Monday, June 28, 2004

Remember when you were in grade seven and you went to your first party? And your friend who was having it, had, like, pop and food and a stereo and great music? And all the kids from your class came, even the cool guys and girls came too? And there was even some slow dances, and someone said that it was girls' choice? And your friend that had the party, their parents were there, and they were, like, hanging around and looking at everything and like totally spying on everybody?

Well, right now, I'm that parent.

Friday, June 25, 2004

School's out! School's out!

Hooray! Beware! School's out!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

After hearing about Milk Duds in American-based media for years, I was expecting them to be delicious. Someone brought a box into work today and left them as a public offering on the kitchen table.

It turns out they're chocolate-covered lumps of toffee. Yuck!

Friday, June 18, 2004

Don't let the doom and gloom of the recent posts at No Comment fool you. I'm really quite excited about my daughters (yes, both of them) competing in a triathlon this weekend. Banana completed a triathlon training program last week and is keen on all the sports involved. McMonk is along for the ride, but isn't quite as enthusiastic, as you might expect at the tender age of ten. I'm glad both of them are staying active and enjoying activities such as this.

Banana is moving on from elementary school next week, complete with a graduation ceremony and dance. It might seem a bit odd to have a graduation ceremony to go from Grade 6 to Grade 7, but she is changing from a school that she's been in her whole educational career. She's going on to be with a group of teenagers, fraught with a whole different set of joys and concerns than her present, younger schoolmates. New responsibilities are on their way too - home rooms, her own locker, changing classrooms throughout the day, optional classes, intramural teams, ... It's all so exciting and frightening at the same time.

I remember junior high as a time of great change and deep insecurities for me. I hope that her teenage years are a bit gentler with her. I hope to have my crap together in short order so I can be there to support her when she deals with hers.

Just in case you are counting, this is my thousandth post to my blog!
After a rough night, I went into work early before I'd had a chance to have breakfast. I decided to go out of my way to a local grocery store and pick up some breakfast fixings. Wouldn't you know it, there's a faded old sign prohibiting left-hand turns between 7 and 8:30 am onto the street where I needed to go. I didn't see the sign, but the cop that was waiting for me as I completed the maneuver certainly was aware of it.

I've now been to the hundred-and-fifty dollar "don't turn here between these times" course. I was polite to the police officer, but he seemed to have a plethora of pat excuses for the price of the ticket. I thought I sensed a ticket quota and a slightly guilty conscience at this obscure turning restriction.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Yesterday I felt like I wasn't pulling my weight at work. I wasn't hungry and had no energy. I couldn't connect with anyone that I talked with, I was forgetful and I couldn't concentrate. My kids were annoying and demanding, my personal life felt like it was crashing down around me.

Today I felt like competent and useful at work. I had much more energy, had good conversations with people, felt like I had a handle on all the personal stuff I'm dealing with and had a pleasant time with my kids who are funny, entertaining and interesting people. I had a good swim workout and I have the energy to 'blog.

The difference? 12 hours of sleep. It does wonders - everyone should try it once in a while.

Friday, June 11, 2004

I bought a new tin of hot chocolate powder and left it in the office kitchen.

Help yourself, but don't forget that you have to buy the next tin.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I'm thirty-nine years old, and I have white feet.

Pale, pasty-white feet.

When I was nineteen years old, I would scoff at my dad's white feet. He walked around all day in workboots, his feet encased in thick wool worksocks. He would get home from work and pull off his workboots and socks and let out a huge sigh as his feet emerged from their UV-proof cocoons.

I, on the other hand, spent my summers outside, barefoot, on the pool deck where I worked as a lifeguard. I had a clearly defined line on my feet where the pigmented skin ended and the thick, tough (remember I was walking on concrete all day) pigmentless skin of the soles of my feet began. The tops of my feet were the color of rich, medium-stained mahogany. In fact, a bit of the tan from last summer could still be seen, even in May before I started my summer job on teh pool deck.

Now, as I enter another year in my life, I notice little things like this that tell me times have changed. I understand the reasoning behind some of my parents' comments from the days of my youth. I find myself saying things I thought only my father would say. I sometimes make grunting noises when I get up after sitting for a long time. I have the tiniest, wispy-white hairs growing out of my ears. I have a daughter that can start and competently operate our finicky gas lawnmower and another one contemplating boyfriends. I have been treated to many things in the past thirty-nine years of this existence, some of them requested, some of them thrust upon me.

The wisdom that I used to wish for as a young man has come to find me, and as a consolation prize for not being all that I hoped it would be, it gave me white, untanned feet.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Cycling; snoozing; a drive to the mountains; complements on my parenting skills; watching a thoughtful dramatic movie; Chinese food with enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow in a tupperware container .... altogether an entertaining day, filled with activities and moments that I enjoyed.

What else could one ask for on his birthday?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Bloody spammers.

Haven't they figured out that if they have to trick you into reading their message, you're not going to be in the best frame of mind to buy something?

Thursday, June 03, 2004

It ended up being just water. Seems the toilet has been flushing slowly and it had overflowed.

Note to self: Always do a test flush on a clean bowl of water when using a public facility. It could save embarassment if the plumbing ain't working properly.
Eeeeeww! I went to use the washroom today and found the seat totally wet. As I don't have a sense of smell to use as a reference, I could only judge by the color of the liquid that it was just water. Still, the idea that someone would somehow wet the seat and just walk away was pretty gross. We are in a small office of 25 or so males, and we don't have a designated janitor. This means that someone got up from making that mess and walked away, thinkng someone else would clean it up.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I walked the girls up to school this morning as I usually do. The sun was shining and the day hadn't yet heated to it's full radiance, but it held promise. We'd had a slow start to our day, as I am trying to get the girls to use their alarm clocks to wake themselves up and the experiment hasn't been successful yet. We'd rushed through breakfast, dressing, getting our teeth brushed, making lunches and finally getting out the door before the school bell. I had been pushing them all morning, but I had done it in a gentle manner this particular morning and felt I had done a good job at balancing between grumpy, overbearing dad and fun, playful dad.

I walked them all the way through the park behind our house and up the hill to the school, right to the door. When we were within 15 feet of the door, I stopped and let them continue on into this world that they experience without me. Even though things are rushed in the morning, I love the time that I spend with them. I'm watching these two young girls get older and more independent. Even though I want them to be able to handle themselves and do all the things that self-reliant people can do, I still cherish the times when they looked to me for all the answers and relied on me to provide their world and all its parts.

Just as Banana was about to cross the threshold into the school, she hesitated and turned back to me. Sheepishly, with her head down, she trotted back to me and gave me a hug. No words, just a hug, from a slightly self-conscious, soon-to-be-teenager.

Somehow, she knew I needed one. The hug said that she appreciated me, she appreciated that I came all the way up to the doors of the school, she appreciated that I'd woken her up gently and had sure her lunch was in her backpack. That one hug made my whole day better.
I'm still awake, and I'm learning how to make DVD's.

Of course, my first one must be perfect.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A more cheerful day all around. Plans are being made for our hostelling trip this weekend in the form of a menu and a shopping list. Banana and McMonk are inviting a friend (each) along.

The weather is looking promising so far - sunny and 24 celcius. We're starting at the Ribbon Creek Hostel on Friday and staying at Rampart Creek on Saturday night. The guitar is coming along, as are some sugary treats - specifically, graham crackers, milk chocolate and marshmellows - s'mores ingredients! Yum!

I expect to do a lot of nothing during the evening. I'm pacing the weekend gently, hoping to have the girls explore and entertain themselves. I'm looking forward to having some reflective time to do some reading and journalling. Much to think about these days and I find the mountains to be a calming place where I can hear my own thoughts.