Sunday, February 23, 2014

What We Have Here...

Angus has been bugging us for a few weeks to make him an appointment with Matt's university friend who is now an Ottawa dermatologist, for his face (which we don't think is that bad, but whatever). She had given us her office number and said she'd fit us in, but then SQUIRREL, and now it's a few months later and I couldn't find it. I emailed Zarah, who's in more frequent contact with her than we are, and asked if she had Jen's contact information. The next morning, I opened my ipad upstairs when I woke up and there was an email from Zarah with the pertinent details. I emailed back "Thank-you!" and went to shower. When I got downstairs and opened my computer, there was an email from Zarah that said this:

Um...huh? So I looked at my original email below, and instead of "Thank-you!" it said:

Oops! But still, what? Then I looked back at HER original email and saw this:

So she thought I was correcting her than/then use. But then MY email should have, at the VERY least, said "Than, you!" So not only did she think I was a big enough douche to correct her grammar when she was doing me a favour, but she thought I was doing it USING IMPROPER GRAMMAR.

So I emailed back:

And she said:

And also:

And finally:

And I said, well I know who I can share it with, who will TOTALLY get the awesomeness. And I didn't even point out this part to her:

Well, until  now. Because I'm an asshole. And it's the icing on the fabulous story cake. And Zarah can take it. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I've Fallen and I Still Can't Really Get Up

We're a mixed-bag of viruses over here. Eve has been stuffy and her eyes "are pretending to be waterfalls", Angus has the voice of one of Hell's lesser demons. He went to school this morning, and I picked him up at noon for an orthodontist appointment - when the receptionist heard him talk she suggested I not bring him back. I had a sore throat and bad sinuses on Tuesday morning, which suddenly morphed into the Barfing Plague on Tuesday afternoon. And my husband has somehow been dodging among the large-droplet-contagion without getting wet so far. He did have to put my socks on this morning so I could get Angus to the orthodontist, since I wrenched my back muscles so badly in the process of turning my gastrointestinal system inside-out that I could hardly move. Turns out it's almost as hard to put on someone else's socks as it is to put on someone else's glasses (if you've tried, you'll know what I mean). "What the hell are you doing? You can't just bunch them around my ankles, I'll never fit them in my boots. Okay, DON'T PULL THEM UP SO FAR, you're strangling my feet! Don't you WEAR socks? You SUCK at this!"

Yes, I am always exactly that gracious a patient.

As a result of all the germs and fatigue and shit, I haven't been able to get out to the CPAP place to get replacement filters for my machine, I haven't been able to feed my children and I haven't written anything OR read anything all week. All I've done is watch multiple, out-of-order episodes of Bones on Netflix, while undergoing this weird phenomenon that often takes place when I'm sick, whereby I develop acute feelings of loyalty and affection for a particular show that got me through some rough hours. "I have REALLY been undervaluing this show - the subtlety and lyricism! The gentle humour! The rendering of existential despair as it pertains to a traditional humanist value system! And wow, David Boreanaz has really maintained an admirable set of abs to this point in the series." I'm finding it a little hard to move on.

While I regain my strength, have a few pictures of Eve celebrating her 11th birthday and Matt's Nana's 91st (I baked the cake but forgot to buy candles, and I had a one but not a nine, so I had to turn a six upside-down). Eve was born one week before Nana's eightieth birthday, so we've always been able to figure out easily how old Nana is (Eve Plus Eighty.)

She has a cousin that lived to 98, and she figures she can top that.

I vote yes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Favourite Moments from Family Vacation

Getting to the airport at 6 a.m. without killing each other.

Getting to the other airport and it not being minus a million.

Eve deciding that the back seat of the shuttle bus was perfect for her.

The view from our room.

Giving The Hat Man some business (Charlotte's a deadly negotiator).

Watching Poppa try to catch a piece of stir-fried chicken in his mouth (and missing).

Guest cheffing.

A flying boat. A FLYING BOAT.

Hanging in our room.

Angus serenading us with the bilingual "hop up jump in" song from Handy Manny every night as we were falling asleep (or "am I freakin' Puerto Rican or Dominican" from the Scrubs musical episode). But I don't have a picture of that, so this is a picture of Matt trying to get him to wear Eve's fedora.

Being mellow.

Really, really mellow. 


When Uncle Matthew introduced Jonah to chili cheese dogs from the beach bar and Jonah ate one every day (sometimes two). 

When we were at the buffet on the fourth day and all the adults guiltily admitted they'd been sneaking chicken fingers from the kids' station and they were really, really good. 

Great Big Mable!

Great Big Mable with our kids on it instead of Speedo Guy beside it. 

Math homework!

Hanging out before dinner.

Hanging out before dinner while Eve and Charlotte do a soft-shoe routine using Poppa's walking poles as canes.

Eve and Charlotte doing their "Baywatch slow-motion run before the special effects have been added".

The kids' table!

Making friends!

Making friends that bring us fancy drinks on our last night! (Also, having a hard-of-hearing mother, so while she's giving the thumbs-up to the waiter because she thinks he's just waving, you get to say "You just told him to bring us all a Mama Juana" and hear her say WHAT?)

Being fabulous. On a staircase. In coordinating outfits. Even though I forgot my shoes.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meme Monday: Seven Questions

I still haven't figured out how to resolve Meme Monday with Mondays on the Margins, except yes I kind of have: if I don't have a book review post ready or Eve's birthday post, for that matter, OR the family vacation post I am assembling, then clearly I would be an idiot to pass up a free post idea, provided by the lithe and lissome Nicole, via her friend Kimberly.

1) If Jane had 3 apples and John had 78 nails, how many layers of clothing are you wearing (how is the weather in your neck of the woods?)?

Freakin' schizo, not to put too fine a point on it. First it was frigid freezing, so that Eve's first two trips with the school ski club got cancelled, which she was HIGHLY put out by. Then it snowed. Then it went back to just normal cold, which meant I walked around with just a sweater on again. Then the temperature started creeping downwards again, so that I would go out somewhere and suddenly realize that I was really cold. At home I'm still wearing my oh-so-sexy huge socks, leggings and a t-shirt, but I just got in from grocery shopping, sat down at the computer, and suddenly realized that my boobs are icy cold. And they had more layers on then everything else, so, go figure.

2. What is keeping you sane during these long winter months?
photo credit
creative commons license

Aw, bless her heart, Kimberly is making a very large, very kind assumption, isn't she? These days when I'm driving, whenever I approach a traffic light I find myself saying out loud "It's green. I can go", or, "it's red. I should stop. Stop now." I think it's safe to say my sanity is tenuous at best. As far as what's keeping me from going all the way around the bend, likely running a red light and causing a multi-vehicle pile-up in the process, I would have to say, in no particular order: meal planning, treadmilling, and binge-watching The Shield and marveling that this Michael Chiklis is also this Michael Chiklis, as well as being profoundly grateful that I don't live in Farmington, New Mexico. And cheetos. Which kind of negates the treadmilling. And hanging on Twitter with Nicole and Hannah. Which keeps the cheetos in check, more or less.

3. If you were on a boat with a box of chocolate and your Mother In Law, who would you throw overboard?

I used to think the mother-in-law cliché was just that, and only that. The experiences of several of my friends have shown that it is a stereotype for a VERY GOOD REASON. My own mother-in-law, however, HAD one of those stereotypical bitchy mothers-in-law, and she, therefore (somewhat, although I think she would have been great anyway), is beyond reproach in all our dealings. She gives me awesome presents, compliments me on my parenting, and doesn't make backhanded comments about my weight (my friend's mother-in-law gave her a coupon for a hip-slimming girdle. DO YOU EVEN WHAT THE FUCK HOLY HELL CRAPNUTS). I love her. 

4. What’s in your underwear drawer besides underwear?

Nothing. There's A-list underwear and B-list underwear. Does anyone NOT have B-list underwear? I'll know we've made it when the whole drawer is filled with A-list underwear.

5. Do you trust yourself with sharp objects near your face? (as in, do you pluck your own eyebrows? Do you have any eyebrow horror stories?)
photo credit
creative commons license

I make a half-hearted attempt at plucking my eyebrows now and then - mostly they're a disaster. And, not to sound like I'm trying to top Hannah's story, but I got my eyebrows waxed for the first time THE DAY BEFORE MY WEDDING, and THAT was when I discovered that, no matter how much they say they're using the wax for sensitive skin, I can't get my eyebrows waxed without burn marks. Happily, my wedding make-upper was skilled enough to fix things for the wedding, but I had big ammunition against my mother, who had coerced me into getting it done. A few years ago I had Angus at First Choice for a haircut, and the woman cutting his hair looked at me and said "you know we wax eyebrows here, right? I can do it today. Really. Go in the back and sit down." Hmph.

6. I am terrified of dead bodies, spiders, and the dentist. What are you scared of?

Dead bodies? Pfft. Spiders? Whatever. The dentist? WELL OBVIOUSLY, dentists are TERRIFYING. Alphabetically? Answering the phone. Bats. Cantaloupe. Dancing. Earwigs. Flying squirrels. Germs. Helmets (lice). Public speaking. Spin class. 

7. Does your husband cut up the back of your legs with his long toenails when you sleep?

No. But the other night he had a Guinness at my parents' house in the evening, forgetting that drinking beer in the evenings is generally inadvisable at this point in his life. At one point he farted so loudly he woke HIMSELF up. He turned over, looked at me reading beside him, wearing a less-than-impressed expression, and said "I'm bringing sexy back?"

8. Are you wearing nail polish? 

Before our trip to the Dominican, my mom took Eve and me for manicures and pedicures. It was my first manicure ever - a French gel manicure. It was nice, but then two of the nails on my right hand tore further down than the ever have, way below the quick, which was incredibly painful. I know correlation does not equal causation, and I probably wasn't going to get another manicure anyway, as a neurotic hand-washer and improper fingernail-user, but this makes me doubly disinclined. My toenails are a lovely lavender with swirly designs. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weird Book Stuff

  1. 1.
    a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.
    "it's no coincidence that this new burst of innovation has occurred in the free nations"

Best not to bother reading this if you're one of those people that are like "enh, whatever, coincidences aren't statistically relevant, don't bother me with your quasi-superstitious silliness". Also, lighten up man.

I love coincidences. I think incidents of coincidence evince extreme coolness. It's like the general perversity of things has decided to bump your hip playfully with a shaggy, golden-retriever-like head instead of working you over with overgrown spiky fingernails.

That said, a couple of my weird book things aren't coincidences at all. One was just an embarrassing lapse: I was all set to read There But For The by Ali Smith for book club. I flipped past the "Other Books By" page, and wondered briefly why my favourite of hers wasn't listed. Then I realized that the favourite book I was thinking of was Brick Lane, and that I had confused Ali Smith with Monica Ali, which is ALL KINDS of not cool, but at least I figured it out before I started reading.

Also not a coincidence: sometimes when I'm going out somewhere where I'll have to wait around at some point, I realize I don't have a book after I already have my boots on. In this case, it's too late to take something that I'm already reading, or my ipad with my library ebooks and Kindle books, because they're both upstairs and, well, I'm lazy. So I grab something from one of the three bookshelves nearest the front door. Several times, the book I grabbed was A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. It was a tattered second-hand copy, and I found the premise intriguing. It's well-reviewed and we all know I've seldom met a post-apocalyptic environment I didn't like. And yet, and yet.... every time, I would read a few pages, come home, stick it back on its shelf and go about my business. By the next time I grabbed it, I would have to start again, so I kept reading the same few pages and progressing no further.

Last week I was taking Eve to acting class, running a couple of errands and then picking her up with her friend after the class. I realized I might end up waiting a few minutes after my errands, and I already had my boots on, so I tiptoed across the floor and scanned the shelf for Leibowitz.

And it wasn't there.

I looked again. Still nothing. Totally vexed, I waffled for a few embarrassing moments, while my long-suffering cleaning lady waited for me to move so she could finish cleaning the living room. I ended up grabbing Woman on the Edge of Time and last night finished my second complete reading of that. But wither Leibowitz? Am I destined to never read the damned thing?

And now, finally, the coincidence.

I recently finished Half-Blood Blues, the Scotiabank Giller Prize winning book that was nominated for several other awards also by Esi Edugyan. I bought this about a year ago, read the first little bit and really liked it, then lent it to my mother since I had so many other books to read. When I got it back it got shuffled to the bottom of the pile, and when I finally picked it up again, it didn't totally bear out its early promise, but I did like it and think it was beautifully written.

A passage from near the end: "We both come to a stop. Across the room, seated in a cracked leather chair, his hair and beard completely white against his dark skin, was the man I'd reckoned dead all these years.
'Kto tam jest?' he said again, frowning. 'Ewa?'"

At the same time, I was reading Fearless, by Cornelia Funke, sequel to Reckless, Book Two of something called the Mirrorworld Series, not nominated for anything as far as I know, featuring fairies, curses, stone-skinned men called Goyls and a woman who is sometimes a Fox.

a passage from near the end: ""Around them it was so dark that Jacob barely saw his own hands. He stumbled over a cable, and when he tried to steady himself, his hand touched heavy velvet. 'Kto tam jest?'The floodlight that flared up above them was so bright that Fox pressed her hands to her eyes."

The VERY SAME Polish phrase in two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT books, neither of which ostensibly have anything to do with Poland, which I just happened to be reading concurrently. (It means, "who's there", I think, although I only reliably know how to say "pillow" and "egg" in Polish, sorry Babcia/Grandma).


No? Okay, I guess it's not quite the universe making math jokes, but I think it's cool.

Also, regarding the previous post, clearly The People Have Spoken. I will keep the one on the left and give Julie the ever-so-slightly inferior one on the right. Thanks for playing.