Five Things Friday

  1. Yes, I recognize that it isn’t Friday but let’s pretend this is Australia, or Taiwan, whichever is further. Or maybe it’s Monday there. I have no clue, I’m bad with time zones, not that the Australians would care, they’re too busy riding kangaroos and eating sharks. It’s possible I have that the wrong way around.
This seems far more Australian, I definitely had it wrong. (Photo Credit : dutchsharksociety.org)

This seems far more Australian, I definitely had it wrong. (Photo Credit : dutchsharksociety.org)

  1. Along with not understanding times zones, I have trouble with dates. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if I hadn’t been asked by multiple people what day it was today. I gave no less than four separate answers; none were correct. It’s a good thing I’m not in charge of German trains- there might be a revolt.
  2. Once I lived with a Merman who had OCD. Ok not so much lived with as lived below. And it might be that he wasn’t a Merman, merely a guy who took A LOT of baths. I know I’m not one to talk but I feel like after three soaks in the tub per day, one develops gills. Also, when he wasn’t bathing he was vacuuming. Perhaps he had one of those fantastic vacuums that would suck up all of the puddles that he created after his bath. Regardless of whether I lived below a fabulous part man part sea creature, for certain, the inhabitant and his apartment must have been spotless.
I imagine that my neighbour looked exactly like this. Only without breasts.(Photo Credit: themoviesplash.blogspot.com)

I imagine that my neighbour looked exactly like this. Only without breasts.(Photo Credit: themoviesplash.blogspot.com)

  1. Since becoming bilingual I have started thinking partly in French. This is less sexy and more unproductive than one might think. For example in the middle of the night when I inexplicably asked Tex* to turn off his computer in French. While French is my second language, it isn’t Tex’s, he especially doesn’t speak French that is sleep mumbled through a mouth guard. “Est-ce que c’est possible de fermer ton ordi?” Came out  “seeesApisebl ERmAirDE?”
  2. I saved the best for last. I sometimes wear my shiny, sparkly underpants inside out so I can enjoy the sight of the flashy fabric while I use the loo.

I think I’m going to stop there now that I’ve made everything awkward.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those who patiently wait for midnight English translations.

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An Abridged List of My Lies and Other Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Be Trusted With Grown Up Things

“You have all the documents?” Tex* asked me before we sat down to do my taxes. “Yes” I said even though it was a lie. But it was the kind of lie I tell often like when he asks me if I know what happened to the peanut butter. I ate it, by the spoonful, until there was only thin layer left in the plastic container that you’d have to have the tongue of a St. Bernard in order to eat. Or “How did my jeans end up under the couch?” I put them there, I don’t remember why, at the time I had an excellent reason. And lastly the best one “Can you help me find my favourite jam? I can’t see it in the fridge.” I ate that too, funnily enough not with the peanut butter.

Given all of that, somehow Tex was still surprised when we started doing my taxes and I had nothing, not even a Statement of Earnings with me. “Where’s your Notice of Assessment?” he asked. “I dunno” I shrugged. Tex looked at me for a moment then started to explain “You know the document the government sends you telling you how much money you can put into a retirement fund?”

In my defense the government sends me lots of things, like parking tickets telling me not to block people’s driveways. As well as reminders to renew my driver’s license even though it’s obvious based on my choice of parking spots that I shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

I might be on the line. (Photo Credit : haphappy.com)

I might be on the line. (Photo Credit : haphappy.com)

“It’s an important piece of mail” Tex prodded me, attempting to physically and verbally cajole my memory. Seeing as I have a habit of filing my Notices of Assessment next to pictures of naked backs, the document could have been anywhere. It was at that point that we gave up the ghost and continued on with our evening, leaving my taxes for another day.

I recognize that as a grown woman I should do my taxes alone however earlier that week while filling out paperwork for my job dictating who should receive my pension if I die, I wrote “The Public Library”, which is normal enough, lots of people donate to that hallowed place. But in the box where it said “Describe relationship” I stumbled. I tried to think of the most accurate and appropriate description. “My favourite place in the world” that doesn’t work, it’s not really a relationship. “Literal and imaginary safe haven” seemed over the top. So I wrote “Love of my life” and was done with it. Tex declared that I was liable to receive a call from head office and should be supervised when filling out paperwork from now on.

To learn how to file your important documents in with free samples of laundry detergent and old twist ties please click on the link below.

https://iamthegreatunwashed.com/2014/01/21/indistinguishable-mondays-naked-backs-and-wildlife-non-sightings/

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those who ask what happened to foodstuffs even though they know I’ve eaten it. If you don’t want me to eat the delicious things, they shouldn’t be stored within my reach.

Me And Jennifer Lawrence, We’re Practically the Same Person

The young new goddess of the silver screen and I have so much in common that I half expect her to show up on my doorstep any second now. She has hair, I have hair. She speaks English, I speak English. And if that wasn’t enough we were both subjects of “The Fappening*”. Oh sorry, that was a spelling error, I only experienced “The Fattening” this past year.

Jennifer wears clothes, I wear clothes. Honest to goodness sometimes it's like we're twins. (Photo Credit : justjared.com)

Jennifer wears clothes, I wear clothes. Honest to goodness sometimes it’s like we’re twins. (Photo Credit : justjared.com)

That was my way of saying Erasmus and Jeremiah my food babies that I made out of gummy worms and sitting on my butt, are still here. I feel a bit like the mother from the Roald Dahl novel “Matilda” whom the author describes as being encased in a layer of fat. That’s me; I’m wobbling, wibbling, and jiggling my way through life. I don’t even have winter to blame any more, even up here in the frigid, remote North, the snow has been gone for weeks. I mean admittedly it is still the North so if you hunted around a particularly shady tree, one could still build a wicked snowman, but I don’t think that counts.

At the very least I can content myself knowing that JLaw has occasionally been considered heavy by Hollywood standards. Perhaps we can bond over kale sundaes or whatever it is that movie stars eat after taking a belly busting class together. Or snack on algae and wheat germ crackers while power walking our way through a hiking trail. I can see it- this is going to happen. Perhaps I shall hang onto my extra weight a while longer just in case so Ms. Lawrence and I can get rid of it together.

*Dear Mom,

I know you have no idea what “The Fappening” is. It’s because you aren’t a teenage boy. For Pete’s sake don’t Google it though. I imagine the search would turn up pages and pages of men with their tongues and various other parts out. Suffice to say my good friend Jennifer may have lost some racy photos to the wilds of the internet.

Domestic Packing Battles and Unhygienic Oral Practices

A funny thing happens when I begin to pack. My thoughts become disorganized and suddenly the idea of wearing only a multi-coloured afro and suspenders for a weekend seems entirely appropriate. Tex had yet to witness this phenomenon until last night. Frankly I’m surprised that we are still together. Prior to becoming a cowboy, Tex was an engineer, as such, he approaches life problems like packing systematically, whereas I take the hippie-artist scattershot route.

Obviously a shirt would be overkill, but otherwise the perfect ensemble for any occasion. (Photo Credit : fancydress.com)

Obviously a shirt would be overkill, but otherwise the perfect ensemble for any occasion. (Photo Credit : fancydress.com)

7:00 PM – My flight leave in less than twelve hours

Tex “Have you started packing?”

Unwashed “No, why would I do that?”

7:45 PM – A 4:20 wakeup call dictates an imminent bedtime

Tex “You need to start packing”

Unwashed sitting on the couch reading “I’m getting there”

8:03 PM

Tex “Where’s your suitcase?”

I take the suitcase from its spot by the front door and choose to lay it on the futon which is only the second most inconvenient place in the apartment, the first being in the middle of the kitchen table.

Then I commence throwing random articles of clothing onto the shag carpet in the other room.

8: 21 PM

Tex, who is busy doing dishes and being helpful, calls from the kitchen “You’re busy packing right?”

I stop lolling around on the soft carpet for a moment to throw a pair of rainbow striped socks onto the mixed up pile next to me. “Yes, I’m so busy, in fact I’m almost done.” I call back.

Tex “So you have tights?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “A skirt?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “A dress?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “Underwear?”

Unwashed inwardly “Does one really need more than one pair for four days?” aloud “No”

I spend the next twenty minutes walking back and forth between the bedroom and the living room where I’ve put my suitcase, depositing random items into it, like a pair of high heels, a camera battery charger but no camera. Tex watches all this with amusement and just a hint of concern.

A half hour passes, inexplicably I am no more ready to leave and I have somehow lost the capris and shirt that I was wearing in the process. It’s at this point that I decide to fine tune my twerking form in my underpants. Watching my leopard print butt wiggle back and forth in a manner that one could neither describe as dancing nor twerking Tex asks “And this helps you fold sweaters and shirts how?”

Unwashed stops bouncing “Ummmm”

Tex “Do you have pyjamas?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “Do you have a toothbrush?”

Unwashed “I don’t need one”

The look of horror on Tex’s face necessitates an explanation. “One should replace their toothbrush every three months, I travel on average once every four to six, so I buy a new one when I arrive.”

Tex looks skeptical of my determination to buy a toothbrush upon arrival “I’ll get your travel one out of my bag.” He lays the orange toothbrush on the kitchen table, where it can’t be missed.

After nearly half an hour more of cajoling from Tex, I am packed and Tex is oddly exhausted. I don’t know why, he wasn’t the one running back and forth everywhere trying to find passports and the like.

This post is dedicated to my more hygienic half, who shows patience and kindness in the face of my ridiculousness and disorganization.

The Time I Played Sports Ball

Once upon a time, when I thought that short shorts were appropriate winter attire, I played football. During my third year of university I was a nose tackle for an all-girl team. My justification for joining the team was I could run and . . .  I could run. The fact that I didn’t know or understand the rules to the game and had no other athletic abilities to contribute besides this was immaterial.

This was how I found myself crouched with one hand behind my back and the other on the ground, waiting to grab the ball and pass it to more skilled ladies behind me. The umpire, or whatever the person was orchestrated football games would shout “Third down” or “second down” and I would hold my confused self still and think “down to what?” and then the buzzer would sound or maybe it was a whistle and I would grab the ball.

This is the birdie right? (Photo Credit : championacademyrochester.org)

This is the birdie right? (Photo Credit : championacademyrochester.org)

What came after that was always confusing, there were many different plays that I was supposed to memorize but since I was preoccupied with understanding what the heck was going on in the game, I never learned them. Then I would run as fast as I could, watching for the ball and praying that it wouldn’t be thrown to me because I hadn’t learned how to catch.

My understanding of the rules was shoddy at best. I thought the defense’s job was to continually hold the offense in one place for the entire hour and that we would only be given a break if a touchdown was scored by the other team. Happily, I received lots of breaks.

Along with not knowing the rules to the game I was deficient in the other elements of football playing. Based on my limited observation of athletics, it seemed that fighting and trash talking comprised a large part of organized sports. As I stood at five foot two inches at best, fighting seemed unwise and like a good way to be smushed when I was paired with a girl who approached six feet in height. And I felt bad throwing insults at the other players because they were doing their best. Not to mention that their best was far better than mine.  So at the start line? At the line of aggression? At the scuttle line?

The cuddle line? That one makes sense- these men are getting ready to hug the HELL out of each other. (Photo Credit : Wikipedia)

The cuddle line? That one makes sense- these men are getting ready to hug the HELL out of each other. (Photo Credit : Wikipedia)

When all the female footballers would line up, right before the referee or whoever it was called start or whistled or blew the fog horn, I would spew nonsense. “How many elbows do you have?” I would cheerfully ask the growling girl across from me. “What?” she would falter and her defense would weaken for the moment that I needed to push past her and run the only play I knew “the fly” which was in essence running as far and as fast as you can past the other team then turning around to watch for the ball that I couldn’t catch. Or I would change it up “Watch your toes, I have a wooden leg” I would cry as I moved through the tussling line of ladies.

My football career culminated in a game that was played on a freezing November evening. My parents came to witness my twenty-three seconds of glory, which was the amount of time it took for the opposing team to score eighteen points. Sometimes reflecting back to these halcyon days, I think to myself, perhaps I shall take up another equally absurd sport that I don’t understand like boxing or lacrosse.

Highway Robbery in the Fiction Section

I was mugged last week. The criminal stole all the books in my backpack and tossed a couple of dollars over his shoulder as he ran off laughing.

Ok, that might not have been exactly how it went, but that’s how it felt. Previously my used book dealer and I had a marvelous relationship; every so often I would stop by his store with a stack of new, popular, fiction books and ask for store credit in exchange. PT* would eagerly look the stack up and down, contemplating the titles and how much he could charge, then quickly spit out an unreasonably high sum of store credit while wearing a guilty expression as though he felt he was cheating me. The number he offered was always overly generous and I would cheerfully reply “Sold!” and push the stack towards PT. Then one of PT’s teeth would fall out of his mouth onto the counter because he hadn’t been able to afford dental coverage in ten years due to his habit of giving out far too much store credit in exchange for new stock.

To say PT’s store was crowded is like stating that “a couple of people live in New York”, the store was stuffed full of bookcases; they lined the walls and the aisles, there were even bookcases in tiny closets. The biography and the gardening section were stored there, the one organizational choice I understood; scandals grow in the dark and make for good biographies but plants don’t. This always puzzled me as I would pull the string to turn off the light over the jolly green flower pictures and close the door to what was likely a broom closet before the store was PT’s shop. At first glance all the bookcases looked shallow, until you realized that PT had stacked the shelves three titles deep, so any true second hand book shopper had to labouriously add to the already tall piles of books in the aisles of the store to search and find a title.

This was where the exciting, dangerous element of shopping at PT’s came in. Books are notoriously heavy and stacking them three rows deep had meant some of the shelves had begun to buckle. Instead of replacing a shelf, PT would haphazardly nail two by fours to the cracking sections of the shelves. So reaching your upper body halfway into the shelves to read the spines of the books at the very back was an exercise in faith and an adventure as you prayed for the shelf to stay up and kept your back low to prevent your clothing and skin from catching on any nails.

I loved PT’s. The bus would drop me just outside his door, after work I would browse the aisles for a couple of minutes, breathing in the heady scent of ink and aging paper while looking for literary gold. Though our relationship benefited me far more than PT, I thought it was a good one. Alas, last fall, PT wearily announced that he would be closing his doors. I was bereft. But not terribly as there was another second hand book store down the street, I had chosen PTs over the other store because it was seventy feet closer to my house. When carrying forty some odd pounds of books to be exchanged in my backpack, that short distance somehow stretched into miles and so I would gratefully drop my heavy pack at PTs doorstep and drag it in over the threshold to be exchanged.

Now of course I take my books to Tyler** my new second hand book dealer, who robs me blind and hands back pennies in exchange for mountains of literature. Though the store is always well organized, and I’ve never come close to having a near death experience in the shelves, I still miss PT’s dearly.

*Names have not been changed because PT is still selling books, and I’d like it if everyone hunted him down and bought out all his stock so he could finally go to the dentist.

**Names of new store owners have not been changed because he should be hunted down but instead of buying his books Tyler should be shaken upside down so that all the change in his pockets that he hasn’t given me for store credit can be collected.