Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sent To: Memory Lane

Today I decided to start deleting the kajillion or so e-mails sitting in my sent mail.  To ensure that I wasn't going to lose any valuable information, my plan was to quickly scan each one and delete as I went along.  I found that I was unable to complete the task because of what happened next.  I opened up a fair number of e-mails and discovered how well those quick notes documented the past two years of my life.  They are like a diary in a way that this blog is not.  All these quick, blunt, and funny little blurbs, filled with the details of my daily life can be constructed to reveal all that is really me.  Notes that are written for specific people read a lot differently than a blog post that everyone stumbles onto when they Google the term, banana clip.  (It happens more often than you think!)  Personal e-mail covers the minutia that I omit in this space for concern that such details are too uninteresting, or simply not bloggable.  They tell about the journey, not just the end of the story.  Also, when I read them, I hear my own voice, which is something that I have not yet achieved here.  I try to be me when I blog, but I personally think I sound like a low calorie version of myself.  All that aside, after reading 20 or so, I realized that a lot has happened in two years.  It started with a lot of back and forth dialogue concerning the planning of hubby's birthday party that year.  It was a good party, but it will always be remembered as the party where there was something very wrong with my MIL, although we weren't sure what.  Next came the notes that I sent to various individuals, informing them that we had just taken my MIL to the hospital, and discovered that she had a brain tumor.  I don't plan to take you through notes about the hope and sorrow that followed, but my point is that reading through all this really took me through the emotional roller coaster, detailing things I might have otherwise forgotten or misremembered.  

Not all of my backlog of e-mail was of such a serious nature.  A lot of it was just banter, but reading through it gave me a feel for my relationships with various individuals.  There were also many notes pertaining to weddings.  There were notes pertaining to births.  There were notes about my own pregnancy and labour.  There were notes that were just funny to re-read, although they were of little consequence.  I'm might now be hooked on my sent mail.  Instead of deleting it, I think I'll be backing it up!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Small Talk

I'm not a big fan. Of small talk, that is. I am happy to sit in silence, as long as I'm comfortable with the people I'm with. That is not to say that I don't yammer on about senseless things from time to time (e.g. my entire blog), but overall, I'd rather not discuss the weather or comment on how terrible or wonderful the latest news story is. I used to work with a couple of people, P and L, and one time I heard P ask L what she brought for lunch that day. Her strained reply was, "Does it really matter?" I totally get that. I find it tiring to answer an irrelevant question to which the reply is meaningless even to the person who asked it. I do my best to avoid such conversations, but sometimes weird ones sneak up on me. One time I was walking my dog and saw my dentist jogging towards me. This sounds a little odd but we used to live in the same area, and he does run everyday. Anyhow, I just gave a wave, not wanting to converse for the sake of an out of context run-in, and figuring that he would motor on by, but he decided to slow down enough such that he could tell me that he felt terrible. "Oh...thats...not...good....", was the reply that I stammered as he continued on out of earshot. What else could I say? I didn't even ask!!! Even if I had asked, his duty was to tell me that he felt fine, right? This was an outright small talk violation! I had another weird one today too.

Today I was at the vet's for a check up for one of my dogs. I always seem to be at the vet's for one reason or another, so I do feel a certain amount of familiarity with the people who work there, but typically we talk shop, or in my case, dogs. This falls in the category of acceptable small talk for me. During the check-up, Dr. B was making a fuss over my dog who was being calm, and cute, and all things doggie. Then she asked me if the dog was good with the kids, which gave her the segue that she needed to talk about her own kids, despite my not having asked. She has an 18 year old son who dropped out of school, and who isn't working. She said that he has mental issues, but added that he is seeing a psychiatrist and is trying to work through this. She then went on to give me examples of the things that he did as a child that foreshadowed his current behaviour and OMG ISN'T THIS A LOT OF INFORMATION TO BE GIVING AN ALMOST STRANGER??? "Uhhhh, good luck with that" was all I could come up with as a reply. Then I went to the front desk to pick up a prescription for some doggie meds and explained to the clerk that having it filled at a drug store works out to be more than 60% cheaper than buying the drugs directly from the vet (don't tell me that I never give you any useful information), and this spawned another insanely long conversation about her cat, and its problems, and how expensive its treatment was, and how she had just started working at suchandsuch a place which allowed her to finance the treatment for her cat so that she didn't have to put it down, and so yes, it is important to try to keep vet bills down. Did I bring that on myself? Stop talking already!

Isn't it ironic that the the longest post I've written in ages is about my distaste for small talk?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yup, It Really is About Breakfast Cereal

Some time ago there was an article posted somewhere about mommy blogging being essentially about breakfast cereal. We all know that this is not true, except in the case of this post. I have a cereal issue. My thing has always been to buy a few boxes of Cookie Crisp cereal whenever I'm in the U.S. We can't get it here. I'm not sure that I even like it anymore, but this tradition has been ongoing for over 20 years, and I enjoy the odd looks I get from my fellow travellers when I load up on the stuff. Last week when I was killing time while Pumpkin was at her ballet class, I wandered into a neighbouring Kosher supermarket. As I meandered up and down the aisles, I found myself staring at a wall of "American" cereals that we don't usually have access to. Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles, Kix, and yes, Cookie Crisp. For some reason, the folks who keep Kosher in the area love their sugar fix in the morning. I always figured that our government had determined certain cereals to qualify as NOT FOOD, and therefore banned them from our shelves. Maybe religious restrictions trump government policy? Anyhow, now I'm kinda bummed out about it. I can't make trips to the U.S. for a cereal that I can get locally, so I need to get a fix of something new. It doesn't have to be kosher. It doesn't even have to be cereal. Just don't recommend cheese in a can - we don't seem to have it here and I stand behind whomever made that decision.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Girl's Week-End!

Since none of you took me up on my offer for a week-end of unpatriotic shopping and female bonding, I feel compelled to enlighten you on all that you missed. I think that the picture book version says it best:

We went to

Where we bought a lot of

and engaged in a room crawl, where we may have had a drink...

...or 10

The red nose is a dead giveaway. That and my sad attempt at keeping my eyes open wide after countless squinty-eyed versions of this pic.

Ok, there are no other pictures that I am permitted or willing to post. I may or may not have engaged in a little table dancing with another woman, which isn't as sexy as it sounds, but thankfully the camera operator was too messed up to create a permanent memory. Whew!
This trip was more fun than I've had in ages. Not that spending time with my family isn't fun, but this was a necessary, different kind of fun that I have been depriving myself of since the kiddies came along. Don't get me wrong - I missed them dearly. Especially the baby, given that I had forgotten a piece of my breast pump and was in a wee bit of pain by 10 am the first morning. I ended up buying a new one, (they're much cheaper in the U.S.) so if you are are someone, or know someone who might want a free, slightly used pump, let me know. I'm done with it. Just boil it - good as new. ish.
The first day of shopping rocked. I haven't bought myself anything since before I was preggo with Chichi, so my goal was to go nuts, which I kind of did. Not a whole wardrobe or anything, but enough to keep myself from being naked this summer. You can thank me now. The second day was a little rough for me due to the previous evening, so I couldn't feel the shopping love. Just as well. We came just short of a full cavity search at customs on the way home, so I was better off not having more to declare. Apparently, 42 women walking through the customs office, each carrying three Coach purses was a bit of a tip off. Live and learn.