Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 is Over

I'm back. For real this time. The boys are back at school and we're back on schedule. This should have been posted a couple of weeks ago, but nonetheless, here is a New Year's meme that I will try to fill out every year from now on.


1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I followed a zip-line rope course 15 feet above ground, I whitewater rafted, I ate quinoa, and I went to Vegas by myself.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I always make five resolutions. I hardly ever achieve them all. But I figure the more I make, the more chance I have of accomplishing at least one. I accomplished two. This year, I resolve to do things that I was already kind of planning to do anyway (like visit Seattle--I've never been and neither has BFF).
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I got a nephew this year.
4. Did anyone close to you die?

X
5. What countries did you visit?
Just this one and the States.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Fame, fortune, perhaps someone who will take me out for the kind of dinner I have to dress up for.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Mostly just the day my nephew was born and the day that X died. Oh and I'll always remember 2011 as "wasn't that the year I spent my birthday driving to Manitoba?"
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think this was the year that I actually starting feeling like a freelance writer. People actually call me every month wanting to pay me money to write or edit something.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Physically letting myself go. I know I've mentioned it before, but I weighed more than I have since I was pregnant.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a cold a couple of months ago. It was tough and I spent it watching daytime TV which only made it worse. Seriously, what is with Drew Carey asking everyone if they want to say hello to anyone on "The Price is Right"? It's the same question over and over; find something new to say Drew.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I think I bought myself more clothes this year than I have since before I was married. I'll usually buy a garment or two here and there, but this year I feel like I got A LOT of new clothes and boots.
12. Where did most of your money go?
School fees and sports fees and groceries to feed two fourteen-year-old boys.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Having such a winning football season.
14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Anything by Glee.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder?
Thinner or fatter?
Richer or poorer?
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish we had travelled more.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eat.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
With the boys at home. Usually, X picks them up right after breakfast and they visit his family but this year they stayed home all day. I asked them which they preferred: they like visiting with tons of people and getting more gifts. Maybe next year I'll ship them off with X's sister after breakfast.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
The Biggest Loser, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, New Girl
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I kept track this year; I read 47 books. One of my resolutions is to read more than that. My favourite though...? The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series was surprisingly good and I discovered Christopher Moore whom I find funny.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Glee. Not every Glee song is great, but I do enjoy quite a few of them.
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I watched a lot of awful made-for-TV Christmas movies this year. None of them were my favourites. I saw "Bridesmaids." It was good.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 39 (for real) and I spent it driving to Manitoba. To be fair, when I got there, there was a Jeanne's cake waiting for me. These cakes are made in Winnipeg at Jeanne's bakery and they are amazing.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This year was mostly disappointing all the way around for lots of little reasons and a few bigger reasons. There is no one thing that would have made it "immeasurably" more satisfying (though Malison moving away didn't help). I'm glad it's over and I have very high hopes for 2012.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Lazy. Dresses are easy so I didn't have to put a whole lot of thought or effort into my clothing choices.
26. What kept you sane?
I just didn't have time to be insane.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Focusing on awesome things will not make all your problems go away, but it will allow you to handle them gracefully.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Men Five...uh...Three

As of late, I have become extremly attractive to old men. I think I can explain why. When my ex-boyfriend and I were breaking up, one of his parting shots was that there are so many women in my situation that men could just pick and choose which one they wanted and discard them at will because, obviously, single women with kids are so fucking desperate that they'll just take the first man that shows them any interest...I may be paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it. The really sad thing is that I know women like this; their facebook status updates are cringe-worthy.

Anyway, in the last month, three different old men have hit on me. So this is like a Yucky Friday Five but with only Three:

1. The first one may or may not actually have been hitting on me. We were at a function, he came and sat by me, and seemingly tried to impress me with talk of his all-star son, the company he owns, his exercise and diet regime, and his spacious home and vacation condo. Now, it's possible that he could think that this is appropriate dinner conversation, but he wasn't aiming it at any men at the table, y'know? Later in the meal, he asked me to rewrite his website. Then when I called him later in the week, he proposed getting together one evening for coffee to discuss it. Yeah, I like to conduct business during business hours, so I shot him down. He then cancelled a meeting I set up with him on Monday morning. Sure, I could be reading into that one...but I don't think so.

2. One day last month, when the boys were out of school for the week, we spent a morning renewing our passports. On the way home, we stopped at a mall in the city and ended up eating in the food court. I accidentally made eye contact with this old man who came over to tell me, "I've been looking for you all night." It was noon; I was with my kids. "You're beautiful. I love your freckles." Then he tried to tell me he had bought me some strawberries and tried to give me a bag from the grocery store. He dropped them on the floor, bent over to retrieve them, and that's when I noticed the 40-ounce bottle of rye in his inside pocket. (You gotta be pretty dedicated to carry around an entire 40. Not a flask. Not a mickey. A 40-ounce bottle.) I was finally able to get rid of him, but then he came back to say, "I'm very sorry AND I'd like to apologize." (Apparently these are two very separate things.) He was sorry to waste my time and also he told me he was out of my league.

3. When I got home, I posted on my facebook that apparently I was very attractive to old, drunk men. One of the replies I got was "and also old, sober men." That was nice, and obviously just a joke...I hope. Here's the creepy part that I found out just yesterday, though. The man who posted this on my facebook had been, just that morning, to his wife's funeral. Gah. All kinds of inappropriate.

I'd like to go on record as saying this:


  • If you are more than ten years older than me, I'm not interested.

  • If your wife just died or you are freshly divorced, I'm not interested.

  • If you are drunk, I'm not interested.

  • If you're looking for a trophy wife, I'm not interested...probably; this really depends on how much money you have.

--

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spooky Text Conversation

We are having one of our patented lunches (where I sit in a restaurant and text with my friend that lives a kajillion miles away)

Malison: Do you sense X around lately?
Me: No. Not at all. I think/hope he's moved on. Do you?
Malison: I think about him a lot. He's the only person I know that died.
Me: What do you think about exactly?
Malison: I've been reading about life after death. I have to wonder what he's up to.

We chat more about life after death, our beliefs, etc. etc. And then this is where it gets spooky.

Me: Weird. Some guy just walked into the restaurant that smells like X: smoke and too much cologne to cover it up.
Malison: Cool. I just read disembodied smoke and cologne are signs of his presence. Seriously.
Me: It does seem like an odd coincidence, doesn't it?
Malison: You should try to talk to him. Maybe he's a messenger. Bwah-ha-ha-ha.
Me: He's a 20-year-old foul-mouthed douchebag. Yeah, maybe he is a messenger.
Malison: Anything else about him? Any numbers? Does he seem happy?
Me: I'm eavesdropping. He's calling people bitches and shitheads and talking about how much money he makes.
Malison: What about other signs: falling leaves, rainbows, coins, songs?
Me: I don't see anything but a FedEx truck and the music is Japanese. Geez, do I have to know multiple languages to receive a sign?

And then we chat some more about other stuff. And then I get in my car to drive home, and parked in front of my house is a car exactly like X's.

*ghostly noises*

--

Monday, December 12, 2011

Over a Month?!

What I've been doing while I wasn't here:



  • I had a meeting scheduled for this morning. I showered, got dressed, and he phoned to cancel. So, here I sit, all dressed up in professional clothing trying to figure out what to do with my day that won't waste these nice clothes. I mean, obviously, I have to go somewhere.

  • I have the kind of thermostat that can be set to be different temperatures at different times of the day. But when it was set many years ago, I was working out of the house so the temperature dips down to really-cold because it doesn't think anyone is here, and I can't remember how to change the settings. Every morning I allow myself to turn it up for one cycle. Like a weird-ass treat for allowing myself to work from home.

  • I've been pretty sad over the weekend. I just got news that my very favourite restaurant will no longer exist after December 31. Anyone wanting to go there should drive up from wherever they live (hint hint Malison) and go for lunch with me. I have asked for my Christmas present from them to be the recipe for the salad dressing.

  • Football season ended. They played the last game in the freeeeeeezing cold and lost. One loss in the entire season is fabulous, except for that particular one meant the most. Next year: high school football with the big kids. Right now it's basketball season. This year, the boys are playing both community league and school. We don't like to be still.

  • I've lost 9 pounds in the last 6 weeks. And not even by trying very hard. Just being more aware really. Plus I've started going to the gym again. My chiropractor gave me the ok to try running again and so far, so good. *knocks on wood*

  • I've been getting ready for Christmas. The tree isn't up yet, but I bought the candy canes to decorate it with. Also, I've started a lot of different homemade items that I plan to give to people as gifts, though I have yet to finish any of them. And I've done some shopping...not all the shopping, but I've definitely started.

So, I've been busy is my point. And that's why it's been over a month since my last post.



--

Friday, November 4, 2011

Far Away Friend Five

I'm in one of my favourite places today: a local high school's library. It's my favourite place to sub (although if you happen to be a reader that works at a different school [and you know who you are], I love you guys too). Anyway, I'm writing at lunch and between projects so this may seem a little choppy...although for random Friday Five day, I suppose that doesn't really matter.

1. I haven't talked to BFF for two weeks. It's not because I don't like her anymore, but because we are both so immersed in our own lives that we haven't really had time. I feel like life is going to fast and I'm missing stuff in her life and that when we do get a chance to catch up it'll be one of those "here's major things that are going on" instead of the minor everyday stuff that I want to hear. I miss her, like, a lot.

2. You've read Malison's name thousands of times, but what do you really know about her? Did you know she has a blog of her own? http://lilyreinvented.blogspot.com/ Did you know that she is one of the most generous people I've ever met? Did you know that she was the reason that I was able to quit my full-time office job? Her and I occasionally have lunch together, even though she doesn't live here. I go to my favourite restaurant and it doesn't matter what she's doing, she'll stop to have a text conversation so I don't have to eat alone. She's pretty wonderful is my point.

3. Before I was married or even dating X, I worked with a girl that I became very good friends with. She was there when I started dating X, she was a bridesmaid when I got married, she came to the hospital when the boys were born far too early, she met a boy and spent one of their first dates babysitting my kids. And then her and that boy started getting pretty serious and she moved to that dastardly town three hours south of here to live, marry, and have a child together. We kind of lost touch but stayed up-to-date through facebook and Christmas cards. Recently, she was in town visiting her family and she had a couple of free hours to go for coffee. I really enjoyed that visit and I really hope her mom lets her come out and play again next time she's here.

4. One of my very best friends growing up moved to a different province the summer before grade 12. One time, when we were about 15 we went to her house after school and decided to make a snack. We set her oven to broil, chopped up some potatoes and realized that we were missing an ingredient. We stole her mom's car, drove to my house but parked around the corner then ran to make it look like we had run the whole way. In the short distance that we ran, she managed to trip over a crack in the sidewalk (she was, though, the most graceful of clumsy people. She is really tall, so I always thought that her feet were too far away from her brain making her the clumsiest person I know--stories for another post). Anyway, we got the margarine, ran back to the car, drove to her house, and walked in the door. The house was filled with smoke. Apparently, her family stored their pans in the oven. And some of these pans had wooden handles and with the oven on broil they were quite burnt. She freaked out so I slapped her (?!). I still see her sometimes, every few years. I like her.

5. And last but not least, my former boss. Near the end of my time at that company, our working relationship was a little strained, but our personal relationship was as good as ever. Even though she's over 10 years younger than me, we seem to have a lot in common. She is a very thoughtful person; one year for my birthday I planned to have a party at my house. (Yeah, I planned my own birthday party. What of it?) She came over early that day with all the leftover alcohol she had at her house from parties she'd had, she helped clean and set out food and made sure the backyard was set up. She was there to make sure my hair was done and my clothes matched and really just a sweet and generous friend. She too moved away to that awful city that steals my friends. I miss her.

--

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Take Your Kid to Work



There is a special day when you're in grade nine called "Take your kid to work" day. Today is that day. The problem for my kids is: I work from home, their papa works from home, their uncle works from home, and their aunt works from home (as an esthetician; what 14-year-old boy wants to be involved in that mess). My point is that there is nobody in our family who can actually take them to work.






But we have friends. Twin A is hanging out with his best friend's dad as an athletic director of a high school. I predict that he will love every second of it. And Twin B is spending the day with a friend of mine who teaches grade four at the elementary school that they actually went to. I think he'll find an interest in the teacher side of things as opposed to the student side.






I can't wait to hear all about it.






PS. I still haven't eaten any of the Halloween candy. Yay me!






--

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What?!

Today is November. Here are some things that surprise me today:

1. It is not yet snowing here. I know I'm totally jinxing it by saying that, but it ALWAYS snows by Halloween.

2. I have yet to eat any of the Halloween candy. I know my kids are getting old (some might say too old)to be out trick-or-treating, but I disagree. If they're willing to get dressed up, schlep from house to house, and bring home butt-loads of candy, I'm all for it.

3. I went downstairs to grab some food out of the freezer, the laundry room is a mess, and I got pissed off. I have teenagers; the house is going to get messy. I know this, yet sometimes I really just want them to clean up after themselves. And they do, mostly, but sometimes they're in a hurry or have friends over or just feel too lazy. I went into my laundry room to find:





  • paint flecks from Twin B's costume all over the floor


  • the hat--Twin B wanted the hat that his dad used to wear all the time in the winter so he got it from X's fiance but decided it smelled like smoke and wanted it cleaned, so he put it in the laundry room--on top of *my* clean clothes.


  • debris from Twin A and his friends feeding frenzy between coming home from school and going out trick-or-treating.


  • Twin A's drying clothes hanging where mine were hanging, while my clean, dry clothes are now thrown over the smoky hat.

    Happy November. As much as I don't want it to snow, I'm really looking forward to 2011 being over.

    --

Monday, October 31, 2011

Good Weekend

One day, when the boys were quite young, they were outside playing with their dad. They were running, and wrestling, and he was running out of breath, so he yelled, "Whoa! Time out." Both boys started crying; X was confused. To him, "time out" meant "give me a second to catch my breath" but to them it meant "you've done something bad and must now go sit quietly in a designated area."

The boys have since learned the other meaning of time out, and this weekend we heard those words more than usual. In basketball, each team can call a time out in every one of the four quarters; same with football. This weekend, I sat through 24 time-outs.

In the first basketball game, the boys pulled off a pass so good that it left their coaches wondering if they have twin telepathy. In the second basketball game, Twin B was on fire. Basket after basket after basket. Both games were so close that we almost didn't win.

And football yesterday...the first quarter saw a score of 15-0 for the wrong team. We've played this team before; they're good. But these are playoff games now; we're playing teams that could potentially beat us. And if we lose, that's it for the season. Four long quarters later, the game ended at 29-20...and next weekend we'll play an even better team.

But first, a moment of silence for those football players in Grande Prairie.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why We've Been Friends Forever

I have a friend that I've known since grade one. That is over 30 years. And sometimes we talk all the time and sometimes months will go by, but we've always been friends. I think this is why:

Background:[Sister of Skipper] had a baby the night before. There were complications and she ended up having a c-section.

Skipper: I have to pay my bills. [Husband] is in Indiana and I don't know where we keep the flashlight.

Me: You could use the money you save on bills to buy a new one. That's easier and you get to go shopping.

Skipper: Yeah, but [Husband]'s still not here. I'd have to take the kids shopping with me.

Me: Well, it's not like [Sister]'s doing anything; I'm sure she'll watch them.

Skipper: Maybe I'll just drop them off at the hospital. She's just sitting on her ass anyway.

Me: Exactly! Now you're thinking. If you want *I* can help you out...I'm great at going shopping.

Skipper: Hmmm if I don't pay the mortgage, we can really have some fun.

Me: Woohoo! Maybe we could go shopping in Vegas...or Beverly Hills.

Skipper: Where do you think we live? Our mortgage payment might only buy us lunch there.

Me: Sorry. I got carried away.

Skipper: I bet we could buy a few cheap drinks at a convenience store somewhere near Beverly Hills.

Me: In Hollywood maybe?

Skipper: Ok. When do we leave? Since [Sister] is available, I can be ready in five minutes.

Me: Done!


And...scene.

--

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday X-treme

Sometimes I don't give X enough credit. He was a good guy that had a problem that he no longer has. So, he escaped from this problem in what was not an overly healthy way. Regardless, he was nice and sweet and funny and that is not a side that I've shared. It would have been his birthday this month, so a tribute to X:

1. He was a very average-sized man, but he could eat a ton. He was the kind of guy that would challenge all the "eat a humongous amount of beef and we'll give you your meal free" contests that some restaurants have. And after he ate that much beef, he'd have a peice of apple pie just to prove his point. I think part of the reason he loved me was because I did not eat that much. So when we ate, he would end up with most of my meal which suited both of us just fine...until I got pregnant and I was starving. He used to stare at my plate longingly, just waiting for me to say "would you like the rest?" One time, I got annoyed and told him he looked like a vulture. He got up from the table, walked around the room, ruffling his wings and thrusting his head forward, and then swooped in and grabbed my food while I laughed my ass off.



2. You know how you always call your partner by his pet name, but you hardly ever say his actual name, but then his actual name starts to sound weird when you do call him that? I noticed one day that I never called him by his real name so I decided to make his actual name my pet name for him. He'd walk in the door at night and I'd greet him with "Hello FirstnameLastname." He seemed to like it well enough.

3. We used to hang out with his recovering alcoholic friends a lot. These people were honestly great. Some looked scary, most looked like they had had hard lives, but they were, without exception, sensitive and kind people (at least the ones that we hung out with). We used to spend a lot of time at X's sponsor's house. Inevitably, Sponsor would end up having a few other people over and we'd start to play cards. The favourite card game in this crowd was Spoons. The point is everyone takes one card out of their hand, passes it to the next person, over and over again until someone ends up with three of a kind. Then that person grabs a spoon from the middle of the table. When you see someone grab for a spoon, you should also grab a spoon (even though you don't have three of a kind) and the one person who doesn't end up with a spoon is out. It can, at times, get pretty violent, depending on how competitive the people you're playing with are. I once watched X and Sponsor fly down the stairs wrestling for the last spoon. I don't remember who got the final spoon, but I do remember the ashamed looks on their faces when when they emerged from the basement and explained to Sponsor's wife that they broke the railing on the way down.

4. Last year at around this time, I hurt my back. I'm not sure how it happened, but I was in bed for a week. I could barely move; it would take me about an hour to get to the bathroom and back. When X found out about this, he went out of his way to bring me pain medication, he helped me out of bed, and he made and brought me food. And you guys, this is after we've been split up for nine years. I wouldn't have done the same for him; I think there are very few people that would treat their ex with such kindness. It is this kind of behaviour though, that makes it hard to hate him.

5. After we split up the very last time, and he found himself a more permanent place to live and tried to put his life back into some sort of order, he met the girl who would, after many years and much drama, become his fiance. When he first met and fell in love with her, he desperately wanted me to meet her (it's funny that it was *my* approval he was seaking). I told him that I'd love to meet her and he brought her over one day. "[Lily Starlight], this is Angle, my girlfriend; Angle, this is [Lily Starlight], my..." there was a pause here, a pause because as he was saying it he realized that we weren't officially divorced, a pause that suddenly let him know that this might just be an awkward situation, but he finished it anyway "...wife." We laughed and shook hands.


--

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fat People Get Skinny

I have an obsession with shows that have larger people making life-altering transformations. Rather than learn all the names of these shows, Twin A calls ALL of them "Fat People Get Skinny." It works.

My favourite is "The Biggest Loser." And I don't know what it is about that show, but every time I watch it, I get hungry. It's like I'm trying to show off or something. "Yeah, you work out for eight hours a day and I'll sit here on my couch and eat buttery popcorn." Honestly, who do I think I am?! But the part of that show that bothers me: every week, they ask if I want to be a contestant on "The Biggest Loser." No, I certainly do not. I very much admire those that are contestants; good for them for changing their lives. I just hope never to qualify to be on that show is all.

In that case, though, I might have to get up off my couch, put away my buttery popcorn, and get my ass moving. And maybe eat a vegetable every once in a while for god's sake.

--

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm Sorry

I'm really bad at apologizing. I can feel regret and shame for things I've done, but I can't bring myself to say I'm sorry. And it's not that I get all defensive and try to justify what I've done; I'm very contrite, but I just can't bring myself to say those words, "I'm sorry."

This doesn't regularly effect my every day life, as I try not to do anything I'll be sorry for. But there is one person that I desperately would like to apologize to and I'm not even sure why.

Is it because I'm not devastated that his dad is dead? Is it because I want him to be someone who accepts change easier? Is it because I want him to try even if he might fail? Is it because no matter how I try I just can't give him what he needs?

I honestly don't know. But I'm really, really sorry.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Weekend (in point form)

Friday night: Those boys played the final regular season football game of the year. We are now in playoffs. My life will not look any different. We will still practice every night and there will be games on the weekend.

Saturday afternoon: Those boys played their second basketball game of the season. It was an exciting game that had the other people winning, then us winning, then them, then us, etc. We came in second in the game.

Saturday evening: I actually went out. The football club had a fundraiser pub night and as much as I hate to go to these places alone, I ended up being in charge of one of the "stations" so I had to go whether I wanted to or not. It's good being in charge of stuff. It gives me something to do. Plus it makes me actually talk to people rather than sitting in a corner trying to be as small and unnoticeable as possible. And when my job was over and all the tickets had been sold, I had a couple of glasses of wine.

Sunday (all day): I stayed in bed. Did I mention the couple of glasses of wine?

Today: I know Monday is not part of the weekend. But I went out this morning and now I'm walking around with stroke mouth because of the dentist sticking needles in my mouth. I don't like it and it makes me cranky.

Oh, here's something that's actually interesting though. I may have made a new friend. I don't make friends easily; it's a tough thing to do from the comfort of my living room and public places usually see me hiding in the corner, so this is big news. She's a football mommy and she makes me laugh. Yay!

--

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Again?

You know that feeling when you feel like you're hurtling through time and space without any control? Where you have great plans to get so much done but then suddenly it's mid-October and you realize that the list is getting longer and longer and nothing is getting crossed off? No? Yeah, me neither...

Random Friday Thoughts from the brain of [Lily Starlight]:

1. We went to Awards Night at the school last night. The boys both got honours. Yay boys! They, however, both feel that going to Awards Night is a waste of time if they are just getting the one thing. I suggested they work harder to get more awards. But seriously, who thinks getting only one award is a waste of time? "Let's just skip the trip to Stockholm; it's not like I'm getting all five."

2. Occasionally when I'm out of ideas for what random thoughts I have, I check out a website called Friday5.org. Every week it posts five questions that you can answer. This week asks: What non-food items are in your freezer? Like every mother of boys, there is a frozen snowball from about seven years ago in there. The thought was that he was going to save it until July and then totally shock his brother. Maybe that'll still happen. Although, getting hit with a frozen ball of ice is probably going to make him more angry than surprised.

3. At one of the schools that I sub for, they have a class for younger kids with problems (speech, slight autism, behavioural, etc.) This class gets them ready for Kindergarten. Yesterday, one little boy called me over really close like he thought this should be a private conversation; he said, "Teacher, you have spots all over you." I laughed and said "Sweetheart, those are called freckles. Lots and lots of people have them." He replied, with real concern in his eyes, "I think you're turning into a monster with sprinkles."

4. I hate questions that start with: What's your favourite _____? What is it about a certain thing that you can choose a favourite? Take colours, for instance. How can one have a favourite colour? I like to wear dark colours, paint my house in pastels, and accessorize both with bright and shiny. I like the happy look of bright yellow, but I wouldn't be caught dead wearing it. I like writing with purple ink, but I wouldn't want my car to be that colour. And how about food. I love salmon, but I'm not going to finish off a Mexican dinner with creamed salmon on toast. I love chocolate, but I'm not going to sit down with a large bowl of chocolate chips instead of popcorn in the evening.

5. Some other things that have made our awesome list: touchdowns, waking up and realizing you have a couple more hours before you have to get up, the smell of coffee grounds, children with English accents, and naps in the sun.

Happy Friday!

--

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Flamingos



October is Breast Cancer month and different people celebrate (?) in different ways.

Just the other day I jinxed myself by talking about how great my car was. Not two hours later, my battery died. And that's why I'm not saying anything more about Breast Cancer.

--

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Five

I've been trying all morning (well, since I got up a couple of hours ago) to try to fix that video link. It's obviously not working. I recommend copying and pasting, but now that I've spent so much time talking it up it probably won't be that interesting. I call it the "Forrest Gump Effect." Remember when that movie first came out? People could not say enough good things about it. Unfortunately, there was no way for it to live up to all the hype...not that it's not a good movie, but when expectations are so high, there is just no way to win.

And now on to the main event:

1. Old people often complain about what the world is coming to. In "their" day children had manners, and life was simpler, and nobody ever got murdered, and everybody was always nice to everyone else. Sounds boring (well, not the murdered part--that actually sounds good). Many, many years ago, X and I were driving with our friend Ratboy to the mountains to meet his girlfriend and camp for a couple of days (you can tell how long ago this story was by the fact that I agreed to go camping). Ratboy went into a gas station bathroom and came out giggling. Apparently there had been a whiteboard in the bathroom and someone had written "Hello. From OK Falls." Very nice...except under that it said "Hello. From my ass." Which quickly spiraled into "Fuck you." I can tell you that "Hi from my ass" became a favourite saying that lasted a very long time.

2. You know those people who say "morning is my favourite time of day"? I like morning too. When it's quiet here and I can get lots done and it's quiet outside and I can go for a peaceful morning run, but the thing is...I also really like to sleep. And I love staying in bed when I get a chance and reading my book and napping. But mostly I like doing what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it. I'm not going to force myself to get up...I have the whole day to get stuff done.

3. I just took my kids for a haircut. Twin A got it all cut off. His lovely locks that he's had for about six years...gone! But, you know what? He's still a good-looking kid (if I do say so myself).

4. I have an app on my phone called StumbleUpon. Basically, you give the app a list of your interests and it sends you a whole bunch of websites that you might be interested in. One of my interests is crafting (surprise!) and soon you will see a bunch of pictures of things made of t-shirts and mason jars. Trust me; it's worth waiting for.

5. There is a city three hours south of here that I've come to loathe. This city has stolen two of my bridesmaids (including BFF), my former boss whom I loved to hang out with, and most recently, Malison and her boyfriend. Stupid thieving southern city!

--

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Axis of Awesome

I'm sitting in the car waiting for the twins to finish basketball practice. We came directly from football practice. I'm typing this on my iPhone, so it's a little slow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOlDewpCfZQ&ob=av3n

Hmmm...I'm trying to post a YouTube video. I hope it works.

The boys and I are writing our own "Book of Awesome." Some of us seemed a little unhappy this summer so I thought if we focused on awesome things every day it might make some of us a little happier. Whatever. It's fun and sometimes surprising. We also take guest awesomes, so if there's anything you'd like to add...

Anyway, this song made our list. It's over 6 minutes long, but you're pretty hooked once it starts.

--

Friday, September 30, 2011

FRIDAY!

This has been a busy week. I picked up three new writing jobs and subbed in Kindergarten almost every day. I'm actually writing this before I run out of the house to help the little muffins learn their letters. And it's early. Really early in the morning. So without further ado:


1. I've noticed that I always surround myself with Type A people. The people that "get things done." Why? I am not one of these people. Do I think they'll inspire me? Do I think they need someone around to calm them down? Do opposites really attract?


2. I've started wearing dresses every day. Honestly, it is easier to only have one piece of clothing to throw on. No needing to match a shirt to pants. Deciding what to wear every morning is super easy. But also, I hate all my jeans right now. I'm fatter than I've ever been (besides when I was pregnant, and they have special jeans for that), and jeans are just uncomfortable. Plus they don't look quite as hot.


3. There were these cats in my backyard the other day. I'd never seen them before but they seemed perfectly comfortable. I tried to hiss at them to scare them away...but apparently cats don't fear me. And then I had to run back into the house because this mean looking one started walking towards me and I got scared. So, I guess they'll just own my backyard now.

4. The phone finally rang yesterday. It was the exact opposite of the answer we wanted. We are disappointed but trying to be philosophical about it.

5. I just bought a new printer. I'm pretty excited about it. I can plug my camera and my phone right into it without having to go through the computer. I'm technologically right up to date now.

Anyway, I better go make a new mix tape for my Walkman.

--

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Like a Dateless Teenager from 1950

I'm waiting for the phone to ring. I've been waiting for much of the day. I've been waiting so hard that I actually tried to prompt it to ring by having a shower. That didn't work.


Then I took some pictures of my beautiful tree in my front yard. It's the time of year where it's not green, or yellow, or orange, or red, but all four and it's gorgeous. After I drop the boys off at school every morning, I stop the car in the middle of the road just to stare at it. I do this every day. I wonder what the new neighbours think when I stop in front of their house every day.





Please enjoy some traditional Japanese poetry:


The phone will not ring
WAIT! Did I just hear something
No. I'm going nuts



--

Monday, September 26, 2011

UPDATED: Oops

I missed my Friday Fives. Oh well, there's always next Friday.


As I'm sure you're all aware, just when you settle down into a nice little calm and relaxing life *BOOM*


Seriously, I was getting bored. I was starting to nap in the afternoons. One day I actually crawled back into bed after the boys left for school. Like, unmade my bed and crawled right back in. Then suddenly:


1. I am dealing with some kid stuff which I will tell you about another time if it all works out the way I'm hoping that it will.


2. I will be working as a Teacher's Aid most of this week and possibly most of next.


3. I am doing a favour for a friend and editing three papers she has written for school.


4. I am rewriting a whole bunch of marketing material for a mid-size business.


Add in school stuff, football stuff, basketball started...


And that is my excuse for missing Friday.





Also, here is a picture of Twin A. I know it looks like those 3 silver-helmeted guys are in the midst of tackling him to the ground, but what's actually happening is that he's pulling them along with him. That kid works hard to be the amazing person he is.




Update: After writing this I got an email from my editor. I now have a twice monthly assignment for him to do too. I may need an umbrella soon.




--

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Three Wishes

If I had three wishes and could only use them on myself (because otherwise I'd totally waste them on the boys) and they had to be totally shallow and fun and couldn't be a cliche (money, different body, vacation, house, vehicle, dream job) what would they be?

1. I would wish for the magical power of being transported to anywhere without having to drive there. Like for instance, I'm out of this black raspberry vanilla triple moisture body cream from Bath & Body Works that Malison gave me for my birthday. I really, really like it and want some more. But I really, really don't want to drive to Bath & Body Works to get it. If I had this magical power: *POOF* I'd be back by now.

2. I wish I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and could still maintain a healthy body. Some days I would eat chocolate and candy and ice cream and some days I would eat nothing at all...kind of like I do now. The important part of this wish is the "maintain a healthy body" part obviously. Oh, how I would love to be getting away with this rather than spending hours a day planning when to start the diet.

3. And my third and final wish would be: the ability to draw. Drawing is hard. I can never get down on paper what I'm picturing in my head. I used to work at a Greek restaurant. One day, the other waiter and I were bored. We decided to have a drawing contest (which was dumb because he's actually an artist). I drew a castle with a princess hanging out the window and a dragon (which may not have looked exactly like a dragon) flying around. He drew...me. And it took 3 minutes and it looked exactly like me. He told me my drawing was *pause* whimsical. That was his nice way of saying "stick with waitressing."

What would your three wishes be?

--

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The First Time I Heard My Mother Swear

My dad does not swear. He says things like "Potlicker!" or "Son of a gun!" Growing up, even saying "God" (replaced with Gosh), "Hell" (replaced with Heck), or "Damn" (replaced with Darn even if you were talking about Hoover's) could get you a disapproving look and sent to your room.

When I was in grade four, my mom picked up my brother and I at lunch one day. The plan was to have a quick lunch and buy some new runners. We got to the mall and hopped out of the car. My mom slammed my door and her and my brother started walking away. A blood-curdling scream stopped them in their tracks; my mom had slammed my thumb in the car door. She ran back, digging the keys out of her purse (this was long before you could press a button to unlock the doors), and fumbling to get the front door open so she could reach around and pull up the lock on the back door. She said "Damn." I stopped screaming and looked up at her like, "who the hell are you?" I was absolutely flabbergasted!

And then we skipped the whole shoe thing, went to the doctor, I got one of those nifty silver finger straighteners attached to my thumb, and then I got to spend the rest of the day playing with little kids at the playschool my mom owned.

To sum up: my mom said a bad word, I got a "cast," and I got to play with play dough instead of do math. All in all, a pretty fantastic day.

--

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Friday

Two weeks in a row! This is getting to be a habit. Soon y'all will start expecting stuff from me. I apologize in advance for disappointing you in the future. But for now, my Friday Five...


1. Last weekend, we had basketball tryouts on Saturday night for a couple of hours. I sat and watched. Then we had a football game on Sunday afternoon for a few hours which I also sat and watched. And to complete the weekend, more basketball tryouts on Sunday night, which (say it with me) I sat and watched. The boys were tired and sore. We use a product called Japanese Mint Oil. It works like any other topical sore-muscle reliever except you get it at the health food store. My house has smelled minty for most of the week. I actually considered putting it on my bum from the soreness of sitting on uncomfortable bleachers for hours and hours.

2. I go out for lunch by myself a lot. Usually to the same places where I order the same things. As a former waitress I know that when you have a regular customer and don't know that person's name, you tend to call them by what they order. That means that certain people call me the Bento-B-no-wasabi-lady or chicken-and-shrimp-no-veg or Cashew-Nut-Gai-Ding. If I was a friendlier person, I'd introduce myself. The unfortunate part of all of this is, of course, that if there is someone new taking my order, I will often forget what it is that I have. And then I end up with wasabi or vegetables and that just wrecks my whole entire meal.

3. There's this weird phenomenon that happens when you're a single woman. Many of your friends think you should date every single man they come across. Do I appear to be desperate? That guy you just pointed out weighs approximately 400 pounds, and has two fat kids (leading me to believe that the entire family has a lot of unhealthy habits). That other guy smokes and rides a motorbike. Yet another is looking for a Christian girl. I'm good. I'll find the perfect man when I'm ready, and please continue to keep looking for me, but remember I have standards and deal-breakers. I won't settle just because he's single.

4. I have become addicted to Storage Wars. It's fascinating to watch people turn garbage into profit. I watched one guy the other day bid on a locker because he saw a bag of jeans. Apparently, old Levis are quite sought after. He made a 600 dollar profit.

5. My favourite animal is the giraffe. I'm really not an animal person; I can't see me ever having a pet. We bought fish once. We had a fish tank that looked like a big bubblegum dispenser. It was really cute, but the fish were making it dirty and smelly. I may have cleaned it a little too well and not one of the four fish lived through the day. They were replaced with glass fish. Dogs, cats, rodents, turtles, birds, and any other pet-like creatures require far too much work and attention (plus they smell and I already own two sweaty teenagers). Giraffes are just interesting to look at.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trouble

I'm being punished. For the last few days, I haven't called loudly enough to wake up Twin B. Let me explain:

I set my alarm for seven every morning. When the alarm goes off, I say Twin A's name. He gets up and has a shower. At 7:30, I say Twin B's name (all from the comfort of my bed). Up until this week, he also gets up and gets ready for school.

This week, for some strange reason, I am purposely talking quieter and not waking up Twin B (and plus, how is he even supposed to hear me with all the noise Twin A is making shuffling around). And he is punishing me by staying in bed, even though he's awake. I foolishly suggested that instead of blaming me for "not calling loudly enough" he could perhaps take some responsibility and set an alarm. His response to my solution was a little over the top; you'd think I suggested sticking burning needles in his eyes.

I'm not really sure what to do about this or how this is even my responsibility, but short of pouring cold water over him every morning...

It's possible that this alarm problem he's having is not really the problem that's bothering him. It has always been easier for him to have me feel his feelings for him and his way of doing that is to piss me off. Then when I totally lose my shit he doesn't have to. Unfortunately, I fall for it more often than not. I see it coming; knowing it's going to happen won't make any difference; I just don't know how to stop it.

--

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Past Jobs

I love my job right now. Part writing, part editing, part teacher assisting, part being a mom. Every day looks different. For the most part I have no set schedule. It's truly wonderful. In the past, I've had a few jobs that didn't work out quite so well:

1. My first job was at Bonanza. I was 15 and a lot of my friends worked there. I worked my way up from hostess and drink pourer, to order taker and food runner, and finally, cashier. Cashier was the most prestigious job there; it was seriously like being head cheerleader. And then, like many other teenagers with first jobs, I decided I didn't want to work there anymore, made up a reason to be mad, screamed obscenities at the manager, walked out, and never went back.

2. Next I worked at a fabric store. My job title was Fabric Cutter. If there was nobody in the store that needed fabric to be cut, then our jobs were to clean and dust and organize. Unfortunately, my OCD got the best of me and I was mostly found in the pattern section, filing and dusting, and trying to organize. So much so that I was never around to cut fabric. I didn't exactly get fired but my name stopped showing up on the schedule.

3. I've been a waitress in a lot of different places. It was always my favourite job. I worked at Pizza Hut for awhile and though I couldn't be a waitress there (as they served alcohol so you had to be at least 18), my job was to help the waitresses take out food. There, I made a huge mistake. It always bothered me that the dishwashers were so disorganized so occasionally I'd help them to catch up. I ended up being put on the schedule as a dishwasher because I was so efficient. I quit.

4. I was a receptionist once for a furniture manufacturer. I had the best desk! Behind the office was a metal shop and a wood shop. Many of the workers in the shops were from...far away. And had names that were hard to pronounce. I dreaded when they got phone calls and I'd have to page them. One day, the general manager quit. A few weeks later I noticed that they hadn't replaced him. I quickly got another job and a month later the furniture manufacturing company went out of business.

5. When I was pregnant I had a couple of part-time jobs. One of them was at a lottery booth. It was easy and if there was down time I was allowed to read my book. The problem was that every time I left the booth I had to spend a good five minutes locking things away. And I was pregnant. I had to leave that booth every 15 minutes because there were some people pressing on my bladder.

Sadly, I could probably write about this for another couple of hours. I've never been the kind of person who could keep the same job for longer than two or three years. Luckily, I've never had to.

--

Monday, September 12, 2011

Photo Post

Here is a photo of Twin B scoring his very first touchdown ever. I was so proud that I was almost crying. His brother was first on the field to congratulate and hug him. Twin B, though, was all "whatever, no biggie"...until we got in the car where none of his teammates could hear him. Then there was some excessive celebration.


It's really no secret that I love to craft. And I love finding new stuff to make. I have a collection of pocket mirrors that I've made (and sell if anyone's interested). And to make them even cuter and more gift-like, I've found a way to present them. I've been making little boxes out of paint chips. How cute is that?!




Last week I mentioned that the BFF and I had painted some ceramics. She painted a garden gnome for Honey as a gag gift, which he will love (pssst...nobody tell him). She did a surprisingly good job considering how she just rushed right through it like there was a big shoe sale she had to get to or something. That's my little creamer in the back. And while there is considerably less detail than the gnome, it took about twice as long to paint.



















Friday, September 9, 2011

Frivolous Friday Fives

You all know how I love random posts. It saves me from having to put together a coherent thought and I really like that a lot. So, starting now, and assuming I can keep up the posting more often thing that I've been doing this week, Friday will be random day.

1. Last week I went to BFF's house. I was on the way out of her city and stopped at an intersection to let someone cross the road. This guy was on a unicycle. I waited for the rest of the parade but they were nowhere to be seen.

2. At Easter last year, I got a dance program for my Wii. We played it once and it was fun but we've never looked at it again. I've decided to start dancing every day. So far, it's been one day. So far, so good.

3. Last year, the twins had to pick options for the upcoming year. Twin A chose to take art, but there is a different teacher this year and he is awful. Twin A tried to switch out of the class but all of his attempts were foiled. I philosophically told him that perhaps he was meant to be in this art class so he could find a hidden talent. He replied that he had a talent for abstract art. HAHAHA! Who doesn't?!

4. Sometimes when I'm really bored during the day, I'll turn on the tv. I don't usually watch tv during the day because there is nothing on. I'm not interested in soap operas or finding out which of the seven possible dads is the real father of the teenage slut's baby. But if I'm going to watch tv during the day, you can bet it's on a kid's channel. Now that the boys are a little older they don't watch Hannah Montana or The Wizards of Waverly Place or Zach and Cody's Suite Life on Deck and, frankly, I'm quite curious as to what has happened in our absence.

5. I have finally finished filling out all of the forms that are required to be filled out when someone dies. Hopefully once I send these away, it will be the last I see of them. Thanks Malison's boyfriend; your business-abled mind was a life saver.

--

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Friday Night Lights


It's that time again.

First game of the season.
Start time: 9pm
Weather: Surprisingly beautiful
Number of blankets worn anyway: 2
Number of teenage girls to show up wearing nothing but short shorts and tank tops: countless
Number of football player's mothers outwardly shaking their heads and looking disgusted while conveniently forgetting that they used to be teenage girls and do the same damn thing: also countless
Final score: 53-0
Highlights: Twin A got a touchdown (two actually, but one was called back).

It's going to be a good year!

I love how this photo looks like it was painted; the dark night and bright lights did something wonky to all of our cameras.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Number-with-a-zero-at-the-end

I stopped by BFF's house the other day and sure, by "stopped by," I mean I drove three hours for a 5 hour visit, slept over, then drove three hours in the other direction. Totally worth it! It was her birthday and I wasn't going to miss that for the world.





Unfortunately, the hard-working Honey was unable to attend our little party though I know he would have been there if he could've been. But a girls' night was really a great way to celebrate.





Our visit began with cake. Of course it began with cake. There is really no other way to begin a visit. And then we did something we've never done before. We painted ceramics. It was fun. Here's what we learned: some people are goal oriented and some are process oriented. That is to say that some people focus more on doing the task while others focus more on what the end product will look like and want to make everything perfect because that's the way it should be and if everyone did that wouldn't the world be pretty and just because it takes longer to do that doesn't mean you should get all impatient and leave the building to do other things instead of waiting for perfection to be achieved even if it does take a tiny bit longer. Yep. We learned that.





And then we went for dinner.





Happy birthday BFF! I am thrilled that I get to be part of your life and if you were here I'd probably even hug you...





--

Friday, August 19, 2011

Suburban Mouse Visits Sin City

Please catch up with the rest of the Suburban Mouse series here and here.

So, yeah. I was in Vegas. Sugarplum and Bear got married and it was a beautiful wedding and she looked gorgeous and they are an adorable couple. Any cuter and they'd be animated (to quote Sugarplum). And I know they'll have a great life together because they are truly soul mates.

And the trip? The trip was awesome:

1. I went for a jog first thing every morning. And, by "first thing," I actually mean when I woke up around 930ish. Somehow jogging in Vegas is so much better than it is here. Then after my jog, I'd throw on a bikini, traipse across the casino, and sit by the pool in the full-out sun and oh man, it was hot. I loved every second of it. And...there were no bugs!

2. The food! I had a big ol' pretzel every single day. Besides that I visited the best buffet ever in the world and the cutest out of the way Italian restaurant. The main course comes with garlic bread, soup or salad, wine, and cappuccino. Also, there is a 90-some year old man there who is a tiny as a garden gnome wandering around playing the accordion. He was a huge hit with the ladies!

3. I went to the outlet stores. I bought stuff. Shoes, capris, a dress, shirts.... And because you can't go to Vegas and not come home with a terribly embarrassing story: there are kiosks in the middle of the mall, just like any other mall. One of them caught me. I seriously never let them catch me. I'm all giving that condescending "gosh, I'd stop but I don't need to be bamboozled today" smile, but my guard was obviously down because I let this guy catch me. And he said, "I'm sorry ma'am (ouch!), I don't want to insult you, but I need you to look in this mirror." It's like I've never looked in a mirror before; the wrinkles around my eyes could have filled in for the Hoover Dam. How do I leave the house looking that old every day? How do boy scouts not help me cross the road? It's surprising that a hearse doesn't follow me around just to save time. Almost $300 later, I came away with a promise to look younger. So far, I'm not totally in love with 39.

Honestly, I loved the trip. I learned that I like travelling alone (although I also like travelling with people). Congratulations again Sugarplum and Bear: I love you guys!

--

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tequila!



Me: Sitting at Yolo's [a restaurant in Vegas that Malison and her boyfriend love]; expecting big things.



Malison: Yum. I'm so jealous. Did you get the guacamole? They make it at the table.


Me: That's why I'm here. I haven't gotten my food yet...though I did get this very yummy tequila-y drink.



There is a passage of time here. Long enough to, say, finish a drink...


Me: I ordered a second tequila-y drink and it's MUCH stronger than the first. You should expect my texts to become more slurred.


Malison: Yikes! Are you alone?



Me: Yep...well, alone with thousands of people.


Malison: Any hot ones?


Me: I don't know.... Every time I see a hot boy I think he's a gambler and probably owes money to someone who's going to break his legs. I'm terribly judgmental apparently.



Malison: Tequila does that.



Me: This was before the tequila; I'm sure I'll be much less discerning now.



Malison: Tequila means cuter boys and better vocabulary. It's win-win.


--







Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Suburban Mouse Visits the Mountains

For some reason, spending time outdoors in the mountains is much more palatable then sitting outside in an RV park. As previously discussed, sitting by a smelly fire being eaten alive by bugs and drinking yet another cooler that I don't really want but what else am I going to drink because the water is not actually for drinking is not really my thing. Perhaps the difference is that when you're outside in the mountains you're doing something. Whatever it is, the boys and I had a fabulous time.


1. We met BFF for a hike. We got to the proper mountain just as some other hikers were coming down. They saw a bear not very far up and we decided that walking around town would be just as fun as hiking. It was a good visit.

A couple of days later, we went on that hike with Malison and her boyfriend (who, at this point, should really have his own nickname, but then it might get confusing. Plus, one of his favourite things is getting to be Malison's boyfriend, so he probably doesn't actually mind so much). We sat in the cave of contemplation (not to be confused with the cave of urination, the cave of confrontation, or the cave of throwing sand at mom).

2. We went on a rope course. We were in a forest, 15 feet above the ground walking from platform to platform on a series of ropes. I was not aware that I could still do the splits. Some of the ropes swung away from each other and I was caught, more than once, with one foot waaaaay far behind me and one foot waaaaay out ahead of me. I would love to tell you that I was extremely graceful but I honestly felt a little like a cartoon character. Getting down from the last platform involved a difficult corroboree of hanging on, closing my eyes, and screaming. Some people call that ziplining...whatever.

3. We also played a little in the mountain streams. I say it that way because I'm super-cool and it sounds better than: we careened down a fast-flowing mountain river with nothing between us and life-threatening jagged rocks but a thin piece of rubber.

4. I cooked every fricken meal. Seriously, I cooked, like, eight meals in a row. I'd get out of bed and head for the kitchen. And, no, I didn't make anything finicky or gourmet; it was all really easy stuff. A nice change from when we're at home and if we aren't eating out, we're having nachos or whatever the boys can find that doesn't require more than hitting buttons on the microwave. If I'm really being honest, I watched twin B eat four freezies, a sleeve of saltines, and as many oranges as were left in the fridge for dinner tonight. I know, I know, a good mom would make them dinner, but I'm still full from lunch and, really, at 14 how hard is it to heat up some soup or boil some pasta.

Anyway, our holiday was fabulous. And I do it all again in a hearbeat.

--

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sugarplum

I have this friend; her name is Sugarplum Flittering Flower. I met her in college and we clicked the moment we met. I have never in my life met anyone who loves paper as much as I do. She's also the kind of person who gives you gifts for absolutely no reason, remembers every date that's important to you and finds a way to celebrate it, and makes sure to stay in touch no matter how busy her life gets. She recently lost 170 pounds. And even though she treats that like it's no big deal and it's not good enough, it IS a big deal and I find her very inspirational. She also never, ever, ever can take a compliment. (I can imagine her cringing as she reads this. Stop that!)

One day, many years ago, she got bored and put our name through a bunch of name generators. Her very British name is Margaret Wilson; my gay name is Sparkle Bartender. Her fairy name is Sugarplum Flittering Flower (obviously!) and my hippie name is Lily Starlight. The funniest: my nickname is Skittles; hers is Slutface.

She has never called me anything but Lily from that point on. Thanks for the alias Sugarplum.


Sugarplum is marrying her sweetheart of 10 years next week. I was honoured to be invited to the dress fitting last week. She looks beautiful. She looks like the dancing ballerina in my jewellery box. I can't wait to see the whole looks with hair and makeup. And I will get to see it, because I've been invited to go to Vegas to check it out.

Congratulations Sugarplum and Bear. See you in Vegas.

--

Friday, July 15, 2011

Suburban Mouse Visits the RV Park

Remember that story about the City Mouse and the Country Mouse? Where the City Mouse went to visit his country cousin and got into all sorts of trouble because he didn't know the ways of the country folk and then the country mouse went to the city and the same thing happened to him? Here's what happens when you take the "mouse" out of the suburbs and stick her in a campground...

1. Why does everyone in an RV park want to sit outside all the time? There are bugs out there. And also the smell of fire is not pleasant. And have I mentioned the bugs? Surprisingly, the mosquitoes weren't to bad but there were horseflies and ticks and the kind of bugs that sting. My point is sitting outside is uncomfortable. Inside has more comfortable seats, you don't have to swat at stuff all the time, you can control the temperature, and you don't end up having to shower because of the smoke.

2. I had to wear my shoes to shower. Your choices in an RV Park are either shower in the RV, but only run the water to rinse off or shower in the public shower. I chose the public shower, but more because it the water in the RV wasn't really mine to use. Public showers are icky. You have to wear shoes because the floor is slimy and then trying to put on your pants after is quite the feat because your feet are wet and you don't want them to touch any part of your pants and then when you finally get one leg on you have to not let the pant leg touch the slimy floor while simultaneously trying to get your other wet foot through the other leg.

Also, the shower curtain would inevitably touch me and *cringe* I would have to scrub whatever part of me it touched over and over again. And there are bugs in there too and the whole time I was in any of the showers I would be fighting to stay under the three sputtering streams of water, worrying about the shower curtain touching me, and keeping an eye on the bugs so I could swat them away before they could bite me on any part of my body that doesn't normally get much exposure.

3. I was gone for six days. In that time, all I ate was cold cuts, chili, and fast food. And all the water tasted funny so I found myself dehydrated most of the time.

4. Unless you’re the person sleeping in the main bedroom of an RV, your bed is going to be uncomfortable. Not only are you sleeping on what should be a table or couch or hitting your head on the ceiling because you got stuck with the top bunk, but there are also five people sharing a very small space. So if you should actually find yourself asleep, chances are you’ll be woken up by someone else’s tossing and turning or snoring.

I’ve learned that, although, I was happy to see my family and that I really enjoy them personally, this surburban mouse would rather just stay in a hotel.

--

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Friends in Low Places...again?







Dear Magpie and Squirrel,



I don't appreciate being waken up at 5 o'clock this morning to witness what I can only assume was a drunken brawl. I don't know why you were arguing so loudly as I don't understand squirrel or magpie, but I distinctly heard the word "karaoke." In my opinion, neither one of you is a great singer, but to disagree so violently can only mean that you both have some problems holding your alcohol. Please get some help.




Thank you,

[Lily Starlight]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fodder, Marks, Orange Peels and Trust Issues

Sometimes I don't post for a long time because I have too much going on in my "real" life that I just can't share with the internet and sometimes I don't post for a long time because I only have snippets of things to share but not one coherent thought. This is really a mixture of the two. So help yourself to some snippets of thoughts:

1. The other day, I was at my local Edo (my second favourite lunch-alone place), and I looked up from my book to see a young man that I often see walking down my street. The boys and I notice this kid because he always seems to be on our street and he reminds us of an older version of another kid we know, only, like, gay. And we don't really care that he's gay (if in fact he is because none of us have ever actually talked to him or seen him with anyone else so we don't really know). Anyway, this kid had a laptop on his table and he seemed to be reading and writing something and I started to wonder, "Am I blog fodder?" Is that kid writing about this strange woman with the two teenage boys on his blog? And what exactly is he writing about me anyway. It might not even be flattering. Well, so what if it isn't. I just outed him to the whole internet. Mwah-ha-ha-ha. I totally win. Suck it older, gay version of that other kid we know.

2. School's over for the year. The boys did good. I sometimes think I'm too hard on them because I demand that they get good, honour roll-type marks. But I'm not demanding something they can't achieve. I believe in my kids; I believe that they are smart and athletic and funny and wonderful, so why shouldn't I expect them to be all those things. They can never say that I didn't believe they could achieve greatness.

3. School's over for the year. I just cleaned my house yesterday. Already there are pots left on the stove, crumbs on the cutting board, and popcorn on the carpet. I never want to be one of those mothers that complain about cleaning up after their families. I don't want to whine about how everyone else makes a mess but doesn't clean it up. I always try to remember that just because I need for everything to be in its place doesn't mean that everyone else does, and the last thing I want to do is pass one more tiny bit of OCD down to my children, so I try to stay patient and calm and not notice that he's walked around that basket on the stairs three different times but has yet to take it down the stairs to the laundry room, and I try not to mind that the orange peel has been sitting there for a couple of hours, because I know that if I ask them to do stuff, they totally will, it's just that they...didn't notice.

4. Awhile ago I wrote an article for a magazine. I had to call a source who happens to also be a doctor and when I finished the ROUGH copy of the article I sent it to her to make sure the information was correct. She sent it back marked. I mean, she didn't give me a grade or anything but she changed wording, punctuation, grammar. It was ridiculous. But that's ok because, really, I never have to talk to her again. Fast forward to today, I just got a new assignment. Guess who my source is? Here's the thing: she doesn't think I'm a good writer (obviously) so how can she trust me to write the story and why would she give me the information I want if I'm just going to mess it up? Do I mention last time or do I pretend I'm someone totally different? I have an hour to figure it out. This'll be fun.

That's all. That's all I have to say.

--

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Expert in Love

A friend of mine is wanting to introduce me to this guy she knows. I'm not sure why she thought I'd be a good match as we haven't really talked much in the last 20 years except for quick updates when we see each other at swimming lessons or baseball games, but regardless of the fact that she doesn't really know me as an adult at all, she wants to introduce me to her friend.

Luckily, I have spend the last few weeks watching a steady stream of chick flicks, so I feel I am now an expert in dating and love. I know how to deal with any situation that comes along.

I am prepared!

1. If I should suddenly find myself overwhelmed with my job that I get to wear cute suits and fabulous shoes to every day than I will just trade houses with a girl from England. And when I'm in England I will fall madly in love and we'll live happily ever after. I'll, obviously, be willing to give up everything I am and everything I know because he will be all I need and he won't even find me to be horribly clingy and needy while I make him my whole entire reason for being.

2. If I'm ever required to go to a family member's wedding, I will hire an escort for $6000 so that my family will know that I'm taken care of. Seriously, how could they even survive to take their next breaths if they thought for one second that I didn't have a man to take care of me. Without question, I will fall for this man and we will live happily ever after. Especially when we get back home and he quits his job and has to live off me, because really what else is he going to do and it's not like his resume is really something that employers are thrilled to see, what with the prostitution thing and all.

3. If I find myself in Vegas freshly single and somewhat unhappy about it, I will find myself a charming yet immature man and marry him. Then, when he wins three million dollars I will try to take half because, obviously, I deserve at least that much for being his wife for the last 12 hours. The judge will no doubt make us live together for six months and see a marriage counsellor, because judges have a lot of time on their hands and care about every single person that comes through their courtroom. Don't worry, I will fall in love with my husband even though he lives in a hovel, has just been fired from his job at his family's business, and has made no effort to grow up and be responsible in any way (don't forget the 3 mil that I'm sure he will invest wisely).

4. If I find myself in the position of having a best friend that is a total playboy and treats women like crap, I will go away oversees, meet a member of royalty, fall for him and agree to marry him. Then when my best friend decides that, actually, he is also in love with me, I will ditch the Duke (even though he is the PERFECT man) and fall in love with the playboy who's proven without a doubt in the last four days that he can treat women with respect. We will live happily ever after.

5. And finally, if ever I do meet my perfect mate, a man I took my time getting to know and falling in love with and we decide to get married, I will let my mother talk us into hiring a crazy-ass priest to give us marriage lessons because priests are experts in marriage. And when the priest makes me drive blindfolded with only my beloved to guide me with his gentle words I won't question it for a second. But when my fiance does question the priest's methods I will become irrationally angry and cancel the wedding. Sure, eventually we'll live happily ever after, but there'll always be that trust issue...thankfully, not being Catholic, I hardly ever meet crazy-ass priests so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Bring it on Friend-that-I-haven't-seen-much-of-in-the-last-20-years. I'm ready!

--

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bad at Wishing

I'm a really bad wisher. When I see the first star or the clock comes up as 12:34 or I'm blowing out candles on a cake, I feel this immense pressure to make the perfect wish. And I never wish for anything for myself, because what if something bad happened to the boys and it's my fault because I wasted that wish on myself when it should have been for them. It's come to the point that I almost hate finding a folded-over chip and I never throw change in a fountain. Seriously, what if I wish for the wrong thing?

--

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Week 4

Week four is not going so well. I don't really remember what exactly I'm supposed to be doing for it: something about meeting new people. I don't introduce myself to people at the best of times. This week is not the best of times.

X is dead. The Medical Examiner thinks it was an accident. Accident or not, addiction killed my ex-husband. His helplessness to conquer crack cocaine has left my children without a father. And they are angry and they are embarrassed and they want this all to go away and leave them alone. They don't want to deal with this or any of the feelings that go along with it.

My heart breaks for my children and his family and especially for him. Rest in Peace X. I will take care of them.

--

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Ways of the Rich

Some time ago, Malison, her boyfriend, and another friend, Cake Mix and I were renovating a mansion. I was absolutely flabbergasted that there was a room off the kitchen that was fitted with a sink, a mini-fridge, and plenty of cupboard and counter space. Basically, it was a little kitchen attached to the big kitchen. And you know what, I don't get it. What's it for? And the boyfriend tried to explain, but I turned to Cake Mix and said "I don't understand the ways of the rich." This became one of our taglines.

It is in this spirit that we just had this conversation:

Me: This whole "working" thing is a huge strain on my schedule.

Cake Mix: I know. We really need to buy lottery tickets! Or find a sugar daddy. Lottery probably easier. I'm to old for a sugar daddy...you're definitely still in the running. (PS. She's not that old AND she's beautiful.)

Me: Every time I hear the phrase "sugar daddy," I think about the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha slept with an old, rich dude and he had a saggy bum.

Cake: You can't have it all. Firm butt or millions? If you choose the firm butt instead of money, eventually he will have a saggy bottom too...and you will still be broke.

Me: Fine. I guess he could pay for butt implants if it's something I couldn't live with.

Cake: Now you are thinking. I could be your gardener and bathtub filler-upper.

Me: Why? Aren't you planning to be rich too? Can't we just go to luncheons and shop for tiaras together?

Cake: You marry rich then "hire" me to do ridiculous things. But we still will go tiara shopping.

Me: I don't think that is an activity you can do alone. What if the one you get doesn't suit your head shape? You need a friend there to be truthful before you show up at the gala in an ill-fitting tiara.

Cake: An ill-fitting tiara is a disaster.




I guess we understand the ways of the rich better than we thought.

--

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week 3

Last week didn't go as well as I hoped. I hoped to come out of Week 2 thinking "Wow! I am amazing. More people should be like me." Instead I came out thinking "Wow! I'm really not that great. I should never pay so much attention to my thoughts ever again." And as for the forgiving X thing. Uh...that didn't go so well either. But I tried and that was the whole point, right?

Plus, I hurt my back AGAIN and missed a couple of days of yoga. That really sucked too. I was so very frustrated. The whole reason I started doing yoga in the first place was to stretch out my IT band so I could run. To not be able to do either made me feel like the Universe wants me to be a slug. Ugh.

Saw the doctor yesterday. He says I should go ahead and do yoga; it's probably helping. I like that so I'm going to keep trying to go every day. This morning I was there at 630.

The other challenge of Week 3 is to be green. I feel a small gesture of greeness every day should suffice. I already recycle, use canvas shopping bags for groceries, and have pretty short showers and I don't see me ever being the type of person to re-use toilet paper, so something small will have to do.

Yesterday, I took the luncheon meat out of the original packaging and grabbed a zip-lock baggie. I stopped myself, put the baggie back and got a reusable container. It seems silly, but I was kind of proud of myself.

--

Friday, April 15, 2011

Good day...

I am trying very hard not to let life's little stresses get me down today. I don't want to whine. So, in honour of my goal this week of thinking positive things about myself, here is a list of five things that make me great:

1. I'm punctual...more often than not.
2. I'm not hideous...people don't cower in fear when they see me; that's a good sign.
3. I'm raising nice, well-rounded children...despite the phone call home from the principal yesterday.
4. I sometimes stand up for myself...like I did yesterday (it had nothing to do with the phone call home from the principal but something that didn't involve the kids at all).
5. I can come up with some pretty good reasons why I'm great even when I'm feeling guilty and sad and lonely.

Yay me!

--

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Smily Face

I often hear people tell my son: "You have your mother's smile."

Holy Shit! That's what you see when you look at me?

My son has the best smile. It's the kind of smile that reaches every single inch of his face. It's the kind of smile that makes you feel special because he shared it with you. When he smiles, he means it. And he smiles often; that happy smile that shares some optimism and a knowledge that no matter what happens, it'll all turn out ok.

I love that smile. And I love that you see all that in me. Thank you. :)

--

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 2

Last week was a cakewalk compared to what this week's challenge is: challenge yourself to listen to the voice inside that celebrates your magnificence. That means I can only think positive things about myself, that I can't talk myself out of doing anything because I'm afraid I won't succeed, and that this week's blogposts will be like one long love letter to myself. Well, I guess if you don't already know how fabulous I am, this is the week you will learn.

Also, as an added challenge, I can choose to try to forgive someone whose actions still affect my life. Go hard or go home; I'm going to try to forgive X. He got out of rehab...again on Thursday. He went missing on Saturday. His actions don't affect me personally, but they do affect my children and that in turn affects me. I'm going to try to forgive him for that. He might never hear that I forgive him...for that matter I might not be able to do it. But I'm going to try and that's the point right?

Stay tuned for nice thoughts about [Lily Starlight]. I'll leave you with this:

Even after seven days of yoga in a row, I'm not looking in the mirror and thinking "WOW," but I do feel stronger and I do feel more peaceful.

I would love if you joined me in my challenge: just leave one thing you like about yourself in the comments.

--

Friday, April 8, 2011

Week 1

I'm doing a yoga challenge. I have to take 40 classes in 50 days and every week there is an added bonus challenge. This week is a sugar-free week and also I have to have one vegetarian meal a day.

So far I have gone to yoga five days in a row and not eaten any sweets even though my mom made the most yummiest chocolate chip cookies in the world. The kind that we used to beg her to make when we were young. The first recipe I ever tried so as not to have to wait for her to make them. I call them "Page 64 of the Wild Rose Cookbook cookies." They are currently sitting in my freezer (hidden from the kids) until next Monday when I can eat sugar again, which is probably not the point of the challenge, but just because I'm eating Page 64s doesn't mean I'll just suddenly start pigging out on every sugary thing ever invented. Geesh you guys, have some faith.

As far as the vegetarian meal thing. I don't eat a whole lot of meat anyway; I certainly don't eat meat three times a day. This one is not really that hard. I did try something new though: quinoa. It's pretty good. I'd even have it again. So to recap: yoga every day, no sugar, one veggie meal. Done, done, and done!

--

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Braggity-brag-brag

I am obnoxiously braggy about my kids. It's just that they are sooooo great. They're smart and funny and athletic and good-looking and they deserve so much better than what they have.

They deserve a perfect family, not one parent who can't manage to stay out of the loony-bin because of drug-related mental problems and another parent who flounders through life hoping one day, against all odds, to be successful. They deserve to have every opportunity that is open to them: to play every sport that they show the slightest interest in, to take every class they have any curiosity about, to travel the world and never hear the words "we can't afford it."

But even though they can't take advantage of all those opportunities, and even though they hear "we can't afford it," more often than any of us would like, they are happy and polite and fun to be around. They are amazing and totally worth bragging about.

If you get annoyed with me because I think my kids are the best kids that ever lived ever in the whole history of the world then I'm sorry. Still, I'm not going to stop...

--

Monday, April 4, 2011

Things I like


  1. The day after Spring Break.

  2. Good mail days - one day last week I got three magazines, a paycheque, and an invitation to a wedding. That's it. No bills or postcards from my dentist or anything. It was awesome.

  3. The sun - and even though I spent the lunch hour at an elementary school going hoarse yelling: "Stay out of the puddles," "I said stay away from the water," and "I don't want to have to tell you again or I'll make you hold my hand and walk around with me and you won't get to play with any of your friends, go find something to do over there where there is no water," I still love that it's finally melting and that we just might see spring sometime relatively soon.

  4. Random sentences that I've actually said - Me: Well, sure, who hasn't opened an origami store to get out of housecleaning?

  5. Open windows - when my windows are open and I'm doing laundry, I can smell the vanilla-scented dryer sheets. Plus with two teenage boys around, it's nice to have a house that smells fresh every once in a while.


--

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birds

When I was younger, teenage years, I had a friend who owned a parrot. His name was Fred. He was mean. He didn't have a cage; he just sat on a perch in their tv room. He had his wings clipped so they had little fear that he would get very far (which totally backfired on them because a few years later, he totally flew away). Anyway, he used to dive bomb at your head while you were sitting there watching The Young and the Restless after school while eating potato chips. And that is why I'm afraid of birds.

Side story: This one time when I was a very dramatic teenager, my friend was not at school and another friend and I tried calling her numerous times but we kept getting a busy signal. (This was obviously before voicemail was invented. Yes I'm old. Get off my lawn!) We decided to go over there after school to see if everything was ok. We rang the doorbell...knocked on the door...after minutes of no answer we tried the doorknob. It was open. We walked in. All the blinds had been pulled and it was really dark and spooky in there. We went into the kitchen and found the phone off the hook (this was obviously before cordless phones were invented. Yes I'm old. Where are my teeth?). We were getting more and more worried as this seemed to be familiar of every horror movie we'd ever seen. We started tip-toeing up the stairs and suddenly heard a blood curdling scream, we also screamed and tripped over ourselves trying to get the hell out of there. Luckily all the noise woke up my sleeping, sick friend and she came down to check it out. Apparently, her mom was at work but had left the phone off the hook so it didn't keep ringing and waking up my friend. And the blood curdling scream? That was thanks to Fred.

Stupid Fred left a lifetime of scars. I hate to be one of those people that talks about their dreams because I'm well aware of how dreams are really only interesting to the people that actually have them, but I dreamt of birds last night. Lots of birds in lots of different dreams. They were flying around my house, crashing into my window (but not dying, lest you give me the "omen of death" explanation), dive bombing at my head. And when I woke with a start and little scream this morning, I could not get back to sleep.

I hate birds.

--

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm boooooored

It's Spring Break!

Unfortunately, with all the outside-the-house work I've been doing lately, I've fallen a bit behind on my writing work. I have a few different projects due in the next month and so instead of spending Spring Break in my bed with a stack of books, I have to think and stuff. My life is so hard.

But the boys, oh the boys. While their break from school should be filled with fun and frivolity and watching tv in their pajamas and throwing lacrosse balls around in my living room, they've instead been banished to the basement where I can't hear them and most importantly, the people I'm interviewing over the phone can't hear them.

And instead of jaunting off to Jasper or even spending every day doing something fun around town, they're forced to make their own fun wherever they are and whatever they're doing.

I've read so many strategies over the years on what to do when your child says "I'm bored." I remember saying and feeling that every Spring Break and summer vacation when I was young. I have ideas and procedures to put into motion as soon as I hear those words. I am ready!

But, in the entire 14 years of existence, I don't think I've ever heard either one of them claim to be bored. Somehow I managed to have the kind of resourceful kids that find something to do. Maybe it's because they have each other, maybe it's because we have 320 different video game consoles, maybe it's because no matter where they are there's always a ball or a piece of paper to make an airplane out of or cardboard box or a piece of string...there's always something to play with.

So, while I sit here with the guilt of not being able to take them to a distant place, while I work on projects that should have been done before now and ignore those boys completely, they play in the basement like happy little puppies not knowing how devistatingly bored they should be.

--