Friday, June 29, 2012

I visited Van Gogh yesterday

Yesterday was a rarity. The kids were at school and Scott's out of town so I was alone on a beautiful day. It'll probably never happen like that again this summer so I decided to go to the Van Gogh exhibit downtown. He's my favourite artist and I was planning to go at some point this summer. But if I went without the kids, I wouldn't have to drag anyone who didn't really want to go, I could linger over every single painting and read the text beside each one and I'd have no one rushing me through. Plus I wouldn't have to buy anything from the gift shop just to shut them up or spend a fortune at the museum cafĂ©. Yup, it'd be perfect.

I put on a dress (yes I did) and got there just after 11. I paid my admission and even sprung for an audioguide. Why not? After the initial overwhelm I feel when I see paintings by my favourite artists (tears, goosebumps, the whole nine), I settled in and enjoyed the whole thing. The irises, haystacks and butterflies were all in fine form. I only got in trouble once for snapping a photo. When the security guard came rushing up to me I thought he was going to say something about a flash (which I hadn't planned to use, d'uh, I didn't grow up in a barn) but it turned out no photos of any kind. Heh. I should have realized I didn't see anyone else taking pictures.

After the exhibit I actually did buy something. A 4 dollar fridge magnet of a Van Gogh painting used as a plot point on a Doctor Who episode. On an unrelated note, I love my kids. They recognised it right away.

After spending 2 hours at the gallery, I was hungry. I thought of going home but realised that if I did I'd be stuck having a yucky old sandwich and a glass of orange juice. Not too exciting a way to cap off such a lovely day. Since I was already downtown and the day was so gorgeous I decided to sit out on a pub patio. When the waitress asked if I was waiting for anyone, I said (probably a little too loudly) "Nope, it's just me". Then I situated myself in a perfect people watching spot (in fact I took a table for 6 all for myself... the server said I could sit anywhere) and ordered a Strongbow and a French onion soup. The soup was meh but the cider was cold and delicious. I thought I'd feel a little weird eating and drinking on my own and even pretended to send texts but then thought "what the heck" and just took everything in with a contented smile on my face and my feet on a chair. Definitely one of those "life is good" moments. I suggest that everyone try this at some point this summer. You may find that you are pretty good company.

So that was my yesterday. Today I had planned to take the kids to the beach but they all have their own ideas as to what to do today. None of them include me as it happens. So it looks like I'll be beating the heat by staying in air conditioned "comfort" (I find it chilling, actually) and doing laundry. Woo. Stop the world I want to get off.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

At 2:01 today I was spying on Elliott

He was doing the neighbour a solid by mowing his lawn. He's the little tiny figure in blue.

I have to say here that we only had to mention once that he'd promised to do it today. Elliott and I went for a walk (a baffling time where he explained shows, books and music he liked while I pretended to understand what the heck he was talking about) and when we got back he went straight over and did it. In fact the reason I was outside was that I had been looking for him everywhere. And there he was. Doing exactly what he said he'd do. Good boy...


Monday, June 25, 2012

Where do I begin to describe the chaos that has been my week?

Let's see? The high school exam schedule? The drama of a middle-school field trip to Montreal? The endless practices for our dragonboat festival? Said festival? The squirrel in my spare room? Father's Day? Audrey's birthday? The last day of work for the summer? My new-found gum disease? My work staff party? I'm serious, folks... I've been so snowed under that it's a wonder I remember to shower every morning.

Let's take it one at a time. I won't dwell on any one thing but if you want deets, ask for them in the comments and I'll spill.

The high school exam schedule
Elliott's exams have started. He seemed pretty laid back about them as he was "studying" (textbook on lap, ipod blasting noise, laptop on the coffee table with an idiotic game running... hey, at least the book was open). I asked when he was due to write it. He hemmed and hawed then texted a friend. Turned out he's supposed to sit it in 30 minutes. Sigh.

The drama of a middle-school field trip to Montreal
Audrey was due home at 9pm from an all day excursion to "study the physics of roller coasters" at La Ronde, a 2 hour drive from here. At 10pm she still hadn't arrived. "Oh well", I thought, "the bus is late". Ten minutes later I got a knock on my door from the mum of Audrey's best friend who is completely freaking out. Where are the girls!? She was so upset. Uh oh. Should I be panicking too? Am I a horrible mother because I'm not? Do I not love my Diva like she loves her daughter? Turned out the bus driver had dropped off a bunch of kids at the wrong place after an exhausting day. If I was the driver I'd have driven into the wall of the Decarie expressway, having lost my mind driving that grade 8 class around. There would have been every reason to panic then, that's for sure.

The endless practices for our dragonboat festival
We had 3 a week to gear up for the festivities. One hour a day, paddling our backs and hearts out. Seriously. One of my teammates got diagnosed with an enlarged heart and had to bow out for the season so I know of what I speak.

Said festival
After 2 races Saturday and 3 on Sunday, The ORCC Dunrobin Dames came in 7th in our 200m race, 5th in our 500m race and 54th overall out of 201 boats. I spent the whole day at the site, in the sun (except for that last race, eh ladies?), bonding with my team. It was so amazing. If you're not a member of a team, I suggest you find something to do with one. It's one of the most satisfying experiences you could imagine.

The squirrel in my spare room
I saw a squirrel in my fireplace while I was getting ready for the festival yesterday. Just before I left I stopped hearing it scrabbling around and thought it went back up the chimney. I left for the day without telling anyone. To give me credit, everyone was sleeping as it was 7am on a Sunday morning. At around 10am I called home to update the family on our times and they told me they found a squirrel in the spare room. Heh. Just the idea of them trying to chase it out of the house makes me laugh.

Father's Day
He got a Kindle and lots of kudos for being a good dad.

Audrey's birthday
Same day as Father's Day. She had 4 friends over and they slept outside in a tent. They giggled until at least 2am when I had to yell at them to shut the eff up. They ate more pizza, chips, pop and candy than 14 year old girls had a right to eat.

The last day of work for the summer
What an amazing preschool. The kids were so full of hugs and love the the parents were so generous and kind that I will actually miss working this summer. Mostly. It was a very emotional day, saying goodbye to my kids and co-workers, some for the summer, some for longer than that. Good thing we had wine.

My new-found gum disease
I've got gum disease. I don't want to discuss it except to say that the periodontist promised she wouldn't pull all my teeth out. Plus she said I could have a Valium before she gave me the needle in my gums. Good thing because if she came at me with that thing I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't leave a Karen-shaped hole in her office door trying to get out of there.

My work staff party
Such an amazing banquet! We had a multi-course meal and each was so large that once the main course came I couldn't touch it. Thankfully I got to take it home and I ate it for lunch for the next 2 days. My boss is so generous that we all got a certificate of appreciation that was personalized to each teacher (I was the Sunshine Girl which meant that I'm perpetually cheerful and not that I look good in a bathing suit). We also got gorgeous hand-stamped necklace with the words "respect", "compassion" and "friendship" on it along with our initials. So sweet. I love this job.

So that's what's up with me. You?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

@ 2:01 Today I Was...

Listening to Stephen King's "It" on my iPod. No joke folks, this book is scaring the crap out of me. I originally read it in the '80s and I swear it's freaking me out just as much now as it did then. Honestly, I can't listen to it after dark.

At work I had my earphones in, listening to it while cleaning a storage closet. Someone walked in and I nearly shit my pants, no word of a lie. Good thing it's a preschool and there are lots of diaper wipes handy.

Also, I LOVE the reader. As an audiobook connoisseur, I've learned that he/she can make or break a book. I've stopped great books mid-sentence because the reader stunk and I've stuck it out through crappy books because the reader was full of personality. I think actors do the best job and this reader is no exception. Remember the tv show Wings? It's Steven Weber who played one of the brothers. He is the best readers I've heard since Wil Wheaton read "Ready Player One" to me. Good thing because this book is looooong!

So anyway, that's what I was doing at 2:01 today.

kxx (by the way, the photo is of my iPod speaker)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I lost my cell phone

Thank goodness it's a stupid phone and not one of those cool smartphone. Because of that I was really in no hurry to get it back. It literally only has phone numbers in it and a handful of terrible (and I mean terrible) photos in it.

Anyway, Audrey and I had gone to Dairy Queen, I phoned home to tell Scott our ETA and left it on the table. I hadn't even noticed it was gone until I got a phone call from it that evening.

The little girl was very sweet, she assured me that it'd be there waiting for me when I was ready to pick it up. The next afternoon I went in and got it (resisting another Blizzard), thanking the boy behind the counter.

When I got home, I checked it out, intending to see if there were any calls made to Singapore or Mumbai. I turned it on and proceeded to laugh my butt off. The staff had taken a photo of themselves and even changed the caption on the bottom to read "Gotta love DQ". How fantastic!

I called them back to thank them again for delivering it to me safely, even though I think it was safe more because it was modern stone age tech. I also told them that I'm not deleting that photo for the time being because it tickled me so much.

So if you are in the mood for a cool treat, I suggest you go to Dairy Queen. The staff is young and kind and have a sense of humour which is way above and beyond the call of duty for a rinky dink minimum wage summer job employee.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just a quick heads-up

Unfortunately I have had to add word verification to my comment area for the time being. Every time I get a comment, I get an email and if I get one more about Viagra, extending my penis or links to see hot movie star sex tapes, I'm going to flip out.

Sorry for the inconvenience but it'll only be for a little while. Promise. That said, I so rarely get comments that most of you will never notice...


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I admit it.

Yep, when the 2:01 alarm went off, the damned thing scared the crap out of me and woke me up.

Look, I'm nearly 45 and my preschool went to a very energetic concert this morning. Plus later I have to make a healthy dinner before I rush out to dragonboat practice for an hour. So I refuse to feel guilty. Kinda.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

At 2:01 today I was...

Admiring my newest purchase. As you can see I found the namesake item to my blog!

When I was trying to come up with a name for this place, I wanted something different from "Karenworld" which was my blog's name over at MySpace. I wanted a fun vibe but also something that reflected my name and the fact that I can be errr.... persnickety. "The Kaye Way" hit it on every point.

Problem was that no one knew what a K-Way was so no one got the clever wordplay. Kids today. No sense of history. Anyway, while cutting through The Bay yesterday, I noticed them on sale again. I thought they were discontinued! I was so excited. I grabbed one and headed to the cash where I ended up paying 150% more than the first one I ever bought. How times have changed!

That said, I love it. Who doesn't need a really lightweight, waterproof, hooded jacket that folds into its own pocket? Not me, apparently!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Randoms about the Spartan

This is the end of it I promise!

- I didn't realize how much I kneel, crouch, lean and rest on my elbows in one day. Everything hurts

- is it possible to have sorer muscles the second day? I swear I can barely move. I had to have Henry help me off the couch after dinner

- along with walking a marathon, completing a mini triathlon, running my first 5K and the dragonboat world championship in Toronto last year, finishing this race standing and bleeding and muddy and happy was one of my proudest moments ever

- you had to do 20 burpees (they called them dirty burpees for obvious reasons) at each obstacle you couldn't complete. I only had to do them three times. Once at a 10 foot wooden climbing wall (the bottom footholds had come off), once because I had one shot to hit a giant hay man with a spear and missed, and once because I couldn't get to the top of a mud smoothed rope. There were absolutely no knots, people. I did those burpees with no regrets

- I have quite a few scrapes, scratches and bumps. The worst is a bruise I got on my butt that's about the size of a tennis ball. It looked pretty bad yesterday and it looks completely awful right now

- on a regular day, on pavement, I can run 5K in about 34 minutes. Not that good, but not horrible. I was able to do this 5K "race" in 1:39:44. Honestly, it felt like 3 and a half hours. Oh, and I came in 2978th out of 3012. Woohoo, not last!

- now will somebody please help me out of the computer chair?


Sunday, June 3, 2012


Okay, not really. This is what happened:

- I can't sit down. During the race, after I splatted on my butt, I may have yelled to God and everyone that "I think I friggin' cracked my ass in half!!" but I may have been suffering from adrenaline poisoning
- I got 4 knee bruises, 2 cut open and requiring band-aids. Also, 2 scuffed elbows and 1 scraped knuckle. From the barbed wire. Never thought I'd ever say that
- I made 2 new friends (girls 15 & 16 that I met at the start line, old enough to be my kids)
- I had 1 wardrobe malfunction where everyone at the bottom of the first rope ladder obstacle could see my um... lady business as I struggled my leg over the top
- So. Much. Mud. It was the sucking kind that eats your shoes. Just ask "One-Shoe Ryan"
- Such a feeling of satisfaction! At the very end there was a tall triangle shaped obstacle. You had to pull yourself up one plasticised side to the top using a thick rope, swing yourself over the top and use another rope to get down. Seriously, it didn't look too hard. Ha! The first time I got to the top with pretty good momentum but lost it at the top wondering how I was going to swing over. I started second guessing and ended up sliding  back down to the bottom. Embarrassing. Since it was at the end, There was a crowd watching. Yikes.

I took another run at it and by this time some people have noticed me struggling. I can hear them calling out to me. I get to the top and I freeze again. A huge dude behind me is helping me by letting me use his fist to stand on while I'm trying my best get my huge, muddy exhausted leg over the top. I finally turn to him and say "Thank you so much, but I can't... I just can't do it!" He takes the rope beside me and gazelles up and around me. Bastard. Meanwhile I'm still holding on with all my might but I know that from my angle there's no where to go but down. And that hurts too by the way because I have to hold the rope tight as I humiliatingly slide to the bottom. Again. Eff. On top of that I hear the crowd's sympathetic "AWWWWW.....".

When I get down, My two favourite people in the world, Chelsea and Caitlyn are waiting for me. For girls that are so young, they were so supportive to an old lady and a complete stranger. They were calling me "Mama" by the end. So great. We had waited for each other at the challenges, we ran together through the muck and boosted each other up ropes and towers in the most intimate of places. Hee. I was so very happy to have met them. 

Anyway, they were waiting for me at the bottom, encouraging me to try again and giving me tips. Chelsea even offered to do it again and wait at the top so I can grab her hand to yank myself over. I hope their mothers read this and see what kind young women they are. So armed with my advice I struggle to the top where Chelsea is waiting. I grab her arm and haul my exhausted, muddy, cold, wet carcass over that last damned obstacle. I cried at the bottom telling my new best friends that I loved them. Race over. Until next year, that is. My ass, knees, elbows and arms feel like they're on fire but I'll never let another one of these races go by ever again. The tagline is: "You'll Know At The Finish Line" and you totally do.

I took a shower as soon as I got home. Three rinses and the foam was still brown from the mud. When I got out I moved one of my rings and mud oozed out. And I don't even want to talk about my clothes. They're in the washer right now but I'm afraid to check on them.

So that's my story. This blog is long enough and I so want to ice my butt. Hee. Signing off tired but happy,