Archive for April, 2006

Social experiment

4:30 pm — So it’s Friday after a very long week of work, and before a very long weekend of work, and I want a beer before I go home. Unfortunately, all of my buddies who might be up for such a thing on a Friday afternoon are otherwise occupied. I have not had a drink alone in a bar in years. And I can’t say I fancy the thought much.

So I’ve been thinking about this… If I feel perfectly comfortable walking into a Tim Hortons, ordering a coffee, parking my butt in a chair and drinking it right there… so why should I feel uncomfortable walking into the Wave, ordering a pint of Red, parking my butt on a barstool and drinking it right there. But I do. I feel frumpy compared to the students, and dumb compared to the profs. People might think I’m a barfly. Or a cougar.

But should I care what they think? Can I suck up the gumption to even go in there for one without knowing ahead of time I’ll have a friend to converse with? If nothing else, it could give me blog material ;-). Stay tuned folks. An experiment ensues… will it be coffee or beer?

7:30 pm — Well…. I talked myself into trying to go for a beer by myself. I could do this! I would sit down, order up, and send social vibes out to the cosmos! No big deal!!!… So I grabbed my sweater and semi-confidently headed over the the Wave. I guess students are done exams and profs are marking them because there was no brew flowing on campus tonight! The Wave was locked up tight. If I had been in the company of anyone, I probably would have found myself another watering hole, but given my buried hesitation to pull this off in the first place, I took it as a sign that I better head over to Tim Hortons and do coffee instead. I even spazzed and did drive through. Oh well. It was interesting to try.


One Paperclip

Have you heard about the “one red paperclip guy”? He’s a blogger from Montreal who got the idea to trade up… starting with one red paperclip and hopefully ending with a house one day. (I’d give you the link, but to be honest, my computer blinks and groans and stuff when I go there, so I avoid it …but if you are so inclined to tempt the spyware gremlins, you replace “oldbluesocks” with “oneredpaperclip” and you’d have it). Anyway, the guy traded the paperclip for a fish shaped pen, then the pen for a doorknob, and on and on… so far he’s had things like a Coleman stove, a generator, a cube van, a recording contract, and I believe is currently at a year’s free rent in Phoenix. Amazing. I have little doubt he’ll get a house somewhere.

In my opinion, Paper Clip Guy has two things going for him… creativity and a definite goal.

I have to say, I admire both. I wish I could think so outside of the box. I don’t need to try to get rich or try to finagle a house (although either would admittedly be fine with me)… but I do wish I’d feel so creative that tommorrow would feel like it held boundless possibilities and I had some clue of what outcome (beyond basic positive change) that I wanted to reach for. Because, if I were to look at things in the glaring light of honesty, tommorrow really DOES have boundless possibilities… it is not yet written… and it could be the start of something grand. It’s Paperclip Guy’s sort of creativity that makes grand stuff happen.

And I may just carry around a red paperclip to remind myself of that…. unless of course you’d like to trade 😉


I’ve been meaning to tell you about the Easter Bunny’s surprise challenge this year…

It all began last Friday when my girls decided to become stamp collectors. It seems we had recently gotten mail with a variety of wildlife stamps, and they thought those stamps were cool. No problem. This is not a collection that will take tons of room, it is pretty cheap to do… what’s not to love! I start going through mail I had kicking around that was still in envelopes. (As an aside, I’m actually surprised at how few stamps that are used these days… practically everything I have is metered mail). Anyway, I comb the house and find every stamp I can for the girls, using doubles where possible and “pick a hand” where not. In the end, they get a fairly good start on their new hobby, all things considered. They seem thrilled with how their collections are coming along.

Then they decided to write to the Easter Bunny. And ask him for stamps.

“The Easter Bunny probably doesn’t get much mail,” I note to the children. “I mean, where would you address them?”

Still, undaunted, they write Sir Bunny notes and ask him for stamps. Well, stamps and an Easter egg hunt.

I’m sure Easter Bunny had to work his little furry tail off trying to fulfil that wish, what with his late notice and apparent lack of stamps. But I think he did ok.

The Tooth Fairy Came By

Wednesday was the day of Rainbow’s dental work in the hospital. I dreaded the day but it came nonetheless. I was up early doing paperwork and didn’t need to wake her. She came down on her own, just in time, and was anxious to get things over with. Bless her heart… she had visions of just going to sleep and waking up refreshed with a beautiful smile. I hoped she would be right, but knew in my heart it would probably be much much worse.

The hospital was an hour’s drive away and she was not allowed to eat or drink from midnight the night before. I knew that would be one of the biggest issues for her, as she loves her cocoa first thing in the morning. I didn’t eat either, just to be fair to her. It would have been cruel to journey on a full belly, while my baby was hungry in the back seat. She went to the hospital still wearing her jammies, and was snuggled in her car seat with two of her favourite stuffed toys.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in at the appointed hour, but were told that the person before us had just gone in to the OR. We would have a two hour wait before they came to get Rainbow. We went into the little waiting room and read books, and played with the Magnadoodle. I discovered that she loved playing tic-tac-toe and she particularly loved winning at it. I must have lost 100 games to her in that two hours. She liked that a lot.

At one point she told me that it would be ok if I went to get a coffee because if I had a coffee she wouldn’t feel like eating (she doesn’t particularly like the smell). The woman serving in the coffee shop was an interesting character. She was probably in her 60’s, never smiled, and wore an honest-to-goodness Easter bonnet. I was delighted to finally get my caffeine, but Rainbow still complained about her growling belly…. “I feel like a poor person” she cried. Poor baby.

Finally, they came to get my girl. They passed me some information to read. Rainbow put on her little blue hairnet hat thing, and chatted with the nurses about her teddies while they wheeled her away. I knew she was oblivious to the trauma that would hit her mouth, and I feared her first time in anaesthesia. As I watched her little bed disappear, I cried. I cried for her pending pain, I cried for the dang teeth she inherited from me, and I cried with fear. I sat and prepared for another 2.5 hour wait while they worked on her.

Eventually, another family came… a fearful 10 year old, her mother, and her aunt. They chatted and kept my mind busy. I was grateful for the company. Finally, Rainbow’s bed was wheeled back. The doctor came in and told me she had eight caps, two fillings, and her front teeth had been removed.

I walked slowly to her bed. Her face was crimson. Her eyes fluttered open and she screamed at me. “MY THROAT HURTS! MY CHEEK HURTS! MY TEETH HURT! I AM NEVER COMING BACK HERE AGAIN! THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED! I WANT TO GO HOME!” She got out of bed and flug herself on the floor. I got down on the floor and held her, trying to sooth her.

Bitch Nurse came over. “She cannot run around.” (She wasn’t running, she was thrashing).

“She cannot scream because other people are resting” (All the other beds in the room were empty).

“You should get her off the floor.” (I continued ignoring her and sat on the floor with my baby. Bitch Nurse went away).

After much more screaming and crying. I eventually got Rainbow calmed down. And we were eventually cleared to leave.

I carried her out of the room and walked past the coffee shop. “Can I have a cookie, please” she whispered. “I’m starving.” I found a very soft chocolate chip cookie and paid Easter Bonnet Lady. We left then and headed back home.

During the drive she complained again that her throat hurt. I couldn’t give her any more pain reliever for another hour. She also wasn’t eating her cookie. I noticed that the Frosty Treat was open and asked her if she’d like to stop for ice cream. She did. So, we ordered her a soft serve, and sat under a rainbow coloured umbrella and watched people. She licked her cone, and I even got her to laugh at a comment or two. I was glad to see my baby coming back to her old self, though she was frustrated when she couldn’t bite the cone.

Eventually we continued our journey home and she fell asleep. Because of the trauma of the day, the Tooth Fairy left Rainbow $10 for her trouble (a record amount in this house), so the next day she was quite appeased. We went out and shopped for a new doll, and she is rarely seen without her these days.

Of course, Dolittle lost a tooth last night in her sleep so she’s expecting great things from the fairy now also. Sigh. I somehow doubt, however, that the Tooth Fairy would be nearly as generous without the hospital involvement.

And did I mention that I have a toothache now too?

Muppet Dance

I love it when Muppets dance. You know… when they move side to side then suddenly throw their head back, mouth open, little felt body posed in liberated abandon. It is that pose of self-assured folly that I adore. As soon as one of those little heads go back, I can’t help but smile. I would love to dance with such comfort in my own skin. Like who the heck cares, cha-cha-cha, because I’m having a blast, cha-cha-cha. Bless their little furry souls.

That is not to say that I am necessarily uncomfortable with who I am… but rather there is a reserved persona that is at odds with the folly persona. I’m serious on the surface at work, and family responsibilities are serious, and sometimes you get to dealing with serious stuff too dang long that you almost forget what it must feel like to do the Muppet Cha-Cha as if the world has no weight. Almost. I want to cha-cha. I need to cha-cha.

I think that this weekend, when my week of stressful crap is momentarily over (exam, Rainbow’s hospital visit, meeting Advisor), I want to do something that feels just as liberating as the Muppet dance appears. Even for a very short time. Maybe I’ll just be a goof with my girls. Maybe I’ll try something I haven’t done before. But I’m ready to dance.

Shirts That Make Me Smile

I admit I don’t do a lot of shopping… on-line or otherwise. I also don’t own any of these shirts because I rarely spend money on myself. But I found these on-line and thought I’d share because each one brought a smile to my little blue sock-face…

This one is from “Mommy Needs Coffee” (a good read!). Couldn’t you just imagine wearing this some casual Friday at the office and having Little-Miss-Better-Than-Everyone wonder all day if she had ever been the victim of an on-line rant (evil grin)? It’s an “I’ve got a secret” shirt and the very thought makes me smile. Mommy Needs Coffee sells this and other shirts through Zazzle.

The next one I admit I first saw at Cows downtown and then had to go look for on-line so I could share it with you. Cow’s is a PEI company that sells premiere ice cream and novelty Cow stuff. This particular one might be hard to read in the tiny image here, but it is “Dairy Potter… And the Goblet of Milk”. How could you not smile at something that combines Harry Potter and good ice cream. I love it!

This one was a prize in the 2006 Bloggies and was created by Fussy.

There are just too many occasions where a sentiment like that is approriate. 🙂
‘Nuf said.

What brings you comfort?

Did you ever wish you had a magic wand and you could just make everything ok?

Next week I have doctor’s appointments for kids, hospitalized dental appointments for kids, most likely a meeting with Advisor, possibly a final exam (if this dang strike ever ends), tax work (in Canada we have until April 30), Easter… And some people in my life (unintentionally) are reducing my ability to cope as well as I might, though I understand where they’re coming from.

I’m feeling overwhelmed with everything. I’m not even sure chocolate would help.

How do I get myself a fairy godmother? I need some good news in my life. Soon.

I think I need to spend some time thinking about what brings me comfort. I need to shut out some stuff and try and remember a time I felt a sense of calm and peace. What about those times made it feel comfortable? How can I recreate that?

So tell me…. what brings you comfort when the road gets bumpy?

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