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Sunday, 17 June 2012

A Father's Day post for The Bass Player

It's only fitting that today I blog about my dad.  Yes, it's Fathers Day, and also, he gave me my name....The Bass Player's Daughter.  It's the name of my salon and anything else I do these days....my identity.  I thought I'd share some of my "fondest" Bass Player memories.....but first, a quick description of my dad.  Now, my dad is a bit of a mish mash of things.  He's amazingly funny, personable and outgoing.  People meet him and instantly want to be his friend and he makes friends with anyone and everyone, remembering their names, loaning them money or buying them a beer.  He's a very talented musician and adores time spent in his studio working on a song.  At the same time, my dad is also quick to temper and a bit of a hot head.  He'll go out and charm the pants off anyone, but will come home exhausted from being so social all the time and stick us with a miserable grump.  All though these days, we can usually get him out of that grump status because we're not scared of him anymore, now that we're adults.  My dad is also comparable to a 15 year old child....a bit of a spoiled rotten brat who sometimes forgets he's not the centre of the universe.  Now, anyone who knows me, or reads my blog knows that I'm only comfortable saying these things about him because I share most of these same traits....minus the musician part but these traits I can pick out in myself and therefore feel I'm allowed to pick them out in him too.  Growing up with my dad was interesting.  He played in a band and was gone many nights a week.....he also had a day job and then had to nap in there somewhere so we didn't spend a ton of time with him growing up.  Lucky for us, and him, we have an amazing lady at the head of our household who was always patient and kind and gave up her entire life for us to make sure we got the best childhood possible.  Sometimes we share stories now and wonder how in the world did we all make it through those years together....but here we all are, still in love with each other and friends and able to spend many evenings together and enjoy it.  So a few of my favourite Dad stories....we enjoy telling these over dinner, knowing it pisses my dad off....he can be a bit embarrassed by his quick temper while we were growing up but it left us with some great conversation starters.

Okay so I was maybe 10?  We were eating dinner.  Ketchup came in glass bottles and was forever getting stuck and not pouring out.  I was trying to shake the bottle upside down over my plate to get the ketchup out and was getting a bit wild with it.  It kept hitting my plate "ding....ding....ding....DING...DING..DING DINGDINGDINGDING..." and finally my Dad (who worked basically two jobs and didn't sleep much remember?) SNAPPED, as he was famous for doing and go figure with 3 kids all within 5 years apart.  He stood up and literally grabbed the bottle out of my hand and violently started shaking it as hard as he could up and down in a HUGE exaggerated motion...all the while yelling "THAT'S NOT HOW YOU GET THE KETCHUP OUT!  THIS IS HOW YOU GET THE KETCHUP OUT!" and ketchup was flyyyyyyyying all over me, the table, the floor (carpet in the kitchen back in those days) until he finally smashed the bottle down on the table and stormed off.  We all sat in silence for a few minutes...shocked at his outburst until someone must have caught a glimpse of me, covered in ketchup and started giggling.  Well that was it, we all roared with laughter......and were careful never to bang the bottle on our plates again.

It's Christmas....the most wonderful time of the year.  Us kids are fairly young and hopped right the fuck up with Christmas spirit and sugar and presents and Santa and are hyper beyond belief.  We're vibrating trying to decorate the tree, which is always a headache of an occasion.  First my dad has to get the thing in the stand....and that's usually accompanied by tons of swearing at the stand and it's crooked and my mom lovingly suggesting we turn the tree to a less bare spot and my dad whipping this thing around until finally we all just agree with him, sharing silent glances, knowing we'll spin it while he's at work.  Then my dad gets the joyous job of putting up the xmas tree lights....which are all bundled in a messy ball from where he got pissed off and just randomly shoved them into garbage bags the year before...then plugging them in and trying to find the one burnt out bulb that's making the entire string dark and my mother lovingly suggesting he "scallop" the lights a little more and not skimp in the back where the neighbours can see through the window.  By the time this is all done, my dad needs a good stiff drink and he's snapping at all us kids, who are completely underfoot and annoying.  Then we have to be patient while my mom puts the garland on juuuuust so before we're let loose with Christmas ornaments and allowed to decorate the tree.  This all takes a gooood long time and by the end of it we're all grumpy and fighting but OH doesn't the tree look gorgeous!  We turn out the lights and sit around the glowing Christmas tree drinking egg nog and listening to Christmas music.  This one year we had done the tree and I had gone to my room to do something else when I heard screaming and came running out.  Somehow our tree had fallen over....after all that work decorating it!  Our beautiful tree was laying in our living room, the stand spilling water all over our carpet and my siblings all crying.  My dad by that point, had had it.  He ran in the living room and flung open the door to the outside front yard.....he marched over to the tree, picked it up and hauled it like a twig to the door and THREW it on the front snow covered yard....which wouldn't have been soooo bad but at the same time he yelled "MERRRRRRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS" for all our neighbours to hear.  The poor guy spun around, slammed the door and was met with three kids standing there sobbing over our Christmas tree and the shock of hearing him say such things.  The next day the tree was back up, with a stand full of rocks, and we never let him forget it.

So that's a couple of my favourite Phil stories.....at the same time, we also have great memories and laugh till our sides hurt thanks to him...like the time he rode Kohens hot wheels jeep home with his knees up at his ears and his feet on the hood all down Broadwater Road.  Or the time Lenny handed my dad the inside part of his little training potty, complete with a giant turd in it to show off his accomplishment...and my poor dad didn't catch on quick enough and grabbed the pot and had a good long look at it before looking up at me and my mom in all seriousness and asking "is this shit?" causing us to fall out of our chairs in laughter.  I think we could all get together and share stories of my dad and probably write a best selling book because I know many people would have things to contribute, good maybe, bad maybe and I bet a heck of a lot that we've never even heard about.  If you run into my dad one day, be sure to ask him about the pot brownies at work, that's another story that's quite hilarious, but I'll leave that one to him.  Happy Fathers Day ya asshole...I love you.

Monday, 11 June 2012

"This does not bode well for your tattoo" says Mom.

So I might be ready to share this story now.  Might.  I didn't think I was, but as my mom was telling it to my dad last night and laughing till she cried (it's not even a funny story), I found my self chuckling along.  This story took place the last week in May.  Now, May for me is insane.  Work is insane, the kids start getting excited for summer and antsy and my husband starts obsessing over the opening of the pool.  May is one of the busier months at the salon too....with our graduation and Miss Castlegar events, there's a heck of a lot of hair to get did.  I always feel like May starts and it's already pretty much over so just head down and plow through...which makes for a really stressful month.  I was working tons and lots of late nights....as were all the girls at the shop and we were all feeling the stress, sleeping less, drinking more and inventing lots of new swear words.  So this one day in May, Barry comes in the house in the early morning to tell me about a injured crow he found in the back yard.  It was over by the pool fence and couldn't fly.  It's wings and along it's back were pretty mangled.  It's pissing rain out, and cold and it's huddled in the yard.  Barry tried to catch it, but it half hop/fly/spazzed away.  I know most people dislike the crows around here....they are a bit of a pain in the ass....but I love them and have my favorites around the yard......and yes, I do come from a long line of family crow lovers, just talk to my mom Val the Crazy Bird Lady (kidding...sort of.....we're giving her 5.4 more years before we officially give her that title).  So instantly I'm upset by this news.  I call my mom (the Crazy Bird Lady.....just testing it out....) and she instructs me to get a box, cut a door and some windows....craft glue on some nice curtains, no like cheap roller blinds...maybe a nice tile for the floor and paint on some shingles.....hahaha.....no she didn't go that far, but I know she was thinking it.  She told me to cut a couple openings and put it over the crow outside and give it a bowl of water....maybe a plastic garbage bag on top so the box doesn't get soggy (pissing rain).  I'm running late for work and I'm panicked and I have nothing to wear and now I'm worried about this bird.  I manage to get ready in time and I get my box etc and head out into the yard to find it.....and it's totally gone.  I search all the bushes around the area it was, and okay, maybe I was making kissy noises or whatever that universal noise is people make to all animals.  Nothing.  I head into the neighbours field behind us, searching in in the long grass with my diaper box and bowl of water. So I can hear this really obnoxious crow noise from low down in this big tree and I think maybe the crow managed to half hop/fly/spazz up into this tree.  Okay great.  Off to work.  In my blue minivan and I'm heading down the driveway....when all of a sudden this black thing comes half hopping, half flying, completely spazzing towards me out from under a row of trees.  I scream and drive my van up the side of the neighbours yard along our driveway and almost take out their fence trying to avoid this zombie crow who looks like just threw itself in front of my van.  I can't tell but I think I hit it.  I put the van in park and sit there chanting "Ohhh no.  Ohhhhhhh no.  Ohhhhhhhhh no" for a while, looking in my rear view mirror at a very compact looking black blob a bit up the driveway.  I'm close to hyperventilating....I mean, I was going to save this bird....and now could I have killed it??  I get out and walk up the driveway and sure enough, it's flat.  I completely smoked the thing and squashed it under my tire....dead on (literally).  I instantly start crying my head off.  Now, I'm not like quietly shedding a few tears...I'm full out SOBBING....complete with all the noises, snot and tears you could imagine when someone just murdered a living thing.  MURDERED!  I get in my van and call my mom (everyone now....1....2.....3......the crazy bird lady) and sob my way through the story.  She's upset too cause she loves birds but does a good job trying to reason with me......at least I put it out of it's misery, it probably wouldn't have survived anyways, way to smoosh it full out and not just further mangle it and at the end she throws in a quiet "this does not bode well for you tattoo"...thanks MOM.  I get off the phone with her and sob all the way to work.  The rest of the day followed appropriately for a day that started out with killing.  The girls at work lovingly prodded me about it and managed to only set me off crying once or twice.  I shared the story a few times that day and yes, I cried every time.  I think I cried all that week now I think of it....some of it over the bird, and some of it cause May is such a cold hearted bitch.  And yeah, I guess it was probably best I ran it over, it was quick and painless....or so I hope...I mean, do any of us really know if that stuff would be painless or not?  Who are we going to ask?  The smooshed thing from under the tire?  And what does it all mean anyways?  Do you think this bird committed suicide?  While I have you here, what's the meaning of life do you think?????