Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Waiting Game

So, it's morning. I'm almost done my daily thermos of coffee. Things are moving along, if you catch my drift. I decide it's time to take a stroll to the ladies' room. However, considering what I have to do, I choose to go to a different floor so as not to run into any co-workers. The washrooms on the floors below and above us are also usually less busy than ours.

So, I make my way downstairs to what I assume will be an empty, quiet washroom. Tactical error. As I make my way in, I hear loud, farting noises which, quite frankly, is a rarity in a women's washroom. I figure, hey, that lady is really comfortable with herself and confident which is more than I can say for myself. So, I end up settling into the last stall by the wall and waiting. You see, I can't go about any kind of serious #2 business with other people around. It must be empty.

So, I wait. Then the other lady in question becomes quiet, like she's waiting too. Trying to wait me out. This is when I tell myself: "Game on, girlfriend." No one waits me out. I always win at that game. You will give up and leave me in peace to do what it is I need to do. Best you not be present anyway. But this one's tough. She hangs on and gives me a run for my money, so much so that I have to readjust my waiting position on the porcelain throne. But I have no intention of giving up.

Still waiting... in silence... a silence only broken by workers out in the hall moving office furniture. And then, finally, it must dawn on her that she's fighting a losing battle. I hear rustling and the squeaky sound of a toilet paper roll on its hinge. Victory is mine.

So, I'm strolling back to my gym locker when I glance up at the TV screen and see "Deepak Chopra, Canada Post CEO" and I'm all like "Huh? I thought Deepak was some spiritual guru dude." "Is that why Canada Post is getting flushed?", I ask myself, thinking that spiritual guru dudes may not be the best business magnates.

So I google it and find out there are two of them (quite possibly more but for the purposes of this paragraph, there are two). All this time, the CEO of our national mail agency had a name I could make fun of but didn't because I wasn't properly informed. This is why it's important to keep up with current events.

You know when you're out to dinner with friends, and you really have to pass gas, it's not one of those situations where you can just hold it in, so you discreetly lift a cheek up off your chair and let a silent one go, assuming no harm has been done? Yeah... I tried that last week. Unfortunately, a stench so foul emanated from me, I almost said something. But I couldn't.

I just watched as my boyfriend got this strange look on his face and hoped to God the scent didn't waft over to the other side of the table where, surely, our friends would pass out. There was a subtle pause, barely noticeable, then we just kept chatting. Crisis averted. My boyfriend thought it was the guy behind him until I copped to it at home. He kind of looked at me in shock and disgust. I started laughing hysterically.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sloth, feline dental care and crack smokin' politicians

I wanna say I have stuff to write about but frankly, the highlight of my day yesterday was finishing a bag of chips in one sitting, and I'm not talking about those individual size bags, I mean a large one, destined for at least a small group of people. In my defense, the boyfriend had some too but not enough for me to say we actually shared the bag.

I had minor knee surgery a couple days ago which, sadly, is the perfect excuse for sitting around on my ass and doing jack shit. I'm a fairly active person but once ensconced on the couch watching Six Feet Under on demand, it's pretty hard to imagine doing anything else. Last night, the boyfriend turns to me and says: "I can't do this for the next five hours. Let's go mattress shopping." Much to my chagrin, I had to peel myself off the couch, turn off the TV, and like, go out.

I hadn't showered in a few days. I'd like to say it was because of the surgery but on average, I wash my hair about once a week and maybe shower a bit more frequently. So, there I was, in sweats and greasy hair, flinging myself on various mattresses, trying to determine which was the best. I hope my hair didn't leave stains on the store pillows we were using.

Since we've started watching Season 4 of The Walking Dead, all I've been waiting for is the return of the Governor, and at the end of the last episode, I got my wish. Shit's gonna go down. I'm pumped.

I'm trying to refrain from watching Christmas movies until December but it's tempting. I don't allow myself to listen to my Christmas playlist until December 1st, if only to thumb my nose at the too-soon retail holiday blitz that's rolled out even before Halloween. I do, however, already have my Lindt Advent Calendar 'cause that shit flies out of the store and I will not be caught without it. Priorities, people, priorities.

The boyfriend and I may have crossed over into ultimate yuppiedom since we've started brushing our cat's teeth. Who knew felines needed dental care? I somehow feel like it's utterly frivolous and yet, without proper care, she'll get tartar buildup and gingivitis, and I pride myself on being a responsible pet owner. I'm aware the more people know about this, the more we'll become the butt of jokes. So naturally, I have to broadcast it on my blog.

It took a crack smokin' mayor in Toronto to get me interested in watching the news, which I usually never do. I'm not sure what that says about me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When you don't have Netflix

We just finished watching the 2nd season of American Horror Story - Asylum. It took me about three episodes to get into this particular season but around episode 5 or 6, shit got real. I love this show. Just when I think they can't outdo themselves after a killer first season (pun intended), they come up with carefully crafted, brilliantly acted stories that seamlessly intertwine and are all beautifully brought to their conclusion by the end of the last episode.

The 3rd season, American Horror Story - Coven, is currently airing but as is our custom, we f*cked up. We waited too long and now our on demand service only has episodes 2 and 3 available for viewing. We can't possibly miss the first episode. So we've resigned ourselves to waiting another year to see that season.

We even finished watching all five seasons of Breaking Bad (or should I say four and a half seasons). Now we have to wait for the final episodes of Season 5 to come out on DVD. This half-season stuff is bullshit.

We're getting nervous. What the f*ck are we gonna watch? We don't have Netflix (yeah, we're losers, I know) so we either watch stuff on demand or buy DVDs. But now what? What's on TV that's any good? Even Modern Family sucks ass now. It's just not funny. Why the writers thought Gloria should have a baby is beyond me. Jay, Gloria and Manny had such great chemistry together. A baby is completely superfluous and adds nothing that wasn't already there.

My boyfriend's theory is that the writers had kids during the last few years and think kids are funny so they wrote them into the show. Newsflash: unless they're a clone of that super cute kid from Jerry Maguire, young children aren't funny, at least not in a scripted TV show. I much preferred the infant actress who played Lily - she was adorable and didn't say a word - to the 4 or 5-year-old who now plays the role. She's terrible and shouldn't ever speak. Every time she does, the humour just gets sucked out of the scene.

Modern Family used to be sharp and funny. Now it's just a series of tired comedy clichés. Although, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Ty Burrell, who plays Phil Dunphy, still brings it, every time, which makes me respect the guy even more. He can still shine while the show tanks around him. Kudos to you, Ty.

So now we're left with movies and hockey (the boyfriend's a huge Habs fan). It's bleak. Downton Abbey and The Bachelor only start up again in January, a whole two months away. That I just mentioned a celebrated PBS drama and a sleazy, low-brow reality show in the same sentence is disturbing. I'm getting desperate.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Honesty is such a lonely word"

So there I was, trying to be a decent human being, reading some article on Gwyneth's goop website about honesty and gettin' real with yourself and how it will allow you to be honest with others, blah, blah, blah... and I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy 'cause I figure I'm doing some "inner work" by reading this thing and evolving, you know?

Then I come across the following statement, made by the author of said article: "It's an emotional reconnection experience I include along with many others in my upcoming book, Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love and Weight Loss." WTF?

This is when any semblance of authenticity this guy may have had flew out the window. A spiritual awakening to love and weight loss? Are you f*cking kidding me? You schlep all your "honesty" bullshit and get real with your feelings crap to hit me over the head with the release of your new book which, amazingly, couples spiritual pursuits with weight loss.

Brilliant M.O. my friend. Well done. How better to capture an audience's attention than to throw at them two of the most sought after and often elusive concepts: weight loss and the quest to find the meaning of life.

It's not the first time I've heard weight loss in the same sentence as personal betterment. Apparently when you drop your emotional armour, extra pounds can come off with it. Hey, that's cool. But the above-mentioned statement was couched so surreptitiously within the lines of this article, it felt like a slap in the face, like: "Hey, guess what, this was just a sales pitch asshole. Gotcha!"

Note to goop editors: next time you want to publish some lovey-dovey article about being honest with yourself, you may want to examine how honest the author's motives are for writing the article in the first place. Otherwise, your readers will feel like they've just been f*cked up the ass. That's my honest opinion.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Delinquent no longer. Well, for now, I guess.

So, yeah. I've been a delinquent blogger. So much so that I almost forgot my password when logging in. What can I say, I've been distracted by Miley Cyrus licking tools (or Robin Thicke, with her ass). Apparently, where Miley directs her crotch is more important than where the US directs its diplomatic policy regarding Syria.

Is it just me or is Honey Boo Boo getting fat? I mean, sure, it's her destiny in life, given her genetic predisposition to homeliness and fried chicken but didn't she get her start on Toddlers and Tiaras? Wasn't she a "beauty queen"?

Then again, most of the parents on that show are ticking time bombs, a lot of them former pageant contestants themselves. This begs the question: Does participation in beauty pageants predispose one to a healthy lifestyle given the emphasis on physical beauty? Apparently not.

We just finished watching the third season of The Walking Dead. Is it wrong that I was instantly attracted to the Governor, psychopath that he is? But then, I tell myself, he wasn't always a merciless killer. He had a family. He probably made sweet love to his wife and was a doting father. Then the wife up and dies and the daughter becomes a zombie so really, it's not his fault.

Then we watched some special features and found out the actor playing the Governor is like, British or something. That pretty much sealed the deal. Don't you have a boyfriend? you ask. Yes, I do. But when these things happen, I simply turn to him and say: He's my Halle Berry. We have an understanding.

I had minor surgery on my left knee yesterday and I can't do a whole hell of a lot for about three weeks, until the stitches come out. So, I've decided to take up drinking as an activity instead of simply a diversion from my deep-seated feelings of worthlessness and crippling self-doubt. 

I downloaded the new iOS 7 update onto my iPhone yesterday. Just saying that makes me feel like one of the cool kids, like I belong. In actuality, it's probably akin to a Borg chip being implanted in my brain. Resistance is futile.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Drinking makes everything better

So, yeah.... I've come to realize that staycations aren't for me. However, watching Millionaire Matchmaker on a girls' weekend Saturday afternoon while drinking cosmos, now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Some nouveau rich hipster dufus gets set up on a date. The girl he's with gets him to try a new alcoholic beverage and this is how he describes it: "It's part tuxedo, part motorcycle fuel, part alimony payments." Best. Line. Ever.

This same classy lady says this to him moments later: "Give me a peck on the lips. Don't worry, I don't have any sores or anything." This is when the sheer brilliance of this show dawns on me. That, or the vodka and Triple Sec were taking effect. Anyhoo, there were more zingers being thrown around than ladies' underwear at a Tom Jones concert. (I'm aware that reference is outdated but Tom Jones still rocks that shit. Just sayin'.)

Then we start watching American Dad on Netflix. I'm already a fan of Family Guy and this show basically steps up the jaw-dropping inappropriateness and political incorrectness. In a nutshell, I loved it. I mean, even I was offended, and that's no easy task.

But back to the staycation. Was it nice to not be at work? Yes. Was it fun to be at home, in completely familiar surroundings? Meh. I realized that getting the hell out of dodge is essential to rebooting my brain. When I'm at home, my mind can still obsess about retarded shit because it's not busy trying to find its bearings in a completely foreign land or looking for the nearest tiki hut with those tropical drinks that have tiny umbrellas in them.

Lesson learned. Must travel. Must save money accordingly. Must trust others with my beloved feline. That being said, I should probably stop spending like a drunken sailor. Although, I do get points on my credit card for travel stuff which basically translates into money for travel, so... by spending money am I saving? I like this theory. However, I'm not sure it's accurate.

Random travel photo:

Lake Louise, Alberta

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is Gwyneth an elitist bitch?

Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow was recently accused of elitism, and her newletter Goop, of catering to a privileged few who can spend a 1000 bucks on a pair of shoes or hours preparing a dairy/gluten/meat/sugar/anything good-free meal.

I've been a Goop subscriber for a couple years now (not sure why I signed up in the first place, boredom maybe?) and the accusations are somewhat substantiated. I mean, she ain't selling to Joe Blow middle class or even upper-middle class. To buy into the life she presents in Goop, you need to be wealthy. Not just comfortable, rich.

Gwyneth was recently quoted as saying she can't act like she makes $25,000 a year when that's just not the case. Good point. So I guess you kinda know what you're getting if you sign up for her newsletter: a look into the life of a glamorous movie star. No, not a lot of people live this way. Should she be criticized for being elitist? I don't know that she's ever stated who, exactly, she's targeting with her newsletter so, maybe not.

She's a rich, white girl who grew up in a highly privileged environment. Should we hold that against her? I mean, if we were her, wouldn't we pretty much do the same thing? We seem to have something against wealth. Gwyneth was criticized as being "out of touch". With who? The majority of the population? Then yes, that's true. Does she have to be plugged into the common man and affordable pants? No.

Truth is, if we, the common folk, are looking for advice on anything from what to cook for dinner to the latest Spring trends, we should realize that we won't be getting any useful information from a rich movie actress. Is she somewhat disdainful? Overly-obsessed with healthy eating? Probably. But maybe we would be too if we had to make a living in front of a movie camera with exacting demands on the female form, and were able to afford to eat organic-only.

But most of us aren't of that class. When we're tired and hungry, we go to McDonald's. We buy clothes at Costco 'cause they're cheap, yet well-made, and somewhat stylish.

Do I get irritated when movie actresses self-righteously tell us we should be eating a healthier diet, or "cleanse" seasonally, or buy ridiculously expensive products? Nah. I mean, she's gotta stress about having a perfect ass before starting to shoot the next Ironman while I gorge myself on ice cream without a care in the world.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Facebook Fee

It's official. Facebook is insidious. There was an ad strategically placed on my newsfeed for the Candy Crush Saga app. When I first saw it, it briefly captured my attention, then I moved on. But the seed had been planted. Then I saw the ad again, and it stuck. I downloaded it, and now I'm addicted.

It was technically "free" to download but you only have five lives and if you max them out trying to get to the next level, you have to wait 8, maybe 10, maybe 20 minutes for a new life to continue playing. OR, you can BUY five more lives and keep playing NOW.

Guess what happened next. I got app raped. I spent a few bucks so I could keep playing, like a gambling addict in the wee hours of the morning, sucking the last dregs of cheap alcohol from a plastic cup, scrounging for those last few dollars while getting the stink eye from the dealer who's counting the minutes until the end of what seems like an interminable shift.

It seemed wrong to shell out dough so I could keep matching virtual candy but I couldn't help myself. I felt dirty afterwards. When I was asked for my Apple ID so I could buy more lives, I shamefully tapped in my password, thinking I'd sunk to a new low.

So you see, Facebook isn't free. They get their money through the back door (pun intended). Who needs a user fee when advertisers pay Facebook to sell people shit that's specifically targeted to their own individual interests. I don't know why everyone has their panties in a knot over Obama reading their e-mail. Facebook knows more about you than the government ever will. Big Brother is watching, with your permission.

Does this mean I'm going to delete my Facebook profile? I bought the app, didn't I?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fake nipples and Frankenveins

So I'm walking down the street the other day and some guy gives me a look. Then I realize what's happened. I'm wearing a hoodie under a thin coat, and hoodies have strings, with knots at the ends, which end up strategically placed near the nipple area under said coat. So it looked like I had giant nipples. Mystery solved.

It's strange what time off can do to a person what with the mental space that opens up when you're not caught in your daily routine. My boyfriend and I were on vacation last week in downtown Montreal. About mid-week, I decide to ask him for advice about something I'd been tossing around in my mind.

You see, I have a Frankenleg, or in other words, varicose veins, which apparently, is hereditary. I guess it's better than inheriting a high probability of getting breast cancer and having to chop off my boobs. Oh Angie... But I digress. It's not gotten to the point where the mere sight of my legs frightens little children but it's just enough to start being somewhat noticeable, to me, and possibly no one else. But still.

My family physician referred me to a vein clinic almost two years ago but I didn't really follow up because I saw it as some kind of possibly risky cosmetic surgery and, at the time, wasn't bothered enough by the tiny bulge in the back of my left leg to do anything about it.

Fast forward almost two years later, on a downtown Montreal street. The boyfriend thinks it's probably like getting a tooth filling - not a big deal. I sense he's right. And then I get sucked into the rabbit hole. I must have my leg fixed NOW.

I look up the clinic on the Internet and do some reading. The procedure to get rid of the frankenveins is pretty straightforward, like getting a tooth filling. It's too late to call the clinic that evening so I'm up early the next day making a long distance call because I want an appointment as soon as possible so I can fix my leg in time for summer.

"How about 3 pm on August 29th" says the woman from the clinic. "Sure", I say. Just in time for... fall.  I have to wait three months. I feel completely deflated. I mean, I made the appointment, which was good, but three months! Three summer months of shorts wearing! The horror!

At this point, the obsessing intensifies. The full length mirror in our hotel room doesn't help one bit. I don't have one of those at home so I don't see my full legs very often. But now I do, and I stare, and scrutinize and judge and am horrified. It utterly consumes me.

We see these super cool international dance shows while in Montreal and all I can think is "look how perfect their legs are. I wish mine looked like that."

It's strange how the mind works, once it decides to notice something, and focus on it intently. I would imagine that comes in handy when you're trying to achieve goals but not so much when you'd just like to turn off the switch.

Then my boyfriend asks me: "Has anyone ever pointed it out to you?" "No", I say. "When I spoke of it with friends, I actually had to show them my Frankenleg because they hadn't noticed anything". "Uh-huh", he says. Message received. Sometimes, the sheer depth of my superficiality scares me.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Social media this.

So, I've had this aversion to social media as of late. I find myself completely uninterested in Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest. I mean, I still post stuff, but on a very irregular basis. It's like my brain is protesting. I can't take in all this information all the time. I'm becoming one of those delinquent users who logs on once every six months.

It's the dark night of my social media soul. The new existential crisis. To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question. Or it could be that I lead a completely uninteresting life and have nothing to say. But I highly doubt that because I am an incredibly interesting person whose life should be broadcast for all to see.

Maybe it's sheer laziness. It takes a modicum of mental focus to look at stuff on social media. It does not to play Fruit Ninja. I'm becoming apathetic due to overexposure to useless information. Sure, I might miss some pertinent tidbits here and there but then again, there was a time when we had no social media and we survived.

I could make this into a whole essay about the advantages and disadvantages of social media but I think that's been done. Also, that would require effort and critical thinking. Gross.

I mean, I did find my 15-minute ab workout on Pinterest, without even looking. It just kind of randomly showed up in the humour section. Go figure. There was a photo of a chick with a six pack at the end of the workout and I thought to myself: "Hmm. A six pack would be cool." Of course, the two hot dog / poutine combo and McDonald's burger I scarfed down this past weekend may delay results. Ok, I'm starting to see how telling me I could have six pack abs is funny. 

It dawned on me that we live in a new age when, after finishing said hot dog and poutine combo, I said to the boyfriend: " I totally should have taken a photo of that before eating it. I could have Instagrammed it." And regret washed over me. The sad part is I'll make sure we go back to our little roadside restaurant so I can do just that.

I guess I don't mind Instagram so much because it's just pictures, no words. Wow. That sounds really cavewoman-ish. Want picture, no word. I mean, I still read books and stuff. I'm currently learning how to re-parent my inner child.

I think I like Instagram because it makes me feel like some cool photographer chick. I take photos, make them pretty in Instagram, then post them. It's like hyper-reality. Of course, if no one "likes" them, my whole sense of self-worth is destroyed, but whatever. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So, I kinda got shanked on the way home...

I seem to have this staggering ability, in my mind, to go from a perfectly normal, free association of harmless, random thoughts to dark, disturbing images and unimaginable grief. You see, I was riding my bike home yesterday, and at one point, some kinda weird-looking guy who wasn't really paying attention to where he was going walked out onto the path I was on. He didn't even really see me.

But then I thought that might be the type of guy to randomly attack me in broad daylight on my bike.  So then this whole scenario starts playing out in my mind. This guy comes out of nowhere and starts stabbing me and of course I fall onto the ground and he keeps attacking me and I'm screaming but by the time someone hears my cries for help it's too late because my wounds are fatal and I'm bleeding out on the bike path.

Then, I imagined horrified bystanders taking pictures and posting them on Twitter: "Random violent attack in public park! Holy shit! Someone call 911!". Then, I imagined my boyfriend and stepdaughter at home, wondering when I'll get back from work, thinking: "Hm, it's getting kinda late. Where is she?" Then my stepdaughter sees something on Twitter. "It couldn't be" she thinks to herself. More time passes and still I don't arrive home. Sirens are heard in the distance.

Eventually, two police officers show up at my house. They found my ID in my blood soaked backpack. Inexplicable grief and shock grab hold as the reality of this random attack sinks in. Brave citizens chase my attacker into a neighboring subdivision and apprehend him. The late-night newscast reveals that I am the victim, next-of-kin having been notified of my untimely demise. There is a candlelight vigil that night on the very spot where I was attacked. People are now determined to "take back the park".

The following day, the story is everywhere. A city is in shock. "DEADLY ATTACK" is strewn across the front page of the newspaper. My work colleagues are huddled in small groups, crying and consoling each other. A few days later, hundreds of people attend my funeral, so touched were they by this horrible crime.

At this point, I realize I've made myself cry with all these mind machinations and am thankful the house is empty when I get home because, umm, crazy much? Otherwise, it might have gone something like this: "Why are you crying, honey?" "Oh, I was just imagining this whole scenario where I get murdered in broad daylight on the way home."

This is why I don't watch the news.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Melancholic cavities and Maple lattés

I had to get a cavity filled last week. I wonder if it's because of all the Cadbury Cream Eggs I ate. I wasn't expecting them to freeze me but they did. You see, last time I had a filling replaced, it was in a tooth that was dead following a root canal so it wasn't necessary since I wouldn't feel anything anyway.

So there I was, thinking this would be all quick and simple. Then I find out they're gonna freeze me and I'm all like: "What? Why?" I ain't down with that shit. Then, once I was all good and numb and drooling some drill thingy came out and I was like: "Oh, ok, I get it now."

Afterwards, I wished I had had a heartier lunch. "You'll be able to eat in about 3 hours", the dentist says, as I'm daydreaming of cheese curds. Not gonna lie, when your face is partially frozen, it feels f*cking weird, like you've been punched in the mouth and your lips are twice the size they normally are, except they're not. It's all a drug-induced illusion. Your face actually looks perfectly normal until you try to eat, drink or talk.

I'm pretty much off wheat and try to avoid sugar. However, a few days ago, while running errands, the boyfriend and I stopped into a local coffee shop. He gets a sandwich and tells me: "Take a bite. It's so good. You have to try it." "But, there's wheat, in the bread", I say. "It's too good, you have to try it." So I did. It was delicious. When you don't eat wheat, the experience of consuming moist, fluffy, gluten-filled bread is akin to a shot of heroin.

I then saw a sign advertising their "Maple latté" and thought that might be tasty. So we get one and the boyfriend surprises me with a wheat and sugar-laden chocolate chunk cookie. Who am I to say no to a gift? The cookie/maple latté combo was, quite frankly, indescribable. I felt like a pregnant Catholic school girl - it's so wrong, but at the time, it felt so right. I guess it was describable.

I tried to make wheat-free chocolate chip cookies once. I almost burned our house down and they tasted like cardboard.

The other night, we were perusing our On Demand service looking for a movie to watch. I see Melancholia. "Ooh, that's supposed to be a good movie." I say. We check the description. "The relationship between two sisters is strained as a planet approaches set to collide with Earth." "You want to watch that?" says the boyfriend. "It's a Lars Von Trier film." I say. "I see", says the boyfriend, in a faux grave tone.

I'd like to know who writes the descriptions of these films because, frankly, it sounded like some cheezy, low-budget science fiction flick. Had I not known it was a Von Trier film, I would have been like: "No." Now, it's a Friday night, we're both tired but the boyfriend says "Ok, let's give it a try." Within the first 10 seconds, I know I'll be watching this film alone. It's all slow motion art house images and after a couple minutes, I hear "No. I can't watch this. Too tired. Need something fluffy."

So I watched it the following morning. It was definitely not a Friday night, we're tired and we need fluff kind of film. This movie demands your full attention as everything is happening just under the surface, except for the advancing planet set to collide with Earth but even that element was subtly enfolded into the story, and took on more and more importance as the film progressed but not in an in your face "We will stop this from happening! We are human and we are unbeatable!" kind of way.

It was much more powerful because the film took the opposite approach. This planet is heading towards us and there's not a damn thing we can do about it. What does that mean? I cried at the end, as apparently, I do with all Von Trier films I've seen. I loved it because it took a fresh approach to a tired storyline and was very much about the characters, and not the strange circumstance in which they found themselves. It's a very quiet, philosophical film.

The description should have read: "It's Lars Von Trier, bitches. Watch this f*cking movie."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Eat responsibly. It could save a life.

A new grocery store opened down the street from us a few days ago, a new location of one of our favorite chains. I nearly wet myself when we went for our inaugural shop in the new digs. Feeling that much excitement over a grocery store concerned me for two reasons: 1) this is a sure sign that I'm getting old and 2) this will only encourage my sloth due to its proximity to our house.

And today, a liquor store is opening right next door to the new grocery store. This is my chance to finally get on that liquid diet I've always wanted to try. We're going to buy a bottle of wine there tonight to help support local businesses, 'cause that's how we roll.

I'm eating grapes right now just to stay awake. The Walking Dead isn't the kind of show that should be watched just before bed. It can f*ck you up. I had a fitful, waking dream kind of sleep. What's funny is that I asked myself, just a few moments ago, why I felt so tired today. I thought: "Wow, weird." Then I realized: "Not weird. I didn't f*cking sleep last night". So I can justify being a bitch today. Mothafuckahs.

We recently purchased all four seasons of The O.C. I had mixed feelings about this and wasn't sure what to expect. I mean, I love Peter Gallagher as an actor but then there's Mischa Barton, and there's just no excuse for her. What I didn't expect was this show to be so funny. Not because Mischa's so blatantly awful but because Adam Brody has emerged as a prodigious scene stealer. Mischa's character tried to kill herself a couple episodes ago. The writers should have let her succeed.

Know what happens when you eat a lot of Cadbury Cream Eggs, besides a diabetic coma? There comes a time when you've just had enough. No, it's not because you've passed out after too much wine. I mean, what? There seems to be a point where the body is satiate and no longer requires a massive sugar overload and the feelings of euphoria that follow.

So, if you're craving something sweet or fried, gorge yourself on the stuff. Don't bother with some weak transgression like: "Oh, just this once, maybe I'll cheat a little." No. Go to Costco, get the bulk box of Cream Eggs, or whatever it is you're craving, and stuff your face. Guaranteed, you won't want any more for months. However, eat responsibly. It could save a life.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tick Tock, it's one hour ahead o'clock

Why can't we just gain another hour for Daylight Savings Time. You know, Fall Back, Spring Back. Then we'd be continually gaining time. Or how about we don't change the time at all. It was probably useful when we didn't have electricity or caffeine but it's kind of a moot point in modern times, you know?

More importantly, it f*cks me up. I couldn't get my ass out of bed this morning and I've been dragging it around ever since. My head's all foggy and I feel tired. Why? Because I was robbed of an entire hour. So there could be more daylight.

You know what, though? The days were already getting longer without any help from us. Why f*ck with Mother Nature? 'Cause I tell 'ya, the way I'm feelin' right now, she's having the last laugh. "Look at those fools, trying to manipulate daylight to extend their already over-strenuous activities. I'm gonna f*ck 'em up good."

I don't blame Mother Nature. If we'd just leave shit the f*ck alone, this wouldn't happen. Like last night, it was 7 o'clock but it really felt like 6. It was late but felt early so you don't want to go to bed when you should because it's practically still light out but then you end up going to bed later than usual, you're tired the next day, and left wondering why you feel like you're on tranquilizers.

I disagree with this whole time change business. Even in the fall, when we gain an hour, it's depressing because it's pitch black at 4 pm. I don't want to know what that feels like unless I'm in some arctic location where it can't be helped. We do it on purpose. Why? To get a little extra light in the morning? It's like we can't accept that days are getting shorter at that time of year so we f*ck with things under the misguided assumption that we're maximizing whatever daylight is available.

Except we're not. We're screwing with our internal clocks, creating a form of landborne jet lag.

I could also be suffering from sugar withdrawal after having gorged on Cadbury Creme Eggs for the past couple weeks. But I prefer to not blame myself for my lack of energy.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Leggo my Argo

I know the Oscars were on Sunday and it's now Thursday. (Insert pithy insult here relating to my tardiness.) Anyhoo, something has been nagging at me ever since we actually watched most of the telecast because there wasn't anything better on TV.

Being Canadian, this whole Argo phenomenon has really gotten under my skin. Why? Because the involvement of Canadians who basically saved and masterminded the escape of six Americans is played down while an American CIA agent who swoops in over the course of a few days to carry out said escape gets center stage.

Of course. An American couldn't possibly make a film where Canadians come out as the heroes of the day. No, it's always USA to the rescue. The US won that war. Blah, blah, blah. What's funny is that the very beginning of Argo, in an attempt to give us some historical context, explains that the US basically created the dire situation in which its citizens could be taken hostage by helping to depose a democratically elected Iranian leader and replacing him with an autocratic one years earlier.

WTF US of A? Why do you meddle in other people's backyards when you have no business being there? You did the same thing to Chile with Pinochet. Chileans also commemorate a bloody September 11, a coup d'état, backed by the US, which overthrew an elected socialist government and replaced it with a ruthless tyrant. But no one really talks about that.

It's fascinating how Americans will glorify the people who have to go in and clean up the mess they made in the first place. Why doesn't anyone make a film about years of highly questionable American foreign policy, usually based on corporate interests, not humanitarian ones.

I must give kudos to filmmaker Oliver Stone who has put together the series Untold History of the United States detailing "true" American history, starting with the Second World War. America loves to claim it won that war once it joined the Allies, but in reality, as this documentary series tells us, it was the Russians who were instrumental in ensuring the downfall of Hitler's Third Reich by pushing back Nazi troops trying to invade Russia.

The US is like an incredibly annoying, insecure braggart, needing to fudge the facts and inflate the truth to feed its sense of self-importance. I don't deny the US has had many great accomplishments. But it's ok for the rest of us to have some too. Give credit where credit is due, Ben.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Let your freak flag fly!

So there we were the other night, watching a new episode of Girls, which mainly featured Lena Dunham, naked, having sex with a very attractive man. Now, Lena is not what is commonly referred to as "skinny". She's shapely, voluptuous. She's got some meat on her bones.

The first reaction of those with whom I was watching this (they shall remain nameless) was: "That would never happen" and "she shouldn't be naked so much" and "what she's wearing is terribly unflattering" (when she had clothes on). Now, I dearly love those with whom I watched this but I found myself immediately feeling defensive of Lena. It's true, I totally poo-pooed the first few episodes of this season of Girls but those were arguments based on artistic quality, not personal attacks.

I guess this train of thought also coincides with the fact that I'm currently reading Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth. What I felt for Lena watching that episode was nothing short of sheer admiration for this woman who is completely fearless, taking every stereotype and shoving it back in our faces. You don't need to be skinny to be sexual. What is attractive to the male species differs from one individual man to another.

As Naomi Wolf states (and I'm paraphrasing here because I'm lazy) "beauty" is generic, bland, frozen, and the very idea of "beauty" is completely manufactured by corporations who want us to feel deeply insecure in our bodies so we'll be good little consumers and buy their useless crap. And it works.

From a disturbingly young age, women are taught to see themselves and other women through the lens of judgement, constantly comparing themselves to other women and seeing them as an adversary instead of an ally. "She's pretty, she must have a great life." "She's fat, she must be a loser."

Why wouldn't an attractive man want to make love to Lena Dunham? Men don't want "perfect", which is nothing more than a commercial construct. They want women who love to f*ck as much as they do, and that requires a certain level of self-confidence and comfort in one's own body. I've often heard that what men find most attractive in women is confidence. It's not great hair, or big boobs, a perfect ass, or flat stomach. Confidence. The ability to laugh at oneself, and fart in public. Ok, I added that last bit but I suspect it's true.

Why do we stand in such harsh judgement of each other and ourselves? Why do we think skinny women are better? And who defines what "skinny" is? According to Wolf, if most women tried to achieve a model's weight, which is, according to those savvy marketers, the "ideal" for women, they would have to be in a constant state of semi-starvation.

What Lena represents is a woman unafraid to be herself. She lets her freak flag fly and doesn't give a rat's ass what anyone else thinks. If only there were more of us with such courage.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

1 cent delusions of menstrual grandeur

The Canadian government stopped making the penny. So, if I hold on to the ones I have, will they increase in value? I'm thinking early retirement. I've got at least, oh, 10-20 cents in my wallet. So, let's say they double in value every hour into infinity from now on. I can't do math 'cause it hurts my head and I suck at it but I think that will make me rich. Gives a whole new meaning to saving your pennies for a rainy day.

Menstrual cramps are very distracting.

Just checked my bank account. I shouldn't have done that. Credit would be a good thing if they taught us how to use it properly. Then again, if we used it properly, the banks wouldn't make any money. I'm thinking I should be getting more perks, though, because they make a lot of money off me. I don't know, a free trip, unlimited Starbucks lattés... it might make me be even more irresponsible about using credit thus making me a better customer thus garnering me more free stuff. I'm on to something here...

You know, when you meet someone who could be an important professional contact, and then, in your mind, you think you've had an impact on them, that you've been charming, witty and unforgettable? Then you cross paths with them again a few months later and they barely remember who you are? This is when I start to worry that I suffer from constant delusions of grandeur and that everyone is as self-obsessed as I am and it's a wonder anything gets done at all because we're so wrapped up in our own version of what the world should be like that when it falls short, well, it's humbling. Humility sucks.

How long do I have until self-pity just seems gauche?

The fourth episode of Girls held some promise. I could glean shreds of its former grandeur. Bravo, Lena. You may have found your footing again after a shaky start. Even the boyfriend watched it.

I'm planning a trip to Iceland in 2014. There are perks to digging Björk. I probably would have never heard of Iceland if it weren't for her, and if her native country is anywhere as cool as she is, it'll blow my mind. I loved her Oscar swan dress despite its universal revilement. I bet everyone remembers it, whether they liked it or not. But can you remember what anyone else was wearing at the Oscars in 2001? Björk wins.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Where's a Crack Spirit Guide when you need one...

So there I was, super-excited about the return of HBO's Girls, a show I totally fawned over a few months ago. The boyfriend and I had just settled in, glasses of red wine in hand, and began watching the first episode of Season 2.

To say we were disappointed is an understatement. This show went from smart and sassy to a caricature of itself. We got the feeling Lena Dunham (the show's creator/writer/star/director/producer/caterer/key grip, etc...) read too much of her own press, got too immersed in her own fabulousness, and lost the magic that made the first season of Girls so unique and engaging.

Now the dialogue feels uneven, the jokes forced, the personalities obviously played up. In other words, not believable. It's difficult to connect with characters you just can't take seriously anymore.

It pains me to feel this way since I love seeing one of the sisters succeed, especially in comedy. But Lena, you've lost your way, and now, on the show at least, you've gone from quirky and sweetly dysfunctional to simply annoying. Even the ugliness of your outfits seems too contrived, like you're trying too hard to be "that girl who walks to the beat of her own drum". I get the feeling you're now trying to walk to the beat of the highest bidder.

On the other hand, and perhaps this series can serve as inspiration to Lena, Californication, whose sixth season recently started airing, still manages to surprise us with its sublime writing, lovable losers and increasing depravity.

David Duchovny shines in this series as troubled writer Hank Moody, as does the rest of the ensemble cast in this cocky show (pun intended). When we can watch Hank Moody descend to such depths that he ends up drinking his own urine and think: "Yep, that's Hank." we know we've got a winner on our hands.

In six seasons, Californication has been completely unabashed about its mainly soft porn content. However, the show works because the debauchery is couched in brilliant writing and characters you can't help but love despite all their faults and urine ingestion.

My boyfriend refuses to watch the remainder of Season 2 of Girls, so discouraged was he by the first two episodes, so I'll have to sneak them in on the down low, just out of sheer curiosity and hope that it gets better. Please don't be a one-season wonder, Lena. I'm rooting for you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rainbows and unicorns are overrated

2013, so far, has a really good feel to it, a seriously positive vibe. I sense big things will happen this year. For me. I mean, I hadn't really thought about anyone else.

Narcissistic much? you might say. Yeah. I take photos of myself now. Then post them on Instagram. And Facebook. I won't post them here, though. Well, ok, maybe just this one...

Just starin' at my reflection y'all
As a playwright, I'm mainly concerned with myself and getting my shows produced so throngs of people can adore me and tell me how talented I am. As an artist, cultivating self-love feels like a waste of time. If I'm not torturing myself with constant self-criticism, what will I write about?
If life is all happy and shit, I'm fucked. What would there be to say? Hey, life is wonderful. The end. I think artists are born with a predisposition to bad luck (i.e. fucked up childhood) or, if you had a perfectly normal, uneventful childhood, an unusually overdeveloped sense of self-loathing.

You must keep yourself apart from life, apart from the crowd, so you can mock it, even though you secretly want to be a part of it, and think there's something intrinsically wrong with you because you're an outsider, even though being an outsider gives you a false sense of uniqueness which you consider a sign that you were meant to be a great artist, an artist like no other that ever existed in the whole history of humankind.

The irony is that every creative person, on some level, thinks this way. So you've got a shitload of people thinking they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. Hence, the clash of egos. Not that this doesn't happen in other professions, but it feels especially true for the performing arts.

So, you've got a whole swath of the general population caught in the grips of crippling insecurity, wanting to be noticed, to be "heard", to express their "vision" with the ultimate goal of public adoration, of validation outside the self, of their very existence.

Some artists know from the start that this is their lot in life and embrace it. Others, like me, know early on, are terrified, try to deny it and "fit in" with mainstream society and all its expectations, fail, are miserable, get treated for depression and other anxiety-based conditions, realize they've abandoned themselves, have an "A-ha!" moment, and decide to come back to what they love and make a go of it.

Then comes the rejection. Ah yes, the instances of repeated rejection. Not just once, but many, many times, which seems to go against every fiber of the artist's being. Where is the idolatry and the free swag?

Now, I could say what happens after this, if one truly believes in oneself and stays the course, but it sounds so corny, like something out of an after school special, that I just can't do it.

Suffice it to say, good shit happens.

Of course, once you've reached the pinnacle of success, you must be thrown into the cycle of suffering once again. Otherwise, where will your next masterpiece come from? It's not like you can write about rainbows and unicorns.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cardio-Tramp. You know you want one.

So, I get this e-mail from Air Canada and notice this:

I know I should get excited about airline seat sales and stuff but instead, I got depressed thinking our whole world is basically up for sale to the highest bidder. So I had to drink wine. To deal with my feelings of disillusionment about the corporate takeover of our planet.

I found out I can purchase the following item at Costco:

Which marketing genius came up with this? Cardio-Tramp. It sounds trashy. Which makes me want to buy it 'cause, as the kids say these days, I'm ratchet, which basically means dirty whore. I know this because my stepdaughter calls me ratchet all the time. Should I be concerned that I'm not insulted by this?

I'm trying to put myself on a budget this year so I can save money for things I really want to do like travel to some exotic locales and get a nose job. Ok, I might pass on the rhinoplasty for fear of losing my Jewishness. I'm not technically Jewish but my nose is.

It's funny when I decide to set lofty goals and the Universe says: "Mouahahahaha!" You see, next weekend I'll be on my own for approximately six hours in downtown Toronto. That's like putting a syringe in front of a heroin addict. I'm trying to decide what my approach will be. Do I give myself a modest shopping budget and try to adhere to that? Do I attempt not to buy anything at all? Do I go all ape shit and YOLO and all?

Oh Universe, you test me, yes you do.

I had to stop my spinning classes this week. I've had a sore hip for a few months now, as well as a sore hand and neck. I couldn't figure out what was causing this. I had my suspicions that it might be my spinning classes because I can't seem to do anything in moderation. Once I find something new that I like, I go hard core. Except I'm getting old now, and shit starts to hurt.

It finally dawned on me when I went to a class a few days ago and left dragging my right leg like some lame animal that had been shot but not killed. You know the ones I'm talking about. You see them and think: "Oh God! Put that poor thing out of its misery!"

So I decided to replace it with some Yin yoga, which is basically a moving nap. Hell yes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I hadn't really thought past December 21, 2012

The Mayan Apocalypse never happened. So it's not like I have a plan for 2013. I kinda thought we'd all be annihilated in a fiery blaze or thrown into Dante's Divine Comedy or something. I didn't really plan past my own death, you know?

Well, I'm glad I'm still alive. This is good. Especially since we started watching Friday Night Lights on DVD. It would have really sucked if we had died before even finishing the very first season. For this, I am grateful.

I'm mostly gluten-free but I had pizza for breakfast on New Year's Day. It's going to be that kind of year.

13 is actually a lucky number. I don't know why everyone thinks the opposite. Bad press?

I finally updated the software on my iPhone. You see, I don't have a computer to sync it to and was afraid to use my boyfriend's in case I lost stuff or the process went catastrophically awry. But alas, my phone was woefully out of date and when I couldn't get the Snap Chat app, I snapped. Now that my phone is all up-to-date, my engagement with reality has become even more tenuous.

I'm tempted to distract myself at this very moment with my iPhone as I'm basically talking out of my ass and running out of pithy one-liners.

I guess I could try to wax poetic about my lofty goals for 2013 except I don't have any. Cutting back on Cheetos is as far as I've gotten.

I could maybe shower more often...

I'm thinking in Tweets now which kinda scares me.

I want to pick up that damn phone again. Must. Stay. Focused.

Whoever said writing was fun is full of shit. Wait, has anyone ever said that? Probably not.

I will complete my first great masterpiece this year! I can't even write that with a straight face.

I think the showering thing will keep me busy for a while. This will buy me some time to reflect.


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