Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And so that was Christmas

My Christmas in a bullet list:

  • Ate too many cookies.
  • Am running slower than before Christmas. But I'm running, so that's something.
  • Got new running shoes, they rock! And a gc for lululemon - gateway to pants that promise to make my butt look divine!
  • Kids got too much stuff, I blame the grandparents.
  • Everyone crowded into our tiny place and ate and drank and were generally merry.
  • The kids were amazing when they weren't too tired or hopped up on sugar.
  • Four of our five houseguests got sick after they left. I blame the children.
  • Managed to enjoy some eggnog/fireplace time.
  • Weather lovely and mild, although this made it icy as well.
  • Baking almost all gone, will have to make sure it's gone by the end of the week.
  • Made soup.
  • Made a couple of great salads. In-laws found them "interesting".
  • House still a disaster area. Must get things organized!
  • Dad got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital. He'll be ok, but it's still scary.
  • Didn't manage to get to see everyone over the holiday, but there's still a few more days!

I'm not biting

So I finally finished the first two teen vampire books by Stephanie Meyer. I wanted to know what the fuss was about. I hadn't even heard of the books until just before the last one came out and then the movie was released, so I already felt a bit under the rock on this one. How could I have missed this big teen girl cult following? Well, after reading two of these I can say, they're no Harry Potter.
The books are incredibly disappointing. They have all the components that make them so appealing, but they are so poorly put together that you just sit there thinking, “this could have been so good”. My biggest beef is that they clearly lacked a competent editor to help the author pare down the repetition, build the plot and fix the huge holes, and create a story that isn't a bunch of jagged scenes thrown together within a binding.
I realise that a few of my friends loved these books as-is, and that's fine. I understand the appeal, I've admitted that all the key ingredients are there: sullen troubled incredibly beautiful man, super powers, protective, impossibility of their love, the protestations, the revelations, the plain girl who is the object of total love for this god-like man, it's female bait, a checklist of it. In fact, you can almost hear the author checking them off one by one as the story goes on – and then repeating the list over and over until you just want to say, “enough! we get it!”. When you finish you want to scrub your brain with something really good and apologize for making it sit through it.
I'm amazed that these managed to get picked up by a publisher and sent out to print in this condition. On the other hand, if something like this can get published and make the author a very happy rich lady, surely there is hope for other bad writing to make it big out in the world, perhaps even mine some day ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't know where she gets it

Getting ready for work/daycare/school earlier this week. Kids are dressed and playing in the living room, Steve is cleaning off cars, I am sitting at the table eating cereal. I hear a child come running down the hallway. It's Naomi, starkers except for a fake pearl necklace. She walks in casually, does a small turn, gives me a smile and runs down the hallway again. We have so much to look forward to........

dough, dough, dough

Got four cookie doughs in the fridge ready for tomorrow. Spice, cinnamon sugar, and two types of gingerbread. I also have a batch of ginger bens done. Stephie's coming over tomorrow for some baking which is great because we haven't seen her since the end of October. One of the things I love about Steph is trading crazy parent stories, between the two of us we have a truckload. She's also a crazy artist, so her view of life is nicely skewed. When we were first looking for a shadow for Ben, I put an ad on the university sites for a cheap student, hoping to find someone in psych who was interested in autism. We found Steph instead, an art education student, older than most of her class, from St Catharines so her French was so bad that she was looking for an anglo job that didn't involve telemarketing. What we ended up discovering was a perfect match for Ben in so many ways, she truly understands so many of Ben's quirks and sensitivities. A kindred spirit. Even after she left, we've continued to be good friends and she's still incredibly attached to Ben. In fact, everyone near Ben forms a strong attachment to him, it's part of his charm. His ability to become part of your heart so quickly has made finding people to work with him, and even go out of their way to help us, so easy. He's learned the first rule of people, and while I'd like to teach him not to abuse it, it has served him well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why my husband does not want me to write the Christmas letter

Hi Everyone,
What a year! Actually, that's a cliched way to start a yearly letter, you'd think that I could do better than that, but the fact is I can't really remember what kind of year it's been. As most of you know, I have the memory of a gnat, so when I look back at the year I remember very little. In fact, the only things sticking out at the moment are the following:
  • We got bedbugs from our downstairs neighbour and it was a pain in the butt.
  • The kids have been particularly challenging, the girl especially. It's really a miracle that she's still alive.
  • My workload has increased exponentially without financial compensation.
  • My house is such a disaster that I've considered throwing out everything I own and starting over.
  • I think I've needed a nap since June.....
  • Wait! Ben started kindergarten! That's a good one. He now has more ped days than I have vacation days.
  • Steve is still alive. Our friends and family continue to be awed over how he copes with me.
  • The cat who pees on everything is still alive, although honestly I can't say why. This year has been non-stop sniff and launder....
  • Christmas is in two weeks and I have done no shopping, baking, cleaning, crafting, decorating, or party scheduling, and part of me doesn't really care.

Hope you all spend the holidays drunk and happy,

To the person microwaving popcorn at 10:30am

What the fuck is wrong with you? Seriously dude, don't you have a lunch? Save the waves of fake buttery smell wafting through my office until the afternoon when I can stomach it.....