Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I saw a Mini Cooper with a little set of pink plastic man balls dangling below its exhaust pipe the other day.

I want to meet the guy who actually decided that was a good car accessory--as opposed to, say, a fuzzy steering wheel cover that is functional and would at least keep his hands warm. And I would also want to meet the woman who would date him.

And if he has to dangle fake balls from his vehicle what does that say about him? He doesn't have any of his own? He thinks of his truck as human? He likes...ahem, guys?

I think I might get a dangling bush for our Toyota Echo. A really, really hairy one! It could keep the belly of the car warm and keep the streets clean at the same time.

As subtle as a bunny fart

We got new neighbours at the beginning of the summer. There is one house in between ours.

Turns out they are musicians - 20 something free spirits. Admittedly, their music is great. Some real talent over the fence which I enjoy listening to through the open window or when I am outside.

Unfortunately, these dudes and dudettes don't seem to get that they are surrounded by other people who get up early to go to work. Who go to bed at a reasonable hour. Who have small children who also need LOTS of sleep to quell the demons inside.

Dudes and dudettes like to play the banjo and guitar and sing outside until all hours of the night and morning, with amplifiers turned up, banging on loud African drums.

L has been over a few times to tell them to keep it down. And they quit when she does. But it doesn't stop them from doing it again and again.

Hello? You are not in the woods!

So the other night it is way past 10 p.m. and they are singing away into the night. L says go over and tell them to quiet down. Me being me I step out onto the back stoop, cup my hands around my mouth and yell, "Okay! Time to cut the music. People are trying to sleep!!"

Immediate silence ensues.

I go back into the house triumphantly clutching my bathrobe around me. L looks at me and says, "That was a bit White Trash, don't you think?"

Perhaps, but I prefer to call it German efficiency.

Maybe next time I will send my grumpy, sleep-deprived kids over at
6 a.m. to ask from drumming lessons.

Monday, August 25, 2008


We are going camping for the weekend...in a tent. It is supposed to be 7 degrees Celsius tonight. This is when I hope sleeping with small furnaces will come in handy.

Speaking of which, I have been sharing a bed with the boy child lately. Last night he yelled out in the middle of the night "Macaroni!" So of course being a loving and spiteful mother, I turned over and yelled back, "Cheese!" And then we got up and had a midnight snack.


So this is my new old blog. After a year of inactivity I was going to scrap Thunder Mama and start up a new blog called Read Pen. I had it up and running for a few days last week but it just didn't feel right, nor look right.

I found that the two hardest parts of getting a new blog going were: actually getting it going, and settling on the right "look". Given that I am a Luddite for sure, this last part was particularly painful. You see, in real life I have good taste. I enjoy good design. In Internet life I had to settle for what was out there. So I went for something simple. The template I chose basically looked like a page ripped from a notebook - let's call it unpretentious. It was going to be good enough until either a designer owed me, or I stumbled across something that matched my 1960's Danish modern sensibilities.

The whole experience was kind of like finding a good bra - you know, one that fits well, looks good, and yet does the job. I cannot emphasize enough the looks good part (i.e. something resembling sexy) and not looking as though it is a miracle of hydraulics and engineering. This is a struggle for those of us with a substantial shelf. (Seriously, I dare you to try this at home. If you are anything further down the alphabet than a C, I wish you God speed.)

In the end, the template I chose kinda pinched in spots, didn't offer good support in others (I was constantly reefing up the straps), and generally looked like something my Baptist grandma would have worn.

So, back to Thunder Mama...!

Lemon Aide

The crazy ass folk at City Hall thought this (madvac.com) would be a good way of keeping our downtown streets clean. Essentially the Mad Vac (you must yell it as though from the bottom of a well) is a small street sweeper with a giant hose on the front of it (can we say penis extension?).

Anyway, a guy (invariably) drives this thing around ON the sidewalk and manipulates (not very well) the vaccum nozzle to suck up pieces of litter and particles of dust from the curb. I watched a guy do this the other day while I was waiting for the light to change. It was kind of like trying to vaccumm up those little circles of paper from a hole punch. The only thing I could see MadVac doing efficiently is sucking up (with a big shooosh and a pop) small (albeit surprised) rodents.

Yesterday, as I was walking back to the office after lunch I glanced down a side street only to see not one, but two large men in bright yellow safety suits mashed into the cab of one of these mini sweeps. They looked like a couple of GMO lemons in a blender waiting to become juice.

And FYI Litterbug? Just for future reference? There are these things called trash cans about every 10 feet downtown. Be a Sport and use them. I mean, do you do this at home, too? If I visit will I see orange peels strewn on your carpet and cigarette butts crushed into the wall paper? You are probably the same person who doesn't flush public toilets. What the hell is wrong with you?