Friday, December 30, 2011

This Post Promised to Be the Best Post Ever...

....please note the use of the past tense :(

So here's the story...

Picture this, if you will... 

Me... standing in a fabulously steamy hot shower becoming increasingly excited...breathless with anticipation...on the verge of exploding ....with all sorts of awesome ideas for an "End of Year Wrap-Up/Best-Of squirrel_e_girl" blog post.

 ~not exactly where you thought I was going with  this is it? heh heh heh ...I'm tricky that way~

Anyway, back to the matter at hand...

I had a TON of super excellent stuff to write about bouncing around in my little steamed-up brain (seasoned "Musings" readers may remember that I've made mention of the fact that I do my best work in the shower) and I was raring to go and more than ready to pull an all-nighter in order to get it all down on virtual paper when I was stopped dead in my little squirrelly tracks....

Oh yeah...I remember now...

I took a wee sleeping pill (and an Advil) before I hopped into the shower so I'd be all nicely ready to sleep by the time my head hit my pillow....Thinking ahead, you see. Time management like you've never experienced.

Damn. There goes my night of inspired blogging....right down the drain. 

I wish I had been candidly filmed just so I could see the expression of abject disappointment when that unhappy realization sunk in .... I woulda looked a little something like this :( ....but way sadder.

Actually, once I stop and think about what I just wrote, I believe I will rescind that particular one needs to see me being candidly filmed ...or uncandidly for that matter...whilst in the shower.

Ok... I gotta eyes are getting heavy and if there's one thing I know it's that Blogging and Sleeping Pills don't mix.

Blog Respsonsibly, Kids.


More tomorrow.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Quick Peek at My Diet This Week Past...

You know what's delicious?


You know what else is delicious?

Chocolate covered almonds.

You know what else is delicious?

Pump-i-kin pie with real whipped cream. (In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that it is too delicious for its own/my own good.)

You know what is not delicious?

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Bark.

Did the President not give it a little taste before he made this particular Choice? Whatever was he thinking?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Chickadee Has Landed.

Remember way back at the beginning of November, when I wrote that lots 'o' shit had gone down in squirrel_e_girl world during the month of October...and then, instead of relaying all the aforementioned October shit that had gone down, I proceeded to write a silly list of reasons why I like to write lists?

Yeah, well... all the shit that went down in October still went down... obviously...but since then...actually, since this morning... some shit has just gone down that is even more exciting than all that aforementioned/unmentioned October shit...

~I'm now going to stop using the word 'shit' because it's starting to sound a little base...To hell with maintaining a sense of continuity ... I choose to maintain a sense of class~

....Something has recently transpired that is waaaaaay more exciting than buying a house and then nearly not buying a house(because apparently the mortgage provider kinda forgot...after initially approving us and said house... that they actually kinda don't mortgage Panabode log homes...ummm...ok...You did realize, of course, Big Important Mortgage People, that this deal was to close in less than 2 weeks when you pulled the f#%king rug out from under us, right?!...oops). And then buying, again, the house that has very instantly become my absolute dream home.

... Something has recently taken place that is waaaaaay more exciting and interesting (although waaaaaay less weird) than the fact that my Sweetie and I purchased this awesomely excellent dream home from vendors who just happen to be my Erstwhile Sister-in-Law and Erstwhile Brother-In-Law ... and ... we used a realtor who just happens to be my Erstwhile Husband. That's ok...take a minute to absorb all that...




~And to add to the Flowers in the Attic-i-ness of the situation...the reason my S.I.L/B.I.L decided to sell this fabulous spot in the first place is that they had an excellent once-in-a-lifetime kinda opportunity to move in with my Erstwhile Parents-in-Law into their big beautiful lakeside home...Fingers and toes crossed for everyone involved in that land-mine/time-bomb laden set-up. I love you all immensely...but you're all crackers~

...Something has recently come to pass that is even waaaaay more exciting than, after 3 years of living with super duper crap internet (First, we made do with frustratingly primitive, forehead-bangingly slow dial-up internet. Then, we "progressed" to retardedly expensive, slow and erratic (which is nowhere near as cool as slow and erotic) Rocket Stick 3G internet. Then, we moved on and up to the not-as-retardedly expensive but equally slow and erratic (again, not as cool as slow and erotic) Rocket Hub 3G internet) ... we now have real live HIGH SPEED CABLE INTERNET!!!!*cue choir of beatific angels belting out a chorus of "HALLELUJAH!!!"

Life is Good. Really. Really. Good. THE most exciting shit to go down in these last few crazy exciting months is...

Drumroll, please....

There is a chickadee at my feeder.

 And ...


Since I began writing this post, that one lone chickadee has been joined by several other chickadee-dee-dees and...a nuthatch.


Now, this may not be super crazy exciting to some of you, but to me, a self-admitted, dare I say, self-proclaimed wienie....this is HUGE. 

You see, before we left our old place, I had to gradually stop feeding all the birdie friends I had gathered over the past year....including our lovely little cardinal family... and that made me more than a wee bit sad.

 So, this weekend, I set about to cultivate my new crop of birds. We put both of my old feeders up and I also filled the 2 feeders that the previous owner/bird girl (the always wonderful MMW) had left here till spring. So, that means, I had 4... count 'em ... FOUR... feeders primed and ready to go. 


....and for 3 long dreary days they stood desolate and bare.

...mocking me with their blatant birdlessness  :(

Until this morning!!!!


I have birds again!!!

Thank you, my wee little chickadee-dee-dees...and nuthatch. I will take good care of you this winter. I promise.

All is now well in squirrel_e_girl world.

Stay Tuned for more super duper awesomely exciting updates from my feeders ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

It Was the Best of Nights, It Was the Worst of Nights.

Well, actually, it was mostly the best of nights...the worst of nights part didn't start until 2am-ish so perhaps I should re-title...

It Was the Best of Nights, It Was the Worst of Really Early in the Mornings.

Allow me to elaborate...

This past Saturday night, I, along with 349 other lucite boys and girls

 ~ I interrupt this sentence to bring to your attention, the strangest autocorrect EVER ... The all-knowing Autocorrect Gods, in their wisdom, just corrected my misspelled "lucky" to read "lucite" ....which isn't even a real word. It's the trademark name of a kind of plastic that is used in the manufacturing of hot tubs ...and trendy jewellery ???

Allow me to get back to my sentence...

This past Saturday night, I, along with 349 other lucky boys and girls, attended a kick ass fundraiser organised in spectacular fashion by a beloved "Musings" reader. (Killer job, Angie!! You should be monstrously proud of yourself!! Woot!!) This was a sold-out, eagerly anticipated event that showcased the talent of 4 awesome local bands.

A month or so ago, when I first found out that this evening was in the works, I thought to myself, "Self, would you look at that line-up!! That is going to be one epic shindig. I bet everyone is going to be there."

.... and then I experienced an odd, unfamiliar stirring. (not one of those stirrings. Mind out of the gutter, please)

I was bewildered and alarmed by a sudden foreign impulse and I immediately questioned myself, "Self!!! What the hell is happening?? There must be something wrong with me!! Could I possibly actually want to actually go out and actually do something fun??? In public?? With people and everything?? People that I actually know?? Some for more than half my life?? Quick!! Dial 911!!! Stat!!"

I gave my head a good shake and lay down to wait for this crazy notion to pass...or, failing that, the arrival of the other 3 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Bizarrely enough, neither of those things happened.

Later that day, my Sweetie came home from work and I filled him in on the freaky details of my afternoon and all he had to say was, "Sounds like fun. Sure we'll go."


My fate was sealed.

The strangeness didn't end there.

Oh no.

Not by a long shot.

Not only did I NOT ONCE think of backing out and not going, but I also went into town and picked up the tickets MYSELF.

Oh, yes.

I did.



And... I invited some friends over to our place for some pre-show beverages.

BAM!!! Introverts of the World, please bask in the glow of my successful foray into Extreme Extraversion!!

Ok...enough basking.

So, after weeks of simmering excitement, the big day finally arrived.  As far as I could tell, pretty much everyone and their brother was going to be at this thing (only in my case it was my sister). I was giddy with thoughts of how ridiculous it was going to be. You see, for those of you not from Orillia, a few hundred drunk Orillians is quite a sight to behold.

 The evening held such promise!! I was super duper pumped.

A lovely visit with some lovely friends and 3 RockStars [+Vodka] later and I was on my way!!!

My initial disappointment after hearing that we missed my good friend's band's set was quickly buffered by the glorious spectacle that greeted us not 10 feet from the entrance....The lineup for the bar was at least 8 people across and a good 10-12 people long. I rubbed my hands together with glee. The potential for some good ol' Orillian shenanigans was HUGE!! I was even more gleeful when my Guy pointed out that my sister and bro-in-law just happened to be at the front of that mammoth line. "Hey Most Excellent Sister at the front of that mammoth line!! Can  you grab us a couple of Smirnoff Ice??" Oh yeah.

And so, it began.

And so, this post devolves into a sophomoric recount of my drunk girl escapades. Please accept my apologies.

As a general rule, I don't drink to excess so this was a noteworthy event.

Since my memory is greatly blotted out by the consumption of alcohol (particularly Smirnoff Ice), the details are a bit sketchy so this is a perfect time for me to compile...

"A Not-so-Comprehensive List of Things I'm Pretty Sure I Probably Experienced This Past Saturday Night"
by: squirrel_e_girl

  • Within the first 4.3 minutes, I was startled by both....  a) a slap on my ass dealt by a dude I dated relatively seriously about 22 years ago (22 f%*king years ago!!?? How is that even possible??) and... b) the sudden and unexpected appearance of my mortgage broker who just happened to be standing next to the aforementioned former boyfriend. Now, that may not seem weird to you, but it completely freaked me out... in a good "oh my god that's hilarious" kinda way
  • I saw my hairdresser
  • I declared my deep undying platonic fondness to 2 maybe 3 people (who just happen to be beloved readers, too. Hi guys!!!) ...and I must stress that the quantity of declarations, by no means, diminishes the quality or sincerity of my words. Although I do hope that the Caesar Salad I had for supper didn't make the experience less than enjoyable for the objects of my, no doubt, close-talking affections.
  • I passionately apologised (several times) to the owners of the poor dog whose face I accidentally slammed in a door (drawing blood) a few months ago while she was in my care :(
  • I peed with my sister in a very small washroom stall
  • I totally managed to survive a rather awkward encounter where I went on and on to a woman about how cool her wedding invitation was (I happened upon it while sorting through paperwork and packing last week) only to find out that she and her husband had just recently broken up. Apparently, I am waaaaayyy outta the loop.
  • I put all of our auction tickets towards a pet portrait thingy that we very well might've won except my Guy didn't have his glasses and therefore couldn't read the wee lil numbers and I was too busy off galavanting being all extroverted-like to realise that the winning tickets were being drawn 

...which leads me to...

  • I was an extremely inconsiderate date and left my poor non-native-Orillian Sweetie to fend for himself in a sea of drunk and disorderly Orillians for the bulk of the night. Tsk Tsk. Shame on me. I'm sorry.
  • I relentlessly teased a guy who, years ago at a house party we had, thought that coming into my bathroom to talk to ensuite, no less...while I was in the shower was a completely acceptable idea. (it was super late and I was hitting the hay). I don't think his wife had heard that particular story before ....oops.
  • I sang "Ride, Sally. Ride" into the mic during Mustang least I think I did. Although that may have been the last time I saw that band...5 years ago. Huh.... Leave that one with me.
  • I had a very serious conversation with a friend about a very serious thing and I hope she knows that everything will all work out in the end and that she is an awesome Mom.
  • I punched my Erstwhile Husband really really hard in the arm... just because :)

....and the Hands-Down-Without-a-Doubt Most Exciting Thing to Happen was...

  •  seeing my most favourite pen-pal EVER for the first time in almost forever. One of the best surprises I've ever had the joy of experiencing. WAHOOOOO!!!

And then we went home and, as every fun evening out should end, I found myself lying on my bathroom floor in my underwear, crying hysterically for no apparent reason. Ahhhh!!! Good Times.

My MOST AMAZING GUY took gentle and wonderful care of me all the rest of the night/really early morning and I applaud his craftiness in convincing me that while he didn't doubt that my head was far too heavy for me to lift up off the floor and that if he just brought me a pillow, I'd be fine, he was almost 100% positive that it would be a whole lot easier for me to lean out of bed to throw up into a bucket than it would be for me to have to sit up and climb into the toilet bowl each and every time I barfed. The man is a genius. Thank You <3

My darling Son kept me company for most of the next morning and hung out in bed with me while I moaned and groaned and advised him to steer clear of the booze. He thought showing me this "Point of View" video of the new rollercoaster at Wonderland was a great idea. I didn't. It was some prime Mother-Son bonding time....I'm pretty sure parenting experts far and wide would agree.

I managed to ingest an Advil and a chocolate-dipped donut for brunch and we went for a nice hike with the hounds so the day wasn't a complete write-off.

I went to bed at 8:10 ....which is unheard of in squirrel_e_girl world...and I woke up this morning happy as a clam and fit as a fiddle.

The Day After the Day After is a beautiful thing.

The End.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Month in Review...

October was a big month in squirrel_e_girl world.

Lots 'o' shit went down, man.

Huh...I was just about to put all my October Shenanigans into a little list-y thing but I'm hesitating because I'm thinking I've perhaps overdone the  "list" format and I definitely don't want to get stuck in a rut.

I want to stay fresh ...innovative

'Cuz that's just the way I roll.









"A Comprehensive List of Reasons Why I Will Continue Posting Comprehensive Lists"
by: squirrel_e_girl

  • I like lists ...I like readin' em. I like watchin' em on TV. I like writin' em. I like 'em.
  • It's a bit easier to be clever-ish in bullet points than it is in proper sentences or paragraphs.
  • I don't have to worry about making all sorts of logical transitions between thoughts like I do when I write actual writing.
  • I like soup.

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Is it too late to change the name of my blog??

    Ah man... I saw this today and now have tumbled stripey-tail first into a major identity crisis.

    Take a peek and you'll understand my plight:

    Chipmunks are waaaaaaayyyy cuter and Look!! These little dudes have a cage and a wheel and everything .

     "Musings From the Chipmunk Cage" by chipmunk_e_girl

    Whaddya think??

    ....hmmmm...Actually, I think I'll stick with my squirrels. That extra syllable in 'chipmunk' messes with the whole rhythm and flow....And I'm all about the rhythm and flow. (although I do have a bastard of a time trying to spell 'rhythm' right ... 'rhyme' is another word that causes me grief. Apparently, the "rhy" combo doesn't sit well with me)

    OK...everyone back to your stations. Major Identity Crisis averted.

    Although... I also stumbled upon this video:

    honeybadger_e_girl has a pretty nice ring to it, dontcha think??

    Nah...I'm nowhere near badass enough. And, I don't eat snakes.

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    So Many Excuses. So Little Time.

    Well, it's October and you know what that means....Yep, you are absolutely right... I totally blew off September's blog post.

    What kind of Blogger Extraordinaire am I??

    A bad one...That's what kind of Blogger Extraordinaire I am.

    In my defence, I do happen to have several relatively solid excuses for why I didn't write anything of any real substance in September.

    So, without further ado, here is...

    "A Comprehensive List of Several Relatively Solid Excuses for Why I Didn't Write Anything of Any Real Substance in September"
    by: squirrel_e_girl

    •  My Sweetie and I scored some kick ass tickets to see Pearl Jam, so, including travel time, dinner at McDonalds and a peebreak on the side of the DVP, that little adventure alone took up a good 5-6 hours of quality September writing time.
      ~ An aside- 2011 marks the 19th anniversary of my torrid (one-sided) love affair with Eddie Vedder...a momentous occasion if  ever there was one. That...and the band celebrates its 20th year together which I guess is pretty cool, too. Here's a clip of what we experienced... PJ20 in Toronto ...and for fun (and for my own personal jollies) here is the original video for "Alive" ... I guess Eddie's days of crowd surfing and hanging from the lighting scaffolding are long past ... but then again, so are mine :D ~

    • We are the proud feeders/watchers of 2 adorable baby Cardinals - a wee girl and a wee boy- and they have kept me very busy. It is well nigh impossible to watch cute fluffy baby birds hop around AND write a blog at the same time.

    Our Wee Baby Cardinals

    • My kids swiped my iPad charger cord thingy so it was a challenge to keep my iPad charged up. I finally got it back and am good to go.
    • I just happen to reside in some sort of 3G internet signal black hole and over the past few months the situation has deteriorated to the point where I would rather sit in a corner smashing myself in the face with a hammer than spend any length of time trying to stay online. To give you an idea how bad it is, Rogers actually gave us money back AND have reduced our monthly fees ...I kid you not. THAT is how suck ass our internet is. In order to maintain my tenuous grip on sanity, I have been avoiding the computer as much as I possibly can...and one can't write a blog post and not use the internet, now can one??
    • I seem to have had a bit of a jumpstart on my annual foray into Seasonal Affective Disorder this year. (add that to my Social Anxiety Disorder and it makes me "S.A.D Squared"...hmmm a good name for a band, perhaps). In anticipation of this upcoming winter and its cold dark bleakness, I have been stewing in a nice case of the blahs and haven't really wanted to do much of anything. But now it's October and I adore October and all its pretty pumpkins and leaves and crisp smells and such. Apparently, a brief but spectacular influx of the colour orange is enough to distract me from dreary thoughts of November and December ... and January ...and February ...and March... sigh... so I'm feeling great(mostly).
    • For a couple of weeks, I was working super duper full-time as Despot Ruler  at the kennel and getting up at 5:30 am kinda kicked the crap out of me and rendered me rather useless for that 2 week stretch. It's tough being a Night Owl living an Early Bird's life. Hoo Hoo.
    • I couldn't think of anything good to write about. I was a little short on inspiration ... It's not every day that one witnesses butterflies landing on dog poop...a blogger can only dream of such good fortune.
    • Unfortunately, I started to read the A Song of Ice and Fire series (yes, I am a nerd) ...A Game of Thrones being the first of five 1000+ page tomes. I've trudged through four of the five books, and so, have endured 4000+ pages of brutally depressing yet ridiculously addictive narrative. There certainly are no happy endings in these bad boys. (Well, none of the literary variety anyway, if you know what I mean nudge nudge wink wink...rarrr) Needless to say, reading 4000+ pages of woefully gruesome tragedy really cuts into a squirrel_e_girl's writin' time....and upon reflection, may have something to do with my early onset blahs.
    Oh yeah...and one last thing...

    • We bought a house!!!! YAY US!!!! It has been a rather nerve-wracking/gut-twisting/drawn out ordeal, that, unlike those stupid books I'm reading, actually has a happy ending. More on that later...

    I gotta start would not believe all the nuts I have to sort through ;)

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    Whaddya mean it's the last day of September...

    ...and I haven't written anything yet???

    I am a bad bad blogger.

    Bad Blogger.

    More later.

    BUT.... least, now I've posted something in September.

    Even though this something is a sorry excuse for a post.


    Promise to myself kept!

    Oh yeah.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Guilty As Charged

    Life is a wonderful fabulous beautiful thing.  It has meaning. It has purpose.

    ~A Quick Stream of Consciousness Tangent...Auto-Correct brings so many unexpected flashes of joy into my world. For example... Just now, I was typing "purpose" and had misspelled it somehow. Auto-Correct saw fit to switch my spelled-wrong "purpose" to "pepper"...which totally cracks me up. I might just leave it that way. Not exactly the sentence or sentiment I'm going for but it is true so why not go with it.~

    My Blog Post Take 2...

    Life is a wonderful fabulous beautiful thing.  It has meaning. It has pepper.

    Life just wouldn't be life if it had no meaning. Pepper, on the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of so I could easily do without....but... Everyone has a purpose... Something to strive for... Something to work towards... Something to give their life meaning.

    Meaning is important.

    You know what else is important?


    Pleasure is fun and it's important to have fun.

    You know what's even funner than plain old run of the mill pleasure???

    ~Oh,  silly Auto-Correct!! No, I don't mean "runner"... I mean "funner"~

    You know what's even funner than plain old run of the mill pleasure???

    That's right!!!

    The always awesome...

    The ever entertaining....

     I'm talkin' 'bout the one... the only...

    The Guilty Pleasure!!

    Oh yeah.

    Everyone's got least one... and if you don't then I don't wanna be friends with you anymore. No, I mean it....Scram. Go be meaningful and purposeful with some other bloggy crowd. I'm going to write about fun stupid stuff and I don't want you killin' my buzz.

    Personally, I have more than at least one. In fact, I have several and I am going to share them with you in something I'd like to call...

    "A Comprehensive List of Stuff That I Really Really Enjoy But I'm a Little/a Lot Embarrassed To Actually Admit It" 
    by: squirrel_e_girl

    • "Party for Two" by Shania Twain & Mark McGrath - Such a baaaaad song but I can't help but sing and chair-dance along whenever it comes on the radio "WOO!!"

    And speaking of the once-kinda-cute-now-kinda-plastic-y-cheesy Mark McGrath...

    • Don't Forget the Lyrics - Nothin' like watchin' a really bad karaoke gameshow late at night when I should be sleeping so I'm not zombie-like tired in the morning "WOO!"
    • Ke$ha - Trashy Trashy Trashy but Catchy Catchy Catchy. I kinda hate myself for loving her but I can't help myself.
    • Nickelback - Dirty Cheese... best served super loud in the car when you're driving by yourself
    • Whitney Houston...The Early Years - C'mon! Who doesn't love "How Will I Know"? A little bit of the beautiful young fresh-faced Whitney does a soul good.
    • So You Think You Can Dance/American Idol - Usually referred to as Dancin'/Singin' in our household ...well, by me anyway... As in "Hurry up and finish eating so I can go watch Dancin'"... I love these shows (mostly) especially now that the judges are way too soft and nice. Mean makes me sad.
    • Sneaking furtive peeks at The National Enquirer while standing in line at the grocery store - "For people with enquiring me". It's extremely important for me to know which celebrity looks worse than I do in a bathing suit. And while I would never ever actually buy one of those newspapers, I have been known, on occasion, to purchase a copy of "People". I believe that publication scores a bit lower on the Guilty Pleas-ometer so it doesn't get its own bullet-point.
    • Playing Stupid games on my computer/iPad - This time and mind devouring habit started years ago with a simple game of Solitaire on our first laptop. Solitaire morphed into Spider Solitaire and then I discovered Bejeweled Blitz. Then came my iPad... along with a bottomless supply of Apps. First, there was the ridiculously ridiculous PocketFrogs...who knew hopping about on lilypads making frogs have sex was so much fun?? And my current addiction is stupid Crazy Birds ...most people call it Angry Birds ....I don't. I do try to mix in the odd word game like Scrabble or Boggle just to keep my mind sharp ;)
    • My iPad - I spend far more time with my iPad than is healthy but I'm not going to think about that.
    • Dairy Queen - Need I say more??
    • !!!/???/... - I am developing my own grammatical style that is based on excessive use of exclamation points, question marks and dot dot dots... Purists may cringe but f$@k 'em!!!! (Oddly enough, while I am ruthlessly judgmental when it comes to spelling, the improper use of apostrophes and the whole your/you're and there/their/they're thing, I am rather careless with/ignorant of almost every other aspect of grammar. And most everyone who reads this won't give a rat's bum about anything I just said but I felt I should offer up some sort of self-observation/justification  to those of you who are of sound grammatical mind and may just be offended by my bad grammar ...but please do remember what I just wrote about Purists)

    Back to my self-indulgent list of my self-indulgences...

    • McDonald's - I know the food is beyond bad for me and together with Walmart (aka The Evil Empire), McDonald's is responsible for most of what's wrong with Western Civilization heard it here first, folks... but goddamn but I do love me a McChicken Meal - small fries, small banilla shake <---- (see that...  SMALL!! So really, I'm only being a fraction of the bad that I could be being)
    • Swearing - Classy, right??!! Swearing is fun. It's a lil somethin' I picked up during my first year at university and I haven't looked back, Motherf@$ker!!!!
    • Left-over Pumpkin Pie in my fridge - If there is pump-i-kin pie (with real whipped cream mmmmmmmm) in my house, I cannot be held responsible for my actions. I will share with my Boy and my Sweetie but they've gotta stay on their toes. If they're not careful, sneaky piece by sneaky piece, I WILL eat ALL of it. The same also holds true for Quaker Oaks butter tarts.
    • Nutella - Super good for you right??? Hazelnuts are healthy, aren't they?? The commercial tells me they are so it must be true.
    • SpongeBob - Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?? The awesomest most annoying cartoon character EVER!!! If I were to run down the checklist of everything that makes my brain hurt and causes my eye to twitch (A HA!! Perhaps a future blog post list thing??!!), SpongeBob has got everything pretty much covered. He should drive me absolutely bananas ...really, really... but miraculously, he doesn't. I heart SpongeBob.
    • The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon - Historical Fiction, Time Travel, a hot 18th century Scottish dude having smokin' hot sex with a strong 20th century woman ....doesn't get any better than that!! I have to cover my framed English degree with a heavy blanket when I read(and re-read) these books so I can't feel its disappointed, disapproving glare boring a hole into my brain. Jamie and Claire, I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER!!! :D 
    • The Twilight series...Books AND Movies - The dark-blanket-covered degree gets tucked away into a far corner of the basement when those babies are being enjoyed. I'll leave it at that.
    • The Wedding Planner - I love this movie. Love. It. It is so sweet and sappy and smooshy and happy ending-y. It even came out before J Lo got too big for her britches ...figuratively,anyway ... bahahahhahahha
    • Hoarders - aka(by me) The Crazies. It's soooooooo bad and soooooo voyeuristic  and sooooooo very very  good. But I have to say that it has almost become almost too depressing to watch. Almost. Its effect on me is two-sided... On the one hand, watching it makes me feel happy that my house is beyond immaculate compared to the ones on the show and it inspires periodic bursts of cleaning and that's good, right?? On the other hand, it makes me a wee bit concerned to know that I have several empty Tide boxes under my laundry sink and more than a couple not quite empty bottles of shampoo in my linen closet.
    • Watching couples fight at the boat ramp while they try to launch their boat off the trailer and into the water &/or try to get their boat out of the water and back onto the trailer - tee hee hee :)
    • Naps/Sleeping in/Just plain old Sleeping - I L.O.V.E to sleep ... I'm very very bad at it but I love it (I have a similar relationship with golf) My nice warm comfy bed surrounded by billowy mounds of pillows...ahhhhhh heaven... makes all my sleep issues worthwhile.
    • Small Dogs (more specifically...poodles) - Small dogs are excellent and funny and easy to pick up. Yeah, they can be yappy and weirdos sometimes carry them around in purses (easy to pick up, remember?!) but who cares...they're still awesome ...and easy to pick up. Poodles (big AND small) have been subjected to foppy foolish haircuts forever and you shouldn't let a silly hair-do  get in the way of getting to know a poodle. Some of the best pooches I know are poodles.
    • Reading to excess - I adore all things books and if I happen to be in the middle of a great read, I tend to let everything else ....even Hoarders and Sleeping ...fall by the wayside. I know... Crazy right??!

    Speaking of which...

    • Reading my own blog ... to excess - It's true. I like to read what I write ...over and over and over again. And again. And again. I think there might be something wrong with me.

    ** Special Note:
    If I had compiled this list a few months ago, Country Music would've held a coveted place amongst the bullet points above but since I came out of the Country Music Closet in an earlier post, good ol Hurtin' Music has made the leap from Guilty Pleasure to Loud n' Proud, baby!!! Loud n' Proud!!!

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Quit Buggin' Me!!!!

    "Why Earwigs Totally Freak Me Out"
    by: squirrel_e_girl

    Earwigs totally freak me out because:
    (in no particular order)
    • They look like this....

    • The first time I became aware of their existence, I was 7 or 8 years old hanging out in a dark musty old tent trailer that my parents had unfortunately rented for our first... actually ... our only family camping trip and the dark/musty/several hundred earwig combo didn't do a bunch to establish a foundation for a loving, trusting relationship.
    • They look like this...
    Ahhhhh... Babies... How adorable.

    • They have pincers attached to their bums. 'Nuff said.
    • They look like this....

    • They have the creepily magical power to manifest out of thin air. I have no idea how the hell they do it or where the hell they come from but on more than one occasion, I've picked up a facecloth that has been draped on the side of my bathtub to dry or a dishcloth performing a similar act only on the edge of my kitchen sink and ... HOLY SHIT!!! Out scurries a nasty little earwig!! Quick!!! Smish the bepincered f@$ker!! And I've had this happen in the dead if winter. Sure...summer I get. Windows are open. Doors don't always get shut all the way...Lots of logical explanations as to how a single insect can show up in my bathroom. But in the winter??? Two storeys away from a basement?? I detect a whiff of sulphur-y brimstone, don't you??
    • They look like this...

    • They seem to randomly fall out of the sky .... onto my head. I challenge anybody ...Any. Body. .. to not spasm and spin about whilst squealing like a wee girl &/or swearing like a trucker if one of these foul little beasts lands on your head or falls down the back/front of your shirt. I've even heard tell of a incident where dozens dropped down onto a poor soul's head after he innocently opened a door into an outbuilding. DOZENS. I can't even bring myself to imagine. Goddamn.

    • They look like this...
    Did you know they had wings?Yeah,neither did I.
    • They like to use my mailbox as some sort of clubhouse/community centre. Congregate elsewhere, you exoskeletal jerks.
    • They look like this....
    • They eat holes in my pretty flowers....grrrrrrrrrrr
    • They look like this....

    • Anything that has stories/myths/old wives' tales recounting the "fact" that it enjoys crawling down the ear canal of its unsuspecting sleeping victim then perforating its eardrums with those f@$king disturbing  pincers is no friend of mine. No how. No way. I don't care that I'm well-versed in the ways of the world and I logically realise that this horrifying phenomenon is but a mere story/myth/old wives' tale... some things just can't be un-imagined. Ever.

    And, last but certainly not least...

    • They look like this...

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Philosophers Wanted -- Apply Within

    Last week, when the calendar flipped up to reveal the fact that the month of July had already leapt into action 2-3 days previously (who looks at a calendar on a Long Weekend??), I started to get a wee bit antsy as it hit me that in order to meet my "One Blog Post/Month" promise to myself I needed to crank one out and I only had 28-29 days to do said cranking.

    Alas, my squirrels have been taking it easy lately ... kicking back whilst listening to country tunes and enjoying this fine summer weather we've been having... and no one's been trying to swipe my Intellectual Property so I've been a little light in the Blog Post Fodder Department.

     ~An Aside - My 3 new-to-me fave songs: "Knee Deep"- a happy summertime song, "Truck Got Stuck"-awesome fun country music story-telling at its finest & "This is Country Music"<--Who has two thumbs and ADORES Brad Paisley? You guessed it... This Guy!~

    I've been asked by a couple of people how I come up with ideas to write about ("a couple of people" = "my parents") and I've had a difficult time not feeling like a complete poser/wanker when I throw down my stock answer...which is: "I patiently wait for inspiration to strike, then I follow the tiny fledgling idea anywhere it chooses to soar and explore"

    Well, lucky you guys!!!! This morning, I was struck/stricken!!!

    Inspiration appeared to me in the lovely and delicate form of a butterfly ... and dog poop.

    Since, as previously noted, I work at a "Pooch & Kitty Holiday Camp" AND I am a Walker of Dogs AND I share a home with 2 hounds (and oft times more), I have the glorious pleasure of spending the bulk of my time surrounded by dogs..."Dog People" are now breathing a collective sigh of appreciation/admiration/envy, while "Non-Dog People" are now shuddering a collective "Goddamn That'd Suck" shudder.

    Actually, now that I mention it....

    **Special Note to Non-Dog People &/or Mildly Squeamish People... The rest of this post is focused primarily on Dog Poop and how it relates to Butterflies and Life ... So if you're so-so on Dog Poop you may want to wrap it up here, but if you also happen to be super keen on Butterflies &/or Life you may want to stick around.

    Ok...where was I???

    I hang out with dogs pretty much on a full-time basis so, rather logically, I am exposed to dog poop more than any normal person would/should be. I've long ago gotten over the whole ick-factor of canine excrement, therefore, it's no big schmoo for me to deal with it and probably why I've seen fit to write a blog post based on poop....Hmmmmm... That said, perhaps I should look into a new line of work ... Nah :)

    So, this morning, I was at work supervising the pooches as they frolicked about in The Garden (the owners of the kennel are English ... and are awesome ...and use awesome English alternative words/phrases like: 'The Garden', 'The Corridor', 'Titivate' -- it's a verb meaning 'to quickly tidy/clean/spruce up', 'Trod' -- as in "Looks like you've just trod in some poo", and 'Nutter' -- as in "'That bloke...He's a right nutter" ....HA!! Love it! Love them.)

    Meanwhile.... Back in The Garden...

    I was hangin' with some hounds and had just reached the conclusion that... No, in fact, it is NOT the heat... Indeed, it IS the humidity, when I noticed 2 maybe 3 lovely butterflies fluttering by.

    It was as though they were searching.

    Seeking out something wondrously important.

    Their desired destination couldn't possibly be any typical butterfly hot-spot like, say, a flower, because, despite being referred to as The Garden, there is, ironically, nary a blossom in sight. But one by one, in their own sweet butterfly-y time, these beautiful, fragile creatures alit upon a lone island oasis of .... dog poop.

    I already noticed this phenomenon on several occasions in the recent past and had thought to myself, "Huh? Butterflies dig dog poop. Whoodda thunk?" but today, for whatever reason, my previous thoughts evolved into something more.

    Butterflies actually seeking out dog poop....That's gotta mean something. Why else would The Universe keep bringing this activity to my attention?

    There has to be one hugely important life lesson to be learned from this bizarro juxtaposition of these wildly disparate citizens of The Universe. Maybe a lesson akin to "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade" ...only.... different... Something along the line of "When you come up a little short on flowers, you might as well take advantage of whatever else you happen to find. Like, for instance, dog poop."

    Or maybe this will spawn a brand spankin' new colourfully affirmative reply...If someone asks me, "Do you like country music?", instead of my usual retort, "Does a bear poop in the woods?", I'll just have to start answering, "Does a butterfly like dog poop?".

    I truly believe, with all my weirdo heart, that there must some how be some way to draw some sort of significant life analogy from this grossly odd/oddly gross pairing.

    This is where I'm asking ... no ... I'll even go so far as to say that I am imploring all you Philosophers of Life (certified &/or self-proclaimed &/or otherwise) floating around out there in this Grand Blogosphere to step in and help me out. (PoochBuddha, I'm looking directly at you, Dude...ha)

    Butterflies. Dog poop. Life.

    What does it all mean?

    Like I said before... It's gotta mean something.

    Doesn't it?

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Cry Me a River

    After re-reading my Country Music post for the 128th time, it struck me that my occasional reference to the fact that country songs make me cry and that I'm prone to crying when I hear certain country songs and that quite often I cry when I listen to country music, may have given people the impression that I cry a lot. I feel as though I should probably clear up any possible misconceptions regarding the strength of my character.

    I'm here to set the record straight.

    I, squirrel_e_girl, am a crybaby.

    A big one.


    Always have been. Always will be.

    Not a damn thing I can do about it.

    I've learned to live with my propensity for tears. Embraced it even. It's part of my charm.

    I cry when I'm really really sad. I cry when I'm really really happy. I cry when I'm really really tired. I cry when I'm really really mad ... which sucks because I could be mid-heated debate, in the act of stating an awesome point and making solid headway with my case and... WHAM-O ... the waterworks fire up and any credibility ...or pride...I have, is washed away in a flood of saline. Crap.

    And, as luck would have it, I'm not a very attractive crier. My face goes all super crazy splotchy-like....apparently, starting with my nose. I was blissfully unaware of that last bit o' info until just recently when my daughter kindly pointed it out... She's a splotchy-face crier, too. (You're welcome, my darling. A gift from you :P) As a bonus though, my eyes do go a rather lovely and rather cool shade of green when I cry. Alas, you have to get past all the splotchy cheeks/red nose bullshit in order to appreciate their lovely cool green-ness. Oh well.

    Here is ....

    ...apart from all the typical Mandatory Crying Events (MCE)...
    Weddings/Funerals/Line-ups at Canada's Wonderland on a blistering July afternoon....

    "A Comprehensive List of Things That Make Me Cry"
    by: squirrel_e_girl

    • Country Music ...see last blog post for blah blah wah wah details
    •  The First Day of School...a little tradition I started back in 1975. At least now I'm not the one on the school bus and I can usually hold it together until my kids' bus pulls away so as not to mortally embarrass everyone involved.(and, by the way, this includes my first day of university. No school bus involved (thank god) but I was astonishingly hung-over and had zero sleep the night before (thank Beer Fest) so it was a hell of a way to start the year. Nice work, 19 year-old Me)
    • A Baby Story on TLC ... Every. Single. Episode. I. Watch. Doesn't matter if I watch the whole show or just happen to tune in in time to catch a glimpse of the freshly squeezed out teeny tiny slimy newborn, it gets me. Did I cry following the births of my own two teeny tiny slimy newborns? Oddly...nope. But show me some strangers on T.V. experiencing the joy of new life and I'll cry like...well, like a baby.
    • Remembrance Day Assemblies ...something about little kids paying solemn tribute just wrecks me. Amazing.

    Which reminds me...

    • The Bell commercial where a young guy calls his grampa from the beach at Dieppe to thank him ...oy yoy yoy ... Watch it yourself... I dare you
    • Singing "O, Canada" ...The True North strong and sappy (...don't even talk to me about singing "O Canada" at a Remembrance Day assembly...)
    • This commercial for Toronto Sick Kids ....boy oh boy
    • Any commercial for any charity for underprivileged children or abused animals....Yikes.I avoid them at all cost. One peek at Sally Struthers and I am outta there.
    • "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch ...Not a chance I can get through that f@#ker in one piece.
    • "You're All My Favorites" by Sam Mc Bratney ...Not that one either.
    • "Marley & Me" by John Grogan ...holy shit.
    • "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova ....quite a way to spend New Years Day.
    • "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares...shut up...I must've been at my hormonally-challenged best/worst when I read it.
    • Pretty much any animated movie made by any company whose name begins with 'Dis' and ends with 'ney', or starts with 'Pix' and ends with 'ar'
    • "A Walk to Remember" ... there are no words ...and no excuse, really... Well, except for the fact that it happened to be in heavy rotation on the Movie Channel during a period of intense insomnia in my life  and...I am a wienie.
    • "Finding Neverland" ....For whatever reason the ending of that movie rendered me unable to speak until we were out of the theatre and within the safe confines of our Jetta and then I bawled like an idiot. I thought it might've been a "one off" but it had the same effect when I watched it on DVD ...minus the Jetta
    • stupid "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance"... Don't judge me...not something I'm proud of.
    • Moments of Acute Pride...These are the most powerful and most crippling incidents and are reserved specifically and especially for my babies. Piano Recitals/Graduations/Wrestling Matches/Soccer Games/Acts of Genuine Kindness etc etc never fail to bring a smile to my heart and a tear (or 2000) to my eye. yeah... in case you were wondering...

    That's what makes girl like me cry.

    Important Edit #1: I cannot believe that I forgot these ones (Thanks M.S.),,,
    • Christmas Morning...Splotchy Face + Bed Head = Excellent Photo Op
    • Singing Happy Birthday to my Kids ... Splotchy Face + Holding a Cake = Excellent Candle-Lit Photo Op

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    The Truck Broke Down and The Dog Done Died

    WARNING- This post contains content that may offend some readers**    Reader discretion IS advised.
    **Groups who will, quite possibly, be offended are (in no particular order): Americans, Southern Baptists, People with Overly Sensitive &/or Limited Musical Sensibilities, People Expecting This Post to be a Work of Literary Genius &/or Literary Adequacy.

    "Why I Think Country Music is Awesome"
    by: squirrel_e_girl

    I think country music is awesome because... country music is awesome. It really really is.

    Because our dad was/still is a fan of old school country, that's what my brother, sister and I grew up listening to. George and Tammy, Willie and Waylon, Conway and Loretta, Charley Pride, Tom T Hall, Kenny Rogers and Tanya Tucker all worked together to provide the soundtrack for our many many family road trips or any party my parents threw. Country was pretty much everywhere in our little world. My dad was/is country right down to the tips of his shiny "pointy-toed boots". My cousins' dog and cat were named Willie and Waylon and I don't know how many times my sister and I belted out "Delta Dawn" or "Lucille" at the top of our lungs. If you feel so inclined, just click on those names highlighted in blue for an auditory trip down my memory lane.

    As big a role that country music played in my early life, as soon as I  was allowed to sit in the front seat... and could reach the knobs on the radio ...and could fend off the hand slaps dealt by whichever parent was driving.... I discovered and experimented with non-country stations. My musical preferences veered wildly away from country and landed in the midst of all the juicy goodness that was the music scene of the early '80s.

    G'bye, Kenny and Tanya. Helloooooo, Duran Duran and Tears for Fears! Seeya later, George Jones. Pleased to meet you, Howard Jones. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, Willie Nelson. Take your coat off and stay awhile, Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Relax? Don't mind if I do.

    Country music ceased to exist for me other than the occasional cross-over tune that made it onto the playlist at Tantrums or Backstreet Chevy's (for those of you who didn't turn 19 in Orillia in the late 80s...those are names of the sticky-floored bars of that era). Songs like "Fishing in the Dark". or Friends in Low Places. Also, I am a HUGE Blue Rodeo fan and have been since high school and I guess they're a little bit country (...and a little bit rock n' roll) so that probably counts, too.

    Then I became a Mum and here and there, a country-ish song managed to sneak its way through the stranglehold that Sharon, Lois and Bram, Raffi and Disney had on the cd player in my van. Actually, three in particular, Butterfly Kisses. I Hope You Dance. I Will Take Care of You. Each of those three songs is about what it means to be a parent and each has the capacity to kick me in the ass/bring me to my knees/reduce me to a quivering blob of sobbing Mummy-ness. I finally realised why Country Music is also known as "Hurtin' Music"...It hurts to have your heart torn out of your chest, thrown to the ground and stomped on by pointy-toed boots. Ouchie. that is a brief history of my previous involvement with Country Music.

    Fast forward to two and one half years ago...or maybe rewind...not exactly sure which one works best here...oh well...Regardless of your means of time-travel, in 2008 I had just been ditched and my 'pampered' life as a Stay-at-Home Mum/Woman of Leisure came screeching to a halt. I needed to get me a J-O-B and I needed to get me one pronto.

    Oddly enough, graduating with an Honours English degree waaaaaaaay back in '93, did not/does not entice very many potential employers to beat a path to my front door. (see how I subtly slipped the fact that I have an Honours B.A. and not just a plain old B.A. right in there. That extra year is the only real academic distinction I've got and as they say... If you've got it, flaunt it, right? ;) )

    I did, however, muster up the balls (raging Social Anxiety Disorder, remember?) to march out of my new home right across the road  to the boarding kennel that just happens to be there and ask for a J-O-B ...And I got one!!! YAY ME!!! I get to hang out with dogs for a living ... How cool is THAT??!!

    So, to bring us back to the subject at hand....

    I quickly found out that the radio station of choice at the kennel just happened to be of the New Country variety....Apparently, dogs prefer country music. Go figure.

    After an initial period of breaking-in/getting accustomed to listening  to country music at work, I gradually got to a point where  I was able to make it through most mornings without having to stick my fingers in my ears-"lalalalalalatheunionofthesnakeisontheclimblalala"

    Once I started to actually listen to the music, like really really listen to it, I was able to hear what it's all about... Country Music is about life. It's about death. It's about love. It's about loss. It's about family. It's about respect. It's about tractors.(And this "Big Green Tractor" too)

    Country Music is story-telling at its absolute finest...and I think that's what I love most about it. I love reading stories. I love writing stories...and it seems I love listening to stories... that just happen to be told with a pronounced twang and the whine of a steel guitar as back-up.

    And you wanna know the refreshing thing about these steel guitar accompanied stories? There's nothing offensive about the lyrics. It's stuff you can listen to with your mum or your kids or, in my case, with other people's dogs and not have to worry about pulling out the ol' 'earmuffs' for every other song.

    Well...actually ...I guess I just lied a little. There are certain aspects of country music lyrics that I do find a wee bit offensive...and here's where I might lose some of you (but you can't I say I didn't warn you)...There is a whoooooole lotta talkin' 'bout guns n' flags (a certain red, white and blue flag seems to receive particular attention) and a whoooooole lot more talkin' 'bout prayin' and goin' to church and readin' the Good Book... and stuff like that. But hey....I am but one lil ol' liberal-minded non-God-fearin' Canadian girl...who am I to judge?? And, I guess one could also say that Country songs are offensive in a way that they do offend some folks' musical taste. But those overly-sensitive snobby and judgemental countrymusicophobes sure don't know what they're a'missin'.

    Also, I have to admit that Country artists do a pretty crap job of covering pop songs. I question the decision making process that leads them to cry "YES...that is the pop song I choose to countrify!!!". Some examples of questionable choices of cover songs are... "Life in a Northern Town" , "That's All", "Better Be Home Soon" and perhaps my least favourite "If I Were a Boy" ...oh Reba. Really?? Really Really???

    So "Crap at Covering Pop Songs" goes directly in the Country Music "Con" column.

    But back to the good stuff....As an added bonus there is a wonderfully inordinate number of mighty fine-looking country singers. Ain't nothin wrong with that.

    Here are a few sweet thangs to look at:

    It is my opinion that these well-crafted stories recounted by beautiful people in large hats have it all...They're happy. They're sad. They're funny as hell. They're sad. They're unbelievably poignant. They're sad. They can make you laugh...They can make you cry...They become a part of you. And... they can make you cry. An emotional rollercoaster all decked out in denim and plaid, wearin' a cowboy hat and sportin' them shiny pointy-toed boots.

    I am totally serious about the emotional rollercoaster stuff. Just the other day, I had tears streaming down my face as I listened to a song about child abuse and then the very next song
    had me chuckling out loud (COL) because the dude was singing about picking up a girl at a bar, taking her out into fields of wild flowers and the forest where he wants to kiss her in the sticks and then go home and check her for ticks. Awesome. Give it a little listen..."Ticks"

    Basically, from here on in is pretty much a playlist of a bunch of my favourite country songs. Listen to 'em if you want. Pick and choose. Do what feels good for you. If you're not going to listen to any of them then I encourage you to, at the very least, click on the last link I have highlighted at the very end of the post.

    Well Alright then .... Crank it UP!!!

    One of my absolute favourites tells us that "rain makes corn.....corn makes whiskey...whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky". Hilarious. I also like this's called "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer". Or how 'bout this one..."Pray for You" Trust's very funny. And then there's "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" .... Don't I know it!!! 
    This is a good one too "Online" (all sorts of fun cameos in the video). And as much of an obnoxious loud-mouth jackass that Toby Keith is...he sure writes some funny stuff  "As Good as I Once Was" and "I Wanna Talk About Me". And, I was just reminded of this one "Redneck Woman" (Thanks, Mel S)

    And these cowboy guys really know how to treat their women. These songs are so loving and sweet and respectful...and sexy??!! Who knew?? 
    Rarrrr!!! "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking?" (The chorus in that one is ridiculous but I love the thought.) "Farmer's Daughter" "Gimme That Girl" "Why Don't We Just Dance?" "Gettin' You Home""Dance With Me""I Wouldn't Be a Man" Did I already say Rarrrrr!!! Well, I'm sayin' it again RARRRRR!!!

    There are loads of songs about family. Here are some of  'em: "Haven't Even Heard You Cry" " Just Fishin'" "A Father's Love -The Only Way He Knew How" "He Didn't Have To Be" "Voices" "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away""The House That Built Me" "My Daughter's Father""In My Daughter's Eyes" "Anything Like Me"

    Honest and realistic songs about relationships "You Tell Me" "I Run To You""Would You Go With Me"

    So really, the whole reason I wanted to write about Country Music is that I wanted to create a forum in which to share some really great songs that most of my friends would never in a million gazillion years listen to. And, I personally think that "we all got a hillbilly bone down deep inside". I'm just spreadin' gospel of the awesomeness that is Country Music.


    To wrap things up... I'll leave you with my top 3 songs
     that are guaranteed ...and I mean 100% guaranteed to make me cry.(Not counting Butterfly KissesI Hope You DanceI Will Take Care of You 'cause those ones are in a "Make Me Cry" league all of their very own). After all, it ain't called hurtin' music fer nothin'.

    "Don't Take the Girl" ,"I'll Walk", "Alyssa Lies"

    Sweet Lord Baby Jesus, pass me a hankie!!

    A Really Important Announcement

    ~In a previous post, I apologized for overusing the word "really" and promised to avoid its overuse in the future.

    I hereby retract that apology AND promise.

    "Really" is a great word and I intend to rely heavily on it as a handy dandy indicator of emphasis.

    Besides, years ago, I took a Vocabulary Enhancement Course and it was really really really really really good ...and it would be a shame to let all I learned go to waste.~

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    So this guy walks into a bar...

    ...And orders up a small harp seal.

    Thank you. Thank you very much.

    Edit #1 - Please note that the comments down below actually make this post worth the read.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    That's What SHE said!! BAM!!...hey, wait a second...actually...That's What I Said. Damn.

     Alternately Titled:  High Road? Low Road? ... Low Road? High Road?

    Alternately Titled:  Duelling Squirrels

    The other day I'm minding my own bloggy business, checking in on my Stats and something out of the ordinary catches my eye..

    FYI- The Stats function on Blogger tracks several things, including the number of page views your blog gets as well as  the various 'traffic sources' of these views - where they come from, be it the virtual world - referring sites/URLs/key search words... or  the real live world -whichever country the page-view-er is viewing the page from. It is super cool and super crazy addictive (and for me, kinda super crazy daunting/scary...but that's just me) to see these numbers and locations ... I have had my pages viewed internationally by page-view-ers in the US, Germany, Singapore, Turkey, Russia, Australia, India, Italy, Netherlands and, of course, the vast majority of views are generated in Canada. I know, awesome is that??

    So, to get back to my story...

    ...something out of the ordinary catches my eye. One of the Referring Sites listed, apart from the usual Facebook and friends' blogs, is a site called  She Writes. Since I am a She and I Write, I decide to check it out... also... I'm awfully curious as to how a link to my blog got onto a site I've never ever heard of. I navigate around a bit but since I don't find anything, I decide to file it away as a curiosity and carry on about my aforementioned bloggy business.

    The next day, I check in on my blog to see if there are any new comments on any of my posts (another rather addictive feature) and I read this:

    Nice to meet you through SheWrites! This blog is already making me laugh out loud, and I look forward to exploring it further... :)

    So, I says to myself, "Self, this LisaAnn person has some fabulous taste in blogs and obviously has an extremely clever sense of humour" (She also has a very cool blog, and perhaps the neatest job on this beautiful planet. When you have a minute you should check it out).

    Then, whilst still basking in the glow of being complimented on my writing, I also says to myself, "Self, again with the She Writes. Hmmmmm ... I must investigate further."

    And so, I do.

    And, gleefully, I discover a referring URL that links directly to my blog. LisaAnn, had obviously stumbled upon this:

    "She Who Must Not Be Named"*(named changed in order to take the High Road)  replied to the discussion 'Our Blogs' in the group Blogging about Books and Writing!
    My blog today is about my laid back approach to child rearing :) Tiger mom or Chimp mentor
    April 28

    My conversation with myself continues...."Hmmm...Why does You-Know-Who *(named changed in order to stay on the High Road) have a link to my blog in a description of what her blog of the day is about?"

    I have no readily apparent answer to that question and I conclude that this woman must've accidentally added my link instead of her link. A slip of the cut and paste, perhaps? So, in a slight haze of befuddledness, I let it go as a sort of strange one off and carry on.

    Then ...

    The next day, in my Referring Sites, there appears a link to an actual person's profile, so quicker than you can say "WTF??" I click on the link which brings me to this:

    "Hi there, tell us about yourself! We want to learn all about you (and also make sure you're a real human). If you have a website, blog, or twitter handle, please enter those here too. [*Please note that you must fill out this section to be a member.*]
     My name is Lord Voldemort* (name changed in order to take a quick jaunt on the Low Road). Im a cheeful mom of 3 and wife of 1. I just started blogging, the title of my blog is Musings from the Squirrel Cage. I like to find humor in the everyday.

    OK. So, now I says to myself, "WHAT THE F@#K, Self??!!! This f@#king Lord Voldemort*(still on the Low Road) seems to be claiming my blog as her own and I'm not entirely sure if I'm cool with that."

    Swiftly and rather surprisingly, my outraged shock and excessive use of the profane simmer down into a gentle state of bemusement. Obviously, You-Know-Who likes my stuff enough to cite it as hers and don't They always say that stealing someone's intellectual property is the highest form of flattery? ... or something like that. And maybe, just maybe, one day, this story can be turned into a screenplay for a movie that will be critically acclaimed and win a bunch of fancy awards following the trail blazed by "The Social Network". Excellent!!!  I resolve to contact the moderator of She Writes and ask for her opinion on how to best deal with this situation.

    So, I fire off a quick and diplomatically worded email and sit back to eagerly await the news(and when I say "So, I fire off a quick and diplomatically worded email", I mean "It takes me a good chunk of the morning to toil labouriously over a painstakingly and diplomatically worded email"). That afternoon I receive this reply:

    Hi Harry*(name changed to keep with the Harry Potter theme I'm working on), 
    I'm the Social Community Manager at She Writes, and am going to help address the situation with your "Musings from the Squirrel Cage" blog.  I'm sorry to hear about this -- how strange!  I will have a look at what's happening on She Writes and will be in touch letting you know the outcomes of any action I take.  Any content that you've clearly authored of course belongs to you, and we take creative copyright and plagiarism seriously on She Writes.
    I'll be in touch!

    How strange, indeed.

    I congratulate myself on handling things like a rational grown-up and, once more, sit back to eagerly await the news.

    Two days later, I receive this reply:

    Hi Harry* (I'm still a brilliant young wizard),
    Looks like we were able to clear that up -- Lord Voldemort*(still zippin' down the ol' Low Road) had a similarly titled blog which she has now changed and corrected the URL for.  Please feel free to let me know if you have any further troubles or questions...and we hope you'll join She Writes!
    All best,

    Ahhh, the old "Similarly Titled Blog" trick. Of course. How could I not have picked up on that? Silly, silly me.

    Faster than you can say "Strangely Disappointing Explanation", I rush to check out Lord Voldemort's profile.  Once there, I discover that the link to my blog had, in fact, been removed and the blurb in her profile had been changed to say this: 

    Hi there, tell us about yourself! We want to learn all about you (and also make sure you're a real human). If you have a website, blog, or twitter handle, please enter those here too. [*Please note that you must fill out this section to be a member.
     My name is Lord Voldemort*(same old same old). Im a cheeful mom of 3 and wife of 1. I just started blogging, the title of my blog is Thoughts from the Squirrel Tree. I like to find humor in the everyday.

    Huh. So that reply from She Writes was right after all...Her blog is totally similarly titled and I can totally see how Lord V could've mixed up our URLs.

    Oh well, I figure I can live with that and chalk it up to a super funny, super interesting adventure and... more importantly...provides me some absolutely beautiful blog-writing fodder... and... she wasn't really claiming my stuff as hers... really... She only just "unwittingly" swiped my charmingly witty Blog Title. No harm. No foul. I am ok with the outcome.

    We actually have a little bit of fun with it and come up with some other Similar/Interchangeable Titles ... "Observations From The Squirrel Bush" or "Reflections From The Squirrel Shrubbery" or "Contemplations From The Squirrel Sapling" or "Meditations From The Squirrel Topiary".

    Hee Hee Hee ...Sticking firmly to the High Road, I am able to laugh/shrug it off....


    The next day, a member of my covert investigation team uncovered/Google'd "Thoughts From The Squirrel Tree" in order take a peek at The Dark Lord's work and guess what popped up!!!

    "Musings From The Squirrel's Nest"

    Well, that kinda sucks.

    ... even though it is Google-listed after MY awesomely titled blog "Musings From The Squirrel Cage" (Score 1 for the Good Guys!!), that cheeky little Lord Voldemort has managed to come up with an even more "Similarly Titled Blog" than "Thoughts From The Squirrel Tree".


    And so ends the harrowing and gripping tale of how a small piece of my Intellectual Property was swiped  right out from under my unsuspecting little squirrelly nose.

    The beloved squirrelly squirrels of my mind/squirrel cage are arm-wrestling back and forth on how to deftly manage all the conflicting emotions I'm experiencing.

    High Road?? Low Road??
    Bemused?? Grumpy??

    Although, I'm happy to say that the simple act of writing my story down, coupled with the intention of sending it out into The Universe, has had a nice calming and cathartic effect. The squirrels seem to be at peace.

    Bemused it is!!

    ....for now ;)

    Edit #1: Just did a little Google Fact Checking, and it would seem that She Who Must Not Be Named has had a nice change of heart and has reverted back to the initial less similar title of "Thoughts From The Squirrel Tree" ... There yesterday. Gone today. That woman must have the decision-making abilities of a ... of a ... of a SQUIRREL!!! Oh yeah.

    Hilarious Edit #2: Last night I was logging into my Blogger account and three times in a row my password wasn't accepted...interesting. I then realized what the problem was ...The password was right but I had typed in "Musings from the Squirrel Tree" as my login name.
     BAHAHAHAHAHAHA ...  I seem to be having some sort of identity crisis :D