Wednesday, March 26, 2008

You knew it was coming... (all quotes now identified)

The movie meme (as seen on Jen's and Alissa's sites):

The rules:

* Pick 10 (or so) of your favorite movies.
* Find, remember, or look up a quote from each movie.
* Post them here for everyone to guess.
* Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
* NO googling or cheating by doing an online search. Cheaters never prosper.
* Share the fun and only guess one movie.


1. You've got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance. It's going to get you into trouble someday.

"The Princess Bride" - Melessa (I swear I can quote this whole movie. From memory. All of us can (me and the girls). We never get tired of it.)

2. A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.

"Men in Black" - Stacy (I have a thing for Tommy Lee Jones, that's why two of the quotes are from him.)

3. Take car. Go to mum's. Kill Phil - "Sorry." Grab Liz. Go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over. How's that for a slice of fried gold?

"Shaun of the Dead" - Velocibadgergirl. (This is the FUNNIEST movie -- a romantic comedy with zombies -- that concerns the misadventures of Shaun, a young man trapped in a rut, who is attempting to sort out his life, reconcile with his ex-girlfriend and settle his issues with his mother and stepfather, while simulataneously having to cope with an apocalyptic uprising of the undead that is causing society to collapse. Seriously, who could ask for more? It's a bit icky in parts, but Simon Pegg rocks. And I love Ed.)

4. If I can't have you, can I have my gator?

"The Big Easy" OK, nobody got this. Either the movie or the quote was too obscure. It's a romantic suspense movie about cops and mafia in New Orleans. Someone is killing the high-level drug dealers in NO, and Lt. Remy McSwain (Dennis McQuaid) is trying to find out who, while being investigated for corruption by uptight D.A. Ann Osborne (Ellen Barkin). Sparks fly. My do they ever, lotta chemistry between these two. This is the movie that made me fall in lust with become interested in Dennis Quaid and his acting career.

5. I demand the sum... OF 1 MILLION DOLLARS.

"Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery" - Nat (From Nat's Brain) (This movie is just too funny.)

6. I don't think you're an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother's pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever's in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences... But the thing is, um, what I'm trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.

"Bridget Jones's Diary" - Natalie (My ultimate curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-glass-of-wine chick flick. Don't we all wish that someone would say that to us, that he likes us just as we are? I melt every. damn. time. Oh, and Colin Firth is just dishy, reindeer sweater and all.)

7. No, no. It's not schizophrenia. It's just a voice in my head. I mean, the voice isn't telling me to do anything. It's telling me what I've already done... accurately, and with a better vocabulary.

"Stranger than Fiction" - Natalie. (This movie made me really like Will Ferrel. And it had Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dustin Hoffman and Queen Latifa and Emma Thompson. Wow. It was quirky and sweet and different.)

8. We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose's glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie and Jimmy for their wedding present.

"Bull Durham" - Jessica (Daysgoby) (Good job! Not one of the big quotes from the movie, but I just love the big meeting on the pitcher's mound to discuss wedding gifts. Perfect couples movie, baseball, sex, comedy, love, Walt Whitman. Perfect.)

9. I don't like disturbances in my place. Either lay off politics, or get out.

"Casablanca" Anonymous. Good work! (Not a very famous quote, but anyone would have got it if I'd chosen 'We'll always have Paris'. This movie always makes me sigh.)

10. I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem *may* have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being *crushed* by a *dwarf*. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object.

"This is Spinal Tap" - Natalie (I never tire of this movie. The band. The lyrics [who can forget "Big Bottoms"?]. The dead drummers. The hangers-on. The seriousness in which everyone approaches their roles. Sublime.)

11. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies. It takes a great deal more to stand up to your friends.

"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" - Nat (I never get tired of watching this movie with the girls, and even on my own sometimes. My strongest memories are of watching it last summer late in the night when Leah couldn't sleep due to chicken pox.)

12. Newman, what are you doing?
I'm thinking.
Well, think me up a cup of coffee and a chocolate doughnut with some of those little sprinkles on top, just as long as you're thinking.

"The Fugitive" - Jen (I love me some TLJ. And Harrison Ford isn't bad either)

13. Grandpa! There's no school! It's been hit by a bomb! Thank you Adolf!!!

"Hope and Glory" - Natalie (If you haven't seen this movie, about the Blitz in London during World War Two, seen through the eyes of a seven-year-old boy, go and find it and rent it. You'll be glad you did. It's funny and sweet and sad and uplifting. But mostly funny and sweet. Billy's eccentric family has to deal with his dad being away in the army, bombs falling, his teenage sister getting romantically involved with a Canadian soldier, parachuting Germans, house fires, and gangs of small boys playing and looting amongst the bombed houses.)

14. This is the day your dreams come true.
What do you know about my dreams, Gaston?

"Beauty and the Beast" - Mrs. G (My fave of all the Disney movies. It was Rachel's fave too for a while. I remember one sleepless night that I dozed on the couch while Rae, feverish and about 18 months old, played with toys on the living room floor and insisted that the movie keep playing. Three times it played before she fell asleep. Oy.)

And the Bonus Question, for the Canucks in the crowd (not that I'm being exclusionist, but I don't think this movie was released outside Canada. Pity. It was funny) . Two quotes from this one movie:

Bonus quote A: You have an accent in both languages. Who was your teacher? Jean Chrétien?

Bonus quote B: His heart is in Québec.
But his ass belongs to you.

"Bon Cop, Bad Cop" - We'll give this to Nat, she knew the movie (both quotes are from the movie. I LOVE this movie. Think "Lethal Weapon" but with an uptight by-the-book English cop from TO and a cutting-corners crazy cop from Montreal. This movie single-handedly increased my French vocabulary -- I can swear very fluently now in la belle langue)


Monday, March 24, 2008

Dinner and a show

Those who know me well know that organization is not my strong suit. So doing the big turkey dinner Easter thing was a bit of a challenge, logistics-wise. But I planned. And I stuck to my schedule, and things were going swimmingly. When my guests arrived, the house was clean and sparkly and smelled wonderfully of roasting turkey and stuffing. The girls were dressed in dresses, and other than a slight dose of Easter-chocolate-related sugar overload (they would have made meth addicts look lethargic), they behaved well.

We noshed on garlic-feta spread and sesame rice crackers while waiting for the turkey to be done, and then some ribs I'd done in the slow cooker because I was afraid there wouldn't be enough food (<- delusional). Leah and Rachel had set the table (sorta) and were playing happily in the living room with Becca and Maggie when the turkey came out of the oven. I asked Andy if he would carve the turkey while I mashed the potatoes and finished the gravy.

And, because this is my house, where Murphy's Law rules supreme, Max took that opportunity to come racing up the stairs from the basement with a live mouse in his mouth.

He ran into the living room with it, and dropped it. Girls sprang onto couches, shrieking. He chased it into Leah's bedroom. Leah immediately had a meltdown at the thought of a mouse in her room. I abandoned the gravy and got the heavy leather fireplace gloves on, grabbed a flashlight and headed into her room. Max came along for moral support. Between the two of us we caught the little guy and pitched him out the front door. Then I washed my hands, poured a glass of wine, and returned to my dinner party.

I bet this never happens to Martha Stewart.

It's good to have friends who treat situations like this with aplomb. The mouse did not cut our evening short. We had a nice dinner and they pretended that my girls -- overexcited, overtired, and nearing sugar narcosis -- were charming rather than annoying, especially when Rachel in Mad Director mode, insisted that we all act out Cinderella after dinner. Mags was Cinderella, Shell was the evil stepmother, Bec and I were ugly stepsisters, Leah was the prince, and Andy got tagged to be the fairy godmother, complete with crown and wand. I did take a picture of him dressed for his role, but I'm not going to share it with the internets. Friends that can deal with a mouse at a dinner party are ones you want to keep.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The bunny cometh

So I'm grocery shopping with the girls on Tuesday night, trying to get the shopping done before the pre-Easter-dinner frenzy that will have shoppers at the grocery store acting like stressed-out men at the mall on Christmas Eve. I'm mousing along with my cart, girls in tow, thinking about Easter dinner. Should I have green beans or broccoli with the turkey? Becca likes green beans, so green beans it is. I'm having friends over for dinner, well, family really. My friend Shell, her husband Andy, and their daughters Maggie and Becca. (They're so much a part of our lives that when I was in the hospital having Rachel, Leah refused to leave their house, where she'd been staying, to come with her dad and pick me up. So my then-husband picked Rachel and me up and took us there and Leah met her baby sister for the very first time in Andy and Shell's living room. But I digress...)

So there I was, wandering through the produce section, happily thinking about celery for the stuffing and key lime pie, when a sudden thought brought me to a screeching halt. I may have said "Oh shit" out loud. "What's the matter, Mom?" Rae asked. I couldn't tell her. You see, in my preoccupation with Easter dinner, I had forgotten something vital. Saturday night the Easter Bunny is supposed to show up and hide eggs all over the living room and dining room. And I am the freakin' Easter Bunny! I had totally forgotten. I hadn't picked up a single chocolate egg, or any small summery gifts like a skipping rope or some sidewalk chalk. I suck.

In my own defense though, I kind of have a lot on my plate right now. Here are the things I'm juggling (in addition to hosting Easter dinner and bunny duties):
  • I need to get safety check done on new car in order to get plates (emissions test done and passed)
  • I need to get plates for new car
  • I need to sort out the insurance so I don't drop the insurance on the old car too soon and get left with 2 cars and no insurance
  • I have to get the house cleaned up. Right now it looks like....well, there are no words to accurately describe the mess
  • Leah has 4 (count 'em, four) dentist appts in the next 4 weeks to fit her for an appliance. I need to schedule them around meetings at work
  • Max is 6 months old now and there are some 'things' that need to come off (at breakfast the other day Rachel, looking over at Max's back end while he's eating from his bowl with his back to us, "Mom, I can see Max's little round bum cheeks." Um, yeah. Those weren't cheeks she was looking at.)
  • I got a letter from the City of Ottawa pointing out that Leah has missed an MMR vaccination somewhere along the way, and if she doesn't get it before Apr. 16, she'll be suspended from school
  • I need to arrange for the neutering and the immunization to be dealt with. I must not mix up who gets what done.
  • I must not forget to return the Express Reads book to the library tonight. If I do, the fine will be $2/day
  • I need to make an appointment to get my tax return done
  • Leah is still on the waiting list for swimming lessons this session, and I need to sort that out before the session is too far advanced, and she misses out
  • I need a babysitter so I can go to book club
  • I have to remember to take the turkey out of the freezer on time, or it'll be pizza on Easter Sunday
  • I'm obsessing about why Rae's teacher requested an interview for Parent-Teacher night. Usually if everything's fine, they don't request one -- you can have one if you want, but it's not necessary. Is Rae flunking Senior Kindergarten? Is she rude and disruptive? My imagination is in overdrive.
  • I need to fill out the forms to register for the spring session of French language classes
  • How worried should I be that the weight of snow on my roof might cause a cave in?
I think that my head might explode. Of course, the way my living room looks right now, if it did, no one would notice. Except the kids -- you know, when the bunny didn't show up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Comfort food

According to the calendar, it's going to be spring on Thursday. Yeah, well tell that to the 4 feet of snow still covering my lawn. And though I'd rather be firing up the barbeuce and grilling chicken, I can't see all of my barbecue at the moment. Just the top of the lid sticking out of a snow bank. We need a few more weeks days of above-zero temps before I can break out the barbecue sauce.

There's freezing rain in the forecast tonight, and snow flurries, which makes it a perfect night to make macaroni and cheese for dinner. Here is the best recipe for comfort food out there:

Marvelous Mac 'n Cheese

Servings: 6

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 and 3/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese*, divided
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or more if you like the sauce a bit spicy (I do))
3/4 tsp salt

*The older the cheese, the better this tastes. Last time I made it, I used a ratio of about 2/3 President's Choice 4-year old cheddar to 1/3 ordinary marble cheddar mixed together to make up the 2 3/4 cups of grated cheese.

Add macaroni to large saucepan of boiling salted water. Stir to prevent sticking; bring back to boil, stirring often. Boil until macaroni is tender but still firm (slightly underdone is better, since it will cook in the sauce in the oven later and you don't want it too limp). Drain in colander; set aside.

Meanwhile, in separate large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; stir with wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in milk in slow steady stream, whisking until sauce is smooth and thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in Worcestershire sauce, salt and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Stir macaroni into cheese sauce; scrape into 3 L glass baking dish. (I used my Corningware dish, the one on the right, below:)

Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in 375°F oven until crisp and golden brown on top and sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

The last time I made this, I cut up a head of broccoli and added the florets to the macaroni during the last 2 minutes of boiling, then mixed the whole thing with the sauce. I love broccoli and cheese sauce, and it isn't like the girls are going to eat any of this (Kraft dinner is the only acceptable mac 'n cheese for them. Philistines.) It was so good that I was actually moaning while eating it.

I'm making this tonight, and while I'm eating it I won't be jealous of those of you already barbecuing and eating outdoors. Well, not much, anyway.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Road trip

I'm going to be MIA for a few days, and probably won't be posting here. The girls and I are hopping aboard a Via Rail train,

No. Wait. It's more like this:

and heading to Windsor. Why, you might ask? Well, my car is starting to get a bit elderly. It's a 1997 Grand Prix that I love dearly, but since I commute about 80 km/day (round-trip), 4 days/week, and I like to travel by car to places like Dartmouth, Nova Scotia,

Niagara Falls,

and Sudbury, Ontario,

the odometer is creeping up on 300,000 km. Which is a lot.

Some of you might remember that last year, my mom won a car in a raffle:

which means that she and my stepdad have a perfectly serviceable, and totally superflus superflouuous extra car gathering dust in their garage. It's going to be my car. Maybe not as cool as a Grand Prix, but you gotta like a car that's 2 years newer and has less than 75,000 km on it. So the girls and I are taking the train to Windsor tomorrow, and we'll be driving our new car back to Ottawa on Sunday.

Who knows where we might drive to this summer?


Sunday, March 09, 2008

OK, enough whining (*video now working*)

As Alissa pointed out to me in a comment on my last post, it's not everyone who gets to enjoy this much snow. And, truth be told, the girls enjoyed it when we went out to play this afternoon. I'm happy when they're having a good time. So I guess the snow isn't all bad:


Friday, March 07, 2008

Dear Winter (Redux)

Dear Winter,

I had really hoped that we could be civilized and adult about this breakup. But seeing as this is the attitude you are taking, I guess that I don't really want to be friends with you after all.

You suck.


Ottawa North - Kanata - Orléans
10:00 AM EST Friday 7 March 2008
Winter storm watch for
Ottawa North - Kanata - Orléans continued

..Winter storm expected to give heavy snow Saturday..

This is an alert to the potential development of dangerous winter weather conditions in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

A storm is currently over Alabama and will push northward today giving significant snow to most of southern Ontario. It appears that the snow will come in two doses. The first round will begin as early as this afternoon for southwestern Ontario and Niagara then later today in eastern Ontario. We may have a brief reprieve overnight into Saturday morning where snow may become light and more intermittent. The heaviest snowfall is then expected in the second round beginning midday Saturday in the southwest and in the afternoon over eastern Ontario. Keep in mind that the snowfall duration will be about 36 hours but the heaviest snow will be Saturday afternoon into the evening.

Snowfall warnings have been issued from Long Point to the Niagara Peninsula due to significant snowfall accumulations of 15 to 20 centimetres with the first dose. These areas will likely be upgraded to a winter storm warning due to additional snowfall and blowing snow as the second round approaches.

Storm totals may be 20 to 30 centimetres along and east of a line from Long Point to the Golden Horseshoe then to Petawawa. There is potential for 30 to 50 centimetres of snow over the Niagara Peninsula and parts of eastern Ontario.* Areas west of the Long Point to Petawawa line should see between 10 to 20 centimetres with lesser amounts near Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Behind this system strong northerly winds to 70 km/h are possible. On Saturday strong winds combined with fresh snow will cause blowing snow to lower visibilities and create dangerous driving conditions. Whiteout conditions from heavy snow and blowing snow are possible so travellers should be prepared to change their plans accordingly.

* For those unsure of the geography of the area, Ottawa and environs are in eastern Ontario. Oh, and 30 to 50 cm translates to 11.8 to 19.6 inches. In freakin' March.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm sorry. It's over between us.

(Pictures taken at noon, today, Wednesday, March 5, from my front door, during a snowstorm)

Dear Winter,

Although it hurts me to do this, I have to tell you that it's over between us. This relationship has gone on for too long now and I just don't feel the same way about you that I used to. Don't be sad, we had fun. Remember how it started off so romantically in December -- the long walks in the snow, the snowball fights, the ice skating, the tobogganing, the nights by the fireplace? I will always treasure the memories, but the love is gone, and I can't get it back.

It's stale now -- always the same thing over and over again: blizzard, shovelling, blizzard, shovelling. It's March, for Christ's sake, and we're still stuck in the same old pattern: blizzard, shovelling, blizzard, shovelling. I can't take it any more. Neither of us is happy. I want to start seeing other people. Like Spring, and Summer.

It's not you, it's me. I hope we can still be friends.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Throwing it out there to you

You've seen it before in a hundred romantic comedies and antiperspirant commercials...the meet cute. You know, like when the girl is walking in the park with her dog on a leash, and the cute boy's dog chases the girl's dog, and the leashes entwine and wrap around the boy and the girl so they're face to face and they meet?

Well, that's never happened to me. Of course, the way my life goes, if it was a movie, the cute boy's dog would be attracted by the chili I had not noticed I'd dripped down my jeans, and my meet cute would be with the EMT guy stitching up the bite marks in my thigh and sticking the tetanus needle in my ass. Seriously.

All this to say that between work, housework, homework, yardwork, the girls' activities, and the rare times out with friends, there are not many opportunities for me to meet a guy. So, despite my squeamishness, I'm considering checking out an online dating site. Cripes, even my mom was telling me all about that she heard about from my stepdad's homecare worker. My mom, people.

And it's not like I haven't made friends online. My online moms' group has been together since 2001, and we've had two get-togethers that were wildly successful. And there are the
women whose blogs I read and have found them in real life to be just as funny and charming as they are through a computer screen. Surely that's a good indication that an online romance wouldn't necessarily be a horrible catastrophe. Right?

So I'm throwing it out there to you, my readers. Did you ever date anyone you met online? Did it work out? Was it scary? Any tips? All stories are welcome, good and bad. I just wanna find out from someone who knows first-hand before I decide to stick my toe in that water. Or spill some chili on my pants.