Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Holidays

Aren’t the holidays wonderful? I mean, really, really lovely. I felt this way a couple times this week. The first time was around 2pm on Friday afternoon as I left a client’s holiday party. It’s so great to be able to drink wine and eat chocolates and huge pieces of beef in the middle of the work day. Seems so decadent and far away from work. Plus, everyone is always so cheerful and filled with festive camaraderie that you end up hugging and kissing people you don’t even like. Come January, I’ll still grimace as you approach, but right now, inspired by the boss’ homemade wine, you are a dear friend. Everyone seems to act differently.

I chased that feeling into the evening by stopping at The Alex to provide a ‘customer review’ on the new pinot grigio and to eat a veal sandwich while enjoying the pre-dinner rush ambiance. It’s so nice to have the whole evening stretching ahead with no formal plans, just flitting from friend to friend. Seems even nicer at the holidays.

Next, I headed to Susan and Chris’ house for dinner, cute baby bonding and some hickey story sharing. I had a lovely time even though Chris decided to show off his IPhone skills by pasting my head onto some weird picture. On the way home, I decided to finally fill the void in my Mariah Carey collection – it’s everything I hoped it would be.

Just a few days left until 17 blissful days of nothing. Or everything. But either way, shortbread will be involved.

The Glamourous Life

There’s no way to pretend these magazines aren’t sitting on my coffee table as I type right now and they’re pretty central to this post, so I’ll just say it. Yes, sometimes I read Glamour magazine. Unnecessary, yet somewhat obligatory justification: I don’t have a subscription, I only borrow from the library, I do not read Cosmopolitan – Glamour is the Thinking Woman’s fluff.

Whatever. Go back to your Sartre.
I was glancing over the covers today and I had to laugh – the feature headlines intended to grab my attention are pretty hilarious. I completely understand why men think we are crazy. Here is a sampling, what today’s woman is referring to as she manoeuvers through the world:

- Nine Ways To Never Feel Tired – Other than Sleep, Continue Sleeping, and Lay Down For A Second, I can’t imagine what else they could tell us. Don’t give me that exercise crap.
- What Men Notice When You’re Naked – Well, this is actually helpful. I’ve always wondered. Instep of my left foot? Back of knees? Winning personality? Elbows? I’m going to read that one. I’ll let you know.
- The Magic 2 Minute Updo – I’m presuming this is also called That Scrunchie You Have In Your Drawer. Yep, That One. Bring It Out.
- 10 Things More Important Than Those Last Five Pounds – this was right beside The Female Stress Crisis. Hmm.
- Jennifer Lopez ‘That Tiger’s Still In There’ – Oh brother. And she’s wearing a leopard print bustier. Yes, Block Jenny, we get it – you’re still wild and caliente.
- Do Your Clothes Flatter Your Face? – I mean, other than making sure my clothes don’t cover my face, what more can I do? Try and match the shade of my eyebrows?
- 10 Most Wearable Dresses – What is this?? Who is buying dresses for a purpose other than wearing them??
- Carrie Underwoood – How Marriage Has Changed Her – Uh, well, she probably has to stop seeing other men, but no, no, it must really affect her music.
So, there you have it. This is what the modern girls are equipped with as they go about their lives. Best of luck to everyone.

Widespread Lunacy

Did you know that if you buy a condo in Toronto, specifically on Queen West, it’s not an all-inclusive package? If you would like walls, room dividers or drywall of any sort, this is an upgrade. If you would like flooring, this is extra. Forget about taps and faucets. Bathroom tiles are additional. I’m not kidding! My friend bought a place the size of my garage – her estimate, not mine – about 3 years ago and is slated to get the key in January. To prepare for move in, she has to select flooring and walls. Seriously, walls! Otherwise, she’s living on concrete slabs with exposed 2x4 beams. This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Do people just want to be in that neighbourhood so badly that they will go without the main components of basic shelter? I must look like a queen with my windowpanes full of glass, functioning doorknobs and light switches. I had better not tell her about my finished ceilings. Lunacy.

Did you know that if you are applying to the school board as a teacher in the Hamilton area and you have the same birthday as a registered sex offender, you are subjected to a 3 month screening process? This major delay provides the authorities time to go through your background and information with a fine toothed comb to make sure that your birthday is, in fact, the only similarity between you and Pedophile Joe. Seriously, are people idiots? How does having the same birthday as someone turn you into them or make you identical to them in any way? This makes me so frustrated. I happen to have the same birthday as Charlie Sheen and Emperor Go-Sanjo. Does this mean that you should think that I have had experience being the first emperor of Japan or that I know what rock bottom looks like from Hollywood Boulevard? How does this MAKE ANY SENSE!?!? Lunacy.

Did you know that I hate UFC (Ultimate Fighting Challenge – for you, Mom) more than almost anything? Ok, so this doesn’t exactly fall into the same category as the previous two items, but I do find it to be complete lunacy. I somehow found myself at an acquaintance’s birthday in Brantford on Saturday night - her 30th. Even though it was Brantford, I expected cocktails (OK, fine - beer), lively crowds, young, attractive people with something going for them and a little bit of Saturday night fun. What I found when I showed up (big fishing it in the small pond with my satin tuxedo jacket and stilettos – come on people, it’s the holidays!) was a group of a dozen people in a back room sitting around a table with a sad, sad poinsettia tablecloth watching UFC. The room was almost silent, save for the occasional groans and outbursts of “Caah-mawwwn”. This is her 30th birthday? The women there seemed to be phoning it in for their boyfriends’ sakes, most of whom were really into it.

I just stared at the screen for a minute before I started texting my Plan B and thought the same thing I do every time I’m subjected to it: “Man, this sucks. It’s so revolting and boring and inane. What are they doing that for?! It’s essentially just aggressive cuddling by the ugliest men with cauliflower faces. Why is this a ‘viable entertainment source’?” I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl. Maybe I haven’t given it a fair chance. But I just don’t see the merit in it. To me, it reminds me of bar fights I would see when I was 19 that made me sick to my stomach and really scared. I don’t see the talent required – it just seems to be a macho show of testosterone and violence. Now, before someone freaks out and says I’m close-minded and snobby and I have no idea what I'm talking about, I’ll say this: please be quiet.

The really sad thing is that last Saturday when my friend Paul and I found ourselves at an Ugly Sweater party, another UFC match was on and I had the same thoughts go through my head. That time it was in Binbrook, but everything else was exactly the same. I remember thinking then that I really don’t want to end up with someone who sees this as an enjoyable and acceptable way to spend Saturday nights. I like the idea of getting together with friends for a televised sporting event, like the Super Bowl or something. Food, laughs, friends – that’s all great. And I love Swedish meatballs more than anyone. But I couldn’t be with someone who is so into it and takes it very seriously. Quite simply, it’s a turn-off – both the ‘sport’ and anyone who loves it as much as some people I’ve seen lately.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

He's onto it

I'm pretty sure this is the year that my brother figured out something was up with the whole Santa charade. Wait a minute....

Best to click on the pic to see the full reaction.

Katy, this is mostly for you. :)