Monday, July 28, 2008

Define "Uneventful"

I just returned from a great weekend in Muskoka, continuing my "Summer of OPC" (Other People's Cottages) and was telling a friend it was nice and relaxing...quite uneventful in fact. I thought.

Except for the four stitches my 6 year old had to get just before leaving town (note to self: Skateboarding Camp led by 18 year old counsellor who sprains ankle on first day not a good sign). Which perhaps threw off his sense of coordination and balance and caused him to careen into the bunk bed, resulting in an impressive goose-egg.

Which his 9 year old sister would have appreciated...if she could have seen it, through her insect-stung swollen eye which she stopped complaining about only long enough to get her twice daily ear drops for an infection picked up at camp.

I didn't even want to ask my 14 year old why he was limping after the wake boarding, and apparently my 16 year old was mumbling about something bleeding after the tubing.

And I know my banker husband is sitting in his office today, regretting the not clearly thought out decision to climb the inflatable floating mountain and partake in the teenage wrestling contest. If he doesn't remember it, his back will.

Fortunately, there are few accidents which happen while laying on the dock with a cocktail, which is where you found me. Uneventful? From where I was lying it was...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just some fun quotes

When I'm writing a book, I often like to search for quotes to include in the foreword and sometimes between chapter breaks. I inevitably come across some that I just love, but could never quite work into a humour book about parenting. So I'll just share them here:

"I've never been a millionaire, but I know I'd just be darling at it."
Dorothy Parker

"Men are jerks. Women are psychotic."
Kurt Vonnegut

"Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow."
Oscar Wilde

"I can win an argument, on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of respect, they don't even invite me."
Dave Barry

Without exception, I wish ALL of these had come out of my mouth. Damn. Here's one of my own that I have been using lately however...

"I'd rather have wine in a box than whine about Botox."

Yeah...I'm working on it, okay?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Scary scary scary

David Sedaris is hysterical. If you haven't read his latest book, "When You Are Engulfed In Flames", you must do so immediately. I got hooked on him with one of his earlier books, "Me Talk Pretty One Day". In particular, one story which chronicled his battle with one of life's scariest challenges - going into the washroom during a house party and finding the toilet already contains a little present from the last visitor. And you can't get rid of it,(you have to read it to find out why)...but you can't leave because there are people lined up behind you and come on, you wouldn't believe it wasn't them, either.

David will be in Toronto on December 10th at Massey Hall and I already have tickets (thanks to my sister for the early Christmas present). Get yours too if you need a laugh. And who doesn't?

I had my own scary moment this week. Decided that I needed to check the caloric and fat content of a McDonald's McChicken. They have a "Nutrition Calculator" (as a former consumer marketer, I admire their euphemistic branding effort on that). Yes, I'm sorry I looked. My favourite. Don't do it. The next thing you know you'll be looking up Wendy's Baconator as well. Scary.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Life with Brad & Angie

So relieved to hear that Angie and Brad have finally continued their repopulation and world domination plan by introducing not one, but two new beautiful people into the world. Yes, we've all just been made a little more ugly (relatively speaking) due to the worldwide Attractiveness Quotient being raised.

Apparently Mom "laughed and chatted" through her caesarian section (who doesn't?) while Brad looked on, concerned. (Listen if my girlfriend with the perfect body was getting cut in half I'd be concerned too.) Is there nothing these two can't do which doesn't make the rest of feel like hapless boobs? (And yes, this might be the only time you'll see the phrase "hapless boobs" in a sentence about Angelina Jolie.)

We'll find out how they do- prior to the twins' birth, they were often seen cavorting with their four kids...but only two at a time for some reason. They must have the same rule at their 80,000 square foot villa that I have at my suburban house - you don't get to leave the house unless you take one kid with ya.

I imagine that's all we share in common. I still haven't managed to laugh and chat about my caesarian section. But maybe in the NEXT 16 years it will seem funny. And yes, thanks for asking...they are quite hapless.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summertime and the eatin' is easy

Great - just when swimsuit and shorts season begins, my body decides to hang on to an extra five pounds. Must be the heat and humidity. I'm sure it can't be due to the cold glasses of pinot I've been drinking. Or the backyard bbqs. Or the heavily buttered popcorn at matinee movies with the kids. Or that unfortunate stop at the Dairy Queen.

Likely it was all of that, PLUS the two delicious Summerlicious meals I had within 18 hours of each other. A dinner at Canoe one night - love the view, love the food, love the people watching, love the gossip - which I did with my buddy Danielle Iverson, Toronto's p.r. queen. And the next day right back in an eating chair for lunch at Auberge Du Pommier - no view but lovely ambiance and again, great food - with my sister, "celebrating" her birthday. (We've agreed we don't find the word "celebrate" appropriate when discussing another year under our belts. Which is basically where all my extra weight is going, of course.)

If you haven't gotten out to a Summerlicious restaurant in Toronto yet, you have until July 20th. I figure the fatter I can get everyone else in this town, the thinner I'll look. Now pass me that pinot.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Reading

I am a self-proclaimed book geek. And summer is the best time to compile a big stack of books to work your way through. In the past month I've read some great ones - partly to escape my four "school's out!" maniacal kids, partly as a diversion tactic for work which I have due on my own books, and partly because of that previous book geek confession.

Ones I've read in the past month:

A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby - same guy who wrote High Fidelity, About a Boy, and Fever Pitch. Loved this - read it in one day. Basically it's about four people who meet accidentally on New Year's they all contemplate throwing themselves off the top of a building, for totally different reasons.

The Catch - Louisa McCormack - author of Six Weeks to Toxic. Picked this book up from my publisher Key Porter, at the Book Expo, free as an uncorrected proof. Story of a Toronto based reality television producer who gives it all up for a summer in PEI. Great Canadian references. Comes out September 1st, but you can order it now.

The Ten Year Nap - Meg Wolitzer - a good friend of mine raced out to buy this novel after reading a review and deciding it sounded like her life. It's about a group of women in Manhattan who give it all up to stay at home with their children. Terrific title and a heavier read than I would have thought (or liked), but Wolitzer has some real insights into family and marriage which make for compelling (if not disturbing) reading.

Queen of the Babble In The Big City - total chick lit by one of the queens, Meg Cabot. Still, couldn't put it down and unlike most in this genre, couldn't entirely predict the ending.

I Heard That Song Before - Mary Higgins Clark (or so they say, as she is rumoured to have a factory producing these for her). My Mom is a huge fan and gave me this one. Quite a good mystery, for Clark. Read it in one day.

Nothing heavy, but hey - it's summer. Or in my case, a month with a vowel in it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Brevity is the soul of lingerie

So says Dorothy Parker, my favourite writer, poet, and all round cynic.

I often like to end the week reading one of her short stories and marvel in the way that her works are just as relevant today as they were when they were written in the 20's and 30's. Most of her work deals with her disappointments (with men, her work, and life in general) but I really wish she'd had children...I think mine will need therapy one day. Just imagine.

I generally don't like the word "feminist" (mostly because there is no male equivalent so we're really not that much further ahead if we have to use it), but if ever there were one, she's it baby.

One of the coolest things I've ever done is hang out in the Algonquin Hotel, where she and her Vanity Fair contemporaries made up the now infamous "Vicious Circle". If you get to NYC stop in for at least one cocktail. If you haven't seen the movie of this part of her life, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, I suggest you do.

This basically sums it up for Dorothy:

"Ducking for apples. Change one word and it's the story of my life."

Right on sister.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Books, Berries and Bits

I'm working hard on the edits for my next book, The BlackBerry Diaries:Adventures in Modern Motherhood, due out this spring with Key Porter Books. Well, as hard as I can with children in residence who seem to require individual snacks every 8 seconds or so.

I was reviewing my recommendations for potential BlackBerry upgrades that only a mother could love, and it reminded me of the hysterically funny bit which CBC's Rick Mercer did for a BlackBerry Helmet. If you are a Crackhead, and you have walked into or off of anything while on your BB, you need to watch this. I can't believe this product hasn't come out on the market place yet.

Click here and enjoy.

Or, you can read the original article I wrote which has inspired this book.