Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Brand New Year!

Let's kick off 2013 with a party on my blog. Everyone is welcome.

I've got food.

Like cake! I have plenty o' cake:

LOOK! Food on sticks. Foodsicles = good time party fun.

Plus there is a slider buffet. I love sliders because I pretend they are normal-sized burgers and I am a GIANTESS.

I even set out fruit and vegetables for guests who like roughage.

There's no chance you'll go thirsty at this party.

The bartender will see to that:

Check out the dance floor I set up in the blog's basement:

Not bad. Guess where I am? Dancing with Cumberbatch:

Those dance moves make the expense of this party TOTALLY worth it.

Let's see some more:

If dancing isn't your thing do not despair. There's a hot tub out back and I set up fire pits on the terrace:

Or stay inside by the fire and play a board game:

I daresay you won't be lacking for (very pretty) company:

At midnight the fireworks will dazzle you.

As the party wraps up, there's no need to rush off. I have plenty of places for you to crash:

In the morning don't go until you have something to eat.

And a hot beverage.

And read the newspaper.

And have a fantastic 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Point Form Friday.

Someone commented that the sparkly skull on display in my living room wasn't very festive. That person was wrong. But all the same, I went out and bought a Santa hat just to amp up the Christmas cheer emanating from the Skull of Christmases Past:

Christmasy, right?
• • • • • • • • • • • 

Anna Paquin is evidently following Uma Thurman's lead and staying silent about the names of her babies. I'm not faulting her for this choice, but I assume it requires a high degree of vigilance to keep friends, family, coworkers, staff from leaking the names.  It sounds exhausting. What -- twins weren't enough work?

• • • • • • • • • • • 

Do you need a laugh? Then you are in luck. Out of the goodness of my heart I will direct you to a blog post that is the funniest blog post in the history of all things. Read "dear white people, i love you."

Actually her whole blog is hysterical. I'm jealous.

• • • • • • • • • • • 

According to Zarf (age 10) I have a "Pillow Collection." It consists of:
-a bone pillow: it goes between my knees when I sleep on my side to keep my hips from aching,
-a travel pillow: used when I'm napping in my recliner or the car and I don't want to get a stiff neck,
-a contoured neck and cervical pillow: in this case "cervical" is referring to cervical vertebrae and has nothing to do with the cervix in my lady bits, and
-a half-bolster: when I'm sleeping on my back it goes underneath my knees.

Getting old is FUN!

• • • • • • • • • • • 

I'm going to start a tumblr page called Kijiji Ads Translated Into the Truth. This will be first entry:

"We are getting rid of this six-year old dog -- one of fifteen that we use in our backyard dog breeding business -- because her uterus is on the verge of prolapsing. Also I want to spend more time on my favourite hobby: waxing my chest."

• • • • • • • • • • • 

If you are looking for dogs or puppies on craigslist or kijiji, be wary if you see someone selling a "puppy starter kit" and giving away a FREE dog with it. This is likely a person who is banned from breeding or selling dogs because of past transgressions of municipal bylaws or animal cruelty laws. They've found a loophole to exploit by giving away the puppy and over charging for a collar, leash, food dish, kennel, etc.

Another variation is an overpriced saddle and a FREE horse. 

• • • • • • • • • • •

I just bought The Mystery of Mercy Close, Marian Keyes' new book. This means for the next few days my husband will be awoken by the sound of me laughing as I read in bed at night. I really need to get him a pair of earplugs. NO! Even better: Marian Keyes books should be sold in sets with earplugs. Damn. That's brilliant. It would save a few marriages. "A free pair of earplugs with every Marian Keyes book purchased" would be the slogan. But it would have fewer words. And it would rhyme. There would be a jingle, too. Sung by one of those breathy boy bands. And the earplugs would be CAMOUFLAGE! Or some other manly colour scheme. This could be a great cross promotional marketing opportunity with brand synergy opportunities for all stakeholders.

I have no idea what that last sentence meant, but it sounded quite clever.

• • • • • • • • • • • 

To reward you for reading all these nonsensical words here's some eye candy: vintage Tom Selleck!

No chest waxing here!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wedded Bliss or Wedded Mess?

Only optimists choose to have home births.

This has been my long held opinion. I have even gone so far as saying that people who opt for home births are the most optimistic people on the planet. I'm amending my statement. The most optimistic people on the planet are:
a. people who choose to have home births, and
b. Kate Winslet.

I'm choosing to see Winslet's choice to marry for the third time in less than fifteen years -- to a man named Ned RocknRoll -- as optimistic. Not naive. Not foolhardy. Not setting oneself up for failure. Not suffering-from-Elizabeth-Taylor-syndrome.

I'm being very charitable.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Warp Speed Wednesday: Jingle Bell Trek.

Last year our Christmas tree topper was a very angelic Spock. I didn't think it could be beat. Til Sunday when my husband made this:

Monday, December 24, 2012

While Captains Watched Their Fleets...

A few weeks ago my mother asked for gift suggestions for Zarf and Klaxon. Zarf wanted a tin of cashews that he could eat all on his own. He's not very big on sharing. Klaxon wanted "a pair of expensive socks knit by rich people with nothing better to do." Or a festive holiday shirt.

Both boys had already requested that their grandmother make Christmas stockings for our new pets. It was a natural request since last year she'd made this one for Osiris:

I think she out did herself this year.

Fogo's red leash terminates on her namesake: Fogo Island off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.   The banner on the top is the  Newfoundland Tricolour

This is Ezri's:

Look at her spots! And her season 7 Starfleet uniform! With communicator badge! That's also the official Deep Space Nine font! 

Now we're all set for Christmas to commence! 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Post. Just add 15 minutes.

Yesterday we went to a potluck. I love potlucks. We go to one at least once a month. Are potlucks a small town thing? Or are they enjoying a resurgence of popularity everywhere?

For this occasion I made chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies.  Zarf (age 10) contributed cinnamon buns. Previously he'd made cinnamon buns using a recipe out of Step-By-Step Breads. The final product was tasty. This surprised me since the dough was tough and the whole process took 6 hours. SIX HOURS. Maybe they tasted good because they were seasoned with my tears of frustration?

This time around I pulled out my copy of "The Joy of Cooking" from 1964. The publication date explains why this is one of the reviews on the inside cover:

"Joy of Cooking is fast becoming an institution almost as essential as the kitchen range." 
-Clementine Paddleford
This Week Food Editor. 

This batch (of certifiably tear-free) cinnamon buns was a great hit. This is the recipe we'll stick with in the future. They were so good, there was only one left over at the end of the party. I squirrelled it away and ate it as a bedtime snack.

As I'm typing this the house is full of the aroma of the Parker House Rolls I have in the oven. We'll have them for dinner with pulled pork, shredded cabbage and sweet potato fries while watching "Arthur Christmas." Hopefully the boys will have an early night as they spent the day downhill skiing.

I do not downhill ski. I use to ski when I was growing up in Alberta. As soon as I started paying for my own lift tickets, I soured on it. The death knell came when I returned home from a trip to Fortress Mountain and calculated the amount of time I'd actually skied. Conclusion: I'd spent a lot of money to stand around in lines waiting for fun to happen.

I started cross country skiing after that. It's cheaper, self-propelled & there are no line ups.

Briefly while dating Mr Wrath, I took up his hobby of back-country telemark skiing. I never really enjoyed it as I was and am very paranoid about avalanches. We took a course on backcountry avalanche safety. The model for the classroom instruction was "This type of terrain/weather/vegetation/season means avalanches are unlikely and you are safe. Now here are 12 cool personal anecdotes I have about avalanches happening despite these supposedly safe conditions." This did not help with the fear.

Not long after the class, Mr Wrath and I got married and I figured it was safe to stop pretending I enjoyed that hobby.

(Saskatoon? REALLY?!)

Which is why the highlight of my day was going to the library and discovering one of the staff at the rec centre is a huge trekkie. Also: the dog and I went for an hour long snowshoe. Also: I did baking.

Time's up!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Procrastination looks like THIS.

After careful consideration I have decided not to fold the huge pile of laundry in the corner of my living room. Because if the Mayans are right and the world ends on December 21, 2012, I don't want to spend the last night of my life doing a menial chore.

Of course it's highly unlikely that the Mayan doomsday prediction is correct. They didn't foresee the collapse of their empire due to exposure from germs carried by Europeans. Why would I trust their divination skills if they couldn't master basic hand washing?

Also my calendar ends on the December 31st. That doesn't mean the world is ending. It means I have to buy a new one. Maybe that's what the Mayans were planning on doing, too.

Instead of being productive I goofed around on the internet.  I took a quiz showing that the Jane Austen character I most resemble is Elizabeth Bennett.

This is new. Usually I'm an Elinor Dashwood. Elizabeth is a huge improvement so let's not dwell on the fact that Elinor and Elizabeth are actually tied for first place in the results spread. 

My Disney alter-ego is Donald Duck.

Yes, this is true. Like Donald, I refuse to wear pants, but always insist upon comical headgear.

Of all the Harry Potter characters, I most resemble Ron.

Blimey. How did that happen?

But I'm also most like Kirk. Yes. Now that's more like it. 

But I'm also an Uhura? NO. LIES. ALL LIES!

So how are you planning on spending the last day of life on our planet?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lightning Doesn't Strike in the Wintertime. I Hope.

Yesterday as the boys (Zarf, age 10 and Klaxon, age 9) were getting their gear on for a trip to the pool, and Christmas carols played in the background...

Zarf: I don't understand. Those people who had Jesus -- how did they know he wasn't their real son?

Me: Joseph and Mary?

Zarf: Yes. How come they thought Jesus was the son of God? Couldn't he have been their real son?

Me: Yes, they...[long pause as I think of a synonym for "Virgin Birth"] had not yet attempted reproduction.

Zarf: Oh. So he was definitely God's son not their own?

Me: Yes.

Zarf: But wouldn't God need to reproduce with another god? Because he'd have to find one of his own species for reproduction to be successful.

Me: Well, there's really only ONE God. There aren't any others for him to reproduce with...and of course, we say God is a "him" or use "he," but only for convenience sake. God probably doesn't have a gender.

Zarf: Ah. So God reproduces asexually?

Klaxon: Like certain fungi!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fifteen Minutes of Random Thoughts on a Snowy Friday.

I'm taking a Twitter break. It's temporary. Though in my attempt to limit the drama of my departure I created more drama. Sorry. Nothing is wrong. I just had/have a very long list of things to do and the allure of Twitter (where the smart, funny people go to play) was too much for me.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

In the meantime, I have been painting the family room. It's a warmish beige colour that I really love. No one is more surprised at my choice of beige than my own self. There isn't even a garish accent wall to appease my formerly legendary need for colour.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Whilst painting I've been watching Sherlock on Netflix. And what I wouldn't do to get into John and Sherlock's apartment with a few pots of paint. Yes, I might be planning to get rid of my living room's red accent wall (from 2003, aka The Year I Watched Too Many Episodes of Trading Spaces), but I'm never going to be a fan of wallpaper.

Or maybe I will...

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

The only thing worse than someone talking about their dreams is someone talking about their tattoos. Sure dreams are dull and full of non sequiturs and disturbing insight into the person's mind, but nothing kills a conversation like a monologue about a symbolic memorial to a dead baby.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Blogspot's spellcheck function says that non sequitur is not a word. It recommends:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Is it okay to spell internet with a lowercase -i? Spellcheck says no, but Internet seems like a relic from the 1990s.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Things I love: books from the library.
Things I fear: bugs.
Things that make me want to cry: bed bugs in library books.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

I'm a little obsessed with Sherlock. Obviously. I promise to tone it down. Right after I post one last photo:

I will now resume my regularly scheduled obssession: Star Trek!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Review of My Cat is no longer being updated. Shoot. I guess I'll have to devote myself to Dog Shaming

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Another thing accomplished this week: I composed and mailed out our Christmas letter. Christmas letters are really best left to:
- people with new babies,
- shameless self-promoters,
- people whose lives are full of drama and grand accomplishments, and/or
- my cat.

Possibly, I qualify for the second one. Definitely the last one applies to me. I wrote our letter from the perspective of our black cat. Obviously I'm not concerned about outing myself as a weirdo. A weirdo with a delightfully dull life. 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

For Mary. With love, from Fogo.

A History of Fogo, in picture form.

Last week.

 On the left: Fogo in mid October. 
On the right: Fogo in mid November 

Fogo in September.  

Fogo during the last week of August right after she came home.  There are more photos here.

The vet says she was born in late May, so she was about 3 months old.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Warp Speed Wednesdays: The Wrath of John?

Earlier this week...

Me: Benedict Cumberbatch might not be Khan, after all.
Husband: What?
Me: Yes. I assumed it was a given that he was Khan in "Into Darkness," but I just read that it's only a rumour.
Husband: Uh-huh.
Me: This would explain why in the trailers his character is wearing a shirt with a Starfleet insignia. That struck me as odd.
Husband: Okay.
Me: There was another rumor that he was Gary Mitchell.
Husband: Who?
Me: From "Where No Man Has Gone Before." The Enterprise attempts to leave our galaxy but they encounter a barrier that gives two of the crew ESP and telekinetic powers.
Husband: Okay.
Me: You've seen it. In the end Kirk and Mitchell battle it out with Styrofoam boulders.
Husband: Okay.
Me: But now it appears that was a rumour based solely on a single comment made by Karl Urban. Cumberbatch's character is some one name John Harrison.
Husband: Okay.
Me: Which means that Alice Eve's character is not Elizabeth Denher. She's now been identified as Carol Marcus. That's kind of cool.
Husband: Who?
Me: From "The Wrath of Khan." Head of the Project Genesis. She's Kirk's girlfriend. This would also explain why people assumed a connection between "Wrath of Khan" and "Into Darkness."
Husband: Right.
Me: But maybe it's just a ruse, and the villain really is Mitchell. If that's the fact then…uh…you don't really care, right?
Husband: Well...
Me: Oh. Now I remember why I have a blog about Star Trek. Carry on.
Husband: Thank you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Just Stuff...

This week I received an early Christmas present:

It's the poster for the new Star Trek movie. Can I get a "Squeeeeee!" from the choir?!

Plus TWO trailers were released. The North American one clocks in at one minute and six seconds:


The Japanese trailer has 12 seconds of bonus footage:


 • • • • • • • • • • 

I like Ke$ha's voice. This says a lot since I have listened to "Die Young" 46 times in four days (TOTALLY NOT MY CHOICE, PEOPLE!! **makes side eyes at 10 year old**) and because I hate spelling any name with random punctuation in the middle.

• • • • • • • • • • 

Is it too early to start guessing baby names for Le Bébé Royal? I hope that Kate and Will don't ask his cousin Peter Phillips for advice. I'm ambivalent about Isla (the name of his youngest daughter) but I dislike the name of his older child: Savannah. It is just not REGAL enough. I lay the blame on the girl's mum -- she's a Canadian, after all.

• • • • • • • • • • 

We took Fogo in to get spayed this week. This necessitated a trip into the Big City. A development my sons found thrilling. A hotel with a pool! Lunch at Boston Pizza! And best of all: an audiobook in the car!

These boys love audiobooks. This time around it was Artemis Fowl and The Lost Colony.

Which I didn't mind at all because I love this series of books and Nathaniel Parker (aka Inspector Lynley) does a fantastic job as the narrator.

• • • • • • • • • • 

I have a very low opinion of Anderson Cooper. Whenever I see him I think of William Hurt's vacuous character in Broadcast News. Pretty much the only thing I like about Anderson is his silver hair. Very dapper. Although the same can not be said of his jeans:
Cooper admitted he's washed his jeans "maybe twice in six months...The times I've done it, I've worn them and walked into my shower with them and put some soap on them and then air dried them," he continued. "Isn't that how you are supposed to do it?" 
 Source: Us Magazine

On the one hand, it's not like Cooper is doing manual labour so his jeans are probably not too grungy. On the other hand: he lives in New York City which is hardly a pristine environment. What I don't get is why he wears them in the shower. It's really hard to take off wet jeans. Surely there's a better method to use.

• • • • • • • • • • 

Lest you read yesterday's post and assumed I was merely lacking in Christmas spirit, I offer you these photos I took during our lunch hour dog-walk:

When it snows here -- and it snows here frequently, for days on end -- we get huge fluffy flakes that you usually only see in Hollywood movies. It's hard NOT to feel Christmasy when the world looks like this:

• • • • • • • • • • 

To conclude my Blog Post of Randomness: sexy Star Trek men in sweaters:

Bonus points for Benedict on account of the Beard Porn.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

They're putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace.

Our family doesn't have many Christmas traditions. There's a three-fold reason for this:
1. we do not live close to our extended families and so are free of familial obligations,
2. we are too pragmatic to be nostalgic, and
3. we generally can't recall what we did the previous Christmas.

The one constant that we have in our household is the annual Tense Discussion About Christmas Lights.

From last year's posts it should be apparent that I have eclectic taste when it comes to Christmas decor. I like kitschy, sparkly things as much as the next person. But only inside my house. I prefer understated outdoor decoration. Ideally we'd hang a few ornaments in the front window and put a single spray of foliage by the door with a nice red ribbon. However, my husband likes his Christmas lights. If you are going to get up on a ladder and do work on the house do something more permanent -- like fixing the bathroom fan!, I have whinged at him more than once. Then hidden the ladder and the lights.  Me behaving like an asshole is another tradition.

• • • • • • • • • • •

Here's how I assess your Christmas lights (the lower the number the better):

Lights that flash: +120 points

Different strands of lights that flash at different rates: +220 points/string and +1340 points/every epileptic fit induced by your light display

All lights are a single colour: +20 points/string

The entire colour spectrum is represented, BUT it's apparent you had a particular design goal or made a conscious plan beforehand: +30 points/string

Inflatable character: +75 points/character

Inflatable characters are turned off and slumped on the ground as if Santa brought the gift of the Rapture to all the good boys and girls: +175 points/character

Inflatable character is a snow globe and the character is obscured by frost inside the bubble: +15 points/snow globe (but only because I am taking pity on you as a denizen of a cold climate)

Icicle lights: +25 points/string

Icicle lights that were purchased in 1997 and have never been taken down because they're such a pain to store: +754 points/every neighbour who hates you

Lights are strung over the palings of a fence: +5 points (I love this look)

Home-made plywood cut outs of trademarked cartoon characters: +15 points/character

Home-made plywood cut outs of trademarked cartoon characters that are done so poorly it looks like they are suffering from Bell's Palsy: +167 points/character

Light display consists of a few sad net lights strewn on shrubbery: +50 points (WHY BOTHER!?)

Lights are strung casually and asymmetrically on lower branches of a tree and you obviously are only doing it so the neighbours don't assume you are a Jehovah's Witness: +50 points and a BONUS of 8 editions of The Watchtower 

Lights are shaped like the Enterprise: +1 point

• • • • • • • • •

How did you do? Let me know your score. I enjoy judging people. Obviously.