Monday, August 31, 2009

New and Improved Winnie!!! with 50% fewer cavities!!! Finally, after too many months, I visited the dentist and got 2 of my 4 cavities filled. I know, you'd think I brush with that icing that comes in a tube - simple mistake. My health benefits had kicked in (or so I hope) and it was becoming excruciating to eat ice cream - that just couldn't go on.

There are few words that feel worse to say than: "Sorry about the crying."

There are several situations in which one (ok, fine, me/I) might say these words and none of them are good. You've likely just cried in front of someone else who is not crying or at a time and place that should not call for any crying of any kind.

Saying these words to the dental assistant after you've just yelped in pain then full-on cried while the needle is still sticking out of your gums, is the lowest of the low.

I am full-grown and I am too old for this behaviour and yet I knew it would happen. I am not above the pain. I thought reading a Reader's Digest would calm my nerves, but it turns out "Life's Like That" just isn't that funny.

I wonder if my dentist was a young hot guy if I would somehow swallow the tears and act my age. Doubtful, but it would be an enjoyable experiment.

Seriously, people...

Ok, I will freely admit that much of the news information I receive comes from the following sources:
- The Early Show on CBS as I eat my cereal each morning
- whatever Roger, Darren and Marilyn tell me as I commute into work
- the blurbs as I check my email

But from these sources I have pieced together an outrageous news story about Abdel Basset al-Megrahi (the person convicted and jailed for the Lockerbie plane bombing of 1988) being released early from life imprisonment on compassionate grounds. He is dying from cancer and has been allowed to go home to Libya to live out his last days.

The craziest part of this story is the hero's welcome he received when he arrived home. And then there is talk of people doing whatever they can to keep Libya (an oil country) happy, or the idea that al-Megrahi's trial wasn't a clean sweep and perhaps he was falsely convicted.

I don't know very much about this, but what are these people thinking?? What do they think life in prison means? I can't even begin to imagine how the families of the victims feel about this - it's like a slap in the face. The solace they might have received on the day of his verdict has been washed away.

No matter what illness or personal 'tragedy' has befallen him, it is my opinion that there is no justification for his early release. It's not like he's committed a crime where he can be considered for early parole based on good behaviour - he's been convicted of killing 270 people!

Are people mad?!

Summer So Long

Today is the last day of August, and effectively the last day of summer, as I see it. Sure, we may get one or two more scorching days, but each morning from here on out will begin with frosty dew on each car and I fear my swimming days are behind me for another year. I adore an Indian Summer and I hope we get one, but I always enjoy the transition into fall. The colours, the smells (that usually include a pig roasting at the restaurant on the corner), the ability to wear Henleys and wool dresses with bare legs for only a few short's all good.

Plus, the pressure of summer is over. Every sunny day of summer has to be THE BEST DAY EVER!!! We don't want to waste any of them. People have every weekend planned to the gills, BBQs are a requirement and there is always something more seasonally appropriate I could be doing. I love summer, but I enjoy the different pace of fall. People are back to work, back from vacation and more open to doing something because they're not exhausted from all the BEST TIMES EVER.

I like to hunker down, hibernate, pull out the wool tights and black patent flats and submit to the crisp bite in the air. I guarantee in about 4 months, I will be bemoaning the temperature and probably commit several posts to winter driving alone, but I hope I remember this feeling as summer tips over to fall. There's nothing like it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How the French do it...

Last Tango in Paris.

You may have heard of it. It's a 1972 film with Marlon Brando and subtitles. Very French. It's often on many sexiest movie lists. SB couldn't believe I hadn't seen it and insisted I come over in my pyjamas to watch it with her. While I was viewing the movie, she got a front row seat to the explosion of patterns that were my pyjamas.

Pants: poker suits
Tee: Spice Girls concert tee in varying shades of neon
Pillow Accessory: pink paisley
Sweater: blue and brown plaid

While watching this movie, I thought, "Ok, so this isn't really my thing, but I can see how the artsy, obscure French-ness of this would appeal. It's pretty sexy." Then, "Hmm, ok, this girl is a totally insecure idiot and this guy looks like a flasher. It's all highly improbable." And finally, "What the-? Why isn't this over yet? Oh right, because this girl hasn't lost every ounce of self dignity yet. Oh, ok, there it goes."

Luckily I was being plied with fig and olive tapenade and SB gave me the fuzzier blanket, otherwise, well, I would have at least thought about falling asleep. This movie is so ridiculous. Or if it's not ridiculous, it's so infuriating how this guy treats this girl and how the girl continues to take it. Plus, it's really ruined butter, pigs and fingernails for me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Burger Bust

With a nod to the guy who has called me Stretch (one of my favourite nicknames) from the beginning....


Ugh, it's true...

It's official: I no can longer go to clubs.

I always knew this day would come, but never so soon. Ok, maybe I should rephrase, lest I spend my weekends prematurely thrust into The Land of No Dancing:

I can no longer go to clubs favoured by children.

This past Friday, the regulars and myself decided to go OUT. Shari had purchased not one, not two, but three DIY smokey eye makeup kits. Yes, that's right. One in each shade of skank.

Naturally, I was chosen to implement the smokey eye effect which had been guaranteed to lure the men. Or randy raccoons with poor eyesight. Now, I rarely wear eye makeup myself, but was sure it would be a piece of cake. Without poking her in either of her eyes and only veering off course once due to incessant laughter, I pulled it off.

Once she had access to a mirror, she thought differently. Here is how the package suggested her eyes would look. Sexy and bad-ass.

This is how it turned out. Sort of. I couldn't get to a camera fast enough.

Once I came to terms that I may not have a future as a MAC counter girl, and Paul had decided he was drunk enough to try and pull off pearl bracelets.....there are no words..... we went out.

Intended look: Actual look:

Club One: Stayed for about 20 minutes, just enough time to do the following:

- look at (or rather, down at) all the short man-boys
- allow Paul to see inside the club, since the last time he had been there, he was camped out in a head-between-knees position in the car
- have one drink
- realize that everyone in there must be under 22
- walk around in a snobby way
- get checked out, natch

Club Two: Stayed for the rest of the night, probably only because we were too lazy to seek out Club Three. Here we encountered the following:

- the clingy 18 year-old girl who goes to the club wearing Lulu Lemon pants. Yeah.
- the point where Shari's "wicked, awesome, why haven't I been wearing these all summer?" shoes become the "I'll be sitting down over there" shoes
- high school guy who hit on me with the opener, "I'm a professional fighter" and followed up with "I'm 20. Well, 19, almost 20." I followed up with, "Don't follow me."

Seriously, why so young? Why so annoying? Where can one of a...certain age dance it up without fear of munchkins who are out past their curfew?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Facts, Jack and Truth, Ruth

For whatever reason, I'm in a confessional mood and I'm willing to reveal the following:

- Most of the knowledge I have about the Canadian government and how it works I have learned from Rick Mercer

- I strongly dislike mushrooms, tomatoes and onions as much as I did as a child. I should have grown out of this. Interestingly, or maybe not so much, I'm not a picky eater.

- I don't really know what the phrase "in a vacuum " means and and I'm definitely never confident when I use it.

- I am 100% convinced I can launch my car Dukes of Hazard-style over these train tracks near my house. I am 78% sure I will one day attempt it. Maybe in a rental car.

- Just this month, four of the seven demerit points have been removed from my driving record. According to the MTO, I have been a menace to society for the past two years. Mwa-ha-ha.

- I enjoy swimming far more when I am able to wear a scuba mask. That way I am fish-like and don't have to worry about plugging my nose. Any other way, I get water up in my brain.

- I can't dive.

- When I walk to my car at night, I always remember that urban legend about someone who lays under cars and cuts ankles to disarm women. I only remember it for a minute, but usually every time.

- Generally, I think the way I do things is best.

- Lately, everything I do causes me to consider if I could write it in a blog post.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Julie and Julia and Melissa and Katy

I saw "Julie and Julia" last night with Katy. I found it highly entertaining and it's about time there's a chick flick worth seeing this summer. Watching the trailer I thought I wouldn't be able to get past Meryl Streep's annoying, if apparently accurate voice, and Amy Adams' hideous and confusingly not-that-accurate haircut, but I was wrong.

(And apparently I was wrong about these haircuts looking so different. Hmmm. Ok, I take that back.)

It was funny, warm, sweet and I'm a sucker for any movie that mentions my cooking goddess, Barefoot Contessa. To be fair, this was the first movie I heard her mentioned, but I've just given a gem of information to any filmmaker with me as their target market.
The one thing I couldn't get past was Julie's husband's eating. Not so much eating like a regular adult, but more like slurping, chomping, and devouring like a child who was raised by ill-mannered wolves. It was disgusting. Plus, the movie was all about food and they wasted no opportunity to show him chowing down. It reminded me of when I've been sitting in silence with someone and all I can hear is their chewing and swallowing. It's revolting and last night in the theatre, I kept involuntarily wincing.

I more than occasionally put my elbows on tables and sometimes I speak before my mouth is completely empty, but poor table manners are a complete turn-off. Ugh. That's going on the list for sure.

What I learned today....

1) If I snooze, I will lose. That dresser unit I've been coveting had a SOLD sign on it today when I went to buy it. If ever my face was crestfallen, it was today at 5:17pm. Sigh. It really took the wind out of my sales (yes, I did make that typo, but then thought it could work, so I left it). However, I will not make this mistake in the future. The next cool piece of furniture I see, I will not wait several weeks to buy. Three weeks maximum.

2) My friend Naomi, who is a school teacher, is very bored this summer. This is what she took the time to do today. It actually might turn out to be helpful since I'm currently deciding on my new haircut.

3) The cards offered by Hallmark or other companies are completely useless. None of them say what I want to say. I actually sent a birth card to someone that said, about their brand new baby boy, "He's a catch!" Ugh. From now on, only homemade cards. With glitter and macaroni glued on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I went back to the mothership today and picked up a ridiculous number of books. I had requested them (as a dutiful librarian and cheap regular person) and as I cleared out the holds shelf I noticed that someone had requested one of the exact same books as me. What are the chances? Naturally, I checked out the name - Andrew something. I think Andrew and I are going to be very happy together. It's like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine strikes up a blind romance with Vincent, the video store clerk...and he turns out to be 16. Hmmm.
I have sat down for a manicure approximately 2 times in my entire life on account of my fat man hands. Delicate fingernails refuse to grow on these mitts. For whatever reason, actually I know exactly the reason, I have nails of 8 of my fingers for the first time in years. The last 2 are the stunted and retarded cousins of my finger family.

Of the two manicures I have had, none of them have been at one of those cheap Asian joints that smell of chemicals and boredom. I've heard too many stories about Paula Abdul's fungus and honestly, the people who wear those fake talon-sized nails with designs and rhinestones have a special place on my hate-on list.

However, this week I find myself employed every day - a rare occasion - and I can't indulge in a clean, sterile, serene spa visit. So, I went to some fly-by-night place that was probably called Crystal Nails. It was pretty awful and they actually took an electric sander machine to my cuticles. But it was about 8 bucks and I got to watch a show about a big Leaning Tower of Pisa cake.
Does anyone else miss the little catch-thing that used to hold the gas nozzle while filling up? I used to be able to go get a chocolate bar, clean out my car, read, eat my taco with two hands - all the things I love. Now, I am chained to the gas pump like a huffer.
While searching kijiji lately I found that it is possible to purchase oregano or dishwashing detergent.
I love the accidental happen-upon blast from the past. Almost as much as I love finding out that people read my blog. When they happen together, well, what could be better than that? Clearly, I write this for me (you're lucky there aren't grocery lists or a tally of what I ate today on here) and I can't stomach the technology that allows me to monitor traffic, but knowing that someone, anyone reads, makes me beam. Thanks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fingers and Funnels

My Year of Yes brought me to a Finger Eleven concert Friday night. The Festival of Friends was on at Gage Park and normally I only stop by for some deep friend dough. Although the people watching is pretty interesting - all of Hamilton's finest show up in varying forms of beer t-shirts and cut offs, most pushing strollers.

I didn't realize that I was friends with an angsty emo teenager but this one asked me to go since Finger Eleven is "like, one of my top favourite bands...ever". The park was packed and we wriggled our way to the front. I'm sure everyone loves standing behind tall people that have just stepped on their blankets.

Now, I don't know who Finger Eleven is and if I've heard their songs I've most definitely thought it was one of the other bands that sound exactly like them. Nickel Finger Sum Plan Faber 41 11. So, I spent most of the time just trying to look like I fit in. Which I don't.

I have probably been to a dozen concerts, most of which I'm too embarrassed to list here, but at concerts like this I usually end up feeling uncomfortable. I stick way out.

I don't know the words, I don't enjoy thrashing my hair around, I don't smoke, and I can't really make that "Rock Out" hand signal very easily. Friday night was no exception to the odd ball out syndrome. There was an old man beside me who lit up the fattest joint I have ever seen. Along with my angsty emo teenage friend, I think 85% of the people around me were high. And maybe because I had the look of a narc, no one offered me any. I had to settle for the second hand high that followed me into the morning.

I never know what to do with my hands. I wasn't wearing a Ticats jersey or a concert tee or even a baby doll dress. I don't enjoy being hit on by Dude Drinking Budweiser. I kinda wish I was sitting down. I keep feeling for my money in my back pocket, convinced I was going to be robbed. It's so not a good scene for me.

Pop concerts are a totally different story.

To put me back in my element and perhaps as a result of the second hand munchies, I insisted on deep fried funnel cakes. We piled the "fruit" and whipped cream on and binged until the paper plate gave out. Aaah, that's better.

Furnishing My Life

There are many things I find to be very 'adult'.
- getting married
- having children
- making a meal that includes vegetables
- buying a house
- jury duty
- buying furniture

While I haven't done several of these things, I am considering purchasing some furniture. I despise the idea of walking into a home and feeling like I've just opened a catalogue. I wish to never set foot in The Brick or Leon's and walk out with page 123.

I want my future digs to have personality, be eclectic and reflect my many layers - yes, I have many. So, in that vein, I've started compiling pieces that I like now so I'm ready to go. In the meantime, I have nowhere to store this furniture so I plan on....actually, I don't know what to do about that.

I've recently figured out how consignment shops work (another thing I consider 'adult') or at least this very cool one near my place and I have my eye on a few pieces. There was an article in yesterday's Globe about people furnishing their homes from finds on Craigslist.

I've been doing the consignment shop and antique shop circuit, but I've been inspired to hit up the net next.

Here is what I've found so far on my travels through Hamilton's newest "Antique Alley" - Ottawa Street.

Right now, it's a steal, but if I can wait it out until August 20, it will be $30 cheaper. I enjoy antiques, but at the same time, I have no qualms about painting this a fresh white.

This piece is my favourite and it's more expensive, but I love everything about it. I'm not a fan of fussy antiques with curlicues and spindle legs. This is more solid and it's from the 1940s.

I like this table without the chairs and it's a good size for the small place I will have.

This chair is really comfortable and I like the idea of getting cool accent pieces - I wouldn't even recover this. Oh, right, I've convinced myself while antiquing lately that I am 100% capable of reupholstering, changing dresser legs, stripping and staining and building furniture.

It's like this time in high school when I thought I needed a stool for my bedroom. And I thought I would and could build it. So, I drew up plans (on my Geography binder) and asked my Dad to get me all the supplies I would need. I was pumped!

Last month, I finally moved that pile of wood out of the attic into the garage where my Dad will surely find it and flip out. You know, I've been thinking, I don't think I actually need a stool anyway.

Beachy Keen

We finally made it up to Lake Huron for some much needed beach time. However, it didn't quite go as planned as we made the trip with a 75 year old woman who we deposited in one of the many hick hamlets in northwestern Ontario. Not much more than an intersection, these towns always leave me anxious and uncomfortable.

Also, throwing a wrench into my idealized beach day was the weather. I shouldn't have been surprised, but it was grey, rainy and windy. We were not deterred as we huddled in towels and defiantly parked ourselves next to the hurricane worthy waves.

Since we had driven so far there was no way I wasn't going for a swim - Lake Huron is definitely the best of the HOMES. It wasn't so much swimming as it was struggling to keep my head above the enormous waves. I was dog paddling with a former lifeguard who is training for a triathalon. Yeah. I had barely passed Bronze Medallion on my third try and I am training for a lifetime of exercise avoidance.

Shari Black had brought a nifty martini beach pack that included vermouth, vodka and gin, skewers and olives. The tablespoon of sand in each martini was complimentary. As she skewered the olives, the martini glass was sliding off the cooler from the wind. We had great food from the previous night's barbecue, frothy beach reads and good friends. Sun and warmth, we don't need you!
Eventually the sun did make an appearance as did my visor much to Shari's chagrin. She hated it about as much as I hated her honky tonk cowboy hat favoured by blonde whores on Spring Break.