Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sighted and Unsightly

Oh, come on, Hamilton. Really?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March Madness

March can be pretty bleak. Spring pretends it's going to arrive then throws a blizzard back in your face. People start doing their taxes. The time change throws us all out of whack. I decided that this March, things would be different.

For lack of a better name, March Madness was our attempt to shake things up and get us over the last hump of winter. Each weekend we did something that we'd never done before. Or at least something our group hadn't done before together. It was nice to have something planned each Saturday and we didn't even get sick of each other! The true test of friendship.

Weekend #1:
Indoor go-karting. I talked a lot of big talk before this one. I figured my speeding tickets would qualify me for front of the pack and an eventual win. Lots of 'Eat my dust' smack talk. I am sad to report that I was last. I started last and stayed last. I later found out that I was the only one braking while going around corners. What?!

Me: Yeah, I stayed in 7th place the whole time!
Dad: How many people were there?
Me: Um, 7.
Dad: *snort*

Susan came out in front and won the whole thing. With nary a speeding ticket to her name?! We all came out a little high from the contained fumes and skeptical of the hairnets we had to wear.

Weekend #2:
Indoor rock-climbing. I actually loved this. In fact, since then I've been back several times and am considering getting my own gear. Being a tall woman, apparently I started out with a natural advantage. I really like wearing the harness. Even when I'm not climbing, I just like having it on. Not really sure why...

You get all this instruction about harnesses, tying knots and belaying people and then they just say, "Ok, start climbing" with no tips whatsoever. But the next thing I knew I was at the top of this 40 foot wall while everyone stared up at my ass. It was exhilirating. The climbing, not the staring. Well, fine, sort of the staring.

I got addicted pretty quickly. That's how they get you - there's always a higher wall to climb. Turns out I'm a bit of yelper when I'm climbing. It's involuntary and fear based - I can't help it. I'm also pretty hard-core. Evidence: skinned elbows.

After my first major climb my hands wouldn't stop shaking. It's a fingertip workout if nothing else. (Aside, why do my hands look so huge here?)

Weekend #3:

Following in our streak of wearing other people's shoes, we all went bowling. Ok, so not really new, but still fun. My favourite part was giving everyone bowling monikers. Ashley, lover of all things Harry Potter/LOTR was christened "Bowldermort".

Chris and Susan brought their own balls and shoes and wiped the floor with us. I did not live up to my Hambone nickname. I fear it might have been a fluke. April brings promise of trampolining and indoor sky diving....looking forward to when we can tackle outdoor activities.

I'll See Your Bad Day...

...and raise you a Worse Day.

Today I hit a police officer.

While driving my boss' luxury car.


I think I win this hand.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If It's Not A Right Angle...'s a wrong angle.
Who shovels this perfectly?? Way to make my driveway look like I didn't even do any shovelling at all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lovin' the Love Monkey

Once upon a time the stars aligned to allow me to have both free cable and access to a channel that aired one of the best shows I've ever watched. It was a brief window as both the cable and the show were quickly cancelled. But, boy, that was a great month.

The show was called Love Monkey and starred Tom Cavanagh, Larenz Tate, Judy Greer and Jason Priestley. There was just something about it - I couldn't get enough. In fact, the show was so beloved that I was inspired to write Tom Cavanagh a fan letter. Luckily that passed, but I came pretty close. Told from a guy's perspective and set in NYC (natch) the show had everything - humour, relationships, music and great characters coming of age. I have no idea why it was cancelled because everything about it was perfection.
I soon learned that it was based on a novel by Kyle Smith, who, while an entertaining writer, really doesn't jive with the image in my head of the main character. Especially not since CBS has plunked Tom Cavanagh in my brain. This is Kyle Smith:

See what I mean? He's got more like a serial killer look going on. It's a shame...this is why I don't like to look at the jacket flap pictures of writers - it throws me off and sometimes influences how much I'm enjoying the book.

I was sent his book by a friend after I mentioned my obsession with the show (love this sort of considerate attention-paying) and it's become one of my go-to books when I don't have anything new on the go. It's quite good and here are a few examples of the writing that sum up his style. Very sharp.

"Bran doesn't carry a chip on her shoulder; she carries it in her hand, so she can jab you with it."

"I piece myself together uncertainly. 'Suave,' says my shampoo. 'All-purpose solution,' says my contact lens cleaning fluid. 'Total control,' says my styling gel. 'Cool,' says my antiperspirant. I am not living up to the expectations of my toiletries."

Girl 'Dating'

Girl 'dating'. It's a tricky thing - perhaps even more tricky than guy dating. Of course, I'm talking about striking up friendships with girls at this stage in life. By this point, most of us have our set friends. We've worked them in, weeded out the superfluous and insane, and are pretty happy with our situation. Which is good, because unless you're prepared to work for it, they are what you're stuck with for the forseeable future.

As I write this, I realize my pursuit of a couple girl friends may imply that I am not happy with my current lot. This is absolutely untrue - I'm just looking to add, not replace. Besides, with all the secrets my current friends know, replacing them is out of the question.

In the past couple months I have met a couple girls who I really like. Plus, they're both single, which is a bonus as it's always great to have friends in the same situation as you - more amenable to spontaneity and commiserative to the trials and tribulations of dating. They say misery loves company.

So, as with regular dating there is the courting period where you decide if you like each other and there is the exchange of contact info. First, it may start as a Facebook connection. Then regular email addresses are given. Next, if things are really going well, you get each other's cell number. The communication pinnacle is the voice-on-voice phonecall. So far, with these girls I've made it to the top. Yeah, they want me.

Once mutual attraction (ok, I'm trying to think of a better word than attraction, but you know what I mean) is established, we can venture out into the world together. Making plans. This is a big step. Originally I met both of these girls in person and we got along well, but making a friend date, just the two of us, is different. No mutual friend as a distraction, no cleaning chore (I met this one girl while cleaning a friend's restaurant), no booze (ok, there might be booze), and no necessity (I met the other one while sequestered in dull Phoenix).

It's one thing to like someone's company for a short time or have enough in common to get through a brief conversation, but in order for true friendship to blossom there has to be enough to connect you for several hours. This is where it gets tricky. I've tried to strike up friendships with other girls in the past where I thought we had lots in common and it seemed like a natural pairing. Perhaps I flew too close to the sun, but I got burned. It just didn't work out. Girl friendships after the age of 25 is a delicate matter and not everyone clicks. Under 25 all you have to do is both like Singapore Slings, be willing to hold each other's hair back or wear the same shoe size.

The annoying part about starting a new friendship is that the person doesn't know completely how awesome I am yet so I am unable to show my entire personality lest it overshadow the awesome. Let me explain. One of these girls is really flaky (no, not you - the other one doesn't read my blog) and is spotty with communication, lackadaisical about plans, tardy and not one to confirm 'dates' until just before. If she were a guy I would think, "She's just not that into me", but she is. She's the one who always contacts me and asks me to do something and we have a great time when we're together. Could she be seeing another girl-friend?! If she were an old friend I could let the annoyed and organized part of my personality wail down upon her. I wouldn't stand for this behaviour from other friends (to be fair, none of my current friends behave this way), but noooo, we're girl 'dating' so I have to be on my best behaviour. Polite, accommodating, easy-breezy. It's exhausting.

What I find to be the strangest part of girl 'dating' is how I act similar to the way I would on a regular date. I pick my outfit carefully. I am on my best behaviour. I try to only show the most appealing parts of my life and personality. I use anecdotes and tested and true stories. The only things that are missing are the nervous butterflies and the anticipation of the end of the night. Oh, and the awkwardness of the opening greeting. (That is my least favourite part of regular dating. Can't we just all agree to high-five each other and remove the whole, "Should I hug him? Do I stand? Shake his hand? Nothing?" mental chaos.) Also missing is the "reach for the wallet" routine. And getting there 20 minutes early just so I don't have to search around the restaurant. Ok, fine, so there are many differences between girl 'dating' and regular dating.

Girl 'dating' - giving it a whirl...

I'm Just Young At Heart, That's All

Sometimes I go along in my day very pleased with myself then am shot down in a matter of moments. Yesterday, for example, I decided that my motto would be "Make Better Choices". Not sure why, I was just in a mood. This was carried out in the following ways:

- eat the apple instead of the delicious cupcake

- slow down and stop speeding (that one was necessitated by radar sighting)

- eat the cucumber but don't eat the dip

- don't say something snarky just because you have the chance

- don't take that personally, because it's probably not about you

- instead of using your extra 10 minutes in the morning to experiment with eyeliner, which will inevitably result in raccoon eyes, go out and shovel

Happy with my small decisions and the motto running through my head, I told my teacher friend Naomi about it. She laughed and said, "That's exactly what my principal tells the kids on the PA system every morning - 'make better choices'. They're 6 years old!"

This stupid poster comes to mind:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ski Trip 2011

Our annual ski trip is one of my favourite things of the whole year, right up there with the United Way Garage Sale in September and that perfect summer evening filled with lazy bike riding and California BLTs on the porch. Oh, and when the Dairy Queen near my house opens in March. This year, we had a super-suite and accordingly brought super amounts of food and alcohol - even though we were only there for 2 nights. Don't worry Mom, the alcohol was mostly for cuts and scrapes. I brought the biggest wheel of Brie I could find and shockingly, we didn't even finish it. What is wrong with us?!

Always up for trying new things and oddly convinced that I have an aptitude for winter sports, I decided to give snowboarding a shot. I took ski lessons in 9th grade and thought that having both feet on one board would be easier than the inevitable splits I experienced on skis back then. This was not the case. Paul and I were both complete beginners and got all geared up and headed for some lessons. Expecting that my skills would far surpass his, what with my ski lessons 15 years ago and all, I talked some big talk. Plus, he kept saying that along with camping and swimming, black people don't snowboard. Or go horseback riding.

I should learn to be leery of sports that require knee pads.

Somehow he quickly passed each level while I was stuck on the left toe turn, or whatever it's called. The instructor kept saying, "Look where you want to go!" - I kept glancing toward the chalet. Shortly after I plowed down the hill right between another beginner's legs screaming "Sorry, sorry, sorry!", he gracefully excused himself to hit the black diamonds. Where did this come from?! I should have stuck with skiing. Or the hot tub.
Other highlights:
- 2nd Annual Random Bed Jumping Competition...not sure why this started last year but it's really fun and has expanded into an hour long extravaganza. It's simply jumping on a bed, people! It probably shouldn't be this much fun.

- 2nd Annual Douchebag-Off...this is much worse than the bed jumping and has only been strengthened by Jersey Shore. I did not participate - on principle. Well, principle and I don't own any Ed Hardy. Thankfully. Paul and Ashley took the prize this year - it's a little unsettling how easily they slumped into these roles.

We went to the club for about 20 minutes (since a real life Douchebag-Off was in full swing with no sense of irony) and even up against my Popeye cigarette their sunglasses in the dark were the trashiest accessory.

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me or is it really annoying when cashiers or bank tellers are so friendly and talkative that it prevents them from performing their work? Do they not know that the reason I'm standing in front of them is to purchase cheese or pay a bill? Perhaps surprisingly, I am not there to chat about the weather or answer questions about where I got my jacket. (Besides, I don't want to tell you.)

To clarify, I am not the Devil. I enjoy friendliness, easy conversation with strangers and occasionally dole some out myself. I like small talk just fine and my cheeks are accustomed to smiling. But I feel that if you can't do these things while simultaneously doing your work, you're jamming up my day. If you have to stop scanning an item or typing a figure into the computer in order to talk to me, I'd happily do without the talking. Multi-task people!


Is it just me or is no one else wearing seatbelts in taxicabs? Why is this? Somehow when I step into a cab I figure myself invincible. Like I'm in an impenetrable iron bubble that smells like take-out. I never wear a seatbelt. I mean, I will now. Probably. Now that I've thought about it, I guess.

It's like school buses - how is it not mandatory that kids have to be strapped in? Are they just not going fast enough or is it that they're big and yellow so what kind of moron would you have to be to run into one? Or limousines - I don't even think they have seatbelts in them. Interesting. Sort of.


It is just me or is this not the most beautiful brunch? Hmm, okay maybe the picture doesn't do it justice but it really brightened up my morning.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's An Honour Just to Be Nominated...

...for Most Last Minute Oscar Garment.

For last year's party I swiped a couture gown from a make-up artist's studio and only now when I look at the pictures, do I realize it was mostly see-through. I had spent the day quitting a job I loved more than any other job and "breaking up" with a boss who made my Hamilton to Toronto commute worth it. Teary-eyed, I rushed home with 15 minutes to spare then had to sashay through a supermarket in this frock in search of Brie. The dress weighed about 20 lbs - all sequins and fringe.

This year I was on a ski weekend and rushed home with bruised limbs and had just enough time to grab this mink coat that was given to me - surprisingly not as a joke. The tag says mink, but I'm pretty sure it's actually squirrel. It is the inspiration and piece de resistance for my upcoming Hallowe'en costume - finally, some prep time. I also threw on this butterfly sequin top thing that Dru convinced me to buy at a garage sale because she had the exact same one. What are the chances?

Of course, none of these outfits tops the rash-inducing actual world pageant submission of 2009, seen here:

2009 Oscar Party

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Heads Up

Let's put our heads together...

...and come up with a different way to take a picture.
Picture 1: Ninth Grade, number of people in that picture I am still friends with: 1
Picture 2: Tenth Grade, number of people in that picture I am still friends with: (see above, less 1)
Picture 3: 2006, happy to report: all of them - they stuck by me during the Great Winter Bangs Debacle of that year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Missed Mariah

Perusing at the library this weekend I nearly gasped when I realized there is a Mariah Carey CD that I have somehow missed. I think I've admitted before that I went through a big MC phase in my late teens and even though her current stuff has nothing on her 90s stuff, I still end up buying her music.

This one came and went without my knowledge:

Listening to it, I figured out why. It's awful. Almost as bad as the cover art suggests. The funny thing I've noticed about Mariah Carey is that the lyrics in her songs are filled with words I'm pretty sure she doesn't use in real life. I'm also not convinced she knows their meanings.

Can you picture Mariah Carey saying these words?

- guise
- fervid
- supremacy
- acquiesce
- succumb
- impervious
- felicity

Summer's Bounty

Skip spring, summer is coming early. I'm forcing it. There are few things better than a homemade milkshake with a friend on an early *almost* spring evening. With the time change, for a split second, it's easy to fool yourself into thinking it's July. Except I was wearing socks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011



This is what I get for procrastinating at work....

I have no idea how to get the blog the way it was!

I hate this.

Was experimenting - stupid Blogspot.


Stay tuned for a layout that is less visually assaulting.

Spring Moment

I have latched onto impending spring. With a death grip. Despite the current snow and snow forecasts, I am gleefully looking forward.

I came across this picture and I've hung it in our office as a reminder.

Instant happiness.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Do you ever flip between radio stations in your car and the second you hear it's a commercial, you hit the next one? Sometimes I play this little game where I take the first word I hear from each station and put it together in a sentence or phrase. Yes, sometimes I am bored on my commute.

Today the game created this gem: "Open up men's pyjamas conveniently"
In other radio news, CHUM FM vows to play "Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey and everything in between!!" Um, who exactly would be in between these two extremes in musical stylings? Katy Perry? They're really limiting their range with that statement.
My disproportionately fat fingers have once again caused people to think I am engaged. I usually try to wear the ring on my middle finger, but eventually it begins to cut off my circulation so I move it to my fourth finger. Three times in the last month someone has presumed I am betrothed to someone. Betrothed to bacon, more like. It's a lifelong union. We're very happy together.
I recently read a survey where 86% of those questioned said that if they had the choice, they wouldn't remove a bad memory. I'm not sure I would say the same. Yeah, you can play the whole "everything, even bad things, molds us into the person we are today" thing, but I can think of a couple memories that I, the person I am today, could do without.

Big stuff aside, do you ever say or do something that makes you cringe in embarrassment when you think about it? One that always comes to mind is from a job interview during library school. After the interview went alright and I somewhat convinced them that I would be a keen and capable librarian, we all stood up and they ushered me out. As they shook my hand, they said something like, "Thanks for coming, it was great to meet you." - normal stuff. I don't know what was going through my head, but I must have still been nervous or relieved that it was almost over and I somehow I ended up shaking the interviewer's hand while saying, "There ya go!" There. Ya. Go. Not even 'you', but definitely 'ya' - like some back woods farmer who just gave a bale of hay to a horse. These were the last words I said at this interview. There ya go. Like they should be so pleased that I'm allowing them to shake my hand. Sort of what I imagine the Pope thinks when people kiss his insignia ring.

And of course, in true personal fashion, I can't leave it alone, I need to try and 'fix' it. I ran into the interviewer in the hallway later and while he might have already forgotten or maybe not even noticed, I brought it to the forefront of his mind again by sheepishly apologizing for it. There was no way to explain it so I tried to be charming instead.

I didn't get the job.

Every single time I remember this, I wince with emotional pain. Brutal.