Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another successful theft

Yay for Sunday Stealing!  Here are the August 20:

1)  What's for breakfast?

Preferably nothing, but I've been known to pop a low-fat yogurt or two.  Or a Sausage McMuffin and a hash brown.  I love "breakfast" food; I just don't like to eat it before noon.

Supposedly this is unhealthy.  All I know is eating a giant meal in the morning has never failed to wake up my excessive appetite for the rest of the day.  My only successful weight loss efforts have not involved 800+ calories of heavy food before I'm fully awake.

2)  Do you read a newspaper daily?

I got a paper route when I was eight and have been reading the newspaper cover to cover ever since.  My parents and I had to have a special interview with the paper's circulation manager to convince them I was responsible enough to handle this.  I was far more conscientious then than I am now.

3)  What do you do when you can't sleep?


4)  Say a word that sums up your mood.

Relaxed and cheerful (a rare state that I'm savouring while it lasts).

5)  Do you remember your dreams?

Yes, and they're pretty whacked.  When I was a child, I used to have such vivid, progressive dreams that I really thought I was going to some other dimension or something at night.  There was one place I used to dream about for years and every time I went there, I had a different adventure.  Like my own personal Narnia.

I've also had episodes of lucid dreaming (ie you know you're dreaming) where I was in a stressful situation (all the teeth in my mouth bloodily falling out one by one) and thought "oh, this isn't real.  I'm dreaming and I just have to wake myself up."  And then I woke up.

6)  Name something from your dream last night.

I gave birth to a worm and accidentally drowned it in hot sauce (see?!).

7)  Name a food that describes you.

Stir-fry.  All kinds of crazy shit, mixed together in one delicious package.

8)  Today you are wearing:

I assume you're talking about outside of the house, since I've already discussed my attire inside the house.  Today to zumba I wore cross-trainers, black socks, workout capris, underwear, 1 underwire bra, 2 sports bras and a tank top.  And yes, I do need three bras to hold those puppies down.

9)  What's in your pockets?

Skin doesn't have pockets.  Well, it does but I'm not going there.

10)  Did you sing in the shower today?

Nope, S. was sleeping and I didn't want to give her nightmares.  Also, I don't shower unless I'm forced to - it's all about the baths for me.

11)  What's the last song you heard?

Rain over Me by Pitbull feat. Marc Anthony.

12)  Looking forward to the holidays?

Christmas is the only real holiday season to me.  I used to love it, but the last few years have been distinctly un-magical.  Here's hoping this year is better.

13)  Where do you want to be this instant?

Right where I am.

14)  What's for lunch?

Homemade egg mcmuffins.  Mmm...

15)  What's something you'd like to do soon?

Eat soft serve ice cream and a roast beef sub, go summer tubing, go on midway rides, do an all-out jump-kicking cardio class, have a giant strawberry daiquiri, go on a starvation diet and get my body back...basically all the stuff you can't do when you're pregnant.  It's going to be a long seven months.

16)  Reading anything now?  What is it?

I always have several books on the go, aided by the fact I have a 600-book personal library in my house (don't laugh; there are worse vices a person can have).

Right now I'm reading The Tommyknockers by Stephen King, Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton, The Wonder Years by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pearls Sells Out by Stephan Pastis, and a large stack of Cosmo, Glamour, Marie Claire, Time, Macleans, Psychology Today, Fit Pregnancy, People, Us Weekly and other magazines.  You can't walk anywhere in my house without tripping over some kind of reading material.  The only genre I don't read is westerns.

now this is a cool chair!

17)  What's for dinner?

Holy food obsession.  Pasta mixed with veggies and pork cutlets.

18)  A favourite part of the day is:

I've been a night owl since I was born.  I love when it's 12:30AM and I don't have to go anywhere the next day, and J. will be getting up with S. when she wakes at the ungodly hour of 4:00AM.  The world is all dark and quiet, except for the crickets in the moonlit marsh behind our house.  I can hear myself think.

19)  Are you happy?

Beyond my wildest dreams.

20)  Guess how many people will do Sunday Stealing this weekend.

20 seems like a good theme to go with.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby, I got your money

A number of people expressed astonishment at the $4,000 in monthly day care costs I mentioned in an earlier post.  Well, now that we're having one baby rather than twins, day care will be more like $2,500/month.  $1,000 for full-time toddler at a mid-priced centre and $1,540 for full-time infant (ie under 18 months) at the only centre we can get into without a 2-year waiting list (because my company is a corporate client). 

We might be able to get it down to $2,000/month if my mom will watch the littlest one twice a week, but there's no getting around the fact day care is a fortune.  I can understand how if you were in a job just to pay the bills, rather than a career you enjoyed and worked hard for, the decision to stay home would seem like a no-brainer.  I also think women in the States who are forced to choose between going back at 6 weeks or quitting are facing a rather barbaric choice.  Six weeks is awfully early to take a mom from her baby for 8 hours a day.  There's no way to talk about this subject without sounding defensive and offending 50% of the audience, but that's the story of my life, so oh well.

We get a year's maternity leave in Canada - NOT fully paid unless you work in the public sector and get a top-up that the rest of us unlucky schmucks fund through our taxes - you're welcome (damn, I said I wouldn't be rude in this post!!).  The government allows you to collect a miniscule amount of unemployment insurance, which resulted in a 3-hour crying fit for me six years ago when I discovered EI wasn't 55% of your actual salary, but was capped at a level so low that I'd be receiving approximately 30% of my normal paycheque. 

This bumped our plans for kids back several years and was one of the few times I've been angry that I make double my husband's salary.  I kept thinking if we had traditional gender roles, none of this would be an issue.  I felt irrationally like the government was punishing me as a woman for being financially successful (really I don't make that much - this sounds like I'm Ivanka Trump or something), and it was a shock for a late 70's baby who takes male/female equality for granted. 

I will not digress into a tirade about our wretched chauvinistic prime minister who wants us all barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, and continues to enact policies to make this happen and undo much of the progress that had been made (goodbye national day care...maybe if no day care is available, all the women will get out of their offices and go back home where they belong).  Oh Barack, Canada needs you too!  Suffice it to say, the accountant in me doesn't understand how the same household income for two ordinary middle-class families can receive such drastically different treatment when kids enter the picture, depending on whether the woman or man makes more money.

So money played a role in my decision to take only six months of the year's leave I could have taken.  However, the main issue was that I'm not mentally capable of caring for a small child for extended periods of time.  By month five I was so miserable I regularly considered asking work if they would let me come back early.  The first eight weeks were a horrifying blur of post-partum depression during which I essentially disassociated from myself in order to cope with daily life.  My medical assistance was increased and that helped, but Beaming Blissful Baby Mama I am not. 

And that's OK.  Parenthood doesn't consist of just the first year, and not enjoying 24/7 infant care doesn't mean you don't love your baby or that you're a bad mother.  Some would disagree, and all I can say to that is: Welcome to Fawk You Friday.

Look ma, no skill!

While attempting to make a fantastic photo big enough so you could still read it (and failing miserably), I ventured into the unknown land of Microsoft Paint.  I've always enjoyed the artistic stylings of TriGirl and Allie at Hyperbole and a Half, but I never realized I could do it too!  Ta da!!

I feel I should warn you that I become obsessed with new discoveries and you may see many fantastic creations like the above in coming posts.  Now go check out the links to see the fine work of people who can actually draw (Allie's even getting a book!).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Missing the show

Almost there.  Cheyenne stretched out a pudgy finger, grunting a little as she dislocated her shoulder to fit through the narrow opening.  Her hand brushed something moist and she pushed against it, feeling it give with a squelching sigh.  She held her breath and scraping her stomach in one final wiggle, broke through and tumbled into the little room.  Five more pounds and she wouldn't have made it.

Cheyenne hummed happily as she gathered her tools and greeted old friends.  She was pleased to see her ice and thick plastic bags had held up; everything was just as she'd left it.  Ignoring the staring eyes, she sat down on the slimy floor and got to work.

Two hours later, Cheyenne shook out her cramped fingers and yawned.  She was finally done and this was a masterpiece if she did say so herself.  Not that anyone else was likely to admire her hard work.  Mouth curving upward, she tucked the two precious parcels into her fanny pack, waved goodbye to her little room and began the unpleasant squeeze back to the outside world.

Daydreaming as she sped along the highway, Cheyenne excitedly drummed on the steering wheel.  She'd get everything in place tonight and then tomorrow she'd have nothing to do but sit back, press a button and enjoy the show.  She could almost see their faces, that wonderful split second of shock before the blood washed it away.  "Hi--, hi--, higher," she shrieked along with Mariah.  "You got me feeling emotions..."  But suddenly Miss Mariah sounded a little off-key and Cheyenne turned the stereo down, frowning.  Shit!  A cop was the last thing she needed right now.

Moping around her cell, Cheyenne kicked at the grimy floor.  How had this happened?  If it hadn't been for the pot, she might have paid a fine and been on her way.  She thought of the detonator, lying uselessly in the trunk of her impounded car, the fanny pack hidden under the driver's seat.  Maybe they wouldn't search the car and she'd be able to pick it up tomorrow once she posted bail.  She could just...her thoughts broke away at the sight of several grim-faced detectives heading toward her cell.

This was definitely not part of the plan.

* * * * *

I wrote this for the Indie Ink challenge.  Alyssa challenged me with "the most awful instance of things not going according to plan" and I challenged Cedar with "the betrayal that wasn't."

Monday, August 22, 2011

And then there was one

Even knowing the odds and having a gut feeling something wasn't OK, it was still hard to hear the OB tech say it this morning. "And there's the heartbeat," she said, turning the screen to show me the little flickering square.  "Just one?" I asked.  "Just one," she said and thankfully refrained from saying anything else.

The mix of emotions is hard to process.  Sadness for the little life that was here for such a short time.  Relief that a terrifying financial weight poised above us has been lifted.  Guilt for feeling relief.  Gratefulness that I didn't have more time to get attached.  Grief that there's nothing to hold onto, no ultrasound pictures, nothing at all.  I don't even know if my little one was a boy or a girl.

And yet there's one.  So much more than many women have, and I'm thankful for that.  Fingers crossed that my tiny survivor makes it all the way.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Heaven Eleven

Another Sunday, another Steal.  Here's the Heaven Eleven:

1)  If you could live in any other time period, which would you pick?

2150.  There's a post coming about this - I'm very curious about where the human race is going, if it survives.

2)  What is your favourite topic to write about on your blog other than a meme?

Really, I just like to ramble on about whatever crosses my mind.  I'd say Seinfeld experiences and philosophical musings are my favourite things to write about.

3)  What are some traits you admire in a lover?

Admire is an interesting choice of words.  Ignoring my minimum requirements of fidelity and a healthy sense of humour, I admire a man who's kind and affectionate, and secure enough in himself to be proud of being a devoted family man.  I have no patience for conceit, selfishness or a childish obsession with porn/other women's bodies.  You're not 16 anymore.  Grow up.

4)  Could you adjust to life in another country?

I love living in Canada.  I could adjust to life in say, Hawaii, but I'm someone who has a strong connection to home and its memories, and I like to feel rooted.  If we moved somewhere else, I think I'd always feel homesick underneath whatever adventures we were having in the new place.

5)  If you could study anything, what would it be?

Psychology and anthropology.  The human mind and societal structures fascinate me.

6)  What is your favourite possession that cost less than $15?

I can't go more than a half hour without reaching for my Lipsmacker.

7)  Which colour do you wear most often?

It's always been black.

8)  What has been your "theme song" or romantic song this summer?

It's not romantic in a happy way or even a theme in my life, but I love Rolling in the Deep by Adele. 

9)  What's the most romantic thing that's ever been said to you?

"Will you marry me?"

10)  What would be your dream birthday cake?

Marble Slab Creamery...mmm...

11)  What is the coolest thing you've ever done?

First of all, me and cool don't work well in the same sentence.  I'm a nerd and don't give a shit what anyone else thinks of my interests and hobbies (reading, writing, lazing on the couch watching Angel and eating ice cream, zumba and kickboxing). 

That said, the coolest experience I've had was a tie between ziplining upside down in Hawaii and jet-skiing in Grand Cayman. 

This was so so cool - J. got the hang of it first.

I really want to go para-sailing and once this pregnancy is over, I'm gonna do it.  Assuming we can ever afford to leave our house again after two years of paying $4,000/month in day care costs.  No, that was not a typo.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fawk You Friday - Crazy co-workers

I'm fortunate to have a job I really enjoy.  Not a passion by any means, but since I wasn't born into Hiltonesque luxury and have to work for a living, accounting has been a pretty good career choice for me. 

There's always a thorn on the rose though, and mine is my office next-door neighbour.  She started out as my boss and became a peer when I was promoted two years ago.  When she was my boss, her whiplash moods, lying, micromanaging and criticism of every aspect of her employees' existence (right down to how they laughed) used to enrage me to the point that I'd have to go sit in my car to calm down.  If her boss gave her a hard time about why something wasn't done, she'd blame it on her own team, another department, the plant in the corner, anyone and anything but her. 

The problem was that I really liked the company and the job itself, particularly if I could advance into some interesting areas within Finance.  Miraculously, a promotion opportunity appeared and I was so excited when I was selected as the successful candidate.  Crazy coworker was thrilled as well and even gave me a big hug. 

Overall things have gone really well in the 18 months since then, aside from this woman driving me nuts on a daily basis.  She regularly tries to dump work on me that she doesn't want to do (say for example, welcoming and providing orientation for half a day to HER new hire), and attempts to get me to do her legwork for various projects while she takes all the credit.  In case you think I'm exaggerating her aggressiveness, at the beginning of a meeting I called, she actually physically pushed herself in front of me and held up her hand for me to stop talking (I was two sentences into the introduction), while she began running her mouth.

wtf you stupid bitch!
are we at the office or playing rugby?

Her direct leader is onto her bullshit and not a big fan since she tried to steal his job while he was on secondment for a few months.  So now she ignores her boss most of the time and sucks up to his boss instead.  When I was younger I used to hope this kind of behaviour would catch up with her, but now I know better.  No doubt she'll be promoted any day now, and if I end up reporting to her again I'll be dusting off the old resume, because round two just ain't working for me.

In my previous job, I worked with a guy who would listen to loud, bass-thumping techno music in his office every day, before he got bored around 3:00 and took off.  In the summer I guess his suit was just too much to handle, because the instant he stepped out of the building (which was a public institution on a busy main road), he would...wait for it...remove his clothes!!  I am not kidding.  There he'd be, strolling down the main drive toward the parking lot with nothing on but his suit pants and his Timbaland boots (that's another story).

Believe me, I can sympathize (see my thoughts on nudity), but really.  Good Lord, at the very very least wait until you're in your car to start flashing large sections of skin.  And by the way, this was not an attractive sight.  Eventually the HR director had to inform him that the organization's dress code in fact extended throughout the property, not just while he was sitting (uselessly) in his office.

my favourite Dilbert strip ever

So what about you?  Misery loves company - tell me your crazy coworker stories!

The Fawk You Friday linky is here for those who want to share other tales of woe.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beyond the rain

It was one of those dreary, grey days where the rain won't cease.  Laura sat in a corner coffee shop, listlessly stirring, listlessly staring.  Idly glancing through the rain-streaked front window, she glimpsed a flash of raven hair and jerked back, tepid coffee sloshing across her hand.  Would she ever stop looking?

Laura's eyes pinched as her mind went defiantly back to that room she tried so hard to block from memory.  The acrid smell of bleach, the cold eyes of the nurse as she slid the IV needle out of Laura's hand.  Her arms wrapping around the tiny bundle, feathery black hair so soft against Laura's cheek.  Maybe this was a mistake. 

Firm hands closed around Laura's precious armful and she clutched instinctively at the pink flannel blanket, protests rushing to her lips.  "Laura," snapped her mother through tightly compressed lips.  "We discussed this."  She spun around and marched the baby away as Laura dissolved into tears, a blurry ebony shock of hair her last sight of her daughter.  Sighing in a coffee shop twenty-five years later, Laura swiped at her wet cheeks and stuffed the crumpled napkin into her mug.  Time to go.

The chair across her scraped and Laura looked up, then gaped open-mouthed at her companion.  "I've been thinking," mumbled the familiar stranger across from her.  "It's startled me.  With your hugs and the presents and well, everything."  Green eyes met Laura's own.  "But I want to know you.  Can we start over?"

Laura stared in speechless hope, and the young woman smiled a little.  "OK, I'll start.  I'm Kate, your daughter.  I'm so glad to finally meet you."

* * * *

I wrote this for this week's Indie Ink Challenge.  A Lil' Irish Lass challenged me with "It's one of those dreary, grey days where the rain won't cease.  You're sitting in a corner coffee shop, listlessly stirring.  Listlessly staring.  You look up and, through the rain-streaked front window...".  I challenged Billy Flynn with "Who knows where those tentacles have been?"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Silence all, now go to sleep


There will never be a next time.  The knives will stay in the drawer and my eyes will close softly at night, to open clear and white the next day.  The world doesn't need to be muffled by exhaustion.  I've found The One and his love pads the slicing blow of loneliness.  There's no need to cry. 

There will never be a next time.  The bed will be made every day without me in it, and yogurt cups and unread textbooks won't form unsteady waves across the floor.  The curtains will open.  I've hit my goal weight and a little dizziness and headaches are well worth sliding sylph-like through the world.  The constant calculating is good for my math skills anyway. 

There will never be a next time.  The car won't shriek against the guard rail as I jerk out of slumber, and I won't sob myself to sleep every night in a strange room so far away.  The exam is passed and I've made it.  Student loan balance steadily dwindling and the wedding ring smiling on my finger twinkles.  Only blue skies to come.

I've caught the tail of that elusive rainbow.  The perfect job, the perfect man, the perfect weight.  A full-fledged swan and no sign of that wretched duckling.  Happily ever after is here.

And I'm lying in the closet, slow steady tears bathing my face, trying to breathe between the stabbing jabs in my ribs and the crushing pressure in my throat.  A tiny piece of me wishes he wasn't here, so I could just go peacefully, knowing no one would be left to notice or care.  The thought of children terrifies me, the unborn arms reaching out to trap me in this hopeless existence, eliminating the shadowy but always present final escape route.

There is absolutely nothing wrong.

* * * * *

I wrote this in response to a RemembeRED prompt, which asked us to write about a moment you knew something needed to drastically change.  This was the moment I knew I needed to visit my doctor to talk about my "high-strung" personality.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

A million different people

Last week's Sunday Stealing was fun, so I'm linking up for part 2 of the Nasty 31 this week (part 1 is here).  Here they are:

16)  What's the longest shift you worked at a job?

16 hours at a client when I was working at a public accounting firm, and it wasn't a one-time incident.  And that's why I'm working in industry now.

When I was saving up for university, I worked a LOT of shifts at McDonald's.  One day I came home at 10:00PM and answered the phone with "Welcome to McDonald's.  May I take your order, please?"  Sigh...

17)  What was the last concert you attended?

Britney Spears two years ago.  It wasn't as good as I expected, but I also didn't expect to have to stand in stilettos for 3 hours for the ridiculous price we paid.  I'm still pissed off, actually.  When we saw Christina Aguilera, we paid $100 less per ticket and got to SIT in the center of the seventh row back from the stage.  If it's not a mosh pit, I expect a seat with my ticket or an explicit statement that there will not be a seat, in which case I'm not buying.

18)  What was the last DVD movie you watched?

19)  How did you like the film?

Objectively I think it was a good movie, but I'm no longer emotionally able to handle watching children be killed.  The grief of the little boy's twin brother was too much for me to handle and I wish I hadn't seen it.  Just like I wish I didn't have to know about the children dying in Somalia's drought, when there's nothing I can do about it. 

If I could magically take all the water in our grocery store there right now, I would.  But I can't and it's horrible to know death is inexorably bearing down on all these innocent people while we sit here with more than we need.

20)  What comedian do you love?

My husband.

21)  Do you ever sleep in the nude?

How else would you sleep?  Click here for more thoughts on this topic.

22)  Have you ever had a long-distance relationship?

Not unless you count my pen pals when I was 10 years old.

23)  What do you think of astrology?

I don't believe my daily horoscope bears any resemblance to reality, but the description of my zodiac sign is a bizarrely accurate outline of my personality.

24)  What's your favourite song lyric?

From Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve:

Cause it's a bitter sweet symphony this life...
Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die.
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down...
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah.

No change, I can't change, I can't change, I can't change,
but I'm here in my mold, I am here in my mold.
But I'm a million different people from one day to the next...

25)  Tell us something random about yourself.

J. and I have matching tattoos that we designed for our 15-year anniversary.  I love mine and I want more.

26)  Have you ever attended a theme party?  If you have, do tell.

Just a Hallowe'en party at the university bar.  I dressed up as Elvira and fell off the stage while I was dancing.  Sadly it was not the last dancing-related fall I had.

27)  What is your favourite thing about winter?

Falling asleep under a blanket with a good book, with firelight flickering against the snow drifts on the window, and the smell of pine from our Christmas tree filling the air.

28)  What was the name of your first pet?

Midnight.  She was a jet black dwarf rabbit.  I tied her to a swing set leg while I went inside for supper one summer evening, and when I came back she had chewed through the skipping rope and gone off and gotten knocked up.  Of course I didn't realize she was pregnant until she started ripping pieces of fur out of her stomach and piling them in the corner, and then tiny pink wriggly things started appearing in the fur.  It was pretty scary since I initially thought they were intestines, not babies.

29)  What have you done so far this weekend?
  • Whupped J.'s ass at Euchre

  • Bopped around in a Body Attack class, followed by Zumba

  • Barely avoided a nervous breakdown thanks to a cranky, teething one year old

  • Had an amazing 2 hour nap after finally convincing (aka letting her cry it out) S. to go to sleep

  • Caught up some of my blog comments

  • Celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss

  • Read part of my overdue library book

  • Uselessly picked up clutter around the house, which one day later looks exactly the same as before I picked up the clutter.  This is why I don't clean.

  • Enjoyed a magnificent filet of fish and small fries

  • Found excerpts of an obstetrics textbook and extensively researched dichorionic twins so I know what type of risk levels I'm dealing with, and then made J. listen to bits of the research.  Because I'm crazy like that.

  • Ignored the work I brought home in case the whim suddenly struck me to review bank reconciliations

Very productive!

30)  Has your humour ever been called "sick"?

On a regular basis, and I've learned to keep my idea of what's funny to myself in order to avoid such insults.  Although I have found other humour sickos like me here in the blogosphere!

31)  If you could have one thing, what would it be?

A happy marriage, and I'm so thankful I've been blessed with one.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Five alive

A clear luminous brown pool Rina is in.  She is trying to see if there is something deeper, hidden under the depths of an iris.  Pulling back slowly, the pool doubles, separates, turns into eyes.  It's a shock to Rina, seeing her whole face again; she had been submerged for hours, it seems.  Rina pushes out her lower lip and exhales.  Her bangs flutter up, then slowly settle back into place, forming a straight unyielding line across her forehead.

Backing away from her cold other self, Rina pirouettes, watches her dress swing out.  A princess is Rina in the dress, a vision of pink perfection.  She looks for a tiara.  On Rina’s shiny red jewelry box there perches a ballerina in a tutu like Rina’s and when Rina twists the knob of the side of the box, the ballerina turns like magic.

Under the ballerina's flying legs, Rina finds tiny earrings and a necklace flashing tiny rainbows against the pink satin lining of the jewelry box.  Rina reaches for her regal accessories and when everything is in place, slicks on smooth strawberry lip gloss. 

Stretching out thin twigs of arms, Rina twirls in front of her mirror, auburn hair caressing her face.  She laughs, spinning in her last dance, the breeze sweeping away time until she's five again and the shrunken charred world is a soft green vista glowing before her.

Another week, another Indie Ink challenge.  My prompt this week from Michael, who challenged me with "tell me about a five-year-old."  I challenged Dee with "serenity now, insanity later."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Where's that soap?

I've always had a potty mouth.  At the age of eight, I received a stern lecture about my inappropriate use of the word "damn" in church.  Until someone complained to my dad (who was a church elder), about his daughter's wild behaviour, I'd had no idea that damn was actually a swear word.  My expressions of contrition were accepted, and the topic was closed until several weeks later when my dad and I were in the backyard hoeing the garden.

In addition to having a potty mouth, I'm pretty hot-headed.  It's not a great combination for functioning in polite society.  While picking weeds out from under the tomato plants, I pinched my fingers between two rocks.  I commented on this loudly, in such a fashion that my dad informed me that further words of this type would result in a soapy tongue cleansing.  I apologized, but not ten minutes had gone by before I dropped the garden hoe on my foot and yelled "DAMN it!!" at the top of my lungs. 

My dad silently put his garden tools down, marched me into the house and washed my mouth out with soap.  It didn't do any good.  I learned to use my inside voice, but the satisfaction of a good curse was born and has stayed with me to this day.  My blog is my little piece of Internet home, and I have no interest in censoring it.  So if the occasional four-letter word scares someone off, f**k it - I write for myself first. 

As for other blogs, swearing has never stopped me from reading someone's blog and often endears them to me, because I like the honesty of their voice.  Of course you don't need to swear to be authentic, but I click best with people who have a snippy sarcastic side, and naughty words tend to signal someone I'm going to enjoy getting to know.  Overly smiley, positive people kind of make me want to smack them, and I associate someone who never swears with someone who asks people if they have a case of the Mondays.  Not good.

Like veganism, there are degrees of swearing avoidance.  I draw my swearing line at profanity, which I define as using "Jesus Christ" in any situation other than worship.  At best, I think these comments are disrespectful to many people, and at worst, downright sacrilegious.  I don't put OMG in that category, obviously (see previous post!).

I'm also starting to watch my language in front of S.  She's 13 months old and just like my dad, I don't want to hear "what the hell" come out of my baby girl's mouth if she stubs her toe!  It's not cute, it's trashy.  I'm not overly concerned with being ladylike in general, but I do know the rules and am capable of behaving very nicely when required.  I expect the same from S. and will teach her manners accordingly...swearing not included.

Mama’s Losin’ It

This topic came to mind courtesy of Mama Kat - her linky's here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I was just joking!!

J. and I have always planned on having two kids, and I've joked many times that the only way we'd end up with three is if S.'s little brother or sister ended up being twins.  Well, the last laugh is on me.  Too early to see heartbeats or fetal poles yet, but at 5.5 weeks there were TWO gestational sacs and TWO yolk sacs.  OH MY GOD!!!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My first Sunday Steal

I've been stalking the Sunday Stealing blog for awhile and decided to link up for the Nasty 31 meme.  The linky's here.

1)  What has been your longest love relationship?

This November will mark 17 years with my husband (only the last 7 years were married, since we don't live in the back hills of Kentucky.  No offense to any child-bride rednecks out there).

2)  What is the last gift you received?

A fantabulous gift package from Lindsey at TexaGermaNadian.  It was delicious and much better than the usual bills and useless flyers.

3)  What do you spend your extra cash on?

Marble Slab Creamery ice cream cones...mmm...

4)  If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

Kauai, Hawaii was an amazing place to visit for our honeymoon.  But we're happy right where we are in Ontario, Canada.  I like the variety of the four seasons, although it would be nice if they were more evenly distributed.  Instead, we get five months of Arctic winter, four months of humid, soul-sucking heat and a few left-over months of semi-normal temperatures.

and hot!

5)  Who's your cell provider?

What is this, a marketing survey?  Pass.

6)  What's your favourite mall store?

Ricki's.  What's that - adult women have breasts, hips and an ass?  You don't say!  Thank God for the one store out there that acknowledges this simple fact.

7)  What's the longest job you've had (no, parenting does not count!)?

I've been at my current job as a chartered accountant working at an insurance company for five years.  There, that shut down the conversation, didn't it?  At least I'm not a tax auditor.

8)  If you won the lottery, who'd you call first?

The lottery commission to make sure someone wasn't playing a cruel joke on me.

9)  If you won, how would you spend the money after investments?

Take an extended vacation visiting each of the Hawaiian islands, since we only got to Kauai last time.  Then re-do the house and hire a full-time nanny/housekeeper!

10)  When was the last time you went to church (or a religious house)?

Monday for a wedding.

11)  What's the biggest lie you've heard?

"It's not you, it's me."  I think you meant: "It's not me, it's you not putting out."  And so glad I didn't.

12)  When you go out with your friends, where do you go?

To a nice restaurant, where we can relax and have some lengthy girl talk without horrifying our husbands.

13)  When was the last time you cried?

On Monday, when I was lost in a city I don't know very well, trying to pick up random items for the bride in between two ceremonies, and the sales people were nasty, and I was cramping and bleeding and afraid I was losing the pregnancy.

14)  What food do you hate?

Onions.  I swear I'm not a picky eater.  It's just that many cooks like to irrevocably poison an otherwise delicious meal by dousing it in these wretched slips of nastiness.  And once they're in there, you can't get them out.  The whole dish just tastes like a giant onion.

15)  What do you like best about yourself?

My authenticity.  I'm who I want to be.

Fingers crossed

My husband is like a small child in many ways.  It's one of the things I love about him - he doesn't take himself too seriously, always looks for the positive and laughs at my weirdness instead of running away.  Like a kindergartener, he is also COMPLETELY incapable of keeping a secret.  For example, when your wife says "please don't tell anyone I'm pregnant again, because it's really early and I've had some complications, and the doctor said it could go either way, and can we at least wait to tell people until the test results come back next Friday, because I don't want to have to go un-tell our whole family."  What part of that was unclear?


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mirror, mirror

Their smiles are hesitant, tucked in to hide the glint of braces behind pale lips.  Unadorned hands nervously smooth frizzy hair in futile motions.  Suzy doesn't waste a lot of time getting them to pose just right, because really, what's the point?  She saves her efforts for the dimpled, glossy girls who laugh in line and strut up to the little black seat, perching on the edge with coy flips of shiny tresses. 

"They'll buy bigger packages anyway," says Suzy.  "We have 1,000 students to get through here.  Might as well focus on the ones who're actually gonna buy the pictures!"  She laughs loudly, revealing wide gums above large, crooked teeth.  I wonder which size of photo package her family bought when she was in school.

Flipping through the final shots later, I load up my retouching software and go to work.  Widening an arm here, adding a hint of a double chin there.  Whitening a shy smile just a little, tweaking the tip of a prominent nose and gently providing a suggestion of cheekbones in a round face.  Subtlety is the key and I'm good at it. 

Sometimes I have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing when we're delivering the packages and the smug looks slowly fade into confusion, while weary eyes light up with hope.  But they never object.  After all, the camera doesn't lie.

This is my 100th post!!  Woot woot!  I wrote it for this week's Indie Ink challenge.  Amy at 3 to 9 Travels prompted me with "I am its secret," and I prompted Michael at Innocents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations with "The apex of happiness."