Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Obvious

1. Barb at work got a Tobi clothes steamer, which came in a box. 2. We have a cat named Toby. 3. He loves a good box. 4. What would you do?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amazing Race, Unfinished Business Episode 6

Watching with Thing 1 last night, we both agreed that if a task was ever "too hard" the other one would console her and comfort her and then remind her that this was on national television and her curling up on the floor and crying would be on YouTube forever. If eternal embarrasment didn't work, then a sound ass-kicking would commence. We've got it all worked out. I did have a bit of sympathy for the racers when I saw all that tea....I have the teeny tiniest bladder God ever made and I had to go to the bathroom just looking at that table of ten thousand tea cups. Hopefully, Thing 1 would have done it. But, it wasn't TOO hard, because a bunch of other people did it.....Flight Time definitely looked like he wanted to throw up, but he just put his head down and got on with it. Luke's downfall on both his seasons of the race was his getting completley overwhelmed by his own frustrations, and then focusing on that instead of the task at hand. Somehow I thought if anyone would lie down and cry on this race, it would be Kent. I think this is the first Amazing Race where they've gone to India and NO ONE has complained about the smell or has been overwhelmed by the crowds and the culture shock. Mallory even seemed to enjoy it. Of course, India's not over yet. Cab drivers in India are whack-a-doo. Apparently they are all competing in some sort of race for a million ruppees and are willing to die in the attempt. Wait a minute..... I really liked Zev's slammin', silky, tea-tasting pajamas. Apparently he tweeted after the show: "Lotsa peeps asking why the silver pajamas...the answer: BECAUSE THEY'RE AWESOME." He's dead right, they are awesome. But you really shouldn't break other people's tea cups, Zev, because that's not yours. Who knew that "disco music" was the key to Ron's soul? Here he's been whining and grumping his way all around the world, and it all could have been so much better with a Bee-Gee's soundtrack. I'm sorry, but that Indian music would have driven me crazy....for some reason that stuff goes right to the base of my brain stem and drowns out any other thought....its' like musical Dementors for me. We used to eat at a particular Indian restaurant here in town that had the most nasally, piercing music....loved the food but had to stop going because I'd be in such a funk by the time we'd eaten. I loved them all messing with Mallory at the Town Hall gate, and her good natured "I hate y'all!". It's nice to see a race where they all seem to like each other and there's not a lot of sniping and bitching about other teams. Of course Kent and Vyxyn were good at painting a statue of Ganesh; those two have the most weirdly diverse and transferable skills I think I've ever seen since Grandpa Don. ("I used to do my own dental work! I know how to mine gold! When I was a kid, we always made our own car batteries!") How much did I love the guys in the funny red hats at the tea-tasting? They were fabulous...from their clear "WTF" faces at Luke breaking down to their obvious sympathy and relief when he finished, those guys were all kinds of awesome. I liked that Margie thanked them and hugged them too. And watching Jaime (and to a lesser extent) Cara get eliminated never gets old for me. And you know what? I like everyone will be hard to see the next couple of weeks, because I don't really want anyone out and I'd be happy to see any of the teams left win. Mrs. Loudshoes is going to have to work very hard to get her snark on. Until next week!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Amazing Race, Unfinished Business Episode 4

Excellent episode! Dinosaurs! Wacky native costumes! Cab drama! If only there had been donkeys and drunken, laughing locals!

Jamie and Cara being U-Turned right in front of their faces was, hands down, the best thing I think I've ever seen on this show. Ever, ever. It was a huge big steaming pile of awesome. I will love Kent and Vyxen forever for that, even if she can't read a compass and he wears too much lipgloss. And that's exactly who you do U-Turn: the team you know is behind you, not the team how's already passed you, like last time. And the double U-Turn meant that they would U-Turn someone, ensuring that there would be two teams behind them slowed down....that Kent is wiley like a coyote, I tell you.
I'm kind of sorry not to be able to see Jamie in India, though. That would have been all kinds of fun, watching her head burst into flames.

Did you notice Jamie on the mat saying "things never go our way". Really? I'm sure the people in Japan trying to prevent a nuclear meltdown in the midst of more earthquakes are having a picnic in comparison to you.

Meanwhile, Ron is still a tool.

I think that's the snottiest I've seen Mallory in two seasons of racing....her "Fine. Now!" was like watching a kitten have a tantrum.

That dinosaur model looked tough....neither Thing 1 or I wanted to take that one! My nephew got a little one of those for Christmas once, and it took several people with a bunch of university degrees to figure that stupid thing out. And we didn't have to worry about falling off any ladders.
Thank GOD I didn't have to watch Mel and Mike do that one....I wouldn't have been able to stand it.

I liked when the Globetrotters were trying to figure out the doll order, and they memorized it with "skunk, bucket, mop..." Because that's exactly how I would do it, too!
Also, I loved when Zev and Justin picked the top bunk on the train (Which looked to be about 40 feet up) to avoid being murdered easily.....that's the way I think, too!! To this day, I don't stay on a hotel floor above the 9th, because my mother told me that's as high as the firetruck ladders can reach. See? I'm always thinking.

What was with the unneccesary but ghastly close-up of the ginormous Chinese spider?

So, Kent knew the periodic table a few weeks ago, and now confesses a working knowledge of dinosaurs? Methinks all the eyeliner and pink lipstick is to cover up what a massive adorkable science nerd he really is.

Favorite Line of the Night: when they were playing basketball (which I loved!) and Jet said that playing with Big Easy was "like playing against a tree."
Also, I liked Justin's improve in trying to convey Stone Forest to the cabbie by picking up a rock and pointing to a tree. Maybe not the most effective communication, but he gets props for creativity.

The girls and I had a 90 minute drive to get to Fort Myers to catch a flight last week, and we had hours in which to do it. And I was stressed about it all the night before. It really does bring home to you what kind of tension these guys deal with for weeks at a time. No wonder Killer Fatigue takes such a round out of them.

Next week: India! India is kryptonite for Racers! No country has eaten more racers alive than India!
Looks like Luke turns on the waterworks again. I'm sure Ron will be all kinds of sympathetic.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scare And Scare Alike.

I wouldn't consider myself very nervous or high-strung, but considering how easily I get startled or scared, I may have to re-think that.

The Mister is very light on his feet, and at least once a day, he comes up behind me and scares the shit out of me. Not on purpose, mind you, just because I haven't heard him and he starts talking to me when I didn't know he was there. I've suggested he start wearing a bell, and he's suggested that I get my hearing checked.

It's happened a few times at work, too. The counter where I mix the colour formulas makes me stand with my back to the door, and inevitably someone comes in the mixing room, thinking I've heard them, and starts talking to me. I jump out of my skin and suffer a mild coronary, and then I answer their question. We had a new assistant one day, who did that while introducing himself to me. He said it was the best first day he ever had at any job.

When I was a teenager, someone gave me a life-sized poster of Humphrey Bogart for my birthday. I hung it on the inside of my bedroom door, but had to take it down after a couple of weeks; I kept waking up in the middle of the night in a mild seizure because I thought there was a man standing in my doorway. It would take ages for my adrenal glands to calm down and let me go back to sleep.

I never had to share a room with anyone much, and was used to sleeping by myself. When the Mister and I first got married, I had a couple of incidents where I'd wake up a bit and then leap out of bed in fear when I realized I could hear someone else breathing...."there's someone in the room with me!!" Then I'd remember I was married. The Mister can laugh about it now, but was really pissed back then. Have all the panic attacks you want, but don't mess with the Mister's sleep.

Today I managed to scare myself. I was awake really early this morning, so I got up to go out in the living room to read for a bit, planning on going back to bed. I turned on the light in the living room, and then went to find my book, and as I came back into the living room, caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window and for a split second was convinced there was someone outside looking in. In the exact same bathrobe as me. It scared the snot out of me.

I'm not sure if I need Valium or new glasses.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Florida Adventure, 2011

The girls and I are home from a beautiful week in Florida; my parents have rented a place on the Gulf coast for the month of March, and we took advantage of the free room and board and enjoyed a week in the sun.
There really is nothing like that blast of hot, humid air when you step out of the airport when you go on vacation to somewhere warm from somewhere cold. Just to illustrate, we went from this:

to this:

in three hours. That? is nothing short of a freaking miracle.

The girls had never been to Florida before when they weren't at Disney World, so this was a bit of a different expericence for them....I think it was a bit of a shock for them that people actually live there, that there are schools and churches and malls, and that not everyone wears a name tag.

We went to parks and the beach, we did some shopping, and hung out by the pool a lot. When you live in Canada, the idea that you can swim outside, wear flip-flops and need sunscreen in March is incredibly heady. We never got tired of exclaiming "it's winter!" to each other, all week.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 got their first taste of the ocean; they'd never seen it before. Unfortunately is was way too cold to actually go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico; we're Canadian but we're not crazy. (I have some cousins that grew up in south Florida, near Fort Lauderdale, and they were shocked and somewhat in awe that my father would go swimming in their pool when it was only 80°F! We used to be thrilled when our pool here got up to 80.)
They spent their time collecting shells, which you don't get on beaches on the Great Lakes. (Unless you count zebra mussells, which we don't.)
Gasparilla Island was close by, and they have possibly the world's most boring lighthouse. Apparently the island is over run with iguanas, but we didn't see any.

The Mister didn't come with us; his idea of a vacation is not shopping and a book by the pool. But he did excellent work dropping us off at Detroit airport and picking us up. I think he enjoyed the week on his own...he had plenty of time on the computer and probably didn't eat a vegetable the entire time.
Toby was beyond thrilled to see us come home yesterday; I'm sure he thought we were gone for ever. ("And you left me with him???? He does NOT get up at a reasonable hour and is incredibly snarky when I have to remind him to do so, and worse, he eats the tuna himself!! What have you done to me?!?")
This morning he practically turned himself inside out when he realized that I was right there in bed where God intended me to be! He could not stop purring and head-butting and drooling all over me. It was a nice, if rather messy, welcome.

I'm back to work tomorrow; the girls have a few more days of March Break before they are back to reality. But we have the pictures to prove we were there, even if we can't wear flip-flops any more.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Amazing Race, Unfinished Business Episode 3

As I was tiring of the whole "When Will Mel Actually Die" story arc, seeing he and Mike go home doesn't bother me too much. It was bad enough that Mel seemed to be struggling every single step of the way, but watching Mike wring his hands and sound like Olive Oyl all day long was getting on my last nerve. And just a side note, how come Mike looks as old as his dad?

Rules of the Race # 17: NEVER, EVER pick a connecting flight over a direct flight. Unless of course, the connecting flight is 12 hours or more ahead of the direct flight. Or the movies are really good.
Also? A Needle in a Haystack option relies too much on luck, I'd always pick the more physically challenging but faster option. Just sayin.

I had no idea that Christina and Azaria were a couple. Of course, if I recall correctly, he was an overbearing, bossy turdwagon who never listened to his racing partner and told her she was doing everything wrong all the time. Kind of like Ron, so, okay.

Speaking of Ron, I think Zev is not the only racer with Aspberger's. In fact, I think Zev is more socially capable and functions with a tad more awareness and sensitivity than Ron ever has.

As much as I thought Christina sounded like she was tattling on the Globetrotters to Phil, I guess I have to give her some slack because she has to listen to Ron all the live long day. Can you imagine that car ride from the waterfall to the pitstop??? No doubt it was Ron complaining and bitching all. the. freaking. way. to the only person who was just as freaked out as he was about it. Ron reminds me of my old band leader in high school, who yelled at all of us that showed up for practice about the lazy ass ones who didn't show up.....I'm sure Christina got everything he wanted to say to the Globetrotters, and then some.

I was kind of disappointed in Jaime during the little car accident incident; I was kind of looking forward to her head actually bursting into flames right there on the Tokyo sidewalk. But she handled everything far more calmly and patiently than predicited, and I didn't get to see her spontaneously combust. Of course, she did have to snot that the guy was making a big deal out of things, but seriously, maybe the laws are different in Japan than what you're used to, it could be a company car, the guy might have already had issues with his insurance company, maybe it's a freaking expensive mirror, who knows; his mirror, his call on how to handle it.

Favorite Line of the Night: Justin: "We're a team". Zev: "Don't touch me."

I just want to tell Jaime and Cara that panda are Chinese, not Japanse.

Was it just the channel we were watching, or did everybody get that weird echoing sound on the "Next week on" previews? Because it sounded like Phil was announcing that from Pluto.

Until next week!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods.

I'm taking the girls to visit my folks in Florida next week, and I am in the midst of the pre-vacation frenzy that is known as "Prolly Days". (You know, "I should prolly take that sweater. I should prolly get American cash. I should prolly cancel the paper.")

It occurs to me that taking a week's holidays takes up two other weeks of your life as well...the week before is Prolly Days, and the week after is Holiday Hangover, when you have to re-enter your life and take care of all the stuff you missed while you were away. Somehow, only 7 days away can feel like you have been time-travelling and you are not quite synced with your real life and you have to fake it for a few days while you try to assimilate all the changes that have happened while you left; like who's out on America's Next Top Model, and the house across the street still has their recycling bins out. It can be very disconcerting.

I went to the bank yesterday and got American money, and hallelujah, the Canadian dollar is at par! There was a time when it cost us $1.60, if you can believe it, to buy an American buck. Now it's like there's a huge, America-sized sale on, and we don't have to pay HST!
I also got our health insurance, $60 for the three of us for a week, because there's no way I'm taking the chance that one of us will need a kidney transplant while we're there and have no way to pay for it.

I also had to buy new yoga pants for the plane, because flying in jeans is all kinds of uncomfortable. Thank God for yoga pants, even though I only did one yoga class in my entire life and I had a very hard time not falling asleep during it. (I was afraid that if I did fall asleep, I would drool like a St. Bernard and then do that jerking thing where you dream you're falling off a cliff. Doing that in public earns you no friends.)

I also got a crossword puzzle book, a few new books for my Kobo, and because I am a tiny bit OCD, a real, live book, just in case the Kobo conks out on me and I am left with nothing to read for two hours. (Can you imagine? The horror. Even my kids don't want that to happen, and they LIKE talking to me.)

I've topped up our phone minutes, written lists of what to pack, remembered the GPS, printed off maps of where we need to go, hired rental cars, rented a hotel room for one night and confirmed tickets and that we all have passports. Thank God the Mister is staying here and I don't have to deal with turning things off, setting lights on timers, locking the garage door or finding a babysitter for Toby.

I'll be so exhausted from organizing our holidays, I might be too tired to actually go on our holidays.