"I'm cold and there are wolves after me..." - Grandpa Simpson

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


It's happened - Erica has an imaginary friend! The sitter noticed her talking to an empty chair one day and asked me about it. At the time, I'd never noticed her doing it. Today, she walked up to me and said, "Mommy, say hi to Daisy." and gestured to the space beside her. I said, "Hi Daisy, how are you?" I asked her what Daisy looked like, and apparently she's pink. We had to take Daisy with us to bring James to school, and Erica kept saying "Daisy's happy! Daisy's happy!" Now, I don't quite know if I find the whole invisible friend thing cute or creepy. Maybe if I'd never seen any horror flicks I wouldn't be so biased about it, but whenever I pat Daisy's invisible little head to humour Erica, all I think about is that scene in Amityville horror when the mom is likewise addressing the 'invisible friend' Jody, and then they show Jody, a 5 year old girl ghost with a ghastly gunshot wound in her forehead and grayish green skin(why do they always make ghosts appear to have been immersed in swamp muck in the movies?)smiling deviously back at the mother! After we had dropped James off and come home, Erica accused me of leaving Daisy out in the car. I said, "Erica, if I can't see her, it means that she can walk through walls so she can come in by herself." I pretty much regretted saying that as soon as it was out of my mouth. What does everyone think of the invisible friend thing? Who had one as a kid?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Questioning an Insignificant Social Norm

Here's something that popped into my head while in the shower at 5:30 this morning: Why is it socially acceptable for women to have hair on their forearms but not anywhere else? I put Nair on my arms once to test how the Nair would react with my skin. My arm turned out nice and smooth, but it looked strange.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Imagination Only a Child Could Have

The other day the kids and I were playing My Little Ponies. Yes, I was too - I told you I was a strange one! I'm usually the groomer and the supplier of feminine, breathy neighing noises, which the ponies do frequently because, well, they're ponies. James plays, but he always puts a boyish spin on things - for instance, one time he proclaimed a blue-bodied and orange-haired pony a boy and named him Derek, and pretended Derek was an Elvis impersonator who performed a concert for the other ponies in the surf shack area of Erica's Butterfly Island playset. He also recently put a stretch of train track in front of the ponies' 'house' so they could take a train into the city. The other day, he took a toy sand sifter and started whacking the floor with it. He instructed me to put one of the ponies under it, and I did, and then he explained "Now the pony has to go to the hospital, he got hurt playing in the water wheel." I put the pony in the 'hospital'(which is actually an ice cream stand) and James grabbed another pony who apparently was a doctor. I had to say, "Can I have a bandaid?" and the 'doctor' responded, "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do. You got hurt too bad. There is one thing I can do - I have to go in the backyard and build a ferris wheel that goes SO FAST that you feel better as soon as you come off of it. I'll have to work day and night, day and night!" The doctor pony then went around back and whipped up an invisible ferris wheel, took the injured pony by the hair and started spinning her furiously in the air, and when he stopped, I took the pony and said "Oh thank you, doctor Sunny Daze(the pony's name), I feel so much better! Neigh, neigh...." I totally broke character and laughed hysterically at James's outrageous cure, and I was amazed that he was able to come up with something so absurdly random without missing a beat! Erica was laughing, too, but I think it was more the sight of the pony twirling around top speed by her hair than anything!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Addressing the Cleaner Stigma

I've never understood why people react so strangely when I tell them what I do for a living. Certain types of people never fail to give certain reactions, as well. For example:

A friend of the family who hasn't seen me in a while: Q - So what have you been doing lately? A - Just working, pretty much. Q - Oh! Where do you work? A - I work for a cleaning company. A - Oh.(brief silence) Well, at least it's a job!
I've had that reaction quite often.

A well to do person who I am casually introduced to: Q - And what do you do? A - Um, I'm a cleaner. A - Hmph..(snobby sniff)

Someone who is better off than me but still not well off enough to be uppity: Q - Well, this type of person almost never asks point blank what you do for a living because they themselves don't want to be asked, but if it comes up somehow, they usually respond like: a) Oh really? What does that pay like? Or b) Do you like it? How long have you been doing that for? Often they'll tell me about this sister in law or that cousin that ran a small cleaning business. Sometimes they ask how much we charge, because they want to see if they'd be able to afford a clean or two. The experience is usually most pleasant with this kind of reaction.

Someone who is my social equal: Q - Are they hiring? A - They might be, soon. Q - Can you hand in a resume for me? A - Sure.

I've found that a lot of people make it a point to never talk shop with me again once they've found out what I do. People who never bothered before all of a sudden start frantically cleaning when they know I'm coming over and I run into a wall of bleach and Pine-Sol fumes upon opening the door. Or, if they couldn't get around to cleaning, they apologize repeatedly about the state of their house and mutter "Look at all this dust, ugh..."

What do I think about all this? To begin with, people don't need to pity me. I could get a better paying job easily, if I wanted to I could go out tomorrow and get one. The thing is, I enjoy what I do for a living. I find cleaning very satisfying, it keeps me busy, it's never boring or repetitive, and it's good exercise. Secondly, people don't need to look down on me. I'm not collecting welfare, I'm not a hooker, stripper or drug dealer. I work honestly like everyone else, and the government has their greedy hands on my paycheque every Friday just like they do everyone else's.
Thirdly, people don't need to apologize for the state of their house. At work it's annoying because we hear apologies so often - that's what we're there to do, to purge your house of the 'embarrassing' dirt. We do that day in and day out, there is nothing we haven't seen. I don't look at a bathroom with hair and dust covering every surface, soap scum built up in the sink and toothpaste all over the mirror and think, 'Ugh, these people are nasty pigs', I think 'Obviously this is the bathroom they use the most, it's going to take a bit of work.' When I am visiting the houses of friends or family, I don't even notice dirt at all. When I'm not at work or about to clean my own house, I don't see the dust or fingerprints, I don't even look, honestly. I have been known to start cleaning my parents' house while over there, but that's either because I'm trying to kill time before Sunday dinner is ready, or I'm trying out a new cleaning product that they bought! Sure, it's not the best job in the world, but isn't it at least worth it if I enjoy what I'm doing? That's more than a lot of people can say about their job!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Oh, what a horrible blogger I've been lately - no posting, no commenting...for shame! I'm coming down with the cold that everyone seems to have right now, and am relaxing in stereotypical Canadian fashion - drinking a Tim Horton's coffee and watching the hockey game, and the Leafs are totally smoking Boston. However, the Leafs have an unfortunate tendency of letting go of sometimes huge leads and losing. How was everyone's Christmas and New Year? I always get disappointed after the holidays are over - it's a huge buildup for one day and then it's done. No more tips, no more cards, no more pretty lights or Christmas specials on tv, you're just stuck with the rest of winter. It really helps when that winter is 10 degrees and devoid of snow, though. The kids both got what they had asked Santa for, James a guitar and the new Pirates of the Caribbean DVD, amongst many other things - and Erica got her My Little Pony set and a bunch of new ponies, which she is thoroughly enjoying! We didn't do much for New Years, Mike and I drank Chardonnay and watched war movies. Actually, we've been watching war movies pretty much all week! Everyone must watch 'Empire of the Sun'. It's about an extremely irritating British boy who is living in China when Japan invaded, gets separated from his parents in a panicked, stampeding crowd of people and ends up in a concentration camp where he goes from naive, childish choirboy to a hardened survivor type. It's really good, watch it. Well, that's all for now, I promise I will update more frequently!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Oh man, last night I dreamt that I'd been invited to Justin Timberlake's birthday and I actually showed up wearing a purple fuzzy hoodie with flowers and teddy bears on it, high waisted, stone wash jean shorts and running shoes with socks. Why it was Justin Timberlake's party I was at I don't know, but hey, at least I wasn't naked!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bringin' it Up to Date

I haven't updated in a while, and no, I don't have any good excuse. I haven't been terribly busy, my internet and computer have not been shut down, I just haven't felt like it, haven't had anything really worth posting on the internet. And although I still don't, I'll give a quick rundown of the events dating from Thanksgiving until now just to keep things fresh.

- Had a great Thanksgiving dinner, it was, as I described to my friend, a little slice of heaven on a plate.
- Didn't make it to the Westfield Halloween festival as planned because it was pouring rain and freezing cold and the event takes place mainly outside. Was quite disappointed.
- Got James's school pictures back, and as always, he looks like an absolute angel in it. You just cannot take a bad picture of that child, I am jealous!

- Got digital cable back and have been thoroughly enjoying it ever since.

- Have started ghost hunting with Mike as a hobby. It's really fun, and it gives us an excuse to go to cemeteries at night! Mike discovered that there is a guy at his work that does the same thing with his wife, so we may even join up sometime!

- Have taken to going to the Goodwill store every weekend and buying books. Soon, I will need to get myself a new bookshelf as I am quickly running out of room. I have a whole pile of romance books that were given to me that I don't want, any takers?

- Went to the Remembrance Day ceremony on Saturday and got rained on, but I'm not made of sugar. Besides, the soldiers who fought in the wars didn't have the luxury of staying all toasty and dry in their barracks when it was raining, so why should we, on the day when we're supposed to be at those ceremonies, showing our gratitude and support? I always go, no matter what the weather. The tone of this year's ceremony was different, it was less retrospective because of the current activity in Afghanistan. The emphasis was more on supporting the troops. It was sad because there were some mothers whose children had gone over there and didn't come back, and you could tell they were pretty upset. The bugler who played the Last Post and Reveille was excellent!

Movies I've Watched

North Country - fantastic, Charlize Theron should have won the Oscar instead of Reese Witherspoon. Not that Reese didn't do a great job in Walk the Line, but I think Charlize's performance was a bit more moving.

Dear Wendy - Weird, low budget indie movie, but intriguing and subtly disturbing. It's about a group of teen/twentysomething pacifists who have a special interest in firearms who form a secret society called the 'Dandies'. They make their lair in an abandoned mine shaft and spend their time reading up on and watching movies about firearm exit wounds and different shooting techniques. And they also like dressing up in fruity costumes and dancing through the streets of their hick town, drinking wine, listening to the Zombies, and even having poetry readings where they would recite odes to their guns. It was a very bizarre movie, but I loved it.

Books I've read

- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (almost finished)
- There is no Armour by Howard Spring (a quarter of the way through)
- Antiquing for Housewives(printed in 1959, very sexist language but entertaining)
- Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (haven't started it yet)
- Hamlet and the Merchant of Venice. If you don't know the author to those you need to get out from under the rock and go to school!

I think that's a pretty accurate summary of the past month.