Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Mother Earth
turned a summersault;
I fell out of her pocket
and landed in a new one.

Just breathe, I remind myself, and I am finding I need the reminder. When I add it all up and look at the total, I think there must be some mistake. But when I rework the equation, the outcome stays the same. Too numb to cry, I focus on surviving: penniless, homeless, hopeless, I keep going the only way I can, and I'm not sure whether it's up or down.

I know it's cryptic, but it's all that I can manage. I need to be strong at least until I know I'm safe.

It's funny how everything you know can change in a matter of minutes.
Not the kind of funny you laugh at, of course.
More like if I don't keep smiling, it will kill me.

Maybe tomorrow I'll find my way home.
Maybe tomorrow I will grieve.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Keep Out of Reach of Children

I love spring cleaning - at heart, I am a purger. My possessions have about a 3-week shelf-life, and if I haven't used it by then, it gets donated away.

But I do have a weakness for those sentimental little things that for some reason we all feel compelled to hang onto until either they, or we, turn back into dust. The small stuff I can scrapbook out of sight, but the bigger things...the things that sit in a sometimes-unloved pile, the things that make you feel heartless if you throw away and pack-ratish if you keep. For me, this boils down to a pile of toys. Toys! Toys that I don't need or use, and are only good for the memories attached to them...and in case you hadn't notice, memories are not supposed to take up nearly so much storage space.

Here is a toy line-up of potential throw-away candidates. The prosecution will try them as trash; the defense will plea not-guilty by reason of sentimentality. You be the judge.

Specimen A: Tigger

Technically, Tigger is not mine. Tigger is Jason's. I gave it to him about six and a half years ago when I moved away. I thought he would appreciate having something cute and cuddly to sleep with, since his first choice (me) was no longer available.

Apparently Tigger was a poor replacement though, because the very next day, not 24 hours after our tearful goodbye, Jason had driven the many miles to my new home where he took up the majority of the room on my single bed (note: sleeping with your naked ass pressed up against the cold cement wall makes for disturbing dreams) and he crowded my single life until he persuaded me to leave it 4 weeks later, and we moved in together...completely nullifying the need for Tigger.

In 1997, the Taco Bell chihuahua was a veritable television star, and someone decided he would make a good Christmas gift for me. I have no idea why.

At the time, you pressed his paw and he said all sorts of his most popular catchphrases - "What is a logarithm?" , "Can't this boat go any faster?" and "I think I need a bigger box". It wasn't long before I completely forget what used to funny about these sayings.

But Taco Bell dog hasn't said any of these things in years, thanks to an unfortunate accident involving rum punch (note: more rum than punch). Actually, it wasn't even the bath in potent potables that did him in, but the subsequent ride in the washing machine that permanently silenced him.

This guy I got at the zoo more than a year ago, not because I was disgruntled by my monkey-deficit but purely because I never buy souvenirs.

But then I realize, there's a good reason not to buy souvenirs. Souvenirs are pointless. I've rarely had any monkey-related fun since bringing him home. In fact, for the first 3 months I hung him from my bed post, he scared the crap out of me every time I got up to pee at night and saw a vague shadowy figure hanging over my head.

This shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

These are the bears. Now, despite the unholy things Jason does to them (and turning my favourite red fedora into a bear-pimp hat that I can no longer bring myself to wear), they actually are much sweeter than they seem.

The "boy" bear (wearing the hat) belonged first to Jason. It was given to him by his ex-girlfriend. He denies this, but I was there when he unwrapped it, so no fooling me. But later, when he and I were going out, he once cheered me up by shoving an mp3 player loaded with my favourite songs up the bear's butt and bringing him to my house.

The "girl" bear is holding a pink pouch, which once contained some very nice jewelry that Jason gave to me...oh, 7 years ago. The jewelry is long gone. I keep her around hoping Jason might take the hint and once again impregnate her with all things sparkly & shiny. But if 7 years are any indicator, I think I'm out of luck.
The bride and groom bears are much more chaste, for some reason. They sit on a bench engraved with our wedding date, a bridal shower gift from my sisters 5 long years ago.

In case you were wondering, the bride isn't wearing any panties, and bear-tuxes are a bitch to dust. And his bowtie...well, let's just say it hasn't been the same since my bitch of a dog got a crush on him and tried to express her affection in any manner of inappropriate ways.

This is chicken-dance Elmo. Press a button and he literally sings and dances his way through the funky chicken. It's even more annoying than it sounds, trust me.

Many moons ago, I was working in a toy store around Christmas time. How nuts is that? Working there made my uterus shrivel up and die, but even worse were the parents (and I fear, the childless adults who hover around the toy section nevertheless). It's the adults who will press the "try me out!" button over and over and over, ad nauseum. And in case there was any doubt, I mean ad nauseum in the it-made-me-vomit-in-the-Barbie-aisle at least 3 times per shift.

So of course it only made sense that Jason told me his Christmas would be incomplete without him. Fucker. I have lived to regret it ever since - mostly because the button is incredibly sensitive, and Elmo is likely to start chirping at all hours of the day, scaring the nauseum out of me on more than one occasion.

The red head is Chuckie, from The Rugrats. The big-mouth is Scoop, my one and only Beanie Baby. Both were given to me upon the happy occasion of my first surgery.

It was nothing big, just the digging of holes in my head, removing cysts and wisdom teeth from my sweet sweet jaw. When I woke up, my parents gave me Scoop, and I wished for an instance that I could go back to having scalpels inside my mouth, because this was the first time they'd been in the same room together since The Divorce. Chuckie was given to me by my sister. I slept with him and when I woke up, Chuckie was soaked right through with blood. We tried to scrub him well, but I fear that nearly 10 years later, he still would not stand up under a black light.

And finally, we have Porkeroo. He's the most recent addition to the motley crew, and it seems he was given to me for the sole reason that he matched the robe that was the main gift. He's sweet and cuddly, and he's pocket-ready.

But I'm 25 years old, and not getting any younger. Fuzzy pigs have limited value to me. I mean, if I could raise him for the love of bacon I might be more inclined to keep him. But as he is not, I do wonder, what is the life expectancy of a pig?

All right- turn in your verdict. What will stay and what will go? And if you're feeling brave, you might even own up to the sentimental pieces of crap that you can't bring yourself to throw out either.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Train (Wreck) of Thought

When I was a kid, I had a long-standing Saturday night date, and her name was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I miss those days. I wish I also had the opportunity to miss seeing tongue-kissing on television. But I wouldn't miss it because really I hate it, and that's too bad because I don't think it's going anywhere. If the visuals weren't bad enough, there's the slurping, soft-porn sound effects that go along with it.

It's kind of gross to see someone's big disgusting mouth-muscle dripping with expectorate probing another, with big gobs of drool and lines of bacteria-ridden spit flying about. Luckily, it's much less repulsive when I do it. Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have paid a steep price for my mad tonsil-hockey skillz (to this date, the only sport I actively participate in): yes, in my senior year, I contracted the nasty orally transmitted disease often referred to as the kissing disease. My grandmother still looks at me rather pointedly when she says those words (somehow, she works it into the conversation around the Christmas table every year without fail). I've tried to explain to her that rum & cokes are expensive and a girl's got to kiss a certain number of faceless, nameless, gropey men to store up enough stories for 10 years down the road when she's married and swapping much less spit. Long story short: french kisses are the reason I never eat at Wendy's, and why I never saw the end of Mission to Mars, and why my grandma thinks I'm a slut.

Where I come from, they call them "frenchers", and I can't help but wonder what is so french about them. If there is a common denominator between french toast, and french kissing, and french onion soup and french horns and french braids, it's eluding my silly french-canadian brain. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realize if there is a connection, I don't want to know about it.

I also don't want to know what kind of undergarments the pope wears under his robes. But I do wonder. I wonder if he's a boxer or briefs kind of guy, I wonder if he matches his panties to the colour of his hat. I wonder if he goes commando under there (my rational is: a robe is dress-like as is a kilt, and we all know the scots like to go "regimental") but I try not to think too hard about it since I'm pretty sure that thinking about papal dangly bits is probably sacrilegious.

The pope sure does make some "interesting" fashion choices though. Funny how he never lands on the worst-dressed list. My grandfather also wears some funny hats, but has thus far only landed in the papers for occasionally winning raffles. Sometimes he wears a ten gallon hat when he takes my grandmother line dancing. The cowboy hat gives him such much-needed height (so do the cowboy boots with lifts), but really I think country music just brainwashes people. What else could explain that many bollo ties all in one place? The mere thought of that many denim-clad people who don't own pick up trucks and have never shovelled pig shit all doing the boot-scoot-and-boogie is pretty much my idea of hell, and given my proclivities for talking about pope-penis, I should probably get used to it.

I can see the upside to hell, though. I mean, the warm climate is a great draw for a snow-bound Canadian such as myself. And I imagine it will be populated with all kinds of interesting characters, stumbling and slurring around, just like me. Kind of like I imagine Florida must be like: crowded and hot, but a nice contrast to the great white north.

Not that I'm anxious to experience the nine circles of hell. What I am anxious for is diving between my cool, just-washed sheets, or getting the first hint of tan, or finding the cell phone that I lost 10 ten days ago, or finding a skirt that makes my hips look "curvy" instead of "fat", or...okay, you got me. What I'd really like is to settle into my big comfy couch and watch a season or two of my ex-girlfriend, Dr. Quinn. You know, for old time's sake.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mentally Constipated

When I make a grill-cheesed sandwich, I like to cut into 4 triangles.

I remember, as a kid, my mother would occasionally take us to lunch at The Fifth Wheel, which was a truckstop where her friend was a waitress and she could smoke as furiously as she liked. I always ordered the grilled cheese, not because they made particularly good sandwiches but because of toothpicks topped with colourful cellophane that were always stuck through the middle.
Secretly, I collected these treasures in a hidden cubbyhole in the very back seat of my mother's Ford Aerostar.

Grilled cheeses are such perfect, humble food. So unassuming. People say pie is humble, but obviously they've never had my black and white pie, which is so snazzy I call it my Snazzy Black and White Pie (never underestimate the power of Capital Letters).

That pie is as unhumble as I am. Today I cleaned out my light-rotation closet, and came across some very unhumble ditties, such as my black boa. There is nothing humble about a boa. I remember once wearing it to the movies for no other reason than I felt like having a feather boa kind of day, and the grizzled old man selling the tickets said "I've worked at this theatre for 37 years and I've never seen a boa before" which is one of the highlight compliments of my life.

Personally, I'm not sure if I see many benefits to being humble. I realize the baby Jesus thinks humility is a virtue, but I'm not sure if I'm prepared to take humble lessons from a guy who has his own bobblehead. Patience is also a virtue, apparently, but I notice that this is something usually said by government workers when they've taken 7 years to issue you a passport.

I can't imagine a scenario in which I would have to pick a favourite virtue, but if I did, temperance would be it. Not that I am temperate person, but then, nor am I a virtuous woman. But I love temperance for its valiant attempt to remove from life every single thing worth living for. I don't endorse temperance, but I love the ballsiness of it - anything that feels good must be sin, and therefore it is to be avoided. I remember this one time I was visiting one of those pioneer villages with my friend Anna. The residents of this village, straight from the year 1870, were trying to have us sign an oath of abstinence. Randy teenagers that we were, we could only imagine that abstinence referred to sex (we had seen the pamphlets in sex ed...and promptly put them in the waste bin, where they belong). But imagine our surprise when the abstinence theme song turned out to be a lusty rendition of "Throw Down the Bottle!"

Anyway. I think I was making a point about grilled cheese sandwiches somewhere back there.

Today I am not having a feather boa kind of day, I am having a grilled cheese kind of day. But also the kind of day where I just feel like heating up a pot of extra virgin olive oil and combing it through my hair. It's weird to sit around all greasy in the hopes that my hair will, through the magic of olives, become lustrous and healthy despite the fact that I've burned it beyond redemption with bleach. Also, despite the fact that it's dead. I believe in the power of hot oil treatments...but at the same time, I'm not about to dig up my dead grandfather, rub him thoroughly with a pound of butter and expect him to come back to life. I mean, I'm an optimist. I'm practically a groupie where monosaturated fats are concerned. But I'm pretty sure that all the time and money we spend on the dead stuff growing out of our scalps - the shampooing, the conditioning, the curling, the straightening, the styling, the colouring - it's kind of necrophilic, isn't it?

Well, good sense tells me I should quit while I'm ahead, and though I can't identify what I'm a head of, I am 98% confident that I could sink lower if I kept going. It's just one of those days. Try not to hold it against me.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Favourite disgusting thing on my bulletin board: Skin. Human skin, belonging to the mammalian species Homo Jamiekins, circa 2004. I had a particularly bad sunburn and enjoyed peeling impressively large sections of my dead flesh from my thighs. One piece, dried up and papery, has been pinned to the board ever since.

Favourite weekday thrill: My wok. I love my wok. I love the sound of sake hitting the hot pan. I love the smell of ginger coming alive. I love the way spinach wilts and shrinks into the stir-fry. I love my wok so much I'm making macaroni in there now, and stew, and fruit salad. Okay, not really. But I would if I could, because I love it that much. I have wok fixation. Woxation.

Favourite food that I don't like: Strawberries. I don't eat berries, because I don't care for them. I am not repulsed by them, or allergic to them. If I come to your house and you serve them to me, I will eat them to be polite, cause that's how my momma raised me. But I don't like them, and not liking them gives me pleasure. Pourquoi? Parce que everyone else loves berries. And when there's a pint of berries, and I don't eat any, that's a pint more for everyone else. During berry season, I'm practically a hero for my unberriness.

Favourite lesson my dog never learned: Not to eat grass. Every day he would race outside, sniff the grass, get all excited thinking man, this stuff sure smells appetizing! and then he'd scarf down as much as his little dog belly could hold. And then he'd spend the rest of the day leaving a steady stream of grass-flecked vomit behind him. But by god, the very next day he'd be back out there eating his grass, happy as can be. And he repeated this eat-grass-vomit pattern every day for 16 years. And then he died. But not because of the grass. The point is, I used to think he was just a dumb dog. But then I thought he was on to something, because the way he approached life with unfailing optimism, every single day giving the grass a second chance, never holding a grudge, just eating it with the same happy-go-lucky abandon even after it had made him retch 1487 times in a row. Man. It's inspiring when you think about it. Little did I know that I would later have a similar relationship with alcohol. But that's another story.

Favourite way to ruin Easter: Have Jason book off 4 whole days to celebrate Jesus turning eggs into chocolate, but just before festivities begin, get sick. But just slightly, annoyingly sick, so you think it's just allergies, and you refuse to take any medication. Sleep 20 out of every 24 hours, waking up only to change the sweat-soaked sheets. Realize it's probably more serious by the time your temperature reaches 104, sit wheezing in a bathtub of ice water, complain for husband to make more ice faster, and when splitting headaches contract your stomach, try to aim the vomit outside of the tub, not in. Lament over the peeps, forgotten in the closet, and the caramelized onions that aren't being savoured. Do not begin to get better until husband goes back to work.

Favourite cover of a cover: Sad Kermit covering Johnny Cash covering Nine Inch Nails. The best thing you'll see all day.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

She's As Cold As Ice

I was looking way too hot for a sports bar on Saturday night, but Jason likes the wings in Unionville, so there we were.

Jason ordered a pitcher of beer and half a dozen kinds of wings.
I was feeling rather dainty so I ordered a salad and martini.
And some supremely loaded potato skins.
But don't worry, I only ate most of them.

Wiping some 'bloody caesar' sauce from his chin, he very civilly asked me how my day had been.
It felt suspiciously like a date. Like a real date!

"Oh, you know, it was a pretty normal day. I did see a cow give birth by c-section though."
"And how was that?"
"A lot quieter than you'd expect, actually. And how was your day?"
Unfolding his 18th napkin to sop up the excess 'god of thunder' sauce, he told me about the 15 year old who stuffed over 20 bikinis down her pants and tried to get out the door, and how he learned that 'starfish' is a shade of orange right now, and how someone else ate the delicious club sandwich I made him for lunch and he had to eat stupid foodcourt food instead.

Wiping the 'kama sutra' sauce from his fingers, he even extended his arm across the cramped table and held my hand in his so he could gaze lovingly into my eyes and also sneak peaks at the big screen TV hovering just behind and a little to the left of my head.

The Leafs were playing the Penguins, although, if the drunken yelling is to be believed, it was actually an exciting game of Fucktards vs Douchebags. Now, hockey and I are not the best of friends, and usually Jason doesn't pay too much attention either, but either the 'margaritaville' sauce was getting to him, or mob mentality was. It was okay during the first two innings, because the Leafs were up, but things got a little tense during the third because Pittsburgh pulled the sticks out of their asses and actually put them to the ice.

There was a booth with 4 very drunk and very bearded men sitting in the corner, putting back beer like it was going out of style, and boy were they taking it personally. The losing, I mean. Oh man. Every time the game didn't go their way, they slammed their glasses down in disgust, creating an impressive splash zone around their table. They seemed to believe that the only reason Toronto was allowing Pittsburgh to score was to make them cry, and cry they did. Or one of them did, anyway, and he cried, wept really, dramatically enough for others to take notice. One of these others was some young punk in a pink argyle sweater, and he'd clearly had enough grenadine-laced drinks to give him liquid courage, so he stood up and pointed out the crying man for all to see and mock.

Crying Man took the first swing, and to be honest, I didn't blame him. Sure he was crying about hockey, but Argyle Boy was clearly an ass and I pretty much felt he deserved it. But Argyle Boy had some friends - Mr. SissyPants, and Sir BedHead. Mr. SissyPants was immediately on his feet, tipping back his chair, which hit an innocent bysitter in the head, and her boyfriend, Chesty McHair, was just as quickly out of his seat and in Mr. SissyPants' face. Meanwhile, Sir BedHead was slowly tearing his eyes of the waitress' boobage and realizing that his buddies were already elbows-to-guts into what was quickly become a real life bar brawl!

Well, Sir BedHead was not going to be left out, so he sloppily stood up and adopted the strangest fight style I have ever seen: he swung only the fist of his left hand, and he swung it over and over, not particularly at any people, while using his right hand to possessively hold onto his junk.

I probably should have kept my eye on the fight, but I couldn't help but notice that Crying Man was no longer the only crying man in the room - Jason had tears in his eyes and was making distress signals that I interpreted as "For the love of esophagus, help me!" so I poured him more beer and watched him fight the fire in his belly.

And that's when a big fat fist connected with my face.
At first, all I could feel was wetness, but when my vision cleared, I saw a mountain of a man lying in my potato skins.
Now, I didn't particularly begrudge him the black eye. But when you spill my Grey Goose martini, and you spill it all over my new red silk cami, then you've just made yourself a new enemy.
And you know what he said to me?
He said "Watch out, lady."

Well. I looked over at Jason to see if he was about to defend my honour any time soon, but the poor dear was still trying to regurgitate some of that flaming 'black widow' sauce from his system. So I hopped up onto my chair, and when MountainMan stood up, with my potato skins still clutching the back of his polo shirt, I hauled off and punched the guy. Right in the kisser.

Luckily, Jason has recently taught me to knuckle-punch, and has let me practise my signature "paralyzer" on his left bicep for a month now. And luckier still, I happened to be wearing one of my oversized obnoxious rings. Score one for the little blonde!

But just as he was licking the blood from his lip, I was suddenly flying backwards through the air. No, no, I wasn't hit. Jason had finally recovered some sense, and had grabbed me around the waist from behind and was hauling ass out of there. I had time for just one little cheeky waive at MountainMan before Jason was rounding the corner and throwing me out into the cold air where the police were just arriving.

It took almost two hours before everyone had given their statements and we were finally allowed back in to retrieve our jackets and my purse, which surprisingly, was still sitting under my chair, albeit in a lake of beer. Reportedly the hockey game had gone into overtime, but fittingly enough, no one knew who had even won. Awesome.

At home, Jason iced my bruised knuckles but didn't have a lot to say.
"Are you mad at me?" I inquired.
"No, not mad" he said, "I'm just realizing I'll have to really watch my mouth from now on. Jamie's packing heat!"

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I'm Bringing Streaky Back

An Ode to Bacon
(Edit: if you're not singing this to the tune of Justin Timberlake's Sexyback,
you're doing it wrong!)

I'm bringing streaky back
Them other porks don't know how to act
I think it's special with ribs on babyback
So turn around and give your lips a smack

(take it to the bridge)

Salty Babe
With eggs for breakfast baby that I crave
I'll have to cure you if you misbehave
Pancetta doesn't make me feel this way

(take it to the chorus)

Come here girl, go head pig out with it
Come to the kitchen, go head pig out with it
BLT, mayo for me
Lemme see what you're forking with
Look at those strips
You make me stockpile
Go head child and ... get your streaky on (go heavy, go with it)

I'm bringing streaky back
Them other fuckers don't go with cheese and mac
Girl let me make up for what prosciutto lacks
Because you're crisping up I got to eat it fast

(Take it to the bridge)

Salty Babe
Bits on salad baby make me rave
I'll fry you up if you misbehave
It's just that pork chops make a bland entree

(take it to the chorus)

Come here boy, go head chow down on it
Come to the grill, go head chow down on it
Ham and brie, not for me
Lemme see what you're smoking with
Look at those chips
Make me smile
Go head child and ...get your streaky on (go heavy, go with it)

I'm bringing streaky back
You mother fuckers, pork loin is whack
If that's your sausage, baby watch your back
Cause bacon's burning up for me and that's a fact