Sunday, July 29, 2012

50 year old Groupie

I hit the road last week for a 4 day Island run.  I started in Victoria and made my way up the island until Saturday morning when I hopped on the ferry in Nanaimo to head home.

I will get back to the Groupie issue in a moment.

This road trip was a pleasant mix of business and pleasure.  It made for a nice change. 

I had the opportunity to visit with multiple family members.  First, I started with my cousin Brandi.  She is a supremo stylist and cut my hair with no comments from the peanut gallery regarding my age and employment status.  She did a great job as she knows me and my limitations.  I cannot make my left hand work.  I have had many a black eye whilst trying to blow dry my hair and style it at the same time.  I don't know why but quite often while working the brush while holding the dryer, I have poked myself in the eyeball.  She gave me a style that will work just by hanging my head out the window on my way to work and letting the wind do its stuff.

I was able to spend the evening visiting with some favorite Aunts and Uncles - just visiting and telling stories.  My uncle seemed to think that perhaps I have a bit of a mean streak when it comes to having a bit of fun with my children.  Remember my previous story about how I ensured my daughter never forgets mother's day again.

I rarely get mad but I always get even.  However, as I was recounting my story of ensuring they never forgot mother's day again, it reminded me that I don't just have fun with the kids when I get even.  Actually no one is totally safe.

There is no point in wasting energy getting mad.  Waste that energy on plotting revenge instead.  It is much more satisfying.

A few years ago a woman I worked with really pissed me off.  Doesn't matter what happened.  Suffice to say that I had to plot my revenge.  It took a few weeks to plan.  That was part of the fun. 

My youngest brother used to work for the National Research Centre - a federal government agency.  He had access to official letterhead and envelopes.  (remember when people got mail?)  I had overheard a conversation she had with another co-worker about how she had entered menopause and had multiple symptoms.  Hmmmmm, got the old brain juices going.

I got hold of some letterhead and decided to write a letter inviting this person to join, on recommendation of her doctor, in a blind study of a new drug for middle aged women entering menopause.  I provided a phone number for her to call for more information and had my brother mail it from his place of work.  It was his direct line.  I also provided him with a list of questions to ask when she called.

And I knew she would call.  I had mentioned that she would recieve a small stipend for her participation.  I paid attention whenever she was speaking with anyone with suripitious eavesdropping.  I was able to make a pretty detailed list of questions ranging from the benign to the extremely personal. 

She discussed the letter with a co-worker.  I knew when she was going to call the number in the letter.  I sat at my desk across the office and watched her make the call.  My brother played the part perfectly.

Picture this:

"National research centre.  My name is ________ (He used his bosses name).

"Hello, my name is S__________.  I recieved the letter inviting me to take part in some menopause research."

"I am glad you called.  I just need to ask you some questions before I can verify your eligibility.  Some of these questions will be personal.  I hope you are ok with that but you understand with the nature of the study, it requires certain personal information."

"I am ok with that.  If anything can help with these symptoms, I am game."

After a number of simple questions such as name, rank and serial numbers, he moved in for the kill.  Meanwhile, I was now under the desk trying hard not to laugh out loud and blow it before it finished playing out.  Keep in mind, this person was very excited about getting money and being part of this drug trial.

"Ok, now on to the personal questions.  How many sexual partners have you had in your lifetime?"

After a quick look around the office to see who was listening, she answered. "8"

"that's fine.  Now, how long have you been married to the same partner?"

"22 years"

"How many children do you have and what are their ages?"

"2 - 13 and 15"

"Very nice.  Now I need to ask you about your sexual history.  How often do you and your spouse engage in sexual intercourse?"

"2 or 3 times a week"

"really?  That's a lot" (he almost broke character)  " I only have a couple more questions before we are done and can then verify your eligibility."

"Great.  By the way, how much is the stipend?"

"It's not huge.  It is just meant to cover your travel and time expenditures.  The stipend is $100 for every day you have to come to UBC for testing which is once per week for the first 2 months and then twice per week for the second two months."

"That's fabulous"

"Are you and your spouse engaging in unprotected sex?"

"Yes - because we are married"

"Are your sexual proclivities on the mundane side or are they more rambunctious and outside the so called "normal" spectre?"

"really?  You need to know this?"

"We believe that a woman's sexual activities bare some relation to menopausal symptoms"

"Oh, ok.  Well, then some of both" 

Keep in mind, I am stunned she is still on the phone and answering these questions.  I am now biting the leg of my chair to keep from laughing.

Now for my favorite question and the one I was waiting for.  I had learned, in my eavesdropping, that she almost killed her husband one night during sex when her necklace fell down his throat while she was on top and he started to choke.

"During these sexual encounters, have you ever physically caused your spouse pain and agony?"

The conversation stopped for a moment and I could see her eyes taking in the room.

"Wait a minute.  What's this really about?  Who is this?"  Holly!!!!!  Has anyone seen Holly?  Where the hell is she?  I am going to kill you when I find you!"  She found me by my laughter and threw a stapler at me.  It was soooo worth it.  I had warned her but she didn't listen so she had only herself to blame.  Another good thing came out of this.  I got a promotion because my boss could not believe all the work I went through and everyone else paid heed to my newly revealed super-powers.

When I got home that night, Kris and I had a good laugh over dinner.  He could not believe she kept answering the questions.  He was having trouble asking them but liked my plan so much that it only cost me $50 for his role. 

Don't mess with Nanna.

After a wonderful evening gossiping with my aunt, I headed out to a week of speed meetings - 6 in three and a half days.  Nothing much happened - all went as it should be except for one weird incident.

I came out of my hotel room on Thursday morning to find a book on my doorstep.  I looked around to see if everyone got one.  I was the only one.  I opened the cover and inside was a little note "for the lady in 322.  It was our synchronized breaks that got me."  It was signed by the author.  Hmm, I had gone out to my balcony a few times in the evening (twice in my nightie).  I hadn't seen anyone else.  Seems I had someone watching me.  It felt kind of odd.  The book was very interesting though.  It was about some British Columbia history.

Friday found me enjoying lunch, ocean side, with my Dad and Joyce.  Yummy.  We had a very nice visit before I was off to meet with my brother and sister-in-law.  I can count on Angie to add some excitement to my life.

Here comes the reference to my being a 50 year old groupie.

After a fabulous dinner we made our way to a reunion concert of a band called Steelback.  They were pretty well known back in the 70's and early 80's out west.  As we settled in to our seats and the concert began, I was transported back in time.  The days of big hair, highwaisted jeans and the smell of a  sweat soaked gymnasium.  That is until I opened my eyes and was greeted by the sight of balding, middle-aged musicians.  However, I felt a rush of my heartbeat as they could still rock out to the memories of my youth.  I was able to overlook the hair by realizing I too was no longer the girl of my youth.  It did not stop me from jumping up to dance and giggle and laugh like the groupie I was. 

Angie's friend (car race night) was a part of the band.  He is a pretty good bass player.  Saw him in a whole new light - the light of a groupie.  We had a wee bit of a visit before he had to get back on stage.  All in all, a very good night.  I had a great time.  Before I knew it, it was saturday morning and I was making my way to the ferry for the ride home.

A very full week awaits.  I need a real holiday.  I hope to take at least one day off with the long weekend and have the kids.  Time to go to Playland.

Stay tuned and remember - don't piss off the Nannagramma or you may find yourself on the recieving end of some diabolical plan to even the playing field.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One of my dumber ideas

So there I was sitting on my couch getting ready to watch a whole marathon of one of my favorite shows "Burn Notice" when I received a phone call from my favorite wee man.

"Hi Nanna, its me Xavier.  Um, I was um, wondering if you would um, like to take us to the fireworks.  Dad's still on crutches and can't go so mom said you might take us.  Is that ok?  We can come early and play at your house."

How is a Nannagramma supposed to say no to that?  "But of course.  Pack your bags and be ready in 2 hours and ya'll can sleep over". 

I pushed my lazy ass off the couch and got dressed.  I picked the wee ones up and we came back to my house to play lacross, dress-up, monopoly and play-doh.  After dinner, we set off to walk to the train station to make our way downtown for the Canada Day fireworks at Canada Place.  So did 200,000 other people.

We wandered around and found what we thought was a pretty good spot to set up our wee portable stools.  We waited.  The children got hungry while we waited some more.  The wind kicked up off the water and the kids got hungrier.  Even though we had a big dinner prior to leaving the house, the idea of being so close to the ice cream and popcorn vendors got their tummy's growling.  We ate ice cream and popcorn while huddled together as the night got colder.  FINALLY - the fireworks began.....behind us on the otherside of the building.  However, we did manage to catch anything that was up high. 

Lexi had to pee.  RIGHT NOW NANNA!  There were no washrooms as I ran helter skelter through the throng trying to beg and cajole shop vendors into letting her use the facilities.  Finally a woman in a souvenir shop let her use the staff washroom when Lex started to cry.  I told her she should have started crying earlier.

When we entered the fray again Rae said she wanted to go home.  She was tired and cold.  We saw exactly 3 minutes of fireworks as we made our way to the train station.  Moving through the mob was difficult and Xavier hurt his leg and was limping along.  By the time we made it to Waterfront train station the fireworks were over and the body of people was moving enmasse around us.  As we approached the front door of the station we were stopped and told the station was closed and we would have to back-track 8 blocks to the other station.  The roads were also blocked so our bus option became confusing.  Where were we to catch it now if we couldn't make it to the train station?  I had an idea. Ok, perhaps not my brightest but it seemed simply brilliant at the time.

It was now just after 11pm and the city was crowded.  The other side of the street, one block down, the buses were still running.  I thought "what we if hopped on our bus going in the opposite direction and then ride it all the way around?" This will allow us to avoid fighting the mob in an effort to try to figure out where the other bus stops were re-located to and the kids would be able to sit and get warm.  Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself as our bus came pretty quickly. 

We were at the back of the bus chatting and watching the people on the streets.  We headed farther away from our intended desitination but I was not worried as I knew it would make the loop and take us home to within 2 blocks of my house.  Then is happened.  I felt it first - the engine stopped running.  Then the driver came back and I realized we were the only ones left on the bus.  "Where are you people headed?", the bus driver asked.  "False creek - 6th and Heather please", I responded.  "Well, ma'am, you need to get off the bus." he said.  "WHAT???  It is 11:30pm and the kids just want to go home.  What do you mean we have to get off the bus?"  "Well, ma'am, I am actually heading into the yard and going home myself so you will have to wait for the next bus."  I responded with, "Well, first of all, quit calling me ma'am.  And secondly, I want you to call mission control and ensure that another bus will be coming and when it will be here.  I have no idea where we are and there is no one else around and so help me, if you leave us stranded here I will make it my mission in life to hunt you down and ensure that even your family dog pays for making me miserable."

He called mission control.  Another bus was to be by - the last of the night - in 11 minutes.  The kids and I waited, alone and in the dark, playing "jump off the bus stop bench until someone gets hurt" for another 25 minutes.  Everyone was real cheery by then.  Suffice to say, we wandered through the front door of the house at 12:30am.  Rae summed up the evening with "well, that was certainly an interesting adventure I never want to do again.  Can we watch cartoons now?"

I returned the children to the parents at 3pm the following afternoon after first being woken at 8am by having a play-doh ice cream sundae shoved in my face followed by a trip to the movie theatre to watch Madagascar 3 (great movie by the way).  The kids were nice and cranky by the time I dropped them off.

To end on an up beat, this afternoon at exactly 3pm, my cell phone rang and I looked down to see who was on call display.  To my surprise I see it is Panagopolous pizza.  My first thought is "holy crap, they are calling to confirm my order since someone obviously stole my information and is ordering pizza."  Imagine my surprise when instead I hear " Good Afternoon, this is Panago pizza calling.  We noticed that we have not heard from you in quite awhile and we are wondering if we have done something to cause you to discontinue using our service.  We would like to make up for any issues that may have caused you to discontinue ordering pizza from Panago by offering you a $10 gift certificate to use the next time you call.  We look forward to hearing from you."

Gotta say, that has never happened before.  Also brought to my attention that I now know the real reason for my winter weight gain - obviously I was ordering a lot of pizza.  What a great marketing idea.  I can hardly wait to hear from Las Vegas.  I can imagine the call - "Hello, this is Las Vegas calling.  We noticed that you have not enjoyed our unique deposit service in quite sometime.  We would love for you to return and enjoy the many benefits of always knowing where your money is going.  Here is $25 towards your first $100 deposit at our craps table."  I would be on the next flight - if only to re-visit my last deposit.

Stay tuned.  I am sure as the summer warms up, so will my life.