Category Archives: Rants

Maybe a Girl’s Best Friend. Just Not This Girl.

I accept some things about this time of year.

Religious folk are going to get up in arms when you wish them a Happy Holiday, insisting on “Puttin’ the Christ back in Christmas.” (All the while, ignoring the fact that they totally co-opted Yule from the Pagans, but whatever.)

Small children will exhibit sickening greed and extremely touching acts of altruism.  All at the same time.

And the stores are going to play hardball.

I know that I’m going to be bombarded with advertising.  I know that stores are counting on this month to bring them anywhere close to being profitable, especially in a recession.  I get it.

But there was an ad on the radio the other night, one that literally made my jaw drop, and (although I didn’t see it, I’m pretty sure it happened) steam come out of my ears.

(Image from here.)

A diamond company here in town started their radio spot acknowledging that 2009 sucked the hind one.  Then, in a twist of logic that was waaaay past 360 degrees of twist, they proceeded to say that the horrible economy meant that as a man, you needed to spend more money on your woman than ever before.  And I quote:

“Be the hero she needs you to be.”

Oh nameless diamond store, I know you were aiming this ad at men.  Poor, delusional, led by their penises men.  You were trying to let them in on the “inside info”, let them know what us broads are really thinking.

Men, this is horseshit.

I’m a woman.  I know how some, maybe a lot, of women think.  So please listen.

Because do you know what my hero would do?

My hero would make sure the mortgage gets paid.  My hero would read “Goodnight Moon” for the thousandth time because it’s a little girl’s favorite.  My hero would step in, speak up if he saw someone being hurt.  My hero would check out strange noises in the night.  My hero would leave his ego out when making decisions that affect his family.  My hero would open doors for ladies, and teach his son to do the same.  My hero would be a decent, stand up guy, even when that’s the hard way.

You know what my hero wouldn’t do?

Piss away thousands of dollars on a damned piece of jewellery.

Don’t believe the hype, men.


“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
. ”
-Dylan Thomas

I don’t like the dark.

Oh sure, all the really good stuff goes on after sun-down. And the effect of low-light on my face can only be described as miraculous. But I still don’t like the dark.

Right now, we’re down to just over 7 hours of light in a day. Not enough to feel normal, by any means.

That’s probably why one of the few things I really, truly enjoy about the Christmas season are the lights.

(photo from here)

It’s as if, by putting up these strings of bulbs, lighting them for 2/3 of a day, we’re fighting back.  Flipping the darkness the bird, if you will.  Refusing to give in to the dark, and maybe by extension evil and fear and all things negative.

Which is why the advent of LED lights is gutting me.

Yes, I know they use a fraction of the energy of regular, old-fashioned incandescents.  They’re the way of the future, the right thing to do.

But for the love of Edison, they give off about as much light as an orange cat.

(image from here)

Not only do they not fulfill the role that Christmas lights have always taken on for me, they actually go so far as to bum me the hell out.  Forget raging against the dying of the light, LED lights are like a half-hearted shake of the fist at the dying of the light, then losing interest half-way through the shake, and going back to your crossword puzzle.

I know they’re the right thing to do.  But god damn LED lights, you’re wrecking this for me.  And there’s not a whole lot of things I have left to love about the season.

If anyone messes with eggnog, I give up.

The Halloween Reverse-Compliment Sandwich

So as I mentioned yesterday, we went costume shopping.  This is not a common occurence for us.  We’re usually pretty DIY when it comes to this sort of thing.  My mother-in-law sews.  Well.  And she’s made most of the kid’s costumes in the past.

Baby girl says she wants to be a princess,


et voila, she has a perfect replica of Sleeping Beauty’s gown.

And when one of the kids picked out something Grandma couldn’t sew,


in stepped Dad, with tubing and metal and a freaking battery pack.

But this year, it just didn’t come together.  So we bought costumes.  The girl will be a flower, the boy will be a ninja.  Done and done.

As we were shopping, though, some things occurred to me.  One good, two not so good.  And so, I will deliver them as employers are taught to deliver evaluations to employees.  Only theirs goes compliment – complaint – compliment, and mine, well, doesn’t.

1.  If you are going to sell costumes in a northern climate, adjustments need to be made.  Because while the sizing might work in, say, Florida, where weather will never be a factor in trick-or-treating, here in Western Canada?  You don’t pick out a costume without visualizing a snowsuit under it.  Not that it’s guaranteed to be snowing on Halloween, but it is a very real (and somewhat terrifying) possibility.  Henceforth, I’d like to see this sort of thing on the package:

“Size:  7

Unless you’re from Canada and expect this to fit over skidoo pants, then it’s a: 4”

There, that shouldn’t be any trouble, right?

2.  Kudos to you, costume manufacturers!  The last time I looked for costumes, I was downright disheartened to see that as a girl of ample proportions, I was barred from getting my Once-A-Year-Skank on.  French maid costumes, slutty witches, morally questionable kittens were all the dominion of skinny chicks.  But now, if I want to follow the Yellow Brick Road AND show a whole lotta upper thigh,


I can do that.  Right up to a 4X, if I so desire.  So pass the ribs, momma’s got some trick or treatin’ (wink) to do.

3.  I understand that kids today are maturing at a faster rate.  I really do get that.  But this:


does NOT need to be available in a size 4.  Ever.  Stop it.

(Full disclosure:  It might not freak me out so much, but I’m pretty sure I saw that exact same get up on a stripper.  In a….documentary. )

So there you have my take on the costume shopping experience.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m on my way back to the site with the Dorothy get-up.  Because Halloween can last all year-round.  (As long as they’re offering free shipping.)

It’s a Damn Good Thing I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know

Contrary to popular belief, I did not go into motherhood blindly.


I’d had some experience with child-rearing.  I’d done way more than my fair share of looking after my younger siblings as a kid.  I’d watched friends of mine raise their own babies.  I knew I’d be tired.  (I had no way of knowing about the post-traumatic stress disorder-ish state that extreme lack of sleep can put you into, but I knew I’d be tired.)  I knew there’d be frustration.  I even knew there’d be sacrifice.


But what I really, really couldn’t imagine, the thing that would cause absolute horror to creep into my heart?


When I get sick, no one cares.


I am not stating it in a martyrish way.  I can’t fault anyone for it.  I’ve come to accept it as fact.


But when I get sick, I’m on my own.


No relatives to swoop in and take my kids away.  A self-employed husband, and if he’s not working, I’m not eating (Although as I sit here trying not to vomit into a wastebasket, I really don’t give a flying fence post whether I ever eat again.  But I have to believe that will change, soon).  Volunteer commitments that don’t run if I don’t show up.  And children who need me.


Man, do they need me.


They’re not inhuman little monsters, or anything.  They’re not completely without compassion.  But when I try to explain that Mommy is sick, they get an expression on their face, as if I’ve just told them that the GDP of Uruguay last year was $32 billion.


They’ve heard what I’ve said.  They’re not disputing that what I’ve told them is a fact.  They just don’t see how it’s germaine to their little lives, or how it accounts for the fact that the peanut butter sandwich they requested 2 WHOLE MINUTES AGO has not materialized.


So while I’m busy shifting paradigms to get me through this (I can leave the house a mess, I can screen my calls, and I can eat nothing but carbs because they’re the only thing that doesn’t make me want to hurl, because god dammit I am sick), maybe you should read someone else’s blog.


Because in the last little while, some people I know have written some stuff that will knock your mother lovin’ socks off (provided you’re in a part of the world experiencing sock-necessitating weather).


Kitty at The Show Must Go On wrote Patience SVP.


Mongoliangirl at The Cusp wrote The Seventeen Acres:  “Yes, but not forever.”


Rassles at Sometimes I Make Lists wrote Self-Diagnosis is Never a Good Idea.


Sulya at i am the octopus wrote this and this and this and this.  (She’s been dizzyingly proficient, lately.)


And Blues at Blues of a Waxwing rendered me speechless with The souls of everyday objects.


So while I’m having my pity party over here, go.  Go read and enjoy and comment.  I’ll be fine. 


Don’t worry about me. 



Dear Al Gore

Dear Al Gore,

Let me just start by saying this:  I know you’re not a scientist.  I know you weren’t even the first one to ring the alarm bells, with regards to this planet going to hell.  But you have become the face for the movement, and thus, I’ll be addressing you.  Pass the message on to your less well known, science-y friends, won’t you?


Here’s the thing:  you fucked up.


Two words:  Global.  Warming.


You started warning us about it years ago.  Told us the glaciers would melt, the deserts would expand, the average temperature of the world would go up, everywhere, by a couple of degrees.


And anyone who lived north of Florida?


Thought that sounded pretty awesome.


You see, when you’re talking to people who go into every winter knowing that they will, without a doubt, experience the eyeball freezing caress of -40 degrees, that they will be confronted with icy driving conditions until Easter, and that they will, at most, be rewarded for it with a scant 80-ish days of summer,  you don’t call it “Global Warming.”


“Global Warming” sounded like something I could get behind.


(I personally spent the early ’90s working on my own, dedicated hole in the ozone layer by eschewing the pump bottle of Aqua-Net, heading straight for the hardcore, aerosol version.)

 (I regret nothing.)


If you had just called it “Global Weather Fuck-Up-edness”,


and told us it would snow in Calgary in FUCKING JUNE,

(Please note the scared, confused, and very green grass cowering under the flakes.)


Well, the buy-in from us northern folk would have been much, much quicker.


Semantics, sir.  It comes down to your lack of a grasp on them.


Tsk, tsk.







(Photo credits:

Al Gore from here.

1991 Ginny from some nameless Josten’s photographer.

and the snow from my friend Curtis in Calgary, who patiently waited all afternoon for more snow to fall, just so he could get this shot.  What a guy!)


Did everyone else have a halcyon period, where they could drink and drink (and maybe smoke some things) and drink some more, and not go to sleep, and carry on?

Pretty sure it’s over, since today’s Tuesday, and I STILL feel like a freaking Sunday morning.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s why I’m……easily bothered.


For your persual, a list of today’s offenders:


1.  Articles in magazines titled, “How To Find $1000 in Your Budget!”. 

And it turns out that I’m already doing all ten things on the list of ways to save money.  As is everyone else who’s not a Rockefeller.  But I don’t feel one damn bit richer.


2.  Dresses with pockets.

(Image from here.)

Because when I get all dressed up, I like to have the option of looking slouchy.


3.  Kids’ jokes that aren’t even fucking funny.

From the latest issue of “Chirp” magazine:

Does the children’s publishing industry need to be schooled in what makes a successful knock knock joke?  Because that ain’t it.


4.  Reusable shopping bags.

Don’t misunderstand me:  they’re a lovely idea, they keep those horrible plastic bags out of landfills.  I own some.  

But do I ever, EVER remember to put the damn things in the car on my way to the store?  No, I do not.

And then I get to feel even guiltier than I used to about walking through the parking lot with a cart full of plastic bagged groceries, fluttering in the breeze.



I reserve the right to add to this list at any time.


I think it’s going to be one of those weeks.

Procrastination Hath Screwed Me, Yet Again

People can prattle on, endlessly, about the suckiness of Mondays.


I don’t love Mondays, either.  But the real asshole day of the week, to my mind, is Sunday. 


Sunday was always the day of reckoning.  The day I realized that 10 page essays would not suddenly appear under my pillow, courtesy of the Essay Fairy.  That there was no way in hell I’d be able to finish the science project about levers at 10 pm on the night before they were due.


Today?  Was no exception.


I knew I had book club coming up.  And then I realized it was on Thursday.  4 days away.  I didn’t even have the book, much less a start on it.  But I wasn’t worried.  These things generally work out.


I drove across town to the Big Chain Bookstore.  The more rational people (i.e. the rest of the city) had stayed home rather than brave the crap weather, so I pretty much had the joint to myself.  The 15 person lineup at the Starbucks kiosk wasn’t there, so I ambled over, grabbed a coffee.  I browsed, uber-leisurely.  Spent time in the sections I never go into.  (You say Economics, I say Snoozefest, but hey, I had some time to kill.)

I checked my notes, looked for the name of the author.  Kate Mosse.  (Shit, that heroin-riddled skinny bitch published a book, and I can’t even get an angry letter to the editor printed?  Oh, wait a minute, Kate Mosse, not Moss.  Whew, hit to the self-esteem, narrowly averted.)

I get to the “M” section.  Find the book.


And then I turn it sideways.

(For the sake of reference, that’s last month’s pick, beside it.)


Oh holy fuck. 


This book is damn near 700 pages.


I have 4 days.  Which seems like a lot of time.  Except I have, like, a LIFE to get through.


So now, the question is this:


Do I ignore my kids, leave the dishes unwashed, the sidewalk unshoveled, and my personal hygiene unattended to, and read the living shit out of this thing?


Or do I go back, and buy this book?