Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Fuckfest, Hunks of My Youth

Today's post is brought to you by the letter C, for all the cheesy 80s sitcoms that inspired the posters that adorned the unicorn wallpaper of my childhood bedroom.

Kirk Cameron.

Were there any sweeter words to my 8 year old heart?
Not even when a pre-pubescent Leonardo DiCaprio joined the cast of Growing Pains did my crush diminish.

Of course, if I had been a more avid Tiger Beat reader, I may have fallen out of love a little quicker: not only did he stop growing when he was 12, not only is he a vegetarian with 6 kids, but he's an ardent member of the Christian Right.

Oh well, I still standby my claim: in 1986, Mike Seaver was the shit.

Sure Rudy was a cutie patootie and Cliff's sweaters were da bomb, but there was on reason we watched The Cosby Show so faithfully, and that was Denise.

Lisa Bonet played the sexy and surprising bad girl of the Cosby household, and boy did I love to watch her dance around during the show's opening credits.

But then she very carefully shattered her girl-next-door image by posing naked and slurping all over Lenny Kravitz, which killed her career but inspired chubbies all over North America.

Charles in charge of our days and our nights...
Oh, if only Charles had been in charge of me. But no, my babysitter was a weirdo who once fed my sister plant fertilizer, who ate it because she "thought it looked like cotton candy." True story.

But I digress. Scott Baio was the epitome of "teen idol" and through the magic of syndication, you could get your fill of Charles (and Chachi) whenever I wanted.

And I sing, I want,
I want Charge in Charge of me.

Okay, so I was a little infatuated with Tony Danza too, but the real hottie of Who's The Boss was without a doubt Alyssa Milano.
She started out on the show as a bit of a tomboy, but Sam quickly grew to be a true vamp.

I remember that I got my first training bra the same week she did on the show, and then, week after week, we seemed to watch her fill hers out. Hubba hubba!

And finally, what list would be complete without the awe and adulation owed to Uncle Jesse?

John Stamos was the P.I.M.P. of Full House, and every little girl thought she'd grow up to marry someone just like him (and preferably, him).

We loved him when he sang, we loved when he channeled The King and swivelled his hips, we loved him when he revved his motorcycle, and damn, we even loved him despite his mullet.

....Have mercy!

Truth telling time: who were you crushing on when you were a kid?

Thursday, March 29, 2007


If I like something, I prefer to like it a lot, over and over again, oh, oh, oh.
But multiples aren't just for orgasms anymore!
While Jason recovers from a mysterious case of carpal tunnel syndrome, I have found myself hoarding things all around the house. Books, movies, shoes...these do not count. Everyone has a zillion of those.

These are my journals, but only the active ones. I have lots of others that are already filled, so I put them away in "storage" , which means I don't know which mouldy box in which dark, no doubt spidery corner, they are currently hidden. And I'm probably not so much "storing" them as allowing them to die slow deaths due to mildew and neglect. But despite the fact that I'll probably never have the urge to reread any of my journals, I keep filling them up as if I will. The pink one is where I write down my thoughts for the day, the big one is a Guided Journal, which was a gift, and seems an oxymoron to me, the paisley-ish one on the bottom chronicles my travels, and the others are filled with poetry and short prose that will never see the light of day (the blue floral one is my oldest, circa 1994). Every single one of them will be burned upon my death.

This, I am afraid, is concrete proof of my lameness. Actually, it's more Jason's lameness than my lameness, although I might be even lamer for going along with it.
Jason likes these games because finally he has someone to play with. He grew up an only child, so because he had none, board games took on this mythical status in his solitary brain. When we first moved in together, we had one clock radio, one dented saucepan, and 2 pillows. Jason's first purchase was Monopoly. I have hated it ever since.

This is my work uniform.
I spend most of my life in pajama bottoms, and they seem to multiply in the drawer. I think I have about a dozen pairs in this picture, which is just the tip of the iceberg. I have lots of holiday-themed bottoms as well, but I always put them away with the decorations because otherwise I'd never get the drawers closed.
I also have a vast array of sleeping boxers, and pajama capris. The blue stripes and pink polka dots in the middle are my absolute favourites because the fabric is so light. I have a lot of bottoms, but no tops. Jason doesn't think tops are necessary, but when I'm trying to work, I sometimes put on a cami or a sports bra because I still haven't learned to type with my tits, but they sure do get in the way.

Ah, recipes. Recipes are like my porno. I get all tingly just thinking about them. I'm not a cookbook kind of girl though, I prefer to get right to the point. If someone gives me a cookbook, I flip through, find anything worth making, copy out the essentials, and then toss (well, donate) the book. The only book I've ever held onto is my Cake Bible, mostly because it really is like a bible to me, and a little because I can't believe Jason spent so much money on it.
To house my many recipes, I have 3 different boxes at the moment (the black is for dessert, the purple is for side dishes and appetizers, and the hand-painted one is for main courses) but am in need of a few more. But I'm just not feeling the plastic ones...who knows where the pretty boxes hide?

My elastic ball is either my secret shame or my pride and joy, and I can never quite decide which. I started it back in high school with one lone elastic wrapped around the tab from a pepsi can. There's no telling how many elastics it now comprises, but the ball just barely fits in the palm of my hand anymore.
My elastic ball has strict rules for growing: I can only use elastics found in my mail, or on my veggies - broccoli and green onions are best. She grows slowly, but steadily, and every time I pick her up, I am impressed by her heft.

This is my underwear drawer. I wrote the other day that I have 37 pairs of panties, and yet, upon closer inspection, I actually have many more. There were some hiding in the laundry, some in an overnight bag, a lot more "fancy panties" in my lingerie drawer, and oddly enough, I was even wearing a pair at the time.
I didn't know I was hoarding underwear until I cleaned out my drawer, threw a bunch out, and still had a 2-month supply! I feel I should take a vow not to buy too many more pairs, but I also found a La Senza giftcard while cleaning, so I may as well not make promises to myself that I'm already planning on enjoying breaking.

One addiction I will admit to is to lipstick - or lipgloss, or lip stain, lip cream, lip topping. The only thing I don't indulge in is lip liner, because nothing makes you look like a drag queen faster. Nothing.

Finding the perfect shade is divine, and nothing makes me happier than trying to find it. My favourite hue at the moment is Sheer Pomegranate, which looks prettier on my pout than it does in the kiss. I have dozens of colours in my makeup bag, but dozens more hidden all over the house and the car so I can touch up my kisser any time I need to, and sometimes when I don't. My only regret at the moment is not having the perfect shade of red - but a girl's got to have something to live for, right?

This is my sparkle wall. This is the space is my home that never fails to make me happy. When Jason thinks I'm feeling loopy, he sends me there to take it in. I don't have enough hooks for all my jewelry, but that's not a problem since most of it is busy accessorizing - not just my neck and wrists and fingers, but also my medicine cabinet, my bookcase, the side of the sink, the windowsill in the kitchen, the console in the car, and especially the nightstand, where Jason's big man hands fumble with the tiny clasps. I think I've said before that actual jewelry - gold and diamonds - is not my thing, and that's true. I would rather splash myself with happiness and colour.
My passion causes me to go a little overboard sometimes, but if I am occasionally guilty of over-accessorizing, well...who gives a damn? I'm a sparkly girl, and I like it that way.

There it is. I've come clean. But I can't be the only hoarder in the bunch, can I? Do tell: what multiples are you responsible for?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

He said, She shouts.

Jamie says

Jason says

Jason, did you shave in my panties?
What? No!
Well then who did? This looks suspiciously like your whiskers in my panties.
Oooooohhhh, well, you left your panties in the sink. Not my fault.
I was washing them! Couldn't you have maybe moved them before shaving?
Well now I'm going to be walking around with your prickly beard in my crotch all week!
You like it.


Did you do something different with your hair?
It looks different.
No it doesn't. I didn't do anything to it today.
Yes you did.
What, this? These are just the sex tangles left over from this morning.

Oh. So....I did it then?


Ohmigod, take this wooden spoon away from me!!
Because ever since I picked it up this afternoon, I've been tapping it all over the place.
Should that have made sense to me?

I mean, I used it to tap some Johnny Cash in the sink, and then I tapped some JayZ on the frying pan, and then I tapped Blondie on the spice rack and Cheap Trick on the light fixture.
And don't forget the Finger Eleven on my ass.
Oh yeah. I totally tapped that ass.


So I'm talking on the phone to my friend Mer, who obviously finds me quite boring as she is doing a crossword while listening to my tale of having eaten my weight in dill pickles this week. She asks me what the largest human muscle is.

Hmm. I'm not sure....Jason!!!

What is the largest human muscle?
It's right here, baby, come take a look!
You know, I can't even see you, but I'm pretty sure I know what you're pointing at.


What's wrong?
What's wrong?
I'm freaking out!
Well, I can see that, but why?
Did you spill pepsi on the couch?
Did your knee seize up?
Did someone on TV say 'funky'?
N - actually, yes. That's exactly it.
Shhh, there there, it's going to be okay.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Anywhere the Wind Blows

Last weekend Jason and I had tickets to see the Queen musical that's brand new to Toronto, We Will Rock You at the Canon theatre.

Did they rock us? Yes, they did.

It was very likeable, but it's a jukebox musical, so if you go in wanting to compare it to Les Miserables, you will be disappointed.
But if you love Queen songs (and really, who doesn't?) and want to be entertained, this one fits the playbill.
The cast was great - special kudos to Yvan Pedneault (a french-tongued Galileo), Erica Peck (uber-cute Scaramouche), and Alana Bridgewater (fellow fat-bottomed girl).
The show was so rockin that the floor of the theatre reverberated (the last time I was there, it was still called Pantages, and I saw The Phantom of the Opera); my knees knocked together for hours afterward. The only complaint I really had was that it tried a little too hard to be "Canadian" relevant, and that it shamefully went for some easy jokes (including naming a big, black, well-built, handsome man Britney made me flinch every single time).

Anyway, since last weekend was also St. Patrick's day, we went out for drinks afterward (Jason drank Guinness, and I drank some green martinis until I switched to a drink called The Rocket, which was the sugariest drink I have ever had the misfortune of tossing down the old gullet, but they got the job done because by the time we called a cab, I could no longer negotiate the curb of Yonge Street or remember how to sit upright without being visited by the Queasy Fairy.

Anyway. Jason was in fabulous Brampton (stripper capital of Canada) on business this weekend, staying in luxury accommodations with such features as:
  • fire alarm
  • ice machine
  • lighting
  • colour television
  • clock radio!
So since he was abandoning me, I insisted that he spend the week banking quality time - even in the rain.
Poor Queen's Park. Not only is it flooded, it appears to be the site of a Squirrel Uprising. But it's worth trespassing on Squirrel Territory to get to Bloor St W, home to BMV Books, otherwise known as Jamie's Wet Dream, where I bought Jason lots of travel reading, for the rare moments not spent stuffing dollar bills into g-strings.

Then I also guilted him into visiting the Bata Shoe Museum (do I know how to milk this or what?).
I thought it was good, but not great. I complained to Jason that it was nice to see so many historic shoes, but surely there would be merit in some contemporary masterpieces as well, and he felt that I was being "stupid" since if we wanted to see 20th century shoes, we could have saved our $16 and stayed home to clean out our closets. I did enjoy the famous shoe section, and was inspired to see a shoe worn by the incomparable Terry Fox, and sandals belonging to Pierre Trudeau.

Anyhoo. My movie (well, Adam Sandler's new movie) Reign Over Me finally opened on Friday, and as tradition has dictated since I was 12 years old, I had to be there opening night. I told Jason to stay home and get sleep before his trip, but he knew better than to leave me under the Adam spell all alone, so he took me out like a good boy.

The movie is amazing, by the way. It's a very cool thing to sit in an audience full of people, and all of us grieve together, and laugh together, and try to pretend like we're not all sobbing together and wiping our eyes with rough paper napkins from the concession stand together.

All in all, I've seen and done some exciting things this week, and I hope you have too.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cash Poor, Life Rich

Kim has given me the Thinking Blogger Award, which, if you ask me, is fraud. Kim, I know this is not an award at all, just your attempt to trick me into doing a meme. A meme! Don't think you can get anything past me. But since I'm feeling generous, I'll make this one-time exception.

So yesterday I was at the grocery store to pick up another 4L of milk since Jason is apparently going through another growth spurt, and I stood in line at the 8 items or less lane, behind a gentleman who complained that the package of spaghetti that was scanning in at 88 cents was actually advertised at 77 cents. My eyes were practically rolling involuntarily because really, is 11 cents worth a price check? But then I thought: what if 11 cents is meaningful to this man?

I have been poor myself, or at least, I have felt poor.

When I was a kid, we were poor.
Not living in the ghetto, eating white rice and honey poor, but poor.
What we had, we had because my mother took my father's meagre paycheque and worked magic (well, more like made personal sacrifices) with it. She somehow managed to meet the needs of 6 pretty needy people, but I felt (comparatively) poor. There are lots of things I would have liked but never asked for, because I was embarrassed. Poverty embarrassed me; my parents lived paycheque to paycheque, and with 4 kids and a hefty mortgage, I don't know what would have happened if my father had ever lost his job.

When my parents divorced, we went from poor to poorer, because my father didn't believe in child support. My mother went to work to provide for her family, but as is usually the case, the hardest workers are paid the least. What little she had, she gave to her kids. She went without for many years, and I know that I could not have been so strong.

But when I left the house, I knew I was on my own. My mother had always told us that there was no college fund for us kids; if we wanted an education, we'd have to fend for ourselves. I earned every scholarship I possibly could, and I paid no tuition in all my years of school, but I did have to take out loans just so that I could live while learning.

There were weeks and months when I didn't live much - I ate baloney and wore my jeans until the crotch fell right out of them and cut my own hair. I lost my licence because I couldn't afford to renew it, and some friends because I couldn't afford to drink with them. I worked while I went to school, and I kept a roof over my head and food in my belly, and when I had my diploma in hand, I thought it was all worth it, and I kept on being that naive until I went out to look for a job, and found out that being poor would keep me from earning money.

I may have been qualified and passionate for the work, but if I didn't have a car, or at least a licence, there was no place for me. When a 47-cent box of mac and cheese was a staple of my diet and I couldn't afford to shop in the place where I worked, I believed that the poverty had a point to it. I thought I was working toward something. But we live in a world where money begets money, and I didn't have much. If you drive drunk and kill someone with your car, you can keep driving as long as you can afford to hire a good lawyer, but if you're poor, your licence can be removed just for being poor.

Canada is a great, rich country, and I wouldn't trade it for any other, but the truth is, there are still inequities here, and what I have experienced doesn't begin to scrape the bottom of the barrel. On the subway the other day, I saw a poster that said If this is a land of opportunity, why is an MBA driving a taxi? Officially, this was on behalf of immigrants, but whether you've been a Canadian for 3 days or 3 generations, if you don't come from money, it's very hard to get your hands on it, no matter how hard you're willing to work.

But when you're getting into social work, like I was attempting to do, you know you're not in it for the money. I wanted to help. And, having a degree in psychology, previous volunteer and work experience in the field, as well as a personal history of coping with the transition between an abusive household and an impoverished single-parent one, I thought I was in a good position to make a difference. The fact that I had taken out a $60 000 loan to earn maybe $30 000 a year in the non-profit sector wasn't an issue for me, because I felt good about making a contribution. But sadly, I was told that until I put myself further into debt to buy a car I didn't particularly want (and couldn't drive since I couldn't afford the licence either), I would not be hired in my field.

It took 4 months to find a great job that I was excited about starting, and I did it with the modest start-up capitol of one fabulous power suit for interviews, and a few sheets of bus tickets. To be hired, I would also need $26 for a criminal background check and $110 for a first aid certificate.

But then I got sick. As one surgery led to another, and the months of rehabilitation and pain stretched on, I was unable to work. The small emergency savings that we'd had was quickly gone, and soon we were selling possessions just to pay the rent. It was hard, and only got harder when Jason lost his job for taking time off to be with me in the hospital. We gave up our cell phones to pay for my prescriptions, and then we gave up cable to pay for my physical therapy. Every week we went to the pawn shop so that we could eat: goodbye DVD player, Jason's watch, then his palm pilot, and the laptop. Pretty soon the only thing we seemed to have left were my tears, and it's too bad they weren't worth anything, because those I had in abundance.

It was devastating, but the student loan sharks don't care if you're having a major medical crisis, they just keep calling. So when we eventually cancelled our landline and pawned the phones, it was a bit of relief. We were possession-poor but rich in love, thank god. Thank god we had each other, because when you don't have anything else, your only solace is that you aren't alone.

Eventually we even gave up our home in Ottawa, and moved to a small town where Jason's earning power would be diminished, but my health care would be more accessible. We had a lot of tough years, and there were some days I didn't see how we would possibly make it through. But we did.

By the time I was able to work again, Jason didn't want me to. He knew I was disillusioned with social work. And though I volunteer in the field today, I will not volunteer for any organization that refused to hire me. Yes, it's selfish. Yes, it's prideful. Yes, it's the one thing that keeps me sane. Ultimately, Jason knew I should be writing, and he's the reason I'm able to. He supports me, knowing it means we won't have much money in the meantime, and knowing that the pay-off is never a certainty.

We're in a much better place today. Jason makes a really good living, and once in a while I surprise us all by actually selling some words. We don't have to haggle over 11 cents, at any rate. But no matter how much we have now, or in the future, we will always remember the days when all we had was each other.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This One Goes Out To The One I Love

Dear Jason,

You're still the one. You're the only one.
You're the man who matters in my life.

Loving you is a physical sensation, like rocks in my chest, rubbing against each other, throwing off sparks. My heart is an organ I can actually feel when I think of you; it grows larger when you're around, swollen with all the good times and the bad, both equally precious because it's you.

Sometimes you are so quiet you scare me, but when you do speak, your words are like gifts. Your compliments are meaningful; when you say I'm beautiful, I flutter. When you say you love me, I know I'm the luckiest woman in the world.

I still choose you every single day, and I want to be the person you keep choosing too. You are the wisest choice I have ever made, and I will spend the rest of my life living up to it.

I never thought I could be with just one person, but from the moment I put my heart in your pocket, I knew it couldn't be any other way. I want always to be beside you, where the world makes sense to me just before it melts away.

You kill me with your kindness, you always have. It makes me proud to be attached to your goodness. You are without a doubt the best part of me, and when you put your arms around me and tell the world I'm yours, I can't imagine that anything else exists.

You are the strongest man I will ever know. You love me so fearlessly, even when you don't understand me, even when you don't know the best course, even when you think I've lost my fucking mind. I know what you've given up, I see the sacrifices you continue to make. If I am to be successful in this life, it will have been to make sure that I am worthy.

I remember the first time we kissed. Your lips were so soft, you tickled mine with yours and I was instantly on fire, and then you crushed me with them, and I wished that they would never leave my body, and they never have. When my lips are bruised from yours, I wear the bruise like a badge of honour.

You are the only protection from the world I will ever need. I see that you hurt when I hurt, and it touches me. You will always have my back, you will always defend me, you will always put me first. I don't think I really understood trust before there was you, but now I feel it as firmly as I feel your hand when you guide me through a crowded room.

I lose hours of my day just thinking of you, devising new ways to get your hands on my skin, wanting to belong to you, and be longed by you. I want to feel your breath in my ear and smell your scent on my sheets and see the lines around your eyes when you smile.

Your laughter is the only reward I will ever need to earn. No amount of money, no awards ceremony will ever compare.

I didn't know what I had at first, but I sure am glad you talked me into loving you. I am a strong and independent woman - I could live without you, but I know with certainty that I wouldn't want to. You make every day worth getting up for. I laugh more, I sing louder, I have more joy than I know how to fit in our little apartment. I know it overflows, I can tell by the way other women look at me when we're walking arm in arm. I don't blame them. Seven years later and I'm even more attracted than I ever was before. It still thrills me to touch you, and be touched by you. I wasn't looking for you, but I found you anyway, and though you know I'd do anything to keep you, I'll never have to, because I'm already the only one you want.

You are the reason I know god exists. Love like this is no accident. But it is overwhelming sometimes. I think about the past 7 years, and how lucky I've been, and then I marvel that we might share another 70, and I can't begin to imagine what they'll bring, but I know that as long as we're together, life will be an adventure worth having.

I love you. I know I don't say it often enough, I hate the mush, I hate to cuddle, I hate being a sop. But I do love you, immensely. Bigger than there are words to describe.

I love how you prop my book up on a special pillow so I can read in bed without taking my arms out of the nice warm blanket.

I love how you always ask if I want seconds before emptying the pot onto your plate.

I love your broad back, the muscles in your shoulders, and how tender you can be despite how strong you are.

I love how you make your decisions according to the pout of my lips.

I love how you yell at the cable company so I don't have to.

I love that my love is still razor-sharp, that we still share adventures and repel the dullness that often comes with time. I know it hasn't always been easy. I hope it never will be because these are the happiest hurdles of my life. I want to share them, and everything, with you.


Monday, March 19, 2007

It's Only Hair

Women can be so attached to their hair.
Me, not so much.
My hair has been every colour, every length, every style.
The only thing I hadn't done was shave my head, and Jason was all too eager to pick up the clippers (first he cut off my ponytail, then he used his beard trimmer all over my head).

A shaved head is not always a symptom of a mental breakdown.
Sometimes it's just a whim.

Jude commented recently that she'd seen proof that I hadn't actually shaved my head, but the funny thing about hair is - it grows back!
In fact, it has been a little over a year now, and I've already had 2 haircuts. But if you still want further photographic proof, here it is:

January 2006: goodbye sweet hair.

February: You would not believe how many people rubbed my head at this stage. It was so soft! But eerily, it was brown! I hadn't seen my natural hair colour since I was 14 (Jason had never seen it...well, at least not on my head). Soon after, I dyed it bright pink, and that made me feel a bit better.

April: this is what I called my "mini mo" stage. I rocked a baby mohawk for a while and I loved this. I have a very small face so I always love a short haircut. In the 4 months since shaving my head, I still hadn't emptied a single shampoo bottle! Oh, the money you save.

August: to be fair to the hair, this was on our camping trip, so I wasn't looking my best. But it was finally just long enough to be worth brushing.

October: Awkward growing out phase, where there is no real style , so I resort to pigtails to keep my hair out of my eyes while running and such.

December: Jeebus this is a bad picture, but it's the best one out of the whole were we drunk. For Christmas I usually go a deep red or orange, but this year I went blue. It's quite long at this point, down to the shoulders, but hard to tell since I curled it.

March: it's back, and it's better than ever, baby.

Yeah, I did that.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Stuff I Wonder

Why does my back never get itchy in a place where I can scratch it?
Why does the grocery store sell lemons in 3s and limes in 4s?
Why would polish # 96, Rouge Vamp, pick today to turn from liquid to solid?
Does Ellen DeGeneres wear a bathing suit?
Will Jason ever clean the baking soda that I used on the oven to put out the flames caused by preheating it for chicken wings without wiping the residual apple pie first?
Why do I do laundry so often when I own 37 pairs of panties?
Am I too tired to eat or too hungry to sleep?
Why do I let Jason pop my blisters?
Is it possible, that in the final week's wait for Adam Sandler's new movie Reign Over Me, I will simply burst with excitement, and Jason will have to scoop up my goop, put it in a yogurt container, and take that as his date instead?
What are we saving daylight for? Are we saving it somewhere safe? Does it accrue interest? Will it come in handy at a later date?
When will the the hangnail of my little toe finally fall off and stop torturing me?
Why did I spend $28 on a bottle of tinted moisturizer that makes people ask me why my knees are bruised?
How can a grown man not keep track of tupperware?
Did I ever get the grass stains out of my wedding dress? Where is that dress, anyway? Why am I only wondering this now?
How is it fair that my favourite bracelet rips the hair right out of my arm?
Why do the bananas go bad 5 minutes before I start to crave them?
Do I really have nothing better to do than this?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Inside a Boy's Brain

Through the miracles of science, Jason's brain is pickled and displayed for your enjoyment:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Childfree By Choice

I don't have children. I won't ever have children. And I like it that way.

For lots of people, I may as well have just admitted that I have human hides lining my freezer.

I never wanted kids. Not even remotely. But there's a huge stigma attached to choosing the childfree lifestyle. People always feel they have the right to ask - when am I having kids? Why don't I have them yet? And they don't take no for an answer.

Oh, you'll change your mind, they say.
Which, incidentally, isn't true, and is massively disrespectful.

I used to feel that way too, but then I had kids and now they're the light of my life.
Which is an even stupider thing to say. If you change your mind, you were never childfree to begin with. 'Childfree' is not a waiting period or a holding pattern. It's not what you are before you have kids. It's what you are if you feel in your soul that it's the right and permanent thing for you.

I don't hate children. I don't hate the people that have children (or at least, not all of them, and not by default). But many of them have no qualms about expressing pointed hatred toward me and people like me, just because I don't share the same fertility goals as they do.

Here's the deal: children are not mandatory, they are not an obligation to all married couples. Some people cannot have children. Some people do not want them. Somehow, we manage to have very fulfilling lives anyway -

despite the people who tells us we're incredibly selfish (never mind that deciding NOT to have kids is exactly as selfish as deciding TO have kids - we make a choice and do what we want)

despite the people who tell us we deserve to die alone (meaning, Jason and I will check ourselves into an old folks' home instead of having our ungrateful children do it for us)

despite the people who look inquiringly at my stomach and ask oh, what's wrong with you? (because if it's not a physical plumbing problem, it's obviously a mental one)

despite the people who say that "people like us" shouldn't be breeding anyway (you know, because the world does not need more open-minded liberals, right?)

despite the people who cluck and say, oh, but you seem like such nice people (obviously, this opinion needs to be revised once our repulsive lifestyle is revealed).

When people ask about the kids issue, I'm pretty upfront about it. I don't want kids. We're not having kids. We're pretty damn happy about that. But it doesn't always pay to speak up.

Valerie Francescato, host of a childfree podcast, is under fire recently for daring to say that she doesn't want babies. She has been submitted to such indignities as these:

Look, if she doesn't want to have kids, that's fine, but there's no need to form an organization about it, which will inevitably escalate into demanding special rights and privileges. Besides, who'd want to procreate with these broads anyway? These women couldn't get a man if it was closing time at the bar and were the only guys inside of it.


I really wish here mother made the decision to be child free.


First, her thinly-guised childless self-admiration club is more practically a post-abortion guilt-avoidance club as in "I made the right decisions -didn't I?" These people are nothing more than narcissistic, self-serving oxygen thieves! Their voting rights should be rescinded.

Right. Except for the fact that the world is practically overrun by support groups for parents. Because nobody says boo about the 8 million Mommy Bloggers, but if a group of women get together and talk about their own experiences that happen to be opposite, suddenly it's terrible. There are television shows and sections of the newspaper and entire magazines devoted to the "joys of parenting" - but apparently the rest of us should just sit quietly.

It's hard to be a minority in this world. Personally, I'm not looking for "privileges" - I just like fairness. And there are a lot of things that just aren't fair. It's not fair, for example, that at Jason's work, he pays $8 a month for health insurance. To add me, the "family" premium is $42 a month, because though we are only 2 people, we are expected to subsidize families that have 17 children. Is that fair? No, it's not. It's not fair when a workplace offers the perk of free childcare without offering a childfree alternative to those of us without kids. Perks are a part of your income package. If you are excluded from cashing in on those perks, that's not fair either. I don't want anything crazy - I just expect equality from the world, and sometimes the world is slow to offer it.

But I think that if brave people like Valerie continue to speak up for what's right - and for a valid if somewhat uncommon choice - then maybe the world will advance by tiny increments. In the meantime, I'm happy to be a purple woman, and a member of the Toronto chapter of No Kidding. I'm not anti-kid. Since 99% of people have children, 99% of my friends have them also. I enjoy kids for the most part. I like being an aunt, or a god-mother, even an occasional babysitter. But once a month, it's nice for me to get together with a group of people who have conversation that at no point mentions diapers, or snotty noses, or the wiggles. It's almost surreal that for 3 whole hours, a group of adults can manage not to mention children. That never happens naturally in the real world.

It's much harder to not have children than to have them. Lots of people get accidentally pregnant, but it takes thought and planning to stay without. I don't know what drives people to have kids. I have no idea what compels a woman to grow a baby. No idea. I've never felt even a small stirring. I think pregnancy is a beautiful thing though, in the same way I think Renoirs are beautiful, and like to visit them in museums, but have no intention of hanging one on my wall, since they don't particularly suit my furniture or my personality.

I'm happy for the people who love their kids. I'm sad for the ones that never wanted kids but had them anyway, and let them know it. I knew my family was complete the day I married Jason. Maybe mine is a small family, as families go, but it's a happy one, and I like it very much, just as it is.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Fuckfest, Canadian Edition

Why does Canada breed so many hotties? Is it the smoke in our stacks, the mercury in our fish, or the fact that we fuck in the cold?

Nobody knows why, and nobody really cares, not when there's eye candy around.

1. Hawksley Workman
"Bringing the sex back to sex, drugs, and rock & roll."

When I first fell in love: Striptease, which will forever remind me of walking to work on the way Parliament, past the condo building across from the Rideau Centre that never got finished the whole time I lived in Ottawa (the fence was covered in posters).
Why I stay in love: Smoke Baby is the sexiest song I have ever heard. No Sissies is a great, fun car song, cranked up to 11. Even an Ugly Man is perfect for naked slow dancing with the lights down low (these are good tunes people, check them out).

2. Rachel McAdams
"It's the freckles, isn't it?"

When I first fell in love: Wedding Crashers...sorry, I've never seen any of the others, but she's just adorable in this. Three female generations of my family wept over the Notebook, which was all the reason I needed to avoid it forever.
Why I stay in love: The combination of sweet & sexy has proven irresistible since the dawning of time - and this girl has it in backhoes ( because backhoes are bigger than spades).

3. Ryan Gosling
"Practising the smouldering look since 1984".

When I first fell in love: Good lord this is going to embarrass me. He apparently grew up in the same small town as I did (though surely neither of us freely admits this), and I was familiar with his name from the local newspaper back in his days from the Mickey Mouse Club with Britney and Justin. But I didn't come to know him until the days of Breaker High - the cheesiest piece of crap on TV at 3am while I was in high school. He was skinny and dorky, but when you can't sleep, you can't sleep.
Why I stay in love: Well, he's filled out quite a bit. That's a good start. And Half Nelson proves he's as brilliant as he is beautiful.

4. Nelly Furtado
"Like all Canadian women, knows how to rock a parka."

When I first fell in love: Back when she was like a bird and just wanted to fly away. She was the freshest face on Much Music, and had lyrics and music that represented our country's cultural diversity.
Why I stay in love: Though her music has become a safer brand of pop of late, she's a veritable yummy mummy, and still knows how to shake it.

5. Ryan Reynolds
"Inspiring Alanis's sexiest angry breakup songs to date."

When I first fell in love: A little TV show called Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place (later they lost the pizza place). He was the adorable Berg, and he gave me a reason to stay in on a school night.
Why I stay in love: When your husband forces you to watch a little blood-bath called Smokin Aces, this guy makes it bearable.

6. Carly Pope
"Making the unpopular, popular."

When I first fell in love: Popular, a great, short-lived TV series, where she somehow made unpopular look cool (not to mention, hot).
Why I stay in love: Haven't seen her recently, read that she's in school, which is the smartest thing I've heard all day. Good on ya, kid.

Okay, so once in a winter solstice we slip up and produce some ugmosity, but Canada still has the highest cuties per capita ratio in the world. The next time you breed, you should think about that. I mean, the biggest favour you can do your kids is being Canadian yourselves...but if you can't be Canadian, then at least make travel plans during ovulation, and make love on our fertile lands....your kids will thank you.

Joyeux vendredi, tout le monde.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Just Me?

Sometimes, when I rent a car, and pay for the insurance, I feel obligated to smash into things just so I get my money's worth.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Leave A Comment, Goddamn It

Every day, hundreds of people accidentally (or, for the sake of argument, on purpose), land on this page (yesterday: 752 ).

Every day, dozens of people kindly (or, for the sake of argument, argumentatively) leave comments (yesterday: 33 ).


There seems to be some discrepancy here.

Who are these silent people? Silence is a great mystery to me. I am unable to go anywhere without announcing my presence. I have an opinion on almost everything, and if I find myself opinionless, I make one up. It's easy - just watch:

Okay, one. In my opinion, it would be very funny to watch David Beckham try to solve a sudoku puzzle.

See how easy that was? And I was just flying by the seat of my pants, with no cues or previous discussion at all. If you've just read an entire post, then you've got something to go on, which is not to say that I always write about "something", because "content" is highly overrated, in my opinion.

See? Another opinion appears from mid-air! Like magic!
I bet you could do it too.
But here a few nudges just in case:

1. writer's block - what's the best way to clear your head? the best way to induce creativity?

2. date night - what can we possibly do next, and does this one have to be death-defying?

3. resolutions - are you making progress or have you already abandoned them?

Or how about an opinion of mine that you can argue amongst yourselves? People seem to like to do that (although, incidentally, opinions can't be wrong, they're opinions):

Science fiction fans are socially inept and completely humourless; high school students don't smoke nearly enough weed; affirmative action is an insult to those it seeks to help; Daniel Craig makes a lousy Bond; Jason should be severely mocked for listening to James Blunt; robots will revolt; religion is fairly ridiculous and probably has little place in the future.

Or, you know, ignore this like you always do, click away, don't contribute to my overall happiness a person. Whatever.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday's Dilemma

I was honest-to-goodness being productive today.
Like, cleaning and stuff.
Is there anything worse in the world than cleaning a toilet?
Well, apart from cleaning someone else's toilet, I mean.
Jason, in response to my moans, sometimes offers to just call a service and have a cleaner come in every couple of weeks.
Except I don't mind the light housework, and I would never let another person touch my dirty things.
My dirty sheets are private.
And my toilet, well - that's privater!

I won't begin to tell you the kinds of disgusting things that goes on in there, but suffice it to say: yuck. I hardly want to scrub it myself, but I guess there has to be some downside to having bowels.
But would I ever invite a stranger into my home and ask this person to get down on their knees and get elbow-deep into the worst, most vile place in the world?
That is NOT the kind of relationship I ever want to have with another human being.

So I did it myself, and then I did the dishes, and the laundry.
And then I made myself a sandwich and really enjoyed it too.
And then I thought to myself: did I remember to wash my hands after I scrubbed the toilet

Well, did I?
Did I wash my hands?
This is not the sort of thing a person should lose track of.

I squirted the bowl full of the blue goopey stuff.
I used the long-handled brush thingie, and tried not to clean so hard that it kicked up toilet water in my face.
I sprayed it down with anti-bacterial cleaner...
and then....
washed my hands?

God I hope so.
Because now I've made and eaten food.
With my hands, my bare hands!

So I sat for 20 minutes trying to remember, and hoping that I didn't just give myself e-coli (how embarrassing...if I have to go to the hospital, I'm blaming Taco Bell).

How's that for a dilemma?
But you know what they say...
when life gives you dilemmas, make da-lemonade!

That's so funny.
And I didn't just make that up, either. That's a hardcore Danny Tanner quote for you.
Because if you think sitting around wondering if I've got fecal fingers is bad...yes, I watch Full House reruns too.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The things I wouldn't have said or done if I had stayed home yesterday.

With a major snowstorm about to hit, it only makes sense that we would decide to head out for a winter hike in the bluffs. This area is pretty steep on a good day, but give it a good coating of ice, and you can just imagine the "fun" to be had.

Immediately Jason is "off-roading." He is allergic to the marked path, always has to take his own way (read: stupidly hard way) up a trail. Meanwhile, I am busy noticing that there are no other human footprints where we are, but there are other prints of sorts - some very big paw prints belonging to an animal with very big claws, and some pretty big hoof prints, and some smaller paw prints which I'm pretty sure belong to rabbits. Now, rabbits scare me less than a bear would, but they still scare me. I realize we are trespassing in their home, but I still don't want to meet up with any creatures. Jason is quick to reassure me that at least at this time of the year there won't be any snakes, but I find little comfort in that. I have bears on the brain, and every snapped twig, every moan of a tree, and I'm looking behind my shoulder, half-expecting to see a mean grizzly giving me the stink-eye.

But come on, let's face it - animals are the least of my worries. Here I am being held up by an obliging tree. I think we had been hiking for less than 10 minutes but I was already gasping for breath. Jason, ever the compassionate fellow, a good 20 meters ahead of me, pauses to take a picture of my last dying moments on this earth. When I get my breath back, I yell up to him that it's too steep - with every step, my toes touch my calves. That can't be good for my ankles, can it?

Jamie: Jason! This is too vertical!
Jason: Too vertical for what?
Jamie: Too vertical for me! I'm more of a horizontal girl.
Jason: Slut!

And so we pressed on. Every time we came to a narrow escarpment, Jason would turn and say "Be careful here" but the truth is, telling someone to be careful is not very helpful at all. It doesn't make me steadier. It doesn't slow my heart rate back into the triple digits. All it does is make it easier for me to visualize myself impaled on some of the heftier branches jutting out on the path I will surely slide down as soon as my feet finally fail me.

I find myself wondering if it would feel better to fall to my death, or be eaten by a hungry bear when Jason reminds me that bears are fast asleep at this time of year, and I grasp at this piece of heartening news. Bears are hibernating! They will not chase me! I will not be served up as a chubby little main course tonight!

But then the site of this stops me in my tracks:

The tree of doom!!!!

Okay, it's not the tree of doom, but you do see what had me stupid with fear, don't you?

Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!

"Um, Jason....what do you do when owls attack?"

Do you see him in there? I was terrified, and the damn thing just stared out at me, probably appraising the juiciness of my flesh. There's nothing like silent stalking of an owl to make me realize what an idiot I am: I'm thinking, shouldn't he be sleeping right now? Aren't owls nocturnal? Can they even see in the daylight? Should I stand very still? Or is that bats I'm thinking of?

People - I was a Brownie for 3 whole years, but I was not prepared for the haunting gaze of this vicious predator. I slowly took cover behind the fattest tree, but the thought that another, bigger, hungrier owl might be sleeping in that tree eventually found its way into my sluggish brain, and all I wanted to do was start digging a snow cave and hide under there until civilization built up around me and evicted all the creepy owls. Of course, the fear that I might accidentally burrow into a bear's den stopped me cold, and we soldiered on.

Then we got to a clearing that was potentially scarier than an entire parliament of owls - massive, hissing, spitting powerlines.

Okay, well, technically, they weren't hissing or spitting, but I swear I could hear the crackle above, and Jason was all like Man, if even just one of those snapped right now... and I was all like I just love it when you point out all the various ways we could die painfully, and he was all like Oh really? and I was like, Um, no!

And underneath these great big towers of death were stacked some yellow boxes that Jason just couldn't resist exploring. They were marked Brazilian Isolators, and Jason thought we should maybe steal a couple, sell them on Ebay, but ever practical, I thought:

a) Lugging yellow boxes might make us more visible to the owls.

b) I barely made it up the cliff, how in the hell are we going to hike down with boxes that weigh more than I do?

So of course Jason suggested that I just climb on top, and he could push me down, and I could steer them like a toboggan. Thank goodness Jason is not really a thief, because as much as going up always sucks, when it comes to going down, I always feel as if I have as much grace as a boulder hurtling through space during a landslide. Watch out below!!!!

Circling back into the woods, Jason stopped to read a posted sign, and seemed to put a lot of thought into the message. I wondered what information the forest could be imparting upon us - cougars ahead? avalanche territory? bear feeding station? snowy mud that will swallow me whole and not burp up a corpse for my poor mother to bury? What, goddamn it, what?

But then I heard a noise. A very conspicuous noise, a noise like the growling stomach of a bear that hasn't eating in 5 months.

Jamie: Um, Jason....when do bears wake up?
Jason: Oh, not until March 2nd, at least.

Holyfuck, holyfuck, holyfuck, holyfuck.

Jason: Those aren't bear noises, though. That sounds mechanical.
Jamie: Oh sure. Mechanical. Because there are machines hibernating in the forest now, right? How stupid do you think I am?

He didn't answer that. I mean, we've together for 7 years, and he's not a fan of sleeping on the couch. But when we extricated ourselves from the tangle of trees, he did point at this thing:

So, not a bear after all. Just a train hiding in the middle of the woods, probably taking an unscheduled coffee break or something. Speaking of which, some hot cappuccino sure does sound good right about now..... and so we agree to start heading down.

We made our way down a little quicker than was necessary, and let me just say - kids, don't try this at home.

But when I tried to take a picture of Jason, he insisted on standing closer to the ledge, and at the exact second I was saying Not too close though, or you'll make me nervous, he was saying It's not fun until you're nervous. So he stood upon this log, and I took the picture, and when he went to hop off, the log (no doubt loosened by a bear just moments before) began to roll backwards, down the cliff, with Jason still on it.

Now I have reason to believe that Jason is secretly a super hero, because the guy literally log-rolled halfway down a mountain and managed to stay upright the entire time. Meanwhile, I was slipping sliding every which way just trying to put one foot in front of the other, and even made this breathless statement at one point:

Oh for fuck's sakes, did you see that? This here leg slid out further than you would have thought possible, and this other leg had to run to catch up to it!

In all of our wandering, we did once accidentally find ourselves on the actual trail, and I recognized this view from last year- see it in the springtime here. Poor tilty tree, it must be even tireder than me!

Just as we were getting back to base, the projected snowstorm hit with full force. An ice pellet hit me right in the eyeball, so I fell to the ground yelling Man down! Man down! and mumbling about how I was blind and how Jason would have to scour the forest floor for the missing slice of my eye when he threatened me with abandonment.

Do you want me to go get the car and pick you up? he asked, and I marvelled at the iciness of his heart.
He would leave me alone with the bears and the owls, and the isolators, and the train conductor?
So I bravely winked my watery eye until vision returned and managed to crawl back to the safety of the car, which was already buried under 13 feet (well, a few millimeters anyway) of snow, and we got the hell out of dodge.

What, isn't that how you spent your Thursday?

More pictures here.