In which I inform the world about snack foods

There is no end to the things I’ve learned through blog. Like, how to parse PHP and SQL on the fly. And also, why slings are better than baby bjorns and some great places to shop online. And about a thousand other things.

In return, I try hard to send quality information out into the Interwebs. Say, for example, you need to know “What are cheesies?” Turns out blog is the number one search return. Yeah, baby. Educating the universe about snack food, that’s my higher purpose.

(I still can’t believe “cheesies” isn’t a universal term. “Cheese puffs” just doesn’t cut it.)

Used to be weight watchers and tim hortons, but I’ve been dethroned on that one. I think I’ll keep my cheesie crown.

(Speaking of cheesies, I’ve been thinking of dredging my archives for fodder. That post is a fun place to start: Buttertarts, cheesies and poutine.)

A fifth of meme

Filched from Raising WEG, a meme of fives:

What were you doing five years ago?

We had just found out that I was pregnant with Simon, and were getting ready to move into this house. I had only been back at work after my maternity leave with Tristan for about five months, and had come back to an entirely new job, my first real “communications” job. I was in way over my head in trying to manage some aspects of our departmental communications about SARS — and trying not to be freaked out about it. It really was a transitional point in our lives, one of those hinges that divides everything into “before” and “after”.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?
(Five? Only five? I could probably give you fifty.)

  • laundry. and more laundry. then some laundry. and some more laundry.
  • scour the kitchen to try to combat the ant infestation and look into some baby and pet friendly chemical solutions.
  • get out to Home Depot to get a new hose and an extender-thingee to get our faucet to a more convenient and reachable location that is not buried deep in behind the shrubberies.
  • hang the baby swing for Lucas I picked up on for $5.
  • do some online research about our multi-generational family trip to Lake Placid next month.

(Sigh, I don’t think I’ll get to all five.)

What are five snacks you enjoy?

  • BBQ chips – just like Geddy Lee on BNL’s Snacktime CD!
  • Oatmeal choco-chip cookies that have been nuked to make the chips melty.
  • Tostitos ‘hint of jalapeno’ bite-sized rounds with Jack’s Garden salsa.
  • Fundips.
  • Oriental rice crackers.

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

  • How about I just say “everything” and be done with it?

What are five of your bad habits?

  • Eating out of boredom or stress.
  • Dropping things wherever I lose interest in them, instead of taking ten seconds to actually put things away.
  • Reading e-mail and then forgetting to reply.
  • Procrastinating.
  • Stopping by the Tim’s drive-thru for coffee every time I have an errand to run.

What are five places where you have lived?

I’ve only lived in two cities (London, ON and Ottawa), but here are five different living arrangements I’ve had:

  • Renting a room in a house, which I lost when they kicked me out because a friend had lost her apartment and needed a place to live.
  • My own tiny apartment in a sixplex in old Ottawa South.
  • Renting a room in a seven-bedrooom student slum, even though I was a full-time worker and only going to school part-time.
  • Renting a couple of rooms with a friend in the attic of a mansion in Sandy Hill, from a man we later found out was under observation by CSIS for suspicion of running guns to Iraq.
  • Sharing ownership of a triplex in the Glebe with my ex-husband, his parents, his aunt and uncle, and his cousin. Yes, all SEVEN of us were on the deed.

What are five jobs you’ve had?

  • communications advisor
  • video store clerk
  • assessing and correcting income tax returns
  • ice-cream scooper
  • computer systems tester

I’m supposed to tag five people. (I hate tagging people. I want to tag everyone, because I love to be tagged, but then I forget to do the meme and I feel guilty and I don’t want to add to anyone’s stress levels. I know, I just have to get over myself sometimes.) Um, okay, I know Theresa has a new blog, so she might like to be tagged. And Alison and Miche are always up for a meme, right? And Chantal might like to play along. And I’ll leave the fifth space open for anybody else who wants to give it a go.

Smuggler’s Notch special deal just for you

You know I love you, right? And as my mother taught me, “if you love me, buy me things.” Well, I haven’t exactly bought something for you, but I do have some freebies and a great deal to offer, too.

First, the great deal. Remember when I told you earlier about how my friends at Smugglers’ Notch gave me my first writing credit for their resort magazine? Well, at the same time we worked out a special deal for any of you who might have been inspired enough by my most excellent and unbiased travel reporting to plan a family vacation at Smuggs for yourself.

Book any FamilyFest Summer Vacation Package at Smugglers’ Notch for this summer (June 13 – September 1, 2008) and tell them you want the “Postcards from the Mothership” deal, and you’ll get a 20% discount! In addition to the fun I blogged about last summer (remember the segways, the excellent day camp for kids, the waterslides and pools and mini-golf, not to mention the endless canoe trip?) this year they’ve got some cool new stuff like chocolate tasting and bike-boards (three-wheeled scooters) and adventures in kayaking and rock-climbing, plus a whole lot more.

If you go, let me know! I’d love to hear about it. And, as a self-appointed bloggy ambassador to Smuggs, I’d be happy to answer any questions about our trip. For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Smuggs website. Don’t forget to tell them you want the “Postcards from the Mothership” deal!

And now the freebies: the nice folks over at Hachette publishing sent out Mothers Day book packages to a handful of bloggers recently, and I’d like to share mine with you. These are the books they sent (minus a few I’ve already given away):

1. Your Best Life Now For Moms by Joel Osteen
2. How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger by Charla Krupp
3. Bobbi Brown Living Beauty by Bobbi Brown
4. Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics by Wendy Mullin & Eviana Hartman
5. Jewels: 50 Phenomenal Black Women Over 50 by Michael Cunningham & Connie Briscoe
6. On Becoming Fearless: …in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington
7. Days: From the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch
8. Starting Your Day Right: Devotions for Each Morning of the Year by Joyce Meyer
9. Ending Your Day Right: Devotions for Every Evening of the Year by Joyce Meyer
10. Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles by Gloria Feldt and Kathleen Turner

If you’d like to win one, leave a comment… but not just any comment! Leave me a comment recommending a book that you have loved, or think I must read. Also, if you have a particular preference for one of the books listed, be sure to let me know.

I’ll leave this open for comments until June 15.

More meme-aliciousness

More fun filched from About Miche:

Your Thinking is Abstract and Sequential

You like to do research and collect lots of information.
The more facts you have, the easier it is for you to learn.

You need to figure things out for yourself and consider all possibilities.
You tend to become an expert in the subjects that you study.

It’s difficult for you to work with people who know less than you do.
You aren’t a very patient teacher, and you don’t like convincing people that you’re right.

It’s all true, except for the fact I’ve been told I’m actually a pretty good teacher, and my thinking these days is pretty much along the lines of, “Where was I? Oh right! *pause* Erm, where was I?”

Doing it right

Chris over at Smartmouth Mombie tagged me for her most excellent Mother’s Day meme. She said:

I think the Moms/Mommies/Mamas in the blogosphere spend more than enough time admitting our shortcomings and not nearly enough time celebrating our strong points. So, I’m suggesting that on Mother’s Day, or the day after, or at least some time in May, you take a moment and make a list of three things that you do well as a mother and either post it in the comments here or in your own blog.

She’s so right. We really have to find more time to celebrate the things we as mothers are doing right. Confident as I am in my mad mothering skillz most days, I still found it surprisingly difficult to write this post – and not only because I am trying to write it while stuffing the soother back into Lucas’s mouth every two minutes while he fusses on the swing beside me. Three things I’m doing right, in no particular order:

  1. I’m fairly consistent with rules, routines and discipline. I set limits and impose structure, and stick by them so the boys always know where the lines are drawn and even what to expect from daily routines. I’ve recently begun to perfect my hairy eyeball, a gift from my own mother, so that I can often convey more effective threat of consequences with a single look than I could with 100 words. But I strive to be reasonable, and try to see things from their perspective before meting out discipline.
  2. The boys know they are loved, by me and Beloved and their extended family and friends. I never miss an opportunity to tell them how much I love them and how wonderful they are. Tristan and Simon both made Mother’s Day ‘stories’ in their classes with fill-in-the-blank statements like “My mommy’s name is” (Simon said, “just mommy”) and “My mommy’s favourite food is” (Tristan said “coffee”). Both of them ended with a variation on the same sentiment: I love my mommy because: she loves me.” Reading that, I felt like I was doing a good job as a mother. Come what may, I promise to always love them and always stand behind them.
  3. I let the boys play, and I play with them — sometimes. I think I strike a pretty good balance between letting them entertain themselves, inspiring entertainment (nothing like the sudden appearance of fresh bubbles to improve an otherwise boring afternoon) or joining in on the fun. I like adventures as much as they do, and love family walks, visits to the museum, the park or the pool.

Phew, that was harder than I thought. First, all modesty aside, I thought I wouldn’t be able to narrow it down to three — and then once I got going, I found it hard to find three good ones!

Now it’s your turn to share with the class. Consider yourself tagged and play along, either in the comments or back at your place. Name three parenting things that you do well.

(Edited to add, after two days with ZERO comments: Really? Nobody can think of three things they’re doing well??)

Oh great, something else to obsess over

Filched from Suze:

Your Score: The True Neurotic

You scored 54 anxiety, 53 awkwardness, and 67 neuroticism!

Congratulations, you are The True Neurotic, you nail-biting, conflict-avoiding worrier, you. You’re plagued by self-doubt and anxiety, which makes social activity hard–even though you may be well-liked, you feel under a storm of silent criticism. It doesn’t help that people give you funny looks for organizing all your pens by color or sharpening your gnawed pencils to a delicate point.

Your high anxiety score implies that you are unable to relax, worry about the future often, and probably are plagued by irrational fears and self-doubt.

Your high awkwardness score implies that you are socially inept, probably stick out from the crowd, and feel uncomfortable in large groups of people, such as at parties.

Your high neuroticism score implies that you exhibit neurotic behaviors–probably organization, fanatic obsessions (can you recite the entire first LOTR movie?), repetitive mantras, constant checking, or orderly rituals.

Link: The Neurotic Test written by littlelostsnail

Sheesh, I took the test three times, thinking maybe I was exaggerating my responses a bit the first go around, and I keep getting the same result. I’m not THAT neurotic. (Am I?)

Because the last quiz was so much fun…

You know I love my iPod. You know I love memes. You know I love quizzes that compel you to comment. How could I resist an iPod-shuffle-meme-lyric-quiz? Thanks to Alison for this one!

The Rules:

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 50 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing. (I got to 35 before the baby woke up)
Step 3: Bold out the songs when someone guesses both artist and song title correctly.
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own.

And, after seeing what the iPod coughed up, I am adding Step 6: Do not mock my taste in music!

  1. Baby we can talk all night But that ain’t getting us nowhere: Meatloaf – Two out of three ain’t bad
  2. My friend assures me, “It’s all or nothing.”
  3. Love makes me treat you The way that I do: Billie Holliday – Baby Ain’t I Good to You

  4. Come out Virginia, don’t let me wait: Billy Joel – Only the Good Die Young
  5. Summer has come and passed The innocent can never last: Green Day – Wake me up when September Ends
  6. Throw away the radio suitcase That keeps you awake: Our Lady Peace – Clumsy
  7. This thing called love I just can’t handle it : Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  8. love I get so lost, sometimes: Peter Gabriel – In your eyes

  9. Bill Barilko disappeared that summer: Tragically Hip – Fifty Mission Cap
  10. Wake up maggie I think I got something to say to you: Rod Stewart – Maggie May
  11. And the men who hold high places will be the ones to start: Rush – Closer to the Heart
  12. Sundown in the Paris of the prairies: Tragically Hip – Wheat Kings
  13. I can see her lyin back in her satin dress: Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown
  14. The heart is a bloom, shoots up through the stony ground: Beautiful Day – U2
  15. How do you document real life When real life is getting more Like fiction each day: Rent soundtrack
  16. I’m trying to tell you something about my life, Maybe give you insight between black and white: INdigo Girls – Closer to Fine
  17. Take me out tonight, Where there’s music and there’s people: The Smiths – There is a light that never goes out
  18. Stayed awake all night toss and turnin’, Now my blood shot eyes are burnin’
  19. Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go: Ramones – I wanna be sedated
  20. Standing in the dock at Southampton, Trying to get to Holland or France: Beatles – Ballad of John and Yoko
  21. Everyone who sees you thinks you should be smiling: TPOH – Hard to Laugh
  22. When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school,
    It’s a wonder I can think at all: Paul Simon – Kodachrome
  23. Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you’re never coming round: Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart
  24. At home drawing pictures of mountain tops with him on top: Pearl Jam – Jeremy
  25. I I will be king And you You will be queen: David Bowie – Heroes
  26. I’m so cool, too bad I’m a loser: BNL – Falling for the First Time
  27. Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick, and think of you: Cyndy Lauper: Time after Time

  28. Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord that David played: Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen

  29. There is freedom within, there is freedom without: Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
  30. I can’t stand to fly, I’m not that naive. Five for Fighting – Superman (It’s not easy)
  31. She’s got a smile that it seems to me, Reminds me of childhood memories: GNR – Sweet Child Of Mine
  32. Here they come, walking down the street: Monkee’s Theme
  33. 1 2 1 2 3 Yeah I was working part time in a five-and-dime: Prince – Raspberry Beret

  34. Music is a world within itself With a language we all understand: Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke

  35. Well, I don’t hate my parents, I don’t get drunk just to spite them: TPOH – I’m an Adult Now

I found this one way easier than the movie quote quiz. What do you think?

I thought for sure I’d be the dash — or, the ellipses…

Filched from Toddled Dredge, deep in my unexamined Bloglines account:

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.
You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.
(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

The movie quote meme

Filched from Alison at Party of 3, the movie quote meme.

The rules:

* Pick 10 (or so) of your favorite movies.
* Find, remember, or look up a quote from each movie.
* Post them here for everyone to guess.
* Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
* NO googling or cheating by doing an online search. Cheaters never prosper.
* Share the fun and only guess one movie.

Edited to add: They’re all outed, but this was so much fun we’ll play again soon! I can’t believe it took less than 24 hours to get them all! Let me know if you do the meme so I can play along, too.

  1. You just got lesson number one: don’t think; it can only hurt the ball club. Kate guessed it! Bull Durham, best sports movie evah!
  2. You know, there’s a million fine looking women in the world, dude. But they don’t all bring you lasagna at work. Most of ’em just cheat on you. Natasha and Reluctant Housewife guessed it: Clerks. As Natasha notes, it’s Silent Bob’s only line in the whole movie.
  3. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. And then, one not-so-very special day, I went to my typewriter, I sat down, and I wrote our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. A love that will live forever. The End. Mad Hatter guessed it: Moulin Rouge! Although after calling one of my all-time fave movies “wretched” I may have to reassess my endless affection and admiration for her.
  4. It also left a man’s decapitated body lying on the floor next to his own severed head. The head, which of this time, has no name. Trixie guessed it: Highlander! We considered naming Lucas “Connor McLeod”, partly because McLeod is my granny’s maiden name and partly for the geeky insider’s joke!
  5. Bye-bye boys. Have fun storming the castle! Madeleine guessed it: The Princess Bride, of course.
  6. Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in The Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people. Liz, Kerry, Renee and Anne guessed it: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It was the first “boy drives to your house, picks you up and takes you to a movie, then takes you to a park to make out afterward” date I ever went on!
  7. Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed! Miche guessed it: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Are there any movies more quotable than Monty Python? It was so hard to choose!
  8. It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing. Mama V guessed it: LOTR – Fellowship of the Ring.
  9. That ain’t no etch-a-sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be un-did, homeskillet. jo(e) guessed it: Juno! (Great movie!! I saw it when I was waiting for Lucas to arrive, one Tuesday morning all by myself in the theatre. It was actually my second attempt at seeing the movie; the first time, I lost my mucous plug in the cinema washroom between buying my popcorn and the start of the movie, and left the theatre in a fit of optimism in thinking the baby was on the way — about three weeks before he actually did arrive.)
  10. I can’t fire them. I hired these guys for three days a week and they just started showing up every day. That was four years ago. Chrissey, B&P, Suze and Rebecca guessed it: High Fidelity. The intersection of Nick Hornby and John Cusack — does it get any better than that?
  11. You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library. Erin guessed it: Good Will Hunting.
  12. Naked blonde walks into a bar with a poodle under one arm, and a two-foot salami under the other. The bartender says, I guess you won’t be needing a drink. Naked lady says…OH SHIT!!Liz and Anne guessed it: The Breakfast Club!
  13. I have no thought at all about my own reward, I really didn’t come here on my own accord. Just don’t say I’m damned for all time.NoMoEarth and Reluctant Housewife guessed it: Jesus Christ Superstar! Props for getting an obscure one! My mother used to listen to this soundtrack when she cleaned the house, and I had the whole thing memorized by the time I was ten years old.
  14. It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Nancy, Kerry and Karen guessed it: The Blues Brothers!
  15. All the ways you wish you could be, that’s me. I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not. kgirl guessed it: Fight Club. I don’t know why I love this movie so much, but I really do.

FWIW, all of these quotes are from movies I own or intend to acquire. Have fun!