Tuesday, June 30, 2009


When I was young, my mum was a stickler for being polite. My brother and I were taught to sit up straight, address people by Auntie or Uncle and never be rude. Among the things that my parents considered rude (and trust me, there were a lot), was when we said "what?" or "huh?" when we needed someone to repeat something. We had to say "pardon?".

So that's what I say and that's what I make my kids say, archaic as it sounds. I always hear my mother's voice coming out of my mouth when I nag: "Don't say "what", say "pardon". I just can't help it. My kids? Rude? Huh?


Monday, June 29, 2009

I just want to share

Scott and I were laughing our butts off over the weekend talking about our favourite Wile E Coyote inventions. Yes, we've been married for years and this is what constitutes a stimulating conversation between us.

Anyway, here's mine. I laughed so hard that I almost coughed up a lung.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The other day a neighbour asked if I work full-time or part-time

Well, I work full-time for me. I work out of the house as many hours as I'm able then go home to my other "incidental" mother gig. So even though to the world I work "part-time" from 9:30 to 3:30, you better believe I work full time. I work all the hours God sends thankyouverymuch.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

As of today I have 241 friends on Facebook

But if I was to count the friends I see on a monthly basis, the ones that I consider "girlfriends", that I go out for drinks with without an agenda, I count 4. And 2 of them aren't on even on Facebook. Interesting.

That's not to say that the people on Facebook aren't my "friends". Quite the contrary. They are people I went to high school and college with, made memories with or even known for years purely online and I consider them to be very close friends. But in a jam, in a squeeze or pinch, you have to go with the irl (in real life) friends, don't you?

If my car died in the middle of the night on the highway and Scott was out of town. As much as I'd love to call one of my Facebook homies (and I'd probably twitter it), they'd be of little or no help. But if I ordered something from eBay and the seller won't ship to Canada, you know I'm calling on one of my Facebook buds for a little assistance.

In your life you have different kinds of people who touch you in different ways. You may not need them every day (or ever) but it's nice to know they're out there just in case. It's never a bad thing to collect people around you who you can count on in different situations. No, I may not think of them every day, I may not know everything about their lives, heck, I may not have even met them before but they're out there like a little army defending me and watching my back.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Men v Women storytellers

I'd like to explain another difference between men and women. The storytelling. This, my friends, is a true story:

This is what happened when I lost my driver's license and the way I explained it to Scott. The women's way:

"I went to dragonboat practice and knew I dropped my driver's license. How? I showed a friend that I had stuck it in my pfd because we got a notice not to leave valuables in our cars. When I got home it wasn't there and I looked everywhere so I was positive I dropped it at the club.

The next day I swung into action. I called and found out when and where to get a new one. I went to the place before work and pulled the number 27 when I got there. I looked up and saw that the screen said "30". Sweet! I was at the Ministry of Transport (notorious for taking all day) and it was taking less than 15 minutes!

So I paid the $10 and signed all the papers and made my way to work. After work when I home I parked the car in the driveway, opened the door and promptly stepped on my driver's license. Yup, I had dropped it on the drive and it was there all the time."

This is how I tell a story. I paint a picture, frame it and hang it on the wall. About halfway through the story, Scott frustratedly asked me to get to the point. In a nice way, of course. I had to shut him down and continue with my long version because that's the way the story sounds best to me. This is one of the reasons why he doesn't read my blog, I'm sure. Too rambly.

I'm sure he'd have preferred this version:

"I thought I lost my driver's license yesterday but I found it on the driveway this afternoon after I signed up for a new one."

But where's the fun in that? Men.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Something I discovered

You know that if you fart wearing earphones, the people around you can still hear it? I'm just saying.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Ever wonder how recognisable you are?

I work in a place where very often strangers come in. I sit right at the reception desk and smile graciously as they approach my desk. Just the other day a man came in and said something like "I'm back again!". I looked him dead in the face and could have sworn I've never seen him in my life before. He had been here (just the day before) but I wouldn't have been able to pick the guy out of a lineup.

So how recognisable are we to other people? Is it because we look like someone that we're remembered? A conversation? A smell, even? I find that when I describe my husband it always sounds the same. White, about 5'9, 185 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes. I'm sure that covers at least a couple million guys. In fact it perfectly describes the guy who sparked this blog today.

Not to be vain about it, I'm pretty sure I'm recognisable. I'm black (in an environment that's mostly white), I'm bald, I'm loud and ummmm... juicy. I'm pretty sure that even though you may not like me or you don't remember my name, you'll remember meeting me. Seriously, I'm not bragging here.

So what do you do to make yourself memorable?


Friday, June 19, 2009

Can you do me a favour?

Down below this and every blog there are 2 boxes; one says "I read Karen's blog today" and the other says "Kathy?".

I've been trying to track my daily readers and I don't think the numbers I'm getting are quite right. Whenever you read the blog, can I ask you to just scroll below and tick the I read the blog button? The other one is to keep tabs on my friend Kathy so I can call her out when she doesn't read my insane ramblings. It doesn't open a new window or interrupt your session in any way. It just puts a check in the box.

And if you're reading this through Facebook, can you please click on "view original post" below my madness which'll bring you here to blogspot where you can do the above stuff?

Thanks peeps. I love you lots. Have a great weekend. I know I will. Dragonboat awaits.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm a dude

Okay, last week's drinks post now this realisation. I think I was meant to be a man. I have a deep voice, huge feet, am pretty stocky and have no waist/hips ratio. The only thing whoever made me overcompensated for was my boobs that were so big I had to have a good deal of them removed.

I was looking through a flyer for Father's Day and I realise that everything in it was stuff I wanted. Flat screen TVs, a usb record player that'll put your vinyl onto CDs, a usb video player that'll turn your VCR tapes into DVDs, digital cameras... even bikes and running shoes. I was slobbering over everything before I realised it was meant for dads. After all these years I'm finally facing the fact that there's a reason I have to wax my upper lip. No wonder I never understood those "men stealing the TV remote" jokes. It's because it's always in my hand. I'm the dude. 


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Audrey!

Well, today my Audrey turns 11. When she was first born I was pretty clueless as to what to do with a baby girl. Boys had always been my faves at daycare and I'd already had a boy in Elliott. I'm not ashamed to admit that throughout my pregnancy I was sure she was a boy and was totally okay with that. When the doctor exclaimed "Audrey's here!" I was poleaxed. What the hell was I supposed to do with a little girl? I was the one who pushed for palazzo pants on my wedding day for goodness sake.

At first I was one of those mothers who didn't want to influence her into girly things. She wore lots of red and dark purple and jeans until the day when she was about 8 months and someone asked if she was boy or girl. What!? My baby girl looked like a girl no matter what she wore didn't she? That was the beginning.

Then at about 5 she miraculously got a mind of her own. She wanted her room painted. Thankfully she didn't choose pink but lilac. She was in ballet lessons and part of the "uniform" was pink tights, slippers and a tutu. I was buckling. She was so darned purdy. Pointy little chin and impossible ringlets. How could I resist? I felt myself gravitating toward skirts and pink for myself. Today, next to orange, fuchsia is my favourite colour.

So happy birthday to my Diva. It took us a while to get to a place where we have anything in common but now that we're here, I'm having a ball. It's awesome to have another girl to hang with in the boy's club that has become my house. On movie night we've been known to shout down the boys at Blockbuster so we can get a family movie instead of yet another misogynistic James Bond flick.

Audrey thanks for making my life perfect. I love you, baby girl!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Those jeans came

They actually came and went about 3 weeks ago. I tried on these expensive custom made jeans that I pined for and they looked like any cheap crappy pair I could buy at Zellers. The only thing I loved was the length. I apparently have a perfect 29 inch inseam. So as soon as I clapped eyes on the muffin top they created, I yanked them off and sent them back without so much as a backward glance or photo. So sorry about that everyone. Suffice it to say, I need a new tape measure. It's too late for the new body.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Henry's medal

I forgot to mention last week that Henry participated in an Ottawa Carleton (that's our region) track & field meet. He had to first compete against his classmates in order to get there. He came in first in the 100m dash and was invited to the all-school meet.

Scott took the day off work and went to this event and watched as Henry came in 2nd in the first heat then took the bronze in the final heat. That means he came in 3rd overall against kids his age from over 10 schools. I was bursting with pride even though I couldn't be there. They called me from the meet with the news and I crowed about it to the whole office all afternoon.

You know what? I'm going to take the credit for this one. Besides birthing the child, I mean. I was a pretty good track & field athlete in my youth. I competed in the 100m dash, 4X100 relay, 400m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, high jump, shot put and discus. This was back when the earth was cooling and before I got boobs. Those things threw off my equilibrium something fierce. After they came in I could only do weight lifting and ping pong (seriously). Today I have dragonboat, of course. So I'm a relatively fit girl even though my heyday was 20 years ago. And when I was running I was fast. So my fleet little guy comes by that medal honestly. That's my boy!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Driving Miss Crazy

I have a 20 minute drive to the canoe club. This week I'm driving it 6 out of 7 days. Most of the drive is down 80km per hour 2-lane roads and I'd say 60% of the time I'm stuck behind a mémère* or pépère* going 20kms below the speed limit. It drives me nuts. I'm a very aggressive driver as I've mentioned here before and this just makes me nuts.

So, dear that Scott is, he found me a back roads shortcut. Well, not exactly a shortcut, but it avoids going through the town and all those old fogies intent on making me go completely road ragey on their asses. The bad part is that it's mostly dirt road and you can't really go much faster than 60kms. But you know what? As I calmly drove down it today, blissfully alone, at 50kms, checking out the deer and other wildlife, I realised how much I love driving. When there's only me. And now that I think about it, that goes for a lot of things.


*grandpa and grandma in Québécois slang french. It's what I call everyone who drives slow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Something I've got to face about designer shoes

I love shoes. I'd rather have nice shoes than a nice outfit since great shoes can dress up even the casualest of casual Fridays. I have over 60 pairs. Although I can't afford designer shoes, I often try to convince myself that I'd rather have cheap throw-away shoes than one pair of designer since the style may go out and I'll be stuck with a grand's worth of purple wedges or something. This is what I tell myself. Here's the reality:

If I was to buy a pair of designer shoes, I'd be damn sure to get a neutral pair of black pumps that's never go out of style. That's why I'm so stuck on the Louboutins since the only way you could tell them apart from a Payless shoe without taking them off would be the oh so distinctive red sole. But that's neither here nor there. Reality has slapped me in the face.

I've always had a problem with heels. They've never been comfortable. Often I'll buy a size 9 or even a 10 to get an okay fit. The last week I thought for shits and giggles that I'd measure my feet using an online tool. They're actually a size 8. That's not the bad news. But they're extra wide. That is the bad news. Because designer shoes don't only cheat small but narrow too. I think my dream of dancing all night in my gorgeous Loubs has been shattered. It's replaced by my precious coveted footwear in a pile on the floor with me dancing around them barefoot like I'm participating in a pagan ritual.

The above "shoes" (and I use the term loosely) may be the sexiest available for my flippers. My heart hurts. I guess I'll just keep cramming them into inappropriate sizes and pray that I don't get bunions or a hump later in life. At least I have my health...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What do you like to drink?

Recently on a bulletin board I love, I was telling a friend the drinks I like. I realised that a lot of them are not sweet. For want of a better term, they're not "girl drinks".

I prefer beers, bloody caesars and martinis. Even straight up whisky. Probably gin & tonic and rye and ginger is about as sweet as I go. I hate wine but I don't mind a glass of sangria but I can't drink it all night. I'm okay with the odd cosmo or vodka cranberry but for me, sweet + booze = headache.

Do you like girl drinks? What's your favourite?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Why can't you be good at making salads or something?"

This from Scott after admitting he had no impulse control, grumpy that I made a couple of batches of Godiva chocolate brownies for the Canoe Club bake sale and had a bunch left over. He practically had one in each hand, chocolate crumbs around his mouth and was mainlining a glass of milk. He's so adorable.


Monday, June 8, 2009

What a weekend

I just had another busy weekend. So many people ask why my favourite day of the week is Monday. It's because I need a break from this:

8-10am: baked a batch of cookies for Sunday's bake sale
10-3pm: went grocery shopping (3 stores and a million errands)
3pm-6pm: cooked a dinner I wouldn't be eating
6-9pm: met the girls for dinner and drinks
10-11:30: baked a batch of brownies for Sunday's bake sale

9:45-11:30am: took Audrey to her horseback riding lesson
12-3pm: open house at the canoe club where I delegated the bake sale table
3:30-4:30: napped. Don't judge me
4:30-5:50: cooked a dinner that I wouldn't be eating
6:30-8:30pm: back to the canoe club for dragonboat practice

Thank goodness for Mondays. Otherwise I wouldn't get any rest at all. 


Friday, June 5, 2009


Why am I avidly examining the fact that I have an impossibly irritating itch under my wedding/engagement rings? It's been driving me nuts for days. Why am I looking for some kind of deep philosophical meaning? Why can't it be that I've just never taken them off for any reason for more than a few minutes in over 16 years and my finger is getting mouldy or something? Stupid brain.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why do I think this is the funniest thing I've EVER seen?

It's so juvenile. It's exactly what everyone hates about Youtube. Every comedian out there has a bit about cats playing piano on Youtube yet here I am posting this. I know it's ridiculous. I know it's stupid. But everytime I watch it I laugh until tears are streaming down my face and the first time I saw it I peed in my pants. And I wish I was joking about that. I love that the cat's playing gets worse when the hat falls over his face. I love that he goes drinking with his amigos after he runs off. I can't tell you the sheer delight this dumb video brings me. Best. Video. Ever.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Henri Matisse according to Henry Kaye

I love when I can have an intelligent conversation with my kids. Supposedly Henry is learning about Matisse in school. I think it sticks mostly because they have the same name but who cares why? He actually taught me something about the man. All I knew was that he was a french artist. Here's what he told me. I'll post a wiki link when I'm done:

1. He didn't paint, he did arts and crafts (he did paint but this was Henry's take)
2. He hurt his leg and couldn't walk. He went to a home and that's where he did his crafts (cool)
3. He married a model (it was actually his model... you know, the arty pose kind)
4. He painted with scissors (huh? I didn't get this until I read the wiki)
5. He had a beard and looked angry (hee.)

Henry's take on the lesson was pretty good. I had no idea he did collages. There's nothing like learning from your kids. Oh, and Henry's favourite work of Henri's? Beasts of the Sea.

I'm so proud.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

10 idiosyncrasies

Audrey and I were having a conversation about books. She was saying that she was reading a really long novel right now and it had x number of pages. I replied that it doesn't matter to me how long to book is but how long each chapter is. I told her that it was one of  my idiosyncrasies to read a complete chapter in one sitting. I'll flip through to the end of a chapter to judge the length and figure out the time it'll take to read so I don't have to stop in the middle (or fall asleep) . So it doesn't matter how long the book is, just the chapters. She wanted to know some of my other idiosyncrasies so naturally here some of them are in my blog:

1. Can't drink out of styrofoam cups
2. Hate the sound of semi dry markers on construction paper (if you think it happens rarely, try my chosen career as daycare teacher)
3. Hate mascots (my heart races and I feel like crying)
4. Won't use utensils with attached wooden/plastic handles... the cooties hide in there)
5. Won't write with anything other than a blue pen
6. I need a clean mouth before I eat and I won't eat after I brush my teeth at night... even if I brush at 6pm
7. Can't drink out of a can
8. I drink warm water (I hate ice cold drinks except for martinis)
9. Things have to be in round numbers. I couldn't post 9 of these. Remember the chapter book is one so it's actually 10.

I love these personal weirdnesses, don't you? It makes a person unique. I'd love to hear some of yours...


Monday, June 1, 2009

That's it. I'm going to say something very unCanadian. Ready?

Tim Horton's sucks. That's right. I said it.

I'm not a coffee drinker. Because of this, there aren't very many options for me if I want something hot to drink. Especially if the place I choose is a coffee shop. I get it.

But the longer I live the more non-coffee drinkers I come across. We're out there. A quiet minority, yes, but a valid bunch nonetheless. So why isn't there a viable option for us? There is tea and hot chocolate and that's pretty much it.

Last week I had what must have been the worst hot chocolate I've ever had in my life. From Timmy's. Picture, if you will, warm from the tap sugar water with about a 1/4 teaspoon of chocolate powder for colour. It was frigging horrendous. I've also had tea from there which was tepid water (again) with a dollar store teabag bobbing lifelessly inside. Poor thing.

I want to re-iterate that I'm well aware that Timmy's is a coffee place. Supposedly the coffee there is to die for but judging from the lack of care they put into other beverages, I've got to wonder.

Starbucks is a coffee place. But I jump every time someone asks if I want something from there. Why? Flavoured herbal teas. Tea lattes (the green and the chai are exquisite). Whipped cream. Hot chocolate that tastes like I made it myself. And at Christmastime the only thing I look forward to in the dismal winter season is Starbucks' apple cider. Frankly it tastes just like hot apple juice but it's hot and is flavoured with cinnamon, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel. So delicious it isn't funny. This is what I mean about care. So what if I have to blow my entire weekly lunch budget on one drink. It's so worth it.

But Tim's isn't all bad. Besides the sugar blindness incurred by their dougnuts, they also make a pretty mean soup and sandwich combo. Which does me no good when asked if I want something from there. They mean a quick drink. Not juggling a sandwich and bowl of soup. I'll just wait until someone makes an all too rare Starbucks run.