Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dancing Bananas, and I'm Not Judging

Do you ever find yourself watching the hockey game, and wonder how it is that the players can skate by the Viagra ads on the boards and not giggle and snicker? The announcers don't even make jokes. It's not that I have the mentality of a 12 year old, which I do, although it is not relevant in this case. It's just that it is such a blatant, in-your-face, advertisement for erections, which basically have only one purpose, at least that I know of. Please don't tell me of more.

It isn't really a secret that times have evolved to accommodate today's mentality, but it also isn't a secret that sex is a private issue for many, and often not to be discussed in mixed company. I'm sure that there are hockey fans amongst these shy/private/religious/whatever reason groups, who don't necessarily want erections mixed in with their sports. Sounds like a bad combo, actually.

I'm not saying that Viagra shouldn't advertise, as I think it's great that the need for drugs of such purpose can be openly discussed and marketed, but I still marvel over how boldly the word, "Viagra", can be displayed in such a public venue.

Think about the movie, The Gang's All Here, a film from 1943, where a 'banana dance' was suggestive enough to get the film banned in Europe. Apparently, being a musical, the film managed to avoid being banned in North America, but still! We used to frown upon the dancing banana. Now we are accustomed to seeing marketing geared towards giving everyone their own personal, dancing banana!

So back to the game, does anyone know the score?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Turning Back The Clock

I wake up and see that it's only 9:37 am. "Too early", I groan, and roll back over to catch at least another hour of sleep. Waking up for a second time, the clock shows a more acceptable, 11:13 am, and I give J a nudge. He partially arises, if you catch my drift, and we spend the remainder of the official morning ensuring a good start to the day for us both.

Having 'slept' through breakfast, we decide to head out on a walk in search of a light lunch. Meandering up the street, we choose from our wide selection of local restaurants. The choice is based on our own cravings, irrespective of the wait. We eat at a leisurely pace, not leaving until we feel like it, then make our way home without real purpose, wandering into local art stores and candy shops.

Once home, we mess around on the Internet, read books, snack, nap, and occasionally engage in a repeat performance of our wake-up ritual. Eventually we start talking about dinner or movie plans. If we opt to eat dinner at home, an assortment of appetizers from the freezer does the trick. If we opt for a movie, it's always the late show.

After two days of this exact routine, we have the nerve to feel exhausted, and complain about our busy work week ahead.

If only we had known back then that the week-end just passed would be our only-in-our-dreams vacation nine years later.

If you'll excuse me now, I have to get myself to bed so I can wake up in the darkness of the morning, feed the kids and dogs, clean the kitchen...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Dear Coyote, Fox, Stray Dog, or Whomever,

I appreciate that you guys have to eat, and that the rabbits in our neighbourhood are probably the best choice for a meal, but let's talk about manners here, ok? Could you not have taken the whole thing back to your den where you could eat in peace?

Did you have to leave a very recognizable body part in the middle of our road where I have no choice but to pass it every time I come or go? I do accept that my innate, morbid curiosity draws me to stare at it more than I really should, but ideally I would rather not have the temptation practically on my door step.

We have to walk our dogs by it; we have to explain it to our four year old; we have to block the imagery of the actual 'incident' every time we pass by. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of!!!

Perhaps this letter will encourage you to be a little more careful, or possibly consider tofu? You can leave pieces of that wherever you please. I'll even spring for some Tofurky over the holidays! Think about it.


The House of Mac and Cheese

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eventually They Outgrow the Princess Phase, RIGHT???

Over the week-end, I took Pumpkin to see Disney on Ice. It was their Princess Classics show, entailing an abbreviated version of all the usual suspects in the princess world. I hate this stuff. I really do, but Pumpkin loves it, so I endure it 'cause I'm such an selfless mother YO!

I know that Pumpkin doesn't 'get' the romance part of these fairy tales, but she knows that getting married and kissing is something that princesses do. In fact, tonight while SHE was giving US a goodnight story, it ended with her marrying one of her teddy bears, doing some sort of dainty dance, following it with a long embrace. Ugh. How is this my child?

Anyhow, she watched the whole show, clutching her Snow White doll throughout. We sat through six princess stories, each of them having a happy ending, and each of these happy endings involving a handsome prince who saves the princess from danger or despair. Love was so in the air, happiness was abound, fairies were singing, laughter filled the air. I supposed it all got to be so much that Pumpkin started making out with her Snow White doll.

Do I even need to describe my discomfort?

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Next Job Should be at Ikea

My plan for last night was to assemble the wooden play-house that I bought the girls for their final night of Chanukah. I knew that it would take a while, but I had the evening to myself as the kids were in bed, and the Huz was too ill to spend time with. Yes, I wanted to take care of him, but he is such a lousy patient that it's better for our marriage if I just avoid him during times like these. Trust me.

I figured I'd be done by 11 or so, but I accidentally got caught up watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and couldn't tear myself away. It was 10pm by the time I started the task of building the house. I figured it would take about two hours. I was so wrong.

It was three and a half hours later by the time I was finished. You'd think I would have been cursing a blue streak by that time but you'd be wrong. I think it was some of the best personal time I've had to myself in I don't know how long. I had a chance to focus on one task for an extended period of time, listening to some tunes, and not being interrupted. That's probably why I kept at it until completion, rather than calling it a night when there was enough structure built to make the kids happy enough. I was having too much fun to quit!

So do you need me to come build your play-house?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Whether it be for Christmas, birthdays, or no reason in particular, the spirit of giving is such a powerful thing. I cannot describe to you the warmth that I felt tonight when I gave my wonderful daughter's their gifts for night seven of Chanukah.

Chichi showed about half a minute of interest in her toy until she started angrily throwing pieces of it around. Pumpkin had already abandoned her gift and was messing with Chichi's new toy, making Chichi whine and cry harder. I had to threaten Pumpkin with the removal of her own toy to get her away from Chichi's. Pumpkin, defiant as ever, let me count to three, at which point her brand new doll that had been in her possession for all of five minutes was whisked out of her hands and stuffed in a closet until tomorrow. She didn't care at the time, but boy did she care at bedtime!

Both kids went to bed in tears tonight. I do so enjoy the holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Time to Work on Multi-Tasking

Over the week-end, I was at a local shopping centre with Pumpkin, who had dragged me there because of a banking matter. She had just received a cheque from her Zaidy for Chanukah, and was so excited when I told her that the bank could turn the cheque into five dollars for her piggy bank. The cheque was worth a lot more, but five dollars in coins brought her as much joy as a million of them. Ahhhh childhood....

While we were at the mall, we ran into one of Pumpkin's friends, who was there with her family. The two little ones took a moment to socialize at the colouring station that was set up by the lonely Santa, who wasn't drumming up much business, aside from occasionally waving at Pumpkin, who had no intention of getting anywhere near him.

The older sister of Pumpkin's friend was happy to watch the two girls playing together again, as they have not seen each other since the summer. The sister suggested that Pumpkin come over for a playdate. Pumpkin replied, "Well, I can't come over until another day because right now I'm celebrating Chanukah."

That's right folks, it's all Chanukah, all the time, for the entire eight days. I wish I had such focus!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh Crap!

Hmmm, ten o'clock. I think I'll have my evening shower, and drag hubby to bed with me.

Oh crap, it's garbage night and it's my turn.

Now I'll grab my shower.

Oh crap, I have to make Pumpkin's lunch for school tomorrow.

Now I'll grab my...

Oh crap, I have to give Lucky her eye drops, and Taz his liver pills.

Finally, I can...

Oh crap, all the bedding is still in the dryer, and guess what? It's still damp!

At least I can grab that shower while the dryer is running.

Oh crap, I haven't done a blog post.

I'm going to have that shower now, cap off the night by making the bed, and then jump in by myself because IT'S TOO FRICKIN' LATE!!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Post Has Nothing to Do With Me.

A friend of mine is a member of a gliding club where she pilots the tow plane that takes the gliders skyward. She took a couple of cool pics that I thought were good enough to share, so what better place than on my blog, where almost no one will see them! Without further adieu...

Click on the images to make them larger so you can fully appreciate the effect of the gliders in the rear view mirrors. Too bad the resolution isn't good enough to see the distraught faces of the glider pilots who are being towed by someone who is taking pictures rather than flying the plane...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Must Feel Refreshing!

I promised that I'd offer up four posts a week, and don't know if I'll be able to find the time to post during my upcoming, extremely busy week-end, so you are either stuck with my observing my dog scratching his butt on our fresh supply of crusty snow this morning, or my depression over the new facebook security that has officially ended my stalking career.

You've gotta admit, it IS a good way to take advantage of our miserable winter!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Holy Customer Service!

In keeping with my quest to bring back the music, I decided to set up an iTunes account. I was skeptical about putting my credit card number 'out there', so I came up with the idea of buying a gift card from a 'real life' store, and then using it as my payment option when setting up the account. It seemed like a great idea, until I wasn't able to make it happen.

I entered all the pertinent information, but the card was deemed invalid. I tried it a day later, and got the same response. I called the store that I bought the card from, and they assured me that they had activated it. I tried several more times, but no dice. Finally, I set up an account using my credit card, and then tried to redeem the gift card after the fact. Kinda defeated the purpose of the gift card, but I wasn't going to give up on the $25 already spent. When I attempted to redeem it, I was informed that the card was already redeemed. WTF? Great. I was already anticipating the hassle of dealing with customer support.

I sent off an e-mail, and was informed that my case would be dealt with within 48 hours. Surprisingly, it was! Somehow, probably during one of my supposed failed attempts at setting up the account with the gift card only, I managed to create an account under a different user name. This meant that I set up two accounts, one with the gift card, and one with the credit card. All in all, I would say that this was my fault. I felt stupid, and sent back a note saying, "Thanks, whoops, sorry!", and then went on to redeem the gift card. Apple done good, as far as I was concerned.

Today, I got another e-mail from the same person at Apple's customer support, thanking me for the opportunity to assist me. Then as a show of good measure, she told me that she is giving me a credit on my account for one free song download. Good measure??? Really? Wasn't I the one who messed up? Then I looked for the credit on my account, and saw that they had given me five credits! Five free songs because I'm too much of a tool to set up an account properly!

Then, I got another e-mail from another person, exclaiming that they were so pleased that they successfully sorted out this matter for me.

I was reminded of the self-satisfied doors from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

“All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.”

As the door closed behind them it became apparent that it did indeed have a satisfied sigh-like quality to it. “Hummmmmmmyummmmmmm ah!” it said.

I Got free stuff though, so I'm not complaining.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Repressed Road Rage

Yesterday I packed up my kids into the car and drove off to visit a friend of mine who lives a half hour away. I hadn't been there in a while and inadvertently ended up taking a different eastbound road than usual. I wasn't entirely sure that the cross street that I was looking for came as far north as the road that I was traveling along, but I didn't say anything. It is weird though that being 1/2 a km too far north took me from a landscape of endless urban sprawl to serene farm land. At least for now.

Anyhow, I ended up missing the street that I was supposed to turn on, but simply made two right turns and headed back to towards it. There was no panic, there was no reason for Pumpkin to notice anything seeing as she has never travelled the usual route to this friend's house. Why then, did she turn into the most annoying back seat driver imaginable?

"Are you sure that this is the right way?", she asked.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes.", I replied again, although I wasn't entirely certain that my detour would work.
"You sure?"
"Yes.", I answered again, becoming agitated at her asking.
"YES! Now please stop asking", I requested, wondering if I'd have to backtrack to the main highway.
"Are you sure?"
"Are you sure?"

Do you have any idea how hard it is not to swear at someone during a conversation like this?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Maybe I Should Start Waking Up Earlier

I have managed to train Pumpkin to stay in her own room until 7 every morning. Consequently, I am woken up at 7:01 every day as she proudly points to the seven on my digital clock. Then she runs into my washroom to pee while I groggily drag myself out of bed, trusting that Pumpkin has it all under control.

The other morning, I somehow got out of bed before my 7:01 wake-up call, and sleepily made my way into the washroom to attempt to get a jump start on my day. Pumpkin walked in a few minutes later, and announced that she had to pee.

"Ohhhhkayyyyy...." I yawned, not really paying attention to her. Then I snapped out of it. SHE WAS PEEING IN THE BIDET! How many times has she done that??? The thing doesn't even have any water supply!
At the risk of further damaging my already peeling kitchen ceiling downstairs, I turned on the water supply to give the bidet a serious cleaning.

Kids are so frickin' gross.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Open Mouth, Insert Foot.

A couple of weeks ago at Pumpkin's gymnastics class, I was chatting with one of the fathers, who had just gotten back from a six week acting job out west. In an attempt to make polite conversation, I asked him what he did when he wasn't acting.

"I just try to get more acting jobs."

Then I felt like an idiot. I wondered if my question sounded like an insult to him, as he was obviously a serious actor, who was successful enough to make a career out of it without having to wait tables to make ends meet. He didn't seem insulted though.

"Actually", he continued, I had a really good five year run on Air Farce.

Now I was impressed! "Oh cool! I used to watch that every Friday night with my inlaws!" Then I started racking my brain for a skit that I remembered him from, and drew a blank. He DID look familiar to me, but not familiar enough for my brain to make any useful connections. Now I felt like an even bigger idiot as I just admitted that I watched it every week, yet I had not recognized him.

"I was usually dressed up as Steven Harper or someone, so I wouldn't expect you to immediately recognize me."

He was being super duper nice, but I still felt like a dumbass.

That night after all things Air Farce had been purged from my consciousness, and I was going about the usual routine of mundane evening tasks, it popped into my head! 'I remember him now!' Thanks to the internet I was able to find this particular skit and verify that it was indeed the man I was speaking with at gymnastics. I'm not sure if he'll be too flattered that I remembered it though...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Don't Recall Any Wars Fought Under the Sea

A friend of mine has her 4yo daughter attending Hebrew school, once a month. This is something that has me anxious, as I know that I will need to enroll Pumpkin in Hebrew school too, but there are a couple of things holding me back: My own discomfort, and Pumpkin's ability to handle the information.

My discomfort stems from my own lack of Jewish education. I never attended Hebrew school, I never practiced any Jewish traditions, and I'm not very spiritual, regardless of which religion we are talking about. I was raised with the knowledge that I was Jewish, but also with the knowledge that Santa would bring me presents after I finish eating my potato latkes. That pretty much wraps it up for my religion. So what am I to do with Pumpkin now that I've married into a Jewish family who actually practices?

Well, she ain't gonna get any answers around here, that's for sure. I just don't know if she NEEDS any answers right now. She certainly isn't asking any questions. I also fear that she wouldn't pay any attention if I actually did send her to Hebrew school. She's so young, and doesn't show signs of learning the curriculum in her JK class. I've basically been thinking that it's too early for any sort of religious schooling.

This month in Pumpkin's preschool, they are doing the politically correct thing and teaching the kids about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. They started with Hanukkah, which means that Pumpkin heard stories about Jewish people and Hanukkah celebrations. Pumpkin heard the same stories last year at the same preschool, but didn't really process them. I guess she took in a word or two this year.

The other night in the bath, Pumpkin was playing with her mermaid toys, and stated, "I don't think that Ariel likes Jewish people."

"Wha..wha..what??? That's not a very nice thing to say! Why would you say that?" I stammered, obviously unprepared.

"Well, she doesn't like people who have legs...", and continued on with her nonsensical dialogue as per usual.

I let it drop, because I know she was just trying out a sentence with the term, 'Jewish people' in it, as she had it fresh in her mind from preschool that day. It might have caused me to change my mind on the issue of Hebrew school. Obviously a few concepts from school have sunken in, and like I said above, there isn't much of a Jewish education to be found within our own home. She probably should be exposed to more dialogue about Jewish people, and stories that don't involve anti-Semitic mermaids, I think.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Nightmare Invoking Image Alert

Can you believe it??? I'm still here! Living up to my word. I actually had a post saved for today, but it got bumped until tomorrow because of something Pumpkin said. Then I almost got killed by a venomous spider, so everything has been bumped again. Ok, I may be exaggerating about almost being killed, and possibly about the spider being venomous, but it was ugly, and definitely not invited to the party.

I bought grapes today, which usually take me a day or two to get around to washing, but I was feeling ambitious. Instead of stuffing them in the fridge for a day or two, I ran them under faucet, then plunked them in a bowl of water, leaving them to soak. Does soaking actually do anything in terms of removing pesticides? I'm not even sure. I just do it in case it does. I'll tell you one thing that soaking does though. It forces the spiders to rise to the top. And not just little, white, innocuous spiders either. Black and red HAIRY spiders. Ok, there was just one, but it looked like this:

Ok, it was only the size of a man's thumbnail, but still! Look at it! It was in my foooooood!!!! I trapped it in a container so I could identify it on the Internet, then set it free outside when I found it to be 'mostly' harmless.

So what was I then to do about the grapes. I'm sure I've eaten tons of produce that insects have crawled across at some point in time, but this was close to home. Then I took a closer look at the bunch. A NEST!!!!!!! I am squirming as I type this. Grapes be gone! I'm switching to fruits with removable peels for the next little while.