Monday, July 31, 2006

I need a life

I'm starting to realize (after almost 8 months of writing) that in order to have an interesting blog you need to have an interesting life. Which I don't think I possess. I have a drama-free, even-keeled, almost boring life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I've noticed that people with way too much drama in their lives are mostly unhappy or unfulfilled. Or both. And I'm definitely not a Desperate Housewife. I don't want to be constantly worrying about what's going to happen on the next episode of "The Karen Show".

But that said, I guess I'm, well, not *bored* but I'd love for something cool to happen to us. Something bloggable. Like solving a mystery or winning a pile of cash in a lottery. Just something to add a spark. I bake, I shop, I watch tv, I go to movies, I have awesome friends and family that I should see more, I have fun with my gang... all noble and nice and I'm sure that tons of people would give their eye teeth for what I have. But I need an adventure. I need a plane to fly overhead and drop a cd with a secret transmission that only I can decode. Okay, maybe I watch too much tv but you know what I mean.

I just keep thinking... if I was to collect my blogs over a year and publish it, who on earth would read it? It's so... mundane. Where's the excitement? Where's the emotion? Where's the (I'll say it again) drama?

For instance, so far today I slept in then tidied up a bit. Elliott has a couple of friends over playing Axis and Allies and I'm watching All My Children and blogging. Later today I'll make dinner, watch Hell's Kitchen and go to bed. How fascinating. Thank goodness I'm funny. Oh, and don't hold your breath for my new book "The Blah Blog of a Bland Broad". You'll go blue.


Friday, July 28, 2006

As I think I've posted here before, I love surveys

Now before you start sending me those good luck ones that involve asking every detail of my private life, I mean online surveys and polls from companies. I get them in my inbox and do them all the time.

So when the opportunity arose to become a "Nielsen family" I jumped on it. Of course it's not the cool tv version that I'd hoped for but something about tracking my purchases. Sounded cool anyway. I purchase. Often.

Well, my equipment arrived yesterday and I'm rethinking this whole thing. I have to input every single item that comes into the house. Clothes, Automotive services, prescriptions, everything. When we do groceries, we often buy 70- 100 items. Each one has to be scanned and the price has to be punched into a little handheld device. It takes me forever to put the groceries away as it is. It's one of my most hated jobs of the week. And to be honest, I'm a true capitalist who breezes through the store never noting prices until the checkout. So now I have to fiddle through every single thing I bought looking for the barcode and punching in the price from the receipt? I don't think I even take the receipt. Uh Oh. I'll tell you what. This'll either change my buying habits or Neilsen's going to get a rude awakening when it comes to the Kaye household.

Turns out we don't buy as much stuff as I originally thought. Um. Yeah. Ahem. Hey, at least there are prizes...


Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm fed up

I'm sick to the back teeth of 80's music remakes. Especially in this day and age of quick, cheap downloads. Why on earth would I want to listen Jessica Simpson's version of You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) when I could hear Dead Or Alive's version free in 30 seconds if I download it from LimeWire? Or even hear it on tv. I saw an ad for some diet something the other day using the original. Come on. They are so much better than the new versions.

Here are a few that were big recently that never needed to be remade and only serve to make me throw up in my mouth a little when I hear them:

"Bizarre Love Triangle" not by the classic New Order but by some dance band
The previously mentioned "You Spin Me Round"
"Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Max Graham"
Never Surrender" by NOT Corey Hart
The entire "50 First Dates" Soundtrack (okay, I admit the 311 song is pretty good but only because it stays close to original)
"Tainted Love" not by the cool Soft Cell but by the scary Marilyn Manson...

Does no one have an original idea in their heads anymore? I know there are only 8 musical notes so there are bound to be one or two accidental overlaps but come on. Why remake whole songs that were monster hits back in the day? Why not use a b-side or an album track that was buried. A little nugget of joy that was forgotten through the mists of time? Where is your creativity, people? I'm looking at you Jessica. The straw that broke the camel's back. Restore my faith in music by coming up with your own ideas. Give me a reason to buy a cd. All these remakes do is remind me how good the music was back then and make me pull out my turntable and black plastic plates (that's what my kids call my records)... the little whippersnappers.

Anyone know a really good 80's song remake so I can eat my words? If you can find me one I can agree with that's better than the original, I'll go out and buy the cd. I'll actually pay cash money for new music and like it...


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What a mother I am

I can safely say without hyperbole that by 10:00 this morning I was both the worst and best mother in the world.

Last night Audrey lost a tooth and the tooth fairy forgot to come. This has happened before but I'm not sure to which kid. Anyway, this morning Diva woke up with giant watery eyes and that little bloody tooth in her palm. "The tooth fairy didn't come", she said in the heartbreakingest voice you ever heard. And although she didn't cry, I felt like the crappiest mother alive. Again.

We were all rushing around getting ready for swimming lessons and we had an hour to be there. No one had had any breakfast and we were still in our jammies. My brilliant mother brain (or was it guilt addled? I'm never sure...) kicked into high gear. I told her that maybe she'll come during swimming while we're out. In the shower I composed a poem for the tooth fairy to leave her (fairies always talk in rhyme... d'uh) and wrote it out on the computer while the kids were in the playroom. I found a loonie and a toonie and 3 pieces of Hubba Bubba gum in my bedside drawer that I was willing to part with because I bought the sour kind by accident and I hate sour candy. I wrapped it all in red tissue paper and stuck it under her pillow while they were all outside getting their bikes and I "forgot the towels".

When we got back she immediately went for her pillow and was so excited! She actually ran around the house yelling "thank you tooth fairy!". She even shared the gum with her brothers before reading the note (which told her to). Now I'm sitting back and resting on my laurels. What an excellent mother. I may not do another thing for the rest of the day. Except maybe try to figure out what to do with the morbid collection of 3 kids' worth of baby teeth I have steadily growing in my jewellry box... Maracas perhaps?


***Here's a copy of the poem in case you're interested:
"Sorry Audrey, I had a long night.
And you were at the end of my flight.
Then you woke up too early, you should know,
So I had to wait for you to go.
The gum is an extra treat for you
Because of the sadness you went through.
Enjoy, blow a bubble and chew, chew, chew
But please share with Henry and Elliott, too!
I love you, see you again soon!
The Tooth Fairy"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Happy 7th Birthday Kristina!

From your "Auntie Carrot". I hope your mummy sees this. If she does, tell her to please put a comment under here!

Kristina was born in the states but has lived in England for quite some time. As a result she's got the most gorgeous accent you've ever heard. Much cooler than the fake one Madonna puts on.

Kristina's birthday reminds me of how much I dislike the "birthday song". It's never begun at the same time so everyone's out of tune and it's always way too slow. It starts to sound like a breast beating dirge which, as you get older, can be a horribly depressing foreshadowing of another time when family and friends are gathered around to celebrate your life.

I say let's come up with another song we can sing for birthdays. When Jack Black was on SNL they had the right idea but it was way too long. And let's face it, crazy. In Quebec we used to sing "Gens du Pays" which, besides the fact that it's all in French, so not international, isn't really a birthday song. Too politically charged.

My vote? A lovely little song by Sharon Lois & Bram. It was on one of their birthday records. Here are the lyrics:

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday we love you
Happy Birthday and may all your dreams come true
When you blow out the candles
One light stays aglow
It's the lovelight in your eyes
Where'er you go!

Now isn't that pretty? Short, sweet, to the point and most importantly, peppy no matter how slow you sing it. I've been trying for years to sing it at my kids' birthdays but it's not catching on. Come on, people. Help me spread the word!

Incidentally, my 39th birthday's coming up in 16 days so feel free to sing it to me then. I wish I could help you out with the melody but I can't find it anywhere online. If you know me personally, call me up and I'll warble it down the phone to you.

Have a fabulous day and just to give you ample warning, 5 months 'till Christmas.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Oy. I'm "vintage" now

I watched the Miss Universe pageant last night (I was pulling for Japan... she's so cute!). When it was over I checked my bulletin boards. My computer is situated so my back is to the tv and I heard one of my favourite Pat Benatar songs (Heartbreaker). I sang along to all the words and finally turned around to see Pat singing with a little blonde girl in an ad for Candies (what is that anyway?) with the word "Vintage" featured prominently. GASP. I'm vintage now? I was just barely getting over my favourite 80s tunes being played on my local station's "Back In The Day Cafe". Now VINTAGE? That's a word commonly used for 57 Chevys and collectable fricking lunchboxes. Not my MUSIC. Ouch.

I need to lie down. I think I'm getting a case of the vapours. Or maybe I'll take my daily constitutional. That'll restore my former vim and vigour. Oh my God, I'm so old. Okay so what's Candies and who's the chippie in the ad? Chippie? I'm doing it again, aren't I? It's hot cocoa time. And who keeps hiding my shawl?


Friday, July 21, 2006

I hate the word "biweekly"

How can the same word have two entirely different meanings? Scott and I were talking about car payments (the happy fact that we don't have any) and the fact that a car we saw on tv for "$250 bi weekly". Scott was saying it meant every 2 weeks and I was saying it meant twice a week. It turns out we were both right. A rare and happy occurrence.

Even still, it's irritating. How can something mean both twice a week and twice a month? It makes no sense. Wouldn't bi-monthly be a better word to use if that's what you mean? Do people not use it? The English use the word "fortnight" to mean 2 weeks. That's a great word. Then the car could get paid for fortnightly. Sounds like you're spending less money, doesn't it? I love the British.

Another word pet peeve I have is "next Monday" vs. "this Monday". To me, you can't use both to mean the Monday coming up. You'd say "this Monday" to mean the Monday coming up and say "next Monday" to mean the Monday after that. It's simple to me but again I'm the sole inhabitant of Karenworld and as such am the only member of its grammar club. Everyone else says "next Monday" to mean the one coming up and it drives me bananas.

Rant over. Have a nice weekend and see you this Monday.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

I've been defiled

Okay, I've only been for my yearly pap but it sure feels like it. YUCK. Ah, the wonders of modern medicine. Is there any other place where I can wait for almost an hour in a room for the privilege of having a grizzled Asian man stick his hand in my junk up to his wrist? Maybe Singapore. Where, co-incidentally, my doctor is from. Fancy that.

And is it just me or are these things getting worse and worse as I get older? Dr Sim, bless his heart, has been my ob/gyn since I moved to Ottawa in 1990. He's a great ob/gyn and delivered all my babies but he can be bossy. And distracted. And he's got zero bedside manner. I mean ZERO. I never told you guys the about the time I called him from my daycare telling him that there was Fifth's Disease going around. I wondered if I should worry about the baby. After telling him that I was 24 weeks pregnant he says to me in his thick Asian accent "No, no, you okay. If you 20 weeks or under maybe baby die but you okay". And he hung up on me. Wha? You never, EVER EVER say "maybe baby die" to a first time pregnant woman. Ever. I burst out crying and couldn't stop so my director had to send me home anyway. Not cool Dr. S.

Anyway, back to the pap. I tried to make small-talk to make it go by faster but is there anything you can say to block out the fact that a relative stranger is inserting cold greased up instruments into your privates? "So, Doc... it's hot out, eh?" "Who do you think will be the next housemate voted out on Big Brother? Kaysar really screwed up with his nominations, didn't he?" It's so not working. Then it happens. He TAKES A PHONE CALL. While I'm wearing a paper gown, in stirrups errr... demonstrating the proper use of a speculum. Yanno, Doc, there's only so much I can take. I've driven halfway across town, waited an hour in a room with no magazines, the kids are all still in the waiting room (I hope), you've ignored my desperate cries for idle chit chat, now this. All I can do is throw my arm over my eyes and repeat "it's only once a year" over and over again.

Thankfully everything's where it should be again and I'm trying to put the horrors of yesterday afternoon behind me. This blog can be good therapy. Sorry you all had to live through it too.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Many of you know about what happened last year when my kids had swimming lessons. For those of you that don't know or have forgotten (I certainly haven't and never will), I developed a humiliating crush on the children's swimming instructor. The no more than 20 year old, Jake Gyllenhaal lookalike swimming teacher to my 3 children. I babbled like a loser, asked him inane questions, took his photo when he wasn't looking and to top it off, on the last day I baked him cookies. You heard. Hoo boy. It's not like I'm 18 years old. It's not like he doesn't know I have kids. I'm an aging suburban cougar with a mortifying crush that he can probably see coming off me in waves. He probably pissed himself laughing with the other swimming teachers while scarfing my delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Anyway, yesterday was supposed to be the first day of lessons this year. I shaved everything, put on the most makeup I could to look perfectly natural (at 9am) and the phone rang. I see "city of Ottawa" in the display and pick it up quick. It was Steven telling me that because of a blackout the previous night there would be no lesson. Dammit. I gabbled some kind of (hopefully) appropriate response, hung up and pouted like he broke our big date. Poor me (I mean kids). At least, I thought, we have tomorrow.

Well, we don't because there was another call this morning saying that the pool filter was still suffering and again no lesson. Wha? Okay, now I'm starting to think it's me. Did he see my name on the roster and freak out that the elderly kook from last year will be making googoo eyes at him from poolside again? What if I promise to keep my eyes in my head? And my camera in my purse. The poor kids. Seriously this time. They're such bad swimmers for their ages. I feel like they're going to be wearing waterwings at the beach on their tropical honeymoons just because their mum (while happily married btw) couldn't stop slobbering at their teacher during their lessons. Sigh. Well, there's always tomorrow. I hope. He sure isn't getting cookies this year.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Another successful shopping day

And this time it wasn't even for me. Yesterday on our way to watch Scott play hockey we stopped at a local sporting goods store to get his skates sharpened. They had some bikes outside for sale and Audrey and Henry took them for a spin while we waited. It turned out they were used and super cheap so I went back today and bought them. They needed bikes anyway and the prices were so right ($40 and $50 respectively). What else could I do?

So this morning we went on a long bike ride and I'm again shocked by how wonderful this city is for bike riders. Ottawa is lousy with bike paths. I did some research and Ottawa has over 170kms of paths around the city. If you had the time and inclination you could easily get all around town on a bike rarely having to run into a car (either literally or figuratively).

We rode only about 10 minutes before we got to a gorgeous treed path with only the sound of crickets and birds to keep us company. Even Henry noticed how quiet it was. We saw Monarch butterflies (Elliott argued that they were Viceroys but what do I know?), horses at the equestrian park, waterbugs at the stream, goldfinches... the list goes on.

Want to have a nice afternoon with the kids? Come to Ottawa and try our gorgeous bike paths. You can stay at my place. I have a Monarch/Viceroy coloured spare room.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Holy hot Batman!

Okay, I know I promised not to complain way back when it was -40C outside that it was too hot but as a woman I reserve the right. It's bloody hot out there. Last night I planned to jog this morning before Scott went to work but when the alarm clock went at 6:30 I questioned my sanity at even considering getting out of bed so early let alone jogging. So I came up with what I thought was the brilliant plan of going jogging with the kids while they rode their bikes. So misguided on so many levels.

I waited as the kids dressed and had breakfast then I had a peanut butter sandwich (for energy, you know). We finally set out at 9:30. I opened the door of my blissfully ignorant a/c'd home into a solid wall of heat and humidity. Uh Oh. It was already 28C. With a humidex of 38C. If I was on my own I'd have retreated back inside like there was an army Jehovah's Witnesses waving Watchtowers at me but the kids were serenading me, already helmetted and biked, with a chorus of "come on mum!" so there was no turning back.

I started out slow but they didn't. They were gone as soon as they hit the road. Thank goodness they told me we were going to the bike trail. After about 10 minutes I started to worry about them and thoroughly wore myself out calling out to them. Well, more like croaking "kids" every 5 or 6 steps. I finally found them after 20 minutes at the little bridge over the creek throwing rocks into the water. "What took you so long?" they asked innocently. Grrrr. Panting, wheezing and dissolving into a chocolate puddle, I couldn't even scold them. I could barely stand upright. I think I gasped something like "stay where I can see you" before they took off again. Next time (if there is a next time) I'm taking the walkie talkies.

Now, having run 20 minutes in heat advisory weather one way, I of course I have to get back. Dang. I limp and wheeze my tired brown butt back home trying to keep the kids in sight and failing miserably. Who said this would be a good idea? Tomorrow I'm staying in bed and watching trash tv.


Friday, July 14, 2006

I just bought the best book EVER

It's a book that has 108 projects to do with a t-shirt. It combines all the things I love about craft projects. Very little (if any) sewing and fashion. It also is done and dusted in about an hour which is exactly my flea-like attention span.

I've been having so much fun with this thing. I made 4 cute new tops and one backpack. I mean who doesn't have t-shirts that they don't ever wear. Scott has a bunch that errr... shrunk over the years and I have a bunch that I never wear from running races. Too big, boxy and boring. Now I have some adorable tops I can actually wear. "National Capital Race Weekend 5K competitor" tank tops for all. For an hour of my "precious" time, I get a one of a kind halter top that looks really really nice. There is no downside.

So for those days when you are stuck indoors because of the rain (or heat like today), it's a great timewaster and you get "new" something out of it. I think it would be a great gift for a teenager too. Anyway, that's my PSA for today. Because I just got through making Project 33- Tying Game (no sewing at all), I look adorable and I thought you'd all like to know.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Didja miss me?

I farted around all day before realizing I hadn't blogged. Oops! How could I abandon my loyal readers? How could I have treated them so cavalierly? What kind of disloyal, uncaring person am I? Oh well, get over it. I have a life away from the computer. Deal with it.

I'll do you a lovely, shiny new blog tomorrow, I promise. Complete with links and laughs. 'k? Oh, gotta fly... Coronation Street is on and I'm dying to see Cilla and Les' circus. I mean wedding. I do love you guys. Really, I do.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Today the gang and I are going to the beach

Granted it's not the ocean but a river, the sand's a bit grainier, there's no surf (remember that band Nada Surf?) and it's not even sunny today but Delaware be damned. We're going. This place sells poutine.

Actually, an old friend of mine is in town this week and we're getting together there. Nina and I lived down the street from each other when we were kids in Montreal. She was always really outgoing even back then and always scared me a little. I had never met anyone like her. Now that I've got a little of the get-up-and-go myself, I'm anxious to see what she's like now. We've been out of touch except for the odd email for years and I haven't laid eyes on her in 11 years.
So, I've got to get my disorganised butt in gear. No more computing for me until later. Have a great day whatever you get up to.

Smell you later,


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

French sex

My friend whose name I won't mention (See Jo? I can keep a secret) was just telling me that she recently had sex in French. She's fluently bilingual but didn't understand half the things he was saying to her. And who says love is an international language? But I had to laugh. People actually talk during sex?

I don't want to get too graphic but I don't like to talk. I need to concentrate. I have work to do. Talking makes my mind wander then suddenly I'm mentally making tomorrow's grocery list or wondering why we're at this so late and I really should be getting more sleep as a general rule. Or worse yet, talking will lead to uncontrollable giggling. And not the good kind.

I guess having 3 kids in 2 bedrooms on either side of our room necessitates some sort of silence but we never talked even before kids. That's not to say there wasn't noise, thank you very much, but no actual words. What do people say, anyway? Give instructions? I can hear it now:

-Okay now put that leg over there.
-Like this?
-OW! Not there, here.
-How's that?
-Ooof. Better.
-Now let me get around to this side...
-That reminds me... do we have any more of those soft pretzels?
-Never mind. Where were we?

God, I'm such a prude. Does everyone talk but us?


Monday, July 10, 2006

It's over

No more World Cup. After what seemed like 700 games, countless teams and a whole month of the beautiful game, its all over with Italy winning over France via penalty kicks. It seems like a letdown to lose/win like that but penalty kicks are a soccer skill like any other and all part of the game.

The match itself was really exciting. A penalty kick by Zidane in the 7th minute made it 1-0 for France. Later Italy tied it up and it stayed that way. Now let me talk about Zidane for a bit. He was famously retiring after this game. He scores the first goal putting his team ahead. Then after a frustratingly long game, he does the most incredible thing. He head butts an Italian player from out of nowhere and gets red carded. At the end of the game. In fact after the game was technically over. Sent off like a disobedient child. Huh? What happened? What would make one of the best players, in the last game of his long, illustrious professional life, act like a spoiled baby? It's a question for the ages. He didn't even show up for the silver medal presentation. He should have never gotten the Golden Ball. Crappy sportsmanship. If my kids behaved like that they'd never hear the end of it.

Needless to say the air was sucked out of France's balloon, their focus was lost and they blew it. And because he was red carded, Zidane couldn't take a penalty kick and they lost by one. It never should have happened. Poor France. Thank goodness I had absolutely nothing invested in the game. I only wanted France to win because Scott took me to Paris 3 years ago for Valentine's Day. Entertainment value only. And to be honest, it was a very entertaining game. Full of highs and lows and that's all you can ask for in a game.

Now what am I going to do with myself this morning with no soccer to watch? D'uh, I'm going shopping. What else?


Friday, July 7, 2006

I'm baaaack!

Camping was truly an experience. I had sand in every orifice, have tiny red, itchy bug bites all over me that just appeared yesterday and am the colour of burnt toast. But I'll do it again next year for sure. The operative words there are "next year". Because I had a great time camping, I'm in no hurry to do it again. You can take a girl out of the city...

The beach was gorgeous and I haven't swum in an ocean since Audrey was a baby. It even rained a bit so I could hear the famous rain on the tent thing. Very soothing.

So apart from the bugbites and the fact that Henry and Elliott got lost in the woods only to be returned to us by park rangers, it was a wonderful trip. My previous experience with "roughing it" was staying in a motel with a rusty showerhead so this was quite the eye opener.

The kids had a ball running around like savages and not showering or brushing their teeth, Scott had a good time cooking over an open fire and being all He-Man like and I loved meeting my internet friends after 9 long years. Even the 11 hour drive was fun with only 2 stops each way. The whole thing was a complete success. I'm so relieved.

Now to redo my pedicure which was dissolved by copious amounts of Deep Woods Off. See you tomorrow.