tripping the life unbalanced

Sunday, May 28, 2006

summer fun

I love how Toronto moves so quickly from spring to summer. In a matter of days, we go from cold-and-rainy-make-some-stew weather to good-lord-get-out-the-sunscreen weather. No really - I do love this quick change. It appeals to the impatient side in me. The side of me that's always bitching about line-ups and bank tellers and grocery store customers who want to haggle over 10 cents off a bag of milk. The side of me that just wants to yell "good god people, is this what we have come to??"

Ummm...I think that might be another post.

In the meantime, I leave you with some pics from this weekend. Alice frolicking in the backyard. Is there anything more joyful than a preschooler and water?

Monday, May 22, 2006

from the "I'm sure she's using a metaphor for loving me" file

Conversation today, between Alice and I as we lay down for a nap together:

Me: You were so well-behaved today, Alice, and that makes mommy really happy

Alice: (stares up at me with big BIG eyes)

Me: (gush of emotion) You're growing up so quickly, and I love you so much

Alice: (puts her arm up around my neck)

Me: (getting close to Movie-Of-the-Week teary. voice wavering) And I hope we will always be close

Alice: (beckons me down toward her, so I can her what she whispers)

Me: (prepares myself for another cute love-in from my daughter, blinking back tears. Knowing that her heartfelt reply is going down in my memory bank to pull out when I'm feeling down some day later in life when she starts to pull away from me)

Me:Yes, yes sweetie?

Alice: Mommy, when I grow up, you will have to call me Mr. Fix-It. That will be my new name.

Oh. Right.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

dear internet

Oh internet, I need help. HELP, I say.

In true Crabby Kate form, I ruined a perfectly awesome meal last night. We had some guests over and I was making this great Moroccan stew. And while the oven was turned to 375, I also managed to cook my coffee pot that was sitting on a burner. And the plastic that was at the bottom of this pot, you ask? Oh yes. It cooked too. It melted away while I was out of the kitchen, as I was feeling proud that I had actually put together a decent meal for guests. Proud for about 10 minutes, until I smelled that putrid stink that only melted plastic can make. And not only did the plastic melt on the burner, but all the way down into the stove. Making it so everytime I turn on the oven now, we are all subjected to toxic fumes. I am so awesome.

Has anyone had this happen to them? How should I get melted plastic off my element and out of my stove? I am turning to you, internet, in my time of need. Please come through for me, will ya?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

why bloggers make me happy

I have about 4 drafted blog entries on the go, all half-done and going nowhere fast. I was all set to try to complete an intelligent, insightful, with just-the-right-amount-laughs post, when I starting procrastinating. And what comes next? Oh you know it. I start browsing other blogs to either gain momentum or avoid avoid avoid. And once I saw this I realised that I was done for the night. I seriously laughed until I cried when I saw that picture and then knew that it was OK to let the attempt to create the perfect post go tonight. So instead of posting one of my own entries, I think instead I will share the love that is Not Well Planned. 'Cause the Mincemeat Vixen just has this shit downpat and I bow to her skills.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

#10 Epileptic

I have a confession to make.

I've been feeling the pressure of reading some of the books on my 50 book challenge. This is probably a subject for another longer post (in which I wax poetic about how choices are made regarding the books that end up on award lists), but basically I am feeling overwhelmed by how WEIGHTY some of them are. Engaging and intelligent, but heavy on the metaphors and subject matter. I want something I can pick up and dive into right away, and let the story just take me away. Something different, and little out of my regular comfort zone would be great. And lucky me, I have found this in David B's collection of his graphic novels Epileptic.

Let me say right off the bat that I am a novice when it comes to graphic novels. I have many friends who are fans and who have been encouraging me to read some, but I frankly never understood the interest. I believed that a good novel was all about the words, the language, the way a writer could spin a good tale with a few sentences. What I didn't take into account was the way a story can be told, and told well, through pictures and visuals. Epileptic is David B.'s story of his family's experiences with his older brother's epilepsy. The visuals are stunning - full of comic relief combined with intense pain. It acts as a memoir of a family's struggle with a disease that engulfs them. It contains all the elements of emotion and grief that I am finding in the other books on my challenge, but yet it is told through a different medium. Just what I was needing. A good refresher before diving back into the throes of lengthy descriptions and page-long metaphors.

Monday, May 08, 2006

hell hath no fury

Like a three year-old who doesn't get her way.

My sweet loving little imp disappeared this weekend, and in her place was a demon spawn who wrecked havoc whenever I was around. We seemed to have entered the dreaded 'ole daughter-mommy war, and if this weekend was any taste of what was to come I am dreading the teen years.

We started off nicely enough with a morning at home gardening together on Saturday morning. I dropped Alice off at my brother and SIL's in the afternoon so I could get some peak hours in working by myself in the backyard. Matt was working all day, so that probably contributed to the mother-of-all meltdowns that we experienced later on. We try and spend good family time together on the weekends, but Matt has been working a lot of Saturdays and I think she is missing him.

Anyway, when I picked her up at my brother and SIL's later she went apeshit. And I MEAN apeshit people. She jumped on beds, hid behind bookcases, ran away from me while we were up on the rooftop of their condo, pushed all the buttons on the elevator. All things that alone are general preschool fun, but doing them all together in a crazy sucession of "no no NOOOOOOOO" made for a crazy spiral. We actually had to leave my brother and SIL's place before we had even eaten the lovely dinner they had prepared because Alice was just out of control. I tried everything I could think of - getting down to her level, asking her to stop, telling her why she had to stop, distracting her, removing her to a quieter place, and finally losing my cool and saying "fine! we are outta here!" In the car on the way home she kicked my seat the entire way and then threw herself on the ground in front of our house and yelled "you are NOT my best friend." Back at ya, missy.

Needless to say we had a calm down and a long talk and tears and the whole bit. And after we both fell asleep after all the drama, she awoke the next day only to have a repeat performance.

Her anger is definitely directed at me, and I know KNOW know that it's because I'm the one she wants to test most. Last night trying to get her up the stairs for a bath and book resulted into biting and spitting at me. Like a mad dog. And while I try to remind myself that she is only 3 years old I find myself responding to her sometimes as if she is a mature adult. I have to remember that this is another phase, one where she is trying to exert her independence from me and testing out our boundaries around each other. But goddamn. Can we please skip over this part?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Becoming a caricature of my former self

One of my favourite movies is GHOSTWORLD. I can watch that movie over and over and still pee my pants each time with laughter. I can run the lines from that movie as much as I could BREAKFAST CLUB back in the day. I could empathize with both Enid and Seymour's characters so much so that sometimes I thought I was living in their world. (This was all pre-child of course). So just imagine my absolute horror the other day when I experienced a Ghostworld-like moment, but was on the OTHER side of the empathy.

I was trying to cross the street (the very busy, always littered, constantly filled-with ass cracks and crack heads intersection in the area of the city in which I live) with Alice in tow. And she was taking her own sweet time, hopping on one foot across the street, simultaneously shoving Smarties in her mouth that I had bribed her with that morning. Her new running shoes were lighting up as she hopped (yes yes I said shoes THAT LIGHT UP. The goddamn sales woman at the goddamn shoe store trapped me, OK?) and as I tried to drag her across the street I caught the look of one of the drivers waiting at the light as we crossed. It was a mixture of impatience and disgust. And all I could think of was that scene in GHOSTWORLD where a similar incident happens and Seymour (played by the absolutely awesome Steve Buscemi) cries out in frustration: "what, are we moving in slow motion, people!?!" It was the same scene, I kid you not, down to the flashing shoes. And all I could think about was how I was the one with the kid this time, and not the one snorting in laughter along with Enid.

So what did I do? Well, exactly what any other Ghostworld-loving parent would. I smiled at the driver and SLOWED RIGHT DOWN. We were still in front of the car when the light turned red. The woman in the car was beside herself with frantic anger, and it was all I could to not shout the lines back at her.

Yes, it's true. Now, I do move in slow motion.