Sunday, June 25, 2006


So, it's my ("our") anniversary.

Which explains why I'm home alone.

Jason took last Tuesday off; Jason always believes that our anniversary is 5 days before it actually is.


So I thought it would be charitable of me to at least send him to work this morning with a little something to remember me by. I planned to bake a one-layer replica of our wedding cake. I was dreaming about buttercream for 2 days in advance. I even bought a new featherweight piping bag just for the occasion.

And then, just as 2 perfect rounds of batter were slid into the oven, I discovered that said oven was broken. Broken real good.

Will not heat about 200 degrees.

The cakes were doomed.

Of course, I've already prepaid a florist to order some unsprayed roses for cake adornment, as well as the exact same boutenier that Jason wore at the Canadian version of our wedding.

Without a cake, the cake flowers were pretty pointless, but I was still at least mildly disappointed to see that the florist's was "closed due to flood" and that any and all flowers that I'd ordered were unavailable.

So Jason went to work like it was any other day, and instead of spending his anniversary with his wife, he's spending it with The Other Woman.

Remember when I mentioned that Jason was being lusted after (or should I say coveted?) by some Christian girl at his work? Embarrassingly, every single employee and their uncle seems to know about this crush, and many have already reminded her that Jason is married (you know, in case she missed a certain ring on a certain finger of his). But that didn't stop her from inviting my husband out on a date this week.

Apparently she'd really like to go see Superman with him this weekend. She slipped him her number and everything. Jason, in his awkwardness, threw the number out. Was it burning the inside of his pocket? On his end, he's already ruled out even the possibility of friendship. According to him "Jame, she reads The Bible on her lunch hour. It would be like dating my Grandma."

Ooooh, that's hot.

So while Jason fends her off, I'll sit at home twiddling my thumbs. I can't make the dinner I'd planned with the oven out. I can't even make the dessert I'd planned because when I returned home deflated from the florist, I searched the house high and low for my loaf pan. Yes, I found it. I found it greasy and grubby in the bottom of Jason's toolbox holding nuts and bolts and other things I could not identify. It's totally been bent out of shape. Now I'm totally bent out of shape.

Deep breaths.

I think that I can safely say that all anniversary celebrations have been deferred until some other date - possibly the one next year, or the year after that.

Or is that even far enough away?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Things That Make You Go Boo.

-One nickel short.

-Puffy eyes from too little sleep.

-Uneven sunburns.

-Lettuce shortage.

-Missing opening night.

-Dry, peeling hands.

-Waiting in the rain for someone to open the door when you had keys all along.

-Losing an important receipt.

Thank god for mandarin slices; looking forward to them really got me through the week.
What got you through yours?

Monday, June 19, 2006



  1. Possessing good health.
  2. Conducive to good health; healthful.
  3. Indicative of sound, rational thinking or frame of mind.
  4. Sizable; considerable.

1. Some days, it feels like I am falling apart at the seams. Epsom salts and pedicures don't do much for improperly fused bones in your feet. Between Jason and I, we've covered many multitudes of ridiculous diseases, including but not limited to mono (which is how we met), herpes zoster (just in time for our wedding), appendicitis, vitamin deficiencies requiring needles the size of my thigh, and unforgettably, a 2-year on-going ordeal involving my back and a "relatively simple" procedure that has now become ludicrous in its dogged pervasiveness. But all of these things amount to mere annoyances in the grand scheme of things.

These days we tend to look back on our hospital stays as good stories. How many couples can say that they've seen each other's insides? We know we're lucky. Youth and health are easy to take for granted when you have them, but neither can last forever.

2. It's one thing to be healthy; it's another to stay that way. And when life gets chaotic, all too often the first thing to be sacrificed is the healthy lifestyle.

I'll be the first to admit that Jason and I indulge ourselves: bottles of wine, restaurants with friends, chocolate-covered delicacies by candlelight. When we have people over for dinner, I get crackin in the kitchen, which usually results in at least one person wondering how Jason eats this way every night without putting on the pounds.

Here's our deep, dark secret: we don't eat that way every night. That's how we treat guests, and ourselves, but it is a treat. When I bake, we might nibble and sample a bit, but the bulk of it always gets sent away, either to the soup kitchen, or the residence where I volunteer, or to Jason's work where many of his colleagues are deprived of home-made anything. Most nights our meals are vegetable-heavy (I can't help it, I'm addicted). It helps that I like to cook, that way we don't do take-out very often, although on nights when we've both been out late and neither of us feels like working in the kitchen, I admit it's mighty tempting to settle for a Big Mac.

That's why tomorrow, on my treasured day off, I will be slicing and dicing in the kitchen so that we have some good meals prepared in advance.

We need to have fuel because we're busy people. Physical therapy is still hard work for me, but it's paying off: when I chase Jason up the side of a bluff, I can manage a few shouts of triumph before giving in to the urge to find breath, fast. We hike, and we walk, and we swim, and we laugh about how terribly we play tennis.

But the one area where we could stand some definite improvement is in the sleep department, which is where I think a lot of people suffer. We do need good sleep to stay healthy. It's astonishing how quickly your immune system is compromised when you're not well-rested. Unfortunately, insomnia doesn't really care whether I've had my 8 hours, and selfish pig that I am, I don't always care that Jason has, because I want company, dammit!

I've been trying to be better about that. I try to let him sleep. I try to sleep myself, but the fact that I've read 69 books in the 6 months so far of this year probably is a good indication that I've had a lot of extra time on my hands. Obviously, I would have no probably reaching the 100-book quota for 2006, but thus far it looks like Jason, who is actually trying to meet this challenge, is having a bit of trouble. I've explained to him the benefits of having those extra 8 hours a day (the ones he keeps wasting on sleep), but he turns right around and lectures me about consequences (consequence #1 - cranky bitchiness).

3. The other side of health is the mental side.

Mental is right.

For me, finding good head space is often as easy as taking a break from the computer and working on my projects in the park for a couple of hours, just me, a notepad, a pencil, and some SPF 874.

Jason likes a nice backrub in bed (okay, honestly, who doesn't like that? anyone?). Sometimes life starts zooming past us, and we have to make the concerted effort to pause. It's not easy, but who are we if we aren't putting ourselves first?

4. Healthy? I think so, yes. I mean, I'm definitely chubbier than I should be. I gained weight after my back surgery, and then continued to gain after the next one and the next one, and though I've stopped gaining, I'm not losing because of the medication I'm on. But according to my physical therapist "underneath all that fat, you're in the best shape of your life!"

Erm, was that a compliment? You gotta love this guy's enthusiasm, eh? Especially at 8am, believe me. Good stuff. Just 8 more, you say? Well fuck you!

So I try not to be depressed by the number on the scale. I feel good, I look good. Jason claims he's barely noticed any weight gain at all (men are such awful liars). And when it comes right down to it, weight and health are not synonyms anyway.

Health is a choice, and it's not always the easiest one to make. But I love the life I lead, and I love my husband, and I'd like to enjoy both for many moons to come. And with that in mind, the choice is easy.

But that doesn't mean I'll deny myself a healthy slice of chocolate cake tonight...after all, I do deserve it.

So tell me, what neat-o things are you doing to stay healthy, in any sense of the word?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

So Little Time, So Many Martinis

Hello, exhaustion, my faithful friend. How've you been?

It's been 18 days since Jason and I last had a day off together. I called him at work yesterday to ask him how many freckles he has on his inner thigh. I'd forgotten, and it upset me that I'd forgotten. I love those freckles. I miss those freckles. He put me on hold and went to the bathroom to check.

He was home by 7 last night, but by 7 I was at the retirement residence where I volunteer, calling out bingo numbers in a faux-british accent that the residents really love. Then we all ate the bran/chocolate chip muffins that I'd brought (ew) and I chatted with Mrs. Harrington about a cat named Sprinkles that's been dead for 37 years. The good thing about the Golden Palm is that last call is always 9pm, at which point the residents start insisting that "It's way past my bedtime, dear" and I can make an early exit, having played only 18 games of checkers and a dozen hands of gin.

The only quality time I spend with Jason anymore is when he keeps me company in the bathroom while I soak my screaming feet. I sit in the too-hot bath, trying not to cry, and he sits on the toilet facing the bath, trying to distract me with funny stories, such as the Christian girl at work who has an enormously public crush on him (to which I reply, how Christian can she be if she wants to jump the bones of a married man? to which Jason replies, I think she mostly just wants to hold hands or something).

Every day is the same, but different.

I "teach" a class on creative writing, and spend most of my time trying to come up with non-lame assignments. I come home with sore feet and ink-stained fingers, and my head in the clouds.

I spend several afternoons a week at a group home for the developmentally disabled. I have now made so many arts and crafts out of popsicle sticks that if I ever come across the person responsible for white craft glue, I will knock their teeth out. The only thing white glue will bond together is fingers. I teach them french songs and make pizza pinwheels and spend a quarter of my time there running warm water to unstick fingers.

On the weekends I lead a class on digital photography for "golden agers". Considering how lacking my skills are, I am pleased to note that the group, once they learned where the ON buttons were, was only too happy to just follow me around interesting parts of Toronto, clicking away until our batteries are depleted.

Jason, meanwhile, stays late at work out of the goodness of his heart because mothers let their kids roam wild at the mall, and then become upset when they can't find them. Jason now rivals milk cartons in missing child action. He's been pulling double duty lately because his colleague brought her white husband home to Korea for the first time ever to meet her family, and you can imagine what kinds of fun they're having while Jason combs patiently through racks of clothing looking for small, devious children hiding amongst the hangers.

And as much as I miss my husband, I have to give time to my friends. None of us are static anymore. As we passed our thai orders up and down a long table to accommodate us all, I realized how quickly things are changing, how quickly we are changing. Of course, I was too busy trying to absorb all the wedding news, baby news, career news, family news, that I neglected to pick the chili peppers out of my food. I swallowed several, whole. I burnt off the left side of my throat and tongue. I think the mucus layer of my throat literally peeled off (and I subsequently swallowed it, of course). Days later, it's still so raw that I've been existing on a diet of fruit juice and milkshakes. When Jason picked me up, I really appreciated how hard he tried not to laugh at me. He tried really, really hard. I could tell.

But Jason is battling demons of his own. His mother is threatening to get married again, and though she hasn't yet found a man who will comply, Jason is quaking as he gets his favourite suit pressed and ready for stand-by.

And though today is my day off, I have already spent the morning battling Gilad. Gilad is the task-master assigned to "build my core strength", whatever that means. I'm still battling back from several back surgeries, and Gilad likes to see me pay in sweat.

What Gilad doesn't know is that I left the masochistic world of aerobics to come home to dozens and dozens of cookies, which I have promised to send with Jason to his work. I'm making white chocolate macadamia cookies, which are sinfully delicious, because with each bite I am reminded of the $72 I paid for the nuts alone. $72 for nuts! But damn are they good.

It adds up, though. It all adds up. I'm tired. I took a small break from laundry to sit down and say hello to all of you but all I can think is: nap, nap, go nap, bed is empty, Jamie tired, must nap, go nap. And the urge for napping is so strong that I have to pinch myself to remember the real order of the day: laundry, cookies, post office, library, NO time for naps. In fact, the only thing we seem to find time for these days is claiming an empty table at Jake's for some very cold, very alcoholic drinks. We're both so tired that we drink mostly in silence, neither of us fully capable of forming complete sentences. But we hold hands, and when he looks into my eyes, I know he is thinking the same exact thing as I am:

Why the fuck did we book our holidays all the way in August?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Jamie to the Rescue

Some time ago I expressed my sheer and utter delight at having become the internet's leading source on goat sex. Since then, I have made impressive gains in the fields of grandma sex, fuckfests of all kinds (not just the Friday variety), morning erections, and last but certainly not least, the inflatable date category, otherwise known as blow up dolls.

Ah yes.

And as always, I am inundated by questions that people ask (read: Google anonymously) in earnest, but probably find unsatisfactory answers, judging solely by the absolute crap offered up sneakily disguised as truth on Kill the Goat.

Out of guilt, and possible libel suits, here is my attempt to rectify the situation:

1. I'll start today with whomever had the pressing need to know about who "rimmed her mistress."

First, let me highlight the fact that it wasn't me, no matter what you've heard.

And that's assuming you mean rimming as in applying coarse salt to a margarita glass.

If you're talking about old Colonel Angus, I'm afraid I'll have to plead the fifth. I mean, remember when we found out about President Clinton and the black kiss he supposedly shared with Monica? That didn't go over so well for him, now did it? So I'm thinking that pornos aside, the whole anal-oral thing exists mostly behind doors (and hopefully, mostly behind dental dams). So the only advice I can offer you is this: if your mistress is having a series of "this one time, at bandcamp" moments, well, maybe you should pick up your rusty trombone and join her.

Just stop looking at me like that.

2. Another oft-repeated question is "Do women hate hosiery?"

Clearly, these are all google hits from males. I don't think there's a female over 11 who would have to ask that. If you don't believe me, just ask whoever bluntly googled "pantyhose makes your crotch sweaty." Does that sound nice to you?

No, I thought not. The truth about nylons is this: they were invented to counter the feminist movement.

With such fragile, finnicky things as the only barrier between our untouchable skin and the big, bad world, men thought that surely they could keep us daintily in the home, doing nothing more streneous or adventurous than ironing on the highest setting.

But they were wrong. We ditched the nylons; now we're wearing pants and the whole world has gone to hell, and there's not a single woman left who doesn't curse the rare occasions that she tries to contort herself into lycra-induced purgatory.

3. Another young, naive individual happened upon Kill the Goat searching for "what makes men irresistible."

There is only one thing that makes a man irresistible: money. Preferably, lots of it. No matter what your moma tells you, no matter how many issues of Cosmo you've read, no matter how addicted to Dr. Phil you are, everything else is just pluses and minuses.

Cash is foolproof.

4. To the deluded individual who wondered "do straight men wear thongs?":

the answer is an unqualified and resounding no. Just no. That's all you need to know. If you need convincing, you can look here, but note, it's for the strong of stomach only.

In fact, my good friend L. assures me that gay men don't wear them, either. So who is wearing them? Just the trannies? Do we want to know?

No. No, we don't.

5. And finally, let me address a growing concern that has hit the internet like a storm:

Ben Affleck's long toenails. Now, I don't know Ben Affleck, or his feet. I don't even remember having seen a picture of his uncovered foot. But the internet runs on the fumes of rumours, not facts, and who am I to say I'm better than the internet?

Ben Affleck, shame on you. May you be cursed with drinking problems and low box office returns and shotgun weddings for possibly (but maybe not) inflicting your gross toes on the world at large.

Because whether you're Ben Affleck or not, here's the thing: if you leave your house in sandals, you have a duty to humanity to have presentable feet. No one's toenails should ever be anything but extremely short. Even a woman with the french-pedicure thing going on makes me throw up in my mouth a bit. Trim, people, trim!

Friday, June 09, 2006

My Feet Fuckin Hurt, Man.

Dear Feet,

I don't think I like you anymore.

I know it's not a glamourous job, but you're feet, for gawd's sake. The stumps of my legs slap you to the ground, and you bear the weight and keep me mobile. Maybe you don't like the system, and maybe I don't blame you much for that, but if this is the case you should file a complaint with the U.F.U. (United Foot Union), making sure to fill out the form in blue ink only, copied in triplicate, mailing the goldenrod copy to head office, faxing the dandelion one to the branch, and retaining the lemon one for your records. Once your complaint has been formally lodged, you can expect a response in 12-68 weeks.

Until then, please know that this strike is illegal.

You, feet, are an integral part in my ability to walk. I know you feel your demands for lighter work and more rest seem reasonable, but my desire to reliably get to the toilet, for example, is also quite reasonable.

I used to depend on you, feet.

You provided me with a great service, walking me across cities, dancing me far into the night, kicking my way through many a fight...and in return, I plied you with the prettiest shoes, I let Jason rub you in all the right places, I treated you to salt foot baths and peppermint foot cream. I thought we had a great working relationship.

I guess I thought wrong.

You have revolted with excrutiating pain. You have covered yourselves with calluses and blisters. You have swollen yourselves to epic proportions. I can't even wear shoes anymore. I hope you're happy.

The muscles ache so much that I spend hours soaking them, and need Tylenol 3 just to sleep. I have been stoned for 12 days straight. Dr. Scholl is not a scab. He's ineffectual, but at least he tried. Jason is at his wit's end from listening to me cry and whimper day after day.

So, feet: step up.

I still have a lot of stomping to do.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Canadians Draft Beer, Not Soldiers


Wednesday already? How did that happen?

Somewhere between Jason being mistaken for a burglar and me having a good cry in a dressing room, this week has really flown by.

But I did manage to watch half of Memoirs of a Geisha, and half of Donnie Darko, plus I've read half of Canterbury Tales, and half of Beautiful Losers. So I've attempted an awful lot - completed nothing, mind you, but attempted plenty.

And that's to say nothing of the half-sunburn I've got going, not to be confused with Jason's frostbite, which is now half peeled away (thank goodness), or the problem with my tender tootsies that has got me better than halfway to disability.

So we were sitting on a busy little patio the other day, having food and drinking drinks, watching traffic go by while Jason tells me the story of how he apprehended some shop lifters, sadly, a family of four, the mother using her 2 young children as camouflage as she stuffed all kinds of merchandise into their strollers. When they were stopped, they'd stolen items from all over the mall - American Eagle, Shopper's Drug Mart, Toys R Us, Winners, literally thousands of dollars worth of stuff. So the mother and father comforted their restless children while they waited for the police to arrive; no one was surprised to learn that the mother has a long list of previous charges. When the police arrived at Jason's store, another shoplifter got nervous and dumped his H&M haul into the nearest dressing room and hauled ass. I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry, but in the end, I didn't have to choose.

We were interrupted, by some dude doing card tricks.

A magician, if you will.

Thank goodness I don't eat ribs or wings; he kept asking to use "the lady's magic hands", which is possibly sexual harassment, I'm not sure. Anyway. We let him do a couple of tricks and then he wandered away to bother/entertain another table. But we wondered: are you supposed to tip a magician? So, internet, what's the consensus? Tip the guy? Pull a quarter out of his ear? What's the deal? I mean, it's not like we were there for the magic. We were there because they pour beers so big it takes Jason both arms just to yank the giant mug off the table.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a hot date with The Cake Bible...Jason ordered it from Amazon for me; I've lusted after it for a long time, but wouldn't spend the $60 myself. Paired with some loud Madonna and a couple of generous glasses of red wine, and I'd say I have an enviable afternoon ahead. And if the result is something decadent and chocolate, all the better.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Only God Knows Why

Thank you, Mary Lynne, for reminding me how short, and how precious, life really is.
I woke up this morning a very different person because of you.
You can never know how much it hurts me that you had to die for me to learn this lesson, that you did not wake up this morning, and never will again.

She was 26 years old. She died in her sleep of a heart condition she didn't know she had.

To Angela, as she watches her son slip away from her, slowly but surely, draining them both of light and health and happiness.
I'm sorry that there's nothing I can do; sorrier still that there's nothing you can do.
I know you die each night of heartache, and would rather not wake up at all than to wake up to reality.

She never thought she'd have to bury her child. He's 25, and he's counting down his final days.

And for Barb, who mourns for a baby she never got to meet.
We have to believe that it was for a reason, that it was for the best.
That you will get a second chance to be a mother.
That you are stronger than you think.

It was a girl. She just stopped growing.

With much love, Jason and I are thinking of you all.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Doors Wide Open

So after the sore feet of Saturday, Sunday dawns just as bright and beautiful.

Instead of free beer, we go for free chocolate.

The lineup at the Cadbury Factory on Gladstone is impressive. To me, it feels like a 45 minute wait, which we hope will be worth it, but the small boy behind us, who dubs Jason "Mister Glasses" (kindly, since he has dubbed another man "Mister Potato Head"), excitedly points out that we are the caboose - and suddenly I am touched at his ability to make the end of the line seem like the most prestigious place. But soon we are not the end of the line; in our 45 minute wait, the line more than doubles behind us. When our tour is completed, the line exceeds 2 city blocks.

We see fashions painted in chocolate, the ever-evolving wrapper of Crispy Crunch, experience hair nets galore, rub cocoa beans between our fingers and "enjoy" their bitter flavour, and sit in on a "chocology" session where we learn the well-kept Caramilk secret, but since we'd have to kill you if divulged, I'll keep my lips sealed.

All of Canada's Caramilk stock is made in the basement of this very factory, which does emit a noticeable chocolate smell into the air in the whole block surrounding it. Of course we cannot leave the factory without a visit to the gift shop, apparently not usually open to the public. Jason is the proverbial kid in a candy store, carrying as much as his arms can handle, and he's got big arms. We do find a few rarities and hope that they don't melt during the rest of our day. Proceeds go to charity, so we feel less guilty, but entirely guilt-free.

We cover many more kilometres on our trip to Todmorden Mills, where we traipse through a confusing mix of antiquated old buildings, the world's shortest wildlife preserve (don't blink or you'll miss it), and renovated buildings now housing art shows. The best part of Todmorden Mills is the bathroom. While not the prettiest, it was clean, and I had the best pee of my life, which I had been holding at that point for about 3 achy kilometres. We also had the unique experience of hurtling our bodies down the Don Valley Parkway to get to Todmorden Mills. I much prefer uphill, even if it is more of a strain; downhill always makes me feel like a runaway train. I get wild-eyed and panicky, and I look as foolish as I sound. After thoroughly exploring Todmorden, Jason impels me to stop for something to eat. He sees that my blood sugar is dipping constantly, and we all know what that means.....

The Bitch is close. Poor Jason. When I run out of fuel, my mood suffers. I become far more irritable and cranky, and at that point, I am unable to say that I'm hungry and often I will even refuse to be fed. Jason has learned to force-feed me without me noticing, which is as difficult as it sounds....but if you had to be around The Bitch, you'd probably learn to adapt real quick too.

We get some relief from the heat when we head down to The Beach. The heat is nice, the humidity a bit oppressive, but the closer we get to the water, the more we feel the most welcome breeze we've ever known. Sure we get harassed by homeless guys, and drunk guys, and homeless drunk guys, but the feel of cooling wind on our cheeks is worth it.

I collapse onto the grass at the Beaches Library, where we're meeting the rest of our walking group. I don't even care if my new white skirt becomes my new grass-stained skirt. I gaze up at the sky through the branches of a tree, and I have to look an awfully long time until my brain confirms what my eyes are seeing -

This poor raccoon had climbed up a tree earlier in the day, possibly the night before, and had remained there, clinging desperately for dear life. He was terrified to fall, but even more terrified to take his chances coming down amongst so many humans. He was so paralyzed with fear that at first I was sure it was a dead animal lodged in the branches, but no, he was alive and displaying oodles of enviable patience.

Anyway, soon our walking tour of the beach was off and marching alone with a vengeance, disobeying dozens of traffic laws in the process, I'm sure. The guide was so enthusiastic about the area that he brought us to admire spots that were not very admirable at all. Soon Jason and I broke off the group, watched some old ladies beat the shit out of each other over some lawn bowling, avoided stepping on dirty discarded needles in the sand, and made our own tour of the beach, mainly consisting of looking, with a little bit of sitting mixed in.

And that was our crazy weekend, followed by a week so crazy that I'm only now posting about last weekend just before the new one is about to begin. Since Jason works full-time, I try to schedule my deadlines and meetings around him, but this week was too hellish for any of my old tricks to work. Jason spent his day off yesterday without me (he pretends to be sad about this), and only picked me up at night, during the worst storm ever, and Toronto's first tornado warning of the season. I'm now thinking that perhaps our weekend would have been more restful if we had gone into hibernation instead of hitting the pavement, but unfortunately, you can't take mulligans on weekends. And now we've got our fingers crossed that Jason's next day off, which is not until next Tuesday, will also be my next day off.

So if you've got any fingers to spare, think of us.