Tuesday 23 December 2014

BMBR: The Bottom Line by Sandy James

This is a cute romance in the "Ladies who Lunch" series about a breast cancer survivor and the carpenter that she hires to work on her house.

It was a decent story with the usual back and forth of miscommunication, misconceptions and trust issues.  There's also a lot of descriptive, normal sex.

That being said, I felt compelled to finish the story, but I didn't feel compelled to jump my husband after reading it, but I'm going take into consideration that he fell asleep watching hockey, and that my uterus is gearing up for a wonderful Christmas present. Yay.

Bottom line: these books are 3-4 bucks as an e-book, and that would be my maximum. It was worth it, but I'm not dying to get the others in the series. Probably would if I needed something easy to read and sweet.

Monday 8 December 2014

BMBR: Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner

Started buying her books a few years ago. Have thought about moving her to Kindle but bought this one at Costco when I saw it. My dad likes mysteries so easier to share this way.

Almost done. So fucking close. I brought it to work do that I could sneak a page in here and there. Left it in the car. Fuck.

I think that I know who did it, and it's killing me not knowing for sure.

Bottom line: One of her best. Definitely good enough to buy ebook if that's cheaper, but good enough for the real book version, too!

Monday 1 December 2014

Muse Monday

My muse hath spoken again.

She gives such great advice, doesn't she? I love that she's on the same page as I am about the "dream resolution".

I don't know how else I would've ended my story about about how the world is dying and it's climate is producing an environment that is conducive to the growth of slime molds and wicked awesome bacteria that can devour an entire cow in about 10 minutes in such a way as to not, like, totally freak out my readers!


Monday 24 November 2014

The Kazoo Catastrophe

Wow, I kinda dropped off the face of the Earth there for a bit, didn't I? Well I think I'm back. I want to be back. I'd love to be back every day, but that might make things a little crazy. Well, that might make me a little crazy. As it is, I finished the dishes and I thought, Self, you can reconcile your bank account like a good little girl, or you can write a blog post. I'm over a month behind in my bank rec. That's not going to be any different tomorrow, now is it? Kind of like sticky floors. They can wait.

Ah, the patience of chores waiting to be done.

On to the Kazoo Catastrophe.

I picked the kids up from daycare on Friday, and I thought that since it was K2's Birthday Party this weekend, K1 might like to stop at the toy store and pick something out for his brother (and yay, K2 gets to wander around!). 

I laid down the law of a quick visit to a toy store, and K1 (who's 4) agreed with them. K2 of course agreed, but he's just 2, so you always take that with a bit of skepticism. 

Now, this isn't just any toy store. It's not the big-box giant that sells what everyone else sells. It's not the mega-aisles at Wal-Mart. It's a tiny storefront that's jam-packed with real toys like Thomas the Train sets (the wooden ones) and Play Mobil and Melissa & Doug and creative toys (and I'm sorry, I don't have girls so I didn't look in that spot too clearly--probably special dolls and oh! Horses. They had lots of horses) and perhaps best of all, real sets of Lego. Not the sets that must be built a certain way and can only be made in to one thing, but actual boxes of random pieces! Like when I was a kid. Which feels like fifty years ago, but I swear it's not.

So, of course my kids gravitate towards the Thomas table that's set up in the back, and they're playing and not really looking at other toys, and so I drag K1 off to find a bath toy for K2, which he does and it's so cool that I want to have a bath just so that I can play with it (seriously, it's that cool). 

So then I try to round up the kids towards the front. I tell K1 that he has five minutes to pick something out to spend his allowance on, and of course he's too busy playing with the cool baby toys, so I decide that I'll pick, and I spy some Kazoos. Inexpensive, and they sound like fun.

I pay for the gift and the Kazoos, I (literally) drag the kids out to the car after prying toys that we haven't paid for out of their hands, ask K1 politely to get in to the car please, pick up K2 and realize that he's shit his diaper, ask K1 a little more firmly to please get in the car and for the love of all that makes Mommy happy please stop crying I said we had to go. I get K2 in to the back of the car, give K1 a lot of heck for not getting in to the car in a parking lot, hello, get him in the car, change K2's diaper without any wet cloths, yay, in the dark, double yay. Get him in his car seat, get K1 buckled in, and finally oh my goodness, Mommy where is our KAZOO?!

I pull out the kazoos, show the kids how they work (you have to hum to get noise, not just blow air through them), and get in the car. 

Hell. I'm in fucking Hell. But it's kind of a funny Hell, if you have a sense of humour.

I start driving. 

K1: I didn't WANT a Kazoo!

K2: Phhh. Phhhh. Mommy! Phhhh.

Me: Well, next time I say pick a toy, please pick a toy.

K1: But I don't want a Kazoo.. Whaaaawahaaawaaaa. Taaaake it baaaack.

K2: WhaaaaAAAAAaaaaazzzzz. KZzzzzzz. Phhh. Mommy!

Me: We can't take it back. You had your mouth on it.

K1: We can [hic] wash [hic] it!

Me: No. If you really don't want it, give it to me and you can get something else next time.

K2: Phhhh Zzzzzzz Phhhhh.

K1: NOOO! 

Me: Put it in my hand please.

K1: Noozzzzzz (crying in to the Kazoo).

Me: Hey, that sounds pretty good. 

The next twenty minutes are spent listening to K1 cry with and without the kazoo (with is much nicer on the ears) because he hates the kazoo but he doesn't want to give it back and he keeps trying to make music with it, and listening to K2 cry because he can't quite make it work, and every time K1 cries, K2 has to, and I'm pretty sure that by the time we hit the driveway they were both crying on purpose through the kazoo. Wackos. 

Moral of the story: Don't take your kids to a toy store for fifteen minutes on a Friday night when they're tired and hungry and you don't have the proper means to clean up poop, remove the poopy diaper from your car as soon as you get home or you'll hate your forgetfulness come the next morning, and if they tend to be whiny and cry-y on a drive home, get them a kazoo. Crying sounds much better.

Monday 3 November 2014

BMBR: Never Buried by Edie Clare

This delightfully well written mystery was one that I picked up when I was trolling for free e-books, and it was good enough that I bought the second in the series, Never Sorry, for $3. 

Friday 31 October 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-10-31

Happy Halloween!

I got tired of struggling to get K1 out the door in the mornings, so I decided to give him some responsibilities for the mornings. I was thinking that getting up without whining, getting dressed, going potty, and making sure that he had his favourite blankie would be great responsibilities for a 4yr old. I asked him what he thought his responsibilities should be. His response was, "I think that my responsibilities should be sleeping in the mornings."

Oh sure, I know that really, he only thinks that for weekdays. These guys don't believe in sleeping in on weekends. Ever.

I made an egg-nog cheesecake last night for no reason. I froze most of it. Don't be jealous.

I want to do the NaNoWriMo thing. 50k words in a month, and it's just a rough draft. So, basically, verbal diarrhea that gets cleaned up later.

If I do it on weekends, that's only 5000 words per day. What is that, like 10 pages? I can do that. I just have to let something else go:
1. Housework. My mom would freak out, but she judges as it is so I have to ask if I really care.
2. Kids. Nope. Try number one, above.
3. Cooking. Uh, no. Gotta eat or I get cranky. Gotta feed the kids or they get fucking whiny. Can't afford to eat out all the time unless I give something up like housing, so no.
4. Work. Kinda like living in a house and being able to heat it in the winter, thanks.
5. Exercise. I'm way too fat and out of shape to give that up. I should probably start, though.
6. Sleep. See number 3 above.
7.  Hubby time. He's really good in bed, so no.

I guess someone else can clean my house. And maybe cook. But I'd still have to do most of the writing at night, which would interfere with numbers 6 and 7. I might be able to combine 5 and 7 to save time...

I'm also really tempted to do it using my favourite muse.

That would be super fun. Coming soon: a book about white-ass vampires who have struggling writing careers in New York, but really they're also aliens who come from a planet that not only has one culture on their entire planet, but they also have the exact same political issues that we do! Sounds so totally awesome, I know.

I'm looking forward to the kids' gymnastics tomorrow. Especially K2's parent and tot. I love it when he freaks out and smashes his face to the floor and cries and screams because he's overwhelmed or frustrated or just plain isn't allowed to do exactly what he wants right now. Yup. I'm that parent with that kid. Fuck me I'm not looking forward to that. I have enough PMS on my own right now, thank you very much.

Breville is going to kick Kitchenaid's ass.

Well, my random thoughts are starting to go to sleep. Ciao.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Learned Behaviour

Once upon a time I had a friend who told me that I was passive aggressive. I asked her what that meant because I honestly had absolutely no idea. She wouldn't tell me. I was supposed to figure it out for myself, or something. I don't think that that tactic worked out in her favour.

It was a while before I remembered to look it up, and even when I did, I could never completely understand it. I certainly had no idea how to fix it. I didn't even know what behaviour of mine could be considered to be passive aggressive.

Looking back on the friendship now, I can see how my lack of assertiveness skills when trying to effectively stand up to the Queen of I Must Have My Way Or I Will Get Super Angry With You would make me feel like a failure every time, which in turn would frustrate me to the point of total exasperation with the situation, which then would, most likely, lead to passive aggressive behaviour on my part.

A few years and a failed friendship later, I've been trying to be a better communicator. It's been really hard.


Because I'm a whiny little bitch.

As in, I cry if anyone gets upset with me in the slightest. That tends to make assertive communication a little difficult. This in turn makes me look passive aggressive. It's difficult to speak when you're crying, so the only way left to communicate is physically, and that can definitely come across as passive aggressive. It's amazing how much frustration can come across as anger.

And, I'm a bit of a ticking clock. You know, everything is fine, even when it's not, but no biggie. Until I get too tired to hold it all in.

I often wondered why I was, and still am, this way. Was I just too shy as a child to learn how to stand up for myself/my wants/needs effectively? Did decades of being told to ignore my younger brother when he teased/tormented me instead of learning how to "use my words" leave me with absolutely zero skills? Or, did I somehow learn this behaviour?

It's probably a combination of all three, but I definitely know where I learned the behaviour. And, it only took sharing a house with my mother again to see it.

Now, don't get me wrong--I love my mother very much, and nothing said here negates that. It's just, well, holy fuck.

How is it that someone with tons of training and experience in the fields of effective communication and assertiveness skills, and who often regales us with stories about how wonderfully she asserted herself at work can come home and very clearly communicate that she's upset about something (most likely the imperfect state of the house, or that it's 8pm and the kids are still up, or that she caught a cold. From the kids) by scrubbing the shit out I of something that's not even dirty and slamming cupboard doors, all with a sour look on her face, but never tell us what is bothering her and denying it if you ask her outright?

If anyone else acted like that, the judgment and the admonishment would rain down.

I now know exactly where i learned to deal with frustration. And holy fuck, do I ever need to change!

The first step is admitting that I have a problem.

Now I just need to learn how to say what needs to be said to be assertive.

But maybe I need to learn ho to not cry at the drop of a hat, first.

Saturday 11 October 2014

BMBR: Anne Stuart's Never Kiss a Rake, Never Trust a Pirate, and Never Marry a Viscount.

I might be a little mixed up on what you're never to do with this guy or that guy, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

Quick synopsis: three Victorian-era sisters each embark on an adventure to prove that their late father didn't embezzle and that he was murdered.

This trilogy is a lot of fun to read. When it came time to read the third book, I very happily sat on the couch with two sick kids while they watched kids' shows ad nauseum. I didn't even feel that guilty about missing work.

Bottom line: read them. They'll be worth the price of your favorite book medium, whether that's eBook form, real book form, or borrowed.


Saturday 4 October 2014

BMBR: The Girl in the Box books 1-3 by Robrt J Crane

This "boxed set" was, and I think still is, free on Kindle. It's worth the price. I honestly and foolishly believed that it was a trilogy.

Ha ha ha! Feel free to laugh at me here.

Nope. The end of book three is a cliffhanger (just like books one and two. Actually, the ends of the books are the only times I remember having to read on), and it looks like I will have to shell out $5 a pop at least three times.

I can't say that the writing is good enough to justify the cost for me, but I won't tell you not to go for it.

If you're into books that are a bit like reading an X-Men movie (similar subject matter), then you should definitely try the free first three books on Kindle. I'll let you decide if you want to find out what happens after that.

My bottom line: I never made an effort to find time to read this like I do other books. It wasn't ever bad and it has potential, but it wasn't engaging enough for me to pay to continue on with the series.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Don't Shame Me in to Sharing

This lovely little cartoon was on Facebook.

If the caption above the cartoon had not said "Share if you are against bullying" above the strip, I definitely would have shared.
If the only caption that the cartoon had was "Share if you are against bullying," I might have shared.But since the second caption (the one below the cartoon) said, "I bet 99% won't," I'm not sharing.
Because I feel bullied (and like I'm being shamed).
This applies to ALL of those lovely cartoons/pictures/eCards that beautifully encourage you to espouse the indicated cause.
By all means, share and post pictures and cards and whatnot for the things that you believe in and hold dear to your hearts.
But please don't make me feel like you're going to think that I'm an asshole if I don't. How about you just share the card without the guilt trip?
I bet you more people would share.
AND, you'd know who shared because they WANTED to -- not because they thought that you'd think less of them for not sharing, and not because they don't have the guts to say, "Fuck off, you bully!"

Monday 29 September 2014

Monday's Muse 2014-09-29

My Muse has said that my entire book must be scrapped unless each characters' names are super symbolic, which is good because if she'd said that I should use plain names I'd have to scrap my book for sure.

Here's a run-down of who all is in When Winter Comes by Spinny Tupper:

Angelica Snow is the sweet girl stuck in the small town of Littleton, Dom Masters is the Mayor who is attracted to her pale good looks and is determined to teach Angelica all about what she wants.

Sybil Mercury is Dom's manic depressive wife who is jealous, but is she jealous of Angelica, or is she jealous of Dom?

Jack Winter is the new guy in town, and he just might be cold enough to show Angelica what she really needs.

Torn in three directions, Angelica needs to decide who will show her heart if it should stay in or get out of Littleton.

And don't forget about Tom. He's watching Angelica all the time, so he'll know what happens When Winter Comes.

Monday 22 September 2014

I Have a New Muse!

The Worst Muse@WorstMuse

I mean really, how could you possibly go wrong with this advice?

    Janet Brockwood had had enough. She was done. Done with this whole war. She was never going to fight with another enemy again. Mostly because an arrow speared her delicious bosom about three inches above her armoured bustier, and she was bleeding out, but hey, she was sexy as hell.

Nope, not wrong at all!

Sunday 21 September 2014

Feeling Bad About Your Body?

I needed to read this today.

I'm blaming my hormones 99% on this one, but I've been feeling really fat and ugly these past few days. Been believing my own bullshit, as it were.

It's been tough of late because of a broken bone in the bottom of my foot that's been taking forever to heal, but I think that it's finally on the mend, but it's been two and a half years!

So what does 2-1/2 years of minimal exercise get you?

Well, if you take your almost-2yo to Parent and Tot Gymnastics and spend 45 minutes trying to keep your kid with his group, it makes you feel like you ran a marathon (and it makes you cry. In front of all the other parents), that's what.

The good thing that came out of yesterday?

I've realized that I need to relax just a little more in gymnastics. You know, let your kid do what he wants to so that it's fun, but at the same time keep him from interfering with the other classes going on around you, and you have to do that without touching or blocking the kid because that makes him cry and then you cry and you feel like a fucking failure as a parent, but hey, you are aware that you need to just calm the fuck down, Mommy!

The better thing that came out of yesterday?

My foot's not that sore!!

The rest of my body feels like it wants to die, but whatever. I can start (carefully) exercising again. Which is good, because the kids can run faster now, and some of the stores are pretty big around here.

The best thing that came out of yesterday?


Because that's when my Confident Believer put the Scared Little Bitch to sleep.

Monday 15 September 2014

Positive Thinking Day

Saturday was Positive Thinking Day.

Seeing that got me thinking about all of the Gratitude Challenge postings that are popping up all over Facebook. Since when is it a Challenge to be grateful? It's called having good manners, people, and it's as simple as saying "please" and "thank-you".

You know how you teach manners to your kids? You model the behaviour, that's how. You can tell them and explain to them what good manners are until you're blue in the face, but they're kids, so they're not listening to you. But they are watching you. Every move you make. Even when you're sleeping.

So, if you're modeling good manners, you're being grateful everyday, and that's pretty darn simple.

As far as positive thinking goes, if you're telling me that my kid is a glass-is-half-empty kind of guy and that we need to change that outlook in him, you might want to take a look at your own Glass Theory outlook on life!

Modeling. It's all about the modeling.

Saturday 30 August 2014

Sleeping Beauty. The movie.

I'm watching Sleeping Beauty. And it's not the Disney version. It's not even for kids.

I can see why it's only 2.25 stars.

TV period shows have better makeup and costuming. And better writing and acting.

TV shows even have a bigger horseflesh budget; this poor prince has a cute, but shaggy posse of ponies.

Any adherence to the laws of physics is pretty questionable, too. I mean, just how likely is it that paper scraps would survive in a bird's nest for 100 years and still be legible?

Okay maybe it is magic. It is a fairytale after all.

The best two things about the movie?

Surprisingly decent CGI/special effects.
And Olivia D'Abo.

Worth watching? No, but I did. That's what a fairytale fetish gets you I guess.

BMBR: Mary Balogh, Everything

No, there isn't a book titled Everything by Mary Balogh (as far as I know). I'm talking about almost every book she's written. Rough estimate: I've read 95% of her books, and mostly from the library, thank goodness, because she's written a lot of books.

What they are: Regency-era romance.

Why I like them: I had to think about this one because until recently I couldn't put my finger on it. I mean, they aren't necessarily spectacular (but they are really good) and the writing has never struck me as being awesome (but they are well-written, and some are better than others). But I finally figured out what it is. But I'm going to tell you what it is later on.

I love that a lot of her characters are so different. Oh sure, there are some stereotypes and some common character themes, but I have no memory of ever thinking that any character was the same person with a different name in another book. I also love that a lot of the characters are wonderfully flawed. I'm not talking hey-she's-absolutely-perfect-in-every-way-but-she's-a-little-clutzy. I'm talking they've been in wars, been emotionally or physically abused, physically damaged, not necessarily beautiful or perfect or socially adept or even rich (although somebody usually is). Oh sure, the overcoming of social conventions to make a relationship work is sometimes a little hard to believe, but I didn't live back then, so what would I know about how things really worked, and the ending is almost always happy and perfect, but you did catch the part about these being romances, right?

I also like that the writing isn't always exactly the same. Most of the time it's "normal" with lots of good conversation, but there was the one novel (sorry, I can't remember the title) where it was mostly he was thinking this while she was thinking that kind of thing, and it was actually kind of frustrating because you just want to shake the characters (and a bit boring), but it probably fit with the characters and with who they were.

Anyway, I've enjoyed every one that I've read, and I'm so glad that the library has them. I did find one of the newer ones at the local second-hand book store, but they're rare there, and there are so many that I could never afford to buy them new (although a lot of them come as two novels in one book), and holy cow they're $9 bucks a pop as ebooks!

I really hope that your library has them; if they do, please take advantage of your card! If money isn't an issue, you may find the price to be worth it. On principle I can't spend full price on an e-book, but if they were $5, or maybe even $6 per e-book, I'd probably consider downloading them all for about a minute before doing so.

Bottom line: I'd say that they're worth a good $5 a pop.

Oh, yeah. The solution as to why I like them so, so very much: they're soothing. I've had some emotional stuff going on lately, and I read The Arrangement. I felt soothed and relaxed the whole time I was reading it. And when I really think about it, I'll binge-read Mary Balogh when I have a lot of stress going on.

I'm going to the library tomorrow, I think.  ;)

Wednesday 27 August 2014


I am so tempted to join Twitter just for

Best writing tips ever!

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-08-26

Trying blogger on my phone for the first time. I may or may not like it. It should make it easier to blurt out my random thoughts before I forget what they were. Sometimes they're really good and they make me laugh and I think that you might laugh, too, but then after a long day at work--where I don't post because I'm paranoid that work can see what I'm typing. Actually that's not the paranoia.  I KNOW that they can see what I'm doing online.  I'm paranoid that they ARE looking at what I'm doing online--and after a long evening of trying to get some wonderful but very busy and testy kids fed, bathed, clothed, cuddled, fed again, cleaned up, clothed again and in bed, and then after a long night of more work, I get to try to blog and I sit at my computer and try to keep my head from falling off my shoulders and I can't for the life of me remember what I had for supper, let alone what it was that made me laugh in the morning.

So I'm trying this on my phone.

What kinds of random thoughts do I have and then can't remember, you ask? Well, just this morning I was putting some canned chicken on my salad for lunch, and as I was putting the leftovers in a container I had a brief thought of just throwing the chicken in with my eggs and doing scrambled instead of basted on toast, and then I thought, I wonder what chickens would think about that? Would they think, hey, isn't it bad enough that you eat us, and our babies? Do you really have to eat us wrapped up in our children? (It didn't sound that gross in my head.) But then I thought, how would the chickens know what's going on in my house? I went with basted on toast, regardless.

I wonder what pigs would think if they knew that they were wrapped up in baby chicken omelettes all the time.

OH MY GOODNESS! ! Outlander is on Showcase. I set it to record the series. It didn't. Thank goodness Showcase repeats their episodes a lot. I will get to see the first episode, I reset the series recording, and I don't have to kill my cable box in a fit of rage (no anger management issues here).

I've been trying to cut back on the caffeine. It's not like I drink a lot of coffee--I only make four cups of half regular and half decaf, which is one travel mug and one large-ish table mug of coffee. So maybe I'm not cutting back on the coffee so much as I am cutting back on the cream that goes in the coffee.

This is probably a good thing because I don't use that half-and-half stuff that just waters down the coffee; I use the 18 percent (I had to spell that out because in the last phone update the third page of symbols disappeared and apparently the percent symbol was on it. Fucking Android) cream which adds a creamy richness to the flavour and the texture of the coffee. It also adds to the richness of my hips and ass, so I'm cutting back on the coffee.

I know what you're thinking: you can just cut the cream out of the coffee. Yes. I could. But then I'd be tempted to add more sugar and that just makes my face explode. Tea is more palatable black than coffee is. In my opinion, of course.

So I've been trying out Lady Grey tea. I love Earl Grey tea, and now I'm in love with the lady. Yum.

One small problem:

Despite the caffeine, which does perk me up eventually, while I'm drinking it and for thirty minutes afterwards, I feel like napping. I don't mean I'm a little drowsy. I mean I look and feel like I'm going to pass out. Or like I'm stoned, maybe.

This tea is soothing. It would be the perfect tea to sip on when putting my feet up while I'm reading a nice relaxing book, maybe even in the tub.

Not too sure when that will happen though...

Monday 25 August 2014

BMBR: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I'm sure by now you've read it, or at the very least you know what it's about. If not, you can find a more detailed synopsis elsewhere, I'm sure. This isn't called a Busy Mom Book Review because I have lots of time on my hands.

I will tell you this:

Folks in the book are one of five types of people, and you forsake your family to live with other people of your type when you come of age. If you test out to be more than one type of person, you're in big trouble, baby. So don't tell anyone.

I borrowed this one from my niece, so yes, it's another teenage dystopian-themed (hey Blogger! Get a better spell check. Or, he Wikipedia! You spelled dystopia incorrectly. I'm on Wikipedia's side, but hey, it's kinda hard to ignore that stupid red squiggly underlining, too) story, but no, there aren't any vampires. Just a community of adrenaline-addict goths. Or punks. Let's just go with adrenaline addicts.

Bottom Line: I loved it. It felt a bit simpler in construct than The Hunger Games trilogy, but it was still well written, and I felt like I was invested in the people in the story, and I really wanted to find out what was going to happen next. Worth it, and probably worth it in any form (real paper or e-book); the deciding factor on that would be price and your form preference.

Now I just need Insurgent. And maybe my own copy of Divergent.

I have to return my niece's books. I do. I really really really want this series in my library, though (in real-book form). Maybe she won't notice.

Monday 18 August 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-08-18

K1 brought me I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch for his bedtime story. I was crying by the time the kid turned nine.

It's been pretty smokey around here lately, what with forest fires etc. It finally started raining today, and I thought, yay, some of that smoke is going to go away. And it did. Until some rain must have quenched a few fires. Ever pour water on to a campfire? Yeah. Super smokey.

K1, K2 and Cousin were in the back yard swinging last night. K2's only 18 months, but heaven help Grandma if she didn't push him as high as the other two in a big boy swing!! He was flexing his hands pretty well when he got off, ha ha. No fear, these kids. Not necessarily a good thing.

Even for me, my mantra of "They'll only do it once" is getting a bit sketchy, especially when they're leaning out the window in their 6' high play house (K1 actually leaned out a bit too far last week; the stools at the bottom broke his fall nicely. Really glad that Grandma wasn't here for that one).

I can still see some of my desk, and I'm happy with that.

You ever have someone help you out with something, and they go overboard (maybe to prove how inferior you are about doing the same thing, subconsciously, but still) to the point that they wear themselves, and then they just get this pissy, bitchy martyr thing going?

I'm debating whether to watch something (entirely for me because everyone, and I do meant everyone, else is in bed) or to continue reading (I've discovered Catherine Bybee on Kindle--I honestly meant to check and see if she had books at the library but I kinda forgot (in the seven seconds it took to download the $2 ones--honestly, I forgot that I was going to log in and see if the library carried her! But, we all know that I have a slight problem...) while I eat some leftover Tiramisu cake. Either way, the cake's going down.

I hate Facebook. Mostly because of the folks who try to prove their point while at the same time proving that they didn't pay attention in school on the day that the teacher was talking about apostrophes. I can't fucking take you, or your cause, seriously if your grammar is worse than mine.

And, stop guilting me for not passing on your little cause-photo by shaming me into doing it. That shit just makes me want to say "Fuck off". If I want to share your photo enough to risk getting a virus, I'll fucking click Share. On my own. Thanks.

I get enough guilt trips at home. Yeesh.

Well, off to read. And eat cake.

Friday 15 August 2014

Sukhi Just Earned My Respect

I just finished watching this week's episode of The Amazing Race Canada.

You know how they always ask you who your favourite team is? Who you're rooting for?

I never really know until close to the end, but I do usually know who I'm not rooting for. Not who I'm hoping will be eliminated (because hoping someone gets eliminated would be mean), just who I'm not necessarily hoping will win.

I wasn't rooting for Sukhi and Jinder. At all. They've been the team that can't seem to figure out how to do anything on their own. They get excitable and panicky and spacey (they are the team that stood in front of a clue box several times and couldn't see the forest for the trees) and no other team will help them. They've been seen as the weakest link. Even I thought that they'd flake out before the end of the race.

Oh, how wrong we've all been!

Spoiler alerts ahead.

Take last week. A challenging roadblock (bicycle biathalon) had teammates cycling a kilometre before having 5 rounds to make 5 shots with a rifle. Don't get all five? Take another bike ride to get another 5 rounds.

All the other teams had to go around at least once more; some of them completed their exercise quota for the month, including the dude who is a hunter.

Sukhi and Jinder show up (after struggling with harnessing dogs in the previous task and after having to complete their speed bump for coming in last in the previous week's non-elimination round), and does her bike ride, and then proceeds to boost everyone's confidence by walking up to the shooting range, saying, "I've never held a gun before."

Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting!

That's right. Five shots. Done.

Fast forward to this week's episode, and we see Sukhi and Jinder rock a currency-flag matching task, and then choose a hockey task over a perogy-making task. Sukhi can't skate. Never has. Jinder doesn't look much better on skates, and no, they don't beat the girls (but other teams do!), but they do finish in time to catch up and move up the ladder.

I'm thinking that they are finally proving why they travel so well together, and maybe the other teams shouldn't dismiss them quite so readily.

I may even start to root for them.

Monday 11 August 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-08-11

Took the kids to an airshow on the weekend. It was an hour drive. It took two. Kids had to poop (but couldn't in the bushes on the side of the road), peed their diaper (changed while K1 was unsuccessfully attempting to poop in the bushes on the side of the road), or had blood pouring out of their mouths (Turkey Jerky. I hope. Couldn't find anything).

Showed up late enough that the entrance was free. Yay!

Kids more interested in running around and looking at the planes that were on the ground rather than the planes that were doing cool tricks in the sky. Oooooh! Then they found the digger and the tracked mini-bulldozer and the loader! That was the bestest ever part of the AIRSHOW.

Got home and later K1 went outside. Checked on him. Watched him pee off the deck, probably into his potatoes. Later found him hobbling out of the "bushes" in the backyard, poopy pants down around his ankles. 'Twas a successful poop in the bushes this time.

Cleaned the house. Filed all my filing. You should see my desk! A. You can see my desk! B. You should see my desk now because by this time tomorrow, you won't be able to. Mopped the floors, and really thoroughly, too. My body hates me now.

Grandma took K1 to the Exhibition. It was all good until his balloon popped. End of the world, that.

Reading some Alien-Human erotica. The sample left me feeling weird, but curious. I bought it. I'm actually skipping some of the sex to read the story. Does she get to keep the baby? Or are his people going to come and take it "home"?

Going through Gail Vaz Oxlade's (I probably spelled that wrong, but I'm too tired to open another tab and google her, event though that would probably be faster than typing this lazy-assed excuse) My Money My Choice levels. It's a free program. But you need to read a lot of excerpts from her books. Not so free.

Unless you get them from the LIBRARY!! Ha Ha! Take that, Gail!

Actually, she'd probably be proud of me.

Except they're due back in a couple of days, and I still need a couple of them. Renew renew renew. Because if I pay late fees, Gail will be disappointed.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Random thoughts 2014-08-02. As in August 2nd.

You know how most people have a hard time getting their kids to eat their vegetables? Well, I have a hard time getting K1 to eat in general except for when it comes to raw vegetables. All raw veggies should watch out! Especially the ones at fruit trucks. I had to weigh a couple of sweet banana peppers before they disappeared completely. Then, a trip to the grocery store opened my eyes to the idea that maybe, just maybe, I need to teach my kids a little better about how if you touch it, IE with your mouth, we pretty much have to buy it. I now have Indian Kalera [sp].

On the other hand, I don't want to harsh on their enthusiastic curiosity, especially when it comes to very. I'll let you know how the bitter melon turns out..

Ugh. I have a kid who gets up at 6:30. On a Saturday.

You know what else we learned at the grocery store? Kids' cereals are at eye level. Their eye level. You probably learn that in marketing 101. Or when you have kids.

The teachers in BC are on strike. The BC government says, hey, if they're still on strike in the fall, we're going to take a bunch of that money that we saved not paying any teachers in the spring, and we're going to give $40/day /5-13 yo child to parents to help offset daycare costs.

WTF? I took the yearly teacher's salary for my district, divided it by 10 months, then by 4 weeks/month, then by 5 days per week. Roughly, teachers get $190-350 per day. I think on average they have 25-35 kids per class. Let's pick 25. 25 kids x 40$ = 1000.00. Wait. Wait a second.  How long before those "savings" are used up? Every four days that the teachers were on strike pays for one day of childcare. Ish.  Oh right. The savings from high school students helps out with that.

Maybe the fuzzy math will all work out in the end.

I'd rather see the strike resolved, but like Christy Clark says, both sides have to be adults.

We're screwed.

Friday 1 August 2014

BMBR: Bought for Love (You Don't Know Jack) by Michelle Hughes

Language Warning

You're right, I don't know Jack. And I don't fucking want to.

I haven't finished this book, and I probably won't. The only reasons I'm 75% along are that it's short, and my kids were watching Pocoyo while I sat down to eat, and Mockingjay was in my purse, which was down by the front entrance. Too far.

I think Miss Hughes read 50 Shades, and saw all of the other BDSM-themed books flooding the market these days, and thought, "I can do that, too!" but she didn't put enough thought in to things like research and grammar and punctuation.

Jack doesn't want a Submissive; he wants a submissive wife who will raise his kids and do whatever he says when he says and how the fuck dare she say no. To anything. Including sex.

Yeah, that's rape, buddy.

You know, when the chick you're about to fuck--and she's a virgin by the way (which you know)--says "No" because you pushed in way to hard and didn't stop and kept stretching her until she realized that it would feel good if she just relaxed and went with it, well, when she said "No", you should have, like any decent man, actually stopped. Certainly you wouldn't have even gotten to that point if you'd known what you were doing. If you'd known what you were doing, things would've gone slowly enough that you'd have known before she said no that you should slow, stop, wait for things to stretch before making sure she was okay, then continuing on slowly.

And, telling her that it's okay that she's in a lot of pain because hey, it's supposed to hurt the first time? Um, that's a fucking lie if you know what you're doing. Trust me. And I'm sorry, Mr. Rich Stud, if you're such a stud, you should know what you're doing.

Ladies: if your first knows what he's doing, and you're ready (emotionally, not just physically), it shouldn't hurt more than some discomfort. You shouldn't be fucking crying your eyes out afterward because it hurt so badly. Yeesh.

Anyway, deflowering rape scene aside, the rest of the story (up to 75%, anyway) reads like a sad justification for allowing yourself to be part of an abusive relationship by saying, "oh no, Spinny, really, it's okay. BDSM is hot. I enjoy it, really."

Um, yeah, it's hot, but no, this crappy ownership shit isn't. Seriously, I've read some hot BDSM etc stories, and they were great foreplay. And some of them were pretty damn uncomfortable and some of them were boundary-pushing, and some of them weren't that well written, but they were sane, and they were hot. This shit just makes me ill. As in, I can't finish it because I don't like feeling this nauseated.

I may be a little irritated.


You know what 50 had that Jack doesn't? A safe word. A contract that lays it all out for the virgin--you know, the one that fucking discloses all the shit you want to do to her? Respect for hard limits (finger-rape up the ass is just as uncool as pushing a virgin, Jack). A reasonable timeline between meeting the heroine, deflowering her, and introducing her to your favourite lifestyle. A safe, sane and consensual relationship that ends up with the heroine willingly and enthusiastically submitting to you, and who loves your playroom. A heroine that doesn't put up with your shit and actually stands up to you.

That's right, a submissive who stands up to you when you're being a total fucking douche bag instead of a heroine who cries until you can make her demand that she trust you and she thinks "OMG I want him so bad" so she slumps her shoulders in submission defeat as she makes her way to your bed.

BMBR bottom line: waste of a fucking 1.07. Sorry Michelle.

Saturday 26 July 2014

Brooklyn 99

I've had a crazy week. Crazy busy, yes, but also crazy as in I'm trying really hard not to go crazy while I try to find a new home for my last horse that I don't have the time or the physical ability to do stuff with, and I hate the hanging participle or whatever it's called, really, but I don't have time to dig in to that fail, so feel free to learn me but please do it nicely because crazy lady is trying not to cry every night at the thought of "postponing" her dream of having a horse blah blah blah. Stupid broken foot. And holy macaroni, that sentence was a train-wreck.

Usually when I'm trying to "avoid" life, so-to-speak, I turn to fluffy, oftentimes smutty, books. I can't do smutty. Hubby can't have sex for a week, which means no hot smut for me because it's like foreplay and I end up jumping him and that wouldn't be fair. Not sure for whom it's not fair. Argh.

We came across Brooklyn 99 recently. I'm avoiding life with this wonderful TV show. It's like The Office except it's set at a police station, and it's funny. Even Hubby laughs at it. Anyway, I'm addicted. It's 10:30, the kids will be up in a few hours because they don't yet understand the concept of sleeping in on a weekend. Firstly, they'd have to understand the concept of a weekend. And the concept of sleeping in. Actually, they do understand the concept of sleeping in, but only if it means that I'm going to be late for work.

Right, back to on-topic; it's late and I can't stop watching B99. Well, I guess I can, since I'm not watching right now, but I want to be. I need to save some episodes for later, though, so I cut myself off.

Now if only I could cut myself off from chocolate. For more than a day, at least.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Kudos to All the Single Moms out There

I don't know how you do it. I hope to everyone holy that you have a great support system.

I have the best husband in the world, and generally my kids are pretty good, but I'm still having a bad day. No, the kids haven't been bad. They've been kids. I'm just having one of those days where I'm exhausted for a variety of reasons, and I'm a bit too tired to maintain that perfect emotional fitness that we all strive so hard for (you know the one--it makes it "easy" for you to smile and speak lovingly and with perfect skills to your children even though it would be so much easier to yell at them. (I think that this effect was achieved in the 50's via Valium. I don't have any Valium)).

I'm going to admit it: I yelled. Not a lot. Not horribly or abusively. Maybe a little meanly.

I feel like a horrible parent.

All I want to do is cry. And be alone. And cry. Maybe not completely alone. Chocolate would be welcome, but I don't think that it would help much.

My husband knows this, and has been helpful tonight. It's still been hard and exhausting and tiring and frustrating and I feel nothing but shameful and useless even though I know that that's a lie.

How do single parents do it?

I think of friends of mine, and other people I know, and of people I don't know who are raising kids on their own, and I wonder, if I had to be a single parent, would I be able to rise above the frustration and the exhaustion and have kids who still love me at the end of the day?

I hope so.


I think that all the single moms (and dads) out there need some really big hugs.

And a friend or two who would be willing to watch your kid(s) for a few hours every once in a while so that you can sleep. Or cry. Or both.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

The Worst Muse Almost Convinced Me to Join Twitter

Thank you Jennifer Crusie for once again making my day!

She gave me The Worst Muse.

I love it! I would have joined Twitter just for that. But then I discovered that I can just go online to Twitter and see the Tweets. Whenever I want. However often I want. Or never. Is Tweet capitalized? It looks stupid. Tweet. Okay, that one was a given. How about tweet. Yeah, much better.

Enjoy :)

Saturday 12 July 2014

101 Things to Do for your Children: #15: Let Them Grow Stuff

Number 15 of the 101 Things to do with kids is

If possible allow your child a plot of land or at least a flower pot in which to experience growing things.

K2 bought a seed potato a while back. I cut it into four pieces and he planted them. A few days later he dug a couple up to see if they were growing.

Now they're doing quite well. Three of them are, anyway. I'm not too sure what happened to potato piece number four. It's quite possibly rotting in the raspberry bushes somewhere.

I bought a couple strawberry plants, and as soon as the berries are ripe enough (any bit of red at all), they're picked. I think that they're even eaten. And I can't wait for the raspberries to be ready. I'm also hoping that the raspberries aren't too angry about the severe pruning job that they got this spring (which K2 got to help with as well--awesome!).

I think that this is a great Thing. It makes so much sense on so many levels. Your kids get to learn about where food comes from. They get to dig in the dirt. They get to learn how plants grow. They get to dig in the dirt and you can't get mad at them for it! They get to learn the responsibility of taking care of things so that they grow and flourish. And watering is fun, fun, fun!

I mean, after they get to dig in the dirt for a reason, and get really dirty which is the bestest fun ever, they get to water everything. Not just the plant, but the lawn around it. And the deck. And the sandbox. And maybe they can fill the kiddie pool a bit more while they're at it. And maybe now we can put the sprinkler on, Mom.

And while the sprinkler's on, you just go on thinking that we're occupied. Hey, is it okay that we moved these flowers over here? I know we already did it, so it must be okay, right? I think the sandbox needs more water, so I'll just move the sprinkler over there. Heck. Let's just put it right in the pool while we're at it. That'll help balance out the sand-to-water ratio that's in the pool.

Once everything's watered and tended-to, it's just a matter of letting the sun do it's thing, and we've had lots of sun so far this summer!

Now we just have to wait until the potatoes are ready for some more justified digging-that-happens-not-in-the-sandbox!

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Random Thoughts for 2014-07-08 - I Should Really Start Writing this Stuff Down

Or I should start thinking out loud while recording myself on my phone. I have a lot of really funny random thoughts while I'm doing mundane things like driving, washing dishes, walking from the bathroom to my office, and trying to sleep.

Then I get here and my mind has a running commentary of, "La la la la, la la la la." Bitch.

I think I'm addicted to smut. I finished my last e-book last night (a Noelle Adams/Stacy Joy Netzel duet called Surprised by Family), and I'm jonesing. Seriously. I'm a little grumpy and looking for my next fix.

Sex-after-kids tip for you: Quickies. And, your kids don't even have to be in bed. More on that later, but to be nice, I should give you a TMI warning now. Give me a couple days to get back to you on that.

My desk at work: Immaculate.

My desk at home: Fucking dumping ground for everybody's crap. Oh. Wait. 99% of that shit is mine.


K1 decided that due to arm and leg pain (which always is considerate enough to show up at bedtime), he needed some mushroom soup to make it feel better. He had mushroom soup the night before, and wanted someone to put the leftovers in a container for later. So hubby took it to the kitchen and fucking ate it. Then containered up the leftovers in the pot. Okay, so no big deal, right? My mom used that last night to make a casserole-ish dinner, so there isn't any mushroom soup left.

"Who did what happened to my container?"

"Uh... How about some cottage cheese?"


After that, he still needed mushroom soup to feel better.

I had a "Go the Fok to Sleep" moment.

Ugh. I should probably get ready for work. So I'm not late. Or something.

Monday 7 July 2014

BMBR (Smut Week 2): Surrender Part 6: Delilah's Diary #1 A Sexy Journey by Jasinda Wilder

Bottom Line: it was okay, but I have no desire to buy the other ones. I don't remember getting all hot to trot.

(Sorry, out of time--really quick--girl finds husband banging the pastor's wife so she leaves town with all their money, gives him the house etc, changes her look, meets a guy but doesn't sleep with him, and takes off to Italy where she gets herself a hot lover. I'm presuming that after a super sexual journey she'll get together with dude #1--foreshadowing etc.)

Thursday 3 July 2014

BMBR (Smut Week 2): Surrender Part 5: Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands 1) by Cherise Sinclair


I like the disclaimer by the author at the beginning of the story. It's a nice little warning about how BDSM should always be safe, sane and consensual, and how the love story in this story happens rather quickly, and that that shouldn't be the case between Dom and Sub in real life.

Girl's car goes into a ditch in a storm, and she ends up at a house in the middle of nowhere, which turns out to be, surprise, surprise, a private club where bondage etc is the name of the game.

The story was hot. Really freaking hot. I really really want the other books in the series (novellas, really), but I'm not sure that I can justify 4-5 bucks or more a pop. Some are eight! Seriously. I'm holding out for a box set.

To be honest, though, Hubby would not mind much if I spent money on more e-books that made me hot enough to jump him. His words, not mine, so as soon as my bank account can say yes, I probably will.


Tuesday 1 July 2014

BMBR (Smut Week 2): Surrender Part 4: Teasing Trent by M. Malone

Cute short story about a girl who seduces her big brother's best friend, and his honest, but futile, attempts at resistance. He'd do better against the Borg.

Bottom line: I was trying to be a good girl and not buy more books, but while I was checking the prices on the novels in this series (The Alexanders) ($3ish), I saw that book one is free at the moment. Downloaded!

Ahem. I'll let you know if it's any good.
Ahem again. It started out as a disappointment, but it got much better.  Bought book two...

Sunday 29 June 2014

Book Club: July

I have a Jack Reacher book finished, and I really should try and get a review done for Lindsay Buroker's Emporer's Edge series. EE cannot be a BMBR, but it might have to be. I'm also going to try and start reading something off the piano--ooh ooh! I need to start the Hunger Games' books that I borrowed from my neice; she probably wants them back ;).

So, those are the books on the plate for July if you'd care to join me.

BMBR (Smut Week): Surrender part 3: Juliana Stone's Offside

Girl goes to Sweden to play hockey, girl gets concussion, girl gets sent home, girl runs into guy that she lost her virginity to as a teen, guy starts falling for her, but he's feeling guilty because he thinks that he'd slept with her sister all those years ago (triplets--what do you do?).

This one was more of a novel length, which was kind of cool in a free book of six stories. I also contemplated for a looooong time about buying the other three books. I didn't, and I can't remember why.

Bottom line: it's well-enough written that they'd be worth the three bucks or so, so I was probably just trying to be a good girl. But I don't remember having a burning desire to get them. Maybe I'll see if the library has them.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

BMBR (Smut Week): Dane by Liliana Hart (Surrender part 2)


It was hot, but I found the whole Dane-left-town-ten-years-ago-and-returns-home-to-find-his-ex-with-a-nine-year-old-and-within-one-day-she-takes-him-back-forever thing a little bit unbelievable.

I would've been more pissed. Maybe made him wait at least a week.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

BMBR (Smut Week): Surrender: Part 1: The Awakening by Erika Wilde

Holy Fucking Hot.

In volume 1 of The Marriage Diaries, empty-nester Jillian wants to spice things up with her ex-Navy SEAL, Dean. He's always been a little too considerate in the bedroom. She's tired of Vanilla, thank you very much. So she encourages him to act out their wildest fantasies. It's a little Fifty Shades but with a mature-relationship thing that totally works because the trust and love are already there. There's the visit-to-his-office scene, the bondage-in-the-living-room-with-his-tie-and-belt scene, an in-public scene, lots of teasing, and eventually she builds them a playroom in the basement.

There's just enough plot to move things along from one "scene" to the next, but maybe a bit too much self-reassurance (but that could be in one of the other six...), but the frank speech and hot sex more than make up for it.

I went and spent four bucks for the "boxed set" of the first 4 volumes. (It was still cheaper than 1.50 each for #'s 2-4.)

May I say again, Holy.Fucking.Hot. Some of the best foreplay ever. As in, it doesn't matter how tired I am, even just scrolling through bits of the first scene to remind myself of who the players are, I want to go jump my husband. Like right now.

BMBR (Smut Week): Surrender: 6 sizzling authors. Six ways to surrender. Part Prologue.

I was trolling for free books on Amazon (for Kindle), and I came across this little box of six sexy stories by six different authors. Some are sexier than others, all were decently written, and two led me on to more books by the same author. And I gladly paid for those other books. And my husband really didn't mind.

Since I'm too busy to go for all six here at once, I'm going to tackle them one at a time. Next post...

Monday 23 June 2014

BMBR (Smut Week): M.S. Parker's Club Prive Series.

I'm on my phone and don't know how to put the accent on the 'e' so just pretend that it's there.

Super quick to the bottom line: even at a buck an ebook, book number 4 in this hot-chick-with-low-self-esteem-meets-super-rich-playboy-who-doesn't-know-what-it-is-about-her series didn't make it past Sample Land. I think 1-3 only made it because I kept hoping that it would get better, but the erotica couldn't out maneuver the blah.

Sunday 22 June 2014

BMBR (Smut Week): Rachel Van Dyken

This week, and oh how I'm going to try to do a review a day, is all about Smut. Or, what I like to call foreplay. If it kills brain cells, reads like an eight grader who's failing her English class wrote it (see last post), or makes me groan (and not in a good way), it's not good Smut. If it's well written (but not over-written for it's genre), has some great tips that would make "Cosmo" blush, and makes me want to jump my husband at any point while I'm reading it, it's good Smut.

Here we go.

If it weren't for the fact that I inadvertently started with the third book in Rachel Van Dyken's Eagle Elite series (Elite, Elect, and Entice--I think that's the order) and so ended up paying for it and the first one, and therefore felt like I had to keep reading, Elite probably wouldn't have made it past the Sample Stage (these are on my Kindle).

All of these books are somewhat rife with (minor) grammatical errors and some continuity issues, both of which usually kill a book for me, now matter what the story is about.

And yet, I fucking devoured them. As in, I couldn't put them down. I was a bad, bad girl at work.

And, oh my goodness, as I was reading them I realized that they followed Jennifer Crusie's Sex Scene Rules. That's right, the sex scenes were pretty much only descriptive when they meant some sort of character or relationship development. At all other times they were implied. The former happened more than the latter, but hey, who am I to complain.

Holy shit. I did not see that coming. Not only did I not see it coming, I didn't see it when it jumped in front of me, waved its arms, and yelled "Ooga Booga!" really loudly. I didn't see it until the third book. Probably because I thought I was reading Erotica more than I was reading Romance. Turns out, it was Erotic Romance. And then when I saw it, I was stunned. I thought I was stupid. But then I just realized that I was distracted. By all the great sex (and not just in the book). And the story, actually. Which, weirdly enough, was written in such a way that even when there wasn't sex, it turned me on. As in, I was already good to go when I jumped my husband, and that happened often enough that I know that he won't mind my buying the next installment.

So yes, they are worth the 3-5 bucks per e-book.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

BMBR: The Elusive and Exclusive Billionaire's Club by Bella Bentley

I was trolling for free books on Kindle the other night, and I came upon this wonderful example that proves two things:

1. Thanks to e-publishing, anyone, and I mean anyone, can publish a book these days, especially if there's a suggestion of sex inside.

2. You can't lose any brain cells when you read a book that sounds like an eighth-grader (who's failing her English class, by the way) writing porn. Your brain cells check out on the first page as a preservation tactic.

Only the first "book", which is so short, charging more than 0.00 would be a freaking crime, is free. You can read the descriptions of the other, not-so-free, and probably just as short, books to figure out what happens in the rest of the story. They're better written.

This, my friends, is a book that you can judge by it's cover.

Monday 16 June 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-06-15

We were all in the car the other day, and we missed turning at a light because the guy in front of us took for freaking ever to check out the traffic situation before he left the line (it was good for the full 60 seconds it took him to make a decision). Hubby, who was driving, said something, or made some kind of noise.

K1: What, Daddy?
Daddy: Some people don't know how to drive.
K1: Why do some people don't know how to drive?
D: Because they didn't have Daddy to teach them.
K1: Oh. Did they only have Mommies to teach them?

Yep. Of course, this mommy taught daddy to drive, so, yeah.

I've become that person. The person who needs a cup (or two) of coffee in the morning, or she's a real meanie. It's half decaf, and half full-caf, which makes it like Half Ass, but since that's too expensive, I mix it myself.

I'm being micro-managed. By a close relative. I feel like I'm fourteen and I haven't done my chores, or something. Bad Spinny. But I'm not. Fourteen. I'm almost forty. Don't tell anyone. Does that mean that I'm being micromanaged because I'm being seen as a bad parent? Or housewife? Maybe I need to have a conversation.

I need to have a conversation with someone about my broken foot. It's getting pretty annoying. I might start using crutches again. Not at home, though. Too hard. You put one down on a Hot Wheel, and you might as well order up a wheelchair. Maybe I need something that I can strap to my knee, like a pirate peg-leg, and use that (with the rest of my leg still attached but hanging out behind) to hobble around on. Yo ho ho.

It's Father's Day today. I made waffles. That's usually Hubby's job. Oh, yeah, I still have to freeze the leftovers. His are better.

So, we're getting in the car to come home today, and K1 finds out that I'm driving.

K1: I want Daddy to drive.
Me: Why?
K1: He's a better driver.
Me: Oh? How come?
K1: His waffles are better.

I can't really argue with that logic. I'm laughing too hard.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters

I don't know yet, but I'm about to find out. Reading the book by the same title by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa. It's non-fiction, by the way.

Update: a month after I wrote the above paragraph: I might have to go back and start the book over because I've been a little distracted by the latest Jack Reacher book (spoiler alert--he might be a dad!).

WBPHMD isn't really a candidate for a BMBR type review, either. It's too cool. What I remember of it.

So, probably sometime this week I'll start reading it again, and I'll write a blurb per chapter. To make this go along a little faster than the frequency with which I get to shave my legs (it still hasn't happened, by the way), it would be wonderful if some one would read this book along with me, and get in on the discussion.

Motivation, my friends, motivation.

Saturday 7 June 2014

101 Things to do for Kids: #44--Talk about Food

44. When food shopping, talk to your child about what you see -- from kumquats to lobsters. Talk about where food items come from. Talk about the people who help us by growing, picking, transporting, and displaying food.

We rock on this one.  K1 (who is four) helps me bake all the time, and he knows the difference between baking soda and baking powder. My kids have eaten tamarinds. They aren't for the faint of heart. We even planted some potatoes (K1 bought one from the plant store--totally his idea!). They were then promptly dug up a couple days later so that he could see if they had grown any bigger.

Ha ha. Potatoes. That reminds me of the time that I went to a conference regarding GMO foods, and a health-food-store owner told a story about a woman who walked into the store, took one look at the bin of dirty potatoes (he'd heard that they keep better if you leave some of the dirt on them), and started chewing out the staff; how dare they be so horrible as to let the potatoes get dirty!

Um, yeah, potatoes grow in the ground. In. Under. As in, you have to dig them up and wash them in order for them not to be dirty. Onions, beets, and carrots are like that, too, by the way. Tamarinds grow on trees. Or at least, they do in the picture on the box that they came in.

Anyway, now I'm reminded of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I watched the episode from the UK; one girl could identify a few of the vegetables, but most of the kids could only tell you the colour. That is kind of sad.

(I was talking about this with a coworker, and she told me of the time that some British exchange students were billeted at her house for a weeknight; they had their usual meal of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. The girls were mortified that the family had gone out of their way to prepare them a Sunday dinner for them. I remember that being a standard dinner at my house--meat, potatoes or rice or pasta, two veggies (one green, one "yellow" (cauliflower was in the "yellow" category)) and a salad. Every meal.)

That (two paragraphs up) reminds me of the kids in Super Size Me who all knew who Ronald McDonald was, but couldn't identify Jesus. Actually, my kids probably don't know who Jesus is yet, either, since we don't go to church, but also don't know Ronnie. At least, I don't think that they do. Whatever happened to the Hamburgler?

Anyway, what I think that I'm trying to say on this one is that yes, kids totally need to know where food comes from (beyond a grocery store), but if the parents don't know, and aren't interested in finding out, and would rather buy a pre-made salad instead of making one, those kids are going to grow up thinking that all food comes from a shelf at the store, and all you have to do is open up the bag or the box and pop it in a microwave or oven to "cook" it. I guess at least that's a slightly higher skill set than going through a drive-through every day. I'll give them that.

I'm still all for teaching my kids from where real food originates, how it grows, and how to prepare it. K1 is really good at stirring; most of the batter stays in the bowl, now. K2 is pretty interested, too, and he's 18 months; he's constantly dragging a chair over so that he can see what's going on. Pretty soon I may even get K1 prepping meals, and not just baked goods. As long as it's fun, he's totally in to it. And he's learning some fractional math already, and he doesn't even know it!

Now if only he was as in to the cleanup part like his brother; you cannot keep that kid out of the dishwasher. Sometimes literally.

Speaking of cleanup, I should probably run.

Oh, and I dare you to leave a few tamarinds lying around your house when you have company coming!!

Tee hee.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Has it Really Been that Long??? Random Thoughts for June 4th 2014. BMBR: Smut

Really? May 8th was my last post? Seriously? WTF happened?

I knew I've been busy, but I didn't think I've been that busy.

(Looks down at her legs.)

Actually, that's a lot of hair... Maybe I have been that busy, because judging from the amount of hair that's on my legs, I have been super busy. To busy to shave, anyway. I have an amount of leg hair that's acceptable on tree planters, hippies from the Kootenays, and European Women. I was never a tree planter, I was too yuppy to be a hippy when I lived in the Kootenays (but I was too hippy for the yuppies, so guess how well I fit in there), and I was born in Canada to Canadian-born parents, so I can't really ride the European-Excuse wave.

And, it's been hot out lately, and I want to start wearing skirts to work, but let's face it, even Sasquatches would hand me a razor.

Okay, really, I don't care about hairy legs, and I think all women should feel comfortable enough with having hairy legs. Hair-free legs take less sunscreen, though.

I have been reading a lot. Of smut. Don't tell anyone. About the smut part.

Sure, you say. Too busy to shave your legs, but you can read smut. Uh huh. 

Okay, I have two kids who love to watch TreehouseTV, a husband who loves to watch hockey (It's fucking June. Playoffs should be over in March. I mean, it's hockey. If the ice has melted off of the ponds in the middle of Canada, hockey should be over. Or over by the end of March. I can give you til the end of March. But June? Come on), and two broken feet. Or something. I find out about the feet tomorrow.

So yay, I get to sit down on the couch for large portions of the day (or dose myself on great quantities of ibuprofen) so that I don't end up in excruciating pain, which means that the kids or the hubby hang with me, which means that they've picked the TV shows (otherwise it's Mommy do this and Mommy do that and all of that this-ing and that-ing equals Mommy being on her feet which doesn't really help the broken feet issue), which means that I surreptitiously hold my phone off to the side and read my Kindle.

And lately, I've been reading a lot of smut. My husband's not complaining.

BMBR: I've been reading Shana Galen and Mimi Jean Pamfiloff. Worth the ebook prices.

Read a Joanna Wylde novella called Be Careful What You Wish For, thank god, because it was okay, but I'm really glad I read that before committing myself to the expensive Reaper books that are waiting in Sample Land for me. I was excited for these books, but now, not so much. Maybe the writing got better by the time she wrote them. Sigh. Maybe I'll take one out of Sample Land. In the meantime, check out the cover of BCWYWF. You can judge this book by it's cover. I will allow it. I wish I had.

Did you know that Twizzlers come in rainbows? They make wonderful little caterpillar legs.

I made a caterpillar out of cupcakes for a birthday cake. So cute.

Huh. I've been sitting here for five minutes trying to think of another random thought, but I've actually been zoned out, so I guess my next random thought should be about bed. Or maybe checking out FB and seeing what the 18 messages/notifications are all about.

I bet at least ten of them are invitations to play FB games.

I'd rather shave my legs, thanks.

Thursday 8 May 2014

BMBR: Shadow Dance by Anne Stuart

Loved it. Masterful telling of falling in love while on the run and in disguise.

Two brothers are on the run; one is disguised as a woman who manages to fall in love with an innocent girl, who in turn could not be more confused because she is falling in love with a woman...

The other brother is falling in love with a woman pretending to be a boy.

This book is so well written, and the story was delightful, which has won me over to Anne Stuart. (I read A Rose at Midnight, which, while being well written, turned me off a bit because of the way that the main characters interacted. I've never been a big fan of women falling in love with their mean bullies. Shadow Dance is thankfully different.)

Shadow Dance won me over so well that now I feel like an idiot for not checking every day for Anne's 40 days of deals for 40 years of writing.

Bottom line: I would love to buy all of her books, but due to her prolific career I may have to settle for the occasional library visit. I'm also okay with slowly collecting her works as I find good deals for my Kindle. If I'd discovered her sooner, her real books would probably be on my bookshelf.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

BMBR: Noelle Adams

I read A Baby for Easter on the weekend. It was about $3 on Kindle. Adams' books are usually in that range, and they're usually worth it. This one felt a bit short, and there isn't as much descriptive sex in it as there is in her other books, but maybe that's because the characters are blatantly religious in this one.

Baby still delivered a love story that had me falling in love right along with them, and it was great escapism (one of my dreams ended this weekend, so I'm in great need of escape), and I didn't lose any brain cells.

Bottom line: Adams won't kill your brain cells while you're reading her addictive love stories about triumph over miscommunication. It's pretty good foreplay, and the pricing isn't too bad. I've read most, and probably soon I will read all of her books.

Wednesday 30 April 2014

Crutches Days 1-3

I have a fractured bone in the bottom of my foot that requires that I be on crutches for six weeks. I have kids, and I therefore occasionally walk on said foot, so I'm looking at longer than six weeks. Fuck.

I felt for kids on crutches in school, but I did not feel enough. Here's why:

Day One: (Monday) It's not so bad. I'm getting a good upper-body workout! And, crutching around is great cardio! Awesome! Not so awesome? Other people have to carry my soup/hot beverages for me. I wonder if my boss would hire me a personal assistant just for that? Probably not.

Day One: (Monday Night) I went to class. After sitting, not crutching, for a couple hours, my hands doth protest the pressure of the hand-hold on the crutches. And by doth protest I mean Holy Fuck Lady Don't Touch!

Day Two: I can't brush my teeth, not unless I lay my head down to bring it level with the supportive counter. Shooting pain up my arms for the first few strides this morning. It felt like my hands were on fire. And, apparently, I too have muscles on the fronts of my shoulders and arms. You know the ones: usually you only see them on the fronts of romance novels--the ones with pictures of really buff guys with well-defined muscles, including the small ones on the fronts of your shoulders and arms. I'm not buff, but I have the same muscles. And they really really hurt.

Day Three: I can't reach the ignition in my car. It's too far away. And the key is too heavy to lift. I also have muscles on the tops of my shoulders, but I think that they quit working at about 3pm.

More tomorrow. Can't type anymore.

Sunday 27 April 2014

BMBR: Thirst no 1 by Christopher Pike

My niece leant me this book. It's about a vampire's efforts to save all humanity, and to find her own.

This is my niece's favourite series. Yes, she's a teenager.

Boiled down, this story is about the last vampire on Earth (or so she thinks), her love for a boy named Ray, her discovery that she isn't the last vampire, and her quest to become human again.

She's also trying to reconcile her love for mankind--the side of her that hates to kill, with her nasty side--the side of her that has no qualms about squeezing someone's head so hard that their brains squish out.

At first I had a hard time with this reconciliation; if this teen book were a movie, teens wouldn't be able to watch it. But the more I read it, even though it gave me bad dreams, the more I respected Pike's honesty about how nasty a vampire would really be. There isn't much romanticism, and it's actually quite hard to like Alisa, let alone love her, yet it's easy to root for her success, and to love her.

Bottom line: it's $13 for a real book, and $11 for an eBook. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking that if I were a teenager, I'd probably spend that. As a busy mom, nah. I'd maybe get it from the library if I had time, but really, I'll probably only read on in the series if my niece lends me the rest of the books.

Until I got to the end. I'm still not going to buy the books, but I am really hoping that I can borrow them!

Saturday 26 April 2014

Random Coffee Thoughts

I've been mixing Hubby's real coffee beans with my decaf coffee beans for that right amount of caffeine. You know it; it's that amount right in between "I'm just pretending that I need to wake up" and "Hey!-Whatchyadoin'?Huh?Haveyouseenmyglasses?DidyouhaveagoodweekendIdid.Igotthatreportdonealreadydidyougetyourworkdone?Okaywellgottago!"

You know what I found at the store today? Kicking Horse has a HALF-Decaf coffee!

You know what it's called?


Yeah, baby. That's right in between pretending that you're going to do something productive today, and being an annoying overachiever.


Monday 21 April 2014

You Know You want this Job

Position: Trailer Park Supervisor

Location: Sunnyvale Trailer Park, Nova Scotia

Job Description: candidate must be willing to drink excessively on the job, pursue romantic endeavors with assistant trailer park supervisor, and must be creative with the use of fecal matter in metaphors. Must be able to tolerate liquor, cheeseburgers, and trailer park residents.

Salary: $5000/yr, + liquor & cheeseburgers.

To start immediately.

This ad was posted from the Kijiji Classifieds app.
You can download the app from Google Play

Random Thoughts 2014-04-21

I've been trying to exercise at lunch at work. Gym upstairs. On bike now. It just went up a level.

I was busy filing our taxes last night; Hubby was distracting me by watching Zombieland on Netflix. Rule #1: Cardio. On it. So long as there's a functioning bike around, I'm good. Unless the zombie was a bike rider in its former life. Then I may be in trouble.

That space between this paragraph and the one just before it? Two-and-a-half minutes of torture. I mean resistance level five. Stupid interval program. At least I've stopped crying. Or laughing hysterically. I'm not sure what that was, but it wasn't pretty.

The snow is melting around town, and almost everybody has their lawn back (it may even be going green!). We aren't in the "almost everybody" category. Not even close. I suppose that that's what we get for buying in the summer.

Whose idea was it to try and blog while riding a bike, no matter how stationary it is? Seriously? Have you ever tried to type on a tablet while trying not to die? And the auto-correct just doesn't get it. I'm going back to North and South.


Friday 11 April 2014

BMBR: A Wanted Man by Lee Child

I buy Jack Reacher books as real books, usually from Costco because they're a bit cheaper and therefore a more justifiable purchase. I'd probably pay full price. I like them in real form because my Dad reads them too. Sometimes he buys them and shares them with me. And by that I mean he doesn't usually get them back. Ahem.

Anyway, the four days it took me to read this one was an incredibly long time (it usually takes eight hours), but see my last post. I also had to sleep and work and hang with the kids etc. It's taken four days to write this much of this post. Busy Mom Book Review, for sure.

Quick synopsis: Jack Reacher hitches a ride with the wrong guys. Or, should I say that some bad guys pick up the wrong hitchhiker?

Action ensues, full of math puzzles, death, mayhem, and good old fashioned ass-kickings.

As usual, Lee Child does not disappoint. (Don't judge the books by the movie. They're better. But that's a post for another day because if I start in on the movie, it's going to hijack this post.)

The next book is already out. It's not waiting for me on my piano, yet. But soon. Very, very soon.

BMBR score: just buy them and read them, but be warned--you won't be able to put them down once you begin, so I recommend not starting them just before bed.

Friday 4 April 2014

I'm Jonesing. Thanks, Lee Child. Thanks a Lot.

I'm currently reading A Wanted Man by Lee Child. In paper form. I can't bring it to work because I can't read it while on the exercise bike (I probably could, but it's so much easier to turn pages on a Kindle when you're trying not to die) at lunch time. And if I can't read it on the bike, I'll sit at my desk on lunch and read it, so then I won't be working out. So I just didn't bring it.

Which means that I'm having withdrawals. I must know what happens next!

Exercise in patience, Spinny, exercise in patience.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Outlander is coming to TV!

And I'm so excited!

And, Showcase is airing it in Canada, so I'm even more excited because now I'll actually be able to watch it!

Sunday 30 March 2014

BMBR: The Land of Painted Caves BT Jean M. Auel

I almost titled this Shelters of Stone. Does that tell me that it's all been a blur?

I'm done!

Anyway, Painted Caves was a wonderfully detailed journey in a time and place that existed a long time ago, as seen through the eyes of the peoples who lived then. The archeologist in me loved it.

I'm finally done!

The rest of me found the experience of reading the first six hundred pages or so to be an excruciatingly painful process. Painful. So, so, painful.

I can finally read something else!

Either when I was younger I appreciated the detail more readily, or now that I'm older I find that extreme redundancy in writing to be so very boring.

Thank goodness I'm done!

Sure I wanted to know how Jondalar's and Ayla's adventures ended, but I felt that I didn't need a six hundred page summary of the first five books before the last couple hundred pages.

I love that Ms. Auel does so much research for her books, I really do, but she could probably take a couple lessons from Diana Gabaldon in writing style. Sure, she does lots of research, too, and yes, her books are hundreds, if not over a thousand pages long, but you can't put them down. And, if you buy the fourth book first not knowing that it's in a series, and start reading said book, you realize by the second page that you should probably go buy and read the first three books first because Ms. Gabaldon is not going to sum up her previous books for you.

Back to The Land of Painted Caves.

You know what? I'm going to do you a favour. I'm going to presume that you've read the other books, and I'm going to sum up the first part of Painted Caves for you in one sentence, or so, and then I'm going to tell you from where to start reading the book so as to avoid Severely Repetitive Redundancy Pain.

SPOILER ALERT! I'm not responsible if you keep reading this post from this point forward and then decide to get all pissy about it. If you want to read the book in it's entirety without knowing what's happened first, stop right now.

The summary:

Jondalar and Ayla are living with Jondalar's mother's cave, their daughter Jonayla is growing up, but Ayla is really busy training as an acolyte for the Zelandonii, and what with all the traveling to summer meetings and a donier tour to see all the important painted caves, and with all the visiting and ceremonies and rituals and training, Ayla doesn't get to spend as much time with her family as she wants or needs to.

Now you can start reading from chapter thirty (page 580). It will start moving along a little faster, I promise.

If you really wanted the descriptions of the caves, do yourself a favour and find a picture book on cave paintings. I may even have an Archaeology textbook that I could lend you.

If you really want a summary of the end of a book, I can do that too. Let me know.