Friday, 27 February 2009

The Excuses Game

Hey, everybody, let's all play a new game. The Excuses Game. Soon to be a Parker Bros. game. Or Mattel. Maybe a video game. Or Wii.

Actually, it's a very old game, but has gained some new converts in the last few months, mostly in the banking sector. Politicians perfected this ages ago.

Here's how you play: Think of as many excuses in one minute as you can for totally fucking over the world.

After you've mastered this, you can move on to the Blame Game. Even the kids at home can play this one. That's where when you've exhausted all the excuses, you look to blame someone else -- your sibling, your spouse, the government, the economy.

And when you've mastered both of these games, you can run a country. Any country. And a bank. Any bank. Because no one likes to play the Responsibility Game, do they? That would be no fun at all.

Friday, 20 February 2009


Somebody call 911 or 999 quick. Some crimes of fashion are being committed as I write.
These are back in style. Yes, the harem pants, which make you look as though you've dropped a load in your trousers.

And these:

And these:

What will be next? This?

Or this?

Or even this?

Where are the Fashion Police when you need them?

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Going Back in Time

Jake has dug a very large hole in one of my flower beds. I have repeatedly told him not to do this, but he persists. I find he does this when he is bored outside. This morning, I had to drag him away from the hole. He didn't like this and responded by growling at me. Just a short, low growl while I was trying to clean his back paws. I backed off and left him. A few minutes later he thrust his nose into my lap, wanting forgiveness. Apparently, I should dig a hole specifically for Jake and toss in some biscuits or toys. I am searching my garden for such a place.

Being a dog owner, for me, is turning out to be far more difficult than being a parent. Or perhaps I would have been a better parent if I'd had a dog earlier.

Hubby recently had some old videos of the kids converted to DVDs. We watched them the other night, completely fascinated by the people we were 10 years ago. Three birthdays, one Christmas and one New Year's Eve party were on the DVDs. I made a few observations:

1. We gave, and give, our kids far too much at Christmas time.

2. I was actually a very good mother.

3. My ass was quite large in those days, not helped by my choice of jeans or underwear.

4. Our kids were incredibly cute and adorable.

5. I've aged a lot better than the Frenemies.

I am nostalgic for my children as they were, so innocent and loving. I suppose all parents of teen-agers go through this phase (and I don't believe a word from those smug people who say they "adore" their teen-agers).

I am not nostalgic for my body as it was. I was two and three years post-pregnancy and still had not given up the extra layers of fat. You know how some people can carry extra weight quite well? They look the same, only slightly larger? Not me. I have a surprisingly small frame -- tiny wrists and ankles. My body was meant to be small, yet there on the screen it was 30 pounds overweight. It wasn't long after that I started a longstanding acquaintance with Weight Watchers, reuniting every once in a while. I still wore big white underpants too, comfy but not sexy in the slightest.

I should be going to the gym today to try to keep the extra layers of fat at bay, but I am feeling the beginnings of a cold and just want to rest. The fat will still be there next week, as will the gym.

Jake is barking to be let out, no doubt wanting to return to his digging. I am resisting and will go play a game with him soon. He exhausts me sometimes. It's as though I have gone back in time to that DVD, constantly watching, entertaining, avoiding tricky situations by diverting his attention. I have a two-year-old again. A hyperactive two-year-old.

Should I resurrect the big white underpants too?

Saturday, 14 February 2009

A Tragedy Too Awful to Imagine

The concept of being in the right place at the right time or just the opposite has taken on a completely new meaning with the news of the death in a plane crash of a woman whose husband died on 9/11.

Beverley Eckert was on the Continental flight that crashed into a house in New York state. All aboard and one man in the house perished in a fiery inferno. She was on her way to inaugurate a scholarship in her husband's memory at the high school where the two met.

The newspaper article I read didn't say whether the couple had children. But don't you just wonder at the complete injustice and bad luck and unfairness of it all?

Also over my breakfast coffee I read about the 13-year-old boy in the UK who is now a dad. He impregnated his 15-year-old girlfriend when he was only 12. He is four feet tall and shows few signs of puberty. Experts say it's extremely rare for this to happen. I wonder if Chantelle, his girlfriend (and I didn't make her name up), perhaps had a bit on the side with maybe another 15-year-old? Again, the article didn't state if any tests had been done to confirm this boy is indeed the father.

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "toy boy."

I haven't written much of late because my mind has been a whirlwind of conflict and questions. I want -- I ache -- for some sort of peace and calm in my life, for easy solutions and answers to be found, for resolution of long-term conflicts. I question my role in these conflicts, I wonder if I sound too whiny or appear too needy. While this interior monologue goes on, I can't write. I can't organise my thoughts. But while the inside may be a mess, the outside is looking up.

The plan to buy a business is starting to move ahead, with due diligence on the cards very soon. It's scary and exciting all in one. But at least it's some sort of movement beyond the slump that hubby and I have fallen into.

Finally, I would like to point out that within this post are several commas, apostrophes, and full stops (periods). I know where to place these because I was taught where to place them. In the UK there is a movement afoot to ban these from government signs. I think we need to rise up against the tyranny of mis-education (or missed education). SAVE THE APOSTROPHE! It's an endangered species.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Let It Snow

Ah, it's snowing again. We get big, fat flakes of it that don't tend to stick. Still, it's far better than rain.

Lots has been happening in my world. We're progressing in our plan to buy a business. It would take me back to my journalism roots in a way, though not completely. So much to learn and to do. It's scary and exciting at the same time. Hard to believe that a year ago was when all the turmoil in my life was starting. I just live in a constant state of it now. And I have the back pain to prove it.

I went away for a spa weekend (or night) the other weekend with the Frenemies. I had such a good time with them for a change. Till the bill came. The hotel mistakenly charged another table's restaurant bill to my room. Would you believe it took an hour to sort out? And the hotel staff were actually kind of snotty about it. Would you believe the Frenemies blamed ME for it because I said to the very flustered desk clerk that we weren't angry at her personally. Not that they said it, but there was a definite atmosphere when I finally got in the car after paying and one of them later told my daughter I had apologised to the clerk. I didn't apologise to anyone. I was so upset and disappointed that my fun weekend had been ruined that I wrote a very outraged letter to the hotel and received the promised of a cheque for the restaurant bill and a free night for two at the hotel. I told the Frenemies about the promised cheque but not the free night. Why should they benefit from my efforts?

Jake has improved so much since we started walking him on the beach. But he brings back half the beach in his fur. I'm constantly sweeping up sand. He no longer seems to have issues with other dogs, which is such a relief. He's growled at us a few times, but no biting. Previously, I would have sternly told him no growling, but since seeing the doggie therapist, I just walk away. I think he growls because he thinks we're going to hurt him, and it only happens in certain circumstances. What is very hard is not hugging and kissing him. He's such an affectionate dog, or is that neediness? The clicker also isn't working too well. It doesn't work at all on the beach because by the time we catch up to him to reward him for having positive encounters with other dogs, he's moved on. And he's not too bothered about getting treats either.

I have plans to write a collection of poems about the stage of life I'm about to enter. The first one will be titled "I Found My Ex-Husband on Facebook." If nothing else, it will be great therapy.