Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Passing thoughts on a quiet Tuesday afternoon...

Unintentionally, my heart deceives me. Unplanned, my feelings waver. Is it
truly him? Or rather the idea of him that draws me in, even now.

Strange to be alone when I want companionship, after years of companionship when I wanted to be alone. Is it my mind or my heart that toys with me like this?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Tale of the Moo-ing Dog

When I moved back to Calgary, the last thing I expected was to meet up with a couple that would result in the following tale, but knowing the characters that have decorated my life, perhaps this isn't as bizarre as one might think...

Normally, first impressions make - well - an impression. Luckily, I was able to see past the one that began with Dad suspicious about Stephen's newest friend. He was curious as to why my brother, a young 22 year old, had been spending a growing amount of time with Josh, a 28 year old grown up from Montreal. I distinctly remember Dad's tone when he said those words to me, "Grown Up" as though the words themselves were imbued with sinister intentions. "What could they possibly have in common?" I remember him asking me this, as though the 6 years mark some drastic generational gap - which is made even more bizarre by the fact that Dad's best friend is nearly 15 years his senior.

So I'm not sure what I expected when I met the now-infamous Josh myself, but what I found, was a delightfully whimsical though mature individual. In the beginning, our time together was spent usually laughing, picking fun at each other, and pulling up our sleeves to help Stephen move furniture from one side of the city to another. He had the ability to get under my skin, while he referred to me simply as "Steve's sister" whenever speaking to his wife, Sam, but still, he did so with a mischevious glint in his eyes. It didn't take long, after turning the tables and referring to him as "Sam's husband" that my own identity in the Margo household was established.

Josh's wife, Sam, was a bit more reclusive. For weeks, we heard about each other through mutual friends, but our introduction did not take place until weeks after Josh & I had established a friendship. Between her busy school schedule (Masters program at the UofC) and her jaunts across the country (visits to Vancouver and Montreal), I began to think she was just a figment of Josh & Stephen's collective imaginations. They both swore she was real, and I suspected as much from the wedding picture hanging on Josh's wall, and her various comments on Stephen's facebook page, but it became an amusing anecdote until we finally met.

Besides the happy couple, there is one most fateful member of the Margo family that warrants a mention in this happy tale. Kali. The four-legged Margo whose presence was expected at every Saturday night bonfire, every "Apples to Apples" funtastic event, and every Sunday morning walk with Sam, Stephen & Karma. Kali, who despite being 14 years old, has more energy than 2 year old Karma and can outrun him, outplay him, and outsmart him. Kali, who at 14 can jump higher and farther than Karma, albeit sometimes taking nose dives into the side of the couch while chasing his toys across the room. Kali, who has learned with age that he's more likely to earn a morsel of food if he charms people that if he jumps up their legs. And Kali, who despite being 14 years old, has such a dominant sex drive than poor Karma has time and again been overpowered and humped into submission by the little Margo terror.

Karma has not been alone in this humiliation - Kali has a bitch. Many a game night at Josh & Sam's includes the forlorn mooing sneaking out from the toy wedged between Kali's salivating jaw. The cow, endearingly referred to as 'the bitch' by friends and family alike, is Kali's most prized possession. I can only hope that that stuffed cow has seen better days because it's currently in such a dilapidated state that Kali has nearly run out of stuffing to rip out through the threadbare stitches.

Now that we've met the Margos, it's only fitting that they are leaving us. Upon completion of her Master's Thesis, Sam will have completed her time at the UofC, and in effect, her time in Calgary. It should therefore come as no surprise, that despite the hassles of moving, both Josh and Sam are eager to move back East - 'home' if you will - and needless to say, Kali will join them. And so, for the first time in my life, when Josh departs Thursday for Ottawa, instead of being the one to leave, I will be one of the ones left behind. This development has been a catalyst for a range of thoughts and emotions running through my psyche. Every time I've moved away, friends have gathered to say farewell & to share my last few days together. With Josh & Sam, there was no difference. During the last week, we've had our last Saturday game night, our last party/get together, and our last goodbyes. I'm not part of the Tuesday night Hockey Crew, but I know there must have been quite a sendoff yesterday for Josh's last Tuesday Night Hockey, as there will be for Sam when she has her last meeting with her Thesis Advisor.

All these lasts and goodbyes, and I can't help but feel sad at the absense they will leave in our lives. But rather than be depressed and dissapointed over moments in life that are beyond my control, I decided to have some fun with one more last the Margos & Plucers will share.

Kali & Karma's last sendoff.

I know that while Stephen & I will miss Josh & Sam, we at least have the ability to E-mail, Facebook, SMS, phone, etc. Poor Kali & Karma have none of the luxuries available to those of us with opposable thumbs, and therefore, they are truly saying goodbye to eachother. For Karma, this probably won't be as difficult a farewell, knowing the role he plays in their little companionship. Kali, on the otherhand, will have to endure the loss of his four-legged pal, walk-mate and concubine. This in addition to the inevitable death of his bitch, and poor Kali is likely to flee his new life in Ottawa out of pure desperation of heart.

And so, our tale nears its pinnacle. What could I possibly do to ease our Kali's pain? What could I hope to buy for Josh & Sam that thoughts of me might work their way into their new lives? What could I think of to send the Margos off with a hearty chuckle reminiscent of the laughs we've shared these past months?

And then it hit me: The perfect solution!

I called Stephen & Becky (his girlfriend) and recruited their help. We ran to the mall, pushing our way through the throngs of onlookers and mall-walkers. Eagerly, Becky led the way into Build-A-Bear, her home away from home, and directly to the object I had been seeking. Object in hand, we moved to the next station, where she found the sound-producer I had been hoping for. Next, the stuffing station, where I had to drive the giant machine which seemed to be pouring life rather than stuffing. And the piece de resistance, Becky, Stephen & myself each chose a tiny heart and nestled it deep within the chest region of our growing machination. Finally, the last station helped us give birth to our new entity; at long last, and with birth certificate in hand, Kali's new playmate Karma, was born.

And so, it was with eager anticipation that we returned home from the mall. I wanted Kali, upon received his gift, to recognize it as a substitute Karma and thus I spent my afternoon trying to convince Karma Karma that the new Karma was harmless. I wanted them to play together, hoping that some of Karma Karma's essence would rub off on the new effigy, turning it from merely a stuffed dog to an entity worthy of Kali's adulation. Admittedly, we were shocked to find that Karma Karma was scared out of his wits by the stuffed animal. It took two of us to hold him down long enough to rub him down with the faux-Karma, and he was left trembling for ages. In the end, he was curious enough to follow me around when I was wrapping the doll and preparing him for Kali, but still too scared to come close enough for a good sniff.

Monday night, Stephen, Becky and I prepared ourselves and our gifts, and made our way to the Margos'. Sam was already in bed, and Josh seemed frazzled from a long day of packing, sorting, and preparing the apartment for his departure. Stephen & Becky handed over their gifts, and I excitedly waited to present mine. When it was time, I began with the spiel I had prepared, explaining that I didn't want to Kali to be lonely, and I knew it was time to replace his precious cow. I pulled Karma out of the bag, and handed it to Josh, eager to see his reaction. He seemed content to follow Stephen's excited advice to "squeeze the left paw" and finally, I got the reaction I had been hoping for. When a powerful "Moooooo" repeated itself 3 times from the depths of Kali's new playtoy, Josh's face lit up with delight, and I knew my gift was a success.

And that is the Tale of the Moo-ing Dog.