Tag Archives: blogs

Back to…Oh, Maybe Not

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Today was supposed to be different.  Today was supposed to be The Day when Routine, accompanied by its sidekick, Normalcy, returned.  The day after Labour Day was the day I’d looked forward to with an enthusiasm that I don’t usually demonstrate for much else (except perhaps sleep).

Back to School Day was to lead seamlessly into Back to Work Day – no more procrastinating, time to write and seriously.  So prepared was I for this day, I almost laid out a new outfit to wear.  No alarm clock needed; I was up, ready to flip each reluctant child off their respective mattresses like Gordon Ramsay flipping delicious creations from frying pans to plates…rapid fire, efficient.  C’mon let’s go!  Have a good day, no worries, here’s your lunch, now get OUT.

As I strode purposefully into the kitchen it became apparent a major appliance had other ideas.  Refrigerators are supposed to hum contentedly in the background while keeping food cold, crisp, and yummy.  They are not supposed to groan, flash their interior lights or make ominous clicking sounds.  They are certainly not supposed to do all these things on Back To School/Work Day.

Granted, my expectations of The Day might’ve been too high.  Same as, in addition to being Back To School/Work Day, it was the day I vowed to avoid all fattening food even though it’s my husband’s birthday.  A particularly luscious chocolate cake sits on the counter sagging from the weight of its thick layer of icing, mocking my pitiful efforts at good behaviour.

Waiting for the refrigerator repairman, I encountered a more nebulous roadblock – a friend’s blog.  Laugh-out-loud funny, interesting, and quite well written, it is better than my blog on every level.  So, in addition to major appliance breakdowns, surly children, and my own gluttony, I battle jealousy.  I don’t begrudge my friend’s talent.  Well, not totally.  I’m thrilled he’s writing.  In fact, he should retire permanently from his former profession and write…always.

It’s just that on this day, the day I was to return to the craft I love, to the thing I want more than anything to be my life’s work, I did not need to be faced with my own mediocrity.  Oh well.  Delusions of sparkling wit are fleeting…just like Canadian summers.

Over a slice of cake, I will re-read my friend’s blog.  I’ll subscribe to it.  I will be a vocal, enthusiastic fan because every good writer deserves fans.  But I will also study him shamelessly, try to channel his effortless dry humour, absorb his storytelling skill,  and strive to learn how to turn the mundane into the hilarious as he does.  (Damn him) Forget being a fan; I’m a blogger stalker…a blogker?  Blolker? Stalgger?

I will buckled down and get all serious about myself…tomorrow.

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That’s One Hot Visa, Ma’am…

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Little did we realize when we booked our Mediterranean Cruise last December that we would all have to buy entirely new wardrobes.  Cruising, it seems, has not let go of some of the old ways typical of travel back in The Golden Age.

On our 12-day cruise, we have been told there will be three “formal” nights, three “smart-casual” nights, and six “casual” nights in the main dining room.  There are other options other than the main dining room but only the MDR offers a choice of seating times. I refuse to cut short my shore time to race back to the ship for a 5:30 dinner seating or be stuck with a buffet/cafeteria line-up in the Windjammer Cafe.

If I’m honest, I have to confess that my kids’ summer wardrobe consist of micro-short denim shorts (girl child) and down-to-the-knees baggy board shorts (boy child).  It is made quite clear on the Royal Caribbean website that none of the above selections would be welcome in any dining facility on the ship except maybe the Teen Discotheque.

So armed with comfortable walking shoes (just purchased) and a cooler to keep the smoking hot Visa card in, we ventured forth to the Eaton Centre on Saturday with the RC acceptable attire list for each night clenched in our sweaty fists.  As luck would have it, we quickly found ourself amid thousands of other shoppers indulging in Summer Sale Madness.

For our daughter, I bought handfuls of frothy cotton sundresses for sightseeing and “casual” nights, all for under $15.  She got a skirt for $9 at Zara.  While none of these items will likely make it much past summer, they’re perfect “cruise wear.”  She already had a fancy cocktail dress from grad and we bought her another, her first quintissential LBD at Guess for 50% off its regular price.  Her new teeny-weeny bikini was also purchased at about 40% off.  It never ceases to amaze me how they can charge so much for so little material…

Boy child needed more “dress” slacks and shirts AND some decent dress shoes as all he had were hiking sandals and skateboarding shoes.  Thankfully, good old Sears came through again.  Now, for husband:  he has suits galore and more ties than he’ll ever wear again in this day and age of “business casual.”  However, he does not own something called a “sport coat” – I think it’s something my father used to wear when dining at the country club.  Needless to say, my husband had no idea what to look for and the uber-youthful employees at various stores had NO IDEA what we were talking about, even at The Bay.  He went to Banana Republic Men but sadly, that shop was unaware of the Summer Sale Madness going on around them.   We need things but we have limits…

By the end of the afternoon, salespeople were getting 3rd degree burns from our burning hot credit cards and it was time to stop.  We know, even after indulging in such insanity, that we probably still don’t have everything we need.  On “smart-casual” night, we may have to smuggle food to my jacket-less husband out in the hallway.

Of all of us, I was amazed to find that I was the best “kitted-out” in terms of formal and “smart-casual” items – me, who regularly stands in front of my closet just before our quarterly date nights declaring she has nothing to wear.  I will never be able to use that excuse again.  Oh well, after this cruise, we’ll not be able to afford to go anywhere for years to come so my usual uniform of jeans and a tee-shirt will suffice.

Five days to go!!!!!

Goodbye, Goop

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Gwyneth & I go way back.  Sure we do.  I’ve always liked her, aspired to her seemingly effortless beauty and blondness (always falling short, literally)  She is a talented actress and seems like a nice girl so when Goop came out and she started getting flack for it, I signed up.  I saw no reason for anyone to diss her for branching out and sharing some recipes and such.  Also, I was curious.  Her Thanksgiving turkey recipe looked really good.  What’s wrong with a skinny blond who loves to eat?

In the beginning, when Goop Do, Go, or Get popped into my inbox, I’d read it start to finish.  The recipes were good although some of them were time consuming.  Clearly, Apple and Whats-His-Name don’t play competitive soccer or do taekwondo five nights a week.  But, her writing was good, the places and things she highlighted were interesting if a little outside my world but that’s what made it kind of fun.  It was the “Get” newsletter showcasing her friend’s babywear line that burst my Goop bubble…

Lest anyone think I’m faulting Gwynnie for this, I’m not.  Her world is her world.  Throughout the year she has always championed her friends and has been steadfast in supporting their endeavours; I think that is a lovely quality.  That’s what friends do for each other.  It’s the fact that Gwyneth and her friends live in a different stratosphere from me that’s…well, depressing.

I was in the market for some baby-wear, actually.  My niece had just given birth to the cutest baby on the planet (shout out to Sunny!!)  and I thought the rompers and little dresses highlighted in Goop were adorable…until I saw the prices (they were in Pounds but the conversion from “Oh, that’s so CUTE” to “Holy Frick that’s a lotta of money” was easy enough.)  There were onesies for 125 Pounds.  Oh.  I quietly deleted the newsletter, hating Gwyneth and her well-t0-do skinny Mommy friends, just for a moment.

As the weeks went on, I avoided Goop.  When I did open it, I found it was an invitation to participate in a world I didn’t live in.  I can’t shell out thousands for a diet and exercise program from Tracy although I wish I could because I know that with Tracy’s help, I could be impossibly thin AND fit.   I would love to kick around the south of Spain, drinking organic sangria and exploring the shops but my son needs braces.

So,be gone, Goop.  I need to find fun things to do, get, and see here in my world. If I win the Lottery, I promise I’ll sign up again.  Until then G, good luck with everything.  Love ya.