Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Don't call child services

This morning, my youngest son declared that he would not be going trick-or-treating tonight.

"I don't want to get any candy because then I will get cavities," he said.

What is a parent suppose to say to that? "Oh hogwash, you HAVE to eat candy - it's Hallowe'en!" or "Don't worry about cavities, everyone has them these days." or "Why don't you just go get the candy and then Daddy and I will eat 'em up for you. We like cavities."

No, being a good parent, I tell him he can stay home with me and hand out the candy. Meanwhile my inner voice is shouting to him "Are you crazy? Go get the loot!!"

Upon hearing this story, my coworker says he is going to call child services on me. "What kind of parent has one kid that likes to give out financial advice and another that doesn't want to go out on Hallowe'en? There is obviously something wrong in your house."

Okay, so that was not a direct quote, but you get the point.

Really, we are not bad parents. We like Hallowe'en. We LOVE candy. We think it's strange for a kid to not want to indulge in candy. We also think it's a bit odd for a 12-year-old to give out financial advise (but truth be told, Paris has given that up...sort of).

Really, our house is normal. We play on the computer too much and wrestle in our p.j.'s. We eat too many cookies and stay up too late. We trade Pokemon cards and don't clean up our rooms. Just don't take our kids away - we will force the candy on them.

I promise.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Crying ball

After a week on the road, I came home tonight to the open arms of my younger son.

"I missed you more than a crying ball," he told me, arms wrapped around my back.

Hmmmm... that's an interesting one.

"How much does a crying ball miss me?" I ask.

"Oh, about 2,000 hours."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Green fish, brown fish

Further to my last post, I was just checking some web stats I haven't looked at before and they say that there has been 2,334 unique visits to Tunicate from 43 countries/territories around the world since January. Top 10 countries: Canada, US, UK, Australia, India, China, Malaysia, Germany, Brazil, Chile.

(Full disclosure: there have only been 5 visits each from Germany, Brazil and Chile, and only 17 from Malaysia. Who the heck is in China???)

Talk about being a wee, wee fry in a gigantic blue ocean of 1,244,449,601 internet users (according to But you know, Tunicate is for me and my faithful reading community of 9 (hi Mom!) and I'm not trying to leave any legacy.

I like my spicy community of 9 ville just the way we are.

Big Fish, Small Fish

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.

So the conversation came up today as to whether I would want to be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond.

I have always believed that it would be more interesting being a big fish in a small pond. Or even better, a medium fish in a well stocked, well lit, warm pool of vibrant yet laid-back, easy going life. The kind of place that still takes volunteer librarians and fire fighters but can dish out a mean curry and a spicy chai.

For some reason I have thought that life would feel more relevant if I had the opportunity to do something great in a small community. Like build a new library. Or start a new festival. Or launch a new tourism plan. Something that everyone in the community knew about and felt it was benefiting their life. A legacy to the history of Volunteerchai Village.

For some reason I have thought that the same activities in a city of 600,000 (in a region of approx. 2 million) wouldn't seem to be as big of a benefit. There are lots of libraries, festivals and plans.

Tonight, my friend Faye rightly challenged my thinking and changed my mind.

She has been working for years on building the new facilities for the Phoenix gymnastics club in Vancouver. Turns out that 6,000 people now use the new Millennium Sport Centre, including indoor bowling, kickboxing, cheerleading, "wee gymnasts" and more. It is now recognized as the best facility in Western Canada with Olympic calibre programming.

So, what makes a greater difference, helping 2,000 people in Volunteerchai Village or helping 6,000 people in Vancouver?

Red fish, blue fish. Same same but different. 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other. Call it what you will. The important part is contributing to your community, regardless of size, colour, or specialty. The greater difference is only make when people like Faye step up and do their part.

What have you done to step up and help your community?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy 12 1/2

In Canada, the big wedding anniversaries are 10, 20, 25, 30, etc, etc. Tin, china, silver, pearl...rock, paper, scissors.

In Holland, 12 1/2 is the big deal.

The theory, according to my friend William, is that 12 1/2 is half-way to 25. Supposedly, they celebrate by renting out big boats and having a dance-cruise-party with friends and family.

I kinda like that.

My husband reminds me every month (almost) of the anniversary of when we met. We are on month 146, or something like that. I kinda like that too.

I kinda like him too!! :)

Problem is, when I think of 12 1/2 years, I think of 9 1/2 weeks. Hmmm...

If you check the traditional wedding anniversary gift list, 12 is silk and 13 is lace.

12 1/2? Based on today's day and age, I don't think a steamy, hot video wrapped in lace and delivered in silk is too far off.

But just maybe not on the boat.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cars, 'Coons and Cotton

Last week I pulled a copy of Tom Wolfe's The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby off my bookshelf and sank into my Smoky-Blue Cotton-Shredded Oversize Couchy-Wouchy Smoochy-Pie for a little read.

As usual, I was sucked into Wolfe's electric descriptions of life in the 60's (I have read this book, oh, just a few times) and sank into his essay "The Last American Hero" about Junior Johnson and stock car racing, whiskey and 'coons. Real Dukes of Hazzard stuff - bootlegging moonshine, shaking off the police, and gunnin' it at dirt tracks in North Carolina before hittin' it big in NASCAR. Yee-haw!

So today I am in Oklahoma, (hey all y'all) which I know is a few states over from North Carolina and the legendary whiskey runs of Junior. BUT, wouldn't you know it, I am on a bus today heading out of Fort Sills and into Albus (huh?) and come smack dab into the middle of rural southern America with its stock car loving culture. A black Ford F150 promoting a tattoo ink shop pulls out from behind the bus and passes us in the left lane while pulling a Coke sponsored banged-up mean machine. A few more miles along three race cars rest in a yard next to a chain-link fence and a cotton field. A few minutes later we pass a Speedway promoting their crash-up next weekend. We pass lots of 'coon roadkill.

I love it when little elements in my life connect in unexpected ways. Like an omen. Like fate. Like I need to hit the racetrack. Vrroooommmm!

Then again, maybe being behind the wheel of my mini-van is just finally getting to me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Surprise thoughts

While I was in the bathroom this morning a little sneaky boy was leaving me a surprise outside the door. He giggled, ran and hid.

I opened the door and there to my "surprise" was a pair of flip-flops.

Hmmmm...... considering it is getting colder and colder outside by the leaves-falling-off-the-tree, I-am-already-dreading-winter minute I guess you could say the love offering (for that is what I consider it) is a surprising choice. Especially since the sneaky boy went shopping with me last night for a cozy-lined pair of winter boots.

But the idea of walking around in flip-flops is a good one.

And it's the thought that counts, right.