Friday, April 30, 2010


I think I'm being followed.
And I'm not just joking.
Every single time I go to Superstore (and that's a lot, let me say) I see the same small framed, older lady with a grey fleece vest and glasses. I see her, and I think to myself, I think, Wow, isn't it amazing how I see her every single time?
And OK, granted, yes she does work there. But still. She can't work all day, every day, can she? And the thing of it is that, no matter where I am in the store, there she is. I could be in the pickle aisle, scoping out the pickles. And then there she is. The next day I might be in the meat aisle. And there she is.
Now don't tell me that one person could be working the pickle aisle, AND the meat aisle.
Today after work I had to stop at Superstore to get some chili powder, which let me tell you, is another story in and of itself, but there I was in the spice aisle, and along came, guess who? Little miss grey fleece vest. She tried to look like she was looking at something else, but I wasn't so sure.
I'm beginning to wonder if they have me flagged as some sort of a shop lifter? As soon as they see come into the store they get someone to tail me. Because I saw againg after that, after I left the spice aisle and started looking for socks for Alex, because don't get me started about socks for Alex- it's like I have one sock from every single pair of socks he's ever owned. And then suddenly, there she was again. Convenient isn't it?

But OK. Like whatever. I'm a shoplifter and I've come to lift a package of no name chili powder that retails for two dollars and seventy cents. Really??
I mean, I don't know. I don't think I look overly shifty or shady.
Although I did shop lift once from there. But it was strictly an accident. And I ended up paying for the item anyways, which happened to be a Christmas advent calander that retailed for ninety nine cents. Actually there were three of them if I remember correctly.
And it wasn't my fault. I had a faulty cart. Like literally, I had a cart that had square wheels. I pretty much had to lift the cart to get it to move. And when you have two kids in the cart, that ain't such a good thing. And so I thought, well screw this. I'm just going to abandon this cart right here right now and go back out and get a new cart, which seems like a good idea in principle but when you have two kis and it was the middle of winter, it's not so simple. Not to mention the fat that I was going to have to shell out another dollar for it. But then I didn't see that I had an option about it either way. So I took what I had in my cart and went outside to get a new cart. It was only when I went outside and started transferring my merhandise to the new cart that I realized my plan wasn' entirely well thought out.
But still, no one had said anything to me about it on my way out.
And it ended up being paid for in the end.
I complained at the customer service desk about my cart and they seemed, frankly, a little less than apologetic. Although I do note that they now have carts which seem to work properly.
Anyways. I think I'm being followed.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Okay. I'm not making excuses or anything, but...

You always can sort of tell when someone prefaces a statement like that there is, of course, an excuse to follow. It's sort of like when people say "I'm not racist or anything, but..."
So, ya, OK, maybe I am making excuses. I haven't exactly held up to my end of the bargain. It's been seventeen days since I set my goal of writing four hundred pages. I've written exactly two. Which doesn't sound overly impressive, I will admit. But I figure if I pump out ten or twenty pages this weekend I can get back on track.
Easy peasy.

Truth be told, it's been sort of a tough week for me, my dad's in the hospital. He is awaiting pacemaker surgery, and he's doing all right. I've learned two major life lessons: Number one: Never make eye contact with the shifty guy sitting next to you in the ER. It starts with a little joke about "where's a Tim Horton's when you need one?" and ends up with being on the receiving end of a very long and involved psychiatric history.
Secondly, don't trust the stew that they serve in the hospital. It bears a striking resemblance to Alpo.
But joking aside, the lesson is that family is everything.
And excuses aside, I will get back to my writing.
On the weekend.
We'll see how things go.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ready set write.

Last night I watched Julie and Julia. It was a pretty good movie, although it did leave me with a lingering, intense, hunger for rich, buttery foods, which was especially difficult given the current state of my refrigerator- celery stalks, carrot sticks, low fat yogurt, apples and oranges. Not that I'm on a diet or anything. I'm just in between groceries right now and only the sucky- er, healthy-food is left.

Anyways, at first I related to the character of Julie, who blogged out into that immense cyber beyond with disappointing results. I took a certain amount of smug satisfaction in seeing her flounder as a writer, thinking "I know that feeling, sister." And then, the plot twist. Suddenly she becomes inundated with messages from editors, publishing houses and literary agents, all scrambling to sign her. I felt, at that point, a little like Kathy Bates character in the movie Misery. I wanted to stand up and scream, "NO you Dirty Birdy, that's not how it happens!! That's not reality!!"

But alas, for Julie, it was her reality.

So the movie ended on a high note for both Julie and Julia, and on a low note for me. I climbed into bed, asking Geoff "Do you think I'll ever really make it as a writer?"

He answered me, and I'm pretty sure I didn't just imagine this, after a slight, almost imperceptible, moment of hesitation. "Of course you will, dear" he said with enthusiasm.

Which should have been reassuring, and perhaps it might have been. If only I did not recall that same false bravado infused into conversations like this:

"Daddy, do you think the deer that Grandpa hit with his truck will live?" (Payton)

Slight pause. "Of course he will, dear. He'll be just fine. The mother deer will take him to the deer hospital and he'll get all better." (Geoff, enthusiastically.)


Well whatever.

Screw Julie. And Julia as well. Although personally, no disrespect to either of them.

So then I thought, maybe I need to do what Julie did. Set a deadline. So I'm going to set myself a goal: finish the two books I'm working on in one year, which is a lot. But it's doable, if I really commit to it. Otherwise my writing is so sporadic that it just never seems to get anywhere. So my new goal: 365 days, 400 pages (typed, single spaced). My one book, The Deal Breaker already has eighty some pages. The other, Having Faith, is just started but coming along at twenty pages. Anyways, if I could just figure out how to put a little countdown dealy thing on here, I'd be set.
So anyways, I shall be going, to write.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A while back I had posted about vacationing with the kids, which generated some controversy.
I was planning on, for my next post, writing about the wisdom of travelling with my husband, as a way of lightening things up again and also venting a bit.
But then I thought, No. I've got to stop complaining about my husband so much. Really, I should be more appreciative of him.
Actually, just kidding. I didn't think that. I think I just forgot about it. But now I remembered it.
So. The wisdom of travelling with your husband:
"Do you think we should bring a stroller for Alex, just in case?", I asked Geoff about a month prior to our departure date, thinking of all the hours we would be spending in the airport.
"No," Geoff replied, sounding annoyed and, for some reason, almost insulted. Like as though I had asked him, "do you think we should pack some adult diapers for you, just in case."
"It's just that it might be a lot of walking," I tried to rationalize.
"Alex can walk," he countered, again almost insulted sounding.
"Well, yeah, but not very fast," I said.
"Well we can carry him," he said.
I dropped the matter. It was only just a thought, anyways, but I did remember distinctly when I took Lex to Calgary wishing that I had a stroller with me for the airports. You wouldn't think that carrying a twenty pound baby could get so taxing, but really it can be.

Flash forward to a month later at Pearson airport, me with Alex on my hip and his diaper bag slung over my shoulder, walking back and forth as we try to find out which terminal exactly our shuttle is picking us up at. Supposedly it's A20 or something and we are way over by B5. Geoff, conventiently, is outside smoking.
Things are no better at the Cancun airport. A huge line for security snakes around an a definitively un-air conditioned room. Geoff is wearing a heavy sweat shirt with a pair of Khakis. I tried to convince him to wear something lighter when we left Toronto, but again he seems almost insulted for some reason. "Well, I'll change as soon as we leave the airport."
But leaving the airport is easier said than done. The line moves slowly. The kids are hot, hungry, tired. The heat and humidity are stifling, and carrying Alex along is definitely not helping the situation.
Finally after about an hour we get out of the security line up. We feel relieved.
Until we see another line up for the baggage claim area.
Anyways, I can tell you. The stroller was not a bad idea.

And then, so okay. We're on vacation. Sitting by the pool and having fun, but it's getting to be mid afternoon and Alex is now tired and cranky. It's Geoff's turn to bring him to the room and get him down for his nap. I tell him that's it's time. "Okay, I just have to get a plate of chicken wings," he says. "But Alex is way tired," I urge. "Well, I haven't eaten lunch yet," he says, sauntering over to the snack shack which is, incidentally, crazy lined up.
Alex is crying, clinging onto me, rubbing his eyes.
"Fine," I say. "I'll bring him up and get him settled."
"Okay. I'll meet you up there in a bit."
So I carry Alex to the Elevators, a fair jaunt, by the way, up to the room, change him out of his swim gear. It takes a while to get him settled. By the time Geoff comes up, Alex is already fast asleep. So he takes his beer and book and sits out on the deck.
"There, you can have a break," he says, spelling me off, as though I should be grateful to him, him who's done nothing, NOTHING, except eat a bucket of deep fried chicken wings and, apparently, got a mug of draft from somewhere. Not to even mention the fact that my so called 'break' includes looking after the older two kids as well while he leisurely sits out on the deck and reads a book overlooking the ocean. And then later he puts it like "I gave Alex his nap today so Randine could get a break."
And my stomach problems get more than casually mentioned far too many times. Every time I order a cream drink, or even think about it, or even pause for a moment to consider what kind of drink to order, he cautions me, and everyone else within ear shot that with my stomach being the way it is I'll be "pissing out my ass" if I order anything with cream in it.
Thanks a lot, I say, for putting it so delicately.
"It's pretty much like Ex Lax for her," he tells people. "She had a paralyzer on the way up and she was on the crapper ALL NIGHT."
It's like, have you ever heard of TMI. I'm pretty sure that the nice couple from Tuscon trying to have a relaxing holiday don't need to hear about my irritable bowels.
Anyways, my point is that travelling with your kids is nothing compared to travelling with your husband.

Monday, April 5, 2010

First things first. My last post isn't quite sitting right with me. First of all, some elements were slightly exaggerated, for creative purposes. For example, I wasn't wearing silver ballet flats. They were, in point of fact, black. I just thought in my minds eye that silver would give a better overall impression, although- not necessarily to the garage party crowd, mind you. Also, I don't want to paint myself as being stuck up or snobby. Upon further reflection, I don't think that's the case. I certainly don't want come across as sticking my nose up at the very people who were gracious enough to have me as a guest. In their garage, albeit, but still. And certainly, I am anything but glamorous or high fashion or high maintenance.
I am sort of an enigma. I'm not meticulous about my appearance, and yet not to the extent that I would consider wearing a lumber jacket to a social engagement. Or even wearing one period. I mean, not to dismiss the lumber jacket people, but really?? Really??
The point is I often feel slightly out of place, even in any set of circumstances. I remember once going out for lunch with a coworker. I was thinking of ordering a glass of wine. My coworker declined, citing her reason as having taken a Claritin several hours earlier. Out of place. I mean, I am not a wild party animal, not by any stretch of the imagination. And yet I am not restrained to the point of considering Claritin an absolute contraindication to drinking. It's Claritin. Not an eight ball.
Whatever that is.
Onto other matters.
For the long weekend, we decided to go to the lake. We had planned on leaving at 12 noon on Friday, which gave me- er, US, all morning on Friday to get things ready. Okay. So. Here's how I spent Friday morning:
0730- woke up with Payton and Alex. Change Alex diaper. Actually, no f**k that. Bath Alex. (FYI- Alex prone to explosive diarrhea.)
0800- Javex out the bath tub and all the bath toys after has another runny poop in the bathtub.
0810- Scramble eggs for brekky.
0820- Feed kids.
8045-Wash kids.
0900-Throw a load of laundry in the wash.
0915-Wash dishes from breakfast. Unload dishwasher. Make coffee. Get Alex down from the counter where he is eating sugar from the sugar bow.
0930- Clean sugar from the floor.
0935-Get Alex out of the bathroom where he has attempted to flush half a roll of toilet paper down the toilet.
0940-Plunge the toilet.
0950-Get dressed. Get Payton and Alex dressed.
1000-Put wash in the dryer.
1015-Start packing up Payton and Alex.
1040-Start packing for myself.
1100-Repack the clothes that Alex unpacked.
1110-Place first of series of desperate phone calls to Geoff.
1111-Phone Geoff again.
1113-Phone Geoff. Leave long, detailed message.
1115-Sweep the floors. Talk to Geoff via phone. F*** that. Yell at Geoff via phone.
1120-Get clothes from dryer. Attempt to fold them while Alex unfolds them.
1130-Fold and pack the play pen.
1135-Respond to Alex crying at the bottom of the stairs.
1140-Wash the floors.
1150-Take garbage out.
1200-Leave for lake.

Geoffs schedule:
0930- Wake up. Go for cigarette.
1000- Long, leisurely shower and shave.
1030-Go for car wash.
1130-Return home. Pack few items for lake. Make a big production of it.
1200- leave for lake. Make comment that I should try keeping my vehicle as clean as his.

And so this begins my so called break from work.
Needless to say, I was pretty pissy with him the way up. I mean, first of all- well where to even start. I mean, could you pick another day to go for a car wash?? And secondly- have you ever considered that the kids could go with? I went today, and I brought them, and they loved it. They helped me wash the van, I payed them with a sucker for the way home, and so it's all good.
Anyways. I had words with Geoff and he did apologize, but still sometimes, I just could kill him. And now mothers day is around the corner again. It better be better than another ham scented candle this year. Honestly, I don't think I can take another ham scented candle.
That's all I can say.