Sunday, April 29, 2007

Talk to the Armpit

I think you know it seems to us like we're pretty busy with the two little guys, the new home and stuff. (Oh, yeah and p-man's new blog friends!) I don't have enough time to make the blog as good as I'd like. Neither do I have enough time to talk all the details of life out with my spouse. But I have come up with a great solution to both problems. I will simply air some of the backburner husband/wife items on the blog. I know he's a reader and it's a way more efficient communication medium than effing face to face. I am of course a multitasker at heart.

So welcome to my new feature in which I tell the p-man's what's what... right through the blog. I like to call it -- talk to the armpit. Why? Because that is the level I aspire to -- the shaved armpit. Mother of a 30 month old and one 9 month old seeks 20-25 minute shower with full complement of shaving options, wash products from L'Occitane thanks not Aveeno or Dove.. and no little assistants!

He tells me yesterday.. "I would like to get my swim program up to three days a week."
My response. "I would like to shower 3 times a week."
Later he pipes up.. "I think we should buckle down and finish the move in."
To this I say "I would like to go the bathroom, you know.. when I feel like it."

Screw it dude. I just read about the theory of overly self-sacrificing new momism in this great book! It is over dude. I am not taking word one of need until I get 1. a shower regimen that we all can live with and 2. unfettered bathroom access.

From what I understand this might be a long process.

This is a must-have book I want to talk and talk and talk about it. I am so grateful to the friend who gave it to me. It is like what gets covered on so many wonderful blogs.. but it's a book!

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Power Politics

So if I am not in charge..
Why does he ask me everything?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fearless Friday the First

You know how it is with drunks when they get old. You have to give them money even more constantly as the unemployment seems to become permanent. You end up dragging them through the hospital for the occasional case of poisioning. Or you have to deal with the wretched drama of the self-inflicted brain injury.

Well maybe you don't know. You would be lucky, then.

Me. I know. I am the adult-child of an adult-child of an alcholic. We are a weird support-groupless group. We know how it is.

But am I an enabler, you ask. Of course I am an enabler. By the time I was nine I was spending a goodly amount of my savings on my drunk relatives at Christmas time just so they would "feel enough love" to stop the madness. It is -- in a word -- hopeless. I now know you have to let people find their bottom. That's it.

So I can handle giving up on people? Can I give in to all that bottom stuff? No. Not readily. It seems scary and it is. To alienate is sort of frightening. But I have done it. A few years back I did give up on someone. I gave up on my relentless hope-making. I simply said 'you're never going to change, it's a joke!' I still remember how it sounded those words falling into the air. The moment of incredulous disdain that followed. Myself aghast at the suddeness of the utterance. I could not believe I just threw caution to the wind, in this way, and dropped my veil of enabling.

Cause, in my experience, well drunks... they are pretty mean. I am afraid of them. They can be vicious. That can be the charm of it all. The stringent pact of overlooking and overindulging. Living with drunks is a bit like being a peacekeeper in Somalia. You can't keep the peace when they haven't yet made the peace. It was pretty fucking scary for me when I said "you're a write-off". My words hung there awhile and I awaited the retribution. None was immediately apparent. Shit. This is even worse. I figured ok maybe we can all pretend it never happened. Insert nervous smile.

So there. I said it. I was afraid. But you know, someone did go to a meeting that night. Insert agog.

I felt the fear and did it anyway. It was one of the best moments of my life.

I am a fan of Miriam Peskowitz or at least her book, The Truth About the Mommy Wars. I appreciate her asking us to talk about fear for a few posts. Sorry if I fall pretty far outside the motherhoodity of the initial request but I just can't see how this would be superfluous to families today. Here's to the rest of the roundup, to come.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bad Parenting Confessional: Authority Figures!

I have a two year old. Discipline is an issue. I often feel like.. authority figure? Who? Me?

Yep, me. When she bumps or whacks the baby, I gotta deal with it. When she mocks nap time. When she throws sand at the playground. Mo-Wo. She's the heavy.

It sucks. Or more appropriately, I suck at it. I will effortless invoke the inheritance tax. I blame my mom for the suckage. For the fact that I hate fulfilling this role as virulently as I do.

My Mum was a real 'she's dead to me' parent. When I moved out at 18 she ripped numerous items, clothing and the like mostly, from my possession announcing the person that they were for wasn't real anymore. Sometimes I still get a bit fucked up about.. well... exisiting really. Thanks Mom!

Knowing what it's like to go from thoughtful to thoughtless human in 30 minutes or less, I wanted to be a more sensitive parent. I caught myself early and always avoid scolding my daughter for not being the 'nice girl she can be'... I always try to focus on the behaviour that is unacceptable.

But it's not working.. She gets a message around here that she is bad. She says so. I wish I had never used the idea of good girl AT ALL. She picks up on everything. If I say be a good girl and do X I'm sunk. She makes mistakes. Last night I tried a fresh bit of redemption. When she said she was a bad girl because she makes mistakes I said No!.
Then I said, "Well honey listen, I make mistakes, don't I?"
"Yes, you do!" she said.
"And, am I a bad mommy?"
"No. No you're not."
"So there you go!"
I could see the wheels turning.. but still.....this is a big hill.

This afternoon as nap strike continued and I abandoned her to an 'enforced period of rest' in her room I was so sad. I thought about it all in such detail. I really felt all those rotten memories of my mother being completely galled by my behavior; my existence. How she did, and still does, make me feel quite small. How I live in a life filled with dissappointment for her. I know my daughter feels my dissappointment about her nonconformity. I also know she feels it alongside a desire for some power. I cannot fault her to want some control of her life even at 2, let alone at 18. But what is right if I don't want her to be spoiled? Ah, back to the Burton White I guess and a little of the Bonny Doon.

Just goes to show that though I fought authority it does always win. Fuckers.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bloggers are People too

Catching wind of news that a wonderous little girl and her bad momma would be in our environs I hopped to it, flashing my minivan and such-like tourismo offers for little blog-on-blog action. Yep I got somewhat cleaned up and dusted off my self-confidence hoping not to make too much a fool of myself in front of company. We made a date to meet up.

At first it felt a bit like that trip to the Suzy Shier for the Mike Reno album signing back in '83. In the end it was a lot more like when my second cousin comes for a visit every 8 years. I mean I know of her but I don't really know her. At times I can be a bit shy about letting daylight upon magic but when really pressed I am a sucker for people. You know people? I like them. It turns out bloggers are people and it was very nice to see this famous blogger -- and especially that Girl Wonder. They are nice people.

As I continue to read all that HBM writes it will be with a deepened delight in the pictures. I was generally grateful for the bright sunshine on Saturday but somewhat more for the smirks and word or two from that lovely little girl. A very friendly little one who would toss a hand upwards to be led about by her mom or my girl or my girl's mom. That's always nice, a sweet friendly baby. I was quite charmed by her reticence about the fish jail quite understandable really from one so clearly committed to all things free and bipedal at the moment. Dear girl who made my baby boy smile as she announced him baby! (she will make a good big sister someday I reckon.) Tough stuff not to be pushed around by my two year old who thinks tag is a mother-licensed version of push and shove. That Girl Wonder gave her a yell each time and drowned out my predictable apologies and the questionable trailing "I'm sorries" from my girl.

I am but a year from having a little person her size in my clutches -- again. I am but a year hence from having same. How soon we forget. Gawd and gasp they are a hoot at that age. And, yep be jealous y'all. I've heard it. While it surely can be read by you from the true vigour of her mother's words it will henceforth be a little nicer for me as I have now heard the authentic Wonder Baby hoot in person. So nice to step out with you all, thanks HBM.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Open Letter to Shaw Cable

Dear Sirs/Mesdames:

I have been a customer of yours since 1990. I thank you for the many hours of middlebrow entertainment I have enjoyed/endured during that period. In consideration for your fine service I have paid my monthly accounts in a reasonably timely manner and I have not strayed from the fold. I thought, perhaps foolishly, that counted for something. I have now learned, much to my chagrin, it does not.

I do not expect you read this blog. Few do. Plus, you are a large and faceless corporation. What do you care of kool-aid blogs, even of the Jonestown variety? Had you been reading, you would have noted we are fans of the Canucks. That is to say, we are masochists. Had you been reading, you would have noted we planned to attend game 2 of the recently concluded series with Dallas. We attended. You are likely aware the Canucks sucked monkeys that night. Many many monkeys.

You are also likely aware the Canucks played game 7 of the series last night and won. This ended many seasons of playoff futility. Given my predeliction to suffering we planned to view the game. Our children, being the cooperative little souls they are, went to bed by 7pm, meaning we could watch the last 2 periods uninterrupted. We were excited. We couldn't hide it.

Imagine our disappointment when we discovered we had no cable. Imagine our annoyance when we called your customer service department to discover 1: our account is in order, and 2: you cut our cable earlier in the day. Our 2 year old daughter, on hearing of the TV problem, has now confessed to monkeying with the remote. "I broke the TV" she says as we try desperately to disabuse her of this notion. She may require counselling. As of this typing, you have failed to rectify your error. We have no idea when you will because you will not tell us.

Allow me to say this, oh mighty cable company: you smoke cock and you've got a pack-a-day habit. Nothing short of tickets to the next game will resolve this. Four tickets. And not in the nosebleeds.



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Sunday, April 22, 2007


Some time ago, when we were three, we stayed at my mom's place in Armpit. I posted about it. If you would prefer a precis to reading the linked post (which will surely change your life... go ahead) I observed thus: Mo and P-ma are on my list of family members likely to go all UFC on one another; and I am a pussy. Meow!

My mom stayed over the past four days. No fatalities to report. I have not posted anything or read anyone's stuff on account of (pre-visit) all-consuming anxiety and (during the visit) fatigue. I hope you are all doing well. E and I dropped my mom off with her boyfriend today but before we did that P-ma showed us one of her ponies who is presently for sale in Langley. That's right - today is the day I envisioned a financial bankruptcy to match my moral bankruptcy - E met a passel of ponies and she liked them. No, she loved them. And the cows. And the barn dog. And the sheeps, llamas, dromedaries. Dire times. By the time the visit was over P-ma was selling me her pony and E was keeping her in her bedroom. I told them this will never work - some crackhead will steal that pony for rock, but they did not listen. It is as though I have no authority around here. I am some kind of wet noodle. A pussy.

Oh well, I thought, I may be a soft-in-the-middle, conformist, desk jockey now, with a small horse in his daughter's room, but I was once a delinquent youth, a badass from way back. I was so bad, so early, I got expelled from kindergarten. Top that, Todd Bridges! No-one could take that away from me, my precocious pre-criminal career, or so I thought.

You know how your parents like to tell your partners stories about you when you were young, when you built up a life's worth of embarrassing deeds whose main value appears to be to allow your parents some recompense for your aberrant adolescent behaviour at your expense and the occasional relationship? (This predates all the embarrassing things you did which your parents tell your offspring about. That's a whole different set!) Since I don't see my mom very often these tales come out in floods during the time we do spend together. My dad, who lives nearby, has often reminded me of my expelled-from-kindergarten creds, which gives him some pride. As may be apparent, it gave me some pride too. Sad little man that I am, I have relayed this tale of badassery to others. Sad little people they are, they have feigned interest. And concern. "Get help" they said. I digress.

The weekend was not, unfortunately, all about me. Maybe next weekend. We spent much of Saturday at Granville Island strolling, eating, shopping, and enjoying the, um, act of Byron from England. P-ma made dinner and all was good. E may've thought she was moving in. I was happy. Mom was here. I was sad. We see her so infrequently. I was happy. P-ma brought some lavender ice cream from the local 208 flavours gelato emporium. I was sad. I ate it all once the others were in bed. I enjoyed the visit, P-ma enjoyed it, the kids enjoyed it... Mo is glad the others in her life enjoyed it...

This weekend a little part of my own history was changed. According to mater I wasn't expelled from kindergarten. She withdrew me because the teacher was mean. I went from badass (self-styled) to momma's boy in an instant. Meow.

P-man out.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Recommended title: A House for Hermit Crab

A house for Hermit Crab / Eric Carle.
Simon & Schuster, or Aladdin, 2002, c1987.
Hermit crabs -- Fiction
Marine animals -- Fiction
Crabs -- Fiction
Dwellings -- Fiction

ISBN: 0887080561 (Simon & Schuster) ; 0689848943 (Aladdin : pbk.)

I tried a bunch of books 'about moving' to ready our girl to leave our old house; most came up duds. The best book we had for the topic was this one. And, after reading this stuff I see it is as great book to discuss friendship, calendar facts and growing up too.

If you are like me and don't own the entire Carle pantheon take a close look at this one when making your next acquisition.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dr. Mom indeed

There has been some recent noise about losing it with our kids... or wanting to give them a little what for. Allow me to chime in on what it's like to actually injure your own offspring.

My girl was rolling her rather sizable frame about the floor of the aquarium during our last visit. I smiled my pained stupid parent smile ... at first. Then the scowls of fellow visitors bade me 'take control of that child'. I hauled her to her feet with a firm motherly grip... at the high arc of her return to uprightness there was in me a sudden sense of some kind of up-wrongness. I noticed before she did. "That isn't right" I declared and rushed her off before the crying began in earnest. She could confirm that "It hurt Mommy". Oh god. A dislocation? No. A tear? No. No swelling. The arm went limp; the little hand cold and pale. The tears continued to flow. I contemplated contacting first aid attendents but then felt that it wasn't so necessarily serious since she hadn't peed her pants. (I have always complained that the worst part of this mothering stuff is the quasi-medical role I have to fulfill. I suck at this stuff.) I treated on site with Sunmaid raisins.

After a visit to the cruddiest doctor on the eastside it seems that I sprained(?) or strained(?) a ligament in my daughter's upper arm. We proceeded with home treatment of elevating the weakened limb, Advil and breezy (at times dismissive) banter around the issue of injury; oh yes and "the Ogre movie."

She's ok now. But regardless you can bet I felt like I was the Ogre. Prior to this my physical presence has been the regular bliss machine for my kids; pumping out milk or offering safe refuge after a set-to with a bully, maybe a carry home for the last block. But on Saturday the doling out of endless hugs and kisses all seemed to dissolve into a moment of ridiculous inattention and endangerment. I'm glad the fates intervened somehow so it was not too bad. I try to focus on how this boo-boo is the first of many and we both learned something.

Me? I learned to never go head-to-head with the two-year old when she goes rubber chicken.
Little Girl? Well, she learned that Mommy will only buy the long-face suck up for 24 to 32 hours before it's back to hard time.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

At Home

A tad less than 10 years ago we relocated for p-man to complete his articles. I was unemployed for about 4 months. I found it hard without the regular cycle of action and accomplishment a day job offers. Entering my 9th month of mat leave, the second in 3 years, where I am today seems similar. At times I get the reminiscient absence of confidence that this sort of solitude engenders.

Tomorrow I'll make my application for an additional 6 months of leave without pay for parental leave. I have some mixed feelings about it.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I guess

Talking about slowing things down with the kids....

Walking home those two-year old legs were getting weary. The pleading begins.. I neeeeddd you to carry me. I can't carry you honey. And, -- of course -- I can't carry her and push my stroller, laden with shopping.

But I do carry a little.

I gotta do baby's blankets. You walk to the corner and maybe I'll carry you again. Look baby there's raven. Suddenly a third wind. "Hey raven! I will scare him with my wings." -- insert toddler imitating a bird flying, nay swooping, priceless. "Hey raven" she says again, flapping her arms.

Various other antics ensue. Hands on the ground stepping forward. "I am pretending it is a floor!"

Right. Right. Let's keep moo-ving.

Then the look. Her mischevious deal. Smirk on her face and one raised eyebrow she's says. "I guess it's a butterfly"
"I guess it's a butterfly"
I look skyward where she is sort of looking (she's mostly looking at me.) "What do you see, honey?"
Smile. "There"
"At the house? Or at the church, there?"
"I guess it's a butterfly"
"I see a gull"
"I guess it's a butterfly"
"Yes. Yes. I guess it is"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Book Report #2: New York Trilogy

I'll go out on a limb here: if you haven't already done so, read this book. It has been around 20 years or so - since I graduated from high school. (No, I really did.) You've likely had your chances... what are you waiting for?

The reading is difficult at times. The text is unnerving. This has nothing to do with the quality of the writing. Auster's prose is clear. His technique is... I have no idea. I'm not a writer. The themes, testing and exploration of one's identity, of one's existence, are large pills, but the stories are compelling. I kept reading. I wanted to see what would happen. You may as well.

P-man out.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blogging Naked

I noted this week the recognition by the very talented L. that she published a post that received no comments. Now around here that is a common occurrence so I thought I would talk it through a bit.

First off I have a theory. I hold the position that commenting is down in general. There is a techno-social cause to this -- namely the new Blogger. You know how blogger makes you sign in now before commenting and then it throws you to the dashboard? This is 1.) sort of inconvenient so people are not commenting and 2.) folks are feeling compelled to post. If you are like me and your browser tosses the dashboard at you ... you think I MUST POST. Blogger tells me... PPPPOOOOEESTT! Do it you droid, come on, it's easy! Somewhere there is a statistical tool out there which can prove my theory: posting is up -- commenting is down.

So there you go L. Feel better?

Now, what about me? Do I feel better? Let's review.. I don't drink enough water or have adequate iron supplies in my diet. I need more sleep and I have a lot of people on my callback list. I would like to read a book. I don't shower regularly or take my kids to enrichment programs. I don't have good daycare arrangements or preschool waitlist positions... but I have a blog that I post for regularly.

We post a lot of posts on the fly. I mean I am only getting this post done by fitting clauses in between bites and getting dressed... Yes neighbour lookie-loo, that is how a nursing bra works... what of it? Honestly, I know you have seen me do the wiggle my ass into the not-quite-fitting-yet post-partumy jeans but you tell me ... why are you looking? ... I digress.

We maintain this blog of commentless content like four times a week. Why??? What am I doing? Let me be clear: this is no plea for comments. We have a small, smart, and precious readership who are as laissez-faire about commenting as we are and I wouldn't want to change that. No pressure you guys, we know who you are. But my interior stress about the comment dynamic is significant. I have wondered since A. was born if I should take a blogging mat leave? Part of me wants to change our tagline to "Twice the children, Half the blog!"

There are those who know when to go on break and keep the multitudes missing them on a visceral level but not us... Never say die! We will revise, reform, rebrand for a new and better tomorrow of whiter teeth etc. A while back, Jason gave us some linky-dinky love (and I use dinky with intention there). Maybe we should rebrand the blog a bit to recognize its partnership of homme/femme? That might happen. We'll see.

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Keeping Two Hands On My Stick

This is not, I assure you, a post about my attendance at a local lab for the Freeze. I am still recovering from that one... the nasty smut offered by the proprietor as inspiration. Does the title make any comment as to the stature of this correspondent's phallus? I wish.

No. After three bitter years of regular-season ineptitude and job action it is once again playoff time in Vancouver. Hope springs eternal as innumerable Vancouverites join the bridge and tunnel crowd on the Canucks bandwagon. Count me in. I am presently viewing the Canucks celebrating victory in the 4th overtime period of Game 1. I have tickets to Friday's game. With any luck Friday will be date night at chez Wo. I think the last time Mo and I went to a game together someone got his neck broken. We hurried out of the arena while half of the audience stood in shock and the other half cheered wildly as a corona of blood fanned out on the ice around the broken player's head.* Of course I swore I would never return. But return I did, pathetic hockey whore that I am.

It helped that my partners customarily purchase seasons tickets so I could pretend I was entitled to share in the expense and the benefit of attending some games. You learn a lot about the people you sit nearby because you see them repeatedly. I have concluded that seasons ticket holders may be, in some cases, at the games to be observed rather than to observe the proceedings.

For example: the middle aged guy next seat over who gets loaded at each game, disappears for a good stretch of each game for refreshment, and spends the entire match in conversation with his seatmate and fucking with his PDA. He wears his $300 Trevor Linden jersey with pride. You don't fool me buddy - you're not Trevor Linden!

Another: the four Kerrisdale ladies behind us who spend each game in some kind of conversational rapture. It is the aural equivalent of being awakened by crows.

And finally: the two young men in the centre of our row (but just on our side of centre) who decamp from our row two times per period to purchase two beers apiece. At $8 per beer that is a very expensive diversion. Assuming the two beers per 20 minute window is consistent throughout the course of the game there are four more beers each once you include the intermissions. When you add together the cost of the beers ($80), the seat ($100) and the natty Markus Naslund jersey ($300) the cost of these evenings out (45 in total) is outrageous. Of course, you need to amortize the cost of the Markus Naslund jersey over the course of the season, in which case you are probably saving money by going to all these games. Yeah. I wonder how these kids subsidize their hockey games...

All that aside I am looking forward to an evening out with Mo. It has been a while since we could take the benefit of a hedonistic adventure of this sort. I hope the Canucks win. I hope there's a fight. I hope no-one loses an eye (or intervertebral disc).

P-man out.

* I like this image but am suspect that it is a memory of a fact. It is equally likely to be an imagined detail. As Buddy said: That's when the acid kicked in.**

** Ok, we left in a hurry. There was no acid. please don't call my sponsor.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

P-man Book Report

Mo said: Write a book review.

I replied: After our son was born, and prior to our move to larger premises, he slept in our room. As I had been accustomed to ending my day in bed with five latex-clad dwarves and a tub of... a good book, I love a good book, more than I could ever love a quincunx of midgets, tripe, and a brace of spatulas... where was I... with the kid in our room, it became impossible to read in bed. I know I could have changed my habit, to read on the couch, but something was always on.

Since our move, three weeks ago, I have again been able to read in bed, to enjoy hot dwarves, and fine literature. I have begun to devour books like hot tripe from the scapulae of five diminutive yet lusty... Hence this review of the novel pictured above.

I replied further: I can read books, but I have no idea how to review them. I prefer to rely on the opinions of others in these matters. But I continue to digress. Here we go. The book review. Without further ado. Any second.

"Amsterdam" is a book. It was written by Ian McEwan. Apparently. I did not see him write it. He's taken all the credit, which has been ample. Some have said he takes too much credit. He is not my favourite author. While his books are written very well the stories are usually grim. Where is the happy, Ian?

Mr. McEwan is not the only Ian who writes books. There are others.

This novel is a Booker Prize winner. For those of you who don't know (sniff) the Booker Prize is a literary award given each year to the best booker. Mr. McEwan was the best booker in 1998. (I know, I don't get out enough.) I can't believe people need me to tell them these things! This is a big award.

I expected this novel to be the basis of one of my favourite movies but I was sorely disappointed. This book was not, as hoped, a study of a deformed serial killer on the loose in Amsterdam, but a study of hubris as illustrated through two successful middle-aged Englishmen whose friendship is tested by events. The friendship fails as do the subjects. It is likely too obvious to note the tale is expertly rendered, the characters fully drawn, the narrative trajectory horrifying and beautiful to watch. So I won't mention those things. Forget it. I won't even recommend you purchase the book although I suppose I can, after all, since this is my book review. Never mind, I will leave that to someone who can offer a not-inaccurate precis of the book.

So, Amsterdam, it's a book. A good one.

I then suggested Mo write a book review of a novel, as opposed to a kid's book or child-wrangling guide.

Said Mo: Are you suggesting I have time to laze about and read books?

P-man out.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Interrogation Room

Alright everyone loves a great interview right? Well, this here interview is a team effort in more ways than one. A joint interview of Mo-Wo and p-man, brought to you by Mad and NotSoSage. Typing this up it was clear that it might get sort of confusing as to who's who. I thought about remedying that all with assigned colour coding. But I hate fucking colour coding so good luck everyone!

From Mad: p-man, let's start with you. First off, since we have the blogosphere to thank for this interview, tell me what, in your opinion, is discussed more in the parenting blogospere: ovaries or testes?

I don’t know the answer to that. I can establish that I have discussed my testes more often than I have discussed my ovaries, or Mo’s, or anyone’s. “Nuts to you.” That’s my motto.

From NotSoSage: And does that need to change? If so, how do you propose to do that?

I will continue to discuss my testes for so long as I have them. If I lose them I will discuss them more often. Vive la meme chose.

From Mad: Mo-wo: Vancouver is a tourist haven. Heck, I've been there about 10 times myself. If you could recommend one natural attraction and one cultural attraction to potential visitors, what would they be?
You've been here...? When? Why didn't you call? Was it something I said. Or was it him?

Did you know I had a dream last month I went to NB and saw you. Just for one evening. And, you know we went to a play. It wasn't that good but it was smart. And, I didn't even know your husband was a playwright when I had that dream I think. Amazing you got a sitter isn't it?

Anyway the question.. ahem...

Natural = Do I go outside? I used to do ‘the natural’ now I see peril everywhere and remain a bit more urban. Maybe Jericho Beach is a don’t-miss ? It has a gorgeous view of Spanish Banks, highly recommend it at sundown when the light glints in a uniquely ethereal manner and the air is fresh with the slightly acid whiff of fresh chicken bits flying out to sea in crab traps. It’s all like a good Cab/Merlot. But if you take your toddler consider a harness there is no rail on 2/3 of the pier.

Cultural = Museum of Anthropology. It is a collection thoroughly engaging for the visitor! I can add that it is also a fine example of a concrete masterpiece of Arthur Erikson and as such it thoroughly suffocating to the employee.

NotSoSage: And am I the only person who gets her directions screwed up because downtown is North?
Huh. Are you like begging some TO crack here? Follow the mountains. It's easy.

NotSoSage: The next two questions are for both of you: What do you think has recently been the greatest test to your marriage? Please answer separately and without consultation.

a) The move
b) The cat
c) The kids
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

p-man: e) Me.

Mo-wo: There’s a test? I mean we got the papal dispensation and I thought that meant all the red tape was covered for like life eternal. Oh, yeah and YEP what he said. For us marriage goes better with kids... and lamb kebabs!

Mad: If you two were hired by Hollywood to do voice-overs for an animated movie, what would the movie be called and what characters would each of you give a voice to?

p-man: Crapula: The Drunkest Vampire. I am the voice of the inebriated bloodsucker and Mo is the voice of my unwilling target. Art mirrors life.

mo-wo: I don't know what it would be called but I am pretty sure I would be shrieking.

Mad: For you both: If you weren't a librarian/lawyer what profession would each of you choose?

p-man: Unemployed.
Mo-wo: Chef

NotSoSage: Which profession do you think would best suit your partner? You may interpret this question in whatever way you wish.

p-man: Lawyer.
Mo-wo: Seriously p-man would make a really great librarian. He reads much more than I do and everyone likes him, in real life anyway. I have seen him befriend everyone from the paint sales lady to our garbage guys with a word or two. These are all great qualities in a librarian. As is organization and the ability to work without extensive support or direction. In the latter two areas he sucks. He’d maybe make a good librarian is the Casanova sort of way or on a bad day Hannibal Lecter.

Then again he makes good coffee and he's sullen.. let's go with barista v barrister.

Mad: Mo-Wo: Librarian or cybrarian? Which is your prefered term?

Always librarian. The cybrarian thing really only works if you pick out your own eyeball and refill the hole with a red light laser scanner which is oh-so 1997. (Ok you civilians, the librarians are all laughing their trusses right off with that one! Trust me, all two of them.)

I’m waaay-heeey to chicken for that.

PT Librarian
RT Cybrarian
NT Bunny Watson
Stupid question expert
UF Read-ie Person
Information Person
SA Nerd

Mad: p-man: Given your chosen profession woul d you ever consider naming a future daughter "Sue"?

You assume I am a barrister. I am a solicitor and my son is named Will. My daughter is named Floating Debenture.

Mad: Where the hell did NotSoSage go? She's leaving me high and dry here. Alright, one final question for each of you. Mo-Wo: If you could resurrect one CBC Series from the past, what would it be and why?

Oh man this is a hard one. And, one cleverly devised to ensure that if any of our fringe (2) American readers were still tuned in that they follow the outclick to Sci Fi now.. CBC series… hmmmmm….

Danger Bay, Mr. Dressup, Seeing Things (no way too Toronto! There I said it.), Street Legal (oooh the lip gloss on Cynthia Dale is blinding, and hey did you know C. David Thomas is doing replacement spots on As It Happens now?), King of Kensington, Beachcombers, Front Page Challenge? Ah, a Sophie’s Choice.

Semi-related little know mo-wo factoid. I won 5 What’s New? Challenge t-shirts in elementary school. Please see aforementioned nerd reference. I am considering a grant application to see how many 21st century bloggers were reciepients of cash or prizes from child news program or other uber-geek activities junk when 19 years or younger.

Ok give me a serious moment will you. I guess I would overlook how stoned I may or may not have been on occasion and ask that the gods bring back Kids in the Hall. The circa 1991 season that first year we dated. For each show night I would trot over to p-man’s Dad’s place and cook up somethin’ nice like the corn-pepper cream soup with a side of cornbread. We’d have a good night with friends or just our revered affiliate, his sister. It seems like another planet, and it was; so much that was so effortless. Dinner. Vegetarianism. Society. Love.

Now if this had been a question regarding CTV programs of yore it would have been much easier, hands down “Check it Out” you just can’t ever really get enough of Don Adams, can you?

Mad: And p-man: "Heavy Horses" or "Aqualung", my friend?
Neither. Nibelung. Woof!

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Art and Sausage


Easter Monday is looking like bliss with the obligations of a holiday weekend waning. It was busier than last year for us and we are exhausted. But it was everything it should be. I spent some time in the artful pursuit of the Ukranianest Easter eggs.

And for a few days we will gorge ourselves on A LOT of sausage, soft cheese and delicious babka. These are our traditions. I know not of this bunny and chocolate feast of which others speak. For me that holiday has always been about that big Lent-wrap-up breakfast. I really enjoy it. A few years ago we stayed with friends for Easter and being faced with the bunny stuff in the morning left me a bit vacant. When I turned up at my Auntie Olga's that afternoon I begged her for her breakfast leftovers even though she was going to serve me a nice Easter turkey dinner (cause ya know that's easy, she'd always say.). Please Auntie don't you just have a bit of sausage, bread and cheese?

I sure hope you all enjoyed some feasts as much as I enjoyed mine. And, tomorrow I can't wait. Hopefully we can get to the thoroughly stunning interview questions we have been sent by two fine inquiring Canadian minds.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

About Easter

So Jesus got put in a cave. And then the angels came -- Frr, Frr, Frr.
Then he got to be with his Dad and that made him really really happy.

-- The Easter Story for my two-year old

Happy day to everyone celebrating Easter and Passover and wishes of rest and good times for the rest.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hell's kitchen

I was a fussy eater. Early on my mother got wise to dealing with me. She taught me to cook. Now I love to cook. I am not one to be daunted by a recipe. I have a framed picture of Jacques Pepin over my bed. To be frank my idea of a good day off would be big dollars to shop, lots of time to cook and then a big meal with my loved ones inclusive of a hot array of vino. Wrap it up with a good scotch while someone else does the dishes -- NIRVANA.

I worked in food service from about the age of fourteen until I was in my early twenties. This included a fine French restaurant and summer stint in a Rocky Mountain hotel near Banff. I have had my fill of chefs.

There has long been a part of me that wanted to be "Chef". Don't cross me in my kitchen figuratively -- or literally. P-man has received many an earful for moving too slowly, failing to tidy as he goes, and taking up too much space. I have tried to educate him in the ways of the galley but he has proved resistant to every method of persuasion (and coercion).

After many years of enduring this detente I am now Chef. My two-year old has a good interest in the kitchen. I capitalized early on her love of painting to buy those cute coloured silicon basting brushes and she is now my sous chef extraordinnaire. She can mix my olive oil, salt and pepper, and prep no end of vegetable dishes. And chopping? Well, if you give a toddler a dozen mushrooms and a table knife they will stay busy for about 30 minutes, and if you can make do with macerated, you are golden.

About 6 months into her apprenticeship she appears eager to expand her repertoire. Last week she made noodles. With the introduction of serious heat management responsibilities I have started a new rubric for communication and progress. She must ask permission and act only when and how instructed. And, she must respond, "Yes, chef."

This rocks my world.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sing Song Sung

Well swum, swan.

Seven songs... I am not hep to this interweb song-purchase thingie, nor the majesty of satellite radio, and I haven't got a functioning iPod. Well, I own one, but the battery is buggered and I can only use it when it is plugged in. It was free. I got what I paid for. Anon, to the exciting list of listness. Up until this moment, we all were listless.

But I digress further. I question the propriety of cheesy little posts like this, typed from the calm of my office (sorry boss), given the subject matter of Mo's recent offerings. She's observing the meat of life. I am describing its fur.

And another thing. I will not tag anybody because everyone I know of has been tagged. If you are reading this and have a burning desire to create a list of the nature described - fill your boots.

Allman Brothers Band: One Way Out

This is a fine song about cheating, or maybe about what to do in the face of imminent arrest. I have listened to it on a Fillmore East compendium. It makes me think of Cher and Sonny (may ski forever on a treeless slope). Cher, baaabe, who's in there with you?

Wilco: Kicking Television

If only I could.

Barry Adamson: 007, A James Bond Fantasy Theme

Have no fear, because Bond is black.

East Bay Rhythm: A Little Love Will Help

J'aime beaucoup le disco workout. Find yer own link, or better yet, buy the cd.

The Stranglers: Walk on By

But Bacharach was clearly this band's idol. Note the clever air banding and premature conclusion to the same in the attched vid. If only I had some ability to link you to an actual online music service... I hope somebody invents one soon.

Frank Zappa: The Illinois Enema Bandit (1976)

The title ought suggest the deep and unabashed impropriety of both the lyricist and his subject. Here is the disco version.

Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine

I don't... know.

So that's it. I had half hoped to come back to this site with a great post dealing with umbrella strollers and class issues, or an expensive holiday I have taken with my family and retinue of alien staff, or run-ins with evil garden pests. Like, "I saw this waif with her baby strapped into an umbrella stroller the other day, and I thought to myself, where is the umbrella? What a stupid name. Or, I just returned from a family vacation in Havana. Sorry I couldn't post, but they haven't got high speed there, and we were busy stocking up on domestics... or, I was in a car accident the other day, and this slimy fellow handed me his card. So I drowned him in a bowl of beer! Maybe a book review... oh well.



Monday, April 02, 2007

Guessing Game

Alright, another guessing game.

Right now my son is sleeping. He is not always the best sleeper but he has just now been sleeping for almost 4 hours without complaining about his emerging tooth and swollen gum.

What do I feel like doing at this moment?

Polly put the kettle on.

I am full of complaints today.

Suffice it to say... I likely wouldn't so much mind spending four or five hours cajoling and manipulating and otherwise bossing these kids around against their will if it was in aid of spending this sunny afternoon with a book and a tea. But when it's all done in the name of more-more-more laundry, grocery shopping, vacuuming and pretty dull food prep it sucks.

I hate days like these.

Perhaps tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled Pollyanna'ing?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Carry On

I carry my son a lot. No, this isn't about cling (though I know, I know, I know!! that's another post). This is about the act of carrying my Mr. Little Big Guy around.

My son is a big pain because he grows out of everything so fast. He grew out of newborn diapers in approximately 2 hours. The infant carrier in barely three months. The swing? could I ever really use that? Don't get me started on my war with the friggin' Ergo (curse those Junipers for making it sound so easy, that was my last official sucked in' by some object d'art baby junk sellin' blogger).

So instead I carry him. It turns out I like to carry my baby. Nice to see his face on a trip to the park or hold him close to me for a cat nap. I think back on how many places I went with his sister in the freakin' infant carrier or the stroller; pissing us both off. Why? Why? Why? In retrospect I recognize how programmed I was to interface with my kid through consumer goods for children. It was always like I needed some sort of conduit product to take care of them instead of me. A Baby Bjorn or some swing, the right stroller... that's why I now prefer to meditate over the real alternate parenting paradigm out there.. the one outside this North American experience.

I like it better that way.