Sunday, January 31, 2010

The expression "sick as a dog" is weird, i'n't it?

We are a miserable lot here lately. The three of us - most recently Charlie - are sick with the most horrible, nasty cold I can ever remember. About an hour ago, his ear joined in the misery, along with his red eye, juicy cough and stuffed up nose. I put a drop of olive oil in his ear - a friend of mine, who's a veteran of ear infections says this helps to relieve the pressure. I sure as hell hope so. Anyway, after I put the stuff in Charlie's ear, I held him and he fell asleep in my arms within a few minutes. He's sleeping in his room now, with the humidifier going full blast.

As for us, well, M3I is still coughing and fatigued, and I'm still coughing as much as before, with this wretched thing now going on since the night of the 20th.

We're not without good news, though: my father in law is home. He's got an IV running antibiotics, but he's home.

And, though Charlie's sick as a chihuahua, he's still very cheerful, active and wants to play games and race - and he took his medicine - some rotten-tasting chewable acetaminophen. I've tried them and they're horrible, and they make him shudder. I'm sure when I was a kid medicine tasted way better. My folks used to give us Benylin, which had to at least have had sugar in it, way back. Plus, I dunno, codeine? Alcohol maybe? I have no idea, but it used to taste good and feel warm and make us go to sleep.

Since the Canadian Pediatric Society has said a big fat No to giving kids under 5 anything for coughing - and I swear Charlie coughed about 15 times a minute yesterday - I gave him what I use (being a year-round allergy sufferer) - I gave him some Trident gum. And each time he chewed some, it stopped or slowed down the coughing for at least 10 minutes or so; it works for me.

One reason the CPS doesn't want kids to get cough suppressants is that coughing is useful; its purpose is to clear mucous (ah, now there's a word!). But jeez, when the coughing gets painful and he's exhausted and keeps getting woken up by the coughing, it's so stressful and worrying.

Charlie's coughing again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Three little words

Here are the three words I'd like banned from the English language or at least see their usage dramatically reduced.

Veggies: C'mon, are we all still three years old being encouraged to eat our mashed numnums? No, we're adults with responsibilities! I'm trying, both personally and professionally, to stomp out every last ember of this word; instead, I, as a grown-up adult human, resolve to write out, or say as the case may be, "vegetables" - a much better word.

Gawd, why does everything have to be described as "sexy"? I was reading InStyle magazine while I was sick, and this word comes up in just about every ad and every little interview with a starlet who's asked to tell us what her favourite style of rubber boots, for example, are. Rubber boots are not required to be sexy. Nor are coffeemakers. Not even a cappuccino maker is sexy. In fact, neither is cappuccino. Truth is, very few things in this wonderful world are such, so let's allow those that are required to be so to do their job and leave things like rubber boots out of it.

P*nt*es: I can't even type this word, much less say it. But if you do say it, please think carefully about why you don't use a far less nauseating word, like "underpants" or, even "subwear". I vow to popularize "subwear".


Monday, January 25, 2010

Pop pop pop pop culture, talk about

Bah, I woke up with a mighty cough. As I was typing the words "feeling better" yesterday I thought maybe I shouldn't be tempting the gods. However, being at home and watching tv this aft, plus some mindless clicking and scrolling has put pop culture top of mind.

Here are three things I find puzzling about pop culture this afternoon.

1. Conan O'Brien.
I've tried to watch him several times over the years. Conclusion: I can't do it any more. Final nail: Thursday afternoon, I was all napped out and happened upon the Tonight Show from the night before. He's going on about how he hasn't seen the m@$turbating bear in awhile, then it appears - a guy in a ratty bear costume starts diddling. Wow! Don't kick out Conan - this is great stuff! Conan's clearly thumbing his nose at NBC, so he brings out this bear from his old show. And his fans think this is further evidence that "Conan F*&^ing Rules!". But for me, that's it. No more Conan for me, ever. He gets no more chances. I don't particularly find Leno funny either. Which leads me to #2.

2. Late night talk shows.
Jay Leno, the two Jimmys, even David Letterman, tho he makes me laugh occasionally. Truth is their shows are terrible. The appeal is that their ain't much else to watch on at that hour.

3. Taylor Swift.
I have to side with Kanye West. He was rude, but made a good point: Taylor Swift's winning video is atrocious. Beyonce's Single Ladies, well, though I'm moving into old-fart-hood, her video is extremely cool. I even saw the guy in Glee perform it in his bedroom. Awesome!

That's all. My father in law is still in isolation, but seems to be doing okay, actually. Hope he gets to go home soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Maiden Heist, Jane Fonda takes it easy, and falling change

Despite the three of us having truly wretched colds, it's been a pretty good weekend. It's fun feeling a bit better.

After a restorative nap in the morning, Charlie and I went out to buy some overdue gifts, which took us to our favourite craft store. Charlie selected exactly the kind of thing I was looking for for my niece: a very grown-up-looking painting kit (when he's being a helper with a task, he helps out with great purpose and sincerity).

Other than all the colourful craft stuff, our main source of entertainment at the craft store was an individual who complained to her 3 kids about their horrible behaviour in a great loud voice for all the store to hear. To my eyeballs, the kids seemed okay - embarrassed by their noisy parent but actually being quite good-humoured about her complaining about them. I mean, I don't know what kind of day she'd had with them up til then, but telling the entire store that they were providing all us customers with a promotion for birth control was going a bit far. Kinda rude actually. Charlie just stared at her in disbelief.

Then we went out for a late lunch to one of our favourite brunch places. I let Charlie order waffles, which were bigger than him, practically, and you could get them with strawberries and bananas drizzled with chocolate, which we of course did.

We had fun together, and gave M3I a chance nap. We had the same routine today, my nap in the a.m., M3I's in the afternoon while Charlie and I went out again - this time to the coffee shop and then to Goodwill. I got an "easygoing" Jane Fonda tape. I'm feeling creaky and in no mood to feel the burn. But I do want an early morning exercise option to do while M3I is out at the pool/gym. My yoga DVD just puts me to sleep; it's far too soothing.

The Maiden Heist
M3I and I were awake enough last night to watch a gently amusing movie - The Maiden Heist - with Morgan Freeman, Marcia Gay Harden, William H. Macy and, startlingly, Christopher Walken, all playing security guards in an art gallery who have to face their favourite art pieces being moved to Europe. It didn't get great reviews, and it's not a capital-G-great movie, but it was enjoyable and it was precisely one billion times better than anything else that was on tv last night. So I'd say see it - it's sweet and if you've ever been transported by a painting, you'll like it a lot.

On the not good side of things, my father in law is still in the hospital - they were hoping to send him home on Monday, but he contracted yet another infection; this time C. Difficile, which put him in isolation. I personally can't think of anything worse than being trapped in isolation. However, once the zillionth antibiotic and (finally for chrissakes) a probiotic start to kick in, it looks like they'll use that window of relative health to send him home; at that point, he'll still be on IV antibiotic with a daily visit from a nurse to change it. We're hoping for his recovery, and then good weather and a nurse with 4-wheel drive.

Some years ago my brother got pseudocolitis (from the nuclear antibiotics perscribed after he had his wisdom teeth out) and nearly died. One year later, he relapsed, which made him seriously ill again. I don't get why doctors don't perscribe probiotics all the time. I mean, really, a few days of Zithromax will get the yeast gods cheering - something easily prevented by taking acidophilus.

In other news: I've now had accupuncture twice in my life - for my hands, which apparently have sprained ligaments (how can hands have ligaments? shouldn't they be handiments?).

This is not only from cycling with my handlebars too low - it's also because I have "stiff wrists", a condition that has not only injured me but prevented me from being an effective barmaid, since I can't bend my hand backk much at all, nevermind enough to hold a tray of draft. Is the physio and accupuncture helping? Dunno. My hands are still sore and stiff and on Friday, on my way home from a too-early trip outside for fresh air (I was too sick to go out, really), I stumbled and fell - mostly breaking my fall with my left hand. It's okay, but it didn't do it any good.

Falling change: a beef
Oh yeah, before I forget, I have a beef about falling change. If you work in a store or a coffeeshop or whathaveyou, I don't understand why why why you give me change by dropping it on top of the bills you've just laid in my hand. Happened again today - the change fell all over the place. I bloody hate that. I don't have a big hand and you dropped it from on high. Then you were gone, and I'm picking up change from everywhere. I realize there are many things in the world that are worse, but this bugs me to no end, largely because it'd be so easy to give me the bloody change first.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Home today

I'm home today with the sorest throat in the world. Maybe the dust-fest at work from all of us moving this week left me open to the germ-fest, not sure.

But all I wanna do now is sip my H.C. and head to bed in my humidifier-warm, sunshiney room. And do some easy sudokus and finish rereading Too Close to the Falls.

It's an autobio about a young girl, Cathy McClure, who grew up as only child whose folks were in their 40s (just like Charlie) in small-town Lewiston, New York. Through school, she was steeped in the Catholic church - making me even gladder than usual that I was spared that via our move up north when I was six.

(There was no Catholic school up there at the time, so I had no choice but to go to school with The Publics - see, I thought there was two kinds of people in the world: Catholics and Publics because there was two kinds of schools in Burlington. Which is why I was so worried when we went swimming at the Public Pool while we were still in Burlington; I thought for sure they'd be able to tell we were Catholics and kick us out. Once we moved up north and I went to school with the Publics, I found out that the Publics included a lot of Catholics. In fact, our principal was studying to become a priest.)

Cathy McClure was a pretty hyper kid, and seemingly fearless, but her family doctor simply and kindly advised her folks to put her to work. For many years after, she did pharmacy deliveries for her father's drug store with their delivery man, Roy, who was the perfect guardian and buddy for this very interesting kid.

Here's Catherine McClure Gildiner's website. And her book-tour blog. You must check her out.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Live blogging for roughly 15 minutes of the Golden Globes

This proves I could be Marlene Arpe, possibly even doing her job with my eyeballs closed:
Kevin Bacon: dude, you need your pants hemmed!
Drew Barrymore, you're cute, nice and humble, notice dating the Mac guy again. Did you thank Jessica Lange? Not sure, but hope I just missed it.
Ricky Gervais saying the writing category was a bit of a downer, LOL.
Jennifer Aniston coming out with generically handsome dude with accent. Don't know the name of the guy - she's dating him maybe? Slit in dress is v. high! I think he should've let her talk more. Seemed a bit rude.
Jason Reitman, the Tarantino comment wasn't nice - I'm sure he was waiting for his name to be called too. But loved his my wife is my muse comment, and very lovely thank you to his folks. You thank your wife and your parents like that, you're golden.
Jennifer Garner and Ashton Kucher, you both look very tall. Sorry to not see Alec Baldwin, would've been fun to see his speech.

There, done!

Now, Charlie has something to add:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Goodwill is an intangible asset representing the value placed...

... on the superior earning power of a person or business. I learned that in high school accounting. Goodwill is also a helluva great place to rebuild one's wardrobe.

I'm wearing a new-to-me jacket today, a bit of a fashion risk for me, in that it's patterned, something I used to subconsciously avoid. It fits beautifully, I often do wear the colours in it (usually in non-patterned form, mind you), though what sold me on it (other than the fact that it fit so beautifully) is that it's stretchy but doesn't look stretchy.

And like so many of my other lovely jackets I've purchased there, it was $5.99.

As gawd is my witness, I'll never pay retail again!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm going to live to be a hundred

As I crossed through the subway turnstile this morning, I read the words, "Wouldn't you rather be getting on a plane?"

Nope. Not today!

It's one of those birds-are-singing mornings:

- I got a seat on the subway just four stops into my journey which enabled me to almost complete a sudoku

- The two women working in the shop I get my vanilla-hazelnut coffee from both said a cheery good morning have a good day (I told the lady at the cash, "you guys should get a tip jar!" She bobbed her head in a quick bow with a modest smile and said "thank you").

- As I walked past Yognfruz in the Metro Centre, the young cashier was telling a hilarious expansive story to the people in her lineup, all of whom responded with gales of laughter

- And then in the elevator on the way up to the office, the women from the floor below included me in their jokey morning camaraderie.

To top it all off, I just read this, from Reuters: "People with fat in their thighs and backsides may live longer because the fat traps harmful fatty particles and actively secretes helpful compounds."

I'm gonna live to be a hundred!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sometimes I hate the interwebs

Here’s a pickle. This morning, in my fb "newsfeed", I noticed some questionable photos with lewd captions - among those "tagged" is my friend's teenage daughter. I know this because I’m on the kid’s “friend” list, along with several hundred others. Note that this kid didn’t post them – one of her friends did; she just got tagged.

Do I (a) tell my friend, who has asked me to keep an eye on her daughter’s fb activity? Or do I (b) confidentially tell the kid that I think the photos should be taken down? She's a very private kid, and will be mortified that I saw this.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Let Mother Nature do the work

All morning, along with the laundry, I've been doing a major kitchen clean-up, and because all that hot water and hot air was making me, well, er, hot, I opened the balcony door to let in the fresh, -10C breeze to cool down. On doing so, I noticed the turkey roasting pan sitting out there patiently waiting to be washed. It'd been there since roughly 10:00 p.m., December 25, 2009.

I stuck it out there in the first place because it needed to be soaked and it's too big to fit in the sink. Not only that, but our little kitchen had not a square millimetre of counter or even floor space to spare that night, and the bathtub was just way too sparkling clean (on account of the guests, obviously) to put a big greasy roasting pan in to soak. It was raining, which made the balcony perfect. We're up too high to worry about bears, wolves, raccoons, or even squirrels. Raccoons, however, could've done a nice job cleaning it up.

Back to this morning. I let the pan warm up to room temperature, then plunged half of it (again, too big to put any more of it in) into the kitchen sink full of hot soapy water. Then washed it with a cloth. And, voila: clean!

I didn't scrub. I just washed it like it was a sandwich dish. Easy as pie. I turned the thing around and washed the other half the same way. It got so clean that even the old baked on grease came off. It's currently sitting on the countertop, gleaming, and waiting for M3I to come home tonight.

It seems all that rain and snow and sun and extreme cold temperatures did the trick. Thanks Mother Nature!

In other news: early this morning, Charlie wanted to know if he could ask me a question. "Sure", I said. "Is that the question?" (Ar-ar-ar!)

"No, it's a real question. Do you think you'd be happier without me?" He said this is a tone heavy with, 'I really want to know'.

"What?!!" I said.

"Do you think you'd be happier if I wasn't here. Cuz kids are a lot of work because you have to take care of them all the time."

As I covered his darling, soft, sweet face with kisses and gave him a long warm hug, I informed him that having a kid is FUN! FUN! FUN!" He looked a little doubtful, and then laughed. Relieved? Not sure. We'll see.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The recital!!!!!!

Which means, of course, he's brilliant! He played very well at his recital, and he wore his new shirt and looked so grown-up and cute and handsome, and his bow to the audience was so shy and adorable I almost had to start screaming. And he looked so teeny up there, and the big shiny grand piano so, well, big and shiny!

Actually considering his shyness, it's remarkable how confidently he plays - pretty loudly, during the performance, actually! (In my real life I try my very best not to brag about my boy, but I have to do it somewhere so it has to be here.) The piece he played wasn't a hard one for him, and I think that's good - it mean't he didn't get particularly nervous, so the experience of the first recital was quite positive. Best of all, he was happy with how he did.

After the recital, which was in a church (as they all seem to be), we and all the other performers and players when downstairs to chat and mingle and eat treats. There was another piano down there - older, and not so shiny - but friendly. Once everyone left, Charlie got some more playing in, but this time, his own stuff, i.e., the "minor" version of Jingle Bells and Twinkle, and just some other stuff that he made up on the spot. M3I and Charlie's teacher came back into the room, which was cool, because I always want the teacher to hear more of Charlie's off-program music, so she has more of an idea of his capabilities.

I swear I'm not a deluded parent - he really is a wonder - he's got music in him, and it's just a joy to behold.

Friday, January 8, 2010

10 things I liked about today

1. It's Friday.

2. I haven't spent any money all day, though I had a nice oatmeal breakfast, delicious rice&beans lunch, and a refreshing glass of wine (at my desk about 20 minutes ago - possibly the inspiration for this post).

3. Around my neck, I'm wearing my grandmother's groovy black/orange/yellow/limegreen plastic bead necklace.

4. Yesterday, I had lunch with a great friend, and that fact is still making me happy today.

5. So far, I'm keeping my new year's resolution to Walk Every Day (er, starting Monday, the actual beginning of the new year).

6. I've ploughed through a tonne of work today.

7. I know the colour of almost all my friends' bras. At least those worn last night and today.

8. My father-in-law's new heart valve has not be affected by his blood infection.

9. Charlie has a piano recital tomorrow. (Actually not sure if this is making me happy. Nervous, more like.)

10. I have a book I ordered waiting for me at the library.

Not giving Dirty Bert much trouble

I think I'm becoming more and more like the Frances McDormand character in the movie Friends with Money. I just don't want to wash so much. Most of my life, I've bathed every single god-given day. Maybe it's the new year, maybe it's that peri-meno craploa, maybe it's because I'm actually happy, but I just don't care that much about the same stuff I used to. When I wake up in the morning, I'd rather hang out and chat with Charlie after he wakes up, when he's still warm and squishy-faced. I still climb into the shower to endure the fluctuating temperatures and pressures every other day and ensuing dry skin. But, sheesh, I think it's okay to give Dirty Bert a break.

PS: Who is Dirty Bert, you ask? He's the villain from the old Mr. Bubble tv commercials from my youth. As in "Take a bath with Mr. Bubble, and give Dirty Bert [*pause*] a lot of trouble." My Bubbie always had a box of Mr. Bubble on the edge of the tub - she liked it because it seemed closer to detergent and therefore potentially able to clean and disinfect you better.