Showing posts from June, 2013

Pictures of Stuff that Happened in June

Kim came back to Ottawa, and a bunch of us went for lunch, including Susan, which means two of my newest awesomest friends with fabulous hair were in the same place at the same time, creating a magnificent hair singularity the reverberations of which were probably felt for miles around.  Patti biked to lunch in a skirt, confirming her rock star status. Eve and Kim and I got hopelessly lost after parking in the National Gallery underground parking lot. First we went into an administration building, then we found this lovely treed lot. Eventually we happened upon the front entrance, but we thought we might be lost forever for a while. Eve. Flowers. Eve climbed on and in a tank at the school barbecue. Eve helped me get ready for my birthday party. Pam came to my birthday party. She got really drunk. But she's not the one who barfed all over our back deck..... Some people just can't hold their breastmilk. It's totally

Mondays on the Margins: Wise-Minded Parenting - 7 Essentials for Raising Tweens and Teens by Laura S. Kastner with Kristen A. Russell

I'm not a big fan of parenting books on the whole. I'm not sure exactly why, since I've never been totally confident that I'm doing parenting right. I just don't always see why people who write parenting books necessarily know any better. I've also read way too much about Bruno Bettelheim , an Austrian child psychologist and writer and also possibly a total liar and nutbar who was convinced that 'refrigerator mothers' caused their children to become autistic by not giving them enough affection. Writing a parenting book is kind of like being a chiropractor - pretty much anyone can do it, it's not regulated, and how do you tell the ones who are just going to make your back stop hurting from the ones who think they can cure cancer and schizophrenia by squishing your head? So when I was sent this book by the publisher, I was intrigued, but skeptical. But I really liked it. It's solidly evidence-based, gives the theory, the evidence and both good a

Written on the Body

Dear Zits, When I said I wanted the face of a nineteen-year-old again, this is not exactly what I meant, but I understand your confusion. Apologetically, Allison *** Dear Wrinkles, Surely you're too old to be hanging with zits. It's unseemly. Get some pride. Helpfully, Allison *** Dear Breasts, Much has been asked of you, I know. Would it be churlish to remind you that there hasn't been a nine-pound iron-gummed nipper hanging off of either of you for a good eight years now? And to ask you to, correspondingly, PERK THE FUCK UP ALREADY? Exasperatedly, Allison *** Dear Stomach and Hips, I appreciate your steadfastness, but we don't actually have to be perenially ready for a hard winter on the Russian Steppes. Feel free to stand down. Consolingly, Allison *** Dear Lower Back, Oh, cry me a river. We've all got it tough. Talk to the boobs if you don't believe me. Bracingly, Allison *** Dear Hemorrhoids, Di

Sibling Rivalry

It's been a great few days, and a draining few days, and I'm feeling actively repulsed at the idea of blogging, but APPARENTLY I'm supposed to push past the aversion and not just consider it nature's way of giving my readers a rest, so I thought I'd share a brief anecdote about Saturday, which was, no big deal, MY BIRTHDAY. I was putting some finishing touches on the cupcakes for MY BIRTHDAY party, and the phone rang. I looked at the display and saw that it was my sister calling. I love my sister, and I consider us close, but we don't talk on the phone a whole lot - neither of us are big phone people. Every month or so we have a marathon session and then we leave it for a few weeks. And we'd just talked last week, so while I was picking up the phone I fleetingly thought "I wonder why she's calling", and then immediately, "OH, of course, she's calling because it's MY BIRTHDAY, and she's perfect and organized and competent and

Surly Thursday: Fear and Loathing at the School Barbecue

So I had a doctor's appointment early Wednesday morning. I made it early because I knew I was going to get weighed and I wanted to go without eating. This was a stupid, stupid idea. It was stupid because I know I've lost some weight and I shouldn't have been so hell-bent on the doctor's scale showing the most possible weight lost, and it was stupid because I live in a suburb that's reasonably far from downtown, which is fine in off-hours when the traffic is normal, but during what we like to call "escape from Barrhaven" when everybody's going to work, it takes an insanely long time to get there. So I left an hour early for a drive that should take twenty to twenty-five minutes, and I was late, and stuck in traffic, and having a panic attack. I made it in around twenty minutes late, and managed not to burst into tears in the waiting room, and the doctor still saw me. And my weight loss was duly recorded and praised, but it was rather unfortunate that

He's the god of wine, I'm the goddess of whining

I missed my Mondays on the Margins post because I'm not quite finished the parenting book I want to review (although I can tell you that I was reading it at softball and Eve came over to switch her hat for a batting helmet and said "are you seriously sitting here reading a parenting book? You're just embarrassing yourself".) Also, Pam and I took the van for an oil change in the morning, then went to Ogdensburg New York to pick up a package at the UPS store. Then I came home, made dinner for Eve and Matt, sent Matt off to baseball (without Angus, who's on a three-day class trip to some camp) and went downtown to meet some of my book club at Darcy McGee's and then see Hawksley Workman perform The God That Comes , because 1) my friend Debbie teaches writing and drama and was so sweetly enthusiastic about it that we all sort of fell in line and 2) any time I get a chance to go to the NAC with ANYONE else, I tend to jump at it. Except for the symphony, my husband

Fear and Loathing at the National Gallery

Kim was in town for the week, it was a beautiful day and I had been away for the week-end and missing my kids. Angus had to go to a track meet, so I kept Eve out of school and we went downtown to meet Kim at the National Gallery . Kim is one of those people who doesn't have or want children, but has a gift for talking to them without sounding fake or forced or like she'd rather be doing something else. Eve always enjoyed hanging out with Kim, and she loves art. And you know, there are many times when Eve displays a maturity and perceptivity far beyond her years. This was not one of those times. Kim said she really wanted to see the Drawings and Photographs because she always leaves them for the end and then doesn't have time for them, so we started there. There was a lot of contemporary aboriginal art, including pieces by Annie Pootoogook , which makes me sad because she's been in the Ottawa newspaper several times and I know that her living situation is heartrendin

I am happy

I don't even know why I'm blogging right now because I'm just so happy and perky and dear god, possibly bubbly, that if I wasn't me I'd want to smack me. Friday I drove down to Toronto with two girlfriends. The drive was smooth, the traffic was surprisingly good, the conversation was wide-ranging and low-filter and exceedingly off-colour and entirely restorative. We checked in to the hotel and walked out to look for some place to have dinner. We started noticing that most of the people holding hands were of the same gender, and then we saw a man in a leather skirt, and then we saw all the rainbows on the street signs and we thought.... this is going to be awesome! Gay waiters are the best. They tell you how gorgeous you are and call you My Lovelies and laugh uproariously at your witty banter even if it's not that witty. We ate here . So. Good. The waiter was fabulous. The food was amazing. We walked back to the hotel. It started pouring just as we were abo