Friday, October 29, 2010

Fun with Condoms

Cola flavored condoms were a hot topic here at work this morning.
We got a shipment in last week. We were all kinds of curious, but we acted very professionally about it, nonetheless.
"Cola flavored," we said, matter of factly. "This is new."
We had seen just about everything else already: Blue berry, black berry, strawberry, banana, you name it.
But these cola ones had us intrigued.
"I wonder what they taste like?" we wondered out loud.
"Maybe we should open it?" someone suggested.
Someone sniffed at it. Pulled a face.
Eventually, someone agreed to be the taste tester.
We were briefed on it this morning.
"Doesn't taste like Cola at all," we were informed.
"Is it like Diet Pepsi?"
"No name Pepsi?"
Someone offered, "maybe you could mix it with Rye."
We all laughed. When someone added "That would be one stiff drink," we all erupted into laughter again.
"But you have to drink it 'on the rocks'!" someone else chimed in.

It's Friday, which is probably a good thing.
We've deteriorated into a bunch of sixteen year olds, apparently.
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shit I've Said

"You want to know how to Train A Dragon?" (To the kids when they asked if we could purchase the DVD)
"You kill him," I say, without waiting for an answer. "Best way is to chop his head right clean off. When he's dead, he'll be nice and tame. Headless, but tame. Very tame. They should make a movie about that."
I look at them. They look slightly terrified.
"All right," I say, tossing the DVD into our cart. "We'll get the movie."

"You can kid a kidder but you can't shit a shitter." (to Gage, 12)
Gage: "So- what are you in this equation- a kidder or a shitter?"
Me- "Uhm, a shitter, I guess?"
Gage-"And that's supposed to be a good thing?"
Me- "Whatever. We don't need to pick it apart. Just don't lie and stuff like that."

Geoff: "I spent twenty five dollars today on my hair cut."
Me- looking at said hair cut. "What are they, charging a dollar per hair? How can they get away with that?"
Geoff- evil glare.
(Note- Geoff's hair=very sparse)

Anyways. On a somewhat unrelated topic.
 I've been thinking about something, want to run it by you.
Parenting with Pop Tarts- I mentioned it in this post, sort of as a joke, but I kind of like the sound of it.
I've been thinking of 'rebranding' this blog- since I named it "Here we Go Again" back in the day when it was a pregnancy blog.
What do you think??
Which name do you like better?? Does it even matter??
(And yes- I do like to double up on my question marks. I feel like I'm posing the question more seriously that way, more intently like. Think grade school teacher, pulling her glasses down, eyes boring into you.)
Do you think that there's an Coalition for the Eradication of Pop Tarts who are currently lobbying the government to have them banned? Who possibly are also working on a new bill, perhaps with the name "Sara's Law" or something like that because of some girl who later went on to develop Juvenile Diabetes from eating too many pop tarts, that any parent who feeds their kids PopTarts for any one meal of the day could be found legally negligent, let alone all of them??
Will I get hate mail?
I think that's only a matter of time, anyways.

Honestly, some people take parenting so seriously.
Like, for example. Since Alex is getting older, he no longer likes to cuddle with me. He writhes away from me and tries to bitch slap me and stuff. Ya, it's awesome.
But I have a secret weapon that makes him putty in my lap.
I tell him there's thunder coming.
"Thunder!" I tell him.
He jumps, runs to me, wraps his arms around me, buries his head in my chest. "I cared," he says- which means he's scared.
I think it's kind of endearing.
But some people, when I tell them that, they just look at me, like maybe I just admitted to locking him in the cold storage room from time to time so that I can shoot up my other kid's Ritalin, which I now have abbreviated to "R"- which, seriously, I don't. I don't even have a cold storage room, first of all. Secondly, my older kids aren't even on Ritalin. Unfortunately.
And then they say "Are you serious?"
And I'm like, "well, it's harmless, anyways."
And they're like "do you think that might be why you're older two kids have a phobia of thunderstorms?"
And I'm like "I wouldn't say that they're 'phobic' just because they need to be medicated for it. I mean, then you could say that any one's phobic. That guy right there. He's on blood thinners. Is he phobic? Probably not."
Again, some people take it all too seriously.
Don't they??

Monday, October 25, 2010

How Not to Relax

I wanted to relax tonight, after having a busy Monday.
So I thought it would be good to have a foot spa.
Problem was, I didn't have one.
So I took the kids to Wal Mart to buy one.
I also bought some really nice peppermint foot soak, scrub and lotion.
I know, I know. "No unnecessary purchases."
But me feet are, like, really sore right now, so this constitutes necessary.

An hour later and I'm home again.
I read the kids "Love you Forever" by Robert Munch, and "The Playhouse" as well.
I turned on their night light, kissed them good night, and left the room to be alone with my new foot spa.
I dismissed the instructions at first. But then I thought I should give them at least a cursory glance. I skipped through to the Frequently Asked Questions.
"How long should I soak my feet for?"
Ah. Good question.
The answer "Ten to fifteen minutes, under advisement of your physician."
I haven't even gone back to the doctor for a pap test for three years or so.
I'm not going to go there to ask about a foot spa. I could only imagine my doctors notation in my chart.
"Paranoia getting worse. Has total lack of common sense. Possible mental impairment."
Scew that. Ten minutes should be fine.
But then I started to worry about that pap test.
Has it really been three years??
How long does it take for cancer to form?

I discarded the instructions. Bloody useless.
I filled my foot spa up with warm tap water. Stuck my feet in.
Screaming erupted from the bedroom.
"What? Why?" I yelled.
"I hit my eye ball on the corner of my bed."
"Can you go check her eye?" I asked Gage.
"What, exactly, am I looking for?"
"Just make sure it's still in it's socket," I said, and tried to soak my feet.

Then I looked at the table.
The candle!
Yes, this would be so much more relaxing with a candle.
I dried my feet, tip toed into the kitchen to find a lighter.
I rummaged through several drawers. Reminded myself that I really must get my licence renewed when I came across the notice from SGI, unopened.
Had to go out to the garage.
Finally came back in, to find the kids out of bed again.
Usher them back to bed.
Light the candle. Put my feet back in the soak.
Now the waters cold.

I took my feet out, tiptoed across the floor, emptied it and refilled it with as hot as I can stand it water.
I stick my feet in.
Way too fucking hot.
Dried my feet off. Tip toed to the kitchen again, poured a glass of ice water, added it to the soak.
Now the water is just above the fill line. I wonder what could happen if it's over filled.
Probably nothing, I tell myself.
But, then again.
What if it explodes?
What if it short circuits the wiring?
Could I get electrocuted?
I should dump out some water, just to be safe.
I take the cup, ladle out a cup.
Sit back down.
That's better.
But still- it's missing something, I think.

And then I remember, my Peppermint foot soak.
Yes! This would be so much more relaxing with the soothing aroma of peppermint!
Out again, getting the peppermint foot soak. I read the instructions.
"Pour one capful into running water."
I take the tub, empty it and refill it again, adding the solution.
Sit down again.
The smell of peppermint is nice.
Reminds me of peppermint tea.
That would really be nice, I start to think.
In fact, I don't think I can properly relax without some.
So I go to get some, without taking the time to dry my feet thoroughly this time.
I notice that there's a little puddle of water beside the spa.
Great. Not I have to clean the floors.

This whole business of relaxing is very exhausting.
I think I'll stick to Chardonnay.
Have a good night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lessons Learned from a Recovering Alcoholic

When I was sixteen, my uncle moved in with us.
He was "in recovery," apparently, as people politely and quietly termed it, which does sound nicer than 'trying to quit getting blotto every day'.
He started having weird, bearded people over, holding "table meetings" talking in hushed voices over the "big book" and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
He started saying weird stuff. "Let go and let God." "Easy does it." "One day at a time."
The whole thing, from my vantage point, was very odd.
But kudos to him, he's still sober to this very day.

It seemed strange to me that that very phrase "Let go and let God" popped into my head earlier today.
Get out! I told it. I'm not in recovery! I don't want to be! My motto is that binging is okay, in moderation.
But yesterday when I was on query tracker, I saw that someone posted a new comment on Trish's profile.
I clicked on it, feeling excited.
I think now that  I must have been expecting, or maybe even hoping, that someone was writing to say that she had rejected them.
Perhaps something like this:
"Query: October 1st 2010. Form reject: October 20th. Oh, well. Onwards and upwards."
To which I would feel quite smug and satisfied and superior, and try to resist the impulse to reply "Sucks to be you, she's reading mine right now, maybe as we speak, or type, or whatever."

So when I saw "She requested my full, fingers crossed!" I felt, inexplicably, a frisson of- something. Irritation?
She was requesting a full from someone else!
How could she!
I hate to admit that I felt that way, even for a second, or a fraction thereof.
I talked myself out of that really quickly, though.
Try to think of it this way, I thought: her and I are in the same boat right now. She's not my competition, she's my ally. Trish might sign both of us. Her and Trish and I could all become best friends!
Or Trish could reject both of us, and we could console each other.
Obviously, there's a third alternative, though I prefer not to think of it.

Anyways, I sent a quick reply saying congratulations and keep me posted.
And later, at home, I had a glass of wine.
And then, suddenly, I felt a lot better about it.
It may well be true that I've learned a lot from a recovering alcoholic, but not exactly everything.
I mean, you can't believe everything they say in AA.
But then I started to wonder, when should I send a follow up to Trish?
Some people say six months.
Some people say one month.
Some people say never.
And then if I do write a follow up, what do I write?
I don't want to come across as a pest.
But at the same time, I do wonder if she even received my submission, especially in light of the fact that she said that my original email was found in her spam filter.
So I fretted over it.
And that's when I heard it: a little voice in my head that said 'let go and let God.' I know, hearing voices is bad, right?
But it seemed like good advice, even if a sign of probable psychosis.
So for the moment, I've decided to just leave it alone.
Focus on my next project.
And I've set a goal to complete Deal Breaker on or before I leave for Mexico, which is on January 14th 2011, which is 84 days away.
It's very doable, since it's currently at the half way point.
However, I will have to make certain sacrifices.
Yes, that means you.
I will probably post less frequently- once or twice a week, to keep you updated.
Because I'm a friend of a friend of Bill W., and I know what he would say:
Easy does it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The End of an Era

Maybe, without really knowing it at the time, I've already changed Alex's last diaper.

I hadn't really thought about potty training Alex.
Maybe it's because he's the third kid, I don't know.
With Gage, my first, I had given potty training a great deal of thought and consideration. I read about it, talked about it, bought sticker charts and pull ups and gotchies and training pants and potty chairs.
With Alex, I was a bit more laid back about it.
When he's ready, he'll basically train himself, I thought.

But honestly, I wasn't expecting him to be ready just yet.
I still look at him and see a baby.
A baby that can tell you shut up and throw a soother at your head, but a baby nonetheless.

But, yes, there were signs.
The day he climbed into bed with me in the morning, shimmying his little but up against me.
"Where's your diaper?" I asked him, sleepily.
"I took it off," he said.
"Why?" I asked, kissing his head.
"Because I pooped."
My eyes snapped open.
Oh, I know- eyes don't really snap.
I'm just saying- that'll wake you up in a hurry.

But over the weekend, he insisted on wearing gotchies.
All right, I thought, rolling my eyes, envisioning a day of heavy mopping.
But he actually didn't have any accidents.
I wasn't sure what would happen at daycare yesterday.
But when I picked him up, he was still sporting his Backyardigan gotchies.
"No accidents," Tassia reported.
"It can't be this easy," I said, feeling- almost disappointed.
I had just bought a case lot of diapers.
He could at least be more considerate and use them up first.
And there was something else nagging at me.

"Now all we have to do is get rid of his soother," Geoff said.
"I wouldn't do that just yet. It'll be too hard on him to give it up and potty train at the same time."
Geoff looked at me.
"I'm thinking of him," I said, feeling defensive.
"You're thinking of yourself," he said.
"Why would I...even want..."
My voice trailed off.
I guess, there is a part of me that doesn't want to let go of these last vestiges of baby hood I have.
It seems like so much of my identity has been consumed with either trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, or having a baby on my hip.
Who am I if not a caregiver? A nurturer?

Sometimes, Geoff and I think of this while watching our children grow.
I project myself into the future, see myself watching the children, in turn, children graduate from high school. Help them fill out college applications (hopefully not applications for bail or probation), go wedding dress shopping with Payton, all that stuff.
So ya, there are more milestones to come.
But I will still miss the baby days.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I Read This Weekend

I spent yesterday reading "Too Close to Home" by Linwood Barclay from cover to cover.
There are few times in my life when I will devour a book in one sitting, mainly because I have other responsibilities that I'm supposed to, technically speaking, be looking after- and not just putting "How to Train Your Dragon" on a continuous loop and feeding them pop tarts at random intervals.
Parenting with Pop Tarts, I should patent that as a potential book series- perhaps with the sub title: How to Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too.

My husband came home from work at 4:00.
"You're still in your pyjamas?' he asked.
I looked. "Apparently," I said, barely looking up from book.
"And the kids, too?"
I looked at them.
I couldn't tell if he was annoyed or not.
Didn't really care.
Honestly, I don't see why he would be.
It's called 'conserving laundry', and it shouldn't kill him to act happy about it.

I finished the book just before midnight.
I realized just how immersed I was in it when I made myself a glass of lemonade.
I don't usually drink lemonade, but I had suddenly a strong urge to gulp back a glass of it.
And then I realized why.
The MC in the book, Jim Cutter, drinks it or mentions it in quite a few places.
And the description of it- the beads of sweat that rolled down the glass, coupled with the scorching temperatures described in the book, made me suddenly thirsty for lemonade as well.

Anyways, here's a list of 5 things I love about the book:

1. The characters name, Jim Cutter. I didn't realize it until about half way through book how fitting the name was for someone who, as a living, mows lawns. When I caught that, I felt as the author was letting me in some private joke.

2.The opening line: "The night they killed our neighbors, the Langley's, we never heard a thing."
I was hooked immediately. For some reason, the idea of neighbors being slain in the night appeals to me.
I don't know what that says about the kind of person I am.
Probably doesn't make you want to be my neighbor, though.

3. A scene in the book where a character brings his literary agent to a funeral and flaunts her about.
He doesn't outright say in the book that the character is an egotistical ass, but that does it right there.
We get the sense that he's maybe just ever so slightly self absorbed.

4. The pace of the book.
I kept on thinking, I'll just finish this chapter, and then I'll... whatever whatever...brush my teeth, feed my kids, respond to the fire alarm.
But then the end of the chapter would bring a new twist and I'd be like "Oh screw it, I can always brush my teeth tomorrow. And I'm sure that most fires can put themselves out."
Honestly that plot was more twisted than Ozzy freaking Osbourne.
And I mean that in a good way.

5. The fact that there's a book within a book.
"A Missing Part" is a book that sounds, on the one hand, totally absurd- about a man who wakes up with no penis.
And then yet again, it sounds like it just might be the kind of phallus glorifying piece of work that critics would love. I was going to say "eat up" but I wasn't sure about how appropriate that would be used in conjunction with 'phallus'.

6. I know what you're thinking- I said 5, but I can't help but add:  The author is Canadian.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not Feeling the Flow

I don't call it 'writers block.'
I call it: not feeling the flow.
It sounds nicer that way.
And I have this superstition like if I say I have writers block, then I have it. If I don't say it, then I don't have it. It's like- say, OCD. If I say I don't have it, and say it three times fast after tapping my nose three times in a row with my left pinky finger, then I don't have it.
It's called magical thinking, and I love it, don't care if it's a sign of mental illness or not.
Google it. It's a thing. For real.

Besides, I don't really consider myself to be blocked.
I mean, I could write, if I really wanted to. I'm writing right now.
But I simply don't want to- in either of my WIPs.
Writing isn't always easy, and I think that this is where I sometimes feel misunderstood.
People have said to me "I wish I could do that! Just sit down and write a book!"
Well, ya. You and me both, baby.
I can't just sit down and write a book. It takes weeks and months of dedication, of commitment and sacrifice. Of blood, sweat and tears.
OK. Maybe not blood.

But it can be long, and it can be lonely-- shutting yourself away from the TV shows people you love.
And this is a difficult thing.
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to write. Even if I didn't feel like it. I would make myself. "Just one page..."

But lately I have let a lot of that go, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
On the one hand, I tell myself that I should focus on the things that are real in my life.
By real I mean- the things that can give back to me.
Like my kids.
Like my husband.
Like my job.
If I become successful at writing, I'll look back all those months and years I spent writing and call it 'perserverence.'
If I don't become successful, I'll call it what?
A waste of my time?
Time that could of been better spent with my kids? Or my family? Or my friends?
Or, perhaps, more importantly- finally getting acquainted with Jersey Shore??
Honestly, I feel like such a loser sometimes at the water cooler. I don't even know who Snooky is!!
"Oh, sure you do!" my coworkers insist. "She's the orange one!"
"Oh," I say with a slow nod, although this does nothing and I mean NOTHING to clarify things for me. The orange one- what the fuck??  How am I missing this??
They take in my expression and then exchange quick, wary glances. I can practically hear their thoughts: "she hasn't got a clue...Just drop it."
And then they change the subject, ask me, sort of sadly "How's the- erm, book, coming?" (like they're scared to say the word 'book', like maybe they don't believe that there even is one) and then exchange other, nervous glances, that seem to say to me "just indulge her on this."

I don't know.
First of all- who says what "being successful at writing" means, exactly.
Does it mean- simply the act of completing a manuscript?
Finding representation for it?
Getting it published?
And if it gets published, and it tanks, are you successful still?

I don't know.
It just seems that there's always another hurdle.

How do you define being successful?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First Oil Change

I've never taken my vehicle for an oil change.

It's just that, oil is so icky.
And it just doesn't sound like fun.
But, apparently, it has to be done.
This I have learned the hard way.

When my engine seized up a couple of years ago with a final shudder and spasm, I brought it into the shop, thinking it was a simple fix, maybe the clutch or something, which was probably a long shot, seeing as my vehicle is an automatic.
The following day, I got the news that it was the engine.
The engine!
I couldn't believe it.
"Well, it's old, I guess," I told the guy with a shrug.
"Well, still. It only has 60,000 kilometers on it. Usually these types of vehicles can last, easily, over 200K," he scratched his chin. "When was the last time it had an oil change?"
"Now there's a good question!" I said.
He just looked at me, his mouth agape.
"Well, it's hard to say for sure. I know once the guy at the service station dumped a bunch oil in there, said it was getting dangerously low, or something like that. Can't really remember. I think that was a long time ago, though," I said, trying to recall.

So anyways.
We won't dwell on that.
Fact is, vehicles are, apparently, supposed to have oil changes like every few months or something.
So today I dutifully brought my vehicle to the oil change shop, for the first time in ten or so years of car ownership.
Easy peasy, I thought as I rolled my car up to the bay.
I wondered for a moment what, exactly, the sign meant when it said "Open Pit. Please stay in your vehicle."
"That's very odd," I pondered out loud to the kids.
And then with a whoosh the door opened, and I could see what was behind Door Number One- which was- oddly- an actual pit.
Like, literally, a massive whole in the floor.
And there was the guy, waving me forward, as if I was supposed to drive on in.

I clammed up.
I would have even turned around and retreated, but for the line up of cars behind me.
Immediately, I envisioned myself getting snared up in the pit, having to get the jaws of life to pry me out, being caught in the meantime in some giant pit of oil and tar and engine grease shit.
Tentatively, I pulled forward.
Both of my side mirrors are smashed, you should know, from pulling in and out of the garage.
The garage is simply too narrow, in my mind.
But even still, I felt very aware of that fact.

Anyways, I made it through and did not get snared up in the pit.
My anxiety was briefly assuaged.
But, then the guy pulled out the dipstick with a frown.  I knew it was a bad sign when he ambled over and showed it to the other guy in the bay, this guy with huge, tattood forearms.
I wasn't sure, but I think they might have been prison tats.
He walked over, looked.
"How long since your last oil change?" he asked me.
Why does everyone ask me that?
"I think it was... about... a year ago? Or so?"
They shook their heads. "We're ginnahafta flush the engine out, ma'am," they said, chewing on something, gum, maybe, snuff. Dunno. Either way, I was kind of scared of them.

"Oh, yeah, well, sure, if that's, like, what it needs."
They dumped a bunch of stuff in it and then told me to start the car up and leave it running for seven minutes.
I looked around.
Here I was in a self sealing garage. The doors had closed automatically after I pulled in.
It's not that I don't want my engine flushed, whatever the fuck that is, I just kind of don't really want to die.
Although, from what I know of it, carbon monoxide poisoning isn't a bad way to go.

But I survived!
I feel like such a responsible person now.
Everyone will know me as "the girl who maintains her vehicle really awesomely."
Except for the Dora snacks that are sort of liquified and then like bonded to the dash, and all that stuff.
I mean, at least, engine wise.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rejection #41 (or thereabouts. I'm losing track. They're all starting to blur together in a big jumble of misery. Sort of like high school.)


Thank you for your query. Although your story sounds interesting, I'm not looking for debut fiction at this time.

I appreciate you thinking of (redacted) and me and I wish you luck with your literary pursuits.

The fact that she states she's not looking for debut fiction softens the blow.
This may just be her form, I don't really know.
Anyways, I so love the words "debut fiction" in reference to myself.
It makes it sound sort of awesome.
Anyways, that's all for today.
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Defining Necessity

ne·ces·si·ty [ nə séssətee ] (plural ne·ces·si·ties)


1. something essential: something that is essential, especially a basic requirement

food, shelter, and the other necessities

The definition of necessity should be obvious.
But lately Geoff and I have been disagreeing about it quite a bit.
We agreed when we booked our trip to Mexico that we would not make ANY unnecessary purchases.
The problem is, his definition of necessary purchases if fairly narrow, encompassing only a small handful of items: milk, meat, potatoes, cereal, toilet paper, dish soap, Pert Plus shampoo, Dial soap and that's about it.

My definition of necessary purchases:

-Swiss cheese- individually wrapped in wax and pink cellophane.
-Cheddar cheese
-Romano Cheese
-Cheeze Whiz
-Cheese Slices
-Cream cheese
-Parmesan Cheese
-Cucumber body wash
-Bedhead Shampoo and Conditioner (Smells like oranges.)
-Kadoo soap for Payton
-Princess shampoo for Payton
-Axe shampoo, body wash and body spray for Gage
-Johnsons baby shampoo for Alex
-Dove body wash for Alex
-Pomegranate exfoliated scrub
-Paper Towel- kitty cat pattern
-Kleenex- pink box (to support breast cancer awareness)
-Pink Bubble Gum toothpaste for Payton
-Toy story tooth paste for Alex
-1 pink ceramic dog boned shaped dish for the dog
-3 kinds of cereal
-pop tarts
-Granola bars- 3 kinds
-Cubed pineapples- fresh from deli
-Strawberry Mango Juice
-Chocolate Milk
-2 kinds of moisturizers (it's really quite dry here this time of year)
-Glade Candle- 2 kinds
-Fabreeze air freshener x 2- one for bathroom, one for living room.
-3 Kinds of crackers
-Buzz Lightyear fruit snacks
-Case lot of pizza pops
-Case lot of tuna (for the cats)
-Pink Lemonade Lipsmackers x3

You  get the idea.
I have to eat my cheese portions secretly in the kitchen, otherwise he just gives me a really evil glare.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Visiting Grandpa

My dad is in the hospital, admitted under a diagnosis of unstable angina.
Currently, he is awaiting an angiogram, and doing reasonably well.
I went up to visit him last night.
I decided to bring Payton with me, for some reason.
Her noisy chatter kept my company on the way there.
She's getting to an age where I almost want her with me for companionship, which is weird, in a way. Our children depend on us, but sometimes it goes the other way as well.
We got there and I bought her a chocolate milk and she seemed very satisfied with this.
I approached the information kiosk and asked for my dads room number, which- when you think of it- is very strange. I mean, I can't even practically get logged into his computer without knowing a dozen different passwords, but I can waltz right into his hospital room where he lays, vulnerable, attached to oxygen and machines.
I was surprised to learn that he was still in the Emergency Department, some twelve hours after he had arrived there. I looked at Payton, not sure whether a noisy six year old would exactly be welcomed into an already overflowing emergency department.
But off we went anyways.

And I'm always touched by the generous nature of others.
Well, except for the people that aren't, like the guy that nearly plowed us over in the parking lot.
At them I just get pissed off.
But I find that nine times out of ten, people are kind. Kinder than I would expect of them.
They would have reason to say "She can't be in here" of my rubber boot wearing, trudging kid.
But no one said this.
The nurse, probably tired and overworked, took the time to find coloring books and crayons for Payton.
She also brought her an ice cream cup.
We visited, and later my brother showed up.
It struck me as we stood there among the noisy beep beep of the monitors, how once upon a time- my dad took us to see our own grandparent in the hospital.
Trent and I were the kids.
My dad was the dad.
My grandpa was laying in the bed, to whom my dad, now approaching his (then) age, bears more than a passing resemblance to.
And my brother looks like my back then dad.
It seemed strange to see us moving up a generation. Kind of sad, but not entirely so. Bittersweet, I guess.
Time marches forward.
Cycles repeat.

Later, Payton and I stepped outside to the cool fall air.
A single star shone in the sky.
"Let's make a wish!" Payton said.
So we stood, held hands, closed our eyes, made a wish.
When we got home I gave Payton her bath.
"Did Grandpa look freaky to you, with those wires  on him and oxygen?" I asked her.
"Nah. Grandpa could never look freaky to me. He's my grandpa, and I love him."
I was so proud of her, even though in the end she couldn't quite bear to part with the picture she had made for him and ended up bringing it home and posting it above her own bed.

Anyways,I have to go now.
And no worries: re: my dad.
I know he can kick angina's ass.
That sounded dirty.
Well, anyways. Have a good day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It Could Always Be Worse

On Friday I was in a state.
Payton had forgotten her lunch at home.
This we realized as I dropped her off at school. The bell had just rung, and there was no time to turn around and get her lunch- I was due to be at work in ten minutes.
"Go home with Gage," I told her, and instructed Gage (13) firmly to pick his sister up at her locker and take her home for lunch.
This didn't exactly sit right with me, but I had virtually no other choice.
I felt uneasy pulling away, although I always do, for some reason, as I watch Payton struggle with her back pack to the doors.

I phoned home at lunch time to be sure that they had made it okay.
Gage answered on the first ring.
"Oh, you're home!" I said with relief. "Can I talk to Payton?"
"Payton --didn't come home with me?" he said, like he was asking a question.
"Well, she wasn't by her lockers when I went there, and she wasn't in the lunch room."
I slammed down the phone, feeling a little ill, and phoned the school, in a panic.

"Oh, yeah," the secretary said. "Payton's here. The teacher took her for lunch since she didn't have anything to eat."
OK. That's good news, I suppose.
I mean, certainly it's better than what I had been thinking- that she had been lured away by that dodgy guy with the combover that lives across from me that wears heavy industrial coveralls when he mows his lawn- even in the summer. Now I don't know if wearing coveralls in the summer makes you a pedophile for sure, but it definitely makes you suspect in my books.
Anyways, I was relieved for a second.
But then I started to panic again.  It's just that, and I hope don't sound too insecure when I say this, but it kind of makes me feel like a bad parent when the teachers  take my kids home with them on their lunch break, like their the "special project" and they all discuss her at the meetings and decide that "with a little bit of TLC this kid might have some potential" Perhaps someone even says  "to try to mitigate the harmful home environment" or something like that and they all exchange knowing  glances and say "Has anyone actually seen that mother? She's, like, never here. I'm beginning to think there's no mother at all in this equation, which might explain the way that kid dresses sometimes."
Which- I know isn't always appropriate, but is it MY fault that she has such strong ideas about wearing miniskirts and flouncy dresses in the middle of winter with tons of accessories and eye shadow and lip gloss.
She looks adorable, what am I gonna do??
I swear she'll be a fashion designer someday and then I'll tell THEM miss haughty school people, that her upbringing was JUST FINE, thank you very much.
I mean, unless she's one of those fashion designers that's bulimic or on crack or whatever.
Then I'll just keep my mouth shut, let bygones be bygones. You know, to be the bigger person.

Anyways was at work, and I was in a state.
My coworker was able to calm me down.
"Randine," she said. "It could always be worse."
And immediately I calmed down.
What was I freaking out about?
That my daughter is part of a community that cares about her?
I mean, it could be worse.
A lot worse.
I just have to watch the news to find that out for sure.
Or look at across the street at my sketchy coverall wearing neighbor.

That's all for now.
Have a good day.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Creative Sleuthing

Whether or not Geoff is having an affair remains to be seen.
He's acting guilty.
He offered to take the kids out tonight- to clean his car and to get movies and snacks, so that I could have a moment to myself, to 'catch my breath' after being so busy all week with work, and the kids- because Geoff's so called "work schedule" has had him out of the house every night this past week.

He came home about an hour later, the kids rushing in the door, excitedly displaying movies and Slurpies and a jumbo bag of Ketchup chips.
Geoff followed behind them, with a lot less enthusiasm. He threw his keys on the counter with a loud thud.
"How was the movie store?" I asked, though I could tell by his defeated, slightly slumped posture that the answer was 'not well.'
"Don't EVER take Alex to the movie store," came his answer.
I stifled a laugh.
"No. I'm being serious. They didn't ban us this time, but they might the next. All he does is run around and knock every movie off the shelf. I had to go around behind him and pick them all up. They were all in a big jumble and I put them back at random. I think the people working there were getting annoyed.
He handed me a movie "Looking For Eric."
"I didn't have time to read the back. It was one that Alex grabbed when he was heading for the door, so I paid for it and left. I think it's about a postmaster in Manchester."
"Oh," I said. "A postmaster. That's kind of- a nice change of pace, I guess."
Usually he picks movies that have crime tape on the front and/or a pissed off looking cop reaching for his holster.
Usually it's Denzel Washington.

Anyways, at first I thought "Wow, that's great that he took the kids out!"
But then I thought: A guilty conscience, perhaps??

Naturally, I plan on investigating the matter further.
The most logical next step, of course-and this should go without saying but I'll say it anyways-  is to go to his work and follow him around, crouching and hiding behind tables or pressing myself real thin against the wall like I see them do on Law and Order whenever they're about to do a drug bust.
Lucky for my mother, who pointed out the flaw in my plan.
I need to go incognito.
A disguise!
I'm thinking of something with a tall, maybe flowery hat and a pair of really big sunglasses.
He'll never recognize me. (Actually, knowing my husband- he truly might not.)
I might even pose as a customer, and chat up some of the waitresses, try to needle them for information.
"So what do you think of the manager around here? Are there any-ahem- rumors circulating about him??"

And if it's at all possible, I wouldn't mind to try to get a urine sample from Sasha to do a pregnancy test.
It should be relatively simple to follow her to the bathroom, from there it might be a little tricky.
Perhaps I could even suggest that I was a building inspector, and I need to take a sample from the staff to see if they have mold in their system, although I wonder if mold would really be excreted in the pee, but hopefully no one else will question that. If they do, I could always direct them to a bogus website that I could create tonight. I can see it now. "www.httpy://MOLDFACTS.CA/ ( not a link, do not click- this is not an actual website. Yet.)
Fact#1: Mold is harmful and can easily grow in damp places like commercial kitchens, etc.
Fact#2:Mold can be excreted in pee.

I think I'll have to think up a few more facts, but otherwise I think it should work pretty good.
Plus, if I talk in a British accent, I'll sound really official.
Except that my British Accent is more Scottish meets Drunken Sailor meets Apu from the Simpsons.

Oh well, I'm sure that it will all work out.
The good news is that Sophie Kinsella has a new book out!
I almost hyperventilated today when I went to Superstore and just so happened to walk through the book aisle, and there I saw it "Mini Shopoholic"
And it was 40% off.
Breathe, I told myself. In through the nose and out through the mouth.
I never buy books in hardcover, because they're so expensive, and I find them awkward to read. But for Sophie, I make the exception.
And like my friend Bex would say, it's 40% off, so I'm actually saving a load of money in the long run, and it'll pay for itself eventually, and if you look at twenty whatever dollars divided by 400 whatever pages, that's only cents a page! (I think, I'm not very good at math). At that price, I'd be stupid not to buy it.
And like my other friend Suze Orman says, can I afford not to buy it??
The melancholy that will ensue? The persistent vegetative state- knowing that that book is out there??
At this point, I feel sort of like some bloke who just spent his last dollar on some two bit whore.
I'm anxious, bursting, really to tear right into it.
And then I have this other, simultaneous, urge to slow it down, make it last.
Sophie Kinsella doesn't put out books every day.
Anyways, having said that, I  really must go. To read. And create decoy websites and order flower hats from Ebay...
Have a good weekend!!