Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things Women Do

The baby shower.

Do men know what is going on at these affairs? I don't think they do. Do you know that we sit around in a circle on the couch and chairs from the dining room table while the mother-to-be opens her presents? Or that she will then pass them around the circle so we can all oooh and aaah at them? Every single one of them, including the breast pump.

Do you know that we drink punch out of teeny tiny cups so that you have to refill every other sip? We eat standard picnic fare including deviled eggs, dips, dips and more dips and usually at least one Jell-o mould (or is it mold? I never know this one.) Sometimes, if we're lucky, we'll get tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off. But they'll be cut into teeny tiny triangles. What? Is no one else starving!?

But there will always be cake, ideally the good stuff with the really thick icing that looks like lard. There will be no alcohol, because the mother can't, so no one can. Spiking the punch is usually frowned upon. So are cigarettes and male strippers.

There are horrendous games involving clothespins, unscrambling baby words and not being able to cross your legs. I've never understood this one - a room full of women wearing skirts should be crossing their legs! It's just decent. Even if you somehow win these games, the prizes will be bad and no one really gets that competitive to make it fun.

Of course, there is the hat the guest of honour must wear. I would bet the last piece of cake that men have no idea women make other women do this. Since each present unwrapped will surely have at least one curly ribbon in a pastel hue, a hat will be fashioned. It will consist of a paper plate and all the ribbons taped onto it - that's pretty much it. Then we will make the woman wear this. I am hosting a baby shower next month. Per request, it must include many of the things I have just mentioned. But, I will put my own touches to it so that although we may be playing games or sitting in a circle, it will be beautiful and actually fun....or close to it. I'm worried that I'm trying for the impossible, but I'll do my best.
I've spent all weekend on the invitations and being in the event business, I have a plethora of style at my disposal. I've already found table linens that exactly match the invitation print. I know, I sound like a Stepford. I don't even think I've ever been to a shower that had table linens at all. Get ready to be impressed. Baby.

Come on in, put your feet up...

Hit up the Ottawa Street Sale on Saturday and if you're still going to Locke Street for antiques, I'm sorry to have to tell you, but you're a sucker. Get with it - OS is the place to be. Even a major antique house moved from Locke - now called Antiques Unlocked....I appreciate puns like this.

Managed to score this stool for $5.00. That's right - five!. I got it all the way home before I realized that the top opens up for storage. Love the distressed brown leather mixed with the Studio 54 glitz.Talked a woman down to $20.00 for this piece, but really didn't make me as happy as getting the other one for $5.00. Plus the upholstery is embarrassing. Look, it's already falling apart. And there are no hidden storage features. It even has a wonky leg. You suck, lesser ottoman!
Now I feel sorta bad for the ottoman. I do like your pretty pattern!
Over the last few weeks I have amassed three ottomans. You might say I'm creating an Ottoman Empire, even. Well done if you could see that one coming. Also, well done to the 3am punner.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I've realized that I will often go weeks without a truly deep breath. One where I will focus on the air entering and exiting my lungs and taking a moment to pa--use. Is this healthy? I hear people proclaiming breathing to relieve stress, but I really don't have time for this.
What is a rutabaga? No really, what is it? I'll bet you don't know. No one does. Potato/turnip? Squash/pumpkin? Lampshade/Beet?
I've thought long and hard about this, and I can't think of a time when an ambulance would not have the siren on. Leaving the hospital/ambulance station place: siren on - rushing to save a life. Going to hospital with patient: siren on - rushing to get someone else to continue saving said life. Once they've dropped you off, don't they just stay there until the next call comes in? Or are they getting ambulance washes, going to drive-ins, coffee runs? What?
People are not allowed to have a headache on a date. I was meeting someone after a crazy day at work, and felt sorta faint with the headache blindness setting in. All I needed to quell the migraine was a massive glass of water - since about three days had passed without any. But if I ordered water once I got there, no-no. If I actually needed a Tylenol, no-no. Showing weakness on a first date is a huge liability. Suck it up and suffer. Or run to the bathroom and drink from the tap.
In other news, not being hungry on a first date is also dangerous. Even if I were a salad person, there is no way I would ever order greens (with the dressing on the side, please) on a date. So annoying. Be a man! Order the meat - eat it all - order dessert - drink up! Any little thing can be an excuse for a 'weirdo' stamp, or with women, a 'high-maintenance' stamp - even worse.
Ok, flies and insects really baffle me. How are they so resilient and impervious to something that would surely end my life if I were them? For example, if there is an ant walking on the sidewalk and I step down beside it, shouldn't this feel like a tremendous earthquake to them!?! Or if I bat them away with my hand, wouldn't that be like being hit by a train? Yesterday I aimed the blowdryer at one and nothing! Shouldn't that feel like a hurricane? How are they doing this?!?!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not quite the intended look...

Ok, I got dressed today and then had the overwhelming sense that I looked like Han Solo. Do I?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Zu Can't-Get-Me-To-Go-There-Again Bar

Sometimes, a Saturday night just doesn't turn out the way you thought it would. I had to strike 2 crystal chandeliers from a wedding for work. In Milton. At 1am. No one ever said event planning was glamourous. Well, certainly I haven't.

So, I decided to kill some time by shaking my tail feather with some friends at a birthday bash. It was being held at a club I had previously sworn off - Zu Bar. Have you been to this club - it's awful, but I fear I would have thought it was amazing when I was 20. Sigh.

I was tired, cold and cranky - really, the optimal mood for clubbing, but tried to make the best of it. During TIFF, I found this cool satin jacket that had been left behind (I like to think it was left behind by Jennifer Connelly or Megan Fox - just because). I claimed this jacket as my own and wore it Saturday night. In my hast to add another jacket to my obese closet, I neglected to recognize that the jacket was XS and I am not.

By the time we by-passed the line (yes!) it was cutting into the flesh of my arms and I definitely couldn't zip it up, lest I look like a pre-wrapped sausage unable to breathe. So, I pretended that I planned it that way and let out the sleeve zippers a little. The strap on my stilettos was hanging on by one leather strand and I had to walk gingerly to keep them on. What was I even doing out!?!

The crowd was awful - am I too old for this? Well, I'm definitely not douche-bag enough. I'm pretty sure I spent the 20 minutes we spent there eyeing everyone up and down then shaking my head. But I couldn't even cross my arms to signal my disgust because the sleeves would make me bleed! Every person in there must have had either an STD, a criminal record, a butterfly tattoo on their hip or a white shell necklace from Cancun circa 1997. So not my scene, even with my stupid jacket.

After we sufficiently felt too old, clothed and tall, we left. I happily got in my car, switched the last legs stilettos to coral loafers (my favourite, which I've just been informed should be retired - wha-?) and my favourite worn hoodie - emblazoned with "Librarians are the Shhhh!!!" on the back - big props to Kathleen for that gem.

I threw out the coat and merrily went on my way to Milton. So much happier, so much more dull. Meh, that's just the way it goes sometimes. And I'm okay with that.

For the record, and I mean it this time, I am never going to Zu Bar again. That is all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Text Hell

How did people date before cell phones? The period of time between the initial exchange of numbers to the first date (if you get there) is rife with interpretation of text messages. No one actually calls anymore, we just rely on texts because we're too afraid of the instant reply that is required on the phone. With texts, we can take minutes, hours or annoyingly, days to respond properly.

Especially if you don't know the person well, each letter of the text message is pored over and analyzed. Usually with girlfriends and wine.

- Ok, so he doesn't use shortforms like 'ur' or 'r' = add 1 point
- he takes at least 30 minutes to respond = deduct 1 point per hour
- he uses 'lol' or 'haha' = deduct 1 point unless the comment would have been offensive without it and he needs to use it because you don't know each other's sense of humour yet
- he makes emoticons using letters and punctuation = meh

It's all so ridiculous and a colossal waste of time. Nevermind about the time that goes into composing a text response. I'm pretty certain my group of girlfriends are not the only people caught up in this craziness - I've been there while men go through the same thing.

I can spend an entire Seinfeld rerun composing the perfectly clever, flirty, interesting text with no spelling mistakes and still not be sure that he'll get it because you don't know each other yet. And then, I can simply write "Yo" to someone else and it's sure to be interpreted as funny, sexy and inviting. Argh. The Texting Days are so frustrating...

When will the madness end? As annoying as it is, I'm an eager participant. I get very excited when my phone trills and I use the texts as evidence in the case for or against this guy being a weirdo. And I'm certain he does the same thing to my texts. The problem is that I don't think my sense of humour or love of puns come across well in only 160 characters. It's the same reason I don't speed date - I don't think I come across as likable very quickly. I'm an acquired taste, like...hmmm, everything I'm thinking of is something I actually don't like. Forget the example.

Wouldn't it be great if everyone we like could see us in our best possible situation? With the correct amount of time that is required to get a full introduction to the true you? With drinks around? And flattering lighting?

Ok, this post has been a nice distraction, but why isn't he texting me back!?!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

TIFF 2009

Nikki Beach was at TIFF this year and we got the exclusive contract to do the decor for them at the Park Hyatt. NB is a lifestyle brand that hosts parties all over the world and it was their first time at TIFF. It was a major coup and the Park Hyatt rooftop is THE place for the celebs to hang out without all the paparazzi and screaming fans.

This is what we did: It was a colossal change - there was ugly green carpet and old-fashioned drapes and zero style before we got ahold of it. It was an enormous amount of work, but everyone was really happy.

Here is a partial list of the celebrities that were at 'our' party:
- Drew Barrymore
- Edward Norton
- Adam Brody
- Megan Fox
- George Clooney
- Prince
- an actual Prince
- President of Abu Dhabi (or something - I can't remember if AD actually has a prez)
- Jennifer Connelly
- Mena Suvari
- Michael Douglas
- Colin Farrell
- Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

Here is a list of the celebrities that were actually there when I was there:
- Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

Yeah. I guess I went on dull nights or I left too early - turns out it's sorta boring when you're not a somebody. Plus, I'm not a fan of the $19.50 glass of Pinot Grigio. Every night there were line-ups around the block to get in and it was ultra chi-chi and exclusive. Not quite sure how I got in, come to think of it. Apparently Galen Weston was made to wait in line - gasp!


I now officially walk too fast for automatic sliding doors. Today I actually hit my face on one. Seriously, would it hurt stores to account for people like me - or people who don't like to waste sunny days at Home Depot? Fast walking has become a handicap - I should get my own parking spot. One that is right on the curb so I don't have to waste any time turning off the car. Why are hazard lights called that anyway, there is nothing hazardous about gettin' stuff done!

I'm sure there are other contenders, but the dirtiest line in any song on the radio now has got to be from Pitbull's Hotel Room Service song:

I'm the plumber tonight
I'll check your pipes.
Oh, you the healthy type,
Well, here go some egg whites

There's something about it that makes me giggle/gasp every time I hear it - it's pretty hilariously cheeky. But I got a look at this Pitbull character while watching the video (gag) and he should be embarrassed. I thought he was going to be a fly black guy or something, but he looks like...well, just a major loser.

Was stuck behind a driver's ed car today and before I peeled away from the petrified 16 year old, I noticed the licence plate:


Ok, I'll give them that - it's funny. But I still think it is my responsibility as a driver to teach the newbies what it's like in the real world. Toughen 'em up, I say. Now, get out of my way.

Running into high school people in the real world, especially in your day's work can really throw you off. More often than not, it turns out that they are exactly the same. The kid who sat across from you in 5th grade and sprayed battery acid into his eye while poking it with a pen, is still pretty likely to run screaming out of a room. I guess this realization is what all you Facebookers get.


Major garage sale/antique show last weekend.

The Mohawk College United Way Garage Sale is always the highlight of my September. Well, that and my birthday. My friend Jen and I go every year and usually I leave with more Trivial Pursuit editions than I can carry. Here's what I picked up this year: (sorry, for the poor quality)
Turns out I'm now into collecting crystal decanters. I found three in one day and I actually think they're pretty cool. I just have to figure out a good way to figure out which is vodka.

Even though I promised I wouldn't buy any more trivia, especially since I no longer host, I couldn't resist one edition - it's pretty recent. Usually the questions I get from garage sale trivia centre around Clark Gable movies, the stuff people used to do before TV, radio plays and recent world leaders like Churchill, Roosevelt and Jesus.

After I picked up this globe, everyone that saw it kept commenting on it - it's a conversation piece before I even get it home. Plus, doesn't everyone want to know coastlines looked like before global warming? Of if Timbuktu actually exists? I have been looking for a picnic basket all summer and I came across many that day. It was like last year when every other booth had a foot bath. Seriously, why would someone buy that second hand?
The pink thing in the second picture came free with the basket. Or I snuck it in and didn't mention it. Whatever. Apparently it's a hot dog holder. But, it's Tupperware and as you know, my policy on Tupperware is: see it, buy it.

Ok, this was a totally weird purchase. We were down on the ground and Jen was rooting around Polly Pocket dolls and I thought, hmm, this is kinda funny - maybe I can make this work somehow in my bathroom. I'm pretty sure I'll end up giving it to Jen's daughter. Plus it's plastic - what was I thinking?
Obviously, these are my favourite item of the day. Mint condition, my size, never could I pass them up? I haven't been on them yet, because I'm a little afraid, but I think I'll give it a go tomorrow.
Frames...meh. But I'll paint them black and cool them up a bit.
I have never been to an antique show before but there is a huge one that happens twice a year in Dundas. I took my Dad's truck with the intention of filling it with treasures. There must have been at least 200 vendors and I meandered for over 3 hours. I kinda like saying I spent my Saturday 'antiquing' like a prideful yuppie. But it really seems like something only couples should do. Or old people. Or old couples. I got a few discounts because I was the young thing and people were so happy "the new generation is getting into it."

The things I picked up seemed really awesome in the bright sun while I was all hopped up on mahogany and the 1920s. Back in the harsh reality of my life, I'm not so sure. But I figure that it's my time to get cheap and ugly furniture. And I still maintain it's better that the latest at Leon's.

This piece I actually haggled for. It reminded me of an old desk my Dad had. I'll have to repaint it, but I liked the size and the little shelf that pulls out at the top. I pulled the "poor student" routine and the woman fired back with the "poor antique dealer" routine. Well played, Betsy.

I really liked how this seemed very 50s and I will put it in my kitchen. It's made of tin or some sort of metal and is vaguely yellow. I got this for a steal - $35. And yes, I bargained with them. Actually, I became pretty good at the haggle. I didn't pay the asking price for anything. Although I found that I really have no idea the value of things - I had a price in my head for this other table and when I asked it actually cost approximately 865 times more. Huh.

This really seemed very 50s cocktail bar to me. There is a space cut out on the top for ice and the black and gold appealed to me. I totally bashed it up when I drove it home (I didn't have enough foresight to bring any packing materials). Won't it look so great with my crystal booze decanters!!?
I got this woman to throw this ottman in for free. I mean, please. It's seen better days and I'm pretty sure it came from my grandma's living room circa 1983. Gotta love the vinyl and the top lifts up to store stuff in it - I imagine sewing kits or flasks of scotch.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Talkie talkie

Things I hate hearing people say:

- "Yeah, we were just hanging out, shootin' the shit." It's so vulgar. Plus, I'm not sure where it originated - what does it even mean??
- "Don't worry about it," when I ask a simple question. Ok, listen, I'm NOT worried about it, I just want to know. It makes me sound like I've been up nights obsessing about it. So patronizing.
- "Oh, thanks hon," when said to me by someone female and younger than me. Don't call me 'hon'. I don't like you.
- "Can I see your licence and registration?"
- "What's that?" or "Huh?" when they've probably actually heard what I've asked, but they're so used to being annoying that their knee-jerk response makes it seem like they didn't hear. I usually don't answer, but give their brain time to catch up with their stupid mouth until they realize they did hear me and answer properly.
- "Oh sorry, we're all out of the pie. Hon."

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Melebration - the best time of the year - has come and gone. Sigh. I'm a person who gets really excited when my birthday comes around. I like everyone to acknowledge it - yes it may be childish, but...nope, nothing to say about that.

My parents got me the two furniture pieces I'd been eyeing - including the one that I missed out on because someone else bought it. I am so thrilled with both of them and I can't wait until they're part of my new home instead of just taking up space in the hallway!

My brother was home from Victoria for a week or so and it was really great to have him around to celebrate our birthdays together.
There comes a time when you realize that your brothers are grown men and people in their own right. We're all adults and it's pretty weird.

The regular crew and I hit up Toronto for Melebration 2009. I've been melebrating with these peeps for several years now and I always feel so lucky to have them part of my life. I have great friends and I appreciate how they always help me ring it in.

We went to the rooftop pool at the Hyatt and despite children and a loud air conditioning fan, it was great.

Dinner at Urban then commando dancing at Brant House followed by...not quite sure, but it involved pizza and elbows in my face.

Even though I try hard not to, I always get emotional on my birthday. Or, not really on my birthday, but any time I have the people I love in the world around me, there for me. More than anything I love reading (as much as hearing, if not more) how people feel about me. So, a simple birthday card can put me over the edge. Yes, I realize it's pathetic and probably seemingly insecure, but...nope, nothing to say about that.
Ok, I will admit that I occasionally listen to 97.3 EZ Rock and in particular Delilah, who I just found out looks like this and it's really freaking me out:

The other night I heard a song I've liked for a while but finally listened to the words. It's the perfect sentiment for a love song. Nothing grand and overblown, nothing fake, just a simple request with no strings attached. Wouldn't it be nice if everything could be this refreshing and easy? No games, no expectations, just this.

Hello, yeah, it's been a while.
Not much, how 'bout you?
I'm not sure why I called,I guess I really just wanted to talk to you.
And I was thinking maybe later on,
We could get together for a while.It's been such a long time,
And I really do miss your smile.

I'm not talking 'bout moving in,
And I don't want to change your life.
But there's a warm wind blowing,
The stars are out, and I'd really love to see you tonight.

We could go walking through a windy park,
Or take a drive along the beach.
Or stay at home and watch t.v.
You see, it really doesn't matter much to me.

I won't ask for promises,
So you won't have to lie.
We've both played that game before,
Say I love you, then say goodbye.

My favourite line is not having to lie. The song is by someone named England Dan and John Ford Coley (meh) and if you don't know the song, you should listen to it.

Massacre of an Innocent Drive

I've been doing a lot of driving this week, as I pick up the most random things for a big TIFF party we're doing. Including:

- 40 pillows (just think about that for a second - try and imagine one person trying to pull this off. It's harder than you think.)
- cow hide rug that smells like....beef
- plexi, so much plexi
- hundreds of feet of white fringe

At a stoplight yesterday I looked over at the bus stopped beside me and saw this painting on the side advertisement:

As I sat at Toronto's longest stoplight, I kept looking at this painting and it's really disturbing. Stabbing, fingernails clawing at a face, stepping on and throwing babies...seriously, is there not a happier painting to put on the side of a bus? It really turned me off my honey cruller. What about this one:

Look how happy everyone looks. Wine, flowered hats, flirting, wife beater tank tops, grapes...

Speed up? Then shut up.

I've been reading about this story of a woman who had her licence revoked and was fined under the new-ish street racing law, since she was doing 50 km over the posted speed limit. For some reason she was on the front of the newspaper and everyone is reporting the grand injustice against her. I think they're even calling it a constitutional rights issue.

They love to mention that she is a 62 year old grandmother (Gasp! Not a grandmother!) and was going that fast because she was "petrified of being in a truck's blind spot." She sped up to get ahead of the truck and avoid certain death, naturally. The picture is of her in front of her Oakville home and the Audi she was driving and she has an indignant, "Can you believe how I'm being treated?" face. Please.

Ok, listen, lady, you were going 50 km over the speed limit, which was 80km/hr. No one cares why. I will admit that I speed my way through life, but when I get a ticket or demerit points, I suck it up. Eventually. Maybe everyone is taking issue because the law is pegged as the "street racing" law, and this lady doesn't look at all like Paul Walker or Vin Diesel. Maybe in the chin a little bit.

Get over it and get a bus pass. Oh, and maybe it's not a great idea for people who become petrified while driving to be on the road.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Change of a Dress

The bridesmaid dress. There are countless tales of horrific taffeta, enormous bows and lace in varying colours of sorbet....rarely good. I have been in two weddings so far (I guess three if I want to count the one when I was 4 - I probably looked the best anyway!) and have lucked out both times. They've both been custom made and I've been able to wear them again - the typically impossible feat attempted by bridesmaids everywhere.

Dress #One: My mother made this dress and I love that I lived in the era where the height of child hair styles included Heidi braids and baby's breath. The flowers I held were fake, but I'm sure my angelic aura was real.

Dress #Two: Very nice dress in a stunning colour. If only I had been able to do something about those tan lines. In November - how is that even possible? And the shellacked hair - proving, even in formal situations, I never know what to do with my hair.

Also, as I walked down the aisle, revelling in my 30 seconds of attention, I was panicking because I had put the rings on my own fingers so I wouldn't lose them, and they were stuck. Even a man's ring was no match for my sausage digits.

Dress #Three:I was given free rein with the design of this dress and it proved to be too much pressure. But I really love the final product. I recently wore it to coordinate a wedding and I love that it doesn't look too "bridesmaid-y".

Again, the hair is huge and full of at least 3/4 of a can of hairspray. What do I tell these stylists? That I will be attending the reception via helicopter or that the head table is placed close to the bar and the wind tunnel?
Don't mind the sour expression - when you see it close up, I'm not a total bitch. Really.

I've worn a lot of beautiful things, but part of me fears I will never love any dress more than I loved this purple confection. Look how happy I look! I felt like a whimsical princess, a vision in lilac. Sigh.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hair Hell

If you live in Hamilton and want a decent hair cut, there are very few places to go. I have had maybe one good hair cut in my entire life. I've had more mullets than Tears for Fears, several bowls have been used as cutting tools and every time I leave a salon I feel like I was used as a teaching exercise.

This most recent hair cut isn't bad at all, but the experience was. I have gone to Maddison Avenue on Locke Street a couple of times, because, honestly, I just don't know where else to go. If you are a girl from the Hammer, surely you've been there and you might know who Rino is. Or if you don't know who he is, you've certainly seen or heard him be completely obnoxious and irritating.

He thinks he is Italy's gift to women. And men. And hair. He likes to fill his salon with girls like him. We all know these girls - the Salon Girls. I had typed a more harsh word, but am feeling charitable.

These girls, usually under 25, 130lbs and 80 IQ points, are a select breed of annoying. You may be one of them if you:

- are wearing more than 3 bracelets

- are wearing pants

- have bleached blond hair that is highly processed and teased so much its feelings have been hurt

- wear size zero jeans...that cost $250

- like to talk solely about the clubs you're going to

- are talking louder than anyone around you

- consider the snobby look-up-and-down to be your best facial expression

- are smacking your gum

- are wearing any of the following with seriousness: leg warmers, suspenders, gothic print or neon

- have put your make-up on with a trowel

- are wearing hoop earrings that a can of hairspray could pass through. And are trying.

- have no sense of humour and joke about "taping your hair back on." What??

When you're in the chair, there is little more to do than watch and listen. Unfortunately, the day I was in there, was the same day an incredibly loud and obnoxious CH television personality was there - please, you all know who she is. When she left, her hair made her 3 inches taller and my IQ had gone down 30 points, just by absorbing what she bellowed at everyone.

Having the convenience of a mirror right in front of me, I am aware of the faces of disgust I was sending out there, but I really couldn't help it. This is my version of hell. Everyone yelling, fighting for attention by being crass and tacky, all heralded by King Shag who dared to tell me that he prefers blondes.

And the whole experience was capped off by the receptionist tapping on the calculator for 10 minutes with her fake nails trying to figure out the sums, then passing it to me so I could, "like, maybe do it yourself. I can't get it."

New Month, New Do

I finally got my hair cut. I asked the stylist to give me whatever seems to be between these two pictures I brought in.

I think she did a great job. Although, now the problem is that she did a great job that I can never duplicate.If I were a millionaire or Ivanka Trump, I would pay to have someone come to my house every morning to wash and blowdry my hair. And add whatever magic pixie dust they have access to. It's completely impossible for me to make it look this good ever again.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


If there is anyone out there that wonders why I named my blog after Winnie Cooper, here is the undeniable evidence. I think we're both 11 here. Oh, and yes, I am wearing a dickie. If you don't know what a dickie is, you're lucky, but your neck was probably cold in 6th grade.