Saturday, December 31

Overheard in the Car aka Happy New Year

parked in front of the beer store playing 'eye spy'



Ethan - I spy with my liiiiittle eye, something that is yellow!
Me - Hmm.. 
Ethan - I will give you three clues
  1. it has bubbles
  2. you and Daddy like it
  3. Gabey doesn't like it
Me - is it beer?
Ethan - YES!!




Have a great night everyone!

Wednesday, December 28

Like fire and powder

As a former English major (I try not to remind people of that constantly, like buy them dictionaries and scoff at their texting and shit, but I did once have tonnes of time to read!) and a secret obsessive lover of many things Shakespeare, you can imagine that having a favourite passage is kinda nerdy to confess.. but for whatever reason this has always been mine.  I thought I would share it, going into a new year.. I am reminded you can read a passage so many times and each year we change, it gains a different meaning.


These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which as they kiss consume: The sweetest honey is loathsome in his own deliciousnessAnd in the taste confounds the appetite: Therefore love moderately
Read more: William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene VI 




Oh and just to set things straight, as a rule, you should always listen to what Friar Lawrence says.. except when he tells you to pretend to kill yourself.

Live well, love moderately, 2012.

Saturday, December 24

Merry Christmas

Differences from this year and last year:

  • if you think your child won't notice that the Santa at the mall and the Santa in his special Christmas video are different, he will
  • if you think your child won't stumble into your open closet and see his gift from Santa, which you then have to return and buy a different one, he will
  • if you think your child won't burst into tears because he confesses he hasn't been good at all this year and is very sure he won't get anything for Christmas, he will
  • if you think your child won't point out a minor bulge in his stocking early and discover there is stuff in it, he most definitely will


So the only difference really is I need to be exponentially smarter every year.  Fantastic.  Have a great Christmas everyone, I have 3 hours of wrapping to complete and a bunch of wine that will not drink itself.  Good night!




"Well, there are candles.. a lot of them.. and you get presents, so, it's like birthday party everyday!"
- Ethan, age 5, on his understanding of Hanukah 



Thursday, December 22




The Vegas trip we are planning for our 30th, if it happens, is probably the most excited I'm going to be for anything in 2012.  I don't even know what I want us to do first, drug her on the roof of some building or gamble all our money away on one hand of high stakes poker and spend the rest of the trip sleeping in the desert.  What I do know is I am making her eat one recipe from the White Trash cookbook per meal every day we are there.  Starting with the Peanuts and Pepsi.... ending with something called Pone, or anything made with cooter.

And it's fixed!

My phone screen that is, not the baby.  However we did get sent home yesterday after two more nights there.. and he should be fine soon.  Just thought I'd update that anecdote since it's really annoying when people don't do that.

Kieran did get a few famous visitors while he was there though.  The mayor came by the hospital and gave him a book, and Wayne Gretsky's dad visited while we were out but gave him a bear.  I just wanted to add that this whole experience and seeing the families who have to stay there over the holidays, you could say we're having horrible luck.. or are very fortunate, depending on how you like to see it.  I like to think we're very fortunate.

One thing I did find funny, which I really needed, was I got Andrea's Christmas package while I was at the hospital.. what was inside?


Want to know a really great low-cal pick me up?  Peanuts in a bottle of Pepsi.  YOUR WELCOME!  More awesome recipe's inside, guys!

I also had a really funny moment when I was walking outside last night with Brooke, who just got home for the holidays yay!, and she had just asked how I was doing.  I said "you know, I'm doing much better now" and did I not step in the only foot sized hole in the ground and fall down that very second??  why yes I did!  and it really hurt!  Haha.. guess I will not be telling anyone how well I'm doing for a little while longer.  Back to cookin' vittles.....

Monday, December 19

What else, December?

For what reason I am typing this I don't even know, boredom is probably 80% of it, because my iPhone screen is completely shattered and working only due to a huge piece of tape. Has anyone has seen that video of the guy opening his iPhone 4s when it came out and he was so careful about it and then his friend comes out of nowhere and smashes it with a hammer and runs away? If you have you know for about 10 seconds you aren't sure if there is anything worse on earth to happen to this guy.

As the literal glass dust crunches under my fingers I only wish that was my biggest problem today but sadly I almost don't care. I do wonder if that guy caught up to his shitty friend and beat the crap out of him though. Today is like the phone hammer moment played on an annoying video loop. Especially since my boredom today is caused by spending the whole night at the hospital and some terrifying hours watching my baby boy in pain. This is the second time this month I am here with one of my kids that if I hadn't lost my sense of humor about 10 hours ago I'd say something like, with Gabriel being a little like curious George and a rabid dog mixed together.. I might as well invite social services over ahead of time.

I wish I had some control over these things and like anyone, or any parent, hate to be reminded that I am not in charge of any of it. I'm sure it would be a relief to some to give up a little control and I wish I knew what I was about Christmas that makes me want to set everything right. This year that seems far off but even so I have this idea that if I sit and watch the lights outside long enough, at peace enough, it somehow will.

Saturday, December 17

The one story I will post about Christmas shopping

.. and two about buying alcohol, just for fun.



  1. We have a little extra shopping to do around this time of year since Gabriel is a Christmas baby and it's his birthday on the 20th.  His actual 'Santa' gift hasn't even been purchased yet, we just had enough time to get the really BIG items while Ethan was gone for the day. And I actually do mean BIG as in size.  His birthday present is the biggest, fattest, stuffed dog you'll ever see.  It unsnaps at the bottom to become flat to the size of almost an actual toddler bed.  So after I held onto this thing during a 15 minute line-up.. accidentally knocking a bunch of shit over because the isles are so small.. and I get this motherfucker in an actual bag that I can thankfully drag a little on the ground because my hands are cramped from gripping it (I'm also pushing a stroller somehow, Sean had the other waiting at the exit) I suppose I walked in front of an old lady and she exclaimed that I had cut her off, my god, can you even believe the nerve I must have?  I totally did it on purpose and should just apologize for existing in the mall and wanting to buy something while anyone else was also shopping.

    I like to hum a little fa la la la la laaaa to myself whenever that happens.

  2. Could it be due to the holidays that I have been carded at the liquor store the last four times I was by myself?  I really look like I was born before 1992, I know.  I shouldn't know anything about the 80s.  One of my talents is pegging people's ages, which is why I am serious when I say nobody should ask me how old they look hoping for a compliment.  That does happen frequently and nomatter what I take it as a challenge to be as accurate as possible.  Any person on Earth who thinks I am an underage teen enough to make me pull out my ID I consider to just be bad at their jobs: FACT.

    2(a) Once was just annoying and the lady thought I should be super happy she even asked me for ID because it's a huge honour.. right.  At least it wasn't like the time before when I had to get my ID from the car which was just stupid.

    2(b)Once I chalked it up to wearing my Chococat scarf and vowed to take it off next time.
  3. This time it's personal......


Wednesday, December 14

We didn't love you that year

I don't know what it is about the love/hate relationship little kids have with Santa Claus.  I've often wondered at my part in all of this, if I am creating a whole elaborate Christmas charade where I flat out lie to my kids just to end up having the whole idea scare the shit out of them.   In their little minds, with all the mythical stories and 800 reminders that Santa is watching for good or bad behaviour, does meeting him just make them lose their minds?  I am not sure if any other parent has thought about it as much as I have but my ultimate decider on committing to 'Santa' with Ethan was that every other kid my kids meet will have stories about Santa, his reindeer, and the excitement of a magic present giver delivering things at night.  I'm 29 years old and I still don't want to mess with the memory I have of presents from Santa by giving my parents any credit for doing it all.  I'm sure Santa did it at least one year?  He was just super busy with not existing all the other years, I get it.

This is why I was 12 when my Dad actually had to say to me, you don't really believe in Santa anymore do you??  Listen.. I wasn't sure how dry-ice worked, it was at least possible!

So.. when Gabriel grows up and sees the picture with Santa from Christmas 2011 and asks where he was I will just tell him.. Sweetheart, we loved you enough to let Santa scare the shit out of you.



Saturday, December 10

Final Draft

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out... which is now*



Title: That's.... Information
July 28, 2011


Sometimes I have an inner conflict between poking fun at how unbelievably strange my mother is, and telling someone to shut their goddamn mouth for talking badly about her.  Ugh.. this must be what it feels like to be Irish.


You see, my mom has a bearded dragon.. that she found.. his name is Oliver.  She walks around with Oliver perched on her shoulder everywhere she goes.




When we took the kids to the fair, Oliver was there.  She was carrying around a bag of cotton candy and a bearded dragon, with my delightful 5 year old running beside her.  He adores her, btw.  It might have something to do with her petitioning 100x harder than he does for us to get a dog.. in front of him and everything.

Almost every person we saw at the fair (which was kind of a lot) would either stop her to say 1) is it real? 2) zomg! it's real 3) HOW COOL I LOVE THOSE THINGS, LADY STOP AND TALK TO ME.  And then she'd have to talk to them for about 17 minutes.  Her idea, not theirs.

I'll admit Oliver is certainly cool, if my mom was a 13 year old boy and not what I'm sure everyone was referring to her as 'the bearded dragon lady' .. you see my inner struggle here, right?  Like all tragedies in life it is one that will never be resolved.  Fun fact I learned today.. Oliver also has a special lizard harness, you know, for walks.

Tuesday, December 6

Draft Fourteen and Fifteen

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*





Title: The Gift Spoiler
December 24, 2010



I am not sure there is one in every family, but in my family there is a gift spoiler.  Unless I manage to stop talking to my grandfather at the end of November, and never see him until Christmas Day, there's a huge likelihood he will tell me either what I am getting from them.. or anyone else dumb enough to tell him what they bought me, or both.  In some random conversation he'll be all .. oh man, you're going to like the new ___ you're getting! and I will pretend I did not hear him (for whose benefit I'm not sure.. mine?)  I think it's kind of like the idea of GET EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS except with specific reasons I'm guessing because I haven't believed in Santa Claus in 18 years.



Let's be clear that I never ask, or hint, or complain that I really want to know what I am getting for Christmas (or any occasion, really).  I am the kind of person who puts value on the actual day things are happening, and as a kid I protested anytime my parents begged to have me open a gift early.  It's not Christmas until I go to bed and wake up, haven't you paid attention to any of the books???? You're doing it wrong! And I am very much still that way.  It's almost as if the world will start falling apart if we don't stick to the days we agreed upon to celebrate things... what's next??? we may as well just throw the calendar out!




Title: Overheard in the house
October 17, 2010


I needed to get more supplies upstairs.  You didn't know that.  You think about that in your mind, please.           - Ethan, upon finding the baby-gate up

Monday, December 5

Even a candy cane can do this












I know some people are a little annoyed with all this talk of peanut allergies in schools, etc. and for the most part I completely agree.  I am sharing these photos of my son Ethan as a reminder for those that never 'see' the effects of a serious allergy that Halloween isn't the MOST dangerous time of year for peanut allergy kids. 


As a parent, I ask to please be diligent this holiday season of giving peanut free chocolate or candy at school parties or family gatherings.  This reaction was caused by something with merely a trace amount of peanut.



Friday, December 2

Some girls, some girls are only about that thing

Here's a confession for you that you're going to love, and by you I mean the Internet who loves weird things, because I have no idea who the hell is reading this.  It's super lame and therefore the absolute truth.

Back when we used to listen to actual cassette tapes for entertainment, my personal 'on repeat' favourites when I was around 10-13 were.. no joke.. Frank Sinatra classics and Bill Cosby's stand up titled "is a very funny fellow.. right" when my parents left me alone in the apartment for a few hours.  The best part was the Karate segment.





I totally wish I were joking but Bill Cosby was the best, and I totally didn't feel like I was by myself anymore.  I really hated being by myself for some reason.  And Frank Sinatra, well, I can't explain that one.......  any more than I can explain my fascination with learning all the words to Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (that thing)"

Uh we can just pretend this post never happened.. right?

Baby, it's cold outside




Last night my middle boy, Gabriel, wanted to watch this video over and over. I thought it was appropriate for today since it is actually very cold outside. Have a great second day of December, everyone.

Thursday, December 1

Draft Thirteen

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*


Title: Are you f*#!@ grumpy?
October 16, 2010





I spent until 1:30am last night Skype chatting with Andrea so if this video is somehow not as funny as I think it is, it's because I'm seriously tired.

Wednesday, November 30

Xmixtape

I was driving back from Spin class last night, too tired to even curse our instructor from hell, and got a cool idea for Christmas 'xmixtape' gift to send to Andrea.  I don't usually send gifts but not because I'm a bad friend (debatable?) but because I am never sure what will make it where and when.  So if you read that right it should say I'm too much of a control freak for real mail.  Then I start questioning whether the person would actually like it as much as I thought they would when I had the idea, and if by the time I make it to the post office I haven't concluded with certainty that their heart would burst from happiness the moment they open it... NO DICE.  And if nothing else, my pen dies halfway and the rest of your name will look like it was mailed by a psycho killer.

If that doesn't paint me in the best light imaginable then I don't know what will!  Let's just add this to the amazing list of things I am the BEST at being horrible at..


  • mailing things
  • wrapping anything
  • having working pens
  • parking a van
  • folding dress shirts
  • leaving my keys behind
  • playing pool
  • giving directions
  • making a list of things I am good at


Monday, November 28

Just saying

Someone searched for this site this week by typing "wine gun" into Google.  I just wanted to say how much I wish that existed if only so I could say I own one and, in my old age, patrol my property in my housecoat with it at ungodly hours and make signs saying that I will shoot on sight.

Also, until I went crazy from being old, I'd shoot people at Christmas parties.  That would be my 'thing'.

Draft Twelve

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*


Title: No title
July 2, 2010




“It’s funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding that exact point when everything changed.” ~Sarah Dessen

Sunday, November 27

Draft Eleven

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*




Title: No title.
June 22, 2010




If I could paint a picture for you for a minute, of a warm summer night, maybe when you were young.  The air was heavy and smelled like sweet grass.  It was just after dusk and although it's still a blue sky you can see the moon and you notice maybe some of the street lights coming on.  You're out on the front lawn or riding your bike.. something like that.  Maybe it's even quiet, except for the hum of an outdoor air conditioner, some birds chatting or perhaps that lone car driving past really slow with their club music turned up and you half listen to it trail off the farther it gets.  It's really easy, now that you're an adult, remembering nights like that - weather is great for those kinds of memories.  They can happen over and over again.  Then amongst all the other sounds you hear the distinct sound of someone from the next house jumping off a diving board in the backyard and splashing in their pool.  You can't see it so you think those motherfuckers have a pool back there??  Another jump.  Another big splash.  They do, they totally have a fucking pool.  Why haven't I ever heard them in their pool until now?  What exactly IS back there?

The hedges are really high between you so there's not much you can see but a huge pink rosebush growing over onto your side, which smells really sweet and looks pretty.  You pick a few of them as you lean into the fence of greenery hoping for a little peek.  The idea of how awesome a pool would be on a night like that hadn't even come to mind until you heard the mystery neighbors having fun... completely out of sight.  Pick a few roses and you head inside where it's cool, maybe making your screen door spring shut behind you, and you put them in a tall glass with water on the kitchen table.   They even look nice there.

Some days you're the neighbors with the pool, some days you're just listening to things and other stranger days you are the hedge right between the two.

Saturday, November 26

Draft Ten

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*




Title: No title
May, 5 2010

It's been increasingly difficult, the last few years, to ignore certain things in my personal family life.  Don't get me wrong though I do try and ignore them as much as humanly possible because I LIKE being a functioning human being.  This isn't a scene from Gossip Girl though.. I'm not, even at 28, too impossibly cool to wonder at what will happen to my mother if she keeps on the way she is.

I was raised to believe that the word fair just doesn't mean anything.. along with the word sorry.  Nothing is fair and being right means never having to say you're sorry.  Mother's Day is coming up and like I said to Daisy Fuentes and her pilates routine.. I have some stuff I'm working through right now.  My Mom, for example, went missing for 4 days and decided to give me some story that wasn't even true about how she was in simple terms "renovating" a house and living in it, eating there, with a bunch of cockroaches and mice, yet not being paid or have any expectations of being paid any proper way.   She has a place to sleep and eat, for free, but clearly this place had a better offer she didn't want to tell me about.  In the real world we call that a crack house.

Friday, November 25

Driving conditions



We've had some extremely windy weather this past month and with all the fallen leaves it's made for some interesting driving conditions.  One night I was driving my mother home and I thought there might as well have been a tornado of 18,000 leaves in the street.  It made me think of this summer I was at the cottage and I was driving my two babies around some extremely dark dirt roads in order for them to fall asleep.  At the time I was pretty tired, and it was a last ditch effort, but when they suddenly fell asleep the thunderstorm that had been coming turned into a lightening storm.  Driving through a lightening storm in the middle of nowhere is actually pretty fucking cool.  What is even more awesome, if I could actually ever really describe it to you, is that both of those times a great song came on the radio.  I like radio because it's just random.. I don't know why but I like not being in control of whatever I'm listening to.  In any event, I enjoyed the shit out of both those drives because it was just something that happened, I can't make happen again, but felt awesome to be there.

Here's to all those great things that just happen to us.




Wednesday, November 23

Draft Seven and Eight

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*





Title: No title
June 13, 2009



I can't believe I gave my grandmother's Holocaust ring to a complete stranger.





Title: No Title
June 15, 2009

After our neighbors had their 80th party of the summer.. we really wanted to spend the Sunday out and about.  Cycling down to Easterbrooks for a foot-long hot dog, fries and ice cream somehow turned into a 20k ride to Dundern Castle around Hamilton and back.  It was so pretty out, and sunny, and all the flowers were out and smelling great... then some cotton or something started "snowing" and blowing around.. it was seriously a wonderful day to be outside.  I'll admit though I had a great ride but my ass gave up the last 30 mins or so.. it has finally recovered a whole 4 days later.  When I got home I noticed I ended up not getting a little sun but literally came back with an actual tan.  Right now I'd be expecting to complain about my horrible burn as I didn't put on any sunscreen but I'll take it!  It's never happened before.

You know what else has never happened before?  Would you like to know what happens to a fish when someone dumps the whole can of food flakes in the water?  First of all the fish thinks it's great, until you actually forgot to clean it and went out for the day and came back when it was half dead.


It was swimming on it's side which said to me I'd be flushing it later. From the only other time I'd seen that happen to a fish at my grandparents, my grandfather announced it was going to die while my grandmother thought it was fine and she could rig some sort of weight/brace to make the fish swim right.  Sounds like something my mother would say.  Even I knew that was a dumb idea and I was maybe 10.. it didn't get into a car accident, it was just dying.  I cleaned the fish tank anyway and thought this might be a lesson to a helpful little boy to be with an adult when you feed fish next time, but goddamn if the fish didn't actually LIVE!  How, I have no idea, but this fish has escaped death at least 3 times by now.

And here's Candy Shop for no reason.




Candy Shop - Dan Finnerty and The Dan Band

Monday, November 21

Draft Six

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*






Title: Oh boy.
June 12, 2009


It's been a long week.  I take on some.. questionable responsibilities some days with the full mindset that t'will suck but I can handle it, which is true even though I don't particularly enjoy handling it.  I get paid for being hassled, essentially, so what the hell am I expecting?  I'm a person who full-on hates repeating myself and I work with small children, who ask you the same thing 60 times.. wanna know how that works?  When you figure it out let me know because I have no idea. 

I have now developed.. where it didn't exist before.. a specific kind of claustrophobia.  I sound all sorts of evil I'm sure but you just have to witness it's craziness to feel the effect when I say that a particular child who likes to snuggle up to me... but doesn't just snuggle.  She writhes around, climbing my body and lunging herself at my head and burrowing around like a ferret.  It's an obsession, really, and otherwise she is a very sweet child whom I like very much and enjoy snuggling with the appropriate amount.  If you need an equivalent it would be of a super nice guy you met at the coffee shop and liked who left a 7 part, 15 minute message on your answering machine before you even got home. Then you agree to see him and instead of saying 'hi' he puts his face in your boobs.  Picture that in baby form.  Yes so I now have a nice little phobia in my later 20s.  Also she is a walking disaster which defies all logic but that is for another day.  Who dives head first into a toilet?

Sunday, November 20

Draft Five

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*




No Title
April 14, 2009




I don't like the word rant but.. 

Ok so this may offend some of my friends.  I have no idea why it would offend anyone but, it may!

Ok so one thing that absolutely confuses the hell out of me is Facebook "become a fan".  If you're not on Facebook and you have no idea what I am talking about, it is when someone publicly becomes a fan of something.  In regular life you could just walk up to me and say, perhaps wistfully, "yanno I'm a fan of tv.." and I would say "oh, really, just tv in general not something specific you watch on tv?" but instead of that dialogue I get no response because all you did was press a button and add that you're a fan of something to some web-personality-profile-of-CONFUSING ANN-MARIE.  


Saturday, November 19

Draft Four

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*





No Title

April 9, 2009


Sometimes life makes you think about serious questions like:  Are Bob the Builder and Wendy "together"?  Will they ever be?  Why doesn't garbage/recycling take area rugs?  How did I manage a really successful 1st interview while my insides were fermented?  What exact time would you give to late-afternoon?  Doesn't Andy Samberg being on "yo-gabba-gabba" doing an alligator dance make you feel bizarro?


Thursday, November 17

Draft Three

*if you haven't read this post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*








March 26, 2009
No Title



I cut my thumb today and learned a valuable lesson: a little blood on your clothes is the only thing keeping a regular person from looking like an addict/the guy on COPS that sits on the stairs outside 'tellin stories' about his old lady.  I either have some sort of blood clotting problem or the human thumb holds 8 glasses of blood in it.  

The worst part is, the cut is literally the size of a poppyseed.  I can't even think of anything as small as it is besides that!  Well, I can, but I am not sure how many people know what Baby Pastina looks like.

Wednesday, November 16

Draft Two

*if you haven't read yesterday's post, I am posting an unpublished draft from all random points in time every day until I run out*



August 8, 2008
Title: 8.8.08 

Tonight we're off to celebrate my friend Brooke's "anniversary of her 25th birthday" .. aka the terrible 26 at Zu Bar. 

Shoppers Drugmart sells gino face rash cream right?


Terrible 26, I'm calling it, is the year you difinitively know you will one day turn 30. I'm going to go ahead and coin 27 right now as "what the fuck, 27" - an agressive attempt to punch time in the face. See now I'm 26 I don't like wasting time, I will name everything right now and get it out of the way. Who are you? You look like a Phil, see you later Phil!

Tuesday, November 15

Draft One

I saw the other day I was about to hit 700 Blogger posts.. then after noticing how many of them were drafts I deleted the majority of either empty or incomplete crap.  Ever want to know how often I get distracted or have my thoughts trail off?  Apparently about SIXTY TIMES.  60 posts deleted.

The ones I didn't delete for some reason I've decided it might be fun to publish one every day.  Here's a sneak peak at the titles.  We'll go from oldest to newest.




September 5, 2008
No Title


The search of the week - which I might just refer from this point on as "the google awards" was hard to choose. My candidates were:

04 Jul, Fri, 16:27:13 Google: christina ricci puking in street 

04 Jul, Fri, 20:03:25 Google Images: ray romano nude 


I'm going with the latter since I could maybe see why someone would be interested in knowing why somebody puked in the street. That would probably be a really good story. But images of Ray Romano nude? There is no logical reason anyone should want to see that.


Friday, November 11

Always be the teacher of your own life

When I was 16 I went to live with family in Italy for 33 days.  It really affected my life in the way that I had never seen things before, felt things before, met special people, and at the end of my time there one of my cousins that I grew very fond of wrote me a letter for me to read on the plane ride home.  I also wrote her a letter, and gave her a gift.  It was a very letter writing and gift giving summer, 1996.  In her letter though she thoughtfully translated each line for me, and one of those lines I would never have to save the letter to remember.. she impressed upon me a life lesson loosely translated as:

Always be the teacher of your own life.

 In some ways, now that I am older, I am acutely aware that she reminded me both physically and in my heart of my own mother.  Or at least my mother in my mind as she should be.  I took what she said very seriously, the tours of historical architecture included, and am forever grateful she spent so much of her free time hanging out with me.. tanning, or eating lunch, or trying to connect in simple conversations.  I adored her willingness to bring an embarrassingly huge dictionary to the outdoor pool just to talk about a dream I had.  I always hope I will see her again as well as my other family there.  It was really such a spoiled feeling, an ocean away with my camera and Weezer CDs, in a beautiful country with everyone being wonderful to you all the time.  Then I actually was gifted diamond earrings just to top it all off and pry actual tears out of me!



It is now nearly half my lifetime ago but I do think about that one line from my letter sometimes.  Be the teacher of your own life.  I am trying my best, and encourage anyone else to do so.

Tuesday, November 8

Internet



Well it's been a nice long +week or so since I've had internet at home and when you just move into a big house full of boxes needing to be unpacked it's basically exactly what I needed.  Did you know real life happens everyday even when you know nothing about it??  I totally missed that Kim Kardashian got a divorce!  It was like I was living on the Little House on the Prairie.  And my dishwasher isn't hooked up yet so my washing everything by hand has raised the instances of cutting my own fingers up about 500%

I guess if I've been missing you, Internet, you've also been missing me.  Let's never fight again.  We both want the same things.

Tuesday, October 25

Angry apple eating



 Ever wanted to know what it's like to eat every food on earth with intensity? just ask Gabriel, he will show you. If he could talk in complete sentences he would accompany trying to punch the camera out of my hand with yelling I WILL CRUSH YOU!

Thursday, October 20

27 things about you

I had an eccentric English teacher (aren't they all?) in high school who was memorable for two things.  One of those being a story he shared with the class that I will be kind enough not to detail for you as it involves a problem with a colostomy bag while shopping.   The second is an exercise he had the class do near the end of the year about our classmates.  We had to write three positive things to describe every person in class  (in case there were repeats, I guess) and at the end, to keep anonymity, the teacher compiled them all into one list in his own handwriting.  He also said he included one from himself somewhere in the list too.. so mysterious! what a fun game.  At the time I thought that was a lot of effort for fun guessing material, it took him the whole class period, but truthfully it was kind of awesome since when I was going through my box of stuff for the big move I found the list.  I had kept it, and it made me wonder how many of my classmates or kids in his other classes also kept their list.

Although it's over 10 years later I still enjoyed reading it; especially since with all the sorting through things and stress of thinking about moving our whole house, I was having a rough day.  It also reminded me to share a good opinion I have of others, even if I don't know them particularly well, as often as I can.

I should preface sharing this list with you (aka the whole internet) with the fact that in this class I apparently chose to do a skit of Marilyn Monroe for some reason which I don't remember anything about... but find it hilarious another person in the list thought it was Madonna.  Make people like something even if they have no idea what it is - now that's talent!!










Ann-Marie

  • perky
  • she'd be very loyal
  • effervescent 
  • kind
  • very creative
  • unique ideas
  • good acting as Madonna
  • a great job as Marilyn Monroe. A great emotional actress.
  • fun, always happy
  • great debates - speaks her mind
  • intelligent
  • twirls her hair a lot
  • likes to talk
  • doesn't let others opinions sway hers 
  • never in uniform      <-- this is true
  • always smiling
  • likes to laugh
  • at first, seems like you just want to have fun but later you realize you are a serious person with deep insights   <--- probably my teacher
  • bubbly and responsive
  • one of my best friends - we always have fun together
  • easy to talk to
  • very generous
  • incredibly funny
  • quiet
  • has lots of friends
  • can be very friendly
  • a pleasant, warm smile  

Monday, October 17

How to spot a time traveller

I have a few talents, and although it clearly betters the world by pointing out things that look like other things... I'm focusing on how to spot a time time traveller.  Here's the few I've run into as examples to help you do this at home.









Someone needs to call Marty McFly right away.. I'm a little worried time travel is super cheap in the future if some guy travelled back in time for the coffee.   What do you mean, he's not a real person?

Why did I base all my sci-fi knowledge on 80s movies.





Monday, October 10

Sofa King Thankful



I realize today is Thanksgiving, and I could probably tell you about our dinner yesterday or something equally great for me, but I'll save it for tomorrow.  Instead I think I'll just remind anyone who is sick of feeling forced to be thankful for things but doesn't have much to be thankful for, don't sweat it.  At a certain point doesn't it just feel like bragging, anyway?

Except for this weather, that shit is real.  Have a great hot wet thanksgiving summer Monday.

Thursday, October 6

Why can't you just die?

I read a funny article the other day on Thought Catalogue called Videos from Your Dead Grandpa.

The author, Brad Pike, reminds me a lot of a friend I had which is probably why I find him so hilarious but regardless you should definitely read that.  And then contemplate videotaping hours of yourself.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 5

I sure told him

I'm sick.

I'm only sick like this once or twice a year and I don't like being sick... unlike all those people who do?  But I hate it even more when I'm also looking after 3 kids during the hours I need sweet sweet recovery sleep.  Kids who are also sick, and miserable, and leaking from their noses.  

There is only one thing that makes me feel better about it all: Hugs.  I need hugs to get going in the morning when I don't feel good.  So when I asked my biggest boy for about 600 hugs this morning, and he started refusing my sick-person begging, I told him:


"That's okay Ethan, I have two other sons you know, you're not the only game in town!"

Saturday, October 1

Celebrate




New house for FIVE people = yesss!
Ever moving again = noooooo!

Thursday, September 29

All these things about me





 I can't believe it's almost October.

 I haven't:

  1. bought a new sweater
  2. had hot drink with pumpkin in it
  3. seen any red leaves


So much to do.. so much to do..

Friday, September 23

Cloudy Day




You think that true love is the only thing that can crush your heart; that will take your life and light it up or destroy it. Then you become a mother.

Tuesday, September 20

Notes



Yesterday I got this card from my friend Andrea in the mail.  It wasn't for any occasion, just a note about life.  In fact, I have to send her one since it's her birthday next week.  We had a garage sale a few weeks ago to get rid of stuff and since we dragged everything out, before we put some back I was compelled to actually sort my box of stuff.  "MY" box of stuff.  When I first moved out of my house I just put everything in my room in a box .  So when I say 'stuff' that can be pretty much anything and everything; cards, pictures, cds, address books, diaries, university papers, projects, yearbooks, books, notes; which now includes cards from our wedding and my kids' birthdays.  As I sorted through what I wanted to keep and what wasn't important.. an ability I don't think I had until I was at least 25, and I read through a bunch of the random cards Andrea would send me but I'd forgotten about.  It made me realize that I might not have ever told her that I've always appreciated what a fantastic friend and truly thoughtful person she is.  So I sent her a note saying so.

I suppose I used to like the idea of the people who matter in your life the most just knowing how you felt; and now I realize that was probably really easy for me to think that way since I totally ignored the fact that people woud tell me how they felt all the time.  It is a luxury in life to always know where you stand with someone, especially ever since you were 12, and it's all about things like this.

It was exactly what I needed.

Saturday, September 17

Where I almost died once

My Dad and I used to be really into biking around town.  As uncool as it sounds to hang out with your Dad, I either did not know of this or it's because my Dad is honestly a little different than your Dad.  Whatever the case is, I had fun, although I think it all started because our washing machine and dryer broke one day and his car was out of commission earlier that month.  Having laundry for 9 people, you can imagine it had to get done right away.  My parents own a lodging home, not a caravan of gypsies or foster children, just FYI there.  So my Dad and I threw as much laundry in bags as we could, straped it on and around us.. oddly enough we probably did look like gypsies.. and biked down to the laundromat, hung out for a couple hours, folded it, biked it back.  Then going for rides on the bike just happened to be something that we liked to do after that, seeing how far we could go on trips and down by the bay where there was a nice view.  Because of my parents work situation, and the fact that we had an entirely fucked up sleep schedule when I lived at home, we were only able to go for rides at night.  This is why going for a bike ride on a cool summer night will always be one of my favourite things to do.




This is the exact spot where I probably should have died in an accident.

Three days before my 16th birthday we went for a bike ride in the west end of town at night.  It was the end of March so not the optimal summer biking weather as the wind had a little bite to it.  My Dad always rode ahead and this street is a long slope down, so after he crossed the 4 lanes from right to left.. I tried following but hesitated.  The wind made my eyes all blurry and because it was dark the headlights all bled into each other when I looked behind me.  The slope just made the bike go faster as I waited..  and waited.  My Dad called out from the other side to me a few times to cross because I was running out of time.  So at this point here in the photo, a few blocks after my Dad had crossed and I hesitated, I decided I would just cross.  My Dad says it's ok so I decide I will just go really fast to be sure, because I honestly can't see anything.  I bolted across and my Dad started screaming at me, so I thought he meant go faster, but actually it was to slow down.  I crossed too fast and I was later told it almost looked purposefully, was heading straight in front of a car on the far left lane.  The only indication I had that there was even a car there was when they slammed on the breaks and swerved at the last second.  They drove up on the sidewalk to avoid me but still hit my back tire. I jumped off my bike a few feet where my Dad was looking at me in horror.   I was fine.  The guy from the car walked out immediately asking if we were ok and what the hell was that and why did you come out of nowhere and DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA I COULD HAVE KILLED YOU JUST NOW?

He seemed pretty scared.

I didn't hear anything after that, or care about what happened. I don't remember how much time passed before the guy got in his car again and my Dad said to get back on our bikes and ride over to the parking lot of grocery store because he needed a smoke right away.  He used to smoke then, he doesn't now.  I felt completely fine.  I almost felt like I wasn't even involved.  In fact, from the moment I saw the car I felt fine.  My one and only thought from the entire thing was oddly enough all about math.. if he hits me going this fast, where will I land because there was a metal fence right where I would have landed.  But I felt fine about that.  The only thing I remember was that when I got back on my bike I heard a really weird shuddering noise and calmly looked down to see where it was coming from.. possibly my tire got hit worse and I didn't notice?  It was actually the noise my feet were making from shaking on the pedals.

I've been through many lifesaving courses so I knew that it was because I was in shock.  I thought it was interesting I was experiencing something I read about first hand.  By the time we got down the two blocks my whole body was shaking and I made a comment that I wasn't even cold.  Was I?  My Dad looked like he was about to have a heart attack, smoked a bunch of cigarettes, calmly agreed I was in shock and we rode home.

To this day I think it's the only thought that makes me feel ok when I hear about people who die in an accident.  To know there was a really good chance, maybe not 100% but still a pretty good chance, that if it had to happen they felt completely alright when it happened.  Not sad, not scared, not remorseful.  Not hoping for one more hour.  That's about the closest I'll ever get to believing that anything at all happens after we die.  3 days later I had the best 16th birthday party ever.. everyone from all my classes signed a huge card for me, we had a spooky ghost story sleepover with all my best friends, my Dad jumped out and scared everyone so bad my friend Roxanne punched someone in the face, we had a dance party, videotaped skits, and at my request my birthday cake was chocolate Deep and Delicious.

It was better than any My Super Sweet 16.

Thursday, September 15

Nazier and nazier





This summer I've gotten into being more active ever since I had a partner to do it with; my friend Lorraine.  We decided for something new let's do a spinning class at this new place that opened up, that also does TRX suspension training. We've gone for the past month, spinning only, and it's been pretty interesting.  I was amazed how non-crazy the spinning was the first time we went and, really, honestly it wasn't that bad.  I really enjoyed myself and our instructor was great and was available for questions afterward and so on.  There were tonnes of newbies so he really encouraged everyone to just go at their own comfort level or hang back if they felt the need.  It wasn't at all boring because they turn all the lights off and have sort of a club light and music show going on and have a giant screen of footage from bike trails all over the world.  Hawaii has been my favourite so far.

The second instructor we had a few classes later was a little different.  Overall I liked her best.   She still encouraged everyone to do their own level but was a lot more motivating/torturous about it.  I think she does professional cycling.  She did a few different things on the bike than we did before and I really felt that when she told me I couldn't slow down... I didn't want to find out what would happen if I slowed down.  But at the end of it she was fun, reminded everyone when to drink their water, the class was pumped to be done and you felt like you really accomplished something.

We thought for some reason let's do an early morning class (not their earliest class or anything, which is 6am) because they had childcare there.  Normally we stick to the night classes so we haven't had the third instructor.  By the way the guy at the reception looks like Joe Jonas and it's super hilarious every time we go, I want to call him jo-bro.. just wanted to add that in before I go on.  You see where I am going with this already though.. every class gets nazier and nazier.  I'm not saying that approach isn't preferred by some, or doesn't get results, I'm just calling it the way I see it.. the brutal systematic extermination of flabbiness.  This instructor wasn't just anyone, she was the owner, she does all the TRX training.. and somehow we were the only two people booked for this class.  We got some special attention, and was given the offer that if we like we can split up the whole hour into half spinning and half TRX class.  How can you turn that down, right?  The owner is going to specifically train just the two of us for a whole hour.. and we get to try something new!  Awesome.


NOT AWESOME EVERYONE.  NOT. AWESOME.


She was without mercy.  Aside from being in labor three times, this was the hardest hour of my life!  She actually had us do push ups in the middle of the spinning class.. so by the end of the TRX I was so sweaty, and so red, I looked like I was actually sunburnt.  I had a wasp sting me the day before and even that was getting itchy and throbbing again.  I liked the spinning class, I even liked the TRX.. it was really interesting.. but together, never again!  My entire back and arms are so sore two days later that I almost cried.  And when I got home I had a medium bowl of pasta for dinner and then later that night... I was so hungry I had 4 and a half tomato sandwiches.  The best part, my partner was doing her best so I was trying to encourage her, at the end of the class we both commented we worked pretty hard and are happy we got through it because it was kind of difficult to do both.. the instructor was like really you thought so?  YES, LADY WHO OWNS A SPINNING TRX STUDIO, FOR US MORTALS THIS WAS OUR BEST.  I'm not sure if that was supposed to be a different kind of motivation but dammit, stop playing with my mind!

Monday, September 12

Tuesday, August 30

I fucking love life

I feel like there are times in an otherwise average, perfectly nice day, where you just notice something and decide ok I need to tell someone about this.  I had one of those days.  Don't get all nervous here it's not a long story; stop sweating I promise you have time to read this.  


So I'm in the car and I glance over to my left at a woman rollerblading.  I think, hey gurl, good for you.. even if you are not going in the right direction for your side of the road, that's still awesome.  Then I notice Rollergurl is on fire... no no wait.. she's smoking???  Yep she's actually smoking! and rollerblading.  As I pull up to pass her I glance over again.. maybe hoping she WAS on fire and not doing the dumbest thing I've ever seen; like the guy who went for a treadmill run at the gym in fucking jeans (not even stretchy spandex jeans.. WORK jeans).  So what else do I see??  Not only is Rollergurl indeed smoking but she's texting.  She's fucking smoking, rollerblading on the street and texting.  I can't even believe it.  Rollergurl has to be the busiest person ever.. the only way she could be busier is if maybe she was taking a huge morning shit in her pants as she was doing all this.  Let's just assume she was for the sake of argument, ok?  I went from thinking hey cool I wish I were doing that, to realizing she's too 'Type A' personality for normal activities and is likely not even rollerblading for fitness.. she's probably going to work or something.  Raise your hand if you imagine a conversation with someone like that to be so confusing you'd cry.  Raise your other hand if you are also kind of scared she does everything while smoking and texting, because she's on crack, and only stops to randomly shout out to people on the street "I FUCKING LOVE LIFE!"


Sunday, August 28

this is the best margarita party ever

It took me less than 5 seconds to decide I need this.





1100 watts of power... what does that even mean???  Who cares!  Keywords: ninja! 1100 watts! gourmet healthy FROZEN DRINKS!!!!

Saturday, August 27

the road not taken



I had a particularly weird dream a week or so ago about someone I know being dead.  As in they apparently just died, nobody told me, and I felt totally cut off and lost about it; unsure of what to do now they were gone forever.  In my mind, the world was suddenly empty and nobody lived on earth but me.

I was so disturbed by the feeling that when I woke up mid-night I googled dream meanings on what exactly that was supposed to be about.  I know my friends have all been moving lately.. now Kim is moving to Guelph.. but that just wasn't a good enough explanation for me at the time I guess.  Dreams are all things going on in your own sub-conscious, a way of working things out, and I just wanted to know what exactly my mind is preoccupied with.  Apparently every dream about something dying, being dead, loss.. is supposed to be good or the opposite of whatever it was: life, new beginnings etc.  I remember my friend Andrea and I would always chat at school the next day about our dreams.  She's very Sylvia Brown like that, still is, and I suppose in a way I am too.





I am more than grateful for every path I did not take, even if it took me a while.. or long while.. to fully appreciate every facet of their particular outcomes.  They were always positive.  I hope that although my dream was sad, some part of myself is reassured that things.. even ourselves.. are renewed everyday.  It's hard to look upon the roads you decided not to take and learn anything, if only that life is all about those missteps because they insure your next steps are more purposeful, careful and meaningful.

Monday, August 22

More important things




Video of my best friend Ryan Gosling (I think I've mentioned our shopping together before, it's a thing we do) is hitting all the social media today.  I wasn't going to post anything about it except I just wanted to point out that it's great that we live in a day in age where people will film someone beat the shit out of you and go oh shit is that the guy from the Notebook?? FOR REAL? 





"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."

Albert Camus

Thursday, August 18

This year summed up in a cheesy heart photo collage


Flickr: Cottage 2011



I suppose rather than tell you a huge story I could sum up the weeks highlights.. I was in a cottage without my grandparents.  Does there even need to be more about the week other than that? I could also mention the coach outlet and my awesome new purse, the drive up to North Bay's 'famous' mall, Taco Tuesday, a couple of birthdays...



....pizza night, my horrible tooth infection which caused me to visit a nurse practitioner with the largest boobs I've ever seen in my life.  And oh, right, my entire cheek was so swollen I looked like I got fat but only on one side of my face.  Smiling was.. creepy.. for a few days.

The days were great, the lake was warm, MY GRANDMOTHER WASN'T THERE, sunshine everyday, kite flying, MY GRANDMOTHER WASN'T THERE, Ethan had his first visit from the toothfairy, we brought our tassimo for perfect morning coffee, and nobody called me an asshole.  In the night, however, this year we had one mild family tribulation.  

Putting Gabriel in a big bed for the first time, and I like to call the result 'fists of confused fury'.  It was gonna happen anyway but the paper thin walls at the cottage was GREAT for making everyone think we keep them in cages.  Which WE DO, obviously, but we just didn't bring them up to the cottage.  No room.  Additionally we bought every box of the only teething solution that finally worked for Kieran as getting teeth has really pissed him off.  If this sounds repetitive it's because I said the exact same thing at this time last year  but much worse. Putting him to sleep every night is hard on a normal night as he's the worlds largest infant.  I say that because I still swaddle him and he's 6 months old.  This is why I never give out unsolicited parenting advice.. my motto is YOU DO WHAT WORKS UNTIL IT STOPS WORKING.  Nothing fancy, if you want some sleep you just do the same thing until it stops working, for the rest of eternity.  So picture that bedtime routine, and the turbulent part of this story is actually that my cousin-in-law was doing a holiday fireworks display 15 feet from my bedroom... not once, not twice, but 4 nights.  It was baby-waking festive, this year, folks.

You see why it was a miracle that neither me, nor anyone else, was called an asshole right?  I hope you do because any clearer of a picture I'm going to paint you is reserved for my therapists eyes only.  



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