Thursday, September 29, 2011

No Title Fitting.

Your beauty kindled envious green flames
You were the wanted, and I was stunned and shamed 
but the laughter, in writing was infectious
and something like a friendship born

Troubled and hopeful, youth cased in wisdom
Too much spirit to be held by a mere human form.

One day, one pill, one phone call
That spirit exploded and touched across the miles
Drawing strangers in flesh but friend in words
To the place where you lay

I wept tears for the broken
As your pedestal crumbled
Crushing the spirits of those who worshipped at your feet
Falling into madness and bottles and nothingness.

Four years, holding a vigil to your silent photograph
We left messages, until the day you became a Cause.
They took your face.
They took your voice and spoke for you.
Strangers, and I could look no more.

Copyright 2011 Andrea Lyn Cole


There was a knock on the door last night at about 9:45.  A guy was looking for a motorcycle he had seen on Kijiji.  The Google map was unclear.  I said I knew nothing about it.  The man at the door described the ad further, asking if there were 'any guys' around who might know about it.  Again, I said I knew nothing about it.

Sometimes I get into this state of mind where I almost forget that my house can actually be seen from the road. (Hint: my house can DEFINITELY be seen from the road)

It's like I think I'm living in a sort of Potterverse and there's an incantation that only allows my close friends and family to find the place.

Then I get a knock on the door at 9:45 at night and I'm reminded that there is no magic to hide me, no forcefield protecting me from strangers, harmful or otherwise.

Just a deadbolt.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Disinformation, Douchebags, Disney and Why You Shouldn't Fuck with Saskatchewan.

The new Facebook newsfeed has some downsides (gee, really?), one of which is that from time to time I'll get something on my newsfeed that a friend has commented on.  I want to weigh in, but since the original poster is not a friend of mine, I can't.  Once again, in the wake of the new changes, we're getting the ridiculously asinine reposts about how Facebook is going to start charging and blah blah, repost and you won't get charged.

And people repost this shit.  It's enough to make my head explode.  But here is what I have a real issue with:
Newsflash, commenter number 1:  Spreading misinformation does not make you smart, it makes you an asshole.  Check your sources before reposting this inane shit, thankyouverymuch.  The friend of mine that commented on this, thus exposing me to this other person's dumbassery via my newsfeed, had a very reasonable suggestion - check if you are unsure. At LEAST take the time to do a quick Google search.

Again, it is NOT smart to repost shit 'just in case' if you don't have your facts straight.  In a case like this the worst that will happen is that you'll piss off some people, and maybe lose a few e-friends in a fit of annoyance, but the possibility may arise that someone will re-post something that is hurtful, oppressive or downright untrue and may be harmful to others.  Adam P. Knave posted a great article about the dangers of spreading misinformation through social media last week and puts it more eloquently than I have here.   Recommended reading, indeed.


As a sociologist with a great interest in popular culture, it's usually a lot of fun to Disney bash, what with the various Disney princesses and their tropes and unrealistic messages of storybook romance.  However, in watching an older DVD with my kids tonight, I was reminded that they're not all bad.  Disney, after all, also gave us Kim Possible which to date is one of my favorite female fictional character geared towards kids.  She's loyal, smart, ass-kicking and genuinely wants to help people.  And although Ron plays the mostly bumbling sidekick, he has his occasional moments of glory, and is secretly a highly-trained ninja, and is often the more zen of the two (except in the face of monkeys).  I love that they end up together without a lot of the typical nice-guy-pines-for-hot-girl-and-continuously-cajoles-her-into-seeing-what-a-great-catch-he-is-because-he's-so-nice storyline.  No, Ron values Kim's friendship and happiness overall (and vice-versa) and that desire to see her happy is his motivation. 

He's like the Ducky (from Pretty In Pink) of the coming generation, without getting fucked over for boring-as-drying-paint Andrew McCarthy.

Did I mention that the main villainess is pretty effin' cool as well?  Of the many cartoon villains I've seen in my time, Shego remains one of my favorite, with the best villainous one-liners - ("Pleased to beat you!").  She's kind of an interesting commentary on the glass ceiling and being taken less seriously in her field as a woman in spite of the fact that between her and Dr. Drakken she's clearly the brains AND the brawn of the operation, but is woefully under-acknowledged and mocked for being a mere sidekick.  I love when she gets to rule a particularly dystopian future in A Sitch In Time.

I will add that everytime I image search Kim Possible, some of the fan art never fails to destroy my soul, piece by piece.


Based on this post, it has become clear to me that we have a need for a new genre of music which I have decided shall be called 'DoucheRock'.  Theory of a Dead Man is the latest to delve into the land of mysogynist arena rock, which frankly, hasn't been remotely cool since Axl started braiding his hair.  I'm not surprised when you consider how heavily they take their influence from Nickelback.  I'm glad I stopped listening to Rock Radio (ie Rock95, I'm looking at you) so I don't have to hear this kind of crap. And I thought Buckcherry's "Crazy Bitch" made my teeth itch.   *shudders*


Lastly, I got a good giggle at this video posted at the Fuck Yeah CBC Tumblr.  My future husband, George Strombolopolous finds out the hard way that a) you don't fuck with Saskatchewan b) You definitely don't want to make 'flat' jokes and c) Word travels fast (and haphazardly) in the Canadian entertainment industry.  This clip was the intro for the 2007 Gemini awards.  It's got a lot of awesome cameos from Brent Butt and Eric Peterson of Corner Gas, the cast of Little Mosque on the Prairie, Sue Johansonn (aka Sunday Night Sex with Sue), Colin Mochrie, Rick Mercer and more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Amazon is trying to make me out to be a Nazi.

It's pouring down rain today so I'm taking advantage of wanting to go nowhere on my break to do a quick blog-post about censorship, as I think I may have inadvertently been the victim of it in a small, small way.

Earlier today I was checking Amazon and adding various things to my Wishlist (yes, I've linked it so if anyone wants to buy me something pretty..) and found myself caught rather off-guard by the 'People who bought this..' feature.

Apparently there's some kind of weird link between scatalogical humour and a sociopathic desire to commit genocide.  Turns out that that people who bought Superbad: The Drawings (which yes, is a book of dick drawings inspired by the film.  If you haven't seen it, this will not make sense to you.  Consider yourself lucky) also bought Mein Kampf?

What the Fuck?  Why do I need to know this, Amazon?

Look. I'm not even kidding.  And it's the Uncensored version?
So as I do whenever something strikes me funny, odd or downright abhorrent, I took to Twitter to express my disbelief thusly:
Really #amazon? I'm disturbed to know that people who bought "Superbad: The Drawings" also bought "Mein Kampf"? #WTFF
The reason I didn't screen shot the actual tweet itself is that it has disappeared.  Folks, this is why programs that scan for 'questionable' words or phrases are bullshit.  Crawlers cannot account for context.  Someone who mentions Mein Kampf in a Tweet may not actually be trying to spread Nazi propaganda.. some of us are just trying to express a little bit of disbelief at this world.

I'm probably on some kind of government watch list now.  FANTASTIC.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do these coat-tails have airbags?


Guitarist/Vocalist with vague inferiority complex seeks collaborators interested in being launched into rock superstardom, or possibly mediocre local notoriety.

Men, Women or highly advanced primates welcome.


Pixies, Violent Femmes, The Tragically Hip, The Headstones, Peggy Lee, Robert Johnson, Metric, Lunachicks, burlesque, cartoons, Canadian cinema, Goldfish crackers, righteous indignation and delayed adolescence.

Must be willing to allow me to ride the coat-tails of those with less-negligible talent, and have own equipment.  That I can borrow.  

Songwriting ability is an asset.  Barring this, a willingness to pass off obscure covers as originals will do.. (pass off?  No, I mean.. must be willing to play covers and TOTALLY GIVE THE ORIGINAL ARTISTS CREDIT  *looks around*)

Renumeration:  I make a mean grilled cheese.


so... who's in?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

If you don't have anything worth saying..

... well screw it.  Make something up.

I'm hungover (well, a little) and doing laundry today.  It's one of those beautiful, crisp fall days where the sun is warm but the air is brisk.  The kind where a coat is a suggestion, but not necessarily a requirement.

Being a responsible drunk, my plans for the day include a very long walk to go and pick up my car from last night's resting place.  If I bring my iPod, and pace myself, it should be a rather pleasant walk.  I may take the Tay trail.

I have an earworm that has been burrowing itself into my brain for the last 48 hours.  I must have listened to it a dozen times since I first heard it at my sister's place Friday night.

Yesterday was full of music and self-loathing.  So good and bad.  I've put some weight back on and I'm trying not to beat myself up over it and just pay more attention to my habits and make sure I'm making healthy decisions.  In the meantime, my pants have turned against me so I was not feeling my awesomest yesterday.

The music, however... well, the music is good.  Three bands in one day.  I'd call that a win.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

12 bars at closing time.

plink plunk.

I think I'd like to be the world's greatest lady blues guitarist and it occurs to me that maybe I am.  If there are others before me, their names have been lost to history.  Maybe I just need to read more.

There's a pattern here, there's a pattern and a structure only decipherable when the pattern breaks and the sour note stabs, making me curse these befuddled digits.  Thinking of playing until my fingers bleed, but it never happens, not really.

Once I did dip my fingertips into ice water, until the numbness allowed me to go on.

plink plunk.

I need to not be drawn in by the urge to check up on those from my past, through the tempting rabbit hole that is social media, it only creates more questions than it answers.  My ego makes up stories, scenarios that are likely as detached from reality as one can get.

But sometimes it's nice to pretend.  I like to think it's all about me.

Through the looking glass, I wonder if someone pointed out the mistake.  Did they bring it to the surface?  Did it leave a scar, a vicious red x on your psyche?

Did you shake your head, cover your ears?


It's probably not about me, anyway.

I have a song, but I didn't write it.  Someone else's words are all I have to describe my experience.  I've tried to put them as my own but it all comes out a plagiarism, so I am left only to paraphrase.

These words are mine, here.  Put them to what melody you may.

The melody is not mine.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wasn't going to, just feel like I should.

I had sat on a large cushion in my living room, feeding my almost four-month-old daughter a bottle. It was 9am, Regis and Kelly time, but the show had been interrupted.

With my free hand I reached for the portable phone and dialed my best friend who was a thousand kilometers away with a baby of her own to care for.

"Turn it to Regis. Some jackhole flew a plane into a building. Who does that?" I said, with my usual display of sensitivity and compassion. It could only be a fluke, I reasoned.

"I know, right? People are idiots"

Mere seconds later, the line fell quiet between us as on the screen, before our very eyes, the second plane hit the tower and we seemed to come to the same conclusion almost simultaneously. It takes a special kind of stupid (or, in fairness, a gregious technical error or malfunction) to crash into a building once, by accident. Nobody does it twice.

Not by accident.

"Holy shit."


I still can't accurately describe my feelings.  Sad, of course, for the families and friends that were lost.  Humbled, by the heroics and feats of strength and perserverance of everyday people.

Afraid.  Angry.

I felt angry mostly because of people's reactions.  Maybe if I had lost someone close to me I would feel differently, but I remember thinking that in many people's minds, this would simply be justification for hate that already existed.  

Justification for taking up arms against people who were different from us.

People who, like many of us want nothing more than to get up every morning, hug their children, spend time with friends and family and enjoy life as it is given, but who would now be targeted merely for sharing a belief system.. nay, for sharing the NAME of a belief system (for, much like Christianity, the interpretations of Islam vary and some people take it to dark places, where others choose to approach from a paradigm of love and respect for humanity), with people who wish to see us dead.

I felt a certain amount of pride in own government's reaction, for keeping a level head when G.W. was making his "If you're not wi' us, yer agin' us" speeches.  We went to Afghanistan, but we stayed out of Iraq and I think that was one of the last good decisions ol' Jean C got to make (or his government made) in that final term.

I felt fear, still feel fear.  During the cold war, my mother used to have nightmares of nuclear holocaust, and of trying to urge us, her children, to run from the danger while our feet melted to the sidewalk in the face of the overwhelming heat.

In the days following, I felt connected to that memory.

I still don't know how I feel.   Awed, that such time has passed.  Vaguely cynical, as the more things change, the more things stay the same.  I don't feel like we have learned much at all.  I'd like to say we value life more, but I'm hard pressed to back that up.

I wasn't going to write anything at all, because I always feel like I'm bandwagon-jumping.  I'm loathe to feel obligated to feel something today.  I had a great day today, spent time with family and with friends and enjoyed life.

And I did it guilt-free.  Maybe that is the lesson.  I don't know.  What is the lesson here?  Is it to fear?  Is it hate?  Or is it to value life, no matter whose life it is?

Anyway.  This song kind of haunts me.

Kimya Dawson - Anthrax

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jacques Cartier, right this way...

So last Friday I booked the day off,  booked and hotel for the girls and I, and embarked on the roughly 1000km road from our little dollhouse to Quebec City.  The girls had gotten the bug after I had told them of the trip I took out there a few years ago.  At the time I had taken five days with plans to hit Ottawa, Montreal and if time allowed, Quebec City.  My itinerary was pretty loose, in fact, I really didn't know where I was staying each night until I got there.  I guess it sounded like a pretty fun adventure, so they got on a thing about going to Quebec City as well, and I had said maybe this summer, if we can find the time and the money.

It so happened I had one last vacation day left for this year, and the ex-hub's current wife was going to be laid up due to surgery, so instead of trying to scramble for daycare for two days I figured I'd get daycare for the one day and book the friday off.  It then dawned on me that this was the Friday before Labour day so there was our 'time'.   Still didn't *really* have the money but I DID have the available credit.

I'm usually loathe to put ANYTHING on my credit cards, but with saving for a house I've been scrimping and saving to death and sometimes it feels like I'm missing out on a lot with the kids because I'm always having to say no.

So I said yes (well, actually I probably said "fuck it!") and we were off.

The basic plan was this:

  • Drive to Ottawa Friday.  Stay with friends.  Visit Ottawa either Friday night upon arrival, or Saturday morning before pushing on to Quebec
  • Stay two nights in Quebec city, having the full day Sunday to explore the city.
  • Get up stupidly early Monday morning and book it all the way home in time for dinner.

You'll note that I didn't leave room to visit Montreal.  That is because I don't care much for Montreal.  As someone rather directionally challenged, the roundabouts and one-way streets disagreed with me.

Anyway, a few days beforehand I contacted a friend of mine in Ottawa who I hadn't seen in some time and asked if they would be around.  In an ironic twist of fate, her response was "No, we're not home that night and I really hope you're not telling me you're going to be in Ottawa because we're going to be in the Harbour.  I was going to come see you."

I am the QUEEN of lousy timing.

So via the Facebook, I put out word that the kiddies and I were seeking accomodations for the night in the Ottawa area.  A friend and former co-worker extended an invitation for us to stay with her and her boyfriend so that was set.  I booked a room at a Super 8 in QC (a pretty cool family suite with bunk beds for the kids, and an XBox 360 in-room that we never ended up using) and we were off.

On the way, we stopped in this awesome hippie store in Sebright, ON.  I just spent about fifteen minutes trying to find out what the place is called, with no luck.

There was a giant Betty Boop statue out front and the front doors and windows were covered with tons of pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-pagan, left-wing slogans and bumper stickers.  An old-fashioned triangle hung near the wooden screen door.

Inside was even cooler though.  They sold imported and old-fashion type pop in glass bottles.  The ceiling was covered in old vintage LP covers, and there was a wall dedicated to practical jokes and novelty items.  The front counter was a display of homemade cheeses and meats.

After spending a good 25 minutes looking around, we moved on, stopping in Bancroft.  My grandparents had retired to Bancroft so I spent many summers there before my grandmother eventually sold their house and moved to Orillia to be closer to family.  We visited Nanny and Grandpa's old house and I was a little sad and nostalgic to see that the current owners have kind of let it go.  The gardens out front have been allowed to grow wild only to eventually starve themselves.  I wanted to take some pictures but I saw a curtain move in an upstairs window and felt that perhaps we were being watched.

There's an amazing lookout in Bancroft called the Eagles Nest where you can look out over the entire town.  When I was a kid I used to write scary stores about ghosts that lived the graveyard beneath the Eagles nest.
Yes, we did interrupt some couple having a moment.
We got to Tasha's about 8pm, so really not much time to explore Ottawa once we got there.  Tash left the company where I work to pursue her dream of running a dog kennel, which means that at any given time, they have a good amount of dogs on the property.  During our stay there were about five in the house.  Given that I am not much of a dog person (I respect their right to exist, and don't wish harm upon them but otherwise, leave me alone) I thought this had the potential to be pretty interesting, but considering the number of them, they were well trained and well behaved, and I almost kind of sort of started to like one of them (god help me if I can remember her name though).

This one.
Saturday morning we took the dogs out for a run on the property and Tasha's boyfriend Dave took both the girls on an ATV ride which they enjoyed immensely.  I was really glad she had extended the invite, because I had a really nice time visiting with them, and they were both good hosts.  Thanks again if you're reading this :-)

After saying our goodbyes, we backtracked to Ottawa proper and visited the Museum of Civilization and the Parliament buildings.  It was ridiculously hot that day so after visiting Parliament and getting some ice cream it was unanimously decided that the best option was to get back on the road and try to get to Quebec City before night fall.  Basically it's about six hours to Ottawa, and another four or five to Quebec.

We reached our hotel about 8:30pm and decided to go for a swim and settle for the night, as we would have the entire day to look around.  The Super 8 hot tub could better be described as a 'kinda-warm tub' but at least I didn't feel bad staying in longer than the required fifteen minutes.

Next morning we woke up and it was raining, which put a bit of a damper on plans to park downtown and explore the walled in area that is Old Quebec.  So we had some breakfast, had another swim and got in the car to brave the rain.

Driving down Wilfrid Laurier Boulevard we kept seeing groups of pirates on the sidewalks, waiting in bus shelters.  As we passed the entrance to Laval University I came to the conclusion that this must be some kind of Frosh week activity.

Upon finding ourselves downtown, I tried to find parking and somehow managed to get ourselves on to the Autoroute 40 by taking a wrong turn.  Know what happened then?

You guessed it, we got horribly, horribly lost.

And those Google maps that you print out when you get directions somewhere, don't do shit when it comes to navigation, since they only name about four roads.  Oh yeah.

EVENTUALLY I made it back downtown and found a place for us to park.  We came upon an outdoor Zumba display and looked in a few stores while we looked for a place to eat lunch that wasn't ridiculously expensive, and wasn't McDonalds.  Because yes, even Old Quebec has a McDonalds.  It's a neat looking McDonalds in an old stone building with wood shutters on the upper levels, and possibly even turrets, but it's still a McDonalds nonetheless.

One place got vetoed because the hostess wouldn't let me in with my coffee even though I made it clear we were definitely buying food.  For all three of us.  So congratulations, pub-whose-name-escapes-me, you lost out on what would have probably been a 40 dollar meal, easy.

Eventually we stopped at a place called Buffet D'Antiquiare, which was a neat kind of place with exposed brick, dark wood, framed black and white prints, and large menus written in vibrantly colored chalk.  The waitress met my helpless shrug and inquiry as to whether she spoke English with a bit of impatience.  I had been holding my own okay up until then, very stiltedly making efforts to communicate in French whenever possible, but at that point, the thought of having to order three breakfasts in french was overwhelming so for that little amount of time, I gave up.

After lunch, we continued on foot.  I was trying to get us to the boardwalk that runs between the Chateau Frontenac and the St. Lawrence River.  I had spotted what I thought was the Frontenac's green-copper roof and told the girls to follow it.  However as we drew closer, it because evident that this building was NOT near a boardwalk OR water.

Not the Chateau Frontenac
This, however is. (from 2005)
I approached a young woman and in my stilted French I gestured towards the building and asked "C'est la Chateau Frontenac?"  to which the woman responded by saying no and pointing to a tall peaked roof well off in the distance to which I responded by swearing in English, saying "merci" and saying to the girls "Okay, so remember how I said my sense of direction is better on foot than by car?  It's better, but not by much."  I pointed out the same roof and said "See that roof? That's where we need to be."

Have I mentioned Quebec is a city of many many steep inclines?  Oh yes.  We wandered through the little shops of lower town and took Le Funicular which is kind of like a Wonka-esque Great Glass Elevator that takes you up the hill to the Upper Town where the Frontenac and the boardwalk is located.
While wandering the boardwalk, we spotted another flight of stairs that appeared to go up another level of town.  After walking up these damn stairs for a good 20 minutes or so, I asked another tourist couple "Umm.. where are we?"

Where, was apparently the top of the Citadelle, which are some of the military fortifications that were built in the mid-1700s for the protection of the city.  It's pretty freaking high up.  Funnily enough, where it took about 20 minutes to walk up the 8 million stairs to get to the top, there's a trail on the other side that brings you back downtown in oh.. say 10 minutes.  Yessir.  well, 25 if you have an eight year old child who leaves her sweater at the top of the Citadelle and doesn't realize until you are halfway back to downtown.  And of COURSE it's the really nice sweater that she really likes and that I really like that her Great Grandmother got her for CHRISTMAS so of course we can't just leave it and call it a loss.  I went up the hill just to the point where I could see the lookout where she left, collapsed on the grass and said "Okay, go get it and come back here."  So with eye peeking over the arm I had flung over my face, I saw the little yellow t-shirt sprint across the wide green field, disappear for a few moments and reappear as a yellow and purple blur bobbing and weaving back across the field.

We made our way back to the car (with the kids naysaying my ability to actually navigate us back to the car.. but I made it there!) and we had dinner at the Chinese buffet next to the hotel.  Next morning we got up at six, we're on the road by 7:20 and did a straight out burn down Autoroute 40 to Highway 401, making small stops for gas and to pee, and managed to make it home around 6pm, in time to get ready for school the next day.

Some random pics of Quebec:

View from the Funiculaire

Dirty old man table art

Lower Town
Probably my favourite shot from the whole trip.

Funny story about that last picture.  I saw the guy in the wheel chair kind of struggling to get up the hill, before I saw him turn around and head back down.  A few minutes later, two kids go zooming past, each hanging onto a handle bar, just motoring this guy up the hill.  I think they were his kids.  They were yelling stuff as they shot past, and the three of them just looked like they were having a lot of fun.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another Poetic Interlude..

Whilst looking for lined paper for the eldest child, I stumbled across some of my old university assignments, including a chap book of poetry for a creative writing class titled "Does Not Play Well With Others" because I am oh-so-bad-assed, you know.  There were a couple passages I enjoyed.  I'm also considering posting a couple of the essays as blog entries because I really enjoyed writing them, and I still enjoy reading them and I like the idea of getting feedback from those other than the one or two profs that got to mark them.

That all depends if I can find the doc files, because I sure as hell ain't typing out the hard copies.

In the meantime, I'll share a couple of the poems here.  There seemed to be a common thread of disliking structured poetry.

Ours Is Poetic

Ours is not so much a matter of rhyming
More a type of word splatter running
From a mind-spigot, the very timing
Of which is most important, when one most cunning
Forgets about the trying-to-say or
Gives up on wit or random punning

If all academic falsehood is removed
The barest essence of emotion left
There still, is room for a reader to be moved
For emotion lies at the depths,
Lays a foundation for some profound thing
When left unsaid, leaves the soul bereft.

The second one was part of of an assignment to write a poem called a Sestina which has the most effed-up, convoluted structure imaginable.  So like the fourth-grader that does a speech about how much they hate public speaking, I wrote a sestina about how fucking aggravating and pointless sestina-writing is.

Writing the Sestina

I'd say I've written a sestina before
but in all honesty I'd be lying
as I have never attempted a thing
so complicated as this.  I must say
It is really an aerobic feat of mind
to complete.  Really, if i had my way

I would choose to write this another way
and get myself into my warm bed before
I found myself giving a piece of my mind
to whoever came up with this.  Lying
in my bed I could dream of what I'd say
to the creator of this silly thing.

Really now, who comes up with such a thing?
Someone who sits around and thinks of ways
to make complicated methods to say
things that could be put more simply.  Before
I enjoyed poetry, I'm not lying
but writing this makes me lose my mind.

Now I'm not saying I really mind
reading the sestina and other things, 
but I get to feeling like I'm lying. 
Fitting words to metre a certain way
Since it seems the form comes well before
what I am actually trying to say.

Oh but what am I trying to say?
The original idea has slipped my mind.
I had a vague idea.  That was well before
I got wrapped up and tangled in this thing
and my message got lost along the way.
Now exhausted, I find myself lying

on the floor, when I should be lying
in my bed.  For what more could I say
on the subject, considering the way
my eyes are drooping and it seems my mind
is wandering, drifting to other things. 
I should retire, and sleep before

someone finds me lying here.  I don't mind
if perhaps they say I'm mad or something.
I was that way already, long before.

Copyright Andrea Lyn Cole 2006

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is it wrong to play "Another Brick In The Wall" to your kids on Labour Day Monday before bed?

1,985 kilometres (that's 1,233 miles to those on the Imperial system) covered over four days and here I am, home once again, just in time to send the kiddies back to school with lunches containing food I bought tonight at roughly 9pm after realizing "Holy shit! School starts tomorrow! These kids are going to want to eat!"

Back to school doesn't much alter my routine, other than causing my mornings to require a little more structure.  Since the girls go to their dad's during the day, in the summer, getting them ready in the morning consists of little more than ensuring they have pants on their butt, and something in their stomach (and even this is kinda/sorta optional, as their stepmom informed me that whether they eat breakfast here or not, the usually end up helping themselves to cereal when they get there in the morning anyway).

Now it's make sure they're fed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, lunch made, school bag packed and they're dressed.  Not just dressed, but appropriately dressed. 

There's a brief period of about three to four years where you can safely leave your kids to their own devices when it comes to getting dressed.  Around grade two they stop insisting on wearing pajamas to school, turtlenecks in 30°C weather, flip flops and/or Crocs in the rain and can *usually* be consistent with the wearing of underpants.

The years previous to these are the ones where you can use praise to deflect the blame on poor fashion choices away from yourself, the parent.

"Oh.. what an interesting outfit little Millie has on..."
"Oh, yes, I know.  And she picked it out all by herself, didn't you honey??  ALL BY YOURSELF.  NO HELP FROM MOM AT ALL," 

That's right, distance yourself from the purple cordouroy pants paired with the three-sizes-too-small shirt that you kept trying to donate but they kept pulling it out again when you weren't looking, and decided to put it on when you were already fifteen minute late so there was no time to change.  Other parents will nod knowingly.  They've seen the same horrors you have.

My oldest, having just turned ten, is reaching a stage where once again I feel it necessary to police her wardrobe choices, mainly for the reasons that A) she still hasn't gotten that 'color-matching' thing down and B) children's retailers and the school officials who write the dress code have wildly differing views of what is 'age appropriate'.

Have you recently trying buying shorts for a ten-year-old girl that are not more than three fingers above the knee?  Don't bother.  Really.  Save the time, save the effort and make cut-offs.  Or shop in the boys section (where, incidentally, all shorts seem to fall three fingers below the knee).

But basically yeah, we've reached the early stages of that joyous time where her fashion sense may clash with my desire to keep her in outfits that can be described without the use of the term "prost-i-tot".  She's a big fan of the Disney set, whose imaginary tweenie characters seem to have clothing allowances that would probably pay my car insurance and my cable bill together.

Evenings require a bit more structure now as well.  There is the ceremonial unpacking of the school back, signing of notes, throwing out of half-empty containers of pudding that the school, under their so-called "litterless lunch" mandate insists on having the girls put back in their lunch bags.  This is especially pleasant after they've gone to their dad's for the weekend, and the lunch bags don't get unpacked because I like to keep my plastic sandwich containers, thankyouverymuch.

There are showers to be had, on a regular basis even.  In the summer there'd be conversations like this (keep in mind that they often bathe at their dad's for hygiene, and sometimes simply for something to do)

"When was the last time you washed your hair?"
"Did you have a bath at your dad's today?"
"When was the last time you had a bath or a shower?"


"Okay, here's some advice.. if the answer to any of those questions is 'I don't know' then just go have a shower."

School time comes and it's every-other-day whether you feel like you need it or not.  No one wants to be the smelly kid.

So begins another year.  *pours a shot.. or four*

Friday, September 2, 2011

Be Right Back, Y'all

Just having a slice of day-old pizza while I take a break from packing the car in preparation for the four-day  road trip to Quebec City the kiddies and I are embarking on in oh.. say.. half an hour.

Hopefully there will be many tales and pictures to share upon our return.  Most will probably be taken by my oldest since driving and photographing is harrowing at best.  I may share some pics along the way so if you're not already, I can be followed on Twitter.

Also formulating a response to this fantastic post from Chally at Feministe about singlehood and what is the deal with people who act like you're some kind of freak if you're single and happy about it.

The Deficient Single Woman

It's a pretty interesting read, as are the comments.  It's given me a lot to think about, so while I'm gone I'll be collecting and indexing my thoughts on the subject and sharin' em with ya.

Anyway, the road be calling so enjoy your long weekend and drive safe.