19 Aug 2010

Awesome. Totally. Totally. Awesome.

Nerdly Childhood Confession: I was always scared to touch my Jabba the Hut action figure (er, rather inaction figure - you really couldn't do much with him) because I kept psyching myself out into thinking he was actually a blob of diarrhea. I'd even put my hand in my sleeve and use my shirt to pick him up, fearful of getting Jabba poop on my skin. I did the same thing with those dung-like plastic Glo Worms, too. Oh, nerdly, crazy, baby Jen.

I was reminded of this memory by an amazingly fun video by Patrick Boivin. Even though I am a Star Trek girl at heart and will forever pray to the temple of Spock, I have to bow down to his "AT-AT Day Afternoon":

AT-AT day afternoon from Patrick Boivin on Vimeo.


15 Aug 2010

It Really IS Greener On The Other Side

Ever since I did the 50s Housewife Experiment, I've been striving to make healthier and more conscious food choices. After having eaten the 1950s way for two weeks, I keep envisioning all the gelatin, canned vegetables and flour-drenched meat still globbing onto my colon like a bunch of skeevy remoras.

When my father-in-law passed away, all healthy intentions went out the door for a couple weeks and we lived off the goodness of others who brought trays of food over to my mother-in-law's house. People were so kind and generous that nearly every surface of the home had food on it.

As my brother-in-law cleverly observed, "nothing says 'sorry for your loss' like little triangle sandwiches and cubes of cheese."


Anyway, when people pour their hearts into food for you during a difficult time like that, you don't stop and ask them if they know if the ham in those sandwiches were factory-farmed or if they could make that lasagna in a vegetarian version next time. No, you don't say that unless you're a sack of crap. Instead, you are so grateful and awed by their kindness that you take their gifts with wholehearted appreciation.

But we've been back home for a while and it's high time that we return to healthful, whole eating. I've been pretty good this week, but today is officially (or maybe not "officially", I have no idea. Do hippies ever fill in the paperwork to make things official?) Green Smoothie Day.

The concept is simple: Take some fruit, take some leafy greens, add a bit of water and blend. Add in extras to suit your taste. The result is a tasty and all-natural fibre, vitamin, mineral and water-rich drink that can easily replace one of your meals. You'll feel better, get loads of veg and fruit for a meal and maybe even drop a pound or two if you drink them consistently.

I've decided to join the BiG Green Smoothie 10-day Challenge and make smoothies a part of my day during that time. You can obviously just do it and not pay, but I'm kicking in $10 to the cause as all the money goes to help a cute girl's club in NY. Yay for being good at such an affordable rate.

In anticipation of Green Smoothie Day, I've 'been on' green smoothies for most of last week, experimenting with what I like best. My favourite green smoothie thus far is:

  • Pineapple (about a quarter of a fresh pineapple, chopped up)
  • One frozen banana
  • A third of a large cucumber (if it isn't organic, peel it. Leave the peel on if it is organic)
  • A whole bunch of kale leaves (a couple handfuls)
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • A couple tablets of chlorella (totally optional)
  • A tablespoon of bee pollen (totally optional)
  • Some water (maybe 1/2 a cup)
It's really yummy. I swear. Yes, it smells a touch 'green' (not quite like grass, not quite like a salad) but it tastes like tasty, tasty fruit.

Not totally convinced? Well, here's the bonus:

Big, long, green poops.

(and that's the real tie-in to today's blog title. It's OK, look back - or up - to see what it is. I don't expect you to remember such things.)

When I drink green smoothies, my poops are truly epic. If it wasn't for a fear that this site would get flooded by people who have certain fetishes, I would totally post a picture of one of my green toilet babies for you all to admire. Even if you're not the type who is impressed with a good poop (my god, what DOES please you?), these would captivate you for at least, like, five seconds before you turned away and pretended to be disgusted. It's like that scene in Contact when Jodi Foster lands on the other planet and whispers in awe, "they should have sent ... a poet." Yah, that. These poops are muses.

And - that - my friends, is my pitch for you to try a green smoothie. Amazing that the marketing agency I was with let me walk away, right?


11 Aug 2010

This is How Much I Hate Cats

There's a story in the news right now about some nutbag who planned to eat his cat after it was "mean" to him:

When Ferry-Fillmore District officers pulled over a car driven by Gary L. Korkuc on Sunday night during a traffic stop, they said they heard a cat crying from inside the trunk and investigated.

What they found has left animal lovers at the SPCA Serving Erie County in shock.

The cat, according to police, was in a cage “marinating” in a mixture of crushed red peppers, chili pepper, salt and oil.

“It’s disgusting. It surprises me every day what people are capable of when it comes to violence, whether it is animals or people,” said Gina M. Browning, the SPCA’s director of public relations. “I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”

And the thing that struck me most about this story?

This guy has no idea how to cook.

Seriously, who puts the marinade on the fur?


5 Aug 2010

A Big Gay Memory of Paul

Hey, California finally got with it and realized it was unconstitutional (and therefore unAmerican!) for the people to vote on and lord over the rights of a specific minority group! Imagine that! Hopefully the rest of the country will follow suit, one judge at a time.

Those who know me know I love The Gays and spent many years as a professional hag working for Xtra, a gay and lesbian newspaper. In fact, I was at Xtra and was rooming with my very good friend, who happened to be a gay man, when I met and started dating my now-husband, Patrick.

Once things became more serious between Patrick and I, he told his family all about me, where I worked and my homo-loving ways. It was a non-issue, but Patrick wanted to make sure that his father, Paul, didn't say anything that could possibly offend his new love, Queen Fruit Fly. Now, Patrick's dad was not a homophobe. He really didn't care what people did with one another and when it came down to it, he was all for equal rights and freedoms. He did, however, love humour that wasn't always politically correct and enjoyed a little shock value in his jokes.

So, poor Paul was on very good behaviour the first few times I met him. Oh, how it must have pained him to not make a few quips when I explained how busy I was at work, what with the Dyke March to attend and the Rainbow Coalition meetings. How desperately he must have bit his lip when, as we all drove down Church Street together to grab lunch, we passed by a man wearing hot pants and a bib. And how his insides must have shredded with unsaid comments when I ran into someone with whom I was negotiating a sponsorship - and later had to explain to my husband's family that, no, that wasn't a guy I was talking with - that was actually a woman named Beth.

One day, Paul couldn't quite take it anymore. Pretending to ignore all of these euphoric sprays of gay gay gay all around him was taking a toll on his underused funny bone. But at the same time, he knew that Patrick would be mighty ticked if he said something that would make Patrick look like he was from a family of backward, slack-jawed hicks.

"What am I allowed to say?" Paul asked me one day. "I hear you say 'dyke' and 'queer' - but I'm guessing I can't say that."

"Well ... I'm usually referring to something specific, like the Dyke March, which is what it's called. Plus, it's really their term to use, not ours," I said.

"So, it wouldn't be wrong if I saw a guy on the street and said 'I bet that guy is gay?'" Paul said.

I suppressed a laugh. "Um, you could, but, I doubt people would appreciate someone pointing at them and saying 'there's a gay!'"

Paul frowned, likely envisioning years of putting up with his son's uppity, humourless girlfriend.

"How about this," I finally offered. "You can use what I'd use at Xtra - they're subscribers to our newspaper."

I'm pretty sure that's the moment I won him over. His eyes lit up and a big grin spread across his face. "Subscribers!" he said, enchanted with this new word. It was as if the gates of heaven had just parted before him and cherubs - carrying scrolls of potential gay jokes - were dancing before him on the clouds.

So, from that day on, the word "subscriber" was used to describe anything homosexual in nature. Not a get-together went by that I didn't hear Paul use that term with great delight. On one hand, he still got to make his jokes and point out the gay gay gay of life (usually at the expense of his sons. Paul was in his full subscriber glory the day Patrick wore a purple tie). On the other hand, Paul was actually, in an odd way that makes me smile, demonstrating his new sensitivity around the issue.

Yesterday, when California was progressing toward greater equality, we received the following in the mail. It made me think of Paul:

Just as Paul would have, I handed it to Patrick and told him it was addressed to him. We had a good laugh over it, just as Paul would have, too.

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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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