Thursday, December 29, 2005

yay! new furniture, new paint, new year!

I got a new sideboard yesterday! what fun! It's BEAUTIFUL. I think this is my first piece of REAL furniture that isn't upholstered (important qualifier since I've bought brand-new chesterfields and mattresses in the past). I have always purchased cabinets, bureaus, tables etc from second hand places or dubious antique shops that refurbish cast-aways and then price them at a hundreds of dollars. Either that or our trusty Value Village and Interfaith stores.

Amazingly enough they delivered the sideboard ON TIME, I wasn't even home yet - luckily the painter guy let them in. Yes, I'm also getting the house painted. This is Nesting with a Vengeance. I just don't want to have things bugging me after the baby arrives. Yeah, that's it. I'm feeling SO much better about the house now that things are actually happening. If only I could wave a magic wand and have the basement sterilized and redone by next week, I could start the new year off with a huzzah worth the yelling!

Speaking of New Year, it seems pretty low key this year. Mine, of course, started on the 22nd as the year turned past solstice - the earth creaked to a standstill and reversed its tilt, and we're off on another pendulum swing through to midsummer's day. Anyway, for the secular festivities this weekend I'm going to a fondue with a bunch of girls - there's something really horrible about being surrounded by kissing couples when one is single. I either end up shunning the party scene or leaving before the clock strikes. What I want to know is, where do all the single guys go? Do they mope around at home, or drink with their buddies, or what?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Loot! gotta love the season

I've never grown out of my delight in receiving gifts. Big ones, little ones, ones that climb on rocks... any gift is a source of immediate pleasure. The only gift I remember ever thinking was awful was a framed patch of dryer lint that someone brought to a pirate gift exchange at work one year. Luckily I wasn't saddled with having to throw it out - even the frame was really ugly. There is a limit, after all.

Interestingly my gift-receiving delight is not matched by any semblance of gift-giving talent. This year I'm doing gifts-by-deadline. Most of them are glimmers of ideas until the day or two prior to the event where the exchange will happen - an open house, dinner, tea, whatever. Sometimes I've had an idea for a gift for quite some time, but more often I have a mild feeling of panic as I trawl the stores for something appropriate - I have realized that I just don't REMEMBER things about my friends enough to be a really good gift-giver. I can't remember what colours they like, what style of jewelry or genre of book or music. It's actually quite distressing and sad when I realize how little I remember.

One of the women at work has a detailed spreadsheet with events, ideas and tidbits that provide her with clues as to what an appropriate gift might be. I think she is my hero. I've thought about having a little notebook of ideas - maybe the new year is a good time to start.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Shriek! I have MOULD!!

Does it GET ANY WORSE? well, at least this stuff is in the basement. I guess Mould on Me would be worse! It likes to eat the paper on the drywall material, which is pretty gross. Not quite as gross as backed up sewage or an Infestation by Centipedes, but Mould definitely is in the running for Most Disgusting Basement Denizen.

Apparently it lurks around in spore form (mould equivalent of a string-bikini) reading smut novels and the Inquirer, waiting for Conditions to be Optimal for setting up luxury condominiums and other mould-inspired high-density dwellings on one's walls. Once the Optimal Conditions develop (read: moisture) it shifts into high gear, the bulldozers start rolling and it's all over: Mould has Established a Destination Resort Colony. The only way to get rid of it is to institute a Complete Extermination: mould-killer, a demolition ball, a containment zone to seal off any escapees, and a SWAT team to ensure the Zone is Clear.

Sigh. Of course, all this costs a lot of money. Which I no longer have, since I just spent it on furniture and flooring materials for the aforesaid basement.

On the bright side, my athsma may actually clear up after this is over - I've been having quite the struggle with it, and was blaming it all on the pregnancy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Try not to panic

I had a full-blown panic attack in the middle of the night. Complete with cold sweat, pounding heart, lack of air and feelings of imminent doom. I jumped out of bed and was racing down the hall before I woke up enough to stop myself. Would have been ironic to go charging out of the house, have an athsma attack from the cold air and collapse from lack of oxygen. It was quite alarming at the time but seems a bit comical now. I thought of phoning the midwife but what would one say? "I think I'm going to die in less than a minute, but I know that can't be true, but it feels like it will definitely happen, so what do you suggest?" My rational mind was going "you're being an idiot. Nothing is wrong. Go back to bed" but my emotional mind was having none of that. Guess who won.

I ended up wandering in circles with the phone clutched in one hand and the midwife number in the other (I've written it in large numbers on an index card - I can never remember numbers when I'm feeling bad). It did ease after fifteen minutes or so, but heaven only knows why it happened in the first place. I was breathing fine, as far as I can remember. The mysteries of life as ... me, I guess. Maybe it was because I bought a bunch of furniture two nights ago? That's anxiety causing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Boulders, Stones, or pebbles?

A couple of pals and I forayed into the Land of Sports Bra Fitting this weekend. I'd seen an advertisement in the local fitness mag about, a local outfit who outfit women with bras. After variously cajoling and coercing friends, acquaintances and the odd passerby to come with us, we three stalwarts set off to the Far North East (well it FEELS like another country sometimes) to be Fitted.

I can't say my girls were thrilled at the thought of a bra fitting. Usually they're quite happy to be out on day passes on Saturdays, Sundays, and evenings, but with the impending arrival of Junior they've plumped up quite a bit and are a little too...forward... to be taken into public untethered. They just don't understand the concept of "shy and retiring" and tend to bounce around, wanting to look at this, touch that, chat with the cute guy in the grocery store. You know how it is.

Once we got there we were greeted by two formidable Bras hung at eye level on the far wall: one pair was the size of two-ton boulders, the other pair could have comfortably fit only golf balls. It takes all kinds, and this store apparently stocked them.

Two equally formidable but friendly women (they were hockey players who, oddly enough didn't have mullets), greeted us and immediately asked us what sport we were into. S. could legitimately say she was a runner, and J. could legitimately say she was thinking of training for a 5k in the spring. Yours truly, on the other hand, could confess only to being a dedicated C.P. (couch potato) - one training session does not an athlete make. I mumbled something about "maternity?" and "weekend support?" and smiled hopefully. They looked at me pityingly and launched immediately into Athletics Conversations with my two companions.

Apparently the secret to a good sports bra is:
1. Find one about two rib sizes tighter than the ones you normally wear and at least one cup size smaller. Apparently most women wear bras that are too big - if they ride up in the back, they're the wrong size.
2. If it's harder to breathe, you've made a good start.
3. The kind that cross over in the back and have rebar inserts are the best to ensure No Movement Whatsoever.
4. The girls will complain. One bra we tried on (we all HAD to, it is the reigning Queen of Sports Bras and one does not refuse an Invitation from the Queen) was made so you did up the two lower front hooks, bent over, squished in the girls and then did up the rest. Once it's on, however, it's heaven. Except for the breathing part. But apparently when you're "in the zone" working out, you tend to forget minor points like breathing.
5. Bring friends with you when you go, and make a private appointment if you can. It's way more fun, and you can prance around sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Wine or martinis to bolster (hee hee) one's courage are probably not a bad idea either if there is a convenient watering hole on the way.

I did end up finding a couple of weekend bras - which, apparently most people don't have, so I'd better explain: weekend bras are Not Serious. They have no underwire, no extra padding to hide obstreperous nipples, and no fancy lace (unless they're Saturday Night bras, which are a whole other story, the little hussies). They are, in short, mere Supports rather than Items of Armour worn against Wandering Eyeballs in the mostly-male environment in which I work.

They say men think of sex every 10 seconds. I can personally attest that it is at least that often, and is likely to occur more often than that when a) any woman walks into their office or meeting room, b) any woman shifts in her chair c) any woman passes their field of view, d) extrapolate freely from here. I don't think it's a lewd thing most of the time, though I have met those too. Mostly, it's just a one-track mind. Poor things. The well-bred ones do it with highly specialized peripheral vision. The stupid ones glance or talk directly at the girls. In any case I try not to encourage their speculative musings on my breasts (yes, they do speculate, and have admitted to it in various states of inebriation).

Oops, I think I've ranted into another topic. Back to bras: if you're jiggling when you work out, GO GET A BETTER BRA. I've seen women running on the path whose girls were doing trapeze artist imitations as they went. Not only is it distracting to avoid them as they swing by your face, I can't believe it isn't painful. And according to the Bra Shop women, the damage to your breast tissue is irreversible unless you're into expensive surgery.

So, now that we've Been and Come Back Again, and our girls are appropriately attired, we're awash in business cards to hand out to all and sundry. My own girls are cozy, though somewhat grumpy at the lack of profile. I keep telling them to wait for Baby, they'll be out and about with their own little front doors...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Slave-Drivers aren't ALL bad

Had my first-ever personal training session last night. L showed up with an exercise ball in one hand and a clip board in the other. I tried throwing out a few decoys: "oh, have you seen the darling night light I bought for junior?" and "Can you believe I have these hedgehog chocolates and I still haven't eaten them!" and "I'm feeling a bit tired tonight..." -- but she was having none of it. "Yeah, that's nice Z. where's the workout area?" I could see she was Focused. Bitch. I hated her already. Off we staggered downstairs to where I had hastily vacuumed and mopped a clean spot in the disaster that passes for my basement rumpus room (I can't bring myself to call it the "home entertainment room" - that would mean it has Status and needs to be Regularly Cleaned).

She is very clever, I have to say - she started off with an innocuous "Let's start off with a warm-up: Why don't you do 5 minutes on the elliptical?" About a minute later, the whining began. "Do I have to do 5 minutes? isn't 2 enough?... my legs are a bit sore... I think I'm going to have trouble walking tomorrow". Needless to say, none of it worked. It was 5 whole minutes (at the non-programmed, zero resistance level). I got off feeling a bit disgruntled. The Princess Act was Not Working. I threw a few dirty looks her way. She beamed happily back at me.

We moved on to floor exercises, which were finely calculated to turn my muscles into wibbly bits - "okay lie down, put your legs up on this ball, lift one leg into the air, and lift the rest of your body sideways onto your first three finger tips while doing a hula-hoop movement". Okay, maybe they weren't quite that complicated but L's favorite expression is "let's add a little interest to this!" and I'm thinking "I'm INTERESTED ALREADY, and if I have to move one more body part my sadly taxed brain cells are going to have a seizure!" --kind of like when your mom said your face would freeze if you practiced too many wierd contortions with it. As a kid. I don't do that anymore. Really.

In short, the cacophony was deafening (is that redundant?) between my whining about how many reps I'd REALLY done (she can count and make chatty comments all at the same time), her exhaustingly enthusiastic count-downs, and the two cats insisting I hadn't fed them enough supper. To top it all off, she insisted on doing every exercise twice which was really very mean, I thought. After all, I was already pathetically flailing around trying to do one set without bursting any blood vessels or having a cardiac arrest.

At the end of it all I was convinced I'd be in a body cast before the next day was out, but she was heartless. "So, you'll do this two more times before we get together next week, right? Oh, and make sure you do a half hour on the elliptical too!" She bounced (and I staggered) back upstairs and in a moment of utter insanity I agreed to do it all again next week.

So far I'm still mobile, and every muscle in my body is NOT in a spasm. I don't understand it.