Saturday, April 30, 2005

I have mentioned before that I marched in Drum and Bugle Corps for a number of years. I was in the Colour Guard. We spun rifles and flags around. During the winter we did indoor shows and competitions, where we would spin and toss our flags and rifles, march around, and dance to tape recorded music. We would travel together on a bus to whatever city was hosting the show. It was pretty great. The shows were always in high school gyms, so you would get there, and each guard was assigned a classroom. You would go in with your gymbag and your uniform bag and your rifle or flag and find a desk and sort of set up camp there for the day.

There would be a practice time for each guard so they could do a run through of their show and get to know the floor markings, where the judges would be sitting, etc. But other than that we were pretty much free to walk around, meet people from other guards, go to the cafeteria and eat (oh to be young again and be able to eat 4 or 5 ice cream bars without hesitation), or practice in the hallways. Or hang out and talk. Or see if there were any cute guys around (colour guards were 95% all girls, so this was an unlikely prospect, but you never knew).

One early spring day, during the last year I was in drum corps, we were in Cambridge, Ontario for a guard show. It was being held at an arena there, kind of outside of town. It was one of those gorgeous days, where you would tie your sweatshirt around your waist and the warm sun around you seemed to have a personality.

I was almost seventeen. And I had four best friends in drum corps. Sandy, Kim, Anne, and Jenny. We had been marching together for years. We had been on tours together, slept in gyms together, cried together about mean boys and dropped rifles and a ton of other stuff.

And we had laughed. Oh, we had some good times. Like on tour the summer before this we were in the States, and we realised after the first day that you got a deposit back for pop cans. And everyone was buying pop after pop because it was summer and we worked so hard practicing in the field and it was American pop so it was exciting. Well, we five took the pillowcases off of our pillows and went around picking up everyone's pop cans. One or two people kind of caught on to what we were doing and said to me and Jenny, hey, are you going to get money for those. Jenny looked them right in the eye and said, "No. We are taking them home to do a melting pop of America sculpture."

Man, we laughed so hard retelling that story over and over. Our corps travelled with two buses and an equipment truck. All the kids would be on one bus, and all the gym bags and sleeping bags and other stuff we needed would be on the other bus, which had no seats. For this tour there were not enough seats on the 'people bus' so the five of us volunteered to go on the gym bag bus. It was so great. We just hung out on top of all the stuff, all the pillows and sleeping bags we wanted were there for our use. We were a bit wicked too. We snooped in people's gymbags to see what they brought. We discovered that Maureen Frehe, who told the planet that she had naturally blonde hair, had SUN IN in her bag.

It was great. And when we had collected FIVE pillowcases of empty pop cans we did a covert trip to a store. We weren't allowed to leave the group per se, so we had to sneak away for a half hour and run to the nearest store. I can still see Anne ahead of me, terrified, looking back to see if we had been spotted, her pink and white flowered pillowcase bulging with pop cans, slung over her shoulder. I can still feel that rush of adrenaline, knowing we had made it without getting caught. We got 31 dollars for all those cans! And we spent EVERY cent on candy and junk food at that store. It was the best. The five of us whippig from aisle to aisle, yelling to each other, "CHOCOLATE POP TARTS!" "YES!" "BARBECUE CORN CHIPS!" "TOTALLY!" "THEY HAVE WHATCHAMACALLITS!" "WOOO HOOO!"

On the fifteen hour bus ride to the next city, we lounged on the sleeping bags, passing bags of chips and cookies to each other, and talking, talking, laughing, talking.

All my friends were taller than me. Sandy was long legged and thin, with braces. Kim was even taller, like five foot ten, and super skinny, with strawberry blonde hair, braces too. Anne was a great looking black girl, with the best legs, and to this day the heartiest laugh I ever heard. Jenny was a pink and white skinned red head.

The following spring we marched Winter Guard together. We were all growing up. We all went to different high schools (except Sandy and Kim).

So. On this early spring day, in Cambridge, we got to this arena. We set up our stuff in our assigned room, and then walked back outside because it was so beautiful out. We walked past the parking lot and there was a little ravine. With a creek.

Now. I have always been a sucker for a creek. I am drawn to them, I can watch water flow over rocks for hours.

This was not a large creek, maybe five or six feet across. We got to it and jumped across it, squatted down and let the water run over our fingers. Cold! We walked along it, two of us on one side, three on the other, until we came to a bend. The creek turned there and then sloped down a small incline, where the ravine went deeper. It was so early in spring. There were tiny buds on the trees, but nothing else. The ground was covered with last years discarded leaves, dark brown and damp.

The creek was full of stones. At the bend there was an old tree stump on one side, and the water flowed around it. And this gave me an idea.

"Hey." I said. "We could move that tree stump down there and build a dam."

So we did. Nobody questioned why we would want to do this. Not one of us thought it was a stupid idea. We just got to work, with our sweatshirts around our waists, and our tennis shoes on, and made a dam.

We dragged the tree stump down a few feet to where the ground levelled off. Then we piled up rocks across the rest of the creek. Then we dug with our hands into the cold water to make a deeper area for the water to pool in. We would stand back and look at our work, see where water was still escaping, and fill in the cracks. We used sticks and handfuls of mud. We hardly talked, except to say, "Use this" or "Found a stick", or "That works".

We worked hard. We worked together. We all felt the same urgency to build that dam. We forgot about the guard show, about school, about whatever guys we might have been into at the time. We just built the dam.

Finally, we stood up, (I am sure not one of us rubbed our lower backs and groaned like we might today) and looked at our beautiful work. It was magnificent. The creek ended where we had put the stump and rocks, widened to twelve or so feet into a wonderful cool pool of clear water. We smiled at each other. We knew that it wouldn't last. That eventually the water would trickle beyond the borders that we had made. But it was okay. We had done what we started out to do. We had stopped that water, for a while.

We had stopped time, for a while.

"Hey! You guys!"

Our reverie was broken. 13 year old Julie McCahon was standing above us, looking at us strangely.

"Everyone is looking for you! What are you doing?"

We just looked at each other. And laughed. And walked back to the arena. We were filthy. And wet. And we had missed our practice time. None of us cared.

The following summer would be the last time any of us marched drum corps. It was a great summer. But I will always remember that day at the creek, building that dam, as the last time we were together in that special way.

Looking back, I can see the metaphor. That creek, it was our youth. It was our friendship. It was the power we held, as girls about to be women. And we worked so hard, making the water stop there. Making everything stay just the way it was, all the while knowing it was futile. That nothing stays the way it is.

But together, we held things in place for an afternoon. And this is how I hold that memory. How I hold all memories. You build a little dam around them and you live in the moment and you forget everything else but this.

And then this is yours to keep. Forever.

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This is a picture of some of us just before going on tour. The year is 1986. On the left, is my sister Siobbhan, then Tricia Avon, then Michelle Massicote, then me, then Michelle Matthews, then Sandy (then Sandy's braces, haha). Anne is in front of us, she is holding up a homemade banner. It reads, "Sandy, Kim, Jenny, Anne, Amy."


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Can you sew?

Cause there is a lot of money to be made on ebay if you can.

click here

This outfit doesn't even include those mentally insanely big hair bows.

With a little distance between me and yesterday morning, I can write this kind of cheerfully.

8:16 am. I am in my room, going through a laundry basket from like two weeks ago that hasn't been put away yet, trying to find a white T shirt for Sam for gym.

8:17 am. Sam brings me his practice schedule for violin that has to be filled out and signed. I hand him the T shirt and look for a pen on the quagmire that is my dresser, then fill out the schedule.

8:19 am. I go downstairs where Monty and Lucy have been presumably watching Sponge Bob.

8:19:23 secs. This is what I see.

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Monty: Hi Mommy! We're BIRDS!


Monty: LUCY did it! With THIS!!

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An almost full jumbo box of Rice Krispies. Dumped all over the living room. And they are putting their hands behind their backs and bending over, pecking at it like, well, birds.

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It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to clean this up. Originally I had taken the pictures for evidence to present to Daddy as an example of what kinds of things can take up my day instead of important things he needs me to do like getting his new work boots or buying Deningers sausages. But I thought they would be good to put on here too.

I think this little incident is a harbinger for the kind of nonsense that Monty and Lucy will be getting into this summer. She is at that exploring without conscience stage and he is up for anything, anytime. Bad combo plate.

Kids are so much WORK. Yesterday I took the boys for their haircuts and as usual Monty was screaming his head off and pulling his shoulders up to his ears and frothing at the mouth. Thankfully we were the only ones at the salon at the time. Or they surely would have kicked us out. I tipped the lady five bucks just for Monty's hair alone. She basically had him in a headlock between her boobs while she was buzzing his hair. It was very stressful. After I got the kids in the van and drove home. And realized that i had left my purse sitting on the sidewalk beside the van.

So I went back lickety split, but it was gone. I am standing there in front of the hairdresser and video store and thinking of a course of action, when this guy says, "Are you looking for a purse?"

"Yes!" I said. And then waited for him to tell me he just saw three thugs running away with it, waving my Mastercard in the air.

"I just brought it into the video store." He said. "I thought it looked a little weird that it was just sitting there."

I coulda kissed him. "THANK you sooooo much." I said. And went in and got it. Ahhh.

Kids are alotta work. They make you lose your purse. People can be so good. They put up with your kid screaming in their ear. And they take care of your stuff until you come back to get it.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

This was fun to do:


First best friend: Grade 1, Sharlene Boehmfield. She was blonde and giggly and an only child. I simply adored going to her quiet house with her pink and white canopy bed and little record player.

Earliest memory: I remember being about three and at a washroom somewhere, and my mom waiting for me outside the stall, and I came out and she quietly said, "Did you go pee pee?"

First award: Ummm, I think it was a spelling award for ten perfect spelling tests in grade one at St. Margaret Mary school, 1976.

Favourite Food as a Kid: Spaghetti, of course. And um, ham.

First Embarrassing Moment: One fine kindergarten morning, my stupid short hair was sticking up on one side. And I was whining about it, and my mom told me to cut it out and get to the bus stop. So I went. But the whole time I kept a hand over the side of my head where my hair was sticking up. I got to school and kept my hand there. After about an hour Mrs. Phillips my teacher asked why did I have my hand there. I just stared at her. She said, "Do you have an earache?"
I nodded!
So she sent me down to the nurses office where I had a nice little nap on the cot until it was time for the bus to take me back home at noon. Pretty sweet deal.

First Pet: We had a dog that got hit by a car when I was quite young. Don't remember much about that dog. Then we got Sandy, a golden lab kind of dog. She was the nicest dog.

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Birth Order: Jennifer, born 1968. Charlie, born 1969. Me, born 1970. Siobbhan, born 1972.

First Movie seen in a Theatre: Raggedy Ann & Andy movie. My brother won two tickets to this from his hockey team, and we girls drew straws to see who got to go, and I won. This movie was a bit frightening, with this big mushy creature that ate candy. I think I spent some time out in the hallway.

First Big Scare: Another movie. It was on TV. I was about 7. It was called King of the Spiders, I think. Egad. I had nightmares about spiders crawling up my bedposts for years! There was one scene where there is a tarantula on an orange and this boy almost gets bit. I will take that image to my grave.
Wait. I may have been younger than this when I saw a part of another movie where a TV calls out "Suuussaan" to some girl. Hmm.

Background Music: My parents had an 8 track cassette called "Power Pak", I think it was one of those K-Tel specials. It had Three Times a Lady, Clap for the Wolfman, Laughter In the Rain, I Can Help........ Man we wore that thing clean out.

Alright, gotta fly! Fellow bloggers do this too! Can't wait to read yours!


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Thanks to Annejelynn for this blogthing:

Your Brain is 93.33% Female, 6.67% Male

You have the brain of a girly girl

Which isn't a bad thing at all

You're emphatetic, caring, and in tune with emotions.

You're a good friend and give great advice.

See? I tole you I wuzza lady.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Oh Yes It's Ladies Night.
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Went out on Friday with the gals. My dear friend Cari (on the left, that gorgeous thing,) is here from Arizona and we got out to the Staircase to see some comedy. BUT. The first part was a bit dorky. We met for a drink beforehand as there is this funky cafe in the same building as the theatre. (see where we are sitting it is like a little lounge in the corner with lamps and books and things, very je ne sais quasi modo) So we were pumped. BUT. There was also this chick singing in the cafe part, who was like debuting her album or something. So the seven of us hooked up and were all like woo hoo whatcha bin upto and yackety yackety please talk backety is that a new top yes! I got it off Winners clearance rack for like fifty cents oh it looks totally great on you well those glasses totally suit you! You know what I mean. And if you don't know what I mean then you are a guy who hasn't bin paying attention.

So we are having this grand ole time catching up and having a laugh. But the singer CD debut chick is belting out her Ani Defranco Bjork songs and GLANCING to the side (where we were sitting) and you know when there is a vibe that says SHUT UP? Well, we were feelin that vibe. She was trying to like, CONNECT with THE ROOM through her weird music.

I mean, we weren't screaming at the top of our lungs about feminine hygiene products or bargains at the mall. We were totally reasonably talking amongst ourselves. But I guess there was an artsy thing going on that we were just too UNCULTURED to get. With the chick on the keyboard singing over and over about I don't know what. I am sure it was great, and I could hear her playing the piano under it all and really, she was talented.

But I don't get that kind of music. Like, where's the chorus. Where is the part that makes me feel like I know ya. Like I am part of the universe just like you. I kept thinking, if she would just break into some familiar song how great would that be, it would make all these minor chords and repeated phrases worth the wait. But no. It was not to be. We were just a group of seven ladies tryin to have a bit of catching up, disturbing the discordance that is high art.

So. We did our best to be quiet. We really did. Look at the picture. I am actually miming to someone how to talk behind your hands. Poor sweet Kelly beside me is trying not to laugh at someone's whispered anecdote.

Then after this exhausting but kind of funny exercise we went in to see the comedy show. Which was interesting.

The headliner was great. Shelley Marshall you are just a riot and I would go to see you again absolutely. But the opening acts were mostly amateurs and so reminded me of those first few months doing stand up and the audience just being very very quiet after a joke. shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. a little uncomfortable if you have ever been there.

But still interesting. Stand up is the hardest thing ever and good for them for getting up there in front of a huge crowd of oh sixteen or so people and doing their stuff and facing the silence. There were a few decent ones in there who were quite funny. So we did have some fun, definitely. It'sa good to get out with the girls, always.

And then the rest of the weekend went whoosh. I went to a baby shower for my friend Cari's sister Kimmy's new first baby Joshua who tipped the scales at birth at eleven (sorry, ELEVEN!) pounds three ounces(!). He is a lovely blond baby and Kimmy did great and looks unnervingly good. The shower was great. Whew there was a ton of ladies Mon Dieu. Had to go hang out in the hall once in a while, hard to breathe with all that estrogen in one room.

I brought my little Lady herself, Lucy, who did quite well until she found out that she wasn't allowed to hang out in the bathroom for an hour. Seriously, she fell in love with that bathroom. I don't blame her really. She is a bonafide redhead and the bathroom was green so she looked totally great in it. But you know, 35 ladies and one downstairs bathroom. If she just woulda stood still she could have pretended to be a toilet paper holder in the shape of a cute kid, or if I could have got her to turn her face to the wall she could have passed for one of those weird cry-baby dolls and stayed there as long as she wanted.

But she wanted to party in there, knock stuff over and pull on the shower curtain and generally wreak havoc so I had to take her out a few (seventeen) times and then she was tired and crying and it was time to go coconut joe.

And today was mostly a blur. A good blur, but a blur nonetheless.

Well! I am done! Thank you to the academy and those who actually got to the end of this post, it has been a long haul but not really worth it I am sure. I am off to read my ROOTS. Have I told you it's very very good? It is.

Night Night.


(If anyone watches 24, (Brian) I was SO GLAD that Chloe shot those guys! i totally thought she was going to bite it.)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bulk Pick Up Day

People are fascinating when it comes to Bulk Pick up Day. That is the day when the city's garbage collection system picks up more than just average garbage. You can put out almost anything and they will take it. From furniture to old carpet (cut in 4 foot pieces) to harvest gold toilets from when you redid your bathroom to broken baby items such as high chairs.

The most interesting part of BPUD is the people who drive around with vans or in cars pulling open flat-bed trailers and take other people's put out junk home. I love it. How great that the city doesn't have to worry about half this stuff, that during the night people go around like scavenger fairies and take it away.

Now. All that said. There are some 'fairies' that are more like, um, 'trolls'.

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This is my neighbor from around the corner. I don't know her name, but it has to be Griselda or Helga or Olaf, maybe. She has been walking aroung the neighborhood all day collecting stuff from peoples bulk pick up piles. Not good stuff, either. The flat-bed trailer people took all the good stuff last night.

She was upright for the first hour, carrying one thing at a time back to her house. Then she had an idea to get her blue box out and fill it up and push it back home. Here is a close up.

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You can't really see what is in there, but it is an old computer screen and a broken window pull shade. My neighbor Bruno had the shade in his pile yesterday. The computer screen is from about six houses down. Now, I am just guessing, but this lady doesn't look like she is into computers per se. So you gotta wonder what she is pushing this home for. It must have some purpose. Otherwise why would you walk bent over for a block in your housedress for it. I was out waving good bye to Sam this morning when she passed me. I said, "Hi! Do you want some help?"

She scowled at me and waved the air in front of her face, like she always does. Probably thinks I want in on the goods. Last year we had a garage sale and she tried to buy a perfectly good Little Tykes wagon off me that I had a bargain price of five bucks on, for fifty cents. "Please." She said, "Please for me, fifty cents."

I sold it to her for a buck. She handed me that loonie and never talked to me again.

Oh well, you can't be friends with everybody, cans ya?

Bulk Pick Up Day. Fun for stay home mom's and weird old European neighbors alike.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

yay! I am

I alwuhs knew I was meant to fight snakes and find the ark of the covenant.


Mmmmm, breakfast.

Gave Monty and Lucy bowls of Rice Krispies with milk this morning. Then I went to blow dry my hair. Dumb dumb dumb.

When I came back down, Monty had climbed up on the counter, gotten an opened bag of Hickory Sticks out of the cupboard. Then I guess he had himself a great idea.

So when I came back down, there they were, side by side, not at the dining room table anymore but at the coffee table in the living room, eating spoonfuls of Rice Krispies and Hickory Sticks with milk.

Ug. What a combo. They loved it though. Very pleased with the scattering of H sticks all over the table and floor too, for aesthetic effect.

Hmmm, salty breakfast cereal...... It could be big.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Writing a screenplay is a lot more involved than I thought. I am starting from before scratch. All of the reading I have done so far has basically enlightened me to the fact that I know very, very little about writing a screenplay.

So my work is cut out for me. And then some. And here is where I usually get fluttery and decide that maybe I don't have what it takes after all, that I should just leave screenwriting up to the professionals and who do I think I am. There is so much to be done around here, never mind my high falutin' dreams of seeing a movie I wrote up on the big screen. How about those high falutin piles of laundry. Here is where I usually come back down to earth and settle for what I got. Which is alot, of course. I am grateful and lucky and blessed and all that jazz. The part I hate about realizing your dreams is the work. The hard hard work it takes to be anything above 'what you got'.

I remember being fifteen and in drum corps and I was in the colour guard which meant I spun and tossed the flags and rifles around to the music. I know, if you have never seen it it sounds like the weirdest thing. But it was kinda great.

Anyways, a few girls in the guard could do 'spinners'. This was when you crossed one foot over the other, tossed this wooden rifle in the air, and while it was in the air you pivoted around 360 degrees and then the rifle comes down and you catch it. It is super hard, to get the timing right and the rifle to spin the right amount of times so it lands in your hands the right way. Plus you are whipping your body around so you get kind of disorientated. My friend Michelle Boyd broke two of her front teeth trying to do this, because she spun around with her head up and the rifle came down too quickly and she kind of caught it with her mouth. Yee-owtch is right.

So. I was determined to do a spinner. I had gone off by myself and tried it many times during rehearsals, but never quite got it right. And it could have ended there. And many other times in my life with other hard things it always ended there. But I was fifteen and loved spinning that rifle and I was full of life and I believed in God and grown-ups and most of all, myself. So one Sunday I went to a corner of the gym that we practiced at and started trying to do a spinner. I spazzed out like nine hundred times. I hit myself on the head with the rifle. I spun around too fast and fell over. I spun around too slow and the rifle bounced off the ground and got me in the shin. I was sweating and my heart was pounding and I just kept getting back into place, crossing my foot over the other foot, and throwing up that rifle. I was almost in tears.

And then, for the nine hundred and twentieth time, I braced myself, crossed my feet, tossed the rifle, spun around, and BAM.

The rifle landed in my hands. Perfectly. Like it was metal and my hands were magnetic.

I stood there, breathing in and out, sweating, pulsating, standing straight and tall and fifteen and utterly amazed.

I looked around. Other people were practicing on their own. Noone had seen my spinner. But it didn't matter. I had done it. I had pushed myself past myself and done it. What a feeling. I felt like Robert the Bruce from my seventh grade language arts book, when he watched that spider try over and over again and then it finally made it.

Now, I am not fifteen anymore. So much life happens from fifteen on to knock the fierceness and bravado out of a person. But. I am still the same being I was back then. Sure I get discouraged and funky and tired and whats the point-ish. Sure I have a busy life without having to add some looly idea like writing a screenplay to it. But the thing is, without the dreams, we can get robotic. And miserable. And stagnant. So in a lot of ways, I gotta write this thing. Someone else might have to do something else, like learn to paint or volunteer at an old folks home or learn how to forgive somebody. The optional things we choose to work for can define us and give back to us the people we were when we were young.

Ach, now I am going off on a pseudo-philosophical tangent. And all for the want of a horse shoe nail.

Any HOO. I am going to try and not flit away from this dream. Only time will tell. 99 percent of me knows that a year from now it will probably not be done. But that one percent. Could move mountains.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Kid picture day

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Oh how I loved this dress when I was six. It was in a bag of hand me downs that my mom had gotten from (I think) a lady at work. Good thing it was so feminine looking, eh, cause that Adam Rich haircut wasn't exactly girly. And, please, I am wondering if my arms could be a bit longer?


Monday, April 18, 2005


Last week at the humour conference we saw this speaker/performer named Jana Stanfield. She was great. One of the things she told us to do was think of something we always wanted to do, a dream for ourselves that has been on the back burner forever, but that we had done nothing about. Could be anything from learning to rollerblade to taking a painting class to changing professions.

Then we had to think of three things that we could do that in some way worked towards that dream/goal. Three IMPOSSIBLY simple things, three things so easy and painless that there is NO WAY we couldn't have done them after a week. And then the next week you think of three more things, and so on. Before you know it you are up on your rollerblades or you have kicked your 35 year old son out of the house finally or you have gone from being a secretary to being the boss.

Because we are afeared of failure, we set up these high minded goals for ourselves, that can never be achieved anyway so what's the point. No big deal if they don't happen, they are too hard in the first place. For instance, I have this ideal of having this perfect house. But my house, it is so far from perfect, honest to pete, EVERY single person I know has a tidier house than me. Okay, almost every single person. but you get my point. I have such a hard time maintaining neatness. But I do not find relative neatness acceptable. Either my house should look like a Brick flyer or it is a piece of crap. It has only looked like a Brick flyer once and that was when I had cleaners come in. It just ain't gonna happen. So I get discouraged and funked out and what is the point of tidying anything if it is going to get messy anyways and I am just a big ole failure at it and everyone is a better person than me and why don't I just crawl into bed and die.

You see? The ideals are so far away from the reality that I am doomed to fail. Again and again.

So this J.S. tells us if we think of three tiny things and do them, we will be ispired and motivated by our little successes and this will give us the momentum to keep at 'er. Like if you were going to lose 40 pounds, before you have lost any weight it is like oh why bother 40 pounds might as well be 100 and I already had two rows of OReos for breakfast so I might as well just forget it and where's the butter I need more on this muffin because 40 pounds ain't gonna happen anyways.

But. If you manage to get up on that diet or exercise program and lose, like SEVEN pounds, you are all hey! I lost 7 pounds whaddya know only 33 to go I only had yogurt and fruit for breakfast aren't I just the best person ever I think I will take a walk do you want to come?

Was it George Bernard Shaw who wrote 'murder breeds murder'? Well, it isn't the most friendly of examples but by the same token, 'success breeds success'.

I think one of my big problems (among many, how long do you have.) is that I get distracted. I can focus and hone in for like a day and a half and then I am flittering away to find a nicer flower to land on, this one looks a little dried out. And I think distraction comes easy when every time you get out of bed you trip over a pile of clothes and toys and OUCH! a thumbtack. And you go to write down a to-do list but you can't find a pen and your notepad is nowhere to be found.

I have dreams. I want to finish my degree. I want to get off me arse and exercise OUTSIDE more, maybe even go back to that gym who cheerfully takes my money every month event though they wouldn't know me from Adam. I want to write a screenplay. I want to do more stand up. I want to be a calmer mommy. I want highlights, maybe. I want to learn how to sing properly. I want to improve 500 percent in money management.

But I think, if the above things are going to come true, while I work towards them, there has to be an underlying theme of becoming tidy-ish. Because how on God's green earth am I gonna take over the world if I can't find clean underwear?

So yeah. I picked one of the dreams, to write a screenplay, and did my three things. Mind you, I had till yesterday at noon to officially have completed the three things within a week, so there I was at church sunday morn, writing a character list out on the back of a piece of paper that I tucked inside a bible so people couldn't see. Then I had to speed home and install Final Draft 7 (screenwriting software) on my computer. While it was loading I did the third thing which was to open the Idiots Guide to Screenwriting. And whaddya know, I got into the book and read forty pages. So now I have invested some time and sparked my desire to do something. I have lost, if you will, those first three pounds.

AND I have cleaned a little bit more than usual every day this week. ONe because we were having a party but two because I know greatness don't come outta slobbery. How is this great story going to come out if I keep stepping on thumbtacks.

So I encourage you to do the same. Pick something and then think of three things you can easily do. I would love if you commented or emailed me about it! I am a top notch encourager!

Have a good Mon!


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Party Time at the Forderers

Last night we had 'people over'. You always hesitate to call it a party before it happens because that sets up these expectations, both to you and the people you invite. You would hate for people to walk in to what they heard was going to be a partay and then there are three people sitting in the living room and one bowl of cheesies between them.

But it was a party! Fun! 27 people not including two babies, one four months and one SIX DAYS OLD WHO I HELD FOR AS LONG AS MY DORMANT UTERUS COULD TAKE. We had a lotta laughs, could not get the 12 ladies outta the kitchen and away from the baked Brie with crackers. And I received four lovely bottles of wine! In hostess gifty bags! Like a real grown up lady! Next thing you know I will be hosting a Tupperware party and wearing culottes and espadrilles!

So yeah, good time had by all. Except my lady lucy woke up just as I was heading off to beddy bye with Kunta Kinte (not a pet name for my very white German husband, I am reading ROOTS.) So I was up with her for a while, the bum.

I wish now that I had taken a few pictures. Kinda forgot. It was such a busy day cleaning and getting ready while trying to keep the three dismantlers from de-cleaning the cleanliness. And then I was hostessing, you know, mingling between groups, introducing people to other people. So I forgot about thuh cameruh. DArn.

And today is totally utterly gorgeous out and I don't have the energy to get out there and enjoy it. I did have the energy to sit on the couch and watch "Enough" with J-Lo and "Dead Man Walking" with Sean Penn. Well, parts of them anyways.

So there you go. Sometimes it is possible to decide on a wednesday that you are going to have a (shh! party) in two days and 27 people come for the fun.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

For instant relief of morning blah/blech/blues, put white tulips in a vase on your bathroom counter the night before.

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And have your friend Cari come all the way from Phoenix Arizona to clean your bathroom.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Lucy's Song
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She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child, but she's always a woman to me

Yeah I know it's a little advanced for a 21 month old, but she is my lady and I am her mom. I used to play this song for us when she was brand new, on the computer in my room, and I would perch her over my shoulder like a six pound bag of beans and dance with her. And Billy Joel would sing to us. It was good.

When Monty was a baby
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I sang "Iris" by the Goo Goos to him all the time. It was very romantic. Maybe that's why he is such a flirt.

When Sam was born I sang "No Woman No Cry" except I sang "No Sammy No Cry" to him.
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Sam's birth was hell on wheels, and I think the words, "Everythings gonna be alright, now" were more to myself than to him.

When I was eleven the theme from "Chariots of Fire" was in my head all the time. I still can't think of my grade six teacher Mrs. Ferrante without that song moving in on the thought.

The theme song for me meeting Jay at 17 is, hands down, "Wait" by White Lion. Great song.

And when we broke up for a while a few years later it was just in time for "I Remember You" by Skid Row. Oh the tears I shed in my hostess uniform in the bathroom of the Golden Griddle that summer. That song is still like an arrow to my heart. I love it, though.

I love the lyrics and phrasing to "The Boxer" by S&G. I love Pachelbel's Canon in D Minor. I love "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" By Journey, and when I play it in the car I am a karaoke star and everyone in the crowd is amazed at my ability to be Steve Perry.

K.D. Lang's version of "Bird on a Wire" makes me cry. "Be Thou My Vision" when Van Morrison does it, it gives me shivers. I also love the Communards, although I haven't listened to them for years.

I could go on for weeks. Let me just say that some songs are like a wave that knocks you back. Others start as a lump in your throat, that gets bigger and bigger until it forces itself out through the tears in your eyes. Some songs are TENS machines, from the first beat you can feel the electromagneticness coursing through your veins. And some are so gentle as to be like sitting beside your best friend, not even talking, just knowing you could say anything you wanted and they would not move from beside you.

And all songs are memories. From bad perms to big stupid fights to your lips pressing down on the firm fuzziness of your new baby's head.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Stupendo Weekendo.

A great time was had on the weekend in Saratoga Springs. For one, Saratoga Springs is quite the awesome little town, lots of neat shops and restaurants and very quaint yet, cool.

For two, our hotel ( was a honey of an O. It was this sixteen room concierge hotel, very Victorian, almost like an elegant old B&B, high ceilings, four poster bed, drawing room downstairs, and huge windows with fancy curtains everywhere. Really, the nicest place I have ever stayed at. I have only been to like, regular hotels where the pictures on the wall are nailed down and the kleenex is in a stainless steel box attached to the wall. I felt like I was in the movie Gosford Park, except nobody got murdered.

For three, the conference was great! We saw lots of different speakers, from Yakov Smirnoff to Ahmed Ahmed ( to a nun to a guitar playing motivator named Jana Stanfield. Good range of stuff going on, lots of material to use in our own presentations. I would definitely go again. (ESpecially if we stayed at the same hotel!)

I even relaxed about leaving the bairns! They were totally fine. Hubby did great, fed em and took em to the park and bathed em and kept the house cleaner than me. (Hmmph.) They were sound asleep all snug in their beds when I got home around 9 on Sunday night. I kinda tried to poke em a little to wake them up so they could know it was me and hi and remember I am your mommy didn't cha miss me.

It was good to get away. Yesterday I just felt quite relaxed and the things that get my blood a boilin didnt seem to bother me as much. This morning, however, with Sam playing Mr Crawley at number 10 on the cd player and monty doing his own wild interpretive dance to Mr. C. on the dining room table, did snap me out of my post weekend calmness. But noone got hurt, everyone ate their instant oatmeal, and Sam caught the bus. So we are nine for ten so far. Nine because Sam had a copy of his Ozzy song on a cd that he needs for music class at school, which got BROKEN in half this morning. So I need to figure out how to get it on another cd (hopefully I HAVE another cd) and then get it to him at school at lunch time. So there you go.

Alright, well, things to be done around here so I better go.

Ciao now brown cow.


Friday, April 08, 2005


Oh, you don't know that abbreviation? It's Be Back In A Couple Days! I just made it up! I am outta here, off to a humour conference in Saratoga Springs NY for the WEEKEND with my mom. Very exciting! And a bit nervewracking! I haven't left Lucy for longer than one night yet! And that was only twice! So I keep putting exclamation points after everything! Because I am feeling angst!

It has taken a village to pull this off. I would like to thank in advance the Academy, my MIL for babysitting Lucy and Monty, my neighbor for picking Monty up and taking him to school, my friend Sandy for coming after school to take Monty home for a few hours so my MIL doesn't have to chase after both kids, my dad for taking Sam for the weekend, my aunt nancy and uncle ian for having Sam and my dad over for a night, my darling hubby for the weekend off, my agent, my publisher, my paperboy, and all the little people. Cause you can't forget them.

I dont really have an agent or publisher, but didn't it sound impressive.

I better go. My ma will be here in twenty mins and I am still in my pajamas.

Have a stupendo weekendo paisans.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My Little Ronald McDonald.

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Man, that's some bright hair, eh? I do like the colours of this picture though. And you just gotta love the leopard shirt with the red velvet ribbon around the cuffs. THIS is why I was waiting for the girl. (She also wore red old navy flare pants with calf high black boots underneath. In case anyone was wondering.)

Right now though, Ronald is crying and whining and was following me around the house with the boo hoo's on repeat random shuffle play. Who knows whatsa problem. Just practicing being two, I guess. It will happen in a few months, so she is brushing up on her skills.

Jay has his final exam tonight, which means I will have at least two wednesdays with him HOME on the RANGE where the DEAR LITTLE RONALD McLUCY WHINES. HOld on.

Okay. Got her a couple of toys. I have three minutes, tops.

I am going back, back to the cosy movie theatre last week, sitting beside Jay. Back to the first wonderful van ride with the kids APART from each other in their seats. Back to those first few weeks with Lucy as a newborn, tucked into the crook of my arm, sleeping with me. Back to our vacation at the Delawana, in our little chalet with the lake lapping at the dock and the belgian waffles smothered in whipped cream. Back to when I worked at Copps Coliseum and snuck into an empty seat and watched Neil Young play and sing 'Blowin' in the Wind' and it sounded so clear and beautiful and hopeful, like you could change your whole life if you wanted to. Back to Jay and I as teenagers, sitting up in the highest seats in that coliseum, looking down at the white rectangle of ice and talking about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Back to Mrs Wilkins grade nine english class, on that first gorgeous spring day and she got us to open all the windows, and the warm breeze blew the papers off our desks and we laughed. Back to playing hide and seek on Ashford Blvd at ten years old, out at dusk, hiding alone, crouched on Corrie Tessier's garage roof, holding fast to the rough warm tiles, listening to my heart beating, wishing I could stay there forever...


Monday, April 04, 2005

Something about the Pope dying makes me feel more Catholic. I may have to go to mass sometime. But I am not going to confession first. Too scary.

When you go in you have to sit down and say, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been ------- since my last confession."

And I would have to say, um like, 18 YEARS where the dashes are. EEp! At the end of all your carrying on about your sins the priest gives you your penance, which is saying a number of Hail Mary's or Our Fathers to absolve yourself of your sins. Usually it is like 10 and 10. But 18 YEARS. I might as well line up daycare for a couple months so I can get me rosary out and start even before I get there.

I love all the italian people on TV with their designer sunglasses holding rosaries up at the Pope's funeral. 2 million people! I was talking to my mom tonight, my mom who is the shiz, and she was saying how remarkable it all was, and which other religious leader can you think of who would have such a funeral? I mean, Charles and Camilla have POSTPONED their wedding. My gram cummings would have been real pleased about all this hoopla.

And of course, feeling more Catholic makes me feel a little guilty about all those times in grade eight that Sandy Stachura and I SAID we were going to church but we actually were spending a glorious hour behind Boots Drugstore smoking one Vantage Menthol cigarette after another. What a scene, two 13 year old girls dressed for church, Sandy's skinny legs in spice pantyhose and me in my good coat, smoking our ciggys and talking about Sean McCrory, who Sandy adored but he was going out with Karen Van Dyke at the time and she was beautiful and had the nicest feathered hair you ever saw. It was like two frosted wings coming out of the sides of her face.

Man, what times. I don't think either of us even inhaled those stupid cigarettes. We just puffed and puffed and lit them and stamped them out. It was a LOT of work. Then we would each pop a piece of gum in our mouths and walk home. And my mom would sometimes say, "What did the priest talk about?" But we always had it covered. "Oh, he did Pauls 2nd letter to the Corinthians, mom." Or, "Um, it was like a thing about Jesus and the money lenders in the temple?" We were sly little church truants, we were.

And now we go to church together for real! Ha! We do! We bring our kids and sit beside each other. We are even in the Sunday school rotation for the 2 and 3 year olds together. Who woulda known that those two brats in the alley with their kissing potion lipgloss on behind Boots drugstore would grow up to teach Sunday School. I swear, sometimes we look at each other and just laugh.

I have visions of Sandy and I at 85, living together at last like Laverne and Shirley, borrowing each others rain caps so our white perms don't get ruined. She will shrink down to my height but I will stay the same height. So we can wear each other's stuff finally without me looking like a short arse like I do now. And we will have girls nights out and we won't have to THINK about babysitters or whose husband is being cranky. I mean, our youngest kids will be 53, can you leave them alone at that point or what. It'll be fun. Anyone want to reserve a spot and share the rent with us? We could get a big condo full of old bizzatches who still have style. What a blast.

Alright well, time to go and read my "Roots" which, let me tell you, is one FANTASTIC book. Great read. Rock on, Kunta Kinte. (Every time I read the name, I have to say it out loud the way Will Smith did on the Fresh Prince. Try it, it's fun.)

Night, night,

There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard of the word IMpossible
This time,
There's no stopping us,
We're gonna do it our way, yes our way
Make all our dreams co-ome true,
For me and You!

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Yep. Those are Tampax we are holding up like smokes. Oh the grade eight mind is a looly thing. We thought we were hilarious.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Oh a quick note.
One of the previews last night at the sleepover-I mean, the MOVIE, was for a movie based on the Zephyr skateboarding team! Whoopee! I absolutely loved the documentary "Dogtown and Z boys" and I hope this film will be fun to watch. I think it is called "Lords of Dogtown". I blogged about it

back in October.

That's all.



Well let me see. My inaugural drive in the van was a little (a lot) MAGNIFIED by the fact that my SIL called me not soon after that blog to take her and her baby (and, as it worked out, her daughter home from school and her boyfriend (to work)) for a drive to the doctors office in twenty five minutes from the call. SO. I learnt me to drive that van pretty quickly! EEp! It actually went very well, it is a very smooth ride and not so much like driving a bus like I thought it would be. There were a few faux pases, like every time I hit the turn signal I inadvertently pressed the windshield wiper cleaner button which happens to be on the side of the turn signal stick thingy. So there was a "OOOh!" every time I switched lanes.

But really, I am lovin the new van. Lovin the fact that I am not hunched over like Chunk from the goonies everytime I am carseating my kids in the car. Lovin the ROOM. Lovin the big windows, feel like I can see everything. And Lucy is thrilled to bits with her new view, before she thought going on a car ride meant that darn same old sky view with the occaisional tree. Now she sees it all, from her Ivory Windstar tower, and the "Waaooowwws!" are just 2 kyoote.

So for all of you who are all 'minivan equals soccer mom' and 'car means I am still cool and young' or 'SUV means I could still be the person I fantasized about being in high school', I say, FEH. Who cares? Do you honestly think anyone even notices what you personally are driving? Dontcha get it that anyone who worries about that sort of thing is so worried about whether anyone will notice that they haven't updated their jeans from Tommy low rise flares (SO 1999) to Seven For All Mankind with the pink "A" that they aren't looking at you any bloody way? I mean, honest to Pete. If you met someone and they were great, and then they said, 'let me bring my car around', are you seriously thinking, 'yes, let's do. because what you drive will mean the difference between whether we hang out again or whether I DROP you from my dance/mom's time out/grocery store chatting/starbucks feracoffee card.' Nah.

In the end, aren't we all just gettin from A to Be and glad we have forty bucks to fill the tank?

Moving on.

Jay and I went to see "Sin City" last night. Now, I knew nothing about this movie beforehand except for one preview that told me it had some big names in it and it looked kinda cool. And after seeing it, both of those things are still true. I think it was okay, kind of a dark-comic-strip-come-to-life film. Quentin T. guest directed it (whatever that means) and it had some neat parts like it was mostly black and white but they used colour once in a while. The dialogue was cool, very understated and forties film noir-ish.


Ha! I fell asleep! I was sort of snuggled under my coat, and the collar of my coat is kind of fun-furry, and my cheek was on that, and it made me feel all doughy and warm and 'I'm just going to blink for a little longer than usual'. So I missed about a half hour. Which really didnt matter because I wasn't sure what was happening BEFORE I fell asleep. My stupid restless legs were really bad (THANK YOU PEPSI COLA) so I was tensing them and holding them off the chair and rocking them from side to side, so I think I just wore myself out. What a dork. The girl beside me probably thought I had some sort of disorder with my restlessness and then disappearing under my coat for half an hour.

Jay liked the movie better than me. He's a guy, he is more into action/bodies flying/revenge with guns than I am. But get this. He fell asleep too! Only for a bout ten mins, but I saw it! He wasn't snuggled under his coat though. He did the guy thing, where you just look like your neck is having a little holiday from holding your head up. All the way home he was like, "I can't believe I fell asleep!" I was all, "That was FUN! We both fell asleep!"

Oh! I can almost hear the Generation X backlashing! "Twenty four hours after you get a MINIVAN you are both FALLING ASLEEP at the MOVIES!" No worries. I have been falling asleep during movies for years. That's what happens when you have a couple kids. You take your breaks when you can get em. I have fallen asleep to some really good movies. Amelie, The Bourne Supremacy, The Matrix 2 (can't remember if it is the revolution or the convolution or the evolution), to name a few. I could have fallen asleep at the bottom of Huntington park pool this afternoon. We took the kids and my MIL and the three little chances I got to roll around in the water withOUT a small person hanging off my neck I just floated to the bottom, it was so quiet down there.

Alright, wells I better go fold the multitudinous laundrificus now. Maybe put a few eating and cooking implements away.

Night night. Sleep tight.


Friday, April 01, 2005

Stinky Accord OUT, Fresh BIG Windstar IN.

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Taken at 6:55 this morning.

Now I gotta drive the thing. For those of you who don't know me personal-like, you will not know that I am not a formula one driver. I am not even a formula two. I have my G2 license, which isn't a full license, although I can drive by myself. I failed the road test for this FIVE times before I finally, blessedly passed.

So I am a bit nerveuse about getting on the road with this thing. I am going to take it s-l-o-w. I am sure it will be like nothing in a few weeks, but today I kinda wish Jay was home, and could drive us around and like, tutor me.

Wish me luck.