Yay! Our final post to wrap up a horrible year. You’ve probably already read tons of “2016 in review/memoriam” articles, so let’s get on with business, shall we?
These last few weeks of the year . . .
> We listened to the explanation of what happens in a household where one spouse loves the Christmas decorations/festivities/general merriment, and the other doesn’t
(Don’t get us wrong: he loves Christmas and all the fixins; he just hates “the decorating and all that stuff.”)
> Which leads us to our phrase of the week: “There’s nothing better than spiteful decorating.” – The Girl (Think Christmas ornaments hanging from the kitchen cupboard, the knife bar, and coat pockets; ribbons on manly boots; bows on the toilet tank; forcing a t-shirt like this one on a Grinchy husband . . .)
> What we didn’t buy into: the scourge of capitalism, part 1. (a.k.a “Note the irony in the product description of a $199 copper pole”; a.k.a. “This is how Toronto consumerism is sometimes represented, unfortunately”). They took their web page down, but Google is only too happy to provide you with a cached web page, as am I equally happy to provide you with a screenshot. Yer welcome.
> Anyway, if you’re going to celebrate Festivus, do it right.:
> What we’re reading: the scourge of capitalism, part 2 (a.k.a Why people hate Big Pharma. And drug dealers.)
> What we’re watching, with laughter (and tears): Kim’s Convenience, season finale: part 1 and part 2. Tune in next week to read my response to one short-sighted white man’s review of this multicultural-celebrating comedy series.
> The Trump presidency is not a natural thing. What we’re watching to take our mind off the ugliness in the world: great moments in nature.
> What we ate: due to lack of time, our annual Christmas cookie baking spree was smaller this year (three types of cookies instead of five). Still, the gingerbread man (courtesy of The Boy) with tighty-whities and pink nipples more than makes up for it.
> Finally, ring in 2017 with knowledge. Because knowledge will always beat ignorance in this world: a great general knowledge site for kids (of all ages).
This week, now that we can slowly face the Internet again . . .
> We laughed at “Me-cycle” requests like these two (from the same person) for an office chair and sofa from the Toronto Freecycle group. As the holidays approach (okay, let’s face it, these requests can happen any time of the year), it’s interesting to see these outlandish requests for something pricey but free.
> We ate lahmacuns (alternatively spelled “lahmajoun”, a.k.a. Turkish pizza or “pide”)
> We couldn’t stop watching this mesmerizing show of a great graphic artist drawing logos (courtesy of The Girl).
> Our current word/phrase: “I like the flavour, but not the labour,” says the Girl, about foods that she likes (pomegranate, pommelo) and even about foods she doesn’t like (lobster, artichoke). Think about that during this holiday season of preparing foods.
> Funniest thing we heard on the radio/tv: this line from an imagined RomComCon: “I hope to go to the Canoe Pavilion with you. We can go out in the middle of the lake and get rained on.” (This, from one of the best originators of “fake news”, who unfortunately, now have to stamp almost every story with “SATIRE” in ALL CAPS, in case people can’t distinguish it from truly evil fake news in the world.)
> We learned that millennial moms love cloth diapers (just like non-millennial moms from years ago!). Granted, we never spent $$$ on “collectibles”, but it’s great to see that buying cloth diapers is addictive!
> We found this great web page about the most amazing-looking cakes.
> We found this interesting article that confirmed what we’ve always suspected: buttons that don’t work.
> Finally, post-U.S.-election activity should include:
> understanding why it’s important to not normalize Trump
> protesting with your wallet (here are alternatives to Trump-family-related businesses)
> seeing the ridiculousness and humour of the situation
> And buying Kellogg’s products!
It seemed like there was a lot of outrageousness (other than the third U.S. presidential debate) this past week . . .
> Outrage #1: This family that heartlessly moved and left their dog behind with the garbage
> Outrage #2: Another dog, and another cruel family. Seriously, can someone start a Facebook-outrage-protest page, or whatever they call those things, to get the adoptive family to re-gain their common sense and give the dog back to grandpa?
> Outrage #3: these family court judges (and the father) who don’t take into consideration a child’s gender preferences.
> Outrage #4: the second kill on The Walking Dead’s season premiere. We blame Daryl. TWD fans understand.
> We couldn’t stop watching this funny bit about Barack Obama polishing his resumé for his upcoming career change.
> We listened to this take on whether or not parents should swear in front of their children. While we hate the fact that today’s generation seems to swear more gratuitously and less meaningfully than previous generations (just take a look at how frequently Buzzfeed feels the need to add “AF” to their writing), our household operates pretty much like Benjamin Bergen’s, and our kids never swear.
> Funniest thing we heard on t.v.: Stephen Colbert, referring to Donald Trump hugging the American flag (4:52), comments, “It’s really surprising to see Trump go after Old Glory like that. Normally, he goes for much younger glory.”
> We ate Naturally Imperfect mushrooms. Just one in the Naturally Imperfect line of produce. Well done, Loblaw’s!
> We learned that clowns don’t interpret the meaning of “racist” the way the rest of us do. Guess Lulu Pullitzor Palooza and Buttons Blammo have made sure that no one will ever find them funny after this.
> And finally, we (re-)found this great YouTube channel where this “King of Random” is king-maker. What creative girl or boy wouldn’t love this site, with quirky party tricks like this, for example? The Girl assures me that I sent this link to both kids quite a while ago, on how to Make Gummy LEGO. However, I’m getting old, and don’t remember that at all, and it only came up today when the Boy asked, “Please, can we make these?” Guess we have our DIY/eat project lined up for next week . . .
This past week . . .
> We couldn’t stop watching 58 very good impressions by this guy (thanks to the Girl for finding this).
> We listened to this interview which confirmed that we’re not the only ones who are peeved by mispronunciations (really surprised that our favourite, “mischievious” wasn’t mentioned).
> Our current word/phrase: detritus (now properly pronounced, of course). As in, “The detritus that was spewed during the debate was hard to take.”
> Funniest thing we heard on the radio was this even-better-than-usual episode of “Because News”. Practically every joke was spot-on, and we think Ashley Botting was the star of the show who should have won.
> We ate homemade cookies and more cookies!
> We’re loving this product: our fantastic lunchbox system. Packing two lunches every day over the years, we’ve learned after many takes what works and what doesn’t work. This system is great because it’s modular, and the boxes and ice packs can be stacked in different ways for different meals and components.
> Our DIY project was these closet hanger space-savers. Rather than buy plastic ones like these (which are getting harder to find, anyway), we made our own with inexpensive chandelier chain ($1.64/foot) and S-hooks made from thick-gauge wire.
> We learned some great parenting hacks. Even if our kids are past the age when most of these would be useful, and even if we’re finding it hard to read past number 5 on any given Buzzfeed listicle these days, this one had a few gems.
> And finally, we found this great web site for parents who want to sell on consignment all the stuff that their kids have outgrown and outplayed. Very well organised, takes a lot of the work out of your hands, and best of all, it’s parents running it for/with other parents. Look for one in a Canadian city near you!
This week . . .
> We laughed at Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen, which leads to fan videos like this one. I don’t think it’s catchy enough to be the next Gangnam style, but it passes the time.
> We ate what we think is called long squash (I think some stores mistakenly call this “chayote squash”). One set of our next-door neighbours is always kindly offering us extra vegetables from their garden, and this is our new favourite. I braise or slow-cooker this with diced eggplant, tomatoes, chicken, and a mixture of garam masala, curry, cumin, salt, garlic, chili flakes, and fresh coriander. Everyone in the family loves it.
> We couldn’t stop watching this really sweet, tear-jerking Amazon Prime commercial. They’re really pushing the same-day delivery service lately, which I’m all meh about, but I could watch the commercial on a loop all day. Each time, my desire for a Lion-Dog increases. Much better than the first Amazon Prime dog commercial, where the owner walks a few feet ahead and just seems inconvenienced by his slow canine pal.
> Funniest thing I heard this week that wasn’t on the radio/tv: While cleaning out the kids’ old baby clothes, I held up an item and—yet again—jokingly said to the Husband, “You sure you don’t want another one?” To which he replied, while backing out of the room, “You’re looking through old baby clothes? This isn’t going to end well for me.”
> Our current word/phrase: “Without a shadow of a doubt” (or as the Boy has been saying, “Without a shadow of the doubt”). It’s cute because you know your kid is growing up and this is an improvement upon the previously un-sophisticated, “Nope”.
> We learned that in some school boards, teachers (not with permission from the board) are confiscating lunches and snacks due to their own judgements of what’s “healthy” and “suitable”. Come on! Yes, some of us try to provide homemade goodness, but we do have to rely on a store-bought Bear Paw with chocolate chips or Goldfish, from time to time.
> Our DIY project was neoprene hair ties. I just re-purposed this dollar-store tablet sleeve that didn’t really fit, and was sitting around empty. Like these ones, our neoprene hair ties don’t cause that pinched or pulled-back feeling, and are no-ravel. Unlike those ones, there’s no hefty price tag.
> And finally, à propos of nothing in particular, we found this great article about a basket for sale.
Sometimes car rides are long. The Girl says that one of these is her most relaxing times of the week, when she can sit back and “contemplate”. To fill the time, we also like to play games. This is one that the kids and I have played on and off over the years: Movie/TV Title Mash-Up.
Objective: Find two movie or tv titles that have been put together, with one word in common (or one very similar word) linking them, based on the clue of the modified plot line.
Two teens with cancer try to fight an evil empire
The Fault in Our Star Wars
The following are ones that the whole family contributed to, over the past couple of days. Scroll down past #20 for the answers.
1) Zombies try to comfort a prisoner on death row
2) The saviour of the world boldly goes where no man has gone before
3) On the outside, he’s a monster; on the inside, he’s just another man suffering a mid-life crisis
4) 70s sitcom about a racist blue-collar man and his clan, trying to find the top 10 answers on the board
5) An older man falls in love with a younger woman in a foreign country, while fighting dinosaurs and aliens
6) Young female fowl tries to return money that her boyfriend owes to gangsters
7) Sick people try to escape a theme park full of dinosaurs and zombies
8) Three escaped prisoners solve crimes in a tropical U.S. state
9) A group of clones make an undercover documentary investigating animal cruelty in aquariums
10) Two male models buy an animal sanctuary / Matt Damon stars in this sweet comedy about buying a male model
11) A woman with Alzheimer’s falls down the rabbit hole
12) A hacker enters his robot in a battle arena
13) Two guys and a kid join a top secret government sector to fight aliens
14) A time traveller investigates the murder of an animated bunny
15) A whistleblower tries to save the world from Nazi Zombies
16) A top-secret government sector fights aliens while also fighting each other for the top spot in the ballet company
17) A personal security officer and his band of misfits (including a rodent and a botanical specimen) fight to save the universe
Extra-challenging ones (which don’t follow the rules of the game exactly, but you’ll get it when you see the answers):
18) A dysfunctional animated family joins a biker gang
19) An explorer lost in the woods becomes a small superhero
20) A documentary about a frightening clown rehearsing for his last concert tour
. . .
1) The Walking Dead Man Walking
2) Jesus Christ Superstar Trek
3) American Beauty and the Beast
4) All in the Family Feud
5) Land of the Lost in Translation
6) Chicken Run Lola Run
7) Jurassic World War Z
8) Hawaii Five-O Brother Where Art Thou?
9) Orphan Blackfish
10) We Bought a Zoolander
11) Still Alice in Wonderland
12) Mr. Robot Wars
13) Two and a Half Men in Black
14) Dr. Who Killed Roger Rabbit?
15) Dead Snowden
16) Men in Black Swan
17) The BodyGuardians of the Galaxy
18) The SimpSons of Anarchy
19) The RevenAnt Man
20) This is It
Yay! We all made it past Hump Day, and it was an especially remarkable week, with many kids going back to school on Tuesday. Who doesn’t like the feeling of rounding the bend and sliding into the weekend? So after Wednesdays, I’m going to start posting a short round-up of various things. Just something to keep an eye out for, mid-week.
This past week (or couple of weeks). . .
> We played water balloon tennis. (No link required, as it’s pretty self-explanatory: Fill water balloons. Whack with old tennis racquet.)
> We laughed at this cat watching a horror film. The eyes, the eyes! (Thanks to the MIL!)
> We ate from this recipe over about three days. So good, and it really does taste remarkably-KFC-like!
> We couldn’t stop watching episodes of Lip Sync Battle, like this great moment here.
> We couldn’t stop listening/singing to Adele’s great album. (No, not “25”.) Young and old, we were totally carpool-karaoke-ing this one out loud last week.
> Our current word/phrase (thanks to The Boy mysteriously choosing to revive an 80s slang term) is “That’s dope!”
> Funniest thing we heard on the radio (even if it was a re-broadcast): “I also have a large vocabulary, which is both big and good.”
> We learned how to open and do simple repairs on our own watch, especially those seemingly difficult backs. So much money and time saved, and so satisfying!
> Our DIY project was this homemade, natural spray deodorant. Have tried several of the solid recipes, but the spray was the hands-down winner during this hot summer. My only modifications: added 1/4 tsp. of rubbing alcohol, and used a mix of lemon and orange essential oils instead of clary sage.
> I wanted to make these fantastic-looking stress balls (just skip the long moments of stirring).
> And finally, we found this great web site for rocking new moms.