Monday, March 20, 2006

Life by Airplane

We are going away. Like, on a vacation. We just booked a flight, for the whole family, to fly out to the Maritimes for 2 weeks this summer.

Have I just condemned my family to trauma by airplane?

Or have I just taken a wild step into the world of travel adventures?

Hmmm...let's go with the latter. As my friend Magda says, the pilot doesn't want to die either!

Actually, I do have all of YOU to thank. Yes, you, my readers. You see, making blog buddies throughout the world has really shown me just how small, and how big, this world is. How much there is to see. How much there is to do. The biggest surprise has been that there are so many normal people out there with the same hopes and fears and insecurities as me!

So off we go!

I am inspired by the fearless travels of "Sandy", who has turned motorcycling into a family passion. She's the kind of gutsy female that would never let two tempermental toddlers and a vocal 4-yr-old stop her!

Or Magda, who has followed her destiny all the way to the heart of southeast Texas, not to mention Russia just a few short years ago.

Not to mention countless others that have left for adventure in a new place, regardless of the challenges they face.

I have always wanted to see the Canadian Maritimes - I think the ocean is drawing me, like the Rockies did for my honeymoon. We're going to walk on the ocean floor on the Bay of Fundy. Visit the home of Anne of Green Gables. Celebrate in Charlottetown, the birthplace of Canada. Party on at the Shediac Lobsterfest! Have a ceilidh at sea.

But at the very least, I want to watch the kids cringe at the taste of seawater. Show them seals for the first time. Let them run around with icecream all over their faces. Cuddle up together in one big bed in one tiny hotel room.

I expect that sometimes during the trip, the kids will be wild and insufferable, and drive us totally nuts. My husband and I will look at each other in exasperation and say: "what did we do this for?"

But I hope the answer will show itself time and again.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Of the Stomach and of the Mind

Everyone has a special place that they go to for food. You can't really call it a restaurant, because it's a place that you don't go to for the service (because it's awful) or for the ambiance (because it's non-existant). You go for the FOOD. Our place is a vietnamese restaurant downtown. The waiters there pretty much throw your order at you. The decor is rather "prison cafeteria-esque". But the food...oh the wonderful soups and noodles and fresh spring rolls with all the garnishes and sauces you could imagine! And the portions are huge! Sure, the chef in the back room is probably an indentured worker, and the waitresses don't speak a scrap of english and make fun of you in their native tongue...but the FOOD!

Can you tell I'm hungry?

On another, totally different topic, why do some small grocery stores sell roasted poulty with the heads still attached? Was there some concern that you wouldn't be able to identify the roasted bird without it's head? ("Oh, that's a roast goose, not a duck. You can tell by the whites of its eyes...")

Ok, I was hungry.

On a final, totally different topic, I was speaking to my lovely and single friend "Tina" today, and she inspired me so that I came up with a new word. Nay, a new definition for the universe. Firstly, you'll need to understand the following:

geocentric - everything revolves around the earth
heliocentric - everything revolves around the sun
egocentric - everything revolves around the self

Well, my centrism, and I suspect many of my readers' as well, is lococentrism. Everything revolves around my insanity. If everything revolves around my insanity, then that explains how all the Franny filters apply to the universe at large. It's different from egocentrism in that it is not my "self" that rules my worldview, but the little machinations, real or imagined, of my mind. And your mind I right?

I know, this is a little deep for a blog. And all this thinking is making me hungry.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Poetry Infiltration

Ok, brace yourselves...I went to a poetry reading last night! Now some of you may be confused/concerned about this, so I've assembled a list of frequently asked questions, for your convenience.

Poetry Reading FAQs:

So Franny, now that you've gone to a poetry reading, does this mean that you are better than me?
No, this does not mean that I am better than you (not ALL of you anyways). If I wasn't already better than you, then chances are I'm still not.

Are you gonna be saying things like "herself" and "thou" from now on?
No, this does not mean I will now be speaking about myself in the 3rd person. And no, this doesn't mean that everything I say will be written in metaphor. Conversational english and "slang" will still apply to my blog. (see next answer)

Can we expect a rhyming blog in the near future?
No. And fuck off.

Are people who read at poetry readings "normal'?
No. All of them are weird and dangerous in one way or another, and when they seem normal, that's when you should really be worried. Except for my awesome poetic writer friend Mark Leslie. He's the most normal of the bunch...

What do poets eat?
Puppies. Though some are vegan.

I once went to a poetry reading in the 60's and they were snapping and wearing funny hats called berets. Is that what it was like?
Sounds like you went to a boring poetry reading. The only hats I saw were the tiny little tin-foil ones on the genitals of the strippers.

Can you hook me up with a hot, young poet?
Sure, I know just the girl for you. She was wearing red and blames the patriarchy for the rape and pillage of the she-goddess, "mother earth".

Do you have any advice for aspiring poets like myself?
Yes. Take off all of your clothes at work, stride into your boss' office, and tell him/her you're a poet and you know it.
And don't forget the hat.

Monday, March 06, 2006


There's been an interesting development at my house in the last week. My daughter (age 2) can now turn doorknobs to open doors. Her twin brother has not yet mastered this skill.

And his sister knows it.

So naturally, Natalie lures Nicky into various rooms so that she can then run out and shut him in. Apparently, it's a really fun game. Unless you're the crying, trapped sibling. Or the exasperated, annoyed mommy. So I took matters into my own hands, and jammed all the doors open in various creative ways. On the twins' bedroom door I took an old chewed up 2" thick board book and wedged it right above the upper hinges. That baby was staying open.

Or so I thought.

Pissed that I had spoiled her fun, my daughter pulled and pushed and rammed and heaved at that door until (get this) SHE PULLED IT OFF ITS HINGES. No, I am not kidding. That door is solid maple with solid brass hinges. That door is original to this house. That door survived the Cold War, Vietnam, 6 Star Wars movies, the fall of communism and Y2K.

But it did not survive Natalie.

I mean, why couldn't I have normal children? How did I give birth to the 3 foot tall Savage She-Ra Amazon Woman? Did I walk through some radioactive goop while I was pregnant, or is living in a steel town enough to give your daughters superhuman strength that strikes fear in the hearts of men? And I do mean men, because neither of my sons possess the strength or pure determination of that little girl.

She's got pluck.

She's got moxy.

She's got a mean streak.

Lately she's even taking on the big guy himself: daddy. If he says/does/insinuates anything that is not to her plan, she throws a massive fit, complete with wailing, feeble grasps towards the heavens, rolling on the floor, lamented tableaus, wild stomping and full body collapses to the ground. It really is an entertaining production. I should sell tickets.

In spite of all of this, Natalie seems to value the mommy quotient. If my husband tries to get her to wear two socks of the same color, he gets "the drama". Five minutes later, I request the exact same thing, and she cheerfully complies, no fuss. Maybe she knows I don't buy it? Maybe she recognizes a more sophisticated arsenal?

Actually, I think it's more likely she knows we're outnumbered in this house, and we girls gotta stick together.