Thursday, January 30, 2014

16 Books To Read Before They Hit Theatres This Year

A couple of weeks back I saw this link on Facebook, 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theatres This Year, and I got really excited. I'm a big fan of the movies but I don't keep track of what movies are based on what books – it usually all hits me later and by that time it's too late to read the book in advance. I don't know about you, but I like to read the book first because usually the book is better.

Take one of my all-time favourite novels, The Shipping News, for example. The book is magnificent. If I could only recommend one book to you, it would be that. The movie, on the other hand, was a profound disappointment. Physically, Kevin Spacey wasn't even close to resembling the bumbling, bear-like largesse of Quoyle, the main character. The story wasn't adequately described. The book's play on newspaper headlines was ignored and one of Quoyle's daughters disappeared completely. Gordon Pinsent and Judi Dench were right on the money, absolutely perfect, and Newfoundland's austerely gorgeous scenery was magnificent, but the rest of the movie was as close to suckage as suckage gets.

Anyway, I do appreciate Arielle Calderon at Buzzfeed for organizing all the books-to-movies being released this year in one tidy list. I appreciated it so much that I immediately took Dave's credit card shopping at Amazon (sorry honey, I meant to mention this earlier) and purchased a bunch of books on that list. (By the way, I'd like to point out that MY book is two-thirds cheaper than all the books on this list... just saying...)

I don't have a hope in hell of getting all these books read in time but I am giving it my best college try and, if you want to join me in this ridiculous quest, I'd love to have you along. It would be fun to hear what other people think of the books I'm ploughing through.

The first book I read was Labor Day by Joyce Maynard. LOVED IT. It's a quick read – those faster readers than me will breeze through it in a couple of evenings. It's about a divorced mother and her adolescent son who run into an escaped criminal. He winds up spending the Labor day weekend with them and changing their lives. It's simple, it's well-told and it stole my heart. I think Josh Brolin, who I fell in love with when he starred in No Country For Old Men, and Miss Awesomesauce herself Kate Winslet will more than do the characters justice and I can't wait to see the movie. By the way, I hadn't really heard of author Joyce Maynard before (d'oh) but now I realize she wrote To Die For, the book that spawned the movie of the same name starring Nicole Kidman. I think I'm becoming a fan of Mizz Maynard, which is a good thing, since she's got a long list of titles to explore.

Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in Labor Day. Release date: Jan. 31.

I'm about a quarter of the way through Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. It's considerably longer and not what I'd call an easy read. Still, it is a glorious book bursting with imagination and romance – not just romance as in love, but the romance of stars in a brilliant night sky, industrial-age New York City in swirling snowstorms, bigger than life characters and bigger than life adventure. The prose is stunning – so much so that I find myself reading particularly beautiful passages out loud to Dave as we snuggle into our own bed on cold winter's nights. It makes me sigh, just thinking about it. The book, not me and Dave in bed ...

As I say, I'm only a quarter of the way through SO DON'T TELL ME HOW IT ENDS, but I wanted to let you know I've taken on this foolish plan of reading all these books and then seeing all the movies, just in case you want to join me.

To be fair, I'm probably not going to read ALL the books on the list, or some I'll leave till the end, just because they don't interest me that much. These are the books I've purchased so far:

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Serena by Ron Rash

Gone Girl, also by Gillian Flynn, is also on the list but I've already read it (loved it) and can't wait to see Ben Affleck in one of the starring roles. I'm a big fan of Ben since Argo. AND I can't wait for Serena, which will star my favourite actress on the planet, Jennifer Lawrence. I'd pay to see that woman in an Alpo commercial, I swear!

So, have you read any of these? What did you think? Looking forward to the movies? How was your weekend? How is your husband/wife/dog/cat/kid/kids/job/meat loaf? What are you making for supper tonight? Anything good? Can I come?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lady Grantham-Webster

I'm rather thinking of myself today as Lady Grantham, or perhaps Countess Violet. I am the head of my household, after all. It is my place to keep the servants busy, Lord Webster satisfied and myself adorned in an appropriate fashion.

To this end I have just had a bubble bath whilst eating Chips Ahoy cookies dunked in milk. Did you realize that bubbles are quite white, while milk is more of a creamy colour? I didn't know that until just now. I must say, however, Chips Ahoy have far too many chocolate chips these days. They used to be the perfect consistency for milk-dipping but now one must chew because of all the chips. This is rather inconvenient as it involves muscular activity. You just can't get good cookies anymore.

I am not a great fan of housecleaning but I find it helps to think of my home as my estate. I imagine myself as maid Sarah O'Brien when I am cleaning the kitty litter because she is quite a puckered-face bitch and deserves to dig around in the cat turds. In fact everything was just lovely in the house until a few moments ago when one of our cats puked in the downstairs bathroom. Perhaps I will channel a little Thomas Barrow when I go to clean that mess up because if anyone needs a kick in the arse, it's him.

I've been quite hooked on Downton Abbey, as of late. Please don't fill me in on the latest details because I am Netflix-ing it and am only allowed to watch until the end of season two.

I have had the most difficult time not saying Downtown Abbey and imagined, at first gasp, that this addictive British drama was about a flock of nuns sharing a flat with Petula Clark.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I was just now hanging out at someone else's blog and I read a comment from a commenter, because that's what commenters do, comment, about how she detests movie popcorn butter and can't even finish a tiny bag of popcorn at the movie theatre.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course, but hers is just wrong.

Popcorn is the only reason to go see a movie, especially if it's a bad movie, especially especially if it's Les Miserables, and if you're going to order popcorn, you have to order extra butter, even if it's fakey butter, and if you have to have it layered throughout the ginormously XXXL bag, to the point where it's slimy and the 12-year-old boy behind the counter in the hideous polyester-doubleknit uniform replete with matching hairnet, wants to bitch-slap you.

If you can't finish the entire bag that evening, you eat it for breakfast the next morning.

That is what is Natural and Right and the Way Gawd Intended. People who do not eat popcorn this way are one step away from bestiality and Hell in a Handcart.

Monday, January 20, 2014

What Works? Peterborough Sings worked!

What? It's January 20 already? How did THAT happen?

Well, if it's Jan. 20, it's time for "What Works: An Online Marketing Symposium." If you've been wondering how best to market a product in these weird but brave economic times, you may want to check this out. Bloggers from around the globe have posted their ideas on what works and what doesn't, marketing-wise. I'm as curious as everyone else – I'm dying to know some "secret way" to get readers to find my book ... and my body, of course. Since novel-writing isn't as lucrative as I had hoped, I was thinking maybe I'd sell my, ahem, curvaceous and only slightly used body to the highest bidder.

I like to think I know a little about marketing. Back in my days as a newspaper reporter I came up with several cool community ideas, worked them out, promoted them, and had excellent success.

My absolute best idea was Peterborough Sings.

It was late fall in the mid-90s. My ex-husband had just spent some time in a recording studio laying down some tracks with his band and, just for fun, I recorded a song, too. I was thrilled with the results. Somehow the professional techniques of the studio made me sound not half-bad and I had a ton of fun doing the recording. One day I was driving to work at Peterborough This Week, the newspaper I worked for at the time, and I came up with an idea to get local singers into a studio.

The idea quickly blossomed inside my excited head and this is what happened: local singers would tape themselves singing a Christmas carol and send the cassette (this was the '90s) to me at Peterborough This Week. I would round up a few judges with experience in the music business, and have them pick 10 winners. Those winners would go to a studio and record their carol. A cassette would be made with all the winning songs on it and then sold. The proceeds would go to the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper Drive.

Looking back on it now, I don't know if I would take a project like that on. It was a HUGE amount of work but the results were SO worth it! We had some awesome amateur singers get some exposure, the Salvation Army got a lot of money and our newspaper gained attention as a real "giver" in the community.

So how did I do it?

1. Be fearless. I championed my idea and didn't take no for an answer. Be your project's "champion."

2. Involve others who can help in areas you can't. For example, one of my judges was a popular disc jockey at the local radio station. He brought the station on board with free commercials advertising the project and playing the final tape on air. In return, the newspaper printed free ads for the radio station.

The owner of a local recording studio volunteered his time and his studio to do the actual recordings. In return, the paper gave him free advertising and plenty of goodwill plugs.

A printing company printed our cassette liners (that I designed on the computers at work) in return for advertising and we bought our cases at cost. The newspaper's photographer dressed her niece up like an angel and took a wonderful photo for the liner.

3. Be organized. I had a lot of balls in the air during this two-month long project and there were some pretty crazy days along the way. But someone had to be the "point man" in order to "git er done" and that point man was me.

4. Advertise, advertise, advertise. Use every avenue you can think of to promote your project. Newspapers, radio, TV, posters and, most importantly, word of mouth. Traditional advertising may be out of reach for most people, but that doesn't mean you can't negotiate deals or send in press releases for free publicity. Either learn how to write a professional press release or hire someone to do it for you. This is not the time to write a lame, uninspired letter to a newspaper begging for some ink. Learn how to attract an editor's attention. Be enthusiastic. Editors tend to be jaded people – it takes a lot to win them over.

Doing your own marketing isn't easy and I think it's getting harder and harder all the time, but no one will ever be as enthusiastic about your project as you are, and thus no one will do a better job at promoting it. Good luck!

P.S. - I just read the most inspirational post from a fellow writer who, like me, is terrified of public speaking and promotion. Kevin Craig isn't part of this blog tour but, honestly, his words will inspire you. Click HERE to be inspired!

To see what other bloggers are saying in the symposium, click one of the following links:


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The near miss

You've had a near miss, right?

Something BAD has almost happened and your heart stops then starts beating as fast as the Roadrunner on bennies, and you think, HOLY CRAP THAT WAS CLOSE.

That happened to me, just now.

I had a bubble bath, because I'm a spoiled rotten lazy housewife who can have a bubble bath in the middle of the day, and then I did the aprés-bath stuff I detest – putting moisturizer goop on my face and deodorant under my pits and drying/styling my hair.

"Getting ready," it's called. I fecking hate getting ready. It's the worst part of my month day. It's just so boring and, worse, it has to be done over and over again. Bah. It's as bad as dishes. At least I have a dishwasher. I do wish I had something comparable in the vast and complicated arena of personal grooming. Something Jetson-like I could step into after the bath that would goop, deodorize and style my sad self in one fell swoop.

Anyway, I did all the aprés crap and then headed back to the bathroom to pick up towels and rinse the sadly used and dirt-crusted now bubble-less bubbles down the drain.

I picked up the shower wand, turned on the water and realized, in one rare moment of terror-coated lucidity, that the wand was pointed towards my freshly aprés-ed face.

It takes about a second for the powerful stream of water to rush down the hose and burst out of the head.

Somehow, some way, I turned the shower head away from my newly coiffed head in the absolute nick of time.

What on earth would have happened if I hadn't acted so quickly? It just doesn't bear thinking about, that's all.

Now excuse me while I go change my gotchies.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Tony tin

Once upon a time I had a red hot crush on Tony Soprano.

You remember him? The head of the Soprano crime family, played by the late James Gandolfini, on HBO's groundbreaking television series?

Yeah ... the kind of dreams I had about Tony would make a gangster blush.

*clears throat, takes cold shower*

Oh geez, I loved that show. So did my buddy, Martha, who was too cheap to pay for The Movie Network so she made me tape the show for her. To show her appreciation, Martha gave me The Sopranos board game, which came in a really cool tin.

When it came time to actually play the game, I couldn't talk anybody into playing. I even tried to make an offer they couldn't refuse, but they refused it.

After watching the game gather dust for a few years I decided to toss the game but keep the tin. It was cool, after all, and tins always come in handy, especially at Christmas when there's a need to store your shortbread.

So I store my Christmas goodies in my Sopranos tin. Fat-filled, high-calorie treats ... in a tin with a picture of James Gandolfini on it.

It has not escaped my attention that Mr. Gandolfini's weight and size probably had something to do with his early death so it seems ironic that his character's picture is on my cookie tin.

Every time I steal a Butterball or a Gingerbread from the tin I look guiltily at Tony. He's scowling in the photo and his eyes follow you everywhere, like a really grumpy Mona Lisa, you know, if the Mona Lisa was a psychopathic, murderous mob boss. It's like he's warning me: "STAY AWAY FROM THE COOKIES."

I try to escape his nasty gaze, nibbling my guilt-ridden delicosities from a corner of the kitchen where he can't see. Sometimes I put a dish towel over his head.

Today I emptied out the last of the treats – into the garbage, the real garbage, not my mouth – washed the Tony tin, and put it away in the back of the cupboard until next Christmas.

The Sopranos was over a long time ago and the actor who played Tony is dead but that tin will live on at Webster family Christmases as long as there's butter and sugar and me.

Monday, January 13, 2014

My dog hates me

Misty hates me.

No, no, don't try to make me feel better. It's true. She thinks I'm the Ted Bundy of Dog-Killers. As for me, I can see beyond her seven pounds of cuteness. I know there's a sullen, manipulative, bacon-hungry bitch behind those dazzling bug eyes.

Obviously we spend too much time together. She knows I waste too much of my life playing the jellies. I know she pees under the chesterfield. We're like opposing generals and every day we face each other across the household abyss.

See, she has breath like a garbage dump. Like a corpse crawled up her panting tongue and died between her bicuspids. She has bad teeth – it's a common condition amongst small dogs – and we've spent thousands at the vet having her teeth cleaned and pulled.

So I brush her teeth. I have to, or she'll have no teeth left.

Every time I brush her teeth she acts like she's being killed. I brushed them last night, as a matter of fact, and she studiously avoided me all evening and all day today. I would actually call her and she'd go hide behind someone else.

So today I was cutting up sausages for chili and the fabulous aroma of pig-in-stomach-skin sent her skittering into the kitchen. I tossed her a piece and she lapped it up, then assumed her best mooching position, hoping for more.

That's when I got the brilliant idea of making her come directly to me for the sausage. I thought she would gladly come over to the Ted Bundy of Dog-Killers, aka the Sausage Chef, for a tasty morsel and forget all about the previous night's toofie brushing.

She wanted to get the sausage but she didn't want to approach me. I could see the fear in her eyes as she approached me, sideways. It was like she was in four wheel drive, only her stomach was ruling her back feet, ordering "GET THE SAUSAGE" and her front feet were firmly locked in the "DOG KILLER AT THREE O'CLOCK" position.

As she was skittling sideways, she was also peeing on the floor.

Isn't that nice? I scare the piss out of my own dog.

A few weeks ago I was merely trying to help my mom get comfortable in her chair, which she was sharing with Misty. My plan was to pick up the dog, put her on the floor, help Mom, then put the dog back in Mom's lap. Right? Except she thought she was in trouble – because Ted Bundy picked her up – so she started to slink away. I called her back, she slunk faster, I called with more authority, she started to run, so I lost my temper and yelled, "SIT," which made her pee.

Now I'm afraid to look at her, in case she pees in fright. I try to be nice. I really do. But honestly it's depressing to be an ogre in my dog's eyes.

What kind of a human being am I if my own dog hates me?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A winter storm in the Muskoka area a few years ago closed major highways for days. I took this photo near our home on my way to work that morning – the storm was just beginning. The ride in was bad enough but the ride home was a nightmare. The next day there was no choice about going to work – roads and offices were closed and a state of emergency was declared. I can't begin to tell you how many white-knuckle drives I suffered through during my years working for newspapers. I'm so thankful I don't have to do it anymore.

Winter roads have been unbelievably nasty in parts of Canada and the United States and Facebook was deluged with stories about near-misses and horrifying drives as people struggled to get to and from work today.

I'm pretty much retired (meaning I'm too old and fat and crabby to get hired anywhere) but, up until last May, I was a working stiff who regularly faced the "should I stay or should I go" dilemma.

This happened for two distinct reasons:

1. Illness.  Although health providers everywhere tell people to STAY HOME when they're sick – to avoid spreading germs – there's an unspoken rule at most workplaces that says "good" employees go to work no matter what. A manager would never admit that, not to your face, but employees who do go to work with hacking, infectious, nasty colds are treated with more respect and, I dare say, given promotions and raises more often than people who call in sick when they are, in fact, sick.

I can't tell you how many times I agonized about going to work. There's such PRESSURE to fight the good fight, to show you're dependable, to get the job done, that people who call in sick are thought of as weak and not serious about their careers.

2. Bad Weather.  If you get snow and ice every winter, you learn to cope with winter driving. But a few times every winter there are such rotten storms that police close highways and tell people to stay off the roads. There are a ton of people in Canada and the U.S. who are dealing with record-breaking snowfalls and winter storm warnings as we speak. When there's a blizzard raging, you can't see a few feet in front of you. You don't know where the road is because it's covered in drifts of snow – occasionally those drifts are so big a car can completely disappear. Usually bad storms are accompanied by ice. Have you ever driven your car on a skating rink? Fun, eh? And on top of everything else, there are bitterly cold temperatures. If you get your car stuck in a ditch, or you get in an accident, you could literally freeze to death waiting for crazy-busy emergency vehicles to haul your sorry arse to safety.

And yet corporate culture dictates you go to work – or at least try.

I don't care what you do for a living, or how important it is that you show up to do the thing that desperately needs doing, unless you're a paramedic or a police officer or some other emergency services provider, you do not need to go to work.

Think of it this way: if you don't go to work, your boss might be pissy at you for a while. If you go to work and get killed or badly hurt, the people who actually care about you are going to be REALLY pissy. Your boss might pretend to miss you, at your funeral, but once the coffee and triangular sandwiches are devoured, he/she is thinking who to hire to replace you ... and they'll probably never think about you again other than to say, "So-and-so was a really devoted employee."

Why is it we value what our employer thinks of us over what our family thinks? Your boss can hire someone else in a heartbeat, but in the eyes of your children and your husband or wife, you truly are irreplaceable.

Be safe this winter. Stay home.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The emotional roller coaster of airports


We drove Mom to the airport on the weekend and she took a midnight flight home.


She snagged a nasty virus when she was here and you know how it is – when you're under the weather, there's no place you'd rather be than in your own bed. So I will miss her and I wish she had of stayed longer but if there's one thing I've learned over the years is there's no point trying to talk people into doing something they don't want to do.

It was freezing Saturday night. I mean really freezing. With windchill, the temperature was -44C (which is -47 F). It was so cold that my coat froze and crinkled the moment I stepped out of the Jeep.

Dave said his good-byes at the curb and waited in the vehicle while I went with Mom to get her boarding pass and check her luggage. Then I waited to make sure she got through security without getting arrested. (Little old ladies are the worst, I hear – they're the ones most likely to have balloons full of heroin up their bums.)

The line was quite long and I must have waited for 20 minutes or more. Every once in a while she'd turn around and I'd wave and she'd wave and I'd make some kind of stupid face, while other "waiters" around me did the same thing with their travelling loved ones.

All around me people were saying good-bye. Christmas vacation was over and there were a lot of students going back to school. A family next to me was having a hard time letting their daughter go, especially the father.

"I'm sorry I was grumpy," he said. "I'm so sorry."

I peeked to my left and saw his middle-aged and bespectacled face buried in her shoulder, tears pouring down his ruddy cheeks.

"It's OK, Dad, it's OK. I love you," she said, which made him cry harder.

"I love you, too," he sobbed.  "I'm going to miss you so much."

My heart, already aching by my own mother's imminent departure, absolutely melted and my eyes welled up with snotiferous ugly tears. (Yeah that's a word.)

The airport is a vast cavern of opposite and deep emotion.

There's the arrivals gate, which you should go to if you need a pick-me-up. The tears shed here are made of distilled happiness as family, friends and lovers are reunited in arms flung open in joy. There are exceptions, of course – the tired business traveller, or the lonely singleton who hurries by the happy families with eyes fixed studiously on the floor. But, for the most part, especially during the holidays, the arrivals gate is the best place on earth to find actual happy people and be infected by the contagion of their brilliant smiles.

Then there's departures, where the same people, weeks later, are saying good-bye to the individuals they love the most. The people walking away from here are openly crying, or trying desperately to hold back their tears.

When my mom finally got through security, she waved one last time, then disappeared into the crowd.

I turned away and gave in to suffocating emotion.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Egg swami

I just had the most fabulous realization: I am an awesome dream interpreter!

Thanks to Ol Buzzard, I have discovered my true calling. He wrote a blog post about a bizarro dream he had in which the trunk of his vintage car was filled with a giant egg.

"I opened the trunk of a sixties vintage car and inside was a raw egg. Not just a regular raw egg, but this one filled the entire trunk - with a yoke the side of a spare tire…then I woke up."

He wondered what it might mean but it seemed pretty darned clear to me: he was craving an omelet, a BIG one, like they sell at Denny's on Sunday mornings and, because it was in a CAR, he wanted to order it "to go."

Right? I know. The depth of my dream interpretation powers impresses even me.

So I was thinking, what if I asked y'all to send me your most bizarre dreams and I would use my newfound skills to interpret them for you? Isn't that a fine idea?

Write your dreams in the comments and when I get enough I'll do a "post of enlightenment" that will answer all your nocturnal wonderings.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Come Looking For Me

The beautiful and talented Cheryl Cooper
Nope, not going anywhere. Nowhere exciting anyway. OK, so maybe I'm going to the grocery store, because I'm out of stuff – if I don't show up in a couple of hours, come looking for me in the margarine aisle. I'll be glommed on to the Becel because far be it from me to buy the cheap toast salve. Same with ketchup and toilet paper – if it doesn't cost big bucks, I don't want it.

But I digress ...

If you're looking for something actually exciting, you'll want to check out Come Looking For Me, a novel by one of my Muskoka Novel Marathon writing buddies, Cheryl Cooper.

One of the resolutions I actually made this year is to support up and coming authors. After publishing two books last year, I am very familiar with the work it takes to not only finish writing a book but to get it published ... and then, after doing all THAT, trying to get people to buy it and then review it! One of the things I learned is how important it is to post a review on Goodreads and Amazon, or wherever you buy a book. Big name authors like Stephen King have marketing departments to publicize a new book. Authors like me depend on word of mouth and reviews to spread the word. So I've made it a point to review and write about every book I enjoy. You won't find me writing about King or John Grisham (well, unless it's King's On Writing, which I recommend to every writer on the planet). I love their books but they don't need help from me.

Not that Cheryl really needs my help. If you were to meet dear Cheryl, you would love her. She is one of the nicest, most generous, most positive people I have ever met. She is a shining star at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. Absolutely everyone adores her and she spreads her bright light on everyone she meets.

Mizz Cheryl is also a talented writer (she's good looking too - nice, talented AND good looking ... *sob* It's just not fair) who has also written a sequel to Come Looking For Me, called Second Summer of War. Apparently this one hasn't been released yet but I'll be checking it out when it is.

Come Looking For Me is historical fiction at its finest, featuring a mysterious and energetic young woman named Emily who tries to cross the Atlantic Ocean during the War of 1812. Her goal is to get to Canada but she never arrives. The entire story takes place at sea, on the massive ships of the day. Describing those ships, and the fabulously whimsical characters who call them home, is where author Cheryl shines. She did her homework and then some. Now, I'm no expert by any means, but her details ring true. And it was extra interesting to me that the story was set during the War of 1812, the great war between the U.S., England and Canada. I love my American neighbours, I really do, but I take great pride that future Canadians kicked America's butt when they tried to take us over. It's a David and Goliath thing, I guess.

There's also some swoon-worthy romance, plenty of battle scenes and drama, drama, drama! Cheryl divvies the drama out in giant spoonfuls and I lapped it up.

Love historical fiction? You'll love this. If you do decide to read Come Looking For Me, make sure you review it. Tell the world! Spread the word! Support struggling authors everywhere!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gurgle, Gurgle

My stomach is gurgling like Signorney Weaver's in Alien. Why is it, the very SECOND you step out of the shower, you have to go to the bathroom???

Yes, I just had a shower. (No wonder I was itchy yesterday.) It's 5:20 p.m. Alberta time – which is two hours behind most of you, unless you're Sue in England or Denise in Australia, who were both pretty much celebrating the beginning of 2024 when we were opening our presents Christmas morning – and I just had a shower.

It's been that kind of day. Busier than a two-peckered rooster in a henhouse. Looking after my two sickies, who are making obscene coughing and gagging noises in the family room (or maybe they're just watching Lost and Sawyer is punching Doc for the 15th-millionth time), taking down Christmas decorations, doing five loads of laundry and making up fresh beds, cleaning the truffles out of the kitty toilet and making supper ... I feel like I've been run over by a garbage truck. Did I ever tell you I knew someone who got ran over by a garbage truck? Seriously. Nice girl, but she's still picking potato peels out of her hair 15 years later.

Allow me to whine for a moment. Dave won't let me whine – says I whine too much. So I'll just do it quietly ... he'll never know ...

My back hurts. *sniff*

My feet hurt. *wah*

I think maybe, but I'm not sure, my throat is a little bit sore. *peers in mirror with flashlight looking for red spots and sees the obnoxious canker on my tongue that's been spreading holiday joy in my mouth since Boxing Day*

I'm gonna go find the economy size bottle of Tylenol and chug it down with a Diet Coke. I know. I live large. With any luck I'll get a buzz and all my achy bits will stop their caterwauling.

*gurgle, gurgle*

First thing's first, though.

*staggers off to the loo*

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why hello, 2014. How did YOU get here?

I don't make resolutions because I'm lazy as an old sow but a new year always gets me thinking. I wouldn't go as far as saying inspired, because that's just crazy talk, but there is a spark under my hood this morning.

Or maybe it's an itch and I just need a bath.

Regardless, there's a few things I'd like to get done this year.

I want to do more blogging, first of all. I've been remiss in that department and I miss it. That's a lot of misses, missus. 

I want to finish the book I started in Nano and then abandoned when I got sick. It's a real sick, twisted plot, by the way. If you ever get to read it, you'll be appalled.

Speaking of sick, I don't want to be sick anymore. Stupid sick. X-nay on the ick-nay. Oh, Dave and my mom are both sick. They decided they felt sorry for a homeless cold virus and invited it in for New Year's celebrations. Mom and It went to bed at 9:30 – I think they were getting it on. Dave and I stayed up until 30 seconds past midnight, then crashed. He had a mouthful of potato chips when he hugged me and kissed the air on top of my head at the stroke of 12. It was so romantic. I peed at 15 seconds to 12 – out with the old, you know. It's nice to start a new year with an empty pee-bag bladder.

I'd like to drive back to Ontario to see my kids. I'm going through kid-withdrawal. I need to hug 'em and kiss 'em and yell at 'em a few times to satisfy my cravings. 

I don't WANT to get on my exercise bike but I MUST because my ass is the size of Vermont and if I don't start pedalling soon, my ass will droop down to the pedals and I'll have to lift it up just to place my feet.

Welcome aboard, 2014. Holy crap I'm old.