Going left at Hope

I skipped August! So much for aiming to have at least a monthly post. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to talk about. But I’m baaaack! Look, I posted twice in July, so let’s just say that canceled August out. So, reader, and I do mean “reader” … okay, maybe “readers”. Lisa. And Sofia. Here we go.

  • Just finishing the weirdest summer of my life. Because I actually got to have most of it off, for the first time in the very, very short period of time that has passed since I graduated high school (shut up).
  • It’s not that many weird things happened. But now one really great thing has happened. I’ll tell you later.
  • So, because I had so much time off, on those days the kids were not at home, I would grab the dog and leave town. The bf is working out of town so we would go visit him, and also my bff abandoned me earlier this year to go live the high life in the Okanagan, so I went there a couple of times, too.
  • Here’s the thing about road trips: they’re great, if you’re heading somewhere awesome, or better, towards awesome people. And if the drive is beautiful, as all drives are in British Columbia, it goes by quickly. The drive up to Ashcroft is interesting. You take the #1, and everyone and their abuela’s on the road right with you. You get some serious speed, I mean, after the stupid Langley part. And everyone’s with you, and you’re all “woooo!” and you’re heading in the same direction, and then, you turn left at Hope for Ashcroft and suddenly, you’re on your own. EVERYONE continues to the Coquihalla. I was on the phone with my aforementioned bestie, Lisa, hands-free of course, the first time I made that left turn. I said, “Do you know who goes left at Hope?” and she said, “Who?” and I said, “NOBODY!” Anyway then you get stuck behind semis, and trailers doing 60 in a 100 zone, and you want to murder someone, until you get to that blessed passing lane.
  • Oh yeah, one time, Lucky the puppy in the back lost her mind when we were in that crazy busy/fast stretch before Hope, because some poor guy on a motorcycle was RIGHT behind us. It had to be because he had a big black shiny head with black glass for a face. Never have I ever heard her bark like that.
  • Sofia just asked me to mention her. And so I have. And then she’ll act all embarrassed that I did.
  • Another thing about Lucky, who must-must-must hang her head out the back window, no matter the weather, no matter the speed, so that her spit that turns into glue can splatter all across the exterior of my car, is, she’s crazy. Oh yes, I mentioned. When you gather speeds of 100+, the wind goes right up her eyelids, and they inflate like little parasails, and you can see the pink inside parts. It is cree-to the-pizzy. Especially when she blinks a lot. Cute, weird dog.
  • Hockey’s back! Well, sorta. It’s merely preseason, but there are games, and I have been watching. The Habs have been trying out their prospects and rookies, and it’s cool to get to see these guys we got in the Draft and over the summer play. Georgie Parros hasn’t played yet though (injured), and for some reason, I cannot wait to see him on the ice in the CH. Louis Leblanc played the other night, unspectacularly, and promptly got sent back to Hamilton. His girlfriend had some angry things to say on Twitter about the demotion, which immediately went viral, and then she deleted the tweets. But the internet is FOREVER. I love when other people make mistakes that I’m glad I didn’t make. Aw, that’s mean. But you know what I mean.
  • So, hockey. You’re back! Am I ever glad! I think Marc Bergevin made some great, key moves over the summer, to add size, and yes, “character” to the team, which he so often mentions that it’s become something of a drinking game across Habs Nation. Whatever, I agree with him. The guy is a leader, as I blogged about earlier this year, and I trust him. The thing about leaders is, they are few. Truly, they are. Most of them think they are so merely by virtue of being anointed thus, but true leaders are a hard find. Anyone can go to Leadership 101 and academically make the honour roll and then regurgitate the knowledge and talk the talk, but it’s how you actually apply what you know that makes you a leader. And the thing about Bergevin is, he didn’t forget what he learned (if you’re humouring me and imagining that he took a class – I’m sure he didn’t – he’s a natural), and not only did he not forget, he lives it. He believes it. Leaders who believe themselves to be leaders merely by having more and more people under them on the totem pole, do not get it. Bergevin understands that it’s not just about revenue, the business is the sum of ALL of its moving parts. From the top on down, that is to say, the team of advisors that he actually listens to, the players who make real what he’s put together, and the so-called bottom of the totem pole – which in a different kind of business would be individual contributors – us, the fans. Without individual contributors, you have no business. Without fans, you have no team. The manner in which he’s taken the broken bits of the organization he inherited and moulded them into the franchise that we thought would never return, has been astonishing. The guy gets it. For him, unlike his predecessor, it’s not about appeasing his higher ups, but about getting it right. That’s how you get buy-in from the moving parts. He hasn’t been perfect (cough, Desharnais) but he’s done everything in such a way that he has our trust. You have to have that. When it’s lost, it’s gone, and it doesn’t come back. And for those individual contributors, us, the fans, who create the revenue, that trust is everything. Look, I know we’ll buy paraphernalia and tickets anyway, but you know what I mean. After the lockout last year, I spent a good week determined not to watch NHL hockey, right up until about five minutes before the first game. But I was REALLY determined. So anyway, I trust Bergevin, and even if he makes questionable moves, I will trust that he knows what he’s doing, because he’s earned it.
  • Yes, I know we haven’t won in the preseason. CHILL OUT.
  • 1111 words and I really haven’t started.
  • Hockey hockey hockey.
  • I started a new job! That’s the really good thing. It’s interesting, and exciting. And I’m loving it already. Whee! It was nice having summer vacation for once, and spending lots of quality time with the kids, the bf and my good friends, but going back to work and starting this new job is really, really cool. I know. Who says that?
  • TV is back, too. I don’t really have shows that I watch because I have to watch the hockey, but I do watch New Girl, The Mindy Project and Modern Family. The first two already premiered this week. If you don’t watch those, watch them.
  • Also, with the return of hockey, will be return of my tweets. All those Leafs fans who engaged in the folly of following me in the off-season will drop like flies come October 1. Guys: read the bio!
  • Speaking of flies, what’s with all the fruit flies in my kitchen? I mean, yes, my daughter decided her favourite snack is steamed broccoli with lemon juice, and left a half-lemon on the counter all day that turned into a FRUIT FLY FARM, but that was weeks ago. I have since washed and wiped EVERYTHING and still they WON’T DIE. Help!
  • Ashcroft is a desert. And as such, it’s freaking hot. One day, it got up to 36 degrees when I was up there. Look, my people are biologically conditioned to tolerate such temperatures, but 36 is kind of a lot. There are also rattle snakes. And it is so dry, that what you think is dust is actually evaporated dirt, and it gets EVERYWHERE. And I love it there. So does Lucky. The river is right there, and she takes herself down for swims, then she lolls in the shade under the bf’s trailer (read: in the puddle of water that comes out of the shower), then comes out muddy and filthy, then chases her ball and plays with Rosie, and she is in absolute heaven. Every time we come back home, she hates me for a couple of days. Good thing I’ve got her buy-in as a leader. I mean, I think.
  • Anyway, I mostly wrote this because people (no, I’m serious) asked me when I would write again. And I said I was “working on something” so then I actually had to. So this is it. And I only dedicated about 1/3 of it to hockey!
  • You won’t be so lucky next time.
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Dog Days of Summer

It’s Canada Day and July 1, so maybe this post will be my only one this month if I stay true-to-form, and the procrastinator in me is very proud of me for getting it out of the way at the earliest possibility.

  • I love Canada! I wasn’t born here, and haven’t lived my entire life here, but it’s my favourite country in the whole wide world. If you haven’t lived here, you should live here. We have looooots of room.
  • In the country. Not in my house.
  • We have an extra occupant this weekend, as the bf is off on a boys weekend, so we’re dog-sitting for Rose the black dog. A couple of observations:
  1. Two biggish dogs wrestling on a hardwood floor is noisy.
  2. This is the smell of two sweaty dogs in my brand-new crossover SUV in Crystal Pearl Mica: Not wonderful. Not wonderful, readers.
  3. I’m going to train the bf to train Miss Rose to WALK ON THE LEASH. She’s a rescue, so we don’t really know where she came from, but the first time I put her on the leash I almost tripped on my face because she immediately wrapped it around my legs as she walked around and around and around, and my own dog was stupefied.
  4. Housebreaking is a wee issue. Thank god for hardwood. I take both animals out first thing in the morning, and my dog knows it’s time for business. Rose however, seems to be waiting to get back inside to make a puddle. I sit there going, “Rose, time for a pee-pee! Go pee-pee now, Miss Rose! You haven’t peed all night, you must need to do a pee-pee! Do your pee-pee please! Now! We’re not going back inside until you’ve done your pee-pee!” and she’s like, “Lady. You talk a lot.”
  • I know a couple is only two, relax. There are more but I’ll spare you. I should point out that I love this dog, the kids love her, and my dog loves her.
  • There’s this whole thing that’s supposed to be some kind of revelation, that the so-called Mediterranean diet is really good for you. I looked it up. It’s all the only kind of food I eat. I was raised on it, and have never lived in the Mediterranean. I don’t go a day without eating avocado. Or tomato.
  • I’m taking courses for an editing certification. You know what drives me crazy? The plural of avocado is avocados. The plural of tomato is tomatoes. Stop the world, I want off.
  • Subway has introduced avocado in its menu, learning centuries later what we’ve always known in Chile: avocado goes with everything. No sandwich is complete without it. We even put it on our pizza when it’s out of the oven, and spread it on hot dogs. I will never forget the time one of my older brother’s friends came to our house in Saskatoon, and asked what the hell we were putting on our hotdogs.
  • Is it really avocado though? That they use at Subway? Or is it that gross processed stuff they sell in a vacuum-sealed bag at the grocery store? I need an answer to this question.
  • We had an unreasonably rainy week, and now it’s unreasonably hot. The reason I find this unreasonable is the heat came precisely when I started dog-sitting, and the only way to have two manageable dogs within the confines of the house is to take them out, a lot, and tire them out. Not great to do in the heat, as the one dog is black and the other likes to run full-tilt, to the point of heat exhaustion.
  • Here’s the funny thing about the black dog. The kids weren’t sure how to describe her because they think it might be racist. “Is it okay to call her black, Mom?” She’s BLACK.
  • I watched The Last Gladiators with my son the other night. Must-watch – you don’t have to be a Habs fan, or a hockey fan. After watching it, my son said, “I don’t understand why (my cousin) even bothers with the Canucks.” Neither do I, buddy… neither do I.
  • Speaking of the Canucks, that was all kinds of cray yesterday at the Draft, eh? Luongo? Schneider? The drama in this city, with the addition of Tortorella as a coach, just got real. Better Vancouver than Montreal, for me.

I have to go finish my take-away exams for two courses now, since the dogs are currently doing this:

dogs

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Zoom Zoom Zoom

This one is going to be seriously disorganized.

  • Let’s see if it even gets posted. This domain was “renewed” today using my credit card info on file, and I don’t know how much my credit card company loves me right about now. If you’re reading, I’m in good standing! That always deserves high fives all around.
  • I was in perpetual dire straits where da money is concerned a few years ago when everything was figuring itself out financially-speaking after we became a one parent home. People would call looking for their money and you know, manners get you everywhere. Visa would call looking for my payment, and we’d work something out and I’d always say, “Thank you so much for following up! I hope you have a great day!” and they’d be all, “Oh, wow! Thank you so much!” then by the time they’d call the next month, we’d be old friends.
  • I got a new car. I know! It’s a long story that I won’t get into.
  • So I had a 3.5-hour drive scheduled for the next day to visit my boyfriend who is working at a town, yes, 3.5 hours away. I was about 5,000 km past when I should have had my oil changed, and thought, huh… let’s do that before my big drive. I went to my pal at the Pennzoil place who changes my oil in 10 minutes and never gouges me like Mr. Lube would. EXCEPT he’d been doing inventory and stuff and they were all out of the oil filter for my particular car, which was a Mazda 3 (Sport, in Velocity Red). So I went to Mazda its very own self, to buy a filter so I could get my damned oil changed, which if I didn’t, with my luck, something would have gone horribly awry on my 3.5 hour trip precisely in some remote location with no cellphone reception. Can I have a filter, yes, okay, I’ll wait over here, ho hum. I’m checking out an SUV in the showroom that I covet but of course could never afford. I say covet because I have a big, filthy, hairy animal that sheds like crazy, who sits in the back seat of my hatchback, and no matter what vacuum I use, the hair never leaves except for, by some inexplicable phenomenon, on the garments of human people with the misfortune of having me transfer them to second locations.
  • What? Oh, yes. So I’d been thinking I needed an SUV, to have a place to stick the dog, but who can afford an SUV, and the fuel, OMG. Anyway, the salesman approached me, and I said, “Don’t talk to me. Not looking, waiting for an oil filter.”
  • It turns out that I can afford one! Trade worth more than what I owe, and fuel economy on the SUV is better than on my 4-year-old hatchback. Went in for an oil filter, walked out with a car.
  • Not really. I wanted a red one with a tan interior (to match my hairy dog), and do you think they had one, in the whole of Canada, even? No. And of course I have to drive a red car. The red one with tan, they said, would have to be a special order ALL THE WAY FROM JAPAN. Delivery ETA end-of-August. Hopefully. What! Fine. I must drive a red car, so I will wait, even though it will kill me, because patience is not my thing.
  • ANYWAY. I went back in a few days later, and saw the red one on the floor, live and in person, for the first time. Here’s the thing – it was the wrong red. There are all kinds of red. My hatchback was the correct red. This one was not. It was darkish, like, minivan-red. Which is great if you like a minivan, but I am against them. Oh, god. This was awful. It comes in the wrong blue, too, but I would never drive a blue car. Can you picture me in a blue car? That’s what I mean. I can’t drive a black car, because besides that they look nice for about a minute then show every single fingerprint, every single taxi in Chile is black. I can’t get past it. Like people in Canada who drive a yellow car… taxis are yellow! How can you. Then silver and grey, which just, no. I like to be able to pick my car out of a lineup. I looked at the white. Crystal Pearl Mica. I didn’t absolutely love it, but I simply had no other choice.
  • I got the car the next week and even though as I was signing the papers I was looking at it and thinking, “Why am I not excited? I should be giddy!” I drove it away and in that first minute behind the wheel, I fell instantly in love. I love my beautiful car. And the dog has her own space now! Whee!
  • Two days later, I was driving along in my beautiful car and it beep-beep-beeped at me. Weird. It’s only supposed to do that when I’m changing lanes and someone’s in my blind spot and I’m trying to change lanes, which I wasn’t at that particular moment because I wasn’t driving behind a moron. Huh. THEN a little orange circle thing with an exclamation point turned on on my dash. What the! I pressed the little button on my steering wheel and shouted, “CALL MAZDA!”

“Hello, this is Mazda.”

“Good morning! I just picked up my car on Saturday. It has 180 km on it. And a little orange light with an exclamation point just came on!”

“Oh, that’s not good.”

“What!”

“That’s your tire pressure light.”

“What!”

“Is your car driving funny?”

“No!” (Takes hands off wheel, car drives straight.)

“Well, these things are pretty sensitive, so there must be something wrong. When you stop, have a look at your tires. Even if they look okay, you’ll have to come in to have us check the pressure and re-set the light.”

Grrrr.

  • So I get to the office, look at the tires, they are all beautiful. Phew. Then I go to work, come down a few hours later, the rear tire is as flat as a pancake. GAAAAAA!
  • Long story short, roadside assistance came and put the spare on, the guy said he’d never changed such a brand new tire, terrific, drove it to Mazda later, they found a huge shard of metal in it, awesome, they fixed it, and didn’t charge me. I’m now 2-for-2 on not paying for tire repairs.
  • The kids are super close to summer vacation, they can smell it. My daughter is graduating from grade 5, I’m going to the little ceremony in about an hour. She is so excited and proud and beautiful in her age-appropriate dress that I was so relieved she liked when we went to pick one. My child is inordinately tall for her age, and a lot of times, 99 out of 100, kid sizes don’t fit her. Thank you, Sears, for having dresses in the girls’ department that go up to age 14! She looks absolutely lovely and I’ll be taking a bazillion pictures. She doesn’t know it yet, but as a graduation gift I got her a Starbucks gift card so she can buy those $9 cups of pure sugar that she loves.
  • I bought a book for my son that’s the beginning of a series, based on what I told the guy at Coles my son likes. I want him to have good books to read this summer so he doesn’t end up just playing video games for two months. He started it, and I asked him about it. “Well, it’s this kid, and everybody thinks he has ADHD and dyslexia but really it’s because he can only read Greek, because he’s actually the son of Poseidon. A minotaur kills his mom, and he takes its horn and stabs it to death. One of his best friends is half horse, the bottom half, but no one can tell because he hides his horse legs in his wheelchair.”
  • I’m totally reading it next.

This was mostly about the car I wasn’t going to talk about, sorry. I had more but I have to go and fight for a parking spot at the school and then a good seat at the assembly. I think you have to get there about an hour early for that at that crazy school.

(I feel like I should also close the loop and mention that I did in fact also get my oil changed that day. The car was awesome on the long drive, but I already hated it because I was looking forward to my new car.)

Victoria Day, Camping, Dreams, Hard-Boiled Eggs & the Centre of the Universe

It’s Victoria Day in Canada so we all have the day off. It’s a beautiful day here in the Lower Mainland, the weekend that kicks off camping season, summer and happiness.

  • Screw that. You’ll never catch me camping. Why yes, I would love to break my back sleeping on the cold ground and be filthy and have to walk 100 metres every time I need to use a bathroom or access running water! Or the alternative, spend 9 hours packing inflatable mattresses and all the paraphernalia you need to live outdoors for 3 days, spend hours setting up camp, spend hours taking it back down, only to come back home and spend 9 more hours unpacking and washing everything that got filthy on the weekend. I mean, how about no.
  • The bf will get me to go camping. He’s the only one who could. Sounds romantic, cooking by the campfire and watching the kids and dog run around. Fine, I’ll do it.
  • There was a brouhaha yesterday on Twitter about how a bunch of prominent Canadians are trying to have Victoria Day renamed to also honour First Nations people, “Victoria and First Peoples Day.” Weird marriage, but I’m fine with it. As long as it falls on the third Monday in May. So I don’t have to go camping.
  • I spent a lot of the day yesterday watching hockey playoff games – well, really I missed the second game on account of even after a million years of living in Vancouver, I interpreted yesterday’s Penguins/Senators game as being on at 7:30pm, which is what the website said, right. YEAH, EASTERN. Good lord. I was on such long weekend mode that my brain didn’t compute that that was really at 4:30 my time. Anyway, I did get to watch 2 overtime periods after tuning in 3 hours late. Why does the stupid East have to make everyone recalculate times. Fine, it was played in that time zone, but they wouldn’t call it 7:30pm if it was one of the California games, they’d call it 10:30. Stupid East and their centre-of-the-universedness.
  • Speaking of the East, and when I say East, I really mean Toronto, it’s been nearly one week since the Maple Leafs had the biggest NHL-playoff-game-7-up-by-3-goals-in-the-3rd-period implosion in ALL HISTORY and lost to Boston in overtime. As a fan of a team, I actually (almost) felt badly for Leafs fans. But come on, they didn’t actually think they would advance to the second round, did they? Yep, they did. Why? Because of youngsters like that Kadri guy being all full of himself and considering this was a “very, very winnable series,” for the Leafs, and that sound-byte reverberating throughout Leafs nation. And because of the so-called national newspapers and networks focussing almost exclusively on that Toronto team, never mind that there were 3 other Canadian teams in the first round to begin with. The hysteria in the “National” Post and the national broadcasts was so unbelievably disingenuous and biased – I say “unbelievably,” but really, it’s believable. The focus on this team that has gone 46 years without a Stanley Cup and routinely doesn’t even make the post-season and finished 3rd in their division and 5th place in the Conference is astonishing, as it is every year. You’d think they’d finished first in everything. It’s all they’ll talk about, and it creates even more hysteria for the fanbase. You can’t blame fans for mapping the parade routes as soon as Toronto even wins a nothing game in the regular season; you can’t blame Toronto radio stations for dedicating their airtime to the Leafs and their starry-eyed fans; but that TSN, Hockey Night in “Canada” and the “National” Post get away with their bias for the Toronto team in Canada-wide broadcasts and newspapers is just… gross.
  • So when, in the waning minutes of that last period in that game when the Bruins were down by 3 goals, and the Bruins obviously looked at each other and said, “Guys? What the actual hell? These are the Leafs. We are the BRUINS. Time to put this one to bed,” and gave their heads a shake, woke up and showed Toronto who’s boss, I was happy. Not for the misery of Leafs fans, because that crash, I mean that one in particular, will haunt them forever; especially for having that carrot dangled so closely, only to be wrenched away, after years of being let down by their team. No, couldn’t be happy about that. Sincerely. What I thought was fitting was that all those broadcasters, analysts and journalists would be miserable. Good. You’re not supposed to be so brazenly biased in your reporting, and having, year after year, the rest of the country have to be subjected to the complete lack of respect by your almost exclusive disregard for any other team. Cheer for Toronto in your mind if you want, but not in a Canada-wide arena. Shame on you. I hope you all cried in your pillows that night. The very image of that actually, genuinely lessens my pain of how Montreal finished the post-season. I have noooooo sympathy for you guys.
  • Know what I hate most about the National Post? Go to their NHL page. Listed in the left-hand column are all the Canadian teams. Toronto is on top. Then Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Montreal and Edmonton, in that order. There is no reason to this list. It’s not geographical east to west, it’s not alphabetical either by city or team name. Nope, but Toronto is first on the list. Before Vancouver, who finished way ahead of them during the regular season, in every aspect. What irks me the most is they list Montreal second-last – a bigger market than every other team listed after Toronto. Even, perhaps especially, in the “National” Post, the rest of the country has Toronto crammed down its throat. The “National” Post did, however, for once, realize that there were other cities in Canada when they beat that dead horse of a Vancouver riot for months on end, reminding us what a despicable fanbase Vancouver has, with their unique ability to paint other fanbases with with a very wide brush.
  • Whatever.
  • Okay, that was a vent but I really didn’t intend for this one to be a rant! Felt good, though.
  • So I made this awesome green bean salad this week, with a recipe I got online. I cannot explain how delicious it is. I almost became one of those people, tweeting about it and Instagram-ing it, it was that delicious.
  • My daughter has an iPod touch, and she’s on Instagram. She and her friends share photos of food. When we were at the airport on our way to Florida, she conned me into getting her some 9-dollar ice drink from Starbucks. Which she then Instagramed before throwing it away when she was half done. She searched the “Frappuccino” hashtag on Instagram, and it had like 6 million hits, which prompted my son to exclaim, “THIS IS WHY I HATE SOCIAL MEDIA.” Why is Instagram full of people’s food? Seriously. It reminds me of watching that show Happy Endings recently, and when the friends were all worried about how depressed Penny was after calling off her engagement, one illustrated the seriousness by how she “hasn’t Instagrammed an appetizer in like, a week!” It is such a hilarious show… and it just got cancelled. What’s wrong with people?
  • Anyway, I kind of modified the recipe but the dressing has shallots, crushed capers, mustard seed, garlic, white wine vinegar and olive oil and it is HEAVEN. Use French green beans, and let it sit overnight. You’ll die. You’re welcome.
  • Speaking of Florida, it was fun. I was telling my mom after we came home that even after all these years of being a mom, it still surprises me just how much my kids trust me as the Person In Charge. We rented a car, and I had no idea where I was going any of the time, but confidence inspires confidence, and Siri took us all across the state with Apple maps.
  • Yes, Apple Maps. Why does everyone hate it so much? The app took us everywhere we wanted with zero error. It’s brilliant. I gather when it was first introduced it did have some glitches, but none that I experienced. But it’s still the butt of Apple-hater jokes.
  • I just occurred to me. Apple is the Habs of the computing world. Everyone loves to hate them, almost bordering on disorder.
  • What’s the deal with dreams? Last night, I dreamt I had another baby, and he had such long hair that I desperately wanted to shave his head, like they used to do in Chile with newborns. My real-life babies were born bald as cue-balls, so this long-haired baby perplexed me. I woke up before I got to shave his head.
  • I always forget the exact timing of hard-boiling the perfect egg. I know you have to bring the eggs to a boil then take them off the heat, but I always forget how long to leave them in the water before putting them in cold water. When you Google “How to” you get: tie a tie, cook quinoa, make buttermilk, hard boil eggs, and train your dragon. Are these in order of popularity?
  • 12 minutes.
  • The kids have their own cordless phones in their bedrooms now – I’m hoping this will avoid my living room phone from going AWOL every day now. I can never find the stupid phone. I don’t even know why I want to answer it, it’s never for me. These kids are growing so fast.
  • A couple of years ago, I discontinued my land line because I didn’t need it, I had my iPhone, right? But then I thought, what if I pass out from a heart attack one day and the kids can’t find the phone to call 911? And I got the landline back. When I did, the phone company apparently forgot that I was unlisted and listed my name, address and number and I got so many calls from some crazy broad calling about how I’d just won a cruise every day that I had to change my number. That Do Not Call list? Useless.
  • That “passing out from a heart attack” scenario reminds me that I’m turning into my mother, the alarmist who foresees every possible bad event. “You can’t buy an apartment on the first floor! Rapists always go after the girl on the first floor!”

That note is my cue to end this one. What time’s the game on today?

Middle Age, Flowers, Mussolini and the Montreal Canadiens

Bullet points. Topics all over the place this time.

  • I had another birthday, and my son came home this week from school, bursting with the news that he’d learned in Science that middle-aged people who look much younger live really long lives! 
  • Middle aged? Nice. Reminds me of the time that my daughter started a sentence with, “Mom, when you were in school in the olden days…” and my son stood up for me and said, “Hey! It wasn’t the olden days!!” and she sighed and said, “Olden days, golden days, whatever.”
  • The bf brought me flowers, and they’re now super wilty but I don’t want to throw them away. I love when he brings me flowers, but every time I have to throw them out, I want to cry. Sap.
  • It took three bullet points before mentioning the Habs. I was there, with the bf, for the Bruins game April 6th in Montreal. Not gonna really break down the whole visit, but I saw a lot of awesome friends again, and the Habs won. More on them later.
  • Oh, one thing about the Montreal visit was we absolutely had to go visit a church in Little Italy, as directed by the bf’s family matriarch, that reportedly houses a portrait of Mussolini on a horse. Okay. So we rented a car to see the city because we didn’t have a lot of time to cover a lot of ground and it was way cheaper than catching cabs, and although the initial plan was to walk everywhere, Arctic weather and ears that were about to fall off precluded that. So we got our car and got the tip of which church it was, on Henri-Julien, so I plugged it into my GPS app and we were off. It was a horrible afternoon of traffic in Montreal and my stupid app took us down St-Denis, which we now know was a terrible idea. We were stuck on that street for freaking ever, the bf was dying of hunger as he does whenever he hasn’t eaten in two hours, then we got on a “freeway” that was so congested that we both were saying that this stupid church had better be worth it, and then we were finally a block away from our destination, and I looked down the street and said, “Um, I don’t see a church.” So, that’s because I directed us to SAINT JULIEN instead of Henri-Julien and we were somewhere in Montreal Nord instead of anywhere close to Little Italy. That was a funny storynot. We finally made our way to the correct street and the first order of business was getting some minestrone before the bf expired, and then we went to the church.
  • It was closed, but it was really pretty from the outside. I said we’d laugh about it later, and we did.
  • Another thing about that trip was the flight back home. We had an 8:30am flight, you take what you get when you book on points, and were on no sleep. We had a layover in Edmonton, and after sleeping the whole way there, we were descending and as we were about to touch down, I opened the window and saw miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of snowy prairie. The bf said, “Close it, close it!” Poor Edmonton. Had an unexpected extra hour there so we had a steak and salad at the airport. I was talking to our server and I asked what the temperature was out there, and he said, “Who cares? Look at it. It’s April.” Sums it up.
  • The Edmonton/Vancouver flight started off with sitting down and hearing this adorable little voice in the seat behind me chirping away. Super cute little girl. For a while. She kept on saying, “Mommy, I need dinner!” Crash. Down goes the table on the back of my chair. “Mommy, I’m not hungry!” Thunk. Up goes the table on the back of my chair. “I need dinner!” Crash. “I’m not hungry!” Thunk. “Dinner!” “Not hungry!” Crash. Thunk. Crash, thunk. Crash-thunk-crash-thunk-crash-thunk and I was thinking, this isn’t going to END WELL!!!!!! And then her mother mercifully put a movie on for the child and I didn’t have to kill anyone. But she was really cute.
  • Okay, so the Habs. Here’s the thing. They’ve had a craptastic week. But they’re in the playoffs, having ensured a post-season 10 days before any of the other teams that only got theirs last night. And they’re still in 1st place in their division. And second in the East, only to the Penguins. And the “fans” are planning mass suicides all over the place. I want to scream.
  • Oh, there’s a little birdie on my deck checking out the birdhouse I have out there for show because I keep it empty on account of once I had birdseed in a shed at my old house and when I went to check it, there was a dead rat in the bag. Sorry, birdie. I hate rats more than I like birds.
  • So anyway, the idiot fans at the Bell Centre last night were booing our team that lost to the Capitals. Ovechkin was saying after the game that the Habs have a good team, and they’d already clinched their playoff spot, and they’re saving themselves for the playoffs. I happen to agree with this. It sucks to watch us lose, but we’ve been treated to so much good hockey this season, winning so much that I kind of started missing losing, because losing makes winning more delicious, and winning just got to be a given. Then they clinched the playoff spot that so many Montreal fans with crystal balls had said was unattainable this year before even watching a single game. These are the “fans” that have been waiting all season for an implosion just so they can smugly tell us all that this was what they’d told us would happen.
  • All the morons abusing Carey Price on Twitter are stupid not only because they don’t know how to spell, but they’re idiots because they actually think Carey is checking Twitter.
  • I was watching the locker room interviews this morning. One reporter didn’t even get to finish his, “Are you worr-” question before Carey cut him off and said, “No.” Like he went on to say, there is a far bigger picture than what has happened since by the way they clinched their goddamned playoff spot last week and wildly exceeded all expectations on this season after finishing in LAST PLACE last year and everyone can just shut the hell up. Paraphrasing.
  • Here’s what’s gonna happen. The Habs couldn’t care less who they’re seeing in Round 1, as opposed to every fan who’s quaking in his/her boots over the possibility of playing the Leafs. They may even start on the road, which would be fitting, since the faction of “fans” who can do nothing but abuse the team, and particularly Carey Price, after an amazing record this season, don’t deserve to be treated to games 1 and 2 at home. And then, the Habs are gonna light it up, and sweep whomever they meet in the first round, and the bandwagonners will hop back on and then, if the Habs win the Cup, I hope Carey takes it and shoves it up their collective butts.
  • I wish I had opinions about things.
  • We’re going to Florida to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, which around here lately is pronounced as all one word. Thewizardingworldofharrypotteratuniversalstudios. Who books a holiday outside of Canada during the first round of the NHL playoffs? This genius. I’ve been assured I will be able to see the games down there. If not, there’s an app for my iPad, right? Advice welcome.
  • My daughter’s class is doing reports on famous Canadians, and she’s doing hers on Jean Beliveau. They were given a list of Canadians to choose from, and she chose Joni Mitchell until her mother almost had a stroke then changed her mind to Jean Beliveau, because she wants to stay in the family. Now, she’s fretting about filling the 500-word requirement. Is this teacher kidding? I’d use more than that in just the introduction. This post has already exceeded 1300 and I haven’t really said anything!
  • I love Joni Mitchell too, don’t get me wrong.
  • We went  to tour the Bell Centre in Montreal on game day. We didn’t get in to the locker room, which was what I MOST wanted to see, but they don’t show the locker room on game days, understandably. Do you know why? Because staff brings the team’s equipment from Brossard where they practice and dries it out in the locker room, cranking the heat up to 50 degrees. That’s celsius, U.S. friends, and that’s HOT. Like, Egypt-hot. Must smell wonderful.
  • So we were in the Bell Centre, and got to see the Alumni Room, where any retired Hab can go to eat and watch the game or just have beers and play cards, whenever they want, for life. There’s a couch in there that’s exclusively for Mr. and Mrs. Beliveau. I’m making sure my daughter puts that in her report.
  • I went to Costco yesterday, noon on a Saturday, and the parking lot was absolutely insane, but I scored a spot that was right there by the front doors. Manifesting rock-star parking always precedes wonderfully good luck for me. Which is why I know the Habs are going to be great in the playoffs. Book it.

Speaking of noon, it’s now noon here and that means the kids are up and I have to go. Everybody have a great day and week! I will!

Anatomy, Guilt, Gold, Lice & Montreal

I have a few minutes, and here is what’s on my mind exactly right now:

  • Was watching The View on PVR today and there was this whole conversation about teaching your kids the correct terms for their body parts. They were going around the table talking about how they taught their kids to call it their “pee pee” and worse, their “cookie,” and only Whoopi was in vehement disagreement with this. I was astonished. And wanted to throttle Sherri, who kept calling the correct terms, “adult words.” Sorry? No. They’re called what they’re called. Penis. Vagina. What? It’s what they’re called. I taught my kids these words because they had questions, and when I have the answer, I give it to them. Don’t underestimate children. They’re just as smart as we are – we just know more because we’ve been around longer. My own kids are 10 times smarter than I am, and I’m outnumbered. If I underestimated them, I’d be in big trouble. What finally cemented this whole “wee wee” and “pee pee” issue for me was once when my ex and I took our son to the doctor for a checkup. To the doctor, in front of my son, who was probably two, my ex used the term, “pee pee.” The doctor immediately said, “It’s called a penis,” as I nodded vigorously. Then my ex said, “Well, he’s just a kid.” To which the doctor responded, “Always use the biological term. Teach them what things are called.” Then he went on to explain that child molesters use the “cute” terms, to make it somehow sweet, and safe. No one brought this up at The View table. Whoopi couldn’t stand what she was hearing, and I wanted to call in and give her this ammo. It’s NOT cute to teach your kids “baby” terms for intimate body parts. They’re called what they’re called. You’re not shattering a kid’s innocence by using the right words.
  • Exhale. Sorry, I know this forum is seldom serious.
  • Okay, so another thing on that episode was a Youtube video that you’ve probably already seen and I had before too, of these three little poodles, one of which was the culprit in a little mess. The filmer was asking the dogs, “Who made this mess?” And the guilty one slunk away quietly. I have a fur child like that. You immediately know if she’s been up to no good. Like, “Fan out! Find what she did!” One time I got home after work, and the bf had got there before I had, so she was out with him. I found a series of little things around the house…a half-chewed toilet paper roll, a ceramic puppy figurine that wore a real little scarf, with the scarf in shreds, and one other thing, I can’t remember what. I got changed, then picked up each thing and lined them up on the coffee table waiting for them to get back. They did, and she came running up, panting, tongue out, tail wagging, smiling big, “Hi! You’re home! How was your d….” until she noticed that my arms were folded, and she saw the stuff on the table and was all, “Oh, crap.” I grabbed the toilet paper roll and put it in front of her face, and said, “What. Is. This.” She turned her gaze then turned her head until it was almost all the way around, like an owl. I did this with each thing until she finally started to creep away, like I couldn’t see her or something. She still gets into stuff. Obviously the promise of a guilt trip is still worth the fun.
  • I was re-reading “Something Fierce” by Carmen Aguirre this weekend, because I’m about to lend it out. It’s about this Chilean refugee, who lived in Canada for a while, then returned to South America with her mother as a part of the Resistance. Great book. She talks about the difference between the highly-developed country of Canada and the culture shock of being in the much less developed countries as they were then, like Bolivia and Peru. It reminded me of when my family moved from Montreal to Ecuador for a year for my father’s job when I was about nine. You go from freeways and suburbs and shopping malls to a place like Quito, that had some beautiful, wealthy residential neighbourhoods and then some filthy, littered areas and finally “old” Quito, which is where the oldest churches are. These churches are not to be missed, some seemingly made entirely out of gold on the inside. My mom’s mom, who lived in Chile, came to visit us once for a month and we took her there to sight-see one Sunday. You can’t visit these churches, of course, without also walking through the streets. There were a lot of the indigenous Ecuadorians out in the streets, mostly women, with their Panama hats and long braids, babies in slings on their backs, etc. It wasn’t uncommon to see them with their older children sitting in front of them, and the mothers going through their hair and picking out lice, then biting down on the lice to make sure it was dead, then spitting it out. Some of them also defecated in the street. This memory is crystal-clear to me, because my father, who had an incredibly weak stomach, started dry heaving as we were walking. My grandmother, who was a very elegant woman, somehow was completely prepared, and took handkerchiefs out of her handbag, sprayed them with perfume, gave them to my mom and me to hold in front of our noses, and told us to just keep walking, and just pretend we didn’t know my dad. So we did. And those churches were really beautiful. Anyway, Something Fierce is a really good book, if you’re looking for something to read.
  • I’m finally going back to Montreal. Last time was in 2010. This time, I’m going with the bf. AND we’re going to a Habs game at the Bell Centre! I feel like after this trip, he’ll understand me much better. 2 New Year’s Eves ago we were out for dinner and I was going on about how my bestie was at that very moment at a Tampa Bay game, in a suite, with Phil Esposito, and she had no idea who that even was. I was getting worked up about this opportunity she had that she didn’t even deserve, and he was all, “Um…okaaay, not every fan is like you.” Well, every Habs fan is like me. And I don’t know even half as much as a lot of them do. So right now, he just thinks I’m not normal. But when he meets the other fans and friends I met there last time, he will get it. I cannot WAIT to go. And I’m very excited for him that he’ll see an NHL game in the very best city in the world to watch an NHL game in! Guys! We’re coming!

So, this was a weird post. Just a brain-dump. Ahhhh, it’s empty again. At least I didn’t keep you here all day this time.

The List

Happy almost-end-of-January. I did that thing again where I jotted down mini-topics on my Notes app on my iPhone for purposes of a blog post.

  • I have a Macbook Air. And since I’m on iCloud, whenever I send myself reminders on my iPhone, whenever I open up the laptop, there’s a pop-up there too, with the reminder I saved on my phone. Just now when I opened it up, it told me, “GET TP!!!” Thanks, laptop. We’re all good now though!
  • I haven’t logged in here for a few weeks. I checked my Stats page, 0 views today. Sometimes, I’ll have 1 or 2 views, even on days when I haven’t posted in a long time. You know whose those views those are? My daughter’s. She checks here. She says she likes it, but that I use the D-word too much. Then don’t read the damned blog, kid!
  • Just kidding. I love you. But I get to use the D-word because I’m a grown-up. You don’t.
  • I’m not really a grown-up. I’m old, but I’m not a grown-up. My one friend, Kerry, once sent me a New Yorker piece on how the grown-up has gone the way of the dodo. And I was just catching up with my PVR and saw Billy Connolly on Strombo who was saying the same thing. He says he doesn’t care about growing up, that it’s usually someone else’s suggestion. “You have to grow up!” George asked him how he responds to that. Billy: “Two words.” I often wait for that magical moment when I’m grown up. And often ponder things that way, like, “When I’m grown up,” this, or “When I’m grown up,” that. The possibilities are endless, and I’m really looking forward to it.
  • Sidebar: Not having hockey meant I watched other stuff on TV, and had the time to. Usually my PVR gets full of shows I’ll never watch on account of hockey. I love New Girl, Happy Endings, and Nashville. Like, love/love. Who knew there were shows on TV from October to April? I don’t watch reality TV though. But I do love talk shows. I love how the hosts always sit to the right of the screen, because if I were a guest on a talk show, they would get my right profile which is 2000% better than my left. If I hosted my own show, I’d have them switch the set around. These are things I think about sometimes.
  • My Facebook, which I don’t use much, has quotes from my kids in the About Me – Quotes part, or whatever it’s called. When my son was about six, on my birthday, he said, “So, Mom, you’re (confidential age) now, right?” And I said, “Yeah.” Then he said, “But you’re still a teenager though.” And I replied, “No, I’m a grown-up.” And he actually snorted, and said, “Yeah, right.” That’s under my Quotes. My About Me just says: “Kind of a pain.”
  • I just chose the categories for this blog post. Bold move, since I haven’t even really started it yet. One of the categories I have there is “Other Sports.” That’s ridiculous. What other sports are there? None that are written about here.
  • Wait, I blogged a couple of times about the World Cup when Chile was playing. So that’s why.
  • I switched the format around on this blog and lost all my widgets. Why do I ever try things.
  • I haven’t even started my topics list yet. I win for seriously being able to write about nothing. Okay, here we go.
  • The Habs played their first game of the “season” last Saturday. As you know, faithful readers…reader (dear Daughter), I was very much angry with the NHL and the players for putting us through 3 months of unnecessary pain by not playing hockey. I still tuned in but wasn’t excited. I still tuned in, but didn’t care. Actually, when they started training camp, the Habs announced that Scott Gomez, that black-eye of a bloated contract for a non-productive player, would not be back. He’d get paid his 5.5 million dollars to sit out the “season” and then get bought out.
  • Sidebar: This got me to thinking, I could totally devote a blog post to what I would do if I was offered FIVE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS to NOT show up to work. It’s equivalent to winning the lottery. But that would be a short, boring post. I would probably still go to the office. What else am I going to do while the kids are at school? Besides, I love the people at my office.
  • So anyway, when Marc Bergevin announced that Gomez would not be back in a Habs jersey again, I thought, “Well played. You just got my interest again.” Look, by all accounts, Gomez is a swell guy, super well-loved by his teammates and everything like that. No one said he was a bad guy. And no one can blame the guy for signing a contract like that on the dotted line. And had he been a scorer, I might not have cared about all that money. Let’s face it: no one can actually claim they earn that kind of money. That’s ridiculous. I can’t even imagine what you actually could do to earn that money. Perhaps deserve it, which is slightly different.
  • Sidebar: I hate Oprah. And I hate Lance Armstrong. I have never been able to stand that guy. No real reason. People thought he was some kind of hero because he won bike races, and survived cancer and then raised a bunch of money for it. But I still couldn’t stand him. Actually, here’s why: All I really knew about him is he kept dumping the women in his life. And he would dump them and immediately be in a new, serious relationship. Which meant that he was already cheating with the new one while he was still with the old one. To have a double-life like that, you have to be an accomplished liar with little conscience. So I couldn’t stand him, even when everyone around me all loved him and wore his rubber bracelet. Then all this stuff about his colossal cheating came out, and I felt validated for always hating the guy.
  • I don’t like Oprah either. That ego astounds. And all the people who worship her, that’s crazy too. I never really thought about her one way or the other, and always watched her show, because she had great guests, and would just roll my eyes every time she’d be in what would be for her guest, a serious, intense conversation, but Oprah would always be checking herself out in the monitor. Whatever. But what got me was when once she was being interviewed for the 10th anniversary of her show, and the interviewer brought up how she was worth $6 billion dollars or whatever INSANE figure it was. And, I’m not joking, she replied, with a very straight face: “And I’ve earned every penny.” ARE YOU SERIOUS? Oh, she was as serious as a heart-attack. I never took her seriously again.
  • So, when everyone asked if I was going to watch the Lance/Oprah show, I was like, “Lance. And Oprah? Yeah no.” The only time I ever liked Oprah was when she interviewed Stephen Colbert. And even then I didn’t really like her, I just love Colbert. I know my feeling about Opes is super unpopular. Actually, she did do one really good thing for me: It’s fun to say stuff like she does. Like when she says, “Please welcome, my friend John TRAVOLTAAAAAA!” One of my besties and I did that on a road trip. Like, “We’re going to TARGEEEEEET!” or “Let’s go to STARBUUUUUUCKS!” This was in the morning. We are both morning people. Our other bestie was super irritated.
  • Hi, Lisa! I’m finding a way to mention you in every post.
  • 1173 words in and I’ve strayed from my list. So anyway, I tuned in to watch the game. But it was preceded by a big, big, BIG opening ceremony. Hall of Famers carrying the torch in the Bell Centre, like Henri Richard (I met him once, and his big brother, and they signed my jersey!!), Jean Béliveau and Yvan Cournoyer (and Vinnie Damphousse??? Um, okay.). It was an opening ceremony to end all opening ceremonies. Do the Habs ever know how to give opening ceremony. And all over Twitter, I saw tweets about how everyone was crying. And I was sitting there with my arms crossed, hmmphing. Like, wooooow, these guys were really trying hard, here. I was 100% unmoved. Had they done this when they were supposed to, in October, I would have been blubbering like a baby. But not this way, not in January, when the season is supposed to be half over. Not when, apparently, the idea was we were all supposed to act like the previous 3 months didn’t just happen. I was bitter, and I wasn’t buying it. Okay, I really loved how Carey was the last person with the torch, looking up and chewing gum. What a boss. I was excited to finally watch a game however, but didn’t even watch the whole thing because I had to leave. And they were losing to the Leafs. In a former life, during a normal season, losing, to the LEAFS, would have ruined my evening. I didn’t care, and had a really awesome evening.
  • But then at the next game my Andrei Markov scored twice, and then at the next one scored again, and Itotallylovethemagainandcan’twaittilthenextgame.
  • Michelle Obama got these great new bangs, right when I’ve finally grown mine out. I fail at trends.
  • Let’s get started on that list.
  • No, it’s too long, and I have to go pick up my daughter from a sleepover soon. I’ll keep adding to it and save it for next time.

Me and Farty McGee

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Barack Obama said that today. It covers everything and I’m completely not averse to it. Haven’t blogged in a long time and even though there’s nothing interesting to say, I figured now was as good a time as any to say it since I’m kind of bored. I know, who’s bored on Christmas Day? I am. Every year.

  • Every year we have our  Christmas Eve dinner. I grew up celebrating the season on Christmas Eve, gift opening and all. It’s a Chilean thing. When we were little and growing up in Canada, we’d go to the movies on Christmas Eve after dinner. We’d be in the car leaving, and my mom always forgot something and had to run back into the house and take a long time. We’d go to the movies and come back home, and Santa always had come while we were out. Christmas day was about sleeping in. Now my kids are half-Chilean and half-Canadian and when we still had Santa, we’d have our big party on Christmas Eve, they’d get to open their presents from my mom, and Santa would come overnight. Now they open lots of gifts on Christmas Eve but the bigger ones are left to the morning.  At least they sleep in now. Anyway, we had my family over last night and we had a meat fondue. That’s right, I made them cook their own dinner! I know, I’m a genius. Sides are a big deal with fondue, and I tried making this wild rice salad I’d never made before that turned out to be really disappointing. The rice was too soggy. People were very nice and ate it anyway.
  • So the rest of the kids’ Christmas tradition is that on Christmas Day they go to their dad’s for the evening. They just left and now I’m on my own until tomorrow. The BF is away and it’s just me and Farty McGee right now. My dog. She got a new bone last night, and this particular variety of bone, which I think is cow femur, always gives her the world’s worst flatulence. I have all the candles on right now. ALL THE CANDLES. Still, it’s a small price to pay for having her preoccupied with it so the rest of us could enjoy enough peace to have dinner last night.
  • So other than wracking my brain figuring out if there’s a clothespin somewhere in this house for my nose, the biggest thing on my mind right now is whether or not I’m going to start parting my hair in the middle again. I have to wash it today and no one’s going to see me anyway so it’s a good time for the experiment.
  • I do have a couple of invites from some lovely friends to have dinner at their houses tonight. I think I’m coming down with something so instead I’ll just stay home with Farty McHyper and enjoy my own company. I’m actually not terrified. I usually hate not being around other people, it only takes me about 15 minutes of solitude to recharge my batteries and need interaction again, but I’m actually looking forward to this. Maybe I’m growing up.
  • One of the gifts on my daughter’s wish list was a book called The Smart Girl’s Guide to Starting Middle School, which she’ll be starting next fall. She has been talking about middle school since last summer. We had a serious conversation this morning about the things she will need, including a wristwatch and a mirror and organizer for her locker. I said, “You’re really looking forward to having a locker, aren’t you?” And she said, “Mom, it’s what I’ve been waiting for all these years.”
  • How I Met Your Mother seasons are on Netflix so I’ve watched a few of those today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guy who plays Ted do a talk show. I watch a lot of talk shows so I’m pretty sure about this.
  • I’m also sitting here in my jammies, thick socks and a new pair of black patent flats that I’m trying to stretch out.
  • This post has taken hours longer than usual. I’m trying to find stuff to talk about. One thing on my mind lately, like for so many other people, is the latest mass shooting in the U.S. Obviously this blog is not the forum to get into a gun-control debate of a country I don’t even live in. It doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions though, and I’ve posted a few of them on Twitter. This led to some “conversations” with tea baggers after hashtagging a few tweets with #NRA or #NRAlogic.  And weirdly, some new conservative pro-gun followers. People are obviously not taking the time to scan my tweets before blindly following. As a matter of fact, the other day I sent a tweet about Bill O’Reilly.  A couple of days later, Twitter sent me an e-mail suggesting to follow people “like Bill O’Reilly.” Including Donald Trump! Dismissed it as weird or that Twitter obviously has an outrageous sense of humour. Then a couple of days later, O’Reilly appeared on my timeline. I went to my “following” list and O’REILLY WAS ON THERE. What the. Somehow I was following him. I have no explanation for this. (He’s not on that list anymore!!!)
  • Speaking of bored, every time I say I’m bored (which is very rarely), I remember the time I was visiting a lawyer’s office with a couple of friends to sign an affidavit. He came to the door to get us and asked us to follow him to the boardroom. I said, “I hope that’s not spelled B-O-R-E-D!” He didn’t even attempt a smile. It wasn’t that tough a room though because my friends laughed. Or I know for sure one of them did.
  • We found out last week that the NHL cancelled games though January 14th. I don’t care. A couple of months ago, I really cared. I absolutely don’t care anymore, and at this point, I hope they don’t come back. Only reason would be to play some half-marathon half-season just to make some money this year. The only thing I care about is that I’m afraid they will play that half-season and that would really piss me off.
  • I am, however, really excited for World Juniors hockey. I am every year, but this year more so because I haven’t watched any hockey since May. I think this means I have to be up at 4am tomorrow to watch.
  • OK so it’s a few hours later and the “I think I’m coming down with something” is most definitely a cold. Just a sore throat and some sniffles, nothing to worry about. I’ll tell you what it’s not, and that’s the flu. I haven’t had the flu in years. I also never get a flu shot. Well, I actually got a flu shot about six years ago even though I never got the flu, after being guilted into it by a co-worker who told me I would get the flu and make my children sick. So I got the stupid flu shot, and guess what – I got the flu. This is definitely not a flu.
  • I’m starting a course next month to get a certificate in editing. I know that you probably think from this blog that I’ll never get it, but I actually love editing. I just don’t edit this. You’re supposed to blog in your own voice, and if you know me you know my speech is rarely punctuated.
  • Oh wow Barney finally met his dad! It’s the preacher dad from Footloose. I want to say Jon Lovitz but that’s not his name.
  • The kids made me Christmas presents this year. My daughter wrote me a letter and put it in a frame. My son wrote me a story in which my 2 brothers were the protagonists, and they saved Christmas and Santa with the help of my mom and a voodoo doll. Best. Christmas. Presents. Ever.

No one’s reading this. I hope you’ve all had a great time with your families and loved ones! Tweet you at 4am, everyone! Oh yeah, and here’s our family photo from last night. Merry Christmas!

photo

Twinkies, Pants, Holidays, Flamingoes, and the End of the World.

We’re gonna have bullets and a hodge-podge this time. I’ll invent a title when I’m done.

  • A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I was distracted mucking around and gettin’ ‘er done, and my son came up to me holding a little leaflet. “Hey Mom, these people just came to the door. The wanted to like, give you a bible. I think they were … pilgrims? Anyway, here. Apparently, we’re all going to die very soon.” Hands me the leaflet and leaves the room, like nothing happened. My little atheist! The thing that bothered him the most about receiving the “the-end-is-nigh” message was having to put on pants to answer the door.
  • The period of mid-to-end-October through the end of the year is the time I wish I was a Jehovah’s Witness. We have October, so that’s Halloween. Halloween is a huge deal, of course, because of the kids I have. Costumes, candy…this year, I spent $50 damn dollars on candy. We easily had 100 kids or more. Turns out, kids come from all around just to trick-or-treat at our damned complex. And handing out the candy was crazy, the doorbell was going non-stop, and I had to control the puppy who was treating every ring like a brand-new occurrence, and an excuse to leap up and hug all the crazy princesses, zombies and ladybugs. And getting up and doing a flight of stairs to the front door with every ring on a gimpy knee was too much. I’m not hobbling and limping every Halloween, of course, it just gave me more to blog about this year. So there was Halloween.
  • Then, November. Both the kids have birthdays in November. BOTH. I spent my entire life enthusiastically avoiding Scorpios, then I got TWO of them. Love their guts, but birthdays are exhausting. Not like I’m the supermom who coordinates monkeys and clowns and caterers, but you know. If you know, you know.
  • And now we’ve got Christmas coming up. That’s right, I said the C word. So funny that I don’t observe the religulousness of it, but damned if I’m calling it The Holidays. What Holidays, exactly? I wish I was on a damned Holiday! It’s Christmas! Or Hanukkah! I’ll use either word where appropriate. But I never say “Happy Holidays!” Of course, it’s okay if you do.
  • So by December 31st, I’m pooped. And broke. And I envy all the people who get to spread their events out throughout the year, or the JWs who don’t have to bother with any of it.
  • OMG, I love Christmas. It will be fun.
  • A few weeks ago I was watching Modern Family. I’ve waited this long to tell you because whenever you start talking about it, people go, “LA LA LA LA!  Don’t tell me, I haven’t watched it yet!” Anyway, SPOILER ALERT: It was funny. And I texted my friend Lisa, who also happens to sit on the other side of my paper-thin wall at work. Lisa hears everything happening in my office. And I hers, except for that she’s maddeningly quiet. Anyway, when my mom and I call each other, it’s always for something important, and our first instincts are to get right to business, and always assume the worst. When we answer, it’s not, “Hello?” like normal people. Depending on the time of day, like if it’s daylight, it’s, “WHAT HAPPENED.” Or, if it’s say, past 9pm, it’s “WHO DIED.” Out with it, no time for formalities. And 90% of the time, it’s followed up with, “Oh, nothing, just wondering about picking up the kids,” blah blah blah and chatter. But SOMETIMES, it’s SOMETHING and we are conditioned to be prepared for that SOMETHING, THE WORST, FIRST. So anyway, when my mom calls at work, I’ll answer with a WHAT HAPPENED, sometimes followed by a dramatic inhale. And Lisa furiously messages me, What? What? And I’ll say, oh, we’re just co-ordinating if we’re having beef or chicken for dinner on the weekend. And Lisa once said, “We’re WASPs! We don’t like playing “Who Died”!” I panic her. You’d think after 7 years of sitting on opposite sides of the wall she’d be used to it by now. Anyway, Modern Family was on and I was like, SEE!!!! The phone rang in the middle of the night, and Gloria said WHO DIED! And Manny walked in, and said, “I heard the phone. WHO DIED.” Yesssss! I texted Lisa:

  • The bum leg is getting better. I’m going to physio, I get my leg rubbed where it hurts the most, and leave feeling pretty all right, like I might be normal again someday. I’m even doing most of my homework (icing, heating, and stretching), most of the time. I’ve been limping since the middle of October. The other day I got a message from a lady who temped at my office for a few weeks, and she started off with, “Hi, Limpy!” And it occurred to me: there are people who have only ever known me to have a limp. I’m aiming to be better by the end of the year. I hate this limp, and it gets in the way of me getting places at a thousand miles an hour, which is my preference. This whole thing is seriously a pain.
  • The very worst thing about the leg is getting dressed. Putting pants on. Putting boots on. You know how you can bend your knee right up next to your face when you’re getting stuff on? Well, I can’t on the one side. I told my bf that I wondered if I’d ever be able to The Flamingo again. It’s the only way I could describe what I’m not able to do right now, if I had a gun to my head. Bend my knee right up and balance on the other leg. He said, “The Flamingo? What is that? It sounds like a synchronized swimming move. Did you ever do that?” There will always be stuff to learn from each other, but having been a synchronized swimmer is probably something that would have come up by now.
  • We had a family dinner last weekend, this time for my son’s birthday. I had my music playing through my iTunes while I cooked, and when the album ran out, my daughter cued up the iTunes to play on shuffle. Every song that I have, that is. Which is in excess of 4,000. At first what I thought would be an awful idea, turned out to be awesome. We spent the rest of the night listening to Billy Joel, The Marriage of Figaro, No Doubt, Joni Mitchell, Justin Timberlake, Black Eyed Peas, Vampire Weekend, and Hootie and the Blowfish.
  • That’s right, Hootie. It was actually hilarious to see what would be up next, and the crazy mix worked.
  • I gather The Twinkie is endangered. I don’t know any of the story, except for little headlines and the tail end of stories on the news that I catch. Why is this such a big deal? Twinkies are super gross. This is probably a wonderful thing for humanity.

I have another topic which will definitely have to be a whole other post, and is a developing story. We’ll see if I can do that on the weekend. For now, it’s bedtime and that’s pretty much the update, except for that story of course. Which may get told unless it gets too long and I don’t even know how to tell it. That’s the problem with writing.

Bonne nuit!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention. (I want my Mommy)

I haven’t had a lot to tweet about lately (hello, NHL lockout) so maybe that’s why I have more to post about. That doesn’t make sense. Anyway this is my 3rd post in like 2 weeks. It’s drought then deluge! That’s a new saying. As of now. I just think that when I tweet stuff it’s out there and when I don’t, I guess I’ll get it out there, here.

It was just Halloween. I wasn’t the hugest fan of Halloween when I was a kid. My family didn’t really “get it” since there wasn’t Halloween where I’m from. I did enjoy the free candy aspect of it though, and also collecting pennies for my Unicef box. Where did Unicef boxes go? Am I dating myself? I wasn’t creative, and I just always wore what my mother bought me, and she never really put a lot of thought into it, either. Not to diss her. She was just from Chile, and had all these things thrown at her that she wasn’t used to, like Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and all these things we had to participate in now since we were new Canadians. And Thanksgiving itself was always about having hordes of family over, which we didn’t even have since everyone was in Chile, so she’d make a turkey, the the 2 adults and 3 tiny children would have their share, then we’d stare at this huge bird carcass, the leftovers of which we’d have to have for the next 2 weeks. I still don’t really do Thanksgiving.

So anyway it was Halloween and the kids knew what they would be and I knew I had to hand out candy, and that was it. Simple dimple. Then my boyfriend’s pals told me they were having a party, and I was like, “Yay!” and then they were all, “It’s a costume party,” and I was like, “Oh.” I can’t stand the pressure of costumes since I don’t have a single creative bone in my body. Seriously, like not even the little bone in my pinkie-toe. I have a hard time coming up with things for this blog, and this blog is about things that actually happen to me, I don’t even have to think of them. Things happen to me, like, every day even. And still it’s hard. For Halloween, if I could pull a Charlie Brown and cut holes in a sheet and go as a ghost, I would.  And that’s only because I got the idea from watching ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’.

I was first able to encapsulate my condition when I was about 7. I was lazily scribbling across a piece of paper, and my mom asked what I was doing. I must have told her I was pretending to draw but since I couldn’t think of anything I was haphazardly scrawling without meaning. She grabbed a pencil and started to draw. It was a house, a log cabin, actually, with a chimney with smoke coming out of it, a mountain behind it, and a pine tree next to it. It was beautiful. I told her, “That’s beautiful!” and she said, “Thanks, it’s the only thing I draw. I can’t think of anything else.” And I proceeded to imitate her drawing. And to date, it’s the only thing I ever draw, because how do you think of something else? I’ve even drawn it for my kids. Thank god they are each creative, I’m always amazed by the things they come up with from nothing, and they probably take pity on me. They probably think they’re adopted, except they know they’re not because they look exactly like me, but they still love me, thank god again. If you’re a psychologist, I don’t care to hear from you. I gave up on myself a long time ago. My mom told me she was uncreative, I realized I inherited it, and embraced it. And I happened to make creative people, so I’m cancelled out. End of!

So anyway I was explaining this to these guys, that the pressure of costume parties was such that I’d almost rather not go. I can never think of anything to be. Then one of them said, “What are you talking about. Look at you. Pocahontas.” Thank you!!!

So because I wasn’t about to go about figuring out how to make that costume, I talked to my sister-in-law, who works at a COSTUME STORE. And they had a Pocahontas costume! Winning! I went in and looked around and started shaking my head. 98% of the costumes for women were “sexy” something. Sexy nurse and French maid are typical, I guess, but sexy ladybug, and sexy referee? SEXY REFEREE? A referee uniform cut to the navel and a skirt that barely covers your butt. Whoever thought of THAT was creative. Jesus H. What is wrong with people? Who could possibly be comfortable in a skirt that you can’t sit down in, and walking around at a party showing everything anyway? I have serious concerns for this society, and for my daughter. I constantly use every circumstance possible to tell her about not needing to get the wrong kind of attention, then you walk into a store like that that isn’t even a porn store, and the only options for women are sexy devil, sexy angel, sexy pirate, etc. The only unsexy costumes were the Nun. And Pocahontas. Thank god. The Pocahontas costume was basically a burlap sack cut below the knee, and a wig, which I obviously didn’t need. Sold. But then I took the costume out, because it said “Standard Size” so I wanted to see if it would actually be too big or too small. And I couldn’t even touch it, because it was made out of this felt material. I can’t touch felt. It’s like I can’t stand touching cotton balls with my bare hands. I can’t describe it, but it just absolutely creeps me out. There was no way I could wear this costume. Dammit!!!!! I wasn’t going to go as a nun, because, obviously. Lightning. I finally found a “Greek Goddess” costume that was basically just a white dress that went all the way to the ground.

And then the night of the costume party I forgot my costume and we only went for one drink and left when the rest of the guests started arriving anyway. Who needs a Greek Goddess costume, unused?

I couldn’t go trick or treating with my kids because (a) they’re too old to need an escort anyway and (b) getting around was still really laborious on account of my gimpy leg. I’d been to the doctor and everything but hadn’t scheduled a physio appointment yet. I finally went this week. It was the day after Obama was re-elected. I got to the clinic and changed into a pair of shorts and was sitting there waiting for the therapist, reading Huffpost on my iPhone, giggling to myself over all the exploding Republican heads, like O’Reilly, Limbaugh and Trump. If repugnancy were a power source, these 3 could light up Las Vegas for the next 100 years. So anyway my therapist came in, and I described the accident to her, and she examined me and said I had a bad MCL sprain. MCL is Medial Collateral Ligament. And it hurts like a sumbitch. So she started working on my leg, and we started talking about the election, and what we were doing as it unfolded, we each were on Twitter, and in between my yelps of pain we were laughing and talking about the speeches, Fox news and how things have kind of switched gears now, the U.S. just re-elected a super-smart guy who is cool and charismatic to boot, and how we’ve got such a stiff in the Prime Minister’s office. When it came time to do the laser treatment on my leg we had 12 minutes to spare, and she said, “Do you want to re-watch Obama’s speech? I’ll get my phone!” It was an awesome appointment, and when I left I was actually able to almost straighten my bad leg all the way, which I haven’t been able to do for nearly 3 weeks. She was great, and totally nice except for when she gave me my homework, stretches. She literally said, “Do it slowly until it hurts, then stretch it a little bit more.” What a sadistic profession.

I don’t know where else this is going, so I’ll stop now. Maybe next time I write, we’ll have a hockey season?? Or maybe I’ll be screaming about how I’ll never watch hockey again! (That’ll never happen.) Or maybe I’ll be talking about how the leg is all better, and people at the office will no longer be calling me “Hopalong”. Bon weekend, you guys!

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