Friday, December 28, 2007

A General Indictment of the Romance "Genre"

Up until a month ago, I would have considered myself completely unqualified to attack the evil that is the romance novel, not having had any exposure to such "writing" since I outgrew Danielle Steel's turgid members and milky-white bosoms at the age of 11 (not that this would have stopped me). However, the universe colluded against me this past month, teasing me with a big sudsy bath and only Jean Chretien to keep me company.

Nothing against Prime Minister Poutine, but a political memoir is not exactly suitable material for relaxing with a glass of wine, some candlelight and bubbles up to my ears. So I raided my sister's supply in order to find a good "tub book" and lo and behold, her shelf boasted only books with glittery, pastel covers featuring such winning titles as Annie, Get Your Groom, and Code Name: Bikini.

Don't let the titles throw you off, though. There's only one romance book, and that one story is recycled over and over, occasionally renaming characters (Chase becomes Thatcher), or changing hair colours (strawberry blonde becomes dirty blonde). I hate to ruin it for you, but here's the way it goes: a guy with great pecs meets a girl with large breasts and at first they kind of hate each other because they're so damn different (like, she's really rich, and he's really really rich), but then they find each other undeniably attractive (his jaw is chiseled, and did I mention she has great tits?), and then there's about 100 pages of sexual tension and will-they-or-won't-they (even-though-they-always-do) and usually there's some kind of mini-crisis that makes us fear that they won't get together (hint: they do), then even though he's a bad boy who's not the marrying kind, by the end of the book the ache in his loins inspires him to make a lifelong commitment and crave babies and domesticity and soft kisses.

So I know all of this going in, I'm totally prepared for how incredibly and predictably bad these books are, and still I manage to find myself cringing in the bathtub when in the current year of 2007, the premise of my tub book is thus:

Man meets woman...on a, a boxcar....cause, they're like, riding the rails. Illegally. They're hobos. And the girl hobo really brings out the protector in the boy hobo. Because she has a baby with her, and conveniently the boy hobo is recently a widower and grieving his kids, and is looking for a replacement family, and he's inspired to give up drinking. But then the girl hobo collapses and needs to be saved, so thankfully, the boy hobo is actually a multi-millionaire so he literally brings in a helicopter to whisk them all away.

I mean, even for a romance novel that's pretty improbable. They were hobos! Hobos! But sexy hobos. A boy hobo in need of a good woman to save him, and a girl hobo in need of money to save her back. So it all ends up nicely.

And this isn't even the worst offender. In my mother's household, there is a book that is passed around that is referred to only as "the smutty book." The smutty book doesn't even bother with the laughably implausible plot lines. If there are occasionally a few transitional paragraphs between the coupling of her tight, wet, hot... self, and his hard, needy, throbbing...self and the second, even more quiverful coupling of said genitals, I find that my sisters are simply flipping pages straight to the good stuff, as it were. If there's a literary equivalent to the money shot, they're fast forwarding to the main event.

Let's not kid ourselves. "Romance" is a nice way of saying "soft core porn for girls". But it's not just the soft coreness that makes me roll my eyes. It's the formula, the predictability. In fact, it cannot even be classified as a romance by the publisher if it doesn't have a happy\rosy\optimistic outcome. The insistence that some minuscule "obstacle" keeps them superficially apart, although they always grudgingly find each other desirable because only really hot people fall in love. I have no idea what ugly people do, or heck, even what ordinary people do, because no one has ever written about them. Well, ordinary people contract illnesses, or hitchhike across the country, or across the galaxy, or they work in coal mines or they keep bees, but they don't fall madly in love. Romances are only about people who have bodies that can be described as "rock hard" or "pneumatic".

Romances never involve stretch marks or receding hair lines or Honda Civics or guys named Roy. It makes me think that it must be a bunch of stringy-haired, badly-complected, knobby-kneed wallflowers who write these novels, and live vicariously through them. But you'll never catch me saying that out loud. Oh no. When I dared to voice my unfavourable opinion of science fiction, those sex-starved kiddies who call themselves fans got on their bikes and threw eggs at my neighbour's house (woops!). But then I called their moms, who threatened to start charging them rent on their basement lairs if they didn't come home right away, so I guess I didn't quite learn that lesson.

Maybe, for the good of fiction, we should take all those romance authors who just need a good lay, and pair them up with all the science fiction authors who've never seen a woman naked, and just see what happens.

Or maybe we could just take away all their pens instead?

Or maybe I should just stop reading this crap, or at least have the decency to pretend that I don't. Or learn to keep my trap shut.

Hah. Fat chance.
Damn I crack myself up.

Or maybe you should just visit the Quickie Book Review to read about what books I do like (surprising, I know, that something occasionally passes muster).

Or maybe you have a soft core hobo fetish, which I imagine is an itch that's hard to scratch, and therefore I can only counsel you to read away. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

P.S. The sex scene on page 214 is pretty hot, once they take care of the lice. You're welcome.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Obligatory Holiday Post

So first you gotta get your ass to the Home Depot and buy the biggest, most ridiculous, most overtly-won't-fit-through-your-doorway-no-matter-how-hard-you-ram-it tree you can find (and no, that was not a euphemism).

Then you strap it to the car using nothing but odds and ends of free twine and some misplaced optimism, and hope for the best.

Then you stop every 3km and reattach until you get home (because yes, an 80 foot tree does go careening off the roof of your stupid slippery car every time you hit the gas, or the break, or sneeze), losing limbs (tree limbs, not human limbs....well, not ideally) and needles along the way.

Then you get home, curse the fact that you brought home a tree that's twice the size of your house, spend the next 7 hours sawing it down to the point where it no longer looks like something Paul Bunyan would have brought home, then make a quick trip to the ER to get some stitches and a tetanus shot because that slicing yourself with a rusty handsaw is a Christmas tradition, goddammit.

Then you get into the rum balls. And I mean, you fucking lay into the rum balls like there's no tomorrow. Because first of all, now that the tree is in the house, it's making strange noises like maybe, just maybe, there's a rabid squirrel (or two) in there, and also because now is the time where you have to decorate it using a mishmash of "sentimental" (also known as "tacky") ornaments that the family has been collecting since polyester and aquanet were considered to be in taste.

Then you try not to cringe as you dig out some gems such as: a styrofoam ball spray painted cold and "decorated" with toothpicks, several A&W RootBears, some threadbare Bugs Bunny balls, circa 1979, something shiny and distinctly phallic, and let's not forget this little gem, a piece of construction paper older than Hillary Duff, lovingly hand-crafted (using crayons and glitter, liberally, by the looks of it) by yours truly, when I was 18. Or so.

Then make a totally out of the blue phone call to make sure your insurance policy is up to date, and includes fire, and all that good stuff. Because that blinky, somewhat faulty, somewhat monstrously hot bulb is dangerously close to that brittle, dried out piece of kindling - er, ornament, I mean.

Then check the batteries in the smoke detectors just to be safe.

Then hang the stockings with care. Or you know, alternatively, hang them haphazardly on the stair banister when a mantel is lacking; that'll do too. Then take a moment to consider how fucking old you must be when your stocking is starting to grow mould. Mould! Right on Frosty's ball.

Then drink to console yourself. Eggnog is nasty, but brandy is dandy. If you drink enough, you'll forget that you're allergic to tree sap and cranberries make you gag and grandma still wants to know why you aren't pregnant yet. In fact, if you drink enough, your cheeks will turn rosy and your giggle will be enough to convince others that you're "in the spirit" when really you've just been "into the spirits." And if you drink even more, you'll find a naughty button around and instead of thinking oh, how inappropriate, you think, I'm drinking for free tonight!

Then find a karaoke bar where the people are unironically wearing santa hats and the bartender is unabashedly pouring hot toddies and let the good times roll. And by "good times roll", I of course mean get ogled by anything with a penis, and make eye contact with no one, not even the chicks, and get very prompt service at the bar.

Then continue to celebrate in a similar fashion for several nights in a row. Don't be afraid to occasionally overdose on cashews, pop the cork on half a case of champagne, very occasionally lick a candy cane in a suggestive manner, sing "alternative" lyrics to the Christmas carols you hate the most, indulge in a snowball fight (Mexican fighting rules apply), raise the heat and lose the clothes, and only extremely occasionally mind you, don some footie pajamas and curl up on the couch with someone to watch cheesy Tim Allen movies that secretly make you cry.
Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Industrial Cream Puff Accident Maims 1, Shocks All.

Tits McGee
Kill the Goat News
December 19, 2007 2:30 am EST

Eastern Ontario - The tragic accident that left dozens of puff pastry treats empty and aching for their custard filling has devastated an entire staff room of ornery elementary school teachers looking to soothe their frayed nerves with a chocolatey sugar fix and raised awareness for the plight of the custardless among the shaken but indomitable community.

The site of the accident, an ordinary residential kitchen, still smelled delightfully of vanilla and was lightly dusted with flour, a somewhat whimsical setting for what would ultimately become a grizzly, nightmarish scene.

A woman who can only be identified as "Jay" under the Suffer the Fools Protection Act, had been baking furiously for about an hour before the accident, which occurred at approximately 1:15am. The empty pastry shells of what were to become eclairs could be seen cooling on wire racks behind police tape. Alone and unsupervised, Jay was apparently gently folding whipped cream into a vanilla-based mixture while listening to The Kinks when a large mixing bowl, described as blue and plastic, which contained said mixture suddenly and inexplicably went from sitting politely on the counter to upturned and on the floor.

About 12 cups of not-quite-custard splashed an area including but not limited to the lace curtains, an oven that had just recently been cleaned, the counter top, the sink, the floor, the cupboard doors, the crack between the counter and the oven that's a real bitch to clean, and of course, Jay herself. The ensuing sticky puddle was so enormous that an innocent bystander named Max Keeping quite literally had to doggy-paddle through it in order not to drown.

Another resident of the home was the first respondent to the scene and described it variously as "fucking hilarious" and "still pretty delicious". Other four-legged witnesses didn't even bother invoking the golden 10-second rule, and were happy to lap up the evidence of an epic spill.

According to pastry-police Sergeant A. LaMode, the culprit, also known as Madame LaDropski, was probably mixing at excessive speeds and had been tempting fate by cracking eggs two-handedly and had not even replaced the cap on a very expensive bottle of pure vanilla extract. "People need to know that baking recklessly is a serious offense with serious consequences, as we can see here tonight. This needless accident could have been avoided if only she'd been using proper stirring technique and had not been under the influence of that damned rock and roll music."

Jay, who was treated at the scene for shock and stickiness, gave no comment except for an under-the-breath refrain of "My argyle, my poor argyle."

Meanwhile, clean-up crews dispatched to the scene were delighted to see the floor being eagerly licked clean. Damage to the remaining kitchen was extensive however, and was estimated in the range of 3-4 buckets of hot soapy water and at least one raging backache in the morning. Witnesses were visibly shaken by the carnage - crumbs were scattered haphazardly about the scene, and dozens of tiny eclair-corpses were piled into the garbage bin.

One woman, described as hungry and pre-menstrual, tearfully lamented the loss. "I know you can't make eclairs without the cream filling, but it just tears me up inside knowing that perfectly good pastry and devilishly sweet chocolate ganache are going to waste because of one bad decision. It's just not fair! Who's going to explain this injustice to my poor, exploding ovaries? They just won't understand."

Indeed, this reporter finds it difficult to understand what kind of God would allow such a heart-rending and grievous act of iniquity.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Naughty & Nice, Doggy-Style

You may have noticed that I tend to be somewhat attention-seeking. You may not even put it past me to curl up on someone's lap and demand to be petted. That's the kind of girl I am.

So when I arrive at a house where I am to be upstaged by not just the world's cutest puppy, but two of them, well....let's just say I've had to get my growl on just to compete.

Nice: This is Roxy. You may recognize Roxy from her moonlighting as a noble steed. She's also known as the only girl who looks good in a beard, a fierce cuddler, lover of toast.

She's also a proud Mama to a moose wearing a Leafs jersey. She shows her motherly love by clenching him in her jaw and shaking him vigorously. Her baby has lost both eyes and a tail, and most of his stuffing. But it's still nice compared to the way she defiles her non-babies. She also hangs out with a dalmatian and a sing-and-snore Ernie who have been humped into early retirement.

When she's not busy letting her inner porn-star out, she's usually flopped in someone's lap with her paw in the air, looking for a massage. She loves having paw-dicures. She expects to be pampered. She has a great "please me" look. She's a girl after my own heart.

Naughty: This is Max Keeping, the newest addition. He's lucky he's so cute because in the 2 weeks he's been here, I've been bitten in places where I usually only like to be nibbled!

If you're not from the Ottawa Valley, then you probably don't get the joke, but 'Max Keeping' is the name of a respected and dignified local newscaster. He's a swell guy. If you aren't a Max Keeping fan, you can substitute Walter Cronkite or Barbara Walters or Ron Burgundy or Tom Brokaw or any other honourable anchorman that you'd like. Personally, the novelty of yelling "Max Keeping, get your cold nose out of my cleavage!" has not yet rubbed off.
Max Keeping, did you just take a dump on the kitchen floor?
Max Keeping, your tongue has no business in there!
Max Keeping, please stop riding your sister!
I think I just accidentally touched Max Keeping's penis again!
So you can probably guess that Max Keeping has been high on the naughty list, and I've been busy rubbing his nose in his many indiscretions (dear Santa: please bring me a steam cleaner, stat!). But then he shows me his little belly and knocks my hand with his nose until I rub it, and he smiles with those tiny little teeth and I get all melty and forget that I used to have flesh on my ankles and that my usb cable used to be in 1 piece instead of 3 frayed ones and that there was a time I didn't have to wear rubber boots and be on strict puddle-patrol inside my own house.
Life in the dog house has been pretty good, but no word yet which list my name will be appearing on, though frankly, I've got this winning naughty streak going for the past, oh, 26 years or so, and my coal collection could use a new addition.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You Live, You Learn, You Eat the Worm.

1. You know it's Christmas when the dog starts to poop tinsel.

2. Turns out, I don't like 54-40. I just thought I should.

3. I hate ordering wine at a "family" restaurant because for some perverse reason, they still go through the tasting ritual. I mean, if I just ordered a $30 bottle of wine from Chili's, I'm probably not too fussy. And if you're wearing suspenders filled with "flair", you're probably not a sommelier yourself. And the truth is, I find the whole thing so embarrassing that even if it did taste like gym socks, I'd probably just nod anyway.

4. I just bought a box of condoms that had a prize in it, the way cereal boxes do. But why are condoms trying to lure in customers this way? I mean, I thought that's what short skirts were for. Sex is not prize enough these days, you want sex AND a unicorn-shaped eraser? Jebus.

5. I learned to Wii on Friday. I'm considering getting addicted. I have wii-elbow from the tennis and wii-wrist from the bowling, and wii-crotch from the...well, it's just amazing the games they come up with for this thing, isn't it?

6. Excellent thing to do if you're ever bored: drizzle your dog with chocolate. I did this (accidentally) and hilarity ensued for hours - poor guy tried to lick behind his own shoulder blades for hours.

7. Talking virginity with your grandmother is funny. Listening to her refer to it as "the sex" over and over - priceless.

8. I love how every time I get into the bath lately, all the pine needles stuck to the bottom of my feet float around in the water until eventually getting stuck to other parts of my body, parts where no pine needles ever should be. I also love the delicious irony of soaking in the tub while reading The Dirt on Clean. I haughtily congratulate myself on living in a time when hot water magically comes out of the tap marked H, and feel superior that I use toilet paper instead of arsewisps. This is the book I shall buy in bulk and give as Christmas gifts. I like gifts that say "Hey, look at me, I'm intellectual AND hygenic AND have somewhat curious taste in Non-Fiction. Happy Birthday, Jesus!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

How to Party Like a Rock Star

So I'm at this moment sitting here in the bathtub wondering how it is that we as a society can manufacture artificial hearts and take pictures of dust motes on Mars and make margarine that is so butter-like in flavour that you can't even tell it apart from the real thing, and yet we still cannot manage to make tubs that fit real people. Is it so crazy that I might like both my knees and my boobs to be submerged? I'm only 5'3, practically not even people-sized myself, but still, I have to choose. Either I have to bend my knees so they rise out of the bubbles like arid twin peaks, or I straighten my legs and sit upright, watching my nipples get hard in the comparatively cool air. The bathtub makes you pensive. I also realize that:

a) boy do I need to re-pedicure.

b) damn I have sexy thighs.

c) I may never recover from this weekend.

And if I don't live to see another weekend, know that I died happily, and already somewhat pickled. Take whatever useful organs I have, but um, you may want to leave the liver where it is. And if it's my partner in crime who keels over from trying to keep pace with me, I've already promised to wear something very plunging to his funeral.
You have to put some serious effort into developing the kind of legendary mystique that boys will risk death for, but any of you can fake it for a night. You just have to not give a damn about your bad reputation, and:
1. Screw the icy sidewalks. Wear heels anyway. Men will fall over themselves to offer you their arm.
2. Wear a silk shirt in a flannel kind of town. Remember that buttons are optional.
3. Resist the urge to rub your lips clean when a man whispers in your ear "Your lipstick just gave me a boner."
4. Madonna meant for you to dance on a speaker when her song comes on. It's a rule.
5. Never refuse a drink. Think of it as a public service. It builds male morale to be able to buy a pretty girl a drink. You don't have to drink them all (donate the ones you don't want to your wallflower friends), but remember - restraint is for losers, and Monday afternoons.
6. If you're wearing fancy panties or any kind of lingerie, make sure there are at least 3 other people in the room who know it.
7. Tactile is good. Touch men on their wrists, their chests, their thighs. But touch yourself the most, especially while dancing.
8. Practise a bitchy wink and a lascivious grin. Don't use them on just your date.
9. Don't hurry back from the bathroom. Use the time wisely. When you get back to your table with a drink your date knows he didn't pay for, and a phone number that clearly isn't his, sip the drink sweetly and discreetly slip the number into your bag, and be prepared for some seriously undivided attention.
10. Don't be afraid to cultivate a little jealousy on the dance floor. Watching guys throw punches is kind of a turn on, and besides - black eyes are sexy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Breakables & Unbreakability

I can understand why a person might steal. I can even almost understand why a husband might steal from his wife. I can grasp the concept of wanting all the money instead of just half of it. I'm the same way with pie. I can likewise understand why he also took the car, and the apartment, and all of the furniture. Having a couch is good. Having a couch, a love seat, a lounger and 3 chairs is much better. And it's perfectly understandable that he'd feel entitled to both the dining table and the little kitchen table. After all, he's got all the dishes, all the damask napkins, all the serving platters, all the candle sticks, and even the little pot holders that my grandmother crocheted for my hope chest when I was 8 - the poor guy needs a place to put them all! And I certainly don't begrudge him all the bedding, including the Winnie the Pooh set my mother gave me when I left for school, or the Star Wars set I inherited from my cousin Tim. I mean, come on - he took the bed, so what the hell would I do with sheets and blankets anyway?

So yeah. I kind of get it. It's nice to be able to buy food, and have an oven to heat it in, and a fork to eat it with.

What I don't understand is why he would also steal a drawer full of my underwear. What is he doing with my panties? Wait - don't answer that. Turns out, I'd rather not know. Rather not even consider it. Rather not picture him walking around his lonely apartment with lace chafing in all the wrong places.

But I would like to know why he's also taken my mittens. When he leaves the house bundled in the leather coat I bought him and gets into the car that isn't his, does he feel guilty that his hands are warm and mine are not? Or does he watch the weather network (while wearing the red silk thong) and gloat over my frostbitten fingers?

Does he feel like a big man when he puts on my cupcake pjs, pours some champagne into my monogrammed flutes, tosses aside my suede throw pillows and sits down to watch Love Story?

Is he proud to have robbed me of Christmas - of my mistletoe bar ware, my gingerbread cookie jar, the papier-mache reindeer ornament that I hand-painted just last year?

He's got every photograph I've ever taken, every poem I've ever written, every memento I ever deemed worth keeping. They're just things, but they're my things, my lifetime of things, and he's holding them hostage. The only thing he's not taking is his medication, but maybe if I wrote my name on the bottle he'd want that too.

I grieve for the man that I married, lived with and loved as if he's dead. For me, he is. He doesn't exist anymore. He's been replaced by a thief who's stolen more than just my possessions. I picture the man I married buried somewhere underneath the things taken from me - beneath broken promises, broken vows, broken hearts. I might have been buried there too, suffocating under the collapsed burden of the fraudulent life we built together, had I not taken my leave when I did.

He can have the teacup that belonged to my dead Aunt Mary, and the picture frame that my sister made me when I graduated high school, and the video tape of my third grade recital. It'll take a lot more than that to break me. Those are just relics of a past life anyway. I don't need them anymore.

So pardon me if my smile is too bright for a woman who's just lost everything. My new life may be sparsely furnished, but it's mine, and nobody can take it away.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm Getting Fat for Christmas

The good news is, there's nothing left to stop me from taking up grand theft auto.

The bad news is, when they inevitably find my bloated corpse in a ditch by the highway, they'll have to use dental records to identify me.

I'm going to miss having fingerprints, but on the upside, my laptop screen has never looked more smudge-free!

As I'm sure you've guessed by now, I've been doing a little holiday baking. You know, the kind where you bake furiously with the intention of freezing it all so you can pretend to be the perfect hostess when those annoying impromptu guests show up when really you're just thawing crap you made a month ago. Also the kind where none of the desserts ever actually make it to the freezer, because of course you can't simply trust that they're delicious, you have to taste them, and then you can't rely on such a selective sample, you have to be more thorough, and then someone comes in the kitchen and catches you furtively shoving sweets down your gullet and it makes such an attractive picture they decide to join you, and suddenly you've spent 7 hours baking and all you've got to show for it are some crumbs and a pile of dirty dishes that you're considering just chucking out because it's not like you'll need them again before next year, at which point you can claim ignorance to what's happened to them (and let's face it, you've already opened your second bottle of wine, so it's quite likely that you'll have legitimately forgotten anyhow) and besides, you just consumed several kilos worth of sugar - you need a nap, or a padded cell, or a nap inside a softly padded cell.
So yeah. I'm feeling a little queasy. I just seared off my own fingerprints via the painful but effective method of molten marshmallow - and damn if that stuff doesn't stick! And when you finally get to peel it away, off comes those identifying little whorls you wasted years of your life becoming familiar with.
Anyway. Everyone knows there's only one real reason we do holiday baking, and that's to have the opportunity to freebase some sweetened condensed milk. All year long, I fantasize about that little pop top, rolling back the lid and finding all that sweetness inside. The baked goods get sacrificed - they end up dry so that I can get my fix - but just a little of that ooey gooey good stuff dancing on my tongue, and it's all worth it. Years and years from now, scientists will find my legacy. I won't leave behind cave paintings or arrowheads or clay pots. I'll leave behind crumbly bits of dessert buried deep within a chest freezer, and when they do their experiments they'll conclude that in the year 2007 there was a frightful sweetened condensed milk shortage, and how did we all survive?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Name That Boyfriend!

About 45 minutes into our date, he pretty much had me figured out.

As he pleaded with me to have even one chicken wing, so as not to let them go to waste, he then pointed at my accidentally third rye and coke (to his half a Guinness) and mumbled something about it certainly not going to waste. And it didn't. I gave each and every one of them a good home, and still got off my bar stool in a practically-lady-like fashion (thank you jesus, I wasn't wearing a skirt).

About three hours, 2 drinks, and 1 joint later, we were lying in bed when I had my aha moment. I was being a little....handsy...when I made an unexpected discovery, prompting him into a quick confession.

Oh, by the way, he says. I only have one testicle.

He only has one testicle!

I mean, his testicles still outnumber my testicles, but by a much slimmer margin than I am accustomed to.

And mustn't it be lonely in there, swinging away all day without a twin? Does it throw him off balance? And how can I tactfully ask these questions? It's not exactly typical first-date fodder: where did you go to school? do you like your job? are your brothers hot? what happened to your other ball?

So, I'm trying to find something to say to that. Something one-testicle-positive. Something to put him at ease. Something to break the weird shroud of silence that fell immediately after the one-nut discovery. I mean, should I confess some medical mystery of my own? But somehow the scar that I acquired from a bad double-dutch-skipping accident pales in comparison to a testicle that's mia. How am I to compete with that?

Luckily, I managed to nonverbally communicate the fact that, oh! one ball! neat! doesn't bother me at all! see what we can still do! and from this angle! oh, that tickles! And by the time I got through nonverbally showing him how cool I think his one ball is, I was thinking to myself, I'd like to do that again.

Only not.

Because there's a problem.

A nontesticular problem.

He has a horrid first name.

Stop the presses! For the record, I DID know his name before all of this, thankyouverymuch. I just didn't realize it was going to be such a problem until I was saying the name out loud, over and over, kind of insistently, while being slapped in strange places by one hairy ball (what? who says you didn't need to know that?).

Why couldn't he be a Leonard, or a Wilbur, or a Harold, or a Thumbelina, if it came to that?

Why on earth did he have to be another Jason?

Because it's already getting a little messy. Anything I say, I have to qualify with New-Jason and Old-Jason, or Sane-Jason and Crazy-Jason, or The One I Don't Hate Yet (just kidding) (mostly). So I was thinking you might help me come up with a nickname for (New) Jason, one that does not contain the phrase "The One Nut Wonder", preferably.

Friday, November 23, 2007


As you may or may not have heard, I have recently become unmarried, which means that I have suddenly become able to do things that I promised not to do for the rest of my life. Not naming any names, but through the magic of mental illness, a certain ex of mine was unstable enough to warrant some time apart even before we officially called it off. He called it "trial separation" - I called it "practising being single again." He spent the time thinking, stealing money out of our joint bank account, and not taking his anti-depressants, and I spent the time partying with boys who don't share my last name (may not even have last names, for all I knew). Obviously, a good time was had by all.

But I've had to learn some things along the way.

Like: It doesn't matter how old he is. What matters is when his kids, who are your age, call him in the middle of the night because they want some Wendy's.

Like: When you're in bed with a teacher and he huskily whispers in your ear that he likes to be spanked, it kind of kills the mood to picture the innocent children who are doubtless being corrupted by this pervert. And it's not that spanking is so bad, just that you always thought of teachers as being rather sexless, and when you start picturing your second grade teacher while someone's feeling you've pretty much lost the game.

Like: Even though he's a broad, built, handsome firefighter who picks you up in a Prada suit and opens the door to his hot little car for you on your way to tapas (your favourite, without telling him), tells you all about his volunteer work at the SPCA and asks you to dance before splitting dessert, and then leans in for the perfect kiss without getting fresh when he drops you off, it's still okay to not return his calls because his facial hair is too "wispy".

Marriage, if nothing else, is habit, and in the 8 years I've spent in this past relationship, I fear I've adopted some rather bad ones.

Like: being way too comfortable with nudity. Like forgetting myself and changing clothes in front of men I haven't known very long. Not that they're complaining, but about the time when my clothes are on the floor and I'm bent over searching the bottom drawer for an elusive t-shirt, I freeze and think, There's some sort of unspoken waiting period for this shit.

Like: not changing the sheets after every single, erm, emission. You can get away with that when it's the same emission every night, but when you're seeing different emitters, it's more polite not to have someone else's leftovers on your linen.

Like: not carrying any money with you when you go to the bar. Single girls don't need to buy their own drinks either (at least, not this one), but she should always carry cab fare. And as dresses lack pockets and she doesn't have a husband's at her disposal, she has to carry her cash and lipstick herself. Learning to dance with a purse again is bullshit.

Getting married was easy. You invite people to send you gifts, write some sappy vows, drink some champagne, and voila - married.

Getting divorced is easy. You throw your diamond ring with all your might at your ex's eye, get strange men buy you margaritas, sign your big fat maiden name beside the X, and presto - divorced.

But getting into the mindset of un-married, that weird transitional phase where you actually have to shave to have sex, is harder.

And surprisingly fun.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Facebook makes me suicidal.

If you have thus far avoided the vast, sucking hole that is Facebook, congratulations. You will never have to learn that your ex-lover got fat and bald and the guy you turned down in high school has just bought his second waterfront cottage.

You will also never know what your good friends, your creepy relatives, your casual acquaintances, people you vaguely remember fucking, and others you added because you were too embarrassed to admit you didn't recognize their names really think about you.

And by "think about you", I don't mean whether they think you're a decent person or a hard worker. I mean whether they want to make out with you, secretly or otherwise. Now, clearly this is a bit sketchy: you can't claim that only want to make out with your wife. You have to pick. And you have to pick between 2 random people on your friends list. So if Facebook asks if you would rather make out with the guy who lives across the hall from you whom everyone refers to as "Mr. B.O." or the old lady who runs your eczema support group, you have to choose.

Worse than choosing between two need-to-gargle scenarios is the fact that these very people are also making the same decisions about you. And then the results of hundreds of these decisions are published for everyone to see.

I discovered that 100% of my friends voted me "rather kiss" , "better body", "cooler", and "sexier", which is natural enough. Thankfully these were also tempered with "most entertaining", "smarter", and "funnier." All words I use in reference to myself on at least an hourly basis. What perplexed me was also scoring 100% of the votes for "rather get stuck in handcuffs with" (although, even I can admit that it IS a pretty likely scenario), "more likely to win in a fight", (okay, I do have a pretty kicky reputation), "can drink more" (jeez, you name one saint after alcohol and suddenly you're a lush) and "more likely to skip class" (let it go already!). And what worried me is that I got no votes at all for "well-mannered", "studies harder", or "better at science."

Oh, so I suck at science, do I?

Okay, so it's great that my friends know me so well. But aren't friends supposed to, you know, lie on your behalf? Pretend you're better than you are? Not give you suck-at-science complexes?

I was just about ready to saddle up my high horse and ride to my closest Facebookian's house, and pound on their door shouting obscenities until they either called the cops (how quickly those handcuffs make an appearance) or give me the votes I am due. I realize I've wasted lots of good years by not stumping for votes, not polling my friends, not having fancy dinners that raise millions of dollars in order to have me elected Most Honest.

Would it help if I got celebrity endorsements?

Now, I'm not saying that you should withdraw your votes for "rather sleep with". I still want to be your hottest friend. I just would also like to be more your most talented friend, most accomplished, smoothest legs (okay, that one doesn't exist yet, but it should) - and hell, just for shits and giggles, let's throw in most organized as well. Fuck I'm impressive. Or, I would be, if only my friends were better liars.

You know, as long as I'm here, I may as well just junk the so-called friends who dared point out the fact that I am not tech-savvy and accept applications for new friends. Facebook friends. The only qualifications you need is the ability to stretch the truth, a willingness to assume that I am the best singer and the best smelling, and above else - not be better looking than me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Why do I shave my legs before a job interview?

It's not like I applied at Player's Club or the Body Shop; smoothness of skin was not top on the list of desirable qualifications. In fact, none of the people I met with fondled me at all. No one commented on the intoxicating scent of my coconut body butter, no one eye-fucked the sexy toe-cleavage I had going on, no one had any trouble making or maintaining eye contact. It was all very proper.

And disappointing.

Why bother being beautiful when people are just going to look beyond that and judge you by your "skills" and "education" instead? What kind of world are we living in?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Heroes: too sexy for their own good?

Super Girl and Wonder Woman don their sturdy, practical

uniforms for another day of fighting crime and looking fabulous. Just a couple

of hours in hair and makeup and some craftily-applied two-sided

tape and these ladies are ready to go!

First stop: a pile of possibly hostile dead leaves, where the two

heroes confirm that indeed it is quite "nipply" out today, and Super Girl's

super mittens are not so funny after all. The cape, however, provides

little warmth.

A trip to the Tree of Truth puts both heroes on dangerous footing when

Wonder Woman feels compelled to confess that she loves the feel

of stalks between her legs and Super Girl sobs that

she really wanted to be a dentist. Luckily

they pull themselves together just in

time to save us all from

similar crimes of


The pressures of being scantily-clad super heroes

eventually gets to Super Girl and Wonder Woman, and they almost

come to blows in front of the Evil Giant CoffeeMaker of Doom.

Super Girl calls Wonder Woman out on her slut-boots and Wonder Woman

strikes back by pointing out the PVC-ness of a certain super skirt.

Exasperated, the CoffeeMaker of Doom steps in and

assures them that they're both equally skanky, which gives the girls the

confidence to combine their ho-bilities and conquer caffeine, thus

saving the world.

Eco-conscious Wonder Woman leaves her SUV at home and

rides her noble steed instead. The steed is

less than thrilled, but does it for the love of snausages.

The girls take a moment out of their hectic day to sit with Jesus in the hot tub.

They ask him important questions such as "If you're all-powerful, why
do super heroes exist?" and "Which one of us is hotter?" and "No really,
who would you rather do?"

After a long day of hero-ing, the girls

kick off their shoes at the spa and argue over who

most urgently requires the services of Manuel, waxer

extraordinaire. And I think we all know who won that fight.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Spilling Secrets

As a member of the mental health profession, I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but the truth is that therapy can cost upward of $140 an hour, but the supermarket sells cans of frosting for just $1.99. Not that I don't believe in the powers of psychotherapy, but if you really need to talk, then splurge on 2 cans of frosting and invite a friend to share.

True story.

This is not a post that I relish writing, and now that I've just used the word relish, I like it all the less, but here it is:

Jason and I have officially parted ways.

See? The world did not just implode. In fact, I have it on very good authority that it continues to turn, even in this very moment.

I have been purposely vague these past few months on two accounts. First, because it is a private struggle deserving discretion, and second because we were all the while testing the waters and coming to different conclusions almost daily.

But I think we have come to the realization that though we wish it could be different, separation seems to be what's best for both of us right now. While this is not a happy occasion, I believe that it is a good thing. I am fine, and I am working toward fabulous.

As a "widow of depression" as it were, I have certainly had some dark days recently, but I still have a heart full of love for Jason, so you needn't use the harsh words that are probably biting at the tip of your tongue. We will always have the years we shared, and always have mutual affection, but as I have said myself in the past, love is not enough.

You cannot help those who will not help themselves, so while I wish him the best, it's time to take care of Jay now. I'm moving on. Wiser souls than I have called this "healing", but I'm calling it "wearing slutty tops and making some bad decisions".

Oh relax, relax. I kid. Well, mostly. "Healing" may include the liberal application of cleavage-glitter. Time will tell.

For now, I can say that I woke up this morning feeling pretty damn good for a woman who has recently lost everything that ever mattered to her. And that's probably because I haven't actually lost everything (it just feels that way). Every day I remember something else that I have: old friends who reverse the charges when I need to vent, new friends who buy the splurge items I can't afford, family who indulge me more than I deserve, canned frosting and hot baths and kleenex with the lotion built right in to get me through the worst times, and patent leather heels to be admired in by droves of handsome men in the better days to come.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

By the time you get home, have a shower, have a post-work screw (or two), the sun has set and your belly is a-grumbling.

Cooking is out, obviously, because the big grocery store will be closed by the time you find the fare to get there and nobody likes riding the streetcar back, trying to juggle cold things in your lap while bearded men ogle your purchases, and while there is a 24-hour market not too far away, it would require walking past the guy selling dreamcatchers on the corner whom I've already made far too much eye contact with today, then past a bitter, heckling homeless man whose smell would ruin anyone's appetite, and past at least 3 Second Cups, and those devils float delicious whipped cream on top of everything, which means I'd need an iron will to even reach the market, and if by some miracle I held fast on the way there, I'd surely get lost in sweet, sweet nirvana on the way home.

Like most fridges, mine contains a jar of olives, some beer, some nail polish, little packets of soy sauce from the Chinese take-out down the street, and a half-empty bottle of mustard (you could call it half-full, but I think it's pretty stupid to waste optimism on mustard). Not exactly the fixings of a great repast. Luckily, however, I've got a little something in reserve. It's called a "cupboard" and its contents are perfect for the pinch. I start to salivate just thinking of the dozens, maybe hundreds of possibilities in contains. This is where I keep my take-out menus.

Living downtown seems opportunistic for the plethora of possibility, but the truth is closer to this: you can drown in choice.

In fact, what usually happens is that by the time I've flipped through all the menus once, eliminated the greek place for its skimpy use of feta, the thai place for consistently giving me heart-burn, and the pizza place across the street because, frankly, we just had it 2 nights ago, and narrowed it down to just 27 places that all sound equally appealing. Thankfully, in the time it's taken me to do the first run-through, half the places have now closed (what kind of old fogeys live in this city? no one else is hungry at 11:30 on a Wednesday night?) and we are slowly but surely chipping away toward choice.

The rotisserie chicken place we eventually settled on "guaranteed" that supper would be in our lobby in 40 minutes. But I wondered - where's the or else? If the chicken was not in the lobby at the appointed time, then what? They weren't saying 40 minutes or it's free. 40 minutes or we'll walk your dog or wash your feet or throw in a pair of flat-front chinos. What good is a guarantee if there's no repercussion? If they're 34 minutes late or don't show up until April or come bearing apricots instead of chicken, it would be all the same to them. It might cut into the delivery guy's tip a bit, but they're already charging $3.50 for the privilege of maybe bringing chicken to your house in 40 minutes so I'm not really feeling the guilt. The guilt from a pseudo-guarantee that's only hypothetically been breached.

Long story short: the chicken was punctual and delicious, but before you start getting all smug, let me just remind you that eating is a particular habit of mine, and it's inevitable that this scenario will be repeated again tomorrow night.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Riding the Rocket

Here in Toronto I am faced everyday with an inapporpriate nickname: The Rocket. The Rocket is what the TTC (our lovely public transportation) calls itself.

Now, rockets are characterized by a certain thrust, thanks to the ejection of fast moving fluids. Rockets are fast, sexy beasts. Who wouldn't want to be compared to them?

But comparisons should be reasonable...or at least remotely possible. On most days, however, calling the TTC "The Rocket" is like calling this guy "Tiny".

The TTC, often billed as "The Better Way", in reality usually "The Only Way", or else "My Car Wouldn't Start" or "Fuck, it's Raining", is not so much a rocket but an expensive, unreliable way to maybe get to where you're basically going, eventually. And sometimes not even that.

But I still have love for the TTC. I love the ding ding of the streetcar, the fact that the bus seats are so high my feet don't touch the ground, the varied, blurred artwork of the subway stations as you speed by.

But mostly it's the people-watching. $2.75 is a steep price to pay for being late to your appointments, but it's an excellent bargain for an afternoon of entertainment. And who wouldn't be entertained when 2 drunk guys get on the bus singing The Hockey Song and spend most of their commute rolling down the aisle? Or when the driver keeps a running commentary of all the "jerk drivers" who "nearly" kill him "all the feckin time". Or when everyone boarding the subway in the morning has the same look on their faces when sniffing the damp, musty smell of newly "cleaned" seats. Priceless.

I love how every subway car reliably has at least one person who is sleeping (like, really, snoringly, head-bobbingly sleeping), one person who is praying (like, really, devotedly, rosary-wieldingly praying), and 18 discarded coffee cups rolling around the floor leaving swirling, sticky puddles in their wake. And then a smattering of mothers yelling at their kids to stop licking the chrome, business drones clutching briefcases for dear life, shifty-eyed men rubbing their crotches conspicuously, and a guy taking up 3 seats trying to wrap a gift without the benefit of scissors or tape in between the Queen and Wellesely stops while juggling his cellphone and a cinnabon. Good times.

Keep on rockin the Rocket, Toronto.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Live from HoJo, it's Thursday Night!

Thursday is the new Friday.

I'm celebrating at the Howard Johnson.

The drapes are floral and the valance is plaid. Yeah, they're on the same window. Howard is hardcore like that. Matching is for fools.

Bobby Brown had a heart attack. No more humping around, I guess.

The "complimentary" plastic cups are having some strange chemical reaction with my Pepsi, and it's fizzing way more than is normal. I've resorted to "drinking" foam. I imagine my lungs slowly filling with it. That's a pretty undignified way to die, but let's face it - with my lifestyle, it's probably a step up from my probable fate.

The bathroom wallpaper has cuttings in it where bits of completely different wallpaper has been patched in. Most likely someone died pretty violently in there last week and Howard was too cheap to repaint completely, so they just took an exacto knife to the most obvious blood spatters and gray matter and saved themselves a couple bucks, which they did not pass on to the consumer. Ahem.

I notice that the bar of "hand soap" and the bar of "facial soap" look suspiciously familiar.

A package of Nabob is supplied for my coffee-drinking convenience. Nabob. Arguably, not actually coffee at all.

The ice bucket is laughably small. You couldn't keep so much as a bottle of water cold in there...but I think it might come in handy if I actually sever a finger.

Te faux-gold wall sconces are really classy, if a little crooked. I also appreciate the mirror that is strategically hung right across from the bed, where I am presently making myself comfortable and trying not to think about special investigations involving black lights. At first I kept winking at the hottie staring back, but now that I'm wearing my "complimentary" shower cap, I'm pretending to be a cafeteria worker, and she's much less sexy.

I love how the maid folds the end of the toilet paper into a charming little triangle. It really helps me to forget that perhaps just hours before someone else's butt cheeks were sitting in this very same place, and someone else's hands were fondling this same roll of paper, and the HoJo bastards are too cheap to replace it.

I never look under the bed when I stay in hotels. As an insomniac, I've been privy to a whole gamut of terrible late-night movies in which there is always a dead hooker under the hotel room bed. Or at the very least, a drippy condom.

I don't have to worry about not sleeping tonight, though. Howard provides his guests with "complimentary" white noise (ie, it's right next to a major (noisy) highway). Nice touch, HoJo. You've really thought of everything.

Okay, I took off the shower cap. It was making me giggle pretty loudly, and the neighbours aren't even having inappropriately loud, wall-banging sex to drown me out. Pity.

Well, I'd like to stay and chat, but it's getting late and I have to let Gideon out of the drawer and write corrupting footnotes in the margins.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wino Forever

On Thanksgiving, it is customary to be thankful, and boy was I ever.

Thankful, that is.

So I stood (well, it was mostly upright) and raised a glass (being careful not to spill a drop) and proposed a toast (what kind of verb is that anyway? I thought that "to toast" involved a stick, a marshmallow, and an open flame) - a toast to getting (and staying) drunk; a toast to the lushes and alcoholics who keep me company; the barware that twinkles so invitingly; the olives that provide sustenance during long, intense bouts; the bubbles that tickles inside your nose; the people who squint to see 2 or 3 fewer of you; that spot on the rug that will never be the same.

Three cheers for Crown Royal, makers of fine whiskey, whiskey so fine it makes you try to lick the freckles off your own shoulder.

Huzzah to Grey Goose, a vodka that I can only hope comes into no contact whatsoever with actual geese, and that gets shaken (not stirred) with such vim that I feel humbled to worship before such dry, dirty perfection.

And to the 6 or so bottles of n;adkspkj white wine (either a very strange name indeed, or my eyesight was at this point failing me) that was meant to go well with the turkey, if only I had remembered to make it (but it went well with the pie - okay, I admit it - pies).

Anyway, long story short: ain't nothin like a little sauce for the holidays.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old

So the other day I'm talking to my friend Sean who was telling me about this magazine article about people under 30 who've made their millions or climbed their way to the top or made some significant contribution to society and he was practically pissing himself with admiration.

He didn't think my attitude quite cut the mustard.

"What's wrong with you?" he asked. "That's some impressive shit."

But if Sean thought that I was going to be happy for these people, he thought wrong. I'm way too busy being jealous.

You won't hear me admit that very often, but yeah. Jealous. Instead of thinking "Wow, good for them" I think "What the hell is wrong with me?"

When you're trying to get pregnant, you look at other women's bellies with envy, maybe a little resentfully, but probably not with full gladness of the heart.

I feel the same way about success. I'm mostly concerned about my own ambitions! I'm ready to give birth, dammit! When will it be my turn?

Screw those other pregnant bastards, my clock is a-ticking.

Loudly. Except I don't know want no damn baby.

They say writing a book is like having a baby, only with a longer gestation period, more alcohol, and no epidural.

I've always hoped to be published by 30, but in order for that to happen, I probably should have finished writing it, like, yesterday. But I didn't.

I know my Ovaries of Creativity are not about to dry up. I know that logically. But logic is for losers and under-achievers. Me, I'm a dreamer. And a little unrealistic. And very self-critical. And pretty lazy. So while I may have dreamed of being published by 30, I've never dreamed of spending hours at my desk, pulling my hair out. I don't dream of follow-through, or discipline, or writer's block, or paper cuts, or actual hard work. I waste my nights dreaming of creamy cheeses and naked firefighters instead (and while I don't regret those, they're not exactly productive).

My Creative Fertility is at its peak. So, again I ask: what the hell is wrong with me?

.....Maybe don't answer that.

Never too early (or too late) to buy your mother a vibrator.

Note the date and time: I just saw my first Christmas commercial.

It was for a "shower head" that wasn't even pretending not to be a bath-based masturbatory experience. All for just $19.99!

Monday, October 01, 2007


My favourite word in English is corpuscle. Corpuscle. Mm. What a meaty little word. It starts in the back of my throat and ends up vibrating in my stomach. Corpuscle corpuscle corpuscle. Corpuscular. Corpusculous. Corpuscularity. God, it's exciting. It's a thrill just to say.

My favourite word in French is pneu. What a delight for the tongue - such complexity in just 4 little letters. You can say and resay the word until your lips tingle and the word loses all meaning and still it's a pleasure.

Perhaps I have a p-fascination, which is queer because as a much younger version of my current self, I was most obsessed with the letter M because I thought it was so pretty in cursive. I am probably too swayed by the prettiness of letters - it was the deciding factor in how I should hyphenate my last name. Originally Jason's name was to go first, we thought it sounded better, but after weeks of practicing, I still couldn't make a convincing cursive T, and so we flipped the names, and there you have it. (Now I rather think that my cursive Ts are more pleasing than my cursive Es, but let's just keep that between you and me.)

My M-mania has long passed, but once upon a time every character I wrote about was named Melissa and every time I played Barbies mine was called Marcia (it was apparently lost on me that Barbie was already named, well, Barbie). And despite the obvious arousal the letter P elicits for me, I've never dated Peter, Paul, or Mary. Well, you know what I mean.

Yeah, I know I'm weird.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Ocean is a Giant Grave

I was watching this old news footage of a dying whale beached somewhere near Vancouver and it really bothered me that all these people in business suits were on the beach, taking time out of their morning commute to watch and touch a whale who was taking its last breaths. It seemed awful to me that this beast was not dying with dignity, had become a side-show in its last moments and that people just naturally assumed they had a right to witness what should probably be a very private moment, even if it is a whale. Or maybe because it is a whale. It's not a human, so how dare we impose our own (lack of) morals upon it?

Then I wondered what a "normal" whale death consisted of. Do they go belly-up and sink to the bottom? I imagined what the ocean floor would look like with thousands of hundred-tonne whale carcases strewn around. But then I wondered if perhaps they tended to float, like a human body, if it fills with gases and rises to the top and bakes in the sun. And then I figured that whale or not, in death it would probably become food pretty quickly, and somehow I find that a comforting thought, like the deep-sea version of "dust to dust."

They say all dogs go to heaven, but I wonder if heaven has a place for whales, and if so, it must be a pretty big place. I mean, the world is overpopulated with just the people who live here now - imagine how big it would have to be to accommodate the souls of all the dead people and animals who came before. I think it must be crazy to be rubbing shoulders with dinosaur ghosts. I don't think you'd have to worry about getting eaten though, because you have to be on your best behaviour in heaven. Probably heaven is like a party after everyone's had a few hits from the same bong, mellow and polite, a little stunned, but you forget about grudges and grievances and just wink at each other an awful lot.

If there was a beached whale in downtown Toronto, I wonder if I'd go. I mean, it's easy to be outraged by the whale's invasion of privacy when it's all the way in Vancouver and the only ocean for 1700km is in a small vial on the top shelf of my closet, smuggled in from a trip to the Caribbean, but what if it was right here? An accident always attracts a crowd. I don't usually like to gawk, but we're talking whale here: the closest to a mythical beast as we are ever likely to get. They've been around for millions of years, and can apparently live longer than we can, if only we'd stop killing them, and man, if they could talk, imagine what they would tell us! But whales are excellent at keeping secrets, so we can only guess, but they fascinate us so we build theme parks and cheesy movies in their honour. They're like fish, but not. And they sing so beautifully we bottle it and pipe it into spas.

I think I remember reading somewhere that some cultures revere whales and hold funerals for beached whales, and I can't help but think of how beautiful it would be on a beach at night, with hundreds of people holding flickering candles, the smell of the salt water and the sound of little splashes with the water lapping on the beach, trying to reclaim one of its own, and the low hum of sad voices, and this huge, mysterious creature lying in the middle of it, still slippery, seaweed still clinging to its body, sandy and sparkling in the moonlight. And then, perversely, I think of the size of the calluses on the hands of whatever poor sucker is roped into digging the grave.

But then I'm sad that this poor whale has to die alone, without his mummy or his wife, or his close "companion" or whatever. I think most of like to picture ourselves going quietly, maybe even in our sleep, in our nice warm beds with a loved one's arms wrapped around us. And while whales don't have arms, I like to think that they have their prefered death rituals too, and being poked by curious investment bankers wearing suspenders and appearing in the latest youtube video probably doesn't factor into it.

I hope, at the very least, that the whale can close its eyes and think of a happy, kelpy place, and as he drifts into whatever afterlife awaits him, that he's swum a few good laps, eaten some succulent fish, and given at least one Ahab a run for his money.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

How to discover your underwear is inside out in 12 easy steps:

1. It was a nothing-special kind of day, so I chose my underwear accordingly. I picked a so-so pair, not the big ones that I only wear when I'm grumpy or bloaty (or god forbid, both) and not the cute ones that I was saving for going-outness. Just a plain-jane pair of panties, high cut with blue and orange stripes which I learned the hard way not to wear underneath white linen skirts.

2. Jason doesn't think I should bother with the cute underwear when going out with someone other than him. I think it makes him nervous. But they say beauty comes from within, and though I'm pretty sure that's an ugly chick's way of saying that personality counts, I prefer to interpret it in the foundation-garment kind of way. Lingerie makes the outfit, even if you're the only one who knows it. It puts the grrr in you. But husbands think fancy panties should be just for them.

3. This is a case of what I like to call "boy logic", also known as "flawed logic" or else "not logic at all". I like for my underwear to match the occasion, and let's face it, if you party hard enough, at some point your underwear is going to be showing. This is an important life lesson that I have learned along the way (unfortunately, I internalized it during my commando phase but luckily this was in the age before digital photography).

4. I recently revamped my whole underwear drawer after my eureka-discover of the hipster panty. But then my sock drawer looked sad, so I've been refreshing it too, one pair at a time. But then I realized that I needed some of those short little ankle socks that you wear with your yoga capris to make your calves look slimmer, and the thing about athletic socks is that they're always sold in bunches, like bananas. As if you could have no use for one banana or one pair of tiny socks. Fruit of the Loom does socks now too, I guess, and they've taken it upon themselves to provide the two-tone sock. Was there a rash of sock tragedies that I didn't hear about? Millions of people where mis-wearing their socks, creating untold havoc, and possibly bunion aggravation, and Fruit of the Loom thought this is our fault for making socks uniformly white. If only we could colour the toe-part and the heel-part gray, and the gray would be like a beacon to the people: toe goes here! heel goes here! And all the sock tragedies would dry up and we would all live happily ever after. And from what I can tell, that's exactly what happened.

5. Obviously Fruit of the Loom takes us all for a bunch of retards, but I could live with their toe-goes-here philosophy of life, if only an even greater atrocity had not been committed by these fruity bastards (do you think the apple costume is going to make me back down? you're not so cute, apple. the grape guy, maybe, but I could take him. I could take the whole fruit salad). The latest in sock technology is the resealable bag. Resealable! To keep the freshness in? I'm perplexed for two reasons: first, I always assumed the bag was just packaging to keep the socks together until you got them home, put them in your sock drawer, and then started losing them one by one over the weeks and months and years like everyone else. Do other people not have sock drawers? Do you just have bags of socks strewn about your house? And second, assuming that there are some people out there who do keep their socks in bags instead of drawers, are you really afraid the socks will go stale if you don't keep the bag closed tight?

6. With 6 new pairs of socks, it was clear my socks:pants ratio was vastly out of sorts, and so a-panting did I go. It used to be that all you needed to know was your size, and perhaps your height, and you were set, but lately the world of pants has exploded into considerations such as how fond you are of ass-crack, camel toe, and whether you like your thighs to look like sausage barely contained in its casing, or sausage ready to burst out of its casing. To "help" make it "easier" to shop for pants, they've now given arbitrary names to the pants. The only trouble is, every store has its own cheesy naming process. One store names all of their pants after cities - there, I find I am a 'Rome' and that the people of Chicago must have a very strange idea of pants. But the next store has its own set or rules and you have to shove your ass into a whole new round of pants all over again.

7. I see by the Old Navy commercials that they too have jumped aboard the naming process with Diva, Flirt, and Sweetheart jeans, "something for everyone." Next to diva and flirt, 'sweetheart' sounds very much like a synonym for 'fat friend', doesn't it? And in the commercial the diva has a man practically sucking on her toes, and the flirt is touching up her makeup as a man looks on and imagines what her lipstick will look like on his cock, and the sweetheart...the poor sweetheart has a puppy. No one wants to get with the sweetheart. The commercial, in 30 seconds or less, condemns the sweetheart to die alone with her predilection for covering her kooch and leaving ample room for hips and thighs. Sigh. I think I'll stop wearing pants just on principle.

8. Or not. Generally people make a big stink about 'no shirts, no service' but pants seem to be optional. Nevertheless, for propriety's sake, and for my fondness for spending other people's money, I obligingly will continue to wear pants. But I refuse to be a sweetheart, which I am sure is to be our generations word for 'spinster' and will soon be only spoken in hushed tones and italics.

9. I finally found some unnamed cargo capris, but there was a hitch: as I headed for the change room, I prepared myself for the incongruity of low-rise pants over underwear that are not. What I did not prepare myself for was the big blue ribbon that floated up out of my ass. Like a dog chasing its tail, I twirled around a few times trying to identify this unknown entity, and found that it was the (rather large) tag of my underwear, and that I had indeed been wearing my underwear not just high on my hips but all the way inside out the whole day long.

10. Half naked in the dressing room, I was hit with a wave of self-pity, and not the usual I-hate-my-belly-god-why-did-I-have-that-extra-piece-of-cake-damn-that-button's-about-to-blow way, either. No, I pitied myself for having the kind of day where I could walk around with my most basic, most intimate layer just completely in the wrong and never even know it. It can't be a good omen, can it, to be rubbing on the wrong side, seams pointing outward, everything in disarray. Life cannot be right when your underwear is wrong.

11. Which begs the question: if you have worn your underwear inside out for more than half the day, do you even bother switching it? Keep in mind I am still in the dressing room, which is the vilest place there is for being naked, not wanting to put your butt where other butts have been (not even wanting to put your feet where other feet have been, but what choice have you got?). And so you hop on one foot while trying to insert the other into an unfamiliar hole (ahem), which may or may not even be the right size, and which as almost certainly be folded or tagged in such a way as to make you trip or fall over, the pressure of which springs open the unreliable change room door and there you lie on the grubby floor, pants around your ankles, breasts splayed for all to see, forcing you to purchase hundreds of dollars of clothes just to ease your embarrassment and make it all seem worthwhile (but in reality, the overpriced blouses will hang droopily in your closet, unworn, until you donate them to goodwill 3 years later, with the tags still on). Or something like that.

12. Long story short, I threw the underwear out. I mean, obviously they're cursed. I have no need for underwear that have it out for me. I get enough shit from my vests.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

One Book-Orgasm After Another

When shopping for a new purse, I kid myself by measuring strap length, zipper durability, goes-with-clothesiness, ease of opening and closing, whether it will bump on my ass when perched on shoulder or give me uni-boob if wear the strap diagonally across my chest, etc, but in reality, only one thing truly matters: whether it is big enough to hold a book, and hopefully two.

Recently I have been living the life of a nomad (a nice smelling nomad, it goes without saying) so the bigness of my bag has been of even more importance than normal. Purse-packing really sets your priorities straight. I will take my chances and leave the umbrella at home in favour of a book. My god, I will leave behind my cell phone, my gum, and 3 out of 5 tubes of lipgloss to make room for whatever I'm reading. I'll even leave the tampons on the table - and girls, you know what kind of trouble you're asking for when you leave the house ill-prepared! But there are few places I'd really want to be book-less, and many places where I'd probably go nutty without one: just in the past 30 days I've taken 3-hour subway rides, waited in a walk-in clinic, stood in line to return stuff behind 25 or so other people waiting to do the same, been trapped in an elevator, spent a lunch hour indoors while it rained, and met a chronically-late friend for drinks at a pub. I suppose other people use this down-time to, oh, bite their nails or develop neuroses or whatever, but me, I prefer to expand my mind and enrich my thoughts and culture my intellect. It's just a thing I have.

And lately, this thing has been lucky. I have been buried under a veritable orgy of literate. My book-karma is through the roof. I mean, I'll be the first to admit that I am not a book critic. I read a book wanting to love it. If bibliophilia was a crime, I'd be locked away, which is a shame since what I've seen from prison movies, the reading selection consists mainly of condensed reader's digests and other depressing material. But the god of words smiles down upon me because I am free to lust after as many books as I please. Lately I have encountered so many incredibly good books, I've just wanted to hole myself up in my room and never leave until my eyes start bleeding, which I rather hope wouldn't be for a while, and certainly not before the climax. But keeping a good book to yourself is a rather selfish, masturbatory experience whereas I have always been a giver. I like to share my good fortune with as many people as possible, which is why I started my book review site six months ago. However, I continue to get emails asking me which books I'm currently reading, which leads me to believe that people are a lot sillier than they appear. Check my sidebar. See the Quickie Book Reviews? Click on any of the titles and it will magically tell you whether to love it or leave it.

I've recently read my 108th book this year, so there are lots of titles to choose from. If you'd like to recommend something, please do so. If you've already read something featured there, please comment and share! Don't make me moon over my author-crushes all alone!

I know I can't be the only one getting my rocks off on books. What's the last thing you read that gave you the shivers?