This Week

It’s catch up Thursday!  Just because.  Getting to the end of week two with four grandchildren who all went trooping off to catch the school bus today leaving me home alone!  So no excuses.

For some unknown reason I still cannot access Plinky from here, but I get a summary of the prompts via e-mail so I’ll just answer all their questions in one fell swoop. Going backwards chronologically, just to make my life seem ever so slightly more interesting.

Describe your favourite way to prepare Thanksgiving leftovers.  Thanksgiving here was a month ago.  If the leftovers aren’t finished up by now, you have a problem.  Best way to use them up is to make up a plate that replicates as much as possible the original meal, cover it in plastic wrap and zap it in the microwave.  When it’s no longer possible to do that, throw whatever bits and pieces are still taking up space in your fridge into a frying pan and stir fry it all in a bit of oil until it’s crispy – potatoes, vegetables, turkey, etc.  Then add zapped globs of congealed gravy.  Yum.  Finally, last but not least important by any means, dump what’s left of all that into the compost bin.  Another thanksgiving dinner disposed of successfully.

What holiday traditions does your family celebrate?  We eat a big meal, make a big mess, and then sit around texting or playing games on our phones.  I’m pretty sure there’s other stuff that happens, but those are the highlights.

What does wealth mean to you?  The first thing I think of is financial wealth, but there’s all kinds of good fortune in this world having little to do with the accumulation of money and possessions.  Good physical and mental and spiritual health.  Knowledge.  Rewarding relationships.  You really can’t put a price tag on any of those things. A whole whack of money is a nice thing to have, but it ain’t everything.

Does silence make you uncomfortable?  Only when there are noisy little kids around and the bedlam suddenly stops.  Chances are good that they’re up to something they shouldn’t be.  Best to check that out.  All silence is not golden.  Other than that, I love silence;  peace and quiet, no tv or radio, nothing to break my concentration.  Because gawd knows paying rapt attention to things is not my strong point.  The term ‘scatter-brained’ comes to mind.

What’s the best way to cure a cold?  Well if I knew the answer to that one I’d be rich, wouldn’t I?  And not likely to give up my secrets about it here.  But there are good ways to cope.  Get a flu shot.  Stay home from work so you don’t give the germs to everybody else.  Use a nasal decongestants so you can breathe and get sufficient sleep.  Use a humidifier.  Drink and eat hot steamy things.  Whine incessantly about how rotten you feel and how it’s the worst cold you’ve ever had in your whole life or that anyone has ever had in the entire universe.  That last one works well for W.

Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?  Lazy days make me feel ecstatically happy.  I live for them.  When I know there’s nothing that MUST be done, I do all kinds of things simply because I feel like doing them.  And if I don’t feel like doing them, I don’t.  What luxury to have such choices.  After a lazy day I feel both rested and restored and thrilled that I’ve actually accomplished something without resenting the process.  And not the slightest bit guilty if nothing got done because lazy days are no pressure days.  I’ve spent entire days doing nothing but reading.  Is that productive?  I’ve filled my brain with words and ideas and strained my eyes all to shit so that I can’t see the dust settling around me.  Hard to beat a day like that.

What are your must see TV shows?  I don’t have any and I don’t even know what’s on the boob tube anymore.  Who knows what I’m missing out on?  What I do know is that when someone asks me if I watched something and I say no and then they start to tell me what the show was all about I generally find myself wondering why anyone would want to sit around watching that kind of crap.  I do have some ‘must have’ apps on my I-phone though.  Post Secret is fun to read;  Netflix for movies when it works;  Angry Birds of course;  Kindle linked with my actual Kindle;  You Tube;  Weather so I can see what the temperature is in Cancun;  Talking Tom (and Ben and Gina and Roby and Larry and Rex and Santa and John and Hippo and News…..) because little people love them and five minutes of playing them on grandma’s phone is a fantastic reward for good behaviour.  The latest one I can’t seem to get enough of is “Unblock Me”.  It’s a simple little puzzle game that after over four hundred games completed in the beginner level has yet to get old for me.  Huh.  One of those lazy day activities to keep my mind sharp.  Or sedated, I’m not sure which.

Well, there’s another Plinky Week done;  signed, sealed, delivered.  I’m heading home in a couple of days and will hopefully be much much more appreciative of the days on which I do not have to help dress a small child in hockey equipment.  Getting everything on in the proper places and in the right order is not as easy as you might think, especially if you’ve never played the game yourself.  Nothing fell off of any of them on the ice (that I noticed or heard about anyway) so I guess I did an acceptable job.  Corey told me he wants me to live here with him forever and never go home.  A wealth of praise indeed.  I’d do it all again if just for that.

All That Jazz

It is April 18th and I have missed many many prompts this month.  But hey!  I can catch up!  It’s not like I didn’t drop by Plinky and read all of them, but the mood and the ambition to answer them never surfaced.  Still hasn’t, if you’d like to know the truth.  No matter.  In the interests “getting shit done for no apparent reason” I am answering them now.  I’ve just finished doing three income tax returns and I’m totally bummed out telling the truth about stuff.   Time to make things up.  Or not.  It’s always a fine line.

Describe your most memorable birthday.  Perhaps that would be my thirteenth.  Suddenly a teenager and yet not feeling a lot different from my normal barefoot tomboy self.  Thinking I’d better get on it and take that shiny red birthday purse and run with it and start liking boys and teen magazines and rock and roll.  Growing up was a confusing process.  I’m not altogether sure I got it right.

If you were a genre of music, what would you be? Jazz, baby.  Without a doubt.

Describe what your handwriting looks like.  It used to be all nice and round and slanted in one direction and freaking perfect.  I won first prize at a fall fair once in grade eight.  Now I rarely write anything by hand, and when I do I usually print in big block capital letters.  I DO NOT KNOW WHY.

Do you have any good tricks for remembering names?  Nope.  I promptly forget them in thirty seconds or less.

What did you do to land yourself in the back of a police car?!  No policeman has every asked me to get into the back of his car.  Other men have tried.  A couple may have succeeded.

Would you rather be a great singer or a great dancer? Since my talent in both of those areas is sadly lacking, I suppose it’s a toss-up.  On a normal day I would not pick either one.  Or great actor, or great anything.  Except maybe writer.  So I could supply all those singer/dancer/actor people with great music and great scripts.  And just hang around in the background being quietly great, rather than flamboyantly so.

What are the 3 most significant historic events that have occurred in your lifetime?  Significant is such a broad term with so many different degrees of significantness, depending on who you are and where you find yourself at random historical moments.  I was about two weeks old when the Chinese Red Army occupied Shanghai.   I was a month old when the state of Vietnam was formed, with Bao Dai as its emperor.  And a year old when the troops of Ho Chi-Minh attacked Cambodia.  I was blissfully ignorant of these historical events and not directly affected by them, as far as I know.  I have managed to remain in a similar state for most of my life.

When did you first start using a computer regularly? In the 1980’s and 90’s I guess.  Mostly I used to play solitaire for hours on end.  Now I play Farmville.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.

What’s the most unexpected thing that’s happened to you so far this year?  I promised myself that I would write a blog a day.  Then I revised that to a blog a week.  Then I missed about three weeks all at once.  None of that was unexpected at all, if you know me and my procrastinating ways.   Usually I would feel incredibly guilty about it though.  So the strange thing is that I don’t, really.  Huh.

If you had your own television show, what would it be about?  I would bring back Arrested Development and have all the people who were  involved in it  just carry on from where they left off.  That was the best series ever, and I miss it terribly.

 What’s the oldest thing you own?  Does one “own” ones husband?  Because he’s pretty damned old.  Grandma’s rocking chair is older I guess.  But not nearly as interesting.

Name three things that are worth waiting in long lines for.   A public bathroom.  A table at your absolutely favourite restaurant.  (Although W. would strongly disagree with that one).  And the thrill of finally getting to the airport security scanner to find that the woman in front of you is trying to go through with three large bottles of wine in her carry on bag and CANNOT understand what the problem is.  It’s not like she’s going to be drinking it, so what is up the ass of those security people anyway?  True story.  Well worth the wait.

When was the last time you received a handwritten letter via snail mail?   Oh crap.  It was a week or so ago, and it was a kind of chain letter, and I was supposed to buy six lottery tickets and send them off to somebody or other.  I wonder where the hell that got to.

Describe your most recent shopping splurge.  Why, are you looking to be bored to death?  I bought three brightly colored mixing bowls from Walmart once.  Another time involved the purchase of some very large carrots.

If you could have dinner anywhere in the world tonight, where would you go?   Really?  Anywhere in the WORLD?  Buckingham Palace.  With the queen.  I like the way she talks.  And I’ve always wondered if she ever takes a tray and plunks herself down in front of the telly to watch What Not to Wear while she’s eating her royal repast.  And if she likes ketchup.  So many questions to which I will never know the answers.

Describe a time when you performed a random act of kindness.  I perform random acts of kindness every day, and I hope I will continue to do that for as long as I’m able.  It’s called common courtesy, actually.  I wish more people knew about it.

Did you pull any pranks on April Fool’s Day? Did you fall for any?  No, and No.  No no no no no.  Pranks are stupid and very often not a lot of  fun for the prankee.  Pranksters should be strongly encouraged to  find a more productive hobby.

Well, that’s it!  How EASY was that, to answer all these silly questions and still have time to……ummmmm?  Wow.  Now what am I supposed to do.  Look for that chain letter?  Get a head start on next years taxes?  Go somewhere and wait in line for something?  Plan my most spectacularly memorable birthday ever?  It’s less than a month away after all.  I could get right on it.  Tomorrow or the next day, or, you know, whenever.  Next year.  Never.  No point in pushing myself.   It would just make me feel bad if I didn’t push hard enough.

La la la…Pied Piper House!

Gawd I love to google.  Here’s a great hint at how ancient I am.  This morning the Pied Piper theme song would not leave my poor brain in peace.  It’s from a tv show from the 60’s, which means I have a ridiculously weird memory.  Plus there’s the added fact that even then I was way too old to be watching such nonsense, but the CBC did not give us a lot of scintillating choices and we got only one channel.  So we watched whatever popped up on the screen and filed it all away in the dark recesses of our brains only to have it come screaming to the forefront one hot summer day fifty years later in an attempt to drive us batshit crazy.   The Animal Farm segment was my favourite with actual live animals supposedly narrating stories from miniature barnyard sets, featuring Rupert the Rat, Bessie the Bunny, Kookie the Kitten, Harriet Hen, Freddie Frog, Calvin Racoon and Charlotte Cow.  And yes, I googled their names for the sake of accuracy.

And also the words to the song.  So that I could stop merely humming the bits where the lyrics eluded me.

Oooooohhhhh……Come with me, come and see

All the wonders there will be

In my stories, in  my songs

And everything where fun belongs.

We’ll meet heroes, giants bold

Visit lands both hot and cold

Have magic tricks to shiver your skin,

Laughs galore with animals in

Our world of fun – Pied Piper House!

(repeat ad nauseam in a deep booming opera type manner)

There he is!!  Remember him??  He always wore that dumb hat with the stupid fake flower!  Man, they just don’t make television programs like that anymore.  Come with me, come and see, bang my head against a tree.  I may have to resort to such extreme measures to free my mind of this torturous little ditty.

CI Critique

July 11

Kenzie Critiques an Episode of Canadian Idol

I ask my five year old granddaughter if she would like to watch a tv show with me. With a five-year old, there’s a way to do this to elicit the response you want.  “Hey!”  I exclaim.  “I have a GREAT idea!  Let’s watch CANADIAN IDOL!”  Already she’s thinking it must be something exciting and fun.  I explain to her that there will be some girls singing songs.  Little girls? she wants to know.  No, I tell her, they’re not little like you,  they’re more like Aunt Courtney (she LOVES Aunt Courtney).  I tell her that, while we’re watching,  she can tell me who she likes and who she doesn’t like, and I’ll write down her comments.  “I say stuff and you write it down?”  She’s grinning from ear to ear.  She dictates letters to her cousin that her mom writes down word for word.  It’s wonderful to hear what you’ve said read back to you.   So it’s a go.

I settle down with pen in hand and we suffer through the preliminaries.  “Why are people talking?  You said girls would sing,” she says, just a TAD pouty.  And then YAY!  Here comes Steffi D.  Kenzie is thrilled because she has a red bow in her hair and looks like Snow White.   Did you like her singing?  It was nice.  I like her.  But I don’t like to put stuff in MY hair.  Sometimes it hurts.

Next up is Ashley Coles.   Grandma!  She’s got on a Barbie dress and high heels!  I wish I had high heels like that.  (Did you like her singing?)  She ponders this one.  Frowns.  I don’t think so.   I wish she would sing like the Doodlebops.   But I LOVE her dress.  Can we go to the dollar store tomorrow and buy high heels?  PLEASE????

When a Monster House movie trailer comes on it’s apparent that this is the highlight for Kenzie so far.  Then Ashley Coulter appears on the screen and suddenly it’s time for a bathroom break.  She takes off upstairs and is gone for quite sometime, and grandpa tells me later it was also a play break.   I thought maybe I’d lost her for the duration of the show, but she wanders back down when Nancy Silverman is halfway through her performance.  She watches some of the gyrations and wants to know if that girl is itchy.  Then she tells me that she has a skirt like Nancy has on, but hers is nicer because it’s pink.  I remind her that this isn’t a fashion show, and we’re supposed to be talking about the singing parts.  She says okay.

Next is Eva Avila.  Kenzie RAVES about Eva’s singing.  I like her!  No, I LOVE her!  She’s a really really really good singer.  Grandma, can I have a paper and a pen too?  While I’m getting her stuff she tells me that she likes Farley.  He has on a really nice shirt.  Then she tells me she doesn’t like Zack.  She says he’s weird.  And she doesn’t think he’s very nice.  He doesn’t smile.  Farley smiles a lot.

Now there’s a “Little Man” commercial and Kenzie laughs hysterically.  She wants to know if this show is on at her house too, and when is it on, and maybe mommy will watch it with her.  (Ha ha – mommy will NOT be thanking me for this.)  When Kati Dunst sings, Kenzie is busy “taking notes”.  I ask her how she likes this singer.  When she looks up she tells me that there’s a whole lot of people there and she would be really nervous if she had to sing with all those people looking at her.  I agree with her, it would be scary.   But do you like Kati?  Yep.  She goes back to her notes.

Finally up is Sarah Loverock.  Kenzie thinks her name is funny.  She is very impressed with her jean jacket.  She says Sarah can sing really loud.  Can she go back upstairs now?  I convince her to stay for the recap, and she squeals in delight “There’s that girl with the red bow!  There’s the Barbie one!”  The rest don’t get comments.  I ask her who she likes the best, and she says for sure it is the girl with the jacket.  Sarah.  She has a friend named Sarah.  But her last name isn’t funny.

I ask Kenzie if she wants me to read her comments back to her, and she politely declines.  So I ask her if I can read HER notes.  No problem.  Here you go, grandma.

“It’s a butterfly in the grass.  He has lots of legs.”    Well, aren’t you the little multi-tasker.  No honey, that’s not a bad word, it just means you’re very smart because you can do two or three things at once.  I’m rewarded with a huge smile.  If you watch the boys sing tomorrow night with your mom, make sure to take notes for me!  She promises she will.