Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I'll blog more soon, I promise. Just as soon as I'm not sick anymore. I had a sore throat for five straight agonizing days, right over Christmas, and it has morphed into Sinusitis From Hell. Most of the lovely drugs I'd be inclined to take right now are off-limits because I'm preggers.

My husband's family is HUGE. At his mother's Christmas gathering this year there were 19 people; next year, thanks to the reproductive efforts of not only DH and me, but my sister-in-law and her husband (just seven weeks behind us!), there will be 21. I'm trusting that motherhood will make me a much more adaptable in crowds, and more hippy-dippy-happy-roll-with-it-nothing-can-bother-me in general.

Right now, I can't taste a thing, so there's no point in waxing on about foodstuffs or describing all the good eatin' I've been doing. Conversely, I had pizza that I couldn't taste but felt like greased leather for dinner tonight, chased by a bowl of nude lettuce (why bother with salad dressing when you can't taste anything?) and a celery stick because I need the nutrition badly.

Maybe it's congestion-related oxygen deprivation, or being knocked up and all about nesting, or reading all these damn knitting blogs, or all of the above, but I think I might like to learn how to knit. Might. You read it here first, and I may never say it again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gifts for all, no emergency shopping required!

Phew. The Christmas candy has arrived from New Orleans. (Thanks to an LJ friend for the great idea!) Now I'm wishing I'd ordered just one more box because I really, really like pralines, and we didn't order a whole box for ourselves. It was getting pricey.

So it's a good thing that the candies are individually wrapped, and that the gift box lids are held on with only an elastic ribbon and no wrap. It's all too easy to nick a praline or tortue from each box and rearrange the remaining candies into neat rows of 4-3-4 instead of 4-4-4.

Maybe I'll nick more than one from Dad's box, because he has bad teeth and doesn't brush often enough. I'd be doing him a favour. Who will know? It will be my little secret. Do your good deeds in private, the Good Book says.

Just doing my bit to help everyone. Hurricane-ravaged economies, Dad, other family members who may be watching their weight. It's about giving. Burp.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Reflections on a slow season

Concerts: done.
Christmas cards: done
Me: done

It was a lighter-than-usual concert season. I didn't make as much money as I would have liked, but kept my sanity instead and was able to remain fairly ungrumpy. Life's short, and there's much to do, but taking on too much can make one self-destruct emotionally and physically or treat others poorly. At least that's the case with me, as I have learned in times of great stress. I'd rather tread lightly and appreciate a few things deeply than stretch myself to snapping point to take everything in, as I have done in Christmases past.

So, I'm tired, but it's a good tired, not a brink-of-throwing-up tired. I'll sleep tonight.

I was even able to chill and enjoy my annual gig with the Bad Swedish Choir tonight. They are always so grateful for my participation in their Bad Concert each year that I can't help but warm up to the experience. I even had a wee bit o' Glögg at the reception, just for the taste. It was stronger than I remembered, so I had to lay off like a good pregnant lady. However, I did chow down on a vile Lucia bun that tasted like play-doh. I have one every year, and knew just how bad it would be, but wanted to remind myself anyway. I ate the whhhollle thing.

Some things never change. I'm glad.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

and furthermore!

And another whine! Aren't you glad you checked blog bookmarks today?

This one's about the weather. Okay. So. We're expecting about 25 cm. of snow between now and Friday. No, it won't be fun. It might even be really miserable. But big whoop, it's December in Canada!

I awoke to the sound of the radio broadcasting the words of dumb lady they interviewed on the street: "It's scary! I can't help but think of Montreal and that ice storm a few years back."

That was some ice storm, to be sure. But less than a foot of snow in T.O.? Spread out over three days? Get. Over. It.

Then there's the melodrama of the windchill. When there is sufficient wind and humidity, it can feel a heck of a lot colder than it actually is. Knowing the wind chill is helpful for knowing how much to bundle up before heading out. But the windchill isn't the damn temperature. A windchill of -23C does not mean that it is really -23C. Until quite recently, there wasn't even an accurate model to gauge windchill. Sometimes our local news radio station is so bent on overdramatizing the weather that it doesn't even bother telling us the temperature as seen on a thermometer - it only gives the windchill. Grrr.

Toronto has a system called Cold Weather Alert. I understand its use in assisting homeless people who face bodily risk in extreme cold, but to make it a top news item every time the temperature dips to -15C is just bananas.

So there. Time to bundle up and go down the the post office for a parcel. It will be either an oboe reed case to replace one of the ones I lost, or pralines for the whole damn family!

Edit: I think I take it back. There was no snow today, but we can expect to get massacred by the stuff tonight, tomorrow, and into the weekend. And I don't even have to shovel, so I have some nerve whining about whiners.

Whine away, folks - see you in a few days.

anti-vagueness whine

Now that Toronto is a megacity, vagueness rules. For instance, a newscast might place a story in Toronto's east end. Thanks to amalgamation, that could be anywhere from the Don to the Rouge. It drives me nuts when in a single day, one news item from our "east end" might come from northeast Scarborough, and another from South Riverdale. Same with the "west end": Bloor and Bathurst is nowhere near northwest Etobicoke, but you'd never know it from the news.

To me, North Toronto means the area between old midtown and the old city limits at the south end of Hogg's Hollow, not Keele and Steeles, or my old neighbourhood in Willowdale.

Even if we are all lumped into the same municipality, I'd be a happier girl if newscasters continued to refer to the former cities of the old Metro Toronto by their original names. We would all know what they meant. Really! We would!

Rant over. Must make coffee.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Further grumbles about noisy toys and Bad Gift Ideas, all when I should be cleaning.

I enjoyed some of this article's gift suggestions, believe it or not, though I wilt at the mere thought of noisy toys with flashing lights and sound effects. I made the mistake of going to Winners on the way to get my allergy shot yesterday, and they had a toy section that would rot your socks. But the noise! The beeps and whines and howling incomprehensible electronic voices! I hate noise! I heard a feeble utterance of the word "help" wobble through my throat as my eyes glazed over and I left.

With the exception of my Atari, which I always played quietly, and my little Fisher Price wind-up record player with a delicate little tone, my childhood toys were dead quiet. Does all this noise await me with our children's toys? Dare I ask prospective gift-givers for Quiet Toys Only, Please?

But the thing that irked me most about the article was the last suggestion of
"1. Something fun to play with on Christmas morning:" a new puppy! When, oh when will folks learn that giving a pet for Christmas is usually a terrible idea? I was annoyed enough to write and submit feedback about the article's suggestion, and I hope I'm not the only one.

Now, just one or two magazines to gaze at. Oh, and a bit of ice cream, then I'll clean. Promise!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Fifth's first.

And now, to put my recent cranky posts in perspective: I'm pregnant.

I am thrilled to be knocked up, but the condition has certainly made me less tolerant of others' self-indulgence, inefficiency and stupidity. But I can just as easily turn around and love the entire universe so much that I want to give the world a Coke. Go figure.

I've been spared morning sickness, and as my first trimester ends (I'm 12 1/2 weeks along), I think it's safe to say that I won't get it at all this go around. A million old wives say that that means it's a boy.

This gestation has been the topic of a locked Livejournal for some time; that's as much detailed writing as I care to put forth about it, so I think I won't bore readers of my public blog with the nitty-gritty, unless something really exciting happens.

Surely it's nap time.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Cranky blogger alert

Warning: contains excessive use of the word "damn" and its variants.

I enjoyed work at the library today, for a change. I was just so damned cheerful, and have no idea why. That changed when I ventured out for dinner.

To begin, I just don't quite get Future Bakery, that Annex stronghold. I don't think the food is so damn good that it merits the gazillions of undergraduates it accommodates daily. It feels to me like a cross between a school cafeteria and summer camp, where you load everything onto a tray and share a laminated pine table with three strangers. Plus, I like big friendly signs, like "Get your damn tray here." "Order here." "Pay here." Future doesn't have those, and it's taken me a few too many years to intuit the system there, simple though it may be.

But tonight I wanted spaghetti and meatballs and they had it. It wasn't bad. I ate it at the window ledge while perched atop a broken stool, feeling entirely too damn old for the experience. I felt like everyone was watching me, thinking "She doesn't know how to eat here." Of course, no one thought any such thing, but I still just feel like a big freak when I go there.

On the way there and back, I was overwhelmed by a stench of fish that I had never experienced around there before. I think that stretch of Bloor Street may finally have acquired one sushi joint too many. The smell worries me, and I hope it's not a permanent addition to that part of town.

Then came choir practice. Damned sopranos. Well, they're all nice, but we're breaking in a lot of new ones right now, and they don't all have stellar vowel production. Too many of them are choking their vowels in their throat, then squeezing them out through wide, smiley mouths, making for a thin, goaty sound, or worse, the splayed pop star tone that is infiltrating children's choirs lately. I'm the opposite, perhaps to a fault; my sound is as warm and edgeless as you can get, but I was taught at a young age what shape my mouth should be in for each sung vowel. These ladies weren't. I wish someone would tell them. Furthermore, I have little patience for a bunch of new choristers learning music I've done for eight years, especially when it's for a service I can't be at anyway.

Thank goodness none of them read this.

Don't even get me started on the damn federal election.

Oh, it's good to be home. I'm just a cranky old thing, but home cures a lot, as it should.