Saturday, November 15, 2008
But I knew better. Those days were the early days of our romance. The days when "staying in" meant, well, you know...wink, wink, nudge, nudge... And I knew no playstation could ever come between me and my man.
That man is now my husband. And after many nights of, ahem, staying in, we have three children. Which of course gives the term a whole new meaning. Now "staying in" means staying home, catching up with our beloved pvr, going to bed early, or all of the above. Or at least it did...
Until last week.
Last week was my beloved's birthday once again. And I revisited the idea of the gadget gift. No more sweaters, bags, or, erm....sweaters. I was going for fun this time. We were ipodded-out and the PS2 was looking a little sad in its new role as basement dvd player. So I went for it... and bought my man a Nintendo Wii.
Well, my old pal was right. I have created a monster.....ME!
I'm completely obsessed. My man is too, don't get me wrong. In fact, we now spend our evenings on a World Tour. RockBand, that is. He's drums, I'm guitar and we vie for the mic now and then. To get to the songs you love (and know!) you need to get past various levels. It makes it difficult, or some addicts may say, impossible, to leave the band hanging without reaching just one. more. level. And while you're at it, you learn to love songs you never in a million years thought you could even stand. Bon Jovi - where have you been all my life?!
But it's not just about Rock Band. My five-year old son has a thing for the bowling. And the air hockey. My 3-year old likes to watch the tennis. And my 5 month old likes nothing more than to lie on his playmat, rolling around to the sounds of gunfire.
Yes, gunfire. Loathe as I to admit it, I'm hooked on the shooting game. It starts with balloons, followed by targets, skeet/clay pigeon thingies, and cans. Finally, it ends with a group of characters running around a field being abducted by aliens - which you have to shoot down. And I can't get enough of it. My oldest and I played for over an hour yesterday. Me, the mother who resisted buying water guns, is now channeling my inner Sarah Palin and going hunting with my child. Sick!
But oh so much fun! And I've barely broken the surface of the world of Wii!
The prime demographic for videogames is male, aged 13-25. But not anymore. Teenage boys, move over for Mama. There's a new gamer in town and she's looking for action!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
But if you're still interested, read on. If not, a bientot....
Now, where was I? Aaaah yes. The trials and tribulations of parenting. The love. The joy. The pain....in the ass. It ain't easy so I take any help I can get. And then I discard what I don't need. Or want. I've read loads of books, been to a handful of courses. Some last several weeks, others a few hours. I pick 'n mix and hope against hope that something someone said somewhere will stick by the time I get home. And that I'll remember what it was and whether it worked. "Siblings Without Rivalry" is an awesome book. Ditto "How to Tame your Spirited Child". Alyson.ca is good news. And Sarah Chana Radcliffe's not bad.
And then there's Babs. (Can I call her Babs?). Talk about a maven!!! Parent. Teacher. Author. Genocide expert. Ex-nun. Comedian.
OK, she's not officially a comedian but she's hilarious so I'm taking liberties. It's my blog.
Last night was different. Different from the other gurus. Different than all other nights. Free coffee and two-bite brownies aside, it was amazing. It was Barbara Coloroso talking about everything from bullying to Rwanda to sibling rivalry. She was smart. She was funny. She was inspiring. I'm not one to prosthelytize - well, perhaps I am (Magic Bullet...American Idol...Piller's Turkey Bites... oops did I really admit that? Moving on...) - but she was brilliant. I left her lecture feeling moved, energized, and confident. And tempted to shanghai her back to my house to hang out with me 'n mine for a week or three.
But since that's illegal, and undoubtedly expensive, I shall humbly attempt to paraphrase some of her better thoughts. Yes, I took notes. And it's a good thing too. I've been asked to pass them on. Yes, the people have asked. And while there are no perfect answers, there are some damn good tips to help find them...
* Tattling vs. Telling...Tattling gets somebody INTO trouble. Telling gets someone OUT OF trouble. When in doubt, discuss.
*Bribes and Rewards are THE SAME THING. We've become a nation of gold-star earners. Doing The Right Thing shouldn't be something that you get paid for. It's something you just DO. It feels good because it is good. And that's reward enough.
*Natural consequences: if it's not life-threatening, or moral threatening, let it happen.
*Discipline. Don't punish. Punishment doesn't work - it sends 'em underground. Discipline is learning.
*Think in terms of US, OURS & ENOUGH....rather than me, mine and more.
*Teach your children HOW to think, not WHAT to think.
* Save the "no" for when you really mean it. Alternatives include "later", "let me think about it/give me a minute" and (my fave) "convince me". There is a time for "no" - used sparingly it'll actually mean something. "No." It's a complete sentence.
*Don't tell your kids what they already know.
*Mistakes happen. Own it, fix it, learn from it. And move on. Give your kids ways to problem solve while leaving their dignity in tact. And it doesn't have to hurt.
*1,2,3...timeout. Doesn't work. However, time out to fix a problem does, whether in a rocker, a room, or a lap. The goal is to calm everyone down and to let your child figure out a solution. Or to teach them how to fix what needs fixing.
*Teasing vs. Taunting: Teasing is two-sided, between friends, and gets both people laughing. Taunting is one-sided, laughing AT someone.
*"I'm sorry" doesn't make something right. Instead, try fixing it and making sure it doesn't happen again. Heal with the person you've hurt.
* Discpline doesn't work for the under-3 crowd. Instead try one of her 3 D's: Distract. Disorient. Disengage.
* Mean what you say and say what you mean.
* Conflict is inevitable. Don't punish. Don't rescue. Most of the time kids can sort stuff out on their own. And when they can't, step in as a backbone, not an enforcer. Or enabler.
* Helping out is not a job. Chores are not paid for. Money is for saving, spending, or giving to others. Not for being a responsible citizen of a household.
* You can't control someone else's will.
There. I don't need to write all this out 99 more times to make it stay in my head....Do I?! I was hoping just this once would get it to stick. Maybe it will. And maybe it won't. But here's hoping.
Good luck fellow freaks.....
Thursday, October 30, 2008
"Look at your cute clogs...I remember when you only wore high heels, were dressed to the nines, and had your hair cut 'n coloured by that rip-off guy....Now you're all comfy and relaxed...."
How would you interpret this?
a) that you're fabulous and chilled; mellowed with age.
b) that the person speaking has a secret ladies' shoe fetish
c) that you've let yourself go
If you said anything other than (c) you're a moron. Or a man. Same same sometimes. "Comfy"? Tere's not a whole lot worse you could call a person, without being straight-out rude! Fact is, lululemon is the best - and worst - thing to happen to a girl since the invention of lycra.
Lulus, and all their knock-off compatriots, have definitely helped the humble sweat pant grow in leaps and bounds. (Excuse the phys ed refs.) But when once they were seen as a somewhat chic way of dressing shlubby (in my mind that is) they've now become the ubiquitous uniform for stay at home moms, exercise fanatics, and those of us who need to shed a few.
In other words, they're the new Fat Pants.
They're black. They're flattering. They suck you in in all the right spots. We all wonder how we lived without them...And yet...they let the world know you're got nothing to wear, something to hide, or both. Outside of the gym, that is. I have one friend who refuses to wear her yoga pants after 12 noon. Another who will only wear them once she's inside the actual gym. And then there's me, who (until the clog/relaxed/what happened comment) refused to wear anything but!
Erm, "butt" being the operative word here.
Having a four-month old baby should be excuse enough for kicking back a la lemonata. And yet, it's not. With my other kids I always knew another pregnancy was on the cards, so never really invested. Sure, I joined a gym (or two) but rarely went. And of course I'm a Weight Watcher lifer. I always got back down to the starting line, give or take 5 lbs. But this time, it's done. No more babies to be born from this body. It's time to get back on the horse. The clothes horse that is.
But with an unforgiving, post-partum, 3-baby body it's easier said than done. Hence the yoga pants. And now it seems they're no longer an option. Or are they? Sure I remember the days of yore: not necessarily skinny, but definitely stylish. I was the chick who was dressed and blown dry on Sundays. In my apartment. And now? Jeans are my fancy pants. What happened? Have I let myself go? Is the most stylish thing about me my beloved iphone?
It is pretty stylish...
But I digress. Someone suggested I don't care as much now about how I look.
I straighten my hair for god's sake. I may colour it myself now, but I still straighten. With products. So I must care. Right?
Let's set the record straight.
Or anywhere exciting. It's a short drive from my home to my kids' schools. Throw in a couple of detours for food 'n sundries and I'm done. For that I should dress up? How? Back in the day when I did get styley, I was also getting paid. Most of my money went towards feeding my shopping habit. Nowadays, my money isn't really mine. It's "ours". (Well, actually...my money is mine, his money is ours... but I don't really have any...And that's another story...) Either way, it's spoken for.
But not anymore. I'm turning over a new leaf. Or reverting back to an old one. I'm packing up my yoga pants. Putting away my sensible shoes (albeit high-heeled ones). All dressed up with no place to go? That'll be me. Suited and booted and rarin' to go. Nowhere. But in style.
At least for this week......
Monday, September 15, 2008
The Palm Pilot is dead.
Long live... the iPhone!
That's right kids. I went for the beauty along with the brains. And now, I am a woman in love. Completely and utterly besotted. With my new device, the new and improved iphone 3G. At last, after years of watching my man develop crackberry thumb, I have a syndrome of my own - iphone finger. And I couldn't be happier.
Aaaah iphone. It's a phone. It's a walkman....I mean, ipod. It's a filofax. It's on-line shopping.
It's a bloody computer and it's fanf&ckingtastic.
I know it's not perfect, of course. But I'm deeply entrenched in those early days of the love affair - where everything's perfect. Or as close as it gets. Apparently these babies break down. Erm, ever hear of "reset"? And they've been known to re-send the same email. Over and over and over again. But I say, look on the bright side - it can make the recipient feel ever-so-popular. And don't even get me started on all the apps! No, really. Don't. Because I'm not quite sure what apps are, how they work or why I need 'em.
All's I know is I scream you scream we all scream for.... iPhone. Ok so I'm appropriating a slogan inappropriately. I can't help it. I'm positively giddy about the whole thing.
And it's not just me. I swear. Fellow iphoners are equally obsessed. We're like those loser Jeep drivers who cruise the streets, honking other loser Jeep drivers. Remember those? When I see another person playing....er, working, on an iphone, I feel the need to discuss. And they do too!How fab it is. Which cool shortcuts we've learned. Which apps we've downloaded. (Or not, in my case. But I play along).
The crackberry mob is quick to naysay: it's hard to type (not once you've practised); it breaks down (it does?); it's not good for business (huh? what business?)...The list goes on, as they check out the iphone. Many of them have opted for the itouch - iphone sans phone. But I like one-stop-shopness of it all.
I checked out the Blackberry. Curve, Pearl and Bold. I really did. I couldn't type on it, could barely see the screen and thought it was clunky. In other words, I hadn't been converted yet. I figured if I had to start fresh, I may as well go for the hot young creative over the staid, ubiquitous business sort. Artistic temperment, and cheesy metaphors, be damned.And best of all, unlike the other creative types I've known, with one touch of a button, I can turn my iphone off!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
As many of you know, I lost a trusted friend yesterday: my Handspring Visor. Though referred to it as a Palm Pilot, it was actually an offshoot. The unrecognized bastard child of the Palm's creators. Born sometime in the late '90's to compete with the Palm, the Visor was supposed to be The Hot New Thing: a PDA (or, as it was once known - the electronic organizer) that could turn into (gasp!) a phone! Or even (gasp!) a camera! No, no it wasn't merely another palm device - this was the be-all-end-all in devices. This was gonna blow the old Palm Pilots out of the water.
Or so I was told. And I bought it - the device, the hype, the whole nine yards.
Many moons ago I went on the search to simplify. Being au courant, I figured I'd ditch my beloved filofax and go electric. Afterall, my Filo was getting so heavy and I yet couldn't bare to edit or (god forbid) tear out old pages. Just in case. Also, it was fun flipping through the calendar and reminiscing. It was a good-looking book too, way nicer than my original rubber one. This one was leather, from that store Bree. Remember that place? Another relic where everything - everything - was light beige leather. The idea being that you'd have their wares forever - bags, suitcases, erm...filofaxes. And the longer you owned it, the more worn and tanned the leather got. It was stunning. At the time.
But practicality prevailed and I ditched it for a Psion. Remember those? The little keyboards that could? It was love at first sight. Until I got sick of it. I figured after several years it was time to upgrade. And thus the search began. First I checked out the old Blackberry - mostly because I liked the name. I friend of mine had one and it looked like a pager. And he was all thumbs. Why would I want that? Besides, I really just wanted an organizer.
So the Visor won. And I lost. Everything. All because I neglected to back it up.
Gone, 10 years of good times and bad. Adios friends, neighbours and services. The only folks who are keepers are the ones whose emails I happen to have. I suppose those are the only folks worth keeping anyway, and yet.....I liked having the numbers of restaurants, florists and my local GP from London. So what if I'll never use any of 'em? Or if some have closed down? I could still go through, and reminiscent about my old life. Ditto having the address and phone number of my old boss, a hot shot film director who, tho' we worked together for 5 years, I haven't heard from in nearly ten. Still, it was nice to have, even if he never answered the last out-of-the-blue Christmas card I sent. Old boyfriends, old hairdressers, old haunts....see you never.
Many of you thought it hilarious that someone who thinks she's so hip 'n happening would be caught dead with something as passe compose as a palm pilot. It is, after all the '00's. Call me old fashioned, but I loved that quaint ole thang. 'Til it lost my life. Now I'm over it.
Out with the old and in with the new.
But new who? Do I join the other addicts and go crackberry? Apparently Blackberry's new Bold is gonna be all the rage. Or do I go for the lifestyle and looks of Apple? And if so, i-touch or i-phone? I've consulted with some of my pals, boys who like toys and they seem to like both. Sadly, that's not an option. Not in these unemployed days. But what to buy? And what to do in the meantime? The Apples may not be as practical, but they're attractive, cute, hot. And the Blackberry? Well, it's just...not. Tho' I've no doubt I'd learn to love it. Especially the whole v-card thing....
The Bold or the Beautiful? Or back to paper? It's a big decision. And I can't even call my advisors....I've lost their information....
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Stop me if you've heard this one before. You probably have. It's the one about the pregnant woman? The fat one, who looked like shit and was huuuuuuge....
Sisters, you wouldn't BELIEVE the things you hear when you're knocked up.
Too big, too small, too fat, too tall. OK, not really too tall. Although "you're wearing those shoes" seems to be acceptable. It's not. Neither is "are you having twins?" Or "your face has changed". Or "you're carrying in the back"....
"I liked your hair longer" is never OK. Pregnant or otherwise.
And then there's the age-old question: "do you know what you're having?"
I'm guilty of it myself. Sometimes I ask out of genuine curiosity. Or for lack of something else to say. Either way, when asked myself, I couldn't believe some of the comments. Especially for this last pregnancy. When I knew what I was having. But didn't tell. It's kinda funny when someone asks and you know but they don't know you know. And then they get all cocky 'cuz they think they know. But they're wrong. And it's a fun kind of smugness. Y'know?
Girls don't steal your beauty. Or make you puke more. And boys don't make you hairier. Or give you heartburn. Some of 'em do. Some of 'em don't. It's all one big crapshoot.
When you have two boys like me, people assume you're going for girl. And you know what they say about ass-uming, right? I heard it all. And knowing what I had and what I was having, I can tell you people can be downright offensive!
No we did not try for a girl - we tried for a baby. We didn't think pretty thoughts. No specific timing or tricks were involved. It's easy to theorize about gender. But you get what you get. And we counted ourselves lucky with our boys. A girl would be great. But so would another boy. I had one stranger tell me it'd be nice to have a girl, "for when you're old". Huh? Talk about pressure on that poor daughter. Besides, who needs to have a daughter for when you get old? You can hire someone else's daughter to wipe your geriatric ass!
The Boy People don't like girls. They like to tell you mean things about their own daughters. That they're moody. Or bitches. Or cost a fortune. I heard one freak-show tell me her daughter was hormonal. At 2?? There aren't too many of these types around -which is a good thing, because they're rather off-putting.
Chinese horoscopes, ring on a string, mathematical calculations...It all means nothing. Only one thing does: H-E-A-L-T-H-Y B-A-B-Y
So please kids, next time you see that pregnant lady, offer her your seat. Carry her bags. Bring her a sandwich. By all means, ask her what she's having....but leave it at that. No stats, no verbal makeovers, no presumptions. And never, ever, EVER play the name game. Admit to nothing. You like 'em all. Congratulations are welcome. As are good wishes. May the labour be quick. And the weight loss be quicker. Leave it at that.
As a wise sage once said: Smile 'n wave, boys; smile and wave.
Monday, June 23, 2008
School's out, the livin' is easy, and it's complaining time (see: outside your window all afternoon if you're local ). Too hot. Not hot. Road works. Traffic. Smog. Air con. And the list goes on. To go away or stay put isn't the question but rather, can you afford it? And do you need to? Or should you just wait for winter?
TV of course is a non-issue - nothing's on. I don't know about the rest of you but, soundtrack aside, Swingtown ain't doin' it for me. Movies are a crap-shoot: ie. most are crap. Unless you're in the 13-19 boy demo. And I am not. Before y'all get up in arms, I know there are exceptions, but the traditional summer blockbuster usually sucks. Unless you're in cottage country or at a drive-in, in which case it matters not what you see - only that you're seeing something at all.
Which is why every mag, paper and website puts out its annual summer reading list. And MOAM is no exception (erm...except that it's not annual...)
And so, without further ado, I bring you the Mother of All Mavens All-Season Book Club: reviews short 'n sweet of some books that deserve it. (In no particular order)
THEN WE CAME TO THE END by Joshua Ferris. This book is hi-larious. Especially if you've ever worked in an office - and who hasn't at one point or another? It's not the most brilliantly plotted novel, but it's one of the most brilliantly observed. You'll laugh out loud. A lot. The it's-true-it's-funny-cuz-it's-true laughs. Are there any better kind?
THE EVERY BOY by Dana Shapiro. Author is a film guy so no suprise that this baby's coming soon to a theatre near you. Or at least that's the plan. This one's a black comedy about 15-yr old Henry. And his many issues. You know the type - thinks he's a freaky geek, but is actually just smart 'n funny. In a dark and ultimately tragic way. Ok, his life's more than little f&cked up. But look where he comes from... Grab this one quick - it's sure to be better than the movie, as good books almost always are. And it's short too.
Speaking of short, ON CHESIL BEACH by Ian McEwan is a one-dayer. Seriously. A weekend, max. I am a huge Ian McEwan fan and will read anything he writes, so I have to include this. Is it his best? Erm...no. Does it come close? Maybe not. But it's Ian McEwan. And you can read it in one sitting, so why not?
RUN by Ann Patchett. Did anyone read The Magician's Assistant? And Bel Canto? If not - lucky you, you can read 'em now. They're awesome. If you have, then this book may already be on your radar. While not quite as good as Bel Canto, I still rank it. Family drama, secrets kept and exposed....And no, it's not at all cheesy. It's a fast and furious read, appropos of its title. The fact that I happened to buy it in large print by mistake made it an even faster read but still...
A SHORT HISTORY OF TRACTORS IN UKRAINIAN by Marina Lewycka. Strange title, strange book. Oddly compelling. Elderly widower falls for big-boobed gold-digger from the old country. Daughters can't deal. Q-u-i-r-k-y. Loved it.
ARLINGTON PARK by Rachel Cusk. Set in an affluent suburb of London, where the smart, capable, men go to work and the smart capable women.... Well, let's just say some of us may have over identified with some of these characters. Not me, of course. At least not with all of them anyway... (And if you like this one, you may also like THE TORONTONIANS by Phyllis Brett Young. Published in 1960, set in the 50's. Not quite as good, but resonant and modern, with a lot more smoking.)
THE BOOK THIEF - by Markus Zusak. This is one of my favourites of the faves. It's WW II. Death is everywhere. It's even the narrator. It is. The story of a young girl and her family - the ones that were lost, the ones that were found, and the ones that found her. Sad, smart, funny - it's even got doodles. What more could you ask for?
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE by Mary Lawson. Again, if you haven't read her first book, Crow Lake, you should. And if you did, you'll like this one too. A little bleak, a little depressing, a little tragic. Totally compelling. Canadiana to be sure, but in the best possible way.
THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER - Tom Perrotta. Funny + timely+ clever, clever, clever? It's gotta be Tom Perrotta. And it is - very Tom Perrotta. Whatever he's writing about, he gets it. he just does. So who wouldn't want to come along for the ride?
So there you have it. No plot outlines, no spoilers, no hard covers. Just some damn good reads. Winter, spring, summer, or fall.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Now is that song stuck in everybody's head? Are you curious as to why I'd do that to you?
I've been looking for a new nanny, that's why. And it's been a bloody nightmare. No shows. No return calls. No luck.
No brains, no heart, they're much too shy....See???
I'd heard the nightmare stories. The whole "good help is hard to find" complaints. But I never believed them. Sure, I've had my fair share of duds - at home, back in the olde days of office life, on a production, and even when I was a waitress. Oh no wait... that last one was me.
I had one friend who was in the caregiving business. A nanny pimp, if you will. For a small fee, she'd find you the perfect person. Except after several months of dealing with high maintenance clients on both sides she realized her sanity was worth more than the gig was paying.
Then there was the friend of a friend who, after 4 months of hunting for help, finally gave up and put her kids in daycare instead. Pricey, but apparently worth every penny for the peace of mind. Mind you, apparently she's now back in the market for a nanny too.....
I've had a nanny die get sick and die (it was awful, actually). I've had the perfect nanny who would've bankrupted us 'cuz she was a fortune. I've had the one who, when we said it was time to part ways, said her prayers had been answered - oh, and would I give her a reference. The latest one's been off sick for weeks and finally admitted that she's been diagnosed with a heart condition.
Bad luck, Chuck.
I don't need Mary Poppins. I'm not looking for Maria von Trapp. And I don't think Mrs. Doubtfire would last the week. But is showing up too much to ask? Is acknowledging my children with a simple hello an outlandish request? My phone's been ringing off the hook - yet if I call back, they don't want to talk. Except to ask me about my "offer". I feel like I'm on-line dating: everyone's looking to get laid without any commitment. Well, call me old fashioned, but a nanny booty call ain't what I'm after. Sure, a one day trial's OK - clean house, change of pace, possibility of escape for an hour or so. But I need the relationship.
And I need the help.
Apparently, I'm somewhat undesirable: 2 kids plus a baby coming any minute now. A dog, a cat, and a man who works late. Oh, and worst of all: I'm home. My old neighbourhood was run by the nanny mob. They knew who to work for, what to ask for, which moms were home. I definitely would've had black marks against me. But here in my new hood, we're one of the smallest clans around. We don't demand 12-hour work days. And we even pay extra for overtime! Should I pretend otherwise? Pull out the slavedriver routine instead? Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen?
Who has time? I have no help!!!
I feel like a bit of an ass complaining: after all, all our mothers and grandmothers coped without help....Or so we're told. But they had each other. And they started younger. Most of 'em didn't live a freewheelin' life on the other side of 25ish, so they didn't know any better. By the time they hit their 40's, their kids were in school all day long. And were (somewhat) independent - enough to be able to hop on a bus. And, in some cases, drive. Maybe they were on to something, those ladies. Or maybe they weren't. If I had children with the any of the men from my 20's, I'd be a very bitter divorcee.
But maybe I'd have a great nanny. Apparently times aren't the only things that have changed. The nannies of yesteryear -or babysitters, au pairs, mother's helpers or (cringe!)"help" as they were known by some - were a different breed.... Or so we're told. Loyal. Lifers. Part of the family. Today's caregivers want a job. And a life. And that's fine. Great. All power to 'em.
But I want a life too! And maybe even (gasp!) a job. Not this month, mind you, but one day. And so, call me a princess if you please - whatev. I need some help. Call her an assistant. Or him - I'd take a manny too. Pronto. The TV-as-babysitter novelty is wearing thin, even for my media junkies. And I think my man might lose it soon - happy wife, happy life, right?
So star search continues....
I have someone coming in for a test run this week. It's reached the point where, if they can understand me, the job's theirs. All they have to do is show up. Yes, that's part of the job description.
Is that really too much to ask?!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Boob is a newish (to me) line of maternity and nursing wear from Sweden. Yep, Sweden. Those crazy Swedes have gone and named nursing clothes Boob.
In name and in nature.
I managed to get my paws on some of their duds and they're awesome. Pants stay up. In front and in back. Shirts don't touch where they shouldn't. In front or in back. And everything stays in its proper place. Properly. Better still, the Boobs at Boob are anything but - they know how to drop a neckline. I have a dress from their fall collection that's lightweight AND maternity AND, dare I say, kinda hot. And I don't use the term lightly. Cuz there's nothing hot about a gal about to give birth in a matter of weeks. Nothin' but hormones and tempers.
And the Boob neckline.
One thing about being knocked up - you sport a mighty fine rack. You may not always recognize it at the time, but in retrospect? Nice 'n high 'n perky. Even the jumbotrons. And for those of us who are somewhat, erm, challenged in that department, when we've got 'em, we like to flaunt 'em. And Boob gets it. Lots of other tops made for the mama-to-be like to minimize. High necks. Cheesy collars. Wussy V's. Go deep or go home, I say. Swing out sisters! Cuz once the babe arrives it's all downhill. In every way, boob-wise.
Or is it?
I'm pretty hard-core when it came to feeding my kids, whipping one out as and when. Was I strutting round topless? Of course not. But my feeling is, babies have the right to be fed. And if you don't want to watch? Well, don't look. It's possible to be subtle. And stylish too. I was never a believer in "nursing wear". Bras aside, o' course. But those weird shirts that you need a degree in aeronautics to open? Pas pour moi. And those godawful frilly nightgowns? Get real. I'd rather stretch out a perfectly good shirt and look somewhat decent in the hours between the feeds then strut around town like some Victorian. One friend of mine had an incredible nursing dress. It came from Victoria's secret. And she lost it and we've never seen the likes of it since.
'Til now. The Boob nursing tops - or singlets - have these strategic slots. Spots. Openings. Hard to explain. But easy to figure out - basically you lift up one side, drop down the other and you're locked 'n loaded. And, again, they're totally hot. In fact, you could wear these babies even if you're not nursing. You wouldn't, to be sure, but you could. Which, to a nursing mama, is nice to know.
I know I'm sounding somewhat evangelical. I swear it's not just hormones speaking. And if it is? So what?! I have a baby due in 3 weeks, it's my perogative. Between the hips and the hormones, it's hard to feel anything but frumpy. Or at least it was. 'Til I became a Boob girl.
Check out their racks: www.boobdesign.com
'Cuz we've still got 'em. Sewer flies. Still here. Only now they're bigger and, it seems more resilient. Maybe it's because we know what they are (and where they come from), but somehow they're getting harder to kill. Before, when they were just flies, we'd slap the wall and they'd be dead. We'd bat at them mid-air, they'd drop to their deaths. Now, we whack 'em. And guess what? They take a licking and keep on ticking.
I'm beside myself.
I've called the exterminators who tried to reassure me, telling not to panic....yet. I asked them when I could start to panic, and they said it takes a couple of weeks for them to die off. Now, I'm no scientist, but if they live for a day and their breeding grounds are gone - how can they still survive? It's Darwinism at it's purest form. A true survival of the fittest, 'cuz these mofos are big and bad and refusing to go gently into that good night.
We say goodnight, and their party starts.
So while my basement continues to lie fallow, the flies frolic. The insurance-approved demo team wasted no time in ripping it out (my basement, that is). All of it - floors are a mess of concrete and nails. The asbestos (yup) is gone so at least we're no longer the house in the plastic bubble. The walls don't touch the floor. No euphemism - it just means the walls hang there, not touching the floors. My garage is packed up - most of it upside down. All my kids' toys, in boxes, upside down in bigger boxes surrounded by enormous, near-impossible-to-move furniture.
And we wait. And wait. And wait. For the big rebuild. And yes, we'll probably look back and laugh. But that's of no comfort to me now. Even my baby tells everyone our basement is broken. My Big Boy tells people they can only come to play with him if it's nice outside because we have no toys in our house. And tho' it's not killing them, it ain't making them stronger either. This is no character building exercise. This is a bloody nightmare.
And so we play outside. Except when it's cold. Then we watch TV. And we read. And we keep coming back to that book, and that line:"and now for the flies". Which prompts someone to look around. And spy a fly. And try to kill it. Tiny corpses litter our walls. And the cycle starts again.
"And now for the flies".
I was told not to panic. So I asked when I could panic. The exterminator laughed and said a few weeks. That makes it June 1st. One week. Then I can really panic. So I'm trying to hold off and just rant a little until then.
And now for the flies.
Perhaps they'll die.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
David Cook is The American Idol. Duh - what rock have you been under??
Mouth breather out. Rocker in. 80's icons on. Now that's good tv. Just when you thought it was safe....It wasn't!
I actually loved the big finale. Despite the fect that, at the exact moment Ryan uttered the magic words, "the winner is...". Poof! (No, not Ryan...) (well, OK that too). But at that exact second -Poof! - the show ended. My PVR failed me. Again. Luckily I've learned from seasons of yore to record whatever's on next. So we switched over in time to see Fartchuleta's stage dad clapping insincerely. And that's when I knew, it was Cook time. Thank god, on so many levels. Can you imagine the stage dad's reactions had his dullard child won? Waaaaay OTT. And the press? Gee. Duh. Erm...
Instead we got tears. Lots of 'em. Betcha the word nerd wished he didn't choose this night to start wearing eyeliner, huh? Obviously he went for water-proof. I knew he was a smarty! And the brotherly love. And the mom trying to get in on the spotlight. A family affair.....How lovely.
But back to the show.....Graham Nash? Lucky Brookey. Donna Summer? Lucky ladies. Syesha - way to work third sister! Her skirts get shorter and her confidence grows. It just goes to show you, she really was the best of the girlies - mainly because of the meat, but still - can you imagine the nurse? She seemed embarrassed to be there. Unlike Chickezie - love, love, love.
It was 80's night (aside from the slew of youths that I fast forwarded). Showing my age, perhaps, but I'm about to turn 40, I can do what I like. ZZ Top, the Groover from Vancouver, Seal....yada yada yada. At the end of the day, the faux pips aside, for me it was all about George.
All season long I've been wondering why they didn't do the George Michael/Wham songbook. He's on tour (at over 2 hun a ticket, sadly), has a new greatest hits album to promote, has been whoring himself out nicely across the small screen. The timing couldn't be any better. And he would've been perfect for Cookie and the Aussie. Still, waiting 'til the end was OK. Sure he sang a slow song. With a cold (and acknowledged it, bless him and his ego). Despite his fromagerie, his lady Loren shades, and his possible plugs, he's still awesome. And somehow reminding me of Christian Troy - anyone else getting that?
Simon apologizes. Archie loses. DC wins. And another season of Idol come to a close.
Happy endings to all, and to all a good night.
Now who's got tickets to the Top Ten tour?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
That and the skewering of poor David Cook. Is it just me (and my Tuesday night AI viewing cronies), or did the whole thing feel like it was, erm....fixed?
First came Carly: stack her up and shoot her down. Week after week after week. Too shrill, too loud, too fat. She didn't stand a chance.
Then the diefication of Brooke. Somehow, that nanny could do no wrong. Oh wait, until she did. Over and over and over. Stumbling lyrics, false starts, lame dance moves. Was her longevity part of the overall plan? Part of the fix? Probably. But some things you just can't fix, and she was a goner.
The rest of 'em kind of made their own beds. Poor Chickezie - we know his name's Chickezie, baby! And hot Michael Johns. He was robbed. Then again, who's gonna remember his name, fame?
Syesha came and went somehow and is probably broadway bound already. But Archuleta... Somehow that boy with the flaring 'strils and mouth breathing grin could do no wrong...
Despite butchering Stevie. Despite the fact that his performances felt longer than singing the bloody phonebook. Despite the closed eyes and incessant trills...Despite it all the judges couldn't hold back from swooning.
Personally, I could barely hold back from snoring.
Sure he's only 17 but he's been on star search, junior idol and probably more talent contests than he'd care to admit. The guy's a seasoned pro, complete with stage dad. And yet...where on earth is his personality? Erm....aaahh....gee...shucks....thank you....
Wake me when his career fizzles, will ya?
But back to tonight....Mr Cook's swan song. Tonight, poor David Cook was well and truly, to use the judges' own cheesy boxing metaphor: KO'd. And to me it sounded plain old mean. How could they be so blatant? So obvious? That's not good tv!!! Tho' the tearing up post song 3 certainly was (and should be good for a couple million votes at least). Perhaps he's too much of an independent type for 19 Productions. Maybe the band he should be fronting is waiting in the wings to show up his predecessor and also-loser, Daughtry. Hmmmm....Chris Daughtry / Taylor Hicks. Who's the real loser? Sorry Silver Fox, but who are you again?
I was pissed at my man Simon tonight. I know AI is about as far from the edge as you can get, but still....To soooooooo wholeheartedly embrace the Middle of the Road, the morning office FM station, the Diva Ballad Covers as Sung By set that is Earny Archuleta was agonizing. Is it any wonder that the Idol numbers are down? Higher than the other shows, to be sure, but down over all. It's the Archuletas. The balladeers gone wrong.
So when Archie wins tomorrow, get ready for a confetti filled, heart (and stomach) wrenching version of That Cheesey Song. (which didn't sound unlike some gone-wrong, butchered version of an Indigo Girls tune; or a folksy harmonizer gone savage). The youngest youngsters and oldest oldies'll be screaming their tits off. While the rest of us will sadly cheer for the Word Nerd as we wait to hear about - and complain about - his first single.
Goodbye Combover Cook. Hello rock star.
And Fartchuleta? Wake me when he's over....
Saturday, April 26, 2008
But whatever. This is not an I-can't-believe-it Idol post. I couldn't take in Carly's untimely departure because I was still reeling from the news that my house was infested with sewer flies and I'd need to rip up my basement floors.
S-E-W-E-R flies. Uh-huh. Exactly what you think they are. Flies. That breed in sewers. IN MY HOUSE.
Did I mention we've lived here all of 8 months?
Way back in the halcyon days of new housedom, there were these flies that would flit around and then pop-off after 24 hours of hurling themselves against our screens. We figured they were fruit flies. Except they had no interest in fruit. Hmmmm.....Strange. A quick call to an exterminator and we decided to heed their advice and wait until after the winter to investigate further. Maybe they'd just die off and never return.
Or maybe not.
After an insanely long and drawn out winter from hell, we welcomed April's (global warming) warmth....And The Return of The Flies. Pest control was called. And 45 seconds and $65 dollars later told me we had sewer flies. Also called drain moths, I learned that these non-biting, bacteria carriers are flies that breed in standing sewage. And then I learned that said sewage was, in all likelihood, standing under my dreamhouse.
Next stop: plumber.
I have to say, of all the housing trades, I do like a plumber. Contractors are cocky and I hate being at their mercy. Electricians are a bit odd. Some of them even more than a bit. And gardners, well, it's all such a cliche. Between the gardner, the poolboy, and any other scantilly clad maintenance man, you'd think every one of your neighbours is the next Lady Chatterly. But not plumbers.
So far, I haven't met a plumber I haven't liked. They all seem to be nice, funny, smart. And plumber butt? A total myth. Only plumber butts I see come with low-cut designer jeans attached to 'em. Anyhoo, I've recently learned that plumbers are also the highest paid of the trades. I guess they deserve to be, dealing with other peoples' shit for a living. And with these prices, they'd better be charming.
Anyhoo, Mike the plumber shows up to save my house. And hopefully, my sanity. SEWER FLIES. Hello? What could be grosser?
First came the residential colonscopy. Exatcly what it sounds like: the camera snake. Drain cam - down the drains and through the house. If your lucky. If you're me, it's drain cam down the drains, through the house, under oceans of sludge, and, finally, The Wall. No, not stones or bricks or mortar. A wall of "material". "Debris". Somethin' sticky. And vile.
Next stop: The Drainworks A Team.
They emerged from their trucks like Smith from the Matrix - only instead of black-suited, slick and trim, they were blue-t-shirted, bald and enormous. And they proceeded to rip up my floors, digging trenches in hopes of finding The Blockage. And then they struck gold. Black gold. A geyser. And not in a good way.
I wasn't home when it happened. Thank god. My delicate constitution would've failed me for sure. It had these burly he-men running for cover. And frsh air. 'Cuz 7000 uninsured dollars and thousands of flies later, when they finally found the culprit, my house was a no go zone. You could smell it down the street. My castle had become the pit of hell, with more than a hint of Dead Sea stink. Only difference being there were no anti-aging benefits to the sulphuric soil they removed by the bagfull.
Before you rush into the shower, let me reassure you (and myself): There is a silver lining. Ish. We get new basement floors. And apparently that part of this unwanted reno is covered by insurance. And I found an awesome plumber - Mike and Drainworks if anyone's interested. And next week is Neil Diamond week on Idol, so all is not lost...
You'll forgive me if I didn't give Carly her due. I was up to my eyes in flies.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Last night I was still on the edge. Mariah Carey? Could it get any worse? Uh, yeah, the Idols actually having to sing Mariah Carey songs. And us having to watch. As one sage put it: "this is the side of pop I cannot stand". Brutal. Hideous. And yet, like some sort of train wreck....I had to watch. Did I cringe? Yes. Did it make me a little uncomfortable? Uh - a lot. Loved the luau that was JayJay Castro. And David Cook rocked my world, as he always does (despite what some folks call his Hootie Voice).
Overall, however, it was a snore. I don't get Mimi. I really don't. All's I knew was the hotness had left the building. And it showed.
And then, tonight: redemption. Not just because, at long last, Kristy Lee was (ahem) cooked. Thank heavens for small mercies, as her fan base might say. And not just because the bottom three were the right bottom three. And definitely not because Carly said what we all think - Simon really is hardest on her. She's bringing the A and he wants the A+. I feel badly for her.
But whatev. Tonight, it was all about Elliot Yamin.
Always have, always will. New teeth, new look, new song. That voice! Awesome. And god bless him and his long silk scarf. I'll bet there were piano keys on the other side. Tonight, he wore his velvet blazer with panache, pulling off what it would take a much taller man to do. And then, the piece de resistance - the palm sign. This is obviously the latest and greatest of shout-outs. "We miss you mom"!?!?!?! Who's we? And when did his mother die? Mere days ago? And here he is, performing and acknowledging and looking to the ceiling....I mean, heavenward... Now THAT's good tv.
Sure, I wondered what a nice Jewish boy like Yaminsky was doing performing so soon. Doesn't he sit shiva? Was it really just days ago? Maybe he's a three-day mourner... I was a little surprised. And yet....he made me cry. As always. And I waited for him to well up too - as always - but it didn't happen. Maybe his tears mirrored his beloved mama, kvelling from the front row. Maybe, now that she's history, he's getting tougher. He's money, baby. No more tears.
Nah...No chance....No matter how much dental work, how shaggy his hair gets, and how cool for school he becomes, he's still the Elliot the Underdog. And he gets my vote everytime.
Not that it counts....
Thursday, April 10, 2008
It was a bloodbath. A travesty. A real shocker. The booting of Michael Johns. Hot Idol, R.I.P.
And didja see when Ryan mentioned how they let the loser live last year - in the spirit of charity and Idol giving back and all? And he had that hopeful look for a second? And then...And then he whipped the rug out from under him? N-a-s-t-y.
Now that's good tv.
But really...was it?
Coulda been. Shoulda been. But wasn't. Not for me. 'Cuz I suddenly find myself not giving a rat's ass. Even about the contestants I thought I liked. Am I emotionally invested in any of these cats? Not a one; nay nay nay.
At this point I'm sick of Earnest Archuleta and his lip-licking ways. And Brooke with her knowing nods and sad smiles. I've grown to like Carly, furrowed brow and all. And of course the Crossword Combover is my new fave. But at the end of the day, do I care? Syesha the weak, Kristy Lee Snore, Stoner Boy Dread....
As a wise young virgin once said: "that's it?"
Seems to be. The publicity machine is spinning its wheels (see: return of idols of yesteryear). They've raised a fortune for charity (good for them). And for themselves (that's showbiz). All the power to all the people. But between the butchering of the Beatles and this evening's hideous Ode to Jesus, it's all become a little insufferable. I even found myself stalling for time before turning on and tuning in.
Where are the Elton John days? Stevie Wonder weeks? I thought Barry Manilow would be an annual thing. Wha happened? Sing, sing, sing: doesn't anybody promote themselves anymore?
Is it just me? Has anybody else lost that lovin' feeling for this no-longer-must-see tv? I really believed I was in it for the long haul. But I'm not so sure. Don't get me wrong - I'll still PVR. I'll still watch. I'll still have the post mortem chats - for all of 2 minutes. It'll be fun while it lasts.
I never thought I'd say this, but....American Idol, I'm just not that into you.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
And he tried, he really tried, but, at the end of the day, you just can't be something you're not. First it was the bulging eyes - remember in the auditions? It was funny - not haha, but strange. But he worked on it. He battled his bulge too. And when he went all southern and fun he had us on our figurative feet. But he couldn't resist the lure of Luther. The crooner. The balladeer. The snore and a half....
And off he went. A shock? Maybe. But Country Bumpkin Cook is working the ditz. And working it well. The minute she opened her mouth to sing that patriotic crap, you knew she was a shoo-in. For at least another week. It was one of those moments where you wished Idol was truly international. God Bless the USA??? Gag gag gag me. Not that I have anything against the USA - I actually don't. Not a lot, anyway. Except for those flag-waving, 4th of July-ish ditties. I can't deal with 'em from any place. I wanted Simon to rip her a new one - or sing Rule Britannia at the very least - but even he liked it.
But my boys did well. Not Stoner Dreads - is it me, or was he really high last night? Did you see him dancing during the opening number? Worth a rewind - hilarious. But I think the goofiness is starting to grate. Just a bit. My faves are the opnes that are almost interchangeable. And yet....not. The Hot One and The Comb Over. Love 'em both. In fact, I don't even care who goes, as long as it's not one of those grown-ups. I've grown to love the Word Nerd. I hated him at first, but look at him now? Backlash has begun, but not at my house! And yeah, I know the Aussie's looks are better than his voice...So what?! Unfortunately, I think Earnest Archeletto's got the gig sewn up. I shudder to think of the song choices in his (and our) future, but it ain't over 'til it's over.
And the ladies? Erm, whatever.
So, so long Chickezie. And get yer ear plugs ready - Dolly Parton's coming to town...
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Most folks know that magic tricks can somehow be explained. And while a magician will never reveal his secrets, a bit of cash sometimes helps. Y'know the old vanishing-hanky trick? I do. And such knowledge made me, at one time, the most popular travelling white chick in Southeast Asia! The fact that my companion had the greatest dimples that side of the so-called Bamboo Curtain didn't hurt either. I must say, we were quite the hit. Madonna? Move over...
But I digress....
I went to a company Christmas...I mean, holiday party... a few weeks ago. Yes, a few weeks ago. The hosts are not always known for their punctuality. But better late than never, right? Anyhoo, at this soiree, aside from the regular canapes, drinks, and awkward small talk, was a strange-looking guy dressed all in black. I seem to remember a red tie, ut I might be making that part up. He did have platinum blond hair. And seemed to know fewer people than I did. Now there's a feat!
As it turned out, he was The Entertainment. Also known as.....Chris...he soon corrected our host. Also known as: The Great Mysterion!!!! I don't know if he uses the "great" part but trust me, he was. Un-f&cking-believable. He approached our table and asked my man - a true non-believer to be sure - to write down his favourite rock star on a piece of paper. Mysterion thought for a moment, scribbled something, and then da-na-na'd his way through a bit of Led Zeppelin before opening his paper and announcing the name Jimmy Page. My man opened his piece of paper and --Do I need to spell it out for you? J-i-m-m-y. P-a-g-e.
Not convinced? Neither was I. Actually, I totally was. I love this stuff. But I wanted him to work his magic on me. So he did. Told me I was a reader (I was!! I am!!) and asked me to write down a word associated with the book I was reading. I smiled evilly - little did he know that the book I was reading hadn't even been published in Canada! In paperback anyway. I picked it up in London. No one had ever heard of it here. Hee hee. Mysterion? HA! Get ready to be stumped!!!
I wrote down the word "office" (the book was set in an ad agency) Mysterion paced. He closed his eyes. He wrote something down in his little notebook, tore out the page and folded it up. He asked me the name of the book. When I told him "And Then we Came to the End", he shook his head. never heard of it. And he opened his little piece of paper and I opened mine. And guess what? They both said "office".
He went on to dazzle the crowd. People's birthdays? That's for beginners. This guy was identifying types of cards in wallets. While blindfolded. Laminated obscure id's and family photos - names and dates included. He was getting people to pluck single words out of 300-page novels. And getting them right, every time. Even the naysayers had to admit it was pretty neat.
And yet still there were skeptics! Honestly, what did this guy have to do to prove himself? Some things simply cannot be explained, right? These weren't mere card tricks or slights of hand - tho' he could (and did) do those too. Card after card after card. They weren't simply illusions... Tho' he did, to the chagrin of the waiters, twist a helluva lot of forks that night. No, this was creepy, unexplained stuff. Phenomenons....na....whatever.
He had an audience volunteer place a spike under a styrofoam cup. Then he blindfolded himself and proceeded to smash the cups down one after the next. With each collapsing cup you'd hear the collective intake of breath - even the naysayers liked this one, cuz physical harm was involved. Twisted? Maybe. But he got it right, leaving the last, spiked, one standing. And me with palms sweating. He of course was cooooool as The Fonz.
And on it went. The biggest naysayers? Always someone's date trying to prove themselves...Go figure....They soon lost interest in him, turning to drink. A wise choice, 'cuz they were getting boring. But he sure as hell wasn't. And when his stint was done, and he'd said his good-byes, we all knew the party was over.
And there you have it. How'd he do that? Why doesn't he play the tables in Vegas? Or at least Rama? Does he read fortunes? Do police work? No one knows...
It's all a mystery... It's ma-a-a-a-a-a-gic.
And a lot more entertaining than being a spousal side dish at a company party....
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
OK, not exactly what you'd call having a life, but Idol fans are Idol fans. And Idol haters are Idol fans too - they just don't know it yet. Or else won't admit it - especially if they know who the contestants are. It takes more than a passing glance at People to know who's who...
So The Nurse is gone. And, in all likelihood, forgotten. Maybe she'll live the dream and sell out that bar in Lafayette. Doubtful, but maybe. My bet is she's back on her Hog, hopefully ditching the Morticia Adams' extensions and waiting for Rockstar's return.
Meanwhile, we were treated to the new 'n improved Kelly Pickler. God bless her. She knew how to work her 15 episodes of fame. New hair, new face, new boobs. New life. Being stupid was brilliant. Best. Career. Move. Ever. More than having a parent in prison (Pickler's Pops). Better than a newborn baby (last year's Baldy. With the hat.) Even a dying/dead father couldn't sompete (Asiah...Who? Exactly!) Now the Pickled One's giving it her all, channeling La Parton and going on tour. And she didn't even need to change her name!!!! Somehow I can't see the Nurse having the same luck. Or making it for herself.
Which is a shame, 'cuz I kinda liked her. I did!! I was pumped to see the back of Kristy Non-descripty. No, pervs, not in that way. I hate a country gal. Sorry, but it's true. And yet, she survives another week.
I must say, I'm not all that surprised. You know my theory: we need someone to hate to make Idol all the more watchable. Let's face it, Beatles Week 2 didn't slay us in the aisles, did it? But when you've got a lame duck around threatening the good 'uns... Hell - that's good tv!! That's why VoteForTheWorst.com is necessary - keeps the voters on their toes and f&cks with all of us. Who doesn't love a bit of outrage - remember Jennifer Hudson? Voted off before her time and look at her now. Or Daughtry, nee Chris Daughtry: early to leave, early to score. I can see that happening with Rocker Dave. Or Irish Carly.
(Aside: Is my mind playng tricks on me, or she morphing into Boy George?Fat Felon version?)
But back to the blonde. The tomboy/horsey one, Kristy Mc-Whatsit. If she sticks around, we'll be stuck with more country-lite versions of songs we'll never love again. Par for the course, of course. And, sure, there'll be the morning-after-the-night-before watercooler convo. And on-line outrage.
But I shall leave you with one last thought. One last thing to make you giggle and hope she does stick around, sticking it to her talented brothers and sisters.
She's gonna "blow Simon out of his socks".
Need I say more?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
So what do March snowstorms bring?
Not a lotta good, that's what. Icy roads. Snowdrifts taller than most children (and seated seniors). Unpassable sidewalks. An extension of the winter blahs. A renewed interest in weather patterns, records and our role in all of it.
And an excuse to go out and buy new boots. La Canadienne boots.
You haven't heard of 'em yet? Or you have, but didn't bite? Whichever, whatever, whoever you are - go go go. Now is the time to bite the bullet, spend the big bucks and spend the rest of this never ending winter in style: toes toasty, feet dry and - believe it or not -in style.
Let's face it, winter is an ugly time. Sure the snow looks pretty falling down, and when it's all white and clean it's quite peaceful. But really, how long does that last? Virgin snow lawns soon give way to grey slush, black ice and worse. The whole season can take its toll on a girl. Especially a footwear girl and, really - are there any other kinds?
I tried Uggs. Of course they're comfy - they'd better be if they're that ugly. The suede ones don't keep your feet dry and the leather ones I had were so halucious they lasted but a season. Yeah, I was that person who went for the leather. Probably the only one. There's a reason you don't see more of 'em. H-I-D-E-O-U-S. I tried putting substance before style. It wasn't easy, And it didn't last.
So I ruined a pair of hot boots. Froze my tootsies off and wrecked 'em. And for what? So I tried again. This time, went for Sorels. Hard-core Canadian boots. For hard-core Canadian winters. And yeah, I stayed warm (ish) and dry. But again, not the most attractive. Or feminine. Even the long ones that we pretend are kinda like go-go boots aren't. Not even close.
And then, it happened. A friend of mine discovered winter lady-boots. Lady boots...winter... Contradiction in terms, right? Wrong! La Canadienne boots are warm, cozy, and, dare I say it - kinda hot. In all the right ways. I admit I was skeptical at first, especially with the upwards of $200 price tag. But after another winter of alternating between salt-stained whore or hefty hefty slush slag, a couple hun seemed a small price to pay to be a cozy snow bunny.
My high-to-the-sky lady boots rock. And they work. I'm not sure how - some kind of secret recipe of ultrasuede, rubber and god-knows-what. Who cares? They look fantastic! And trust me kids, they really, really work the winter. And despite their all-kinds-of-hotness, they're pretty basic. So even if everyone's wearing the same boots - you can't really tell. Which beats the hell out of showing up for dinner in your foxy furries - along with half the other girls.
Now that that we're entering our fifth month of winter, maybe it's time for a quick shoe shuffle. Snowbanks to climb? Easy. Salt stains and splash back? Laugh it off - they fit over calves of all shapes and sizes. Heels? They've got 'em. And need I mention they're Canadian?
Are you still here? They're on sale all over town. If you can still find what's left of them. It's mid-March after all. What are you waiting for?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I'm talking sh&t. Poo. Bowel Movements.
That said, those boys were pretty crapola last night - Chickezie and the youngster aside - but this is about real poopoos: my 2.5 year old son is toilet training himself.
It started about a month ago. Sounds like no (ahem) biggie but it was. Our eldest refused to go near a toilet until he was well past 3. And even then, it was a negotiation, a struggle, a bloody nightmare. You'd think sitting in your own sh&t would be somewhat, erm, uncomfortable. Apprently not. Puh-lease: don't try it at home....
But I digress. This isn't about the first-born. (Strange, but true) Back in January my baby told me he wanted to "make a poo". I told him to crawl under the table like he usually does, but he was adamant. He wanted la toilette. Who was I to argue? I plopped him down, he plopped one out and we were off to the races.
Except we weren't.
Seems my boy has picked up the habits of....boys. The sitting around, lounging on the can, taking your sweet-ass time kind of habits. All he needs a paper and he's ready for the men's room. Have you noticed that? Boys have no issue picking up the sports section and heading to the john. They'll even wave, stop to chat and tell you where they're going. In public!!! Girls would never. N.E.V.E.R. They'll wait for the comfort of their own homes. And if they must, they'll find a hotel. Or, better still, a WC with floor to ceiling doors. In the workplace, repeat flushings, water running, even faux coughs - the ladies stay lady-like in the loo.
Not my boy. Not any boys I know. Announcements made, they saunter off, close the door (or not) and let 'er rip. My son's new thing is to take at least half an hour. I worry he'll get hemorrhoids from sitting so long (unless that's a myth.) But he will not be moved. And of course the urge to purge comes at the most inopportune moments. Bedtimes, mealtimes, ready-to-walk-out-the-door-times. So far, so good - we've been at home. He's not manly enough to dump in public. Yet. (Thank god. Half an hour in a public bathroom? Pas pour moi.)
I know I should count my blessings - he wants to ditch the diaper and join the big leagues. But when you're held back by BM's? That's just no fun.
Unless of course it's your own.
Friday, February 22, 2008
But I digress....
I want to apologize for those of you sick of this "shizz" (yes that's a direct quote) and let you know that I will try to hold off further comments 'til the Top 10. T-R-Y. Trouble is, I get so caught up in Idol Fever and my usual sounding board is away... What's a girl to do but turn to her blog? But this is the last one. For the time being. I hope.
Okay? Can I get on with it now?
So, didya see her? Were you blown away by her? Who, you ask, who?!? Why, the trainwreck that is Paula Abdul of course! No, I'm not talking about her seal claps or lame advice or overall Paula-ness. Not this time. It's that vid! Her triumphant return to pop! Hideous? Hilarious! I couldn't get over it. What was she thinking?
Oh, I know - she was thinking about the audience. The millions, held captive and forced into watching a Paula Abdul video. A new one. Bring back the cat. Bring back Arsenio. Bring back the Lakers. But this? Who styled that sucker?? And the wind! What was with the wind? Afterwards Ryan brought out a massive fan! Not a human who loves her-fan, but a thingy with blades going round 'n round-fan! She laughed like she was in on the joke, but I don't think she was. And to see Randy playing alongside her...And then Simon and Shortstuff showing up at the end. Crude, rude, I'm not in the mood.
But I did think it was funny.....
Otherwise, show was lame. Garrett Lief Garrett is gone. Who? Exactly. And Chuck 'n Buck guy too. Should've been Luke Perry Luke (Who? Exactly). And the wonky-eyed non-beauty is gone. She looked hotter on her family's t-shirts, no? What happened? Keep an eye out for her in Playboy. You heard it here first. I was a bit sad to see Joanne the large-and-in-charge beauty queen go. Thought for sure one of the carrie Underwoodettes would've left the building...But no such luck.
Anyhoo, the con is on....People with labels, accents, all kinds....Tho' no convictions yet. And nothing too too trashy. Aside from Paula, that is.
That's it. 'Til the top 10. MOAM out.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I know it's been on for a couple of weeks now. And yes, I watch it and love it with or without writers striking. I cried for that poor girl who lost her dad and auditioned two days later. Come to think of it, it is a bit weird but hey, that's TV. And that poor boy who lived in his car? The Leo DiCaprio lookalike? He was ever so Christopher McCandless, but striking out for the wilds of Hollywood instead of Alaska. Devastated when he didn't make it. But there's always next year. And that guy from the town of 220? The one whose mom wanted a homecoming queen, but just got...the queen? What happened to him? I'll be looking for both boys in Season 8.
But let's discuss the boys of Season 7. Mostly forgettable, to be sure. But so many ladyboys! And so many girlymen. I'm not just talking sexual orientation. I'm talking s/he. I'm sorry, but Danny Noriega would make for a stunning woman. And tho' he channeled Jonathan Rhys Meyers rather than Elvis last night, I loved him. He's got my vote.
As does the Youngster. David Thingy. Usually they get some young dude who blows (not in a good way). But this time, the 16-year old of the week (or did he say he turned 17?) was unf&ckingbelievable. He has my vote too.
As does Dreads Travolta, the stoner of the group. Did anyone else notice how, despite the crazy locks and the hippy vibe, the guy is a shoo in for our beloved Danny Zuko? Who wouldn't vote for that? I would.
And finally, my fave, Michael Johns. Or is it John Michaels? Y'know, the last guy. The Man. The only one of the lot who ooooooooozed it. Love love love him. As a tv crush only of course. And maybe because he looks like my favourite hockey card, the almost-has-been, Darcy Tucker. (Long live #16! Long live no trade clauses!)
But my guy Si was right on the money, all night long. The Manly Man from Oz has "it". It = sex. There were the guys who radiated Christian country and/or 50's whitey pop groups. Or some wholesome combo. And the indistinguishable boy band graduates, nary a T-lake among 'em. Or that horrible Axel Rose wannabee. Who wears a bandana that screams "botox me?" Seriously, didn't that strange design look like eyeborws that needed lifting, or at the very least, plucking? Eeeeew, I nealry forgot about that other faux-rocker with the terrible comb-over. And don't get me started on that theatrical Chuck 'n Buck fellow. Gross.
Oh Idol....I'm so glad you're back. Bring on the androg, the youngster, the dreads. And of course, the hottie. They've all got my vote. Too bad it doesn't count.
Oh wait! I almost forgot to mention Chickezie Jacuzzi. He of the orange suit and lovely demeanor. He's sweet. he can sing. But does he have what it takes to be remembered? I thought so last night, but obviously in the cold light of day he falls a little short....
Last year, the ladies kicked butt - Be Bop Blake notwithstanding. And tonight, it's Ladies' night. Show 'em girls. I dare you....
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
It's the bullet. The Magic Bullet. I've been shot.
Huh? You don't know from Bullet? Wha? Where have you been? Obviously not hanging out in flea markets or watching late-night shopping channels. Well, neither have I. So there.
Niether grinder not blender, cuisinart nor mixer, it's combo. A sit-on-the-counter, throw-in-your-dishwasher, who-knew combo.
My intro to the Bullet came through a friend. A friend with fantastic taste and an immaculate kitchen. She swears by the Bullet. Claims she uses it every day. Don't ask how we got on to the subject. I haven't a clue. I don't know how I end up talking about half the crap I come up with. I just do. But back to the Bullet....So she swears by this thing and I humour her. Like I need another gadget.
And then I went trolling through my mom's house looking for an extra hand held blender. Yes, she stocks small household items in her house. My job is not to ask why. But if she's got an extra Braun, I'm all over it. Turns out, she didn't. But what she did have, sitting on her counter in all it's TV-endorsed packaging glory, was The Magic Bullet.
Again with the Magic Bullet!
Call it fate, call it curiosity, or call it shamelss consumerism, whatever. The Bullet came home with me. And then...and then it sat on my counter, in its box for a week or so. I didn't get it. I didn't buy it - literally or figuratively - so I was hardly impressed. Until one Saturday afternoon. It was freezing. It was snowing. I was home alone, and I opened it. And I made a Pina Colada. I did! And I was hooked - on cocktails, maybe. On the Bullet, for sure.
Sucker for smoothies? Now you can make 'em, in about 30 seconds. And you can customize them too in yur own Magic Bullet mugs. It come with four. Pop your ingredients in, screw on the blender bottom and, well, bottoms up. Salad dressing? Five seconds or less. Grating cheese? (I didn't think I'd do it either, but I did). Done like, well, dinner. And it even comes with a shaker top, should you be so inclined. Throw in a garlic clove, a handful of brocolli and some chicken stock. Put on the steamer lid and pop it in the microwave for two minutes(carcinogens be damned). Then, press, presto - soup! Chopped herbs? Check. Salsa? Check. Hummous, fat-free hummous, bean dip and guac? Check, check, check and check. You can also grind coffee beans, nuts, and - god knows who would or why - meat. It's incredible. It's handy. Abracadabra!
I now call my friend, the original Bullet-head, for the daily Bullet report. And it's not just me. My Man has also, erm, bitten the Bullet. He's ready to go all Oprah and buy one for everyone. (Don't get too excited. It'll never happen. ) But we'll stand proud and say it loud: we're a Magic Bullet Family.
Look, I know you think I've become an infomercial. And I kind of have. Without the show. Or the daily make-up 'n hair. Or the big pay day. But what can I tell you? I'm obsessed. And you will be too. For now, forever, or until the next great American gadget comes along....
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Anyhoo, found this spot, read a couple of announcement blurbs - as opposed to reviews. And booked 'er down. And it was delicious. Flawed, but delicious. And as I sat down to share my so-called discovery, I received an email from the local daily listings thingy... Guess what they were writing about? MY discovery.
Granted, I didn't open it, I don't know the owners, and I have nothing to do with it in any way. But I didn't know anybody else who'd been there and, aside from a couple of head scratches and that-sound-familiar's it was mine to share. At least it would've been if it wasn't for those damn kids.
So I read through their review, kept my opinion mostly to myself and then thought, f&ck it. I've seen the pictures of those staffers and they certainly didn't look like foodies to me. Exercisers? Yep. Makeup experts? Maybe. But most of 'em looked like they could use a good meal.
So, if anyone out there is looking for a good meal - and you're in Toronto (sorry internationales)(and locals too, have you seen it outside?) head on down to Eleven. Guy from Xacutti closed up shop on College (I didn't know either. It's winter. Who knows anything.) and he moved south. No, not south south, just Jarvis and Front. I don't know why either, but he did. And, though there are some, ahem, service issues, the food is DIVINE. Most of it.
They call it Global Comfort Food, but really it's just tasty plates. To share. Or not - go ahead and be piggish. Especially if you have the honey glazed chicken on sesame rice. I doubt I'd share that next time. Share the goat's cheese and mango salad - or give it a miss entirely. Yam fries are good. A little thick and need to be double-dipped, but good. Mushroom rolls are good too. But it's all about the chicken starter. And that sauce! You can dip the other apps in there too. Not that I did. Much.
We had the famous cinnamon-guava ribs - a little gristly. And they don't hold a candle to the BBQ'd beef or the cod on coconut lentils. Spectacular. Also recommended were the duck and halibut, but on of our gang don't do duck, and the table next to us ordered halibut and it smelled a little...high... for my liking.
HAVE DESSERT. You'll want to anyway since you'll be sharing so you never won't really be that full. Ginger donuts are like fancy Tiny Tims. In a good way. We had some kind of chocolate cake - can't remember if it was flourless of what -but it was ish. And then there was the carrot and toffee pudding?! I know, you're thinking "carrot?!" but just think toffee. And get one. Or two. Lick-the-bowl tasty.
Unfortunately, the service was a little challenging. Cocktails arrived with McD-like speed. Wine was so slow you'd think they were stompin on the grapes in the back. Which would also explain why the food took so bloody long. At times. Things arrived in drips and drabs. One thing. Long pause. 3 things. Long pause. One thing. Longer pause. Well, you get the picture.
So go for the food, stay despite the service, and only share with those you love. Especially the bill. STEEP.
Better still - get someone else to pay, accidentally sneeze on the honey chicken, and grab that carrot-toffee-goodness before anyone else notices.
Or do take-out. They do that too.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Remember back at school you'd have to write essays about your summer vacation?
Anyone? Anyone? No? (Me neither. Once you were back, you were back. Party's over) And yet, they always seem to in movies. So, without further ado, may I present:
Ten Things I Learned on my Winter Vacation. (Part I.)
1. I learned that Charter Flights blow. Bite. Suck. And not in a good way, pervs.
I always kind of knew this, but when travelling with small children, beware the cheap 'n cheerful charter. Or beware of other people's children (ie. mine) who, after being in transit for nearly 12 hours due to delays on their 4-hour flight might be somewhat, erm, antsy. They might lose interest in the massive bag of books, toys and personal DVDs. They might figure out how to open the tray table. And close it. And open it. And close it. And, well, you get the picture. They might be soothed by massive lollipops but, as everyone knows, the ramifications of the sugar highs can be brutal.
2. I learned that said Charters, despite having a planeload of cranky (irate) passengers, think that by giving out crappy earphones and cheap credit vouchers, all will be OK. It won't. Not after handing out $15 "lunch vouchers" to be spent at night when all the restaurants close. Nor by keeping the overhead lights on during the all-night flight. Nor by pushing the bloody duty-free after we all spent countless hours in the airport browsing... in duty-free shops. Nor by handing out measly $100 credit vuchers for future travel on the same airine - non-transferable to boot. Oh - and another newsflash - staffing the plane with rude teenagers doesn't help either. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm sure they were tired too - but they were being paid time-and-a-half for their trouble. We certainly weren't.
3. I learned that sometimes weather reports calling for daily showers in the Carribbean can be correct. Even if you surf every single travel site looking for good news. When they say torrential, they mean it.
3a. Thankfully, I also learned that those daily showers only last for 10 minutes.
3b. But can strike at any time, any place.
3c. But the really deep puddles they leave behind can be almost as fun as a swimming pool. for a few minutes at least.
4. I learned that the best ways to entertain your kids is by enlisting other people's kids. Preferably older ones. And if they have accents, even better - endless amusement for everyone.
5. I learned that is really is possible to drown in a mater of minutes, in less than a foot of water. NOT THAT ANYONE DID (god forbid poo poo poo). But when you watch your 2 year old get pushed into a pool, leap out of your seat, jump into the water to find him floating motionless on the top step of a mini pool and fish him out, hysterical - well, let's just say you have a new appreciation for vigilance, paranoia, and landsports.
6. You learn to navigate buffets. Somehow, after walking through day after day and complaining about the cuisine, you manage to fill up your plate. And refill it. And maybe add a little bit more. And then you suck it back. Day after day. And pound after pound.
7. You learn that bulky strollers are RV's. And you love them. Portable beds, baggage handlers, detention centers - these babies really can do it all, not to mention how well they clear traffic. Think big, act big and everyone's outta your space.
8. You learn that your children are vampires-in-reverse. By day, nothing beats the joy you feel as your angels frolic by the seaside. You're all children again, building sandcastles, and playing in the pool. How romantic it all seems: long walks on the beach holding hands, sharing fruity drinks under the palms, posing for family snapshots...Even cheesy organized drinking competitions seem sweet when you watch 'em with your little ones. It's all so wonderful, everyone is deliriously happy, even without their regular naps and routines. Bliss by day...
The sun sets. And you learn about a new kid in town. Sprung from your loins. Sharing your room. Darkness falls. The moon rises. And with it - El Diablo. Or, even worse, Los Diablos: your very own flesh and blood who, quick to turn on you, remind you of everything you needed a vacation from: them!!!
9. I learned about how quickly we forget. No sooner had we touched down after another, erm, antsy, flight than we started dreaming up the next family vacation. We looked at pictures, reminiscing about the good times....the daytimes...
10. I learned that some of us don't really forget. Sure, for entertainment purposes I've tended to accentuate the negative - that's what creative license is all about. Let's face it, no one wants to read about perfect getaways and happy endings. We're all ambulance chasers, looking for the dirty bits, riveted by the nightmares, thanking the universe or god or whoever that those problems are someone else's, and that we get to hear all about them.... Fact is, it was a fantastic trip - angels and devils notwithstanding. A family love-in. OK, once we were home for a day or so it was back to normal.
But not completely. For within days of returning from our family holiday, I was off on a trip on my own. And I've learned that even sitting alone at a friend's desk, blogging and reliving certain funny-from-far moments, can be a real vacation.