Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You say it’s your birfday…

(This conversation took place in July. I'm a yiddle bit disappointed that it didn't play out the way he planned it. That would have been awesome.)

"I'm going to wap up a pwesant for you, Mommy when it's your birfday"

"Yeah? I like presents from my boy!"

"I'm going to wap up a wine machine for your birfday"

"That sounds like a great present"

"It's a yiddle bit different"


"It's wed. You put wine seeds in it and turn the handle and wine comes out. You have to put fwayver [flavour] in it too. It tastes a yiddle bit weird

"You know what else I'll get you for your birfday? A Hot Wheels screamer machine!"

"A what?"

"You have to put Hot Wheels cars in it and it turns into a green gun! It's a green skrisher gun. It helps to skrish everything.

"How does that sound? (Say 'petakwar')"



Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, September 28, 2009


Pepper's last soccer game was Wednesday evening. The previous evening was Norah's last game. Both were, for some reason, the continuation of the spring soccer season.

That was it for the programmed activities for our kids for the foreseeable future. At least until the New Year, or until I scream "FUUUUCK YOU NEED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM FOR AN HOUR!", whichever comes first.

Last year's activities included:

Norah: Piano (half-hour lesson once a week, plus practice every day), Guitar (half-hour lesson once a week, plus practice every day), Dance (one-hour lesson once a week), Squash (one-hour lesson once a week), Soccer (one-hour practice once a week, plus two one-hour games per week at various locations around the city)

Pepper: Piano (half-hour lesson once a week, plus practice every day), Basketball (one-hour practice once a week, plus a one-hour games each week at various locations around the city), Dance (one-hour lesson once a week), Soccer (two one-hour games a week)

Stewie: Soccer (two one-hour games a week). For some reason (probably him NOT constantly badgering to join things), we didn't have him in much.

It was too much. We were constantly going. We started using Google calendar because between Max and me and one car, we had to strategize and analyze the logistics of every single evening. Including weekends. The kids – separately – said "Mom, we're too busy".

How did we get into this? We're not "those people". We always swore we wouldn't over-program our kids. We mock "those people". But there's just so much that's interesting. So much that we feel they should learn. Dance for flexibility and coordination. Basketball / Soccer for team-building and discipline. Music for brain-wiring and math skillz. And they asked for it all, were enthusiastic (at the beginning) for everything.

But while they liked dancing, they didn't love it. The team sports were fun, but none of them (so far) have the bloodlust I can see in other players the same age (as soccer players, they'll make great cellists). Maybe they will later, but I'm not willing to tear at their little souls to get it now.

Music is even more difficult to ditch, as both the girls have actually been advancing fairly rapidly. Plus, we bought a whole mother-fucking expensive piano. Norah, after (Guitar Hero induced) begging to take guitar lessons all summer last year, got exceedingly belligerent and ornery (I mean more than normal) after only about a month. We forced her to stick out the entire year (until June – acquiring Guitar Hero at Christmas may or may not have bought a little time). She was (and is) actually amazing. Her teacher – a local rock-star himself – commented on her skill and potential (I think he was also secretly a little jazzed to have a nine-year-old girl asking him to teach her Metallica's "One" and AC/DC's "Thunderstruck")

So, we quit. Everything. This fall and winter we are going to do some one-off family stuff. Skating. Movies. Skiing (hey, we may be in the flattest area in the FREAKING WORLD, but we've got a lump or two suitable for kids. And me. And there's always cross-country) And looking forward to some unprogrammed time. There is much to do to regain control (assuming it's "regain" and not just "gain", but either way). I hope to be able to document some of it here, but don't hold your breath. Cleaning up and gaining control of this cluster-fuck we generously call a blog is unfortunately not terribly high up on the list. But since I enjoy whining sharing here, look for continued, random brain-farts!

Paring down is only step one. I hope it works. What do you think?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Open letter to Stone Fox about Twitter...

Or anyone else who hasn't been sucked in by the twmadness, which is how you have to twrite anything to do with twitter, like "tweeple", and "twitterverse" or "I have to twour myself a twup of twoffee and twlace it with a twoverdose of twerioine or maybe just twjam my twpen in my tweye to make it stwop" (and I'm actually kind of surprised that spellcheck still doesn't recognize any of those words).

Dear Stone Fox [and any and everyone else, as above],

Run. Run screaming if you have to.

But if you're still intrigued you CAN check it out without being "in" ( or use the handle of anyone else you'd like to stalk observe). I don't know why the hell you would be. I can't explain why I'm there. Even less why Max (@nickrollout - ask him why he picked that name. I think you'll be dry-heaving pleasantly surprised!) is, since like I said, he can "monitor" my "activities" from afar. I'm just glad he told me he was. Not like I was doing anything crazy or un-marriage-like. But still. It's nice to know you're being watched. For me, Twitter usually kind of feels like no one's watching. Which if you don't feel crazy for being there in the first place, can kind of make you feel crazy.

There's lots of crazy on the internex, isn't there?

Do you think it's re-focusing crazy from elsewhere in the world or just making more crzzzay?

By the way, if it isn't obvious, I love Twitter and would love you to join us ... join us ... join us ...


All in one week. My work here is done (see you next week, SciFi Dad).

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Why is it on birthdays we find it necessary to reflect on the past present and future? And then again on New Years? And ultimately at funerals?

Well, with my birthday eggs benedict at the ready (the day was yesterday, the 18th, but with jobs and school, today is the special breakfast, though I got my bling yesterday – that's a given) I'm not here to answer that question – especially the funeral one (though with the dearth of posting of late, there is cause to wonder) – just to do it.

I am now 41. It happens. It will happen to you! It might have already. It's not a bad thing. It beats the alternative. I believe the problem people have with aging is usually a feeling that they didn't appreciate 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, when they had it. To paraphrase the tree-hugger thing: the best time to appreciate your youth was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now.* You are still young compared to when you'll be saying "I'm so old" in 10 years.

Last year on my birthday (a "milestone"), Max asked me, not if I was "happy", but: "if you could go back 20 years and look ahead to where you are now, would you like what you saw?"**

Without hesitating (well, after I quickly sorted through the ** below), I said YES! I would have been ecstatic to see us still married, both healthy and relatively fit (he IS, I might be skinny, but not necessarily what I'd call fit), three beautiful healthy children. We are in a nice house in a wonderful neighbourhood. I am gainfully employed in a job that still provides challenges and opportunities (I think that might even be in a vision statement somewhere). Great friends and extended family – who are all still talking (hey, these days, it has to be counted!).

Are there provisos and "well, if I were to really look into it I'd change (a), (b), and (c)"? No freaking doubt! I constantly feel as though I am one crisis away from spiralling out of control on most fronts. The grand irony is that every aspect of my life is *exactly* where I want it to be, but I sometimes feel as though I have it held together by string and gum.

[The one exception is the marriage. I guess it is proof that when you meticulously and systematically replace string and gum with trust and communication, the result actually can be pretty robust. (The funny part? At EVERY stage of this relationship, we have thought this had been achieved. I fully expect to read this at 60 and mutter "pfft. Amateur.")]

So I/we are in a period of regaining control. Fortunately, there are very small changes to make. Unfortunately there are a lot of them.

What about YOU? Would your 15 or 20 year-old self be pleased with what s/he saw now?

* The tree-hugger thing: "the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now"

** Here, I have to put in that the enginerd in me can tend to get hung up on the details: Do I just see a picture? Do I just get to observe interactions, but not be seen (a la Scrooge's ghost tour-guides)? Do I get to ask questions? Do I get to be INSIDE my person, feeling what I feel? I talk myself from the ledge by reminding myself that the answer is the same regardless of the observation made (just some of the details maybe?)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Max Power

When I started this (months ago), I had large hopes of it expressing my precise feelings for that entity we call "Max Power" here down at Harmzie's Way. Now, late in the evening on the anniversary of the day that brought Mr Max upon this plane, I can't seem to type a single word without the use of the backspace bar (may or may not be due to the celebrating, OR the presence of my mom and my FAB cousin visiting on their way by from Ontario thru to BC -- i.e. liberal applications of the celebrating factors of La Grotta cheesecake and/or Greenall and/or Peter Lehman), I seem to have to resort to the words of the fabulous and eloquent Christina Agulara. I think she's pretty much captured it, so I'm good with it:

(Do your thang honey)

I could feel it from the start,
Couldn't stand to be apart.
Something about you caught my eye,
Something moved me deep inside!
Don't know what you did boy but
You had it and I've been hooked ever since.

I told my mother, my brother, my sister and my friends
I told the others, my lovers, both past and present tense.
Everytime I see you everything starts making sense.

(Do your thang honey)

Ain't no other man, can stand up next to you
Ain't no other man on the planet does what you do
(what you do).
You're the kinda guy, a girl finds in a blue moon.
You got soul, you got class.
You got style with your bad ass - oh yeah!
Ain't no other man its true - all right -
Ain't no other man but you.

(Do your thang honey)

Never thought I'd be all right.
(No, no, no!)
Till you came and changed my life.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah!)
What was cloudy now is clear!
(Yeah, yeah yeah)!
You're the light that I needed.

You got what I want boy, and I want it!
So keep on givin' it up!
Tell your mother, your brother, your sister, and your friends.
And the others, your lovers, better not be present tense.
Cause I want everyone to know that you are mine and no one else's!
Oooooooo, oh!

Ain't no other man, can stand up next to you
Ain't no other man on the planet does what you do
(what you do).
You're the kinda guy, a girl finds in a blue moon.
You got soul, you got class.
You got style your bad ass - oh yeah!
Ain't no other man it's true - all right -
Ain't no other man but you.

(Break it down now!)
Ain't no other, ain't, ain't no other! (other)
Ain't no other, ain't, ain't no other LOVER!
Ain't no other, I, I, I need no other!
Ain't no other man but you!

You are there when I'm a mess
Talk me down from every ledge
Give me strength, boy you're the best
You're the only one who's ever passed every test

Ain't no other man, can stand up next to you
Ain't no other man on the planet does what you do
(what you do).
You're the kinda guy, a girl finds in a blue moon.
(You're the kinda guy, a girl finds oooo yeahh)
You got soul, you got class.
You got style your bad ass - oh yeah!
Ain't no other man it's true - all right -
Ain't no other man but you.

And now I'm tellin' you, so ain't no other man but you.
Ain't no other man, can stand up next to you
Ain't no other man on the planet does what you do
(what you do).
You're the kinda guy, a girl finds in a blue moon.
You got soul, you got class.
You got style your bad ass - oh yeah!
Ain't no other man it's true - all right -
Ain't no other man but you.

I luvs and/or lust you boi.
Happy Birthday, Max.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day

It's the first day of school and my kid has no shoes.

Shouldn't someone have sent me a memo or something?

They sent you three. One for each kid. Each one said: "they need a special, separate pair of shoes for the classroom". Each one said: "first day of school is on the 9th. Of September".

Shut up. That doesn't count. They need to send them with an electric shock attached to them. In your face. Rebut that one.

Stumble Upon Toolbar