Showing posts from November, 2016

Sometimes You Do It Well, and Sometimes You Just Do It

Don't let the door smack you in the ass on the way out, November. Oh wait, do. 

Wordless... Tuesday?

There are only two female granddaughters on my husband's side of the family, born thirteen years apart.  The other one visited us today. Her name is Lydia and she totally kicks ass. 

I Don't Feel Good Today

I know technically it should be "well", but that doesn't really capture it. I don't feel good. I feel bad. I'm having trouble finding the goodness. This makes me realize that I've had a pretty good November so far, partly because of everyone who commented here on what I'm not really that upset to admit has been my lamest NaBloPoMo ever. I'm finishing my last course in my Library Tech Diploma. It's on Special Libraries, and the four assignments have all been progressive parts of setting up your own special library. The minute I hit send on my very first assignment, I realized that the library I had painstakingly set up was very slightly wrong for a special library. The instructor sent me a bunch of details about how it was, in fact, slightly wrong, but gave me an eighty percent anyway. So every successive assignment has been a struggle because it's all based on a flawed foundation, but I just didn't have the energy to go back and rework th

Day 27

Seafood risotto: Dave said he didn't feel like he could plate Janet's risotto without someone screaming at him that he's a piece-of-shit useless loser and the food is a steaming pile of raccoon feces. So we did.  The aforementioned sweet potato gnocchi, arugula with orange-cinnamon vinaigrette and orange-basil mini-muffins (which were weird and off-putting when I tried the first one but grew on me, and everyone else loved them): Grilled lamb and beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese (I think): I forgot to take a picture of Collette's lemon soufflĂ© even though it was my favorite thing ever in the whole world because I was drunk and eating lemon soufflĂ©. Over dinner we talked about politics and world events and how important it is to keep exposing yourself to viewpoints that aren't exactly like yours, and our kids. After dinner we went in the basement to listen to music and watch music videos, which inevitably results in everyone fight


Okay, so technically I missed Saturday, but I haven't actually gone to sleep yet so I'm going to say it counts. I was cooking most of the day for a dinner party (sweet potato gnocchi with maple cinnamon sage brown butter sauce, arugula with almonds and an orange cinnamon vinaigrette and orange basil mini muffins) and then actually at the dinner party, and then stumbling drunkenly home from the dinner party, but a high point of my day was when Eve called on the way home from her basketball game to tell me that her team lost by three points, which was frustrating, but she played really well and scored two baskets, and they were going to McDonald's, and also Daddy was being pissy because Angelica gets to pick up Angus when his bus from Burlington gets back home. That may well be the longest sentence of my NaBloPoMo. Good night. p.s. this is my 1066th post. Battle of Hastings!

It's Friday

It's Friday, so I ripped off something funny from Facebook again. I'm also musing about how on earth, after looking at every single container of plain Greek yogurt at Loblaws trying to find one made with whole milk, and failing, and deciding to just get 2% milk fat stuff instead of 0%, I came home with Greek yogurt that was not only 0% BUT VANILLA-FLAVOURED. At least I was wearing sensible boots.

Surly Thursday (not really)

Truthfully, I can only really be surly at myself today. And the stupid fucking weather. Doesn't it suck how much you think you won't fall prey to the inevitable depredations of aging and yet inevitably you end up needing reading glasses and hating fucking winter, when a few short years ago you blithely declared that you would miss living through the full might of all four seasons? I had to go to the gym and a few stores to get ingredients for a dinner party recipe for the week-end. It was snowing and there was snow on the ground. I could have worn my old Bogs, which are no good for my back at this point but I wasn't going to have to walk a lot and I had my running shoes for the gym. Didn't. I could have worn my Docs, which would have at least offered nominal protection from the snow. Didn't. I slipped my feet into these low, fur-rimmed things I bought to walk Lucy around the block in the fall. The snow looked fluffy and light, but was actually heavy and wet and d

Day 23

This NaBloPoMo has really been a slog. Sometimes I find that writing more generates more writing. This year not so much. I guess that's okay. I'm just home from book club, which means I've been out every night this week. It was a very good book club. We talked about The Big Short and whose mother was a horrible cook and used too much Campbell's soup and too many substandard ingredients, and listened to Leonard Cohen and the people who love listening to Leonard Cohen were outraged by the people who don't love listening to Leonard Cohen (apparently there are people who don't love listening to Leonard Cohen, did you know this?) Then we talked about who we had seen in concert who was good and who was horrible - sometimes the same person was good once and horrible another time. Angus is in Burlington until the week-end for OFSAA - I don't know what that stands for even though I just looked it up. It's kind of a funny story; he's been playing school vo

Day 22

I realized on Monday that I have book club on Wednesday and hadn't started the book yet. The book was T he Big Short , which is not in my normal reading comfort zone, and I read thirty percent of it last night mostly feeling like a total moron who could not get there from here. Oddly, though, the more I read it, the more the sheer repetition of the terms started to sink in, and when I watched the movie this afternoon I felt like the book had given me a good introduction, in addition to the very clever techniques the movie had for explaining credit default swaps and subprime mortgage lending. Also, the description in the book of the people involved and some of the snappy one-liners are really entertaining and made me glad to be reading it. Eve came in after school (I had told her on Monday that I hadn't started reading the book yet) and asked what I was watching. I told her, and she said incredulously "You're watching the movie instead? you've become THAT PERSON

Day 21

It snowed and got cold yesterday, so naturally I had to take Eve to get a winter jacket today, because why would you want to be all sensible and do that BEFORE you need it? In the car: "I feel like everyone in French immersion has had that experience where you're singing a song from the radio and then your teacher hits you with 'parle en francais', so you try really awkwardly to keep singing the song while translating it into French. Davis and I were singing All Star: 'Quelqu'un m'a une fois dit que le monde va me rouler....'" In Bed Bath and Beyond: "It's so INSANELY FESTIVE. I feel really bad for Jewish people trying to shop here." In the food court when I came back with my food: "There was an angsty teenaged couple over there. So naturally I secretly photographed them and sent it to Marianna with the hashtag #goals." In the car on the way home, I asked her to check the weather. She said "I can never get Safar

Choice Moments from Girls' Cottage Week-end

(I promise, no more frog porn) 1) Playing Exploding Kittens , "a game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats". It's kind of like Russian Roulette, with extremely rude cartoons and less having to mop up blood and brains afterwards (unless Collette doesn't take losing well, which she often doesn't. 2) Me playing my Nope card (featuring the Little-Known Ocean-Going Nar-Nope) to prevent Collette from using her See the Future card, and Collette countering with her OWN Nope card (featuring a double-middle-finger-wielding Pope of Nope) and then Cynthia standing up and majestically sailing yet a third Nope card (featuring a bowl of Canta-Nope) over the bowls of junk food to foil Collette's sinister plan. 3) Collette getting so pissed off at Cynthia not being able to figure out her masterful drawing of a finger puppet in Pictionary that she barked "Allison! What is this?", and held it up, and I said "

Girls' Cottage Weekend

Here are some amorous frogs 

It's Friday

Have some dog snapchats that had me cry-laughing earlier.

WTF Just Happened?

Everything kind of hit the fan at four o'clock today. Lucy's sister dog from next door had escaped her back yard, so I had told next door where she was and brought her in to play with Lucy, and they frolicked in the garden before running back in the house with dirty paws. I was finishing a batch of pumpkin scones and making Angus a snack before his workout. I tried to bring Riley home, but she took off into the street just as two students were walking home and Matt was driving home to try to figure out why the TV wasn't working (I told him it could wait until he got home from Quebec City but he came home anyway). The two students kept Riley in one place so I could grab her and fortunately no other cars came, so I returned her to her house. Matt came in and was fiddling with the tv cables while I was trying to figure out Angus's report card (I have a habit of confusing the median with his actual mark), making a sandwich and trying to figure out who pulled all the cables

Day 16

I just saw Arrival , which is based on a short story by Ted Chiang called The Story of Your Life, which I read a year or so ago. I've read it several times again since then, and I was fairly skeptical that they could make a movie that would capture the sense of the story, but they did a pretty good job. I've been working through the other stories in Chiang's collection Stories of Your Life and Others . and they are much harder than I'm used to (also more difficult). I'm impressed that someone read one and thought it would work cinematically. I'm waiting for brownies to bake for the teachers' supper tomorrow at the kids school because they have parent teacher interviews and have to stay all night, EVEN THOUGH I don't have an interview. Angus just found this out and is terribly impressed with how nice I am. I find this really amusing. The recipe is incredibly annoying. It says to melt the first four ingredients in a bowl set in a pan of 'barely simme

Three Dominant Bitches

......and a croissant. (They accidentally match at least once or twice a week. It's adorable).

So, It's Monday

I know I promised I would be less lame today, but it's possible that I lied. I can't seem to form a coherent string of thoughts. I did some mending that I'd been putting off. It always takes me so long to get to, and then it's so easy and satisfying to pull the edges together and sew them up and cut the thread and have a whole thing that was previously in pieces. If only fixing everything was that easy. Angus and I were watching The Walking Dead together until this season. When I was in Boston with Matt for our twentieth anniversary trip I realized I was missing the season premiere and texted Angus to tell him he could watch it without me if he wanted to, but he didn't. Then Matt and I went to Quincy Market the next day and there was a group of hip-hop dancers out front, and JUST BEFORE we left, one of the dancers said "move closer, folks, we're not the walking dead. Oh, Glenn!" JESUS CHRIST, hip-hop guy, it's only MONDAY! And once I got hom

Day 13

I promise to post less lame stuff now that I'm home again. Tonight I'm inexpressibly grateful for a safe, beautiful drive both ways, my hilarious, beautiful, supportive friend who distracted me with so much fun stuff that I didn't have time to post anything substantial, seeing my kids and dog, and my husband who actually did LAUNDRY while I was away, and had dinner ready when I got home. Also, I got a mark back on an assignment and it was way better than I expected. Also, I bought a new fancy bra at the fancy bra store we always go to in Barrie. I'll show it to you later. *blows kisses*

Wholesome and Not So Much


Day 11

I'm hearing about horrible acts committed by ignorant, bigoted people gloating over Trump's winning the presidency and drunk with the power of having their racism, sexism and various other hatreds legitimized. I'm feeling enraged and unutterably weary that people fought and died in wars to secure our freedom and this is what so many choose to do with it. On the drive here I listened to the song Good Day by Jewel, which reminded me that "this crazy mixed-up beauty is all that we have". Tonight Zarah and I watched the movie W hiskey Tango Foxtrot , in which one soldier after losing his legs declares that "you embrace the suck. You move the fuck forward." And that's all I have right now. Other than that I still miss Matt's Grandpa, and I lost a record nine poppies this year.

Nine minutes!

I got up this morning. I took Eve to the orthodontist. Matt got home from California on the red eye at ten. I left at eleven and drove to Barrie. I hugged Zarah. We had dinner. We went to her book club. We briefly discussed Frankenstein and Dracula and then the book club tried to decide on the Christmas book and somehow there was then a longish interlude of people searching out dirty Christmas titles and reading Christmas erotica (you don't even want to know how many ways "naughty and nice" and candy canes and sitting on Santa's lap can be made ugly). Then we went out for a drink and some guy offered to buy us shooters and we thought better of it (just barely) and now we're home just before midnight and I tried to post from the bar and couldn't, but I'm in just under the wire. I think.

I Don't Know

I don't know what to write today. I'm collecting smart and faintly comforting things my friends have said instead. Fighting for Wha t's Right is Worth It  by Maggie. I haven't lost faith in humanity. I haven't even lost faith in America. America is full of generous, big-hearted, loving people that I'm proud to call my friends. We all know that humanity is variously capable of the most shocking cruelty, the basest stupidity and the most transcendent acts of beauty and kindness. We all know that change is possible, change is even happening - it's just very, very, tediously, mind-achingly, infuriatingly slow. There has been change in my lifetime. My brave friends and my loving, open-minded children have effected a lot of it. Come at us, Trump. We're not backing down.

Day 8

I've got nothing, really. I spent the day sorting and pitching and wtf-ing in the basement storage areas again. I found books that my kids have outgrown, toys that I never managed to give them when they were age-appropriate, more gift bags than one person could ever use, and these: That's right. Rocks. In a bag. Bags of rocks. What am I supposed to do, tell the kids they can keep whichever rocks have names? That's what we used to do with the stuffed animals (they all had names. Every single one.) On the plus side, I can now open and close the storage closet door again. On the minus side, my dining room table is covered with crap to donate, give away or sell (which might give me another Facebook Groups blog post, so maybe it's a plus after all). Also, here is a picture of Lucy objecting to me reading instead of paying attention to her: She's extremely clingy right now and periodically driving me crazy, but I love her. Alright, back to stress

Stupid Things I've Bought Lately

I usually like to think that advertising doesn't have that big an effect on me. I like a clever, funny commercial (those ones are in the overwhelming minority), but as often as not I don't actually notice what it's for. I generally base my decisions on what brand to buy based on what seems like good value or what's better quality once we've tried it. We also have an unwritten rule in our house that when a new chip flavour comes out, we buy a bag and try it. This went horribly wrong once or twice, because if there's a pack of gum or an open bag of chips on the counter, my husband shovels some into his mouth without really looking - I once told him that he could buy his own mints instead of always asking me for one of mine, but then we agreed that if he did that he would down them all at once and die in an agonizing surfeit of mintiness. So when he came across the open bag of Lay's curry chips (they were not good - the curry flavour was very unsubtle) it was

Sad Thing

I felt like crap today, but it was beautiful outside and I wanted to get out, so I walked over to Shoppers for a few things and then took Lucy around the park. I walked slowly and looked around at the burning blue sky - the leaves left on the trees, mostly copper and yellow but some still red - were eye-wateringly brilliant in the sun. Lucy was having a wonderful time crashing into leaves and following smells. As we got halfway around the park, I became aware of what I thought was a conversation between two teen-aged girls that was loud and sounded a little angry. I kept walking, and the conversation started to follow me, and when I looked back it was actually only one girl. I thought she might be talking on her phone, but I couldn't be sure, and I kept thinking I heard the word DOG repeated and it was all a little weird. It was bright mid-day, but I was slightly nervous walking along the trees and sped up a little bit to get back onto the street by the houses. As I was almost

Therefore I Am. Or Might Be. It's Hard to Say.

Reading Paul Kalanithi's memoir got me thinking - ha ha, brain surgery, thinking, i kill me - a lot again, as you do every now and then and then have to stop because it makes your head hurt, about the whole question of what makes a person, and the whole intractable problem of metaphysics - trying to come at the issues of being in the world from outside the world, where you can never be -  and the mind and the soul and how trying to use the brain to think about the brain is very, very difficult, especially when your brain is forty-something and has raised two kids and weathered a lot of tequila shots. Have you seen those medical shows where someone comes into the hospital with something sharp stuck in their brain, and when it gets removed they're ostensibly fine, but their personality has changed, like they're nice when they used to be cranky, or cranky when they used to be nice? Is that not really, really freaky? Something could happen to one tiny part of your brain and

It's Friday - Have Some Funny Stuff

I was reminded of this while talking to Hannah (Hi Hannah!) about... something. I read it again and it made me laugh out loud again, so if you haven't seen it, you're welcome. ("We are just honking each other whilst saying "honk" for, like, ten minutes. I want a video of this played at our wedding.") It's doubly funny because she used the word "whilst". Also, this reminding thing reminded me of another thing, which is that at my cousin's wedding the best man was introducing the groomsmen and for one he said "now Mike, here.... he's a pimp." And my other cousin sighed, "it's a good thing Grandma and Grandpa are dead." This came across my Facebook again today and it always makes me giggle out loud too. "Fuck, fuck, the dog sees me." Oh, and then there's this , which is insanely cool, and the kind of thing that I always think would make a great Christmas present for someone, and then I try to t

First Steps

Yesterday afternoon I was mucking out the basement storage closet, a profoundly dreary and dispiriting task, when I realized it was an achingly beautiful fall day outside and I should go for a walk with Lucy and get back to the shit-shoveling when it was dark out. When I first started walking Lucy, I would get annoyed with her for needing to stop and pee or poop or sniff stuff, thereby interrupting my brisk, even walking pace. Then I started to use those moments to look around and notice things - the colour of the sky, clouds or stars, trees and flowers, things I don't really notice in detail when charging ahead trying to get my heart rate up and my steps in. It was nice. Today I was noticing that my shins were hurting if I tried to keep up my usual pace. Maybe I need new shoes. Maybe I'm tired and my gait is off. Whatever, it was vexing, and I actually found myself thinking "oh no! I won't be able to walk!" Because when I'm too lazy or depressed to make i

Wordless Wednesday: My Niece's Pumpkin

No word yet on whether they got egged. 

Scary Stuff

Me every year trying to decide on a costume for our friends' Halloween party: "I hate dressing up. I'll just try to find something that won't be too hot." Me every year when I put on the costume for the party: "I look like a stripper." Eve most years when I put on the costume for the party: "Nah, you're fine, let's just go." Eve last Saturday when I put on the costume for the party: "Nah, y.... wellllll..... oh, it's fine, let's just go." I borrowed a Dark Alice cosplay costume. I just tried it on to make sure it fit. When I put it on for the party, I realized it was basically a slutty French Maid costume with a picture of the Cheshire Cat on the apron. Thank goodness for body-positive, non-slut-shaming daughters. At least it wasn't too hot. Miss Clavel doing her best to bring me to Jesus --------------------------------------------------- For years, Matt would let the kids draw the design they w