A great time to be sure, but now I am fucking beat.
I definitely need a good night's sleep but I also think a September body-and-home cleanse is in order. Something to segue from the debauchery of summer into the next season. I need to hit the restart button so I don't drag this strung-out feeling into the fall. I'm thinking that cutting back on the sugar and cleaning out some closets may do the trick. Maybe even washing those windows I've been trying to ignore for months.
Fall is always my favourite season. The one redeeming season in Ontario actually. All the nasty bitey bugs have met their maker, the air is cool and smells like leaves and I can wear all sort of cozy layers. Bring it on.
"Just wanted to say happy birthday to the second-coolest member of the family. I feel really lucky to have you as a friend and even luckier to have you as a sister. Who could have known 20 years ago when you created the recipe for sourgrass salad that it we would end up on good terms or even speaking? But au contrare. I'm the president of your fanclub. Which isn't too hard considering your mad creativity and loving nature. Plus you gave me a genius niece and a kick-ass bro-in-law. Go you."
One of my favourite outfits.
Can't quite decide why but I just always feel like it hits the right casual note. A little prettier than my typical t-shirt-and-jeans but not so nice that I worry about getting kid-snot on me.
Lately I've been thinking about trying to develop my wardrobe into more of a uniform-style. I've always felt like my clothes were a bunch of pieces that didn't work together. I'm finally getting to the point where I realize that I'm never going to be someone who's good at putting outfits together and it's ok to admit that. I really liked this post from Ill Seen Ill Said where she lays out her "capsule wardrobe". I can definitely relate to what she says about regretting certain purchases because they fall outside her uniform. I'm down a couple of sizes from having the kid so I have an opportunity to do some "fewer but better" clothes purchasing and really focus on getting stuff I know I'll actually wear and feel good about.
Enjoying a quiet morning baking.
During law school I worked in the kitchen at a import grocery/bakery/deli. It was a great job mainly because of the people I worked with. Genuinely cool and interesting people who were an excellent antidote to a week spent surround by people who merely thought they were interesting.
My favourite part was coming in early on the weekends before the store opened, drinking French Roast coffee and chatting with the main baker, an amazing older woman from Cape Breton. She was a brilliant storyteller and had lived an incredible life. I have wonderful memories of cold, foggy, dark mornings spent warm in a kitchen smelling of fresh muffins listening to her tell me about road trips to Woodstock and other vintage tales of a misspent youth.
Because I have extremely poor impulse control and a very sweet tooth, I try to avoid baking much. But I love to do it when I have an excuse. While the kid slept in this morning, I worked on baking some of Martha's Creamy Lemon Squares for a friend's baby shower. Another of my favourite, dead-easy recipes. A recipe that people always harass me for when they get a taste.
Snagging "I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!" and 15 other mint condition vintage Dr. Seuss the other night at Value Village.
Normally our local store is pretty slim-pickings but occasionally we get a score like this that makes it worth digging through all the crap. This kid is being set up with an amazing library. One we'll be keeping her well away from until she's over the "books are a tasty snack" stage.
1) At the risk of sounding overly dramatic: I have a bi-polar relationship with the Internet.
Most days I'm completely energized and inspired by all the beauty and talent. Then, ten seconds later I'm feeling overwhelmed and drowned by the pressures of unachievable perfection. It just seems sometimes like no matter how talented, interesting, original, etc. you are, there will always be someone, somewhere doing it better and blogging about it. With gorgeous photos.
Sigh. Oh, Internet you are so pretty and fun but sometimes you make me feel like I'm in high school again suffering through the latest copy of Seventeen magazine, promising myself that this month I'll adhere to the "apple and half a bagel" breakfast diet so I can be skinny, happy and popular.
2) Sometimes I have to admire my own restraint.
I'm still pumping twice a day to keep the kid in fresh milk and just now, while talking to a co-worker, I managed to prevent myself from saying: "Can you hold that thought? I have to go and tap a boob."
I think I get bonus points for coming up with an expression for pumping that fully captures a Canadian vibe by subtly referencing our proud maple syrup tradition.
3) Having a very "I don't feel old but apparently the world is trying to tell me I am" moment.
There was a very pregnant young woman on the bus this morning having a sweet young conversation with a boy she knew (old school friend maybe, definitely not the baby-daddy). He was asking about how it felt when the baby was moving and sounded genuinely impressed with the ultrasound photo she showed him. He teased her about being old now that she was 20 she'd be getting grey hair. She told him that her mother didn't have grey hair yet at the ripe old age of 38 (!!!!!!!!!!!).
My poor husband is (a young! spry! virile!) 38. I feel bad for making him read this. I can only pray that I do a decent enough job of raising my kid that she won't make me a Grandparent by the time I'm that age. Sure she'll only be 6 but with all this news of freakishly early puberty, it could be logistically possible.
If you can't tell, I like to keep my standards for successful parenting low. I enjoy being an over-achiever.
I read about the first 130ish pages before bed. So far, I am not impressed. Nothing this book seems to have added to the genre. Unlike "The Passage" which left me feeling profoundly disturbed in a good way (well, once I got over the all-consuming rage about how the book ends), so far "The Strain" seems to be merely a lame movie-script-style attempt to modernize/re-contextualize the same old vampire tales. Very disappointing considering Guillermo Del Toro's mind conjured the wonderful nightmare of "Pan's Labyrinth".
However, inspite of the banality, I am a complete and utter wimp. I've been known to have major difficulty sleeping after merely hearing someone convey the general gist of the plot of a horror movie. I misguidedly watched "Candyman" when I was 14 and I still occasionally completely freak myself out in bathrooms. Let's not mention the continuing mental trauma of seeing "It". In other words, I should probably have picked something a little more Oprah's Booklist for an evening I would have to spend alone at home. Without the baby to protect me from the head-crushing vampires under the bed.
Last week my husband mentioned I should check out the first part of the most recent Hyperbole and a Half post because it reminded him of me. He was right. You'd think after nearly 32 years on the planet I would have figured out how to avoid reenacting my own cliche. At least it's nice to know there's other people out there doing the same damn thing. If only we could all snuggle-up at night and take turns holding the holy water and garlic while the others slept.
New DIY kitchen art inspired by the photography of Luca Trovato via the lovely blog Aubrey Road.
A blog which I am currently obsessively trolling the archives of drooling over the ocean images she finds. These days I seem to be drawn to blogs of extremes of living conditions: either harsh beautiful desert or lush beautiful oceans. Perhaps it's just a sand thing. Or, more likely, just a someplace-not-Ontario thing.
Home alone, then versus now:
- Desire to do something inappropriate or dangerous just because no one is around to tell me not to
- Limited in ability to "wreck shit up" due to a lack of wheels
- Eating junk food and calling it a meal
- Staying up as late as I want
- Watching anything on TV
- Never missing my parents nor worried/hoped that they'd miss me
- Delighting in the thought of being able to go to bed before 10pm
- Possessing the financial and technological ability to make extravagant Internet purchases fueled by nostalgia
- Sleeping with the dogs so I don't notice all the empty bed space
- No need for breaking into the liquor cabinet and stealthily replacing gin with water
Taking advantage of a rare nap time to dig through my Grandmother's recipe box looking for her unbeatable apple pie filling. Putting apples on the grocery list alongside frozen pie shells since, even though I'm a fair baker, pie crusts and I have always had a tumultuous relationship that I don't want to air in front of company.
Day dreaming of a trip to NYC ever since I came across this fun list.
Trying to decide whether to attempt washing the kitchen curtains, taking the risk that their delicate vintage goodness won't survive the experience.
Since I'm stuck at work not able to rearrange the furniture, I've been making lists in my head all morning. Lists like "A Few Things I Want to Do in the Next Year":
- Take a basic photography class
- Learn to swim properly (I have a real thing about putting my face in the water and dealing with that little neurosis is part 1 of my eventual goal of doing a triathalon)
- Go indoor rock climbing
- Take a trip out West that involves an actual vacation, like camping on a beach without hiking the entire West Coast Trail to get there
- Try surfing
- Get a babysitter and go out, with the husband, at night, once a month, like adults
- Find a TV show on DVD to replace my addiction to Lost (everyone keeps saying Battlestar Galactica but I'm open to suggestions)
- Eat at the much-recommended South Indian restaurant by our house
- Find and buy the perfect all-purpose leather bag/purse
- Convince the kid to go to bed at a reasonable time, like before midnight
- Go snowboarding at least a couple times this winter
- Get a tattoo to commemorate gestating and birthing a whole new person (also, get my existing wedding tattoo touched-up because I have never been happy with it - the tattoo, not the marriage)
- Plan and invite people over for Sunday suppers
"I am a feminist because even though I don’t have children, I see the way motherhood has been criminalized in America and it makes me sick. I am a feminist because I want you to respect my choice to not have children, and I am a pro-choice feminist because I want you to respect someone else’s choice to have an abortion. I am a feminist because I respect your choice to be a stay-at-home mother, or a full-time working mother. I am a feminist because women are still judged for making the choice to be either."
Do go and read the entire essay. I'd give my left nut to be able to write like that. If I had one that is.
I'm not normally a fan of watercolours but I really like her work. Tragically (for me, not her), she seems pretty successful and likely far out of my price range. Putting this on the lotto-win/unknown-rich-relative-dies-and-leaves-me-in-the-will wishlist.
This post-prostate-surgery picture of my father captured by my brother last year.
It's hard to know for sure but I think he may have been a touch drugged. In fact, it's entirely possible that he doesn't remember this being taken. He would definitely be pissed if he knew it was on teh Interwebs. It makes me smile everytime I see it.
Ah, elder abuse. Who knew it could be so fun?
"Recently I overheard a mother in an airport ask her three year old if he wanted to get on the plane. Woman, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of misery. Why are you asking him what he wants like he gets a vote? Did he book those tickets? Let’s go back to the time of eat or be eaten and serious consequences, a time when childhood was an ailment treated with tight shoes and castor oil. Victorian England, fuck yeah!"
She brings up a good point. I'd like someone to explain to me when it became de rigueur for parents to end every statement aimed at their children with a question mark. I'm all for encouraging independence and the development of decision-making skillz but shouldn't the person who knows better than to eat the gum they find stuck to the sidewalk be in charge?
"Slater was working on JetBlue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh on Monday when he got into an argument with the passenger, who was pulling down baggage from an overhead bin, the Port Authority said. The luggage apparently struck the attendant in the head and he asked for an apology, but the passenger refused, the agency said.
As the plane was landing, Slater got on the public-address system and cussed at the passenger, the Port Authority said. He then grabbed at least one beer, activated the slide, slid down and went to his car, it said."
- "We need to socialize this document and get some feedback. Keep in mind, it will need to be messaged and positioned appropriately."
- "Are we talking big 'C' or small 'c' community?"
- "We need to leverage these opportunities."
- "Expectation management to avoid value-dimishment"
- "What time is the webinar?"
Full of friends, family, trips to the Farmer's Market (that corn is like crack cocaine and the cheesecakes are even better slightly frozen), Applewood Smoked Cheddar and goat brie on baguette, BBQed elk burgers and caramel pecan apple pie eaten outside on the deck, gifts of bottled moose and fuzzy Thumper board books, banjo versions of Stan Rogers' tunes accompanied by Newfoundlands' reincarnation of Johnny Cash, and a baby that passed out exhausted at the early bedtime of 10:45pm. Seriously, I gave birth to a rock-and-roll baby. She's routinely up until 11-12pm and sleeps until 9-10am. All efforts to adjust her schedule to something more classically "infant" have failed miserably.
The finding and purchasing of this shirt for my husband.
A bearded baby in the tub. She got the beard from her habit of plunging her face into the bathwater to have a drink. Babies = giant freaks.
The very sweet little girl who said "good-bye" to everyone as they got off the bus this morning.
The bus driver announcing the Rideau Centre stop as "Weirdo Centre" - in both official languages.
This creepy-bad-wrong-sexy passage from the book I'm reading: "This male cargo - a spiny, reddish brown torpedo a hundred-thousandth of a inch long - slips into a pulsing, throbbing canal, which carries him deep into the female's body."
I have never been so relaxed in my entire life. I'm pretty sure I'm drooling but I'm too lazy to check. I may stop breathing. That shit should come with a "do not operate heavy machinery" warning. Or at least a "do not return to your cubicle and attempt actual productive work" sticker.
"She returned to the administrative law program in October 1985 and completed two years of study. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled in and completed a six-month esthetician course."
Ah law school, the ticket to better, more satisfying employment.
A rainy morning providing an opportunity to illustrate sartorial excellence.
At the risk of losing one of my only readers: it was raining, flip-flops were worn. And not just by me. Witness the other person with superb taste in footwear waiting at the bus stop. I thought it was just a West Coast thing but perhaps it's actually a crazy Canadian thing.
The Onion-esque headlines from the-o-dot. Par example: Toddler Collapses Under Weight of Safety Gear: "With today's play time becoming increasingly dangerous due to UV rays, uncut grass, rough gravel, dust, stray insects, puddles, pavement cracks and other menacing dangers, parents are taking preventative measures to ensure their child's safety."
Of course, it's entirely possible that I've just chanced upon the secret blog of my husband or a friend. Regardless, I applaud their brilliant satirical writing and look forward to reading more.