Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Post That Had No Title

It was like fire. I went up in a woosh like a fallow, thirsty field. I crackled with flames as they engulfed the bed. My fingers, clenching white linen sheets, and my toes, curled in the sweet agony of "almost", shot sparks into the darkness of the room.

My back arched, and I levitated off the mattress. My body strained against its own limits, like a cherry not yet plucked from a tree. A hum filled the air like electricity before a storm; the hairs on my arms stood up in static arousal. Mmm, they hummed; Mmm, I hummed.

Hair matted on the pillow; yellow if you could see it, yellow even if you can't. Sweat traces a path down the burning of my body, between my breasts, on the back of my neck, sliding down the scorching places where your kisses turned affection into lust.

You whisper dirty secrets to my body; you promise with your tongue. Desire is delirium, and your fingers are my fix. I moan and thrash and buck against you so you'll know the depth of my need.

I'm standing on the edge of the highest elevation. My breath comes in hot, sultry gasps and my head is both cloudy and clear at once. I reach up to the tips of my toes; I teeter there, holding on just barely to the ledge, teasing and testing with my endurance. Higher and higher I go, climbing greedily, hungrily, like a carnal predator that's been deprived. I claw upwards until I can no longer bear it, until I've reached the utmost summit, the very apex, the ultimate climax of my journey. I would stay there forever just to feel the coursing power in my veins, but my body can't support it. My thighs start to quiver in anticipation of the fall. Every muscle clenches, and waits for that push, that tiny push that sends me toppling over the edge. I let go; I plunge into the infinite abyss where every single cell of me untenses, becomes undone.

It's like cymbals crashing together for the grand finale. Passion erupts and I flail about to the last strains of my own personal orchestra. I am a volcano filled with craving, and I spill forth my contents: Red. Pink. Hot. Steam. These are the fireworks of my ravenous appetite.

The blaze has burned itself out. The sheets lay crumpled but still; the ashy remains of intense heat. But the embers continue to glow, and they wait to reignite.

Sad Songs Say So Much

Good night, Betty. Rest in Peace.

We miss you.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

5 Year Retrospect

5 years ago on this very day, I sat in a cafeteria draped with countless tartans. Bag pipes sang their screeching songs. It was so hot that I worried I might sweat through my cap and gown.

I graduated high school 5 years ago, and it's hard not to remember the date without some introspection, such as: what the hell have I done with my life?

The first 3 years after high school are easy to measure. I immediately left home and moved in with my boyfriend. My mother had no interest in the decisions I faced, so I chose my post-secondary education, my future home, and which scholarships to accept on my own. But despite my burning tendency toward procrastination, everything was arranged in time for the fall session of my first year of University.

My first choice school was Waterloo, because clocking in at 7-8 hours away from home, it was an attractive choice. I also applied to Guelph (6 hours away), and Queens (under 2 hours away, which I felt left the possibility for afternoon visits, eep), and Ottawa (1 hour away, so it wasn't much of a choice at fact, I laughingly called it my "safety" school).

I was accepted into all of them of course, with generous scholarships being offered by all 4 schools. And so of course I picked Ottawa, my last choice, the choice that was barely even a choice. I picked Ottawa because my boyfriend at the time felt we would drift apart if we were any further apart than that (such confidence he had in our relationship!). And so I can proudly say I picked the University of Ottawa for all the wrong reasons (namely, a boy), and it turned out to be great.

My mother and my boyfriend escorted me up to the campus, where they insisted there was no way I would fit all of my crap into such a small living space. They were both so overcome by their sentiments that they forgot what a hard head I have. It all fit, dammit. And then my mother pinched my cheek and cried, and left me all alone.

It was great. It was better than great. The University of Ottawa is a beautiful campus in downtown Ottawa. I lived in an apartment in Sandy Hill, just a block or two away from campus. I instantly made all sorts of great friends. We went on pub crawls, got lost on the bus system that was new to all us, and got into more trouble that I ever dreamed possible. I think I may have gone to a few classes here and there also, but my memories of this are a little hazy. On the second day of my new life, my boyfriend made the trek back up to Ottawa and was shocked to find me not at home. I was already out and about, socializing my ass off. I think this made him a bit worried, because within a month he reestablished his life up in Ottawa to be with me.

Tabaret Hall

University was just as easy for me as high school had been. I wrote exams and 30 page research papers with one hand tied behind my back. I took classes for interest, played around in the lab, and loved the tiny discussion classes that had fewer than a dozen students, where I could discuss politics, religion, or Dickens, and actually be understood by my peer group for the first time in my life. It was exhilarating, and I couldn't get enough. Full-time studies mean 4 classes per semester; some people take 5, I took 6 or 7. I majored in psychology which was never dull, not for one moment, but I took classes in many faculties to broaden the scope of knowledge.

I worked the whole time I was in school. I started out landing a great job for the University itself. I created programs for staff learning and development. It was challenging to work the behind the scenes at the same time, and since the school is bilingual, I was able to keep up in both languages that I was born into.

My boyfriend proposed to me, and became my fiance before my first year of university was complete. Everyone found it their business to tell me I was too young and that it was too quick, except for a select few who knew that Jamie knows what she wants, and gets it.

At school I had a lab rat named Sniffy, and I adored work in the sleep lab. My favourite days were spent in counseling, where I paved the way for a future career.

Later, I worked for the government. I worked right in the centre block of the Parliament buildings, underneath the Peace Tower.

Centre Block, Parliament Building of Canada

I brushed shoulders with the biggest and brightest of Canada's political system, Senators and Members of Parliament alike. I also met delegates and political figures from around the world. Joe Clark held a door for me; Colin Mochrie shook my hand and told me my uniform was "cute"; Jean Chretien bought me a drink; I gave John Ashcroft the pen with which he signed his name on the accord after 9-11. I met tourists from around the world. I saw presentations from around my own country. It's funny how quickly the marble floors and the gothic architecture of Canada's most famous symbol becomes "work". Every morning during the summer months, I walked through the changing of the guard.

Every few days, a major protest took place on Parliament grounds. I often had to elbow my way through throngs of people telling me that my uterus was not for sale just to get to "work". On other days, young men with rippling muscles would throw frisbees on the hill. On the weekends we were often interrupted by wedding pictures, and a couple of times, even the weddings themselves. Christmas was the most beautiful time to work at Parliament because of the Lights Across Canada display. Not just the hill, but the whole city and indeed cities across Canada, are lit up brilliantly.

Rotunda, Centre Block

And this is to say nothing of the tulip festival in April, and winterlude in February. I had the most amazing opportunities, and after about the first week of walking around in an impressed daze, I took them all for granted. But it was a great experience, and I made many good friends. It's a strange thing to say that our office parties consisted of Parliamentary Balls, but there it is. Good times. Through it all, I went to school and earned brilliant grades, and planned a wedding that turned out spectacularly.

Jason and I moved around a fair bit; packing and unpacking boxes became habit. We didn't both get home from work until 10pm on a week night, and then we would lie in bed exhausted going over my neurobiology units. I volunteered in spare time: in the mental health field, with the elderly, with the homeless, and with the developmentally challenged. These were busy, but good days.

Within 3 short years, because of my accelerated academics, I earned my degree. Convocation took place at the National Arts Centre, which was heady stuff. Walking across the stage I thought about all the greatest talent the world has to offer standing in the very same place. I accepted my diploma and couldn't help but think that at the age of 21 I had a degree, a home, a husband. A few days later Jason and I celebrated our first anniversary, and I was officially caught up in the wide berth of possibility in front of me.

I took a summer off during which I read for pleasure, and celebrated life with my friends. In the fall I found a job that meant a lot to me; it gave me the opportunity to use my degree, and help my community. All I had to do was complete my CPR training, and it would be mine.

And then my life derailed, and the path I was on was no more. I got sick, suffered through a month of misdiagnosis before reaching another few months of surgeries. It was tough to watch my dream job slip between my fingers.

Months followed filled with setbacks, frustrating rehab, and another move, a demoting move back to Cornwall. I clawed desperately for the life I once knew. I rarely saw my friends since I was not overly mobile. I also lost the waist I once had thanks to months of limited movement. I had low moments that were exacerbated by a family that didn't act like a family.

And so I found myself at 23 with nothing..or that's how it felt. I was in Cornwall, where a university degree counts for nothing. I was not employable unless I wanted to work at Walmart, which I did not. But I turned a new leaf, and then another.

It started on a sleepless night, when I got it into my head that I might like to try cake decorating. From there, it flourished and soon enough I was selling my concoctions to hungry patrons.

When the Christmas rush died down, I looked around and thought to myself, what next? And so I turned to my first love, writing, which I had pursued passionately from the age of 8-18, but had kept only on the back burner since University and more pragmatic thinking took over. But these days I have little to lose. I promised myself a whole year to pursue writing, and see where it takes me. It's been a fun ride so far.

But I look around me, and I wonder really how far I've come. I don't have a "career", and in fact I have not ever used the diploma that meant so much to me to earn. It remains buried somewhere that I don't have to happen upon often because I fear the disappointment may overwhelm me. But I am in a good place, I am proud of the words I write, and have managed to remain fairly upbeat and optimistic through it all.

All I can say for sure is that I am not where I imagined myself to be when I was sitting in my cap and gown on that night 5 years ago. According to my year book, I have failed miserably:

Ambition: Join the circus, have 17 acrobatic carnie children, make lotsa money & be exceedingly happy
Probable Destination: To get a sugar daddy, 2 dozen credit cards, and too many shoes to count.

Well, okay, I am happy, and I do have lots of shoes.

And to my fellow graduates of the class of 2000, how have you fared?

, your ambition: to be somewhere tropical & to have more than 1 tattoo.

Sarah: being a software engineer with my own company.

Kelly: To become the highest paid real estate appraiser with a house in every corner of the globe.

And so my dears, are we any closer to achieving our goals?

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Call To Arms

It was an innocuous day; a day like any other in June: warm, and sunny, and bright. It shall go down in history as THE DAY PEDESTRIANS FOUGHT BACK. Your children will deface my picture in history texts as they sit bored and stiff in the classroom. The History Channel will air one of many unauthorized documentaries in my name, and when my next door neighbour is interviewed, with her hair in curlers, and a cigarette with drooping ash fastened permanently to her lips, she will tell them I was a nice girl, always got my garbage out on time and such. U2 will write a song about me entitled "Monday, Floody Monday". And you, my friends, will be able to say that you first read about the movement from the very first day of its inception.

As I was saying, it was indeed a beautiful day. I sat outside on the swing, Dostoyevsky in my lap (frisky bugger that he is), watching a mommy bird feeding her baby bird in the old wooden bird feeder that they now call home. The day was passing by slowly, each moment making its presence known like individual grains of sand as they pass through an hour glass. I got it in my head that I should go for a walk before the sun set on me completely, and so I headed out upon one of my many favourite haunts.

I didn't remember loading R.E.M. into my mp3 player, so it was a nice surprise to have them serenade me as I tripped along the neighbourhood. Children, enjoying their first real day of summer vacation, played in sprinklers and munched on Freezies.

I heard a honk from behind me, and a man in a red pickup truck waved at me as he drove on by. I did not know this man, and he only mistakenly thought he knew me. I wondered who else in this fair city looked like me from behind - the fat ass, the blonde ponytail, the tattoo on my back, all of which I like to think are fairly distinct. Maybe not.

Passing through neighbourhoods, I observe that though all adults are tucked safely away in the cool recesses of their homes, their evidence is apparent. Every second or third lawn sports a sprinkler, which is watering not only their lawn, but the sidewalk upon which I trod. Every second or third house, I must dart into the road to avoid an errant spray. Every second or third house, my peaceful walk is disturbed. Jamie is not happy.

I don't know why people water their lawns. Is green grass really so desirable? How exactly does it affect your life? Clearly, these people do not even appreciate their lawn as they are all indoors, basking not in the sun, but in the air conditioning. Grass is pretty tough. It doesn't need any additional watering. Sure, it may get turn less than emerald green. You may even have patches. But why should you care?

Almost every city in North America suffers from over-consumption of water. Many city newspapers publishes warnings to the public: please do not water your lawns, do not waste water, etc, etc...and these reports go unread because the stupid public is outside turning on the taps full blast.

And here is the result: young women get blisters all over their feet because sidewalks are flooded and their Sketchers get wet. Pedestrians feel like they are playing Frogger with their bodies instead of having the nice walk they intended. Every time I encounter a sprinkler, I must risk my life by walking into the road, with traffic, to avoid getting wet.

This vexes me. I walk purposely in areas where there are sidewalks because I prefer not to get hit by cars. This is why sidewalks exist. The sidewalk is not part of your yard, it is public property. It is also a safety feature. I value my life way, way, over the green grass in your yard. You should too.

I feel fingers of anger creeping up my spine every time I have to take evasive action on a sidewalk. Is it not my right to protect my life? I think it is.

Now I'll admit that I have a somewhat different mentality than most. I grew up in the country. We lived off of a well dug in our backyard. Every drop of water was precious to us; we never wasted though we often wanted. Our sump pump would get prissy and we would be left without any running water or functioning toilets. We never, not once in our lives, watered the lawn, and yet we had over an acre of it, and even if it wasn't as green as yours, it served its purpose.

Every time I see a sprinkler, I think of children dying elsewhere in the world because they don't have potable water. It breaks my heart. And yet, people have a right to water their lawns, and be HUGE DICKS if they so please.

But I for one, will not die in the street with parts of my body clinging to the grille of a Honda. No way. So, my fellow pedestrians, this is what I propose:

Tomorrow I will bedeck myself in rainboots and raincoat, and I will scour the city for sprinklers. Any of them that drip onto sidewalks, I will pick up, and launch through the front window of that person's house. Perhaps then they will realize just how annoying a sprinkler can be when it gets in the way. For once, it will be kitchens and living rooms flooded, and not my running shoes. I will not be surprised in the least to turn on the news tomorrow night and find that this very act has been perpetrated in cities all over the hemisphere. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I have taken vengeance upon myself, and I will be ruthless. The city will tinkle with the sound of breaking glass. Watch out, Cornwall, here I come!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The City of Cornwall

This is either the easiest or the hardest post I've ever had to write - and I'm not sure which. I have at times been quite verbal about my beefs with this city, and yet I live here, at least it must have some redeeming qualities, right? Shane, astute questioner, amateur astrologer, and profound blogger, saw fit to ask me recently just what it is I like about the city where I grew up. Shane, here is your answer (and what a brave soul you are for daring to ask):

The first thing that comes to mind when contemplating the enigmatic city of Cornwall causes me to borrow from the motto of my high school: small enough to know you, big enough to serve you. I think this is a fair assessment of the city, after all, we do have a Walmart now (though I remember the days of yore when we traveled across the border to behold such a sight). We have a couple of actual chain restaurants, enough liquor and beer stores to keep us well-lubricated, one Tim Hortons for every 5 people, and one hardware store for every 10. And we manage to live in this lap of luxury with the low, low population of just 45, 642 inhabitants. I personally know 45, 639 of them, but haven't had a chance to bring a casserole two blocks over to the new family just moved in. I will get around to that later this week. I would vouch for at least 300 of them, and warn you not to lend money to maybe half.

I mentioned before that my family would cross the border back in the day, and this is true. Many still do it now, but in the late 80s and early 90s, Canadians headed into the U.S. en masse to take advantage of good prices, and if lucky, Canadian dollars at par! We marveled at stores like TJ Maxx, Winners, and Payless Shoes. And yes, we're all very embarrassed about that now. Every Sunday, we would hop on the bridge that connects Cornwall to Massena NY. The van would be running on fumes, so if there was any traffic at the toll booths, we'd have to coast down the other side of the bridge. Gas was really cheap back then, and we frequented an American gas station weekly - this was so ingrained in family tradition that my mother told us all stories involving my "adoption". She swore that one of the Native gas attendants had given me up in exchange for a bucket of chicken (never mind that I am the fairest of the bunch, at times we all believed it). We would hit the big mall dressed in our very worst apparel. We wore pants that barely buttoned, shirts that were frayed, and big floppy winter boots that I particularly found embarrassing. If our shopping was successful, we would change into the new clothes and toss out the old clothes - the road back to the bridge was always brimming with discarded Canadian clothes. If my mother was in a good mood, we would get a special treat: buffet at the Ponderosa! Oh how we loved that buffet...although I remember a time or two when I sat sulking over my cherry coke (cherry coke!- oh those zany Americans, what will they think of next?), trying to hide the fact that I was wearing old lady boots up to my knees in the middle of April. Yikes.

But Cornwall is not just the gateway to New York. We also sit against the border to Quebec, which in some ways is better than New York, because the legal age for drinking in Quebec is 18! Score! So by the time we were 14 we could convince an older sibling to drive to le depanneur, which is a cleverly located corner store within spitting distance of the border, which profited from selling no name liquors to underage kids (I remember buying lemon-beer from there once, and how badly it burned coming back up). Quebec is a lovely place to visit for great dining and shopping also, and the strip clubs in Montreal are fah-bu-lous! Montreal is a drive of only an hour and half, Ottawa clocks in at about an hour's drive away, Kingston an hour and a half, and Toronto maybe 5. I like to think of Cornwall as the little hub that could.

One of my favourite places in all of Cornwall is the library. When I was a kid, the library had maybe half a dozen tiny branches each containing fewer books than I had in my closet (Babysitter's Club #1-infinity, same with Sweet Valley High) dispersed throughout the counties. Some years ago it amalgamated into one big site in an old building that used to be a post office. It is ornately done in marble, and you can either lose yourself in an overstuffed chair, or sit on a bar stool watching traffic whiz by as you flip through a magazine. It feels historic and rich, and is perhaps the city's main jewel.

Otherwise, most of the city's best attributes are outdoors. The bike path, for instance, stretches from one end of the city to the other and beyond. Jason and I partake of it often. It runs parallel to the beautiful St. Lawrence river so the view is breathtaking. There are benches and gazebos and picnic tables dotting the path, where we can sit and share apple slices, or wine, or hand jobs. Er, cookies. It was a great privilege to grow up near the water, where I often fished for perch with my grandfather, made pitiful attempts at water-skiing with friends, and was often thrown violently off of inner tubes after being towed behind a speed boat, and dumped ceremoniously in front of a mob of hungry bar patrons at one of the many riverside pubs, like the good old Blue Anchor in Glen Walter, which was my childhood neighbourhood.

Glen Walter was a lovely place to raise children. We had friends instead of neighbours. We would jump on our bikes and accumulate members of our posse, making revving noises as we sped around the suburbs. Almost all of us had a pool in the backyard, with an acre of land to spare for general running around on. We had a playhouse, a big deck, lilac bushes, and a fire pit. The hill in our backyard was great for tobagganing in the winter, and slip-n-slides in the summer. The land fell so that we also had a sizeable skating rink in the winter with plenty of room for snow castles and snow people aplenty. Sometimes we saw deers or foxes in our backyard, and once we even saw giant rats! Well, that's how my sister saw it anyway. They could more accurately be described as beavers, if reality interests you. We would go frog-catching at the pond, and after a spring rain we would dig for worms because our Pa paid us a nickel a piece!

I have picked my own strawberries in the patches nearby, as well as apples in the orchards. I have eaten corn grown by my own family's farm, and drunk milk fresh from their cows. I have enjoyed the peaceful serenity of Cooper's Marsh, and visited the Bird Sanctuary. I have shorn sheep and watched cheese be made at Upper Canada Village. My lungs have thanked me sincerely for all of the delicious fresh air I have breathed in over the years.

I live in the kind of city where the people leave their doors unlocked (if American, see the movie Farhenheit 9-11 for more of this odd behaviour). People are nice to each other. When my mother's house was on fire, one neighbour rubbed her back while another offered booze. Twice I've lost my purse, and twice it was promptly returned, and the finders were hesitant to accept my reward money. Crime is not unheard of, but it's not rampant. The police have time for other things, like the R.I.D.E. program run by the O.P.P. - every single time I've been stopped at a check point and asked how much I've had to drink, I am thankful to live in a place where crime is not just attended to, but prevented.

I live in a sleepy town where everybody knows my name. In grade 8 our graduation ceremony was held at a Chinese kareoke bar. Me, and the 6 other graduates, crowded around the microphone to sing Yellow Submarine. Many of us have kept in touch. The city newspaper features either myself, or someone I know well, within its pages every few days (and no, I don't just mean the Police Blotter). In Cornwall you can see a movie for $4.25, and buy a beer for $2.50 (talk about a cheap date).

Cornwall, scene of my youth, current home, city where the Woody Allen movies will always be on the shelf for me to rent, where the bartenders are happy to make "these martinis you speak of" if only I provide a recipe, and where dwellers are excited to enjoy the "gourmet" stylings of -shock!- pasta: you are not so bad a place to come from. Not so bad at all.

[Have a burning question for Jamie? Nothing is too trivial, and by god, nothing is too bizarre. Ask away. Send questions to: the amazing willy wanker @ g mail . com (no spaces).]

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Fuckfest

Fucktard of the week:

Tom Green

Many people around the world have a particular dislike for Tom Green, but that dislike festers up here in Canada, like a puss-filled sore on Paris Hilton's punani. We were his reluctant audience in the early days of his career, when he was just a cable TV act with a penchant for screwing with his sweet parents.

His stunts with dead animals are worthy of particular disgust, and his films have been universally panned as the stinkers that they are. Despite that, he has been invited back here to host not only the Canadian Walk of Fame events this year, but bafflingly, the Live 8 in Barrie as well. I hang my head in shame, and remind people of this: Tom Green is not representative of all Canadians. Or, any Canadians. Or, people in general.

My Tom Green-related story:

I'm listening to the radio one day, X-FM with Mauler and Rush. They're a couple of funny dudes who I liked to listen to, and who played some decent music. And on this day in particular they were giving away free passes. I got my hands on 2 of these passes - to see Freddy Got Fingered.

So Jason and I turn up to the theatre on opening night, and Mauler and Rush are there making grilled cheeses for the movie-goers (if you've seen the movie, you'll get the tie-in). Jason and I took our seats in the crowded theatre (crowded because Tom Green is a native Ottawan...apparently we are a supportive people) and before the movie can even begin, Mauler and Rush are up there giving a riotous speech and then giving away prizes...and wouldn't you know it, my name is called. Way, way too embarrassed to go up myself, I send Jason. And he comes back with oodles of merchandise that we giggle over for weeks: Freddy Got Fingered t-shirt, soundtrack, visor, etc, etc. Great.

So we watch the movie. We try desperate to find something, anything, worth laughing about. No such luck. It was painful. It stank so much it made me miss my greasy neighbour who didn't believe in underarm deodorant but did believe in cooking curry when he came home from working at the fish market.

The next day, I write a letter to the radio station. The gist of this email is: I regret wasting 97 minutes of my life on this bad, bad movie. Even though the tickets were free, I hold these two radio personalities responsible for subjecting me to such baditity. To make it up to me, I suggest they can buy back my love my providing me with passes to the big Survivor party they were throwing.

Yes, I realize I was just an audience member who should have felt grateful for the first set of free movie tickets in the first place, but...BUT, I've said it before and I'll say it again: being cocky gets you places.

A return email from the radio stations says that if I will call in that morning and repeat my humorous opinion of the movie, said passes shall be mine.

So, proclaiming Tom Green to be a fucktard has been beneficial to me in the past...who knows where it will get me today? I think that if Tom Green were here, he would totally approve. He seems like a materialistic guy with lax morals, just like me!

Fucker of the week:

Orange Lipstick

Ew, ew, ew, ew. It looks no less than horrendous on the above pasty person, but is more commonly found on, um, older ladies, especially those don't know how to say no to a tanning bed. Their sun-damaged skin is wrinkled, their mouths appear to be cast in permanent puckers (probably they are smokers too...just oozing good health and good hygiene). These ladies are baked so brown they give George Hamilton a run for his money. In fact, using shoe polish for foundation may give a more subtle effect. And then they top it all off with a thick orange smear. Oooo, sexy.

To recap: no matter your age, your skin tone, your level of colour blindness - orange lipstick is not, never is, acceptable. In the least. In the slightest. For any reason. Even if it's on sale. Especially if it's on sale. Just don't ever do it. Orange lipstick is not your friend.

This week's most fuckable:

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe

He's gorgeous, she's gorgeous, it's sickening. I can totally imagine them spending Saturday nights locked in the following battle:

Ryan: You're cuter.

Reese: No, you're cuter.

Ryan: No you are!

Reese: No you are!

etc, etc, etc...

I've offered up a married couple this week, because everyone knows that married couples (especially ones this cute!) make for great menages a trois! A married couple is 2/3 of a threesome, if you're counting, so just add yourself to the mix, and stir!

What makes this couple even more irresistible is their obvious devotion to each other, and their family. Despite two movie careers, family comes first. And what I like best about them (besides the fact that you can't make a Bennifer type amalgamation out of Ryan and Reese) is that for a Hollywood power couple, they sure do keep out of the spotlight. Oh sure there are premieres, but other than that, they keep to themselves. They seem like normal, grounded people - and shockingly, still happy after 6 years of marriage and counting (a flippin long time by Hollywood standards!)

Even pregnant, Reese exudes grace and charm. These two are so good looking they seem destined to be together - and just think how blonde their children must be with those genes!

If the whole rubber-sheet scenario doesn't work out with them, I for one, would be just as happy spending a day or two inside their closet. Look at them, they're impeccably dressed and always so polished. Reese's hair never even has the just-screwed-around-in-the-limo look that most of us would suspect with a handsome husband like hers (could any of us resist kissing those lips of his?) - but then, when you're living large, maybe you employ someone specifically for putting you back together after quickies behind tinted windows...who's with me?

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Evidence of Impending Doom

1. I have a dimple on my knee, well a dimple on each knee. The dimple on my right knee is cute in the right light. The dimple on my left knee, not so much. I am right handed. The dimple is on the far side of my knee. The dimple does not get shaved. Somehow, it's always passed up. For weeks and months at a time. This could get ugly, except for the lucky (?) fact that I have chubby knees, which means the dimple kind of folds in on itself, creating some sort of sink hole, or suck hole, or some sort in infinite abyss, if you will. Still. I know it's there.

2. Jason's boss gave him BBQ sauce on Sunday. Jason was all like "Why is there BBQ sauce on my desk." And his boss was all like "Because it's father's day." And Jason, politely I'm sure, informed him that he was not a father. Boss magnanimously replied that all men working on father's day merited a bottle of sauce so as not to leave anyone out. Well excuse me, but doesn't the term father's day necessarily leave people out? Say, non-fathers, for example? Everyone who is not a father? Have we become so overly politically correct as to reward every living thing with a dick a bottle of BBQ sauce just to say we were inclusive? Well, before you start thinking this backwards town that I live in is PC-minded at all, chew on this: the men got BBQ sauce for father's day...the women were each given a rose on mother's day. Now tell me, where in the world does BBQ sauce = rose ? That's not equal! And if it's not equal, then it's not exactly PC, and if not PC, then it's just plain weird, which was my inclination from the beginning! If equality is your bag baby, then give a stupid flower to everyone. However, I tend to think that parenthood is not equal. I mean, 24 hours of oozing labour is a pretty big divider, right? So if a year's worth of fathering is worth 1 bottle of BBQ sauce, then a year's worth of mothering must be worth an 8 week vacation in the Carribeans. At least.

3. My grandmother told me I have "a nice cleavage."

4. I went out for a walk the other day, wearing a white linen shirt over my new pink decolletage bra. I walked hours from home under gray skies with no umbrella, into parts of the city where hundreds of potential witnesses milled about. And it didn't rain. Not one drop. How weird is that?

5. It's summer time, so much of the city is pocked with construction sites right now. One such site, found on one of my excursions, beheld a sight that almost burned the retinas right out of my eyes. Picture this, if you can: some sort of hole was being dug into the black pavement. 6 men were sweating profusely as they dug. 12 men stood on, watching from a shaded area, sharing a thermos which I can only assume was lemonade. I did a doubletake: 6 men working. 12 supervising. That's a 2:1 ratio of not working to working, unheard of for city workers! What the hell! Usually at least 4 or 5 people stand around useless for every 1 person working. City tax dollars were barely being wasted at all! I would say money was only hemorrhaging from this project, which is a lot less serious than the usual monsoons of waste that I see every other day. How could this be?

6. Putting as much distance between myself and the above affair, I crossed into what may be referred to as this city's ghetto area. Houses are dilapidated. Shingles are a luxury most people are content without. Shutters hang on by a string, if they hang at all, unpainted and ugly. Random furniture takes up space on limited lawns, 5 or 6 homeboys in wifebeaters sit crowded on outdoor couches that must house hundreds if not thousands of fleas and lice and other vermin I know nothing of. There is chalk on the sidewalks. No, not police outlines, this is Canada, where we don't have murder. But strangely, none of the following either:
- For a good time call ____________
-Swear words
-Big giant phallic pictures
In fact, the sidewalks were simply decorated by children. There were stick figures and rainbows and unicorns. Nothing lewd at all. Maybe I stepped into some sort of twilight zone.

7. There is a dentist's office that faces one of the main drags in this city. The entire wall is made of window, so when you drive by, you get a glimpse of people sitting in great big chairs, just a blur really, but you get the impression. When you walk by this building, it's way creepier. I felt like a peeping tom looking in on someone getting a root canal. They're high on laughing gas, one eye is lolling about in its socket while the other is trying to focus out the window at the street where I am feeling very guilty for existing. So I discreetly avert my eyes, choosing to look across the street instead. And what's on the other side of the street? A high school track. And boys are running on the, wait. These are men. One is topless, and gleaming in the sunlight. I trot across the street to get a better look. When he sees that I am watching, the golden-chested man gestures to his buddies, and suddenly they all remove their shirts and wave them at me, shouting I don't know what. I laugh, and clap, and wave back. Strange days indeed.

8. Jason says to me "I really like your new bra." And I say thanks, but before I move the conversation in a different direction, he elaborates. "It makes your boobs look a bit smaller, but they're pushed up higher. More out. I like it." I give him a blank look. "Know what I mean?" he asks, and I tell him that I do not. Later that night, off comes the shirt, and the bra. Jason points: "See! Look! Scientific proof!" he exclaims to my chest. I confirm that I am a girl, and he is a boy, and he need not point it out every time I take my top off. "No, no," he says, "look." And I look down at my boobs, and I see what he means. The tops of my breasts have been brown and sun-kissed for weeks. Tonight there is something more; an extra half-moon of pink at the edge of the tan, where white skin almost down to the nipple has seen sun for the first time. Jason was right: the new bra shoved them out further. Whoa man, that's heavy: Jason was right.

And so you can see why I might believe that the world is coming to an end. I will keep an eye out for chickens tomorrow, and if one should happen to be hollering "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" I, for one, will believe her.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ask Jamie

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but it also happens to be the time of year when most brain cells are killed, either by fancy drinks with umbrellas in them, or by simple disuse. While I encourage the former, I will attempt over the next few months to prevent the latter. And so, for a limited time only, I am answering any and all of the burning questions you couldn't bring yourself to ask anyone else.

No question is too big, nor too small. I'll answer anything: the philosophical, the tangible, the personal, the hypothetical.

If you have a question, you may leave it in the comments section of this post, or, for the rest of the summer, send me an email: the amazing willy wanker at g mail dot com. Simple as that (only smoosh it all together). Questions can be sent anonymously, but otherwise your website will be plugged into the post. Questions of a timely nature are not suggested because they will be answered sporadically.

Sample Question:

What is the circumference of a peach pit?

That's a good one. Since the peach pit referred to in this question was not mailed in with the question, I have no starting measurements. This makes it difficult, but not impossible.

Now, I seem to remember that in mathematics, a certain set of constants are constantly being referred to. Such as, for example, Bernie's constant, or Toby's constant. And I'm sure they're all constantly constant, reliable and unchanging, and ultimately quite boring.

Of course none of these will help us today since I don't know them off the top of my head, and the Bore guy and the Stegasaurus guy are no where in sight. So I'll use a circumference that I am certain of, the earth's: measured at 40, 075.16 kilometres (this is measured at the equator, it's slightly smaller when measured at the poles, so when comparing it to the peach, be sure to tip it on its side).

Okay, so we're making progress. Now, what do the earth and a peach have in common? Well, luckily, since we're taking about circumferences, they're both round. Luckier still, they both have cores. So, after helping myself to a nice slice of pie (apple, of course), my full stomach is able to guesstimate the earth's core at a circumference of 7563.9168 kilometres.

But let's face it, a peach is really small compared to the earth, so it is necessary to use fractions to compare the two.

Now, EARTH and PEACH have 3 letters in common, E, A, and H. That's 3 out of 5, or 6 out of 10, which makes for perfect fraction work!

So, it can be deduced that a peach pit's circumference will be 3/5 of the earth's core's circumference.

Now for some fancy footwork:




3025.56672 kilometres

We can all agree that measuring a peach pit in kilometres is simply Ludikris, so we'll be converting into centimetres for conveniency. Everyone knows there are 100 centimetres in 1 kilometre. But that would give us a Ludikrisly large number, so instead of multiplying, we'll divide, since that's what common sense tells us to do.

Now we have a measurement of 30.25 centimetres, which is better but not quite right. I know a thing or two about ratios:

40075.16km : 30.25cm

Now there's some junk about dividing by the common denominator, and as previously established, the thing that is common between the earth's crust and the peach's pit seems to be the letter t. And as you know, algebra and geometry people are always falling over each other to throw letters in with their numbers, so this is a perfect fit.


t (the italics mean it's mathematical!)

Now you have to assign some random number to be represented by the letter t, or else our answer will look like a license plate!

So, for no particular reason, t=10

And so the answer is: 3.025cm (remember to tilt it!)

Now I know not everyone has a highly specialized brain like mine, which is able to follow highly complex equations of the mathematical sort. I hope you've all been able to follow along. If not, simply write to me (heretofore to be referred to as "Dr. Math") at my email address, and I will furnish you with my highly-coveted math tutorial, soon to be appearing on the backs of Fruit Loop boxes in a grocery store near you!

And should you have any question at all, no matter how daring or impossible to solve, do send them forward, and prepare to be astounded.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Some Said This Day Would Never Come.

Rumours swirling around this very possibility have spanned two decades now. Anyone under the age of 20 will be hard-pressed to remember "life before." It has slowly but pervasively infiltrated our culture and our minds, and its fingers reach around the globe. Never before has the world been so united on one front, spreading the cult of yellow fever in epidemic proportions.

It's official: The Simpsons movie is coming (July 2007). Fans of the show have both feared and revered this day, mostly because news of this highly anticipated movie meant certain death for the hugely popular TV series. However, the good news abounds: creator Matt Groening assures us that the show will continue on simultaneously as the movie, and will run for as long as the ratings allow it. Phew.

Now it's not every day that such news comes along, so to celebrate here at Kill The Goat, I have gleaned an interview with the star of The Simpsons, Mr. Homer Simpson himself.

Jamie: Hello Mr. Simpson. Jamie Lee, Kill the Goat News.

Homer: Homer Simpson, smiling politely.

Jamie: How are you today, Mr. Simpson?

Homer: My pockets hurt.

Jamie: Well then, let's just get down to business. Mr. Simpson, I raise my glass to you in a toast for the success of your upcoming movie.

Homer: Here's to alcohol, the cause of?and solution to?all life's problems.

Jamie: Err, right. So tell me Homer -I can call you Homer right? I feel as if I know you-the Simpsons family stands to make millions of dollars from this production deal, doesn't it? What do you plan on doing with all of that money?

Homer: Money can be exchanged for goods and services!

Jamie: Well, yes -

Homer: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts!

Jamie: Yes, I suppose peanuts are a good investment...Anyhow, I've heard that there's already been a table read of the movie script. How would you say the 90 minute script of the movie compares to the standard 22 minute script of the TV show?

Homer: Well, it's not quite a mop, not quite a puppet, but man... (laughs, then pauses). So, to answer you question, I don't know.

Jamie: Um. Okay. So did you have any input in the movie? What kind of things do you think an audience likes to see in movies?

Homer: I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around a city, keeping its speed over fifty and if its speed dropped, it would explode! I think it was called ... "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."

Jamie: I'm not sure if that answers my question...

Homer: Homer no function beer well without.

Jamie: I'm sorry sir. I suppose we should have toasted with Duff instead of Dom. Still, you seem to have polished off the bottle on your own, as well as the deli platter and the cheese platter, and the bowl of creamers and sugar cubes from the coffee trolley that had been sitting out for days and days.

Homer: How do you come up with such witty remarks?

Jamie: Mr. Simpson, that wasn't wit, that was exasperation. The fact is, I don't think you're taking this interview very seriously.

Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
Jamie: Mr. Simpson, I think it's safe to say that the fame has gone to your head.

Homer: Fame was like a drug, but what was even more like a drug were the drugs.

Jamie: Stop it! You don't even make sense! This whole interview is going to suck.

Homer: Yeah, suck like a fox.

Jamie: What?

Homer: Hamburger earmuffs.

Jamie: Look Homer, I'm only doing this because my husband is a big fan. If you can't get yourself through a few simple questions, then it's no skin off my back to scrap this whole thing.
I just thought you might like to speak to your fans.

Homer: The problem in the world today is communication. Too much communication.

Jamie: I should have known. Listen, if you don't believe in communication, then why are you even here?

Homer: I'm a white male aged 18 to 49, everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are.

Jamie: Well, I can't argue with that. You have built on empire on it. And I'm sure it has afforded you all kinds of amazing there anything left that you haven't done?

I want to explore the world. I want to watch TV in a different time zone. I want to visit strange, exotic malls. I'm sick of eating hoagies. I want a grinder, a sub, a foot-long hero.

Jamie: So what's stopping you?

I don't have the discipline necessary to be a Hippie.

Jamie: I didn't realize eating subs made you a Hippie. I'm beginning to really pity myself here, this is impossible -

Homer: Ah, sweet pity. Where would my love life have been without it?

Jamie: It's not all about you, Homer. Boy are you conceited.

Homer: Being popular is the most important thing in the world!

Jamie: Well you sure have a funny way of showing it.

Homer: Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I'm tired of making other people feel good about themselves.

Jamie: Homer, that may have been the most insightful thing you've ever said. I blame myself for misjudging you.

Homer: You can't keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, and move on.

Jamie: Gee thanks. Did you ever consider that you might be hurting my feelings?

Homer: I have feelings too - like "my stomach hurts' or "I'm going crazy!".

Jamie: Right. You know Homer, there is help. You can see a therapist, psychiatrist -

Homer: What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kids are nuts.

Jamie: Yes, but what about yourself, Homer?

Homer: I am so smart, s-m-r-t.

Jamie: Okay. That about does it. I've tried my best to do the impossible -

Homer: You tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

Jamie: That's enough! I think we can agree that this interview is over.

Homer: Let us celebrate our agreement with the adding of chocolate to milk.

Jamie: Well, I do like me some chocolate milk, especially if it goes along with some donuts...

Homer: Mmmm, donuts...

Jamie. Dear god, I'm losing my mind.

Homer: Well, it's always in the last place you look.

Jamie: I can't believe I'm sitting in a room with a yellow man who is dumber than lip gloss. This has been a total waste of time and now I'm out $240 in snacks!

Homer: Yes, that's a real pickle. Would you excuse me for a moment?

Jamie: Homer, that's not outside, that's the coat check.

Homer: D'oh!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Fuckfest

Fucktards of the week:

Homophobes. Every last one of them.

Sorry to get all preachy here today, but I happened to catch an episode of a new reality series produced here in Canada called My Fabulous Gay Wedding. And not only am I a sucker for a wedding, but I adored Kids In The Hall, and the show is hosted by none other than KITH alum Scott Thompson.

So I'm watching the show, and Scott is funny and cute playing the Wedding Fairy [insert fairy joke here], and this week's couple, William and Jim, are adorable. These people are what marriage is all about. They've been together 7 years, and yet "He's still the one I would choose across a crowded room." Aww.

For the most part, it proceeds like the usual putting-together-an-impromptu-wedding show. Wedding planners scout locations, choose dashing outfits, taste test hors d'oeuvres, and invite guests.

And that's where the show departs from the norm. Because as one of the previous brides put it, "I'm gay - with a voice." And good for her. Good for all of them for showing us such positive relationships even amid controversy.

Now I understand that people will have differing beliefs. Some people believe that homosexuality is inherently wrong. And no matter why you believe this, you're crazy. If you believe it in the name of God, you're not just crazy, you're un-christian. And deep down, you probably already know this. I feel sorry for you, but I understand you. I understand fear of "the other" though I think it's a poor excuse for a closed mind.

What I don't understand is family members who can't even support each other. Debbie and Nikki, clearly and insanely in love, almost have their whole wedding derailed because Debbie's parents and ex-husband ganged up against her to keep her own children from attending her wedding. It hurts me to say that so I can only imagine the hurt that she felt.

I think love is a blessing, period. God is all about the love, and if you don't get that, then you've missed the point. Debbie and Nikki are lucky to have found each other. We should all be so lucky.

Jim and William are so in love they make me blush. But again, the gaps in their guest list are glaring. William's step-father doesn't even know that William is gay, let alone that his wife has snuck off to Toronto to attend a wedding. Jim's brother bows out also, citing that he is "too busy" to attend. I ache for them, but am happy that where family lacked, they made up for it in friends that cried tears of happiness to see these two united.

So. Your son/brother/mother is gay? Okay. Accept it. If you don't like it, work on it. It's your problem. Cutting ties with family for being gay is like hating someone for having brown hair. Ridiculous. Sad. Ridiculous.

Brunettes are people too.

Fucker of the week:

Yogurt. Yech.

Yogurt is a stupid-ass thing to eat. It's fermented milk, yo. It has "starter culture" for crying out loud! What is wrong with you people? Yes, You People. You know who you are. It's probably all of you. Even my husband is a dirty yogurt-eater, and because of this I have implemented my favourite strict rule: no kissing Jamie for 24 hours after consuming any spoiled milk products, including but not limited to yogurt.

Yogurt is a bullshit food. Steak is food. Chocolate cake is food. Anything with gravy is food. Yogurt aint food y'all.

You know why people eat yogurt? Because after the first spoonful, even before people can register the thought "Damn, this shit is nasty!" the bacterias swim from your tongue straight to your brain and infect it. They make you delirious. It's worse than mad cow disease. I would rather eat 20 lbs of bloody hamburger than an ounce of yogurt. Gah.

And as if yogurt wasn't dumb enough, they had to go and mix fruit in it! And it's all the evil fruit - strawberries (ew!), blueberries (ew!), peaches (ew!), cherry (ew!), kiwi (okay, seriously - the only hairy thing I want in my mouth is balls, and I would never chop them up and throw them into yogurt!).

But wait. It gets worse. There's "portable" yogurt. As if yogurt used to be so inconvenient! As if yogurt used to be the shackles that chained you to your house. But alas, yogurt for people on the go has been devised, go-gurt if you will. Go-gurt can go-lick my balls, biatch. And anyone who calls it "gurt" deserves a fate far worse than the mad yogurt-induced trips that they already experience.

Yogurt is like crack for middle-class housewives. They start sweating and twitching when they need their next fix. And sadly, even Martha Stewart is enabling this habit by making arts and crafts out of the little yogurt pots. Yogurt addicts pose a serious threat to us all. And is there anything more unnatural than a straight man eating yogurt? I think not. The tiny size of yogurt pots should be a dead giveaway: only elves and fairies should eat yogurt. Everyone else, hands off. For gawd's sake, get some pudding!

Most Fuckable this week:

Whoa. Taye Diggs, how have you thwarted this list thus far? You my dear are a major hottie, and I must say, you have done much for many women's grooves, not just Stella's.

Unfortunately, he is married, so no farther should you endart your eye than his wife would give consent to fly, which I'm guessing would pretty much boil down to look, but don't touch.

And he is more than just a pretty face. He has a degree in music, which he made use of on Broadway, and in the movie Chicago.

Taye Diggs does not eat yogurt.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

For Betty

Lying in bed mid-morning on a Tuesday, I listen to the rain assault the roof in sheets, then trickle sexily down the window. I make a mental note - treadmill today. Jason stands beside the bed. His hair is slick, his shirt is dotted and translucent from fat rain drops accumulated on his dash from the car to the house. Something's up. Jason should be at work for 11 more hours. I resent the imposition. He prods me and I pretend to still be sleeping.

I am angry at him for some infraction from the night before. Angrier still that he went to bed without apologizing. Angry that he values sleep above my feelings. I am not going to make this easy on him.

"Jamie, will you come to Ottawa with me?" he asks his angry, pretending-to-be-asleep wife, and my mind snaps to attention. There is a catch in his voice.

"What's wrong," I ask. Something's wrong. That's rain in his hair, on his shirt, but those are tears in his eyes. Jason does not cry.

"My dad called me at work." His dad never calls him at work. His dad never calls him. "Grandma is in the hospital. They don't think she's going to make it. He said I should get up there quick."

"Do I have time for a shower?" I ask, already going through a mental checklist: gas, directions, flowers, card. He tells me yes, but declines my offer to join me.

"I'll just slow you down," he says, and this is true. I only thought he might not want to be alone.

In the shower, I wash and rinse quickly. I don't want to arrive at the hospital 10 minutes too late, so I cut corners. Goodbye is more important than my apricot facial scrub.

As I am toweling off, Jason says "Visiting hours are 3pm-8pm, do you think they'll let me in?"

I think:Of course they'll let you in. They make exceptions in the ICU. You'll get to say goodbye before she dies.
I say: "I'm not sure. Maybe you should call." We are not using the word death yet.

On the drive up, Jason is nervous. I have no hope for him, no rosy affirmations. I offer him the only comfort I have: information. I tell him about the other-worldly experience of the ICU. I prepare him for the worst. I coach him on having a meaningful visit with an unconscious, unresponsive person. I suggest ways of dealing with the even more daunting task of consoling his grandfather. Jason takes this all in, and the 2 tears that spill on to this cheek tell me it is registering.

Briefly, something flares up inside me, and I realize that it is jealousy. I wish he had tears to spare for me. I wish that he showed traces of regret, or recognition for my hurt, and then I take this feeling that I am having on the 417, and I shove it back into the dusty recesses of my mind. I shelve it with other shameful secrets, and I am so overwhelmed with my failings as a compassionate human being that my own eyes overflow with sadness. Jason misinterprets my tears.

"We'll get there in time," he tells me, and all I can do is nod.

We meet with construction at the hospital. The parking garage is a concrete maze, and Jason eases the car through a complex series of obstacles before being rewarded with a narrow parking space in the last possible crevice, deep in the bowels of this monstrosity. I get out of the car and gulp down air greedily. I am feeling claustrophobic before I even step foot in the hospital, and for this harrowing pleasure, I pay $12.50.

A nurse must identify his grandmother for Jason; she is unrecognizable. She has so much equipment plugged into her it is hard to tell where machine ends and human begins - except they do not; they are inseparable. Her chart reads like a medical multiple choice: aneurysm (chest), open-chest surgery, artery replacement, aneurysm (brain), CAT scans, stroke, cardiac arrest, jaundice, dialysis, ventilator, paralysis. Jason is reeling with grief.

I try to focus him - I tell him to touch her, talk to her, and when he does, his face floods with relief.

His grandfather enters the room, and I am struck by how much these two men separated by 50 years can look alike. They both stick out a hand in greeting, but the handshake quickly dissolves into an embrace.

Neither grandson nor grandfather can bear to be by the bed for long, so they circle it, trapped in an anguished dance

His grandfather's voice is hoarse when he confesses "What bothers me most is that she can't see me. Her eyes will be open but empty. She doesn't even know that I'm here." I want to tell him that she does know, somewhere, but this is his wife, his grief, and my words are too small.

When it's time for Jason to go, he touches her hair, her cheek, and tries not to say "goodbye."

The thing about the dying is that they're living. Dead is dead, but the dying are still alive. Betty has 5 children and 9 grandchildren. She likes her cigarettes, her JD, and her convertible. She will celebrate her 54th wedding anniversary in a month and a half if she lives that long. The odds are against her. Her children are bracing themselves for The Call. They are making their peace. Her husband still clings to fractions of percentages of hope.

On the way home, the road looks gray and bleak. My mind wanders to the inevitable: I need to pick up pantyhose; I'll have to get Jason's black suit dry-cleaned; I can start freezing squares and casseroles now.

Jason catches me looking pensive and asks me what I'm thinking.

"Oh, just about how lucky we'd be to have such a long and happy marriage," I tell him, as I give his hand a squeeze. After all, these circumstances are what little white lies are made for.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Summer Sensations

Wisps of blonde hair dance before my eyes as I look out into the sun. I sit in the middle of the yard where the grass is still patchy, more browns and yellows than green. The sky above me is a soft shade of blue, not brilliant and not bland, remarkable in its quiet way. Clouds cover much of it, like tufts of cotton stretched thin and billowy. When I tilt my head back, I see that they are moving. Slowly they drift south-west, in the same direction as my hair whips and the leaves blow. They rustle, the leaves, and some break free of the trees and fall to the ground.

In the neighbour's yard a flag flaps. The end is frayed and the maple leaf has faded to a dull red that doesn't do it justice. I hear wind chimes that I cannot see. They jingle constantly, but the sound is soft, perhaps muted by the breeze.

I roll up the legs of my capris and offer my pale legs up to the sun. I notice that the freckles on my feet form a pattern around the thongs of my sandals, and that the red polish on my toes has begun to chip.

I am tingling. My neck, my shoulders, the tops of my breasts, they tingle with heat. The sun is working its magic from millions of miles away. My bra strap has slipped from under my tank top and I know that if I don't movie it, I will tan inconsistently. I leave it where it is.

The birds chirp, presumably not at me, but still I wonder what they say.

I look down at the tablet of paper in my lap. The bottom half of the page is obscured by the shadow of my head. When strands of hair partake in the breezy ballet, their shadows move with them, replicating every step, casting darkness over the very words I'm writing.

The heat is thick and the wind does nothing to dissipate it. Even my body has trouble slicing through the wall of humidity. The heat is so palpable you can taste it. My tongue goes dry with its taste, and then explodes with flavours of popsicles (orange), ice cream (mint chocolate chip), and lemonade (pink, with lots of pulp) that I'm remembering from summers long past.

My nose interrupts my reverie. It tells me that dinner is ready 3 or 4 doors down. My stomach awakens to the scent of BBQ and growls suggestively in response. The smells wrap around me like the heat, and I feel the sweat begin to pool behind my knees and in the crooks of my elbows.

I came to write, and did, but not what I intended. Instead I filled the pages (yellow, legal, ruled with blue lines and red margins) with my surroundings. A form of writer's block I suppose, but when Mother Nature offers you her finest painting on the canvas of your backyard, you don't turn your back on it. You drink it in, and then you share it with the world.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Adventures of CoronaBoy and TequilaGirl

Oy ve, what a weekend we are having.

It's not so much the heat, but the humidity which drives the temperatures up way into the 40s, that gets to you after a while. That, coupled with the constantly impending threat of severe thundershowers, might be enough to keep most people inside, but I think we've established by now that we're not most people, right?

So after spending the whole of Thursday outdoors, and not merely just sitting around and boozing (which I'll admit was a good chunk of it), but also being active and sweating a lot, we followed up with an encore performance on Friday, when the heat had reached dangerous levels, the kind that comes with warnings on the radio and spikes in water and electricity consumption. Ah, good old North America.

But between all the sweating and running around (and sometimes during), we were having a date, which is custom on Fridays. 16 hour marathon dates, because it's hard to have a definite beginning and end when you wake up in the same sheets, and shower together, and eat baloney together. It was romantic though, in our own way, our way that includes the great white moon that Jason presented to me on the bike path. As a gift, it was well-received. But the heat makes you do crazy things, and after a lengthy conversation about whether or not a particular caterpillar experienced any existential angst, we decided that we clearly needed more booze, and perhaps a little food, and so we made it (just barely) to our favourite patio of late for fajitas and margaritas.

There we settled into a long discussion about how brown I am looking (which for the rest of you might more accurately be described as slightly off-white, but for me is quite an accomplishment). And how not all of the brownness can be due to the onslaught of freckles that summer always brings for me.

Jason gave me a gift - a lovely new mp3 player, a sporty one that has a lap counter and a chronometre, which I realize is a french word, but if I know the english one, it has escaped me. He knows me well, that Jason, for he declared our Friday night date to be in honour of our upcoming anniversary and my upcoming birthday. He knows full well how much I hate my birthday, and so we've celebrated quietly several weeks in advance and can now let the actual date float by harmlessly.

So I unwrapped the gift coyly, because as much as I love getting gifts, I hate the actual receiving of them.

"Don't worry, it's not an ipod" he assures me, acutely aware of my hatred for the brand. And it's not just that they suck, and that everyone we know who has an ipod hates their ipod, but because I hate even the idea of ipod, along with ieverything, almost anything else that has had its moment of glory: Nike, sushi, Harry Potter, anyone who has ever said Wassssssup, reality TV, Star Wars...well, you get the idea. Jason says it's because I'm an Elitist Bitch with a Superiority Complex, and he's right.

"I wanted to give it to you early so you'd have it all summer long" he tells me, and I know what he is saying. Walking weather is upon us once again. Generally, I don't mind music-less walks because I find myself highly entertaining, and 1 or 2 hour walks don't even put a dent in the damage I can do to my own ear. But the problem with that is, I get to thinking. And then I don't stop. It impedes my writing. It makes sleep impossible. And then his beloved Elitist Bitch turns into Heinous Elitist Bitch with a Swing-Happy Fist. So you see why he thinks this is a perfect gift. And really, it is. I am a confessed music whore. I have music on all the time because it does work marvelously at engaging the rest of my brain while I am busy at a task so that no part of it lays fallow. I have to burn all thrusters all the time just to keep sane, and not so long ago in a not so far-away land called Ottawa, I listened happily to my mp3 player as I took 3 or 4 hour long treks from the St Laurent area down to Carlingwood. Well, not my mp3 player, but the one I filched from Jason, who had one 6 or 7 years ago before anyone else really cared to. Jason likes to have all the latest toys, and I enjoyed walking as far as my legs would carry me with Michael Jackson by my side (incidentally, it is impossible to walk in a straight line when Thriller is playing in your ear). But apparently mp3 players make for a tasty treat, and our hungry little cockapoo gobbled it up one evening, and neither of us could bring ourselves to replace it.

Remembering all of these days long past makes for interesting dinner conversation, but on the almost-occasion of our anniversary, we indulged ourselves. After all, Jason and I have grown up together. Or, at least, we continue to grow older together. I'm not sure if any new levels of maturity have entered into it, as evidenced by the movie part of dinner and a movie that so many classic dates consist of.

"Your pick" he says to me, not with generosity, but because Jason has never once made up his mind on anything (except possibly moi, but he still maintains that I twisted his arm on that one) in his life. And so, I picked The Adventures of SharkBoy and LavaGirl, in part because it was playing at The Port, which is an archaic remnant, the last in the city, in which my mother had dates, and my grandmother had dates. Three generations of our family have necked in the back row of that theatre, and it struggles to remain open now in direct competition with BigFatCompany Theatre across town. The Port only has one big room, complete with balcony, all of it outfitted in plush red crushed velvet, including curtains that adorn the screen. Movies there can be seen for $4.25, a rarity, which is why it almost never shows first-run movies. But there it was, SharkBoy and LavaGirl, on opening night, and I had never seen a 3D movie before. The draw proved irresistible.

The movie was directed by Robert Rodriguez, whose last directorial effort that we saw was Sin City, much different fare indeed. Critics have completely panned it, and I'll admit it was cheesy and cliched, but what the hell, it was fun. Plus, it had David Arquette whom I adore, and Kristin Davis who made me achy for SATC, and for my first foray into the third dimension, I was satisfactorily impressed. In fact, I shouted a few times when I believed something was being thrown at me, and all the small children turned to me with eyebrows raised, unsure how such a big kid could still be duped by such obvious tricks. Oops. The coolest part: we got to keep our glasses! I wore mine all night long! Shark Boy glasses for the boys, Lava Girl glasses for the girls. Dead sexy either way.

We capped the evening with ice cream instead of drinks, perhaps for the nostalgic effect, or perhaps because we knew we had a fridge full of liquor but no ice cream in the freezer. So we licked our hearts content and then returned home to lick our other parts content as well. Today I have a somewhat sore jaw, and I can't tell you which it was from.

Today Jason was off to work early in the morning, and despite another wall of humidity and risk of thundershowers again, I headed out, music in hand, for an ambitious walk, shin splints be damned. Incidentally, out of my many current playlists a new favourite has emerged: All These Things That I've Done, by The Killers. I'm not sure if it's a single or not, but I strongly urge you to pick up a copy of the CD. I've got soul but I'm not a soldier just may be the best thing I've heard all year. Heady stuff.

And so I enjoyed the day all to myself since it seems to me that every other human being on the planet stayed in the safety of the a/c. Prisoners in their own homes, I tell you. Not me. I've got a spring in my step and a love for the summer months that even my heat stroke never quashes.

This is the life.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Friday Fuckfest

Fucktwat and Fucktard of the week:

Okay, so call me jaded BUT: this thing has gotten out of control if you ask me. Both of them just minutes out of long-term relationships, they've managed to fall completely head-over-heals, making-an-ass-out-yourself-on-Oprah in love in what, 2 weeks? 3? Awww. Gag me.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

These two should know better. I mean, considering the successes (and by which I mean failures) of their previous relationships, combined with the constant crumbling of every other Hollywood coupling, they should know that in a matter of weeks they'll be eating their words. Other celebrity couples spend months denying that they've even met their new bedmates. But these two are soooo in love (read: MEDIA WHORES!) that they can't keep their love to themselves. Why are they not following the popular deny deny deny method (currently being used by Angelina and Brad? Well, I'm sure it's not because they both have big movies coming out this summer and could use the extra publicity. Nope, can't be that. Gag me again.

I'd be generously prepared to waive all of this information if not for this one last hump that is Scientology. Must convert her! She's already handing out pamphlets for crying out loud. What can you do about this, you ask? Well has the answers. Personally I'm more of a button girl

but the message is also available on a classy variety of trucker's hats and bumper stickers as well. Remember: you too can help save an underfed undertalented young actress.

Fucker of the week:

Stupid weather network.

Friday morning - chance of thundershowers
Friday afternoon - risk of thundershowers
Friday night - chance of thundershowers
Saturday - chance of thundershowers
Sunday - chance of thundershowers
Monday - rain
Tuesday - risk of thundershowers

(in case you were wondering, chance seems to be about 10% higher than risk)

Last night, God made thunder under my bed. Or that's what it sounded like because it was impossibly loud. Lightning literally kept my bedroom as well-lit as daylight for hours in the dead of night. Rain poured down in biblical proportions, and I wake this morning to find that there is not a ray of sunshine in sight until well into next week!

If the weather network was in my living room, I would give it a swift kick to the shins.

Most Fuckable of the week:

Mr. Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart embodies what every woman says she wants in a dream man, no "settling" necessary with this guy!

1. Smartness: And believe me, Jonny (you don't mind if I call you that, do you Jon?) has smartness to spare.

2. Sense of Funny: Oh yeah. Have you ever seen his show (The Daily Show)? Absolutely hilllllllllllarious. His sense of irony is expertly tuned and his witticisms are among the best.

3. Charm: Aching amounts of charm, really. See him in Playing By Heart for proof.

4. The most liquid puppy dog eyes you could ever hope for.

5. Telling the truthness: No one pokes holes in the American way of life like Jon Stewart does. But he wraps it is such luscious leaves of funny that we barely know we're being given strong doses of his medicine. He's changing the world one funny bone at a time.

6. General good-guyedness: he has that laid-back cool about him that women get all twitterpated over, further evidenced in the movie I first fell in love with him in, Big Daddy.

And in my book, he also wins points for his lovely salt and pepper hair. I'm a real sucker for a man with gray. He's a hunka-hunka sarcastic newscaster, and I would totally have his babies.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Girls Wear Underwear Too.

Yesterday we asked What does your underwear say about you?, and then we taught the boys a thing or two. Today, the ladies take their turn.

1. Support Underwear

Why do women do this to themselves? Maybe you don't have the perfect body. In fact, I'm willing to bet that you don't. Even Angelina gets airbrushed for heaven's sake. But so what. Our bodies are beautiful even if they're a bit squishy or wobbly here and there. Men don't squeeze themselves into obscene wraps, contorting their bodies into unnatural proportions. In fact, men have a predilection for letting everything just all hang out.

Why? Why? Why?

Okay, so they slim the thighs and tuck the tummies and pad the buttocks, but it's all a bunch of hooey.

Even the word girdle is absurdly unsexy. Just don't do it.

2. Athletic Underwear

A sports bra has a time and place. If you're not doing step-aerobics, it belongs in your gym bag.

They're built to keep you tucked in place, and they do their job all too well. Real women are supposed to jiggle. We were born to jiggle. Bouncing boobies are a beautiful thing. God gave us boobs for a reason (and no, it's not for nourishment as some "breast is best" fanatics will tell you): it's to show them off.

3. The Lacey Stuff

Sure it looks sweet and feminine but the ugly truth about lace is that it's itchy. It's rough on the skin. Sometimes you get rashes.

We don't wear lace for ourselves. We selflessly wear it for others. So, when you encounter lace, admire it, and then make with the naked.

4. The Antique Corset Look

Okay, I totally get why we wear them. They're sexy. They emphasize the good and they cinch the bad.

But there's a very good reason why we gave them up:

a) Reduced oxygen intake

b) Fainting spells

c) Crushed ribcages

d) Inability to bend at the waist

e) Intense pain upon lacing up

We wear them anyway. Women are gluttons for pain. But their use should be limited to the sexy saunter from bathroom to bedroom; anything more than that is just asking for trouble.

5. Thongs

I don't have the aesthetic that appreciates a woman in a thong. In my book they only rate slightly higher than the men's version. Well okay, slightly more than slightly, but still. But I do understand their allure from the strictly female perspective: ease of wearing, no panty line, etc, etc.

And if you got it, flaunt it. If you got dumps like a truck, truck, truck and thighs like what, what what, then go ahead. Floss your ass. Just don't let me see that thing poking out over the band of your jeans.

Nothing says "skanky ho bag" like the thong outside the pants.

6. See-Through/Mesh Underwear

The mesh phenomenon is quite pervasive because lingerie can never reveal too much flesh. It seems somewhat counterintuitive to cover up with something see-through, but that's how it is. Sheer is sexy, and pointless. But sexy most of all.

But we're not all Desperate Housewives. We need to be realistic. Most workplaces frown on wonky nipples. These sheer underthings offer absolutely no support. They put everything out on display, and while that can be a good thing in the soft glow of candlelight, it paints an entirely different picture under harsh fluorescent lighting.

Also, the pleasing effect of sheer is not pleasing at all if you neglect to keep things trim and proper, so you do need to plan ahead!

7. Boy Cut!

Say what you will about a man in women's panties, but put a woman in boy shorts, and everybody drools.

Okay, so you might not find this exact pair in the men's section, but the point is, they're boy legs, cut square, and that's that. They're super cute to wear, and easy to find, so there's no excuse to be caught in an actual pair of your boyfriend's grubby undies.

8. The Teddy

A teddy is a one-piece underthing that has no practical purpose in life. It's strictly for prettiness. When you bring your boyfriend lingerie shopping, he goes straight for this rack.

In a perfect world, it should go hidden under the clothes to be discovered by a lucky someone later that day. But women's lingerie is nothing if not complicated. Take for example, a crotch that snaps. It's nerve-wracking to be snapping in such a delicate place. And since it's all one piece, if you so much as shrug during the day, or lift your arms past your hips, or sneeze, or yawn, or have the need to brush your hair or reach something on the top shelf, you've just shoved those cold snaps up into a tender place. This is not a happy surprise.

9. Ruffles

It's a little alarming that so much lingerie comes with bows, chiffon, marabou, ruffles, and laces. Let's call it the Lolita fetish.

Ruffles and bows may be cute, but they make for awkward sitting and are impossible to conceal under clothing. Some lingerie is meant to be worn only for a quick removal. Don't attempt to do any actual living in these things. Be aware that ruffles will chafe if worn for a significant period of time.

10. Granny Panties

Oh what an unfortunate way to end the list, but alas, the granny panty persists. Why do women collect these roomy monstrosities in their underwear drawers? I'd rather not know.

Dear women: Throw them out. Underwear don't have to be huge or unsightly to be comfortable. Granny panties are inexcusable.

To anyone giving the gift of underwear to their female lover, take note: the side seam should never be longer than 2 inches. 2 inches is sexy. 3 inches is not. It's a good rule. Remember it.

I firmly believe that to feel good, a woman must start with her foundation garments. Just knowing that you're wearing a naughty pair of underwear sets the right tone to your day. Bootylicious before you even walk out the door.

And so concludes our in-depth panty analysis (god I hate the word panty). I sincerely hope that you all have learned nothing at all, because you've all been wearing the very best that underwear has to offer all along. Here's to booty shaking!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What Does Your Underwear Say About You?

Men, are you tired of hearing stifled giggles as your date unzips your fly? If so, please join us today for our frank discussion about what should and should not be worn underneath your Levis. If need be, take notes. Take copious notes.

1. Tighty Whiteys

I don't care who you are, or more likely, who you THINK you are, you cannot wear these underwear. No one can. No one must ever, ever wear these underwear. Am I making myself clear? Even a hint of these, and the libido comes screeching to a halt. I wish I could say that the screeching would be the end of it, but that's not so. Your date will not be able to contain laughter. In fact, pointing will probably accompany this laughter. And it's safe to bet that your date will then blab to anyone who'll listen that you wear tighty whiteys, and your penis will whither away with disuse and eventually fall off. True story.

Not good. Way not good.

If you are a small gay man, you may consider the coloured brief. Always go for fun, vibrant colours and for the love of man, stay way from those awful blue things referred to as "gotchies", faded grays, and olive greens. Yuck.

Otherwise, a straight man should only attempt these at the bequest of his girlfriend. And even then, make sure you have the caboose to support them. Saggy briefs are enough to turn off anyone for good.

2. Big Print Boxers

Acceptable. They're fun, colourful, and definitely send out the 'hey, I'm a bachelor!' message loud and clear. Stay away from anything with hearts, lips, or rude messages. You may think it's funny, but it's not.

At all costs, stay away from these anything with SpongeBob, Spiderman, Smiley Faces, Scooby Doo, Simpsons, and the like. They're fine for lounging around in at home, even in front of lovers, because they have a pajama feel to them. Leave them in the drawer when you're going out. Anyone who finds you wearing these will assume your mother still buys your underwear, and that will slam the brakes on sex pretty damn fast.

3. Thongs

Just no. Not even with the rise of metrosexuality and the mind-boggling phenomenon that is anal bleaching, still big, fat, emphatic NO.




Holy hell! Avoid anything that makes your penis look pointy.

4. Low-Rise Briefs

Honestly, I just don't get the point. I mean, I'm a big fan of a man's pubic bone, but what's the draw here? Because if you're wearing something so low that you need low-rise underwear, you're already doing something wrong.

5. Pouches, otherwise known as "sausage slings"

Oh. My. Gawd.

(seen here in "elephant" and "rhino" varieties)

No this will not make us want to pet or touch it. It will thoroughly creep us out, and when small children start disappearing, we'll definitely blame you.

So no, not even for a laugh. Not even for the novelty. Not even for a gag gift (consider this: one day, you will die, and someone, such as a grown child, or your mum, will come to your house to empty it of its contents...even in death, do you want anyone to see that shit?).

6. Regular Old Boxers

These guys are conventional people. They play it safe. And sometimes, that's a good thing. Sometimes, it's downright sexy.

That one-button fly thing is irresistible!

I'd like to say you can't go wrong with the standard boxer, but then I'd be lying. Anyone can pull of the boxer look, and if you're a big guy, these are your best bet. But do them right: buy them in the correct size. They shouldn't be baggy. They shouldn't be bulky in the legs of your pants. The elastic should be firm. They shouldn't be so thin they're see-through.

Here's the secret to having underwear your partner will want to get into: change them regularly! And no, I don't just mean daily (for pete's sake, I refuse to believe that I have to tell you to wear clean undies!). What I mean is, buy new ones often. Fresh, crisp boxers are very appealing. Stock up, and stock often.

7. Boxer-Briefs

In my opinion, there's nothing better. They're sleek, sexy, and they give a great view. As an added bonus, they do shapely wonders to a man's bum.

Yes please!

A good pair of underwear will do half the job for you. Appropriate responses are:

a) The desire in your partner to burrow right in.

b) The desire in your partner to rip them right off.

8. Trunks

These are a rather newish addition to the bunch and have all the characteristics of the scrumptious boxer briefs, only smaller.

My initial reaction is that they are kind of cute, kind of flirty, but that they're definitely not for everyone, which is true of just about every trend. Certainly, these can only be worn successfully by the young, lean, and confident, which conveniently is exactly how I like my men.

9. Silk Underwear

Uh, sorry, but no. The thing is, no man ever buys silk underwear for himself. Silk underwear is usually a gift, and they should only be worn for as long as the gift-giver is around. If we find you in silk underwear, we'll assume they're a gift from an ex-lover, which is not cool. When you say goodbye to the giver, you say goodbye to the silk. Simple as that.

10. Nothing At All

The thing about going commando is, no one knows until it's time to unzip. It can be a very nice surprise. Way better than certain alternatives (see #5 again if you're not convinced).

So there you have it: skivvies in a nutshell.

Tune in tomorrow, because girls wear underwear too.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Power of Please

I am lying in the soft dirt; it gets under my finger nails and in my hair. It cakes the backs of my knees and the tiny hollows of my ears. The ground is somewhat wet from recent rain. The smell is not unpleasant; it's familiar, and I cling to it. I try to concentrate on the dirt, the way its heady scent fills my nostrils, the way it crumbles as I dig my fingers into it. This helps me not think of the pain as a man lies grunting on top of me.

I can picture my mother in the kitchen, watching the minutes tick by on the oven's clock. She is wearing an apron and a frown. The table is set and the kitchen is warm because the oven's been on all afternoon. It's Tuesday, so a pot roast awaits, drying out and shrivelling with every passing moment. She is probably annoyed that dinner will be over-cooked. She's probably thinking up lectures and fitting punishments to dole out when I come bursting through the door, late again. I imagine her pacing back and forth on the kitchen's linoleum floor, watching for my outline in the growing dusk outside the window. Impatience and annoyance reign for now; it will take many minutes more before concern begins to seep in. No one's even looking for me yet.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a scrap of pink. Pink, the pink of my dress, torn from my shoulders, discarded with my favourite blue sweater with the buttons that look like small pearly white elephants. I blink back tears at the thought of my sweater getting dirty and damp. I must not cry. He has told me not to cry, not to make a sound. The only sound comes from him, a mixture of wheezing and guttural noises that reminds me of a class trip to the zoo. I will not cry.

He touches my cheek, my hair. He smiles at me, but there is no happiness in his smile. Obscenely, I think that he is as repulsed by his actions as I am, but he keeps on, thrusting and sweating and grunting. He forces himself inside me, and it feels like he's trying to rip his way out. The pain between my legs is unbearable. Well, not unbearable because I am bearing it. I believe it is the worst pain I could possibly live through but not die from. I wish I would die, and not have this pain. I whimper, and his eyes flash cruelly. He sinks his teeth into my shoulder, biting as though hungry, and when he raises his head I see that his mouth is smeared with my blood.

When he is done, he stands up and straightens his clothes. I shiver on the ground, and sit up though my head is spinning. I wonder how I will find my way home from this place. There is blood on my thighs, and I watch it trickle down to the earth below me. It looks black as it pools on the ground, and I tell myself that it's not real, that my pain is not real, that this is not really happening.

I try to brush the leaves and twigs from my hair. The ponytail that my mother so carefully gave me that morning is now crushed beyond redemption. I wince as I shift my weight to stand.

Where do you think you're going? he asks, and I see he is holding a knife larger than any I've ever seen before. Has he always had that knife? It glints in the last fleeting rays of sunshine that poke in among the trees.

Please, I say. Please. And even to my 8 year old ears, it sounds ridiculous. 'Please' is a magic word, my mother has told me. 'Please' is polite. 'Please' is a way of showing respect to your elders, and I know that I do not respect this man, and that even my mother would not object to its absence.

I could say No!, or Don't, or Stop, but I don't say any of these. I say Please, and it infuriates me when the word leaves my lips. And when I say it out loud, softly, pleading, I know that I am not alone. I hear voices, thousands of voices all pleading at the same time. I hear little girls, and grown women. I hear all these voices saying the same strange word, Please, and none of us really mean please when we say it. We're all hurting, we're all begging, and I don't understand anything other than this is not going to be all right.

Please, I say, as he slices into me. I watch the knife disappear inside of me as he himself did, not long before, and I feel detached. I feel as though I am floating away. Please, please, I say, long after I know it is useless. Please, I say, as I am leaving my body. Please, as I drift away, not even sure anymore that I am speaking. Please, I say, along with all the other voices. We form a choir, and with all of our pleading, despite all of our pleading, we all still suffer. Please, please, we say. And I am gone.