"My mom would like a glass of water," my little cousin (a few times removed) said to me, standing on the steps of my parents' massive trailer.

"Tell her I said, 'tough shit.'"

He stared at me blankly for a minute before I finally told him I was just kidding.

"Megan!" my mother exclaimed at some point in time as this was all going on.

"What is the matter?" my cousin (slightly fewer times removed) called from outside.

"Your son just asked me to get you a glass of water," I paused, "and I told him to tell you that I said, 'tough shit.'"

Naturally, everyone present threw their heads back and laughed in a jovial manner. It was a Hallmark moment. My family only ever experiences Hallmark moments while *camping.

Hallmark moments were slightly more challenging to come by this time though as there is currently a fire ban in Algonquin Park. Instead of experiencing our normal family bonding around an open flame, we were forced to sit in camp chairs and stare blankly at one another for several hours while consuming alcohol. Not the minors though. They had to do it all sober.

I quizzed them (them being the minors) on the typical things you quiz kids that age about: Career choices. "You are thirteen now," I said sternly, "What are you planning to do with your life? Have you started saving for retirement yet?" The answer to most every question seemed to involve wizards, Nascar or space. Usually all three.

Things I learned while on this trip: the puppy does not like staying still while in canoes. He'll do it, but only for brief periods of time in between trying to stick his whole head in the water, trying to eat various aquatic plants, trying to wrestle with any people or other animals (mainly my other dog) in the canoe, peeing (in the canoe) and contemplating jumping out of the canoe in the middle of whatever body of water we are on. On the plus side, he doesn't bark at wildlife.

Both dogs spent several hours each day frolicking in the water and rolling around in the dirt. Soon, I will go back to work and it will be another year before I have a good excuse not to change my underwear daily or shower.

*My parents have a 38' trailer that they use to "camp" in. The trailer is equipped with a queen size bed, a fold out couch, a shower, a bathroom, a bathroom sink, a fridge, a stove, a stove top, a microwave, a kitchen sink, a 32" TV, a desk for a computer.. You get the idea. I sleep in a two person tent with my dogs. All of my camping equipment, clothes for a week and dog paraphernalia weigh in at under 30 pounds. 


True Story from Work

"Something smells really good," said my co-worker.
"Like berries?" I asked.
"Yes, like berries."
"That is me," I whispered. "I smell delicious."


As Opposed to Tortoising

I do not get grossed out easily. I will confess that, in my free time (as opposed to during my working hours?), I have been known to watch videos of cysts being lanced. Repeatedly. And I can have conversations featuring just about anything as the subject matter without even batting an eyelash or pausing as I eat a sandwich.

But sometimes, Internet, sometimes the most innocuous word will throw me through a loop and cause me to shiver in disgust. Maybe even vomit just a little bit in my mouth.

For instance, the term "turtling." Oh, God. I could talk about poop forever, but the minute someone throws out the term "turtling," I have to take my leave. I don't know what it is, but the word, in that context, absolutely horrifies me. 


Two Milligrams is the Magic Number

I have this thing that many refer to as social anxiety. It is not there all of the time. Just sometimes. Just when it is really going to annoy me because of its ridiculousness.

This week, I have been a participant at a series of seminars for work. One of our activities was to break off into smaller groups, of approximately eight, and tell one another about our organizations and what kinds of issues we face on a day-to-day basis. Of course, this is when I started to have a panic attack. 

"I'm sorry," I told the group when it was my turn. "I am not so good with public speaking, even though this isn't really public speaking. You'll have to give me a couple of minutes." And so they did. Because everyone knows, embarrassing as they may be, panic attacks do not actually lead to the end of the world. They just feel like they will. 

And so the motherly members in my groups assisted me in coming out of my tizzy by leading me with simple questions. In reality, the whole ordeal probably lasted no more than two or three minutes, but it felt like forever. You can imagine how thrilled I was at finding out the next day's session would involve pitching our organization to a group of professionals (who would then critique the effectiveness of our pitch). But you see, Internet, I was not as phased as I could have been because I had a secret weapon. I had lorazepam. 

"Would it cause any real trouble if I took two milligrams?" I asked my nurse friends. 

"No, not really. As long as you're not combining them with other depressants. You may become drowsy and appear inebriated though." 

Appear inebriated? Was this supposed to deter me? Because it didn't. If there is one thing I couldn't care less about people thinking I am it is drunk. Appearing inebriated would do me just fine so long as I was able to (mostly) get out what I needed to say and avoid throwing up on anybody. 

However, as fate would have it, I never needed to make a pitch to anyone. We ran out of time and I got to take a pass so the others who were more keen to participate got to have a go.

I do think that the world is lesser for this though. I probably would have delivered an edutaining performance. Something in the ball park of when I ate one too many pot-laced cookies and forgot how to speak and understand English for several hours.