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Henry's Medal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OTTAWA, ON, July 4, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Canada's Catholic bishops have followed the lead of Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto by taking a unified stance against the Canada Day decision to promote the nation's most prolific killer of the unborn, Henry Morgentaler, to the Order of Canada. Many of Canada's bishops have not only released statements on the "travesty," but have requested Prime Minister Harper and the Governor General to revoke the award.

Booby Trapped

Karla-Rae Morris is getting an $8,000 boob job for free – and she owes it all to bosom buddies she befriended on a controversial website.
Since the fall of 2005, the petite 26-year-old Fort McMurray mother has been racking up donations on www.MyFreeImplants.com – a California-based site that allows men to invest in breast augmentation surgery for flat-chested women who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. In exchange for donations, the women chat online with the charitable men and send them photos and videos of themselves.

Naked Newfs

Dozens pose naked for photo shoot along St. John's, N.L., waterfront


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Standing naked facing the North Atlantic in the middle of December may be the last way you'd want to spend the morning.

But about 50 people did just that today along the St. John's, N.L., waterfront as part of a photo shoot organized by actor-director Mary Walsh.

The brave souls, from different walks of life, stood facing Signal Hill with their derrieres cheek to cheek as the sun rose.

The temperature at the time was about -10 degrees C, with the wind chill making it feel like - 15 degrees C.

Walsh says she was inspired by New York photographer Spencer Tunick, who's famous for arranging pictures of people naked around the world.

She is planning to arrange similar photo shoots across Canada.

Funny, the thought of 50 naked newfs has never inspired me.  I hope the folks who stripped down for Mary Walsh also realize that she's a comedian.....



Good Behaviour

"Kiefer Sutherland, starting Day 3 of his 48-day sentence for DUI and a probation violation, is a "model prisoner," says a spokesman for the Glendale City Jail.

"He's not happy to be here," Officer John Balian says, "but you can tell from his demeanor that he's sorry and takes responsibility for what's he's done."


...the shit hits the fan

What the hell is wrong with the world when it becomes a contest to see who can get the shortest prison stay for the most outrageous stunt?  We’ve got Nicole Ritchie and Lindsay Lohan clocking in at less than 2 hours each for their individual alcohol and drug induced vehicular madness. And the whole Paris Hilton ‘in and out’ fiasco was an entire waste of time, money, and brain matter – everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves!  I’ve never been one to wring my hands over custody time for criminals, but one does have to admit there’s an obvious imbalance of jail time when you compare a sentence for ‘Joe Average’ with the shear insanity of celebrity justice – “I do a few lines, hop in my $70,000 vehicle, drive wildly, get caught, spend less than 2 hours in jail and have my name and face in the headlines of gossip rags twice as much as normal.”   Big deterrent for an up and coming actor, huh?



Free Hugs - YEAH!!

Who doesn't need a free hug?


Is the Pope Catholic? Betcha ass he is!!

Pope Benedict XVI has ignited controversy across the world by approving a document saying non-Catholic Christian communities are either defective or not true churches, and the Roman Catholic Church provides the only true path to salvation.


A judge on Monday approved a $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse, the largest payout yet in a nationwide sex abuse scandal.



Lucky number seven. Lucky for whom???

Ok, I'll admit it, I just don't 'get' this whole 'luckiest day of the decade' shit that everyone's talking about.  Why is it luckier than any other day of the decade because it's got all sevens it in?  WhooHooo!!  Sorry, don't get it.  What makes the number seven so freakin special?

And all these people flocking to the casinos.  What the hell for?  Hasn't anyone sat down to figure out that if today really and truly is the luckiest day of the decade - it'll be the luckiest day of the decade for EVERYONE.  Hell, that just evens everything out, doesn't it?

Not just good - it's good for ya!

My husband has become a yogurt snob.  I bring home 3 or 4 cases of various brands and flavors of yogurts, most of which are fat free.  Except “the green ones”, he loves “the green ones”.  At first I thought it was just the taste of non-fat-free yogurt that he loved, but now he says it’s because of the “Probiotic Cultures”.  He informs me I’m not doing myself any favors by eating mere fat-free yogurt.   I should be eating “the green ones because they contain Probiotic Cultures”.   Uh huh, ok.   I was quite satisfied eating my fat-free ‘regular’ yogurt, but he’s now made a somewhat enjoyable treat seem like a crime against nature.  I almost feel the same way as I did when I smoked - sneaking open the fridge, grabbing my substandard non-fat yogurt, silently slipping a spoon out of the rack and scurrying down the hall to the computer room to enjoy my not-as-healthy-as-his-snack snack.


Summer Solstice II

The boys have been found.  Just so sad.  How does a parent even begin to recover from this, or do they ever?

Summer Solstice

Today's the first day of summer. And for a family in the sub-division down the road from us, it's Day 3 in Hell.

On Monday afternoon their son and his buddy apparently took a homemade raft out on the lake in their s/d and haven't been seen since.

Guitar Gods and such

*sigh*  You know the world's a much more interesting place for having folks like Rocco DeLuca and John Butler.  Kinda make me remember why I believe in God.


Swing Low

Guitar Lesson

RDB in Portland

Finally, I get to see the Burden. Almost 2 years to the day when I got the ITYTKM CD in the mail. I've seen Rocco perform solo at The Drake in Toronto 2 years ago. I went up to him after he was finished and told him how much I enjoyed his music. When I told him I had ordered his CD, he smiled shyly and said I was the first person he'd met who said they'd bought his CD. And of course, I dragged the family to Portland for last summer's solo performance (with Kiefer in tow) at BullMoose.


So I've decided to enter the Bluenose  marathon   this weekend.  My very first one.  I've always wanted to do one but never had the guts.  I'm so excited I could burst. 

Turk says he'll cheer for me, take lots of pics a/o videos, and scrape me off the road at the finish line. 

Here's some pics of last years marathon.  Doesn't it look like fun??


My perception, or yours?

I found this little article on one of my fitness sites...

When exercising, it's important to monitor your intensity to make sure you're working at a pace that is challenging enough to help you reach your goals, but not so hard that you blow a lung. One way to do that is to use a Perceived Exertion Scale. The standard is the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion, which ranges from 0-20. Because I'm a math-idiot, I made up my own scale (see below) that's a little easier to remember. In general, for most workouts you want to be at around Level 5-6. If you're doing interval training, you want your recovery to be around a 4-5 and your intensity blasts to be at around 8-9. As you'll see below, working at a level 10 isn't recommended for most workouts. For longer, slower workouts, keep your PE at Level 5 or lower.


* Level 1: I'm watching TV and eating bon bons
* Level 2: I'm comfortable and could maintain this pace all day long
* Level 3: I'm still comfortable, but am breathing a bit harder
* Level 4: I'm sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
* Level 5: I'm just above comfortable, am sweating more and can still talk easily
* Level 6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
* Level 7: I can still talk, but I don't really want to. I'm sweating like a pig
* Level 8: I can grunt in response to your questions and can only keep this pace for a short time period
* Level 9: I am probably going to die
* Level 10: I am dead

Damn - where's the "I'm on the elliptical and eating bon bons level"?

How much for the Barbie in the window

Oh. My. God.


and just in time for Mother's Day...


Can someone give my metabolism a smoke?

My metabolism sucks.

If I thought I could live without one (which I believe I'm doing anyway) I would gladly go under the knife and have it removed.  I'd sell it on eBay, donate it to starving people, or ship it off to Harvard for study.   At the risk of sounding like my ten-year old, "I hate my metabolism, I hate it, I hate it, I HATE IT!!!" *stomps feet and plops in chair pouting*

I remember amnesia - I've seen this scene


My beloved show is killing me.  I'm so disappointed in the direction it's taking.  Um, scratch that thought,  I'm not entirely convinced the writers have a direction they're aiming for.  It looks like a show with no goal.  No ultimate outcome has been planned.  I picture the writers, producers and directors in a room somewhere looking around the table in barely controlled panic screeching "WHAT THE HELL DO WE DO NEXT EP??!!!!"

There's a lot of talk about story arcs and how it takes time to build and blah, blah, blah.  Well, the floods'  arrived and the 'arcs' are sinking.  Not because there hasn't been time spent on them, God no, there's been TOO MUCH time spent on them.  They're sinking because they're overfilled with bloated, boring, inconsequential storylines.  These secondary characters are all running around the 'arc' bouncing off one another.

Muking about

Today I buried my baby boy. Not the love of my life and the air that I breathe, but my other baby boy. My little red tomcat, who for almost 6 years before Alex came along, was my only baby boy.

 I remember the day we got him. Our other 2 year old cat was acting weird and we thought she might benefit from having another cat to keep her company while we were at work all day. Truthfully, I didn’t think much of him at first, all alone in this large cage, just a little red and white striped kitten. He certainly didn’t have the cuteness factor of the fluffy grey and white kittens with their big blue eyes. I wanted something cute and cuddly, not something that looked like it would be more at home in a barn. But hub apparently had always wanted a little red tomcat and kept coming back to his cage. This little guy was so determined to get our attention that he clawed his way to the top of the cage and was turning himself inside out trying to rub against our fingers. I think he picked us, and not the other way around.



Running with scissors

We’ve all done it. You know, when your mother says “Don’t do whateverthehellitisyourthinkingofdoing because you’ll put an eye out”, it’s like waving a red cape in front of a bull. You’re gonna do it. You know you are. You don’t even want to do it anymore, you’re just doing it because your mother says you shouldn’t. Like when you’re 3 or 4 years old and running with scissors. But that’s what mothers are for. They gained 50lbs, endured agonizing pain not to mention sagging breasts, because their sole purpose in life is to remind you that everything you do that’s even somewhat enjoyable will cause you grevious pain. And they’re right. It’s taken me 40 years to accept this. But damn them, mother’s are always right.

The politics of religion.

Being Anglican means never having to say “I’m sorry”.

Catholic’s take such an active part in their religion that they have to account for every act of God. They’re in touch with her more, so folks look to them for the answers. Much like the relative or friend that loses it one day and goes shopping at the 7-11 in their underwear or something. “Well, you knew her best, did you have any idea she would take everything off but a thong and go out to buy lottery tickets?”

Pet cemetery

I love animals. In fact, I love animals so much; I toyed around with the idea of going to veterinarian school when I was younger. Then I figured that I’d have to put animals down when necessary, and the thoughts of killing an animal, even as a kindness upset me too much.

But that was then. This is now. I find myself lying awake at night, fantasizing about the death of our pets. How wonderful life would be without having to clean the algae-filled fish tank, or worrying about the hamster getting loose and the cat killing it – on my carpet. Because everything the cat does that requires cleaning takes place on carpets. Not downstairs in the laundry room, or the furnace room floor. Not even on the ceramic tile that could easily be rinsed away. Muk is a house cat and used to his creature comforts. If he’s going to hack up a hairball, it’s going to be on a nice soft couch or carpet not cold tile or dusty concrete.


Ad nauseum

Hubby went away for a week a while back and I actually got to watch commercials for the first time in a long time. Which reminded me why we don’t watch commercials.

Rapist beware

Someone sent me an email the other day about how to avoid being raped. I'm not sure why they felt the need to send this to me. While I was reading it, I was thinking "I'm a forty year old hockey mom who's lived this long without even the slightest hint of danger from a rapist, why am I reading this?"

Well, I got to point number 5 on the list of things and places rapists need to know and realized that I could vey well have been in danger - perhaps as frequently as every other week! It's just that the poor unfortunate rapist has picked the worst place to try to attack me - the grocery store parking lot.

Channeling Andy Rooney

I read a news article the other day about a store in Madison, Maine called The Heavenly Angels Coffee Shop. Seems there's not a lot to do in Madison *gasp*, and the proprietor has decided to "perk" up his customers and hire topless waitresses. Repeat after me: "That's just wrong!" I don't know about his customers, but if I were one of his waitresses; I think I'd be enrolling in night classes in a hell of a hurry.

Why do I watch CSI?

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed there's an overabundance of boobs on the CSI shows? Up until recently I've just had to deal with Catherine's boobs. Annoying, but hey, as long as the entire plot doesn't revolve around her boobs, I'm ok with it. But now I'm forced to look at not only Los Vegas boobs, but Miami boobs and now New York boobs.

I'm continually amazed at the outfits these chicks wear to work. And these gals ain't sittin' at a desk pounding away at the keyboards. I'm watching away and all of a sudden I'm thinking "yeah, you and your boobs and your tight pencil skirt are just going to slide under that there car and get an oil sample". I've been known to wear a tight blouse or skirt to work on occasion, and if I drop a pencil - I'll sit at my desk and wait till everyone's gone home before I'll crawl under to retrieve it! Not these gals. I'm wondering how many crime scene shots have gone bad because there's a stray boob or two in the pic.

I used to stay up and watch CSI, but hubby gets too annoyed at me now. See, I usually end up screaming at the TV about 10 minutes into the show. I can't help it. If I walked into a room filled with blood splatters and a dead body stretched out on the floor - the first thing I'm not going to do is reach for my penlight! So hubby gets a bit disturbed when I start jumping up and down screaming "TURN THE JESUS LIGHTS ON!!!"

After all, the show takes place in Las Vegas where there's more neon lights than people. So how come at 3:00 in the afternoon, these poor CSI people have to roam around with penlights? You would think there's enough light - natural, or neon - to be able to see properly. Drives me absolutely mad.

So you see, between the boobs, the lighting issue, and the fact that I suspect William Peterson is morphing into William Shatner - I prefer to save myself some aggravation and just go to bed.

Butt out

What is it about a man that drives him to do the most insanely stupid things? Is it something he can't control, like a testosterone rush that impairs reasoning? Or is it a deliberate act of evolution - kinda like lemmings jumping off a cliff? Maybe men have this built-in mechanism within their biological clocks that springs to life one day and makes them do things that just make the rest of us (women) shake their heads.

Juan damn thing after another

The most disturbing thing about a power failure is the fact that the light in the fridge doesn't come on when you open it. That's just wrong. I can handle going to the bathroom in the dark (I do it every couple of hours a night) and I can do no TV standing on my head. But there's something really, really unsettling about that light in the fridge. It's so dark. I know there's food in there, I can smell it spoiling. I worry about it a lot. It's so dark and I guess, abandoned. I'm not even hungry, yet I find myself worrying about the food in that dark, dark fridge.


Lifes little lessons

Things I've learnt as a renegade:

  • Living next door to the hottest disco in the downtown is fun for about three months.
  • Using the excuse that you need more drinking glasses is not a reason to attend every Wednesday Ladies Night at said disco. Nor is it a reason to order every bizarre drink known to man just to steal the glass.
  • The kidnapping of 2 German sailors during the NATO exercises may have been in violation of some international law.
  • When making a Black Forest cake – do not eat the remaining whipped cream in one sitting. Kirsch has a way of sneaking up on a person.
  • Paying your hairdresser in wine ensures that you have a "leading edge" hairstyle that can't be replicated by other hairdressers (nor by your hairdresser - since he was drunk and making it up as he went along)
  • Proving your culinary skills to two German sailors by whipping up a batch of hash brownies is unnecessary. I often wonder whatever happened to them (the sailors – not the brownies)
  • A person can live on brie and French bread.
  • Hell is a red wine hangover.

Things I’ve learnt as a Wife:

  • A hat trick is not a goal that occurs when the puck hits the goalie’s helmet.
  • Icing is not called when a player stops fast and sprays up ice.
  • A “Hail Mary” is not what the players do when they kneel on the grass.
  • The numbers that the quarterback yells out before he’s given the ball – actually mean something.
  • It’s extremely important to put the screwdriver back in the original spot it came from.
  • Men shed more hair over an area than 2 cats and a Newfoundland dog.
  • Seeing his wife use a butter knife as a pry bar, hammer, or screwdriver can drive a man to distraction.
  • Having someone else share your red wine hangover does not make you feel any better.

Things I’ve learnt as a Mother:

  • Watching professional baseball on TV is as appealing as watching grass grow. Watching a group of six-year olds play baseball is riveting.
  • Nothing good can come from a song that starts “The lady who lived in Regina”
  • The same kid who can’t remember his address, needs only one hearing of “The lady who lived in Regina” to know every word.
  • Never joke about having snow so high that you could ski off the roof. You will be challenged.
  • Tampon commercials should never follow an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh.
  • Never assume NO is interpreted as “do not do”.
  • Every weird smell should be investigated.
  • There are worse things than a red wine hangover.

Kiefer for PM!

The race for the Party nominations is on in the States.  And what a line-up they’ve got to choose from this year.  Hillary Clinton,   Rudy Giuliani, and George Clooney’s favorite, Barack Obama.  All of them are running around trying to garner celebrity support.  It’s funny that in the States, there is a distinct difference between politicians and celebrities.  They’re allowed to mix, but everyone knows where they stand.  But here in Canada, our celebrities are our politicians.  That’s sad.  Because I really don’t want to know what NHL team Harper’s rooting for, or what Stephane Dion is listening to on the drive into Parliament Hill.  Do Canadians really care that Condoleezza Rice may or may not be playing footsie with Peter MacKay over their double-singles at Timmies?



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Smoothness - who has it and who falls short 

Politicians pretend to embrace the culture of the place they’re visiting -- for the few minutes that they’re visiting.  So they stick on a 10 gallon hat and swagger around Calgary or Edmonton.  In the Maritimes, they plop a sowester on their heads and try hard not to pronounce their h’s.  But politicians are really bad actors. Kiefer isn’t.  He’ll convince even the skeptical Bluenoser that there’s nothing finer than running out to sea with a boat full of lobster traps.  And if the man wants to run around all day dressed in yellow rubber who am I to argue with him.   Style. It’s all about style, and our current PM doesn’t have any.  Kiefer on the other hand, would never, ever be criticized for his style (well, I did go on a bit about the scarf thing, but it’s a form of tough love--I’m sure he appreciated the nudge).  Here we have a visual comparison of the elusive quality of smoothness.

Commanding Presence - the difference between a bully and a beat-down

 John Baird is a bully.  He’s a big bear of a man with disturbing hair who yells, point fingers and throw tantrums. In short, he’s a dick.   Kiefer Sutherland channeling Jack Bauer is no dick.   When Kiefer/Jack stands up in the House and yells “Damn it, tell me what I need to know NOW!”  You’ll tell him. Everything.  From the origin of the not-so-innocent campaign contribution, to the time you pushed Jimmy off the swing in 2nd grade.  Because the Right Honorable Prime Minister Kiefer/Jack brooks no fools.  And when PM Kiefer/Jack looks you in the eye and proceeds to yell and point – you better hope it’s just his finger he’s pointing at you.

Empathy - the difference between knowing your audience and a sound bite

I’m certain that PM Kiefer would know that when visiting our honorable, brave, and hard-working troops in war torn countries, one doesn’t act like it’s a pit stop on ones way to a weekend fly fishing trip on the Miramichi.

Foreign Relations 101 - who’s representin’ and who’s just ridiculed

See Smoothness above – except in the case of trade missions, the PM usually respects the folks he’s visiting.  This is a perfect job for PM Kiefer.  The world’s his stage – literally.   He could channel Curtis Freley on a trade mission to Italy, for example.  Can’t you just hear it now, “Good f***’n ham!”?  As Canadians, who would we rather have as the face of our nation?

Security - as in, “the threat level in Canada is a lovely shade of dark green.”

With PM Kiefer at the controls, and all the 24 masterminds as advisors, no self-respecting terrorist would dare attack Canada.  There’d be nothing they could do that these guys hadn’t already thought of.  Talk about being proactive.

Charisma - or who gets picked first for ball hockey?

 Imagine you’re back in grade school.  Its gym class and you’ve got to pick the captains for ball hockey.  Here are your choices – have at ‘er:

Communication Skills 101 – mean what you say and say what you mean

 Some politicians are terrified to do off-the-cuff interviews, or comment on issues that they haven’t fully run through with their advisors yet.  If someone hasn’t told them what they think, or what they should say, the results can run the gamut from hilarious to disturbing.  PM Kiefer is a man of the people.  He’s always able to make a statement.   Sometimes he doesn’t have to open his mouth. 

Both of these men have something to say.  But one of these things is not like the other..

The Bad-Ass Factor

The time is right for a ‘take-no-prisoners’ kind of leader.  Someone who will show the world that Canada isn’t everyone’s doormat, that we can play hardball with the rest of them.  Someone who’ll make it known that we’re going to stop apologizing for things we didn’t do and start building our country up to its potential. 

So who would you want to lead us into this rough and tough future, some out of shape, out of touch politician whose idea of a wild and crazy night is to put on AC/DC and guzzle “Ten Penny” straight from the can, or Kiefer channeling some of his most bad-ass characters? I’m betting that Kim Jong Il would lie down and roll over if confronted by Kiefer Jack Ace David Jonathan Sutherland.

Appealing to the Masses – Celebrities and politicians, they’re just like ‘us’.

How many politicians can claim to have gotten two assists for Phil Esposito? Some of our politicians would rather have their fingernails pulled out than watch Canada’s favorite sport.  Even in LA, Kiefer finds the time to suit up for a beer league that plays regularly.  With his love of hockey and his friendship with Wayne Gretzky, he might be able to convince the Great One to come back home and sponsor a real NHL team.

How many politicians can claim to own a recording studio and record label?  Kiefer formed Ironworks with his best friend (and musical force) Jude Cole because he says he grew up on rock and roll, and missed hearing fantastic, innovative stuff.  He’s actually done a stint as the manager of their first band, Rocco DeLuca and the Burden, and Kiefer himself has a stash of 28 new and vintage Gibsons.  I suspect the closest any of our other PM choices have gotten to rock and roll is to screech a la Geddy Lee style to their air guitar concert in the shower.


And finally, let’s not forget the value of the common touch.  The little bit of ‘dumb-ass’ we all have in ourselves.  Politicians spend plenty of time and money and employ teams of people to cover up for their mistakes when all the people really want is to finally see someone stand up and say “Yeah, that was a dumb-ass stunt, but damn, it seemed like such a great idea at the time!”

When Push Comes To Shove



So how would he fare if we were to go to the polls right now? Which provinces would send Kiefer to Parliament Hill?




BC – They like to pretend they’re the LA of the North.  They’d vote for a celebrity before a ‘real’ politician.  And if they didn’t, would anyone really care?

Alberta – Given the fact that Kiefer’s an honest-to-gawd cowboy, and who in Alberta wouldn’t vote for a cowboy?  I predict he’d take Alberta.


Saskatchewan – Tommy Douglas’ home province.   I feel sorry for the other guys.  Saskatchewan would be all over Kiefer.


NB – Ask anyone in Saint John what Saint John is ‘famous’ for and you’ll hear: “We have the largest oil refinery in North America, we’re the oldest incorporated city, and Donald Sutherland lived here.”  C’mon, this is the same province who thought it would be cool if Elsie Wayne was Prime Minister.  Kiefer’s a shoe-in.

PEI - Kiefer and his direct relatives may not have come from this province, but Shirley Douglas did play Miss Cavendish in Road to Avonlea.  That's got to count for something, huh?

NS – He wasn’t old enough to party with the ‘Capers’, but I’m sure they think fondly of the young lad who hung around for a summer while filming the Bay Boy.  Actually the NS race would be the most exciting of the entire campaign.  Imagine this, we could have Scott Brison, Peter MacKay, and Kiefer duking it out.  Given Kiefer’s propensity for getting drunk and semi-naked, it could be a very interesting race.  For some, more so than others


 NFLD – Kiefer shot BtRD here just before the world discovered Jack Bauer.  The Newfs can lay claim on ‘knowing him when’.  Yeah, I don’t think NFLD would have a problem with Kiefer as PM – I suspect he’s already been screeched in.


PQ -   His long term friend-with-benefits, Catherine Bisson is from Montreal.  And Kiefer smokes a couple packs a day.  I’m sure if he were Prime Minister, he’d get rid of that pesky no smoking in public rule that has the Quebecer’s in a tizzy.

So are we there yet?  Are we ready to stand up as one and let the world know that Canada's ready to bring sexy back to Ottawa?

If so, they you have to vote Kiefer for PM!

Hell, if nothing else, it'll be entertaining to see the jealous cat fight between Scott Brison and Belinda Stronach.


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24 teaches torture, damnit!

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on CBC this morning to get my fix of news.  Check out this article  I'm sure if you're a '24' fan like myself, you've already read the Jane Mayer article in The New Yorker last week.   Well this woman simply regurgitates the article and throws out unrelated things like Shirley Douglas' cheekbones.  I just lost it when I read this piece of crap. 

I’m a bit curious as to the point and purpose of the author’s column.  How does she want me to feel about what she's written? That the road to torture leads to damnation? That the show ‘24’ travels down that road?  That because I’m a loyal ‘24’ fan, I am skipping merrily down the road to damnation? 

I was so enraged I had to write CBC with a response. 

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Dear Mr. Sutherland...

Dear Mr. Sutherland;

You don’t know me, but I need you to trust me when I say I only have your best interests at heart in writing this letter. web metrics


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Marty Poppins

Kiefer Sutherland - Practically Perfect In Every Way

Sunday, February 5, 2006; Posted: 6:10 p.m. EST (23:10 GMT)

(Rooters)  Kiefer Sutherland set to play male Mary Poppins in new screen adaptation of Disney's original classic.

After 5 years of playing America?s favorite secret agent, actor Kiefer Sutherland, 39 is taking on his toughest assignment yet. He's been tagged by director Ron Howard to star in his latest project, a remake of the much-loved Mary Poppins.

"I loved the movie as a child, and want to bring that innocence back to the screen for the next generation." Howard said. "Of course, in this day and age, the characters have to be edgier and more realistic to appeal to the masses". When asked why he's changing the main character from a woman to a man, Howard shrugged and said "I also enjoyed Tootsie".

Sutherland, whose best known for his intense, gritty performance as Jack Bauer in Fox's 24, agreed to play Marty Poppins after being approached by Howard at The Rustic Inn sometime in September. "Ron and I sat down with a couple of J&Bs and he pitched the story. I couldn't resist", grinned Sutherland.

When questioned about the recent rumors surrounding Sutherland's purported drunken behavior on the London set, Howard shook his head and remarked "They've got it all wrong. Everyone claims he was drunk and tried to jump a Christmas tree. That was actually a scene from the movie. He was supposed to pop open his umbrella and fly up to the top of the tree to put the angel up. Unfortunately the cable snapped and Kiefer fell. He's a professional though. He picked himself back up and carried on with the scene."

Sutherland finished up his scenes by January and is currently wrapping up filming on his 5th season of 24. 

Union man

“How much will you pay me to help shovel the driveway?” he asks.

“Well, that all depends on how much you shovel. If you do the front stairs and the landing, I’ll give you 5 bucks. If you help me on the driveway, I’ll give you another 5 bucks.” I chime in from way down at the end of the driveway (where the hard, crunchy, snow plow snow is), “If you help me clear this stuff, I’ll throw in another 5 dollars.” “Only fifteen bucks for all that work?!” He sighs. “I’ll do it for twenty.” After some back and forth negotiations, we agree if he works really hard and takes it seriously, we’ll give him twenty bucks.

Conversations from the back seat

Since most of what Alex does now is less amusing and more alarming, this may be the last entry in the Boy Stories collection. This’ll be a living document – I expect I’ll be making regular updates.

Why do kids think that there’s a soundproof wall that separates the back seat from the front? Do they think we’re so busy concentrating on driving that we’re physically unable to hear the conversations taking place less than 3 feet from our ears?

Overheard on the way to the Moosehead’s game:

“I hope I make it into the NHL”.

“Yeah, they make millions of dollars!”

“Man, Sidney Crosby’s loaded and he’s not even old yet”

“I bet he has a huge mansion”

“Almost as big as Michael Jordan’s”

“If I don’t make it into the NHL, I’m gonna be a lawyer”


“Lawyer’s make big bucks. Almost as much as hockey players, and they don’t have to get up for practices in the mornings”

“If I don’t get to be a lawyer, I’ll be a doctor. They make lots of money, too”

“Ewww!!! No way - you might have to touch someone’s testicles!”

Janet Jackson's boob

Sunday night - big night in our house. Super Bowl for hubby, half-time show for Alex and Survivor premier for me. What a great family night. Well, the football game was mildly interesting. Both guys seemed to enjoy it.

The half-time show was bizarre before Janet and Justin showed up, and just got weirder as it went on. Alex decided right then and there that he wanted to play football instead of hockey because "they play real music at football games". Janet made her appearance and Alex, who has this strange fascination with Michael Jackson, sat up and exclaimed "Hey, that's the weird man". I had to explain it was the weird man's weird sister.

Anyway, the wardrobe malfunction happened, and while I've always known about neurons and synapses, it was only then that I realized the length of time it takes for something you see, to actually register in your brain. Or at least the part of your brain that governs the "what the hell am I looking at!?" cortex. About the same time I realized I was looking at a boob - which, by the way, looked nothing like my boob (the only nipple shield I'd ever hear of was in my breast feeeding bras) I also realized that Alex may have just tripped on to what he was seeing.

He had an odd look on his face, but then closed his eyes and went to sleep. I'm not sure what he dreamed about - not sure I want to, but it only took a day at school listening to all the other kids talk about the "Boob Bowl" and his fascination with boob-bearing bloomed. For the next week, we found ourselves discussing boobs at the dinner table, during baths, in between commercials, and in the car. He's even gone so far as to ask me if I've ever worn an earring on my boob. And being a wool sweater loving person, I have the same reaction as most men do when discussing riding horses bareback - "OH MY GOD, NO!!!"

A week later we all woke up early one morning, and Alex - clearing the visions of pierced boobs dancing around his head - wanders downstairs to watch TV while we're getting dressed for work. I don't know what audio clues I had, but for some reason I though he was watching The Discovery Channel. I thought "great, maybe he can discuss what he watched today and the teacher will think what wonderful parents we are".

So Alex is raptly watching TV, absorbing everything so he can stand in front of the class, tell them what he learnt, and make his parents proud. As hubby was making Alex's waffle and I was putting on my makeup, we hear "THESE GIRLS HAVE GONE WILD!!!" Again, I had the neuron and synapses thing happening and by the time my brain figured out what the hell I was hearing, hubby arrived in the living room to see the tail end of a porn infomercial. Apparently whatever TV channel Alex was watching doesn't take their adult content off the airwaves till sometime after 6:00am. We figure he had about 15 1/4 minutes of "education" that would have better waited till he was at least sixteen!

His eyes were huge as he looked at us in amazement and whispered "I saw everything". I decided to take the high road and not make a fuss. After all, if you make a big deal out of something, it'll become a big deal. So when I picked him up from the sitter's I asked him how his day went. "Mom, it was a great day!" he said.

I couldn't help but think: Typical male. Any day that starts with porn is gonna be a great day...

The Boxer Rebellion

There comes a time in a boy's life when they've just got to put their foot down and insist on doing things their way. After all, they've lived to the ripe old age of seven and have a firm grasp of what's good for them and not. It's time they struck out on their own and travel down the road to independence.

They've mastered the Law of Gravity - as demonstrated by the power poop incident in a previous story. and they've proven Newton's 3 Laws of Motion numerous times:

1) An object in motion tends to keep moving in a straight line at a constant speed. This was first discovered while learning to use his bike ramp. This has also been demonstrated by the cat on several occasions.

2) The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force on it. Discovered this year while playing hockey, and can apply equally well to a jumbo pack of Silly Putty.

3) Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Usually in the form of a grounding.

So, it's only natural that these wise sages feel the need to exert their wills from time to time. A little warning would have been nice however. While getting dressed for hockey on Saturday morning, Alex says, "I have something to tell you guys. I'm never wearing underwear again." He went on to say a compromise could be reached only if we agreed to supply him with boxers.

Luckily we had a pair of boxers that he uses as pyjama bottoms in the summer. He happily went off wearing his boxers, and I rushed to the store to pick him up a supply; wondering all the while, what my mother would consider worse - being in an accident with ripped underwear, or no underwear at all?

I bought 3 pairs of boxers which were a resounding success (due in part because they had skateboarders on them). I also bought a couple pairs of what I considered boxers, but when I presented him with the package, he exclaimed, "Muuummm, these are tighty-whitey's!". He promptly informed us they would not be making an appearance on his backside. At this point hubby is going around imitating Kramer on the Sienfield show exclaiming "my boys need their freedom!".

So my boy and his boys are happily enjoying the new boxers. And we hold our breaths waiting for the next exercise in independence. I'm fearful the next battle of wills may be over body piercing. I try to be as diligent as I can about what he's taking in while watching TV, playing video games, and listening to music. So when we sat down to watch the Super Bowl I thought "good, a sports show, he might actually be interested in this". Oh yeah - it certainly held his attention!

The hamster from hell

They say that everyone has their own personal jukebox playing in their head. Songs that you remember from when you were young, as well as the last song you heard on the radio are stored in there. Every song you've ever heard is in this jukebox, and can be called up whenever you want it.

There seems to be some sort of bug in my jukebox. Call it a software glitch or a program feature, but my jukebox seems to get stuck on annoying songs. Try as I might, I can't seem to delete these songs from my personal playlist. I know there's some really, really great songs in there, but I can't access them.

I first realized this problem when Alex was about one. I couldn't get Barney songs out of my head. So I fixed that problem by encouraging him to watch The Magic School Bus. At least its theme song wasn't as sickeningly sweet and downright awful as the stuff that came out of Barney's mouth. Also, "The Bus" was on around 4:00, which would be the last kid show I would be watching. There's nothing like lying awake at 2:00am singing "I Love You, You Love Me.."

Then along came the Pokemon show. I could name all 150 Pokemon. Not because I had any special interest in them - I didn't even watch the show. It's just that they name each and every Pokemon in the song. I would have gladly taken a sleepless night singing Barney songs - anything compared to lying awake and trying to remember the name of the 78th Pokemon! Because I can't go on with the song until I remember the damn name. So I have to go right back to the start and try again.

His grandfather got Alex a singing fish one Christmas and it was then we realized that the boy has a thing for singing sea creatures. The grocery store had all sorts of these singing fish scattered around their seafood dept. We would have to go over to each and every one of them and make them sing. And stay to hear the song. He'd grin and dance and sing away. People would go by and smile and think "how cute is that?". Of course they thought it was cute. Their personal jukeboxes worked correctly. Not mine. I would sit at my desk humming "Take Me To the River" (as sung by Billy Bass) or "Mack the Knife" (as sung by Sammy Shark). Alex's collection of singing sea creatures now includes a Billy Bass that sings Christmas songs.

So this Christmas my folks are visiting and after Alex was asleep, hubby brings down a present he picked up for Alex's stocking. It's this cute little hamster all dressed up in hockey gear; helmet, jersey, gloves and a little hockey stick. His name is Sergei and when you press his foot he sings "The Good Old Hockey Game". We all got a great chuckle out of this and I slept quite soundly - until Christmas night.

There's a special spot in Hell for the makers of this toy. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, where I am, or who I'm with, "The Good Old Hockey Game" is always there. Not only is it playing in my head, it seems I'm forced to delare loudly "OH, THE GOOD OL' HOCKEY GAME...". I figure this is what it's like to be possessed. Some people hear voices telling them to do evil things. My demon just whispers "sing it like you mean it girl!"

It's now the end of January and Sergei has developed a small problem. When his foot is pressed, he now sings "Oh, The Good Old Hockey Game. It's The Ohhhnnnggg....". Precisely how I feel.

Evolution and the ice-cream truck

I remember the ice-cream truck and the noises it made. You were always considered somewhat of a loser if you weren't the first one to recognize the ice-cream truck's sounds coming down the street. Somehow the ice-cream always tasted better when you were amongst the ones who stood stock still in the street, silently willing the truck to come your way.

Alex is having an ice-cream truck summer. The music on the truck seems much louder than it was when I was six, and the truck's put-put is much more pronounced. One would surmise this is why the kids can hear it from such a great distance away. But I think it's much more complicated than that. I think it's a fine example of evolution at work.

The kids are like prarie dogs. There's always one dog that's appointed as a listener. That dog gets to do all the prarie dog stuff, but is also tasked with being the one who sends out the signal if he hears something. When the listener dog barks, they all disappear into their holes. Meanwhile the listener has already headed south and is nice and safe in his hole before all the others. Once they're sure it's ok, they all pop out of their holes at once and go about their business again.

This is what happens on our street when the ice-cream truck makes an appearance. The listener scream "iiiicecreeeeeemtruuuuuck!!" and heads for home. The other kids stand stock still straining to hear (which is hard to do, considering the first kid is screaming at the top of his lungs!). Then they all disappear into their houses to pop out again when the truck comes down the street. At the start of the summer the kids had to convince their suspicious parents that there really was an ice-cream truck on the way. The reason for this was because there wasn't one among us who could actually hear the ice-cream truck. You'd see parents standing out on their decks with wallets in hand and very puzzled looks on their faces. Meanwhile the kids would be turning themselves inside out trying to convince their parents to "GIVE ME THE MONEEEY!!"

It's this behaviour that has lead to my theory that evolution is at work. It don't think the kids actually hear the ice-cream truck anymore. They 'sense' it. Many a time I've been outside with Alex and all of a sudden he'll start dancing and screaming about the ice-cream truck when I can't hear a thing. We all know know that when the kids start screaming, it's a whole lot easier to just get your change ready than to argue with them. Because it's coming. Maybe you can't hear it, but it IS coming.

What really convinced me that these kids were more sugar-evolved than their parents was the day that we were driving home from getting groceries. We were a couple of miles from our house when Alex asked if he could have some money because "the ice-cream truck is coming tonight". Sure enough, we were home for an hour or so when the kids started shouting for money.

One day I was home from work early and the ice-cream truck stopped in our driveway. When the kids had all bought their treats, the ice-cream lady looked at me and asked where Alex was. When I told her he was still at the sitters, she looked kinda dejected. I told her to swing on over to his sitter's street and she would find him. I'm certain at that exact moment; he was standing by the curb with his change in hand.

How do you spell TV?

I know it's a learning process. I know it's good that he's curious. I know he's listening. I know he's taking it in. BUT IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!

Every waking minute, every hour, every day, day in and day out we have to spell things. Either we're spelling, we're listening to him spell, or we're correcting his spelling.

The reason it's driving only me crazy is because the man I married, the father of my child, can't spell! What I mean to say is, he can spell - just not very well. There's a lot of things I defer to hubby because he's much better at either explaining it, or because he actually understands it better than I. Things like how do tornados work; how far away is the moon; what's a meteor; how does a light bulb work. That's the sort of stuff I semi-explain, and then suggest we ask Dad, 'cause he could give a good example. Spelling is my domain. Which wouldn't be so bad, except I not only have to listen to Alex spell, I have to listen to hubby spell - and be prepared to correct them both.

I knew about his spelling deficiency long before Alex came along - I just had no idea it extended to actually sounding out the words. Alex's assignments involve getting 7 words each week and doing exercises around those words They then have a 'review' at the end of the week (can't call them tests anymore - apparently the little souls will be scarred for life if they think they're being 'tested') Anyway, these words always have a theme such as double letter words (mitt), or rhyming words (hug,mug). One day Alex brought home his assignment - long "A" words (lake, cake, brake, etc.). Should be a piece of "cake", huh?

I must have had a busy week, because I heard his words and we reviewed them, but I didn't get to help him with his last exercise - cutting out pictures of words with long "A" sounds I was running out somewhere so I left Alex and his father with a bunch of magazines, scissors and glue, quite confident that when I got back, Alex would have a nice page with lots of long "A word pictures.

Well, he had lots of pictures. No long "A" words. There was a picture of a cat, a picture of a car, and a picture of a tree (I have no idea what that was all about). So I gently suggested that maybe we try to sound the words out to see if they really did have long "A" sounds. According to hubby, they really did. He's lived 39 years, graduated from high school, university, and has a professional designation - but he can't distinguish long A's from short A's.

Alex informs me that he's going to be a hockey player when he grows up and I'm not certain if the NHLPA has a requirement for their members to know long A sounds or not. I do know Alex has mastered the art of eating corn on the cob without his front teeth, so maybe they'll overlook the spelling thing in favor of more practical skills.

Our summer vacation

This summer is the worst summer Alex has ever had, and according to him, we are the meanest parents in the world. In particular, I am the meanest, most horrible mother there ever was. The evilist villian is a mere pussycat compared to me. See, I've grounded him and apparently he's innocent of all the charges.

My boy is always on the run. Always. From the minute his eyes open 'till he falls asleep in mid-sentence, he is busy. His hectic schedule doesn't leave much time for bathroom duties. In fact, going to the bathroom is something that must be put off until the very last second. Things like raising the seat and actually aiming - too much wasted time in his opinion. Because I'm the only female in the house, I've drawn the short straw on seat raising. It is now my responsibility to raise the seat when I'm done. At least I'm guaranteed a dry seat when it's my turn.

I'm holding fast to the aiming rule though. I figure, if I'm considerate enough to actually raise the seat, thereby giving a much larger target - the least Alex can do is make an effort to actually aim for it. I've tried screaming, yelling, and berating, to no avail. I've even threatened to put diapers on him. But, I'm a bit afraid he'll enjoy the fact he doesn't even have to slow down and come in to pee if he's wearing them!

So, this weekend I've decided that he'll be grounded every time he misses. The first incident happened last night after supper. Of course Alex waited till he was in pain before he ventured into the bathroom. I happened to walk by the bathroom to hear the sounds of water hitting the floor. I promptly grounded him for the rest of the night. He got quite defensive and yelled back that it wasn't his fault. According to him, he "couldn't control his penis, and the pee hit the floor by accident". Hmmm.

An hour or so later, when he had calmed down and accepted his punishment, he was leaning out the window yelling at the kids on the street. They yelled back for him to come out. He got upset all over again, declared his innocence, and let everyone on the street know he was being held against his will. When they asked what he did to get grounded, he shouted out, " I couldn't control my penis and it fell on the floor - then mom grounded me". It didn't take long for the neighbors to come over to joke about that one...

Get off the driveway!

I want a digital camera. Not the cheap kind, but the one that's roughly the same amount as what the driveway will cost to pave.

Well, the driveway won. We get home on Friday and the guys are just finishing up. Of course, we have to park on the street. We hop out and the first thing Alex does is walk across the driveway. "Get off the driveway!" we both scream within earshot of the half-dozen of Alex's friends that always "swarm" our car when we come home after work.

"Why?" ask the half-dozen kids. "You can't walk on the driveway for 3 days", we tell them. "Why?", again. "Because it's not cured yet, and walking on it would ruin it", we tell them.

As we struggled across the lawn, Alex asks "When can I walk on it?" "In three days", I tell him. James then comes over to see Alex - walking across our driveway. "Get off the driveway!", we shout. "Why?" James asks. Hubby decides it's a good time to put up stakes and rope to keep the 'swarm' from walking across the driveway. Mitch comes over to ask what he's doing. "I'm putting up rope to keep everyone from walking on the driveway". "Why", asks Mitch. "Because it's too soft", answers hubby. "When can we walk on it?", asks Mitch. Hubby answers, "In 3 days'.

I arrive to help put in the last couple of stakes and Alex follows me out. "Can I walk on it now?" "In 3 days, when we come back from Saint John, you'll be able to walk on it", I answer. "When will we be back from Saint John?". "In 3 days, buddy". "What day will it be in 3 days?" "Monday", I answer. "Can I walk on the driveway now?" This is a kid who can tell you how many school days are left till summer vacation, but he can't seem to understand the concept of 3 days. I start on supper, the doorbell rings and Andrew is at the door for Alex.

"Why is your driveway roped off?", Andrew asks. "Because the pavement's soft and you can't walk on it yet", I answer. "Why?" "Because the pavement's soft and you can't walk on it!!" "When can we walk on it?", Andrew asks. "In 3 days. How did you get up here?", I ask. "I walked up the driveway."

All 4 kids are now staring at the driveway. "Can we walk on the driveway now?", asks Mitch. "NO!! Nobody can walk on it till the ropes come off!". "When will the ropes come off?", they all ask. "In 3 days", I respond. "Can we roller blade on the driveway now?"

Chris is the last of the swarm to arrive on our lawn. "Alex, why does your driveway have ropes around it?" he asks. "Because you can't walk on it for 3 days!!, we all answer. "Why" he asks.

We got back on Monday and the 'swarm' promptly set to work on the driveway. There's barely any black showing though the chalk drawings, and our driveway is littered with skateboards, bikes and rollerblades. We have yet to be able to park our car in the driveway. If I had a digital camera, I would take a picture of it....


I'm bored

Every other year we go home for Christmas and spend Christmas Eve at my in-laws. They do their unwrapping that evening because everyone has in-laws and out-laws they have to visit on Christmas. This is a great time for us all to get together and eat, drink, and be merry. But, it's also very confusing, what with 10 adults, 1 kid, and 2 dogs.

When the gifts were brought down, everyone tore into their stuff. All of a sudden I realized that Alex was opening gifts that Santa was to have brought him for the next morning. I quickly grabbed what I could, but he was a bit put out when he woke up the next day and only had a couple of parcels to open. The whole drive home he kept muttering "I hate Santa. He's mean".

I spent two hours today lugging toys from his bedroom and the living room down to his new play room in the basement. The room isn't finished yet, but I couldn't live in the mess of toys scattered throughout the house.

So, he now has 400 square feet of play room which is filled with: A new Nintendo and 6 games; 47 miles of Hot Wheels track; 2 train sets; 95 dinky cars; 8 motorcycles; 4 monster trucks; and 1 airplane. When going down to do laundry, we're besieged by either Spiderman, Action Man, or any number of his army of Rescue Heroes (who I assumed were good guys, but it appears they are in league with the sinister Dr. X).

He has 3 Snakes and Ladders games, and between them cannot come up with enough game pieces to play. So we've lobotomized his Hungry Hippos and are using their jaws for game pieces. I wonder if serial killers started out this way?

Of course, I made sure that I designed and painted 2 huge toy cabinets; one is taller than he is, and brought down at least a dozen Rubbermaid storage containers. All of which are being used as boats, hiding spaces and makeshift cars - anything to keep toys from going into them. And today, the love of my life; the air that I breathe, looks at me and says "Can you play with me - I'm bored?"

I should have known this was coming. Of all the toys and money spent on him this Christmas, his favourite thing in the world was a $9 battery operated toothbrush he got in his stocking. He loves it!! We had a little battle over his using it to brush the cat, but I think we've reached a compromise - I don't ask and he doesn't tell. I figure as long as he doesn't have any cavities, and the cat isn't covered in toothpaste, all is well....

The wisemen

I've decided we'll concentrate less on Santa and more on the Christian aspect of Christmas this year. He knows everything there is to know about Santa, so he should be hearing about God and Jesus and Angels. We try to throw them in whenever we can and make it interesting for him. Of course, I have forgotten the one character flaw of most five year olds. They hear what they want, when they want, and block out everything else.

So, this year I dig out the Nativity set and ask Alex if he wants to help set it up. His grandparents sent him an Advent calendar, and although it competes heavily with the 25 Chocolate Days Till Christmas calendar, he is asking questions about each window. So out comes our Nativity set. But whoops! It's porcelain, not plastic. So I have to tell him it's delicate. Alex likes that word. We use delicate a lot. "Alex, don't squeeze the cat, he's delicate." Alex, don't jump on your father when he's lying on the couch, he's delicate."

We're setting up the Nativity scene and I'm explaining why we do it and what happened. Alex looks at me and says, "I know who made us. God did." I agreed with him. "I know who made the trees. God did." I agreed with him again. "I know who made our house. God did." I should have agreed with him, but instead I said "That's not quite right. God made the trees, God made man, and man cut down the trees and made houses." Well, he thought about it for a while and our conversation goes like this:

Alex: "God didn't make ghouls (girls)."
Me: "What do you mean, God didn't make ghouls, I mean girls, God made everyone."
Alex: "Mom, you just said God made man - not ghouls."
Me: "That's not what I meant. When I said 'man', I meant 'hu-mans' and 'hu-mans' mean girls too." (At this point, I'm picturing myself as Roddy McDowell in Planet of the Apes.)

Because Alex is five and bound by the laws that dictate five year-old behaviour, he heard what he wanted, then blocked everything else out. Thanks to my little lesson, girls are not just icky to play with. Girls are now some sort of freaky sub-species not sanctioned by God.

Because I'm of the non-sanctioned species, I felt the need to make one more attempt to defend our right to co-exist alongside the 'chosen ones'.

Me: "Girls are just as good as boys, and God made both."
Alex: "But Mom, there's no Wise Ghouls - just Wise Men. The Wise Ghouls weren't invited to see the baby Jesus."
Me: "But the baby Jesus' mother, Mary, was a girl."
Alex: "Yeah, but she's a mom - not a ghoul."
Me: "Let's make some gingerbread cookies."

I can't wait to tell him the Tooth Fairy is a ghoul and won't be leaving any money under his pillow!

The reindeer has landed

Well, we made it through the Christmas Concert without a major incident.

He stood still, sang nice and loud, and more importantly, used the correct lyrics. I took a ton of pics, but since there were about 100 kids on stage, all wearing Reindeer antlers or elf hats, the pics are on a "Where's Waldo" theme.

However, a grade primary Christmas Concert wouldn't be complete without a few incidents...

A couple of kids fell off the staging during the song. I'm not sure if they jumped or were pushed. Either way, they recovered enough to finish their song. My boy wasn't involved. He was safely surrounded by a pack of reindeer at the other end of the stage. The kids that jumped were elves - couldn't take the pressure, I guess.

Alex wiped his nose on his bright red turtleneck - right in the middle of his chest. Apparently he forgot about the wad of Kleenex I'd stuffed in his pants pocket. Luckily he was in the second row, so the huge glaring stain probably wasn't noticed by anyone but me. He also had a toothpaste stain on his pants. I didn't ask how toothpaste got on his knees. Some things are better not knowing.

He has this thing about his pants and underwear - they have to be under his hips , not over. This involves a great deal of digging, adjusting, and contorting. And he ends up with the crotch of his pants down around his knees. Because pants and underwear aren't made to be worn like this, the necessary 'adjustments' must be done quite regularly - like every time he moves his body.

So the nice, tidy, tucked-in boy I left in the classroom last night emerged on stage with his shirt untucked and his pants unbuttoned to accommodate his belly and hips. Between the stain on his shirt and the baggy pants, he looked like he'd been on quite a bender.

If I didn't think he'd wet his pants, I'd put him in overalls till he gets over himself...

Alex the reindeer

I like Christmas, really. It's just that having a kid who gets distracted by dust can be very trying this time of year. There are only 17 more sleeps left, and for Alex, that's approximately 16 more than he can stand. He's been absolutely wild since the middle of November, and gets wilder every passing day. I go around all day repeating "Deck the Halls...not the kid".

He's excited because Christmas is coming. He's on a permanent sugar high from the 15lbs of junk food he consumes daily. He goes to a birthday party once a week. He's got his Christmas Concert coming up. And, he can quote chapter and verse, every commercial for every toy ever invented and advertised on TV - including the tag line "batteries not included".

He's decided Santa is getting him a Nintendo. Nothing we do or say can sway him from this belief. I took him to see Santa last weekend and he jumped up on Santa's lap and told him "I'll be in New Brunswick at Christmas, so please leave the Nintendo at Nanny's house". This Santa, being a mean, evil Santa who obviously has no family of his own, told Alex "There's plenty of Nintendo's at the North Pole. Tell Mom and Dad that Santa's got a Nintendo for you."

The only thing that stopped me from exposing him for a fraud was the next little boy who sat on his lap and asked Santa for a baby sister. Stuff that in your sleigh and sit on it, fat man!

Of course, hubby thinks I got just what I deserved, what with taking Alex to a tavern to see Santa. In my defense, I didn't take him to a tavern to drink beer and see Santa, I took him to the Sunday family brunch at said tavern. I figured I had two choices: take him to the mall and stand in line for an hour so Alex could spend 20 seconds on Santa's lap. Or, we could have a nice brunch and a leisurely chat with the man. I'm beginning to suspect they slapped a red suit and a beard on the guy who passed out in the can on Saturday night.

I told Alex that we were going to a restaurant to see Santa - our next door neighbor informed him that it wasn't a restaurant but a tavern. Alex informed me he told his class on Monday that "Mom took me to the tavern this weekend, and I saw Santa". Can't wait till the next parent-teacher conference...

He's a reindeer in his Christmas Concert. The kids are either elves or reindeer. Elves get to sing a song by themselves, reindeers sing in a group. Given his love of inserting inappropriate words in songs - I'm so very, very grateful he's a reindeer. I have visions of the incident when he was three and I had all the girls over for a Pampered Chef party. Since they got home early, hubby took Alex upstairs for a bath. Alex's favorite song at the time was "The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly". Unfortunately, he also got a huge kick out of the word "penis". Anytime that magical word was uttered, he'd chuckle and chort for minutes on end. So, drifting down from the bath were the sweet angelic sounds of my baby boy singing "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Penis". I think I can sympathize with Wierd Al Yankovitz's mother.

However, there's a bright spot. He's a reindeer, and he's practicing very had to be a reindeer. I've never had a reindeer in my house, but I now have a pretty good idea of the damage they can cause. The reindeers are singing "Jolly Old St. Nickalus". I've been going over the song for a few days now and I think we're ok lyric-wise. But just in case, I'm just bringing a camera. I prefer to keep it a Kodak moment - not Memorex.

Power poops and the Macarana

From the time I got him home, Alex fed every two hours. It would only take him about 20 minutes to feed, but it took me the next 1/2 hour to get him to go to sleep. I would rock and rock and rock and he would squirm and look around, garble and gurgle; completely content and not the least bit tired. Once I got him to sleep, he would wake right up the instant he wasn't held anymore. So it took me another 10-15 minutes to do the 'transfer' from holding him to putting him in the crib. Many a night I leaned over the crib, still cradling his head and left side as I eased myself away in 1 or 2 minute increments. Once freed, I would rush back to bed and instantly fall asleep for 45 minutes, or until the next feeding. I never thought much about REM sleep - but you certainly know when you're not getting it!

After a month or two of this, we bought him a bouncy chair for him to sit in. The one we bought also had a battery operated pack that would vibrate the chair. I thought it was kind of silly until the first time I plopped him in, turned on the vibrator, and he went to sleep in about 10 minutes! I don't know who invented it, but they should be nominated for Sainthood. I suppose I should feel guilty or inadequate for not being able to sooth my child to sleep, but I was too busy being deliriously happy about the vibrating chair to care about the damage I might be doing to his psyche.

The 'comfy chair' allowed me to get more than 3 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day; kept the Energizer battery company flush; and sent Alex on his way to being a dance music fan.

The first time he heard that awful dance song, The Macarana, he was in his chair. His head whipped up and his eyes got wide and he started bouncing away. I would help him out with the hand motions and he would grin and garble like crazy. He also loved the Dancing Ito's that would appear on Letterman, but I tried to discourage dancing at 1:30am. And it's really hard to get a 3 month-old to do the can-can.

There were three things Alex loved when he was that age; his lunches, his chair, and his poops. No crying or wailing to have his diaper changed - not my kid. He was quite content to squirm around in the mess until someone noticed the smell. But because he wasn't a bottle baby, he didn't usually smell bad (unless you were so inclined to stick your nose directly into his diaper). This left plenty of time for him to spread the joy around. Nobody told me about power poops. I had to find out the hard way just how massive and powerful they are.

The first power poop occurred while he was bouncing in his chair. I noticed a big brown stain appear on the back of the chair and ran over to rescue him. Holding him at arms length, I marched him upstairs and just plunked him in the tub, clothes and all. I never dreamed I'd have to clean poop off my kids ears.
All cleaned up and hungry (at least one of us still had an appetite), I got to the bottom of the stairs and noticed there was a very dark brown stain on my very light beige carpet. And a trail of smaller stains all the way upstairs into the bathroom. Proving again that gravity does indeed work, and whatever goes up, also comes back down - thru the legs of his diapers. All in all, it was a banner pooping day for Alex, something he tried regularly to duplicate, but never quite matched the combination of propulsion and volume.


Special delivery

I started to have what I assumed were contractions on a Sunday, and finally went to the hospital on Monday afternoon. They sent me home saying "When you have contractions, you'll know". Boy, were they right. I always tell people now - If you have to think about whether what you just felt was a contraction - it wasn't. It's the difference between a warm summer breeze and a category 4 hurricane.

I was one of the lucky ones. Or so I'm told. My water broke just as the contractions were picking up. No questioning whether it was time to go - it was time to go! Because I was in active labour and my water had broken, they didn't do an assessment on me. they just showed us to the room and let me do my thing. My thing involved walking. Walking between the toilet and the head of the bed. As long as I was moving and I wasn't lying down - everything was fine.

I had decided a long time ago that I wasn't having any pain medicine. I was going to push that baby out and do it naturally. Of course, I did briefly reconsider this after I discovered I would be pushing out the longest baby in the world, but I was determined to at least try. My nurse knew that I didn't want any pain medicine, but would come in every half-hour to see if I wanted to reconsider. After about 4 hours of this, I figured I would give her a break and let her at least talk to me about it. Before they can talk to you about an epidural, they have to do an assessment. No sense getting a person's hopes up, only to find out they can't have any drugs.

So I'm lying on the bed and my contractions are coming faster and faster. She checks me out and says "Oh my God!". No one - not nurse, doctor, friend, parent, or spouse should ever, I mean never, ever look at a woman in labour and say "Oh my God!". When she said that, I figured she was going to tell me I was only 1cm dilated which, of course, meant I was going to have to kill her.

She didn't say that though. What she did say was "You're 7cm's and the baby's breech". When we asked her if she was sure, she replied "I'm so sure, I can tell the sex of the baby". That's when I knew I was having a boy. That's also when I knew I wasn't giving birth to the longest baby in the world. What everyone thought was a hard bum, was actually Alex's head (which is quite hard). He was tucked up inside me like a little backward Buddha. What was pressing back on me when I pressed was actually his elbow. I've asked him, but he doesn't seem to remember.

They told me I could continue to try to deliver him naturally, but that I would have at least another day of labour on my hands. I thought since I was already lying in bed, and since they had already called in all the appropriate people at 1am, and since I didn't want all those people to be summoned at that hour for nothing, that they should just go ahead and "TAKE THIS DAMN THING OUT". I like to be considerate of other people, ya know.

So I didn't get to push Alex out. I did feel a bit cheated after all the preparation I did. But I think of it now as just a little break. After all, I've been doing nothing but pushing him lately. I push him to eat his veggies, push him to do his homework and push him out the door in the morning. I also get to cop out when the question is asked "how do babies get out of their mommies bellies?". I get to say "the doctor cut mommy's belly and pulled you out".

The longest baby in the world

Seems Alex had everyone fooled. My doctor told me at about 24 weeks that the baby was breech and that 1) this wasn't uncommon, and 2) it would probably turn in the next week or so. Like most new mothers, I tried to picture what the baby looked like inside me, especially in the last couple of weeks. I would push on a certain spot above my belly button and Alex would push back. I just could never figure out what he was pushing back with! According to the books and the doctors, he should be turned around and dropped. I could only figure he had enough room to knee me when I pushed that spot.

Because I developed high blood pressure and was retaining fluid like crazy; the doctor put me off work a month and a half before I was due. I also had to go to the maternity hospital every other day to have my blood pressure checked. This hospital is wonderful, and because it's a teaching hospital, I was seen by dozens of nurses, doctors, interns, students, and quite possibly a janitor or two. They all said the same thing. The very hard body part that was just under my ribs was a very hard bum. They also said the baby had dropped nicely and everything was going according to plan. HAH!

Now, I'm not the slightest bit medically inclined - ask anyone. If a band-aid, Tylenol, or Pepto can't solve the problem - it's time to seek out people who know what they're doing. However, I would lie in bed at night trying to picture this kid that supposedly has dropped and has this incredibly hard bum.

Okay, the head is somewhere way down between my pelvis, and the bum is up under my ribsl. The head is waay down there, and the bum is waay up there. Head there. Bum there.... Wait a friggin' minute!?! This kid will be the longest baby in the world!! But because I'm not a doctor, and "don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies", I just kept my concerns to myself....


My silly little Kiefer Sutherland obsession...


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