Saturday, December 25, 2010

Getting to Hope You Like Me

I don't think there's any better way to get to know someone than driving long distances together. I suspect this results from a combination of a desire to break up the monotony of a long drive, and the fact that it's easier to bare your soul to someone if you never have to look directly at them. Because really, what are vehicles if not confession boxes on wheels? Ideally, by the end of a long drive, not only will you know what kind of music your travel companion favours, you'll also know such diverse things as whether s/he prefers Peanut to Plain; who's on his or her Free Pass list; and - if the trip is a successful one - a pantload of personal peccadilloes.

I've done a lot of long drives with a lot of different people, and believe me I've downloaded a whole lot of Grade A personal bullshit to almost complete strangers on a fairly regular basis. (Not even drunk!) This sort of random, intense emotional intimacy has often landed me in awkward morning-after-type situations:

"Uh, hey again. So was it, like, good for you? Bebeh?"

I've never asked if anyone has ever felt burdened (or alarmed!) by my cathartic urges, or resented that I insisted on chatting the entire way when all they really wanted to do was listen to sports radio. And frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn - I can only talk about the weather for so long before I'm forced to either shoot myself or steer the conversation into livelier waters. So I've only ever assumed that it was, in fact, good for them too. Judging by the number of repeat clients I've had I don't think my customer service is falling down too badly on this point, but just in case you wish to be a little more mentally prepared for the next time you're slated for a trip with me, here are some things* I usually** feel the need*** to talk about****:

Educational background; family history; pet peeves; what a jackass my ex is; hot office gossip; super powers; culpability; food; sex; parenting (experiences/ philosophy); relationships (experiences/ philosophy); recreational drugs (experiences/ philosophy).
(Bold type = repeat as necessary.)

* Conversation topics including, but not limited to, the above.
** Items are presented in no particular order. 
*** I never feel the need to talk about sports radio.
**** Expect frequent story breaks, semi-regular mental track derailment and heavy f-bomb deployment. And yes, I'm probably the John Candy to your Steve Martin. Get over it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Genesis of the Exodus, by the Numbers

Had a truly surreal conversation last night with a dear work friend of mine. It went something like this:

"Remember when we used to do field work together?"

Alright, so you might not feel that's very surreal, but keep in mind we were both sparkly clean, good-smelling, elaborately coiffed, made-up, dressed up, and drunk as skunks on free corporate booze at the time - the very antithesis of the state of "field work". We dusted off our trove of classic field moments, of the variety that only people who had cemented their bonds of friendship in a field truck could possibly feel nostalgic for, and reminisced: that day that was such an embarrassing boondoggle that we swore we would never speak of again; that time we almost died; that other time we almost died; that time we broke some shit; that other time we broke some more shit; that time Jenna was killing Jeff in a wetland.

Maybe it was just the bottomless glass of wine talking, but man, those were the days!

The gods of the Cushy Office Job were clearly angered by this sacrilege, and so are sending me out tomorrow for a little karmic flogging: winter field work. *shudder* Be careful what you wish for, I guess. I've also been commanded to chisel the Ten Laws of Field Work on stone tablets so the people may never again forget why they are grateful for their Cushy Office Jobs.

(But, uh, my chisel broke so I'll just type it up quick and head to bed. Early day tomorrow and all.)

I  Thy destination shall lie always on the crack of thy map.
II  Thine most desperately needed photo shall always be the one that goes corrupt.
III  Thou shalt not open thy truck windows whilst thou art trying to extricate thyself from a giant mud bog.
IV  Thou art never actually alone.
V  Thy batteries shall frequently be dead.
VI  Thine jar of almond butter shall detonate on the back of thine quad and result in great consternation and untidiness. Also, thy fire extinguisher.
VII  Thou shalt pee on the sleeve of thy Nomex.
VIII  If thou art smote in the face with a branch, thou art following too close.
VIIII  If thou art smote in the face with a branch, the person ahead of you is a jerk.
Never sacrifice thy sock.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eutherians Unite!

Despite his sylvaphilic leanings, ornery temperament, and prodigious ability to wreak dirt and destruction wherever he roams, I'm rather fond of Small Fry. Medium Fry, too. So much so that I'm seized every so often by the desire to have more children.

Aah, you say sagely, the little one is 2 1/2, right? Just at that age where you forget the pain.

Common misconception, my friend. Not only do I have a very distinct memory of "the pain", but have you ever met any mother who didn't have a well-rehearsed armoury of birthing horror stories ready to whip out at the slightest provocation? And as for men? I can't speak for your hubby, but the next time you see DH, casually slip the word "vasectomy" into the conversation and watch him drop faster than a fainting goat at a fireworks display.

The truth is, no one forgets the pain.

So why then the proclivity to procreate? It doesn't hurt that I've produced some seriously high-qual offspring - in fact, a dear friend of mine recently said that, if DH and I were horses, she'd definitely put us in her breeding barn. Quite a compliment! ... I think. Primarily, I chalk it up to feeling a little placentamental every now and then.

Placentamental (pla-SENT-ah-MENT-ul) (adj.): characterized or swayed by the desire to be pregnant and/or bear children; resulting from or coloured by such sentiments, as opposed to reason or rationality; appealing to the sentiments, particularly maternal (or, less frequently, paternal) feelings.

(Heavy on the mental.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh, Tannenbaum

Small Fry, being small, has no recollection of Trees of Christmases Past. So his relationship with this year's tree has thus far required a lot of "parental management". A LOT of it. And it's only been one day. Here's how the First Day of Christmas(Tree) panned out:

7:53am: Small Fry stands, starry-eyed, in front of the tree. His mesmerized state lasts approximately 0.4 seconds - just long enough for a misguided "Oh, he's so sweet! I should get the camera" synapse to fire in my brain - at which point his secret tree-worshipping pagan alter ego is released. Small Fry begins cataloguing ornaments by way of jabbing each one in turn with his chubby fingers and screaming its identity: 'Snowman! Mittens!! SANTA!!! CANDY CAAAAAANE!'.

7:53:20am: I am forced to intervene. "Sweetie, the ornaments are not for playing, only for looking at with our eyes. Okay?" I let up on the headlock enough for Small Fry to nod his assent.

7:59am: In what appears to be an exceedingly literal interpretation of my previous statement, I find Small Fry holding his eyes as wide open as they'll go and attempting to touch the ornaments with his naked eyeballs. I am forced to amend my statement: "Little one, you can't touch the ornaments with your eyes. You might hurt yourself! Eyes are only for looking at things, not for touching them. Just look at ornaments with your eyes, okay?" (Nod of assent.)

8:02am: Small Fry has lifted his pyjama shirt up to his chin and, keeping his head as far away from the tree as possible so as not to violate the terms of my previous cautionary statement, is trying to touch the ornaments with ... his chest? Swift intervention: "What are you doing?" "I'm touching de tree wif my nipples." "Oh my gawd. Listen, honey, you don't touch the tree with any parts of your body, do you understand? The tree is not for touching." (Emphatic nodding.)

8:07am: Small Fry has discovered a loophole in my phrasing and is now driving on the tree with a toy car. "Hey, cut that out! Don't touch the tree with any toys, either." (Assent.)

8:10am: Touching tree with dinosaur toy. "Hey! I said don't touch the tree with your toys!" "I'm not, he's eating de tree. Nomnomnom." "Your toys are not allowed to touch, or eat, or anything, alright? Just stay away from the tree!" (Assent.)

8:18am: Standing further away, touching tree with light sabre. Tree is not for touching with any parts of the body, or any things that you are holding on to in order to touch the tree. (Assent.)

8:25am: Rolling fire truck toward base of tree, from respectable distance away. Gaaah! No rolling things at the tree! (Assent.)

8:29am: Tossing sea creature finger puppets into branches of tree. No throwing things at the tree!

8:33am: Gently kicking ball at tree.

8:33:32am: Pitch fucking tree out window.

Okay, so I didn't really. But let me tell you, I was sorely tempted to pitch one of them out the window, and the small one looks way more aerodynamic.

We eventually arrived at an understanding of what constitutes an appropriate level of engagement with the Christmas tree, and Small Fry settled for dancing "special dances" and singing garbled Christmas carols for the tree, punctuated only occasionally by furtive gropings of ornaments.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Or Was It "Trim the Hedges"?

I saw this old Kenny and Dolly Christmas album at Wal-Mart on CD last week and I just had to have it. I hadn't listened to that album in ages!

And apparently, back when I last listened to it, I didn't really hear it, because I was completely scandalized by some of the lyrics - "a fast talkin' lover with some slooow burnin' wood"?!? "Wrap the tree and trim the presents"!?! My gawd, Dolly! And you Kenny, obviously encouraging that sort of behaviour! For shame! What the hell kind of Christmas album sings the praises of random ski chalet hookups?

My kind of Christmas album, that's what. Once I got over the shock, I tossed my other CDs out the window and cranked it up. Springtime feelings indeed. Given my innocent botanical leanings and all, I used to think that meant, like, being happy that plants were starting to grow again or something. Consider me edumacated.

In fact, there really is something about this time of year that gives me a hankering for a moustache ride. Can't quite put my finger on it - is it the chilly weather? the Kenny and Dolly CD? the apples? Wait, I know! It must be the charming manner in which so many men are putting themselves out there this Movember and donating their faces (and, variously, their pride; their fashion sense; and quite possibly their sex lives) for one full month a year to raise awareness (and cash) for men's health.

So, seriously. If there's a man in your life - and don't tell me there isn't, I'm a biologist, I know how you got here - go here. Donate. It's for a Most excellent cause.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frankly, I'd Probably be Happy if I Could Get in 5 to 10 a Month

I just love the Calgary Farmer's Market. So it was with a heavy heart that I visited this week, likely one of the last few times I'll shop there before it moves to Timbuktu (i.e., southeast Calgary).

However, my mood started to improve somewhere around the fruit stand - I had been waffling between Galas and Ambrosias, when suddenly a provocative new apple variety caught my eye. Something about this particular bag of apples just seemed so... titillating. With their sensual curves and come-hither exocarps, I simply couldn't resist the temptation:

Now, as I understand it, people don't just go around naming apples willy-nilly. Apple names are purposefully descriptive: they are intended to convey meaning about what one can expect on biting into the apple. Knowing this, eight teensy dollars for a sack o' horney crisps seems like a helluva package deal. (Presuming there's anything to the name, I also saved a shwack of cash on truffles and rhino horns for DHs lunch box this week. Score.)

Unfortunately, the package overwrap was otherwise pretty uninformative, so several important questions remain:

- Will cooking reduce or enhance the appledesiac qualities of the horney crisp?
- What's the maximum safe daily dosage?
- Do I dose DH based on weight, desired effect, or some other formula?
- How long do horney crisps take to kick in, and just how long are the, er, "effects" expected to last?
- And, let's be honest here, I'm no spring chicken anymore ... can I actually handle Five To Ten A Day?

Monday, October 25, 2010

If Life Gives You Beets...

Ah, fall. When a young girl's (mine, anyways) thoughts turn to cooking cozy stews and pot roasts; when the weather turns crisp and frosty; when the pee turns to purple.

From the beets, you know? I love beets. The only trouble with beets is that all beet recipes on earth seem to begin with the instructions to cook the beets until tender, then slip off their skins. It occurs to me that the latter is likely a step that was originally designed to make one or two lesser cooks feel inferior for being unable to reproduce the feat, that somehow permeated the minds of all recipe mongers thereafter with the ridiculous notion that it is possible to "slip" a beet from its skin, as one might "slip" out of a silk dressing gown or "slip" a litre of Bailey's into their weekend coffee intake. "Slip" in my mind implies a certain amount of ease in doing something - I have hacked, sliced, scalped, dismembered and dismboweled many a beet in my day, but I have never in my life met a beet that willingly gave up its skin.

Slipping beets from their skins is probably one of those things that happens naturally for people for whom everything already happens naturally. Like Heidi Klum. (Heidi Klum is another thing designed specifically to make people feel worse about themselves than they already do.) I'll bet Heidi Klum simply flutters her eyelashes and beets everywhere positively leap out of their skins and slice themselves into perfect rings and never, ever dare turn Heidi Klum's pee purple.

More things designed to make people feel worse about life:

- the person at work who uses precisely three sugar grains in their morning coffee
- BMI charts
- chin hairs
- infant/toddler mittens with thumbs
- Martha Stewart (for reasons very different than Heidi Klum)
- that home gym-slash-clothes hanging equipment in the basement
- Ultimate
- age group check boxes
- passport photos
- dust bunnies
- the line on your income tax return that reminds you that you have contributed only a tiny fraction of a percent of the RRSP amounts that you will soon require to have tucked away in order to avoid dining on Fancy Feast and saltines in your old age, because aren't you 30-34 already? Although you look far older in your passprt photo. And was that a dust bunny that I just saw cavorting under your couch?

It stands to reason that the fact that so many things on earth make people feel worse about themselves is the entire impetus for the reality television industry. If your BMI has got you down, you can watch shows about positively gargantuan humans who haven't moved from their beds in decades and feel better by comparison; if your RRSP balance is pathetic, you can watch shows about people spending themselves into unfathomable credit card debts and feel better by comparison. If you have the IQ of an umbrella stand, you can watch... actually, there are a surprising number of options to help you out with this one.

But if your beets won't slip out of their skins, well, I'm flummoxed. Be grateful the little buggers are only in season for a short while every year, and enjoy the purple pee while it lasts.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Soup Gene and the Humble Pie

My esteemed brother once told me I 'must have inherited the soup gene from Dad'. In retrospect, this could have been a polite way of letting me know I had broth in my moustache, but I prefer to think of it as a regular old compliment: Dad makes good soup and, via the glory that is genetic inheritance, I also make good soup.

I'm a big proponent of soup. One of the benefits of soup (aside from its being cheap, nutritious, and delicious) is that it is an excellent way to use up extra vegetables. Today, for instance, I noticed I had some lovely fall veg languishing in the fridge - sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, onions and garlic. Add those to our lovely homemade soup stock, et voila! Soup. M'mm, better still, add a hint of curry flavour and puree the lot for a spicy, fragrant, thick soup that would go just great with some tender, flaky biscuits. Soup gene indeed! Biscuit gene, too! Ol' Dad would surely be proud.

So maybe I've gotten a bit cocky with soup. Really, who needs a recipe when you've got a Soup Gene? Sometimes nature just dominates the hell out of nurture.

I pictured in my mind's eye a soup with a rich, orange hue, subtly hinting at its high nutritional value while simultaneously appealing to children, who, on seeing the soup, would think of friendly things like tabby cats and jack-o-lanterns, and not at all of unfriendly things like fibre (eww!) or antioxidants (ewww!). Such are the pleasures of a well-crafted soup.

After about an hour of chopping, simmering, stirring, and yelling at the kids to play nicely and quit screaming and if you slam the door one more time I'm going to lose my mind! the soup was finally done. (And so was I.) Unfortunately, somehow my carrot-sweet potato-cauliflower-curry blend didn't turn out the anticipated warm orange hue. It turned out... sortof green. And not the sort of green that makes one think of friendly things like gummy bears and leprechauns, or even relatively unfriendly things like green beans or broccoli. Instead, it turned the sort of green that gave me the disturbing sensation I was stirring a giant cauldron of fresh baby crap.

(Bottle, not breast.)

Small Fry took one look at his soup and said, "No way, lady, do I look like I was born yesterday? Get me some pizza."

Medium Fry took one look at her soup and, having been on the earth for 7 1/2 years longer than her little brother and therefore possessing a somewhat greater awareness of the tipping point at which her mother might actually lose her mind, said half-heartedly, "M'mm, this sure looks like good soup, num-num-nums! Eat your soup!"

Honestly, it tasted delicious - spicy and delectable, just like I thought it would. But it looked like such complete swill that even I couldn't stomach it.

We snacked on jam and biscuits until the pizza arrived.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Doctor's Orders

"Good morning, Ms. Frecklepelt. Thank you for coming in."

"Thanks for seeing me, Doctor. Is everything okay?"

"Well, your test results are in - it looks as if we may have an explanation for the, er, lack of energy you've been experiencing recently."

"Hey, that's great. Wait a minute - is it great? What's going on?"

"As you're aware, we did some standard blood work, plus some additional testing based on your description of the symptoms you've been experiencing - utter blah-ness, blogging deadbeat, fantasies about becoming ill just so you can take a vacation - I believe you referred to it as 'Augxhausted'?"

"Yep, that sounds like something I'd say."

"Ms. Frecklepelt, the good news is that most of your results - cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, TSH - came back normal. Which is good - overall, you're healthy. However, it does appear as if your GAS-F levels are dangerously low."


"My apologies - that's medical lingo for Give-A-Shit Factor."

"Oh my goodness - that sounds just like me! It sounds pretty serious, Doc, but at the same time I'm almost relieved to finally have a name for how I've been feeling all this time."

"It's perfectly normal to feel that way, Ms. Frecklepelt - in fact, most patients who are diagnosed with this condition say more or less the same thing when they hear the news."

"Most - most patients? You mean there are more people out there like me?"

"Of course. It's a surprisingly common disorder, but it does seem to carry some stigma in a society that encourages a very 'Type-A' personality, which is likely why you haven't heard of it before."

"Will I need medication? Is there some sort of support group I could join?"

"You could always try amphetamines and Red Bull for a little pick-me-up if you wish, but frankly I prefer a less traditional approach - more holistic, you might say."

"Hmm, I am trying to cut back on my street drug usage - let's try holistic."

"Excellent. Some studies have implicated prolonged high stress levels in diminishing GAS-F levels. In someone like yourself, whose levels appear to be naturally, er, reduced, my feeling is that it wouldn't take much to push you over the edge."

"So they key is to reduce stress? Do you have any idea how busy I am? What kind of bullshit prescription is that?!"

"Frankly Ms. Frecklepelt, it's not really a viable option for most people. As such, I recommend a combination of weekly bitch sessions with a trusted friend or colleague, and to increase your therapeutic wine intake. Aim for two, maybe three, bottles per week. You're likely to see the greatest benefit from this treatment if you consume the wine while bitching. I suspect that, even among your peer group, you will find others who are similarly afflicted with low GAS-F; they may offer the greatest insight and support to you as you embark on your treatment."

"Doctor, thank you so much for all your advice - I can't wait to start my treatment. I just have one more question."

"Certainly - go ahead."

"Why did I need to be naked for this consultation?"

"No reason at all. I simply enjoy seeing people in those little backless robes. Good day."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spoonful of Sugar

It's been one of those weeks. One of those weeks. You know the ones I mean - the ones where you buy 42 extra lotto tickets, and when they don't pay off you begin to fantasize in earnest about other means by which you wouldn't have to go back to work on Monday.

But I'm a woman of high standards, and I'm not going to give up massage therapy and name-brand ketchup just so I don't have to go out and get a paycheque. I'm not particularly fond of nausea or vomiting, so illness is out. And, while an "accidental" pregnancy would guarantee me a year off at some future date, a) I'd still have to go to work on Monday, and b) DH has been fixed, so he's likely to frown upon any extracurricular measures I'd have to undertake just for the sake of a maternity leave down the road.

Oh, yeah, and c) more stretch marks?;
d) more children?;
e) my poor vuvuzela!

Pregnancy is definitely out.

A non-fatal injury would be nice. Ideally this injury could occur at work, resulting in some sort of paid leave, but I haven't been able to muster more than a paper cut since I quit doing field work. I don't want anything too serious - I mean, I want to enjoy my hospital stay, right? - but no shitty minor flesh wounds that wouldn't preclude my sitting at a desk, either. That would be just my luck. Hey, maybe I could arrange for an emergency surgery of some sort - I know this dude who got six weeks off work, over a measly burst appendix! Let's see, I'll need something that won't result in permanent dismemberment, disfigurement or disability... something that will require me to be waited on hand and foot, for at least a couple of weeks... something for which I can be prescribed opiates... and Jell-O...

Good day. I am out of the office on medical leave for an emergency abdominoplasty and eyelash tint, returning in approximately six weeks' time. If your need is urgent, please contact someone else to deal with it; if it can wait until my return, it's clearly not all that important and will be duly ignored on my return.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Village Idiom

Yahoo! News tells me 2,000 new words and phrases have been added to the Oxford Dictionary this year, including such modern classics as 'staycation', 'chillax' (retch) and 'vuvuzela'. Whatever the hell that is.

And frankly, I'm a little pissed. I have coined some excellent terms in the past year and a half, and I didn't even get an honourable mention. Freakundity; jam bong; the Force of Grabbity; and, perhaps most disappointingly, Casual Hump Day. I mean, everyone likes Casual Hump Day, but suggesting that someone chillax is enough to warrant a punch in the head. Come on, people. Vuvuzela?! I just barely got used to calling it a va jay jay!

Damn lexicographers.

Well, one of the many joys of the interweb is that I can start my own dictionary if I darn well please. Ladies and gentlemen, in addition to the super sweet words and phrases listed above, I take great pleasure in presenting the following meritorious additions to the English language:

Frecklicious (fre-ku-LISH-us) (adj.): no definition required - my profile pic says it all.

Pantanglement (pan-TAN-gul-mint) (n.): the inextricable knot of g-strings formed in the delicates bag in the laundry.

Fox Creek (FUX-kreek) (interj.): a family-friendly version of some popular profanity. E.g., "For Fox Creek!" Coined after visiting the eponymous shit town in central Alberta.

Oblication (ob-li-CAY-shun) (n.): "vacation time" spent visiting relatives, or nursing your family through the flu because you ran out of sick days for the year back in March, and even though you are also dying your spouse has entered the Ninth Circle of Helplessness and you have to take care of him too.

Bonus entry! Ninth Circle of Helplessness: where men go when they are ill. Located directly adjacent to the better-known Ninth Circle of Hell, which is where women go when their men are ill.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

If March is the Hungry Month...

Then August is the Tired Month.

Work is busy in August. Life is busy in August. I'm Augxhausted. If I sat down to type all that would come out is incoherent whining. So don't fret, I'm still here, I'm just on a little blogging hiatus.

Talk soon,


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cheese With That?

DH and I just spent our first day alone (like, together, and without kids) in approximately two and a half years. That's like, a seriously long time. Long enough that at first, I think we sortof both looked at each other and thought, 'Who are you?' But we ended up having a super-duper awesome time. DH even humoured me enough to go on several winery tours and endure wine tasting after wine tasting. How sweet is that? I mean, he doesn't even like wine!

is it time? is it time?

Or at least, he never did before. But on our little getaway, between the swishings and the gurglings, DH arrived at something of an epiphany: it's not that he doesn't like wine. It's that he only likes really good wine. Any wines he happened to have tasted earlier on in life simply didn't live up to his - heretofore undiscovered - exacting standards. 

it's time?! don't worry sweetie, you're going to be amazing

I almost couldn't believe my luck. I dropped hundreds of dollars on wine, and he didn't even bat an eye.

come on, you can do it honey

At first I thought - alright! Something we'll have in common, aside from a mortgage and, you know, some offspring. We can drink wine together. It'll be fun!

just a little more, you're doing great

And then this transpired:

DH: *gasp!* You can't drink pinot noir out of a mug!
Me: But it holds more than a glass.
DH: Oh. My. God. Is that all it's about for you? What about the colour? The clarity? The viscosity?! It's like I don't even know you anymore. (flounces off)
Me: Jeez, relax, it's not like I was going to dunk cookies in it or anything.

push! puuuuuuush!
Omigod omigod, you did it, it's here, it's a...

Which probably should have set off some alarm bells for me, but as mentioned there was a mug of wine involved at the time. So it took me a few more incidences of a similar nature before I really cottoned on to the fact there might be a problem:

"You can't open that yet, it needs to be cellared!"
"No no, dear, that doesn't really pair with taco salad. I'll just tuck it safely back in the fridge and pour you a nice glass of water instead."
"Why don't we have a proper decanter in this godforsaken house?"
"You're holding your glass incorrectly - grasp it by the stem. The stem!"

... it's a wine snob?

Now in a case like this, the natural response would be to throw the hubby out with the bathwater. Instead, I just held his head under it for a few moments while I collected my thoughts. Because, in the grand scheme of marital issues, this was nothing a good old-fashioned heart-to-heart couldn't fix.

Me: Darling, you know how, after all these years together, we're comfortable enough that we are truly free to be ourselves with one another?
DH: Like how you laugh at me all the time?
Me: With, dear. Laugh with.
DH: Okay...
Me: Well, that's what it's like with me and wine. Wine and I are tight. Wine doesn't mind if I drink it through a straw, or pair it with a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast - that's just how our relationship works. I respect that you're not at that place yet, but you have to understand that I am, and all your rules are seriously cork-blocking things for me.
DH: I'm sorry, dear. This is just all so new to me.
Me: I know, but with time you'll get there. Until then, I'm here to help. Merlot?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Frecklpelt: Good evening, everyone. Some of you may be wondering why I've called this family meeting today.

DH (chewing): It's, uh, suppertime isn't it?

FP: Well, yes, that too, but it was the only way I could ensure a captive audience. Now who would like to transcribe the meeting minutes?

... ...

FP: Alrighty, well I guess I'll just do it then. (ahem) I've called you here today to discuss something of a ... a corporate restructuring, you might say. Now, I know this is a little radical for a family of our size, but I think you will all be pleased with the improvements I have in mind.

(chewing sounds)

FP: In light of your valuable contributions... yes, dear?

Medium Fry: Can you please pass me the ketchup?

FP: Well, of course, but it's rude to interrupt. Just lean over the table next time. Now where was I? Ah, yes: In light of your valuable contributions to the family, which I value highly in my evaluation of your values, valuevaluevalue, I would like to extend to each of you the exciting offer of a more euphemistic job title.

M: What's euphemistic?

FP: It means way better.

DH: We didn't have titles to begin with.

FP: Well! Some titles are certainly better than no titles, right? Your friends will be so impressed! Small Fry, how would you like to be the Destruction Engineer?

Small Fry: No!

FP: Okay then, how about the, um, Cookie Eating Operative?

S: No!

FP: Do you like ice cream?

S: No!

FP: Alrighty, Destruction Engineer it is. Medium Fry, how would you like to be the Chief Gofer and Personal Assistant to the Grand Poobah?

M: Uh... can I be a Cookie Eating Operative instead?

FP: No.

M: Why not?

FP: Because not everyone can eat cookies all the time.

M: You do.

FP: Hey, that's not very nice - I'm striking that from the meeting minutes. Fine, whatever. We'll all call ourselves CEOs. I just don't think it's going to mean as much as it's supposed to if everyone is called the same thing. DH, I suppose you want to be a CEO as well?

DH: Whatever you say, dear.

FP: That's the spirit. You can be a CEO and Associate to the Grand Poobah. And General Household Maintenance, Lawn Care and Spider Dispatching Engineer.

DH: Can I be a Cake Eating Operative?

FP: Hmm, okay.

DH: Chocolate Cake Eating Operative?

FP: Fine! Who cares! Whatever kind of cake you want!

M: Can I have chocolate cake, too?

S: Need chocolate cake!

FP: Shut up about the cake already you morons, we don't even have cake! How about some Mini Wheats for dessert, my little tombliboo? Chief Gofer! Fetch your brother some Mini Wheats.

Okay, so far we have a CEO and Destruction Engineer; a CEO, Chief Gofer, and Personal Assistant to the Grand Poobah; a ChocolateCakeEO, Associate to the Grand Poobah, and General Household Maintenance, Lawn Care and Spider Dispatching Engineer; and now I just need a title!

You may have surmised that I have decided on Grand Poobah for my own title. It wouldn't be fair for me to have to sit out while you all eat dessert, so I'll also be a CEO, plus I've decided to adopt the descriptive - yet concise - term, MILF.

DH: Dear Lord.

M: Hey, mom? Will I get more allowance now that I have a new name?

FP: Of course not, dear. But don't be sad - a nice craft will perk you up! Why don't you go make everybody some new business cards?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Strumpet in Aisle Seven

Camping isn't quite the same experience as it was back in the days B.C. (Before Children). Don't get me wrong, it's still tarploads of fun, but I spent much of our most recent camping weekend making sure everyone had enough sunscreen, bug spray, fluids, fruits and vegetables, potty breaks, clean socks, etc. etc., and these tasks, while very important!, left little time for camping activities of old, namely:

- binge drinking;

- and associated activities.

One thing that has stayed the same A.D. (After Delivery) is camping food. Camping food is by definition of low nutritional value, which everyone knows gives you free reign to eat lots of it.

But a funny thing happened while I was doing the camping grocery run: so I walked past this couple in the 'natural foods' aisle (don't fret, just passing through on my way to the 'unnatural foods' aisle). The woman appeared to be comparing fourteen brands of organic quinoa; her hubby, however, was staring at me. Ogling me, really. Longingly.

Guess I haven't gotten much in the way of openly lustful gazes lately, because I actually stopped and checked behind me to see who he was looking at. Nope - no one around but me and this heaping cart of red meat and potato chips. And marshmallows and hot dogs and...

Ooohhhh. The cart.

Well, damn.

This actually happened more than once during the same shopping trip. I felt like the pied piper! In all my years of grocery shopping, four-litre jugs of milk and family-sized bags of apples have never had that kind of effect. If I ever find myself single again, pushing a cart full of macho foods seems like a surefire tactic for meeting men. I'll sprinkle liberally with boxes of condoms to make myself appear hungry and horny. What man could resist!

Slightly modified, this could work equally well for single men**: simply stuff a cart with kittens and babies, and just watch the chicks roll in!

** You might want to skip the, er, garnish on this one - it could be interpreted as giving the wrong idea.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Menu of Pain

I recently signed up for a fitcamp. You know, one of those bootcamp-style fitness programs that makes people cry publicly and sweat blood and stuff like that. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking several things:

1. Look at that lard ass! I seriously need to do something about it. Hey, here's an ad for a fitness camp. I'll try that.

2a. That sounds like a poor idea.
2b. How bad can it be?
2c. It's probably going to be pretty bad.
2d. Well, a little public humiliation never hurt anyone.
2e. It hurts me.
2f. You're such a whiner.
2g. Piss off.

3. Face it, no matter how pathetic I am, there's always someone worse. No excuses. I'll just stick close to That Person, and no one will notice me.

So I signed up for fitcamp.

Apparently all the other That People stayed home this week, because it was painfully and repeatedly (and sweatingly-wheezingly-jigglingly) brought to my attention that I am That Person: I am the person who makes all the other people look good.

Like, really good.

I would have thought it would bother me to be so patently lousy at something, but you know what? I hardly even minded. I'm not even all that zen about the world, it's just that, if I was hoping for a That Person, then other fitcampers probably were too. (In fact, a few looked like they may have gotten de facto promotions out of the role when I joined up.) Those people are probably pretty grateful for my presence - possibly a little repulsed, too, but still grateful - and it's always nice to be appreciated.

So every day the trainer has a whole new set of exercises for us to do. It must be a lot like menu planning, just with muscle groups instead of food groups. I can tell he's really working that food pyramid, because my everything hurts - a lot. I couldn't wash the top of my hair on Monday morning because my arms hurt too much to lift them to my head. I sortof lathered up the bottom and hoped for some form of soapmosis to trickle up to my scalp.

And then I had DH do up my bra hooks for me.

(2h. Told you so.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

'Cause You're Really Smart!

When Medium Fry was little, I developed a crush on the Blue's Clues guy. (Steve, not Joe. Nobody likes Joe.) I was just so lonely, and he kept telling me how smart I was... I am pretty smart, you know. I know that. Now you know that (or at least you read it on the interweb, which makes it totally legit). The trouble was, at the time only Steve was letting me know he knew, and that meant a lot to me.

So thanks for that, Steve. I know it didn't work out between us. But it's me, not you - I just found a better fix.

It's called Work. At Work, they don't necessarily sing or play, or even have fun, but they do provide me with tangible reminder that I am valuable, and that comes in the form of a paycheque every two weeks. I know, Steve, you used to tell me several times a day how smart I was, and do a jazzy little hand dance to boot, but at Work they tell me exactly how many thousands of dollars worth of smart I am. Quality, not quantity. Or quantity, doled out in bi-weekly increments... oh, hell, who cares. It pays the bills.

But no matter how many dollars worth of smart Work tells you you are, you can't be in love with Work. Or else you'll turn into one of those people who other people want to punch in their obsequious goddam teeth. I recommend accepting the paycheque as proof of your smartitude and general wonderfulization, then projecting your cringing gratitude onto coworkers. It wouldn't do to direct it all at one person - that's just asking for a restraining order - so be sure to spread your admiration around. Change targets frequently, you know - keep it fresh.

And the criteria? I can only speak for myself here, but as with most things in life, it fluctuates with my estrogen levels. Sometimes a pleasant 'good morning' is enough to make me nearly weep with joy. Clean and presentable every day is also nice, though I'm fully aware this is not a sustainable illusion - Exhibit A:

Me and DH, slobbed out and stinky in our yard work clothes, three nights running. Yes, same clothes. Yet when we go to our respective workplaces tomorrow morning, we'll look nothing less than our squeaky clean best. We'll probably fart less and use better table manners, too.

(Not that I fart or anything.)

Really, workplace crushes aren't far along the spectrum from celebrity crushes. I mean, how well do you really know the people you work with? Chances are it's on a resume level, or at best a "resume plus" level (i.e., resume, plus some highly edited extra stuff that they've elected to disclose, farting habits likely not being one of those items) - either way, only marginally more information than you have when you decide you're madly in love with, say, Rick Mercer.

(Who probably doesn't fart either. Or if he does, it's so goddam funny that I don't even mind.)

I'm aware that most of the attraction inherent in a superficial crush is in the not really knowing, and have long used my superpower of Too Much Information to counteract my other superpower of Ultimate Freckled Adorableness to deter potential workplace devotees.

I'd gleefully employ my TMI on DH's behalf, too, but I can't figure out how to get his students and coworkers to read my blog.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Things Every Kid Should Know

At 6:27 this morning, Small Fry hitched up his alphabet blocks wagon and started down the Crack of Dawn Trail. Destination: Sleeping Parents Cove.

Alphabet wagon wheels squeak horribly, which is a special design feature that not only jolts parents rudely awake, but also allows them to spend the first three minutes of their day gearing up into a sleep-deprived rage over how they'd like to toast marshmallows over alphabet wagon's flaming corpse.

While DH studiously pretended to be asleep, and I cursed myself for staying up past 9:30 on a Saturday night (golly, what was I thinking?), Small Fry made his way to our room and happily settled in for a good alphabet session. Four inches from my head.

Items of note:

1. Early morning is a difficult time for groggy adults to play nicely.
2. Early-morning alphabet wagon is a frequent occurrence at our house.

"Letter A!" chirped Small Fry. "A is for apple, and alligator, and annoying!"

The kid is a genius.

I'm reasonably certain every parent has these sorts of "hmm, they actually registered that, eh?" moments. But, like alphabet wagon this morning, when you don't have an audience, this type of thing isn't too bad. When your child is still too young to be understood by most adults, it's not too bad. In fact, even when your child is fairly young and any gaffes can be easily passed off as humourous misunderstandings, it's still not too bad.

When your child is a very eloquent nine-year-old with perfect recall and a poor grasp of personal boundaries, then it's bad.

Medium Fry's grade four class just wrapped up their Human Sexuality unit. Medium Fry is a bright gal, and we're used to her doing well in most subjects, but in the Human Sexuality unit, she was a star. A shining freaking star. She knew the terms, she knew the science, and heaven help us, she even had witty anecdotes:

"... but they weren't popsicles, they were tampons! Ha ha ha!"

"... then I said, 'When I grow up, I'm going to shave mine!' Ha ha ha!"

"... but it sure didn't sound like they were having a nap! Ha ha ha!"

Oh. My. Gawd.

You know, I didn't want to go to parent-teacher interviews anyways. But I'll sure miss Canada.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Life of Pie

I share custody of a pair of Nomex with this guy at work. His name is Big Bill. (The Nomex, that is, not the guy.) Neither of us have ever worn Big Bill, but it makes us feel somehow more... official to have him on hand. (And by official I mean, less like wussy office dwellers.) So we toss Big Bill in the back of a work truck from time to time and cart him around the countryside, making Tim the Toolman grunts and feeling all relevant to the world, yet never having to suffer the myriad indignities of actually wearing Nomex. The best of both worlds!

So when the safety plan for my field work this week told me that, in order to safely traverse some gently rolling grassy fields, I needed to wear about seventeen pieces of Personal Protective Equipment - including Nomex - I went right ahead and exerted my end of the custodial arrangement. Just as I was giving Big Bill a hug and telling him what a fun day he was going to have with mommy, it hit me: Big Bill is a bit of a misnomer. Big Bill is rather more along the lines of medium.

Or maybe even small.

And I'm, you know, not.

Seems that, while I'd had the presence of mind to share custody of a pair of Nomex with someone more or less my own height, I had never really considered whether there was any difference in our respective, er, circumferences - and let's just say that I've multiplied my diameter by a whole lot more pie than my esteemed coworker has. And I was leaving town in just a few short hours...

*ring ring*

"Marks Work WearHouse, Garrett speaking. Can I help you?"

"Hi, Garrett. I'm interested in purchasing some of your Ladies' Nomex."

"We certainly have some in stock, ma'am, would you like me to put some aside for you until you can make it in to the store?"

"Yes, please. May I have the tummy control panel and built-in shelf bra option, please? Oh, and I look so much better in green, it really sets off my skin tone, let's just do a nice fern or jade instead of that godawful blue for a change."

"... ..."

"I can tell by your silence that you're having trouble with the green - it's okay, I know you menfolk have difficulty with colour words, really it's a small price to pay for being straight don't you think? Honestly, anything but chartreuse is fine. Don't be shy. Use your discretion."

"Ma'am, I don't - I don't have any idea what you're talking about. Did you just request a tummy control panel?"

"Why, yes, it's a bit of a trouble spot for me, you know, and..."

"I'm sorry ma'am, nothing like that exists."

"Why - why, that's terrible, Garrett! What on earth kind of options do you have?"

"We carry both the 'Shapeless Lump' and the 'Saggy Crotch' models, in sizes from 'Room for Three' to 'Pinch the Tip Before You Roll 'Em On'. Blue is standard on all models."

"Well, I'm terribly disappointed in your selection, Garrett, but I'm in a bit of a rush so I don't really have time to comparison shop. It's much like a first marriage that way. Can I at least get some of those excellent slits on the sides, so when I try to put anything in my pocket it actually just falls straight into my boot?"

"Yes, ma'am, that's another of our fabulous standard features."

"Great, thanks. I'll swing by to pick them up shortly."

Sadly, Big Bill remains a field virgin. But really, it's best that I have my own pair now - it's unspeakably rude to pee on someone else's sleeve.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Birthday Dinner

I made DH a ginormous German chocolate cake for his birthday today. (He's 34, by the way. Which has nothing to do with anything except that he's doing the whole '29 again' thing, which annoys the crap out of me, so I'm going to go ahead and publicize the truth, which will annoy the crap out of him, and then we'll be even.) But anyways. I was standing in the kitchen just now while DH was puttering around upstairs, surreptitiously excavating a new surface on the cake and wondering if I'd be tastier to vampires because I eat so many sweets.

Yep: I've been reading the Twilight series. Busted. And of course, they're terrible, and surely my mind is more rotten for reading them, but - also of course - I totally loved them. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a love story. I may even be a Twihard.

Okay, so maybe not, but I will admit to being a little preoccupied with all things vampire this week. For instance, I don't even know what happened during the staff meeting on Monday, because I spent the whole time deciding which of my coworkers would make good vampires. You know, if there really are vampires, I'll bet they're pretty pissed at Stephenie Meyer right now: "Can you believe it, Vlad? That stupid human just told me I wasn't hot enough to be a vampire!" Which more or less spills the beans on my criteria, but what the hell. I'm just going on the Cullen model here.

After I read The Road I spent some weeks considering whether I'd make good steaks - it's a good bet that I'm well marbled - and I've always felt that a superior brain such as my own would be much in demand for the zombie gourmand. So, uh - do I have some kind of buffet complex or what?

Actually, I think it's my deeply pragmatic streak coming through: it'd be like recycling. Or something.

But you know, taken from a completely cannibalistic viewpoint, we North Americans are a pretty delicious-sounding lot: generally pre-plucked and obsessively cleaned for reduced prep time on those busy weeknights, not to mention frequently tenderized (think massage therapy). And personally, at the moment I'm sporting a rather significant quantity of choco-coconut-pecan stuffing and am slathered in a lovely vanilla-almond marinade. Heck, I'd eat me.

Hm, maybe I'll go run my new product description by DH and see if he feels the same...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

He's Got Radioactive Something, Anyways

Oh, crap. Oh, crap. Don't sit here don't sit here don't sit here oooohhhh, gawd - why can't you find someone else with stinky breath and go sit with them? You could bathe each other in tender plumes of your noxious exhaust. It would be super romantic. Really. Go away now.

Gum disease. Wet peanut butter. Quarter Pounder for lunch. I can see bad breath coming from a C-Train length away, yet I'm powerless to stop it. I'm like SpiderMan when his glue-gun thingers quit working! Except mine never worked, but I can totally imagine how awesome it would be if they did work, so I'm equally frustrated.

Why couldn't Calgary Transit hand out a pack of dental floss free with purchase of a transit pass? It's not like they spend their money on keeping the buses in good working order or anything.

I can't believe that society is willing to make fragrance-related concessions for people with 'sensitivities', but not odor-related concessions. For example, I'm not allowed to wear pleasantly-scented underarm deodorant to the gym because some fruitloop has convinced herself Spring Breeze affects her more adversely than Unadultered Armpit, but people are allowed to regularly subject me to the horrifying stench of their gums rotting out of their face. Appalling. Sure, moving a toothbrush around your mouth on ocasion is almost as much a chore as thoroughly wiping your ass (yep, the world can smell that too, my friend), but the fact is, even if you don't want to brush your teeth, there are any number of delicious, cost-effective and readily available alternatives to stinking! TicTac, anyone?

My philosophy is this: always be kissable. Hey, you never know when some random hottie is going to need to make out with you in an elevator!

Then again, maybe you do, and that time is never. I can't deny that's a pretty reasonable assessment of your charms, Dragon Breath, however - much like you're guaranteed not to win the lotto if you don't buy a ticket - nine out of ten oral hygienists agree that halitosis takes you right out of the running.

Monday, April 5, 2010

If Wives Ruled the World...

Bailiff: All rise! The Honourable Justice Peltigera presiding... you may now be seated.

Justice Peltigera: We'll hear the argument now in AB2884092, Spouse vs. Spouse.

Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, may it please the court: my client is before you this morning charging that the defendant, Mister D. Husband, has failed to uphold the terms and conditions of Unspoken Spousal Agreement Number 4,562.

JP: Can you inform the court of the specific nature of the Agreement?

Yes, Your Honour. Clause 3.1.2 of Unspoken Spousal Agreement Number 4,562, a.k.a. the New Socks and Underwear Purchase Agreement, states that: the recipient of new underwear shall discard or destroy a quantity of existing underwear, not less than the quantity of new underwear purchased for or otherwise provided to him, regardless of its status as potential 'camping underwear' or 'cleaning rags', or any other possible imaginable reason he could come up with for keeping the rotten old things around.

JP: Please specify the charges to the court.

On March 31, 2010, the plaintiff purchased a total of ten new pair of underwear for the defendant. On April 3, 2010, the defendant was found by the plaintiff to have squirrelled away four pair of decrepit old underwear, in direct violation of Clause 3.1.2 of the New Socks and Underwear Purchase Agreement.

JP: And what kind of underwear did the plaintiff purchase?

Boxer briefs, Your Honour.

JP: Because they're the hottest.

Agreed, Your Honour.

JP: Mr. Husband, how to you plead to these charges?

*grumble, grumble*

JP: Mr. Husband, kindly state your plea clearly for the court.

I was just saving them for camping...

JP: Based on the conditions stated in Clause 3.1.2 of the New Socks and Underwear Purchase Agreement, Mr. Husband, your response would constitute a guilty plea. Am I interpreting your statement correctly?

*grumble, grumble* I guess so.

JP: Thank you. If you have no further statement, Mr. Husband, we will proceed with sentencing.

*grumble, grumble* Whatever.

JP: After much deliberation, the court rules in favour of the plaintiff, Mrs. Darling Wife. The couple is found to have income sufficient to warrant the occasional purging of natty undergarments. The defendant is sentenced to discarding all remaining pair of gross old gotch, in addition to that ridiculous blue shirt that he bought at Value Village ten years ago that is now full of holes and has one pocket falling off.

Bailiff: All rise! ... Court is adjourned.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Johnson Biggar: Died a Happy Man

I am prone to having strange, strange dreams. Which makes sleeping even more fun than it naturally is! I credit my crazy dreams in large part to the Night Lunch - Saskatchewan vernacular for that pre-bedtime meal your dietician warned you not to partake of, for reasons probably not pertaining to weird dreams alone. But I'm a Saskatchewanite from way back, and Night Lunch is as much a regional attribute of Saskatchewan as are Vi-Co and gotch.

So before you dust off your old Psych textbooks over this, recall that I was eating lemon meringue pie right before bed.

I dreamed I had a penis. My very own penis! I got it in the mail after I saw an ad for a free trial offer. I was so pumped to try it out, but alas - trial sizes being what they are - it was not a very big penis. I'll be totally honest here: it was a really small penis. Man, it sure looked better in the ad - could I sue? It wood be tough to stand up in court and present that kind of hard evidence...

But back to the penis. What a conundrum! You've got it, it's ready to go, and... you're pretty sure it's going to be laughed at. For the first time in my life, I felt sad for so many of my ex... er, for men. In general. No one in particular. Really, it's a terrible irony of life that one can suffer an enlarged heart, liver, spleen, whatever, but no amount of self-abuse (and it's my understanding that there's an inordinate amount of this directed specifically at the penis) will serve to enlarge one's penis.

But wouldn't that just be the disease of the decade, if someone could only invent it? (Big Pharma take note!) It would be the one and only thing about which your wife would never harp at you to go to the doctor:

"Remember that time you sneezed last week, honey? I made you an appointment to go get that checked out, and why don't you ask the doctor about that one really long mole hair while you're there? But let's just keep this whole 'enlarged penis' thing our little secret for now, m'kay?"

As for what happened in my dream - sadly, I woke up. And aside from feeling strangely compelled to buy a lift kit for my truck, have experienced no further side effects. This week it's molasses cookies for Night Lunch. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Better Get Used to it, Baby

I recently began working more. (The paid variety of work, that is.) Eight extra hours per week. Doesn't sound like much when you put it that way, but for anyone who knows me, you're probably wondering which night of the week I stopped sleeping, because it's unclear even to me where those additional eight hours are coming from.

Not that I generally sleep for eight hours at a stretch, but you know what I mean.

So if you break it all down - market work, home production, leisure, and that vital yet oft overlooked (by economists, anyway) category, sleep - which Peter am I stealing from?

Judging by the bags under my eyes and the sound of dust bunnies frolicking under the couch, it's easy to guess. I didn't really have any leisure time to steal from - you're actually reading what becomes of my leisure time these days. (Note that I haven't posted in three weeks.)

On Monday mornings, people invariably ask how my weekend was, and I invariably fiddle with the dosage on my caffeine drip and mutter, "Oh, you know - busy." Then they say something inane like, "Cool! So what did you do?"

Seriously, people? Why do you ask? Perhaps you think I'm kidding when I say 'twelve loads of laundry', every single week, and you just haven't gotten tired of the (presumed) joke. Or maybe it's like watching reality TV, and you're just relishing the idea that someone out there is even lamer than you - I'm not sure. But I am tired of always being the person with the most pathetic weekends. So on this fine Sunday evening, I'm going to write a little song all about what I did this weekend, and if you really want to know, you can just sing along and save me the bullshit Monday morning inquisition. Here goes:

On this most recent weekend, here's the stuff I did...

Twelve loads of laundry! Grocery shopping!
Three dozen muffins! Scrubbed down the bathrooms!
Vacuumed the carpets! Mended the garments!
Mopped all the floors! Helped with the homework!
Wrote ten letters! Managed expenses!
Potty trained the Small One! Cleaned up the fallout!
Shaaaaampoooooed the coooouuuuuuch!
Bread for the week!
Vat of refried beans!
And wiped fingerprints off all household surfaces under three feet in height!

*pant, pant*

I can tell that people with no kids don't think the math adds up. They think, 'Gee, there are two of us in the house and we only have two loads of laundry per week, and wash the floor once a month, and golly I can't even think of when we last shampooed the furniture - how can twice the people add up to six (or eight, or twenty) times the work?' But that's exactly my point. I challenge anyone to give a two-year-old a banana chocolate-chip muffin in such a way that doesn't result in having to wash the walls, floors, child, upholstery and everything both you and the child were wearing at the time of Muffining. It's just not possible.

But I'm certainly not resentful of the little beasts, or even really all that irritated - after all, they're just kids, and muffins do stick to the walls in a very compelling fashion if you pitch them with enough force. I'm just that I'm so very tired. I keep thinking, only sixteen more years to go, then I can relax a little. Maybe my parents can advise on how true that actually is - hey guys, did you stop worrying when we all turned eighteen?

Hmm, didn't think so.

Okay, rev. 1: Only sixteen more years until my youngest child is an adult and... and what? And I am no longer legally obligated to fuss over him. Not that that'll stop me, I'm sure. So rev. 2: And if my kids still want to live in my house after they turn eighteen, they can darn well pay rent and wipe up their own fingerprints. Yeah, that's more like it! And they can cook me muffins for a change! Plus, I will get myself a soft-serve ice cream machine to celebrate my new, easy-peasy, child-free life, because I will have all the time in the world to exercise off all those extra calories.

Oooooh, and since my kids are seven years apart, maybe by the time Small Fry moves out, Medium Fry will have children of her own, and won't my little red-haired grandkids just totally love coming over for swirl cones?

Oh... damn... the circle of life. Right.

You know, if I named the dust bunnies I'll bet they'd be more like companions...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Scrambled

I know I've mentioned before my theory that it's the tiny, gentle acts of vengeance that really make a relationship go 'round. They relieve marital tensions in a way that only a good boxing of ears could otherwise match, without the resulting awkwardness of police statements and cauliflower ear and so forth.

But one can only make so many muffins, and DH just doesn't seem to realize that the toothbrushes are a microcosm of our relationship (I can't be the only person who puts them at opposite ends of the holder when I'm peeved, can I?), so basically - I'm out of ideas. I used to be so good at being evil! I'm really off my game these days.

Guess that's the problem with how much I like DH versus, say, my ex-husband.

One thing I do recall from my pre-divorce days, however, was that you have to be constantly on the lookout for signs of weakness in your opponent. Once you sense a chink in the armour, you ferret that information away and plot out how exactly you're going to exploit the flaw to greatest effect. It's a deeply instinctual process, hearkening back to the days of our Australopithecine forebears:

"Gaaaahhh! Ug, ug, grug ormph!"
[Doris, you bitch! I know you shrunk my loincloth on purpose! Now what am I going to wear to work today?]

"Urg ug, arrrrg ug!"
[If you ever got off your fat ass and helped out around the cave, maybe I'd have more time to fuss over your damn laundry!]

Tale as old as time, Doris, but alas - love and happiness have dulled my edge.

But then DH launched into one of his random tirades today, over poached eggs of all things. There was this little photo essay in a magazine showing how to make perfect poached eggs, and he just snapped. During his verbal assault on the authors, he accused them - I'm not kidding - of "using a Henrietta" and then faking the poaching photos. So, two things here:

1. A "Henrietta" is a hen-shaped electric egg poacher (like, for real - I had to look it up); and

2. If DH has given the problem of poached eggs enough thought that he not only knew what a Henrietta was, but could actually rant for a full five minutes about what cocksuckers those poach-faking sons-of-bitches down at Canadian Living are... my search for the perfect form of retaliation is over.

I bought an extra two dozen eggs tonight, and solemnly vow that on DHs next poker night with the boys, I shall perfect the poached egg. And then I will save that precious knowledge for a day when DH is so wildly irritating that I would just as soon drop kick him as look at him, and I will lovingly prepare him a simple, hearty meal of golden, buttery toast, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and a plump, perfect pair of poached eggs.

Oh, yeah. That'll really serve him right. *contented sigh* Yeah, baby - I've still got it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rejecting the Null Hypothesis

One of the IT guys at work dropped by my office today, leaned in the doorway, flashed a conspirational grin, and was all like, "So I hear you like bacon."

And, uh... that was pretty much it. I was like, "Ummm, yep. Sure do." Then we chatted about the weather a bit. After he left I got to thinking, is that seriously the kind of thing that passes for gossip around here? I mean, I've heard some lame rumours about myself in my time, but this one takes lameness gold. Plus it's completely true. No rumour worth its salt is actually true. Who doesn't like bacon?

It's an unbelievably straight-laced crowd I work with. Guess that explains why Casual Hump Day never really took off the way I had expected. I haven't had so much as a Casual Ass Pinch, and I've been around for a lot of Wednesdays. (Of course, the H0 isn't quite as tidy, and mostly involves my being left out of loads of steamy gossip and covert cavorting, but that's clearly 99.9% unpossible so I'm going to go ahead and - very scientifically - ignore the idea altogether.)

You know, I don't watch a lot of TV, but I'm aware that there are all sorts of desperate housewives, oversexed-neurotic housewives, lonely-anxious-dissatisfied housewives, drug-dealing frappe-drinking housewives - any number of variations out there on the dysfunctional housewife theme. I was actually beginning to feel a little dysfunctional myself, for not having some charming batch of neuroses to call my own. At first I thought, what the hell is wrong with all these housewives? Stop the drama, ladies, you're giving the rest of us a complex! But now I'm wondering how much I'm actually going to enjoy living the alternative: apron-wearing, bacon-eating housewife? Working part-time, frequently-on-a-diet housewife? Two words for you: Bo-ring. They don't make sitcoms out of that, my friends.

So is this what life is really going to be like? Is this what I signed up for? Forty years of Casual Hump Day meaning nothing more than "wearing jeans on Wednesdays"? Hey, maybe if I'm lucky, next week someone will accuse me of liking something I don't like, or only marginally like, like - I don't know - salad. Maybe I can work up a good rage over salad and really get the ol' rumour mill turning:

"You... you silly goose! I never liked salad, and I never will! Salad is for hamsters and anorexics, and I am neither of those things! Now, let's talk about something billable!"

That's me, always making the most of what I've got to work with. Drama on a budget. I wonder if it's up CBC's alley...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Health Spending

You may have already noticed by now, but I just love formulating pseudoscientific explanations for things. It's actually one of the biggest perks of my current occupation - proving once again massage benefits aren't the only reason I go to work.

Though I have always felt that old 'sex versus chocolate' question was a moot point - how about massage versus ice cream? Oooh, I get tingles of terror just thinking about being made to choose! But before I get too frightened, I simply remind myself there is a Dairy Queen situated directly adjacent to my massage therapist's office, and my world is righted.

Why, it was just yesterday when I last lay on a massage table, being pummelled into a blissfully gelatinous state while visions of dilly bars danced in my head. When my time was up, I forked over my (fully refundable!) eighty bucks and oozed straight over to DQ. My loonies were practically in the register when I recalled a conversation I'd had with DH earlier in the week - and found I suddenly couldn't stomach the thought of eating all those creamy little calories.

I know, terrible, right? Ice cream is like, my favourite food group. What could he have said to upset me so? Well, let me tell you: the bastard told me I was immense. Immense! What kind of horrible dumbass tells his delicate flower of a wife that she is immense? I didn't know whether to burst into tears or punch him in the face.

And it's a good thing the indecision slowed me down, because what he actually said was 'a mess'.

Which was true - I was cooking several messy things at once and was thoroughly spattered with flour, whipping cream and pasta sauce. But it got me thinking - well, a couple of things, really. First of all, that it's a good thing I always wear an apron, and secondly, that if you had a really quality comeback, you wouldn't have to resort to assaulting people every time they called you immense.

I put on my best thinking panties, and the results from my quest are in. Minions, I present for your consideration: three previously untapped, solidly pseudo-scientific explanations for the next time anyone suggests you might be anything less than perfectly willowy.

"It's a superior mirage, dumbass - there's a really strong inversion layer today."
"You dumbass, haven't you ever heard of thermal expansion due to global warming?"
"I'm in my perigee phase. Dumbass."

Enjoy. I'm heading out for a dipped cone.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Take It or Leave It

Munchkins bundled up and playing outside - check. Apron on - check. Now, what the heck should I make for supper tonight? Salmon patties? Barf. Tacos? Shit, no lettuce. Soup? Too much chopping. Hmm. I'll bet checking out Facebook for a while would help. Hello, glass of wine, shall we update our status?


"Mom, we're freezing. Can we come in now?"

"Absolutely! Hey, get your damn snowy boots off the floor."

"Sorry! What's for supper?"

"Oooh, it's the house special tonight, kids! Bowl of Raisin Bran! Suuuuper exciting! "

"Moooommm, that's all you made? We were playing outside for, like, an hour."

"Actually, it was an hour and a half. But for your ungrateful little palate I've also created the delectable side dishes of Kick in the Ass and Go to Your Room. Would you care to partake, Your Highness?"

Grumble, grumble. "No."

"Sorry, what was that?"

"Thanks, Mom, I love Raisin Bran!"

"That's the spirit, dear. If you eat all your supper you can have a bowl of Mini Wheats for dessert."

Now, back to kicking some Wordscraper ass...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Fudgie Diet

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan. Stir in 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup milk and 2 cups brown sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil and stir for one minute. (Now boil and stir for another fifteen seconds just to ensure the fudge sets later, because it's super annoying when it doesn't.) Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup coconut and 3 cups oats. Drop by giant spoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to set.

And that's all there is to a Fudgie! My brother actually wrote this out for me when I moved away from home, because in his opinion it was one of the most crucial recipes of all time. I still have that recipe card, written in red ink, now caked with many years' worth of fudgy fingerprints - DH has added "Eat seven" as the final step in the directions. I've made it so many times I may have elevated the Fudgie to something of an art form. Since I'm no jealous cook, I'll happily share my Fudgie-making hints with you, so Fudgies can become a staple in your home, too:

1. You're not stirring fast enough.

2. Put them in the fridge if you're hungry. They'll set sooner.

3. If you find yourself hovering by the fridge waiting for the cookies to set, I invented this awesome game that I play when I'm too ovulating to wait: First, you get a spoon. Then, you use the spoon to decimate the tops of the Fudgie mountains. I call it "Appalachian Coal Miner." It's delicious.

4. Eat as many Fudgies as you like, because - amazingly - they're calorie-free.

I know, I know - shock and disbelief. Don't bother arguing, though, because I have proof: there is no way my body absorbs any nutrients out of anything that comes out looking that much like it did when it went in.

I repeat: completely calorie-free.**

In fact, Fudgies form the cornerstone of what is possibly the world's most delectable diet plan. So let's all go ahead and chase down our Sunny Boy and whole-kernel corn with a batch of Fudgies, and raise a tall, refreshing glass of apple juice to losing a few in the New Year. Cheers!

** Any parent worth their salt will have noted this phenomenon also applies to peas, raisins, crayons and loose change. It's how children stay so slim! However, as most people become less inclined to consume these childhood staples (and other non-food items) as they age, certain low-cal treats have not been included in The Fudgie Diet. If you can't live without the occasional Monopoly $5, go ahead and indulge - this plan is nothing if not flexible.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day At the Races

Goooood morning and welcome to your Daily Derby - main contenders here this morning are Hot Mama and What A Baby - Hot Mama really needs that quick start off the line this morning if she's going to keep ahead of What A Baby - so much to accomplish today - there's the alarm! and Hot Mama is out of bed, amazing start to the day, but what's this? What A Baby is already up, the tricky little bastard, how is Hot Mama ever going to get her timesheet filled in today? she really should have done it last night, when will this little lady ever learn? - What A Baby already digging in the potted plants and Hot Mama hot on his heels - by jove he's fast! - Hot Mama still only half-dressed and not a drop of coffee in her yet - this is just not shaping up to be her day, folks - What A Baby really living up to his name this morning, giving Hot Mama a real run for her money - oatmeal on the walls - oatmeal in the hair - did any oatmeal even make it to the stomach? - What A Baby, indeed! - something a little off with Hot Mama, can't put my finger on it, oh my goodness she's leaving the house with utterly crazy hair today - just nothing to be done about it if they're going to make their 9 o'clock on time - Hot Mama flagging fast - looks like she's making a stop for Timmy's - that double-double will do her good this morning folks, can she make it to naptime? that's the question on everybody's mind today - traffic a little slow on the main thoroughfares - Hot Mama making a bold move, taking an alternate route to try and shave some time - What A Baby looking uncharacteristically pensive, what could he be considering? - oh no! it looks like he's changed his poop schedule! yes, yes, he is definitely pooping, he's not supposed to be doing this until mid-afternoon, this will set Hot Mama back another twenty minutes because she forgot to bring the *beeeep* wipes with her - watch your language Hot Mama there are children present - Hot Mama collapses in an uncaffeinated heap and What A Baby

That's all for today, folks, be sure to tune in for tomorrow's Daily Derby, when Hot Mama and What A Baby will be joined by Big Daddy and Surly Pre-Teen for another exciting day at the races.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rough Influence Sausage

It seems like we recently got a new mailman.

On second thought, is it PC to say mailman? Uhh... letter delivering individual. We got a new Letter Delivering Individual.

I wonder how they work these things down at Canada Post. I like to think there's a cool competition every so often - envelope-licking or midget-tossing or something - with the winners awarded delivery territories. Keep the fleet strong and all. They could pee on their boundaries to warn lesser LDIs off their turf. Admittedly, I've never seen this happen, but the point is it could.

Anyways, so the new LDI is this sortof androgynous, chubby little fellow who looks like he's never seen a piece of lettermail in his life. Completely stunned. I have received more mis-delivered mail in the past month than I have in my entire life. This is where my survival of the fittest theory of Canada Post falls apart, because the last LDI was really butch - I had to develop an entirely new theory of Canada Post just to accommodate the new guy. I call it: Outsourcing.

Specifically, the work of sorting and delivering mail on my block has fallen to Medium Fry. She's had nothing less than her own rural route for the past few weeks. It's one way to get your fifty-four cents' worth, I guess - especially now that we've asked them to stop wearing a cow trail across the front lawn and use the driveway instead.

And in unrelated news, I'm sick. I'm sick and grouchy and there's nothing I can do about it but drink a crappy Neo Citran. Because DH was concerned about my "recreational" NyQuil use, so I'm not allowed to have any good stuff anymore.


So I'm making like Canada Post this week and Outsourcing. Here are the sites I can always count on for a good chuckle, for instance when my favourite blogger is sick and can't rely on over-the-counter narcotics for a creative boost:

1. Sleep Talkin' Man
2. Hyperbole and a Half
3. Toothpaste for Dinner
(& 4-6 related sites Natalie Dee, Married to the Sea and Superpoop)
7. Engrish
8. FAIL Blog
9. Cake Wrecks
10. The Onion