Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Okay, don’t have anything in particular to write about, so I’ll throw out some random bits:

1) We have been doing the Christmas advent activity thing this year and lordy do the girls ever love it! I wrote out 24 activities for us to do each day leading up to Christmas, and by activity, I mean pretty simple, wholesome little tidbits such as making popcorn garland, writing our own Christmas book, making snowflakes for the window etc etc. In this day of DS games and a kajillion channels of children’s programming on television, I honestly thought this activity might lack the allure needed to keep Grace and Edie’s attention. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong. This is what the girls run to every morning, even before tucking into their chocolate advent calendar. They love seeing what little activity is in store for them on that given day. It warms the cockles of my Christmas-loving heart.

2) Parent-teacher interviews went well. Edie excels in “social arts” (read: she doesn’t shut up) and Grace is a sweet, considerate, positive addition to the class (!, ?, !)

3) I think it was on Facebook that I reached out and asked for book recommendations and someone suggested Anita Diamant. Soooo freaking good.

4) Thanks for the suggestions for songs to download for Grace. I downloaded a great collection, and would be lying if I said I didn’t cry a little when I listened to the gospel version of “This Little Light of Mine” I downloaded for her (that’s our special song). Am also wondering if “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop is entirely appropriate for a 7 year old.

5) The Christmas shopping is done, though online purchases have not yet arrived. Trying to stay zen-like about this but will blow a fucking gasket if they aren’t here by end of week!

6) Thursday is my last day of work for 2, two, deux, dos weeks. I am sooooo looking to this time.

7) Edie’s Christmas recital is tomorrow. Can’t wait to hear her belt out Jingle Crack, Jingle Crack, Jingle all the way (it will confirm all the other parents suspicions.

Errrr, yeah. That’s all I got.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping for the kids. I have one thing left for Gracie, and that is an MP3 player. I’m tickled that at 7 she is digging music, and I really want to help guide her in the right direction here. I am not going to fight the inevitable that she is going to listen to High School Musical and Miley Cyrus, but I figure I can also download a few tunes of my picking that she will likely enjoy as well. I do want to keep it pretty innocent though, and that is where I would like to ask for your help. What classics do you think would appeal to a 7 year old? She loves the beat of Police on My Back by the Clash, and she also likes some Ramones songs, so I’ll put a few on there. I’m pretty well versed in punk rock, but not so much in other genres. So, what do you think? Any songs by, say, the Beatles you might suggest? Or the Monkeys? I want to keep it light and fun and GOOD so hopefully we can help instill a love of music in her. Throw me a few titles! Maybe I’ll expand my own tastes a bit.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I don`t watch American Idol, don`t care about it at all actually, never have. That being said I am so fired up about this Adam Lambert issue that is going on. I can’t believe the hypocrisy of, well, lots of people, cancelling interviews with him, refusing to air the clip from the American Music Awards that caused the furor.

Madonna and Brittany kissed. Everyone was titillated. Countless numbers of singers have been overtly sexual and suggestive on stage, on t.v., in their lyrics, with some raised eyebrows but mostly big fat whatevs from the masses. Miley Cyrus, a goddess amongst the pre-teens has recently been humping the stage and pole-dancing her way across North America on her tour – have you heard very many complaints? She's 17.

So let's face it. Adam is catching hell because he’s gay and people can’t handle it and are crying for the children etc etc. You know what folks? I am also totally against my kids seeing gay sexual acts simulated on stage. I’m also against them seeing any hetero sexual acts on stage. You can shelter them from this kind of stuff. Turn off the t.v., or don't let them watch grown-up shows. But don’t hide behind the excuse that it’s too graphic for public consumption. Get over yourself, think about why you are really upset and try opening your mind up a little bit.


p.s. Good Morning America cancelled Lambert's appearance on their show, and guess who they replaced him with? Chris Brown. Yes, that guy who beat the shit out of his girlfriend Rihanna. A much, much better role model for America. What a wonderful message that is sending out. Sweet Jesus this makes me mad.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today The Maven wrote about cutting down her sugar intake and that of the members of her household. This coincides with a similar stance in our household. I should mention that this is a household where a morning vitamin used to be considered a treat, we now dole out sugary items on a daily basis. I’m not sure how Grace and Edie weakened our stance on candy/junk, but there was a day that we were really quite the puritans when it came to refined foods. So, because my timing has never been logical, I am, like The Maven, re-assessing what the family eats, right before the Christmas season (did I mention that I am hosting a cookie exchange party next weekend and have to bake 10 dozen cookies, for which, in return, I will receive 10 dozen sugary/fattening baked goods? Like I said, my timing is stellar).

So, here is my question to you: how do you feel about Splenda/other sugar substitutes? We (Jo and I) cut out refined sugars (based on the GI diet-thinking) a few years ago. We both trimmed down considerably (he had more to lose than me and he lost a ton). I never felt comfortable giving the kids Splenda/sugar substitute, so they were excused from my GI baking. It’s the whole rats getting cancer thing. Jo did tons of research, and sugar substitute companies slam sugar companies, and sugar companies slam the substitutes. Who do you believe? A diabetic friend has relied on substitutes for much of her life and she is no worse for wear. What is your opinion? How do you feel about sugar substitutes, particularly when it comes to giving it to your kids? I’m super-curious to hear your thoughts on this.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eeesh, while many bloggers I follow have been dedicated to blogging every day for the month of November, I find myself with little to say. Here are some random bits:

-I was home with Edie for the past few days, she had the Flu. My heart broke into a million pieces every time she hugged me at random and said how much she loved being at home with me.

-My heart also broke into a million pieces when Grace was sad because she felt she was being ignored due to Edie being sick.

-Lately Grace has the ability to make me so very mad and so very happy, all in a five minute time-frame. Is this normal? I would prefer happy all the time.

-Threw Jo a 40th birthday party last Friday – rented out a legion hall, about 80 people showed up, there was a live band, a blow up doll, and lots and lots to eat and drink. A success! 3hrs sleep and a little hangover, not so successful the next day.

-My best friend flew into town AGAIN for the party and stayed the weekend (her husband works for an airline, she takes planes like I take the bus).

-I’m reading a book right now that I don’t like. Since I switched jobs I don’t have the same access to books like I used to. I may have to revisit the Library, I wonder if I have become any more responsible over the years?

-I watched a movie over the weekend called Observe and Report, it has a scene in it that is way too close to being a drugging/rape scenario, and it is supposed to be funny. Watched it with my girlfriend who was drugged/raped and Jonas. A very awkward moment.

-I’m kind of broke. Not a we are not going to be able to eat this week broke, but a we have to pay for the windows/trip to Chicago/car/daycare/40th birthday party. Yikes, maybe we WON’T be able to eat this week!

-To make me less depressed, and to thank you for visiting my blog, here is a picture of me riding a mechanical bull in Chicago.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One night I lied to my parents about where I was going and how I was getting there. I lied and said the parents of a friend were driving me and said friend to a local mall when we were actually heading downtown. And we were planning on hitchhiking there. As we were walking out of town with our little 14 year-old cork-thumbs stuck up looking for a ride, a car pulled over. It was a familiar looking car, I knew it well because it was my dad’s car. While not too happy about finding his daughter hitchhiking, my dad obliged to taking us to our destination. I wasn’t a nice kid then, and he was just trying so hard to keep things calm and smooth. I lied about our destination, as I wasn’t really allowed to go downtown, and had him drop us off at the closest local mall where there were buses – we told him we were going to be hanging out there for a while and then my friend’s parents would be picking us up. When we were sure that my Dad was gone and wouldn’t see us, we hopped on a bus and went downtown.
We got into all kinds of trouble that night, and I ended up lost and disoriented. I ended up sleeping in a house that was being in the middle of being constructed with a bunch of other kids. I was an upper-middle class kid from the burbs, these kids were authentic street kids with nowhere to go. I never called my parents to let them know that I had no intention of coming that night.
The next morning, I awoke, freezing cold, and tired of this adventure. I decided to hitchhike home. I had long lost my partner in crime and decided to go it alone. A very sketchy guy picked me up. My spidey senses were tingling – this was wrong, all wrong. But I wanted to go home. I got in the car, told him where to take me. He said no problem. It was a straight road, with only one left-hand turn that would take me home. When we approached the turn, I gave him a heads up that the turn was coming. He smiled. He blew past the turn and kept on driving. I think he might have also put his hand on my knee, or I could be making that part up, I don’t remember. I get butterflies in my stomach if I have to cross a busy street, imagine what my stomach was doing at this particular moment. I knew what he was going to do, try and do. I knew in my gut what was going on and I was scared shitless. My body reacted and I puked. I threw-up all over his passenger seat. He pulled over, cursed a blue streak and kicked me out of the car. I walked the rest of the way home, crying, dry-heaving – upset about so many things.
When I got home, I wasn’t greeted with anger. I was greeted with that kind of silence that exists when something has gone very, very wrong and there are no words.
The radio was on, and they were reporting that they had found the body parts of one of Paul Bernardo/Karla Holmoka’s victims encased in cement.
For all my parents knew when I didn’t come home that night, something unspeakable had happened to me.
I still feel so guilty for putting them through that.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Put it on the Christmas list…..

As soon as the kids realized that there was television beyond Treehouse and TVO Kids, they were exposed to the world of commercials. And this time of year, as the Christmas machine kicks into high gear, the commercials become even more shiny, sparkly and appealing. Edie shouts at each commercial break “I want that!” She also dictated to my sister last week at Costco a list that would put the most efficient shopper to shame – she pretty much wanted everything she saw that was pink (I’m sure even the massive shrimp rings were pretty to her).

Grace has been quiet compared to her sister. She wants some more DS games and some Lego. That’s pretty much it. Oh, there’s one other thing – she thinks she might also like a foster child. She has seen pictures of children on the fridge’s of friends and family and is intrigued. She has seen one or two world vision ads on television. She is starting to understand that the things we take for granted (pencils, books) are a rarity for some children. And so, she would like a foster child for Christmas. Now, my issue with this is who to do it through? Who is reputable? How do you know the money is going where it is supposed to go? Jaded old me needs to know that what we give is going to who needs it. Do you have a foster child? Who do you go through?

I’m not sure Edie is ready for a foster child yet. She would likely be aghast that some children in the world don’t have pink tutus and tiaras and insist on sending the aforementioned in the mail.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Meanie’s Hallowe’en costumes, a random look back in time:

1) An arab (yes, my parents thought it would be a good idea to dress a 4-year old me up as an arab man, not sure where the inspiration came from that one)

2) A dice – this was actually pretty awesome in theory. My dad took a big box, painted it white, cut out some holes for my head and arms and glue some black dots on it. Where it wasn’t so awesome was when I wore it to school and couldn’t sit down because the box was too awkward, and I couldn’t take it off because I only had tights and a turtleneck on underneath. It was a long day.

3) A robot – again, my dad with a big box, spray painted silver. But wait, a trip to the hardware store was also made and that plastic coil-ey tubing was purchased for my arms and legs (you know the stuff you use to vent out from your clothes dryer) and was also spray painted silver. The garage was raided for bits of knobs and buttons for dials to be glued on. It rocked. I wore it to school convinced that I would win best costume, but some popular-with-the-teachers skank won instead for her oh so original raggedy ann costume. Whatevs. I knew I looked good.

4) A card. This was recycled from my figure skating days where my costume was a queen of hearts card. Hmmm, not sure why my parents didn’t put effort into things that year?

5) A punk rocker. Symbollic foreshadowing.

6) A hooker (cause yeah, it’s appropriate when you are 10 to dress up as someone who sells her body, Mom? Dad?)

7) Laurel of Laurel and Hardy. No idea what inspired this, but my girlfriend and I dressed up as the duo and got a lot of candy from the older folk.

8) A cop. Just a quick word to the wise – when under the influence, it is never a good idea to pull your toy gun on a real police officer. Just saying.

Well, I’m missing a few years here, but these are the ones that stick out for me. What was your best ever costume?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reverse Bullying

Those of you have met Grace pretty much know that you don’t f*%$ with her. She has a keen sense of right and wrong, is a loyal friend, and stubborn as hell. Some of these traits, particularly in a 7 year old, can be a little, ummm, annoying, but without wanting to squish her spirit, we generally just try and guide her in the right direction, and more often than not, cross our fingers and throw back a shot of something strong until she moves out on her own.

Well, she came home the other day with a shiny Loonie and story to tell. When I asked her about said Loonie, she told me that a bunch of fourth graders were “bullying” her and her (very little) friend; they were telling them to get off the play structure, go away, called them babies, etc. So, was our little Gracie intimidated? Nope. She she throw punches? Nope. Did she cry and run to the teacher? No way. She demanded from the bullies a loonie in order for her and her friend to vacate the area. And they obliged. She reverse-bullied. I wonder if those 4th graders understand what had just happened to them.

Not sure if this is right or wrong, but I kind of admire her methods of extortion at such a tender age.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I had my hair piled high and my baby just looked so right…..

We went out last Saturday night for some dinner and dancing. I have a thing for 50’s and 60’s music and there was a band, Bruce and the Burgers playing at the Elmdale Tavern that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I’ve been to the Tavern a few times now, and the music is always great, the people watching fantastic, and I have to admit, for this particular show I was expecting some cool rockabilly types to be checking out the band.

When we walked into the bar we quickly realized we were the youngest couples there by about 20 years. Our friends who joined us shot me daggers as there are more used of the Elgin Street kind of thing – cheese music, cheese crowed. Whatevs, different strokes for different folks.

Well, how can you resist the sounds of the oldies? You can’t. And at first we watched in awe some of the ‘older’ couples doing the mashed potato and the twist. Then I couldn’t hold back anymore when they ripped into an awesome Beach Boys set. I even managed to get Jonas up dancing for a most romantic version of “In the Still of the Night” – it felt like we were in high school, a few decades in the past. It was amazing. Even our friends had a good time, though they did talk us into going to a bar more their speed afterwards, where we watched drunk types get thrown out and drunk boys kept petting my leopard skin jacket. Yeah, that’s a lot more fun than doing the Twist at the Elmdale.

****this is my 300th post! wow, i talk a lot***

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A scent.

I’ve always loved the idea of having a fragrance that people associate with me. I’m sure you know people who always smell the same, or associate a smell with someone. I have wonderful memories of my mom and dad getting gussied up at night to go out, and my mom coming downstairs, all pretty and stuff and smelling so wonderfully of Coco Chanel. And my wonderful Nana, who also always smelled so delicious of her fragrance, I think it was Ysatis, by Yves St Laurent. She was a layering gal – she had the soap, the moisturizer, the talc and the perfume, all laid out for her to use. There was a also a woman at my old job who smells sooo good, but keeps it a secret as to what she is wearing, because her signature scent is so sacred to her, she doesn’t want people smelling like her.

Me? I can’t seem to commit to one fragrance. In the 80’s, people would have unfortunately associated Poison with me (public apology, I bathed in it, and I smoked, I smelled awful). When I turned 16 and turned my life around, I symbolically turned to Happy by Clinique, convinced that by wearing something that sounded and smelled so positive, it would have to infect me with good energy. At university, if you walked past me (and most of the other students there) you would get a whiff of patchouli and Pantene. After graduation, I went and worked for Club Monaco. It was the 90’s, cleanliness and minimalism reigned, and I once again turned to Clinique, this time wearing Aromatics Elixir – a very clean, crisp fragrance, which apparently also KILLS allergy sufferers as I was asked to not wear it to work because it irritated one co-worker so much.

When I entered the public service and started making some coin, I spoiled myself with Jo Malone fragrances, which I still love, but they are really a waste of money for me because the perfume seems to fall off of my skin and just does not stick at all.

My current love is Chanel no. 19, and I’ve been wearing this for a few years now. I love it, love walking into my closet and smelling it off of my clothes. I also love it when I go out and night and hug the girls goodbye and they take a big inhale and tell me how pretty I smell.

What’s your signature fragrance? How did you discover it?

Monday, October 19, 2009

What would you do?

So I go into work pretty early so I can leave pretty early. I started doing this to minimize the guilt I feel about the girls being in daycare; this way, Jo drops them off in the later morning, and I pick them up early afternoon. In nice weather this allows time for trips to the park, bike rides, etc etc.

They used to run to me, so happy to see me, peppering me with questions about the plans for the afternoon. Feeling like the The Best Mother In The World, I would look with pity at the moms and dads trying to pick up their kids from daycare who did not want to go home quite yet.

Recently there has been a shift, a change in the winds. It happened gradually, and I should have seen it coming. Last week, it happened. When I picked up Edie, she was engrossed in a tea party, dressed in full princess regalia, crooked tiara and all, pouring refreshments for her subjects. She saw me walk in. Did she run over, leap into my arms like she normally does? Nope. Did she walk over slightly reluctantly, then hug me, realizing how happy she was to see me? Nope. Did she even invite me over for a cup of freaking tea? No. She looked at me, I’m pretty sure she scowled a little bit, fixed her tiara and kept on a-pouring and told me she wasn’t ready to go yet.

I walked down to Gracie’s room at the daycare, looking for some love there. Let’s just say that jar of hodge podge, some pieces of fabric and a cardboard box hold more allure than I do these days.

So, what would you do – would you insist on tearing the girls away from their social time at day care to bond with you, or would you take 45 minutes for yourself to get dinner ready in peace, go for a run, or just run a few errands?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So I feel like having a good cry. I’m not really a person who cries easily, but the past few months have thrown a few things at me and I just really feel like letting it out. I can’t sit in the garden and eat worms and feel sorry for myself and cry. I need a good protagonist to get the tears flowing. This is where I appeal to you. What movies are the best tear-jerkers? What flicks will guarantee a sob? My plan is rent a recommended movie, send Jo out for the night (there is no need for him to witness this), put my jammies on, pour a glass of red, grab a bag of Lays Fries and Gravy potato chips (damn you Alison!) and let the waterworks begin.
Last time I did this was when I watched The Notebook. Gawd, I practically needed therapy after watching that, but man did I cry and it felt great. I also tried to get Jo to cut his hair and wear a cute little cap like Ryan Gosling and run to me the pouring rain…..
The only other time I remember REALLY sobbing was a more public affair, when I saw the English Patient in the theatres. I almost punched a woman in the bathroom afterwards who said the movie was boring and stoooopid. Crass souless bitch.
So, what are your recommendations to get my tears out?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

I’m heading up to the cottage (not really a cottage. It’s Jo’s parents home. It used to be their country home, but they have moved there permanently now). It’s beautiful. On the lake, colours galore, lots of places to hike, run around and play. My two brothers in law will be there with their wives, a two year old, and two buns in the oven. I know I will be badgered about having a third child. The way I see it, there will be more wine for me because my sisters in law will be off the bottle. HA! At the dinner table we will talk politics, debate and no one will really listen to each other. My MIL will try and engage everyone in a board game, while everyone secretly wants to retire to the couch and watch some boob tube while recovering from dinner. I will put the girls to bed way too late, and fight sleep myself as I cuddle with them in their beds.

We will then head to my parents house on Sunday, where my brother and sister will be, as well as Jo’s mom (she’s a single gal and my mom has taken to inviting her and including her in our family celebrations. I think that’s pretty cool). At my parents home I will be scrutinized for not eating The Turkey (still off meat, it’s been about 4 weeks now?!) We will tease each other without mercy about our quirks, mock my mother for buying a dishwasher and not trusting it enough to load it up and use it. We will loudly do dishes together, one person washing, two people drying, and one person putting things away. I will sneak out for a cigarette with my brother, my sister’s dog will be tortured by the girls, and my dad and Jo will sneak off and watch some kind of sport on t.v.

On Monday Edie will get to watch way too much t.v., Grace will get way too much face time with her DS, Jo and I will fart around until mid-morning before we pick an activity for the day. At some point we will get the box of Hallowe’en decorations out. The girls like to examine and contemplate the decorations before we commit to placing them semi-permanently in the house. I love it when they do this. They do it with our Christmas decorations as well. They get very quiet, quietly inspecting each item – what are they searching for, memories?

I love this time of year.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Problems and solutions (long, thinking out-loud post that is all about me)


1) This summer was not the best for me. Weather wise, it was horrible (I’m the kind of gal who likes to walk outside and get hit by the heat/humidity). I feel like my bones never really dried out from the winter.

2) I also screwed up my holidays by taking two weeks off, but at separate times. I truly think you need two weeks off in a row to completely disconnect. I feel like I didn’t give my girls a real summer holiday. I was too involved with work (I would physically leave the building, but not mentally).

3) We made a huge decision, in a matter of 48 hours, to move away from Ottawa, across the country, but in the 11th hour, the opportunity was taken off the table. Which is probably a good thing, as

4) my dad was diagnosed with cancer at the same time as the opportunity to move was presented to us. It would have been very difficult to be that far away as he undergoes his chemo treatments, and so much of his illness is still a mystery to me. However,

5) I was excited for a change, to shake things up a bit, so I was a little disappointed the adventure was cancelled.

6) Gracie and her chronic night-anxiety (now treated by the amazing Thought Field Therapy) and Edie’s night waking left me feeling exhausted.

7) My allergies were so bad that I (used it as an excuse) stopped working out/running for two months.

8) I stayed up too late watching TV, using the excuse that it was the only time I had to myself. Oh, and my hot date would be a glass or two of wine and/or something junky to eat. Going to bed at 11:00-11:30, waking two to four times a night to comfort someone, then wake for good at 6:00 a.m. took its toll. A few weeks ago I was not in a good place, mentally or physically.


1) Not much I can do about the weather. Except get over it and accept that there’s nothing I can do about. I will also go (with some sunscreen on) to a tanning bed this winter if I feel the need for heat.

2) Jo and I have vowed to take two weeks off in a row next summer and leave town. No checking in with work etc. We are going to go back to Gloucester, Massachusetts, a place of great memories.

3) Well, we didn’t move, but I did take a new job across the river. Change is good, I think I will like this new job, and the people seem friendly, and the atmosphere is more relaxed and positive.

4) I developed a cure for cancer. Haha, just kidding. But I’m glad that I am able to be close by while my pops is going through all he is going through.

5) See 3.

6) Thought Field Therapy has been lifesaver. Leave a comment if you want more information. It’s crazy how effective it has been. This is a kid who would be so stressed at bedtime (heart racing etc) and wake several times a night totally freaked out by everything and not able to fall back to sleep. Now she peacefully falls asleep at night, and IF she wakes at night, with the tricks I have been taught, she falls right back to sleep. Edie, well, she still wakes up, but she is pretty easy to settle again, or she climbs into our bed and sleeps like the dead.

7) Uggh. The allergies. Well, I will get my treatments next year (missed them this year) and I started running again last week, and there is a gym at the new job, so I will definitely be taking advantage of that.

8) I’ve been trying really hard to go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00, and boy does it make a difference.

One of the biggest changes though comes on the heels of a suggestion of a girlfriend, I picked up a couple of books by Dr. Neal Barnard – a huge advocate of vegetarian based eating. I have ploughed through these books, and have completely turned around how I eat. I’ve been a somewhat uncomfortable meat eater my whole life, and now that I have eliminated it from diet (along with other changes) I have lost a few pounds, have more energy and feel better all around.

Well, that really was a self-indulgent post. Thanks for sticking around. If you have any amazing veggie recipes to pass on, please let me know. I love personal, tried and true recommendations. And I’m not scared of tofu.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An update from my girlfriend, who was raped 3 years ago. Her words are more powerful than mine.

It boggles my mind what some are jailed for, and what actions some walk away from, even with a guilty plea.

Again, fight for each other and stay safe.


It's taken me a while to be able to write this without it turning into a screaming rant...

My mom and dad and Mr. Awesome came to Vancouver with me on August 17 to attend the sentencing of Fernando Manuel Alves. You may remember he pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault in order to have a second charge dropped.
I read my victim impact statement to the court. It was honest and it was painful and though I had to stop a few times to get my voice back or stop my shaking hands, I read it loud and clear. I am proud of that. The judge thanked me for it, and said he hoped one day I would be able to deal with the pain. Then he gave Alves a 9 month conditional sentence, which means no jail time.

... no jail time for sexual assault.

The judge apparently fell for the defence lawyer's "aw shucks, he's a good guy, just didn't realize that she was in no state to be able to give consent." I did not consent, nor would I EVER, to being drugged, leaving a bar through the back door with a disgusting individual, having my nose broken, body bloodied and bruised, and being violently raped. I am enraged, and horrified, and stunned.

The good news is that he IS registered on the Sex Offender's database for the next 20 years. So at least they'll be able to find him when he does it again, which he will.

It has been a long road, almost 3 years, and it's hard not to see this as a huge waste of time. Funny thing is, I did everything I was supposed to, everything I possibly could. It was the police, the Crown counsel, the legal system, and the judge that, in my view, failed horrendously to protect me and all other women out there.

I have found some comfort in the fact that many people are taking up the fight. There are numerous blogs on the internet about the injustice done, and many are writing to the Crown counsel to have the sentence appealed. If you search "Fernando Manuel Alves" you will find the story about the sentencing on CBC.ca, and links to dozens of blogs and comments about it - all thanks to my Special K, who originally wrote about it on her blog. At least the general public seems to understand the horror of our justice system.

We will carry on, as time marches inexorably forward, and time will pass. This chapter is over, and we can only go forward.

Thanks to you all for your support.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So, I told you all about my great new job, tralalala, life is good etc in my last post. I just realized today that I have had the exact same routine for approx. 4 years now and I am going to have to switch things up! Sometimes Meanie doesn’t like change. I’m of the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it category.
For the past few years I have done the following:

1) alarm goes off at 5:50, I hit snooze until 6:15, at which time I take inventory of who is in my bed (the kiddies, people the kiddies!)

2) stumble to the shower, somehow manage to do all things required to make me beautiful while ½ asleep (let us remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder)

3) tip toe out of the house to avoid contact with said kiddies (I can’t handle guilt trips first thing in the morning about whhhhhyyyyyyy I have to work and whhhhyyyyyyy I can’t bring them to school).

4) After tiptoeing out of the house run like the dickens to my bus stop with 30 seconds to spare.

5) Usually sit in the same seat, on the same bus, nod to the same people every morning.

6) Sleep/read.

7) Get off bus one stop before work so I can get my venti bold black, at the same Starbucks, from the same server, every morning.

8) Walk to work, with intimate knowledge of the timing of the lights.

9) Arrive to office. Nod to the same early birds at the same time each morning.

10) Turn computer on, remove sneakers, put on one of the umpteen pairs of shoes I have stored in my office (pick me pick me! They all call out).

11) Type in pass word, pull breakfast from my lunch bag and eat the same thing I have been eating forever – a green smoothie and an energy bar from Trillium bakery. Only consume coffee once I have finished breakfast, by then it is the perfect

12) Work away, work away, check a few blogs :)

13) 11:00 eat lunch while working.

14) 11:30 Get ready for The Walk (I try to walk for an hour each lunch hour)
15) Return to work when everyone else has gone to lunch (I’m a social butterfly, can’t you tell?)

16) 3:00 p.m. close up shop. Walk one bus stop further than the one closest to me. The one closest to me would require walking back a block, and I can only move forwards, not backwards. Does that make sense?

17) 3:30, grab car, do any quick errands I need to do before I pick up the girls, or pick up the girls, bring them to a park and run them before heading home.

18) Once home, homework is done while I make dinner.

19) Yell at kids to get ready for Brownies/Track/bathtime whatever is going on that evening.

20) 8:00 gather kiddies for bedtime, start off like Mary Poppins, end up like Genghis Kahn because of their bedtime shenanigans.

21) Say goodnight.

22) Go to the office, check email and, ummm, LaineyGossip.

23) Make lunches for the next day (always stressful).

24) Maybe watch a show/fold laundry.

25) Lay out clothes for the next day (I hate September for this – I always lay out something completely inappropriate for the unpredictable weather we are having).

26) Wash face, apply beauty products, pray they will work, brush teeth, floss if feeling ambitious, go to bed.

For my new job I have to take 2 busses to get there. This will add a 27 to my 26 steps of the day. This may require some therapy on my part. And there is no Starbucks where I am going. And I will be in a cubicle, not an office with a door. I may be limited in how many shoes I can bring with me.

Think of me Monday morning.

Monday, September 21, 2009

On to the next adventure.

I’m a public servant. I have been working for various government departments now for about 15 years. I’ve been so so so lucky to have had jobs (for the most part) that have actually interested me as well as provide me with a decent pay cheque, 2 fully paid maternity leaves, generous time off for vacation, illness, and tending to the family when they need some extra TLC. I’ve also had very liberal thinking bosses who have all acknowledged the all important work-life balance, and have been kind enough to have allowed me to work 3 day work weeks, 4 day work weeks, one day from home, and flex hours (all in different circumstances).

I know am lucky, and while I may sometimes complain about the goings on at my work, I have been never been ungrateful for the wonderful opportunities I have been given.

I have been with my current department for 10 years, and found myself a little bored, not too excited to get up in the morning and get to work. I always promised myself that I had to feel good about going to work and never be bored. As soon as I started feeling that way, it would be time to move on (I spent a year in a job that I just hated and it is the worst feeling in the world). I applied for job with another department, a bit of a long shot I thought at the time, and I was pleasantly surprised to be offered it. My new manager has also agreed to a 4-day work week. It sounds like a fun, exciting job, I will still be involved in working with material I find interesting, and will learning about something I know nothing about. Yay all around.

I have that September feeling, making all kinds of promises to myself (I will go to bed earlier and exercise at lunch time – there’s a gym at the new place!) And remember that September feeling of needing a new day timer and notebook, maybe even new back pack and some new clothes? I’m giddy with change.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze was in one of my all time favourite films, The Outsiders. He played the father figure roll. I had forgotten about that all together (I was too preoccupied with Matt Dillon, oh Dally Winston, you made me forever fall in love with bad boys).

I also clearly remember in grade 7 or 8, watching Dirty Dancing with a girlfriend who lost her shit over Swayze – I mean tears and sobs over his-on screen passion. I didn’t get it at the time, but by pure coincidence, I watched the movie this past weekend, and I think I get what she was so worked up over. It is a pretty great movie.

I have never watched Ghost – I really don’t think I could. Just not my cup of tea. When it came out I remember thinking it was the cheesiest movie idea I’d ever heard of. And I can’t stomach Whoopi or Demi much.

What I also remember, and can’t help but laugh out loud whenever I picture it in my head, is the Chippendales skit on Saturday Night Live, featuring Swayze and Chris Farley (also RIP). That was genious, and kudos to Swayze for having a sense of humour.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Shoe installment #3 – Biker Boots

I have gone through 3 pairs of biker boots. I have never owned a motorcycle (though have dated a biker and a Vespa-boy), but I have always loved loved loved the look of biker boots. The love of this look goes back to one image. An image that I saw in Vogue when I was around 14 or 15 years old. It is a picture of Linda Evangelista, wearing a white t-shirt, jeans in a fantastic wash, and these incredible, black, motorcycle boots. She looked a beautiful she-male Marlon Brando. I have carried this image in my head for years. A perfect white-T is easy enough to find, as are jeans (well, those are getting more difficult to find), but the boots have proven to be much, much more difficult.

I have compromised over the years and bought boots that came close, but not quite close enough, to emulating the boots in Vogue. Friends near and far have been dragged into my search. My Montreal peeps knew that when I came to town, part of the trip would involve a likely unsuccessful hunt for “the Boots”. Edie’s former caregiver even called me from a Value-Village one afternoon , as excited as anything, letting me know that she had just picked me up pair of tags-still- on, black Harley Davidson boots, ½ a size too big than what I needed. I’ve actually worn these boots over the past few years, and they have become favourites, but they just weren’t perfect enough.

And then, while searching the Net for the illusive perfect boot, I found them. Without a doubt, these were them. I zoomed in and out on the image, looked at every angle possible (Zappo’s is amazing for that) clicked on my size, the colour I wanted and proceeded to the checkout.


Do not deliver to Canada!! WTF! And only 2 pairs left in this size!!!! What’s a girl to do? I called upon my trusty friend in Chicago, a fellow lover of shopping, who I knew would sympathize. And sure enough, within minutes of sending her an email, she had confirmed that they had been ordered, would be shipped to her husbands’ work and he would take care of sending them off to me. I have nice friends.

And so, here they are. I look nothing like Linda Evangelista, but I do like my boots.

*thanks CD for the pic!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Seigfried and Roy couldn’t have tamed these wild beasts.

Grace and Edie are on probation. As far as Jo and I are concerned, they are never allowed to go to a restaurant ever again. Well at least for a month. And in this month they must practice dinner etiquette. Pretend they are dining with royalty. Pretend their little asses are velcroed to their chairs (hmm, that is actually not a bad idea). The must politely say please and thank you and you are welcome for every little thing their hearts desire. They must respect their father and mothers conversation (as boring as it may be), and wait their turn to say whatever it is they so urgently need to express. And when expressing their thoughts, they must use a volume that is appropriate to the space, as in, if a freight train is not the in the near vicinity, it is appropriate to lower their decibels a few notches.

That’s not what went down last night yo.

As a celebration of back to school, and a celebration of a sunny day in September, we decided to dine out. On a patio. Where cold beer is available. I’m not sure where it all fell apart. Could have been when the girls whined and fought for the bench seat. Could have been when they refused to sit down. Could have been when they started fighting over crayons. Could have been when Edie wouldn’t stop asking where her food was. I do know, that by the time our drinks and food came, Jo and I were regretting our decision to dine out. I also know that when Jo took Edie’s straw away from her because he had asked her to stop blowing bubbles and she didn’t listen, Edie did not react well. There was a tantrum a-brewing, and other diners were being disturbed. The ultimatum was to stop crying or else she would have to go to the van. This resulted in further (loud) protests, so I picked Ms. Edie up, and walked her to the van. Did I mention I knocked over a pitcher of ice water on the next table in the process? Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh.

While sitting with the prisoner in the van, apparently Grace took this opportunity to bounce all over the bench, defying Jo’s order to sit down and eat her meal. A pretty picture, right?

Once Edie had waved the white flag and agreed to finish her meal quietly, I brought her out of the van. I also insisted that she apologize to the wait staff, to the table beside us, and to her father. She was mortified but I think it was an important lesson.

The rest of the meal was eaten in silence. Not an “gee I’m enjoying my dinner” silence, but more of “if I hear one more word out you young ladies there will be trouble” kind of silence. Which is really too bad. It could have been a nice evening out.

And that is why the girls are on probation. They are not happy about it, but the Meanies are cracking down on this kind of behaviour. I don’t have the expectation of bringing them to a 5 star restaurant, but it would be nice to go to a casual diner and talk about our day.

To the people dining somewhere on Bank Street last night, again, my sincere apologies. We won’t be back for a month, 6 months, a year. Whatever it takes.

Please tell me you have similar horror stories, we aren’t the only ones who have been unsuccessful in socializing our children, right????? Honestly people, it’s like they were feral.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Counting down the days to summer holidays…..

This summer I took two weeks worth of vacation days. I took one week in August and one week in July.

I don’t feel like I had a holiday at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the time off, paid in full and all, but I never disconnected from work. With a week here and a week there, I still felt fully connected to the workplace, and because of certain things going on, I even monitored my email and phone messages.

Evil evil email and answering machines.

I suspect my parents generation felt more rested after their vacation, as there was no way to contact them once they hit the road. Not even a cell phone. Sometimes not even a phone number, for emergencies. (I remember my parents going camping, leaving me and my siblings to our own devices, with no number to contact them. We just had to look forward to their phone call from a phone booth somewhere in North America. If someone was there to answer their call, great. If not, we were none the wiser because there was no answering machine to record their I love you’s and I miss you’s). I actually really envy what was their carefree ability to take off like that, leaving me at the tender age of 16, to care for the family dog and hold the fort down (ooooooh, that reminds me of a funny story about our highly neurotic dog, and his reaction to my parents leaving town). I’m not sure that I will ever be that care free.

Next year, I vow to take my family off the grid. Where no computer can be found. I bet it’s actually really hard to find such a place. I want to re-enact those day of youth, where we went to the same campsite every second year. My parents would circle the site, looking for the ultimate spot. We popped up the trailer, fiddled with the dial on the radio to find the station we would be listening to for the next two weeks, played scrabble and/or Yahtzee every night (it just occurred to me that my parents might have let me win at those games) and hit the beach every morning. I want to smell the bbq, heat generated by coals, not gas. I want our kids to make friends with the kids from the site beside us, those friendships that are almost instant (ahhh, the solidarity of campsite kids is powerful).

I want our kids to see us in the relaxed state. I remember loving the scruffy face of my dad when we were camping. He was off the grid so he didn’t have to shave. I love the memory of my mom in her green Hawaiian mu-mu and flip-flops, preparing picnics for the beach. I remember thinking that I had died and gone to heaven because all nutritional morals were tossed for those two weeks, junk food reined for me, while my parents ate sea food almost every night.

Remind me to thank my folks for those great times.

**update – last night I asked Jo to commit with me two weeks next summer to re-visit my childhood holiday destination. What fun!

***further update, after speaking with my brother the other night he reminded me that those camping trips weren’t all sunshine, unicorns and rainbows. He remembers my parents making us sleep in the back of the Green Machine while they got to slept in the tent. It was stiflingly hot the van and we couldn’t open the windows because the bugs were so bad. Ha ha, that would be considered child abuse today!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Xup had this great post about idioms. Which got me thinking about things my mother says, that her mother likely said, that her mother likely said, and so on and so on…..

So when I say these things, people usually look at me like I’m one canoe short of a paddle. That’s fine. And what makes me giggle is that this legacy is being passed on to Grace and Edie, as they are starting to use the expressions. A few of them are:

1) Keep your eyes peeled! (As in keep your eyes peeled for a Dairy Queen!)
This one has the potential to scare the very young, as one can’t help but picture a potato peeler working on an eyeball.

2) And we’re off like a dirty shirt!
Because I am late for everything, as was my family when I was younger. When we finally climb into the mini-van of cool, I usually yelp out this saying, to celebrate that we are finally taking off, like we would take off a dirty shirt. This one gets giggles because it makes a 7 year old think of nudity, and, you know, nudity = hilarity at that age.

3) “Oh, here’s the postey, the housey, the manney, pretty-mych-anything-ey”
Adding an ey to everything comes from my Scottish heritage. My Nana would add ey to any inanimate/animate object. Edie has particularly embraced this (lamb-ey, blanket-ey, bikey). Might have to put an end to this as the school year approaches.

4) “There are some chippy bits left, would you like them?”
This is usually applied to the few remains of a salad. Little bits of celery, green onion and cucumber that didn’t make the first round. My mom always offers these remaining chippy bits because the woman can’t bear to waste anything.

5) “Would you like the dregs?”
This usually refers any remaining beverage, usually coffee/wine. So, if you are invited to my next dinner party, when I offer you the dregs of something, I’m not offering you something foul, I’m just trying to give you seconds!

6) “ I am dripping with a cold”
Ewww, this one is gross, but so wonderfully visual. Whenever I have a bad cold, like last week, my Mom always remarks that I am just dripping with a cold. Dripping as in a nose like a tap, watery eyes, fevered forehead, liquids coming from everywhere they can. Love it.

What weird things do you say that will get your kids made fun of?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm still reeling from the rapists sentencing. If you are reading this and you have a blog, and you don't feel like blogging one day, why not cut and paste the story below, or simply link to this CBC article to further spread the word that this sex offender is out there, with a slap on the wrist to keep him from doing it again.

Pub owner avoids jail time for sex assault
Last Updated: Monday, August 17, 2009 | 3:59 PM PT
CBC News
Fernando Alves will be on the sex offender registry for 20 years following a guilty plea in a highly publicized sexual assault case. (Vancouver Police)The former owner of a Burnaby, B.C., pub has been handed a nine-month conditional sentence after pleading guilty to sexual assault in a case that prompted criticism of the police from the convicted man's lawyer.

Fernando Manuel Alves, 46, had faced four charges of sexual assault and one charge of administering a noxious substance.

His arrest two years ago prompted police to warn the public about drink-spiking.

Alves ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault after the other assault charges and the administering charge were dismissed following a preliminary hearing.

Alves's lawyer said his client was innocent of the other charges and insisted Alves was not the man police made him out to be.

"Police seem to think they can speak with immunity, and not take responsibility and proper respect for the process that is required," Lawrence Myers said following Monday's court proceedings.

It was revealed during the trial that in October 2006, a woman in her 30s woke up in Alves's bed, bruised and bleeding after an evening at a downtown Vancouver nightclub.

The married woman — who cannot be identified — said she had no recollection of meeting Alves the night before.

Medical testing confirmed she had had sexual intercourse and found traces of alcohol and sedatives in her system.

The woman told the court her will to live had been drained because of what happened to her and that she was unable to feel safe or to be intimate with her husband.

In sentencing, the B.C. provincial court judge said Alves was not pathologically dangerous but had committed a crime of opportunity.

The judge ordered that Alves be placed on the sex-offender registry for the next 20 years but that he not spend time in jail.

This justification kills me "In sentencing, the B.C. provincial court judge said Alves was not pathologically dangerous but had committed a crime of opportunity."
How can this violent, life-altering crime, particulary by a pub owner, not be considered dangerous??? So post his picture, get his picture out there so anyone who might come into contact with him can react accordingly, and god forbid, protect themselves from a "crime of opportunity".


Monday, August 17, 2009


Sentencing was today. He got 9 months probation, no jail time. He is woefully sorry for all of it. He didn't realize she was too "drunk" to willingly give consent (drugging charges were thrown out).

Look out for each other ladies, because nobody else is.
I believe in miracles….

So, behind Edie’s legs, inside of her elbows, her neck and back are raw from her scratching. She has eczema, and she’s got it bad. So bad it disrupts her sleep. The sound of her scratching at her skin, so violently, brings tears to my eyes. The creams the doctor has prescribed do nothing, except make her cry because it stings so much. And none of these creams are intended for long term use.

And then there is Grace, who continues to struggle with anxiety at bedtime – she fights to fall asleep (she’s not fighting us anymore, it’s an internal struggle). She wakes in the middle of the night, petrified of something she can’t express. She has to call me to come to her room to walk her to our room, where we’ve set up a little bed for her on the floor. She hates this. She says herself she is tired and she wants it to stop. It breaks my heart to find her finally asleep, blankets wrapped around her head to block out whatever it is that is scaring her. She has gone through one night in the past 5 weeks without waking, and she was elated, so happy that the anxiety had disappeared. Imagine her disappointment when the very next night she was up again, stomach in knots with anxiety.

I’m tired too. At first I don’t think I dealt with the situations very well. Always patient at first, but overcome with sleep deprivation adopting a get over it attitude. I’m back to being sympathetic, but still frustrated, and have decided it’s time to seek help.

I’ve made an appointment with the girls with a NAET practitioner. She pretty much guarantees and end to Edie’s suffering, and also feels she can help Gracie with whatever is causing her problems at night with Thought Field Therapy. It definitely sounds hokey, but I do have some first hand testimonials that are very positive.

Do you have any experience with “alternative medicine”? What do you think?

Monday, August 10, 2009

My John Hughes memory….

Wow. Lots of icons dying.

I was a John Hughes fan, with Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and Breakfast Club being my faves. I could, and still can, watch these movies over and over again. I used to pour over every single detail of these movies, from the wardrobes, dance techniques, vocabulary used and hairstyles. I longed to dance like Ferris Bueller in the streets to “Twist and Shout”; I wanted to find my own Judd Nelson to press my diamond earring into his leather glove. I wanted to work in a record store just like the one in Pretty in Pink, and have someone like Ducky to pine over me. I day dreamed to the soundtracks of the movies (all of which I own on vinyl, thank you very much!) Everything about these movies I wanted, and probably attempted to emulate in one fashion or another.

When I started university, a very small school in a very small town, I guess I stood out a little. There weren’t too many “alternative” girls there and it was predominantly a football/rugby school filled with jocks and sorority girls. I did find my place there though, and had tons of fun. With Hughes death I was reminded of the nickname given to me my first year there. Molly. The odd friendship that developed between me and a group of footballers gave way to the nickname. They said I reminded them so much of Molly Ringwald in those movies that they took to calling me Molly all the time, never referring to me by my real name. Even today when I occasionally bump into one of these guys, they still greet me as Molly.

After Hughes death I watched these movies, and can’t help but smile and feel proud that I reminded these friends of the iconic figure of the 80’s that Hughes had created. Kinda silly, but still really kinda nice.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

warning: swearing

so i went to social distortion last night in montreal at the medley. let me get my walking stick out and put my dentures in kids. i have seen this band 5 times in my life. in ottawa and toronto. never in montreal. mother fucker, montreal pissed the hell out of me last night. i have never seen such a disrespectful motherfucking annoying audience than i did last night. mike ness even had to shush the audience at one point when he was trying to introduce a new tune. all the times i have seen this band the audience treated them with reverence, it is a rare fucking treat to see these guys live in this neck of the woods. this audience just fucking loved to hear themselves talk. all jo and i could hear was bleah bleah bleah of the people around us. i really tried to not let it ruin my evening, but it was hard. and nobody could stay in one spot...people wandering back and forth, spilling beer, yelling at each other etc etc.
gawd, i'm old, i'm cranky, but for fuck's sakes montreal, go to a pub and talk at each other, not to the church of mike ness.
mother fuckers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


A few weeks ago I went into Town Shoes to “browse”. I should know myself well enough by now that by browse I mean buy. And I did find a sweet little number that made my heart skip a beat, were comfy and would fill that gap in my shoe wardrobe that I always convince myself that I have (the gap never seems to close). I slipped one on and he sales woman cooed, the gal beside me trying on Puma’s told me they looked great and when the cartoon birds and chipmunks brought me the second shoe, my feet were magically transformed. I looked a the price tag, it was totally do-able.
I had a quick question for the sales lady though, about quality. Excuse me miss, I didn’t catch the make of these, could you tell me? Why yes dear, they are by Jessica Simpson.



How did this cat:

go from being badass, to wearing HER

shoes on my feet?

Well, I obviously got over it and bought the shoes, but note to Britney Spears – don’t even try bitch, I’m not buying.

(the shoes are cute though, right?)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yesterday was completely void of television. It was filled with doing volcano experiments, reading books, doing puzzles, dashing outside when the sun was shining and dashing inside when the heavens poured rain.
It involved a drive out to Nanny and Grandads house where we played Battleship, poked at the frog who lives in my parents pond. It involved strolling through the garden, looking at the beautiful specimens my parents have so lovingly tended to for the past 35 odd years. The girls picked different varieties of mint leaves, crushed them in their little hands and inhaled and marveled over the aroma. They also cooed over the baby zucchinis with their giant yellow flower hats. There were giggles when Grandad pretended to stab himself slowly with a pen and more shrieks when he dramatically removed his thumb (he’s so full of tricks that guy!) There was peace and quiet on the deck when Nanny brought out some snacks, juice boxes and beer.
Later, dinner at home was a quiet affair, outside on the bistro, none of us very hungry, but happy to sit and chatter away about nothing in particular (Edie is particularly adept at that).
There was laughter after bath time when we ran outside and played one of Grace’s complicated games (involving a dump truck you pedal, a pink princess ball, and Edie charging down the driveway in the truck yelling Tractor coming! Tractor coming! all while wearing her best Tinkerbell gown while Grace tried to headbut the ball in the truck loader). Then there were shouts of glee when Jo came home earlier than expected.

There were a lot of shitty things that happened yesterday too, that I won’t get into here. But I’m glad to be able to hold on to the good.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If you had the opportunity to take a 5 year sabbatical from your 9 to 5, do you think your kids would benefit more from you being home for them in the summer/after school at the tender ages of 4 and 7 or the potentially difficult pre- and adolescent years?

Just askin’……your insight is valuable to me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Have you all been wondering where I have been? No? Oh.

Well, for my own documentary purposes, I am going to tell you. Bluesfest 2009. A little run-down on the fun I had, with commentary:

Ben Harper – he was great. Don’t know a whole lot about this guy, but I liked the music a lot. He also seems to inspire people to spark one, up, so the fragrant air was kinda nice too. Oh, I love that he had a button down on with jeans and loafers. Well played Ben. He did an AMAZING cover of Red House.

Metric- Fun, boppy. Girlfriend looks a lot like my sister in law. Freaky.

Steve Earle – Meeellllloooowwwww. Liked it better when I saw him at Barrymore’s over a decade ago, when you could still smoke in bars. All about the atmosphere I guess.

Jackson Browne – I didn’t know him from John Doe, and while his music isn’t my cup of tea, what I loved about him was that he was so happy to be here. Whenever I looked at him through the binoculors, he had a twinkle in his eye and seemed to be amazed at the reception he was getting. And the 50+ crowd really seemed to dig him!

Brian Setzer – Front stage for this one. The Best. This guy knows what he is doing, what to say and when to say it. It was an awesome show. I was hoping for more rockabilly eye candy (pompadours and tattoos) in the crowd – who is representing the rockabilly crowd in Ottawa these days?

Estelle – she’s actually a great performer. Brought Grace and Edie to this show – it was rainy and icky, but fun nonetheless.

Stone Temple Pilots – I didn’t go, but Jo did, and the fact I found a little note from him the next morning with “I’m in the basement” scrawled on it indicates that it was a good time.

The National – so glad I caught them. New faves for me.

BEAST – impressed me with the ability to keep audiences attention, as they were opening for…

KISS – vocally they suck, instrumentally - meh, but they can perform! It was really fun.

Blue Rodeo – always good, have seen them before, and found them a little mellow. But wow, do they ever draw a crowd!

Paolo Nutini – So glad I cut out of Blue Rodeo to go see him. Great performer, smallish intimate crowd made for a great show. Oh, and he is Hotness.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – these guys were great! She is a wonderful performer. Kooky and crazy, but she was having a great time. She is such a strong singer and so full of beans. It was great show. Judging for the age of the crowd, I felt like I should be slurping up Metamucil instead of beer, Jo and I were pretty old compared to those around us.

We also saw some wonderful, wonderful blues acts. Real dirty blues.

I’m exhausted, broke (babysitters have practically bankrupt us), a few pounds heavier (so much beer and bad for you food) but will do it all again next year.

I love that Ottawa has this festival. Boo to all you haters. The spirit and vibe is just so wonderful, I don’t really understand how anyone could be bitter about it.

Friday, July 10, 2009


And your Mother wears combat boots....

Well, I haven’t put them on for awhile, but these babies are probably the ones that could talk the most.

I purchased these little drill boots after I decided to commit whole heartedly to the punk scene. After a trip to the army surplus at the age of 12, nothing else graced my feet for the next 3 years. This was a time of much drama in my life, not fitting in here, not fitting in there, experimenting with this and that. It was also a time when doc marten boots were becoming popular, but if you wore them you also risked getting rolled for them. Terrified of this prospect, I remained satisfied with my steel toe boots, polishing them up diligently on a daily basis.

These boots got me out sticky situations (I kicked a guy in the berries who was trying to have his way with me). They clocked quite a few miles (I once walked to Manotick from Hog’s Back after a night of excess). They got me made fun of. They made me feel tough. I felt complete with my boots, like they were part of me, part of my uniform. Even when I gave in to my mom BEGGING me to wear something nice for a special event, those boots would top the outfit.

They collect dust now, but when I look at them I am overwhelmed with the memories they bring back. All at once I am nostalgic for the good times, sad for the lonely girl who wore them and mad at certain memories.

I’ll never throw these puppies out, and will likely insist that my girls wear them on their first dates.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My Michael Jackson memory.

Like most 11 year old girls, I was crazy about Michael. Innocent and young enough that it wasn’t a lust thing (unlike my ongoing issues with Mike Ness) but rather an obsession that made me smile, dance and yearn to hear his music all the time.

These were the days of Samantha Taylor on Video Hits. I would rush to get my homework done so I could sit thisclose to the T.V. and she teased us with what videos should would be playing that day. Can you imagine in the days before MuchMusic that we were allocated only ½ an hour of music videos a day? At any rate, during the Thriller album days, chances are Sam would play a couple of his videos a week. Sometimes I would get my tape recorder and tape the song off the t.v. (seriously - you can imagine the sound quality of this with the sounds of my Mom making dinner in the background).

I also had Thriller on vinyl, and would play it over and over and over again, skipping past certain songs (Human Nature, The Lady in My Life) and warping the tracks of others (I just loved The Girl is Mine). I don’t remember anyone in the house complaining either about playing these songs so often – maybe I’m romanticizing here, but it seems like everyone liked Michael Jackson.

So, back to my memory. My folks would pack me up every second summer for a road trip to go camping in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Because of our age differences, my brother and sister stopped joining us on these trips and it was just me, my mom, my dad, and the CBC (or the equivalent torture of whatever state/city we happened to be crossing). My folks favour opera and classical music. Like finger nails down a chalk board for an 11 year old (and sometimes for a 36 year old).

Part of this trip included a trip to downtown Boston. This would be an awesome trip because I would see soooo many walks life (Black people! Punk rockers! Hare Krishnas, oh my!) It would also be a fairly stressful trip because my dad behind the wheel of a big ass, two toned green van in a very busy downtown core which he was grossly unfamiliar set his anxiety levels at an all time high. I’m sure the steering wheel (also green) had his finger nail marks on it.

Anyhoooo, I had been whining and complaining on my sticky green vinyl seat about the radio station they had on. To shut me up, my mom found a pop station, and lo and behold, Billie Jean came on the radio.

I screamed. I screamed as if Michael walked right up to the two toned van (with matching curtains I might add) and asked for directions. I screamed like an 11 year old who had not heard her mostfavouritesongintheworld for over a week and a half. I screamed like only an 11 year old girl can scream.

My dad slammed on the brakes in the middle of downtown Boston rush hour. Concerned that he had hit someone or I had seen someone murdered on the street, he asked what the bloody hell was wrong. D-uh! Michael Jackson’s on the radio Daaaad! *Crickets* You know that quiet angry that parents get? When they aren’t quite sure how to pick the words they want to say and it’s really scary? My dad didn’t do it often, but I’m sure the whole of Boston felt the chill that fell upon the big ass two toned green van with matching curtains and vinyl seats.

The radio dial was promptly turned to, and remained on a classical station for the duration of the trip, and I had a walkman for our next road trip.

Rest in peace, Michael, thanks for the memories.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I bought the most beeeeuuutiful shoes on Monday. I am writing about them because I just took them off to put on my sneaks for my lunch time constitutional and I think I actually cried a little when I took them off. I must take a picture and post for you all to see. I would be torn if I was to ever made to choose between a child o mine and these shoes. They are just that Awesome.

I am finding it difficult to find things to blog about these days – p’raps I should do a shoe blog. An entry for each pair of shoes I own, going back to my combat boots from the mid-1980’s. What do you think? Most of them have a story (or two) to tell.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


• Saw Away We Go last night – highly recommend it. What I do not recommend is sitting in front of 6 middle aged women who feel the need to comment endlessly on what is going on in the movie and state the obvious.

• While on the topic of annoying, I done figgered out a new pet peeve of mine (like I need anymore). I HATE it when people use decade+ old catch phrases and think they are funny. Example: Middle aged woman last night. Her reaction to a preview that she obviously didn’t like: “Buh-Bye – snort” (yes, she actually snorted). C’mon lady, buh-bye? Really you think that shit’s funny? It was funny when Dana Carvey did it, in the 1980’s.

• Not sure if mentioned that I was on a roll with only getting intimate with alcohol on the weekends. I made this move after the ever expanding waistline expanded a little too much last month. So, I quit booze, snacks after dinner and mindless eating. And, it has been making a difference. However, last night it was so hot, and the Heineken’s were quite agitated in the fridge (“we’re so c-c-c-c-c-cold Meanie, save us!” ) so Jo and I relieved them.

• My bestie is flying in tonight with her husband for a visit! Yippee! We sometimes go a whole year without seeing each other and now we are seeing each other twice within two months! I love this girl so much.

• We are heading to the cottage this weekend for Absolut. What is Absolut you ask? It is a weekend away with 5 other couples (same couples every year for the past 10 years) where we drink stoopid amounts of Absolut vodka, eat and be merry. We have been doing this since before any of us had kids. The evolution of the weekend has been amazing. I don’t have to do any ab exercises because I just laugh and laugh all weekend long.

That’s enough random.

*for MamaTulip – thank you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

• How do single parents cope when hit with an illness that just knocks you on your rump? Last Tuesday I left the office, pretty much on my hands and knees, feeling death crawling all over my body. For the next three days it took all my energy to get from my bed to the couch and back again. Usually on a sick day I can pull myself together for the ½ hour it takes to drive the girls to school. Not last week. No way. Probably a good thing as I would have scared small children with death-like pallor. Boo virus!

• The good thing that came from being sick was Mad Men on Rogers on Demand. Oh how I love this show. I may have to stay up past my bedtime to watch the remaining episodes. While I don’t necessary want to be a 1950’s housewife, I sure as hell would like to dress like one (with the exception of the pointy boobs – how was that ever in style?) So fun. Such a great series. Yay virus!

• My near death experience last week got me back into my favourite skirts that I couldn’t otherwise fit into – yay virus!

• Almost looking into the light last week has me behind on everything from laundry to cooking to bathing the children to bringing myself to picking up the macaroni noodle under the table that I have been eyeing for the past 5 days. Boo virus!

• One of my dearest friends came for whirlwind visit this weekend arriving Friday leaving Sunday. I know how difficult this was for her as she has three under 6 at home, but wow, was it ever great to see her, and we picked right up where we last left off 3 years ago. Those are the friends you want to hang on to. At least my sickness timed itself well and got of my system before she arrived. Yay virus!

• Being on the couch allowed me to watch the veritable festival of activity that takes place in our back yard. I now realize that yes, birds actually do use the bird feeders, as do the squirrels and chipmunks. And, we have birds living in the dollar store birdhouses that the girls decorated last year! These little houses look like Ugly Betty threw up all over them, but apparently birds like the festive look. Yay virus!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Those of you reading my blog for awhile may recall a darker post about rape . My best friend was drugged and raped after a night out with girl friends. I'm happy to report that not too long ago, my bestie and I shared drinks, laughs and danced to bad (great!) 80's music, just like the old days. While the ghost of rape still haunts, it was a little less present than our last visit together. There is still much for my friend to deal with, and all is not perfect, however, she has sent out this latest update on her case (posted with her blessing):

Hi all,
I have some news - as some of you may recall, the pretrial in the sexual assault case of Fernando Manuel Alves occurred last August. He was committed to trial on only 2 of the 5 counts (2 victims could not testify, and there was no "proof" that it was him who drugged me). The trial was scheduled for June 8-26, 2009.
I have just heard from the Crown Counsel, who told me that he has pleaded guilty. He accepted a plea bargain, in which he pleads guilty to my assault, but the other remaining assault charge has been dropped. The Crown is asking for 12-18 months in jail. We won't know what he gets until sentencing, which I am told will happen some time in June or July. He will be registered with the Sexual Offenders Database, and is required to provide a DNA sample for forensic records.
So there will be no trial, I will not have to testify again, (though in some sick way I was looking forward to obliterating the defense laywer again :) While this episode is by no means over for me or my family, there is finally some closure, and we are all happy about that.
Some more good news on that front, the investigation into Sergeant Asshat, head of the Sexual Offenses Squad of the XXXXXX Police Department has, after significant delays, concluded that Sergeant Asshat was indeed guilty of a disciplinary default in his treatment of me, and he has been removed permanently from that department. We are very pleased about this, as future victims will not have to deal with the "re-traumatizing" I faced in dealing with this individual.
Thanks to everyone for your support, and I ask that you feel free to share my story to educate others, as the epidemic of drug-assisted sexual assault is growing rapidly, and EVERYONE is a potential victim.

Here's to better days ahead,


Part of this pleases me, for her, for now she won't have to go through the agonizing ordeal of having to testify and justifying her status as victim. Part of it really pisses me off that an act that has negatively impacted her life, for the rest of her life, is worth, AT MOST, 12-18 months in jail. And that there other victims out there, who will not get this kind of "closure" because of the way our legal system works ("So....if I say I'm guilty of this can I not be punished for that?").

And because of my friends strength and conviction in what is right and what is wrong, Sgt. Asshat will no longer work with victims of sexual offences. She fought for this, she did not let it go, no matter how emotionally exhausting it was to fight that fight and keep the case open.

As the days of summer approach and we hit patios and parties, please always be aware of your drink, who you are with, and who your friends are with. These things happen too easily and fighting for justice is damn hard.

Rape doesn't discriminate. All women, of all ages, need to be aware.

International Rape Crisis Hotlines

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Has anyone read “Late Nights on Air” by Elizabeth Hay?

Freaking painful by my standards. I’m about 1/8th in, not sure if I should continue or not. Has anyone read this? Does it get better? Not one character is speaking to me….in fact, I’d like to bitch slap all of them right now. The only reason I trudge angrily on is because my Mom swears by it.

Anyhooo, can’t remember who recommended the following, but they were fan-tastic.

The Outcast
Petty Details of So and So’s Life
Elle (is that what it called? French woman abandoned on shores of pre-devleopped Canada? Hides in the guts of a bear?)

More Can-lit recommendations please….I’m in reading mode and want to take advantage of it!!!!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Are you there God?

For the past few months, Grace has been asking more and more questions about God and church. Some of her friends go to church, and one little friend from school has taken it upon herself to teach my poor little heathen child some good old bible basics.

When I was growing up, I attended church with my mom up to a certain age. I didn’t like church. I didn’t like Sunday-school. The stories they told and the pictures they showed gave me nightmares. I didn’t get the part about being forgiven – it was my understanding that if I fucked up, that was it, game over, straight to hell for me. I also thought the kids at Sunday school smelled funny and the sandwiches tasted strange.

I also grew up in a HEAVILY white, Christian-ish community. Not a whole lot of opportunity to explore difference cultures and religions. In fact, anyone with even a hint of something different about them was the object of scrutiny. One little Jehovah’s Witness girl fueled many a rumor in grade 2 (really, the idea of not celebrating Christhmas or birthdays? That suckths!) And the one Pakistani family in the community had a son who was mentally challenged. In my very young years, I remember assuming Pakistani=mentally challenged. Horrible, right?

Back to the church thing. As you can imagine, I gave up on the church early. Never balked at it, but also never embraced it. In my teens, a *situation* forced me to study the 12 steps of AA. This program has a heavy spiritual component to it that forces you to put faith in a higher power. Rather than embrace God as he stars in the bible, I chose to embrace a loving entity whom I did not call God. And she was a woman. And we made our own rules, and this still works for me today when I need a little hit o’ faith.

Still with me? So, when Grace poses me questions about God and church, I don’t really feel that I am the best person talk to. That brings me to this coming Sunday. I am taking the girls to their first church service at a Unitarian church. This church sounds like Shangri-La to me, where all religions are embraced, explored, and they even have a statement on their website stating that they welcome same-sex couples, transgendered, transsexual, cross-dressing, (I’m sure I’m missing something) peoples.

I hope they welcome princesses. Edie will insist on a regal outfit for this one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My girls...

and I'm not talking about Grace and Edie. I'm talking about the ladies who make my life a little fuller. The ladies I'm lucky enough to have as friends.

Work has been crazy busy lately, leaving little time or brain capacity to think of much else. I have wonderful women who have ushered cheques to soccer registration for me, signed up and taken care of BBQ fees for the Sparks graduation ceremony, and my sister has been amazing with her arranging and ushering the kids to swim lessons.
I have a new-ish group of gals who have been nice enough to invite me to an all girls' cottage weekend, one of them even kicking in her car so I can come and go on my own schedule. I have my bestie in Calgary, who while I was conferencing, would usher me back to her house each night to make me dinner, watch Rock of Love with me, and most importantly, laugh her ass off with me (her poor, poor husband). I have another dear old friend who recently breezed into town from the West who said she loved me and missed me and who always makes me smile and feel good about myself and leaves flowers on my doorstep. I have another wonderfully special friend from another country, who has found someone to care for her three kids so she can come and visit me for 3 days in June, simply because we haven't "talked" in way too long. I have my monthly Wine and Whine girls who, whether one shows up or all 14, always make me giggle and make me look forward to the next night we can all get together. I have my movie friend, though not a girl, but he always wants to see the same movie I want to see and laughs at my jokes and snaps pictures of dresses in store windows that he thinks I might like. I also have my blogging buddies who I feel strangely connected with, even though I have only met them one time (if at all).

Without these friends my life would not be as full as it is. I'm grateful for them all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meanie’s me-me

I don’t guarantee these to be very interesting facts, and I hesitate to get toooo personal on this blog, but here are the 7 facts I came up with once tagged by Jobthingy for this me-me:

1) I hate wind. Hate it with a passion. Don’t care if helps plants cross-polinate. It makes me cold, blows my hair into my lip gloss and just makes me miserable in general. I literally get anxiety when I walk outside and feel gusts of wind.

2) I am obsessed with skincare. I suspect I have a mild form of post-traumatic stress disorder, stemming from the agony of an acne-ridden adolescence. Thank the pharmaceutical Gods for Accutane.

3) I have been thinking about my next tattoo for about three years now. My one and only tattoo is of Skelli, the “mascot” of Social Distortion. I couldn’t very well get Mike Ness tattooed on me, could I?

4) I lied. I have another tattoo. A really bad, homemade tattoo of the letter B on top of my left arm. Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.

5) I have an amazing vinyl collection that I can’t wait to dedicate more time to once I have more, well, time. And by dedicate time I mean be a total and complete geek by alphabetizing, ranking, polishing, buying plastic sleeves for and adding to the collection.

6) Everytime I see something in the garden bloom that I planted I am filled with such satisfaction. I get more satisfaction out of seeing one of "my" tulips in it's prime than I do after completing a challenging task at work.

7) I love that Jo and I share a similar sense of humour, and I can see Grace developing a similar one too (though biting sarcasm isn’t any easier to take from a 7 year old). Edie has developed a wicked party laugh to make us all feel funny.

I’m supposed to tag, but 8) I can also be lazy. So, go for it if you want!

**thanks Jobthingy for caring!**

Monday, May 11, 2009

I am heading out of town soon for 5 days for work. This is the longest I’ve been away from home and its contents (Jo, Grace and Edie). If everyday of your life has been ritualized to the most mundane detail, this kind of trip is a pretty big deal. I joke about the getaway, 4 nights in a nice hotel, meals made for me, trips to the gym, a t.v. to myself but when it comes right down to it I’m freaking out a little because home is what I strive for from the moment I wake up everyday. I eagerly anticipate hopping off the loser cruiser (OC Transpo yo) and getting the car to pick up the kids.

First up is Grace. I hold back a little before I let her see me. She is always engaged in some intense activity with a friend or two. It usually involves tunneling to China or creating highly important, HIGHLY secretive codes for some vital work they are involved in. When she spots me though she usually comes running and spills her news of the day for a few minutes and then gazes out the car window, deep in thought all the way to Edie’s day care. When we collect Edie she is almost always surrounded by friends, with her shoes on the wrong feet, a smudge of dirt on her face and a ponytail gone bad. As soon as she spots Grace she lights up, abandons the game she’s been in and jumps in my arms. The car ride home is the one unpredictable part of the routine – they either fight the whole time or Grace reads to Edie all the way home. I never know how it’s going to go.

Once home, Grace tackles homework, as does Edie (yes, in her world colouring constitutes academia), while I try to create a meal for dinner, all the while berating myself for not throwing something in the slow cooker the night before.

I love the chaos of our dinner table (just because I’m on the verge of yelling doesn’t mean I don’t love it). Jo and I try to eek out a sentence or two to each other while coaxing kids to eat and being an audience to their stories.

I love the walks after dinner. The walks aren’t exactly vigorous, as Edie gets equally excited for any bird/worm/bug sighting, and has a small soliloquy for each event; and Grace, never one to run a straight line, insists on making an obstacle course out of everything to add a challenge.

Bedtime shenanigans I don’t love so much, but when we get to book time, the feeling of their spirited little bodies slowly, slowly starting relax, also help to relax me. And finally, the best part, the love fest of goodnight, with a million I love you’s and passionate hugs.

So yeah, five days without this kind of routine in my life is going to be strange. But, to counter the separation anxiety I’m bound to feel is the fact that I’m staying in the city where my best friend in whole wide world who loves Pee Wee Herman as much I do lives. This makes me a little giddy.