Holy Crap!

We're going to Florida tomorrow!

I am filled with excitement and dread (regarding the car ride), peace and sadness (regarding visiting my dad's grave for the first time), mania and depression (at the thought of all that I still have to do tonight), and shock and awe (that I've gotten all that I have, done, with Chris awol working at the Polaris Music Prize tonight).

Anyway, we're going regardless of what I forget to bring. Shit! Sandals! Pack the kids' sandals! It's still summer where we're heading.

Ok; off I go. I'll keep in touch; there's wifi at the condo. In the meantime, don't forget to check out my Eat Me column on Wednesday, and for all my righteous peeps out there, Shana Tova.

Peace out.


I'm Cheap and Easy, But Not THAT Cheap and Easy

It's not the marketing; I understand the need to find new and technologically savvy ways to peddle crap.

It's not the emails from the marketers; I make my address available, and therefore, my inbox gets what it deserves. We have 'Delete' buttons for a reason, right?

It's not the marketers themselves; they have a job to do and part of it is trying to convince me to 'work' for them. Hell, sometimes they are even successful - I love being part of the Random House on-line review program: I love reading and think supporting authors and publishers is important enough to spread the word on my blog.

There have even been a few times where I have emailed a solicitor back to hear a little bit more about their program and to see whether or not it would be a good fit for us. (So far, not so much.)

So what is it then?

I guess it's a simple matter of checking your work:


Ms. Blue,

Hi, my name is Adrienne. I recenly came across your blog and think it is great. I am very interested to hear how the drive to Florida goes! I remember driving with my fam when I was a kid to Quebec every summer for our vacation. 8 hours in a car with a younger brother who liked to scream, for no reason, at the top of his lungs. Golden.

Also, I love the tattoos! Its always a great feeling to commit to something like that when it really has a lot of meaning and value. And let's be honest, old-school tattoos are just awesome!

The reason I am writing you is because I am doing PR for a skincare company called xxx.
We specialize in great products for every inch of skin from the neck down. These products were made by mothers, for mothers.
I am looking to make contact with a few great bloggers in the Toronto area and send them samples of our new/current products to try out. There are no obligations or requirements, all I ask is that if you enjoy the products, you give them mention in your blog.

If this is something you'd be interested in, please let me know. All I would need from you in moving forward would be contact information and a mailing address.

Feel free to write back or give me a call at 416 xxx-xxxx if you have any questions or would like to chat further.

Thanks and look forward to hearing from you!


And my response:

Hi Adrienne, I appreciate the contact, but I find the personal touch goes a bit farther if you get my name right.

Good luck with your campaign; no need to keep in touch regarding future initiatives.

Karen "kgirl," proprietress, The Kids Are Alright



The Good, The Bad and The Yummy?

The Good:
You guys remember my guestposter for the bitchfest, right? The guestposter that kicked my sorry feelin-sorry-for-myself ass into humility with her words and wisdom? Well, I told her she should go get herself her own blog, because the blogosphere deserved her.

And guess what? She listened to me! I am so not used to people (like, three-year-olds, I mean) listening to me, that I had to read her email twice, but folks, The CoopKeeper is in da blogosphere. Go check her out, if you ain't chicken. (waka waka)

The Bad:
I'm sick. I seriously hate it when people blog that they are sick (like I am), or update their Facebook status with, ... is sick (like I did), but bejeeezus, I got sick. First time in three years, not including morning sickness. So I am entitiled. Chris took yesterday off from his glamorous freelance job to let me rest, but today I am on my own. At least, until 4 o'clock when my mother will be here, with juice and hopefully something chocolaty. Anyway, the point is, I have the sniffles. Boo.

The Yummy?
You guys know I like cooking. But did you also know that I like cross-stitching and playing cards? I swear I could be a 50's housewife, if it weren't all Stepford-y, and I was allowed to have tattoos. Anyway, I'm a couple of days late, but I'm putting together a very 50's dinner party over at Eat Me, and you're all invited.

Oh, and P.S. - I'm going to Florida in a couple of weeks. We're driving. With the kids. From Toronto. Chris thinks we are insane. I think we are adventurers. More on that later.



You Know You're a Mother When...

* Your makeup case is an old Robeez bag.

* Your lunch consisted of the scraps your daughter left on her plate plus a spoonful of peanut butter.

* You can’t find your keys, the diaper cream or a clean shirt to save your life, but you always know where your coffee is.

* If you are going anywhere beyond your local grocery store, you put on your ‘good’ yoga pants.

* You own 6 pairs of yoga pants but haven’t done yoga in 4 years.

* You know how to get breast milk out of just about anything, including a wool couch.

* You wear your daughter’s purple plastic hairclips, and it’s not to be ironic.

* Your childrens’ rooms are gorgeously decorated, detailed and attended to, but the only accessories in your own room are two huge piles of laundry and a box of breast pads.

* You leave half-filled glasses of water everywhere. This is not intentional, but it does come in handy.

* You urge your child to go pee every 1/2 an hour, then realize that you’ve had to go for 6 hours.

* Going grocery shopping without the kids feels like ‘me time.’

* You spend $40 on shoes for your toddler, lest her tiny feet develop abnormally, but you prance around in $5 flip-flops all summer.

* You think tiny farts are adorable.

* You applaud burps and belches in the kids, but call your husband a gross pig when he lets one go.

* ‘Poopers,’ ‘MumMum,’ Jammie-Jams’ and ‘Ah-Boo!’ are a regular part of your daily speech.

* You can name a Wiggles song in 3 notes but have to feign recognition when your (childless) friend starts talking about a new, hot band.

* You momentarily get excited when channel surfing at 11:30 pm and you see that Diego is on Treehouse.

* Crock Pots, Dyson vaccuums and embroidery turn you on.

So, when did YOU know?



May The Four Winds Blow You Safely Home

This year, on September 28, Jews around the world (even a non-religious, strictly cultural one like me) will mark Rosh Hashana and the beginning of 5769 (we’s an old people) with family and food, honey and hope.

I am marking New Year a little early this year.

September 12 is my new New Year: the anniversary of my father’s death.

One year. This fucking year. This fucking horrible, crazy, shitty, sad, ridiculous, amazing, joyous, wonderful year. My dad is gone, my second daughter is here, and I still have no idea what to make of it all.

I still cry every pretty much every time I think of my dad (so, a lot). Grief still takes it’s painful blows at me. I still want him here so badly I can barely stand upright sometimes. I still want to scream at people, ‘No! You don’t understand. A year has not been a long time. You don’t understand how cool my dad was, that the world is truly worse for losing him so soon; that a year has only begun to dull the shock of his absence.’

But, taking another cue from my Jewish heritage, I will mark the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death and stop wearing black. You're wearing grey, you’re remarking. I know. The black is in that ring around my heart, the one that’s been choking me for the last 12 months. I’m going to try to release it as best I can, or at least dress it in blue. No, burnt umber, which is the colour of the tattered shorts my dad used to wear. The one’s we always made fun of.

My sister and my niece just went back home to BC after being here for a two-week visit. It was fairly spontaneous, their visit, and I think we just needed to be together, the four of us siblings. As this anniversary approaches we needed to just be around the only people who understand what it means to lose our father.

Did I ever tell you that my dad was a sailor? He was in the Navy for four years, during Viet Nam, and his stories from that time are amazing. Funny, revealing, poignant – my dad had an arsenal of tales from that time, and the experience made him very uniquely who he was.
My younger sister has a nautical tattoo planned to honour him: a sepia-toned image of an antique navigational map. It will be a map of the area in the Pacific that he sailed. It will have a compass on it, and perhaps a word or two.

I think it will be a beautiful tattoo, and I can’t wait for her to get it.

I think it is a good idea to trade the grief I’ve been wearing for something a little less confining. Something that helps replace sadness with love and honour; something that reminds me of my dad but will make me smile instead of cry.

For sailors, swallows represented the approaching land and the end of a journey. Traditionally, sailors would tattoo one swallow for every 5,000 miles that they sailed. I don’t know exactly how many miles my dad actually sailed, but in four years it was probably quite a few.

I’m starting with two swallows, and I feel lighter already.

Happy New Year.