Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Blue Box

I pulled a man trick and totally forgot about my anniversary this year. Tony was the one who reminded me. It also happened to fall on Father's Day, which I also kinda forgot. I did remember to send my Dad a gift, but it somehow slipped my mind that Tony is and has been a Dad for the past four years.

Even now, it still seems strange to me that we're parents, that we're responsible for raising another human being. It's also pretty scary when I stop to think about it. But after living together for seven years before deciding to have a family, it's sometimes hard to believe it actually happened.

And as wonderful as family life is, it often contributes to the already out of control daily guilt I feel, adding extra pressure to remember more holidays and momentous occasions. It also doesn't help that since giving birth, my brain is like a Jenga game; with each important date, fact, or other thing I have to remember, something else slips out.  Like my anniversary and (Tony's) Father's Day present.

So, when hubby arrived home from work a few weeks ago with a beautiful, rather large Tiffany-esque box tied up with a white ribbon, I can't imagine why I automatically assumed it was some kind of "just because" gift for moi.

Maybe it was the way he set it down with such flourish on top of the bookshelf, turning to face me expectantly. The way a husband might had he decided to bring home a lovely gift for his wife out of the blue.

After a few seconds of him looking at me rather eagerly, I finally demanded to know what was in the box. And annoyingly, he totally ignored my question and started telling me what sounded like a well-rehearsed story. It went something like this:

One evening back in 1954, a young man out in Alberta did a very bad thing. He attacked and ended up killing another person. Upon realizing what he'd done, he fled the scene of the crime, jumped into his 1950 Ford model car and drove away, either not realizing or not bothering to wipe the other person's blood off his hands. Eventually, however, the blood left behind on the Ford's steering wheel was used as evidence to convict the man of murder.

I stood dumbfounded at this, finally asking what this horrible yet apparently random story had to do with anything.

Well, hubby tells me, the steering wheel of that Ford model car is in the blue box!!

To Be Continued

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Funny - Dark Side This Is

I was going to post a humorous story that I've been writing for my Friday Funny installment today, but while doing research on something for work earlier this week, I came across two hysterically funny videos that I just had to share.

Anyone who really knows me can tell you that I am directionally-challenged. Yes, I'm that woman who gets lost crossing the street. If it weren't for Mapquest, I'd be much worse off, but even that isn't fool Pamela-proof. If anybody were a prime candidate for a GPS, it is me.

So, when I came across these GPS units available with Star Wars characters voices - well  I was just about as giddy as a freaking school girl. I loved the old Star Wars movies as a kid - I remember thinking Hans Solo and Darth Vader were like, the coolest. What can I say? Even back then I had a weakness for the bad boys.

When my husband told me he'd never seen the original trilogy, I dragged him to see all three movies. I mean, how could anyone have grown up in the late 70's without seeing Star Wars? Anyway, he wasn't overly impressed, but its of those things that unless you've seen it through the magic of a child's eyes, you can't appreciate it as much.

I thought TomTom did a terrific job with these "making of" videos for the Yoda & Darth Vader voices. Now I just have to decide - do I want to be guided by a Jedi Master or by the Dark Side?    

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Snack + Sun = Sleep

On Sunday, we:

Made some Rice Krispy Squares 

Then we:

Enjoyed a snack in the pool
And finally,
One of us crashed out on the sofa

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Fought the Law...

As revealed in my last post, when I thought I'd be hanging my hardened-criminal head in shame by now, I was in traffic court last week. The charge: Speeding. My first ticket ever. It's not that I don't usually speed. Oh, no, I speed. Every day. Not breakneck speeding or anything. And not if my son's in the car - I keep the speedometer right around where it should be when he's with me. 

But when it's just me and my Honda, I'm always going a little too fast, even when there's no need for it. I just can't get out of that rat race mode. Plus I usually have the music cranked, which, I admit, gets my adrenaline going.

On the day in question, I'm rushing home from work to pick up Ciaran and relieve my mother-in-law from a long day of baby-sitting hell duties. Like any other day, I am probably thinking of everything I have to do when I get home and oh, did I mention I have road rage? Uh-huh. I do.

So, when the driver in the opposite lane isn't letting me pass to switch lanes  it really peeves me off. Then, when I slow down to let him by, HE slows down too. There's nothing that pisses me off more than that - okay maybe tailgaters - tailgaters are total a-holes.

By now, I'm enraged. I put my pedal to the metal to try to pass him once again, but surprise, surprise, he speeds up too! I now start gunning it down this big hill, gaining pretty good momentum when - urk!! There's a cop standing right in front of me pointing his trusty laser thingie in my direction.


Now, 8 months later, I find myself at Old City Hall, having refused to just pay the fine and get the demerit points added. 'Cause I'm badass don't want my insurance to go up. Lovely building Old City Hall, if only it weren't the middle of July and the whole place wasn't completely sweltering with no central air!

Anyway, as I'm waiting my turn to talk to the prosecutor, I listen in on discussions going on between other prosecutors and law-breaking peeps and I hear deals being made left, right & center. Ok, I say to myself, I'm willing to play this game.

Then, it's my turn. The prosecutor takes my info without a word and starts circling & scribbling stuff on a piece of paper. He looks up at me, all serious and I'm thinking, that's it, I'm totally screwed. They're throwing the book at me for sure.

Then, in a barely audible voice, he tells me "there's no evidence", so the ticket will be dropped. I don't really understand, but I'm sure as hell not questioning it. Yeehaw!! I'm free, baby! All I have to do is pop into the courtroom and he'll call my name and like, officially withdraw the ticket in front of the judge and everything.

So, I'm chilling in the courtroom (literally, since someone had the decency to install an a/c unit in there), when who comes in and sits on the bench right beside me? The cop who pulled me over!! I know it's him and he looks at me like he knows it's me too, or is my mind playing tricks on me? How could he possibly remember me after all that time, all those tickets he's surely issued?

My mind starts racing once again. I start imagining one of those dramatic made-for-TV-movie moments where right as I'm about to be cleared, the officer jumps up and shouts, Your honor! This has been a grave injustice of the law - book this woman immediately! I mean, I did almost run him down that day, totally not expecting to see anyone standing in the middle of road as I sped down it. I actually remember thinking, Who is this idiot standing in the street and what's with the funny hat, right before I realized what was happening.

But, this is Canada, not a TV drama, and our court is really, really boring. So when they called my name and said I was free to go, the judge even gave me quite a pleasant smile and bid me a good day.

The moral of the story? No matter how much of a douche the other drivers are, cops are super tricky, so don't speed. But if you do get pulled over, stay calm, act remorseful and choose the court option. I may have just gotten lucky, but it was worth it for me and I did learn a valuable lesson; never wear a jacket and long pants in Old City Hall in mid-July unless you're carrying extra antiperspirant. Also, Marilyn Manson is not good driving music.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sticking it to The Man!

I thought this would be appropriate for today's Wordless Wednesday since I'll be in traffic court today fighting my first ever speeding ticket:(

Fingers crossed, I won't end up like the Soggy Bottom Boys:

But if I do, I will avoid her at all costs:

The striped look does suit her quite well don't you think?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Musings - The one that (almost) got away

Ever become so obsessed with a song that you just had to try and find it? Only problem is, you don't know who sings it, let alone the name of said song?

But it haunts you, sticks in your head and refuses to let go. And so you surf every radio station, trying in vain to hear it again. And then one night you finally do, but it's right at the tail end and wouldn't you know, the blasted announcer plays another song (one that you really don't like), and then another, and another and by the time the crappy-song marathon has finally come to an end, there's another DJ on the air and he's doing this gospel hour program and never bothers to mention the names of the previous hour's worth of music.

So then you go to the CD store to try to explain it to the blatantly uninterested, detached sales clerk who has no idea what you're talking about and does little to hide the look of sheer disdain on his/her face.

This happened to me when I returned from my honeymoon twelve years ago. We were in Ireland and we'd rented a car to travel along the beautiful countryside. After sorting ourselves out with the whole driving on the wrong side of the road thing (thankfully it was during the 1998 World Cup, so NO ONE was driving, or we likely would have gotten ourselves killed), my first order of business was to find a decent FM station to listen to.

It didn't take long before we found a hip station called Today FM. There was a particular song they played - a remix of an old Jackson's song, Can You Feel It. I know, I know, not the kind of Indie Rock stuff I usually go for. But it was funky and dance-y, reminded me of some part of my childhood, and there were these bells...I don't know what came over me. I just really dug the song.

But, I could never catch the name, what with our constantly getting out of the car to kiss ancient stones and traipse around crumbling castles.

I forgot all about it for the last few years. Having a child will do that to you. It wasn't until Michael Jackson died last June, that I started thinking about the song again. The search was back on!

So, with the Internet being that much more advanced and having YouTube on my side this time - I think I found it! I'm almost 99% certain this is it - at least it's the closest one to my recollection. There seem to be several remixes of this song.

Before I "show" you the video, just be warned, it reeks of cheese. And now I can totally admit, so does the song. But there's something about those bells - they get me every time!

And if I close my eyes I can picture the misty, Irish morning dew as we race down narrow, winding roads, (me) singing at the top of my lungs. Young and carefree and full of energy and adventure and not yet the tired parents of a four-year-old boy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Intervention, anyone?

I am struggling with an addiction. It began in my childhood and has caused me to lie and scheme, suffer from crazy withdrawal symptoms and, since I've acquired a taste for only the best, most expensive stuff available, has cost me a fair amount of moolah over the years.

I've hoarded, gorged and pilfered it. And, since I've watched my fair share of Intervention episodes I'm quite certain that all of the above factors qualify me as an addict. But on the plus side? I'm no longer in denial. Today's the day I come clean.

Ok, so I'm not talking about drugs, alcohol or anything debilitating like that. But I am seriously addicted to...chocolate! You're probably saying, who isn't, right? I'm obviously not the only person on the planet who just can't get enough of the deliriously fantastic yummy-ness that is chocolate. I mean, just look at the selection in your local drugstore - it actually pains me to have to choose just one. I do prefer anything Swiss, but I will settle for pretty much any kind.

But not these!

Nope, I can't do the Big Turk. Those are just plain crap. I have a really bad association with them. Once, when my brother & I were at home sick (but apparently not sick enough to forgo candy), my father went to the store to buy us some ginger ale and chocolate bars. Big Turk chocolate bars. The first and last time I've ever eaten one. I don't even think I got past the first bite. My brother has appropriately called them "Big Turds" ever since.

But, just as I've never forgotten how horrible they tasted, I will also never forget my first introduction to the wonderful world of Lindt chocolate. I have my brother-in-law to blame thank for that. He lives in Switzerland and the first time I met him, over 14 years ago, he came bearing a huge plastic bag filled with little individually wrapped morsels of heaven. And at the first bite I was hooked.

My husband was amazed and I think slightly mortified that I took that huge bag and stashed it away, insisting that I didn't know what happened to them, as I consumed every last mouth-wateringly delectable piece. All by myself. That was my first inkling that I had a problem. I could not be trusted around that amount of amazingly good chocolate.

But I'm dealing with it. I only buy dark, organic chocolate now to satisfy my cravings. It's not as satisfying as the "good stuff" so I'll only have a small piece at a time. It's not the same, but the thought of me being stuck in a room with my entire family reading loving, yet stern letters about my toxic eating behavior is enough to stave me off my drug of choice, at least for now.

In one of my favorite Family Guy episodes, Brian sums up pretty much how I feel:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wasn't That a Party!

Over this past weekend, something totally unexpected and highly unusual happened. Our new neighbors not only spoke to us, but invited us to a friendly neighborhood barbecue.

Now, to you this might not seem all that unlikely, but seeing how we've recently escaped Shantytown after 13 hellish years, I'm still shell-shocked and even slightly suspicious when people are so...well, nice.

The minute we moved into our new house, we were greeted with smiling faces and friendly waves, some folks even stopping by for introductions and welcomes.

There were even a couple of "Well, if you need anything, we're right down the street", which is a very neighborly thing to say, don't you think?

I mean  I know, and they know, that the chances of me actually ringing their doorbells "needing anything" will probably never happen, but after living suffering next to the riffraff from our old hood, I appreciated just hearing it.

So, when Sandra across the street casually mentioned that she was hosting a Canada Day shindig on Friday evening and that we should stop by, we took it with a grain of salt and politely said, sure, we'd try.

I never dreamed that part of the street would be shut down with pylons, kids playing soccer in the middle of the road, a row of barbecues lining Sandra's driveway. Enough wine and Coronas to rival an all-inclusive Mexican resort filling her garage.

And we certainly never expected 2 lovely neighbor ladies to come knocking; persuading us to join in the fun taking place right outside our door.

So, despite my usual shyness of new people and trepidation of taking part in such things, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and embrace it.

And though the music was ear-splittingly loud, and not the kind I usually listen to, and kids ran amok, people danced in the street, and fireworks went off like cannons all around us, we did meet some really cool folks of all ages and walks of life.

But the best part? In the moment of that crazy, unexpected evening, I finally felt like a part of a community. And I have to say it felt pretty awesome.

Ciaran's new favorite neighbor helping light his 1st sparkler

Ciaran & Mommy (unable to take a picture with open eyes - especially drunk)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Funny - Prince - Genius Musician and Athlete to Boot?

Remember the Dave Chappelle show?  I used to watch it on The Comedy Network on Friday nights and pee myself laughing. Before he lost his marbles and ran off to Africa, Dave Chappelle was one hysterically funny dude. This spoof he did about Prince and Eddie Murphy's brother, Charlie has to be one of my all-time favorites. 

First, of all, let me just tell you how much I love Prince. The singer Prince, or The Artist Formally Known as Prince, whatever he goes by these days. Actually, I take it back; I just like the old-school Prince, before he went all born again Christian and stopped cussing & all. The 1980's Prince who sang Let's Go Crazy, and Raspberry Beret. The cool Prince.

My husband and I saw him in concert five or six years back when he was still married to that Canadian chick. Hubby and I were such losers fans, that we actually used to drive up and down Post Road in the Bridle Path (a super ritzy neighborhood in Toronto) where Prince and his Canuck wife supposedly lived. We'd entertain ideas about what we'd do if we actually saw Prince out collecting his mail or something. Like how we'd strike up a conversation interesting enough for The Prince of Funk to invite us in for tea. Crazy, I know. But B.C. (before Ciaran), we had that kind of time on our hands.

Anyway the Prince concert was pretty amazing. Probably one of THE best performances I've ever seen. And I've seen a LOT of concerts in my day. Maybe it's a sign of getting old, but there's something cool about seeing your childhood idols perform, especially when they still kick (pint-size, purple-blouse-wearing) ass!

I'd actually forgotten all about this skit until someone on my work Twitter account brought it up. Apparently, there was a Prince tribute on BET a few days ago and the tweeter commented that they should have shown the "Prince Basketball Playing Skit".

It's so absurd to see Prince portrayed like this, you can't help but giggle. Or snort, chuckle, or whatever it is you do when you find something as silly as this. 

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