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Showing posts from October, 2011

Surly Thursdays OR How Sometimes I'm Just Not That Bright

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will not be surprised by my confessing that I'm fairly wishy-washy, I suck at confrontation and I just want everyone to get along. On the one hand, I think I'm fairly good at looking at issues from several different points of view; on the other hand, sometimes I sort of admire people who have a solid opinion and are not going to be swayed no matter what. One of the things I've been trying to improve at is speaking up when I disagree with someone. In the past, I've let statements go by without challenging them either because I didn't feel like I could marshal my thoughts well enough to state cogently why I disagreed, or because I was just too chickenshit. But I've grown increasingly uncomfortable with taking that road - it feels cowardly and dishonest. So if I read a statement on Facebook or a blog post that I disagree with, I will often say so in my comment, as respectfully as possible. For the most part

Ow ow ow ow ow, and also yay me.

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At some point in every woman's life comes a time when she has to face her fears and say: "You can't scare me. I have children." Fellow parents - do you find that things that used to turn you pale have lost their power to frighten since you've become conversant with the small beings who move into your house, take all your money, leak all over you and never let you watch the fun channels on TV? I don't know what it is - if all the years of plunging my bare hands into unspeakable substances have worn down my fear response or if it's just that I've forced myself to do scary things (like go headfirst down really high water slides) so many times solely to sew up the rights to mock my kids for NOT doing them. Or maybe I'm just too damned tired to be scared. Anyway. I'm pretty sure that before I had kids you never would have caught me dead harnessed up and walking on skinny, swaying trails of octagonal beams or half-missing strings of swinging s

Surly Thursdays

I was a little afraid I wasn't going to be able to summon up a decent amount of surliness, what with my awesome week-end and my extremely painful and stubborn lower-back condition resolving somewhat. Fortunately, then it rained for four days straight and the tendonitis in my right elbow resulted in me using my left hand more which now causes a burning pain to shoot up my left arm every time I move that thumb. Also, my husband left for Australia yesterday and last night my enormous eleven-year-old son hurtled into my bed whimpering in terror because it was raining so hard he couldn't sleep and he was afraid we were going to get flooded (by which he didn't mean the basement might get a little damp, naturally - he was envisioning the army having to airlift us off our roof. Maybe we should stop letting him use that Worst Case Scenario toilet paper). I kept murmuring reassurances, and then just as I would close my eyes and start to drift off he would yelp "was that ligh

Mondays on the Margins: Book Review - Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg

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A few weeks ago I found a package of books in the mail from Trish at House of Anansi Press. The note said that the two fall releases were a little off the beaten path, so she thought they might be right up my alley. I sent her an email that read "Dear Trish: how is it we've never met and yet you totally get me?" Then she emailed back and said she reads my blog even when it's NOT about books she's sent me, which might have made me squeal in a most unbecoming fashion. The quote from Anne Enright on the cover of my ARC of Island of Wings says that this book is written "With scrupulous attention to place, history and the natural world," and "tells a story washed by a clean and lovely kind of sorrow". I both love and hate it when someone else has articulated my own opinion so well BEFORE I'VE EVEN READ the damned book. I also automatically struck it from the list of books I will recommend to Patti and Susan, who often walk around Indig

Blissful, Joyful, Delighted, Gratified

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These are all synonyms for 'thankful'. Which I am. My life is rich and full, and I am grateful beyond measure that I have 'all of the necessities and some of the graces' (a quote I love, from this book ). My children, my husband, my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, my friends, my books, my home, the plants that live, the plants that die, the sun, the wind, the snow and rain, enough food, too many clothes, Tuesday night tea with Patti and Susan, girls' week-ends, bad jokes, good jokes, music, colour, beauty and mystery and zombie stories. On Saturday we informed the kids that this was going to be our last hockey-free beautiful Saturday for the foreseeable future, and therefore we were going to go for a walk in Gatineau Park . Angus said "can I bring my bike?" We said "um, no." He said "But I hate walking!" We said "we know." I think I've mentioned before, also, that Eve hates the smell of

Surly Thursdays

On the off-chance that you're also feeling like crap - or even if you're not - go read this . It will either make you laugh and forget how crappy you feel or it will make you laugh until you feel even more headachey and barfish, but it will be worth it. I'm off-kilter. I know, considering how seldom I am actually on-kilter, that statement is practically devoid of all meaning. I must be doing not that bad, though, because I've had a nagging headache, stabbing lower back pain and a sort of medium-queasy stomach for four days now and it's taken me until about an hour ago to develop the theory that it might be some non-specific full-body cancer (and by 'develop the theory' I naturally mean 'become totally convinced'). I got called a smart-ass by Amber a few days ago. You know, Amber? The nicest person in blogging? Once she was talking about how she believes in activism but she finds it intimidating to put herself out there, and most commenters

Mondays on the Margins: Book Review - John Dies at the End by David Wong

First a word about pseudonyms. I guess I can kind of understand why some people use pseudonyms - for privacy, or safety, or fun. In some countries it might be a serious risk to one's life to publish under a real name. What I DON'T understand is why someone makes up a pseudonym, and then volunteers their real name IN THE SAME PLACE. ????? One summer, my best friend and I were camping at the provincial park where we went every summer and she decided that this summer we should make up cooler names for ourselves - she would be Renée and I would be Angela. I'm not sure why I went along with this, except that she was hot and the only way I had a hope in hell of attracting male attention was to stick by her side and hope for some overlap, and the park was pretty boring. So at one point, she leads us up to some guys and asks if they want to go for a walk and they say sure, and as we start walking she says "So I'm Renée and she's Angela. HA HA, no, never mind, a