March 31, 2011

Hello? Hello? Hello? ... Anyone there? there? there?

Okay so let me start by saying I am not dead. At least I don't think so...

But this blog sure has been. And for that, I apologize. To you dear readers (if you're even still out there) but mostly to myself. I started this thing to give myself a create outlet (a counter to the corporate drivel I churn out most days, if you will), as a means to getting some stressors off my chest and outta my head, a place to wrok my craft and push myself... a place for me to simply be me, no expectations other than the ones I set for myself. And in terms of this blog... all I was expecting was to write once in awhile and maybe post a photo or two.


I have failed big time at that. It's been well over a year since I've posted anything here and I am literally disgusted with my self! (My WI folks will here the correct promounciation when you read that
- des-gussted.)

But I'll stop with the self-flogging now (believe me folks, I've been doing it for awhile now) and I get back in here. I'm going to go ahead and put this out there just so I can't back down: I will post a blog at least three times a week starting in April 2011! There. Now it's official... I can't take it back. (Yes I know I'm just talking to myself here, but let me have this moment okay? Thanks.)

I am not promising they're all gonna be hilarious, or thought-provoking, or... hell I'm not promising they're gonna be anything other than here! Three times a week. Starting tomorrow.

A lot has been going on in my life and I'll most likely start with there but I'll try not to spend too much time in the past. I have my mind set on identifying some big goals for myself and using this blog as the check-in to keep myself working towards them. But I still plan to just rant everyone once in awhile! So be prepared for that too.

I'll end this one with some lyrics I heard the other day that just spoke right to my heart... they embody what I'm feeling these days:

Redesign me
State of the art
Erase my mind
Replace my heart
I wanna start over

Redefine me
Take me apart
Change my mind
Change my heart
And let me start over

- Art of the State (intro) from the album Dirty Work by All Time Low

December 15, 2009

Time is running out! ACK!

So Christmas is officially 10 days away... and I am no where near ready. And I'm not just talking about shopping for presents. I mean everything. Well to be more precise, nothing... as in nothing is done. Here's the run down of what's (not) happening holiday-wise at my house:

- the tree has been purchased, brought home and is in the stand, but not yet lighted or decorated (I have major concerns about the tree this year, real trees usually drink a lot more water than this one has so far and so I'm very concerned about how well it's going to hold up throughout the trimming process); I have not even brought any of the tree or house decorations up from the basement yet
- the wreath is on the front door but not decorated either (this is progress though, because it sat on the end of the driveway for about five days before I found the wreath hook)
- the outdoor lights are sitting on the dining room table and the evergreen trimmings (from the tree) which I wanted to use to accent the railing on the front porch has been in the back of the van for about three days now (thankfully it's been cold enough to keep them relatively fresh)
- I have gathered all the ingredients for cookies (which is what I'm supposed to be making this year) but have not mixed any dough, icing or planned how many I'll need/who I'm giving them to
- I have purchased approx. 1/3 of the gifts I'll need and they are in shopping bags on the floor in room; note I say "approximately" because I have yet to write my gift-giving list, plan what to buy or determine my budget
- I have not yet made final plans about where we'll be spending Christmas Eve/morning (e.g. my house or my mother's) but we do know that we've been invited to a close friend's house for Christmas dinner
- I have not done any of the food shopping yet, nor do I have a clue what I need


I don't understand what's happened to me. Years ago I would have all presents purchased and wrapped by the end of the first week of December and my house was fully "decked out" by the first weekend. My gift-giving list would have notations about what to buy for who, possible alternatives, potential amount to be spent, where to purchase the gift AND fields for tracking when I bought it, wrapped it and delivered it. My grocery list would breakdown the ingredients needed for each dish I was planning to serve and quantities based on the number of guests I was anticipating. My bar would be fully stocked and there'd be "back-up" gifts under the tree for adults and kids. Yes, there'd always be some last minute shopping, baking, etc. that I'd have to do but that was part of the fun. Making sure I'd nailed down every last detail even if it meant another trip to the store or staying up a little late on Christmas Eve.

But this year, I swear I barely realized it was December. What the hell has happened to me? Where did the super organized dreag21 of Christmas Pasts go? And why?

I think I'm lacking in the holiday spirit department this year. I just don't feel like it's almost Christmas. But I know I need to get my ass in gear. I could blame it all on being sick recently, but that's not the entire reason. I just don't know what is.

Ah well, hopefully I'll find me a little Christmas cheer and get a move on with the rest. Wish me luck folks. Hopefully you're better prepared for the holidays this year than I am.

(PS: the link above is hilarious, especially if you ask them to sing The 12 Days of Christmas)

Last night, after we got home from dance class, a quick stop at the grocery and picking up The Girl from work, I got the lights on the tree and in the living room window. Tonight Smalley and I will trim the tree! And I will mix cookie dough, I promise. And if I'm feeling ambitious, I will string the porch lights and put out the flood light... all before I head to the airport to pick up my Dad who's coming in on an 11.00 p.m. flight. Hoo boy.

And there's the answer folks! I figured out my lack of Christmas prep progress: between being sick (for like a week and a half), the busyness of the three kids and balancing my work load, I just haven't had time! But Christmas is important, so now I gotta make time. I can pass out on boxing Day dammit. But right now I gotta get back to work! (I rarely blog from work, aside for uploading a post I worked on the night before and dropping in some links or a photo, etc. But I figured this update would be a quickie.)

December 14, 2009

You're never too old to write to Santa

Dear Santa

I have been naughty, but in very nice ways. For Christmas I want a warm, hard body of the masculine persuasion, but brains aren't required (I'm not picky). I also want to lose a 100 lbs without breaking a sweat and for the teenagers to move out. (Winning the lottery wouldn't be bad either.)



(Do you think he'll write back to me?)

December 6, 2009

Random questions

A summary of the questions I've been asking out loud today, sometimes to myself, most times to others. Quite telling and pretty damn funny if you ask me, especially out of context like this:

* Did you just fart?

* Who left this light on?

* Did you have a BM today? (The things we parents have to be concerned with!)

* Where did THIS hair come from?

* Will someone please let the dog out?

* Is there anything good in the PVR?

* What time did YOU wake up?

* Who left this here?

* Are you getting those dishes anytime soon?

* Where'd I leave my bra?

* Did you wash clean? (Again with the weird things parents have to wonder about!)

* Dude, do you know how pathetic it is for you to ask me to count your chin hairs? AND the fact that there are only five of them?!

* How many times have I told you not to trouble that?

* Ew, what did you do to this stuff?

* Where are you going at this hour?

* What are you doing?!

* Why the f*ck did I have kids? (To myself, not aloud... I ain't THAT mean.)

Now the answers... THOSE are a whole different story.

December 5, 2009

Digital cam and other failures at the Santa Claus Parade

So Smalley has never been to the Santa Claus Parade; yes that may be a major parenting failure on my part but it's usually damn cold in T.O. by mid-November and as people who know me have heard me say many times, "I am not genetically engineered for the cold!" Plus I spent a number of years at the parade with my Pathfinder unit when they were selected with the "honour" of being in the Colour Party. I have seen enough of these Parades to know there isn't anything "special" or "magical" about them. It's a bunch of tired old floats, way too many bands and finally some white guy in an old red suit - all while you're standing in the cold. Unless you were "smart" enough to get there hours early so you could pluck down your camp chair in a prime viewing location; then you'd have the "pleasure" of sitting through this thing instead, still. In. The. Cold!

But I suppose every child should be exposed to it at least once or twice. And since I do perpetuate the whole "Santa" concept at our house (and will for as long as Smalley's buying it), I should give in and take her to see the Parade herself.

As luck would have it, this year the weather was actually really nice on November 15. (Yes, the Parade in Toronto was actually three weeks ago and I am only now getting around to posting about it, whatever!) So a friend and I went down with our kids.

The parade was... meh. I mean the kids had an okay time, they got spots up front to sit and I actually had a nice time exchanging barbs with some guy from Hamilton who brought his daughters (e.g. which one of us was going to get to zip into the bar for a drink while the other stayed with the kids, that clown looks happy for all the wrong reasons, how unpeppy can a pep squad be, etc.). But all in all it was way too long (2.5 hours vs. the promised time of 1 hour) and I can't help but wonder what today's kids are really getting out of it. Maybe the really young ones are entralled, but Smalley is 7 and Celine is 11 and I just don't think they got much out of it.

For one thing the floats are all out of date. (When's the last time you saw a McDonald's commercial featuring Ronald's friends? My kid has no idea who The Hamburgler or Grimace are, so I'm thinking at least five years since one has been aired here in the Ontario area.) So these characters meant nothing to her and Celine, and from the reactions I saw, not much to many other kids their age who were in attendance. And the updated floats are targeting a really young age group. (Handy Manny is great but kids over five or six are probably done with him.) And there were so many bands. So. Many. Freaking. Bands. (It's great that the schools and the employee unions and special interest groups are all coordinated enough to get a marching band together but they're not all that great, and you can only take so many of the okay ones.)

And I have to tell you that honestly, I found the clowns scary. Especially since so many of them are volunteers who are not willing to go to the full effort needed to pull off a clown (e.g. full make-up, pinning your hair up so it doesn't show from under your wig, bothering to wear a wig!, showing just a little bit of enthusiasm as you walk the route). Aside from all this, the only real highlight was getting pelted with mini-candy canes from the very bored looking kids riding the floats. lovely, all this trouble for eye injury.

I mean how does any of this qualify as a "parade"? (Keeping in mind that I am a Guyanese in Toronto so to me, parade means Caribana which is definitely not a mere spectator event!)

Ah well, at least I took her and she saw one. We had brunch after and the kids certainly enjoyed that (chocolate chip and banana pancakes, yum)! Too bad my camera battery died and I only got a few pics, missed the big man too.

The group before we head downtown. I'm Mrs. Claus apparently.

An updated Mother Goose that actually looks okay.

The kids enjoying the parade, before their butts went numb.

Something seriously wrong with this dragon's pose. Seriously.

Is it wrong to drug your child to save money on your hydro bill?

Strange question I realize, but I seriously need to know. I suppose you'll need a little more background information before you can answer that one eh? Well the explanation is a two-parter, and a little long (really though, what story of mine isn't long, I'm not known for my brevity). So here goes but just remember, you asked for it:

First, the hydro bill part... The Boy has a terrible sleeping schedule. Case in point, it's now 1.47 p.m. on a Saturday as I am writing this, and he has not yet surfaced for the day. You might think that's perfectly normal for a teenage boy on the weekend but he's like this EVERYDAY. He doesn't go to school, he doesn't work, he has nothing to live for really. And the West Indian in me is having a hard time tolerating such lawlessness. (I suggest you affect a Guyanese accent when you read that word or else it just doesn't work; note the accent should be continued for this next sentence too) But I ain able tuh row wid The Boy too too much, ya undastan? So I leave him, sleeping, all day, while I go to work, while Smalley goes to school and while The Girl pretends to go to school most of the time (she ain't fooling anyone but herself though). But if you follow this course of action through to it's logical conclusion, you must be wondering what a boy who sleeps all day does all night, right? (For those of you who weren't wondering about this yet, the rest of us will wait here patiently while you catch up...)

He is awake all night of course. Sometimes he's out roaming the streets of T.O. with his friends, but most times (especially as it gets colder) he is here. Watching TV, surfing the 'Net and chatting with friends online, cooking who knows what to eat - many of these things all at once. Which of course leads to my lights being on all night, the heat running more than it would if he was sleeping like the rest of us, the TV and computer both on all night, the microwave, stove and oven being used during the night, etc. And more often than not, when I wake up in the morning (around 6.30 a.m. or so) I find him face down on the couch with the TV on and the cable box in sleep mode which means he's been like that for a at least two hours. I have discussed the timer mode on the TV with him many times, it's like talking to a wall folks, just not getting through you know?

So all in all this behaviour has created a noticeable spike in my hydro bill. *sigh* However he claims it's an ingrained habit that he can't overcome, developed from his time of being "homeless" and hanging out all night at Internet cafes, etc. I say bullsh*t!

(ASIDE: Note the quotes around the word homeless, there's good reason for them. The Boy is somewhat estranged from his mother - aka they don't get along, he can't follow her rules, she's tired of fighting with him, so he left/she put him out, they are sometimes in touch now but they usually end up fighting after any prolonged exposure to one another. He stayed here for almost a year, but I think the whole rules/structure/parent in your face/expected to go to school regularly thing was getting to him; he started getting the "I-don't-want-anyone-telling-me-what-to-do" itch and left. That was in June 2008 and he just moved back in last September. [This time he's here more as a tenant than a dependant... can't really say how well that's working out yet, I'll let you know in a few months.] Anyhoo, during the time he wasn't here, he got by via living with a few other relatives for short periods of time, couch surfing and/or visiting out of town friends, renting a room whenever he could scrape together rent, hanging out an Internet cafe a lot, running the streets all night, crashing at youth shelters when needed, etc. He refers to it as his homeless period, and I think of it more as him being nomadic (although that's probably formalizing/romanticizing it too much). I still say he could have had a permanent home during that time with at least a handful of relatives or me, but he didn't want structure. So while that period of his life wasn't ideal, I think it's something he opted for and probably needed to go through. Man that was a long aside... back to the original story now.)

The second part to this story is: as you might recall from a previous post, we've all been sick, for some time. And while we're past the achy, feverish, confined to bed stage of bronchitis, we're stuck in the constant-chest-racking cough stage. Well, The Girl, Smalley and I are at that stage. The Boy took off to visit friends in London, ON for a week back when we're really sick and was doing a good job of avoiding getting sick. But when he came back we were in the thick of it and there was no way to avoid it. I'm pretty sure he's got bronchitis too (he won't bother to go to a doctor, remember he sleeps all day) but is about two weeks behind us in the progression. So for the past week or so he's been looking like crap, feeling worse, and coughing. All. Night. LONG!

Buckley's was helping a bit but the bottle finished. So the other night I'm in the pharmacy section at Costco and about to pick up a mega bottle of the stuff when I notice that they have a duo-pack of Nyquil for  $12.99. Well that's a freaking amazing price considering one bottle at the regular pharmacy is almost 10 bucks. And then it occurs to me that while the Buckley's will help with the cough, the Nyquil will knock the kid out. I mean I don't quickly opt for over-the-counter solutions but the kid has been suffering lately (seriously, he looks crappy) and he's not doing any of the things I told him to (e.g. drink lots of fluids, drink the juiced ginger I have in the fridge [it's a natural immune system booster and good for respiratory ailments, seriously people get on board with ginger], getting some proper rest, using the zinc lozenges, etc.) so at this point I'm thinking I should just drug him!(This is about when the evil cackling started in my mind.)

So I get home and after unpacking the groceries, I just pour some out and tell him to drink it. I don't bother to tell him what it is. (He's great for this by the way, The Boy will down just about anything you offer him. The first time I gave him juiced ginger it was hee-lar-i-ous! He bounced off the walls like a ping pong ball and was freaking for like 20 minutes. Yes the juiced ginger can be a little harsh the first few times you drink it but it's easy to get used to and as I told him, Smalley drinks her's no problem so suck it up!)

Then I settle in to watch some TV and in about 25 minutes he is passed out. Gone. Zonked. And I am laughing my ass off as he snores on the couch at like 10.45 p.m. which is pretty much unheard of for him. But my joy isn't complete until I have someone to share it with. Thankfully, The Girl came home a little later and I was able to gloat to her about my feat. (Her response: Mom, you drugged him and now you're happy about it? You're evil." To which I just cackled more.) Or else I would have been forced to take pictures of him and post them here.

Except I did that anyway:

(By the way he woke up as I was snapping away but was only able to mutter "Why are you taking pictures of me? Oh no, you're going to post these aren't you?.. Zzzzz")

So as I go to bed I realize that there'll be no TV and computer on all night long, no late night cooking. Just sleeping. Everyone will be sleeping during the night, as they should. And I decide that the administering of Nyquil in order to reduce hydro bills should be every parent's right. So I guess I don't really care what you all say about it... just send my Parent of The Year Award now and call CAS later!

PS: even my victories over the teenagers in my home are short-lived. The Girl decided she was bored and hungry and by the time she was done puttering around it was after midnight and she'd woken him up. He got something to eat and was watching TV when I went outside to investigate. I told him he needs to sleep and that he shouldn't stay up too late. The Nyquil must have still been working because he didn't stay up too late and was still sleeping the next morning when I left for work.

PPS: When I got home that afternoon he was like "Did you know that the Nyquil makes you sleepy? I took some more today and I was like knocked out?!" So I innocently replied, "Really? It made you sleepy? I didn't know that!" while The Girl is laughing her ass off.

November 30, 2009

A really good cause

Corey from over at Watching the Waters is hosting a raffle. Dozens of great prizes, for a measly $5.00 per ticket. You can't go wrong.

But what's even better is why Corey is hosting this raffle - she's raising money for the Heartline Ministries - an amazing organization that offers critically needed medical services in Haiti. Corey and many others are running a marathon in January to raise funds so Heartline can buy an emergency medical transport vehicle (essentially an ambulance). Could you imagine if the community you lived in did not have an ambulance? Did not have basic medical services available to you? How scary would that be? Well women and children in Haiti deal with that everyday and the amazing folks at Heartline are trying to do something about it. And you can too - buy a raffle ticket, sponsor a runner, or just donate some money via the ChipIn widget below.

This is a good cause people. You know you want to be a part of this!

November 27, 2009

Can't wait...

Precious finally opened in widescale release today here in Toronto. Last week it opened at two theatres in the whole freaking city. But this week you can catch it at about half a dozen - which is lot better, but still not ideal. Luckily it's playing near my 'hood so I'm checkign it out tonight.

I  have been pumped to see this movie ever since it started getting buzz at the TIFF this past September. A friend at work (who always takes in a number of screenings when TIFF's in town) saw it and thought it was good, but intense.

I read the book. I fully know what I'm walking into but I still want to see it. I expect it to be raw and gritty and no doubt I'll be sobbing (that said I cry for everything, really) but I still want to see it. The book was mesmerizing and horrifying at the same time.

My little sis is going with me (not Spike, ANOTHER little sis) and strangely enough my little bro wants to tag a long too. Not so much for the movie but more beacuse he wants to hang out with us. Might be strange for him, but we'll have fun. And if he's really not down he can just slip into the theatre showing Ninja Assassin or something.

[Aside: ever since they moved out I haven't been able to see them very often. We're all busy. And I really miss hanging with them. FYI: my 18-year-old sister and  14-year-old brother moved up here from Guyana and lived with me for about six months earlier this year until their mother - my stepmother - and our other brother - 13 years old - came up too. Heck at one point all four of them were bunking at my place until their apartment was ready. My name is dreag21 and I run a shelter, didn't you know that? lol]

My cuz supposed to join us tonight, but I think she might be a no-show. I was looking forward to hanging out with her since we haven't done so in awhile but whatever. Ah well, nothing's stopping me from seeing this film.

And tomorrow, after dance classes, I'm taking Smalley to see This Is It. Saw a midnight screening when it first came out, LOV-ED it. And she really wants to see it so Mama is happy to take her. (We're on a movie kick lately - we saw New Moon last Saturday too with Celine. FYI: I'm Team Edward for Bella... because I want Jacob for myself! lol My name is dreag21 and I'm lusting after a teenaged, fictional werewolf. I have no problem with this so why should you? lol)

Anyway, all in all, it looks like a good start to the weekend. have a good one!