Thursday, June 25, 2009

The King of Pop

Today was a strange day; Michael Jackson died. Even stranger - so did Farrah Fawcett. But she was before my time - I don't think I've even seen her in anything. Except on David Letterman when she was all wigged out and wacky.

But MJ. I wanted to marry him when I was two. I had a Mickey Mouse record player in my room and my parents had Thriller on vinyl. I would listen to it over and over and over. Apparently, I even wore one glove. When he came to perform at BC Place on the Jacksons' 1984 Victory Tour, my parents couldn't get tickets, but faithfully took me down to Vancouver to hang out outside of the stadium. I remember sitting on my dad's shoulders and listening to the music thumping from inside.

I used to videotape his appearances on awards shows, tributes and televised concerts and watch them over and over. Even when his albums HIStory, Scream and Invincible came out, I was at A&B Sound the first day to pick them up. I wish I had collected them all before now; I'm sure the prices will skyrocket and production will jumpstart again.

I wrote in my baby journal organizer today that he had passed, and told my unborn baby that the Elvis of my generation had died. I will buy a paper tomorrow and keep it (if I can get my hands on one) to show him/her. I also wrote that I would share his music with him/her when they are old enough to appreciate it. If my parents had done this for me with the Beatles, I would know a lot more about them.

Anyway, even though he became strange and lost as he aged, Michael Jackson was simply a product of a very sad and, I'm sure, lonely childhood. I guess I'm one of those people that is choosing to overlook all the not-so-nice areas of his life that some people might point out and use to say, "Good riddance." We are all products of our past experiences, and he is no different. Regardless of his mistakes, you can't get around the profound influence he had on the world of pop, dance and video.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

Monday, June 22, 2009

restroom small talk

Our department just recently moved into a new area at our office. Whereas we had a private, one-stall bathroom in our previous area (unisex, mind you), we are now directly located next to the three-stall version on the upper floor, where most of the women congregate (we have wheelchair accessible single stalls elsewhere, much farther away). Out of convenience, we now mostly use this more "communal" version nearby.

What I've noticed since using this bathroom is the amount of chit chat and useless banter that happens between the women in there. To me, the bathroom is a sanctuary, a quiet place. But to other women, they seem happy to talk about the weather, or whatever happened at morning devotions, or to ask questions about one another in an effort just to keep it from being awkwardly quiet. It's like they can't stand being alone with their own thoughts. It seems they also often think I must be dying for someone to talk to me because it never fails that I get cornered by one of the many coworkers I don't know too well (we have an 80-person office) wanting to know when Wayne will be home, when my baby's due, how I feel, or how our department likes the aforementioned new location.

Maybe it's because I've gotten used to living in solitude, with only Dora to chat with in the mornings while I primp for work. Or maybe it's my hormones (another preggo lady told me recently it's normal that EVERYTHING irritates you in the third trimester...which I'm finding true). Or perhaps, it's because I was a contented only child for my first nine years and value quiet more than others. Regardless, restroom small talk is not for me. When I'm in the bathroom, it's my small sliver of time in the day when I can remove my work face and pay attention to myself for 2 or 3 minutes. Not pay attention to YOU, whoever you may be, talking to me from the next stall.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I saw a quote today that reflects my very core:

Why procrastinate now when you could do it later?

So, I freelance. Writing, editing, you know. Word-nerd stuff. And I love it - it brings in extra income and creates a client-base for later on when I won't be "working" but will need to make money (being a stay-at-home mom). Granted, I have only a couple of regular clients, but I always keep my eyes peeled for opportunities. Many of you know I was a server on the weekends from the time I turned 19 until, well, last February. I've worked at: Cooking Creations catering, Northview Golf Club, Boston Pizza, Sammy J. Peppers (shhh), Kelly O'Bryan's, Moxie's, and Dublin Crossing Pub. That's eight years of late nights, fake smiles, pretending to care...and great tips. Once I decided I couldn't take it anymore, quitting that industry was one of the easiest decisions of my life, but my bank account protested. :( Loudly. Obviously, Wayne and I realized we spent all that extra cash because we HAD that extra cash. No problem. But it really makes a difference to have to earn an honest living.

So, I freelance. Not regularly enough to depend on it. But it sure helps when I do. But, in true journalist fashion, even when I have two weeks to complete an assignment, I leave it to the last few days to even start. Something about the pressure to get it done motivates me. Or, secretly, the fear that I won't be able to come up with anything creative or suitable scares me out of doing it until it's absolutely necessary to start.

Tomorrow is the day, folks. I have cleared my schedule and will hunker down and work my little heart out. After walking the dog, attempting to paint my toenails (can't...quite...reach!), prepping food for Father's Day BBQ, doing laundry, talking about nothing with Wayne, and possibly napping.

Sounds perfectly doable. Right?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If I were an animal...

...I would be a giraffe.

It only makes sense. Tall. Freckled. Efficient (why bend down to eat when I have this convenient long neck to eat the luscious green leaves of the tree tops?). Easy childbirth (plop!). Boys fight over you! And you get to be in funny shows.

I just think it would be cool, that's all.

(This was brought up in an editorial meeting today. Don't ask me how. Because I can't remember.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The goods

So, after looking at a girlfriend's Valco (after all the great advice posted on here - thanks ladies!), I still got the coffee & chocolate BOB. The Valco was pretty skookum (extra points for using that word), but I wasn't about to ask my MIL to purchase it at the steep retail price and she was concerned that the warranty wouldn't be valid if I purchased the one I found on Craigslist. While a stroller of that high quality really shouldn't need the warranty anyway, I thought she had a valid point and wanted to respect that.

I checked out the BOB at the store and was almost instantly sold. How smooth it is! Granted, the weight of a carseat and a kid is not included, but boy is that thing easy to push around, which will be a bonus once I'm walking with the doggy. I LOVE the foot break and the tether, and it folds down super easily.

To match, I purchased the Graco Snug Ride Milan, a pattern that's neutral but stylie. BONUS: It was the only Snug Ride model on sale for $40 off today. Score! The two pieces look quite nice together. I also got the car seat adapter and the handlebar console, great for water bottles, keys, wallet and poop bags for Dora.

The only drawback to these purchases is that the BOB is not exactly compact, even when it's folded. That means it takes up the entire floorspace of our hatch (we have a Mazda 3), which is Dora's domain. And the carseat sure takes up a lot of room, too, forcing the passenger seat to be pulled way up near the dashboard. We bought this vehicle as our "family car," but obviously, it's not meant for that. Dora will be getting a car harness so she can sit behind me and keep an eye on the baby. ;) And once Wayne and I get to where we're going in terms of a posting at the end of the year, we'll have to reconsider our vehicular situation.

I am so happy to have this little mission accomplished. The big stuff is done: crib, change table, toy box, stroller, car seat. I am even repainting a bookshelf I got from the office for FREE, so that minimizes another cost. The next big thing to buy will be a glider - do you know anyone looking to sell theirs? It's a tough piece to come by second-hand. I mean, who would want to sell a chair that comfortable?!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stroller madness

Well, this Saturday, MIL is taking me shopping for baby's new wheels: a stroller. I have done the research and have narrowed it down to two, taking into consideration that what looks and sounds fantabulous and trendy for city life in B.C. is NOT what we need. When we're living in Quebec, Ontario or New Brunswick next winter, we need some serious traction, durability and strength.

Phil & Ted’s Sport (I've had my heart set on this one for a long time)

BOB Revolution (This one is comparable but has MUCH better reviews)

I am now leaning toward the BOB but the only drawback is that it does NOT have the doubles option. I thought having that option would be especially helpful as I make friends in our new new neighbourhood and babysit their kiddos; that way, I could still go for a walk or to the store without one toddler whining the whole way about walking. Then, once we have a second bambino, we don't need a doubles stroller.

What do you think about this? You can skim the reviews on those links for yourself if you like, but here are the nuggets I picked out for each:

BOB Revolution

Easy to manoeuvre
Awesome sunshade coverage
Lightweight (22 lbs)
Great suspension
Worth the $$$
Drives itself
Easy to wipe clean
Turns on a dime
Good for tall people (don’t kick the wheel axle when jogging)
Washable fabrics?
Great customer service
Babies constantly lulled to sleep
Swivel front wheel for strolling can be locked for jogging

Large frame (I’ll see how it fits in my trunk)
No doubles option
No accessories (must be purchased separately = $$$, but this is standard)
Crotch strap not adjustable (but slouching should be remedied by adjusting upper harness)
No tire pump
Footbrake hard to reach
The JJ Cole Bundle Me (which we have) doesn’t fit well

Phil & Ted’s Sport

Doubles kit!
Versatile (more than two configurations for the doubles)
Great customer service
Perfect for air travel
Fits in trunk
Small footprint
Great for stores and crowds
Lay flat feature for newborns
Good shocks

Foot rest made of fabric (gets muddy with toddles)
Foot kicks wheel axle while jogging (for peeps with a long stride like Wayne and me)
Stiff/hard-to-use brakes
Cheaper quality
Doubles seat too low for walking in fresh snow?
Fussy to fold
Sun shade not big enough
Can’t reach foot brake with double kit in use
REALLY BAD instructions for assembly