Friday, August 28, 2009

Date Night: The Final Frontier

"Computer, activate outsourcing of child care."

Babysitter activated, Captain.


"Computer, activate presentable appearance."

Mascara deployed, Captain.

"Computer, do we have any dinner and candlelight around here?"

Yes, Captain.

"Make it so."

To explore a quiet, civilized meal! To seek out new life in our overburdened relationship! To boldly go where no parents have gone before!

"Computer, activate sparkling conversation."

Computer does not recognize command, Captain.

Hm, that's a little scary.

"Computer, umm... engage intelligent banter."

Program no longer exists, Captain.

Oh, shit.

"Uhh, computer, a joke? Witty remark? Anything?"

Number One: Honey, you look worried - what's up?

Shields down, Captain. All systems failing.

Aborting mission.

Thus go our voyages and our adventures. *sigh*

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

The single, solitary, measly hour of so-called free time I get per week, and I get to spend it removing body hair. I'm thrilled, really. Whee. Boy golly, I'll bet every man just wishes he could be so lucky as to do something solely for his wife's aesthetic enjoyment on Saturday nights rather than, say, play poker or something.

But seriously, one poorly-executed bout of brow tweezing in Junior High, and I'm pencilling in eyebrows for the rest of my natural life - why are my
legs so sadistic? They thrive on this shit.
Grumble, grumble.

Alright, Step 1, wax warmed and stirred. Gaaa!, too hot, administer first aid to burnt thumb.

Step 2, yah yah, no lotions or whatever on my skin. Blah blah blah.

Step 3, pull skin taut.

Is that some sort of joke? The last time my skin was taut it didn't
have hair. I am so not in the mood for irony right now. Where's the phone?

*ring* *ring*

Thank you for calling _____, this is, like, Shanna talking.

Hi, LikeShanna. I have an issue with your product.

No sorry, it's just, like, Shanna.

Exactly. So about that issue with the product?

Okay! I can, like, totally help you out and stuff?

... ... Was that a question?
Can you help me?


Alright, if you say so. Listen, Step 3 is tripping me up a bit. It says I have to pull the skin taut.


That's the problem, Shanna. My skin doesn't
do taut.

Like, what does that

Sorry I don't speak Valley for you. I'll try to dumb it down a little: my skin. It's old. Not taut.

Um, can I like, put you on hold for a second?

Sure, whatever.
Mitzy, hey? There's this, like, really old chick or something on the phone, and she's like, confused about her skin or something?

I can hear you. You didn't put me on hold.
What's wrong with her skin?
She says it can't be taut.

I can heeear yoooou.
Like, what does it need to know?

Holy shit.
I dunno, but she sounds kinda scary. Do you think she's a Code 37: Bitter and Distorted?

Maybe she's a Code 29:
Generally Angry.
I'm taking offense now.
Totally! I'll, like, read her the stuff out of the manual for that one. Hi again! This is, like, Shanna talking?

Hi, Shanna. I'm feeling Generally Angry right now.

way! How did you know that? I was just going to read you the stuff out of the manual for that! Let me just find the page...

No offense, Shanna, but may I please speak to the manager?


... ... Um, can I speak to the manager

am the manager!

Heaven help us.

Yah, it's totally awesome! I've been here, like, three weeks
longer than anyone else, and also they said they needed more girls in management or they were going to get sued or something?

Your parents must be so proud.

They totally
are! They keep saying to all their friends how glad they are that I'm not working at that place with all the owls or whatever?
You mean Hooters?
Yah, totally! I guess I'm like, allergic to birds or something, so they didn't want me to work there.
Hey, Shanna, it's a miracle, my problem just went away. 'Bye now.
No way! But I didn't get to read you...
One small step for Shanna, one giant leap backwards for the women's movement.
Bitter and distorted my ass.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Who is Santa Claus?

That was a rhetorical question. I already know who Santa Claus is. Katie Holmes is Santa Claus.


I k
now. You are currently marvelling at the wealth of esoteric knowledge I have in my humble possession. And while it is wonderful to be me, don't think for a minute that it doesn't involve significant time and energy on my part to amass such a mental cornucopia. So just how did I unearth this stunning revelation? Is it because I laugh when I see her in spite of myself? Well, that too, but that's got more to do with her poor taste in men, and I laugh at a lot of people so that's generally a pretty poor criterion for me to use.

happened was this: Not long ago, I was walking alongside an incredibly fat man in downtown Calgary, savouring the rare sensation of being The Thin One in our - albeit fleeting - relationship (mental note: in next life, marry large so as to procure favourable comparisons). As I sauntered along enjoying the shade this fellow provided, I thought to myself, what the world really needs is more overpriced apparel designed specifically for the perfect Size 2 figure. But jeez Louise, no matter how hard I tried to figure it out, I just don't know how to make that kind of magic happen all by my lonesome. So that night I called in the biggest guns I know to assist me in my quest: I wrote a letter to old Saint Nick.

Nick, I wrote - we're pretty tight, I can call him that - I've been a really good girl this year. I've cut back on swearing sortof and tried out some new recipes and, uh... flossed my teeth regularly. And in return for all my hard work and firm gums, I have to ask for this one little thing from you. No, it's not necessarily for me - it's for all of humanity. Because I'm a good girl that way. And what humanity really, really needs is more overpriced apparel designed specifically for the perfect Size 2 figure.

While you're at it, could you maybe toss in some similarly overpriced children's wear - you know, the kind you can't let them actually wear for fear of the little beasts committing Dirt and Destruction on them. Thanks, man.



The very next day, I saw on the Yahoo! Canada home page - that bastion of high-quality breaking news stories - that Katie Holmes is starting her very own clothing line! And one for toddlers, too! My first thought was, I am in so good with Santa that I don't even have to wait 'til Christmas like the rest of you suckers out there! But once my initial euphoria faded I realized that maybe flossing my teeth isn't really all that much to ask of a human, and in fact maybe I'm even a little on the half-assed side of Good. But how else could my prayers have been answered in such short order? Unless... that's right! I had tapped directly into
the source of all things Christmas, which means Santa Claus is none other than Katie Holmes.

Really, the question is how she kept it hidden so long with that little sidekick elf guy of hers hanging around all the time.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mission: If You Love Someone

When it comes to parenting, there are basically two competing schools of thought: One reckons children are resilient and adaptable, and that the myriad minor tribulations of childhood serve to build character. The other maintains children are fragile and in constant mortal danger, and must be hovered over, catered to and sheltered from the cold realities of the world until precisely the age of eighteen, whereupon they magically sprout life skills, coping mechanisms and a work ethic and are ready to be set free upon the world, having made it through those perilous first years alive.

I generally consider myself a proponent of the first theory, but as I watched my eight-year-old rocket herself into the street today on her bicycle with her helmet askew and nary a glance for oncoming vehicles, I had one of those life-shortening surges of adrenaline that causes you to beat your child with a stick for being so fucking stupid, while simultaneously weeping with gratitude that s/he is not roadkill.

How *whack* many *whack* times *whack* do I have to tell you *whack* to look *whack* for cars *whack* before you run into the road!?! *whack* *whack* *whack*

Once I was done beating some sense into the little idiot, I got to drinking. Er, thinking. I would guess that most of us marvel at the fact we're still alive after all the ridiculous crap we pulled as kids: going off cliffs on our sleds; riding our bikes down those excellent 70's-era death traps of slides; running with our hands in our pockets; launching our younger siblings off of recreational vehicles; the list is virtually endless, and I'm not even going to touch on the teenage years.

Let's face it - kids do not necessarily act in their own best interests. They play in traffic. They eat dirt. They lemming themselves off the deck. When they get older, they exhibit poor fashion sense and jump off bridges with their friends. Or whatever.

However. Despite having no apparent interest in self-preservation, I really don't think the little gaffers need or benefit from helicopter parenting, and they certainly don't want it. If we could all take a deep breath and look past our collective hysteria for a few minutes, maybe we'd recall just how frigging awesome it was to run wild in Lord of the Flies-style packs and come home filthy - and occasionally blood-stained or smelling like a skunk or a swamp or whatever we'd been in that day - when the street lights came on.

That's it, deep breath... now remember... revel in the memories... yep, it's a miracle you lived through that one... or the beating you got when your parents found out... ahh, good times!

Now that you've taken a nice little trip down Memory Lane, look around you for a second. Walls? A good start. Food in the fridge? Also nice. Some cash in the bank? Hey, you don't need much to be happy. Maybe a diploma or degree or two? Someone you don't mind being around? Couple of kids? Jeez, I hate to suggest it, but you seem to have turned out alright. Good on ya!

And with this bit of perspective firmly in hand, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give your young'uns a chance at having the sort of fun you did. Stock up on Band-Aids and laundry detergent, say a little prayer or ten, and - this is the tricky part - cut them some slack.

Say it with me now: "Be home for supper!"

(Good luck, Phelps.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Frontispiece of Youth

Trends may come and go, but some things are truly classic. Every gal worth her salt knows the ultimate in upcoming-event-wear should always be grounded in timeless basics such as a well-coiffed 'do, neatly groomed nails, and one of those... oh, heck, what are those called...? You know, those big, round, shiny things? No, no - not bling...

Ah, yes: pimples.

Not part of a complete wardrobe, you say? Well, shoosh! You're going to hurt my forehead's feelings! It's been dishing up pimples for every gathering and assorted festive event for as long as your Great Aunt Millicent has been bringing her (in)famous jello molds.

Yep, I've got a family gathering coming up in T minus not-quite-long-enough-for-squeeze-marks-to-heal, so natch I sprung me a doozy just this morning.

But you know what? Joke's on you, pimple. I'm in my thirties. I don't have to care what I look like. No one's looking anymore anyways. So what the hell, why fuss over it?

Actually... wait a second here... I'm in my thirties. If my calculations are correct, this shiny beacon of adolesence should average out against my nascent crow's-feet to actually make me look younger!

Eureka! Sell your shares in Olay! This changes everything!

Oh, no! Everything looks good on paper, yet a quick glance in the mirror suggests I look like a person of my own age, just... pimplier. Some unknown variable must be affecting my equations!

Let me just - just give me a second here to work this through... take the natural logarithm of sebum... calculate slope of the frown line... divide by the radius of the subcutaneous inflammation... Ah. I've discovered the fatal flaw. Alas. Undone by the little-known coefficient @!#.

Or, to those of you less well-voiced in mathematical theory, the Occasional Chin Hair of Impending Middle Age.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

I like to use grated cheese on grilled cheese sandwiches. It melts more evenly, and at a lower temperature, so not only is the bread firmly attached to the cheese all the way through (so Small Fry can't pick it apart and eat only the cheese), it's also not as hot (so he can eat it sooner). Which is good, because usually by the time I get around to making the grilled cheese he's climbing my damn yoga pants imploring me for yum-yums.

Grated cheese, however, tends to be a little messier if there's a baby climbing your leg or you flip the sandwich too soon, both of which were the case this morning. Cheese shreds galore. At least Small Fry had a floor appetizer to scavenge while I finished cooking up his main course.

So I flipped the sandwich, cheese flew everywhere, and Small Fry let go of my pants long enough for me to dash away for a quick bio break. (Hey, you take what you can get.)

Hell elected this moment to break loose in my kitchen. Small Fry smacked his face on a chair and began gushing blood and saliva out the mouth, when a cheese fire ignited on the stovetop and my former in-laws showed up to return Medium Fry from their camping weekend. Screaming, smoke alarm, door bell.

And I, sitting on the toilet.

Did I say sitting? Toss an H in there, my friend - it's TMI, I know, but you might otherwise not appreciate just how wrong things can go in very short order. Hence, a special edition Monday morning post to illustrate why it is imperative that mommies everywhere maintain an emergency booze ration. Don't delay - get yours today. And while you're at it, mine somehow became sorely depleted this morning - would you mind picking a little something up for me, too?