Happy Endings Are Bullsh*t

Note: before reading this, please know that I’m not a complete cynic like my Aunt Judy. She thinks that everyone everywhere – doctors, politicians, musicians, bums on the street, you name it – are all out to get her. Except cats. She loves them…to an even more fanatical extreme than I do. She has nine. You get the picture. 

Happy Endings Are Bullsh*t | Human 2.0 Blog

Yes, she thinks that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, REALLY soon, hopefully (she adds, like it won’t be long) NOT before she dies. Now aside from the fact that I put cats on a high, pretty much god-like pedestal too, that’s not me. I mean, I’m not her. I just want to make that clear. I’m a positive person for the most part, unless your idol is Kim Kardashian; then I think you’re an idiot. 

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The Difference Between Dogs And Cats

First let me say that I love animals – ALL animals big and small. I have a not-so-secret desire to live on a hobby farm with goats, dogs, horses, pigs, etc. Just ask my husband. He’s heard my pleas. Problem is, he wants just the opposite – to live in a penthouse apartment, no responsibilities, no fucking mess (as he puts it).

The Difference Between Dogs And Cats | TheFurFiles

So like most married couples, we compromise. We live in a regular house, in a regular neighbourhood, and we have cats – the least demanding and cleanest of all “you can at least engage with me, and I’m not a farm animal” pet. That doesn’t stop a girl from dreaming, planning, and plotting though.

Anyway, cats are easy for me as I’ve had them all my life. If I think back, I’ve had over fifteen felines, many who met untimely demises due to one reason or another. A few got hit by cars (as cats who go outside often do); a few died of cancer (one ate plastic bags and rubber baby bottle nipples, no wonder); a few died of old age; and one actually got hit by the train that ran behind our house. THAT is quite a story. I’ll give you the shortened version…

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RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: Just Keep Going

Success. It’s something we talk about a lot at our house. What does it mean, and how does one achieve it? In my opinion, it’s about being able to do what you love, and do it independently, so you don’t have to mooch off other people in order to support yourself. From experience – and from watching others – I’d say, finding it is a matter of setting a goal and sticking to the plan. Of course, having a natural talent for something, taking advice, and reflecting on your actions as you go along helps tremendously.

This topic reminds me of what happened with my daughter a few weeks ago. She was sitting in the backyard working on stuff – music mostly because that’s what she does in her spare time – when she heard a noise that sounded like a cat getting crushed. Like the good “I would do anything to save a furry creature” daughter that she is, she jumped up without a care for the computer on her lap or the external hard drive that was attached to it, and she went to see what was wrong. The good news: nothing bad had happened to the cats. Whew – my biggest concern. The noise? Well, it must’ve been our neighbour – he’s kind of weird, and he does drugs. Enough said. The bad news: my daughter’s hard drive came crashing to the ground in the process, after which, it just wouldn’t work anymore.

In a hurry – because that’s how we operate at our house when our daughter goes ballistic – we took the broken box to our computer guy. Sadly however, after painstakingly trying to retrieve the information – ALL of her stuff (essays from the past, song files she’d been working on, videos she’d made, pictures, etc.) was gone.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: Just Keep Going | TheFurFiles

“That’s it. It’s the end for me. I won’t be able to recover from this,” she wailed after hearing the news. “I can’t be a musician anymore. I might as well get a job at Bulk Barn…where…I’ll be…forever.” She said this lying on the floor in a heap.

“Wow, that sounds pretty depressing,” I said, stepping over her to get to the sink. There are always dishes to do. “At least, they sell natural almonds for when you get hungry. But stay away from all the gummy candies and chocolates. Gaining fifty pounds at this point probably won’t help your self esteem much.” If you should know anything about me, it’s that I’m sarcastic as hell. Sure, I did feel sorry for her, but bad things happen to everyone. She needed to learn how to cope.

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Loving Animals More Than Humans

This blog post was inspired by Sarah Silverman’s comedy special We Are Miracles in which she says – amidst a bunch of other awesome, off-the-wall things – something about the fact that if Africa were a land full of stray labradoodles, our desire to care for and/or help its inhabitants would be way higher.

Loving Animals More Than Humans | TheFurFiles

And she’s probably right. Weird-looking, curly haired dogs, big fluffy, pushed-in-face cats, iguanas, gerbils (though this one, I just don’t understand) – we love our pets, often more than we love humans, it seems. My aunt tells me this in every email she sends – people suck/animals are so much better.

Her “I’ve been burned one too many times” bias aside, I believe there are lots of people who feel this way. The question is why? Why would we care about animals more than we care about our own species? Is it because we see animals as helpless creatures, driven to build a life in a contaminated world of chaos, concrete, and poison? I know that’s being overly-dramatic, but it’s the truth. The poor raccoons have nowhere to go, and then we get pissed off when they set up camp in our attics. Is it because we think humans should just know better, and that if we suffer, it’s our own damn fault? Well, we should, and it is.

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What To Do When Your House Is Semi-Haunted

My daughter thinks that our house is haunted – for real. My husband and my two sons think she’s delusional. I think that weird stuff DOES go on around here sometimes. I’m hoping there are logical reasons to explain it all. I don’t deal well with the scary supernatural, or with guys coming after me in my sleep who have knives for fingers.
What To Do When Your House Is Semi-Haunted

Let me explain to you what’s been happening, and you can decide for yourself. Am I living in the Amityville Horror house, or do my daughter and I just have REALLY active imaginations?

As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, my stove seems to have a mind of it’s own. It appears that it can turn itself on. It’s happened on numerous occasions. Either that, or I’ve turned it on myself without even realizing it. This may or may not be related, but I also forget where I’m going when I’m in my car sometimes. That’s weird thing number one.

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You Learn Something New Every Day

No matter how smart you are, there is always something new to learn. Sometimes, it’s something trivial – like snails have teeth (I didn’t know that until today) – and sometimes, it’s something that could save your life, or simply keep you from eating something really gross.

Take my oldest son’s BFF, he knows a LOT of facts about a LOT of crazy things. For instance, he knows why beer makes a person fat – like the biochemical details, not just that it does. He knows that rats multiply so quickly that within eighteen months, two rats can turn into over a million furry little buggers. He also knows (for a fact) that Superman would kick the crap out of Batman should the two of them ever meet and decide to fight. I think every young adult male has a theory (or twenty) like this.

You Learn Something New Everyday | TheFurFiles

Yes, my son’s BFF – let’s call him Blustin (which is pretty close to his actual name, Dustin) – would probably do very well on a show like Jeopardy or Family Feud. But like everybody else in the world, Blustin doesn’t know everything.

I had to laugh the other night. He was over, telling us about his “bad” experience at the sushi restaurant. He’d gone there with his girlfriend, and – typical guy trying to show off and be healthy – he ordered a plate of edamame beans.

“They were terrible,” he said. “All stringy and gross. I ate a few, and then stuffed the rest in my pocket. You know how they are at sushi places when you order stuff and don’t eat it.” This, just after he’d showed us a Youtube video about singing dogs.

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I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar

We’ve all heard stories of mothers doing crazy things to protect their children, and while I’ve never had to lift a car off of anybody – knock on wood – I will say that I have that same boundless and (at times) catty drive to protect my young, though they aren’t so young anymore.

This is typically how it works…

Someone says my kids aren’t perfect, I say who is?

Someone says they don’t always use the best language, I say they learned it from their fucking father.

I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar | TheFurFiles

Someone says they shouldn’t be climbing the neighbour’s fence to take a short cut to the bus, I say, Jesus Christ, again? I’ll talk to them.

All kidding aside, it doesn’t matter their age, a mother is a mother forever, and my claws WILL come out if someone criticizes, questions, or otherwise bad-mouths any one of them. I count this as a good thing. It’s my job. If I don’t stick up for them – right or wrong – who’s going to?

I think it just goes to show that we have bonded, that the body-altering nature of their time inside my womb, and the subsequent excruciating pain of their individual evacuations – my daughter’s being by far the most bloody and brutal – and the many, many, MANY long nights of taking care of them, and all the stress, and all the dishes and laundry that I’ve done to clean up after them, has really left its mark on me.

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How To Stay Calm When Everyone Around You Is Flipping Out

I’ve always thought of myself as the mellow one in the family. I’ve never, in a fit of anger, broken up pieces of wood in the basement with my bare hands, and I only backed into my grandfather’s car once when I was seventeen-years-old. I chalk that one up to being young and impetuous. Occasionally, I yell, but I consider that more like “talking loud”, and I only do it because most people around here don’t listen to a word I say.

In my opinion, every family needs a floater – a person who is flexible and who can stay fairly stable (mentally) with the ebbs and flows of life.

How To Stay Calm When Everyone Around You Is Flipping Out | TheFurFiles

Yes, in my situation, that person is me. My husband’s job is one of very high stress. He works long hours, and what he does calls for a great amount of responsibility. It’s been that way for twenty-five years. Don’t ask him to deal with young adult angst. When he gets home, he literally melts into the chair in the living room, his computer on his lap, a stack of papers by his side. His brain goes into “cruise” mode, his eyes close, and his head bobs back and forth from time to time.

I’m the one who has to be ready – sort of like a firefighter, I always say. Things are usually calm, and I can watch “House Hunters” and take my cats for walks on their leashes – fun and (what my husband calls) leisurely and almost counterproductive stuff like that – but every once in a while, the shit hits the fan, and I need to spring into action, like when somebody forgets their dance shoes and it’s minutes before the show, or worse, when someone rips their pants in front of the whole cafeteria, or worse worse, when someone gets cheated on by their girlfriend, or worse worse worse, when somebody crashes the car, or gets really drunk, or fails a major test, etc. etc.

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Judge Not Lest Ye Also Be Judgethed (Or Something Like That)

It happens from time to time – I think to myself, “What is wrong with that person? Why did they do such and such?” It happened to me just the other day, in fact.

My husband and I were at the bank – paying some bills and getting some money because $60 seems to burn through our wallets faster than if our pants were actually on fire. As we went in, we walked past a man standing outside. He looked like he’d seen better days. He had a bottle of something in his hand that he was drinking. It could have been Pepsi in a bag, but from the particular way he tipped it up to take a swig, I didn’t think so. His clothes were rough, his face was scruffy, and he was wearing an extra-large backpack. It was pretty obvious, the guy had either just returned from a a very long trip and he was celebrating outside of Scotiabank, or he was living on the streets. Yeah, probably the latter.

Judge Not Lest Ye Also Be Judgethed (Or Something Like That) | TheFurFiles

As we entered the bank, the man followed us. Pausing for a moment, he looked at my husband – who was already busy dealing with the machine – and then he looked at me. I gave him the stare – the “don’t fuck with us” stare. I learned that from my psychopath book. You have to be confident, no matter what. Walk confident, stand confident, give off a confident air. You can’t be oblivious, or look scared. You’ll end up a victim.

And either my stare worked, or the man thought better of what he was about to do, or both, and he turned around and walked back outside. Now, he could’ve been just trying to get warm, but that’s not the impression I got. He kind of had that wild look in his eyes. It was the look of desperation and too much alcohol.

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20 Really Useful Tips For Better “MOM” Time Management

I’ve been a mother for almost twenty-five years, and during that time, I’ve raised three grown children, and contributed to the education of quite a few others who weren’t my own but who dirtied my furniture and ate my food just the same. Yes, there have been moments, weeks, years even, that were hard, VERY hard – debilitating almost. But what is it they say? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Well, I don’t know about that.

motherhood

Anyway, in case you are hell bent on the idea of parenting – I mean nobody really believes it’s as hard as others who’ve gone before them may say and who may recommend a goldfish or gerbil instead – here are a few small tips (let’s call them “short cuts” or “stress alleviators”) that I’ve learned along the way. Practicing one or even of a few of them may prevent you from stabbing yourself in the eye with a fork to end the intense suffering at some point. On that day, do me two favours. One, thank me for the help. And two, admit that I was right. That alone could make it all worth it. OK, here we go…

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