Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Last Trip. Really.

I finished my Christmas shopping over a month ago. Really.

So why do I find myself standing in line for half an hour at Best Buy, having wrestled the last Mario Kart Wii from a woman who easily has 20 pounds on me?

Why am I flipping through the National Enquirer for the fourth time this week while in the interminable line at the grocery store? (Hello the store only closes for one day yet we all feel this strange compulsion to shop for enough for weeks to make up for it).

Why do I feel such rage towards a well meaning Mom who informs me that when their child comes over to play tomorrow they'll be bringing a little gift for my nine-year-old?

It's never enough.

I was at a store and overheard a woman say to her friend "Oh this would make the perfect gift for someone you don't like very much."

Even my six-year-old is trying to add to his already fulfilled Santa wish list. Not happening.

It's enough already. Put down the credit card and go home.

(And if you see me in line at the grocery store this afternoon don't say anything...I know, I know.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day? No Way!

We're being hit by a major snowstorm - Snowmageddon they're calling it - and the kids have been perched by the radio waiting for those magic words. And as hard as they wish for a snow day, I'm counterwishing it.

Think we came out 50/50. The buses got cancelled, but school is on.

I'm known in the 'hood as the Mom who never lets her kids miss school, so away we go.

Now, because I'm not totally insane or actually the meanest Mom in the world (although I haven't done a recent survey so my information may be dated), I'm going to pick them up after lunch before the roads are really treacherous.

They'll spend the afternoon outside anyway, sliding down our pathetic excuse for "Snow Mountain" (we live on a cul de sac and it's where the plows dump their excess.)

By the time they come back inside, it'll be a reasonable time to pour a glass and prepare myself for the two weeks they have off. There is a method to my madness.

For a Mom like me who works from home, having kids around is like doing double-shift, with your hands tied behind your back. For true stay-at-home Moms I guess it's like double-overtime.

So Moms, if you can get them safely to school (and back, they usually recommend), do it. You'll regret that you didn't enjoy your last few hours of kidfree time on day 3 of the "vacation".

Now go put that wine in the fridge to chill. Better yet, start gathering the ingredients for a hot rum toddy to sip on while you're breaking up fights on your own "Snow Mountain".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Can Tell You Where To Put That Christmas Angel

If one more person asks me "So are you ready for Christmas?" they may just find themselves on the receiving end of a well placed piece of tissue paper.

Is there a more annoying question? Are we ever really ready for the carnage on Christmas day? Tis truly the season of annoying questions...like these classics:

Will Santa be good to you this year?
(Which is swiftly followed up on the 26th of December by "Was Santa good to you this year?)

Mom did you mail my list to Santa yet? I want to change it.

So, visiting the out-laws this year?

Honey where's the scotch tape?

Weren't you going to get the teacher gifts?

Yes, the only thing more frustrating than the folks who waste their breath on these remarks are the ones who also say:

"New Year's just not a big deal to me."

Umm have you EVER met anyone over the age of 21 to whom it is?

Now excuse me while I go exchange the kitty Webkinz for the alligator one...

And pass the egg nog while you're at it. That'll get me in the mood.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Eat It

I love food. Eating it, that is. What I'm not so fond of is grocery shopping for it, preparing it, cooking it, and then finally putting in front of my four kids who will inevitably hate it. Not all of them, not all on the same day. But, as the saying goes, you can't please all of the people, all of the time. And kids are sort of people.

(And so they think the fire alarm is the dinner bell...whatever)

Read all about my latest way to get dinner on the table, and if not eliminate the complaints about my cooking, at least give me a defensible position.

It's in my exclusive blog at Health & Harmony, "On Balance". Click here to read all about it. And check out their line of products for some last minute on-line shopping as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Most writers will tell you that the best and worst part about getting a book published is doing book signings. For most of us, who are NOT Stephen King or Stephanie Meyers, this usually consists of sitting at a little fold out table in the middle of a busy retail store where shoppers frantically avoid eye contact with you. You don't even really care if you sell that many books - you just want to not look like such a loser, mostly. But it's always cool (and somewhat surprising) to meet people who would actually spend their money on your book.

Last night I went to Massey Hall in Toronto to see writer David Sedaris ("When You Are Engulfed In Flames", "Dress Your Family In Corduroy & Denim") who not only did not look like a loser, he had long lines for people waiting to sign his book, before and after the show.

And the kicker? The "show" was simply him reading from his books, radio show, and other diary entries. He was fantastic. Hysterical. Had the sold out crowd in the palm of his hand as he talked about, well, mostly HIS book tour, and his own cringe-worthy sittings in between the Frozen Food and the Tires at Costco.

I so impressed that a writer could not only turn a book reading and signing into a ticketed event, (which he is doing across North America), but I was also inspired. As a humour writer, you want the laughs. How awesome for him to hear the laughs in person, instead of missing them as someone reads his book on the Go Train and bursts into laughter (as I do when I read him), feeling themselves like a loser.

"Humour is just the truth being told quicker to you than you're used to", he said in his closing remarks. If that's true, he's one of the quickest talkers I've ever seen.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kids...And a Life?

That's the basic premise behind Mom Magazine. Actually its more than that - their philosophy is "Life as a MOM doesn't mean life as a woman has to end."

I was interviewed by their publisher/editor Tamara yesterday for a piece they're running on uncluttering your life for the New Year. Tamara was great - had read my previous post about my challenges with RIM - and she admitted that she had already named her BlackBerry. It's Kumar, from Harold & Kumar, a favourite of hers.

Anyway check out the site and the printed magazine (you can get a subscription for only $15 a year). Loads of great stuff. Visit them at www.mommagazine.ca

And now after all the advice I gave on uncluttering I feel the need to clean out my office. Or maybe just do some more online Christmas shopping.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A BlackBerry By Any Other Name...

So, it turns out the fine folks at RIM want me to make a teensy change to my new book, "The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood."

I already took out the word "crackberry". NOT ALLOWED.

Or any reference to "addiction". NOT ALLOWED.

I get it.

But the latest?

Apparently, they are worried about the term "BlackBerry" turning into part of the English lexicon much like other branded icons such as "Kleenex", or "Bandaid". As someone who worked in consumer marketing for 20 years I say...this is a bad thing???

According to their legal department it is. And no "begging to differ" is making any difference at all for this poor begger.

I support their new branding initiative. I LOVE my BlackBerry after all. I just wish they wouldn't start with my book.

I have to go through the galley proofs of my book (that's how far along we are, for a March 2009 release), and replace the word "BlackBerry" with "BlackBerry Smartphone", or "BBSM", OR, I can "name" my BlackBerry and get away with it that way.

Barry is just way too obvious.

Any suggestions? I'm thinking Seamus. Or Beatrice.

Send me a BBSM email on it. Kathy@kathybuckworth.com