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Posts from — May 2006

Bat Boy

Aaaah, childhood. First steps, first words, first teeth…
When those first teeth appear it’s a relief for everyone – that’s why my angel baby has become the devil. That explains the runny nose/rash/fever and combo platter that medically has nothing to do with teething yet coincidentally always accompanies the cutting of new teeth. And that’s for sure the explanation for the drool fest. We often ask about other babies’ teeth to confirm that our toothless wonders aren’t the only freaks in town. Or, if we’re breastfeeding, to commiserate. Most babes follow the same pattern – a couple bottom teeth, followed by the top two and then, well, who really notices? It’s all about the initial front teeth. And then suddenly the gaps are filled, the bites are real and they’re poppin’ cheerios like nobody’s business.

But something different happened at our house.

Our child grew fangs.

That’s right, fangs. At 6 months, he got his first teeth – two on the bottom. A week later they were bracketed by two more. No top teeth in sight. But still – they were obviously en route. Then he went through hell. Fever. Drool. Rash. Drool. Pain. Drool. More pain. More drool. And then one morning, I spotted them. Full on fangs. Who ever heard of such a thing? Fangs first? I had a nine month old Dracula. A Draculito.

A couple of days passed, and I became obsessed with these little teeth (and lack of more). I’d look at my laughing Bat Boy and think it’s hilarious. I snap pictures, as proof, but the fangs never come out. Maybe he really is a vampire. He’s up at night. Sometimes. And he doesn’t like the sun… We have no crosses to hold up, but he does get a real charge out of his own reflection, so it’s more likely he’s a werewolf. Or maybe he’s just a bit of an oddity. I’m sure the other teeth are coming, but for now, it’s all about those fangs. I show them to everybody. I am constantly trying to make him smile – not because it’s fun for him, but because I want others to see these crazy canines. It’s like the anti-competition: your child walks and talks? Mine has fangs!

We went to see the doctor the other day, nothing dental-related. She noticed his teeth and laughed. It seems I’m not the only mother-of-fang in town. Two of her kids had fangs first too. Dammit. We’re not as special as we thought. See? Try as you might, it’s hard not to compare and contrast your kids with everybody else’s.

They don’t last long, these days of early childhood. Or fangdom. I just spotted a top tooth making it’s way south. Harumph.


May 8, 2006   No Comments


Friends with Money

Yesterday I skipped off on life and went to see an afternooner: Friends with Money. Apparently, everyone’s talking about it. I only know a couple of friends who’ve even mentioned it – one loved it, one did not – but I’m a fan of writer/director Nicole Holofwhatever so I went to check it out. I also have tendencies to over-identify with her characters, so I couldn’t really miss it.

Maybe I should have. Not missed it entirely, but maybe waited for dvd. You see, it was all rather… ish. Performances? Mostly good. Dialogue? Lovely and amazing (yep, that’s me throwing a bone to one of her other flicks. Cheesy, I know. But too bad. It’s my blog.) Each individual scene worked. But the movie as a whole? Not really. Not for me anyway. In fact, it kinda left me cold.

Open-ended structure and wispy storylines aside, there’s the Aniston problem. Let’s face it, this isn’t just another indie chick flick, it’s Janiston’s new movie. The One where she looks like a tranny, has no self-esteem, the worst taste in men, – oh and is broke. Sounds like art imitating life, doesn’t it? Sure, she could do much worse than shack up with Vinnie Vaughan. Personally, I’d take VV over Pitt any day of the week. No comparison. But for the Gen Pop it’s all about Brad.) Here’s what I find most interesting: in the movie she leaves her well paid, highly respectable teaching job to clean houses. And in real life she leaves her highly respectable TV job to make bad movies. Geddit? Same same!

I’m not wholly convinced by our Rachel…I mean, Jennifer. It’s not that she’s that bad. She’s just, not that good. Remember The Good Girl? I liked that movie despite her performance – everybody else was terrific. Yet she’s the marquee name, the one who’s meant to be carrying the film. And she’s just not strong enough In that one and this she relied on a bad dye job, vacant staring, and being thin-lipped. NOT ENOUGH.

Personally, I’m a huge Kitty Keener fan – and I think La Aniston is too. They’re pal-o-rinis of the highest order. It seems to me she (Jenny) has even borrowed a page or two (or three) from Kate’s book of acting. Here’s a tip: it works on Ms Keener, not so much on Ms. Aniston. Overall, however, the (other) performances were pretty damn good. And I loved all scenes with or about the gay-straight guy. Or straight-gay guy. Or whoever the hell he was. Whatever. He was the best girlfriend any of them could’ve wished for. For therein lies my real problem with this movie: I didn’t believe these chicitas were friends in the first place.

Friends don’t let friends go without washing their hair. They just don’t. And friends don’t let friends obsess over a fling – without them, that is. Friends whose friends have smashed their noses into glass plate windows might be a little more concerned about those friends. And above all, friends tell their friends that Lancome Resolution D anti-wrinkle skin care, practically a character in the movie, sucks. Honestly, friends, it’s a really mediocre cream. Talk about product placement!

One of my friends thinks this movie is about money making you happy. I pointed out that all these characters seemed pretty miserable. But she disagreed. See? Friends tell friends when they’re wrong. ‘Cuz guess what? She was right: the only happy people weren’t the ones “with money”. They were the ones with more money than they knew what to do with. The one who we saw the least of. The ridiculously loaded ones. Who wouldn’t share. And with friends like those…


Anonymous said…

Friends don’t let friends pay to see “friends” in movies– unless they’re Lisa Kudrow. Why buy the cow when you can get the (syndicated) milk for free?

9:17 AM

Anonymous said…

…I don’t get the Jennifer thing. What’s that all about??? I also don’t get the Jennifer Lopez thing. The Jennifers seem to be batting 0. But they are like a bad meal in a greasy spoon. They keep on comming back.


May 5, 2006   No Comments


The Art of Re-Gifting

I just opened my gift cupboard, and it’s almost bare. That’s right, my gift cupboard. Actually, it’s more like my re-gift cupboard. What? I’m no Candy Spelling, it’s not a room, just a small cupboard, full of unwanted gifts that may be better off with someone else. In their house. Don’t raise your eyebrows, everybody re-gifts. And if you don’t, you should start.

I pride myself on being a great re-gifter. Not every bad gift makes a good re-gift. You need to put some thought into it. The unwanted religious paraphernalia? Not great candidates for re-gifting. Anyone who knows me, knows I would never buy the stuff. That special framed prayer or ceremonial plate would scream re-gift. But a lovely frame or photo album? BINGO! And therein lies the art – the item in question may not be to your taste, but it can’t be so hideous that you’d never be caught dead buying it.

I myself have been the victim of re-gifting gone wrong. We’ve received stuff for our kids that has so obviously been passed along that I am tempted to call the giver and out them. We’re talking mismatched outfits from different stores on the same hangers, toys that are clearly gender-specific (and not specific for the gender we have), or shoes that are several sizes too small. A weird part of me wants to pawn these suckers off on someone else – like a broken telephone of presents – just to see if I’ll get busted!

One time, I received a used candle. USED!!! Another time, I unwrapped a lovely leather notebook. Turns out it was a freebie, a gift-with-purchase. I have to admit, the only reason I found out about that one was when I tried to return it and the saleswoman looked at me as though I had stolen the thing. So not only was the gift completely lame, but I was humiliated! After slinking out of the store, I had to confront the giver – how can someone pass off a promo item as a present? The giver didn’t even bat an eye, explaining they had to spend over $400 to get it. Umm, does that make it OK to pass it off as a gift? I don’t think so.

Unfortunately, it looks as though my re-gifting days are coming to an end. First off, it’s hard to re-gift someone you genuinely like, let alone love. I’ve been on the receiving end of lame, obvious re-gifts from a loved one and let me tell you – it hurts. And secondly, I’m running out of acceptable re-gifts. Either people are getting smarter with what they’re choosing, or maybe we’re just not getting as many gifts. The ones that never make it out of my cupboard are stuck in present purgatory for a reason – they suck. How can I give away an itchy, ugly, baby blanket? Or jewellery that’s far more garage sale than estate sale? No one deserves a stinky perfume set (with matching faux crystal tray) or painted rock people. No one.

A last resort is the charity box. But be careful – not only might you get busted by the giver, but someone may spot some of the duds and think they’re actually yours! Fact is, everyone thinks they have great taste. They don’t. And that’s why, sometimes, it really is better to give than to receive.


Anonymous said…

Aint it the truth.. But i still have so much stuff and it never is quite right..

6:34 PM

Anonymous said…

Ahh yes, re-gifting. Does a wall-mounted brushed-silver-fronted wine rack housewarming present ring a bell? Obviously, a re-gift (I believe I’ve already busted you on it) but an excellent re-gift– it looked great in my old place and will look even better in my new one. So thanks, to you… and whoever gave it to you in the first place 🙂


May 2, 2006   No Comments


For All Your Insurance Needs

Did you know that Canadians are the most insured people on the planet? It’s true! From government required UI and car insurance, to home, health and life insurance. You name it, we insure it. The insurance companies prey on our nerves. We wonder if it’s worth paying a couple hundred dollars extra each month…just in case.

Going away? Get travel insurance. We’ve all heard the one about the guy who went to Buffalo and got in a car accident…Tens of thousands of (US) dollars later, his family faced bankruptcy… Faced with that fear, we always make sure to buy travel/health insurance. In Mexico, we took our son to the doctor with sun poisoning. A few ‘scripts and visits later, we were out of pocket. Did the insurance cover it? Um, no. Our deductible was too high.

Have a pet? Don’t forget pet insurance. I know someone who had a dud of a dog – divine little fella, but a dud in the health department. Two hip replacements, several tumors and many dental issues made this guy the poster pup for PetPlan. Our Labrador’s been known to eat anything from socks to picture frames (including the glass) (don’t ask). We’re quite smug about having pet insurance. Make that, we were. Every time I send in a claim, there’s a catch. Routine shots aren’t covered. I owe $0.41 on the deductible before I can start being reimbursed etc. In some warped way, I‘m kinda wishing the dog’s thyroid condition would worsen, just so the insurance company will have to pay.

If you live in a country with public healthcare, like we supposedly do, you might be safe in the knowledge that your health is covered. Um, not quite. But I can’t really complain, because I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m on my husband’s health insurance policy. Suddenly, the dentist doesn’t seem as scary. Let’s face it, it’s not the cleaning that hurts, it’s the bills. Optional immunizations? Covered. Chiropractic visits and therapeutic massage? Covered. I love my health insurance! Until I need to go the eye doctor. Which I do, annually. Then I’m S.O.L.

I don’t know why lawyers get such bad raps, when it’s the insurance companies who are the real leeches. They blame insurance fraudsters. Who? How? Maybe these scammers can give us all pointers so we could at least break even. I knew this one guy who had real entitlement issues. He believed it was his god-given right to defraud the insurance companies. So he “lost” his camera, filed the requisite police report, and sat back smugly and waited. When his cheque finally came, it was made out to the store where he bought the cameras. Since he already had a camera, he cashed in his “claim” and bought an engagement ring for his then-girlfriend. He proposed, Lloyd’s of London paid, she said no.

But at least he broke even. And he had a spare diamond ring. Just in case.


Anonymous said…

Ir is a pleasure to read your thoughts and to share them with???????

4:10 PM

Anonymous said…

It is a pleasure to read your thoughts. keep it up.. it is a great cleasing and a way to be HEARD


May 1, 2006   No Comments