Saturday, October 28, 2006

POS car*

*Used with no permission from Adam Sandler, who wrote the song,“Piece of Shit Car”.

Five years ago, when B and I joined our hearts, households and wordly possessions as common-law spouses, we each contributed vehicles to the joint assets. I brought in a brand new very cool Acura RSX. B brought in a GMC Jimmy of a “certain age”. Not decrepit, but if she could go to bars she would certainly be labeled “cougar”. Past her “best before” (or as the English say, “sell by”) date. But I suspect this bitch was a lemon long before she came into my life. B is inexplicably fond of her.


She has four wheel drive, a useful feature, I grant you. But the first time we were absolutely depending on 4WD, driving up a very steep old logging road to get to the Tricouni Meadows trail head, the 4WD died. Resulting in an extra 5 km of hiking (each way) on a near vertical, clear cut logged slope on a scorching day. With our friends whom we had promised a gentle Sunday hike in beautiful mountain meadow scenery.

The “check engine” light in her console goes on and off randomly, with no cause any mechanic has been able to determine. In spite of the fact we spent a king’s ransom on a new tranny. It lights up frequently when we are 100 km past the nearest town or service station. I then feel a sense of impending doom. No Sweetie, not adventure, doom.

The windshield wipers stop whenever the bitch feels cranky. Which is usually on the freeway at 110 km per hour in a downpour on our way to a party. Then the person in the passenger seat (me, because I would rather wrestle a grizzly bear than drive this unmaneuverable box), has to hang out the window and reach around the windshield to give the wipers a flick. I arrive at the event with wild, dripping hair and melting mascara rivers.

But as much as I hate this POS car, every time I look at her, sitting smugly in the driveway, I am reminded that, with the bitch, came a man with the most loving, generous heart that ever beat.

Recently, in response to my whining, B brought home some catalogues of shiny new S.U.V’s.

I threw them out.

Today's dream destination: Where there are no cars. Lillooet Lake, British Columbia, Canada.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Morning mayhem

“Hit the snooze button again.”

“No, we can’t, it’s past time to get up.”

“But it’s so freakin dark out. And raining.”

“Yeah, but it’s late.”

“Yeah but I’m nice and warm, come cuddle” pleads my Beloved.

I hit the snooze button. Twice.

So the morning routine is even more frantic than usual. Showering is an 8 ½ minute well choreographed ballet. My B passes me the razor and I shave his neck. He then knows exactly when to soap my shoulders as I lift up my hair after conditioning it.

Things really pick up after that. Quick, take the dogs out to the yard. Feed the cats. Remember Snuffy needs her food watered down so the chances of her puking it up again are only fifty-fifty. Find matching socks. “Damn, where’s my other black shoe?" "Maybe Henry got it again". “You ready?” “Almost.” “Let’s go, we are really late now.” “I just have to grab my lunch from the fridge.”

And then I hear a groan from the kitchen: “God damn cat! Snuffy puked all her breakfast on the floor again.” I run to the kitchen. My B and I look at each other, look at the clock, and yell:

“HENRY! COME HERE BOY! …………..Good work buddy.Good Dog”

Today's dream destination: Auckland, New Zealand, where the days are getting longer and brighter, not shorter and darker.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lumps and Jiggly bits

I could not put it off any longer. I’ve procrastinated. Told myself I would deal with it when I loose 5 pounds. Made do with items that should be in the dusting rag bag. I had to take care of this before leaving on our trip. Finally, today, I dragged my ass to…
The Swim Suit Store.

I went to the specialty (read pricey) swimwear shop down town. I found a suit I liked, put it on, and stepped out from the little fluorescent-lit torture room to the three way mirror. SWEET MOTHER OF GOD! There were lumps and jiggly bits falling out everywhere spandex meets skin. Straps disappeared into flesh canals. The worst part is, I am not overweight. Well, not by any rational standards. Sure I’m 10 or 12 pounds more than I was at 20, but that does not account for all the loose stuffing that has appeared increasingly every year since I’ve been travelling the wrong-side-of-40 road.

The saleswoman took one look at me and began bringing me suits. “Try this one dear, many of our mature customers like this style.”
“MATURE? Bite me lady!” I wanted to yell.
I tried on the next suit, and faced her inspection. “Hmmmm” she said, “I think we need a little more bust support.”
I looked at her incredulously. This came from a woman whose matronly bosoms could only be supported by a load of re-bar and 20 years of brassiere engineering research & development.

I had to admit though, she knows her work. Each successive suit she brought me was a little better at camouflage and gravity defiance. Finally, at suit 15, we had found one that I would not be completely mortified to wear in public. Except I did not like the brown and gold colour much, and the pattern even less. I longingly picked up the lovely peacock blue suit I had started with. The price tag was $80. No, I could not spend $80 on a totally unflattering swim suit to wear in an impoverished country.

So, the saleswoman rang up the brown and gold suit. HOLY SHIT! And I thought the blue one was expensive. I guiltily put it on the credit card instead of Interac, so I have a month or so to prepare the Love-Of-My-Life for the shock.

Later, I e-mailed my girlfriend an account of the ordeal. She, being mathematically inclined, explained that there is an exponential relationship between the age of our body and the price of the swim suit needed to show it in public. Design miracles do not come cheap.

Today's dream travel destination - Somewhere I would never wear a swim suit:

Monday, October 23, 2006

Screw the leaking roof

In six weeks I am going to Tanzania. Back to Tanzania, for the first time in 32 years. I lived in Dar Es Salaam as a teenager. I have dreamed of going back, vowed to go back, but there were always too many obstacles. Time, money, career pressures, single motherhood. Five years ago I met the
Love Of My Life and forever travel partner. We bought a big old house and created a new household along with my teenage son, 3 cats and a dog. Then there were new obstacles, house renos, mortgage payments, leaky roof, a new puppy, the garden…

Not that we didn’t travel. Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, backpacking in the Cascade mountains, and kayaking in Haida Gwaii. But not Africa. “Too expensive,” or “It would take too much time off work,” we said. “Some day” we promised each other.

Until I veered a little too close to death. Way closer than I ever want to be unless I am over 90. In the summer of 2005 I had to have difficult open heart surgery to repair a wonky valve. Followed by 3 more surgeries to deal with complications. Seven weeks in the hospital. Then months giving myself I.V. drugs twice a day at home.
One night, when it was clear to me I was actually going to live through this, I said to my darling LOML, “Screw the leaking roof, let’s do it.” His eyes lit up. He grinned.
“No, not THAT, I mean let’s go to Africa.” (How did he think the leaking roof was connected with…never mind, the male brain's short circuits will always astound me.)
The timing wasn’t fair because LOML was so grateful I was not, well, dead, he would have agreed to a trip to Pluto. Luckily, I requested Tanzania.

Our roof is going to leak a little longer.

Today's travel dream: Serengeti Park, Tanzania.