Monthly archive for January 2013

Business plan


It is cold, people. Cold enough that the snow makes that awful squeaky crunching noise when you drive or walk over it. Cold enough that the staff at Starbucks give you a quizzical look, and then say, “Um, we don’t HAVE that right now?” when you ask for an iced coffee. Cold enough that if you have to go outside for any reason at any point in the day, no combination of fuzzy pants and heated blankets and animals piled on top of you can get the last bit of chill out from your bones. Last night, I spent some time trying to convince Mike to find a work-at-home actuary job that he could do from Maui. He fed me some excuse about how those jobs “don’t exist” but it is okay, because it means I can focus on my lifelong dream of opening up a bookstore in Hawaii, which would be called “Be Right Back” and would have one of those clock signs in the door indicating how long it will be until the shopkeeper returns, because I would always be at the beach drinking pina coladas. Of course, I would have to go back periodically to snuggle the two grey cats, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, that live there so there would be small windows during the day when customers could make purchases and we could exchange small talk on how beautiful the weather is and how tasty the fish tacos are. You may be wondering how I could reasonably expect to get a green card to run a business that almost certainly won’t make any money, but it is okay, because I am wondering it too.


Well, THAT’S creepy.

I finished my sad book last night. I stayed up too late to read it, and I feel kind of hungover this morning from the lack of sleep. My mom asked me this weekend why I would read a book that was so sad, and you know, that’s a good question. I suppose it is kind of like reading a scary book, where the primary enjoyment is the writing and the scared feeling is a delicious bonus. A friend of mine posted on Facebook this weekend that she had caught her daughter staying up past her bedtime to read, and I commented that I used to do that, only the past tense isn’t really appropriate here, because I suppose I still do. These days I tend to read in great binges, gulping the book down hungrily over 24 hours, and then not reading anything more for a few weeks, until the urge strikes again.

I used to love scary books, although I don’t read them much anymore because they are often badly written, which unfortunately renders me unable to actually enjoy them. When I was 11 or 12, I spent the better part of a year reading everything Stephen King had written up to that point, before moving on to Dean Koontz and John Saul and various other authors that definitely wouldn’t be classified as Young Adult literature. A few weeks ago I spent many hours reading the articles linked to in this Wikipedia list of people who disappeared mysteriously, which I came to deeply, deeply regret when Mike took Ellie to Sarnia for the weekend to visit his parents and I had to go to bed in a house that was empty except for two lazy cats and a ridiculous dog who I don’t expect would be all that scary to a possible intruder. Some of the items on that list were pretty innocuous, like boats that capsized or people who faked their own deaths only to be tracked down years later in Australia, but many of them were just people who did something, and were subsequently “NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN”. That idea is truly unsettling. People can just disappear! Never to be heard from again! Imagine ominous music playing in the background as you read this!

Anyway, it is a very good thing that I was in sad book mode this weekend instead of scary book mode, because I came into the kitchen late in the evening to discover the creepy alien face pictured above. There is an obvious explanation for this phenomenon (overhead lights cause crazy reflection in pot lids) but I am posting this here so if I disappear mysteriously, you’ll know why. If they make a movie about it, please make sure Janeane Garofalo plays me.

Now with 100% more paragraphs

I was visiting the actual homepage for my blog the other day for some reason instead of the back end through which I do the writing, and I noticed that the vast majority of my posts seem to consist of two very long paragraphs filled with parenthetical remarks. Seriously, have a look. The uniformity of the posts is almost embarassing. Apparently that’s a thing I do? But I am nothing if not excited by an opportunity for personal growth, so we’re going to try a little something different today: I’m going to toss a few bullet points up on the screen, try not to edit them too heavily, and then hit the Publish button.

1) So that one eyetooth from the other day? Was actually THREE eyeteeth. She was miserable because she was … well, miserable. Parenting fail! I told Mike on Wednesday that I had kind of phoned it in, parenting-wise, to make up for the day before, but then later when I showed him Ellie’s new Kermit the Frog impression (arms flailing above her head, yelling “Yaaaayyyyy!”) he said clearly I had NOT phoned it in. It’s nice to be on the same page with the other parent in terms of what our expectations are.

2) I’m not much for economics (I had to take an economics class in university, and I got a C, of which I was more proud than any A I had ever earned, because that stuff is complicated) but my interest was piqued the other day by a segment on The Daily Show about the new 1-trillion dollar coin they’re thinking of minting in the United States to somehow to solve the fiscal cliff issue they’re facing. On the one hand, I don’t understand how that makes any sense (you can just … make more money? isn’t that what causes inflation? they did not cover this scenario in my class, and any time I ask Mike to explain something like this he always says, “Do you REALLY want to know?” and I always decide I do not) but on the other hand, wouldn’t that make for a really tremendous heist movie? I laid awake far too long the other night, forcing Mike to listen to me as I casted the movie. He — for reasons that are unclear to me — strenuously objected to my insistence that Nicolas Cage play the lead. We eventually settled on Jennifer Garner (CIA agent who turns out to be a mole) and Kiefer Sutherland (decorated military general, coming out of retirement for one last job) as well as possibly Samuel L. Jackson (head of the ragtag band of heisters). Also James Morrison as the corrupt head of the Federal Reserve. If there are any movie producers reading this, call me! I have many more ideas like the above.

3) Ellie is napping, and it is so, so gloomy outside that I decided naptime would be best spent under a fuzzy blanket with my copy of The Fault in Our Stars, which my sister-in-law got me for Christmas. Now, I knew this was a sad book. What I did NOT know was that long before I’m even halfway into through, I need someone to come over and pet my hair and make me tea and murmur comforting things to me.

Slow learner

You know how you kind of go along in life, having some regular days where you do regular stuff, and then one day you are so productive that you want to smugly proclaim the details of your day on Facebook, except you don’t because that would be obnoxious? I am willing to accept the possibility that that’s just me, and that all of y’all have super productive days nearly every day of the week, lest you get fired. Thankfully my main boss is only a couple of feet tall and really needs to keep me around, and the boss of my part-time job is me (who is quite lovely and forgiving) because I find this is kind of how my weekday life goes now, where I never feel like I’m doing a particularly excellent job at balancing all of the plates I’m responsible for — I mean, everything gets done that needs to get done, and most of the time it happens when it needs to happen, but I’m not holding my breath in expectation that the local work-at-home-moms slash stay-at-home-moms are going to elect me their spokesperson or anything — but then every few weeks I have a day where I GET STUFF DONE. That was my Monday this week: I washed and dried four loads of laundry, tidied up the house, made a more elaborate dinner than usual, sent some invoices, did some client work, spent lots of time with Ellie, and I did this all in spite of the fact that my afternoon babysitter called in sick. Here is where you can picture me spiking the ball and doing some sort of touchdown dance accompanied by “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Flash forward to yesterday, when you can picture me getting fined for excessive showmanship and deeply regretting the touchdown dance ever happened. Things happened all day long that made me feel irritated and angry and helpless, things like Ellie lying prostrate with grief on the kitchen floor because her favourite yogurt-eating spoon is dirty and I’ve refused to wash it for the third time that day, and then, once she has stopped tantruming and asked nicely for the spoon and I have given in and washed it, deciding to use the spoon to create some strawberry yogurt artwork on the couch when I have left the room for thirty seconds. This was possibly the least frustrating part of my day; I don’t really remember much because I blocked it all out except for the few seconds right before bedtime when I had a brainstorm and asked Mike to grope around in her mouth a bit and we discovered that one of her eyeteeth, which she has been working on literally since the summer, finally broke through yesterday. I have said to no fewer than seventeen (17) people that one of the many good things about having a generally good-natured child is that it’s usually pretty easy to tell if something out of the ordinary is up. I do not, however, expect that Ellie has told seventeen people that one of the many good things about her mother is that she is a fast learner.