Showing posts from November, 2015

Day 30 - Not With a Bang But a Whimper

Totally forgot I had an assignment due tonight. Library and Archives Canada website and Online Computer Library C....something else. Eve came down while I was shouting "THERE IS NO FUCKING DINOSAUR ENCYCLOPEDIA!" at the computer and asked if I needed a hug. I read everyone's reactions to the whacked-out revenge story and felt smugly and serenely vindicated for a millisecond, until I realized that I tend to hang with people who share my basic worldview, so I was probably reaping the results of a whopping filter bubble. Then I decided I didn't care. I hang with you all because you are right-thinking, wise individuals. Our filter bubbles are sparkly and iridesce with many lovely colours. I drove Angus out to personal training and we saw an unusual number of vanity license plates. He thought the ones that just had someone's name were stupid. "If I have a custom plate, it's going to be to make the person behind me laugh or spend the whole drive trying to f

Day 29 - One More Day

That made me think of this Les Mis parody song , which came across my timeline in Facebook last year and made me howl. (I realize celiac is a real disease and people actually need to abstain from gluten. I have nothing against people on strict diets. It's just a funny song). In my note to myself for what to write about today, I have written "p. 92 Songbook". It's not that I have forgotten what this means - it means I was going to include a quote from page 92 of Nick Hornby's Songbook , because it made me giggle helplessly for a while earlier today. It's that I'm too lazy to go upstairs and stumble around my dark, husband-occupied bedroom looking for it. Still loving it, though. It has made me smile, well up with tears and laugh out loud, which made one guy at physio comment that it must be a good book and then go on to overshare considerably, causing me to regret my imprudent display of amusement - fortunately his appointment was almost over. I've

Day 28

Thirteen minutes to post. We saw The last Hunger Games movie tonight. It was good. It felt like a satisfying ending. I tried to order some books from Indigo and ship them to Matt's mom and her husband last night. I couldn't find the gift wrap option. There was an item in the total saying zero charge for gift wrap, and the help screen told me how to choose the gift wrap option but it wasn't there. I spent about ten minutes going back to the beginning of the process and trying it again, thinking I must be missing something. I finally emailed customer service. Today I got an email back saying the gift wrap option was disabled for the Black Friday Week-end promotions. Sorry that this wasn't stated on our website, they said, so you didn't waste time looking for it. Expletive. Angry gesture. Futile wish that I could truthfully declare that I was going somewhere else in protest. But we all know I'm going to wait until Tuesday and ship the gift-wrapped books the

Day 27 - Revenge of the Nerds, Sort of

Okay, so this is what I was going to post about yesterday. I've been reading a bunch of anthologies lately - t his one , this one and this one , among others. They all came up in my library holds queue at once, and aside from the slight feeling of scatteredness that reading a bunch of short stories at once gives me, I've been quite enjoying most of them. I also just finished Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd , which " covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers."  Most of the stories were really good - some quite sweet and funny, some with a very loose interpretation of the term 'geek' I thought, and a couple utterly forgettable. There was one about a popular cheerleader trying to learn more about geekdom for her football player boyfriend who kind of likes Star Wars, so she asks a few of the school geeks to help her out, and ends up forming a bond with them and outgrowing the meathead boyfriend

Day 26 - Crawling Towards the Finish Line

I feel like I'm just inflicting posts on anyone still left here, rather than sharing them. I've really got nothing tonight. Well, I've got something, but I noodled around doing Christmas shopping and Freecycling stuff for so long that now I'm too tired to do that something today. I'll probably do it tomorrow. Woo-hoo, I have something for tomorrow. Right. We're still on today. There's a little box in the bottom right of my screen that says Complain to Blogger. I get that it means if you have a Blogger problem, but every time it catches my eye I have the urge to click it and then type "my ass is bigger than I'd like and my kitchen is messy" or something. Matt just found out he has to go to California from Monday to Thursday. Then he comes home for two days, and leaves again on Saturday for a week in China. I can't remember if I talked here about the 12-year-old doctor filling in for my family doctor calling me to tell me my iron leve

Day 25

Oh God. That means today is November 25. Exactly... one.... month.... *keels over*. So, a local pub has been running a trivia night the past few months. Last month I couldn't make it, but the team my husband and friends were on actually won - they all got Sobey's gift cards (free ice cream, woo-hoo). Yesterday someone else couldn't make it so I went, even though I just found out my iron levels are scary low and my head has been aching all week and I'm so tired all the time I just want to cry. It was really fun, although we slipped from first place to third. In every quiz, there's one word you have to spell. Tonight it was cantaloupe. I wrote it down, and three other people disagreed with me - they thought the second 'a' should be an 'e'. I was suddenly seized with self-doubt. Then I looked at my husband and he was looking at everyone else like they were insane. "Are you the least bit serious?" he said "There's NO WAY she's

Day 24 - Clothes Make the Woman - NOT

I know I've been phoning it in a lot this month. It's a sort of Catch-22 where having to post every day makes me post something , but I don't feel like I have time to do anything really thoughtful or substantial, especially because November has been busier than usual. But before November, the lack of deadline and motivation meant I didn't have the drive to do anything really thoughtful or substantial then either.  The cute-as-a-button Ukrainian sales girl that seduced me into buying the magical eye serum in Barrie threw in a facial scrub for free that she said I had to use once a week. She said (in an adorable accent): "Tell me you won't be too busy or too lazy." Sorry, darling, it appears I'm either one or the other ALL THE FREAKING TIME.  One of the things I've been meaning to post about, back when there was another public furor about school dress codes and how they're fairly discriminatory towards girls. There was also a post on Faceboo

Day 23: Picture of Angus's Buns


Day 22

Every year, Collette invites a bunch of girls to her father's cottage.  We drive up in the morning, dump our stuff at the cottage and head to Westport. We eat at the same restaurant, usually at the same table. Every year now the waiter brings us water, someone goes to take a sip, and someone else says "oh wait, the water tastes funny here". (It's country water. We're city girls.) The french fries are really good. Then we go shopping at the magical Narnia store, where it looks like you're in a little country store and then you start wandering around and bam, right past the clothes and the shoes there's a bookstore, a full kitchen and a live band.  Then we go back to the cottage and play games - this year it was some extremely classy Pictionary.  It's the kind of thing that makes you feel like life is, well...  Photo credit Collete Antaya. (Oh, and that necklace ? $492.95. Is that not just sheer insanity?)

How Much Do You Think This Costs?


Day 20

Tired. Hip hurts. Shoulder and neck all seized up. My sum total of answers contributed to my team's total at World Trivia Night: two. Out of one hundred. Lilith Crane's maiden name from Cheers (Sternin). And some Irish play called the (blank) of the Western World. (Playboy). Cover myself in glory I did not. Cover myself in potato chip crumbs and licorice stickiness I did.

Day 19 - Slightly Less Surly Thursday

Random thoughts: My hip hurts a little less today. I walked Lucy, went out to get blood work done and grab some groceries, and bagged up more stuff for donating and Freecycling. I realized I'd forgotten about iZombie for a month which means FOUR WHOLE EPISODES, whoo-hoo! "He puts the boys to sleep with boogie every night/ And wakes them up the same way in the early light"? While I am not unfond of boogie, in its proper place, neither of these things sounds terribly appealing to me. I said "Sandwich before cinnamon bun!" He said "It's Backwards Day". He swam 5k today AND walked 1.5k home from school in the pouring rain. I decided not to quibble. We were talking about what cereal we were and weren't allowed to eat as kids the other night, and I got everybody jonesing for Alpen . I bought some today. We still  have a ridiculous number of stuffed animals. I am aiming to remedy that situation in short order. My blood was taken by a

Day 18 - Hip Hip Goddamn It I Have a Lot of Crap

I'm feeling a little weary and demoralized at the moment for the following reasons: 1. My hip hurts. It hurts a lot. I'm accustomed to my feet hurting when I walk or stand a lot, and my knee got into the act a couple of years ago, but this is relatively new and sudden. It doesn't seem to matter what I do, it hurts, in a burning, grinding, miserable way, and it's sort of an integral part of most movements, so it's hard to ignore. 2. I spent most of today cooking and cleaning and organizing and Freecycling. This had a net effect of getting rid of one fleece vest and one pair of kids' boots, and moving a metric shit-ton of other crap around to different places in my house (I had a dining room table. Now it's gone). It also reminded me that my method of sorting through my kids' outgrown clothes every year and getting rid of a few more things, and then putting the rest back to go through the next year, while being a method that my sentimental and hoarding

Weird Deal-Breakers

I was in the middle of the Foreword to a new (to me) book of zombie short stories last night. The sentence I read was something like "We live, you see, in uncertain times", and instantly I was back in a little café by the rep theatre in Hamilton, whatever it was called - the Broadway? Maybe? Anyway, I was with this guy who I was sort of friends with in university, except he made it known now and then that he wanted to be more than friends, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that. He was really smart and well-spoken, but kind of uptight and borderline pretentious. We'd have interesting conversations, but I often felt a little like I was being lectured to. He would make me mixed tapes of classical music and then tell me about why I should like most of it more than I actually did. He sent me really nice flowers. I sort of did like the way he would help me put on my coat and then surreptitiously smell the perfume on my scarf before wrapping it around my neck. So. We ha

Day 16

Things that happened on my girls' week-end with Zarah: I was stressing about my hair before going out in the morning and Zarah said "you ALWAYS panic about your hair and you get compliments on it ALL THE TIME." I said "Shut up, I do not." We went out for lunch. Some woman said she loved my hair. We ate Thai one night, Indian the next, and leftovers the third. I found it kind of cute that Zarah usually loves her food all mixed together, but she had to make two trips because she didn't want her Thai curry touching her Indian curry. I thought I wasn't going to spend any money this time. Isn't that adorable? We were invited to merge our girls' week-end with two separate guys' week-ends. Thursday night we had book club. Friday night we got home after shopping and thought we'd take a break before deciding if we'd head out again. Zarah had heard good things about Aziz Ansari's new Netflix series Master of None . We watched two

Day 15

I've been in Barrie with Zarah since Thursday, which is why my posts have been short and lazy and I haven't been commenting on anyone's blog. I promise to catch up tomorrow. Right now I am highway-dopey and both happy and sad to be home again. Lucy is parkouring all over me with her caterpillar toy, Angus apparently went to a girl's house on Friday night and Eve has a cold - her current group chat with her friends is called "Get Your Flu Shot". I will come back and edit this to be less lame if I don't fall asleep in the next hour.

Umbrella On Fleek

I don't even know if I said that right. 

Angus doing Movember

Week One. Week Two: ("I won't smile", he said, "so you can see it. Can you see it?")

And They Totally Still Look Cool

When we were in London for Thanksgiving, my sister took us shoe shopping.  I bought myself new Docs, because they remind of being young... with zippers, because I know I'm not. 


Every year in November I am annoyed by poppies. I love them as a symbol, I love seeing them on other people, but I buy one the first time I see it, and then I spend the next two weeks losing poppies, buying new poppies, catching poppies as they leap off my coat, and getting poked by poppy pins. If they want us all to wear poppies to show respect, if pinning it through the centre with something that will make it stay put is defacing it, I think, can they not improve the design so it's less of a giant pain in the ass? Then I think about how, after everything else, Grandpa came home to his little Ontario town on the train and on his way home through town he ran into his father, who didn't recognize him. And I try to become less of a petty, first-world-problem-bemoaning suckhole. 

Tuesdays on the Margins. Sorta.

So despite my passionate declaration that I was going to just stop reading books that weren't awesome and just read all my awesome books in a big awesome string of awesomeness, I have found myself partway through a dozen books again. Here's the rundown: Songbook by Nick Hornby: According to Goodreads, I've already read this, but I don't remember reading it AT ALL, even while (apparently) re-reading it. It's magnificent. I was leaving for physio and had forgotten to find a book, and only grabbed it because it was the right size (small and light enough to hold in one hand while my shoulder was being buzzed, iced and womanhandled). Ended up grinning like a dork and laughing out loud through the whole physio appointment. You know that quote that says writing about music is like dancing about architecture? I imagine that Nick Hornby could do the kind of dance that would make you go "Hot damn! I finally understand what the Taj Mahal is all about!" The 19th

Eve in Grade Seven Part Two

Thanks so much for all the comments. You are all very wise, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and stories (making a kid throw his art in the recycling? HULK FUCKING SMASH). I don't think I'm ready to talk to the teacher face to face, principally because I'm too chicken, if we're being entirely truthful here, but also because I don't really have anything to discuss with her about Eve in particular. I would also worry that it would blow back on Eve, because this teacher has shown time and again and she doesn't have it in her to be objective or impartial about anything. If a kid does something once that pisses her off, she refers to it over and over. On days when the kid has done nothing wrong, she expresses surprise that he hasn't done anything wrong. I fail to see how this creates a good learning environment. I ran into one of Eve's mom's friends in the liquor store today (I was buying a bottle of tequila at 11:30 a.m., but that's anoth

Eve in Grade Seven

I have no idea what to write today so I'm jumping on Steph 's offer of talking about how Eve's doing in the Big School. When I was in elementary school, they went to grade eight and then high school started in grade nine. Some people apparently went to middle school. Here in Ottawa I think some schools are still K-8, but my kids' elementary school only went to grade six, and then they go to a 7-12. I wasn't crazy about this model, but the seven/eights are on a different schedule from the nine-to-twelves and have their own wing, and it's worked out fine for Angus. I went with both grade six classes when they walked over to the high school for the field trip that introduced them. The grade eight WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) Leaders meet them at the doors and clap and cheer for them on their way in. Angus thought this was cool enough. Eve found it totally overwhelming and wanted to run and hide under something. I had assumed she would be excited about the new sch

Random Picture Saturday

Random picture of Angus and a dude I don't know downtown on their French field trip. Random picture of Lucy in one of her Halloween costumes (Eve made me!) We have since granted her burning wish to Go Medieval On Its Ass. Random picture of the pumpkin pie Angus made in cooking class and then rode him with in his backpack. We redistributed the filling and it was delicious. His crust is better than my mom's, and she is extremely pissed off about this.  Random picture of something I found while cleaning the music books off the piano. We have no idea where it came from. I think it might be an alien. Random picture of Angus being pensive on a ferry.  Random picture of a banana dog. You're welcome.

What We Have Here

When my sister was a teen-ager, she had a bit of a stalker. I was at university at the time so I missed the exact details, but I think it was more of an annoying clueless guy kind of thing than a possible police involvement thing. Years later when my sister and I were both home from university, we were sitting around drinking and talking with my parents and my dad proudly told a story about the last time the guy called for my sister and my dad said "She doesn't want to talk to you. Why don't you just fuck right off?" Which was great, except somehow my sister figured out that he'd been talking to the wrong guy. Oops. Fast-forward to the present, when my daughter has just gotten an iphone and we're all on the cloud so sometimes I start getting my kids' texts forwarded to my phone - texts sent TO them as well as texts they send. So a few days ago some guy starts sending Eve "hot or nots" - I'm not linking to it because I find it kind of loat

Surly Thursday - Midlife Edition

I haven't seen the movie This Is Forty, but if it's at all realistic I imagine that it's the characters experiencing, at ten-minute increments, things on their body becoming creaky, painful, droopy or non-functional, interspersed with things on their house breaking, leaking, molding or rusting and requiring intervention that costs some multiple of a thousand dollars. My knee has been a problem since a few years ago when I got the stupid notion that running for fun and exercise (as opposed to only when someone's chasing me with a chainsaw) was a good idea. My shoulder (which I fell on when Lucy tried to kill me on the stairs) complains when I try to put on a coat or moisturize my back (in my memory I used to be able to put moisturizer on my shoulderblade, but I think it's more likely that my thumb used to graze the very bottom of it, and this made it feel moisturized, and now that I can't do that, it constantly feels dry and itchy). My hip is acting up now, I d

New Heights

If you're wondering why I'm blogging about Eve's sixth-grade graduation, which took place last June, in November, please refer to this post . It's NaBloPoMo, people. Literally Anything Goes. So yeah. It was graduation. They wore fancy dresses. Eve won a sports award, and apparently my face demonstrated a sort of insultingly high degree of surprise. Here she is with her BFF since Day One of JK. After the ceremony, we went home for an hour or so, and then Eve and I went to pick up Marianna because I was volunteering at the dance. I went in and Marianna's mom said "she's just putting her dress back on", and I said "right. Was she outside on the trampoline?" And then we pointed at each other and gasped inarticulately at the wonderfulness of the idea that had just struck us both. So, this.

So this is just my life now?

Went into the kids' bathroom to tidy up for cleaning today. Put away some mouthwash and moisturizer and moved a shaving kit. Found this. Because why not?

Treats and Boo(ze)

I've been feeling frustrated with myself thinking that I've always kind of hated Halloween and now that Angus doesn't trick or treat anymore and Eve probably just did for the last time I should have appreciated it more. Then I realized that wasn't really accurate. I loved taking them when they were little. I just didn't like it when they got a little older and we knew they were going to go but it always took up until the last minute to plan who we were going to go with and I'm just bad at not having a plan, and at wandering around the neighbourhood awkwardly without a parent friend while my kid asks strangers for candy. For a couple of years when Angus was going with friends, I made Matt take Eve with whoever she went with. Last year I sucked it up and we went with the crazy Greek friends to an elaborately decorated neighbourhood in Riverside South and it was really fun. This year Eve decided to go with two friends she's known since birth, and Collette

Because This Mo can Blo Me

Go on, you can say it. We're all thinking it. I've been a sucky blogger for the past few months. It was summer. Then my mild bipolar tendencies suddenly became less mild for a bit. For the first part of the fall I was full of energy - for getting up early, walking Lucy, working out, cleaning out closets and storage spaces, going out at night. I didn't read as much and I didn't have the focus to sit down and write. Then came the ugly and inevitable crash. Couldn't wake up. The big assignment I had three-quarters done three weeks early languished unfinished. Had to drag myself to the gym and around the park with Lucy. We had frozen pizza for dinner TWICE last week (granted, on one of those nights there was no one here to actually eat anyway, but still.) Everything hurts. I've become borderline narcoleptic. (You could be forgiven at this point for assuming that 'bipolar' means 'makes excuses for not blogging in both official languages'). And