Archive | May, 2013

A walk in the park…

29 May

Zoe

I religiously and faithfully walk my dog 2, sometimes 3 and even 4 times a day regardless of the wind, rain, snow, fog or sun.  I moved 2 months ago and I now live beside the largest park in Halifax which for a dog owner is amazing. Millie and I hit Point Pleasant around 7 every morning and we typically see the same people.  We exchange good mornings with other dogs/owners/walkers/runners/bikers.  Of course there are your typical aloof standard poodle owners (not Eli and Amanda), angry runners and those who classify themselves as “not being morning people”, but generally it is a ‘pleasant’ time at Point Pleasant. We usually see the same people in the morning; the evening isn’t as predictable as there is more time in the evening.  Sometimes we go at 5, sometimes 6, sometimes 7.  You get the picture.  Point Pleasant is one of the only parks in the city which allows dogs to be off leash – the areas are clearly marked, so if you do not want to be around dogs off leash you can easily do so. Obviously it attracts a lot of dogs.

I have noticed that when the “summer” arrives suddenly dogs and people who’ve been hibernating for the past 6 months come out of the wood work.  Yesterday was a beautiful day in Halifax.  After my dress came down from my ears (see earlier entry to understand) I made plans with my friend Stephanie to go for a walk in Point Pleasant after work.  Stephanie has a Miniature Schnauzer named Zoe.  Zoe has the disposition of a bunny rabbit – quiet, gentle, kind of timid.  A real sweetie – the pic at the top is Zoe.  So, we were having an enjoyable walk chatting about recipes, boyfriends, summer plans, etc.  Zoe ran ahead over the crest of a hill when all of the sudden we heard this women screaming “get the F*ck away from me dog. Get out of here or I will kick you in the head.” If a police officer asked me to recant what I saw I would say: a greasy woman weighing about 110 pounds wearing jogging pants.  A man holding a small child was sitting on the ground. He appeared to be just as afraid of her as we were.” Once she saw us she screamed “Get your dog away from me or I will kick it all the way to f-ing Dartmouth.”  She said the full F word. This leads me to believe that she must have been from Dartmouth as I, being from Halifax, would say “I will kick your dog to the Dingle” or perhaps “all the way to Citadel Hill”.  Stephanie, appalled by the attack of this vicious non-canine creature  said “I am sorry I am a stranger, why are you talking to me this way, dogs are allowed off leash here?”  She said “I will talk to you whatever f’n way I want to talk to you.  Your dog isn’t allowed here”.  The hilarity of the situation was she was sitting at the base of a large sign which states “Off-leash By Law..”  She might have been from Dartmouth and couldn’t read? I can’t be sure.  Now, I am not good with confrontation especially with a raving lunatic who looked like she might hang out with Rob Ford.  I said “You have a child with you – a great example you are setting.”  How very prolific of me.  I am sure she will change her parenting skills as a result of it. She kept screaming and we walked away. 

Here is what I don’t understand.  Why would a woman (who acts more like an animal than any animal in the park) who hates dogs  make the effort to drive from Dartmouth to the only park in downtown Halifax where dogs can run off leash, smoke cigarettes and sit right where dogs run?  Now, I realize as an owner you are meant to be in control of your dog, but off leash indicates that the risk of a dog approaching you is higher. To me that is like saying “I hate children so I like to go and park myself at a playground and scream obscenities at any kid who comes near me.”  Or “I hate the pools, but I like to go and scream at people when I get splashed.”

I don’t know who that woman was or why she was so nasty,but I do know that her attitude was far more offensive than Zoe running over to say hello.

*** The Dartmouth comments are just to add to the story. I like Dartmouth no matter what most people say 😉

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In case you get hit by a bus…

28 May

Wind Dress

We have all heard the saying “make sure you wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus, right?  Well today I didn’t get hit by a bus, but I had an incident with a bus and it does involve underwear. 

Halifax is a windy city.  Barrington Street in particular is a bloody wind tunnel.  If you ever want your hair to remain looking gorgeous I would advise you to not walk down Barrington Street.  If ever you want to wear a dress and not have it blown up, I would advise you to not walk down Barrington Street.

I just moved offices and I needed a few frames, so I planned to run down to Des Serres on (yes) Barrington Street.  Today is one of the first nice days we’ve had in Halifax in what seems like weeks, so I of course pulled on a super cute dress which happens to have a full bottom (not form fitting – not a good dress to wear in wind).  In addition, the Halifax Mooseheads won the Memorial Cup so there was a big celebration downtown.  You get the picture – the streets are full.  I take my oh so adorable dog Millie to work with me and she loves getting out of the office, however, on our way to Des Serres we pass by a street where she went to a groomer about 2 years ago. They say elephants have good memories, well this little Westie remembers every incident that has ever happened to her.  She pulls hard in the opposite direction when we walk within 2 blocks of the groomer (which isn’t even there anymore). So today the streets were full, Millie was pulling, I had a big purse on my shoulder and of course it is windy.  On the way down to Des Serres I was able to use my one free arm to hold down my dress.  After making my purchase I came out the door and stepped out onto Barrington.  Right away my dress started to blow up – I caught it with my kind of free hand.  I arranged my bag, purse, and stressed out Westie as best I could and held one arm close in an effort to hold my dress down.  All went well for about 100 paces when I hit the corner of Spring Garden and Barrington.  A bus came along and created an abnormally large gust of wind from behind me.  That is when the entire back of my dress flipped up and didn’t come down.  Under my dress I had on a pair of big ugly Spanx type underwear which ALWAYS ride up my butt. I couldn’t get it back down due to the purse, large bag and pulling dog.  Seeing as it is so nice out today a lot of people are eating outside on Spring Garden. 3 guys who were munching on Bud The Spud fries saw a lot more than the Memorial Cup on their lunch hour.  I had on great shoes, a cute dress, have my hair done in a nice bun and none of that matters to those men because all they saw was a chick with big ugly underwear on with her dress up to her ears. Shit.

 

The incident with the ham…

27 May

Ham

I listen to CBC all day at work and although sometimes I wonder what the hell I am listening to, I generally feel more educated come the end of my workday.  Stuart McLean is a favorite of mine as I love his story telling abilities, although sometimes I need to leave before one of his tales has ended.  I have found myself saying “come on, get to the point, get to the end…”  I saw him at the Rebecca Cohn a few months back where he read one of his listener stories. After attending the show I thought I must send him a story.  The website claims that every submission is read.  I typed up my story, hit send and got a reply which said “thank you for your submission, we’ve received 1000’s of stories from listeners and as promised we will read all of them.  So, in the meantime don’t call us, we’ll call you if your story is selected”.  I thought it was a lost cause at that point.  Well 3 weeks later I got a response.  They loved my story and want to read it on air.  In the case that you don’t listen to Stuart here is what I sent him.

Growing up my very best friend was (and still is) my 1st cousin once removed (a term my grand aunt Rita confirmed is a genealogy truth), Sarah.  Our mothers are first cousins. Although we grew up with common genes and community our lives were very different and this is mainly due to the contrast between our mothers. You could describe Sarah’s mother Aileen as unique, random, rare and certainly unpredictable. Aileen provided me with story material, laughter and many unique experiences. I have so many stories about this woman; a memory that sticks out occurred one afternoon when Aileen picked us up from my part-time job at the mall. Prior to picking us up that day Aileen hit Sobey’s for groceries and so there were bags all over the car. On this particular day we hopped in amongst the groceries and made our way out of the parking lot. The first part of Church Street was an upwards climb followed by a peak and then the downhill part.  At the bottom of the hill there was a 3 way stop. We were clipping along when Aileen put her foot on the brake in order to stop at the intersection.  Suddenly Aileen exclaimed “the car doesn’t seem to be stopping.  My God the brakes aren’t working!” Normally this intersection is quite busy but for some unknown reason the coast was clear that day and so we pulled a Fred Flintstone (Aileen turned the car to make a left without slowing down and I believe we went up on two wheels).  Few have ever seen a Cutlass Sierra being driven by a middle aged woman ever make such moves!  We were now on St. Ninian’s Street which was long and flat, however, it ended at a busy intersection which required us to stop.  We continued burning along past the cathedral where Aileen, a devote Catholic, blessed herself and said a Hail Mary.  It was apparent that the car was not going to stop so we blew right through the stop sign causing cars coming from opposite directions to slam on their brakes.  At this time Sarah said “Mom, Mom, put the car in park”!  “Aileen followed the advice and slammed the gear shift into park.  The car made sounds similar to that of a cow dying before coming to an abrupt stop. Aileen got out of the drivers seat and took a look at the pedals of the car. To our complete and utter disbelief wedged under the brake pedal was a boiled ham. Upon making this discovery Aileen exclaimed “My god, can you believe that we nearly died at the hands of a ham?”  It seems that the ham rolled out of a grocery bag under the drivers
seat and wedged itself under the brake pedal.  Can you imagine all the pieces that had to fall together to get that ham under the pedal?  Every time I eat ham it reminds me of that day and how my life nearly ended “at the hands” of one.

I’ve noticed something

11 May

My entire life I’ve been a talker.  My grade primacy teacher named me Motormouth, I constantly got in trouble for talking all through my school years and yes it continues in that I talk to most anyone I come across.  This gift of the gab has led me to many hilarious encounters over the years. I must give people some sense of comfort as well because people tell me things.  Really personal things.  They tell me these things in places they normally wouldn’t be talking about their personal lives.  I love this.  I think it has added to my life experience. 

I’ve noticed something: we are turning into a self portrait taking non talking society.  I am currently in Miami for a short vacation.  Maurice has been golfing early in the morning and getting back around 2 pm daily,  so while he is slicing it up on the golf course I’ve had time to do whatever I want. I have been doing a lot of people watching and talking to strangers while I stroll around this odd place called Miami Beach.  On my morning walks I’ve noticed girls in string bikini’s lying on the edge of the water in mermaid-like poses attempting to get the best shot (after 9 tries) to post, text, email or Insta-gram, or wherever else. Over and over again it is people standing alone with a phone posing for a shot.  I even saw one older woman with both a bath cap and baseball cap on taking a picture of herself. I haven’t seen anyone talk to each other!  Last night we went to a pretty swanky place for dinner.  We had driven 8 hours yesterday and got back to the hotel at 9 pm.  In Key West it was so hot I felt like I had peed my dress, so I needed to take a quick shower.  We were in the restaurant by 9:30. Point being – Maurice and I were the two most thrown together ones in the joint.  There were a lot of beautiful people there and those beautiful people looked like they had spent hours putting themselves together.  I was doing a lot of gawking.  One family came and sat beside us. The mother was WAY TOO OLD to be wearing what she was wearing and she had a look on her face like someone had farted the entire dinner.  The daughter was very pretty and she kind of looked like her face was made of wax because it didn’t move.  So, there they sat with snot faces having an “awesome time”.  We watched them take pictures of each other throughout the meal and the ONLY time they smiled was when the camera flashed and the only time they spoke was to say “show me the picture.”  They must have took at least 10 retakes. Every night it has been the same thing – people put an enormous amount of effort into looking good, coming to the restaurants we’ve been at and the entire meal they are on their phones taking pictures and then doing things on their phones.  On Facebook it will look like they were having an awesome time as in that picture moment it was the only time they smiled and sat close to one another.  They weren’t having an “awesome time” although all 567 friends will like it and tell her she looks amazing.  Maurice and I (more me but the poor sucker is forced to go along with my stranger talks) have chatted with lots of people. I have also noticed that my “stranger breakthroughs” have become more difficult in recent days.  People sometimes react like I am going to steal their dog rather than pet it.  I’ve had some amazing conversations on airplanes, but now people are ear-plugged up.  On one of my flight segments here there were no in flight units, but it seemed most people had something of their own to use. I was so nervous to go to the bathroom after the reaction the guy on the outside had when the man in the middle needed to get up. It was as if he owned the aisle and we had interrupted his marriage ceremony. I certainly wasn’t going to strike it up with him! I overheard two guys at the pool chatting the other day about the fact that they both have recently bought hand guns and “lots of ammunition” and that they think teachers should have guns in the schools as a way to deter kids from gun violence.  I said something funny to them and at first they looked at me really strangely.  I am not sure if it was because I am Canadian or because I spoke to them.  I was nervous they were going to pull out their gun.

My point is: let’s stop being so “self centric” and connect with other people.  You do have a lot more fun that way. 

 

 

I will never do that…

8 May

So, I turned 33 on the weekend!  When I say that number it sounds kind of crazy because I don’t feel much different than I did at 22, 26 and 30.  In fact, I really like being 33.  

I remember being younger than I am now and saying “oh I would never do that”, “I would never wear that”, etc.  One specific thing is wearing a purse over my shoulder.  At that time I thought fanny packs were the way to go and having a shoulder purse seemed so “old”.  However, as I got older I migrated towards the over the shoulder version.  I am very strange about expiration dates.  I think this dates back to an elementary school experience I had with drinking sour milk.  In grade two Mrs. Broussard made me drink it and I have been milk scarred ever since. I recall Mom looking at something that was over date smelling it, cutting mold of it and saying “it is fine”.  I would start gagging and being terribly dramatic.  Well guess what?  I now smell things and I cut off mold from cheese.  What has happened to me?

There is one thing I will NEVER do.  Yesterday I made my way to Miami via the Philadelphia airport.  I had about 1.5 hours to spare so I was just strolling around.  Along my stroll I decided to pop into a washroom to have a pee.  This is where it happened.  Why is it that every time I go in an airport bathroom some older woman comes in and literally blows her arse off in the stall beside me?  As in, this women let out a fart that was so loud it nearly lifted me off the toilet I was on. No matter what age I am I will forever be clenching my butt cheeks in a public washroom or at least ensure that I am 100% alone.  That is one thing I will never do.