Thursday, May 17, 2012

Triple Word Score

Most Creative and Thoughtful Gift-for-no-reason of the Month goes to......

She personally made these.  Like, as a craft.  One year in high school we agreed to make each other Christmas presents instead of buying them (Tracy and I used to hunt in recycling boxes on garbage day for Pepsi points that would get us free Pepsi sweatshirts - so we've always been pretty thrifty).  She made me something cute that I kept in my room for years.  Then, she discovered it at a garage sale and it wasn't pretty.  But I can honestly say I won't get rid of these.  Ever.  Or at least for years.

My favourite one is "Bacon Blitz Virgo Chick".

Face Time

Does anyone actually wash their face the way they do in commercials? 

Guaranteed to get water ... everywhere.

And they are almost always wearing a white tank top. 

That is all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Dark Side of Tanning

By now, we've all heard about and been disgusted by "Tan Mom" and today I read an article in the Globe and Mail about Quebec putting forth legislation that would make it illegal for minors (under 18) to enter tanning salons.

This seems like a great idea and really, one that should have been passed ages ago.  Apparently, tanning exposure under the age of 35 increases the danger of melanoma by 75%.  This is a no-brainer. 

I've had one bout of tanning a long time ago when I was much more shallow than I am now, if you can believe it.  I wanted to get rid of tan lines for a friend's wedding.  After several sessions it still didn't work and the whole coffin, neon light thing kind of freaked me out.

There's something so twisted about minors in particular using tanning salons.  I feel the same way about letting pre-teens dye their hair.  Let's try to delay the fake as long as possible, huh people?

Montréal Notes

Recently, I endured a 6:00am solo drive to Montréal for a work conference.  I actually quite like driving alone and although it poured rain the entire way and the Mapquest directions were a waste of time, it was a good drive.  I decided to record 6 hours of random thoughts as I drove and have compiled some of them for you here:  (Aren't you lucky!)

- I have this strange thing about windshield wipers.  I don't like to use them unless absolutely essential, because I always worry that they will fail.  Like, they have a finite number of swishes and one day, when you need them the most, they'll fail and you won't be able to drive any further.  So, if I can still see out the window, I don't use them - saving them for the really big rain.  Yes, I realize this is neurotic.

- So many times I see a car on the highway that is similar to one a friend/acquaintance/crush owns and if it is in the general vicinity of their home, I convince myself that it is them.  Then when I pull up beside them all ready to wave and smile, 99% of the time, it is not them.  And, for the record, the 1% instance turned out to be my mortal enemy.  Not ideal.

- I always liked the Goodyear slogan: "Because so much is riding on your tires."  It's clever, simple, double in meaning.  Way to go, Goodyear.  It's right up there with "Every kiss begins with Kay."

- Just stopped for a Tim Horton's coffee, probably my second ever.  Wasn't really sure how to order it, so I just said "double double" and they gave me something that seemed to do the trick.  I have coffee just rarely enough so that it is still effective.  I remember my very first espresso based drink - a latte when I worked at a bakery a few years ago.  It was like speed.  Or what I presume speed feels like.  I felt like I could do anything and had endless energy until I crashed hard.  These days I only have coffees or lattes every few weeks, if that, so when I really need the kick, it still works.

- Every time I am away for an extended period of time, like a weekend or a vacation or even some work days, I always try to leave my house as if I might die/become hospitalized and not return.  This sounds incredibly morbid, I know, but I like to leave it in such a manner that when my relatives and friends come to collect my belongings etc, it's tidy and organized.  Plus it's always nicer to come home to a clean house.  Yes, I realize, this too is neurotic.

- I'm excited to go back to Montréal - I haven't been since 2008, I think.  I had the best lemon tart of my life there, even better than in Paris.  I also had the worst amuse bouche of my life there as well.  I'm pretty sure it was cement paste.  But it was free, so there's that.

- As I compile my "Favourite Songs of Life" I am considering adding "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree.  It's so fantastic - simple, empowering, great beat.  I think it is my anthem.  Don't you think every day would start off that much better by listening to this each morning? 

- Remember when people used to talk on the phone?  The first time a boy ever called me was in 5th grade.  His name was Joe and I met him at horse/Bible camp (yep).  I remember being so nervous and unsure what to do or what to talk about.  My parents were freaking out.  In the years since, the phone has become almost obsolete in dating relationships.  I don't really mind and tell myself that I prefer texting because it gives you time to come up with something witty and double check spelling.  But, sometimes I think that the nervousness that comes with talking to someone on the phone is a unique thrill that rarely happens anymore.  I'm a sucker for nervous butterflies.

- I always thought that "Shelter" by Ray LaMontagne is such a beautiful song for a wedding.  In fact, there is one couple in my life in particular that I always picture when I hear the song.  It just seems to fit their personalities and their relationship.  A little bit hippie, a little bit tender, all real and so in love.  I wonder if they like it as much as I like it for them.

- One of my greatest fears is choking while driving on the highway.  Seriously, think about it.  You're driving along, playing the steering wheel drums, eating a donut or a sandwich or chicken piccata, whatever, and all of a sudden you're choking.  What do you do??!!  Even if you have the ability to pull over and get out of the car, by the time someone realizes that you're actually choking, they've flown by and it seems unlikely that someone would be able to stop and give you the Heimlich in time.  This is what I think about when I'm driving.  And yet, somehow, it hasn't stopped me from eating while doing so.  Things that make you go "Hmmm".

- DJs.  I'll admit I've always felt about them the way I feel about real estate agents...what do they actually DO?  The product (music, house) sells itself, does the job itself, no?  However, there have been some real estate agents who are actually worth their salt and I have discovered that not all DJs are created equal.  Case in point - DJ Starting From Scratch.  I've never really paid any attention, but his morning mix, or whatever it's called, is really awesome.  Each song is just long enough, each one better than the last and he included Nelly - Ride Wit Me (one of my all time favourite songs) - I don't ask for much else from a radio DJ.

- Wow, there are a lot of people who do the rush hour commute to Toronto from all points east (Whitby, Oshawa, Pickering etc.)  Seems like more than those coming from the Hammer area.  And there's no HOV lanes from this direction. *shudder*

- Ok, seriously, there's FIVE more hours to go???

- Someone on the radio is talking about the Walmart children who have inherited billions of dollars.  If I had Walmart money, or really even failing Zellers money, I would open up a beignet place in downtown Hamilton - Gore Park, specifically.  My first authentic beignet was in New Orleans at Café du Monde.  (This picture doesn't actually show the beignet because they had already been scarfed down, but believe me when I tell you that this picture was taken there.)

It was amazing and so deliciously simple.  Pretty much just a fried fritter loaded up with icing sugar.  No.  No, like, LOADED up.  That was all that Café du Monde sold - those and strong coffee.  I have always thought that this concept would be well-received around here.  If only my sole deep frying experience hadn't resulted in a flesh burn and raw chicken.

- Remember that story of the crazy astronaut who drove cross country to confront her lover or something?  She wore an adult diaper so she wouldn't have to make bathroom stops.  There is no one cute enough worth sitting in your own excrement while dozens of restrooms pass you by.

- I am addicted to Flight of the Conchords.  I was introduced to this short-lived TV show written by and starring two hilarious Kiwis by my brother and can't get enough.  It's such a shame there are only two seasons.  For this road trip, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the soundtrack at the library and have been dying with laughter at their lyrics.  Sample:

"You know you're not in high finance, considering second hand underpants."

It's a lot funnier when they sing it.  I had a brief panic attack when the CD got stuck in the player for several kilometres.  However, if I had to be subjected to only one CD for the remaining 4.5 hours, Flight of the Conchords isn't a bad way to go.

- I really like my eyebrows these days.

- Driving through Napanee - the only thing I know about Napanee is that it's the hometown of Avril Lavigne.  She of the pink streaked hair and personal style of a punk rock wannabe from the early 2000s.  Also, she is supposedly dating Brody Jenner.  He of the useless beautiful people, a scion of some Hollywood C-listers.  How did they get together?

He's uncomfortably handsome.  It's silly to say, but I actually met him once and was quite excited at the time.  He's just so beautiful, you can't help become enthralled in his presence.  It was several years ago when I was event planning in Toronto.  We were doing the Much Music Video Awards and there were all sorts of celebrities and "celebrities" around.  I went up to Rainn Wilson and told him I enjoyed his work on The Office.  Way lame thing to say, but it was either that or make a joke about his name.  I took the elevator up with Flo Rida.  Jordan from the New Kids on the Block walked by me. 

At the after party, I saw Brody in the crowd and pseudo-stalked him as he made his way through.  Thanks to my all-access pass, I positioned myself in his path and stopped him.  I introduced myself and we shook hands and made small talk.  He's quite the charmer and somehow makes everyone feel like there's no one else in the room and that you're just as beautiful as he is.  The annoying thing is that he looks this perfect in real life too:

- I just passed a road sign advertising "Hell Holes Nature Trails".  For real.

- Is Luther Vandross still alive?

- I just drove past a casino and the parking lot was full of cars at 9:30am on a Tuesday.  What?

- Preparing for this trip, I headed to the library and grabbed the following CDs:

Billy Joel - The Hits
Janet Jackson - Number Ones
Dragonette - Galore
Flight of the Conchords soundtrack
He's Just Not That Into You soundtrack

One was horrendous. Two were phenomenal.  Two were satisfactory.

- I like the name Mallory.  I've never met a Mallory, but I remember one from the Babysitter's Club book series from my preteen years.

- Finally entered Quebec - I love it here!  Not only do they have typical maximum speed limits, they also have minimum speed requirements.  This is genius.  Why hasn't Ontario embraced this policy?  I mean, I personally have, but it would be nice to be validated by the signage.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Window Wedding Shopping

If I were ever to elope to Las Vegas, this would be the dress I would wear.  At least for the $4.99 breakfast buffet reception part of the weekend.