Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Basement Basketball It Is

I have a question for you.

What do you do with a basement, that is:

... completely empty of contents (except for one desk, with this computer, and a chair with my butt on it at the moment).

... in between flood and renovation stage, so it's really only the cement floor, and crappy drywall left.

Huh? So? What do you do?

You let your kids call 'The Boys' over for a little game of Basement Basketball!

Multiple boys, over multiple days.

That's multiple balls bouncing. Repeatedly. In my basement.

I'm ready for renos to start.

Due to forces beyond my control, renos aren't quite ready to be started.

Long story, don't get ME started!

So, in the meantime ...

Basement Basketball
it is.

I must REALLY need my head examined!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

StageIt - Where Stars And Staff Shine

Remember awhile back, I mentioned my Ex was moving to Australia?

He's gone.

Left last week.

Back then, I wasn't sure how to post about it without sounding like a bitch, so I turned to music.

And humour.

Specifically, to the group Jaron and the Long Road To Love, and I came up with You're Moving To Australia? I'll Pray For You!

Jaron's song, 'Pray For You' definitely got my attention when I first heard it on my favourite station, FX101.9, last summer. **side note ... come BACK, Russell!

In the last 24hrs, Pray For You made their play list THREE times! (and played on my way to work the morning the Ex left. HA! Coincidence much?)



See! NEVER doubt Mama's taste in country music, People!


After that post, I checked him out on Facebook.

Sure enough, he has a page!

And of course, I joined!

Occasionally I'll throw in my two cents on one of his status' but mostly ... I just creep.

It was here that I first heard him mention a venue he likes to perform in, called StageIt.

The man not only can sing, he's a damn good promoter too!

I checked it out.

Turns out, StageIt is 'a virtual stage that allows artists to make money from LIVE, interactive experiences while offering their fans a front row seat to a backstage experience.' - taken from their FAQ

Kind of like a live, youtube experience, I figured.

The artist can play anywhere from 5-30 min, with an automatic ten minute encore, and a SECOND ten minute encore after that.

So, potentially, FIFTY minutes of one on one time with what could be one of your favourite artists.

That could be interesting ...

I decided to look into Jaron's next show.

I clicked the little Buy Ticket button, and found out that tickets are purchased with 'notes', which are the site's form of currency.

10 Notes = $1 (with a minimum purchase of 50 notes ($5) at at a time)

Now, let's put this into perspective ...

When the tickets for Jaron's show, last night, first went on sale last week, they were 10 notes for a 15 min show (plus two encores = 35min!).

For $1.

ONE dollar, people!

HELLO! I LIKE this guy! I'd spend my Tues night watching/listening to him for a dollar!


So I create my StageIt account and attempt to buy my first set of notes.

At least, that was the plan, until I saw it was payment through credit card only.

No paypal.

I'm a paypal only girl :-(

No paypal? No StageIt.

No StageIt? No Jaron.

No Jaron? Damn.

I logged out, thinking that was pretty much the end of that.

I'd stick to creeping him on facebook and youtube, and just hope he made his way this far north someday ;-)

Then noticed I had an email.

It was my 'welcome' letter from StageIt.

Among other things, it welcomed my feedback.

Oh yeah?

I had some feedback for them!

Uh ... can anyone guess where this might be going?

Yes, once again, I just couldn't help myself, when someone said 'we'd like to hear your opinion'.

And invited me to do so?

I gave it to them.

I sent a polite and simple reply to the link they provided, and said my feedback was to suggest paypal as a payment alternative, for those of us who don't necessarily want to go the credit route.

A few hours later, I received a reply.

The Artist Relations Dude thanked me for my feedback, agreed with me, and said that soon they would be offering this feature.

Well then. I'd be back.

He also made the comment 'enjoy the show'.

I, of course, simply couldn't let that one go.

I promised that I would enjoy a show, as soon as they had that paypal up and running ;-)

He then came back, and asked who I had hoped to see, and I told him about Jaron.

That was the end of the conversation.

Or so I thought.

A couple of hours later, I get a message.

The Artist Relations Dude informed me the StageIt people were going ahead and putting the notes into my account anyway.

I was going to see Jaron!

On them!!! For now. WOW!

By the time I read that email, the tickets had gone up to 40 notes, but once the paypal system was online, I would only be charged the 1 note for the show.

Now that, I thought, was pretty awesome.

See now, pay later, at original retail price.

DAMN FINE customer service, StageIt!

When I first fired off that feedback email, I was NOT expecting a 'real person' reply. Let alone the full out email thread that followed.

That in itself was pretty cool.

But allowing me to view the show anyway, because they weren't yet able to offer the service I'd prefer, THAT was an unexpected surprise.

And ALSO very cool!

Way to win over the Feedback Chick, StageIt People!

So last night, 9:58pm (or so), I logged in.

WooHoo! My first internet 'concert'!

The top half of the screen is a blank video window, and in the bottom, a scrolling chat window filled with Jaron's FRANS (Friends + Fans = Frans).

I don't chat. I creep. And wait.

I wonder how 'it's' going to happen.

Do I have to click something, or will he just automagically appear.

Where will he be playing from?

A living room? Band room? Hotel Room?

I'm guessing they can play anywhere they have a webcam.

'LIVE, from the room with the BEST acoustics ... my shower!!!!'

Oh ... wait ... nevermind ... wrong website ...

At 10pm, my question was answered, when Jaron just appeared in the video screen.

And it was on, Baby!

Thirty five minutes of songs, laughter; both his and mine, and just an all around good time.

Seventy(+) viewers got to experience the show.

And I was one of them :-)

Yay Me!

There was even a celebrity visitor.

Debbie Gibson!

MAN! Didn't I just think I was the hottest little thing, shaking my 15yr old ass to HER music back in the day!

Yes, I just said back in the day. Shut up!

Overall, I think StageIt is a GREAT concept, that should even be looked into more closely by more 'mainstream' artists.

However, there are all genres of performers out there using it, and people want to see them!

And the cost?

Right ...

Um ... did I mention 'ONE DOLLAR for thirty five minutes, people!'

For someone who is getting national airplay.

Yeah. I'll definitely buy THAT!

I had JARON for over half an hour, for ONE DOLLAR!


And that's probably the only time in my life I'll ever get to say THAT out loud!

Thank you StageIt people, for making it possible for me to see my first show.

On you.

You really didn't have to do that, but I REALLY did appreciate it.

And thank you Jaron Lowenstein, for putting on a great show, making me laugh, being a shit at times, and such great eye candy to boot. *smooches*

Give it a try, people.

StageIt. Where stars and staff shine.

Well ... they do in MY world ;-)


P.S. Do you think I could actually leave, without giving a plug for JaTLRTL?

Check out a version of the latest single below.

Do it.


Go click that little play button.

You're gonna like it. I said so ;-)

* Not the official video. When I tried to link the code, CMT informed me it was 'unable to offer the video to users in my region'.

Since I wasn't sure if your region would be my region, or a different region, I played it safe, and gave you this one instead.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Not Always The Pit Hair And Pecs That Define The Man, Ya Know?

Adam has a new friend over for a sleepover this evening.

Alec has a friend over as well.

Around 9:30pm, both sets of boys were in their rooms, and I was tidying the bathroom.

All of a sudden, Belle started going nuts.

Letting loose with that particular bark, that lets me know someone is at the door.

I figured it was someone I didn't know, because when she knows who it is, she throws more of a whiny freakout than an out and out straight bark.

I came out of the bathroom to meet Alec, and he followed me down the stairs with a, 'Gonna get the door, Mom?'

For some reason, just the way he asked that question made me think it was his buddy, from a few doors down, standing on the other side of the door.

I looked through the peephole, but couldn't make out who it was.

For some strange reason, all I could see was ... white.

'What the ...?'

From behind me I heard, 'Are you gonna get it?'

I turned around and looked at Alec, then back at the door.

What if it wasn't Johnny From Down The Street? I wasn't expecting anyone else.

With one hand on Belle's collar, and Alec on the stairs, I reached my other hand out to answer the door.

As I'm reaching towards it, my mom instinct is going 'BACK AWAY from the FREAKIN' door, Kim!'

But instead, I open it.


I wasn't quite sure WHAT was standing in front of me.

She looked ... hard. And ... scary.

Jet black hair. Snow white, haggard skin. Blood red, clown-like lips, and ... the teeth. Let's just say she could have used a bit of dental restructuring.

The blinding white light I had seen through the peephole, had been her bright white leather jacket.

She had a bunch of open bags/red purse hanging off one arm, and a cell phone in her other hand.

To be brutally honest? Which we all know I can sometimes be ... ahem ...

I thought it was a guy, in drag.

Bad drag.

She wouldn't make eye contact with me. She was playing with her phone.

SPEAKING to me, or more so mumbling at me, but looking at and playing with her phone, and fidgeting.

THAT'S when I slooooowly started to close the door with an, 'I don't think so.'

She wanted to come in the house.

Use the phone.

Something was off. She wasn't acting 'right'.

Was she drunk? On drugs? Meds? Off her meds?

Regardless, I have no idea what was wrong with the lady, I'm just telling you something was 'off'.

I'm alone with four kids, and out of the blue some ... strange, random chick shows up at my door, wanting to come in my house.

So I closed the door.

And I turn around to look for Alec.

There he is, at the bottom of the stairs. Baseball bat in hand.

He'd gotten a look at her.

Apparently, he hadn't liked what he'd seen either.

I looked at him. I looked at the bat. I looked at him. I shook my head, no.

Please don't think it was just that I won't help people in need.

I do try to help others, when I can.

Hell, I've offered my bathroom to the road workers in front of my house.

But this particular chick?


So, from the other side of the door comes, 'Well ... would you call someone for me, and see if they'll come and pick me up?'

I yelled back, 'Why don't you just use your cell phone, in your hand.'

'Cause I need to use yours,' she said.

Once again, my mom senses are tingling.

Not a FREAKIN' chance, Chickie!

And once again I throw back, 'Nope, you're not going to use it. I'll make the call, but you're not coming in.'

Without missing a beat, she yells, 'OK! Call D* (can't remember what name she said, but started with a D) and tell her it's Jeanie, and to come pick me up, and that I have gas money! Her number is 111-11xx.'

By now, I have a living room full of boys, watching my every move.

I call.

I get voicemail.

I leave a message, explaining I have some chick on my doorstep who wanted me to call her, here was my number, feel free to call me back.

Then, she asked me to call some guy named Clarence.

I did.

No answer. Left the same message.

After that, Chickie thanked me, and said she was leaving.


I asked her which direction she would be going, in case one of her friends called back.

She told me.

No sooner had she left, and the boys were sitting around, recapping the last fifteen minute's events, and we were discussing the fact that perhaps I should call the police, than the phone rang.

It was the first friend I'd called for Random Crazy Chick.

She told me, in no uncertain terms, that it was too bad she was on my step, but that SHE wouldn't be coming to get her.

Also? That I had been smart not to let her in my house.

Alrighty then!

That confirmed those tingling mom senses.

I hung up from her, and called the non-emergency policy line.

I did this for a few reasons.

I was worried about her wandering along the dark, non-pedestrian friendly street on her own.

I didn't know if she'd keep trying other neighbours along the street. Some of which are in their late 50's/60's.

You just NEVER KNOW about people!

Maybe she was perfectly fine. Maybe not.

Less than five minutes later, a cruiser was sitting on the side of the road, about three houses away, lights flashing.

He sat there for quite a few minutes.

Then he left.

I'm not sure if he took her with him/them, but she didn't come back.

Of course, even if she had, she STILL wasn't gettin' in!

After the excitement of 'police car watching from the window' had finished, I turned to the new kid and said, 'Well, Johnny, welcome to just another boring old night at Adam's house!' ;-)

Cause ya know ... out of ALL the houses on that LOOOOOOONNNNNGGGG street, she would knock on MY door.

Right? Right.

Although I'm now dragging my sorry butt to bed, confident in the fact we've seen the last of Random Crazy Chick, for tonight ... Alec? Him?

How much you want a bet that bat's under his bed at this very moment?

My boy.

Stepping up to protect his clan, when he sensed his mama's unease.

Not necessarily a role I want him to play.

But one in which, once he had stepped, very clearly reminded me that ...

It's not always the pit hair and pecs that define the man, ya know?

Stay safe, all! Don't answer those doors and follow your instincts!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Little Lucy Clare

Today, I have a special surprise for you.

We have a Special Guest Blogger in the Korner!

A former co-worker and friend of mine has a very important message to share with you all, and I am happy to give her the forum to do so.

In the hallway, lunchroom, elevator, snack shop, and yes, even the bathroom, she would be asked, 'How's Lucy Clare doing?'

Not because any of us was making idle bathroom chit chat, but because those of us who asked, cared.

But ... I'll let Taryn tell you the story of Little Lucy Clare ...

Four years ago I would not have paid attention to an event like Prematurity Awareness Month and I likely would not have even known about the work of the March of Dimes.

Today I am proud to be a supporter of the March of Dimes and their important work.

On March 8, 2007, my niece, Lucy Clare entered this world after my brother, Jonathan and sister-in-law, Mary, made the difficult decision to have an emergency c-section at 25 weeks gestation.

In the weeks leading up to Lucy’s arrival, Jonathan and Mary knew that there was a chance Lucy would have to arrive early. She wasn’t growing and the doctors said that if she didn’t reach 500 grams there would be very little they could do.

We all held our breath as Mary went to each ultra-sound appointment, hoping that this baby (gender unknown to all but them) would grow – just a little bit more, just a few more grams. They were briefed by the ob-gyn on what outcomes to expect if she was born at 32, 30 or 28 weeks.

A few weeks prior to Lucy’s birth they were given a tour of the NICU so that they would be prepared for what they may encounter.

At their last appointment, on March 8, they were told they had to make the difficult decision – wait another week and risk that she wouldn’t survive in utero or deliver that day knowing that the hospital had never had a baby that small survive.

Wanting to just give Lucy a chance, they opted for the c-section.

25 days old: Dad’s wedding band on her arm

Lucy was a micro-preemie in every sense of the word. She weighed only 400 grams (14 ounces) and was just 10 inches in length.

At her lowest, she dropped down to 290 grams.

She was given surfactant therapy – its research was funded by the March of Dimes – for her lungs. She breathed with the help of a ventilator for five weeks before being switched to CPAP for two months and then on nasal canula until she was discharged.

Lucy’s time in the hospital was filled with ups and downs – it often seemed like one step forward and two steps back. She faced many of the challenges that preemies in the NICU face: infection, retinopathy, the struggle to breathe on her own, a heart condition and feeding challenges.

Lucy spent 182 days in the hospital – six long months – before she joined her family at home.

Today Lucy is a happy, funny, easy-going 3 ½ year old who adores her big sister Stella and is starting to enjoy her baby sister Mallory.

She loves books, colouring, watching Yo Gabba Gabba and dancing.

But she still faces many challenges: she takes medication for pulmonary hypertension, she relies on a feeding tube for 100% of her nutrition and she has deteriorating eyesight. She has therapy appointments with a feeding specialist, physiotherapist, and attends weekly sensory motor sessions.

The work that the March of Dimes does through education, Prematurity Awareness Month, March for Babies and so much more, is crucial to helping all babies have a healthy start.

Our family considers itself lucky that Lucy is here today and we want to do everything we can do to raise awareness for prematurity-related issues. It’s our chance to give back just a little bit.

Visit www.marchofdimes.com to find out how you can help!

Thank you, Taryn. Thank you, March of Dimes.

But most of all, thank you Lucy Clare, for being the fighter you were, and continue to be.

You GO, Girl!

This post is proud to be part of the Bloggers Unite: Fight For Preemies initiative!