Category Archives: Lists

A’in some Qs

So sometimes, you just want to write, but not really about anything, and you read a post on a blog like, oh, say, Here in Franklin, and you go “THAT’S what I need to write about! ”  So you shamelessly get yourself tagged.  And the author of said blog is nice enough to give you some questions.  And then you write that thing.

1. You have magical powers and can go back in time to the concert of your choice. Who is it?
I have magical powers, and I’ve chosen to use them on a concert?  Weird.  I kind of assumed that if I ever had magical powers, I’d use them to, you know, cure cancer, or invent the ever-growing vodka-bush.  But OK, back to the concert.  I’m going with Elvis Costello, anytime in the 70’s.  I got to see him in February, and while it was all kinds of awesome, it made me even sadder that I never saw him young and angry.

2. You must choose between two candidates to be Ruler of the World. One is a cat. One is a dog. Who do you vote for and why?

You’re kidding, right?  The cat, of course.  Because while I am on record as saying cats are evil, dogs lack focus.  A cat would get shit done.  Of course, it would be in his own damn time, but still.

3. Mountains or beach?

Oddly enough, I find both those options terribly disorienting.  The mountains more, though.  So I’m going with beach.  (But really, if I had to pick one landscape forever, I’d probably go with bald-ass prairie.  Hated it when I was a kid, and there were no other options, but now it calms me down like nothing else.)

(photo from here)

4. Are you interested at all in the local politics where you live, or do you only pay attention in national elections?

I go back and forth on that one.  The same political party has been in power in this province since before I was born, so it feels a little futile to give a damn.

5. You have the opportunity to tell off the person you most despise without any repercussions. Do you? Who is it?

While I have a couple of people in mind….I’m going with a no, I don’t tell them off.  Repercussions or no, it has never, ever made me feel any better to tell someone off.  As soon as I’m done, I’m either regretting it, or kicking myself for not saying more.  Plus?  No one has ever changed their behaviour as a result of being told off.  Not really.

6. Do you have too much stuff or not enough stuff?

Neither.  I think I have the wrong stuff.  Everything I have feels like too much, but there’s so much other stuff I still want.

7.  The house is on fire. What do you grab first (excluding people and pets)?

My phone.  Not now, but a week ago, I would have.  Back when it had all my pictures of my kids and every song I love and the phone numbers of everyone I need.  You know, before IT CRASHED AND SENT ME INTO A DEEP PIT OF DESPAIR.

(image from here)

8. What place in the world would you visit again and again?

9. Do you ALWAYS answer the phone, or just let it ring?

I rarely answer it.  I have control issues.  (If I take your calls, you’re pretty freaking special.)

10. Does your family know about your blog?

Most of them. Does it restrict what gets written about?  Yeah, probably.  My sisters call bullshit when I get something wrong.  Keeps me on track 😉

(Thanks, lady, for the help.)


Excuses, excuses…

In the last couple of days I have:

Taken photos of a toilet for the express purpose of emailing them to a stranger.

Mistaken my soup bowl for a rice bowl at a restaurant, then pretended like I totally meant to do that.

Solicited dental advice from a British person.

Tried, in vain, to remove all traces of navy blue eyeshadow from a 3 year old’s eyebrows.

Written a guest review at Ask & Ye Shall Receive.

And what, may I ask, were you doing?

Harbingers of a Truly Awesome Year

This is how I have spent the first day of 2010:

I absorbed the news that a friend is engaged.  I was shocked, and couldn’t even feign happiness.  I just kept saying, “Holy shit” into a cell phone.  I don’t think he caught on.

I refused to pour my son an entire glass of sugary ginger ale with which to toast just after midnight, only to be told that this year is, and I quote, “a rip-off”, as well as “the worst New Year” of his life.  All 6 years of it.

I taught my sister the proper way to signal for gay sex in a public bathroom.

(Image from here.  More information here.)

She was impressed with my worldliness.

A nameless person passed gas in a manner so ferocious, and at a volume so incredible, a baby was woken from its slumber.

I made brunch for 14, for ten people.  There were no leftovers.  Not even one slice from the two pounds of bacon in the centre of the table.  No one went into cardiac arrest.  Yet.  Knock on wood.

I admitted that I love funeral food.  Nanaimo Bars.

(Image from here.)

Those peanut butter/butterscotch/colored marshmallow squares.  Open faced chopped ham sandwiches.  Devilled eggs.  Not that I want anyone to pass on, so I can eat these things.  Maybe I’ll just start having them around, not waiting for a luncheon in a church basement.

I napped with a cranky 3-year-old.  Who was warm, and whose weight pinned me down in a way that was sublimely satisfying.  My arm fell asleep, and I just willed her to keep sleeping.

I read a hundred pages of this:

and marvelled at the fact that when I read the first book in the series, twelve years ago, I was all about the romance, and now?  When I read these books, I’m just overwhelmingly grateful for electricity and indoor plumbing and doctors.

I let the dishes sit.

No, I’m not entirely sure what these things mean for the year ahead.  If they’re prophetic, in any way.

But thus begins another year.

“Everything’s gonna be fine in 2009.”

A friend of mine eschewed Christmas cards, last year, opting instead for the more highly prized New Year Email.  The tag line she and her family used was the title above.

In short, it wasn’t.

2009 was a good news/bad news joke that lasted 365 days.

I became an aunt to a niece and a nephew.

Fully half of my family (including those 2 babies) has moved to the United States.

The Boy started Grade One in the fall, and thrived.

I started a bout of depression in the fall, and didn’t.

I was offered a job that was practically perfect in every way.

The Girl’s world was shook by my taking that job, in ways I couldn’t have predicted.

But I made it through the wilderness.  Somehow I made it through.

Not to get maudlin at the last minute, but this blog was so good and restorative and necessary for me this year.

I worked out stuff on its electronic pages that I couldn’t anywhere else.  I kept up with people I knew, met others for the first time, was supported and distracted, in the right balance.

While real life was busy happening, I sat down and hammered out blog posts 180 times (assuming I post again tomorrow.)  Some of them, a lot of them, were wholly forgettable.

A few of them, though, I still like.

I thought I’d compile my own top ten for the year.  Stuff I’m happy I wrote, stuff that some of you seemed to like, stuff that maybe doesn’t make me curl up into a ball of cringe.

So, in absolutely no particular order, here is what I consider to be the top of my own particular dung heap, this year:

Jasper Ave, 5:05 p.m.

A Tree Grows in the Psych Ward

A Letter To My Child’s Teacher, Whom I Suspect is a Sadist

Tonight, She Comes

Wish You Were Here

Sometimes, There Are No Winners

One White Nike, Size 12


You Better Work It, Girl

The Buildings on the Corner

And let me finish by saying thank you.  Thank You.  Thank you for your comments, which I have given up trying to pretend don’t matter, because they are EXTREMELY gratifying.  Thank you for reading, for passing my stuff on to other sites, for sending links around facebook and twitter and what have you.  Thank you to the people I know in real life, who read me and still make eye contact with me, anyway.  Thank you to my family, who give me the fodder for a whole lot of this site, and let me share it with all y’all.

And I leave you with my own personal tag line for the year to come,

“Gonna try to be a little more zen, in 2010.”

The Town That Hated Christmas

Once upon a time, there was a town.

It sat tucked away in northern Canada, being quiet and unassuming.

And fucking cold.

Cold to the point where it competed with Siberia for the title of “Coldest Place on Earth”.  And only lost by tenths of a degree.

White Christmases were not just songs in this town, they were a way of life.

And this made the town very attractive to the makers of films.  Christmas films, to be specific.

Sounds like a match made in celluloid heaven, right?

Except that the cold and dark seem to have twisted the town.  Made it mean and bitter.

Because all it could turn out?  Were really, really shitty Christmas movies.

For example:

Snow Day

The movie stars Chevy Chase.  Clark freakin’ Griswold, from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  So clearly, the suckiness here is not Chevy’s fault.  He’s proven himself in the Christmas movie arena.  Nope.  I blame location.

Then there’s Christmas Town,

a production so full of suck (Some have suggested an alternate title of “ADHD Kid & Biatchy Woman”.  They’re right.), it was never unleashed on theatres.

Also, there’s Santa’s Slay.

It’s not that great horror Christmas movies can’t be made (i.e. Black Christmas).  But not in this town.  Not in this town.

The greatest travesty, really, had to be Christmas in Wonderland.

With master actors like Chris Kattan and Carmen Electra, clearly, the problem had to be location.

Maybe one day they would find out why the town couldn’t just let it go, cheer up, let a decent Christmas movie be made within its corporate limits.

Or maybe the town would keep spewing its bitterness in a most passive aggressive fashion onto movie screens.

Or maybe Hollywood just needed to start making really ripping Victoria Day movies in the town.

Because even the smallest-hearted town can’t be bitter in May.

Notes on a Christmas Concert

1.  First of all, to my son, The Boy:  I am sorry.  Sorry you inherited some freakish genetics.  Because for the rest of your life, in every group performance, every class picture, and especially every Christmas concert, you will be in the back row.  That’s just how it is.  The short kids will get all the glory.  No one said it was fair.

2.  You know what breaks up a monotonous Christmas concert?  Having the power-point presentation of carol lyrics screw up.  To the point where you’re watching someone re-boot their laptop on a giant screen over the children’s heads.  And you know that at least a couple other people have to be thinking what you’re thinking:  “Oh lord, I hope there’s some porn on there.  Because that would be hilarious!”

3.  Know what else is fun?  Sitting by someone’s cranky grandma.  Who apparently left her filter at home.  “Not one of those kids can carry a tune!”  “That one’s quite the chubbo!”  “Would it kill the teacher’s to get these kids to stand up straight?  Bunch’a little hunchbacks, all of ’em.”  As horrified as I was that she was saying this in her outside voice, I had the eeriest feeling that I was seeing into my own future.  That made me smile.

4.  I predicted, down to the millisecond, the moment my husband would lean over and say, “Are they singing in French?  Or do they really just suck?”

5.  A conversation I never thought I would hear:  “What part do you have in the Christmas concert?”  “Elvis.”

6.  Laying aside the obvious barricades to my plan, my suggestion for future concerts:  Beer Concession.  The school makes money, I enjoy the concert a hell of a lot more, and my kid sees the grin on my face and thinks he must have rocked that version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”  (I swear, I won’t get to the point where I’m yelling “More cowbell!” or anything.  Just a little cheery.  Promise.)

Till next year’s extravaganza, then.

Terms That Are Instantly Negated When Applied to Oneself: A List











“One Hot Mama”