Friday, February 29, 2008
In case you didn't know, Dave Matthews is my Rock and Roll Boyfriend, and I have the Mister's permission to walk out the door without looking back him should he ever come calling for me. (Mr. Matthews is married with three kids, so it's not looking likely that this shall ever happen. And he doesn't know I exist. And I might not really like him very much once I actually meet him. But how cool is Himself?)
Wendy and Sandy were thrilled with the idea that two performers of which we three are so enamoured will be playing together, and the fact that the concert will be somewhere warm and exotic is the icing on the cake.
After some investigation, Wendy was genuinely disappointed to discover that the tickets were sold out, and we were out of luck.
Because, of course, getting the tickets to this event was our only obstacle.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Himself is very easygoing and even tempered and laid-back; so much so that I have been tempted to shine a light into his eyes on occasion, to see if his pupils react. It's hard to distinguish between "relaxed watching a movie" and "comatose".
Although I am usually thoroughly charming and delightful company, I know that there are times when my quirks and behavior rouse him out of his usual state of contented stupor and his ire flares for a nanosecond or so.
I Talk To Him In The Mornings: Himself really does not function on anything but a molecular level before 9 a.m. And yet, I persist in trying to engage him in conversation when he gets up, because I am a morning person and do not yet fully understand that he is not. When I ask him at 7 a.m. what he would like for dinner that night, I get a confused, irritated, slitty-eyed glare that takes up more energy than he possesses at the time. When I talk to him in the mornings, he has to go back to bed and have a nap.
I Lose Things: I am perpetually misplacing things around the house, putting things down while thinking about something else, and then utterly unable to find them again. It drives him crazy. (This is a function of having to think of too many things at once. I tell my family that my head is like a toilet; it can only contain so much shit at any given time.) The Mister cannot figure out how I can put down a receipt or a pair of scissors, only to forget where I put it ten seconds later.
I Take Off My Nail Polish: The Mister HATES the smell of nail polish remover, and when I take off the nail polish and put the little cotton balls in the wastebasket in our bathroom, he can smell it in the bedroom and it makes him dream of nuclear waste dumps and Soylent Green.
I Don't Understand Most of What He Is Talking About: When he talks about fixing computers, which is a skill I value entirely and I'm really very grateful he can do, my eyes glaze right over. I think he thinks that I'm not interested, (and he's right), but I'm so happy that he's talking to me at all that I will valiantly put on an interested face and nod my head. But he knows he may as well be saying 'blah, blah, blah' and I would have the exact same expression.
I Can't Seem To Follow Movies: I think "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy was pure torture for the man...."wait! is that the same guy from before?", "so he used to be a hobbit?", "how come she's not able to go there?", "is that the guy from 'Pirates of the Caribbean'?" and so on for nine hours.
It doesn't help that I cannot stay awake once I sit down to watch a movie, so it took me three attempts to get through "Oceans Eleven", and by then I had absolutely no clue whatsoever as to what was going on and had to have it patiently explained to me in detail.
I Refuse To Put Raisins in Anything: I hate raisins in things. On their own they are passable, but in baked goods they are forbidden in the Loudshoes kitchen. Raisins in buttertarts, in particular, are an abomination against God and man. The Mister cannot accept this edict, and occasionally will argue with me on it, like there is any chance in this lifetime that I will change my mind. I will not. (His mother makes very nice buttertarts with raisins [she makes 3 for me without!] and he will have to be satisfied with that.)
I Sing: Okay, everybody hates that one.
All things considered, we have a pretty good deal with one another.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I wasn't too happy with this nutritional decision, but since the Mister had already approved it's purchase, I relented. When we got home, I checked the label, to find that one bag of popped corn has 250 calories and 15 grams of fat. (By contrast, the same amount of hot-air popcorn has about 138 calories and 0 grams of fat.)
As she happily tore into a freshly popped bag, I remarked to Himself that we might as well just give her a cigarette.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Today I had to help out in the other Grade 8 class, because there was no other Grade 8 mother around, and all the other mothers are afraid of the Grade 8's. (Some of those kids are huge.) I know most of the kids, and they are pretty nice, despite their size and the over-abundance of hormones. But, oh my God, they can be trying.
I asked one kid close by to hand out the napkins, and he obliged willingly. Except, we had been shortchanged on the napkins, and he only handed out the few we had and then just.....stopped. He didn't tell me, didn't go get more, didn't think anything of it. When I figured this out, I asked him why he didn't tell me, and he suddenly lost all intelligence in his face and became this slack-jawed, babbling idiot, who's reasoning abilities vanished altogether. I sent another kid down to get more napkins.
She came back in a minute or so and put the napkins on the table. She then sat down, raised her hand and said "May I please have a napkin?". I'm not kidding. She's not the type of kid who would do it just to yank my chain; she honestly did not connect the dots between the two things.
We also were not given the juice orders with our stuff, so I had to go down to the front lobby to pick up those. I asked who needed juice, and the kids missing it put up their hands, and I went off to get it. Except, when I came back in the room, one kid said "I didn't get my juice". To which I replied "why didn't you raise your hand when I said 'who needs juice'?". And he said "I didn't know you meant me." Of all the possible interpretations of "who needs juice", I'm not sure how he could have missed "tell me if you need juice".
The rest of the lunch period passed without incident.
I was amused at this exchange, though: Student #1 asks one of the Korean kids, of which our school has a large population "are you from North Korea or South Korea?". Korean Kid says (a bit snottily) "what do you think?". Student #1, a bit puzzled, says, "How should I know?" Korean Kid snorts a bit and says "South Korea. We're all from South Korea. Duh!" Student #2 says "Why all from South Korea?" To which I pipe in with "They're all from South Korea because the people from North Korea aren't allowed to get out of there." They all look at me like it was the cat that suddenly started to speak and Korean Kid said, in awed tones, "how does she know?"
I am reminded that my own 13 year old? Is a gem.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
I did a young lady's hair back on Wednesday, and through my own stupid fault, it did not turn out the way she wanted. (I'd recount the whole story, but it's long and I don't come out of it well at all.) She was a very lovely, sweet and incredibly understanding girl, and I was lucky that she was so nice about the whole thing.
Yesterday, I got a call from the receptionist that she wanted to come back and have it done again today. Yay! I thought, at least she's giving me another shot, which, frankly, is probably more than I would have done under the circumstances. But Boo! My stomach started to do gymnastics at the thought of screwing it up again. And my digestive system proceeded to taunt me and jeer at me for the next 24 hours.
As I did the fix-up job today, I prayed mightily....."Okay, God, you have really not given me much slack this week; almost everything I've asked for, I've been turned down on. So, come on, could you please, please, make this one job turn out for both our sakes? Because I don't really want to quit hairdressing just yet, and I don't want her to stalk me and kill me, because she is much too pretty to be in jail." And God must have been in a very charitable mood, because it turned out just fine, and the young woman was very happy and I nearly broke down in grateful tears right then and there.
And as I drove home, with a whopping great headache, and my shoulders up around me ears and my belly growling because I hadn't been able to eat, I realized that I literally couldn't remember the last time I had been so stressed out. And I think a lot of people feel like this a lot of the time. And I'm okay with having the occasional reminder that I have it pretty good. Even if it does interfere with lunch.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
See? Everybody's happy.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Well, a little website designed to do just that has enthralled me.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The fax came soon thereafter, stating "I was very nice talking to you the other day." (We assume she meant to write "It was very nice talking to you the other day". )
Oh, we had a good laugh over that. Was she just being overly defensive, or did she have some self-esteem problems that required constant reassurance? Did she just want to make it clear that this was as good as she was going to get? Or was it that she was keeping a record in case some sort of litigation would ensue?
This is what amuses us when we should be working.
Monday, February 18, 2008
We hightailed it home not too long after, because nobody could feel their toes anymore.
And that was our first Family Day. Not bad at all.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Thing 2 wanted to go to the mall with a friend this afternoon, and, mostly to get out of the house, the Mister and I went too. She and the friend wandered off on their own, and we headed for the food court. I badly needed a coffee, and because Himself has a metabolism that goes at a hundred miles an hour, he needed a snack despite having eaten lunch an hour beforehand. (Jealousy is an emotion that I don't often experience, simply because not too many people have anything I want, but having a constitution that allows you to eat anything you want without gaining weight? I would happily sacrifice a limb for that.)
While at the foodcourt, we had ample opportunity to people-watch, which is always fun. Doing it with the Mister has the added bonus of reminding me that he is not actually that much better a person than me after all. (I'm so used to the snarky, sneering voices in my own head that it is refreshing to hear a similar litany from someone else's.) We watched an older gentleman carefully and deliberatly coat his knuckles with Chap-stick. We were enthralled.
We speculated on another man's obvious wig: who did he think he was fooling with it? Instead of making us think "why, that's a fine speciman of a man!" it made us think "he must really hate being bald." And then we wondered if he knew it was made for a woman and hoped he got a phenomenal deal on it.
We pondered the notion of when it became acceptable to go out the door in one's pajamas. There were hoards of roaming teenagers at the mall, and most of them clearly didn't bother getting dressed before leaving the house. We were puzzled....does it take such an enormous amount of time and energy to put on a pair or honest-to-God pants? The Mister and I openly declared our age by questioning this practice. ("Kids these days!")
Himself mused aloud as to why some people, who clearly did put a lot of time and effort into their appearance, still managed to look like they had just come from Clown School. Where they were failing.
When we saw an old guy walk by with a Michael Shumacher jacket on, Himself mentioned that if that was the real Michael Shumacher, then retirement has not been kind. (Personally, I've never understood wearing an article of clothing with a famous person's name on it. You know you're not actually Wayne Gretzky or Tiger Woods, right? And they? have never heard of you.)
Then Himself kicked around the notion that, if one's children were not attractive people, did their parents still think they were attractive? I thought that, yes, most mothers would think that their children were beautiful, all evidence to the contrary being moot. We wandered down this particular philisophical path for some time, using our fellow foodcourt patrons as evidence ("See that woman, does she know her daughter is less than attractive and love her anyway, or does she think she's actually attractive?"), coming to no real conclusion other than the fact that the phrase "a face only a mother could love" did, indeed, have some merit.
In this fashion, we wiled away a soggy afternoon. Nothing too exciting, but an afternoon in the Mister's company is always welcome. Combined with the constant drip off the eaves outside, and my mood is considerably brighter.
Friday, February 15, 2008
And I know it's not just me; I've had numerous clients in today and Wednesday who murmurred "just do something with me" in the same tone of weary exasperation.
I'm tired of my clothes, I hate my hair, my feet have been cold for 3 months now, my skin resembles that stuff they wrap around Egyptian mummies and I've given up chocolate for the time being.
I could count my blessings, but I don't want to.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Most men have never figured out (or had anyone tell them) that it's the day to day stuff that really matters, not the occasional grand gesture. To most women I know, the most thrilling words in the world are not "Good God! You are the most beautiful, dynamic, breath-taking woman I have ever met!". The most thrilling words in the world are "I'll do the dishes".
The Mister does all the laundry every Wednesday. For that alone, I'm his forever.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It's a map of the world, but inverted: all the land is water, and all the water is land. http://www.vladstudio.com/wallpaper/?510
It kept me amused for a while, anyway.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Thing 2 had been dying for a Wii for Christmas, but I had no intentions of standing in line for 6 hours on the slim chance that I might be able to procure one. We didn't tell her, but we didn't even bother trying to get one. Besides, I was morally opposed to yet another computer game in the house, as we all spend far too much time in front of various screens for my liking. I figured Wiis were like hot-tubs: the best one's were at someone else's house.
I've always told my children that, if they want someone to do something for them, the best way is to make it easy on the person doing it; solve the problem you are creating for them, tell them how it benefits them, make their lives easier and you are more likely to get them to help you. In this spirit, Thing 2 proposed that perhaps a Wii could be considered if she did not have a birthday party this year. I told her that I would get her 10 Wiis if I never had to throw a birthday party ever again.
So the hunt was on. They were still pretty hard to find, even a month or more after Christmas. Finally, the Mister was able to get his hands on one just a week or two ago. We gave it to her this weekend, with the understanding that it was for her sister's birthday (in July) as well. (We wanted none of this "you can't play on my Wii" nonsense.
I don't think my children have voluntarily been above ground since they got that thing....they live strictly in the basement now. It is fun; I've played a couple of games myself, and not stunk at much at it as I do with real-life sports. (It takes a bit of getting used to; for instance, one does not have to run up to the television when bowling, speed is not the issue here. )
I made some cupcakes that the Mister brought into her class this afternoon, and I made her favorite dinner (which is possibly the easiest, most boring dish ever; a glorified Hamburger Helper, really.) and my mother made a lemon-meringue pie (Thing 2 dislikes cake. Or ice cream. Or chocolate. Honestly, if I hadn't given birth to her myself I would doubt her parentage.) And then she played on her Wii.
Eleven year olds are fairly easy to please.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Here is a picture of Amy Winehouse.
Now, I don't know about you, but she scares the crap outta me. The eyeliner, the hair, the tatoos, the dental issues. None of this says "stable, responsible, functioning adult" at all.
However, I wonder how far down the Liza Minelli Parkway, headed for the Britney Spears Exit you've got to be to be taking your lifestyle advice from this guy:
Maybe she should call his agent, he's negotiated one hell of a deal with the devil for Keith. Maybe he can do the same for her.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This morning, being Sunday, was tough on Toby; nobody gets up early enough for his liking, and the humans are fiendishly hard to rouse. He spent from about 6:30 until about 8:00 getting increasingly distressed that he was the only one up, and there seemed to be very little inclination on anyone's part to get him his tuna. He climbed up on top of me, at one point, to see if maybe the earplugs had been put back in my ears, since he had already tried that gambit once that morning, and perhaps now he could have another go at it.
Then, as he sniffed around at my head a little more, he reared up and he sneezed, right in my ear. It was like a freaking gunshot going off! It scared the snot out of me. Plus, the left side of my head was covered in cat slobber. It was indescribably disgusting; really, really vile. It was, quite literally, the rudest awakening I ever had.
From now on, I'm going to wear earplugs plus a toque to bed.
Friday, February 8, 2008
The Loudshoes house did okay, with Thing 2 winning a “Princess Party” cake, which delighted her no end. She was pretty excited for a kid who doesn’t like cake, but Cake Day, I realize, is all about the getting and not so much about the having. It is all gooey and sugary, with candy and gobs of icing and a plastic tiara and scepter. She was thrilled to have won it. Thing 1 did not win anything, but she wasn’t too disappointed because her sister’s cake will be all hers shortly. This is a shot of her prize:
The kindergarten kids get a couple of cakes just for their class, because they have a morning and an afternoon class, and the morning kids would be gone by the time the cakes are given out at the end of the day. Also, the kindergarten kids each get a cupcake, because they really don’t get the concept of a raffle, and are forlornly disappointed when they don’t win everything they put a ticket in on. (I think it’s a “teaching opportunity” for A Valuable Lesson On The Evils Of Gambling, but other people disagree and just give them a cupcake.)
Some people make incredibly detailed, imaginative cakes that must take hours to assemble. Once there was a huge cake made to look like an incredibly real bowl of spaghetti, and another which was made to look like a sea-monster. (Thing 2 won that in Grade 1....it was bigger than she was.) Lots of people just buy stuff to give away. Here at Chez Loudshoes, we recognize that the looks of the cake matter much more than the taste of the cake, and we organize ourselves accordingly….Bulk Barn cake mix is the order of the day, and it’s all about the decorations. Here are our efforts:
Thing 1 made the Valentine's cake, and Thing 2 the St. Paddy's Day cake. Those shamrocks on the top of Thing 2's cake enchanted Toby, and we had to put it in a closet overnight.
I’ve warned my kids within an inch of their lives not to put tickets in on our own cakes…. If we are going to consume an entire cake, I’d rather it be a good one we can make ourselves, rather than a Loblaws cake with edible oil icing. Besides, it’s a lot cheaper to make a cake than to win one. One kid this year won his own cake again, about the third time he’s done so. If I was his mother, I would kill him.
One year, there was a cake that clearly the dad and the kids had made because the mother was out, or left or something. It was decidedly burnt on one side, it listed badly to the left, the icing had slid off almost entirely and the whole two tier affair was about an inch high. And some brave soul had put a ticket in. I had to admire the effort, at least that went into that thing, even if the results were less than stellar.
Around this time of year, it is nice to have a diversion from the regular routine. Cake Day fits the bill nicely.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Lately, he's been getting downright giddy about it, to the point where I have to remind him that the earplug is out, already, and dude? that is actual ear you are applying your teeth to, now.
Well, the other morning, he got so enthusiastic with the whole venture that he ate the ear plug. I want to barf just thinking about it.
(When I mentioned this to my friend Linda, she calmly reached into her purse and handed me a new set of earplugs, just like that. Why she was carrying around a set of foam earplugs, I'll never know, but since I am the beneficiary, I'm not going to delve too deeply.)
Now the girls and I will get a very valuable lesson on "The Speed of the Digestive System of the Domestic Short-Hair. Hey!, maybe we can use it for the upcoming Science Fair at school!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Usually, in an attempt to delay the inevitable, she tries to engage me in conversation. Tonight's opening gambit was "did you know that animals that lay eggs don't have a belly-button?"
I give her points for originality.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Lent starts tomorrow, and it couldn't come at a better time; I need the discipline of someone else's agenda to get me kick-started. I usually give up something for Lent every year, not because I am even remotely devout, but out of habit, plain and simple. (After attending Catholic schools for 14 years, you tend to get neurological pathways imprinted into your brain that are hard to shake off.) When I was a kid, the nuns would always encourage us to give up something for the duration. (They said it was to remind us of the sacrifices that Jesus made for us, but I think it was mostly because they wanted to see our true personalities when we weren't all jacked up on sugar.) They said that we should give up things like candy, or sugar or chips, but we would always try to get away with things like homework, or liver or lion-taming. They never fell for it.
In the past, I have usually given up chocolate. It isn't terribly hard; 40 days isn't so long that you can't put up with it, and long enough to establish a new habit, if that's what you're after. I remember reading about a guy who had been thrown into jail for his political views by Mao-Tse Tung in the '70's and he ended up there for about 10 years, and when he got out they asked him how he kept his sanity, and he replied that you can stand anything if you know it's going to end. So, really, Lent's not that bad.
The problem with giving up chocolate is remembering that you have done so....it's just painful to realize that, two bites in, you aren't allowed to finish what you've started. And it is a bit hard on the Lindor bunnies when it's all over....I massacre a couple of them right off the bat. Also, the definition of chocolate becomes an issue; am I allowed Fudgesicles, but not a Crispie Crunch? I tend to lean towards the side of flexibility on this one, but you knew that would be the case.
We also have the question of exactly when Lent is over.....nobody can answer this diffinitively.
My father asserts that it is after midnight on Good Friday, but my mother claims that it is after mass on Easter Sunday morning. My friend The Reverend Wendy, an Anglican minister, says that she figures after midnight on Holy Saturday. I like my dad's idea, since that gets me off the hook sooner.
This year, along with the usual chocolate, I will be giving up second helpings of anything. (y enjoyment of my food is beginning to make itself known in the fit of my pants, and that bad habit should be the first to go.) I can make it stick for 40 days, I know, but come Easter, I make no promises when it comes to slaughtering Lindor bunnies.
Monday, February 4, 2008
I bought nothing, which isn't terribly unusual, for me. Normally I wander around, scoping out new books and checking to see if any of my favorite authors have written anything recently, and making a list of books that I will buy later for the cottage. (If I buy them now they sit on the shelf and call to me and I end up reading them way before we go to the cottage.)
I also checked out some possibilities for the "Mother/Daughter Book Club" that Thing 2 and I will be participating in very soon. (Neither of my children are the enthusastic readers I expected they would be....their father's DNA once again pummels mine into the ground. With this latest venture, it is my hope that Thing 2 will, at the very least, be familiar with a book that does not have pictures in it.) All in all it was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
And then I spotted this: an autobiography of David Hasselhoff.
Good. God. Who on earth would spend any amount of time whatsoever learning about The Hoff, let alone for 304 pages?
Now, before you pin me as a book snob, let me tell you that I have read far more than my share of junk-food for the mind. Any book is a good book if you are enjoying it. But I do have some standards. They are low, but they're higher than that, thank God.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
First off, I was invited to a lunch at my Good Friend Wendy's house, with herself and a posse of bright, funny, loud women who were excellent company. (Don't believe Wendy when she tells you she's not a very good cook. She is a very good cook.) Everyone was talkative and opinionated and thoroughly involved in several conversations at once. It was fabulous. And, there was a 3 month old baby there, which was passed around and smelled wonderful and totally filled my baby-sniffing quota for a few more months. And there was wine.
Then we went off to my parent's place for a couple of hours, to meet someone my father had recently made a connection with who had moved to our city recently. She's Irish (and all Irish people have a "six-degrees of separation" thing going on.) and like all Irish people, had no problem filling the silence. All of us talked a blue streak, while trying mightily to be polite, and not doing a very good job of it. (Such is the way in my family.) I enjoyed it very much.
As much as I love spending time by myself, in fact, I crave it, sometimes, I also realize thatI am a hoplessly social creature, and I need to be around people; people I have not married or given birth to, occasionally. And, occasionally, that I will actually have to get up off my fat butt and make the effort to do so.