Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thank You, Rupert

When Shaun and I first decided to try escaping to New York while my parents are visiting we submitted a request for tickets to see a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman. You just fill in a form online giving your name, phone number and the dates you'd like to attend a taping, and then you get a nice little message stating that someone might call you. Or they might not. And if they do call you it could be at any time between the date of your ticket request and the date of the actual taping. Oh yeah, and you'll be required to correctly answer a trivia question before they'll actually give you tickets. Hmm. Okay.

In the two months since we requested tickets I totally forgot that we actually requested them until yesterday morning. I was on my way out the door when I looked at my cell phone and saw a missed call from the night before with a 212 area code. Now, most people that have spent time in the Northeast U.S. or that just spend a lot of time watching television know that a 212 area code on your caller ID means that someone is calling from a New York City phone number.

My first thought was, "Who's calling me from New York? And why would a telemarketer go to the trouble to call Canada?"

Then I heard the voicemail message. "Betsy, this is The Late Show with David Letterman..."

The voice went on to tell me that if we were still interested in tickets for this coming Wednesday night we should call back ASAP and be prepared to correctly answer a trivia question about The Late Show. Oh crap. The trivia question. We like watching Letterman, but the show doesn't air until the butt crack of dawn in Newfoundland, so we haven't seen it in over a year and a half. Thank God my phone was set on vibrate, and that woman had to leave me a message! There's no way I could have answered a trivia question without preparation.

"Shaun! We got called for Letterman tickets but we have to answer a trivia question! Get on Google!" I yelled.

Shaun Googled The Late Show, Letterman, Letterman trivia questions, and prepared himself with several open internet browsers. He then called The Late Show back... and was forced to leave a message. He commented that he wasn't going to be as prepared to answer the question now that it would involve a callback. Would his call be returned the same day? It was a Saturday. Would we have to be on guard all weekend? Until Monday even?

Then the phone rang yesterday afternoon. And the trivia question we were hoping for was asked. The question that popped up several times when we Googled 'Letterman trivia questions.' What kind of business does Dave's neighbor Rupert own? A deli!

Shaun gave the correct answer, and now he and I are on our way to Letterman on Wednesday.

I'm not sure if we're excited to see Letterman or if we're just excited to have scored tickets. These Late Show people are on to something. The official story is that Dave likes to ensure he's got actual fans of the show in the audience, and that's why they ask a trivia question before granting tickets. I think it's more likely that they're just trying to make sure you'll show up. Phone tag and trivia questions make you feel like you've actually won something.

Anyway, if you're hanging around watching TV on Wednesday night see if you can spot us in the audience. It should be a good show. Ricky Gervais and turkey callers. Who doesn't love a good turkey call? At least Ricky Gervais should be funny, right?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Dance

You probably thought I was going to blog about how excited I am that my mom and dad are flying into St. John's today. I am excited about that, but they don't arrive until this afternoon. I have more important news right now.

I have a new microwave, people! Finally! Goodbye, domestic goddess. Hello, Healthy Choice frozen meals and leftovers. The kids are going to be elated to experience the joys of microwave popcorn once again. After three weeks and one day I have regained the ability to nuke, and I can finally resume feeding my family my way.

I haven't been this excited about a household appliance since I bought my Dyson in a fit of hormonal nesting right before Brandon was born.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today's Random Thought

I should really water the one plant in the house more frequently. It was a house-warming gift when we moved in about 18 months ago. It only occurs to me to water it about once a month. Poor plant. But if you want to survive around here you have to make your presence known via noise or bodily fluids.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring or Sheila?

It's officially Spring if you go by your calendar, but Newfoundlanders don't really expect Spring to arrive and then stick around until late May.

Last year around this time I was complaining about how mild of a winter we'd had so far. I wanted to experience a legendary Newfoundland winter, and I was begging for Sheila to show me her stuff (you'll just have to click the link if you want to know who Sheila is). Sheila did, in fact, deliver the goods on March 22nd, and I was pleased. The winter remained mild by Newfoundland standards, but we saw an impressive amount of snow by Texan standards by the time May rolled around.

I just knew we were in for it this winter. There was no way we'd have two mild winters in a row. We're in freaking Newfoundland. You know, that place on your map just southwest of Greenland.

But I sit here today contemplating my snowfall log with a total of almost 40 inches less snow than the same time last year, and I'm bewildered. What is going on? We've had cold, and we've had rain, but where is the snow? The forecast for tomorrow has a little snow predicted, but I don't see Sheila anywhere. Shouldn't she be lurking right about now?

The difference this year is that I am not complaining. I was complaining around Christmas that I wished there was more snow. I was complaining in February that I wished there was more snow. But now that it's March, and the snow has melted, and we were teased with some quite lovely sunshine last week, I am ready for Spring. I am ready for warm temperatures and playgrounds and banishing the kids to the backyard. I am ready to put the snow boots and suits in the back of the closet.

But I am not crossing my fingers. I'm sure I just jinxed myself, and tomorrow I'll check out the Weather Network to find that a storm has popped up out of nowhere and will be stranding my parents in Toronto on Friday. Just wait. Because that's the kind of luck I have.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Who doesn't love a good countdown? We're all getting very excited that we only have one more week until the arrival of that super-duper grandparenting team, Mom-mom and Pop-pop.

Not only are they coming to visit for 10 days, but Shaun and I will be vacating the premises for a couple of days while they're here and going on our own mini-vacation. We haven't been away together but without the kids since September of 2006 when Natalie was 4 1/2 months old. She turns 4 years old a month from today. No wonder we're so tired.

7 Days!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Two Irishmen, Patrick & Michael, were adrift in a lifeboat following a dramatic escape from a burning freighter. While rummaging through the boat's provisions, Patrick stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a genie would appear, he rubbed the lamp vigorously. To the amazement of Patrick, a genie came forth. This particular genie, however, stated that he could only deliver one wish, not the standard three. Without giving much thought to the matter, Patrick blurted out, "Make the entire ocean into Guinness Beer!" The genie clapped his hands with a deafening crash, and immediately the entire sea turned into the finest brew ever sampled by mortals. Simultaneously, the genie vanished. Only the gentle lapping of Guinness on the hull broke the stillness as the two men considered their circumstances. Michael looked disgustedly at Patrick whose wish had been granted. After a long, tension-filled moment, he spoke: "Nice going Patrick! Now we're going to have to pee in the boat!"

Funny courtesy of

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cry Baby

I like to watch TLC while I run on my treadmill because there is no greater inspiration for weight loss, fitness, and just trying to look good than the likes of What Not to Wear (How much fun would a makeover be?), 19 and Counting (For real, Michelle Duggar, stop it with all those kids, and please stop making your own dresses!), and A Baby Story (Never doing that again, so might as well lose the baby weight. Brandon is almost 2.).

This morning my run coincided with A Baby Story, and the expectant father of the episode pissed me off just enough to want to blog. His poor wife was laboring along in one of those birthing tubs, totally naturally, trying not to lose her mind, and approaching the point where she was going to have to start pushing. Then the camera turns to Dad, who says, in a mildly annoyed voice I might add, "I didn't realize I'd be bending over the side of the tub and that I'd have to spend so much time on my knees. These old rugby knees of mine are giving out. I'm in some pain."

He was in some pain. HE was in some PAIN. Poor guy. What a moron. I hope his wife makes him pay for that one later.

Thank you, Shaun, for not being a moron and keeping any discomfort you were suffering from to yourself while I was giving birth to your children.

My man is a keeper. That woman on TLC? She should throw hers back. If he's complaining about his knees while she's giving birth just imagine the whining the first time he falls victim to an exploding diaper.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Toaster Pancakes Are Not Good

I detest cooking. This isn't a recent development--just ask my mother. Most attempts at getting me to make dinner as a teenager resulted in hot dogs or Hamburger Helper being slammed on the table with a huge helping of attitude on the side. Before Shaun and I had kids I would make dinner approximately twice a week, and we'd go out or order in the rest of the time. In fact, calling what I'd do twice a week 'making dinner' is an insult to the phrase. Boiling some pasta and throwing a jar of spaghetti sauce on top of it isn't really 'making' anything.

Now that we have children I do attempt to cook a little more frequently. This was difficult in Houston where you can get take-out from a different restaurant every night for a month without repeating. Here in St. John's my take-out options are limited, forcing me to become a little bit more domestic. I've also become a little bit more dependent on Domino's Pizza, as evidenced by the fact that if the doorbell rings at all between the hours of 4 and 7 PM Brandon will immediately run for the kitchen yelling, "Pizza!!!!"

You can just imagine how dependent I must be on my microwave. Completely dependent. Just-claim-me-on-your-taxes dependent. If I go to the trouble to cook you better believe I make enough for leftovers, which requires the microwave for reheating if you don't believe in planning for dinner far enough in advance to preheat the oven. I can also create an entire hot meal exclusively using my microwave--I'm a little bit proud and a lot ashamed of this. If lunch is hot in any way (rare when peanut butter sandwiches, coldcuts, fruit, and dairy products don't require heating) it will involve microwave use. I do not believe in using the oven during the day.

Now imagine my horror when my microwave stopped working 10 days ago! I'm not going to lie. It's been a struggle. FYI, unlike frozen waffles, frozen pancakes cannot be heated in the toaster. Leftovers are going to waste because I cannot bring myself to reheat them via oven or stovetop. My George Foreman grill and Crockpot are about to start charging me for overtime.

Why don't I just go buy a new microwave, you ask? Because this house is a rental, the microwave also functions as a range hood, the homeowner is a lovely woman but is also very particular about what appliances enter her house, and appliances are a very sticky issue during relocations. I also thought that having a new microwave installed would be a matter of a few days, having forgotten that apparently all appliances in Newfoundland have to be first built, then sent via ferry, and finally installed by very, very busy appliance-installer-men.

I've been forced to get creative with my oven. And by creative I really just mean that I've used it for all the things you've all been using your ovens to accomplish for years.

Me: I warmed this leftover pizza up in the oven! I had no idea at what temperature or for how long, but I decided to wing it.
Shaun: Really? It's pretty good like this.
Me: I know! And it didn't really take that long. Sure, it would've taken 45 seconds in the microwave, but 6 minutes in the oven isn't so bad. I did have to preheat it, though.
Shaun: We should do it like this more often. It's good. The crust is crispy.
Me: Whoa now, Shaun. Don't get used to this. As soon as we have a working microwave this leftover pizza is never going to see the inside of an oven ever again. If you want oven pizza you're going to have to warm it up.

Someday I hope to tap into my inner SuperMom and find the desire to cook, but for now I would really just like it if someone could put a rush on my new microwave. Please? The kids really miss having pancakes for breakfast--and I'm not making them from scratch.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I'm not sure why it is that I can always find the energy for a rant (see my airport hating below) but I struggle to blog about everything else going on in my life and in my mind right now. It's not like nothing is happening. I think it's just that my everyday life saps me of all energy, and the only things I feel like doing in my free time (naptime from 12:30 PM until 2:30 PM on weekdays, excluding Wednesdays) are mindlessly surfing the Net, curling up with a book, or, let's be honest, napping. Only a moderate case of annoyance can temporarily suffuse me with energy enough to blog these days.

I like to blame Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I also believe part of the credit should be given to Kyle's illness of a few weeks ago, which was probably one of my more terrifying run-ins with childhood illness to date. This illness was followed immediately by a vacation that began with several weather-related delays, several hours spent on the phone rescheduling flights and hotels, and several hours in airports and airplanes with three children under the age of 6 and a husband. The hours spent on airplanes are what I'm blaming for the past week's snotty noses, nasty coughs, fevers, and draining ears. (Yes, I said draining ears. The beauty of Brandon's ear tubes is that he no longer gets ear infections, but now all the nastiness that used to take up permanent residence on the other side of his eardrum now drains straight out. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: motherhood is glamourous.) Add to all of the above that not even I was spared from a head cold following our vacation, and it's been a really long three weeks.

I promise to do a better job of blogging just as soon as I get pissed off again. Or the snot takes a break around here. Or the sun comes out. Really.