Monday, 28 February 2011

Post-Oscar Blogging - yes, I gave up

So I was live-blogging.  Spitting out little comments as the show progressed.  But I also promised myself (and Hubby) that we would not glue ourselves to the tv all night. 

Once we went up to bed we watched for a while longer. 

The highlight?  Billy Crystal.  Me, along with apparently the rest of the world, was wishing Mr. Crystal would stick around to host the rest of the show.  And what's with trying to reach a "younger demographic"?  I still consider myself a younger demographic, and I love Billy.  Maybe that's the indication that I'm no longer "younger".  Damn it. 

Gweneth Paltro has a decent voice I guess.  She was ok at the Grammys.  But not last night.  She looked like she was trying way too hard.  But I guess one would try hard, if one were a famous actress in front of all one's A-list actor colleagues SINGING a cheesy country song.  Maybe her husband, the Coldplay guy, should stick to the live performances.

Yay for Nathalie Portman!  I could have done without Black Swan, but I like her, and she was good in it. 

So glad Collin Firth won best actor and The King's Speech won best picture.  It really was so good.  One of the purest classic 'motion pictures' I've ever seen.  Gone are the days in which a simple movie, driven by its story and the actors' exceptional performances, makes a lot of money.  Imagine how rich they'd be if the King was also a vampire or a 3D blue alien creature.  Cha-ching

_

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Live Oscar Blogging - maybe not as exciting as you'd think

Continuing on from earlier...

Ok, so Kirk Douglas is hilarious.  You gotta YouTube that shit, man.  He's messing with them!  Cute.  

Ah!  She cursed!  The best supporting actress.  The older lady from The Fighter!  They bleeped it, but that's ok. 

Alright, one for The Social Network - Adapted Screenplay.  And one for the King's Speech - Original Screenplay.  Let the battle begin. 

Russel Brand is coming up next!  In case you didn't already know, he's my most recent favourite person

Oh wow.  I was thinking "Anne Hathaway is a super pain in my ass, but she looks cute in that tux".  But if the trade-off for seeing Anne Hathaway's cute tux is James Franco in a pink gown and blonde wig, it ain't worth it. 

LOVE Russel Brand's translation from French.  And Helen Mirren is as gorgeous as ever.  Even if she did butcher the French language.

Hubby says Reese Witherspoon is "flawless".  Damn it.  I have to agree.

Christian Bale or Jeffrey Rush??  Quick!  Pick one!  CB.  Yeah!  Good call on my part.  Oh, there's that surprise messy British accent again.

OK, channel surfing.  Comedy Network.  Why is Bob Saget on the Comedy Network?  And why is saying the word "dick".  Maybe the Oscars aren't as bad as I thought.

I think Best Original Score will go to The Social Network.  Wait and see... Oh, wait, Inception's tune is pretty cool too.  And, the Oscar goes to... ... Right again!  Maybe I should have put a toonie in afterall.  

Does anyone even know the effing difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing?  No way.  There is no difference.  Here comes the sound of me changing the channel again. 

Have you ever watched 'A Minute To Win It'?  That little kid is never going to bounce a quarter off a table into a giant water jug across the room.  Even for a million bucks.  It's impossible.  Three, two, one.  No dice.  Told ya.  

K, back to Oscar.  

Hubby and I really can't figure out why in hell James Franco is hosting this stupid show.  At least Anne can articulate.  What a piss-off.

Time to go upstairs.  More to come tomorrow, I suppose. 

_

Live Oscar Blogging - can't go wrong

Ok, so, against our better judgement, we're watching the Oscars.  Not necessarily because we want to.  More because we got sucked in. 

Most years we watch religiously with a nominees ballot and a toonie on the line.  Not tonight.  Tonight, there will be channel surfing.  Tonight, there will be intermittent laundry.  Tonight, there will be the option of going to bed whenever the eff we want.  

However, there will also be minute-by-minute commentary from your Oscar expert - me. 

OK.  Here we go. 

It's about 6:00, and the stupid red carpet has already been going for hours.  It's not even red.  It's pink. 

Ok, here's Mila what's'ername.  From Black Swan.  More importantly, from That 70s Show.  What happened to her squeaky voice?  She's so scratchy and sexy now. 

Oh, Helen Miren.  She's gorgeous.  I love her.  I hope I look that good when I'm 113 years old. 

Donald Trump?! What the Hell is he doing there?  Money.  Because he has a lot of money.  What a dink.  I hope he lost a bunch of his dough in the recession.  He could stand to. 

OK, it's 8:00!  Time for the show to start!

What?!  There's still another half an hour?!  Of course there is.  F-ck. 

James Franco is talking to the interviewer.  What a douche elbow.  How is he hosting?  He can barely form a coherent sentence.  Decent actor I guess, but that doesn't excuse it. 

Christian Bale.  What the eff.  I always forget he's British - or Australian - or whatever. And Hubby would like to know what's up with the red-headed-step-child beard. 

Finally.  It's starting. 

Ok, so James Fraco should so not be wearing a tighty-whitey ballerina leotard. 

Oh!  I love Morgan Freeman.  

Ew.  Anne Hathaway.  Hubby says she looks like an anteater.  And what's with the crazy fake eyelashes?  She looks like tranny raccoon. 

James Franco's grandmother is there.  Hubby wants to know why everyone always claps for old people.  But Grandma is excited to meet Marky Mark.  I would be too.

Titanic!  Oh, Leo, my heart WILL go on.

Ok, first commercial.  Stay tuned. 

_

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Learn something new... every. damn. day.

I learned something new about Hubby this morning. 

You know how sometimes you can tell something is just not quite right, but you can't exactly tell what?

Like maybe you write a word and somehow it just doesn't look right?  Like weirdWeird doesn't follow the "i before e, except after c" rule.  Ironic.  

Today I was sitting in the living room while Hubby was trying on his new running shoes. 

Me:  "Wait.  Hold on a sec."
Hubby:  "What?"
Me:  "Tie your shoe again."
Hubby:  "Huh?"
Me:  "Just do it.  Tie it in a bow again."
Hubby, with a nervous smile, while re-tying his shoe:  "Why?!"
Me, laughing:  "Oh my god, Honey, what are you doing?"
Hubby, panicked:  "What do you mean?!"

I don't know how ten years could go by (almost 20 if you count childhood) without me knowing that Hubby ties his shoes, um, wrong

Ok, not wrong, I guess, but differently.  And certainly with less efficiency.

Me:  "Show me again." 

So, he picked up one lace in each hand and tied the first knot.  Then he dropped the left-hand lace, and used his left hand to pull the right-hand lace into a loop.  He just dropped it. 

This is the point of his shoe-tying process that I later realized was what looked not quite right... the point at which I thought "Hmm, what's he doing?  Why does that look odd?

Then he finished his bow. 

Hubby, laughing:  "There.  What's wrong with that?"
Me, laughing harder:  "Oh, Honey.  Here.  Let me show you."

So, I picked up one lace in each hand and tied the first knot.  What I didn't do was drop either of the laces.  I used my left middle finger to reach across to the right-hand lace, and make the loop, then pinched the right-hand loop between my right finger and thumb.  Then I wrapped and tucked.  Et voila.  

Hubby:  "What do you mean?!"
Me:  "Sorry, Honey."
Hubby, with frantic laughter: "Why don't I know how to tie my shoes?!  How long have I been doing this?!  Twenty, twenty-five years?"
Me, laughing hysterically:  "It's ok Honey."
Hubby, laughing and yelling:  "Show me again!"

And so I did.  Over and over.  And we searched YouTube videos on "the best way to tie your shoe".  And we dissected every under-hand vs over-hand, every tuck vs pull, every criss vs cross.  And we talked about how perhaps I'll be the one to teach our future children shoe-tying technique.  

But the more videos we watched, the more obvious it was that re-training a 26/27-year-old brain is next to impossible.  Old dog, new tricks, and all that. 

For me it's a ponytail.  I can only put my hair into a ponytail if the hair elastic starts on my right wrist.  Any other method and my hair ends up looking like a dog-chewed Barbie head. 

As for Hubby, he may be a guitar god, but a lace genius he is not

In any case, we're going to tie our shoes like this from now on:



_

Thursday, 24 February 2011

How many shrooms are too many?

At what point does an occasional partaking of a magic mushroom snack become a runaway train?  Even when an occasional partaking becomes an unconditional love, it's still relatively harmless, right? 

So at what point does the urge to enjoy surpass the capacity to resist

Maybe I should take this opportunity to clarify that I'm not referring to magic mushrooms in the hallucinatory stroke-the-furry-wall kind of way, rather, the normal buy-them-daily-and-eat-them-with-every-meal kind of way. 

Oh wait. 

Maybe that's not normal. 

I used to really dislike mushrooms.  I always wanted to like them, but I could never really tolerate them.  Then when Hubby and I moved in together I started branching out.  Only a little bit.  I put them in sauce.  Mushrooms in spaghetti sauce was ok.  

Years passed that way.  Mushrooms in sauce.  Year after year.  

Hubby continued to enjoy them, of course.  He'd buy those little white mushrooms and mix them with onions and eat them with his steak. 

Don't think he didn't try to push them on me.  "C'mon. Just try one. How can you not want to?"

And I always resisted.  With wide eyes and a shaking head.     

But at some point in the last few months - I don't even know when - I must have given in.  I must have, at some point, tried one.  Probably just one.  Probably just off the side of his plate or something.  He probably offered it to me.  And I probably thought:  "Fine.  What the hell.  Why not."

And since then it's all just a blur.  A mushroom-induced downhill fog leading to my daily rush to the grocery store after work.  You know, for my fix

White, cremini, and - my favourite - portabello.  Mmmmm.  Portabello.  "I'll just get one.  Well, might as well get two - one for tonight and one for lunch tomorrow." 

I have a whole ritual.  Warm the pan.  Melt the butter.  Add the garlic.  And slow cook those mo-fos until they've achieved juicy and flavourful perfection.

And now I've started to notice the signs of an unhealthy mushroom-eating frequency.  Not physically unhealthy (because you can't argue with the nutritional value of mushrooms), but mentally unhealthy (because you can't deny the problem when Hubby says "Mmm, those mushrooms are good", and you shout "No!  Don't eat those!  I need them for work tomorrow!" in reply).

I don't know how I got to this point.  I can't identify the individual steps that have led to my demise. 

And what a really can't figure out is how I lived so long without them. 

_

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Birthday Boot Camp

Can't we just gloss over the fact that it's my goddam birthday? 

No?

Fine. 

It's my birthday.  Well, it will be my birthday on Tuesday.  My effing (f*ck) twenty (F*CK!) seventh birthday. 

Damn it. 

I guess I am reluctantly embracing it. 

Ok, embracing is a strong word.  Tolerating is more accurate. 

And as part of my toleration strategy, I have planned to "celebrate" (f*ck) for five whole days.  I took Monday and Tuesday off work, and I intend to use them to my advantage. 

Friday - Day One:

Cheesy teen movie with the girls.  I Am Number Four.  This is the type of movie that makes you cover your eyes because the cheese burns your corneas.  LOVED it.  

Saturday - Day Two:

Wii, and wine, and duelling pianos.  From which I've learned three important things: a) I am the QUEEN of sword fighting; b) wine is delicious; and, c) rockin piano dudes at a kickass New Orleans-inspired bar make for the funnest birthday activity known to humanity.

Day Three:  

Sore arms, and a minor hangover, and sitting.  From which I've learned three crucial lessons:  a) being the Queen sword fighter comes at a price; b) wine is effective; and, c) sitting on the couch watching Nanny McPhee is good, but it still doesn't top sitting on the couch and repeatedly enjoying the hilarity of the Birthday Boot Camp talking birthday card.   





Haaappy Biiirthday! 
Say it like you mean it!
Happy Birthday!
Louder!
HAAAAPPPPPY BIIIIIIIRTHDAY!  SIR!
You do not have to shout!  I am not deaf!  I want piece of cake and a fork!
Would you like ice cream Sir?!
Did I ASK for ice cream?!
No SIR!
Get in there and get me some cake!
Ok Sir!
Hup-to.  Huo-to.  Hup-to. 
Happy!
Birthday!
Happy!
Birthday!
Clap in unison!
*clap clap clap clap clap*


Clearly, this is the highlight so far.  No contest.

_

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

We're having gas problems

When I got home tonight there was an envelope - a bank statement - stuck between the front door and the door frame. 

'Huh' I thought.  'Must have been delivered to the neighbour's house by mistake.'

So I stumbled in the door with purse and bags, scarf and hat, and bank statement in hand, and promptly dropped it all in the hallway. 

And then I heard the incessant beeping. 

The answering machine, indicating that there is a new message. 

'Must be Hubby' I thought.  'Or Mom.  No one else calls me.  I'm a loser.'

I pulled off my boots and huffed and puffed into the kitchen and listened to the message. 

Yep.  Hubby. 

"Hello there.  Just in case you don't get my note in the door, which I'm sure you will, the gas guy is coming between 8pm and 12 midnight to restore our services because it's f*ing cold.  Don't freeze, k?  I love you.  I brought you up a heater.  K?  Patch will keep you warm.  Bye."

'Ah, how cute.  And, yeah, it is effing cold.  What the hell?'

So I went into the dining room and looked at the thermostat. 

'Thirteen degrees?  Thirteen?  Effing gas idiots.'

You see, we've been having gas problems.  Not digestive.  Natural.  Our gas metre has been leaking for months.  We always smell it outside.  And we always call the gas company, and they always come "fix" it. 

And now I don't have heat. 

Coincidence? 

Hardly. 

Then it occurred to me. 

'A note... what note?  ...Oh, the envelope.'

Sure enough, a note similar in type and tone to Hubby's phone message was written on the back of the TD Canada Trust bank envelope.  "Don't freeze!"

And all I can think is:  'Why would he write a note on the back of a bank envelope?  With the bank statement still inside?  And then stick it in the front door for the entire world (including, potentially, the gas guy) to find?  That sounds like a GREAT idea.  Isn't he worried about identity theft?'

Evidently he is not. 

_

Friday, 11 February 2011

A couple of sad sacks

Hubby and I aren't what most people would call "exciting". 

We're married. 

We go to bed early.  We bicker over who should feed the cats, or who should clean the kitchen, or who should change the sheets.  We do laundry on the weekends.  We eat dinner in front of the tv, when we eat dinner at all. 

We don't shovel unless there's so much snow that it really gets in the way.  And even then, we only shovel a walking path.

We pretend we're listening to each other.  We don't always have something to talk about, so we tell the same stories over and over again.  And when we run out of repeat anecdotes, we tell each other how cuuuute the cats are. 

We could travel more.  Or we could "put our money toward the house" instead.

We usually prefer to stay in.  We rent movies rather than bother with a theatre full of stupid chatterers and muncherers and putting-their-asses-and/or-crotches-in-my-face-when-they-go-to-the-bathroom-ers. 

Even when Hubby says "It's Friday.  Friday is fun day!"  what he really means is that we should spend it in front of the fire with a beer and relax.

And when we do want to go out?  We can rarely think of anything fun/inexpensive to do.  Or if we can, we're often happy to skip it.

If we go out, we can pass hour upon hour just by making ruthless fun of strangers.  Pointing them out, trying to figure out how they ended up to be such a mess.  

And tonight, on Friday night, Hubby picked me up at the bus station, and we stopped at the grocery store, and we made dinner, and we watched Ellen (Hubby for the second time that day), and then he sat on the couch and I sat in the chair, and we rented a movie, and now I'm blogging and he's playing guitar/Angry Birds.  

And he asked me to lean forward to get his USB cord, and I can't because I'm perfectly situated with my parka cape over my shoulders and the computer on my lap.  

And a moment ago, to top it all off, Hubby got up and you know what I realized?  "Look, Honey, we're wearing the same shirt!"  Yep.  The same damn white short-sleeved Relay for Life t-shirt with yellow and blue Cancer Society flowers on the front. 

And you know what?  We laughed

You see, the absolute best thing about being married and unexciting is that it is so perfectly, blissfully, happily, and honestly comfortable

We can bicker, and we can sit around the house, and we can talk about nothing - and no matter what - almost every single day, throughout the day - we always end up laughing. 

There is something so spectacularly satisfying about that kind of comfort.  

Even if it is "boring".  

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Mornings give me panic attacks

I asked Hubby if he would drive me to work tomorrow.  Not just for any reason, but because I have French class tomorrow morning - tomorrow morning at 8:00. 

Eff it, 8:00 effing SUCKS.

I normally start work at 9:00.  And by 9:00, I mean anywhere between 9:15 and 9:30 - depending entirely on what time I crawl my lazy ass out of bed, and make my way to the bus station, and outrun the security guards, and chase the goddam bus, and hop on for my ride into work. 

Which, by the way, is the only time in the morning I can actually tolerate, since it's the only time I'm not rushing.  Sitting on the bus is the most freeing experience.  I have no control over it.  If that driver is as late as all get out, there is nothing I can do.  If he wants to drive like an effing turtle, there's nothing I can do.  If he wants to stop and let every lazy I-want-the-bus-to-wait-but-I-don't-want-to-run loser, there is NOTHING I can do.

And so, I just sit and zone-out and enjoy the view of the blurring traffic-jammed cars as I speed by in my happy little blue bus seat.   

But Thursday mornings I have French.  At 8:00.  Which means I have to leave the house by 6:45 in order to get there in plenty of time. 

Bull shit. 

So I asked Hubby if he would drive me tomorrow.

"But then I'll have to pick you up at the bus station after work" he said.  "Will you be home in time for me to go to the gym?"

"Hmmm.  I'll think about it."

"Ok."

"It's just that 6:45 is sooo much worse than 7:30"  I added.  "It's not the 45 minutes.  I can live with the 45 minutes."  [speed talking now]  "It's that 7:30 is bad enough, but 6:45?  6:45 is a whole other world of pain."  {Short shaky breaths]  "6:45 gives me anxiety."

And so, thank you Hubby for driving me to French class tomorrow.  And for nurturing my commuter anxiety disorder.  Without you, I'd be a very panicky - and very tired - emotional mess. 
_

Monday, 7 February 2011

What's more delicious than a beaver tail?

I hate Winter.  That's no secret.  But I don't hate Winter activities.  Necessarily.   

For example, one of the best things about Winter?  Cinnamon sugar Beaver Tails. 

Rest assured:  A cinnamon sugar Beaver Tail is not the dismembered tail of a beaver covered in cinnamon sugar.  Rather, it is the incomparable deliciousness of a flat piece of deep fried dough in the shape of a beaver tail ... and then covered in cinnamon sugar. 

In short, the best Canadian thing that's ever happened. 

Next to poutine.


And I'm quite happy to stand in a nine-mile line in the dead of Winter on the frozen Rideau Canal just to experience the pure ecstasy of a cinnamon sugar Beaver Tail with a side of hot chocolate - and an appetizer of poutine.  Even if the cheese curd doesn't melt and even if my arteries lose an inch or two of breathing room.  Still worth it.  

Thank you NCC.
Other tolerable Winter activities in the National Capital Region?  Ice in the shape of spiders.  Enough said. 


Left to right:  Ice Spider, Annadanna, Hubby. 
Another not-so-bad thing about Winter?  Wandering around a kiddie snow maze.  Actually, there are few actvities more fun than that, now that I think about it.  Especially when you're shorter than most of the kids in there, which makes for a much more exciting maze experience.  


This is the outside walls of the snow maze.  Photos inside are prohibited, for obvious reasons. 

This is me trying to climb the snow maze. For obvious reasons.  

The only problem is, while you can manage to worm your way into the kiddie snow maze, it has proven more difficult to make your way onto the kiddie ice slide.  Somehow standing in the nine-mile line for that particular attraction was comparatively less justified.  Who knew?

Oh, the envy. 
If only I had my own ice slide.  Then nobody could discourage me from standing in line to use it.  But, alas...

_

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Brace yourself – this one's serious

I’ve gone back and forth about writing this.

There is no way to say what I’m thinking in a cute or funny way.  It’s impossible.  But censoring my little online diary here is ridiculous. 

So here it is. 

For me, this all started with a profound posting by my blogging idol The Bloggess.  She wrote about one of her fellow bloggers, Lori, from Australia.

Lori is a stay-at-home mom, and a funny, quirky blogger.  She blogs about her one- and three- year old kids, and her loving husband Tony, and her favourite colour.

And just after Christmas, her life changed forever.  Early this year, Tony died.  He committed suicide.  A very unexpected, traumatic, and emotionally scarring suicide.

He had a very unexpected psychotic breakdown and lost himself.

And Lori lost him too.

So.

What’s my point?

Well, Lori has continued blogging.  Brutally honest, tear-jerking, heart-wrenching blogging.

And before you question why in hell she is doing so – Stop.  Don’t judge her.  As far as I can tell, she has continued her blog for a few significant reasons.

First, to help her grieve.  To get it out.  To find at least some form of catharsis among this mess.

Second, to reach out to her readers.  I don’t know how many of you are into the “blog scene” but there’s a very unique and powerful community out there in cyberspace.  There’s a connection.  And people who read Lori’s blog – Before and After – support her.

Third, she refuses to be shamed into shutting up.  Nobody talks about mental health.  Everybody ignores it, or denies it, or keeps it hidden, or writes it off.  Not Lori.  She wants people to SPEAK UP.  She wants to write about what’s happened to her, and to Tony, and to do so with no holds barred.

And although she’s had a few negative responses online – occasional naysayers who disapprove of her – to them she says: F you.

And I say it too.  That blog is her personal space.  And for those people (perhaps including some of you) who may not want to expose themselves to her pain, that is respectfully their choice.

But for Lori – and for the people who are touched (and helped) by what she’s saying – she needs this blog – and so do they.

So.

Again, what’s my point?

My point is that Lori’s story has affected me.  I think about her often.  I have emailed her and posted comments on her site.  I have joined the hundreds who have reached out to her, for the sole reason that she has reached out to us. 

And while I don’t have a clue how she’s truly feeling, I can still relate to what she writes.  I can see myself in her hurt, even if I’ve never been in that much pain.  I can hear my own inner voices in her despair, even if they’re not saying the same things.

I don’t know what she's going through.  And I don’t want to.  But I can see her as a person, a human being with feelings – just like the rest of us.

And I absolutely ache for her and her babies, and for her Tony too.  And I admire her strength more than I can say.

You may like to read her recent blog postings.  You may not.  They are sometimes ugly and scary.  But they are always poignant and heartfelt and REAL.  And they shed light on something that so many of us are afraid to confront.  Including me.

This is The Bloggess' posting. At least read this

And if you're interested, this is the Before.

And if you're brave, this is the beginning of the After. 

And if you want to keep following this amazing and courageous woman as she continues to gain strength, this is today.


And if you'd like to help minimize just one of Lori's many worries, consider this:




_