Thursday, March 29, 2007

Keep It Real

The very real Metro Mama challenged me to spill ideas on real mom truths.

Real moms wait until their children are asleep before indulging in chocolate. We say we are doing it for their benefit because we don't want them to have all that sugar but really we don't want to share.

Real moms encourage their children to discover an interest in cleaning. Swiffer Dusters make excellent toys.

Real moms dress their children funny... because we can. It inspires them to find their own sense of creative flair. They will later look at these photos and express repulsion but secretly love the ensemble their mom created for them. This explains my fondness for green velour matching outfits and bell-bottoms.

Real moms see their children's boo boo's and they experience every ounce of that pain multiplied by a hundred. We feel it in our hearts.

The millions of hugs and kisses make us better too.

I tag Krista and Scarbie Doll.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I've Unleashed a Monster

Colin has caught it... the blogging bug. I can see it in his eyes as they darken and flash electrifying, devious possibility. He leans over and threatens, "I'm so blogging about this." It makes me giggle, as did his post of our girls covered in chocolate bars. I think this may be trouble.

He is finding the name of my blog a little too feminine for him. Come on, blue is for boys, right? I probably should have given it more thought before I dived headfirst into the creation of this site.

Now that we are a quarter way into 2007, I have decided that I need to be a better person. I need to stop feeling like I'm suffocating under the weight of the never ending list of things to do. I need realign my priorities and be a better daughter, sister, wife, friend and even a wee bit better mommy. The last identity is where most of my efforts have been focused. I should be more in contact with the people that I love. I need to pick up the phone, write emails and I really need to send my mom her Christmas present. (I'm sorry mom!)

I recently visited a friend who is the author of a stunning, mouth-watering food blog. All I can say is that I am glad that I am a mommy blogger because there are no expectations placed on us. When getting together with a food blogger, you know that you will soon experience an explosion of tasty delights.

Strawberry had to sample the icing on every delicious Carrot Muffin when we weren't looking. I'm so sorry about that. This mommy blogger cannot even control her kids.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Serving Up Songs Estrogen Style

I am back from Austin, Texas! It has taken me a while to get back into the swing of things because on Saturday night I returned to my hotel at one A.M., packed my luggage and then tried to get a few hours of sleep. However my room was next to the hotel's pool where an all night party was going on. At six A.M. my wake up call reminded me that I had to get to the airport. I needed a couple days to recoup especially being that Buttercup has been extra clingy since I have returned.

It seems that while I was away everyone has been sharing their favourite seven songs. Colin couldn't wait for me to create my own list. He has his posted below. Thanks to the most awesome Motherbumper and the babelicious Mrs. Chicky for tagging me.

The SXSW Seven Song Edition:

Alloway Grove - Paolo Nutini - I've been listening to this album a lot. I have a weakness for boys with accents.

Black Shoes - The Films - This is a band to watch out for! They are awesome.

Yoo Hoo - Imperial Teen - The drummer had to be about seven months pregnant. It was a real fun show.

Rehab - Amy Winehouse - She played to a packed house at Eternal. I was dying of hunger but I didn't want to leave. If only I could always live on music.

The Bucket - Kings of Leon - The really friendly guy from Oklahoma that was standing next to me was so excited that he announced "I'm going to come in my pants." Dude can you take a step over to your right please.

Amphibious - Children Collide - More scruffy boys with accents.

Hang Me Up To Dry - Cold War Kids - They are one of the bands that I was hoping to see but missed out on. Maybe I'll get that chance when they come to Toronto.

See my photo set here.

Plus I am also including a bonus seven that I can't stop listening to:

I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You) - John Mayer
Gangster Trippin' - Fatboy Slim
Aurora - Foo Fighters
Heartbeat - Tahiti 80
Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam
Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins
Blankest Year - Nada Surf (But I don't recommend that you listen to this catchy song around children. Strawberry sang the chorus at the grocery store much to my dismay.)

There are so many songs to fill you up with emotions. It is the almighty raw, powerful language of music. The message changes whether you are listening to a recording on its own or with video. I believe that images can sometimes limit the song. I think it forces our creativity to be placed in a box that doesn't let the lyrics take on our own significance. Yet watching an artist perform their material live can breath new magic into a song. That comes with every expression the artist places into their work and feeding off the crowd's excitement.

I am going to have to hunt down more of these lists. I love finding out everybody's favourites!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Seven Songs Meme (New and improved with links)

As Seen on nomotherearth. Who knows… maybe Jana got tagged in the meme but she isn’t here to check her email. She is on the plane home though. She might be into doing her own Seven Song list once she’s home and settled. I’m sure it would be quite different than mine would be.

Seven Songs that I’m into no matter what they are. (in no particular order)

Go with the FlowQueens of the Stone Age. This is such a driving song that I will never tire of it. The riffs. The background piano. The wall of sound. It could also be that Dave Grohl (aka the Most Powerful Drummer in the Universe) plays drums on the Queens third album – Songs For The Deaf. The video for this song is brilliant. Stripped down to three base colours. Red. Black. White. The band speeds on to a head on collision in the back of a pick-up truck.

Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)Deftones. A song that was actually inspired by Depeche Mode’s – Behind The Wheel. Chino and the boys hammer out a rhythm that only gets better as the song ends. The last 30 seconds kill me. I’m a sucker for a heavy groove.

Train In VainThe Clash. When Garbage sampled the opening riff on Stupid Girl it used to be the biggest tease for me. You would hear CFNY play it and I’d think they were going to break from their repetitive version of the Top 40 and play something real. London Calling was a break through album and The Clash was at the top of their game. (Stupid Girl was a good song too)

Texas Never Whispers – Pavement. I rediscovered the Watery, Domestic EP when I was obsessing over the iPod. You can’t get anymore Lo-Fi than Pavement. They stripped down their recordings to the bare essentials and it worked perfectly for them. I remember buying Jana Pavements first CD. The Watery, Domestic EP was a good disc to tie you over until Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was released. And Jana is in Texas… So go figure.

Dig For FirePixies. The one Pixies CD I never really got into was Bossanova. Velouria was a bit of a hit but I never ventured beyond that one song. It was long after on the Death To The Pixies compilation that I found this song I would keep hitting repeat over and over. The Pixies always have that wall of sound I’m such a fan of. It was such a contrast between the four members and twisted song structures. I don’t know how they ever pulled it together to sound so good.

On A RopeRocket From The Crypt. I got my first Rocket From The Crypt CD from one of the Bad Vibe DJ’s who worked at The Cave. He had an extra copy and gave it to me. I had no idea who they were or what they sounded like. They are a high-energy band that simply runs you over. With a horn section and driving guitars it’s hard to compare them to any other band I know.

Waiting RoomFugazi. If I could put every song by Fugazi here I would. They are one of the biggest influence bands out there but few people have heard of them. They are well known for their five-dollar shows, ten-dollar CD’s, resistance to mainstream commercialism and DIY attitude. If you are into a little punk attitude with a political message. I highly recommend these guys. They kick-started the emocore sub-genre that would rise to prominence ten years later.

I could go on with other bands like …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Quicksand, Supersuckers, At The Drive-In and Fu Manchu to name a few but these are the Seven that popped into my head first.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

An Experiment

How do you find out if your wife is checking up on her blog while she is away on business?

You post pics like this and simply wait...

You could spice it up a little by saying something obvious like: "Don't worry Honey. The Girls are eating well and I haven't had to bribe them once in order for them to behave while you've been gone."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

You suffer from OCD when…

I’ve been meaning to write about my latest obsession for a while now but the only problem is… the obsession kept getting in the way.
I got a 80GB iPod video for Christmas. This is our first mp3 player. We already had a large collection of music. I am a huge fan. I still can't see enough concerts and Jana's been working in the biz for 15 years. Add those two together over time and you end up with more than you could imagine.
I do admit. I have been downloading a little from the Bit Torrents and a few other sites. Something Jana hasn’t always approved of, it is her job after all. Now with a new toy and a mass storage device at that. I needed to start digging out the boxes of CD’s in the basement. I started off by grabbing a few handfuls of CD’s at a time. Soon that became too slow. I would then grab a box of 50 discs and pick and choose from there. Unfortunately with such a large collection it wasn’t organized very well. Especially my CD’s, from years of grabbing a few for the car and filling those portable CD travel cases. Many weren’t in their case and when I absolutely HAD to rip that one disc… I couldn’t find it. So I would do the equivalent of dumpster diving trying to find that one elusive disc. Occasionally it was a useless attempt but I would always find a few more that were worth grabbing.
I would keenly watch the stats on the bottom of my iTunes. Number of songs listed. The number of days of continuous play. How many Gigabytes of music that were quickly adding up. I have a 300GB external hard drive, the poor outdated P3 desktop I was using only came with 20GB. All the pictures of the girls had nearly maxed it out long ago. First I started ripping at 128kbps. This was partially through inexperience and not messing around with the iTunes program enough. 128kbps is not going to cut it. This was going to be our personal digital music library. Soon I was redoing every disk that I had originally started off with. Thankfully that was only about a third of a way through. I redid them all at 320kbps. Sure it was overkill. I didn’t have to go full CD quality but I had more than enough room on the hard drive and this is all going to be perfect right? Right?!?
I then discovered how many CD’s we were missing. The whole Manchester scene. Jana’s Cure collection. My older metal discs and a number of movie soundtracks from the 90’s. I started a list of all the ones I could think of that I couldn’t find. For weeks the search went on between daily events. Jana was convinced that I just lost it and that they were somewhere I haven’t looked yet. I started thinking that they might have been stolen or some other freak mishap. These were CD’s I haven’t seen since before we bought our house. Did we lose them while moving? Thankfully they were in a closet I never would have thought of looking for them. (who the hell put them there? oh… me) My ripping obsession could continue.
During all of this I was also putting together playlists. All those years of making mixed tapes were just a warm up for this. TDK and Maxell could bite my ass because now I’m not limited to 45 minutes a side. 90’s tunes. Cover songs. Chix rox! The Bad Vibe DJ Pool. (all the music the DJ’s at The Boom Boom Room, The Dance Cave, Catch 22 and The Bovine introduced me to) and of course Jana started her own Dance Party Mix! I don’t expect putting together playlists will ever grow old.
My next obstacle came when I ran out of room on the iPod. I did start off with a number of pictures on it. Soon I took those off to free up valuable space. I had to cram as much music on it as I could. It says it holds 80GB. In truth it’s a little over 74 GB. Who would think it would take 6GB to run the damn thing. I managed to have less than 2GB of free space on it. This took some serious tweaking. The external hard drive started pushing 90… 100… 120GB of music. All those CD’s now needed to be weeded down. Key songs selected. One hit wonders evaluated. This is where I am presently at. I still find the odd CD to rip, but for now I am just adding to the hard drive.
So as of 7AM this morning the iPod flew off to SXSW. Jana took it to pass the time on the flight and between shows. Late last night I was making last minute changes to include more of her Singer/Songwriter type of music. When she comes back I’ll have to geek out with it more. Who knows… one day I might even listen to it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Playing the numbers game

Like a cheap, vintage bottle of wine that has turned into vinegar.

Like a soft, buttery cheese that has gone moldy around the edges.

Today I age. My body is lacking grace. I have been burning up with chills, aches and pains. I could feel every bone in my body. I would rather feel like I was coming out of a haze from too many pints. I missed going out with the girls and now I'm celebrating with my very own pity party. It’s likely that nobody enjoys watching me feel sorry for myself so I'll keep a smile plastered on my wrinkly thirty six year old face.

My aching bones have more to do with a virus brought home from daycare instead of the aging process. However after watching a three year old bounce around happily with a temperature of 102.7 degrees Fahrenheit and then days later I was writhing and groaning in pain with the same virus, one can certainly see the distinct difference in how age affects the body.

I had better go wash all the germs away, pop some Tylenol flu pills and hope that a birthday cake magically appears out of thin air.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One x One

A year ago I was worried that I would not have anything to say. That I would quickly run out of ideas to share in this space. What a riot! The gates were opened and a flood of ideas came rushing in. Forming sentences is always a challenge, but it is one that I muster up the courage for after a couple cups of coffee.

A year ago I had no idea how much of my time would become invested in this world. How even when I'm not writing, I am writing. As I make my way through each day I am storing thoughts for future entries. My mind naturally wanders to the lives of those that I read; wondering how they are doing. I find myself eager to go pay them a visit.

Looking back I can't say that I have seen a great change in my own style or a progression of my skills. I can't say that I have shared anything truly amazing. From the hits on my site meter, I possibly have helped a few people understand something confusing and embarrassing but I still get more people searching for male underwear models. Hopefully the love I have for my children shines through the confusion of being a new mom.

There was a defining moment in my life when I was a teenager. Like on most occasions, I had my nose pressed in a book. I looked up to find my Grandfather, who I truly loved and admired, thoughtfully smiling at me. He asked me what I was reading. I have no idea what had me turning page after page at that moment in time but he remarked that one day I was likely to write my own story. In my teenage wisdom I scoffed, "Oh Grandpa, who would read what I have to write?" With his secret insight he replied, "You would be surprised."

Every time I get a comment, it is still a rush. I am thankful to have found some readers. People that I feel connected to and I call my friends. I am thankful for my blog and the avenue that it provides. I am so thankful for you! Candy for everyone…

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Party Starts the "Stadium Parking Lot." Crabbykate wins! Buttercup was listening to Apollo 440. This song is also on Wes Craven's "Cursed" Soundtrack.

So while this is not of the children genre, she apparently doesn't mind. Note Exhibit A:

Of course my children are also well versed in nursery rhymes. We have nonstop "Row Row Row Your Boat" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" singing marathons.

Colin and I also decided that we had to have this vintage toy. We placed crazy bids on eBay trying to purchase a windup Fisher Price Music Box Record Player. We finally walked away victorious in one of the bidding wars. Soon after, the coveted item arrived! It brought me right back to my own childhood.

Suckas! Oh yes, I know we are Gen X suckers paying an exorbitant amount of money out bidding other nostalgic fools. If only my parents saved more of these cherished toys for their grandchildren. Toys that don't require batteries!

I don't mind watching the girls fight over it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Have you felt the bubbles melt?

What is the last thing that this treat indulging mommy needs? Why that would be for her husband to land a job in a chocolate factory.

Colin brought home over one hundred chocolate bars and fifty diet sized chocolate bars. If that seems like an oxymoron to you, let me explain. First Cadbury came out with Thins. Nestle soon followed with Singles. They are smaller chocolate bars to satisfy your chocolate craving and still keep your calories manageable. Unless of course, you have another 49 of them in your house.

It is funny that I actually started this post almost a month ago. I was pondering why anyone would purchase one of these miniature bars. I started researching them and discovered that they are larger than I thought. While they are priced a little high, they are certainly worth it. A package of six goes for $2.99. They fulfill my inner desire for all things chocolate. They accompany my afternoon coffee as the perfect pick me up when I'm having a tough day.

Coffee and chocolate go together like iPods and milk.

I bet you half my chocolate supply that you will never guess what she is listening to. Just to be fair I'll include some hints.

1. This song is from an electronica album that came out in 1999.
2. We saw the band perform live with two drummers. It was one of the best concerts that I have ever seen.
3. This song was also included on a soundtrack to a movie that came out in 2005.