metro mama

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Grass is No Longer Greener on the Other Side

We have brand new grass and it’s the greenest on the street. I want to cavort in it, but I’m not allowed for two weeks.

I didn’t do any writing again last night. The neighbours are just too much fun.

I live in an eclectic neighbourhood. S. has dubbed it “Leave it to Beaver meets Queer Eye for the Straight Guy meets Trailer Park Boys”.

There are a surprising number of kids on the street (when we bought, it looked so sketchy we thought no one else would dream of raising kids here). A few doors down there’s a family with 3 girls. There’s a 9-month-old boy across the street. Another couple just came back from China with a baby girl the same age as Cakes. Two guys up the street have 3 adopted kids and are getting a fourth! Lots of future playmates for Cakes.

There are also lots of playmates for S. and I. Last night we had a backyard cocktail party to celebrate the grass. I thought it would be a little two-hour thing. To my embarrassment, we came with an Ace bread and some tapenade (not homemade) and beer in hand. Some of the others went to a little more effort. The foodies had smoked duck breast on pita bread. They had a “drink of the day” (a delightful gin and lemony concoction with a big skewer of exotic fruit). Someone else had shrimp wraps with sprouts and poppy seeds. The nice thing is, with a little baby in the house, no one expects much from you.

We all got along like Chardonnay and smoked salmon. We ended up traipsing through each other’s homes, oohing and aahing. Some of them are stunning. We are one of the few who don’t have a wine cooler built in to our kitchen cabinetry.

My next-door-neighbour gave me a good (albeit slurry) pep talk about being a perpetual student. He started his undergrad at 37 and just finished his MA. He quit his well-paying government job and is now a sculptor. He kept telling me how young I am, which made me feel really good. He lent me a book about finding my inner artist.

I managed to steal away to bed at about 1 am, only after promising the guys next door to meet for martinis on the front step at 9:30 in the morning, after which we’d go for pedicures. I was out there this morning but they stood me up. I’m going to leave a note: “where were you, bitches”.

We’re off for the weekend tomorrow. I’ll try to post something tonight, but if not… ‘til Tuesday.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Things I Miss About Working (Outside the Home)

I will write something serious on this subject when I can string more than ten minutes together. It’s a busy week. Last night S. was working. I had Cakes down at 6:45. Showered, dined, completed the essential chores and thought I had two hours to write-- until my next-door neighbours knocked on the door. They were having a campfire. I have a baby monitor with great reception. Who can resist a campfire? Tomorrow night is another little neighbourhood party; Wednesday night, the Family Resource Centre BBQ; then we’re off to Kingston for my sister-in-law’s wedding (there will probably be no posts next weekend--but I’ll probably return with lots of blogging fodder!).

Back to things I miss…

1. Free pens (we never seem to have a damn pen in the house anymore).

2. Water cooler conversation - I had the good fortune to work with the most fun group of people who watch the same shit I do and love to analyse every detail.

3. Having occasion to dress up (I never really did, but at least I had occasion to).

4. Money, honey.

5. Getting home from work (especially Friday of a summer long weekend).

6. Cursing. Many of my colleagues had potty mouths and so did I. Now, nobody we hang with swears. S. hates it and I need to watch my mouth around Cakes.

7. Beers after work (they taste the best. no, wait…the one after you get the baby down is pretty tasty too).

8. My work being appreciated (I’m sure Cakes is grateful but she still has a limited vocabulary. S. is appreciative, but it’s not quite the same as recognition from colleagues).

I don't like work--no man does, but I like what is in the work, the chance to find yourself. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pride and Prejudice – New But Not Improved

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. -- Jane Austen

I am so behind with movies. This never used to be the case. Lately it seems to take me three nights to get through one film--completely destroys the pace.

I just saw King Kong last week (stupid, stupid, stupid. Jurassic Park with a monkey). Tonight I finally saw the latest adaptation of my beloved Pride and Prejudice. I was a little afraid to watch it, thinking I’d hate it compared to the BBC version (the definitive P&P). There is no comparison, but I thought this version was pretty damn good. It was faithful to the novel. The ballroom scene and the scenes at Pemberly and Rosings were beautiful.

I wasn’t sure about this Darcy at first, but I warmed up to him. Of course, he doesn’t hold a candle to Colin Firth's Darcy with that stern countenance and the underlying smouldering emotion. Kiera Knightly is a magnetic Elizabeth Bennett (except I don’t believe everyone thought Jane was prettier than she). I love the scene where Lizzie shuts down Lady Catherine, played by an appropriately formidable Judi Dench.

What’s up with Bingley’s hair? He doesn’t have bad hair in the novel.

If you’re looking for more good Austen adaptations, check out Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility and the Gywneth Paltrow Emma. The Bollywood, Bride and Prejudice, is lots of fun.

Now if I could only get a chance to see Brokeback Mountain. Am I the only one who hasn’t yet?


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ho Ho Hoe

I woke up this morning and OMFG it was like Christmas day. S. stopped at St. Lawrence Market on the way home and came in bearing St. Urbain bagels, fresh blueberries (to make me pancakes) and steaks for dinner. Santa Deux, aka the Plant Lady, was outside planting beds out front (we had no idea that was going to happen). The saint planted white lilacs, purple sand cherries, juniper, day lilies, hostas, and dogwood. She did a super job; it looks great. Cars were slowing down to look. Sod arrives Monday, hooray! I’m going to buy some new guinea impatiens to fill in the bed and my neighbour and I have discovered a shared love of peonies, so we’re going to get a couple of those too.

The weather was perfect today. I tried to work on my paper during Cakes’ nap (I need to have it done before we leave for the wedding on Thursday) but I ended up lazing on the deck (again).

We had a nice time at the park with Cakes and went to an open house (a new hobby). I feel bad about wasting the realtor’s time, so I always say, “I’m just looking for a friend who’s moving to the city”. Then they know we’re just nosy and leave us alone to peek in people’s closets.

S. and I managed to sneak in a beer on the deck after Cakes went down. Then he prepared a lovely meal while I started Leah McLaren’s book, Continuity Girl. Yes, I read chick-lit--but only in the summer. I’ll let you know what I think of it.

It is 9:30 on a Saturday night and I am about to crawl into bed with my book. The times they are a changin’.


Friday, May 26, 2006

The Waste Land

what branches grow/out of this stony rubbish? --t.s. eliot

Cakes decided to get up way too early this morning. But that’s OK--I'm less pissed at her than I would have been at the bulldozers and jackhammers that were out in full force at 7 AM. I needed to be up anyway for the drywaller who is coming at 8 (to repair the results of our flooded basement last week).

We purchased an infill townhouse in an “up-and-coming” neighbourhood. That was three years ago actually..before we were married…before we had a baby. We finally moved in when Cakes was seven-months-old (until then she slept in her playpen in the dining area of our one-bedroom apartment--the reason she is such a great sleeper now).

I don’t mean to whine (we love the house), but does it ever end? When will I be able to go to the kitchen in my underwear without worrying about been seen by some guy working back there? When will S. put up the shelf in the laundry room? When we will have grass? I am dying to get my hands in the garden. Every time I go to Loblaws I press my nose against the fence of the garden centre like a child and a toy store. Baby Cakes wants to play in her minuscule patch of grass.

I am never moving again. I’m recording this angst so I will have something to remind me in case we ever get some irrational desire to move to the ‘burbs.

On the bright side, with the absence of fences, we are getting to know our neighbours. It’s been kinda fun kvetching on each other’s back steps over a glass of wine.

I think there is hope--there's a guy planting a tree in my front yard as I type.

I managed to watch the premiere of SYTYCD last night (lovely S. rescued the TV from the sodden basement--if you’re reading, thanks honey). I think the Greek girl will be this season’s Melody. She won’t get my vote--way too perky for my taste. My early money is on that guy who can pop like there’s no tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how well he can Tango.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Miller Time

I finally had a chance to watch the Season Finale of Prison Break I downloaded ages ago (in our quest to make losing a salary less painful we have cut back a few things, including cable. I’m also trying to limit myself to one latte per week; unfortunately, a Starbucks is opening on the corner). I’m digressing. That’s another post--the sacrifices one makes to stay home with baby.

What to do….a whole summer ahead without Wentworth Miller , my new favourite stud and object of naughty daydreams (Brad, you’ve finally been eclipsed).

What did the doc have to go and OD for? If it were me, I would have left the infirmary door open, my apartment door, my bedroom door…you get the idea.

Tonight the new season of So You Think You Can Dance starts (it's on CTV--the one channel we get). Should be lots of blogging material there. I hope Dan, the nasty hip-hop judge is back.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My Mission

I’ve been toying with the idea of jumping on the blogging bandwagon for a while now but didn’t think I have the time. I’ve realized the amount of time I’ve been spending cruising around on other people’s blogs might as well be spent doing my own.

My goal is for this blog is to be intelligent and introspective. I’d like to talk about and work through how I feel about being a stay-at-home mom. I’d like to talk about why we choose to bring up baby downtown. The reality is, I know I will be posting late at night, often after a long day and two glasses of wine. I will be bleary-eyed and barely coherent. I will spend far too much time talking about the crap I’m watching on TV or what Brangelina are up to.

So be it. I’ll do my best!


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Here she is...

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