metro mama

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Better in Acapulco

Our vacation was just what the doctor ordered--sun, warmth, swimming, reading, food and unmentionables. Acapulco is not the most charming town, but the weather can't be beat. Our hotel was great; it was right on Condesa Beach:

The hotel had a pool that wound through the grounds like a river, and two adult pools, including my favourite, this gorgeous quiet infinity pool with a view of the ocean:

Our room had a lovely view as well:

And we watched the sun set from our balcony each night:

Acapulco is a party town. I think T-dot needs fewer hotdog carts, and more of these:

The seafood was great--we treated ourselves to a delish lobster dinner on our last night:

When I wasn't eating, I was reading like mad. I burned thorugh 10 books! I caught up on some old stuff I hadn't read yet, as well as some lighter stuff I don't usually read: Pretty Little Dirty, The Gum Thief, Buffalo Jump, Revolutionary Road, The Rapture, Atonement, Tempting Faith DiNapoli, Stunt, Muriella Pent, The Omnivore's Dilemma. I think my favourite was Pretty Little Dirty. It reminded me of my own adolescence so much it was scary.

Now I'm back to dreaming about the next holiday, but I don't think it will be anytime soon! Anyone working on any travel plans?


Friday, January 30, 2009

Back to Reality

We’re home. The trip was lovely, and I’ll post about it with some pics in a day or two. But sadly, we came home to some bad news--my maternal Grandmother passed away on Sunday (yes, it was my maternal Grandfather who passed last year).

It is a relief in a way--she’s been bedridden for a very long time, and not herself for even longer. We were always very close. I lived with my Grandparents for a couple of years in my teens when my mother and I fought so much we couldn’t be under the same roof. Up until Cakes came along, we chatted on the phone for at least an hour each week. But the last few years those calls had become shorter and shorter. She didn’t have the strength to talk long, and couldn’t recall that we’d had the same conversation the previous week. I know her philosophy, and her former self-reliance; I know she’s been really, really ready to leave for a very long time. A very long time. I can only imagine how long these last two years had seemed to her. So I feel relief, for her sake and everyone else concerned, particularly my mother.

With this relief comes guilt (of course). We’d planned to visit the week before the trip and postponed because we were sick. I wish I’d taken Cakes a little more often. I’m sure this is a common reaction—as much as you did, you always think you should have done more, right?

On the bright side, Cakes is a little ray of sunshine. It ended up being a good thing she was with my mother when this happened (my mother, a former nurse, has devoted most of her energy to caring for her mother these past few years). Cakes was a very welcome distraction for her this week. I sure was glad to get home to her last night. We missed her fiercely on this trip. We were too busy to dwell during the previous two, but this time was different. The hotel was full of Mexican families, and the cute little kids gave me a pang, every time. I think next time we go away we’ll be doing Disney.

Tomorrow we’re off to Lindsay to see my mom, with dinner and flowers. Then we’re going to spend the rest of the weekend spoiling Cakes rotten, because I know my Grandmother. She wouldn’t want us to spend too much time mourning the dead; she would want us to make the most of every single minute, and I think I need a lot of minutes with my little girl right now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Adios Amigos!

McHotty and I have had enough Canadian winter. Winter can just fuck off now, please. The next best thing: we’re fucking off for a week in Acapulco. Yes, by ourselves (don’t hate me). Cakes is happily ensconced at her Grandparents, and we’re packing our bags: swimsuits, a dozen books, good to go.

Hasta luego!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Hills Are Alive

I’ve had the best intentions of blogging this week, but this is the first time I’ve been out of bed in 48 hours for longer than enough time to make a cup of tea. Despite having got the damn flu shot, I’ve managed to get the flu for the second year in a row. I came home from work at noon Friday, and have been stuck in bed cursing the gods since. But enough of that (I hate whining about being sick as much as you hate listening to it). On to something interesting.

The week started great with the first meeting of my new book club! I have been wanting to start a book club for years, but being a student for so long, never had the time. Finishing school left this lovely gap I could think of no better way to fill than by asking some of my best pals to get together once a month for an excuse to drink wine and talk a lot. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The first meeting proved us all to have a wide and varying range of interest (and a lot to say) so I think it’s guaranteed our meetings will be very interesting to say the least.

The next night I took my mum to see the Mirvish production of The Sound of Music. This is probably my all time favourite movie, and this production did not disappoint. Maria was absolutely marvellous. She won the role on a reality show (which I wish I’d seen) and her win is most well deserved. She sung the hell out of my beloved songs, and was the perfect mix of strength and vulnerability. I wasn’t too keen on Captain Von Trapp at first (how can anyone compare to Christopher Plummer) but I warmed up when sang Edelweiss. It made me cry, and that’s my barometer. The kids were wonderful (I kept picturing someone try to direct Cakes as Gretl—good luck). The set was unbelievable, except there was a very awkward mishap when a background got stuck on the way down, and there was about 5 minutes of silence while they tried to fix it. Finally a stage-hand had to come out and make adjustments. Ouch. My only other criticism was Liesl and Rolf’s gazebo number—it’s so elegant in the movie, and in this production it was comedic and awkward. But overall, I loved the show. Has anyone else see it?

Now, where’s my tea?


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happiness Is...


Friday, January 09, 2009

An Ongoing Offering

This month marks the last of Mad and Jen’s wonderful Just Posts. Last week they asked us to talk about our philosophy towards charitable donations, and urged us to join them in becoming an ongoing supporter of a cause we believe in.

Until recently, I’ve been a very sporadic donator, and I jumped around a lot. When someone I know is fundraising I’m usually quick to shell out a few bucks, but I’ve never really focused on one cause in particular. McHotty and I discussed this a few times, and decided to make a more significant impact by choosing one charity and supporting it with automated monthly donations. We had no trouble agreeing on the cause: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

MSF was founded in 1971. They provide rapid humanitarian assistance worldwide, with independence from political, economic and religious influences. Importantly, in carrying out humanitarian assistance MSF acts a witness and speaks out about the plights of the populations in danger for whom its doctors work. In doing so, they seek to alleviate human suffering, to protect life and health, and to restore and ensure respect for human beings and their fundamental human rights.

My respect for the work of the organization has increased in the last few months after reading two books written by MSF doctors:

Dr. James Orbinski’s An Imperfect Offering is a personal and political book about humanitarianism. Orbinski reflects on twenty years of humanitarian work in troubled places such as Sudan, Afghanistan and Rwanda (he was there during the genocide) and asserts the fundamental imperative of seeing as human those whose political systems have most brutally failed. Dr. Orbinski is a past international President of MSF. You can read an excerpt of An Imperfect Offering here.

I’ve recently finished Dr. James Maskalyk’s Six Months in Sudan (from our spring list). The pub date isn’t until April, so I can’t review it yet, but I will tell you it’s one of my favourites of the season. The book began from Maskalyk’s blog that he wrote from his hut in Sudan. It’s intimate, it’s raw and it’s terrifically written. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this book from me closer to April.

Click here to donate to MSF. Please consider an automated monthly donation.

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