Productivity Week Is At A Close

Today is the last day of karate camp, and I’ve been SO PRODUCTIVE this week. Some of the accomplishments have been less fun – like taking the car in to get the tires rebalanced, and getting teary-eyed and having to call my husband because the guys at the tire place said we didn’t have an appointment and I’d have to leave the car there all day. Doing anything car-related, whether it be a tire issue or an oil change, makes me feel terribly anti-feminist and clichéd because I honestly have nearly zero understanding of car-related issues and my first reaction when anything goes wrong is to cry and call my husband. I know! It’s terrible. The most terrible part is that getting teary-eyed and calling my husband works every time, EVERY TIME, PEOPLE, and so I have no motivation to change this repellent behaviour. It always ends up with the car guys quickly fitting me in and apologizing for any inconvenience this may have caused me, and would I like a coffee? Sigh, I know. I hate being a cliché and yet, at the dealership where we bought our car, there is a manicure bar, a MANICURE BAR, PEOPLE, for women just like me who need to bring their cars in for oil changes but who also have anxiety attacks at the thought of it so hey, pretty lady, how about a manicure?

When I was in grad school I studied gender differences in incomes and I had two posters on my office wall: one was a fish riding a bicycle and the other was the Feminist Manifesto. Fast forward sixteen years and I’m crying at the tire place and getting my nails done at car dealerships.

Anyway, other than the tire balancing, it’s been a great week. Save for a half-day camp at the local farm/ petting zoo five years ago, my children have never been to a day camp. I’m kind of wondering why not, because they have gotten so much out of this camp, and it’s not just the improvement in their karate katas. For example, Jake has suddenly learned how to dive for rings at the bottom of the pool, which he would never do before. I realized the motivation behind this sudden act of athletic bravery when I learned that he was swimming with a very pretty thirteen year old brown belt. I see! Jake does not have any confidence issues on that front, given that he heard me singing You’re So Vain while I drove them to camp, and then casually mentioned that he thought that song WAS about him, since he’s so handsome and whatnot.

It’s been beautifully hot here, and we’ve had very few storms, which is highly unusual for Calgary. I could tell one was coming yesterday afternoon by the feel of the air and also because I am now 90 and I can feel it in my bones. Anyway, once I got the boys home from camp I threw their disgustingly dirty camp stuff in the washer, whipped up a batch of cookies and put it in the oven, and started dinner. The boys were relaxing like little non-evil Frank Underwoods, playing video games, and suddenly all went dark. The power went out! We rarely have power outages so I wasn’t overly prepared. I took the cookies out, put the just-thawed chicken breasts back in the fridge, and wondered what to do. Apparently I’m not at all like Ma Ingalls because I literally had no idea what to do. The house was super dark even though it wasn’t yet 5:00, what with the storm and black clouds. Eventually my husband came home and we all went out for dinner – being my car was trapped in the garage with the electric door. How dependent we are in this modern existence! God, I wouldn’t last a damn DAY on the old homestead. The power was off for over two and a half hours, but by the time we got home the power was on, the washer had finished its cycle, and I put the cookies back in the oven. Note: they turned out way flatter than normal but still were edible, so if you should ever be in a similar situation, try re-baking. It works, apparently.

The other day I was watching the news and there was this guy, Michael Bridge, playing the accordion. Now, my “experience” with the accordion is hearing the polka and while polkas are fun and all, they are not exactly remarkable. THIS GUY. He played a few tunes of a classical bent, and then suddenly ripped out with Sweet Child of Mine. On the accordion. It was the single most amazing thing I’d seen, music-wise, and I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find a video of it. No such luck, but if you find it, please let me know. A friend, after hearing about my fascination with this accordion-playing wunderkind, sent me this video and while it’s not an accordion, it IS pretty cool. A ukulele version of Billie Jean? Sign me up!

My productive week is almost at its end; this afternoon I will be watching two and a half hours of a karate tournament and demonstration, and tomorrow I will also be at a karate shiah tournament, and so I feel like my new identity as a sports mom is complete. I’m totally going to be Lynn Raisman, just give me a couple of years.


  1. I’m glad the boys had a good time at camp and you made good use of the time. I am completely dependent on day camps in order to work in the summer. J’s in camp most weeks we’re not on vacation. It’s easier to work with N around so he only goes a couple weeks.

    Also, our power goes out all the time. Eating out is a good strategy if it’s only a day or two. Longer outages require more creativity. And having a gas stove helps a lot.

  2. Hee! 100% identification with the crying over the car thing, and also with feeling like I’ve set back women’s rights by 100 years by doing that. Ma Ingalls has THAT over me in addition to the power thing, as she’d likely be out there with a wrench and pan changing the oil by herself, while kneading bread dough at the same time with her feet. Sigh.

  3. Eve goes to an awesome drama camp every summer – the counsellors are all Theatre People, and they are wonderful, and I’m always amazed at the play they put together in just one week.

    I never did any of the car-related stuff until we got the van, and I always make my friend Pam come with me. I haven’t had to cry yet, but I never remember which lane to go in for the oil change, and I always feel like a complete tool, and it’s so true that the car guys seem to really dig the Charmingly Helpless schtick. What the hell, we have university degrees, we cook and read and birthed a bunch of kids, WE CAN’T DO EVERYTHING, CAN WE? My husband is equally as helpless in the grocery store, I take comfort in that. What’s the difference between raspberry vinegar and raspberry vinaigrette? AGH!

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