Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How NaBloPoMo Can You Go?

Yah, I know that makes no sense. After all my moaning about how long November is, I totally didn't realize that today was the last day. Seems like I should have something more auspicious than...what I have.




My friend Pam's husband is away for an unspeakable amount of time so I picked up her kids and took them to school this morning so she could stay in her pajamas, because my Dad picked up the kids a couple of times while Matt was away and I stayed in my pajamas and it was five flavours of awesome. I worked in the library for a few hours and got my cuteness fix from Eve's adorable little twin friends who always come up and hand me their books beaming these fantastic little smiles. And their hair is a different length so I can tell them apart. Then I went to Winners to stock up on advent calendar stuff. Then I went to Chapters to buy battling rodents for my nephew and an obsessive compulsive squirrel book and toy for my other nephew and in a fit of giddiness I bought Come Thou Tortoise and The Elegance of the Hedgehog for myself because it was Just Too Perfect, they were clearly meant to be togther, with me -- I just barely managed not to buy Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (had to draw the line somewhere).

Then I came home and started looking through the Christmas boxes for these little boxes of 24 elf-hats that I got a couple of years ago at IKEA and decided that I would use this year instead of getting the Spiderman or Princess ones with the cheap sub-standard chocolate in them. Why? Beats the hell out of me. If my kids are happy to eat the sub-standard chocolate, why the hell am I not just keeping the good stuff for myself? Okay anyway, the advent hat thingies were in the last box. Not the last box I looked in, because duh. The very. last. Christmas. box. And if you'd seen my storage area, that would have a much bigger impact. Okay, I've just looked at some other DIY advent calendars and am having severe advent calendar envy. Then I took Eve to dance, and two other Moms and I ended up at....Chapters. Again! I managed not to buy anything this time (not even my tall vanilla rooibos tea latte because Patti owed me girl guide cookie money.) Then we went back to pick up the girls and the teacher reminded us next week was parents' night and half of us said "yay we get to go in and watch" and half of us said "you mean we don't get to go to Chapters?" I won't mention which half was which.

Then we came home. And I would be overjoyed that it was the last day of November except that we all know what comes next....




....gulp.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stuff

I very determinedly mooched around for much of today. This was the first day the kids were in school since Matt got back home and I figured I was going to be tired and out of sorts so I decided I wouldn't really try to get too much done before picking the kids up, taking them to piano, getting groceries and making dinner. I have this bad habit of thinking I'm going to have a relaxing day and then letting my stupid Catholic guilt wreck it, which totally defeats the purpose of being lazy. So I mooched. Even though I don't really like the word mooch. Or nibble -- why does anything ever need to be nibbled? Eck, the very sound of it makes my shoulders creep up and my nose all wrinkly. And snippets. I hate snippets of anything. Little pieces? Fine. Wee bits? Grand. No snippets.




While we were having supper Angus asked Matt if he'd been everywhere in the world yet. No, I did not put him up to this. Matt said the list of places he hasn't been in still much longer than the list of places he has been. Then we decided to figure out which continents he hasn't visited (Africa, Antarctica and South America, but I've been to Africa so between the two of us we've nearly got them covered). Eve was trying to talk about Asia but kept saying it in French which she and Angus found hilarious. Then Angus asked what the biggest country was and I started singing the song I always sing to help me remember this because I suck at geography and love the Arrogant Worms. So then we played this while we were finishing supper -- hilarious AND educational.

After supper I had a mini freak-out because I remembered that my assignment is due on Friday and HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING MOOCHING WHEN PUTTING SEARCH STRINGS TOGETHER AND COMBING DATABASES FOR facts on fibromyalgia and new cars and the 1911 census MUST BE DONE? Then I sat down and finished one question and decided it wasn't so bad. Then I ate some candy cane kisses and then became annoyed by all the stupid little wrappers that had to be hidden when I heard my husband coming downstairs. The stupid little snippets are hardly nibble-able.

BUT let us all celebrate the fact that for the first time in weeks I DON'T have a zit of gargantuan proportions camping out on one corner of my chin or the other or both. No? Okay, maybe just me. "I'm the second...largest country..."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

(Little Ray of) Sunday

Last year nablopomo was really fun. I was coming up to the end of my first year of blogging and it was a great galvanizing force, encouraging me to shape a little word sculpture every day, channelling my thoughts into a few posts I really loved, and several that I was quite happy with.

This year? Not so much.

It's not horrible. I don't approach the computer chair with a great heavy curtain of doom closing around me or anything. But I also haven't whipped out anything that I'm terribly proud of, and several posts have definitely just been for-the-sake-of-posting. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to look at it like a canoe trip. I always end up wondering, at some point on the second day, why the hell I thought this was anything resembling a good idea. I always end up wondering, at some point during the second night, if my triceps will ever feel like normal muscles rather than knotted-up, chewed-on, whipped chopped and puréed balls of PAIN. I always end up wondering why some douchebag thinks it's a good idea to bring a watermelon on a canoe trip. And then at some point on the next-to-last day I realize sometimes you just do shit to prove to yourself that you can. And at least I don't have to do nablopomo with a crazy Austrian in the bow making me go all crooked. For that I have Absolut pear vodka.

And now I will leave you with my best two word verifications of the past few weeks:

irant (funny 'cause it's true)

rubpro (funny 'cause it's dirty).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sat(on ass all)urday Rant

Yay my husband's home. My stock response to anything the kids have said all day is "I don't know, talk to your father". I have read two Saturday papers cover to cover. I have coined scathing responses to this article by Johanna Schneller, about her interview with Billy Bob Thornton, who acted like a total asshat last year on Q, a CBC radio show hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. Schneller calls Thornton a 'courtly iconoclast', and 'self-deprecating', and 'candid' and I don't know that he actually autographed her butt but she seems to have done everything short of planting a big old smacker on his. Because you know, he's "overly sensitive", and "I carry too much of what I see and hear" -- this in his own words, and this separates him from Robert Pattinson how? She claims that his bitchy mutterings, sullen teen-agerish silences and general douche-baggery on Q were a 'rejection of an opportunity to shill' in an age of 'relentless self-promotion'. This reminds me of when I was doing my Master's in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto in whatever the hell year it was and Derek Walcott was teaching a course. Some of the students thought that he was a little detached and dismissive as a teacher. I was out at a pub and one of the other girls said, with a breathless, groupie-ish air "but you know, I think it's that he's, well, he's a poet, and he doesn't want to be teaching these obsessed-with-marks, academic, grad students". To which another prof who was there drily replied, "then that's when you say I appreciate the job offer but no thank-you all the same". So yeah -- Billy Bob, how about you say no thanks to the interview or if you agree to do the interview, then USE YOUR FUCKING WORDS.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fried Day

Yay. My husband is home. I can now make him do everything and then tell him how he's doing it all wrong. Because yes, apparently a large part of me IS still in grade nine.

Blissful P.D. day. Kids are still in the pajamas I gave them yesterday. We all read, then Eve fell asleep for two hours and woke up outraged that she had "slept much longer than I planned to".

Tremendously exciting package arrived from Budding Artists. It's run by a friend of a friend, so I had heard about it years ago, but being your basic disorganized lazy procrastinator, it took me this long to get my act together and send them some of Eve's art. I put in a huge order for Christmas gifts for both sides of our family. We got fridge magnets, coasters, luggage tags, garden stakes, a coffee cup and a shirt for my nephew, all with Eve's pictures on them. I hadn't told her about it and her reaction when we opened the box was priceless -- loud, and priceless. Also, I had forgotten that I placed the order, and now I've realized that most of my Christmas shopping, for the most difficult-to-buy for people is done. DONE!! And if they don't like it, well that basically makes them monsters, because it's their granddaughter's/great-granddaughter's/niece's purest expression of her creativity, right? Some people include a card with their gifts -- I like to slip in a little emotional blackmail.

I'm still pissed off at myself for not doing this when Angus still would have gotten more of a kick out of it. I think I will do it with some of the stuff he drew when he was younger -- there was a particular 'house with a tree and a butterfly' period he went through that should be preserved for posterity. I still haven't decided if Eve's 'naked people with enormous hands and belly buttons' should be immortalized or hidden away forever though.

Gotta go. Matt is getting the kids ice cream and I mustn't miss my chance to criticize while not doing anything to help. Welcome home, honey.









Thursday, November 25, 2010

Merry Thursday

We're at husband return day minus one. I have given up all pretenses to responsible parenting and am currently revelling in excess and permissiveness. We went to the movies. We had popcorn and french fries for dinner (with a few Swedish berries -- which at least resemble fruit -- as a garnish). Then we went to Chapters to get a birthday present for Eve's friend and I bought Angus the next two books in the series he's reading and Eve the fourth Judy Moody book, instead of giving them their allowance, spending more than their allowance, thus TOTALLY NEGATING the very purpose of having an allowance (excess! permissiveness! total negation!) We came home and I gave them the absurdly fuzzy fleece Land's End pajamas I meant to save for Christmas -- hey, it's cold out and they arrived today, like it was meant to be. I have now been comprehensively, literarily and fuzzily hugged and snuggled.

Today was the Christmas bazaar at our school. People donate stuff which is set out on tables and priced from 50 cents to five dollars, and kids are allowed to shop for their family members. The idealist in me thinks this is a lovely idea. The cynic in me thinks this is an opportunity for a bunch of reasonably well-off people to donate the crap they don't want any more in order for their kids to spend their money on someone else's crap, in the fortunate case that they don't unrecognizingly buy back the crap their own parents donated. It's kind of like musical crap. I wrapped stuff for three hours. I wrapped tea cups and candle holders and stuffed animals and various other weirdly-shaped stuff and one -- only ONE -- nice, flat, square, easy-to-wrap book. I said "can you write two gift tags?", sometimes three or four times before it sank in that I wanted them to -- hey! -- write two gift tags! I managed to mostly keep my good humour. My good humour nearly deserted me when I got to the movie theatre with the kids, went to pull out my wallet and realized that instead of leaving the tape dispenser I had carried around all afternoon at home I had left my wallet and was now trying to pay for the movie with the tape dispenser. Happily, we don't live too far from the movie theatre. And my kids are used to me doing weird crap with my wallet -- they looked at the tape dispenser, looked at me, looked at each other and walked back to the van and got in, kindly saving their eye rolls for after I got in and they were behind me. And it's a P.D. day tomorrow. When we will all wear our pajamas and read books all day. I may or may not serve actual food. I'll let you know.

p.s. these are Angus's pajamas, in case you think I gave him snowflake footies.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Angus McCrock

I shared the pictures of Angus McCrock from World Trivia Night with Angus. Angus is now being really obnoxious.






Angus is walking around saying "if it's not me it's crap!" Eve said "is he calling me crap?!" I said "he's calling me crap too -- and I'm his mother." For some reason that made her feel better.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And I keep telling them TV makes your brain mushy

It's not that I don't know that knowledge can be derived from surprising sources. I once floored my mother by volunteering that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner, which I learned from a Mickey Mouse comic book. Still, we lean pretty hard on the tv as entertainment, treat, opiate-of-the-masses, not edu-info-anything.

So on the way to dance tonight Eve was talking about why it rains, which they had talked about in class. This made me think about in grade six when my teacher wrote some words on the board and one of them was 'meteorologist'. Only one kid knew what a meteorologist was -- and he almost dislocated his shoulder waving his hand around, the dorky know-it-all. So today I thought I could make sure my kid had the chance to be that dorky know-it-all, and I asked her if she knew what someone who studied weather was called. She said "a meteorologist?". I said "How the hell do you know that?!" And she said (while laughing her smug little butt off) "The Suite Life on Deck".

Agh!

Then she told me about the water cycle -- you know, how it rains, then the water leaches from the earth into bodies of water, then it evaporates and the clouds suck it up (keep in mind she's seven and I'm no meto...meter...weather dude) and then it rains down again. Then she said she was trying to decide if there was a similar cycle for people, but there wasn't... "unless you're a Hindu".

And that, it must be admitted, she got from here. (Hey, at least we TALK with them about the hideously inappropriate material to which we allow them to be exposed.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blogs that pass in the night

Remember Friends? Remember how Monica was a clean freak and a totally organized? There was one episode where she was trying to prove that she could be carefree and somebody said okay, so say you don't pay your phone bill until you get the second notice or something and she tries to say okay, but then she yells "WHY would someone DO that?" (You don't even want to know how much time I just wasted trying to find the exact quote. And now I really miss Friends. And the last half hour of my life).

I was blog-surfing a little today and remembering when I was talking to FameThrowa at Blogging Out Loud Ottawa and talking about pinging around from blog to blog sithout keeping note of them so I could go back later and the look on her face was that kind of look: "WHY would someone DO that?". Then she very helpfully told me about Google Reader and RSS Feeds and how I never have to lose track of a blog I like again. Oh crap, I just realized I'm equating FameThrowa with bossy obsessive compulsive Monica which was not at all what I meant to do. Look, it's just November and my husband's not here and I'm letting my kids watch way too much TV including The Simpsons although I haven't sunk to The Family Guy yet, and my nablopomo posts are SUCKING and I have to post so I can go to bed and FameThrowa is not bossy or obsessive compulsive in the least (that I know of, I've only met her once and she was perfectly lovely).

My point, such as it is, is that sometimes I like to go to a blog I like, pick someone from their blogroll and read a post, then pick someone from their blogroll, and so on, and so on, until I have no idea where I've arrived at the blog I'm on. Sometimes I read an entire blog's archive in one night and emerge totally wrung out from someone's trials and insights. Sometimes I read a few posts and realize this person HAS to be put on my blogroll RIGHT NOW. But sometimes I just like to read a post here, a post there, and preserve the ephemeral nature of the experience. I remember camping out on one blog for a week or two while there was a sick child in the hospital, praying and hoping with everyone else. Once he was better, I let it go. Once I read a post by a woman who was afraid she was losing her husband. I wonder sometimes what happened. I've read posts by people who have it all together and people who are falling apart. There are some bloggers who consistently piss me off but who I admire nonetheless, but I can't follow them every day -- I wait and go and read a bunch of posts all at once and get pissed off and formulate my replies and don't bother to comment, and then I let it go. Sort of. Until I can't sleep and then I stack up pissy yet excruciatingly articulate retorts in my head that bring the other blogger to her figurative knees, then I usually fall asleep and dream about angry fish.

Umm...do I have to have a point? I've been trying to dip into the nablopomo blogroll every day, but in case my abundant bitching and moaning hasn't made it clear, November has been generating maximum suckage, so I haven't done it as much. And what keeps it from being overwhelming is that I know I can't possibly add all of them to my blogroll. I can just read and enjoy and then skip away merrily. Which is a big thing for me because I? do not let go of things easily.

And I love FameThrowa. In case that wasn't clear.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

There are big things going on in the world. None of them are going on in my head. My head is cluttered and disorganized. Much like most of my house. I'm trying to think of tomorrow as a fresh start. Most of the November craziness (most of it good) is over, some wonderful people watched my kids for most of the week-end, and my parents are back for my second husband-less week so if I have to go to the doctor again at least the people I stick the other kid or kids with while I'm stuck in rush hour traffic will be largely obligated to still like me.

Let's talk about books! This one was about a famous clown named Kaspar Krone -- an extraordinarily perceptive man who hears people's emotions and experiences as music, and who can sense events and surroundings from miles away. There's something about unpaid taxes, his ailing father, some kidnapped children, a disappeared lover and a taxi driver with artificial legs. The book was a strange mix of mystery thriller and meandering philosophical treatise. The reviews I read on Goodreads were mixed --some people love Hoeg's unhurried, poetic style and some people wonder why on earth other people love it. I did enjoy reading the book in small spurts -- every section was a gorgeous tactile experience, beautifully textured and coloured. I couldn't read a lot of it at once, though, and I didn't feel a lot of urgency to pick it up again.

This one -- oh, that doesn't work, because I have to say it was called Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Because for some reason, I was surprised when it turned out to actually BE about salmon fishing. In the Yemen. I expected it to be a collection of short stories about disaffected modern youth, or a meditation on growing older and not knowing whether to refinish a rocking chair or seek romance with a circus worker, or something. Someone in book club put it on the list, so I wrote it down and promptly forgot about it until I checked the list and realized I had to read it. I didn't really like it. It seemed like satire in some places -- sending up the hypocrisy and laziness of government departments, the self-servingness and duplicity of politicians -- but the character of the sheik who wants to make salmon fishing in the Yemen possible is quite sympathetic and seems sincerely drawn. The ending doesn't seem to fit in with either tone. I often have trouble with satire -- it has to tread a very fine line or it risks just being stupid. But then I hated the Austin Powers movies, so maybe my husband's right and my sense of humour just leaves something to be desired.

Tomorrow I will endeavour to tidy up my house and my headspace.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One man's trivia is another man's...uh, trivia.

So it turns out Eve does have pneumonia after all. That's right -- I sent my plague-ridden daughter to another woman's house while I was out carousing. Mother of the year, right here. In my defense, no one could believe it, including the people she's staying with. And my doctor had said to call her if Eve got worse, which she hadn't, so I guess I won't bitch about it taking two and a half days to call me after the x-ray. And she did call me on a Saturday morning, which my sister the health-care professional assures me is quite impressive. So, the icky pink medicine has been dispensed, she is still happily esconced at her best friend's house, and we'll all just have to live with the medical mystery. Apple a day my ass -- I think she may have proved that being a chronic wiseass actually strengthens the immune system.

World Trivia Night was an unmitigated success -- not 'success' in the sense of 'winning' or 'placing' or even 'proving that I'm not a total moron', but, you know, 'success' in the sense of 'ate a lot of crap', 'laughed like, well, a moron who doesn't know her daughter has pneumonia', and 'answered three questions no one else knew, two of which involved television or movies, thereby revealing to all assembled that I watch The Mentalist' (only sometimes. When I'm too lazy to pick up the remote and change the channel. I know. The shame). The Divine Miss M.L. made her first in-person appearance at our table and in my life, which was awesome. Lynn made us Cheez Whizard costumes (capes and starry pencil-wands and wizard hats with tinsel and pictures of cheese, which was kind of a relief since I was kind of expecting actual string cheese) which got us into the short list for the Best Costume category. And the dudes who actually won Best Costume (Angus McCrock -- kilsts, berets, blue faces and a massive wall of beer cans) were very gracious when I asked to take a picture of them for my son (whose name, we all agreed, was awesome). And I got to see Julie again, and transferred some of our vast accumulated Spiderman wealth to her, so yay. (And I still think she's really smart. A lot of people might think, on first glance, that 'star' is a five-letter word.)

At the end of the night we were all happily exhausted, all smarter by a few prime ministers, planets and countries (Dominica -- who knew?), hopped up on sugar and white-lipped from the massive salt infusion sucking all the moisture out of our bodies, and really glad to know our daughters didn't have pneumonia. Well, most of us. Sigh.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Post Card

I mean a placeholder. For a post. A Post Holder. A Post place card.

Fuck it. My daughter doesn't have pneumonia. I'm going to World Trivia Night. I am holding on to the po in Nablopomo with the very ends of my fingernails.

Something funny to tide you over? Okay, sure.


Paraprosdokian sentences: A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect.


Ø I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.


Ø Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.


Ø I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.


Ø Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.


Ø The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.


Ø Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.


Ø If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.


Ø We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.


Ø War does not determine who is right -- only who is left.


Ø Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


Ø The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


Ø Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.


Ø To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.


Ø A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.


Ø How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire


Ø I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted paycheques.


Ø Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR."


Ø I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.


Ø Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?


Ø Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.


Ø Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?


Ø Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.


Ø A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.


Ø You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.


Ø The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!


Ø Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.


Ø A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip


Ø Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.


Ø Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.


Ø Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.


Ø There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.


Ø I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.


Ø I always take life with a grain of salt... plus a slice of lemon... and a shot of tequila.


Ø When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.


Ø You're never too old to learn something stupid.


Ø To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.


Ø Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.


Ø A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.


Ø If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?


Ø Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The post I'm too tired to think of a title for

Thanks to everyone for the kind words. I want to assure everyone who might have gotten the impression that my doctor is mean and that I am not assertive enough that I did get confirmation that if the x-ray showed pneumonia she would CALL in a prescription rather than requiring the honour of our presence again -- NOT doing that little forced march twice in two days. The night was less than stellar -- despite the puffer Eve coughed forcefully and pitiably from bedtime until midnight or so until I gave up on both of us trying to sleep, got her up and propped her up in my chair to watch TV and gave her a full dose of Benadryl. Around two a.m. we both dozed off and the rest of the night was better, although I think I dreamed a couple of additional episodes of Naturally Sadie.

This morning we dropped Angus off at school and headed to the X-Ray clinic where my doctor had assured me we wouldn't need an appointment. This was true; however, the receptionist said she would have to ask the radiologist if they would do Eve since she was so young, and at least one of their radiologists refused to read children at all, so we might have to go to CHEO. I debated quickly between cash bribes and crying, and decided on standing there like a moron until we got the word that the radiologist would read her films, whereupon I debated quickly between flowers and chocolate and decided on sitting in a chair staring into space while Eve read Junie B. Jones. (I love Junie B. Jones. She has poor impulse control and is not afraid to call dumb, stupid things dumb and stupid and she brought a fish stick to school for a pet).

As we pulled into the parking lot for the clinic, Eve mused "this part of my life is quite doctorish". As we sat in the waiting room she whispered to me "I kind of like that they don't call your name, they call my name." In the x-ray room she made the technician laugh when she looked down at herself and said totally deadpan, "I'm wearing a paper shirt". The technician made her laugh when she assured her that, despite the apron that covered her butt, they did x-ray butts on a regular basis.

There's something sort of comforting about the day after you're up in the night with a sick child (when you don't work outside the house). Nobody really expects anything of you except recovery. You can tell people that your doctor is going to call in a recipe instead of a prescription and they get it. People tell you to take a nap. When you look up from your computer for the thirteenth time thinking there's a red car in the driveway and finally realize that it's just the red bowl on the edge of the counter blending in your peripheral vision with the window beside the front door you don't worry that you're completely losing your grip on reality. Quite as much.

I've read the paper and looked at the internet today enough to feel very grateful that things aren't worse. I could, for instance, be like Alanis Morrissette -- married to a guy named Souleye. Imagine the conversations: "Dammit, Souleye, how many times do I have to tell you to put the lid back down?!" "Souleye, honey, mind grabbing me an organic iced tea?" Also, I've never tried to rob a convenience store and fallen on my own knife while trying to escape (instant karma! Plus, hugely enjoyable visual). And... oh! I don't have to x-ray people's butts on a regular basis.

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Expletive deleted

So Eve started coughing last Monday. Last Monday, when Matt was still home and would be for a week. She was coughing, but nothing else. She wasn't stuffed up or feverish or lethargic. She went to school every day and played with her friend next door most nights and it was all good. I went away for the week-end -- still good. But coughing. When did that nagging but basically unassuming cough turn into something a little more sinister? I'll tell you when: the minute -- probably the goddamned mother-cursed bugger-freaking SECOND -- my husband's plane passed out of Canadian airspace. On Monday, a WEEK after the original cough began. Seriously -- it's like a switch flips once he's gone and all manner of mishaps, catastrophes and incidents of mayhem (MAYHEM I say) descend upon us. Stairs cannot be traversed without falls. Fingers bend in strange and unintended-by-nature ways. Maggots infest the green bin. The clocks run backward and blood streams from the taps. Okay, I'm exaggerating. But the huge days-long power blackout in 2003? He was in Boston. And the only time Eve has ever had an ear infection immediately followed by a stomach virus, he was in goddamned Switzerland. True story.

So I took Eve to the doctor today. I'm a stay at home Mom and she was home from school so we could have gone at any time they could squeeze us in. Naturally the time they could squeeze us in was the exact time when I would have to be picking Angus up from school (I got him to go home with a friend) which then resulted in us getting onto the highway at the exact hour we like to call Rush. WITHOUT a prescription, because the doctor would like her to get a chest x-ray just to make sure it's pneumonia. Sure. Great. Hate antibiotic overuse. WAHHHHHHH!!!

Oh well. She did get a puffer. She's still feeling well enough to be a smartass. And Angus just took her upstairs to run her bath.

God, let the hot water tank be working.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Absence makes the heart unable to take out the garbage

There's a perception that a lot of husbands don't cope very well when their wives are away from home and they're left to manage with the kids alone. There are tales of wild junk-food fests, failure to bathe, horrifying wardrobe combinations, and general chaos and disaster. Some wives fill the refrigerator with meals and lay out clothes for each day they will be absent. Some wives write out a schedule of events and staple it to their husbands' shirts. Some wives just don't go away for fear of the carnage they will find when they return.

I am not one of those wives.

I have a friend whose husband's memory is extremely bad. He has received a phone call from his mother reminding him to bring a certain item to dinner, agreed to bring the item, hung up the phone, ignored the item which is sitting right beside him, and left for dinner. Once when we were on the way to a friend's cottage, she realized she had forgotten to remind her husband to bring her son to soccer. She immediately called him, ascertained that he had indeed forgotten to go to soccer, made sounds of exasperation, and hung up. Her sister, unmarried and childless, said "why on earth did you call him? It was already too late to remind him to go. The only purpose you served by calling him was to make him feel bad". All the mothers in the car looked around at each other thinking 'well duh, that's why she called him."

I actually sort of yearn for the day when I come home from a couple of days away and find a smoking pile of french fries, unfinished homework and stripes and polka dots. When my husband is here he can't remember his own name without my help. "So remember how I'm having that heart transplant tomorrow?" "What? Heart? When? Do I know you?" I leave movies for him to return where he'll have to step over them to go out the door and I still have to chase him down the driveway with them. He routinely loses his wallet, keys and work badge. I go away? He instantly becomes a super-efficient child-minding machine with a flawless grasp of the appointments and events on the calendar. This past week-end while I was in Toronto he got the kids to make homemade pizza (crust and all), got Eve to two birthday parties and Angus to a hockey game and a practice plus team pictures. The kitchen's usually spotless when I get home. I went to Halifax when Eve was three and he REPAINTED HER BEDROOM! Honestly, is that not just a tiny bit obnoxious? When I'm home I'm lucky if I can get a picture hung inside of six months.

I don't really wish he would fall apart without me. I don't need things to fall to crap when I'm gone to feel needed (do I? I don't think I do). I'm glad he takes the opportunity to do something fun and different with the kids when he has them to himself. And in my defense, if the kitchen isn't spotless when he gets home, it's usually because he's been away a week or two and not a day or two, and at some point something's gotta give -- and it usually involves the green bin.

And if I really want to feel like I've been missed? There's always the laundry room.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Will Survive while Shaking my Groove Thing in a Boogie Wonderland

Week-end was fabulous beyond description. We stayed with a friend of my friend who was coming to the play with us, which made me a little nervous (I shower a lot. I snore. I like my space. People I don't know freak me out. I like the impersonality and anonymity of hotels) but she and her husband were so amazingly nice -- they made us breakfast! Twice! And I had my own room -- the craft room, with a futon, and a bookshelf with ample reading material, including a book called 'Sexy Hormones' which I various read as 'Sexy Homeowners' and 'Sexy Mormons', both of which made me think these were people I really wanted to know -- and I woke up once and someone in the room next to me was snoring which was a tremendous relief.

There was some of this:


A little of this:


And, of course, this:


The show was amazing. When my friend suggested going back in May, I didn't think "oh, I really want to see that", I thought "yippee, week-end away with my girlfriends". But I can't think of anything I've enjoyed more in recent memories. The review I'd read made it sound like it was lightweight, campy fun, which it was of course, but I also found it quite powerful in places. The casting was impeccable and the music was smashing -- I was grinning like an idiot for most of it, when I wasn't laughing in a loud unladylike fashion. I believe my toe even tapped -- and my toe very rarely taps.

Then there was this for amusement on the way home:

(so much better than those places where you buy two and only get one).

Now I'm back in reality, with one kid home sick today, one husband en route to Asia and Australia for two weeks, parents in Arizona, a house that resembles the aftermath of Krakatoa and a lack of will to do anything productive. And those men's legs were waaaaay better than mine. Oh well. We'll always have Toronto. And World Trivia Night is on Friday! (although based on the game we played in the car on the way down, my team would be better off replacing me with the nearest homeless person).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Flying by Seat of Pants Recipes: Carrot Brie Soup

For those of you who enjoyed my hapless attempt to recreate citrus almonds, here's another one.

1) go to Allium in Ottawa with three friends (great restaurant, stupid name -- whose chef was actually trained by my husband's cousin's French-chef husband -- true story -- well obviously, why on earth would I make something like that up? I met him at my brother-in-law's wedding. Where there was a vegetarian buffet. He was fairly gracious in the absence of foie gras). Fail to order the Carrot and Brie soup on the grounds that you have never really loved carrot soup, which usually tastes like watery cooked carrots, while I prefer them raw. Taste the Carrot and Brie Soup of a friend and then wait for her to go to the washroom so you can eat most of it and refill her bowl with wine and hope she won't notice.

2) go home and mount a pitched battle with said friend to see who can re-create the recipe best. Swear at her when her first attempt is much better than yours, which prompted your mother-in-law to counsel dumping most of a liter of cream into the pot, which actually does improve it immeasurably.

3) make a second attempt which goes much better.

4) make a pot for book club which garners rave reviews and may even edge out my almost-famous near-sublime butternut squash soup.

5) go to Zarah's and decide to make a pot for lunch with good friend and his wife who I am meeting for the first time.

6) dispatch Zarah to the market for ingredients, including carrots and brie. Admire big beautiful local award-winning carrots with which she returns, and look somewhat suspicious at the cheese, which has a thin layer of ash running through it, but succomb to Zarah's blithe assurances that it will work fine (and it does taste really good).

7) roast the carrots lovingly on a cookie sheet, drizzled with olive oil at 400 degrees until soft

8) sauté sliced onions and one or two sliced potatoes slowly in butter and olive oil over medium-low heat until soft.

9) place carrots, onions and potatoes in soup pot. Season with sea salt, pepper, lemon thyme, oregano, whatever.

10) add homemade chicken stock just to cover (I over chicken-stocked and under-potatoed the first time).

11) simmer for a while.

12) add wine. simmer for another while.

13) add cheese. Stir. Observe cheese melting nicely. Observe strange substance that resembles blobs of gray chewed gum floating around.

14) Freak out and deride Zarah's ridiculous yuppie ash-bedecked cheese.

15) Calm down and scoop out blobs with a slotted spoon. Empty out soup into bowl and scrape remainder of blobby gray crap off of bottom of pan (or make Zarah do it. She switched the cheese, after all)

16) Return soup to pot and simmer. Add cream. Consider contacting the Evanturel people to advise adding a big red warning DO NOT USE IN SOUP label so no one else has to endure a similarly harrowing experience.

17) Serve soup to appreciative guests and swear each other to secrecy. Until you're in dire need of a blog post.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just move along. Really.

Ack. No one reads blogs on Saturday anyway, right? Um, um, um, um.....

Oh great, the computer just autosaved and I hadn't typed ANYTHING since the last autosave. Thanks a lot Blogger, not a bit demoralizing.

I am about to open a package of M&Ms.

I have just opened a package of M&Ms. Colour breakdown: five yellow, three brown, three red, two orange, two green and one blue.

I'm not really here. I'm actually in Toronto opening up a package of H&M. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ooh, that old lady is scary. And watching singing dancing men who probably have better legs than I do. And can dance in heels. So right now I am in fact most likely having a gay old time (hee). But Thursday night? I was totally uninspired.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Balls to you if you don't think this is funny

Yes, I am incredibly immature. I pride myself on being puerile. When I saw The Pillow Book with my boss from the book store where I worked, I could only look at Ewan McGregor buck naked for a second or two before I filled the theatre with hysterical giggles and almost got simultaneously fired and asked to leave. My husband often gets angry at the kids for being silly at the dinner table. Then he has to get angry with me as well, because hell, it IS funny when someone keeps saying 'beef burger' over and over again in a German accent. I love this ship. Why? Because it's called a frigate. And don't you sometimes just want to say frigate? Or, go here, you can here some other guy say it over and over -- how awesome is that?

So this? Well, this made my friggin' day. And with that, I am off to Toronto to see singing men in drag, leaving my husband and children to fend for themselves for TWO whole nights. One hockey game, one hockey practice, one hockey photo session, two birthday parties... say it with me...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance

I don't have anything profound to say. It just seems wrong to write about cute stuff my kids said or stupid stuff I'm worrying about today. My husband is planning to take his grandfather to the dinner at the Legion tonight (hopefully he won't heckle the Peacekeepers this time). I went a couple of times -- it was wonderful, and sad. The very first time I visited Matt, Grandpa started telling war stories; I didn't realize until afterwards that this was the first time Matt had heard any of them. It was riveting. It wasn't all hell, of course -- in a way, the war was the only way he would have seen as much of the world as he did, and some of the times were grand old times indeed. But the parts that were hell were appalling, horrifying, unimaginable for those of us who weren't there. I worry sometimes that, as his short-term memory deteriorates but his long-term memory remains crystal clear, he will be trapped in those hellish memories. And then there are the soldiers today, who are in a hot, alien country, enduring conditions we can't even imagine for a cause that a good part of this country thinks is false and unworthy -- how hard must that be? My husband was gone last week and will be gone Monday for two weeks, and it's hard. But I don't have to worry that he's going to get shot or run afoul of an improvised explosive device while I try to run a household alone for months at a time. So yeah, I'm going to remember today. And try to stop whining.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Wedding Pictures

Sometimes after stories Zarah lets Sophie play with her shoes.


It was right about now that Eve realized that my shoes suck and asked if she could live with Zarah.








"We're gonna have the same dress, and the same sweater, and the same shoes, and we'll be like twins, and it's gonna be awesome!"


Shield your eyes from the adorableness:


It's all about the shoes




This is where we started shouting at them to put each other in headlocks. Sadly, not a one of them knew what the hell we were talking about. I somehow thought that a headlock was part of genetic memory. Guess I was wrong.




They were playing her song. All night.


You wouldn't believe how hard he had to work to get her to do this:


The almost nauseatingly happy couple:


And one of him gazing adoringly into her -- oh. Never mind.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Savages at Civilization

Field trip.

Duration: All Damned Day (I'm pretty sure that's what it said on the actual volunteer sheet).

Three grade five classes.

Five girls in my group.

One kick-ass museum (that unfortunately is very easy to lose children in).

Wood carvings, totem poles and puffin head masks.

Old stamps.

Writing your name in hieroglyphics.

A pyramid mystery workshop and a very realistic-looking mummy.

A crazy funny museum employee and a hilarious music workshop involving elastics with pennies wrapped around our shoes to make tappers, Indonesian musical instruments, African drums, a story about a rhinoceros and an elephant, and a move called 'le wiper'. (Yep. I tap danced. With my son. Pretty much worth the price of admission right there, wouldn't you say?)

Roughly two hours of bus riding both ways.

One kid with a poked eye and one with his head stuck in the sleeve of his jacket.

Two extra-strength Advil.

One day that turned out considerably better than I thought it might.

Monday, November 8, 2010

They do. They really do.

We had the most amazing week-end. We stayed with my friend Zarah and her two kids in her charming old wood-floored sparkly-lamp luxuriously-curtained house and the kids were loud and happy and silly and every few hours we pushed them all outside to run off some of the loud silliness. Saturday night we went to the wedding party (pictures to follow) for two amazing people who waited quite a long time and went through quite a bit of strife before they found each other (Zarah introduced them -- I tell you, she is to be praised).

There's something a little different about a wedding for people in their forties. Not to say that I didn't love my own wedding and feel like it was a special night where I was making an important committment in front of a lot of people I loved. Not to say that I didn't feel honoured going to many of my friends' weddings around the same time to see them make that same committment. But a lot less is taken for granted when you marry later, for the first time. You're not just doing things in the approved order. You're not just admirable and adorable because you're young and open and hopeful. You've lived a few more years and realized that love is a wonderful thing, but it often isn't actually enough -- that you have to rely on other qualities in order to maintain a relationship. I felt this when we went to my husband's graduate supervisor's wedding when he was in his fifties, and I felt it on Saturday night. It's something that I think of when I'm writing letters or Christmas cards talking about my family. When you reach this age, this point in life, these things start to feel more and more precarious. And very precious.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knowing Me Knowing You November 2010

Knowing Me Knowing You! From the Almight Shan, the Fairy Blogmother! Just in time for a scheduled Sunday post while I'm driving home from Barrie and trying not to fall off the nablopomobile! Yay Shan!

1) What's on your (my) Christmas list?

Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. A few years back we stopped exchanging gifts among the adults on my side of the family because it just seemed kind of silly -- we were all exchanging the same hundred-odd bucks over and over again. Now we just buy for the kids and if someone sees something small that's perfect for someone we pick it up. Matt usually takes the kids out for stuff for me, and it's always awesome -- Chapters gift certificates, fridge finger puppets of literary figures, fuzzy socks. And my mother in law has an uncanny knack for picking out the exact thing that I've been wanting but would never buy myself, often something kitchen-like. But really, I don't need anything. I need less stuff, not more. Although presents? are fun.

2) Do you have a handheld video game in your house?

Two of 'em. Three, before we gave Angus's Gameboy to my nephew. Angus's was a joint decision, Eve's was sprung on me when Matt decided to take Angus out and buy it as a present to Eve from Angus. Cute, but kind of expensive and a little too soon, in my opinion. She loved it, though. Both of them have seen furious use at various times. Neither of them have been used much lately, if at all -- Eve actually left hers at piano one week and didn't realize it was gone until we went back and the teacher gave it to her. It might be time to re-gift or sell them used. They saved our ass on long drives before the kids had ipods (yeah, they have ipods too -- it was my Mom! Not me!)

3)Are you going to participate in the 25 Days of Christmas challenge?

I only found out about this halfway through last year. It sounds like a great idea. I tend to get overwhelmed with Christmas-ish-ness -- one family activity every day might be a nice way to put the brakes on the crazy a little. And I do like forcing my son to spend time with me. :)

4)What is your favourite kind of cookie?

Oatmeal. Or any available.

5)Coffee or tea?

Tea, if anything. I've never been in the habit of having hot drinks, even in the morning. But I've started going to Starbucks at Chapters every Tuesday with my friend Patti while our girls dance, and after I took the menu-reading and beverage-ordering introductory course I managed to order something called a Vanilla Rooibos tea latte which has to be good for my bones and often floats around in my dreams being milky and vanilla-y and luscious. Sometimes I wake up at 5 a.m. and count the hours until Starbucks opens.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm such a card

Thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions on the wedding card (and a good giggle at the visual from Nicole. I thought about taking Amber's suggestion to just let the kids do it, but Angus is slightly past the stage where he could just draw a big head with a belly button and stick some glitter on it and still be found charming, and Eve agonizes over these things so much that I was worried she'd be up past midnight yelling "I need an espresso and a slightly more sky-ey shade of blue!" And I realized I was seriously overthinking this, and our friendship was probably not going to stand or fall over whether I made a less-than-perfect wedding card.

So I sucked it up and planted my ass at the scrapbooking table and snipped and sliced and laid out and rearranged, and it was fun. I did go with one sincere card and one funny one (not quite sure how I'm going to deal with presenting them). Here's what I came up with:







Ingredients of a successful marriage: Love, Respect, Honesty, Passion, Humour:



Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday -- Funny?

Since by the time you're reading this I will likely be somewhere on the 417 headed south, in a van coated with a thin film of cheesie dust and carbonated beverage residue and two kids looking up from their ipods long enough to ask "are we almost there?" every twenty-five minutes or so, while trying not to nod off or alienate the insufferable British bitch who lives in my GPS (kidding, Calpurnia, I love you), I'm not sure what the hell is so funny about this Friday.

Here. Have some airplane maintenance jokes. Nothing like knowing that the people who make aircraft safe for travel at 30 000 feet are having such a hoot, huh?

Oh! Oh! This is funny. Eve at the supper table last week: tell me this could come out of anyone but a child of the 2000s:

"Braden (boy who sits beside her) really likes me. He said I was a great artist. Then he let me borrow his hand sanitizer."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hallmark it ain't

I don't feel good. I feel the opposite of good. I feel like a big fat useless drain on society. I feel like the inertial dampers on my metaphorical Starship Enterprise are... wait, what do inertial dampers do, make more inertia or less? I guess the term 'dampers' would imply that they attenuate the inertia in some way, so in that case my metaphorical inertial dampers would NOT be working. But if they increase inertia, then my metaphorical inertial dampers (let's say m.i.ds for short) are stuck on high and keeping me stalled in sub-space -- wait, what the hell is sub-space anyway? Something under space? How is that even possible? This metaphor is crap.

I'm driving to Barrie with the kids tomorrow. My husband is in Europe and was supposed to be getting back to Ottawa tomorrow, so I suggested he fly directly to Toronto and meet us in Barrie so I wouldn't have to worry about his flight being delayed or having to wait until he got home to leave or driving with him sleeping in the passenger seat which would just be annoying or him insisting on driving while jet-lagged and provoking me to back-seat drive to an even higher degree than usual. See how neatly I talked myself into the enviable position of a five-hour drive alone with two kids? I wonder if I can talk the clouds into dispensing some fabulous freezing rain too. Most of the rest stops along the highway are closed for renovations so I can't even count on an hourly cheeseburger break (you know, to keep me awake).

I have to make the wedding card before I go. I'm totally choking on the wedding card. I am so incredibly unutterably happy for the people getting married that -- well, yeah, unutterable, that's the problem. See, this guy, the best man from our wedding, is great. But goofy. He's forty, and he still asks waitresses to 'fire up' stuff for him in restaurants. When a kid sneezes, he asks if they've 'got snot' rather than politely inquiring whether they are in need of a tissue. He loves this movie. Eve had a red stuffed heart toy when she was four or five, that had a face on it, and he convinced her, since it was a heart with a human face on it, to call it 'human heart', just for the pleasure of listening to her walk around saying 'come on human, heart, let's go upstairs. Good night, human heart.' So the card has to be funny, right? But his wife is awesome and beautiful and professional and smart and I don't know her that well. So the card can't be too silly. But the wedding party is upstairs at a brewery. So the card could be funny. But they've both gone through a lot of crap to get here. So I want the card to be sincere.

I'm stymied. All I have rattling around in my head at the moment is a sappy image of intertwined wedding rings and the word 'hooters'.

Wordless Wednesday: Love us, Fear us, Give us Dead Goats

Down from Olympus for a party:





Don't make me laugh, I'm trying to be solemn and godlike:











Eve said "our pumpkins look like mad scientists!"


Rockin' the Aphrodite look in the snow:





Angus was satisfied being dashing and Herculean for a couple of parties, but for the actual night, fake blood was required:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Would you have shot him? Why or why not?

Today after taking the kids to school I came home and read this column in the Ottawa Citizen, reprinted from the Edmonton Journal. By the end of the column, my blood was duly boiling. I was outraged on behalf of these people who were victimized by criminals, seemingly abandoned by an ineffective policing system, and then criminalized when they took steps to protect their own homes and businesses. It was like I was a doll with a series of buttons that this piece was expressly designed to push.

So I thought I should take a step back and think about it more carefully.

I was incensed when I read about David Chen, the Toronto shopkeeper who intercepted a shoplifter and, when the thief swore at him and fled, caught and tied him up with the help of two of his employees and held him until the police got there. Mr. Chen ended up charged with assault, kidnapping and forcible confinement. This just seemed stupid to me. The only reason the thief was 'forcibly confined' was because he obviously wouldn't have consented to wait nicely until the police could show up to arrest him. I freely admit that a couple of days ago when I heard on the radio that the charges against Mr. Chen and his employees had been dropped I said "yay", right out loud, through a mouthful of toothpaste.

In the other two cases referred to by Mr. Gunter, there was actual violence -- by shotgun and hatchet. In one of them, one of the burglars died, and the homeowner was given life in prison for homicide. My feelings are less clear for these cases. On the one hand, the burglar that died was trying to climb out a window, so he presented no imminent threat to the homeowner who shot him, and therefore it can't be called self defense. On the other hand, he wouldn't have died if he hadn't been robbing someone's house.

I looked at a few other pieces Mr. Gunter has written, and his tendencies are clearly conservative and against anything that can be deemed appeasement or political correctness. He feels that the justice system has tilted sharply in favour of criminals' rights and away from those of victims. I'm an easy mark for a sentiment like this -- I am a 'good citizen', and I can easily identify with the rage and indignation of people who are repeatedly victimized by criminals and get no satisfaction from the police, until they feel like they have no choice but to take the law into their own hands. I've never robbed anyone or broken in anywhere, so I'm unable to see the criminal's side of it -- how you can be going about your business stealing stuff and suddenly have a bullet in the leg for your trouble (sorry, sorry -- not helpful). I'm not familiar enough with the law to know how much latitude there is in how they are applied. It does seem that there's a difference between shooting someone who has entered your house or business unlawfully and shooting someone just for the hell of it. It must be infuriating when you are told to 'let the police handle it' when it seems that they never do handle it. But it also seems like there might be (oh how I hate this phrase) a slippery slope argument to be made also. Gunter says that criminals have become bolder over the last generation because they know that fewer Canadians have guns. Not only am I a little skeptical of this statement, I also don't want to feel like criminals are less bold only because they think more Canadians have guns.

Anybody want to jump in here? My head is spinning and I haven't even showered yet. I'm about to tackle the Halloween decoration clean-up -- anyone who tries to break in here today is going to get a serious witch's broom over the head.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh no -- NaBlo freaking PoMo

So since last year I've learned that NaBloPoMo isn't only in November -- so since I'm going to be constantly whining about the fact that November is crazy busy and my husband will be on another continent for three of the five and a half November weeks and I've been fighting something respiratory for a while now and various other heartwrenching first-world middle-class lame-ass complaints, the question might be asked, why do it in November?

Dunno. November blows. If I'm going to be enduring November suckage, I might as well have one thing that I can feel like I accomplished every day, as well as a forum for bitching about the aforesaid November suck-and-blow-ingness. I did it last November and met some cool people and ended up at World Trivia Night with Lynn -- who knows what might happen this November? Oh right -- I'm going to end up at World Trivia Night with Lynn again (and Julie! and Mary Lynn -- first time in real life! Whoo-hoo! November is in danger of not wholly sucking.)

So...once more into the breach, dear friends.

Last night Eve and I got home from yet another Halloween party (thrown by a man as a surprise party for his wife -- a man who has earned the admiration of dozens of women and the undying hatred of those women's husbands). She was cold -- something about how we went to the party in sleeveless Greek goddess dresses in the brisk but reasonable evening and came home to pumpkins covered with *&^% SNOW. I dug out a pair of fleece feet pajamas from last year. She put them on and said 'this is kind of scratchy'. I expressed disbelief, since I had just handed them to her and they were insanely fluffy. She said 'feel inside, though', and I had to admit that inside they were not nearly as soft. Since I've been known to ditch a nightgown based on some undetectable thing poking me in the shoulder, I didn't really have a leg to stand on. She took them off and handed them back to me and said "we should give them to someone who doesn't have so many issues."

Amen to that, babe.