Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kitty Party Book Club

The other day one of the members of the Kitty Party Book Club (how cute is this book club's name and why am I not in a book club called the Kitty Party? Actually, mine would be called the Pretty Kitty Book Club and Mr. Baz would be the mascot but nevermind). Anyway, one of the group's members, Deepi, wrote me the loveliest email saying they were reading my book in their book club this month! Hurrah! 

Although I heard from several book clubs last summer, after the book came out (and likely, because they wanted to take advantage of this book club offer!), I haven't heard from many book clubs recently (also because the book club offer is sold out, and would you bother to write to the author whose book you're reading just because you're reading it? I mean, I didn't email Barbara Walters this month to let her know I was reading her memoir, though this is likely because a) I do not know Barbara Walters' email address, b) Babs probably doesn't read her own emails (who has time for that....I do, sadly), and c) Everyone is reading Barbara Walters' memoir so big deal. But for me, it IS a big deal, so thank you Kitty Party members!

The Kitty Party book club was hoping the offer might still be valid, but since the cupcake mixes have been long turned into pretty pink cupcakes, it isn't. But I sent them a little something anyway -- some Dermaglow lip glosses (a favourite of Mara) and some bookmarks. 

Then, they sent me this picture of them at Book Club night. Cute!

Seriously, they could be called the Pretty Kitty Book Club because they're all so pretty! 

Thanks for reading girls!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Three Important Matters

Important Matter #1: How much are you loving The Hills? Oh I know, it's fake and all that, but still. Anyway, have you been watching The Aftershow that's on daily at 7:30? Did you see the clip about Heidi and Spencer on Ryan Seacrest talking about how Heidi's saving herself for marriage????? Even though, in Season 2 there was that whole serious conversation in Spencer's car where Heidi tells him that she took the pregnancy test? Apparently the image is all for her burgeoning Christian rock music career.

IM #2: The new PINK laptop has been ordered!!!!!!

IM#3: Does Labour Day mean the end of flip-flops?

That is all for today.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Best of Montreal

This weekend I went to Montreal. The Hubs had to work. I went along to do some shopping. (I mean, keep him company). I'm very good at that. Know what I'm also very good at?
Eating poutine.

I mean, when in Rome.... Well, when in Rome you should buy shoes.

And when in la belle province, you should go to La Belle Province and eat poutine. Yum.

However, when I was eating pizza by myself (not at La Belle Province), the girl behind me in line ordered poutine but instead of gravy she got it with meat spaghetti sauce. I mean, can you even imagine? I immediately wanted to order that, but I mean, I already had my slice of pizza and if I ate both, I might not have been able to move, and I had shopping to do!

While shopping, I also managed to buy some lovely accessories, several from Simons, where the saleswoman asked me why I spell Simons (SIGH -mons) with two "M"s. I told her that's the way the name came. I didn't have the heart to tell her that really, I spell Simmons (SIMM-ons)with two M's. I guess maybe they just don't have the word "Simmons" in Quebec. I wonder what type of mattresses they sell at La Baie.

While shopping, I noticed a lot of ties. On girls. Very Avril Lavigne circa five years ago.

And a lot of stores selling them, too. Entire tie racks in the women's department. Eek. I did this trend in the ninth grade, as a way to show a little individuality in my green kilt uniform. Does this mean I'm too old to do it again? I don't really want to... but what if I did? What to do?

The Hubs did some spotting of his own. On the flight home, he noticed Geddy Lee of Rush on our flight, with his family.

This is not the picture I took. I mean, obviously Geddy wasn't playing bass on the plane. Nor was there a wind machine or blue lighting in the background. I tried to take a picture, actually, but it turned out to be more of a blurry stick in the distance as I don't know how to use the zoom on my phone. When we arrived on the island airport and got on the ferry I noticed a limo waiting on the other side. It had a sign in the window saying "Chamberlain." The Lee clan got into the limo.

So just a note, if you become super famous and want to go incognito, don't choose the last name Chamberlain, or you might find your car whisking away with Geddy Lee inside.

Better to choose something more obscure, like Poutine.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why I am Boycotting the Olympics

I was very excited for the Olympics, only you know, sometimes with the Olympics you're not really sure when anything's on, but then, the receptionist at work handed out these handy dandy little glossy brochures that the CBC made with the ENTIRE schedule for the Olympic coverage. And I opened it with anticipation, and looked, and searched.... but NO WHERE WAS THERE ANY SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING COVERAGE.

What? There are days and days of Olympic coverage, pretty much non-stop, and the CBC can't find it in their hearts to cover one itty bitty HOUR of synchronized swimming?

It's not even as if the Canadians didn't have a chance at a medal. The duet team was in 6th after the free routine!

I decided I hated the Olympics.

But then, I went to my dad's for a few days and he and my stepmom are ADDICTED to the Olympics and when I said I hadn't watched any of it they looked at me, appalled, like I'd just reported that actually, no, I DON'T like Pizza. (Which would never happen, BTW).

So then, I started watching some Olympics and I got a little hooked with all the Michael Phelps stuff and then my dad told me that a girl I rowed with in high school was in the games and then, well, who doesn't want to watch the male divers in their skimpy banana hammocks?

When I explained why I wasn't watching (no synchronized swimming) my dad said that a sport should not be in the Olympics unless it could be played without a judge. To clarify, he was saying that all sports such as diving, trampoline, gymnastics and synchronized swimming should be cut. To make room for Javelin? Come on.

The Hubs got in on the debate. He said that only sports that originated with killing something to eat or moving for survival should be in the Olympics. Like Javelin. Running (for your life). Shotput (to kill a pig?). Swimming (from sharks)... You get the idea.

Either way, they were both saying Synchronized Swimming should be cut.

One of my editor friends is also a former synchronized swimmer (like me). She and I were discussing the lack of synchro in the Olympics, to which I said that if there were an All Synchro All the Time Channel on TV, I would subscribe. That's how much I love this sport. Which is why I was so set to not watch the Olympics.

But now it's after 11 pm (and past my bedtime) and I'm watching Gymnastics. Gymnastics! I love Gymnastics! But I'm watching it on NBC. I have no clue if NBC has boycotted Synchronized Swimming coverage too, but I don't have clear confirmation of that at this time, so for now, I'm sticking with them, even though their sole coverage is of course, of Americans. Oh well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

RIP Old Sicky Laptop

My laptop has been on life support for a few weeks now, which is why blogging has been sporadic. It's been tough, not having a laptop, given that I've had a lot of writing to do lately, and even though it's called writing and not typing it turns out that editors, publishers, agents, and even other writers, all want the work I'm doing to be typed, not hand-written, but I didn't want to make my laptop feel bad.

Maybe he just needs a rest, I thought. So I left him for a few days.

Then, I tried to revive my laptop by fiddling with the cords and for a while, he'd work, his little green light glowing. But then, one day, he turned off and wouldn't turn back on again.

I had a funeral this morning for him. I played NKOTB's The Right Stuff.

He had the right stuff. For a long time. I typed Stuck in Downward Dog on that laptop, from the very start, way back in 2004, to the very finish, when I read the final typeset pages, in late 2006.

In the meantime, I've been using The Hubs' computer, which is shiny and new and feels sort of like playing inside a UFO. Not that I know what it's like being inside a UFO (although I have been watching Taken, the miniseries by Steven Spielberg that's on TV right now). Anyway, I'm not sure how long I can keep up using this computer, which means...

There may be a very pretty, shiny and pink laptop in my future. Maybe. Because I have to write, er, type, don't I? And what's the harm in doing all that typing on something pink?

There's no harm in that at all.

But for now, I'm still wearing black in mourning. RIP, old laptop.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some summer reading...

It's finally summer, and now there's fall everywhere: back-to-school flyers and all the summer shoes are on the sale rack...and there's nothing cute in my size. It's a sad, sad time. Which is why we have to ignore fall and keep pretending it's summer for at least another month! And how better to do that than with some long weekends, lounging outside, reading.

For the truth-seeker: Audition by Barbara Walters. I have to say, I wasn't going to read this. I've never been a huge Babs fan and the book is monstrous, and seriously, could she have talked any more about the affair in her pre-book-release interviews? But my bookclub picked the book, and so I delved into the 800 (very small font with not much space between the lines) tell-all. 

It was really good. Long, but well, she's had a long life and career, and I can't imagine she's going to be writing another one anytime soon, so it sort of had to be that long just to include all the key details. And the affair? Clearly a marketing tool. I think it's 1.5 pages in its entirety.

To read by the dock: Ex-Cottagers in Love by J.M. Kearns. The Guelphite sets his debut novel at the Canadian cottage of his youth in a story about an overworked LA lawyer and his true love...

For the shoe-a-holic: Shoe Addicts Anonymous & Secrets of a Shoe Addict. Get both and read them while you're painting your toes, or rocking the baby back to sleep.

For the eco-conscious: Shopping for Vintage. Oh sure, it'll cost you a fortune to fill your wardrobe with designers mentioned in this book, but you'll be saving the planet by recycling! There's even a directory of the best stores to shop at in Canada. But Paper Bag Princess isn't listed, which is a bit odd. Nevermind -- the book's adorable and the perfect size for an end table.

Up next: I'm counting the days until Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife is available, which is not until September 2. 

And then John Green's Paper Towns (with its choose your own cover) comes out October 16. 

Except, that's definitely fall. And I'm not counting down to fall. 


Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend update

This weekend I went to a wedding. At the dinner table, a man in his mid-60s said to my husband: "Have you ever thought about vacationing in an RV?"

All I could think was, "Not with this wife." Which was slightly less tactful than what my husband replied: "Not until I'm retired."

Here's hoping we can never ever retire. Although, I do think it would be cool to drive that beast. Or, sit in the back and play RockBand and pretend you're a real band on tour. Or order pizza and have it delivered to the RV. I could probably do all that in about an hour. Then I'd be ready to go home and watch The Hills.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Job talk: Better than a bus driver?

The other day, my friend and I were discussing other jobs we'd like to have. After all, we're supposed to have five careers in our lifetimes, so why not get started on the next one? My friend said she'd like to be a school bus driver. "You just get up in the morning, drive around, then go home, you have the whole day to do other stuff, and then you go pick the kids up in the afternoon and you're still home to watch reality TV at night." 

True, but I think bus drivers have it hard. Remember how much crap they had to put up with - the taunting, the cat calls? I used to think they were so mean, driving away as you're running for the bus or screaming at us to sit down and shut up, but really, you'd have to be with all those raging teen hormones, just to protect yourself. My favourite school bus driver was this guy, who seemed like an adult, but was probably about 19 and he strapped up what was likely the original ghetto blaster ever (which now, if we're being politically correct, is called a boom box) with duct tape to the front of the bus, above his head. Then, he would blast AC/DC and Metallica, which droned us all out. At first, all the boys made fun of him for being so weird, but he couldn't hear their taunts, so eventually everyone just stopped and started liking him.

Still, I don't think I could be a school bus driver. I cry too easily. 

But what I could be is a crossing guard. How fun would that be? Same hours, and you don't have to get a bus driver's license. And it's all little kids and they always love the crossing guard and bring her presents at the end of the school year and Christmas. Plus, all that walking back and forth across the intersection is like forced exercise! When I was a young MC, we had a super fat crossing guard. Like 300 pounds fat. We all loved her. Then one day, she got hit by a car. It was awful and she had to go to the hospital and she didn't work for months while she recovered. But then, when she came back she was SO skinny! And she said that getting hit by the car (and well, not dying) was the best thing that happened to her because it's like the car knocked the fat right out of her! And she never got fat again, no matter how much she ate. Can you even believe it? Now that's job satisfaction at its best. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mad Men and Pretty Dresses

This weekend, I started watching Mad Men. If you haven't heard of this series, it's about the advertising world on Madison Avenue in the 1960s. Everyone smokes everywhere, everyone drinks all the time--especially in their office, where they all have their own minibars, and all the girls wear the prettiest dresses, ever. My favourite character is January Jones, who plays a desperate housewife. Her dresses are the best, but even better, she matches her headbands and gloves to them, even if she's just washing the dishes. Which is what she mostly does when she's not lying on the fab leather chaise longue at the psychiatrist's office. So, so good.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 5 of the No Fun Food Diet

It is now Day 5 of the No Fun Food Diet...

I have eaten a pound of baby carrots...

Some broccoli...

And a lot of lettuce.

But guess what? I discovered fun food. 

First, though, I cheated and had a Soy Chai Latte from Timothy's on Day 2.

Oh so good, but oh so bad for me.  Then I felt awful (physically but maybe a tiny bit morally). Then I got right back on the bandwagon of no bad food. 

Only it turns out that there is tasty food on the no fun food diet! On the Internet, I discovered that the Booster Juice Mango Hurricane is non-dairy/non-soy. Excited, I went to Booster Juice to get it, which is when the fabulous Booster Juice girl told me that I could order ANY Booster Juice I wanted and they would make it non-dairy/non-soy. So then I got my favourite, Brazilian Thunder with sorbet instead of soy. Hurrah!

Also, little known fact: they will add a banana to any smoothie you like. Find the Matcha Monsoon a little too matcha-y? Add a banana? Think the Very Berry is very tart? Add a banana. I'm telling you, one little banana turns every smoothie into your new favourite. 

Then, last night, I thought I would break. 

The Hubs: "What should we have for dinner?" 

I didn't want another carrot stick, head of lettuce or stalk of broccoli. He raised his eyebrows. "Pizza?" 

He KNOWS pizza is my all-time favourite meal. He forgot I can't have it. 

"I can't have pizza. Wheat..." I said sadly. Then I had a brainwave. "Magic Oven Pizza!" Their pizzas are made on spelt crusts. Then I remembered I can't have cheese anyway, so what's the point of pizza if you can't have cheese and have to eat it on cardboard? "Forget it. I can't have Magic Oven either."

The Hubs: "Oh... you can't have the $40 pizza? Darn." The Hubs does not think the Magic Oven Pizza is very magical at all. 

But you know what I could have? Thai! Technically, I think the vegetables are sauteed in soy sauce, but there's no wheat in the Pineapple Fried Rice ...

or the Lobster in garlic white wine sauce! Mmm....

Five days almost down. I'm still alive. 

Happy Long Weekend!