Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Text Conversation

I was chatting with my sister-in-law (not you).

Aside: I have two sister-in-laws. One is X's sister and the other is my brother's wife. Whenever I mention "my sister-in-law" to one of them I always add "not you" in case they get confused. X's sister reads this blog; my brother's wife does not.

She had described something funny.

Me: The picture in my mind is priceless.
Sil(ny): It's times like these when you need a cranial Polaroid.
Me: What an awesome invention!
Sil(ny): I know. We'll be rich!
Me: *takes cranial Polaroid of all the things she imagines buying*

Seriously, how great of an invention would that be. I think people would find me even more hilarious if they could see what I was picturing in my mind...or maybe they'd be even more confused...

Later, we have this conversation:

Sil(ny): Guess what restaurant is opening near my work?
Me: What?
Sil(ny): Ninja Noodle. Ha! So awesome.
Me: That is very awesome. I don't see them lasting long; ninjas never have to pay.

My sister-in-law (not you) has a degree in science; I'm a writer. She reads sci-fi and fantasy fiction; I read normal books. She knows all the characters on Star Trek; I think I've figured out which one is Spock. And yet we have such a similar sense of humour. Cool.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Experts say that everyone has a special talent. Some are quite obvious: those that play an instrument or a sport really well. Some people can ride unicycles or spell every word correctly.

I am pleased to say that I've finally figured out what my special talent is. I always know what that sound is. You know, the sound you hear from the basement that wakes you up in the middle of the night or the sound that causes every mother to yell "what was that?"

I don't know how my talent works but I know that the click-shh I just heard was the wheel falling off my suitcase because the last time I went on vacation my luggage came back a little worse for wear. And when I make my way downstairs to the basement to check, there it is, a little blue wheel sitting in the middle of the floor nowhere near its home base.

I also don't know how to use this talent for anything useful. Perhaps that's just not the point of having a special talent. I hope not.

What's your special talent?

Monday, February 27, 2012

What Happens Next?

I was watching a movie last night. It was the Disney movie and it was cute and funny. And at the end the protagonist smiled and the music started and then it cut to commercial. And we waited through the commercials, and the previews of shows to come, and the next show started, and still we sat there waiting. Because, really? That was the end? She just smiled and it was done.

I hate endings, in movies and books. I want to know what happens after. What happens after the princess becomes queen? What happens after the wizard defeats his enemy? Does everyone's life carry on as normal? What is normal exactly when you are a newly crowned queen or a wizard without an enemy?

And because I'm forced to imagine what happens after, I'm not always satisfied with how their lives turn out. For example: the newly crowned queen tries to rule the small country but then all of her followers decide that they really didn't appreciate how she had an affair with some guy while engaged to be married and they televise the court proceedings that inevitably occur because having an affair automatically makes her unfit to run a country and they send the video out over twitter and facebook and pretty much she becomes just another politician whose only remembered by that affair she had and to handle the stress she starts to drink and pretty soon she's walking into homeless shelters and calling the customers bums and telling them to get a job and that obviously leads to more court proceedings until she's barely hanging on to her crown, there's rioting in the streets, crime has gone up over 98 per cent in her small country and she's forced to resign leaving the kingdom up for grabs to who-knows-who (perhaps a wizard who suddenly has nothing to do), then she writes a book about her life and fades off into obscurity.

What's happily ever after about that? Wouldn't it be nicer if the screenwriters just told me what happens.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Five things I Covet

Cov-et (kuv it) v. desire eagerly

I think this dress is beautiful. I would have no place to wear it and it's terribly impractical, but I don't even care. I like it and I want it.

I'm not a big fan of cleaning in general. I would totally hire a maid a) I could afford it and b) if I wasn't home all day, every day. What would I do when she came to clean? Stand there and watch her? Hide in a different room? She would make me feel like a hostage in my own house. Next best thing is this little machine though. Roomba doesn't care if I don't have a bra on and haven't showered yet.

When we were in Cozumel, we stopped in a little store that sold only items made out of bamboo. Twin B bought a whole outfit: shirt, shorts, even socks. They had the softest towels I have ever felt. But the colour I wanted came in a set of bath towel, hand towel, and face cloth. I want two bath towels and a hand towel. But they wouldn't let me pull apart the set. So I didn't buy them. But, oh, how I want them.

We were at a friends' for dinner the other night and they had a set of knives like this that they won at a golf tournament. They were so sharp that my friend cut herself and could barely stop the flow of blood. The knives I currently use are about as sharp as the side of my hand. I could actually karate chop my food as effectively as my knives work. These are ceramic and pretty and sharp and I want them.

And lastly, my BFF's sister has gone on a writers' retreat two years in a row now. It sounds like so much fun. There are people there if you want to meet them, there are sessions you can go to if you feel like it, your room and food are included in the price and you can quietly spend your time working on that project you promised yourself you would have done by your 40th birthday.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Food Addiction

I have a secret. I've been hiding food and eating it secretly.

I got this box of chocolates from a friend for Valentine's day. When the boys were small I could just hide food out of reach and they'd never even think to look for it. But now they are scavengers and will eat anything and everything and if they can't find something they like they go searching for it. But they won't eat it if they know it's mine and it's not open (if it's open, it appears to them to be fair game).

So, I carefully removed the ribbon and cut three sides of the wrapping paper on the bottom.

Then, occasionally, when I'm in the mood for a chocolate or two, I remove the top, refer to the map and make my choice. When I'm done, I meticulously replace the top and slide the ribbon back on to make it appear unopened once more.

When I've finished all the chocolates I like, I'll open it for real and let them eat the rest. That's fair.

So yes. I have a food addiction. In that I like to eat it before it disappears into the cavernous pits that Twin A and Twin B have become.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Sometimes I'll sit in front of my computer for hours thinking of something to blog about. I'll get up to clean something in hopes that a thought will magically pop into my head. I'll read facebook and other blogs. I'll shower and do some actual work. But sometimes I got nothin'. So today, because I can't think of something to write about, you'll be treated to a list of things on my desk (besides my computer equipment):

3 pencils cups - one actually came full of pens, one is a vase that used to have a flower floating in it, and one is a wooden block that Twin B made in school. My kids, by the way, both received C's in construction. They have never gotten marks that low. But I let it slide because I'm kind of ok with them not having the aptitude to build stuff. It's like the scene in "Breakfast Club" when Brian was going to shoot himself with a flare gun because the elephant light wouldn't work and then John was all upset because Brian thought he could totally float that class. Anyway, I love John Bender with all my heart, but in life I think Brian will be more successful and I'd rather my kids have Brian's brains than John's.

5 of my favourite books - The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches & Proposals (not that I've ever actually used this one, but I plan to one day), A Canadian Writer's Reference (this one comes in handy when I'm proofreading essays), The Canadian Press Stylebook (this one comes in handy more than you might think). And the two most read books on my desk: a thesaurus and a dictionary.

A cup that has shoes on it and came with a lid. I don't really get why. But I don't drink hot beverages so rather than using it for a drinking vessel, it sits on my desk and holds random money for the boys (from recycling bottles or selling something on kijiji).

A candle that came from somewhere but I don't remember where and I'm not really sure why it's there.

A tape dispenser in the shape of a shoe and a sticky dispenser in the shape of a purse. I also have a shoe calendar. Someone seems to think I like shoes. I wonder why.

A set of TableTopics in a large clear plastic box. These are cards that are said to start conversations. They say things like: "describe your most scenic drive" or "which is more important: intelligence or common sense?" Hey! Maybe I should use those as things to blog about when I can't think of anything else.

A couple of baskets to hold all my papers. One basket consists of all the projects I'm currently working on, organized with clips and staples and neatly in folders, and the other has all different sized notebooks (all with at least one page written on), scraps of paper, photocopies of important stuff that I'll need someday, and the notes, from at least one course I took years ago, held together with random bits of yarn.

And a daily desktop calendar complete with scribbled notes and a checklist of what I'd like to accomplish each day.


Monday, February 13, 2012

My First Love

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. There are some people that love that day, love the love and pinkness and presents and fluffiness. And there are some people that hate it, claim that it's a commercial holiday, that it's only for couples, and why do we need one day to celebrate our love for each other when we should be celebrating that every day.

I fall into the indifferent camp. I really don't care about it one way or the other. It's kind of like St. Patrick's Day or April Fool's Day; some people live to celebrate these days and I barely notice them.

That being said: in honour of Valentine's Day, allow me to tell you about my very first real boyfriend.

I loved him in the way that a 15-year-old loves: truly, madly, deeply.

He played football but I never watched him play. It occurs to me now that he wore a Northstars (local bantam team) jacket, but I'm not sure if he played high school.

He was shorter than me. He was a lot shorter than my very clumsy 6-foot-tall friend. He sometimes would piggyback her and she could almost reach the ground.

He loved me.

One time we were laying on a couch in his basement (fully clothed) flipping through a catalogue and discussing what our kids would be like. I noticed his mom standing in the doorway; he did not. Awkward.

He would let me use his car to practice driving.

He was exactly three weeks younger than me.

We broke up because I fell in love with someone else. That guy eventually went back to his ex-girlfriend.

He came to one of my dance competitions.

Before he came to high school, he went to the junior high where all the bad kids went. He ended up there because he was giving someone a hot ass (where you light you lighter behind someone's back and wait for them to feel the heat) and when she jumped her shirt lit on fire. Probably that wasn't the only reason.

He was a better person than a lot of kids that didn't go to the badass school.

My parents loved him.

His mom and sister were not fond of me. Probably because of that time on the couch and also because I had weird hair.

Our song was "Angel" by Aerosmith.

Part of me would like to see him and catch up but another part of me is glad he's left in the past. Knowing him now could take away all of the memories of then.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Belize and Cozumel

It's Friday. That means Friday Five. Here are five things we did in Belize and Cozumel:

1. The day we were in Belize was the boys' 15th birthday. And nothing says happy 15th birthday more than kayaking through the jungle. We had fun.

We saw this guy. He was just a little guy so he wasn't overly intimidating. Also, some bats flew over my head.

That's pretty much all we did in Belize. I would like to go back there to experience more of it.

2. Cozumel was a little more action packed. First we rock climbed. I've never rock climbed before. I climbed a 60-foot wall. Because I'm awesome like that.

3. Then we did some repelling and ziplining.

4. Then we went snorkelling (I don't have pictures of this because I was in the water doing stuff). The snorkelling instructor kept throwing fish food at me so there was always fish swimming really, really close to me. I couldn't decide if that was really cool or really icky. Fish aren't as slimy and pliable as I thought they'd be.

5. And then we went shopping. I didn't really get anything. Twin B bought a whole outfit made of bamboo. And this from the kid who didn't even want to take his wallet because he is saving up for a laptop.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I've realized (since Malison's comment yesterday) that not everybody comes from a family that knows everything about football. Therefore, perhaps you're not all getting the joke about the pose that my kids strike every time a picture is taken.

Allow me to introduce Tim Tebow. He is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos and well known for his thankfulness every time he gets a touchdown...specifically to a higher power. Tebowing has become the new planking.

Now that we've got that cleared up. Let me tell you about my next home. Roatan, Honduras was probably our favourite of the stops we made. It was beautiful, fun, and the people we met there were really nice (granted they were all in the tourist industry, but still).

While we were there, we visited an eco park called Gumbalimba. We hiked around, went into a cave, and ducked when the bats flew at my head.

Then we came upon a bird enclosure. Every morning the birds are let out of the cage and every evening they find their way back home. Mostly the birds are parrots and macaws. I let a macaw sit on my shoulder. I hate birds. This one seemed nice though; it didn't try to eat me.

And to add further to my bravery (because when it comes down to it, nothing makes me braver than trying to teach my kids that new things should be tried and not shied away from no matter how much I don't want to do something), we hiked a little further to the place where they let their monkeys play.

It is not enclosed. And we were prepared with a warning to let the monkeys do whatever they want. Because if you try to grab them or swat them away or run from them, they will think you are playing and they do not play nice.

There were monkeys sitting on my shoulders. And climbing up my legs (not all at the same time), and hanging out upon my body. It was pretty cool.

Our next stop was a beach called Tabyana. It was beautiful. The boys had never played in the ocean didn't take them long to realize that they don't like the taste of it. My reply: why are you drinking it?


Monday, February 6, 2012

Sea Days

So many times during every day I'd think: this should be my facebook status. But with internet being a whopping $.65/minute and the fact it would take about 10 minutes to decide it had ever heard of facebook in the first place, I saved all my updates to blog about instead. You are welcome!

[Lily Starlight] was concerned when she saw the sea of grey hair and leisure suits.

Before you can get on the ship, you have to check in. There is a long line up of people wanting to check in, and as the boys and I were standing in that line we couldn't help but notice how OLD everyone seemed. We began to wonder if, perhaps, we had chosen the wrong cruise line.

[Lily Starlight] experienced her very first ever flash mob.

On the first night, there was a welcome show in the ship's theatre. Before the show started, a couple of people in the audience started dancing...then a couple more and a couple more until there was about 30 people. It was the coolest thing ever.

[Lily Starlight]'s boys ditched her and have yet to be seen.

As expected, the boys disappeared the second we settled in. On the ship, there were a lot of teen activities and I was not invited. That's ok; I found other stuff to do.

[Lily Starlight] learned how to fold napkins.

I also worked out, got my manicure fixed, rested, read my book, watched tv, watched a juggler, went to a parade, napped, ate, and solved a Murder Mystery.


Getting to Galveston

I just came back from a seven-day Caribbean cruise. I'd never been on a cruise before. We had fun. I'm going to tell you about it. But not all at once.

Technically, this post describes our trip to the port city, so, if you're going to be all picky about it, this one doesn't even count as a cruise post. However, it was still action-packed with stories, so I'm totally counting it.

We woke up early Saturday morning to a story told by Twin B. "Mama," he said, "where we're going today there are leaves on the trees and the snow has melted for miiiiiiles around." Twin A and I marvelled at this magical place that Twin B described.

We drove to the airport, flew to Seattle, sat there for a couple of hours, flew to Houston, and caught a cab to Galveston where the leaves were on the trees and there was no sign of snow. (One of these is the Seattle airport and one is Texas; they're pretty easy to guess which is which I think.)

Our cab driver was what some people would call a "Character." She was a larger lady and her mouth very much matched her body. She was loud and right and the boys and I just agreed with everything she said because, frankly, we were a little afraid to find out what would happen if we dared disagree.

Randomly, with no warning, she deemed us Christian. "I know you are Christians," she declared. "Uhhh...thanks?"

We were discussing weather at one point. She didn't know Celsius and we don't know Fahrenheit so it was a little like we were speaking totally different languages and trying to translate with little knowledge of what the other language was. So, she figured out, and no matter how gently we tried to tell her otherwise, she was insistent, that if 32 degrees F is 0 degrees C, then 64 degrees F is 1 degree C. Uhhhhh... Eeshk!

We stayed overnight in a hotel in Galveston. It was pretty uneventful.