29 Aug 2011

It Turns Out That Weeds Were My Friends

As a kid, I never understood the phrase "ignorance is bliss". This is in large part because the only other times I heard the word "ignorance" being used, it was in relation to racism. So, in my mind, "ignorance is bliss" equated to "racism is bliss" - which sounds like the sort of thing you'd expect to see on a postcard from a KKK compound or a cross-stitch in Hitler's powder room.

But now that I understand the full meaning of the word and the phrase, I can agree that ignorance can, in fact, be quite blissful.

I bring this up because today, the day after Patrick mowed our jungle of a lawn, I can now actually see more of the goings-on in our backyard. Specifically, the rat that keeps running between our neighbour's junk pile, across our property, and into our other neighbour's garden. Gross, gross, gross.

This paired with the fact that I saw a shadow dart along the ground in our furnace room the other day has turned me into a giant, jumpy, possibly (but probably not) paranoid freak.

Ugh. I'm not sure if I wish I didn't know, I just wish rat (and friends?) didn't exist in my bubble. One thing is clear: I sure as fuck won't be taking a 'vegan' approach to all this.

OMG, you're going to *eat* the rat?

Uh, no. But I won't be "humanely" trapping them only to release them into someone else'e neighbourhood either.


26 Aug 2011

Overheard: TV Relationships and More Weeping For the Future

While waiting for the streetcar at Broadview Station. Two possible co-workers are standing ahead of me in a conversation:

Young woman in pink blouse (YWIPB):  You know what I always wondered? Why didn't Ross and Monica ever get together?

Woman in pencil skirt (WIPS): Because that would have been incestuous.

YWIPB: Whatever! That whole show was incestuous! Rachel and Ross, Joey and Rachel, Chandler and Monica ...

WIPS: No, I mean, it would have literally been incestuous.

YWIPB: Wait ... I'm talking about the TV show, Friends, not a book! What are you thinking of?

WIPS (and me): Oh my God ...


25 Aug 2011

Sew Excited!

Guess what I did yesterday?

Trimmed your moustache?


But I also went to my first sewing class! Relearning how to sew has long been on my list of to-dos for a lot of reasons - capabilities are good, I've always wanted to try to make my own clothes and home decor items, and I don't want to be a total moron when I eventually take on the 40s War Wife Experiment (eeee!), whose mantra of "Make Do and Mend" involved far, far more skills than I currently possess (and I doubt my strongest ability - yelling at the TV during Bachelor Pad while ignoring the little voice inside my head that says I should read a book instead - will be of much use).

Yesterday's was the first of six 'learn to sew' classes I'm taking at The Make Den in Toronto and it was awesome! It's during the afternoon, so there were only four of us there; two of us were the self-employed type, one was a Masters student and another girl who had an employer that basically lets her work from home and on her own hours (if only all offices were like that). In other words, three out of four of us taking the class were modern-day bums. Hurrah!

Along with learning how to thread the machine and checking out the different stitches, we made our first project - a headband with an elasticated back. Here it is modelled on moi - the girl who can't take a front-facing shot of herself to save her life:

Here's a shot that nine out of ten brooding teenage Twilight fans prefer:

Oooo. Can you feel the angst?

Before you know it, I'll be making other crafty headware, like the kind modelled on this lady from the I-shit-you-not-it's-actually-real cover of the July 1974 Women's Circle magazine:

If you thought the 50s housewife was a little nuts, I'm telling you, she had NOTHING on the 70s crafty housewife. The magazines I have from that era are full-on crazeballs (I'll scan some pics from those shortly. Total goldmine.).

I like to think that it's actually these women that got men on board with 'women's lib'; her husband would come home from work to discover his wife had spent the entire day making bizarre skunk hats, shitty teddy bears and a meal made with heaping amounts of 'healthy' margarine and Sweet n' Low.

"Honey, maybe you should get a job," he'd say as he'd bewilderedly stare at the growing collection of macramé owls and aluminium foil sculptures decorating the home.

"Oh, hush," she'd say, as she'd glue a googly eye onto her latest piece of art. "Do you really want a wife who works outside the home? I wouldn't have the time to do all these lovely things around the house. That reminds me, I made you a new vest ..."

Image Source: Handmade By Mother
I promise that this sewing class won't be the gateway drug into bad crocheted items. I hope.


23 Aug 2011

A Colourful Post

As the title suggests, this blog post is going to filled with the most filthy, adolescent, trashy, pearl-clutching language ever...

Or just a picture of my motherfucking salad:

A super colourful salad! It's watermelon, cucumber, lime juice, fresh mint and just a sprinkle of pink salt to tie it all together. It's like summer in a bowl - and now, summer is in my stomach.

I have still been at this mostly vegan, mostly raw business. The result thus far? Eight fatty pounds down, son! It actually would have been more had I not given in to the siren's call of wine and cake and hamburger and chips at a recent event, but, whatev. Now and again, crap is good for the soul.

The aforementioned event was my friend Siobhan's daughter's 2nd birthday. And because I am AWESOME and because I am CHEAP crafty, I made Charlotte a gift of homemade playdoughs.

 But these aren't ordinary playdoughs! Not only did I use some rather uppity natural food dyes, I also scented each dough wad with the most wonderful food-grade aromatherapy oils ever. Living Libations makes some of the best smelling oils and beauty products as well as yummy raw chocolate so 'buzzworthy' it was mistaken for hash at the Toronto airport. The goodies are made by a hard-working hippie couple operating out of beautiful lake country Ontario, so I like the added bonus that it's localish.

Anyhoo - I made lavender, peppermint, lime, cinnamon, lemon, and tangerine playdoughs. This is really one of the rare moments that I wish you could take a whiff of my surroundings. You'd have a nosegasm.

Charlotte's reaction to them was great and she basically stuck her face in each container and snorted them like an adorable cokehead. I point that out not only to emphasize how amazeballs me and my gifts are, but when the opportunity arises to use the phrase "adorable cokehead", you take it.


22 Aug 2011

Things He Can Count On

Just received an "urgent" text message from Patrick:

Bunbun!!! Man U game is on now. RIGHT NOW! Can you PVR it? Pleeeeease?

I think a part of him knew that I couldn't be bothered to put on underwear today, and would therefore be available at home to handle this timely favour.

Reliability, people; that's the special thing that I bring to a relationship.


17 Aug 2011

I Won't Be Posting A Picture of This

Image Source.
Ever watch those nature shows and there are flies - or even bats - on large animals, biting away at them, and you're like - WHY CAN'T THEY FEEL THAT? WHY AREN'T THEY FREAKING OUT? I BET THEY WISH THEY HAD ARMS!

I just discovered that I am such a beast. Apparently, some random insect chowed down on the buffet called Jen while I was tending to our dying rose bush (see? I told you I would kill it) the other day.

I didn't realize it until I was undressing that night and felt something raw, stingy and bumpy beneath one of my lady bags.

Yeah, that's right, some nasty little insect got in my bra and bit my tit about 20 times.

Ow. Ow. Ow.


16 Aug 2011

Vegans: A History of Sucking

The other day when I was at the organic market, I came across two people who made me want to roll my eyes so hard that I'd risk bursting blood vessels. They are the veggie hippies of the worst kind: the pretentious and the posers.

Jen, who are you to call anyone a poser? Aren't you barely a week into your veggie lifestyle?

Duh, I know. And I'm not referring to myself as a veggie or a vegan as I'm not one (meat's still on the table - just really infrequently). By poser, I mean people who buy and say all the peace love yoginess but then act like royal dickheads to their fellow (wo)man. Like this:

I was walking toward a refrigerated cabinet when another woman got there first (imagine that, someone moving faster than me). No biggie. Since it was a narrow-ish display, I decided to just wait until she was done. Patiently. Happily. No, really! I had just found Saskatoon berries! I was as silently ecstatic as I could be.

But then I saw the thing I had gone there for, right at the end of the shelf. The woman wasn't looking at it or near it, rather she was holding the door open as she read the ingredients on another package from the other end of the shelf. So, I calmly and smoothly - without touching or interfering with the woman whatsoever - plucked the package and popped in into my basket.

"I'm not holding the door open for YOU, you know," snapped the hag.

Ugh, seriously. Get over yourself. But that wasn't the worst of it or what made her a poser. What made her a giant fake was that when she was at the cash register, she turned to the cashier and said with blowhard hippie breathiness:



I'm sure if she wasn't carrying grocery bags she would have made the little prayer hands gesture along with it too.

Here's a fact for you: All the hemp milk, bamboo skirts and Sanskrit in the world can't make you an enlightened, spiritual being if you act like a self-centred d-bag to random strangers.

The other encounter, in the very same store, was brief but also indicative of why people hate vegans (and possibly Torontonians). As she was walking by the (organic, ethically raised) meat, a woman plugged her nose, glared at the man who was stocking it and quite audibly said, "SICK."

Again: SHUT THE FUCK UP. If you don't want to eat meat, fine, but the enemy isn't the business that buys pasture-raised beef. And if we're talking about things that inspire nose-plugging and gagging, consider adding your armpits to the list.

Because I can never steer far away from things vintage, I looked to see if some vegans have always been horrible or if it's just a new age thing. It's not. Check out this January 1953 article from the Milwaukee Sentinel:

Ugh. "You're addicted to the taste of dead flesh." Bah. You really think that will influence people to give up meat and go veg? Think anyone wants to be just like you?

Be the change, people. And learn to laugh at yourself while you're at it.


12 Aug 2011

Brought To You By The Letter C

Because "C" is for CUTE:

My favourite reaction is around the 1:09 point in the video. Ahh!


11 Aug 2011

This Vegan Crap is Already Paying Off

Oh, hey, what's that, Jen? Another stolen stock photo of Saskatoon Berries? Why, no, voice-in-my-head, it's not! It's a photo *I* took. YESTERDAY. IN TORONTO.

That's right folks, fresh Saskatoon berries are in my hands (or more accurately - mouth) thanks to a wee trip to The Big Carrot. I had gone there to pick up local dinosaur kale and other goodies for a green juice and when I rounded a corner in the produce aisle, I nearly wept. Fresh, wild, non-frozen Saskatoon berries ready to put in my face. MIRACLE!

Thank you, Hippie Vegan Jesus, for guiding me to them. Because that's how Hippie Vegan Jesus spends His time and powers - inspiring fatties to go to organic markets.

Now here's the horrifying part:

"But that's for a bushel of them, right?" my prairie friends and family ask.


It turns out that Hippie Vegan Jesus is also a fan of butt crazy capitalism.


9 Aug 2011

Turning Over A New (Kale) Leaf

Hello! It feels like it's been forever, right? What can I say - I'm slightly addicted to Rocket Mania very busy and important.

Our new home still isn't pretty enough for the kind people of the Internet to judge, so no pics of the new place yet. The big hold-up is that we're waiting on some very necessary storage furniture to arrive. Right now the whole place has a Dude In A Dorm Room vibe thanks in large part to our various Rubbermaid containers strewn about the place. Talk about versatility; one in the centre of the room becomes a coffee table, and a stack of them double as lousy and confusing installation art (is there any other kind?)!

Until very recently, the Dude In A Dorm Room look was fully completed with a fridge (rather, freezer and cupboard) filled with Junk Foods From Hell. The process of selling our condo got us into awful, embarrassing eating habits that we gleefully brought with us to our new home. While we weren't eating out as much, we were, unfortunately, still going for those uber convenience "foods". I'm talking frozen pizzas, hot dogs, chips, dips ... and recently, a new low: A couple weeks ago, I brought home some purple stuff. Oh, the shame.

And then a week ago I found my scale in a box and for a self-hating lark, I stepped on it right there and then.


I'll put it this way; if I lost HALF my bodyweight, I'd be a very tiny, knobby-kneed, angry person - but probably not dead. And that is ... disturbing (and admittedly a strange way to gauge one's health).

This, paired with some truly unfortunate pictures of me that were taken recently at the Byck Family Reunion that I instantly untagged from Facebook like a fat assassin, has kicked me into gear. So ... I'm going back to a whole foods, largely raw vegan (but not totally) way of eating while incorporating more healthy holistic habits into my day. Don't worry - I won't be turning this into a diet blog - the world has too many of those as it is - but this post is a warning that I might yap about green juices, poor attempts at yoga and how much I hate attractive people ... more often than usual.

I'll be taking cues from Kris Carr, Alicia Silverstone (as if!), and other purveyors of random hippie nonsense - all to be taken with heaps of (ethically procured Pink Himalayan) salt.

It's about to get crunchy in here.

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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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