Showing posts from April, 2007

Sick & Tired

It’s the unpredictability that gets to me. Wh ich, given that I've lived with not knowing how I'm going to feel the next day for over 40 years, seems a fair indication that I just can't be taught. To be fair, I know how to live with a certain amount of unpredictability - the daily kind, the one that varies within a certain set of limits. It's my reality and I live with it (sometimes, even halfway graciously). Of course, it explains why I'm an unmitigated control freak - when your body has a will of its own, you attempt to control what you can. A lot. Although I'm getting better at controlling (!) the urge to run other people's lives. Personal growth, y’know. Anyway, it’s this other unpredictability that’s driving me ‘round the bend. Also the tired. I’m tired of the tired. This new adventure with Humira hasn’t exactly worked out like I expected. At the start of February, things went well – I was riding the tail end of the Enbrel that rem

Worth Framing


'Salem's Lot

  Between Peter and I, there seems to be a cross-Atlantic trend towards reviews in the middle . Which doesn't mean that we don't finish the books, just that... Well, I'm not sure what it means. On my part, certainly a lack of patience appears to be the case. And a compulsive need to talk about a story that's affecting me profoundly. A few days ago, when I came upon the idea of writing about the bogeyman, I was quite impressed with myself for coming up with such a brilliant idea. It took me until yesterday to realize that maybe, just maybe, it was triggered by reading 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Of course, I'm having the kind of week where on Monday, I spent quite some time wondering why the water was pooling in front of my eyes while I was taking a shower, only to realize that I'd forgotten to take my glasses off. For the first time ever. Apparently, my brain is busy doing other things. Yeah, that's it. I've read 'Salem's

The Bogeyman

When I was little, we lived in a tiny, one-story rowhouse. The living and dining room was a long rectangle that ran the length of the house and my room was down by the dining area. We didn't get a TV until I was about seven - one of my earliest memories is watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon through a haze of static (my parents were in Spain and my grandmother, who was looking after me, had no idea how to adjust the antenna). It must have been some time that year that I got the fright of my life. I'd been put to bed and my parents were watching Frankenstein at the far end of the living room (please keep in mind that 'far end' is a relative term. This was a very small house). I wanted desperately to see it, too, and stood by the crack at my door longing to join my parents, saying nothing, but undoubtedly communicating very loudly that that a) I was there and b) I wanted to see the movie. Eventually, they relented and allowed me to join them briefly. I


All families have their myths of creation and building, myths that are retold, over and over again. All families have shorthand expressions, part of the fabric that binds them together. Expressions that, for the initiated, tell everything in a few words, but leaves everyone else baffled. For me, these three words sum up the perfect marriage: “Portugal’s fishing policies. We started weekends slowly, back in the days when I lived with my parents. We slept in, had a late breakfast together - often in our jammies – and after eating, I’d take my second cup of tea and retreat to my room to read, Janne would do the same and my parents would take theirs to the livingroom and talk. About anything and everything. Once, after hearing distant sounds of heated debate for a couple of hours, I emerged from my room to investigate what was so absorbing. “Portugal’s fishing policies”, they told me and collapsed in peals of laughter. At the time, they’d been married for over 30 years. Bo

Random April

I read an article about a man who collected antique computers and he had gotten his hands on a vintage machine – an Apple Powerbook 3400C. From 1999. I thought 'antique' meant 'more than a hundred years old'. Seriously? A computer is antique when it’s eight years old? That just makes me want to cry... Spam of the month: Riproaring Addition! I spent hours giggling to myself while I womdered what that meant. Raucous Math Olympics? A really fast supermarket clerk? Laughing your arse off while you’re balancing your chequebook? What?? (no, I didn’t open it the email – remaining ignorant was far more entertaining) Leave your best guess in the comments. Ever wondered what happened to the news? Diane sent me a link that explains. In song. A couple of days ago I accidentally flipped by a rerun of The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll - although I am a fan of many reality shows and not ashamed to admit it, I draw the line a

Limes & Pineapple


Imperial Life

Kurt Vonnegut died this week and despite not knowing him personally and not having read any of his works for a decade and a half, I feel oddly bereft. It was good to know he was out there and now, he isn’t. I bought his last book, A Man Without a Country a few years ago and once I’ve finished my current book, I’ll dive back into his universe. I finished reading Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran – Lynn’s Gift That Keeps On Giving (Kurt would have loved this book). Or rather, I zoomed through it. Couldn’t put it down. Candrasekaran was the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post for several years before, during and after the US invasion. Imperial Life is the story of the year-long occupation immediately following the war to topple Saddam Hussein and details the attempts of the Coalition Provisional Authority, led by viceroy Paul Bremer, to rebuild Iraq. The goal is a grand neoconservative experiment – to

That Old Double Standard

Can we talk about Heather Mills ? The - what do you call it? - estranged wife of Paul McCartney is currently dancing her arse off on Dancing with the Stars and many people on both sides of the Atlantic have decided opinions about her. Most of which appear to be negative, along the lines of gold digger, evil bitch, opportunist, etc. There also appears to be some very nasty, gleeful yapping about her past in porn. Now, I will not claim to know her after seeing her compete four times on a reality show that's mostly about dancing, but I've been thinking about this and I'm getting more and more annoyed. I got curious and did a quick search on the net. The porn she is currently being lynched for by the British tabloids turns out to be posing for explicit pictures for an obscure German book in 1988. One book. Nineteen years ago. When she was 20. How shameful! How titillating! How delicious! And what a load of rubbish. Most of us have done something stupid

Easter in Toronto

I swear, Rachel H., I had nothing to do with it...

What Would Your Mother Say?

I'm big on etiquette. I realize this makes me sound as if I am an aging retainer to the Queen, but I grew up in a country where children are raised in such a way that should they at some point in their life be invited to have dinner with royalty, they can without embarrassing themselves. I don't know if it's a European thing, but there it is. When I was a kid, I ate the proper way with a knife and fork simultaneously, curtsied when introduced to adults (it was the 60s, I'm perfectly okay with this not being the norm anymore), knew that you RSVP’ed to an invitation, were never more than 15 minutes late and called or sent a note the next day to say thank-you for a lovely time. North American society is more casual, there are different rules of etiquette here and I have tried to adapt. However, the older I get, the more incensed I become about bad manners and fully expect that I'll be a nightmare when I'm 80. These days, I manage not to approach ill-mann

Tri-Birthday/Tink Fest

We did the family Spring Babies festivities this weekend, celebration 3 birthday people: Ken , Janne and mor. The Tinks came, too. I'd planned to have the kidlings do the draw for Lynn's Gift That Keeps On Giving, but... erm... well. The children were so cute and did so many new things I hadn't seen before, I forgot all about it. My bad. I'll figure something out this week that'll hopefully be just as fun - have patience, please. Liam found the mirror by the elevator. I'd brought presents for the kids - hey, it was a birthday party, right? People should have presents (even if it's not their birthday) - and Morgan fell in love with the apparent bastard child of a cow and a giraffe (cow-raffe?). Mormor had fun tickling her with the fur (yes, that's my finger in the corner). Ken used Liam as a model to check the progress of his sweater . Morgan is a natural soccer player. Liam did acrobatics with his dad while Morgan moooved with the Christmas Mooose