Tuesday, January 31, 2006

G.I. Jay

You know the saying "You can never go home again"?

This is one of those stories.

I didn't make a new year's resolution this year, but clearly I should have.

I should have said: This year, I promise to be less impetuous.

I should have said: This year, I will think before acting.

I should have said: This year, I will not make major decisions on a lark.

And I sure as hell should have said: If for some reason, I decide to shave off all my hair, I really, really shouldn't be so generous as to let my husband hold the clippers.

Now my Grandma is totally gonna think I'm a skinhead.

That is all.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Party Animals

Day Five: Plague of the Mother-In-Law Continues

It's been a long 5 days at this point. She's not a bad person, but she has two major flaws that make spending time with her a little less than bearable:

a) She tells bad jokes. Very bad jokes. The kind of jokes that you can hardly even tell are jokes because they're so unfunny, except for the fact that she raises her eyebrows at you in just such a way that conveys that she expects lots and lots of laughter. For example, at the CN Tower she went on and on about the job of the elevator operators having its 'ups and downs'. Har har. As if that joke hasn't been around since the invention of the elevator itself.

b) She whines and complains about everything. She seems to think that everyone is delighted to hear her health updates every 30 seconds. She is constantly tired, hungry, and headachy.

Every second thing out of her mouth was beginning to grate on our nerves, and we had no real way of alleviating any of our annoyance, so we'd just squeeze the hell out of each other's hands when we were hearing about yet another complaint or cornball joke.

And yes, I did sprain a couple of fingers when Jason crushed them as his mother told us that Toronto had too many friggin stairs.


Since Sunday was complainy day, we cut it short and went home, which sucked. Our brilliant plan was to keep her occupied at all costs...also, wandering around museums gave us the chance to get "lost" in exhibits, and steal some moments to ourselves.

Monday was zoo day.

We were there at 9:30 in the morning. The air was brisk, but otherwise it didn't feel much like a Canadian wintery day. However, the zoo website did assure us that visitors and animals alike were invited indoors during the cold months.

But when we got there, we walked 10 minutes through the deserted grounds, just to find 2 lazy polar bears who didn't seem to understand that we'd paid $75 to gape at them. Surely for that price we were entitled to some activity?

But no. These bears wallowed in their case of the Mondays and I immediately began to sweat, even in the barely-above-freezing temperatures. I mean, we'd allotted at least 3 hours of zoo time, and if it continued to suck this much, I would have to pull out some other activity from my ass to keep us all from killing each other.

Finally, luckily, we found the Americas pavilion, and headed in where I hoped that either we'd become highly entertained, or there'd be a badly-supervised bear den where I could test my pushing skills.

The biggest problem with the Americas pavilion at the Toronto Zoo is that to get to see anything cool, you always have to walk through a leafy area that houses loose birds. And I am afraid of loose birds.

I won't even go into pet stores for fear that there will be a parrot with an open cage. The idea of a bird, even a very friendly one, swooping at my head just stops me cold. So if this picture of Jason with the Victoria Crowned Pigeon looks blurry, it's because I was keeping my eye on the scarlet-headed blackbird. That guy looked shifty.
After the Americas, we visited Australasia, where I was left alone with this guy: a tree kangaroo. He looks kind of cute and cuddly, but I was pretty sure this was just a cleverly deceptive facade and that since there was no cage or glass between us, he could pounce on me at any moment.
I was fully prepared to unleash my sweet, sweet ninja skills on him if need be, but I was pretty sure that his tail would spell my defeat. I just can't compete with shit like that.
Anyway. He never did attack, as it turns out. And I relaxed a bit for the other guys...I liked this wombat. I wouldn't want to run into one in the bush, but as long as he's enclosed and I'm enclosed, I was feeling pretty good about things.

And I saw a very sweet looking wallaby, who I feel a great kinship for since my marsupialization surgery. The wallaby had his own pet - a bunny. Actually, the bunny seemed freakishly large to me. I think I would feel safer with the tree kangaroo than the bunny.

Jason made friends with a lot of animals. I know that supposedly humans come from an apish ancestry, but I think this picture makes a very strong case for us coming up from out of the water. If you're having trouble distinguishing, that's Jason on the right, and the jumbo gourami on the left. I think.

So by this time I was feeling a bit better with the zoo, even though I kept a healthy fear in me the whole time. When we'd walk up to an exhibit, you'd really have to look for the animals. So I knew that I was looking for lions, but when I actually realized I was looking at lions, it startled me. Every time. Dude, lions. Those fuckers are huge! Plus, it was a bit disconcerting that the zoo is less than 10 minutes from my house. If they ever get out, they're coming for me, I just know it.

We did not see any actual grizzly bears at the zoo, because as you know, they're hibernating right now. We also did not see any zebras because if the sign is to be believed, they are currently "under construction."


We saw the cheetahs at play (remind me to never play with cheetahs) but we were unable to spot Chloe, the one-eyed cheetah. We also saw the giraffes, who were being kept separated because apparently the boy giraffe will smell the girl giraffe's pee to check for "fertility" and then want to jump her giraffe bones.

Actually, a lot of animals were getting a little sumfin sumfin at the zoo on Monday morning. We saw some randy turtles. They look like they're playing a weird stacking game when they mate. Apparently they blow bubbles under water to seduce each other.

Mr. and Mrs. Warthog, pictured here, have obviously been married a long time because there were no candles or rose petals when we interrupted them mid-coitus. And apparently Mr. Warthog is one of those guys who finishes no matter what comes up - even with the appearance of unexpected guests.

Actually, the most disturbing part is realizing that all it takes is half a bottle of wine before we dissolve into our warthog selves, noises and all.

And unfortunately, I can't even blame this picture on any wine. Animals just make Jason excited, I guess. This hippo was located near the African Savanna exhibit, where I was surprised to learn that "traditional" African fare comprises of Pizza Pizza and Beaver Tails. All these years my mother's been telling me that poor African babies are starving, and finally the zoo tells me the truth! Oh the things you learn when you leave the house.....

Okay, so the Savanna was good, but the African Rainforest was great! That's where we met Charles, a very dignified lowland gorilla.

I could have paid my money just to sit and watch him all day long. He had very soulful eyes. Charles shares his habitat with other gorilla friends, but Monday morning must be his alone time. He just sat right in front of us and stared right back.

So now I have 2 favourite monkeys!

One of these guys is highly educated and a brilliant artist.

Unfortunately, I'm married to the other one.

Charles not only paints in his spare time, but he sells his artwork for charity. Does that maybe make you feel just the smallest bit inadequate? Inferior?

Charles is something else.

I could have stayed in the monkey house for ages, but I'm glad we left enough time to visit the Indomalayan exhibit, where we met this tapir.

Now, I admit that I had never even heard of such an animal before this visit. He has a small trunk like an elephant, and his toes click like a tap dancer when he walks. He's quite large, and he sprays piss like a hose, which we witnessed over and over until suddenly I began to wonder if perhaps if he so directed it, the spray might actually reach us....and so then we left. But I shall always remember the tapir, although not fondly.

I liked the marmosets for sure, and the macaques.

I was pretty relieved that the hyenas slept through our visit.

I was thoroughly creeped out by the komodo dragon, who can apparently take down horses, goats, and water buffalo!

And I was sad to know the story of Kartiko, a gentle orangutan who met his end because a thoughtless family threw cookies into his exhibit.

In the end, we spent more than 4 hours at the zoo, and had it been slightly warmer (or had Jason and I not had Miss Complainy 2006 in tow) we would have spent loads more time making the longer treks to other domains.

But I must say, I really liked the zoo, even if it did smell "poopy" an awful lot - the rhino is not a considerate host. I even took home a monkey of my own (well, besides Jason I mean).

Then we raced to the train station to make sure MIL got the hell out of Toronto right on time - and of course the subway system encountered 3 separate problems, forcing us to ditch it halfway there, flag down a death-car (aka, taxi) and risk death just to be mother-free.

It was totally worth it.

We had 5 whole days off, but I have never been so lonesome for my husband. It's kind of shocking really, how much we like it to be just the 2 of us. No wonder we won't have children! We hate sharing our time with anyone else. We went home, totally tuckered out, and I immediately had a drink and did not put the glass into the sink. I peed with the bathroom door wide open. Jason took off his pants, and we sat on the couch so I could hold his penis and let out the string of swear words that I have been holding inside of me for far, far too long.

Ah. That's better.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Beware of Excessive White People

Day Four in "Fun with Jason's Mom!"

It's Sunday morning and I'm standing in the driveway looking like an idiot, waiting for a taxi. Now if this taxi was taking me away to a land where mothers-in-law do not exist, great. But it didn't. It picked all 3 of us up and whisked us off to the mall where Jason spends 80% of his week and where he did not particularly feel like spending his holiday. But his mother insisted that we go see the store that he manages, and so we called a cab...

Oh wait, did I forget to mention that we almost died yesterday, and in exchange for saving our lives we shot our brakes to hell?

Yeah. I don't know how that slipped my mind. The thing about Toronto driving is this:

1. Everybody honks, mostly for no apparent reason.
2. Nobody stops for red lights. Ever. Except for Jason.

So yes, we had to bring our car to the shop, kiss it goodbye for a good 15 hours and pay out of pocket until our eyeballs bled and all because Jason has this crazy notion that cars are kind of pointless if you can't stop them.

I won't write about the lovely day spent at the Markville mall, or about how Jason worried that his Mom was trying to pick up men in the clearance section, or how Jason managed to wipe his ketchupy fingers all over my jeans.

I'll just skip to the really great part where we took the subway downtown to see the CN tower. Because the wind was cold, we took the skywalk which means we avoided the weather but ran smack dab into something much, much worse. The mullets were instantly overwhelming. I felt woozy. I have not seen so many specimens of white trash since moving to Toronto. And they just kept coming, unable to obey even the most basic principles of walking. They slobbered, they dumbly waved their pirate flags, and I could only assume the Stupid Convention had just let out, what with the vast amounts of female facial hair and acid washed jeans coming at me.

In a way, I was right, if you take Monster Truck Rally to mean the same thing as Stupid Convention, which I do. Ick.

But finally we made it to the CN tower where we stood in line to purchase tickets, stood in line to refuse to have our pictures taken with cheesy backgrounds, stood in line to go through security (you stand in this pod thingy had have tufts of air blown at you, apparently to see if you're concealing anything good underneath your clothes, called "people puffers" because they dislodge particles and then sniffs them for traces of explosives). Then, before standing in line some more, we chose to get further acquainted
with this moose.

This moose is dressed as a mounted police officer, but he holds no actual authority. This moose is left over from when the city of Toronto was completely peppered with them. For a while you couldn't go anywhere without having a moose for a stalker. Canadians just love their mooses. That one moose nose probably will be responsible for the next germ outbreak of epic proportions.

Then we stood in line again to get crammed into one of the glass elevators that shoot you up to the top of the building. The elevators travel at 22 km/hr to bring you to the top, so between trying not to imagine myself plummeting to the street below and nursing my popping ears, I really felt good about paying a lot of money to get puffed with air and then crowded into this death trap.

We went up to the skypod first, which is the world's tallest observation deck.

The CN tower is 553m tall (1815feet), which is really really high. Jason and his Mom stuck close to the wall, but I was leaning out over the glass for a better view, and to take really crappy blurry pictures that mostly look like smudges of blue.

I don't have a fear of heights. I do have a fear of falling from heights, but if I feel reasonably secure, then I'm good to go. The view was breathtaking. I really wanted to go at night because of all the twinkling lights, and I was not disappointed.

When the guide started blathering about how the tower gets struck by lightning 76 times a year, and can sway 6 feet each way in the wind, Nancy was ready to leave, so we descended to a lower level, where they have the glass floor (pictured here), and the outdoor observation deck. The glass floor is exactly what it sounds like, you can stand there and see the city wayyyyy down below between your feet. Lots of people won't stand on it; one lady cried. Kids for the most part are completely unafraid. The glass is only 2 1/2 inches thick, but a guide pointed out that 14 hippos could safely stand one on top of other - and I had to wonder why he looked right at me when he said that.

I mailed my grandmother a birthday card from the world's highest mailbox. I'm sure she won't even notice. And then we headed home, but not before I had a pee emergency and had to use a public washroom at Union Station.

Now, I sincerely hope that you have never had to find this out for yourself, but the bathrooms at train stations are grody places. I managed to find a stall that I felt I could pee in without contracting very many lethal diseases, and then spent 10 minutes trying to convince my reluctant bladder that it wasn't in any imminent mortal danger. I spent those 10 minutes being entertained by the writing on the wall.

"Simple Plan Rocks My Socks" it said.

"Katie Loves John, True Love Forever", it also said, in loopy letters.

And then, in the corner, a prayer of sorts: Please God I need $3 000 000 to move downtown in 2006. I wondered how long that had been up there, and whether it had been answered in the affirmative or not. I wondered what the prayer did not say - because certainly rental rates are inflated, but most of us don't have 3 million dollars in our pockets and somehow manage to live. But then I peed, and then I washed my hands very, very, very thoroughly, and we were on our way again.

Since we live in a very ethnic part of town, we figured that we had to show Nancy some of our neighbourhood's finest eats, so we ordered Chinese. It was the kung pao something or other that did me in - I tried to put out the fire with red wine. LOTS of red wine, forgetting that alcohol burns pretty damn well. Woops.

So yeah. I guess we ate. I have no idea what we may have done after that though. I woke up smelling like I bathed in the wine at some point, but the bathtub remained gleaming white, so I can't be sure what happened there.

All I can say for sure is that it's a damn good diversion from the plague of the M.I.L.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tequila Makes It Hurt A Little Less

Day Three in the MIL invasion series...

A dusting of snow greeted us on Saturday morning, so I grabbed my chance. While Jason and his Mom "warmed up" the car, I cleared it of snow. Sure my fingers went numb and I got mud on my shoes, but it was a whole 6 minutes of glorious alone time! I have never cleaned anything so thoroughly in my life. I wish I could have cleaned off 6 more cars just to avoid getting back in ours and driving off for another day of forced laughter and restrained swearing.

We went to the Ontario Science Centre, which I have loved since I was a child. Unfortunately, 3 million other people also had this brilliant idea before we did, and apparently they all got their butts in gear before us too. It was to be a half hour wait just for the privilege of paying $8 for parking. Have I mentioned how much fun it is to just sit around and kill time with my husband's mother? I began searching my messenger bag for any instrument of death, no matter how blunt, no matter how ineffectual...I would saw if I had to.

Luckily, before I got around to shedding blood, we got in. We learned some interesting things:

1. Jason has excellent reflexes.
2. I should have been a dentist.
3. Kids are annoying.
4. Mothers-in-law are annoying.
5. I have a super human grip.

Actually, Jason claims to have known that last one for sure for a long, long time now. His Mom shot him a look which he patently ignored.

The nice thing about having Jason around is that he will do all the "participation" exhibits so that I have the benefit of seeing them in action without discovering anything embarrassing about myself.

Here we see that Jason is not a flexible guy. However, the guy that got on after him fell right off. It makes me wonder what about males makes them so gung-ho about straddling the unknown.

Actually, that came out like something different entirely.

So after I marveled over the size of a pickled elephant heart, but before I fondled the tornado, we took a quick trip through the rainforest. You could tell it was a rainforest because it fogged up my camera. This is a bad picture of Jason and his Mom in the rainforest but it's the only one I took because while taking it, a big lizard scurried across the floor between photographer and subject, sending photographer sprinting through a waterfall just to escape it. Perhaps someone screamed like a little girl. Perhaps someone else laughed cruelly in response. Like I said, good times at the science centre.

Space totally sucked, as it turns out. We even went star walking with Morgan Freeman in our socks, and still it sucked balls. Oh well.

We redeemed ourselves with spelunking, but only after I got some assurance that there were no bats in this cave. It was quiet and dark, so Jason and I got in all the groping we possibly could in 30 seconds, before we reemerged into the whale bones and algae-growing exhibit.

Lastly I satisfied my fascination with cheesy giftshops. I was overwhelmed trying to choose between a bone pen and a stuffed germ, and ended up getting nothing. Jason got a fortune telling plant - apparently, once he grows it, it will reveal his fortune on its leaf.

Then we went home for Mexican night, which is
my favourite because margarita glasses are much larger than wine glasses. Boy were we drunk. I'm not sure if Nancy noticed that Jason and I kept drinking (gulping, really) long after she did.

Also, when I made us our lava cake dessert, I realized that the raspberries were missing. I paid $5 for 16 raspberries, and somehow misplaced them sometime between the cash register and the dessert plate. Phooey, eh?

Ah well. Eventually I slipped into my SpongeBob pjs and slept all my cares away...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Vote, ya bastards.

Way to go 416, 905, the Fortress Toronto: you've stayed red. You've stayed strong. Just keep swimming.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

You know how I know you're gay? You like Coldplay.

Day Two (invasion of the mother-in-law).

What a lovely day - mild, spring-like, almost sunny but not. Plus, the car smelled like BBQ.

Cause, you know, Jason left sauce in the car until it eventually rolled under his gas pedal, where it then met an explody-type death. With his mom as a witness.


It's my fault really. Before she got here, I ran over the rules.

1. Offer her drinks constantly. Nothing worse than a parched mother, I always say.

2. Check your soap for stray pubes.

3. Pretend to be polite and helpful.

And then another 40 or so such rules, none of them mentioning anything about any stray sauce in the car. So fuck me.

Anyway, today we took the subway to visit Casa Loma. Not normally our kind of thing, but it seemed like a safe thing to bring your mother-in-law to...right? Just a castle in downtown Toronto, historical and stuff.

So we go in, and we meet Tom Cruise. I mean, the guy is obviously not Tom Cruise, but he claims to be, and it seems to allow this old man to fondle me overly much. He's really enthusiastic about telling us about all the movies that have filmed in this castle - Cocktail, of course, and Chicago, and The Tuxedo. I notice he neglects to include the great Vin-Diesel-as-a-nanny film, The Pacifier, in his list, though the pamphlets all tell us this is so.

Here's Jason standing in Sir Henry's state-of-the-art shower. Keep in mind, the "state" was 1911. When the guide told us about the great liver and bidet sprays, I had a hard time suppressing giggles. I mean, that's getting pretty intimate with your shower. And why does your liver need its own spray anyway?

Note: Jason is not such a bad looking guy. Honest. Usually pretty handsome. However, his print shirt turned all 70s porn on film, and he's a scruffmeister once again. But really, what's the point of dressing up after the BBQ sauce incident?

So then we decided to trudge up like 1200 stairs to the castle's towers. Now, we hadn't even had lunch yet, so what the hell was the point of that? I mean, this freakin stairs were barely the width of my hips, and they just kept spiraling up and up. I got so dizzy that for a while I was pretty sure I was dreaming. Finally, we reached the top. I snapped some pictures out the windows, which means I have a whole roll worth of bird shit on windows. It's great. You can barely make out the view!

So then we realize that actually, we're not at the top. And we've come so far it seems silly to not make the last leg of the trek. Hah! Note to all others: abandon ship! It's the same view from a bit higher - so not worth it! I mean, we gave ourselves nosebleeds climbing to the apex of this thing.

And the damn view rewards us with this knowledge: we could have gone up that turret over there, the much shorter one, the one with the elevator.


We should have just got our losses right then. But we didn't.

Then we walked down a drippy, dark, dank 800-foot long tunnel to see "the stables", which I'm glad were labeled thusly because without hay or horses they kind of just look like old-timey cubicles. Then there was an area that I could only assume was used for playing skins vs shirts. I mean, what else could you use that space for? Certainly there was no guide to tell us, because guides don't make this 800-foot trek down an underground tunnel that seemed to be growing some kind of purpley fuzz on its walls.

This is Jason making his pouty face because we made him stand in the stall for the horse formerly known as Casa Loma Belle. He's pretending that he's not secretly flattered.

Seriously, those horse stalls were nicer than my childhood bedroom, and a lot more spacious. And dude - hardwood flooring!

This is Jason, Nancy, and me in the middle. Yeah, I know, I'm looking rather rusty these days, aren't I? And notice the spanish tile on the floor. Really notice. There were a kabillion signs telling us to notice said tiles. We felt guilty everytime we looked up.

So yeah, that was Casa Loma. From there we hopped back on a subway and headed to the ROM. This was ambitious of us, and by ambitious I mean stupid. Frankly, I was bushed. I woke up tired. Then I poked myself several times in the eye with my mascara wand before realizing that this was about to be a VERY painful day.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Royal Ontario Museum. Where else can you see dinosaur bones, pewter cod-pieces, and little kids screaming in horror at chinoiserie? Not many places, I tell you. And photo ops of your husband and a large golden camel? Those are pretty rare in life. Trust me.

And merciful heavens, this one didn't even spit! That was the only merciful part of the day. Nancy, wanting the "authentic" big-city experience, insisted on a street hot dog vendor lunch. Now, I'm not going to start listing all of the things that could be in those little condiment containers. I'm just saying that I am wary of anything that relies on the honour system. Plus, I always get relish on my shirts. Today was no exception. Damn you, relish. And damn the fat pigeons who gave us impatient looks during our quickie lunch. Not cool.

Then, ignoring the fact that bats are not my friends, Jason insisted I take a stroll into the bat cave with him. Now, here's a pointer for all you people about to open your own museums: when a girl just gets done ooohing over chintzy art deco furniture, she's not quite ready to jump head-first into the bat cave. I think a breather would have been beneficial for us all. Maybe the exhibit comparing 14th century Japanese armour to present-day hockey gear would have cleansed the palette a little. Know what I'm saying?

Back at home, I made my santa fe specialty, and just half a glass into a very scrumptious bottle of Wolf Blass's riesling I was GONE, and everything was going just peachy until we made a tactical error. We attempted to watch 40-year old Virgin with the MIL. Not a good idea, in retrospect, and incredibly painful for all of us during the longest 1h42min of our lives.

Anyhow, Jason wanted me to thank everyone who wrote words of encouragement regarding his resolution. He wants me to tell you that he is indeed reading rather diligently. Unfortunately, his mother came across his reading material and wondered who it belonged to. Of course he replied "Um...it's Jamie's."

These are the days of our lives.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Day One

En route to the train station to pick up my mother-in-law, Jason takes my hand. Subways are notorious for romance, aren't they?

Jason: You look beautiful today.

Jamie: No I don't.

Jason: Oh sorry. My mistake. I thought you did.

Evidence of a long day: we're all looking haggard after just one drink. Jason has "forgotten" to shave for the 5th day in a row, and has "forgotten" to do anything with his hair once again. I wonder if his mother thinks this is the best I can do, and if she assumes that I let him walk around looking like an ogre when she's not in town.

We go to the RainForest Cafe for drinks. Nancy and I demean ourselves by ordering Mount Daiquiris; Jason keeps his dignity with a Heineken. Famished, we tear into caribe chicken, barely noticing the rage of the elephants every time another thunderstorm hits. I wonder if the muzak we're "enjoying" is really indigenous to the rainforest, but Sam our waiter is rather humourless about the whole thing when I ask him.

I worry about the proximity of a rather large and sinister-looking parrot throughout the course of our drinks and munchies, but in the end, it's the hippopotamus that almost spells disaster. Luckily I am able to ward him off using only a wet-nap and the broken antenna of my cell phone, and the worst harm done is some wet bums.

On the thrilling drive home, Jason points out the sights: the gas station where we go for midnight slurpees, the place where we'll never go for Chinese food ever again, the place that sells bootleg DVDs for $4.99. Nancy is riveted, as well she should be. It's not just anyone who gets this tour.

At home, I serve up some Greek fare; I've even made my own hummus. However, it's the really heady cabernet sauvignon that does us in. Within half an hour, I learn that snoring is hereditary. Jason, who insists he's "fine" even though he weaves to the bathroom and back, passes out on the couch.

It's a good thing I love him....there are still 4 more days of this shit.

...yeah, he's totally worth it...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

How do you like me now, bitch?

Yeah that's right: a futile attempt to win love with baked goods.

You don't win friends with salad...

Think it'll work?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Only God Can Save Me Now.

The grout in my shower has been scrubbed with a stiff-bristled tooth brush.

Pretty little soaps in nauseatingly-sweet little shapes have been purchased.

My naughty drawer has been cleaned out of all things naughty. They've been locked in a safebox and buried deep, deep in the bowels of storage, underneath a box labeled "wedding presents so ugly I can only hope they spontaneously combust."

This can only mean one thing: my mother-in-law is coming.

When a mother-in-law comes to dinner, one can only assume that she will be checking under the VCR for dust, and judging my worthiness based on whether all the labels in my wine rack point in the same direction (east). But my mother-in-law is not coming to dinner. She's coming to stay - for 5 WHOLE DAYS!

So I, of course, am acting like a crazy person. I bought better toothpaste. Not that our old stuff was bad, but the regular $1.57-a-tube-Crest-stuff just doesn't shout "Jason is in good hands!" the way I'd like it to. So I bought the good stuff in the remote hope that one morning she will be brushing her teeth and think that I take good care of her son.

Fat chance, eh?

I also bought new sheets. She'll get our bed obviously, the best bed, but not the best sheets, between which I've done nasty, dirty things to her son. Not to worry, I also bought new jammies; the kind that are not see-through in the nipple-area (or anywhere else). And I planned a menu that's impressive but not intimidating: no seafood, no mushrooms, no bleu cheese (these things have been learned by trial and error, emphasis on ERROR, thanks to Jason never remembering what his Mom will or will not eat).Then I panicked that the menu was a little chicken-heavy, but I'm currently chewing through copious amounts of Zoloft to get over that little hump. Plus, I've got just the right amount of booze on hand to smoothen out all the bumps without confirming her suspicions that in fact, I am nothing but a no good lush sponging off her baby boy.

*** Meanwhile, Jorge's post today reminds me that I also need to take my magnetic poetry off the fridge. The poems we make tend to use "pork" as a verb a little too often.

She's not a bad person, actually. It's just an ancient law that the mother/daughter-in-law relationship must be impossibly difficult.

The first time I met my mother-in-law, she told me how much she loved Jason's girlfriend Danielle, and how she hoped they would be together forever.

The second time I met my mother-in-law, Danielle had been deposed, I had taken her place, and I was acutely aware of how utterly unlike Danielle I was.

The problem is not that I don't like my mother-in-law. Oh, she has her moments, those times that I just want to pull out all of my hair and then hide under my bed until the day I pick out her coffin, but I try to remember that being raised by his mother made Jason into the good and interesting man he is today.

The problem is that she does not like me.

What?!? How could this be?!?! Are you not outraged and astounded that anyone could possibly be so stupid as to not like me? Despicable, I know. Bordering on unbelievable, I'd say, except that I have 7 looooong years of proof. Apparently my wonderfulness doesn't translate well into momspeak.

Admittedly, I am a little eccentric. Unconventional. Nontraditional. Anti-religion, anti-making grandbabies, pro- moving far, far away. Every mother's dream for her son, right?

Yeah, well, I'm buying his undies now, so tough!

And so the game continues: I bend over backwards to show her that I'm not "the worst thing ever to happen to her precious baby boy" while she keeps her wary eye on me, since we both know that the ugliest truth is yet unspoken - that Jason is her only child, and someday soonish, I will be the one deciding in which home to put her away.

Life is kinda funny that like that.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Let's Talk Politics

Topic at Hand: Canada Federal Election, 2006 edition

So there's an election coming up, eh?

Fun times.

Now, as I like to think the best of people, give them the benefit of the doubt as it were, I'll assume that we're all among Liberal-voters here. I assume that primarily because although there are 4 main parties this time around, there is really only one choice. After all, we are Canadians.

I like to think that Canada, as a country and as a people, is about social values. It's what we're known for, it's what makes us strong, and enviable. So on election day, I plan on standing up for my country, and doing my part to make sure that new Canadians, young Canadians, and future Canadians, all have the chance to grow up in a country they can be proud of.

Liberal, to me, is not a party, but a way of life. It's about tolerance. It's about celebrating diversity. It's about giving a helping hand to those in need, be they fellow Canadians down in luck, impoverished people not lucky enough to be born here, or victims of catastrophe from anywhere else. Liberal means making choices that are good for the soul first, and good for the pocketbook second.

I don't believe that conservatives are bad people, I just think they have bad memories. They are trying to run a campaign based on the fact that the Liberals have made some mistakes. They conveniently forget that it was a conservative government who gave us the GST in the first place, and that even in their wildest campaign promises, the conservatives still only offer a 2% decrease at best. They forget that the last time they were in power, their party was rocked by an enormous scandal and that Brian Mulroney was the villain leading the least popular government in Canadian history. And they forget that even conservatives themselves are unsure of themselves: throughout the past century, they have struggled to define themselves, to align themselves with this party or that (when they recently joined forces with the alliance party, many "conservatives" jumped ship). However, I applaud anyone who is working for their country, and I am proud that Canada has room for every voice, whether it dissents or not. I hope that every question raised will be taken seriously, and will help to shape the future of our country.

I am not a Liberal. I am a Canadian. At this point in time, protecting the integrity of my country and ensuring that it remains a home I can be proud of means voting Liberal. I hope that in the future, when the party is a little more stable, the NDP will become a viable option. I think they're headed in the right direction and I believe they have some solid ideas for a greater Canada. For now, it's Liberal, or bust. And I'm okay with that, because when I look back on the past years of my life here, I like what I see on the whole.

I like balanced budgets.

I believe in universal health care.

I support same-sex marriage and equal rights in general.

I respect Canadian art and culture, and would like to see more of it.

I believe in funding social initiatives such as child care, literacy programs, retirement savings plans, and help for families with special needs children.

I believe in a woman's right to choose.

I'm glad we're peace keepers and not war mongerers.

I look forward to a greener Canada.

I am proud to welcome immigrants to our great country, and consider them an asset. I think cultural diversity is a beautiful thing.

I expect greater strength in Canadian farming.

I think capital punishment is inhuman and inhumane.

I appreciate efforts toward foreign aid. I believe in debt relief and that many innocent children rely on us to save them from the AIDS epidemic.

I think the war in Iraq is wrong. I pray for the souls of the dead - for all of them.

I think the very idea of Stephen Harper as the leader of anything is just plain baffling.

I think the Liberals are the likeliest candidates to uphold these values. I also think that the Liberals have a lot of work to do. Canadians deserve to have confidence in their elected officials. I am not naive enough to believe that political scandals will ever cease. They are the nature of the beast. Whether Canada elects a Liberal government, or a Conservative one, or a Martian one, people will grumble, money will be lost, corruption will creep in, at some level. As a voter, and a citizen, it is my job to hold these people accountable. Responsibility does not belong to a group of officials, or to Paul Martin; it belongs to all of us.

Canada has been Liberal since 1993, winning the past 4 federal elections. I was just 12 then, so as far as I'm concerned, the Canada I grew up loving is in fact a liberal country, and election results over the past century confirm this statement: the liberals have shaped our country into a great place to live, and a respected nation.

But regardless of whether you decide to vote for the conservatives, the liberals, or even if you show up to eat your vote with a side of bacon, I'll just be glad you voted at all. Apathy is for jerks and Americans. And don't you give me that shit about choosing between the lesser of evils. Yes, it's a tough decision. Maybe you don't like the choices. Too bad. Life is about making decisions. You owe it to your country.

Ladies and gentlemen, cast your ballots.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Crabby Lady

I only took 3 showers today. That's not so many, really.

But it is exasperating to Jason that I continue to see showering as a form of entertainment. I do not multiple-shower because of any uncontrolled OCD; in fact, I will readily agree that the showers are superfluous as I just do not get that dirty in day to day life. But I looooove them. I love standing under hot, hot water. I could do it for hours. Unfortunately, the hot water tank has other ideas.

Jason and I usually take our morning shower together because it's our best talking time. Otherwise, it's a catastrophic failure. I like my water slightly above boiling; Jason likes his slightly below freeze-my-nuts-off. True story. So we spend the shower switching back and forth, fiddling with the taps, my lips blue and Jason's back scalded. It's a great way to start the day.

Jason calls me his little lobster. I do love water. I was born under a water sign, but I'm not a lobster, I'm actually a crab, which Jason will verily attest to. Now, obviously there are some very unsexy connotations to the word crab, like pubic lice, for example. Those crabs are nasty. And crabs are scavengers, they like the "waste" that others have the sense to leave behind.

But it's still better to be called a crab, than a cancer. Us cancers really got a bum rap, I'd say. Sure, in latin cancer translates to crab, but it also translates to gangrene. Great choices, huh? Still, the word cancer has become more significant to us since it came to represent those malignant growths. Yummy. I vote to change taurus to rheumatoid arthritis, and pisces to herpes. See how you guys like it.

Yes, cancers are a bit vindictive. If you were named after a potentially fatal mutation, you might be too.

You might also notice that the sign for cancer just happens to greatly resemble good ole 69. And, after our sign defines us as moody and self-absorbed, it goes on to point out that we are prone to affairs and enjoy slave scenarios. Talk about playing with a handicap. Sheesh. It doesn't even make sense - if we're so self-absorbed, why isn't our symbol more about masturbating than this mutual crap, huh?

Oooh, baby, give me some of that sexy, sexy crab action.

I mean, what's a crab to do? When asked Hey baby, what's your sign?, is it better to profess to being a crab, or a cancer? Or will either one of those answers put a halt to any future hands-down-the-pants play?

Fuck it, I'm going for another shower.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Jason bought me an ugly coat.

Jason does not all that often bring home surprise presents. He brings me flowers when we're fighting, apparently so we can both watch them die as I let them rot in their cellophane. But random gifts of clothing? Not so much.

So when he brought home a coat, of all things, for me, I thought either:

a) He's screwing his secretary.

b) He's gone soft in the head.

c) He was walking by the store, thought, Jamie would like that jacket, and just fucking bought it.

Now, in the case of a), I'd have to say that a coat is a very poor distraction tactic. And aren't diamonds more traditional? But then, Jason doesn't have a secretary.

However, I must rule out b) because Jason's head was soft when I got him. And c) seems equally unlikely since he does have a penis, and that's just not what men do. So I keep coming back to the boinking-someone-else theory because it makes the most sense. However, all of this seems irrelevant when considering the fact that this coat is ugly. Ugly. I hate it.

I mean, it's kind of puffy, and really short, and it has snaps, for fuck's sake. Snaps.

So what do I do?

Do I tell him that this is the ugliest fucking coat that I have ever laid eyes on, or do I smile politely and stow it way far back in the closet and hope he forgets about it? Oh who am I kidding? Of course I'm going to tell him it's ugly. If I don't return it, I'll just end up donating it to some charity completely unworn in a year or two, and I wouldn't wish that thing on even the coldest, poorest person in the city. Plus, I'm just not that considerate of his feelings.

On the plus side, he also bought me a shirt that my tits look really great in....hmm, he must be up to something after all.

Monday, January 09, 2006


I think new year's resolutions are silly. I mean, you're either going to do something, or you aren't. In this day in age, when any contract can be nullified, when handshakes and words mean nothing, when even the supposedly sacred vows of marriage are only semi-permanent at best, then the simple of act of making a resolution with oneself is quite pointless. And so, I've made one for Jason instead.

I have tallied up my book count for 2005, and Jason bows in awe to it. Oh, I've read some real stinkers this year, but have also read some real gems (some not for the first time). Jason, however, has managed to read 2 things this past year:

1. The directions on his chapstick.

2. The Kids' Almanac from 1987, which he rediscovered in a box of crap his Mom unloaded on us.

So I have given Jason a challenge for 2006, and that is to read 100 books. 100 books is a lot of books for anyone (well, except for me of course) but for Jason it will be quite a feat. Jason believes that the only reason he doesn't read is that he has no "time" to read - and yet, one must wonder that if his wife has time to read almost twice that amount, just what is he doing while she is thusly occupied? I suppose we're about to find out.

To encourage him, I told him to name his own prize. I told him to pick something big. He decided on Play Station 3. This thing is still being developed by Sony, but already Jason covets it. My ears begin spontaneously hemorrhaging at the thought of his PS2 sitting idly on the shelf, the very PS2 that I nearly died getting for him, not to mention nearly bankrupted myself for when it was hot off the press, just a few short years ago. Soon it will be a worthless piece of crap. Hooray.

However, this was Jason's choice. And truth be told, I wonder at the modesty of his prize. I mean, I did say pick anything. I probably would have opted for some sort of tropical vacation. Of course, I am a greedy little witch. Truth be told, Jason probably would have got his PS3 anyway, eventually. But now I will buy it for him as soon as his 100 books are logged for the year. Currently the PS3 is scheduled for release in the spring. If he has read 100 books by then, I have vowed to stand in line with the geeks for days in advance, if it comes to that.

If it comes to that (that's a pretty big if).

Will Jason really read 100 books? How badly does he want his prize? Pretty badly, he says. "I'll have so much fun playing video games, I'll probably never read books again!"

Oy. Already the point is lost on him.

No matter. The challenge is set. The bets are in. It's up to him now.

To his credit, he did start reading something recommended from my list - One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I cautioned him that this might not be the best to start off with. I even offered to lend him my copy of Superfudge, just to wet his toes a little before he jumps right in. But no, on January 2nd he tore into my 100 Years, zipped through the first 7 pages at lightning speed, and well...seems to have waffled there ever since.

Is there hope for him yet? Only time will tell.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Morning Erection

I wake up in the morning, and it's already there, waiting for me. It doesn't bother being subtle; it's like the proverbial pink elephant, except this pink elephant is doing a sexy belly dance while licking its lips suggestively at me. In other words, there's no ignoring it.

I think it prudent to get up and do a few stretches first. I practically have to step over it in order to leave the room, and it's not easy. It seems bigger in the morning light, bigger than it did last night, but maybe that's because this morning I am tired and instead of thinking of it as a fun challenge, it's beginning to feel like my Everest. I look around for my Tenzing Norgay, but there's no one here but Jason and I.

There's no use putting it off, so I grab hold, and dive right in.

There's nothing like screwing in the morning, I always say. And so we do. There's just something irresistible about starting off the day trying to fit one part into another, and then enjoying the thrill of success when they join.

There's a reason why they call it a labour of love. Jason and I work together in such a way that in no longer feels like work. We sync up. We break out in identical sweats. He is the hammer, and I hold still.

And in the end, we've made something very special; we've made a bookcase. And we didn't even need the instructions.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

An Ode to January 4th

Dang quesedillas
Burnt my wrist again.
Buick is defiled
With Jason's love for Beyonce
A secret not well kept.
The dick, the dick,
O that crazy whale,
That pasty Moby Dick,
Has ensnared me once again
Where I shall remain trapped
For weeks, at least,
Oh woe my watery eyes.
Sweet leftover potatoes
Leftover sweet potatoes
Sweet, sweet potatoes
I can stand you no longer
Be good in compost heaven.
Alfred has met an untimely demise
Made untimelier by the case of wine
Beheaded and benosed
He uncorks no longer
He buttles no more.
Successfully convinced Jason
Using only a hand mirror, my deductive reasoning skills
And his own wardrobe against him
That he is neither a gangsta, nor a pimp, nor even a homie
And neither will he ever be
No matter how much Snoop he downloads.
A universal truth revealed
To break my tender heart
Into fetid, pulsing pieces:
Carrot cake, it seems,
Is one of life's finite things.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Famous Last Words of 2005:

"My penis smells like cheesecake."


"I'm only drunk at 9am because I haven't slept yet. Otherwise, I'd just be hungover, which is more socially acceptable. Let's listen to Rhinestone Cowboy again!!"