Archive for February, 2006

Planting a Song in My Brain

And the theme song is…

“Ordinary Day” by Great Big Sea.

So the experiment began this morning. Yesterday positively sucked. I know it could have been worse (it can always be worse), but it sucked nonetheless. I won’t get into the details but suffice it to say that I was cold, and sick, and stressed and generally cranky. Then I overheard a co-worker playing “Ordinary Day” as she listened to some East Coast music while she worked. And it clicked.

So this morning, when I woke up with immediate stress again, I started singing it. And it helped. Now, keep in mind that I am a closet performer… I won’t even sing in front of the dog. And I sang it out loud. And I hummed it as I got ready for the day. And I sang it again as I tried to get the kids out the door. And my family keeps looking at me like I’ve lost my mind. But you know… even sitting here and keeping the song just in my head, I feel better. And I can’t help smiling. Who knows, maybe by putting some positive energy out there in the cosmos, some positive stuff will come back. (Stay tuned!)

And I say way-hey-hey, it’s just an ordinary day
and it’s all your state of mind
At the end of the day, you’ve still got to say,
it’s all right.

(Now I just have to learn the rest of the words).


Searching for a Theme Song

I’ve been thinking some more about Polly Perky and the use of personal theme songs to relive stress and keep a positive attitude. (Yes, I do realize that Ally McBeal was fiction, but… heck… anything I can do to help me hold on to what shred of sanity that I have left can’t be a bad thing, right?). Let’s consider this a psychological experiment.

So, I’m taking suggestions for a theme song. Something not too complicated (so I can remember it when my brain is full). Something hummable (because apparently I’m a hummer… before my phone had a hold button, it was pointed out to me that I hum during phone pauses). Something upbeat (just to keep the mood in the light zone).

I’ll let you know when I pick one, but in the meantime… suggest away!

Polly Perky

When she calls the office she sings her own name. “Polly Purrrr-key!” (Upward inflection on the “key”). You can actually hum the syllables without saying the words and everyone who works here knows instinctively who you mean.

I think the question to be considered here is… how do you get so self-satisfied that you actually sing your name each and every time you say it? Can she be just so tickled pink with herself that her own name merits music? Is she so happily married she must sing the matrimonial name at every opportunity? Neither seems like it would likely hold true each and every time.

Do you remember that episode of Ally McBeal where the therapist suggests she get her own theme song to hum in her head? Maybe Polly Perky’s name is her theme song…

Just for the heck of it, I thought I would sing my own name to the next caller who happened to ring the office. Given that my phone name is seven syllables long, I imagined it would be drum-rolly… almost like an opera tenor would do it (tenor-esque?). I might even sing the “Good morning!” bit, just for show.

And then the phone did ring. And stage fright got the best of me. Even though I knew it was my daughter on the other end, I just said “Sock Girl” instead of performing like I wanted to. How bad is that?

So, as annoying as she is, I will admit that Polly does have entertainment value. And, perhaps I even secretly wish I had the chuzpah to throw caution to the wind and sing my name to the masses as well.

Until next time… this is “Sock Giiiirrrrlllllll”

There…. I feel better already!


I got into the shower this morning and she was there again. Blonde. Beautiful. Naked. And plastic.

Have I ever mentioned that I positively, absolutely, undeniably detest naked Barbies? I would probably not even look twice at a fully dressed Barbie doll left lying about the house, but leave her naked in my path and I cringe and shudder and do some evil exorcist-like head spins.

And a naked Ken doll gets me equally disturbed. It’s just wrong, ya’ know? …But I can’t exactly put my finger on why I think it’s wrong…

– Is it a bad child-hood experience trying to dress them in their minuscule, fiddly, skin-tight clothing? It probably happened, but I don’t think that’s it….

– Is it that my own middle-aged sagging bod pales in comparison to their perky plasticness? It probably does, but I don’t think that’s it either…

– Is it that you pay a small fortune for those tiny garments with their matching plastic shoes that never stay on and invariably get lost, only to find your kids think Barbie & Ken are only naked tub toys? That may be part of it…

I may never totally understand my aversion to the whole naked Barbie thing. And I have tried many things to circumvent the Barbie nakedness… I have dressed them myself, I have made them clothing from old socks, I have invested in Barbie bathing suits (complete with plastic flip flops & towels), only to find that, at least in my household, she inevitably becomes a skinny-dipping bathtub hog anyhow. I guess I’ll just have to accept that.

But I think I may have to, for my own sanity, introduce boundaries in the bathroom. It’s one thing to flaunt her plastic nakedness at me, but if I walk on her one more time in the shower, I will be forced to introduce her to the “whirlpool” we keep right beside it. (Flush).

Happy Heart Day

I spent some time last night in emergency getting my heart checked out as I was having pains in my chest and down my left arm. At first I was not going to go, even driving by the hospital at least once, but in the end knew that would be better to have things checked out.

While I was taken in to an exam room immediately, and given a cardiogram, I waited a couple of hours for the chest x-ray because a trauma priority. Many times in my long wait period I considered just getting dressed and leaving (after all, if it appeared serious on the cardiogram, they probably would be doing something to me)… but I stayed.

Now, while I was sitting there for hours in my chilly little exam room, I could overhear a number of other situations being tended to in the rooms around me… a two-year-old little girl who had fallen from a shopping cart, a young boy who hurt his leg jumping in snow he thought was deeper than it was, and, what I can only gather was a suicide attempt over in the trauma section. I felt for each of those people, and I ached for the panicked people who love them.

And approximately three hours from when I walked in, I left the hospital with a clean bill of heart-health, extremely grateful for the life I’ve been given. (It turns out it was some muscular thing).

This Valentine’s Day, I will give my kids an extra hug, and with a full and healthy heart wish all those I love a special day. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Sleigh Ride

Yesterday was the kindergarten sleigh ride. I was a bit surprised it was still on, based on how little snow we actually have at the moment, but apparently it does not take a great deal of the white stuff to make a sleigh ride possible. I took the morning off Job1 to tag along with Rainbow’s group. I was excited to be doing something different; she was nervous and happy I was going with her.

We travelled with another mom & daughter (as the Beater is not fit for a half-hour drive on PEI roads). We were the second car to arrive and waited with the others in what I shall call “The Arrival Cabin.” It is a building with benches, a wood stove and bathroom, where you wait for a sleigh to arrive, and come back to once your ride is over. It is rustically decorated with wagon wheels and other horse paraphernalia. Rainbow stayed fairly close to me in the arrival cabin.

A long wooden sleigh pulled by a black horse and a white horse pulled up to the cabin. There were 11 children and 6 adults for the ride. We were invited to take heavy pile blankets to wrap around our legs for warmth.

“Sit on your bums,” the teacher roared out to the children. Initially that seemed a little ridiculous, because how else would they sit… but it didn’t take long to realize what she really meant was “Don’t sit on your knees on the bench and hang over the side of the sled.” Clearly she had done this with a kindergarten class before.

The old wooden sleigh creaked and groaned with our weight as the large horses pulled us along. One little girl, who apparently has not spent much time in a barn, complained that it was stinky there. Two little boys on my right played “spot the poop.” The horses pulled the sleigh into the woods.

After about 10 minutes in the forest, one spot-the-poop boy said to the other spot-the-poop boy, “We’ve already been on this trail!” I couldn’t tell. Every tree looked the same to me. I actually doubted he could tell either.

While it was a beautiful day, and I didn’t even need a hat, my feet were positively frozen under the heavy pile blanket. Rainbow snuggled next to me as we rode. As we emerged from the woods, the teacher smiled and said “there are Timbits (donut middles) and hot chocolate at the cabin,” which we could see off to the left. Surprisingly, however, the driver led the horses to the right and re-entered the forest for another loop around the trail.

Now telling a bunch of 5-year-olds there are Timbits waiting, and then not serving them up right away is a bit like putting a lovely desert on the table in the middle of dinner. You can rest assured that the remainder of dinner is not going to go as you plan.

And the rest of the sleigh ride was a tad more challenging, with many more reminders to “sit on your bums,” and a couple of demonstrations of the boom-a-rang effect when branches are grabbed as the sleigh goes by.

Finally, the sleigh pulled up to the arrival cabin, and we all went in to enjoy a bit of warmth and a much anticipated treat. The children patiently accepted a Timbit as the teacher offered each person one from the box, and then they hungrily swarmed the box when it was set on the table. Within minutes, there was not a donut middle to be found.

Later last night, as I snuggled with Rainbow on the couch, I asked her what her favourite part of the day was. It wasn’t the horses. It wasn’t spending time with her mom. And it wasn’t anything about the actual sleigh ride through the forest. She lifted her little face to mine and whispered “Timbits. My favorite part of the day was the Timbits.”

I got my project back

You may recall my “group” project, which caused me much angst. I got it back today.

Professor, while witty and intelligent, deserves the title “Doctor” on penmanship alone. From what I can decipher, his comments are:

Beautifully articulated. (scribble scribble scribble) I agree (scribble scribble scribble) 9/10

Now I am aware that this could just as easily have said:

Beautifully articulated if you happen to be a pre-schooler. If you felt like dropping the course I agree this would be a good idea. But because I’m feeling generous right now I’ll give you 9/10.”

But, without my secret decoder ring, I guess I’ll never really know for sure. For now, I’ll just go with what I can read, and be a happy (albeit perhaps a tad deluded) little sock.

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