Friday 28 March 2008

now that's more like it

Excellent. I'm now getting spam from The HOF:
Dear Halifax bank customer,

We have implemented security measures consistent with our internal information security practices to help us keep your information secure. These measures include technical and procedural steps to protect your data from misuse, access or disclosure, loss, alteration or destruction.

One of these security measures is HOF (Halifax Online Form) to help us to keep your personal and banking data up to date.

You should complete HOF on a regular basis.

Please complete HOF using the link below:

Wednesday 19 March 2008

Pretty in pink
Originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin
Today marks the beginning of your 9th month in the outside world. And look how far you've come.

You have four teeth.
You can commando crawl.
You clap your hands, and for one day only, you waved bye-bye.
You give real belly laughs.
Your eyes are still slate blue with just a tiny hint of brown lurking in there somewhere.
Your hair is most definitely dark brown, but not nearly as fuzzy as your brother's.
You've got a Pointy Investigating Finger (that usually ends up in my nose or yours.)
You love any toy...that's not yours.
Your favourite song is "Itsy Bitsy Spider."
You weigh just over 18 pounds and despite your big cloth-nappied bum, you only wear a size 6-9 months.
You're obsessed with our wooden doorstop.
You happily munch on anything I feed you. And things I don't.
You've discovered your "pinchy grip". Ouch.
Your big brother still thinks you're the bee's knees, except when you touch any of his toys.
You are my Princess Bunny McBun, my beautiful angel.

Happy nine months, Mimi. I love you so, so much. xx

mi mi miiiiii

I think I've come up with a lucrative new career - editing messages for spammers. Their emails would be more convincing thus earning more money for their cheap pharmaceuticals/banking password retrieval/Nigerian money transfer businesses, and I could make a small fortune charging per typo. It's a win-win situation, really.

The spamming world needs me. Just look at what just arrived in my inbox:
Dear Nationwide Customer,

As a part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our company, we are undertaking a period of review and updating of our member accounts.

This is required for us to continue offering you a safe and risk free environment to send and receive money online and maintain the experience.

You are requested to visit our site and sing on or your Nationwide account may work not properly.

Sing On

Please do not respond to this notification e-mail.

Online Banking Team

Those poor souls. I was so close to divulging my account details, too.

Monday 17 March 2008

um. i'm not the only one seeing this, right?

I just saw an ad for a Barbie that comes with puppies you fill with water, squeeze so they "wee", and tiny newspapers so you can "paper train" them.

No wonder people who watch daytime television on a regular basis end up going completely batshit.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

maybe it was for good behaviour?

So I was changing Mia's nappy yesterday and I noticed something glittering in the morning light. Wondering what sort of sparkly food item I gave her on Monday, I inspected her nappy more closely (because mothers are brave like that.) Shining brightly in her nappy was a tiny gold star. She must have picked it out of Liz's carpet on Monday (craft making fodder) and thought it looked tasty enough to eat.

You can tell that I'm a 2nd time mum because a) I didn't think twice about poking around my daughter's nappy and b) the fact that she ingested an inedible decoration didn't alarm me. Oh and c) I blogged about it rather than rush her to the emergency room.

cooking for the rich and lazy

St. Delia has a new cookery programme simply called "Delia". She's been given the Nigella Express Treatment: wobbly camera shots, intermittent "Here are some snippets of me pretending to show you my real life" film segments accompanied by "Here I am with extras pretending to be my friends" segments, and the most Nigella-esque quality of all, showing the masses how to cook with prepared foods. I'm all for simple cooking and for anything that gets people into the kitchen, but I am getting increasingly annoyed with food programmes dedicated to treating the public like they are completely inept. Cooking with prepared foods is absolutely fine - I often use curry pastes and things of that nature - but do we really not have the time or skill to saute some minced beef? Do we honestly need to resort to mince from a tin? (That, I am not exaggerating, looked very much like what we feed Jasper every night.) Is it worth the expense to use raw vegetables that have been peeled and chopped for us? And who in the name of all that is good and holy invented frozen mashed potato that looks like beige hockey pucks?

We don't need to eat badly to eat quickly and simply. You can make a fantastic (and authentic) pasta dish in 10-20 minutes, a proper risotto in 17 minutes, or a piece of grilled chicken, fish, or steak with some veggies in 15 minutes. To be fair, I think Nigella had a much better balance between the use of convenience food and fresh (although buying prechopped leeks in a plastic bag because you find chopping an onion "too tiring" borders on the insane.) Delia's programme comes across as a "Ready, Steady, Cook" exercise in what you can make for your unsuspecting guests with things buried in your freezer and pantry. It's all very 1970s; the age of casseroles made with tinned mushroom soup and topped with Bisquick. It's the antithesis to the current Local/Organic/In Season trend, which I suppose to some is a welcome change. I find it maddening.

And on a completely unrelated note, I swear, I just saw a commercial for a Barbie that comes with a dog that you can feed, and then it "poops" the plastic food back out again. To top it off, she comes with her very own poop scoop and bin for the plastic doggy doo.

Maybe I need to get some more sleep.

Monday 10 March 2008

chucky's revenge

We were at my friend Liz's house this afternoon, which is always an exciting event for Jack because he adores her little girl Lucy and her toys. Or at least, he enjoys most of her toys. Lucy has a toy bear that not only looks like a polar bear in drag (I kid you not, the thing is slathered in blue eyeshadow, has false eyelashes and bright red lips) but it also blinks and talks. We always had a good giggle over it and admittedly found it a bit creepy ourselves, but I had no idea how much it would terrify my son. Jack took one look at it and backed away saying "I don't like it!" and Liz promptly put the Dragbear upstairs out of sight. Later on, Jack and Lucy headed upstairs to play and moments later we heard a bloodcurdling shriek as Jack came upon Dragbear in Lucy's room. He ran downstairs in floods of tears as Liz locked Dragbear up in a cupboard.

Trauma mostly averted, he resumed playing. Then he noticed Lucy's cat - a battery-operated toy that takes a few steps, meows, and sort of kneels forward and twitches its tail (although to me, it looked very much like when a male cat marks his territory.) He looked at it cautiously as I made all sorts of happy talk with incessant smiles about how fabulous and wonderful the cat was. Yes, that one was fine. He smiled and let it go on marking the room with its invisible spray.

Moments later, Jack came up to me and said "I don't like the lady" with that same worried look he had when he first saw Dragbear. "What lady?" I asked, as I followed Jack into the playroom. "THAT lady!" he said, pointing at an over sized doll's head used by little girls for decades to apply makeup (or in my case as a child, permanent marker) and style its hair. "It's only a dolly", I assured him but to no avail. Dollyhead was promptly relocated to Lucy's room.

It was at that point that I noticed writhing plastic limbs waving over the side of a toy buggy. Liz told me that it was baby Sophie, a doll that not only talks and moves, but it knows its name. It knows 80 phrases, none of which sound like something that would come out of the mouth of a small baby and goes on writhing and babbling as long as it's switched on. Lucy decided to put Sophie to bed, wrapped her up in a fabric bag and stuffed her in the buggy. So there it was, a lump of fabric moving around inside the pram while a muffled voice said "I'm sleepy!" Thankfully, Jack never noticed it. Me, I'm gonna have nightmares for weeks about that thing.

So it struck me today: girl toys are scary. They talk, move, and wee. They speak in high-pitched tiny voices, pleading you to love it, or they stare at you with lifeless blue-eyeshadowed eyes. Boy toys are objects that go bang bang, nee nah, toot toot, or vroom. Sometimes they go beep or bzzzzzzzz. Mostly they're on wheels and they don't do anything unless you push them around. They don't tend to come to life in the middle of the night and start talking to you. Unless of course you buy your son a Furby, which also scares the shit out of me.

That's it; Mia shall play with nothing but Lego and Playdough, and possibly a wooden spoon and saucepan.

Friday 7 March 2008

check out me widget!

Shameless solicitation for donations now commencing...

I've added a widget at the top of this page to take donations for the Race for Life 5k run. I'll be attempting to run the whole thing this year, and once again my lovely company will match any money raised. I was disappointed to have missed it last year, but I was busy giving birth and wotnot. Actually, I was doubly disappointed because the race date came and I did feel up to walking it.

This race is to raise money for Cancer Research UK, and I run it in memory (and to celebrate the life) of my grandma Yoshiko Hotta. If you would like to sponsor me, please do so either using the widget above, or using this link here.

Thank you. xx

Tuesday 4 March 2008

words of wisdom

Some random quotes from the Durbin household:

[me] "Can you please not be a lion for a minute?"

[Jack] "I'm playing the beehive game!"
[me] "How does that game go?"
[Jack sprints across his room and crashes into his bed, and shouts] "BEEHIVE!!! I'm very funny."

[Jack, frustrated] "Oh MAN." (Courtesy of his hero, Lightning McQueen.)

[me] "We don't have any monsters in our house because they're afraid of dogs."

[Jack] "I have a little belly. You have a big belly."
[me, getting self conscious] "I have a big belly?"
[Jack] "Yeah. You have a big belly because you're a grown up. I have a little belly because I'm a little boy."
[me] "Ah, okay then."

[Jack] "Mia's trying to eat my racing car!"