Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sorry sorry sorry....

I'm doing it again.

Can I please ask for your votes again? It looks like there's a new contest every week. I'm prouder of this blog than the last one, though, if that helps any. The topic was : An Unhealthy Obsession.

I promise to mention it only once a week one time in one place (looks like my blog readers "win"). Here's the details again....

Go here: http://www.cbc.ca/canadawrites

Click on "play online" on the left side

Click the "read and rate" tab

Put "intervention" in the search box

Then vote your faces off. You get unlimited votes but just once is fine and thankyouverymuch. See you all next week...


Monday, March 30, 2009

Cupcake camp

Yesterday I was so tired. It felt like Christmas morning when I woke up really early because I was on my way to cupcake camp then after all the sugar (and some strangely savoury cupcakes), I was ready for a nap when I got home at 5:30.

So I was convinced by my family to enter the cupcakes I baked into the contest so I did. Here was the problem. I strutted in there buoyed by the compliments of friends and family. These people who "love" me told me that I make the best cupcakes they ever tasted. So I felt like I make the best cupcakes ever made by human hands. Then I waited in line to register them. As I stood there, I saw that nearly every cupcake was made by professionals and by people who've at least taken classes. Interestingly enough, I didn't see too many cupcakes made by middle-aged mothers of 3 self taught from the internet. Nope, not too many of those. Of course I didn't win. But it still was a gas.

Most interesting to me were the two I tasted made with bacon and the little meatloaf with mashed potato icing. You all do know know that I prefer savoury to sweet when it comes to treats, right? I swear, after two sweet cupcakes I was done.

So cupcake camp was an overall success. The venue was too hot and crowded and my cupcakes came out way too late so people were cupcaked out but I still had a good time. I look forward to next year's. I'm definitely not bringing in an entry. Probably definitely.


Friday, March 27, 2009

An interview with my kids

Someone sent this to me on Facebook and I thought it was too cute to post over there. I preferred to share it with you guys instead.

This "interview" started out with just Audrey and Elliott. Then Henry joined but got bored before we were done. Typical.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Elliott: Hello
Audrey: I love you

2. What makes mom happy?
Elliott: Your children
Audrey: Daddy

3. What makes mom sad?
Elliott: When people don't listen to her
Audrey: being alone

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Elliott: By making herself sound old. She knows people from Star Trek and stuff
Audrey: When she talks with a West Indian accent

****Here Henry hears the hubub and wants to see what the commotion is about. He answers a few questions...

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Elliott: I don't know that one
Audrey: She was nice
Henry: She had an afro

6. How old is your mom?
Elliott: 42 (I'm not btw..)
Audrey: 41 (okay, unfortunately this one is right)
Henry: 46. Wait isn't that daddy?

7. How tall is your mom?
Henry: 6 thousand feet
Audrey: 6 feet
Elliott: 6 foot 2
I'm 5'3"

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV?
Elliott: Star Trek
Audrey: All My Children
Henry: Chuck

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Elliott: Work
Audrey: watch movies
Henry: Sometimes have parties

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Elliott: Cooking
Audrey: Drama
Henry: Baking

11. What is your mom really good at?
Elliott: Taking care of us
Audrey: Reading
Henry: Taking care of the house

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Elliott: Not laughing
Audrey: being quiet. no offense but she talks a lot
Henry: remembering that we have gerbils and not hamsters

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Elliott: She works at inMotion. She has a title.
Audrey: She's an inside sales manager
Henry: an editor?

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Elliott: spicy foods
Audrey: pizza
Henry: spicy things

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Audrey: she did a triathlon
Henry: she makes cookies for us
Elliot: she walked a marathon

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Henry: Sylvester
Elliott: Plankton
Audrey: the little cat from bugs Bunny that the bulldog loved

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Elliott: everything
Audrey: we go on vacations
Henry: sit down and laugh

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Elliott: we're the same height
Audrey: we are girls
Henry: we have dimples

19. How are you and your mom different?
Elliott: I have a moustache (little does he know...)
Audrey: she's Black and I'm mixed
Henry: I have a penis, mummy doesn't

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Elliott: She tells us
Audrey: She tells me

****Henry is now bored and wanders away****

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Elliott: He's funny
Audrey: He's nice to her

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Elliott: London
Audrey: Miami


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Say "hi" to Scott for me...

When you want me to pass on a kind message to Scott, do you really want me to go home and say "oh, by the way, Elmer says hi" or can I just be pleased at the time that you were thinking of my husband? Because if you call me on it, Elmer, I probably haven't relayed the message to him. I never seem to remember that you even mentioned him. Sorry.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can you guys do me a solid?

There's a contest on CBC that has the contestants write a 200 word blog. They give you 3 crappy topics to choose from and 1 hour to write it. Then you get votes for people's choice.

So here comes the favour. Can you vote for my blog? But I'm not asking for a handout here. There are 5 stars, please vote for what you think it deserves. Unfortunately the topics sucked and I chose the the one that sucked least. Admittedly it's not my best. You know I save my best for you loveys.

Anyway, here's where you vote:


Click on the "play online" button on the left then then put "thong" in the search box. Mine should be the only one that pops up. Thanks in advance.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I got inked on Saturday

Why I do this to myself I don't know. This time, for tattoo number 5, I got a dragonboat paddle on my forearm. Why? I love paddling and always will. Please, sweet Jesus, let this be true.

When I got home my first thought was "what the eff have I done?". I spent about 12 hours feeling buyers' remorse and thinking that this was the stupidest, most ridiculous thing I've ever done (and that's saying a lot). Now, after a couple of days of time and perspective, I'm feeling better about the thing. It really is quite sharp. Thank goodness.

So what did you do over the weekend?


Monday, March 23, 2009

I never mentioned that I passed!

I passed my swimming lessons last week. I was able to do everything even "dive". I put it in quotes because my version of diving involves a lot of coaxing, mental blackmail then an ungainly plunge into the deep end. Many times involving stinging boobs which means I inadvertently belly-flopped in. See? Like I said, diving.

So anyway, I can officially do a pretty mean breast stroke, back stroke and even attempt a front crawl which is the stroke I officially hate. How do people co-ordinate their arms and legs and breathing? I can get one or two but never all 3. When I'm particularly sucking, I don't breathe out enough when my face is in the water then I turn to breathe but have to blow out and in and start to panic, snorf in some water and I'm done. I start freaking out and have to float on my back. Pathetic.

But the whole point of learning to swim was accomplished. I can do some kind of stroke (probably a breast stroke) for 200m so I don't humiliate myself in August for that triathlon. I'm ready. Let's do this.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Can I just praise my body for a minute?

It's a bit fatter and jigglier than I'd like (I could easily stand to lose 30 pounds and my belly rivals the Michelin Man's) but it's so strong and it can remember the days back when the earth was cooling and I was training nearly every day. Keep in mind I haven't been to the gym since April 2008.

I was at work and thought for shits and giggles that I should flex out my thighs and calves under my desk. I liked the feeling so I did it every so often for the entire day. When I put on my fancy knee length boots to go home, I wondered why the hell they wouldn't zip up. Then I realized. I had been excercising my calves. After just a few reps of pointing my toes, I had to go home with my boots unzipped. Too funny.

So here's a toast to my super strong body. I may look like a Black Buddha but I could send you to Nirvana with a roundhouse kick. Take that Karma.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gotta love garbage day

You know that feeling when you hear the rumbling truck in your dreams and think "it effing canNOT be". CRASH!! Yup, it is.

So you throw on whatever is on the floor from last night and haul your ass to the frozen curb, plastic bins in hand. This is what happened last Friday. And this is what I was wearing:

I can't imagine what my neighbours and the garbageman thought. I'm normally quite put together in public. I think that's why I took the picture. I couldn't believe myself what I was wearing. Ratty bathrobe under a coat that's 2 sizes too big, and the special touch... Elliott's army boots. I'm sitting by the phone waiting for Tyra to call.

Just to be completely fair, I took another photo a few hours later in the same spot. Hey, I can't let the last image you saw of me today be the one above, can I?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Favourite song of the day

Right now, for whatever reason, I can't get enough of this song. It's Ghost town by Shiny Toy Guns. Say what you want about my errrr... youthful taste for a 41 year old black woman, but it's how I stay young. And yes, the video is weird. It's the song I like. Questions? Comments?



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yesterday would have been my mum's 75th birthday

I do this a couple of times a year on her birthday and death day and this is no different. I usually rhapsodize about how terrific she was and how she's still missed like crazy. But after I toasted to her with my Guinness last night, I thought I'd like to tell you guys a few things she taught me.

Match your clothes. The woman was always stylish. Even though her style was giant shoulder pads and sweatshirts with pompoms or some such nonsense hanging off them. Hey, it was the 80's. But she still managed to rock those cheesy shirts.

Use a napkin. She always had food dripped on her fancy shoulder padded tops. She was a sloppy eater with a heart of gold.

Always wear a great fitting bra. My mum had enormous boobs. She always wore bras that were at least 3 sizes too small. Seeing her quad boob action made me want a breast reduction as soon as I could get one.

Learn to drive. She died before she ever learned. My dad drove her everywhere and never whimpered once. Ever. But now that I'm an adult I realize how crazy it must have driven him (no pun intended).

Smile. I never saw my mum cry or be sad until she got sick. She was always upbeat and positive and I know she's who I got it from. It's my most treasured inheritance from her.

So there you have it. A few things I learned from my awesome mother Mabel.


Monday, March 16, 2009

What I knew about dalmations I could fit in one of their spots

Besides being the stars of adorable movies, I didn't know why they're often seen at the firehouse. This is something I learned from Audrey. Isn't it great when you learn something interesting from your kids?

She has to do an optional project for school and she chose to do it on "dogs with jobs". She's doing sheepdogs, german shepherds (police and/or drug sniffers), bloodhounds, St. Bernards, retrievers (hearing ear, seeing eye) and of course dalmations. She wondered why you always see them at the firehouse and asked me. I (as usual) was mystified so I told her to google it.

Then we both learned something new. Supposedly in Merry Olde England when they used the pumper truck (well, more like a wagon), they used horses to pull it. Dalmations were sent out to run ahead of the truck and clear the way for the horses to run. They were fast enough to keep up with the horses, highly visible and at ease around horses. So that's why they are the firehouse mascots. Isn't that cool?

And I owe that little nugget of trivia gold to my 10 year old daughter. Score!


Friday, March 13, 2009

How are you?

Remember when you were a kid and someone asked you that question? The answer was always "Fine, thanks, and you?" Remember that?

Lately (and I'm guilty of this too) the answer has been "Good. You?" Can I just say I hate this? When did we stop saying that we're fine? The poor word "fine". It's getting obsolete, isn't it?

The other day Audrey and I were out together and someone asked her how she was and she answered "Good". That was it. Later I had to actually explain to her what I preferred to hear her say in that situation. Which is:

Nameless Person: Hello, Audrey, how are you?
Audrey: Fine, thank you. And you?
NP: Fine, thanks for asking.

See, not so hard. Polite, not too wordy but it gets the job done. And it makes her seem a little less like the grunting, uncaring, prepubescent tween she can be.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Scott and I were coming out of a movie theatre last month and on our way back to the car we saw something oddly shaped in the snow. Upon closer inspection we saw that it was a pregnancy test.

A pregnancy test? In the courtyard of a busy movie theatre? Can you say ew? Of course I couldn't help but look. Thankfully it had fallen readout side up and I could see the little window. I didn't want to get too close for obvious reasons but I could clearly see that it was a "7". Yup, it looked like the number seven. So somewhere in Ottawa is a happy teen expecting... septuplets? Um, a bouncing baby googol? Whatever the situation, I wish her lots of luck. I just wish she had disposed of her pee stick in a more appropriate place. Actually I don't. There wouldn't have been a blog today.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A personal first

I was thinking the other day about the mix of music on my mp3 player. It really surprises me when I put that little thing on shuffle. Mozart, the Jonas Brothers, Prodigy and Dr. Horrible all have a home there. But it made me think. What started it all?

When I was in grade 6 I went to my "grad" with the only Black boy in class. Shawn and I didn't really like each other in "that" way... I think we were just pressured to go together since we were the only Blacks in the class. Anyway the big story of that grad was that I won the door prize. A 45 of "Le Freak" by Chic. My first record ever. The first record I bought with my own money was the 45 of "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer. My first whole album? Glass Houses by Billy Joel. Yes, I'm aware I need to give up my cool Black girl card now. Just don't cut it up in front of me.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring forward... stupid clocks.

With the time change, everyone has a complaint. The losing an hour of sleep wrecks their rhythm. Their kids go a bit nuts. They're late for things. Whatever. Me? Mine was that I was cold for hours Sunday morning and I had no clue why.

Then I walked by the programmable thermostat I finally realized. See, being the environmentally thoughtful family we are, we set the electronic thermostat to make the house colder at night (19C... you figure it out yourself if you're still using "old money"). It doesn't pump up to 23C until 6am. Unfortunately that thermostat's clock is as dumb as a bag of hammers and doesn't adjust with DST. So I had to spend an hour in the deep freeze until I could figure it out. And of course I had to mess with it for ages until I could successfully change the time. Why do they make the hardest clocks to change the ones you only touch twice a year? I'll totally forget how to fix it by "fall back".


Monday, March 9, 2009

Songs I canNOT listen to while driving

Well, one song, really. That "Single Ladies" song by Beyonce. I pictured all kinds of vehicular carnage in a rare moment of clarity after I had both my hands off the steering wheel and waving them and my neck around like she does in the video. Yikes. Folks, don't try this one at home. Or more correctly, in the car.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Should I be worried?

I haven't mentioned my new job on here but so far it's really been fun. I'm the Inside Sales Manager of a video production company. I enjoy the atmosphere (although it's a bit quiet for my taste since I'm a big fan of white noise). On my very first day my boss Pat got a really good contract and said I was his "good luck charm". A few days later he got another one and said the same thing. Then just last week it happened again and he said it again. That I'm his good luck charm. Uh oh.

While I love being the centre of attention, this kinda scares me. There's a lot of pressure here that I may not be able live up to. What if (God forbid) things start to tank? Will I get the blame? Or worse yet, fired? Being a good luck charm is a huge responsibility. But, hey, you aren't given anything in life you can't handle. Well, as long as nobody asks to rub my head, that is.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Batman jokes...

I pissed myself laughing at this first one...

Three women -- one engaged, one married and one a mistress --- are chatting about their relationships and decided to amaze their men. All three buy black leather bras " stiletto heels, and masks for their eyes. After a few days, they meet over lunch to compare notes.

The engaged women says:
The other night when my boyfriend came over, he found me in the black leather bodice, tall stilettos, and a mask. He said, "you are the woman of my life. I love you". Then we made love all night long.

The mistress says:
I met my lover at his office and I was wearing the leather bodice, heels, mask over my eyes and a raincoat. When I opened the raincoat, he didn't say a word -- but we had wild sex all night.

The married woman says:
I sent the kids to my mother's house all excited about having alone time with my husband. Had the lights dim, candles going, I was wearing the leather bodice, black stockings, stilettos heels and a mask over my eyes.

As soon as he came to the door and saw me and said,"What's for dinner, BATMAN?


Batman and Robin are camping in the desert, set up their tent and are asleep. Some hours later, Batman wakes his faithful friend. "Robin, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

Robin replies, " I see millions of stars."

"What does that tell you?" asks Batman.

Robin ponders for a minute.

"Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Chronologically, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Batman?"

"Robin, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

25 Things

This is going around Facebook and I want to do it but I didn't want to waste over 30 minutes writing something that's perfect blog fodder. So, off we go:

25 Things about Me

1. I drink tepid water. I hate ice in any drinks but ice water gives me a headache.

2. As outgoing and talkative as I am, I'm often shy in strange situations. In a roomful of people I don't know, I don't say much.

3. I don't like smart movies or tv shows too much. They make me feel stupid when I just don't get them.

4. I often feel like the dumbest person in the room. Any room.

5. I like my handwriting.

6. I need noise and music to concentrate. I'm very distracted and kinda disturbed by complete silence.

7. I make my 7s the European way with the slash through it.

8. I may be the only person on the planet with both the High School musical 3 Soundtrack and Repo! The Genetic Opera Soundtrack on her mp3. I love them both.

9. Sometimes I count the syllables of the things I say. I may look like I'm absently drumming but I'm counting. That's why I love haiku. I can be crazy out loud.

10. I never wear jeans and a jean jacket at the same time.

11. I rarely wear all black but back in the day it was my uniform.

12. I drink tea every conceivable way: black, black with sugar, white or white with sugar. It depends on my mood.

13. I only write with blue pens. Other colour inks make me feel anxious.

14. I hate talking on the phone. The only exception is my friend Kathy. I'd rather email or text you anyday.

15. I love when people leave comments in my blog. So do it.

16. When I'm complimented on my baking, I feel more proud than any other achievement I've made in the last few years.

17. I don't like the outdoors. My idea of torture is a picnic, sitting in the sun or a leisurely walk. Outside is for getting sweaty and then heading indoors for a shower.

18. I hate winter. It's only redeeming quality to me is no bugs.

19. If I could go shopping for clothes everyday for the rest of my life, I would.

20. I can't speak French very well even though I was born and raised in Montréal . My American Sign Language, however, is really quite good.

21. I have a pathological need to bless people when they sneeze. Even strangers. I also fix their clothes and tell people when they have something in their noses or teeth.

22. My hands and feet are always ice cold (unlike my water).

23. I've never ever had the flu.

24. I finally have a job I'm not ashamed to tell people about at a party.

25. I miss my nephew Marcus more than I could ever admit to my brother. I haven't seen Marcus since he was younger than Elliott is now. My kids don't even remember him. He's a man now and I worry that he's forgotten about me. I hope he knows I still love him.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wow, is this ever politically incorrect... don't kill me

Okay, I'm just going to lay it out there. I don't believe that people who deal with hardship are brave. I believe they they deal with what's happening in their lives and they just live it whatever crud they're dealt. I think describing them as brave gives them a quality they haven't really earned. To me being brave is running into a burning building or throwing yourself into the path of a bullet. Is it brave when you're just doing your job? Is it brave when you're just dealing with your end of the stick however shitty it may be?

Here's my case in point. My mother had cancer. She dealt with it for years, it went into remission, then it killed her in 1995. Did she put up a fight? Yes. Did she do everything her doctor asked? Sure. Did she take all her crappy medicine and undergo terrible rounds of chemo? Yup. But was she brave? Not really. She just lived as long as she could under crazy amounts of stress and pain. That to me doesn't spell bravery but it does deserve a title of some kind. I'm not sure what it should be but there needs to be something besides brave. Little help?


Monday, March 2, 2009

Sheba's Rice!

A friend exclaimed this on a bulletin board I frequent and it made me laugh out loud.

I'm a convenient Roman Catholic which means I'm only RC when it's convenient for me. I know. Wrong on so many levels, right?

Anyway, to prove this, I go to Christmas (and sometimes Easter) service and I reserve the right to moralise at the drop of a hat. I rarely do but it's nice to know I can. And I love starting sentences with the righteous "As a Roman Catholic..."

So the expression above makes me giggle. It's obviously a way for the devout to take the Lord's name in vain. Just like "Criminy", "Egad", "Geez" and "Jiminy Christmas". But who or what is Sheba? Besides the Biblical Kingdom. And do they produce rice? No? I just find the whole thing hysterical.

Don't mind me, I'm feeling that being Catholic at this exact moment in time, very inconvenient.