What is the sound of one person drowning in busyness?

Not sure, but I'm pretty sure it sounds something like "GAKBERFLOOBURRRGGGGHHZZZZzzzzzzzzzz"

Just sayin.

My family is celebrating the first few days of Chanukah and getting ready to travel to my parents to hang with them over the Christmas holidays. It's slightly strange being a bi-holiday family. Even though we don't (as a nuclear family) observe Christmas traditions, the time spent with my parents sharing in their celebration kind of sticks us in a weird Chrismukah limbo.

We head out on the road tomorrow and I still have some gifts to wrap, laundry to do, a staff celebration to get ready for and cookies to bake. And yet, here I am, on the laptop, blogging.

Painful Irony.

OK, so it's not irony at all. Just straight-up procrastination. *sigh*

I wish you all a great holiday season, no matter WHICH holiday you celebrate. Enjoy your families and make some memories!



So the other day, I pop into our place of business to drop an item off and I happen to see a man approaching someone in the parking lot. It appears that he's asking for money and it appears that the other man politely turns him down.

I meet with my client and finish my errand. Admittedly I am hoping that this solicitous individual is not in the parking lot as I exit the store. He isn't and I breathe a little easier. However... As I continue my way a block or two over to the bookstore I am going to next, I see that he is now in that parking lot and I see him again approach people in the lot. I duck in the doors and am about 15 minutes into my browsing when he is there in the aisle in front of me.

He is polite.

He is also drunk. His every word washes me with the smell of alcohol and I have a hard time deciphering his speech.

His story? He is from out of town and his car (with his wife, 5 kids and a baby in it, no less) is stuck on the side of the highway, out of gas. If I just had some cash to give him, he could get some gas and get his family safely home to a town about 40 mins away.

Now, I'm not heartless and if I believed for one second that this man had helpless children stranded on the road in cold winter weather, I would not hesitate to help. What did I do? I told him I didn't have any cash (I didn't) and I offered to help him call a gas station to bring him out enough gas to get him into the city. I guess that wasn't what he was looking for as he shrugged his shoulders and turned away.

This whole situation plagued me as I drove home and I replayed it in my mind. I treated him well -- which I should have. He is a human being and deserves being treated with dignity. But I guess what bothers me is this notion: dignity is honored by honesty. And I wasn't honest. For the sake of politeness I bought into his ruse and played along. I played his own game if you will... (and won, I might add... apparently no inebriated brain is a match against this specimen of a thinking machine. lol) but what I really wanted to do is be honest. To say "Buddy. Really? I can tell you are drunk and I'm having a hard time believing your story at all. You need to leave this store and quit lying to people to get what you want."

It wasn't so much about this particular situation as it is how I often -- in so many areas of my life -- sacrifice being honest about what I think (Keeping it Real, if you will) for being uber-diplomatic and ingratiating.

But then, maybe I'm just over-analyzing. I have a tendency to do that, too. :) How honest are you with people trying to scam you?


Life Is Good.

Just a few things I'm thankful for:

After a short dip into Arctic winter temps (-30C), I am happily enjoying the weather this week. Snow is even melting and the sun has been shining -- always a nice pick-me-up!

450 photo prints. I sorted through about one half of the photos uploaded on my desktop -- close to 2000 in all, and got about 450 photos to look through. Call me old-fashioned but there's something extra awesome about actual photo albums. I've loved the trip down memory lane looking at pics of my kiddos and family times. And, BONUS! I even got some collage frames set up and hung on the walls. Makes me smile whenever I see them!

Good times with family. Spent a lovely weekend with my in-laws last weekend, and today am expecting my parents to show up for a visit.

Homeschooling. It has been a pretty unexpected blessing just how much I enjoy my time with The Kid. Obviously, it's not without it's ups and downs, but I really do love teaching him, love the things we are learning (I swear I'm even getting smarter!) and love all the great memories I'm making with him. At times I wish the Princess would jump on board, but all is good for the time being with her at school.

Great kids. Did I mention how terrific these guys are?

A clean basement. Oh yes. It took a lot of effort, but everything is sorted and cleaned. I rearranged pretty much every bit of space down there and I can't believe the difference it makes. I almost like heading down to the "dungeon", now.

Custom Build Skate orders. Which are flying in faster than I know what to do with them. And makes just one more reason why I'm extra happy about the Dungeon being cleaned up. Gonna be spending a lot of time down there this week.

Good coffee. Which I am going to make right meow. Have a great weekend, everyone!


One More Game.

Derby road trip was great fun. I haven't embarked on a trip like that for almost a whole year, and it was definitely fun.

I've concluded that Derby is very much an addiction for me. It's not really that good for me -- my body is aching and so very sore. The possibility of totally breaking myself at play is always very real (knock on wood). It takes up a goodly amount of my spare time in the week, whether training, practicing or helping on committees -- time I would sometimes very much like back. I'm even sometimes on the fence about how entitled I should be to having this very involved "interest" outside my family (maybe something for a deeper post another time).


Oh man, the excitement of the days leading up to a game, the crazy team camaraderie, the jacked up pure adrenaline thrill of the game, the crowd loving it, even feeling all the bruises and scrapes afterwards... I'm hooked. Just when I start envisioning my life without the extra commitments and aches and drama... I get a good solid hit of pure derby high and I'm hooked in all over again. What was I thinking? Live without derby? How could I choose to never play again? Never skate again?

And this weekend was no different. The game was a close battle. The lead tipped back and forth a few times and in the end our team was edged out by a fairly close margin. The crowd was amped and in Turn 4 there were a few utterly RABID fans which was a first for me. Their, shall we say, "enthusiasm" for the home team led them to hurl insults at us whenever we would take out their jammer... I got called a few colorful names. After I got over my girly shock, it actually fired me up cause when the home crowd HATES you, it probably means you're doing something right!

Despite the tense battle and the tempers which flashed on the track, it was all good when the final whistle blew. And in true derby style, we followed up 90 minutes of on-track battle with a four hour dance marathon afterwards.

All in all, it was a great weekend. And while I still battle with the question of just how much longer I will play derby, at this moment it appears that the answer is, as always, still "One More Game."


Preparation. Random thoughts

It's game day tomorrow.

Time to clean my skates, pack my gear. Get my "skate First-Aid" kit ready. Pack for the road, fill the car with gas, wash my car.

Have a Dairy Queen Blizzard.


Ummm, yeah. Something about replenishing the glycogen stores in the liver. I swear.

I leave tomorrow morning for a city about four hour's drive from home. With three rowdy, awesome passengers in my car, I am fully planning to enjoy my weekend. I love this game more and more each time I get to play it.

There may be a win. There may be karaoke. There may be a trainwreck of a morning after when I wake up to feel every bruise, scrape and aching muscle. And I will love every minute of it. Even if we lose.

But more if we win!

Today was Remembrance Day. My thoughts fell many times to the sacrifices made by young men and women, to provide the many freedoms and benefits that I experience, today. I was startled by the realization that the only people that I personally know -- have contact with -- who are serving in the military at present are women. I thought that interesting.

Today was also my birthday. I am now on the downhill slide to "40". Sometimes I must admit that I fell utterly scared by my age. I fear growing older... that it mean that my parents and those I love are growing older. My kids are growing older.

Such a simple fact of life. And one that's easy to ignore when you are in the "prime" of youth or in those busy, all-consuming years of young parenthood, I suppose. I don't want to grow old.

On the other hand. 36 isn't all that bad. And as my grandpa would say, it's much better than the alternative.


Checking out the Titanic

Our local Science Centre is hosting a special Titanic exhibit. The Kid has had a long interest in this ill-fated voyage and the ship. We've read a few books on the topic and even done a fun project or two; so when we heard of the exhibit, we definitely wanted to take it in.

Cue my surprise and displeasure to arrive at the venue only to find that while the admission to the Science Centre is $6 as expected... admission to the Exhibit? $20 for me and $15 for The Kid. Gak!! Cough!!! Wheeze!

Not wanting to disappoint and deny my kiddo the chance to be ENRICHED and EDUCATED and ENGAGED and EXCITED (and I'm sure a whole bunch of other "E" words) I ponied up the money and off we went with our little handy recorded tour guide thingey. (which was NOT loud, at all, you had to hold it right up to your ear... and we only had the one between the two of us. And after the first few times crouched down to crush this device between our skulls, we realized it was basically just reading out what was on the wall placards... sheesh...)

I won't lie. The exhibit was very unique. It was cool to see some actual items and artifacts recovered from the sunken vessel. We learned things. Stuff.

But it sure wasn't worth $35.

Color me jaded.


Just stuff and stuff.

Fever + Tiny, itchy, spotted rash = Something Not Awesome.

Really, I feel pretty good today, all considered. A little bit draggy and tired, I guess... but nothing that stopped me from getting through school with my boy. (although I may admit to a being a tad bit on the grumbly side...)

Not sure whether this merits a visit to a medi-clinic and the three hour wait which is included gratis with the experience...

So, my plan at the moment is to spend a relaxing evening tracking our provincial election results with my boy and family. Off to print a list of constituencies to graph results for!


The ABC's of Me

A. Age: 35 (for at least a few more days...)
B. Best Friend: I'm lucky to have lots of close friends and family members and a BFF in one of my oldest friends, JW.
C. Chore That You Hate: Weeding anything. Lawn, garden, flower beds, whatever. Hate it.
D. Dogs: My little "scrat", Goldie.
E. Essential Start To Your Day: Shower. Kid Hugs.
F. Favorite Color: Shades of green make me happy.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver.
H. Height: 5'6"
I. Instruments You Play: Piano/keyboard. And a brief messing around behind a drum kit for a few months.
J. Job Title: Homeschool Mum, Business Owner.
K. Kids: Two of the best!!
L. Live: The Frozen North.
M. Mother's Name: "Mum" or "Mama"
N. Nicknames: "Punky" when I was a girl.
O. Overnight Hospital Stays: Tonsils, babies, kids' surgeries.
P. Pet Peeve: Friends who disappear from your life without explanation.
Q. Quote From A Movie: "Well I guess it all started the first time I went through the second grade. I caught my reflection in a spoon while I was eating my cereal, and I remember thinking "wow, you're ridiculously good looking, maybe you could do that for a career."
R. Right or Left Handed: Right
S. Siblings: Younger brother
T. Time You Wake Up: 7ish. Sometimes later. Never earlier if I can help it. :P
U. Ultimate Vacation: Seeing any part of this wonderful world. Greece and Italy are high on my list!
V. Vegetable You Hate: Kale.
W. What Makes You Run Late: I am... errr... *ahem* NEVER late. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
X. X-Rays You've Had: Head, Neck, Knee (multiple)
Y. Yummy Food You Make: I do up some good pasta with artichokes, mushrooms and chicken in white wine cream sauce. Oh, and a rip-off of Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie which KILLS IT!!! Sooooooo good!
Z. Zoo Animal: Meerkats and penguins.


DAYS 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Day 20 -- A song that you listen to when you're angry. I plead the fifth on this one. I can't say that I have a particular ANGRY THEME SONG. If anything I just listen to whatever music is on louder than usual. :)

Day 21 -- A song you listen to when you're happy.

Sugarland -- Stuck Like Glue
This is just the happiest song... bouncy and fun and the video is one bizarre, wacky joyride that cracks me up. Yeah, I'd listen to this when I'm happy.

Day 22 -- A song you listen to when you're sad.

The Who -- Love Reign O'er Me
This song crashes through the walls of my heart; the lyrics, the vocals, the arrangement... everything touches something deep and sad in me.

Day 23 -- A song you want at your wedding.

OK Go -- Here It Goes Again
Hahaha... sad little attempt at humor. Was gonna pick GnRs "I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Kill Her" but then realized that would be playing at Mr.Fs next wedding... lol Also am gonna mention that the whole treadmill video fascinates me. I can't believe no one fell -- would love to see the outtakes/bloopers!!

Day 24 -- A song you want at your funeral.

Semisonic -- Closing Time
This was a little bit tongue-in-cheek as well, but I kinda like some of the allegory that can be drawn from this song.


DAYS 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

DAY 15 -- A song that describes you.

Jann Arden -- Good Mother
I think that growing up is a lot about realizing who you are and recognizing the people who are a part of you. I am thankful -- so very thankful -- for my family.

DAY 16 -- A song you used to love but now hate.

Phil Collins -- A Groovy Kind of Love
Again with the "hating". I'm not much of a hater. I'm more of a lover. *big, cheesy wink* Back in Grade 7 (which I'd like to think wasn't just ALL that much "back", now, was it??) I heard this song every morning and afternoon whilst traveling on the school bus. My pre-teen self ate up all the ooey-gooey sentiment like it was a chocolate sundae with extra chocolately chocolate syrup and sprinkles. I can't say I hate it now... it's a sweet little song in it's own way. Just not my cup of tea.

DAY 17 -- A song you hear a lot on the radio.

Bruno Mars -- Grenade
Seems like whenever I turn on the radio, this one is getting a lot of play time. The kid has a nice tone.

DAY 18 -- A song you wish you heard on the radio.

Revive -- Blink
Just cause I really don't think it could hurt anyone to be reminded during their day of the things that really matter in life. Slow down. Breathe. Love.

DAY 19 -- A song from your favorite album.

I can't embed this one, so please click here if you want to check it out on You Tube.
Justin Nozuka -- After Tonight
I'm kinda cheating, cause this is actually from a Juno Awards compilation album. Not sure if that can be considered an "album" per se... but it's one that I pop in my CD player a lot. I just totally love this kid's voice and the easy vibe in this song. Like falling, baby.


DAY 11, 12, 13, 14

Day 11 -- A song from your favorite band.

Bon Jovi -- Who Says You Can't Go Home.
I never considered myself a "favorite band" type of person -- I really like EVERYTHING just too much to settle on one band, you know? But as I thought about what "favorite" meant. I realized that there was a band that I've pretty much liked whatever they've done, whether solid rock numbers or soft ballads or a bit of urban cowboy flavor. I know most of their songs. I guess they are my favorite band... or at least one of them. :)

Day 12 -- A song from a band you hate.
Jonas Brothers. I'm not even gonna post a song here. I feel really, really mean. Like, a giant, big MEANY. They are kids... or mostly kids. I'm being harsh. But I just can't listen to them without wanting to scrape out my eardrums with a sharp utensil.

Day 13 -- A song that is your guilty pleasure.

Earth, Wind and Fire -- Boogie Wonderland
Do I really WANT people to know that disco in my kitchen? Nope. But I do. And this is likely the song that I'll do it to. Cause it makes me super happy and, come on... that song has some serious groove, people. I dare you not to move!

Day 14 -- A song no one would expect you to love.

August Burns Red -- Meddler
Yes, I am a closet metalcore lover. But with one caveat. I only listen to the subgroup "Christian" metalcore. Just cause I can't understand ALL the words doesn't mean I want to listen to songs about stomping on baby kittens or whatever. Anyway... this song is one of my absolute favorites. It's like a high for my ears... soaring riffs, ripping guitar, crisp drumming. Love, love, love it. And I imagine that that might surprise you. Maybe. Maybe not.

Life Interrupted.

These past few days have brought a shocking bit of news to our lives and we are struggling to make sense and formulate a plan for moving forward. Sadly it involves a dear family member's health, and, while I don't feel at liberty to share details, I will ask those of you who remember my sis-in-law from her days commenting on The Fantastic Spastic under the name "UberFanSis" to please keep her and her little family in your prayers.

Thank you all... so very much.


DAY 08, 09, 10

Day 08 -- A song you know all the words to.

Barenaked Ladies -- One Week
OK, so maybe this is just a little bragaliciousness, cause there's a lot of tricky words in this song! However, I do know them all -- that's not to say I don't get a little tongue-tied singing along at times! I think this is a super-crafty song... also totally am crushing on Ed Robertson. There pretty much isn't anything this guy can't do.

Day 09 -- A song you can dance to.

Duck Sauce -- Barbara Streisand
This was such a hard category to pick just one song. My other option was Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me" Calle Ocho remix, of which the video makes me want to cease to exist and fall into a deep, dark fit of self-loathing and body-image regression, if you know what I mean. Anyway, this sweet gem of a track was one of the last songs that I had a blast dancing to and therefore was accorded this (dubious) honor of being included in my 30 days. Wooooooo hoooooooooo ooooooo oooooh. Barbara Streisand.

Day 10 -- A song that could put you to sleep.

Fleetwood Mac -- Albatross
I came across this beautiful number some time ago when trying to search out a lingering memory. (insert rabbit trail...) Over 15 years ago, I was part of an impromptu talent show at the college I was attending. Myself and a beautiful neighboring dorm-mate grabbed a Judy Collins songbook and were immediately enraptured with the rambling lyrics of a song called "Albatross". We had never heard the original recording and, instead, crafted an over-the-top theatrical version, not unlike Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", if by "Bohemian Rhapsody" I mean a vocal duet with vexing solo piano accompaniment. Anyhow, our goth get-up and rousing performance gained us some audience favor and it was this song that crossed my mind and I attempted to track down just what it *should have* sounded like (This just in... We killed it. But also made it a gazillion times better. Trust.). Anyhow, first entering "Albatross" in the youtube search engine yielded Fleetwood Mac's instrumental and I love it. The bass/toms create a beautiful thrumming heart-beat while the cymbal mallets remind me of the ocean waves. And the guitar and steel-guitar live in this otherwordly space, just floating on top of all that luscious sound. Definitely a song that conjures up visions of afternoon siestas and drifting off to dreamland.


DAY 06/07

Day 06 -- A song that reminds you of somewhere.

Jeff Healey -- Angel Eyes
This song takes me back to an early summer night grad rehearsal -- not my own grad, I was someone's escort. After running through the Grand March stuff (and really, is that still done at grads? Or am I a relic of time, already?) this song was cued up for a quick run through of how the first dance would fit in. I was a very sheltered 14 year old kid and really did not know how to dance with a partner at all, something which was quite apparent!! I was, however, still really thrilled to be there.

Day 07 -- A song that reminds you of a certain event.

AC/DC -- Thunderstruck
This song immediately takes me back to my own high school gymnasium. But not nearly such a nice occasion as grad and here I am not swathed in a poufy sapphire-blue satin dress. Try a Maui & Sons T and some old gym shorts for the (drumroll of death, please) "16 minute run" fitness benchmark. I forget how many times we had to complete this test in the course of Grade 11 Phys Ed but every. single. time. our teacher brought out the sound system and cranked this song (along with some Judas Priest and Metallica). And while my love of old metal is decidedly strong, my love of running is not. In fact, I think that this fitness test was the sole reason that I opted not to take Phys Ed in Grade 12. Going through the next period's class feeling hot and sweaty and messed up was a special kind of punishment for a 16 year old girl, beyond the discomfort of running pointless laps.


DAYS 04/05

Day 04 -- A song that makes you sad.

Mad World -- Gary Jules
Oh gosh... from the existential lyrics to the haunting melodies and spare production, this song is a beautiful, big, DOWNER. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate or like it, just that it actually truly affects my mood. There are plenty of other more "sad" songs out there; heartbreaking, cryin', lovin', leavin' songs that evoke so much emotion. But when it comes down to a song that literally "makes me feel sad"... this is it. Hands down.

Day 05 -- A song that reminds me of someone.

Coat of Many Colors -- Dolly Parton
I have so many great memories of my childhood, but some of my favorites are times spent listening to my Mom take a break from her day. She'd grab her guitar and a coffee and likely a smoke and soon I'd hear the sounds of her lovely playing and singing and inevitably drift on over to play with my toys close around her. As a young child, I didn't grasp the picture of poverty painted in these lyrics, but the love of a mother creating something for her child stayed with me. And whenever I hear this song, I think of my young Mom and how she enjoyed creating music.


30 Days of Music Videos

I'm doing this on Facebook and thought I'd cross post to my blog. But... because I'm pretty certain my blog might just blow a synapse over me actually posting daily, I may compile a couple days to a post. And, with any luck, I might actually post some *real* stuff in between.

But, if nothing else, y'all will get a chance to mock my musical taste and maybe even learn a little bit about me. FUN! Feel free to snag this idea for your blog, too (and let me know if you do so I can come by and comment!).

So, without further ado.

DAY 01 -- My favorite song.

There's a lot of songs that I could probably label as "my favorite". And probably, when I think of it longer, I'll facepalm over choosing an Eminem song, especially one from a motion picture soundtrack.

The first time I heard this song was when I started training Krav. I was trying to shed this "Mommy-person" that had excluded everything real and genuine about me and it was the hours of sweating, screaming, cussing, kicking, slamming, gouging and punching that drove me inside myself. Lose Yourself was one of the songs that got a lot of play during warmups and somehow, in my head and heart, it's become synonymous with conquering crap in your life and kicking butt. And still, today, if I gotta get psyched up for something; derby bout, job interview, whatever... it's often one of the songs that I search out on my iPod.

And, it's entirely possible that I once was one of a two-man karaoke posse that threw up hoods and got buck to it in a faraway city, some time ago. Peace out.

DAY 02 - A song I hate.

I really don't like to be negative about music. I'm certainly not any kind of a music snob, as will be evident by the 30 selections you'll see over the course of this little game.

I like Ricky Martin -- in fact, I should mention that as a ten year old girl, I managed to score a Menudo poster and it should be said that I peeked at it every night before I went to sleep, in hopes that his young self would show up in my dreams. Yes, I know. We were separated not only by a country, a language, and a shameful age disparity, but also a sexual orientation. Doomed, I tell you. Regardless, I own a couple of his spanish language albums and they have been, at various times, a fun choice when I feel the need to salsa dance around my house while cleaning. Which surprisingly happens a good deal. Sadly, this song does nothing for me.

Outside of the over-ambitious production (hello HORNS!!! SAVE.MY.EARS.) and the rudimentary lyrical choices... the final nail in the coffin was Mr. F's possession of a certain William Hung CD. You know, ThatKidFromAmericanIdolBlessHisHeart? Yeah. And after being forced to listen to She Bangs in that manner, well... I'm sorry, Ricky, I just can't do it anymore.

DAY 03 -- A song that makes me happy.

Again, so many songs I could have chosen here. (Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" would be next on the list, for sure) But I chose this one for one reason only. The key modulation around the one-minute mark. Pre-chorus/Chorus MAGIC, baby!!! I can't hear this without feeling my heart soar and a smile want to break across my face. Maybe that's silly, but that's how I roll with music.


GAH!! How does a month go by so quick?

More to come soon.

I think I hear crickets chirping. *chirp* *chirp*



New brain wanted.

Current model is overly forgetful and spastic.

Business-managing software bundle preferred.


Kinda Blue.

Last night I had a really nice phone conversation with my grandmother. I have a fear that these opportunities will diminish with time as some dementia seems to be taking over even now; I am reminded to create more opportunities to enjoy her company.

Sometimes I struggle to find things to talk about with her; she gets confused more easily now and doesn't have the same point of reference as people who are a bit more "current" in their thinking. For example, telling her that The Kid just tested for his orange belt in Hapkido doesn't have much meaning for her (and at this point, any explanation of "hapkido" will be lost by the next time we speak). So, for conversation's sake, he's in karate and taking a test. Sometimes I find the editing a bit draining and she struggles to share things about her life -- which is extremely quiet and the same from day to day.

But last night was such a treat. We talked of baking, which she loves/loved to do and she told me stories of her job as a young woman "working out" (something for which my cultural reference doesn't jive -- I'm assuming as a housekeeper/nanny or in a small institution with a kitchen) for people for whom she baked regularly. I told her the things I'd been baking lately for the kids and how I hoped to one day bake breads just as good as she does -- *smile* they really are so good! -- and in true grandmotherly fashion she had loads of encouragement for me. I had to smile as her words made me feel just like a child again... not so much because I was being encouraged, but as how it was clear that in her eyes I was just a child who couldn't expect to have the experience that someone like her who has baked and cooked for years has.

I was so happy for our conversation and yet, as my head hit the pillow and I had time to reflect on my day I found my eyes burning with tears. Sometimes life is just so sad. I hate that my Gramma is alone. And I found myself missing my Grandpa. I'm glad that he didn't suffer long in his passing, but I'm so sad that we never had a chance to say "goodbye". Because there was so much in my heart to say. And I can't help but feel so remorseful and, really... shocked... that I never thought to say it Before. And I feel compelled to not let that happen with my Gramma, too.


Back to the Lab, Again...

Experiment #1 in the Fantastic Spastic Kitchen aka Mad Spastic Laboratory:

All Natural Lotion Bars

Now, the Mad Spastic has a reputation to uphold. Known for nefarious deeds, smoky explosions, bubbling test tubes and the occasional rip in the time-space continuum; the Mad Spastic Laboratory has never been used for something as docile as health and beauty products. It took some persuading, but the Mad Spastic is nothing if not a REASONABLE diabolical fiend and with a small matter of bribery and a touch of blackmail, agreed to try her hand at the milquetoastey task of creating the perfect skin-moisturizing vehicle.

Grabbing her cauldron *ahem* double boiler she set to work, with the help of one equally diabolical and capable minion.

Diabolical, yes?

First came the eye of newt ... errrrr... beeswax. (4.75oz unbleached beeswax) Melt while stirring. The Mad Spastic heartily recommends using a crappy utensil that you won't mind throwing out later. Perhaps a popsicle stick or plutonium rod. On second thought, just go with the popsicle stick.

Next, the Mad Spastic performed many complex calibrations with highly measure-ey scale-type tools and exacted the precise amount of organic Shea Butter needed. Those of you with eyes in your head will see that it is also in the amount of 4.75 oz.

This also was added to the Cauldron of Death Mwahahahaha... *sigh* Fine. Double Boiler. The Mad Spastic laboured over the steamy mass with the Popsicle Stick of Infamy until all was melted and thoroughly combined.

Pulling together all her fiendish resources, the following ingredients were imparted to the now liquid mass. 5.5oz of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (from especially lady-like coconuts, the Mad Spastic presumes) of the 76 degree variety. And 20 drops each of Tea Tree Oil and Bergamot Essential Oil. The Mad Spastic heartily recommends standing far back from the Cauldron of Monstrosity whence adding the Tea Tree Oil if you wish to retain your inner nose tissues.

Having completed the arduous tasks involved in melting and stirring and melting and stirring and melting and stirring and... you get the picture... the Mad Spastic now brandished the Turkey Baster of Villainry (which is a far better fate than she has heard befalls SOME turkey basters) and transferred the liquid lotion mixture to the moulding containers -- in this case the Muffin Pans of Silicone and Evil. As with the stirring utensil, don't count on using this one for cooking purposes afterwards, unless you are prepared to work a small miracle in the cleaning department.

The Mad Spastic then sat for a few minutes while planning the overthrow of the world's cosmetics industry while the lotion cooled and set. In the end, the Mad Spastic was terrifically pleased with the outcome, even dastardly villians need soft, lovely skin.