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crash, bang, smash-em up

December 22nd, 2005 (10:03 am)

Seems my sister can't get a break. Someone ran his car into hers last night.

I don't know about you, dear reader, but it feels horrible to be in an accident, even if it's not your fault. I have both been the one who drove into someone else, and the one who was driven into. Neither were good experiences. I was 17 or so when I didn't leave enough stopping room at the start of a rainfall. Who knew the roads get so slick then?? I felt so horrible, very angry with myself, never wanted to drive again. The person I hit was very nice though, not upset at all. A couple of years ago, I got brutally rear-ended while driving to S' family for Thanksgiving. I was enraged, but didn't really do anything about it. Yelling at the guy wouldn't have helped. But I was all riled up to say the least. I guess adrenaline will do that to you, and seeing a Ford Explorer try to mount my little (and one month old)VW Golf certainly gets the adrenaline flowing.

So I feel so sorry for my sister. Accidents suck. The guy who hit her was telling her his father fixes cars - maybe he was trying to get her to not report it. She called me. I told her to report it. From what she described, it sounded like a lot of damage. Thousands of dollars of damage. No matter how cheaply this guy's father might be willing to work for, I doubt he'd be willing to eat thousands of dollars worth of repairs. And how much effort would he really put into restoring the car? Ya - not likely to be a good job.

She says it was his fault, and she has a witness (a passenger in her car). So hopefully she won't have to pay the deductible. She has no cash to pay the deductible. She has no job. I don't even know how she'll come up with rent for January. And if there is an unpaid deductible, the Public Guardian may take the car away (mom's car, mom's asset... lil sis driving it reduces its value, especially when there's an accident). So either way she may lose the car.

So ya - it looks like she can't get a break. But we've all had shit happen to us. The difference is, she has the same amount of shit, but doesn't have the same amount of non-shit. That kid needs to start making a change. Maybe all this shit will start her on her way. Or maybe I should just send her some Welfare application forms.

you can call me Reverend...

December 16th, 2005 (11:14 pm)

... if I spent another $35, you could call me Reverend Doctor, but S wouldn't be happy if I paid $35 to be called Doctor after she's spending 14 years for the same honorific.

I went to the website of Universal Life Church and three minutes later I was ordained. 



November 21st, 2005 (12:42 pm)

I received a call from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. "Your mother has been found incapable..."
It's strange. I know my mother is incapable. I know that in addition to being crazy, she's now also particularly stupid. And it's the stupid part....the inability to make rational decisions, that has gotten her into trouble.
Personally, I don't think it's the schizophrenia, although a number of mental health professionals (2 social workers and an Occupational Therapist) say that repeated psychotic breaks can cause permanent damage. I think it has more to do with the mini-strokes she's been having. Whatever it is, her frontal lobe isn't bouncing back from it.

"Your mother has been found incapable". The words rest so heavy on me. And this is just her incapability for financial matters. Next is her incapability for personal care. Although the social worker at the hospital wants me to act as though I'm already her substitute decision maker and sign forms. They seem to prefer it if the family just takes over without any real authority to do so. But I figure this issue is sufficiently grave that they better get off their asses and tell her what they plan to do, and make it official, with Human Rights representation and everything. They need to be the ones to tell her that she can no longer make any decisions for herself -- at least not ones that matter. And somehow convince her that we aren't all out to get her.

I don't want to be my mother's parent. And I'm sure she doesn't want it either. But we don't always get what we want.

crack ho

October 31st, 2005 (11:21 am)

So, the story is that mom wants to rent a room in the rooming house down the street from where she used to live. She figures no one will ask her for references there. "Prostitutes live there", she said. "You mean the crack house?", asked my sister. "Yes! The crack house. Only don't tell Lynn it's a crack house."
Ya, 'cause I wouldn't notice unless someone told me.

Anyway, overall, I'm not completely against the idea. She'll be no crazier than the other people there, and smoking in your room is probably a-ok. Plus, it's cheap! So, why not?

My mom, the crack ho.

back she goes

October 28th, 2005 (10:09 am)

Mom's back in the hospital again. I have to say I really dig that CTO. The case worker at the local Canadian Mental Health Association was able to call the police when mom refused to go to her meds appointment. The case worker is fantastic, by the way. I guess she's new enough that she isn't jaded yet.

So, she gets a cognitive assessment on Monday . Or should I say, gets a second cognitive assessment. Apparently, and completely unbeknownst to me or the case worker, mom had one when she was in the hospital the last time. The results suggested that she had trouble with financial matters. Ya think? Clearly Dr. Ali and the Royal Victoria Hospital dropped the ball last time. At the very least, the family should have been notified of the results (she had signed a consent form - they weren't bound by any doctor-patient priviledge). Anyway - their decision seems to have cost mom a few thousand dollars of irrational spending.

If she does poorly on her assessment, Dr Ali will (should!) determine that she no longer has the capacity to manage her property. I'm not sure what happens then. I guess the Public Guardian and Trustee will take control of her finances unless a family member applies to do it.

The question is, should I bother? I suppsoe it wouldbe cheaper for mom for me to do it. I'd be a lot cheaper, I think, than having the gov do it for her.

Ralph Meldrum, you're an ass

October 25th, 2005 (04:44 pm)

I just spent a good half hour listening to my mother's real estate agent describe how he's not in the business for the commission, he's about to retire... how he questioned my mom's ability to purchase a house, but didn't want to offend her.  Besides, he knew he couldn't ask her to prove that she could buy the home (he couldn't? he could always ask.  he could ask her if she gets frequent yeast infections too, if he wanted to). 

He said he went to the bank on Monday to get her deposit cheque certified.  Normally he doesn't do that, but it was the only way he could think of to find out if she had the funds to even cover the deposit cheque. So it cost him $15 to get it certified because she happened to have enough cash in the bank to cover it.

Mom told him she wanted to waive the condition in the agreement (conditional on getting the house inspected) and that she didn't want to use a lawyer.  Ralph didn't care about the inspection, but told her she had to get a lawyer.

Thanks Ralph.  That's another $150 or so my mom will spend on this fiasco.

I emailed him and the seller's agent last night, to let them know the deal wouldn't be going through.  So Ralph sent the email over to mom's lawyer, together with all the documentation for the deal.

Ralph then explained that he didn't want me to think he was just after a commission and that he wasn't trying to take advantage of my mother.  When I asked if there was a way the deal could be broken without using a lawyer, he said that he doesn't want to be involved anymore.  It's already cost him $15 for the certified cheque, plus gas (!) and he's not going to get paid out of this because there'll be no commission.  He refuses to talk to her again.  The lawyer gets paid, so she should use the lawyer to break the deal.

Thanks Ralph. 

Oh, and he said that if the sellers wanted to be mean, they could try to keep the $2,000 deposit.  I said that if we wanted to be mean, we could just let the deal continue and the sellers wouldn't be able to relist until Nov 16 when it would become clear that the deal couldn't close.

But we don't want to be mean do we?

Ralph went on to say that he just didn't want me to think that he was an opportunist (aren't all real estate agents opportunists?)

Ralph, whatever you are, you can add "asshole" to the list.

You could have, at any time, said "I don't want to represent you.  I don't think I'll get paid". You could, after having agreed to represent my mother in this purchase, continue to represent her and provide her with a mutual release signed by the sellers.

But no, you don't want to be involved anymore because it's already cost you $15.  Well Ralph, that's all a part of doing business.


If anyone actually reads this - and I doubt anyone does - call Ralph Meldrum at 705 728 8800 and make an appointment to see houses.  If you're in the Barrie area, actually keep the appointment and waste his afternoon while he takes you to see houses.  Then tell him Lynn sent you, and that he's an asshole... then just walk away.



its ok to be crazy, just not stupid and crazy

October 24th, 2005 (09:36 pm)

So mom bought a house on the weekend. It doesn't seem to matter to her that she doesn't have the money. And I don't mean she can't afford it... I mean she can't close the deal. she doesn't have the money and doesn't have the income to get a mortgage. C'est impossible.

Seems like not a month goes by before she does something stupid and/or crazy these days. I really don't want to take control of her finances and decisions, but she clearly can't do it herself anymore.

This sucks.

She sucks.

apparently, I'm Hillary Clinton

October 13th, 2005 (05:48 pm)

You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(25% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

ilizarov blues

October 7th, 2005 (02:53 pm)

There once was a girl whose life started with a glitch. A wee glitch in her wee body.

But the glitch was found, and she was flown away - only 8 hours old - flown away to the big grey city in a big orange helicopter. And that helicopter took her to a place, a special place, the best children’s hospital in the world. The hospital where children got HIV from transfusions and children mysteriously died in cardiac care.

Experts familiar with wee bodies and wee glitches took out her glitch so she could live. And like a torn teddy bear sewn up by a four year old boy, her incision was stitched shut - well, mostly shut anyway. Intravenous fluids were pumped under her delicate wee skin by qualified nurses, damaging it irreparably. And if this wasn’t enough, an infection found its way into her wee shoulder.

The doctors told this poor and humble family from a northern ontario mining town that the infection could be treated with antibiotics, but there was a chance the growth plate could be affected and her upper arm could be short as a result.

Time passed and the wee girl was released and brought home. And the wee girl became a little girl. And the little girl moved away from that poor rural town with her parents. Together they moved to a more affluent neighbourhood. Her mother was schizophrenic, and her father was a labourer, but her peers were the children of white collar parents. She didn’t quite fit in.

And as she grew, her arm grew too. And her parents and her sister were relieved. But then one day her arm stopped growing, and never grew again. Nine more centimetres of growing did the right arm do, but the left never did catch up.

Her parents took her to the doctor who assured them that the little girl could have an operation to lengthen her arm when she was 18 and stopped growing. It sounded so simple, so true. Who would ask if this was untrue? Who would question a doctor?

So the little girl grew into a big girl knowing that although she was different from other kids, and her family was different than their families, at least her arm could be made the same. At least that could be fixed. And clinging to this simple truth, she turned 18.

Turned 18 and went to the doctor to fix this difference in her arm. It was time. She waited for this for years and it was time. But no, she was told. We don’t do that sort of operation on arms. No, no - go home, young lady, go home.

So with nothing to cling to any longer, she went home. Home to her father dying of cancer, and her schizophrenic mother who stubbornly refuses to die. But in her heart she still held on to this hope that someday the difference, this one difference, could be fixed.

Her father died, and her mother got worse, and the girl - now a woman - would always be different. Then she read a story and saw a picture of a boy, a little boy who had an infection in his shoulder. A little boy who grew to become a full grown man with one arm that was different than the other. A short arm. An arm like hers. But this boy, this man, had his arm lengthened. And there he was, in colour pictures. The smiling man with his newly lengthened arm.

The hope grew stronger and the young woman held fast to it as to a raft in an unforgiving sea. She made calls, made arrangements, had tests and xrays performed. All these things she did so that this one difference could be fixed. So that she could have this simple normal thing that other people had.

And with hope shining so brightly that she could see no chance of disappointment, she travelled back to that same big grey city and saw a new doctor. An orthopaedic surgeon. An expert familiar with limbs and their lengths. A doctor who could make her normal.

But he told her she was not normal enough to have a good chance at successful surgery. Her shoulder, you see, was not the right shape. Perhaps if she was in pain, perhaps if it impeded her chosen or desired vocation it might be worth the risk. But she had mobility, had strength, and the shortness was merely a nuisance issue.

But the arm had no pain because the pain was in her heart. How does this pain fit into the mix?

Perhaps a doctor in Maryland can offer a more positive opinion, he said. Go there, if you wish, and return with his consultation notes.

Perhaps that raft will float to Maryland.

I don’t know this woman very well, although I was the first person to ever lay eyes on her. I feel like a godparent, like an aunt. I’m seventeen years older than she, a lifetime older. Each of us fears failure, each of us seeks stability and security. Each of us is creative and artistic in our own ways. And we have the same sense of humour. But we are also so different from each other. We have the same parents, but mine were younger. Where and when I grew up, the children of doctors looked the same as I did. Her parents were more affluent than mine - a change in location and economy - but nowhere near the affluence of her classmates. And as it turned out, she has more scars than just those on her skin.

Surgery may make her arm look more normal, or it may only offer marginal improvement in length married with a reduction is usability. At what point will a person be happy with herself, with who she is? What will help her accept herself, like herself, find worth in herself, love herself?

Who knows?  I hope she finds her way safely.




oh apple

October 5th, 2005 (01:44 pm)

The neighbour's apple tree is dumping many an apple, helped by squirrels who take a bite before hurling the things to the ground.

Last night I picked two apples from the tree - small and perfect. One for S and one for me. They were lovely ripe McIntosh apples, crisp and tasty. Why don't the people who live there pick the apples and eat them, instead of letting them all fall and rot?

I miss my CBC

September 19th, 2005 (08:22 am)

Is it just me, or is this lockout going on forever? I miss my CBC Radio One! I guess CBC Management will get down to brass tacks as we get closer to Hockey Night in Canada season. That's so sad, the paramountcy of hockey. Sure I'm Canadian. But I'm one of those left-wing CBC loving Canadians, not one of those hockey-loving Toronto Sun reading Canadians.

I want my CBC Radio One back.

a wanderin'

September 15th, 2005 (07:41 am)

current mood: aggravated

Dearest mother,

Why is it that you try to smoke in your room when the smoking lounge is right across the hall? You know they'll kick you out. You've already been warned. Maybe that's why you just picked up last night and left without telling anyone?

Why didn't you use the sign out sheet? You've used them when you and I went out last time I visited. It's really easy to just put down when you left and where you're going. Not a big deal, is it? You're still totally free to go, just tell someone where.

The administrator called me at 7:30 this morning, asking if I'd know where you got to. But, luckily, I have no idea what goes on in your head. Maybe you're on a bus heading to the Soo, maybe you took a taxi to a motel where you plan to live out your days with freedom to smoke in your room. Who knows?

But I think you're pretty much screwing yourself out of a place to live. You can't live in a motel forever -it costs more than the retirement home and meals are not included. You can't get an apartment in Barrie, because you lit a fire in your last one. You're not going to find a more convenient retirement home for yourself. Simcoe Terrace has an indoor smoking lounge right across the hall from your room! No other retirement home in Barrie has that, that I know of. So, that leaves skanky group homes like Windermere House. Or the street. (you'll notice my place is not on your list of options)

I don't know why you never stabilized this time. You left the hospital and, to me and Alley anyway, it was clear that there was something very not right. Maybe it isn't psychiatric anymore. Maybe you're enjoying some sort of dementia? Maybe a brain tumour!

Well, here's hoping!

Sept 7

September 7th, 2005 (12:30 pm)

Hey - Dad would have turned 69 today.


September 7th, 2005 (12:20 pm)

My sister is in PEI on holiday. She sounds a lot less stressed on the phone. Of course, that's based on the messages she leaves on my cell phone. Seems I haven't picked up the phone in time the last two times she called.

PEI sounds like it would be a nice place to visit - but not necessarily my sister's kind of place. Ann of green gables, sandy beaches, seafood, potatoes... actually, I'm pretty sure my sis likes potatoes. Who doesn't like potatoes?

Mmmmm potatoes.

tomorrow, tomorrow

September 1st, 2005 (06:46 pm)

current mood: indifferent

I turn 40 tomorrow.

emcee la lynn

August 25th, 2005 (11:06 am)

I've been asked to be the Master of Ceremonies at S's sister's wedding. No one has ever asked me to participate in a wedding before (except as a photographer). So, that's nice. And I like the idea of being referred to as Master, but am not a natural public speaker. My voice changes pitch when I'm nervous, and my natural ebullient humour is strained. Still, I'm thinking about it...

Maybe by the time I've thought about it, she'll have asked someone else.

assholes at Don Valley Volkswagen

August 23rd, 2005 (12:46 pm)
pissed off

current mood: pissed off

A while ago, I brought my car into the dealership to get an oil change.  When I got the car back home, I noticed the driver's side door didn't work right.  It was as though the latch in the door wasn't striking properly.  Maybe they overlooked lubing the door parts.  So next time I was there, I asked about the door.  They looked at it and said it wasn't something they could fix... it would be better if I had their body shop look at it - but the body shop was open only M-F 9-5 type of thing.  They suggested that the next time I bring it in for servicing, I do so during those hours and get them to arrange an appt with the body shop for me.

Those hours are not remotely convenient for me, and it seemed it wasn't particularly serious, so next time I serviced the car I did it during the evening.  The technician must have noticed the door problem because the servicing rep came to me and asked if I knew the door didn't work properly.  Yep - sure do.  He suggested that the next time I bring it in for servicing, I do so on a weekday before 5, so that they could send it over to the body shop.

Ok ok... so this time I call the dealership to make an appointment for servicing.  I talk to a  fellow named Joe and say I need an oil change and a Drive Clean test AND I need the appointment during body shop hours because I need them to look at my door.  I asked if he could set it up with the body shop.  You betcha.

Then I take a half day off work so that it can be accomplished during the body shop's oh-so-convenient hours.  Three hours of me in an uncomfortable chair watching CP24 loop over and over again... and the smiling service rep call me over to his desk and hands me my key.  The car passed the Drive Clean test, the oil was changed, but the body shop would take another 2-3 hours (the hinge needs to be replaced, but they'd need to paint it black and let it dry first).  If only I had let them know ahead of time to make an appointment with the body shop...


So I explained that I took a fucking afternoon off because I was assured by Joe that it was all good and he'd take care of it.  Mark, the service rep, stopped smiling then and said if I wanted to make another appointment he'd guarantee that it would be done.  Ya - and take another afternoon off?  No thanks.  Why should I spend more vacation time on them than I do on myself lately.

Fuck them and their damned uncomfortable chairs!




wine barrel

August 22nd, 2005 (10:38 am)

current mood: pleased

Hey! S&L brought us a wine barrel that we can use for a rain barrel.  Woo hoo! 

Now all I need is something to plug up that bung hole!


I so need to wash my car

August 19th, 2005 (01:08 pm)

current mood: lazy

It's filthy - covered in road dirt and construction dirt from nearby, leaves from the tree its parked under, plus it's really getting junky inside.

I'm so lazy.

I need to:

- unpack stuff in my house (but first I have to buy cupboards and shelves to put the stuff that needs unpacking),
- wash my front room window
- sort out where to put the tv (or more specifically, where to put my living room),
- organize the shoes in the basement to free up some more shelf space,
- make a workshop area in the basement and store my tools etc,
- do something about the rug on the stairs and upstairs hallway (it's very ass),
- figure out where to store clothes (the basement isn't so damp now that we have the dehumidifier, but it may be a little too damp for clothing storage),
- make a window well for one of my basement windows,
- regrade the backyard,
- have the outside tap relocated,
- restain the Muskoka chairs,
- refinish the floors upstairs,
- install the Costco light fixture in the bathroom,
- buy a ladder,
- recaulk the tub,
- reapply caulking along the backsplash in the kitchen,
- paint some bare wood trim outside as well as the metal roof of the porch,
- get new knobs for the kitchen cupboards,
- paint the ceilings downstairs (they're paint over wallpaper and the wallpapaer is coming loose - so I need to sort that out too),
- paint the walls something other than off-white
- call someone in to prepare the boiler for the winter...

I feel like I've gotten so little done, but we've only been there for 2 months. I haven't even got a utility bill yet (waiting with bated breath to see what the electricity bill will be after the heat wave we've been having)

I have to say, though, the place really feels like home to me.


August 18th, 2005 (03:51 pm)

current mood: nostalgic

I bought some chiclets at lunch. Chiclets used to be this unique gum. Each piece was a tiny rectangle covered with a white candy coating. They came in a thin rectanglar cardboard box. Now pretty much all gum comes in a thin rectangular sleeve and has a hard shell. Everything is a chiclet now.

The chiclets are "sours". The strawberry ones taste JUST like Adams wild cherry gum from my childhood. I loved that gum - it had a fantastic taste. The only downside was that you'd suck the flavour and softness out of the gum pretty fast and have to get a new piece. The pack of gum didn't last very long.

Not surprisingly, these chiclets are exactly the same. Oh my aching jaw muscles!

Perfect Image

August 16th, 2005 (08:56 am)

current mood: proud

My sister got hired as a tattoo artist at Perfect Image in Wasaga Beach.  The shop is only open during the summer, but it gets crazy busy so she should make some good coin.  Too bad the summer is almost over, but hopefully she'll be able to set herself up for more good things to come.


Yay sis!





men still leave me presents....

August 12th, 2005 (09:56 pm)

current mood: discontent

The downside about living amongst the crack hos... the stuff that gets left behind in the laneway behind my house.

I need me some good ho repellant


August 11th, 2005 (03:32 pm)

current mood: curious

I just signed up for a gmail account because a) I'm bored and 2) I'm curious to see what kind of advertisements they'll choose for me based on the content of my email. Although it is a bit of a pain in the ass to use a new email account just for an experiment. Ah well - drop me a line and lets get the experiment rolling: lynnontop (at,you guessed it,) gmail.com.

retirement living at its finest

August 8th, 2005 (09:21 pm)

Li'l Sis snagged a private room at Simcoe Terrace, right across from the indoor smoking lounge. For a mere $1,850 (yes - twice what she's paying now to house herself and Li'l sis in a two bedroom apartment) she can live in warm and comfortable retirement living until her savings runs out.  So, all we need is for Dr. Ali  to fill out the medical questionnaire -- which he said he'd do "later".  Always accommodating.  A real people person.  I especially like the way he told her to sell her house, then a few years later told her it was the worse thing she could have done. That was right up there with telling her she had to give me Power of Attorney immediately (get the forms from the Social Worker and do it now) - then he fucked off and the hospital staff refused to witness mom's signature.  Oh ya, and he told her that he was taking her license away because of the meds she was on (great way to keep a schizophrenic on her meds is to tell her that the meds will prevent her from driving) - and that she could have her licence back if she stayed on her meds for a  year.  The year passed and when she asked about her licence, he said she'd have to get some other doctor to reinstate it.  ya - good way to build trust with your paranoid psychiatric patient.


chocolatey goodness

August 8th, 2005 (02:11 pm)

current mood: chipper

I'm currently enjoying a mocha Chiller from Second Cup, and a chocolate dipped macaroon (again, from Second Cup). The macaroon is, sadly, a disappointment... soft, flabby, not very coconutty - and the chocolate it's dipped in tastes less than super chocolatey. But the mocha chiller is making up for it all. Mmmmm I loves me a nice chiller.

Even though the chiller looks like some cheap-ass slushie, it's made from espresso and milk.  I think the Chillate and the Frappuccino (from Starbucks) are made from some sort of powdered mix.

Mind you, $6.52 for this wee snack is a little rich.  Not as rich as the cheaper Iced Cap from Tim Hortons.  Here's a scary >tidbit of info:

A big new seller, and one of the cheaper buys in the latest thirst- quenching fad, is Tim Horton's Iced Cappuccino.
The large-sized, 18-ounce drink, which sells for $2.89, has 457 calories and 23 grams of fat. That's 51 more calories and eight grams of fat than two pepperoni pizza slices from Domino's Pizza. To picture what 23 grams of ingested fat looks like, imagine eating six teaspoons of fat.

Icepresso Chiller (Second Cup, 16 oz.) - 208 calories, 3 grams of fat

Coffee Frappuccino (Starbucks, 16 oz.) - 240 calories, 2.5 grams of fat

Iced Creme Brulee Ristretto (Second Cup, 16 oz.) -439 calories, 21 grams fat.

Caramel Frappuccino (Starbucks, 16 oz.) - 400 calories, 11 grams fat.

Iced Cappuccino (Tim Horton's, 14 oz.) - 365 calories, 17 grams fat.