way into interning for a small law practice. I know, just what the world needs these days is another lawyer, but hey, a guy’s got to pursue his dreams.  And it could’ve been worse – he could have decided to become an accountant like his dear old mom. Really!

As for my daughter, the Weird One, what we did expect? Well, to be honest, I never know what to expect, but don’t you worry – the Demon Child  is never totally out of sight. Back in June, a week before school ended, the Weird One decided she should look for a job. The past several summers she’s worked at a YMCA residential camp,

courtesy iclipart.com

courtesy iclipart.com

but was determined to do something different this summer. Since she didn’t get her act together until late, I wasn’t very hopeful, but  I thought maybe she could get a job as a barista. After all, in Vancouver we take our coffee very, very seriously, so there are  tons and tons and tons of coffee shops.  While she did apply to a few, she thought she’d have a better chance of getting something at the new local food market as a number of her friends work there.  So she filled out the paper work and lo and behold they set up an interview with her. There was only one problem – the interview was the day after school ended. Not to worry though, as her appointment was set for 2 pm.

So the day of the interview, she set her alarm for 1 pm…and then slept in until 2:00! I ‘d been up and out of the house for hours, not thinking about my darling daughter. Until I heard her scream screech, “MOM!!!”

I advised her to phone and apologize profusely, and then ask politely if they could reschedule her interview.  Somehow my advice went in one ear and out the other, for this is the conversation I heard:

“Hi there, my name is xxx and I have an interview today at 2:30 but unfortunately I slept in because I’m so jet lagged and I’m really sorry but I’m so jet lagged ’cause I just got back from Europe, and yeah, I’m so jet lagged ’cause I was in Paris for a few days…

The Weird One's last visit to Paris in 2008

The Weird One’s most recent visit to Paris was in 2008

 but I’m really interested in your company, but I was just in Paris and still really jet lagged, but now I really want to work as a cashier or shelf – stocker or anything, so do you think I could come see you later today for my interview?”

While the poor person on the other end of the conversation responded to the preposterous story spun but the Weird One, I gaped at my darling daughter in amazement.

“Oh, I see, so today won’t work and you can only see me a week today? Okay, well, I’m really really sorry and I promise I’ll be on time next week and I promise I won’t be jet lagged! And yes, Paris was nice. Thank you very much.”

Darling, it’s one thing to tell a tiny little white lie, but a whopper?! We are not the kind of folks who fly off Paris every other weekend for a couple of days. You do  realize a direct flight from Vancouver, which is tough to get, is at least 10 hours ?!

“Mom, I know…I was just so tired I didn’t know what I was saying.”

Surprisingly enough she did not land the job, so in the end she had to decided to take the summer off. 1040242_10152991537715290_34277843_oReally!

Captain Dumb Dumb Strikes Again

My dear darling husband is at it again –  he is showing the world, well me at least, just how totally awesome he really is. I swear, he is defining a whole new level of coolness that nobody knew existed before!

the Captain and I, courtesy iclipart.com

the Captain and I, courtesy iclipart.com

One of the extremely challenging and difficult chores he performs all by himself is ordering wine from Everything Wine, which is then delivered to our home. (Note that none of his people are supposed to help him.) I suspect that we are one of their best customers, since whenever I get involved, generally each and every time after  Captain Dumb Dumb places an order, the folks who work there are incredibly nice and helpful. And yes, it is a Canadian company afterall.logo-clean

This past weekend we had a wine emergency – our wine cellar was at an all time low, containing only about 50 bottles or so. I blame the hot sunny weather and Franklinstein – he’s been way too happy and mellow lately. 

let sleeping dogs lie - even when they're lying on MY sofa.

let sleeping dogs lie, even when they’re lying on MY sofa and MY velvet pillow

Anyways, after the usual  questions (Rita, what’s the website we order the wine from? Rita, what’s our password? Rita?!),  Captain Dumb Dumb finally managed to purchase a gazillion cases of wine. And they were delivered the next day without any interference action required from yours truly. A first!

Then came the totally exciting part:

Rita, Rita, guess what I did? What now darling?

I ordered wine from Brangelina! What? Are you kidding? I didn’t even think you knew who “they” were?

Well, yeah, kind of… I just purchased this Miraval rose wine on Everything Wine‘s website that’s rated 90 points  – turns out Brad and Angelina made it on their estate in the South of France. Oh, you mean you bought some of those 6,000 bottles of their wine which sold out in 5 hours. (according to Vanity Fair) Wow, I’m impressed darling!

courtesy Vancouver Sun

courtesy Vancouver Sun

Yeah, whatever. It’s cool because  in 1979 Chateau Miraval was the recording studio where Pink Floyd recorded part of their album,The Wall. And now we have wine from there! Very exciting dear. (snore). TheWallImmersion

But then I did a little research – turns out that Sting and Sade and The Gypsy Kings also used the studio to record their music. Okay, so that is cool! But wait a minute – does that mean we can’t drink the wine now? Do we have to save it for special occasions or for when we have people over? The only problem is that the last time we had people over who weren’t work related was during the last Ice Age. Guess I’ll have to savour every single drop. And hide a dozen or so bottles where no one but me will find them, which shouldn’t be hard because not one person in my family is ever able to find anything on their own.2013_EWPOD_MiravalSOLDOUT_July25They don’t call me the Terrible Awful Mother for nothing. Really!

Summer’s here and the time is right…

courtesy iclipart.com

courtesy iclipart.com

  • for dancing in the street on the deckIMG_2109
  • for hanging out with my sisterIMG_0937
  • for leaping in the oceanScan
  • for drinking rose wineIMG_0733
  • for hiking in the mountainsIMG_1900
  • for watching The Breakfast Club in Stanley Park1002324_10153047321135290_1162443128_n
  • for mini-vacations to Whistler,
    Whistler on Canada Day

    Whistler on Canada Day

    as well as Seattle, Toronto and Kingston

  • and for just about anything other than cleaning, laundry, editing/rewriting and yes, sad to say, but even blogging.

Summer has arrived in the Pacific Northwest and I am lovin’ it, especially after the quick trip to Ontario last week with my daughter where I felt – and probably looked – like the Wicked Witch of the West in full meltdown mode. After all, it was only 45 degrees celsius, or 113 degrees fahrenheit. meltingwww

But don’t worry, things have been anything but boring in my neck of the woods. Here are a couple of tidbits to give you some idea of what’s been going on.

Words of wisdom a couple of weeks ago from my husband, the Original Obnoxious One:

Don’t worry about anything. My people will sort out everything for the firm BBQ we’re hosting at our house tomorrow night.

But what about timing and numbers and set-up and…?

My people are on-top of it all. Someone is bringing food, someone is bringing drinks, someone is bring plates and glasses and someone is serving. My people will talk to your people.

What people?! There’s just me – and Franklinstein! Your daughter’s camping on the top of Garibaldi Mountain and lord knows where your son is.

Fine then, I’ll tell my people to talk to you, because all we know Franklinstein is scared of strangers.

And strangers are scared of him...or at least scared he'll get them dirty.

And strangers are scared of him…or at least scared he’ll get them dirty.

And just last week at eleven o’clock the night before university orientation for the Weird One, my daughter, while sharing a King Size bed at the Delta Hotel in Kingston Ontario:

 Mom, turn off the reading light, it’s too bright!

Fine darling, I’ll just watch Damages on my iPad, with my earbuds in.

 Mom, turn down the volume on your iPad – I can still hear it!

Yes dear.

Mom, turn down the brightness on your iPad – I can still see it!

Of course dear.

Mom, stop wiggling around, you’re keeping me awake! Just go to sleep!

Really, dear?

courtesy Amazon.com

courtesy Amazon.com

And then, 20 minutes later  – so it seemed

Mom, it’s 6:30am and I’m really hungry. I’m ordering room service NOW! 

But we don’t have to leave the hotel until 8:45am. Why are you waking me up? 

Mom, I’ve been awake for 2 whole hours and I can’t stand it anymore – I need French Toast NOW!

Okay, okay so order me the healthy breakfast. 

 

And of course I can’t forget about the Obnoxious One:

Mom, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want in a girlfriend next year, and I’ve decided that I need someone who’s NOT too nice. But I really need someone who’s temperamental…kinda like you.

Like me? Aren’t I nice?

Yeah, but you have an edge. I just take advantage of girls who are too nice, so I need somebody who’s mean to me, who keeps me in line, kinda like you!

cartoon courtesy iclipart.com

cartoon courtesy iclipart.com

Really!