Saturday, June 30, 2012

True Trek Strong And Free.

In honour of Canada's birthday on July 1st, here's a list of Star Trek appearances by Canadian people, places and things:

Toronto City Hall. One of the locations shown by the Iconian Gateway in TNG's "Contagion."

Calgary. Wesley Crusher went skiing there with Josh Albert. After Albert's death in TNG's "The First Duty," his father gave Wesley a sweater that Albert borrowed on the trip. 

Bruce Greenwood. A Quebecois actor with a Trek connection. He was Captain Christopher Pike in Star Trek XI.

The Northwest Passage.  In "Scorpion," Voyager's crew applied the name to a route through Borg space. The real Northwest Passage is located in Canada's arctic waters. 

James Doohan. Better known as Montgomery Scott, Doohan was born in Vancouver and raised in Sarnia. He was injured at Juno Beach on D-Day. 

The Manitoba Journal of Interplanetary Psychology. Mentioned by Troi on TNG's "The Price."

Vulcan, Alberta. The closest humans can get to Spock's birthplace is this town in southern Alberta.

A Lucky Loonie. A family heirloom belonging to Canadian-born quisling Michael Eddington on DS9.

Ron Canada. This beloved character actor has been on Star Trek three times, but is not actually a Canadian citizen. I'm putting him on the list because I think his surname is awesome. Like Canada.

USS Yukon. One of Deep Space Nine's runabouts. It was named after the river, not the territory.

USS Gander. Named for the Gander River in Newfoundland this was another runabout featured in DS9.

Nicole DeBoer. On season 7 of DS9 she portrayed Ezri Dax, after whom I named my cat. 

Quadrotriticale was a fictional variety of grain derived from Triticale a wheat-rye hybrid developed in Canada in the last century. It was mentioned in the TOS episode "The Trouble With Tribbles."

Tom Jackson. He appeared in TNG's Journey End and is known in Canada for his philanthropic work and for headlining the annual Huron Carole tour.


William Shatner. Born in Montreal, "The Shat" was the lead of TOS and will one day be the Governor General of Canada. I can't wait until we adopt his revised lyrics for O Canada:

Happy Canada Day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Make Sex Tapes.

There's only one way to stop people from saying "mean" things about your blog: don't have a blog. 

Part of being a blogger is running the risk that people will disparage you via comments on a post, a bulletin board discussion, a message on Twitter, an email, a parody blog or to your face. In most blog niches (science, medicine, academic, political, pop culture, religion, finance, fashion, gaming, cooking, etc) this is an accepted fact.  Not so in the Mommy Blogosphere

Recently, several high profile mommy bloggers have written posts lamenting the rise of sites and communities that skewer, question, satirize, parody and mock blogs. I can understand being angry or embarrassed by these critiques, but hurt? Shocked? Defensive? No. Did these women not realize there was a downside to profiting from placing their private lives in the public domain? Were they unaware that they were aping Kate Gosselin and Kris Jenner? 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  

If you are considering starting a mommy blog, here are five ways to cope with the possibility (or rather, eventuality) of critical feedback:
1. do not blog,
2. from the get-go set clear limits about what you will reveal on your blog and weigh every post with an eye to protecting your privacy or opening yourself up to criticism,
3. blog about whatever you want whenever the mood strikes with nary a care about privacy and don't give your detractors a second thought,
4. blog every private thought and intimate moment you have, lap up the compliments of strangers like it's mother's milk, and when people snark about you freak the fuck out and behave like a wounded animal, or 
5. blog exclusively about your cats. 

Option #2 is the one that I use. Though some days I can see the merit of #5. I think #1 is the safest bet for most people. Kudos to everyone who goes with #3, you are braver than I. As for #4 on the list...

FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR GOD, DO NOT CHOOSE #4! Please, I'm begging you. Do not broadcast your life, reap financial benefits, enjoy the notoriety, and glory in the gratification of strangers then get self-righteously indignant when you belatedly realize that not everyone on the planet is enamoured of your online persona. If you want to star in the internet equivalent of a reality television show, go ahead. But don't complain about it. Instead, go back to the above list and pick a different style of blog.

While you're thinking that through, here are some photos of my cats. They are SO CUTE!

(Did you see the creepy big bug on the outside window sill?)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rocking the Garden.

It's not raining today. It's suppose to be. In fact, it was suppose to be rainy and cold and miserable all week long. Instead it's not rainy (though there are dark clouds out to the southwest), it's warm-ish (I might dig out the one pair of shorts that I like!), and the only thing miserable is my attitude. 

Last week was beautiful. For the North. This is to say: it was almost 20ºC and sunny but the bugs were vicious. And I spent three hours every day getting my front flower beds in shape:

They look so nice! Actually now that I'm looking at the last photo it occurs to me that I need to pull some weeds from between the patio bricks.

A week of being housebound because of inclement weather sounded like the perfect excuse for me to NOT continue on with the grunt labour of dealing with my problematic backyard vegetable garden (I'm leaning toward downsizing the plot and putting in more perennials). Surely I had earned a week of reading trashy books, watching Netflix, complaining about my summer cold and faffing about with the sewing machine,  and finishing up the boys' math books, after a week of lifting rocks, pulling roots, amending beds with goat manure?

Instead it's sunny -- but buggy -- out.

But no fear: it's suppose to be rainy NEXT week. When we're on vacation. Of. Course.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Performance Anxiety. This Post is G Rated.

I have the sewing equivalent of stage fright. This is ironic because the sewing project that I'm having doubts about is for my sons' hip hop dance instructor.

This is a small gift -- I don't think it's customary to give presents to dance instructors in this town -- to show my gratitude for her patience with Zarf and Klaxon who have grown to love dance. I fear she may feel unappreciated since my sons and my friend's son were the only pupils to show up at a scheduled performance on the weekend. The ironic part is this: my sons both expressed reservations about performing on Saturday. I responded by assuring them that they only had to try their hardest and that being afraid is no excuse to opt for the easier path.

It would be easier on my nerves to pop over to the grocery store and pick up a $20 gift card for iTunes, but instead I'm going to steel my nerves and give these to the teacher:

They're Upcycled Grocery Totes. Is that apparent? I don't know…erm…maybe I'll include an explanatory card. I was aiming for an eclectic, eco-friendly, funky, heart-felt aesthetic. I used fabric scraps from other projects and reused some curtains and a batik skirt I found at the thrift store.

I like them. I think. Zarf -- age 10 -- likes them. Mr Wrath says he likes them. And Klaxon? He's eyeing up the gift card rack.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lessons I Learned the Hard/Itchy Way.

Next time I decide to garden in shorts in the North in June, I will look at this photo:

I will remember how hard it is to sleep, eat, and think when you can not escape the itch of 19 bug bites on your arms, 50 bug bites on your left leg and 71 bug bites on your right leg. And instead of going outside to garden in shorts in the North in June, I will just stay inside and watch Star Trek until September rolls around..

Monday, June 11, 2012

Adventures With Paint.

The latest addition to our living room:

This photo would look more impressive if I'd remembered to take "before" pictures. 

I spray painted the lamp base -- it was originally a cream coloured, unvarnished plaster -- a deep purple. 

The cabinet was pretty rough looking when we picked it up at a thrift store in the big city two weeks ago. Mr Wrath was skeptical when I insisted that it had potential and with a minimal amount of effort it would be presentable. And by "presentable" I mean "it will look right at home in the same room as his   beloved pole lamp."

Needless to say our decor is "unique."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Fun Time Socks! (This is a placeholder title until I can think of something UN-non sequitur).

Last week was crazy. I had two big deadlines:
- to submit proof of learning and an anecdotal report to Zarf and Klaxon's distributed learning school, and 
- to pack and transport myself and the boys to the camp for a retreat hosted by the school.

I met the first one with a minimal amount of blood, sweat, tears and cursing. In fact, I was three days early. However, I was 30 minutes late for the latter deadline. I consider it a major victory that we made it at all. Highway driving is not something I do very often, and I have never done a solo road trip with the boys. Plus it was pouring rain for the entire 200 kilometers of our journey. 

Camp was a blast. I had reservations because Mr Wrath wasn't able to attend this year and he is the FUN Parent when it comes to outdoorsy activities. I am the FUN Parent when it comes to watching television or stalking Star Trek actors or impulse buying things at the mall. Which is why on the way home we stopped at a toy store and spent a $100 on Playmobil stuff. Then we popped into a hippy-dippy health food store and I treated myself to these: 

Please note that I am not modelling these Birkenstocks -- which I wear exclusively as indoor slippers --  because my big toe nail has still not recovered from last year's homeschooling camp experience. The only injury I sustained this year was a bruise on my ass thanks to the zipline staff not explaining how to "land." But the group of homeschooling moms -- and their kids -- and the school staff at this year's camp were so much FUN. I think I may have had more fun than the boys. 

We are definitely going back next year. Though I am unsure about letting Mr Wrath tag along. And I might just leave the kids at home, too. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Those Patio Lanterns. They Were the Stars in the Sky.

Can I write an Oprah™ Book™ Club™ worthy memoir if I lack numerous traumatizing -- but comical -- anecdotes about my life? Should I give up on my plan now?

The problem is that I can not incorporate any of the following themes of "good" memoirs:

1. being poor,
(Seven-year old me thought that we were poor because -- unlike our neighbours -- we did not have red velveteen wallpaper in the living room AND purple shag carpet in all the bedrooms. Turns out we weren't poor, we just weren't tacky and colour blind.)

2. being a member of a maligned minority,
(Initially I thought I had this one nailed, but my husband says that people calling me a Newfie does not qualify.)

3. overcoming an addiction,
(My husband says that my copious use of ellipses and hyphens does NOT qualify as an addiction. What the --?)

4. having a physical malady,
(One time I had my eyeball removed. But only for 60 seconds and I was unconscious at the time. Also, the eyeball-ectomy was done by a doctor.)

5. suffering from mental illness,
(Question: if I even see the phrase "Patio Lanterns" the song runs through my head for days and days and days. Does this qualify?)

6. fornicating with a famous person,
7. doing drugs with a famous person,
(Sorry Sir Patrick Stewart and Katee Sackhoff, our brief encounters were not tawdry enough.)

8. crazy parents,
(My parents are normal so I have only mildly embarrassing anecdotes from my childhood. For example: When I was in junior high school an employee at the IGA deli counter was ignoring my mom so she called out in a really loud voice, "YOO-HOO! YOUNG MAN! I'D LIKE 250 GRAMS OF BLACK FOREST HAM SLICED THIN, BUT NOT SHAVED." Everyone stopped and stared at her.)

9.  wacky hobbies or collections,
(I am only now realizing how dull my life is. *knock on wood*  And uncluttered.)


10. crazed pets who teach me about the human condition.
(Ezri has chin acne. It's more annoying than inspiring. At least to me.)

I haven't given up entirely on the idea of writing a memoir. Mostly because I like the sound of Tyler Perry™ Presents Tyler Perry's Wrath of Medea™, Loosely Based on the Wildly Unpopular Blog With a Name Stolen From a Star Trek™ Movie.

I hope Tyler Perry™ uses this photo in all the promotional material:

º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º
It's a photo from my high school grad in 1991! Guess which one is me?

Here's a hint: my shoulders are covered, you can see my hands and I'm wearing a hat.