Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I spy a desk (somewhere under there)

World renown author Sylvia McNicoll (who happens to be my mother) recently posted about her efforts to clean her office. She was inspired by fellow author Arthur Slade, who posted a pic of his treadmill desk on his blog.  My Mom wasn't so much impressed by the treadmilling (she has a treadmill of her own) but by the cleanliness of Art's work area.  Mom, don't you think he cleaned before taking the pic? 

Anyway Mom's post inspired me. Not to clean of course (let's not get crazy), but to post this pic of my desk:

And if you want to have extra fun with my hoarders-style work space.  I shall pay homage to Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick, creators of the I Spy series that my kids enjoy so much. 

I spy a lamp
A handprint, a gun,
A bear in a hoodie
And a Dalek for fun

I spy a pink laptop
A Scattergories game
A newspaper clipping
And my son's first name.

Bonus: What other interesting things can you spy in this picture?  If you can make them rhyme you can even write another verse, which is not as easy as it looks by the way.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Battle of the Haircut

My first born's hair was getting rather shaggy and he inherited from his father a tendency to sweat profusely at the slightest rise in temperature and/or physical activity. Thus, today I took William for a haircut.

He asked if he was going to the place where you sit in a car while your hair is being cut, but that place is twice as much money as the cheap place on the corner, so the cheap place on the corner is where we went.  He got in the car without protest.  He happily entered the establishment and began playing with their bucket of broken Power Ranger Zords.

When his turn came up he doddled at the toy bin. Jadzia came right up and said "I want to do it" so her turn was first.  I'm growing her bangs out and she likes pony tails so we kept the back long too.  In other words her hair ended up looking exactly the same. If she didn't have a brother, Jadzia would never enter a salon of any kind.

William's turn, take two.  He refused to sit in the chair because "He didn't know how he wanted it."  I got out the boys haircut book and went through it with him.  He answered "No" and "I don't know" to every selection.  He repeated over and over that he just didn't know what he wanted and started to cry.

The stylists tried to help by offering a lollipop and telling him it wouldn't hurt.  He knows it won't hurt.  He's had hundreds of haircuts.  He did fine every other time, including his first cut when he was a baby.  Why the protest?

We let four people go in front of us.  William stopped crying and seemed calm, but he exhibited passive-aggressive-on-the-verge-of-tantrum behaviour; rocking in his chair, stomping his feet, evil-glaring at me.  I told him I wasn't going to leave until his hair was cut.

Finally I dragged him kicking and screaming to the chair. Since he was fighting, the stylist had limited options.  I held his arms while she buzzed him with #2 clippers.  This was one of the worst experiences of my life, right up there with treetop walking and childbirth. He behaved as if he was being tortured.  Even though we all know that haircuts don't hurt, he screamed "Ow!" over and over.

The result was perfect for an army private or prison inmate, and actually kind of cute on my brown-eyed little man.

The fight didn't end there.  He tantrumed while we went to buy toilet paper (because I need to wipe bums more than I need to avoid making a scene in a store).  He told me he didn't like me no less than four times. By the time we got home, the fit had become about him wanting to have a bath.

Alas, to get to the bathtub, William had to pass a mirror, which set him off again.  "I don't like my haircut!" "I don't want to go to school with this haircut!" "I want my hair back right now!"  Jadzia enjoyed his bath while he tantrumed, only getting in when the water was cold (and probably peed in).

Later, I messaged my husband to tell him I would never ever ever ever take William to get his haircut ever again.  It should definitely be a father-son thing.

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Sound of Music Time Again

As we drove down to the waterfront for the Sound of Music Festival, Adam and I chanted a mantra to the children:

"We will see rides.  We will not go on rides.
We will see sometimes food.  We will not buy sometimes food.
We will see toys.  We will not buy toys.
We will see treats.  We will not spend money on treats.
We are there to listen to music."

Our oldest offspring got a bit teary-eyed listening to our chant, but surprisingly we managed to stick to our guns without much fuss (especially for children up well past their bed time). 

We didn't plan what bands to see.  I rarely recognize musicians by name, and only occasionally by music.  So we traveled from stage to stage, catching the middle of one show, the end of another, the beginning of another.  Joined by our friends Columbia, Garrett and Zoe, we enjoyed the banjo stylings of  Old Man Ludecke, the rocking punk TheGoodFridays, and the popular-because-they're-on-the-radio Big Sugar.  

It didn't matter what the music was.  I had a great time dancing with William and Jadzia.  I held their hands and spun around, I picked them up and hugged and swayed, they moved to the music in crazy kid ways.  At one point, we were on the big screen.  By the time Big Sugar started playing it was well past the kids' bedtime and the crowd left little room to dance and spin.  So we went home.  

We'll likely go back tomorrow after soccer.  Maybe we'll see you there.

Lightbulb Jokes?

From William:

How many elephants does it take to screw in a light bulb? Fifteen hundred!

From Jadzia:

Once upon a time there was a jaguar and he went to the store and bought a light bulb.  And then he went to the store and bought some blueberries and strawberries. And then he went outside and it was red outside.  And he couldn't find his zoo.  "Why do I have to go to the zoo?"  And then it was sunny again and the sun was red.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Managing the Silence

So I've worked at the art store for about a month and my boss has gone on vacation and left me in charge of the whole operation. Fortunately, it's been raining constantly since she left, so I haven't needed to bother with her outdoor plants. Other than that, my responsibilities are limited: serve the handful of customers that come in during the day, sum up the cash register at the end of my shift, and keep the books up to date.  Still, of all the retail positions I've had, this is the first time I've been given a key and an alarm code.

I've also been making an excel database of all the artwork in the store.  My goal is to be finished that project by the time she gets back.

Sitting in the empty store, accompanied only by the sound of a ticking clock and humming laptop, I sometimes think fondly of my less mom-and-pop employers.  Like the late great Blockbuster video, which had an endless lineup on Saturdays, or Old Navy, where the music was so loud that I couldn't hear my thoughts, let alone the customers. Most of the time, however, I'm glad for the peace and solitude.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

I'm thinking about my friend today.

Today I'm thinking about a friend who is totally awesome (you know who you are). Unfortunately, she has to go through some sucky stuff in the near future.  I won't blog about the stuff (she wouldn't want me to).  Instead, here are some videos that remind me of her:


Monday, June 04, 2012

Preventing my blog from becoming a facebook digest

When I first started this blog it seriously derailed my face to face interactions. I would meet with friend that I hadn't seen in a while, begin telling an amusing anecdote about my life, and she would stop me and say "I already read about this on your blog."  This would happen so often that I would open with "Do you read my blog?" which unfortunately made me sound like one of those people, the ones who spam messages to everyone they know, saying "Visit my page! Like it! Increase size of member!"  (As a side note I'm going have to train myself to be one of those people, at least when my book comes out, if I ever hope to get any sales).

Despite my social awkwardness in rl, there are several things I enjoy about blogging.  So many, in fact, that I shall indulge you in a bulleted list:

  •  I like when some random relative/acquaintance who I would never assume would read my blog tells me they identified with some post or the other. I often imagine just one person I know who would be interested in what I'm writing, and it delights me greatly that I reach a marginally wider audience.
  • Getting comments.  Especially from people I don't know. The more comments, the more I feel like a celebrity someone with valuable ideas to share.
  • Meeting people. I've gotten to know some frequent commenters and bloggers, their inner most thoughts, who they are at their very cores, without even knowing their real names .  That's huge.  That's what makes the internet beautiful. 
  • Having a record of my children's lives. It's fun to look back and read about them growing up, in the words of my former self.
  • Leaving my mark on the abyss. I occasionally fantasize about future historians reading my blog.  Hey there future historians! How's the colonization of Andromeda going?
  • As shy as I am, I like being on stage.  It's why I love improv and karaoke.  My blog is just another way of shouting "look at me! look at me!"
But alas, just as my blogging derailed my face to face interactions, my blogging has been derailed by another social interaction.  That's right, I'm talking about the Faceboooks.  Posts like this one are basically just half-hearted Facebook digests.  If you're on my Facebook friends list, you've already seen the photos of my kids, read the news bulletins.  You already know what's going on in my life, in the much more quickly and easily digested form of status updates.   And I'm not delusional, I know that my Facebook friends make up 99.99999% of my reader base. 

The other day I was ranting about something, when my husband told me "This should be a blog entry." I don't know if he thought what I had to say was genuinely amusing and interesting, or if he just wanted me to shut-up in that moment.  Whichever it was, I thought maybe that's the ticket.  I should rant more on my blog!  After all, most people don't actually care that my kids and frickin' adorable.  They want to read my amusing tangents on toilet training.  So this is me ranting.  You likes?

In conclusion, I must say.  Like this page.  Share this page.  Tweet this page.  Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!

(Leave rant suggestions, virtual hugs, and hi, how are yous in the comments below.)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Three things. Cute, mildly amusing, and somewhat serious.

First, my kids are cute and they take soccer:

Second, yesterday it rained so hard that union subway station was flooded.  Some people created some amusing memes about it, so here are my favourites:

Third, and more seriously, there was a shooting in Toronto at a mall I've been to about a thousand times. It's a safe place. In fact, pretty much every time I go to Toronto I wander through the Eaton Center.  Today somebody did that very thing and was killed. 

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