A New (for me) Fur-Baby!

A New (for me) Fur-Baby!

Photo ©Kyla Ward, April 16, 2016

Photo ©Kyla Ward, April 16, 2016

Meet Ringo! He’s a 7-year-old American Bulldog hailing from Georgia and most recently Florida.

I get to be Foster Mom to the little dude – he belongs to a very dear friend’s son, and he fits right in with our weird little pack of all-sorts.

Say “Apple”.

Say “Apple”.

Axe Murderers Don't Wear Plaid - Click to see normal size and more of this gallery.
Axe Murderers Don’t Wear Plaid
Taken March 21, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

I know this post is so late that it’s near unforgivable. Here I am at last, though, having killed Photoshop and reanimated it so that I can use it again.

Our Detroit trip shrunk a little… thankfully. My sad attempt at “pre-planning” failed miserably enough that we ran out of time to get all the way to Detroit and back in the few days left of my RTO, so I was ecstatic when Cardiogirl emailed me with, “How about meeting half-way, Betch?!”

She and Mr. C. had decided that an overnight with their three girls as far as Grayling would be a nice little surprise for the family. Imagine being 8, loaded into the car to go to McDonald’s for supper, and ending up miles away in a strange hotel, face-to-face with a couple of whacked-out Canuckians. Surprise!

Ky and I decided we’d go a day early and stay over in Gaylord, simply to experience a certain Chinese restaurant we’d heard nice things about. That stay was worth it, just for the meal, which the hotel paid for. They also gave us our breakfast, a fabulous pool and mittsful of free DVDs to watch. I think we may have fallen asleep in the middle of Movie #4…

On to Grayling….

Check in was for 3 pm, and we were early, so we decided to drive around town. I happened to park directly in front of Ky’s idea of Heaven:

Heaven:  A Whole Store Dedicated to Jerky - Click to see normal size and more of this gallery.
Heaven: A Whole Store Dedicated to Jerky
Taken March 21, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

We got back to the hotel at around 1:30, where they let us check in early, and we wandered the most kid-friendly place I’ve been in. Ky started to get nervous over meeting CG’s three girls.

Ky loves kids, but as she says, “You never know if they’re going to be annoying, and what if they are?”

My nerves were shot, too. What if, even after all the blog-comments, and emails, and phone-calls, it turns out that I meet my best Shetbag face-to-face and… we have nothing to say?

What if her husband, whom I really know nothing about turns out to be an arse?

What if her kids are all run-amoks and she just lets ’em go until I want to stomp on them?

What if everybody at work is right, and these people turn out to be mass-murderers who troll the internet as a hobby, looking for stupid Canadian people (like us, for example) to entice into the States, and then they chloroform us and we wake up in the dark somewhere, drugged out, packed in ice, and missing important organs? I mean, they are from Detroit…

In CardioGirl’s post about the trip, she mentions her own misgivings, but she was a little more succinct. “What if she’s lame?” I guess maybe that’s what my own concerns boiled down to, but Canadians do tend to wax eloquent, eh?

Anyway…

After pestering the poor Front-Desk Man over and over, he promised he would have CG call us upon their arrival, so we went back to our room and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And then the phone rang and I climbed up onto the ceiling and clung there, afraid to go meet them. Ky managed to peel me off, dress me up a little, and we went to the pool area, to find CardioGirl, et al, waving and grinning and yes, I even got a hug from the non-hugging Betch, can you believe that?!

And her first words after “Hi!” were: “Say ‘Apple’.” Apparently, the Canuckian accent is funny as hell. And when “Eh?” slips your lips, an American will laugh really hard. Every time.

We spent a most wonderful less-than-24-hours, half-naked in a hot-tub drinking beer (yes, that would be my favourite part), watching Ky have way too much fun with the most well-behaved, articulate, cute, non-fighting little girls I have ever met; shared two meals, and generally got pruney soaking in chlorine.

And that pic up top is the only usable photo I managed in our entire visit.

We are going again.

Soon.

And this time, we’ll make it to Detroit.

(And this time, I’ll buy the beer, Mr. C.)

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Heart of Glass” – Blondie

Guess What I Found on the “Dance Floor”…?

Guess What I Found on the “Dance Floor”…?

Is It, or Isn't It...?Taken November 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550In a Parking Lot, Wellington St West, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Is It, or Isn’t It…?
Taken November 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550
In a Parking Lot, Wellington St West, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Right, so I worked a night shift today (or last night), and have not yet slept, although I’m working through the night again tomorrow (or today [or tonight]).

You’ll have to excuse me; my brains have had a stir. See above.

It’s a lonely vigil, the night shift. There’s nobody else to dance with, for one thing. Not that I mind dancing alone (and I do dance in the parking lot all by myself, through the long night. I do.), but there are fewer 5-minute conversations, because there are fewer people – which is why I’m alone to begin with; fewer people to deal with means no side-kick for Les to dance with – and those few people tend to be tired and grumpy. Especially when it rains.

Myself, I like the rain in the middle of the night. I don’t have to sweep the “dance floor” in the rain, although I kind of like that part of the job. It’s rhythmic and soothing, and sometimes I find cool things. Like money – in 5 cent, 10 cent, 2-bits, and sometimes (gasp!) even whole dollar increments.

And then there’s that thing at the top of the page, stuck up there before the words start. Yes, it does look like that, doesn’t it? Or what I’ve always imagined that that would look like, if ever I encountered it, and up until I came across that ziploc bag while sweeping prior to the rain in the middle of last night, I had never encountered it.

If that’s what it really is, anyway.

And you know I’m not going to tell you that, at least, until the end of the story, right?

Right.

I’m going to interrupt here, one day later, to add some audio. With thanks to Suzi and Dale, I’ve worked up the guts to record the remaining portion of this post, as practice for The Waitress AudioBook project – you know, test the equipment and software, find my public speaking voice again, blah, blah, blah.

I’m pleased to say, that I dropped back into it with very few mishaps, and no tears whatsoever. In fact, I actually enjoyed myself, which I wouldn’t have believed possible, previously. I may just do this again.

Click the link – have a listen – read along. Sorry about the lack of a bouncing ball to follow, but maybe I’ll work that in when I switch the blog over to flash, which should happen sometime next decade with the flash conversion success rate that I boast…

Introducing…

Radio Les!

Guess What I Found in the Parking Lot? – © Les Becker, 2008
Click it! Click it!

(You know you want to…)

So….

I stand there in the parking lot, broom in hand, staring down at this ziploc bag, and nudge it with the very manly steel-toed toe of my very manly steel-toed boot…. and I look around as nonchalantly as is possible when one comes across what might be seriously illegal ziploc baggie-filler in the middle of the night at one’s place of employment, with Han Solo’s voice running through my head: “I don’t know! Fly casual!” Or, in this case, sweep casual….

Eventually, I get up the guts to pick it up. It’s heavier than I would have imagined cocaine would be; packed into a hard little, perfect little, ultra-thin zippo-lighter-sized rectanglular-shaped brick.

A nasty thought strikes me: Is this some kind of test?!

Not a “set up from the Boss” kind of test… I’m thinking more along the lines of God, or the Universe, or Whomever/Whatever really runs things… a kind of like, “Here! Have some of this. Free, even!” kind of test. I mean, if I had found a baggie of pot in the parking lot in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t be blogging this.

And I’m pretty sure I’d be sound asleep right now, too… 😀

But it very obviously isn’t pot… and I’ve no idea if it’s what I think it might be, which is coke, and on top of that, no idea if, assuming I had the opportunity/nerve to open it up, I would be able to tell cocaine from anything else that might resemble cocaine.

All I really know, is that whatever it is or isn’t, it’s illegal, and I’d better “do the right thing”, or risk arrest, and the loss of my groovy-cool new J.O.B.

So, what’s the “right thing to do”?

Do I sneak off to the bathroom and unwrap the thing…? No. I’m not worried about temptation (although wouldn’t that be a bugger – to crawl out from under, find a job I like for a change, and then get hooked on coke in the employee bathroom the first time out because I found somebody’s lost stash and thought, “Ah, what the hell…?”), but opening it up wouldn’t exactly look good on me later, would it?

Do I take it in to the “inside” side of the parking lot, to Pretty Girl who’s working tonight and Show and Tell it to her? I decide against… Pretty Girl is nice (she dances when I tell her to), but I don’t really know her that well. What if she’s a coke-head? It could happen – maybe she dropped it.

I decide to go inside and call the Boss – yes, wake him up out of a sound sleep, and ask him what to do. That’s the ticket.

At which point, a 5-Minute Conversationalist rolls up to park, grumpy as all hell, and I stuff the baggie in my pocket and go conversate.

And then I forget all about it.

I KNOW!!! Can you imagine?!

But that’s what I do… until the sun rises, and I’m suddenly surrounded by 5-Minute Conversationalists and it isn’t until the Boss pulls up and parks that I remember it.

And then shift-change is upon us, and things go nuts, because we have to shut everything down for a whole minute-and-a-half and all the grumpy 5-Minute Conversationalists are freaking because they have to wait for their conversations, and by the time it calms down and I’m free to talk to the Boss about the baggie full of drugs I found in his parking lot, my Idiot Child (now don’t come down on me for renaming my formerly wonderful albeit sometimes stupid kid – she’s a full-blown teenager now, clinically insane and has recently earned the new name, believe me) comes flying into the fray to tell me she missed her bus, and can I please, please drive her all the way to the far edge of town to school?

To which I find myself driving in a downpour, with a minor child, and me with no purse (hence, no driver’s license), with my pockets stuffed full of cocaine.

I’m certain I’m going to be stopped for driving erratically. I am, in point of fact, driving very erratically, being in a panic about my pending arrest and all. The knowledge that I am about to become the much-honoured Family Cup Holder does not please me nearly as much as I’ve always believed it would.

I’m sure that, even if I don’t get stopped by the police, I’m certain to run a red light, plow through twenty-seven other vehicles, roll the Prissy-van, mow down a whole bloody mess of school-children, and eventually wake up from my coma in handcuffs because somebody is going to find cocaine in my pockets, dammit, and, somehow, I don’t think, “I found it in the parking lot,” is gonna fly… Nuh-uhhh.

I decide to drop my Idiot Child off at school, and then drive to the police station with my contraband and turn myself in. I’m pretty sure they’ll believe the parking lot story if I surrender the goods of my own volition, so I concentrate on not killing anyone, and driving safely, and I must be doing alright, because I turn into my driveway having had only two fists shaken in my direction, and three or four fingers, ummm, fingered at me.

Yes. I turn into my driveway… having driven by rote and gone home rather than the police station.

At this point, I decide, to hell with it all, I’m going to flush it and forget it. I get inside, lock the door, lock the bathroom door, you know, to be on the safe side, and unwrap the hard little, perfect little, ultra-thin zippo-lighter-sized rectanglular-shaped brick.

Which turns out to be a dead camera battery wrapped in a tissue and folded into a ziploc bag for recycling.

Lucky for me… because a few minutes later, I discover that my toilet won’t flush.

Some drug dealer I’d make. I’m disgusted with myself. I don’t deserve The Family Cup after all.

And Google is going to send me some wicked-weird visitors because of this post, I know it.

Not-So-Random Song-for-the-Day: “Cocaine” – Eric Clapton

When Does the Fat Lady Sing?!

When Does the Fat Lady Sing?!

DO draw up a floor plan for the new space before determining any furniture choices. Your favourite sofa may look like it fits in your new home — make sure it does! As well as assessing your furniture for room arrangements, measure large, wide pieces like sofas to see if they’ll fit through the front door, and keep in mind any stairs or elevators to be negotiated.

  blog it

Guess who hadda buy a new F-ing couch…?

You got that right.

And the new one didn’t want to go down the stairs, either. Fluffy-the-Car-Shark was in charge of that particular escapade while I was at work, thank God, or I would’ve just sat in the parking lot and cried.

Fluffy is not a crier. Fluffy is a Take Charge Kinda Guy. He stood between the building and the moving van with his arms crossed and wouldn’t let the delivery guys leave until they got the new and smaller hide-a-bed in the door, down the stairs and set up.

Then he made them clean the drywall dust off the sides of it, where they had scraaaaaaaaaped it down the stairwell. I now have a beddish kind of thing to sleep in, and although smaller, it’s a lot more comfortable than the concrete couch/bed that I bought at the J.O.B. And it goes nicely with the chair and ottoman that matched the original.

None of the above are completely paid for, but Fluffy got the New Couch People to store the Old New Couch until it can be sold. He also talked them into delivering the New New Couch at no charge and with no money down. I will have to pay somebody eventually, I suppose…

I still haven’t got the dregs out of the old apartment, or cleaned it. I’ll have to do that on Monday (I snagged an extra day because of the Some Kind of Canuckian Holiday Weekend that happens at the end of every August), because tomorrow after work, I will be accompanying Fluffy and four teenaged girls to a foreign country to witness the sacred insanity that the Fly-Girl has committed herself to.

And to drink.

We will be returning some time on Sunday evening, and with luck, maybe I’ll be able to get the last of the crap to the charity drop-off and clean the old place then. That way I could go hiking or beaching with The Oogily Bay Girls on Monday.

Or hell, maybe I’ll just hand them the car keys and sit in the sauna all day…

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Superman Can’t Walk” – Good Charlotte