Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Five Things I Did This Week

As mentioned previously, I have been spending a lot of time working. I've been calling and emailing sources and waiting to hear back, and then starting to worry that I'll never hear back and my 1000-word article will end up quoting song lyrics or something because what else am I supposed to write?

I have been doing some other stuff though:

1. I visited with my favourite cousin. She lives in a city without an airport and I happen to live by her nearest airport so she is often forced to stay with me when coming home from travelling. We had Chinese food and a bottle of wine.

2. I had dinner with some friends on Tuesday night, but one of the friends didn't show up so then I had to have yet another meal out with them on Wednesday for lunch. *sigh* It's good that I'm such a nice friend; not everyone would sacrifice like I do.

3. We had parent/teacher interviews. Honestly, my kids are doing fine. All the teachers like them, they're getting good grades, and I don't have to think of ways to make them work harder which would probably take time away from my meals out, so win-win-win!

4. X's cousin is visiting. She got in last night around dinner time, but had already eaten, and sat and visited for a few hours. She'd been travelling pretty much all day so was pretty exhausted and disappeared to go to bed around nine o'clock. I haven't seen her since. BEST GUEST EVER!

5. I have spent a lot of time watching my new appliances this week. I know that sounds pathetic, but come one, these things are cool. I enjoy watching how random Giles is. (That's what I'm going with for the Roomba; your prize will be available when you get home from Hawaii.) And I made fries for dinner last night and the baby and I watched the fryer for a long time. It's cool. And yummy.

And there you have it. That's my week.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parent Teacher Interviews

I had a whole long post about PT interviews. But it was super-lame so I deleted it. Now I have nothing. Except this:

Your son pays attention in class, but only to his iPod and cell phone. None of the teachers told me this but you could see it in their eyes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


It's been a big week over here at the [Lily Starlight] household. Obviously, I've been very busy with writing for people that pay me (otherwise I would have been here more), so that's good news. Also, I got new stuff.

While I sit at my computer desk, I am watching my new robot spin around on my floor. It's cute cause it keeps bumping into stuff. But it seems to be doing a good job. Twin A kept throwing Corn Flakes at it last night and it gobbled them up like it was doing its job...which it was, so that's helpful. It needs a name though. Anyone?

UPDATE: It just told me to empty the dirt out of it. Seriously, a computerized female voice told me to. Anyway, this thing is amazing; doing a much better job than my canister.

Also, I got a new deep fryer. It only uses one tablespoon of oil, so it's pretty healthy. It also comes with a cook book that uses the first 20 pages to preach to me about how I could be eating better, complete with sample menus for all meals and snacks for a couple of weeks. Still, I'm pretty excited to give it a try.

And I got some new towels. I'm just waiting for them to finish up in the dryer before I have a shower. They're bamboo, so they're soft and I'll bet they'll feel real nice.

And last but not least, I got a new computer. It seems to be a lot faster than my last one (which we figured out to be 8 years old--but it came with a free abacus and some kerosene to keep it running). Unfortunately, it is also nameless.

So, your task is to come up with names for my new Roomba and my new computer. There might be a small gift in it for you...


Monday, March 12, 2012

A Long Lunch

Sometimes I'm not sure how to write about stuff. Either because what I have to say is a tad too personal or because I just don't have the right words. So bear with me.

Yesterday I went out for lunch with some really wonderful friends. It was a long overdue lunch with Malison as we haven't set eyes on each other since November, as well as another couple friends that I really should make more of an effort to see as they don't live three hours away. We all talked about our lives and offered advice or differing views when we thought it could be helpful.

These ladies offered some advice and insight that could change my life. And at least one other person in my family's life too. It's interesting that when you spend so much time worrying and fretting about something because you can only see it in one way, that you miss every other way it could be viewed. A troublesome thing can become truly great if you choose to look at it from a whole different standpoint.

I know this is vague and I know how lame that is and I totally apologize to those who have no idea what I'm talking about, so to sum up:

Sometimes a situation in your life can seem like it can only turn out in the worst possible way. A long chat with good friends can help.

And if you're still not satisfied with this post, allow me to leave you with a couple of gold medal winners:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Movie Five

A list of my favourite movies (in no particular order). If you haven't seen them...well, obviously I recommend that you do.

1. RENT - There's nothing I love more than a musical. Since seeing this movie when it first came out in the theatre, I've bought the DVD and the soundtrack and I play them both often. It's about some artists living in New York and the bad guy is Taye Diggs, but he's not a bad guy, he's just a guy that "sold-out." And some of the characters have AIDS but they're living with it. There's only one part of this movie I don't like. I'd tell you about it, but then I'd spoil the whole movie for you. Suffice to say that the singing and dancing makes up for that one part that's so horribly cheezy that you are forced to roll your eyes and snort in derision.

2. White Christmas - Oh Bing, what would Christmas eve be like without your beautiful bass-baritone. Have I already mentioned my love of musicals? OK, so there's these guys in the army and one guy (Danny Kaye) saves the other guy's (Bing Crosby) life. And then they become this really famous singing duo and they meet this sister act (not nuns) and they all end up in Vermont together, but it's the Christmas season and there's no snow, and one of the lodges there is owned by the two famous singers' general from the army and they want to help him out. And then, *Spoiler alert* it snows on Christmas eve. I watch this every single Christmas eve since I discovered it when I was about 15 and I cry at the same parts every single year.

3. Imitation of Life - I'm honestly not a cryer. There is little in real life that can get me to shed tears (unless it involves my kids), but this movie (and the preceding two) make me bawl. Like the kind of crying where your skin gets blotchy and your nose runs and you have to nap after because you're so exhausted from all the crying. Anyway, this is an old movie (1959) about a white mother and her young daughter who befriend a black woman and her young daughter. The black mom becomes the white mom's maid and the daughters grow up together. The black daughter can pass for white and succeeds every time right up until her mom shows up and then everyone finds out she's black and starts treating her badly. Yes, society is horrible, but the main focus of this movie is the relationship between the black mom and daughter and the heartbreak of them having so little control over the emotions of the other.

4. Finding Nemo - This one barely makes me cry at all. Everyone has a favourite Disney animated movie. It's a tough choice to make because so many of them are so good. But this is my favourite because of Dory.

5. Heart & Souls - I don't think this movie is very well known. I found it in a bin at WalMart many years ago and bought it because it has Robert Downey Jr. in it. He's born at the same time as these other four people die, and their ghosts become attached to him and then they find out that they're supposed to be achieving something that they didn't achieve in life and Robert Downey Jr. falls in love with Elizabeth Shue but he's a commitment phobe. It's a cute movie; you should watch it.


Thursday, March 8, 2012


It's Thursday. I'm spending time with my cute boy watching "Jungle Book" and eating spaghetti. Cause that's what the cool kids do.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Twin A is not feeling well. He was home with a fever all weekend. On Saturday he stayed in bed all day. On Sunday, he and I watched eight one-hour episodes of "Friday Night Lights." On Monday morning he got ready for school and I asked him if he was feeling better. He said he was tired and a little sore. I asked him if he wanted to stay home. He said no. <--What?!

Anyway, he went to school on Monday and Tuesday. Played basketball after school yesterday, until I pulled him from the game cause I'm the meanest mom ever. He came off at the end of the first quarter with tears in his eyes. He spent the entire time a half-step behind any action, being angry that the game would not slow down a little so he could keep up. Yeah, you're not "fine" kid.

Today he stayed home. I didn't even ask him if he wanted to; I just never woke him up this morning. Right now he's laying in his bed reading a book. His eyes are puffy and his legs are sore, but he's not feverish and his emotions are more friendly. Thank god. Grumpy is for squares.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Do you know what Thursday is? It's Purim. If you're not Jewish, you probably don't know what this is. I'm not Jewish and I'm very sorry to say that I have no idea what the day is celebrating. I do know though, that it is a day that I celebrated for many, many years.

It all started when X and I decided to start saving for a house. We were living in a one-room apartment at the time, and it was pretty nice, but we were starting to consider having a family and obviously we required a little more room. So we put a moratorium on any extraneous spending.

HAHAHAHAHA! Look: I'm not the kind of person that's addicted to shopping. My home will never been seen on Hoarders. I rarely do any sort of retail therapy. But when I want something, I will usually buy it.

Back then, I was a receptionist at an insurance company and as every receptionist knows door-to-door sales is not dead. We had a constant stream of sales people coming in to leave books or kitchen items for a few days then come back and take orders. On this particular spring day, it was paintings. And there was a painting that went so well with our decor (please keep in mind this was the early-90s) and the saleslady convinced me that the frame alone was worth twice what she was selling it for. And so I bought it. And then I panicked.

Wasn't I supposed to be saving money. That painting was a whopping $80. That was our grocery bill for a week. So I turned to the calendar. And what do you know, it was Purim. I couldn't think of a better reason to give a gift.

To give him credit, X was delighted. And we continued to celebrate the day with gifts for him throughout our entire marriage.

PS. The painting looked similar to this. I am so embarrassed right now.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Handwritten Letters

I love handwritten letters. Scratch that, they don't even have to be handwritten, even typed and printed off is nice. Really, anything in the mailbox attached to my house that's not junk, a bill, or "The Watchtower" is something I appreciate.

When the boys were young, I used to write 30 letters a month. I wrote to my grandma once a week, X's grandparents once every second week, and pretty much everyone else who doesn't live here once a month. I get that not everyone enjoys writing as much as I do, so I really love those letters that wind up in my mailbox.

Sometimes BFF will send me a beautiful notecard. I'll save it until all the other mail has been taken care of, carefully slit open the envelope, gently remove the card, run my hand over the top to feel the texture, open it with the anticipation of reading all that's going on in her find nothing but a drawing of a guy smoking a cigarette (it's all she knows how to draw). And I love it, because she thought of me.

Sugarplum is amazing for sending stuff. Every special day requires a note from Sugarplum. Valentine's Day, Halloween, Father's Day. Sometimes, a special day is the day she tidied a cupboard and found notecards she forgot about.

I hope you all have a personal-letter-in-your-mailbox kind of day!


Thursday, March 1, 2012


I wrote this several years ago. It still makes me laugh.

We’ve all heard a child crying as though his heart is breaking in the checkout line at the grocery store. "I want a chocolate bar," this poor child sobs. "No," answers the cruel mother, "and if you don’t stop this nonsense right now, I will throw away all of the candy you have left over from Halloween." Unfortunately, this is just another of many examples that prove that mothers are tyrants.

In a true democracy, children would be directly involved in the making of rules. Issues of importance would be discussed and voted on. If the majority of children are allowed to stay up until midnight (as is the claim), then is it not constitutionally unfair for a mother to restrict her child to an earlier bedtime? If a child’s peers are permitted to stay up until midnight every night, then why does any mother get to say that her child must go to bed at 8:00? Democracy demands freedom of choice, and this pitiable child has no choice.

Many Russians ruled by Stalin were banished to Siberia for simply criticizing his five year plans. Today, similar oppressive power can be seen in homes across Canada. Mothers will banish a child to his room for something as small as wishing to argue the fortitude of the "homework before TV" rule.

Mothers are not ignorant of what they are doing to their children. They discuss autocratic ideas with other mothers and write about it in their blogs. Children can often be heard saying, "you’re the meanest mom in the world." Does this alone not prove the tyranny of mothers? What child would yell out this statement if it were not true or found unfair? 

A small child of no more than eight- or nine-years-old was found by one of these tyrants gently placing his brother’s arm in his mouth and pressing his teeth together firmly. A small act, to be sure, but how did this mother react? She banished this small child into his dungeon-like bedroom and demanded the immediate surrender of all things electronic. For no more than playing harmoniously with his brother, this poor young soul was left in a small room with no entertainment or digital stimulation of any kind.

Legally, it is wrong to commit crimes against humanity. Taking away someone’s rights and freedom traditionally results in long jail sentences and sometimes even death. If justice is to be served, these mothers should be punished for their tyranny. It would be advantageous for all children of the world to stand up and request equal access to the very human rights they were born with. The future of mothering is now, and it is a conception of tolerance, not tyranny.