Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I quit

Well, it's the end of an era. I quit the job I had at the YMCA.

It's a job I had initially gotten for the free gym membership. What I didn't realise was that it would make me feel like I was contributing to the house again. Even at slave wages. In fact, at first I was a volunteer. When someone was fired after I was there about 2 months, they offered me her job. After doing daycare in centres and then at home after I had the kids, it was perfect for me. They even implemented things into the programme that I suggested like circletime and they still sing songs that I taught them. And I could bring in my own kids and my home daycare children while I worked. How perfect was that?

I quit yesterday over the phone. Awful after I've been working there about 4 years. But what could I do? The boss Deanna is only there during the hours I'm at Boomerang. There was no way I could see taking the morning off there to go quit a $16 a week job. It would cost way too much money. To her credit she was totally cool about it. She said she was surprised I kept the job so long after I got the job in November. She wished me luck and told me she'd cancel Sundays now that I wasn't going to work because she didn't want me to do the 2 weeks notice. So that's it. I can sleep in on Sunday mornings again. Except for dragonboat practice the next couple of weeks.
Now what do I do about that gym membership? I'll guess have to exercise outside like poor people. Sheesh.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Scott's birthday present

And this blog is yet another hunk of proof that he never reads these things. I just dropped $185 on 2 tickets for Genesis and they better be worth it. The second ticket is totally wasted on me so I hope one of his friends Randy or Andrew are available. In a word? Genesis = Yuck. Old People's Music. Okay, that's 4 words but whatever. And if I am calling them old people, you can imagine what the crowd will look like...

Here's something else to make you feel old. When I picked up the tickets, I laughingly assured the girl at the counter that they weren't for me. She, in turn, assured me that it didn't matter to her since she'd never even heard of them. Yargh. Even though they don't turn my crank, at least I've heard of them. Gaaah! Damn these children and their unconsious ability to humiliate me in public.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Week one down

So I'm done my first week of being a real working mother. That is, actually working (outside of the house) over the summer. I had the gang in camp last week and that worked fine for the afternoon but my boss needed me in there more hours these next two weeks. So, to the rescue... Erin!

Erin is 14 years old and has all the youthful enthusiasm you'd expect comes with her age. Enthusiasm with the kids. With me? Not so much. Example: I'm not one to call a sitter once I'm out. It tends to stress me out more than comfort me. But Monday was her first day and she'd only sat for us once before so I thought it'd be okay to just give her a quick shout at lunchtime. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: Hey Erin, how's it going?
Erin: Fine.
Me: How are the kids?
Erin: Fine.
Me: So everything's going smoothly? No problems?
Erin: No.
Me: So do you have any questions?
Erin: Nope.
Me: Feel free to use this number anytime. It's not a problem at all.
Erin: Okay.
Me: Well... umm... bye! See you at about 2:15!
Erin: Bye.

Argh. I really had to restrain myself from asking to speak to the kids. Just to see if they weren't bound and gagged or something. I spent the rest of the day with my stomach in knots. When I got home the kids were happy to see me and delighted to tell me about all the fun they had. They went on a bike ride to the park, they had a picnic (with popsicles), then out to the pool. Huh? Why didn't she mention it when I called? Geez, way to freak me out.

She's quiet but full of ideas. Tuesday she brought faceplates to paint and decorate, Wednesday she baked muffins and yesterday I came home to find them all having a waterballoon fight in the backyard. Whew. She's only weird with me.

She's called me at work only twice. Once she was looking for the cookie sheets and the second time (slightly more alarming) was the "does your stove burner always smoke like that?" conversation complete with whirring exhaust fan sound effect in the background. Oops. I forgot to tell her that we only use the back burners. It stemmed from when the kids were toddlers and just became a habit over the years. The front ones are pretty much just for catching errant pieces of macaroni and crumbs and also for being a quite convenient spoon rest. Which explains all the smoke when she switched it on. Poor girl.

And I can't forget the call I got yesterday from Erin's mother. That was a sinus clearer. Thank goodness she began with an "everybody's fine" because I had immediate visions of the four of them being airlifted to CHEO. Supposedly Erin got her period at my house and was embarrassed to ask me if I had any pads. Poor girl. I didn't so she and the kids went on a field trip to her house for supplies.

So it looks like aside from parting with $300 for these 2 weeks (so I'm basically working to pay Erin), things are working out okay. Now let's hope I haven't jinxed myself just then...
Have an excellent weekend!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another "I got nothing" blog

Most people would take a blog break. Maybe have breakfast at the table rather than in the car. Did you know people in other cars frown at you when they see you making a left turn with a buttered bagel dangling out of your mouth? What's up with that? Anyway, instead of having breakfast and relaxing myself before Erin the babysitter gets here, I'm frantically trying to think of something to write for you all. As if you are all sitting impatiently at your computers waiting for the inevitable email that tells you I've blogged something. Geez, how self-centred is that?
Well, I'm here to say that I have nothing for you today. You may go back to your normal lives. And maybe I can finish my bagel indoors for the first time in ages. See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fun with YouTube

Ever wondered how people get videos on YouTube? Well so did I. For some reason I thought you needed to jump through some technological hoops or something. Even though I've seen the average joe's cat playing piano one too many times.

Anyway, I realize now that it's just a matter of creating an account for myself and them picking it off my hard drive like Photobucket does. Easy peasy. Now I have 3 little videos on there.

Here's my dragonboat video. You can't really see me, I'm in front on the left side. Here's my off-key singing of Happy Birthday to Audrey on her 9th birthday and here's Henry doing that thing that kids do that I find so fascinating. What's going through his little head? It's boring out here but in his head he's having a ball.

Hey, this YouTube lark is not so scary after all. Stay tuned for more interesting nonsense in the future. Like I needed another new toy. Sigh.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My final meal

As I watched Mama Lopez-Fitgerald cook her son Luis's favourite meal as he sits on death row to die at midnight, I thought about my death row meal. And as usual, it's complicated.

Like my favourite music and movies, it depends on my mood and other factors. Do I want savoury? Fried? Veggie? Fast food? Foreign? Comfort? Am I watching my weight (but I guess on death row that's a moot point)? So let's take it in parts, shall we? And let's (please) not forget dessert...

Favourite Savoury Food:
Pizza. And nothing too fancy please. Just top it with pepperoni, mozz, green pepper, mushrooms and onions. And anchovies. Hey, it's my death.
Favourite Fried Food:
Hello? French fries. And if you really want to send me to heaven, throw in some cheese curds and gravy. Oh yes.
Favourite Veggie dish:
Anything with salmon. I've never met a salmon dish I didn't like. If we're going vegan, my co-worker friend Candace makes the most wicked vegan/raw date square and you'd think you've, well, died and gone to heaven.
Favourite Fast Food:
Sorry, it has to be McDonalds. I haven't had a Big Mac in years due to middle aged spread. So make mine 2 Big Macs and a large fry. Hold the guilt. Hey, I'm about to die here.
Favourite Foreign Food:
Indian. Gimme a chicken vindaloo with lots of naan and basmati. The spicier the better. I won't have to worry about when it comes out the other end, will I?
Favourite Comfort Food:
My mum's "Dumplings and Red Beans". She made a wicked pile of kidney beans in a gorgeous sauce with the chewiest, heaviest lump dumplings you ever tasted. Awesome. I'd never need to eat again. Hee. Get it?
Favourite Dessert:
Anything baked and without chocolate. I'm thinking a dozen honey glazed doughnuts from Tim Hortons or an entire sheet cake from the grocery store. Hey, I'm going to die anyway...

Well, that was sad. Now I'm just hungry. A bagel and a cup of tea is hardly going to do it for me now, is it?


Monday, July 23, 2007

I have been bad

I admit it.

I read the whole Harry Potter series. I loved it. But now that I'm deeply in love with Queen Betsy, the boy wizard is on hold. I need to finish this other series first. I'm so not one of those multi-taskers that can read more than one novel at once. I can barely read a cookbook with another book on the go.

Anyway, I thought of a few solutions to my problem. The best of which was getting the newest Harry on tape or mp3 so I could listen at the gym or in the car. Which would have been a terrific idea if I went to the gym anymore or had a commute of more than 7 minutes each way. So that was out. Anyway, the decision was made for me when I saw the book on sale at Shoppers and I picked it up.

So there was the book. All ready for me to read. On Sunday I finished book 4 of Queen Betsy and even though I have book 5 in my possession, I felt I couldn't read it until I read an anthology that takes place 2 months before book 5 which'll drive me crazy if they refer to it even once so I've got to read that one first so I'm between books again (how's that for a run-on sentence?). And here's Harry, ripe for the reading. I pick it up. I caress it. I crack it open... to the last chapter. It's called "Nineteen Years Later" if you must know. Very satisfying.

Aren't I bad? I've never done that before. I'm not one to jiggle gifts before opening day or find out what sex the baby is before it comes. But I had to do this. I think it's because I was scared that someone else would wreck the surprise for me. And frankly, I'd rather ruin it myself. And now I can go back to Queen Betsy and not feel I have this hanging over my head. Besides, I don't even know who dies (JK Rowling said 2 main characters bite the big one in this book) just who lives (and hooks up). Consider that your little hint. Don't kill me...


Friday, July 20, 2007

Scott's home

I'm having a hard time getting the computer on my own so I'm going to post a link to my favourite Canadian comic Shaun Majumder. He plays a character called Raj Binder and frankly, just looking at him with the sweat pouring off him cracks me up. He has a MySpace page on here if you care to search for it.

Sorry about the lameness of this blog but I'll make it up to you all next week. Have a good one!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

I am SO going to hell

I shatter the 10th commandment on a daily basis but after yesterday's antics I'm going straight to hell. Do not pass "GO", do not collect $200.

I had to buy some perfume and since my tastes run pretty fancy, there's only one store in town that stocks it. It's the chichiest store in town so I dressed up and headed out. After spending an unGodly amount of money (I may as well go all the way), on a whim I asked the saleslady where the shoe section was. As I went up the escalator with my heart hammering in my chest, I knew I'd find my holy grail. Louboutin shoes.

And there they were. In their red soled glory. The shoes I've wanted my whole shoe-loving life. As I turned them over I saw their amazing red soles. And also their prices. Yowtch. Sweat started to bead on my upper lip. The salesgirl came over and asked if she could find a size for me. "Any of these in a 9, please", I gasped. She came out with only one pair, apologising that the new stock would be in in the Fall. The pair she thrust at me was my least favourite pair on display... a relatively low, plain black number with copies available at any Payless but these were Louboutins, dammit. Louboutins. I practically snatched her arm off.

Luckily I had my camera with me. That way I could make a complete ass of myself. But I didn't care. I had Louboutins on my feet. Louboutins. I walked around the store with those painful shoes on (did I ever mention that I have very wide feet?) like they were the comfiest pair of bunny slippers. I snapped photos of my feet from every angle. Then I sadly and gently put those $795 dollar shoes (you heard) back in their box and returned them to the woman. She gave me her card and assured me that with a weeks notice she could have a size 9 in any style I wanted. As if she couldn't tell just from looking that I could barely afford the box the shoes came in.

At least I can say I had Louboutins on my feet. Louboutins. I've seen the face of God. Now everything else looks pale in comparison.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On David Suzuki and Mr. Clean

Last night the kids and I were talking about David Suzuki. Actually, it went more like this: I had turned out a light in the hallway that wasn't being used and muttered "you guys are pissing off David Suzuki". See, around here there has been a series of ads featuring Dr. Suzuki prompting us to turn off lights and usless appliances and do your small part to save the environment.

Anyway, Audrey heard my utterance and said: "Is David Suzuki a real guy?". I rolled my eyes and told her of course he was... who do you think has been in all those ads? She said that she thought he was a computer image like Mr. Clean. I laughed so hard I could have powered my own generator.

Seriously, David Suzuki is the man. He tells us simple ways to save energy. You don't have to "live in a cave" as he says, just change a couple light bulbs in your house and buy local veggies. Easy stuff, right? Even I can try some of this stuff. He's all about the environment and conservation and he's not out to make it a royal pain in the ass for us regular joes. I guess he is like Mr. Clean after all. Dr. Clean if you're nasty.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Okay, I am confused

Well, frankly that's not hard to do but with my shiny new Facebook page and this here blog and accompanying profile page, I don't know where and when I've posted certain information. That, coupled with my 2 favourite bulletin boards leaves me a head-scratching, forehead-scrunching mess. Is it the June98 girls that know about Scott's vasectomy? Is it my "booby board" that has the latest photos of my cakes? And what about my crush on Steve? Okay, that I know that is you guys.

Well I have a really good photo of my unholy brood (yaaargh, too much vampire fiction) that I'd like to share with you. At least I think it's you. As Morrissey sang, "Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before"...


Monday, July 16, 2007

Read this book!

I've just found the best series! I'm not one to read a book that teaches you anything. I hate books that make me think. I don't like books that try to change me. Anything school-y, preachy, dry or moral bores me silly. That's why I love chick lit. It's different from romance as there's no ripping of ancient bodices... not much kissing at all, in fact. Just a laugh-out-loud funny heroine doing zany things trying to get what she wants. And usually what she wants is a boyfriend, a perfect wedding or a great pair of shoes. To smash a common myth, usually you can tell a book I'll love by it's cover. It'll have a champagne glass with bubbles or a pair of shoes or a lipstick kiss on the cover. It's usually drawn in cartoon and 99% of the time it's pink, the title letters aren't in line or they're in a girly font. That's my kind of book. Deal with it.

Anyway, I was at the book section of my favourite department store and I came across a cover that I couldn't resist. I bought it and took it home only to find that it's book 5 of a 6 book series. Dang. Well, I can't read a series out of order, can I? The next day I went out and bought the first book and read it faster than any book in recent memory. 4 days. That may not sound quick to you but everything I've ever read has taken at least a week. Even books I've read and loved like Harry Potter. Even fluffy confections like this one. I ran out and bought the next book and read that one in 3 days. Three days. I was reading while brushing my teeth, on car rides (not while driving, of course), at the pool instead of swimming with the kids or drooling after Steven, even during commercials while watching tv. Talk about multi-tasking. I love love love these two books. Now today, I'm off to buy the third. And maybe the 4th seeing as I'm devouring them.

Oh, I realize I haven't mentioned the title or the plot (see and this is why I shouldn't become a writer?). The first book is called "Undead and Unwed" by MaryJanice Davidson (my new best friend). It's about Betsy who "wakes up dead" and tries to deal with the fact that she's also a vampire. And the queen of all vamps to boot. What's so great is that she doesn't abandon her family and friends like she's "supposed" to. She so funny and vain and selfish and materialistic and sarcastic... I want to be Jessica her best friend (and Black like me to coin a phrase) so badly. Who do I lobby to make this series into a movie?

So Elliott and I are off to the store once again. Second time in a week. I'm also going to do the unprecidented and email this author to tell her how she's made my life complete. Now if only they'd stop stocking it in the romance section...


Friday, July 13, 2007

We won!

Again a quickie blog because we're off to the chocolate factory before it closes down and moves to Mexico. It's about an hour away so we want to get an early start.

But before we leave I have to crow a bit about winning a photo contest in our community paper. A photo that Scott took (of Audrey and me) won first prize (no cash but it's on display at the local museum) and a photo that I took of Audrey got an honourable mention. How impressive are we?

So have a great weekend, plebs. I suppose I'll grace you with my presence Monday morning as usual. Yawn.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Boobies! Made you look...

I promised the kids a busy day today filled with pet stores, book stores, swimming pools and home made cookies so this one will be a short one.

Remember I told you all I had breast reduction surgery in 2001? I found an old photo of myself before the procedure. If you don't think I needed it, remember I was a double F. They don't sell that size in normal stores. Going down to a D (who does that?) was the best decision I ever made. Anyway, check out the results. I made sure to wear the same shirt.

I'm sure there are guys out there who prefer the big gazongas but seriously, there weren't too many options for me in terms of clothes. And people immediately thought I was dumb. And my back and shoulders were always sore. And they were always the first things to enter a room. And they were always in the way. And I couldn't exercise... I could go on but I'd bore you. Suffice it to say I'm waaaaay happier now. And I can wear cute tops.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Swimming Lesson

I brought my camera to swimming lessons today. I was just farting around taking photos of the kids when I saw Steven (you know, Steven) trying to get a little girl to jump into the water. Suddenly, the .002% of my brain that is the world class photographer making loads of cash and is feted by celebrities kicked in and thought "That'd make a good photograph. Too bad you didn't bring your hhheeeeeeyyyyyyy..." So I snapped it. I even cropped it when I got home if you must know.

Oh, and by the way, by the time we left, the little girl still hadn't gone in. Now if it was me with Steven holding his arms out to me like that... Well, trust me. No one is going to want to photograph what happens next.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Logic vs. Knowing Where Your Stuff Is

I'm not the tidiest person in the world. I need the Flylady to tell me how to clean up and when. I'm organised, though. With my own mysterious system, supposedly. At least that's what Scott thinks. Here's the deal:

Last night Scott was looking for bus tickets. He came to the bedroom where I was reading to ask me if I had any. I reached out and grabbed a couple from the bedside table and handed them to him.

Scott: I just spent 1/2 hour looking for bus tickets and here you had them in the most illogical place I could think of.
Me: How could it be illogical if I know exactly where they are?

He contends that communal things like bus tickets should be in communal places. Dining room, living room, office... I maintain that if I know where things are, then what does it matter where I put them? I think he'd prefer not to ask me for things. I like keeping a bit of control and knowing where things are helps with that. I mean if you need a stamp and I keep the stamps in the cutlery drawer, I have the teensiest bit of control over the one who needs the thing and asks the heavens desperately where the hell they could be. Follow?

Added bonus is the conversation that follows: "What do you need the stamp for?"... "They're in there because the pens are in the junk drawer right next to the cutlery drawer and they go together"... "They do too! See if you can keep up. Pens, paper, envelopes, mailing things, STAMPS. See?"... "Because all the pens, pencils and junk in the junk drawer will wreck the stamps and the cutlery is in all these nice little slots so it's neater." Well, it makes sense to me. Call it "Karen Logic". And that's all that counts in the end.


Monday, July 9, 2007

Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island

It's a new show that my kids enjoy and although I've never watched it, the name cracks me up and also feels really good in my mouth. In fact, there are a lot of words that feel like candy in my mouth. Examples:

Zazz (is that even a word?)

I can't be the only one. Any of you out there have a word that you can't help but swish around your mouth a few times? As it stands it took me forever to write this blog as I had to say each word a few times as I typed it. The obvious obsessive compulsive disorder I'm suffering from will be the subject of a future blog...


Monday, July 2, 2007

What a great weekend

And it's not over yet. There was a midway in our local park this weekend to mark Canada's 140th birthday. What a petting zoo and whack-a-mole have to do with the birth of the world's most envied nation (whether you realize it or not, you do) is beyond me. But the fireworks rocked.

Anyway, we had an excellent time and it was so much better than last year. That year we missed Canada Day entirely because we were travelling to the US and although the trip was fun(ish), I swore up and down that I'd never miss another Canada Day ever again.

See, Canadians, being who we are, don't celebrate our terrific-ness any other day than Canada Day. We are so polite that we chat, debate and discuss rationally how fabulous we are but only spend one day proudly wearing red and white and screaming our greatness into the skies. Being in the States last year really made me miss our country. And screaming like a fool. It really was a ball.

So now that the bulk of the events are over, we reflect on our awesomeness and the recent revelation that a full 80% of us couldn't pass the entrance exam new Canadians take to get into this fine country. Errr yeah. Quick... name the first Prime Minister born in Canada. Okay, that was pathetic.