Friday, January 30, 2009

Stupid Pervert Spam

Every morning I get up, make coffee, and check my email accounts before I go and grab my babbling daughter out of her crib.

Usually there are a few things that have arrived overnight, so I quickly scan through them while I have a moment to myself. Depending on the account, there are facebook updates, personal emails, freelance jobs, etc. And, as always, there is the spam. The dirty, stupid, pervert spam - usually telling me how I can "increase the girth of my manhood".

Ahem. Pervert spammers...just why is it that you assume I'm a man? And why do you assume that if I am a man, I wouldn't already have an amazingly impressive manhood? Because I assure you - if I was a dude, it would be impressive.

Anyways, I'll leave you with a few that were gracing my junk mail this morning...

-Your love-muscle needs upgrading...
-Bigger is better for getting the chicks!
-Give it to her - viagra samples free!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Things a 28-Year-Old Shouldn't Feel Guilty About

While I was still living at home, I wasn't allowed to take naps. My mom's reasoning for this was that if I was stupid enough to stay up so late the night before, then I would have to deal with the after affects of feeling crappy the next day. She always maintained that things around the house still needed to get done - and that tired or not, I had responsibilities.
As a result of that, I often struggle with having naps now. I did go through a phase right after I moved in with the husband of napping all the time, but that was almost as a result of post-coital exhaustion. Ahem. Anyways, at this stage in my life, maybe because of Ellery, I often feel incredibly guilty having a nap. I keep thinking that while she's asleep I need to take that time alone to get other things done around the house, because once she's up again I'll be playing with her.

As most of you know, I have terrible eating habits. I often don't eat until suppertime each day, simply because I get busy doing things, and I've been doing it so often, it's almost like I don't even get hungry till suppertime.
Occasionally though, I'll feel hungry in the afternoon, and decide to have a snack. My first thought is always popcorn, because it's fast, easy, and can be eaten whenever I'm walking by and grab a handful.
But each time I think to make it, I go back to my parents teaching me not to eat before meals, because it would "ruin my dinner." And then I feel guilty about making popcorn, because it's more of an after dinner, watching a movie sort of a snack.

Sometimes I am even guilt ridden about buying things for myself, even though they're necessities. For instance, every time I need something like new jeans or new bras, I hem and haw about it until the husband finally says "Look, you need jeans, you need bras, why are you thinking about it? Go buy them!"
It's not that we can't afford for me to buy these things, it's because I keep thinking that money could go towards our savings, or now buying something for Ellery instead.

But one of the most annoying things I feel guilt about, is having a lazy day. You know those days when you just want to hang out in your jammies, watch movies, lay on the couch, eat crappy food, and do nothing?
Yeah, on days I decide to do that, I often spend all that time "doing nothing" thinking about what I should be doing, then eventually caving in and doing 4 loads of laundry and a monster kitchen clean up, just because of the guilt.

The husband, rightly, thinks I'm nuts for feeling guilty about things like this. He keeps saying that I'm an adult, and I can do whatever the hell I want, buy whatever I want, and of course, go for a nap when I want.
This is all a result of the way I was raised though. My parents wanted me to know there are consequences to every action, not to ruin my dinner, that money doesn't grow on trees, and that it's best to be responsible. I get that. But I think they may have taught me too some regards anyways.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just a Little Snack

Man oh man! I am really letting this blog slide as of late. Sorry about that - must get my arse in gear.

We've been in Ontario the past four days or so, visiting the parentals and being lazy. But other than that, I have nothing else to report.

I'll leave you with some weirdy things I've noticed about myself lately:

1. I like soggy french fries. While most people go for the nice golden, almost crispy ones, I prefer the ones that are limp. Hehe.
2. It really bothers me when people throw away pennies. Like since it's only 1 cent, it doesn't count. That's a really stupid attitude. One hundred pennies make a dollar - and there are a lot of people that wish they had that kind of money.
3. I say the word "about" oddly. I know people stereotypically think Canadians say it "aboot", but I seem to have taken it to some new level. It's almost like I say "abeewwwt". Like I throw an "eeew" right in the middle.

And on that note, I'll bid you adieu. Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Use the Dirty Words Already!

Monica's mom is an avid reader. She reads anything and everything, thus has a substantial book collection. History books, classic books, trashy novels, lots of books on Scotland (where she's from), you name it, she reads it.

I used to be a reader, but in recent years have had a hard time fitting any extra reading into my life. One of the reasons for that is that usually when I pick up a book I can't set it down. I have very little willpower in that regard.

Over Christmas I spent a lot of time at Monica's parents house, and decided to borrow some of her mom's books. I just wanted something easy to read, that I could pick up and put down without much effort, and therefore ended up with a stack of mostly trashy/romance type stuff. I've been reading them at a rate of about a book a day. I play with Ellery when she's awake, but the reading could be the reason my house in such a particularly hideous state of disarray.

Is it possible for me to just say what I want to say without a 10 paragraph long precursor? I think not. Holy.

Anyways, as I was saying, I now have a huge stack of easy-to-read smut books, that I am whipping through at breakneck speed.

Wow, that was way easier than writing all that other junk up above...

Okay, right! So yeah, I've made an annoying discovery in these books when there is some sort of sex scene going on.

For some reason, these authors like to use the word "sex" as a sexy substitute for the words penis or vagina.

For example: Just when Helga and Brutus' heavy make-out session is going to turn into some passionate lovemaking, the author will write a couple lines like: Helga was overcome with lust for Brutus. As he expertly danced his fingers down her naked stomach towards her sex, he could feel his own sex busting to get out of his trousers.

Yeah. That's about as sexy as getting your yearly physical done by your pervy uncle.

I realize "penis" and "vagina" don't come across as very sexy either, but come on! Anyone reading this trash knows damn well there's going to be sex scenes, so just use the dirty words already!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Alright, alright, I've had my week long pity party, and as Rock Chef so nicely put it: Well come on! You've had your week! Get your little ass in gear! (I mean really, how could a girl resist that? lol)

Today I'll just give you a recap of recent events, then get back to business tomorrow.

1. The meltdown last week was a culmination of many things - some serious, some not. But you know how when there are a couple big things, everything else just seems to get blown out of proportion too, right? In all honesty, after I had that cry-fest, posted that blog, and the husband got home from work and gave me some tlc, I felt much better.
Plus, who wouldn't feel better having Gigi and Reggie calling and leaving sweet messages on their answering machine?
Love you guys :)

2. Ellery hit the 8 month mark last week, and let me tell you, the kid is a riot! She isn't crawling yet, but is more content to just roll everywhere (including over everything that gets in her way) to get where she needs to go.
She now yells Dada, Mama, Yiyi, Nana and a few others consistently at the top of her lungs, which is pretty cute, except when the husband is working nights and is trying to sleep.
She has a new smile we're calling "The Pirate Grin" where she grins so hard that her eyes almost disappear into her face, and sometime she only closes the one eye, giving her the pirate look.
This is her in her new housecoat, on the way to The Pirate Grin, but not quite there. It's a fairly elusive grin, and I have yet to catch its full effect on camera.

3. We're heading to Ontario this weekend. We haven't been there since Christmas and I can not wait! I know, it's weird that I get so excited to see my family, but I really can't wait to see them, especially to get a hug from my dad :)

4. I'm noticing that I've gotten really lazy with my freelance. Not writing it, but more with the interviews.
I used to get an assignment, look up the person or company on the internet, research them as much as possible, plot and write out each question I would ask, obsessively check that my tape recorder had new batteries, do a drive-by at each location I had to go to for interviews so that I could be sure I knew where I was going, check that I had a notebook and at least three working pens before I got there...
Now? If I get around to it I'll take a quick scan over their website, check to make sure there are batteries in my recorder, and off I go. I'm not entirely sure whether it's just because I'm lazy, or because I've been doing it so long now that it doesn't stress me out like it used to. I guess it's because now it seems easier to just talk to people, and create a natural flowing conversation, than be a total nerd and read from a notebook?
Maybe it's a combination of laziness and honing my craft? Is that possible?

5. We've decided that this is the year we're finally going to buy a house. I've said that before, but this time I mean it. We're paying ridiculous rent (our last jump in rent was $21 a month!), and since house prices are coming down a teeny bit, I figure, why wait? We've been waiting for years and now we've got nothing to show for it but $80,000 in rent receipts!

6. I've got nothing else to report! How unexciting am I? Sheesh.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Giving Myself a Week Off

I know, I know - it's only the start of a new year, and already I'm taking a week off from blogging? What's up with that?
I don't know how other to say it, other than, I'm lost.
I feel really lost in my own life right now, and it's been going on for about a month and a half. I just spent an hour sitting on the living room floor bawling, while Ellery stared at me like I had grown another head. So not cool. I need to get my shit together.
And before anyone starts to worry, please don't. Nothing is really wrong, there are just too many things on my mind right now, some of them not even to do with me, and I'm feeling overwhelmed.
All will be well soon, I know it :)


I've been sitting here for 23 minutes, trying to write a post. It's after midnight and I'm tired. For some reason I'm having trouble making thoughts, and the words that come with them, flow through my fingers and into the keyboard. Forgive me. I'll try to be back later in the day with something worth typing about. Have a wonderful Tuesday - hope your brains all work clearly today :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Secretive Post for a Friday

As many of you know, I make my living as an editor/writer. The editor part is at a publishing company, and the writer part is via freelance jobs for various magazines, etc.
I went to college and graduated from a Print Journalism program, as I wanted to be a reporter. I did work as one at a paper back in Alberta, which I loved, but full time writing gigs (at least at a newspaper) are hard to come by. It's the sort of field where people stick around till they die.

All my life I have loved the written word - the way it looks on paper, the way words can make you feel, make a point, tell a story. I love proofreading; finding misspellings, grammatical errors, making necessary changes between Canadian and American spellings, all of it. I am a complete word nerd. And yes, I do occasionally make mistakes myself, so those of you (ahem, Reggie and Judy) that are worried about making errors when leaving me comments, fear not, they happen to the best of us.

Like many writers, I have often dreamed of writing a book, and one day becoming a best-selling author. And really, who wouldn't want that? I would love to be the next J.K. Rowling...I could definitely stand being a bajillionaire.

One of the most supportive people in my life is Monica (the Bahama Mama). She supports me in everything I do, but has always held the firm belief that one day I will write a book so incredible, that half the world will know who I am. She thinks I should write children's books because of my wild imagination, teen novels because she feels that my emotional self could write great tear-jerkers for girls, an autobiography because she thinks I'm hilarious and that people would want to read it.

Now I'm not so sure about all those things, but I do know that having a cheerleader like that on my side makes me really want to do those things, partially because I want to make her proud of me.

Over Christmas she asked me how a particular writing project was going - one that I have been working on for several years - and I told her it was just over halfway done. She was thrilled.

Her sisters were over while we were talking about it, and joined in on the conversation. We began talking about all the different types of writing I could do, and eventually got on the topic of one form I had never seriously considered before. Monica was so excited that she was standing up in the living room basically yelling at me "Al!!! You should totally do that! Can you imagine how much fun that would be?!? You have the perfect mind for that kind of writing! You have to do it, I'd be your biggest fan!!! Okay, that's it, you're doing it!!!"

Then we all sat around and laughed about it, because it sounded so ridiculous...but then I started thinking about it. I could do it. I really could. And she's talked to me seriously twice about it since that initial conversation.

I started doing some research about it on my own, and decided yesterday that yes, I'm going to do it. The husband and I talked it over yesterday afternoon, and he agreed that it would be pretty amazing.

So...I've given myself until I return to work to get it done. That's four months. I'm holding myself to it. And when it's all done, I'll share it with you. And if things work out, I'll send you an autographed copy :)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Interview

My 5 questions from Princess of the Universe!

1. I love love love the name Ellery! Are you willing to share other names that you considered?

When I originally wrote this answer, I included the two other names we considered. But after thinking about it, and talking about it with the husband, I decided I just couldn't post it. Before Ellery was born I actually had one of my baby names stolen by a "friend" of mine.
Besides, we might be able to use them one day, and I so love keeping you all in suspense with things like that :)

2. Do you order Diet Pepsi with cherries when you're out without me? Or is it our special thing?

I actually always order regular Pepsi, because diet is just a waste of time to me :) but no, I never order it when I'm not out with you. I just never seem to think of it any other time, but as soon as I see you, it's like "Bonk! Order Pepsi with cherries in it!" So I do :)

3. So you've got a few months left before you have to go back to work - what do you want to accomplish? Visit Monica? Write a novel? See a movie?
Before I go back to work?!?? You mean I have to go back? Eeeek!
To tell you the truth, I just want to spend as much time as possible with Ellery, it's going to be hard not being with her all the time.
Mind you...I am planning a trip with Monica and our moms - we're thinking of going to New York - but otherwise, um, maybe a date or two?

4. I totally want us to do a video post together, when can we do that? When? When? When can I see you? I love you. I miss you. When?
LOL - I love you too. But a video post? With me? Is it going to be a post of us shopping? I seriously hate myself on may have to coerce me.

5. Personality-wise, who do you think Miss E is more like, you or Chris?
Well, she's pretty loud, which is like me. She's pretty smiley, which is like both of us. She's silly, which is both of us. She has a temper, which is sort of like both of us, but more like Chris (hehe). She gets the giggles a lot, which is totally me. So man, I have no idea!
All I know is that looks wise, the only thing she got from me was my long eyelashes. Otherwise she's entirely Chris' baby.

The only rules are that you have to link back to the original post and you have to put these rules in your post:
"Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions.
I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the
answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an
offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed,
you will ask them five questions."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Because I'm Smooth Like That

Most weekends Monica (the Bahama Mama) calls me from the Bahamas so we can chat and catch up on each others lives. Since we just saw each other at Christmas, we've opened up the gab floodgates, and she's actually called me about 3 times already since then.
It costs her something like 1 cent a minute to call, so either she calls me, or I call her to call me right back.
The only reason I ever know it's her calling is because the area code is 503 - but recently her number is coming up as a 204 area code, which is actually Manitoba's area code. So, now when this certain 204 number calls, I know it's her.
What you should know is that we never just answer the phone in a regular way. More often than not one of us is answering as a Chinese takeout place, a phone sex operator, a pimp, a dirty old know, all that fun stuff.
Sunday afternoon I was laying on the living room floor playing with Ellery, husband was cleaning the bathroom, and the phone rang. I jumped up, saw it was Monica's usual 204 number, smiled, and pressed "talk" on the phone...

Me: Yo Vanilla, what's up biotch?!?
Monica: Um...hello Ma'am, I'm looking for a Miss Alison M______?
Me: (laughing) Oh yeah? This is she.
Monica: Hello ma'am? This is Alison?
Me: (laughing) Yes, you jackass, this is Alison!
Monica: I'm sorry Ma'am - what happened? Why are you laughing?
Me: What? (laughing harder) Why are you being such an idiot? Mon, it's me!!!
Monica: (laughing)
Me: Helloooooo? (still laughing)
Monica: Yes Ma'am - I'm looking for Miss Alison M______.
Me: (laughing some more) Who is this?

- I had started to realize that this person's voice was sounding a little deep to really be Monica, so by now I was thinking she had some friends over and was just trying to make me believe it wasn't them calling -

Dude I thought was Monica: (laughing) Ma'am?

- I'm hysterically laughing at this point. Ellery is staring at me and husband has actually come out of the bathroom and is standing in the hall laughing at me -

Me: Seriously, who is this? (laughing so hard I'm barely coherent now) Just put Monica on!
Dude: This is Peter Stevenson (and yes, he actually told me his real name)...
Me: Oh really?!? Well hello Peter! How are you? Can I talk to Monica now? (I'm almost bawling at this point because this guy sounds so flustered)
Dude: Um Ma'am, I'm very sorry, but I'm looking for a Miss Alison M_____.
Me: (screaming in laughter)
Dude: Ma'am, has something happened? Why are you laughing? Ma'am, are you okay?

- He's sort of nervously laughing now, obviously unsure of just what the hell is going on, and wondering what he's missed out on -

Me: Monica!!! Put her on!
Dude: Are you alright? Has something happened to you?

- I can only imagine what I sounded like at this point, because I was laughing so hard that I was bent over holding my stomach, and just sort of shrieking into the phone -

Me: (suddenly realizing that maybe this wasn't one of Monica's friends) Wait - who is this?
Dude: Ma'am, I'm calling on behalf of LightRelief to talk to Miss Alison M_____ about her recent order of our product...
Me: (standing bolt upright and my mouth dropping open, because I really had just ordered one of their products online) Oh shit!! Seriously?!?!? Oh shit!!!
Dude: Ma'am?
And then I hung the phone up.

I stood there holding it in my hand for a moment and then the husband - who was still standing in the hallway looking at me - said "So was it Monica?"
And then I busted into a fit of giggles, feeling so bad for the guy I had just put through that crazy, messed up phone call. And when he called back 30 seconds later I was actually laying on the floor in the living room hysterical, and no way in hell did I answer it.

Because yeah, I'm smooth like that.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ah 2008, It Was a Good Year

I would have to say that 2008 was a much better year than the one before. In 2007 things were so messed up - working crazy hours, dealing with tragedy, medication/appointments to get pregnant. But this past year has been quite amazing in so many ways.

Do I have regrets? Hell yes. Did I make some stupid decisions? Most definitely. But was it still an amazing year? Don't I know it.

Here, in no particular order, are some highlights and lowlights:

Best of the Best: The birth of Ellery Anne Elizabeth on May 13
th. No one has ever made me happier, or made my life more whole than that miracle baby. She is the sunshine of my life and makes every day the best one so far.

My Most Played Songs: Southern Girl (Amos Lee), Love Song (Sarah Bareilles), It Never Entered My Mind (Miles Davis), Magic Man (Heart), Baby I Got Your Money (Old Dirty Bastard), I’m Yours (Jason Mraz), Sweet Pea (Amos Lee), Hot Child in the City (Joan Jett), Baby I Love You (Rheostatics), My Girl (The Temptations), Leave the Pieces (The Wreckers), Rock & Roll Queen (The Subways), and a lot of rap and R&B – what can I say, Ellery likes a good beat.

Biggest Musical Surprise: That I don’t totally hate Taylor Swift - though I’m embarrassed that I just confessed that.

Stupidest Reason To Sulk: There are way too many of these to pick just one…but maybe…um, when I was sulking because the husband actually bought me flowers, but he bought them on a Friday when I was leaving the city for 4 days, so I knew they’d be dead by the time I got home? I should have just been happy he thought to buy them.

My Trendiest Moment: I think I was pretty much the farthest thing from trendy in 2008 – must work on that for 2009!

Most Innocent Comment: That time watching TV with my uncle when some girl slapped on her O face for the sake of getting it over with, and I said “She faked it!”, then had to explain to my uncle how I
knew she had faked it…so awkward.

Best Movie Seen in a Theater: I would have to say
Horton Hears a Who, and that’s only because it is literally the only movie I can remember seeing last year. We went to see it just days before Ellery was born, and she kicked through the whole thing - I do remember it being a very cute movie.

Favorite Television Show:
Brothers & Sisters; I’m sure it will be my favourite till it goes off the air.

Best Books I Read: The only thing I’ve actually read is
What to Expect the First Year, which is so not what this question is asking.

Books I Couldn’t Finish: Anything I’ve picked up? I’m usually either too busy or too tired to read these days.

Worst Written Book: Who knows?

Unhealthiest New Habit: This one is sort of a renewal of an old bad habit…I’ve stopped eating during the day again. When I was pregnant I made sure to eat all day long, but now that Ellery is here I’ve gone back to finally remembering to eat somewhere around supper time. It’s not so good for the energy supply.

Healthiest New Habit: Uh…*giggle* …healthy habit? Ummmm, yeah, don’t think I’ve developed any of those…whoops.

Favourite Electronic Toys: The iPod touch that I literally bought yesterday, on the last day of the year. It makes me super happy. Oh, and the PVR (or DVR, depending on what you call it) is awesome.

Best Getaway: Getting to spend about 4 weeks straight at my parents’ house in
Ontario just after Ellery was born – that was the best thing I could have done.

Best New Addition to the Food Rotation (homemade): I don’t know what it’s called (got the recipe from my mom), so I’m just going to call it
Cheezy Chicken Broccoli Brown Rice Heaven in a Pan. It makes my mouth water.

Best New Addition to the Food Rotation (ordered in): The spicy ginger beef from our Chinese takeout place…mmmm.

Best New Addition to the Food Rotation (bought in a box): Ellery’s rice pablum. You may think I’m nuts, but I love baby pablum.

Scariest Moment: Looking at that heart rate monitor when I was in labour and knowing that Ellery was in trouble.

Longest Wait: The whole “Induce her/put her on the waiting list/induce her/put her on the waiting list debacle” – as if being on bedrest the month before that wasn’t enough of a wait.

Worst Pain: Back labour. Worst pain of my entire life.

Biggest Academic Accomplishment: Leaving work to go on maternity leave? Hehe.

Best Freebies: The diapers my mom keeps buying us :)

Best Bringer Home of the Bacon: That would have to be the husband, as he’s gotten somewhere around 3 raises this year. Though I’m not doing too badly, considering I still get a paycheque (though considerably smaller than pre-baby) for getting to stay home with Ellery.

Best I Fought The Law Moment (and I Won): Hmm, I haven’t had too many run-ins with the law this year that I can recall…and when I really think about it, I don’t even think I had to talk/flirt my way out of a speeding ticket this year. Yay me!

Wow. I just realized how much of that had to do with Ellery. Ah well, she was the biggest event in a very long time, and I wouldn’t change any of that – even the labour – for anything. Here’s to a wonderful 2009!