Monday, November 28, 2011

I Like Big Ducks and I Cannot Lie

Ok, they're geese. But 'ducks' made a funnier title.

(Make sure you watch on a computer with sound or you won't get the joke.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting into the Swing of Things

As you may have been disappointed to note this week, there was no installment of Dirty French Friday.

What even could have taken place to have kept me from delighting the masses with my dodgy French?

Oh yeah. That.

The Christmas shopping season has had its official kick-off.

If you've been following my blog for any decent length of time, you'll know what I was not absent from writing this past week because I was a participant in the shopping delights of Black Friday.

I was on the stressed-out, frantic, retail-worker end of things.

The upcoming month is more like I'm an extra in Groundhog Day, where I wake up and every day is Black Friday. I'm even sick this week, just like last year. I don't even know why I'm writing a new post about it. I might as well have just reposted this entry from 2010.

At my place of employment, every single one of us is required to work Black Friday. And you know what? Aside from being extremely busy and wishing I could clone myself between 12 and 3 pm that day, it wasn't too bad.

Oh, it was busy as shit, but customers seemed a little happier this year. Maybe because they had a bit more money to spend? I was just reading an article on the increase in Black Friday spending over last year. My store certainly saw the increase, we were pretty tickled.

The worst encounter I had this past week (and not even on BF) was when a woman yelled 'This is some bullshit!' in my face and then stalked away because we didn't have the hot new toy for the season in stock.

The LeapPad Tablet.

That kid is smiling because his mom didn't have to swear at a poor, harried bookstore employee to get this toy for her son.

Apparently these things are almost impossible to get right now. A kid has to have a tablet just like his mom and dad's!

Whatever happened to getting dolls and bicycles for Christmas?  I'm so old.

Remember when Cabbage Patch Dolls were the big toy for Christmas? This had to be 1984/85-ish. I bet my mum had to arm wrestle another mum for these ones. And here I am in my favourite outfit of choice: An Edmonton Oilers jersey, underwear and odd socks. I look like I just ate a lemon.

Christmas concert at St. Theresa School, circa 1987. I was the angel with short dark hair in the top left of the frame. The last time I could don a halo with any sort of authenticity.

Yep. I'm old. The only thing that gives me comfort, is that Chuckles was in his mid 20's at that time. Which makes him really old and kind of a pervy cradle-robber.

Other than the swearing in my face over the LeapfuckingPad, people have been pretty nice. They don't get really pissy until the last weekend before Christmas.

The weekend where they realize that they've left all their shopping till the last minute, and they realize that we're not able to order anything for them in time for Christmas, and "What do you mean you don't have a book on mule training on the shelf?? What kind of second-rate establishment is this??" happens.

They'll start grabbing anything off the shelves at that point.

"Hmm...what to get Grandma? Oh, look! There's one copy of 'Tickle His Pickle' left! That way I don't have to get Grandpa a gift ! Two birds with one stone and all that..."

Now that you're all picturing your grandparents playing hide the trouser snake, I must go. I don't have another day off for a few days, and I have a lot of relaxing to get accomplished before it's time to go to sleep and wake up for another day of retail fun.

As far as my personal Christmas shopping goes, I think this is the plan for the season. I'm sure my husband will go along with it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving, American-Style

Chuckles gets to wrestle the turkey this time. I'm the Mashed Potato Bitch.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Suddenly I'm Popular?

My blog stats blew the hell up today for this post.

I wonder why?

I had to go and check to see if Paul Hogan died or something.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Dirty French Friday

Je donnerais ma vie pour un hot-dog.

I'd give my own life for a hot dog.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'll Take 'The Penis Mightier' For $100, Alex

Attending university was one of the best things I've ever gotten to do. If I could pick any time in my life to experience again, that four years would be it.

As I grew up, there was no question that I would end up going to university (in the States, people tend to say 'college', but where I'm from, most people say 'university').

Edmonton is a university city, with a beautiful (to me) sprawling campus at its heart.

The University of Alberta. In case you're wondering what that bright yellow building is, it's affectionately called the Butterdome, and is a sporting facility

The UofA is not an old school, it recently passed its 100th birthday, but it is a well-respected Canadian university.

When I was little, I remember driving by it in the car with my mum, and asking 'Is that where I'm going to go?' and she'd smile and say 'Yes, someday.'

When I finally got there, I fell in love with the place, as I always thought I would.

I loved the buildings. HUB Mall was one of my favourites.

Do you see all those multi-coloured cupboard-door thingies up high, looking out onto the floor of the mall? Those are student residences. The floor of the mall had restaurants, a laundromat, a bookstore, an art gallery, etc. The ceiling was all glass, as you can see.

My favourite thing about the building was how long and skinny it was. My parking garage was located at one end of it, and most of my classes were located in buildings at the other end of it. I could warm up for 10 minutes and not freeze my ass off whilst getting to class in the dead of an Albertan winter.

I loved the people. A lot of my friends were at the UofA, but there were thousands of other new people to meet. Some were local, some from across the world. All walks of life. All studying different things, with lofty dreams.

I enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program. I didn't know what program I'd eventually end up in, but it was a good place to start.

I would hear people scoff when I told them this, and it would make me angry.

"Arts? Oh, so you want to be unemployed! AHAHAHAHAHA!"


The reason I liked the Arts so much is that you can get a more open education. English, Math, Science, Social Studies, History, and so much more.

Sure, I could have enrolled in a Science degree program and made out with petri dishes and equations all day, but that just wasn't for me. I wanted a little of that to go along with a plethora of other little things.

I eventually settled on an Anthropology major and a Sociology minor.

What better program for a people-watcher to be in than that one?

And it's funny, because I talked shit about science, and then ended up going for a degree focused in Physical and Forensic Anthropology. Which is pretty much all science.

I loved Sociology too. I could have easily made that my major instead if it wasnt for my love of Human Osteology. I was a bone-fondlin' motherfucker.

Oops...handled that one a little too hard...

Sociology was awesome though.

The most enjoyable Sociology class that I took was Sociology of Media. It took place in an airy, stadium-style university extension building, with a huge projection screen in it.

My professor had a sexy Tina Fey-esque vibe going on, and she had studied pornography as the subject of her PhD thesis.

Every male student's fantasy, right?

Mine too!

Anyway, one week she said that as part of the course, we would be studying pornography and its effect on society and she would play a porn clip on the big screen.

She said she was only allowed to do this if we all gave consent. Anyone who was morally opposed to being shown porn in class could abstain from the lecture with no academic consequences.

She asked for anyone opposed to give a show of hands.

Of COURSE no one put their hands up.

1) We were getting to see porn IN CLASS, on a huge screen. For school! Did I mention that?

2) Anyone who got up and left would be given shit about it forever. We were in our 20's, but that kind of peer pressure never goes away. I don't care how old you are.

3) I'm sure half of the male students in the room already had their hands occupied, and were ready for her to dim the lights!

Yep. I loved university for moments like that.

I had plans to go on and get my Masters and PhD in Forensic Anthro, but I didn't. It's not for lack of discipline.

I was very disciplined and goody-goody, I definitely didn't live the 'Animal House' life while I was there.

My dad paid for my entire education. I was very, very lucky. I treated school like it was my job. I wanted to make sure I earned every penny that he paid. My dad was a difficult man sometimes (ok, a lot of the time), but he didn't make me feel like I had to do this in terms of my education. I've just always been a self-driven person.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but he died in late 2002, right before my last semester. I was in the middle of finals that week. He'd been in bad health for years and his heart finally gave out.

It was still a shock though. Some people have the worst health habits and still live till they're old. I thought he'd be one of those people.

Swervin' Mervin

Anyway, he left me enough money that I was able to pay for the rest of my undergraduate education and live for awhile without working afterwards. I didn't know what to do with myself. His dying changed the course of my life.

I think everything happens for a reason. I might not feel like that when I'm in a the middle of a tough situation, but later on I do. One of Chuckles' favourite sayings is, 'It all comes out in the wash.'

Am I working in the profession that I got my degree in? No.

Do I have Dr. ahead of my name? No.

Am I happy and have an awesome life? Yes.

I make decent money to sell books for a living. I peddle knowledge.

I have a husband that loves me for ME and all of my weirdness and foul mouth, and is proud of my intelligence and rapier wit.

The people that laughed at me for my choice of university study can bite me.

I enjoyed every minute of it, and it made me a more interesting person. I can have a conversation about pretty much anything.

And I'm a fucking Jeopardy virtuoso.

That's all worth having a degree on the wall. No matter what it is.

If any of you crazy kids out there are hemming and hawing about whether or not college is relevant these days, it is. Even if it's just for the memories and prestige.

Do it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do You Promise to Love, Honor, Cherish, and Handle Gross Things?

Methinks it may be time to get rid of the Halloween pumpkin.

It's leaking all over the place and is covered in mold. There's probably a family of badgers living in it. My cousin said it looks like an old perv.

Speaking of old pervs, I asked Chuckles when he was going to get rid of it for me.

He proceeded to tell me that it was MY pumpkin, and I should get rid of it myself. He'd only do it if I gave him $5.

I told him that the reason I have a husband is to do disgusting things for me like shovel an old, rotting pumpkin off the front porch.

I'm sure it was mentioned in our wedding vows...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Moon Over North Carolina

Took this pic of the full moon the other night from my front porch.

I read in the Old Farmer's Almanac that November's full moon was traditionally called the Full Beaver Moon.

"November's full Moon was called the Beaver Moon because it was the time to set traps, before the waters froze over."

Did I nod my head and appreciate this interesting bit of information?


I laughed. Of course I laughed!

'Full Beaver Moon' doesn't sound dirty to anyone else?

Just me?

Oh, ok.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dirty French Friday

Mon équipe potable a un problème de hockey.

My drinking team has a hockey problem.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hell Week

I fucking love fall.

It's my favourite season of the year.

Being a gardener, you'd think spring would be my favourite season of the year.

Being a North Carolinian gardener, I say balls to spring. Balls!

It's too damn short.

"Fuck, it's freezing!...Ooh, it feels nice outside...Fuck, it's hot!"

It happens that quickly. Then you're in for 5 or 6 months of hellacious heat and humidity.

If you ever have the magnificent good fortune to meet up with me in person in the summertime in North Carolina, you may notice the exotic fragrance that surrounds me everywhere I go.

It's brimstone. You get used to it.

Here, fall lasts a little longer than spring. We get a good three months of nice-ish temps before the Frozen Tundra of January happens.

Not really. It doesn't get all that cold, and the ground never truly freezes.

I just wanted to hear the collective scoffing sound from my Canadian friends.

Yesterday, I planted an assload of bulbs.

I planted more of these parrot tulips, because they were so awesome last year:

As well as more of these daffodils (wow, that's an old's from when I first came here. I was so proud of myself):

Those 'fucking daffodil bulbs' I mentioned in the last post were ready to be put in the ground!

The only problem was that there were 50 of them. Which turned out to be more like 80, once I counted what was in the bag.

Plus the 36 parrot tulip bulbs.

I started at about 8am yesterday, and didn't 'finish' until 12.

And by 'finish', I mean I got maybe half of them planted. I sweated more than Chaz Bono on 'Dancing with the Stars'.

I wanted to get the rest of them in the ground, but my back wouldn't cooperate.

"Fuck this shit!" said My Back.

"Shut the hell up. Quit complaining. I want to get this done today!" I said.

''Don't you just want to go on the computer or something? Sit in the nice comfy computer chair and bullshit with your friends? Post pictures of lolcatz? Did I mention the chair is comfy?"

"No. I hate wasting my day when the sun is shining. I want to be outside. I want to make my yard pretty."

"Fuck the yard!" yelled M.B. "I mean," it said more quietly, "your yard looks nice enough. And I'm so tired."

"Stop whining."

"Ok," said M.B. "Have it your way. But when you go to work later, I'll make you sorry. Bitch."

My back is such an asshole.

It did make my life hell last night. I had to put the final touches on the dreaded holiday set at the store. The district manager is coming in today for a final review.

It's a good thing I've been working so hard and running around so much the last couple of weeks though, because with all the stress eating I've done I should be 300 lbs.

But today I'm taking it easy. Perfect day to sit back and watch the leaves fall.

And a quiet back is a happy back.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Got Bitten By a Gift Horse Once

I've always had trouble accepting gifts.

When I was a little kid,  I remember going with my dad on a trip to visit his parents in Saskatchewan.

One day my Gido (pronounced 'ghee-doe', what we called my Ukrainian grandfather) said he was going to the corner store.

"Do you want to come along?"

I shook my head quietly.

"I'm taking Justin [my cousin] along with me. Are you sure you don't want to come?"

I smiled shyly. "No thank you."

"Then what do you want from the store? Some candy? A chocolate bar? I'll get you something."

I smiled again and shook my head.

Gido had this look on his face like, 'What 6-year-old doesn't want chocolate?'

And the thing was, of course I wanted chocolate. Of course I wanted to go to the store.

But if I went to the store, he'd feel compelled to buy me something. I didn't want him to feel like he had to buy me chocolate. If I stayed at the house, and insisted I didn't want anything, he wouldn't worry about it.

He was right to look at me like I was crazy, this isn't the normal thinking of a 6-year-old!

Most 6-year-olds go to sleep thinking about candy. Wake up thinking about candy. Find ways to make their parents and their friends' parents give them candy. Beat up other kids for candy.

They'll use guilt. Puppy-dog eyes. Whining. Crying. Screaming. I bet some of them even resort to murder.

Anything for candy!

It's not like I have any deep-seated trauma connected to receiving gifts.

It's not like I had a pervy uncle that said, 'Kyna, would you like some candy? It's in my front pocket, you'll have to come and get it. Oh, that's weird, how'd that hole get there?...'

Or did I???

Speaking of weird compulsions, why do I have the urge to emphasize everything with Mike Myers characters?

Anyway, I was always told to simply be polite.

You might think, 'Oh, that's just a Canadian thing,'...

...but it's not. I promise I know of many rude Canadians. Many, many, many rude Canadians.

Okay, there are three. But I take being polite too far.

If I feel like I don't have something to trade for something I'm given....whether it's money, or just reciprocating the gift, I feel weird and uncomfortable.

The other day, a co-worker friend brought me a Bojangles chicken biscuit for breakfast as a surprise. I was delighted (and hungry).

If you live anywhere other than the Southeastern US, you wouldn't know how delicious a chicken biscuit from Bojangles is. Slap some mayo and hot sauce on that motherfucker, and I'm in heaven.

 It's the breakfast of the gods!

Fat gods, but gods nonetheless.

She did it to be nice. I know she didn't want me to pay her back for it. But I since I didn't have any cash on me, I offered her my proverbial first-born child.

Someone lends me a dollar for a Coke from the vending machine? All I can think about is getting my hands on another dollar to pay them back at the soonest possible juncture.

I go to someone's house, and they ask me if I'm hungry or thirsty? I could be dehydrating or emaciating before their very eyes and I'd still say, 'No. I'm fine!' with a smile.

What the hell is wrong with me?


This is why I could never be a gold digger.

I have a hard time accepting gifts from my own husband.

Last week, we were out at the local hardware store/garden center. We were there to buy a new mailbox, because once again, we had ours bashed by middle-of-the-night, redneck hooligans.

We were walking past a crate full of large bags of tulip and daffodil bulbs. I stopped to look at them, because it was almost time for me to pick some up for planting.

"Do you want me to buy you some daffodils?" asked Chuck.

"Nah, it's ok," I said.

'But I know you want some."

"Yeaaaah, but I'll wait till payday."

"It'll make you happy. Let me buy you some. I know you want them."



So I let him buy me the fucking daffodil bulbs.

Can you imagine if he was rich?  "Kyna, JUST LET ME BUY YOU THE FUCKING YACHT."

That's why I married blue-collar, I couldn't stand the gift-giving pressure of being married to a rich dude.

Chuck has no problem with getting gifts. Plus he has a talent. He can always barter his drywall services for any major gift. Everyone has some sort of drywall problem they need fixed.

The only talent I have is a service that I'm not allowed to barter.

That's right.

You saw through my innuendo.

So we've established that I have a hard time receiving gifts, right?

In my head, it's polite to worry about someone going to trouble and expense for me to be happy.

What brought this post on?

I have a few friends that know that Chuckles and I eat, sleep, and shit music, and they'll send us CDs from time to time.

Yesterday, one of them asked me if I wanted him to send me some recordings.

Of course I was delighted, and really wanted them!

I did say yes, but made sure I offered compensation for time, supplies and postage. He said he had some other stuff I might like, and did I want that too? (I'm being vague here to protect the identity of the person, but it's sounding like he offered me sex or something, doesn't it?)

I didn't want him to go to more trouble and time and expense, so I said if he wanted to send me some surprises, I'd pay for that too.

I think I insult [or at the very least, confuse] people when I do this, but I don't mean to.

I don't mean to imply that they can't afford it, or that I don't appreciate the friendly gesture out of the goodness of their hearts, I just like to offer something back.

If I feel like I don't have a fair trade, money is the only thing I can offer (other than the aforementioned forbidden services). 

I'm 30 years old, dammit. Not 6. I really need to practice saying yes to gifts.

I vow that the next time someone offers me something, I'm going to say yes. Yes to everything!

Even if I have nothing to offer in return! I promise.

Please, God...I hope it's a diamond-studded toilet.

*crosses fingers*

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dirty French Friday

Vous été avez une mauvaise fille.

You've been a bad girl.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Is Dead, Long Live Halloween

Halloween has gone the way of zombies.

It's pretty much dead, but still keeps on truckin'.

When I was a kid, halloween was awesome. Nothing could stop us kids from dressing up and going door to door.

And I'm Canadian, remember. Our first [substantial] snowfalls would usually occur mid-October.

Did a little [4 feet of] snow stop us from candy??


We'd begrudgingly put on full snowsuits under our costumes and trudge out anyway!

I can't find a pic of myself in one, but this is a good idea of what we looked like (because all Canadian kids share this experience)

I don't think the Wimpification of Halloween is due to the kids, but the parents. It always comes down to the parents.

Parents, parents, parents...(I'm drawing this out to give you parents time to build some outrage against my posting isn't fun without a little outrage.)

My mum is a Halloween veteran. With three children born in three different decades (1968, 1973, 1981), she's been through it all.

Making costumes, walking with us door to door (when it was -30C on the occasional Halloween night, she'd drive behind us so she could have us warm up on the run), buying candy for other kids, decorating, dressing up herself to make it more fun...

And you know what? She was probably sick and tired of doing this crap every year (I think she likes it again now that she's had a few years rest). But she made the effort, because it made us kids happy.

Because that's what moms do, dammit!

When we got old enough to go out with our friends on Halloween, it was a big deal. I think I was about 9-ish when my friends and myself were allowed to go out to get candy in groups in our neighbourhood.

We'd take our pillowcases (no fancy candy containers for us, pillowcases had more candy-capacity!) and troop around for a couple of hours and come on home tired and happy.

I didn't even really like to eat candy at that time. I gave it all to my brother Kurt. But I had fun getting it!

Do parents even let their kids go out trick or treating by themselves anymore?

I'm betting not. These are the days of mall trick or treating. Which I think is totally lame.


There were just as many 'dangerous' people in the 60's, 70's and 80's as there are now I'm sure. I survived without being kidnapped into someone's basement or finding razor blades in my candy.

Which is a total urban myth that news stations still warn parents about.When was the last time you saw a news story about a kid ending up in the hospital from candy poisoning?

These days we're more likely to get salmonella from lettuce grown at a tainted corporate farm operation...

And I'm not just talking about the parents of trick or treaters. I'm talking about adults in the general population...the ones that turn all their inside and outside lights off and hide in the backs of their houses hoping that no one rings their doorbells.

I think there are people who don't feel like buying candy for strangers. I think that there are people who are tired of getting less and less kids coming to their door every year and don't feel like shelling out money for candy for nothing and having to eat it themselves. I guess I can't blame them all really...

Anyway, I still carve a pumpkin every year. I don't think I've ever missed a year. I don't ever do anything elaborate, but I try to make them different every Halloween.

I enjoy digging the slimy guts and seeds out of a pumpkin. I like the smell of raw pumpkin guts. This year was the first time Chuck and I have tried roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven, and they were delicious.

I asked Chuck to come up with a design for my pumpkin this time, and this is what he came up with:

We live in a housing development which until recently wasn't very developed. In the last couple of years it's comparatively exploded.

We expected a few kids this year. Not a lot because we still live in a rural-ish area, but a few.

Got the pumpkin on the porch, and got the candy bowl ready.

Our first visitor was the kid of some old friends of Chuck's. Shelley's so damn cute

After that....almost nothing.

We eventually thought we wouldn't get any more kids, but we saw an SUV slow down in front of the house at about 7:30, and two more girls popped out and came to the door. They got a big haul from us, because we knew we probably wouldn't get any more kids after that.

And we were right.

Chuck and I spent the rest of the evening gorging ourselves on 'fun-size' chocolate bars...

....and taking pictures of our shadows.

Behold, Chuckenstein!

Boris Karloff, eat your heart out!

Or maybe the zombies will...