Tag Archives: Blue Jays

Mastering the Art of Pulling Your Head Out of the Sand


I remember the first time I had to give birth after waking up at 3 in the morning with contractions, I was bristling with excitement because FUN! Something new to do! And I was also actually relieved for the burning baseball-sized cramps in my lower spine because my fear was that I would skip the labour part somehow beyond my control, slip a baby out sneezing at Loblaws or some other public place. Yes, I have a tendency to over-share about things in my life but this is my idea of mortifying. I’d be too late to get to the hospital just like the recurring dreams I STILL have where I’m in school and I miss an exam. But no worries with this first baby, I had the unmistakable warning and it was right on my due date! The pain was perfectly localized and concise and came in exact 5 minute waves, not like some misinterpreted vague fried chicken indigestion, which is what I had that night, or a cramping falafel fart fest, which is what I also had that night. Yay! It was text book, just like everything they said would happen in an ideal world according “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”  By the way, my sweet peeps, this was November 1993 and the Blue Jays had just won the second in a row World Series that year so I wore my Jays socks and some army green Cotton Ginny sweat ensemble and headed to the hospital that morning to spew one out. Me so brave. And oh, so naive.

Then hours later that burning baseball sized contraction sequence turned into the worst searing pain in the whole universe according to me. 12 hours into it, I wanted to be anywhere but there. Just forget the whole thing. There’s no fucking way I wanted to give birth, I could go home, watch “Roseanne” and promise to come back tomorrow. I clenched and puckered up my southern holes, especially the sphincter because the b-hole wasn’t an in-style glorious orifice back then. Even though the nurses said it’s okay to poop on the bed, there was no way I would let that happen (spoiler alert: I pooped on the bed). I squeezed my downstairs bits shut in with all my might. And by the way, I’m looking at you authors of “What to Expect, etc,” I did not have the “overwhelming urge to push” like they said would happen in that goddamned birth bible. There was a glitch in my labour experience and I wanted to stay pregnant forever. With my head buried deeply in the sand, thank you very much.

But! I did it like a champ, I gave birth that day even though I didn’t want to. At one point I had enough and just said fuck it, whatevs, and randomly pushed. I faked the whole thing and it all worked out.  The baby was Apgar score perfection and had an exquisite round head which I attribute to all my previous clenching, my cervix acted like a ceramics kiln, and kept her from having that cone shape bullet look some newborns have when they shoot out too fast. My now ex-husband was a great coach, shout out, fed me ice chips and towelled my forehead while I whimpered, curling my Blue Jay sock feet in the stirrups on the birthing bed. He did not crack open the six-pack he brought or open up the Scrabble board JUST IN CASE WE GOT BORED, LOL! Give me boredom or give me death, was all I could think. Also to his credit, he watched the whole thing without passing out or changing his mind midway like I did or worst of all, developing a Madonna-Whore complex later on like Elvis Presley did with Priscilla!  What the fuck, according to lore he never boned her again once her got her pregnant with Lisa Marie! Men’s libidos can be tricky like that. This was not my finest hour(s), and I would not have blamed him.

Anyway I’m thinking now, who we are giving birth, is who we are in life, in my case especially. That was 22 years ago and I’m still pulling moves like that. I don’t wanna! is my mantra as I curl into a ball. But! I need to tell you before we move on to the present, 2 years after that first birth I ended up having another baby. That time of my life was a blur but I wanted another baby but knew I didn’t want to go into labour again? Was I high? Did I believe in storks? I know I  hadn’t forgotten the wretched pain but this time I would demand an epidural, it would be different.  Things were definitely  jollier in the birthing room this time round, however, and instead of clenching and holding it in for literally hours on end, I went on all fours like a dog…. to beg for painkillers maybe? And also  because the nurse told me it would help with the pain. Who knew? I flipped over and the next contraction later, Rocket Baby shot out IN TIME FOR LUNCH, the doctor LOL’d, barely managing to catch that slippery toad. The hardest part of this birth was untangling my legs from the umbilical cord while I awkwardly turned back over avoiding slipping my knees into the goopy birth byproduct that nobody tells you about. Also by the way, I was wearing the same lucky Blue Jays socks as the first birth because I’m hopelessly superstitious and I didn’t want to get them gunked up. If I learned anything that day, it was this nugget of wisdom:  If you submit to change, things will unfurl naturally and easily.  By the way,  I didn’t really worry about pooping because I didn’t think it could happen in that position (yes, it can!) and letting gravity do the work was key. And although this baby looked like a giant bruised frog, I loved him for his sublime efficiency.


Okay, now I’m going to tell you something and don’t judge. You know how when I was about to give birth that first time 22 years ago, I wanted to bail midway to go back into my own mother’s womb and stay there and never come out? Well I still to this day have issues with head in sand burial plots. Have I not learnt anything from giving birth to Rocket Boy that facing one’s fears upside down is the way to go and let gravity’s intelligence show you the way? And do not hold your poop in, proverbially speaking. Well, I just had another life lesson. Don’t be so self-contained!

I have like 3 or maybe 4 problems at any one given time. Sometimes they keep me up at night and sometimes the main problem takes a short nap and the other basic bitch sub-problems decide to play with my mind. These include: Leaky kitchen roof, electrical system in my car out of whack, enamel on front tooth chipped, crevice on forehead needs immobilizing with botulism product, getting old, tired, going to die alone, boo hoo. I toss and turn all night and everything becomes so overwhelming I can’t even get it together to change a burnt out lightbulb the next day.

My main problem these days is I’ve been fiscally irresponsible for the last few months. It went like like this, its textbook like in “What to Expect When You Don’t Pay Your Credit Card Bills.” Goes like this: Let the mail pile up in the mailbox, then one day have the guts to peak inside, bring the long white envelopes inside and stash them in a shoe box and get to them later. Bury head in sand. Another month goes by, lather rinse repeat. Then come the synchronized phone calls. At one point you will experience the overwhelming urge to push. Or not….like me, guess wot, bury head in sand some more.

Then a few weeks ago, I got one of those registered letters you have to sign for and shit got real. I was going to have to take some action because court order. Shoulda-woulda-coulda dealt with this sooner bit didn’t. I told one of my best friends my woe and she suggested I call one of those scary ass debt management lawyers. Oddly enough, there’s this one random dude who actually posts his services on my Facebook wall. At first I thought he was an emotionally intuitive internet genie but he’s most likely an opportunist who just sprays his jizz everywhere and hopes for business. Do you think he actually goes through his friends’ list and checks their credit scores? I would not be surprised. The paranoia was enough to cause more inertia. Anyway, I told her I needed her to nag me about this constantly as what I really need in my life is a domineering but coddling wife who would make me accountable for all the horrible things in life I keep putting off doing. She said okay and in exchange I can ride her about going to the gym. No probs, we went spinning the next day and she was fish to water! It was like she never took a gym sabbatical! I didn’t have to nag her at all! She started going on her own with her Fit Bit and new outfit. And then the Blue Jays started that winning streak and she kind of got distracted with that and I need a village to raise me, no person with a full-time job should be expected to take me on. Which turned out to be good because that Facebook lawyer seemed a little sketchy. Sometimes you have to listen to your intuition.

But! The good thing is once I opened up the first time, I began to feel less shame. I told another friend, and he had been through the exact same thing. I was floored, why did I not know this? I know his passwords and the smell of his farts, yet I did not know this. Well, because they don’t make t-shirts saying “Collection Agency Deadbeat”written on the front. Or do they?

And I realized everyone has their head in the sand somewhere about something. Yet another friend told me his estranged father let his diabetes go and both his legs got riddled with gangrene, the neighbours complained about the smell called the superintendent and he wouldn’t let anyone in his apartment. Talk about having your head buried in the sand and the rest of your body god knows what….there’s just no good metaphor for maggot infested legs because that takes the cake. He laughed and said my problems were nothing. Normal even. So yeah, I’m not the only one who let things slide a little too long. Then finally another friend I told actually raised the bar of friendship and kicked my arse into gear, googled up some non-profit debt management agencies, and made me go and open up the envelopes. OMG. Once I did it, it was cathartic, and almost empowering. And! It wasn’t even half as bad as I thought. Once I got that worked out, I changed a burnt out lightbulb, got my roof fixed, made a dentist appointment (ugh), and fucking wrote this blog post. Tomorrow, the world is mine.

SIGH, but those Blue Jays, man, I wish I still had those lucky birthing socks, for next year.







A Hooker’s Guide to Riding the Waves


I wish this was a real magazine, “The Art of Modern Living” …like Oprah’s “O” only with actual practical advice that you can really use such as how to hashtag your Instagram photos for maximum likeage, I fancy myself the nouveau poor-but-grew-up-without-incest-and-poverty version of Oprah.  I might not be able to give you a brand new Volkwagen Beetle but at least you won’t get a pair of sequin Uggs from me either. Ok, I know you would like a pair of sequin Uggs and so would I for my elegant dog walks with Betty who may or may not be just a ferret on steroids.  Who am I kidding? Oprah is the awesomest and the stuff she gives away is all the best shit, but in my magazine, I can only share with you what I’ve learned from my first world trials and tribulations (the hashtag would be #trialsandtribz). It would be way more entertaining than “O.”

I had an epiphany this week. Oprah would call it an “Aha moment” but since your with me, it was more like a WTFLOL moment.  And it’s not a complete and tangible realization but more like something that has been slowly gestating and is starting to spew forth from my brain to this blog. Please, bear with me!  Or if you can’t bear with me, beer with me…go crack one open, I’ll wait….It is about a spiritual journey, and I have been working through it for the past ten years ever so slowly, one step forward and then a nap, then drunken wino weekend, then a nap, then another step forward, then watching the entire three seasons of Downton Abbey, a Jays game, and another step forward…in other words, my little rudimentary “spiritual journey” is more on a par with an errand in to the corner store for some emergency Liquid Plumbr than an epic pilgrimage to the three corners of the Earth like that smug chick in “Eat, Pray, Love” JUST TO GET SOME JAVIER BARDEM BONE. I’m SO jelly.

Mine started like this:

I went to a Blue Jays Game.  Lorraine had an extra ticket to see the Jays play the Indians and asked me to come along with her family.  I was like, yes! I don’t know shit about baseball but who cares? A stadium full of testosterone is just what the doctor ordered and BEER ME! I can’t eat hotdogs, so I pre-ate beforehand, slapped on a Tena-pad because I am no dummy, and hopped on the streetcar to meet her.  The Queen streetcar, as much as I hate that slow-moving bitch in my motor vehicle (I am still doing the Downton Abbey accent), is a really soothing ride, kind of meditative if the other passengers aren’t sniffing glue and speaking in tongues. It put me in a good mood for the game. At the Rogers Centre, we had great seats and not only did Lorraine know ALL the words to the national anthem, she also knows everything about baseball and all its subtleties. I learned a thing or two that I have since forgotten but at least I know all the words to “Seven Nation Army.” In the 9th inning, because “we” were tied, the excitement of the crowd escalated to fever pitch and a wave ensued. “Whee!!!” squealed me, jumping up ( 5 sections too soon). Nobody loves a packed stadium wave more than me. I got the rhythm of it by the next round, don’t worry.

I am not always a crowd yahoo. A few years ago, when I was a real estate agent, my brokerage manager convinced to take a 3-day Mike Ferry seminar at the Convention Centre to learn better business practises in order to achieve SUCCESS! (Success is always in capital letters in real estate publications).  It took place in an auditorium of over a thousand other real estate agents with their hair and their outfits and their coffee and muffins, all talking shop amongst each other.  I sat in the very back with my hair and my outfit and my coffee and muffin, all alone and paralyzed with dread and fear. When Mike Ferry came prancing onto the stage with his Gwen Stefani headset, Jumbotron backdrop, the disco lights went on and out blasted “Y’all Ready For This?”  Everybody, and I mean every single person, bolted out of their seats and started dancing and clapping with the oh-so groovy beat.  I was mor-ti-fied. Cannot deal with forced jubilance. I got up alright…and bolted to the bathroom.  This ritual happened every morning and after every break. Fucking horrifying.

What’s the difference between me giddily hopping up performing a wave and singing The White Stripes at the top of my lungs at a baseball game or me cowering in a toilet stall to avoid a crowd of dancing realtors? One word: Mojo…or MOJO in capital letters. Sergio Santos, I would so hit that. Dude in a white shirt tucked into a pair of dress pants eating a muffin with a Blackberry in a belt holster, noooo. Not even drunk.

But the question is, does it take an entire stadium to get my MOJO`to flow? And the answer is no, I can do it all by myself. Here’s how:

I went to a guided meditation group at the library.  Sounds like a good time, right?  My daughter, Evangeline, who is 19 has had anxiety attacks for a few years. She gets into a state when she starts thinking about her own mortality in relation to the rest of the unknown universe. She fears her own death, and maybe Betty’s but not so much other people’s. For a few months she has been going to group meditation in order to control her emotions and cope with anxiety. I, too, have a simmering stir fry of anxiety triggers:  money, death, jobs, getting old, drying up, the future, loneliness, etc. They make pills for this sort of thing, I know, but I would rather learn to cope by myself. With a lot of people, anxiety and depression are a barf-awful couple like Brangelina but thankfully my anxiety is like moi, a lone wolf who might occasionally send out a sexy text message with a random body part attached. I can get the sadz alright but it only lasts a day. My anxiety needs to be on a short leash that’s for sure, otherwise fuck knows what disorder it might want to pick up for some good times.

The group meets on Monday and it’s free!  ‘Not everything you have to pay for, Mom,”  Righteous Teenage Daughter knows how to buck the system. Her boyfriend, Tamas, has also been going which is not surprising, he is a fascinating neo-hippie-type and I feel like he is a whole blog post on his own.  I thought it would be just three of us and the guide because bitch, please, meditation?…isn’t that seventies thing? But there were over twenty people in the room. And I’m not going to lie, the first thing I did was a scan of “who would I bone in a pinch?” It’s a game I play wherever I go and so do you, admit it. Why would you ever have to bone someone in a pinch?  In case the bomb dropped and you were the only survivors and had to propagate the species, duh. There were mostly women of various ages, a couple of young dudes like Tamas, but there was this one middle age man in a suit who stood out because demographically speaking, he was the one I would HAVE to bone in a pinch.  I kept my eye on him, just because he made me worried, he looked so incredibly sad. Or meh, I couldn’t tell which.

I learned a thing or two that I have been retaining because we got some handouts that I actually read and then googled. Our guide was a thirtysomething dude who had just been to INDIA on a spiritual pilgrimage, of course. He smiled a lot and had those kind of twinkly eyes that make you feel like surly, sarcastic drag-ass and that maybe you should lighten up a bit.

He told us this story of seeing an entire family: Father, kid,and mother holding a baby, all perched on a motor scooter, weaving through the traffic. Imagine all the tickets they would get if they were riding along Queen Street. We all laughed like what a bunch of crazy mofos in India, but then he explained that it was a culture of “collective fearlessness.” That is how they roll in India.  In our culture, he said, we are excellent communicators, what with all our cellphone texting. Isn’t that cute? I’m serious, sometimes you have to get tired of all these cellphone shaming memes you see on the Facebook, but he puts a positive spin on it. So tap, tap, tap, away, kittens, we are part of a collective power of excellent communicators!  Huzzah!

Then he guided us through a meditation exercise where we were sitting in a chair, both feet to the ground, we had to do some swirling around with our hands from our laps to the top of our heads, then tie a pretend bow, and then make a rainbow over our bodies. WTF for you ask? To bring awareness and create energy flow, don’t be so skeptical. The energy is Kundalini, which is Sanskrit fancy-pants for MOJO, hookers. And MOJO isn’t just about boner power, pervs, it’s the energy that guides the whole spirit. This energy flows through the seven chakras centres through the body, called the subtle system.  Is it Science? No, but not everything has to be “science” all the live long day, I’m looking at you Neil Degrasse Tyson. By the way, this energy flowing ritual is not unlike thousands of people performing a wave at a baseball game. Yes, it is.

Once you get your energy flowing though your chakras, which is not unlike UNCLOGGING A TOILET, you can close your eyes and achieve the state meditation. And what is that?  It’s like an emptiness, where you are calm and void of all emotions. Anxiety is emotional blockage and if you can calm yourself, by yourself SANS Ativan, you should be signing autographs in my opinion. Our guide says sometimes this state of meditation only lasts a moment and when you get good at it, you can go for an hour or more.  It takes awhile to achieve this so I’m gonna try if it kills me. At this point, I can’t really tell if I had any actual meditative moments or I am just thinking of a very boring thought. Also, the girl beside me and I were having duelling banjoes of stomach growling. Distracting! How can you ignore outside noise? This little grasshopper has much to learn! But even just being in a group with all the positive-style energy flowing, a packed stadium or a room in a library, is a powerful MOJO stimulant. I peaked a few times to check up on the man I would have to bone in a pinch and he still seemed to have the sadz or the mehs but maybe that was his default expression. Who knows what goes on inside a person?  Also worthy of note, is that during our meditation silence, one woman started to cry in big, greasy sobs and then on a dime, it turned into laughter! THAT is one messed up set of chakras I would think.

My little epiphany? Don’t be such a goddamn hermit and find comfort in the collective energy of those who inspire you to NOT hide in a bathroom stall. Don’t be afraid to ride the waves!  Go, little elephant, go!

elephant in the waves