I Married Dr. Horrible

People sometimes scratch their heads when I tell them that Tex has not one but two professional degrees. “How much does a cowboy need to know to shovel s&^t?” I can see them inwardly asking themselves. While I don’t have an answer to that question, I do suspect that if Tex’s brain wasn’t busy processing some higher order problem, it’s likely my husband would become a super villain.

Case and point, when he was twelve, Tex learned how to pick locks, not just the insert a long pin into a bathroom handle kind of lock but the five pin tumbler locks you find on front doors. This talent was put to good use when his school lost the key to the football trophy case. Tex was sought out to unlock the oversize glass and wood cabinet. Then after the teachers had emptied the case of the athletic bling, Tex was sent home with it because the staff still couldn’t find the key and didn’t want to count on Tex to always retrieve the trophies for them. I’m not sure how bank safes work, but I’m pretty sure one way or another, Tex would find his way into one if he put his mind to it. On the plus side, I never worry about where I’ve put my keys.

After mastering lock picking, at fourteen Tex decided to become a blacksmith, not just any blacksmith, the kind the makes knives. The man owns not one but two anvils.

I know, I thought they existed only to harm this rascal too. (Photo Credit faze.ca)

I know, I thought they existed only to harm this rascal too. (Photo Credit faze.ca)

I can’t decide whether this talent would be put to better use by creating powerful weapons or for torture because I know just the photos of Tex standing next to glowing red metal scare the bejeezus out of me.

I’ll tell you everything, just please don’t let that near me! Tex claims this was for an ornament however I think it’s more likely a replacement part for his death ray gun. (Photo Credit: Tex's Mom)

I’ll tell you everything, just please don’t let that near me! Tex claims this was for an ornament however I think it’s more likely a replacement part for his death ray gun. (Photo Credit: Tex’s Mom)

Although he disputes this, Tex has an eidetic memory. His argument against this fact holds little water when he responds to questions like “Have you ridden a subway?” with “I last rode the subway on September 8th 2009, it was sunny that day. I was traveling to Prague to visit my friend Hermann”. Most of the time his ability to recollect EVERYTHING only works against me when I offer to do a chore like take out the trash or get groceries on a certain day but I can picture this skill being something the world would rue. At the very least, if Tex went global as a super-villain with his memory, he would have other people to ask “Do you know why it smells in here?” the day after garbage day.

Lastly, there’s his intelligence. Tex is familiar with everything, especially science. Although I identify as an artist now, at one point in my life I received an honors degree in biology. One day, after having one too many simple biological concepts explained to me, I exploded at Tex “I have a Bachelor of Science you know!” This was a mistake. From that point onward Tex would start in on a subject and casually say “You have a working understanding of organic chemistry right?” and then proceed to explain an idea that would have been way above my head even when I did study science. This becomes even more problematic when we meet with Tex’s friends. For example the man who researches biomedical engineering in neuroscience;

Super intelligent friend who is being recruited by Harvard to me: “Have you heard of transmission electron microscopy?”

Tex: “It’s fine, keep going, she has a science degree.”

Unwashed inwardly: “I know this, I know this! Oops now I’m lost. Just smile and pretend that you’re following along. Thank God I’m not expected to ask informed questions about his job.”

Effectively I am Penny, only without the good body or nice hair. (Photo Credit : bigbangtheory.wikia.com)

Effectively I am Penny, only without the good body or nice hair. (Photo Credit : bigbangtheory.wikia.com)

Taken all together, in my estimation, Tex’s potential for becoming a super villain, who colludes with underworld, is quite high. Thus, I’m somewhat relieved by his choice to channel his energies into education instead. Although given my lack of street smarts, it’s entirely possible that my husband is secretly meeting with mobsters to fund his diabolical projects on the sly. Just in case, I always keep my ears open in the event that Bad Horse sends a singing telegram to inform Tex that his application to the Evil League of Evil has been accepted.

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I Stole a Bike, So the Police Called My Mom

Not my actual Mom thankfully, the police telephoned Tasia* the mother of the family I’m staying with. Had the police telephoned my real mother in Ontario, she would have told them to keep me in jail for a couple of nights then refused to pay my bail. My mother believes in natural consequences and doing hard time.

Getting back to my story, in the small Quebecois town where I’m currently living, the preferred method of transportation is biking. Thus at the beginning of the immersion program, all of the students dutifully marched to the house of a man who owns sixty some odd bicycles. Tragically he does not believe in repairing his stock, instead he gives a ten percent discount if the breaks don’t work and the advice to “be careful on hills”. The proprietor maintains that having a bicycle is the most important thing, regardless of whether it sounds like a maraca filled with screws when you peddle or if it fits.

 Proprietor “A perfect fit! It’s a good bike” (Photo Credit : circusnospin.blogspot.com)

Proprietor “A perfect fit! It’s a good bike” (Photo Credit : circusnospin.blogspot.com)

 

For the second time during my stay here, I had to return my bike to him to receive a new inner tube. Instead of staying while he completed the repair, I asked whether I could borrow another bicycle for the day. He said “yes”. Having seen a tall guy hunched over a bike for a ten year old, looking like the bear in the picture above minus the fur, I quickly grabbed the nearest two wheeler and stated “This one works” before the owner could choose a bike for me.

 

Owner “Ah yes, a good size, you are small, the bike is small. Be careful on hills” (Photo Credit : www.dropthebeatonit.com)

Owner “Ah yes, a good size, you are small, the bike is small. Be careful on hills” (Photo Credit : http://www.dropthebeatonit.com)

The bike ended up being much too large, I flew back to the house of my host family, doing an impression of a starfish the whole way with my legs fully extended to reach the pedals and my flimsy pipecleaner arms stretched as far as they could go so my fingers just grazed the handlebars. Toppling sideways off of the enormous bicycle, I walked up the stairs to the house. Tasia, the mother of my host family greeted me “The bike owner just called. He accidently lent you his son’s bicycle. You have to return it.”

I have no doubt that had the bicycle owner not reached my host, the police would have been the next call. “One of the girls staying with Tasia took my son’s bicycle. I can’t reach Tasia, go find her.” It’s a small town, there’s not a whole lot else the police force has to do.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of people who chose not to hand me over to the fuzz.

And They’re Off!

Welcome to the world’s fastest post. I have exactly twenty minutes before I need to be somewhere thus we are free styling this evening. Both in terms of content and grammar. English literature grads beware. 

Carrie Blueberry is a blogger/artist friend of mine. Last week she painted one of her friends entirely silver and took photos. After reading this I thought to myself “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me to strip naked and roll in paint?”

Probably because I do that by myself every weekend. Not really but I’m thinking of picking it up as a hobby after seeing the outcome. Or perhaps Carrie never asks me because she assumes I’m already in the buff based on the number of stories I’ve written about leaving the house without clothing. 

At any rate I recommend you check out her blog and the accompanying photos. They’re lovely. Much like Carrie, whom I still like, even though she has never asked me to remove all my clothes and to quote Arrested Development “blue myself”.

And to you my lovely Unwashed Public, I bid you adieu, may you spend your weekend scooping paint out of the ridges of your ears. That was my way of saying I hope everyone plans to do something fun.

 

 

Shelf Theft and A Lack of Character

I’ve found myself fantasizing about hard wood lately. Now before any of my readers get some big ideas and start sending me dirty pictures, allow me to explain. Having recently moved houses, my possessions have been dramatically rearranged. For example my books, which once called a series of shelves home are now in piles on the floor of my dining room. The plan was to put them in the giant glass front cabinet from my grandmother’s house, however there was one issue, well two if we’re being exact. The first is that I had no car. The second problem could not be solved by a trip to the local Enterprise; I have no muscles. Or rather I have insufficient muscles to move a piece of furniture that was made when people didn’t move often and shelves came from a local, swarthy carpenter and not from a machine in Sweden.

I could have acquired a bookshelf from a big box store, but as I mentioned before; I’ve been dreaming of wood. Mahogany, red, oak, I’ want them all, and the heavier the better. If only I myself had been born a large, male, swarthy carpenter, then moving such a well made shelf would not have been an issue.

I had plans, big plans. Plans that involved my father and one other large man moving the shelf from my grandmother’s house two hours away to my cozy dining room. Alas it was not to be. Despite having promised the shelf to me, my cousin, who at six foot seventeen, or some other height that is equally giant, spied the shelf in question, liked it and took it.

Two possible conclusions can be drawn, either my grandmother tired of parking her Corolla next to fifty years of exquisite workmanship while the shelf waited in the garage for me to retrieve it or somehow, without meaning to, I royally ticked my grandmother off. Seeing as my track record includes having my Grandma hauled home by the police and nearly killed (two separate incidents if you can believe it) I’m leaning towards the second option.

To better understand why there is a literary mountain piled next to my china hutch, I’ve decided to create a list of all the possible ways I could have POed my dad’s mom.

An Incomplete Collection of My Faults and Shortcomings Compared to my Enormous Perfect Cousin

I frequently appear at my church half naked or only partially dressed: If you would like to read the accounts of all of the times I’ve managed to flash the elders in my congregation they are available

Here

Here

And here

In essence getting dressed in the morning is obviously not my strong suit, whereas my monstrously tall cousin, not only suits up for Sunday morning services, but he also has been known to attend Bible study. Point for giant cousin.

I have been known to say what I’m thinking: This character trait would work better for me if I had nicer thoughts, as it is the words “Your baby looks like a homely Steve Buscemi” never go over well. By contrast, my cousin is one of the nicest most genuine people I know, book case stealing aside. Point for my cousin.

I cannot grow facial hair: Apart from the occasional absurdly long chin hair, I can neither grow a moustache nor a scraggly beard, on the other hand, at Christmas my cousin’s face did a remarkable impression of Farley Mowat’s when he emerged from a two month stay in the woods having subsisted on roasted mice.

Clearly my grandmother admires the wild-man look and lifestyle, point for my cousin.

It would seem that I am deficient in all aspects of life, from grooming to character, little wonder that my cousin is now stowing his worldly possessions in a gorgeous glass front cabinet, while I am pondering a trip to the local IKEA.

I Might Be Drunk, Or Just Tired. One of the Two

Moving is dying. Or rather moving is killing me and I am perishing from it. If the act of physically lifting all of my worldly possessions hadn’t fatigued me, then the exhaustion from my day becoming a long game of Hide and Go Seek where invariably my water bottle, glass lunch containers and bed sheets always seem to win, definitely resulted in my  near death by tiredness.

I had debated pushing the “Publish” button on a pre-written post from way back in November during NaNoWriMo but instead am choosing to wave my white flag a prone position on the floor. Please send help. I am thirsty, hungry and the mattress I am sleeping on is covered in strange stains. It’s possible the monster from Ghostbusters used it while I was on vacation this summer.

Definitely while I was on vacation. I think I would have noticed him under my sheets. (Photo Credit: thedukeofpeckhams,tumblr.com)

Definitely while I was away. One would hope I would have noticed him under my sheets. (Photo Credit: thedukeofpeckhams,tumblr.com)

This Confirms It- I’d Rather Strip than Do Paperwork

I’m buying a house. For those of you who have never undergone the endless paperwork associated with this endeavor, I’ll describe it. First you find lots of papers. Remember all those documents the government sent you last year that you stuffed between the cushions of the couch? You’ll need those; so start pulling the remains of them out from the vacuum bag and sponging the pudding off the pages because those documents will need to be scanned and faxed. In triplicate.

Then once you’re finished with that, you have to find more important documents that you never thought you’d need. You may discover them filed with your Christmas cards from three years ago. Please note your mortgage broker will not accept a photo of a naked back in lieu of your most recent tax return. Offers of accompanying naked men in exchange for less paperwork will also be declined.

Then you’ll find a house. Goodness help you at this part because if you thought there was a lot of scanning and paper signing before, roll up your sleeves- you’re about to go down the paperwork rabbit hole. Multiple people will now want pages. Before it was just your mortgage broker, but now your lawyer, your insurance agent and your realtor will want some of that flattened tree action.

So you sign, you sign until your initials lose their forms and become some sort of chicken scrawl. Sometimes you sign forms online and then your signature really looks wonky. And you must always sign new forms if anything changes. If someone has mistakenly forgotten a letter in their middle name, a new form is needed, if you want insurance on the shed as well as the house, three new forms are required. You’re done for if the pricing of your house changes, then you have to start the process all over again.

That’s where I am right now, surrounded by all sorts of professionals who would really like to help me and a stack of papers telling me where all the redwoods have gone.

My Auntie Camelia* is acting as my mortgage broker. This is both a blessing and a curse, by that I mean I’m having a great time of it and the air in my Aunt’s house is slowly turning blue from the profanity.

I’ll share an exchange that occurred early on today

The Great Unwashed calls her aunt after discovering that six new files of eighteen pages a piece have now turned up in her email inbox to be printed, signed and read, ideally not in that order.

The Great Unwashed– “Auntie Camelia, I’m rereading “Little House on the Prairie” and seeing those new documents, I’m about two steps away from taking off and building my own log cabin in the woods.”

Auntie Camelia laughs good naturedly even though she’s been dealing with a surly and uncooperative Unwashed niece for almost six months now.

The Great Unwashed – “Do they need to be signed by tomorrow?”

Auntie Camelia – “No they can be done this weekend”

The Great Unwashed – “Also I don’t want a line of credit if it means more paperwork; I’ll strip on street corners to bring in money rather than signing more pages.”

Auntie Camelia – “There are only two more pages to be completed for the line of credit and as soon as you sign the rest, you are DONE.”

The Great Unwashed in a slightly less bitey-scratchy tone- “Just two pages? And then a couple more then I’m done?”

Auntie Camelia – “Yes”

The Great Unwashed – “Ok, I’ll hold off on hauling logs through the woods then, that paperwork requires less heavy lifting than I thought.”

Thus my dear readers, I have yet to take off into the brush to live with Ma, Pa and Laura although I have not yet ruled that option out. We’ll see what paperwork tomorrow brings before I do that.

My new home? (Photo Credit : wikipedia)

My new home? (Photo Credit : wikipedia)

*This post is dedicated to my Aunt who has worked with me when I was grumpy, confused and utterly tired of documents. She even continued to help me after I threatened to paint rainbows and butterflies on my mortgage application out of frustration. She’s an exceedingly patient woman in both her ability to track endless streams of paperwork and in dealing with people like myself.

Thank you Auntie Camelia.

**Names have been changed to protect the identities of people who currently possess all of my personal information. In my experience it’s best not to tick these types off by splashing their name across the interweb.

Clearly Marie Antoinette Lost The French “Let Them Eat Cake” Battle

On Tuesday nights I take a French course at the university. This week I have a test, I’m feeling prepared so I’m not worried about it. Mind you I’ve felt prepared and then done poorly on my French tests before. There are some things which just don’t translate and are therefore difficult to understand.

For example, I was writing a test on portion sizes in French and the sentence was “Yes I would like a ______ of cake” and the choices were; a can, a bite or a plate. Can was obviously wrong, I’ve eaten cake in many forms but never out of a can. This is not to say that I wouldn’t happily try cake in a can and enjoy it but I crossed that option out. That left two options. I confidently wrote down “a plate” and continued to the next section.

When I got my test back the question was marked wrong. I raised my hand “Excuse me, you mismarked this question” I said to the skinny, size zero jean wearing francophone who was my instructor. He walked over and looked at my test “No” he said “that’s right, you eat a morsel of cake”.

Yes I'll take some cake.  On a plate. The plate the cake is resting on is perfect. (Photo Credit: finecooking.com)

Yes I’ll take some cake. On a plate. The plate the cake is resting on is perfect. There’s no need to wash extra dishes. (Photo Credit: finecooking.com)

I looked that model-thin, French Canadian in the eye and said “Sir, you underestimate my ability to eat cake and frankly I’m not sure I want to study a language that only permits you to consume a bite of dessert.”

I stopped talking after I was docked another mark.

Regardless I stand by my serving sizes of baked goods. I’d tell you more about my clashes with bearded teaching assistants that I outweigh but I have to figure out how to can cake now. For whatever reason that idea sounds delicious, probably because it’s Fatuary.

Knock, Knock, Did Anyone Order a Sexy Politician?

John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Barrack Obama and in the right light even Calvin Coolidge; our Southern neighbours have had some sexy presidents. What does Canada have? William Lyon Mackenzie King, a man as blustery and bombastic as he was round. The height of our sexy leadership was of course Pierre Trudeau who was bald however he did have a certain appealing charisma about him.

It’s time for Canadians to bring the sexy back, in the form of Justin Trudeau. Much like his famous father Justin brings a certain charm as well as a heady mix of spontaneity combined with power. Terribly attractive and he has a full head of hair to boot.

My countrymen I implore you, it’s time we had a leader that we all want to bang. Although anything is better than Steven Harper who resembles an aged Ken doll. And even Barbie wouldn’t hit that.

Therefore I beg you, ignore this young buck’s absurd comments and policies. My fellow Canadians, I beseech you, turn a blind eye to the next ridiculous stunt he pulls, unless of course it’s taking off his shirt in which case please send me photos.

Justin Trudeau speaks at the University of Wat...

Ideally the photo should look like this. Only with less fabric. (Photo credit: batmoo)

The time has come. We need a sexy leader. For too long we have stood in the attractive shadow of the United States’ leadership. With a potential new good-looking Prime Minister at the helm there is no telling what Canada could do; perhaps we will start by overtaking the States in beauty pageants, then move onto making all National Hockey League teams Canadian. Having a visually appealing person to direct us, the sky becomes the limit.

Men, the next time you stand at the polls I want you to think long and hard while asking yourself the following question before checking the box on your ballot “If I was a girl would I kick him out of bed?”

If the answer is no, check away.

And ladies, remember; if he’s easy on the eyes, he’s good for everything else.

Travesty Tuesday – Tricycle Rides and Unfortunate Sleeping Arrangements

The Great Unwashed- “I’m putting up a Travesty Tuesday post.”

Roscoe- “But it’s Thursday.”

The Great Unwashed- “You know that saying “It’s five o’clock somewhere?” Well it’s Tuesday somewhere. It’s a time zone thing.”

Roscoe- “That’s not how time zones work.”

Red onion slices

These account for approximately 60% of New Zealand’s diet**. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Great Unwashed – “It’s Tuesday in New Zealand. Honest. And it doesn’t even matter if it isn’t, New Zealanders do things backwards anyways, they call every second Wednesday “Girdle” and only eat raw onions.”

Roscoe walked out of the room after that. He does that sometimes.

Here is an email I sent to my youngest cousin Candy*. She came to visit me just before leaving to go to college. It’s my guess that she robbed multiple convenience stores and the judge gave her the option of going to Juvie for a month or spending time with me. I think Juvie was looking pretty sweet after she read this.

Oh well you can’t win ‘em all, right Candy?

 

 

Dear Candy,

 

SURPRISE! We’re going camping. Nothing big, just the local park and only for one night. To celebrate this momentous occasion my truck is in at the mechanics getting both the flap thingie on the front fixed and also the SCREEEEEEEE noise that it’s been making any time I turn it on.

The parking lot in front of the garage was packed full of broken-down cars. The mechanics seemed doubtful about when they would be able to return my truck to me.

 

English: A man is riding his overloaded tricyc...

Candy, I think you over packed a little. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As such it’s my recommendation to you Candy, to practice core muscle exercises for the next few days. Not only will these assist with paddle boarding which we shall be trying at the park but it will also help in your transport to the house from the bus station. My current plan is to ride a tricycle over and have you ride on my shoulders the three kilometers home. You will have to carry your suitcase on your back obviously.

This is a hugely popular transportation method in India just so you know.

We will be sharing the giant self inflating mattress while camping because I can’t be bothered to bring and blow up two separate ones when I could punch and kick my way through a night next to someone who is obligated to be nice to me by virtue of sharing just over 12% of my genetic code and staying in my house.

I also suggest you bring a sweater, a bathing suit, sunscreen and a UV shirt*** if you own one. Otherwise I’ll make you wear one of my UV shirts which are so used and stretched out that they’d look more appropriate on a fashionable orangutan.

Or maybe not, I feel like a fashionable anything would refuse to wear a UV shirt.

I have all necessary other camping items although I suggest you remind me to bring pillows. I often forget this item and no matter how I arrange the pile, firewood never seems comfortable to sleep on.

Lovingly, awkwardly and always on three wheels, your cousin,

The Great Unwashed

 

*Candy is as sweet as her made up name. She would never burn down convenience stores. She is frequently forced to visit me, a severe penance for crimes she doesn’t commit. At least I don’t think she commits crimes. I was covered in highly flammable oil during her visit though.

 

** I wouldn’t necessarily trust my knowledge of the world. I garnered most of the facts I know about New Zealand from Wild Buttercup. However I only looked at the pictures so I don’t know how reliable my information is.

 

Also I’ve never been to India. However I would like someone to ride on my shoulders while I peddle a tricycle. As a young child I was prevented from attempting this, I can only assume that sort of fun is illegal in Canada. India seems like a fun loving place. I bet mothers allow that sort of thing there.

 

***For those of you who don’t go red and shrivel up in the sun like a raisin a UV shirt blocks ninety to one hundred percent of UVA and UVB rays. For near albinos like Candy and I this type of clothing is a necessity for all outdoor activities. We combine it with 110 SPF sunscreen and then complain about feeling burnt. The Irish are fun to kiss but you probably shouldn’t procreate with them if you ever want to sit out on a beach.

 

The Art Of Being A Good Wife

A photo of a pizza with peppers

This is what Roscoe’s pizza looked like coming out of the oven. Not really, we buy the inexpensive frozen kind. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roscoe arrived home yesterday after a long day of stitching peoples’ bits back on. My husband spends some eighty hours a week doing this. I’m beginning to think that people are careless with where they put their bits. Also I’m debating petitioning the city to outlaw augers, axes, and possibly lawnmowers.

Anyways being the excellent wife I am, I had made him dinner.

The Great Unwashed : I made you pizza, it’s in the kitchen.

Roscoe looking very tired from putting people’s bit back on : Thank you.

Roscoe goes into the kitchen, pauses then marches back out holding a red, ragged circle of dough.

Roscoe : What is this?

The Great Unwashed : It’s pizza. It was pepperoni pizza but then I denuded it of the pepperonis because I ate one and I just couldn’t stop. Then I took a couple of bites out of the crust because you know how much I love the crust. In my defense there wasn’t a whole lot of cheese on it to begin with because it’s the cheap no name frozen brand. But I left the rest for you.

Roscoe looks down at the dough which is mostly circular but for a few bites around the edge.

Roscoe : So you made me a circle of bread smeared with tomato sauce.

The Great Unwashed : Yes. Because I love you.

Roscoe looks annoyed.

The Great Unwashed : Haven’t you heard the saying “It’s the thought that counts”?