Friday, February 25, 2005

Everything I Know, I Learned From My Kids

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find that I learn so much from my kids. And not just the "Oh, I learned how to be a more, caring, patient person" stuff either. I'm talking cold, hard facts.

I learn a lot from Frankie because he's always liked to read books and watch documentaries crammed with facts. He's not terribly picky about the subject matter, either. While he prefers books about machines, technology, transportation, and Medieval and Ancient times, I've caught him watching a documentary on the migratory patterns of North American birds once. He's insatiable, and he passes his knowledge on to the rest of us, whether we want to hear it or not.

Benjy, being five, has up until recently not contributed significantly to my knowledgeable. Lately, though, she's started spouting pithy words of wisdom that I've found most interesting. Apparently you should always put the toilet seat down before you flush the toilet to minimize the amount of germs that spray up. I didn't know this. I'm not sure how she know it either, or whether it's true. She also told me that I should stop kissing Arthur, because that's how germs spread. Arthur said he was willing to take his chances.

Recently Benjy came home with, what I think, is her greatest discovery, learned from her friend at daycare:

"Mom, did you know that there's this guy, God? Yeah. And he's everywhere. He's in the bathroom, he's in the walls, he's in the backyard, he's even in my mouf! Creepy, huh?"

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Yeah. I've been messing around with my picture. I think I'm done now.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Touched by a Blogger

I have to say that I'm surprised to find myself worrying and caring about you blogging strangers. It's amazing how none of us (or very few of us) have ever met, yet I feel like I know many of you so well. For instance, if someone asked me which of my favorite bloggers was most likely to post about the Mac Mini, I would say, without missing a beat, Wheelson. If I had to guess who would find the most outrageous little films or funny websites, I would automatically think of Jennie. And if I had to say whose posts I can best relate to as a woman and a mom, it would be SxKitten's.

When my favorite bloggers post about things that have happened, I have found myself reacting like a concerned friend, which was a bit of a surprise for me.

In the last couple of weeks, I have been blown away by a few bloggers. I was very disappointed to find out that Diva Drip wasn't going to be keeping up her blog anymore. What a sense of loss! And then Amelia turns up after a month long absence (in which so many of us worried about what could possibly have happened to her!). And when I read her post, I cried. What's even crazier is that my mom, who reads many of the same blogs I do, called me on the weekend, and in much the same tone she reserves for telling me that bad things have happened to my relatives, told me what happened to Amelia. Obviously, our concern for remote strangers is hereditary.

But you see, none of us are really strangers, are we? We share thoughts and opinions more freely on our blogs than we likely do in real life. And unlike parties with our friends, when we're blogging, we get to present our message exactly how we want without anyone cutting us off. People in blogging land get to hear the best of us, and it becomes apparent rather quickly what makes us tick.

It's true that some bloggers might be totally fooling me. Maybe they are blogging geniuses that are fooling us all, like Blah. But I doubt it. I feel like I know many of the bloggers I read every week (and in some cases I do). It's nice to make a connection, no matter how remote. We're human after all, and we thrive on contact.

So, to all you bloggers out there, and you know who you are, you've made an impact on me. And that's just about the best thing in the world I could ask for.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Ha! The world premier trailer for Hitchhiker's Guide movie is available on Looks pretty good (except Zaphod seems to be missing a head)...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Kyoto Accord Takes Effect; NHL Still Quiet

Canada's participation in the Kyoto Accord begins today. We'll be collectively working on reducing greenhouse emissions by 5.2 percent over 1990 levels by the end of 2008.

I think we can do it. (Simply not turning on the tv to watch Hockey Night In Canada should reduce emissions!)

What about you? Need more information? Get the inside scoop via the Government of Canada's One Tonne Challenge Website. Also, there's a very cute picture of Rick Mercer looking all serious, for those who love our national comedian.

Zinc is a wonder mineral

Much like baths, I think that Zinc lozenges are the bomb in terms of making you feel better. I'm not a doctor, but I play one at home. Whenever I feel a tickle in the back of my throat, I pop a lozenge and stave away nasty colds. Since I started doing this last year, I haven't had one cold. I've felt them coming on, but they've never gone anywhere, what with my trusty zinc lozenges at the ready.

Another miracle cure is hot toddies. Sometimes I like to get a cold just so I can get Arthur to make me a hot toddy and rub my feet. But don't tell Arthur.

Monday, February 14, 2005

PG or not PG

I had a rather interesting post on personal grooming that Blogger refused to publish, and I don't have the energy to try to recreate it. Sadly, I didn't save it, either. I'll publish that later. For now, I'll leave you with an interesting observation.

Arthur and I rented "Lost in Translation" again last night. This is one of my favorite movies. A notice came up at the beginning of the DVD that it was rated "R" by the MPAA due to its sexual content. Arthur and I thought that didn't seem right.

We checked the DVD case, and sure enough, the Ontario Film Review Board gave it a rating of "PG."

Apparenly Canadian children are less traumatized by bare breasts than American children.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Blogging Styles

Wheelson recently wrote an interesting "blogging best practices" post, in which he discussed the virtues of a short post. I have a preference for shorter posts. If a post is more than four of five paragraphs, then I generally don't have the attention span for it, unless it's something really, really interesting, like a funny anecdote or an interesting observation. Talk to me about the Mac Mini for 8 paragraphs, and I'll likely move on. Take the time to set up how you add milk to your colleague's carton every day, and I'll read it.

I like to mix things up when I write - sometimes ultra short, and sometimes a little longer. I try to keep it to about 5 paragraphs max - which can require some serious editing, Hemingway style.

What about you? What's your posting style? What's your reading preference: short or long? What topics are you likely to read, even if the post is longer than you normally like? What do you pass on right away?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

If life were like that, you wouldn’t need a business card.

life: simplified

Benjy: “What’s Daddy?”
Trillian: “What do you mean?”
Benjy: “Well, you’re a 'Writer Girl'. What’s Daddy?”
Trillian: “Oh, he’s a 'Money Boy'.”

Monday, February 07, 2005

Honk, Honk

We are all guilty of having “hang ups.” For instance, I have a girlfriend won’t let her kids drink apple juice (too much sugar, I guess). Arthur is paranoid about knives (even if you’re just cutting your sandwich). My daughter has a phobia about escalators. I have another friend who doesn’t like other people’s hair to inadvertently touch him.

I have a few “weird” hang-ups, myself. The worst of these is public nose blowing. To me, blowing your nose in front of other people is like sitting on a toilet in the middle of a crowded room, in plain view of everyone. I don’t do it, and I hate to see (or hear it). I appear to be a minority in this respect, though, as many of my friends and co-workers don’t think twice about giving their nose a vigorous blow in shared office space, during meetings, after a meal, at a party, or in a movie theatre. Unless I’m at home with the family, I try to take my nose blowing to the bathroom, or at least a private corner away from everyone else. If I can’t get to a bathroom, I discretely dab my nose with a tissue until I can make a getaway.

What do you think? Should I get help?

More than just hot water and soap

Like the Captain of the 'B'-Ark (from that wholely remarkable book) , and like Douglas Adams himself, I am a great believer in the hot bath. It cures all, in fact. For instance, I woke up this morning with the same incurable headache I'd gone to bed with last night. Shirking the Advil liquid gels that had let me down the night before, I instead had a relaxing soak among my bubbles and assorted bath paraphenalia. I emerged a new woman, and the headache has, for all intents and purposes, fled the scene.

Similarly, I was without an angle for my latest article today, but the bath also cured that. Writers block is no match for a good, hot bath. With bubbles.

In my opinion, baths cure colds, headaches, stomach aches, various lower intestinal irritations, IBS, womanly afflictions, and spousal annoyances (the last requires the addition of a chilled chardonnay - consumed, not poured in).

I've been able to pass the bath philosophy on to my daughter, who believes that baths, like crazy straws, hold mystical healing powers. Oatmeal baths are doubly impressive because they also relieve the symptoms of chicken pox, eczema, and impetigo.

So, the next time you're feeling stressed, chilly, or mildly ill, I recommend a nice long soak in a very hot bath. Bubbles are optional.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Misdirected Fortune

"You are never bitter, deceptive, or petty."

Heh, heh, heh.
This is the fortune I got from my cookie when I went to lunch with Arthur today. He thinks I picked up the wrong cookie.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

tick tock

Oh my gawd. I can't believe it's not even 3:30 yet...will this day never end?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

American in Canada

Arrogant Fool's post from the other day got me thinking about how Canadians view the US. I don't have to worry about what Americans think of Canadians, because they mostly don't.

Having grown up as a patriot American, and now being a patriot Canadian, I think I still have an interesting perspective on the whole American-Canadian perspective thang. So, I'd like to share with you a little story about my thoughts about the rest of the world when I was in third grade and living in Royal Oak, Michigan.

This was during the term of Jimmy Carter and the original oil shortage scare that brought Toyota into the US market in a big way. At that time, the US was still on track to convert to the metric system. Oh, yes! It's true! But this was before Regan's recessionary tailspin that put a quick end to the expensive metric conversion and left the US in the imperial backwoods of measurement.

My grade three* class was watching a film (in the days of projectors) about the metric system. Imagine my shock and dismay when the narrator of the film announced that the United States was one of the only countries left that didn't use the metric system. The rest of the world had been using this superior form of measurement for many years. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. First of all, that there was something out there that was considered the "best" that we, apparently, didn't invent, and second because I couldn't believe that the rest of the world, and Canadians specifically were using metric without our permission: we should be ahead of them, if anyone. Clearly, I thought, if this metric system was so great, we would already be using it.

Arrogant, arrogant child! I don't know why I remember that so well. And I know that I have a different perspective on that memory now than I did at the time. But I remember that horrible feeling of doubt that I experienced that day. I'd been taught for so long that the US was the best, that everyone wanted to be like us, and that we were the greatest, most free country in the world. Everyone loved us, and everyone did what we said. People in the Soviet Union saw us as a beacon of hope, and they all wanted to be American. People from Central and South American loved us. They came over by the boat loads. The whole world, except for the bad guys (at that time, the communists), wished they were American.

I see how arrogant I was then, but I never saw it when I lived there. My Canadian cousins hated me when I would visit them and say that Canada was really just part of the US. I had no idea that I was offending them. Schools taught how great the US was, the media reinforced it, tv shows displayed it, my parents believed it. In my minds eye it was THE TRUTH.

Imagine my surprise when I came to live in Canada as an older child and found out that most Canadians didn't think too much of my arrogance. They didn't care when I said "You can't do that to me! I'm an American!" I was so behind in world history compared to my peers. I knew lots about all the American presidents, and the US involvement in WWI and II, but I didn't know anything about the rest of the world, and certainly not about Canada. I was surprised to find out that people from countries that I thought looked up to Americans didn't really like them at all. I couldn't believe that the US had lost wars (and not just Vietnam). And then I was pretty mad for being fed a bunch of lies for so long, and for being so naive.

I imagine that a lot of people felt like that after 9/11. I imagine it was a bit of an eye-opener to find out that the rest of the world didn't like US interference in their countries and that some of them, albeit crazy and extreme, could fight back.

So, there you go. That's my story. I'm grateful that I've had a chance to sit on both sides of it, and understand both perspectives. To be sure, I'd like to gain more global perspectives, as well.

And I don't want people to think I'm America-bashing. I'm not. Having lived there, I know that Americans want the same thing as everybody else: health, happiness, love, and peace. We just all have a different perspective on who we are and our place in the world.

*and that's another thing that's different about Canadians: we say "grade three" and American's say "third grade," but I digress.