Monday, December 31, 2012

Like, totally yummy

This week's Monday Listicle prompts were so awesome that I couldn't choose just one. Kate at Another Bottle of Whine submitted three suggestions for the group: 10 things totally 80s, 10 crushes or 10 tweets. Since I'm new to Twitter, I decided to split my list between the first two. At first I was going to alternate, but it hurt my brain to flip between my very adult crushes and the stuff I liked when I was 10 years old, so I had to do them separately.

1) Bike shorts
The recent '80s revival has been vastly entertaining to me in the area of fashion. You'd think the current generation of tweens and teens would have learned from our mistakes, but apparently not. Did this kind of fiasco really need to be repeated?
This is NOT me. This is some unfortunate model, where I got this picture from.

 Removing the neon does not improve the situation:
Unless you are an Olympic athlete and forced into such a get-up in pursuit of a gold medal, don't go there. It doesn't matter whether you're 10 or 40. Just say no.
2) New Kids On The Block
Every generation thinks their boy band is the only legitimate phenomenon. The other ones are just ridiculous pretenders. 'N Sync? The Monkees? Puh-leeze. It's all about New Kids On The Block. More specifically, Donnie Wahlberg. I've always had a self-destructive attraction to the naughty ones...fortunately for my mental health I made an exception for my husband.

3) Gimp bracelets
The summer before Grade Five I became a gimp bracelet ninja. Armed with as much plastic lace as my meager allowance would buy, I produced such works of art that I was able to sell them for large chunks of other people's allowances.
The gravy train came to its end when in a moment of breathtaking stupidity, I began selling not only the product itself, but lessons on how to make the product. I didn't realize what I had done until I was sitting at recess with over 30 units of unsold inventory, watching my former customers make their own gimp bracelets. D'oh! 
4) Nintendo Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros.
I didn't have a TV growing up, since my parents believed they stifled creative minds. Also, that they (TVs, not my parents) were tools of Satan. In desperation, I would arrive at my friends' houses at 8AM on Saturday, begging to watch The Smurfs with them and eat Lucky Charms cereal, since sugar was also forbidden at my house. In the afternoon we would settle in for a long session with the first video game superstar:
5) Tiffany 
The queen of mall pop has been thoroughly mocked over the years, but her songs were wicked catchy and I still love blasting them on a summer drive down the highway.

Now for the adult stuff, my top five crushes. Might want to get a fan.
1) Jake Ryan (aka Michael Schoeffling)
Oops, couldn't let the '80s go quite that fast. One of the few '80s hunks who stands up to the test of time, Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles was sweet, sizzling hot and implausibly fascinated by Little Miss Average (aka Molly Ringwald aka me). Ah, fantasies.

2-5) Christian Grey
Being a Type A+ control freak who is frequently exhausted and overwhelmed by trying to keep everything and everyone in my little world on track, I find the thought of a man who would take charge and let me rest so alluring that I haven't put down the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy since I first read it in August. Also, the sex is unbelievably hot. Like, best-not-to-read-in-public hot.

The books are being made into movies and the following four gentleman would be very, very nice as Christian Grey.

My number one pick: Ian Somerhalder
My number two pick: Matt Bomer (just cuz he's gay doesn't mean we can't look too!)
Also acceptable: Ryan Guzman

And I wouldn't rip up my movie ticket if Colin Egglesfield were involved:

What do you mean I have a "type"?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's raining lobsters

Lobsters galore! Angela Ryan at Not Appropriate for All Audiences gave me my first Liebster award two months ago, and it really lifted my spirits as I worked on rebuilding my blog. Since then two more Liebsters have come my way: one from Chris Coyle at Hye Thyme Cafe and one from Natalie Blair at 23Seventeen. Thanks ladies! I love presents.

Here's my original Liebster award acceptance post. There are more people I'd like to nominate, but since I prefer reading smaller blogs (they tend to be more interesting), that would end up being my entire blog roll of more than 100 awesome bloggers. So instead I'll just point you to the bottom of the page, where I have a revolving list of the ten most recent posts from blogs I follow. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Clean all the things!

Adding a second child to our family has resulted in exponential growth of the Laundry Monster, to the point that I fear it will never be vanquished. I remember watching 48 Hour Mystery recently and the police sergeant questioning the mother's innocence in the murder of her family, because the house was messy. As the police video slowly panned across piles of laundry in a bedroom, a narrator commented solemnly, "As you can see, the mother didn't seem to really care about her family."

It had never occurred to me that someone would think homicidal tendencies and an aversion to domestic drudgery went hand in hand. One more reason to try harder to find my inner housewife? Well, no. I only have so much emotional and physical energy to give, and I regularly choose to spend it actually holding my baby or dancing with my little girl, rather than cleaning the house. If you think that's being a bad mother, fuck you. No one ever got up at their mother's funeral and talked about how immaculate her house was. via Diane Fry

And because I'm in a pissy mood, I'm now going to indulge myself in a mini rant that's been irritating me for quite some time. Feel free to skip down two paragraphs if you don't want to hear it. It's that term: "family-friendly," which when defined, appears to exclude me. What the FUCK? I'm very friendly and I have a husband and two babies I love very much. What about that makes the mommy-nazis squirm in their bloomers?'s the swearing. Or the willingness to talk openly about uncomfortable things, which apparently includes sex (how the fuck did these ladies get their babies? Because getting mine involved a penis and a vagina). Presumably my blog is read by adults, so I see no need to keep things G-rated. I don't expect everyone to be comfortable with that. I do expect them not to define their discomfort in terms that suggest I'm not fit to be around a family. FUCK THAT SHIT. Just say "no swearing or nudity, please" and leave it at that. I am capable of restraining myself.

Anyway. Lately the house has been more out of control than even I can handle, and my stress level has been ratcheting up nicely as a result. When I look around the room, my eye snags on every single thing that isn't in the right place and immediately begins running through the entire history of that item since I purchased it:

That dressy cardigan shouldn't be in the living room. Well, when I bought it six years ago I used to keep it in the front hall closet, so I wouldn't forget to take it to work when the air conditioning was too high. Sometimes it didn't quite make it into the closet and I would just leave it on the living room couch. But since I got promoted three years ago I don't wear cardigans at work anymore, so it shouldn't be in the living room. It should be in the closet upstairs. But in which row of the closet? It doesn't belong with my work clothes anymore. But it's really dressy. It doesn't fit with my casual clothes. Hmm. Maybe I should get rid of it. No! It's a perfectly good dressy black cardigan and who knows when I might be at a semi-business casual event where a jacket looks too stuffy, but my regular sleeveless blouse will be just a little too casual, and I'll think, 'If only I had a dressy black cardigan.' It's kind of wrinkled from lying there though. I should wash it. So then it should go in the laundry, not the closet. OMG I am so tired of thinking about this fucking cardigan!

You can see how this kind of internal dialogue about every item that is not in precisely the right place could get exhausting. Generally by the second item I've given up and decided to watch The Office (if kids are awake) or Dexter (if kids are asleep). As I was moping around thinking about how I didn't want to make New Year's resolutions (see Vince Vaughn below for why), I realized that some of the mess stress could be permanently alleviated by doing a decluttering blitz.

I started with my Facebook friends list (which is a whole other post) and that felt so good that I'm on a roll. Basically anything I don't absolutely love (and have some hope of fitting into again) is going to Goodwill or the dump. So my weekend plans are set. I'm going to declutter and I'm so excited I feel euphoric.

Wish me luck. Maybe I'll take pictures.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"Families are like fudge...

...mostly sweet, with a few nuts" (author unknown). As the holiday family fiascos continue, I thought you might enjoy a few delicacies from my nut collection.

My uncle Larry is in his late 50's but has never given up the dream that he will somehow find a way to get rich quickly, or at least avoid paying taxes. When I became a chartered accountant, he began lurking around me at family gatherings under the delusion that I was (1) so weighed down with a huge salary that I must be looking for somewhere to invest it, and (2) an insider at Canada Revenue Agency who might reveal the holy grail of tax evasion if properly handled.

I tried to explain that staff accountants at my Big Four accounting firm had more in common with slaves or prostitutes than Donald Trump, but my protests were regarded as feeble attempts to keep the hidden treasure for myself. After listening to a lengthy scheme that sounded at best subject to future litigation by the tax authorities, and at worst likely to result in prison and the permanent removal of my designation, I told Uncle Larry that I was quite conservative with my nonexistent investments and wouldn't be able to participate. He looked at me reproachfully. "So you don't want to take my advice," he sulked. "Is it because I'm a FedEx driver?" Well, it certainly didn't help.

My mother is the ultimate delicacy in that side of the family's nut collection. It's hard to explain her brand of lunacy to strangers, other than to say she simply has no grasp of societal norms. She has a code of behaviour that she takes very seriously; it just doesn't line up with everyone else's. She will buy me a birthday cake...but it's her favourite flavour (which I hate). When my father suggested I take home the leftover pieces, my mother reacted as if he had offered to turn over the keys to their car. "Don't be ridiculous!" she snapped. "They can't have it! It's mine." Being around her for any length of time is like stumbling into a Seinfeld episode, but without the laugh track.

Then there's me. At a memorable dinner with Jay's family, his step-mother was in her usual nasty mood that no one ever confronted. Unfortunately for her I had just written a university final I was pretty sure I'd failed, and my period had made an unexpected and embarrassing appearance right before dinner. Since I had been biting my tongue for years around Evil Step-Mother out of respect for Jay, she had no idea just how nasty my own mood could get.

When Evil Step-Mother insinuated while passing the dinner rolls that Jay and I had had sex in her bed, because what else could you expect from a slut like me, my infamous temper finally rose to the occasion. Slamming my utensils down a la Teresa Guidice, I shoved the table back and lunged to my feet as the rest of the family gasped. "That is IT!" I roared at Evil Step-Mother, shaking my finger in her astonished face. "You are a lying bitch and I do not have to take another second of your SHIT!" I turned on Jay, who sat frozen beside me, fork still in his hand. "Get up!" I yelled, channelling Kate Gosselin. "You're taking me home. NOW!"

I'm told I looked like this, but with less jewelry

Miraculously Jay married me anyway. Evil Step-Mother has been a perfect angel to me ever since the incident (although she did give me used golf balls for Christmas last year), and other nuts have taken my place in the family collection over the years. What can I say? I'm mostly sweet.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Festivus!

I want to laugh. I need to laugh. My mother has let me down again, and every post that comes to mind is tinged by the bitterness that rises to the surface every time I'm reminded of how much she doesn't love me. I don't have the energy or patience to talk about that right now (maybe ever - you're welcome), so instead I've compiled a medley of my go-to places that are absolutely guaranteed to make me laugh. Hope this helps with your holiday stress, and please share your funny places too. I'm always looking for new ones.

~Hyperbole and a Half. This is hands-down the funniest blog ever. Ever. The author, Allie Brosh, has a book deal that's on hold as she deals with severe depression, so she hasn't posted recently. While she's recovering, it's worth your time to go through her archives. There's a reason at least 58,000 people are wishing her well and patiently awaiting her return.

~Damn you I know many of these text mishaps are faked. I don't care. Here's one of my favourites: In my third year of university, I helped mark exams for one of my business school professors, and based on that experience I'm confident these are real. No need to make up test answer fails such as:

~Interview bloopers and other HR weirdness - just google it and get ready to laugh. Again, I'm quite sure most of these actually happened, because of my own interviewing experiences. People are so crazy you don't need to make it up.

~My own posts with the Seinfeld experiences label. Part of the reason I started blogging was because people told me I should start writing down all the ridiculous shit that happened to me for posterity. I don't know how this stuff happens to me, but it does.                                         

The only person I know who seems to stumble into the same kinds of unfortunate situations is Melynda at Craziness abounds. Oh, and my sister, who recently got stuck in the subway doors on the TTC for a good two minutes, holding up the train from leaving, before managing to wriggle loose and crash spectacularly to the floor in front of a car of unimpressed onlookers. Maybe it's genetic.

~Trailer Park Boys. A true classic. Here's Ricky and Julian stealing meat while Bubbles accidentally serenades them:

Finally in honour of the holiday season, I wish you all a Happy Festivus!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I've always considered myself to be quite empathetic and therefore non-judgmental of other people's choices. That's not to say I won't make fun of you for watching The Bachelor or for wearing crocs, but I'm just kidding around. As long as what you're doing involves consenting adults and doesn't spread violence or hate, we're all good.

So it came as a surprise as I was wandering around Pinterest this weekend to realize a slow, steady pulse of fury was building through my veins. Over and over I saw pins with the same, earnest refrain: God's answers are wiser than our prayers. What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.  Faith in God includes faith in his timing. God is in control.

For the first time since my conversion to atheism, I felt angry with Christians rather than their beliefs. When exactly is the right time for your child to be gunned down? When does that dead baby become a blessing? It disgusted me that people would respond to a tragedy with words that seemed at best insensitive, and at worst cruel in their passivity. Where believers saw faith, I saw blind resignation and an insulting attempt to minimize someone else's life-shattering tragedy.

After closing my Pinterest screen, I didn't want to see or read anything more about Newtown, but as the weekend wore on I found I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wanted so badly to find a way to support the grieving families, but what could anyone say or do that would ease their pain? It felt disrespectful to pretend it hadn't happened, and I realized I wanted to know the names of the victims and their stories, because the least we could do for their families was listen to them speak about their lost little one.

As I cried through the articles and videos, I came across a statement by Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old daughter Emilie died in the shooting. In the midst of his emotional description of his daughter's talents and bright smile were these words: “I don’t know how to get through something like this...We find strength in our religion and in our faith and in our family.”

With that, I stopped judging. God may not exist for me, but in this moment I am so thankful he does for one grieving father.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, 6. Caroline Previdi, 6. Jessica Rekos, 6. Emilie Alice Parker, 6. Noah Pozner, 6.

Jesse Lewis, 6. Olivia Rose Engel, 6. Josephine Gay, 7. Charlotte Bacon, 6. Chase Kowalski, 7. 

Daniel Bardon, 7. Jack Pinto, 6. Catherine V. Hubbard, 6. Dylan Hockley, 6. Benjamin Wheeler, 6.

Grace McDonnell, 7. James Mattioli, 6. Avielle Richman, 6. Rachel Davino, 29. Anne Marie Murphy, 52.

Lauren Rousseau, 30. Mary Scherlach, 56. Victoria Soto, 27. Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47. Nancy J. Lanza, 52.
Madeleine Hsu, 6.

Allison Wyatt, 6.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Mood music

Music is one of my favourite things to post about, so this week's Monday Listicle will have some overlap from past posts (especially The Music in Me). Hope you don't mind. I chose to do a take on 10 songs I love, as suggested by Stephanie at Mommy, For Real.

This is what I listen to when my mood ring says:

1) Joyful. Here's "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven in one of my favourite movies, Dead Poets Society.

2) Grieving. I've cried so many times in the raw howl of this song, finding healing in the release. It's "Soma" by The Smashing Pumpkins.

3) Loving. I'm an unabashed romantic and where others roll their eyes and snicker at "sappy drama," I'm on the edge of my seat, enraptured by the passion. "I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You" by Tina Arena and Marc Anthony was the backdrop for Jay's and my first dance at our wedding:

4) Rage. I swear when I'm pissed off (and excited, startled, happy, sad...fuck it, all the time). Don't click if that's a problem for you: "Break Stuff" by Limp Bizkit.

5) Playful. This song is pure happy times to me. The whole world feels bright while I'm dancing a jig to "Home For A Rest" by Spirit of the West.
6) Suicidal. I haven't been here for a long time, but this song and the faith I had then kept me alive until my husband and children could save me. Here's "Elle G." by Newsboys:

7) Sexy. When this song came out in 2001, I looked a lot like Ms. Spears, minus the blonde hair. Sometimes I miss that body so much I want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. When I hear "I'm a Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears now, I go to a happy place in my mind, where I felt hot for a few brief, perfect years.

8) Wistful. This was the hardest revelation I've ever had to face. It's "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.

9) Powerful. On my way to my professional accountancy exam every morning (it was three days long), I would listen to this song to remind myself that I was smart and strong. I fought my way up this far and I wasn't going to lose my chance now, no matter how scared I was. Here's "Lose Yourself" by Eminem:

10) Philosophical. This is the song I'd like to have played at my funeral; it's who I am. It's "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve Pipe.

One last note:
I'm not silent on this tragedy out of indifference, but rather such a storm of emotion that I can't process it enough to write about it at this moment. The grief, shock and helplessness in the face of such evil and pain are too fresh. I will only say that these names are burned in my heart, and more than anything I wish there was some way to unravel time and make these names peacefully unknown again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where no needle should go

It appears I have successfully gotten off the merry-go-round - hurray! However. My stupid IUD is not just out of position: it has embedded itself in my uterus. Dr. Google tells me this situation is usually managed with tools such as "forceps or an IUD hook," and "an injection of lidocaine into the cervix".
The Scream by Edvard Munch
I'm trying to be mature and thankful that this is unlikely to become a serious health problem like so many people have to deal with. But my inner wuss keeps shrieking in the background: You want to put a needle WHERE??  This is what I get for my not-so-secret joy at having scheduled c-sections and avoiding the entire labour business. Just when I thought I'd permanently escaped torture of the lady bits, the needle in the vagina rears its pointy head.
OMG, I'm scared.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to stick to your diet

I was so inspired by Sherilin at laughing my abs off's amazing weight loss that I want to try once again to revive my flatlining post-partum diet. In order to distract myself from actually eating, I've decided to join up with Stasha's Monday Listicles on food. The following list alternates between the most delicious and revolting foods I can think of. Yum!

1) Steak
A perfectly broiled juicy steak is a mouthwatering way to celebrate a special occasion. Even better when it comes with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes on the side. Mmm, I can almost smell it now.
2) Spiders
 The other day I came across an article discussing the Thailand delicacy of deep-fried tarantulas served with coconut cream and lime juice. I was so traumatized I had to eat a whole carton of the next food on the list just to cleanse my mental palate.
3) Ice cream
The ultimate comfort food, like an orgasm for my tastebuds. So.good.

4) Goat head
A few weeks ago I was watching TLC's new show, Extreme Cheapskates, and saw some guy cook up a goat's head for dinner, which effectively put an end to my own dinner. That's one way to stick to my diet.

Sorry this is blurry. But really, isn't that for the best?
5) Caesar salad
The perfect starter to that gorgeous steak above? A crisp, garlicky caesar salad, topped with real bacon and reggiano cheese. Oooohhhh.

6) Onions
 I have a wholly undeserved reputation as a picky eater. It's not true. Unfortunately I have a violent, stomach-emptying reaction to something that amateur chefs everywhere like to use to destroy perfectly good meals. You can't just pick onions out of the food either. Like a rotten apple, once they've seeped into a dish it's ruined and nothing can be done but throw it out. Or grit your teeth while trying not to hurl all over your host's table, since regurgitating that carefully prepared dish would probably be ruder than not eating it in the first place.
Something that makes you cry while preparing it should give you a hint it wasn't meant to be eaten.
7) Garlic bread with cheese and bacon.
 Pretty much anything with cheese and bacon is a good thing.
8) Scallops
 Shortly after the crabmeat incident, I tried scallops. Since I was in public I couldn't express my true feelings. Let's just say I plan on sticking to shrimp and fish from now on.
Too bad it doesn't taste as good as it looks.
9) La Rocca's Truffle Royale cake
 The best dessert ever, except maybe my mom's Cardboard (like s'mores with custard), which she refuses to make more than once every few years.
10) Mold
One time I ate a piece of bread that the tag said was good for another two days. It looked fine on one side, but the other side...yark.
I had to end on something gross to keep my appetite down after looking at all this delicious food. In fact, I should print out the even numbers on this list and tape them to my fridge. Between the tarantula and the goat head I might never eat again.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Two years old, muthafucka

Geez, I almost missed my blogoversary! Since I just realized it today, I didn't get my blog a card or present or anything *red face*. Although technically Tesseract only started on September 30, because that's when I changed the name and address of the blog that's two years old today. Does that mean it's not my blogoversary? Hmm...I'm confused. I'm gonna say happy blogoversary to myself anyway.

Update: After I wrote this post, Maria at This Life's Beautiful Moments brought my attention to the funniest website I've seen in a long time. It's called Gizoogle and if you type in a website address (like your blog url) in the "Website Tranzizzle," it translates your blog or whatever into gangsta speak. I laughed until I cried, muthafuckas. So perfect for my blogoversary, I can't even tell you. Check that bitch out.

Goody two shoes

Well, that was a complete failure. Back when I had a larger blog, I used to think I'd like to start a blog hop but never actually did it. Now I'm starting over and thought the chance to co-host an established hop would be a good way to meet new people and gain some exposure. I was a little hesitant about the mandatory following, because I want people to join up because they're interested in what I write and want to have a conversation about it, not because them's the rules. But I figured people would follow, read a few posts and then decide whether they wanted to keep reading or not.

It was not to be. Of the 96 other people in the hop so far, about 20 people have signed up for my blog (thank you and I will be visiting shortly!). I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea. More like vodka: intense and may make you alternately giddy and nauseous. So I didn't expect all the hoppers to continue reading indefinitely. I did expect them to join and give me a chance to be all shiny and shit over the next week or so. Also because, um, that was the RULE. As in:

"Rules for the Weekend Blog Walk are simple:

1) Follow your Co-Hosts (1-4 on the Linky) via GFC, Feedburner, Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest. Please leave a comment if you are a new follower."

I've suspected for some time that I was in the minority with my rule-following ways. Standing in a long line at the grocery store checkout with my nine items, I've mournfully watched people stroll through the 1-8 item express checkout with their twelve items. I've tried to figure out how to open the public bathroom door without touching it, after seeing Miss Nasty saunter out of her stall and right past the sinks to the door with nary a second glance at me scrubbing my hands. I've struggled to hoist my nine months pregnant belly out of the car, dreading the long shuffle through the August heat to the store entrance, while glaring at the 50ish yoga pants-clad woman walking away from her car parked in the "Expectant mothers and parents with small children" spot right in front of the store. And on it goes.

I'm starting to feel like this guy, but cuter:

My mother used to tell me not to worry about things like this, because God would make everything fair in the end. Even at nine years old I was skeptical of this theory. As far as I can tell, people who take without giving just end up with more stuff. So I'm torn. Should I abandon all consideration for other people and societal norms and reap the obvious benefits? Or should I continue being a good girl and listen to my conscience?

That was a rhetorical question; I already know what you're going to say. After all, it's not fun if everyone starts breaking the rules, is it? Someone has to hold up the pyramid:

* * * * *

Thanks WeVerb12 for the prompt. Even though I didn't quite follow it:

Do you actively listen to your inner voice/conscience? Describe a time this year you heard and responded to it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekend blog walk

Yay! I'm guest hosting this week at one of my favourite hops, The Weekend Blog Walk. Here's the linky:

Spread the love - give a shout out with #WeekendBlogWalk, or just hit the Tweet button below:

What is Blog Hop Etiquette anyway? 
Interested in being a Guest-Host?  Email to reserve your spot.

Rules for the Weekend Blog Walk are simple:

1) Follow your Co-Hosts (1-4 on the Linky) via GFC, Feedburner, Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest. Please leave a comment if you are a new follower.
Jessica from At Home Take 2
Jillian from Hi! It's Jilly.
Jenna from Call Her Happy
Azara from Tesseract
2) Post our button on your sidebar, or add a link on your Party List. 
3) Hop around and visit at least a few new blogs and meet some new blogging friends.

At Home Take 2

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="At Home Take 2" width="125" height="125" /></a>
Have Giveaways or want to enter? Do that here.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm too old for this

Given our contraception debacle, Jay and I are a little wary of enjoying the main course on the sexual menu right now. Yeah, it may be too late but in case it isn't, there's no point in risking another condom breaking before I get my IUD fixed. So yesterday I suggested we just make out, like when we were high school sweethearts and thought we would wait until we were married to have sex (what can I say? 10 years of dating is a looong time). This led to the following text exchange today:

Me to Jay: OMG!! You gave me a hickey! (I'm expecting a response along the lines of "Oops/I'm sorry/I forgot I'm not a vampire").

Jay to me: Oh yeah! (smiley face symbol)

Seriously? How did I not notice this happening and put a stop to it? I'm 34 years old and wondering how I can casually wear a turtleneck to my two zumba classes tonight. Grr.

I'm really not a nymphomaniac. It just looks like it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


"I don't want to end up on that show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," I laughed two months ago, silently cursing Trojan and their weak condoms for putting me in this predicament. "I mean, my baby's only eight weeks old and my period hasn't started again, so how would I know?"

The doctor reassured me. "Well, your first clue would be that your milk supply would plummet. But it's unlikely you're pregnant, given you haven't had a post-partum period yet and you're breastfeeding. We can do an IUD insertion as a precaution if you'd like. It's 99% effective as emergency contraception and it lasts for up to five years."

I didn't need to think about it for long. All three of my pregnancies had been conceived on the first or second try, and one of them was a set of twins. No medical assistance involved. Clearly Jay just needed to breathe in my direction for my body to start whipping up a baby. After surviving a harrowing pregnancy bookended by miscarriage and a vicious bout of post-partum depression, a third child was out of the question. We'd already made a December appointment for Jay to turn off the baby faucet when the condom broke.

One emergency IUD later, I was back in the land of unfettered sex and took full advantage of it, plying Little Man with copious amounts of breast milk and formula to keep him quiet during the bed parties. After one late-night session, I slept in and nearly missed my Saturday morning zumba class. Bounding out of bed, I rushed downstairs and snapped at Jay, "Why didn't you wake me up?" before storming out the door.

At the dance studio, I stumbled through the routines, feeling strangely tired. The drive home was maddening, every idiotic driver in the city having apparently decided to take their car out for a Saturday spin. When I finally got home after wearing out the car's horn, Jay and the kids added to my irritation until I burst into tears, grabbed the breast pump and a carton of ice cream and stomped up the stairs to the master bedroom. Why did the world hate me? I took out my most relaxing book and tried to calm down.

Absorbed in Fifty Shades Darker, I was startled to look down after a half hour and discover I had pumped only one ounce of milk in between digging out scoops of ice cream. Weird, I thought before dropping the book and spoon in horror. What had the doctor said about milk supply? And why was I eating so much ice cream and being such a bitch? An hour later a negative pregnancy test eased my suspicions, but fear still crept along the back of my mind. It could be too early to detect.

The next morning I pretended my nausea wasn't there until it took over and I barely made it to the bathroom in time to throw up. I stared at my pale face in the mirror. Not a good sign. Not good at all. I called the ultrasound clinic to book an appointment confirming the IUD was positioned properly and there was no new family member incubating, but the morning of the appointment everything became clear when I went to the bathroom and discovered blood on the toilet paper.

I pelted out of the bathroom, shrieking with joy. "It's PMS!" I yelled at a wide-eyed Jay. "That's all! I'm not pregnant! I have my period!" I re-scheduled the ultrasound appointment for two weeks later and continued making up for the nine-month sex drought. My milk supply was still low, but I'd heard that could happen when your menstrual cycle returned. No worries.

Yesterday I bundled up Little Man and set off for the clinic. For the first time since I lost the twins, I was going to have a stress-free ultrasound. Hopping up on the table, I chatted away with the technician until I noticed she was no longer laughing at my jokes, but staring intently at the screen. A tremor of unease ran through me. The last time a technician was this quiet and focused on the exam, it was because she was trying to find a heartbeat that wasn't there anymore. I stared at the white ceiling tiles and pushed my anxiety away. Why did I have to be so melodramatic all the time? Everything was fine.

"I'm not supposed to tell you anything. But I'm going to tell you anyway because you need to know," said the technician abruptly, not looking at me. I tensed as my whole body went cold with shock. FUCK. That wasn't my period; it was implantation bleeding. This was it: financial ruin, the end of my sanity and my marriage. Another nine months of terror that at any moment I'd find myself on my knees in front of a toilet again, searching through the blood for a tiny body.

"Your IUD isn't in the right place, which means it's not working. So no unprotected sex!" the technician warned, shaking her finger at me. I was so relieved I could hardly speak to thank her, my legs shaking from the adrenaline rush as I hurried out of the exam room. As I walked toward my car, I started doing some basic math and my grin slowly faded. If my IUD wasn't working, that meant I'd been having unprotected sex since I got my period. Which was what, 14 days ago? Oh, shit.

Despite my best efforts, it looks like I'm on the merry-go-round again. It almost makes me want to take a vow of chastity for the next three months. Almost.

Monday, December 3, 2012

And you are...?

Sometimes I join linkys just because the shiny button has caught my eye, like a blog magpie. My latest find was a button showing David Spade with "Dec 3" written on his forehead. I had to check it out, and it led me to Emily R. King and Tammy Theriault's blog hop. Check them out if you want to join in.

1) How many speeding tickets have you gotten?

Just one for speeding (see here for other car-related tickets). The cop kindly knocked the fine and demerit points down, even though I asked him how fast over the limit it would be OK to go, and then said "Good to know!" when he told me. Natural double Ds stacked on a 125 pound frame under 25 years old will do that. Sadly those days are long gone, which means I should watch my speed more carefully.

2) Can you pitch a tent?

No, but I enjoy watching.

3) What was your worst vacation ever?

Five hours into our family's six-hour trip to Fraser Lake, Ontario for a week-long camping trip, we discovered that my suitcase hadn't come with us. My parents' solution to this was to make me rotate between what I was wearing and a patchwork of ill-fitting borrowed clothes from my sister, mother and aunt for the week. I was old enough to care that I looked and eventually smelled like a street urchin, and that I had to wash my underwear in the lake every day before putting it back on.

4) What was the last thing you bought over $100?

A speech therapy session for my 2.5 year old daughter. It seems to be working, since today she climbed up on her potty, snatched a box of cookies off the counter and went up to Jay and said, "Want cookie. Come on, open it! Pleeease."

5) We're handing you the keys to what?

A safety deposit box with $10 million dollars in it, so our family can get up close and personal with the scene below. Ah, dreams.

6) What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick?

After trying some very tasty calamari in a restaurant, I decided to branch out in the seafood category from cod fish sticks to crabmeat. I bought a can, but when I opened it the smell was several levels down from appetizing. Being someone whose idea of cooking is heating up frozen food, I decided frying the crabmeat in butter and olive oil would transform it into a tasty dish for Jay's and my supper that night.

Halfway through the frying, the smell of dying, vomiting sea creatures overwhelmed me to the point that I ran outside (in the middle of winter) with the frying pan and hurled the revolting mess into the snow. I should have known better than to try to make a meal out of something that resembles a spider with armor on.

7) Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like ____?

one of those rap guy's girlfriends. Who understands those rap guys? They only talk to her because she looks like A TOTAL PROSTITUTE!!

...I like big butts and I cannot lie! You other brothers can't deny! That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face, you get SPRUNG!

And no, I did not have to google that. It is one of my most favourite songs ever - I even did a post on why. I did this linky partly for an excuse to post this video for the fourth time:

8) What was your first car?

A 13-year-old white Acura Integra. Man, did she ever go out in a blaze of glory. What a bitch.

9) Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?

Oh, come on. He's my best friend because he knows I can't help laughing first and loves me anyway.

10) What's the worst song ever?

This little gem. An abrasive, whiny tone to one's off-pitch voice is NOT improved by cranking up the volume.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Good morning, sunshine

North American society isn't friendly to a night owl. I come from a family of late to bed, late to risers, so it took me awhile to realize the rest of Canada was running on a different schedule. When I was in Grade Six, I called my friend at 9:15 p.m. on a Friday night and can still remember the horror in her mother's voice. "It's after nine o'clock," she hissed at me, as if I had just egged their house or committed some other deviant act. I got my payback a few years later when the same friend called me at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning "just to say hi".

By high school, I had noticed a distinct correlation between my lowest grades and the 8:15 a.m. time slot and began arranging my semester schedule to compensate for this built-in handicap. First period spare, anyone? In one unfortunate year when I couldn't push back my start time, I was late so many times that I was threatened with suspension. This led to the ridiculous day where I arrived at 8:17 a.m. and had to skip my class completely, because the consequence of missing all sixty minutes of the class was a detention, but missing the first two minutes meant a three-day suspension.

Around this time I started contemplating a move to Europe, land of the siesta and 9:00 p.m. dinners. My mind drifted to a warm, happy place of dancing all night and sleeping all day, a paradise where I would never need an alarm clock again. Sadly a lack of traveling funds and love for my boyfriend kept me in Canada, where university provided a brief respite from a world ruled by morning people before graduation and full-time employment brought back the tyranny. On top of baggy eyes and dull skin, the return of early mornings promptly added an extra twenty pounds to my exhausted body, as I tried to cope with my violated sleep cycle and obscenely perky co-workers by stuffing myself with doughnuts and chocolate.

Then came parenting, the great leveller. My inner mean girl snickered when I heard all those early birds squawking about how tired they were now that they had kids. Welcome to my world, I wanted to say. Getting up at 2:00 a.m. with a baby has never been overly stressful for me, because my body wants to be awake then anyway. Not being able to sleep in on the weekend could be difficult, but I have a kind husband who gets up with the kids, having been brought up in a household that actually wakes up at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning on purpose before heading out for a grease-laden breakfast.

A smoother adjustment to parenthood is one thing, but I recently learned of the ultimate reward for a lifetime of torturous mornings and being mocked as a sloth. Researchers have discovered a gene mutation that suggests night owls live six hours longer than morning people. Guess the early bird catches more than the worm.