Thursday, December 31, 2009

My year in review

I was going to do the whole decade but frankly, I can't remember all the way back to 2000 without looking, and dredging out my old "hard copy" diaries is a recipe for disaster. A pyjama wearing, no shower taking, going without food, laughing at mouldy old jokes, living in the past kind of disaster. I open one of those things and you won't see me for days. So, let's look back at 2009, shall we?
  • I learned to swim
  • Scott and I watched all the Oscar nominees (a feat never to be repeated since they doubled the number of nominated films and going to 10 movies in 6 weeks is damn near impossible and will cost us an entire mortgage payment)
  • I worked 3 jobs, got fired from 2 and collected unemployment
  • I went to cupcake camp
  • I got my dragonboat paddle tattoo
  • I bought (and returned) a really expensive pair of custom made jeans
  • I discovered keyboard cat
  • I made those really cute hamburger cupcakes
  • I got a new QWERTY phone
  • I won a shiny new iPod touch form a radio contest
And we did all this together, people. Actually, I did it and you all watched. Which makes you guys kind of voyeurs. It also makes me a complete exhibitionist. It's a total win/win situation for all of us. I'm going to say it: you complete me. I love you all, peeps, Happy New Year. See you through all the weirdness to come in 2010.


Play the year out, Keyboard Cat!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's plans?

I'm spending New Year's with my dad again. We'll exchange Christmas gifts and have a nice dinner. And of course we'll count down to midnight with a glass of my daddy's special home made rum punch in each hand. It's fun and West Indian and loud.

But I would chuck it all in a second if we got invited to any kind of New Year's blowout here in town. Even a party that called for a babysitter to be hired. Well, can I be honest here? Especially if it called for a babysitter.

I long for the olden days when we'd party with friends on New Year's Eve getting drunk and acting the fool. I even miss the classic hangover that prompts the famous resolution: "I'll never drink again". Not that the family New Year's sucks, not at all. But just one year I'd like to revert back to the ridiculous antics of my youth. I think it's a need to feel young and stupid again.

So, what are your plans?


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This holiday is killing me

I don't think I'm kidding. Yesterday I was leaning on Scott's desk and my arm went numb. Just like that. I think it's all the sugar. I've eaten so many sweets since the holiday started, I think my blood is tuning to maple syrup. Quality Street chocolates, Pep, cinnamon rolls, candy canes and nearly 50 different kinds of Christmas cookies have been my undoing. From the way I've been packing it away you'd never believe I prefer savoury snacks during the rest of the year. I start off okay with a bowl of cereal in the morning then hummus and pita for lunch but between lunch and dinner I lose my mind. Every time Scott gives me a hug I feel like he's sizing me up for the slaughter. Well I'll show him. I'm 50% fat and very little meat. Not very healthy, buddy.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Henry's birthday

In honour of my baby's 10th birthday yesterday, and in light of the fact I officially have no "babies" in the house, I'd like to share one of my favourite Henry stories. Given the season, it is sort of Christmassy...

About 4 years ago I took the kids to the National Gallery of Canada. when we were done touring the place, we left but weren't ready to go home. Across from the gallery is one of the most famous churches in town, Notre Dame Basilica. I thought it would be nice to visit and light a candle for my mum and it is a tourist attraction so I figured why not.

It's beautiful, ornate and gothic. Quite breathtaking. While I was off to the side lighting the candle, I let the kids explore a little. When I looked up, I noticed Henry staring, mesmerised by the larger than life cross with the crucified and bloody Jesus on it. As a born Catholic whose parents made her go to church every Sunday and extra at Easter and Christmas, to me the image is both haunting and uplifting. It really is the defining image of Christianity and I was proud that my son was feeling the full impact of that image and the moment.

I crouched down beside him and put my hand on his shoulder feeling the weight of this wondrous awe-inspiring moment between us. Then I realised in horror that I raised a heathen bunch of Christmas Christians because he stared at this amazing depiction or our Lord and Saviour and asked me, "What the heck happened to that guy?"

Hoo boy... my mother must have been whirling in her grave.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Traditions for today?

I know some people open all their gifts tonight but we're Christmas Day people here. We do open one every Christmas Eve... our new jammies. This is from necessity.

I could never get any nice photos with the kids wearing clean pjs. They always looked so bedraggled. So while we're at church tonight, "The Sandman" will come and leave pyjamas under the tree for us all to sleep in later so we'll have nice clean new jammies for pictures and general revelry in the morning. It's a "tradition" that I started since I had kids. Did you start anything brand new that you can see becoming a long-standing tradition in the years to come?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Eve!

I'm so excited! We're having our family turkey dinner and going on our annual church pilgrimage tomorrow, then we have plans to go to my sister-in-law's farm for dinner on Xmas after the carnage that is Christmas morning. Boxing day is when I set up Henry's birthday tree then the following day we plan to go to the restaurant of Henry's choice (Shoeless Joe's) for a birthday dinner and sleepover with his best friend Jacob. Whew.

So, what are you up to?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Old folks ads

You know you are watching a television show aimed at an older demographic based on the commercials. When I watch Coronation Street, I'm inundated with ads for stair lifts, assisted living homes, adjustable beds, Grey Power insurance, clappers and stuff like that. Most of them are good for a laugh but one of them makes me say hmmm...

I kinda want the tub. The walk-in tub. It looks like it fits in the space of a regular stall but when you bathe you are sitting straight up. All I want is the occasional super long soak in water up to my neck. I don't have to be reclining. In fact lying down makes it harder to read or drink beer. So it makes perfect sense, right? Wanting this tub doesn't at all make me a closet geriatric. Nope.


Monday, December 21, 2009

In case you needed another reason to cover your mouth when you yawn...

You know there's the spread of various flus, the passing on of cooties, sharing your halitosis with the world... there's one more reason I can think of as to why you should cover your mouth when you yawn that I discovered last night:

Your cat may think your uvula is the latest in pet toys and reach in to play with it. Ewww. Cats are so weird.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Gone With The Wind

I was watching this movie (definitely a top 10 movie even though Butterfly McQueen makes me want to hurl a toaster at the tv) with Henry the other night. There was a part where the characters were scanning a list of the dead and wounded and he asked me one of those questions:

"How did the Civil War start?"

Ummm... being a Canadian and not being a scholar of American history (or anything, frankly), I had to think fast. And of course when asked to think fast, I just tell the truth as I know it. Or make shit up. Usually a combination of the two. Here's what came out:

"Well, sweetie, it had something to do with slavery and how some people thought that black people were only good for working and didn't deserve pay or respect. Other people knew that we're all the same under the skin and believed it enough to fight a war over it."

Then I threw in the little chestnut that Scott and I would have been committing a crime by just being married back in those days so he and his brother and sister would have never been born. And you know what he did? He put his hands on both of my cheeks, looked me in the eyes and kissed me. Hm. Bullshitted myself into a sweet little kiss from my son. I wonder if that'd work on Neil Patrick Harris?


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ahh... a sunny winter day

It's like a bitch slap from Mother Nature, isn't it? The old bait and switch. From inside it looks gorgeous but when you go out... Suffice it to say that witches should probably wear a thick fleece.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I just got a notice from

Supposedly someone who graduated from my 1984 high school class just joined. Suuuure. That site costs actual money while Facebook is free. What would possess me to catch up with someone who is paying for something they could get for nothing? I don't hang out with dummies. Geez...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to my bessie mate!

She's awesome, she's funny and she lives across the ocean, sheeeeee's Kathy! She's the only person I can talk to for 90 minutes and not wish for the time back. She's got a 10 year old daughter who's so smart and responsible, I'd hire her to babysit my 3 kids. She's married to my convoluted cousin (convoluted in that I can never remember exactly how he's my cousin) so she's family.

I love her like the sister I never had. She has a sister so I don't know how that works for her but nevertheless, she's my bestest friend and I miss her every day.

She'd kill me if I revealed how old she is today but I think I can get away with mentioning that she's 39 plus tax.

So, Happy Birthday my friend. You are special and lovely and I hope you get big and fat. You know what I mean. I love you!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh come on, now...

Did nobody notice the colour change? The blog was green now it's blue for goodness sake. You like? Not so much? You want the old scheme back? Prefer this one? Something entirely different? Thoughts? Feelings?


Friday, December 11, 2009

Dark Victory

I just watched this movie on tv. I love the classics. Bette Davis rocks so hard especially when she orders a "large order of prognosis negative" at the restaurant. So gorgeous and bug-eyed.

Anyhow, as part of the plot, we find out that Bette has a malignant brain tumour. The doctor doesn't tell her using the ridiculous rationale that he wants her final months to be happy. Exqueeze me? Are you kidding? In those old movies they did that a lot. Is that because they actually did that? I shudder to think.

If I was going to die in a few months, I'd do things so differently. I wouldn't want to go to work everyday like normal (assuming I was working, that is), cook, clean and help kids with homework. No effing way. I'd take the kids out of school the whole time I was well and blow what little money we have on a plane trip to Disney. I'd finally buy those Louboutins and wear them grocery shopping and cleaning. Yes, I'd still have to do a little of that but I'd do it with style. I'd eat out a lot, watch movies I always wanted to see and get loads of spa treatments. I'd buy a king sized bed and we'd all sleep, snuggle and hang out there.

Now that's what I'd do with my last days. And no 1930's style doctor is going to rob me of that.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let's talk about sex baybeee...

Well, not really. But I would like to talk about love. I was watching Star Trek yesterday and it really made me think (as Star Trek tends to make you do). It was an episode where 2 people were in love... one was human and one was a symbiont. The actual being was small and living inside the outside human form. So the human being was pretty much just the shell. The essence of the "man" was the tiny squidgy form inside him.

So when the outside form was injured and died, the symbiont was temporarily placed inside someone else until a new permanent host could be found. That someone else was a male co-worker and while it was awkward at first, she powered past it and showed him how happy she was that he was still alive. Wink. Then the permanent host arrived and was... dun-dun-duuuunnn a woman. She quickly decided (to give her credit it was after a pretty tepid girl/girl kiss) that she was in love with everything about him/her including the body and it wouldn't work out between them.

It sure makes you wonder about all those stories of people post sex change that stay with their partners. What is it that makes you in love with someone? Their mind/personality or their body? I sure know that if Scott's mind somehow ended up in the body of a 28 year old soccer player I wouldn't love him any less. I'm just saying.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Didja miss me?

I had a few errands to run and I forgot that I didn't have a blog in the hopper for today. I actually realized this last night and was going to remedy that by blogging from bed with my new iPod touch but it would only let me input a title. For some reason I couldn't type in the text box. And of course knowing me, you know I couldn't say what I need to with any kind of character restraint. So there's my excuse for such a late blog.

So anyway, today I went for career counselling. It was quite the eye opener to find that at the ripe old age of 42 and rapidly rolling down the other side of that famous hill, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I loved being a receptionist at my last job but my lameness in French is holding me back. I liked retail in the past but I think I should come out ahead when it comes to the travel time (gas used)/salary ratio. I have an Early Childhood Education degree that may come in handy but now to work you need to be certified and I'm not sure I want to do it badly enough to go through that process. Needless to say, my new friend Ian and I talked in circles for an hour. But at least he gave me lots of good advice on fixing up my resume.

I had more fun at the Service Canada office. I had to get Social Insurance Numbers for the kids. Considering it was a government office, it was awesome. No line-ups and happy, cheerful, chatty employees. Thank you, snowstorm.

So that's the way today went. I missed Maury and I drove in a blizzard. But now that I'm home, I'm back in my jammies, waiting for the kids to come in from playing outside with hot chocolate and the promise of a butt-kicking by me at Scrabble. I love snow days, don't you?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We have liftoff!

Okay, not really but the tree and decorations are up. Scott did the outside and I did the inside which is really just the entryway and livingroom. He got the perfect tree... tall and skinny so it doesn't interfere with our eyeline to the room's focal point. I'd like to be all hoity-toity and say that it is the fireplace or grand piano but I'd rather be real with you all and admit it's the tv. So no, the tree does not block our television set.

So now with the tree up, I'm feeling all Chrissmassy and worked on my gimme list. It's now done as well. Wanna see it? Thought so. Keep in mind I'm unemployed so we're on a tight, not quite strangle- but sleeper-hold budget. The stuff on here is not up to my usual extravagance:

  • webcam (to Skype with my BFF Kathy in London)
  • giftcards for Ricki's, Amazon or iTunes
  • Snuggie. You heard. Deal with it.
  • TV DVDs. Buffy, Dexter or How I Met Your Mother
  • Chanel #5. At least I can smell rich.
  • Bière d’épinette. I say without hyperbole that I'm going to die if I don't find this stuff soon.
So there it is. No Louboutins or Smart Cars. It's not that I don't want those things if they're on offer but they aren't. This year anyway. I still have next year to win the lottery. Big bucks, no whammies!


Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm a bad mother

At least that's how I feel when I open up the school photo envelope and hate the way the kids look. My own babies, the fruit of my loins, and they look like bizarre aliens. Yup, I hate school photos. I don't buy them anymore.

They're so staged and fake. Terrible forced smiles, squinty eyes, not to mention that 9 times out of 10 I've forgotten that it was picture day and sent them to school in torn, dirty or hilariously dated outfits. Complete with bedheaded hair and Nutella smeared cheeks. Saving grace? At least the photos aren't scratch-and-sniff. Audrey had a preteen blemish on her philtrum (google it) on photo day and they removed it. Good. But when they did they left a weird beige mark on her face. Bad.

Then I feel like a bad mother again for not ordering the super-mega-colossal package of 10 8x10s, 30 4x6s, 300 wallet-sized and various fridge magnets, buttons, stickers and calendars. Multiplied by 3 kids that's around three-quarters of a million dollars and enough photographs to wallpaper Parliament Hill. Why isn't there a package with about 4 4x6s and about 10 wallet sized? That's all I really need. Just for immediate family and friends. With the other package you're forced to give pictures to acquaintances and strangers just to get rid of them. What would you do with a photo of my kids? Thought so.

I hate to order them but if I do, it'll be a souvenir of the rare day (that's my story and I'm sticking to it) I was a negligent mother and sent my kids to school in Ninja Turtle pyjama pants because their jeans were in the wash. Because as you know, every mother wants a keepsake of that.


Friday, December 4, 2009

"Next Blog" function

I've really been enjoying using this lately. I used to try it from time to time but within 3 mouseclicks I'd get a bizarre website that is:

  • formatted badly
  • too wordy
  • not in english
  • full of atrocious grammar
  • cursed with an irritating cursor (bubbles or paws or something equally ridiculous)
  • set to awful music that blasts my speakers out
Lately, though, it's been a ball. Sweet websites with kids' photos, tons of food blogs and helpful information. And in English. It inspired me. It inspired me to take down my own "food" blog (Home is Where the Cookies Are). The photos are awful compared to the likes of Pioneer Woman, I don't look forward to updating it and frankly all my recipes are borrowed. If I feel compelled to post pictures of my kitchen creations I'll put them on here.

I'll leave it up until the end of the year so you guys can steal recipes from it but as of the new year I'm streamlining and I'll take it down.

So I suggest after reading my blog today (this one not the embarrassing food one), look way up high and to the centre left and click "next blog". You never know what you'll discover. But just make sure you come back here Monday.


Thursday, December 3, 2009


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're you go!

Now isn't that nicer than the regular birthday dirge? I'm delighted that my "baby" brother turns 40 today. We're so close that when I got married I didn't want a maid of honour... I wanted him to be my best man. Of course he was pissed he had to hold my bouquet throughout the ceremony. It didn't quite go with his full dress military uniform. Oh well!

Happy Birthday Mikey! I love you so so much.

BTW, the photo above is not my brother Mikey. It's Errol Flynn. Michael is his middle name. First name: Errol, after my dad. So in school a lot of people called him "Flynn" at least until nobody remembered who Errol Flynn was LOL!

(I found a sample of that birthday song on iTunes if you want to hear a bit of it. Just put "Birthday Waltz in the search box and click on the one by Sharon, Lois & Bram)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Last night I had a vivid dream

When I dream it's rarely as clear as this was. I looked in a mirror and saw that I was Queen Elizabeth. What I noticed most was that I was wearing one of those gold, red and ermine crowns. When I woke up I couldn't shake the image. I looked it up online and this is what I found:


To see a crown in your dream, symbolizes success and prominence.

To dream that you are wearing a crown, suggests that you are in a position of power. Alternatively, you may be basking in your own achievements.

How cool is that? The basking part not so much the power thing. I love that my brain went there after getting this new job offer and crowing long and hard about it. Now I wonder what the part where I was in the House Of Commons watching Stephen Harper having a wadded newspaper-ball fight with the other MPs means?


P.S: In case you missed it, I turned the job down, by the way. December is for families not working my ass off the whole time they're off school for barely minimum wage. This one came along quickly and so will another one. Besides, I'm powerful now. Mwahahaha and all that.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

They offered me the job

So I have until 4pm today to tell the manager if I'll take it or not. Here the pros and cons:

  • I'll be working at Ricki's, people. Ricki's!
  • 50% off my first 4 items, 30% off the rest
  • Salary not commission
  • My manager has a kid so she'll understand if I need time off
  • Benefits
  • It's at the Mall which is a 20 minute walk from my house
  • You have to wear the tops. Have to, guys!

  • Low pay
  • No guarantee of work after Xmas
  • Only 10-30 hours a week available
  • Working on my feet all day
  • I'll miss Maury Povich
Seriously, I'm delighted. Yes, the pay is lower than my last job but I won't be driving there so we'll save on gas and car wear and tear. It'll actually save us money in the long run. I can tape Maury if I'm so inclined and I own comfortable shoes. The only thing is the work after Christmas but as you know, theoretically, I hate working. And the practice too, frankly. We've just made a habit of eating, is all.

So looks like there are more pros than cons to this job. I'll probably take it. I think. Thanks for all your support in the few days I was unemployed. Dang... I never even received my first Unemployment benefit cheque...