Category Archives: LOCAs gone wild

Nice and Sleazy Does It

I have lots to say.

First of all today is Pink Shirt Day, which is an anti-bullying awareness campaign, click here for more information, and a topic of which I can relate from my own and my classmates’ experience.  In my high school, there was a boy, who kind of looked like Bender from The Breakfast Club only he was freakishly short.  He always wore that ubiquitous white trash red plaid lumberjacket,  otherwise known as the Kenora dinner jacket, and Kodiak boots with the tongues hanging out and the pants half tucked.  He would hold court over the other teenage boys, who tried to emulate his exquisite style but ended up looking awkward zit-faced henchmen.  Somehow he owned his stumpy diminutive frame and it made him seem even more menacing, like he could crawl through your legs and breath fire up your privates.   This boy, let’s call him Ron Trottier (not his real name…..JOKES!  Yes, totes his real name!  Come and get me now, tiny man!) had a sinister Grinchian smile and he would stare you down with his bloodshot eyes and then call you by your nom du jour.  They were bad names for some kids which I never want to hear again.  And like every other bully, he also got violent and did some creepy night stalking.  For me though, I just got the verbal business.  My first name was “Bean.”  I don’t get either but maybe it was for “string bean,”  I was 5’9 and he might have been 4’11.  No biggie there.  The second one of my names was “SLUT!”  Said super loudly in the hallway.  Incessantly.  Daily.  For four years.  Who calls a virgin a slut?  A pig, that’s who.

And speaking of pigs and sluts, let’s segue into that event a couple of weeks ago in Toronto called “The Slut Walk.”  It was a protest that was inspired by a police officer who intructed the female students from York University not to dress like “sluts” so that they don’t tempt the rapists.  A shit storm ensued, of course.  A lady has the right to dress like a ho, said the righteous female spirit.  By the way, I have to change the word “slut” to “ho” from here on in because my Pavlovian reaction to that word is to wince, and I cannot afford crows’ feet.   And I agree with those bitches, take back the word, take back the night.  While I didn’t bother going to Queens Park on that day to strut, it was only because I hadn’t anything to wear!  Which is the dilemma of the LOCA (lady of a certain age), what is appropriate and what is not?  I have a tendancy to think “less is more” but what does that mean?  I think over a certain age, the less part means skin and more cover.  Damn.  My ho days are over.  Here is a video of the protest that day.  Check out around the 1:00 minute mark:  I HAVE THE SAME SKIRT!  Only mine fits longer so I guess I’m okay.

And by the way, kids:  It does get better, just be strong.  Karma has a way of kicking a bully’s ass.  I notice they took the premium cable package away from the federal prisons.  Sleep tight, Ronnie!

My So-Called Nervous Breakdown

Let’s play a game called “Guess This Sound” and here it goes: 

“Drip.  Drip.DripDrip.DripDripDrip.  Drip”

A) The sound of my incontinence as I put my key in the door when I am not wearing any underwear.

B) The sound of the water leaking into the pot on the stove from the crack in the roof.

C) The sound of my adrenal glands injecting a steady stream of stress hormones through my veins

D) All of the above!

Correct answer is D)  All of the above!  I am a Lady Of  A Certain Age (LOCA) undergoing a nervous breakdown.  It’s just a phase really.  And nobody hates inspiration quotations more than me, so don’t get any ideas and send me a  “Don’t worry, be happy” emoticon.  It’s occurred to me I must be pretty happy worrying because I am not just writing about it, I am planning my wardrobe around it.  I want my nervous breakdown to be glamorous, like something the late great Elizabeth Taylor would have had in her heyday.  I purposefully pack on the mascara so when I cry, it runs elegantly down my cheeks like two little black streams framing my quivering mouth.  I slightly tease my hair so it puffs in the back and sweeps dramatically in the front like I was caught in a hurricane.  I am smoking Chesterfield cigarettes and drinking gin and tonic in the morning.  My white silk robe (no stains!) has come undone and underneath is a lavender slip, slightly ripped from the last time I was manhandled in 1967.  My nail polish, Revlon’s Fire and Ice, is chipped but my pearls are in tact, as is my diamond tennis bracelet that I clutch in between swigs and drags.  Finally, in my perfect nervous breakdown fantasy, I have a rotary telephone that I dial with a calloused finger that shakes between the numbers as I call the pharmacist for my prescription.  I’m popping pills, too, but I’m not sure what kind or how they go down but the minute they start bunging me up, this fantasy is over.

Really though, as my house turns into Grey Gardens and my nights turn into sleepless Twitterpalooza, I am coping by keeping my car nice and clean, going to yoga, and planning my future step by step.  As Robertson Davies once tweeted (yes! quotes are now tweets):  “Only a fool expects to be happy all the time.”   And once you dissect it, the anatomy of my nervous breakdown consists of the perfect storm of fear, anger, despair, a hormonal imbalance, a series of unfortunate events caused by weather, a leaky roof, a lawyer with an insatiable appetite for money who can’t seem to add with a calculator, an ex-husband holding a bucket of black tar, and an impending birthday that requires a new drivers license.  It’s simple stuff really, just a big middle-aged pimple ready to pop.  Tomorrow is another day!  Mani-pedi-Botox!

An Evening at The Gladstone

Gladstone’s 5th Anniversary Party as an “art hotel.”

On Friday, the Gladstone Hotel had a big party to celebrate its 5 years of being so hip it hurts.  It’s the oldest hotel in Toronto, built in 1889, and named after Prime Minister William Gladstone (who knew?).  5 years ago, it transformed into an art hotel, “a social and cultural incubator for art, culture, community, and cuisine.”  It’s also in the west end, where hipsters tend to run rampant, waving their freak flags ironically.  Most westerners don’t know anything about Toronto’s east habitat so when you meet one, you can make stuff up like we still have Pop Shoppes in our strip malls.  Anyway my friend Diana at Flohaus invited me to this gala and I gleefully went because it sounded like fun and!  free booze.  I know what you’re thinking if you’ve been reading this blog this month, isn’t she on a Hooch-free January?  Yes, but there is a loop-hole the austerity rule and that is free booze doesn’t count as booze, it is a gift and it is rude not to accept it.  So what fun we had.  There was music, women dressed as drag queens performing burlesque….meaning I thought they were men dressed as women but they weren’t, they were actual ladies, very confusing until out came the pasties, then again they could have been mighty moobs.  The highlight was the hotel had some of their rooms open for viewing.  Each of the 37 guest rooms are decorated in themes by local artists.  Check the website here for details.  I had a few favourites, one room was a 1970s teen dream with collages of the Tiger Beat regulars like Rob Lowe, Rick Springfield, Kristy MacNichol.  I should not have mixed the red and the white together (literally) because my pictures turned out badly but oh well, it was really fun!

Shower in the Blue Line Room

Hipsters “chillaxing”

An interactive installation of light and colour for weirdos to express themselves

A lady ordering a drink…or is it?  Is it a man dressed as a lady?  or a lady dressed as a man dressed as a lady?

A Change Has Come

My new brokerage:  Core Realty at 747 Queen Street East

Don’t skip this post thinking that’s it’s going to be all about me and my new exciting brokerage that I just joined today.  I promise the next paragraph gets more juicy because it is sweeps month and I’m still trying to get my readership up.  But first this little news nugget:  for a few months, one of the brokers from the show, The Agents, has been trying to get me to give up that hideous ochre blazer with C21 logo on left pocket and join her hip, new boutique brokerage in the heart of Riverside or Leslieville or whatever you want to call it.  But I had just changed earlier that year to join a partnership which turned out to be a disaster and I was left standing alone under a yellow umbrella that matched the blazer.  And the office was in deep, dark, Scarborough, even farther than that area where they sell discount mattresses and electronics.  So finally on Monday afternoon, when I was I at such a dark, low point, I was craving a now extinct KFC Double Down but settling for a Wendy’s Bacon Mushroom Melt, I ran into the two Core Realty brokers in the parking lot.  “Come join us!”  they yelled for the last time.  I figured it was a sign for change, and it’s kind of nice to be wanted.  Anyway, I love everything about the Core Brokerage, it seems like all the best words start with “C”, don’t they?  The office is really styling, the people are so nice, the logo is cool and everyone has the same business cards, there are no embarrassing headshots.  The office participates in a lot of community events AND best of all:  they are going to have me write a blog for their website, which I will keep you updated on.  “Centered Around You” is their motto.

And speaking of centered, did you happen to see Dr. Oz last week?  You know how he loves to keep you hanging during commercial breaks by warning you what you see next will shock your mind and then it’s something lame like sneezing can lead to nosebleeds?  Well this episode was all about the G-spot which totally had my attention.  He showed this device called a We-Vibe, that looked like a rubber clamp and that claimed to stimulate the spot amongst other things.  You can buy these kinds of things on-line, but I like to look, touch, and smell which why I don’t go on dating websites, I have learned the hard way that an aura of crazy is something you can only detect in person.  So off I went on a field trip to Come As You Are:

Come As You Are, 701 Queen Street West

And I’m glad I did because as it turns out, the We-Vibe is a couples toy and I’m looking for solo action.  The sales girl was really helpful because there is a plethora of things that rattle and hum in that place.  I ended up getting a Rock-Chick, which is a thicker version of that We-Vibe.  Their website is under construction so I’m not really sure how to use it, the diagragm on the package makes me sick and I can’t tell what’s up or down.  It’s soft and flexible and kind of fun to play with so I’ll just have to poke and prod until I hit the G-note and my life changes.  But until then, I will embrace my new career change and centre around you!  P.S. I never actually wore a yellow blazer…please.

The Good Fight

Age, it can happen to the best of us

Last winter, I was chosen to be on a reality show about real estate agents.  We did a lot of shooting from January until March and then I heard nothing.  It was a lot of fun and would have been good advertising for my real estate services, I need all the fame or infamy I can get in that area since the town is overrun by giant powerhouses on buses and billboards (and special message to a certain spray-tanned real estate agent with a snaggle tooth: use Photoshoppe, the sisters do it and so should you).  The other day, I got a call from the producer of The Agents and they have formatted all the footage into half hour show for the W Network.  She wanted me to come down and see the pilot and then for my particular segment, we will do some reshoots to fit the formula.  I have to say, it’s a pretty good show, it’s based on rivalry and catty behind the scenes comments.  I loved it.  But what I didn’t love was the footage of myself.  Never mind that it was shot two weeks after Christmas and the only thing I had to drink besides Champagne was melted Brie. I can take bloated, the ability to bloat is on my resume.  I looked really old!  You know how when you look in a mirror, you have your repetoire of poses that you take so you don’t have to see the stuff you hate?  Well you can’t do when you see yourself on tv.  It is what it is:  U*G*L*Y.  “I thought you looked cute,” the producer said.  Cute!  I’m in my cougar years, I want to look fierce.  I still have some mojo and I’m not trying to compete with twenty year olds.  I have learned for every flaw, big or small, that a woman might have, there is a freak with a fetish ready to worship her.  But the problem is that while he is admiring her exquisite beauty, he is creating a mountain Kleenex wads underneath his webcam somewhere in Germany.  So if you want to get a real life date with a North American male, LOCA’s, you better get with the program.  So here I go:

me with a rubber collagen mask on at Salon Spa College

My friend Connie is learning to be an esthetician at Salon Spa College, which is at Don Mills and York Mills.  She`s had me in for a couple of procedures, this one was the basic facial with galvanic energy.  She sealed in the serum with a wand full of positive current while I held another wand of negative current.  It must work because electricity is involved.  The pore holes shrink so skin looks firmer.  Sometimes my pores like to gape open too much, that`s probably when everything looks all saggy.  Must remember this for when they do reshoots in a couple of weeks.  Anyway, at the Salon Spa College, they do all kinds of treatments from laser hair removal, facials, manicures, pedicures and with state of the art equipment, and they take appointments for the public,  The prices are really good, check out their website here.  I`m excited for something that I saw on Dr. Oz the other day about a new treatment called Ultherapy, where they use ultrasound to repair the collagen deep in the skin so that the turkey waddle is diminished.  It`s probably something that a doctor operated which means more money but it will be worth it.  It might be a drag getting old, but you`ll never get bored fighting it.

Digging For Fire

Quad East Indoor Cycling Studio at 672 Queen East

My loins are on fire.  I’ll let you know what happened but first let me share with you my brilliant business idea, and if you steal it, I will go all Winklevoss on you.  You know how men go golfing and before they head home, they dip into the Rub and Tug for a little stress relief?  Yes, they do, sometimes the guys forget I’m a lady and they tell me things they don’t want their wives to know.  Well, something like that should exist for women, we can call it the Swirl and Twirl!  I actually thought I was going to get something like that when I went to Body Blitz last winter but instead I was made to wear plastic underwear and sprayed down with a hose like at a car wash.  I think that most ladies, after devouring confit-soaked chevre logs at their book club meetings would  hit that before heading home.  In fact they probably wouldn’t even bother with reading the book at all.

As for me, a LOCA (lady of a certain age), I have to go to far more obtuse measures to bitch slap my mojo out of the Snuggie and off the couch.  Last night my friend and I went to Quad East, click here for more info, an indoor cycling studio for a good old fashioned spin class.  Now I’ve been spinning for 13 years and I even have my teaching certificate, so I can call myself a veteran.  I ride bareback in shorts with no lining.  This is the first time that I’ve been to Quad and I have to say, it’s the coolest studio I’ve ever been to.  It’s spacious with disco balls hanging from the lofty ceilings.  Upstairs there is another huge studio space for Pilates classes and the women’s change room is like in an old office with modern showers.  The vibe is very friendly, sometimes spinning people can be intimidating in their skintight Spandex outfits, clomping around in their metal soled shoes like they are dressed for Halloween.  Quad has the Schwinn bikes, which are my favourite and easiest to use.  Lucky for us, the class was headed by Bruce, one of the most dynamic instructors in the city.  His voice is like a baritone sexed up Darth Vader and he looks like the UPS delivery man, the one in your dreams who delivers your package every afternoon, come rain or shine.  Here he is:

Bruce, he’s got the quads and other things, at Quad East

The Cycling studio at Quad East

It was a great class and Bruce, let’s just call him the mojo whisperer, did his job superbly.   It’s all about cadence and tunes.  And as a bonus, Quad East is on that fun block (just west of Jilly’s) where my favourite pub, Prohibition is and where we went afterwards.  I did something wild and crazy which was ordered the chicken lollipops (drumsticks) with the hottest sauce known to humanity.  They were freakishly hot and my skull felt like warm velvet until I got home.  And yes, today the burning ring of fire has kept me housebound for the morning but it’s all good!  The embers are still aglow.

These Boots Were Made For Laying Around

The best part of Boot Camp, laying down

Boot camp started today.  I joined the army against cellulite so for 8 weeks, twice a week, I will fight my self-imposed war.  Amy from Quantum Physique( click  here for her website) is our drill sergeant.  She runs boot camps all over the city.  This one is in Cabbagetown near Riverdale Farms, I’m keeping the exact location a secret because it is the army after all.  The first day, there were four of us grunts, lunging and squatting, and scuttling like crabs between two pylons.  It’s the opposite of pretty.  Here is the grossest excercise, the burpee, although Amy makes it look easy:

I don’t think I put that in the right order at all but you get the drift.  You do ten of them and it goes against every natural instinct your body has so when you are done, you are shaking and coughing up all your past wrongs….beef jerky is not worth it anymore.  By the way, Amy has up her sleeve a patented little excercise that targets the sweet spot of cellulite refuge in a woman, where ass meets leg.  I’m not going to tell you what it is because in 8 weeks I want you to be jealous of me….will post the before and after!  And tomorrow the fresh hell is Spoga!  Spinning and yoga, then nap with the tv on…by the way check out my new blog here  CLICK HERE!!!

More About Cheese

 

No, I haven’t gotten too lazy to post but I did go on a little vacation back to my hometown of Montreal.  Funnest vacay EVER!  The point of the trip was my high school reunion so my best buddy from Grade 6 (!) and I took the train.  We took first class, of course, because we are ladies of a certain age and have requirements.  I thought they were going to kick us off at Belleville though, we were laughing and snorting so hard.  There is a reason were always separated by our high school teachers.  We stayed at my brother and his wife’s house in the heart of it all, where crack meets trend, Sherbrooke and St. Hubert.  Except they were still away on vacation for the entire month but their twentysomething sons were home so we were basically two LOCAs in a frat house.  Never a dull moment or a clean towel and we had to hide our food stash under our beds.  I think they were even eating coffee grounds.  There is a lot to say about Montreal I guess but I will say my Montreal does NOT involve smoked meat or those colon clogging glue bagels.  I got my Coco Rico Portuguese chicken fix and my cheese curds from the Depanneur.  Here is something I know but I always forget:  the magical cheese curds from real Quebec poutine are waxy in texture and squeak on your teeth.  I have found some in Ontario but it was from a vendor at Beer Fest ’09 and they claim that the texture is because they are not refrigerated.  Whatever.  If I have a bag of cheese curds I do not have to bother with the whole enchilada, ie. fries and gravy.  I’m happy keeping it simple.  And  the highlight of my Montreal eating was Mike’s homemade burgers…he made them square shaped to match the bun!  I’m still dreaming about them!

Back home and speaking of cheese, I met my friend for lunch.  She is a LOCA but has even more mojo than me and acts it out,  therefore she has the best stories.  I am only proud because I can out-eat her.  We went to Queen Margherita on Queen St. East at Vancouver (east of Greenwood).

Queen Margherita  Queen St East, just east of Greenwood

As far as I’m concerned, you can have too many coffee shops, but you can never have too many pizzerias.  Queen Margherita holds its own on the genre and it is a really cool airy, lofty space.  I ordered the Napoletana, which is anchovies and black olives.  Do you know it was so salty good that I had finished half of the pie before I realized there was no cheese involved?  Of course real Italian pizza doesn’t require cheese….I know that but I am not a carb bunny.  My friend ordered the Diavola which had some cheese on it and spicy meat.  But mine was so good I wasn’t even jealous.  Pizza *sans fromage* on dough, who knew it could be so good?

Take That, Vampires

True Blood vampire mania

Collective insomnia seems to have taken over the city.  I know I can’t sleep and I can tell by the blue dots on Facebook that there are others out there.  And I blame it all on vampires.  On every celebrity website I troll through in the dark hours of the night, there is something going on with vampires.  There was Twilight (*yawn*) and now the new season of True Blood which I have yet to see but I should because it was created by Alan Ball who also did Six Feet Under, which I loved.  I hate it when I don’t know a show that everyone is talking about, but there is something about vampire mythology that makes my eyes glaze over.  The only vampire related thing that interests me is a bowl of Count Chocula, without the milk because I am back to being lactose intolerant.  I hate that vampires don’t sleep or get old or die, their high maintenance eternal lifestyle must be tedious beyond belief.  And thinking of this is what keeps me up at night:  what if a vampire breaks into my house and sucks my blood and I can’t ever eat Greek foode again?  Or fall asleep to the sound of Anderson Cooper’s voice? Or fulfill my destiny of becoming a crazy old lady in Kensington Market?

I have decided to become pro-active in my quest for sleep and went to visit a shop called Keetsa at 2245 Queen Street East.  Keetsa is a mattress store that sells unique eco-friendly sleep products.  The mattresses are recycled, recyclable, and they use natural ingredients for anti-bacterial benefits.  Cedar and green tea extract keep the mites away.  They also have pillows, toppers, and sheets.  I tried every mattress in the store, and this Goldi-loca loved them all.  They’re firm and with varying degrees of mushiness, depending on your preference.  And the price is actually surprising reasonable, considering you are laying in a rectangle of heaven.  A Queen size starts at $499.  Find out more about them, check out their website here.  I think even a vampire could fall asleep in one of these beds.

Keetsa mattresses at 2245 Queen Street,  phone: 1-877-KEETSA-3

Wooing the Woohoo

Blueberry Pie from Cafe Florentin, everyone wants a piece of pie and the filling is up to you

Shut your pie hole, yes we all know the end of summer is looming.  Sadness.  My gauge is August 16, Elvis’ Death Day, from this day on it is downhill, just makes me think of peanut butter sandwiches and toilet mishaps and then having to change the rest of your life.  The back-to-school commercials are on in full force, the new one from Staples, featuring our own East Ender, Stefan,  is the best, click here to see it if you haven’t already.  It’s not all about death, there is hope in the fall.  In fact, all the best romances occur in autumn weather.  I think when leaves start to fall, men go mental and question their own mortality and that’s when they start to go all *serious*, that or golf season is ending and they know they have to keep warm in the winter somehow.  For some reason, this year, my stock is up, and I’m not going to ride wave all tee-hee and twirling my hair, I am a LOCA (lady of a certain age) so I’m going pro-active.  I am going to learn how to bake the perfect pie.  That’s how my mother and father met, she used to bake pies in the diner where he used to go when he was at the University of Manitoba.  All fresh-faced and farm-fed, he ate her pie and then some more pie.  And he is still eating her pie 60 years later because she makes the perfect crust!   

My personal favourite pie is blueberry and as it turns out, so is my son’s, Freddy’s.  He ate the whole Farmer’s Market pie from Loblaws in between missions of Mario Galaxy. I had a sliver of it, pie goo: delish, crust: meh.  So a more upscale kind of pie I got was from Cafe Florentin at 2010 Queen Street East in the heart of the beach.  Now this place has been around for four years or so, advertising the “best Espresso in the beach,’  totally the slogan that would go off my radar.  The only coffee I drink is the black juice I brew first thing in the morning for medicinal purposes only so I can ensure that I will poop in my own toilet and not get caught spontaneously at some random spot where I will resist the urge and hold it in then freak out at a gas station 40 blocks out of my way.  Privacy and an abundance of toilet paper is what it’s all about.  If that’s TMI then tough bananas.  Anyway,  Cafe Florentin has pies at the beach location and a smaller shop in Leslieville, check out their website here.  Not only are their pies fresh and gorgeous, I could have a coffee here, if I were on a date, say, and needed to act civilized.  The crust is flakey and the blueberry filling is not too sweet because it doesn’t have to be…in a pinch, I will pretend to have made this pie myself and warm it in my own oven and serve it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.  And Labour Day won’t be so bad.

Cafe Florentin, 2010 Queen St. East