Friday, January 27, 2012

Facebook Five

I know not everyone jumped on the Facebook train, and truth be told, I think it's dying a little. It's still nice to use to see what everyone is up to and to stay close to those who aren't close by, but like everyone else who has ever joined, there are some things that piss me off:

1. Although there are some people who update their status every hour, I am not one of them. When I update my status, it's because I have something to say and I'm looking for likes and comments. My peeve is when I update my status and someone's comment on my status has nothing to do with the subject I brought up.

For example: yesterday I wrote, "The bank lady just asked if I was the boys' mom or older sister.... That's some great customer service." (This totally happened!) The first comment I got on that was, "How was your cruise?" WTF? What does that have to do with anything? I deleted the comment and let everyone else tell me how young and beautiful I look (except my cousin who was sure that the bank lets their employees drink during the day).

2. I am a writer. And I love individuality. And I would love if everyone could be creative and original. But they are not. And that's fine. But leave it off of facebook. I hate reading "Merry Christmas Everyone!!!! :)" over and over again. Or when someone famous dies "RIP Famous Person. U will be missed!!! :(" Seriously, if you don't have something original to say, maybe just don't say anything.

3. Which brings me to my next peeve. I call it the "I can't sleep" post. There are people on facebook that will complain about the same thing every single day. And either they can't sleep or they're sick. Are you ever well? How do you function without any sleep at all ever? Do you think that the rest of us are somehow immune from driving kids to their activities?

4. I really don't like when someone has the most vague post. Like when someone writes: "I hate when *people* don't ask me how I'm doing when I've obviously had a bad day because of that thing that happened earlier." Now I'm wondering what happened earlier, who *people* refer to, and how much I would actually care if I did know the whole story.

5. Conversely, I also don't want too much information. I'm not interested in your bodily functions. Period.

Some things I do like:

I have a friend who posts every morning about her train ride to work. She makes fun of the other passengers and it's hilarious.
Is qt amused by fellow commuter who is wearing ribbed polo neck and fake fur coat, drinking a flask of tea and now bemusedly rubbing forehead as she's overheating. What did she expect, -40 on the train?

I have a few friends that will write about pop culture:
Those poor Russians. Their greatest love machine was Rasputin, and that was almost 100 years ago.
Has an embarrassing confession for this uncomfortably public venue: I've never quite gotten over my 7th grade love for The Barenaked Ladies.

I have a friend that posts something for his wife every day:
If you ever disappeared while hiking, I love you so much I'd remain with the search party until it started raining or got dark.

In conclusion, if you are my facebook friend, you know what I'm expecting.


Thursday, January 26, 2012


I just wrote a big, long post about how I've been really impatient lately and all the reasons why and then it disappeared into cyberspace and it's gone forever and that isn't really helping the situation at all.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Temperature Check and Crocodiles

This is something we've been taking note of every day for the past couple of months. So, in case you were also curious...

It's nice here today: supposed to go up to +4 degrees Celsius.

In Galveston, Texas: 21 degrees Celsius

In Roatan, Honduras: 28 degrees Celsius

In Belize City, Belize: 28 degrees Celsius

In Cozumel, Mexico: 27 degrees Celsius


I had this conversation with my MFA (my favourite aunt) today:

Me: We're going kayaking through the jungle and we will see crocodiles (though they assure us that they are *juvenile* crocodiles)

MFA: I'd tell you to pack some "crocodile repellent" but I'm not sure there is such a thing.

Me: I have some bear spray that we bought in the summer; I wonder if I should bring that.

MFA: Probably not a good idea to bring bear spray on a plane. You might be mistaken for a terrorist.

Me: Good point. Well, if we're attacked by crocodiles, I will squirt some hand sanitizer in my hand and gently rub it on his eyeball. I'm sure that'll have the same effect.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


In the last few days, I have:

1. Burned myself while teaching Twin A how to iron. I didn't even want to iron, but he needed a shirt for the next day so he asked me to teach him. And I'm the one that got burnt.

2. Tried to take my fingernail off with a screwdriver. That wasn't really my aim, but that's what happens when I pretend I'm a plumber.

3. Stabbed my finger with a knife. I was trying to open the boxes of laundry detergent that I won (yay!), and in my excitement, I stabbed myself.

4. Sweat keeps running into my ear at yoga and now my ear hurts. I don't know why it hurts; maybe it freezes from going from hot to really fricken cold as soon as I walk outside.

5. The skin on the bottom of my big toe is shredded. Also, don't know why this happens but I don't like it.

Geez. I'm a mess.


Monday, January 23, 2012

My Weekend

  • On Friday night, I went to a movie called "Contraband." There was a lot of blowing up stuff and car chase scenes and stuff. Not a bad movie. Really enjoyed the theatre popcorn!

  • Came home and watched "Step Brothers" with Twin A, Twin B, and their floppy-haired friend.

  • Went to sleep.

  • Slept for 3 hours.

  • Woke up to a "call me" text.

  • Spent 8 hours at the hospital. Everything's fine.

  • Picked up floppy-haired friend at my house to go watch Twin A and Twin B play basketball. (It's worth noting that floppy-haired friend is such a part of the family that Twin A and Twin B left him in our house by himself.)

  • Watched basketball game through very tired eyes.

  • Came home and pretended to watch yet another movie with all the boys. Actually slept on the couch.

  • Went to bed early.

  • Slept for a very long time.

  • Went out for lunch. Twin A's burger was approximately 8 inches tall. It was ridiculous.

  • Went shopping. Bought suits, dress shirts, ties, casual linen pants, shoes.

  • Came home.

  • Watched TLC.

  • Went to bed.

You'll notice there's no yoga in there. I'm going tonight. I have five more days to lose as much weight as possible. Or I can use the five days to begin to accept that I'm actually ok with what I look like. I'll keep you posted.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Words Five

Because I'm an editor, people tend to be very careful when they send me letters, emails, or texts. I guess it's a lot like ordering lunch when you're with a dietitian or driving the exact speed limit when you're behind a police car. To be honest, though, if you send a spelling error, I probably won't notice and if I do notice, I probably won't care. I will notice if you've used the wrong there/their/they're or two/too/to or your/you're, but I probably won't say anything. Probably.

I do, however, notice when certain words are butchered orally. And, again, I might not say anything, but inwardly, I can't help but cringe. Here are some examples:

1. Anyways - there is no such word. It's anyway. No s. Stop saying it with an s.

2. Safeways - see above. There is no s at the end. I have to go to Safeway multiple times a day to feed my teenage boys. And please, for the love of god, please don't add a "the." Honestly, it's not: I have to go to the Safeways.

3. Expecially - There is no x in this word. It's eSpecially. Let me axe you a question: do you find it annoying when people add an x where there isn't one? I do.

4. Unthaw - Come on! Thaw means to defrost. So then unthaw would mean to freeze. And why would you want to freeze your turkey before cooking it? This is a word that I would probably actually make fun of you for out loud. I wouldn't be able to help myself.

5. Supposably - Chandler says it best:


Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Lessons That Can Only Be Learned After

When you're pregnant, many (many!) people will give you all sorts of advice. Old women will stop you in the mall, new, sleep-deprived moms will corner you work, and middle-aged women will sit beside you at the lab, holding you hostage until the lab attendant calls your name and your released into the relief of getting your blood drawn.

The problem is (besides the fact that the advice is unsolicited in the first place) that a lot of the lessons they try to teach you are not things you can learn until after.

1. You will love your baby more than anything else in the entire universe. There is no way you can feel this feeling unless you've felt it. Even if you have a pet or a nephew.

2. Enjoy them while they're young. Sure. No problem. Except I'm a little too busy raising them to be respectful and successful adults right now. And then one day, you look back on all that you missed because you were too busy raising them and realize that maybe you might like to sit on the floor and play blocks with them now but they're too busy playing violent video games in the basement with their friends.

3. Sleep while you can. Right up until all you're doing is sleeping and diapering and feeding a baby. Forget the housework; don't worry about seeing any other adults ever; let the bills pile up; your husband just thinks he's being ignored. At least you'll be well rested. Until years from now when you look back and think "was it all really that important?"

4. Teenage boys eat a lot. Holy Shit! This is true. And people can (and will) tell you over and over again how much they eat, but there really is no way to understand just how much they eat until you've experienced it. I went grocery shopping yesterday (yesterday!) and my fruit bowl now consists of only two apples, two bananas, and an orange. My mom invited us for dinner one night last week, but we, of course, had basketball, so instead she sent my dad over with a Tupperware bowl of roast beef. He went home with an empty container. The meat didn't even make it into sandwiches. It was gobbled up while he was standing at the back door asking about our day.

If you're pregnant right now or planning to become pregnant in the future, I apologize for this post. Take my advice: do the best you can; you'll be awesome.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


My bathtub has been leaking for weeks. It's not so bad when the water is coming out of the faucet; I can't hear it. But when it's drip-drip-dripping from the shower head, it drives me crazy. So, I decided to do something about it. I googled "bathtub dripping" and learned that I need a new cartridge in the tap. I went to the hardware store, found the oldest person there, and asked him what that meant. I brought home my brand new cartridge, grabbed my tool kit from the basement, arranged my pants to resemble a real plumber, and set to work. I gashed my finger and said innapropriate words. I managed to take out the old cartridge, put in the new one, turn the main water line back on, and wash my hands (cause, icky!).

Then I turned the water on. Then I turned the water off.

And then I called my handyman.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What I'm Doing Right Now

I'm working. I'm trying to write an article on a company. It was due late last week, but I've been having problems with finding a company to write about. My editor doesn't care that much; as long as he gets it around the time it's due, he's happy.

Here's the process:

Call company.
Interview someone for approximately 3-9 minutes.
Hang up.
Type out everything that person just said (thanks to my handy-dandy recorder).
Notice some pretty wool that I forgot about in a cabinet.
Take out the wool and unravel it.
Google patterns of stuff I could make with it.
Copy and paste article from last month to make sure it looks the same.
Decide that my blog readers would like to know what I do all day.
Promise them that I won't write about my entire day.
Write first sentence of article.
Erase first sentence of article and write again using different words.
Check to see if I've gotten any emails.
Take extreme interest in something I have no interest in.
Remember that I have no interest in that subject and turn back to article.
Write another sentence.
Notice Christmas wreath still hanging in living room even though everything else was taken down on Boxing Day.
Put wreath in basement.
Decide to get serious about getting this article written.
But first check emails again.
Write an entire paragraph.
Get up for a glass of Kool-Aid.
Notice fridge looks empty.
Make grocery shopping list.
Wonder why some people call a grocery store a supermarket.
Google it.
Notice with very little surprise that I'm not the first to ask that question.
Decide to write part of article in bullet points.
Wonder if this blog post should be written with bullet points.
Try it.
Decide against it.
Write two bullet points on article.
Blow dry my hair.
Notice the time.
Write 5 more bullet points on article.
Check word count.
Write the rest.
Check word count.
Write another paragraph.
Check word count.
Spell-check and make sure that the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level isn't too high.
It's a little high, but I'll assume my editor will dumb it down.
Send it to him.
Take great glee in crossing that off my list of things to get done.
Get ready for yoga.

And yet I'm always surprised to notice that it's after noon.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Lesson in Life

After many months of enjoying the lack of snow and cold:

BFF: It's cold here now.

Lily Starlight: Here too...I've heard (I haven't gotten up yet). Twin A says it feels like -31 here. NOTE: that's Celsius in case there is any confusion.

BFF: Yikes! That's craziness.

Lily Starlight: I have no plans until yoga at 3; maybe it'll be warm and melt by then. Were you outside this morning?

BFF: Just a Tim Hortons run.
BFF: Today's my free, nothing pressing day.
BFF: My goal is Safeway.

Lily Starlight: That's a pretty lofty goal.

BFF: Goals should always be made measurable, manageable, and meaningful.

Lily Starlight: And do you think this is something you can actually accomplish? Even with the comfy-bed-and-new-tv-in-your-room thing going on?

BFF: It's the whole I-like-food thing.

Lily Starlight: It's easier to reach goals when the alternative is starvation.



Friday, January 13, 2012

Cooking Tips Five

It's not that I hate cooking--sometimes I even quite enjoy it--I just prefer to eat out. Plus, as most of us know, feeding kids is not that much fun. They don't appreciate the effort that goes into preparing a meal as much as, well, other people who prepare meals on a regular basis. But, one of my New Year's resolutions is to have more meals (with extended family and friends) around my dinner table, which means I'll be cooking more. These are some tried and true tips I've come up with.

1. A salad can turn a easy meal into something fancy. Chili, spaghetti and meat sauce, burgers: all pretty easy to make. But if you want your guests to think that you put a lot of time and effort into the meal, add a fancy salad. Particularly one with some sort of nuts or seeds. Compare: Chili, salad, and buns. OR Chili, Spring Greens with pomegranate and pecans topped with a raspberry vinaigrette, and soft rolls. See what I mean?

2. Always add an extra ingredient into pancakes. Pancakes are extremely boring, especially if you think that syrup is the one of the most disgusting food ever invented. And I'm not talking about vanilla or cinnamon, I mean you should chop up some apples and throw them into the batter, or make the batter with chocolate milk instead of white, or throw in some chopped up ham and cheese, peanut butter, pudding, bananas. Give it a try; let me know what you come up with.

3. Adding a can of mushroom soup to tomato sauce makes it taste way better.

4. Apparently, peanut butter sandwiches and popcorn is not a balanced meal and you shouldn't try to serve it to guests unless your guests are kids because they'd actually appreciate that more than a fancy salad.

5. Make your kids make dinner. But make it sound like you're doing them a favour by giving them the opportunity to learn how to cook before they're out on their own and eating nothing but Kraft Dinner and frozen Big Macs bought two months ago when the two-for-one coupons were expiring.

Happy cooking!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Letters to Mom

When the boys were younger, we used to play a game called "Letters to Mom." We used those notebooks that are half lined and half blank. I would write them a letter and draw a picture and then wait for their replies. I would ask questions like: Would you rather spend two weeks in DisneyWorld or test every video game that ever comes out? What is the definition of haberdasher? They would ask me questions like: Do you like cheese? Would you rather eat a worm or fall off a cliff with a truckload of pillows on the bottom? It was fun; it worked on their writing skills and gave us a way to communicate that didn't have to work itself around busy schedules.

For Christmas this year, Twin A grabbed a notebook, entitled it "Letters to Mom," wrote a letter, drew a picture (of a giraffe!...or a dinosaur), wrapped it up, and put it under the tree. Turns out homemade gifts really are the best.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


One of the great things about having no ovaries is that my hormones come in pill form, so I get the same amount of estrogen every day. There are no highs and lows, just a flat-line of hormonal evenness. This means, though, that I hardly ever cry. And when I do, I find myself desperately thinking back to the night before and trying to remember if I took my pill or not.

I'm pretty sure I took it last night, but today I'm finding that I'm feeling...feelings. This is probably why:

A long time ago, Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) wrote about a red dress. You can read about it here And then that dress travelled and got a little tattered, so Jenny was going to buy a new dress and all sorts of wonderful things happened that made all sorts of people buy all sorts of ballgowns and send them to strangers.

I've always wanted a dress that has little material on top, that would give me a very skinny waist, and has scads of material on the bottom. But, like Jenny, I've never gotten one because it's impractical and where would you even wear something like that. Maybe it's worth looking into though.

And then I watched this:

So, now I'm going to go interview some blue-collar workers about their jobs and clean my house. That is quite enough emotion for one day.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Family Pictures

When I first started this blog, I was just quitting my job. Then, when I no longer had to get up and go every single morning, I started a new project: painting my living room and setting up my office. We all remember how long that took (because, obviously, you all have nothing better to do than document and memorize every one of my life events).

So, the walls have been painted for a while now. And it's time to put up some decoration on the walls. I have a few picture frames and some lovely art. My dad came over the other day with a level and some fancy picture-hanging tools and proceeded to hang some stuff. It looks really nice in here now.

Yeah, so neither one of these is actually my family. But, they look nice on the walls and the frame-families featured are all pretty , so probably I'll keep them around for a while.