Fountain Foundation

iPhone photos 562

The poster child of flood panic.

As the earth blankets with snow, I think of the struggles we faced this year. Water is the mother of life; clean drinking water is what gives North Americans good health and piece of mind. Millions all over the world face the threat of disease and death from drinking contaminated ground water. We are the lucky ones.

Without sounding too focused on what they call “first world problems”, when there are more important social issues to discuss and remedy, I am going to describe another one of my unfortunate tales.

The “mother of life” can sometimes be a b!tch. Where there is too much water in the wrong places, irreversible damage is imminent. This spring, our yard was a 4×4’ers dream. This spring, we owned a luxurious natural swimming pool in our garage. These things were out of our control and should not occur next year. My story is one of wrong-doing and I get to share it with passion and flair, because it was not my fault. This spring, Jack left the outside tap turned on.

The minute I parked my car in the driveway, I suspected something was awry; I did not recall installing a water feature beside our house. I had returned home to a beautiful fountain glistened by sunshine, spraying up toward the heavens. I rushed to the tap, turned it clockwise, and stood in the puddle a moment, hypothesizing what could have caused this injustice. Upon further inspection, I noticed a hole in the garden hose that was attached to the tap. The pressure had built up over a few days and the hose stretched until it could no longer handle the psi and burst, producing a rainbow sans the gold at the end.

I picked up my phone and immediately called Jack, who was working away from home.

“You’re not going to believe what just happened. The garden hose exploded.”

“What? How did that happen?”

“You left the tap on! There’s water EVERY WHERE!”

“Ohh man. Go check the basement.”

I hustled down the stairs and with relief I proclaimed the basement flood-free.

“Oh wait, there is water dripping off the electrical panel.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope.”

I proceeded to follow Jack’s ridiculous demands to open the electrical panel with a screwdriver that sent a spark flying half-way through the operation.

“F*ck this, I’m abandoning ship.”

This is the moment Jack (after being quit for 2 and a half years) started smoking again.

It turns out the fountain sprayed sporadically into a hole in the conduit on the outside of the house and ran down to the panel. If the good things in life worked out this perfectly, I’d be an Astronaut Model.

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Burnin’ It Down (Perm-style)

I don’t think this is what Jason Aldean had in mind with his “Burnin’ It Down” hit.

 Jack, my love, is an enabler. Earlier this month, I had my final birthday before I’m officially old. Jack gifted me an incredible camera, which (he must have known) would only fuel my obsession with photography. He suggested I take photos every day and save only one photo for my portfolio; “Photo of the Day” was born. So far I’ve had a lot of fun on my adventure walks, and captured still photographs that have given me a greater appreciation for nature and life itself. The quality of photos I have preserved for my “Photo of the Day” portfolio have surprised even me (but when you take 200 photos a day, the odds are ever in your favor).

Jack of Most Trades has been supportive of every calculated or crazy decision, hobby, or life adventure I’ve dedicated hours evolving into reality. Jack enables me to be the best obsessive wreck I can be without allowing me to get in harm’s way. Unfortunately, Jack was not there that fateful day 19 years ago. . .

My childhood memories run shallow; there aren’t many details I can remember when it comes to the awkward stage between remembering at all and the moment I emptied my parents’ nest. You will just have to believe me when I say it was most likely my tenth birthday (give or take a year). When I was nine years old, not unlike today, I had long, luscious locks (and a perm). The better part of my tenth year, I did not. My memory again fails me when it comes to the shape or theme of the cake, but the candles burned brightly. I was surrounded by my family and friends who were singing that glorious song; it was ALL FOR ME! When the angelic voices stopped, I closed my eyes and made a wish (probably for boys to like me, even though they never would because I was awkward and homely. And I had a perm). I took a deep breath and leaned forward. . .

The next thing I remember is being rushed to the bathroom and a very loud noise in each of my ears.

I was suffering from sensory overload, “Why are you clapping so close to my head? Why is there black stuff in the sink? Why does it smell like the cat got too close to the BBQ again?”

What I wouldn’t give for this moment to be frozen in time as the October 14, 1995 Photo of the Day.

Carnival Corn Dog

How to eat a Corn Dog

How to eat a Corn Dog

This summer was fun. Jack and I were on a break which was horrible, but if you like rollercoaster rides, it could be defined as “fun”. Unlike most people who break up, Jack and I still hung out as friends, and rustled up a few more stories than we would have if we were “together”. At one point we were telling complete strangers we were cousins. They believed us until we had a few too many beverages and started hugging a lot.

You should know by now that we are good friends with my brother and his lady friend. Normally, we go over to their mansion, sip on classy cocktails, and watch 3-D movies, but one lovely day this summer we decided to venture out to the City Fair (carnival, festival). We didn’t go for the rides, the food, drinks, or exhibition; we went for the people watching. And they did not disappoint.

After zigging and zagging through the herd (herd? Read this.) for far too long, we grabbed a cola and a seat beside the sling shot ride. To make the carnival experience more bearable, my brother brought along a couple of vodka minis. We sat and enjoyed the ride. So now that I’ve set the stage for a pre-teen play date, stay with me.

We played a few games, Jack won me a giraffe (paid $10 for it), and we worked up a healthy appetite for disgusting carnival food. Of course Jack ordered the gigantic corn dog before thinking of the repercussions.

The 5 Steps of Man-cisions

1) I’m hungry.

2) I love corn dogs.

3) Bigger is better (More is better too).

4) Did you just tell me not to do it?

5) I’m doing it.

Enter the one foot long corn dog with dripping mustard. The problem was one that man has been facing for decades; an issue that comes up when contemplating the consumption of bananas, popsicles, and any other meat on a stick.

“How am I going to eat this?”

“Good question. I can have the first bite if it makes you feel better.”

Here’s a grown man frozen in fear, being careful not to look anyone in the eye for too long while coming up with a plan to attack his dinner.

Solution: Lean forward (to ensure mustard lands on ground), turn corn dog horizontally, and eat like corn on the cob.

Meanwhile, a desperate grandmother rushed her young granddaughter, obviously freshly introduced to potty-training, to the shelter of the hotdog stand. My eyes widened and Jack turned around just in time to hear the toddler toot and pull up her knickers. With grass and trees only 5 feet away, I both wonder and worry what it will be like to have a child that has to go right here right NOW. I would like to think I would be proactive in the matter, but I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go.

I was laughing so hard I dropped my sweatshirt in Jack’s pool of mustard. Corn dogs are no longer my forte.

Supermarket Sweet

Jute shopping bag with groceries II

Check out “the fabulous spread of healthy items in my basket.”

The other night after Zumba (yes, I’m still a desperate housewife), I paid a visit to the local grocery store for a few essentials. This young chap and I were following each other from produce section, to meat section, to dairy, and bread. This type of behaviour annoys me. I don’t understand why people can’t disobey the norm and go the opposite direction in the grocery store. Sometimes I do that, and you would not believe the number of people flashing me their grit teeth grin with accompanying glare.

I probably don’t need to get into the “people are like cattle” simile that Jack and I often discuss, but fact is, people mindlessly follow the herd and if they see a hole somewhere (ANYWHERE), they will run for it. It might not surprise you that Jack and I do not “do” crowds or traffic for this very reason.

I was nearing the end of my Supermarket Sweep, when I spotted something at the end of the aisle that I greatly needed. Another aside here: aisle end displays that claim to be *SALES* are made for people like me. Just as Jack falls for radio ads, I am the target audience of every single aisle end display.

(As an aside to my aside, Jack got his truck, our mortgage, home inspection AND my engagement ring from vendors advertising over the radio. To a compulsive researcher (me), this makes no sense. To Jack, time is money).

“Toothpaste, at that price? I’ll take 10!”

“OH, I really need sunscreen, Advil, AND crackers!” Fill the cart up with that shit.

This time, the aisle end was heavily populated with change rolls. I just so happen to be saving up for our amazing honeymoon, one bucket of change at a time. (So far, we can afford one night accommodation at the three-star all-inclusive resort of our choice). I stocked up on $1 rolls and hit the tills. The young gent from earlier was in the line beside me, and I noticed him noticing me. I’m happily engaged to a handsome lad and I definitely was not noticing some dude at the grocery store, but I’m not dumb. He was checking out the fabulous spread of healthy items in my basket. Here I am in line at the grocery store around 8:30PM, in my bright pink Zumba class outfit, with a huge package of $1 coin rolls that I intend on purchasing. . . And it hit me.

I laughed. Because now I’m wondering if this guy thinks I’m a lady that frequents clubs of the naked variety. And if so, does he think I’m the star of the show?

I lifted my shoulders, plastered a sly grin on my face, and strutted out the door, across the parking lot, and into my boyfriend’s truck. If you’re going to be a fake stripper, be a good one.