Mar 21

The best bosses I’ve ever had – Part One

As I was reading a good post by a friend of mine about how sub-par employees seem to get catered to by sub-par employers, while good, hardworking employees get to suck the hind tit, I was reminded of probably the best employers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for. I may have embellished on Deb’s title, but that’s my spin on it.

I have had several great employers, and I’m going to make it my chore to write about all of them in time, but for now I’ll focus on the time I spent living with my brother Larry, and my other brother Larry in British Columbia’s lower mainland. I loved that area for a great many reasons, one of which was that magic mushrooms grew in a field near the house. Another reason was the camping trips in the mountains of Agassiz and Boston Bar and the May twofours at Hihium with the Larries. Those were some of the best times of my life, and the beginning of my “freedom”, and I’ll always look back at them with fondness.

Okay, now to tell you about Bill and Vernia Cherington, because they are the first of the two from that chapter in my life. Continue reading

Mar 03

Double Digits already? 99 Days of anxiety

Hey kittens…you know what’s super fun to do?  Wedding Planning!  No, actually I’m totally shitting you there.   Planning a wedding is worse than having dental surgery.

Another happy bride, planning her big day...

Here we are with 99 days until the grand event and there is still so much shit up in the air that even I am having a hard time pretending it’s all going to sort itself out.  Luckily I love my groom-to-be more than life itself, and I want to marry him in the worst way.  I have already tried to cajole and wheedle my way into having him agree to a quickie wedding down south (no dice), a low-key Justice-of-the-Peace affair at city hall (HELL no), and a wiccan handfasting (well maybe I didn’t ask him for that one, but only because I knew he’d say no).  He would probably go for the quickie wedding if I would agree to still host the MOTHER OF ALL SHIT SHOWS in June on our chosen wedding day anyway.  I, however, see no point in planning TWO wedding extravaganzas when I am already freaking about one.  So here we are, back to square one, with me trying to Pollyanna my way through the next 99 days, all the while ignoring the pink elephant that is our impending nuptials, dancing around in my living room.

I am literally fresh off an argument about wedding rings.

Birdman:  “I was shooting the shit with Larry today”  (Larry is our jeweller, by the way.)

Me: “Oh good.  Did you ask him how much we owe?”

B: “WHAT?  WE OWE?  FOR WHAT???!!!???”

Me: “The wedding bands.”

B: “I thought we paid those?”

Me: “Nope, just the deposit.” Continue reading

Feb 24

Funerals

I hate them. I realize that they have a purpose, but still hate the fact that I have to go to them. The visitation part is okay, but the service makes me cringe in a way that resembles watching someone get their testicles slowly crushed by a pair of ball cleats. I know that this is going to seem insensitive in light of my recent ordeal, but it’s something that has always bothered me. Mostly it’s all of the praying that drives me crazy. It seems like so many people haven’t learned that praying doesn’t get you anywhere, but they seem to want to keep trying. I don’t know, it just seems like a waste of air to me, but whatever, I guess it gives them comfort.

Here’s to old Birdman. Wait, what’s that fucking priest doing here?

Continue reading

Feb 19

Fuck Cancer.

Yeah, I’m pissed.  I’m so fucking angry for the people I love, having watched another member sucked into the macabre dance that is terminal cancer.  It’s not enough that the cancer robs people of their health, their light and their choices, but it sucks the family dry emotionally.  I have watched my Chris and his entire family watch and wait for the icy claw of death to claim their husband and father, and honestly, there are few things more heartbreaking.  No one deserves to have this happen to someone they love.  Living in Cancertown means surviving in a war-torn community, full of false hope, anxious days, exhausted and spiritually depleted members.  I am so FUCKING SICK of having people I love hang in the balance, waiting and watching to see when IT will finally happen.

Well IT happened.

Chris’ stepfather is gone.   If you are a regular reader, you have read some of the stories he has shared about Paul HERE , HERE  and especially HERE.  While I was sleeping, my love got the call he’s been dreading for the past year.  Paul passed away during the night, and all Chris wanted to do was get to his family’s side.  Like everyone else, he has had to stand by and watch while Paul got sicker, and his amazing mother got more worried, scared, and tired.  Being the main support and care for a terminal cancer patient has got to be one of the most difficult, lonely and gut-wrenching things I have ever witnessed someone go through, and I didn’t see more than a fraction of it.  I am in total awe of Pat, and of her infinite capacity to love and give of herself.  She is truly one of the most amazing women I have ever had the honour to know, and if I am ever half the woman she is, I will be so happy.  I know why Chris is such an incredible man;  He was raised by an incredible woman.  I am so sorry for the pain and heartache she has experienced, and I am glad she has six kids to help carry her for as long as she needs until she is able to learn how to live without cancer.  That may sound like it would be a blessing, but I am pretty sure she would live the rest of her life in Cancertown if it meant that Paul never left.

Having a family member in the grip of this illness is like a never-ending roller coaster of bad news.  There are the endless doctors appointments, and then the sleepless nights waiting for results to come in.  Once a diagnosis is made, there is a treatment plan and the start of a fresh new set of injustices.  Pain and intense sickness from chemotherapy and radiation await the patient, and months of anxiety and strain for the family ensue, everyone wondering if the poison being pumped into the loved ones body is working, and if so, how well?  After months of steady decline in the name of preserving precious days, months, or years of life you begin to realize that the ‘life’ that has been preserved is full of pain so severe it changes the personality of the person, and robs the patient of the ability to enjoy these hard-earned days of extra time.  Honestly, I have no idea how Paul’s family has endured this again, I really don’t.  But the craziest thing of all, is that this scenario is being played out in millions of families all over the world every day.

It is hard to quantify the massive casualties that cancer claims globally each year, but here is some statistics pulled from the World Health Organization (WHO) :

“In the year 2000, malignant tumours were responsible for 12 per cent of the nearly 56 million deaths worldwide from all causes. In many countries, more than a quarter of deaths are attributable to cancer. In 2000, 5.3 million men and 4.7 million women developed a malignant tumour and altogether 6.2 million died from the disease. The report also reveals that cancer has emerged as a major public health problem in developing countries, matching its effect in industrialized nations.”

Let’s break this down a bit.  As of twelve years ago more than 10% of the population died of cancer, and in some countries, it was almost 25%.  Yes, this is a fucking PROBLEM.  This statistic doesn’t illustrate the stories of the millions of people who die, or the billions of people who love those people.  And there doesn’t seem to be a fucking thing we can do about it.  Well, that’s not exactly true, is it?  We can eat better and smarter, quit smoking, and improve our general health, but even so, cancer will still be around, and that’s just a sad, fucking fact.

Tonight I will gather with our family and grieve for a great man.  A man who loved to hunt and fish, loved his family, collected all kinds of cool tractors, was a great ball player, a bit of a scrapper in his day, a husband, a life-long friend and so much more.  I hope that what cancer reduced him to will not be what he is remembered for.  I never knew Paul when he wasn’t a cancer survivor, or a cancer patient, but I enjoy hearing the stories of what he was like.   Tonight I will greet my future Mother-in-law and wonder what words I can say that will let her know that I am so sorry for the loss of her best friend and partner, and for all the pain she has endured because of this horrible fucking disease.  I will try to comfort my future brothers and sisters-in-law, even though I have no idea what could possibly make it better.  I know these are the people I will call family for the rest of my life, and I am so fucking angry that there is now one less of them.  I lost my own father in a moment 4 years ago, and I could tell them that the ache never really goes away, but that they will learn to live with the joy of their memories of their father.  I can grieve with them as a person who loved their dad, and loved her dad, and who knows how hard it is to lose a parent.

Back to the topic at hand, and believe me, I wish I COULD change it.  Cancer sucks.  I hope it never touches my life again, but based on the WHO stats of 12 years ago, I can gather 12 of my favorite people together, and know at least one of them will get it, and almost certainly more.  That makes me sick, and so sad, and it’s just a fact of life.  So I will see you again, Cancer, but I dread your return to my cozy existence.  Fuck You.

What else can I say...

No there ain’t no good in goodbye,

Gerri

Feb 06

Tabarnak!

Well, it’s time to show a few of the photos from my meeting with Sebastard. He gets to be a bit of an asshole after a few beer, and I guess I might get a little yappy as well, so our little get togethers sometimes end up in a bit of a set-to. This night was no different, but because we are grown men, we let bygones be bygones, and are quite amicable by morning. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I guess that this will be sufficient for today.

(Hmmmm, I wonder where my good friend is?)

(Do I have time to order pizza? I shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach)

Continue reading