Monday, 25 March 2013

10 Things I Can't Do

1, Start and finish a task in the same, continuous block of time
2. Put down and pick up projects and still feel like I'm accomplishing things

1 & 2 are kind of in conflict.

3. Speak another language fluently
4. Get through a day without a list and/or calendar
5. Lie
6. Be late to an appointment, class, dinner, or lesson (and not feel awful/guilty/disorganised/stressed)
7. Find my way around an unfamiliar (or, ok, very familiar) city without a map or directions
8. Get all parts of a meal ready at the same time. Ever.
9. Sound casual if I'm not feeling casual. Can't fake it. I guess that goes along with #5.
10. Get this post together in time for the Thursday Writer's Workshop. Oops.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

It IS Spring...

5 years ago, my mom adopted a precious little hedgehog named Luna. Luna became a library pet, and was much cuddled and fussed over. Most hedgehogs are a bit, well, prickly. Not Luna, though! Despite the spiky exterior, she was the very soul of mellowness as hundreds of children would gently stroke and admire her.

Sadly, a couple of weeks ago, my mother noticed a growth on her mouth. It was diagnosed as mouth cancer, and Luna was put to sleep a week ago. She had become unable to eat or drink, and we did not want the sweet creature to suffer. It was very sad, but truly necessary.

Later that day, my mom dug a hole in the backyard, and gently removed the small hedgehog from the cage where she had been lying in wake. Luna was still wrapped in her fleece blanket, in the customary hedgehog-ball. When Mom lifted her up, she peered inside.

That was when I got involved. She came into the kitchen with a horrified expression on her face, pro-offering the bundle of hedgehog. "Is... is she still breathing?" she asked.

The pit dropped out of my stomach, but not because I thought that was likely. I was sure that Mom must be seeing things, or that her hands were trembling and giving the hedgehog the appearance of life. Feeling slightly anxious, I gazed in at the small creature... the small, breathing creature. Cupping her in my hands, I stared at my mom, and then back at the hedgehog. Yep, she was still alive.

We returned her to her cage, cozy under her heat lamp. Surely, we reasoned, she must be comatose. She cannot possibly be in any pain. No doubt she will peacefully slip from this life to the next.

She spent the weekend under her heat lamp, asleep, unconscious, or simply too miserable to move. I guess we will never know, but by Monday she was, well...

She was up and about. She was eating. She was drinking.

I guess Spring really IS all about rebirth and new life, huh?

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Survival Instinct of Dodo Birds

Yesterday, I got a phone call. "Hello, this is the nurse calling from Middle School. I have Clover here in the office. She hit her head on a pole, and needs to be picked up."

On a... on a pole?

At this point, I barely bat an eye. I've been in training for years, and have heard my fair share of outrageous injury stories. The kids have stubbed their toes on the pavement, gotten thumbs tangled in soccer cleats, and generally just given the Band-Aid brand a fair share of business. These past months, though, have really taken the cake.

Back in January, Clover hit herself in the face with her violin, earning a genuine black eye for her trouble.

A couple of weeks later, Neptune was playing tag at recess, and ran full force into the side of a shed, giving himself a concussion. (He stayed home from school the next day, as did Clover-- she had the flu. It was a par-tay. I organised the craft closet.)

Two weeks ago, Neptune swallowed a dime. Yep, a dime. And yeah, he's 10. He was fine, of course. But... Seriously? It was an accident, but.. Again. Seriously?

And then, yesterday, that phone call from the nurse.

Girl ran into a pole. And has a concussion.

Don't worry, she'll survive. At least, this time.

Thursday, 7 March 2013


I hate the word "kiddo." I'm not even sure why. In my mind, though, it should only be used somewhat sarcastically. "Tough luck, kiddo." It could also be used when expressing sympathy: "I'm sorry, kiddo. I know you're disappointed."

What will grates on my nerves, however, is using the word when not addressing a child. "What are the kiddos doing today?"

I cannot possibly explain why I find this so deeply unpleasant. But, there you are.



Acceptable alternatives include: kids. children. kidlets. young'uns. yotlots (youth of today, leaders of tomorrow). tiny creatures. etc.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Dream Come True

Being a teenage girl was different before YouTube. While it was very possible to obsess over your favourite celebrities, it was more difficult to obtain endless information about them. We all pretty much relied on the glossy magazines that came out once a month, or word-of-mouth gossip from friends. Sure, we used the internet too, but not in the way that it is used now.

You can learn anything on YouTube. Physics. Math. Cooking. Fondant sculpture. And, of course, everything you could ever want to know about your favourite boy band.

This is where Clover and Panda's interest lies at present. They have been busily researching Late Nite Reading, watching every video that features them, and following all of the various tributaries too. They have discovered Catching Your Clouds, Rocky Loves Emily, Farewell My Love, and more that I will likely never remember.

Late Nite Reading holds a special place in their hearts... and even moreso now.

Last week, they attended a Late Nite Reading concert.

And then...


They got to meet them.

Oh yes.

The drummer in Late Nite Reading is a close family friend, and so I was able to "use my connections" (ie beg and bully Drew into hanging out with us-- because I was dying to hear stories of his adventures, and the girls were dying to be within real life's arm reach of the band).

In case you're wondering what "dream come true" looks like, it involves meeting your favourite band ever that you watch allthetime on YouTube. It involves attending their real-live concert, and singing and dancing along. It involves meeting up with them at Pike Place Market, and showing them the gum wall. 

Nope, it doesn't get cooler than that.