I wonder who I’d talk to about that redesign.

I have a friend who used to claim that the human body required a redesign.  Instead of toes, we should all just have flaps, he figured, and eye injuries could be avoided by acquiring one giant, segmented eye on top of our heads.

I’m not sure on the eye, but I’m with him on the flaps.  I have terrible luck with toes.

I came to that conclusion yesterday, when I was hopping around swearing through tears because I caught my toenail on a box and almost ripped it off.  It’s bruised and bloody, but it’s not the worst abuse I’ve heaped on my smallest digits.

(As an aside, I shall point out that I also have a massive bruise on my calf from stumbling around my basement, because for various reasons it looks like a homeless hoarder lives here.  But the computer is down here.  You see my dilemma.)

No, the worst thing I did to my baby toe was in high school, when I broke it. 

I was biking back to school one day at the end of my senior year.  It was already fixing to be a good, hot summer, and I was wearing shorts and sandals, and had picked myself up a slurpee at lunch.  Because I was carrying said slurpee, I was attempting to steer the ten-speed with one hand in the center of the handlebars.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to do this, but it’s not terribly effective.  I tried to manoeuver the bike into the narrow sidewalk that would take me between two houses and into the back of the schoolyard, but my turn was far too wide.  The bike and I brushed up against a wrought-iron fence.  My exposed smallest toe snagged on one of the decorative iron rails, and brought me to a halt.  My slurpee dumped on the ground.

I looked down at my foot.  It hurt, but it looked okay.  Well, that toe was sticking out at an odd angle.  Huh.  There was a bit of a cut between it and the next one, too.  I tried to push it back in towards its friends.  It wouldn’t go.

Some blood oozed out.

Slurpee forgotten, I propped my bike up against the fence (I would remember it 3 days later, which was probably 2.9 days after someone had stolen it), and limped into the school.

“Mr G.,” I asked the first teacher I saw, who happened to be everybody’s favorite Geo Trig teacher, the one who laughed at your jokes and kept chocolate-covered coffee beans in his desk, “Do you know if the nurse is in?”

“Why, what did you do?” He glanced down.  “Other than rip open your foot?”

I trailed bloody footprints into the nurses office, which was empty, but someone flagged down a pre-nursing student.  She wasn’t much help but kept me company while I waited for my mother, marveling at my ability to continue to crack jokes. 

(I think it’s called “going into shock”.  Pre-nursing students should probably look into that.)

I spent far too many hours in the hospital, waiting for x-rays and staff in general, while the pain faded to a dull roar and I began to consider that living life with one perpendicular toe wouldn’t be so bad.  I tried to convince them of that when they re-set the toe, all joking pretense gone, clinging to my mother and screaming in pain.  They had to try a few times.  That little piggie is hard to get a grip on.

The real indignity of this injury was that it was 2 weeks before my prom, and any hope of wearing 6-inch stilettos was gone.  Sandals weren’t as fancy then, it was the era of cheap leather water-walkers.  I had to buy big, sparkly earrings and hot-glue them to some black sandals to complete my “goth graduation” look.  At least I didn’t still have the crutches, nobody was buying my “I got bitten by an alligator” story.

That tiny toe, which still goes purple when it’s cold and is aching now with the memory of it all, remains the only bone I’ve ever broken.  Good thing I made such a show out of it, knock on wood and all that.  I still won’t get on a bike.

What about you?  Got any good injury stories?

Although by that point I may be satisfied with a nap and a good BM

My folks just returned from snowbirding in Arizona. (For those of you not in the know, 'snowbirds' are what they call retired Canadians who winter in the southern US. I've no idea if you're meant to use it as a verb or not. Probably.) In addition to some Roswell Alien Ale beer and a stuffed armadillo for my kid, my Mom brought me a little ceramic dreambox:

Isn't it pretty? The Legend of the Dreambox is that you "write down your fondest dream on a small piece of paper, put the paper in the dreambox and place it beside your bed. Every evening as you retire and every morning as you rise, hold your dreambox and think on your dream, believing with all your heart that it is so."

Except that I have a rambunctious toddler with free access to my bedside area, who likes to open my bedside table and rifle through it (a few awkward moments out of that. There is nothing in there now, nothing). So I guess, like a lot of things, my fondest dream will have to wait until my kid is grown up.

I'll get to you one day, Clown College. One day.

Nom nom nom, Humble Pie

Since we replaced our prehistoric TV for Christmas, yesterday there was some guy in our basement, his jeans obscenely low (I imagine - I wasn't actually here), muttering obscenities while he installed a high-def line. I'm not sure why we decided to do this, since we don't actually watch that much tv, except that by our tally it would leave us with less switching of cables when we wanted to play the Wii or watch a DVD.

(What it actually did was leave us with one MORE cable to plug and unplug. Which is fucking annoying in the pre-dawn hours when you want to switch it so the kid can watch PBS and not Ice! Age!, because Curious George is less interesting and finite and Ice! Age! just goes on and on and gawd help you if you want to get his coat on before the credits roll so you can get to work on time. And you probably just should have spent the extra 5 minutes fumbling around with RCA cables because now you have a full-blown meltdown AND you're late. Again.)

Anyway.

After dinner I felt chilly so I went to turn up the heat and, lo, the thermostat was completely blank. It no longer had any power, and therefore was no longer telling my furnace to keep me from freezing.

I poked a few buttons and the thermostat did not miraculously start blinking, so I plunked the toddler in front of Ice! Age! (I'm trying to fast track that Mother of the Year award) and spent 15 minute on hold with the cable company. Because surely the wiring and snipping and drilling their tech had been doing, followed by the immediate demise of my thermostat, was not coincidence?

They said they'd look into it and call me back. So I spent the next half an hour peering at the bewildering array of wires and cables that appear to be growing through my basement. This house used to be two obviously very small suites and there are phone cables and wires everywhere that lead to nothing. Which is exactly what I came up with.

Cable dispatch dude called me back and said the tech had declared himself not responsible. Which I didn't really buy, and neither did the dispatch dude, but he said he couldn't dispatch someone on his own say-so, he'd have to escalate it to a manager.

"Okay," I said.

"It probably won't be until tomorrow," he said apologetically. A tiny pointy creature made of Panic popped up in my chest because, hello? My furnace hasn't been running in hours and it's effing cold outside, guy.

"Oh," I said. "Um, okay."

"Is your furnace running?" he queried.

"No," I said in a small voice.

"Oh," he said with more concern. "Is it cold?"

"Not yet!" I chirped with false bravado. And he kind of laughed and promised he'd have someone call me as soon as possible, and I told him I would have someone come and look at it in the meantime and not to worry.

And here is where I'm really glad I remained polite and didn't give in to my Panic and demand "better service" or shriek "My baby could FREEZE, you asshole!!" or something. Because then I called hubby at work and snivelled a little and he came home to see if he could fix it.

Turns out? My thermostat runs on batteries. Which I considered, but apparently you have to be 6'3" to be able to see how the fucking thing actually opens up. Nobody considers us shortasses when they're designing thermostats. Paul changed the batteries and - cue the angels singing - they're not going to find my frozen corpse curled around a Bic lighter after all. The timing of the tech dude was sheer coincidence.

And I'm okay with telling you guys what a dumbass I am because now I'm used to it. I called the cable company back and sheepishly explained that no, their wonderful tech guy with his proper-fitting pants did not, in fact, cut the wire to my thermostat. In fact, there IS no wire and I'm just not that bright, so they don't have to 'escalate' the matter to management, let's all just forget it didn't happen, ok?

Except I guess the message didn't get passed on, because this morning someone in Management called me and I had to explain AGAIN that, in fact, it wasn't their fault. Their tech guy walks on freakin' water, even, and I'm just an idiot. Thanks for calling.

So, yeah. Lesson learned. Always be polite to service companies in the face of a potential frozen fate, lest you turn out to be not dying after all and look like an even bigger asshole.

Or something.

Does this dream mean I need a new uterus, or a new butt? Or possibly that I should be a little more clear when giving directions?

In my dream the other night, my friend wanted me to be with her while they performed a surgical procedure. In this procedure, a centipede was inserted into her open abdomen. This was a miraculous centipede, which, like maggots feasting on only dead flesh, would only eat the rotten parts of her uterus and then crawl out (presumably to take a nap).

I told her I would be with her, and hold her hand, but I couldn't watch because they were going to perform the same procedure on me and I didn't want to know what was going on down there.

Her centipede performed admirably. When they performed it on ME, they removed the surgical drapes to reveal that not only had the centipede eaten my entire uterus, but all the way clear through to my ass.

So then, obviously, I needed a new ass. They weren't going to replace my plumbing, but asked me what kind of rear end I wanted. I said, with typical wishy-washiness, "Oh, y'know, an ass. They're all the same."

Naturally I ended up with saggy mom-butt, rather than the glorious firm supermodel hiney I had envisioned.

I have no idea what this dream meant, or why I'm even sharing it with you, because now you're all picturing me with no ass.

Seriously, stop it.

Smell that?

In my medicine cabinet is a bottle of perfume that my friend Fashionista bought for me, in Byron Bay, shortly before we left Australia. It's very pretty; the perfume itself is green, and it's named something earthy-sounding, but I don't use it.

I'm not really a 'perfume' person, but I'm in love with the idea of perfume, of having a 'signature scent', one that someone wouldn't notice initially, but that when they smelled it later, it would evoke memories of me. (Also, by that point in our travels, I was also in love with the idea of smelling like a GIRL and not the flip-flops I wore in the last 37 hostel showers.)

I used the perfume regularly when we first got back from Australia, but when the bottle got about half-empty I stopped, panicked that once it was empty, I'd be unable to replace it. I became the 'non-perfume' person, that I really am, again.

I haven't touched it in a couple of years but this morning I noticed that there was less of it. Well, duh, I thought, it was evaporating. So I spritzed myself with it, thinking it might evoke some memories of my travels. But I forgot that I hadn't really used it while travelling; I'd mostly used it when I came home. When I came crashing back to reality. It smelled of regret, dissatisfaction and the heavy burden of familiarity.

(Also, a little bit like old lady.)

So much for my signature scent. I guess I'll just go back to watching it evaporate slowly. Like memories.

What about you - do you have a signature scent? Or something you can't smell without thinking of a certain time?