Category Archives: Do This Not That

Mastering the Art of Keeping the Flies Off the Pie


Last weekend I was thinking that it’s time to break up with my couch, maybe not completely, but like Ross and Rachel did on “Friends” with an “understanding” and just “take a break.” I think I need to be on my own for a while and like see other furniture, but just casually for now. Like a park bench. Or a bar stool! Hey, ho, how’s this for smart modern living? A stool in one of those swim up bars in a pool in those all-inclusive resorts! Wait, maybe not. I’ve been to one of those once, and half naked, sunburnt, flabby, drunk, loud, freely urinating middle aged swingers groping each other is not the hot Bruce Weber pool party of my dreams. Who wants to watch Hulk Hogan’s sex tape? Not moi. So forget the pool stool, I need to sit somewhere else.

A horse. I just need to sit on top of a horse.

Apparently it turned to Spring on Sunday and my weekend was a bust. I did two gross things couchbound  that I’m not proud of: First, I hate watched the entire Will Arnett series “Flaked” on Netflix. Here is a synopsis: Will Arnett is a recovering alcoholic in Venice Beach who makes stools. Makes stools. For a living. Uh huh. On his own sweet time, he runs a sparse furniture shop with random junk in it but with one stool in the back. You never actually see him make a stool and I don’t think he even touched the one stool in any of the episodes. Is stool a metaphor for shit? I don’t know. He’s hardly even in the store and he mostly just rides a bicycle around the hood! He’s bored and has existential middle aged angst and he sneaks booze, so what. Oh! and he bangs hot babes in their early twenties. Yeah, he’s cute in those J Crew shorts but that bike, man, sorry, this isn’t Portland. The type of girls he gets work in trendy restaurants and wear outfits of see-through scraps and held up with little strings. These are the type of girls who come from hick towns in the midwest with their cow milking skills on point and really strong, hungry hand game, who, like generations of young hoes before them, are inspired by the legend of Lana Turner getting discovered in Schwabs Deli. And they know “getting discovered” is a thing that involves deep throating old, ugly dudes, but ones who drive luxury cars and can buy them shit. But no, he happens to get the girls who don’t care and love him for HIM, all two cents and two wheels. Ugh. I guess that is plausible because male privilege extends to the poor but it’s INFURIATING. Also! By Will Arnett’s estimation of female characterization, women over the ripe old age of say, 35, are problematically portrayed as a hardened, bitchy, turned lesbian ex-wife by Heather Graham. Yes, ex-wives are always turning into lesbians and their partners are always evil antagonists and if they had moustaches, they would be twirling them. And then the other old bitch in the show is Kirsty Alley, as a batshit crazy mom (but awesome) of his second banana sidekick roommate who he has issues with because of he perceives her free-wheeling sexuality as traumatizing. Fuck that shit. Grow up, dude.

I really cannot believe Will Arnett is Canadian. I’m so very disappointed as I DID love Arrested Development but I think I really hate him now and no, I didn’t watch Bojangle Horsetwat, I can’t possibly watch everything and I tried but I didn’t get it, whatevs. He’s dead to me.

Anyway, the second gross thing I did this spring weekend on my couch raft was that I made this disgusting cocktail out of beer and vodka. So, earlier in the week, Bob randomly brought over some Steigl tall boys that he “took” from his girlfriend. At first I was excited because he stole beer for lil ol’ me? The implications were endless: Were they some kind of symbolic offering? As in some kind of Robin Hood thing, like taking from the bitch to give to the whore? But then I saw they were “grapefruit beer” wtf? Basically shite wheat beer mixed with grapefruit juice in a can that no sane adult would drink or want cluttering their fridge. I really don’t understand society sometimes. Personally, if I’m going to drink a calorie, I need a buzz, and this shit has 2.5 % alcohol which means I may as well drink a pie. Why would I do that? And by the way, this is the idiocy of smoothies that y’all drink in the morning thinking it’s a good healthy thing but guess what? If you actually ate all that bulky sugary fruit and crap, you’d only be able to ingest half what you sucked back in a straw, and without all the chewing, tongue twirling, solid mass swallowing, you’re missing a crucial step for complete appetite satiety. When you gulp down things that have been puréed even if it was once solid, it’s way easier to over-consume, your body doesn’t think it ate, it thinks it just drank, which is like what babies on a tit and old people do with Ensure. Drinking should only be for water, coffee, or booze. So anyway, with this Steigl crap, I used it as a mix for vodka, drank myself sober while I watched that fucking Will Arnett show and got so riled, I actually showered afterwards. And now I’m done. Fuck you, couch. (But I’ll call you later, and we’ll hang when “Orange is the New Black” comes out).

werkwerkwerkwerkwerkwerkwerkwerkwerkwerkwerk……. Rihanna and Drake lol, that song tho.

Okay, so yeah, so rather than sit, or let’s face it, lay on couch, it’s time to hit the gym and I’ve been thinking a lot about my butt lately because why not transfer a middle-aged lady existential crisis into a body part? My ass, in yoga pants, is not bad but could be bubblier. And really, I want it to be big and sloppy to match the boobs but I’m not built that way.  Out of the yoga pants, disaster! Rash city, wtf. I didn’t even know about it until I took a belfie a couple of weeks ago and had to put it on extreme filter settings before it looked passable. I should never have sent it. Oy, oh well.

Go check yours now, I’ll wait. If you have ass-ne, I have the cure along with the million dollar idea that someone should market a butt skincare regime specifically for this problem. But here’s what for now: Go to the acne section of the drugstore, find something with salicylic acid and get something to exfoliate with like those gloves and wash your ass cheeks with that and then put cream on it. It seems to be working for me but zits can be tricky I know, you think you’ve got them beat and then they come back somewhere else. Thirty years later, lol.

I have been going to the same gym for almost twenty years and I’ve done it all, I tell you. I had an epiphany a couple of months ago. I have done personal training, step, spin, bootcamp, yoga, tennis, and fuck all that shit, I’m tired of other people telling me what to do. I need agency when it comes to my body. I google, I read the magazines, and I’ve seen the same people for twenty years and I’ve got case studies of all types to figure out what my own ass needs.

Recently, the gym underwent a huge renovation where everything  went from dark crannies, where people accidentally on purpose brushed into each other, to a big open concept warehouse-like setting where people couldn’t cheat anymore. At first I was, like, ugh this is awful, I can see clearly now and it is not pretty. You walk in and there’s a big hallway in the middle, on the right is all the cardio machines, and to the left are all the weights. In very back is a golf station taking up a third of the real estate so that 4 white men could be happy, the dance studio which has a serious feng shui problem with its strange hanging ropes, and the cycle studio which I think I might be done with because of my recent epiphany.

So when I look at everything in the bright light of the Best Buy, this is what I see: People who spend all their time on the cardio machines believing that they are burning fat are on a 45-minute elliptical ride to Delusionville. Cardio fatties, the whole lot of them. Even the ones on the treadmill who are not fat but sinewy, which is way worse, are the embodiment of misery and joint pain.

All the really hot people in the gym are to the left in the weight area. Case study: There’s a dude that I’ve seen for two decades who spends all his time in the weight, hoisting heavy weights, then sitting around, he never really breaks a sweat, he practically does his workouts in street clothes. He’s in his forties now but he looks exactly the same as he did in his twenties. His shoulders broad, his abs are steel, his butt could recite poetry, prolly. He’s built like Zeus. Sometimes he goes on a bike, but I think it’s just because he’s lonely and wants to watch tv. I never want to talk to him because I don’t want to know his story. It’s probably tragically boring.

In January, I got my favourite trainer to show me all the new equipment. He’s so cute and easy to talk to, I thought he was gay because he knew all the Kardashians in proper birth order but turns out he is just married. “I just want to keep the flies off the pie, maintain the junk placement and the solid parts for the next phase of my life” was my fitness goal, which he found delightfully refreshing as people are too fucking focussed on some ideal they will never be. His words. Listen to your body and what it wants to do when it’s not laying on the couch. Mine is mighty and bodacious and it needs to heave, push, pull, slam heavy shit while jiggling somewhat.

What about cardio? You ask incredulously, clutching your FitBit. Well guess what, if I do it fast, without resting and finger fucking my phone like my life is important (I leave it in the locker), I  get my heart rate up and break a sweat (I am not Zeus). I am also not one of those delicate ladies in Lululemon who think a 5 pound weight is going to cut it. And I strongly suspect that spinning is what gave a butt rash.

Also! Here’s an unpopular opinion: Yoga is bullshit, it actually feeds my anxiety, I don’t care what anyone says about that. Fuck being centred and all calm, using your own body weight for resistance, and wringing yourself out like a washcloth.  That makes no sense to me unless you’re in prison. I need to be scattered and looking around the room at other people, trying to make eye contact while grunting. Because that’s entertainment.









Mastering the Art of Self-Diagnosing: A Cautionary Tale


There’s always something going down in the body department. It’s  constant pain in the ass it is to be alive, that’s for sure. If you are lucky, there might be maybe a couple of days in any given year where nothing is noticed, all orifices are clear and everything is copacetic and in reasonable working order. Most of the time some kind of alarm is going off and for me, the list reads as such:

A motherfucking hangnail!

Annoying mouth canker, a crusty bitch of a cold sore in the corner of the lips

A stiff neck crick, a delicate tenderness underneath the wing part of the right shoulder-blade, hurts to back out of a parking spot

Throbbing headache, double vision, halo vision…hallucinations of a faerie-type-being or ghostly apparition coming from behind as if out of nowhere, whispers sweetly in my ear “don’t sweat it,” but sweat it anyway

Peripheral-only vision, a stubborn floater that doesn’t actually “float” per se, but sits in the way in plain sight, right in front of everything important making it impossible to read anything on the Internet

Stiffness in previously broken big toe, shooting pain in the foot arch, comes and goes

Itchy vagina

Sore lower back, throbbing tailbone STILL from that drunken bike spill in 2003

Scratchy throat the morning after eating Krinkle-cut Kettlechips, hurts to swallow

Flaming butthole, churning stomach, cramps, bloating…

Super farts!

No bladder control whatsoever, I’m sure we’ve talked about this before, this is only going to get much, much worse

Creaky knees

Slippery grip

Night sweats, emotional distress, insomnia

Impromptu nosebleed!

Ass cheek chafing, strange butt rash

Tender titties,  achey ovaries, Aunt Flo left the building 6 months ago but left her pet fish, Mojo and Moodswing, and they fight in public

Tightness in the ribs due to inflammation of the organs (prolly)

Heartache, memory loss, ennui, no interest in socialization, huge interest in BBC when the moon is full, no appetite, voracious appetite, angry self-inflicted flesh wound

Gluteal muscle strain, HURTS TO SIT ON TOILET

Charlie horse in the middle of the fucking night!

The Fear first thing in the morning

Excessive sneezing second thing in the morning

OCD hair twirling (chews hair but won’t admit to it, shhh)

Poop smells “chemical”

Poop formed itself  “in a weirdly shaped ominous symbol of Satan”

Poop is Pantone’s Colour of the Year!

Recurring dream of teeth falling out

Tiny white bumps on arms

Giant hives everywhere there is hair, including head, armpits, pubes, and eyebrows, tongue too big to fit in mouth, swollen cheeks, after touching a peach at the Farmer’s Market, would be scary if face didn’t look sooooo comically funny


I file these things in the back of my head so when I go for my annual checkup, I have something to tell the doctor. She enjoys my stories and in particular, my Yelp review of my colonoscopy. I will probably not tell her about my hangnails or my full moon activities (never mind, yes, I will) but! I will stress my insomnia and anxiety hope to gods of benevolent pharmaceuticals she finally gives me some drugs once and for all. Jesus Macauley Christ, I am the only adult I know who doesn’t have a prescription to some Xanax-type drug in order to cope, holy shit. A couple of weeks ago, Bob gave me one of his magic pellets, miraculazipam, and yes, please, I should have my own stash. I fell asleep easily, like I normally do, at around midnight, woke up at 3 a.m. like I normally do BUT! this time I didn’t toss and ruminate about sheep inventory for 3 sweaty, pillow-beating hours, I FELL RIGHT BACK ASLEEP IN A FIVE SECOND FINGER FAP OF A LAMB’S TAIL. And! This is the clincher: Woke up at 7 a.m. without The Fear. Sign me up, Dr. McC. Please.

I know what you’re going to say; “Xanax is addictive, blah blah, Big Pharma is evil, blah blah, unpronounceable chemicals, blah blah blah… try rosehip thistlewort and wild boar dingleberry dust from the Wiccan Farmer’s market or you can get it on-line for $400 USDs per gram plus shipping. Yes, holistic bitch, whatever you read from the Food Babe’s blarf must be true. Or! I can get Valium or one of its sexy cousins, and guess what, yo? There’s no chemical I can’t pronounce, I am that articulate.

But you know what? I am really bad at going to the doctor and probably will just let it all slide, like my inflamed organs that I am going to cure with tumeric tea, which I have yet to buy, much less brew. I am a lazy Wiccan like that. Yes, I really do wish dried herbs would trump chemo to cure cancer, but it just won’t. I will google but with circumspection. I have learned the hard way.

So here is the cautionary tale that I should share with you before you self-diagnose, like I do, and fail to read instructions, because who reads instructions:

Last year, during the Victoria Day holiday weekend, I had an ear infection. I’m a pro at these and you do not need to know what exactly caused it. I’ve had them a million times before, I know the drill. You don’t bother calling your actual doctor because you have to pay for parking. It’s Canada, land of socialized medicine, you go to a drop-in clinic, you get probed then you get a prescription for whatever putrid discharge is putting a damper on your day. For some reason, I was probably drunk like patriotic Canadian should be on May Two-Four, I thought: “Oh, no clinics will be open, but didn’t Dr. Oz have a show on home remedies, like onion and garlic are natural antibiotics?” Yes, I was really thinking this through thoroughly, I type sarcastically. I did not google for confirmation like a sensible Wiccan would. I just went into the kitchen and peeled out a sliver of garlic and gingerly placed it in my ear and went back to drunkytime holiday activities. Well, in no less than two minutes, there was a burning sensation that aggressively took over the pain sensation which in my mind means it’s working, like the way Vicks Vaporub clears out those petrified snot barnacles….dat smell, yaaaassss.

Stoically I kept it in a little longer until I was yowling in pain. I took the clove out. THEN I googled. It’s garlic-infused oil, not garlic that you are supposed to use. GARLIC INFUSED-OIL, AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Even had I read it first, I still would have stuck the clove in there to save time. What, really, am I going to marinate garlic in oil and not get to put it on lamb kebabs? Why would Dr. Oz not warn people: DO NOT STICK A CLOVE IN YOUR DUMB FUCKING EAR, YOU COULD POP OPEN YER EARDRUM. Btw, did you know you can remove a plantar’s wart with a clove of garlic? You know how salicylic acid (sound it out, Food Babe, take your time: sal-i-sil-ic) barely works, I’m not naming any brands, those fuckers stay around forever unless you go to a doctor and pay for parking and whatnot…trust me: garlic vapour will excavate a hole beyond your skeleton and down through your family roots find its way to the first amoeba that ever walked the earth. It’s that strong.

The next day, I went to a drop-in clinic. I did not say a word about what I did but , the doctor on duty gave me ear drops for 7 days. The whole thing went awry. The pain was gone but  I can’t even describe what was happening inside my ear….oh, yes I can, it was like stinky cheese fondue from another country where the cows eat cabbage. It was disgusting and amazing at the same time. Then some lady who I now actively hate at my gym overheard me talking to someone and she chimed in and said her son had the EXACT SAME issue (I don’t think so) and he went to such-and-such a clinic, I won’t point fingers (oh yes, I will), and he got his ear “pumped out” and it was fixed right away. I am such an idiot for not going to my actual real, beloved associated-with-a-reputable-hospital pay-for-parking (suck it up) doctor straight away, but I went to this other clinic instead. I looooove having my ears pumped out and the other doctor wouldn’t do it even though I begged her. For a good reason, it turned out. This doctor was insane, he wore blue shiny, silk suit and spoke no English. He irrigated my ear, old school-style, which cleared it out and confirmed that yes, there was a hole but now  it was probably even bigger, and some of the fondue went back inside my head. It was most wretched and the party lasted for days.

In July, after two months of garlic-induced, cheese-reeking deafness, I finally went to my real doctor and paid $4.50 for parking. I got referred to and ear specialist who never asked what actually happened but probably has her own juicy 50 Shades of Pus book to write. I fell in love with her during the time she spent probing my canal. She babied my ear like it was her own for months., monitoring the hole, vacuuming out the fondue (which was developed into more like a delicious poutine over time), making sure I was keeping it dry, so it would hopefully close on its own. It almost healed but never did entirely. The solution I chose, if I ever wanted to swim again, was to operate: Slice a skin graft from the back of the ear, and seal the hole with the flesh and hopefully everything will be restored, hearing-wise.

That was two weeks ago, I’m still kind of deaf but now my ear feels like it’s going to pop any minute, kind like being on an airplane, so I’m chewing gum, like my mama told me, long before the Internet and Dr. Oz fucked me over. And never stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. That’s what she keeps saying. LOL. As if.


















Resolution #2: Kick Porn

It’s not even a week into the new year and I’ve already broken my resolution.  Oh, and it’s not NOT Drinking, that is a thing called “Juiceless January” and it’s not a resolution, it’s a lifestyle.  But I also broke that, too, although I figure Juiceless January starts whenever you want because it’s not like you stop drinking when the clock strikes midnight… far from it.  At 4 in the morning, January 1rst, I was sitting in my neighbours’ backyard, making sure the party fire died so the house didn’t burn down, swilling on the last cleansing Corona after a night of sparkling wine.  Needless to say, I needed hair of the dog on the first AND the second….so Juiceless January starts today:  January 3rd.  I donated a pint of blood just to get it all started.  Out with the old crap, in with the fresh hemo-cleanse.

Now I don’t really believe all this “cleansing” because you need toxins flowing inside to keep from being too precious for this filthy world.  It’s the theory of homeopathy and vaccines where a bit of the poison that can kill you, will keep you protected.  I had a friend who told me she drank one glass of wine a day which is the perfect amount to get a little buzz and keep the demons at bay.  I was jealous of her self-restraint because I could never stop at one glass.  Once I went to her house while our kids had a play date.  She offered me a glass of wine and hello, of course I said yes.  The two glasses she hauled out of the cabinet, no joke, were those giant ones you get in Las Vegas for those massive margaritas.  I brought one back from the Frontier Hotel to keep fruit in…it holds a bunch of bananas and a box of tangerines.  She poured us each “a” glass, draining a liter and a half of Jackson Triggs.  I love people and their delusions.

Anyway, I broke my only new year’s resolution:  Don’t worry so fucking much, all the live long day and night, 24/7. Of course the minute I tell myself NOT to worry, I worry.  I pick my nails, I chew and pull my hair.  Then I need a cocktail or 4. I fall asleep easily but wake up in the middle of the night, only to ruminate about my worries.  It’s a vicious cycle and so the need to implement Juiceless January.  If I don’t drink, at least I won’t worry about drinking.

Now I just went to see “Young Adult” which is about a crazy bitch with a drinking problem.  I’m not here to review the movie *per se* because I am biased.  I have two girl movie star crushes where I would unapologetically watch whatever they are in no matter how crappy of a flop according to Rotten Tomatoes.  One is Cameron Diaz, and she is obviously the man in my lesbian fantasy. She is even more masculine than my butcher crush.  The other is Charlize Theron.  I even wanted to lick her as le monster.  In “Young Adult” I can see myself in her character which made me love this film:  a loner with a little dog, consumed by obsessive thoughts, deluded, hungover, and junk food crazed.  I even had a dented Mini Cooper at one point in my life. And Hello Kitty!

My friend, Erin, has a blog where she describes “Time Porn” on tv, like where the characters in “Friends” have all the time in the world to hang out at the coffee shop.  She went on to say “Northern Exposure” was “Geography Porn,” where the small town of Cicely, Alaska, is glorified by the charmingly whacky citizens and their antics.  In reality, nobody has that much time, and small towns are usually not very diverse and full of colourful characters who embrace each other’s foibles.  No, they’re usually a cloister of rednecks who will nail you to a tree if you look a little funny.

Anyway, “Young Adult” is definitely “Alcoholic Porn.” Mavis Gary (Charlize) is a hot mess.  Even when she wakes up in the morning, with smudged eyes and dry mouth, she manages to make it look glamorous.  Swilling hangover liquid from a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke never looked so refreshing.  Matted hair and saggy-assed jeans were as chic as her tarted-up, man-hunter look.  A drunken rant at her ex-boyfriend’s baby shower got a “You go, girl!” response from me.  I said it out loud in the audience and other people seemed to agree:  “You said it, lady!” someone in the back row hollered.  The movie in the end, really makes you want to try the Star Wars bourbon and have some KFC.  But alas, not during Juiceless January, I’ll have to wait til February the 3rd.

Here’s a trailer from “Young Adult.”  By the way, it’s set in Mercury, Minnesota and I also think there is a thing called “Minnesota Porn” that has me wearing a Vikings hat this winter.  (I’m so susceptible to all the porn of the world, maybe I need to kick the habit):

The Good Hangover

Tom Berenger in Platoon is like the hangover doula:  Take the pain!

Santa has a list so he can remember who’s been good and who’s been naughty.  The reason why he gives most of his presents to kids is because they don’t have a tendency to get drunk and act like idiots at Christmas parties.  That is naughty.  Tis the season to have a jolly good time and some bad behaviour, that’s what Jesus would do.  I’m always amused by how magazines, newspapers, and talk shows feature ways to stay “good” during the holidays.  Today, Kelly told Regis that in order not to overeat at parties, you *pretend* you’ve already eaten:  “It works!”  This is where it pays to be blond.  I’m going to *pretend* I didn’t hear that and get back to business on the melted Brie wheel.  And then there are always tips on how to prevent a hangover.  Prevention is for amateurs, I say.  A hangover is part and parcel of a rocking good time.  Take the pain.  Embrace your hangover, and then feed it.

Yesterday I had a bad hangover because I had a rocking good time at my neighbours’ Christmas party.  I woke up and my knees couldn’t bend.  This was probably because I was wearing 4 inch high heels (good) and bush squatting (bad).  The list of other wretchedness included:  dehydration, starvation, headache, disorientation, and missing sequins.  I had neglected all the prevention tips, like drinking water and sticking to one type of beverage, liquor before beer, never fear, etc.  I know every hangover has a personality and has to be dealt with some sort of grease chaser and yesterday my hankering was dim sum.  Problem is that dim sum is a group activity and I was in no condition to carry on a conversation.  If I was civilized, I would have gone to Dynasty, which is dim sum heaven, they opened up a new location in Yorkville on Saturday.  Check out their website here.  Instead, I went to T & T Supermarket on Cherry, south of Commissioners, and got two plates of takeout dim sum.  One for me and another for me in case things went awry.  But all went well, washed down with an icy cold Coca Cola, each dumpling slid down like a slippery sleigh ride down colon mountain.  The perfect hangover, I`m sure Santa would approve.

Shrimp dumplings at Dynasty, 69 Yorkville Avenue

Shop Til You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Praying Angel Wall Art on Shuter, 2 blocks east of the Eaton Centre

Thankfully my son doesn`t read my blog so I can talk about him while he sits up in his room playing Pokemon Revenge for hours on end.  I know what you are thinking:  “Foolish woman, she thinks her teenage son is “playing Pokemon” alone in his room, yeah right!”  Believe me, I wish he were watching porn, then the odds would be better that he moves out the house before he is 30.  He also plays the ukulele.  And sings.  He is bilingual as well:  English and Caveman.  Caveman is pretty cryptic, but I can still understand it from my teenhood:  One grunt (Humh) means “yes” and two grunts (Humh mhum) means “I don’t know” which could mean yes or no.  Sometimes with teenagers “no” means “yes” because when you ask them if they want a grilled cheese sandwich, they might grunt out negatively but when they see you with yours, they say: “Where’s mine, Mother?” and then their diction is perfect.  To add even more confusion, I asked Freddy what he wanted for Christmas and he said:  “Ham and cheese.”  I know what you’re thinking:  “Foolish woman, he is probably smoking salvia up on his deck and he is so stoned that he wants food for Christmas.”  Believe me, I wish he was smoking salvia, then I could buy him a real fancy bong with a matching lighter in his stocking.  Like seriously, a 14 year old man-cub is probably the worst person to shop for so he is just getting more of what he already has: socks and underwear.  Let’s explore the world of flannel and fleece and expand his wardrobe a bit.

So on Monday morning I went to the Eaton Centre.  I consider myself to be a Ninja Shopper and I picked that time slot because I figured it would be the slowest and!  I was prepared from the Tena pad on out.  I wore light layers and running shoes (I only relectantly wear these to the gym), I dumped all extranious material out of my purse, including my camera and you know how I like to take escalator shots.  I ate beforehand so I wouldn’t be tempted at the food court.  I did everything right, or so I thought.  It only took an hour to reach my breaking point where fatigue and despair turn into self-loathing and I know myself: when the self-loathing steeps, it evolves into rage.  Just like a Pokemon, or a Pokemom in my case.  Fight or flight?  I fought a bit longer but went home with a better plan, thanks to the inspiring Swarovski Christmas Tree which is like a beacon of beauty and light amid a whole lot scaffolding because they are still renovating:

Swarovski tree in the middle of the Eaton Centre….umm, you’d think they’d have their renovations finished by now

Anyway Plan B:  I did some on-line shopping.  It’s actually fun because you can do it in your pyjamas.  And!  You can support your local businesses and get cool, unique things on-line.  Check out this one here, called nothin which is Toronto-based, they sell t-shirts but they also have a great website.  December is shopping month, send me your ideas and I can share them on my blog!

Merry Eggs-Mas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, kind of

Is it just me or has Christmas lost its mojo?  It’s not the weather because it’s cold and snowy and no one more than me loves an excuse to stay at home on a Saturday night and wear fabric birth control (otherwise known as fleece) and watch Love, Actually for the billionth time on the W Network.  But it was on last weekend and I fell asleep before the climax where all the characters converge, collapse, and copulate.  And Mariah Carey sings on the soundtrack which would make watching this is a guilty pleasure except there is gratuitous frontal nudity and an orgy scene in it so it’s not a complete chick flick.  British people are good for that sort of thing.  But I fell asleep because Christmas is tired and I’m blaming LED Lights, the Economy, and the Internet.  LED lights:  People are forced to decorate with this barbaric technology these days and it makes everything look the basement toilet facilities at any given Legion Hall.  The Economy:  What’s the point of wanting gifts when you’ve bought everything all year round and are skint (British for broke) so you are forced to hibernate?   And the Internet because it is like the den that you hibernate in and as long as it is there, you don’t have to make an appearance at some lame LED lit party where your pupils dilate, craving actual natural light source, which make you eat more and therefore bloat and fill you with more self-loathing than you would have had if you spent the night in fleece watching Love Actually.

So this year I’m going to do like they did in the olden days.  Forget baking, why bother when the Hudson’s Bay Company has the best shortbread premium cookies in all their stores?  And I can use my Bay card to stimulate the economy and collect Reward Points!   Instead I’m going to light candles and make eggnog from scratch and you are all invited.  I’ve done it once before back in the day, and I’ll do it again.   Homemade eggnog is the bomb and stop with your raw egg salmonella fantasy, I’ve been slurping them down in milkshakes since I was a child playing with the mercury from the broken thermometer my mother put in my mouth when I only pretended to be sick.  There’s an eggnog website which you can click on here that will give you recipes, including the low-fat version.  I’m going to go full fat as that is what Jesus would do, and any excuse I have to visit Rowe Farms in Leslieville, the better.  They have the eggs from the joyous free range chickens and the butcher there is a hot ginger who could probably bring the X back in the Xmas if you know what I mean, which you probably do.  I bet your tree is up already.

Real Eggnog from cracking the eggs yourself

Righteous Teenage Daughter Rules

Nikki Fierce:  Left to Right:  Evangeline, Emily, and Claire

The other day, Righteous Teenage Daughter, aka. RTD, aka.Evangeline made the announcement that she is only eating “organic meat” and if Freddy and I were going to eat something else, not to worry, she will fend for herself.  Meaning she is not going to go out with a slingshot and hunt down a squirrel, she will open up a box of mac and cheese and dine el solo while we eat from the conveyor belt animals.  To prove her point, she made us watch an excerpt from the documentary film, Baraka, the chicken sequence which is not grotesque in gore but a little disturbing in concept, and I urge to click on the except and watch it.  It does inspire you to want to eat a happy farm chicken but it also makes you question conformity in general.  Which is what I think is so great about RTD (I know every parent says this about their child) but she doesn’t listen to Justin Bieber and she introduces me to really new cool bands so I don’t end up stuck listening to my old morose 80s British bands mixed with 90s Lollapalooza relics.  So RTD amd a couple of her like minded friends formed a band and called themselves Nikki Fierce and here is their first original song called “Muted.”  Very trippy sounding!

So anyway, I can’t let my future rockstar meal ticket eat boxed mac and cheese so I have earnestly joined her crusade for “organic” meat.  Which means happy meat.  How do you know they are happy?  Because they cost twice as much per kilo.  I trekked over to the west side and bought a chicken at The Healthy Butcher.  I have to say, I loved the place, and as much as I enjoy a shopping cart stroll through a Loblaws, I am probably more a small shop shopper.  I also have a bit of a butcher fetish, as a child I used to run over to the section of Dominion where they had what I considered to be an art installation of a cow and its sectioned off parts in different colours:

And the Dominion butcher wore a white apron and carried a big knife.  Even as a four-year old, I thought he was God, he knew what he was doing.  They still wear the same thing and carry the same tool and yet there are deluded urban men running around town in Prada zoot suits thinking they are the meat packers but you know they’ve got nothing on the Butcher Man.  Anyway, I ended up buying a $17 “organic” chicken.  And this chicken had a different look from the regular grocery store, air child bird.  He wasn’t tightly sealed in plastic on a styrofoam tray, he came all splayed out, as though he had just finished playing a game of soccer and was laying on the couch watching tv.  He was a muscular beast, with thighs like Ronaldo, he probably pranced in the meadow like some cocky show pony. Obviously he got all the chicks.  And he tasted happy, for sure.  Here is my recipe for Chicken Ronaldo:

Take the chicken:  Stick a pierced lemon in the cavity. cut 4 Yukon gold potatoes and place in Creuset style pan with drizzle of olive oil and place the bird on top (potatoes will go mushy and crispy on the edges), sprinkle up some kosher salt, pepper, and garlic slices, drizzle with more olive oil, BAKE at 350 in covered pan for 90 minutes, then take cover off for another 30 minutes so bird get golden, stir potatoes around so they get some action.  And when done, let chicken recuperate for  10 minutes or so on a separate plate and then stir potatoes around the roasting pan…they should be kind of mushy at this point, as Ronaldo has been crushing them and soaking them with his juices in the oven.  Then serve it up.  I’ve had guests eat his then actually want to help me to the dishes to they can feed off the pan remnants and pick the the bones.  Free range, that’s what I say.

The End of Bad Hair Days

Please Don’t Do This

Normally I don’t think about politics at all.  I think more about my hair.  I’m in the process of growing it out, by the way.  You know how a woman cuts her hair when she is pregnant or she ditches some crappy man?  Maybe it’s something about change and rebirth.  I’m in the opposite stage, I’m not having a baby and I feel like I’m dying a little every day.  So I’m not going to cut my hair and see how that goes.  And speaking of hair and change, the municipal election is coming up on October 25.  I have some thoughts about the mayoral candidates and reserve the right to change my mind but I definitely know who I’m voting for councillor in Ward 32.  While I am thinking about hair, I am also thinking it’s time for a change.  Let’s just call “hair” a metaphor for political platform and say somebody is using too much hairspray and has split ends and needs a new ‘do, not to mention maybe some Botox (shhh, it’s fine, I’ve tried it, it stops you from squinting and getting headaches and improves peripheral vision) and a new wardrobe while we are at it:

The real Sandra Bussin, as you can see from this picture, even her campaign signs are old

About a month ago, one of the other candidates came to my door and we had a little chat.  Mary-Margaret McMahon had a lot to offer.  She has really good hair.  She actually cares about community spirit.  I liked her so much, I volunteered to help her campaign and I am urging everyone in the hood to vote for her!!!  Please check out her website here:

Mary-Margaret McMahon for Ward 32, the change is going to be good

No Rest (or Shwarma) For The Weary

I see Jesus

Some of you have been following me for the last few months and read about how I blithely ate my way down Queen Street, 3 blocks of Gerrard, and various points on the Danforth.  I am East Toronto’s takeout version of “Eat, Pray, Love.”  I’m willing to admit, I think I spent too much time on the “eat” part, it’s time to pray.  I do have an ashram set up in my house, complete with all the game systems and Rogers on Demand, that will help with the meditation part but last week I turned pro-active with the prayer part.  I have bootcamped and grunted with my girl-cush, Amy and aerobicized and walked out with that taskmaster of torture, Jen.  I’ve also yogo’d (?!!! I can’t even explain why he calls it this: spinning and yoga) with David, who is my own personal Jesus, I love him so.  He’s married though, all the good Jesuses are married, gay, or dead.  So far after my first week, I have learned that I am a piece of work in progress, and that while Jesus may love me, he is not *in love* with me.  So I better just do what I’m told and shut up.

I’m already anticipating the third part of my “eat, pray, love” journey.   I came across a beautiful mattress store called essentia at 2180 Queen Street.  I was so tired, I needed to lay down also I am looking for something unique in a mattress that will help with my coccyx condition (I wish)….okay!  I’m looking for a bed I can watch tv in that I don’t have to order from on the Shopping Channel.  Essentia mattresses are made of memory foam without the toxic ingredients which means mites won’t stick around.  They range in thickness and vary from luxuriously soft to my favourite, the fit and firm.  The company is all about quality and the environment, what more can you want?  There’s always more to want and I have found it:  Hello, Lover!  They have a bed called the Flex Drive, that offers full range of motion and you can adjust it with the flick of the wand.  I see tv!

Flex Drive TV Watching mattress

essentia, 2180 Queen Street East

For more information and more locations, click here.

P.S.  you could even eat in that bed without spilling and the shwarmas at Delina’s are fantastic!


Public pool ladies

Pretty much my entire childhood was spent  looking for that elusive Marco Polo.  Where I grew up, we had our own pool in the backyard.  We had lots of neighbours over so it was almost like a public pool, God knows what was in it.  One of my friends confessed years later that she would pee on the edge of it, what can you do?  I’d go and swim in her toilet but that would be just petty revenge.  Now as an adult, I’m pool-less and have to rely on actual public swimming facilities.  As you know, they are all over the city, click here to find one close to you, if you dare.  The one near me is the Donald Somerville at the foot of Woodbine.  It’s quite crowded and the thing I hate is walking up the stairs barefoot.  It’s slippery with sunscreen residue and mud, prime breeding ground for the plantar warts, ugh, let’s not even go there.  I don’t mind going to the Greenwood pool late in the day because it’s less busy and there is just a short tiptoe trot to the concrete.  They don’t like you to wear shoes at the city pools.  In fact there are so many rules that I think Marco Polo himself got fed up.  I have to say I do love to people watch and there is always something entertaining to see:  teenage couples making out, a bearded lady or two, fat men with prison yard tattoos.  The whole Diane Arbus-ness is probably better for the CNE and less appetizing for sharing water.  A few years ago, when the kids were young uns and there was a city strike (no garbage pick up or pools), someone told me about a pool at the Docks.  You pay a small fee to get in but you have lounge chairs and access to a snackbar and a real bar.  At the time it was *the* place to go for the ladies who worked in the evenings, waitresses and whatnot.  They would frolick in the pool in their thong bikinis on blow up floats (you couldn’t do that in a city-run pool) and natter away in their Slavic languages.  A Toronto Sun photographer would always be on hand snapping pictures.  It was just like South Beach.  Such fun and little Freddy learned how to swim that year.  Now the Docks is no longer and it is called Polson Pier.  The pool is still there (the ladies are not, they must be in Hollywood now, famous and happy ever after).  The facility is actually much nicer with comfy couches and umbrellas:

The pool is pretty quiet during the week, $10 for adults and $6 for children (which is undefined, “if you say she is a child, then she is a child” said the man behind the counter about my 16 year old.)  And the pool is so warm and so clear, I actually found two loonies on the bottom which in a Seinfeld moment later lost down the grate in front of the snackbar.  This year Oh Boy Burger has taken over the spot and the burgers and fries are delish, and the pizza is really good too.  The entertaining part of hanging out at the Polson Pier pool is that the venue hosts corporate events and grown-up adults are always doing goofy things (Sumo wrestling) to promote ***team spirit***(eye roll):

Corporate Chain Gang Fun Times Party Game

I mean, what is this?  It’s blazing hot out there.  Thankfully, they didn’t come into the pool.  Go Marco!