Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Heartbeat

I may have mentioned that Norah is taking guitar lessons. Or not. But she is. I may also, then, not have mentioned that Max had decided to take up the guitar "with her". That is, he was going to try and practice along with the songs she was learning. He has.

He quickly became hooked. For Christmas, for example, he announced that he wanted a real (read: full-sized, since we had picked up a 3/4 sized one for Norah's use). Then my dad caught wind of that and said "Hey! I've got one of those kicking around the farm!" (he's got one of *everything* kicking around the farm - it's a wonder he's still married. But he cooks too... hmm... I'm getting something... nope. Gone.) He brought over a swanky looking cherry-red guitar (ahem) AXE c/w the receipt from Eaton's, 1971 ($129.99 I think). He also brought over an amp from about 1874. Did they make amps then? I don't know, but I think it has vacuum tubes in it. And the area around it is NOT any cleaner, I'll just say...

So anyway, they've been nagging me that I should be cool like them. I have maintained (OK, besides all the "lazy it's too hard" and "obsession preoccupied with blogging, and Facebook and Twitter" and something else... Uhhh... Oh yeah! job!" oops) that I have always been drawn to the bass-line and drum-beat of a song (and the back-up vocals too for some reason). He says that if I learned to play guitar, it would be easy to switch to the bass. I don't even know why we have these discussions, since guitar/bass is in a line right after tap-dancing and decoupage (to be fair, I'd probably actually enjoy tap-dancing, it's just not going to happen).

In this regard, here is our conversation on the way out to the in-laws (an hour away - we were listening to something by The Tragically Hip, I think. They have great bass-lines):

Me: "You see? The bass and the drums. They carry the song. They are the
heartbeat. The very lifeblood of the song."

Him: "But the guitar IS the song. It's the brains and the presence."

Me: "NO no! That's just the fancy stuff. The make-up. Curly
hair!"

Him: "Maybe. But it's what gets the song laid."

I'm sure he meant "played".

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sometimes a girl just needs a good banana joke

I had a hectic morning, and early afternoon for that matter. Nothing crazy, just go, go, go. Compounded by the fact that I didn't get my coffee until ten... Bad mojo. By the time I got into my office and turned on my computer, it was two-thirty.

This was on my feed for Quotes of the Day:

"With a stop light, green means 'go' and yellow means 'slow down'. With a banana, however, it is quite the opposite. Yellow means 'go', green means 'whoa, slow down', and red means 'where the heck did you get that banana?' "
- Mitch Hedberg

Not having heard of Mitch Hedberg, I Googled him and found that I did recognize him (from his photo) and I also found many more gems:

  • "I was in a casino, minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, 'You're gonna have to move. You're blocking a fire exit.' As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. Unless you're a table."
  • "I like Kinko's, because they're open 24 hours. If it's 5 am and I decide I need two of something, I'm covered! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night all sweaty n' shit, and then I think, "Ah shit! Oh, yeah. Kinko's. No problem. That will not remain singular."
  • "Alcoholism is a disease, but it's the only one you can get yelled at for having. 'Damn it, Otto, you're an alcoholic.' 'Damn it, Otto, you have lupus.' One of those two doesn't sound right."
  • "I walked by a dry-cleaners at 3:00 in the morning and there was a sign on the door that said, "Sorry, We Are Closed." I was like, "Don't be sorry, it's 3:00 in the morning, you're a dry-cleaners...there is no need to apologize."
  • "I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience."
  • "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later."
  • "Last week I helped a friend stay put. It's a lot easier than helping someone move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load shit into a truck."
  • "When I go out to dinner with a group of friends and someone offers to pay for the check, I immediately reach for my wallet because inside is a note that says 'say thanks'."

As I read further, I discovered that he has, unfortunately passed on. In 2005. Get with the program, Harmzie.

But today, in a random aligning of the planets, I got the weird, from the pit of the stomach laugh when I needed it.

Cheer, Mitch. Even if I'm a little late.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm not going to reiterate my "problem" with memes

I'm not going to reiterate my "problem" with memes. I'm just going to do it. I have to get to one first just to get back at Nen...
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1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Ever heard of the Beatles? Yeah. It's been a tough slog being named "Strawberry" all these years. When I pick their nursing homes, I tells ya...

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I cried "Get the hell back in bed" just 10 minutes ago [ed: I may have pulled these answers together over several days]. Before that, was five nights ago. Have I ever mentioned that I never left the maturity of a 12 year old behind?

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
My handwriting varies. Sometimes it is pristine and I love it. Sometimes it feels like I'm writing a drunken "sorry-I-barfed-on-your-shoes" note. I've never actually *written* one of those notes, but it looks like that's what it could be. I don't like it then.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I'd say bacon, but bacon's not really a lunch meat. I've had it for breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks, whore's doovers, cravings, clean up (that is, bacon which landed on the floor - I'm not proud)... Lunch meat? Ham (bacon's high-end cousin)

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No. I have future Powers-of-Attorney, who will select my nursing home. Fortunately, they don't realized that (yet) and I can still torment them. That time is running thin.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Who wouldn't? Actually, if I were that other person, I'd want to be friends with them. Yeah... Figure that one out. [Stupid hypothetical questions...]

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
Whoever said "sarcasm is the lowest form of humour", hasn't sat around my dinner table when The Boy lets one rip. No, in my life sarcasm is considered high-end. I've heard tell that kids can't detect or deliver sarcasm until they're about seven. When Norah was about two or three Max and I gave each other the did-she-mean-what-I-thought-she-meant? look. Sure enough. She did. Do I use sarcasm? Like an artist uses clay; like an engineering student uses descriptive geometry to make an L-shaped gingerbread house; like a gyno uses a speculum... [too far? sorry]

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
I think so. I've never really understood tonsils. I'm told they're a blob of skin on the sides of the back of your throat, but what happens if they're missing? Is it just less skin? A hole? Please inform me if you care & I'll try to come up with a good rant about tonsils [disclaimer: I won't].

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
People closely related to my field spend entire careers building perfectly good bridges. Why would I want to jump off of one? It would be a professional slight, really. And deadly. Stupid deadly.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I'll choke down some Honey-Nut Cheerios now and then.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Yes. Unless they don't have laces. Or unless they have to come of RIGHT NOW. Although if it's that urgent, they often just don't come off at all.

12. FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT?
Wasabi Bistro

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Chocolate. And not that Breyers one since they changed the secret formula to include creamed crap. Haagen Dazs Coffee ice cream is pretty freakin' awesome and when I was pregnant, Ben & Jerry were my secret lovers. Maybe not so secret. "Cherry Garcia": I found it remarkably easy to get over the reference to the creepy dead heroine addict.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Whether or not they are looking at me. And then if they have a flicker of a sense of humour. If they do, I'm in. If not, screw you, I don't even want in.

15. RED OR PINK?
Red or pink what? They each have their place.

16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My inability to pass on a meme [it's almost starting to sound like a word]

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
Pedestrians. But I'm trying to (really!), so I'm not sure if it counts.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST?
No. People need to be more productive with their time than this.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Flesh. Yeah... feast on that.

20. LAST THING YOU WATCHED ON YOUTUBE?
Pearl

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Beck.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
I wouldn't be a crayon. I'd be a felt marker. A Sharpie. Black.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Bacon. Citrus. Red wine. [Not at the same time - gross]

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
A lady at the studio that Norah's having her birthday party at to confirm the numbers. Boe-ring.

25. DO YOU HATE KNOW THE PERSON WHO INFLICTED THIS ON SENT THIS TO YOU?
I love her. Even when I'm not drunk. Even when the men aren't watching. Even though she didn't send this to me, I harvested it.

26. WHAT SPORTS DO YOU LIKE TO WATCH?
5-7 year-old-basketball. Seriously. I hate sports. I don't get sports. I've tried. There's lots of stuff I like about sports - the psychology, the training, the business. But I can't follow the strategery.

27. HAIR COLOR?
Yes. I'm not shy about it.

28. EYE COLOR?
No. I don't know how you would do that. Is it painful?

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No. They're too much trouble and I don't find the glasses trouble at all. Plus I get the added bonus of the sexy-librarian look. That's still a look, right?

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
sushi... and it should also be everyone else's favourite food (thank you Nen)

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
One that isn't challenging, mentally. I've enjoyed both. But come on: scary like Jaws. You know, no actual shark?

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Semi-Pro. Loving Will Farell more every day (maybe not every day, but every time I see him in something). I'm considering stalking him. I'm pretty tied up this spring though, so I might have to put it off until fall.

33. WHAT COLOUR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
I'm not wearing a shirt. [It's a tank, pervert]

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer.

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Depends. Are you offering or do I have to beg?

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Gobi.

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?

38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
I don't care

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin. I read her other three last summer & my girls picked out the fourth for Christmas for me (I was being cheap & waiting for paperback). It's taking me a while because I really need to be on a deck chair in the sun & those are in short supply right now. Silently mocking me for the chick-lit? Screw you! At least it's intended for audiences over 12. Like what I'd have to put down if I was being honest.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Funny story: I went out & bought an elaborate computer desk that was tres chiq - glass all around. I thought that with the general smallness of our abode, the clear wouldn't chop up the room. Got it home set it up & found: (a) You can see how desperately the floors need refinishing; (b) you can see how desperately the floors need sweeping; (c) you can see the tangled spaghetti of wires required to keep me plugged into the rest of the world (despite my obsession with cable organizational tools); (d - and the original point of this question) the fucking optical mouse wouldn't work on glass. So, I have a highly classy piece of paper taped to the desk.

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
I did not watch TV last night. I cannot remember the last time I watched TV. I have intentions of watching "Arrested Development" which DVD I stole from my parents at Christmastime, but...

42. FAVORITE SOUNDS?
The sound of someone at the door (you know, that's not a home invader).

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Pretty narrow choices. Why couldn't it be "Whitesnake or Salt 'n' Pepa"? I'd still have trouble. I just listened to both on the iPod & didn't skip either. Turned them both up. ("Slow & Easy" and "Push It"). So anyway. I'd have to say the Stones. The Beatles annoy me. I mean, sure they were musical geniuses, but there are actually a lot of musical geniuses (OK, maybe not statistically). They happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right brand of musical genius. Then I think they just started to put out whatever crazy crap popped out of their LSD-enhanced selves and see if people would buy it & gosh-darn-it, they did! [End Rant] Oh, and I actually like the Stones early stuff. Not after they started just seeing what crazy crap they could crank out and still sell [End Rant For Real This Time]

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Bangkok, Thailand (second only to Lake Titicaca for the funniest place name). I was 10. I may have mentioned it.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
None that I'm sharing on THIS site. I will say I've stayed married for 15 years, I don't cook and I can call him "house-bitch".

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Here - Even though I've lived all over and been around the world, I was born just about a 2 miles away.

47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?
Anyone. Really. I'm desperate for affirmation of my existence in this electronic world. It's rather sad, if I think about it too much, so I try not to.

48. IS THE CUP HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY?
Neither. The cup was designed too large.

49. IF YOU COULD SIT DOWN TO DINNER WITH FIVE PEOPLE WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Jesus - I'd ask "how'd you pull off that one?"
Queen Elizabeth I - Ass-kicking, take-charge chick who didn't take crap from men OR women, unless that was what was required, and then she was a master at that. And still with a decided weakness for a pretty face. I think it would take more than dinner to get what I really needed to know from her.
Leonardo daVinci - although I'd not be surprised if he didn't stop for dinner.
Kenneth Cole - on the off chance I'd get some nice party favours. Still kicking myself for walking away from that black leather jacket to "think about it". That was four years ago [sniff].
Eric Clapton - do I have to elaborate? Plus, maybe he'd give Norah (and yes, you too Max) some tips for "Sunshine of Your Love", so they don't have to rely on youtube.

Realistically, I'm pretty happy with the five I usually have dinner with!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

"Press Any Key to Continue..."

Have you ever been on your computer so long that your brain starts to try & apply some of the actions in the (more) physical world?

I have. Non-specifically, for example puttering around somewhere, like the kitchen and making a mistake like dumping too much flour in the bowl and my brain will say: "click undo" and the other part of my brain says "WTF?" and the first part says "Oh. Yeah. Sorry. You're screwed."

Tonight, Stewie noticed a HotWheels car under the wire baker's rack in the kitchen (I don't have a photo, and don't feel like taking one just to ask you to rate it. I'm not always in for the cheapie). He lay down on his stomach & tried to reach it but it was too far back, so he asked me to get it. As I was getting a chopstick, he started chanting...

"Press Space-bar to Reach"

Time to cut back on the hotwheels.com...

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

They're trying to ensure I never sleep again...

Did I ever mention that I am a slave to stupid effin' memes? No? Well I am.

What I should have mentioned yesterday as No 26 was that I am incapable of not replying to an email or other form of message. Memes are included. Stupid, effin' memes. Back In The Day, they used to be called "chain e-mails" and your boobs would fall off if you didn't forward it to 200 friend within 48 seconds. I always do what I am told to do. Except I would delete the threatening part. And I don't (didn't and still don't) have 200 friends that I would burden with this crap. Just a select few of you! :-)

Here's what I was told to do: Google “[your first name] needs” and share 10 results. There was no threatening part, so I had to rebel by including, well, not 10.

SCREW YOU, MEME-DOM!!!

I put my first name in, since "Harmzie needs" came up blank. Believe it or not, "Harmzie" isn't on my birth certificate.

Things in [--] are my add-ons, the rest are cut-and-paste. I can't make this stuff up:

"[Harmzie] needs":

  • a new baby daddy
  • 2 pee
  • 2 exercise her right to shut the fuck up [uncanny]
  • to be more careful with her voodoo. lol
  • to keep her legs closed [um... what?]
  • How do you say [Harmzie needs] to go poop in different languages?
  • to Focus on Herself [I'm so sure. Really, now. Don't encourage her...]
  • a bone marrow match. [ouch - good thing I'm in the registry... I'll use this opportunity to say: get YOURS in there]
  • bail
  • to post to her blog [somebody was watching last week]
  • to hang out with some peeps tomorrow [after someone posts bail]
  • to show some a$$ [ok, Max... careful what you wish for, we're talking the www here]
  • A Crotch Post [nobody needs that. Well maybe sarcastic mom does]

Now, I need some sleep. Really. I mean it this time...

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

25 Things

Argh. So I was tagged with this on Facebook about six months ago. OK so it was less, but the pressure... THE PRESSURE!!! It's hard to come up with 25 things that are remotely interesting about yourself, but I figure if it's cool enough for Danny...

1. I do not enjoy eating for sustenance. I enjoy all sorts of foods when eating a meal is the excuse to sit down with friends or family – obviously usually family. I hate interrupting what I’m doing for something as bothersome as eating a bowl of cereal. Or the meat & taters variety. Give me soylent greens in an IV any day. Or bacon (no IV necessary). There: I have revealed two secrets – (1) why I am I-hate-you skinny; (2) why I have an I-hate-you-because-you-don’t-have-to-cook house bitch (Max just got hungry first and then discovered that it was fun! That’s a subject for a post of its own)

2. We have two sets of plastic glasses, and plates & bowls from IKEA – you know, the ones that come in a six-pack (coincidence, I assure you) of six different colours. I have to sort them into the pairs of colours *every* time I see them mixed up. I don’t correct others, or suggest anyone else should do it this way. I do it because it gives me peace. Some times I think Max mixes them up for fun.

3. I have written about 3,500 postings...in my head, putting my batting average at just under 0.001. Not good. Just wait till I get the voice notes going on my crackberry.

4. I can't deal with barf. I could wipe up & sanitize a room & three kids smeared stem to stern with poop (that’s not an offer, btw), but one whiff of the hurl & I’m joining the fray. Hate to stray too far into the poop topic, but when the kids were in diapers (remember, there were three), I proved well beyond faking it that I didn't have a particular sensitivity to No. 2. Those poor kids. You’d think they’d have toilet trained themselves well before it took bribery of epic (and escalating currency from #1 through #3) proportions. So, yeah. No barf.

5. I can't sing “O Canada”. I know all the words and can hum the tune, but I cannot utter the words because my voice gets all chokie, and my eyes well up. Don’t fuck with my country (um, please?)

6. I feel like a creepy stalker on Facebook, but do it anyway. So far it’s just IRL (and a couple of former RL) friends & family, so it’s not TOO crazy. But look out Marshall, I’m coming for you… (you know I mean on Facebook, right? That's all. Just Facebook.)

7. I lived for three months in Thailand as a 10 year old. I strongly believe that this is where I got my attitude towards North American panhandlers. Because we were there for so long (my dad was working), we did not hang in the more “touristy” areas. We got to see *real* Thailand. We walked the real streets. The beggars there had twisted arms & missing legs, few or no teeth and had real pain in their eyes. Not a lot of social assistance ‘round those parts. From the time of 10 on, back in Canada, any discussion of poverty here made me gag. My favourite was a news story about the “poor” financing their necessities like heat & cable (Oh yeah, I grew up in the country where cable wasn't an option – pre-satellite dishes. Yay CBC! <-- tongue firmly in cheek). Anyway, I also couldn't figure out why my parents were still so “soft”. Recently, when I asked them about it, they had no idea what I was talking about. Guess being at eye-level made a huge difference…

8. I don’t particularly enjoy going to the movies. Don’t get the whole pay-$200-to-sit-shoulder-to-shoulder-with-your-friends thing. The big-screen, sure. Sometimes. But, meh. I recall that being the one time I slipped on my personal parenting boundaries & told some new parents that, no, movies WAS the one thing that would have to go. I soon learned that they *really* liked movies and they would swap showings & baby. I revised my parenting mantra: you make your own rules

9. I hate crowds

10. I hate loud and/or conflicting noises. Max can have the radio & TV & iPod & computer on & still try to have a conversation. I run around the house screaming & turning things off (don't point out that the screaming doesn't help. It's not really screaming. It just seems like it in my head).

11. I am a perfectionist - but lazy. Too lazy to continue with this item & explain it, because it would take me too long to perfect it.

12. I have lived in Winnipeg for the bulk of my 40 years but only this year have adopted good snow pants & Sorels. What the hell was I thinking? I love my snow pants.

13. I get freaky, psycho worried when Max is more than 10 minutes late. I build scenarios about how I’m going to cope without him, and for how long I’d quit my job to be with the kids and what else I’d give up to help them cope, and the things I’d do to defer my own depression & misery [and the schadenfreude part: how I’d go about getting a decent contractor to finally finish the fucking basement, BUT then how miserable I’d be with a beautiful basement, without him to share it with]. And then he comes home. With coffee. For me. “I was just picking up coffee”. It’s usually too crazy to go freaky on him. That and I'm too relieved and feeling silly to be mad.

14. I feel horribly guilty when I grow weary of Aspergers. Maybe I’ll go into this another time, but I've got one kid officially diagnosed with it. Another that I’m fairly certain should be and yet another that’s just nuts. (OK, she’s probably normal, but she comes up with crazy shit that makes me ask “where did you come from???? Oh yeah. Me” Yesterday she made up a new language she called "Coo"). Sometimes I’d just like to not have to deal with it. Then I leave the pity-party & remember that it’s actually pretty predictable & easy, & the slip-ups are usually mine.

15. I am pretty sure I should have been diagnosed myself with Aspergers. Hello? Engineer anyone? Going through the diagnosis process (hey that rhymes!) above, every step of the way I was like "Me. Me. Me again. I remember doing that..." I notice patterns in license plates. And floor tiles. Ooo ooo.... don't get me started on odometers!!! Nothing really cool or marketable. Just nutty stuff.

16. I really like working for the government. Impunity aside (it’s fun to have impunity at the same time that everything is your fault!), I relish the idea of being a steward of the public trust. Sometimes I feel I have to be careful & not unlike Galadriel, drop the ring, lest I get too full of myself & the whole public trust thing. So far, so good! :-)

17. I hate getting wet. Swimming is a rare treat. Water gun fights? “Don’t point that fucking thing at me” (I may or may not have cursed at my kids last summer. I can’t be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth if I’m threatened with a water pistol)

18. I hate being cold. Same deal.

19. The one single person I love & respect & learned more from than anyone else (the kids & Max are giving her a run for her money, but I think that’s a different kind of love/respect/learning and she’d be down with that anyway) is my grandma. She died - OMG four years ago, and I haven’t shed a tear. While I think it’s really weird and sort of wonder why, it doesn't really bother me.

20. I might just have a teensy-weensy problem with sushi. With many things if I plan, I can maintain self control. At my burger place, I can say "I will not buy french fries" before I walk in, and I'm good [they smell SOOO good, but I end up eating about 1/4 of the bag & the grease does me in]. Not with sushi. All pep-talks are forgotten, all decorum lost. Who the hell drops $36 on lunch? Me. Loser (delicious loser). [Man, I could use some sushi right now]. No, it doesn't happen very often. But it happens. It's Nen's fault. She hung this monkey around my neck.

21. I usually can't be bothered with TV anymore. Even CSI doesn't motivate me to get up. Maybe it’s because I can’t figure out the new digital TV remote.

22. I don’t get the whole chicks & shoes thing. I have a pair of black heels, brown heels, black flats & boots. I have what seems like a couple of dozen pairs of sandals, but I can quit any time I want. Now jackets, I have a thing about jackets.

23. I *missed* grades 2 and 4 (not skipped – won’t go into why) I took grade 6 in BC, and learned math that I wouldn't learn in my current province that I am now currently in and took high school & university, until grade 10. When I mentioned negative exponents to my grade 8 math teacher, she looked at me like I had two heads. And then paid attention to me in math class, and made sure I kept being stuck with the smart kids in future classes (small town – there weren't too many smart kids but I was lucky enough to count them as my friends!)

24. I actually thought maybe I could sing (y’know, with some training & filters) until I saw American Idol.

25. Toilet paper must roll over, not under. I don’t know why I even include this since it's such a no-brainer.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Day

Summary: I broke my ass on the toboggan slide & Max tried to burn down the house deep frying.

Today was Family Day here. Actually today was Family Day in the rest of the country but here it was "Louis Riel Day"

Don't get me started. But not feeling up to creating our own government in commemoration of the day, my Family decided to celebrate with the rest of the nation (except federal government workers - sorry Dad! I love this country. Like you love that weird aunt because she saves pantyhose for no apparent reason) & make a point of partaking in a FAMILY outing. Nothing says family like tobogganing.

So here (left) is Stewie & I on the toboggan run. Note the lumps of ice on it. To make it "fun" presumably.

On the wooden toboggan, it was "fun". If you're a child made of rubber, as they tend to be. That ride was rough, but bearable.

On the last run of the day, I decided to take one the girls' "krazy karpets" down instead. Kind of on a dare. "There's only one way down". I could have used the stairs, but the words "I. Dare. You." Don't have to get used very often, as it's always implied. Usually I'm far too weak brittle lazy mature to respond to such taunting. Not always.

He warned me "don't go down on your knees" (I'm sure he never dreamed he would ever string those words together voluntarily) because of the ice bumps. "Good point" I agreed.

The last ice bump I hit & busted my ass. "Ow I BROKE my BUTT!!" I yelled.

Stewie, already at the bottom ran up to me "Did you breaked you butt Mommy?"

All the way home all three were commenting about my butt and how I broke my butt and did my butt hurt. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have used the opportunity to be so interested had I bruised, say, my arm.

I finally admitted to them all that I had not, in fact, broken my butt and I would not have to call the hospital and tell them I broke my butt, BUT, I would be complaining about it all evening. Which I did.

Meanwhile, prior to the ass-cracking, some nice photos were snapped.

Looking at this, and several other photos that he took that day, I wonder why I don't thrust the camera into Max's hands more often.



(He actually didn't take all of these.)
I am pleased that this shot doesn't reveal some of the "realities" of winter play (said reality running down their faces if you look closely. Don't look closely)

I just like this one because it still evident that the world hasn't sucked the wonder out of him. I might frame it and give it to him as a graduation present.









So the grease-fire incident wasn't actually all that alarming. It was always under control. I was upstairs and heard some kid-hollering regarding fire (it sounded more excited than scared or alarmed). I ran down just to make sure he was there (he was). The worst was, as small of a little grease fire as it was, it sure made a lot of smoke. Max asked "why is it so dark in here?" (the kitchen) I also thought another bulb had burnt out. Nope. It was thick black smoke in the top third of the kitchen. We'll be cleaning greasy smoke off the walls & ceiling for a bit. It quickly cleared out. The silver lining? We have confirmation that all the smoke alarms are functioning (with real smoke)!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

THAT came out of me?

I was wondering how to tribute my dear Norah, who has turned nine today.

When we awoke this morning, the first thing I said to her was, of course "Happy Birthday Honey!" Her reply:

"Mom, it's not my birthday until 8:11" (I had told her this last night. Turns out, I don't exactly remember the time. Her weight was 8lb 11oz AND she was born on the 11th. I can't believe I don't really remember what time... I could look it up, but it's all the way over there)

"That's your birth moment, sweetie. I stand by my 'Happy Birthday'"

[exasperated sigh] "alright. Thanks mom"

Then we got ready, carefully watching the clock so we could announce to the rest of the family the exact moment she left the octanades behind her (yes, I made up that one too. It means "turns nine").

Tonight as I was pondering how to document this auspicious occasion, I came upon Nen's new meme. (I swear she just sits there dreaming up new ways to make me nuts because she knows I can't resist)

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED?

Yes. Agonizingly planned. Was really not all that long (10 months) in the grand scheme, but it was a little frustrating. Turned out we were doing it wrong. By "it" of course I mean the WHEN, not the HOW (We HAD six years practice! See below) Bought a decent book, figured out some of the logistics & blam-o. Right away.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?

Yes. Had been for six years. Isn't everyone? Long enough that my 2nd mom took me out for lunch:

Her: "That fortune-teller in Thailand? The one who told you when you were 10 that you wouldn't have any children? He was full of crap. To be specific, he told me I was having a boy" (my sister turns 30 in June...) "So I just wanted to let you know in case you had subconsciously decided not to have kids because of that"

Me: "fortune-teller?"

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?

Oh, I had reactions. BIG reactions.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?

Would kind of have defeated the purpose of all the planning & the six years of practice (yes, I said six - shut up. Six is a relative term.)

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?

Thirty. Just under the wire. I had planned on having my first before I was thirty, but then stretched my definition to "getting pregnant before I wasn't thirty any more" - Check...

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?

Well, with all the planning, & practicing & temperature taking & doctor appointments, & reading, other that the excitement of being pregnant, the finding out is a pretty dull story. The others were *far* more interesting ("I didn't drink THAT much. I shouldn't have thrown up THAT easily". True story.)

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?

Other than Max (who was holding the stick whilst I peed on it - how's that for TMI? OK, he wasn't. Or was he?) I decided to tell my long-distance mom first, since she wouldn't be part of the whole pregnancy thing. Which, as it turns out was probably better for her. I'm pretty sure some people have actually left the province because of me during my pregnancies.

I sent her a "Grandma Kit" of knitting needles, a muffin tins and a muffin recipe entitled "Grandma's Blueberry Muffins".

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX?

Bleh. These are boring. Here's a better story:

When we went out to my in-laws to tell them. My father-in-law (who, believe it or not seems to have more of a problem with the filters than I) said "How did this happen?" My response, without stopping and taking a moment to consider said response:

"Would you like me to draw you a picture?" (I still can't believe I said that). I got to use it again a few years later on a colleague who, upon seeing me for the first time said something similar. That time I DID consider my response, but stuck with it (it was a better crowd)

9. DUE DATE?

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?

I became really sick of mornings, yes. Funny. That seems to have stuck.

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?

Sleep. People to stop pissing me off.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?

Being awake. Lying down. Standing up. Sitting. Working. Relaxing.

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX?

I believe we had done it in the hall of our apartment, but I may have misread the question.

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?

No. I was happy with traditional. "Opposite" would not have been as likely to yield us the baby we were trying to conceive. At least according to all the information I had at hand.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY?

None of your fucking business! Oops... filters. I will say that with each pregnancy, I've lost more than I gained. One of the reasons Max won't let me have any more kids. According to the weight parameters, one more kid and *I'LL* be in a booster seat.

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?

No, we bathed her in the tub. She still doesn't like showers.

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?

Well, I usually had to plan to give her a bath. She was a little too young to spring it on me. Mind you, mix in barfing & pooping incidents & we had to do some unplanned baths.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?

The only real complication was me. To everyone else.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?

Hospital.

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?

Too fucking many.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?

Max. Do people actually care about this?

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH?

Nobody watched. Either you're here to help or get the hell out of my room.

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION?

I think some prude wrote this quiz & is too squeamish to say "vaginal". There is nothing "natural" about, as Bill Cosby would say, pulling a watermelon through your nose (I think BC said that)

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?

I started out with the whole "women have been doing this for thousands of years" schtick, but after 20 hours, I whimpered into the call button: "wan epidrl!"

The doctor stood around after it was administered to make sure it took. When I removed my teeth from his arm and started happily chatting with him about my work he said "and we're good!" Then Max had the most glorious nap of his life but I don't think I could sleep.

27. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?

There's a funny story. My long-distance family (i.e. didn't see me throughout, but knew of family trends) did a baby pool (date / sex / weight). All their guesses were a nice snug bell curve (non-mathies: VERY CLOSE TOGETHER NUMBERS). My coworkers (those who saw me every day) did one and most of the guesses were around 5-7 pounds. The doctors actually seemed quite alarmed to pull out Gigantron. Before they even weighed her, they said "whoa!" She was 8lb 11oz. OK, so not funny "ha ha".

28. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN?

Today. Nine years ago. That is if I get this post out in the next four minutes. Screw it, I'll back-post the time.

30. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?

I tried "You expect me to take this home & be responsible for it forever?" But it didn't fit on the form.

31. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY?

Nine. And 15 hours. And 47 minutes... and counting.

Tonight as I tucked her in, I whispered "Happy Birthday, my special nine-year-old". She whispered back: "Thank you, my special 40-year-old"

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Incredible Book Eating Boy

As a mom, I am weak.

I am weakened by the power of The Eyes. I am weakened by the power of The Hug - you know the one, it's so strong it takes your breath away, and you're not really sure if it's the physicaliosity [HEY: my blog, my wordular units] of it or not, but it's gone too quickly for you to put your finger on it. That and you don't care.

And, I am weakened by those little quirky things that probably only I see or hear.

One of those is the three-year-old "accent". The way Stewie says certain words now that he won't later (um... hopefully). And probably I'm the only one who hears it in the way that makes one weak in the knees. But here we are.

For this exhibit, the word is "boy". I heard it very often of late, as his new favourite book (as of Christmas) is The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers.

video

I wasn't very good at justifying why I was making a video of Stewie introducing his bed-time story without doing the other two. Plus they just turned out so adorable (if I do say so myself!)

The next is I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, by Lauren Child which Pepper received as a gift from a dear long-distance friend, (at a dear short-distance friend's house).

video

The third is The True Story Of The Three Little Pigs, by uh, Alexander Wolf (Jon Scieszka). Received by Norah, uhh... I don't know, they get so much crap generous gifts (heh heh...)

video

This wasn't really meant to be a book review of the chosen titles, but suffice to say that all three are immensely popular with all three (and they have about 750,000 books - I have to put the back on the shelf, so I've counted). Both myself and Max enjoy them as well. I can't entirely speak for Max, but I think his criteria is similar: If it doesn't make me want to hurl; turn my brain into cheez whiz ("Now With More Processed Cheez Food!"), or put me to sleep, I like it. The most emphasis on point #2. The fact that they remained on the bed-time rotation for about four weeks is a testament to pleasing both parties.

Entertaining and, if not educational, at least not reversing a day's progress in that department [1]

But anyways, check out again how he says "boy" and see if you don't giggle. How to replenish the Mom-Strength after an attack of one or more of these weakening forces is a subject for another day...

[1] we do have some that I'm pretty sure drop IQ points just by proximity. They somehow find a way of "disappearing" (ahemHannahMontanaahem).

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Crackberry Rules of Engagement

I've gone & done it.

I'm not proud, but less-than-secretly, I really am. It's just sooo pretty... [swoon]

[Composure regained] I'm not going to go into a whole lot of justification, etc. Suffice to say: it's for work & I had to make a case for it & I expect it will make a difference, if only for my organizational peace of mind. [Shut up. It will. Shut up.]

After approximately a week with my new toy tool [don't want to be associated with that one] baby office assistant, I have to say that I'm totally hooked. A co-worker told me that he was waiting to see how it worked for me before he took the plunge. I had to say that it was not without its frustrations (it's new & I'm old), but I likened it to when desktop computers first became normalized, but people were still using them as replacement typewriters (e.g. retyping letters for changes). It's a cool tool that can do some good stuff for you but you have to be open to it, and not a slave to it. It's a fine line. [Famous last words from a N00B]

So. That said, everyone has their tale of horror of the out-of-control crackberry addict in their life - or the periphery. I've seen them. Held up meetings for them. Driven behind & beside them. I don't want to be "that guy", so I've come up with:

Harmzie's Crackberry Pledge

I will:

  • NOT whip it out & wave it around. That's so 90s [FAIL - I'm talking about it right now. That's kind of like waving it around]

  • NOT talk on the phone whilst driving w/o the headset [FAIL - I don't have the headset yet & I've done this already]

  • Avoid talking on the phone whilst driving even WITH the headset

  • NOT wear the headset out of the car [I'll be leaving it in the car - that's what it's for]

  • NOT text while driving [OMGWTFBBQ!!???]

  • NOT dial while driving [yay voice dialling! my old phone had that too, but y'know, the learning]

  • Avoid "Crackin' thru StupidStore" (almost direct texted quote from my first CB text buddy!) But hey, if I'm bored & someone interesting texts me, what do I care about strangers around me who I don't have to interact with [hmmm...starting to see the source of the whole "doesn't let many in" issue]

  • Switch everything to vibrate or even [gasp] off in a group or meeting. If I forget, you can believe that I'm actually very embarrassed. This isn't too difficult, since I usually wear it & usually leave it on vibrate. [Relax, it doesn't feel that good]

  • NOT be drawn into its attention vortex during a meeting. It will be out of sight as a symbol of my full attention. That goes for lunch meetings, group meetings, one-on-ones.

  • Have a ringer that is a RINGER DAMMIT! Not a thrash metal song (tempting, mind you, but no), not a "classy" Vivaldi lilt. A phone should ring. Mine will [and it will be on low]. I'll save the personal branding for my iPod.

I reserve the right to:

  • Check it when it buzzes. There's something vibrating on my hip-bone, for crying out loud! You try and ignore it! I'll be discrete and/or I'll wait until there's a moment.

  • Answer it if it is one of about five people who shall not be named here (duh). Max is not always one of them (I'll always call him back)

  • Send the caller to voice mail if I'm having a conversation or meeting with real live people [I'll do that with my desk phone too, by the way]

I'm sure I'll learn more as I go, but the learnin' was one of the reasons I was open to the idea. Comments? Suggestions? Hints? Remember, I don't want to be that guy, but it's just soooo pretty!

[UPDATE - Feb 21: Yesterday I was busted checking my email during a presentation. A collegue standing beside me - happening to be one who is on the fence about the whole CB thing, so I'd been talking to him about it a lot. Anyway he leaned over & elbowed me. I looked over and whispered "I can quit any time I want!" He laughed. And then gave me the "you're so doomed" look.]

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's Always Good to Have Someone In Your Corner...

Pepper shoved a paper across the table at me after dinner. "Draw yourself!"

Oooookaaaay. You know I'm an engineer, right honey? People have curvy lines. I like them (my lines) straight, which makes for a pretty stupid looking drawing - I've tried. But I gave it a shot. Results to the left (possible reference to Beyonce shit-canning her boyfriend not intentional, but not avoided, for obvious reasons)

To be more specific, and just so it's clear (because I know it's hard to tell), there is a photo of a drawing on the left of this page and MY sketch is on the left side of the paper in the photo.

I "drew" mine. Please ignore the scary, Skeletor face (I don't do eyes very well. Shut up! They're hard!), the boob-in-the-armpit ("what's that bump, mommy?" "it's the breast, honey" "oh, really?"), the twigs for fingers, and the redrawn feet because the original were located somewhat in the region of the knees (which don't exist, but that's where they would be if they did).

What's to notice about this is that when I handed it back to her, she grabbed my pen & fixed the whole thing. She drew herself in the ginormous space that remained (placement on the page was the other thing I was going to ask you to ignore), drew her hand reaching over holding my -- erm --- "hand" and finished off the giant band-aid with her saying "I <3 u mom"

Sometimes it's important to realize that moms aren't the only ones to make it better.

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