WHY THIS BLOG?

I AM PARCA'S CHOSEN:
Parca is the Roman Goddess of Childbirth and Destiny and after you get to know me, you will see why I believe she has, without doubt, made me her Poster Child. I deal with the odd serious issue but for the most part, my posts are just some cheeky fun, reviews of favorite shows, and true stories that will make you laugh out loud (or run screaming...I don't know you well enough to predict your behavior). You'll find satire with the odd parody tossed in....and definitely a heaping helping of hyperbole.

I am Canadian so expect a bit of politeness too. Sorry.

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1) MY eBOOKS CAN BE FOUND ON AMAZON HERE:
DENISE ON AMAZON
2) MY eBook Trailers are on YOUTUBE
3) My website:denisesevierfries.com
4) My Photo-Art Youtube Trailer is here too.

5) My old monthly column: The Lighter Side of Self Publishing
6) Outlander Series Facebook forum: the popular book/tv series group I am admin on, is The BEST and BIGGEST with over 77,000+ members! Come join us! *click on bold red words

Monday, November 29, 2010

A RADIOACTIVE ADVENTURE

Around 1995 when I was in my mid 30’s, I was diagnosed as having Grave’s Disease (a catchy name that offers such hope and comfort) which is a type of hyperthyroidism. Apparently I’d had it for many years, but doctors in the 70’s and 80’s were usually suffering acid flashbacks from the 60’s and often missed things like this. Gym teachers were just as clueless I guess, as I recall our class once took our collective resting pulses and the teacher, upon seeing mine was 110, laughed and joked, “What boy are you thinking of, eh?”

Imagine that! What I thought was love at first sight (about twice a day) was only an undiagnosed medical condition. How droll!

As an adult, the symptoms lay hidden in the chaos of perpetual pregnancies and the constant chasing after multiple rugrats. I ate like a horse and stayed slim. Why mess with that?

Among the dozen symptoms, most of which I had, the most life altering were difficulty sleeping and extreme body heat; I used to walk around in runners without socks in -40 degree winters and nobody thought twice about it. I was called The Human Furnace (I was hot before Paris Hilton made it a catchphrase). I do thank The Fates though, that I did not have the one very conspicuous symptom that 50% of sufferers acquire: exophthalmos (protruding eyes). The actor Marty Feldman had it but it actually helped his comedic career!


 (*I was never a raving beauty but I don’t think I could have scored half the beers and shooters that eager Romeos bought me on the weekend if I’d looked like that!)


It all started one afternoon when I took my eldest son to see Darroch, our family doctor and good friend, and he looked at me quizzically and pointed to my throat...

Darroch: I don’t think singing in the choir is supposed to give you a big lump on your throat. You have a goiter.

Denise: I disagree. It looks more like a crocodile than an alligoiter.

He didn’t laugh.

You didn't either.

Tough crowd.

He referred me to an endocrinologist near Vancouver...a LONG way from Dawson Creek, my Northern BC home. I didn’t want to go because I felt perfectly healthy. My throat may have been a bit lumpy but nothing a 200$ silk scarf couldn’t fix. Besides, it would be too expensive and troublesome to fly down for just a silly 20 minute exam.

Alas! The Fates would not be thwarted.

The next day, Murray, a good friend who flew up monthly from White Rock to work as an Oral Surgeon out of my then-husband’s dental office, told me about some tickets he’d scored.

Murray: I was working on a patient in the hospital last week and the anesthetist looks up and says, “Does anyone here like that Pavarotti guy? I have some tickets for his concert and don’t want them.” I got them for half price at $400.00 each! Do you want one? Dorothy will take the other and you can go together.

Denise: Holy shit, YES! (I am nothing if not exceedingly eloquent)

I booked my appointment with the specialist to coincide with the concert and a couple of months later, I was on my way. I met at length with Dr. Mary Blair, a tall, distinguished looking woman who told me that I had handled my disease amazing well:

Denise: Thanks. I do feel quite fine actually. I have four active children and a hectic schedule so can I just leave well enough alone a carry on as usual?

Dr. Blair: Sure you can. But your heart is beating 10 times faster than normal and if you chose to do nothing, you will probably be dead by time you are 50.

Denise: What time is the surgery?

I was a little shook-up with the image of my impending doom clearly formed in my mind’s eye, so to lighten the mood before I left, she tried a little small talk...

Dr. Blair: So... enjoy the concert tonight! I'm going as well, so maybe I’ll see you there?

Denise: You’ll find me easily enough. I’ll be the one stripped naked and screaming, hanging onto Pavarotti’s legs onstage.

I guess I wanted shake her up with a nice little image for her mind’s eye too.

I put the fear away for later and that night, Dorothy (Murray’s lovely and accomplished wife) and I went to see Luciano Pavarotti and it was worth every penny. To add to the excitement, I was even shushed at one point by an elderly couple who looked so rich that they brought their servants to turn their program pages for them. Thurston Howell III and Lovey from Gilligan’s Island lounging in $800.00 seats. Back in Dawson Creek, I was a well-to-do dentist’s wife but in Vancouver, I was one of the Clampett’s, thrilled that my hotel had a cee-ment pond.

A week or so later, to avoid surgery, I was advised to try to kill off my overachieving thyroid (the only part of me, physically or mentality, that had a desire to work harder than it should, I might add) with Radioactive Iodine. I was told I would be considered ‘radioactively contaminated’ for 24 hours and should stay alone for that period of time and for three days afterwards, I should avoid children, pregnant women and flush twice. It did not inspire confidence. Little did I know that inspiring confidence was not their strong suit and soon to hit an all-time low.

I was led into a small room with white walls, doors and floors that was barren save for a small metal stool in the corner. Sitting on the stool, I was given a lead-lined bib the size of a washcloth for me to place over my chest. I was informed that I would be given Radioactive Iodine to drink and it would be colorless and tasteless.

Just like my cooking.

What happened next can only be truly appreciated if you are familiar with The Simpson’s.

The door opened and a man (I assume it was male and of my own species) dressed in white from head to toe, walked in and closed the door slowly behind him. Imagine Homer Simpson in his radioactive work suit or an astronaut: stiff, lead-lined bodysuit with rounded, shoulder-length headgear that covered the entire head like a Star Wars Trooper, sporting a small rectangular viewing window. His/Her/It's white boots looked thick and clunky.

Walking towards me with his arm straight out, as far away from his body as possible, he wore thick white lead-lined gloves that looked like massive BBQ mitts. At the end of the mitt he was holding long silver prongs that looked like an extended hotdog holder and at they very end of those, was a small glass vial of clear liquid.

Sitting there in my jeans, open-toe sandals and short sleeved T-shirt I clutched my lead-lined postage stamp over the general area of my heart and started to laugh. You know, that ‘I-am-so-fucked’ giggle that comes out when you know you’re in way over your head..

Denise: (in a nonchalant, joking voice) Should I be worried?

Homer: (in a muffled, robotic tone) Drink this.

Denise: With my bare hand?

Homer: (raises vial a little higher; viewing window fogs up)

Denise: (grabs vial like a shot glass and salutes Homers good health) Bottom’s up!


I admit, being left alone in glorious, uninterrupted silence, blowing dust off of movies not meant for innocent eyes and eating my favorite pizzas (slid under the door) was a treat at first, but I soon missed not being able to kiss my kid’s amazingly smoochable cheeks, and it ruined what should have been a fabulous, glow-in-the-dark holiday.

FREDDY MERCURY WOULD APPROVE, i think

Okay...here is another Canada Writes project I did. If you haven't read the first one, scroll down and sing along. It will get you in the mood. *nudge nudge wink wink*

This time, we were to re-write the lyrics to the ubiquitous and legendary hit song by Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, and once again, give it a personal spin. If you don't know this one, I can only feel sadness for the sorry-ass life you have lived thus far. Get yourself to a pub or bar quickly and you will probably hear it at least twice before your first drink comes...

Original lyrics:
Is this the real life-
Is this just fantasy-
Caught in a landslide-
No escape from reality-
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see-
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy-
Because I'm easy come,easy go,
A little high,little low,
Anyway the wind blows,doesn't really matter to me,
To me

...............................................................................................................
 My lyrics:
Have I reached mid-life
What is this paunch I see
I had a waist once
But its somewhere below my knees
All full of gas
I once had an ass that killed,
Why are you screaming, I can hear every word
Your thinking, she is fat, she is old,
she has pits full of mold;
Don’t you get so cocky, soon you’ll be an old fart, you’ll see,
Like me.
 ..............................................................................................................

Yes...I know what you are thinking. I missed my calling. A song lyricist is hiding deep within me, dying to get out. Don't worry. I will keep her subdued and under lock and key.

For now.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RE-WORKING ABBA'S 'WATERLOO"

*NOTE: If you don't know ABBA's hit song Waterloo, pass this entry by. You won't get it. (But I urge you to find it on YouTube immediately and become One with the Rest of The World).

                                                                     *

Canada Writes offered a fun-type project once wherein they asked you to write new lyrics to the ever-famous Waterloo and give it a personal spin. I did just that and here is my creation. I must say, that I rather like my song much better. It's more...I don't know...meaty, I guess. Sing along and enjoy!

Original lyrics:
My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - Finally facing my Waterloo

My, my, I tried to hold you back but you were stronger
Oh yeah, and now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight
And how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose
(Chorus)
........................................................
 My lyrics:
The scale! I cannot bear to look where I am standing
Two ten? That used to be the number of my locker but no more
My God... I’ve got so... much to lose
Can you... see if I’m... wearing shoes?

Middle age! Here it is knocking on my back door
Middle age! I’m finding hair where twern’t before
Middle age! Back is shot, where’s my pot, got a light?
Middle age! Total... denial... will make it right
Middle age! Haven’t got... energy... left to fight...

Before! I used to eat all day and never gain weight
But now! I gain a pound by looking at a picture of a cake
Forgive me for being so crass
But it all... seems to stick... to my ass!

(repeat chorus)

MY BRUSH WITH ERMA

I like to write. I am as yet unpublished but I figure if Walter The Farting Dog can make it, I have as good a chance as anyone. 'Perseverance' is the word I live by. That and 'psychoanalysis', but that's a whole other story...

A couple of years back, I entered a writing contest. I wanted to step back from the daily drudge of composing the next epic bestseller and flex my humor muscle. With this is in mind, I decided to enter the 12th Annual Erma Bombeck Writing Competition (put on by the Washington-Centerville Public Library in the USA) which I happened across in one of my myriad researching forays into the Googlesphere. I am a longtime fan of Erma Bombeck who was a famous humorist and newspaper columnist and I thought it would be fun to get into her mode writing. Snorting a line of Erma never hurt anyone.

The contest was for a 450 word (or less) essay in the Human Interest or Humor categories and having produced five of the funniest and sweetest children on the planet, I consider myself an expert on matters of the funny bone.

There were 1350 entries from over 18 countries and all 50 States and nope, I didn't win (the US dominated), but there were 8 Honorable Mentions and although most of them were American as well, there was ONE lone foreigner chosen...and yepper, it was me!

I was thrilled silly! How intoxicating to see your name in print...in the USA...online...and spelled right! I received a certificate in the mail and every time I look at it, I am reminded that somebody besides my family, and people I bribe to compliment me, like what I write.

*Here is my entry and yes, it is a true story:


Where's Your Brother?

Since our family lived on 14 secluded acres outside the town limits of a small Northern community, our children would take the school bus to and from school. Once in a while, there would be nobody home when the bus dropped them off, so a key was hidden for their use.

It was unusual for any of the kids to ride the bus without one or more siblings, but circumstance saw our eldest son Steven dropped off by himself one cold winter afternoon and seeing both vehicles gone from the driveway, he assumed he was completely on his own. He rang the doorbell to make sure and then used the extra key to let himself in the house.

Unbeknown to him, one of the cars was in the shop being serviced and I was actually home, hunkered down and asleep and thoroughly concealed on the big leather couch in the living room that was adjacent to our large, open-air kitchen. Being 7 months pregnant, I was prone to spontaneous naps.

A typical teenager, Steven headed straight for the kitchen and began foraging for food. I groggily awoke to the clatter and without lifting myself up, I spoke out, my voice thick and raspy from sleep, sounding like Linda Blair from The Exorcist, “Where’s your brother?”

A sudden, eerie hush fell over the room and then, after a few moments a cautious rustling of a cookie package cut into the silence. Once again, I croaked out a sleepy, “Where’s your brother?”

The cupboard door slammed shut and a deathly quiet hung in the air. Peering over the couch, I was about to ask my son why he wasn’t answering, when, to my surprise, I saw him backed up against the fridge, his pale white face staring at our cat, Olly, who was sitting and yawning nonchalantly on the floor. Looking up at me, Steven's color returned in full force as he stuttered in obvious relief, “Mom! I thought Olly was talking to me!”

When he had first heard that disembodied voice ask about his brother, he had looked about only to see Olly lying on the kitchen floor, staring up at him thoughtfully. He reasoned that he must have been imagining things and continued his rummaging about when he heard the creepy voice ask for his brother again and he turned to see the cat with her mouth wide open, looking as if she’d just asked the question!


A wise woman once said: Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. May I add: Never give them the key to the house either.