Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Now, the weather yesterday was not great. By the time the kids were let out of school, it was pretty cold, and there was wet snow/freezing rain falling. (By this morning, we had about an inch or so of fluffy, prisine snow which would have looked really beautiful if it hadn't been so painfully awful to have it at all.) I noticed that Thing 2 was walking pretty slowly, not skipping and jumping and galavanting as is her wont. Hmm.
By the time she got up to the front of the house, I noticed that she was carrying things in both hands. Things that looked suspiciously like her boots. Because it was her boots. And she was barefoot.
I went out to meet her in the driveway (mostly so the neighbours and other mothers who had come to pick up their kids didn't see her and call the Children's Aid Society.) and asked her why, for the love of all that is holy, was she in her bare feet?
She calmly replied that her boots had gotten wet at recess.
Because, walking home in your barefeet, in the winter, is more comfortable than wearing wet boots. Go figure.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
This happens to me all the time; I seem to perpetually have some sort tune providing a soundtrack to my life, whether I want it to or not. And it is in no way a relevant or even welcome commentary on what I am doing or how I am feeling, (Unless there is some sort of deep, hidden meaning about my existence in The Beverly Hillbillies theme song that eludes me.) It's just usually some random, catchy melody that takes up residence in my head and lives, rent free, until something else supplants it, and I start all over again.
The song providing today's anguish is (and I am warning you, it is likely to spread like a virus if you click on the link) is Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham. It was on the sound system at work yesterday when I arrived, and it's been going around and around in my head ever since. Now can you sympathise? It's a horrible, irritating, torment of a song, specifically designed to lacerate one's psyche.
Last week it was Georgy Girl, which was excruciating. ("Hey therrrrrre! Georgy girrrrrl! There's another Georgy deep inside!") I seriously thought of exploring pharmaceutical intervention. It went on for days.
When the song You Spin Me Right Round first came out, a guy I worked with and I used to sing it like Elmer Fudd. ("....wight wound, baby, wight wound, like a wecord baby...."). Now, when that song sticks in my head, it is that version, and no other. Pure misery.
Last summer, the kids and I were lamentably introduced to The Llama Song, which is possibly the most horrible of them all. Seriously, it's the herpes of catchy tunes; once you've got it, it will never, ever go away. I finally managed to get "doorknob! ankle! cold!" eased out of my brain, with some effort, and then we went to the Toronto Zoo, and what did we see? A llama. Right back at square one, I was.
When the kids were very small, one of the ways to keep them sane in the car was to play music from Barney the Dinosaur, which just about killed me. (They used to see the car as some sort of toddler torture device specifically designed to dismantle their sanity. The only problem with that theory was that I was right in there with them.) There was one song, in particular, that was impossible to wrench from my consciousness once it got in there, and I'd even find myself singing it in my sleep. ("Never talk to strangers, that's very good advice! 'Cause you just don't know if their good or bad, even though they may seem nice!") It's been years since we've had to listen to Barney the Dinosaur, and I can still sing the whole frigging song without hesitation.
Christmas is especially horrible, because I hate Christmas music at the best of times. When I get a Christmas song stuck in my head, I get no relief whatsoever, because it is everywhere...tv, the mall, work. It's unbearable. Even now I sometimes have "just hear those sleigh bells jing-a-ling, ring-ring-ring-a-ling too!" hanging around on the edges of my brain, must waiting to hop right in an drive me crazy.
Once I had this rattling around in my head while I was cleaning the bathroom, and now every time I clean the bathroom, it comes back for a visit. Gahhh! (Another reason to avoid cleaning the bathroom.)
Why don't I ever get Vivaldi running through my head? Or James Brown? Or The Clash? No, it's always the Spice Girls or "The Macarena" or, God help me, that song from Expo '67, Canada, which, seriously? is loathsome. (Although you have to admire the song writer who managed to fit "it's the hundredth anniversary of Confederation" into any lyric at all.)
Welcome to my hell.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
1. Fill kettle.
2. Boil kettle.
3. Pour over tea bag in cup. Wait a minute or two.
4. Take out tea bag.
5. Add 1 package sweetener, 1 dollop of milk.
6. Stir, drink.
How An 11-Year-Old Makes A Cup of Tea:
1. Fill kettle to brim.
2. Dump out half of it.
3. Plug in kettle, set it to boil.
4. Get interested in computer game, forget all about the kettle, come back to it 15 minutes later.
5. Dump out water, start all over.
6. Make sure kitchen is awash before proceeding.
7. Choose mug.
8. Choose another mug, because first one is "too blue".
9. Choose tea.
10.Choose another kind of tea.
11. Ask everyone in the vicinity what kind of tea you should choose.
12. Choose tea.
13. After kettle has boiled for the third time, pour over tea bag in adequately blue mug.
14. Stir furiously for about 3 minutes.
15. Rummage vigorously in cupboard overhead for anything good to eat.
16. Decide there is nothing worth eating in cupboard overhead.
17. Go downstairs to see if anything good is lurking there.
18. Decide that peanuts and licorice go well with tea.
19. Go back upstairs and stir tea again.
20. When tea is approximately the colour and consistency of crude oil, take out tea bag.
21. Add 4 or 5 heaping teaspoons of sugar, with a clean spoon.
22. Taste, and add a little more.
23. Add enough milk to barely change tea's colour.
24. Add a bit more.
25. Pour out a bit of the tea into the sink to allow for more milk. Make sure you get a whole lot of it all over the counter. Do not wipe it up.
26. Add more milk. Stir with an entirely new, clean spoon.
27. Taste, and add more sugar.
28. Decide that you should probably just bring the sugar bowl down to the family room with you.
29. Stir tea once more, prefrerably with a clean spoon.
30. Bring tea, sugar bowl and snack of choice down to family room.
31. Complain that your tea is cold, and leave it on the coffee table to be knocked over by the cat.
32. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
My sister-in-law has her own chocolate company, Cocomira, and she makes some incredible stuff, for which I alternately love her and despise her. (When I have Hazelnut Crunch in the house, it is impossible to resist, and I have been known to eat an entire container in one sitting, without sharing.) She has shown me the difference between good chocolate and mediocre chocolate, so at least I am enjoying my path to ruination so much better.
The kids Easter chocolate poses no threat to my well-being whatsoever, I can leave that crappy stuff alone without any problem. But the Lindor bunny? That is an entirely different matter.
Here is a short history of it's speedy demise:
Friday, March 21, 2008
First of all, we had to boil the eggs. Of course, we don't care about the taste here, we just want them to be less fragile than nature intended. In fact, bulletproof is our goal here. And, naturally, there being such a concept of "too much of a good thing", and us being the kind of people we are, the concept had to be explored thoroughly. Here are a few of the more unfortunate eggs, which quite literally had the snot boiled right out of them.
Now for the dyes. We had a hard time finding egg dying kits this year, for some reason. We ended up getting some ourselves, which were terrible, and some that my mother found at the dollar store. (The crappy ones were pale and didn't dissolve properly, and here at the Loudshoes house, we like things intense.) Here are the dyes, ready for their subjects. Note the prophyllactic use of newspapers under the dyes, because one year we did actually dye the table. (As funky as we tried to see it, it still looked like we had vomited Easter egg dye all over the table. Not an image you want in your head while you're eating.)
The nice thing about dying eggs is that there is no wrong way to do it; any way you want is okay. (Except if you get some of one colour dye into another colour. Apparently, judging from the sound dressing down I got when I did it, mixing colours is a crime justifiably punishable by death in some Third World countries.)
Thursday, March 20, 2008
So I am scrabbling for the merest signs of spring. I'll admit, I'm reaching here, but I've got to have something, anything, to remind me that the day will come when I will not have to suit up for 10 minutes simply to put the garbage at the curb.
1. It is Easter weekend starting tomorrow. Easter is about as early as it gets this year. (For those of you who don't know, Easter Sunday is calculated by finding the first Sunday after the first full moon after the 21st of March. Not as complicated as it sounds.) Usually, Easter is the first really nice weekend of the year, but I doubt that will happen this time. I think the Easter Bunny will keep the hunt strictly indoors this time around. (Once, when Easter fell very late in April, my mother had the kids' egg hunt outside in her yard, with foil-wrapped chocolate eggs. The squirrels stole most of them. That was a very harsh Easter.)
2. I signed up the kids for summer camp today. The kids go to a drama and dance day camp the last week of July and the first week of August. Last year, the temperature hovered around 30°C for the entire two weeks, and Thing 2 went to bed at 6 pm every night for the first week. (If you do not have children, you cannot appreciate the desperate clamor to get your children signed up for their various summer activities before everything is full. It's like those English boarding schools where you have to put your child's name down as soon as you realize you have concieved them.) Another rite of spring.
3. The soles of my boots have begun to disengaged themselves from the tops, and I have to walk as if I am wearing flippers so that I don't trip over them. It is very graceful. Happens every year about this time. Of course, there are NO winter boots in any retail establishment north of the equator at this time of year, because their shelves are full of flip-flops.
4. Asparagus and rhubarb in the grocery store. Both very welcome relief from broccoli and grapefruit. I like asparagus okay; I think I really like it just because it is one of the first foods of spring, but I adore rhubarb, even the pale, pink hothouse version. The stuff we grow in our own backyard packs quite a whallop, let me tell you, and will rearrange your neurons. I love it, even if it does compromise my vision temporarily.
5. Toby gets lively. It must have to do with the amount of daylight or something, but right about now Toby rouses himself from his customary sloth, and starts tearing around the house as if he's had 8 double espressos, and has taken to leaping out at us as we pass his cagey hiding spot. Scares the shit out of me every time. We call it his "Jackie Chan Mode."
6. The little girls with the cornrows. At this time of year, all the kids who have more money than us went down south for March break. And most of them had their hair cornrowed. They'll keep it in for another week or so, until their head get itchy. Little girls don't look so bad with all-over cornrows, but grown white women look a lot like Q-Tips with that hairdo.
Now, if I could see some of the signs of spring like, you know, warmer temperatures, grass and sunshine, I'd be very happy. But I'll take what I can get.
How Many Countries Can You Name In Five Minutes.
Even with help from Thing 1, I still only got 72, at best. (It doesn't help that I can't spell and can't type.)
Good luck, and don't forget Tuvalu.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The movie is in 3-D, so they hand you the glasses as you walk in the door. While we were sitting in the theatre, waiting for the movie to start, Thing 2 puts on the glasses and looks around for a minute or two, before declaring "Nothing looks any different".
After a pause, Thing 1 laughs and says "That's because we live in 3-D all the time. Jeesh."
Not sure what Thing 2 was expecting.
Monday, March 17, 2008
When my parents came to Canada in the early 60's, they were gobsmacked by the way St. Patrick's Day was celebrated here. In Ireland, it was a religious holiday; everyone got the day off school or work and they went to Mass and thought about What They'd Done. The pubs weren't even open. Imagine their surprise that in North America it was seen as an excuse to drink green beer and dance on tables and otherwise break out of your WASPY penitentiary. It was like if you went to Singapore or somewhere and found out that Good Friday, or Christmas Day was the biggest party night of the year, and everyone made like it was a "Girls Gone Wild" video.
We work on a busy street in the middle of town, which has a number of bars very popular with the university crowd. This year, since St. Patrick's Day falls on a Monday, last Saturday was "St. Practice Day", and many people started the celebration a few days early. There was some action on the street; scantily dressed revellers in various states of inebriation staggering from bar to bar, and the occasional well-meaning soul who wandered into our salon, thinking it was a bar. ("Hey, check it out! No lineups! Let's go!") Last year, since the day fell on a Saturday, it was like somebody let all the animals out of the zoo..... The Tattooed One kicked a couple of guys off of the salon's rooftop, who saw it as the perfect venue to smoke a joint, and we saw a line up at an Irish bar when we went into work at 9:15 in the morning, and the whole day the show just got better and better. It certainly enlivened an otherwise mundane day at work, let me tell you.
I once asked my mother why we didn't eat more of the food she and my dad grew up with, like colcannon, and champ, and she said that one of the reasons she had moved 3,000 miles a way was so that she never had to so much as look at that stuff again, let alone eat it. So much for tradition. We did eat plenty of brown bread , which I will happily make and scarf down all by myself without sharing. My parents liked their smoked salmon, and had it occasionally as a rare treat. I was assured for many, many years that it was awful stuff and that I'd hate it and they were doing me a huge favour by not letting me have a taste. I think I was about 16 before I ever got any. My dad liked to eat something called "black pudding", which is a traditional Irish sausage, and like all sausage, one is better off not exploring it's contents too closely. (It's not bad, once you put you mind onto not thinking about what you're eating.)
We get some nice cards and greetings from our family overseas every year, which is nice. It makes St. Patrick's Day a little less like a festival of debauchery and a little more like a cross between St. Valentine's Day and Christmas.
The girls' school will occasionally have something about St. Paddy's day, a special theme in music class or an art project. (I wonder what the Muslim and Korean kids make of the whole thing.), but all in all, it seems to be largely an excuse to liven up an otherwise boring month.
Even if I'm not a big fan, I can't argue with that sentiment.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Thing 2 has always loved to mess about in the kitchen, and I figured it was a good way to while away the afternoon.
She has wanted to make layered jello since we saw it at our friends, the McDonald's, house a few months ago. Layered jello involves making many separate colours of jello and waiting until the last layer is firm before adding the next. It takes hours, requires unwavering patience and a steady hand. Plus, you are going to have an ungodly amount of jello in your fridge when you are done. But Thing 2 was thrilled with the results:
The glass on the right was a result of our wild experiment of tilting the container while the jello cooled. Thing 2 looked at me like I had just invented teleportation or something when I suggested it. I think she thought I was the coolest I was ever going to ever get at that very moment.
We also experimented with our very successful homemade marshmallows of a few weeks ago. We tried making chocolate marshmallows, which didn't set up quite as well as the regular marshmallows, and although they taste very nice, they are deeply unattractive. There are no pictures of them because they look a bit, well, fecal. Can't win 'em all.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Part of the fun of getting a pet is naming it. And we've had our share of creative names, over the years.
When we were kids, the first pet my brother and I had was a blue budgie, named "Aquarius", being "the age of" and all that. (It was the '60's.) Then we got it a companion, and named it "Shannon", because we had been to Ireland for Christmas just before that, and we the colour of the bird reminded us of the colour of the grass when we were landing at the airport. (I smell the heavy-handed suggestion of a parent here.)
This has made the "stripper name" game much more fun that it would have been otherwise: to find your "stripper name", take the name of your first pet as your first name, and your mother's maiden name as a surname, hence I am "Aquarius Holland". "Shannon Holland" does not sound lacivious enough. (A girl I worked with at one time came up with the hilarious "Nibbles LaFleche".)
Then we had the most neurotic cat I ever saw, and her name was Mehitabel, as in the cat from Archy and Mehitabel, a column in a New York newspaper in the 20's. (My dad is an English professor; our lives were heavily influenced, whether we liked it or not.) Mehitabel was too much of a mouthful, so we just mainly called her "the cat". As in, "the cat just peed in the corner. Again."
Puca was our next cat. Puca is the Irish name for a ghost; a calm, quiet, gentlemanly ghost, as opposed to a poltergeist. She lived up to her name, admirably, for 18 years. She was very agreeable, and her idea of lavishing one with affection was to sit 2 feet away and purr loudly. As one of my cousins remarked about Puca, "you have a very inoffensive cat".
When I got married, we somehow ended up with two kittens, Luther and Sophie. Thing 1 was born while we had those cats, and we were mad that we had used up "Sophie" on a cat when we could have used it on a baby. Luther had about 8 toes on each foot, and made an enormous racket as he walked across the hardwood floors. He's the only cat you could hear coming from two rooms away. Luther also had the IQ of a carrot, and his named suited him entirely.
Toby came to us already assembled. He had a name, he had been fixed and he had all his shots. Since we were Toby's fourth owners in about a year and a half, we decided not to change his name because he had already had too many to remember. If we could have named him, though, we would have called him "Vinnie", because he has an air of a two-bit hood about him.
If we ever get a female cat, she will be "Phoebe".
I once heard of a friend of a friend who had two Jack Russell terriers named "Rico" and "Lola", and someone else who had two cats named "Lucy" and "Ethel". I also knew a guy with a fabulous dog named "Bob". ("Bob the Dog", if you were being formal, "Robert", if he was in big trouble.) I've also known dogs named "Quick", (Quickster the Lickster!"), "Nod" as in "Winken, Blinken and", a Scottie dog named "Angus McBigpipe", and a cat named "Meathead".
You know how weird kids have weird names? Turns out animals grow into their names too.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Here is the side of the Loudshoes house, complete with Winter Snow Sculpture, for those of you into art.
(The Elvis stickers are new. I think they add a fairly jaunty air to our kitchen, as well as Toby's plight.) If you didn't know better, you would think that he's been left to freeze to death in the breezeway, instead of having just gone outside about 3 seconds ago.
Friday, March 7, 2008
- Writing a cheque- Since the advent of the debit card, I only write a cheque for the couple of dollars I end up owing Revenue Canada every spring. (On which I write "choke on it".)
- Changing a typewriter ribbon- A messy business under the best of circumstances, but which became a tussle to the death of one was not. I got to be pretty good at it.
- Rewinding a cassette tape using one's little finger- Cassette tape players had a vindictive streak, in which they would eat the tape, and when you pulled the cassette out, the guts of the tape became unravelled. I was very good at coaxing the tape back in, using my little finger and some kind words.
- Loading a film in a camera- Very tricky. If you didn't get the 35mm film in just right, you would think you were winding the film as you took the pictures, but you were not, and you'd end up coming home from you cousin's wedding with the pictures in your head and the film pristinely nestled in the wrong end of the camera housing. My brother was very good at this, too.
- Counting back change- There was a time when you had to figure out the change you were giving back to a customer, right in your head, without the cash register telling you what to do. Even though I am completely useless when it comes to math, I could do this.
- Using a credit card imprinter- Back in the day, we had to make a hard copy of the customer's credit card using that little machine that goes "ca-chunk!" We still have one at the shop for the odd time when the Interac machine goes down, and some of the younger people I work with have to ask "what's that?".
- Lettraset- Before computers, the only way to get any sort of display writing was to use a stencil set or Lettraset. Lettraset was a sheet of rub off letters which you lined up on the page and rubbed off using a popsicle stick. They were an absolute bitch to get straight or perfectly spaced, and it was fantastically impossible. My hand/eye co-ordination was pretty good, so I would do it for my classmates for a price.
- Loading a fountain pen with ink from a bottle- I used to do a lot of calligraphy (because it was still easier to learn that than to use Lettraset), and most of the pens were fountain pens that did not use the little cartridge full of ink, you had to load it from a bottle. I don't even know if you can buy that stuff anymore. You probably shouldn't because, oh, my, even a couple of drops of that stuff made an unbelievable mess. Once I dropped a whole bottle of it, and just about ran away from home.
- Making popcorn with oil on the top of the stove- Before microwaves, making popcorn involved heating oil in a big pot on the stove, adding the popcorn and shaking the bejesus out of the pot until the popping stopped. It took forever, your arms fell off and there was considerable skill involved to pop all the corn, but not burn it at the very last second. It was exhausting.
- Making a carbon copy with real carbon paper- Many an essay had to be typed using messy, smudgy, soul-destroying carbon paper. (I once had someone younger than me ask what did "CC" mean on an e-mail, and I said it stood for "carbon paper" and she asked what that was and I replied "Satan's plaything.") For those of you who have never had to wrestle with carbon paper, it was this black paper you put in behind the page you were typing, and you made an copy while you typed. Of course, getting it properly aligned was impossible, and every single mistake was cast in stone. And? Your fingers would be permanently marked with black, signalling that you were either a typist or a criminal. Or both.
- Adjusting the tracker on a VCR- When VCRs came out they had a little knob called the "tracker" that had to be constantly adjusted in order to get the picture to be viewable. Often several times within the same movie. It was fussy work and quite a job to get it ju--u-u-ust right.
- Use a rotary phone- My children saw one of these at my husband's aunt's house, and they asked where the "talk" button was.
Several skills that I do not possess, but which others do are:
- My brother can develop film in a darkroom. Just try to find anyone who even knows what a darkroom is anymore.
- My father can speak Latin. Very handy in this day and age.
- I had a friend when I was a kid who had two older sisters who went to all sorts of desperate measures to make their hair perfectly flat and straight. (It was the late 60's) This was before blow driers or flat irons, and the two sisters used to actually iron their hair with a clothes iron (wool setting!) to achieve this. The real skill was making sure you didn't leave a dent at the top where you first set the iron down. One of them had a boyfriend who was actually pretty good at this, and they liked for him to do it. He was mortified that he was pressed into service in this manner, let alone good at it, and threatened my friend and I with all sorts of bodily harm if we ever told a single soul.
- my mother knows how to use a ditto machine.
Even if I am the old fart in the room, I'm happy enough to never have to wrestle with at typewriter ribbon or fuss with the tracker on a VCR ever again. Technology does have it's advantages.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
This brings me to the inevitable conclusion that the list of things my husband does that I hate has yet another entry. That is, he is physically incapable of throwing anything away, even the things that every sane person would consider trash, and therefore leaves it to me to throw away and then complains about it. (I guess, technically, that would be three things.)
Himself has many, many fine qualities, and I am really quite smitten with him, but if I have to justify pitching one more piece of crap around here, I am really going to have the mother of all hissy-fits.
He has various reasons for not throwing things away:
1. "We might need that". Really? You think we are going to need the kid's high chair again? Because I think your new wife will probably want to buy her kids a new one. And the broken patio umbrella? Perhaps we can use that for a tv antenna, or lawn art. And how about all the jars in the fridge with a smidgen of jam or mustard or hoisin sauce on the bottom...we keeping those for a special occasion?
2. "What if we have to return it?" This excuse is for boxes. We keep every box we ever got anything in, even if we no longer have the thing that originally came in the box. "You can always use a box", is the other reason. (Well, Toby can always use another box.)
3. (And my personal favourite)"It might be worth money someday". The Mister is still mad that his mother threw out a whole whack of baseball cards he had as a kid, and assuredly would have paid off our mortgage by now. So, I have to fight to the death to throw out anything that could possibly be of any value in the future. I'm confident that tossing the Freddy Fender album and the cowboy boots from the Carter administration were still a good idea, but Himself is ready to hold it over my head when I am proved wrong.
So, this morning, I thanked the Mister for showing me the error of my ways, and for teaching me a Very Valuable Lesson About Thrift and Economy. And then I threw out the toothpaste tube when he had gone to work.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
In the morning, we had class time, whereby the teachers lectured, and then we had practical, hands-on training in the afternoon.
One morning, the topic under discussion was how to talk to clients in a professional, mature manner. We were cautioned not to talk about religion or politics, and to keep the details of our latest breakup/eviction/"Girls Nite Tequila Shot-a-Thon" to ourselves. We were encouraged to ask the client open-ended questions, to get them to talk about themselves and also, to keep the conversation geared to innocuous, benign, lily-white topics.
That afternoon, my first client was a young man, about my age. Taking the morning's advice to heart, I asked him if he grew up locally, and he said yes. Trying my best to keep the conversation going, I asked where he went to high school; this city's not too big, and since we looked to be of the same vintage, perhaps we had some acquaintances in common. He replied that he hadn't gone to high school.
I said "really, I thought everyone had to go to high school.".
To which he flatly replied "Not if you killed a guy, you don't."
And I stopped talking after that.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
1. He has trouble with spacial relationships. "Beside" the hamper is not "in" the hamper. This also is the case with the dishwasher, the closet and the garage. For some reason, he seems to think that putting things close to where they need to go is good enough. Not so, because it is me who ends up completing the transaction.
2. He is stupid like a fox. When asked why things are where they are, which is not where they are supposed to be and usually in my way, he feigns complete idiocy and pretends he has no clue whatsoever as to what I am ranting about. He does not mind that anyone may take him for the resident moron, and knows full well that whatever it is, it is not his problem any more.
3. He never fully completes a project. If the Loudshoes family had a motto, it would be "Ut Mos Operor" ("That Will Do"). He starts a project, he gets most of the way through, until things are at least functional,(if I am lucky) and then just..... stops. (Drywall seems to be the Mister's kryptonite, because that is usually where the project comes to a complete and utter halt and remains, in suspended animation, for another couple of years.) Sometimes, the project only gets to the "buying all the new stuff" phase before being ignored completely. I have no doors on a cupboard in the kitchen and several large sheets of maple in the downstairs hallway for about eight years now.
4. He sniffles. I know the poor man has allergies and can't help the way he feels but OH MY GOD the sniffling in the morning enrages me to the point where I find myself thinking, seriously thinking, of where I could reasonable hide the body.
5. He hates rice pudding, bread pudding, coffee and Kalamata olives. Now, you would be hard pressed to find a easier person to feed that Himself. I mean, he's eaten almost every single thing I've ever put in front of him, even stuff I couldn't choke down myself. But he hates four of the things I love most in the world.
6. He cannot be early for anything. I grew up in the House of the Hyper-Punctual. If you were late for anything, the hounds of hell would be unleashed on your head. This has rendered me a mite particular about being on time. The Mister has a much, much more cavalier attitude towards punctuality, and it makes my head burst into flames. I've cured him of the most egregious lateness (i.e. stepping into the shower at the precise time we were supposed to be arriving somewhere), but he still cannot seem to get himself out the door with any margin for error. We arrive everywhere at the last possible second, me in a funk and him clueless as to why. The concept of actually being early for something is completely out of his imagination.
He does have many, many positive attributes (he can do math in his head, he can open jars, he is kind and doesn't spit and he makes a very good show of listening to me), so if this is the worst I can come up with, I think we're doing okay. You may need to ask him about that, though.
Monday, March 3, 2008
This charming box of Christmas card, inexplicably featuring
This book, entitled "72 Sure-Fired Ways of Having Fun" and then the subtitle is "The Life of the Party". It is filled with suggestions for groan-worthy party games which were clearly intended to make your guest go home as soon as possible. The activities are likely designed for a pre-technological age, because I cannot imagine anyone else putting up with these unless there was absolutely no television to turn on. You can see from the woman on the cover's near hysteria that these games are not for the faint of heart.
Just for the record, I gave her a can of "Ninth Symphony Bean Mix" ("Eat and music will follow!" the can suggested, jauntily.) and a mouse pad with a picture of her sister wearing a cactus hat we had made her for her birthday last summer. Also, some picture books about some shows that were bad in the '80s and no better now, and folk music. Her sister got some excellent slippers that were obviously made for an elf, complete with curled up toes and bells, and a CD of "truck-drivin' hits!" that we had to play in the car on our way to dinner.