Tag Archives: rants

Things I’ve Learned in the Past Three Weeks…

As my regular readers know, I’ve been set up in the Saint John City Market for the past three weeks selling books from our bookstore…this isn’t my first time selling at the Market, but it is the first attempt at being a full-time vendor.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Nothing is predictable.  You can have an amazing sales day on Monday, but your sales on Tuesday might suck!  There is no rhyme or reason to it…it completely depends on who walks into the Market that day with money in their pocket and a desire to buy a book.  There was a raging snowstorm outside on one of my best sales days ever…I thought people would be holed up in their houses!  Hopefully, it all evens out at the end of the week (or month!).

2. Listen to other people’s suggestions, within reason.  My friend, Scott, (who is also a Market vendor) suggested I change my display to a U-shape with individual books highlighted in the center instead of two straight rows.  He was right…it looked much more inviting, and gave the illusion of having more books.  Another Market vendor suggested I stick a price tag on the books so people wouldn’t have to look for the price (inside the front cover in pencil)…no way…stickers are death on books!

3. Change is good.  I change my display daily, and bring a new box of stock from the store every morning.  The theme changes weekly.  I learned this from a very successful Market vendor (and good friend), Becky.  There are a bunch of people who go through the Market every day (it’s part of a pedway system)…I want them looking at my stuff when they pass through.

4. Word travels fast.  I mentioned to a couple of other vendors that we used tomato boxes to store our books, and pop flats to mail them in.  Now cardboard and boxes magically appear under my bench!

5. The public can be a little too friendly sometimes.  One day last week, I felt someone looking over my shoulder, turned away from my computer and was nose-to-nose with a little old lady who was staring intently at our bookstore logo on the screen, and giggling like a little girl.  It is cute, but she was certainly old enough to have a sense of other people’s personal space!

Our bookstore logo...guaranteed to make you say "Awww..."

6. Customers usually fit in one of three categories.  The first, buyer, is my favourite!  The second, be-backer, may or may not come back, despite what he or she says (although I have been surprised more than once!).  The third, bugger, will talk your ear off for fifteen minutes and leave without buying anything…if you’re going to tell me about your Great Aunt Martha’s hip surgery, at least reward me for the torture I’ve endured by buying a book!

7. Regulars are the best.  My best customer so far bought seven books the first week, two the second, and one this week (he gets 20% off since he’s bought five books from us).  He walked by my bench at a fast clip on Wednesday muttering, “Stop tempting me…stop tempting me…stop tempting me!”  I got a laugh out of it!

8. My bladder is stronger than I thought.  I’m at the Market from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  I work alone, and the bench across from me is vacant most of the week.  I depend on the kindness of my friends (and fellow vendors) to make pit stops.  My record for “holding my water” so far is seven hours (I usually don’t drink anything during the day, and wait until I get home at night to have tea).  I’m hoping that I get a “neighbour” soon!

9. People are procrastinators.  If I had a nickel for every customer I’ve talked to who’s said, “I’ve seen your store, but I haven’t gone in yet,” I’d have a lot of nickels!  It’s been twelve years, people!  It’s time!

10. Boys will be boys, no matter how old they are.  Last week, a fight nearly broke out in front of my bench because one guy failed to move to one side so that a man coming toward him could get past.  Ridiculous!  Luckily, a woman travelling with one of the men was able to talk him out of his idiocy.

I’m having fun at the Market…I’ve met some interesting people.  I’m going to keep it up as long as I can make a bit of money…

I miss Blogland, but it’s really hard to read and write when one is being constantly interrupted…and I do have to eat.  I’ll try to visit my blogging buddies once in a while, and post when I have a few minutes…

 

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Filed under books, family, friends, rants, satire

How To Clean an 184-Year-Old Building…by the Employees of Cleaners ‘R’ Us

1. Arrive in your company car, which closely resembles a dark blue roller skate.  Remove your vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies from the trunk.  Slam trunk hard enough to rattle the windows of the building.

2. Trudge up the steps with your burden, and enter the building while complaining loudly to your co-worker about your aching body parts.  Ignore the sign, reading “Please close this door,” on the beautiful curved mahogany front door with leaded glass…you won’t be there long anyway.  Who cares if those people in the bookstore get cold?  The inside door also has leaded glass, and an automatic closer…do nothing to prevent it slamming.  They have that glass at Wal-Mart, don’t they?

3. Stomp up the stairs to the architect’s office.  Vacuum the carpet in the office, making sure to chip paint off the baseboards with the powerhead while making loud thumps.  Slam the office door on your way out.

4. Vacuum the stairway.  It is important never to lift the machine, but bounce it down the stairs, while bashing the powerhead into the wall repeatedly on each step.

5. Make a call on your cell phone.  You’ve worked hard…you deserve a break!  Talk loudly about something important, like what happened on the episode of Jersey Shore you watched last night.  If there are customers in the bookstore, double the volume of your voice.

6. Lift the entrance mat, and heave it out of the way, letting it drop with a thud.  Never stop chatting with your co-worker – she really wants to know the weather for Tuesday!  Using your mop, do a quick run over the tile floor, using the handle as a battering ram on the hall baseboards as you go.  Under no circumstances are you to talk to the people in the bookstore.  They’re readers…everyone knows that readers are dangerous!

7. Wash the windows in the doors, even though the leading makes them hard to see through.  Slam the door every time you come back in.

8.  Clean the bathroom.  Take the bag out of the garbage can, and don’t replace it until you’re ready to leave.  Those people can carry their used paper towels up the hallway to the store and throw them away!  Be sure to throw the door open hard enough to jangle the spring on the doorstop (bonus points for dislodging it from the wall completely)!  Don’t forget to fold the end of the toilet paper into a point!

9. Go back to your car.  Drop vacuum and cleaning supplies back in the trunk.  Slam the trunk and your car doors once again.  Drive away.  Don’t forget to come again next week!

 

Note: This satirical piece is based on my weekly experience with the company employed by the landlord to clean the building our bookstore is in…it is not intended to represent common practice for this or any other cleaner.  However, if I were paying these women, they wouldn’t be employed long!  I miss our old cleaning lady, Joanna, who was lovely…sadly, she left to go back to school!

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Herbivore Havoc, Holy Crap, and Hamlet…NEW POST!

Herbivore Havoc

"We'll just wait here until she goes in the house!" (photo by Anna)

I’m really starting to hate Bambi and his relatives…because of them, I’m not going to have any produce to put in the freezer for the winter this year.  They have feasted on all the plants from my $130 worth of organic seeds, and the seedlings that I bought to replace plants that weren’t doing very well.  The arugula and the leeks are the only things they haven’t eaten.  My total harvest so far has been three or four salads, a few meals of spinach/beet greens (before the deer got in the first time), one zucchini, and three meals of green beans/peas (I put away some 40 bags of green beans last year!).  I have fewer than 10 green tomatoes (of various sizes and varieties) that they have not discovered and devoured.  The root vegetables have virtually no leaves on them…I had hoped my rutabaga, beets, and carrots would be spared…I was wrong!

Leafless, fruitless zucchini...

Leafless pole beans...

Leafless bush beans among the weeds...they're the stick-like green and purple things...

Chewed off tomato plant...

Munched beet greens/Swiss chard...

Holy Crap

About a week-and-a-half ago, one of my Market vendors asked me to put a new product they were carrying on our website: it was billed as “The world’s most amazing breakfast cereal” and was called Holy Crap.  The cereal had been featured on CBC’s Dragon’s Den (a program where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to experts) last fall.  I read the literature, and decided to [gulp] pay the hefty $13 bag price tag (8 oz. or 225 grams) to try some.  The cereal is a mix of three organic grains and seeds: chia, hulled hemp seeds, and buckwheat, and three organic fruits: raisins, dried cranberries and apple.  It is gluten and lactose-free.  Every morning since last Saturday, I have stirred a tablespoon of Holy Crap into a container of yogurt, let it sit for five minutes, and eaten it for a mid-morning snack.  I’ve been bringing half my bag lunch home with me…I haven’t been hungry enough to eat it all.  In the evening, instead of sitting down with a bowl of chips, I’ve been eating more Holy Crap with yogurt.  Here’s the best part: I’ve been watching my considerable “muffin top” get smaller and smaller all week.  My clothes fit better!  The first bag of cereal lasted nine days.  I’m going to keep using it, and try to get Jim on to it when he gets back as well.  If I can lose weight just by eating a certain food, I’m going to keep doing it!

Holy Crap (photo from holycrap.ca)

Hamlet

Last night, Dad and I stayed in town after work to see a performance of Hamlet – one of our friends had a lead role (Claudius).  The play was being performed in a tent behind the Saint John Theatre Company’s new building on Princess Street (billed as “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot”).  We paid our money and took our seats in folding chairs.  As we waited for the performance to start, we noticed music and loud voices coming from a party in the courtyard of the building next door.  Unfortunately, it continued, getting louder and louder throughout the first act of the play.  Shakespeare is hard enough to follow when one isn’t being distracted, but actors trying to perform while competing with beer-swilling yahoos and top hits of the 1970’s was more than either of us could take.  We made our exit, vowing to contact the theatre company to see if we could come back and see the whole show without disturbance (at no cost) next week.  The acting was wonderful, especially the man playing Hamlet – he showed how loopy the Danish prince truly was!

I sent a message on Facebook to the director of the play, and she is graciously providing free tickets for the Tuesday night performance…there’s an 80% chance of rain that night…perhaps that will keep the partiers indoors!  I look forward to seeing Act 1 again, and Act 2 for the first time!

Jim and the kids are back Tuesday from their vacation adventure…looking forward to seeing their pictures!

Have a good week…I hope to read some of your blog posts in my spare time…

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Filed under food, gardening, nature, rants, satire

Adventures of A Reluctant Cheer Mom…

Here’s another post from the archives which was originally published April 27, 2010.  Anna and Hope were on their school teams this year (Hope probably won’t do it again next year), but Brianna didn’t do cheer this year.  This post is one of a series of three…the complete series can be read here: http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/adventures-of-a-reluctant-cheer-mom/ .  Enjoy!

[A warning to Anna and Brianna - I'm giving my opinions here, which you are both well aware of]

A little background: I have always hated the stereotypical cheerleader image – most of the cheerleaders at my high school in the late ’70’s had no significant thoughts in their heads other than their clothes, their hair, or their boyfriends.  They jumped around, shook their “pompoms,” and yelled a lot, but being a strong feminist, I was unconvinced that they were doing anything to help our cause!

A High School Team from 1977-1978...

Fast forward to 2005 – Anna (who was eleven at the time) wanted to join the cheerleading program at our local community center.  Other than occasional summer art camps, she wasn’t participating in any other extracurricular activities – I reluctantly gave my permission.  Because she’d never been in it before, Anna was placed in the “Mini” group – she was the tallest girl there.  Practices were Saturday mornings from 9 to 11.  Since the centre was about four blocks from our house, Anna could walk there on her own.  More than once, she came back because practice had been cancelled, and the teenage coaches hadn’t bothered to call us.  The lack of organization irked me.

Sign Often on the Community Centre Door...

I remember the first time I went to a competition.  At that time, it was customary for all the girls to wear “hairpieces” (or a “dead animal”, as I used to call it).  This mass of fake ringlets was the same colour as their hair, and was pinned to the back of each kid’s head, so that they’d all look alike (it came in a vinyl case, which resided safely in my kitchen drawer).  It cost $35, which was a lot of money for me (did I mention the $90 sneakers?)!  I took the bus to one of the local high schools, arriving just before 1 p.m., when the competition was slated to start.  Being a big invitational tournament, all the seats in the bleachers were taken.  I ended up standing for a while, and finally sitting on an extremely uncomfortable chair as the pulsing “music” and screams of hundreds of kids assaulted my senses.  I sat for 3 hours enduring endless routines (watching teenage girls do moves I’d only seen in Britney Spears videos made me nauseous), before finally giving in to the demands of my bladder…the ladies’ room had two stalls (and no toilet paper – thankfully, I had Kleenex in my purse).  There was a line…I was gone for twenty minutes, just long enough to miss the performance of my daughter’s squad!  I nearly cried!  I attended three or four more competitions (being careful to get there early to get a seat), but was thankful when Anna gave it up after a  couple of years.

The Detested Hairpiece...

When Jim and I got together in the spring of 2008, his daughter, Brianna, was also involved in cheerleading at her middle school (she was 12).  Anna and I started going to some of her competitions with Jim.  Things had changed for the better in three years…hairpieces were out of style, and the sexy dancing had been replaced by more age-appropriate movements.  No one used pom-poms any more.  More emphasis was being placed on the athletic part of the sport.  Brianna’s team had three practices a week from September to May, and more near competition time.  She rejoined the team for the 2008-2009 school year – they won the provincial middle school championship – all that practicing paid off!  Hope’s and Anna’s schools didn’t have cheerleading teams that year.

Brianna and her Proud Dad...

When the new school year rolled around, Hope joined the cheerleading team at her new middle school, Anna’s high school had decided to have a cheerleading team, and Brianna was still doing hers…our practice schedule included seven practices a week at three different schools!  Since I don’t have my driver’s licence, Jim used to get off work early on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that he could rush home, pick up Hope and her friend, and have them to school for practice at 5:00!  (Devin also had tech crew at least two nights a week – poor Jim was running every night!).

Kids Stunting in the Back Yard...

At Christmas time, Hope’s school decided to discontinue cheerleading – there was some fundraising issue around uniforms – Hope was angry, because they had put a lot of hours in practicing.  I was upset for her, but relieved to have two practices off our schedule!

The older girls continued on their teams…competition season started a few weeks ago.  This past weekend, we had Anna’s on Saturday and Brianna’s on Sunday.

We spent Friday evening looking for Anna’s “spankies,” the little Spandex shorts they wear under their skirts – these cost between $15 and $25 each depending on the style.  She wanted me to run out and buy her another pair, but my natural stubbornness kicked in…I kept looking until we discovered them in a pile of unfolded laundry.

The Errant Spankies Looked Like These...

Anna’s competition went by quickly because only six teams were there…thank goodness…my arthritic hips can’t tolerate those hard bleachers for very long!  The high school mascot (a bee) kept the crowd entertained between performances with enthusiastic dancing and interaction with the squads.  A couple of girls had ice packs on various parts of their bodies – several had knee or ankle braces.  I saw one crying girl being led away by her mother after she’d been injured.  Anna’s team was not among those called back by the judges…one of her teammates looked away from her flier, and cost them 20 points – Anna was not a happy camper!

Anna and Her Friend Faby with Faby's All-Star Award

Brianna’s competition was held at another high school – the gym floor had been covered with a foam puzzle mat, which didn’t look very thick.  Seven teams competed, but it was a long afternoon – the judges were deliberating carefully after every performance, and there was no mascot to keep the crowd enthused.  I was sitting sideways, trying to keep my knees from poking into the people in front of me…they didn’t have similar consideration for my comfort…I lost count of how many times the teenage girl reached into her back pocket for her cell phone, and collided with one of my body parts!  Her mother actually reached into her purse and inserted some sort of dental appliances into her mouth – ewww!  The father was oblivious to the fact that he was half blocking the “steps” for the bleachers, forcing people to maneuver around him as they gingerly made their way down.

Foam Mat Pieces...

I saw more near-misses at that competition than I’ve ever seen…in one routine, I saw the same flier nearly get dropped twice, and then she almost got knocked over by a bigger girl (fliers average about 80 lbs.).  Every mother in the audience caught her breath in horror when another flier came within a foot of hitting that thin mat with her head before her quad caught her!  My heart was in my mouth!  Thank goodness my girls aren’t fliers (Anna is a back, Brianna is a base).  Neither of them has had any serious injuries, but I worry about it all the time – Anna inherited my klutziness (one of her teammates suffered a black eye recently).  Brianna has jammed her finger, and been scratched when her face came in contact with a falling flier’s braces.

The Scary Part for Parents...

Brianna’s team won Sunday’s competition, and their stunt teams placed first and third in the quads.  Jim shot almost 600 photos!

Brianna and Her Friends...

We have another back-to-back weekend with an “away” competition in two weeks – provincial middle school championships are in St. Stephen this year, an hour-and-a-half drive – not sure if I’ll go or not.

I’ve offered to teach them to crochet instead, but nobody’s taken me up on it!

Crocheting...A Much Safer Activity...

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“Girly Things”…

Here’s one of my favourite posts from the archives…it originally appeared on April 17, 2010.  I’ve added some newer photos.  Enjoy!:

 

Recently, one of my single dad friends was looking for ideas for “girly things” to do with his daughter, who was coming to visit for the day…it made me start thinking about what that term even means…

My dad used to cook breakfast for us every morning.  I remember a couple of times we made pies together.  He also took us tobogganing, built us a go-cart and a treehouse, and took us fishing.  He taught me how to throw and catch a softball.  When I was eleven, he taught me how to drive our 1948 Ford farm tractor!  I’ll never forget the yell he let out when I “jumped” the front by letting the clutch out too fast (considering I only weighed about 60 lbs at the time, it was amazing I could push it in at all, let alone let it out slowly!).  We planted seeds in the garden, and picked apples together.  He encouraged us to climb the horse chestnut tree in the back yard.

Uncle Mal, Grandad, and Dad Doing Dishes...

My mom would put stuff back together after my dad took it apart.  She also painted the exterior of our two-storey house!  In addition to sewing a lot of our clothing, she used to design and build furniture too.  She taught me to cook and bake, and how to drive.

I have three daughters, a stepdaughter, and a granddaughter – I should be an expert on “girly things.”  Our downstairs kids’ bathroom is a mess of ponytail holders, hair dryers and straighteners, and nail polish!

I’ve always told my girls that there are only three things men can do that women can’t:

1. Father a child.

2. Pee standing up (we can do that too, but it’s messy).

3. Show somebody their Adam’s apple.

My children know that there’s no such thing as “girl toys” or “boy toys.”  Hope wanted a firetruck for her fifth birthday, and we got her one (she also had lots of baby dolls).

Instead of thinking of “girly things” to do with your daughter, why not come up with activities which will strengthen her self-esteem, and her bond with her dad?

1. Take her to the library.  Show her some of your favourite books when you were a kid – she might like “The Hardy Boys.” I did!

Scott reading to Elise...

2. Take her for a drive to a place you like – tell her why.

3. Take her to a movie that both of you will enjoy – Pixar has come out with some excellent 3-D movies lately.

4. Play computer games with her.  Jim and Brianna play WOW together.

5. Go to the park and swing together.

Hope on the Swing...

6. Go for a walk on the beach and look for pretty stones or shells.

7. Think of an art project to do together – maybe a present for a grandparent.

8. Take her to the driving range or the batting cage – my niece, Taylor, goes golfing with my brother.

9. Cook or build something together.

10. Teach her to do something you’re good at.

11. Go to a concert or a play together.

12. Take her to a go-cart track, and let her drive.

Hope at the go-cart track in PEI, August, 2010...photo by Anna

Your kid doesn’t care if you do “girly things” with her…she just wants to do stuff with her dad!

Uncle Neal and Cousin Caryn on the Unicycle...

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Filed under memories, rants, self-discovery

Paradise Tossed…

As mentioned previously, I took Tuesday off from the bookstore to get my seedlings into the ground in the garden.  I wish I hadn’t been home that day!

The weather was glorious…sunny and warm…quite a change from the cloudy, wet days which had dominated most of April and May!  I put on a tank top and a pair of shorts, pulled my hair back in a ponytail and slapped a baseball cap on my head, slathered all exposed skin with sunscreen (I thought…more about that later!), and off I went!

I had been outside for a couple of hours (worked through lunchtime) when I heard heavy equipment in our driveway.  I knew the men must be coming to continue working on our septic bed.  The guy Jim had talked to about it a month ago had warned us that we would probably be losing our lilac bush, and that they would have to come into our back yard to do the work…we had come home to see a small hole at the edge of our yard Monday night, with a backhoe parked beside it on the other side of the fence.

I was putting my little peat pots of seedlings into the ground when the backhoe started tearing up the lilac bush…I watched with tears streaming down my face as most of the lilac bush (he left one small piece right next to the deck), and all of the alders behind it were destroyed in front of my eyes…bird habitat, shade and privacy all gone in a few short minutes!  The scoop of the machine caught in the wire fence, and broke it…the driver barely paused from his horrible work…

Later, the backhoe operator climbed down from his perch to view the destruction he had wrought.  He was a young, well-muscled man wearing sunglasses, a ball cap, a black tank top, and jeans.  He strolled into the yard and waved to me as I stood, staring, in the garden.  I felt like I should talk to him.

Slowly, I walked over.  I was so angry, I didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing makeup or hadn’t shaved my legs in recent memory, or that my face was sweaty and tear-streaked, or that dirt from the garden was stuck to my sunscreened ankles!  “You’re going to have to fix that fence!  It belongs to me!” I said, realizing that I was still crying.

The guy looked at me and probably wondered what he’d gotten himself into. “Um, yeah…I caught it by accident.”

“I don’t care what you do, even if you have to twist it back together with pliers…just make sure that it’s closed before you leave.  If the deer get into my garden, it’s not going to be pretty!”

He assured me that he would.

“I’m sorry…I know you’re just doing your job,” I said, wiping the tears angrily from my cheeks.  “But, do you see all those bird feeders?” I asked, pointing to the eight bird feeders on our deck (Jim hadn’t put out the three hummingbird feeders yet this year).  “That lilac bush was where our birds sat!  Please tell me that the apple tree is going to stay!”

“Oh yeah…I’m going to just do a track wide enough to drive through,” he assured me.

“Thank you,” I said.  “Well, I guess I should get back to my garden.  I’ve got a bunch more plants to get in.”

I finished up in the garden just after 4:00.  I was using the hose to rinse off my metal trays when the backhoe operator came up behind me…

“Excuse me…could we get you to unlock the basement door so we can see where the pipe comes into the house?” he asked.

“Okay…just let me finish up here, and I’ll run down and do that.”

I let them into the basement and warned them not to hit their heads on the low beam…I laughed as I told them how many times I’d “brained” myself on it.  They located the pipe and I closed and locked the basement door after them.

Later that night, I was getting ready for bed when I absentmindedly scratched my lower back…ouch!  Looking in the mirror, I realized that I’d been squatting in the garden for nearly six hours, and that the back of my tank top must have been riding up…I had a lovely red stripe of sunburn above the waist of my shorts.  Jim put some aloe vera on it for me.

*****

We were driving home from work on Wednesday when I mused, “I wonder what death and destruction waits for us at home!”  I was joking.

Arriving at the house, I ran to the back door to see what the workmen had been up to…the first thing I noticed was that the apple tree was GONE!  That little @#$%er had lied to me!  The fence was now open on two sides, allowing the deer full access to our back yard.  The backhoe had obviously been digging all day, and sat in the middle of the hole, surrounded by dirt.

View from the corner of our yard on Wednesday...there were solid trees and bushes between the house and the backhoe before...photo by Anna

What the yard looked like when we moved there in the fall of 2008 (we later planted our garden between the fence and the row of trees)...Hope is beside the fence...photo by Jim

*****

The guys were back yesterday and spent the day bringing in truckloads of dirt and dumping them in our yard.  I was home from the store again because I had a migraine…I successfully resisted the urge to throttle a certain young backhoe operator, and stayed in the house all day.  Jake barked his head off.

View from my deck this morning...there used to be an apple tree where all that dirt is...you can see the few pieces of the lilac tree at the right...

It’s a good thing for him that my landlord is out of town right now…otherwise, he’d be getting an earfull from me…I am not a happy camper!

To be continued…

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Day of Whine and Noses…

Warning to my regular readers…this is not my typical “everything is wonderful” post…

Anna and I are home sick today…she has the flu, and Hope was generous enough to give me a cold…since I’ve been awake since 3:30 a.m., I decided that I should probably stay home from the bookstore. 

AWOL Bloggers

There seems to be a rash of good bloggers lately who are “taking a break” or quitting blogging completely.  Your public misses you…please come back (you know who you are)! 

Pothole Piss-off

Thursday night, we blew another tire on the Mazda 6 when we hit one of the 30,000 potholes lurking on our local streets…it was the second tire we’ve had to replace in two months!  Seriously…it’s spring…the snow is long gone!  Fix the damn holes!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I think it’s rained every day of May so far…they’re predicting a sunny day for Kaylee’s birthday on the 22nd…I won’t hold my breath!  Luckily, our landlord was able to get our garden plot plowed for us on Saturday morning…he kindly extended it another 6 feet so that we’d have more space.  If it would stop raining for a while, I might be able to get some seeds planted, and my seedlings put outside…they’re definitely not very happy in my back kitchen:

Lackadaisical plants in the back kitchen..."We need sun, Mom!"

Cheers and Tears

Saturday morning was Anna’s provincial cheerleading championships.  The Harbour View High team performed very well…they were enthusiastic and tight, and there weren’t any major mistakes.  I was sure they’d be called back…I was wrong…again!  Congratulations to the repeat champions, Harrison Trimble High, whose performance was flawless, as usual!  Special kudos to the team from Carleton North High, who I also thought should have been called back…they have improved a lot since the beginning of the year!   I would like to give a shoutout to Fredericton High, who kept the crowd entertained all season in between performances with their infectious dancing!  They were the embodiment of “spirit” even though they were never called back!

Harbour View High team after Provincials...Anna is crouching down in the middle of the back row (photo by Brianna)

   

Network Numbnuts  

I watch very little network TV, so I was upset on the weekend to learn that ABC had cancelled three of my shows in one go:  Off the Map, Mr. Sunshine, and Better With You!  

Off the Map was the only drama I watched.  It was created by the same folks as Grey’s Anatomy (which I used to watch until about four years ago when I started working an evening job).  The acting was good, the plot twists surprising, and it starred one of the sexiest New Zealanders (not Australian…thanks, Lynley for the correction!) I’ve ever seen, Martin Henderson.  I hope you get a new gig soon, Martin!

When I first watched Mr. Sunshine, I wasn’t expecting great things.  I was pleasantly surprised though: Alison Janney‘s narcissistic character was hilarious, and Nate Torrence as her son was adorable…that guy just had to smile, and it made you feel good!  Matthew Perry‘s character wasn’t far removed from his Friends persona…the wise-cracker who just wanted people to like him.  I will miss this show!

Nate Torrence and his irresistable smile...photo from hitfix.com

Better with You was the “bridge” between The Middle and Modern Family on Wednesday nights.  It explored three related couples in various stages of their relationships.  An excellent ensemble cast made the show a lot of fun…notable members were Jake Lacy, whose combination of goofiness, facial expressions and comic timing was funny every time, and Debra Jo Rupp, whose character always said what people are thinking but are afraid to say.  This was one of the only sitcoms I’ve ever seen that portrayed couples in a fairly realistic way (The Middle is another one).

I’m happy to see that CBS has renewed The Amazing Race and Big Bang Theory, as well as Two and a Half Men.  However, word that Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen on Men sounds like a death knell for that show…the last couple of seasons haven’t been great anyway.  Ashton was fine on That 70’s Show as the brainless Kelso, but I don’t think he has the “parts” to pull this off…

Canine Cacophony

Jake is driving me nuts!  He barks whenever he sees a squirrel or chipmunk on the back deck, or hears the slightest little noise…I can’t wait to go back to work tomorrow!

"What are you barking at, Stupid?" (photo by Anna)

Hopefully, I’ll be feeling better by the time I post again…thanks for letting me vent!

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