My Return to Television

I was once a television commercial star. This commercial featured my cat Muffin and me lounging on a blanket in front of a fireplace. I was wearing a pink fuzzy housecoat. Muffin was not. I was the perfect actress because I was precocious, intelligent and looked a good three years younger than I actually was. Those are the makings of a child star, right there. People raved about my performance and called it “the most moving television commercial of 1992.” Continue reading


The Fall

I’m getting tired of explaining what I’m doing this fall. My job situation is complicated and exhausting. I’m not bitter or frustrated with it, it’s just a long story and I’ve told it too many times. When people ask me what I’m doing in the fall, I will provide them with this link and the following information:

This fall…
I will be snuggling three new baby nieces.
I will be helping my mother set up a snazzy new condo.
I will be writing a book proposal.
I will be contributing to a couple of websites.
I will be taking pottery classes.
I will be taking Pilates classes.
I will be starring (haha) in another community theatre play.
No, I do not have a teaching job.
No, I do not have a guaranteed source of income.
No, I don’t foresee it changing drastically anytime soon.
No, I’m not sure how this whole “paying the bills” thing will work.

This fall I will be “just” substitute teaching but I’m totally okay with it.


>There comes a moment in every life where you know that you have arrived. In the “I’m infinitely cool” sense of the term. Until today, that moment for me was getting dubbed as Valedictorian in grade 8. Everything between then and now was a little disappointing.

But today, oh today is a new day! I have simultaneously been dubbed an Awesometown Resident AND a facial hair guru. Could things get any more majestic than this? Move over William and Kate, it’s my time to shine.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you need to head over to my friend Knox McCoy’s blog to read my Awesometown Interview and leave a comment. Or six.

Because today is a new day. A new day brimming with hope, excitement and dang good facial hair.

>Things That Most People Think Are Dumb But Amanda Thinks Are Awesome: Part 2

>One of my dreams in life is to buy a house uptown (or downtown). I want to live in a house where I can walk to a coffee shop, a fancy cooking store or a bead and/or yarn store. Said dream house will also be old so I have an excuse to completely gut and renovate the whole thing.

I can’t get enough of arched doors, hardwood floors, deep windowsills, slanted ceilings, nooks and crannies, wide molding and crystal doorknobs. I love all of these things, but in conjunction with newly renovated things. New and old, hanging out in one awesome house. Until a few months ago, I didn’t realize some people have issues with the last item on my list. Apparently some think crystal doorknobs are tacky and gross. If you are one of those people, let me prove you wrong.

Crystal doorknobs are indeed phenomenal. They are not boring metal. They are not boring spheres or levers. They give a plain door a little bit of glamour. It catches your eye ever so slightly. When the door is closed, it hints that there is something special beyond the door. It’s like a subtle little announcement to the room, but only the observant will pick up on it. “Psst! Hey you! This room you are about to enter is gorgeous!”

I’m not insisting I replace every doorknob with a crystal one, in fact I am saying quite the opposite. The beauty of this knob is that it’s unique and shouldn’t be on every door in the house. It could be used on a bedroom door. Or maybe a sweet little powder room. Or a den that houses a shiny black baby grand piano (be still my beating heart!). Maybe on a front door like at my friend Annie’s house. Or to the bedroom of a little princess. It adds just a little bit of sparkle to a normally plain place.

Everything does not always have to be new and fancy. Notice the beauty of the old every now and then. It doesn’t have to take over. In fact, something speaks louder when it is understated and simple. Like when I wear my Great Grandma’s engagement ring. It’s old, it’s gorgeous and I love it, but I wouldn’t deck myself in only grandma things. It would be overwhelming and bizarre. Imagine me traipsing about life wearing a large broach, floral scarf, ruffly blouse and entirely beige running shoes. It would be weird. But just a little hint of the English woman who used to shake her cane at the TV while she watched wrestling on Sunday afternoons?

Now that’s beautiful.

>Life Goals

>I used to hate making goals. Since I’ve altered my thinking from “goal setting” to “things I want to do before I’m a certain age” I have discovered that I have many goals. I have never done anything on this list, and I would like to accomplish all of them. I’ve also posted this same list under “Life Goals” over there —–>

Here are my 30 before 30 (in no particular order):

  1. See Sufjan Stevens in concert
  2. Eat lobster
  3. Live within walking distance of a coffee shop/craft store/fancy cooking store (any would do)
  4. Write a song other than ones I make up on the spot every day
  5. See the Rocky Mountains
  6. Take dance lessons
  7. Completely gut and renovate an old house
  8. Land a permanent contract job
  9. Take voice lessons
  10. Talk in an accent for an evening in order to convince a stranger that it’s real
  11. Take a fancy cooking course (or several)
  12. See Ingrid Michaelson in concert
  13. Be a part of a show where people pay $20.00 or more to see
  14. Sing in front of a crowd
  15. See a show on Broadway
  16. Hit up a jazz club in downtown Montreal (must be drinking a martini when this occurs)
  17. Fall in love
  18. Teach nieces and nephews a choreographed song and dance number
  19. See the ocean (any one will do)
  20. Adopt a Greyhound dog
  21. Publish a children’s book (or three)
  22. Try my hand at some stand-up comedy
  23. Travel to the east coast
  24. Make flan
  25. Host an unnecessarily fancy dinner party (serve flan)
  26. Go scuba diving
  27. Babies! Birth, adopt, foster – any way they choose to come to me.
  28. Oh, get married (that first…then babies)
  29. Preach a sermon
  30. Change someone’s life (for the better)

>Bean Day

>Today I had the absolute pleasure of taking care of my one and only (until April!) super awesome, beautiful, hilarious baby niece, The Bean.

Our day started at around 7:00am. She ate some prunes (mistake!) and peaches, played, pooped, giggled and then had a nap at 9:00am. After sleeping for two hours, we took a trip to my new place of employment (!) to drop off some more documents. This new place of employment which shall not be named due to confidentiality and such is under renovations and therefore all elevators are not working. We had to go through two sets of sliding doors, around the corner, up two flights of stairs, through the cafeteria and down the hall to HR where we arrived out of breath but still looking oh so cute.

First thing I learned today: BABIES ARE HEAVY. Also, I need to start working out.

The secretary thought Bean was my child. I corrected her, but she told me that I look like a “good Mommy”. So is this because my hair was a mess? Or was I wearing mom jeans? Or did I just look exhausted? DO I LOOK FRUMPY?

Second thing I learned today: Other people think this kid looks like me, too.

We went home, she ate lunch, pooped, harassed the dog, cried because I wouldn’t let her harass the dog, then went to have a nap. I watched cooking shows.

Third thing I learned today: I could sit for hours and watch people cook. I get sucked in really quickly. The house could be on fire and I would still be glued to the TV anxious to see if that man’s beef wellington turned out.

So remember how I said earlier that prunes were a mistake? Yep. Let’s just say…she had been busy, and I had a rather big mess to clean up. I wasn’t grossed out? I shrugged and thanked her for the present? Two summers plus a few months at daycare have desensitized me to the grossness (but not necessarily the smell. That is never ok). The biggest challenge was trying to figure out where to put her after she was partly cleaned while I filled the bathtub (yes, that bad). I set her on the bathroom floor where she clapped and babbled.

Fourth thing I learned today: Babies pee when they aren’t wearing diapers. And they think it’s especially funny to do so on the bathroom floor.

After unplanned bathtime, we went to the dollar store to pick up a candle for her birthday cake. The dollar store was busy.

Fifth thing I learned today: Old people don’t think I look old enough to be responsible for a child. They will flat out do an elevator look, scoff and shake their heads. Seriously.

We arrived at Grammie’s exhausted but still smiling. Bean and Sassie (the dog) played together (Bean would steal a toy, Sassie would drop the one in her mouth and take the one Bean had, then Bean would steal another…and you get the idea) while I laid on the kitchen floor.

Sixth thing I learned today: Momsie tells me that when you have a tiny baby, as it grows gradually, you get used to carrying it and it doesn’t feel so heavy. “They don’t come out weighing 20 pounds!”

After dinner, another huge leaky dump, another bath, more giggles, lots of cuddles, a story and a bottle, it was bedtime.

Seventh and biggest thing I learned today: I want a baby. Several, actually. Except I don’t want them for a while yet and I would also like someone in my life to raise said babies with. Babies and children in general are more work than I can even comprehend, and right now I couldn’t do it. I am nowhere near ready. Today, although brief and not representative in every way, gave me perspective and raised more questions. How do you juggle more than one? Where do you find time to do anything other than be a mom? Are all babies this cute? How can I ensure my baby is this cute? Why don’t mothers have giant biceps? Why is no one immune to that SMELL? How oh HOW do single mothers cope? I don’t know. I just don’t. I don’t think I am meant to figure out all these things now. Right now, it’s my job to be a wonderful aunt and by golly, I take this job seriously.

To conclude, I will say the following: I love you Mom. I love you Heather. You are both amazing mothers. Also, can we stop feeding her prunes? Please?

>Define Success?

>Awhile ago Thomas and I bought a horrible-on-purpose birthday cake for our friend Tom Brown. I then sent the picture into Cake Wrecks. And look at this: 1000+ comments generated because we’re cheap.

I feel as though I have accomplished something even though I really haven’t. Kind of like the time at the university with the bathrooms and the aprons. I can just picture my next job interview:

“So, tell us about some of your proudest accomplishments to date.”

“Well, one time I sent and email and now people at Subway don’t wear their aprons while they pee. Oh! And I sent a picture of something stupid that I bought into a website and they posted it.”

Yes my friends, I’m totally landing that job. Shabam.

>The Perks

>My mother recently said, “embrace your singleness”. I had a discussion with another single friend and this is the list of perks we came up with:

1. You always know what your plans are. You never have to confirm with another person.

2. Lots of free time.

3. Coffee dates with members of the opposite sex are always acceptable.

4. Guys love single ladies. Ladies love single guys.

5. You can sing and dance to that Beyonce song and not feel like a fake.

6. You can answer your Grandma’s “do you have a special friend?” question with “actually, I have LOTS of special friends, Grandma”.

7. Your Grandma will pray that you stop leading a sinful life and settle down and become monogamous.

8. As long as you don’t have a cat, you can pack up and vacation in Fiji in less than a day’s notice.

9. You only have to open your own car door.

10. Eating Kraft dinner directly from the pot is considered fine dining.

11. Flirting with the bag boy at the grocery store!

12. Cell phone bills are lower.

13. Farting. And lots of it.

14. I can sleep in a race car bed? (That’s the last time Dillis gets to contribute to a blog post)

Feel free to add to the list!

>*We’ve never actually started. Minor detail.

>My mother and I decided that this year is THE year. 2010 will be a year of change. This year we will finally diverge from bad behaviours and commit to something better. We will move away our unhealthy antics and move on to something rewarding and refreshing. We won’t just replace our bad habit with another bad habit. Instead we will actively seek ways to enrich our lives. Our bodies will thank us for it. Our loved ones will cheer us on. Our spirits will soar and no longer be burdened. Joy will seep back into our lives. We will regain control. Nothing will stop us from reaching our goals. To say the sky is the limit would be limiting ourselves. The universe is the limit. Wait no, there is no limit. We are limitless. We are strong, powerful women who are beautiful, inside and out. We are soldiers, fighting in a war against unrealistic ideals. We will no longer be defined by how we look or the clothes we wear or the products we consume, no! We will stand up for ourselves and power through. When we’ve come to the end of our rope, we will tie a knot and hold on for dear life. We will lean on each other, when we’re not strong. We’ll be friends. We’ll help each other carry on. It’s not going to be long before someone else needs someone to lean on. So just call on us, brothers, if you need friends. We all need somebody to lean on.

This is it, and it is really happening. I believe in us, and so should you. Please, help us by being our cheerleaders.

This year, 2010, my mother and I vow to quit smoking*. Please, join us in our journey. It’s going to be a wild ride.

>The Beginning

>Today was the first day of my teaching adventures. I don’t really know how true that is since I’ve already taught many lessons (I’m so very wise, you see), but we’ll call it that anyway.

I am currently typing on a brand new spanking* laptop, and….well. Let me make a list or two.

Things I Like About New Laptop
-it’s new
-Kid Pix plus other various kid-related programs
-built in webcam
-case that has many zippers and compartments

Things I Do Not Like About New Laptop
-I have to bring it with me to class every day
-it’s a Toshiba
-all of the neat programs get wiped at the end of the year


My first day of teacher’s college taught me a couple of things. First, some teachers ask a lot of unnecessary questions: “Can we use our laptop to check our email when we get home after class?” or “Where do we buy books?” or “Where is the bookstore?”. To me these questions are like asking plot-related questions within the first 10 minutes of a movie. Unnecessary, because you’ll find out the answer if you are quiet and keep watching. Or in this case, if you commonly buy books in a bookstore.

Another thing I learned today was that the vast majority of teacher’s college students are warm, friendly and lovely people. I think…this is going to be good, laptop and all.

Speaking of which, if you have a suggestion for a name for the new beast of a computer, please feel free to leave a comment.