Monday, December 16, 2013

Bring on the Santa cats

I'm having a bit of trouble hanging onto the Christmas spirit this year.  I was hoping that cats in Santa hats would do it. So far, so good. Mrs. G. would be proud.

It's been a weird couple of days around here, complete with a home invasion, canine gastrointestinal distress, saw wounds, and possible narcolepsy. Intrigued? I thought you'd be. Pull up your chairs, children, and I'll tell you a story.  Or at least subject you to a disjointed stream-of-consciousness attack.

Friday evening we had a home invasion. Canadian-style. I was in my bedroom on the computer, Leah was in her room, and Rae was watching TV in the living room.  I heard the front door open and close, and the dog going ballistic.  I figured Rae had either gone out to the car for something, or a friend had dropped over.  I called out, "Rae, who's at the door" and Rae showed up in my room, all confused, and told me there was a stranger in the house.  I jumped up, not even bothering with the three-hole punch for a defensive weapon, and rushed to the front door where a guy in his early twenties was standing in the entryway taking off his boots.  (This reassured me immensely. I was sure that if he was breaking in on the false assumption that we had scads of drugs or money lying around, then he probably wouldn't be overly fastidious about making boot marks on the rug.)  I picked up Rocky, who was still barking his head off, and said to the guy, "Hi?"  He smiled at me and said, "Is Ryan here?" I answered, "No, no one named Ryan lives here." 
"Oh. I was supposed to meet Ryan here to help him move." 
"You've got the wrong address."
"I'm so sorry. My bad. Let me get my boots back on and leave you guys alone. That sure is a good watch dog you have there."
"Yes, he's very vicious and he bites." (That was a lie, but I figured it was ok in the circumstances.  I mean, in Florida I would have been within my rights to shoot him. Lying doesn't seem all that bad in comparison.)
"Sorry again. Have a nice night."
"You too. I hope you find Ryan."
And then I locked the front door, which is something I don't usually do until bedtime. 

Saturday I had planned on getting a tree and decorating the house.  A good plan, but one that was not destined to happen. Because I hadn't made arrangements to get my snow tires put on, oh in late October like smart people do,  I was left with plan B which was going to Canadian Tire and waiting in line with all the other idiots people who had put off putting their snow tires on, as the mechanics change tires on a  first come, first served basis. I came prepared with a book, because I knew that I'd be waiting a while.  It was warm in the waiting room, and the recliner chairs were very comfy.  Despite the suspenseful book, my eyes were very heavy. I didn't sleep long though. I managed to snore loudly enough to wake myself up.  The other customers were polite enough to pretend that they hadn't been laughing at me, but I know they totally were.  

Later that evening we went out to pick up a tree. Much to Leah's disgust, we didn't trek out to a tree farm, the one with the real reindeer and the camp fire around which you can sit and drink hot chocolate and eat hot dogs.  But the farm has to put the cost of reindeer upkeep and hot chocolate supplies into the price of its trees, and I'm not subsidizing anyone else but me (and the LCBO) this year. So, we drove to Loblaws and scored a nice Fraser fir. Sunday morning I got the tree stand up from the basement and got the saw out to make a nice clean cut at the bottom of the Christmas tree trunk. It took about ten minutes and I only sawed my hand open once. And it barely needed a band-aid, let alone stitches. New record. 

We had to run off before decorating the tree as we had our annual Christmas cookie decorating and dinner date at my cousin's. It was fun as usual. Knowing that the dog would be lonely while we were gone, I pulled a marrow bone out of the freezer and gave it to him to gnaw on.  (This may seem apropos of nothing, but it comes in later in the story.)  

Monday morning. Five-thirty. The alarm goes off and I reluctantly get out of bed. I had only taken a few steps in my bare feet on the hardwood floor, when I started sliding, windmilling my arms and one leg as I hydroplaned across the floor, my foot in a cold, wet, pile of dog vomit.  Apparently the marrow from inside the bone had not agreed with Rocky. At all. It did wake me up in a hurry though.

It's hard to feel Christmassy when your day starts with stepping in dog sick, and then hitting all the red lights on the way to work, and then finding no coffee in the lunch room when you arrive at work.

Fortunately, what's stopping me from being curled in a fetal position at the computer, throwing back the cheap Argentinian shiraz and watching Once Upon a Time fan video mashups set to sad Coldplay songs on Youtube, is the fact that there's a lot to look forward to: watching the girls open their presents, Christmas dinner with my friend Julie and her family, the Boxing Day trip to Windsor to be with family and friends for a whole week. I feel the Christmas spirit starting to come back.

Bring on the Santa cats.

Friday, November 29, 2013

According to Rachel: Hedley inspiration edition

Sorry there's another Rachel post in a row, especially as I'm seeing this blog more as a personal blog and less as a mommy blog, but this made my brain itch enough to actually open Blogger and type something, which has been a long time coming.  I think my blog block might be over and I hope to post soon about my birthday trip, my Halifax-PEI trip, and why I shouldn't try to emulate Michael Phelps.

In the meantime, let me share the conversation Rae and I had on the way home from buying little, tiny elastics at Giant Tiger.

We were listening to (the clean radio edit of) Hedley's 'Anything' on the radio:

(Note: the original video has a fair bit of nudity and swearing, and is not quite as inspirational as it sounds on the radio, lol.)

A section of the lyrics go like this:

Everybody said
You'd better stay in school
Get a real job boy
Don't be a fool
Burn that guitar
You can never be a star
I can, I can, I can so.

A thousand disbelievers couldn't keep me on the ground
I've invented a momentum that'll never slow me down
I believe it 'cause I feel it and I shout it out loud
I can, I can, I can so.

Everybody said boy don't go any higher
(Uh uh, forget  that)
I can do anything
Never push the limit and don't play with fire
(Uh uh, forget that)
I can do anything.

Me: That's kind of an inspirational song, isn't it?  I like the message.
Rae: Yah. I like that it says that you can do anything. Except that one part.
Me: Which part?
Rae: The part where they're telling him 'don't play with fire.' That's probably good advice.  You shouldn't play with fire, it's dangerous. [a few seconds of silence] Unless you're a magician. Then you can do whatever the hell you want.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

According to Rachel: 'How Boys Think' edition

Rachel, calling me at work when she got home to share some exciting news:

"You know those farm animals that we made in art class?? Well the class voted on whose to enter in the Carp Fair, and mine won! The girls told me that mine were soooo good. Rebecca and Aliya and Kate said they were good and Kate said that she heard that even the boys thought they were good, and it’s pretty rare for boys to like art, they mostly just care about Minecraft and inappropriate things and mud."

(Sadly, the cow's nose fell off. Perhaps that factored into the judges' decision to award her only a participant's ribbon.)

Monday, October 07, 2013

Just 3 steps?

As near as I can figure, from this helpful illustration that popped up on Facebook, the '3 Steps to Make a Man Love You' are as follows:

1. Move to a futuristic city with amazingly long fenced-in walkways and no signs of highways capable of supporting vehicular traffic.

2. Fashion some underwear/hotpants and an asymmetric crop top out of aluminum foil.

3. Convince a large number of young men to a) line up along the walkway, b)remove their shirts, and c) eat the undercooked chicken that you've prepared, so that salmonella causes them to fall in artful piles of jeans-clad masculinity.

I'm on it.

Just as soon as I stop at Loblaw's for more foil.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Treadmills are Evil

I have a question for you.

Suppose, just for the sake of discussion, that you started an exercise program at the YMCA/YWCA in your community.  And you designed a twice-a-week workout consisting of about a half hour of very fast walking on a treadmill followed by an hour of weights.

And suppose on a Monday evening, you were on a treadmill, very busy talking to your friend on the next treadmill, and somehow lost your footing, causing you to flail around like the subject in a nerve-gas experiment, and, instead of jumping off, you inexplicably tried to climb back on with your left foot while your right foot was on the floor, leading to a very ungainly galloping motion which quickly ended in an epic faceplant onto the moving belt which then shot you off the back of the machine until you stopped with your shoulder still touching the belt which then proceeded to sand off a couple of layers of skin.

And suppose that you went to work on the Tuesday morning wearing a sleeveless dress because a) it was hot out, and b) you didn't want anything touching your ouchy, oozing shoulder, shining under a thin layer of Polysporin.

And suppose your co-workers exclaimed in horror at your bruised and road-burned shoulder and asked you how it happened, what would you say?

1. Bar fight.

2. Motorcycle accident.

3. Saving baby from house fire and being hit by collapsing, flaming beam that hurtled down from the ceiling as you choked on smoke, scanned the blazing room, and managed to scoop up both the wailing baby and an unconscious kitten before staggering outside into the front yard lit by the strobing red lights of fire trucks and collapsing from smoke inhalation.

4. The lame, lame truth: That you were unco-ordinated enough to fall off a treadmill.  And probably shouldn't be allowed unsupervised around gym equipment, any vehicle with a combustion engine, or high-heeled shoes.

What would I say, if this far-fetched scenario were to happen to me?

Well, I'd go with Number 1 when greeting the other attendees at a meeting, and grudgingly admit to Number 4 when faced with non-believing stares.  You know, in the unlikely event that anything like that were ever to happen to me. 

Just for the sake of discussion.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rocky auditions

We have a new member in our family, Rocky, an 11-month-old Chihuahua/Mini-Daschund mix.

The girls accepted him immediately.  Max and Angus, not so much.

This is how I imagine it would have gone if Max had been in charge of the decision of how to expand the family.







Thursday, February 14, 2013

Well played, Facebook. Well played.

It's Valentine's Day, and since I haven't blogged since Christmas I thought I should mark the occasion with a post.  A post about Facebook.

It seems these days that Mark Zuckerberg or one of his many, many Facebook drones is taking an unseemly amount of interest in the fact that I'm single. 

I've noticed over the past few weeks that the ads for Dr. Oz's diets, Air Wick air fresheners, and vacation resorts in Puerto Vallarta appearing next to my news feed have been replaced with ads for dating sites.  Awww, Facebook is worried that I'm lonely.  (Yeah, I know, it's nothing personal -- the fact that I ticked off 'single' in my profile sets off an algorithm that populates the ad space with dating-site ads.)  But still. The variety of ads is amusing and maybe a little disturbing.

First of all, they started with the largest possible dating pool: single men.

No thanks. I don't want to meet single men. At least not online. But hey, thanks for asking.

Then they realized I'm a bit more discriminating than that, so they countered with a site advertising 'high-quality men'. 

(Because really, a girl has to be assumed to have *some* standards, and presumably would not be clicking on ads for 'low-quality men.')

Yeah, no.

Ok, they must have thought that maybe I'd like to hook up with someone old enough to know who Blondie was.

(Once, after getting my hair cut and dyed blonde, I said to my young, attractive styist, "Thanks, this looks great!  I look just like Debbie Harry!" "Who?", he said, wrinkling up his adorable forehead. "You know, the lead singer from Blondie?" *blank stare from big brown eyes* "Um, nope." Gah!)

Nice try, but still no.

OK, they upped the ante romantically: French men?

Non. Je pense que non.

OK, time to try some other niche markets. How about tempting me with a tattooed boyfriend?

Unless it's Adam Levine, no.

Faithful single policemen seeking a second chance at love?

Why can't I get them for the first chance at love? And why just policemen? Why can't I browse the faithful single accountants, management consultants, radio personalities, or cowboys?

Oh. Never mind.

But still, no.

You have to respect the imagination inherent in this, but I still wonder about the success of a marketing ploy that figures if photos of real, attractive-ish men won't do the trick, maybe women might respond to stick figures. 


And here's my answer.  In stick figure font.

(Wouldn't it be hilarious if some guy I met on this site came to my house and found that I *was actually* a stick figure with a triangular dress and no hands?)

(Not that I'm even remotely stick-like, sadly.)

But then Facebook finally did it. The algorithm finally kicked out something that speaks to me.  A hook that might be really, really hard to resist. 

Well played, Facebook. Well played.