Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year - 2006, where the hell did you go?

Well, here we are - the last few days of 2006, and what a year it's been. I can't believe the time has flown by so quickly. In an attempt to figure out where the time went, I will be doing a re-cap. Yes, I know they can get boring, but I've done my best to spruce this up a bit.

**psst - I tried for pictures for every song - but due to switching comptuers, and Yahoo not wanting to co-operate, you're getting what yer getting**

DISCLAIMER: I did not take any of these pictures (except the cabin), and at this point, I'm not sure where they came from. I just know that I'M not taking any credit for them.

January - I started the year in a cabin up north with ol' whatzhisname and a couple of other friends. Very peaceful, no tv, just four friends, booze, some weed and a game of Scene It. Oh yeah, and some toboggans and a very slick run. VERY ZEN.

I eagerly anticipated the beginning of American Idol. I instantly fall in love with a grey-haired singer from Alabama during the Las Vegas auditions, and become a member of the AI boards for the first time in history. While there, I meet a group of absolutely FABULOUS people and we are dubbed the Soul Patrol, which in itself is a really cool fan nickname. Simon Cowell predicts that even though Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul put Taylor through to Hollywood, he won't make it to the finals.

Work wise I was still just doing security, but the year started with some fantastic shows. Mainly four shows of Bon Jovi. SIGH. What a man...{drool}...what a voice....{more drool}. I also saw Hilary Duff twice, which sucked because hot men don't go see teenage singing sensations unless they're either a) gay (which I have no problem with, but then there's no point in hitting on them :D) or b) creepy pedophiles.

February - Second month of the year, and things are looking good for Mr. Hicks. I spend more time glued to my computer getting to know my online friends, and as a result ol' you - know - who spends more time bitching about how the internet is the worst possible thing to ever be invented. Although I do come up for air long enough to remember to buy him a few DVD's for his birthday present. I also spent every Wednesday night glued to the TV set. I also sat on the couch for the first time - and haven't left since.

Concerts viewed during this month: Nickleback, Gowan (but this one I went to as a patron - he did Strange Animal live with an orchestra and it was AMAZING), and Jann Arden. It would have been more, but I spent most of my shifts working the AHL games - GO MARLIES GO!! (The Toronto Maple Leafs farm team for those who didn't know - yes Bond, that's hockey).

Taylor performance -
February 22nd: He sang LEVON, and just about melted my soul, but I stayed strong, for I must have known that there was more to come.

March - Within a matter of four days, my grandmother had surgery, fell and broke her hip while taking a theraputic walk through the hospital, and had immediate hip replacement surgery. I had an interview at ManPower for some temp work in the school board - I had figured that as long as I was going to give up my soul for a 9-5 desk job, I might as well try to get in where I can get my summers off right? It went well, and I started my first assignment at an adult education centre on the 15th.

I also had a tooth extraction done, my first ever, and spent half the week on the couch in complete and total pain.

My grandfather turned 85 - god bless him. He still thinks he's 39.....

Concerts/events: Motley Crue (and was asked to party with Tommy Lee himself!!! Had to say no tho cuz my boss was giving me the evil eye - bastard...), Hedley (for those who don't know - these guys are amazing!! Another example of prime Canadian talent), and Oasis (after the third time, these guys get boring).

Taylor Performances -
March 1st: The Top 20: Taylor sang EASY, and I definately would have been had he been there in the room with me....and the term THUD is born....

March 8th: In the Top 16, Taylor sang what was to be one of my favourite performances of his (and is still the ring tone on my phone) TAKING IT TO THE STREETS - c'mon ladies, y'all know the moment I'm talking about - the THUD worthy moment during that song - YOU.....

March 15th: The Top 12 (he's getting closer!): Taylor sings LIVIN' FOR THE CITY, and every woman in the SP is packing her bags to move to whatever city that is....

March 22nd: The Top 11: Taylor let us know that he will NOT FADE AWAY with this Buddy Holly classic. All I remember is the suit. SIGH.

March 29th: The TOP TEN: Taylor lets us all know that he's TROUBLE, and we don't really care.

HE MADE IT!!!!!!!

April - Nothing too noteworthy in April. I went and partied with the gang from work for Junie's bday on the 14th, whom Mr. Grumps hates cuz they're all younger and a lot more fun than he is, and also he wasn't invited. Was still drunk the next day when I got out of bed (that's what happens when you get home at four in the morning), and had another party to go to that night. What a weekend! Glad I don't repeat those too often.... ummm...on second thought, keep reading. :D

at Casino Rama. Thanks to my boss Ross (who's usually not that nice), he got me third row tickets FOR FREE!! As usual, a stellar show by my boyz.

Concerts/events: Weren 't too many in April. Korn, Joe Satriani, and Train. Granted, three great shows.....

Taylor Performances -
April 5th: The Top Nine: Taylor was originally going to sing a Hank Williams Jr. song, but TPTB vetoed that one, and the man was forced to choose another song. With TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS, he did a fine job, but wasn't up to the par that we were used to. Never mind tho, we still got him through to the next round.

April 12th: The Top Eight: This CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE has us hooked on our Grey Charles. A mic kick gone wrong earns him ribs from the judges, but it's all in good fun.

April 19th: The Top Seven: YOU SEND ME successfully sent all the Soul Patrol searching for thudding mats - this was when we finally invested in some.

April 26th: The Top Six: JUST ONCE I'd like to have that man sing only to me.....but I think I'd have to fight Dana for him.....

May - Well, my assignment at St. Gabriels' ended with little fanfare (thanks to those who used the telephone to keep in touch during this time - you know who you are *wink wink*). I did have a ball at that school tho - the teachers were all hooked on Idol, but only one other person there was a Taylor fan (and he was hot). The head secretary was an Elliot fan, and I thought of her when he was eliminated.

Personally, not a lot happened in this month for me. I wish it had.....

Concerts/events: Pearl Jam, Canadian Idol auditions, INXS, Seether, The Cult and Depeche Mode. A good line up eh?

Taylor Performances -
Well, since it's coming down to the wire, the Idols are asked to sing two songs pertaining to the themes. TWO doses of Taylor per night? Who could ask for anything more?

May 3rd: The Top Five: There's SOMETHING in the way that man mooooooooooves me.....SIGH. What a performance.

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC, cuz I think I've thudded through to China. Can that man MOVE or what???? And that shirt is to die for...

May 10th: The Top Four: Elvis week and two songs once more. Taylor got the crowd moving with JAILHOUSE ROCK,

and then

TAYLOR SAID TURN , (yes Liz, we know!) when he gave the best performance of IN THE GHETTO
I've ever heard. In my opinion (and I'm a huge Elvis fan) this one beats the King.

AND, in a surprising elimination, we say goodbye to Chris Daughtry, when everyone knows that the McFever should have been cured weeks ago.

May 17th: The Top Three: It gets even better cuz now it's THREE songs from the top three.
Taylor wows us with DANCING IN THE DARK,


and then blows us away with TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS. There was an earthquake registered after this performance as women the world over thudded continuously.

May 23rd: The Top Two: Fighting for the end (we're also all laughing at Simon), Taylor sings Do I Make You Proud, which would be his first single as the new American Idol should he win (as we all knew he would), and then capped it off with amazing repeat performances of Levon and Living for the City. I spend four hours on Skype voting as you-know-who goes to sleep.

May 24th: THE FINALS: A star studded performance roster

is no match for the power of Taylor being announced the

new American Idol!!

The SP had only three words BITE ME SIMON!!!

All over the world, the Soul Patrol is crying, celebrating, and screaming (oh yeah, and thudding). We celebrate online by throwing walnuts (not flaming), confetti, nerf harmonicas, and tayboggans. This is the first time I've participated in something this big - first time I've ever had the chance to vote and the first time ever in a reality show that the person I picked in the beginning has won. I thank God the old ball and chain is asleep so I can cry in peace.

June - Wow, what am I going to watch now that AI is no longer on? Hmmm. Have to find something to do with my time - oh wait - that's right. CANADIAN Idol is starting soon, and I apply to a website to be their A number one girl to review that series. I begin my tenure at Nothing too exciting in my life....just work. SIGH.

Concerts/events worked: Snow Patrol, Ministry, Dennis DeYoung (amazing show - I highly recommend getting the DVD), George Strait, Mark Knopfler & EmmyLou Harris, Bachman & Cummings, and Dashboard Confessional.

July - The most exciting thing to happen this month was my birthday. We went to Darien Lake with two friends and had the most amazing time - I still hate sleeping in those damn trailers tho. Worked my ass off.

On July 13, my friend Kristine emails me with the link to the front page of the CablePulse 24 website.

This is a guy we used to work with at the Royal Alex. ICK - nuff said.

Concerts/Events: Canada Day Jam (didn't work it - country artists - amazing show), Unholy Alliance Tour feat. Slayer, Lamb of God, and a few other bands I don't know; Taking Back Sunday, CSNY, Nickelback, 3 Days Grace, Edgefest, Ashlee Simpson (the most BORING show ever done), WWE event, Counting Crows, Goo Goo Dolls, Ozzfest, and to end the month - Hilary Duff AGAIN.

August - Spent three days at my BIL's cottage, went to a Jack & Jill, went to a bachelor/bday party, and that was about it. Nothing exciting at all happened this month. Oh yeah, went to the CNE with the nephew. THAT was fun. :D Oh yeah, almost forgot - WE GOT OUR TRUCK.

I love that thing - spent the whole month learning to drive standard.

Concerts/events: Poison (worked half the show, watched the other half with my drunk friends in the front row - CC DeVille is YUMMY), Van Morrison, Chyenne Kimball autograph session and private performance, Warp Tour, Mariah Carey (this one was torture to sit through), Teddy Geiger autograph session and mall performance, Mary J. Blige, Blue Rodeo, Shakira, and it ended with the Family Values tour.

September - I keep praying for the AI Tour to come to Toronto, but just my luck, this is the one year they miss us. :( My anniversary was this month - it's a miracle we've made it to eight years. And another miracle happens - we both go to a party for my work friends, and he actually has A GOOD TIME. (I almost pass out from the shock).

I pulled yet another double drinking weekend, with my friend Ken's bday on the Friday at Zen (again, 4am when I come home), and my friends Connie & Nigel's wedding on the Saturday - where, I desperately tried to get drunk again (open bar) and just couldn't pull it off. Well, I arrived drunk, so I guess it all worked out....

We passed five years of that horrific day on 09/11. It took a lot for some of us to get through it, especially those of us that were personally affected. We stood strong as a world united.

Concerts/events: Ben Harper, Tom Petty (what a show that was), Black Eyed Peas, Toronto Film Festival openings, Beyonce autograph session and then mini concert, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Gigantour (feat. Megadeath)

Oh yeah, and did I mention TAYLOR GOES GOLD!!!! Do I Make You Proud? reports physical sales of 442,399!

October - On the first (still hung over from the party the night before) I did the CIBC 10k walk for Breast Cancer. Dunno how I managed that.....but I was up at six a.m. and survived. We know that our darling Taylor turned 30 on October 7th. I went to Buffalo with my family and my first real paycheck - I got a job on the 10th working in a transmission shop. I spent $400 and didn't even blink an eye. It was a great feeling. Oh yeah, and I met Russ Irwin, the absolute adorable keyboardist from Aerosmith.

Concerts/events: Aerosmith & Motley Crue (on the same show - amazing!), James Blunt, Evanessence, Beck, Rascall Flats

*not a lot of concerts, as most occur during the summer months - during the winter, it's a whole lot of hockey*

November - Again, nothing exciting, except I finally find out where I stand with a so-called-friend of mine. Hurts me to the core, and causes me to examine my relationships with other people. Get a brutal ear infection which causes me to lose two days of work at my day job and five nights of work with security. Pisses off my night boss, but what can I do?

Concerts/events: GNR, Tenacious D - told ya it was slow

December - Well, with Christmas upon us, it's running around like headless chickens to make sure we get the most perfect gifts for everyone that we can. I hit the theatre to see WICKED with my best friend of 25 years and then we hit the bar where I proceed to shoot tequila on an empty stomach, and down 6 double rum & diet cokes in two hours. Needless to say...of course the next day I have to head an hour north to my brother in laws for the annual Xmas gathering. And of course, in true Angell fashion, I'm still drunk.

Concerts/events: Dashboard Confessional and some hockey


Well, that's the year in review. What have I learned this year? I've learned that people are going to think what they want about you, regardless of what you have to say on the matter. I've learned that people who are in different cities can still be close friends, even if you've never met them face to face. I've learned that the human heart is an amazing thing that can expand to include any number of people. I've learned that just because you lust after someone doesn't make you a bad person. I've learned that writing can cleanse your soul. I've learned that it's always best to blame the Damm Duck
(even if you just want to squeeze the stuffing out of him). BUT

The most important lesson I've learned

It's all about the music. It's all about the soul.

To all my new friends out there in SP land - I love you all (and yes, more than Anndi's luggage). Stay safe this New Year's Eve. Embrace your loved ones, and if you can't, embrace those around you. I hope you are all surrounded by love and happiness in the coming year, and I really hope that I can meet y'all one day soon.

Until 2007.... I remain now, and forever will be, your Angell.

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

P.S. This took me THREE DAYS to complete, so y'all had better like it. :D

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Six Weird things about me...hmmmm

Hey to all the hoochies and hotties (sorry Mary - love that line and just couldn't resist. I promise not to steal it again).

Ok I was tagged for this meme by one of the original WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sisters, my girl Maryfly (pop on over to BS & Recipes when u get a chance).

WOW - only six huh? Well, here goes nuttin'....

Here are the rules:

The Rules:
Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

6. I have to sleep with noise in the background. But it can't be just any noise - the tv, radio, conversation will keep me awake. It has to be a humming sound, like a humidifier or a fan. It drives good old you-know-who batty, but I can't sleep without it.

5. I still have every note written and passed to me in class from high school. I can't bear to throw them out. It keeps me connected with my childhood.

4. I have a "thing" for office supplies. Don't ask - I don't know WHERE it came from. But I can bet you there's approximately five hundred pens in my house (of course there's never one when I need one), and I'm always adding more.

3. Rather than wrestle with my hair, on bad hair days, I will just wet it, plaster it to my head and then toss on one of my wigs.

2. I can despise a song with all my heart, but if I know the lyrics and it comes on the radio, I will sing along with it. Doesn't matter - my mother says it's just cuz I love the sound of my own voice.

1. I still believe in Santa.

NOW, seeing as how I don't know how many people have been tagged already, I'll go by which ones haven't posted yet - lol. SO....

Suzie, Anndi, Dana, Paul, Tezzie, and um....well, anyone else who wants to take this spot.


Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Biggest Fan?

Well, we are FINALLY getting a brand new computer - not one that ol' whatzhisface has built from scraps of other practically dead computers - a brand new one!

So I was going through all my photos on my hard drive and transferring them to my online Yahoo account, when I realized that I had over 1500 pictures of Taylor Hicks.

Which got me to thinking - how does one determine if they are the biggest fan? Does possession of every media clip, every picture, every magazine article, and in fact every CD that the person in question has done - does THAT make a person the biggest fan?

If I should decide that I don't need 1500 pictures of Taylor, does that mean I love him less?

I don't think so.

I remember, growing up and obsessed with NKOTB (ok, no laughing), I had to have EVERYTHING that the marketing genius' behind the group slapped their pic on. I had pillowcases, scrap books, magazines, dolls, trading cards, stickers, t-shirts, puzzles....I could go on and on (and I did - ask my mother). I felt, as most teenagers do when obsessing about a band, that if I didn't own every single one of these things that I didn't love the band as much as I said I did. I even had an NKOTB themed bday party. But that's what the vultures in marketing feed on - that naive opinion. That's why they can get away with charging $25.00 for a "tour book" in the stores, or $50 for a double DVD set.

As we get older, we're supposed to get smarter - and maybe some do. But, at the beginning of January, when I fell in love with our Tay Tay, I saved every picture I could find to my hard drive. I've downloaded every possible clip ... burned every song.

And yet, all I can think of is WHY do I have over 1500 pictures? Some of them - and no shooting please - I don't even like. There are some that I think are awful pics of him, but I still have them. Do I plan on printing out all 1500 pics? Hell NO, cuz I can't even catalogue the ones I have now. I've got scrapbooks and embellishments, and stickers and plans, but I have yet to make ONE page of a scrapbook.

And, still thinking here, who's job is it to judge who's the biggest fan anyway? And why is it such a competition? Most of the time, it just means that some have more disposable income than others.

I think what makes you a fan is your love for the product that your favourite performer (or player) produces. If that person touches your soul, whether you have 1500 pictures of them, or 5, you're a fan.

So, I'm forgetting about what it means to be the biggest fan - which, in the end is nothing - and I'm just going to be a fan.

And I'm cutting my pictures down from 1500 to a more manageable number. What that is, I'm not sure yet. But I'm sure it will grow back to that number in time - because his career is going to be LONG and prosperous.

I'm sure my hard drive will thank me.

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - What I love about Xmas

Ok, so, with it being Christmas time, I thought I would do my Thursday Thirteen about my favourite time of year.

SO….that being said – here we go…..

Thirteen Things about Angell and Christmas

13. The Carols – and no I’m not talking about my mom, although I do happen to love the woman. No, I mean the wonderful Christmas songs that fill us with cheer, a little bit of sadness, and generally remind us that there is something worth smiling about. I listen to them from the middle of November, and I don’t stop until New Years.

12. The presents – and no, I’m not talking about the ones I open up. I’m talking about the ones that I give to other people. I just love watching their faces when they open up what I’ve gotten them. This year, I got you-know-who Wrestlemania tickets, and let me tell you – keeping this secret is the hardest one I’ve ever had to keep.

11. The lights – oh my god the lights! The wonderful, colorful, fabulous, creative, twinkling, sparkling, creations that adorn the houses and trees in your neighbourhoods or in the city. There is nothing like a crisp winter night spent wandering through the streets taking in the amazing displays.

10. Family – ok, so I see mine on a regular basis, but there’s just something different about everyone getting together to pick out Dad’s Xmas gift, or finding just the right outfit to take the nephew to see Santa (after all, these pictures will outlast his childhood).

9. The Food – and yes, I mean all the junk. The cookies, baked especially for the season. The chocolates that everyone gives everyone else in the office. The smells of turkey and stuffing cooking on Christmas day. And of course, those specialty dishes that everyone hauls out for the season – and they’re ONLY made during the season.

8. Santa Claus – You’re never too old for Santa. Frankly, and to those that know me, this will come as no shock, I still believe in him. Every year, I leave out cookies and milk for the big guy, and a few carrots for the reindeer. Of course, every year they’re still there in the a.m. and I have to try and stop everyone from drinking the milk. But one day they’ll be gone….

7. The shopping – most people think I’m insane when I say that, but I love the hustle and bustle of malls during the season. It’s different from the usual crowds. Everyone seems a little lighter (even while arms are overflowing with packages), more cheerful.

6. The weather – ok, so this year is a little screwy here in Toronto. But the usual winter weather for this time of year is clear, crisp and cold. But I can usually see the stars at night – not very clearly, but I can still see them. I don’t know about you – but I can SMELL Christmas in the air.

5. Wrapping presents – yes, I know I’m insane. But I love to wrap gifts. It’s calming and relaxing, and just overall enjoyable for me. In fact, most of the family enlists me to do their wrapping for them.

4. Generosity – Yes, I agree that it should come out every day, not just every Christmas. But to see complete strangers going out of their way to help someone else makes my heart smile. If every day could be that way….

3. The events in the city – skating at city hall, taking in the windows downtown, hot chocolate in a little cafĂ© after shopping all day, concerts happening in the court areas of the malls, Santa sightings, craft exhibits. There’s a never ending array of things to do during the holidays.

2. The smiles – look at the people that surround you. Not all of them will be, but most will be smiling. Not necessarily at anything in particular, in fact, they might not even be aware that they ARE smiling. But it’s there. And it makes you think, for just one moment, that there is hope for this world after all.

1. The Holiday TV Specials – there are new ones every year to look forward to, and the old ones are still so great. I watch A Christmas Eve on Sesame Street every Xmas eve (usually by myself cuz HE’S asleep). And I can’t miss A Year Without A Santa Claus (this year they made a live action one that was GREAT).

SIGH – with so many great reasons to love Xmas, why would anyone be a Grinch?


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ok no Wordless Wednesday for me....

...cuz as USUAL, I'm behind in everything again.

Congrats to my wonderful friend Sue and her new husband Frank!!!!

In honor of your nuptuals, I've decided to post the lyrics to the song I danced to at my wedding. It's a beautiful ballad by a Canadian country artist named Paul Brandt.

I DO - Paul Brandt

I’ve seen the storm clouds in your past
But rest assured ’cause you are safe
At home at last
I rescued you, you rescued me
And we’re right where we should be
When we’re together

I know the questions in your mind
But go ahead and ask me one more time
You’ll find the answer’s still the same
It won’t change from day to day
For worse or better

Will I promise
to be your best friend
And am I here until the end
Can I be sure I have been waiting for you
And did I say my love is true

Baby I will,
I am,
I can,
I have,
I do

I know the time will disappear
But this love we’re building on will always be here
No way that this is sinking sand
On this solid rock we’ll stand forever


Baby I will,
I am,
I can,
I have

Oh, I will,
I am,
I can,
I have

Baby I will,
I am,
I can,
I have,
I do

I would embed the song, but I couldn't find it online. So Sue, I wish you and Frank NOTHING but health, wealth and happiness. I can't think of anyone I know who deserves it more - well, maybe one other woman who I KNOW will find Mr. Right (even if he doesn't have grey hair). So, always love with all your heart, trust with all your soul, and remember - we want to see pictures!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tagged by Bond - sorry for WW

Tagged by BOND by request, so here's my answers (yah yah I know, should be wordless Wednesday)

Five Snacks I Enjoy:

1. Cookies - just about any kind
2. Chocolate - again, just about any kind
3. popcorn with butter
4. Ice cream - Breyers Strawberry or Bordeaux Cherry
5. regular ruffles chips with honey dip (don't laugh - it's awesome)

Five bands/artists that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs:

1. Styx
2. Nelson
3. Lawrence Gowan
4. Jimmy Buffet
5. Taylor Hicks

Five things I would do with $100,000,000:

1. Get everyone in the family to sell their homes and just buy an island :D
2. Pay for college educations for all children
3. 20% to charity...
Rebuild baseball fields ruined by Katrina and Rita
Women's shelters
Aids related charities
Lymphoma Research
Pancreatic Cancer
4. Throw a big party for firends and family with special musical guests (I have actualy thought this one out! ~ I have too Bond. )
5. Travel and continue charitable works
*Bond, those sounded so good, decided to keep 'em*

Five locations I’d like to run away to:

1. Italy
2. Australia
3. Fiji
4. Jamaica
5. Scotland

Five things I like doing:

1. surfing the net
2. performing (singing, acting or dancing)
3. getting caught up in a good story - tv, movie or otherwise
4. Writing
5. daydreaming

Five things I wish I could wear:

1. anything under my current size
2. a regular bra
3. chaps (why not)
4. any kind of hat (with curly hair it's hard to keep it on)
5. braids

Five TV shows I like:

1. CSI (Vegas)
2. Heros
3. American Idol
4. How I Met Your Mother
5. Las Vegas

Five Movies:

1. Rocky Horror Picture Show
2. Casablanca
3. The Pirate Movie
4. Top Gun
5. Almost Famous

Five famous people I’d like to meet:


1. Kate Hudson
2. Elton John
3. Diana Gabaldon
4. Dennis Leary
5. Rudy Guilliani (gotta go with Bond on this one)

1. Elvis Presley
2. James Dean
3. Ricky Nelson
4. John Pannozzo
5. William Shakespeare

Five biggest joys at the moment:

1. my family
2. My friends
3. my job
4. My writing
5. it's Christmas

Five favorite toys:

1. Gameboy Advanced
2. my computer
3. my PVR (TiVo)
4. Cell phone
5. *giggle giggle* Gonna leave this one ________________

TAG PAUL!! You're it babe.

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I've Got a Crush On You...

Well, since it's no big secret ANYWHERE that I love men, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane to some of the school girl crushes I had when I was younger. The following 13 are some of the men who made my heart pitter-patter (as always, in no particular order). And I've tried getting rid of this huge gap between this paragraph and the table below, but can't do it. Looks like I need another semester in Professor Bond's Blogging class.

Thirteen Things about ANGELL'S CRUSHES

13. Tom Cruise - I don't care how crazy he is these days, I don't know of any woman who didn't melt back in 1987 when Maverick made his first apperance in that flight suit. SIGH - he was, and still is, one of the hottest men in Hollywood.

12. Kirk Cameron - ok, raise your hands laides - how many of you watched GROWING PAINS for the wonderful life lessons it taught us? Put your hands down cuz YOU'RE LYING. We all watched it for the curly haired teen God who was the beginning of the "good - bad boy" craze in TV land. Too bad his looks faded a little with time, but his acting improved.

11. Michael J. Fox - Alex P. Keaton wasn't high on my list of sex symbols, BUT Marty McFly was. I sat through every installment of Back to the Future just for his smile. And he's a Canuck to boot. As he got older, he got better looking. I still love him to this day.

10. Carlo Imperato - I know I can't be the only one who watched FAME and had the hots for Danny Amatullo. He was so adorable, I think he might have been responsible for jump starting my passion for performing. Thankfully Fame is on in re-runs and I can see the man on my tv every day at 5pm!

9. Johnny Depp - from a young, undercover cop in a Fox show to one of the hottest, most respected, and most versatile actor of his generation this man never fails to set my heart racing. I've seen just about everything the man has done, and I have yet to be disappointed.

8. Gowan - A.K.A Lawrence Gowan. For those of you out there who haven't heard of this guy you really should check him out. I first fell in love with him back in 1984, and that was just his voice. When I saw his two-toned mullet and his crazy videos, well, I fell harder. These days, he's singing with....wait for it....STYX. Yes I said Styx. (I actually took this picture at the SOCAN press conference back in 2003)

7. Bruce Springsteen - since mentioning him in my last TT, I've watched Dancing in the Dark at least twenty times on youtube. The verdict is - SEXIEST VIDEO EVER!! How any red-blooded female could watch that and NOT get the screaming thigh sweats (pardon my crudeness) is beyond my comprehension.

6. Jonathan Knight - my favourite of the NKOTB. He wasn't flashy like Jordan, but he was quiet and shy - and for some reason I found that very attractive. Of course, his dreamy eyes and smile had a LOT to do with that too.

5. Christopher Atkins - remember The Blue Lagoon? Me neither - but what I do remember is a little known movie that spoofed on The Pirates of Penzance called The Pirate Movie. His curly hair and blue eyes, and of course that smile that would melt an iceburg - and the movie's not bad either. I highly recommend it (you'll laugh your onion off).

4. Matthew & Gunnar Nelson - I know, that's two - but back in the day, you couldn't tell them apart. And they were so pretty (ok guys, don't shoot me...) Since then, they've gotten haircuts, and since I've gotten to know them a bit, they're quite easy to tell apart. Still two of them most amazing individuals I've ever had the priviledge to meet.

3. Patrick Dempsey - When he was the biggest geek in Can't Buy Me Love - he was adorable. And I was the only one out of my friends who thought so. Looks like I made a good call, cuz who knew he'd grow up to be so....SIGH...McDreamy? Just goes to prove - be nice to geeks....

2. Sean Astin - I guess I liked the geeks and the outcasts, cuz I fell for this boy when he starred in The Goonies - asthma puffer and all. He's still gorgeous today, and, like Kirk, his acting has improved tremendously. Unfortunately for him, he'll never outshine his hobbit role...

1. Alan Alda - Everybody's favourite doctor. I watched M*A*S*H every chance I got with my dad. I think I've seen every episode at least eighteen times. I loved his bedside manner, and often wished he was my doctor. Still do sometimes....

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I've been TAGGED - meme 3 things...


My apologies for the delay, but I didn't have a second to myself to check email this weekend, and found out today that my buddy, my baby, my spy man Bond had tagged me for the Meme. SOOOOOOOO, without futher ado....

Today's Meme is brought to you by the Number 3.

3 Things that scare me:

death before my time, going deaf, losing my family

3 People who make me laugh:

Robin Williams, Dennis Leary (Leary is GOD), and Glen Foster (sorry gang, it's a Canadian Thang)

3 Things I love:

Music, Christmas, performing

3 Things I hate:

Ignorance, racism, censorship

3 Things I don't understand:

why so much hatred exists in the world, why I have to pay for the damn politicians to go on vacations, and why north america is the only monogamous society on earth (LOL)

3 Things on my desk:

(At work) Kermit the frog posable plush, my computer, and a whole lot of paperwork

(at home) my computer, a whole ton of crap, and pens

3 Things I'm doing right now:

Answering this meme, avoiding work, listening to Xmas music streaming through my computer

3 Things I want to do before I die:

Travel, sing on stage with any one of my favourite musicians, have children

3 Things I can do:

perform, write (at least I used to think I could before I met Dana and Sue), love

3 Things I can't do:

fix my computer, drive a race car, or throw a decent touchdown pass

3 Things I think you should listen to:

Your heart, your conscience & your mother. (Vinny's answer was too perfect so I didn't change it)

3 Things you shouldn't listen to:

Kevin Federline, Justin Timberlake, and anyone else's opinion of you

3 Things I'd like to learn:

Italian, how to play the guitar (or drums), ballroom dancing

3 Favourite Foods:

Chicken Parm, Penne a la vodka, steak

3 Beverages I drink regularly:

Diet coke, bottled water, tea

3 Shows I watched as a kid:

The Great Space Coaster, Kids Incorporated, Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling

Ok, so it's my turn to tag three people.......

Suzie, Liz, and Paul......c'mon DOWN!!! (needed to edit this cuz Julie tagged Liz, so I'm gonna tag TEZZIE - if she's even reading these things....)

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - This weeks theme - MUSIC

This week I've decided to choose 13 songs that are near & dear to my heart. Not necessarily the nearest and dearest, cuz I love so much music!! When I decided to do this, I just jotted down the first thirteen songs that came to my mind.

Thirteen Things about Angell

13. Angel - Aerosmith
Ok, cuz this one is a surprise. My obsession with this song is one of the reasons my nickname is what it is. Steven Tyler is brilliant!

12. Jump - Van Halen
This song brings me back to when I was 17 and had to borrow my cousin's ID to get to the dance floor at a popular restaurant we all used to go to. I used to tear up the dance floor with a friend of mine, and we would clear the floor for this one. Still makes me want to hit the floor every time I hear it.

11. Lorilei - Styx
I was going through a severe depression after the loss of Ruth, and really didn't want to go to this concert (well, those who know me know that I would have to be in a SERIOUS funk to not want to go to a Styx show). My friend Cathie talked me into it, and I'm glad I went. During this song, the bassist (at the time) Glen Burtnick, sang this one right to me, and even threw me a pic - which got stolen with my wallet cuz I kept it with me every day to remind me that I still have a lot of life left to live.

10. Roar - Glen Burtnick
Yes, the same man who gave me that life saving guitar pick. The lyrics on this remind me of what music is all about. They are beautiful, and simple, and his vocals are incredibly pure. From this song comes the one line I use to remind me what life is all about: And God made man to sing. Yes, SHE certainly did.

9. The Great Escape - Nelson
Yes, the guys with the long blonde hair from the 90's (they got haircuts). Yes, Ricky Nelson's twin boys. And yes, the two nicest men I've ever had the pleasure of interacting with. This one particular song is a favourite of mine because of the imagery they use. It is poetry at its' best. I highly recommend bouncing over to their website (linked at the bottom of this post), and checking out their music. Not only did they inherit their dad's good looks, but they inherited their wonderful vocals from him.

8. Bring Me To Life - Evanessence
One word about this song: WOW. It really hit home for me. I was in a bit of a funk when I discovered these guys, and it made me think. A friend of mine pulled me out of the mire and threw me into the fire. I started really living again after I heard this tune, and it will forever remain in my heart (and my iPod - should I ever get one).

7. One Particular Harbour - Jimmy Buffet
If you've never listened to JB (as he's referred to in my house), you are missing out on some of the greatest lyrics (and drinking music) ever created. He holds nothing back. Multiple syllable words are out the window with him. He keeps it simple, to the point, and on this one, makes me constantly wish I was out on a boat somewhere just chilling with my margaritas. Oh yes, one warning, DON'T listen to JB with anyone who's in AA. :D You WILL be inspired to drink - in a good way.

6. Out Here On My Own - Irene Cara (Fame soundtrack)
This soulful tune could have been the soundtrack to my confusing adolescence - wait a second - it WAS! I've listened to this in every mood possible; I've performed it at countless auditions and karaoke nights; I've fallen asleep crying with it running through my head. For anyone who's lost track of their goals, or themselves, it's a great reminder of who you are.

5. Hell of A Day - Taylor Hicks
You knew he had to be on here somewhere. This is the FIRST song of his that I really connected with - it doesn't mean I love it best. Beautifully written and honestly sung, you can feel his passion for the music right through the CD. If you haven't heard it yet (and judging by the people who read this, I'm 99.9% positive you HAVE), I would run over to his site and listen to it. You'll be hooked.

4. Babe - Styx
The first Styx song I ever heard, and the one that "started this whole train rolling" (a DDY quote). It began my twenty five year love affair with Styx. I love the synth and the imagery that he's created. If you're a sap - this one is DEFINATELY for you.

3. Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles
Ok, so the first version of this song I heard was the Mini-Pops version. But a great dance tune all the same. It brings me back to childhood, and it never fails to start my feet moving, and I don't care where I am - I will dance.

2. Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
The Boss has NEVER looked sexier than in this video (trust me that image stays with you). And the inflections in his voice - WOW. If I keep typing, I'm gonna drool all over the keyboard. number one.....(again, not necessarily - just for today)

1. Tiny Dancer - Elton John
I loved this song when I first heard it, but since I saw the movie ALMOST FAMOUS, I COMPLETELY TOTALLY LOVE IT. Every time I hear it, it reminds me of the movie, and Kate Hudson's character Penny Lane. It also reminds me that had I been a little younger, and a LOT more single, I would have been a Band Aid.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Man is it REALLY only 33 days until Xmas?

Ok, I'm officially freaking out. Only 33 days left until Xmas, and I haven't even started shopping yet. The only gifts I have are for good ol' whatshisface, and for my grandmother. Other than that, I am at a complete LOSS.

You know what that means right? It means that come Xmas eve (day), I'm going to be fighting the last minute crowd at the mall cuz I'll remember at the very last minute that I forgot something. And of course my loved ones aren't being any help at all. Mom and Dad keep saying - we don't want anything. My mother in law says - whatever you decide. And of course there are the neices who have yet to email us their lists, even though they are never off their computers.

AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGHHH - I'm going to go completely nuts!!

I'd like to do something here - a question for my friends who stop on by. We always do those darned quizzes, so here's a short and simple one. (And Bond, so help me, if you say ONE thing about Canadian spelling.....)

1. What is your favourite "guilty" holiday tradition?
2. What is your favourite part of the holidays?
3. What is your one wish for this season? (And ladies, can we all come up with something a little more original than Taylor under our tree?)

I will start:

1. Every Christmas eve, after we've sung carols at my aunt's place, and everyone is ready to drop dead with exhaustion, I sit up and watch Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. I haven't missed one Christmas since I can remember.

2. Well, I'd like to say seeing all my family, but because we're so close, that's a weekly occurance. So I will say seeing all the lights, hearing the music, and watching people be a little bit nicer to each other (mostly). ALSO, I love all the Xmas movies - I try to watch at least one a night starting at the beginning of December.

3. My wish for the holiday season is for all my wonderful friends to have their wishes come true - whether it be for love, a better life, or world peace.

NOW, for a few random tidbits and quotes, courtesy of my good buddy Paul:

(This first one is definately SP worthy)

A Norwich Union customer collided with a cow. The questions and answers on the claim form were:
Q - What warning was given by you?
A - Horn
Q - What warning was given by the other party?
A - Moo

It is useless to hold a person to anything he says while he's in love, drunk, or running for office. - Shirley MacLaine

Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense. - Steve Landesberg

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. ~ Douglas Adams

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

(Forgot this) 13 Things You Didn't know About Angell

Ok, so I have chosen to participate in the Thursday Thirteen. BUT, what to tell about me that others don't know? It's kind of tough, cuz my life is normally an open book. But I shall give it my best shot.

Thirteen Things about ANGELL

1. I am a Cancer, and yes, have every possible trait that we are known for, right down to the mood swings, and the over-romanticizing of just about EVERYTHING.

2. I love stuffed animals, and at one time (I think I was 18) I had a collection of 152 in my bedroom alone. Thankfully, those baby hammocks fit nicely on the ceiling.

3. I LOVE music - everything to do with it.

4. My nickname came about because of three things: a. a tendency to do generous things for people b. my love of the Aerosmith song Angel c. my urge to be different (the nickname came about before the internet and before everyone and her sister was calling themselves Angel in chat rooms)

5. My first serious boyfriend was Jewish - which I had no problem with, but apparently his parents had problems with me NOT being Jewish

6. I have held several different jobs in the last fifteen years, but NONE of them have been in retail

7. I am an avid reader. My favourite writer at the moment is Diana Gabaldon. I highly recommend her.

8. I love TV - I currently have about ten shows I am following, and that doesn't include weekly sitcoms or soap operas.

9. I love to write. Since I could string a sentence together, I've written stories, poems, songs, articles, reviews, etc. etc. etc. I actually used to get into trouble by my teachers because they would ask for a three page story, and I'd give them ten.

10. When I was in grade two, I wanted to be a teacher. Now that I'm older, I realize I don't have the patience and I'd probably wind up fired after telling some little snot nosed brat that his mom should have.....never mind. This leads to #

11. I have a temper. And zero tollerance for stupidity.

12. I'm sure if you read the rest of my blog, you'll find this out, but I will state it anyway. I LOVE MEN. :D Any and all kinds.

13. Last but not least, I am italian, and 13 is a lucky number for us.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

About Me....

This is a little different from those silly quizes we all do. Bold all that apply to you....

01. I have a cell phone.
02. I am obsessed with having my shoes match my outfit.
03. I'm the youngest child.
04. I am a boy.
05. I love wearing dangly earrings.
06. I am a gemini.
07. I love someone more than they will ever know.
08. I'm obsessed with dogs.
09. I can't live without lipgloss.
10. I can't live without music.
11. I lived in a different state in the U.S. before.
12. I get an allowance.
13. I want to be in high school forever.
14. I've seen Jason Mraz in person.
15. I get annoyed easily.
16. I eventually want kids.
17. I love to read.
18. I have more than a couple horrible memories.
19. I am addicted to the Disney Channel.
20. I am a girl.
21. I'm a worried person
22. I'm in high school.
23. I love taking pictures.
24. I hate girls who are fake.
25. I like to swim.
26. My dreams are sometimes weird.
27. One of my best friends is gay.
28. I have way too many purses.
29. I've seen Fight Club at least 45 times.
30. I dress how I feel that day.
31. I've never fallen asleep during school.
32. Sometimes I cry for almost no reason.
33. It bugs me sometimes when people are really late.
34. I procrastinate.
35. I love autumn.
36. I have too many clothes.
37. I like to sleep in.
38. I've failed a class in high school.
39. I'm afraid of spiders.
40. I have nail polish on my fingernails or toe nails right now.
41. I've watched the O.C.
42. I love my hair.
43. I never fight with my parents.
44. I like the beach.
45. I have never had the chicken pox.
46. I'm excited for the future.
47. I have family out of state/province.
48. I can't wait till my birthday.
49. I love the show Rich Girls
50. I love my friends.
51. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
52. I can be very insecure all the time.
53. I have never broken a bone.
54. I'm taking german class.
55. I have a laptop.
56. I love people that love music.
57. I state the obvious sometimes just to reassure myself.
59. I dance randomly sometimes.
60. I'm a good singer.
61. I sometimes like cleaning my room.
62. I never get jealous.
63. I love cute underwear.
64. I love doing math.
65. I cry when I see homeless people
66. I like hugs.
67. I don't like to study for tests.
68. I love God.
69. I am too forgiving sometimes.
70. I have my own vehicle.
71. I love high school.
72. I have a lot of under garments.
73. I'm a daddy's girl.
74. I love kisses on the forehead.
75. I love the color pink more than the rest.
76. I love to sew.
77. I have blue eyes.
78. I like being a passenger in vehicles at nighttime.
79. I play soccer on a team.
80. I become stressed easily.
81. I've never lied.
82. I like comfy sweatpants.
83. Paul Walker is cute.
84. I love the smell of the rain.
85. I am right handed.
86. I hate getting shots.
87. I'm a perfectionist.
88. I've gone mooning.
89. I hate the feeling of failure.
90. I love camping.
91. I like going on rides
92. I can be quite shy.
94. There's something I will never forget, either because I can't or because I just don't want to.
95. I love looking at pictures.
96. I love music.
97. I do well in school
98. I get a lot of mail.
99. I like hot tubs.
100. I like to be alone sometimes

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Woodstock Slappy

Ok, I don't know if any of you out there were Animaniacs fans, but I was. And there was this one cartoon that I just KILLED myself laughing on called Woodstock Slappy. Slappy and her nephew Skippy are two squirrels. Slappy has kind of a Rosanne Barr attitude and speech pattern. Skippy is more like .... hmmm ..... well, just a kid who's got that eager to please attitude.

My friend Paul, after years of searching, FINALLY tracked down the transcript. It's a play on Abbott & Costello's Who's On First routine. Only it takes place back in 1969 at Woodstock.

You guys might not laugh as hard as I did, but it's definately good for a chuckle or two.

[Slappy and Skippy {circa 1969} have woken up to find that Woodstock has sprung up around their tree]

Slappy: Skippy, what's the name of that group playing on stage?
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The name of the group.
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The group on stage.
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The group playing on stage!
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: You're starting to sound like an owl, Skippy.
Skippy: Who is on stage!
Slappy: That's what I'm asking you. Who is on stage?
Skippy: That's what I said!
Slappy: You said who?
Skippy: I sure did!
Slappy: So tell me the name
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The name of the group
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The group on stage.
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: The name of the band on stage.
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: You're doing that owl thing again, Skippy!
Skippy: I'm not, Aunt Slappy! I'm telling you Who's on stage!
Slappy: So tell me.
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The name of the group.
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The group on stage.
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: That's what I'm asking you!
Skippy: And I'm telling you the answer!

[Slappy, annoyed, looks towards the fourth wall]

Slappy: Wait, Skippy, let's start over. Is there a band on stage?
Skippy: Yes.
Slappy: Does that band have a name?
Skippy: Yes.
Slappy: Do you know the name of the band?
Skippy: Yes!
Slappy: So tell me the name of the band on stage.
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The name of the band.
Skippy: Who.
Slappy: The band on stage!
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: The band playing on stage!
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: That's what I wanna know!
Skippy: I'm telling you!
Slappy: Who is on stage?
Skippy: Yes.
Slappy: Who is?
Skippy: Yes.
Slappy: Oh, so the name of the band is Yes.
Skippy: No Aunt Slappy, Yes isn't even at this concert!
Slappy: Then who is on stage?
Skippy: Yes!
Slappy: Who is?
Skippy: Yes!
Slappy: That's what I just said, Yes is on stage.
Skippy: No, Yes is not here, Who is on stage!
Slappy: What are you asking me for?
Skippy: I'm not!
Slappy: Wait. Let's try this again! Do you see the band on stage?
Skippy: No I don't see The Band, that's a different group entirely!
Slappy: On stage, Skippy! Look, see the band?
Skippy: No I don't!
Slappy: Get rid of those John Lennon glasses and look! There! There's the band!
Skippy: No, that's not The Band. The Band is performing later on! Who is on stage!
Slappy: You tell me.
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: The name of the group on stage!
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: The name of the group!
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: The group on stage!
Skippy: Who!
Slappy: THE BAND!
Skippy: No, The Band is performing later. Right now we're listening to Who!
Slappy: That's what I wanna know!

©Warner Brothers (not sure what year)

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel

Monday, October 23, 2006

For my Ruthie - I love you

After reading Sue's wonderful posts about Mel and Lindsay, I thought I would share something very personal with my family here.

It's about my friend Ruth, someone I adore, and I miss with all my heart. Warning: tears may fall - so get some tissue.

Ruth & I first met when I was in Grade Seven. Her family had just moved to the area, and I had lived there all my life. I knew her from seeing her around, but had never spoken to her. I was waiting in line to buy a can of pop at the milk fridge, when I was jostled hard from behind, nearly pushing me into Michelle, that week’s milk monitor. I turned around, intent on giving the person an incredibly hard time, when I noticed that I was staring at nothing.“Excuse me. I didn’t mean to bump into you,” came this tiny voice from below. I looked down into the biggest pair of brown eyes I had ever seen. (Later, we joked that it wasn’t that her eyes were that big – but the magnification of both our glasses made them seem enormous. It was our way of acknowledging that we were prematurely going blind.) Seated in her wheelchair, she turned around to glare at the person who’d been the pusher. “Some people,” she said, turning back to me “haven’t learned how to walk yet.”“No problem.” I replied.

After we had both gotten our drinks, we made our way back to the schoolyard, as recess had started. We spent the whole half hour talking. I found out that she had been born with a condition called spinal bifida, which affects the spinal cord, stunts the growth, and sometimes comes along with a neurological condition, which Ruth was keeping at bay through medications. She had been ever since she was born, so she was quite used to the barrage of pills that she woke up to every morning. I found out that she had a younger sister named Ramona, who was in my brother’s class, and her father was a carpenter. Every year, her and her mom and sister went to Malta in the summer to visit family there. She also showed me a set of leg braces that she kept strapped to her chair “Just in case I feel like dancing”, she smiled to me.

The one thing I found out that amused me was that she could TALK. I think I spoke two words in that entire conversation, but I was ok with that, because by the time we’d parted ways to go back to class, I had made one of the best friends I would ever have, only I didn’t know it at the time.Ruth was fantastic. She had the same taste in everything I did: clothing, television shows, hobbies, and most importantly, the three m’s – movies, music and MEN. We loved these two guys with long blonde hair named Nelson, and we drooled over many posters together. We were lovesick over New Kids on the Block, Gowan, and Tommy Page. During our teenage years there were so many it’s hard to count.

The one constant over the years was Elvis. Both of us had posters and buttons and t-shirts of the King everywhere. And we were both fanatics about Disney. Everything was about Elvis or Mickey. In high school, our lockers were covered with the King and the Mouse. But it was always she and I against the world when it came to our interests. We even had the same crush for many, many years. Neither one of us could have had him though. We were thought of more as little sisters than anything else. But that was ok with us, because if either of us had gotten him, the other would have been devastated (but happy for her friend). This way, we could be devastated together whenever we saw him with another girl. But Don (his name), always made time for us.

I was a year ahead of her in school, although we were the same age. When we finally were in school together once again, Ruth and I were inseparable (as much as we could be). I even switched my locker from the second floor to the first during my grade twelve year so that I could have one close to hers. I never had a sister, and I felt like God had given me Ruth instead. Our first year in school together, we decided to go to the Annual “Welcome Back” dance. I was in grade ten, she in nine.

My grandparents were staying with us, which meant that I didn’t have a curfew, but Ruth did. We still went together though – me sneaking in a mickey of Bacardi in the back of her wheelchair. I don’t know why I did it, or why she even let me, but I can assure you, it was the last time I did something like that. I got so incredibly upset when I saw Don dancing with Maryanne Chahadi, who was not only cute, but a cheerleader AND on the Student Council with him, that I wheeled Ruth to the washroom, took out the mickey and gulped down half the bottle before I could even taste it. Then, after I finally stopped breathing fire, I gulped down the other half. Suffice to say, Ruth got a ride home with a friend, and my buddy Linda wound up walking me home, AFTER I spent the rest of the dance hanging out the hallway window, desperate for the fresh air to revive me. I felt terrible that I had, for all intents and purposes, abandoned Ruth – until she smugly told me the next day that Don had been the friend to drive her home. After that, she made me promise to wait until I was old enough to handle Mr. Bacardi, before I snuck him back into her wheelchair.

The first time Ruth and I went to a concert together, it was New Kids on the Block. We were teenagers, and my mother had told me that I was allowed one concert per year – this was the one. We had a group of us that went together. Ruth, refusing to give in to fatigue, was wearing her braces, and not in her wheelchair. She stood through most of that concert, even though she couldn’t see anything (being 4’ and all). She sang, she danced, she applauded, and she screamed right along with everyone else. The only problem was at the end of the night, so many people were pushing and shoving, we had to wait for the crowd to disperse before we could get her out of there. That, she clearly stated, was the last time she would wear her braces to a show. “At least with a wheelchair you can run people over,” she grinned at me.

I started going to karaoke because I had met this girl Mary who went, and she told me that I had to go – it was fun. Being the diva in training that I was, I was eager to go, but not able to find anyone to go with. Ruth volunteered, and hence, a weekend tradition was born. The trouble was, we had so much fun that we started going six nights a week. Ruth would never sing, but she sat there and applauded for every one, no matter how bad they were. She believed in giving everyone equal chances. Once we became regulars, Ruth discovered the fine art of flirting – and she was good at it. I could have taken pointers from her. Of course, she got away with more than most women would, but somewhere inside, I don’t think it was because of the chair. I just think that it was because she was incredibly charismatic. Whenever people saw her, they couldn’t help but smile.

I’m trying to recall any incident where Ruth and I fought – but I can’t. In fifteen years of friendship, we didn’t fight once. There were times when seeing her name come up on the call display was enough to set my eyes rolling backwards, but that was because she didn’t let you get a word in edgewise. She still loved to talk, that hadn’t changed. The only problem was, as we got older, there was so much more to talk about. And man did she ever! But she was also great at listening, and I knew that no matter how bad, I could always count on her to lend an ear. She could be in the middle of something, but she would stop what she was doing, even for five minutes, just to listen. She had advice too, if you wanted it. She would never volunteer it though, which always took everyone aback, because I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t dispense unwanted advice everyday. Whether the problem was school, boyfriend (one you had or one you wanted), family, friends, or you just needed a human connection, Ruth was always on the other end, listening.

Ruth’s dad had the best basement. It was set up with a treadmill, and some free weights, and, in the main room – a bar, with the back-mirrored wall lined with whatever type of spirits you preferred. It was also raised, on a slight dais, so you had to step up to get to it. It was dark mahogany, and it was beautiful. We loved having parties down there, even before we were old enough to be touching the alcohol. Just being in the same room with all that booze made us feel grown up (why I have NO idea). Mom & dad, what we all called her parents, were the best. They always were willing to feed us, and have us stay over if we needed to, and her dad was always willing to drive us places if we had no other ride. I often went over to use the treadmill, but it was just an excuse to visit. I hardly ever got on that piece of equipment long enough to make a difference in my weight, but with Ruth as a cheerleader, that first half hour was worth it. She always made me feel like I was invincible. She had more faith in me than anyone ever has in my life. I always wished there was something I could do for her that would make her feel as good as her faith made me feel.

The trouble was, Ruth always had everything she wanted. She had fantastic parents, a great sister, a whole lot of friends, and as for material items, she could afford what she wanted. The one thing she wanted that she didn’t have was a boyfriend. Well, we all tried to set her up, but men being what they are at that age, they couldn’t see past her chair or braces, they never realized how utterly wonderful she was. And that was the one thing that saddened her the most.She was always up for anything though. Whether it was a last minute trip to the mall, or the fourth trip to Canada’s Wonderland that week, she was ready, willing and able. Despite the healthy relationship she had with her family, home was the last place she ever wanted to be. She was always out, if not with friends then she would call up WheelTrans and go out herself. She was fearless. Nothing spooked her. And nothing stopped her either. If she knew a place she was going wasn’t accessible, she would wear her braces, and if she got somewhere and there was no ramp, well, she was creative. Meredith remembers this:

My husband Keith and I, as well as our friends Kirwin and Jamie, were taking the two kids to the Santa Clause Parade, and we asked Ruth if she wanted to join us. Knowing she’d have to take the chair on the subway with her, due to the snow outside she couldn’t use her crutches, she agreed anyway. We figured it was ok, because all subway stations have elevators right? Wrong. When we got off at our stop, there was no elevator to be seen. So, using her quick thinking, Ruth had Kirwin grab one side, Jamie the other, and Keith behind, and all three of those (thankfully) strong men carried her, and the wheelchair, in one big package, up three flights of stairs. AND, at the end of the parade, back down again, although how they did it without losing her, I’ll never know. From that day on, we knew that no matter where we went, or what the circumstances were, she’d be coming with us.

Ruth was a blessing in disguise to the lonely. She loved to meet new people and, as I mentioned earlier, liked to go places by herself. She would talk to anyone and everyone, regardless of age, colour, religion, or physical appearance. She just assumed that people would talk back to her, and they did. If they were alone in the food court, and she felt like a cup of coffee and conversation, she would just roll on up and start one. Sometimes people were taken aback by her boldness, but after a few minutes in animated conversation, they soon forgot they were talking to a stranger. With her bright smile and warm demeanor, she made everyone feel great.Lynn says:I don’t have one specific memory of Ruth. They just all jumble together in one big smile. But what I can say is that she was an infectious soul. Her smile lit up a room, and her energy was so contagious, it was hard to feel run down or groggy whenever she was with you. She was everyone’s best friend and little sister. You couldn’t help but feel protective of her, although you knew she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. Ruth was always willing to let things go, and just be. Fighting with Ruth was almost impossible. Even if you told her she was in the wrong, she would agree with you. In fact, the only person she fought with was her sister and parents, and I think there’s some sort of law that says you have to.

About ten years ago, my dad got me tickets to the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Molson Amphitheatre. I had grown up on JB’s music, and was constantly trying to convert cynics to his easy going lyrics, danceable melodies, and crazy lifestyle. But some people just weren’t meant to enjoy music that way. Ruth however, was a convert from the first minute she heard Margaritaville. So the choice for the second ticket was an easy one. Ruth and I got a lift with my parents and their friends, and went off to our seats. We were incredibly dismayed to find out that there was no where for her to park her chair in our row, but after she had a few words with an usher, and then management, they were able to put her chair right at the end of our row, leaning against the wall, so to make for an easier exit when the time came. Well, she had her trusty braces and canes with her, and we proceeded to our seats in the middle of the row, with people all around staring, like she was a sideshow or something. I remember this vividly, because she turned and asked me, rather loudly “I AM wearing my pants right?” As I nodded, trying not to laugh out loud, she said, “I thought so. I guess everyone’s staring because I’m not wearing my parrot on my head.” At this point, she rectified that situation, and grabbed one off of the head of the guy in front of us, who had also turned to stare. I thought he was going to freak out, but under the wattage of her incredible smile, he just laughed at her moxy, reached into his bag, and pulled out two more. He handed one to me, so I wouldn’t feel left out, and then stuck another one on top of his head.

The guys around us that night were the greatest. They got together and formed an “arm” chair and lifted Ruth up over the crowd so that she could see the Elvis impersonator walk onto the stage with a giant inflatable penis, which got a roar from the crowd, and had Ruth blushing a beet red. The ones in front of us even made sure to have everyone in her sightline sit down for some of the tunes, that way she could definitely see the stage, and JB’s elaborate set up. She would later tell me that it was one of the best concerts she had ever been to. She didn’t stop smiling the whole ride home. It felt good that I had been able to help her have such a good time. And since Jimmy’s only been back twice since then, it’s a great memory for me.

On more than one occasion, Ruth has saved my life, just by being on the other end of the phone. But once, it was literally a case of her stopping my untimely, and would have been self inflicted, demise. I was 20 years old, and had just broken up with my first serious boyfriend. We had been together three and a half years, and to say I was devastated would be an understatement. I had definitely decided that I didn’t want to live without him, and, in a suicidal frame of mind, went to the drugstore to find my method of death. I had heard that diet pills, when taken in large quantities, eat away at your insides and eventually kill you. It was a slow, painful death process, but I was sure it was the way to go. Stepping in front of a car wasn’t a guarantee that you would die, and I was determined to make this as painless as possible on my family. Kevin on the other hand, this was designed to make him suffer. Once the pills got into my system, there was no going back. Nothing would have stopped them.

I picked up four boxes, and two litres of water. Then, I just wandered around the neighbourhood, and came to my elementary school park, where Kevin and I had gone on our first “make out” date. I sat on the hill, crying over what could have been, and what was going to be, when I heard Ruth calling to me from the other side of the hill. Turns out that she had been on her daily roll, and she had heard my sobbing, and, from years of familiarity with it, had known those tears being shed were mine. I didn’t want to see anyone, but this was Ruth, and I had no choice. When I got to her chair, she noted the puffy eyes, the pale skin, and the big bag in my hand. When she asked what was in there, I refused to tell her, knowing that she would try to stop me, and I didn’t want to be stopped. But I didn’t have any strength in me to stop her when she snatched the bag from my grasp and examined the contents. She didn’t have to ask what the hell I thought I was doing – she just knew. Pretending that she was having problems with her chair, she asked if I would wheel her back to her place. Feeling that it was the least I could do for someone who had always been there for me, I did so. I was a zombie. I didn’t look anywhere but straight ahead, and I didn’t respond to Ruth’s cheerful chatter.When I got her home, and safely in the front door, I went to take my bag back, and hug her goodbye. But she didn’t let me, and begged me to come in for a bit. We went up to her bedroom, and she sat me down, and wouldn’t let me leave for four hours. She talked, and gave advice, and told me that like everything, this too will pass, and I won’t be this hurt forever. But I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to hurt. It was like a friend now, something I couldn’t let go of. The drama queen in me wanted to go through with my plans, but something else didn’t want me to die. I have to tell you though, the drama queen has always been the strongest part of my personality, and something I had always considered an asset, until this day.

Eventually, her mom came into the room, although I didn’t notice. She told Ruth that it was time for dinner, and would I like to stay? I was about to shake my head no, when Ruth answered for me. I was staying, and she would call my mom to let her know, although at twenty, I was hardly calling to check in anymore.

By the time dinner was over, I had forgotten about the pills. Her family put me in good spirits, and afterwards, her mom came to me, holding my bag. When I saw that, my resolve to do what I had intended was back, but not as strong. Things Ruth had said up in her bedroom were starting to sink in. Her mom told me “I hope Ruth has talked some sense into you, but, if she hasn’t, you can come back tomorrow to get these. Just sleep on it tonight baby.” I guess I should have been mad at Ruth for telling her mom, but how do you get mad at someone who’s heart is in the right place?

The next day, after a fitful sleep, and an even worse morning, I went back to Ruth’s place to pick up my package. And together, her and I went right to the drugstore and returned the pills.It takes a strong person to save someone’s life. I will be eternally grateful that she was out for her roll that day. I didn’t really want to die.

As I’ve said time and time again, Ruth loved to be out and about. And her favourite place to go, as she got into her twenties, was a club called Tropicana. It provided adult entertainment for us ladies, and on more than one occasion, I accompanied her there. She was in her element! She was there so often; she knew the dancers, waiters and bartenders by name, as well as the rest of the regulars. The more I think about it though, I think Ruth was the entertainment for the dancers. It was in this place that she got the attention from men that she so desperately craved. It was in this place that they treated her like a woman, and not a little sister. It was here that she found that she had sex appeal.

The dancers didn’t treat her any different than the rest of the ladies, and she was grateful for that. The rest of us were too. We had said that she was without a boyfriend for far too long. There, in the club, she could use that flirting that she had refined at karaoke. There, in the club, she could drink what she wanted, do what she wanted and be herself, just the way she wanted. She couldn’t do that at karaoke, or at home. There were too many protective people around in those places. The men in our crowd treated her just like the little sister that she was to us. These men treated her like she was desirable, so who could blame her for wanting to hang out there?

Tami remembers this about one night’s foray into, what we referred to as “Ruth’s World”:

Ruth loved all the dancers, but there was one dancer in particular whom she was head over heels for. He was also a friend, and treated her with more respect than I’ve seen a woman be treated with. One night, when mom and I went with Ruth to the club, Keith came out and did his routine. When the time came for the tips to be hauled out, Ruth put a tooney over her head, and waved it around. Keith came over, and we all stared in shock as Ruth put the tooney right down her cleavage.Well, not one to let a sexual challenge go by, Keith buried his face in there, attempting to get his tip out with his teeth. Mom and I were laughing hard, but started laughing harder when Ruth got our attention with something she had in her hand. It was the tooney! She hadn’t put it in there after all, and Keith was still in there. Eventually she had to tell him, and he was a great sport about it. He took it from her, kissed her on the lips and went back to his dancing. Afterwards, he came out to our table and laughed right along with us, and bought us a round.

She had the good life there. When the club closed, I thought Ruth was going to go ballistic. But she just shrugged, got on the horn to Keith and found out where the rest of the crew had gone. Soon, she was journeying out to Brampton (which is about twenty minutes by car – probably a twenty or so dollar cab ride) on a twice-weekly basis. Some nights, she’d get so drunk that the guys would carry her up to one of the hotel rooms above the new club and stay with her until she woke up. Then they would make sure she got home safely. She was constantly buying me lap dances, and private dances, sharing her world with me. I have to admit, it can get quite addictive! She even started smoking and got a tattoo, which shocked everyone! Ruth was a good girl, but she was making bad habits. The tattoo was cute (Mickey Mouse in a cowboy hat), and ok with us, but the smoking had to stop! It eventually did.

If there was one person that could guarantee a great turnout at a party, it was Ruth. If she threw a party, which didn’t happen often, you just knew that her whole guest list would show up. People that we had known in high school and lost touch with would show up at her parties (not mine I always noted bitterly). In fact, the last party she threw at her place was in 1995.

Jamie had this to say:

Ruth was known for throwing fantastic parties. They weren’t the type where everyone gets falling down drunk and passes out. These were clean, respectful and yet, still fun parties, where everyone drank moderately and behaved themselves. Her backyard was well manicured and a great, relaxing place to hang out in. Her dad had designed a rock pond and there were goldfish the size of your fist in it. We were welcome to whatever she had to offer, and so we enjoyed just being there.Her 20th birthday party was the last party she had at her place. It was fantastic. We partied in the backyard and the basement, and afterwards, when it got to be a little late, out of respect for her parents, we transferred the party in two big vans to the local watering hold where karaoke was going on. With it being Ruth’s birthday, my friend Chris and I got together and serenaded her on the dance floor. She cried, and laughed and was generally embarrassed, which is funny because the girls told us of some of her stunts at “the club” so we thought that nothing would embarrass her.Ruth was definitely someone special, and I feel privileged to have known her.

And Chris adds:

She was our Ruthie, our very own angel right here on earth. She was kind, compassionate, and everything you would think an angel to be. She never complained about the cards that life dealt to her, she just went with it and made the best out of every situation. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.

I was at work when I got my message from Ruth’s dad. I knew that something was terribly wrong. He never called me. If anything, it was her sister or mother that did all the calling. After his message was a message from my best friend’s soon-to-be-ex husband Jason, who used to be a friend of mine, but who I hadn’t heard from in years. I called Jason right back, as Ruth’s dad had an accent and was difficult to understand. When Jason answered the phone, I heard Cathie sobbing uncontrollably in the background, and I knew. He didn’t have to say a word, I just knew. I called her house, and got the whole story from her sister. She had come back from Malta with terrible headaches and blackouts. When she went to the doctor, she was told that the neurological condition that went along with her spina biffida was no longer being controlled by medication; they’d have to do surgery. She told them, in her cheerful way, that as long as she got to see her sister walk down the aisle, she didn’t care. That evening, she had been down with the flu, and declined going to a wedding with her family. At eight o’clock, when her mom called to check on her, she said that she was feeling better, and was getting ready to go out with friends. She was planning on meeting them at the club, and she had already called a taxi and arranged for pick up.When her parents got home that evening, they found her on the toilet. She was already gone. The coroners report showed that she had passed out, and then she had thrown up. With her unconscious, her body had no way of expelling the vomit, and it reverted to her lungs. There was no pain, no suffering, which we all thanked God for.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. My boss had to come downstairs and take the phone away from me. There was no way for me to come to grips with this.

I had lost my Ruth. The one person in the world who understood everything about me, and still loved me, was gone. The one person who I told EVERYTHING to, the one person who shared the most in common with me would never be coming back. There was a problem though. Ruth never kept a phone book. All her numbers were in her head. It took them two days after she died just to remember where I lived. So I had to make phone calls.At the viewing, it was standing room only, and then some. Everyone Ruth had ever come in contact with was there. Word spread like wildfire, and there were so many people that we had to do the viewing in shifts. Most people after paying their respects stood outside and just caught up on what was going on in our lives. Many of us had lost touch, but Ruth was so special to all of us that we all came together again. And I know that she was looking down on us.

Her father was in tears over the response. He asked me to speak on behalf of her family, because no one else was able to do so. So in front of all those people, I recounted the tales I just told you, but cleaned up for her parents. And then, as if in unison, two hundred people burst into tears as I sang Goodbye My Friend by Linda Rondstat. It was one of Ruth’s favourite karaoke songs that I sang. And afterwards, we all hugged goodbye, knowing that we might not be together like this again, as sad as that was. But she brought us together, and every year, we gather on the day of her passing and drink, and sing, and cry and reminisce about the girl we all loved.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her, and something that I’d like to tell her. Sometimes I know that she’s the only one who’ll understand. I visit her often. I don’t bring flowers, I don’t bring gifts. I just sit and talk to her. I know she hears me, and in some ways, she sends me messages through my dreams.I will be forever grateful to God for giving me that time with her, and for giving me a sister.

©Angell 2006

Edited to add: I didn't realize this when I wrote yesterday, but it's been five years this month that she left our lives. I realize she didn't live long in the post 9/11 society we've had to endure. The world had shattered a month before, but what I'll remember most about 2001 is the loss of my Ruthie.

Stay sane inside insanity - and never forget your towel.


With love and pride