Wednesday, May 29, 2013


A few years ago, before I started my current job but after I had finished my last day at my old job, I took a week off to be a "lady who lunches". I talked up how I was a lady of leisure, of all the TV I was going to watch, of all the naps I would take, and friends who I would have lunch with. H. says that by 10 AM Monday morning I was emailing him that I was bored.

Unsurprisingly, sitting around waiting for baby got old pretty quick. Yesterday was my official due date, although we always suspected that it wasn't quite right anyway. I know, I know - don't tell me to enjoy this quiet time. I've savored my quiet time for the last 9 months. I am now ready to get a move on, and also start to resume a normal human shape.

My current shape/size is not unlike this old VW Beetle.
H. is home with me now too, but he is working from home so is mostly occupied while I read Buzzfeed, Twitter, take naps, eat Oreos and occasionally read a few pages of a book before falling asleep again.

We've been trying to occupy ourselves with small excursions and walks. Yesterday, we went to the doctor (fun!) and to see a play. Today we will either go to Trader Joe's or the post office. I've been looking up sewing projects to keep me busy, but I'm feeling uninspired.I have even, finally, allowed my phone to update it's software - that's how bored I am!

I've tried your usual self-induction techniques, including eating excessive amounts of pineapple, bouncing on an exercise ball, walking, and H. made me a spicy nihari. My friend Elissa suggests some deep squats, which I'll try this afternoon after today's excursion (we need to go to Trader Joe's).

Any-hou, we continue to wait. I have June 4 in my head, H. thinks June 2, and my mom suggested May 31 (my grandmother's birthday). I guess if any of us are truly psychic I'll have to think of a few more activities to keep us occupied.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Random Things (5)

Today I officially start my "maternity leave". I use quotation marks because,  while I am off work to have a baby, I'm hesitant to call it maternity leave. In fact, what it is according to my employer (and many others) is "short-term disability". That's a nice way of putting it, don't you think? And that's just the first 6 weeks. After that, because I work for a big company, they don't have to pay me, they just can't give my job to someone else. This country! Honestly, I still need someone to explain to me why American women are ok with this. We should be marching in the streets!

Anyway, that's not my point. I'm off work now until September, and I'm hoping this baby comes sooner, rather than later, because we don't have much time together before I'll be back at work, crying at my desk.

In honor of baby's impending arrival, I have a random baby thing to share. Something I got at the shower from "the cottage". What, your family cottage doesn't give you presents?

It's a blanket knit from scraps found at the cottage. I suspect my mom helped the cottage with this, because I've never noticed that the cottage had hands to do any knitting.

It even has an amazing cottage smell! I wish I could maintain that smell forever - for those days when I miss being at the cottage. It even came with a dried up cottage leaf - to make it even more legit!

Baby is pretty lucky to be born into a family of knitters (his mother not being one of them). Both grandmas and his aunt have already been knitting up some woolly delights for him, as well my BFF's mom. Come fall and winter, he'll be the coziest little bundle in Brooklyn. He'll even get to smell genuine cottage smell before his first visit there.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I said it, I did it

Friends, something big has been accomplished! I have finally finished The GG Project. Well, pretty much at least.

You may remember, back in the summer of 2010 I set out to read all the winners of the Governor General's award for fiction. Now, 3 years later, I'm ready to consider myself done.

One of the winners, The Dark Weaver by Laura Salverson (1937), is impossible to find - and I'm not the only person looking for it! Maybe one day I'll find it - maybe in a junk shop or on eBay or in a library. Maybe you have a copy? Until then, I won't truly be finished, but I'm happy to consider myself finished enough for now.

Also, full disclosure: of the 70+ books that I've read for this - many of which I did not enjoy - there was one title that I absolutely could not get myself through. I debated going back to it, but I can't. I won't. I don't know why it was so difficult, but Dave Godfrey's The New Ancestors (1970) beat me. I hate giving up on books, but this one was impenetrable for me. However, after getting through more than half of it, I am willing to consider it complete in my list.

My favorites? Hard to say, because there are some truly great books on the list, and many classic books. The Sisters Brothers (Patrick DeWitt, 2011), Clara Callan (Richard B. Wright, 2001), Thirty Acres (Ringuet, 1940) were all some surprise favorites. I say surprise because obviously the Atwood, Munro and Ondaatje books on the list would be common favorites. Obviously.

Least faves? That's easy. Besides the impenetrable Godfrey I've already mentioned, The Fall of the Titan (Igor Gouzenko, 1954), The Temptations of Big Bear (Rudy Weibe, 1973) and Such a Long Journey (Rohinton Mistry, 1991) were some low points for me.

And along the way there are many that I've read that are just completely forgettable, their award a total mystery to me.

I'm so, so, soooooo happy to finally be done with this project. I didn't expect it to take 3 years, and I've often thought about giving up on it. But I'm glad I did it, and now I can move on to just reading books I want to read. Good-bye GGs!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Random Things (4)

It feels a bit funny to take a picture of this old camera with my iPhone.

This is a Kodak No. 2A Autographic Brownie camera, that once belonged to my grandfather. 

The internet tells me that these cameras were made between 1916 and 1926. I like to imagine that in 2093 or so that my grown grandchildren will be taking photos of my iPhone with their futuristic cameras. By then cameras will probably be embedded in their eyeballs. Quote me on that! I predict the future!

Now I just wish I had some of the photos that it's taken. Oh well.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May Shower

Yesterday, my sister-in-law Shawna kindly, and generously, threw me a baby shower.

She had been organizing this for months - there was honestly more time and planning put into this than into our wedding 4 years ago. It was no easy task for her either, because of my unruly/unfun demands (no stupid games), AND she did it all from Seattle where she lives.

My mom came down from Toronto and made all the food for the shin-dig. And true to form for her, she made enough food to feed an army. On the menu: 3 kinds of mini quiches, 3 kinds of sausage rolls, 2 kinds of cinnamon rolls, 2 kinds of cheesecake, a raspberry french toast strata, fruit salad, bagels and lox, cheese and crackers, blueberry muffins and cupcakes (bought, not made). I've probably missed something. 

I originally said no games, but gave into one - that I loved - which was to have guests decorate plain white onesies with fabric markers. Maybe that's not so much a game as it is an activity. Let me present to you, the gallery of onesies:

Clockwise: Thelma, John Mark, Christopher, Lindsay

Clockwise: Ji, Angela, Marie Claire and Mat
Ally Jane, Katie (top), Mike (bottom)
The baby's own father
All together now.

Another detail that I loved is that guests were asked to bring a book for the baby. This poor child - being the child of book people, who read a lot of books and both work in book publishing, and whose friends largely work in book publishing... well, he's going to have a lot of books.

They range from classics from my own childhood, to new classics and favorites of my friends' children.

The winner for best-ever wrapping paper selection goes to my friend Angela:

We also had these adorable favors, but in all the excitement we forgot to hand out most of them out! Oops! Hey, friends: watch your mailbox.

All in all, a big success - a blast to see so many friends, and I'm moved by their generosity and kindness. But now I have all these leftover cupcakes to eat.

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