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Showing posts from May, 2011

I Think I Know What We Should Do With War Criminals

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Never mind hauling them off to the Hague. Just send them on a fifth grade field trip that takes place an hour away from the school. And make them ride the school bus. Three classes. Twenty-five kids each. Three kids to a seat, when they're mostly too big to fit three to a seat, so they squirm and elbow each other and spill into the aisles and drop their water bottles, which roll under the seats, and then they try to climb under the seats to get them. A daytime high of forty-one degrees Celsius with the humidex. A bus with a non-existent suspension so your forty-year-old tailbone meets the seat with punishing force over and over and over. Five girls shrieking Justin Bieber songs directly behind your head. And that one kid whose face is somehow just really annoying. It was Hell, manifested on earth. The field trip itself wasn't bad, although I invariably volunteer for field trips, hope desperately not to be picked, get picked and wonder why the hell I keep volunteering

Bit of an Oversight

You know how the things you worry about often turn out to be the wrong things to worry about?  This past week-end was Eve's dance recital (on Sunday) and the dress rehearsal (on Saturday) downtown at the NAC , the same days as the Ottawa Race Weekend . There were going to be multiple street closures and tons of people. I was worried we wouldn't be able to get to the NAC, that we wouldn't be able to find parking, that we would be late (and soaking wet, since it was supposed to pour rain all day both days). Eve was worried that she was going to screw up in her duet.  Angus had a baseball tournament. He was worried the game would be called on account of thunderstorms. If they did get to play, he was worried that he wasn't going to be able to throw strikes. Matt was worried that he wasn't going to make it back from the recital in time for Angus's game on Sunday (he's the head coach). We were going to take the bus to the dress rehearsal, but in the end Patt

Walk a mile in another man's socks. Or something.

Last week-end we went to our friends' place for dinner and the kids played outside and Angus's socks got wet so he borrowed a pair from his friend Fletcher. Eve's entire outfit got wet because she didn't just walk in the wet grass - she laid down and rolled in it (I don't know, I don't ask any more), so she borrowed some clothes from Marielle. Tonight Angus went to his friend Anthony's place and it was raining (because that's what it does now) and they played baseball and basketball and his socks got wet and he borrowed a pair from Anthony. We also have a shirt that his friend Jacob left here at the last sleepover. Angus was getting undressed for his shower and he took the socks off and I said "throw them in the wash and I'll put them with Fletcher's". Angus said "we're becoming weird people who collect other people's clothing. People are going to realize that about us and then our neighbours will start disappearing and

Mid-Week Miscellany

It's Wednesday, and I haven't posted since Monday, and I don't want to just let the week go by postless again, but I don't really have anything. I had book club tonight. We read a first draft of my friend Sharon's first novel Keeping Mum, which she printed out and bound for all of us. It was really good - it was so good that I totally forgot I was reading something by someone I knew while I was reading it. I heard Rihanna and Britney Spears kissed at some awards ceremony. I was astounded. That anyone actually bothered to report it. It's Eve's dance recital on Sunday. It's at the National Arts Centre, downtown, the same day as the Ottawa Race Week-end. This is causing me intense driving and parking anxiety, exacerbated by the fact that my Mom is supposed to come with us. I'm trying to convince my husband that we should just take the bus, but he's not really a bus guy. I'm trying to concentrate on the fact that dance recitals in the

At Least He's Still Trying

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So Saturday night we were hanging out with our neighbours - gotta love living next to a man who has a big green egg and is not afraid to use it. The women were talking about how we wanted to see Bridesmaids , but in that vague, no-specific-plan, it-probably-won't-happen way. But Sunday night we had just gotten back from dinner with friends and my neighbour came over and said her friend was over and they'd decided on the spur of the moment to go to the ten o'clock show and she wanted me to come.  To a movie.  That started at ten o'clock.  At night. Naturally, I waffled. It's who I am, it's what I do. But Matt said "you should go". The kids said "no, no, I want Mommy to stay!" even though they were already supposed to be in bed, and Matt told them that Mommies get to have a good time too. I thought, how sweet. I thought, how thoughtful. I thought... HEY, he's totally angling for sex when I get home.  I went to the movie. I laughed un

It Was Monday....

...and just like that it turned into a bad blogging week. I've heard that some bloggers schedule their posts. Or have days when they post and days they take off. Pshaw, I say when I hear that. I don't need schedules. I don't need deadlines. Of course, I always say the same thing about weight-loss centres and creative writing groups -- who needs 'em? I know what I need to do. I don't need a group - groups are for pussies!. I just need to harness the fearsome power of my mind and will and it shall be done! And have I published a novel or lost thirty pounds? Shut up. Angus's baseball team got to play two games this week. Eve's played one and then her Thursday game was cancelled the very moment they were walking out the door (as Eve tells it "I got my stuff on, but then my tights under my baseball pants were too hot, so I took them off, got my bat, and my helmet, and we were going out the door, and Daddy pulled out his phone and looked at it and

Water Water Everywhere

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I hope all the people who whined and grumbled and beat their breasts about the water ban know that I totally blame them for this apocalyptic rainfal l - I'm well nigh certain that Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom and bitchiness heard them and said "YOU WANT WATER, YOU PUNKS? I'LL GIVE YOU WATER". We're in week three of the spring baseball season. The kids should both have played six games so far: Eve has played two, Angus has played one. My husband, who coaches Angus's team, has had to have his belt and shoelaces confiscated. Every time he opens his computer and yells "Nooooooooo!" I know they've cancelled another game because of the danger of losing a kid in a pit of slime, or of the entire diamond floating away and ending up somewhere around North Bay. It's not good. I was going to call this a List of Things that Have Made Me Smile Lately, but then I typed that out and it made me throw up in my mouth a little, so let's just c

Book Review: Anatomy of a Disappearance, by Hisham Matar

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First, apologies to Bronwyn at Penguin Canada for Blogger having buggered up her blog tour for this book (try saying that three times fast). This review should have been posted yesterday. Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar   This is a curious, spare book. Nuri is a young boy raised in Cairo; his parents are loving, but his mother is profoundly depressed and his father, an "ex-minister and leading dissident" of a place referred to only as "our country", is somewhat remote. When Nuri's mother dies, he feels like he becomes "a series of tasks" to his father, although he is still cared for solicitously by Naimi, a servant with close ties to the family. There are frequent visits from his father's friends from their country, who hint at his father's turbulent and exciting past. Nuri and his father are vacationing in Alexandria when they meet Mona, who enchants them both. She marries Nuri's father, who is fifteen years her senior, bu

I Want My Bubbles Back

I feel flat. Flat like three-day-old ginger ale. Flat like my hair twenty minutes after I leave the house. Flat like Gwen Stefani's chest (not that there's anything wrong with that). And it's annoying, because in the winter I was sick and it was winter so there was that, and then I got better (but now Eve's given me her cold and I'm paralyzed with fear that The Cough is going to come back), and then it was raining a lot so I thought, well maybe it's that. But now it's sunny, and it's not winter, and I'm supposed to have turned that goddamned corner. I had imposed a nice little linear narrative on that part of things, and this chapter was bright, and productive, and inspired, and THREE-FUCKING-DIMENSIONAL. And now goddamned if I haven't looped, and here I am - flat, again. I know -- it's ridiculous that I should be surprised by my own loopiness at this point in life. But I want my damn bubbles back.

Knowing Me Knowing You May 2011

So just when I'm in the depths of blog despair, whining "but I don't FEEL like blogging" and "I don't know what to BLOG about" and "should I ask them if this looks infected?", in swoops my Fairy Blogmother who wallops me with a magic wand and says "Quit your bitching! Bibbity bobbity boo, here's a ready-made post for you." 1. What was your wedding song? Sunshine on Leith by The Proclaimers (500 Miles is still my favourite Proclaimers song, but it would have been a slightly less romantic first dance). And I'm not about to trash talk anyone who got married in a glass slipper. I wore ballet slippers to walk down the aisle but only because my Mom said she would disown me if I wore my Doc Martens the whole time. There was a great moment when my sister called out "Allison, can you flash your boots so this gentleman can take a picture" and I lifted my skirt up and Matt's uncle said "oh thank God, I thought s

Then We Played Strip Twister

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I sort of want to talk about how phenomenally awesome the band my Mom and I saw last night was, and I sort of want to talk about how cosmically eye-bleedingly wretched the book I read today was (why did I keep reading it? I don't know, leave me alone, I have issues), and I really don't want to talk about why I don't have the will to do justice to either of those things, so here - a sop to the blogging gods. Tomorrow is another day. Eve went over to her friend Abby's after school today. Abby's mom brought her home after supper and said they'd dug out Abby's old Clue Junior board game and they'd had a great time playing it. We sat down for a cuddle in the rocking chair and I said, riding on a wave of Clue nostalgia, "Does Clue Junior still have Colonel Mustard?" Eve said "yep", and I said "and Miss Scarlet and Mrs. Peacock?" and she said "yep". Then I said "And Mr. Boddy?" and she said "huh?" I sa

Suck it Up, Ya Pussies

In a recent episode of Modern Family (the awesomeness, oh the awesomeness), the flamboyant gay character Cam is directing the play at the school attended by two of the extended family's children. When his partner Mitchell suggests that perhaps Cam's directing ambitions are a little steep for an elementary school play, Cam indignantly says "Why do you always have a to throw a wet blanket on my dreams? You do it all the time and do you know what I end up with? Wet dreams -- I heard it as soon as I said it; just leave it alone." I'm using this as a humorous example of a curious phenomenon. Some people do indeed hear the words that come out of their own mouths - other people? Not so much. Once I was standing around in Halfway Lake Provincial Park with my junior ranger boyfriend and some of his friends. One of them asked me why I kept ripping leaves off the bush and tearing them up into little pieces, and I said "I don't know, I like to have something