It’s Not All Mary Poppins

None so dumb as folk…

Ads. Internet ads. There’s no avoiding them. They’re in your gmail account, they’re on Facebook, they’re at the top and sides of almost every page out there. For the most part, I ignore them without difficulty.

Except for the ones that bounce and flash and jiggle. Lordy, they’re annoying. You can’t ignore those ones, but who in their right mind would reward those morons by clicking that link, or, worse, purchasing the product? Ugh. Mostly, I leave that page immediately. (Hear that, Internet ad-purchasers? Those jiggly, flashing, bouncing ads DRIVE ME FROM THE PAGE!) If I must stay on that page, I usually put a sticky note on my monitor to block them out.

So, those are annoying. But the ones — it’s a genre, I guess — that have been irking me lately are the ones that promise to tell you THE ONE SECRET YOUR DOCTOR DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW!!!

Because your doctor, you know, keeps secrets from you. Secrets that, so it’s implied, could improve your health. Your doctor, see, even though she’s a health-care provider, a person who studied bodies and health and how to make/keep people well for the better part of a decade … she really, in her secret heart of hearts, wants you to be sick.

It’s part of a massive medical conspiracy!!!

Like, the average eating and exercise habits of the average North American are not enough to keep a doctor busy for the rest of her natural life. Like, the regular routine bumps and bruises, accidents and disease that befall all of humanity are not sufficient fodder for her talents.

NO! A doctor needs to make sure YOU — you there in your armchair, sitting at home, thinking you’re healthy — she needs to make sure YOU get and stay sick.

Hippocratic Oath? Pshaw!

Honest to pete. And you know those ads must work, because they just don’t go away.

There are some dumb people out there. Lordy.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Mahatma Ghandi

April 23, 2013 Posted by | Peeve me, random and odd | , | 6 Comments

And the winner for stupidest spam this week…

Is this, which slipped the spam filter:

I almost never write responses, but after looking at some of the
responses here Super Seven, week one � It�s Not All
Mary Poppins. I actually do have some questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be only me or do some of the responses come across like they are left by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional social sites, I would like to keep up with you. Could you make a list of the complete urls of all your public sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Do you have any idea what purpose this could possibly serve? Yes, there was a link with it, a link which we will not be posting or following. So maybe if I’d followed it I’d have found myself at a porn site or suddenly having all manner of nasties flowing into my computer.

But how could this commnet possibly incite me to follow that link?

He/she/it has some questions for me. About what, my post? Nope. About my commenters? Nu-uh. No, it’s a simple thing really, just a list of all my sites. Oh, yeah. I’m going to give all that — which you could find with a quick google search, anyway — to a random spammer, who wants to do what, exactly, with it? Send more inexplicable comments to all those spots, too? And why would I do that?

Oh, because we bonded, of course, bonded by chortling together over the “brain dead individuals” who make up my commenters. I can see no other reason for a random potshot at my commenters. Goodness knows there are blogs out there which attract morons to the comment feed, and I have spent my share of time happily mocking them. (Quietly. To myself.) This blog, happily, is not one.

It’s not mean-spirited, this deriding my nice commenters, no, no, no. Because there’s a smiley after that sentence! A tongue-out smiley, but still a smiley. See it there, so cheerful, lightening the mood so cleverly? So that’s all right, then! This is a nice, friendly spammer, and I can just send all my stats to him/her/it forthwith, without a moment’s hesitation! Maybe I should include my address and phone number, too?

Junk mail, spam. It’s a fact of life, and for the most part I rely on my recycling bin and my spam filter to deal with it all, and think very little of it. But some of them?

Weird. Weird, weird, weird.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | random and odd | , , , | 4 Comments


The result of a good 20 minutes’ effort on the part of Grace. Unassisted, obviously. Though her focus and persistence is laudable…

… I think we need to work on our alphabet a wee bit more…

September 12, 2012 Posted by | Grace, random and odd | | 3 Comments

Weddings, Wonderful and Weird

Hannah wrote about a wedding she attended recently, so of course I started thinking about Weddings I Have Attended. There have been lovely weddings, silly weddings, joyful weddings, supremely touching weddings, and just plain odd weddings.

All weddings are joyful, but the wedding of two lovely young women who, until the previous year, had been excluded from even the possibility of a wedding? That one had a level of exuberance that topped any other wedding I’d ever been to. Wonderful.

All weddings are touching, but the 50-something friend who had long since accepted (reluctantly at first, then with perfect contentment) that marriage was not going to be part of her life? Her groom gave the most touching speech expressing profound gratitude, and not a little joyful surprise, that she had given up her happy and well-established single state to welcome into her life. Touching times ten. *sniff*

And then there were the receptions. Long and short, fun and tedious, joyful and just plain embarrassing.

The worst reception I ever attended was almost 27 years ago now. I know, because I was pregnant with my first child at the time. The wedding itself was lovely, just as wedding should be (and usually are). Things started to fall apart when the reception started quite late. No one ever found out why, since the wedding-party pictures had been taken the day before. (Really. They all got together and staged those pictures. The photographer attended the first bit of the reception to get candid photos of friends and family, but there were no posed pictures of bride and groom with their parents, etc. Which, in hindsight, was also weird, though I didn’t think about it at the time. The bridal couple had good relationships with their parents. There were no estrangements to account for it. At least, there weren’t until then…)

So. It started late as I said, at least an hour, maybe two. The reception itself lasted a mere four hours, short by the usual dinner/speeches/toasts/dance standards … until you realize there was no dance. This reception was four hours of speeches.

And toasts.
And skits, put on by friends and family. Many, many skits.
And songs sung by nieces and nephews.
And musical performances by all manner of friends and family on all manner of instruments.
And jokes told by an aspiring stand-up comic friend.
And a 12-year-old (was he a cousin of the bride?) magician.

Hour after hour.

I kid you not.

Though the master of ceremonies knew who to call next, there was no programme for the rest of us. There was no list. No count-down. No possibility of knowing WHEN WAS IT GOING TO END? With each new act, our hopes would rise. Is this the last? Surely it can’t go on? Only do be dashed again, when the MC would introduce the next happy performer.

Until finally, we all believed, No, it was NEVER GOING TO END. Never, ever.

It is relevant to note that, with the sole exception of the uncle of the bride, who gave an extremely funny and, bless him to bits, SHORT, speech, not one of all those entertainers was particularly talented at whatever they were doing. In fact, some went so far as to be anti-talented.

It was three hours into this never-ending stream of vaudeville wannabes, when a sister of the bride and the bride’s (adorable) 4-year-old niece began a rousing mother-daughter rendition of “There’s a Hole in my Bucket” that I realized I had to leave. Had to, before I burst out into incredulous laughter or cries of outrage. Or just started sobbing into my drink. (My drink of water. This was a ‘dry’ event. Not content with boring their loyal and captive audience to catatonia, someone had made the decision that we should suffer all this without the gentle numbing comfort of booze.)

But, oh HURRAH!!!, I was pregnant at the time. (So no alcohol for me anyway, but it did seem a tad harsh on everyone else.) Pregnancy may be a pain for some things (as in no drinks when so supremely desirable) but it is a pretty near infallible get-out-of-stupid-shit-free card. I claimed … something. Fatigue? Backache? Sciatica? Can’t remember. Whatever, I claimed it, quite possibly limped pathetically over to the head table. We made our so-regretful apologies and got our bored witless selves out of there. If a few people stared at my waddling backside with murderous envy? Oh, well.

We were told later that it had gone on for another hour.

I have no idea what the bride and groom were thinking, turning a wedding reception into an Open Mic Vaudeville Event. It was many years ago, and we’ve long since lost touch, but in all the intervening years, never has a reception topped that in Weird and Tedious Beyond Imagining. Thank goodness.

How about you? Any weird (or wonderful) weddings in your memory?

August 23, 2012 Posted by | Mischief, quirks and quirkiness, random and odd | 7 Comments

From Shelf to Seating

Our old couch had had it. It was old, and it was grubby. Not that those two things would have provided sufficient motivation to turf it without the advent of Daisy, who viewed the wooden armrests and the World’s Best Chew-Toys. She could lie on the couch, see, rest her face on the padded part, and gnaw to her puppy’s heart’s content. Convenient, no?

Despite my diligent conscientious consistent careful oh, all right! half-assed and distracted attention, the arms looked like day-old toothpicks. Even relaxed me knew that thing had come to the end of its useful life.

Too bad we have NO money to replace a couch. Lordy, those things are expensive.

However. What we do have is the biggest honkin’ IKEA in Canada (possibly in the known universe) right here in Ottawa! And Ikea sells these lovely shelving units for a mere $69.99!!!

I have foam cushions. (Well, actually, I have foam sleeping mats, but I also have cots, and I like the cots better. The foam mats were expendable, perfect for this project!) I have fabric. (I sew. I have A Stash.) I have duct tape. (Why? Because EVERY project needs duct tape!) So, with a little time and ingenuity, I could create:

Bench seating!! Half-finished, that is. The tots like it. (That’s Grace, gazing out the window.)

I sawed the foam mats to fit using a bread knife. (No special saws required. That tip came from my father-in-law, who was an upholsterer before he retired.) Stuck the bits together with spray-on adhesive and reinforced it with the duct tape. Made a cover for it from material left over from the blinds on the window at the other end of the room. The underside is not fully covered, so the cover is held on by three strips of elastic which run from side to side. (I knew I was going to have to be able to remove it to wash. Oh, and I didn’t have enough fabric to cover it entirely.)

It slid around a lot, so I bought a couple of metres of that rubbery stuff you put in cutlery drawers to stop things from sliding around. It helps a lot, but I’m not done yet. Next up: half a dozen round drawer pulls, three along each long edge of the bench, and then some elastic loops on the cushion. Put the loop around the knob, and, with the non-stick underlay, I think that sucker will stay in place!

The dogs like it, too.

Next, I am using more of the foam to make and cover a cushion which I’ll affix directly to the wall under the window, running the length of the bench. Toss on a few soft bolsters, and, ta-dah! Funky, functional, sturdy seating! I’ve already had that cover off the cushion to wash, so I know it comes on and off easily, and the fabric cleans up well.

Fun, huh?

April 27, 2012 Posted by | crafts, random and odd | , , | 4 Comments

Light of Mystery

Exhibit A: Dog. Mellow dog with light.

The light is a flattened sphere of plastic, inside of which is an LED bulb that cycles through a few colours when it’s turned on. It is not habitually turned on while in the house. This is for evening and pre-dawn walks, when it’s useful to be able to find one’s dog in a good-sized off-leash dog park.

Question: Why is Indie’s light on? Clearly she can’t manage it. It’s so stiff I have to use both hands and press like crazy with two thumbs to turn it on. This is simply not happening by accident. An idle knock into a piece of furniture would not do it. Even if she rolled on it, or scratched it, that thing wouldn’t turn on.


Exhibit B: Two dogs. Mellow dogs, on bench. Mellow, un-lit dogs.

But wait…

and a closer look…

Chomp. Click. We have RED.

And green.

And blue. Mystery solved.

Well, all except for the “why is my small dog so weird?“, which will likely remain unsolved.

March 29, 2012 Posted by | my kids, random and odd | , , , | 5 Comments

Traffic tracker

I’ve had a few dramatic spikes in traffic lately about which WordPress’s stats page is telling me absolutely nothing… well, apart from the fact that they exist. Pfft. I suddenly get 200+ hits in an hour, I want to know where they’re originating!

Those of you who use trackers: which do you like? What’s good (and bad) about them?

March 28, 2012 Posted by | random and odd | 3 Comments

In which Mary dispenses with stoicism

I had a tooth out a week ago. I knew it had the potential to be a bit ugly. There were two abscesses under there, part of it had broken off, the root was dead. It was a mess.

Now (and call me crazy, but I don’t think this will come as a surprise) I’m not a fan of dental work. What I am — or have been, to date — is stoic. I don’t like it, but it’s got to be done. So I plonk my butt down in the chair and let them do their thing. I find my focal point, do my Lamaze breathing, and relax as best as I can. I am not a no-anaesthesia lunatic, either. I happily take what they give me. And yet, at some point during every single piece of dental work I’ve ever had done, the doctor will hit that magical spot and KA-ZINGA!!! Pain, pain, pain.

Let me be clear: I am not a pain weenie. In fact, I think I have a fairly high pain threshold. I take pain-killers rarely and reluctantly. I had three babies, no drugs. When I had my wisdom teeth out (my one completely pain-free dental procedure, during which I had some lovely, lovely intravenous meds, including Valium) I took precisely one Tylenol 3 after the surgery, and then regular Tylenols for a couple of days. After that, I didn’t need ’em. So, yup. I can cope with pain.

But the pain of dental work. It doesn’t rise and fall like labour pain. There is no wave to ride, no pattern to anticipate. With dental work, when you’re supposedly anaesthetized, you feel nothing, nothing, nothi–WHAM!!! How do you ride that? When you’re blindsided? When you go from zero to a hundred in a millisecond? You don’t.

And still I was stoic. My eyes would widen, I’d clutch the arms of the chair. How I managed never to bite a dentist, I do not know. The dentist would pause and look at me.

“You okay?”

And we would proceed, me waiting in fear for the next KA-ZINGA moment, and praying that the dentist would be done before it happened. So, stoic.

Not this time. No more stoic. Instead, I went for brutal honesty. I sat down with her before it started. I explained how I’d never had pain-free dental work. I explained that you can’t cope with pain that comes out of nowhere. I explained that I was


And she listened. Kindly and supportively. And then she drugged me to the eyeballs. And she topped me up whenever she saw a hint of a flinch.

I. felt. NOTHING.

It was a long and rather gruelling procedure. But it was pain free. I love my dentist.

Long, gruelling, and arduous. But pain free. So yeah, it took TWO HOURS to get that stupid thing to let go of my jaw, but let go it eventually did. Two hours of stretching the bone. (Yeah. You read that right. Stretching. Who knew bone could stretch?) Two hours of wriggling it gradually free.

Two hours of listening to my stream-of-consciousness dentist talk herself through the procedure. Mostly I don’t mind her talk. It’s informative. It tells me what’s happening. I don’t mind hearing. (Her voice-over, that is. Not the drill. Ugh.) I like hearing. What I don’t want, is to see. During dental work, I keep my eyes closed, or focussed on something waaaaay up on the ceiling. I have no interest whatsoever in seeing any of her shiny implements heading into my face.

Mostly I don’t mind her talk, because it gives me some sense of the passage of time, some sense of progress.

“There’s nothing attached but the wall. Nothing at all.”
“The broken piece is so loose. So loose! It should come out pretty quickly… yes, yes. There we go.”
“Now for that wall. I’ll need the [dental terminology for shiny gripper thingy I refuse to look at]. Thank you.”
“I’ve just about got the front cusp out. It’s coming, coming…” (Yes, she did have to slice it up into bits to get it out. That’s okay. I had enough freezing in me she could probably have snipped off an ear and I’d not have noticed.)
“It’s starting to move. There. I can feel it giving just a bit.”
“A little more stretching. Little more, little more.”

But, as she worked, and worked, and worked away, I started to hear things I’d just as soon not.

“Oh, that’s not good. Oh, not good, not good.” [Followed by worried little tsk-tsk noises.] You know what? I didn’t need to hear that. “Not good?” How not good, exactly? How bad is “not good”? Are we talking, “I need the next size gripper-thingy” not good, or do we mean “I think we’re going to have to remove her jaw to get this one out” not good? Do I need to hear some horrifyingly non-specific NOT GOOD from the woman working on the gaping wound inside my head? No, I do not.

“That tooth is so brittle. I don’t want it to break off before we get it out.”
“So stubborn! It doesn’t want to let go.”
“Oh. Not good. Not good, not good.”
“We’ll try a little more. I don’t want to have to cut into the jaw.” (That may not be her exact words, but was she beginning to mutter about maybe having to hack that tooth right out of my jawbone? YES SHE WAS.)

My dentist, however, is a veeeery patient and persistent woman. For lo, after two hours of stretching, and pulling, and stretching and pulling … it came out. Seconds before it released, there was an ominous “crack”, but the tip of that final, so-stubborn root which had indeed just snapped right off was sucked out with the rest of the tooth. No need for her to go digging down into the wound to fish it out. (May I hear a rousing HALLELUJAH, LORD! ???)

So yeah. Long, gruelling, arduous. But pain free. And once it was over, I figured that was the worst of it. [Cue sinister music. Or bitter laughter. Whichever.]

When the anaesthesia wore off, I was grateful for the Tylenol 3s my wonderful husband picked up from the drug store on his way home. The next day, I moved to over-the-counter extra-strength Tylenol. And the next day. And the next. And the next. I couldn’t eat. Chewing made the pain much worse. Days and days of nothing but soup, yogurt and mashed bananas may be great for the waistline, but they’re boring. And I was hungry. Hungry but afraid to eat.

How long was it going to keep hurting, anyway?

Early Friday afternoon, I called her office to ask, only to get a machine telling me they were closed for the weekend. I hung up before the recording ended.

After a weekend spent chomping Tylenol, I went back in on Monday.

“Why is it still hurting? Is that normal?”

Well, it can be, I was told, but why didn’t she just have a look?

Yes, why don’t you do that little thing?

And she looked.

“You have a dry socket”. Dry socket? Really? I thought those things were excruciating. I wasn’t comfortable, that’s for damned sure, but excruciating? No. And while I think my pain tolerance is decent, it’s not that good. Apparently, no, it’s not always excruciating. Can be, but not always.

Gee. Guess I was lucky…

“Why didn’t you call my cell phone?” she asked. “My cell phone number is on the recording on the weekends.” Oops. Guess I shouldn’t have hung up on the recording, huh?

She rinsed it, disinfected it, and packed it with ‘fibres’. “It should stop hurting within 48 hours,” she told me. I smiled, and stood up, paid up, headed across the street to the bank and other errands. My tooth? Or rather, Empty Socket formerly Known as Tooth?

It stopped hurting


And the sun came out, and the birds started singing, and Mary skipped off to the bank in a state of complete and utter euphoria.

That was 36 hours ago. I have not had any pain since. I’ve started to eat again, carefully. (Now I’m afraid of dislodging that packing. That packing is My Friend.)

And tomorrow? I am going to send some flowers to my dentist.


March 14, 2012 Posted by | health and safety, random and odd | , , , , | 9 Comments

Always wished…

I’d done something like this with my pregnancies.

Cute, huh? Did any of you commemorate/capture the progression of your pregnancy in some way?

March 13, 2012 Posted by | random and odd | 4 Comments

Thank you!

Thank you, MyKidsMom!

♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪
♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪
♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫
♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫
♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪
♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫
♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪
♪ ♫ ♪ ♫♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Lookit that! It works!

November 19, 2011 Posted by | random and odd | 2 Comments