Saturday, February 26, 2005

"Eats, Shoots and Leaves"

I have just finished reading Lynn Truss' book about the perils of punctuation. In fact, there was a portion of the apostrophe chapter that questions if it is more correct to write Lynn Truss's book. Apparantly both are used, but one is more British and one is more American. I forget which is which. I naturally use the first version, but "Canadian" is kind of a distillation of the King's English and the language of our neighbours, so that is unhelpful in telling me which is which.

I was actually proud of myself for my mostly correct punctuation as I read the book. I tend to be a stickler for spelling too. Ms. Truss bemoans the lack of correct punctuation and grammer due to "Netspeak" or "Weblish". I try to stick to proper English wherever possible in emails and web posts and in my blog. I agree with Ms. Truss. The immediate, speed-driven way we communicate now gives people the excuse to be stupid and un-grammatical. I cringe at the incorrect use of "its" and "it's" for instance. I am content however to cringe in silence and I would never dare to point out punctuation errors that I come across. Though sometimes a mis-placed comma can completely change a sentence's meaning. In that case I may be forced to ask for clarification.

While reading the book I felt somewhat guilty about my love of the ellipsis ( those 3 little dots ). The ellipsis has two functions: to replace missing words if you are quoting something, or to end a sentence in a tantalizing manner. I attempt to be tantalizing quite frequently ( not always in print! ) and I am afraid that often I come off as vague and incoherent instead. So I will try to marshall my thoughts a bit better in future and refrain from doing this...

By the way, if you have not heard about the book, the title refers to the following panda joke:

A panda walks into a cafe. ( Sorry I don't know the keyboard shortcut for an acute accent above the "e" ). He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots into the air.
"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly puncuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
"Panda. Large black and white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

Now I must admit that when I first heard of the book I had not heard of the panda joke. I did of course realize that if one is describing the panda diet, then the comma after "eats" shouldn't be there. However my dirty little mind immediately thought that "Eats, shoots and leaves" referred to a rather hideous date of: dinner, a quick and unsatisfactory toss in the sheets, followed by the man's speedy departure.

I suppose you could infer from my conclusional jump that my grammatical knowledge is pretty good and my opinion of men is less so...

(Dang, there I go with those darn little dots again!)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ahh spring!

Today's high temperature is 17 Celsius. We've had a lovely dry spell for the last couple of weeks. Everyone's crocuses are up, buds are on the trees and my lily-of-the-valley bush will be flowering soon.

It's great to live in southwest BC!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

School cookbook

This morning I was in the parents' room at the school, sorting out and proof-reading our cookbook submissions. We had typos to fix like "3 drops red foof colouring" and some clarification to do on some of the recipes. They also needs to be sorting into categories like MAIN DISH, DESSERT, etc. and then into similar-type recipes together ( like chicken recipes together, casserole recipes together, etc. ) There are about 160 recipes and we are hoping to get a few more from Watson alumni since this year is the school's 50th anniversary. We were all getting hungry from reading all the recipes!

The idea is to have the cookbook ready for purchase the first week of May so that people can buy it for Mother's Day presents if they want. May 6th is also the school carnival though. What were we thinking! Should be a busy week.

Lisa I might be hitting you up to get rid of Kyle a few times!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kids and food

I was thinking about the things that we teach kids about food. Today at lunch I gave the kids some apple slices with peanut butter spread on them. They wanted the skin off and I said no because the skin is good for us. That lead to a discussion about fibre and what it does for us. Naturally the kids were thrilled with the somewhat gross subject matter. We also talked about vitamin C since we were having orange juice.

After lunch I got to thinking about what we actually teach our kids about food. In our house we try to eat healthy most of the time, and we make sure the kids actually do eat at least the majority of their dinner. I know sometimes they are hungrier than others, but they at least have to eat something. You also have to try something before you claim not to like it. Use proper table manners. Don't talk with your mouth full, etc.

Then there are the things we teach them that are completely irrelevant to health, nutrition, or manners! Things like:

-smoked oysters are a good thing ( Kyle loves them )
-olives are also good ( Kyle thinks they are a food group ) and mommy prefers hers nicely marinated in vodka at the bottom of a martini glass
-it's okay to eat just green beans for dinner when they are fresh in the summer
-the same is true for corn on the cob
-onion rings are better with tartar sauce than with ketchup
-there is a correct way to eat a DQ ice cream cone
-it's okay to put roast beef gravy on almost anything ( Kyra will eat gravy with a spoon )
-sour cream is a food, not a condiment
-white bread is equivalent to cardboard
-there is no such thing as "too much garlic"
-hot sauce is good on almost anything
-a big glass of skim milk is almost as good as water if you are really thirsty
-do not touch mommy's chocolate
-tea is not just for grown-ups
-saurkraut is mandatory on hot dogs
-blue cheese is the best salad dressing ever

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A typical day

The kids were great this morning. Kyra made her own lunch and a bagel for her brother for breakfast. I was being lazy this morning. I think giving blood drains me ( figuratively ) more than it used to.

Then the fight starts because she doesn't want to wear her vest over her sweater to walk to school. Yes it will be too hot for it at 2:15 and yes you will probably have to carry it home, life sucks sometimes. For now at 8:00 am it is 2 degrees and you are damn well wearing the vest! Plenty of crying while I get her brother organized, but she finally gets the vest on and just stands there looking mulish. She also complains that the vest is too slippery for her back-pack. It's not actually, she wears it just fine all the time. By now I assume she wants me to carry the back-pack ( no way! ) and if she just stands there in the hall, crying, Mommy will take pity on her and pick up the back-pack. Well I did, but I chucked it out the door onto the front step. Very childish and un-Mommy of me I know. So now off we go to school! Part way there Kyra puts up the hood on her sweater because it's windy and her ears are cold. (Insert grinding teeth her as I struggle not to say "I told you it was cold!" )

Right now Kyle is playing Bailey's Book House and he has made me several computer greeting cards. We also did Crayola magic finger painting this morning and he worked on tracing some pictures in his work book. ( we were playing school ) The tracing is to get them ready to trace the letters and numbers later in the book. He's not that great, but for only just turning 4 I am not going to push him.

So what else will the day bring? Some loveys from Kyra and an argument with Kyle about something? Probably. When will Toni be home? Not sure since he went to Everett, Washington today for lunch with a customer and to take photos of one of their latest jobs. National Flight Center Something or Other. Will I get any chores done? Not likely while I sit here on my ass.
Will I get my double-page layout of Easter 1993 finished? Maybe if I feel like scrapping later.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's cleanup

I have spent most of my day so far tidying up the house from Kyle's birthday party. When I went to put away the tissue and gift bags that some of his presents came in, I found that I really needed to organize my supply of gift wrap, bags, etc. ( Which I have been putting off since Christmas ).

The people who lived in this house very kindly left nails hanging in the storage area under the stairs ( there is no light bulb there however so it's difficult to see anything! ) so now I have my wrap organizer and various bags hanging up out of the way. That was one chore I was glad to get done.

For Valentine's Day DH and I just give each other cards, and we give the kids a little something. Since Kyle was born on the 13th, we have pretty much given up on anything elaborate for Valentine's Day for probably another 10 years. His birthday just takes up too much time, energy and $$ for us to do anything else. I have great sympathy for people born at Christmas. DH on Dec. 12th is bad enough.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

4 years ago today...

...I was sitting around waiting for something to happen after having been induced ( that yucky gel rubbed around in you-know-where ). DH and I spent a long boring day in the hospital because I wasn't allowed to go home. Previous C-sections are watched like hawks.
For brevity's sake, Kyle took his sweet time and was finally born via another section on the morning of the 13th.
Today we are having his birthday party, and tomorrow we are going out for brunch and then the family is coming over for cake.
Stay tuned for another blog on Monday maybe!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Spoiled brats!

I am not a huge hockey fan, and I don't really miss it not being on TV. I am however fed up with the NHL players, greedy bastards that they are. For starters I think it's appalling that millionaires have a union. Pardon me, "players association". Whatever!

They are whining about a salary cap. Oh boo hoo. So you can only make $2 million a season instead of $10 million. Darn!

I'll cry a little bit for you while I am trying to deal with the $13. 74 that is left in my overdraft until next week when hubby gets paid. Oh yeah, and I am also doing my son's birthday party this weekend.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Kung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! I hope this year will be a good one. 2005 is the Year of the Rooster, which is what Toni and I and my mom are.

This Chinese New Year page has some good info.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Now you see me....

...but for this week you didn't! Just got the computer back today. Motherboard did something hinky ( gotta love Abby on "NCIS"! ) and had to get fixed. So I did a quick surf of everyone's blog and I will reply now en masse:

Andrea- congrats on all your cool news! The silver lining to all of you sleeping in the same room might be Greg having to keep his hands to himself more....

Clioratha - sorry can't help you with Lent suggestions but good for you anyway! I hope you aren't giving up Chinese food though, the 9th is Chinese New Year too. Kung Hay Fat Choy!

Glenda - doesn't the Inuit language have a ton of words for snow?

Lisa - keep on flushin' baby, you are my hero of "trying to be at my best togetherness" while I am just trying to find my ass with both hands. ( PS- scrappin' after my zoo stickers come? )

Melissa - your Maiden stitching looks lovely, but I agree with you about the orange dot in her hair, must have been a boo-boo.

Taneya - your FU character are gorgeous so far. Sorry you and Kaleya have been sick.

Whiz - glad you are feeling better, hope you have relaxing weekend.

Zoe- ya gotta come further west!

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