Friday, January 28, 2011

Eleven years young

I promised that I would blog tonight. Half past midnight counts as "tonight," doesn't it?

Anyway, I'm going to tell a story.

In my province, we have something called graduated licensing. That means that when a person learns to drive, he passes through a number of phases. First, he takes a written test. He receives a learner's license. A year after he's received that, he takes a road test. He then receives a novice license. A novice license functions as a regular license except that:
- one must display a "novice driver" sign (an N);
- one's license may be yanked for a smaller number of tickets;
- one must have a blood alcohol content of zero; and,
- one must not drive more than one unrelated passengers.

Fair enough. Two years later, the driver may take an hour-long road test and obtain a full license.

My year was the first to enter graduated licensing, some eleven years ago.

Last week, a friend of my brother's had his license suspended for two months over a minor novice-related violation. And I thought, my goodness, that would be bloody inconvenient. After all, I have children to haul around. Granted, my children are all related to me, and I've never had a ticket (kinehura), but it's bound to happen sooner or later. And so anxiety about the one (losing license) overcame my anxiety about another (road test) and I called to schedule a road test.

Only, let's see, nine years past due.

But it was more complicated than that. You see, it turns out that my license had been expired. And I've been driving about on that expired license for some, let's see, seven months. They cheerfully invited me to come in to the DMV and have it renewed, post-haste. The nice man also scheduled my road test.

I passed the road test. I have a full license. I also have an award, of sorts.

The DMV said that this is the longest anyone has ever held a novice license.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Going crazy dreaming, the American dream

A number of blogs I read are anti-consumerist. Here's an example: the smuggy mcsmuggersons. Homesteading, downshifting, whatever. Everyone's doing it.

I enjoy consumerism. I went down to Seattle with Husband the other day (and Firefly), and we got our meat for the next several months. It was great. We get all our meat in the states. We actually buy almost everything there, at least everything for me. I only buy eggs and produce weekly.

We eat a lot of eggs.

In fact, here are some things about modern life that I really, truly love:

- Washers and dryers. Oh, my wash. I love my washer and dryer. Hanging out the laundry? No thanks. Besides, it gets crinkly.

- ipods, iphones, cell phones you can use to check your email and take pictures of the kids too, and podcasts. How did I live without these?

- shopping on the net. There is no longer any reason to take children to stores, and used books can be procured from half a world away.

- coke. Yes, I like coke. I admit it. In fact, I like coke quite a lot. Diet coke isn't bad either.

- products from China. My knitting needles have pandas on them.

- Cesaerean births. Dying in child birth is very not my style, and I don't really want to lose the kids either. I work so hard to make them.

- Vaccines. See above. I hate being pregnant, so I've got to look after the ones I've got.

- Deep freezers.

- Non-iron shirts. Brooks Brothers make some now. If your husband wears dress shirts, and you're still ironing, get these shirts. They are worth the cost (although Brooks Brothers has regular sales if you watch the outlets). They even have the crease down the arms. Do not iron.

What do you like about modern, consumerist life?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Schedule Forming

Neurotics like me love schedules, because they help us manage anxiety. My whole religious practice is basically one massive over-compensation for what is probably a tendency towards OCD.

It's not a mental disorder. It's piety.

Unfortunately, I'm very bad at following schedules. I eventually figured out that this was because I was imposing a perfect schedule on my sub-par homemaking abilities.

My solution was to figure out when I was doing things anyway, and to call that my schedule. So without further ado, here it is:

Daily: Sweep. Empty and load dishwasher (it runs overnight). Wash and fold whichever laundry hamper is full.
Sunday: Kitchen. Mop. Bake that which is not challah. Eat at Father-in-law's
Monday: Living/dining room. Vacuum only rug in house. Stir fry for dinner.
Tuesday: Children's room. Change their sheets. Empty diaper pail. Stew for dinner.
Wednesday: Parent's room. Change our sheets. Fish things out from under the bed. Soup for dinner.
Thursday: Living/dining room - see Monday. Challah baking. Vegetarian for dinner.
Friday: Shabbos prep. Shabbos dinner.
Saturday: Bathroom. Change bathroom linens and switch out bath mat. Light dinner -- large lunch.

My children have helpfully adapted. Their schedule looks something like this:
Sunday: Have a serious potty accident in the bathroom.
Monday: Spill something vile in the kitchen. Grind it in to the tile.
Tuesday: Smush play dough into the only rug in the house.
Wednesday: Wet bed. Eat muffin in bed.
Thursday: Wet parents' bed. Eat muffin in parents' bed.
Friday: Defile challah.
Saturday: Run around like crazy people.