My Week 140: Titus Shows Off at the Vet, Wonder Woman and Sexism

Saturday: Titus goes to the vet

On Friday night, Ken reminded me that Titus had his yearly vet appointment. He’s a pretty healthy dog, so he hasn’t actually seen the vet since this time last year. I had errands to do, but I agreed to go in my car and meet them there—not because I didn’t think Ken could do it on his own, but because I like to make sure we’re not getting soaked for extra tests. You know how veterinarians are always upselling procedures to make a profit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—they need to make a living like the rest of us—but does a dog REALLY need a hearing test? If you open a bag of chips, and your dog doesn’t immediately appear next to you no matter where he is in the house, then your dog has a hearing problem, and it shouldn’t cost $200 to tell you that.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, I said to Titus, “Hey buddy, guess what? We’re going for a car ride!”

He immediately looked both intrigued and suspicious. “Where are we going?”

Me: The VET! It’s going to be awesome!
Titus: How is that ‘awesome’? The last time I went there, she stuck a needle in my ass. Wait—is that the place where they have those Liver Treats?
Me: Why, yes. Yes, it is.
Titus: Ok, cool.

So we got him into Ken’s SUV, where he insisted in sitting up front, and we both set off in separate vehicles. I got there at the same time as them, and I was all like, “Hey, buddy, did you have fun in the car?” but Titus was too concerned with smelling EVERY CORNER of the door frame, then EVERY CORNER the waiting room, straining against his collar, wheezing like an emphysemic old man, and whispering “So many messages…”. We managed to get him to sit still long enough on the scale to get his weight, which was 41.7 kilos. That sounded like a lot, and I was trying to do the conversion math in my head but failing I just looked it up—92 pounds). I was convinced that Titus had gotten a little ‘chunky’ over the last few months, but when the vet tech came in, she confirmed that his weight last year was 41.1 kilos.

Titus: Ha!! And you called me ‘chunky’. I’m svelte, baby. Cheese slices for everyone!!
Me: Well, I’m sorry, but you looked bigger.
Titus: That’s just my personality. I’m larger than life.

Then the vet tech gave us a form to fill in, because Titus is now technically a “senior dog”, having attained the age of 8 years old. There was a series of questions which we had to answer on a scale of zero to 3.

Ken: Does your pet seem listless?
Me (watching Titus run back and forth between the counter and the door): That would be zero.
Ken: Does your pet urinate outside the litter box?
Me: I’m confused. Is he supposed to HAVE a litter box? How big would it have to be?
Ken: I think this is a generic dog/cat survey, so I’m just going to say ‘Non-Applicable’. Has your pet’s appetite increased?
Me: He’s a Lab. I don’t think there’s an end to his appetite. Is the next question, ‘Has your pet’s appetite decreased?’ cuz you can say zero to that one too.
Ken: Ok. When your pet barks, does he dribble a little urine?
Titus: WHAT?! (Looking at floor)…Actually, maybe a little right then.
Me: No, that’s just drool. Stop staring at the treat jar.

Then our vet came in, and, long story short, she was VERY impressed with his health. Then she tried to extend his back legs and looked a little concerned:

Vet: He doesn’t want me to manipulate his right leg. Has he been favouring it?
Me: No, but every so often, it goes out from under him a bit.
Vet: Could be early hip dysplasia. We’ll have to keep an eye on it, and start him on joint health supplements. Of course, we could X-ray it right now…
Titus: Death Ray?! I’d rather smoke a joint.
Me: A ‘joint health supplement’ is a vitamin, not marijuana.

Then it was time for the shots, which Titus didn’t even notice because he was too busy eating Liver Treats to distract him. We also reluctantly agreed to bloodwork to test for heartworm, liver and kidney function, as well as flea and tick medication, and the dollar signs were just ringing up loud in my head. But after the blood was taken, the vet made him a special bandage with a little heart on it, so that totally made up for the incredible cost. At one point, she left, and Ken whispered. “What do you think? Like, $300?” and I was like, “No way—at least $500.” And yeah, guess who was right?

The best part though, was that when we came out, the place was packed, and everyone turned to look at Titus. I couldn’t have been prouder in that moment, as they ooh’ed and ah’ed over him. “What a gorgeous dog,” said one woman. “He’s a giant!” said another. People commented on his shiny coat, how well-behaved he was, and what a beautiful smile he had. None of this was lost on Titus, who’s nothing if not a showman.

Titus: Let’s do our routine—really give them something to remember. We’ll put that Shih Tzu over there to shame.
Me: OK—ready? Sit. Stay. Bang! You’re dead…OK, you’re just wounded…Fine, you’re alive—roll over.

Then he gave the crowd high fives, and everyone, including the snooty little Shih Tzu, was suitably impressed. So I guess the vet bill, which I put on Visa and will be paying off in installments, was totally worth it.

Women Only

So this week, I’ve been reading about how some guys are really upset because there are special “Women Only” showings of the new Wonder Woman movie. But I understand why they’re upset about this, because every time I’ve done “Women Only” things, men always complain about it:

1) Ringette

When I was 7 years old, I started playing Ringette. Ringette, at that time, was a Women Only sport. Of course, what I really wanted to play was hockey, but at the time women’s hockey teams were extremely rare, and girls weren’t allowed to play on boy’s hockey teams. I played Ringette until I was 14 and it was always an all-girls team. Of course, there was no body checking, or pucks, but it was still a pretty cool game. Then the guys started complaining that they wanted to play Ringette too, so now, of course, there are men’s ringette teams.

2) Brownies and Girl Guides

As a kid, I was really into nature and hiking in the forest, and basically just doing cool stuff, so I joined the Brownies. What I really wanted to join was the Cub Scouts, but girls weren’t allowed to join the Cub Scouts. I became a Brownie and got badges for sewing and cooking instead of making fires and killing bears and sh*t. But hey—I got to dance around a toadstool and my leaders were named after owls. Now, of course, thanks to boys wanting to join the Girl Guides, there are unisex troops, and adventure groups for both sexes.

3) Home Ec.

When I was in Grade 8, I was in a ‘girls only’ Home Economics class. Well, ALL the Home Economics classes were girls only. The boys got to take Industrial Arts where, instead of cooking and sewing and learning to apply make-up, they got to weld and do woodwork. But what I really wanted to take was Industrial Arts, and one day, my dream came true. The boys and girls switched classes for one period, and the Home Economics teacher made cookies for the boys while they watched, and the Industrial Arts teacher made us all key chains. I could have made my own f*cking key chain, but the teacher didn’t want me to burn my fingers melting the plastic in the electronic frying pan. Silly guy—I KNEW how to use an electric frying pan because I’d been taking Home Economics for almost a year. But I guess boys really like to make cookies because now all of these classes are co-ed.

My point? Well, women have lost all the bastions of their womenhood to men. Everything is co-ed now, thanks to men complaining that they’re being left out of all the cool stuff. All we want is the ability to do something without the opposite gender constantly wanting to join in and make things equal. Is that so wrong? I mean, men have been saying that for years.

Sarcasm aside, I think it’s a bit hysterical that a lot of the same men who are upset about not being able to see Wonder Woman would never have complained when women were FORCED to have Women Only things, like the Lioness Club instead of the Lion’s Club, or the Rebekah Lodge because women weren’t allowed to be Masons, or any other “women’s branch” of any fraternal organization, or sport, or activity because they weren’t ALLOWED to be a part of the men stuff. T pointed out that saying it’s ok because men did it to women for years doesn’t make it right, and I told him that I didn’t actually think it WAS right. It’s just ironic. And if it’s any consolation to the men out there, Wonder Woman is still wearing a ridiculously skimpy outfit. But of course, next thing you know, Batman is going to be complaining about why he can’t fight crime in a bustier too, and all the superheroes will be wearing lingerie. But that’s equality for you.

My Week 139: I Hate Showers

I Hate Showers

I’m a bather. I always have been, since the time I was young. I have fond memories of many bathtubs—the blue tub from my childhood, the long tub in our first apartment (from whose vantage I was fortunate enough to see a bat emerge from a hole in the ceiling), the deep tub that we bathed T in every night and in which there were more bathtub toys than child, and the current clawfoot tub in my ensuite bathroom that I’ve been lucky enough to have for over a decade. Last weekend, Ken took me away to an inn, and the room had a giant two-person Jacuzzi tub. It was amazing, and I grudgingly let him join me and then laughed as he kept squealing “So hot! So hot! How do you stand it?!” as he lowered himself slowly into the water. I just watched, bemused, because, like a smart lobster, I had gotten in early in the filling process and then turned the heat up so that I could acclimatize to it. He was like the angry lobster that gets plunged into the boiling water and then poisons everyone. OK, I know that PEOPLE do that to lobsters, and it’s not nice, but you get the analogy.

Anyway, directly opposing my love for bathing is my absolute f*cking loathing for showers. But why am I ranting about showers? Because in my new condo, I have to use one. Every goddamn day. I had originally planned to take the smaller bedroom and have the separate bathroom with the bathtub. That way, my roommate could have the larger room with the ensuite shower. Unfortunately, and somewhat tragically, my bed was too large for the second bedroom. I was faced with a terrible choice—give up the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in (even the one at home that Ken and I share pales in comparison), or take the larger room, with the ridiculous shower unit. And I say ridiculous on TOP of evil, because the shower stall is the same length as a bathtub stall, and it even has a f*cking faucet. Who in their right mind has the opportunity and space for a proper bathtub but goes, “I’ll just put in a double sized shower because who wouldn’t love THAT?” NOBODY, that’s who. Ultimately I chose a good night’s sleep over the bathtub on the grounds that I could “get used to it”.

But I can’t because this shower, it hates me as much as I hate it. This is how the stupid thing works—you turn on the water at the tap half-way up the wall, then you have to stand UNDER the showerhead to push down the plunger on the faucet down by the floor to start the shower part going. There are two shower heads—a hand-held one, and a wall one, and they’re controlled by another plunger on the wall shower head. There is no way in hell that I’m NOT getting soaked at any point in this exercise. In fact, the other day, I wanted to use the handheld shower to just wash my hair (a process that involves me contorting and bending at the waist to avoid getting my pajamas wet, even though no matter what I do, my cuffs and my feet still get soaked), but when I pushed down the plunger, the wall head burst into life and soaked the sh*t out of me. I actually screamed, both in shock and anger. The universe snickered.

But there are other reasons why showers are the worst thing ever:

1) Showers are creatures of evil. They were invented by someone who thought, “Mwah haha! How can I make people miserable and uncomfortable while they are trying to soap up and rinse parts of their body they can’t see?! I know—how about making them stand under stinging, randomly placed pricks of water? And to make it even better, the temperature of the water will fluctuate between ice-cold and scalding hot whenever someone else flushes the toilet. This is perfect!! Mwah haha!” Screw you, shower-inventor and your malevolent plans. Also, the other reason you can tell that showers are evil is that no one EVER baptised an adult by making them stand under a bucket of water. No, it’s total immersion for the healthy soul, people. Yes, I know babies have water sprinkled on their heads, and this is why babies HATE showers. Well, sensible babies, anyway.

2) Showers are terrible for the visually-impaired. I hate showers now, after my laser eye surgery, because they’re devil-spawn, but originally, I hated showers because I was almost legally blind. I couldn’t wear contact lenses while I was showering because the force of the water running down my face would knock them out and send them down the drain. If I DIDN’T wear contact lenses, I couldn’t see ANYTHING, including what I was using to wash my hair. In fact, once at a hotel, I reached out and instead of the tiny conditioner bottle, I grabbed the body lotion (because when you’re blind as a bat, the words ‘conditioner’ and ‘body lotion’ are pretty much identical) and slathered it all over my hair, and let me tell you, that sh*t was hard to get out. And I couldn’t wear glasses, because the other stupid thing that a shower does is…

3) Showers create steam. So on top of having to suffer through the torment of hot water, cold air, and then groping for your towel while water is dripping down your face and into your ears, you have to claw through clouds of fog to find a place to sit down and dry your feet. And the only place is the toilet. So there you are, sitting on the plastic toilet seat, trying to dry yourself off, shivering from the cold, and wondering what you did to deserve this misery. Bathtubs, of course, have a ledge which is perfectly designed to perch on while you towel off, still all warm and toasty inside from being immersed in glorious water.

4) Showers are noisy. How am I supposed to relax at the end of the day with the thunderous sound of water in my ears? Loud noises stress me out terribly, but at least with the bath, I can run it with the door shut, then get in and enjoy the quiet solitude. I don’t even let the water run out until I’m completely finished, just to preserve the sense of calm. Unlike a shower, where you go from the cacophony of the water to the chaos of the shower fan. It’s like some kind of medieval witch torture scenario—you’re naked, cold, half-drowned, and the mob/ceiling vent fan is screaming at you but you can’t see them through all the fog. Also, when you’re in the shower, with all the noise and the shower curtain obscuring your vision, you have NO IDEA if a serial killer is in your bathroom. I learned this from “Psycho” and I’ve never forgotten it.

5) Showers take away my autonomy. I like to CHOOSE what parts of me get wet. (And if, right now, you’re all like, “Ooh—that’s what SHE said,” then you’re obviously a shower person.)

As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than soaking in a tub full of hot water to make you feel clean and shiny. Of course, there are people who don’t understand this. In fact, I was complaining to Ken about it just the other day:

Me: I hate showers. I’m so happy I’m home, and I can finally have a bath.
Ken: I don’t understand how you enjoy sitting in your own dirty water. It’s like swimming in a cesspool.
Me: What?! How the hell is it a “cesspool”? What do you think I DO all day? I work in an office. I’m not a f*cking mud wrestler! I don’t even sweat! How insulting.
Ken: I’d rather have a shower.
Me: Philistine.

And now, I’m done writing. Time for a bath.

 

My Week 138: Nothing to See Here, Pantless People, Text Convos

This is going to be a quickie, because not only is it Mother’s Day, but we’re also celebrating a milestone birthday for my dad. Ken and I just got back from a mystery weekend that he’d arranged. “Oh boy!” I said. “A surprise, travelling somewhere, being around strangers, AND not being at home all weekend? Well, that’s just…um.” I may or may not have been sarcastic when I said it, but at any rate, I had a great time once I got there. It was a quaint little inn on the shores of Lake Erie. We got there on Friday night, and decided to sit at the bar for a drink. After a little while, Ken said, “Is that frog wearing pants?” I was a little befuddled by this sudden change in conversational direction, until I realized that behind me on the bar was a statue of a giant frog, wearing a fancy jacket and dress shoes, sporting a monocle, and yes—not wearing any pants. In fact, as I turned, his froggy-parts were directly parallel with my face.

“Hm,” I said. “He’d be right at home in downtown Toronto.”

I say this because in the last couple of weeks, what with the weather getting slightly warmer, there have been several instances of people wandering around pantless. There’s the guy who wears the pink mini-kilt with nothing underneath, who demands that people look at his ass. He can get a bit aggressive with the whole “Look at my ass NOW!” thing. The man who stands outside my office building and hands out the free Metro paper is terrified of him. I know this because a little while ago, I was on my way to work and realized the Metro man was standing behind a column on the other side of the street, kind of peeking out as he drank a cup of coffee. I didn’t know why at first, like maybe he was taking a coffee break or something and didn’t want anyone to know, but when I crossed the street, the kilt guy was running back and forth in front of my office screaming at people. I waited until he ran to the corner, then hightailed it into my building and told the security guard:

Me: There’s a guy outside wearing a pink mini-kilt and yelling at people to look at his bum.
Security Guard: Sigh. Is he back? I already told him once that he had to leave.
Me: Well, tell him again. He’s bothering the Metro man.

(I feel very protective of the Metro man because he reminds me of Hodor, in that he’s a giant and doesn’t say much, except he always smiles and very quietly wishes me a good day.)

And the other day, there was a woman in the lobby of my office building who was completely naked from the waist down, screaming F*ck you! at anyone who looked at her. I missed that one, thank goodness, but I heard about it from several co-workers. And of course, on Wednesday, there was the charming fellow in front of my building who was WEARING pants, but insisted on thrusting his groin at everyone who passed by. I really needed to pop back to my condo to get some paperwork, but I had to wait until he was gone.

Which brings me to my point. The week before, I had borrowed a trolley from work to help move boxes to my new condo. It was an ordinary trolley, with a base of thick grey plastic. It had four wheels and a metal handle. Again, a perfectly ordinary trolley. Both times, when I brought it home, and then when I returned it, people on the street looked at me like I was crazy. Heads turned, eyebrows raised, and I was given a wide berth, and I was like, “Seriously?! This is the weirdest thing you’ve seen today?! There’s a guy on the corner with a megaphone telling people they’re all going to die because they’re sinners, there’s a woman sitting in the middle of the sidewalk rocking back and forth and yelling “Spare change” over and over, and Groin Man is merrily thrusting away. But I’M THE WEIRDO?” But I realize my mistake now—if I’d just been pantless and yelling, “Stop looking at my f*cking cart!” at everyone who passed by, no one would have given me a second thought. I guess people are so used to ‘crazy’ that ‘normal’ just scares the pants off them.

Other weird things I did this week:

Monday: We have the most random text conversations:

M: At the gym now.
Me: I admire you for working out this late. I’m just drinking wine and running a bath. #ThugLife
L: Again, I’m just watching the OJ movie and hula hooping.
Me: OK, so I just pulled my shower curtain rod down and some of the rings fell into the toilet. This thug life is NOT what I was promised.
L: I don’t think thugs worry about shower rings. They are too busy popping caps in asses.
Me: But I had to put my hand in the toilet. That’s pretty gangster.
L: Again, I don’t think a gangster would do that. But well done you!
Me: Hand in toilet. That’s 50 Cent sh*t right there.
L: I bet 50 Cent has NEVER put his hand in a toilet.
Me: If this is thug life, I’m outtie.
M: Article: “Police remove ‘angry’ beaver that stopped traffic.”
Me: Nothing quite like an angry beaver.
L: That’s what she said…

Tuesday:

It was my dad’s actual birthday on Tuesday, and I wanted to call him and wish him Happy Birthday, but it was busy at work and I was worried I’d get sidetracked. So I wrote “Call Dad” on the palm of my hand (yes, it’s my own personal Palm Pilot), so I’d remember. I called him around 9 am, sang him the birthday song, then a little while later I went to the bathroom to wash my hands, and I realized that I’d used a permanent marker, and it was NOT coming off. So not only did I look like a neglectful daughter who couldn’t remember to call her own dear dad unless she wrote it on her hand, I spent the rest of the day having people say, “Did you call your Dad yet?”

Thursday:

I ate a piece of chocolate that fell on the floor. In my defence, no one was looking, and I blew the germs off it.

Sunday:

T just gave me a Mother’s Day card with a gift certificate to the liquor store in it. Yeah, I raised that boy right.

 

My Week 137: Moving Stress, Teenager Reviews Movies

Well, it’s been one hell of a week, what with moving and all. Moving is superstressful at the best of times, and even more so when you had no intention of moving in the first place, so thank you, greedy landlord, for cashing in on the housing bubble in the big city, and forcing me to find new digs. The new place WILL be nice though, after I finish cleaning and replacing the bathroom cabinets that are covered in black mold. You might remember me telling you that every time I went to see the place, it was really awkward because the previous tenant, a university student, was half-naked. I should have realized at that point that people who are too lazy to dress themselves completely also can’t be bothered with things like making sure the microwave isn’t covered in layers of grease, that the floors don’t have mud all over them, and that the bathroom doesn’t require a hazmat suit to simply be IN it. Oh well—it seems to be my lot in life to take over places and have to clean the sh*t out of them. When Ken and I bought our cottage, it was the same deal, what with layers of dirt underneath the carpet and a stove so unsalvageable that we just tossed it out and bought a new one.

Of course, I left my condo in pristine condition, because I’m a grown-up. Also, because I was threatened with the cost of a cleaning crew if I didn’t, which I realize now was an empty threat, based on the fact that, according to my property manager, it’s a standard clause that all Tenant Termination agreements contain. If my current landlord had any balls, he would have charged half-naked girl, or at least paid ME for the cleaning, but that didn’t, and won’t happen, based on his reaction to the mold in the bathroom (by the way, he doesn’t speak English very well):

Me: What’s wrong with the cabinets?
Him: Oh, I don’ know—maybe jus’ dirty. I clean.
Me: I don’t think Windex will work. That’s mold between the veneer and the particle board.
Him: So sorry for the inconvenience.

I emailed him later and told him that Ken and I were taking the drawer fronts off and replacing them, and that I would let him know the cost, to which he again replied, “So sorry for the inconvenience.” I think he’s confusing ‘inconvenience’ with ‘fungal lung infection’, but hey, that’s the crazy English language for you.

I suppose it’s a testament to the power of my will (among other things) that we got the whole ordeal over and done with on Friday. Here are the things that the universe kept throwing in my way to overcome:

1) Late Thursday night, part of the ceiling in the elevator lobby suddenly collapsed. On Friday morning, my concierge told me that he couldn’t put the elevator on service for the two hours I’d booked, because they were already one elevator down, and that we would just have to load everything into the hall, then do the entire move in 20 minutes.

2) I was moving into the building next door, but it was pouring rain, and we had to traverse 75 feet of flooding pavement to get from one garage bay to another.

3) The garbage company hadn’t done their usual Thursday pick-up, and the garage bay of my building was full of giant dumpsters, so we had to take everything through a narrow hallway instead of the bay, and then try NOT to get hit by garbage trucks while carrying couches in the pouring rain.

4) My property manager showed up at 10 am to pick up the keys and said he couldn’t leave until the place was completely emptied. I suggested that perhaps he should pitch in and help if he wanted to be out of there before noon, given the circumstances. He said it was OK, because he had nowhere else to be and then he literally stood in the living room for the next two hours, fiddling with his phone. He DID carry the last box out of the apartment though, so that TOTALLY made up for the fact that I was charged 5 days rent for doing what the management company suggested and not moving out on the first, which pretty much cancelled out the incentive I was given for moving out a month early (it really didn’t make up for it, and I have the email to prove that I was told to move out on the fifth, so we’ll see).

5) I had no Allen key. No one had an Allen key. How do I have furniture that was put together with an Allen key, yet I have no f*cking Allen key? Luckily, I had a multi-purpose screwdriver that I bought at Loblaws. When I initially purchased it, I thought to myself, “When am I ever going to need anything other than a Robertson head, or maybe, worst case scenario, a Philips? What are all these other weird heads for? This one’s a f*cking hexagon—when would I ever need THAT?” Well, mystery solved.

I was fortunate though, to have the help of my family throughout this whole debacle, particularly T and my brother, who has a PhD and who is also extremely cheerful and strong. Between the two of them, they got all the heavy stuff moved in record time, and found a way to get around every obstacle the universe threw at us with dignity, grace, and a minimum of swearing. I was also lucky that the concierge of my former building kept “forgetting” to take the elevator off service, which gave us pretty much the entire two hours to get my stuff out. Also, T and I took the train back together, and, without asking, not only did he carry my suitcase for me, he held my hand on the packed, standing room only subway so that I wouldn’t fall over. I don’t mind telling you this, because he NEVER READS MY BLOG. So he’ll never know how much I appreciate the little things he does for me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, no matter how sh*tty and stressful things are, I’m extremely lucky to have people in my life who care about me and who will go out of their way for me when I need it. From Ken, who made several trips to the city to help with the preliminaries but who couldn’t be there on moving day because of work, to my parents who were willing to help with anything I needed, to all the other family and friends who offered support and encouragement, all I can say is “Don’t be sad about losing this one, universe—you didn’t know what you were up against.”

Saturday: Teenage movie reviews

On the weekend, we like to pick a movie to watch together as a family in our back room. We have a sectional couch back there, and the first person to yell, “Long spot!” gets dibs on the part of the couch where you can stretch your legs out. Sometimes they’re new movies, but when there’s nothing good available, we delve into our own collection, much to T’s dismay. On Saturday night, we had “The Hobbit,” but then I got this intense desire to watch “Lady in the Water” directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

T: What’s it about?
Me: It’s about this apartment complex in Florida where the Super of the building discovers a mermaid in the pool. I don’t want to say much else and give it away, but it’s a great film.
T: Really? Is this going to be like when you made me watch “Bladerunner?”
Me: “Bladerunner” is an amazing movie! What are you talking about?
T: Amazing? Robots from the 80s with mullets?
Me: They didn’t have mullets! What are you talking about?
T: And Indiana Jones yelling, “Kill the robots! Kill the robots!” Yeah. Amazing.
Me: You’re a philistine.

So we watched “The Hobbit.” I kind of owed him.