Saturday, November 30
Tuesday, November 12
Wednesday, July 24
Sunday, June 16
Saturday, March 23
Wednesday, January 9
While I caved and let him put it on the fridge, I wasn't about to give up without a fight. Ever since it made its debut, I've defaced it every night before bed. At first, I'd just cover his face with a fridge magnet but I soon found a way to take it to a new level.
Each night I post a new message for Ben. And every morning he checks the calendar with horrified glee.
I started with this one:
and then evolved to this:
When I messaged Amy she chastised me. I redeemed myself a little with the next encouraging message:
...but guys. The high road just isn't for me. Which is why this morning, Ben woke up to this beauty:
Sorry, Sid. But it's true. That's a pretty shameful mustache and I can't believe I have to look at it for 22 more days.
Thursday, December 20
Friday, September 7
I think the internet is like any other neighbourhood. Some of it is pretty swank and unattainable. I’m looking at you Gwyneth Paltrow. And some of it is like the seedy underbelly of a Detroit back alley. NOT THAT I WOULD ACCIDENTALLY KNOW OR ANYTHING. Basically, it all depends on where you hang out. And whether or not you have SUCKER tattooed on your forehead.
The other day on a whim, I decided I wanted to send Jeff some groceries as a surprise. In my experience, all new college kids always blow their grocery money on beer and then starve until mom and dad top up their bank account again. At which time, they go out and buy a case of ramen noodles and more beer. Now Jeff’s a good kid, probably much better than I was at his age, but I’m not stupid either. (Even if I did have to Google ‘motorboating’ after one of our conversations.) The problem is, Jeff is now going to school in Northern Alberta and a grocery service like Gateway doesn’t exist up there.
Enter my good friend, Google: Hey, Google, s’up?
After literally seconds of scouring the internet, I found a guy willing to do my grocery shopping for me as well as deliver it. We emailed back and forth a few times, hammering out the details. Then I gave him a long list of items. Some things were specific – others included the words “whatever” and “use your judgment” which, when you think about it, should have been a recipe for disaster.
Unlike everything Dateline would lead you to believe, Myles came through like a pro. The next day, pretty much exactly when he said he’d be there, he showed up on Jeff’s doorstep with the delivery. Jeff, who might have been expecting a puppy or a mountain bike, was stunned. Afterward, Jeff sent me a few dozen BBMs that were littered with !!!!’s and one YOU’RE CRAZY! That afternoon, I also got a very thoughtful email from Myles telling me that Operation FEED JEFF was a complete success.
Since then, Jeff and I have been joking about whether or not Myles is able to deliver a fully cooked Thanksgiving turkey next month.
In conclusion, arranging surprises for the people you love is never not fun. Especially when you’re able to pull it off with the help of a total stranger. Unfortunately for me, Myles doesn’t deliver to Ontario so it looks like I’ll be doing my own damn shopping tonight.
Wednesday, September 5
For me, grade six meant Mr. Stewart's class at the top of the stairs. It meant access to the senior bathrooms; a tampon machine for the girls and, if the rumor mill was to be trusted, a condom machine for the boys. Grade six was the year of Karate Kid and Back to the Future. It was crushing on boys with spiked hair and jean jackets. It was Corey Hart vs Brian Adams. Cosby Show vs Family Ties.
Ben, without my consent, keeps hurtling himself through one grade after the other. Didn't I just take him to JK last year? Jesus kid, slow down.
Friday, August 24
Halifax is a small city with a big attitude. It’s actually not much larger than Kitchener-Waterloo but it struts around like it’s Toronto. And by struts, I mean saunters like it just got high and had a threesome in the parking lot during prom. So what I really mean is that Halifax is a very chill city.
Personally I’ve never seen a city more relaxed or safer for pedestrians. At least they were safe until I arrived in town. I’m certain I nearly killed at least a dozen people while driving through Dartmouth. And that was just on my way to grab coffee. If I wasn’t running them down, I was nearly rear ending other drivers suddenly stopping at crosswalks. WHO ACTUALLY DOES THAT? People in Halifax, that’s who! Also, they drive much slower than I’m used to. Slow like snails.
This is a problem because the second the light turns green, I’m on a mission to get there first. Where doesn’t matter. You just have to be first! In Halifax they’re all, “Dude what’s your hurry? You got someplace you gotta be? Reeeeelaaaaaax.”
So yeah. That took getting used to.
When I met up with Cheryl (ironically at the Lions Head) we talked about it. She pointed out that people were more likely to get in accidents because they stop for pedestrians even when they’re jaywalking. I don’t understand this city, I just wanna move there. I know everyone always says that about any place they vacation, but you guys: THIS TIME I MEAN IT, FOR REAL.
The place we rented was technically in Dartmouth so every night we’d be able to see the lights of Halifax across the river. Occasionally sail boats would just cruise on through all, “Don’t mind me. I’m just a postcard in real life.”
In the mornings, Ben and I would deke (foreshadowing!) out to a tiny café called Two If By Sea. I have so much love for this coffee shop! Ben would eat a chocolate croissant larger than his head (have you seen the size of his head?) and I’d chug back an iced latte while flipping through the local paper. Swear to god, coffee shops are probably my favourite thing about new cities. So far, every city has had one that I’ve fallen in love with. Pittsburgh, for example, has The Beehive. Kitchener-Waterloo doesn’t have anything that competes and that just makes me so sad. (insert world’s smallest violin here)
Amazing coffee shop aside, we also went to one of the oldest cemeteries in the city. While we were there we met Major Ross who, among other things, burned down the White House (booyah bitches). Of course back then it was the Pink House and probably didn’t have any republican shit heads qualifying rape as forcible or legitimate. (Suck it Akin, you’re a prick) Still, Ross was pretty bad ass and legend has it that when he died, his body was brought back to Halifax in a crate of rum.
On Monday we did the obligatory trip out to Peggy’s Cover (gorgeous), ate fish and chips (yum) and then took a walk along the harbour (delightful). While I was in town I had the chance to meet up with my friend, Cathy, and her daughter, Clare. (So many commas! So little time!)
Tuesday we scored tickets to the Canada/Russia challenge.
Ben and I went to the Metro center early so we could check out the Sports Hall of Fame; Ben was impressed with Mrs. Crosby’s old dryer. Honestly, I think the hockey game might have been the highlight of the trip for me.
In 1984 my parents woke me up so that I could watch the last few minutes of the semi-final game between Canada and the USSR. I can still remember jumping off the couch and screaming when Paul Coffey set up the winning goal. Ben, I assume, will probably always remember standing on his seat and screaming with 80,000 of his new best friends.
(how awesome is it that you can YouTube your favourite childhood memories?)
Related, my favourite moment of any hockey series is always when all the sticks and gloves get discarded on the ice. I'm not even kidding, it makes me tear up every time.
Wednesday we went to visit an Acadian museum. I thought Ben would be bored but he actually seemed really into it. Before we went back to Halifax, we had lunch in a tiny café that served the best homemade blueberry pie and lemonade. The lemonade so good that when I got home I Googled how to make my own. I’m lazy, so I assure you, that’s as far as I’ll get with that project. Although I might attempt baking a pie. Don’t worry. I’ll warn you ahead of time so you can take cover.
Finally, Wednesday night I was able to squeeze in a short visit with my friend Cheryl. Cheryl and I have known each other since pre-school when my aunt Marg used to babysit us. In public school she introduced me to Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee and the book, The Girl Who Owned a City by OT Nelson. In high school she dated my future ex husband. When Ben heard that, he very seriously asked me if there had been any “hard feelings” when they broke up. I was sure to mention this to Cheryl.
She assures me there were not.
Sunday, June 17
Sunday, May 27
Sunday, May 13
Thursday, May 10
- Yesterday I accidentally left my car keys in a coworkers car over lunch. This didn’t become evident until a) they’d left the office for the day and b) I tried to go home. Clearly you can see the disconnect here. I’d like to tell you that hilarity ensued but that would be a lie. Mostly I swore and gnashed my teeth a little.
- For dinner last night I had a Wonderbar.
- Wednesday I narc’d out some guy trying to cross 8 lanes of traffic on foot. He looked a little coked out of his mind (probably because by then he’d already crossed 4 lanes) so I phoned the OPP and reported him. This is mildly funny because in doing so, I was breaking the driving/cell phone law. I think they call that irony in the literary world.
- Speaking of the literary world, I have no intention of reading the book Shades of Grey because I’m fairly certain I could write better porn myself.
- I’ve been working a lot. Like, a lot a lot. It sort of makes me crabby. Well, crabbier than usual.
- Last weekend, for fun, I dragged everything out of my bedroom and then washed the walls, sorted through a million articles of clothing and got rid of an alarming amount of crap. This turned out to be an all-day adventure and not something I ever want to repeat again.
- Also last weekend, Ben and I went to watch the middle Pudd play ball. To clarify; I watched the ball game, Ben sat under the bleachers and read his book in the shade. Still, the sentiment was there.
- Speaking of sentiments, er, sediments and the Pudd’s; the boys have been spending some quality time with Ben. This has resulted in extra laundry for me because they encourage climbing rocks, scaling tree bridges and hurtling oneself through mud puddles. At least twice a day Ben declares them the best pretend big brothers a boy could have. I am not inclined to disagree.
- Speaking of brothers; Saturday I’ve got plans to photograph the boys. I am assured this won’t end in fisticuffs.
- Speaking of photography. I somehow have three photos on exhibit in Hamilton for the month of May.
- Tiffany has vowed not to talk to me until I updated again. Related, Deanne said she’d still talk to me but that officially, we couldn’t be friends.
- Consider this blog updated.
- PS: Blogger, your new format blows chunks
Monday, April 16
Ben and I spend a fair amount of time wrestling. This may shock people who might otherwise think we spend our time quietly tiptoeing around the apartment and reading Proust in hushed, reverent whispers. Okay, granted. I do like some quality quiet time. And yes I prefer books over playing “Army Dudes” and Mario Kart. But wrestling was something I did with my dad and I’m happy to continue the fine art of pile driving my son into the living room couch in the name of family honour.
The problem however, is that Ben has somehow (without my knowledge or express written consent) gotten stronger. Don’t get me wrong, he still can’t win, but now it takes considerable effort on my part to unseat him. Give him another year and I’ll no longer be able to crow that I’m the undefeated couch wrestling champion OF THE WOOOOOOOORLD.
Last night, Josh came over for dinner. While I was in the kitchen, he took over putting Ben in his place. Ben was (easily, I might add) thrown off/onto the couch more times than I can count. And like all wrestling matches, it eventually ended in tears.
*For the record, I’ve never read Proust, nor do I intend to. It’s on the list of Things I Know I Won’t Like, Even Though I’ve Never Tried Them. …right next to beets.
Monday, April 9
Not only are Darlene and I competitive during pottery, we bicker like an old married couple. For added thrills, there is domestic violence too. I’m sure this has aged our instructor by at least ten years because she’s constantly trying in vain not to take sides. (Note to Lisa: When I get violently poked in the arm with a pin tool, it’s totally okay to take my side.) Last week wasn’t any different than usual and when I finally showed up with Starbucks in hand - no matter how late you are, there’s always time for the Mermaid - Darlene was quick to yell at me. See? Totally Normal Thursday Night. The fact that I like Darlene is probably just Stockholm Syndrome and/or a symptom of my cripplingly low self esteem. Only time will tell.
(I can say this to you now because there is at least 75 kms between me and the nearest pin tool. Three days from now, I won’t be so brave. And also, I’ll probably look like Swiss cheese.)
Anyway, fast forward a good hour or so to when we’re all up to our elbows in mud, save Josh who was instead doing a kick ass job trimming his first ever pot. More later on how much this makes me hate him. As I’m talking (probably about how I maimed a Canada Goose on my way to class: for real, I totally manifested that shit), I feel a distinct stinging sort of buzz in my right leg. My obvious reaction is to interrupt myself by yelping, “Ow” at a perfectly reasonable decibel. The stinging buzz continued with a more persistent intensity so I ratcheted up my squawking. “Ow! Ow! Ow!” That’s when I turn to Darlene and half-shout at her, “Ow that hurts! What are you doing?”
Because CLEARLY it was somehow Darlene’s fault. OBVIOUS THINGS ARE OBVIOUS, PEOPLE.
Darlene denies it so then I figure it must be one of Lisa’s cats sharpening their nails on my ass. That’s when I jumped out of my chair. We should pause here to note that a normal person probably would have jumped up much sooner. The painful buzzing immediately stopped. While I was standing, Josh leaned over to investigate and noticed the extension cord that my chair was sitting on. For anyone not well versed in science, if you take a metal chair and set it on an exposed metal grounding prong and then add an electrical current: CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just built yourself an electric chair.
Friday, March 30
On a whim, I invited one of my “practice” kids to pottery with me. I say practice because I’ve known Josh and his family for 18 years. Walking through their front door is as comfortable as flopping down on my parents couch. By the time Ben came along, I’d had years to perfect my disinterested “I’m listening” nod on them. In retrospect, all parents should have practice children. They are by all accounts, marginally cuter than puppies (see exhibit A, above) with the added bonus of not peeing on the floor.
I honestly didn’t expect Josh to accept the invitation, but he did and I’m so glad for it. Now that he’s 20, I don’t often get to see him learning something new for the first time. When he was very young, he would pester me for homework. His older brother would come home from school and Josh would be gutted that Greg had all this exciting homework to do and he didn’t. To compensate, I would make him a page of his own work. Josh was thrilled to sit at the table next to Greg, tracing his pencil over the dotted letters that I would draw onto a blank piece of paper.
Watching Josh learn to centre his clay for the first time was very similar to seeing him master the letter J. He has the same quiet, intent focus now that he did back then. He even has the same satisfied smile afterwards. The only major difference is that when he hugs me now, my face unfortunately fits directly into his armpit.
Nobody said life was perfect.
Last Thursday I was one of the parent volunteers for Ben’s class trip to the Royal Ontario Museum. I was a parent volunteer driver no less. When I mentioned this to a few friends, they looked at me like I’d lost my fucking mind. I admitted that I probably had. Children are not my strong suit and I normally tell anyone within shouting distance that I don’t like them. Except the secret is, I like do some children very much. Mostly, it’s the parenting I hate. And by parenting, I mean the complete lack thereof.
Anyway, the day of our big adventure (or in retrospect, the day I should have had my head examined) I was assigned four children, plus my own darling boy. In the interest of full disclosure, I love going places with Ben because he can be corrected with a single, withering death-glare. Sadly other kids seem immune to my charms, but I digress.
On the way to the ROM I only had to drive Ben and his best friend. The two boys sat in the backseat, head to head, pouring over the games on their respective iPods while we listened to Flo Rida rather loudly. I felt like a total parent-volunteer rock star.
Of course, once we got to the ROM, I was assigned three other boys. They were….shall we say….energetic. (In therapy, they call that positive reframing!) After our mandatory guided tour through the Mayan exhibit, we were allowed to roam around the other areas of the museum at our own pace. For the record, that “pace” was akin to dropping a handful of marbles onto the floor and then trying not to lose track of any of them while they scatter in every possible direction.
Obviously I spent most of my morning counting heads while they dodged around innocent bystanders like rabid little pinballs. I might have even stopped a covert game ring around the dinosaur. Meanwhile, Ben was busy shooting pictures with my $800.00 camera while I begged him to please, please, please be careful not to drop it. Thankfully, he didn’t. In actuality I must be rubbing off on him because he got some interesting shots and actually spent a lot of time experimenting with different angles. Of course this meant he lagged behind while the other kids were mumbling BRAAAAINS and staggering off to the minerals exhibit where they then tried to kill each other with giant glowing rocks.
(I wish I was kidding)
Meanwhile, one of the boys I was supervising was doing some experimenting of his own. Mostly with the science of audiology while crossing over a metal catwalk. (Translation: he was screaming like a banshee) Not to worry, apparently crotchity old security men have a better grasp of the death stare than me and the child was quickly subdued into mute submission…for approximately 90 seconds.
Still, the highlight of the day was probably the Roman exhibit. As soon as we walked into the room I saw all the gorgeous freestanding sculptures and busts and physically shuddered with fear. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that I was clearly in trouble. “Please don’t run in this room,” I said to their rapidly retreating backsides. “And don’t bump into the status either.”
I’m happy to report that no one (technically) ran and no one (technically) bumped into anything. Instead one boy, who for the sake of his mother, shall remain nameless, speedwalked through the room slapping every male statue on his naked penis while shouting, “dick! dick! dick!”
The goose, I’m sure, was implied.
Monday, March 5
This past weekend, Ben did all his own laundry. We’ve been working up to this for some time now. He’s always been responsible for putting his clothes away. He’s always been responsible for bringing his dirty laundry out of his room on wash day and sorting it. But this weekend, we took it to a whole new glorious level.
This weekend, he sorted everything, loaded the machine, set the washer, measured out the soap and then switched everything over into the dryer when it was time. Like a champ.
Angels sang and I crossed one more thing off my parenting to-do list.
Wednesday, February 29
I wouldn’t call it a wardrobe malfunction per se, more of a …miscalculation.
You see, today I’m wearing a new wrap top which I really like. Because my boobs are spectacular, it’s rather flattering. However, I failed to sit down while trying the blouse before purchase and now I see (WOW…DO I EVER SEE) the error of my ways. Both the girls are rather exposed, shall we say? If by exposed one means, planning their own jail break.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that I’m also wearing a new bra which came with its own German engineering certificate. A bra whose entire function is to magnificently LIFT and SEPARATE. I hope this won’t alarm you, but every time I glance down, my boobs scare the shit out of me. They’re the Quebec of mammary glands! A distinct society lobbying for separatism!
I’m telling you now, the only thing between me and an indecent exposure violation is a teeny, tiny silver safety pin. God help us, all.
Monday, February 13
Dear Maintenance Person at the North Huron Wescast Community Complex,
Thursday, February 2
Let’s just ignore the fact that I woke up at 3:30 am to the dulcet sounds of my cat vomiting, and carry on shall we?
Tonight was pottery and somehow, through an act of god , I managed to throw 2 pretty decent sized pots. And by decent? I mean humongous. Of course I deliberately photographed my bowl next to Darlene’s cups because I’m an asshole. Darlene would like to point out that she MEANT for her cups to be that size because they’re for the BATHROOM. Honestly, and don’t tell Darlene I said so, I’m a little jealous. I’ve tried to throw a cylinder and I just can’t do it. Cups seem to be a little out of my realm, I’m afraid.
I suppose I’ll just have to content myself with huge ass bowls.
Wednesday, February 1
Don't look now, but this is the face of a cat who has not thrown up in four days. Since we brought her home after Christmas, Sev has found new and exciting places to yak on. Twice I've come from from work to find cat vomit coating the windowsill and yes, even dripping down the wall. Gosh. I hope you weren't having your lunch.
I told Ben this shit was not going to fly, and so we've been tinkering around with different types of food hoping to find the magical solution to our woes. Turns out the answer is wet food. I can't even begin to articulate how much this disgusts me. I'd rather touch a million raw chicken breasts with my bare hands, than deal with wet cat food. And yet, here I am anyway. Do you think I can order a hasmat suit online?
Tuesday, January 31
Darlene informed me yesterday that I hadn't updated in 2 weeks and 2 days. And now here we are, another day later. Below, Ben is getting in touch with his inner baby gangster. I didn't have the heart to tell him that tough guys don't usually eat croissants while reading the funnies...at Starbucks.
Sunday, January 15
The best thing about a lazy Sunday morning is waking up in the sunny patch of the bed.
Other things approaching that level of awesomeness are as follows:
Reading the newspaper over breakfast
The moment you shift from 3rd to 4th
The little wave you get when you let someone cut in during rush hour traffic
Hearing your favourite song come on while you're stuck in line at the grocery store
Realizing you’re out of shampoo but still managing to squeeze out one more wash
Boarding calls at the airport
When the person at Starbucks knows your name AND your order
Speaking of Starbucks, Ben and I are off to the bookstore for a few hours. Quelle surprise.