Showing posts from March, 2011

Feel the love

Eve, lying on Matt with her ear on his chest, on the couch watching baseball: "Your heart is making it very difficult for me to hear the television". Turning her head to yell into his chest: "STOP PUMPING!" Matt: "Um...."

My GPS is not bilingual

So it appears that thinking about blogging doesn't get a blog post down any more than thinking about exercising makes my butt any smaller. Plus, just as I started this, Eve asked if she was Catholic, and when I explained that she's baptized but no, not really, she said "what does it mean when you're baptized?" Oy. I continued my trend of starting the week off running - dentist, gym, groceries, piano, fairly involved dinner, some work on an assignment and BAM it was 8:30 (as opposed to doing a bunch of coughing, unloading the dishwasher and calling it a day). Of course, then I feel like curling up and reading zombie literature for the rest of the week, but it's a start. Let's go back to March Break. We decided on a whim to go to Montreal. My husband called it the first step in cracking our Montreal Phobia. We live in Ottawa, so Quebec is very close geographically, but to me it still feels like an alien land. They speak a whole other language there.

Ava Lee Kicks Ass: The Water Rat of Wanchai

House of Anansi Press sent me a copy of The Water Rat of Wanchai: an Ava Lee novel , which is the first of a series by Ian Hamilton in Anansi's new Spiderline imprint. I cracked the book a bit apprehensively for a couple of reasons: Ava Lee is a forensic accountant, and numbers are not among my top ten favourite things; a good part of the action takes place in Hong Kong and Bangkok, and I often find that mysteries set in Asia are just not my thing -- I've tried reading David Rotenberg's Zhong Fong series, and I just couldn't empathize with any of the characters or get engaged in the action. Ava Lee is a compelling character. She is Chinese-Canadian, tiny, highly intelligent, proficient in bak mei -- an ancient form of martial arts taught only to the most gifted students -- and gay. Her employer, who she calls 'Uncle', is a well-connected Hong Kong-based godfather-figure who has implied ties to the Triads. One slight drawback of this being the first of the

I Am Go For Launch

Enough I say! Enough with the wheezy lungs and the palely loitering. Enough with displaying all the volition of brown winter slush. I informed my husband that, starting fresh after March Break I had big plans to...have big plans. Sunday was bright and sunny and spring-like. Eve went to play at her friend's house and I went through her clothes to make the spring stuff more accessible and get rid of the outgrown things. I buy my kids' clothes too big. Not stupidly big, and not things like shoes, but if I can reasonably go a size up and have something fit a little longer, I will. The problem is, then once it's in their drawers or closets, I forget that just because it's too big now doesn't mean it will be forever. Because kids -- they keep on growing, the little buggers. So here I am going through Eve's underwear drawer, the underwear that I put out for her to wear every morning, which she happily wears. And I find that the biggest pairs in there, the on

Knowing Me Knowing You - March

Gotta love when Shan the Fairy Blogmother comes along to rescue me from blog oblivion with another Knowing Me Knowing You. 1. Do you consider yourself a foodie? I looked at this question a couple of days ago and my first thought was 'what exactly is a foodie?' Then I read a piece in the paper last night that made it sound like 'foodies' are sort of snobby and elitist about everything they eat - organic this, local that, molecular reduction of the other thing. In that case, I'm most emphatically not a foodie (I kind of hate the word foodie the more I type it). I enjoy cooking and I try to have most of what we eat have ingredients I can pronounce and not have to look up online, but one of my friends the other day says she can't even think about a McDonald's cheeseburger without feeling nauseous and, while I sort of wish I could say the same, I can't (although I do feel dirty inside after I eat one. A little.) We've been doing dinner parties with

Maybe he accidentally packed my principles in his suitcase

Angus's hockey team has been in playoffs for a few weeks. Three weeks ago his good friend Noah showed up with a red stripe down the middle of his head -- 'playoff hair'. My husband soundly mocked the mother, whose younger son was similarly flamboyantly coiffed. On the way home, Angus asked if he could dye his hair too. My husband said "How can I put this nicely? NO." My husband and I have a general policy of trying not to undermine each other with the kids, even if we're in disagreement. I don't remember articulating it to myself, but I'm pretty sure I thought that if Angus tried to do an end-run and asked me if he could dye his hair I would say no. You may recall that my husband then decamped for California -- a week-long trade show where he shows off testing equipment and switches and wavelength division multiplexing (yes, I TOTALLY know what all of this means and I'm TOTALLY using it correctly), and at night gets wined and dined by various custo

Best Friends OR Opposites Attract OR Some other title I can't think of that's less cheesy

On Monday Angus was still firmly parked at the house where he'd slept over the night before. If you want to, you can savour the entertaining fact that a friend who moved six hours away a few months ago was also there, and that Angus came home with a dozen pictures on his ipod touch of... his friend Noah's new hamster. My husband said "you didn't take any pictures of Jon?" Angus said "I already know what Jon looks like."  Eve was bored, it was sunny out and we were supposed to walk the neighbours' dog while they're in the Dominican. So I proposed that we walk over to her friend Marianna's house and pick her up for a few hours. We called and set it up, then went next door to get the dog. The dog wasn't there. There's a friend staying there who might have taken him to work. It's a mystery I'm chosing to leave undisturbed for now. I'm not sure why I mentioned it except that it was another good reason for a walk. If I

Desperate Times

I'm suffering from a bad case of blogger paralysis. Whenever I sit down to blog, my brain seizes up and shows the test pattern (which in my brain is not a block of coloured stripes but a school of goldfish crackers with piranha teeth about to attack John Cusack). In the interest of cracking the paralysis, I'm going to mock other people to make myself feel better. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. 1. The woman who fell into the mall fountain while texting, and then got put on youtube. I'm not mocking her for falling into the fountain while texting. I might have felt a small moment of vindication for confirmation of my conviction that texting is evil and taking over the world and will lead you into perdition and might make you fall into a mall fountain, but this would have been much more satisfying if it was a teenager. I'm also not linking to it, because it's mean. But I really think her response should have been more along the line of a simple "w

TMI Wednesdays - don't say you weren't warned.

My kids made an adorable video of them singing happy birthday to my husband on Angus's ipod touch, since he's in California this week and his birthday was on Monday. I can't figure out how to get it on here, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's adorable. You likely wouldn't find it as adorable as a video of your own kids singing happy birthday to your own husband in California, because apparently everyone else with kids is deluded by DNA and years of evolution into thinking that their kids are cuter than mine. After he called home the first time, I told the kids that Daddy had used a bad word when talking about the hotel he was staying in. They giggled. I asked them if they wanted to hear what it was. They beamed happily and nodded. I said it quietly. A little later, Eve was talking about rockets and suddenly she said "but I probably shouldn't say it". I asked her what the heck she was talking about and she said "you k

Family Sleepover

My husband left for California yesterday afternoon. At eight o'clock the kids and I generally all go and read in my room. Angus was reading in Matt's spot and he asked if he could sleep with me. They both end up sleeping with me at some point when Matt's away, but when it's for a week or more I sometimes try to hold them off until later in the stretch so I don't get overtired and bitchy right off the mark (or at least not due to sleep deprivation). But we were all snuggled in reading and, in a moment of weakness, I capitulated. Eve, naturally, declared that she was sleeping in the chair (my giant reading chair and ottoman, over which a fleecy fitted sheet fits as if they were made for that very purpose - she looks insanely cute tucked in there). So, the series of events: 8:30: I come out of the bathroom after getting ready for bed. Eve has switched off her lamp and says "I wanna go to bed", sounding half asleep already. I kiss her goodnight and cli

Book Stuff

I think I've mentioned that, after I painstakingly showed my mother all the steps for finding the Ottawa Public Library's website and requesting books she wanted, she decided it would be much more convenient if she could just email me the titles she wanted, and then I could request them, pick them up when they were ready and then return them when she was done. Since she babysits my kids on a regular basis and keeps us in chocolate chip cookies and banana muffins (you know -- the basic necessities), I found it hard to object. So just to make it official that February has departed with my marbles as well as a good part of my lung function, this happened. I came across a review of The Wife's Tale , by Lori Lansens. I had read one of her other books, and I thought this one looked good, and I also thought my mother would like it, so I planned to request it and give it to her first and then read it myself. Then Eve and I dropped by on the walk home from school and I saw this

How does February maintain any kind of self esteem when everyone is so glad to see it go?

Something is clearly amiss in the universe. On Sunday our phone mysteriously stopped working -- I called someone, hung up, the phone rang, and when I picked it up...dead space. I think maybe it was the phone line making one last desperate appeal for help. Anyway, we were on out way out to the Oscars party so we decided to leave it alone and hope it got better on its own (that's the first thing we try with everything that goes wrong around here -- worked out really well with the thing on Angus's foot and the many-headed forked-tongued entity that resided in my lungs for most of February). When we got home Sunday night it still wasn't working, so Matt called first thing in the morning on Monday. They said they couldn't come until Tuesday. I was kind of annoyed (more about the internet than the phone), but whatever. Then a couple of hours later the phone magically started working again. Then a phone guy showed up -- A DAY EARLY. I told him the phone was working again. He

Also, wtf was with Christian Bale's beard?

I can't just leave the cranky book review post lying there, even though I've really got nothing. I'm less sick, just feeling kind of out of it. I went to an Oscars dinner party on Sunday night (well duh, going to an Oscars party on some other night would have been kind of moronic) and drank a bunch of whiskey sours, which I've determined to be good medicine indeed. I made "The Fighter" cauliflower (ear) fritters with smoked salmon and crème fraiche, and caramelized cashews with maple syrup and cumin (because the mother was nuts). I never used to watch the Oscars until my friend Collette had the brilliant idea of tying it to stuffing our faces. I read in the paper the day after that some people thought Melissa Leo should have been more prepared and professional, and this would have avoided the vocabulary malfunction (which apparently only we in Canada got to hear -- lucky us). Prepared and professional? Dude, her profession is acting, which means she acts