Saturday, October 4, 2014

On my way

L. isn't super into watching TV. A good thing, I know, but sometimes it would be nice if he sat still for a few minutes. He has shown a growing interest in Barney*, but mostly for the songs. When there's no singing, he's back to his bucket list item of stepping on the cat.

Thursday morning I got a call from the daycare - L. has a fever, come pick him up. Suddenly, I found myself with a surprise afternoon with my little lion. What to do? First I thought we would go to the post office, but one major meltdown as I opened the door and I knew it wasn't in the cards. Enter: YouTube.

L. has never shown any interest in Sesame Street, but I recently started downloading apps to entertain him on our upcoming flight to London, and one of them is an Elmo singing thing. And he loves it.

So, Thursday afternoon and I'm browsing Sesame Street's YouTube channel, playing various Elmo songs for him. And I played this for him: Janelle Monae, "Power of Yet":

Listen, the boy is obsessed. There are about 420,000 views of this video, and 20,000 are us. He's completely transfixed on it, and at the end will stand up and clap. What is it? Yes, Elmo is there, but he also likes seeing all the puppets at the end. Mostly, I think he likes the song and Janelle Monae's cool moves (and tux, maybe).

Personally, I prefer this one: Feist "1, 2, 3, 4":

L. likes this one too, but there's no standing ovations at the end.

*I thought watching Barney over and over again would be more awful. Maybe I'm immune, but I don't really think it's that awful. However, Baby Bop and B.J. make me feel punchy, and I find myself weirdly fascinated by the kids on the show, and wondering where they are now.

Monday, September 15, 2014

street meat

By my count there are 106 days left in 2014, and that's 106 days to cover about 64 posts as promised in my goals for the year. So, with a little side-eye to myself, let's be optimistic about that.

I've been thinking for awhile that I should write a post about our neighborhood in Brooklyn, and our favorite spots. Surely that day will come sometime, but not today. Today is just a glimpse.

We live in Sunset Park, in Brooklyn, which may or may not be up and coming, gentrifying, hipster-fying, or yuppify-ing, depending on who you ask. Well, I have many thoughts on it but now is not the time. What you should know in the immediate is that Sunset Park is a very Hispanic (largely Mexican and Dominican) and also very Chinese, with a huge Chinatown. Hey, you might think, that's quite a mix. It is. Some argue that this is the neighborhood to visit when you went the best tacos in the city, or the best dumplings.

Anyway, on Sunday the neighborhood B.I.D. organized a massive street fair along 5th Ave, the neighborhood's main retail stretch. I once read that there's a street fair every weekend somewhere in NYC, and I'd believe it. And if you've ever stumbled on more than one you might have noticed that they are always the same. The same gyros, the same plastic fruit magnets, the same everything. But the one in our neighborhood is slightly different, because the local business have a much larger presence, so the neighborhood is actually represented in the street fair. Fancy that.

Here, I present to you, a glimpse at Sunset Park's 5th Avenue Street Fair, September 14, 2014.

from this stand we bought an overpriced "Viva Mexico!" pinwheel for L.

Somehow we missed the pony rides though. Shame.

Friday, September 12, 2014

What a week

Yes, what a week. Thank Jeeeeebus it's Friday. Let me fill you in quickly.

Well, one nice thing. Last Saturday my best friend since the age of 3 had a baby, so yay! Anyway, the rest of the week sucked.

Sunday, L. woke up with a fever of 103.5. That's high, and while he was ok mostly, he was very clingy and needed his mama, poor thing. And that night he had to sleep in our bed, which meant he slept but us not so much.

Monday, still feverish so home from daycare, and I was home from work. He was even more clingy, wasn't able to nap for more than 20 minutes at a time, and increasingly grumpy, so it was a hard day. On top of that, I had some work things that needed immediate attention. I'm proud to say I figured out how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop, one handed while holding a napping sicko.

Tuesday, no fever but even more clingy and grumpy. Major meltdowns. A visit to the doctor: nothing wrong. Tuesday night, almost no sleep. Screaming meltdowns at all hours.

Wednesday, grumpiness reaches all time high. Climax of grump.

Thursday, things mildly better. As I am heading home from work, walk down stairs to subway, step on shard of glass that goes through the sole of my show and punctures my foot. Blood ensues. I hobble back up the stairs into a drug store and buy a first aid kit and sit on the pedestrian plaza applying antibacterial gunk to my foot and imagine what life will be like when this foot needs to be amputated. Get L. home from daycare to discover a rash all over his neck, cheeks, back. Panicked mom calls the doctor, but it's nothing to worry about - common after fevers. But still, FML.

Friday, well things are better. Tonight he was back to his sweet, funny self. Thank you Jebus.

Oh, and where the hell did August go? Where was I? I don't even know. Maybe I took a summer vacay. Here's a breakdown.

Early in August we spent a weekend in Bethlehem, PA and attended Musikfest, a 10 day music festival. Well, we just attended two days. I grew up going to Musikfest, and spent many a boozey, beery eve with my BFF there in my 20s. I saw some pretty stellar acts over the years - Ray Charles, Little Richard, Tom Jones, the Village People, HALL & OATES.

'Festing with a tot is a different story. We saw about ten minutes of a Rolling Stones cover band before we had to abort mission. But we ate gyros, chipwiches, fried food.

What else? Kitten drama. One morning while heading to drop L. at daycare, I noticed two pretty (adult) cats sitting on the sidewalk. This isn't common in my neighborhood - you see feral cats all the time, but these two looked cared for. L. loves cats, so we stopped and admired them, and then I noticed they were sitting next to a box in the garbage (it was garbage day). I looked in the box - two kittens.

Someone had put them in the garbage, and I assume the two adult cats were their parents. Well, I did what any catlady would do: I took them. I brought them up to the apartment. Then I did what probably most catladies would not do: I took a bag of breastmilk out of the freezer and fed it to them via dropper.

in my work clothes

I know you can get cat formula, but this was about 7 am and I don't keep kitten formula on hand. I didn't know how long they had been in the box or when they had last eaten, so I wasnted to get something in them.

Anyhou, I then spent the morning trying to find a place that would take them, but was told they were too young for shelters because there aren't enough fosters. So, I bought some formula, some cat baby bottles and tried to figure out what I was going to do. Thank Jebus for social media, because friends started sharing the story and I was able to find a home for one of them that night. The other one, who was weaker, died the next day. I think they were just too young to be taken from their mom. Poor baby.

What else. Well, we have completely re-arranged our apartment, and now have a dining table and dining area. In the olden days of this blog I would have blogged that shit immediately, but now... well, I'd have to clean my apartment so it's difficult. But here's a sneak peek?

No chairs yet though.

In other news, L. continues to grow and walk, run, & climb. He knows his animal sounds, and does a mean fake sneeze - achoo! You'll notice no photos: I am having that internet age-old moral dilemma of sharing his photo online. I'm unsure of my decision. But I do share his gorgeous mug on Instagram and Facebook - both locked up. So, I don't know where I stand yet.

H. and I have managed, finally, to take up running again. We stopped when I was about 10 weeks pregnant and was advised not to by my doctor. Now, almost two years later it's good to pick it up again, though much harder to get in the time, not to mention having to go by myself while H. stays with the babe.

OK, long rambling post, all to say it's September, guuuurl.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014


I didn't really shop much on this trip to Toronto. I often go and load up on CanLit, or shop at Canadian stores like Jacob (aw, sad), but not this time. However I did pick up a couple small souvenirs in Kensington Market.

It had been a long time since I visited Kensington.

Photos by Ronny Jaques, via the Kensington Market Historical Society

Well, maybe not that long. But I can tell you the exact date. August 14, 2003. I remember because it was the day of the 2003 blackout, and my friend and I went to Kensington, then tried to have lunch at the Red Room, but were thwarted by the blackout. We then walked all the way back to my parents' house in Cabbagetown, past all the streetcars stalled in the tracks, and the random people directing traffic. We also popped into the Hydro Building (now Ontario Power Building, apparently) to use the washrooms, and it/they were open though the place was completely dark.

Incidentally, I can also remember my first trip to Kensington Market. I was in grade 9 and I went with my friend Luisa to buy some cool duds like flannel shirts and army surplus jackets. I'll even wager that I was wearing a flannel shirt and jean cutoffs. Just a guess.

Anyhou, I digress. My point is that had been a long time, and yeah it has changed a lot. I seem to remember Augusta Street being kind of uninteresting. That's changed.

We went into Kid Icarus, and I'm sure everyone in Toronto is like ' yeah, we know that place is awesome', but I didn't know. I didn't! And it is. If my child hadn't been on his way to a heat-induced temper tantrum, I would have spent a lot longer in there, and a lot more money. There's always next time.

I picked up these few little souvenirs there, though:

I love them all. H. also got something, but he's already taken it to his office to keep at his desk so it's not included. Anyway, how cute are these? Canada buttons, which I have no intention of sharing, a Guelph magnet for memories of the big G, and a little Toronto notepad. In all honesty, I never even use notepads, but I will bring this to my (new!*) office on Monday and keep it on my desk.

Anyway, let's digress again, where were you during the great blackout? Don't you kind of wish it would happen again?

* Yes, a subtle mention that I am starting an exciting new job next week. Yay, me!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Oh, hey.

It's July 10. More than halfway through the year. Maybe I should visit my 2014 goals. And, spoiler alert, it ain't going well.

Before I get to that, we recently had a chance to spend an extra long weekend in the hometown.

Hey good lookin'.
H. had been complaining that we only go to Toronto when it's cold. True. When we do go in the summer, it's usually just a pit stop on the way to the cottage. So, we flew up and got to spend some time with my family, visiting Riverdale Farm, the Toronto Islands, browsing used bookstores on College Street, walking through Kensington Market, playing Taboo with my wildly smart friend, and even got to attend my nephew's 3rd birthday party! It was pretty pretty great.

L. especially had a nice time in the T-Dot. I'd say his favorite parts were: hugging my parents' very patient cat, morning walks in Riverdale Park to look at the dogs and the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens which seemed to bring him endless joy. And all the delicious, fresh local strawberries. 

Also while in the 416 my father lectured me on my poor blog grammar and my mom complained that I never post on my blog. Ouch. Well, thanks for reading, Mom and Dad!

OK, now my mid-year progress/non-progress. Here are my goals for the year.

1. Get a driver's license. 
Nope. No progress. HOWEVER, I do have an appointment at the DMV tomorrow to get a new learner's permit, because mine expired like 2 years ago. So, that's kind of progress?

2. Learn Photoshop. 

3. Write more bloggy posts. 
Well, I have posted more than this time last year. And my goal of 100 this year is not impossible, although I did want to hit 50 by July 1, and only got to 31. I can do it, I think.

4.  Go a month without sugar. 
Hahaha! I've dabbled in sugarless living, let's say. I went about ten days. And then I went to Toronto and basically lived on an all-cake diet. I keep making excuses, like 'this event is coming up and there will be cake', or 'we are going on vacation and I have to enjoy'. But no more! Maybe the time has come? But maybe not, because we really are going to an event in a few weeks and I will have to eat ice cream.

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