Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I'm having a mental block

I'm at a loss today about what to write. Ordinarily I'd just forget about blogging today but I made a promise to myself that I'd write a little something every day. Anyway, I owe it to my reader. My one and only lonely subscriber Jenn (Hiya Jenn! Love you loads!! ).

So just for Jenn, I've decided to talk about everything I know about Vermont (without googling). Ummm... I always picture it looking a lot like eastern Canada (but with American money). They have the same weather as us and the leaves change in the fall too. Err... they have maple syrup but not as much as Quebec. Newhart was set there. Funny show. I get all my favourite hats hand knitted from Vermont. We had a ski trip to Killington when I was in college. I didn't go. As I've said before, I'm not a winter person. And I'm sorry, Jenn, that's it. I guess I need to get schooled.

Yikes! I just checked Wikipedia and the most shocking thing about Vermont is that it's almost all white! 96.2%! I have to see this for myelf. Those people obviously need a little local colour and who better than me to slowly integrate them into other cultures? You see, I've often been told I'm an "oreo cookie" (Black on the outside, white on the inside) so they'll get the accent and attitude they're used to in a lovely little Black-girl package. Totally non-threatening. So Jenn, where's my invite? I'm ready to rock your world.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Another rainy January day?!

Oh, come on now...

I have previously posted about how I love this new warm winter weather stuff and how global warming could be a boon to the pedicure industry but this is getting ridiculous. It's raining again. And the schoolbuses are cancelled AGAIN. Elliott and Audrey go to a nearby school and they walk but Henry goes by bus and is home for the third time this year. Luckily I actually like playing Candyland (just once, mind you), and Memory (twice is my limit there). Later we'll probably make Valentine's Cookies.

Can I just brag about these cookies for a second? I hate those paper valentines you get at the store. You see one "Be my Valentine, man!" Bart Simpson valentine and you've seen them all. Boring! Last year I wanted to try something different. I made each child in each of my 3 kids' classes a personalised pink heart-shaped sandwich cookie. It was one of those ideas that sounded fun and easy but ended up being a huge pain-in-the-ass project. Especially since each cookie was actually 2 3-inch cookies frosted together and decorated and the kids' names had to be piped on.

Anyway, they came out gorgeous but of course now I can't just go out and get a gross of Spongebob valentines. Nope, the kids (and okay, I'll admit it... I) want to show off my cooking prowess to this year's teachers and students. So today I'll start making the first batch of 60 cookie valentines. Yikes. At least I'll have help from "home from school" Henry.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Today is Mozart's birthday!

I don't know much about classical music but I do know I have a love affair with the movie Amadeus. I remember when it came out in 1984 I saw it a record 5 times in the theatre, second only to the The Rocky Horror Picture Show which I've seen about 15 times.

I was 17 when the movie came out and it really had an effect on me. I'd never listened to classical music before and it gave me an appreciation for how beautiful and emotional it can be. I wish I had a musical background or that my kids had an interest in it. I'd be proud as anything to see them play at a recital. Although to be honest, my son Elliott is learning the recorder at school and when he brings it home to practice "Twinkle Twinkle" I want to put my head in the oven.

As it stands, I still have my secret dream (okay, not so secret now) to play the cello. The sound gives me goosebumps. I'm only 5'2 and have short arms and stubby fingers but I still hang onto that one. I can't even read music. Maybe someday I'll just see a cello up close and that'll be enough of a reality check for me. My playing will give everyone within earshot a nosebleed let alone goosebumps. As I said, it's a dream and some dreams should stay just that.

Anyway, Happy 250th Birthday Mozart. Save some chocolate marzipan frozen yoghurt for me.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Wow, was I ever crabby yesterday

I think an apology is in order for yesterday's blog. As you can see from the sunny smile on my profile, I'm usually a very happy, positive person. The person that posted yesterday was so not me! But to be honest, when I am in a pissy mood, I revel in it since it happens so rarely. Scott, on the other hand treats me like I have SARS. Good man. We've been together for almost 18 years and he knows how to deal with me.

I tried to cheer myself up by baking some banana streusel cupcakes but it didn't work. My head was still splitting and my mood was still foul. Then I realized I had to make dinner so I made chicken wings. The kitchen was a wreck. Scott came home and saw the devastation and my mood and what did he do? He set the table, constantly asked if I needed help then cleaned up the kitchen when we were done eating. How did I reward him? Did I throw my arms around his neck and cover his face with kisses? Did I apologise for being such a raging bitch? Nope. I grumbled out a mumbled "thanks" and went to bed at 8:30. Classic Karen behaviour.

So today I'll bake a batch of his favourite chocolate chip cookies and when he gets home I'll throw my arms around his neck and you know the rest. For being such an awesome husband and knowing when to leave me the hell alone. He deserves it.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I'm crabby and hormonal today

Today my "Aunt Flo" is visiting and if you don't know who that is, go ask the nearest girl (and if you do you'd better hope her Aunt Flo hasn't set up shop at her place as well or you could be in grave danger).

Anyway, I've had a headache for 2 days and I really don't feel like blogging today. What I do feel like doing is staying in bed watching trash tv. Since that's impossible, I'd like to vent about things that annoy me. It's my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want.

In no particular order I'm bugged by: men with high singing voices, unkept facial hair, food with weird textures like jello and tofu, people who ask questions with obvious answers, annoying morning djs, reusable sanitary pads, people who don't care what they look like, chocolate, people who jog in the winter, noisy kitchen appliances, cold feet, visible panty lines, spooning, my alarm clock...

Television commercials that treat me like an idiot, armpit hair, bells, lip liner, chicken skin (unless it's KFC), American beer, dieting, radio stations that never identify songs, having to wake up to pee, moths, unmade beds, Bob Dylan, long Ottawa winters, country music, boogers, hurting myself...

Bad grammar and spelling, dorks, the chicken dance, being late, walking on crumbs in barefeet... walking on something wet in socks, gristle, embarrassing myself, not having a tv guide, noisy kids, when my bracelets catch on my arm hair, dry lips, acne, most dogs, people who aren't open to trying new things, telemarketers...

I can be very pissy. Obviously lots and lots of things bug me. I actually had to check myself up there. Fortunately for me (and to a lesser extent, you), I only give in to the dark side four days a month. Let this baby have her bottle. I promise I'll be my normal happy self by Saturday.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ouch! The price of looking nice

I just got through waxing my eyebrows for the first time. I'm usually a plucker. I just had a box of wax lying around from an aborted back waxing plan (Scott's not mine LOL!) and thought I'd try it. Holy crap. Have you ever tried this? Not exactly a party.

So after the waxing (and the nose wiping and eye watering), I put on makeup and perfume as I do everyday. Then I wondered to myself, "why am I doing all this?". I'm a stay-at-home-mum, the only place I go during the day is to the school to pick up and drop off the kids and it's literally around the corner. I don't need lipstick and blush for that. But you know what? I do. That's the kind of hairpin I am, to quote James Cagney in The Strawberry Blonde. If I'm awake, I try to look nice. That's all there is to it. It's just that little extra effort that makes me feel special. And staying in my pyjamas all day doesn't exactly make me feel like I've been productive at the end of it. After all, I have a house to run. And for some reason it runs better when I've got my jewellry on. Deal with it.


What's that smell? Why, it's my duty...

My democratic duty, that is. As a proud Canadian, I just exercised my right to vote. And I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself, thank you very much.

Now let me stress that I'm in no way a political animal. My dad was a Liberal from the moment he set foot in Canada and everyone knew it. My political views just got handed down to me. And who'd be against a woman's right to choose, all people in love being allowed to marry and an open immigration policy? D'uh. Of course the Liberals have been accused of being very very naughty with very very large sums of money and many people are angry and are demanding change. Uh oh.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. As I said, I know very little about politics, I only know that I vote in every single federal and municipal election and I'm proud of that. Just ahead of me at the polling station today a man in his mid-30's needed help from the returning officer as he was voting for the very first time. I was proud of him, too. I tried to catch his eye as he was leaving to give him my patented "good going, big guy" smiles but he didn't see me. Maybe he was basking in his own afterglow. I hope so.

No no matter who you vote for (pleaseLiberalLiberalLiberalLiberalLiberalLiberal), just get out and vote. We live in an awesome country where women can legally walk around topless and my friend's nana can smoke dope for her arthritis so we've got to show the world that we care about keeping it that way. VOTE!


Friday, January 20, 2006

The good, the bad and the internet

I've spent some time this morning surfing around trying to find some tips on writing a blog. After about 30 minutes, I've decided I'm doing okay on my own and will just soldier on the way I've been going. Why freak myself out?

The internet can be a weird place. There's just so much information out there! Once when Elliott was about 2, he showed an amazing affinity toward octopuses (octopi?). I thought it'd be a kick to show him what a real octopus looked like. I log on with my baby on my lap, I google the word "octopus", I hit porn. Whaaaa? I quickly throw my kid off my lap and try leaving. Of course it's one of those sites that just reloads when you press the back button. The internet is depraved.

Then there was the time I hadn't seen my brother in ages. When I finally laid eyes on him he looked so weird! His eyes were swollen and buggy and he'd gained weight. He did not look well. After he left I input his symptoms in a health website and emailed him the results. He took it to the doctor who diagnosed him with a thyroid problem. The internet saves the day.

A few weeks ago my husband Scott felt absolutely lousy. He googled his symptoms and thought he was dying of lymphoma. We both spend an awful night worrying ourselves sick until he went to the emergency the following day where they told him it was nothing. The internet scares the shit out of people.

Take the internet any way you will but don't take it away from me. As a stay-at-home-mum I love reaching out to friends and family. If I'm honest I'd much prefer sending a quick email to a friend than talking in circles on the phone. And this blog thing? Pretty cool. Even though I may not be following the internet "rules".

Oh, and I just checked at answers.com and "octopuses" and "octopi" are both right. Ha! The internet is as useful as ever.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

How honest are you?

Okay, so there's a contest on one of my favourite radio stations (Hot 8.99... the only one in town that plays hiphop). You email them your phone numbers and the drive home dj calls you, asks how long you've been listening to the station throughout the day and they give you $100 an hour for every hour up to 8 hours. Very easy money and you can bet they have every phone number I've got.

Here's the deal. They have absolutely no way of checking. None. But you wouldn't believe the number of people who are being honest about the hours they've listened. One woman even admitted to only 4 hours! Four hours!! Out of a possible high 8! Come on, people! Now let me be clear. The morning djs have almost so much as (but not outright) said that you can say that you've been listening the whole time and they have no way of knowing. Again I say come on people! What's the deal? Would you tell the truth? They're expecting people to lie, aren't they? Isn't it implied by the nature of the contest?

So here I sit at 3:30pm, waiting for the magical hour of between 4-5pm when Kenny B. is going to be making his call to some lucky Ottawan. If and when he calls me, I'm going to say I've been listening since 6:30am when my alarm clock went off. Is that true? It sure is. What time did I stop listening? Truthfully? After the third time they played "Don't cha" by the Pussycat Dolls. How long was that? I'm not telling.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Just testing

18 Jan 06 Wednesday
Just testing...
Well I set up this account yesterday to see what this blog thing is about. So far so good and staking out a teensy part of the internet just for myself is right up my selfish little alley. You wouldn't think a mum of 3 could be selfish but here I am.

I haven't decided how to theme this blog but "they" say to write what you know. Well, I don't know much but I do know the weird stuff that happens in and around my house and family everyday so maybe we'll start with that.

Today was a rainy day. Very rainy. Not too strange in April but it's mid-January. It was cold enough last night for ice to form and this morning it rained like crazy. Needless to say the schoolbuses were cancelled. Two-thirds of my kids (Elliott and Audrey) go to school around the corner so mean old mummy took them to school anyway. Trying to explain to them that today would be a half-assed day (in less colourful language) didn't help too much. Especially when Henry "gets to stay home".

I'm supposed to hate this warmer weather caused by global warming, aren't I? I have children and their future is at risk because of greenhouse gases, right? Well, even though I was born in Canada and have spent less than 2 months of my entire life in tropical climes, I love, love, LOVE the hot weather. I can't help but get a frisson of delight when the weatherman (-person) predicts above zero temperatures in the winter. I should feel sympathetic when I see my my mailman Serge practically break his neck on my cement front steps. Instead I feel the hope of Spring. I should feel frustrated when my kids come home soaked to the skin even through their snowsuits but instead I feel positively giddy with delight. I know I'm supposed to worry about the environment but if I don't get to wear my damned flip-flops soon I'm going to lose it. I'm worried about the environment of my feet being in boots, shoes, socks and slippers all the time. Not to mention the lack of attention my polish-free toenails are getting. Hmph.

Ottawa banks on it's winter festival called Winterlude. It happens every February and it really is a ball. There is skating on the Rideau Canal, beavertails, hot chocolate, shows, snow and ice sculptures, ice mazes, the whole kit and caboodle. You have to celebrate winter or you'll go nuts in this city. Anyway, one year Winterlude was washed out. They called it "Waterlude" that year. Everyone was talking about the lack of revenue, the loss of tourism, the failure of an annual institution and all I could think was "WOOOHOOOO bring on the flip flops!" Was that bad?