Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I was running last night and at about the furthest point from home, my shins started to hurt. Nothing serious, just another in the myriad of aches and pains that accompany my usual runs...."oh, here come the hip pains! Nice to see you, guys, you usually don't show up until further along! And now the big toe on my left foot has decided to make itself known! I forgot you were there! Hello right knee! You really are a son-of-a-bitch, aren't you!"
I stopped to stretch out what I thought was a muscle cramp, but as I walked a bit, it got worse. And worse. And then hung around for another hour or so after I limped home. A diagnosis over the computer from Big Liver Girl (Also known as "Running Guru") confirmed my suspicion of shin splints.
I worked today, and a day on my feet made those shins ache a bit. So, naturally, what did I do after dinner? I went for a run. What the hell kind of idiot am I? (Answer: the Loudshoes kind....motto? "Let me see if that hurts as much this time".) But my friend Tracey wanted to go running, and my need for company and socializing FAR outweighs common sense or my physical wellbeing, as many a night on the town will attest.
They didn't bother me as much during the run, but as I staggered home from Tracey's house, I found myself breathing like I had when I was in labour. It was around this point that it crossed my mind that perhaps running tonight had not been the best idea I ever had. Because my shins were in labour.
A few ibuprophen and a bag of frozen peas on each shin for 15 minutes, and I was able-bodied once again.
I know exercise is good for me, I know it's all for the best, but really? Exercise sucks.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Caite and Brent are just such a delightful couple to watch, no? Their happy demeanor and calm, positive outlook make it a pleasure to have them on my screen. Who else do you know who can bitterly mutter "no, you're an idiot" to their partner and then a short while later yell "good job, baby, I love you!" without even the tiniest bit of self-awareness? Not to mention, they are so nice about the other teams. The way they spit out "mean lesbians" like it was some sort of curse, I'm sure it's meant as an endearment. Except neither one of them would know what that word meant.
Speaking of Caite and Brent, even that ox was rolling it's eyes at "it's so unfair!". Caite maybe needs to investigate the definition of "unfair"....exempting YOU from the rules of the task while requiring everyone else to do so is actually "unfair".
I absolutely freaking adored Cheerful Coconut Accepting Man. "You do not have enough coconuts." And that he just kept saying it with that happy, happy grin on his face, which only got bigger the more the teams protested. I loved him.
How on earth did nobody name their ox "Colin"? And not ONE "my turtle is broken". Have they seen the show before? I'm disappointed.
So, Steve and Allie losing their backpacks? I wonder how that's going to go. I really liked the way the dad talked her into accepting the situation, and how she just dealt with it....can you imagine if Caite had to go the rest of the race without her eyeliner, or Brandy without her caviar? I wonder if they can get the 7 grand now, instead of after the race, and get some more duct tape?
Kudos to the Amazing Cameramen tonight! That shot of the tortoise happily munching down on the banana right beside Steve and Allie's backpacks was pure gold! Not to mention the numerous shots of abandoned coconuts sitting on the ground. And who ever got the shot of Brandy and Carol running over a coconut while they were leaving was brilliant! (Especially with the voiceover of one of them saying "someone has to make a mistake somewhere.") Excellent work, boys.
I give Brandy one thing: she was the only one who pronounced "Seychelles" properly, and had an idea of where on earth they were going.
How can the Detectives ramble on about Brandy and Carol's negative energy and it's effect on the rest of the racers with Brent and Caite, who threatened to quit that day, standing right next to them?? Phil is a naughty boy for putting gasoline on that crazy fire.
Until next week!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Okay, now I get what Thing 2's deal was....present day curling is a yawn-fest, but the history of curling? would put me to sleep.
For the record, I did not come and get her from school, and since she had no access to sharp objects, C02 or prescription drugs, she was unable to carry out Plan B. She just had to put up and shut up, as all of us have had to do at one time or another.
I got to thinking about boring things that I have had to endure, and really, the list wasn't all that long. Probably because I bring a book with me everywhere and I rarely have time to be bored. When I can recall being bored, it has to do with being trapped somewhere and not being able to change my circumstances:
- I was at a wedding once, where the speeches were interminable, but worse than that, the groom's side gave every one of their speeches in French. For about 45 minutes. The bride's family and friends did not speak French. You can imagine how much that did to endear the both families to each other.
- I took a class in Canadian Foreign Policy when I went to university. My GOD that was boring. It didn't help that the professor had the personality of a stop sign, but also, Canadian foreign policy consists mostly of "and then in 1978 a committee was formed to discuss the possibility of arranging a meeting where there might be a vote on the idea of at some point maybe having a discussion about sub-section 56-D of the legislation in progress concerning the matter of tariffs with Central America." That was delivered in the most monotonous of monotones, and for a whole semester, too.
- I've been on a few dates or attended a few parties where I wished I had brought my book. Especially one party, where singing show tunes was the main entertainment, and it was so loud you couldn't talk to anyone else. Also, there was no booze allowed, because the hosts did not allow drinking in their home.
- Because the Mister and I own our own business, people who are looking for recruits into their own "multi-level marketing" business think we would be IDEAL candidates.....we talk to people all day! we could sell the products in the salon! it's a win-win situation!! (Except, we are not interested as we already own our own business and don't need another one.) As a result, I have found myself sitting through more than one attempt to seduce me into taking part, mostly because I was too stupid to figure out what it was before attending, or too polite to get up and leave when I did figure it out. I usually want to chew off my own arm and beat myself to death with it, just to put an end to it.
- Occasionally at the salon, we have to have "product knowledge" seminars. This is usually when we bring in a new product line and have to learn what does what and so on. The rep from the company comes, invariably reads the information off the label and asks if we have any questions...."this shampoo is for colour-treated hair, so, yeah, you would use this on hair that has been coloured." It will destroy your soul. I'm not sure why we have to have someone come in and read a label to me; I can read them perfectly well myself, but that seems to be the way it's done.
- I had a client for a while that I dreaded to see his name in the appointment book. He really was the most boring person God ever made, I swear. Thank God I could cut his hair fast, because for the half hour I had to deal with him, he talked non-stop about: what he ate today, what he's allergic to, what he dreamt last night and his past medical history. And guess what he did for a living? He sold duct work. Which he could also talk about for a half an hour. (Looking back, the poor man probably had some sort of syndrome that made him unfit for human company, but he was still mind-numbingly boring.)
Given all that, I figured Thing 2 could handle a less-than-interesting history lesson. At least it wasn't in French.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
I learn so much from this show, for example, good-looking people are not to be trusted on matters of directions. Also, French people do not speak much English. Imagine that!
I wish Jordan and Jeff did not go before Caite and Brent, simply because even though the two of them are as thick as two short planks, they were nice to each other, and enjoyed themselves and generally were entertaining. If I have to watch bumblers, at least I can like them.... "We are the reason kids should stay in school!" They really didn't have too much of a chance to catch up; they left almost 3 hours behind the detectives.
One more thing to put on my List Of Things To Bring on the Race: Duct Tape. Already on the list? calculator, Chinese-English dictionary, WD-40 and a humongous atlas.
I think Brandy's default settings are just set to "Bitch". She's one of those people who just complains and whines and natters about every. little. thing. she's even the slightest bit unhappy with. I'm sure it's a coping mechanism of sorts, but it's very tiresome for the rest of us. And yes, I get it: you are a refined, sophisticated woman of the world who is used to the finer things in life, and this race is completely without reason. Now shut up about it.
I've finally figured out who the detectives remind me of...it was driving me crazy! Bert and Ernie!
Seriously, is it that hard to find crack in someone's backside? I guess it depends on how much crack they have up there.
Caite is really not doing much to "re-habilitate" her image here. She came on the race to show that she's not dumb, but not only is she not doing that (Joan of Ark IS A GUY!), but she's coming off as a major passive-aggresshole. That whole "you make the decision, but it's going to be WRONG" shit pushes every last one of my buttons. And I was beginning to LIKE her last week! How did either of them not notice that they were running up to the Pit Stop but had not been instructed to do so? The "what the hell" look from Phil and Brandy were both hilarious.
I still love the cowboys, and I really love the "Indiana Jones" music that accompanies them.
Until next week!
Friday, March 19, 2010
But today, winter truly does seem to have run away, and left us with an entirely new season.
What has made me so heady and audacious?
- The sun is out. And it's warm. In Canada, in the winter, you can easily get blazing sunshine combined with -40°C temperatures. In fact, the colder it is, the more likely it is to be sunny, because it is clear. But today and for the past few days, the sunshine is not simply decorative, it has a purpose and a function and you can actually feel it weighing on your head.
- Toby goes out. For the past few months, Toby has expressed a loud and lengthy desire to go outside about a hundred times a day, but recoiled from actually physically leaving the house when presented with the reality of what was out there. He would perform a truly impressive manoever where his front half was coming back in the door while his back half was still on it's way out, which, at the very least, entertained the person standing in the freezing doorway.
- The kids are on March Break. The girls are off school this week, a week which always marks the beginning of the last leg of the school year for me; only three more months of school left, with there being holidays in April and May, to boot. My children spend March Break 1) on the computer 2) shopping and 3) asleep. Not a bad holiday, in by books.
- I've put the boots away. Always a welcome sign of spring: you can walk out the door in the shoes you are wearing.
- I can run with impunity. I started running again recently, because the sidewalks are clear and I don't have to worry about avoiding ice or puddles, or looking like moron leaping to the side or tiptoeing at the last second.
- I smelled a neighbour's BBQ last night. It is possible to BBQ in the winter, but it's a major pain in the ass, and really, why bother? Crank up the oven and enjoy the stuff you can't make in the summer months. Those first few meals of grilled burgers and BBQ chicken are heavenly, and totally welcome. I think we will BBQ tonight.
- The van is clean. There is no point in cleaning out the van in the winter, it reaches the level of a health hazard early in November and stays there for the duration...nobody wants to be out vacuuming in -16° weather. But when it gets nicer out, I'm all keen to pitch out the trash, exhume the Tim Hortons' cup graveyard in the back, and make it presentable.
- Black is whack. Since I colour hair for a living, and manage to get at least one daub of tint on my person every. single. freaking. day. I tend to wear all black to work. The blobs don't show, and if I get bleach on me, I can dye everything back to black easily. But the first fewe days of spring I hate my black clothes and crave turquoise and cotton candy pink and lavendar. And after I've blobbed some 4.51 and some 6.23 on them, I go back to black clothes again.
- It's way too nice to be sitting inside on the computer. Time to go out and putter in the garden.
Enjoy the season!!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Favorite Line of the Night, from Brent: "Oh, look, they have some sort of flying things!" I believe those are called "planes", Brent, and I think you've actually been in one. I'm still trying to figure out what he meant by "Do you go south as in a direction, or south as in just go in that direction."
Also, the "????" subtitle and "Get your boobs on the ground and drag them over here."
Was anybody else slightly disturbed that all the racers seemed to think that they were involved in a reinactment of World War II? I realize that the French fought the Germans in that war, too, but there was a rather large war in the early part of the century that the Americans participated in as well. An entirely separate conflict that was devoid of Nazis.
That Morse code task looked like it would crush your soul to tiny little pieces. When they presented the choices, I knew that that one would be horrible to get through; Morse code is NOT easy. I do wish one other team had chosen that one, so that we might have gotten an idea as to just how tough it was...Joe and Heidi were clearly not on their game by the time they got to it, and it's hard to tell if it was just too hard or if they were too distracted and tired.
Thing 1 and I would have gone back to that bakery and gotten another couple of baguettes. We are carb queens.
Somewhere in France, there is a very confused pigeon owner who wonders "what war?".
Caite is not my favorite racer, but I have to hand the girl some credit for her attitude. I thought she'd bitch her way through all that crawling, AND the retracing of steps, but she handled it with much more good humor than expected. Can you imagine if Brandy had had to go back and get that clue??
Maybe if Joe had kept his mouth shut on the bus, they wouldn't have been U-Turned. I know the point of the U-Turn is to slow down a team that you think might be your biggest threat, but really? it's used to nail a team you don't like. It pays to not piss off anyone else.
I love those cowboys. "You don't have to pedal a horse."
Friday, March 12, 2010
Anyway, the Grade 7s went skating with their "reading buddies", the Kindergarten class. There are about 32 Grade 7s and about 18 Kindergarteners, so you can imagine that some little ones are smothered in "reading buddies". The idea was that the older kids would help the younger ones skate, but because March Break starts next week, there were plenty of kids away, and the upshot was that there were way more older ones than little ones, and the older ones were not the least bit interested in the little kids at all. They were way more interested in staging a production of "Hormones on Ice".
Skating is hard. Like, literally, hard. There are sharp blades and solid boards to keep you from tumbling right out of the rink and the ice....my God, the ice. Falling on ice is brutal...that stuff does NOT give way, and you will rattle your teeth and hear your brain clang around in your skull. I've had a couple of falls in my time that might explain my inability to do long division or parallel park.
I'm a pretty good skater; I don't go too fast, but I also don't fall down and I look respectable. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a good enough skater that I could skate with my hands in my pockets; for some reason, that looked to be the height of agility and confidence when I was about 9. I never did get there, but I can skate well enough to make me enjoy it. The Mister is and excellent skater, since he played hockey from the day he could walk, like all Canadian males. He can skate with his hands in his pockets. Thing 2 used to have a kid in her class who's dad played in the NHL...when he came on the skating field trips, he could not only skate with his hands in his pockets, he could skate carrying a full-sized Kindergartener on each arm. I was enchanted.
You could easily tell which kids had done this before and which ones had not. The hockey players, boys and girls, swooped and turned and tore around like pinballs. There were a couple of kids who had never skated before, mostly kids from other countries. The Korean kids took about four steps before they had it all figured out, and were skating in no time. The kids from the Middle East and South Africa had a bit tougher time out there, but they certainly kept at it, long after I would have given up.
Skating is fun...I should do it more often. Of course, it's even more fun when there's other people to watch.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Alexa hotly denied that accusation, saying that she did not do what other people told her to do at all.
Thing 2 told said "you should prove that!" and Alexa flounced off, declaring "I will".
Thing 2 turned to Austin beside her and said "Did I just win?".
He replied in the affirmative.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
- To be able to put my keys in the same place all the time, so I can find them again whenever I want.
- To have closets that are not full. Where you can just take things out without having to take out other things first.
- To have a van that does not look like a toxic waste dump.
- To wake up without help from a 12-pound, furry orange alarm clock.
- To be able to watch a movie all the way through in one go, without falling asleep.
- To be able to tolerate crowds, so that walking through one does not make me want to throttle the living shit out of certain people.
- To not eat all the bread and butter at the restaurant, and ask for more, because then I'm too full to eat my meal.
- To stop making up ridiculous words to existing songs, so that I can no longer remember the actual words to the song. ("Sexy Cat" for "Sexy Back" being the most egregious example.)
- To finally find that perfect pair of black shoes that go with everything in my closet and a few things I don't even own yet.
- To make salad dressing that does not taste exactly the same no matter what I put in it.
- To like my hair.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Other Favorite Line of the Night: "She's like my cool, lesbian aunt."from one of the brothers that I still can't tell the gay from the straight.
Holy schnikes, how did that hat stay on??? I'm pretty sure I'd have lost most of my clothing (and all of my dignity) on that bungee jump, including any head gear I might be wearing.
Although I don't like Brandy and Carol too much (Brandy's a bigger pain in the ass than Carol) I have to give them credit for seeing that their attitude towards one another on the last leg affected their game, and adjusted it accordingly. Usually when a team says "we're going to behave better", it means "I expect my team mate to behave better."
I did enjoy Brandy's freak out when she realized that the bungee jump would leave her upside down, like jumping from an freakishly tall thing was one thing, but being upside down for most of it was just beyond all reason. I believe that unless the bungee cord is around your neck, you are going to have to be hanging from your feet at some point.
Can you imagine if they had done all the tasks in reverse order last night? First the beer and then the sauerkraut and then the bungee jump? That would have made for an interesting pit stop. Maybe they'd have had to have Phil in the bathroom.
Thing 1 and I would have HAD to do the sauerkraut task because there is no way on God's green earth that either one of us would have hit any of those soccer targets. We would still be there today. It was the cowboys' first time on a soccer field? Come on.
Also, since Thing 1 has a gag reflex that can be triggered at the mere smell of vinegar, I know I'd be doing all the work on that one. Not that crazy about sauerkraut, but I could do it....it's not camel heads or fish eyeballs or chicken feet like in previous seasons. I loved Jordan plugging her ears whilst eating the sauerkraut, like that would make it taste better.
I think we'd have a bit of trouble with the beer challenge; that was a LOT of beer. Can you imagine Thing 1 and I arriving at that pit stop after that? After we staggered along that red light district, we'd be drunk and burpy and have to pee like crazy and probably be wildly inappropriate with Phil.
Why did everyone hate that German beer? German beer is awesome. I LOVED the two guys in the bar, sniggering at everyone....drunken locals are always welcome on my race.
Did you know there was a father-daughter team named Steve and Allie on this race? They just showed up last night.
Can anyone explain why Joe and Heidi decided to team up with Steve and Allie on the Intersection because "they come from a good family"? Because it's not like they were arranging a marriage or anything, they were bungee jumping. That seemed like a ridiculous criteria to me.
Those Beatle impersonators didn't sound any more like the Beatles than I do.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Like any profession or industry, hairdressing has it’s insider info that we tend to keep to ourselves. Magicians don’t tell you how they do their tricks and we don’t tell you how we water down the shampoo.
1. You know those jars of blue disinfectant you see on the counters? All for show. We hardly ever use them. Apart from the fact that I don’t have time between clients to put every tool in, leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse and dry them, I’m using clean tools on clean scalps, and there’s no need to go through all that. I’ve never heard of Dengue fever or Ebola virus being transmitted by hair. If someone has a scalp condition, then of course I’d clean my combs and brushes off right smart, but for the vast majority? Nah.
2. For the most part, shampoo is shampoo. The only real differences between the stuff you buy at the salon and the stuff you get at the drug store is the amount of water in the bottle. (Salon stuff is more concentrated.) I will say, though, that most clients don’t diagnose their hair properly, and often buy the wrong stuff, which can make problems worse; at least a hairdresser can steer you in the right direction. Also, if you colour your hair, you may want to get your shampoo from the salon; shampoos for colour treated hair really do help keep if from fading. But the difference between a $8 shampoo and a $30 shampoo is negligible.
3. If I don’t have a last appointment booked, I can go home early. If you ask book my last appointment and ARE LATE for it, expect me to be very, very efficient.
4. Rubber necks and moving heads piss us off like you would not believe. If I put your head in a particular position so that I can get at it better, please don’t bounce it right back up. And there’s no need to turn around to talk to me when I’m working behind you, I can hear you just fine. I can’t tell you how many times I have narrowly missed clipping and ear because someone moved their head just as I was closing the scissors. (And just to tell you, we do cut people’s ears sometimes…and those things bleed like the shower scene in “Psycho”.)
5. Unlike doctors and priests, we have no “Code of Confidentiality”. If you tell us something embarrassing or gossipy or hilarious, you can bet that will be bandied around the staff room at the first available opportunity.
6. Just because a hairdresser wins awards and competitions does not always mean that they are a really really good hairdresser. It means that they are very good at winning awards and competitions. Hairdressing competitions have very little to do with what goes on day to day in a salon, so if you go and get your hair done by someone who recently won an award, you may be surprised that they don’t win awards on your head.
But you didn't hear it from me.
But you didn't hear it from me.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I hit the wall last Saturday, the wall that is winter. It was cold and snowy and damp and utterly miserable here, and although it has not been a terribly bad winter, I had had enough of it. I’m tired of bundling up to get out the door, I’m tired of my nose being cold, I’m tired of cleaning off the car, I’m tired of watching every single step to see if I'm about to slip and fall like a cartoon character. If I could, I would get into bed with a cup of tea and a book for the next month or so and only get out when it’s spring.
Last Saturday, as I came in the door from work, I was cold and starving and defeated, and I had nothing ready for dinner. And then I realized I had all the ingredients for Breakfast Potatoes, and the world seemed a little brighter.
Breakfast Potatoes got their name, not because I’ve ever had them for breakfast, although you totally could, but because they have breakfasty ingredients. I served these with a fruit salad, and things looked a whole lot better.
Breakfast Potatoes serves 2
1 baking potato
3 strips bacon
¼ cup shredded cheese
Poke the potato a few times and bake it in the microwave on HIGH for 10 to 12 minutes. (If I am very organized, I do this the night before or in the morning before I go to work.)
When the potato is cooked through, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Melt some butter and oil in a frying pan and add the potato and let cook without stirring until nice and brown and crusty. Flip the potatoes over, and let cook until all the sides are browned, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, microwave the bacon and shred the cheese.
Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat them until combined. When the potatoes are all browned, push them over to one side of the pan to get them out of the way, and add the eggs and scramble them. When the eggs are starting to firm up, stir the eggs and potatoes together.
Sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the eggs and potatoes, and either run the pan under the broiler to melt the cheese, or do it the lazy way, and lower the heat to quite low (so the eggs don’t over cook) and cover the pan with some foil or a plate for a few minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. (Or eat right out of the pan if you have no shame.)
Monday, March 1, 2010
Oh my gravy! Read the clue read the clue READ THE CLUE!!!!! Serioulsly, how many of them would have finished that "Horse Sense" task sooner if they had just read the freaking clue better???
I liked the moms, and am sorry to see them go. They were very nice to each other. Maybe they should have prayed a little earlier. Can you imagine the Gaybros from last season at that lassoing task?
Jerome the Gnome! Good to see you again. I liked when the one cowboy (I still have no idea who is who.) deadpanned "the gnome has a very good poker face, I couldn't tell when he was bluffing at all. He should go to Vegas." I saw everyone hauling Jerome the Gnome around, but did anyone give it to Phil at the Amazing Bathmat? I didn't see anyone do so...maybe they still have Jerome.
The Lesbian Team is going to implode, I just know it. They seem to have no ability to roll with the punches...they're having the sort of fights we usually see at around episode 8 or 9. But Carol did have the Favorite Line of the Night: "Pretend it's my face."
My other Favorite Line of the Night: "I'm 57, what doesn't hurt." That came from the Most Anonymous Team Ever, the father and daughter who painted the random room in Chile. They seem to only show up for a minute or two every episode.
Oh, and "We should never reproduce."
That Head Bandit was definitely a bad ass. I could just tell.
Man, I've had food poisoning a couple of times, and believe me, there is no "guessing" about it involved whatsoever. It's nasty, like your body says "everybody out! Two exits! No waiting!" At first you are afraid you're going to die, and then you're afraid you're NOT going to die. Its truly awful, and there's no way I'd have been able to get up and go after a few hours, even with an IV. Speaking of which, would you EVER go to a hospital in a foreign country where you didn't speak the language and let them do anything to you unless it was a life-or-death emergency???? Not me.
Note to self: book a holiday to Argentina and Chile immediately. It looks spectacular.
Until next week!