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.