Monthly Archives: December 2011

Really the Last Post for 2011. Seriously.

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Okay, so I already did a year-end wrap-up edition. This one is the ribbon and the bow, then, I suppose.

This year, I started out new again, on my own. It’s been surprisingly UN-lonely, as I’ve had a lot of social opportunities as a single person that I would not have had as part of a couple. I miss that relationship, don’t get me wrong, I’m sad that it ended, and occasionally I wonder if I did the right thing in ending it, but the personal growth and self-esteem have been worth the heartache. I’m the Bear Who Putters Alone, and I needed to learn that about myself.

This year, I’ve started taking my health seriously, and a daily workout has become such a part of my routine that I start feeling weird and anxious if I skip a day or two. As a result, this year I have been on no antidepressants whatsoever, unless endorphins are an antidepressant. Oh wait. They are. So, this year, I’ve been making my own antidepressants, and like everything else that’s good, homemade is better.

This year, I’ve been thinking more about society, and equality, and social justice, and have been much more vocal about the rights of people who have no voices. Thanks Jack. “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair,” a homegrown, heartfelt sentiment that can only be good for everyone.

This year marked the ends of Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong-Il, who have joined the ranks of fellow larger-than-life supervillains Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Adolph Hitler in death. I seriously worry about the state of the world, and more particularly the shoot-’em-up cowboy mentality of our neighbours to the south. Maybe the whole world isn’t just like you. Maybe they are wrong. But just maybe you are wrong, and the American Way ISN’T the best way. Agree to disagree. Yes, we need to keep an eye on human rights, worldwide, and the UN is on that. But just as I think hockey doesn’t need goons, nor does Planet Earth need them.

This year, my boys turned into men. This is the last full year in which I’ll have a child at home. I’m proud that both have chosen careers in social services, rather than opting for high-paying power paths. They’re smart kids, they could have pursued any path they wanted (well, except possibly the ballet), but they chose to try to make the world a better place and to speak for the voiceless. I love those guys.

So, this is REALLY the last post for 2011. Seriously. Well, unless I think of something else. Another year of change, growth, and necessary reinvention.

Namaste, kids. Love to everyone, and I hope 2012 brings you untold blessings.

Happy Birthday to Muh Dad.

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Today my Dad turned seventy. He is a youngish Dad, for a woman of my interesting years. He still lives in the house we grew up in, in Bracebridge, rattling around with just his two cats for company.

I drove up (and it was a batshit crazy drive on those roads) to take him out for lunch. Moose and I started out about 9:30, and for some reason, a Peterborough OPP cruiser tailgated me all the way from Fowler’s Corners to out past Manilla, across three counties. I felt like I was on the lam, although I don’t know what I was on the lam from (or, from what I was on the lam, more correctly, I suppose). Was he waiting for me to do something, or do they just think it’s fun to freak people out when the roads are bad? Or was it the red car? I’ve heard the cops have a thing about red cars. Jesus, sue me, it was the same price as the grey one so I let the kids pick. They were 8 and 10 at the time, so the red one made them hot. I blame testosterone.

Funny, there’s a pharmacist in town here who makes me feel the same way, like I’m trying to do something illegal when I’m filling a prescription. I finally confronted him about it, and he swore up and down that I was a good customer and he NEVER had any doubts about my the validity of my prescriptions. Ri-iii-iiight. I don’t go there anymore, he made me feel really weird, when I hadn’t done anything wrong.

Anyway, I digress. There are only two restaurants that Dad will go to, and Number One Son took him to Swiss Chalet earlier in the week, so we wound up at the New Haven. I love the New Haven. Aside from the fact that I don’t think the Seto family owns it anymore, nothing has changed. It’s like skipping fourth period and going for eggrolls. Same carved wall mural, same weird flagstones in the entrance, same cheesy red lanterns.

I like the placemats too. I am a Rabbit, Dad is a Snake, and Moose is a Dog. Apparently I’m talented, vain and fussy. Umm…yeah. Okay…

So many businesses have changed in Bracebridge. Campbell’s Yard Goods is a vacant lot with kayaks in it. I remember going in with my mum a million times and playing with the stuffed Humpty Dumpty while she poked around. Only the New Haven is the same!

So, you can’t go home again? Wait, yeah, you can. You can go home and take your old man out for lunch at the New Haven.

And it’s good.

Happy Birthday Dad. Namaste.

Turkey Enchilada Day

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Today is the day Thing Two looks forward to, more than Christmas, more than his birthday, more than the last day of school.

It’s – Turkey Enchilada Day!

Everyone has favourite things to do with leftover Burd. Hot turkey sandwiches, soup, turkey a la king. At our house, it’s enchiladas.

We are remarkably un-Mexican. I know very little about Mexico, most of which I learned from Speedy Gonzales and the Frito Bandito, so I think the authenticity of my version of the food is probably pretty bogus, honestly. I got the recipe out of the newspaper, years ago, from someone’s article on the subject of what to do with the leftovers from Christmas.

They’re pretty easy to make, although fussy to roll up, and a bit messy. They freeze easily, and finding a frozen enchilada in the back of the freezer is better than finding a $20 in your coat pocket from last winter.

I’ve tried making them from chicken, or beef, at other times of year. It’s not the same, and it’s not worth the trouble. The only thing that makes them so magical is leftover turkey. I’ve even tried buying a turkey breast and making them from that, but it’s just not the same.

The only way to make a perfect turkey enchilada is to pick the bits off the carcass with your fingers and go to town. Wear something old, and follow Ms. Frizzle’s advice – Get Messy!

OH, PS, here’s the recipe:

enchiladas

No regrets.

Christmas Eve

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So, it’s Christmas Eve. I’m home, with my boys, almost-eighteen and almost-twenty. No one believes in Santa anymore, the pressure is off. No more is-it-Christmas-yet every five minutes, no more present-hiding logistics, no more rang-y little sugar monsters.It’s a little sad, that the magic’s gone. I always like making Santa magical. I liked gnawing on carrots like a reindeer. I liked making baking-soda “magic unmelting snow” bootprints across the rug. I liked changing the paper and handwriting on the Santa presents, and individually wrapping everything in the stockings to make them last longer. I liked a great big annoying, needle-dropping, piney tree. I liked milk and cookies, and special sparkle dust that turns black if you’ve been bad (it never did). I even liked pulling festive tinsel out of the cat’s ass.

Tonight, we have a little tree, artificial, but it’s lit and it’s pretty. The boys have somehow, magically, turned into men. They’re beautiful men, wonderful, shining young men who both want to do meaningful work to help change the world. They love each other deeply, despite how very different they are. They are best friends, confessors, and defenders of each other, and of me.

We share wine, and confidences, buoy each other up and laugh and love each other.

I feel about six, I think. I’m still the first one up on Christmas day, still sneaking out to look at the tree, to see if Santa really came. Mostly I’m sneaking out to make sure everything is just so, and to make sure that my little family is really, really here.

Despite some financial challenges, everything has turned out beautifully. All is calm, all is bright. We went out to Primitive Designs today, and almost-twenty was seriously considering purchasing something that I already bought him weeks ago, so I know he will love it.

We’ll have a late-ish supper, light, because we’ve snacked on little Christmassy tid-bits all day. We’ll have a glass of wine, and probably turn in fairly early.

My life is good.

Dance Me To the End of Time

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Everyone has a secret wish. But, not everyone spills their guts on a blog.

So, know what?

I really really wish I could dance.

I mean DANCE, muthahs. I mean Karen Kain, Billy Elliot, Fred and Ginger DANCE.

I can do the Lindsay shuffle. I’m really self-conscious about dancing, because I’m remarkably uncoordinated and a bit like Big Bird, so I generally have to have a lot of liquor in me.

Back in the community theatre days, I was in the back line of the chorus. Not because of my voice – I have a terrific voice. It was the dancing, the terrible, terrible, two-left-feet.

I can slow dance, mostly because it’s just vertical sex with clothes on. I can slam dance, because it’s mostly just jumping up and down and screaming. But I can’t really dance, expressively and beautifully.

Part of it’s just genetics. I’m not a tiny, boobless, superfit ballerina type. I don’t think I’d be very liftable, frankly. I also come from a long and distinguished line of gorky dancers. We don’t dance, don’t ask us. If you really want us to, you need to buy us a couple of drinks first.

I was at a Christmas dance last week, and apparently did have enough liquor in me (or so I was told the next day). I danced and danced. I danced so much, my knees seized up the next day. I danced with everyone, including buddy Lois, the best little dancer you ever SAW.

But even through all the liquor, I still kinda felt like an ostrich.

I’d love to take ballroom dancing lessons, but I don’t think it’s a good way to meet single hetero guys.

And so, given the choice, I usually do dance. I should sit on the sidelines, but I don’t. Whatcha gonna do, call the Boogie Police?

Do Be Do

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I am NOT going to let Google make me stop blogging! I have lots more to say, and I’m going to say it. I thought that I had maybe two or three posts, tops, in me, but I’ve been going for almost a year now, and over 100 posts.

I do it for me, because it’s healthy, but it feeds off you. People say they relate to what I say, or it comforts them to know that someone else feels the same way they do. There’s a benefit to this, and it’s not just for me.

So, here’s what I believe. Never give up. Never settle for something that isn’t right for you. Vote. Laugh every day. If you love someone, tell them. Think before you speak. If you have a choice between being nice or not, be nice. Be generous with praise, but don’t be afraid to call out people/companies that need to be called out. Create stuff.

I’m not particularly brilliant at many things, but I am what I am, and I do what pleases me. And I think that when you do things that please you and feed your best self, you please those around you as well.

So, my friends, have a wonderful Christmas.

And Google?

F**K you.

Namaste.

A Flea on Google’s Balls

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I need to figure out what I’m supposed to be learning about this situation.

See, I’m broke.  Broke as a joke.  Brokey McBrokeypants.  Impecunious.

This isn’t an attempt to solicit donations.  Once some things get sorted around, my fortunes will rise again.  But why does it all have to happen at once?  Here’s what I mean lately:  Public Sector Employee Wage Freeze meant no raise for the second year running.  Ex-husband has been on strike, so no child support for three months.  My mileage claim for November from work has mysteriously disappeared into the ether.  And Google Adsense – well, they can just suck it.  I’ll never try THAT again.

I still don’t get what the hell happened there, or what they think I did, but it’s hard to defend your actions when they refuse to tell you what those actions allegedly were.  Totally Big Brother.  I thought to myself, “I should take this further, I should fight this”.  Yeah.  Sure.  Middle-aged Canadian nobody takes on CorpZILLA  Not gonna happen.  Erin Brockovitch I ain’t.

I’m not very good with conflict. My one foray into the world of whistle-blowiing was so traumatic that I still lose sleep over it, and it was almost ten years ago now.  Yes, it was the right thing to do.  Would I do it again?  Possibly not.  I’d like to say “of course I would”, but honestly, I was ten years younger then.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to learn from all this. Maybe it’s just a reminder lesson.  “Don’t trust big corporations” – check.  “Don’t trust the government” – check.  “Make sure you put something aside for a rainy day” – wait…well, I did, but it wasn’t enough.  “He’s your EX-husband for a reason” – check.

Muldar says – Trust No One.