Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{January 22, 2009}   Welcome To The World, Teddy!

Congratulations are in order for Sarah, the Resident Historian and Chief Political Correspondent here on Not To Be Trusted With Knives, and her husband, Dave, who welcomed their son, Teddy, to the world on Jan 20!

I’ve seen a few pictures and have to say that he’s pretty damn cute.  Also, he looks just like me when I was born1 . Which totally makes biological sense. I mean, I’m his Aunt Beth2, after all.

On the left, Teddy, in a photo I stole off Dave’s blog. On the right, me, a mere 32 years, 11 days ago.
1Yes, I realize the arrogance of that statement. I have a category of rampant narcissism for a reason, you know!
2where “Aunt” = honorary aunt as we are in no way genetically related.


“It’s as clean as a button”1.

“She’s so tired that her head could pop off!”

“Mommy says a lot of bad words.”  To which my dad asked, “Does Aunt Beth say bad words?” To which my niece replied, “No. Only your other daughter.”

And my personal favourite was this conversation that we had while she was painting and I was uploading pictures to Flickr:

“Lugubrious,” she said, pretty much out of nowhere.

“What’s that mean?” I said, thinking that it was a word she’d made up, sort of like the name Sposheila2.

She looked at me very seriously: “Lugubrious3 means miserable. My teacher taught me that.”

1Apparently she likes to attempt similies, but doesn’t always get them quite right. My sister tells me that one day she walked into the living room, which had just been cleaned and said, “This living room is as clean as a horse in a living room!”
2Her toys are often named Sposheila. Or Sholo.
3Pretty much everyone I’ve told this story too has said, “Lugubrious is not a word.” But it is. I looked it up.
2I love that “miserable” is the word she uses to dumb down the other word to explain it to people. Because “miserable” is a pretty big word in itself. Especially when she could just say “sad.”

{November 21, 2008}   My niece can spell IKEA

Is that normal for a 4-year-old?

I generally like to start my Christmas shopping around Dec 23.  Living across the country from my family means that I can’t really do that, so I generally do my shopping around Dec 18, buying everything in one frantic day and then praying to the FSM that Canada Post will deliver in time for Christmas.  This year, however, I’m going to visit my family in late November for my wee niece’s 4th birthday, so I’ve decided to be responsible and do my Christmas shopping before then so that I can bring all my presents with me to Ontario.  This may also have to do with my cheapness responsible frugality, as bringing presents on my trip means I won’t have to pay the exorbitant shipping costs I usually face come Christmas time.  Thus far, I have purchased a grand total of two – count em, two! – Christmas presents, as well as a few things for my niece’s birthday.  So, yeah, still a ways to go, but it’s a start!

{October 17, 2008}   Oink!

Plane tickets have recently turned mega-cheap, so my sister booked a flight for me to go to T.O. for my niece’s birthday weekend in November.  Madeline is turning 4 when, apparently, she is going to be a big girl.  And have a pig-themed party.  So excited!

{October 10, 2008}   Nice Happy Pretty Things

Due the election and my rising fear of being stuck with another Conservative* government, my blog has been filled with a lot of piss1 and vinegar2 lately.  Plus, I’ve been sick and, thus, whiny.  So I thought that today, you know, for a change of pace, I’d talk about some nice things. Happy things!  Pretty things!

First, check out these beautiful lilies:

When I was home sick on Tuesday, I heard a knock on my door.  It turned out to be my landlords’ daughter, who was stopping by to leave some flowers and groceries for her parents, who were returning the next day from a 17 day cruise to Hawaii3.  “You are actually lucky I’m home,” I said in the Satan-like voice I had that day due to my ridiculously messed up sore throat, “I’m usually not here during the day but I’m home sick today.”  I wasn’t actually saying that for sympathy – I really just felt the need to explain why I was lying on my couch in my PJs on a weekday afternoon.  She went upstairs to put the groceries in the fridge and on her way out she stopped by to give me one of the lilies.  “Here you go,” she said, I thought it would be nice for you to have something that’s pretty and smells nice to make you feel better.”  Isn’t that sweet?

Also, while my landlords were away, I was responsible for watering their plants.  I was kind of freaked out by this, as I am the most useless person when it comes to plants. Seriously, I’ve never had a plant that lived. Ever.  I’ve watered the plants for them when they’ve been away before, but never for 17 days!  I was *sure* that all the plants would perish under my care and my poor landlords would come home to a plant cemetery.  Surprisingly, not only did the plants not die, but one of the African violets, which my landlady lovingly refers to as “my babies”4, bloomed into the most beautiful flowers the day before they got home.  The look on her face when she saw those flowers was thanks enough, but to thank me for watering their flowers, they gave me this:

You know you are jealous!

And finally, because no post about wonderful things would be complete without it: a quotation from my niece.  My niece, like the rest of my family, lives in Toronto.  I, as you know, live in Vancouver.  You know, like, 4000+ km away.  So, my niece says to my sister, “I want to visit Aunt Beth and see her city and her house. But I think I may need to bring a snack. I might get hungry on the way.”

3Holy jealous, Batman!
4Can you see why I was petrified that they would die? Where they = the plants, not the landlords on the cruise. I’m pretty sure Hawaiian cruises are relatively safe.

My niece asked my sister that the other day.  “Mommy, did you know that mosquitoes drink blood?”

“Yes, I did know that,” my sister replied.

“Well, you know what I think?” Madeline said. “I think that they think they are drinking tomato juice.”

My sister and my neice, off on a canoe ride. Photo copyright 2008 Jeff Kramp. All rights reserved.

My sister and my niece, off on a canoe ride. Photo copyright 2008 Jeff Kramp. All rights reserved.

My sister and her bf took my niece on a camping trip last week.  On the way, they were drilling her to remember her name, Nancy’s & Jeff’s names, and their campsite number, in case she got lost.  My niece loves rules and memorizing stuff, so I can imagine that this is something she’d consider to be a good time.  Upon arriving, there were more rules: what to do if you see a bear!  So then they taught her what to do if they saw a bear: stay calm, back away slowly, don’t turn and run, tell the bear “Don’t eat me! I don’t taste very good!”

Later on at the campsite, my sister says, “Pop Quiz, Madeline! What will you do if you see a bear?”

Madeline’s response, “I will tell him that my name is Madeline Zammit and my campsite number is 462.”

And I already miss her to pieces!

{July 2, 2008}   Stuck at the Airport

Oh three hour delays at Toronto airport, how I hate you. And I’m way too cheap to pay the $9.95 it would cost to log onto the internets, so I’m writing this in BlogDesk to publish when I get home.

My flight was supposed to be at 4 p.m., so I left my sister’s place at 2, in case traffic was bad, which it wasn’t, so I’ve been here since 2:30. And around 3:30 they announced that our “aircraft is unserviceable” and that they were trying to locate us a new one. Which they finally did – a plane scheduled to arrive around 5:30, which we can board around 6 to leave at 6:40. I suppose it’s better that we found out the plane was unserviceable now, rather than finding it out when we fall out of the sky. But it’s still not fun. I’ve been filling my time with reading a book1, chatting on the phone, sending text messages, eating french fries2, chain drinking diet colas, and lamenting the things that I realized I forgot at my sister’s place3.

And did I mention that my niece is the cutest thing EVER? More cute things that she said included:

  • While reading The Cat in the Hat (which, for the uninitiated, is a story about two little kids who are at home while their Mother is out and a Cat in a Hat (“Ooh, he’s a troublemaker!” my niece says”) shows up with tricks and games that make a great big mess in the house), at the part just before the Mother gets home: “It’s not safe for children to be left home alone!”
  • “I see a SMART CAR!” – every single time we saw a Smart car.
  • After I told her I had to leave today, because I have to go back home, she asked, “Why?” So I said that I had to go back to work. And she says, “Oh. Can you come back after work?”
  • “Mommy, why are you yelling at that man?” after my sister told the jackass at the butterfly conservatory in no uncertain terms that he was ignorant because he kept touching – and thus, killing – the butterflies, completely disregarding the “do not touch the butterflies” signs.
  • “Let’s show up the road!” (instead of “let’s get this show on the road.”)

Probably the best was what she said yesterday at lunch. My sister has this technique where, if my niece is misbehaving, she tells her “If you don’t start doing what you are told/stop being rude/whatever the misbehaviour is, we will take away your gum/toy/trip to the park/whatever thing she really wants for one week.” And that works pretty well, because she learns that there are consequences to her actions and that she has a choice: behave properly, or lose out on something you like. So we are at a restaurant for lunch yesterday and the waiter gives Madeline a lollipop. But we are on our way home for naptime, so my sister says that she can have the lollipop after her nap, not before. And M is like, “But I can ride my bike holding on with one hand and lick my lollipop with the other hand” (clearly not appreciating that the issue here is the sugar before naptime). So Nancy says “no” to that and Madeline gets very serious and says, “Mommy, you are NOT listening to my good idea. If you don’t listen to my good idea, I will take NO naps for one week.” Oooh, that kid is a troublemaker! And very, very clever!

1Infinite Jest, which I’m still reading but getting very, very close to finishing. For reals.
2Because every restaurant in this airport appears to have the yucky kind of veggie burger. And I already bought a veggie sandwich from Tim Horton’s to eat on the plane, so I didn’t want to have two of those in one day.
3A pair of socks, a wallet my mom gave me, the diet Pepsi I meant to bring to drink in the cab on the way to the airport, and, most distressingly, my phone charger4
4I can charge it up using my USB synching cable, but it’s mch slower than the real charger

{June 29, 2008}   I am sleepy

Now, I like to run, but I’m not used to running *everywhere*. And when you hang out with a three-year-old, it’s all about the running. And the jumping. And spinning spinning spinning. And if the three-year-old is running, you best believe that you are running too. If the three-year-old is jumping, then so too shall you jump. And if the three-year-old wants to spin… well, you will be spinning until you fall down. Or maybe it’s just me and I’m a complete sucker and will do anything a three-year-old tells me. Including – if you can believe this – looking at a spider. A SPIDER! “Hey Aunt Beth, come look at this spider!” And I did!

But who can blame me? I mean, look at how cute this kid is:

And now I will go to bed. Because I’m sure I will have a full day of running, jumping, and spinning in circles ahead of me tomorrow.

{June 27, 2008}   Blogger’s Block

Conversation earlier tonight:

My sister:  I’m tired.

Me:            Me too.  But I need to blog something.

My sister:  What are you going to blog about?

Me:            I don’t know.

My sister:  You could blog about how awesome our backyard is.
               Or how about the delicious Thai dinner we had tonight.
               What are you going to blog about?
               You could blog about how you don’t like veggie food items that pretend to be meat.
               Hey, how about how peaceful our backyard is?

I can’t blog under this kind of pressure!

Oh wait, but I do have to tell you about my niece, who I may not have mentioned is the coolest kid ever.  Last night I went out for dinner with my friend Jen in the Po Cred and by the time I got back to my sister’s place, everyone was already asleep.  Including my niece, who was asleep in my bed.  Apparently she had declared “I’m sleeping in Aunt Beth’s bed tonight” and, because it’s too hot to wear pajamas, “I just want to sleep with my body on.” She cracks me up.

I woke up in the morning and she was staring right at me, about an inch from my face.  “Good morning Aunt Beth!  I slept in your bed!”  Too. Freaking. Cute!

{June 23, 2008}   A Weekend In Pictures

It’s late Monday night and I’m only just now getting around to blogging my weekend… where does the time go? As you know, Friday morning I did the Grind and you don’t know, Friday night I stayed home and did a whole lot of nothing. Honestly, I can’t remember what I did on Friday night. I intentionally stayed home with plans to clean my apartment because (a) I’m going on holiday on Wednesday and I hate coming home to a messy apartment, (b) I figure when you’ve been saying “I can’t even remember the last time I vacuumed” for so long that you don’t remember when you started saying it, that’s a sign it’s really been too long since you vacuumed and (c) sentient lifeforms had started to evolve in my shower. But my mad procrastination skillz took over and I didn’t actually do any cleaning. I know I must have done something, but I really can’t remember what. I’m sure it had something to do with the internets.

Saturday I went to the bank to deal with my big girl investments, which I get to have because I have a big girl job. And then I actually did, in fact, clean. I cleaned the counters in the bathroom & the kitchen. I folded laundry, which had heretofore been sitting in various laundry basket, unfolded, since I did laundry 1, 2 or 3 weeks ago1. I scrubbed the shower. I vacuumed ever inch of carpet. And I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. I knew that you probably wouldn’t believe any of this, so I now provide you with some photographic evidence:

In celebration of my newly cleaned apartment, I went with Rachel & some of her friends to Republic. Republic is a fairly new club on Granville – if memory serves, it just opened up last summer – one that I hadn’t checked out until this weekend. And my assessment of Republic is this: not worth the $18 cover. That’s right, $18 cover. As in 1-8. The club itself was fine – the music was good, if a bit monotonous2 – but the place was a bit small and there were probably 5 girls to ever guy in the place3. And here be the photographic evidence of the night (although I have no idea what Rachel and I are looking at):

Despite being up until the wee hours of the morning, I managed to get myself out of bed and out the door in time to meet Kalev for brunch. And then we decided to check out Greek Day, for which a chunk of West Broadway is closed down to celebrate all things Greek, including, um, cotton candy, bubbles, people on stilts and, um, light sabres?

So, ya, not much really going on for Greek Day. But all was not lost, as we went to see a matinee of Kung Fu Panda. Yay Panda!

Sunday night brought hockey in the form of a hard fought battle against the Rebels, which we lost 4-2. But really 4-3 because we scored this one goal that totally went in but the ref didn’t keep up with play, so didn’t see that it went in and bounced out. Not that we’re bitter or anything.

And then today was a busy day of work, trying to get a bunch of stuff done before I leave for holidays. Did I mention that I get to see my niece, the greatest child ever to grace the earth with her presence?4. And now there’s just one last work day before my trip where I (did I mention?) get to see my niece.  Things I’m looking forward to: actual summer weather, delicious Indian buffet, seeing as many friends as possible in a very short period of time, lunches in the park, going to a pool with a really big slide.  You know you are jealous.

1Um, ya, I do laundry, take it out of the dryer and dump it into a laundry basket, never get around to folding it and just pick through the basketful of clean laundry to find clothes to wear. And then the next week I just dump the newly cleaned clothes on top of whatever as-of-yet unworn clothes were still in said basket. And repeat.
2Somehow they managed to make Sean Kingston, Michael Jackson, Brittany Spears and Bon Jovi all sound exactly the same
3So guys, if you are wondering where all the women are – apparently the answer is Republic on a Saturday night.
4Expect to see copious use of the “aunty blogging” tag here for the next week, btw.

No, I don’t have plans to cut my hair. Nor to stop being a girl. That’s a quotation from my wee niece. My sister asked her if she wanted to get her hair cut and Madeline said, “No, I want to have long hair like you, Mommy.” And when my sister said, “Well, I’m thinking of cutting my hair,” M paused and said, “If I cut my hair, will I still be a girl?” I swear, I used to think stories about kids saying stuff like that were made up.

Only 11 more days ’til I get to go see my niece!  Decided it was time for an impromptu trip to see the fam and work on a top secret project with my sis.  Other plans including seeing some friends, seeing the parental units and having as many dinners as possible in the park.

{June 9, 2008}   Weekend Update
  1. Went to my laser eye surgery consultation on Friday and after watching a cheesy “educational” video – some of which was about the surgery, some of which told me such non-informative things as “hey, did you know glasses and contacts are really annoying?” – and having an ultrasound measurement taken on my eyes, I was informed that I’m a good candidate for either PRK or LASIK due to my above average corneal thickness.  I’m thinking I’ll go with LASIK as it has a much shorter healing time (2-3 days vs. 10 days).  Although I have to admit that I am a bit freaked out by the idea of having a flap cut in my cornea (which is what they do in LASIK; in PRK, they do the surgery without cutting a flap first).  Also, I’m leaning towards going to the more expensive place.  The surgeon is super experienced and I liked him, so I’m thinking it’s worth the money.  I may think differently when I can’t afford to eat because I spent all my money on eye surgery, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
  2. Finished watching Season 4 of 24.  In celebration, I suggest you check out this pie chart.
  3. Booked a flight to Ontario for the end of the month to visit the fam.  My sister has vacation then, so I figured I could take some vacation days as well and hang out with her.  And my wee niece, who we all know is the greatest child ever to have lived.
  4. Won our hockey game last night!  I got an assist!  I can haz 3 game point streak?
  5. Also in the hockey game, I got the flukiest injury ever.  Correction – *before* the hockey game I got the flukiest injury ever.  While getting dressed for the game, just as I reached down to tie up my skate laces, my friend Kim kicked her foot up to tie up her skate laces and nicked my wrist with her skate blade.  Thankfully it was on the side of my wrist and was just a nick – but if I had my hand turned just slightly the other way and if she’d kicked her foot up just a bit higher, that could have been right nasty!
  6. Spent the evening, after the hockey game, playing with Wesabe.  I’ll have more to report later, once I’ve played with it some more, but so far, it’s pretty damn cool.
  7. It’s my dad’s birthday today.  Happy birthday, Daddy!

et cetera