This Truly Isn’t Actually A Post. Please Stop Reading Here. It’s An Email. Who Puts Emails On Their Blog? The Same Jerks Whose Titles Are Five Sentences Long Probably. Also, Who Wants To Play “Stuffed Confetti Duck Hunt” With Me?

Dear Sula,

Ugh, just when I think I understand how the internet works- it turns out that I know nothing. Technology is unfair. Thank you for the lesson on Blind Carbon Copy. I’m now questioning everything that I thought I knew about email. I should probably just throw in the towel and get myself a carrier pigeon.

So I was thinking about life, our friendship and Sly Nyguyen. Because as “I Heart Huckbees” taught us, everything is a blanket. And even big movie stars sometimes screw up and act in seriously bizarre movies with no plot.

Anyways, so life. I’m reading David Sedaris’ biography and I’ve come to a number of conclusions the most important.

  1. My life is boring; I have no drug addictions, dependences and am a part of no minority groups. My strife is not strife. In fact, my life is so easy that it doesn’t even fall under first world problems.

(Aside- there is a convention of RVs going on outside my window. I wasn’t invited. Probably because I’m dull and putting people to sleep at the wheel would result in lots of casualties when giant RVs are involved.)

The worst thing that happened to me this week was I couldn’t find a matching sock because it was still in the hamper- so not strife. No one wants to read the book “The Sock that Wasn’t Missing”.
(Another aside, there are men preparing for a football game outside my front window. Possibly this is why there are collection of RVs? They’ve been out there all day and will be out there all night it looks like, presumably watching said football game that they are preparing for.

I cannot even fathom a sport that I would love so much that I’d spend all day in the sun marching up and down a field for it. Let’s invent a sport that you and I both can love. The sport would have to be outdoorsy and a little dangerous to suit you but at the same time whimsical and ridiculous, so I’d like it too.

Oh I know! Stuffed confetti duck hunt! It will be like skeet shooting but instead of  ceramic plates, which can’t be reused and are therefore not environmentally friendly, we’ll use plush ducks (fake obviously so as not to attract the ire of the silly PETA people and made from secondhand dog toys so as to meet my hippie ideals) filled with colourful seeds. So a person throws the ducks in the air, and then they explode wildflower seeds everywhere so gardens bloom afterwards. We’ll call it Quack Boom Rainbow. Or Quack Quack Boom? Quack Quack Colour?

This is what my life has come to. No longer am I out stealing stolen goods from under privileged youth, instead, my life is so perfect and dull that I’m reduced to brainstorming names for imaginary games that I invented.

Ooooh. What if instead of ducks, we shot plush raccoons? Because some people like ducks whereas raccoons, well they’re just the jerks who tip over your garbage cans and randomly move into your garage like unwelcome anarchists staging a protest about string cheese. And then you can’t get rid of them ever. I would love to shoot a polyester, confetti-filled raccoon. )

I can’t even remember what my point was. Also I’m pretty sure that the above paragraphs are an abuse of parenthesis.

Wait, I remember now- my life is dull, and I don’t have goals. David Sedaris had goals. Important goals, like staying sober and entering pieces into art shows or writing plays.

I don’t really have anything like that. I mean a couple of years ago, when my life was in ruins, I was all “These are my goals- I am getting my act together!” And I did. But I have a house, and a husband, and a son, and a job now. If I was to make a life list it would read something like this.

  1. Lose five pounds.
  2. Spend time with people who are not my husband.

Actually scratch that second one, it would read “Hang out with people who don’t live with you.” Because our au pair meets the criteria of the second goal and I’ve become super lazy, to the point that I don’t hang out with people who aren’t in my kitchen and my first goal could be accomplished with ease if I stopped treating chocolate cake like a food group. Did I mention how lazy I’ve become?

So from this line of thinking came my realization that we’ve entered the tweaking part of our lives. Not the “I’m hopped up on meth and tweaking” part but more the fine tuning portion of our lives. Ideally, we’re not just jumping up and randomly moving across the country for any old reason. Instead, changes, important changes, like reducing one’s daily intake of Black Forest cake are now the goals we achieve over time.

That was a really roundabout way of saying I now recognize that I haven’t been putting enough effort into being a friend to people that aren’t sitting on the couch next to me.

I was recalling when I first moved across the country and we had our weekly  girl chats. We’d sit there for an hour or so and it was OUR TIME. And it was awesome. However we’re about two years, a baby and an international border away from that point. Hence, an hour may not be an option. But what about fifteen minutes? Like fifteen dedicated minutes where I don’t have a baby saying “nursing, nursing” over and over, and you don’t have a hunky boyfriend asking you where to put the werewolf spleen for canning (or whatever beast is in season that month).

Because I don’t want to be lumped in with your former best friend Sly Nyguyen and not only because I’m certain I can’t fit into her tiny, pole-dancing shorts as a result of my recent obsession with a chocolate pudding cake. But mostly because you’re my friend and I value your words and the time we spend together, in whatever form it takes; in person, on the phone,  over Skype etc.

That’s my idea.

Also this may become a post. Because I had two hours of writing time set aside today and I used it talking to Gordy, vacuuming the obscure parts of the house that are difficult to cover with a baby on my back and writing this email. Technically I could stay up late and pen a post but did I mention how lazy I’ve become?

Miss you.

Love you,

Don’t lump me with those pole dancing ladies, it will be too awkward what with the fact that I stopped fitting into my sports bras over well two years ago.

Unwashed

Advertisements

Travesty Tuesdays : The Professional Edition

The problem with being a writer is that people assume you can write. Which I can. Sort of. Actually not really. If you look around WordPress you will realize that I don’t have a Bachelors degree in English and it shows. Also, more often than not, I understand grammar don’t.

This fact doesn’t prevent friends and family from asking me to compose letters and whatnot for them. The most recent request came from my young cousin Candy, who has a stripper name and a heart of gold. Ostensibly a potential employer wants a letter of recommendation. While I am the first person to recommend Candy and her work, I’m not sure I should be the person to do it. Nonetheless I tried.

Dear Super Ballin’ Employer from our Country’s Capital,

What’s up yo? I’m fine, thanks for enquiring. News traveled down the pipeline that your company has a position open. My cousin totally wants it. Like wants it wants it. Like a chubby kid wants cake at fat camp. Only unlike the overly muscular fat camp directors, you should give Candy her heart’s desire. But not the fat kid, give him more time on a treadmill, not the job.

Candy is super awesome amazeballs. Her work ethic is second to none. She would work in her sleep if she could. In addition, Candy is knowledgeable about her field. Or at least I think she is. What she does is very technical so I kind of get lost midway through her explanations but judging by the length of them, I can say the kid knows her stuff.

On top of being really hardworking and educated, Candy is short, this doesn’t sound like a selling point until your company moves or downsizes and you need to stick someone in the tiny corner cubicle. Or if you fly her somewhere and want to use the legroom to transport equipment- not only would Candy be happy to squish herself into a ball to create more space, she wasn’t going to need that legroom to begin with.

So basically Candy is great. You probably shouldn’t even bother interviewing her just call her up and say “Your cousin convinced us, here’s the job and this is the list of benefits we added because you rock”. If you have any further questions don’t call my cell, it has a strange greeting on the voicemail saying you can only leave a message if you are on fire, so I wouldn’t want any of your more literally minded employees receiving burns on my account. You are totally welcome to email me though, but don’t expect me to respond, I’m giving you my professional email which I never check- sarahwritescreativethingshere@gmail.com .

 

Inscrutably yours,

 

The Great Unwashed

 

Message to Candy:

Is this what you meant kiddo when you asked for a letter? I gave it my best college try. I bet for sure you’ll be working and rolling in the sweet sweet cheddar in no time. No one can resist your dynamo combination of personality, brains and work ethic when it’s coupled with my writing.

A Use For Small Talk

After discovering a large, rapidly growing puddle in my basement, I called my mother to get the phone number of her friend who is a contractor. While reciting his contact information, she accidently switched two of the digits which led to the following sequence of events.

I call the random number, because it is long distance, the man does not pick up. Hence I begin to text about my household issue to the random number, who I still think is Garry’s*, my mother’s contractor friend. At the same time, the wrong number recipient reconsiders failing to answer my call, figuring that it may be a long lost relative offering him money, or a cruise, or a hooker. Actually I’m not sure about the last one; he seemed like a standup guy, although I’m fairly certain he would have accepted the money or the trip. At any rate, the mystery man, who I think is my mother’s contractor friend, calls me back while I am texting about my small basement lake.

The Great Unwashed – Hello! Gary, thank you so much for calling me back.

Mystery Man who is not Garry- Hello? (Admittedly I found it odd that his voice sounded so different on the phone from in person but I forged ahead with the conversation.)

The Great Unwashed-  It’s Unwashed, the Great Unwashed, there’s water in my basement. Like a lot of water. A large puddle actually. Is this a problem? I don’t know what to do, I mean I’m considering getting frog eggs and growing some tadpoles in there but besides that, I haven’t a clue. Also the puddle is located between the only two useful parts of my basement; the stairs and the laundry machine which means I have to walk around the side through the den of spiders if I want to wash my sheets. This is bothersome today because Maddie, my dog just dried her wet, muddy fur on my bed.

Random Guy who is not Garry and is super confused- Um. I. I’m not who you’re looking for.

The Great Unwashed- You’re not?

Complete Stranger – No. You have the wrong number.

The Great Unwashed- Do you know anything about basements? Because your number is the only one I have at the moment.

Kindly and Extremely Understanding Stranger who is still talking to me  despite the fact that it’s long distance and using his minutes- Only the average amount of  basement knowledge.

The Great Unwashed- Well I have a sub-average amount of knowledge about basements, obviously given that I’m considering growing frogs in mine.

A pause while the recipient of my wrong number considers this thought.

The Great Unwashed realizing that my calamity has reached new heights as it’s now pulling in people I don’t know, who don’t live in my city- You know what? It’s ok. You have yourself a good night.

Somewhat Confused Mystery Man- You too.

I had always thought pleasantries and small talk were a waste of time. Now I see that their usefulness lies in figuring out early on that you’ve called the wrong person before you tell them all about your house owning woes and plans to breed Kermit the Frog next to the washer and dryer.

Kermit is feeling unsure about living in my muddy, flooded basement. (Photo Credit: Jim Henson Productions)

Kermit is feeling unsure about living in my muddy, flooded basement. (Photo Credit: Jim Henson Productions)

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of contractors I later got in touch with and coached me through a muddy situation.

Negligence and Garbage Soup

I was caught in a garbage-poo-water tidal wave on Friday. It was a situation of my own making, which is frustrating because when you’re left standing completely soaked from the waist down, smelling like a mixture of old socks and rancid chicken, you only have one person to blame.

The Friday before last was garbage day and the truck arrived to empty the containers before I left for work. Ordinarily I would have left the bins on the curb but that day my grandparents were supposed to arrive for a visit before I got home from work. So I hurriedly grabbed the large can and blue bins and placed them next to the house, rather than in their place under the awning in the backyard.

Then because I’m an idiot, I left them there. For a full week. On the surface, this shouldn’t have been an issue. Being a minimalist environmentalist means producing shockingly little trash, hence there was little need for me to use said containers. In fact, after a week the only items in the garbage bin were from my grandparents. The bags were easy to see what with the fact they were floating.

It rained a lot this week. And by a lot, I mean every night, for hours and sometimes during the day. My recycle bins were both thoughtfully equipped with drainage holes. Unfortunately the enormous black trash can was not. The week of rain and my own stupidity had created a giant cauldron of garbage soup. The piece de resistance was the bag of dog poo bobbing on top.

On Monday when I thought of the garbage cans right before bed, there was already a foot of water, which had cooked in the midday sun, effectively creating a bacterial paradise. Tuesday, when I looked out the window at the rain, the bacteria were screaming “WOOOO! Come on in dirty water from the eaves troughs, it’s a party!” and taking off their microbial tops in the riotous fun. Wednesday the sun shone the entire day and the bacteria got together and made sweet, sweet mono cellular love in the afternoon. Hence on Thursday there was a population explosion, also the mosquitoes decided to get in on the fun and lay some eggs in there too.

When I arrived home on Friday, the water line was two centimeters from the top of the container and it smelled atrocious. Pulling gently on one of the two black handles I tested the weight. Garbage-poo water sloshed over the side from the slight movement. “Eeek” I cried jumping backwards as the splash sprayed the ground. Removing my shoes and placing them in the backyard, I stared down the product of my lazy idiocy.

Because the fates have a dark sense of humour, the can was situated right next to the hole in my basement wall. Meaning that if the garbage bin was to tip, my basement would be flooded with garbage soup. I had only one option; drag the can as far away from the house as I could and empty it there. Ideally not on my neighbour’s lawn, as I hadn’t yet determined who placed the angry note in my shaggy grass.

Taking a deep breath, I accepted that I would be soaked while completing this disgusting chore and I tugged slowly on the handle again. Once more a small wave of disgusting garbage water splashed onto the driveway. Determined to preserve the integrity of my basement, I pulled. The can moved a little, the water moved a lot. My foot was wet.

Emboldened by my lack of gagging over my soaked foot, I decided to try and wheel the garbage can as though it was full of refuse and not one hundred pounds of mobile liquid and bacteria. I tipped the bin slightly and the garbage soup yanked against my tiny pipecleaner arm, pulling the container down sharply, creating a tidal wave which spread across my driveway and drenched my legs and shorts. Shrieking, I tried to jump away but then glancing back at the hole in the basement wall, I charged back into the growing puddle of garbage water, righting the can.

Having dumped most of its contents onto my driveway and effectively into my basement, the can was much lighter as I pulled it haltingly towards my front lawn. Tipping it again, I let out a much smaller shriek and attempted to direct the remaining garbage water onto the grass.

I realize this is just an unfortunate coincidence, but I’m beginning to feel like I’m bad at this whole home ownership thing.

A Friend Making Rockstar

I’m officially moved into my new home. So naturally I’ve begun to befriend my neighbours.

The other night, as I was walking towards my house, I spied a Jack Russel Terrier. The small dog yipped, it yapped, it howled like it was going to kill me. I continued walking. The tiny canine ran towards me while keeping up it’s oral protestations. Although it stayed a distance from my feet, the dog made it known that it wanted to tear me to shreds. As I hurried up the steps of my home, I glanced over my shoulder and saw that the furry thing was waiting at the bottom of the stairs still growling death wishes at me.

In that moment I realized that I had allowed myself to be chased home by a fifteen pound ball of fur and kibble. I turned on my heel and snarled at the tiny beast. It stepped back. I advanced towards it, still snarling. Unsure, the petite pooch held it’s ground. Undaunted by the terrier’s attempted alpha stance, I commenced my shouting, brawling chase. It was at that second that his owner rounded the corner in time to witness me wild armed chasing down of her dog.

The face my neigbour saw. I can always be counted on to make a memorable first impression. (Photo Credit : blingcheese.com)

The face my neigbour saw. I can always be counted on to make a memorable first impression. (Photo Credit : blingcheese.com)

“He doesn’t bite.” She yelled over the calamity.

As far as I could see there were two possible responses to this. Both of them truths. “Yes, but I do.” and “I knew that, I’d have punted the creature already if he did.” Neither of these seemed appropriate, so I turned and hurried inside my house.

I imagine this shall be the beginning of a beautiful friendship; she and I will be best friends forever, sharing our lives over coffee and bundt cake from now on. Or not.

Misunderstood Youth Are Trouble

The following is a conversation I had with a seventeen year old future actuary yesterday

The Great Unwashed “What program are you in?”

(We had already established that I was an old lady in a first year French course and I was majoring in being tired and grouchy.)

Seventeen Year Old– “Actuarial Sciences”

The Great Unwashed– Wait, are you going to become an actuary?

Seventeen Year Old a little shocked that anyone would be excited by math and actuarial science – “Yes”

The Great Unwashed– “Statistically what is the most dangerous activity in the world? Is it riding an elephant up Mount Everest?” Crossing my fingers and grinning because I’m excited about being right “I bet it’s riding an elephant up Mount Everest.”

Seventeen Year Old – “That’s not really what I do.”

The Great Unwashed in a disappointed tone – “Oh.”  Perks up “That’s what I would do if I was an actuary. It’s probably best that I’m not an actuary, we’d have people water skiing on the backs of those terrifying arctic seals for kicks, to see if my math was correct.”

(Photo Credit : thesealsofnam.org)

You should see me slalom ski on one of these.(Photo Credit : thesealsofnam.org)

Seventeen Year Old who is confused about why I’m talking about water sports with killer mammals- “Actuaries make their calculations based on someone’s  gender, where they live, what they do and then say how likely it is that they’d die in one year or five years or”

The Great Unwashed jumps in “So like if I was a thirty eight year old man living in a cave on the side of a cliff, who rode a unicycle to work, you could tell me when I was going to take a dirt nap?”

Seventeen Year Old who is now backing towards the exit- “No, it doesn’t work like that.”

The Great Unwashed visibly disappointed “Oh, that’s too bad. Here I was going to pack up and move to a cave to make hemp bracelets to sell with him.”

I was about to ask the young gentleman more math questions but he ran out suddenly, I imagine it was due to excitement from last night being the final class of the course.

Unwashed Resolutions 2014

It’s come to my attention that people are making resolutions left, right and center. Which is great however they aren’t making the right ones. So I thought I’d release my list of New Years Resolutions so my readers will know where to start when making their goals for 2014.

1. Bathe Less

All this talk of global warming and yet everyone is still walking about smelling like a daisy. If you can count your showers per week on one hand you are cleaning yourself too often.

2. Forget Gyms

I have not attended a gym in well over a decade. If you feel the need to frequent a place filled with scantily clad people and grunting men; go to a strip club. It costs approximately the same amount in the long run based on what I hear about membership fees.

3. Eat Whatever the Heck You Like

My personal philosophy on food is- if you enjoy it, eat it. So I do. I eat concepts like they’re going out of style; local, homemade, unprocessed. I eat ideas like they’re watermelon at a picnic. To me there’s nothing more delicious than a breakfast of theory with some jam slathered on it.

Wait, is this organic, hand-made and local? It is? Ok, do you have some pretentious sauce I can drizzle on it?

Wait, is this organic, hand-made and local? It is? Ok, do you have some pretentious sauce I can drizzle on it? (Photo Credit : eatthedamncake.com)

4. Sleep More

I love sleep. And I need it so badly after going to all those strip clubs.

5. Don’t Listen To Me

Clearly I have no idea what I’m talking about.