Archive for February, 2010

Phrases I could do without

Since the dawn of texting and instant messaging, there has been a steady decline in the english language. Personally I find it difficult to text in short form, resulting in really long messages, requiring much scrolling down. However, I find the use of the following phrases to be a bigger crime against language. Here are some of my favourite phrases in popular use today.

What can I do YOU for? This is just bad grammar.

If it’s not one thing it’s another…ok thanks for the clarification. Just to be clear, if it’s not ONE thing, then it’s ANOTHER thing…oh ok.

I could care less…the goal in using this phrase is to prove that you don’t care. However on deeper examination, it becomes clear that if you could care LESS, then that means you care more now than you possibly could. So you actually do care. Maybe try a different phrase to articulate your lack of interest.

Talk AT you later…sorry but this phrase is just abrasive and rude. No one likes to hear this, I mean really, who likes to be talked AT??

From the Get-Go…where exactly is the get-go anyways?

Sorry but…this is usually followed by something that the speaker is actually not really sorry about. We throw the word “sorry” around so much, it barely has any meaning anymore.

Same difference…so is it the same? or different? These two words are by definition opposites so which is it?

Guesstimate…the words guess and estimate are close in meaning, so it’s a little redundant to combine them. On the other hand since the word guess implies that there was no proof, and estimate implies that the opinion was based on some evidence. I think someone decided to turn “guess” into ‘guesstimate’ in order to bolster their claim about something.

It’s always in the last place you look…of course it was in the LAST place I looked, once I find it, it’s just silly to keep checking in other places isn’t it?

Money is the root of all evil…This is probably the most often misquoted scripture. Paul’s first letter to Timothy actually reads, “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). Come on people, check your source.

I have half a mind to….half a mind? Really? I wonder how much you would accomplish if you set forth with your entire mind.

24/7…the Ricki Lake show is long gone, why are we still saying this?

No offense but…starting a comment with this does not immunize you from any guilt resulting from the words you are about to say. The fact that you have already determined that the listener may be offended means that perhaps you should rethink them entirely.

I’m not going to lie…why preface a comment with this. Shouldn’t telling the truth be standard?

I gave 110%…that’s just a mathematical impossibility…stop exaggerating.

Literally…this word means “actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy” …so people who use it to say things like “I ate until I literally exploded!” kind of irritate me.

Let’s git ‘er done…unless you’re Larry the Cable Guy, please don’t say this. Ever.

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Opposites Attract

Ok so my hubby is sitting in his chair looking at me with that bewildered look that tells me he’s trying to figure out what I am thinking, doing, planning or why I am laughing. It’s one of those looks that I am used to now, it has appeared often in our 11 years together. Translation: What is wrong with you?

Why is he giving me this look of disdain you ask? Because I am sitting on my sofa, up on my knees, giggling like an 8 year old girl about the cast of the newest season of Survivor (Heroes vs. Villains) What can I say? I have loved the show since the first season and this year the island is packed with both my favourite good guys and bad guys! My hubby is forever a realist and can’t imagine being so “into” a television show, reality or otherwise. It’s not really the kind of past-time that attracts him, I guess it’s one of the many things that we do NOT have in common.

This momentary exchange makes me ponder how on earth we could have fallen in love and stayed so strong for all these years despite all the things that we don’t have in common.

He is very organized, I mean really organized. I am not organized at all. I mean, really not organized.

He is the worst channel surfer I have ever met. I like to watch one show at a time, maybe switch to one other show on the commercial, but generally I stick with the program I am watching. Not him, it’s constant channel changing the entire time he has custody of the remote. Surprisingly irritating.

I love animals, I was raised with dogs and cats and have a special place in my heart for most things furry. My hubby, not so much. He doesn’t really come from a world where dogs have shoes and special treats, sleep on the bed and get their teeth brushed. However, I have to say, after being married all these years, I think that he is coming around. He claims to not love our dog, but that’s just not true. I have proof, just ask Bailey.

My husband was not blessed with the gift of gab, I however, have been abundantly blessed. So blessed in fact that my saucer is full because my cup of chatter runneth over!

He doesn’t like Pumpkin Pie or Turkey Stuffing, not even a little bit. How on earth could I have fallen in love with someone who doesn’t like Pumpkin Pie and Stuffing??? Can you even imagine what Thanksgiving is like in our house..?

My wonderful husband has lots of things he likes to do for fun…reading is not one of them. I mean, he CAN read, he just doesn’t enjoy it. I on the other hand, love to read (to which I am sure I have made reference on any number of occasions in this very blog) My idea of a perfect vacation is a suitcase full of books and hours and hours of quiet time to read them all. Hubby not so much.

I love sitcoms and dressing up in costumes, he loves the discovery channel and backpacking. I love cheesecake and social networking, he loves playing guitar and Wii Tennis. I love to entertain guests and talk on the phone, he prefers falling asleep on the couch and never returns phone messages.

Truly I think the things that we DON’T have in common out number the things that we DO have in common. And yet according to beautiful and mysterious divine design, we have found each other and will celebrate 11 years of marriage next week. I am so grateful that the Lord has given me someone so different from me; someone to open my eyes to different things and unique ways of looking at life. I can’t imagine growing old with anyone else, even if it means having to fight for the remote and keep my dog off the bed!

Through Their Eyes

I had to laugh last night as I watched my hubby teaching my son to play the electric guitar. Having played since he was a young boy, he decided that it was time to move past fiddling to actually start teaching him technique and notes. In a moment of father-son bonding, Daddy pulled up some old videos online to show him the music he used to listen to and imitate, mostly big haired heavy metal groups like Scorpion, characterized by their rapid-fire “shredding” guitar solos. I too remember how “cool” these bands were when I was young, but I had to chuckle when my 4 year old peeked at the screen and said, “But they’re so HAIRY Mommy!!”  How interesting to see my world and the things of my childhood through the eyes of my little ones.

Something very popular in our home right now is the Star Wars phenomenon. My 7 year old son is absolutely besotted with all things Star Wars; the movies, the books, the toy light saber, the Wii game. He dressed like Obi Wan Kenobi for halloween and we dressed the dog as his Padawan. It’s bordering on obsession to be perfectly honest. I find it intriguing to see my son enjoying something from my childhood to such an extent. I vividly remember sitting in the movie theatre at about 6 or 7 years old and watching Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi all in a row. Now my children are experiencing it as though it were new to their generation. (My daughter gets excited every time she sees the Storm Troopers marching across the screen, “Mommy, loooooook it’s the Darth Whites!!!”)

My kids seem are under a common misconception regarding some of today’s pop culture; they don’t realize that Indiana Jones, the Simpsons, neon rubber bracelets, punk eye makeup, Bugs Bunny and GI Joe have been around since their parents were little. Whenever we are watching Scooby Doo, their Mommy takes a perverse pleasure in identifying the villain before those “meddling kids” unmask the guilty party. “But Mommy, HOW do you know who the bad guy is???” I know it seems silly, but I get a kick out of their confused shock. 🙂

One of the things that brings me immense joy courtesy of the internet, is the ability to access clips from old cartoons that I watched on the television when I was their age. There is just nothing on the t.v these days that even rivals shows like the Smurfs, Jem and the Holograms, the Snorks, the Wuzzles, Shirt Tales etc. I do have to draw the line however, at one particular show that I have never enjoyed…regardless what anyone says…the Barbapapas are still super creepy!

And then there are the toys; Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Transformers, Hot Wheels, Care Bears, the truth is that everything old is new again. Last summer we gave my daughter a beautiful pink and purple retro big wheel. I found it at the local department store and was beside myself at the prospect of watching her spend hours and hours enjoying it in the same way that I did at her age. I lived on mine, racing around the neighbourhood with my friends on their big wheels like a school yard motorcycle gang. I remember the day the plastic wheel wore all the way out and the big front wheel split, ending my posse days.

Imagine my dismay and disappointment when my little princess was not the slightest bit interested in the big wheel, it sat in the basement until it got accidentally broken and thrown out. Well I guess it’s too much to ask my offspring to be excited about every little thing that I ever did as a kid, right?

R&R in the City

I love visiting Downtown Toronto, I’m not saying I’d want to live there, but I love visiting for short amounts of time. This past weekend I went to stay over at the home of my BFF, a happy down-town city-dweller. As today was my mothers birthday and she is no longer with us to celebrate, I decided to take a break from the everyday for a much needed 24 hours of R&R with no R&R. (Reat & relaxation with no Responsibilities & Real life)

 Things to Do when you are in downtown Toronto.

1. Avoid the Perfume section at Eaton Centre Department store. Seriously, we were passing through the store and were subjected to a gauntlet of sales associates battling for the right to spritz us with their newest pungent juice! On the other hand the lower level store “Lush” is a great place to find hand made yummy soaps and fizzy bath balls.

2. Enjoy breakfast at a corner diner. There is something very city-slicker about eating out for breakfast, besides it’s interesting to see how city people get all decked out for a plate of pancakes and a cup of joe.

3. Bring your Ice Skates. I can’t believe how many people were walking down the street with their ice skates, apparently Nathan Phillips square is the place to be on a crisp sunny Saturday morning. I’ll have to remember mine next time.

4. Visit the a used bookstore. We stopped at a little second hand bookstore located right next to a big flashy store that sells new books. I just love spending time running my fingers over the eclectic collection of literature, comics, philosophy, romance and cookbooks. I couldn’t help remembering how much my mother loved books and thinking that she would appreciate that I spent her birthday looking through old books.

5. Walk diagonally through the Yonge/Dundas intersection. Seems a small thing, but this Times Square-esqe intersection has the option to cross anywhere within the square, right left, or diagonally. It feels slightly dangerous and more than a little liberating to cross this large intersection right through the middle. What can I say? I live in a small town.

6. Order In. I know you can probably order dinner straight to your door regardless of where you live. However with the lack of free parking (or ANY parking in some places) around restaurants; and the fact that traffic can suck every spare minute out of your day, it’s easier to just go online or phone in an order, sit back and await the magic of down town delivery.

7. Take your camera. There are so many beautiful buildings, churches and theatres downtown. Check out Massey Hall, the Canon theatre, Pantages, the Princess of Whales, Roy Thompson Hall etc…

8. People Watch. I have yet to find a more interesting selection of people to observe in all my travels. Toronto has a huge range of people; from the rich and famous celebrities who work in television and film, to those who struggle with the everyday tasks of finding a place to sleep and food to eat. Downtown Toronto has representatives from all walks of life; every race, every age, every demographic, every religion.

I imagine there about a million other things to do and see in the City, but I only had 24 hours this time. The most important part of my trip was spending it with a great friend! It’s so much fun to get away and walk in someone else’s shoes even for a little while. It’s only fair, she comes to our home regularly where she is subjected to the unglamourous suburban life of her housewife friend;  loud and rambunctious children, suck-up dog and endless dishes and laundry. But I guess we all make sacrifices in the name of friendship; so if that means I have to eat out, browse through books and take long “Lush-ious” baths in her soaker tub, I guess I’ll bite the bullet.

Funny Words I Love

As a Reader, Writer and general lover of words, I often come across words that catch my fancy. Whether they are interesting to say or quirky in their definitions, I have tucked them away in my mind (or brainstorming notes) with the idea of compiling a list to share with others. In short here are some of the words I love to use! Enjoy.

Cattywampus – def. askew, disarrayed, or disorderly. My Mother used to love to use this word to describe my daughters clothes, the table cloth, her own hair…really anything. It’s one of my favourite words to say, too bad we don’t hear it that often anymore.

Skullet  – def. a man formerly with a mullet but who is aging and losing hair on top. His hair is still long in back but it’s mostly just his skull showing on top. Not one that I find a use for in my everyday life, but I have to say it’s one of those neat words I have stored in the back of my mind waiting for just thr right occasion to brandish it!

Absquatulate – def. to depart in a hurry, to die or to abscond. I wish I could make my children “absquatulate” the house in the morning before I “absquatulate” from an embollism, or “absquatulate” their Wii as punishment for making me late!! ha ha ha excellent word!

Spoonerism – def. swapping the first or other sounds of words. This definition is not what it appears to be at first glance. One would find it in a sentence like;  “it is kisstomary to cuss the bride.” as opposed to “it is customary to kiss the bride”. Cool.

Scootch – def. to move a short distance. I thoroughly enjoy asking someone to “scootch over” instead of “move over”, it’s much more gratifying.

Aglet – def. the plastic tip at the end of a shoeless. I actually lost a job at a sports store because the manager conducting the interview asked if I knew what an “aglet” was. Since I didn’t, I didn’t get the job. Hm.

Diphthong – def. the combination of two vowel sounds in one syllable to form one speech sound, for example boil or meat. Regardless of the official definition it sounds painful to me.

Brouhaha – def. a hubbub or uproar. This word is so much fun to say, you almost want your day to be littered with chaos just so you can ask, “what’s with the brouhaha?” 

Scrumptious – def. describes a tasty food or individual. Can be used either to describe my hubby or cheesecake!

Logorrhea – def. From the Greek “log” (word) and the Latin “orrhea” (to shoot forcefully out of an orafice) comes this portmanteau which means to talk excessively. Colloquially referred to as “verbal diarrhea”.

Discombobulate – def. to confuse or frustrate. Sometimes being a Mom just makes me feel all “discombobulated”!

Blamps – def. a wicked combination of bloating and cramps. Not sure who invented this word…I’m guessing it was a woman…?

Flummox- def. to confuse or bewilder about something. If I hadn’t checked the dictionary, I would be certain that this was a Dr.Suess invention…great word nonetheless!

Floccinaucinihilipilification – def. the act of judging something to be worthless.  I haven’t the foggiest idea how to pronounce this incredible word, but I won’t rest until I figure it out.           

Kerfuffle – def. another word for an altercation. I like the way thins one rolls of the toungue…much more interesting than calling something an “altercation”, don’t you think?

Cankle – def. the lack of articulation between some individual’s calves and ankles. Of course I have an intimate understanding of this condition, reinforced every time I attempt to zip up my knee high boots. 😉

SuperMarket Society – Part II

Previously we began our journey through the grocery store to bear witness to the fact that the “Supermarket Society”  is in fact an accurate representation of all that is wrong in the world today. We met the Buggy Rebuffer, Disrespectful Fruit-Handler and the Thoughtless Thief so let’s continue and see who else we find…

As I wander through the seemingly endless aisles of cereal, produce, sauces and toiletries I am constantly surprised by the number of times people knock things to the floor and do not recover them, or shove things to the side with no thought to the person whose job it is to organize and display the products. I turn towards the peanut butter aisle and come face to face with our next offender, the Careless Grabber. You’ve surely met this person, this man or woman in a supermarket near you. Not sure? Well this is the woman that leaves a trail of boxes and packages in her wake, oblivious to the fact that you have to stop and pick up random products either to clear a path for your buggy, or simply because you are a civilized person.

Moving along we begin our exit from the store because, if you are anything like me, you’ve just about had it with the inconsiderate, selfish, oblivious people all over the store. Having only had the patience to pick up 4 or 5 items, I proceed to the express lane where they accept customers with no more than 10 items. Where I am faced with our next offender the Express Lane Lout. This is the man who not only has at least 6 or 7 extra items, flouting the 1-10 item rule, but he is holding up the entire “express” line while his 9 year old daughter searches the cookie aisle for the elusive item they forgot. The other 6 people in line with me are equally as irritated as I am, does this man have no respect for the principle of the Express Lane?

After making my purchases, maneuvering around all the people blocking the exit while chit-chatting and looking at the flyers, I feel like I am almost home free. I’ll be on my way home and away from all the selfish and rude people in the supermarket. But wait, I have encountered one more offender on the way out of the parking lot, the Inconsiderate Pedestrian. I have pulled my vehicle out of it’s spot and am proceeding towards the parking lot exit when I find myself creeping behind a woman slowly walking down the absolute middle of the roadway. Now I drive a large van that is not in anyway invisible, and the last time I checked it’s possible for vehicles and pedestrians to move side by side through the parking lot in peaceful harmony. Unfortunately, this woman is selfishly hogging the whole road as she wanders aimlessly looking for her own car, and I am forced to slowly crawl behind her waiting for her to notice my car and move to the side.

As I drum my fingers impatiently on the steering wheel, I contemplate the events of my Supermarket Adventure. Could there really be so many people self absorbed and unaware of the fact that we all live in this community together. Is it possible that people can be rehabilitated for life outside the Supermarket? I certainly hope so for everyones sake, but I think from now on I will send my hubby to pick up our groceries!

10 Reasons I am NOT a Super-Mom!

1. I would much rather my daughter NOT play with our Barbies…I mean her Barbies. The problem is, she messes up their hair and they inevitably end up looking like Bob Marley!

2. I haven’t taken barely any video footage of my second child since her first couple months of life. Lots of photos thanks to the invention of the digital camera, but she will undoubtedly feel slightly less loved when she grows up and realizes that we have hours and hours of her brother on video but not her. Oops.

3. I have to force myself to let the kids help bake cookies. I know how it sounds, but I really love to bake cookies, muffins and cakes galore for my family, I just prefer to get it done. I can’t really loosen up when it comes to letting the kidlets help mix, scoop or stir. I would much rather just do it myself. But they love to help, and I love them, so I usually let them spoon out a few cookies each batch. Not too much, just until I find something that will distract them.

4. I’m not very good at following through on the threat to take away the t.v. I mean I try it sometimes, it’s one of those few consequences that really affects them. Unfortunately, it is too painful for Mommy. There are just some times when I need the Telenanny to keep them occupied so I don’t burn dinner. There I said it.

5. I prefer my hubby to put the kids to bed. I know it’s supposed to be the nicest part of the day, and such a wonderful time to spend with the children I love so much. But to tell the truth by the time bedtime rolls around, I’m pretty much ready for them to go to bed and I am desperately in need of a few minutes of just Mommy-time. Besides I get them up in the morning, have breakfast (and lunch depending on the day), drop off and pick up at school, do homework with them, play in the afternoon, have dinner, read books with them and usually bath them. It’s good to share the “bonding” with my hubby, plus honestly, I need a break.

6. Sometimes I hear my kids arguing and I just pretend I don’t hear it. I mean let’s face it if they are bickering with each other, they are not bickering with me. I feel I need to pick my battles.

6. I don’t correct my 5 year olds speech. My BFF is an english teacher and periodically chastises me for this, reminding me that I love the english language (especially when spoken correctly) but my daughter is someone for whom I will make an exception. I will miss all the cute words she says wrong when she is a “big girl” and I want to savour her being the baby just a little longer. So I tant mate her stop talting wif funny words betause I just wuv how it sounds!!!

7. I sometimes use the promise of staying home from school as a reward for good behaviour. Ok so don’t tell the school board, but sometimes when my oldest has been having a rough time, I will promise an afternoon of swimming at my gym and playing Wii with mommy at home, if he has a good week.  Hey, I said I am not a super mom and I am not above blatant bribery.

8. I have never been very good at making my own bed, and have found it difficult to consistently teach the children this life skill. So I found a way to cheat. I took the top sheets of two favourite bedsheet designs and sewed them into a duvet cover to put over the comforter, creating sort of a reversible duvet. Now the children only have to choose straighten the duvet over their bed. No more sheet tucking and folding. I know, no coins getting bounced off the bed in this house but, whatever.

9. I have been a little lax at teaching my youngest the besic kindergarten skills. My older son entered JK already writing his name, reciting nursery rhymes, colours and numbers. Now with two kids, tae kwon do, gymnastics, volunteering in their school, and the general busyness of life I haven’t been as diligent as I could have been. Oh well hopefully the school will do a better job.

10. I really don’t enjoy the game “I Spy”…I mean REALLY don’t like playing it. I will choose just about any other activity to avoid playing this game. I know I’m so mean.

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