Showing posts from June, 2007

Summer Morning


Once Was Enough

The first time I saw a cockroach was in Romania in 1980. We named him Oskar, which seemed to befit his truly gargantuan size, and talked about finding him a jaunty red bow. We’d heard terrific tales about the Black Sea mud and its effect on arthritis and so, mor took Janne and I off to a two-week spa vacation in Eforie Nord . Or what I with the help of the internet am pretty sure was Eforie Nord - the coastline looks familiar. We stayed at a hotel right on the beach and when we basked in the sun on the white sand, we were told you could see Odessa over to the left and in the far distance. But I get ahead of myself. First I need to tell you about the scariest plane ride I've ever had. It was a charter trip, a group of Danes off for the curative effects of Black Sea mud and we flew with Air Romania (which at the time, my father later told us, had the worst safety rating of any airline in Europe - by the end of our vacation, he'd bitten his nails to the quick, trying to

Is That An Echo I hear?

I’ve got nutthin’. Zero, zip, zilch. Nada. My little blonde head is entirely devoid of not only interesting or thought-provoking tidbits, but of pretty much anything. Seriously, there's nothing. Yesterday - well, by the time you’re reading it's today, but when I wrote it, today was yesterday and if I don't stop this right now I'm going to start whimpering - anyway, where was I? Oh yes! At some point in time (and that seems an altogether safer way of phrasing it), I parked myself in front of the computer and stared blankly at the monitor for quite some time while my brain apparently put out a sign saying "gone fishin’". You know those weeks where you run out of energy on Tuesday, but because you have a fair bit of momentum going you manage to be incredibly efficient for the rest of the week on pure willpower and then when you stop, you really S… T… O… P... ? O f course, I could provide you with an update on the Wounded Warrior (as I've dec

Bleeding Hearts


Random June

For your morning procrastination efforts, I present “Dress the Virtual Paper Squirrel” (via Willowtree ). According to a tabloid recently perused (don’t look at me like that), Dennis Quaid and his wife are expecting twins and naturally very excited. They are reportedly using what the paper calls a “gestational carrier” – the embryos were created in vitro with contributions from both parents, then implanted in another woman through the birth (didn’t that used to be called a “surrogate”?). Maybe there’s a good reason for it and god knows I have every sympathy with fertility-challenged couples, but the term “gestational carrier”? Unfortunate. Makes it sound like the latest in celebrity conveniences. Or that aliens have invaded and are creating a hybrid creature. Or something. Last week, I received a notice from my private health insurance that come August, my premium will increase $13.20 a month. Thirteen dollars and twenty cents! PER MONTH!! I really had gotten my head a

Mercury Retrograde Does It Again

A week ago, when my mother was about to drive off to see the Tinks (which is a long drive – two areas codes away and that’s quite a lot here in Southern Ontario), I told her to drive carefully, because I’d had a dream/feeling/something that there was an accident coming. Didn’t know anything more, except it’d be pretty serious and assumed it’d be car-related. I’ve gotten feelings like this before, since I was a kid. Runs in the women on my mother’s side. My grandmother had them, mor has them, I have them. Suffice it to say, that had we been born in another time, we’d have been burned at the stake. Anyway, mor got to the Tinks and back in one piece. This past Thursday, one of my mother’s oldest and dearest friends arrived last Thursday for a 1-week visit. Inger has never been here before, but for the past 25 years, they’ve stayed in touch by phone and letters and we’ve all been very excited about the visit. Unfortunately, Inger arrived with a massive chest cold and Satur

I'd Rather Be Reading

I may have a date. But I’m not sure. We’re going for coffee, which these days is often a pre/semi/whatever date. Except when it’s just coffee. Which would, in this particular case, be just fine with me. Despite not being alive in the good old days, I still miss the clarity of knowing that when a boy asked you to go out with him, his intentions were clear: to get into your pants, even if it meant having to marry you. OK, so I don’t miss the lack of women’s options, the poodle skirts or the bryl crème (can’t imagine running my hands through that mess), but the certainty about dating? That I miss. OK, so I should admit that I’ve never been terrifically adept at the dating thing (except for a gradually increasing ability to spot red flags). Once, I’d met up with an acquaintance I hadn’t talked to in years and we spent several weeks in lively and entertaining email conversation, then played tourists in Toronto and had several meals together. It wasn’t until the third time we


It’s everywhere. There’s no possible way of avoiding it. And no, I’m not talking about war, genocide, G8 meetings or the fact that a recent study shows that women still earn almost 20% less than men. Nope. I’m talking about Paris Hilton’s “vacation”. I spent all weekend trying to think about another topic to post about, but alas, the ubiquity of Paris updates in real-time made it well nigh impossible for me to clear space for other things and so, I'm sorry to admit, this blog will take a brief break from its usual Paris Hilton-free mandate, although I am hoping said break will be limited to an illustrative example of the larger point. I've been thinking about actions and consequences. About bad behaviour, apologies and rehabilitation. This pondering was triggered (this time) by aforementioned Ms. Hilton, who at 26 appears unable to handle the consequences of her actions. Previously, I've thought about these concepts whenever the headlines have been hijacke

Don't Worry, She Won't Get Far On Foot

Valley of Fire , 1995 (photo by mor or Janne/TinkMama) My homage to the classic cartoon by Callahan (which I would so send to him, along with a gushing fan letter, if only I could find an address).



Humira Is For...

I’m a bit nervous about jumping the gun and jinxing the whole thing, but on the other hand, your comments and support during the time I was in hell was one of the things that helped me get through it and I’m itching to make it official (because when I say it, it will be true and permanent - at least for a while, right?). So in this conflicted mood, I present a progress report of sorts. H is for Heeding your instincts. I tried it their way and then one day, I woke up, said “fuck that” (not words to that effect, but exactly that and out loud) and informed my doctor I’d be doing it my way, scheduling the Humira shots on the schedule my body asked for. And it worked. I feel Healthier, the arthritis has largely Hied its Hiney off into Hiding and life is getting better and better. H is also for Humour, as in getting your sense of… back . Funny things have started to happen to me again – who knew that a Hallmark of Health would be that your life becomes a comedy routine?

Big Birthday Bash

This weekend, we celebrated John’s 50 th birthday with a surprise party and I documented the event as if I’d been hired to… OK, fine. More like I’d morphed into a member of the paparazzi (click on pics for larger versions). Here’s the Birthday Boy arriving I should probably admit that the vast majority of the (vast amounts of) photographs taken by yours truly are of the Tinks - hey, I don’t see them often and they’re cute and OK, so I can’t stop with the picture taking when they’re around because I want a record of every breath they take. No, I am not obsessed with my wee lovies – and speaking of my wee lovies. Remember two months ago , when they definitely looked like babies? What happened? Look at those longlegged children in the stroller! What kind of fertilizer do their parents use?? Liam wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t too sure about how he felt about everything (it was the Tinks’ first visit to a restaurant), although shortly after this picture was taken, he a

Frog Princess

One of the books that I've had trouble committing to is Looking for Mr. Goodfrog (hours after posting, it occurred to me that I might want to do a link for that. It's been a long week. I've turned off my brain). It looked like a nice, frothy read, so I started it earlier this week and ended up having successive aneurysms every time I picked it up to read a bit more. The problem is that the main character is a complete and utter idiot. Singularly focused on her love life (or lack of success therein - that good old saying 'you have to kiss an awful lot of frogs before you find a prince'), she tells the stories of all the men/frogs she meets. We’ve all had our share of strange and entertaining dating stories, but it’s when she says things like “I only kissed frogs, but at least I was kissing” that I have to stop reading for a while until my blood pressure drops. I mean, kissing is one of my favourite things, but I’d rather not kiss than kiss ‘frogs’. But m