metro mama

Friday, February 29, 2008

So Many Books, So Little Time

Wow, where has the week gone!

This has been my first full week of school and new job, and I haven’t had a nervous breakdown yet. McHotty, though he initally had reservations about all this, has really stepped up to the plate. He has been doing the housework, shopping and cooking. And, when I brought this home for him, he even took up baking!

Do you think it curries favour with your new colleagues when you bring in fresh home-baked cookies?

I’m loving the new job--it is so fantastic being surrounded by books all day. The only problem is, so far I have no time to read them. I’m going home at night to read boring lit theory, when I have a stack of new fiction sitting next to my bed.

Like this...

And this...

I can’t resist this...

Last night I gave in to temptation, and read 100 pages of this manuscript instead of the 19th Century Canadian Poetry I’m supposed to be reading for Monday’s class. Dudes, I’m loving it. Our friend Rebecca isn’t the only blog to book success story. This writer, Catherine, a former Brit who lives in Paris, has a great blog called petite anglaise. In one year, she broke up with the father of her child, had a relationship with a man she met in her comment box, got outed, got dooced, and then got a book deal! Great stuff. I think I’ll have to put off my term papers one more day to find out how it ends.

What books are sitting next to your bed right now? What are you going to crack first?


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Toronto Bloggers Sure Do Love Redneck Mommy!

You’d think when fifteen bloggers get together for cocktails, the conversations would be just as penetrating, thoughtful, and articulate as our online discussions.

In reality, there is a whole lotta boob-grabbing, smooching, and fondling Redneck Mommy. Girl, just you wait ‘til we get our hands on the real thing!

But seriously, I do hazily recall a lot of interesting conversation. And I had a blast , hooking up with old friends, as well as meeting a few folks for the very first time, including (get ready to seethe with envy) Mama T and Dave!

We started out rather civilized.

But things went steadily downhill from there.

Well done, ladies and gents!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Interrupting the Whine Fest

I’ve been a little stressed lately, and I’ve been taking it out in the tone of my blog--I’m usually not one to bitch and moan so much. So, here’s a little sweet to counteract the sour.

I’m a little late, but I have a cute Valentine’s day pic to share. McHotty did well for his girls—he made us a chocolate brownie cake, which made both of us very, very happy. He made someone even happier with her own Dora Valentine—with stickers!

I was clutching my heart too.

In other news, we made another attempt at a civil dinner with the couple across the street (their toddler is almost the same age as Cakes). This sortie was most successful. We were able to actually eat dinner at a reasonable hour, instead of 4:00. We actually relaxed and had a beer in the living room after dinner, while the girls had a tea party.

This gig is actually getting easier! I never thought I’d see the day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fracking Family Day

For those of you outside of the province, tomorrow marks the first Family Day in Ontario, a new holiday declared by our benevolent Premier, Dalton McGuinty.

Is Family Day a huge pain in the ass for anyone else? I may appreciate it more next year, when it is indeed an additional holiday, but this year it is just messing me up. My new job starts officially on Thursday, so I don’t get the paid holiday. Of course, stat holidays mean nothing for McHotty. I have precious few days to finish term papers before work starts, and with no daycare tomorrow, I’m losing a whole one. Does my wanting to get Cakes and McHotty out of the house tomorrow make me a bad family member? I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway--is there anything good going on they might enjoy?

When they were making a new holiday, why the fuck didn’t they make it in the summer time when there is actually stuff to do?

And I feel sorry for those without families. In case you’re not depressed enough after Christmas, New Years, January, and Valentine’s Day, here’s the holiday to push you over the edge. Or maybe they’re the lucky ones—at least they don’t have to contend with the lack of daycare.

Is it just me?


Friday, February 08, 2008

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Update below!

For those of you who don’t live around here, we received more than 30 cm of snow this week. It always amazes me how poorly we cope with snow in the city.

Today I needed to take Cakes a couple of blocks to Queen Street, to our music in motion class. I had to take the stroller because I had a few errands to do after class. Thirty-six hours after the snowfall, almost half of the people between my house and Queen Street had not shovelled their fucking walks. Several culprits were businesses, a few of which occupy a large stretch of real estate. The snow was so deep I had to actually pick up Cakes’ stroller with 35 pounds of toddler in it. Not fun.

By the time I made it to Queen Street, passing through a large stretch of hell, I was pissed, so I went in to the business and complained. We went to our class, and then we did our errands. Knowing I would have to carry a stroller, a toddler, plus all of our purchases half the way home, I had to choose carefully, and could only accomplish a portion of what I’d hoped.

We shlepped our way home--the place I’d complained to had started shovelling. Hooray! But the rest of the walk was pure hell. By the time we got to our door, I was cursing and complaining to other pedestrians (I actually met a new neighbour with a baby!) As soon as we got in the door I got on the City’s website and requested the phone number for by-law enforcement. I also emailed Councillor Fletcher’s office (have yet to hear back from them. They haven’t done so well in the past--I’ll let you know how long it takes them to respond this time. I hope they use google alerts and see me bitching about them). A short time later, to my surprise, the city sent the number to call. I dialled the digits, and holy fuck, someone answered. He took the information and said he’d send someone!

So, I’m hoping a little hit to the pocketbook will smarten these assholes up. And! Even more exciting, as I type this, the sidewalk plough is driving by!!! I’ve never seen it on my street before. I want to run out there and kiss the guy.

You know what they say about squeaky wheels.

If you have assholes in your neighbourhood, write down their addresses and call Right-of-Way Management By-law Enforcement at 416-392-7768.

Oh, and the real reason I’m so pissy about this? When I was shopping today, I had to make the horrific decision between picking up my library books and buying wine. What do you think I chose?

Update: I thought you guys knew me better than this...I chose the books people! Hence the pissy mood.

Luckily my friend Jana guessed right, and when she came for a visit Saturday she brought me a nice bottle of red. Bless her dear soul.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Renewing My Vows

I’ve blogged a lot about my commitment to bringing up baby in the city. We’ve had a couple of nasty incidents in my ‘hood lately, so I needed a reminder why I love Toronto. Luckily, I have an out of town guest this week who always gets me out doing things, instead of hibernating with a book all the time.

Her first day in town, we caught the closing night of the Soulpepper production of Salt Water Moon. It was just lovely. It was a ninety-minute, one act play, with just two (very young!) actors. They were excellent. Soulpepper’s now at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District. If you haven’t made it to the Distillery yet, you have to go. It’s just fabulous. We stopped for a pint at the Mill Street Brewery before the show (they make delicious organic beer) and there are lots of great looking restaurants.

The next night, we went for martinis at my favourite haunt, Barrio, then took advantage of Winterlicious. We chose a place in my ‘hood I’ve always wanted to try, Edward Levesque’s Kitchen. I had the lamb and Chris had the steak--they were both to die for. I can’t believe it took me three years to get there (we’ve never made it further east than Gio’s).

Saturday night McHotty and I celebrated my new job with dinner at Barrio, then we caught The Weakerthans free concert at Nathan Phillips Square. There was also a fire installation in the square that was absolutely stunning. Here’s some pics...

My crappy camera doesn’t do it justice—there are some better pics at the WinterCity website, here.

After the show, we had a nightcap at The Comrade, one of the new nightspots at Queen and Broadview. Great place--gorgeous décor, cool tunes, and nice selection of drinks (including some Belgian beers. Mmmm).

Sunday morning I took a friend for brunch, back to Barrio again. They had some plumbing problems over Christmas and lost all their holiday bookings, so go help them out!

After a solid week of fun in Toronto my faith is restored—we won’t be fleeing for the ‘burbs anytime soon.

What do you love about this city?


Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Opposite of Dooced!

Remember how I resolved to goof off on facebook less? Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was doing just that when I noticed a friend had joined a group for young people in the publishing business. Follower that I am, I joined the group, where I spotted a posting for an entry-level job in online marketing for a big publishing house. How freakishly perfect is that! Of course, I immediately got to work updating the old resume. After an exciting, sleepless interval, with two interviews in one week (and me rushing out to buy a new suit the day before a very fast second interview) I am very pleased to tell you I will be starting my new career in publishing in two weeks!

The whole thing still seems pretty surreal. I hardly dared hope I would get the job, then I thought, how the hell will it work with school? They’ve agreed to let me do four days a week until classes are done. Luckily, I’m freakishly ahead in my work. Cakes can start school full-time next week, and I am going to work my ass off during spring break to get more ahead. So it will be a very, very busy March, but not unmanageably so, and so worth it.

The oddest thing is, when I started blogging I was so paranoid about protecting my identity. Because of the nature of this job, I included my blog in my application. During the interviews I talked about internet dating, and all the friends I’ve met online. I don’t know how much they read--I must say, it was a weird feeling knowing a prospective employer may be reading about your sex life--but in any event, it didn’t seem to hurt me! So, I am officially out of the closet. The only people who haven’t read my blog now are my mother and mother-in-law (they both know about it, but know they’re not allowed to read). And you know what? It feels liberating.

The other thing I’ve come to realize this week is I am really, really ready to go back to work. I’m only on campus one day a week now, and it’s just not enough. I actually enjoy going to an office every day, and having a reason to get dressed, and having people to talk to. I’m starting to go a little batty reading books all day in my pyjamas. I never thought I’d see the day.

Oh internets, I am happy, happy, happy!


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