Monday, August 30, 2010

Whenever I let Linz flip channels she picks something either girly (usually found on W network) or real and dramatic involving midgets or hoarders (usually found on TLC). The other day she was happy to stop on Golden Girls. So, just for fun, try to remember this episode from 1985.

Blanche’s nephew is coming to stay for a week or two because Blanche’s sibling’s rocky marriage is in repair mode somewhere warm and sunny. Dorothy fears this will put her out because she is studying for exams of some sort but agrees because, as Sophia, with her old Sicilian values, put it, “We do for family!” The little punk comes to stay, actually arriving under police escort, and is completely disrespectful to the girls and their household. He parties with random friends (who all have awesome mullets) and is insolent until, in one heated moment, Sophia slaps him. He storms out onto the veranda in a pouty rage and Blanche becomes upset with Sophia and asks her, “Is that all you Italians know how to do is yell and hit people?”

To which, she replies, “No. We also know how to…

What does Sophia say?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Wore Two Sunglasseses

What do you do if you’re a Sheik with a trillion-dollar float, an army of slave labour, a reputation to uphold, an ego to serve and coastal neighbours that try to one-up you all the time. You build Dubai!Between the reflection off the sea and the glass skyscrapers, Dubai is the shiniest place on Earth.

Instead of on the convergence of two rivers, or on the site of a historical settlement, Dubai is what a city would look like if it were founded on showmanship.

In Dubai, you don’t want to live where you can afford to live and you could never afford to live where you would want to.

It’s a giant playground for the rich. We had fun, are we aren't even rich, that's why we didn't go skiing, but we did enjoy a $15 cocktail at the base of the ski hill.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First Things First

One of the first things I did in Abu Dhabi was get a haircut. I even saved up some growth for the event. I was told it was something I’d want to experience. The barber pulled the red curtain closed and turned up what looked like Arabic CSI on the crappy little TV. Heroes with thick black moustaches pointed empty guns and mimicked recoil at the bad guys in thick black moustaches as they sped off in a getaway goat milk truck. Then the heroes had fits in the street with really frustrated looks on their faces. Sometimes the barbers would all yell at each other from behind their curtains about a certain scene – they were all on the same channel. After a standard head shave he reclined the chair for my shave. He drew his straight razor and began stroking it across the leather strap while still watching his TV. I really hoped he was going to be looking at me for this part of the procedure. This is the only time in my adult life that I have used, to a T, the advice my mother gave when I was a child and getting my hair cut: “be still like a statue”. But the service went well, but for a few nicks. I felt like De Niro as Capone in the opening scene to The Untouchables. This was followed by the barber slapping five separate layers of goop on my face for my (I guess customary) man-facial. It tingled, it was nice. So I sat there patiently with a giant goop beard watching all moustache TV before I was toweled off and sent on my way. The 30 degree breeze was actually cool across my face during the walk home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How We Deal

So the entire 0.43% of the Earth’s land surface known as Saskatchewan suffered a 4-day, sideways blizzard which brought in a couple feet of snow. It blocked highways, cut power to communities, dehydrated cows and strained people’s relationships with their cars. But nothing brings otherwise indifferent humans together like being in the same boat. No car remains stuck on city road because people literally leap to push or shovel you out. It’s just standard procedure.

Speaking of which, here are the steps to successfully enter the roadway from your driveway after a snow storm.
1. Start car with remote start and let warm up for 15 minutes.
2. Get in car and back up just slightly past the neighbour’s house, snowman, tree, snow bank, etc, so that you can confirm no cars are coming from either direction.
3. Pull ahead again as far as you can.
4. Put vehicle in reverse and floor it so that you’re travelling at least 40 kmh by the time you reach the end of your driveway.
5. Plow back of car into snow shovelled onto road the night before.
6. At sidewalk, crank wheel in desired direction. This should launch the vehicle into a healthy sideways skid landing it in the middle of the road where other vehicles have bravely made tire ruts.
7. Put car in drive.
8. Get stuck.
9. Roll down window and thank neighbourhood kids for the push.
10. Continue driving.

This morning there was a guy whose truck had become stuck randomly SIDEWAYS at the end of our street. When I rolled up I got out to help push but it was a lost cause. It was a rear wheel drive pick up with no weight in the back and bald tires. He simply couldn’t get over the small bump in the packed snow that sat in front of his front tire. And he wasn’t helping because he just kept spinning his tires, creating enough friction to melt the very top of the snow which promptly refroze into smooth ice. Someone had even joined me pushing but had to leave to catch the bus. Finally he got out, flustered and agitated and started telling me about how he had been clean for the last few days in preparation for a surgery and this was the last thing he needed, “Maybe this will help.” He said jokingly, then added, “So if you see this truck abandoned later, you know where I’ll be”. The tire store, I hoped. He then grabbed the only thing he had in the back of his truck that could be used for digging which was some flimsy piece of metal siding and started hacking at the ice around his back tires. At this point I had to tell him I had to leave or I was going to be late for work. And that double-double wasn’t going to ordering itself on the way. Luckily we had pushed him back far enough for me to get around him.

Somehow, in the process of pushing his truck, I kinked my neck and can’t turn my head one way so have made a chiropractic appointment. Except I don’t like how chiropractors have turned into pussies. I liked when they used to twist you up and crack the shit out of you. Now it’s all about little baby pushes and tapping you with little plastic toys.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So we opened gifts the other night since Linz and I won’t be together on Christmas (at some point I’ll have to leave my family tradition and we’ll start one of our own). And watching the boy reminded me of the spectacle that is a child unwrapping gifts. Children virtually douse themselves with impatient gasoline sitting next to the tree and when a gift is handed to them it may as well be a road flare, setting them on fire with anticipation as they're rip into the paper, the sum of their imaginative wishes filling the contents of the package. It’s truly a magical event. It does makes some gifts anticlimactic, though. You can see the tension loosen in the wires that hold their excited face when all the paper comes off and it’s not the magic item they failed to will into the box but, say, tube socks. But the hugging is still fun, even though it may just be an exercise to them after gifts like those.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I went to the rental property after work to do a few minor repairs for the new tenants moving in that day, mirror, towel rack, drywall holes, shower head, paint. Then I helped the dude tetris in his couch while gouging every wall and scraping every corner, stuff that we would normally charge damages for if the tenant had done themselves. I took the very last of my stuff home including my junk trunk which contains stuff I’ve accumulated over my entire life. You know, little flotsam & jetsam of memorabilia, including a zillion wallet-sized pictures of people that have come and gone (some now Facebook friends), a torch lighter someone got me from Australia, pieces of paper with passwords to websites probably now extinct, a 9mm casing from an outing at the gun range, the earring I used to wear, textbooks, hockey trophies from childhood, etc. And a dusty picture of me with the ex and her boys which was tossed but not before Lindsey had a look.

Me: Oh my god, look at this.
Linz: You guys had a “family” portrait done? Hee hee.
Me: Yeah. That once, I think.
Linz: This thing is terrible! You still have that ugly shirt!
Me: Oh, right.
Linz: How come she doesn’t smile?
Me: That’s just the way she smiled, never with an open mouth.
Linz: In fact, it doesn’t look like any of you are smiling.
Me (laughing): That’s cause we were all miserable!

I was kidding, or course.

When Linz and I finally made separate meals for ourselves it was 9:30. We ate while watching a couple episodes of our newly and collectively favourite show, Californication. Then she went to bed and I proceeded to get meleed by suburban teenage or pothead 20-something Americans. In other words, I brought a gun to a knife fight and lost.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Last night? I went and sat at my house for a final open house session. No one came so we awarded the suite to a young couple, one of only two parties that came to view it and fill out an application this past Sunday. Then I went home and ate. The new tenants showed up to pay some of their damage deposit. Vance had a bath. I did some event work on Crackbook for our upcoming hockey team pub crawl, took down the ads for the suite from Kijiji. The dishwasher shot water everywhere so I took it apart, right down to the core to see if I could find the source of the clog, among other problems (I felt quite handy) then put it all back together while Lindsey manually washed dishes and surfed her laptop for a new dishwasher. Then I watched the Flames tie Anaheim with 18 seconds left to force overtime. I screamed when they did and Linz sent me a text from upstairs in bed saying I scared the shit out of her and to shut up. They eventually lost in a shootout. Then I played some Modern Warfare 2 online and slowly started to improve from my usual routine of getting INSTANTLY SLAIN UPON DISCOVERY by other players. Then I had a smoke and went to bed. You?