Wednesday, September 16, 2009 you still here?

Just checking.

I have a new blog! You knew I couldn't stay away forever, didn't you? Email me urbaninfogirl [at] gmail [dot] com if you, you know, want to hook up and stuff. No pressure...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

these things I word of a lie

I was chatting with the librarian who works in the staff library the other day, and when he wanted to emphasize a point, that this thing he was about to say was the absolute truth, he prefaced it with this:

"What's that saying people around here say - 'no word of a lie'? - okay, so no word of a lie..."

And then he went on to tell me the thing. But I had to interrupt him:

me: "Wait. What? That's a 'thing' around here? 'No word of a lie'?
him: "Yeah. It must be. I never heard it until I moved to Hamilton."
me: "Huh. That's weird, cos I think just now is the first time I've ever even heard that phrase."
him: "Really?"
me: "Yeah. No word of a lie."

Seriously, I crack my own shit up.

But really, is this a thing? Has anyone else ever heard this? He's from western Ontario, so you know... But there are a lot of things that are regional - perhaps this is one? Help me out here.

Okay, so the main reason I am gracing this blog with my presence after a way long hiatus is to announce my new year's resolutions! That's right, people. The head instructor at our karate school told us to write down our goals - that's when they truly become goals. Otherwise? If you don't write them down, they're just dreams. Once they're in print? Goals. Dude can be pretty philosophical while he's inflicting pain. So not only am I going to write them down, but I am going to write them down for the world to see. Or at least the 6 of y'all who keep reading this drivel.

Now, new year’s resolutions are usually of the “eat better and exercise more and get in shape” genre, but I actually already do eat pretty well, and I’m in reasonably good shape (don’t hate), so what’s left? These things:

#1 Perfect the nude/neutral lip.
So when you're blessed with skinny lips that are practically the same colour as the REST OF YOUR FACE it's hard to go out in public without something on them to show the world that you do indeed have, you know, a mouth. So I am constantly trying to find the lipstick/lipgloss/tinted lipbalm that emphasizes my mouth, without making me appear clownlike. People, it's uphill work. I have dozens of these products and there is just nothing that suits. It's either too pale (hi, I already own that look) or it's too dark (well, hey there, Bozo). So, this year? This year I vow to get professional intervention in the lip area. Surely to god there is a makeup person or esthetician out there who can help me. As of this week? I am officially on the hunt.

**I should mention, before I proceed, that I never said my resolutions would be life-altering or even intelligent. They're just things I'm gonna do. So as long as we're clear on that.**

#2 Drink more gin.
So who doesn't enjoy a nice glass of wine after a long day at work? Well, me apparently. Apparently? I enjoy 2 or 3 or even 4 glasses of wine. See the thing is, once the bottle is open, I somehow think that it must be entirely consumed at that exact time. It will not keep! So if John and I open a bottle, it is often gone before it's time to sit down at watch CSI. On occasion, another bottle may be opened. And that just leads to staying up too late, talking about politics and the state of the economy. Or arguing over the names of old Supertramp albums. Whatever. The thing with the gin, is that I will not actually consume an entire bottle.* In fact, if mixed properly with chilled vermouth and a couple of nice big fat olives? I will actually stop at one drink. So more gin! Hooray! Problem solved.

*unless I’m hanging with Vivian. In that case, all bets are off.

#3 Go out for lunch more.
By “out for lunch” I don’t necessarily mean out to a restaurant or anything. I really mean I just need to get away from my desk for a bit at lunch time. Sometimes I eat in the other office (ooooh radical!) but I’d like to go even further afield as often as possible. This is easier said than done in the winter months, of course. In the spring and summer I will go for a walk and eat picnic-style on a park bench, or take my lunch out to the patio overlooking the city and enjoy. During these neverending winter months, it’s definitely more difficult. I will have to explore my options here inside. I know there is a staff lunch room, but you know what those can be like – people bitching and kvetching and that is way hard to listen to. So I will begin an investigation, and hopefully find a nice quiet area that isn’t the desk in my office. Also the occasional restaurant visit would be nice. Anyone up for lunch with me?

#4 Unplug more.
People, I am quite serious about this one. I spend way too much time in front of a computer, mindlessly browsing, hanging on Facebook. I also spend too much time in front of the TV. Usually not watching anything in particular – there’s nothing on, but yet the TV is. Why is that? So I can complain about there being nothing to watch? It’s ridiculous. Time is one of the most amazing and precious things we have, and here I am just a-wasting it hardcore. I’m not giving up TV altogether, of course, that would be silly. But, our new rule is that we watch the shows we want to watch, and in between, the TV goes off. It’s seriously not rocket science, but I have never yet been able to accomplish anything even close to this, so it’s a big step.

#5 Blog less.
Ha, you’re thinking – e-L how can you claim to want to blog less when you’re barely able to pull off one or two measly posts each month? Well, that, in part, goes along with #4, and learning to unplug. I do believe, blogfriends, that it’s time to pull the plug on this amazing journey.

I’ve been blogging here on and off for almost 4 years, and it’s been great. But the last few months have been less so. I don’t know if it’s a change of focus or of priorities, but I’m no longer, as it were, feeling the love. Not from any of you, of course, y’all are great. It’s just time.

Will I be gone forever? I doubt it. Perhaps I’ll regroup and resurrect the amazing journey. Or, perhaps there is another blog in my future, one that will better reflect my energies and focus. I honestly can’t say right now. But if and when I figure it out, you will be the first to know.

Thanks to all of you for the laughs, for the inspiration, for the bloggy friendship.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

or christen boats with corgis

This is some seriously funny shit. A well-deserved piss-taking from the man himself. Watch it again, right here.

Jon Stewart gives Canada the bizness

Oh, Jon. How much do I love you for this? Awesome.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

why my kids rock harder than most kids (part I)


Dear Santa Claus,

How have you been? I’m almost 11 so I don’t need as many presents this year. I do want two things and they are as followed.

Student sized double bass

I know you are busy, and if you can’t get these things, just do your best.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

on fleeing to Aspen

It's the day before the first of December. That would be the 30th of November, by most calendars. And we all know what that means. The holidays, they are upon us. I tend to look at the December holiday season as starting around the time of the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I don't know why, but it just seems to fit. So yesterday, we lugged the decorations downstairs and spruced the place up festive-like. Then we listened to the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas while I made dinner and after dinner we watched the Charlie Brown Christmas DVD.

Today, John put up the lights on our front veranda, and I did magical things with cedar boughs, magnolia leaves, berries and other festive stuff in my outdoor urns. We watched another Christmas special before the boys went up to bed. In a couple of weeks we will go choose and bring home a nice tree to decorate. There will be baking and shopping. Sounds great, right?

Then why does it always seem to dissolve into a full-on stressfest?

A couple of years ago I resolved to be more organized as the holidays approached, and to spend more time actually enjoying them, instead of cursing out other drivers as I headed once again to the store to buy yet another gift I'd forgotten I needed to buy. I resolved to simplify things - to spend less money, to streamline things. To eliminate some of the stressors that the holiday season tends to bring.

I think I've been relatively successful. Except that the rest of the world? Apparently didn't get the memo.

I think what I need to do is to completely shut off from society during the month of December. I don't mean from the people I care about, just from everything else. From the endless TV commercials boasting diamond pendants that are just what she wants, starting at $999.00. People! We are in a recession! Or, if not officially a recession, a really, really bad economic place! Diamonds are not a necessity! Also I need to shut off from the mall where the big red letters tell me that everything is MARKED DOWN AND 80% OFF AND IF YOU GET HERE EARLY YOU CAN TRAMPLE A MAN TO DEATH! (see my post from yesterday if you're not sure what that's about).

Now I realize that crazy-ass commercialism is not new. Heck, Charlie Brown recognized it in 1965. This is probably why his Christmas special is my absolute favourite. And this is also why the title of my post is what it is. I have a couple of friends who feel the same way, about the pressures of the holidays. I brought up the idea of a chalet in Aspen (I have no idea why I picked Aspen, but I did, and it seems perfect). A chalet we could all retreat to for the holidays. For ski and apres-ski. Good wine and great food. A fireplace. Good conversation and catching up. Possibly a hot tub. Relaxing and laughing, and doing it all without the stressors and the pressure.

Of course this chalet exists only in our collective imaginations. But maybe that's ok for right now. Maybe even an imaginary place is all we need to get us through the tough situations. Meditate - on the gathering at the chalet and you will be stronger. Visualize - the hot tub and the kids chilling by the fire, and you will be content. Breathe - into the images of hot rum toddies with your best friends, and you will find peace.

In January, I will let you know how I made out.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

what i had planned to blog about

I know. I'm not bitter or anything, but this is what I was going to blog about last night:

Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede

You may have heard this already. It's a story that was picked up by our local paper, so I always figure if the Spectator has it, everyone else does too.

Now that I have the opportunity to write about this event, I'm actually not sure that I can. I mean, seriously? Is this not one of the saddest testaments to our society ever? As if that poor dude went to work yesterday thinking "Damn, I could die today. I'd better spend extra time hugging my kids and telling my loved ones how I feel." The guy worked at Wal-Mart. He was not a soldier stationed in a war zone. Although I guess, in a way, he was.

When shoppers are taking giant doors off hinges in order to get in to a store? I'm thinking it's time, as a society, to reevaluate priorities. I mean I know they call these sales "door crashers", but when a man is trampled to death because the sea of people just will not stop? I don't know, man. Of course there have been tramplings in other scenarios - concerts, rallies. But for some reason, when it's shopping-related, it just seems - to me, anyway - that much more sad and ridiculous. Is it really worth that $10 off the video game?

I don't know. Maybe I'm not in a position to judge. But I'd like to think that I wouldn't step over a dying man to get to the best deal ever.


And I was doing so well. But I had to race home from work, pick up Max, drive him to a birthday party, hang out and wait for him, race over to my mum's with him, then off to meet John and Vivian and Steve for dinner. Then we went to see The Sadies (who are awesome and you totally need to check out their music; they are some of the most talented musicians in this country right now, and they put on an amazing show).

So yeah.

I'm not making excuses, I'm really not. I disclosed my non-blogmanship at the restaurant last night. Then I went on to tell my dinner guests what I had planned to blog about. And if I had a mobile blogging device, I could have done it right there. But I don't. So I missed a post.

But this live-blogging thing, where you tell your friends your posts? I totally think it could catch on.

I think I'll call it "dinner conversation". I really think I'm on to something.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

4 for 1

Today the 4 of us went to our doctor's office, rolled up our sleeves and got jabbed with the influenza vaccine. Last year was the first time the boys got the shot, so they knew what to expect, which was good. And bad. But it all worked out and we're set for the season. Bring it on influenza! Except - um - don't, okay?

If you've ever had a really bad flu, you know it's horrible. I'm not talking Norwalk-type-puke-your-guts-out stomach bug (not the flu, but distressing nonetheless) - I'm talking high fever, aches and chills, painful hair follicles, bad cough, delirious, skin that hurts to have the pajamas rub up against it, etc. That. Is the flu.

The last time I had a really bad bout of the flu was the first year John and I were married. On Boxing Day we went to my parents' for the annual family open house eats fest. I remember being there. I don't remember getting home. It isn't that I had too much Christmas cheer, it's just that I was so out of it, I only remember waking up in the night sweating but freezing, with a full-on body ache. I didn't remember ever being so sick. By our anniversary (December 30) I was still in pretty bad shape. Happy 1st Anniversary! Nothing says love like a wastepaper basket full of snotty tissues. I lay around and moaned. And John tried to find a loophole to get me off his hands, I'm sure.

Finally on New Year's Day, I was determined to take down the decorations that had been mocking me all week. So I got myself some drugs and loaded up. It was fine for a bit, I buzzed around taking shit off the tree, pulling down lights, gettin' 'er done. And then? Then I had some crazy-ass crash. I hit the wall, and had to go lie down. Except I couldn't sleep. I was nervous and stressed and felt like a junkie who needed a fix (except that I don't really know what that feels like, so I am taking some liberties, k?) My eyes were crazy and I was shaking. John read the package of Daytime Contac C or whatever the hell I was on. "If nervous feeling persists, do not continue to take". WTF? Nervous feeling? This is a side effect? Apparently it was. And a doozy of a side effect.

I don't know about you, but when I take some drugs for a condition, I look at the side effects, and then I completely disregard. "Pfft - whatev, grandma. Won't happen to me" At least that's what I used to do, before my fucked-up-Christmas-crazy-pants dance. I'm a little more careful now. I'm also pretty sure that this whole meltdown was prior to there being an available flu shot for regular peeps, so now I ensure that I get myself innoculated annually.

And in order to avoid the fucked-up-Christmas-crazy-pants dance? I recommend you do the same.
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