Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Red, Gold and Green

I'm a huge believer in karma; the idea that what goes around, comes around pleases me mightily. Mostly I like it because the concept that I might actually have something to do with my fate appeals to a control freak like me very much. (Also? I like the thought that the people who I do not like will get a huge ass-kicking at some point in their life; the universe saying "HAH!". No doubt that thought will earn me an ass-kicking at some point, too.)

Case in point: Parking Karma. I always try to pass up the best parking spot in the lot with the idea that when I really, really need a good spot, the universe will provide for me. And it totally works. Also, I give the homeless guy at Tim Hortons a buck every time I see him, and I smile and ask how he is doing, and he is very smiley and polite and wishes me a nice day, and so far I am not homeless. The only problem with this theory of Divine Benevolence is that I cannot figure out why I haven't wont the lottery yet.

Last Friday I did the hair of a complete whackjob. She was indecisive, insecure and sucked up all the oxygen in the room. She was exhausting. To make a long, long story short, we discussed (at length) what she wanted done with her hair, I did what I thought we had agreed on, and somewhere between the stylist's chair (where she had it cut) and coming back to the colour room to see me, she decided that it wasn't what she wanted at all. (We call this "Paint Chip Syndrome": "I know that's what I asked for, but I didn't realize it would look like this".) I offered to re-do it for her on Wednesday, the next day I was available, and she reluctantly agreed. She called the next day, Saturday, crying and carrying on that her hair was now too short, too, and that she hadn't slept all night and her weekend was ruined and what were we going to do about it. Barb, The Best Receptionist In All The Land, replied that we were going to do her hair on Wednesday, and to get over herself. (Well, she didn't say that last bit, but it was implied.) I was dreading Wednesday.

Now, yesterday, as I offered Thing 1 a ride to school, and said I'd pick up the girl she usually walks with, too. As we set out for the high school, I passed one of Thing 2's friends on the side of the road; his 8 year-old sister had fallen off her bike, she was bleeding and crying and he looked like he was doing his damndest not to burst into tears himself. I stopped the car, brought out the kleenex and put her bike into my van and told the brother to go on his way, I'd take care of everything. (The brother thanked me and after a pause, said in a shakey voice "you're not going to tell my mom I wasn't wearing my helmet, are you?") After I brought Thing 1 and her friend to school, I got the little one squared away, told her teacher what had happened and went home to wake up Thing 2, (who had inadvertently got a half hour to sleep in, because I was so late.)

And today I got a phone call from Barb, to tell me that The Crazy Client Who Haunted My
Dreams had decided that her hair wasn't as dark as she thought, and she was cancelling her appointment with me to fix it. I nearly wept with gratitude.

And my belief in a benevolent universe continues. Now, where can I find someone to help me win the lottery? And get Karma Chameleon out of my head.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Amazing Race 13 Ep. 1

Anyone get the feeling that this was a whole lot of 'been there, done that'?

I don't think I've ever seen a first episode of the Amazing Race before where I knew who was going to be eliminated in the first 5 minutes. Those geriatric Dead Heads were nice enough, but appeared to be partaking in the Amazing Stroll Through Commune rather than the Amazing Race. Also? I'm afraid my hair will look like that when I am 60.

Whiney Fat Boy in the Blue Shirt is pretty annoying, no? I think he should go just because of that stupid yellow bandana, if nothing else. The other one seems to be normal enough, but Bandana Boy was freaking out about everything.....maybe switch to decaf, dude. And if I ever have to se either one of them without a shirt again, I am going to raise one hell of a stink. That's just hurtful. (On the other hand? Dallas, of the Mother and Son Team, should be required to race topless.)
How did they NOT guess that the "mystery" question would be about the number of steps? Thing 1 and I both said that first thing....I'd have just counted the steps to keep my mind off the throbbing mess that would be my knees.

I don't know, I get a funny feeling about that ex-NFL player and his Cruella DeVille wife....I think, I think, he may have cheated on her, because that is the vibe I am getting. Subtle, I know, but I can't shake it. Maybe we'll find out later. Also, this just in, Kelly and Christie appear to be divorced.

I am very glad that I did not name either of my daughters "Sarah", although it is a lovely name, because apparently, when you are named Sarah, you are doomed to have a boyfriend who is an asshole. Happens every season.

Terrance is a huge tool already; I'm surprised he didn't complain that she should stop speaking Portuguese to everyone, because it made him feel inadequate. When someone says they are a "free spirit" that "only does what makes [him] happy", you know that means he's never going to be bothered doing anything that makes anyone else happy. And prefacing everything with "Honey, I love you dearly but..." would get you a sound ass-kicking around here. And what the hell was with his hair during their interview???? Thing 1 and I rewound it a couple of times to get a good look at that.

So far, I like the Comic Book Nerds and Aja and Ty. They seem to be the only ones who can interact with each other with any level of normalcy. Team Brother and Sister seem to be all hyped up and competitive, but I have to give props to Nick for saying Bandana Frat Boy wasn't in customer relations.

I like how Southern Belle #1 (No way am I going to be able to keep them straight. I don't even know their names and I probably won't bother to do so.) said that it was "hard being in a strange airport, particuarly in a foreign country". Because apparently she's never seen this show before, and was under the impression it was filmed in her backyard.

Well, even a so-so Race episode is still better than almost anything else on tv!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Once More Into the Bleach.

Colouring hair can be a tricky business. Perception is reality, after all; one person’s “burnished copper” is another person’s “highway pylon orange”. But usually such differences of opinion are easily managed, and we are able to make the client happy with a bit of toner or a few more highlights.

Bleach, however, is a whole nother business. When bleach goes wrong it goes horribly, disasterously, catastrophically wrong. Like, “hair breaking off at the root and falling out” wrong. Believe me, I witnessed the “Great Bleach Fiasco of 89” when I was a junior, and it has haunted me ever since. (One of the staff wanted her hair bleached all over, and asked me to put it on. Just to be clear, she mixed it, I just applied it. When I rinsed it out, I noticed that the drain was clogging up…..from all the hair that was falling out. Of her head. At the front. In my dreams, I can still hear the screaming.)

So you can imagine my horror at finding a whole head, on scalp bleach booked in my column for last Wednesday. (As opposed to bleach highlights, which can go wrong, but at least it’s not a whole head of hair. If highlights go wrong you just loose tufts of hair, which isn’t pleasant, but at least hidable.) I’ve never done a full head of bleach, and was shitting large, triangular bricks at the prospect for at least 4 days. The lady at the L’Oreal technical hotline was full of good advice, and the other colour technician at work was able to tell me what I needed to know, and I was as ready as I’d ever be by Wednesday afternoon.

A very nice young woman came in, and unknowingly put me at ease by saying that her hairdresser told her what to tell me, and after I took a deep breath and gave God a stern talking to, I was able to replicate the job without incident. And as she went out the door with her newly blond hair, I offered up a prayer of thanks that neither of us ended the day in tears, and both of us with all our hair intact.

But tomorrow is another day!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Can't Even Find My Car Keys.

My parents just came back from Ireland, where they went for their 5oth anniversary trip and they went back to the hotel where they spent their honeymoon in 1958. (Thing 2 remarked, with some wonder "and it's still standing???") The manager of the hotel made a bit of a fuss about them, and one night at dinner, came to their table with a dusty old book under his arm. It seems he had been able to dig up the old registry book from the hotel's basement, and there they were, my parents' signatures from their wedding day. And then they got a bottle of champagne given to them.

I sincerely doubt that the Mister and I will be able to do that for our 5oth anniversary, because it's all electronic now, and plus, neither of us is certain, exactly, where we stayed on our honeymoon. Also, many days there is some doubt as to whether or not we will make it to our 5oth anniversary; sometimes the next 15 minutes is iffy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where Will We Put the Books?

Way back in April, I told you about our getting a big screen tv that the Mister wanted with all his heart and soul. When we got the new tv, we naturally needed a new stand for it, since the old armoire we used for the last tv was woefully inadequate to house the enormous dimensions of our newest acquisiton. We looked around a bit, but everything was too black and space-age looking for us, or too expensive, or simply too ugly to abide in our house with us. I said, with some frustration, "all I want is a plain, wooden table with a shelf underneath, exactly like our coffee table in the living room". The two of us paused for a minute to let the synapses fire, and looked at each other and cried "why don't we use the coffee table in the living room!!". And so we did.

That left us without a coffee table in the living room, but we figured that wouldn't be too difficult to rectify. Silly us. We have discovered that in the 16 years since we last bought a coffee table, they have almost gone out of fashion entirely.
We were able to find lots of "ottomans as coffee table", like this, which I get is useful, only if you do not want to actually use it as a coffee table.
Can you imagine this in my house? It wouldn't stand a chance. Between the cat and the kids, this would be a raggedy mess in about 20 minutes. How are you supposed to put a drink on top of that thing? Besides, it looks like it's 6 feet tall.
There were lots of this sort of thing, too. Very Flintstoney. We do not live in a very funky or interesting house, and I certainly don't want my furniture to have more personality than me.
There was a surprising amount of what I call "Early American
Pensioner" furniture, such as this. My husband may be 50, but we are too young to have this kind of furniture in our house.
We also saw a lot of this kind of thing, that made me think that the Jetsons, and that maybe we should really all have flying cars and a Rosie the Robot maid by now. But it was proving very difficult to find a plain, wooden, relatively compact, non-ugly table for our living room. We eventually settled on a glass and metal affair that we could both live with, that did not break our budget and reminds us of no early childhood cartoons whatsoever.
Now we need a new couch.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Don't Even Like The Name "Jim".

My gym called me the other day, and by ‘’gym”, I mean “the place where I paid forty bucks a month for the privilege of berating myself senseless three times a week.” The gym must be very hard up for clients, because I terminated my contract with them almost two years ago.

They wanted me to know that they would be very happy to welcome me back and that they were prepared to offer me a “special rate” to do so. The young man on the other end was very perky and so earnestly full of good spirit that I felt mean for letting him down and refusing. But, it was also hard for me to not want to put a big old spike right through his head, either.

I had to tell him, in the most gentle terms possible, that I hated the gym, hated it with all the strength and purpose that God Himself had given me. That I would rather chew off my own right arm than go to the gym again. That the gym whipped me into a frenzy of loathing, and that I would never voluntarily darken their doorstep again. To which he paused and replied….”oh”.

I did assure him that I didn’t just reserve my revulsion for his gym alone, I hated all gyms. I have to give him kudos, he did keep talking to me, which, had I had me on the phone, I’d have probably given up. But he gamely asked me why I disliked going to the gym, to which I had to ask if he wanted my objections listed in order of importance, chronologically or alphabetically. At this point he laughed, recognized that he was on the phone with a legitimate nutbar, and wished me a good evening.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

High School Musical

Thing 1 started high school recently, and the one thing, the ONE THING I strongly encouraged her to take was music. Mostly because if you aren’t in music, you aren’t in the band. And band can be a blast in high school, even if you do have to put up with punishingly early practices and painfully ugly uniforms. In band you get to meet a much bigger cross-section of kids than you would anywhere else, you get an extra half-credit for sticking it out, and maybe, just maybe, you will get to go on a trip. (Band trips are a riot, even when you only get to go to Ottawa, which seems to be the destination of choice for high schools in Ontario.)
My band went to Ireland when I was in Grade 12, and it was so much fun I barely remember anything else about high school. It was totally worth having to play the French Horn for four years, which I hated with every molecule of my being. (The French Horn is a beautiful sounding instrument, but is not pretty and delicate and most of all, light enough to lug home on a city bus without herniating yourself.)

Thing 1 played the flute in elementary school, which she began with such enthusiasm we actually bought her a flute off of Ebay. Her zeal has diminished somewhat (read: fallen off the map entirely) and she chose to play the alto sax in high school. The sax came home with her today, and there has been a series of honks and squeaks and moos out of her room since. I hope to God she is actually practicing that saxophone because otherwise I would have to conclude that she is mistreating goats in there. I’m sure the day will come when she can actually coax a recognizable tune out of that thing. (By the way, the Mister picked up that saxophone and busted out with a very impressive riff. Just came out of nowhere; had no idea he could pull that out. I was gobsmacked.)

One of the other advantages with being in band is that you occasionally get to skip out of class for some sort of special performance. My band got to play at music festivals and at assemblies and such. My friend Perrie’s elementary school band was asked to play when the bishop came to bless the newly built Catholic church in town. ( Sadly, the only song they could all play together was “Another One Bites The Dust”, which I’m sure was a novelty for the bishop.)

If Grade 9 music and band are not to Thing 1’s liking, she is free to pull the plug and pursue other interests. I sincerely hope she doesn’t, and for that, I am willing to put up with what sounds like a fight to the death between thrashing bagpipes and angry ducks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Things I Thought I Would Never Do.

In every life, one must accept the inevitable evidence that one is getting old. That is usually punctuated by the necessary repeal of the declaration "I would never do that", which one so blithely and vehemently uttered in one's youth.

1. Get irrationally irritated by the clothing styles of the generation behind mine. Today at the mall there was a young man walking ahead of me with his waistband half way down his thighs and a shirt that could conveniently doubled as a hot tub cover. It pissed me right off. I was tempted to go up to him and congratulate him on his recent and sudden weight loss. ("You must be so proud of yourself!") I also saw a young woman wearing a teeny-tiny shirt sporting a Playboy bunny logo, and I wanted to give her a good talking to. I used to be hip, but clearly, now I'm not.

2. Get a little wire trolley. I did finally acquire one of those little pull-along trolleys, the ones that scream "I'm really old!". Believe it or not, the Tattooed One was tossing out her grandmother's one day when I happened to give her a ride home. "Are you getting rid of that?" I asked, "Do you want it???" she replied, with barely concealed horror. "Absolutely I do", came the reply.

3. Wake up early. When I was a teenager and prepared to sleep for Canada had it been an Olympic sport, I couldn't fathom why my father would get up way before everyone else in the mornings. Why get up when you don't have to. But now my eyes sproing open at 6 a.m. no matter what, and I just get up and get stuff done, rather than just lie there mad at the world for not being able to sleep.

4. Eat mushrooms, olives and bananas with spots. I'm not quite sure why I hated all three of these so much before, but now I eat them willingly, even the bananas. (My children have taken up the helm, and refuse to eat bananas with the teeniest trace of brown on them. I end up trying desperately to merchandise the ideal bananas for the 20 minutes or so that they are at their peak. "Does anyone want a banana? They're perfect right now."

5. Wear slippers. When I was a kid, I marvelled at the kids in the Brady Bunch who kept their slippers on the floor and dutifully slid into them as they exited their beds. Who's that organized? But then I realized my feet were cold from October until May, and suddenly, that little bit of logistics seemed to make perfect sense.

6. Stretch my arm out to read something. There is something just so surrendering about that iconic, middle aged gesture of picking up something you want to read and moving it farther away in order to see it. I swore I wouldn't do it, I'd never need to do it, but my retinas had other plans.

7. Leave the house without makeup. There was a time when the idea of leaving the house without the full compliment of makeup on was an anathema to me; it was akin to going out naked. At some point in my life I stopped wearing makeup at all unless I was at work, and also? nobody's looking at me anyway.

8. Buy Tender Tootsies. In case you didn't know, Tender Tootsies are the official footwear of grannies and nuns the world over. Shoes guaranteed to fend off male attention within 50 miles, they A) practical, B) comfortable and C) supremely ugly. But, I tried some on at Sears once, without knowing they were Tender Tootsies (that part is important) and they were so comfortable I nearly collapsed with delight to have them on my feet. Then I realized what they were, but I was in hook, line and sinker, because for once in my adult life, I had shoes that didn't qualify as a human rights violation. So I bought them.

9. Hate crowds. I used to love the fair, the hustle and bustle of the mall at Christmas, the buzz of a movie on opening day! Now I just want to be there all by myself. Walking in crowds makes me particularly cranky. I think that just because people come equipped with feet does not mean they know who to use them. If you have to get a licence to drive a car, then I think a licence to walk should not be out of the question.

10. Not know what's on tv, who's singing on the radio, or on the cover of People magazine. It all blends. Celebrities come in two forms for me now, those I know and those I don't. The first category is small, and the second is huge and I don't care.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's All In How You Look At It.

Thing 2 had a wire in her braces sproing out of it's bracket at lunch today, so I had to take her to the orthodontist right smart, as it was threatening to poke through her cheek at any minute.
The orthodontist is at the other end of town, so I decided to make use of my being somewhere I am usually not, and decided to make a stop at the Real Canadian Superstore on our way home.

The Real Canadian Superstore is sort of like a Loblaws on steroids; it's huge, and groceries seems to be a very small part of their focus. They sell furniture, hardware, flowers, and food, as well as have a doctor's office and a gym on the premises. They also sell some very funky clothes at ridiculously low prices. (I try hard not to think of the kid in Cambodia who made 12 cents a day in order to make that $25 dollar jacket I'm thrilled to buy.)

As we approached the store, which has lots of big, bright windows, Thing 2 remarked that "wow! that would be a terrible place to be in a tornado!". I really hadn't thought of that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Our Budding Politician

The other day Thing 2 made some plans with a friend to go to the mall for a couple of hours. Just as she was all ready to go, she must have realized her dire financial situation, because bounded into the kitchen, where the rest of the Loudshoes were gathered, and asked, in the most hopefully expectant tone "Does anyone have any money they don't want?"

You have to admit, as a strategy, it's breathtakingly direct.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fair Day Afterthought.

I forgot to mention that while the Loudshoes children were enjoying the rides, the Mister and I had plenty of time to stand around and wait and observe the rich pagent that was surrounding us. We got the idea that, as a public service, we will start up a charity to raise money to buy full-length mirrors for those in need. Because clearly? there are plenty in need.

Sunday Smack Down

If all is well with the universe, I am able to spend my Sunday mornings with a bacon and egg bagel, a cup of coffee and the big crossword. Sometimes it takes me all day to get the crossword done, and sometimes I have to resort to searching the internet to get some clues. (Some people consider that cheating, but I disagree; I don't think the timing of the acquisition of knowledge is relevant here, what difference does it make when you find out a particular fact? Besides, it's a Sunday crossword, lighten up.)

Last Sunday I was working away, with a little help from the cat, (Toby's "help" consists of rubbing up against the pencil and lying down on the paper.) and I must have looked a fright, because as Thing 1 wandered through she remarked "Looks like a hard crossword, according to your hair."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fair Day

Yesterday was our annual trip to the Fair, which is much anticipated in the Loudshoes household. I think the kids start counting down about a week into August....it certainly makes the return to school much more palatable when the fair is only a week later.

The weather wasn't good, and it did put a damper (hee!) on our evening. Rides are not as much fun when you are getting pelted with rain and creating your own wind chill factor. Plus, as the girls found out, wet slides leave you with a distinctly soggy bum for the rest of the night, plus they are much more slippery, resulting in you coming off the end like a Japanese bullet train. But we did manage to get in a couple of hours of rides before the rain got serious, and that was sufficient.

The one ride none of the kids would even consider going on was the Zipper. I went on it once, when I was about 11, and to this day, when I think of hell, I think of that ride. It is unpleasant in the extreme, and I'm pretty sure I've scared my children for life about that ride. (Thing 1's friend was game to go on it, but didn't, I notice.) My friend Carri's two brothers went on it last week, and one of them lost a couple of two dollar coins at the first revolution. They spent the rest of the ride not only spinning around and reeling and gyrating until their lunch came up, they also had to endure those coins pinging around whacking them in the face at random intervals. One more reason to hate that ride.

Because the crowds were so sparse, the usual compliment of crazy people were not there. We did see a guy answer his phone in the midst of riding the Tilt-A-Whirl. (You know you don't have to answer your phone every time it rings, right?) And there was one woman there who clearly was dressed to go out for some fancy night on the town, but instead found herself at the fair. (How else to explain the white leather trench coat, the 4 inch black heels and the little gold purse?)

There is one aspect of the fair in which the Loudshoes family excels, and that is the eating. We managed to consume pizza, caramel corn, french fries, a funnel cake, an elephant ear, a sausage on a bun and a deep-fried Mars bar. Oh, and we took a bag of cotton candy home. (Now, just to tell you, we did share most of that stuff; otherwise we'd have collapsed from the assault on our livers.) Thing 2 woke up this morning saying she was still full from last night. I notice that did not stop her from taking a wad of cotton candy with her for "snack time" at school today. (I'll bet I've got the teacher's vote for "Mother of the Year".)

As usual, I made the kids go see the animals. ("I took you out of school for this, we've got make it educational.") We all decided that if baby pigs could stay the same size for ever, we would get one for sure. (Unfortunately, the grown pigs do nothing for themselves in the PR department, and would not be welcome.) The girls got to hold two-day old chicks in their hands, and were able to pet some newborn lambs. The Mister and I once again put "farmer" into the category of "Jobs We Are Glad Someone Else Does".

Even though we had to cut our night short because of the weather, we still had a good time. After all, even the lousiest night with a deep-fried Mars bar is still a good night.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Grocery Store Follies.

It must be September: it's silly season at the grocery store. Every year at this time the grocery store is inundated with university students who have either A) never stepped foot inside a grocery store or, more likely B) never stepped inside of a grocery store to buy groceries. Most of them are probably getting dinner on the table for the first time by themselves, and I do have a certain sympathy for that. Running a house well is not easy, and it's tough enough to do it for yourself let alone a couple of other people who don't know any more than you do about it. But I can't fathom the people who wander into the store looking for the "Toast" section. They should probably just order take-out. I am particularly interested in the contents of the carts, too. The young women get about 10 cases of bottled water, a metric tonne of fat-free yogurt and some zucchini. The men load up on pasta, potato chips and Kraft Dinner. (I once dated a guy in university who lived in an older house, which had very high ceilings and the kitchen cupboards went all the way up to the top. He and his room mates were ecstatic to find themselves at a store which had Kraft Dinner on for 15 cents a box, and they bought as much as they could drag home. I'd bet they bought a hundred boxes. It delighted them no end that they could fill the kitchen cupboards so that when you threw open the doors, all you could see was floor to ceiling Kraft Dinner. I think that was the highlight of their university careers.)

I took the girls grocery shopping the other day so that we could get stuff for lunches. (I've learned the hard lesson that what I think is a satisfying lunch and what they consider a satisfying lunch are two wildly different things.) Thing 1 has to stay for lunch at school now, since it's a bit of a hike from high school to home. But the upside is that she can bring peanut butter to school for the first time in 11 years. Hallelujah! (I guess the powers-that-be figure that high school students can be trusted to be responsible for what they put in their mouths, which leads me to believe that they have never met any high school students.) Thing 1 and Thing 2 both asked hopefully if we could get white bread for their lunches, like this was some far-and-away vision that they could only ever hope for, like winning the lottery or something. When I said yes they got all swoony and misty eyed. Then, having had that particular aspiration come true, they asked if we could also get 2% milk. I said yes to that one too, and they practically hoisted me onto their shoulders. Who knew? (My friend Wendy's daughter once asked for 2% milk for Christmas. I had no idea 2% milk was the ultimate ideal for so many children, including my own. Maybe we should start up a charity for such deprived youth.)

I also had a very nice,but incredibly innocent cashier; she kept asking me what all the produce was, and what I would be using it for. At first I thought she was new and was asking because she needed to know for all the product codes, but no, she was really quite curious. "What kind of lettuce is this?", "Romaine", "Huh. So, what do you use that for?", "Salad", "Wow." This went on for most of my produce. Okay, I can see you maybe not knowing the difference between parsley and cilantro, and I get that not everyone knows what a mango looks like, but an avocado? Yellow squash? Ginger? Finally I decided that she was an alien sent from another planet to discover more about humans and their habits, and from then on, I found it much easier to get along with her.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lessons I've Learned From Television

1. Middle names are always dorky and embarrassing, especially if you are a big, tough man.

2. If you have a baby or a dog, you will have eventually have some impelling reason to hide it's existence. You will almost get away with it, but at the last second the baby or the dog will make a noise and you will be found out.

3. Pregnant women should avoid taxi cabs and elevators, because their baby will be born there after an incredibly fast and painful labour. Also, women in labour are vicious, snarling beasts.

4. Owning a bathrobe means you will get sick, because that is the only time you are allowed to wear one.

5. Avoid calling in sick or otherwise lying to attend a sporting event. This will ensure that you are shown on the Jumbotron.

6. Avoid taking bubble baths. People will walk right into your bathroom and begin a conversation with you. This will not happen if you are having a shower or a plain old bath.

7. Stay away from old women. They are either evil or will delay you from some incredibly important event by feeding you and giving you tea.

8. Never take art classes. Your first class will require you to paint a nude, and you will know them and it will be horribly embarassing.

9. Be prepared to take all sorts of fashion advice from gay men, because they are experts. Also, they are all funny, bitchy and sassy, and talk about being gay all the time.

10. Do not sneak a brownie if it has not been offered to you. It has pot in it.

11. There are no blonds in France. Nazis spoke with English accents. Japanese people all wear glasses. Black people are here to teach us a Very Special Lesson about tolerance or what it's like to be poor.

12. Do not let your child own stuffed animals. You will eventually find yourself sitting on a bed clutching said animal and crying because your child is missing. Don't worry, though, they will be found within the hour.

13. Do not wear a formal dress outside in the dark. You will be slaughtered. Also, if you are overweight, do NOT get a job as a security guard. You will be shot.

14. All cats are evil and malicious. Unless they are busy sussing out the supernatural beings in the immediate area, and then they are hissing.

15. Do not go jogging in the early morning, unless you want to discover a dead body.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One Year Old Today!

Mrs. Loudshoes is a year old today! (The blog, not the person. A one-year old has no business having a blog.) Many thanks to everyone who has been so supportive, encouraging and nice about my endeavors, it has been very much appreciated. And thank you to everyone who has read my words and come back for more....it shows you are not just being polite. Much obliged!

Today was the first day of school around here. Thankfully, it has been entirely without drama, unlike last year, and both girls are very happy with their situations. Thing 2 has two very lovely teachers this year, and although her best friends are not in the same class as her, she's friendly enough with the ones she's in with.

Thing 1 started high school this year, and she seems to have approached this new phase with equanimity. (A drama queen she is not, thank goodness.) The powers that be seem to have become much, much more sympathetic to the new Grade 9 students, and made the introduction to high school considerably less nerve-wracking than when I went. Back then, I got put on a bus and told "good luck, hope you make it home", or some such thing. They've done away with initiations and hazings, which were barbaric in the extreme. ("Hey! Lets take a bunch of socially inept bullies and give them free reign to terrorize the innocent, defenceless new kids! It'll be fun!") Thing 1 was able to meet her whole home room class last week at a picnic, where she discovered that 18 out of the 28 kids were from her old elementary school. Then she got a tour of the school so that she could find her classes today. One of her best friend's brother gave them the "real" tour of the school, which was mighty valuable....where to sit in the cafeteria, where the emos hang out and how not to look too much like a niner. Today she said she only got lost once, and managed to sit with someone she knew at lunch, and in the proper area.

I? I had a day more or less to myself. I picked up the drycleaning, which I had forgotten for about three weeks. (I don't know how many times I had had the "where on earth are those khaki capris???" conversation with myself.) I went to the library. (We have an excellent library system, and we are truly blessed to have it.) and I went to the liquor store to return the unopened booze from the party. Isn't that an amazing system? You buy more than you think you need, and you can bring back what you didn't use. Awesome. I must say, I brought back one bottle of coconut rum, which is possibly an even more lethal substance than tequila. It certainly qualifies as one of Satan's Toys.

And with a house free of coconut rum, we are off to a good start.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Party of the First Part

We're a bit like Uncle Joe here at Chez Loudshoes today; we're a-moving kinda slow. We had a big party here yesterday to celebrate both my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, and the Mister's 50th birthday. (Neither one really liked the idea of a party in their honour, so I told each of them that the party was really for the other occasion. Totally worked.) A late night and a couple of margeritas sure has an unkind effect on a middle-aged body.

We had around 40 or so people in the backyard, and the day was just beautiful. (I'm not sure what we'd have done if it rained; there's no way we could fit 40 people in our house. It would have to be "you, hang out in the bathroom, you, here's the laundry room, you, try the garage".) We had a Tiki Bar and canopy set up, (Thanks, Don!) which made it all look very festive. The Mister did mammoth work in the yard yesterday to make it look nice for the party. Honestly, the vegetable garden looked like Brazil before he got working on it, and it ended up looking perfectly civilized by the time the guests arrived. I cleaned the house like a woman possessed, and it looked pretty good, too. I managed to do about 6 things that I had put off for ages, just because I had a reason to get them done. The Mister and I figure we should have people over every 4 to 6 months or so, we get so much done around the place. If you think being alive for 50 years is hard to get your head wrapped around, think about being married for 50 years. Staying married for a half a century is no small feat these days, when statisically one has a better chance of surviving cancer than staying married. There have been many a day when I was pretty sure my marriage wasn't going to last for the next 50 minutes, let alone 50 years. My parents not only have managed to stay married for 50 years, they've actually made it look pretty easy to do so; it's not just that they're still together, they still like each other, too.

A couple of people asked me if it made me feel old to have a husband in his fifties. On the contrary, I replied, it makes ME feel younger than ever! Having a spouse who is 3 1/2 years older than me is fabulous, I get to go through the getting older process by osmosis first, and then first hand a few years later. Doesn't seem like such a big deal then. Also, no matter how old I get, he's always older. It's a very good system.

It was good to have a quiet day today, yesterday was a long and busy one. And at least now, nothing needs doing around the place.