Birthday Bait and Switch

Last week, the Small Child thought he’d make himself some Mac ‘n’ Cheese.  You know, the horrid microwave kind, which passes itself off as food and has very doubtful nutritional properties.  It’s stupidly easy to make, full of MSG goodness and the kid loves it, (though god knows why), all you have to do is tip the sachet of macaroni into a bowl, add water, heat for three minutes on high and then stir through the pretend reconstituted cheesy stuff.  Simple right?

Unless of course you miss a vital step, like oh… I don’t know – adding water.

Then what you get, instead of Mac ‘n’ Cheese, is a house full of acrid black smoke, a useless microwave with burnt plastic walls, which now is only suitable for use as a temporary garden ornament until next kerbside pick up day.  I really wasn’t planning on replacing the microwave any time soon… but can not go putting fabric wheat packs in the (vaguely still functioning) machine twice a day, because they’ll end up reeking of charred acrid smoke and shortly after, so too, will the couch.  Yuk.

As luck would have it, it was the Small Child’s birthday in a week or so, and I decided to teach him a lesson about forgetfulness, by telling that he was getting a new microwave for his birthday as a result of the Greatly Offensive and Injurious Mac ‘n’ Cheese Incident of 2014.  I let him do the retail research and he got to put together a purchase proposal, so you know, I kindly allowed him to choose which one we needed (much to his disgust), and then we duly went out and purchased it.  Poor little guy was quiet and resigned throughout, feeling equal parts guilty at destroying the old microwave and despondent at the concept that the new one was to constitute his birthday gift.  We then got a week of telling him that his birthday present was all sorted but that he needed some new slippers, so he might get some of those too.  Little did he know, his actual birthday present had been ordered weeks ago…

As an avid young gamer, his eight year old hand me down laptop was his most prized possession and while it was okay for some things, it wasn’t really wasn’t cutting the mustard.  So we had decided it was a good time to replace and we arranged for the whole family to chip in and help us buy him a new one – one that would hopefully see him through the next four years or so.  Hopefully by that time, when he needs another upgrade – he can damn well get a job and save for it himself!  But it served our purposes at the moment to let him think that a shiny new microwave was all that birthday had in store for him… it significantly reduced the ‘I wants’ in the lead up to said birthday, that’s for sure.

Anyway, birthday morning rolled around and so began the unwrapping of some underwhelming decoy birthday presents that I literally pulled out of the emergency present box (everyone has one of them right?)…

Well, Happy Birthday kiddo… I think that was exactly the reaction we were hoping for…. except for that weird, “I am victorious!”, exclamation, which mostly just tells me he’s been playing way too many video games already, and doesn’t have a suitable vocabulary to express elation!

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Alaska and Dixie sally forth!

I haven’t written about our little rescued puppy mill pups in quite a while now, which is rather odd considering how much joy and how many smiles they bring into the house on a daily basis… I guess I’ve been distracted by the surprising realization that what people really want to read about is sex toys, but I digress.  🙂

Dixie is Mutley Number One… she’s just passed her first birthday which we arbitrarily assigned to her as being 10/11/12, seeing that all we knew about her was she was approximately X months old when we got her!  Everyone needs a birthday, birthdays are important (feel free to read a little ‘fuck Christmas’ into that sentiment while you are at it!).  Every morning I get up and she comes to greet me by… laying flat on her back and waiting for a tummy rub.  Seriously.  She doesn’t jump up on my legs or anything (though she does this to many other people), she just wags her tail and immediately flops herself over waiting for a tummy rub.  Spoiled little girl… but obviously knows how to get what she wants! Dixie is just awesome to have around, she mostly moseys around the house and loves being near the humans… she will happily spend most of her day curled up in a sleepy little ball of soft white fluff on the couch beside you, if you let her.  For months we thought she had a really wirey coat and then summer came along and we gave her a clip – well, not really a clip, actually.  I needed new blades for my clippers, so I just grabbed a pair of scissors and gave her a stunning Meg Ryan hair cut… the tousled, ‘I just got out of bed’ look is what all the fashionable puppies are wearing this season!

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But I eventually bought some new clipper blades, and now she is looking all neat and tidy while still slightly scruffy (I don’t like over grooming the hair around their faces, they start to stop looking like their naturally beautiful selves) and her coat is sooo soft.  Couple of little oddities in her behaviour lately – one in particular that has only just started.  She has been pacing along the wall in our media room looking at the ceiling… I think she has noticed the 16′ projector screen that hangs just below the ceiling, of course it’s been there all the time, but she has decided it is of concern lately, so she’s been pacing back and forth and occasionally growling at it, and then turns to me imploringly to ‘do something about it Mom!’  It’s so cute to watch her trying to figure it out.

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Alaska puppy, who is sometimes called ‘Boof’, because this is the odd low noise she occasionally makes which passes for barking, is simply unrecognizable compared to the poor scared weird little girl that we picked up back in August.  She is 100% full of joy and beans it would seem… so much energy!  She’s quite the little mountain goat – I’ve never seen such an agile little dog.  She races around the house, giving Dixie her daily exercise, and jumps up on the furniture and gracefully leaps the great divide (for her, anyway!) between the couches to get to a new lap for cuddles.  She still prances annoying out of reach if you want to pick her up from a standing position, but as soon as you sit down, she comes rushing forward for affection and cuddles and well, tries to lick your nose off.  She actually got out of the house a couple of weeks ago and I immediately freaked out thinking, she will never come back if we call her – she won’t come to us when we call her in the house.  Luckily quick thinking saved the day.  I walked out where she could see me and sat down in the middle of the road and just like aways she ran straight over to me and jumped in my lap.  🙂  Gotta love using their little quirks to your advantage!

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Recently however we have noticed that Alaska has been getting the shakes, and I don’t mean the ‘Oh I’m cold would you people PLEASE turn down the air con’ shakes, and I don’t mean the ‘Oh shit we are going to see the nice lady who takes my temperature up my butt’ shakes, or even the ‘Holy dooley, that is one big dog, keep him away from me’ shakes.  No, we noticed she had started shaking like a Parkinson’s sufferer all the time even when we were all just chilling out around the house.  I couldn’t tell if she was in any discomfort – she didn’t appear to be, and it didn’t appear to be situational or environmental.  She didn’t have any other symptoms of ill health (eating normally, pooping normally – ie: everywhere! 😉 ) and was otherwise her playful usual self… just shaking all the time.

So, I did what every responsible puppy lover does and consulted the Oracle (totally Googled that shit!) and came up with what looked like something called Generalized Tremor Syndrome… it’s a neurological condition.  Then I consulted all our good friends on the ARQ Angel Forum to see if any of the other puppy mill puppies – her cousins and siblings – had shown any signs of weird shaking.  Seems like there is plenty of fear trembling going on among this crew, but nothing like this.  And while I had the chance over the weekend in Canberra, I asked my friend Rob the Vet what he thought it might be (armed with handy video on my phone so I could show him her only symptom).  He says to me with a straight face – ‘I think she has Shaky White Dog Syndrome’… I thought he was making that shit up, but apparently that is another name for Idiomatic Shaking Syndrome (all these things are the same condition, I am now learning) which is a neurological/auto-immune condition, prevalent in – you guessed it – small white dog breeds, like Maltese and West Highland White Terriers.

Now Alaska is supposed to be predominantly Fox Terrier, and given her diminuitive stature, I would have thought that is about right… now however we are thinking she may have a lot of Maltese in there, though she is never going to be as large as your average Maltese.  So off to the vet with Alaska for a full exam yesterday.  Sharon the Vet really put Alaska through her paces, and our timid little girl passed all her neurological tests with flying colours… except that one where she needed to stop shaking for 60 seconds together!  So yep, our shaky white puppy has Shaky White Puppy Syndrome and we are going to put her on a small course of steroids to see if it helps – it can’t be fun spending every waking hour with the shakes, poor little thing.  At the moment she is happily curled up defending the tv remote controls…

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You want to tell me that you love me…

Why is it that he always sends an, “I love you” message, right when you are in the middle of storming around the house cursing his fucking name?

Is it ESP or something?  Does he feel that right at that moment he is mentally being burned in effigy and suddenly feels the need to try and buy some good karma or something? Because I frequently get the text message that says, “I hope you’re having a great day. I love you.’, when I am so pissed off I want to scream!!!

I’ll be in the middle of wiping the coffee stains off the kitchen benches, the cupboards and even the goddamn floor, and mentally calculating how many more times I am prepared to do this before I throw the malodorous filthy fucking espresso machine out the fricken kitchen window and my little iPhone will innocuously go *ding* with an ‘I love you’.

Or I’ll be scrubbing the toilet of HIS skiddies, or scraping phlegm off the bathroom sink or washing bits of beard off the porcelain… and wondering ‘Ferfucksake why?!?  Does he not see it?  DOES HE NOT FUCKING SEE IT?’ and the phone will go *ding* with little messages of love.

I’ll be thinking to myself, ‘what part of, “you need to find somewhere else to hang those ties” sounds like a fucking suggestion?’, or ‘he said he fucking cleaned this, and yet here I am, on my hands and knees, doing it properly’, or sighing in slumped resignation at the realization that my request to take the stupid garbage out has been ignored for the umpteenth time and my phone will go *ding* with a text window telling me I’m so awesome.   🙁

WELL FUCK THAT SHIT.

You want to tell me that you love me… scrub down your own damn dunny and leave it smelling fresh and clean for the next occupant.

You want to tell me that you love me… actually clean the dishes when you say you are going to, and realize that cleaning the dishes also involves wiping down the sink!

You want to tell me that you love me… look after your own shit and don’t leave disgusting coffee stains and smells permeating the entire kitchen.

You want to tell me that you love me… don’t use the bathtub as an ‘overflow’ laundry hamper hindering anyone from actually taking a fucking bath!

You want to tell me that you love me… don’t vacuum the floor in part of the house and leave another part of the house littered with crap.

You want to tell me that you love me… then fucking DO something useful and fucking do it properly!

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Here’s some free advice… thinking of getting married and sharing your life with someone until ‘death do you part’ or until one of you is lying about screwing some sort of window licking crazy in a dodgy hotel room on a Tuesday?  By all means.  Marriage rocks.  Having someone to share your life with is awesome.  BUT for crying out loud, save yourself years of heartache and marry someone who has the same sense of ‘clean’ as you do.  Else you are just buying into a world of fucking hurt.

And don’t get me started on having compatible concepts of ‘punctuality’…

Little boxes… little boxes.

Yay!  Lots of tradies in short shorts scampering all over my house today as they install the new air conditioning system.

Althought I have to admit, I always find it rather disconcerting to have tradesmen in the house banging and drilling and screwing things all over place.  Especially if they are up in the roof and all the banging and drilling and screwing is going on without me!  In truth, the noise always makes me feel a little uneasy – like the house is going to fall down around us… and meanwhile I tend to potter around attempting to look as industrious as the tradies, while actually engaging my efforts in less profitable endeavours… namely watching the tradies, banging and drilling and screwing things all over the house!  In my defence, this is probably due to the fact that there is an alarmingly small requirement for the chopping of wood with axes in the air conditioning installation process, else one would be watching that instead!  😀

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Anyway, new air conditioning system will, of course, have two major and immediate impacts for us:

1) We will have Summer Friends again.  That’s right.  When you have air con in BrisVegas, you have lots and lots of friends in the summertime.  For, as you know, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a house sans air conditioning in Queensland, accommodates only sad and lonely pariahs that no civilized member of society should want to call upon (a phenomena experienced by pool owners and ducted air con dwellers alike).

And 2) We will have the pleasure of seeing the pretty little graphs on our summer power bills soar to their previously lofty, and excessively disturbing, heights once again!  Oh yay!  Praise the powers that be (pun intended) for ensuring that domestic electricity prices have soared by approximately 200%+ in last decade.  Sigh… thems the breaks.

But, we shall endure without complaint… for, at least we will be comfortably cool while we contemplate our discombobulating power bills.

I’m on my way. Do you need anything?

Friend is coming over… husband is on his way home… Mum is en route.  Whatever the occasion, whenever someone says to me: ‘I’m on my way.  Do you need anything?  Bread?  Milk?’  I have this urge to ask them to bring something…. Anything!

I think the problem stems from an auditory hallucination of sorts.  Because what they are saying is: ‘I’m on my way.  Do you need anything?’, but, what I am actually hearing is Robin Williams’ voice as the genie in Aladdin saying, ‘Poof!  Whaddaya need?  Poof!  Whaddaya need?  Poof!  Whaddaya need?!’

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A genie?  Hells yes, I feel like I have to ask for something… and if I don’t, then I feel like opportunity came a knocking and I missed my grab at the brass ring!  And through my mind goes, something like this –

I need a strawberry Magnum! … but it’s only breakfast time.
I need my air con fixed!  …. that seems unlikely on a Wednesday afternoon.
I need a baby! … bit expensive and hard to get on short notice.
I need a cleaner! … probably not obtainable where they are coming from.
I need a massage! … can you get those to take away?
I need a retaining wall! …. might need more than one person for that.
I need goat pies! … damn, it’s not market day.
I need some pain free sleep! … not sure where you get that though.
I need pink hair dye! … hmmm, maybe ‘need’ is a strong word.
I need my car serviced! … should probably take care of that myself.
I need more Qantas Frequent Flyer Points … but who doesn’t.
I need a new refrigerator! …  pretty sure that’s not what they had in mind.

Sigh.

So I flounder momentarily for something sensible, tangible and potentially obtainable to tell them to bring with them… and I inevitably answer,

‘Ahhh, nothing.  I’m all good.’