Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things You Will Never Hear Me Say

  1. Camping? I'd love to! I hope it's good and cold out there!
  2. Oh, yes, more blue cheese, please!
  3. I think I've slept enough.
  4. I'm sorry, I can't come that day, I have to clean my house.
  5. This movie is so boring; I hope that guy keeps making comments about it, only louder.
  6. Oh my gosh! You are so right! I do charge too much for my work! Let me lower the price for you; I make too much anyway.
  7. I could listen to gangsta-rap all the live long day. SO relaxing.
  8. Don't be silly, I love telemarketers! What can you sell me?
  9. Books are over-rated. Give me Nascar any day.
  10. Please tell me more about how I can make all kinds of money in a multi-level marketing scheme.
  11. Let me help you with that math homework.
  12. I'm giving up coffee.
  13. Competitive sports?!? Sign me up!!
  14. Really, you can never spend too much on a car.
  15. Your baby looks like Yoda.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Amazing Race 16, Episode 2

Oh my gravy! That was sweet! I loved that the cowboys not only found a way to get there before everyone else, they also found a way to shut up about it!!! That sort of discretion is in very short supply on reality television. I know if I had been that clever as to find out that the other bus left from another terminal, I'd have been hard pressed not to be all shouty and self-congratulatory on the subject. Turns out the cowboys really ARE magical people!

I have got to find a way to work the words "and when your llama is properly adorned" into a sentence sometime soon.

I'm sure the Flight of the Majestic Condor segment sounded way, way better in the production meeting than it turned out. Can't you just see it? "And then they put on condor feet, and run off the end of the dock, and sail, SAIL over to the clue, just like an actual condor! It will be magnificent, trust me!"

I'm sure there aren't official rules against "saving spots" for other teams, but why would you want to? The unofficial rules of society mean that you are brewing up a whole lot of bad feelings onto yourself for very little payoff; allying with one team to piss off all the other teams does not seem to be a good strategy. Besides, in 15 seasons, I've yet to see an alliance that did not pay off big time for one team, and bite the other team in the ass.

I liked Granny and Granddaughter, but I'm not sure what they thought they were doing. Keeping positive and thinking happy thoughts is surely important, but actually racing is even moreso. That looked more like the Amazing Sightseeing Tour Through Chile. I know she participated in some tri-athalons, but my money is that Granny came in last. Also, with Granny's admission that that one is her favorite, I'll bet Christmas dinner is going to be a little awkward this year.

Dectective Louie really does look like a llama. What do you know?

I can't figure out which is the gay brother and which is the straight brother. That is not good news for either of them.

How come the cows pooping was blurred out, but a beauty queen hocking a loogie is okay?

That kick to the head by the cow was no small thing....cows are BIG, and they pack a whallop. I've only ever milked a cow once, but as I recall, it's pretty intimidating to be up beside one of those things and poking around at it's lady bits. Good on Granny for bucking up. She looked in the confessionals like she had a bit of a bruise.

What on earth are the cowboys going to do with sailboats in Oklahoma?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good Things About Having A Cold.

While we were on holidays in Florida, I managed to aquire a nasty, rotten cold. I could feel the back of my throat getting all ticklish and raw about 2 days into our week away, and with all the positive thinking possible, I told myself it might be a slight cold and I'd hardly notice it. About two days later, while laying in bed and missing out on all the fun and snorting and spewing and looking as disgusting as a human being should be allowed, I had to acknowledge that this was a yeti of a cold, and I was just going to have to deal.

It's been two weeks now, and I'm just now starting to feel like myself again; this cold has hung around like a fart in a phone booth. I'm still trying to be positive, so I've come up with a list of things that are good about having a cold:

  • Nobody expects you to look nice. Forget the makeup and don't bother doing your hair. You are going to look like something the cat sicked up, so you are totally off the hook.
  • Lolling in bed watching Dr. Phil and napping is allowed, nay, encouraged. It's the only time you can do so with impunity.
  • Chocolate's medicinal properties are highly valued at such a time, and no one is going to begrudge your intake, no matter how alarming.
  • You can't smell the garbage can in the kitchen. From the bedroom.
  • Since you can't smell, you can't taste. Save the calories from the sugar in your coffee, which has no flavor anyway, and use it for them for the chocolate. At least you can feel the chocolate.
  • Pajamas are the attire of choice. No uncomfortable waistbands or gotcha crotches.
  • You get to whine loudly and repeatedly, without censure.
  • You can take a day off work by insisting you "don't want to spread it around". (Actually, if you had the bubonic plague, you would happily lick a few, selected co-workers precisely with that in mind, but this is only a cold.)

It won't kill you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Loudshoes Head South, Part Four

The rest of our holiday was delightful: fireworks and roller coasters and 3-D movies and park food. There is so much to do at Disney World, even a week is barely enough to get through it all.

I got a rotten cold about half way through the week that cut me off at the knees and made me beg for mercy. Is there anything more miserable than getting sick while on your holidays? (The answer is yes: flying when you are sick.) I took one day to stay behind and wallow, and then I was able to rally and enjoy the rest of the holiday with copious amounts of Advil and Sudafed. I have to say, though, that being turned upside down while hurling alond at Mach 1 in the dark (The Rockin' Roller Coaster at they Disney Hollywood Studios) when your head is stuffed full of yuck is pretty unpleasant.

Other things from our week away:

  • My holiday starts when I arrive at the airport. Somehow, this translates into a caloric "get-out-of-jail-free card", and I start eating as soon as possible. I'm not sure if this is because of my father's Rule of Travel, ("eat when there's food and go to the bathroom when you find one. You never know when your next chance to do either will be.") or if it's merely a response to a cessation of the norm, but when I set foot in any airport, it's the beginning of the "all chocolate, all the time" diet.
  • I remember a time when people used to actually dress up to go on airplanes, like it was some sort of fancy party we were attending. I wised up and now wear comfortable, unwrinklable layered clothing that I could deal with wearing for the next week if they lost my luggage. But I saw a young woman at O'Hare wearing honest-to-God pajamas, which I thought was pushing the boundaries a bit. I get that comfort is a priority, but come on. Look into yoga pants.
  • While waiting for our flight, the girls and I took a walk and were enchanted at the fact that there were planes departing from our terminal to Sao Paolo and L.A and Amsterdam and Sydney. So glamourous! Thing 1 saw a notice for Narita-Tokyo and exclaimed with delight "And that one's going to Narnia!". (She knew, she was just being funny.)
  • There really isn't anything quite like the sensation of leaving the cold and dark and walking out into the warm and light. I just love that.
  • Thing 2 asked why planes had two engines, and the Mister explained that it was in case one engine failed, the plane could still operate safely if it had one working engine. Sh e thought about that for a second and perked up and said "oh, like kidneys!"
  • Much like the mall during Christmas shopping , Disney is in dire need of some sort of traffic direction for pedestrians. Walking in one direction while looking in another should be punishable by law, and if you can't drive and talk on a cell phone, then I'm not sure you should be allowed to walk and do it either.
  • Groups over 6 pr 8 should be banned. There is no need whatsoever for the entire Mexican soccer team to walk altogether. Especially if they feel the need to chant in Spanish non-stop while walking directly behind me.
  • At one outdoor fireworks attraction, there was a commotion on the other side of the amphitheater and we saw a young man being escorted to his seat by body guards. There was a whole lot of whooping and hollering, and it appeared that the guy was somebody famous, but we couldn't get a good enough look to see who it was. The Mister said it was probably one of the Jonas brothers, and two seconds later, I heard someone a few seats over say "I thought I heard it was a Jonas brother". And that's how riots start. (Turns out it was some sort of Argentine pop star, maybe the Jonas brother of Buenos Aires. )
  • Going away is fun, but coming home is amazing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Amazing Race 16, Episode 1

Hello Race!

I loved that they made them take public transportation to LAX....I know loads of people for whom taking public transportation is akin to bringing the ring back to Mordor.

Will someone please tell Miss Teen South Carolina that when you come in second and get a penalty for not following the instructions, which results you checking in seventh, you are still "technically" in seventh place.

The lack of bickering dating couples and alpha male teams this season has my approval. (No one mentioned that they were "testing" their relationship, thank God.) However, the casting of people who have already been on a reality show, and Miss "the Iraq and Such as", may incurr my wrath. If either one of them pulls out a pair of water wings at some point, I am going to lose my shit altogether.
Also, I think that if you don't know the difference between China and Chile, you don't deserve to be on this. Also, Brazil is not "close enough" to Chile to use the same currency.

Thing 1 and I decided pretty quickly that no matter who did what Roadblock, there would be no yelling from the other party whatsoever during the task. The last thing I need when I'm suspended 120' over the ground is someone distracting me by screeching "you're doin' great, baby!".

I enjoyed the yappy dogs of Chile very much. In fact, that is my new band name: "Yappy Dogs of Chile".

Hands down, my favorite incident of the evening was when the father and daughter ran into that house and started painting. Hilarious, one of my fave moments on this race ever. Can you imagine explaining that to your boss?? "So, really, we were just finishing up for lunch, and then these Americans came rushing in with paint cans and cameras and just painted that wall really,really badly, and then they demanded some piece of paper from me, and when I didn't have it, they left. Don't worry, we'll fix it, but it will take a day or two."

You know when you see Phil coming to see you, it's never good news.

Favorite Line of the Night: Father and Daughter to the Chilean painters: "Are you here?", Chilean Painter in Suduko Shirt, gamely "I AM HERE!".
Also, Cop on the Ground to Cop on a Wire: "Nanna is kicking your butt".

Until next week!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Loudshoes Head South, Part Three

Monday dawns, and it's raining. On and off, but definitely raining. Sigh. I have enough shit fallling out of the sky on me at home, I really don't want it to be happening when I'm on holidays.

We organize oureselves to get to Epcot, because that's the park we explored the least the last time we came. And, also, I hear there is a lot to do inside.
When we get to the park, the rain is teeming, and so our first stop is to the little trinket trolley set up in front of the gates to get rain ponchos. (We did think to bring rain ponchos, the Mister even went so far as to make a special trip to get them before we left. But they did us no good back in our luggage at the cabin.)

I thought we'd head right to the first attraction, a "ride" through the history of human communications, which Thing 1 declared the "worst ride ever" the last time we came, because she "learned something, and vacations are NOT for learning!". But I figured objections would be few, because of the rain. I was right, but everyone else thought the same thing, and the line was too long, even for me. So we found ourselves at the next possible indoor thing, and that was (ironically) a storm simulator. We sat in a little room with a wrap around screen and watched a 3-D movie that made it look as though tree branches were falling on us. It also had one of those things that spritzed water on you and blew wind and totally made it feel as though you were in the middle of a hurricane. After about the fifth such barrage, Thing 1 had had enough, and exclaimed "son of a bitch" way too loudly. Exemplary parent that I am, I fell all over the place laughing. Such un-Disney-like behaviour.

We explored Epcot quite thoroughly, including the International area, which might have been more pleasant if it wasn't so soggy.
Things We Learned About Other Countries:
  • Germany makes rockin' good pretzels
  • Japan is expensive
  • Everything is big in Mexico.
  • Norwegians like boats.
  • China and Japan are nearly indistinguishable from each other
  • Same with France and Italy

At least the weather leant the English pavilion an air of authenticity.

I don't remember much else about Epcot, except I once heard that "Epcot" stands for "Every Person Come Out Tired", and I'd vouch for that. It is the one park where we saw noticibly drunk people; it was during the fireworks that night. "Oh, maaaaan.......fireworks are the beeeeeest!" I blame Germany.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Loudshoes Head South, Part 2

First stop: the Magic Kingdom.

We had to take a boat ride to get to the Magic Kingdom from our resort, which was a-okay by us. Water that you couldn't walk on? We love that stuff! And the novelty of palm trees and Spanish moss and herons and egrets thrilled us.

We walked into the Magic Kingdom and headed straight for the "Pirates of the Caribbean", because I love that one, and I'm the loudest. And we walked up to it and.....we were the only ones there, we just walked right on, which, believe me, is a miracle at Disney World. (The holding pens for the bazillions of people to wait at the peak of the season is truly awe-inspiring.....we walked past vast, echoing corrals that literally would hold hundreds of people in line for a ride. The fact that we were not in them was as wonderous as the rides themselves.)
That was fabulous.

Then we went to the Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan and saw the fireworks, all in about an hour. I tell you, it was like having our own private park.

Then I did a truly horrible thing, a thing my children will hold against me forever, and will inevitably bring up in therapy: I took them on "It's A Small World". If you've never been on "It's A Small World", let me paint a visual for you: it is a boat ride through room after room after room of disturbing 3-foot-high dolls in various national costumes singing one of the most persistently annoying songs ever written, over and over and over again, in the most aggressively chipper manners possible. And this goes on for 15 full minutes. It's excruciating. I knew they would hate it, but I just couldn't help myself. (You can see it for yourself here, but don't say I didn't warn you.)
The look on their faces was priceless, as they entered each successive room of creepy, chirpy singing dolls. Their mounting horror as they realized that there was ALWAYS another room, made me almost wet myself laughing. The Greek chorus of "oh MY GOD" that punctuated the ride was hilarious, as they got increasingly deseperate for it to end. At one point, Thing 1 turned to me and cried "it never ends, does it???? We just do this forever until we go crazy, right????"
I was beside myself.

When the nightmare ended, the two of them gave me a venouous stare that would have made Toby proud, they vowed to get even.

I said that my punishement was going on that ride for the second time in my life. I won't tell them that it's worse than that; I still have the song stuck in my head. But it was totally worth it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Loudshoes Head South, Part One

We are back from not-as-sunny-as-you-might-think-Florida, after a whirlwind week in Disney World. Reality is quite a kick in the head, no?

It started on a very cold, dark, punishingly early morning in late January. My dad (generously) drove us to the airport at 4 freaking 45 in the a.m, which, I'm sure you will agree, is the height of parental benevolence. (Why is it SO much more painful getting UP at 4:45 in the morning than it is to STAY up until 4:45 in the morning?)
We had an early flight to Chicago, which meant that we had to go through extensive security checks, including a body pat-down by about the most cheerfully perky security guard I ever saw. Apart from the fact that it was still only 5 in the blessed a.m, she's a security guard, for goodness sakes, they usually have their sense of humor surgically removed as a job requirement. Either she loved her job, or she's taking some rather robust drugs of which I would like to get some.
Our flight to Chicago was uneventful for the Mister and I, but thrilling for the girls. I guess when you've only flown twice before, even the shortest flight is still a big deal. And to CHICAGO, too! In some ways I think they were more excited to be in Chicago than going to Disney World. I thought maybe that they thought we'd be actually going to see a bit of Chicago, and that's what has them all excited, but no, they were worked up over spending some time in O'Hare. I think they thought they might see Oprah there.
Anyway, the security people at O'Hare amused us mightily, as they all sounded and looked like they were part of a cast of a movie about O'Hare airport. "Are you all treeeveling togetha?". It was hard to answer with a straight face. And as I know those guys did have their sense of humor surgically removed without anesthetic, I was smart enough to keep a hold of my face.

The girls were thrilled with the airport in Chicago. Along with the fact that there was NEW FLAVORS OF COKE!!! MILK DUDS!!! AMERICAN MONEY THAT IS ALL THE SAME COLOUR!!! and GUM WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE!!, there were also flights to Sao Paolo and Sydney and Tokyo and Lisbon that seemed about as glamorous and exotic as all get out. Seriously, I think we could have just taken them to O'Hare for the week and they'd have been just as happy.

Another uneventful flight to Orlando and we were there! Except...it was freaking cold! 14°C!
57°F! Florida should NOT be that cold!! But, it was warmer than home, so we Canadians just bucked up and kept reminding ourselves of that fact.
We got into our hotel room, which was a cabin in the woods (I know!) and our groceries that I had ordered on-line the week before were delivered and then our luggage came. And our Disney adventure was ready to begin.