Sunday, May 29, 2011

Long Weekend Lovely

The first long weekend of 'summer' was amazing - every so often a weekend comes along that is so perfect it leaves me sad on Monday morning because it's over.

Breaking it down:

Friday night - McMaster Sick Kids charity benefit.

Yes, it's true, I'm such a philanthropist and all-around good person. However, my charity ends when I don't win a single door prize or raffle item. Seriously, I had a grand man's arm's length of tickets and, yet, bupkis. Is that how you say that?

Though, I did luck out by seeing this sign:

Perhaps our money should be going to a literacy program that specializes in spelling and punctuation instead.

Saturday morning - The first garage sale venture of the season!

Hurrah! Nothing cures a charity hangover like getting up at 7:30 am and trolling around with your friends while keeping an eye out for neon signs and 25 cent Tupperware.

We made the mistake of going around East Hamilton in search of sales and instead were inundated with yard sale mirages. For example, this one, from a block away looks like a sale, albeit paltry. As we drive closer, we see that it's just some white trash party leftovers. The picture doesn't show it, but there is a dude passed out in the bushes.

I found a wicked hammock, but was unable to convince the sellers to allow me to keep it on their lovely lawn and come by every day for a nap. If I put it in my shadeless and flowerless yard, it wouldn't be nearly as relaxing.Getting out of a hammock is more awkward than that first step onto the roller rink or when someone jumps on the trampoline at the same time as you.
Saturday night - Paul's 30-something birthday and apparent End of the World/Judgement Day

This is us after we realized it was after 6pm and we're still alive:But then we realized that it probably meant we had been passed over and are not up in heaven. Hmmm, that could be bad.

The rest of the night included: snake bite shots, banana clips from the 80s and learning that Paul wears his new Blackberry in his hip holster like a total loser.

I also experienced the moment where I decided that I am no longer into the traditional club scene where I am obviously the oldest person. There has to be a better way to dance and party with your friends without looking at 18 year old skankatrons and thinking, "Dear God, is that what I used to be like? Stop bumping into me! Shut. It. Down."

Sunday - Friend's Birthday Party Extravaganza

I was in charge of cannoli and helium balloons - the backbone to any party. As I've mentioned before, there is something so fun about carrying balloons around - an instant festive party.

One of the kids got ahold of one of the bunches and there it goes...

The shindig was pretty great and included a patio dance party, 2am garage jam session, and interesting notes to indicate all the sleeping babies around the house.

Monday - Shopping Stateside with Naomi

No pictures about that and unless you're interested in hearing about my new pink heels or 7 dresses that I purchased, I'll pack it in.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend filled with great people, great occasions and great cannoli.

Bye Bye Birdie

One of my spring “New Things To Try” is badminton. My friends and I now play in a casual badminton league every Tuesday night and it has quickly become my favourite thing of the week. Except for those weeks when I go to Denninger’s on a Saturday morning and eat a brunch full of samples.

Badminton is the most wonderful sport because you don’t need to train or really even learn, but if you’re keen you can become really skilled at it. You can simply walk in, pick up a racquet and play. Or you can pick up a racquet, practice and be awesome. We play with lots of 50 and 60 year old men, a few 30-somethings and us. Four more months until I have to lump myself into the 30-something category. The 60 year old men are really good and playing with them makes me better. The sound the birdie makes is so satisfying and I love that it can get really intense until you’re sweating like you just played an actual sport.

Obligatory 'racket-as-guitar' shot:
A Hamilton city rec program brings out lots of characters, including my friends from Toronto who had to register as 'illegal aliens' or lie about their address. There is this one couple who clearly comes to badminton as part of their foreplay routine. There is this one French guy who speaks no English and kicks our asses every week. It has been my goal to beat him or at least make him nod in admiration at my skills. So far, I have received a smirk. There is also the guy who plays in bathing trunks and enjoys telling racist jokes during my serve.

I have found that I have a similar involuntary reaction while playing badminton that I do while rock climbing - I end up shrieking and grunting. Like I think I'm Serena Williams or something. Also, a really good rally makes me giggle - badminton totally makes me giddy.

I've gotten a lot better over the ten weeks and am totally addicted. Just try me, I'll beat you.

Doggy Paddle

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. But fairly reasonable in price.
Everyone knows there is no need to dress dogs in swimwear - all they need is a lifejacket and they'll be fine. Tessa, you're simply the best.
Who are the people buying these swimsuits for their dogs anyway? Probably the same people who buy glamour shots for their cats and tote their kids around on a leash. Or people who get those 'old-tyme' photos at Canada's Wonderland and drink Pepsi straight from the 2 litre bottle. Or hang dreamcatchers from their rear view mirrors and wear those huge t-shirts with bikinis painted on them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


What the F is wrong with the spacing on Blogspot?!?
It's driving me crazy.

I'm All Atwitter

I recently joined Twitter. There is no end to the forms of social media and technology that I am now willing to explore. I'm bursting into this decade with a force - there's no stopping me. Look out MP3s - you're next.

I joined to follow a friend who writes about ridiculous statements in online dating profiles (@badprofiles) and then I added Kelly Oxford who says all sort of awesome stuff like "Has anyone told Avril Lavigne she has money?" and "I told my brother he looks like Tobias Funke and he unfriended me on Facebook :("

So I now have a Twitter profile. I do not tweet - I can barely keep up with this blog, but for some reason I have 2 followers. They stand to be disappointed.

However, I've been thinking and these are the types of things I would tweet:

- I just saw a pregnant hooker give money to her pimp on my way to trivia.

- How do people know when gas prices are going to rise? Every time this guy tells everyone on Facebook and I always sort of think he's a savant.

- Noooo! I have a party on the 22nd and I'm in charge of balloons and 3 dozen cannoli. The apocalypse doesn't really go with theme.
- Today I had a waitress named Charm and a woman named Nivea gave me a pedicure. I'm now looking for a chef named Pork Chop and a something named Something More Clever.

- I thought the whole point of you owning a Maserati is that I would never have to be stuck behind you.

- It looks like there was a wedding in my backyard and I wasn't invited.

Yeah, I should just stick to the blog.

Rainy Day Sandwich

Have you ever seen a more perfect grilled cheese sandwich in your entire life?

And wait, there's's filled with bacon.

Yes, I'm afraid that until this weather clears up and just being alive in the sunshine makes me smile, I have to rely on perfect sandwiches.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beets, beets, b-b-b-beets

Beets are like the rats of the produce family.

Hammer Votes

While this is way delayed, did you vote? I wanted to be a more informed voter this time around and to this end, I attended a Q&A session with the candidates in my riding. Perfectly blending with state, it was held in a church a few blocks away.

David Christopherson (NDP), Anne Tennier (Liberal) and Michael Baldasaro (Party O’ Pot & Beards) were in attendance. The Conservative candidate declined to attend – at this announcement, there was a lot of chuckling and booing. I was pretty sure I knew who I was going to vote for before this session, but it was extremely informative and I felt like I was an active participant in the voting process. Halfway through, while someone else was speaking Baldasaro changed into this hat:

The unfortunate part was that I had to sit through the evening in East Hamilton, among a cross-section of my neighbours. I think I’ve said before that I believe Hamilton to be a pocket city, where one block is beautiful and upstanding and the next is filled with rest homes and derelicts. What are rest homes anyway? I don’t think they’re like halfway houses – are they for people who can’t function on their own? I don’t know, but all I see as I walk past them is dozens of people sitting on the front porch chain-smoking into an empty coffee can ashtray.

Some of the people that attended this Q&A spent most of the evening burping, heckling, yelling out “Stop bombing Libya!” and smelling badly. It was embarrassing. Also embarrassing was Baldasaro and his supporters. Free speech and equal rights aside, it seemed to be a colossal waste of everyone’s time. Sample answer when asked something about the economy: “Well, hemp clothes. Clothes made of hemp. There’s lots of jobs in that.” Sample response from this supporters: laughter.

The interesting thing was that while listening to Tennier and Christopherson I was reminded of all that Hamilton actually has to offer. It IS or CAN BE a great city. It’s like we have all the elements to be a thriving metropolis and yet it’s just not working out yet. Hamilton is the ‘good on paper’ guy we’ve all met. It was nice to be reminded of all the things we have going for us which are so easily forgotten living among burping, shirtless layabouts. I imagine a Q&A session in Ancaster would have been much different.

They did have desserts there though. However, it didn't help that someone coughed on them. Wicked.

Uncle Stephen Wants You!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Life has been pretty busy – I love this time of year. Spring fever is in full bloom, the promise of summer and 4 long months of warmth and dinners in the sun are ahead and it’s becoming acceptable to bugger off early from work since it’s finally sunny.

A few weeks ago I decided that my penchance for high-end dry cleaning and $125 gala tickets might warrant some additional income and since my Nigerian prince hasn’t been returning my emails, I considered going gov. This sounds Palin-esque (going rogue). For those of you who, like me, still get HST cheques as a pity pittance you might remember an insert for census enumerators. I answered the call. It would be a short term stint that allows me to work alone, trawl the neighbourhood and interrupt people during their dinners. It paid pretty well and I thought it would be something new for a couple weeks.

The process involved in applying for a government job is an Olympic level exercise in hoop jumping. I’ve worked for government before, in Ottawa no less, but it was as a co-op and no one really screens budding librarians too closely. However, once a job offer is opened to the general public…in Hamilton…they increase the scrutiny a bit. Rightfully so, I really don’t want most of Hamilton’s public showing up at my door and asking if I live alone.

So the applications, interviews, testing, phone calls and background checks began and this process took several weeks. Now, go ahead and call me an egomaniac, my friend Tracy spares no opportunity to do so, but I tend to think that people with Master’s degrees, mortgages in good standing and all their teeth should be exempt from some of the tests to make sure we’re not raving lunatics. I mean, really. I’m taking these tests alongside jailbirds, former crack addicts, people who voted for Michael Baldasaro, Michael Baldasaro and that crazy guy you see in Gore Park. Which one, you ask? All of them. Especially that one you’re thinking of.

Okay, so I pass the preliminary tests (duh) and they’d like me to come in for a written examination. I always love a good Scantron sheet. As I sit in the sweltering room next to a woman who brought a full-on calculator with paper roll and a guy who has left his name blank on the form, I think, “Yep, this is the place for me.”

They require that we stay in the room for 30 minutes. After I completed my twelve questions in the regular amount of time you would expect (i.e. 4 minutes) I was left with a great deal of time to people watch. I also spent the time staring at the answer sheet of the woman next to me and whispering, “Are you sure?” with a ‘tsk-tsk’ noise. I’ll admit that I did go back and review because I was worried I was being tricked with the simplicity – why was everyone still writing?

I made the observation that no one wears more short sleeved dress shirts than government employees -and proudly too. They have a monopoly there. They also really like wearing their name badges on full display and they shush people almost as well as librarians.

After seeing the variety of people in that testing room, my best advice for you would be to fill out that census form you received last week. Otherwise, they’re coming for you…

Trust me on this one.