Boundbytheword Blog

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So I’m not bragging, I’m just saying… November 30, 2010

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 3:11 PM

My Christmas decorations are up, my tree stands proudly in my living room, and presents are all bought, wrapped, and tucked under the tree. Check the date – November 30th. Yahoo! No shopping in December! No busy malls, no pushy shoppers, no rude store clerks. I can stay tucked in and pretend that the next month isn’t filled with stressed out, consumer-consumed citizens.

This is the first year I’ve been organized. This is the first year I’ve stayed on budget. I hope it’s the first in many years that is carefree and stress-less.

The thing is, I love the Christmas season. I adore the music and the decorations; I love the glow of a warm fire in contrast to the brisk wind on a snowy day. I enjoy gift giving (and getting) and who can complain about the food? There are endless festivities with friends and family, and everywhere you go there seems to be plates of tasty appetizers, Christmas cookies and a vast variety of chocolate delights. Add to that the buzz and excitement that radiates while children anticipate what Santa will bring, and you have yourself a utopic environment in my eyes.

But it only takes one trip to the mall on a Saturday afternoon in December to bring out the Bah humbug in almost anyone. Everyone is grumpy. Hostile even. Kids are crying, parents look like they’ve been dragged through the tinsel behind eight rabid reindeer. Too many people, and not enough time, and I can’t be sure, but the store staff may’ve had mistletoe placed in very uncomfortable places.

So, I for one am prepared to spend December spreading good will, merriment, and kindness. Since I’m ready for the onslaught of the season and now don’t have to worry about the usual stressors of preparing for Christmas, I’m hoping to enjoy this season with a childlike wonder.

I plan on singing carols too loud, making snow angels, sneaking extra Christmas cookies, and eagerly counting down the days until Santa arrives. Won’t you join me?


Out of the mouths of babes… November 23, 2010

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 10:37 AM

It’s just a nice way of saying the truth hurts, or that kids can be cruel little monsters.

Over a wonderful home cooked meal of steaming hot Pad Thai (which I was proud of the delicious turnout by the way), the conversation turned to what every good family dinner leads to – death and money.

My 7-year old daughter asks, “When you die, what happens to your money?”

I start to give her a drawn out explanation of wills and financial preparations, when she stops me.

“No, I mean, like your money. When you die.” She points her chopstick towards me. My son, ever the ambassador of fairness, sets her straight before I can swallow my mouthful of disconcertion.

“All the money is split between all three of us kids.” He says. “EVENLY, between all three of us. But that’s only if they both die. If Dad dies first, Mom gets all the money. If Mom dies first, Dad gets all the money. Then after the other one dies, all three of us will split the money. Evenly.”

This answer doesn’t sit well with my daughter, as it evokes a big “awwww.” She thinks for a moment as she winds her chopstick, making a cotton candy replica out of noodles. “How about I get dad’s money and you get mom’s money?” She bargains with her brother. Then she looks to me, “because, no offence, but you don’t really make any money.”

It takes a lot to keep me quiet, but this inquisition has rendered me speechless.

My son, along with being the ambassador of fairness, is also the defender of all things mom, and his sister had dealt a blow.

“Dad’s money is mom’s money, it’s all the same. Besides, she makes some money, when she sells something she writes. AND…when her book sells, she will be rich.”

He had me convinced, but my desire for his words to be my reality may have had a hand in his persuasion. My daughter wasn’t as easily convinced though.

“Yeah, but she has to do a lot of writing, and it takes a long time, and maybe nobody will even buy it. So, can I have dad’s money?”

My son reminded her that the money would be split three ways between the three siblings.

I reminded her to eat her dinner. I reminded myself that she’s only seven after all, and to find humour in her savagery of my starving artist self.
Out of the mouths of babes indeed.


Disturbing Macy Parade November 15, 2010

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 11:56 AM
I was recently betrayed by my own subconscious. I had a sex dream.
 Unfortunately, it was disconcerting.

Not that I get the pleasure of sex dreams very often, there’s years between my celestial romps in the clouds it seems. But I was lucky enough to venture into one a few weeks ago and woke up feeling disappointed and disturbed. With the plethora of wonderful Hollywood eye-candy, with the lists of rock stars that could do the dreamland job quite nicely, I got William H. Macy.

Seriously? That’s who I get? So, this is free rein sex, anywhere with anybody – the only time you can get away with that kind of action outside of your 13-year marriage – and I get William H. Macy?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy him as an actor. He’s in every other movie out there, and he has  a certain charm for sure.  But really, he’s my late night good time guy?  I don’t think so. But, that’s who I got, and in honour of Movember Moustache month, he donned his thick handlebar moustache look – like Chappy in Happy Texas.  Oy.

William H. Macy

Needless to say I woke up feeling ripped off. It hardly seems fair with the bounty of wonderful male specimens out there. But, like many things in life, you don’t always get what you want. And my hubby was actually smiling when I told him the next morning – whether he felt pity for me or overwhelming relief at his competition, I can’t be sure.

As a writer I decided I would do what I do best, and plot the story line for the next one. I do this all the time for upcoming chapters, new book ideas etc. Plant the seed for future use. If my ill-starred sex dream taught me nothing else, I’ve learned that even inside your own head you have to be organized and prepared for the rare occasion of slumber sex. In anticipation I’ve gone ahead and put in my request for an appearance by David Beckham.

Now that one might give me something to write about.

Bend it like Beckham


youth is wasted on the young… November 10, 2010

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 11:59 AM

Age creeps up on you.

One day you’re hanging out at the clubs squeezed into your micro mini and six-inch stilettos, with super glossy lips, and ultra-big hair. You eat what you want and hate exercise. You have all the time in the world to take life seriously, but in that moment you buy another round  of spirits and dance until closing with yet another charming new face. Then you look for something else to do, because the night is still young, and you have five good hours left before dawn.

It seems like you wake up the very next day and you’ve got crow’s feet and dimples in not so cute places. You’re exhausted because you stayed up until midnight watching the news, and need caffeine to kick-start any chance of momentum for the day. You prefer to wear comfortable yoga pants and good walking shoes. You have one kid engaged and looking for a home of her own, another who needs deodorant and now notices boobs, and a baby who is offended by that degrading term.  

Somehow twenty years went by in the blink of an eye.  Somehow things have got all turned around.

With the super-fantastic technology of PVR, I recorded a recent Oprah show, “Teen Heartthrobs.”  The guests included a middle-aged, plumb-ish Shaun Cassidy, and very old (but still remarkably hot) Peter Frampton. It was so weird to see them as old men instead of those hotties I remember. And I had to ask myself – my god – am I middle-aged??? I was shocked.  When the hell did that happen?

I know, you’re only as old as you feel, and to be young at heart is the key to a youthful spirit…ya-ya, I get it. But this realization just feels weird and wrong.  Thanks a lot Oprah.

I don’t like it, not one little bit. I boycott aging! Hell no, I won’t go!  Who’s with me?

See Peter still rockin’ it at sixty:

See Shaun still charming the crowd:


Numbing the Brain November 3, 2010

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 10:36 AM

A crisp, sunny but frosty morning is my favourite kind of day for walking the dog. The cold biting at your cheeks and chin, making your skin feel tight against your face. The top of your thighs stinging just a bit from the cold air seeping through the twill of your pants.  And as nippy as it is, with the tips of your ears bright red and well chilled, you have the glorious warmth of the sun beating down on your back. The perfect  kind of morning.

The day didn’t start perfect though. In fact, I assumed it would be a stinker actually. Waking up before dawn with a migraine chewing at my brain is always a horrible way to welcome the morning.  Even after an extra hour sleep with my migraine medication working its magic, I still got out of bed feeling hung-over and aching. 

Things were looking up though when the kids got through breakfast without a fight, and made the bus without even running. I watched the bus drive away, and knew I needed to walk until the frost seeped in and dulled the ache in my head. Low and behold, it only took 55 minutes before I was successfully numbed. Crisp, sunny but frosty mornings, they fix me up every time.

Have you walked your dog, or your brain today?