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Showing posts from November, 2010

How NaBloPoMo Can You Go?

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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

Stuff

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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

(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

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 a

Fried Day

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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 forgo

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 r esemble 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 (there was a link to snowflake feet pajamas here) 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

Wordless Wednesday: Angus McCrock

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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.

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

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 Fam

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

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 ensconced 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

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

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

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 t

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 so

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

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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

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,

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.

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 ph

Remembrance

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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 th

Wordless Wednesday Wedding Pictures

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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.

Savages at Civilization

One 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

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 t

Knowing Me Knowing You November 2010

Knowing Me Knowing You! From the Almighty  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

I'm such a card

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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

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."

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

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

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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:

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

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 d