Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Grollier: The Book Club From The Pit

Spring 2004 - Becky makes the fatal mistake of signing up for a kids book club with Grollier.
Spring - Winter 2004 - Becky receives and pays for a number of kids books, then decides she's had enough and cancels her membership.
Winter 2004 - Becky moves at around the same time she cancels her membership so she also gives Grollier her new mailing address. She receives a few more books in the mail from Grollier at her old address and marks them "return to sender - MOVED" and drops them in the mail.
May 2005 - After not hearing from Grollier for 5 months Becky receives a letter in the mail from a collection agency telling her she owes around $30.00. After calling Grollier to confirm and tell the company her mailing address again Becky pays it.
September 2005 - Becky receives another letter from another collection agency telling her she owes around $70.00. Becky gets really angry and now things start to get messy...

So I phoned Grollier. I find out that they have charged me late payment fees. Why were my payments late? Because I never got the bills. Why did I never get the bills? Because they still have me listed at my old address. I tell them I want to talk to a manager. They ask why. I explain the whole story. They put me on hold to transfer my call. I end up in some crazy system with a whole bunch of french streaming past me and all I can make out it that the recording is saying a number at the end of every sentence. Obviously I am expected to select the appropriate extension. So I press a random number. I end up with a person who can barely speak English telling me that I am in the wrong place. I explain the whole story again. I get told to hold while my call is transferred again. I am back in the world of rapid French and numbers at the end of sentences again. I press another number. I find another person who can barely speak English and once again give them my story. I tell this one that they better not put me back in that menu and that I want to talk to a manager right now. (I am starting to feel a large ball of rage rolling through my body.) She puts me on hold, but not in the menu, and another person comes on the line. This person tells me she can't do anything to change how much I owe. I ask her who can. She tells me I need to speak to a manager.

Lets just take a little break here while I try to calm down. Even reliving this more than a year later makes my pulse start to race. I don't think I have ever dealt with a company that has customer service this bad. My theory is that they want to make you so furiously frustrated that you will pay whatever sum of money they ask without question just to get them out of your life. Sadly, I am not the type of person to stand for something like this. It's the principle of the thing. Anyways... Back to the phone call.

I am now getting extremely angry and I tell her that I thought she was a manager. She says that she is just a shift manager or something and that the real manager is not there. Since it is business hours I say something like, "How can there be no manager during regular business hours?" She does not reply to my question but says in a snotty voice something like, "Mrs. Willems if this bill isn't paid it will negatively affect your credit rating."

Let's take another moment to just take a few deep breaths shall we? In... And out... In... And out. Does everyone feel better? Good. Let's continue then.

Unfortunately I was too angry to take some deep breaths and so I tell her, "I don't give a damn what happens to my credit rating. You can shoot it straight to hell for all I care. I am not paying that money. You will have to take me to court." She suggests that I might like to leave a message on the manager's voice mail. I tell her that would be fine. "Please hold while I transfer your call." I am back on the French menu with the numbers at the end of sentences.

In... And out... In... And out.

I hang up. I try to go on with my day. I really do. I try to calm down. I write this post. I stew about things while I try to set up some shelves for our storage room. I break a drill bit and crack one of the pieces. I decide to call back.

I get another woman with a French accent and tell her the whole story. I tell her if she puts me back on that menu I am never calling back and I am never paying them anything. Ever. I tell her I want to talk to a manager. She says the best she can do is let me leave a message. This time I get her name and extension number because I am sick of telling my whole story over and over. I tell her if I don't get the manager's voice mail that I am going to be very angry and that I will be phoning her back. She puts me on hold and I am finally connected to some one's voice mail. I leave a crazed message with statements like, "... worst customer service I have ever had to deal with..." and "... never see a cent..." then I give her my account number and tell her to phone me as soon as possible.

A week later there is still no phone call and so I phone back. I manage to stay calm and tell the woman on the phone that since it is apparent that I am never going to get to talk to a manager (she offers to let me leave another voice mail message) that I would like them to send me a full account history and then I will decide how much money, if any, I will pay them.

A month later we still have no account history. This time I get Glen to phone. They still have us listed at our old address and have no record of me ever asking for an account history. They tell him it never happened. I must have been hallucinating again. They get our new address and promise to send a full account history out that day.

We never got one. We never phoned back.

November 28, 2006 - Becky receives a notice in the mail from a collection agency instructing me to send a payment for around $70.00 to Grollier immediately.

November 29, 2006 - Becky phones Grollier and is told that they sent the account history last October. After the woman tells me repeatedly that I was sent the information and I tell her that I never got it (Why is it that they always tell you things happened or didn't happen like you have no grasp on reality and should just say, "Oh, okay. I got it? Sorry. My mistake.") I tell her, "Look, there is no point in both of us getting mad here. I want to speak to a manager." She tells me she can't connect me to a manager, of course, and that I can speak to someone in collections since she can't do anything for me anyways. I say, "It would have been nice if you'd said that at the beginning." She tells me that I didn't ask.

In... And out... In... And out... And in...

She says, "Please hold while I connect you to Sophia in collections." Then I hear a whole bunch of rapid French and then, "This is Sophia, please leave a message including your account number and I will get back to you as soon as possible." So I left a message.

I am telling you people. I would rather go to court and end up doing community service before I would ever pay that company a cent. They are crooks of the first order. A friend of mine told me that they had tried to charge her over and hundred dollars for books she never received. About a month after she had cleared everything up and closed her account she received some books in the mail from them along with another bill. Her husband phoned and told them that they would send these books back, but if they ever got anything in the mail from Grollier again they would consider it a gift.

The moral of the story? Always read the fine print. If any of it says Grollier... Run, don't walk, as fast and as far away as you can. Trust me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sometimes it's easy.

Lots of people hate snow. It's pretty common for someone living in Saskatchewan to say something like, "If it never snows again, that would be too soon." I love it, but it's easy for me. I don't have to get up in the morning and shovel it off my car. I don't have to try to drive to work through it, and then get stuck in it along the way. I don't even have to be outside in it all day like my dad does.

Instead, I get to watch it gently falling outside my window, covering the world outside in a pristine whiteness that makes even ugly things like our house look like a Christmas card. I get to take my sweet little boy outside with it softly falling around us and watch as his face lights up when he discovers a whole new world in our driveway. I get to laugh while he "helps" me shovel the driveway and then I get to bring him inside with his soft cheeks all cold and pink and his eyes bright with pleasure. I get to look forward to sled rides and snowmen. Who wouldn't like snow in that kind of circumstance?

That's life though. Our circumstances can dictate how we feel about so many things. Husbands and wives find it easier to love each other when they are on their honeymoons than when they are grocery shopping with crying children and empty wallets. Siblings can play happily together swimming at a beach, but if you send them into the kitchen to do dishes together war breaks out. There is nothing better than being a parent until your baby won't stop screaming and your toddler throws your remote control into your Pepsi... Again.

There have been
times in my life when loving God... Worshiping God... Giving my life to God was just easy... Natural. It was a joy to make sacrifices for Him because the rewards were so evident. The people around me were filled with his love and a desire to share that love with others and so witnessing was as easy as breathing. I wanted to be changed even if it meant having to give up things I liked or thought were important. I didn't have to struggle to find faith and trust. It was so simple to just believe.

But life moves on. And suddenly you find yourself slogging through the snowdrifts instead of lying in the quiet softness making snow angels. And it seems like the rewards, the desire, the joy is no longer attainable. So you scrape the snow off of your windshield and wonder why you live in a horrible place like Saskatchewan when you could move to a place where there is no snow at all.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ang Wannabe

My eye hurts. I hope it's not iritis again. I hate getting that. I hate the drops. I hate walking around with one of my eyes dialated. I hate when the drops don't work and I have to get a needle in my eye. I hate worrying that I am going to have to have a needle in my eye.

I wish my eye would stop hurting.

See Ang? I can post three times in one day too!

How come?

Why is it that one of my children always wakes up early and the other one always sleeps in? Why can't they get it together, at least once in a while, and we could all sleep in? I swear they have some kind of schedule set up to make sure they never sleep in on the same day.

It's sort of like in high school when Sheila and I would buy the same clothes and then have to make rules about what days we were allowed to wear our Wind River sweatshirts and what days were off limits...

Guess What?

You'll never guess so I'll tell you. Tonite I went out on a girl's night with my friend Darcie. (Yes I know! I actually went out. With no kids. This is huge! But there's more! There is!) We went to this shopping night at The Bay. Darcie bought us tickets. We got coupons and food and a fashion show. Sound lame? Then I am guessing you probably aren't usually stuck shopping with two little kids crying in your cart. We had a lovely time shopping at a nice leisurely pace for once. I bought some fabulous Clinique lotion, body wash, and lip gloss and some jammies for Ben. Then it was time for the draws. I got to enter the Clinique draw plus the draw just for buying something plus a draw for spending over $100.00. (That Clinique stuff is pricey!) Anyways... As we watched the first few draws with no results I said to Darcie, "I'm going to be ticked off if I don't win anything. I never win anything. If only one of us wins something we have to share." She didn't seem to be too impressed with my idea... Until I won the Clinique draw. It was a gift basket of stuff worth over $300.00. Yesssssss! Then I won another basket. This one was only worth around $50.00. Only. Ha ha. Then I won another basket. Same deal. Then it was time for the big prizes. Have you guessed yet? No? Okay. I'll tell you, but only 'cause you asked me to, not cause I feel like bragging. They called my name AGAIN! I won a gift basket with over $500.00 worth of perfume, lotions, and makeup! Yes I did! I did!

Happily, Darcie won a basket too. Sadly, Darcie only won one of the smaller baskets and it had men's cologne in it and she doesn't wear men's cologne. Happily, she has a husband who does. Sadly, I don't wear perfume. Happily, Darcie does. So it all works out. Plus what a rush! I couldn't even carry all of my stuff! I couldn't!

What a night. I think it may have been too much excitement. Except it wasn't. It was so fun! It was!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

La boo.

How do you say boo in french? Or sucky? What a let down. You can read this dumb article if you want to, but I couldn't make it through it so I don't expect anyone else to. Stinkin. I'm just glad I wasn't one of the almost 13000 people in the stands freezing my whatoozee off just to watch something I really didn't want to see. Ah well... At least we have cool hats...

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Day The Music Died

When I was around ten I remember thinking that when I got older everything would be so different. I remember this because I was reading Blubber and the little girl in the book writes that she thinks her costume makes her look at least twelve... Maybe even thirteen! I thought, "That is so old. I wonder what it feels like to be really old."

That's why I was so surprised as the years went by that I didn't feel any different. I was still me, only older. It seemed so strange to me that I didn't seem to change, only my age did. I thought I was going to be a totally different person when I got older and it was looking like I had been wrong about that. I would always be Becky, I would always be the same.

I think that's why I was so surprised (again) when a few years ago I turned into a totally different person. At least from my perspective. I suddenly started seeing myself differently than I had before. If I had often looked at myself as a smart person with limitless possibilities in front of me, I now saw myself as an average person with very few choices left to make. If I had used to believe that I was a passionate person with a lot to give the world I started believing that even if I had passion there were some things I couldn't change and the world would go on much the same with or without me.

I think one of my biggest image shifts has been a musical one. I used to think of myself as above average as far as musical talent goes. It was a big part of the definition of who I was. I've lost that in many ways. My flute, once such a big part of my life, is broken. I can't play it. I have nightmares about picking it up and not remembering the fingering... Or that my embouchure will be so poor that I won't even be able to make a sound. To many of you this may not sound like a big thing, but to a person who used to put in four hours a day of practice... It's a big thing. I never play my guitar anymore, I almost never bother writing down or recording the songs I write, and today my piano went away. I bought it with the intention of taking lessons so I could put actual written music to some of the songs I've written. Something more than chords anyways. I took some lessons. I think I would take more, but we can't fit it in the house so it had to go. As I watched the moving van pull away with my piano inside of it I felt the sobs building up inside of me. I thought I had said goodbye days ago. I sat in the cold garage and played through all of the songs I had written on it, then I closed the lid for the last time and walked away.

I feel like I am losing a part of myself. I guess it seemed like as long as I still owned the piano there was a possibility that I might do something with that part of me that aches to make music. That sounds so hokey, even to me, but it's true. Music is a part of who I am, and not just any music. My music.

So I guess I feel, in a way, like another little part of me is being changed forever today... That part that said I had a talent and that I was going to do something with it... And I wonder who I am without it.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Actual Phone Conversation

Me: Hello?

Phoner: Hello, could I please speak with (pause) Mr. (long pause) Glen Williams?

Me: Who's calling?

Phoner: This is Capital One calling.

Me: What is this regarding?

Phoner: I would like to speak with Mr. Williams.

Me: Yes, I know that, what do you want to speak to him about? (starting to insert cold and scary substitute teacher voice into conversation)

Phoner: This is Capital One, he has an account with us...

Me: Yes I know, this is his wife, my name is right beside his on the card and I asked you to tell me what this phone call is about.

Phoner: Is there a better time to talk with Mr. Williams?

Me: No, he is a busy person and since this is probably just some offer of a new service or some kind of free trail period I am not going to bother telling him you want to talk to him. If this is important than you can tell me what it is about and I will make sure you get to talk to him. Otherwise you can forget it.

Phoner: Well... (longish pause then racing through script) I am actually calling to talk to Mr. Williams about whether he is satisfied with the service...

Me: Oh, he's satisfied. You want to know why? Because I don't bother him with crap like this. Don't bother calling back until you have something important to talk to him about.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some Observations

  1. Babies cry a lot when they are sick.
  2. Toddlers leave snot everywhere when they are sick.
  3. Chicken soup tastes much better if you don't make it yourself.
  4. If your phone rings and it is a long distance number from Ontario, and there is no one there when you answer it, you are guaranteed to hear from a telemarketer within the next half hour.
  5. Tickly throats are really irritating.
  6. Kleenex tissues with lotion really do keep your nose from getting all dried out no matter how many times you have to wipe it. (It sucks that they come in such ugly boxes though.)
  7. Leftover chicken stir fry smells very bad if it is over a month old.
  8. If you sell your piano to get it out of your garage and it never gets picked up you still won't be able to park in your garage.
  9. Playing cars for hours at a time can be very boring.
  10. It is hard to get baby puke out of your clothes if your baby has prunes for supper.
  11. A clean bedroom feels really good.
  12. When you only clean one room in your house it makes the rest of your house seem really crappy.
  13. When a show you like has a finale the week before, that means it won't be on this week.
  14. If you teach your toddler the word for the thing he's been playing with the last year in the bathtub you will have to open his diaper for him so he can look at it all day long.
Just some things I noticed today and thought you might like to know about.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Calling In Sick

So the boys got sick Friday. I got sick Sunday. Really sick. I feel like crap. Last night I said to Glen, "I wish you would get sick so you could stay home with me." Which, I know, sounds selfish and mean to most of you. But at least if Glen was sick then there would be two sick people to do the work of caring for two sick babies. Instead of one. Me.

Happily, Glen gets earned days off for his extra-curricular stuff. I made him take one. I figured if today isn't a good day to take one then what is? So now there is one healthy person to do the work of taking care of two sick babies and one sick mommy. Hurrah.

I said on Dixie's blog today (who is home sick with no hubby to help, poor girl) that I wish that sick stay-at-home moms could call in sick and there was some kind of fairy godmother that would come and watch our kids and bring us tea... Now if I could just get Glen to make me tea I would have it made.

I'm going to go lie down. I feel dizzy.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's not super.

Okay, so my mood of a few hours ago has taken a drastic turn. Like Carrie I am going to use point form to explain:

  • Also like Carrie: "that time" arrived this afternoon.
  • I just spent 2 hours shopping at Superstore trying to spend the $200.00 necessary to get the free $25.00 gift card, only to find out at the till it doesn't go into effect until tomorrow. The cashier tells me this happens all the time since they send the coupon out the day before it is allowed to be used. Hello? Wouldn't you think someone would notice this and adjust the coupon accordingly? No. Stinkin'. I hate that place more than anywhere else on earth. Now tomorrow I have to go back and do my grocery shopping all over, because not only are they "unable" to use our receipt tomorrow to give us the $25.00... They are also "unable" to keep even our non-perishables behind the customer service desk for us to pick up. I swear, I was very close to buying it all and telling them I'd see them tomorrow when I returned it all and then bought it all over again. I don't think there is any other experience in my life that makes me want a good stiff drink more than shopping at Superstore.
  • Ben is getting sick. His nose is runny and his throat is all scratchy.
  • Sam is getting sick. His nose is runny and his eyes are red-rimmed.
So there you have it. The life and times of a housewife... A crampy, tired, frustrated housewife with the most trivial and somehow monumental worries and cares... Blah. Waitress? Bring me a Caesar and keep 'em coming.

This one's for you Donna...

I am loving my neighborhood today.

I love the way melting snow smells and sounds.

I love the sunshine coming through our south facing windows, even though it is making it very difficult to see my monitor right now.

I love all the birds here. Do you know we actually get Blue Jays in our backyard? We do and they are so pretty! The other day we had a squirrel too. (It freaked me out at first... I thought it was a rat.)

I love how the police always get called by someone on our street when there is a loud party. We never have to do it. Someone always calls and the police always show up and shut it down.

I love the neighbors on either side of us. They are both older couples and they are always so nice to us. This fall one of the ladies baked us a pie and brought it over still warm from the oven while we had our garage sale. When we took Ben to their houses on Halloween they dumped way too much candy in his pumpkin pail and asked for pictures of him.

I love it when my neighborhood friend Darci and I get together with our boys. We can call each other up and meet at the park or walk over to each other's houses. It's so nice. Yesterday she came over with her boys and Ben had such a good time. I did too.

I love having three good friends only a few houses away from me. Today I walked over to Staci's to meet her sweet new baby, Noah. On my way I passed by Heather's house and caught her on the way to her musical practice. We chatted in her driveway. I could see my house and Staci's house from where I was standing. It just made me happy.

There ya go. Maybe the cornball motto of Dorkton isn't a complete fallacy. "Where good things happen"... At least some of the time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I am so smart. S-M-R-T!

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Thank you for scoring highly on this quiz, there is sweet hope for the future. If you did not score high, please join the Volunteer for Human Extinction Movement. Either way, share your results with your friends so they can take this quiz and test their knowledge!

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Thank you for taking my little quiz. If you scored high, I promise not to twitch over your typos. If you scored low, please tell me it's because you're a programmer. Hopefully the goofy grammarian I used to work with isn't seething over some misspelling.

Ahhh... What a rush. Sadly, it lost a bit of it's shine when I got the results of the next quiz...

You are 66% Christian

You've been doing your homework, but haven't been studying long enough, you might make it in this world.

How Christian Are You?
Create MySpace Quizzes

What can I say? You either are or you're not. You can't always win if you didn't get a high score. Most of the time we like to think we're one thing and find out the hard way that we really don't know what we're talking about. Better luck next time.

It turns out the fact that sometimes I drink alcohol and I drive a used car makes me a little less Christian than I should be. Dang. I knew I should have just bought myself a good pair of sandals. At least all that "studying" paid off and I might not go to hell. 'Cause that's what being a Christian is all about... Knowing the right answers. Sheesh.

This just goes to show that any dummy can post a quiz on the internet and I'll do it hoping to validate my sorry life. Too bad I had to "find out the hard way". Stinkin'. It's not the score on the third quiz that bothers me. Well it is, but only as it affects my feelings about my scores on the first two. Blast it all! Can't a girl get a little boost? Is that asking too much?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happy Pickle Appreciation Day!

I got an card in my email today from Auntie Susan that really touched me...

So hug a pickle you love, or even better, hug a pickle I love...

The Secret Language of Babies

I was going to write a post about the coolest Oprah show ever, but some other bloggers beat me to it. Now I've lost my motivation. So you'll just have to read about it here... Or come over and watch the best bits of it again with me, 'cause I taped it and then pushed in that little tab that prevents you from taping over what you taped... On your tape.

It was cool though. SO stinkin' cool. Really cool. I wish Sam was young enough to test this stuff on. I'm dying to see this in real life, and on DVD, but I have to wait for both apparently. If this post makes no sense to you then you have only Becky and Heather to blame.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Too bad I'm not a better photographer...

On our way into Saskatoon this weekend we had to stop to take some pictures...
The freezing rain that fell last week coated the prairies with ice. The rays of the setting sun caused the ordinary fields around us to glow like everything in them was made of glittering glass. It really was breathtaking.It lit up some other stuff too. Just as beautiful... Just as breathtaking.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Home, where my music's playing.

It's good to be home... Where I can do the dishes or leave them dirty for days and no one cares... Where my computer remembers all of my user identities and passwords... Where I can watch whatever I want on TV whenever I want and no one judges me, maybe tomorrow I'll watch The Bachelor just to celebrate, or how about not... Where there is no dog stepping all over me, my boys, and my stuff all day... Where I can wear pajamas during the day and I don't have to put on a bra if I don't feel like it... Where my Sealy Posturepedic waits to cushion me in soft but firm niceness, is that like a close but distant relative?... Where Ben can sleep all alone in his own bed and even go down for a nap without crying... Where all of the bookmarks in my sidebar have cute little pictures beside them... Where I can turn the heat as high or as low as I want and not get into trouble for it... Weeeeee! I gotta get me a sweater. It's freezing in here! Hurrah!

Too bad home is in Dorkton, or it would be pretty much perfect.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy HallelujahCarsIsOutOnVideo Day!!!

It's finally here. I don't think I've anticipated a movie release with this much excitement since The Lord of the Rings special editions came out.

Do you know that Ben watches the preview for Cars on youtube about twenty times a day? Do you know that he reads his Cars story book over and over? Do you know that whenever he sees a preview on TV he cries when it is over? Do you know know that he can sit for literally and hour and look at the pictures of all the cars on the Cars website? Do you know how happy I will be when I can pop that movie in the DVD player and let him watch it to his little car-lovin' heart's content?

I don't think you do. That's why I'm telling you.

It's a happy day in the Willems' household. Oh happy day, oh happy day! When we brought Cars into our house to stay!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Beck Talkin'

I love Corner Gas, and in that light I give you this malarky post...

Hello people in the internet. This blog is probably going to be pretty groundbreaking. I’m going to talk about a few things that many of you may or may not be willing to hear. Maybe some things that you’re not ready to hear. For instance: I wonder why Wile E. Coyote doesn't ever contact Acme customer support. In reality a lot of the products he receives from them do not function the way they are supposed to. Perhaps you will say that Wile E. is not using the products the way they are intended to be used. That is a fair argument, especially when you take time to think about how he very often uses the products in dangerous places. A person can't blame the company if the customer does things like putting Acme birdseed on railway tracks without first checking for oncoming trains. If anything, then the Coyote should have tried putting the birdseed somewhere that trains don't drive.

This brings me to my next point. Sometimes you have to try things more than once before they work and sometimes you have to try them different ways. If you are trying to get into your house at night you have to try more than one key in the door. You can't just keep trying the same one over and over or you might have to sleep in your truck for the night. Trucks are not comfortable places to sleep, but lets face it. If I had the choice of sleeping in a truck or on train tracks I'd go with the truck. Sleeping in a truck sucks, but it's nothing compared with a train waking you up right in the middle of a dream about the Riders. Think about it: You're sleeping, you're right at the part of the dream where the Riders take to the field, then... Wo! The horn from the train startles you awake and the last thing you see is the bright light of a locomotive bearing down on you. If I were sleeping on a train track I'd probably get pretty freaked out by that. Freaked out and scared.

You can't give up on your dreams. You have to have perseverance and staying power. On Sunday I watched the Riders play Calgary all the way through most of the first half. Then I gave up because watching them lose was taking the buzz off of my Pepsi. If only I'd known that they were going to turn it around in the next few minutes I could have increased my buzz.

I’ve got much more to say on both the subjects of trains and buzzes but I think that if I were to write any more it would be too much for anybody to handle. After all, since everybody’s reading this blog I need to save some stuff for my next entry. I’d hate to run out of steam at the height of my popularity. Does it feel good to be a hit? In a word: it sure does.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I'm begging you...

I feel like I need a vacation. I'm hiding out in the basement right now. Glen has both boys upstairs and I just heard him exclaim, "Benjamin Willems!" I don't wanna go up there. Don't make me go up there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What a dream I had...

I had this weird dream last night. Those who know me well know that this is not an uncommon occurrence, but since this one involved the Riders, I thought I'd share...

I dreamt the Riders were coming to play a game in Martensville. On Halloween. Only Halloween fell on a Sunday in my dream. I dreamt the game was going to be at Martensville Alliance Church, I assumed in the parking lot... I was on the decorating committee and I had found some old Riders banners to hang up somewhere. As we drove to the game in our truck, I pondered how I would hang them outside, since there are no fences or anything anywhere nearby. I came up with the idea of taping each end of the banners to big sticks and then banging the sticks down into the ground. Genius! When we got there the parking lot was all full of cars and Aunty Susan and Uncle Marvin were carrying out some leftover donuts and coffee from the worship service... For people to snack on. I thought that was nice, to share our donuts. I thought, "I bet most people who come to the game will find it to be a nice change to get free donuts and coffee." Aunty Susan said that the reason they had donuts that Sunday was to celebrate her new career. I don't know what it was, I only know she had a new career in something. Not just a job. A career.

Then, as Glen unloaded my banners from our truck, I asked Aunty Susan when people were going to move their vehicles for the game. She said, "Why would they move them? They've got great parking spots!" It turns out the game was going to be played inside. At this point, I figured that since this was just a dream the church must now be bigger inside than in real life. (I am almost always conscious of the fact that I am dreaming when I dream. This comes in handy when I want to break the laws of nature and do things like fly, or just rewind the whole thing and do it over if I don't like the way a particular dream has ended. It also comes in handy if I am having a bad dream and I want to wake myself up.) Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, we decided to re-park our truck since it was temporarily parked near the entrance across 3 or four parking spaces. We moved it to a spot in the back. I took special care to park it to take up as little space as possible, difficult with a truck our size, and to park it so that we wouldn't have to back out. At the end of the game we could just drive away...

When I got inside, the church was it's usual small size. For those of you who have never been there, it is about the size of an Old Navy. Maybe smaller. Not big enough for a game anyways. I was surprised to see that they hadn't set up the field to run lengthwise, but had made it so that about 20 yards ran across the width of the church. I guess they figured the fans could watch from the stage and the ramp thing at the back and not be in the end zone? I asked one of the organizers about this set up and apparently the plan was the players would have to just run back and forth a few times in order to score. (You know, like that drill we all did in gym class. You run to one wall, slap it, and then run back.) This way the field was closer to its regular width and they reasoned that the game could progress fairly normally. I wondered what would happen when the ball got kicked and hit the ceiling. Whatever. I figured they must know what they were doing.

I also figured they were about to be very impressed by all of the banners I had brought. I figured most churches didn't go to as much trouble as we were. You know... Cause of the donuts and stuff in the parking lot. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't get to use my brilliant stick idea, but I figured it would be easy to put them up on the slanted ceiling. I also figured this would have the benefit of covering over the mural depicting pretty much everything that happened in the bible from Genesis to Revelation. (Not because I don't like it, but because I thought it might take away from the "game feel" I was trying to accomplish with my decorating.) I started to unroll all of my banners... It was at this point that my brother Mikey came in. He was about 6 years old and dressed as a tiger. Apparently, he was hoping he could walk around the field as one of the mascots. The organizers nixed this idea. We were playing Hamilton, and they thought his tiger costume might not go over well with the Rider fans. They cheered him up by telling him that since it was Halloween there would be a parade of costumes during the half-time show. I was very excited about this, since I was very happy with the costume I was wearing. Oh, I forgot to mention, I was wearing a Laura from Little House on the Prairie costume. It was fabulous. Then I woke up.

I imagine that some of you are having some trouble visualizing all of this so I am providing a diagram to make it a little clearer...

You really should click on it to biggify it. It's even better close up. I'm wearing a pioneer hat! Oh, and for all you sticklers, I know Uncle Marv and Aunty Susan have no legs. Just try to work with me here okay?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Dinasour

Ahhhh Ben... What can I say about my little dinosaur? We got him all dressed up and on our way out the door he spotted the candy jewlery we bought to hand out. He had to have one of the watches. He likes clocks. What can I say? That clock. I wish he hadn't seen it. It really slowed us down. If you've ever tried to get a toddler to walk while they have candy strapped to their wrist then you know what we went through trying to get Ben from house to house in our neighborhood. We stopped and saw his little friend Karson and then took him to see some of our neighbors and friends from church. He wasn't an angel, but he was a perfect little dinosaur...

He spotted the orange garbage bags that people put on their lawns and look like pumpkins and was certain they were giant tomatoes. When I tried to explain that they were pumpkins he emphatically stated, "No. It's a big fatatoe Mummy." He kept messing up the pictures I tried to take of him by running all over the place while calling out, "Cheese!" He really got into the whole thank you thing and thanked the people at most houses five or six times. He growled on command. He told a lady from our church he loved her, and then proceeded to help himself to more chocolate from her bowl. He told a few people he didn't want any candy and then tried to shut the door on them. He ignored all the cool fun stuff at the city-run Halloween party we took him to so he could go down this piddly little slide over and over. Then, at the end of the night he climbed into bed with me and told me, "I love you tomorrow Mummy."

These glimpses of Benjamin are meant to entice you all to visit Ben's blog by the way... I did manage to get a couple good ones in the end.