Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stephen Harper, Don't Stand So Close To Me!

Dear Stephen Harper,

You seriously need to get voted out of power as Canadian Prime Minister... Then you need to get the hell out of my country! I'm not a very political person, mainly because I don't understand them... But I do understand that I don't like you and how you want to screw my country over! I am sick and tired of people like you being dirty, lying maggots and it being acceptable on the sole reason that your a "politician" and it's "expected".

Enough with your smear campaigns and tactics... Maybe you should be focusing on what you're doing... Like bending over and taking it from the USA. We, the Canadian People, aren't interested in becoming the 51st State... So, honestly, quit kissing ass already! (No offence to any Americans reading this... Your politicians are just as screwed as ours... Don't make me start dropping names!) Or maybe you should focus on what you're not doing, and rectifying those issues.... Like not standing up for your country. Instead of focusing on your competition's shortcomings and issues, which just makes you look like more of a poof than you already look....  Maybe you should try focusing on how you can improve this country and how your going to fix things around here...

You need to remove the multiple pickles from your rectum and take notes from Prime Ministers passed... I think you could learn something from Pierre Trudeau, or Lester Pearson... They were proud Canadians.... And they were eager to stick up for Canada and go toe to toe with anyone who tried to walk on the Canadian people. True, you either loved or hated both Trudeau or Pearson... Guess what Pal... I severely dislike you. You're a sell out and are washed up... My only regret, that's not even my fault... I wasn't born early enough to enjoy Pearson or Trudeau's terms as Prime Minister....

I do have a question for you though... Why are you such a sell out? I mean you extradite the "Prince of Pot", for what? Because you want some brownie points with US Politicians? Didn't I just see one of your smear ads talking down Michael Ignatieff because he worked for a while down at Harvard? Yet you bend over backwards to get in good with the Politicians down there... Disgusting... While I admit, Canada's culture is similar to that of the US of A, purely out of proximity to the US... We, the Canadian people, have our own culture - which I think most Canadians are pretty proud of... So, either get on board on your Nation's side... Or step down, Goof!

And what's the deal with you treating people like crap??? You deported the "Prince of Pot" to the States for US prosecution? I don't necessarily support drug use... But Marijuana is pretty minor in comparison to say... Cocaine or Heroine... (Will be blogging later on regarding Weed/Pot/Marijuana...) I just think you were in it for more US Brownie points... What's with not repatriating the kid from Guantanamo Bay? I realize he is charged with a very serious crime... Come on though! The kid was 15 when he was enprisoned and is now 21 or 22... Drag his ass up here and put him in the clink... He's a Canadian! Oh, I forgot... Unless they are Caucasian and heterosexual, you don't care! Yeah, I said it! You are a racist, homophobic DICKHEAD! While being on the topic of you being a racist prick... Is it true that you don't know the difference between an India Indian and an Aboriginal Indian? Seriously, if you don't know the difference - you have absolutelly no business being in any sort of political office, let alone "running" the country.... Honestly, I don't know how you were elected... I think the Canadian people should stone you before sending YOU to Guantanamo Bay... You'd make somebody a pretty little bitch!

Seriously Stephen Harper... I despise you... I don't like you... I don't like how you run this country... I guarantee I've never voted for you... I guarantee I never will... I think you should call an election and pack your stuff to leave...


It's Not Always About Me

PS You may be Canada's Prime Minister on paper... You will never EVER be my Prime Minister... You're embarrassing.... Get a hair cut, you're not doing a real job... (Not doing a real job of running Canada anywhere, that is. Except into the ground.... So, while you're down there, eat dirt!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Genealogical Numerology & Coincidences

I've always been a little obsessed with where I came from... Genealogically that is. I've always enjoyed Astrology, Numerology and Genealogy, but am no where near an expert in any of these subjects... Just a hobby if you will. I've tried to trace my family tree, and admittedly, haven't gotten very far... From what I have managed to untangle about my family tree, there are a few oddities that are of interest.

My first example of such phenomena is the fact that this year seems to be a big one for a few of my family members and I... In March, my Grandma (Mum's Mum) will be turning 80. In June, an Aunt (my Mum's sister) is turning 50 and an Uncle (my Dad's brother) is turning 60. Three cousins and I are turning 30 this year. (One in March - a cousin on Dad's side, one in May - a cousin from Mum's side, and finally another cousin on Dad's side and I will have our turn come September.) Though it's not a BIG 3-0, 5-0, 6-0, or 8-0 birthday, another cousin will hit the 25 year old bench mark in April... Bizarre state of affairs, but that's how the pickle's squirting this year.

I've noticed that there are a few busy, busy birthday months and others that don't have any at all. March, April and September seem to be those busy months, at least in my family. March seems to hold birthdays for four of my cousins, a great Aunt and my Grandma. Grandma and one cousin share a birthday of March 19th - granted that cousin is on Dad's side... Another cousin and my Great Aunt share a birthday of March 21st. So, with a grand total of 6, March is pretty hopping. April is another kicker. My bro, three cousins, an Aunt (Who's name is also April) and two Uncles are April babies. No overlaps to report here, just 7 birthdays. Finally September babies are on the high side as well. I'm a September baby and so are two cousins and two aunts. I also would have shared my birthday with my Grandpa's Grandpa - my great, great Grandfather - if he were still around. For all the busy birthday months, January, February, and December seem to make up for things. (One, maybe two, family members born in these months.)

The 21st also seems more prevalent in the family than any other day. My cousin and Great Aunt were both born on March 21st. My Auntie April, the April baby, was born the 21st... My Dad was born the 21st of his birth month. I was born September 21st, and so was my great, great Grandfather. (I was also born a year and a day after my parents were married... So I was a day late for their first anniversary.) And finally, my cousin's Daughter was born August 21st. If you impose 21 to the number 12, my little cousin was born November 12th. (She's the closest member of the family, on either side, to be born close to a holiday...)

Something else, that can be considered an oddity, would be my Grandpa (Mum's Dad) and my Dad... Both were born in the same month... If you inverted the last two numbers of the year Grandpa was born, you'd wind up with the year my Dad was born. (For Example 1936 becomes 1963. Neither are the actual years of Grandpa's or Dad's birth.) Coincidentally, the two were both a lot a like... Both were on the quiet side, until they got a couple beer in them. (Both enjoyed their beer.) Both worked away from home, as in on the road. Both were highly respected in their professions. The list of similarities could go on, these were just what came to mind first.

I'm sure, as I delve further into unearthing my family tree, a lot of other cool and interesting facts will arise. I'm not sure if I'll find more overlapping birthdays or others born on the 21st... I'm not sure if I'll find other similarities in personality characteristics... I'm not sure if there are ancestors that were linked to major historical events, or were involved in the building of famous landmarks still a part of today's society... I'm not sure what I'll find... I am a keener and will enjoy the adventure, which ever direction my family tree takes me.

It's not always about me; I just find these things kind of cool and amusing... Even if no one else does!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Should Anyone Be Crowned, King of Late Night?

I've found that since recently becoming employed at a Taxi Company, on graveyard shifts, has really cut into my Late Night Television consumption... Not that I really mind though, I've found the scene stale of late.The battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman is a thing of the past. The controversy of Jay Leno taking back his spot from Conan O'Brien has simmered down... Conan's premiered his own show on an entirely different network now - surprise, surprise. We've got the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson all vying for your viewing time as well. But can anyone really fill Johnny Carson's shoes for the title of King of Late Night? I don't think anyone truly can however....

I can't say I've watched a single episode of Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon... I didn't find Jimmy Fallon funny nor amusing while he was on SNL, so I'm not wasting my time... Jimmy Kimmel I find offensive... So, again, not wasting my time...

I've always preferred Jay Leno over David Letterman... Sure, Leno's a little "cleaner" and has taken a bit of flack for being a bit of a dork... But I still find him amusing from time to time. Even so, I think I can count on one hand the amount of times I've watched Leno over the past couple years.... I might even have a spare digit or two left on that hand... I find him to be on the stale side of things. Sure he took over for Johnny back in the day... Johnny had staying power though! He didn't need to have a face off with Letterman for ratings... Or to have controversy run up his ratings with taking back his slot from Conan. So, sorry Jay - I don't think your the King....

I've watched Letterman a few times and don't know what the big deal is with him... This guy was involved in a sex scandal, like, Really? Have you seen David Letterman? Gross!!! Was it a case of a publicity stunt for ratings? Or was it just another case of a horny person of fame thinking that he, too, could get away with having multiple affairs? Either way, gross, but I will give the guy credit... He may not be funny, but at least he apologized for his scandalous behavior... Top 10? Lame... And honestly, skid Paul Shaffer's ass! That dude is super ANNOYING! I switch the channel because of the obnoxiousness of Paul Shaffer... Gag me with a spoon already... Sorry, Letterman... I don't think you're the King of Late Night either...

I used to down right love Conan O'Brien... A co~worker, and friend of mine, would walk in to work and say "Hey! How was your night? Did ya catch Conan last night? Ridiculously Hilarious!" Then we'd both do the puppet dance of Conan and then pretend to cut the string... We'd always reference Conan's trademark hair style too... I particularly enjoyed the show where Conan got "skreeched" in by Natasha Henstridge. I thought he got royally shafted by the bump by Leno and the dismal treatment of NBC... But what am I gonna do about it, right? Not much I can do though... Since Conan's gotten his new show on TBS - I've fallen "out of love" with him... I don't know if it's because he's got a side kick again... Or it's because of who he's got as a side kick... (Andy Ritcher = Obnoxious and Annoying as hell in my world..) Either way, the side kick thing ruined it for me... Sorry, Conan... You used to be the King of my late night world... Ruined...

My new favorite is the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I used to watch both Conan and Ferguson, but now - It's all you Craig. At first I didn't really like Craig Ferguson... I couldn't shake his re-occurring role on the Drew Carey show from my brain... I've gotten passed it though... And the fact that Craig seems to be a bit of a Canada/Canadian basher... That's alright though, he can bash Canada all he wants... He obviously just wouldn't be able to handle being a Canadian... Geoff, his side kick robot, is a little annoying some times... But who can compete with "Balls" and "In your pants" coming from an "appliance" in the corner. To be perfectly honest, it's kinda funny to watch Craig feed off his robotic pal... Toss in an appearance from "Secretariat" and the show is complete. King of Late Night or not, Craig Ferguson is my fave... Even though his antics will never rival Johnny Carson...

It's not always about me: So, whomever you prefer, or don't... That's where I stand on matters of Late Night TV. I doubt anyone currently, or even future contenders, will ever take Johnny's Late Night Crown... He was top notch in my book... I'm just sorry I was too young to really get to enjoy his comedic genius!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dire Straits - Money For Nothing (Live) Feat. Sting & Co.

Proof that Elton John can get over the use of the word "faggot" in the song...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Money for Nothing, Chicks for Free : Who Banned My MTV?

WOW!!!!! My mind is officially blown. The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission)/Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has formally banned Dire Strait's "Money for Nothing" tune from being broad casted on Canadian Radio Stations... Why does this blow my mind? I grew up listening to this song and it's one of my all-time favorites... That makes the song 25-26 YEARS old!!! (It was apparently recorded in December of 1984 and released in 1985 on Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" LP.)

The song, since it's release, has drummed up it's fair share of controversy. It's been accused of depicting racist, sexist AND homophobic themes... "Money for nothing, and Chicks are free" can be construed as sexist. "See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup Yeah buddy that's his own hair That little faggot got his own jet airplane That little faggot he's a millionaire" is the homophobic line... And finally, critics say that "Bangin' on the bongos like a chimpanzee " is a racial slur.

Yet the CRTC/Canadian Broadcast Council ruled "that the unedited version of the song was unacceptable for air play on Canadian radio stations after receiving a complaint about a gay slur in the lyrics." REALLY??? That's reason the song was banned from radio air play??? The reason the CRTC bounced the classic tune from airwaves is because of the word "Faggot". Is this word in the song NEWS to the CRTC????

While I'm kind've on the fence about censorship, I will say that I'm glad that the song wasn't completely banned from airwaves... In the past the word "faggot" was replace by "mother"... It's been argued that Dire Straits actually performed the song accompanied by Freddy Mercury, the lead singer of Queen - who was also a well known homosexual... Another argument that can be used is the fact that Sir Elton John himself emphatically sang the song and swapped "Faggot" for "Queenie"... So if not one but two actual "faggots" can get over it and sing the song... Really, don't you think it's time you do, too?

If you delve further into the actual usage of the word "Faggot" in the song, it's not a negative sexually charged use... I mean, seriously... It's more a long the lines of a blue collar worker being jealous if you will... Look at all the "Faggot" has and he didn't have to do a "hard days work" for it. And what's a "Faggot" gonna do with "Chicks" he's getting "for free". Nikki Sixx, of Motley Crue fame, claimed the song was about his band's excessive lifestyle... Do ya really think Knopfler and the boys are really gay bashing? In a 1985 interview with Rolling Stone Magazine (as taken from Wikipedia), here's Mark Knopfler's take on the whole controversy:
"I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London - he actually said it was below the belt. Apart from the fact that there are stupid gay people as well as stupid other people, it suggests that maybe you can't let it have so many meanings - you have to be direct. In fact, I'm still in two minds as to whether it's a good idea to write songs that aren't in the first person, to take on other characters."
In a day and age where Canadian Radio Stations are allowed to play such artists as Eminem, whom I enjoy by the way...... And are permitted to play songs by other people containing the "N" word, drop F-bombs and refer to women as "Bitches" and "Ho's".... An oldy, moldy tune can get people up in arms????????? What? Did ya just get off the bong and realize that the word "Faggot" was in Money for Nothing? I'm sorry if the word offends you, but banning a song I grew up listening to, OFFENDS THE HELL OUTTA ME!

And let's clear something up right here and now... I am no where NEAR being a Homophobic... I have friends that are gay and lesbian. NOR am I even close to being a RACIST. Again, I've got friends in all different colours/races/religion etc. And finally, I am a "CHICK" and the "Chicks for free" doesn't offend me. I've probably heard this song A MILLION times - and that's no exaggeration - and I'm NOT Racist, NOT Sexist, and NOT Homophobic. The song and the "hidden messages" don't bother me! Why all of the sudden are we all politically correct???

It's Not Always About me, but.... So honestly, don't sweat the small stuff.... Find something worth while to bitch about... Like homelessness, or AIDS, or Cancer Research, or clean water in places that NEED it to survive. Finally, GET A LIFE!!!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

F#cking Perfect - Why I love P!nk

This song is EXACTLY why I love and have much respect for the artist, P!nk.... I've always loved that she's done what she's wanted and not given a crap about what people have to say about her. Listen to the song repeatedly if you need, I do if I'm having a bad day and need a "Pick-Me-Up". Take from this music video what you will. I think it's very powerful and dedicate it to anyone who has ever felt low and hated themselves.... I dedicate it to anyone who has been bullied or suffered from low self esteem. I dedicate it to anyone who has suffered from negative self image due to what the media portrays as "perfect".

We're all F#cking perfect in somebody's eyes....  Everybody's somebody else's whole world... Don't EVER forget that!

It's not always about me; You're perfect to me!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

You Can Never Go Home Again

"It's been fifteen years since I left home
Said good luck to every seed I'd sown
Give it my best and then I left it alone
Oh...I hope their doin alright

Now I look in the mirror and what do I see?
A lone wolf there starin' back at me
Long in the tooth but harmless as can be
Lord I guess he's doin' alright

And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can't every day be just this good?"

~Travis Tritt "It's a Great Day to Be Alive"

My generation has been called the "Boomerang Generation". What the heck is that, right? Basically, people of my "generation" move out, get a job, pay rent and bills and all the normal "adult" like stuff... But we find ourselves moving back in with Ma and Pa for one reason or another. Whether that reason is due to a job loss thanks in part to the stalled economy... To a low paying job requiring a person to have three jobs or eight roommates to make ends meet.... Or a break up of a relationship. (Possibly a combination of all of the above.) I have come to the recent realization that Thomas Wolfe's quote "You can never go home again" is absolutely true. (At least it is for me.)

I'll always be a BC girl, we're talking until the day I die. But...... I left Vernon about 10 years ago. I remember that even in high school I hated Vernon and I was destined to relocate somewhere else... ANYWHERE ELSE! So, that's what I did. My first endeavour was to Creston, BC... Creston is small town BC... It's got maybe three or four traffic lights... You sneeze and the next day your neighbour calls to make sure you're feeling alright. I hated Creston, don't get me wrong - I loved visiting the place, but to live there just wasn't my bag. I lasted about 6 months in Creston, the then boyfriend and I split so there was no point in sticking around where I was miserable... I boomeranged home for the first time. I hated it, I felt like a loser, a failure. I was just as miserable in Vernon as I had been in Creston... But at least I was around family.

My second venture out of Vernon was roughly 5 months later - when I moved to Trail, BC to go to school at Selkirk College. Originally, I went to Trail to get educated as a Legal Assistant.... It was either Trail or Vancouver - and to be honest, Vancouver still scares the shit out of me... So Trail it was. It was the first time I'd moved out all by myself... It turns out that partying and drinking too much was more fun... I wound up flunking a class in the first semester... No problem, pick up the class the following semester or make it up some how right? Wrong. I got to Selkirk when the Legal Assistant program was going into it's last year, meaning there was no way to make up the class... Here I was, 20 years old and hearing my Dad drop the F- Bomb for the very first time. I almost shat my pants at the thought of going "home" for Christmas... I'm still alive to tell about it, so obviously Dad calmed down a little.

After Christmas, I enrolled in my alternative program at Selkirk College called Applied Business and managed to graduate. I spent approximately a year and a half in Trail and managed to meet some really cool people and  my best friend there. (She's still my bestie, 7 almost 8 years later.) Trail wasn't to be my final destination though. There weren't enough jobs and my parents weren't going to pay my rent anymore either. So for the second time, I boomeranged "Home" to Vernon.

By this time, I had another boyfriend who had moved to Kelowna just before I got back to Vernon. We spent two, maybe three weeks in the Okanagan Area. I was freshly graduated and still couldn't find work. He decided he wasn't getting enough hours in his welding profession in Kelowna.... So, one day we packed up his "Twinkie" car and we were on the road to Edmonton. I had sold my car to make the trip and was callous enough to leave my Mum a note saying, "I'm gone, moving to Edmonton, Call you later when I can." Mum was stunned, and quite frankly, so was I... It took some balls! The reason I left the note rather than talking to my parents about my plans though... I didn't want them to talk me out of it. 7 almost 8 years later, I still would've gone - but I would have at least waited so I could say good bye.

Turns out, the boyfriend and I split less than a month after moving to Alberta. Good ridden really, the guy was a goof. He lasted maybe two months in Edmonton before bitching back home to his parents' place. (See, I'm not the only one that's boomeranged.) My experience in Edmonton wouldn't have been the same if I stayed with him. I met some really cool people and had some really good times, too. (Mixed in with some not so good people or times. I remember eating white rice and soy sauce for a week because of puny pay cheques.)

Now that I'm back in my home town, I am remembering why I left in the first place. Vernon hasn't been felt like home in a while. I remember being 14 or 15 and thinking that this wasn't my home. I'm 29 now, and that's still the general consensus. This place isn't for me, it's not what I'm looking for. I loved coming back to Vernon while I was living elsewhere, and that will remain the same. I will always love the scenery, the lakes, and the fact that family is here. But this place will never be what I call home again. A house is just a house unless family is there. Even with Family in Vernon - Vernon isn't home. I'm sure Thomas Wolfe meant something different... Along the lines of once you've got your independence from your parents, living under their roof again wouldn't work... You're an adult, and they'll always see you as the baby they brought home from the hospital... They'll expect to go back to the good old adage of "live under my roof, live by my rules." So, I'm not boycotting family by any means... Just my hometown... Nice to visit, but I don't want to stay here.

It's not always about me; but in the words of U2 "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year Ressie Rage

Here we are on the third day of the New Year! I have a feeling that this year is going to be a good one... Even if I have to force it to be! Around this time of year, it's normal for people to set out goals for the upcoming year. You've got your standard resolutions to help kick things in the right direction. Y'all know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that last a week before complacency sets in. Quitting smoking and/or drinking, losing weight, being healthier/less fast food, spending less/saving money etc....

This year, my main resolution is a little broader than that. My "priority" goal of 2011 is to be happy. I'm usually the type that gets bent out of shape as someone counts out the every penny at the cash register, even though there's 6 people waiting in line behind them. Or flies into a tizzy over stupid drivers... Or let little things, that will be forgotten about the next day, settle me into a "mood". (And, generally, not a good one.) So, 2011 will be my year to "not sweat the small stuff". People aren't perfect, myself very much included, so it's time I cut people some slack. The big things, I'm still going to rampage about. What can I say? I'm a red head with a short fuse! But you'll be safe as long as you don't do anything major... Like screw with me or any one of my family members.

Granted, the rest of my resolutions directly interlinked to my happiness. For example, the phrase "money doesn't buy happiness" is a load of crap in my world. Try being happy without it.... So, I need to kick sh!t into high gear to get myself employed. I've applied for jobs in this one horse town, but it's the wrong time of year for it... Once I am employed, it'll make things a whole lot better. I'm not materialistic by any means, but I'm turning 30 in September and its time I start thinking like an adult. I love my parents, but I don't want to live with them by any means. I don't want to pay rent either. I'd rather own my home than pay down someone else's mortgage. I'd also like to be able to afford to have a life rather than just supporting myself. Can't spend money if you don't have it. So, money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes options and life a whole lot easier!

The Kindlifresser
I've got a Passport, that took me six months to acquire, that's sitting in my "treasure chest" collecting dust as I write this... It's sad, and pathetic really, that I'm into my 30th year on the planet and been basically nowhere! I was born and raised in BC and have been all over my home province... I've lived in Alberta and been a few places there... But that's as far east as I've made it.... I've been to Washington State and Idaho... But that's as far south as I've been... Other than that, I'm very embarrassed to say I've been no where else.... I haven't seen the whole country that I've called home for my entire life. I'm dying to see Montreal... I want to see Dryden, Ontario and Goose Bay, Labrador - as these are the places my parents were born. I've been in love with Boston since I was 15, and I've never even been there! I haven't left the North American Continent ever. I'm a Heinz 57 family history wise, so I've got quite the list of European destinations that I want to see. I've got cousins in Norway to visit - where my Grandpa's family hails from. I want to see the Kindlifresser in Switzerland - where my Grandma was born. (The Kindlifresser is a statue/fountain of an Ogre that eats bad children... Both my Mum and Grandma threatened to feed me to him on occasion.) I want to see the Highlands of Scotland - where both my Gramps and Nana's families are from. I'd love to see Germany, Wales, Ireland, England as well - as there are family ties to these countries as well. As someone once told me "Honey, you're two scoops of white, now aren't you?" I've got a list of other places I'd love to see as well - Italy, Greece, Mexico, Cuba and the list goes on. I realize I probably won't make it to any of these places this year... But I'd like to start saving so I can plan something for 2012.

Being unemployed has helped with my quit smoking resolution. I had quit shortly before my 29th birthday... Life stress and my weak will power let me fall off the wagon. (I guess having a cigarette and killing myself a little smoking it was better than an assault charge though.) The same can be said about my junk food/fast food/Tim Horton's coffee issues as well. If you don't have the money, you've gotta make cuts some where... I just paid off credit cards and am not about to charge cigarettes or junk food. Being out in the sticks helps this as well... I'm not about to drive half an hour for a greasy Rotten Ronnie's burger and a pack of smokes.

No more junk food/fast food will help me in my weight loss resolution of the year. My goal is to lose about 40 pounds, which I know is do-able. To put that in perspective, I weighed 123 lbs when I graduated from high school. Four years later, when I moved to Edmonton I weighed over 210 lbs... (On a 5'5" frame, 210 lbs meant I was a little mozza ball.) In the seven years I lived in Edmonton, I managed to drop between 40 and 60 pounds. (My weight has always fluctuated.) If I can get down to about 125-135 lbs, I'll be a happy girl... No one wants to see a fatty in a bikini on the tropical beaches of the world. (No offense to my fellow chubs out there... I'm a chub-nic, too!)

To replace the things I'm trying to quit, I've got a few ideas how I'll fill the voids in my routine. I'll have a whole lot more free time to blog.... I've always been curious to trace and track my family tree and heritage. (I've managed to get back to my great-grandparents... That's where I've kind of stalled out though. With family members getting older, I'd better start before those family members are no longer with us.) I'll have free time to exercise and plot my "evil revenge" on unemployment. (Simply meaning I'm kicking things into high gear in the job search section of life... So don't read anything Terrorist-y into that statement.)

2011 will be my year to make things happen. By hook or by crook, I'm going to do everything in my power to make things happen in the way I want them too. I don't want to wake up when I'm 50 and realize my life has passed me by! I hope I'm not alone in my quest for Happiness, and I know I'm not alone in any of my resolutions.

It's not always about me; but I hope there is less of me that is more happy than 2010!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In Memory of Clifford Joseph Taylor - My Gramps

One of the people in the top 3 of my "wish I had more time with" list, would have been my Gramps. (Another would be Nana, whom you've already met through past posts... The other was my Grandpa, whom you will meet later on in my blogging days.) His passing was the first real experience I had with losing a loved one. Distant family members had gone before Gramps, but his was the first that significantly affected me. I can still remember getting the news like it was yesterday though it's been ten years to the day since we lost my Gramps, at the age of 70, to pancreatic cancer...

Some may say Gramps was some what of a hard-ass... That's not the side of Gramps I was ever shown though. Sure, at Christmas he and Dad would talk shop and things got a little "opinionated"... But that's about where that ended. (Gramps was a second generation Boilermaker, making Dad a third generation...) In fact, that's where most of my memories of Gramps lay, Christmas talking shop with Dad. I have a hand full of other memories as well, but majority revolved around Christmas.

My first clear memory of Gramps was puking in his car. Nice grand kid hey? I was about 4, maybe 5, and had slept over on one of the rare occasions at Nana and Gramps. I remember having a crappy night sleep that night because I didn't fall asleep before Gramps did. What's the big deal right? The big deal was the fact that Gramps snored... And when he did, it sounded like a freight train rumbling throughout the house... Then that morning, Nan served up a BIG bowl of Fruit Loops for breakfast... On the car ride home, I started to get a bit of a headache, the car was too warm and my stomach started to churn.... I had my head on my arm, both resting on the arm rest of the car. I remember telling myself "we're almost home, then you can puke." Didn't happen that way, next thing I knew I was staring at my breakfast between the seat and the door. Gramps pulled over to clean up the mess and asked why I didn't tell him to pull over. I told him I thought I could hold it until we made it home. We had a laugh about it in later years, and Gramps was floored I could even remember the "Fruit Loops Incident". Let me tell ya, to this day I still can't even handle smelling Fruit Loops without wanting to race to a toilet. (Or without thinking of my Gramps...)

I remember my Gramps being a solid man. He wasn't overly tall, bout average height... In my eyes though, he was built like a brick shit house. I came home from school one day, to find Gramps wrestling with Mum's dryer... Dad was away on a job, and that's when the dang appliance decided to stop working. Gramps came over to fix it and was just walking it back into place, he did it alone I might add.

Shortly after coming home to Gramps fixing the dryer, I was up at Vernon Jubilee Hospital as I volunteered as a Candy Striper. A friend of mine was also a Candy Striper and we'd take turns driving up to the hospital for our volunteer shifts. One day, after the end of our weekly shift, my friend told me that my grandfather was in the hospital. That was news to me, and I had to run to the information desk to find out which Grandfather was hospitalized. I saw Gramps' name and had to question my parents when I got home, as my ride was waiting for me. I was worried he had a heart attack or something. Turns out, Gramps was in for a knee replacement, which are routine enough I guess in this day and age. Nevertheless, I was pissed at my parents for not telling me.

The following week, my friend and I cleared switching floors with the Hospital's Volunteer services. After my "rounds" of getting patients new ice water, I sat with my Gramps for a couple of hours. One of his roommates' family brought in some boxed chocolates and offered me one. I originally turned it down, but after some prodding and encouraging from Gramps - I grabbed two. He told me he wasn't sure why my parents would ride me for my weight, it was Christmas time again - have a Chocolate! (This being after the incident when I was about 8 years old and ate about a box and a half of chocolate one Christmas Eve at Nan and Gramps' and woke up at 3 in the morning and had ANOTHER good vomit session at their expense!) Gramps was released from the hospital before my next volunteer shift. Sure, that was a good thing, but I was disappointed I wouldn't be able to visit with him again.

Life clipped along after seeing Gramps in the hospital, just your average memories and visits. I graduated from high school.... Moved away for the first time with a then boyfriend to a miss it if you sneeze place of Creston, BC. I managed to come home that year for Christmas, and I am thankful I did. Between my leaving (in October-ish that year) and Christmas, Gramps had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.

When I walked in to Nana and Gramps' on Christmas Eve and saw Gramps. I nearly cried as my heart broke.... My Brick shit house of a Gramps had loose skin due to losing so much weight. I sat and had a long conversation with him that night. He asked what my goals and plans for life were. I told him I wasn't sure what I wanted to go to school for, but that I had it narrowed down to a few ideas. He told me to get as much education as I could, because you could never have too much or be too smart. He also mentioned that I would want to get my education done early on in life... Not to go back to school for a career later in life... That if I wanted to get learned in later life, it should be out of interest rather than necessity.

We finished up Christmas Eve in regular style that night. Nana had sausage rolls and lasagna for dinner. (Lasagna was our Christmas Eve Ritual Dinner if you will.) We opened gifts and spent some time. After saying the good byes, putting on the boots and jackets, (and I still don't know what made me do it) as I walked through the sliding patio door to head to the car, I turned to Gramps and winked. I think we both knew.

A week later, I was back in Creston and miserable. I had blown out my knee, which was easily three times it's normal size, and was off work (I worked at A&W at the time). About 11 o'clock in the morning my phone rang, and my parents' number flashed across my caller ID. I remember thinking, "Why is Mum calling me now? It's not the cheap time...." I answered to find that Gramps had passed that morning... I was too stunned to speak, or even cry to be honest. I had just seen him so the news was blowing my mind.

It's been ten years since that day, I still can't believe he's gone.... Clearly, he'll never be forgotten though... All the times he set up his Commodore 64 so I could play frogger. The time I blew both his and my brother's minds when they found me playing frogger without either of their help....

It's not always about me; today I'm missing my Gramps. I hope you are continually at peace, Gramps.

In Memory of Clifford Joseph Taylor (June 27, 1930 ~ January 2, 2001)