30 Sept 2005

What Colour is Your Hang Glider?

I recently took an online aptitude test. I've probably taken about six of these in my lifetime, starting at the age of 12 and the number one answer has always, always been the same:

Clergy / Nun / Pastor

What's funny is that these tests never ask you "Are you religious?" "Is your faith important to you?" or "How do you feel about being celebate?" – which I think would be just a bit of a factor for someone deciding if they want to work for THE Man.

Being agnostic pretty much rules the life in the clergy out unless I chose to go on to form the Church of Uncertainty or the Cynical But Cautiously Hopeful Of An Afterlife Temple.

It does make me wonder what about me seems so suitable for the clergy, despite that whole lack of religion thing, so I made a Pro-Con List:

* Get to hear people's secrets (not just at confession, but I bet all those pews offer some good coverage for eavesdropping)
* Get to impart advice all the time (wee!)
* Instant respect without having to kill people
* Can make up silly rules like "no dancing to rock and roll music" and base it on something-or-other to do with the devil. Then get into a rumble with some new kid from the city that just wants to cut loose and kick off those Sunday shoes
* All stain-glass, all the time
* If you testify at a trial, everyone HAS to believe you (Mwahahaha)
* I could get people to call me "Father" and later joke "Who's your daddy now?"
* Finally could start identifying with the characters on 7th Heaven

* Your friends would feel bad swearing or making sex jokes around you
* Old people would probably always be hovering around you
* Major dry-cleaning bill from all of those exorcisms
* Being lumped in the same pile with the "crazy" church types
* Your parish would be weirded out to see you at the grocery store in your low-rise jeans and clingy top.
* Lots of weekends would be wasted doing weddings and funerals, oh – and that mass thing on Sunday
* Having to keep kicking out those freeloading Mamas & Papas during the winter months
* Would start identifying with the characters on 7th Heaven

You know, that pro list is lookin' pretty sweet. Maybe I need to find me a religion that mostly fits and get those resumes out …


29 Sept 2005


I’m in a mood to rant about some work experiences, but because I’m committed to keeping my job, I won’t. What I will do is bitch about this Jim dude from the Martha Apprentice show because he exhibits some qualities that I can’t stand seeing in any corporate culture.

So this is just about Jim. From the show. Just him, got it?

Jim is an untalented, loud-mouth douche bag. I can accept that some people are full of crap and utterly useless in most regards, but what destroys me is that our society has a masochistic tendency to award these ego-inflated fools with jobs, money, promotions and camera-time on national television.

What gives?

This Jim guy needs to be punched in the throat. He thinks so much of himself that he’s actually delusional. His internal dialogue probably consists of his own booming voice saying things like "YOU. ARE. THE MAN!" while songs from the Top Gun soundtrack play in the background.

He’s one of these jackasses that can’t remember what it’s like to say something genuine, disagree with the boss to the boss’s face or actually listen to what someone else is saying without using that person's air-time as a chance to prepare what he wants to say.

On Martha, he’s picked Dawn as his arch-nemesis and literally talked/ranted/brown-nosed his voice hoarse over it. People like Jim try to create group-enemies so that everyone else is distracted from the fact that he sucks and offers nothing to the team. Jim is the type that will echo everything a boss says when the boss says it and act like he’s been saying those things all along. In reality, he’s never even thought anything close to what the boss said (let alone been expressing it to a team) and has only been filling the air with pointless, vague buzz-phrases like "synergy, people - let's see some synergy!" or "hey, don't just think outside the box - think as if there is no box to begin with" and punctuating these sentences with finger pistols and clicky mouth sounds.

I already liked Dawn (her favourite saying is “you can’t polish a turd” – how can you not like that?) but Jim's dislike for her makes me like her more. I’m thinking that Jim knows that Dawn, with all her turd knowledge, can see and smell a bullshitter when it’s before her and this threatens Jim. I want her to take Charles's gnawed, damp cigars and shove them up Jim's over-exposed nostrils. Faster dawnycat, kill kill!

And the clincher? The sign that this man is true evil? He wore a blazer with jeans in this episode. I bet you a vat of decoupage glue that he’s envisioning Dawn with brown nipples (just follow his snarkville gaze!):

I hate him! I hate him! I hate him! ARRRRHHRHHRHRHRHHRHRGGGH!!!!

Simmering. Down.

You see, TV just really riles me up.


28 Sept 2005

This Is What Pregnant People Look Like

On the walk home after my birthday, Patrick and I came across a Planned Parenthood centre. For whatever reason, I felt compelled to stand by its sign and do my ‘I’m pregnant’ pose. Patrick took a picture of it which is now gracing his website (and now mine). I get why I would stick my gut out, but what I don’t understand is the face that I’m making:

Apparently, in my mind, pregnant women glare at you while sucking in their cheeks, pushing out their lips and doing something really weird with their nose that is reminiscent of Michael Jackson (circa 1982? 1984? I don’t have my Face of Michael Jackson Flowchart with me) that make them look kinda unhuman. For some reason, that’s my impersonation of a pregnant woman and I don’t know why.

Maybe I'm pretending that I've been hired as a big warning sign to spook slutty teens: "Not using protection? THIS IS WHAT YOU'LL LOOK LIKE, TRAMPY!"

I don’t know. I’m a mystery to even myself.


Things Overheard

If it wasn’t for the short lifespan and garbage eating, I think I would very much enjoy being a fly – just so that I could hang out on that proverbial wall and casually listen to other people’s conversations all day.

Rather than pray to Mother Teresa, Pappa Smurf or whoever it is that reincarnates people into creatures, I have found my eavesdropping salvation via iPod. All you need to do is sit somewhere in public, pop your headphones on, put a crossword puzzle in front of you and let the listening begin. The key is to put the iPod volume to nadda and tap your pencil or straw to a beat so that people think that you’re very consumed by your music. If you do this, the people around you will carry on with their ridiculous private conversations right in front of you, completely unaware of the fact that you are feverishly listening and noting every syllable for future blogging.

Once, two late-twenties/early-thirties guys plunked down at table near me one morning to enjoy coffee and fatty baked goods. The conversation started off normally enough and I was about to turn on my iPod for real when the guy wearing a blazer and jeans (that’s right – blazer – not a jacket – a blazer - with jeans. On a man. Not in 1984) started to bitch about a woman he was seeing.

Blazer Man: Yah, I guess I put her on too high a pedestal. She just seemed like the total package.

Non-Blazered Man: Sure.

Blazer Man: I’m at the point where I want something more serious, long-term – but things have to be just right, ya know?

Non-Blazered Man: *Grunt/Mumble Noise*

Blazer Man: It’s just that …

He looks around to see if it’s safe to talk. I remember again to tap my pen to a beat to comfort him and he looks satisfied with this and continues.

Blazer Man: It’s just that her nipples are really brown, man.

Non-Blazered Man: Ugh! That sucks.

Blazer Man: I know!

When I heard that, I had to try real hard not to twist my face and blow my cover. It would never occur to me that nipple colour would be a big concern to men, let alone a deal-breaker.

Blazer Man: You’d never guess it, eh? If she was black, yah, I could imagine it – prepare myself, but not her.

Non-Blazered Man: That sucks.

Blazer Man: I guess another one bites the dust, eh?

And they say there aren’t any good guys left.


26 Sept 2005

Jen’s Guilty Pleasure #1

Confession Time: One thing I love about staying home on a work day is being able to watch Dr. Phil.

With that admission, I’m sure any respect/coolness stock I had garnered from anyone out there has just plummeted like a Balrog in the Mines of Moria *oh, and there it drops again* - and I do understand. That’s why it’s called a guilty pleasure.

But c’mon! When the man isn’t making analogies that compare people’s personal issues with possums or rocking chairs or whatever the hell Southern thing he’s going on about, I do think he makes sense. I guess I just like that there’s a guy “tellin’ it like it is” and laying the smack-down on effed up, deluded people who go on national TV thinking they’ll get sympathy / vindication / attention / record deals from sharing their dirty, crazy laundry. If you want to be coddled, go on Judge Judy, chumps.

The thing is, Dr. Phil really just blabs opinions most sane people would also formulate for themselves. What makes him interesting (or maybe, what is a tell-tale sign that society has gone to pot) is that he somehow has been able to build a multi-million dollar empire by offering common sense commentary. How bizarro is that?


Is This What Old Feels Like?

Yesterday was another day of tennis, but this time it was singles matches. Needless to say, I got destroyed by my opponents but somehow still found it fun. I’m going to snoop around and see what kind of indoor tennis clubs there are in town so that come next season, I’ll surprise the shit out of everyone by being mediocre rather than full-out crappy.

Today I’m paying for my tennis-ways. The body parts that are sore are as follows:
* Back (upper & lower)
* Shins
* Ankles
* Shoulder
* Forearm
* Wrist
* Butt
* Hamstrings
* Calves
* Feet
* Scalp (my headband was too tight and all pull-y on my hair)

My body (minus my left arm and hand which didn’t do anything but mock the rest of me) feels like I went hard-core mountain climbing when in reality all I did was chase a ball around for a combined time of maybe an hour. I am one big heap of pathetic.

How is it that as a child, I could run around ALL DAY, pull myself up on monkey bars and head-butt into pretty much anything and everything – and be totally fine and act as if nothing significant happened – yet as a supposedly stronger version of myself (el adult), the simplest show of movement takes me straight to Acheville and becomes blog-worthy?

Le sigh.


24 Sept 2005

Post-Birthday Reflection

Today is almost as good as my actual birthday because I get to roll around in birthday leftover goodness.

Patrick has a wee hangover, so we opted to spend the day in watching loads of Buffy, eating point-smothered food (I am sooo gaining weight this week) and looking at all my lovely presents.

I was quite spoiled this year. I’m the proud owner of a new tennis racquet and some tennis related paraphernalia, gift certificates to such wonderful places as Banana Republic and The Keg, roses, orchids, perfume, a kitty brooch, a necklace, some DVDs I’ve been wanting, a bit o’ cash, a fondue set, some bubbly and a fancy-shmancy digital camera from my parents (which still has to arrive as it was back-ordered).

I was also spoiled in people. Some very near and dear types came out to raise a drink in my honour (or just used it as an excuse to get wasted – which is still wonderful and something I wouldn't judge) – so many thanks to my Patrick, Nils, Thomas, Simon, James, Anissa, Will and Boris. Merci beaucoup.

I'll pop some pics up in a bit. Right now, too lazy. Maybe this means it's the Year of the Sloth?


23 Sept 2005

Give Me Presents Now

Today is September 23rd. Since I don’t normally mention the date in my blog, it’s gotta mean something really significant, right? Ha, ha – WRONG, YOU IDIOT. It’s merely my birthday. My 27th birthday, in fact. I think twenty-seven sounds like a pretty good year, despite what so many rock legends managed to do to themselves at this age. I promise I will neither increase my drug usage nor take any Neil Young lyrics too much to heart this year, just to prove to everyone that twenty-seven isn’t so bad.

To celebrate, a small handful of friends and I will be having dinner and drinks at a local restauranto-bar thing. I expect to have a nice, mature, casual time. Not too much fuss. Of course, now that I’ve said that I’ve just jinxed the plan and will somehow end up drunk to the tits and singing Chicago’s “Glory of Love” in public – possibly into a microphone (but now that I’ve said THAT, we’re back to the casual evening I’m intent on having. Excellent.).

Bonne fĂȘte to my fellow are-we-Virgos-or-are-we-Libras? birth date sharers.

That startled, wet monkey above would be me nearly 27 years ago.
Happy Birthday, baby!


22 Sept 2005

I'm A Schmoozah Loozah

Because a lot of agencies, advertisers and companies with money are doing their 2006 budgets right now, everyone wants to schmooze them with launches and media blitz things that involve booze, cute appetizers and gift bags. Due to the nature of what I do, I get invited to some of these now and again. However, I always manage to beat the glam out of these things by doing something totally uncouth.

Take the other night, for example. I only knew a small handful of people at this particular launch but since people are in a mingle-mood, it’s perfectly acceptable to chat with people you vaguely know and then get introduced to other people and chat with them, and so on. Since not everyone is comfortable making small chat with strangers, the free booze comes in real handy.

Anyway, I had just finished inhaling some mighty tasty shrimp and my second glass of wine when the person I was with excused himself to greet some la-de-da type. Now, I’m quite content to be on my own usually – but it can feel pretty darn awkward to stand in the middle of the room with a (third) glass of wine with nothing really to do (or pretend to do) as people are yapping in clusters around you. So, I decide to walk around ever so casually in the hopes of bumping into someone I know.

I’m making my way through the crowd when I hear a man say my name (my full name) very clearly (almost slowly). So I turn to the voice to see two men looking at me smiling and (gah) I have no idea who they are.

Of course, in Schmoozeland, you can never admit that, so I look at them all excited-like and am like “Hi! How are you!?!” They politely greet me as I desperately start racking my brain to figure out who they are. Finally I remember that one of them is this super flake I dealt with 2 years ago from a local theatre company. Supremely proud of myself, I start asking about the theatre.

The guy looks at me like I’m on crack. Shit. I am so wrong on who this guy is and now I’m going to have to admit it. “Sorry, you just look so much like BLAH who's a producer over at BLAH.”

“No, I'm not. Actually, I don’t think we know each other at all,” he says to the crazy lady.

“Oh. Sorry! You just seemed familiar," I say. "And actually – err, I thought you called me over, so I just assumed ...."

He gets this embarrassed look on his face, "Hah - not really. I was just asking my friend here why someone" [gesturing very obviously toward a woman nearby] "would bother bringing such a big purse to a little event like this.” I then notice the poor dear was schlepping what looked like a garbage bag with a strap under her arm.

“And I said,” his snotty-faced friend quipped, “maybe we should ask [My Full Name],” as he eyed my perfectly-fine-and-not-at-all-too-large-purse-thank-you-very-much and NAME TAG.


Rather than belting them right there, I ended up just giggling and trying to act all ‘happily appalled’ (“Oh, you two are EVIL!”). I shortly thereafter saw my fantastic and exciting imaginary friend waving to me from the other side of the room, so I excused myself to meet up with her.


Naturally, these two dragonladies had taken their nametags off earlier in the evening so I can't even do my normal act-of-revenge (Googling them and placing their e-mail addresses on every spam list imaginable).

I'm so not cut out for this crap.


21 Sept 2005

The Super Cynic's Frame By Frame

Every so often I come across advertising that is just so bizarre that I have to take a step back from it, rub my eyes and then look again to see if I'm actually witnessing what I thought I did.

Take this Zoloft ad, for instance. I'm not belittling anyone that deals with depression (and if you feel personally offended, I earnestly apologize, it wasn't my intent) – but these ads are warped.

Let's look, step by step:

This little dude, who appears to be a WKRP-listener named Molly, is content. She is one with the bee. If looking at a bee makes you smile, you're a Zoloft success story.

Molly has the two factors that make every woman feel happy and complete: a season she likes and male companionship. But this must be pre-bee Molly because for some reason she's not happy. Huh? Doesn't she know that everyone is supposed to be happy all the time? SOMETHING'S WRONG.

Molly's identical twin boyfriend has noticed that she no longer jumps up and down with unbridled joy at his presence, so SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG. And it must be Molly's fault.

I'd like Molly to name one hard-covered book that would talk about Zoloft. Name ONE, Molly. Oh, you can't? I bet I know why – it's because you learned about Zoloft in a magazine, you liar! You just don't want to admit you get your "facts" about a serious medical condition from an ad that was sitting next to an article entitled "How Low Can Your Blouse Go?"

Because our society it so fucked up, Molly and her co-worker, who I have named Droner, talk designer drugs around the water-cooler. What happened to talking about … god what do people talk about around a water-cooler? Survivor? Anyway, naturally, Droner is plugging Zoloft pretty heavily – probably because he doesn't want Molly to just take a break, go on stress leave, and have the boss dump Molly's work on Droner. Ah, yes, Droner has it all down to a science now: Get Molly on Zoloft. Molly keeps working. Less work for to Droner. Droner gets more water-cooler time. Droner hearts Zoloft.

Never in my life have I ever seen a doctor wear one of those head things besides in episodes of The Flintstones. Is it an egg? Is it a head lamp? Is he spelunking (maybe he’s Molly’s gyno?)?

Why is this all about the doctor and the boyfriend noticing a change in Molly? What does Molly think? Hey, Molly. Molly! MOLLY! Yes, you. Tell me; are you one with the bee?

Yarg. That is SUCH as Sex and the City finale.

It looks like Molly got a happy ending, but when I turned the page, it seems as though there's actually a director's cut to this story:

BAM! Holy crap. I won't summarize all of it, but it seems like there was a lot more to Zoloft than Molly’s story cute-sied up for us. Suicide, infertility, 'abnormal bleeding' (as opposed to the everyday bleedings, I suppose?), seizures … man, I can see why Droner didn't mention those things to Molly.

What's that? Droner didn't know all the facts on Zoloft?

Geez, despite all of Droner's wisdom, maybe he didn't actually know what he was talking about. Now that you mention it, Droner isn't all that qualified to diagnose a condition and recommend a specific drug for it … isn't he the guy that takes, like, five water-cooler breaks a day? But he somehow knew all of Zoloft’s key messages … Just like Molly (and me! And you!), I bet he learned about Zoloft in a magazine … Hmmm, maybe drug companies shouldn't be advertising drug options to everyday people because ….? Because?

Oh, right, everyday people don't know shit about pharmaceuticals. What everyday people do know lots about is shopping, and when a consumer decides they need something, they'll ensure they get it. Perhaps, like Molly, they'll find out more facts on their own, self-diagnose and then insist to their doctors that they need said drug (who do we really think brought up Zoloft first in the doctor's office, hmm? Maybe Zoloft-hungry Molly?). Oh, Pfizer, how crafty of you!


20 Sept 2005

A Pepsi Challenge Update

Patrick has now gone five full days (plus several hours today) without any cola products as stipulated in the Pepsi Challenge. To my surprise, he’s been very even during this time without much whimpering, biting or messing of the rugs. At first I thought “good man” and then I thought more:

He has been enjoying coffee (from which he gets his ‘brown’ and caffeine) and now I see that he has taken up drinking Diet Sprite (from which he gets his Aspartame and bubbles). I think the existence (and increased usage) of these two beverages pretty much make the challenge – well, unchallenging.

Clearly I need to establish more boundaries on my future challenges so that he doesn’t have these gigantic pop & coffee-filled loop holes to frolic in.


You know it's true ... Everything I do ...

Alrighty, it’s a Tuesday so let’s get down to business: This week I’m down another 2lbs. This is most wicked and most awesome as it brings me to a total loss of 10.8lbs since Aug 23. This means I’m still what the docs call “overweight” (and what well-intentioned parents call “fluffy”) but much better than a month ago.

I’m now at the point where I’m starting to notice my weight loss but others are still oblivious to it. This is fine by me because the whole reason I’m doing this is for l’il ol’ me anyway. I do have to remind myself every so often that sticking to the plan is for my own benefit – and these reminders usually come when I’m faced with an ambush of cookies and chips and booze. In moments of agony I stay strong by singing Bryan Adams’s “Everything I Do” (to myself) while imagining Kevin Costner shooting a fiery arrow through a menacing and tyrannical buffet spread. Ok, I don’t actually do that, but maybe now that I’ve got the imagery down pat I will. Ha – yah, I totally will.

I do get reminders that I could do more, though. Like, say, exercise. Yesterday, I ended up spending the day not in front of the television as I fantasized, but instead cleaning up the place. I just cannot have a day off where I don’t tidy – I have a love/hate relationship with housekeeping. Plus, we were having the lovely Siobhan and her boyfriend Patrick (popular name, ‘round these parts) over that evening and needed to have the place look respectable.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with really sore thighs and bum and knew immediately where it was from: squatting and bending while vacuuming and scrubbing. How truly, truly sad. I mean, that sort of thing isn’t exercise or straining or anything, but apparently it’s been the greatest muscle usage my ass has seen in a long time. Sad indeed.

Oh well - we can't be completely perfect, right? :)


19 Sept 2005

I Don’t Hate Mondays (I’ll Tell You Why)

Because I have a whole bunch of vacation racked up, my manager is insisting that I schedule some time off. I’ve decided to take every Monday off for a month - and this starts right now. As I type, I am sitting comfortably in my pajamas, enjoying a bit of coffee and really letting my mind explore all the different options and possibilities I have available to me ("... should I watch The Price Is Right or Family Feud?"). Taking Mondays off is starting to rank in Top Ten Of Jen Decisions.

I normally despise Mondays as they signify my having to go to work where I would have to sit at my desk and do my best to ignore my responsibilities until it was time to either eat lunch or go home. Now, I only have to put that tiresome energy in for four days a week. Wee!

You won’t see me talk too much about the office here as my workplace has Dooced employees before. I’m sure I’ll get desperate for stories to tell and start letting loose at some point - because MAN, IS THERE EVER SOME GOOD MATERIAL THERE - but for now, my resolve is strong.

We don’t have any Big Brother stuff happening as far as monitored net usage, but apparently (and this is all here-say as it was well before my time at the company) some former employees were part of a blog/web ring that really explicitly spoke badly about some other co-workers … which was eventually happened-upon by someone that cared about said co-workers … who mentioned it to various management types … who apparently thought this sort of thing was bad for a company's reputation … and, well, yah. They don’t work there anymore.

So, since I still like money, I’ll try to keep my trap shut about the old fun factory - for now - and just enjoy the day.


18 Sept 2005

I Am Samm

I have been asked via e-mail (which was terribly exciting for me - hello, Lynda!) what I have against “Jenn.” I will now happily reply.

My name is Jen. It is Jen because that’s exactly how it sounds – Jen. Other than a whiny child or perhaps the odd run-in with a valley girl, no one has ever tried to call me Jennnnn. I understand that Jennnnn is an exaggeration, but I really see no difference between it and Jenn. Both involve unnecessary letters and my eyes wincing at the sight of them.

My biggest gripe around this issue is when people completely ignore the fact that I sign e-mails “Jen” and instead reply with something to the effect of “Thanks, Jenn!” My response is to screw with their name in return. “Anytime, Jessicaa!”, “I’ll get right on that, Davidd” or “Have a great weekend, Michassholel!” It’s funny how quickly some of them catch it.

When talking to a Jennifer that goes by something that sounds just like “Jen” – the default should be to use “Jen” rather than “Jenn” just as one should default to using “toaster” instead of “breaddd crustinggg machineee.”

It’s true, some Jennifers prefer “Jenn.” Feel free to correct them.


17 Sept 2005

Five Disturbing Things Found In This Month’s Issue Of Glamour

This morning at brunch, Patrick and I turned to our literature for a little post-gorging relaxation (we could have talked to each other, but why?). He had his Toronto Star and I had my equally intellectual Glamour.

The most entertaining parts of this magazine were its disturbing elements. And since I long to entertain, here they are for you:

Example 1:
Aw, crap. I see before me a fashion that the magazine is trying to push on people that I hope to god I don’t cave for like I did with the shrug. This is UGLY. This is WRONG. This is TAPERED JEANS.

And it’s not tapered jeans alone. It’s tapered jeans on Beyonce. Beyonce is a gorgeous woman with a hot bod – but she said it herself – she’s Bootylicious. Anyone, and I mean anyone, that has even a little something on their hips, thighs or bum should NEVER wear tapered anything. Something that makes one’s ankles look tiny (and who cares about that?) comes at the cost of the rest of the body.

Example 2:
Like any women’s magazine, there’s a long article about sex in it that’s supposed to tell us something we don’t know. In true form, this one is called “20 New Things Every Woman Should Know About Sex.” Sex has been happening for thousands of years, yet it seems that Glamour has not only found out one new thing about it, but twenty. Riiight.

They all sucked, but this one was a magnificent example of disturbing (I'll let you read if for yourself):

Now, had Eminem sang a song called “Hipbones Like That” I’d remain an undesirable pig – but thankfully for me, he didn’t. I owe all my boinking to Slim Shady. Glamour was right - I totally learned something new.

Example 3:
Later on, I come across an ad that has one of those perfume sample things. I’m a sucker, so I peel the little fold back and inhale the trapped scent. Floral, fresh – not bad. I even rub a little bit of scented page on my wrist to see how it would smell on me. Still decent.

I then turn the page to see what scent I’m enjoying and I’m horrified:

Oh, fuck me! You can't be serious! Don’t even get me started on how stupid I think scented tampons are – but the fact that they got me to bury my nose in tampon-smell is TWISTED.

Example 4:
Every magazine is a big, fat hypocrite. Care to see what I mean? At the beginning of the magazine, the editor raves about how beauty isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Things that we view as flaws should be embraced because they make us different and somebody out there thinks it’s hot. She points (quite literally) to Venus’s gut (what gut?) and Frida’s unibrow and says something to the effect of “See these freaks? See what’s wrong with them (we’ve highlighted the areas in case you didn’t catch them)? These women are still admired! Now, run out there, you monster, and apply this logic to yourself!”

Glamour gets us feeling all empowered over our looks (after all, the subtitle shouted, “Got flaws? Big deal!”) and we hurdle through the rest of the magazine. Pages later, we come across this awesome article:

At first, just looking at the title, "Out-Of-Control Bulges", I was thrilled. I thought I was finally going to see what all the hoopola over Milton Berle was about.

But noooo. That’s not the kind of bulges Glamour cares about. A bit of fat pressing against your clothing is a REALLY BIG FLAW and apparently IS A REALLY BIG DEAL. So much so that it deserves a full page spread, with meticulous categorizing of all the kinds of bulges out there. In fact, the owners of these bulges needed to have their identities protected due to the humiliating nature of this kind of disfigurement.

So, just to clarify Glamour's stance: Frida, who was probably the inspiration for Bert's look on Sesame Street, should be applauded for keepin' it real, but a little bra strap bumpage should have you running to the hills in shame. Got it?

Example #5:
Now it’s time to launch some very paranoid, suspicious girlfriends onto unsuspecting boyfriends. This too, comes compliments of Glamour. It happens like this:

Girl Internal Dialogue: La la la. I’m reading Glamour. La la la.

Girl comes across article entitled “Men & Cheating: Will He Or Won’t He?”

Girl Internal Dialogue: La la .. Oh! Will he? I guess I never thought about it. Hmm, maybe I should read this.

Girl reads on to discover that 91% of guys are tempted to cheat, and that some of them just “find” themselves getting it on with a chick they met at Starbucks – no warning signals given!

Girl Internal Dialogue: What? Why, that could happen to me!

Since the article doesn’t do anything but fear monger (it provides no advice on how to talk to your partner openly), girl is left to only look up from her Glamour magazine at the completely unaware male in front of her and wonder “will he or won’t he?”

Will he? DID HE? Her eyes narrow … she reaches for the butter knife … her jaw clenches … she leans forward as her fingers tighten around the base of the knife …


16 Sept 2005

I Am Fashion's Bitch

My quest to be fashionable has left me very irritated this morning. It’s raining like a mofo so the bottoms of my jeans (which are longish – all part of that fashion quest) are drenched. Because I’m wearing sling-backs (also part of the quest) the wet part of my jeans keep touching the skin on my foot, sending a gross shiver up my spine.

Why can’t big over-the-pants galoshes be in vogue? Surely if people embraced Uggs, galoshes couldn’t be too far away, right?

I have to laugh at fashion (and mainly myself!) sometimes because it’s funny how you can start liking something clothing-wise that you thought looked so silly a few months earlier. For example, I recently bought a shrug. It looks kinda like this one on the right (mine has slightly longer sleeves, though).

A year ago, I thought shrugs were the dumbest thing. I recall seeing Cher wearing one in some video and thinking “Eck, I hope THAT doesn’t catch on.”

Fast-forward to now and I’m busting out my ninja moves to beat out the women at Winners for one. By ninja moves, I just mean that I stealthily yet quickly sneak toward the item I want without being detected. It’s all about keeping your cool. At Winners, if you leap all anxiously toward something, the surrounding women will immediately sense it and will instinctively start running toward whatever you’re after. It’s like a group of pigeons that see another bird dive-bombing nearby – they all KNOW there’s gotta be, like, a whole bagel or something on the ground for that other bird to be so speedy, so they all swoop in to snatch whatever the keen bird was heading for. That’s what shopping at Winners is like. It’s an art form and a strategy.

But where was I? Oh – right, my shrug. In a few months I’m sure I’ll desert it. But right now, I’m loving it. How did that happen???


15 Sept 2005

Oh No

I tend not to do two blog entries in one day, but I felt a PSA warranted it.

This morning I tried Carbtopia - a new hot cereal that consists of 8 grams of dietary fibre and is sweetened with Splenda. For just 2 points, you get a generous, filling bowl worth. The taste was kinda whatever (8 grams of fibre, c’mon!) but after the first few bites I got used to it. I can pretty much eat anything if I put my mind to it, and perhaps that’s more of a problem than something to brag about.

On my way to work, I felt Carbtopia kicking in. And then kicking hard. Massive cramping and bloating ensued as Carbtopia began to form a solid, throbbing block within my innards. After desperately reaching for glasses upon glasses of water so as to flush the pain away, I experienced Carbtopia on its final, brutal level.

As a picture speaks a thousand words, THIS is my PSA for the day:


Have You Tried The Pepsi Challenge?

I have put a test before Patrick: He must go one week without any Diet Pepsi. He cannot substitute it with Coke, Diet Coke or snorting coke. It will be interesting.

Why such a challenge? Because the love affair that boy has with the beverage is unnatural. Immoral. Maybe even a little pervy. The amount of Diet Pepsi he drinks requires us to make “DP Runs” to the store about five times a week. Our blue box outside is always embarrassingly flooded with Diet Pepsi carcasses. He pees brown.

It’s my fault he’s this bad though. He used to drink regular Coke on a normal-ish scale until I nagged that regular Coke was filled with sugar and calories and blah-diet-blah. He tried Diet Coke but he didn’t enjoy it. Already of fan of Diet Pepsi, I brought it over to his place for him to try. And he was hooked, like that. You could say I was his Tamborine Man, but we won’t. With the knowledge that this new-fangled drink contained no calories at all (although how many cancer causing agents are in it, only time will tell), he started to indulge. And indulge. And indulge.

Hence, the brown pee.

To get him to kick the habit, I’ve challenged* him to a week without it. This morning marks the start of Day 1.

I will keep you informed on the progress.

* 1950's Housewife Tip #1: Ladies, suggesting your man take on a “challenge” is much more effective than explaining or rationalizing your concern! Men like to show you how tough they are – if you try to play the role of the brainy one with him, why, you’ll just make that man feel insignificant! Remember your place!


14 Sept 2005

Materialism, I Salute You!

Along with documenting my meals and exercises and moronic things that occur on Sex and the City, I use my little journal for one more disturbing task:


The shiny parts in the photos are actually the puddles of drool I left while viewing these beauties.

Some of these items are things I would buy if I had oodles of money (like the boots from Essence), some are things I’ll buy if they go on sale or if the mood strikes me (the American Eagle blazer) and some are things I’d like once I achieve a more respectable girth (the Citizens of Humanity jeans).

I see in my future more Pages Of Want, but I’ll be sure to branch out into other areas. Perhaps electronics, kitchen stuff and maybe even Things I Desire After Having Suffered Through an Episode of Desperate Housewives (Botox! Something to strangle Susan with! Tubal ligation!).


12 Sept 2005

Confessions Of A Weirdo

As people that have issues with their weight know, what the scale says can really affect your mood. It’s dumb, but you can wake up all happy and whistley and thinking cute thoughts about yourself, only to have it all dashed by a stupid number.

To avoid this, I try to only weigh myself on my weigh-in day so that only one of seven days has the potential to be bitch-slapped.

There is, however, one thing I do that concerns my body and it’s something I’ve done each and every morning without fail since I was in my teens. It’s one of those things that I have no idea how it started and will probably classify me as effed-up to anyone reading this, as I can’t recall anyone ever admitting they do this as well (but maybe it's like the thigh burning thing, so who knows?).

Every morning when I wake up and am laying in bed, I rub my hands below the belly button but above the area I refer to as “Gina” and feel my hipbones. By no means do my bones jut out of my body (and I don’t want them to) – but when you’re lying there I guess tummy fat shifts somewhere else (to Gina?) and allows the hipbones to become more pronounced – and it provides a weird happiness for me.

Anyway, as of late, I’ve been quite pleased with my Morning Hip Rub. Years of molesting my hips has honed my skills in sensing any change, and I’m happy to note that my body is moving in the right direction because the bones are just a touch less flesh-flooded.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day and regardless of what it says I'm not going to let it spoil any mood I have. Make no bones about it.


11 Sept 2005

Tennis, anyone?

This is a day of great (and I mean no disrespect to any 9-11 mourners out there).

Today, Patrick and I participated in a little tennis tournament put on by friends. I am very new to tennis but not entirely horrible at it (not great, of course, but every so often I impressed myself with an unspazzy swing at the ball). Patrick played quite a bit through high school and a little in university, but hasn’t done much of it in years. In other words, we are the underdogs.

A little over a month ago, we played in our first “friend tournament” that was charmingly named The Open VAG (that’s Varsity All Gender, of course!). We came in last. Today’s tournament was the DD Cup (as in Dewson District – where we play, of course!). We raised our ranking to third (of six)! A vast improvement!

I am so enthused by our progress and the fun that can be had when one doesn’t suck that I’ve asked for a tennis racket for my birthday (I’ve had to borrow one for these tournies). Maybe one day I’ll even go so far as to join a tennis club and make friends with people named Sloane and Chip and Margot. Oooh – and I want to get a ‘real’ tennis outfit that has that a skirt with a secret pocket to store balls in! (It’s just too easy to make a joke about drag queens with that one, so I’ll just skip it).

My current tennis outfit consists of a little pink skirt that is entirely too short to wear under normal circumstances, a little striped pink top that reminds me of those cherry-flavoured candy canes and something cutesy with my hair (either little piggie tails or a big bandana). As you can see, I also don’t wear make-up to play tennis but I'm putting this pic up because I look smaller than I normally do in photos (and THAT is FANTASTIC).

Another reason why today was great:
We came home and decided to have a late “French” lunch. We had baguette, wine, brie, pate and grapes. Very yum. Costly on the points, but once I included my hard-earned activity points, I came out right where I should. Oh la la!

A reason why things will continue to be great:
New Family Guy! On tonight!


10 Sept 2005

… Like A Racehorse

I just had the most satisfying #1 (tee hee) ever. This evening, I enjoyed the company of a handful of women from Hitched (hi Jean, Lexy, Suzie, Val, Erica, Debbie, Jacqueline, Sarah and Stephanie!) at a favourite local pub. Anyway, three pints later, I was ready to make my way home. Me, being a frugal and fitness-oriented (ha) girl, opted to walk.

By the time I frantically opened my door and sprinted (with legs together – which is a sight in itself to behold) to our washroom, my bladder was on the verge of supernova-ing itself all over the place.

Siiiiiighhh. My abdomen is still distended from my bladder being so overly full – just like a woman who gave birth, only I flushed my baby away and didn’t get any gifts.

WW-wise: I was amazingly in control and not only passed on the nachos but also stuck to light beer tonight! Hard to believe, but I’m even below my daily points allowance for the day. If nothing deserves a midnight binge, it’s that (ha! I kid! Really!)

Tomorrow is tennis with some Real Life Friends® , so it’s to bed with me so that I can be at the court for 9am (boo).


9 Sept 2005

It Has How Many Points?

I recently made these mini turkey meatloaves (the recipe calls them Meat Muffins but that’s not what I’m calling them – I’d prefer to not be taunted by co-workers while I eat). Pam on Hitched posted the recipe and they are mighty tasty – just one problem though: they’re really small for the amount of points they are.

They consist of lean turkey and vegetables (basically) and are just a touch bigger than those lovely Two-Bite Brownies (err, not that I’ve had Two-Bite Brownies … you know, I've just heard they’re about that big … ahem) yet, they are three points each! That can’t be right! It says the recipe will make 12 and that’s exactly how many I made. Here’s a pic of one that I made so that you can see the true injustice of this:

Is it just me, or is my hand really weird looking there? It looks like it's all hand/palmy and really shy on the fingers. Maybe just because they're all curled up holding the meat thing? Gah, it looks like claw!

Anyway, here is the recipe (looks like it was originally from the WW website). Two meat things equals one serving which totals for six points per serving according to this thing:

Turkey/Chicken Meat Muffins
Servings 6
Estimated POINTS® value per serving 6

1 1/2 pound Louis Rich Ground Turkey
1/2 cup(s) mushroom(s)
1/3 cup(s) dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup(s) fat-free milk
3/4 cup(s) onion(s)
1/4 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute
2 tbsp Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice the mushrooms and onions very finely. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spray a 12 hole muffin tin with cooking spray. Divid meat mixture evenly among the 12 muffin holes. Bake fo 1 - 1 1/4 hours or until done. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Special Notes:
This recipe was created in the recipe builder, so the points are accurate. You can use either ground chicken or ground turkey for this recipe. Each serving is 2 meat muffins.

Any explanations on why these are so many points? Or maybe you have even better news and can tell me that they’re really just 2 points each (because that is way more believable!)?


8 Sept 2005

Man, Do I Ever Hate Sex And The City

Last night I was flipping channels when I came across a Sex and the City rerun on TBS (surprisingly, the network wasn’t airing Spiderman or Overboard at that moment). Man, do I ever hate Sex and the City.

I used to like this show when it first appeared because the writing was fun and I was 19. I remember having accidentally caught it on the A-channel in Calgary on a Sunday night and thinking “why haven’t I heard of this show before?”

Fast-forward a couple years and people are NUTS for it. Everywhere people are ordering Cosmopolitans, throwing Sex Parties and having banal conversations that usually include “Oh my god, you are TOTALLY Samantha and Heather is SO the Miranda!”

When pop culture worship gets disproportionate to the actual goodness/quality of said pop culture, my gag reflex usually kicks in. And so I started loathing SATC.

So anyway, despite myself, I tuned in.

For those who care, this was the episode where Carrie finds out that Big has indeed married child-bride Natasha (it was in the Sunday Times) which causes Carrie to buy lots of stuff and try to act superior. Oh and they go to a spa where Samantha sexually harasses someone and Charlotte thinks she has big thighs and cries about the nudity. And Miranda’s housekeeper replaces her vibrator with a statuette of the Virgin Mary and gets delivered a classic single-woman smack-down by Big Red.

Now onto my main SATC gripe. Remember when you’d watch those Tom & Jerry cartoons and they’d be chasing each other and the same lamp and table would cycle by over and over again? That’s what SATC is like, except the characters start to look more haggard and the lamp and table are replaced with common SATC denominators:

  • Cringe-worthy outfitCheck – Carrie returns from brunch to reveal her ensemble in full glory - skin-tight stretchy plaid pants paired with a ruffled blouse belly-top thing. Words do not describe. I should really start bringing my camera with me when I watch TV so I can get shots of this.
  • MartinisCheck – As Carrie sits in her apartment with her horrible outfit on, a martini magically appears in front of her. It's a Sunday morning.
  • Man/Sex TalkCheck – In true hypocrite fashion, the women are blabbing about how all these young girls get married and quit their job and how awful it must be to not have life. This, as season after season, they talk about nothing but men.
  • The Doogie Howser "deep thought" MomentCheck – This episode Carrie earnestly types on her laptop, “Are there women in NY who are just there to make us feel bad about ourselves?” (Yes, I did write that down – I had my food diary nearby.) Oh Jesus Christ, Carrie. Yes, women exist to make YOU feel miserable, you self-absorbed cow.
  • Expensive shoesDouble Check – The big guns are pulled out on this episode. Not only does Carrie come to lunch lugging a big bold bag emblazoned with the Manolo Blahnik (that was such a bitch to spell!) logo, but her new shoes become a focal point of the discussion (because they will apparently make her such a winner at an event Natasha will be at).
  • Sweetie & hun mentionsCheck …I assume – I usually go deaf when this occurs, so it probably did but I can offer no guarantees.
  • Bad Samantha linesCheck – when she’s checking out a drag king art exhibit she says some dumb thing about packages sported by the women. I can’t remember it, but I do remember her trademark eyebrow lift, standing-in-place-swagger and the stupid pause that happens after all of Samantha’s lines so that we can all *laugh hysterically* but not miss the rest of the banter. Yarg and groan. Somewhere, Mae West rolls in her grave.
  • Charlotte being patheticCheck – At the spa she has a panic attack about being naked, and then one about how big her thighs are – the entire time making her eyes looks as puppyish as possible so that we don’t drown her.
  • Miranda gets assertiveCheck – I guess she also got defensive. Many a For-your-information-I’m-single-because-I-WANT-to-be-single woman raised her Cosmo to Miranda’s rant to her housecleaner about her vibrator/non-married life. Whatever.
  • Carrie needs a kick to the teethCheck – just refer back to any mention of Carrie in this post to see the reasons.

The show ends on a SATC high note as Carrie cackles on the phone to one of her posse members about what a complete fucking retard Natasha is. Natasha sent her a nice little note and made the biggest faux pas in the world by including a spelling mistake in it. Wow, Big TOTALLY picked the wrong girl.

There was a second episode on after that, but my capacity for bullshit had already been far exceeded. Plus, Everybody Loves Raymond was on (ha! Kidding!).


7 Sept 2005

For The Love Of God, Visit Your Dentist

I just came back from the dentist. At the age of 26, I had my very first cavity filled in today. I then got the last of my scaling (see: horrible gum gouging) done.

This is awful to admit: This July was the first time I've been to the dentist in approximately 6 years. I don't know what I was thinking. Ok, well, I do. For the longest time I didn't have any dental coverage (interning, probationary term at work, getting laid off from said work, freelance/temp work, another probationary term at work), so I completely fell out of the dental loop. Then I just got lazy. And then I got all scaredy about what they might find.

Thankfully, I'm a brusher and a flosser, so my teeth and gums were in decent condition. However, he found a cavity buried between a couple teeth. This bad boy apparently had been nestling in for a few years and felt so at home that it had probably been wandering around in its fat-pants and drinking juice straight from the carton.

In other words, my cavity was DEEP. Like, close to the nerve and gums deep (it was a "two-pronged" cavity - way to multitask, decay!). The dentist said there was a decent chance that in the future (anything between a couple weeks to a couple years) that I may have trouble and would need a root canal and perhaps some gum work around the tooth where that cavity was. Gross.

The spaz in me immediately went to Google images to see just what a root canal entailed. The results were horrifying. The point of this post is that THIS COULD BE YOU if you don't go to your dentist regularly and get things nipped in the bud:


6 Sept 2005

Tale From the Scale

Today (a Tuesday) is my day to weigh myself. It was a gain (1.6 lbs), thanks to the weekend grazing-lazing weight-holding pattern I put myself into. Good job, there. The only non-sarcastic congrats I will give myself is that I managed to track everything I ate over the weekend (the point totals are horrifying). I don't want to let go of the habit of journalling.

Anyway, it took me a while to figure out my weight because the scale (a digital one) had been bumped from where I normally place it and the number that came up was bizarre. I readjusted the scale's position, and then a completely different number came up. I did this about a million times until I finally settled on a number that made sense and would come up most frequently.

The difference between the highest weight shown and lowest weight shown was 18lbs! That's crazy talk, Mr Scale! I feel like I need to draw a chalk outline around my scale as if it were a corpse so that I know exactly where it was the last time I weighed myself.

Some of the girls on Hitched.ca do a weekly chat about their weight loss and today's topic dealt with ways to deal with a long weekend. These are some of my goals to work on for when the weekend (regardless of it being long) rolls around:
* I need to do something in the morning outside of the house. If I wake up and immediately wander over to the computer and couch and get comfy, I'll end up staying there most of the day. Sitting around in ones pjs (see stretching, baggy clothing) all day doesn't help matters.
* I need to have groceries (ie: healthy stuff) in the home.
* I tend to plan just weekday meals - perhaps I need to plan weekend meals.

So there you go.


4 Sept 2005

Being A Slob Isn't As Much Fun As I Thought It Would Be

Yesterday was my do nothing / eat crap day. I specifically assigned it to myself on Friday as a treat. Well, to be honest, it wasn't that great.

* I watched a few really good episodes of Buffy
* I very much enjoyed a lime daiquiri I made
* Had some licorice. That was yay
* Pretty relaxing

* I felt like I grazed all day on nothing all that special. What a waste of points
* Felt kind of headachey and gross toward the evening
* While the lime daiquiri was yum, the strawberry one kinda sucked but I drank it anyway
* Our home is messy and dirty thanks to my not caring
* I now need to be extra careful with my points during the next two days so that I don't gain
* It was a really nice day outside, yet I barely went out

What I need to do is spend the first part of a treat day doing non-treat things (like tidy up the place, do groceries) so that I feel like I really earn some treat later on (and thus enjoy it more). I'll still have the lime daiquiri, but I'll eat well the rest of the day so that I don't just pile crap upon crap and end up feeling like, well, crap!


3 Sept 2005


Photo from MSNBC.com

Canadians, please go here: https://www.paypaq.com/redcross/en/ - every little bit helps.


2 Sept 2005

Blessed Be The Long Weekend

My brain must have been leeched out along with those few pounds of fat I lost because I totally forgot about the long weekend until this morning. Up until that point, I thought I was facing a normal weekend with normal weekend plans.

Nope! This long weekend marks Patrick's annual golf thing with the men in his family (aka swing n' swig - it's apparently a rather drunken affair). So, he has left me to tend to family business and I am, all weekend, alone to my own devices. Teeeee Heeeee.

Don't get me wrong. I love him and his company. But I also love the idea of a weekend of lazing around in my bra and sweatpants, drinking daiquiris at 11am while watching The Breakfast Club without the "Are you going to shower sometime today?" comments from The Man. That's right - it's my time to stink.


1 Sept 2005

What Is "A Song By A Flock Of Seagulls", Alex?

Tonight was running night. Quite frankly, I am surprised that running night has survived beyond the first night because I have quite the talent for quitting exercise programs. This evening’s run, though, wasn’t a great example of me pushing myself. My dear running partner and I met as planned and started the program (a learn-to-run method). We are currently running for 4 minutes, walking for 1 minute and then repeating that for an hour.

Half way through, I buckled and cried uncle and we switched to 4 running, 2 walking. A few moments of panting later I cried great uncle and we ditched the running component completely and just walked the rest of the night. Ha – oops? In the end, we ran for 32 minutes and walked for 43 minutes (we stayed out a bit longer than an hour, so I say we get points for that, right?).

I’m going to vow to get out during the weekend and attempt the 4:1 on my own so that by the time Thursday rolls around I’ll be a bit more prepared. Roar. Grrrr. Hmmm. Sigh. Zzzzzzz.

Speaking of which, I keep having Buffy The Vampire Slayer dreams. Patrick (my looovah) and I have been watching Buffy non-stop (he has only just discovered this show, so I broke out the DVD collection with crazy delight) which explains this. Last night, Giles and I were in a mall trying to find ingredients for a magic spell at The GNC. Bizarro, I tell you.

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I have no shame

Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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