Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How much do I love...

... Jenny Sanford?

I have a certain respect for the many, many political wives who have come before Mrs. Sanford, who have chosen to stand next to their cheating, lying, philandering, horny, jerky husbands and who have offered quiet support and forgiveness because they believed, or had been told, that that was the only appropriate way to react. It was always more grace and respect than their husbands deserved.

But how refreshing is it to see Jenny Sanford flip her husband the political wife's equivalent of the bird, refuse to cover for him, refuse to support him, refuse to appear with him, and refuse to teach her four sons that their father's behaviour is appropriate?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Updates, various...

I realized today that I haven't had time to blog for a while, meaning that people coming to my blog have been forced to read about poop for about the last week. Time to rectify that.

(I also realized this morning that that post is the second time I've posted about poop. Might have to have its own label soon.)

Anyhoo, what all is goin' on around here these days:
  • We wrote an absolutely ginormous cheque to our lawyer as a part of the purchase of our new house yesterday. Isn't it funny how we lose our perspectives about quantities of money when we're buying/selling houses?
  • The house is currently in CHAOS. We're at that strange place where we've done some packing, we have some cleaning and sorting to do, there are piles of things waiting to be packed all over the place, you can't take 3 steps without tripping over a pile of boxes... like I said, CHAOS. But we take possession in just over a week!
  • The cats seem to still be blissfully unaware of the impending change. I think as more things get packed up, Mama Cat especially will get more needy even than usual. Hopefully it's not too distressing for them. We have come up with the plan for moving the cats, figuring that no matter what we do, they will have to be alone in an empty house at some point, so it's probably better if that house is the one they're at least familiar with. So when we do our big move day on July 11th, we'll cage them while we load the truck and then leave them at the house with their cages, their litter, food, water, and maybe a couple of pillows. After we've unloaded at the new house, we'll take the truck back to the depot and then pick the cats up on our way to spend the first night at the new house.
  • Meals are getting weird at our house, amidst the chaos. Last night was smokies and champagne.
  • We're also getting painfully absent-minded, as evidenced by the fact that I forgot my car at work yesterday. Long story, but at least I remembered before I phoned the police this morning and reported it stolen.
  • I had my interview for the new position on Tuesday and I think it went well. I should hear something before the end of the week, fingers crossed.
Have a great day, all!

Friday, June 19, 2009

On poop and perfume

To the staff of this office at Colourful University;

Who use a communal one-stall bathroom;

If you go into that bathroom and make a stinky, please don't attempt to mask it by dousing the room in perfume.

I almost died in there today.

Thank you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Eat, Pray, Love

Ok, so just a forewarning for any readers out there who liked the book Eat, Pray, Love. You probably aren't going to agree with anything I say from here on in. Read on at your own risk, or go on your merry way without prejudice!

I'm coming at this blog post so long after the book was released because of the recent news that the story will be made into a movie starring Julia Roberts.

Let me start by saying that I like Elizabeth Gilbert's writing. She's witty and funny and I think she has a gift for describing beautiful things. She's good at what she does.

That being said, I was so annoyed by the time I got through Eat, Pray, Love that I could barely see straight.

My annoyance isn't really with the trip itself. The trip sounded beautiful and I'm sure was a lovely experience. It was neat to read about. I like Italian food too.

My annoyance was largely with the fact that SOMEBODY ELSE PAID FOR HER TO TAKE THE TRIP, a fact which goes by in her early chapters astonishingly quickly. And that, knowing that someone else was paying for her to have this incredible experience, she still acts like she was entitled to it.

Most of the rest of us, when our lives get messy (and they all do), work it out. We yell, and cry, and fight, and compromise, and make sacrifices, and take stock, and move on, and heal, and seek help, and brush ourselves off, and take responsibility. We figure it out. It takes time, but we do it. And maybe somewhere in there, we take ourselves on a bit of a vacation to clear our heads. A vacation that WE PAY FOR.

We don't abandon our lives and go and do whatever we want on the other side of the world, on someone else's dime.

I have no objection to the trip itself. Like I said, it sounded fascinating. I certainly believe that we are entitled to genuine adventures in our lives. And I fully appreciate (and even like!) books about people's travels around the world.

My objection was the feeling I got that the author was bereft of any sense of responsibility for the mess in her life, any sense of maturity or accountability. And because of that, to me, her healing experience isn't grounded in reality. It doesn't resonate as true. And the rapidity with which critics fawned at the profoundness of her experience irritated me no end. Because I wonder what a book would have been like detailing how the author stayed put, and worked through her issues, and took responsibility and made it work. Because those, too, are profound experiences.

It's possible that I am cold and heartless, but a complete lack of empathy and a strong desire to scream "GROW UP" into the pages somewhat diminished my ability to fully appreciate her story.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On J&K +8

Yes, ok, I know. Jon and Kate and their adorable eight are getting to be old news.

But like many of my blog posts on these kinds of things, I hem and haw and toss them around in my brain until I'm ready to post about them. That process usually takes me well past the topic's best-before date. Oh well.

What has happened to this family is profoundly sad. The breakdowns of all family units are sad, but this one feels more so because we are all witnessing it, on television, on the internet, in magazines. And because this family is, in so many ways, a normal every-day North American family, with nothing exceptional about it but its size, the breakdown hits a bit close to home. The problems that are plaguing their marriage are common problems: infidelity, mis-communication, changing priorities, busy lives.

What has bothered me most about what we've witnessed and how we've responded, from the perspective of a distant viewer, is the almost total assassination of Kate's character. Let's be clear on one thing: if Jon is spending inappropriate time with women who are not his wife, then that's totally, 100%, without question on him. It is awful and shameful and cowardly. And of course, the same is true if the inappopriate time is being spent by Kate with men who are not Jon.

What has emerged, however, from the pictures of Jon and his lady friends, is increasingly detailed numeration of Kate's personality flaws. She nags him. She belittles him. She's bossy. Which all may be true, but NONE OF WHICH EXCUSES HIS BEHAVIOUR. What is most profoundly upsetting about all this is is the whisper of "How can you blame him? See what he has to live with?"

I have been particularly taken aback by how vitriolic some of the commentary along these lines has been. And I've been trying to think why. If I had guess, I would say that a significant number of women see in Kate some of the aspects of their own personalities that they dislike. The moments where husbands are lumped in with children and bossed around. Nagging. Snarky comments made under-breath. The kinds of things we all have done, and are never very proud of.

Well here we have Kate, displaying those same behaviours in HD for our public consumption, giving us a target against which to rail, desperately trying to draw attention away from the ways that we may be like her.

I don't know Jon and Kate or, really, anything about their personalities. They may be difficult, angry, disagreeable people. Their situation, including the children and the TV show and the publicity, is bizarre and surreal. But I think that at the heart of them is a family, much like yours and mine, desperately trying to figure out a way to mend what's broken.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


  • I'm home with a nasty cold today. The cat is sitting on my feet, which is preventing me from doing anything productive with regards to packing.
  • I need to start packing because we signed off on the conditions yesterday for our brand new house, seen below. We take possession of the new house in a little less than a month. Crazy!
  • Part of condition signing-off day was our inspection of the new property yesterday and it went very well. No significant problems with the place. If I may offer a little bit of advice to other folks who have new buyers coming to inspect their home. I suggest putting your dirty magazines away where the new buyers can't see them. They make the new buyer giggle, and get all distracted. "Naughty Neighbours"... tee hee hee
  • Back to getting some rest here...
Hope you're all well!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Five: Moving!

Sally at the RevGals has posted this delightful (and wonderfully appropriate for our circumstances) Friday Five about moving!

1. A big move is looming, name one thing that you could not possibly part with, it must be packed?

Last summer, WH built a wine rack for our basement that holds 96 bottles of wine. It's the kind of thing that I thought we might be asked to leave behind (it's huge), but we would have said no. Not only is it a project that he's really proud of (and should be), but it's a representation of one of the things that we do together - collect wine!

2. Name one thing that you would gladly leave behind...

You know, I can't think of anything off the top of my head... I tend to purge things that I don't like or don't use, so not a lot comes to mind.

3. How do you prepare for a move

a. practically?

Sorting, packing, throwing things out, planning, cleaning, sorting, packing, throwing things out, planning, cleaning, sorting, packing...

b. spiritually/ emotionally?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a good mover. I get cranky, I get frustrated, I get overwhelmed. I'm hoping to avoid that this time and to do a better job of keeping the goal in mind, and my excitement about our new place at the forefront of my mind.

4. What is the first thing you look for in a new place?

This time, we were looking for very specific things: nice big kitchen, double attached garage, sizeable yard, three bedrooms on the same level, more than one bathroom, etc. I think the thing I notice first about homes I'm looking at is how clean they are. I can't believe that people put their houses on the market and then leave them dirty. It must drive real estate agents crazy!

5. Do you settle in easily, or does it take time for you to find your feet in a new location?

I think the presence of some key things help me settle in quickly. Our bed, our coffee pot, our cats... that should be enough!

The bonus for today; a new opportunity has come up for you to spend 5 years in a new area, where would you go and why?

Oh my goodness, I'm just now getting my head around the new area that I will actually be moving to in a months' time!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Update and a Letter

So we have put an offer on an absolutely beautiful house in a suburb just to the east of Prairie City. Our offer has been accepted, and we are now working on getting our finances set up, and our inspection done, and then the house will be ours! The new house is very different from the Wee House, but it is absolutely gorgeous and we are very excited to get the sale finalized and to move in. I'll post some pictures as soon as I can.

And now for the letter:

Dear Persons who left their ugly-ass couch in our back yard,

That was SO kind of you! Thank you so much for leaving the ugly couch, and all the crap you piled on top of it, in our yard for us to take care of. We are sooooo grateful. And we totally understand how hard it must have been for you, after you had already loaded the couch and the crap into your truck, to drive the extra THREE BLOCKS to the Eco-station to drop them off there. No, no, that would have been IMPOSSIBLE. We are entirely understanding that our backyard was the most logical choice, and we look forward to paying the junk removal guy $80 to get rid of it for us. Because really, we have nothing better to do with our time or our money.

Forever yours,

WH and Chorus.

PS You're a jackass.