Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween costumes, or, What's another word for slutty?

Around our house, Halloween costumes have become a big deal. The girls start thinking about what they want to be somewhere around July September, and we start looking around for ways to make them the costumes they want. This year, Rae wanted to be a pirate, and Leah wanted to be Princess Leia, due to her obsession with Star Wars, which shortly predated her obsession with Labyrinth.

Rae's costume was easy enough. We bought the hat/scarf and a set containing eye patch, earring, hook and sword at Walmart, added black pants from home, and a wonderful puffy shirt/waistcoat combo that was loaned to us by my friend Janice, et voila, a scurvy buccaneer. Leah's was not so easy. After a few painful attempts to coil her hair into Leia's hair bagels, I gave up and did something I've never done before. I ordered her costume online. (I feel like such a sell-out.)

Oh, before I get much further in the story, here is a picture of my incredibly cute offspring, taken this morning before school -- because God knows what kind of shape the costumes will be in when they get off the school bus this afternoon.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, ordering online. I ordered from an outfit that is associated with a local party supplies store, so instead of paying shipping to my house, I picked the costume up at the party store.

When I got there on Wednesday to pick it up, I was floored by all the Halloween stuff they had -- costumes, decorations, make-up, props -- it was truly amazing. But what caught my eye the most was a poster advertising costumes for a company called Secret Dreams. They were women's costumes, and were all kind All the costume names were prefaced with the word 'sexy', you know, like 'Sexy Angel', and 'Sexy I Dream of Jeannie', and (God help us all) 'Sexy Tinkerbelle'.

Umm, yeah. My eyes started rolling. But you can see -- sort of -- how those female archetypes could be seen as sexy. What blew my mind was what other not-very-sexy costumes they managed to sex up. I present to you, now, the real thing, and the Secret Dreams versions. And I'm not making this up, you know.

The real Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family (note that she is a seven-year-old girl):

And the slutty 'Sexy Wednesday Addams':

A real NASCAR driver:

And the sleazy 'Sexy NASCAR Driver':

But the one that really boggled my mind as being something that was not the least bit sexy was this, the real Ghostbusters:

And (I shit you not), the skanky 'Sexy Ghostbuster':

I am left almost speechless. And needing a thesaurus to come up with more synonyms for 'slutty'.

I did notice, however, that this sluttiness sleaziness skankiness 'sexiness' doesn't seem to be present in the mens' costumes. Oh no siree, Bob. Not at all.

Holy Halloween Inequity, Batman:

Here's Neo, from The Matrix. Not a lotta skin showing here, is there?

What we need is the 'Sexy Casino Royale James Bond' costume -- you know, to even things up for us women:

Wait. On second thought, thinking of what most men actually look like, maybe Neo isn't such a bad costume idea after all.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

(Photos courtesy of Google, except for the picture of my adorable spawn, courtesy of me.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Things frozen yogurt tastes better than

It rained on Saturday. Torrential, unrelenting, 'let's build an ark -- damn, the cat's neutered' rain. So, of course, we ran errands.

Here, for your amusement, is the actual conversation we had sitting on a bench just inside the exit doors of IKEA while eating frozen yogurt cones before splashing our way back out to the car. It was the first time the girls had tried this particular treat.

Rae was snuggled up against my side, rotating her cone against her tongue. Leah, on the other side of Rae, was eating her cone from the top down.

Me: "So. What do you think of frozen yogurt?"

Leah: "This is *really* good. It tastes better than ice cream. Seriously." [She's *so* my daughter.] "In fact, I think we should get frozen yogurt at home instead of ice cream from now on."

Rachel: "I don't eat boogers anymore."

Me: . . . .

Rachel: "I mean, I still pick my nose, but I don't eat the boogers anymore."

Me (struggling to understand what this has to do with the conversation): "That's. . . good."

Rachel: "But I remember what they taste like. And this [gesturing with her cone]. . . this tastes better."

So there you have it, folks. THIS JUST IN: FROZEN YOGURT TASTES BETTER THAN BOOGERS. You heard it here first.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy working song

Jen, over at Jen on the Edge, is asking for decluttering ideas. Feel free to pop on over and help out.

Here's my ideal way to declutter the house.

Of course, my dress isn't quite as poofy, and at my place it's squirrels, raccoons, and skunks who come when I sing. (I had to stop the skunks from helping, though. They break too many dishes.)

(If you can't see the movie clip of Gisele cleaning up Robert's apartment in Enchanted, click here for the Youtube link.)

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hey look! I knitted a scarf. And it only took me 10 months and 19 days.

I'm not what one would call a quick (swift, rapid, fast) knitter. I'm sure if I tackled anything as complicated as a sweater, entire empires would rise and fall before I finished. But here it is. I'm basking in my sense of accomplishment:

The yarn was all nubby and had bits hanging off it, which was both good and bad. The good thing was that it hid any mistakes, the bad was that I had to pay attention when knitting instead of being able to watch TV speak French to the girls while they folded laundry and put it away. (I can dream, can't I?)

Next project: slippers. They oughta be ready by oh...2012.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today kind of sucked

  • I was petting the cat this morning and saw something black moving through the fur of his head. Yep, my indoor cat has fleas. Damn.
  • I have a house in dire need of cleaning, and I've been experiencing bad back spasms on and off all day. Holy bad timing, Batman.
  • While picking up a birthday present for Rachel late this afternoon, I accidentally hit another car in the parking lot of Hazeldean Mall.
  • I'm expecting a bunch of six-year-old girls tomorrow for a sleep-over birthday party (see second point, above).
  • I still haven't slept with Daniel Craig.

On the bright side:

  • My vet fixed me up with something for the fleas that worked within half an hour. (Seems Max picked up his visitors when he escaped from the house a couple of days ago.)
  • I managed to get everything I needed for Rae's birthday party, including a Halloween-themed craft to do.
  • I didn't do that much damage to the other car.
  • I purchased vodka, which is an excellent back pain remedy.
  • I didn't have to sleep with Tom Cruise or Billy Bob Thornton.

Signs your child is tall enough to reach things in your closet

Yes, that's Barney -- in the girls' Christening gown and bonnet.

(I wonder who the godparents are, Dora and Boots?)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On my way to work

Jen at Jen on the Edge did a post a day or two ago, recounting her day in photos. She was following the example of Mrs. G. from Derfwad Manor. It sounded like a cool idea, but I don't have the focus to record my entire day photographically. Or in any other way, really. So I came up with this: I live about a 45-minute commute outside of Ottawa where I work. I drove in this morning, taking pictures at random along my usual route, to give you the feel of the trip.

Note: most of the photos are poorly framed and might be blurry, seeing as the majority were taken hurriedly out of the car window at red lights or while driving slowly with one hand on the wheel. (See how much I love you guys? I risked my life and those of others to get the pictures for this post.)

This is my front yard. But it isn't this morning. Rachel took this picture 2 weeks ago while waiting for me to come out of the house and walk to the Fair. But it's what I see when I leave the front door of the house.

We live in a small village outside Ottawa. There are a lot of dairy cows and corn fields around.

We are very fond of autumn flowers in our community.

We apparently are also fond of letting people know who we think they should be voting for (shout out to my Canadian readers: Please Go Vote Today!!).

Here is my favourite part of my commute to work.

All too soon, though, I come out at a brand new cookie-cutter subdivision.

And I drive down Silicon Alley, the high tech corridor.

Then the drive turns a bit rural again for a bit.

For a while, I get to see the Ottawa River. (Squint a bit, it's there in the background.)

At various stoplights I get to see some curious things. Like this guy, on the roof of a chiropractor's office.

And a round office building. You can't really tell it's round from this shot, but short of getting out of the car at the red light, it's the best I could do.

Mmmmm, bagels. Good Montreal-style, wood-oven-baked bagels.

Then I pass a lot of apartment buildings.

And reminders that Ottawa is a pretty multicultural city.

And I drive past the hospital where the girls were born.

A little while after that, I turn onto the street where I work.

Park behind the church (yes, that church).

I walk for about 6 minutes, looking for beautiful things along the way.

Until I reach work.

Where I work very hard and hardly ever blog except for at lunch break. Honest.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Signs I need to mow my lawn more often

Remember a couple posts back when I expressed my surprise that the only thing I found on my lawn post-Carp Fair was one pop can? (As opposed to numerous alcoholic beverage containers, a feminine undergarment, and the odd pile of stomach contents that have shown up in years past). Well, I spoke too soon.

The weather here today was lovely -- warm and sunny. I decided to tackle the raking and the mowing. It hadn't been done in a while. I was working on a section of the lawn that's almost a ditch and, well, the grass there is a little long. How long, you ask? While raking leaves in preparation to mowing I found 7 Coors Light bottles, a mickey bottle of Smirnoff, and a Tuborg can.

Hmmm, Tuborg. Imported beer. Looks like we got a higher class of litterbug this year.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fantasy vs. reality

This what I wish had woken me up this morning:

or this:

(Everyone needs some coffee in the morning, no?)

This is what actually woke me this morning:

It is a beautiful sound, but the visual doesn't put the same kind of smile on my face.

(Photos courtesy of Google Images, video courtesy of me in my driveway this morning. And the eleventy million Canada geese flying over my house and driving my cat crazy.)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog...

Hey, guess what? I'm guest blogging today for Alissa over at Life's Little Adventures! Can you believe it? Someone actually wanted me to write something for them, how cool is that? I feel kinda like Tina Fey guest-starring on SNL, but with less political satire and more sentence fragments.

So hop on over and check out the workshop on how to talk Canadian. Sounds like fun, eh?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

You are going to be evil when you grow up

Did you ever make cootie catchers when you were little? I remember making them and then telling fortunes to my friends, my mum, or anyone who would stand still long enough for me to go through the long, complicated process.

For those who didn't play with them, the person who wants her fortune told picks one of the colours on the outside of the cootie catcher, and the fortune teller opens and closes the device while she counts out the letters in the colour name. Then the victim person chooses from the numbers revealed on the inside of the catcher. Then the fortune teller opens and closes the catcher that many times. This goes on for an interminable number of times until finally the fortuneteller lifts the flap with the chosen number and reads the fortune underneath.

The last time Becca and Maggie were over, they helped the girls make cootie catchers. They folded the paper into the complicated form, and wrote the colour names under blocks coloured by Leah and Rachel:

Then, taking dictation from Leah and Rachel, they wrote in the fortunes under the flaps.

The girls found one of those the other day in the toybox and started playing with it again. It's quite a peek into their psyches, I tell ya. Here is the list the various fortunes found in it for your enjoyment (complete with original punctuation):

  • You are going to be evil when you grow up.
  • You will have a party!
  • You have weird eyes.
  • You will have a pillow fight with a guy named Sawyer.*
  • You will find dead pirate bones!
  • You will eat berries!
  • You will invent robot glasses and wear them to school Monday.
  • You will fall in a volcano.
Hmmm. I guess it works, seeing as I had some raspberries on my cereal this a.m. Unfortunately, I had my fortune told twice. And I'm not looking forward to that volcano thing AT ALL.

* Sawyer is the older brother of one of Leah's friends. One weekend a while ago this friend's mother kindly took both of my girls for a sleepover so I could go out. Apparently Rachel has never forgotten pillow fighting with Alora's big brother.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A day at the fair

It was Carp Fair last weekend -- around our house, possibly the most-looked-forward-to event of the year (other than Halloween, Christmas morning, and Labour Day weekend).

What's not to like? Midway rides, animals to pet, fair food, animals to look at, carnival games, cotton candy, animals being judged (horses, cows, sheep), friends to meet, snowcones, animal droppings to avoid stepping in, antique tractors, giant snakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, superannuated rock acts to listen to, science exhibits, prize-winning pumpkins, face painting, balloons, home-made pies -- I tell ya, it's heaven.

We started out in the cow barn. The Carp Fair is a true agricultural fair, and we started where the 4-H Club members were getting their Holstein heifers ready for competition.

The the girls were agitating to get to the rides, so off we went to the midway. We got about 20 metres, and I was brought to a standstill by a kettle corn stand. As I might have mentioned before, thanks to Jen, I'm addicted. I forked over some cash, and we walked on, stuffing our faces.

The girls went on many, many rides, including the Tilt-a-Whirl animal ride:

The bumper cars:

The Scrambler:

And then we decided to check out some other parts of the fair. We watched the judging of the Clydesdales in the heavy horse competition:

Then we went to the Family Tent for some shows. Here's Rachel up on stage with Mad Mike for the Mad Science show. She's helping with an experiment using air pressure:

Just in the corner of the tent was an electric cow that the kids could practice cow milking on. When you pull on the teats, water squirts into the bucket. With the amount of time they spent milking, they could have filled 17 buckets.

Then we saw the Little Ray's Reptile Zoo show on Giant Snakes of the World. This was a real hit with Leah whose career objectives have just changed from doctor/artist/author to reptile zoo owner/artist/author. Good luck with that. She was most enamoured with Moishe, a 12-foot, 170-pound African Rock Python and her handler Kevin (below). Leah spent a good 20 minutes petting the snake and asking Kevin questions, so he let Leah hold Moishe on her lap. Unfortunately I didn't get photos of that, but she was ecstatic and will never forget having the snake wrapped around her torso and in her lap.

We checked out the homecraft and gardening exhibits:

I am so entering my cinnamon buns next year. I think I can win a ribbon.

And finally, the petting zoo on the way out:

(Hee. check out the lid on this duck -- E=MC2. *snicker*)

As the sun set, two very tired and cotton-candy/snowcone sticky girls and their mum took one last look at the midway and headed for home.

Only 363 more sleeps til the next Carp Fair.