Monday, December 28, 2009


They are talking about terrorism again. Talking about security and airlines and bombs and wait times. Cancelled flights. Edgy passengers longs line-ups bag checks and pat-downs.

It might be as simple as this.

I was in an airport on December 24. Coming home from a wonderful vacation but that is another story. Having gone through security (you know, the part where you put all your stuff in the bins and pray to god that you remembered to put all the liquids in little bags and that your nail scissors are in the luggage not your purse) we had breakfast and then us three ladies went for a washroom break.

Any parent knows that on your own the bathroom is a one minute deal. Do your business as fast as you can and get out.

With children it's another story completely. Everyone has to wash their hands "themselves" and that means pulling up sleeves so they aren't dripping wet when done, hosting and holding, drying ("myself") and so on. Gives more time than usual to check out the other people in the bathroom.

There was a lady talking to one of the airport cleaning staff. She was tall and thin. I noticed her because she was zipping up a massive white winter coat. One of those puffy ones, like a North Face but not, and it came down to her knees. Her shape looked funny, kind of triangular in this big jacket, and so I looked.

And saw a cat peeking out of the top of her coat, as she zipped all the way up and tucked the cat in I could see the red leash, same as the one hanging in my garage except mine if for a dog.

I said to the girls, "Look, a kitty," and we smiled and looked for thirty seconds or so and left. I told Jade, "We just saw a woman with a cat in her coat," and that was that. Ten minutes later and we are seated on our plane (we boarded first because of the kidlets) and the woman trundled down the aisle in her massive coat.

"Look!" I said to the girls. "It's the lady with the kitty!" Normally I say cat, not kitty, but with the girls I lapse.

I turned to tell Jade, who was sitting in another row. The woman furrowed her brow and out her finger to her lips. Our eyes connected and I understood; she was sneaking the cat on. We had seen a couple of dogs in little carriers, tucked under seats and so I had just assumed you could take cats on too. But that isn't the point.

What difference does it make, security wise, if someone can manage to take a live animal onto an airplane? If someone meets up with a friend in the bathroom and takes something in their jacket?

No one knew.

And I said to Jade at the time, that could have been a bomb. And unless they figure out that the security line is in the wrong place, maybe one time it will be.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

what happens when a blog dies


Do I mourn it? Miss it? Crave it? Sigh a secret breath of relief?

Do I turn it off/leave it on/run it down

Forget

Should I start over or is that crass. Do I try something new, something old, different the same all over again.

Is there anybody out there?

Was there ever.

I'll have to think on this. Perhaps it is time to let it go shut it down find myself a new town.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

like it like that


And then there are the things that I like.

Things like really tacky songs (who knew a song could be tacky?). I submit to you for consideration Fire Burning by Shaun Kingston. God, that song rocks.

Maybe I like to dance with my girls if their dad isn't home after supper. By my girls I refer to my girls, one is 2 and one is 5, and after supper/before bed can be a make it or break it hour for us. I find that a good ole fashioned dance party, replete with some very loud Black Eyed Peas, turns our getting on each others nerves-ness around.

And maybe sometimes I like to read Danielle Steele at bedtime. Yup.

I like to take Wednesdays off work because really, who needs to work 5 days in a row. That just seems ridiculous to me.

I also like getting my eyebrows waxed. I mean not just so that I look better, which I do, I have very strong brows and they become wild and beast-like without proper maintenance. I mean, I like lying on the bed, having someone fuss over me, and entering a dreamlike state for 15 minutes interrupted only by hot wax and burning skin. When you have kids this really is a treat, trust me.

I like black nailpolish on my fingernails because I think it looks really sexy and not at all Goth. If it looked Goth I wouldn't like it.

I like singing along to the radio in my car. I also like letting people in if they are stuck in traffic, and I've had the opportunity to test that one out a lot this summer as half of the bridge is closed for construction. I always imagine that the person I let in was one moment away from a really bad day and I just turned it around for them.

I like going to yoga every day at lunch. If, as I so often say, I ruled the world it would be mandatory for everyone everywhere to go to yoga everyday.

I like picking my children up from daycare. Nothing beats that. Nothing.

I like writing again. Writing about things that aren't for work. Just to write. I like that a lot. I like being back at it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bright side of the moon


I grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan which when you are young feels like the middle of nowhere (and that is a bad thing) and when you are older feels like the middle of nowhere (and that is a good thing).

We played behind our house in the field, catching frogs in the culvert where the water would a foot or so deep. Although you wouldn’t believe it now, it feels like the entire time I was growing up there was a drought there was lots of talk about the poor farmers and the grasshoppers. I have still a personal hatred for grasshoppers, and one of my most vivid memories is being outside after supper wearing my pajamas with a watermelon on the front of them and feeling something on my ribcage. When I looked down there was an enormous grasshopper looking up at me. I felt as though I lost my mind for a few minutes. That led to my brothers putting grasshoppers under the door while I was in the bathroom so I would have to wait until my father came home from work to pick the lock and get the grasshopper.

But this isn’t about grasshoppers.I can’t imagine now letting my girls fish for tadpoles in a small body of water, the world has changed just enough that I see too many things going wrong with that, but perhaps they could scoop around in the small stagnant body of water in our backyard that was a pond with a fountain and fish when we moved into our new home. Along with an inability to let my children go the summers have gone and now instead of heat we have rain and humidity and everyone carries an umbrella. When I was little we didn’t have umbrellas because it was too windy when it rained and they always turned inside out. So now I carry an umbrella in my purse and I keep my children close and take a jacket to work in July in case it cools off like it tends to.

I wanted to be the editor of McLeans and although that is off the table I imagine that at some point sooner than later I will have a published novel and another on the way and the ideas that keep me awake at night, writing swirling sentences in my head will be put to rest at paper. Kind of like an exorcism; until the words are on paper they exist endlessly in my brain, floating and bumping into one another and generally making me crazy. Just a little crazy, enough to cause some sleepless nights, but not enough for certification. Ah, I’ve always believed that creative people walk a very fine line between what we call mental illness and quirky, although I do like to stay on the bright side of the moon.I also wanted to write for a living and although currently it seems as though I am wading through molasses to get there I am one.step.close.every day. I’m at one of those points in life where it fluctuates wildly between warp speed and small-town slowdown; where for a few minutes it feels like time is rushing madly like a river and then suddenly I relax and get some perspective and hey, wait a minute, it’s all going to be just fine.

Just fine.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hello


Is there anybody out there?

Welcome back to me. It's like I'm throwing myself a party. A little early, all the (hm, was going to say shit but am not clear on the rules I had for self on use of profanity etc.)

Let's try that again.

Welcome back to me. I like that even better the second time, it's sort of like I was away somewhere glamorous and I'm being welcomed back to my real life. Which is also very glamorous, of course.

It is a little early, the shit that hit the fan is not all done but it's done enough that I can see the light and hallelujah and all that and damn it, I missed writing.

I was still writing, for work and all that, birthday cards and postcards and repondez s'il vous plait and grocery lists (I said glamorous; that may have been a lie) and cheques and cheques and cheques....perhaps I shouldn't get into that because I can feel my breathing getting all tight again. That is likely just the bronchitis, but I'll avoid that cheque talk for now.

I'm all over the map, I know. My fingernails used to ache for a couple of months when I put on those gel nails. The ones where you go into a little sweatshop type room every two weeks and spend what I considered a very painful hour or so (I know - obviously I was not a mother at that point - who has an hour to do that sort of thing anymore?) and I would come out with these funny little nails that I just loved. However. In the middle of the night I would wake up and I swear that my real nails were screaming at me to get.those.awful.things.off.we.can't.BREATHE. So I did, and really I was much happier once I could use my hands again instead of having to get other people to do pretty much anything that required use of my hands.


Point? Yes, the point. For the last few months, since I have not been here I have felt like that. Like my fingers and whatever small spot it is in my brain that finds it imperative that I am writing was waking me up and screaming. Screaming for whatever peace it is that this brings me.

It became so bad that I was writing constantly in my head. I'd get into the elevator at work (yes, many things are new and so I will have to apprise you of them but have patience I'll get to it the work of which I speak takes some energy and more time and so my time is eked out in small parcels, very little of which currently goes to me) but anyways when I get into the elevator at work or go to put the diaper on the baby or fill up the water table so that someone can shoot someone else in the eye with water and everybody can cry I was doing it all in Sentences in my head. Like:

"As Carolina filled up the glass [water table] of the sunburned tourist [sunblocked child wearing a hat] she wondered if he always fought with his wife like this [will she EVER get along with her sister?]"

Or I would imagine these ridiculous lives of these women wearing such strange clothes on the 10th floor. What is it about the 10th floor of my building? I mean really, how is it possible that they all wear such weird things? At some point, if I am ever not late for work I must stop on that floor and get out and see just what exactly is going on. Given my ability to be consistent if nothing else, however, it is highly unlikely that I will ever be not late.

I have faded out, my burst was short and probably not that sweet but oh so necessary. Again, with all the formality deserved on this occasion, I would like to welcome me back.

Welcome.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

there she goes (again)


I've got one losing teeth and one gaining.

It's totally slowdown warp speed again. Where things are changing. When babies aren't babies and kids are in kindergarten it's all shuffling around and I'm not sure how it will all play out.

The weird thing about parenting. Let me start that over. One of the very many weird things about parenting is that you really are the same person you were when you started. This is nothing new, this insight, nothing earthshattering or breathtaking or anything like that. No, it's that very common realization that I have not changed much at all since I had my children. I still am insecure, silly, and think I'm a better dancer than I am. I still say the wrong thing, wish I had more clothes, and love to read. I still procrastinate, delegate, and love to debate. Anything. I still am me at the core.

If I thought of having children I think I assumed that once you had them you got a free ticket; a golden pass to being smart. Getting stuff. This shows an enormous lack of awareness, I mean, just look around at how many parents so obviously don't get it. But I for sure thought that all of the bad stuff, the unanswered questions, the worries and insecurities, that would all go away and a deep sense of peace would descend and I would be Sure.

Ha.

So now one is nearly toothed and the other nearly toothless and it's not coming together and I think I have a glimpse, a glimmer, that this is how it goes and that is okay.

Peace out.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

And a sharp turn off the path


This might be a good thing, I'm thinking. Of late (perhaps of always?) this blog has been devoted to, ahem, the lesser. Ranting, raving, and the ridiculous the headliners, and often a good dose of as-far-from real important as as could be.

I have these two people in my life. People. I have to highlight that word, because it's only recently struck me that they are people, not mini-me's or mini-already-exisitings.

At five it's pretty darn apparent that she is her own person. Listing off all the lessons she takes and/or will take, I got to basketball. Basketball has always been a sort of given, as it's her dad's passion. Plus she's nearly my height.

"Basketball?" Her little nose wrinkled and her forehead creased. "I'm not playing basketball, mummy." There are times when her voice is firm and sure, and this was one of them. "I'm going to play golf."

Golf? Golf? Who knew.

We are not golfers. Oh for sure, we have an expensive men's set, along with expensive additions and boxes of pristine white golf balls. Golf shirts in size XXXL, won as doorprizes. I even worked summers at a golf course in high school. But we are not golfers.

The little one is mad for books right now, and when I say mad I'm quite sure it wouldn't be an exaggeration to hint at froth at the mouth. She sits next to me now, with her mullet hair pulled back in a ponytail and her face determined as she flips through the pages, hunting for babies, dogs, and Dora.

"Gook! Gook!" She turns around and backs toward me, bum out in a half crouch, ready to plunk down on my lap. "Go. Go." Her voice is commanding, the way a second child must be in order to get their own attention.

We walked outside after dinner tonight. There are still piles of snow everywhere but the frigid has lifted and now it's just frosty. Cold and all, plus a glass of red on top of the Tylenol yellow pills made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Little one on the toboggan and Miss Five walking beside, we enjoyed the fact that at after six it was still light out.

We've made it. Spring is coming.

[at which point readers hear full course of "Hallelujah"]

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mother-effing cold


I fought the cold and the cold won. Bastard.

I was so sure I could kick it. I used my neti faithfully, doubled up on the Progressive Vitamin C, and went to bed early. That's not totally true, but I did watch Pineapple Express which I thought was going to totally suck and I laughed out loud many times throughout. Rather odd, my husband thought perhaps I was drunk and perhaps I was, but it was still funny. Point being that I thought laughing was good for the immune system.

Even though I felt like ass yesterday I went to yoga and that part of the day was awesome. [If you can, go back and re-read that sentence and sing the "awesome" part because that's how it's supposed to read. Awe-some, like that.]

I'm going to drag myself to Mysore tonight but I have no expectations whatsoever that I will a) be able to breathe through my nose and b) enjoy headstand.

In hopes of a brief nap while the baby was down I allowed the five year old to do my hair. This involves her getting out all my "product," as she calls it, and spraying copious amounts in and then patting it down and complimenting me on my very "smooth" hair.

It was only after I realized one of the products she used was an aloe vera after sun skin care, but no mind. It washed out.

If we weren't mostly strangers I would post the photo of me, nine or ten (perhaps eleven) months preggo with the second, in July, with incredibly high humidity (in my city that rhymes with fun we don't normally have humidity so I don't know how to describe it other than ridiculous) when I let the child do my hair and then put makeup on me. A few of you have seen it, and hopefully still love me. For those who haven't I don't think it would be good for our relationship.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On little sleep, less time, and not much going on


I live in Small City, Canada; you may also know it as the one that rhymes with a female body part. One of the awkward about living in a small city is the potential for run-ins everywhere you go.

[Aside: at least my city rhymes with something fun and not poop.]

You know what I hate? When you see someone out of the corner of your eye and they do that thing where they pretend not to see you.

[Another Aside: I'd like to know who coined "corner of your eye" because it makes so little sense.]

Of course, let me stress that this rarely happens to me. Rarely so little it's practicalynon-existent...everyone always wants to see me. That's the old metaphor, as in, "her voice was dripping sarcasm." Ah, metaphors.

I wish there could be a moratorium on awkward moments like this. I hereby add this to my list. If I Ruled the World people would be required to smile and nod if they saw a person they know. None of this duck and run stuff, no eye contact avoidance, and leave off on the looking around at obviously non-interesting stuff. Lame, lame, lame.

I don't propose that we have long, drawn out conversations, no, nothing like that.

[Another Aside: my mother would NOT like the above sentence. On the cover of my manuscript, underneath the fake quote from Maeve Binchy saying that it is a lovely book and I am a great writer, my mother wrote "with way too many commas." Since she read it she has become obsessed with commas, even to the point of cutting articles out of the paper that have what I like to think of as trailing sentences, full to the brim with commas.]

But in the interests of common courtesy, I submit that it is easier to smile and nod than pretend a vapid ignorance of the person two feet to your left. Much less energy.

I'm interested in the comma issue, though.

Let's try that again.

I'm interested in the comma issue though.

This brings me back to those long discussions with Tyler the English teacher and the use of "too."

Are commas a personalized stylistic punctuation choice? How much is dictated by decree of some manual? How much is up to the writer?

Ciao.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Literary and commercial fiction




I don't typically do this but this particular post called out to me. Readers who don't care about fanciful writing questions should come back tomorrow for the basic slush.

First, one must link to this blog where Lady Glamis of The Innocent Flower asks the question:

Question For the Day: What does the word "literary" mean to you? How much of it do you include in your own work? And if you do, do you feel that you are choosing a smaller target audience?

Ah, good question. It's like you dove into my head.

Literary, to me, means writing the way I wish I could write. Let me try to explain, because this is tricky.

See, I love many authors. Danielle Steele and Maeve Binchy for my lazy afternoons on the beach (these come about once every three years, but I still appreciate them). I also love P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, Yann Martel - etc. etc. etc.

The difference is that I view the commercial fiction as the easy fiction. Easy to write, easy to read. Literary takes time. Each sentence is perfect. It tells a story in a way that is more than like two friends talking over a cuppa. There are layers, perhaps.

I love both kinds. Kind of like I love both my children, even though they are different. However, and this is the crux of it all, while I like to write literary and I know that I can, I tend to write commercial because it is easy. I vision my life as playing out something like this: while I am busybusy with the children and this NEVERENDINGINFERNALEFFINGRENOVATION I will write my easy commercial fiction. To say it's easy means it just flows off the end of the fingers; the stories never stop, and if I had the time and the energy I would probably write all day long.

Once life is....word choice is key here...once life is manageable, easier, simple, oozing time...once that happens I will write where I must take my time. Where I put much effort into it. Where I may write a page or two and that will be exhausting.

Each of these are a whole different creative for me. I love them both, I can only do one at a time.

And that is okay with me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

When I Rule the World


If I can't sleep there are two things I do. First I imagine I've won 24 - 26 million dollars and I go through the steps I would take immediately following. Things like holidays are supplanted by installing healthy breakfast and lunch at all the schools in my community. But being so good can get boring and so then I imagine If I Ruled the World.

If I Ruled the World consists of simply put, me, ruling the world. I know, sign up below. How exciting. Fantastic. Really, though, don't get all jumping for joy on me. It's all just basic common sense.

First, I would make it mandatory that every single person must do yoga every single day. I don't want to hear about how you don't have time and really, you're not flexible, because yes, you do have time and it doesn't matter crap if you're flexible. So rather like the army in Israel you will do yoga in My World.

In order to qualify for medical coverage every single person will visit a naturopath as their primary care physician. For that matter, all health records would be kept centrally and each person would be served by a team of professionals: counsellor, naturopath, general pracitioner, massage therapist, and hair stylist. Listen people, having good hair really will make you a better person.

When I Rule the World there will be no television in the mornings. I find the sound really irritating and I think it should only be turned on after noon. Maybe even two; I'm still deciding.

Stupid holidays like Valentines Day and Halloween will be done away with and replaced with Daycare Worker Appreciation Day and Everyone Go To Work Naked Day.

It will be illegal to not use all vacation time and vacation time will be allotted at the rate of four weeks per year.

Children will have gym class every.single.day.

Parents will be required to have a Meaningful Date every Saturday night and grandparents (or the appropriate stand-ins) will provide free care because everyone knows happy parents are better for the world.

Dale Carnegie training will become part of school curriculum and anyone who is already through the school system will have to provide proof of attending and completing the course in order to qualify for running water.

Daycare centres, old folks homes, and schools will be amalgamated. Those old people know lots and we don't take near enough care to learn it.

Everyone will be given junk food credits and once you've used up your allotment, tough luck.

I've got more. I'm just getting started. But I'm being beckoned by my PVR and a date with the unlucky ladies of the Bachelor. Don't you feel comfort that you're potentially being looked after by someone so...cosmopolitan?

Friday, February 20, 2009

A compliment


Dear Ms. Mccracken,

Normally I would write this on notepaper or perhaps a card but I type faster than I write and when I have something important to say I say it better when I type. Normally sounds like I do this all the time but it’s been only four times or so and so really there isn’t a normally yet. What I mean is that I don’t make it a habit of writing to authors but occasionally I am compelled.

This started when I read Nick Hornby’s book, ABOUT A BOY, before Christmas. I had read him before, and loved his work, but really enjoyed ABOUT A BOY and thought I would write to him and tell him. He wrote back and suggested I would enjoy your books so I ordered AN EXACT REPLICA off Amazon. Two things: I don’t know why I ordered that one instead of one of your novels. If I think about it, I think it’s because of the title. Lovely, lovely title, reminds me of A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS, which I also think is just a lovely way of arranging some words. Second thing: I wasn’t sure why I waited until last weekend to read it; I wanted to read it right off. Perhaps it was the subject matter; I have a tough time with anything to do with babies and mothering. I think your skin grows thinner in some places and thicker in others after you have babies, and mine is quite thin in most.

I took the book with me to Banff for the weekend (my husband was going for work and I go with, leaving the kids behind with Nana) as I had that rarity, Uninterrupted Reading Time. From the first page I was swept into your story and enmeshed. I know that sounds like too much, maybe, but you write with a style that I love and your words were words that I could feel.

This is so disorganized, forgive, but let me try to explain. [I’m trying again, I tried to write down the story of why I loved your book so much but I erased it and have come back here. I imagined you becoming the receiving end of hundreds of stories of heartbreak and sadness, and even though the story I would tell has a happy ending I wonder if perhaps you get story after story and that is enough for you.]

You write so beautifully and you told your story perfectly. You write the way I would love to write….just simple perfect telling.

I started the book in the lounge of the resort but I was crying right off so I had to go back to the room. I read to nearly halfway in one gulp and then put the book down. I had to take a break. You convey feelings so well that I was immersed; it was as though you are a close friend and you were telling me something of the utmost importance and because we are friends it was as though it was happening to me. If that makes any sense at all.

I didn’t read again until we were driving back to Calgary to catch our flight. I read until I was sick (I always imagine that reading in a moving vehicle won’t make me nauseous and it always does. Annoying.) I hung my head out the window in the fresh air and the air felt good on my face; I had been crying as I read and the air dried the tears.

My husband hates being the first on a plane and normally so do I; we typically hang back and wait to be nearly last to board. But on Sunday I marched us up so that I could read on the plane. I had to finish before we got home and reading would be interrupted by two children and Life.

Of course, sandwiched in between my husband and some guy, I read with tears pouring down my face. Sometimes when I read something that moves me I well up, or a single tear, or a tight chest is there. Only once before have I read something that moved me as much as your book and that was long ago. I cried and cried and sometimes would snap the book shut, thinking that I could not finish.

But I did, of course I did. And I knew that I would have to tell you how much your book means to me. How it comes to me, throughout the day, and I think of you and your family and your life, and I know that I will think of you often. I read a lot, and very few books stay with me like I know yours well.

I hate to compliment you on your writing in a way, because it’s the story that is important here, but your writing told the story so perfectly. I can hardly wait to read your other books.

I could go on and on and that is usually a good indicator to stop.

With sympathy and tears on your loss, and warmth and happiness on your good fortune (I think I saw on a website that you have 2 children now),

KM

Interview


Interviews (and top 25 lists) seem to be all the rage, even the Globe did a piece on it last week. To get back into the swing of things I sat down with the Internet last week and answered a few questions.


Internet:

We've missed you - where have you been?

Spin Regina:

Immersed in the world of work. Planning, facilitating, meetings, going for lunch. That sort of thing. I missed you too.

Internet:

I noticed you didn't put a comma after "you" in that sentence. You over that?

Spin Regina:

No, not at all. Still a huge pet peeve. But, like not drinking milk, I'm trying to do things that are good for me. I'd hate not to be published because I can't learn a new skill.

Internet:

Last you were here you were ranting about childcare, Gwynneth, and some sobbing book you read.

Spin Regina:

Yeah, not much has changed here. Childcare, or the lack thereof, is still annoying the bejesus out of me and I am considering starting some sort of campaign but I would have to give up either sleep or eating to find the time and as I went to bed at 9:00 last night and I ate an entire container of 8% fat yogurt last week I can't see either happening.

It's a good thing I went to bed at 9; the baby was up from 10 till god knows so at least I got an hour in.

Gwynneth hasn't been bugging me as much because along with work comes a marked decrease in the amount of thinking about frivolous and useless things like GOOP. Seriously. Who thinks GOOP is a good name? I suggest that anything that rhymes with POOP be removed immediately from consideration just based on simple marketing know-how.

Internet:

I'm sorry your baby is sick. Have you been doing anything fun lately?

Spin Regina:

I've been eating out for lunch a lot. That's my reward for this working business. I figure if I spend every red cent before I even get home my husband will see the value in painting my office and letting me get a decent desk.

Today I ate at a fabulous one of those combo eateries; part lounge, part food. Bitten. Was delicious but very very cold. Not the food; that was the appropriate temperature. The air was icy. Apparently there is no insulation in the outside wall. This is something to consider, as temperatures in this neck of the woods have been hovering around frigid for months. That reminds me that I was supposed to be on a beach right about now. Budget cuts loomed loud in our house. That reminds me. Someday I'll tell you my Ikea story.

Internet:

Wow. The life you lead.

Spin Regina:

I know; it's hard. I can barely figure out what to leave out so you're not jealous.

Internet:

So what's up with the campaign?

Spin Regina:

I got quite far, actually. I Google'd Michael Ignatieff, found his website, opened up a comment window and typed, gosh, I don't know, six words on my disappointment with Steve-o. I had big plans to ask pointed questions about the Liberal childcare plan but was interrupted by a small but powerful subject who let me know in uncertain terms that she was not interested in wearing a diaper.

Internet:

And the sob inducing book? What are you reading now?

Spin Regina:

My good friend Amazon sent a few more last week so the pile on my nightstand is growing. I refuse to dig in, though, until I finish the bodice-ripping-time-travel-historical-romance that is six hundred pages of tiny words. At the rate I'm going I won't get into the newest Wally Lamb until June. Maybe it isn't even his newest anymore.

I'm glad you brought that up, though. I've thought about that book every day since I finished. Thirty percent of that might be that it's sitting on the console table in the living room but nevermind, I think of it. I wrote the author a note telling her how much it meant and she wrote back. I'll print my note but I'm saving her lovely words in a file called Private. I know, who knew I had one?

Internet:

Anything else before we close?

Spin Regina:

I'm ripping apart my book. The one I wrote. To shreds, it feels like. Feels pretty good. I remember when this happened with my honours thesis. Thank god I don't have to use a printer with those tiny holes on the sides. I had a special pair of tweezers reserved just for that blasted machine. On the other hand, now I have to hand feed my printer because he is very sensitive to paper weight.

It's good to be back.





Wednesday, February 11, 2009

question


when it's too late to say sorry
are there any other options

when there are no other options
is it done

when it's done
is it over

when it's over
is that it

when that's it
is it lost

when it's lost
can it be found

I think so. I think so.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

edge/


We were talking the other day, my naturopath and I. We were talking about how creative people might walk a little closer to the edge. How crazytown might be an actual stop on the road.

How this is okay.

My emotions are very close to the surface. I've spent my entire life trying to find more balance between rational thought and emotional reaction, but even typing those words made me aware of the fact that although I understand the theory of rational thought, I don't understand it. My perception of rational thought is coloured by my emotional take on things.

I don't fear a mental breakdown or anything like that. More like, I know that the yawning abyss of all feeling and no thinking is an abyss that at times I throw myself into; desperately clawing my way out. Maybe one day I won't come out, or it takes a while. Who knows.

I read another great book on the weekend, Anne Tyler's Breathing Lessons. Both books were recommended by Nick Hornby (I wrote him a slobbering fan letter a while back and he wrote back, on gorgeous creamy notepaper, recommending both Anne Tyler and Elizabeth McCracken) and it was strange; both resonated completely although on different levels.

The Anne Tyler was a window to my world. Wife is emotion driven and scattered; lightly on different thoughts and directions like a butterfly. Husband, however, is a straight line of steely determination. My world exactly.

Good read for a different perspective. I read fast through this one, something I do sometimes if I'm uncomfortable with the writing. At first I thought it was that the book was no good. More thought allowed that while I didn't love it, it was terrificly good. Good like good writing, good plotting, good all that. And what I had to figure out is that books don't have to make me happy. They don't have to wind it all up and fix all the problems. God even as I write this I realize that I'm having a terrible time explaining what I mean.

Let me give it one last go. The book is excellent. I didn't love the people, but I couldn't put it down. See what you think.

Monday, February 09, 2009

broken

My blog is broken? Every time I try to post I get a message saying "client has performed a malformed error," which I find incredibly rude. I'm no tech sav, but I'll see what I can do.

Boo.

the power of Words*


Oh god I read the most







There is nothing to say to describe it. Heartbreaking uplifting such sadness I could barely bare it.

Let me preface this by saying do not, as I did, read this book in public. Weeping in a lounge in Banff, surrounded by apr├Ęs-ski Europeans and gliding wait staff is not how to do it. The hotel room was, but I became overwhelmed by sadness and shut the little blue volume up in my suitcase until the drive to the airport.

As I read in the passenger seat I was first reminded that I can't read in moving vehicles and second why I put the book away in the first place. As I hung my head out the window breathing fresh air and being thankful for warm temperatures I thought again how the book is true. All of its heartbreaking sadness is true. Things happen and things that happen are so close.

I couldn't stop myself from crying. Nearly the whole flight tears poured down my face. I would read a few pages and shut the book up, determined to leave it until another day, another year, when I could take it. There were three of us in the row. Jade by the window, me in the middle, and a stranger reading strange magazines on the aisle. I cared, but only a very little, what he thought of me sniffling and wiping with the ratty tissue I found in my purse.

When we got off the plane my face was swollen. I felt raw on the inside.

That is the power of words. That is the power of words, strung together, telling a story. [There is only one other book that made me feel this way; What Girls Learn. Copies are available for around a penny on Amazon (it's the shipping that gets you)]. I felt weak after I finished, exhausted. Sadness has found me throughout the day today, reminding me that the story was real.

Don't let my maudlin thoughts stop you. The story, heartbreaking as it is (and I don't use that word lightly) is still a story of hope. But it doesn't come out all right at the end, and maybe that is what tore my heart apart. Sometimes things just happen. And that is what it is. And this woman is a writer, and so she did the thing that her kind of writer would do. She wrote it all down. I hope that in the telling she found a little bit of peace.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Red red wine no more?

ah, see, I am censored by whoknows. My red red wine post has been deemed "error" by Google; have never heard nor seen this happen before.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Red red wine


Drunk on red wine and something called a grape smash (freaking ridiculous good, apparently I could drink vodka like this after yoga and it would taste like really amazing water) I sit here and thank god for spell check. And Justus, he catches everything spell check misses.

We had a terrible day yesterday. Trekked over to Ikea where we were stuffed full of plans to finish furnishing our house with random cool pieces and those touches that make a home, a home. You know, like vases and knick-knacks and the like.

Except right before we got there I had an attack of conscience and, acting like the women that the economists fear (smart economists, anyways, the other ones who don't get that women control the spending power of the world) pulled the plug.

Can you imagine? Pulling the plug on an Ikea trip?

I mean, it's not like Ikea is made of anything more than clapboard and veneer. It's not high art, or one of a kind, or anything more than clean lines and practical. And yet, I had to put on the brakes. How do you spell kibosh? That was me, tears in eyes in the Swedish meatball section, talking about responsibility and smart and not putting our family in a precarious position because we want a TV stand for a TV we don't have.

So we went out for dinner, our little splurge of time together. And I drank two drinks and ate almost a whole bacon cheeseburger in a fancy steakhouse and my tummy is round and I feel that groggy sort of red-wine-drunk and I think it's all going to be just fine.

As long as I can find a little pink Pepto Bismal pills and 2 Advil, that is.

ishowyousay, ranting?


Gosh, I've been gone so long my fingers are aching. I've been busy, you know, just incredibly busy. It's been a whirlwind, truly, to have spent the last two weeks sitting down with Jade and making lists:

What is important to us in a childcare provider?
Do we prefer a home or centre?
What kind of snacks do we want our children to eat?

It has been a pleasure, really, it has, to call up several childcare providers (some in homes, others in schools, still more stand alone) that are all licensed and registered, and schedule convenient appointments where we can drop by to talk child-rearing philosophy and nap time procedures.

I know Jade has been impressed with the overall quality; the highly paid and educated staff who have an obvious affinity for children, the superior grade and selection of food, the endless options as to learning methods and development theories.



As for myself, I feel blessed to be a part of a system where when our country realized that we are in the midst of a labor shortage, and since 50% of the population are women, and traditionally women have borne the brunt of childcare....shall we say...sourcing, I'm grateful for a government that shows foresight and planning and ensures that it is easy for these women to work. That no woman is driving all over town, dropping children off helter-skelter at homes and centres because space available is few and far between.

No, here we are fortunate because not only does our government respect the autonomy of women but it respects the future of our country by treating our children as though they are the most important beings we have. As our future, of course I applaud the efforts the government is making to ensure that Canadian children have access to high quality daycares. And the choice - to be a parent and to not have to take whatever option there is, but to have a voice and a say, wow. It just blows my mind.

It just blows my mind.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just in case...


Just in case my last few posts were giving you the impression that I'm not vapid and a rabid consumer of popular culture, let me put your fears to rest. Read on, people.

We're famous! Apparently on Jay Leno we were mentioned last night in his monologue.

Claim to fame?

A malfunctioning tanning bed.

Perez Hilton dubbed it the "Headline of the Weak" and if you get picked up by Perez by golly you've made it in this town. I'm not sure what town I mean because I'm not sure how many people in Regina are hip to his tricks, but I would venture to guess that in the city that rhymes with fun it's a big deal to get picked up by the same guy who blogs about all the stars.

I'll be back later with more maudlin complaining. Although I do have a few ideas percolating....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And on and on


And the beat goes on.

(Sometimes on and on, droning and repetitive, but mostly just on.)

Life takes you everywhere and back, if you let it. That is the conclusion that I've come to, and of course, is subject to change given the whims of my nature. At any given moment I allow myself the ability to stop on a dime, reevaluate, and dramatically reinvent myself.

Whether it was nature or nurture, and by this time that is really just an interesting intellectual question to be pursued and discussed, cocktail party style, when Time is not pressing. We'll leave that for another day. Another decade, perhaps.

In high school I became mighty concerned with matters of Injustice and Inequality. Given that I was miserable (I don't have to feel guilty like L&L do, about having a Happy Childhood) it seems prosaic to say it (*I've always wanted to write that; prosaic to say it, it just reads so cool...really, I do feel like I'm painting with words sometimes.) but that Misery translated into the occasional positive action.

I became the poster child for opposition. I've mentioned it briefly before, but if anything happened to the underdog (and, given the position of underdog things happened to them quite frequently; our version of Friday Night Lights featured a much less attractive cast of generally working class jocks, and a jock by any definition is someone who, at the top of the Pecking Order, must Peck) I was there, ready to fight for fairness.

This spirit followed to university where I nearly drove my parents mad by enrolling in Women's Studies. Had they been aware that such a course was offered they likely wouldn't have even presented the option of further education. Women's Studies, of course, offered myriad ways to organize. To rally. To cry out against the injustice.

And then I was worn out. I guess that's why people typically go to school when they're young; it takes a lot out of a person. I was exhausted by the multitude of injustice perpetuated every single day. Female genital mutilation. Sex selective abortion. Wife burning. And on. And on. I turned my back (if not my heart) and lived my life in a gluttony of freedom, caring mostly for eyeshadow and cute clothes.

Of course, life has turned me around, gently tapping my shoulder and reminding me that hey, while others didn't cast off that mantle of feminism and continued to do the work that needs (to this day) to be done.

Here is the crux of it, though. I'm tired. I have enough trouble getting through my days, making interesting dinners and ensuring that the 3 kinds of milk necessary in our house are up to date and chilling. Going to yoga. Seeing my friends. Parenting. Wifing. Etc. Etc.

But I think that all signs point to do something. Whether it's going to be a letter or....and that's where I get stuck, I've got to do something at least. Something to ease this anger and disgust that this is still a Women's Issue and that it still exists.

On a lighter note, they just closed two daycare centres in my city. 60 spaces. Poof. Gone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not about that at all


This post isn't about how I'm obviously not a famous actor. Although really it may not be that obvious to you, you may have occasionally wondered from my scintillating wit and obvious creativity if I was. Rest assured. I am not.

Nor is it to bemoan the fact that I am not a famous actor. Certainly, the perks would be interesting. But worth it? To live with the ease of cooks and nannies and money? Overrated. For sure. It's character building to do all these things myself.

This post is definitely not about how I've gone on a personal Spending Freeze and all my jeans just feel old. For someone who wears lulus all the time this shouldn't matter but it does.

Also, I'd just like to point out that this post isn't to moan about how long these renovations are taking. I mean, it'll be so worth it in the end. As long as we haven't killed each other over the stress.

For sure this post is not about the eternal debate I suffer regarding the status of women. It will definitely not be about how the world is still structured around a man's needs and the only way a woman fits in is if she contorts herself to that mold. It isn't about the struggle that rears its head, which suggests that in order to work families outsource their childcare (usually to other women) who are paid a pittance (because otherwise how could it be worth it to work) to do what we so obviously value but value kind of like we value a really good bargain.

This post will not get into the fact that bosses bemoan the time that women take to provide care for sick children and now the up and coming sick elderly parents. This post will not address the fact that women step out of the workforce to bear these children and then step back in, only things have changed and for every year a woman is out of the workforce her earning power decreases dramatically.

This post has nothing to do with how we could fix this issue. This post will not provide any information whatsoever on things like universal childcare or subsidies or affordable care or anything like that. And this post will definitely not talk about how Quebec parents pay $7 per day per child for childcare while, if I could find spaces, I would pay $30 per child per day.

This post is about how you make your own bed and you lie in it. And that is just how it is and if you want to change anything then for god's sake, do something. Instead of writing about it.

Enough said. I take your point.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


ohmigod I was just reading the Style section of this week's Globe and Mail (that's like Canada's version of the New York Times) and I have been living in oblivion.

DID YOU KNOW THAT GWYNETH PALTROW HAS A BLOG?

At this point I haven't even read it, but while it was loading I quickly typed up this post so that we can all be on the same page. Let's all read it and meet back here later to discuss.

Food for thought: Gwyneth is like my high school nemesis. Not anyone in particular, but that perfect, ultra-cool chick who just had it so together. Actually, maybe she's more like the really amazing girl at university. The perfect balance of World's Best Clothes worn effortlessly and witty and gorgeous and dating the lead singer of the band. I mean really. It's the mix of a love/hate relationship that she doesn't even know we're having.

Enough. I'm going to go read.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mindless


All dressed up, and everywhere to go. That was me last week. Looking mighty official, I even got a whistle from the contractors (I mean, really, boys, is it that crazy that I don't wear my lulus every minute of every day?).

I am so lucky. When there is six feet of snow (my editing of late requires me to translate everything into meters; it's nice to know that I can be lazy here) I can remain in my house, sweatpants on, secure in the knowledge that it really would be a waste of good concealer to brighten my eyes.

Let me tell you. I can worry about anything. Anything at all. That might explain why I now have a Red Cross emergency kit, filled with everything necessary to keep a family of four alive for up to four days. And now I think, why did I tell them (by them I mean you). If something happens they know I'm prepared and they (you) might come find me and take my stuff.....

It's in the shed. Look there first.

But seriously, folks, I really can. worry. about. anything. And I was so worried last week; worried that I would be late, that childcare would fall through (that's funny, I have a system all worked out for arranging childcare and it's called Luck, or sometimes more aptly, Misfortune and Poor Planning). How it works is this. Let's say I need childcare for a board meeting or some such. Instead of asking my trusty resources (that makes it sound like I have more than 3 people I can ask) I leave it to the universe. Very Secret of me, I know. I think, perhaps they will cancel the board meeting? Or, maybe my mother will call and say hey, I really wanted to come over to your house to watch the kids at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning? Or...something. What this usually entails is me making a nervous-stomach inducing phone call to said mother the night before and beginning with "of course, you can say no if you want to."

So I worried about anything and his good friend, everything. And you know what? It was freakin' amazing. I talked to terrific people, I said interesting things, I developed relationships. I went out for dinner two nights in a row and then today I went to a Second Series yoga workshop. Never mind that I didn't do a very good "bend over, stick your arms through your legs and wrap them around your back, look at your bum, and now walk around like a little troll." Not much trolling for me. But it was intense and good and I feel like someone took me apart, hammered me down, you know like you do with a tough piece of meat? and put me back together again. Except all sweaty.

I'm sure this stream of consciousness is interesting to no one but me but I'll post anyways so it doesn't look like I have been doing nothing. This may not be much more than nothing, but I will spell check and it still counts in my books.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

chchchchch changes


Change happens. Usually the stuff we hear about is the monumental, mind-boggling change that requires sleepless nights and endless discussion to be determined. Or the change that comes on the fly, surprising in its ability to confer difference so quickly.

Slow, creeping change, the one that sneaks up on us like water lapping quietly, that we don't hear so much about. Change like watching a child grow or a flower bloom. Slow and steady, yet relentless. (Ruthless)

What I like about myself (hey, no one ever said I was modest) is that I'm a mix of the two. Really, a technical marvel. I make rapid and sudden changes, like one day I smoke and then poof, the next I am an ardent and augmentative non-smoker. Poof.

Other change I like to spring on myself. Creaking and muffled. One day I didn't want kids. Many years later I had morphed myself into a Human Being (the force of will was almost unimaginable, but bear with me here) and now two tiny human beings cling to me with like barnacles on a boat. As a matter of fact, one is propped on my hip poking at the screen.

*I will return to this later as the poking has become rather violent. I henceforth blame all unnoticed spelling errors on Sophie.*

Change is good.

Right?

I'm feeling the pangs of difficult decisions looming. On one hand/on the other hand plays out continuously, the refrain looping endlessly.

Maybe one of the changes in myself is to trust myself. Before (before what, I don't know, but basically before I felt like I do now) I didn't trust my instincts, my intuitions. I've learned, mostly the hard way, that those two things are the biggest barometers I have.

Change.

Coming.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do-over


It's rare that I find television that I enjoy. Perhaps that explains my fixation with reality shows; no expectations, no disappointments. My tastes run to the sexy visual eye candy shows like Gossip Girl and Entourage, or the too smart for their own good 30 Rock, Arrested Development, and The Office.

It is unfortunate, but I tend to avoid Canadian productions. I find the accent annoying, that eastern brogue grates on my ears, and the feeble attempts to make dramas irritate. However, the tides are changing. A cross between glitzy American drama and razor sharp smart British productions, Being Erica has completely won me over. (*be warned - if you click on the link music will start playing and if you are like me and your volume is turned up really loud and you don't know it yet it can be quite shocking)

The show is all about over-educated but unsuccessful Erica, a pretty woman who at 32 is single and not happy with that status. The single part, not the pretty part. Erica feels she has bungled nearly every decision she ever made, leading her to a mediocre (at best) life.

The chance to "do over" these moments is offered and Erica, well, she doesn't jump, but she does agree. The first episode takes her back to high school and it's a gooder, with a dance and booze and a make out session with her high school love. It was awesome! The soundtrack, the clothes, the lingo - it all worked.

I'm excited! Good TV! Good Canadian TV.

I'm also intrigued by the do over. Who wouldn't want it? Major events, like the time I started dating this total dud in grade nine, to the heartbreak of a good friend who I knew liked him. I still feel bad. The time I spoke in a meeting, just to speak, only to say totally the wrong thing. Every day brings with it a new opportunity for a do-over in my world.

I should make a list. Top five do-overs. This could be a whole subject for Nick Hornby; he loves lists.

I love the whole idea, the concept that we could magically have a whole ream of do-overs. Would you have any do-overs, given the opportunity?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

If an unpublished author has an opinion....


Nathan Bransford (I called him Nathan once and my husband freaked out, wondering who this online persona was) wrote about queries. I have some strong and not necessarily well thought ideas on this, so I'll put them on here instead of on his blog.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that a query is a bit of an antique. You don't see artists peddling query letters to galleries; no, they send photos of their work. They don't paint a picture and then hope that the gallery likes the painted mock-up.

A query letter, to me, is to precarious. There shouldn't be so much weight put on the letter. It seems to me that first chapters would be much more useful, although of course I understand the agent's time is precious and so on.

But seriously, folks, there has got to be a better way to do this.

Here is my dual nature coming out in full force. I guess if I were to send in a resume it's that same type of hook; I'm trying really hard to get someone to want to call me for an interview based on a few lines on a piece of paper. Same dodgy process.

Although somehow it seems more fair in that context. One of the commenters on NB's blog suggested that he's a writer, not a salesperson and I thought that was whammo-slammo.

Maybe there is no answer. I wonder about shaking the whole system up. What that would entail, what it would (could) look like at the end. To expect that people write books, there is no real "true" set of rules that govern the process for publication, other than researching the rules that each agent/publisher has and gingerly trying to remain unoffensive yet compelling...arg.

Honestly, the system and processes seem whack to me. Of course, were I to be published tomorrow I'd be extolling their very virtues, so really my opinion isn't exactly scientific.

I think this is a tree falling in the forest type of post. Interesting to only me. Let's see. Do you have an opinion on this?

the Dark Side


The dark side of being unpublished novelist (I love the ring of that, unpublished novelist...kind of up there with out-of-work actor) is that I must wait tables, I mean edit, on the side.

It's not the editing that gets me down. Far from it, it actually gets me up because I see that people can do it. People write things (with a lot of mistakes) and get published. So in a way, it brings me up.

What kills me is that time doing things other than my own stuff. I haven't touched my manuscript for a few months now. It went through a few reads and has been in the clutches of my mother, a thorough critic with a hate-on for commas. I'm itching to get back to it. It calls my name in the night, those first few moments after I lie down and the sentences and fixes pour through my head until I forcibly disregard them.

I need a few days, maybe a couple of weeks of uninterrupted, pure editing/revision time. Along with a house where I can lay pages out and have them remain undisturbed as I sort and rearrange. Maybe I could rent a hotel room or something. Hmmm.

Me and my laptop, copious cups of coffee with that miracle product, fat free creamer from Safeway (I don't even want to know how they get it so creamy-delicious), a red pen (not ballpoint, the other kind) and my iPod (luxury!). No one sitting by my side, asking me to read them particular sentences or what colour starts with "o." To which I replied "octopus," which totally showed that I wasn't listening. Chagrined.

Maybe, as that jewelry designer on The Bachelor said the other night, I need to vision board it. If I build it....

(And what was up on The Bachelor the other night??? I mean what was UP?)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Me.


The day is done. That's a lie, no mother's day is ever done, is it? But the day is done. The part where I was all on my own.

Daycare was a breeze. Her little bottom lip curled up and she cried when I left but was over it quickly. Big sister was sweet, telling me that when Soph saw her in the hall and cried it upset her. "My eyes got wet, and I wanted the day to be finished," Stella explained and my heart felt all squishy with just how much I love them.

I put on Real Clothes and when I picked them up Soph stroked my skirt, wondering what had become of the requisite sweatpants.

A midday yoga class was pure heaven and made every interaction seamless. Meetings were fun although it takes me a while to get my groove back and have useful things to say.

Life is good.

Time for....


Today is the first day that I have guilt free child care. A whole six hours to myself. The little one went with the big one to daycare.

In anticipation of this momentous occasion I thought of every single thing I could possibly fit into this time, including work. Shopping, long leisurely lunch with a girlfriend, yoga, pedicure, brow correction, errands....the list was growing and growing.

I've gotten better at this over the years, this over-estimating how much time I have and piling more and more on until if the list were an image it would be one of those circus cars with the clowns piling out and out.

As I narrowed what I could accomplish down into reality I remain happy with the result. A few hours of uninterrupted work, a blissful yoga class, eyebrow taming, and one appointment for which pantyhose is a necessity. I'll try to make sure I don't wipe someone's mouth for them and stay focused on the task at hand, things that can be difficult for a mother who works alone in front of a computer.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Who are you?


When I took sociology classes in school we would often begin a semester by identifying how we identified ourselves. Not by name, but descriptions. If I had to do it today it would go something like this: woman, mother, wife, writer, friend. Of course, what a person says as well as the order is important. For instance, it would be noted that I defined myself by my gender. Many men wouldn't, while most women would. Second, why am I a mother before a writer? Seems perfectly obvious to me, but may be clear as mud to some.

I was thinking about this because Michelle Obama has declared that she will be a mom first upon entry to the White House: "My No. 1 job would still be a mom," she said (Leader Post, Tuesday January 6, 2009).

Interesting, how although she is an Ivy League educated lawyer, she still notes first and foremost that she is s mom. Of course she is filtering what she says in context of media and appearances, but I find it intriguing that this is her best option. Her husband probably doesn't list off his descriptions as father first, but then I'm just guessing.

I don't think the world would be a better place if women identified by their careers first, necessarily. I don't think that for most, what you do is the defining overall factor. On my deathbed I'm not sure that what brought me cheques is going to matter all that much (*although given my last ranting blog that may or may not be true). Again, I'm guessing here, but I hope that the things that bring me contentment will be the relationships - with children, husband, and friends.

But maybe, just maybe, the world would be a better place if all people who are parents identified that as an (the? most) important marker. Fathers declaring that yes, first, I am dad, second I am banker/baker/candlestickmaker. Maybe then childcare would be a priority; affordable and accessible and dare I say it, quality childcare, would be abundant and flexible parent-friendly workplaces the norm.

We're on the cusp of great things here, in terms of sorting out gender roles and responsibilities. We still have a lot of sifting through to do, a lot in terms of fairness and balance, but if we keep the dialogue open we will get there. And hopefully a woman like Michelle Obama can give us a leg up on just how we can do it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kanye West vs. money


I am such a loser.

I spend my time repeating mantras in my head. The dominant theme recently appears as a running dialogue, something akin to "I need to make some more money I really don't want to go on a budget god I love that new Kanye West song I need to make some more money I want new jeans Kanye West RULES I need moneymoneymoney" whilst whenever I go to yoga or focus, dammit the refrain is like "ah, just relax. Abundance is all around [moneyineedmoneymoneymoney] I am thankful for abundance I am grateful for ab[moneymoneymoney]bundance in my life I anticipate [moneymoney] the abundance that is yet to come.

Sense a reoccurring theme here?

Although definitely not as intriguing as the comma dilemma, I fear that my weak mind is just not strong enough to stave off the insanity of the recession or depression or whatever we want to call it. I do my best, immersing my tiny brain in reality TV and organizing the playroom but the pesky thing seems to have a mind of its own, beating me down.

Renovations, fun as they are, (*said with dripping sarcasm so much so that I just had to wipe off the keyboard), cost so much more than just the tears of pain cried when yet another contractor drops off the face of the planet to smoke crack. Let me be more clear, in case you missed that. He was smoking crack the whole time, it was only near the end that he decided to smoke it in such copious amounts that even I, the least cool person on the planet, became hip to his ways, and it was then that he dropped off the face of the planet but only after we gave him eight hundred dollars to do so.

It was at this point that I momentarily lost my ability to trust anyone, including him, which is funny because I had trusted this person immensely for weeks and weeks, functioning as his own personal Bank Machine, and it was only when he came with an obvious abscessed tooth that I showed wild signs of realizing that we had been Had. After I nearly accused him of stuffing his mouth full of cotton to mimic signs of tooth decay I, of course, regained my senses and gave him three hundred dollars. Thank-god I learned to trust again, I hold that moment close to my heart, because I am positive he didn't smoke it. Positive.

As my more powerful dumb side reads every miserable news article on the tanking economy and sees all the lunatics preaching Armageddon puff up their bony ribcages with righteous indignation and build more powerful websites for all the crackpots out there to peruse as they search for the plethora of supporters calling this the end of the world, reason and hope persist, weakly, but persist they do. "Breathe...what will be will be," and up speaks fear, "um, yeah, and what will be will be you, living in your crawlspace wishing you didn't just yank out the wood burning fireplace. Best get some bottled water, missy, for the end of the world as we know it is nigh."

Yikes.

I had best ensure that copious yoga ensues so that fragile brain stays intact.