Monday, January 31, 2011

Feeling like it's a Monday

Ordinarily I'm a fan of Mondays. I like getting back to a schedule after the loosey-gooseyness that is sleeping-in late, early hockey games, playdates and driving all over hell's half-acre to kids' activities. But today I'm feeling logy. The deadly combo of getting over a cold, the freezing temps (sunshine be damned) and general malaise has conspired to make me feel like vegging for a few hours. I'm not in a bloggy place today. So please enjoy these answers to a few questions that I found on another blog.

1. What do you put on your hot dog?
On a regular hot dog I like mustard, relish and onions. On a Montréal steamé, there's no other topping besides coleslaw.

2. Do you play Sudoku?
Are you kidding? That's brain work. Also, the numbers scare me. Yes, I'm aware that it can be done with stars, moons and clovers (mmm... Lucky Charms) instead of the numbers but I'm just puck-shy. Give me a crossword puzzle anyday.

3. What is your favourite vegetable?
Does a potato count? I never met a potato recipe I didn't like except for that nasty American sweet potato dish with the marshmallows... bile rising... easy, stomach...

Even this photo is nauseating...

4. Do you color your hair?
What hair? I did go crazy once when I was pregnant with Henry and thought I'd have more fun as a blonde. I blame the lethal cocktail of Beyonce and hormones.

This is me with Dennis Rodman hair and 30 extra pounds. Smiling on the outside, screaming, screaming, screaming on the inside.

5. What is your favorite brand of clothing?
My closet is filled with Ricki's clothes. It's the store brand of my favourite clothing. So flattering to women of a certain age and shape. Other than that, I like whatever brand makes me look cute. No easy feat. Trust me.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday

Scott and I are indulging in our yearly tradition of going to see all the Best Picture Oscar nominees. We've already seen Toy Story 3 and I've seen Black Swan (am I the only one who didn't drink the Kool-Aid? I though this movie sucked!)

Anyway, tonight we're probably going to see 127 Hours. For me, even though these movies are often like Buckley's Mixture (I'm a romantic comedy --and Robitussin-- fan), I love having up to 8 date nights in a month with Scott. Thank you Academy of Arts and Sciences, you are a tonic to my marriage.

Here's an oldie about this movie madness.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Necessity vs. Luxury

I was listening to an amazing podcast this morning that talked about luxury marketing. It got me thinking about my precious Christian Louboutin pumps. I don't know how many times people have said to me "why don't you just get a can of red paint and cover the bottom of a pair of Payless shoes? Same thing." Um, no.

The point of my designer shoes (my only pair, mind you) is not only to stand out but to satisfy a part of me that needs to feel special. To feel just as good as a movie star or Oprah. Other people choose to feel special in the way that they express themselves artistically or politically, by their jobs or by the things they are passionate about. For me, feeling special means owning these amazing shoes. No, they aren't super comfortable. In fact, folding my double wide feet into these shoes feels like those Chinese foot binding deals must have. She's pointing at her toes, people.

Even though I have at least 30 pairs of Payless shoes, they don't make me feel special, they don't make me stand out and they certainly don't make me as happy. For the price of a Wii, can I not have something exceptional? Something just for me? So stop questioning my choices and just love my shoes, dammit.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What not to do

So I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and learning a lot more about writing in general and blogging in particular. I joined a network called SITS (The Secret Is In The Sauce) and was poking around their site getting some resources and ideas when I came across their list of 10 Things You Should Avoid. I thought I'd share them with you today in case you want to start a millstone blog of your own.

Becoming a Slave To Your Stats
You mean having 2 stat counters in my bookmarks bar and and crying when I lose followers isn't a good thing? Who'd have thought?

Obsessing Over Comments
So if supersexy69 tells me that he thinks that eating kiwi skins is nasty, and that I'm stupid for not liking tomatoes, I'm supposed to just be okay with that? I don't think so.

Putting Unnecessary Emphasis On Your Page Rank
My page can be ranked? Why did I not know this? How do I sign up? Okay, I just found out where I have to go to get the information. Hold on... all signed up. What?? My blog doesn't even rank? Well, I need to fix this right away. I need a plan. Wait... what? Oh. I see what they mean.

You're Blog Envious
Well I only check other blogs for ideas to steal. I don't want to be famous like Perez Hilton, or hilarious like Hyperbole and a Half, or take awesome photographs of food and family like the Pioneer Woman, or have a simple idea blow up with attention and accolades like Cake Wrecks... where was I? Oh yes, envy. It's not like I've slaved over a hot computer nearly every day for 5 years for nothing and these young upstarts get discovered after blogging for 5 minutes but I'm not envious. Oh no.

You're Responding To Blog Drama
I guess you have to be famous or get attention of some kind to understand this one because the only drama on my blog is that of my own creation.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin... And Not The Good Thin That Makes You Want To Go Shopping
So maybe having Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and Myspace accounts are too much?

You No Longer Leave The House
Well, I went to yoga last night, and picked up the garbage cans from the street on Friday so there is that but I blame the cold.

You've Run Out Of Things To Blog About
Me? You're kidding, right?

Losing Sleep
I'm a middle aged woman with a young family to take care of. I'll sleep when I'm dead. I definitely spend more time folding clothes and loading the dishwasher at ridiculous hours of the night than blogging. Although I have been known to write on a pad and paper in the dark when I have an idea in the middle of the night.

Caving In To The Pressure To Perform
Uh Oh. I do this one. This one talks about feeling pressure to blog every day. There are so many times when I wished I didn't blog daily. When the wi-fi went down, when we were on holiday, when I just plain forgot. But I go blocks out of my way, sneak into restaurants, sit in parking lots, whatever, just because I picture you all wailing and beating your breasts at home or work waiting impatiently for my next installment of crazy. I obviously think very highly of myself.

So there you have it. The list of what not to do when writing a blog. Looks like I'm the best blogger in the world. Yup. The whole, wide, entire world. Shut up.


Monday, January 24, 2011

My moment in the sun

Well, my foyer's anyway.

In the fall I posed a question to a television show on the off chance that they could solve the irritating problem of my foyer. Besides a complete demolition to let more than one person remove their coat and boots, we've hit a brick wall in terms of decorating. You should see when the boys come back from hockey. Two or 3 at a time with their hockey bags and sticks. As you all know, a hockey bag can fit a chopped up human body so when they all come home, there is a complicated choreography where places are changed more often than a square dance, salt and slush are deposited all over the stairs and the front door to the freezing outdoors is yawning open so those giant bags can be retrieved. Inevitably there is also cursing as someone's warm socked foot stands in a puddle of water. We're a close family but this is ridiculous.

Anyway, I won the lottery last week because they featured my question on tv. I got to see my sad entryway (I knew I should have smartened it up a bit but it showed the chaos quite nicely and I never thought they'd choose it) and got some great ideas. Luckily it's a blank canvas since we've never even painted since we moved in 12 years ago. They made some very low cost suggestions and I plan on using every one. I've already visited IKEA and now all I have to do is convince Scott that taking their advice won't make him gay. Okay, to be fair, I'm not really sure why he's digging his heels but this redecoration is going to happen. And when it does, I'm even willing to have a party here which is something we haven't done since we moved in and I was actually proud of that stupid, ugly foyer. Wanna come?


Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday

I thought I'd post an oldie but a goodie from 2008. This one illustrates the crazy stuff that goes on within the roller coaster that is our marriage. Enjoy the intimate portrait that is... us.

Pillow Talk

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Audrey's sick today

I had to call the school's special "absent line" to let them know. If you don't call by the time they take the roll, you get a scary call from the office saying that your child isn't there. I remember once getting a call on my cell on the way to Montreal with the family because I forgot. Oops.

Anyway, I called and left a rambling message in my best telephone voice on the middle school's voicemail. I used her full name and mine along with her homeroom number and teacher. Whew! In the old days of our tiny neighbourhood elementary school we knew all the teachers, staff and principal. Once Audrey got sick at school when I couldn't collect her and the janitor walked her home. Our cat Taz ran into the school one day and everyone knew he was Audrey's and got her to chase him out.

When it came to making a sick call back then, there was an actual person on the other end and the conversation went more like this:

Judy: .... Elementary School, Judy speaking.
Me: Hey Judy, it's Karen. Audrey's not feeling too good so I'm going to keep her home.
Judy: Sorry to hear that! Is it the flu?
Me: Naw, just a sniffle. I'm sure she'll be fine. Anything interesting happening today?
Judy: Just the usual. Jane (the principal) has an assembly to talk to the kids about keeping the yard litter free.
Me: Sounds fascinating
Judy: Yawn!
(we both break up laughing)
Judy: Well, take care of Audrey.
Me: I will. Have a great day.
Judy: You too. Bye!
Me: Bye!

I miss my little school.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The School Game

Yes, I know it's supposed to be wordless today but I think this one needs a little explanation. During Henry's toilet training, I guess he needed some moral support so he recruited Audrey to join him in the bathroom and they would play "school". She would be the teacher and he would learn things like the letters and numbers. It got so that when Henry had to go, he would call her away from whatever she was doing to play what they called "the school game".

No, they aren't doing this anymore. I think it's because Henry now stinks up the toilet like a man and no one can be in that toxic atmosphere with him anymore.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I hate the term "blogoversary"


Today it's necessary. HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY TO MEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Five years ago today I wrote this on MySpace. Not much of an auspicious start but it is what it is. In the five years since, I've painstakingly moved all my posts one by one over here to blogger. It took months. I worry because I have no hard copy of The Kaye Way. God forbid the internet should break and I lose 5 years of near-daily writing. Gone forever. I'm starting to look into printing and binding the posts in some form but I never seem to have time. Any  advice on how to do this quickly and cheaply would be greatly appreciated.

I started this blog because:

  • I wanted to write. In school you are instructed to write what you know. Apparently I know myself veeeery well. I still write every weekday morning and I've only missed less than a handful of postings when I couldn't get anywhere near a computer.
  • I'm an exhibitionist. Only we bloggers willingly take the acronym TMI to its highest degree. 
  • I wanted in on the blogging bandwagon. I'd heard of it and wanted to be in the loop.
  • I just love the process of writing. Sometimes I'll sit here for 5 minutes and come up with something I think is hilarious. Other times I'll work on an idea off and on in my head for weeks and it ends up being a steaming pantload. It's all part of the exercise. It can be work but more often it's a blast. And when you write as often as I do, naturally some blogs are going to be shitty and some are going to be great. Thank you for coming along for the ride, crap or classic.
I have to admit that I'm jealous of a lot of other bloggers. Some have only been blogging a year or less and suddenly get attention from media, tons of fame and interest. Sometimes they even get rich. How the heck does that happen? Are they that much better than me? I was on a family blog the other day and noticed she had thousands of followers! How the hell did she swing that? Is she that much funnier than I am? Was her blog that much more compelling than mine? It was enough to shake my confidence and that was the day last week when I was begging for people to click on the "follow" button . I know... pathetic.

I suppose I need to give myself a break and realize I don't write a blog that appeals to Hollywood types or book publishers. I'll never get famous from this or earn a book deal. I should just be happy with my merry little band of loyal readers and tell Hollywood and the media to suck it. So suck it!

Sincere thanks to all of you for sticking with me all these years. There are a few of you who've been with me since the very beginning over at MySpace. I'm thinking of Kathy, Chris, Michelle, Joanne, Lisa and my girls from the June '98 board. Did you notice that my husband isn't even here? He'd only start reading it if I got struck by lightning and suddenly started writing about aviation history. But he hears about it at parties. Usually one or 2 people read it and fill him in on the details.

Thank you for giving me confidence when I had little and encouragement when I needed a boost. I tried to write other blogs but this one is the jewel in the crown. The red sole of my Louboutins. Thank you for sticking around for so long everyone. Let's hang out together for a few more years. I'm up for it if you are...


Monday, January 17, 2011

In man-cold hell

Scott's home again. Please enjoy all the info I can find on this "phenomenon" while I tiptoe around the house quietly trying not to wake him up from one of numerous naps. While I (who's still not feeling 100%, incidentally) go about the business of running the house, working, cooking and cleaning. Sigh...

The Truth About Man Colds

Man Cold video (thanks Lisa)

How to treat the Man Cold


Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday

I was built to be a stay-at-home-mum. There's nothing I like better than starting dinner at 3pm and having fresh-baked bread or cookies on hand for when the kids start trooping in at 3:30. One of the reasons why I'm so over working is this episode right here. Come on lottery...


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good morning!

It's 11:09am and I'm feeling better than yesterday. I can breathe and stand for more than 15 minutes but only with the help of... let's see... Benelyn All-In-One, Otrivin and Buckleys. Quite the cocktail. Oh and tons of OJ and ginseng tea. You've got to do what you've got to do.

Scott stayed home from work again today, supposedly still suffering from his "man-cold". I asked him how he felt and he gave me puppy-dog eyes and moaned something about his cold having moved "behind his ears" and promptly went back to dozing on the couch. Poor injured lamb.

Hey look. There's a chickadee on my windowsill. Okay, you caught me. I have nothing interesting to share with you today. There's bound to be a few shitty blogs when you write one nearly every day.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I'm sick. I knew it around 11am when I was writing yesterday's blog. Just before I wrote that sneezing makes me happy, I had a jag of about 7 sneezes in a row. That's always the little red flag for me. Then about 2 hours later, my head was socked in. Good thing for me colds don't last long and aren't too bad except for a fuzzy head. Usually a day of sleep and an OJ IV do the trick.

I rarely get sick. I've never had the flu (insert frantic knocking on wood sounds here) and colds are few and far between. In fact, I can pinpoint the last cold I had. When reaching for the canister of my favourite sick girl honey lemon ginseng green tea, I noticed my name written on it in black marker. Why would I do that at home? Well, I didn't. I wrote it when I brought it to work 18 months ago when I had the sniffles at my receptionist job. See? Rarely sick. But that also tells me I should probably throw out that tea. Hm.

Elliott and Henry inherited this from me. They are never sick either. In fact, Elliott won an award at elementary school for perfect attendance. The entire 7 years he was at the school. I never even noticed until they called his name at the graduation ceremony. They've never had even an ear infection. Elliott did have an asthma attack that needed to be taken care of at the hospital and Henry did break his arm but no major fevers and no serious illnesses. (insert frantic knocking on wood sounds here)

Audrey and Scott are the sickies of the house. I'm not sure if Scott suffers from "man-cold" syndrome, though where every splinter turns gangrenous and every fever is typhoid, but he always seems to be under the weather. Audrey's system tends to blow all little ailments out of proportion so every time she gets sick, it turns into a physical catastrophe. Pills, prescriptions, inhalers, the works.

So anyway, I'm off work today nursing my cold. Of course as a mother I still had to be up at the crack of dawn to get the children breakfasted, ready and off to school with all needed signed papers and money for pizza day organized. Scott, on the other hand, noticed a "tickle" in his throat last night after work and at 8am is still blissfully sleeping. Nice for some. Between emptying the dishwasher and making dinner, I must make sure to make him a nice, soothing mug of my expired tea.

kxx (Audrey drew this "chibi" of me last night. I love the eyes)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Why am I so joyful, you ask? I just watched the last show on my PVR. There is nothing left in the queue. I know it sounds trivial but this never happens to me. It's amazing what makes me happy these days. Hey, I should write another blog about that:

What makes me happy (in no particular order):

  • Dr. Who (David Tennant)
  • Adam Savage from Mythbusters
  • the warm sun on my face
  • paddling
  • baking
  • sneezing
  • Star Trek (The Next Generation, please and thankyou)
  • Blogging and reading blogs
  • dressing up
  • being warm
  • my family
  • high heels
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • doughnuts
  • poutine
  • presents
  • warm rain
  • napping
  • tv
  • computers
Hey, I just looked at the previous list and a lot of the things are the same. I guess as much as I'd like to think I do, I don't change. Apparently I just become less funny.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Too shy

Oh my hell, I haven't seen this video in years. I'm in hysterics over the hair. All of their hair. And the clothes. Oh God. I grew up in this era, people. Not only was this the height of cool but I dressed like this too. Yikes. Moving on...

Today's lesson, boys and girls, is about shyness. How do shy people survive the world? So many times being a loudmouth has made things better. A long wait? Why not joke around and make friends with everyone around you to make the time go by quicker? At a party where you don't know anyone? Great! Victims who haven't heard about the time I took a nursing infant and toddler to a Violent Femmes concert.

I used to be tragically shy, if you can believe that.When I started grade 7, I had only one, single, friend Jackie. We did everything together. When she caught pneumonia and stayed home for 2 weeks, I was so terrified to be left alone that I ate lunch in a bathroom stall every day.

My English teacher Mrs. Beiner was the one who helped me. I don't know what put me on her radar but in her dual roles as English teacher and play director, she saw something. She gave me the tiny role of Miss Eliza Sellers in the play Oliver Twist without an audition. I was sick with fear and sure I'd be awful. And I may have been but something in me changed that night. I fell in love with theatre but more than that, I broke out of my shell. I was well on my way to becoming the self involved exhibitionist you see before you.

So every time I overshare or am outspoken or extroverted, you can blame Mrs. Marilyn Beiner. I blame thank her every time I introduce myself to someone new to keep from being bored.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Flashback Friday!

I was thinking about Mother's Day and thought I'd post a link to a nice one that I had a few years ago. The kids wrote me handmade cards and we all went to Pizza Hut for dinner. As much as I complain about my family I do it with love and only a little bit of irritation and this post proves it.

Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off today so I'm on my way to the grocery store and to run all the errands I can't do with a baby in tow. See you Monday!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Follower issues

Last week according to blogger, I had 70 followers. Then at the beginning of this week I had 69. Somebody left me. I didn't want to take it personally but how could I not? There are a few steps to unsubscribe and this person followed them all clicking through until we were broken up. I don't even know who the person was but they still succeeded in haunting me thoughts. What did I say or do to make them leave? Was I boring? Controversial? Rude? WHAT?? I have a pathetic, pathological need to be liked and this would have knocked me for six. I would have obsessed about it for ages. Picking mercilessly at the reasons why she/he left me like a crispy scab. 

But notice just then how I said would have?

Now in swoops my new best friend from Scotland, Yvone. We've never met but I love her dearly because she has helped me more than she knows. Within hours of the defector well, defecting, she unknowingly stepped up and joined my happy little band. Thus sparing me the navel-gazing and self-doubt that would have plagued me for weeks. Now all I have to do is try to forget that Yvone would have been follower number 71 had the deserter not well, deserted.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cool Beans (as Elliott says)

I submitted my blog to a roll of Ottawa blogs last year (okay, it was a couple of weeks ago but still counts as last year) and they added me yesterday (but they spelt it wrong. Hmph). It's pretty buried but I may get one or two new readers over here. So if you're new, welcome to my world. Put on your stretchy pants, make a cup of tea and settle in. I've got 5 years of blogs for you to catch up on. Take notes, there'll be a pop quiz. And it'll be tough. Sample question:

With what shade of lipstick did Scott profess his love to me on the bathroom mirror?

See? Impossible... but here's a hint: it was from February 2007.

So go to Ottawa Start and faff around their website. I feel a bit like a fraud since I rarely mention Ottawa or politics (this is the nation's capital after all) here or discuss anything even remotely serious or important. But I live here so there is that...


Monday, January 3, 2011

Stolen New Year's survey

Here's a way to sum up the previous year and let any newbies get to know me a little for the new year. The hard part will be trying to remember 2010 without cheating...

What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
I got offered a job I didn't take and kayaked for the first time. I also travelled to Europe with my family and became and officiant so I could marry my brother and his fiancée. Awesome!

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make new ones?
I stopped making resolutions years ago. They're always the same... "lose weight" and "be nice". I may start nagging the kids more. I'm becoming known as "that mum". You know the one who lets their kids go days without showering or combing their hair and has all their friends over here hoovering the contents of my fridge.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
My bestest friend Kathy in London gave birth to my godson in June. Just when I thought that most of my friends and I would be starting a course of angina medicine.

Did anyone close to you die?
We lost my husband's aunt Audrey. She was as close to a grandmother my kids had and we loved her so much we named our only daughter after her. I still feel sad about that.

What countries did you visit?
So so lucky last year! We went to England and Brussels and had a few hours layover in Germany.

What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Besides a flat stomach, smaller feet and independent wealth? Nothing. Wow. So this is what it feels like to be fulfilled...

What dates from 2010 will remain etched in your mind?
Besides my birthday? No particular dates... just events.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well, not counting my restraint in not pushing my 14 year old son down a flight of stairs, I'm most proud of running every weekday since August 2nd. Not once did I miss a day.

What was your biggest failure?
Totally drawing a blank. But that's good, right?

Did you suffer illness or injury?
*frantically knocking on wood* No, not even a cold as I recall...

What was the best thing you bought?
Two words: Christian Louboutin.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
That's a toughie. Everyone in my life was pretty well behaved except...

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Elliott. Not so much appalled but I was pretty sad all summer and fall because of him. I skipped a lot of meals and shirked a lot of duties... Things are waaaay better now.

Where did most of your money go?
Two words: Christian Louboutin.

What did you really get excited about?
There's nothing like packing for a trip abroad. All the promise, all the anticipation, all the shoes...

What song will always remind you of 2010?
"Fuck You" by Cee Lo. That song and that album (Ladykiller) were my all-time favourite of the year.

Compared to this time last year are you:
-happier or sadder? Just about the same level of happiness. I'm rarely sad but I often get um... indifferent?
-thinner or fatter? I'm lighter but thin is NOT a word I'd use to describe myself.
-richer or poorer? This close to Christmas? Poorer.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
The answer will always be paddling.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
I wish I'd done less tv watching? Less surfing? Less blogging? Less smart-assery? Yeah.

How did you spend Christmas?
At home with the family then out for a nice dinner made by my niece and in-laws. We were so touched to be invited to share the holiday with them.

Did you fall in love in 2010?
Two words: Christian Louboutin

What was your favourite tv program?
Where do I start? I love everything. My most favourite are Coronation Street, The Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance, Hell's Kitchen, Glee, Modern Family, 30 Rock, Community... SEE?

Do you hate anyone you didn't this time last year?
I don't hate. It wastes too much energy.

What was the best book you read?
Read? An actual book? Um. Well, this is embarrassing. I bought "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and read a third of it. That book made me want to read the original so I quit reading that one and started "Pride and Prejudice" again. Got halfway through that then life got in the way. So best book? Um... People Magazine.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mumford and Sons. If you'd have told me this time last year that one of my favourite bands would feature a banjo, I'd have told you to go easy on the bong water.

What did you want and get?
Two words: Christian Louboutin.

What did you want and not get?
That flat stomach.

What was your favourite film of this year?
There were so many good ones but Easy A really stands out. It was brainless fun.

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
This year I celebrated with my best friend Christian Louboutin and he helped me usher in my 43rd year.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A big lottery win.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
I wore more heels. Last year I dressed to satisfy myself and didn't care what everyone else was wearing.

What kept you sane?
Baking. Scott and lots and lots of baking.

What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have such a crush on Neil Patrick Harris, it's not funny. And now he's had twins and I'm still waiting on those photos, dude.

Who do you miss?
The answer will always be my mum.

What political issue stirred you the most?
I'm so not into politics.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
To remember as the mother of a teen, that I can't murder him so I need to take things more in stride. Just roll with the punches more and lean on Scott as needed. In June I'll have 2 teens in the house so I'd better learn some deep breathing techniques and have a prescription for Xanax standing by.