Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Camp Keep Your Head Above Water.

My bank account just made a huge sucking sound as I committed the little bastard to another week of high-intensity summer camp.

Whatever happened to my life's plan? The plan that had me spending summers at leisure, up at my rustic-yet-charming Georgian Bay cottage – where I would play tennis and plow through novels, sipping gin and tonic, all the while praying some child didn't load up on Jim Beam and Dr. Pepper and subsequently smash the family boat – which would mean an unscheduled trip to town for stitches, more gin, and a new outboard motor. Meanwhile, my ever-so-successful husband would be in the city, screwing his secretary and making a small fortune, so I wouldn't have to work, think, or worry about anything fiscal.

What happened to that plan?

Instead, here I am, working my ass off just to keep up with all the activities necessary to keep the little bastard off of my sofa, crack cocaine and and the X-Box, until school starts in 65 days.

I don't recall my parents forking out the $500 or so, per week, to put me in golf camp, tennis camp, hockey camp, baseball camp or anything that ends in "camp" unless you count my self-enrollment in "Let's Roll a Doobie and Go Windsurfing Camp", or those two weeks I spent in "Teenage Alcoholic Training Camp" where the counselors taught you how to shotgun a beer, French kiss, and make Trashcan Punch while high on windowpane acid.

I have no memories of that camp, whatsoever.

God forbid you suggest the little bastard should get a fucking job. Bagging groceries, washing dishes or mowing lawns would interfere with golf camp, goalie camp, tennis camp, hockey camp, dryland training, wetland training and the $175 bucks I paid so he can run six kilometres down a gravel road once a week.

So off we go to Fredericton today, where I will fork out another mortgage payment so my little bundle of testosterone can spend six days being stimulated by something other than marijuana, fortified wine and texting on the sofa.

Ah, summer.

While he's away I think I'll enroll in Camp Menopause. I hear activities include lip waxing, bloat control-low-sodium BBQ-ing, mixing the perfect Cinzano and soda by flashlight, Introductory low-intensity shuffleboard, swimming with Depends, and coping with night sweats in a sleeping bag.

Sounds like a hoot.


Dalhousie University offers great, affordable summer camps for kids, like Shakespeare by the Sea Theatre Camp, soccer camp, hockey camps etc. www.athletics.dal.ca

Friday, June 25, 2010

The other royal visit.

Is a half a bottle of wine an acceptable teacher's gift?

Will the little bastard notice if I slip out and play tennis during his grad ceremony?

How can I check his breath for alcohol tonight if it's bouncing off mine?

Will anyone notice that I rented his suit for $39 bucks because they don't make a 37 extra-long?

Will my soon-to-be arriving house guests "from away" notice there's no food, and so much dog hair it looks like a fucking sheep shearing station?

Can I tell them I chose green grout for my bathroom tile?

If I tell them I'm auditioning for that show "Hoarders", is that technically a lie?

How will I explain Cousin Sarah sorting through her collectibles (garbage) in my back yard while eating a donair to combat her hangover?

What if they accidentally stick their face in a towel that got mixed up with the hockey laundry?

What if?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The woofer to my tweeter.

There is a gentleman who walks through the park with a boom box perched on his shoulder. He's about 75, give or take a decade, and favours loud fiddle music. 'Just plain, fucking crazy', I always figured – until I made eye contact with him one day – and he just looked happy.

Maybe it's me who's crazy.

This has been a hectic month of work deadlines and distractions. First there was the post-holiday slump, followed by the post-slump slump. Then, Cousin Sarah arrived with her merry traveling circus, reminding me of how much I hate children and chaos – and love Sarah for her ability to remain calm when the world around her is Disney meets Stephen King, set to a Miley Cyrus beat.

So we retreated to White Point.

The beauty of doing what I do, is I can do it just about anywhere. I just need the Internet, a little inspiration, and a relative amount of calm. Besides, the little bastard's class was on a school trip to Moncton, and having refused to fork out $450 dollars so he could go to the asshole of the Earth and overload on BBQ chips and testosterone – I figured a few days stuck golfing with me would teach him to pitch in and fund raise the next time.

What better place to escape reality than a cottage by the sea. A cottage with room service, housekeeping, a chef, and a kick ass wi-fi (www.on-line.net) that allows me to wander and work anywhere on the property – like the bar. Or the golf clubhouse. Or the beach. White Point is like hangin' with a fun, old friend who doesn't care what you wear, or comment when you have to unbutton your pants to polish off the kid's Flourless Chocolate cake. We golfed, swam, played tennis, walked on the beach, napped, guzzled wine, and finished one another's sentences. I never pull away from my friendly seaside sanitarium for the chronically perturbed, feeling anything but peaceful, rejuvenated, understood, and mildly hungover.

White Point put an end to my slump and prepared me for the week ahead: Grade nine exam hell, work deadlines, hopping back on the UWeight wagon, hockey schedules, walks in the park, the usual day-to-day drudgery I take for granted, and the end-of-the-week arrival of my very best friend.

The yin to my yang. The Ethel to my Lucy. The tonic to my vodka. The "no we can't " to my "what the hell" is arriving in Havenot.

Crank up the boom box.


Get the best wi-fi and 24/7 service from Chris Rizzuto at On-line Computers www.on-line.net.
Get outta town. Go to: www.whitepoint.com or call 1.800.565.5068.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday's child is fair of face (and needs a slap).

My newspaper is still on vacation stop because I am still on vacation stop.

Regardless, I open the front door and bend over so Monday can kick me in the ass – because that's what Monday does.

Monday is a playground bully. A broken heart. Soggy Cheerios.

Monday is a dickhead.

Monday is preheating the oven only to realize there's a pizza box still in there from Friday night.

Monday is reading the instructions folded up inside the Tampax box lying on the bathroom floor because there's nothing else to read and I can't take a crap without reading something. According to Procter & Gamble the key is: "to RELAX!. Worrying about it may make you tense, making insertion even harder."

Monday is realizing my eyesight has failed so badly I can barely read even the big type or make out the grade 8 sex-ed diagrams on the folded instructions, and after so many sexless years likely couldn't find the insertion point into my vagina with a flashlight and a John Deere, let alone a cardboard applicator.

Monday is my glasses falling off my face every time I bend over to get kicked in the ass.

Monday is a washing machine full of clean clothes that smell like wet bathing suits and death.

Monday is when everyone falls out of bed and into nice shoes, closing the door on the weekend and waltzing into an office to talk about how the weather sucks, and what an asshole little Jordie's soccer coach is, and Sex in the City 2, loved it, hated it, those girls are too old and too skinny to be having that much fun, oh I love Mr. Big. Blah, blah, blah what should we do for lunch today?

Monday is email after email asking me how the work that was due last week is coming along (it isn't) and how's my creativity (dwindling) and would I mind throwing together a quick logo for a good cause (no, fuck off).

Monday is looking ahead to all the things you can see and do in Havenot if you were so inclined – most of which involve eating rich food and talking to people – so I likely won't go, but hey, go ahead, it'll give you something to talk about on Mondays when I am considering going back to bed and rolling around in dog hair and night sweat, or pondering donating my vagina to science, because hey, I may as well – it's in great shape and barely has any miles on it. In fact, I should have put my vagina on the curb this past weekend as a part of the Curbside Giveaway Weekend that I knew nothing about because my paper is on a "piss off I am still on vacation" stop. Someone may as well use it.

For instance, you could dress up my gently-worn vagina and take it wine tasting in aid of Habitat for Huamnity, this coming Saturday, June 13th at PipaHalifax’s only Portuguese and Brazilian eatery – and apparently one of Canada’s Top 10 New Restaurants in 2009. When I think Portuguese I think sausage – the reason why, buried deep in my past – even though I have never been to Portugal. "Pipa" is Spanish slang for "having a good time" so how bad could it be? Besides, Habitat for Humanity build houses for people who really have a reason to hate Mondays, but likely don't, because they have HOPE and FAITH and can RELAX! while inserting a tampon. Their next build is in Vietnam and Lord knows those land mine dodging rice flingers have seen their share of crappy Mondays. Tickets are $40 and include a guided wine tasting tour through 8 different wines. Sounds like things could get sloppy and make for really interesting water cooler chit chat, so email: kschwenk@eastlink.ca and drink up for humanity's sake.

There's a bunch of other crap coming down the pipe in the weeks to come but I've got work to put off and procrastination to do – so stay tuned.

Happy Monday.


Pipa Restaurant is at 1685 Argyle Street in Halifax. 902.407.7472. Order the sausage.

For more information on the Vietnam H4H build click on the woman/man flinging rice to the right.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Top of the morning.

I've always liked it on top.

Top of the Peaks overlooking Georgian Bay. Top of the class, before life ran amok. Top of the cake – the corner bit where all the icing roses grow. And the top of the heap, metaphorically.

Suffice it to say, this morning I gleefully kicked the ass and closed the door on a year spent breathlessly searching for pennies on the bottom of a filthy community swimming pool.

Lesson have been learned. Botox injections are expensive, and only inhibit your ability to express sadness. Instead, I went for a complete inner overhaul, tossing out the things that were dragging me down below the surface. Things like "I can't", and Cheesies washed down with just about anything I could get my hands on. I fired a few clients, and let go of the guilt felt when I said, "No. No I can't".

I learned that putting yourself out there doesn't mean selling your soul.

I learned that money may not buy happiness, but not having any sucks.

I learned that waving a CAA card at a hotel check-in works wonders.

I learned that true friends don't try and change you, they just accept you for who you aren't.

I learned that having a birthday at this stage in the game, beats the fuck out of not having one.

This very weekend, I learned that the old bag who stole my parking spot at the grocery store may have won the battle, but a well-penned note placed on her windshield won the war. So tap your boney, frosted peach-polished finger on the K-car window all you want, you geriatric old bitch. No one can out-miserable me.

"Look," the birthday girl said, resurfacing and taking in a deep breath of sweet air, "a shiny new one!".