Thursday, November 30, 2006

13 Songs I Loved When I was 13

(give or take a year)

I haven't done a Thursday 13 before but I was thinking earlier this week about music I liked when I was younger and thought it might be a fun way to cap off nablopomo.

Complete with links for your listening and viewing pleasure

Proudly without New Kids on the Block - I can honestly say I NEVER liked them

In reverse order of intensity like David Letterman's lists

13. Blame it on the Rain - Milli Vanilli (yes I was fooled and I'm not afraid to admit it)
12. The Power - Snap
11. Pump Up the Jam - Technotronic
10. Love Shack - B52's
9. The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground (I really identified with the song's "I look funny, so what" attitude)
8. I rhyme the World in 80 Days - Kish (sadly not even enough of a one-hit wonder to have a link to the song but I know he existed outside my imagination from this)
7. All I want to do is make love to you - Heart (This was the soundtrack to my grade 8 crush - which I shared with two or three other friends... we'd listen to this song endlessly, pining for the scrawny guy. And it was a metaphor for me -- I was a late bloomer.)

(These ones are a bit of a stretch time-wise, but I really really loved them and these are the songs that started me thinking of this list)

6. I touch myself - The Divinyls (this song was the soundtrack to my trip to Florida in grade 9... also a metaphor)
5. You're Unbelievable - EMF

(And now the top 4 songs I loved when I was 13 -- or thereabouts)

4. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor (Hee - I remember mucking out stalls listening to this on the radio. I believe it came after the grade 8 crush flopped totally and I cried.)
3. Bust A Move - Young MC
2. Let Your Backbone Slide - Maestro Fresh Wes
1. Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice (I loved him and this song so much that I shaved ICE into the back of my head)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

nablopomo'd out

I think nablopome has finally blogged me out. Or maybe it's just real life rearing its ugly, nuisance-filled, annoying head. Between flickr and blogger, for the last few weeks, I've been totally submerged in the virtual world. Well, in between dips into puke, squirmy, rodeo-event diaper changes, and walking Swee'pea to sleep over cheerio-strewn floors, of course.

Annoyance #1:

The tv. I believe the situation is dire. It's crapping out more often now, and worse, it no longer responds reliably to our attempts at resuscitation (smacking it hard). Last week it crapped out during Grey's Anatomy, but I spoke to it sternly that this was not the time or the place, smacked it, and it came back to life. But now it's crapped out during Amazing Race and House, cutting out big chunks of the shows. I think we really need to get a new used one.

Annoyance #2:

The oven. Last week as I was preparing vegetarian lasagne, I discovered that the oven was not preheating as I'd directed it to. It's a really really old gas stove, and there's a really really old timer with a really really old clock that doesn't work, and sometimes the timer gets stuck in automatic mode, which means that you can't actually turn the oven on. Even though we manged to push the teeny-tiny knob into manual position, it still didn't work. So I used the neighbour's oven, thank goodness, but still. I think we need a new used stove. If I were rich, I'd totally want this one:

Annoyance #3:

Daycare. Every time I think of a new way to google for an earthy, attachment sort of daycare provider, I now get my own blog. Which is kinda cool, but mostly not helpful at all. I did actually phone a couple of providers the other day, and one has space available and sounded fairly nice, but she would prefer not take a part-time baby, which is what I'm hoping for (hopefully I'll soon about that). I've already been through the listings at the Early Years website, and have written off almost all of the entries based on such criteria as: their address, whether they've undergone a criminal check, whether they describe nice activities in the extra box, and whether I like their name. Unfortunately, some made it through all those checks only for me to discover that they don't actually take children Swee'pea's age. Wah!

Annoyance #4:

Bills. On top of the regular bills that I haven't quite gotten around to paying because I have so many more interesting things to do, we've had two extra little notifications; one about an outstanding debt from Sugar Daddy's past we didn't know about, and another that his unused account is overdrawn because his gym membership started up again and has been withdrawing funds from an account with no income. (Plus there's the fact that our trip to SA will cost money and Sugar Daddy is having to take unpaid time off and my mat leave will be over but my vacation pay will probably be delayed, and we still haven't paid for the damn airconditioning we got last summer when my brain melted and it seemed like a smart thing to do.) Aarggh!

Annoyance #5:

I just noticed that my blog has been flagged for objectionable content. Which, on the one hand, doesn't surprise me. Some of my flashback fridays, and some other stuff, could definitely be objectionable. But on the other hand, does this mean that someone came to my blog, was shocked and horrified and offended, and flagged my blog? I feel bad if that's the case. I have always enjoyed surprising (shocking) people to some extent, but I don't enjoy offending people. On still another hand, (who knew I had three hands?) I have my handful of readers, and they (you) mustn't be too offended, otherwise you wouldn't come back, right? But still, I'm kind of surprised. I really think I've been fairly tame, compared to some other mommy bloggers I've seen (and enjoyed). Maybe it's just my language that bothers some people? Or maybe it's just an automatic blogger thing and I really don't need to get my knickers in a twist? But since I'm in a knicker-twisting mood, and I'm so good at it, I might as well...

Annoyance #6:

Ok, it's not exactly an annoyance, but it's stressing me out. I'm getting really nervous about our trip. We haven't really done much to prepare, but I don't think we really need to, since we'll be staying with family and playing things by ear. But thinking about the flight scares me, because I've got the double whammy of flying with Swee'pea while being scared of flying. Some people have told me that their anxiety isn't as bad when they have their kids to focus on, but what if it's worse, just for me? The last flight wasn't that bad, anxiety-wise. It was just gruelling.

But with Swee'pea, there are more practical considerations too. How will we feed him if he doesn't have his own seat? What if he wants to be walked back and forth to sleep and we're having turbulence and can't get out of the seat? Even now, my chest just stopped at the thought of being strapped into a seat with a squirming unhappy baby on me.


Beyond the flight, I worry about sleeping arrangements, because Sugar Daddy's father's guest bed is only a double, which will be rather a squeeze for the three of us. And if SD sleeps on a couch, Swee'pea will be more prone to falling out? Our mattress at home is on the floor, but we're going to put it back up to get Swee'pea used to being on a higher bed, and hopefully learning that he should not roll past the edge, and he has to get off it backwards. I also worry about the lack of baby proofing where we'll be staying and whether that will just be exhausting.

On a less practical level, I worry about what they will think of our parenting style, of the fact that I haven't lost the baby weight, etc. etc. Yeah, I know I don't really need to worry about these things. Sugar Daddy's family was SO nice last time, and we see them so rarely, I'm sure they won't bother with that kind of crap.


And yesterday, my friend said that I'm really brave for taking this trip. Which scared me. We're not brave intrepid people. We just want to share the amazingness of Swee'pea with his family.

On a happier note, I finally finished scanning my fave photos from the last trip and they're up at flickr. These three are my absolute favourites.

Girls at Elias Motsualedi Informal Settlement

PS: Apparently we're really famous because Swee'pea has been featured on another blog today. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon yesterday with Alecgator and his mom, and Swee'pea had a great time discovering new toys.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Trip Down Memory Lane

Does this bring back memories for anyone?

Apparently Dr. Snuggles only lasted for 13 episodes but I remember loving the show. And I have had several conversations with my friend about how, looking back, it was really quite trippy, and its creators must have had some serious acid trips. Anyways, I have discovered a source for those 13 episodes, so I hope to be able to watch them soon. I know Sugar Daddy will love it and I haven't had a chance to see them since I was like 6. And, I just learned today that, apparently, Douglas Adams co-wrote episodes 7 and 12 or something like that, according to wikipedia.

Youtube is a goldmine of nostalgic tv shows.

I also found this:

And some great Sesame Street stuff, which other bloggers have been talking about lately.

My big Sesame Street question: Did they ever have a skit involving "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark"? I think it turned out to be cheese, or something. I'm not sure if this is memory or imagination, but I would love to find out. Please help me on this if you can...

Caught in my Slippers

Wow! Blog Guelph has featured a Cinnamon Gurl series today. How cool is that?

And I have the last post, which includes the p-word and stupid teenage behaviour and getting puke in my mouth. And the one before that, featuring a boring discussion of an 800-page book that took me way too long to read.

I feel like I've been caught in my robe, slippers and curlers, with dirty laundry strewn about (it is) and the guest bed unmade (it is).

Oh well... I'll just try to brazen my way through it.

To anyone who's come over from Blog Guelph... welcome! Would you like a cup of tea? I do actually have clean mugs, a nice selection of teas, and a decent kettle. You just may want to skip the most recent coupla posts.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I am grumpy. Not really sure why. My mom phoned tonight, and Sugar Daddy answered the phone. Apparently he mentioned that I was tired, which she mentioned when I got on the phone.

Me: "Yeah, I'm just tired and grumpy. That's all."

"Have you had a period recently?"

ACK!@%^&$! My head explodes with flashing lights and sirens from my teen years.

She says period with too much emphasis on the first syllable. Now I realize it's also the second syllable that she puts too much emphasis on too. PEEEREEEod. Maybe she just puts too much emphasis on the whole damn word.

Immediately I am seized with teenage revulsion at the way she pronounces the word. I regress to the old teenage shock-horror that she would even discuss such things with me.

I regress to teenage lying and attitude: "No! Ewww, Mom I hate the way you say the word. Shut up! Just, don't even say that word. Ewww."

She said a bit more on the subject, at which I continued to snivel and shudder, and finally she stopped. We moved on to other subjects. But maybe she was onto something... who knows? I just found it weird how possessed I was by teenage me. I mean, the woman helped me in labour. I wanted her to help me. She was the one who took me to the bathroom when I was in labour!

While I'm on the subject of things that make me go Ewwwww! last night Swee'pea and I went to bed while Sugar Daddy had a shower. Swee'pea nursed for a bit, and I hoped he would fall asleep. But, no. No sleeping for Swee'pea as usual. Instead he crawled all over me and the bed, standing up against the wall, leaning over me trying to get out of bed, head butting me, etc. He fiddled with his soother in his mouth, and I guess he spit up. He suddenly flicked the soother, and -- something happened.

First, I realized there was something wet in my mouth that wasn't there just seconds before. Next I registered a slightly sweet taste in my mouth. Then wetness around my face and neck and hair. Slowly, I realized he'd puked on me. Not just on me but. in. my. mouth. While I was still reeling trying to figure out what to do next, he bit my arm, pretty much exactly where the wasp stung me like two months ago, where my arm still has a red spot and wider discolouration. And since he has a new tooth up top to pinch against the bottom two, it really hurt! Talk about insult and injury.


Finally. Finally, I have finished Wicked! by Jilly Cooper, after something like a month and a half. That's the longest, by a huge margin, it has ever taken me to read a Jilly Cooper. I think it's the longest it's ever taken me to finish any book. Usually, I would have figured I just wasn't that into it and given up before now. To be fair, it's the first Jilly Cooper book I've read since becoming a mother and discovering blogging and nablopomo. But still, I'm thinking it just wasn't as good as her earlier books (except Pandora, I really didn't like that one... even so I finished it in a coupla weeks or less I think). I almost didn't bother with the last 30 pages (I mean I'd made it through 800), but I'm glad I stuck with it. Otherwise I would have missed the Royal Wee, when a statue of a horse appears to pee and pee and pee at the Queen's visit. I also laughed at the bathroom that was constructed just for the Queen's visit, dubbed the Roylet.

But I did enjoy it. It was kinda like Degrassi: The Next Generation for fans of her earlier books. But I found myself thinking it was some kind of allegory or retelling of some classical mythology that I just wasn't getting. There are tons of quotes and allusions to English literature, many of which I had no clue about, and she often describes the characters in animalistic terms. Things like, "Russell, whom Janna could still only think of as Babar, king of the elephants and head of the Tusk Foce, was at his most portentous." And a woman "who had a lot of teeth like a crocodile whose mother had failed to make it wear a brace."

Her descriptions are at times fantastically evocative like his "evil, sallow, pasty face was disintegrating like goat's cheese in liquid," "his handsome regular features were somehow blurred like soap left too long in the bath," and the care manager of a children's home, "who sounded bullying and humourless and who had a thick clogged voice like leftover lumpy porridge not going down the plughole." I think maybe there's just a bit too much of it?

But there were several character I really cared about and Cooper's great at developing a totally flawed character you can still love. And she made me want to reread Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility (which I read when I was like 12 or 14 or something... a long long time ago anyways), because Rupert Campbell-Black, one of her original flawed but lovable characters (after Jake and Riders of course... I hated Rupert in Riders) comes to really enjoy them.

So, in case I forget, I would next like to read those two, and also Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. That sounds kind of neat. Oh -- and I think I saw that a new Fiona Walker is coming out in December, just in time for our flight to South Africa in January. I'm scared of flying, so I always try to reward myself with a new Fiona Walker when I fly. Although I doubt I'll have much chance to read with Swee'pea accompanying us. Ugh. Starting to get horribly nervous when I think about the flight. Sometime I may tell you where my fear of flying came from, but not now because I think Swee'pea may wake up soon.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


From Sugar Daddy:

To me, partly kidding, "Looking at your photos makes me think we live in a real dump, that maybe we should move."

To me, deadly serious, about what I was feeding Swee'pea, "I don't believe in mixing yogurt with oatmeal."

"Ha, like it's a religion?"

"Yeah. It's just like that commercial... do you really want to expose your children to vanilla and yogurt, together??"

To Swee'pea, "You're getting sleeepeee... your eyelids are getting heavy... there are bags of potatoes hanging on your eyelids."

My response: "You just wanna get on my blog, don't you?"

Overheard on the Street:

Guy 1, driving into the next driveway and getting out of his car: So how do you like the new gym?

Guy 2, raking leaves: I love it. I'm going five times a week.

Guy 1: Heh heh, lots of eye candy, eh?

mumble mumble

Guy 1: So have you bought a lawnmower yet?

Guy 2: No.

Guy 1: You should buy a Lawnboy or [some other brand]. And you should buy an attachment that sucks leaves and twigs up as you mow.

I'm just glad Guy 1 isn't my neighbour.


Woman, with no hint of a smile or irony: There oughta be a law. There oughta be a law that everyone has to decorate their houses for Christmas.

I think that's why they separated church and state. WTF???

On TV:

Dolly Parton in a news story about the work she is doing for children's literacy: If I see something is sagging, dragging or bagging, I'm gonna get it nipped, tucked or sucked. I figure if there's a little bit of magic in me it's that I look totally artificial.

And later in the interview: I always figured that God didn't let me have my own children so that everybody's children could be mine.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Walk

It was still sunny, so I decided to walk to the downtown grocer's for a few ingredients I needed to make vegetarian lasagne. When we finally got out the door, a young boy who lives down the street started walking with me. He asked me about our cat and we chatted. We started to approach of group of three girls around the same age as him -- maybe 10ish? 12ish? -- and he suddenly said, "Gotta go," and veered back in the direction we just came from, putting his headphones back on.

The girls were whispering and giggling and looking behind them. When they saw me, they stopped and let me pass. I smiled at them as I passed, figuring one of them had a crush on the boy or something. I hadn't gotten far from them when one of them suddenly demanded, "Do you know what we're talking about?!"

"No," I replied innocently.

"See," said one of them to another, "You're retarded."

I turned around again. "But I can tell it must be important. And Top Secret."

"It is! It's very secret!" the girl in the middle said with defiance.

I turned and continued walking. The girl called after me, "It's about our pet snail. He just died. We're planning a funeral, and we're going to invite all his snail friends."

I imagine they started laughing.

This last bit irritated me. Why the hell should I care what they're talking about? And I certainly don't care enough to merit a cover-up lie like that. Brats! I decided I am officially a curmudgeon.

A little ways on, I stopped to snap a pic of a turquoise tap and its shadow sticking out of a plain gray wall. A woman and her child walked by, and I remembered that I'd seen them the day before at my neighbourhood playgroup. She stopped, and said, "I'm curious. What are you shooting?"

Turqoise Tap

So I pointed to the tap: "That tap and its shadow. I seem to obsessed with shadows these days. I think because they're such a treat this late in November."

We had a conversation and introduced ourselves formally, and it was nice to discover that she actually lives in our neighbourhood and isn't just hijacking our playgroup the way some others do.

Later, I noticed a shiny silver-grey Vespa outside a tattoo shop, just as a young guy exited the shop for a smoke.

"Is that your bike?" I asked.

He looked surprised. "No." He leaned against the tattoo shop's window and lit his smoke.

I walked on. But then I stopped. Turned. And raised my camera to my eyes. If it's not his bike, I don't need to ask his permission. And I kinda want a picture of him, because his blue boxers are hanging out of his pants.

Vespa with Nervous Kid Outside Nighthawk Tattoo

I kept snapping, when another guy, who looks a bit like Ben from So You Think You Can Dance but punkier, came out of the shop.

"Are you still nervous?" he asked the other guy.

I didn't hear the first guy's response as he ran over to the door, probably to get away from the crazy lady with the stroller taking pictures of the Vespa.

"C'mon. It's just cartilage," the second guy cajoled as he lit his smoke.

Vespa with Nervous Kid Outside Nighthawk Tattoo II

I stopped shooting and continued on to the store.

At the store, I saw a young guy, not as young as the one outside the tattoo shop, who in turn wasn't as young as the one outside my door. He was rockin' out by the meat section. I couldn't even hear the music, but it was cute. He was doing a good finger dance.

On my way home, the sun sank lower and lower and the sky behind me got pinker and pinker. I saw some seagulls fly overhead and marvelled at the way their bellies glowed pink from the sun, set off against the still-blue sky behind them. I thought about taking a picture, but figured I wouldn't be fast enough. I just enjoyed the sight instead.

I walked down my street on the home stretch, and smelled gas. I wondered if I should run away, if Swee'pea was in danger. I pictured us suddenly getting blown up and forward like in the movies and felt really, really sad. It reminded me of that Grey's Anatomy episode when Kyle Chandler made a guest appearance. We got to know him through the whole two to-be-continued episodes and then right at the end as he walks away holding the ammunition like the most precious little preemie, he got blown up. I cried watching that. But probably mostly because I had the biggest crush ever on Kyle Chandler when he was on a show called Homefront and I was so pleased to see him again. I loved that show when I was about 16 or so. And I loved him and his character.

Never Before Seen on TV

The Stairmaster

The Stairmaster

One small step for a baby; One giant leap for his parents...

(Note anxious, hovering, parental hand.)

(I've already mentioned that we live in a mostly unfixed-up fixer upper, right? So please just don't mention the evidence of it in this photo.)

The Clapper

The Clapper II

Now that he has learned how to clap, Swee'pea claps most when he eats. Last night he even clapped my breast while nursing in bed. He was supposed to be falling asleep.

The Ever Elusive Downward Dog

The Elusive Downward Dog

(My one and only photo of this maneuver. He's stopped doing this as much now that he's discovered the stairs.)

Zebra at the Zoo

Zebra at the Zoo

The baby zebra turns his back on the crowd to chew the bars of his cage.

Other Amazing Feats of Cuteness
, not yet photographed:

The High Five: Although he occasionally leaves me hanging, this preceded The Clapper. It caused many hysterical giggles last week.

The Black Power Salute: Began shortly after his introduction to the High Five; I wonder if it is a precursor to pointing?

Ah-Boo: I swear I hear him saying variations of Ah-Boo or Bah-Boo, or BabaBoo, when he plays peekaboo, or variations of peekaboo, like when he pulled a baby girl's toque down over her eyes. Also this week, his usual ba ba has changed when he's holding or playing with balls. It's become longer, more like bow or baww, and he doesn't double the syllable. How does one ever record a child's first word when you can't be sure of the first utterances?



The boy has been chewing on his fingers and especially his thumb all week. Well, really all his life. And last week he was quite grumpy, crying every time I put him in his high chair or the jolly jumper or the crib when I needed to go to the bathroom. This week brought a marked change in his mood, and we welcomed back his usual happy self. Yesterday I noticed that one of the teeth that has been bulging his gum white -- for weeks!! -- finally broke through! I'd so given up on it ever happening that I stopped checking his mouth. I'll mark it in his calendar as coming in yesterday but between you and me I secretly suspect it broke through earlier in the week. I guess we'll never really know.

Light in his Eyes

Friday, November 24, 2006

Flashback Friday: Bikinis and Binoculars

My Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Jack were snowbirds when I was younger. They, like many others of their generation, spent the winter in Florida. They had a young man (in their language), who was a professional race car driver, drive their car down for them while they flew down. A few times we went to visit them in the sunny orange juice state. Once, when I was around 5 we flew down (highlights included seeing Lady and the Tramp and throwing up in the bus home from Disney Land or World I can never remember which), and then when I was around 7 we drove down in the mini-van (highlights included Busch Gardens and discovering that my mom was 29 years old and weighed 105 lbs; I figured out later this was a total lie because she was already 33 when she had me; on this trip we also met John Candy filming Summer Rental just down the beach from my grandparents' condo but I was more excited to meet the dog in the movie).

For March Break of grade nine, my parents decided to take me and a friend of my choosing down to Florida once more. I think it was after this trip that my grandparents decided they were too old to travel, and they pretty much settled in to hibernate through the winters in their London, Ontario apartment.

Anyways, the grade nine trip. My friend and I were in the giddy throes of discovering boys. I'd been asked out -- by an 18-year-old no less when I had only just turned 14 -- and she'd started going out with him after I turned him down (one time when we got in a fight I took great joy in making some nasty remark about my hand-me-downs). I remember I read Lace by Shirley Conran in the car on the way down, which was full of sex (I'd already read Riders, Rivals and Polo by Jilly Cooper, and I'd rejected the Jean M. Auel books because the sex scenes were too few and far between; also those descriptions of Jondolar's -- or whatever his name was -- prodigiousness were disturbing... I pictured something around 2 feet long). Other than that, I remember nothing of the car ride. Oh - we stopped at the Kentucky Horse Park I think. Or maybe that was on the way home.

Anyways, once in Florida, the first thing we needed to do was buy bathing suits. We went for the two piece variety, despite the fact that I was beginning to hate my body. I found one with a frilly skirt-like bit that I thought sufficiently covered my ass to wear it in public.

My grandparents always stayed in St. Petersburg, in a condo, and we soon made ourselves comfortable. My friend nearly had a fit when my grandma was making the king-sized bed in the main bedroom and exclaimed, "This is like making it on a football field!" Or so my friend heard and her mind went immediately to the gutter. I kept my mind firmly on the subject of making beds. It was my grandmother after all!

There was a boardwalk nearby with neat shops, and one was a fantastic cookie shop that we went to a lot. This fantastic cookie shop also had tons of young good-looking guys working behind the counter and my friend and I made fools of ourselves in awkward attempts at flirtation. My mom even sent us out of the store once because we were being so ridiculous.

One day we went to see a world-class horse show where Ian Millar, Captain Canada, was riding horses he hoped would replace his recently retired best horse ever, Big Ben. I spent most of the show, however, moonily following his son, Jonathon Millar, around hoping he would see me and be immediately struck by my beauty and declare his undying love then and there (a la Sugar Daddy a decade later). I didn't actually think he was good-looking but he was tall and he had good horses so I figured it would be a good match.

The weather wasn't great during the trip; it was mostly pretty cool and grey. One day, the sun came out and my friend and I decided to go for a swim in the building's pool, which was right on the beach and from which we could see the colder ocean.

As we frolicked in the pool in our new bikinis, I noticed a man standing on the beach with a pair of binoculars apparently trained in our direction. What a perv, I thought. It was possible that he was just checking out the real estate but somehow I didn't think so. I suddenly had a thought that my bikini top was not securely fastened. So I reached around behind me to fix the clasp. Sure enough, it was partly undone. But because I wasn't very familiar with the bikini and the clasp went in the opposite direction from my bras, I pushed it the wrong way.


The ends of the bikini top flew out of my hands and hung, useless, from my neck, fully exposing the girls. I shrieked and ran to hide behind a wall while I did it back up. When I emerged from hiding, the guy with the binoculars had gone, but I always worried that it looked like I deliberately undid my bikini for him. This experience remained my most embarrassing moment for a long time. Now I just think it's funny.

Fave Grey's Quote from Last Night

Edited to add theory of things to come.

There's two this week.

I loved the patient with the shard of glass in her heart: The doctors... hot men... they're all really hot. [pause] They are, aren't they? It's not just because I'm wearing a plate glass window?

Addison: Nooo, they're man candy.

Patient: Good. [coughs blood into a gauze pad in her hand] Okaaay... that is nasty.

And when Callie yells at Meredith: Panties, Meredith. I'm talking about the McFrickin' code of silence pair of panties I pulled off the bulletin board. Not to mention the adulterous McSex I witnessed.

You'd think I'd get sick of all the Mc references, that the joke would get tired. But somehow I don't.

I loved Yang doing the voice over in the beginning but I thought the dramatic single drum thing from time to time was a bit silly. I think I knew that Yang was gonna crack, but I was still kinda disappointed. Mind you, Burke was kind of an ass, putting a lot of blame on her. I mean, he's the attending... she's just the intern.

Updated: Ooh, that scene with the patient with the shard of glass in her hear, Addison, Sloane and Karev. I think it will soon come out that Addison got pregnant with Sloane and had an abortion when she discovered him cheating on her. I'm putting it here because if I'm right I'll get to point to this and say, "See? Can I call it or what?" And if I'm wrong, well, just forget I ever said anything.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dude, Where's My Blog?

I think I just discovered another splogger... this one's called and they claim to be fighting for free speech. They have my whole entire blog, and it look JUST LIKE THE REAL THING. Except it's not. The URL is all wrong.

I discovered it by googling "writeabouthere", which you may also want to try doing. I don't want to provide the exact url they use for my blog.


Updated: It appears I may have been a bit hasty. My visit to the inblogs page of my blog showed up in my stats. So I guess maybe it's not a splogger? I still don't get it though.

I didn't know that blogger blogs were banned in India and elsewhere. Anyone know why?

the weather is sweet

Ukranian Church with Shadows

Last night I went to bed thinking about the post I was going to write today. It was going to be about how deeply happy I am (I know: stark contrast to Tuesday's angsty post) on mat leave, and how much I enjoy these days, going for long slow walks making photos of shadows and deteriorating buildings and weird things emerging from the river at a remarkably low water level (so far: a picnic table, a Kate Quarrie campaign sign -- ok, that was a few weeks ago but still, a shopping cart, a park bench, two bicycles, a road sign in the river, and a ripped pair of crusty underwear hanging on a tree -- I'll spare you the photo of the crusty knickers). The past two days have been gloriously sunny and I have revelled in it.

Picnic in the Speed I

Emerging Bicycle

At belly dance class, my body wasn't quite so foreign in the mirror as it was a coupla months ago. And I've been doing my belt up a hole tighter than before. Life is good.

Tree shadow

Lying in bed, I couldn't believe that tomorrow was already Thursday; it had come so fast. Which was funny because on Tuesday I couldn't believe I had so long to go before the relief of Sugar Daddy's help on the weekend.

But this morning I'm not feelin' it. I feel hungover, even though it's been several days since I had an alcoholic drop, and the fog outside the window when I woke matched the fog inside my head. I guess it just goes to show how much of a difference the weather makes in my life.

* * *

Ok, so I've drank some water, the hangover feeling has passed, as has the fog, both outside and inside. In fact, there is even direct sunlight shining through the window on me. Ahhhhhh. I have never before experienced direct sunlight while sitting at the computer here before. And it's not even hitting the screen so there's no unpleasant glare. I've been listening to some old Bob Marley, and a newer Bob Marley remix by Fatboy Slim** and now itunes has moved onto Damian Marley (I don't actually know who Damian Marley is -- maybe Bob's son? -- but it's reggae and I like it).

I've been fiddling with the photos I made yesterday, and have been happily surprised discovering all the things you can do to make formerly disappointing images closer to what you intended when you squeezed the shutter release. Life is good again.

So I can go back to musing about photography and whether it enhances my experience of the world out on these walks, or interferes with it. Does constantly trying to figure out how things will look in two dimensions prevent me from enjoying them in three?

boat with blue sky

I think it was after I showed this image to Sugar Daddy the other day that he finally asked, "Where are you going to get these photos? Where are you taking Swee'pea???" Indeed, I think anybody seeing me would think I'm mad hauling my sleeping baby in the stroller, creeping around crumbling buildings and up to the edges of rivers with my camera to my eye and my back to the stroller.

graffiti with shadows and pipes

And don't tell Sugar Daddy but when I took this shot, the stroller even started rolling away. Don't worry, it didn't go far and I went to get him before finally putting the camera back up to my eye and pressing the shutter release, my foot wedged under the stroller tire.

Sometimes on these walks I have wondered, what's the point? What's the point of taking all these photos? I can't possibly catalogue all the beautiful shadows and reflections of the world. And even if I could, who would want to look at a catalogue that big? I'm not going to print these images and hang them on my walls, because I don't have enough walls for all these images, not even just the ones from the last week, or even yesterday.

And when I take a picture of yet another old shed, yet another ladder on its side, yet another bicycle with a shiny fender, yet another brick wall, I wonder why. I remember, back when I was into litracha, reading something by Timothy Findley about how recurring images keep popping up in his writing. I seem to remember one was a doorbell echoing in an empty house but I'm not sure. I think it might have been in the intro to Dinner Along the Amazon*. Anyways, I think about that every time I press the shutter in these instances.

These walks have forced me to admit to myself the real reason for not wanting to go back to work: the rediscovery of my two old flames. And I don't want to lose touch with this writing, picture-making, enjoying the sun on her face person, like I did when I started working full-time back in 2000. (Gah! I almost hate to publish that big for fear of the judgment. It was the guilt from this admission that partly led me to the conclusion that maybe it wouldn't be the best if it were possible.)

But I love these leisurely days (well, ok the diaper changes are most certainly NOT leisurely but apart from those), with morning naps writing and afternoon naps in the stroller making pictures, and a somewhat leisurely lunch in the middle; watching Swee'pea make his first forays into finger foods, index finger outstretched as he reaches to pinch each morsel like a crab, quickly jamming it towards his mouth before it falls on the way, and using the back of his fist or his other hand to get it into his mouth if he misses his target on the first try; cleaning out the collection of lost bits from wrinkles and pockets of his clothes, and crevices in the high chair; occasionally watching belly dancing on youtube while we eat, Swee'pea craning his neck to look around me if I get in the way of the screen; discovering he shares my love of cheese, yogurt and aloo gobi but not my dislike of sweet potato.

*Ok, so I finally managed to track down the quote from Timothy Findley. Yay, Interweb! It wasn't a doorbell, it was a door slamming, and it's worth repeating the whole bit here, given what I have just written. Funny how memory works, huh?

"It came as something of a shock, when gathering these stories for collective publication Dinner Along the Amazon (1984)], to discover that for over thirty years of writing my attention has turned again and again to the same unvarying gamut of sounds and images. They not only turn up here in this present book, but in my novels, too. I wish I hadn't noticed this. In fact, it became an embarrassment and I began to wonder if I should file A CATALOGUE OF PERSONAL OBSESSIONS. The sound of screen doors banging; evening lamplight; music held at a distance -- always being played on a gramaphone; letters written on blue-tinted note paper; robins making forays onto summer lawns to murder worms; photographs in cardboard boxes; Colt revolvers hidden in bureau drawers and a chair that is always falling over. What does it mean? Does it mean that here is a writer who is hopelessly uninventive? Appallingly repetitive? Why are the roads always dusty in the man's work -- why is it always so hot -- why can't it RAIN? And my agent was once heard to moan aloud as she was reading through the pages of a television script I had just delivered: "Oh God, Findley -- not more rabbits!" 1

**I also have to share the lyrics to one of the songs I listened to while writing this post; the Bob Marley remixed by Fatboy Slim. It just seems so apt, given my mental meanderings:

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know ya, where I stand

(Monday morning) here I am
Want you to know just if you can
(Tuesday evening) where I stand
(Wednesday morning) tell myself a new day is rising
(Thursday evening) get on the rise a new day is dawning
(Friday morning) here I am
(Saturday evening) want you to know just
Want you to know just where I stand

When the morning gathers the rainbow
Want you to know I'm a rainbow too
So, to the rescue here I am
Want you to know just if you can
Where I stand, know, know, know, know, know

We'll lift our heads and give JAH praises
We'll lift our heads and give JAH praises, yeah

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet now
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know just if you can
Where I stand, know, know, know, where I stand

Monday morning, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Tuesday evening, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Wednesday morning, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Thursday evening, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Friday morning, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop
Saturday evening, scoo-be-doop-scoop-scoop

So to the rescue, to the rescue, to the rescue
Awake from your sleep and slumber
Today could be your lucky number
Sun is shining and the weather is sweet

Dear Nablopomo Folks

I just realized that some of my posts aren't dated correctly. It looks like I posted more than once some days and not at all others. But the reality is that I have been posting every day. It's just that I started some posts the night before when I had some thoughts I didn't want to lose. I didn't finish those posts until the next day when I hit publish, but bloody Blogger shows the date as when I started the post, not when I hit publish. I hope this doesn't disqualify me?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Too much for a comment box

So many posts are bouncing around my mind, clamouring to get out. The loudest, at the moment, is this, inspired by Mad's post. I knew it would be too long for just a comment at her place. So go read her post, because my stream of consciousness, rambling post will likely only make sense in light of hers.

I was first going to comment about my grandma, not the one I wrote about in October, but the one who is still alive and ice-skating and travelling and dancing and telling dirty jokes; my father's (step)mother, Grandma Helen.

I never liked her when I was a kid. She was mean and critical. She'd tell me to stop being a baby and sucking my thumb. I think she used to hide the blanket I sucked my thumb with and the bottle I had until I was something like four (yowsers oral fixation or what?). I don't remember ever hearing a kind word come out of her mouth.

I was quite ecstatic when my parents told me that I had another grandmother (Jo) when I was seven, even though she was sick and dying. (My father's parents married too young, and his mother had an affair while his father was stationed overseas during WWII. The army got involved in their divorce for some reason, and declared her an unfit mother, so my father lived with his grandmother until his father remarried. Does it matter that the Jo went on to marry the man she had an affair with and have four kids with him and was still married to him when she died? Grandma Jo's death, a short time after I first met her, sparked my first exploration of agnosticism and atheism. I had prayed for her to be well so we could do proper grandmotherly things together like I did with my Grandma Ruth. Although my mom tried to say my prayers were answered because she was no longer suffering, I disagreed heartily. No, I told my mom, I quite clearly prayed for her to live. I didn't really care about her suffering.)

More recently, I have gotten to know Grandma Helen as a person, adult to adult. And she has said kind words, or so I've heard from my mom. I laughed when, at my sister's wedding seven years ago (the first time I introduced Sugar Daddy to my entire family after dating for only a few weeks), she yelled at me, "Get that fag outta your mouth!" and later, as I drank my beer, "What are you doing drinking from the bottle? That's not ladylike at all. You'll lose your boyfriend if you keep that up." And the next day when she criticized my ripped, falling-apart, very-loved jeans, "your boyfriend's better dressed than you are. You better smarten up or you'll lose him."

Since I have gotten to know and love her, I have discovered that her life was far from easy. Not that she's shared details, but I have gotten the sense that she was a chubby girl and teen, and has held herself to strict dietary standards. The harsh light she shines on everybody else, shines even harsher on herself.

I was a chubby teen, although I don't think I was a particularly chubby child. My brother called me fat over one summer, probably the summer of puberty. He doesn't remember but I do. And I think it was after that, that I actually got fat. I wanted to say I was a chubby quiet child, but that's not strictly true. I believe I was quite precocious around the ages of 6 and 7. I remember seeing new people move into a house down the street, and the next day I just marched up to that house, knocked on the door, and asked if they had any kids my age. They did and we had a lot of fun together before I moved away.

It was when we moved in grade four that I think I got quiet. The kids teased me and I went home crying every day for three months. One day in grade five, a girl gave me a note that said, "Don't tell anyone but I like you," and I was over the moon. It didn't bother me that she didn't want anyone else to know. It didn't matter. Somebody liked me!! And I'm proud to say that I kept her secret. Grade six got a little easier, and grade seven easier still when we all went to a senior public school and I met five girls who were all as horse crazy as I was.

Puberty was hard, as I think it is for everyone. In grade ten I put on a lot of weight, which I think I lost in grade 11 after some pretty serious depression (of course Sugar Daddy says that's just adolescence, not a clinical depression). I got my first boyfriend in grade 12 and gradually started coming out of the shell that I'd been in for years. I really hit my stride in university, and became more of the person I believe I was meant to be: confident, outgoing, friendly... precocious. That said, I have never really considered myself all that feminine or demure, until I read Mad's definitions.

I have a very strong dignity/shame threshold which might not pass for demureness, but which often feels like it when I find myself in unfortunate or embarrassing situations. My husband knew he wasn't getting a shrinking violet but he also saw all those girly vulnerabilities that tend to only come out in romantic relationships.

Now that I can relate to. In those ways, I am very much feminine and demure

Sign Language

For your viewing pleasure, some signs from recent walks that either made me laugh or cringe.

Onan Generators

I think this is an oxymoron, or irony or something like that... I wonder if they named their company with their tongue in their cheek? Or am I the one who giggles at this? I have for years... ever since my postcolonial lit prof explained what onanism is.

Alliteration Gone Bad

As a corporate communications specialist (the title sounds way more special than the job is), I am horrified... who approved this???

Loonie Wash

Isn't this discrimination? One bath house for the masses, and another for the mentally ill?

Litter for a Feminist

(Ok not really a sign but still...) I had no idea men's bowels differed from women's.

Biltmore Hats I

Dude, fix your sign!

Biltmore Hats II

Uh, ditto! (This place is actually still in business and was even open the very day I shot this.)

I was going to do a whole post about how much this misuse of the word alternate peeves me. But I thought I better check my sources because I had some niggling thought that perhaps it is an acceptable synonym for substitute, which it is. And in this case, it fits. But still, the wrongful substitution of alternate for alternative happens far too often. And I confess, I am a total fuddy duddy when it comes to certain questions of usage, grammar and style. And because I'm me, other questions of usage and grammar, don't bother me at all (some might call it hypocrisy or a double standard, but I don't really care). Lynne Truss hit the nail on the head when she said something about sticklers being unable to unite. The Grammar Puss's survey on grammatical pet peeves a while back was a case in point. Several of the peeves I found, er... well just peevish and unnecessary, like punctuation in emails (and blogs), while others made me enthuse, "Hell yes!" in my head.

Bonus Feature: Conversations with Random Strangers and a Baby

The other day (the day I shot the Biltmore Hat signs) I came upon a woman and several children. A girl, maybe about 5-ish, called out to me, "I like your hat!"

"Thanks, I like your hat too." (It was pink and fleece.)

"Can I look at your baby?" she asked.


"Is it a boy or a girl?"

"It's a boy," I responded.

"Then why is he wearing a girl's outfit?"

(He was wearing the leopard print suit.) (I LOVE leopard print.) "Because his cousin gave it to us and it fits." (I had actually thought it was quite neutral. At least it wasn't pink. I'm still gonna keep dressing him in it...)

There's another conversation I'd like to tell you about but I gotta get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Now with gratuitous Swee'pea pics.

I have finally begun the search for daycare. Finally, I am pulling myself out of De Nile, letting its water run down me and out of my eyes, allowing me to see clearly what I must do.

I remember when Swee'pea was three months old and the thought of ever leaving him was horrific. If I'd had to make the decision whether to return to work then, I would surely have chosen any financial sacrifices to make it happen. But now, I am ok with going back to work. I'm hoping they'll let me return for three days a week, but I'm still waiting to hear on that. And really, Sugar Daddy's income wouldn't keep us afloat on its own.

But I haven't gotten very far. I've looked on the Early Years Centre website for care providers but haven't actually phoned any. Because I can see already that none of them are perfect. They aren't in the location I want, and I didn't see any mention of organic living (not that we are living organically ourselves, but I'd love it if our daycare does).

Air Time

This morning we had a tiff about me showering. Sugar Daddy was late for work but I really needed a shower. I know if the roles had been reversed, he'd have flipped out if I stood in the way of his shower. So I took my shower because really what does 15 minutes matter? In the shower my neck and shoulder started spasming, and continues now; I'm sure the result of lugging 22 pounds of squirming wriggliness all day long, then fighting to keep myself on the outside few inches of bed, or curling myself in some way around 22 pounds of thrashing, rotating arms, legs and butting head all night. Is it me or is our bed tilted just to tip me out?

I found myself wondering in the shower, how will we cope when I return to work? Swee'pea sleeps until 9 most mornings, and I just don't know how we will get the three of us fed and dressed at an early enough hour for Sugar Daddy and I to work an eight-hour day. And we're already both completely tapped out. This weekend was tense, because both Sugar Daddy and I are feeling overstretched. He doesn't get much him time, though he does get the half-hour bike ride to and from work most days. And I don't get much physical time to myself. I love that I've been writing and making photographs, which I do mostly while Swee'pea sleeps. And that I get out once a week for belly dance. But even the things I do for enjoyment mostly seem to take effort. I don't have much that I do to replenish my energy.

This weekend we both talked about how our heads are spinning with the speed of life. Sugar Daddy wants to do yoga more and have more bubble baths (don't we all?). And still I asked him, where do I fit on that list? Because I miss him. I miss how we used to cuddle while we watched ER (now we may manage to watch while watching Swee'pea and keeping him out of trouble but only just). I miss how I used to wash dishes while he cooked, and we'd talk.

Modelling an alpaca wool sweater and toque from my friend who went to Peru for a few weeks just before Swee'pea was born

In the months since Swee'pea was born, and even before he was born, I have always thought that I would like to be a stay-at-home mom if we could manage it financially. But the other day, as I wrestled with Swee'pea and my frustration trying to change his diaper or his clothes, the thought crossed my mind as my impatience grew, that maybe I'm not cut out for it. Even though I'm not hugely ambitious or career-oriented, maybe it's better for me to be at work. And it made me really sad.

I used to think, as Meredith did on Grey's Anatomy, that if you're going to have a child, why would you want someone else to raise it? My mother-in-law has always been very driven, very career-oriented. Once, years ago, when my brother's wife spoke of how amazing and enriching she found motherhood, more than she could ever have imagined, my mother-in-law replied that she never let Sugar Daddy interfere with her career. Growing up in South Africa where domestic labour is cheap cheap cheap, Sugar Daddy had a nanny, which made it a lot easier for his mother to pursue her career. His nanny was very trusted, and Sugar Daddy loved her like a second mother. When he first told me this, I thought, not for my child[ren].

But now that I'm a mother, my opinion has changed (as it has on so many other things). I believe that no-one can love as fiercely as a mother (well except a father). And if you can find someone to care for your children, who they also love, that is only a good thing.

I'd really like to find a hippie-type, granola-crunching daycare. We are not as granola-crunching as I'd like to be, but I think it would be great for Swee'pea to be in that kind of daycare. But when I googled hippie daycare Guelph, nothing came up. How do you find a hippie daycare? There's a woman in my belly dance class who runs a daycare, and she could be a bit granola-crunching (the fact that she belly dances and her husband has dreads is, I think, a good sign). But she's due to have her second child in May, and I'm worried that that will affect the care she provides. She's planning to hire an ECE student for a month, but that seems too short to me. Am I being unreasonable?

There's also a woman around the corner from us who seems perfect. The gingerbread molding on her house is painted a gradient of turquoises, and I've seen her riding her bike in a skirt (Don't you just love what I associate with hippieness?). But she only cares for kids after age 2. Wah!

At the Santa Claus Parade

Anyways, this morning I called Wee Watch to find out what they're all about. So, slowly, like honey dripping and turtles charging, I am looking for daycare. How did you find your daycare providers? Any tips? And if anyone in Guelph reads this and knows of a hippie-type daycare, please let me know.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Foodie Blog Urges

So here's what cooled me off after the whole boobs on a plane rage. We went for a walk to the library and discovered the Santa Claus parade. Now for a ba-humbug confession: I don't like the Santa Claus parade. I don't think I did as a kid either. It's so cold, standing there waiting for Santa, and most of the floats are kinda lame. The local organizations and bands are sweet, but really it's not worth the cold, in my opinion.

At this year's parade, I overheard spectators saying this:

"Too many ambulances, too little Santa."


"Where the fuck is Santa? Brrrrr..."

Afterwards as the spectators trudged home on the sore ice-blocks in their boots: "That was a long one, wasn't it?"

But for all my ba-humbugging, this one did make me laugh. I don't know what it had to do with Santa though.

This one too...

Last week on Breakfast TV I discovered another good reason, besides the cold, to dislike the Santa Claus parade. It was sponsored by Eaton's as a great big mile-and-a-half-long marketing ploy. This tradition was well represented at Guelph's Santa Claus parade:

A local radio station

Our local grocery chain (not even trying to be festive)

* * *

I made dinner after we got home and after I posted. And, since I've been having food blog urges, I'm going to tell you all about it. Although we have been ordering takeout with obscene frequency lately, we love home-cooked meals.

The recipe I used to cook tonight's dinner was given to me by a woman I work with after her friend made it for her. I figured I'd better see if I could find a source online, so as to avoid copyright infringement. Plus, it would be nice not to have to type out all the measurements and stuff. And lo and behold, there it is. Apparently it's an Emeril recipe. I never like watching him 'cause he uses too much meat and the bam bam stuff just annoys me. Oh, and the oohing and aahing audience. That's annoying too.

But this is actually a great vegetarian recipe, IMHO. Just in case you don't feel like clicking over, here it is, with my own notes:

1 pound fusilli or penne (I use farfelle, the bowties)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped red bell peppers (I just use two peppers, and I slice them lengthwise, 'cause I think it looks purty)
1 cup chopped yellow onions (I just use one medium)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional... I just shake some in 'til it looks right)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stock, or canned vegetable broth (I've also just used water when I don't have stock and it was fine)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
8 ounces fresh baby spinach, rinsed well and stems removed (I just use a bunch of big spinach)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I don't do this part)
2 tablespoons heavy cream (sometimes I just use milk)
1/2 cup cubed mozzarella (I don't bother with the mozzeralla, I just like triple the asiago)
1/2 cup grated asiago (I just grate a big pile)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. (I add the chili flakes and a bay leaf or two to flavour the oil now.) Add the bell peppers and onions, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes (I add the peppers just before the garlic). Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the vegetable stock and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, about 5 minutes, and almost all the broth is gone. Crush the peas lightly with the back of a spoon against the side of the pot (I use a potato masher against the bottom; it's easier on my wrists than a spoon against the side). Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss well to coat. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Add the extra-virgin olive oil (I don't add the oil here), cream, and cheeses, and toss to combine. (I adjust seasoning after the cheese because the first time I made it with too much salt.)

Divide the pasta among serving plates and serve immediately. (Duh! Is this instruction really necessary?)

Ooh, and notice the orange plate on which this yummy food sits... I love our new orange and oatmeal dishes. Except, I've noticed that I kind of ignore the oatmeal dishes. I love the orange dishes so much, I've gotten greedy. When I make Sugar Daddy a cup of tea or put something on a plate, I always give him the oatmeal dishes and keep the orange for myself.

Also, my sister-in-law gave me this fantastic recipe for banana bread, which I made a couple of weeks ago. She made us some right after Swee'pea was born and it was just what the doctor ordered. I have no idea where she got the recipe from but it's great! I just followed her instructions exactly.

(pre-new dishes)

Banana Oat Loaf

1/2 c butter or marg
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c hot water
1 c mashed bananas (3-4, the riper the better)
3/4 c chopped nuts(optional)
2 eggs beaten
2 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I usually reduce this a bit)
I add chocolate chips as well (3/4 c-1 c? I just eyeball it)

Place soft butter, sugar, oats, hot water, mashed bananas and nuts in large bowl. Stir until well blended. Add beaten eggs. Beat until well blended. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; add to first mixture all at once and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.(if desired) Spoon evenly into greased loaf pan. (9 x 5 x 3 inch)

Bake at 350 degrees about 65 minutes or until done.

Remove from loaf pan, cool on rack. Let stand for a few hours before slicing (If you can wait that long).

If you decide to try any of these recipes, let me know how you like them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Boobs on a Plane

I am still reeling from this. I feel like I was punched in the gut; I can't catch my breath, and feel slightly sick. A woman got kicked off a Delta flight for nursing her 22-month-old daughter. The airline says she was being indiscreet. That they support breastfeeding provided it's done discreetly.

Who determines what is discreet?!? And why can't breastfeeding be just fine as it is, anywhere, anytime?

Email Delta here.

Mouse wrote a great piece about this too.


Ok. I've had time to cool down and I think I can be slightly coherent now. I think I felt so horrified by that story because I identify with that mother quite personally. We will be flying with Swee'pea in January to South Africa and I feel slightly less nervous about the trip knowing that I always have my boobs. To think that someone could be offended by me nursing him on the plane, where even if I wanted to go somewhere private, there is absolutely nowhere to go; except one of those tiny bathrooms, which I'm quite sure the two of us couldn't fit into comfortably anyways, and anyways I promised myself and Swee'pea long ago that I would never ever feed him in a bathroom (except at Sears because they have a separate sitting room with couches).

I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge nurser in public. I do it when necessary but if I can avoid it, by nursing him before we go out or when he was younger scheduling outings for the time between feedings, I will. Lately this has gotten harder to do, because he's eating more solids and his nursing times are less predictable. So in the past week I have found myself nursing him at a pub, at a dance performance in the theatre during intermission, and at the Farmer's Market. These times have made me realize that I just don't care anymore. He's on and off the boob pretty regularly and easily distracted so I'm sure I flash the odd flesh and/or nipple. And it just takes too much effort to care. It's enough just to hold onto this squirmy bundle of joy now, and not let him fall on his head again.

I also mentioned last week that I went to a workshop on deciding whether to wean when returning to work. I have pretty much decided to continue nursing him, pretty much until he doesn't want to anymore. I will play it by ear, and I may whittle down the number of feeds at some point, or I may not. I am still waiting to hear if I can return part-time, and obviously that will affect the logistics of our continued breastfeeding relationship. My sister continues to breastfeed her 2 1/2 year old daughter, although only twice a day, and never in public. Thanks to my sister, I learned that breastfeeding doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing with an older child, and you don't have to wean when you go back to work.

The other night when I was out with some friends, my young single friend asked if I was going to keep "doing it" when I return to work; she didn't even want to utter the words breastfeed or breastmilk. I discussed my breastfeeding relationship without thinking twice, but I did notice some tension around the table. I have no idea where it was coming from but it was most definitely there. And my other friend, who has two boys both born at home, both breastfed, said that one son lost interest at 9 months and with the other one she figured "she should stop this" around 14 months. I thought her choice of language was pretty telling: should, not wanted to; this, not nursing or breastfeeding.

I used to think that nursing a toddler was a bit weird. I had a few friends and acquaintances who did, and while I said more power to them, and recognized that it was my problem that I felt weird not theirs, I didn't think it was the thing for me. But since I've been breastfeeding, I realize it's really not weird at all.

Somewhere, since I started breastfeeding, I saw a quote from an African man who could remember nursing as a child. It was a beautiful quote and he talked about the sun and warmth and scent and dust... and comfort. I thought it was on the web, but perhaps it was in some book. Anyways I can't find it now. But when I read it, I thought hmmm, that's kinda weird. A child nursing so long that he can remember drinking at his mother's breast.

Yesterday I mentioned this to Sugar Daddy as we discussed the question of weaning. And he pointed out that this kind of memory is only weird because we oversexualize the breast. I love that he can unravel these things for me.

Regardless, in deciding to join the extended nursers' club, I was quite clear in my own head that it wouldn't necessarily be something that I talk about with just anybody. That I would be a bit in the closet. That I'm not really an activist. That's why I didn't come out and say in last week's post that I was leaning towards child-led weaning. I didn't think it was something I wanted to blog about. But now I have to.

This news makes me want to become a lactivist, in the most inclusive and supportive sense of the word. At the workshop, we discussed the issue of nursing your toddler in public, and how it's pretty normal in many other parts of the world, and very much the more natural choice, but that many in our culture of the oversexualized breast are uncomfortable with seeing a nursing toddler. And the lactation consultant said that maybe if more people see nursing toddlers, eventually it will become more acceptable and normal. So perhaps there is some responsbility in choosing to continue our nursing relationship to make it a little bit public? To be a bit of an activist? To make it easier for those who come after me? I don't know. I'll see when I get there. (And I hope I don't need to clarify that with discovering this sense of responsibility, I am in no way judging my sister or others who choose to continue their breastfeeding relationship in safety behind closed doors.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mittens are the new shoes (or handbags)

Last night, I went out for an alcoholic beverage with some friends, sans Swee'pea or Sugar Daddy, to celebrate Duff's birthday. I call him Duff because he's a total Homer. And proud of it.

It was just what I needed to recharge my batteries. I wore my rainbow shootin' mitts, because I didn't have time to put the string through my coat. And while I was out I discovered something magical:

My money pouch TOTALLY matches the rainbow shootin' mitts.

After my university years reverie, walking downtown, at night, by myself, to a bar, for alcohol, with friends, was a real memory trip. And it didn't end there... my friend was drinking gin martinis and I mentioned that when I was in high school, I used to drink gin while soaking in my parents' Victorian clawfoot tub. On Thursday nights my parents both had things they did, so I got my friend with the fake ID to by me a mickey of gin and I drank it, often in the tub (Gawd, I hope my parents don't read this. If you do, Mom, just don't mention it. Just don't bother). It was fun. Of course my friends last night were all, "Ooh that's so hardcore." But it really wasn't, and it was probably only a handful of times.

Anyways, Duff, because he's so Homer, was all like, "I wish I'd known you in high school," slightly lasciviously but ultimately harmless, the way he likes to in front of his wife.

I laughed. "No, you'd like to have known me in university."

And Banana's husband, hmmm what to call him... well I'll have to come up with that later. Anyways, he pointed out that the university me sounds completely different from the now me. And he has a hard time imagining me doing the things that I tell them about. Which I thought was rather apropos given my post yesterday... which neither he nor Banana read.

So. Banana's husband... I'd really like to give him his own name because he's a pretty neat person. He's got all the charm of a total geek and passion for geeky things like the Matrix, and history and stuff (so he gets along great with Sugar Daddy and was our best man), but with really great social and conversational skills. And he's pretty attentive about keeping Banana's glass filled with wine. As a teenager he planned to be a priest, and climbed tall buildings for fun. I can't remember exactly how but he did. I think he even got busted for it once. So I really want to give him his own name... ah well, my mind is a blank. It's a lot of pressure, this naming business. And I feel like I failed poor Banana in her name. Maybe I'll just ask him the next time I see him.

Anyways, there were many funny moments during the few hours I was out:

Duff got a bl*w job for his birthday (the shooter, you perv). But he refused to drink it in the traditional way with his hands behind his back. He was scared it'd end up all over his shirt... Well I suppose it is a risk.

And Banana's husband said a number of things that cracked me up.

First, "I thought of you today. I was at Pond's and a woman walked in with red hair and two different shoes."

Banana corrected him: It's socks, dear. Cinnamon gurl wears mismatched socks, not shoes.

Then, when I ordered curry and chips with mild sauce, the curry sauce turned out crazy hot. I thought maybe I was on crack and just being a wimp but several people at the table confirmed it was hot as hell when smoke came out their ears.

More gems from Banana's husband resulted: "Ooh, Swee'pea is gonna get some spice-ay milk tonight... ohhh yeeeah."

Then: "Sugar Daddy has a hot tongue, doesn't he?"

Me: "Er, well yes he does... he also really likes hot spicy food, so I'll bring the curry and chips home for him."

My friend, who I'll call Wild One, because she totally is, told us about her brother's wedding early in October. I won't go into the details but she woke up in a hotel room in a hotel she didn't know about, with two groomsmen on one side of her on the king-size bed, and the three other groomsmen on the other side (all fully clothed in last night's finery, with even their shoes still on). How sweet is that? Still drunk at 7:30 am, she made her way to the front desk to ask her way back to the hotel where her family was, apparently a 20-minute drive but she decided to walk it, still wearing her fancy dress and shoes, still drunk, with transports driving past and honking at her. I'd have loved to see her walking down the street.

* * *

This morning, Sugar Daddy turned on the Asian channel, because it helps him with his Chinese (Mandarin I think) lessons. Today a man called Mustapha Koc was speaking. Too funny! Geddit?

And I put my green mittens in my coat to go to the Farmer's Market. And I LOVE having my mittens on a string!! It is SO handy (hee hee).

And one final random tidbit. Sugar Daddy loves music and is great at keeping me somewhat current. The other night he was playing some stuff on the computer and one song really got my attention.

"What is that?!?" I asked excitedly.

"The Gorillaz."

"That song is hot!" (Well mostly it's the first 30 seconds, but play this video and see if it doesn't make you wanna get some.) Boy, this blog has gotten kinda dirty lately. How did that happen?

ps: I know no one really cares but with all the talk of my former boozehound status I feel the need to clarify that I only had one *really* nice glass of riesling last night. I would have loved to have another one but I didn't figured Swee'pea would want to nurse as soon as I got home.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Warm Woolen Mittens

Today I found mittens that make me happy.

Not only do I love their flowers, but they're on a string. So I will never again lose just one mitten (Despite my policy on lonely socks, I do not wear mismatched mittens -- too many differences in thickness, warmth and texture to cope with. Plus that just looks weird), like I have with every single pair (boy that's a funny phrase: single pair) of mittens I have ever owned before. Barring some kind of tragedy involving scissors or a knife, of course. Oh -- and they're lined with fleece, so they are SO soft and warm. Yum.

But then I saw these, which are not lined with fleece but have the fingerless option, which is great for camera work in the winter, and slightly more cool factor (both literally and figuratively).

I had a really hard time deciding.

So I did the really extravagant thing and bought them both. Because the rainbow ones were on sale for $7.99 so I didn't think it was really that extravagant. (Man, extravagant has a lot of a's.)

The only incongruent thing about this import store was that they were playing Rod Stewart. Loudly. And I mostly agree with Beck on this one.

After I bought them I started walking home. A ways down the street, I remembered that my hands were cold (the whole reason for buying mittens in the first place). Because I was pushing the stroller, I couldn't tuck them up in my sleeves like turtle heads to protect them from the wind. So I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to put the green ones on, with Swee'pea in front of me. Suddenly I heard a voice right next to me and turned just in time to nearly lose my nose as a man whizzed by on his bicycle. On the sidewalk. Through a tunnel under the tracks, which opens onto narrow sidewalk with a steep embankment on one side and a railing on the other. No bell, no "yoo hoo, comin' through;" just something muttered under his breath as he whooshed by.

Aarrgghh!!! I really dislike people, especially adults, riding bikes on the sidewalks (I can forgive kids as long as they're courteous to the pedestrians). I can just barely tolerate it if adults ride slowly and politely, and defer to the sidewalk's rightful inhabitants: pedestrians (ME!). I mean, Guelph's streets are covered with bike lanes; there's no good reason not to use them.

If you add a baby to the mix... SLOW DOWN ASSHOLE! And buy a flippin' bell and RING IT (at the risk of incurring more stroller rage if baby is sleeping)! Or just SLOW DOWN!

I have a feeling this could be a peevish weekend. Except I have such lovely mittens to keep my hands warm.

Flashback Friday: Uni Years

Each week the Flashback Friday: Feminist Edition will feature a story that has something to do with being or becoming a woman or feminist. This series will continue until I run out of stories. I love having guest bloggers. If you have a story you want to tell and you want to be a guest blogger here, please email me; or feel free to link to your own story in the comments.

Since I started this series, I have been struggling to remember some material from my university years. I just know it was full of gender dynamics. Unfortunately, my memories from that time are decidedly hazy. I drank a lot. So much so, that after second year I promised myself I would never sign up for a class before noon because I just never made it, no matter how good my intentions were at the beginning of the semester.

I also played a lot of pool. The bar at the UC had a broken pool table, which they didn't fix for at least a couple of years, where we could play for free. So we did. all. day. long. A lot of gender politics played out for me across pool tables. Most days I skipped my classes to play, and I learned so much about technique from the guys I played with: Big Paul, with his intimidating shiny bald head, was an incredible player and did all kinds of crazy trick shots. Often he'd clear the table in one or two turns. But when he got too drunk, there was a violence and rage that emanated from him. Luckily it only happened a couple of times that I saw. And he was always great about sharing his pool knowledge with me; and he never ever made comments about girls playing pool or not being as good as guys. None of the guys I played with did.

Then there was Flicky Hair Geoff... he had glorious long hair that he always flicked back before he took a shot. He and I once tried unsuccessfully to get together one drunken time. He wasn't as good a player (pool that is) as Big Paul, but he was always up for a beer and a game. I think he and I probably logged the most hours at that table. Sadly he's had his heart broken a couple of times since those pool playing days, and cut his hair, but he keeps plugging away at grad school in various Ontario towns.

Occasionally Matty Ghan stopped by. He was also a wicked pool player and had a much bigger cool factor than any of the other guys I played with. I started crushing on him the first time I saw him, and soon struck up a conversation and invited him to join our pool posse. My crush sort of disappeared as I got to know him, I don't know why. But my roommate and I had a great time with him. Before we met him, he used to be a dj and made tons of money, most of which he snorted up his nose. But he'd cleaned up and started school as a mature student. He had scars on his forehead from when he broke his neck and had to wear a halo screwed into his skull for weeks or months. My favourite thing about him was that he only let me and my roommate call him Matty Ghan; he never tolerated it from anyone else (of course I don't know if anyone else tried) and it made us feel special. I haven't seen him in years and years and years. But I still think about him and I hope he's still clean.

There was also Little Paul, who was lousy at pool but kept us in stitches with his crazy talk. He was mostly sane, except when he smoked pot, and then he thought aliens were either about to steal his penis, or just had. I had a crush on him too, but it never went anywhere either.

I loved the guys I played pool with every day. I also loved going out to bars with my pool skills, and kicking some serious pool ass. Some guys were totally unenlightened, mostly jock, asses, who invariably made comments when I put my loonie on the table, or when I racked the balls up to start a game. They thought they'd walk all over me. Everybody knows that women can't play pool. It's a man's sport. Sometimes the pressure would get to me and I'd choke. But other times I'd kick their asses and they'd either get really angry and walk away, or shake my hand, new respect in their eyes, and attitudes changed.

One time, a woman joined our little group for about a year. She even had her own cue, which she carried in a case, and she had reportedly paid for at least one year's tuition by playing for money. I loved playing with her at bars because she always picked up my slack. She was a lesbian, and once told me that I was too, I was just so far in the closet I couldn't see it. I stopped liking her so much then. I started liking her even less after one time when I was so hammered I was falling down (so I was told, I blacked out and can't remember anything). She was so desperate to get into my friend's pants, she let me walk home alone in that state (granted I was apparently pretty angry at the thought of anyone helping me but still). She was completely sober, so she has no excuse.

Anyways, what I pieced together from the Short Stop clerk, was that I walked (weaved, staggered) home, and stopped on my way at the Short Stop for a chocolate bar. But the clerk couldn't get it through my head that I had to pay. Eventually I did. Apparently the police stopped me outside the store because they thought I was driving in that state. About a half-hour later I poked my head back in the store and asked the clerk if the coast was clear (ie. no police). She has no idea where I was for that time.

Eventually, I must have made it home. The next morning I woke up to the phone ringing and another friend was asking me where the friend with the pants was. I had no idea. I thought I'd had a dream of being at the pool player's apartment and said so. Sure enough it wasn't a dream. When I checked my pockets, I had six loose cigarettes that I must have bummed off someone, a chocolate bar and change from a twenty. The pool player ended up dating my friend for several months, but I never really forgave her for letting me walk home in that state. I know, I shouldn't have gotten myself in that state in the first place, but still...

My university years were a constant stream of crushes and unrequited love. I was brazen and contrary and excessive at every opportunity. I was proud of how much I could drink, I was proud of the guts I had, to keep putting completely unsubtle moves on guys I didn't know. It was certainly a time of testing my limits and experimentation, or at least what I can remember of it. I had some great girlfriends and we were a tight-knit group of five until T started dating D's thumping crush, and W slept with M's girlfriend, and we splintered.

D and M loved to experiment with their hair, and I loved hanging out with them, 'cause it made me feel cool (I never had the guts to shave my head but I so admired theirs). Each week was a different colour and style; but they always involved crazy bright colours and copious amounts of gel. My favourite was when D did a Pinhead sort of hairstyle from Hellraiser, with fuschia and electric blue spikes sticking out of a mostly shaved 'do.

Eventually, my gut gave out, and I had an unpleasant encounter with a guy from a bar, and I gradually stopped drinking because it made me feel sick, and I quit school and therefore playing pool (I get so sad on the occasions when I try to play again and I totally suck), and started working full time and blah blah blah... I started a real life.

I still have real nostalgia for those years and the freedom I didn't appreciate then.

Yay! Sunshine Scribe, from whom I stole the Flashback Friday idea from, has been nominated for a Canadian Blog Award, for that very series. Congratulations, Sunshine! And, to toot my own horn, can I pick great ideas to steal, or what?