Thursday, October 30, 2008


Alright, Buddy, I say. I'll read you one story if you promise to be a big boy and go to sleep or read to yourself after, ok? He agrees, and we read a French book about bathtime, his French already so much better than mine. As we read together, his parents put his baby sister in her crib and sneak away for their night out. The story ends, and tears threaten: I don't want to go to sleep! he protests. But we had a deal, remember? The deal was all of 10 minutes ago, a lifetime to a toddler. I cave. I'll turn off the big light and hang out with you for a while, alright? We lie together on his big-boy bed, lit by the blue night-light. His head on a pillow, mine resting on a pile of his books, my feet dangling over the end of the bed. He is giggly, not quite ready to close his eyes. I am giggly too, having sampled a bit of pumpkin wine* at a friend's before my babysitting duties began. We talk, as only a 3 year-old and a slightly tipsy 34 year-old can. I'm a monster. I'm gonna eat your nose. I'm gonna be a pirate for Halloween. So's my boyfriend. How's school? No, I'm a monster and I'm gonna eat your ear!
Finally, adulthood asserts itself and I get up; time to go to sleep, Monkey. We've been "chatting" for a good 30 minutes.
I blow him a kiss and tiptoe out, spending the rest of my time fighting sleep and poring through the weekend Globe & Mail. The baby sleeps like a log; so does her brother.
I remember evenings with him as a baby, as young as his sister is now. I am enchanted, lulled by what has undoubtedly been a super-easy evening of childcare, but I'm so glad they're in my life. I can't wait for more silly conversations as they grow.

*BTW, it was only a bit of pumpkin wine; I was NOT babysitting drunk. And no, that was not a typo- it was pumpkin wine. Imagine pumpkin pie in a wineglass and you have a pretty good idea. Wow. Yum. No prizes for guessing where it came from...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Status Update Haiku

Pumpkin Patch sunny
October's nearly over
Feeling kinda sad.

Always feel wistful
at the end of October
Soon to say goodbye

Many 1-month friends
won't be seen until next year
when we start again.

Also, big project
looming on the horizon.
Hope I'm up to it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oasis Day...

... and not as in the squabbling Gallagher brothers. No, this was a quiet, restful day in which I got to do exactly what I wanted, with nowhere to be and no demands except the ones I made on myself. Get up. Do laundry. Run. Make delicious food. Start and finish all school assignments for the week. Not super-exciting, but very satisfying, especially with 5 days of Pumpkin Patchery coming up.

I even got time to experiment with something I've been wanting to use for a while: the homemade wide-angle lens! Very fun. Here are two of the results:

The pix aren't great, because I haven't actually made the attachment thingy that will fasten the lens onto my camera, so I had to hold it on while shooting. But I love the look of these...

I also love being able to work at home, although the distractions of the internet are hard to avoid. Why work on a film scoring assignment when I can browse recipes for Crispy Tofu, read the news, enter my meals into the Nutrition Tracker at Sparkpeople, and of course, read all my favorite blogs? Clearly, something I'll have to get under control. So far, I'm scoring A's in all my Film Scoring assignments, but it's only week 4, so I can't get too cocky.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Meaty Goodness

A short day at the Patch today, thank goodness. As I put on my Facebook page: "Alison is having a fight with the lamb she ate for dinner yesterday. The lamb is winning." Blech. 'Nuff said.

I love, love, love being noticeably smaller than I was 2 weeks ago. And I will do my utmost (within reasonable limits) to stay that way. But I'm realizing that my utmost does not include ingesting huge amounts of red meat every day. For one thing, it's hard (and expensive) to buy meat that's safer to eat: non-medicated, free range, etc. Why lose all this weight just to fill my body with toxins, hormones, additives? For another: well, before this low-carb thing started I was toying with the idea of being mostly vegetarian. It just feels like the right thing to do, for my body, for the animals, for the planet. With a carnivore companion in my life, I don't think I can be totally veggie. Also, when it comes right down to it, I like meat. Love it, sometimes. But I walked into Chapters this afternoon and one of the first things I saw was the cover of Michael Pollan's new book In Defense of Food. And this is the slogan on the cover: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. It was as if it spoke right to me. Of course, life will be easier if mostly plants includes eggs. And cheese. And yoghurt. And maybe some really good chocolate, once in a while. As I've said before, baby steps, people.

I also love drinking 2 litres of water every day. Don't know how I went without doing so for so long. My skin is clear, my eyes are bright... 'course I pee every 5 minutes, but at least that allows me to get off the tractor-drawn wagon at the Patch for a mini-break every once in a while. Yesterday was insane. Working from 10am until 5, no breaks. Seriously. No breaks. Gulping food between wagon-loads of people. For those of my 2.7 readers who don't know what I do there, I sit on a wagon and sings to loads of customers as we ride out from the main gates to the Pumpkin Patch. And then again as they head back, clutching their pumpkins. It's a fine life, for 3 weeks. Any more and you'd go nuts. Being outside all day is actually wonderful, even in the rain, although we all moan and complain when it's wet. The pay is fantastic. The people are awesome. It's the same bunch of starving musicians every year; it's like a time warp. And the same tractor drivers, the same farm and produce store employees too. I'll say one thing about Harry Hogler (isn't that the best name ever for a farmer?): he certainly seems to inspire loyalty. I'll probably still be working there in October 2058, wrinkled and slower, but still singing "Oh Susanna" with all the energy I possess. They don't do breaks there, as I mentioned, but the pay is good enough to almost compensate for that. Oh, and I have a bit of a crush on one of the guys who works there, so that brightens my days there quite a bit.

You know what I would love, though? I'd love to be able to get my hands on a recent list of people who thought I was sexy, or crush-worthy, or whatever. Wouldn't we all? I would love to read that list and go Ohhh. So that's what he thought of me. Hee hee. But I will have to settle for being chatted up on the bus by the wild-eyed man wearing a big silver skull ring. I know he liked me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The things I do for money, I'll never understand...

This is an actual picture of the costume I was wearing, from 10am 'til 3:30pm, at the Pumpkin Patch yesterday:Need I say more?

Well actually, I have to add that I am verrrrry sore from dancing all day wearing a giant corn cob which was hanging off my shoulders. I shouldn't have danced as hard as I did, but I do love to shake my buns to music, and what better time than when no one can see who you really are? At one point I tripped as I was doing some highland dancing, and fell over. It must have looked hilarious to the people watching. Especially as I couldn't rise without assistance. Good thing I was protected by all that padding!

Low-carb update: feeling much better one week in. Also have lost over 7 pounds, so much incentive to continue...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My body's in shock today.
It just came back from a weekend at my Dad's, a place where bodies routinely say Is it after 5 o'clock? Then I believe I'll have a glass or 4 of this delicious local wine. And another helping of this wonderful home-cooked meal. And then I'll just flop right here on the enormous couch and watch my annoyingly skinny brother eat a pillowcase-sized bag of caramel corn. What a great idea! Let's have another bowl of cheesecake brownie ice cream!
My Dad's place is not always Gluttony Central, but he does like to relax and indulge when the kids come to stay. And we fall right into line with that, oh yeah. But the pounds piled on, and J & I came back and said well, now's the time. Let's start that low-carb thing we've been talking about for ages. And so we did. And my body is howling for bread and sweet things, waking up tired and sluggish. I wait for the breakthrough day that's supposed to happen, where I will wake up feeling energized and no longer craving something, anything made with flour. J grins and says "I think I can get behind this Atkins thing," and happily devours another bacon slice. (Don't worry, we're eating tons of veggies. But J does love him some bacon.) Meanwhile, if I don't feel better in a day or two I'm gonna make a huge bread-man in the shape of the late Dr. Atkins and devour it all.
After the kids-together vibe of the weekend, where 4 people in their thirties bedded down happily in my dad's basement with the only responsibility being who was going to walk the dogs, I am also feeling very no I don't wanna about buckling down to my various jobs that are coming up fast. I know, it's whiny self-indulgence. I know I'll do it, and hopefully do a good job. But there's always a few days of fear before I get to it.


My mom left today for the east; starting the tour van at 6 this morning for the long drive to Standard, Alberta. They'll rest there tonight, then keep heading towards Sault Saint Marie for the end of the week. Touring children's theatre is hard work; I should know. She popped in to say goodbye last night, exhaustion already lining her face from weeks of rehearsals. She'll be 63 next month, probably celebrating her birthday by performing 2 shows in some tiny Ontario town. I wish I could give her a bulging savings account and tell her she never has to work again but instead I watched her leave in awe and sadness. She is my mom, my best friend. And I wish she didn't have to work so hard to keep the wolf from the door.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

family time

Watching my dad massage olive oil into a beautiful little roast of beef is a lovely sight. So is the Okanagan Lake view from his windows. Spending time with my dad, stepmom, brother, sister-in-law, Jon; all of us under one roof with a pack of three dogs- a convergence of family that doesn't happen as often as it should.

There are many exciting projects on the horizon; not lurking distantly, but crowding closer in a terrible hurry. I'll write about all of those in the future. But for now it's family, and beer, and tasty local wines... and roast beef. A last, lazy weekend before the storm of business and busy-ness descends for at least 2 months.