Showing posts from April, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Pretty But Not Too Bright OR This One's Not Going to Survive Long in the Wild


Lost in the Country

On Easter Sunday Eric (my brother-in-law) and Sarah (his wife) took us to one of their favourite walking trails outside of Edmonton - the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary. We asked Timothy if he wanted to ride in the van with Angus and Eve and he was very enthusiastic about the prospect. We followed Eric and Sarah in their car for a while. A fairly long while. There was construction. There was dust. Timothy informed us that we were in the country - he knew this, he said, because there was a lot of dirt. There were a few turns that almost happened and then didn't. We checked the directions and wondered why Eric was driving past a turn that we were supposed to make, according to his directions. Eric pulled over. Matt got out and they conferred. Matt came back and informed me that Eric had only written the directions out for us. We turned around, still following Eric (I was unclear, at this point, as to why Eric wasn't now following us instead. I found out later that S

The Easter Baby

We went to Edmonton for the week-end to visit my (fairly) brand spanking new nephew (no offense to my brother-in-law and his lovely wife and their quite appealing five-year-old, but let's be honest, the baby was the major draw). According to Sarah, he was undergoing a veritable 'cuteness explosion' before our very eyes, after three months and change of being gormless and unengaging and having a head that smelled like feet - I think she was just trying to make us feel less bad for not seeing him until now.

Better Living Through Plastic Explosives: Book Review

I'm participating in a blog tour for Penguin Canada's new release, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives , by Vancouver writer Zsuzsi Gartner, which I jumped all over chiefly because of the title (that's a kick-ass title, is it not?) and the comparison to Lorrie Moore. The last collection I read that was compared to Lorrie Moore fell quite short, although I allowed that this might be in part because I adore Lorrie Moore with a slavish, stalkerish, slightly creepy degree of adoration. However, this book richly deserves the comparison. Gartner has a firm grip on the grating jargon of post-modernity and a knack for subverting it with a wicked, clear-eyed sense of humour. She effortlessly skewers practitioners of what one character calls "spiritual wankery". Motifs are white teeth, homeless people, and the scene in The Sound of Music where the nun removes the distributor cap from the Nazis' car - now that I think of it, this little triad is not a bad way to

What can I say? Sometimes it feels good to be mean.

I'm mostly over being cranky. Mostly. I'm generally a nice person. I smile at people when I walk past them, I hold the door for strangers, and if somebody does something embarrassing in public my first impulse is usually to help or pretend I didn't notice, rather than point and laugh or record it and post it on Youtube . But periodically I develop a mean sense of humour. Pam and I went to the craft show today and on the way there we mocked all the joggers running as fast as their scrawny little legs could carry them. Then we mocked the people who lined up to get in two-for-one with strollers and speculated on how many of those strollers were actually empty or filled with fake babies. We mused about whether Pam should force-bathe her husband with lavender bath bombs since lavender is supposed to be relaxing and he's been really stressed lately, which as you can imagine is really annoying for Pam. Then I remarked how it's really annoying when you're just

Can I Be Downgraded Back to the One that Works Please?

Why do upgrades almost always SUCK? My computer recently interrupted my work to blip and beep its way through an 'upgrade'. When it was done, everything was slower and I couldn't get a new post window in blogger. I can if I use Google Chrome, but then when I try to read other blogs I can't close just their blog window without closing everything, which I keep forgetting, so then I keep accidentally closing everything and having to log in to my own blog again, which SUCKS. Our PVR recently turned itself off and when it came back on it professed itself to be in 'standalone mode', an 'advanced service' which means it can play back shows without a cable hookup - not so much a bonus for us since we don't tend to carry our PVR around on our shoulders. The new improved PVR cable box wouldn't let us actually watch our tv, but this was just part of the great new 'advanced service'. Which SUCKS. Every time I figured out how to use the Loblaws

In which I state the blindingly obvious, with GREAT EMPHASIS

So I've come to the conclusion that I was REALLY DEPRESSED for most of February and March! That sleeping until eleven or twelve after the kids were off to school and not being able to get off the couch and telling myself comforting things like "oh well, so I'm lazy and worthless and probably not entitled to really take up space in the world - it's okay, my kids might amount to something" was NOT actually a moment of insight, but an indication that I was SEVERELY MELANCHOLIC and probably needed some help. Upon coming to this realization, I marched upstairs to where my husband was innocently watching some kind of event in which overpaid sweaty mercenaries throw stuff or hit stuff with sticks or run around like idiots, and ambushed him with "EXCUSE ME. Did it not occur to you at any time in the last few weeks that I might be SEVERELY DEPRESSED?" I was all ready to club him with the time when Eve was a baby and I was going back on a low-estrogen birth co

Feel the love Part 2

I have something called atypical asthma. I don't wheeze -- I cough. I cough a lot. After I exercise, if I go outside and it's cold, if peaches are in season -- I cough. If I get sick, I get a cough that needs an exorcist and an act of congress to get rid of. My airways are more volatile than Charlie Sheen. The other day I coughed and Eve, lying on her tummy looking at a book, said, without looking up, "Yeah, you've been coughing most of my life, because of your fake asthma." Humph.

Switched at Birth?

I've mentioned my friend Patti here before. Patti's fit and athletic and so freaking nice you can't even really hate her for it. In high school she was off biking and running and skiing and swimming while I was at band practice and choir practice and piano lessons and singing lessons. Patti's oldest kid is taking singing lessons and singing in the Kiwanis choir. My oldest kid is a jock. Patti and I spend a lot of time laughing our asses off at this situation -- we'd be laughing at each other more if this didn't also entail laughing at ourselves. Patti can't carry a tune in a basket and I'm fit for helping Angus drag his hockey bag into the dressing room, and then it's a humiliating round of me trying to put knee pads on his elbows and crap like that until he dismisses me while hoping nobody notices that we're related. Remember how I let my son get freak hair for hockey playoffs? Today I took him to hockey and my Dad came to watch the gam