Friday, December 21, 2007
Actually it was just me gettin' jiggy with the season and all the stuff that goes with it. I'd planned to take some time off after November, just to rest my weary blogging fingers, but three weeks? Perhaps a little excessive.
Anyway, regularly-scheduled blogging will likely resume over the weekend - the drivel in my brain must go SOMEwhere after all. For now though, I leave you with my Christmas wishlist:
1. Peace on earth
2. Goodwill toward all people
3. This totally kick-ass Veuve Cliquot cooler, sweetie, darling. *air kiss*
Friday, November 30, 2007
So this isn't really a guest post, but it's coming to you from a guest location, live from Vivian's so give it up!
And I'm remembering that my last year's NaBloPoMo post was lame, and I vowed that if I did this again this year, I'd have just an awesome post.
So what do y'all think? Awesome, right?
Yeah, you know it.
Happy end of NaBloPoMo everyone. I need more wine.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
There's no need to be afraid
We let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime
The child is learning this tune for his class Christmas concert, which is awesome. But then he says "so is this like a classic Christmas song?" And I said "um - well - sort of - it's from 1984" And he was all "whoa - so it's old"
In my defense, I did explain to him the whole history of the concept, told him who was involved, who wrote the song, the lyrics and music, why it was such a big deal, and how it launched a bunch of other (albeit less worthy) songs for African relief, told him that I'd find the video for him, but pay no attention to Bono's (and everyone else's) gigantic hair. It kind of scared me, actually, how much I knew about that song. But then, it's launched the holiday season for me for the past 23 years. For me, it's the musical equivalent of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Once I see that show, I'm officially in the holiday spirit. And same goes for the Band Aid tune.
So Charlie Brown was Tuesday night, and Do They Know It's Christmas was today. Consider me officially holidayfied.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Okay, let me explain, lest you think I just go around looking for trouble.
When I was doing my library diploma (or libdip for short) one of the courses involved circulation - not as in the system in your body, of course - but as in library materials. Circulation, in the library world is sacred. Patron privacy is the ultimate priority, and under no circumstances are you to comment on what people are signing out. This is the dog's honest truth, people - this is what was drilled into fledgling library heads lo these many years ago. On no account can you call someone out about what they're signing out from your library. Ever. This golden rule pretty much applies at all libraries, but the librarian teaching my particular course was a public librarian, so she was using public libraries as the model. Basically, if you take anything up to the circ desk and show your card, the items are signed out no questions asked.
One of the examples that was used in my class - and probably many, many library school classes worldwide, was the instance of (and I'm probably going to get some of the details wrong, but the gist of it you will understand) the teenager who signed out the book Final Exit. The staff member who checked the book out knew the kid and the kid's family. Later, the kid committed suicide. The very distraught parents were outraged that the staff member didn't tell the parents what their kid had signed out, holding this person responsible, that if they'd said something, maybe it could have been prevented... A very sad story indeed. However, the staff member was under no obligation to say anything, of course. And so it goes.
Anyway, this has always stuck with me througout my library career, and I think it's important. You don't make comments to someone checking out diet books like "Hey, great! You've finally decided to do something about that spare tire!" just like you wouldn't say "Wow, that's a lot of electronics and pyrotechnics books you've got there - gonna make a bomb?"
So I'm always shocked and taken aback when grocery or other clerks make comments on my purchases. The nachos thing was only one in a long series of instances where I just didn't know how to respond. Some times it's more disturbing than others. Like the time the grocery clerk commented "Jeez, you sure do have a lot of vegetables! Are you like a vegetarian or something?" or when two women handled the bread I was buying saying "Yeah, I've always wanted to try this but it's sooooo expensive - so, is it worth it??" I wanted to run. On the other hand, when I bought my winter coat last weekend and the girl said "Man, I love that coat on you, it's awesome! And you know, they're super warm too" I was pleased. Maybe because I'd asked for some help, talked a little about what I was looking for - stuff like that. So her comments were justified and welcomed. But, when I walk up to the check-out lane at the grocer and plunk my items on the belt, I've done it all myself and I guess I just don't need justification for what I'm purchasing. Nor do I need comments.
So I guess what I'm wondering is does this bother anyone else? Are you annoyed or flattered when check-out people comment on your purchases? Does it feel like an invasion of your privacy, or are you willing to share your preferences for expensive breads? Am I alone in the deer in the headlights feeling when this happens because of my "the customer's items are sacred and are known to them and them alone" mantra, or do others share this view? Am I the only crazy in the room?
Know what? Don't answer that last one, k? Thanks.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Anyway, have a look at Square America to see what can happen to old photos if you're not careful. I think The Party is about the craziest shit I've seen in awhile. Someone was documenting this debauchery! People posing half naked and in their skivvies! Men in curlers?!
I always knew I was born in the wrong era.
Monday, November 26, 2007
So that explains that.
However, it sometimes seems as though people can hear the music in her ears because they walk to the beat. Have you ever noticed this? It's very cool when you've got some tune cranked up high and some dude is just strutting down the street, almost like he's singing along. Love that.
Ha. Take that NaBloPoMo.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It's Grey Cup Sunday actually so give it up for the CFL! East vs. West in the 95th Grey Cup. Played in Toronto this year, but sadly I didn't get to any of the Grey Cup week festivities. It's always a good party, the lead up to the big game is. This year the shadow of the NFL hangs over the league. Toronto really wants an NFL team, and Buffalo might be looking for a new home. What that could mean for the CFL remains to be seen. I don't know that it would spell complete disaster, but quite frankly, I don't think Toronto could support two professional football teams.
At any rate, beer and chips will be consumed, the TV will be yelled at, referees will be called names and some excellent football will be coming to us live in about 6 hours time. Awesome.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
So when exactly did it happen that I could take my son out for such a sophisticated meal? It was actually his choice, and it was awesome. It's hard to believe a month today he will turn 10. And harder to believe how quickly those years have flown, which scares me, because the next 10 are likely to go even faster.
So here's to many more lunches. Maybe one day the boy will even pick up the tab.
Friday, November 23, 2007
All right, I'm tired, so I'll just tell you straight up what's going down. Tomorrow there are a bunch of our friends coming over. I'm making more killah chili, we're consuming some beverages and then some McGinty will be taken in. I've never actually seen this band in living action, but I have heard that they do indeed rawk the howse. So I'm stoked. And also, there will be 9 or 10 of my bestest friends in attendance and there will be much laughter, reminiscing, telling of crazy-ass Navy, university and StevieB stories. We will drink beer and laugh some more. We'll dance and sing Farewell to Nova Scotia (I hope!) and laugh even more. And it will be awesome. Then we'll all crash at our house and hit Ray's for breakfast Sunday morning, where more stories will be told, more laughter will happen, more catching up will occur.
So, does it sound like I've already experienced this? I have. With these friends, nights like this are predictable. Yet they are predictably awesome. I am so excited to have these people around me you have no idea. Or maybe you do. And if you do? Then you're just as lucky as I am.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
So I'm here to share some more bits of awesomeness:
#1 There's a really cute, 3-storey apartment building that I pass on my way to work, called the Elgin Apartments. (as an aside, do all apartment buildings have names? My town seems to have a disproportionate number of buildings that are named. I love it, but I'm curious as to whether this is a thing for my city or if it's everywhere. So let me know) Anyway, it's an old building and there's some lovely ivy growing on it. So much ivy that it has, in fact, covered over the EL in Elgin. So now, it is the Gin Apartments. Awesome. I think I'd like to live there.
#2 Charles and Max in their jammies, right out of the shower. Nothing could be more adorable. Or smell better.
#3 Hearing the distinctive "pop" of a cork as John opens a bottle of red wine and pours me a glass.
Thursday night bliss.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Lots of people, though, aren't nearly as happy as I. They claim they can't possibly reduce down to one bag per week. I've read letters in the paper where large families - with small children in diapers - try hard to divert their waste, but insist they would not be able to stick to the one bag limit. While I do feel for them, I still maintain that it's a possibility that should be given some thought. We're a family of 4. Each week we put out (maybe) one and a half small grocery sized bags of trash. Some weeks we don't put out any. We don't use a bin or a green/black garbage bag, we have no need for that. So, I'm thinking, even a family of say 6 would probably go about a half a large bag or garbage bin. Family of 8? 10? You get the picture. It's doable.
Some opponents of the bylaw, while in favour of the reduction of trash worry that people will put their one bag on the curb - and 3 or 4 others in a ditch someplace. I was all "wha'?? People would do that??" Apparently they would. Or, they'd divvy up their trash amongst their neighbours. This I believe, we've had this happen to us before - all of a sudden there are 6 bags of garbage on my lawn? Huh? Pisses me off. So there would need to be some policing for sure, I'm really not sure city council has thought this through, but I'm happy there's some buzz about it and some debate happening.
The amount of waste we produce can be reduced. I know a lot of people blame manufacturers for packaging that is wasteful, and I totally get that. But so much of what is sent to landfill has to do with our society's addiction to consumption and overconsumption. Especially at this time of year when we're inundated with ads to buy buy buy! It's all a little sickmaking, and when you multiply our own urge to spend and buy by millions of others? It's almost obscene.
This is why I'm encouraging y'all to participate - or not participate? - in Buy Nothing Day. On Friday, November 23rd - the day after US Thanksgiving, and the absolute busiest shopping day of the year in North America - buy nothing. Think you can do it? I'm going to try. If you absolutely have to buy, at least be aware of Buy Nothing Day and be mindful of your purchases. So much of our shopping and buying time is spent zombie-like in malls and shopping centres, so think carefully, know where you're spending your money.
Anyone who decides to take part, please feel free to leave comments as to how you made out!
And yes, I realize I'm talking to maybe two people, but I do like to be optimistic.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
And, at this same time of year, thoughts may also turn to - gadgetry. So, wouldn't it be cool if you could combine the two?
No, I didn't think so either. Still, that didn't stop the good people at Waring Pro.
Monday, November 19, 2007
This weekend - the one that just passed - is a blur. I seemed to have been on the go all day Saturday and Sunday with no time to catch my breath in between anything ever. (hmmm....maybe that sentence can work....)
Most of my weekend was taken up with fun activities - Santa Claus parade! A visit with friends! Shopping in Toronto! Some of the activities were just the usual stuff - laundry. Dishes. Stuff like that. But no matter, I just didn't seem to be able to slow down. Then today it's back at work and go go go there, and then karate class and I am wiped.
Yet here I am. And something our instructor said at the end of the class tonight really resonated with me (yes, I said resonated - I'm smart like that, even when exhausted) and I wanted to share it. He said he purposely made the class tough because he wants us to really work on our mental fitness. So much about martial arts is mental - the ability to push yourself when you're ready to give up; the mindset to tell yourself you can really make it through; the courage to continue to give it your all when you're physically (and mentally) exhausted.
He also likened mental fitness to life in general, which I totally loved. Things you need to get through in life, no matter how stressful or worrisome or awful can actually be overcome if you're in the right mindset. The instructors tell us to "dig deep" - meaning, dig deep within yourself to overcome the pain, the strain, the exhaustion. It's in you to succeed, you just need to believe you can do it.
We recently watched the movie Meet the Robinsons with the kids. I won't go into the whole plot line or anything, but one of the themes throughout was "keep moving forward". Just keep trying. And in one fantastic scene where the main kid invented something of which he was super proud, that ended up malfunctioning, the whole family started cheering, saying "Hooray, you failed!" For them, failure was an opportunity to learn - to keep learning. I thought it was awesome.
So tonight I dug deep. All weekend I dug deep. I know I've got it within myself to fail, but keep trying. Keep moving forward. And you do too.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I only wish that I had something for you. Yeah. So sorry. How many days left? *sigh*
Friday, November 16, 2007
I kind of feel like a Cheaty McCheatster, because I accepted both invitations. Do you ever feel like that? I mean it's not like I'm going to be Fred Flintstone where he is supposed to be bowling the big championship game BUT it's his anniversary so he attempts to do both by running back and forth between the bowling alley and the drive-in movie (the drive-in because that's where he and Wilma went on their first date) and he keeps running out for popcorn or drinks and then bowling, and he's totally getting away with it until he slams his thumb in the car door then bowls and gets the ball stuck on his thumb, so he finally has to confess that yes, he was bowling on their anniversary, but it all works out in the end, cos Wilma's like that. Remember that? Well rest assured, I don't roll that way.
I guess I should look at it like the best of both worlds - a nice dinner with one friend, and then some hanging and gabbing with some others. Yes, I think that's how I'll look at it. Huzzah for friends! And a whole hella bunch in one evening. Makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside, really. Yabba Dabba Doo!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
So here's what I did this evening:
- made a shepherd's pie for tomorrow's dinner - just need to pop it in the oven! (wow, who am I? when have I ever said "pop it in the oven"? I think I'm channelling a 1970s era Easy Bake Oven commercial or something)
- made a big pot of killah chili - for another meal this week or weekend
- stood in awe of myself for that much food preparation
Every once in awhile I get these sort of attacks of domesticity - last week I even made banana muffins. For reals, dudes. My kids don't know who I am when this happens. It kind of scares them, yet they do enjoy a good muffin, so they say very little, lest this kind baking stranger goes away forever.
Oh and last bullet:
- went and kicked some serious ass at karate
Ah, that's more like it.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
#2 Crazy-ass little kid logic in the UPS pick-up depot:
little kid: daddy, what's Diego plus Lazytown?
dad: um....I don't know...what?
little kid: *rolling eyes" daddy, I already told you it's Transformers. Diego + Lazytown = Transformers!
See? Stuff like that makes me go "shit, wow, it's not just my weirdo kids with crazy-ass logic - whew"
#3 Listening to my boys read in French. They have that certain....I don't know what....and their accents? Incroyable.
Monday, November 12, 2007
#2 Apparently, in spite of what I've claimed my (almost) entire life, I am actually a waterslide person. I love the water, I spent my entire childhood summers in a lake, I have no problem going off a diving board, I can swim lengths and do handstands and somersaults. But until this weekend, waterslides were not something I could do. After much cajoling by my husband and children though, I braved one of the biggest ones, and now, nothing can stop me. Maybe next summer I'll have to work on roller coasters. *shudder*
#3 Any place is the happiest place on earth (registered trade mark of Disney, yeah yeah, I know) when I'm with my boys. The hotel/waterpark thing is great, of course. But really, it's just about us all being together as a family. I'm a very lucky woman.
So all in all? 8 thumbs us from us. We had a lot of fun.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
There is also a book of these lectures from Anansi Press (one of my absolute favourite publishing houses. And really, do normal people have favourite publishing houses? or is that strictly a thang with those of us in the library profession? Hmmm...)
So from me to you, 5 podcasts from great thinkers and a fantastic new book. (and I promise to try harder to eliminate the stream of consciousness parentheses for my next post. Really.)
Friday, November 09, 2007
Usually on Remembrance Day I turn on the tv (if I'm home) and watch the service from Ottawa. I think the part that always gets me is the honouring of the Silver Cross Mother. That always makes me cry. It always has, and of course, now that I am a mother, it's a bazillion times worse. It used to be that the woman was extremely elderly - someone who'd lost a child in WWII or maybe Korea. But sadly, lately, it's been much younger mothers - mothers representing those lost in Afghanistan. And I hate that.
If you checked out my Halloween pics, you'll see my eldest son all done up as a sailor. Nice costume, right? Well, actually, that was my uniform - back in the day. In 1985 I joined the Naval Reserves, and that year also just happened to be the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Navy. So there were a lot of celebrations during this anniversary year, and one of the stunts the powers that be came up with, was to bring back the old-skool uniform for the band.
So we all got fitted - and they weren't "new" uniforms, done up like the old style, no no. They were the actual old uniforms. For reals. And they were itchy. And only designed for men. And there were a lot of parts - cap, dickie (shirt), tunic, collar, trousers, putties, lanyard... It was complicated! And this from a girl who is all about the accessories. But anyway...
The first time we put this monkey suit on, we were all "awww come on, hell noooo!" - monkey suit indeed - we all looked like organ grinder monkeys (do people even know about organ grinder monkeys these days? I don't know) - but off we went for the Remembrance Day parade. And it was cold. Fucking cold. And freezing rain. Now, when you wear the regular "new" uniform and it's snowing/raining/sleeting/cold you get to wear your overcoat. Nice and toasty. But, with the old uniform? There was no issued coat. No issued gloves. So you froze. And did I mention we were the band? So not only were we blue with cold, we also had to march and play our horns. Which were freezing up by the second. It was hell on earth.
Except that it wasn't. And I distinctly remember the moment I realized that it wasn't. We were standing at the cenotaph during the two minutes silence, waiting for the fly past, and I was trying to thaw the keys of my clarinet with my breath, and failing, and I was looking around the crowd gathered downtown. And I started checking out all the veterans, just standing there, heads bowed and blowing on their hands to keep them warm. And I remember thinking about what they did. And thinking, my god, some of them were probably exposed to weather like this for days on end in the North Atlantic. Long lonely stretches of freezing rain and wind and being torpedoed and trying to stay alive. And all of a sudden I remember thinking, I can do this fucking parade. It didn't make me any warmer, but that didn't matter. In 15 minutes I'd be marching off, back down to the armouries, and then getting my coat on and hopping into a car and heading back down to the base for lunch and a couple of good stiff drinks. Then I'd go home for a hot shower and a nap (I was a highschool student at the time after all). And get back to my normal life. The veterans who attended the ceremony, were they ever able to get back to their normal lives? What the fuck could be normal after what they'd seen? And the ones who didn't make it home. No "back to normal" for them or their families. Ever.
So seeing Charles decked out in the uniform was awesome - but it also felt a bit like a hit to the gut. Here's this kid who is so proud to be wearing his mum's old uniform - and wearing it very well, I might add. And all I can think is that I don't ever want to see him wearing one of those for real. What I would really like to see is no more war, and no more Silver Cross Mothers - ever. We need to tell our government. It's definitely time to stop.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Max: so daddy is the special effects guy and Charles is going to be the star
me: so you're the director?
Max: no, Uncle Michael is the director
me: um ok... So what am I?
Max: you're the villain
me: Woo! So can I be Poison Ivy?
Max: no, you're "Viner"
me: um ok....what's the deal with "Viner"?
Max: she covers everything in vines - she shoots out vines!
me: Cool ok I'm in
Max: and also? She has minions.
Seriously, there is not enough coffee in the world to prepare you for this type of chat before 7:30am. And lest you disagree with me? You'll need to go through my minions.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
#2 I love how Toronto looks like the Emerald City - all distant and misty and mysterious - from the top of the hill on my bus ride to work. My daily Dorothy moment, and it's so great.
#3 Upon seeing that someone at work has the exact same dress as me, being told by my co-worker: "Meh. Looks way better on you." Whether or not that is the case? Matters not. Thanks, Sharon.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Back in high school we had this fantastic German teacher - as in she taught German - her actual ethnicity was Italian. I love this city. Anyway. She really taught us to speak German as opposed to just reading it, writing it and dissecting sentences and paragraphs. We used to have to listen to "Ziggy" - a guy from a Toronto radio station who did a German language program on Sundays. Miss M. would record Sunday's program and we'd all listen to it in class on Monday - we had to figure out what the interviews were about, what was happening on the news, and translate the lyrics to songs that were played. It was awesome.
In the 80s there were a few big German hits, remember? Der Kommissar, 99 Luftbaloons - maybe some others? Anyone? Well she'd get us to bring in our 45s (I know) and we'd all try some translation of those too. Very cool.
Every Friday we also had "Kaffe Konditorei" - she'd make coffee and tea and someone would be designated to run to Tim Horton's for donuts, and we'd all have to place our orders in German, then once we had our treats, we set the desks up like cafe tables and chatted in German while listening to Ziggy or some German music. Also awesome.
Miss M. had this great prop that she used regularly to explain any number of verb conjugations, scenarios, whatever. Hugo was a staple in our classroom and there was even an international (well, inter-classroominal) incident where Hugo was kidnapped, with dragging marks and little footprints leading to the art room. That was war, I tell you, but the German students prevailed and Hugo was returned unharmed. Good times.
So the really great thing about Miss M. was that she was pretty slack with the curriculum. I mean we learned, don't get me wrong, but it just wasn't the usual type of learning, and she absolutely loved creativity. We did a lot of talking in that class, which is right up my alley. So much talking, that it became almost second nature to just launch into the usual "how was your weekend?" chat in our new second language. Sometimes though, in our rush to talk about everything, some words weren't always remembered, and that's where we - the students - got creative. You know of course that English and German are a lot alike, right? Here's a list of some of our faves:
to wake up = upgewoken
to disembark - as in from a bus, train, etc. = offgetten
to stroll along, or mosey = mosen i.e. "let's mosey" = "mosen wir"
to drink socially, as in too much and at a party = rumundkokentrinken
to make out (high school, remember??) = ausmaken
Oh there were plenty more, but those stand out. Our Germglish was awesome, and honestly if you threw one of those into a sentence in your best German accent? Totally worked.
So other than making y'all aware of what passed for entertainment in my youth? There's really no point to that story. Now, without further adieu... Gute nacht. Zu beddgoin.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Our parents used to take us grocery shopping and when we were really little they'd get two carts. I'd go in one and my bro in the other. And for some reason, if we saw each other at the opposite end of the aisle, that alone would set us off. So we'd start to giggle and then within a few minutes we would be full-on belly laughing with tears running down our cheeks and everyone else in the store would be in the same state. Hi-larious. And honestly, there was really nothing to laugh at. Just the sight of one of us at the other end of the aisle. That's it. Pretty stupid when you think about it, but it worked for us.
Other times we'd be in the furniture section of Sears or some other big department store and we'd be turning lights on and off and for some reason that would be hysterical too. Because it was probably accompanied by some urbane and witty remarks like "light goes on, light goes off". And again? That was more than enough to reduce us to giggling fools. And of course, the more people stared, the harder we laughed until we were shrieking and our parents would roll their eyes and take us home.
So you'd think by the time we'd reached 39 and 40 respectively, we'd be over such nonsense, and be able to shop like adults. And probably we could, on our own, but today with our mum, it was like being 8 and 9 all over again:
me: I totally wonder who comes up with the names for these products?
bro: Me too - crazy - a coffee mug called Almhult? Come on.
me: Haha - I've always wanted to use the IKEA product names as the stuff's actual name, wouldn't that be awesome?
bro: *laughing now* yeah - like you have someone over for coffee and you ask them "would you like a cup and saucer or an Almhult?"
me: *giggling* exactly! Or, "hey, it's getting a little dark in here, can you turn on the Malm?"
bro: *full-on hysterics now* that's perfect! "Have a seat in the Poang, won't you?"
me: *uncontrollable laughing now* hahahahahaha!
mum: What are you two laughing at?
us: Nothing *snort*
See? Stupid as all get out. But for us? Total bonding. That's what it's all about.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
I especially love it because most of my life is made up of finding pleasure in the ridiculous or the mundane. It's true, you can ask anyone that knows me. I have been known, in the past to utter the words "this is the BEST DAY EVER" - and really, you can substitute "day" for any number of other words - pizza, dress, pair of shoes, martini, song, episode of some tv show - you get the picture.
Max apparently has inherited this trait. He's even more extreme though, if you can believe it. Max makes sweeping statements such as "this is the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE" - or, again, as with me, substitute anything else for "day" - although maybe not martini - yet. He has also made comments such as "this is the BEST SANDWICH IN THE HISTORY OF SANDWICHES". How awesome is that? Like there's someone taking down an actual history of sandwiches and he's somehow managed to tap in to the formula for the best sandwich EVER.
Whenever he makes one of these little speeches, I always think "wow, I hope he never grows out of this, it's so refreshing to hear such excitement for such a little thing". And then I remember, um, I haven't so far, so I think he's probably going to be that guy his whole life. I can see him at university "this is the BEST keg party in the HISTORY of keg parties!"
Anyway, for some time now I've thought of borrowing the whole 3BT idea, and blogging my moments of beauty. I think when you're a grown-up (like I technically I am) it's easy to get bogged down in all the crap that happens in life, and forget about the good stuff. And even if the "good stuff" just happens to be stepping into a pair of warm socks on a cold day? Well, so be it. Finding pleasure in the mundane, the everyday occurences is brilliant - and it's necessary to keep your sanity. The old saying that no matter how bad you've got it, someone else is going through something much worse rings so true as you get older. It's truly easy to have a bad week and to focus on that bad week - you know the kind: you miss your bus, have to walk in the rain without your umbrella, get behind in a bill payment and have to pay gobs of interest, forget to send in your kid's permission form for a trip - all that stuff. It's little too, but for some reason we manage to focus on those mundane little things, don't we? And all of those things put together makes for a crappy week, no question. But every day, little good things happen too, and for some reason, we never seem to make those our focus. Well Max and I do, but we're strange that way. And even Max and I have a bad week every so often.
So consider this my inaugural 3BT post. I'm not using the exact same title, that wouldn't be fair. And also, I can't promise that they will always be things that give me pleasure (even typing that sounds dirty!) but they will always be things that make me smile and are awesome, quirky or downright thought-provoking. To me, anyway. Plus? They will be trivial. Because that's how I roll.
So I give you today's Bits of Awesomeness According to e-L (BOAATEL - not as catchy as 3BT, sorry):
#1 a memory-evoking fragrance
Earlier this week I was strolling over to buy a coffee when I passed a man in the hallway and caught a distinct whiff of Ralph Lauren's Polo. Now, any of you who were in highschool in the 80s can totally conjure up that fragrance right now, just sitting at your computers, am I right? So as I walked past I smiled and was instantly transported back to the gaudily decorated gym with Stairway to Heaven pumping out of the speakers and my nose pressed up against a guy's collar, practically choking on Polo fumes for about the 10th time in a night. Good times. So thanks, random hallway dude. Thanks for the memories.
#2 a rockstar moment
I'm not much of a dreamer, I honestly don't have too many real sleeping dreams. Well, technically I do of course, but I never seem to remember them. Still, when I dozed off after hitting the snooze button one day this week I had this brief dream encounter with Robert Plant at a concert, and Robert was all "dude I've been waiting for you, how are you?" and I was seriously giving him the cold shoulder all haughty-groupie me, and then we totally went backstage and made out. Which is weird, because Plant is not my go-to rockstar for dream make-out sessions. I attribute this to all the hype about the Led Zeppelin reunion gig in London later this month (and seriously, how awesome is that going to be??) The Plant permeates all, apparently. Even my post-snooze button dreams. Anyway, I had to smile when I woke up. Me and Robert. Nice. Oh, and just so you know? It was totally this Robert Plant - not this Robert Plant. I know. Score.
And did you like how I merged the Zeppelin reference in #1 to the #2 reference? I'm all about the segue.
#3 roasted marshmallow flavoured coffee
Crazy tasty. But I got no Zeppelin connection.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
So, I thought, maybe this is what I need to kick my own blog into high gear once again. Maybe this will be the start of a new blogging e-L - all posty all the time! Maybe grand things will come from me participating in NaBloPoMo again! Or, maybe I just didn't want to be left out. You know, the whole "cool kids are doing it" thing gets me every time.
So I'm signed up as of right this instant. Wanna be friends?
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wooeeee! Lots of people excited 'bout that ad campaign! And so picture me, mouth agape, thinking - come on! Who honestly thinks this is a good idea?? It boggles my mind. So librarians have been touting it as a "wow, they really know their customers!" sort of deal, and I really just have to shake my head.
I guess I thought the public library was supposed to be a place that appealed to everyone, not just truckers and misogynists, or misogynistic truckers? I'm sorry, Wyoming, but this is just sad.
You can read the Annoyed Librarian's take on this too. Go give her some love.
Monday, September 17, 2007
So up until now, I haven't said a lot about the people who frequent my place of work. I've talked a bit about a few of the patients - not specifically, of course, and that is never going to happen, trust me - but in general. As in, I see a lot of cancer patients. In fact, that's pretty much all I see. Sometimes we get people who are just looking for information for school projects or whatever, but for the most part, the users of my library are patients, and have been dealt a rotten hand. Big time. And I feel for them, for their families. Our library users are pretty much just regular people, trying to find some info on a disease that has kicked them six ways from Sunday and rocked their worlds on so many levels that it's all they can do to get up and continue the fight. Once in awhile though, there are some real prizes. Now please don't go all sanctimonious on me, k? We're friends. And I am not going to say "bitch totally got what she deserved" because I am SO not that guy. What I will say is that just like anywhere else, you're going to find pricks and you're going to find crazies. And here's the thing: if you were a prick before you were diagnosed with an illness, there's a really good chance that you will continue to be a prick after said diagnosis. And further: if you were bananas before a lifechanging event? Same deal. Pricks and crazies. They are the staples of the library patron world. So far I've run into very, very few people who fall into this category. But they do exist, and there is a good chance that down the road? You're going to be hearing about them.
Today, I feel the need to talk about the 2 people mentioned in the subject line. Can you guess which category they fall into? Okay good, but let's not spoil it for the rest.
Giant crazy one-of-everything lady is. Just. That. She's giant. As in she is probably about 6'5" tall and almost twice as wide as me. And dudes, you need to know that I am not a waif. But I feel like a Polly Pocket next to this woman. She comes in once every 3-4 weeks, and she's definitely a crazy. She's not a patient - but apparently she's with one - lucky them. Every time she comes in she makes a point of saying "I'm not a patient, but I'm not well myself". Like we couldn't tell. Anyway, her raison-d'etre seems to be to drain the library of every single brochure, booklet and paper handout. "I love information and I love to learn! Learning is so important! And I'm interested in everything! I'll take this all home and study it and read it and oh it's so important to have information!" Uh huh. She must, by now, have 12 copies of everything we have - including the testicular self-exam card and the "prostate cancer risk assessment tool". And still she keeps coming. This week she was in, pillaging my pamphlet racks, and informing me that she's planning to be a library volunteer - because she loves learning, and information and yadda yadda. "Great!" I tell her, knowing full well that all volunteers must pass the background-crazy test, which she'd totally fail without question, so I can be all polite and enthusiastic when it comes to this subject. Whew. She's also not above asking for dating and relationsip advice and tips on "getting a man". During one encounter she asked "why are men so strange when it comes to dating?" Hmmmm....wow giant crazy lady, I really don't know what it could be.
Do y'all know anyone that just makes you full on laugh with abandon when you see them? For me, it's the "man with the scarlet hair". This guy isn't a patient either, he's actually a volunteer. And his hair is indeed scarlet - or maybe it's crimson, or vermillion - whatever. It's a colour that does not exist in nature, and until now, I didn't know it existed in chemical form either. When I first laid eyes on the guy, I seriously thought he was wearing a hat or some such headwear. It's a bold statement, for sure, and the really excellent part is that his sideburns, eyebrows and stubble are always a combination of blonde/grey - not scarlet. Are you gettting the visual? He is a sight to behold, this Ronald McDonald of the cancer centre. I truly want to know what the deal is - does he think it's cool? Sexy? Debonair? Or, maybe he does it for the reason I mentioned above - it gives me (and no doubt others) the fits of the giggles when he comes into view. Maybe he's willing to look like a crazy just to evoke smiles from patients? If that's the case, I totally respect that, and would like to introduce him to our therapy clowns. One day I might get up the courage to ask him about his hair.
Or maybe I'll just introduce him to giant crazy one-of-everything lady and see how that works itself out.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
[painfully obvious segue]
So one of my best friends is walking in the big Weekend to End Breast Cancer event in Toronto. 60km over two days. 6-0. People, this is a lot of walking. She and another friend are staying in a hotel on the Saturday night, but something tells me it won’t be a night of dancing in the hotel bar and shamelessly flirting while consuming large, overpriced martinis. There will be much, much sleeping and possibly soaking of feet, is what I think. Anyway, Viv has raised over $2000 for this cause, which in itself is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Add to that the enormous amount of walking and….well, she’s just amazing.
Breast cancer gets a lot of press. It’s out there and it’s pink and there are so many baubles (or is that boobles?) that you can buy. I’ve really got nothing against the ribbons and the “stuff”, because they are out there, and they’re promoting awareness, which is so important. What hurts, for me, is that while all the merch fosters hope and awareness, there is also such a glut of it in the marketplace, that the message – breast cancer kills – gets lost amongst the hype.
And it does kill. Almost everyone I know has lost someone to breast cancer, and everyone I know has been affected by it – whether personally or knowing a friend or relative who has/had it. It’s a horrible, horrible disease. “Early detection saves lives” – well, not always. “Once you’ve had surgery and treatment, you’re cured, right?” – nope, no guarantees. “Once you have surgery, the cancer can’t spread” – again, sorry, no guarantees.
In the 8 months I’ve worked in the patient library, I’ve learned more about breast cancer (and cancer in general) than I ever cared to know. I’ve spoken with breast cancer patients who knew they were going to die, and ones who had just received good news. I’ve helped women research places to go to buy mastectomy bras, and helped others find information on what brain metastases are. I’ve found them books on how to tell their children that they have cancer, and laughed with them when their “chemo brain” was showing and they couldn’t remember their phone number. I’ve had some of the most painful days of my life here, and some of the most triumphant. All in 8 months. Never, ever have I been able to say that about any other job I’ve ever held.
So go. Go and sponsor Vivian for her walk – it’s not too late! And please, the next time you see a pink ribbon teddy bear or a pair of earrings, don’t just say “oh, how cute!” Please, please…get angry. Get angry that this disease takes so many women and men. Get angry. And remember.
Oh, and Viv? If by some chance all that stuff about dancing and flirting and martinis does go down? I’m so in for next year. You rock my world, girlfriend. And I am so proud of you.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I know I promised you a unicorn chaser, but truth be known, I'm really not much of a unicorn girl. So, instead, please enjoy the awesomeness of this video. One kid, totally rocking with his bass, and the other? Well you just gotta watch.
And if you don't at least crack a smile, check for a pulse.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Bell's Frank & Gordon the spokesbeavers.
Okay, so these guys used to (at first) kinda make me laugh. Haha - it's Canada! And it's Bell, a totally Canadian company! And they're spokesbeavers - get it?? So funny! But now? They totally need to be made into hats.
Same goes for PC and Mac. At first I was all over it - very funny and original concept for sure. But it's done, people. And ok, I know there are lots of y'all who are feisty either one way or the other, and truly, I don't care. I own a PC but I think Mac is pretty cool. But the passive-aggressive foreplay that passes for "banter"? Totally getting on my nerves. Those two guys need to get a room. Seriously, if they're not going to get it on, they need to start beating each other with big sticks. And don't email me to tell me who'd win, because I don't care. I just need to see a big ol' PC vs. Mac smackdown. That's entertainment.
Oh and the Rogers commercial with the dude who gets all misty-eyed at the guy whose cell phone doesn't break up in the elevator? Kind of funny - at first. Then? Then, they had to do the same freaking thing but with an ESCALATOR this time? Wow! How original.
The Jetta commercial where the dudes in lab coats come in and save the people from baseballs through the window and toolboxes falling out of windows? Kind of freaks me out, really. I'm not sure why, but maybe it's because the guys all look like they're from Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk to the rescue? Now, normally I would think that was pretty cool - so maybe if they were playing Trans Europe Express throughout, I don't know - but I'm tired of it already.
Those "Life Takes Visa" commercials where all the beautiful people tap their Visa cards and buy their lattes and highbrow newspapers - and then the average dude in the plaid shirt tries to buy a doughnut with cash and they all treat him like a leper. Wrong on so many levels. First, should we really be encouraging our already debt-enslaved culture to start buying their morning paper with Visa? Also, did you notice the class distinction between the Visa users and cash dude? To me, the message is if you don't use a Visa card you're not one of us, you're trash. Thanks, Visa.
So there you have it. My Crabby McCrabster post to reenter blogging after over a month's hiatus. Sue me. I was sick for my whole vacation, and I'm still not over it.
Next post will be a unicorn chaser. Promise.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Xanadu on Broadway
Is this not the best?? The universe is loving me right now.
Also, I really like how it says "Xanadu On Broadway. Seriously." Ha.
And now I'm trying to figure out how to get my ass to New York.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
So tonight I'm on my own, the boys having gone off to a karate demonstration and exhibition known as "Fight Night". Cool. So what am I doing? Well, blogging....drinking wine....and making Max a mixed CD cos he asked me to. And his list of songs was pretty specific, I'll have you know. He's got some eclectic tastes that boy does. Here's a sample:
Heaven and Hell - The Who
Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane
The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
Tell Me Baby - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Welcome to Paradise - Green Day
Yeah to alla that. Oh and also a couple of tunes from Happy Feet thrown on there, cos you know, he's 6. And he's the rockingest 6-year old that EVAH rocked.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I ended up shopping for sunglasses, not because I don't own any, but because I am so over the ones I do own. So I hit a variety of shops, looking for the perfect pair. All the glasses this season, as I'm sure y'all know, are BIG. As in Jackie O big. As in my mother circa 1973 big. Which is cool, except that e-L does not own the type of face designed for the big sunglasses. Really. Everyone I see is rocking the giant frames but for some reason, when I put them on, my whole face gets swallowed. And for those of you who know me, you know I'm not some delicately-featured waif who normally gets swallowed up by anything. So I'm not sure what the deal is, I just know the biguns just don't suit.
Finally though, I did find a few pairs that were big but not too and that actually looked pretty cool, so I proceeded to try them on in a comparison shopping sort of way. But. And here's where - according to the people around me, anyway - it gets a bit weird. So I have my 6 or 8 pairs which I need to compare and pretty quickly I narrow it down to about 4. Now I'm not the only person trying on glasses, there's a few of us scattered around and we're all checking the teeeeeny little sunglasses-trying-on-mirrors attempting to choose the best pair. So I'm putting them on my nose, having a good look in the mirror and then, taking them off my nose and placing them on my head. Is this so weird? I don't know - all I know is, for me, the look of the glasses on my head is almost as important as the look on my face. So I continue the pattern - glasses - face - glasses - head. And I'm getting looks. And then, not just looks, but actual people-moving-away-to-use-other-mirrors. And then I start thinking, maybe no one else tries sunglasses on their head. So I try to check out the people around me, and it's just all about the face. Hmmm....
So help me out, is this so strange? Do any of you, my fabulous blogfriends, do the face-head sunglasses thing? Does anyone else care about the look and feel of their sunglasses on their head? And if you were trying sunglasses on in my vicinity and I was putting them on my head, would you find another mirror? What happened to tolerance in my city, can't we all, as fans of sunglasses, just get along? I'm just saying.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
So my aesthetician is on an extended sick leave (I say "my" as if I own her, but clearly she's just the friendly girl who rips hair from me on occasion) and I do wish her a speedy recovery, for reasons which are about to become abundantly clear (and also because I want her to feel better). Since I have no idea how long she's going to be off, I was pleased when the owner of the place called and said she'd be happy to book me in for my waxing with one of the "new" aestheticians. So ok, sounds fine, but little did I know that "new" meant not only new to the spa, but also "new" to the profession. Oy.
So at the appointed time, I head on down and am greeted by this "new" person - she's friendly as all get-out, takes my coat and tells me she's all ready for me *cue horror movie incidental music* and leads me to the spa room. She leaves me to get organized (as is the custom) and when she comes back, she's all smiles and let's get down to business. So we chat, and have you ever done the bikini wax chat? It's like no other, really. "How was your day, can you believe this weather, any plans for the weekend?" all while coating your crotch with blazing hot wax. Surreal. Anyway, she gets all set and red flag number one: she's clumsy. Clumsy. Not a word you normally associate with this profession. So there's wax dripping, strips knocked off the counter, gloves dropped, lamps hit... Okay, no big, it's obviously nerves, she's new to the place, I'm new to her, I can handle this. All the while she's super chatty, spreading the wax, chatting, more wax, chatting. Now, I'm no professional, but I do know this little equation: wax goes on liquid + too much chatting time while not removing wax = wax hardening to lavender-scented concrete. This would be red flag number two. So okay, now for the removal "I'm just going to take the strip off.....now" Ohholymotherofgod. "oh gosh, sorry, I bet that hurt!" Um yeah. But ok, whatever, I've got good pain tolerance, we continue. Eventually, through chatting, all is revealed (no, thankfully not all that) and she is, in fact, a brand new graduate from aesthetics school! And this is her first bikini wax! And nope, she's never ever had one herself! Which explains why she seemed to have no idea of the Nazi-grade pain she was inflicting. Oh, and all of this first part? Took close to 20 minutes, which is way, way too long to hang out on a vinyl table in your gitch.
So...moving on to the next side...
Things go from bad to worse now, as the wax continues to harden and she starts to sweat and practically needs to use the table as leverage to rip the strips off and e-L is nearly on the ceiling at several points. But still, I'm handling it all until I hear... "uh-oh...um....I think I need to go get someone..." I'm all wtf??? What is going on down there? So I look and there is a strip and it's way, way too far in for my liking. Great. So off she goes and fetches someone else, and now there are 2 of them peering at my privates and this is how it went down:
2nd girl: oh dear
1st girl: I'm so sorry!
2nd girl: don't worry, we'll just have to use the scissors
me: you have to what now??
2nd girl: we'll just have to cut it out! (said in a cute sing-song voice like she was offering freezies)
1st girl: (now in tears) oh my gosh I am so sorry, I feel so bad!
me: haha...oh not to worry (for the record, I don't think I've ever had anyone cry whilst gazing upon my nether regions before, I really think that's a first)
So now the two of them are performing this wax-strip removal surgery, and as I was lying there, I flashed back to the time I spent in labour and delivery, and fully expected one of them to tell me how far I was dilated, and to breathe through the next contraction. And I nearly sat up and said "thanks but no thanks, I'm taking my leave now" but then I thought, you know? This isn't going to kill me, I can deal. The poor girl really did feel so badly, she was crying for goodness sake. And doesn't everyone deserve a fair chance? I mean there are nurses out there setting their first IVs, giving their first injections, someone has to be the first patient, right? Everywhere there are stylists doing their first haircut, police officers making their first arrest, librarians conducting their first reference interview...my point is, everyone has to do something 1 time first, in order to do it right again and again. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and so I hobbled out of the spa room (for reals) and up to the counter to pay, and they kindly offered me a 50% discount and loaded me up bunch of free samples of lotion, sunscreen, body wash, etc. to help with the pain and suffering. I told them it really wasn't necessary, but they insisted and thanked me again for being so patient, so understanding. I honestly think the phrase "dream client" was used, but that could have been the pain talking...
So I was glad I stayed, because what if her first time had been with someone who wasn't so patient and understanding? It could throw a person off their chosen career, it really could. Some pain in the crotchal region is a small price to pay for helping someone along on their path.
Plus? I get to blog about it. And I'm a whore for free samples.
Friday, May 18, 2007
For really though? Awesome freaking episode. I heart all over the CSI.
Next up, is the having to read Cancer Vixen this week, cos someone here at my centre thought it was "fabulous and would be a fabulous addition to the patient library!" (first red flag? people usually don't call books by/about cancer survivors "fabulous!") I was down on this book from the start, (and incidentally backed up by Jessa Crispin on Bookslut, thank you very much) long before I even worked in a cancer library. I heard it described recently as "it's like Sex and the City meets cancer!" and friends? It's so not. To be fair, I hadn't read it until it was dropped on my desk this week, and since it came "highly and fabulously recommended!" I figured I'd better read it before, you know, sending it back with a post-it note saying "this book is going in my library in your dreams, bitch". So I did my best and I read it. And let me tell you, it's boring and offensive and juvenile and self-absorbed and...awful. Maybe it's just me, but I really didn't see what anyone (breast cancer patient or not) would get out of this book. There's not much information for anyone going through treatment - unless you count knowing just what shade of lipstick to wear to your chemo appointments as information. And if it's meant to be a quirky, humorous ride through cancer treatment, and how to be fabulous while doing it, I think it falls way, way short. The women I see on a day to day basis are all sorts of fabulous, let me tell you - they're fabulous for for still being here, for trying to stay positive, for fighting and hopefully winning the fight. But there are just as many who come in and tell me that the cancer has now spread to their brain, or that they just can't stop crying because they're doing this on their own and need help coping with a recurrence; and I don't know that a story about a socialite who worries that her fiance is going to dump her for the next available skinny model is, you know, the best resource. I know humour is healing, I use it all the time for personal crises, believe you me. And so even if Cancer Vixen was funny and hopeful and interesting and useful to some of the patients here, I would consider overlooking some of its other shortcomings. But the truth is it just bored me, and at the same time made me very uncomfortable.
I am truly happy for the author, in that I'm happy she made it through surgery and treatment and is in recovery and - as she claimed in a recent interview - cancer free. To me, that is fabulous.
But now apparently there is going to be a movie starring Cate Blanchett? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
A - AVAILABLE:
possibly (see C)
B - BIRTHDAY:
January 16th (me and Ethel Merman)
C - CRUSHING:
Roger Daltrey (since I was 15, we go way back)
CSI Vegas men (esp. Grissom)
my new iPod nano (oh, baby...)
D - DRINK YOU LAST HAD:
E - EASIEST PERSON TO TALK TO:
Viv is right up there - and Carly
F - FAVOURITE BAND:
G - GUMMY BEARS OR GUMMY WORMS:
Maynard's wine gums
H - HOMETOWN:
Hamilton (really, and not just cos it starts with H)
I - INSTRUMENT:
um...clarinet (ages ago)
J - JUGGLE:
balls? not so much. but life? always.
K - KILLED SOMEONE:
L - LONGEST CAR RIDE:
Hamilton to Florida. Oy.
M - MILKSHAKE FLAVOUR:
boys to the yard
N - NUMBER OF SIBLINGS:
O - ONE WISH:
P- PERSON WHO CALLED YOU LAST:
R-REASON TO SMILE:
S - SONG YOU LAST HEARD:
Throwing Muses - Bright Yellow Gun (did I mention my new iPod?)
T- TIME YOU WOKE UP:
too early for a Sunday - 7-ish?
U - UNDERWEAR:
V - VEGETABLE YOU HATE:
can't think of any
W - WORST HABIT:
X - X-RAYS YOU'VE HAD:
Y - YOUR NUMBER OF FRIENDS ON myspace:
please, I'm 40
Z- ZODIAC SIGN:
Monday, May 07, 2007
So John was in Atlanta the week before last doing some crazy-ass IT guy schmoozing and stuff that I'll never ever get to do in my chosen career. Nope the library conferences that I get to don't seem to ever include giant lobster dinners with bottomless glasses of expensive wine, nor do they ever have private John Mayer gigs either (not lying to you people, he was there). No, our worlds are very very different when it comes to that sort of thing. And one of the biggest differences? It's all in the swag. John brought home a metric tonne of swag - and not crap swag either - we're talking jump drives and toolkits, and other fancy schmancy stuff. Sure there were some less exciting things - like the proverbial t-shirts and pens and stuff, but when he dumped it all out of his suitcase? It covered the whole bed. Nice.
Now at the library conferences you do get swag, but it tends to be in the post-it note/pen/lanyard realm - nary a jump drive to be seen. Or maybe I'm just hanging out at the wrong booths. At any rate, what I was astounded to see was that John didn't bring home one single lanyard. Lanyards were all the rage at OLA a couple of years ago, oh my I probably brought home a dozen courtesy of Brodart and Oxford University Press and you name the library supply place, they lanyarded me. I really thought the library peeps had the upper hand on the lanyard - people were sporting them (as best you can sport a lanyard) - 2, 3, 4 at a time! Craziness! My colleagues at the academic library where I worked at the time were all over the lanyard. I personally can't stand wearing lanyards and I go to extremes to avoid them, and I really thought it was just a library thang...until I started working in healthcare.
Now at the hospital and the cancer centre? Healthcare people are all about the lanyard, and not only do they wear them (for their ID badge) they pimp their lanyard!! You see people with pins and buttons on their lanyard. Stickers are not uncommon, and some even have jewellery - beads, and even keychains hanging from them! It's bauble city! And not just a couple of items, but literally dozens of things pinned on and hanging there! I tell you it's weird - and distracting too when you're trying to talk to someone and their chest is glinting at you and you have to keep shielding your eyes from the lanyard bling.
So my point? Just putting it out there for y'all. And ensuring you that e-L has no plans to go the tricked out lanyard route. My ID badge? Clipped tidily to the bottom of my shirt. I've got enough problems worrying about the chain for my glasses that is practically imminent. Oy.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc.).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool...because you're not.
Opening Credits: Stay With Me - Faces
Waking Up: Mother's Little Helpter - The Rolling Stones (omg I could NOT have picked a better one)
First Day At School: Hey Ya! - OutKast
Falling In Love: Heart Full of Soul - The Yardbirds
Fight Song: Soul Kitchen - The Doors
Breaking Up: One Love - Massive Attack
Prom: Messages - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Life: Maybelline - Chuck Berry
Mental Breakdown: You Think You're A Man - Divine (haha too funny!)
Driving: Funked Up and Freaked out - Kava Kava
Flashback: Light My Fire - The Doors
Wedding: Black Tambourine - Beck
Birth Of Child: Lucretia MacEvil - Blood, Sweat and Tears (ha!)
Final Battle: Let Your Backbone Slide - Maestro (yes!!)
Death Scene: Volcano Girls - Veruca Salt
Funeral Song: Rescue - Echo and the Bunnymen
End Credits: Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - The Animals
Thanks Viv, our lives ROCK!
Next, wtf is Colin Firth thinking? And Meryl Streep? And Julie Walters? And Pierce Brosnan? Okay, the Pierce thing almost makes sense, cos really, what has he done for me lately? But honesttogod, do we seriously need a Mamma fucking Mia movie?? Now you know what, when ABBA made a comeback back in the day, I embraced it. I rocked the ABBA Gold with my friends in bars and at parties, thanks to movies like Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Classics, both of them. But that was back in the day. 1994. Shouldn't that wave be over?? Apparently not, and now big stars need to keep the wave alive by making a film? Oy. I don't get it. Am I the only one? Why won't ABBA die? And why doesn't Colin Firth do good movies anymore?
These are the questions that plague my very existence. Please tell me I'm not alone.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
As I watched them sleep it occurred to me that it won't be much longer before they'll be needing their own bed and more of their own space. Technically they probably need a bed to themselves now but they like to be together, and we're cool with that. But our conversation a few weeks ago about postsecondary education really hit me. For example: Charles will be 10 this year - he's in grade 4. There's only one more year of elementary school for him; 3 years of senior public (middle) school; 4 (or maybe 5 at the most) years of highschool. At minimum he could be heading off to college or uni in as little as 8 years. 8 years, people. I mean come on, that's crazy! We've already been through nearly 10 years and man, have they flown. Flown. It doesn't seem possible.
When you first have a baby, people tell you how quickly they grow up. And as you sit there, sleep-deprived with bleeding nipples, the realization that no, you probably won't get to have a shower this week, and a baby that just will not sleep/feed/stop crying/one of any number of things babies do to mess with your head, you actually fantasize about the drive to a university 80km away, about unloading all their stuff, helping them plug in their computer and set up their IKEA furniture, giving them some cash and getting the HELL out of Dodge. Well, at least I did, anyway.
But you know what? Those people are right. On. The. Money. The time is going - it's going fast. And while I don't actually long for the bleeding nipple days, or the toilet-training days, or even the first day of school days, I am learning to slow things down. To rejoice in the moments - all the moments, no matter how mundane.
So I spent some time watching them sleep, listened to their soft snores, their little grunts and sighs. I tucked the blankets around them and kissed their foreheads. And I marvelled at how in just a moment or two I can see at the same time in both their expressions the babies they used to be, the boys they are right now, and the men they will become. I can see it all, but I don't long for anything else. I don't want to go back, and I certainly don't want to speed things up. I know what was, and we'll get to what will be...eventually. Right now, it's just them...just now...just as they are.
Monday, April 09, 2007
But my question is, where did this list come from? Is this just someone's Library Thing? Or is this one of those "the 100 books you need to read before you die" sorts of things? Because dude, no way should anything by Nicholas Sparks be on a "must-read before you die" list. I'm just sayin'.
Look at the list of books below:
* Bold the ones you’ve read,
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
I am totally loving this. It's a must watch, cos we're all gonna be there one day, whether we like it or not. And me? I wanna go out windmilling.
"This music video is in conjunction with a documentary the BBC are making to be aired in May 2007. Reporter Tim Samuels has gone all over Britain to talk to various pensioners about the problems they face in the UK today. Whether it's not being able to leave their flat, or being in rubbish care homes.
The finale of the show is this group of abandoned and lonely old people who come together to stick it back to the society that's cast them aside - by forming a rock troupe and trying to storm into the pop charts.
We had a magical day in Abbey Road Studio 2 where veteran record producer Mike Hedges (U2, Dido) let the way to record a smashing version of The Who's 'My Generation'.
The track will be released on May 14th with all proceeds going to a good cause."
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Sunday morning I dragged myself out of bed and got my friends to their car, then proceeded to call nana and let her know I was going to pick up a few groceries and then head over to get the boys. She said great, no rush, they're just having breakfast now, so they're fine.
Get to nana's house and she's waiting at the front door for me. Looking kind of concerned, but still smiling, although it's strained. She says: "Hi - um - I didn't want to tell you on the phone...I didn't want to worry you, but..."
I look in the living room and there is a pair of crutches leaning against the chair where Charles is sitting - leg bandaged and propped up on a pillow, right arm bandaged too. Panic. I say "Oh no! What? Oh my god! My Charles, what? What happ....." A thousand things go through my head - hit by a car, skateboard accident, why the hell didn't my mother call my mobile phone, how did they get to the ER, ambulance? did someone pick them up? what what????
Then, I look further into the living room and see Max in the chair, arm in sling wearing a neck brace, moaning softly and I almost start to cry - what kind of a mother is out drinking at a wine expo when her kids are at the hospital and didn't they ask for me and I can't believe no one called me or maybe they did and my phone was off and maybe I heard it and just didn't want to answer....and then....only then...I realize....
Charles and Max, I love you guys. But you are SO dead.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
So I was there mingling with the library peeps and it turns out two of them? Well we all worked at the same academic institution at some time or other, and I - being the oldest of the bunch - worked with both of them, albeit briefly. So we're catching up, thanking our lucky stars that we made it out of this academic institution with our sense of humour and sanity and were able to go on to rewarding library careers. Whew. Anyway, at some point we're joined by a couple of other people - one whom I know, the other I didn't. I know very few people still, so I'm always happy to meet more, put faces to names yada yada. Anyway, these "others" (at the risk of sounding like an episode of Lost) are not library people. This will all become relevant shortly - trust me. So the one woman I sort of know introduced the other woman to me and told her who I was and where I worked and then - THEN - proceeded to lean in conspiratorily and say to me "So! What's the strangest request you've had so far? Anything really 'out there'?" Now, is it just me or is that just something typically said by non-library people TO library people? I honestly know of no other profession where people are so voyeuristic and want to know allll the juicy questions. Okay, maybe nurses ("What's the grossest thing you've ever seen??") but really, I don't think it happens to too many others.
Now don't get me wrong, there are LOTS of whack jobs out there who ask lots of crazy shit of librarians - and some of that crazy shit gets talked about and posted on blogs and that's cool. And most of the time it's awesome and funny and I know librarians who can write books of stuff like that. Public librarians especially have the best examples of this, but it's just that with this woman I had to shake my head, because bitch, we're talking about a library for cancer patients.
"So, what then?" I wanted to say to her "Hmmm....let me think...well, there was the guy that came in wanting to find information on how to tell his kids he was going to die - har har! Oh wait no! What about the lady who needed stuff on hospices and end-of-life issues and she had to do it for herself because her husband was in denial? Hi-larious! And then there was also that woman - haha, and this is GREAT - she's 8 months pregnant and going through chemotherapy and needed some stuff on stress management and relaxation - is that 'out there' enough for you??" Not exactly water cooler fodder, right? So yeah. Hence the "wtf" in my subject line.
My job is amazing. I love what I do, and I take it very seriously. A lot of these people are trusting me to help them make some incredibly hard decisions. They want to talk, they need to cry, they tell me their stories, and sometimes my days are brutally intense. Sometimes the emotions are so raw and so close to the surface that it's all I can do to keep it together. I feel so privileged to be a part of their lives, their fight is my fight now, so a comment like "What's the weirdest request so far?" is like a slap in the face.
Luckily my co-worker came to the rescue with a "well, we'd better get back to the library" or I might have had to drop her with a spinning backfist-roundhouse combination.
I so would have.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
So last Thursday John and I went out for dinner. Alone, the two of us. To a nice restaurant. Not a place where you a) order through a speaker or b) get placemats that you can colour or even c) where there is a never-ending request from the boys for coins for video games. Wow it was nice and it reminded me of all those years ago when the nice place was the norm, and the other places were places where other people got to go with their kids. Ewwww.
Anyway, we had a lovely time and the restaurant soundtrack was awesome. It was this loungy kind of bossa nova beat, which was cool in itself...but then I started to figure out the lyrics and damned if it wasn't new wave and punk songs from the 80s set to a smooth latin-y kind of beat, with breathy female vocalists! We asked our server if he knew what was playing and he got all excited that we recognized the songs and then we all started with the "name that tune" every time a new song started to play. I won. I have a talent (curse?) for being able to name the cheesiest muzak tunes - not that this stuff was cheesy, it was awesome - but you know what I mean. Sometimes that shit is unrecognizable, right? Like in elevators or sushi restaurants (not sure why the sushi restaurants all seem to rock the cheesy muzak).
So if you're intrigued, the band is Nouvelle Vague. Because you know there is just nothing like a bossa nova version of the Dead Kennedys "Too Drunk to Fuck". Nice.