Monday, July 29, 2013


SO, in deference to the Baseball Gods, They Who Are Real and Must Be Propitiated, we've been conducting our summer plans as if Angus's Little League Majors WEREN'T going to win Provincials and have to go to Glace Bay, Nova Scotia three short days after the championship game.

Maybe we should have been a little cockier. We would have been better prepared.

They played the final on Sunday. Angus pitched the entire game except for the very last batter (at the bottom of the sixth, he only had 7 pitches left of his allowed 85. My Dad said "they won't use him." I said "yes they will - they'll use him to his very last pitch". My Mom, with perfect grandmotherly faith, said "seven pitches - he can get two out with that". AND HE DID.) He was also responsible for four of the six runs batted in, and hit the game's only home run. My brother-in-law, the cardiologist, got up at six a.m., took the train to Ottawa, rented a car to drive to Casselman, watched the game then turned around and went back home to work that night. It was nice that Angus made it worth his trip.

photo credit: Rhonda Legault

My poor husband is running around like a headless chicken trying to help the woman who is organizing accomodations and plane tickets and who's bringing what equipment and what has to be carried on because we're screwed if it gets lost and the hosting city was supposed to be billeting players but then there weren't enough families willing to have billets so then they wanted to stick all our kids on cots in classrooms in some school and we said, uh, NO, so now it looks like everyone is staying in university dorms and my husband is trying to shake his pissed-offness at how big a screw-up this is, but it's hard, because this city has known for years that it was hosting, so GET IT TOGETHER, FOLKS, and I'm just doing laundry and keeping my head down and Eve is totally confused.

Did I mention that they're going for the whole tournament, which is twelve days, whether they win or lose? And if they win, which they PROBABLY won't, because some team from B.C. usually wins, possibly because they get to play baseball for so much more of the year there and here, well, we get weather, but the last time it was NOT a B.C. team that won and went to the Little League World Series it was an East Nepean team, which is, um, us? And that if they DO win, they go directly to South Williamsport Pennsylvania and stay for the WHOLE Little League World Series, and that the parents basically sign their child away at the beginning of the tournament and see them again at the end? Meaning I could not see my husband or kids for more than three weeks? (Matt said to Angus "please don't win. It will be very expensive" and Angus said "okay. The last game, I'll throw everything into the dirt").

photo credit: Rhonda Legault

It's crazy. I'm happy for my son - this is going to be an intensely memorable time. I'm happy and sympathetic towards my husband - this is going to be an intensely memorable time and a huge pain in the ass. I'm a little bewildered on my own behalf - I knew this was a possibility, but it seems sort of surreal now. Eve and I will just have some fun girl time and be supportive from a province or so away. Angus's coach hugged me and thanked me for giving birth to his star player at the team party. Um, you're welcome? One of the other parents made some drunken comparison between Angus and Mike Tyson in his early days. He wandered away in the middle of it and I locked eyes with the coach's girlfriend and said "did he just compare my son to Mike Tyson?" Um, thanks?

Life is weird.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Settling into Summer

So, this is how it's been.

*Shortly before school ends, go to my doctor, confide that I am unbearably anxious about everything from getting to appointments on time to blow-drying my hair. Agree with her that I should increase my anxiety meds. Increase my anxiety meds. Wait for anxiety to subside.*

*School ends.*

*Pack up Eve for a week at my sister's. Drive to Toronto without incident. Hook up with my sister and her family. See the Wizard of Oz and a bunch of awesome happy gay people. Have a wonderful time.*

*Wake up Sunday and say goodbye to Eve and my sister's family before they drive back to London. Realize I've been in denial about how terrified I am about finding my way out of Toronto to get back home. Retrieve the van from the parking lot. Try to drive out of the parking lot. Think that I'm driving up through successful circular levels, because I was parked down on the lowest level. Realize I've passed the same guy drinking a slushie three times, because I've just been circling the bottom level over and over. Pull into a parking space and have hysterics. Find the ramp to get out of the parking lot. Ask the parking attendant how to get to the DVP. Realize it's dead easy and thank the parking attendant a little overly profusely. Get out on the DVP. Relax a little. Realize I didn't remind Eve to get her fuzzy (white lambskin) out of the bed and pack it and panic that she's now on her way to London without the thing without which she will not sleep. Call my sister, illegally, while driving, and have a shouting conversation wherein it is revealed that Fuzzy is safely packed in Eve's bag. Pull over on the side of the road and have hysterics. Drive home without further incident.*

*Try to decompress for a few days before my sister's family drives up here and leaves my niece and nephew for the week. Do an assignment. Read some books. Feel like there are bees under my skin.*

*Sister's family arrives. Visit with sister and brother-in-law for week-end. Sister and brother-in-law leave.*

*Take Eve and niece and nephew to Despicable Me 2, the Canadian War Museum, the park, Mont Cascade (which is, happily, the Ottawa park that HASN'T just been hit with a 20 million dollar fine for safety violations), Eve's softball game, Home Depot and Funhaven. Have a great time, but keep feeling wrong-footed and weird and desperately wanting a few hours to just be alone and quiet.*

*Get a few hours to be alone and quiet.*

*Read read sit sit think read sit*

*Realize that I'm inconsolably sad and lonely and feel like the air is screaming all around me when I'm alone. Feel disgruntled.*

*Go to a fortieth birthday party. Decide I won't drink because I'm emotionally fragile and have a bit of a cold.*

*Drink drink drink drink drink drink drink drink.*

*Wake up with vague memories of trying to sing a song I didn't know in Rock Band and wonder if I was singing actual English words. Check with everyone to make sure I wasn't the drunkest and most embarrassing person at the party. Love my friends for also being drunken idiots or lying well enough to make me believe that I was not the drunkest and most embarrassing person at the party.*

*Apologize to Eve for having an epic hangover and disappointing her hugely with my inappropriate and immature behaviour. Go to a baseball coach's cottage and have a nice afternoon with the baseball team under Eve's watchful eye because she doesn't believe that I would not drink alcohol at this moment in time if someone paid me.*

*Eve and her friend start drama camp. Hang out with the friend's mother, hang out with other friend with baby, read a little, cook a little.*

*Go to Angus's championship game which his team has to win to win Districts and advance to Provincials. Feel like I'm about to throw up and have a heart attack simultaneously, even though his team is undefeated and has mercied every other team in Districts including the one he's about to play.*

*Get to the game and relax infinitesimally when he pitches a perfect first three innings, but only really breathe when the game is won.*

*Drive through a severe thunderstorm with tornado watch in effect with Angus and Matt to watch Eve's performance on the final day of drama camp. Get wet. Watch performance. Clap and smile. Drive some more through torrential rain, thunder and lightning to visit Matt's relatives who we love at the cottage they've rented while they're visiting from Vancouver. Sit in a gazebo and drink pastel drinks and look at the lake. Feel marginally less anxious.*

*Drive home. Take Eve to her last softball game in the suffocating heat and humidity that the almost-tornado was supposed to demolish. Come home. Think that we have no camp or visitors or plans this week and Angus has baseball games that he might win and might lose, and feel like I might be starting to enjoy summer and have half a hope of getting this elephant off my chest.*

*Think I should blog.*

*Don't blog. Don't blog. Don't blog.*


Saturday, July 6, 2013


Eve is home after a week with my sister, and my sister and her family are here visiting, and I'm happy and exhausted and a little drunk. I don't want it to seem like I'm playing the whole Pride Week in Toronto thing just for gags - it really was an amazing experience. Eve loved seeing all the same-sex couples at our hotel and the only reason my sister didn't want to get in the elevator with four drag queens was because "I just don't look that good in comparison". We didn't even hold it against them when they kept blowing the fuse to my sister's room with their hair dryers, hot rollers, flat irons and steamers.

It's kind of neat how, in Toronto, Pride Week is a family event - it's "come - bring the kids!" Every store window is rainbow-filled - sometimes it's colourful t-shirts, sometimes it's six male mannequins with their jeans around their ankles wearing neon jockey shorts. We were there to see the Wizard of Oz, which was somewhat fortuitous, because, you know....

...over the rainbow and everything.

Before the show we went to a British Pub-style restaurant for dinner. While we were there, my nephew read the dessert menu and Eve said "man. I gotta get me some Big Ben Brownie". So after the show, we went back for dessert. We tried to order four Big Ben Brownies (one for each of the kids, one for me and my sister to share) and the waitress said that would probably kill us, and advised us to get two.

(Charlotte, wishing the damned paparazzi would eff off and let her eat her damned brownie)

It was a BIG Ben Brownie. We asked my brother-in-law for help, but he opted for the fruit crisp. I would have impugned his manhood, but it was Pride Week, and I'm trying to be less of an asshole, so I restrained myself.

The restaurant also had these magnificent Pridealicious Martinis. They were delicious, and rainbow-hued.

We were talking about the martinis today in my mother's living room and my mother said, what was in the martinis that made them so wonderful? And Eve, without missing a beat, made an expansive rainbow gesture with her arms and said rapturously, "gayness"!

To all my gay friends - be proud. And you throw a hell of a party.