31 Dec 2008

Goodbye, 2008

Well, it's been a year.

In 2008 (and in random order):

  • I turned 30. And it's not bad (nor did I think it would be). Not bad at all. To be honest, I feel this strange sense of relief to be out of my twenties, and not in a sour grapes kind of way that most would expect. I guess I've always felt like being in your twenties meant being lumped in with those dumb-asses that spent their time going to nightclubs, wearing hot pink and starring in The Hills - none of which have ever appealed to me. Being in your thirties means coming more into your own. It's being a flawed-but-lovely, smart, clever grown-up who actually gets taken semi-seriously. Thirties = The Age of Tina Fey, and lord knows I love The Fey.
  • I celebrated one year of marriage. He is my darling and I love him. But he needs to go to a sleep clinic for the snoring. Like, right now.
  • I decided to go freelance. Holy eff, why didn't I do this earlier? Mind you, for 2009, I need to get my butt in gear, get my website up, go after new business more ... but working with my existing clients, living off of less money and taking it slow but deliberately has brought me such happiness these last few months. I don't dread waking up anymore! That's a step in the right direction, no?
  • We traveled to England, France and Germany. We were so, so, so lucky to have amazing friends living in London (Barry and Esther) and Paris (Gauthier) who made our stays so brilliant. A return is necessary, maybe even in 2009. BEST TRIP EVER.
  • I'm very proud of my sister who is flourishing after leaving a relationship with The Fun Sponge. She now has her own condo (bigger than ours!), a new job and is having buckets of awesomeness with a good group of friends. Go Mel!
  • Patrick's sister moved to Vancouver this fall. We admire her for being so independent and willing to take that leap - there's no doubt she'll gain wonderful experiences from having done that. We miss her and look forward to seeing her in February.
  • In the very tippy-toe end of 2008, I decided to take on a more vegan lifestyle. Not 100% - but in the least, I'm trying to add veggie-based foods in my everyday life. We'll see how that goes ...
  • Our good friends Siobhan and Patrick moved into our building! It's like getting an insta-social life without having to try whatsoever. It's literally like rolling out of bed, grabbing a bottle of wine and going up the elevator. Shobey and I have enjoyed regular rendezvous to watch Gossip Girl and Project Runway ... and also "just because" drop-ins of wine and Pop 5 (my favourite game in the universe). Next up - The Bachelor. Eeee!
So 2008 has been pretty nice. Here's to 2009! Best wishes to you, your family and your friends from the Bycks!


24 Dec 2008

Because A Bitchy Post Can't Be A Christmas Post

We're off to stay with the in-laws for the next few days over the holiday, and I hate the idea of a cranky post about some random idiot sitting here representing my latest thoughts over Christmas - so I'm blogging this evening to leave something merrier.

If you've ever thought of me as being someone who has a good sense of humour (and I hope I'm not being too presumptuous), you have my parents to blame. I am just a diluted version of them. This is what came to us a few days ago (if you click it, it will expand):

And this painting was what was inside:

They over-prepared us for horribleness. It's really not bad at all. True, there's something 'off' about Patrick. While I wouldn't go so far as to call him Sloth - I will say that he looks like a mix of himself, Rodney Dangerfield and a large baby (although, to give credit, sometimes he DOES look like a large baby. I have been known to pinch those cheeks and make babbling sounds as I do it). And I look like someone who has just realized that she's settled for a Rodney Dangerfield-slash-baby type and is experiencing a moment of grief ... but besides that - it's actually pretty good. It will be framed and hung! Take that, parents!

However, since receiving this gift, Patrick has been randomly screaming "HEYYYY YOOOOU GUUUYS!" and asking me, "Bay-bee Ru-th?" Seems life is now imitating art. How grand.

Ah, Christmas! Hurrah!

Happy Holidays to you and your families!


22 Dec 2008

Further Evidence That Our Society Is Getting Stupider

Here's a scenario: Say you’ve just been in a fiery plane crash and you and the other passengers are trying to exit the melting plane. What do you do?

According to this dude, you pull out your Blackberry and update your Twitter status. While still on the plane. That's just crashed. And is on fire. With people in it.


I'm really, really hoping that the reporting is off and he Twittered AFTER he got out of the plane - but so far, that isn't what's being relayed. Le Sigh of the highest order.

I could rattle on about how incredibly stupid, selfish and unsafe this was of him and how baffling it is that some people are actually impressed with this fool's 'instincts' to "break the story" - but really, do I need to get into it? Is a rant from me necessary? I think the majority of us who value certain things (like LIFE, other people, safety, not burning) over other things (the fleeting and fickle 15 MB of fame) - don't need any arguments about how silly this is. And if the words "jellyfish" and "bath" also popped into your head - Jinx! Buy me a Coke!


16 Dec 2008

And They Wonder Why They're Still Single

A recent survey among members of an online dating site found that 36% of the women polled would dump their (ed note: imaginary) partner for giving an "inadequate" Christmas gift. The survey went on to say that women with higher educations were most likely to give a relationship the axe over this reason.

It makes you wonder what brilliant thesis papers these ladies would have written. I'll guess:

  • Evidence and Examples of Telepathy in Males
  • If The Shoe Fits: Disney Princesses as Modern Role Models
  • Beyond Digging: Technological Advancements in Gold Excavation
  • Off With His Head!: A Historical Review of Capital Punishment
  • Finding Truth and Inspiration in the Speeches of Gordon Gekko
What lovely, lovely women. The site admins should do all the men (and the 64% of non-crazy ladies) a favour and flag the profiles of those finicky females through a suitable, easy to spot icon. This would do:


11 Dec 2008


INFLATED: 15 minutes ago:

Guy at liquor store: Uh, you got some ID?
Me: Really?
Guy at liquor store: Yes, really.
Me: You don't know how flattering this is. *I pull out ID*
Me: I'm 30.
Guy at liquor store: *Looks at ID* Oh, yes - yes you are. Sorry!
Me: *Glowing*
Guy at liquor store: So, you don't get ID'd very often?
Me: Uh, no. Totally don't get ID'd often.
Guy at liquor store: I'm surprised - you look young.
Me: I love you.

DEFLATED: 5 minutes ago:

At the neighbourhood burrito place (DON'T JUDGE ME) and Jennifer Warne's song Ain't No Cure for Love is playing on the speakers as I'm paying for my oh-so-nutritious meal.

Me: Wow ... I haven't heard this song in ... like ... 15 years!
Girl at burrito place: I don't think I've ever heard it.
Me: Wha? Really?
Girl at burrito place: Well, 15 years ago, I was only four years old.
Other Girl at burrito place: Huh, huh ... I was two!


10 Dec 2008

A Dream Is Dead

Yesterday afternoon, when I pried myself away from the computer to grab something from the kitchen (imagine that), I immediately smelled something .... smokey. Frightened that I had left the oven on, I searched the kitchen for anything that could cause something to smolder. No burners were on, the oven was off, the microwave was off, the toaster wasn't plugged in - just the dishwasher was finishing its cycle. I stood there stretching my nostrils as wide as I could, tilting my nose upward, trying to detect where the smell could be coming from. The smell was distinct. Woodsy. Hickory. Smoked.

I remembered that right below our suite, a new wings and ribs restaurant was finishing renos and was about to open. The smell was exactly like a smokey, hickory BBQ sauce. There also just happens to be a vent in our kitchen that could plausibly be connected to the downstairs. I imagined that perhaps they were getting their kitchen ready and were starting a process of making vats and vats of rib sauce. I imagined this was just the beginning and that I'd be smelling more of these vats in my future.

I'm ashamed to say that I was not upset by the possibility of living in Wing Manor. I was thrilled. When Patrick came home, the smell had subsided, but I excitedly chatted with him about how good our place was going to constantly smell. Mmmm ... hickory smoked wings and ribs ... Mmmm. It would be like living in a BBQ hug.

Today I learned something new.

If you don't put things away properly in the dishwasher, they can fall to the bottom and be directly exposed to the heating and drying coil of the appliance. Like, say, this wooden spoon that I found in ours this morning:


5 Dec 2008

Ugh Canada

Warning: Long and rather un-funny political post follows.

Not long ago, I blogged about how I wanted to become more passionate and active in local and national politics. I said this while basking in the glow of the Obama victory and the outpouring of everyday citizens who believed they could make a difference to better their nation. When I imagined myself becoming ga-ga for government, it was with a naïve vision of making myself heard in order to help push through important legislation, stop a great injustice or promote an inspiring leader. Instead, I am muttering about the crappiness of our elected officials and doubts that Canadians have little say over what’s going to happen next.

Before I continue, I’ll let my biases be known: I’m a socially left and fiscally right-ish individual. I don’t belong to any party and view each election as open season when it comes to my vote. In past federal elections, I’ve voted Conservative, Liberal and most recently, Green (dare to dream, little vote!). I’m by-and-large not optimistic about the people we elect and tend to presume that they’re all just a bunch of egomaniacs who will likely do and say anything to get what they want. I don’t, however, “hate” anyone – not even the people who are least likely to ever get my vote. I don’t think anyone or any party is evil – but I don’t think any one party is particularly awesome – they’re all as fully capable of corruption as they are at doing good. My vote in every election is done so that I can retain the right to take part in Canada’s favourite pastime: complaining.

This is how I see the events of late:

Prime Minister Harper, leader of the party with the most votes, has been described as the type of guy who only likes to be in the company of Yes Men. Where Obama hopes to surround himself with diverse thinkers, Harper prefers to hear one unified voice. It’s this trait – not his much heckled cold Syberian Husky-esque eyes or Lego Man inspired hairdo – that seems most defining. Anyhoo … a lack of dissenting opinion has a history of producing the risky environment of group-think and like nearly all occasions of when group-think has been festering, a false set of realities sink in (like, oh say, acting as if you have a majority) and crap that would normally be flagged as dicey or unwise gets the green light. Add into this mix that these group-thinkers are also all politicians (a.k.a. self-interested pigs) and you can actually see shit clearing space to create clear runways toward fans. So, when the Conservatives presented their Challenger Shuttle of a budget, the Tory Fantasy World burst.

Now, the elements within the budget that have people up in arms are actually worthy of debate. Not everyone supports public funding of parties. Not everyone stands behind strikers. And not everyone thinks pay equity suits should go beyond a union to solve. But according to some, these hot-ish button issues were tossed into the budget as a bully move and peeps don’t like getting bullied.

Especially Stéphane Dion, chronic victim and lame duck leader of the Liberals. He had his share of bullying in the last election, largely at the hands of the Tories, partially at the hands of the media that loved photographing him with his backpack. So rather than hand over his lunch money once again, Dion threw down the abacus. Harper got the big remind-o that numbers are everything and a new election isn’t the only trick up the constitutional sleeve in the case of non-confidence. Harper flinched and the Conservatives pulled the plug on several budget bloopers and pledged to make changes before representing the budget.

This is where Stéphane should have said “You better – because we’ll be watching, Tabernak!” and then sauntered off into the sunset. He would have gotten one hell of a high-five from the countless Canadians who were less than thrilled with Harper-style decision making but still needed to keep our country moving. And it would have been about as positive of a note Dion could have hoped for to wrap his already finished career with, short of having another Dion-kin serenade him with a song from the hit film, Titanic.

But, no, this isn’t what happened. Remember, we are talking about petty, petty politicians whose decisions are completely personal. Instead, we get The Coalition: a merry band of power-hungry white hairs who proclaim to represent most Canadians. You know, because a vote for the Liberals is the same thing as voting for the Bloc. Or the NDP. Or vice versa. Totally the same thing. Where the coalition passes the math test, they flunk the one about ideologies.

Cue idiotic mud-slinging. Conservatives transform themselves into Sarah Palin and shriek that Dion is “pallin’ around” with communists and unity terrorists. They refer to the coalition as traitors who are attempting to perform a coup d’etat (apparently some Tories believe that the world is their Wikipedia and this term can now be edited to describe a legal shift in power that occurs without military force). They stupidly poke the dormant separatist beast. It quickly gets fugly.

The coalition, on the other hand, likens Harper to a certain dictator who had a fondness for goose-stepping. They act incredibly dismissive of people who actually DID vote Conservative, provoking that other dormant beast, western alienation. They also become more entrenched in their resolve to gain control of the government and perform a vote of non-confidence, even if the Conservatives delivered a new budget that contained seeds for trees that grew money. The fug worsens. For the first time ever, America - with its lack of health care and an insane love of guns in the hands of everyday chump citizens - looks like a tempting place to live.

So, rather than being instantly voted out, Harper did the obvious thing – request the suspension of parliament for nearly two months. If anyone thinks that the Liberals or NDP would have done differently if in the same position, you are either lying to yourself or a monumental idiot.

So now we are where we are.

In my opinion, this small break presents an opportunity to right wrongs:

  • The Conservatives need to create a budget that is chiefly focused on benefiting Canadians – not sucker punching their foes.
  • Harper needs to learn to play nice or take a hike.
  • The coalition needs to wipe their shit-eating grins off their faces, start thinking about Canadians and work with our government to pass a good budget.
  • Dion and Layton: Enough. We know this is about $1.95 and your own blind ambitions.
  • Jean Charest. Jean Charest. Jean Charest.
  • We ALL need to demand more from our elected officials. Make your voice heard today.
  • Finally, for fuck's sake, show up to vote. Even if it is only a few months after the last one.


26 Nov 2008

Out of Sight and Out of My Mind

Several months ago, my husband discovered we had a mouse in our home. When he told me he had seen one, I howled with ridiculous girly terror. I was hor-rif-ied and stupidly scared to walk around the home without underwear (for fear of being snatch-bitten. For reals.).

Determined to get me back into my pantie-free glory, Patrick promptly went out and got snap traps. Within two days, the traps did their job and Patrick regained his title of Man of the House (he had previously lost it by spending a weekend watching movies on the Diva Channel). When I saw Mickey post-mortem and realized how itty-bitty he was, I actually felt rather bad. Poor little thing. He was much smaller and cuter than my mind led me to first believe (except for having his neck smashed in, of course). When I was first confronted with the idea of a mouse in our house, I had imagined this big, horrible dirty rat that could spring out from a bag and bite my cooter at any moment ... or crawl into the bed and nip my bum (why I thought this mouse would be so hostile toward my nether regions is for Freudians to figure out). But the little mouse in our snap trap wasn't anything like that. He was a Beatrix Potter-like mouse. All little and darling. I imagined him shyly giving cookie crumbs to his little mouse sweetheart and accepting invitations to delightful afternoon tea parties with rabbits and hedgehogs. Sipping mulled wine out of thimbles. But not any more. Because WE killed the shit out of him.

But despite feeling bad, we kept traps around for a month and a half and ... nothing. So we figured our problem was solved and I went about drinking my feelings away.

Cue last week. Construction in the building has resulted in some moving and shaking that has clearly not only aggravated the human residents, but also whatever's been living in the walls. Mickey 2.0 has been spotted.

Patrick has been too busy with work to go get new traps, and I've been too guilt-ridden to play that active a role in the whole thing ... so mousy is presumably still with us (haven't seen him since the initial spotting). Even though I now *know* it's probably another cute one, I'm still oddly afraid of being surprised by it. In other words, I'm scared of getting scared.

My solution has been to scare it before it can scare me. So, all day, I walk as loud as I can, smacking tables, slapping counters and knocking on walls and doors. My life has become a lamer, paranoid, unchoreographed version of Stomp Out Loud.

But Stomp has got to stop (in my home. And around the world, actually). When you feel ridiculous even when you’re all by yourself, you know you’ve gone over the crazy line. My options are to refuse to be scared of seeing the mouse, getting some traps or buying one of those hilarious hamster balls and finding a way lure Mickey 2.0 inside it.

I’ll let you know how the hamster ball goes.


11 Nov 2008

Better Than I Can Say It

Happy Remembrance Day.


10 Nov 2008

Because I Could Use More Vapid In My Life

In the summer, Siobhan and Patrick (mentioned in the last post) moved into our building. It's been awesome having a friend just a few floors away - it's like residence except we have more money to spend on booze. As the cooler weather sets in, so has our tendency to hermit, so having an insta-friend that I don't even need to put on a coat (or, you know, non-yoga pants) to see has been GREAT.

Recently, Siobhan and I decided that we needed to feel more youthful and in touch with "what's happening" ... so rather than actually going outside, talking to people and experiencing life, we had her husband download all the episodes of Gossip Girl for us. Wee!

We quickly realized that Gossip Girl was missing something ... and when you're watching, like, six episodes at a time, it's good to keep hydrated. So without further ado, I bring you Siobhan and Jen's Gossip Girl Drinking Game:

Have a drink every time:

  1. Chuck is wearing a bow-tie.
  2. Waffles are served for breakfast. Double drink if they're being served at Chez Humphrey.
  3. A teenager is drinking a martini at the bar (what ever happened to siphoning booze from your parent's liquor cabinet?).
  4. A parent has a totally inappropriate conversation with their child.
  5. Dan or Rufus reference their own last name (ie: "The Humphrey men sure have a way with being self-absorbed artsy douche nozzles!").
  6. The teens (see: Serena) are somehow allowed out of the house despite wearing an outfit that shows a whole lotta chesticle. Degrassi’s Stephanie Kaye and her bathroom-stall makeovers are practically matronly in comparison.
  7. Chuck delivers a pouty, nostril-flaring sneer that reminds you of an angry drag queen.
  8. Serena sounds as if her jaw has been wired shut when she talks - more so than usual.
  9. Your nearby husband / boyfriend makes a judgmental grunt mid-episode.
  10. Rufus desperately fishes for reassurance and cool-cred compliments by making a comment about being an aging rocker dad.
  11. Little J creates a dress that has crinoline and a dropped waistline (revolutionary!).
  12. Serena gets insecure when she realizes her boy-of-interest knows another female.
  13. A parent discovers their child has decided to jet off to another country and their expression doesn't change.
  14. You’ve lost track of whether Serena-Blair, Nate-Chuck, Blair-Chuck, Nate-Dan or Dan-Serena are fighting or friendly with each other.
  15. Dorota is forced into planning a party in less than a day.
  16. Vanessa is wearing something horrible that involves either a citrus, sherbet or Piñata-inspired shade.
  17. You find yourself wanting to fast forward the parts of the episode that are about Serena in order to get to the scenes that feature Chuck Bass.
  18. Gossip Girl Non-Subtle Product Placement Whore, Vitamin Water™, is shown.
  19. Rufus makes a reference to a grunge band that you can tell the actor playing him has never heard of.
  20. You get rudely reminded that the star characters of the show were BORN in the NINETIES and you are officially OLD and PERVY.


5 Nov 2008

America The Beautiful

Last month, Canada had a federal election. Patrick and I marked the occasion unceremoniously by dragging ourselves over to the nearby polling station. We had no line in front of us, so it was quick and painless. We sighed, voted (for different candidates, as it turns out) and returned home to eat leftovers and obligatorily watch election coverage on CBC and Twitter. When the numbers were in, we turned to each other, shrugged and said “well, that was a waste” and went to bed. And the next day, we didn't think anything of it. Election done, business as usual, pass me a beer.

We acknowledged the American election quite differently. Last night, in anticipation of Barack Obama becoming the next US President, we hosted Siobhan and Patrick (her husband) to watch the coverage. I had decorated the place in Democrat blue, printed and hung Obama posters in the window and made gourmet hot dogs, Freedom Fries and apple pie. We even bought some bubbly for the occasion. We joyously screamed, hooted, danced and lit sparklers when Obama's success was made official and then cheered loudly through our window in the direction of the ultra-conservatives streaming out of the Albany Club. We felt energized, relieved and thankful. I’ve spent the better part of today warmly looking at footage of people all over the world who were also swept into the emotion of this moment.

Now, I love Canada. Love, love, love, love, love. In fact, this election probably gave me extra fuel for my sense of patriotism and confirmed how proud being a citizen of this country makes me. I like that our politics rest in the rational centre. I love that there’s no need for Proposition 8 here. I adore that people realize that contributing to a system that provides affordable health care for all its citizens is just as – if not more – patriotic than fighting for the right to own a gun. I love that if someone accused a candidate of being Muslim during an election, the first reaction would be to ask ‘what the eff is wrong with being a Muslim?’, and not simply deny the fabrication.

So my Canadacrush aside, I’m feeling the love for the USA today, which is a bit of a rarity. Ok, it’s a lot of a rarity (although Prop 8 passing still gets a huge, judgey thumbs down from me). The election of Barack Obama and the outpouring of positively-driven passion among the everyday citizen is genuinely inspiring.

Yes, the election of an African American for President is an important moment in the nation’s history in itself. But more than than this, for me, his campaign and election symbolized America finally turning a sharp and sinister corner. The old fear fog was lifted in favour of the massive, unabashed feelings of hope, change and a need for better.

Despite the best efforts of some campaigners, media and small-minded voters, The People didn’t give in to the time-honoured American tradition of fear-mongering, bullying and labeling that has made the rest of the world so disturbed by this once great nation. It’s not for lack of trying. They screamed and screamed: Commie! Terrorist! Anti-American! Godless! Corrupt! Un-Patriotic! Muslim! Anti-Semite! Illegal Alien!

And despite the continued barrage of these tactics in this election, The People finally, FINALLY turned away from the filth and looked toward a light of someone refusing to leave the high road. And when they looked, they started believing in doing better. In playing their part. In working with others. In grasping hold of the truth that they had the power. It caused people to vote for the first time in their lives. To volunteer to help the Obama campaign. To show up, en-mass to public places to celebrate with complete strangers. To cry with joy.

Last night was one of the first times I’ve ever felt that we Canadians could take a cue from our neighbours to the south. No, we don’t have the same dark veil of fear to lift from our eyes, but we certainly have one of apathy. Our country is a wonderful place – but just imagine how fantastic it could be if we chose to be invigorated by a need and a drive and a spirit to make it better. To dream bigger, feel deeper and actually WORK toward the advancement of The People.

I love my country, but today America has my applause and respect. It also has my gratitude for showing us exactly what we’re lacking. I never want to feel so dismissively hollow about the future of my nation again.


29 Oct 2008

The Internet Continues To Delight

When I first heard of Man Babies, I thought it was in reference to a diaper-wearing fetish culture, the likes of which you might have seen on Jerry Springer in the mid-90s. To each their own, but to avoid being turned off by the male species forever, Man Babies was a link I dared not click.

But when I saw the term being used more and more frequently, I started thinking that it might not be about adults being gratified by infant-wear. Well, at least I HOPED that was the case. With one closed eye I bit the mouse.

Thankfully, the Internet didn't let me or my prudish nature down. Man Babies is a site dedicated to babies and the dads and grandfathers who love them - with their heads "Photoshopically" switched.

It's dumb and it's funny and it gives me continued faith in humanity.

ManBabies.com - Dad?

ManBabies.com - Dad?

ManBabies.com - Dad?


20 Oct 2008

Marketing Snark Talk

Every so often this blog veers off from the usual yapping about my misadventures with public transit and humiliation involving my nether regions to randomly go on about marketing and ads. This is one of those posts.

My interest in marketing, advertising and branding seemed to start with Angela Bower, Ad Exec extraordinaire on Who's the Boss. Even though I didn't really like Angela (woman had teh crazy in a big way), I loved the episodes where she'd bring her work home, like the one where she had to come up with a marketing angle for avocado chips, a product that looked like crisp mold spores.

There's just something so neat about taking any brand or a product and making it meaningful and desirable for the masses. As you can imagine, I can't get enough of Mad Men.

Finding marketing marvels is awesome, but so is witnessing marketing misfires that even the non-ad obsessed will ask "WHO the hell approved THAT?"

Sometimes they're new ideas and sometimes they're old, dated ones that companies cling to because they're too cheap to invest in re-branding. I like to keep mental notes of these for fun. Because - I - am a bit of a loser.

Today's Bad New Idea got on my radar through The Daily Grind when they highlighted horror franchise Saw's recent attempt to get people to their next installment (and yes, I realize that by blogging about it, I'm falling right into the 'buzz-creation' they were hoping for. But no linky for them!). Seems the geniuses behind Saw's marketing are from the easier-to-ask-forgiveness-than-permission camp when they telephone-spammed hundreds of individuals and creepily insinuated they had kidnapped a friend / family-member (a re-occuring plot point from the movies) ... and then gave them a link to the film's promotional website. Needless to say, people were freaked and confused, cops were called and the promotion has been cut short. If ever there was a reason to get on Canada's do-not-call list, this has got to be it.

Today's Bad Old Idea is one I've laughed about for a couple years but am pleased to know that they're going to do something about it (I hope). Sherwin-Williams has just retained a new marketing agency that will hopefully modernize the brand.

Because nothing appeals to today's ultra-green, eco-savvy consumerism like a logo like this:


8 Oct 2008

Literal is How I Like It

Not since R. Kelly's Trapped in a Closet has a video just told it like it is:

If the peeps who created that are considering a follow-up video, may I suggest Duran Duran's View To Kill video?


28 Sept 2008

Confessions of a Dork

A friend of mine mentioned that she was feeling like a bit of a jackass for something she did recently. It was truly nothing and she shouldn't give it another moment's thought. I've done way, way worse and some illustrations of this have already been mentioned on this site. The "Humiliation 101" tag can conveniently link you to some of my published moments of shame.

But it doesn't stop there. My life has been simply riddled with glorious examples of how uncouth and uncool I can be, and it started at an early age.

So, if you're ever down about something dumb you did, just take a gander at this small selection of personal low-lights. You should feel much better and smarter about yourself instantly:

1. Until Grade 10, I thought the song "Bette Davis Eyes" was sung by Rod Stewart. (C'mon, close your eyes and imagine it - I wasn't THAT crazy to think this!)

2. When I got my very first period, I thought that I had cut myself with the toilet paper.

3. At one point or another, I've had a crush on the following super cool objects of desire: Gilligan, Paul Pfeiffer, Gilbert Blithe, and Data, the android from Star Trek Next Generation.

4. For a very long time, I thought Jimmy Buffet and Warren Buffet were the same person. I'd be out somewhere with friends and Margaritaville would play and I'd say, "Isn't crazy that THIS GUY ended up being, like, insanely rich?" And my friend would stare at me confused. And then I'd say "Geez, don't you read the papers? He's heavy into investments!"

5. My first semi-serious-ish boyfriend only asked me out after he had already asked out two different girls. That day. And had been rejected. And I enthusiastically said yes. BECAUSE. HAVING. A. BOYFRIEND. WAS. IMPORTANT.

Expect more of these in the future!


24 Sept 2008

Jen's Crystal Ball of Musical Pimpage

Because I am an attention whore who milks everything she does, I'd like to elaborate more on the Quickie I wrote on Hitched about "Ten Songs From Commercials That Haven't Been Created Yet".

Song #1:

Song Title: A Cause De Garcon (Tecktonik Remix)
Artist: Yelle
The Dealio: When we went to France this spring, our uber-fantastic host, Gauthier, had mentioned that is girlfriend was named Yelle and "wasn't the famous one, of course!" to which I blankly stared back at him with a look a cat might have when one is speaking to a cat about anything. You see, in Europe, Yelle is crazy famous and her songs Je Veux Te Voir, A Cause De Garcons, Parle à ma main with Fatal Bazooka, Les Femmes were huge, huge hits. With good reason - they're extremely catchy, fun, and danceable. The Tecktonik remix and video of A Cause De Garcons is an energetic blow up of the original, and it really doesn't matter if you don't understand the lyrics or 'get' the look of the dancers - this song is tres hot.
I'd Pimp Them To: Alesse (hip birth control makers). The song's quite fitting as you'd be taking these "Because of the Boys" (but if your parents discover your sexy-time pills, you'd say it's 'A Cause De Acne'). Either way, this energetic tune would send Alesse sales soaring.

Song #2:

Song Title: Knickerbocker
Artist: Fujiya & Miyagi
The Dealio: Like Yelle, this is another group from across the pond (Brighton, England), but unlike Yelle, they haven't had the huge explosion. Yet. The beginning of this song reminds me of Stereolab, which is, of course, a good thing. It's one of the few songs that had me hooked straight away - I'm the type that usually needs a few listen throughs before I can determine if I like a song. It grows slowly but steadily and by time the three minutes are up, you're a fan. Screw cowbell, more organ!
I'd Pimp Them To: Gap. It's been a while since I've seen a Gap commercial, and something fun and insta-hooky is just what Dr Jen ordered. They could totally play on the "Vanilla" (GAP classics) and "Strawberry" (GAP trend-wear) of the lyrics.

Song #3:

Song Title: I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked
Artist: Ida Maria
The Dealio: Clearly, I have something for Europeans. Ida Maria is a Norwegian singer that charmed the pants off the Brits this summer with "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked", a song that peaked at 13 on the UK charts. It's fun, rambunctious, raw pop by a young and unabashed leading lady, who, according to several interviewers, likes to get her drink on. Stamp of approval, says I.
I'd Pimp Her To: The Next Season of Rock of Love. Because I'm pretty sure the song title describes exactly what dear Brett thinks about many of the contestants.

Song #4:

Song Title: Human Hair
Artist: Lovvers
The Dealio: Brit Band #2 on the list. Don't they remind you of the early Matador low-fi days? Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (with less rockabilly more surf) comes to mind. The band's label, Wichita, is a favourite of mine as they play host to the musical goodies of Peter, Bjorn & John and Block Party to name a few. The video clinches this song - creepy meets playful meets my entertainment requirements.
I'd Pimp Them To: This song is the perfect soundtrack for late-90s fans of snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing - who are pretty much a gem audience of the next Balance Board games about to be released for Nintendo Wii (like Skate it and Shaun White Snowboarding).

Song #5:

(It's video-less ... click here and scroll down to Veras)

Song Title: Veras
Artist: Los Alhama
The Dealio: I first heard Veras back in 1997 when I bought a "Folk Music of the World" CD at my campus bookstore. It was my big attempt to branch out and be 'wordly' without having to leave Alberta. It failed, but it put this song into my little brain where's it's stayed - dancing around on all those math tricks and history lessons that I can't recall anymore.
I'd Pimp Them To: The next Quentin Tarantino film (although upon looking up what the next Tarantino film (Inglorious Bastards) is going to be about, I could be very, very wrong. Not sure how he'd fit in a peppy gypsy tune in a movie about Jewish soldiers that scalp Nazis in occupied France ... but on the other hand, it could actually be perfect)!

Song #6:

* Note: Not the official video. Just sayin'

Song Title: Dancer
Artist: Woodhands
The Dealio: Look! North American band! And better yet, they're Canadian! I'd also disclose - the band's drummer, Paul Banwatt, is a friend through friends who also DJ'd my wedding (fabulously) - but that doesn't make this song any less fantasmatic. I don't even have to be drunk to dance to this one, and that says a lot. It's steamy. It's loud. It's sex-synth. (and their "I Wasn't Made For Fighting" is also worth a listen).
Who I'd Pimp Them To: Virgin Mobile. Because waiting around for someone to ask them to dance is probably something all the indie hipster kids do ... via text messaging.

Song #7:

Song Title: Knots
Artist: Pete & The Pirates
The Dealio: I have Barry Lachapelle to thank for my Pete & The Pirates obsession. He's one of Patrick's best friends who moved to London to work at an ad agency (dream scenerio, anyone?). Barry likes music. We like music. E-mails between Patrick and Barry are less about feelings and more about bands they like. I benefit from this on several levels. Pete & The Pirates are a band that should be rolling in dough but ... aren't. I don't get it. They're wildly likable, have songs that jump to the point and each band member has indie cute qualifications. WHAT'S THE DEAL, PEOPLE? I heard one of their earlier songs, Come on Feet, over a year ago and I could still listen to the thing 5x a day and not get bored.
I'd Pimp Them To: The big guns: iPod. Come on Feet more than Knots actually, but both would do super well. Break out the silhouettes, Apple - they want Pete & the Pirates to dance to!

Song #8:

Song Title: Sexy Grrl
Artist: Belladonnakillz
The Dealio: I didn't know this was a local band until I wrote this piece for Hitched. All I knew was that they blasted Lee's Palace with a really fun performance recently (was I there? Hells no. I was doing my usual evening thing: yogo pants and IFC. But I still heard about it, so I'm still cool. Right? No? Ok.). Sexy Grrl is a gritty electro-coustic anthem to a dreamy, faceless vision. It was me, boys, it was me.
I'd Pimp Them To: Runway show for Miu Miu. Nothing like a down-and-dirty track to make people forget that paying $800 for a sleeveless blouse is ridic.

Song #9:

Song Title: Bassment Party
Artist: The Cool Kids
The Dealio: And with number nine, an American band has finally made my list. I may be all about American brands, but it’s the music from other countries that are really the power houses. But such is not the case with The Cool Kids – a Chicago-Detroit duo that made things happen for themselves on MySpace. Bassment Party is a hip hop ode to getting drunk with pals, girls and frenemies.
I'd Pimp Them To: The Hills as the camera points to the exterior of an LA Club that none of use could ever get into.

***Edit*** This just in: The Cool Kids' Bassment Party was just featured on Sunday night's episode of Entourage. There you go ...

Song #10:

Song Title: Home Sweet Home
Artist: Those Dancing Days
The Dealio:
This Swedish band is the second act from Wichita records to feature on this list. What can I say - they're sweet, they have girl drummer, and they play easy-pop melodies that go down well with an iced Coca-cola, McFries and a sunny day. What's not to like?
I'd Pimp Them To: The highest bidder. This song could easily be seen in the new 90210, commercials for Volkswagen, IKEA, West Jet (if it wanted to mix things up), or any scene where Lauren is driving and/or crying. It's made for mainstream pimping.

Have songs you think would sell crap to people? Comment them!


23 Sept 2008

Older, and Probably Geekier

Today's the birthday. The 30th one. Yay.

Others my age may have had several important things on their plate today: children to manage, a business to run, a PhD to earn, whales to save ...

Not this gal. Nope. Instead, I basked in your love and then made a pie chart about it (I'm a PC, you see!):

Kind of interesting, isn't it? It's amazing how Facebook has made such a real dent into our communication style. Makes you wonder what it will be like when we're 40 or 50. You can bet I'll be all over making a chart then too.


22 Sept 2008

There is a Spotlight That Never Goes Out

There are some songs that I am better for having known and in many cases it's been pure dumb luck that I was introduced to them in the first place. It genuinely makes me sad that some people will never hear them.

Well, here's my effort to broaden the appeal of these forgotten gems. While I'm not suggesting that these songs are unknowns (especially among those who listened to college radio), I'm just saying that in my opinion, not enough people gave these a shot. My Top Fifteen Under-Exposed Tunes (for today - my opinion on the subject changes daily) await your clicking. Please give each song one full minute of your time. If you don't like them - fine - click on. If you do enjoy what you hear, Google their names and find other songs. Blog about them. Buy their stuff. They're just as good as any Britney, if not infinitely, ridiculously better.

In no particular order:
1. Ping Pong by Stereolab
2. No Milk Today by Herman's Hermits
3. Def Con One by Pop Will Eat Itself
4. 100% by Sonic Youth (PS: The cute skater with the chops in the video is Jason Lee (Earl in My Name is Earl) back when he was a pro skater). Also, please look up every Sonic Youth song ever made (Bull in the Heather, Kool Thing, Mildred Pierce, Teenage Riot ... oh, my heart is fluttering). You will not regret it.
5. The Queen of Cans and Jars by Guided By Voices
6. Playground Love by Air
7. Both Hands by Ani DiFranco
8. You're Gonna Miss Me - 13th Floor Elevators
9. Je vais a Londres by Renée Martel (on that note, there are loads of underexposed Quebec artists)
10. Simple Things by Belle and Sebastian
11. Scuba Scuba by The Revillos
12. Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan
13. Reverence by Jesus and Mary Chain
14. A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday by De Le Soul
15. Ripple by The Grateful Dead

I also encourage anyone else who might possibly read this blog to create their own Under-valued / Under-exposed 15 (one good candidate is a certain Bellines, as I've always liked his musical taste) - because god knows, there's hundreds missing from mine!


19 Sept 2008

V is for Very Funny

When someone can poke fun of themselves, my like-factor for them always increases. It's probably why Matt Damon and Ben Affleck will likely always remain in my good books, no matter how many Giglis or Pearl Harbors they make. (Hmmm, those are all Ben examples - maybe someone should be running the scripts by his buddy Matt before signing on to shit). So, when a company manages to do this - somehow convincing 'top people' to not take their marketing sooo seriously - I want to become that company's girlfriend. And not just any girlfriend, the best kind of girlfriend - the girlfriend you are at the very beginning of a relationship. The kind that doesn't say "HA. RIGHT." at the suggestion of a blow-job.

A viral video by Verizon officially has me ready to break out the knee pads. We've all seen the Verizon Network commercials, yes? See what happens when Verizon decides to prank an unsuspecting customer with a public reenactment of their ad campaign:

Love it.


17 Sept 2008

I Am An Expert In Embarrassing Myself

This morning as I was getting ready for my day, I swung by the Wii Fit to do my daily Body Test (ie: weigh myself). As I was in no rush, I decided to goof around with it for a bit and started playing a few games, namely Hula Hoop.

For those not familiar with Wii Fit's Hula Hoop, you basically have to stand on a board and rotate your pelvis around to simulate hula-hooping. There's no way to not look like a moron while doing this.

Wii's demo of the game is below:

The person in that clip isn't trying really hard, I have to say. I'm rather competitive against myself, so I'm always trying to beat my high score - which means doing it really fast and getting my whole body involved to get more spins in.

So, yah, I'm having at 'er when I heard this huge, sudden BANG - like, right next to me. It surprised me so much that I even yelped (I don't know about you, but I'm not the type of person that audibly talks to herself, so I find it really weird and rare and noticeable when I make a noise when I'm by myself). Anyway, even though I closed our vertical blinds, I can still see quite clearly that there's a window washer about four feet away from me. And since he's essentially pressed up against the glass, he can totally see through the 'blind slits' at me.

But the worst part, was that this was all I was wearing at the time:

Nude Spanx pantyhose things.

And that's it.

No pants. No top. No bra. No dignity. All while feverishly gyrating my gut around.



10 Aug 2008

Are the Olympics over yet?

There's one sound I hate more than my alarm in the morning and that is the sound of TSN. Sport highlights, jock-speak, commentary ... UGH. Patrick likes to start and end his day with highlight reels and it drives me mental.

The frickin' Olympics have turned nearly every channel into a sports channel, and oh-my-fuck, do I ever loath it. I don't care. I don't care. I don't care. Why is someone jumping from a plank into water newsworthy? Why should my national pride swoon when a man throws a synethic ball into a small netted hoop? And does it really matter when someone jumps 1/2 inch higher than the last person? Did it inspire Israel and Palestine to high-five each other in a moment of "Humans Are AWESOME!" pride?

I'm all for people of the world coming together, but why does it have to occur for such a lame reason?

Does this post get me into the Grumpy Bitch Bastard Hall of Fame, or what?


25 Jun 2008

This Is A Happy Moment


I don't know when it happened or how long it will stay, but the best thing ever has just occurred:

I just found out we get Game TV.

We never used to. I used to try, now and again, just to see - and every time I'd flip to the channel I'd get the Rogers Digital Bitchslap Screen, informing me to pay up or get the hell out.

But ... oh .... no .... not this week! I pray it's not a demo week and that it's now just included in our package on a permanent basis.

But why has Game TV excited me in a way my husband cannot? It's because Game TV airs the show that would get me so, so psyched as a kid and now disturbingly giddy as an adult - JUST LIKE MOM.

This darling of a Canadian game show aired in the early and mid-eighties and teamed children (ages 7 to 11 or so) and their moms in a Newlywed style match-up. While that part was sort of boring and in some ways embarrassing to watch, the BEST PART EVER was the bake-off. Children were sent to a kitchen to 'cook' a specific recipe. The Moms had to sample each goodie and guess which was made by her child. But it wasn't that simple. No way, Jose. The show would give the kids access to WACKY ingredients. Like, you're told to make a brownie, but there's also ketchup and Gatorade and jellybeans on the table. Now, if you were nine, what would you add?



Here's a sample:

And just when you thought it couldn't get better, one of the prizes you could win was a trip to a camp where you could zipline into a lake. ZIPLINE INTO A LAKE!!!!

Just Like Mom was Just Like Crack to me.

I watch the show now and still find myself excited (although totally, totally disturbed by host Fergie Olver's begging of kisses from the young girls while their moms are still backstage. What the eff was up with that?).

If GameTV goes away from my package, I need to find out where I can petition to get this series on DVD. For serious.


3 Jun 2008

Back To The Playground I Go

I've mentioned before on this blog how I loathe Sex and the City. While its syndicated re-runs haunt me now and again, I've been happily free of what I hate most about Sex and the City: its drooling, impressionable, estrogen-fueled following.

Alas, my peace is broken. Last week, Sex and the City hit the big screen. Cue the gaggle of worshippers stampeding to be blessed by the horse-faced one. Cue the non-stop chatter and gushing and spewing of Sex-isms.

Recently, a group of women from work were chatting about the movie as they waited for the elevator. They stopped when they saw me. "Oh! Have you seen Sex and the City yet? We don't want to ruin it for you!" When I explained that no, I hadn't seen it and that there would be no 'yet' in my future, I received that old familiar Look.

It's a Look that I first vividly remember being exposed to in 1989 when I was in elementary school. 1989 hosted some substantial historical moments: The Exxon Valdez Spill, the Tiananmen Square massacre, the fall of the Berlin Wall ... but according to my female schoolmates at the time, 1989 only meant one thing:

The New Kids on the Block.

Oblivious to teeny-bopper pop culture (thanks to not being allowed to watch Much Music ... that's its own blog post ... a lack of resources for 'teen' magazines, and feeling satisfied with my parent-lead diet of The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Paul Simon), I was completely unprepared for The New Kid invasion. All of a sudden, every girl in my class showed up to school with a scrapbook dedicated to her favourite New Kid. Just as these girls would one day identify themselves as a Samantha, Carrie or Miranda - as children, they were known by whether they claimed Joey, Jordan or Donnie as their future husband.

I was very quickly educated in the Ways of the New Kid: Joey was the cute one, Jordan was the hot one, Donnie was the tough one, Jon was the sweet one and Danny was the guy that looked like a monkey that nobody really liked. And then one day, I learned that they sang.

Holding one end of an earphone from a girl’s Sony Walkman over morning recess, I heard my first New Kid song.

“Is that a girl?” I asked.

“NO! THAT’S JORDAN!” she spazzed. (Jordan was hers, you see – and not only did I just suggest he was a girl, I had just talked during his solo.)

“Oh. Right,” I said.

I sat there and listened. And listened some more. And slowly, my nose scrunched and my brow furrowed and I had officially had enough.

“Okay – thanks – you can have this back,” I said as I handed her my half of the (very stretched) headphone.

“DON’T YOU LIKE IT?” she spat, as if I had just turned away a bowl filled with money and chocolate.

“Mmm … nah. They’re no Beatles, that’s for darn sure.” (Again, thanks to my sheltered but quality upbringing, I had nothing by Paul and John to compare things to … that and I also had a habit of talking like an old man.)

I then noticed the herd. The Girl Herd. It was there all along, each member waiting for her own turn to listen to the New Kids on the Walkman. And now, they were all ready to turn on Little Miss Black Sheep. I received The Look.

“The Beatles?!” a girl, who I considered one of my better friends, exclaimed. “They’re so stupid. And so are you.” The Look is essentially this statement, but as told by a facial expression.

And as my face started to burn up with hatred and embarrassment, the recess bell rang and back to class we went. Within an hour, I had already received a note from the girl who had accused me of being stupid asking for a truce (“Circle YES or NO if we can be friends again.”) and like a wimp I had agreed to let it slide.

At lunch, after the sandwiches and Fruit Roll-Ups were eaten, the girls started to pool together with their scrapbooks, Bop Magazines and New Kids tapes to begin their new ritual – The New Kid Obsession Hour.

“Want to pick your favourite picture of Donnie?” the friend-foe asked – clearly extending the olive branch my way.

I looked over the scene of idiot girls – fawning (and some pretending to fawn - those were the ones who were relegated to liking Danny) over sub-par music, embarrassing dance moves and boys that didn’t even compare to Ringo. I was silently mad at myself for having even agreed to be friendly with the girl who called me stupid and did not want to spend the rest of my lunch drinking New Kid Kool-Aid.

“Uh – actually – I said I’d play Buns Up,” I lied.

Buns Up was a game that was played exclusively by boys. It involved throwing a small hard ball or tennis ball at a wall while everyone runs around. It’s more complicated than that, but the main point of the game was the punishment. Basically, if you didn’t touch the wall in time or if someone caught the ball you threw before it hit the pavement, you had to line up against the wall as someone threw the ball at your backside as hard as possible.

I never told the boys I’d join them for Buns Up, but when I showed up alone and in need of friends, I was quickly accepted into the game (fresh meat, you see). In the end (har?), I opted to have a small, hard object hurled at me for several months rather than having to join into the New Kid dribble.

And some things don't really change. I can't pretend to like SATC. I can't pretend to be excited over the film. And I can't pretend that I care if you think its sad or stupid or unfemale of me to not get excited over a bunch of hags moaning about their sex life for eight-millionth time. And no, I especially don't care that Big and Carrie get married (oh, right - spoiler alert, everyone.). So ... If anyone has a tennis ball handy, I'll happily hang out with you until Carrie and her ragged gang have gone to DVD.


26 Apr 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

So, just this week I whined about how the TTC didn't go on strike and forced everyone to give up their dream of a free day off due to a lack of transportation.

Late last night, in a real chump move, the TTC workers upped and striked. On a Friday night, at midnight. With just a one-hour of warning that people in a bar drinking would not have any awareness of.

TTC, this was not the deal.

The deal is you do this during the week. So we get a day off. With giddy anticipation of getting that day off.

Not while people are out enjoying the start of the weekend. Spending all but a pocketed $2.75 of their money on beer. In an area that is not so walkable to home. Where there aren't a lot of cabs, let alone cabs willing to go anywhere for said $2.75. When one is wearing heels that were already making one's feet sore just standing around drinking and were clearly not meant for cross-city distances.

You suck. And others agree.


22 Apr 2008

So Close, Yet So Far Away

Sunday was a sad day for my lazy cohorts of the city. The TTC, at the last minute, found common ground with its workers, and their union opted not to strike. The media naturally spoke of it all as a miracle and that "Torontonians are breathing a sigh of relief."

Uh, no. That sound was one of sulking and self-pity, actually. As mentioned in blog entries past, TTC strikes, in my neck of the social woods, are rare get-out-of-jail free card. No transportation = no going to work = patio, patio, patio. And as most people know, patio patio patio = a blissful neighbourly mood, even among the usual Toronto a-holes. Days like transit strikes are as close to a Magical City Moment as we can get (without the awesomeness of the entire eastern energy grid imploding on itself) and that horrible little union took that hope away from us.

Even though I don't even take the TTC anymore, I feel very wronged by the whole thing.


3 Mar 2008

What I Like. What I Dislike.

I watched Amelie the other day and remembered how much I enjoyed the scenes in which everyone's very particular likes and dislikes are discussed. You can catch some of them in this clip. Amelie had her own love of cracking crème brûlée sugar (which I also adore).

Anyhoo - it made think of my own.

Jen Likes:
* Making lists for pretty much anything
* Catching people trying to sneak up on you
* The feeling of washing the conditioner out of your hair
* Having a second glass of wine while knowing there's still enough in the bottle for a third
* Looking at the background of pictures and finding something hilarious
* Confidently giving directions to tourists
* Putting your cold feet on someone else's warm skin

Jen Dislikes:
* Radio hosts that broadcast their crank calls
* Saving seats in a busy theatre
* Having to ask friends for a ride somewhere
* Reaching for a door handle when you think someone might be on the other side of it, about to (accidentally) slam the door open in your face
* When people in movies put down an object (especially of importance) and you don't see the scene where they pick it back up and put it away somewhere safe
* That smell in the streets after its rained and worms are out
* When people spell it "Jenn"

What are yours?


28 Feb 2008

The Internet Never Fails To Impress Me

When you were a kid and didn't have to deal with stressy questions of life, you had time to mull those not-so-important questions over, like:

* Why do only Smurfette and Papa Smurf have hair?
* How come Goofy, the dog, can be Mickey's friend and drive a car, but Pluto, the dog, is Mickey's pet?
* Can Jon Arbuckle actually HEAR what Garfield is saying?

That last question has been given a twist by the owner of Garfield Without Garfield - who edits the Garfield comics to completely remove the unfunny cat. The result is a glipse of what Jon Arbuckle's non-hearing-Garfield life is really like.

Mad props to Bunny LaPin of Hitched for bringing this beautiful website to my attention.


20 Feb 2008

Imaginations Aren't Always Good Things

This blog marks the beginning of a tag called "Daddy Disclaimer". My parents and some relatives read this blog and I'm pleased that they do. However, they may not be so comfortable with certain subjects. Subjects that involve my descriptions of certain Lady Parts and certain "doings" of those Lady Parts. While this particular entry isn't all that graphic, I believe that it's a nice, soft way of introducing the "Daddy Disclaimer" - which is ultimately an upfront warning that an entry will involve mention of things most daddies don’t want to hear through the narration of their daughters. It is officially your fault if you continue reading and feel icky about doing so afterward.

Daddy Disclaimer is in effect.

So, this weekend, I felt like crap thanks to my period. My period is weird and has been for many years. It starts off like a normal person's, but then about two or three days in, it kicks itself into high gear and puts the pedal (that being my ovaries) to the metal (that being my pain threshold). Insane cramping, back pain and enough of "Aunt Flow's Special" to fully satiate many an Anne Rice character. The saving grace of this is that the intense badness can be tamed by Extra Strength Midol, a hot water bottle and tampons that are about as thick as grenades. In short, it's manageable and I have a system.

Late Sunday night, none of my standbys had any effect. Despite the barrage of pills and hot water bottles, I felt INTENSE pain through my abdomen accompanied with the feeling like someone was punching my 'gina and bum from the inside out. My lower back was crying for relief - and let me tell you - those stupid ThermaCare Heat Wraps are ridiculous pieces of shit that no one would back-flip over. Relief = NO. For hours, I felt the same aching, horrible pain and it literally kept me awake through the night.

At about 3:30am, my underslept imagination took hold and formed the only conclusion it could to explain this level of pain: I was going into labour. Despite using the best birth control ever (ABSTINENCE! Ha - kidding. Sorry, Daddy Disclaimer, for that glimmer of fake sunshine!), I convinced myself in the wee hours of the night that I was about to deliver a baby on my couch. Panic took me. I was already a bad mother. How many drinks have I had over the past few months? Moreso, how many times have I been Silly Drunk? Ughhh – and what about that time the barbell accidentally flopped on my tummy at the gym? Would baby have knees growing in the opposite direction and eyes growing next to its ears? After a great deal of silent sulking, I felt it was time to just face the facts and my ugly, horrible baby: I decided to push. I decide to just do it and deal with the badness of my motherhood and to make each day an improvement from that moment.

And then.


It happened.

I released the most pent-up fart of my life.

It was a fart that could have launched a thousand ships, leveled a small city and inspired the first all-tuba orchestra. God bless that fart. I gave birth to the most wonderful bundle of carbon dioxide to ever grace the earth. I know all mothers believe their offspring are the best, but I really mean it!

When the dust cleared (literally), I felt silly and stupid for fretting over “my baby” and quickly went to sleep. All was right in the world. Guilt-free living was still mine to enjoy. My butt-ugly baby didn't have to debut just yet.


5 Feb 2008

In Good Company

After my last post about Torontonians and the snow, I was sent links to two fantastic Rick Mercer videos in which he explores a concept I am very familiar with: Toronto The Wimp. He's bang on, as usual, and has given me a wonderful (and very handy) new word to add to my lexicon. I shall use it daily.



1 Feb 2008

The Great White Narcissists

Today, Toronto is a living snow globe. Heaps of the white stuff have hit the city square in the crotch and everyone is in full-blown, keeled-over storytelling mode of their individual "survivor story" of how they made it to work.

"I had to shovel my pathway before I could leave! Yah, it was really bad!"

"What normally takes me 40 minutes took me 1.5 hours!"

"Geeez, look at my pant legs! Does anyone have a hair dryer?"

"We all had to huddle on the GO Train platform together for warmth!"

Even though I live mere minutes away from my office, I clearly can’t be left out and must rant a bit about my trek.

Torontonians, you have so much to learn about snow etiquette. In other areas of the country, where folks are much less a-holey and much more adaptive to weather conditions, there are certain rules that people abide by. They’re not posted anywhere and rarely spoken of, but we all just follow them for the betterment of humankind. Since so many people in this city have no concept of consideration for others, I’ll lay them out for you:

1. When there is a single-person path through the snow (a sidewalk full of snow, and a path that is just wide enough for one person to walk on it), you need to share. If there are two people walking toward each other, the nice thing to do is for each person to keep one foot on the path and put the other foot into the snow as you pass each other. That way, each person gets a bit of path, a bit of snow and we keep things equal. Toronto: You do not keep barreling down the path, assuming the other person will just dive out of your way like some kind of game of chicken. And if that person doesn’t immediately sacrifice themselves into a snow bank to make way for your precious self, you don’t smash up against them without a word of apology. You stupid, stupid pricks.

2. If you’re one of those dorks who uses an umbrella in the snow, LIFT or TURN the umbrella so that you don’t impale peoples’ faces with its little spokes. Do not treat your umbrella like one of those supped-up Roman chariots that takes out whatever and whoever is next to you.

3. People in cars: Get over yourselves. Think about it – you’re SITTING in a dry, warm vehicle listening to music and sipping your coffee. You can wait the whole three seconds for the people WALKING outside in the wet, cold, slippery weather to make it across the street. Glaring and huffing and puffing over this horrible inconvenience just proves that it’s not human blood that runs through your veins but the toilet flushings from a roadside cantina.

There are more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you, Hogtown. And for the wonderfully people of this city that already follow these rules: Thank you! (And what part of the country are your originally from?)


26 Jan 2008

Greetings From the House of Snot

Ahhh, weekend. Thank Jebus.

This week we’ve been in plagued with illness. Patrick in particular. The walk-in clinic diagnosed him as having some kind of virus – so he’s been acting like a little bitch staying at home to deal with the congestion and feverishness.

He’s been living on the couch all week – dozing, working on the laptop, watching TV, eating the food that I fetch him. He’s been layered in blankets and his hoodie with a mounting collection of stuff (Kleenex boxes, empty bottles of ginger ale, cracker crumbs) gathering around him. Think of a skinnier Jabba the Hut (complete with strings of mucous) and our Ektorp as his platform, and you have what I see in our living room.

Thankfully, among his *cough cough, wimper* requests for soup, Vicks Vapo Rubs and new batteries for the remote, there has not been one for a metal bikini.


15 Jan 2008

I Suck, Part 18

How many times have I restarted this blog? It's probably comparable to the number of diets I've signed up for and only lasted 2 weeks on (again and again and again). My life is just one big Ctrl-Alt-Del.

Well, here I am (for today).

Things new:
* The husband and I are eating healthy, with exception of Tuesday nights (today! RAAAAAA!).
* We're starting to plan for a European vacation in the spring.
* Our kitchen is done. Our bathroom is NOT.
* I'm a good cook. My mother is still better.
* I'm currently in LURVE with 80s yuppie movies.
* I have a GP. For the first time in 8 years.
* Nothing in the world is cuter than my mom saying the word "douche". As in "You haven't updated your blog since you mentioned working with all those .... douches."

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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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