Saturday, January 16, 2010

We watched Coming to America last night. I don't really know why, but since you're wondering, it's actually watchable. Eddie Murphy is actually funny. Unexpected, I know.

It's a hell of a lot better than The Hangover, another "comedy" we've seen recently. About 10 minutes into that horrible, piece of crap, I stopped paying attention, but apparently, people find The Hangover really funny. Dylan's co-workers were even going on and on about how hilarious this movie was. Huh?

Maybe it's just me (probably.) Maybe it's my kind of humor (definitely.) Maybe Dylan's co-workers have terrible taste in movies (undoubtedly.) The Kids in the Hall, now that's funny to me. Is anyone watching their new show? It's ludicrous and crazy, but I happen to like ludicrous and crazy. Okay. I'll admit it. When we streamed it late Wednesday evening, I was only kind of watching Death Comes to Town, but that's only because I'm reading this, which is completely absorbing and fascinating. Really, but that's whole nother post.

If I went to see The Hangover in the theater, I would have walked out. Immediately. Of course, if I saw The Hangover in the theater, I probably would have felt like Homer Simpson after the green crayon was removed from his brain. Remember?* As a child, he crammed 15 crayons up his nose, and one remained stuck. Scientists remove it. Homer survives, and his IQ goes up from 55 to 105. With his newfound intellectual powers, he goes to a movie, a "comedy," and realizes, "Hey! That's not funny. Why are you all laughing?"

Anyway, back to Coming to America, I liked the late '80s memories: the big earrings, the crazy sweaters, neon lights as decor, the technology. "Hey! That's my camera! I had that camera! I loved that camera. What happened to that camera?"

Mostly, though, I found myself this morning wishing I could call all my friends and family on a hamburger phone. A hamburger phone! (I know. I know. There was a hamburger phone in Juno, but the one in Coming to America was just there. It wasn't retro cool. It was simply cool.)
*If you don't remember that episode, it's Season 12, Episode 9, "HOMR." It makes the Jenn's Top 10 Best Episodes Ever.

At the end of the episode, Homer wants to be dumb again. He's intelligence has alienated him and ruined everything he once enjoyed. He asks Moe to put the crayon back in his brain.

Moe: All right. Tell me when I hit the sweet spot. (Puts the crayon up Homer's nose)
Homer: Deeper, you pusillanimous pilsner pusher!
Moe: All right. All right. (Hammers the crayon in)
Homer: De-fense, uh-uh! De-fense, uh-uh!
Moe: Eh, that's pretty dumb. But uh... (hammers the crayon more)
Homer: Extended warranty? How can I lose?
Moe: Perfect.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Generally, I hate January. It is, as they say, the armpit of the year. It's cold. It's dark. We're always broke. We're tired from Christmas. This year, though, I am loving it. I really am. January is a-okay this year. It's fun! There's snow! The Rideau Canal has opened! And you know why? Because I. am. not. pregnant. January is an amazing month when you're not lugging a toddler and a gigantic baby-filled belly around. It really is.

Yesterday, I was pulling Finn and Rosemary in their wagon through the snow, and although it was a little tough going -- the snow is so sticky and soft -- and it involved quite a bit of effort to get them both in their snowsuits and their boots and their mitts -- what's with kids and pulling off their freaking mitts -- I was thinking, "This is great. I love this." I haven't lost my mind. I don't think so anyway. My new-found optimism is because last January, I was doing much the same thing: stuffing Finn in a snowsuit, trying to play outside in the snow, doing ANYTHING to burn some energy. I only had one kid then, but it was miserable. It was hard and incredibly
tiring, and I really honestly could not believe the things I was doing with my body at that point.

When you're six-months pregnant during in the armpit of the year, all you want to do is curl up in bed with chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. A toddler really doesn't allow for that kind of lifestyle choice.

Anyway, this year, I want to skate and run in the snow and go tobogganing and drag my kids all over this great city because I CAN!!!! This year, we are skating every weekend. We're going to Winterlude, which unbelievably, last year, we didn't attend any events. I think, "Why on earth didn't we go to Winterlude, one of the best winter festivals in the country? Downtown is just a 10-minute drive from our house." Then I remember, "Oh yeah, I was PREGNANT."

I love not being pregnant.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's so obvious to say, but becoming a parent changed everything for me. Having a child, raising one, this is not merely a lifestyle choice; it's a paradigm shift. Everything is radically different from this side of life. I can't even watch movies or TV the same anymore. Naturally, I suppose, I see now everything with the eyes of a parent. For instance, when I watch a movie like Juno, my viewpoint kind of spoils it for me. The quirkiness and cool soundtrack have little effect; the what-ifs of teen pregnancy terrify me. Birth control in Rosemary's sippy cup seems surely reasonable.

CBC now has all their shows online to watch. For free! I love CBC television: Doc Zone, The Passionate Eye, Marketplace, The Nature of Things. We don't have cable, as I may have mentioned, but don't worry. This fact doesn't make us better than you out there with subscriptions. We're just cheaper.

Anyway, I am thrilled I can watch The Rick Mercer Report any time I want to. Some of these shows, especially the documentaries, are upsetting me, though. 65_RedRoses, a documentary about a girl with cystic fibrosis, makes my chest contract with fear. What if? What if? What if? Watching it makes me so thankful for my healthy children, I could weep.

Then there's The Miracle of the Hudson Plane Crash. Late Thursday night -- well, it was 9:30, but that's late for me -- I rashly decided no more planes rides for us after this gripping show. Imagine me stuck on the wing of a plane in the freezing, frozen North Saskatchewan River with a toddler and a baby clinging to me waiting for rescue. Good god. How much is a train ticket to Edmonton?

The newspaper makes me feel no better. I read a review today of Lovely Bones, book and recent movie, with a horrific plot. A little girl never comes home to her family, having been raped and murdered. Well, I can't even go there. There are no what-ifs, no pretend scenarios for me at night for this one. My brain has the ego structure, I guess, to stop any such soul-destroying imaginings.

All this lately does make me wonder, though, how the hell are we, Dylan and I, going to get through this whole raising children deal without turning into absolute freaks. Some children don't make it. Some children have terrible things happen to them. Some parents have to live with loss and sadness. I know this. Intellectually, I KNOW this, but my heart fears it. Bizarre twists of fate, strange accidents, unfortunate "wrong place at the wrong time" events are all possibilities.

I really don't want to be run by fear, though. I want my children to be free from fear, truly. I honestly believe if I worry about every little thing that might harm, maim, strike them down too soon, steal them away from my arms, Finn and Rosemary will not be any safer children.

They will just be kids with a fearful, freaky mom, and that in turn will make them fearful, freaky children.

Oh, and apparently, I am spreading this anxiety CBC documentaries seem to induce. Sorry Ada!