Thursday, May 31, 2012

40 things at 40

Today is my 40th birthday. I know 40 is when people start panicking about all of the things they should have accomplished by this point in their lives but honestly I'm so involved in the day to day 'doing' that I haven't started to obsess about the lack of 'done'. Maybe it's denial? It doesn't help that in my head I'm still a wide-eyed child, trying to navigate this big world.

In honour of 40, I'm going to navel gaze and offer up 40 things about me at 40.

1. When my mother was my age she was already a grandmother. I don't even want to think about what that means.

2. I hate surprise parties, I think that each human should have no more than 1 in their lifetime. We have friends who throw each other surprise birthday parties every year. Now the surprise will be when they stop.

3. I'm the absolute definition of an introvert, when I get tired or stressed or overwhelmed I need to be alone. I can see that very same trait in two of my three kids.

4. I love Brussels sprouts, steamed with butter, yes please!

5. I am simultaneously smarter and more naive than you think.

6. I'm messy.

7. I am incredibly sarcastic. Age has taught me to be cautious because a whole lot of people don't understand sarcasm.

8. I think I'm funny. I've been blessed/cursed with a familial dry wit, which makes for hysterical family gatherings, but which is grossly under appreciated by the world at large....

9. Typos and spelling errors jump off the page at me. I try not to be a douche about it, but they drive me mental, especially when they are published by a 'reputable business' (Ottawa Sun I'm looking at you).

10. I hate wearing socks. Shoes are only moderately tolerable.

11. I have a ridiculous amount of my brain cells dedicated to song lyrics. I only have to hear a song once or twice to commit most or all of it to memory. There are thousands and thousands of songs floating around in there.

12. I consider myself both artsy and crafty. I don't see any reason why I can't enjoy both.

13. I love kitsch and tchotchkes. I fear that someday I'll be featured on an episode of Hoarders.

14. I’m hugely proud to be Canadian and unabashedly a monarchist.

15. I hate shopping for clothing and shoes, and have no interest in designer handbags.

16. I feel a deep pull to live near the ocean. I make do with rivers and lakes, but the ocean is always calling.

17. I've been hearing impaired since I was a young child. I'm reluctant to tell people because so often it changes the way they treat me. I don't need you to yell at me or over-enunciate your words. Just face me and don't cover your mouth with your hand. I'll do the rest.

18. I'm a Trekkie. I've even been to a convention.

19. In the 7th grade I had to present a song to my class - play a recording, hand out a lyric sheet and explain what it meant. I chose "Bohemian Rhapsody". I wonder what poor Mrs Stewart was thinking while I cheerfully dissected "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me"?

20. I swear like a sailor. In my defence, I come from a long line of prolific cussers.

21. I dislike television. I can't tolerate any show that subjects any of the characters (or contestants) to any amount of embarrassment or ridicule, no matter how seemingly minor. It is physically painful for me to watch. That means I'm pretty much limited to documentaries and live sports (and even that can be iffy).

22. I love hockey! I love the swish of the blades on the ice, the crash of bodies into the board, the earnest commentators and bizarre stats keeping. I love it live, I love it televised, I love it on static-y AM radio.

23. I listen to a LOT of radio.

24. I used to sing. I miss that part of my life, but I don't think I can get past the mental block that made me stop. Not yet anyway.

25. I wish I was a better mom.

26. I think my kids are the most amazing people on the planet.

27. I get carsick really easily.

28. I love Christmas. Easter, Hallowe'en, Valentine's day, I can take or leave any of those, but Christmas is special. If I had my way I'd put the tree up in October and not take it down until March. Fortunately the other people in my house are not on board with that idea.

29. I don't eat chocolate, but there isn't much that I wouldn't do for a potato chip.

30. I'm a night owl. 20 years of trying to train myself to be a morning person have been utterly unsuccessful.

31. When I was 10 years old my greatest wish was to perform on stage with Michael Jackson. Let that roll around in your head a moment. That's just scary on many levels.

32. I'm a complete sucker for sunsets.

33. I love photography. I've been enamoured with cameras and film (and later developing and photoshop) since I was 4 years old.

34. I spent part of many summers at a camp for the arts near Haliburton. I count those times among my fondest memories, surrounded by creative people who shared my passion.

35. I'm a doodler. I have a pen in my hand at every meeting and during every phone call. The margins of every notebook I own are filled with geometric shapes and tiny people.

36. I cry really easily. Movies. The theatre. Commercials. Remembering commercials. Blogging about remembering commercials.

37. I dream of climbing into the car, me, the man, the bits, and heading out on a real old fashioned road trip. I think what stops me is the knowledge that it wouldn't be anything like my dreams, that it would be filled with bickering kids, bad diner food and camping in the rain. But still, it's there, and some day I might be crazy enough to try it.

38. I'm painfully shy.

39. I spent half of grade school and all of high school in a class for gifted children. I know, I can only think that I made quite a few really lucky guesses on that IQ test.

40. I'm grateful to have won the birth lottery, to have been born into comfort (if not wealth), into a free and safe society, into a loving and crazy family, to be surrounded by friends, an amazing husband, wonderful children, to have a nice home and a good job, a full pantry, a full belly, a full heart.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A quiet evening at the fair

The Gloucester Fair came to town. I bought passes for the kids a month and a half ago (a group*n, buy one get one free). We didn't tell them, preferring to surprise them (which almost backfired, sigh, but in the end it was fine).

The day started in typical fashion, with Katie clamouring for the bit kid rides and Jonah happy on the little kids rides, but less than an hour into the trip Jonah began to hint that he might be willing to give a couple of the tamer big kid rides a try. And it was remarkable, each one he tried built his confidence more and he ended up riding all but three (the three that flip upside down, I can't say I blame him on that!)

This was Jonah's favourite ride at the Gloucester Fair. Before one ride, he was strapped in and waiting to start and I was standing on the other side of the fence and he said to me loudly (because Jonah only has one volume level) "Mama you should ride this, it makes you feel like you're hammered', and all of the blood drained from my face and I envisioned visits from CAS, then he continued "like when it spins and I hammer into the person next to me!". Shit my kid says...

For whatever reason, opening day was absolutely dead, the kids never once stood in line to get on the rides and more often than not they were the only people on the ride. For a crowd-hating person like me it was fantastic! It was sunny and warm but not too hot, the absolute perfect day for a spring fair, and yet no one showed up. I'm going to call that a little gift just for me :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Tulips in my garden.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Alone vs lonely

C and I were discussing the difference between alone and lonely. I was often alone as a child, but I never remember being lonely. Here in my cookie cutter cube, in a nondescript building in a dishwater dull complex of nondescript buildings occupied by tens of thousands of workers... Here I feel lonely.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Playing with a new kitchen toy!

Making our first batch of castoreum-free ice cream :)