Sunday, November 20, 2016

Things You Thought You'd Never Hear...

Steve says lately I haven't been catching on to his highbrow humour and it ends up not being funny when he has to explain it to me several times. I tell him "you're going to have to use larger, more sophisticated bait to keep me on that hook.  If it's not funny to begin with you know how quickly my mind moves on to other things".

He rolls his eyes and quickly goes back to his "Puns are Fun" reference book, hoping for a second chance at getting a laugh out of me.  That, I'm sorry to say, is the crux of the problem. Puns are not funny.  Sarcasm is funny.  In fact it is hilarious, and if you were raised in our family, in the North, you were rewarded for your efforts and quickly elevated to the next level.  After all, we had three cousins in Detroit that were our main competition and we had to remain on high alert, ready to out-sarcasm them at any given moment. The rivalry continues today, fifty-odd years later.  And if you ever got your feelings hurt you were out of the game.  Instantly. Damn wuss.  

Exhibit A:  Sarcasm

Now Steve was raised in the South where punnery is an acceptable form of humour.  Don't ask me why as I am still perplexed and trying to understand it (well, not really making that much of an effort these days, truth be known).  But they do have fried okra and candied sweet potatoes which definitely counts for something. 

Exhibit B:  Pun
Anywho, where was I?

Oh yeah, I was actually getting around to sharing more of my "Things You Thought You'd Never Hear" observations.  In fact, at the rate they are accumulating I may assign it a day of the week, like Tuesday.  Every Tuesday I will share with you our half-baked sentences, phrases and mutterings that make absolutely no sense, even if you were there to hear them in person.  Except today is Sunday and already I'm going to break that rule.  But then it will be back to Tuesday.

Those odd statements heard in our household that,  in the moment of being spoken, seem perfectly normal to us.  But when you take those comments out of their environment and put them in a blog, for example, you'll soon join the rest of the people we know in saying "They used to be so nice, so together, so...with it. Really, such a shame..."

Like these, for example...

Me: Steve, do you want your socks on the stove?  Oh, and did you see the power lifters doing their ballet routine?

Steve:  I have this little zit on my nose that's driving me crazy.  Is it very noticeable?
Me:  Not too bad.  I usually have some face powder with me that you could use to minimize it, but I loaned it to my mom on our trip, so it's either in her purse or quite possibly in her refrigerator.  Remind me to check the vegetable drawer next time we're there.

Steve:  By the way, the rugs with all of the vomit on them are out in the garage.

Me: Did you notice that the chia seeds have sprouted in the drain of my sink?

Me:  Do you know if the iPad made it inside from the car last night?
Steve: Yes, it's in my barf bag in the kitchen.

I could go on, but you get the gist of it.  Besides, I've got another story brewing about a brussel sprout that needs some attention before I hit the publish button on that one.  See you soon!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Aquarium Tails...

I know I promised to write about our trip to Panama, but that will be for another day.  Why?  Because I procrastinated too long and now, under the gun, I must select something that is already in a draft stage, waiting to be published and flung out onto the internet.

But I am going to give you a break from cat stories, and Steve's gastrointestinal episodes, and bring you up to date on what it's like to be a fish, living in our aquarium. 

I'm afraid it is not good news.  Our aquarium is really the equivalent of an assisted living home for fish; a brief holding tank for those who are about to depart on their next spiritual journey.  Just like Jonathon Livingston Seagull, who if he were still around, would probably speed things up by eating the fish and putting them out of their misery.

For instance, when our new 'residents' move into "Fish Manor Senior Care Living Center" they appear to have it pretty much altogether, happy to be in their new apartment.  Alas, within a few months, if not weeks, the "failure to thrive" syndrome starts setting in.  Cloudy eyes, speckles on their cataracts and age spots.  Soon they start swimming erratically, slowly sinking towards the bottom, spurred on occasionally by a second wind that launches them to the top of the tank.  And then slowly, they start sinking again, drifting aimlessly around as if they can't remember which hallway to go down to find their room.  Some days they eat voraciously and we can tell they're ready for their meal hours before the 'dining room' opens.  Other times they act indifferently towards their food, and if they had opposable thumbs and could use silverware I'm guessing they would just push it around on their plate to make it look as if they had eaten something, or hide the green peas under the banana skin.  Oh wait, that was me.  Sorry, forgot whose story I was telling.

Having our aquarium is like watching a death spiral in action.  Not too long ago, our shrimp named Scampi committed suicide by jumping out of the water and onto the floor.  He obviously preferred a quick death by cat paw as opposed to the gradual decline like we've become accustomed to with the others.  And the black, red-tailed shark has Ich.  Come to find out we're supposed to personally treat him by giving him a saltwater bath. Using those tiny little loofah sponges is a bitch I tell you!  I guess we are supposed to apply a special product to their fin and then bathe them, or something like that.  And by 'we', I mean 'Steve'.  Actually I wasn't really listening to how we (Steve) were supposed to treat him as it had fallen into the category of topics like discussing a new vehicle, or what kind of transformer we're getting for the outdoor lights.  You know, the kind of conversation like a tree falling in the forest - if no one is listening is anything actually being said?

Some days we leave in the morning and all is well, only to return at night to find skeletal remains drifting around which is always so startling.  What was the difference between one day with all of the little fish being happy and zippy, to the sudden turning of the tables where it was decided that one of them looked so delicious he had to be devoured right then and there?  

Just this morning as Steve was walking past the aquarium on his way to make coffee I heard "awww, dammit.  I cannot believe it" with a certain, sad tone to it.  The cabinet opened and a few things clanged and banged around.  Then the top of the fish tank creaked open, followed by trot, trot, trot to the bathroom and the ceremonial flush down the toilet.   Our largest fish, Arabrab (my mom Barbara's name, spelled backwards) had met her demise during the night and would now be joining Puff Daddy (our now dead green puffer), Micky, Spot, Sunny, Barb, Green Barb, Ra, and Plato.  And those are just the names I remember.

Sometimes it strikes me that part of the problem is that the aquarium is located in the dining room and we are often eating grilled fish while watching them swim around.   I think somehow they sense that and decide to take control of their own lives, or death as it appears. 

Might be best if I go back to writing about Steve and the cats.  Feline vomit and husband stories are much more uplifting, don't you think?!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Shit Happens..."

Poor Steve.

Currently under the effects of twilight anesthesia, having his first colonoscopy, little does he know I am busy writing yet another blog about his intestinal activities.  If he had been like the rest of us and only lost three temporary pounds during the fasting part I would have left this alone.  But no, he got to lose ten pounds and I say that is not fair!  Something needs to be done to right the balance.

"It must be public humiliation!" I declare to myself.

The story begins...

Sitting in the waiting room a thought creeps through my mind; one of those big life thoughts.  More important than wondering about where I'll "be" after I die is, "what on earth is it that happens in someone's young life to lead them to eventually declare 'I want to be a proctologist'?" I could ask the doctor when I go back to see Steve after the procedure, but perhaps I don't really want to know.

My thoughts thankfully redirect themselves quickly and I snap back to my present environment.  The waiting room at this joint is not very jovial.  Half of the group is famished and cranky, and the other half, their drivers (aka significant others), are busy staring off into space, thinking about what else they could be doing.  HGTV is on and they're showing a bathroom remodel which most of us could probably use after the past 24 hours of destruction in our own homes.  An elderly lady came tottering out from the back and they called her husband's name.  In her post-anesthesia delirium she started weaving her way back to the procedure room.  Her husband yelled out "Martha! Not that way!  Isn't one time enough for you?"  That got everyone snickering in the waiting room, and suddenly we felt a certain camaraderie as we nodded imperceptibly to each other with a conspiratorial wink.  We all knew why we were there and what we had been dealing with since yesterday.

Our heads all swung simultaneously back to the bathroom remodel on HGTV.  Personally I think the plumbers and designers in town might be in cahoots with the proctologists.  I suspect they've supplied the doctors with a continuous loop of remodeling feed, seeing as they have a pretty captive audience.  Speaking for myself, my takeaway from this show was that I definitely need a marble counter top and two basin sinks now in our master bath.  Plus, of course, cabinets, new tile for the shower and updated hardware for the drawers.  And obviously, a new toilet. Apparently it's not the medical procedures that are so expensive. It's what you end up doing to your home after watching a show like this while in the waiting room; or perusing a high-end decorating magazine while waiting on your significant other to have their colon scoped.  Sounds fair to me.

Before I knew it they were calling me back to the recovery room to see Steve.  The entire procedure went so quickly, from check-in to prep to procedure, I had not even finished my coffee. Initially I was a bit miffed that my time to gather more blog content for this story was being cut short.  I had really been looking forward to at least an hour of alone time in the waiting room, gathering information, observing, eavesdropping on other conversations.  It was not to be had this morning.

As I kissed Steve on the forehead and asked him how he was feeling he smiled at me and, still under the lingering influence of the anesthesia said, "jebba shimsnig finbieng thruby".  Which loosely translated means "I love you Cynthia and I want you to have all of my money".

The PA buzzed around Steve's bed, checking his vitals, making sure he was comfortable and helped him sit-up so we could start getting ready to leave.  Apparently our insurance plan only covers 7.5 minutes in the recovery room and she was on a mission.  She chattered away about how well he had done, everything looked just fine, the doctor would be by in a minute or two to review the results and answer any questions, and then opened a folder and said "would you like to see pictures of your colon?" 

I don't think anyone really knows what the correct answer is to that question, but in trying to be responsible middle-aged adults we felt pressured to say yes.  Steve, still in a bit of a stupor, looked at the images and then said "OMG! It's beautiful! It looks like a sunset!" Obviously switching to coloured images instead of black and white like the old days has a certain value-added entertainment factor.

I, for one, was thrilled at his response.  "That is pure gold, being handed to me on a silver platter" I thought to myself.  "What a perfect ending for my story!"

Poor Steve...and he thought I was going to write about the cats this morning.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'd Like To Buy A Noun, Please...

If I scroll back a few years ago in my blog archives I can find stories from our travels in Morocco.  Pretty much since then it has been about cleaning up cat vomit, lying awake listening to Steve snore, or wondering aloud about the gradual decline of my body, mind and bank account.  And sometimes it's about nothing much at all, which seems to have given me an endless supply of material.

Case in point...

As most of you know, Steve is a pretty awesome guy. He is my best friend, a great husband, loves my family and our friends, a talented artist, and he's a cat whisperer.  However (isn't there always a however?) he was born with one genetic defect (maybe more, but this one really stands out). His DNA lacks the ability to form nouns and use them in a sentence. Most of our married life I have had no idea what we are even talking about which I'm sure has contributed to its longevity.  Back in our younger days, when a lot of you know what was going on, nouns didn't matter as everything was really more about sound effects and the different decibel levels that were achieved.  But nowadays I often think it would be nice to know what's happening.   

Today for example, while biking, all of a sudden he yelled "watch out"!  

As I was moving along at a bit of a clip it's not like I could easily take in every potential danger around me in the amount of time that it sounded like I needed. "Watch out for what?" I yelled back.

"That!" he shouted.

I swerved off the path to avoid whatever it was I was supposed to not run over, and in the process came close to falling off of my bike.

The good news is, whenever something does happen to me I'm going to be the last to know what hit me, and with any luck will be knocked unconscious, oblivious to my crash.

Here's another example that happens on a daily basis...multiple times. 

Steve..."I think that would be a good thing to get."

"What thing?" I ask. 

"You know, the one from yesterday" he says.

Me..."and that would be...?" 

"When we were at Lowe's."

"I'd like to buy a noun please" I say.

"Planter! That big planter in the garden section!" 

"Well finally!  Why didn't you say so?"

"That's what I've been trying to tell you" he says.
Good grief.  And it for sure won't be long before I get to go through that again.

Lately, when I sense he is about to start talking, I try and speed things up by shouting out random nouns and then just yell "pick one, any one, use it in a sentence! Here ya go...Jewelry! Car! Pasta! Chocolate!  Please, we've only got so much time left on this planet and I really need to know what's going on.  I could be dead before I know what you're talking about!"

"Pizza!" he yells.  "And wine!"

Perfect.  My plan has worked again...


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Just another day...

I was in the bedroom folding laundry the other day when I heard some grunting and cursing coming from another part of the house.  I stepped out into the family room and remembered that Steve had put on the newest yoga video given to us by my sister.

Apparently it was not one that would be deemed "Gentle Yoga" because all I could hear was Steve yelling at the instructor telling her to shut the $&@k up.  Within a matter of minutes I was exhausted just from listening to him in the other room.  That instructor had not stopped talking or taken a breathe since she started.

This is what I heard..."Now stand up tall and ster...etch toward the sun. Drop down to your knees, NOW, on all fours, downward dog, hold that position, breathe, now drop into cobra and jump up and leg UP into tree position, now wrap your legs and squat into eagle and now back to downward dog and dolphin and chaturanga, cobra, half cobra, warrior one, downward dog, deep breathing, exhale, shavasana, chaturanga, good grief, $&@k off, heavy breathing, torso perpendicular to the floor, lift your chest, fingers perpendicular, up dog, down dog, open the thighs, release the neck, stretching up, inhale, standing arch, sweep with the arms, what the *&#$ god this is like Twister!  I think I'm going to throw-up".  That was an exhausting minute to be witness to, and I had to stop myself from going back into the bedroom and lying down to take a nap.

At some point during that above rant you probably realized that sometimes it was the instructor, and sometimes it was Steve.  You can usually tell when I'm writing about something that Steve is saying by the sudden use of !@#$% instead of real letters.  That is for my own protection.

And to think this was a gift from my sister!  Typical middle child, always trying to kill off the siblings.  I can't wait to tell mom what she's trying to do to us.  Bet she gets grounded again, even if she is fifty something!

Hashtags for this little event?  #throwup #swearing #$&@k #meanyoga #mysisteristryingtokillus

Monday, June 6, 2016

Morning Jibber Jabber...

Me:  "Steve, will you get the lizard out of the shower, and don't forget about the half a rat that is still in the driveway that needs removing.  Also, I haven't cleaned up the cat vomit from last night so be careful not to slip in it!  It's just outside the dining room.  By the way, do I just look like a total wreck lately?  I cannot stand this haircut.  And wow!  My eyes are so puffy and swollen this morning - I thought wine was supposed to be a diuretic?  Ya know, I was thinking that since we've had fish twice this week already maybe I'll grill some chicken tonight if that sounds good?  Did you see that awesome cat video that (insert one of 87 names) posted on Facebook this morning?  It is even cuter and funnier than the one from last night (or yesterday, last week, last month, last year, 2014, on and on...).

Steve, looking up from his cell phone: "Huh? I'm sorry, were you talking to me? I wasn't listening because I've been researching new vehicles again, and thinking we should look at getting the Honda Pilot, or the Toyota Forerunner, or the Denali, or the Yukon or the Dodge...blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah..."  

I don't know why I can't hear him when he talks about cars.  It could be because I don't care, but then again it could be because I don't care.  My little brain cells are just about maxed out with cat videos, menu planning and my weight, and what little activity is left needs to be dedicated to painting so we can buy food and pay our internet bill due to the high volume of streaming cat videos.

Here are some hashtags I think will work for this particular blog...

#iammuchmoreinterestingthanmyhusband  #carsboreme  #rockonkittycats  #boredboredbored  #icanthearyou

We'll chat again later in the week!