Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kiwi, 2001 to 20--

He went missing yesterday morning. At the time, we didn’t know he was missing, of course – we just assumed he was out causing shit around the neighbourhood. We only felt something was really wrong when we came home from Mozartballs and he still wasn’t home. Kiwi doesn’t miss supper.

I can’t count the number of times I went to the back door last night. We even walked around the block calling for him. I’ve had this cat for four years. He is not an affectionate lap cat, but he keeps close to us. He even runs to meet Trevor at the bus stop.

This morning I sat on the back deck in the early morning sun, feeling sad. Still no Kiwi. The yard seemed so empty without that cheerful ‘brrrrdt!’ response to my call, the sound of a heavy form flinging himself over fences and squeezing under wire to get to me.

“Charlie,” I called the dog over. She stared at me with her big, brown, honest eyes. “Charlie, where’s Kiwi?” She looked toward our neighbour’s house.

Back inside, I took out the cards. I had a reading to do for a family member anyway, so I did a quick spread.
Q: “Is he dead?”
A: “Probably”

Q: “Will I ever see him again?”
A: “Definitely not.”

Reduced to miserable acceptance, I got on with my other reading. Suddenly, a knock at the door....

It was the first time I’d been over to the neighbour’s house and I tried not to look around too obviously.
“Yeah, I think he’s down here,” the dad said sleepily, pointing to the basement.
“I told them it was Kiwi!” announced the little boy triumphantly.
“He has been crying all night but he won't come out,” said the Grandma worriedly.
“I pounded on your door last night. You weren't home,” said the Grandpa judgementally.

I called out his name and from the depths of a small room filled to the brim with stuff came a desperate response. I could see two bright, yellow orbs coming out to me. My baby. Not flattened by a car.

In the end, I don’t know what to think about my Tarot reading skills. But I have a new respect for the dog.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006


I was a meme virgin until Schmutzie tagged me. So here goes:

Six Weird Things About Me

1. When I was 10, I used to have to bath in a tin tub in the middle of the kitchen floor, heated by water from the paraffin stove. And I was fine with it. Now, I can’t get up the courage to have a simple bath in our own tub. The bathtub must be very clean (and that means to the touch – no soap scum). There must be no mold in the grout. And none of that gunky black stuff in the corners. But most of all it can’t be in the basement, which is essentially the biggest problem with ours. I just can’t do basement bathtubs. I can shower but only if the shower curtain NEVER touches me. Ugh.

2. I can’t remember names or faces. Ask me to picture someone I’ve met about ten times, I’ll only be able to conjure up a vague impression of them. I can, however, distinguish between 5 different Golden Retrievers at the park.

3. I really enjoy Lynn Johnson’s For Better Or For Worse. It’s not as edgy as it once was, but I still read the strip faithfully. A while ago I realized it was because growing up, it represented what happy, balanced people were supposed to be like.

4. My stuff takes over. Trevor does this imitation of me arriving to visit. I set the suitcase on the bed and poof! Socks and underwear float from the ceiling and come to rest on various surfaces. He says that’s how I unpack.

5. I set a teabag to steep and walked away. An hour later I found it cold so I boiled more water, set the teabag to steep and walked away. An hour later, repeat. And this is a typical day for me.

6. Despite my slovenly ways, I’m very picky about how dishes are washed by hand. I prefer scalding hot water for both the wash and rinse. And if you’re not doing it right, I will sit there pretending not to be really uncomfortable.

Now, tag, you're it! (Only if you feel like it)
The Notional Past
Tuma Lodge
James Whittingham

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What's In A Name? UPDATED

I’ve given some thought to the 'Name Change Issue'. Yes, I’m changing my name. Wait! Let me explain!

To those of you who wonder HOW I could even consider perpetuating an archaic tradition (in which the man has ownership over his woman and she in turn loses her identity), yes, I see your point in some cases, certainly historically. But that’s not the case here. Anyone who knows me will suspect identity and empowerment aren’t really a problem. Anyone who knows Trevor hardly sees an overbearing patriarch.

What if in this day and age, where Trevor and I share power in this household (in a give and take sort of way - I deal with banks because he can't, he deals with the Landlord because I can't), I chose to WELCOME his name? Can that not be an empowered action?

It came down to this: I have two priorities in my life – my family and writing. In the case of ‘my family’, which I already define as Trevor and my future kid(s) (and the fuzz-butts), I want to feel the unity that one name can offer. We are one unit, discernible to everyone by name (especially at border crossings). My identity as linked to this choice I made to help create a new family, the most important people in my life.

On the other hand, my writing is tremendously important to me. It could be the biggest thing I will do outside of the context of my family. It originates from my history and my experience, which would be nothing without the people who gave me life and my name. So God willing if I ever publish, I will do so under my maiden name.

But when the principal inevitably calls us to tell us Juniorita was caught smoking pot in the school washroom, s/he’ll be asking for Mr. or Ms. A--.

“I can’t believe Working gave up her identity,” some people may say. If those people don’t have sense to ask me directly about how I see the issue, then their opinions, frankly, don’t matter a sniff to me. Hmpf. If they do ask and still respectfully disagree, I can dig it. Everyone has their own way, man.

This is the decision that feels right for me. “What about Trevor?!” you ask. Oh. Quite right. Let’s ask him:

WORKING: We at Working have a question for you.
WORKING: Excuse me, if you could stop EDITING for one second....
TREV: yes?
WORKING: How do you feel about me taking your last name but keeping my own as my pseudonym?
TREV: I'm fine with it.
WORKING: Roger that.
WORKING: Get back to work.
WORKING: We have a wedding to pay for.
TREV: oh right.


WORKING: Clarification: Why don't we just both take my name, again?
TREV: But I don't want to be Monica.
TREV: I am Trevor.
WORKING: Avoidance! Red flag on the play!
TREV: I'm not interested in changing my name.
TREV: But thank you for the offer.
TREV: ha
TREV: was that a test?
TREV: Anyone who knows Trevor hardly sees an overbearing patriarch.
TREV: hey waitaminit!
WORKING: Did i just emasculate you? So sorry.
TREV: ouch
WORKING: It does literally mean to castrate
WORKING: Hey, Canada Post just dropped of an Amazon package for you.
TREV: my last book from the Green home buying spree. You can open it if you like. Unless its porn. In which case it was sent to me as a joke by some jerk who WON'T be invited to the wedding.
TREV: Unless its the kind of porn you like. In which case I bought if for us.

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Let Me Just Grab My Swimsuit

TREV: how's your morning?

WORKING: Good. Getting going. Just finished the dishes. Wanted to listen to The Current, doing a special on The Pill.

TREV: oh yeah?

WORKING: It's interesting.
WORKING: Just as confusing as Raw Dog Food.
WORKING: It's a carcinogenic according to the WHO. Contributes to breast cancer, yet prevents ovarian cancer.
WORKING: I'm really starting to think no one really knows anything about anything.
WORKING: Including myself.

TREV: ha

WORKING: Any email from The Landlord?

TREV: oh yes... I'll forward it to you so you can print.

WORKING: Damn, printer's down. Ink.
WORKING: I may have to run to Staples today.

TREV: are you really going to run?

WORKING: I might...?

TREV: sorry, just being simple

WORKING: I CAN run, you know.
WORKING: Watch me.

TREV: sure
TREV: right
TREV: whatever


TREV: its like Baywatch

WORKING: Put your glasses on, old man.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Raw Food Chronicles

We started with kibble. Charlie got a little chunky in the middle. And then the farting started.

So we started on store-bought ground raw food. It worked – she lost weight. People complimented her shiny coat and amazing energy. Best of all, THERE WAS NO FARTING. Of course, we had to give up the possibility of ever owning a home just to pay for dog food.

So we switched again – half high quality kibble, half raw. It worked. For awhile. Then the farting started again. D'uh, said the Internet, kibble takes 24 hours to digest! Raw only 12! NEVER MIX THE TWO!! KIBBLE IS EVIL!

You people are thinking, “f*ck the Internet. We feed kibble and our dogs are fine. What’s a few dog farts? Suck it up and get thee to a Walmart for discount dog food.” But have you ever been in a small suite with a dog who farts on average every 2 minutes? Yes, we counted. We had to. We were losing our minds (and high on dog farts). They were all the ‘silent but deadlies’. All night, all day. It was bad. Just ask our friends who, funny enough, stopped visiting around that time.

So back to the store-bought, ‘dip into your RRSP's’ dog food. There has to be another way, I thought to myself (and announced loudly to Trevor). I was going to make my own raw dog food. The Internet told me about 10% this and 20% that. We picked out $100 worth of supplements. "It'll pay for itself," I reassured Trevor as he handed over his debit card.

But then Internet started talking about Raw Feeding, which is different from grounding up veggies and meat. It’s about giving your dog the ultimate, primal pleasure. Big, meaty chunks of meat, bone intact. They’ll be healthier! Their teeth will be cleaner! They will be psychologically well because they can rip, tear, pulverize their meals like their ancestors did!

So, we tried it. Well, I tried it. Trevor sort of stood on the sidelines saying, “are you sure this is a good idea?” as I took a $70 meat cleaver to a skinned rabbit and plunked it on the $40 scale. Charlie liked it well enough. I was disappointed there was no ripping and tearing. Just some crunching and a lot of the usual gulping.

We watched and waited, which in our life means, “seek ye the poop!” Oh she pooped all sorts of things. Chalk, bone shards, BLOOD.

I gave her take-out sushi last night. That’s how confused and irrational I am about this whole topic. What does the Internet say? "Kibble provides a balanced nutrition and keeps your dog's teeth clean."

Stupid Internet.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Working Woes

Oh it’s been ages since my last entry. I’ve been sulking. After four months of unemployment I now have to get used to multiple contracts at once, a new schedule that leaves little time for Tarot or naps, and a brain that screams I don’t wanna no less than 60 times a day.

So I used my sister’s visit last weekend as an excuse to rebel in every sense – shopping, eating, general lazing around. It was wonderful. It really helped me relax about this whole working thing. I mean, how bad is it really? Not that bad.

In Marriage News, Trevor and I have entered the murky territory of the ‘pre-marital financial disclosure.’ Turns out I’m the irresponsible financial teenager in this relationship. Trevor has a cheery outlook on the whole thing, that we can have big goals despite past mistakes. Maybe because of past mistakes. I want us to start this marriage with a plan and some good habits (and I'm talking to YOU, Working).

So I’m going to stop whining about it keep up this momentum of working.

Even if it feels like the sky is falling on my head sometimes.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. All of you trying to work out the coffee pot code, it hasn't given us any new signs. Perhaps the mutiny has been cancelled. I'll keep you posted.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Morning Coffee

Trev stands looking at the coffee pot. “Hey.”
“It’s a star, now.” He’s referring to a little logo that has appeared on the display screen. Yesterday, it was a black teardrop with a wave through it. “Maybe the coffee pot needs cleaning?” he guessed. The manual was no help. He shrugged, “Maybe it’s about to unleash an apocalyptic flood of blood?”
Today, the star. “Maybe it’s like on Lost and a bunch of hieroglyphs are going to show up because I forgot to enter the numbers.” He pours himself a cup of coffee.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday Do-Over

“I feel so good today!”
“You feel better?”
“Yup. Yesterday was a real turning point.”
“See? We have to go hang out around Chinatown more often.”
“I have a shit load to get done, but I’m actually excited about work this week. I feel great!”
“That’s good! But, um, you’re sure you’re not being slightly manic depressive? I mean swinging between highs and lows?”
“Oh probably. But what’s wrong with swinging?”
“Yeaaaaaaah baby! [gyrates hips, emphasis on groin] Oh. That’s not what you meant. [Pause] You don’t find me funny at all, do you?”

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Charlie and Percy Show # 7

There's a new The Charlie and Percy Show!

Sorry for the delay. This was recorded a week ago. Trev has been out of town and has only just had time to upload. In this seventh installment, Matt and Trev discuss basic grammar pet peeves. Chocolate mysteriously appears. Also, Trev makes a big announcement. Cheers.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dumb Ass Move

Picture this: you hug and thank your friends, kiss their babies and wave goodbye as you pull out of their driveway. So far, a promising beginning to the 8-hour drive between Cincinnati and Toronto.

However, the very first turn you take is a wrong turn (10 minute delay). Then you exit on the wrong highway and almost end up in Columbus (20 minute delay). But you are finally on your way. You drive and drive and drive. Suddenly, 20 minutes on the other side of Toledo you panic. You’ve just realized you left your purse, with the passports and all your ID, money, cards, the cell phone, BACK IN CINCINNATI. You have no choice but to turn around (4 hour delay).

You and your loved one make light of the situation in front of your friends (and use their bathroom). But 2 hours later, when you point out that you’ve only just reached the place where you finally stopped screaming “FUCK!!!!” before, your loved one doesn’t laugh. You realize it’s going to be a long mutherfarking day.

Glad to be home.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Weekend Away

Okay, so I'm in Cincinnati but I've crossed the Mason Dixon Line 4 times today. In fact, not 20 minutes ago, I was in Kentucky getting absolutely smashed to a German polka band here. Now I'm composing this entry while a cockatoo yells, "hi Skooter! Jackson, come here!" in my ear.

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