Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Melodrama, anyone?

B and A, pretty much in unison: "Can we have a snack before bed?"

Me: "You had a snack half an hour ago, and it is now past time you were in bed."

B, highly indignant: "You mean it's time for us to DIE, is what you MEAN."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

oh for heaven's sake

sometimes it's just not possible to roll your eyes enough

and that's all I'm saying about that

Edited to add:

Oh wait, it's not. How is THIS an apology? "I'm sorry I lost my temper. I didn't realize you're so out of touch with my life that you can't understand my problems. I should have realized I'm not that important to you."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ikea and me (or I, I don't really care. Me don't really care either)

(yeah it's that's kind of morning)

So yesterday as I was driving the children to Michael's for their $3 kids craft Saturday morning that we've had to miss for weeks due to robotics club (A) and hockey (B) and board meetings (me. Or I. Or S) we drove by the Ikea that was built while we were away.

"Mom why do you hate Ikea so much?" one of them asked. I know that the story of Why Me Hates Ikea is one of the things my children will remember lovingly long into their adulthood, and at my funeral they will tell stories, misty-eyed, of my anti-Ikea passion, and how I always dreamed of standing in my bedroom window watching it burn down. Or they were going to, but I wrecked all that.

"I don't actually hate it that much" I said. Stunned silence in the back seat. (not that that was what I was trying to achieve, or anything.) I was loving that reaction so much, I added "Want to go there after Michael's?" (Tee hee. Don't tell me I'm predictable.) So we wandered around Ikea and even bought a few things and the children kept staring at me like my body had been taken over by aliens.

The thing is: that particular store annoys the pea soup out of me. Notice the mention earlier, of standing in my bedroom window looking at it? We live in two story split level house with a walk out basement, so at the back of the house, it's essentially three stories. (that'll happen when your house is built into the side of a slope. Our whole street is like that) We back onto a green belt, and the path through the green belt descends to a lovely little man-made lake with a path all the way around it. On the OTHER side of the lake, the side we don't live on, the paved pathway passes between the lake and a river. On the other side of the river, past various other natural wonders like trees and grass, is the freeway. I ignore the freeway, and pretend I live out in the country. This is especially effective when I'm getting up to pee in the middle of the night, because all I can see is starlight and treetops.

Until they built the ruddy great Ikea with its' GIGANTIC yellow storefront. Now I get up and see IKEA. Instead of going back to sleep dreaming of deer and chickadees, both of which will eat out of your hands in this park, I'm dreaming of modular furniture with unpronounceable names.

So I still hate it. Just don't tell my kids.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Too stupid to sleep

Yes, I might be stupid, but on the other hand, I've managed to catch up on the entire first season of Lost in a week. And TechnoIHateTVBoy watched it all with me.

I'm thinking that we will no longer think the series is moving along at a blistering pace, after this.

On the other hand, how are we ever going to find out what's down the hatch? I think we missed those shows.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

And he doesn't even know he did this ...

So the other day, Thursday, I left work at 11 in the morning so I could go open a bank account because soon I will have paycheques of my very own, and on the way there, I passed a street person. This is not unusual in the city where I live, but Thursday was different. I tried to make eye contact because I don't think it costs me anything to treat these people like, well, people, but the woman walked past me without looking past the edges of my face. Her face took my breath away though - it reminded me vividly of a dear friend I had in California who just happened to be an alcholic one lucky break away from living on the street. She spent a few weeks on our couch once, and then she and I found her a place in a homeless shelter, where a month later, she died (of bowel cancer, we would later discover) in someone's arms. Her name was Sharon.

This woman on the street Thursday. Her skin was the same colour as Sharon's, her eyes the same, her lips the same shape. I almost bent double, the shock was so strong, and then I wanted to run after her, and give her all the money in my wallet, and tell her about Inn from the Cold, and more than anything I wanted her to know that there were many things more important than where the next drink was coming from, and as I stood there sobbing and trying to breathe and trying to not completely lose it on the street, I was overwhelmed by all the things I could have done for Sharon and didn't. I did a lot, don't get me wrong. But she still died, and for the rest of my life, I will wonder what would have happened if I had stayed at the hospital instead of going home to hug my children that one time. I came back two hours later and she was waiting for me, having checked herself out. What would have happened if I had taken her to her doctor's appointment the Monday before she died, instead of asking her friend Henry to take her. (He agreed to it, but she talked him out of it.) If I did ENOUGH. If there was something I was supposed to do in her life, and didn't, and so the ending was less perfect than it was supposed to be. Than I was supposed to make it.

And then I pulled myself together and went to the bank and was told I was at the wrong branch, and by the time I figured out where I was supposed to be, my lunch break was over. And then there was work, and picking B up from school, and not quite getting supper ready in time for all us to eat together before my class, and then there was my class and partway through I just couldn't do it anymore. There was too much heaviness and frustration and I just wanted to crawl into a hole.

So I went home and told TechnoHusband I was going to bed to watch TV and I crawled into bed and there he was beside me, just being friendly, to watch TV with me because he hadn't seen me all day.

And just being there, being real, with a strong solid body to lean against, brought goodness and light and safety back where I could see them.

I guess this is my way of saying thanks.

Wait that was just B ...

So A got back from Outdoor School at 2 pm yesterday, so I took her over to the neighbour's Creative Memories Open House so we could look around and get all starry eyed about crafts together, because that's what we do best some days.

There was a "Make and Take" table, so after we had mulled cider and a cookie and walked around oohing and ahhing at things, A settled down to make a page while I went to fetch B. There were three sample pages there, and you could choose a few different ways to embellish the background of your choice. A started her page at 2:30 and finished just before 5:00. Thankfully it was not a busy time at the Open House, because she was pretty firmly planted in one of the two Make and Take seats for two and a half hours.

And it is with absolutely no bias at all that I can report that A's page surpassed ALL of the sample pages when it came to style and creativity. Now that she is old enough to have the skill to actually some of the grandiose ideas jockeying for attention in that oh-so-active brain she's been given, she comes up with some truly astonishing creations.

I'm so glad *I* get to be her mom.

One about the kids

A was gone all week to "Outdoor School", a three day, four night camping adventure at a YMCA camp near you (if you're near me, that is) I missed her dreadfully, so am now in a lovely haze of "Wow I have great kids!"

I had to take B to hockey practice on Wednesday, because TechnoCoach had a thing he couldn't get out of. Now I have historically not been exactly cooperative when it comes to B and hockey, but things were fine. "Helping him get dressed" consisted of watching in amazement as he pulled various bits of padded armour out of his bag and yanked them on while I was still trying to figure out which way was up. Or down. Or where the elbow went. (turns out it was a knee pad) I sat there taking up precious dresssing room space until he stuck a skated foot in my face and asked me to tie it. And by the way? I tie slower than Dad does.

And then it was time to watch him fall over the ice and generally humiliate himself while I prayed that this wouldn't scar his fragile psyche for life. Only the falling down part only happened ...twice? There was plenty of falling down, to be sure, but not my boy. Until the drill where they made them fall down on purpose. And he was big and bold and beautiful and he could actually move the puck down the ice with clever stick handling, and there are clearly some things I HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT.

There is Not Much Posting

There is Christmas knitting.

There is trying to write a novel.

There is going back to work each and every day, even if it's only supposed to be 4 hours each day.

There is Granny in Paradise. (just google it, and shake your head sadly at my problems)

There is watching the entire first season of Lost on DVD while doing the Christmas knitting.

There is (you won't beLIEVE this, ccap and H!) going to a Creative Memories party with Lorna and actually making a scrapbook page. (If you all ask very nicely, and Lorna doesn't forbid me, I will, in a future post, tell you the short and sweet story of Lorna making an entire basement full of women laugh uproariously.)

There is a haircut in half an hour and I have to shower first.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Most useless error message in the world

"You are about to delete 0 rows. Are you sure you want to continue?"

IT'S INTERRUPTING ME TO TELL ME IT'S ABOUT TO DO NOTHING AND IT WANTS TO KNOW IF THAT'S OKAY??????????

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A proper introduction

Here's my niece, kids. A happy ending to a long journey.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I feel like the Shoemaker!

You know, the guy with the elves.

Last night, TechnoGuy and I went out on a date. When we came home, I went to fetch the clean sheets from the dryer to make up the guest room bed for company, but lo and behold, the clean sheets were already on the bed. (This is more significant if you realize that those sheets were on the bed when I left, but they were dirty).

My dishes were all done.

I opened the dishwasher to put soap in, unreasonably proud of myself that I was finally remembering to run the stupid thing, and was greeted by sparkly shiny clean dishes.

Had I suddenly been dropped into some sort of Utopian Leg of the Trousers of Time?

No, but Lorna had been here.

Thank you, sweetie, from the bottom of my heart. What a delight.

Funnies

Go here.

Everyone ....

should have someone in their life who remembers the curious incident of the carved candle in the glove compartment.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Peanut has arrived!

I can stop checking my messages every 3.2 seconds just in case my cell phone isn't working ...

I have a new niece. And one tough chickie for a sister-in-law - 24 hours of labour.

I'm going to go meet her just as soon as some rich guy loans me his jet. Or I'll have to wait until Christmas, but she'll be so big by then!!!

Welcome to the world, little one. We're a great family - you'll adore us. We already adore YOU and we haven't even MET you.

Not flippant, but I don't want to forget this

So I'm driving home last night, and Focus on the Family comes on the radio, and the interviewer is talking to two people who work with a mission that reaches out, almost exclusively, to male prostitutes in the Chicago area. I think the man being interviewed was named John Green, but I'm not 100% sure on that. ANYWAY, Mr Green, if that is indeed his name, made the following point: (paraphrased because I don't have a photographic memory!)


Many people, when faced with the homeless problem, make the point that homeless people, people who are addicted to drugs, people who sell their bodies for the next fix, are there because of the choices they have made. John told a story about being at the mission one night, where they were putting on a big dinner for pretty much anyone who wanted to walk in off the street - family style, sitting together at tables. John was sitting on a couch with one of the men who had come in, and the man, 29 years old, looked at John nervously and said "I've never done this before." John was immediately afraid that he might have inadvertently propositioned the man, and so he asked "Never done what exactly?" The 29 year old looked over to where the tables were being set. "I've never been part of a family dinner before."
Choices? Sure. This fellow had made choices that put him where he was. John said, however, that that was the night he realized that many of these people were dealing with choices like "What gang should I try to outrun on my way to junior high today?" John said "My biggest choice, when I was 16, was what kind of sailboat I wanted to commemorate my confirmation. When I talk about the people I meet on the street, and CHOICES, I don't have a CLUE what I'm talking about."

Maybe I'll just drive to Manitoba

Somewhere way east of here, a my very dear sister-in-law is having a baby. We heard at midnight that she'd headed for the hospital - I finally fell asleep around 5 am. (I think it's family insomnia - SHE certainly didn't get much sleep, and neither did her sister!)

Heard this morning that she's had an epidural, and is three cm dilated. THREE.

Give me a freakin' break. COME ON OUT AND MEET US ALREADY.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Book Discussion

Just finished reading Anita Shreve's Light on Snow, which I found so readable and interesting that I actually read it sequentially. (I'm a non-sequential book reader - any hint of suspense makes me so uptight I can't relax and enjoy the read until I know the ending. The most notable exception to this is if I am reading an unpublished draft of a friend's novel - then I am so conscious of the effort that went into putting these words in JUST THIS ORDER by someone I know and love, that I force myself to just read it, already)

Am also reading Alexander McCall Smith's The Sunday Philosophy Club, which is a bit disappointing. I much prefer his Precious Ramotswe series.

Next up: not sure yet :) Anybody want to make any recommendations?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This post won't show me in the best light ...

A and I were working in the kitchen together the other night.

Me: "Pass me the cheese, please?"

A, suddenly aware of a certain aroma in the air, possibly due to maternal flatulence, waves a hand past her nose and declares "No, I think that's about ENOUGH cheese!"