Wednesday, 29 February 2012


My friends will attest to the fact that I am not what one would call a “party animal”. I get uncomfortable if there are more than 6 people in a room and tend to leave social gatherings just as they are starting to get going.

Our parties always seemed to have German exchange students.

 I can only handle so much excitement, chips and pop. I am deathly afraid of vomiting, so over-indulging in drugs or alcohol is not high on my list of super fun things to do - to me it is a game of Russian Roulette: I might have a totally fun time, but there is a one in six chance that I will spend the rest of the evening hurling my guts into the gutter (is that why they call it the “gutter”?).  I do not like those odds, so I choose not to play.

As far as “drugs” go, I don’t necessarily have a moral issue with them. You want to mess with yourself, go ahead, just make sure you have the social, financial and medical supports in place to care for yourself after you’ve turned yourself into a total mess. 
Of course I know it’s more complicated that that and there are a myriad social forces at play when someone becomes an addict, but this is not a blog about those people from all walks of life whom I am not better than but perhaps more nervous.  No. This blog is about me and how shiny I am.
So, not big on the drugs myself - and I include alcohol under that canopy. And as I say, not a moral thing, I am personally just unable to handle altered states of any kind.
So you can imagine my chagrin when my mother found this scrap of paper in the bottom of one of her file folders in a storage box at her place:

It is definitely my hand writing (and spelling), and I definitely lived at that address. I have absolutely NO recollection of having a super positive drug experience on Oct 25 while living at that address. Or any address. Let alone 10 Drug Experiences. Does Gravol count?  Maybe it was so awesome that I’ve blanked it out? Maybe I was writing under duress - gun pointed to my head, crazed prison escapee screaming “DO IT! Write that you had a positive drug experience, bitch! NOW”!  Was I writing a play based not on my life? 
It is a total mystery to me.
Of course, my mother doesn’t believe me.
She figures because I was in a folk rock band that I was doing all sorts of crazy drugs and partying late into the night ALL THE TIME. 
Yep. Me and Nana Mouskouri coked out of our heads and singing Guten Morgen Sonnenschein, or some such, at an after hours club in Berlin.

I’ve never done coke. The last thing an anxiety ridden hypochondriac needs is cocaine. I can't speak for Nana, but I kinda doubt she's a coke head. Not sure why.

And I heard that heroin makes you throw up, and, as I’ve mentioned, that’s the worst thing in the world to me. No appeal.  So the only needle I do is needlepoint. 


You were waiting for that one, weren’t you?
I’m not good with any controlled substances. Here’s what I look like when I have imbibed even at the most innocent, mild level:

Not good. Neck sinks into chest. Get tired and depressed (but first I do aerobics in my pyjamas in front of my huge picture window. Yet another reason I do not indulge).
Or, I spend 2 hours laughing at how far away from my head my feet are. And then I get tired and depressed.

So, yah. Not into drugs or booze much. I do, however, LOVE money. And this got me into a pickle on one occasion. A friend who was tired of my goodie goodie-ness said they would pay me $100 American dollars (back when there was a significant difference between Cdn and US dollars) to get super wasted. I agreed, because, as I say, I was/am totally into money. Sadly, I forgot that we were taping a TV show that day. So there I was, on stage, being filmed, forcing myself to focus on playing my parts when all I really wanted to do was be alone and try to keep my neck from sinking into my chest. The show’s producer kept asking our tour manager if I was alright. Everyone was having a good laugh. 

Later, my friend had to pay up and tried to pay me in Canadian dollars. I was having none of it and made a huge fuss until I was compensated, fully, in American money. So disgruntled was my friend that I was then offered $30,000 AMERICAN DOLLARS to get hammered every day for a month.
I declined.
And I REALLY love money, so you can understand.
So, dear dear Mom, please be reassured that I am still a goodie goodie two shoes and that I don't judge you for doing so much meth. I would like some money, though. 

Monday, 27 February 2012


I saw a crazy lady wearing a bizarre outfit down on the Boardwalk the other day. Clutching a Barbie. A red head Barbie. Don’t see those very often.  Red headed Barbies. Not crazy ladies. I see those a lot. In the park. On the TTC. In my bathroom mirror.

her outfit is not pictured here as bizarre. I assure you, in real life, it was. Quite.

Anyway, so... Barbies. I was totally in to Barbies as a kid. I liked dressing them in glamourous outfits. Normal girls would dress them in ball gowns and have them go to parties or dances or weddings. I was more in to Barbie just hanging around in all her finery. Kind of like all the women on The Young And The Restless (most sequins per capita on day time TV). 

I had Malibu Barbie. I did.

This was probably a good thing. Later, when I grew up and didn’t have 36-18-33 measurements, life wasn’t all about shopping and parties, so I wasn’t all that disappointed. When I was a kid I knew only vaguely that somewhere some people lived shiny lives of the rich and famous - there was no Real Housewives of New Jersey for me to compare myself to. Real Housewives of Selkirk, Manitoba spent their time hanging out laundry, going to Bingo and making Kraft-inspired recipes for church bake sales. My TV role models were on Sesame Street and Mr. Dress-up. Most glamourous one was Big Bird. And he was kind of stupid. Not kind of. So Barbie’s life for me, was only a sexier looking facsimile of lower middle class life.

I would give just about anything to see my husband in a one piece knitted orange jump suit. I don't imagine he'd need much convincing.

McCalls needlework pattern 1971. Why is Ken a KGB spy?
Because I wasn’t expecting grown up life to be all convertibles and weekends at the Hamptons (I expect this now, however), I suppose I have not been too disappointed by the realities of every day life. If Barbie had to pay property taxes, be kept on hold by the cable company and pick up dog poop pretty much non-stop, then I would have been primed and ready for the real world. I have had to make some adjustments, to be sure. Maybe the Barbie playing children of today need to be fed more specific scripts in order to ensure they are not devastated by the utter banality of adult life.

There should be a Student Debt Barbie. Or a Ken who lives in a basement apartment with his alcoholic father. Or Cutting Skipper. I imagine if I did a Google search, I’d find all that somewhere. The world is too big sometimes.

I had Mod Hair Ken when I was a kid. 

Kinda looks like Neil Diamond, right?

He had a stick on beard, moustache, and sideburns. His hair was kind of rumpled looking. Ken played a very low-on-the-list supporting role in my Barbie games. Mod Hair Ken always lived on the periphery of Barbie’s life. Maybe he just wasn’t that in to her. I don't recall Mattel coming out with accessories for Ken like,  "Ken's Garage Workshop" or "Ken's private cell phone" or "Ken's Hockey Pool Score Card" or "Ken's Beer Fridge". No. Barbie was Ken's "beard", even when he had a stick on one. Yet another reason Barbie and Ken never had sex. I  mean other than not having genitals. 

Ken had his own agenda.
 Grew the beard to distract from his bad plug job and eyebrow waxing accident.

I still have this urge to play Barbies some times. It must be great to be the Kardashian’s Manager or whatever.  It would be like playing with a real live doll.  Make Beautiful People do whatever you want. “Hey there, Kim. You’re going to a party and then you’re going to get married. And then you’re going to another party and a fashion party and then to the castle. Then you’re going to go on Ken’s boat and wear this outfit. You have a dog for 3 minutes until you lose it under the couch. You need more stuff sold seperately. You are not allowed to change your facial expression”. Sadly, in this real-life Barbie doll, I think she is responsible for her own actions. Having a rubber brain might actually explain the Kardashians to me. 

Then there are the people who want to look like Barbie. This, to me, is just as creepy as that lady who is turning herself into a cat. Maybe more so.

What is it with their bums!

But I digress.
I do crave the make believe world sometimes. What would it look like, you ask?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Arse Getting Bigger

Ok, yet again I have failed to come up with anything brilliant for today’s blog. Or anything stupid and boring. I’m not neglecting my duties, it’s just that yesterday instead of spending 3 hours writing and drawing a blog, I had a three hour nap. Yes.
The three hour nap is not unusual for me. I get up pretty early, sometimes because of dogs, and sometimes because I am so excited about having coffee that I can’t get back to sleep. So I have to make up for the lack of zees somewhere. And it’s usually sometime between 11am and 3pm.
I’m sure it’s pretty unhealthy.
Speaking of which, I’m thinking I need to adopt more healthy eating and exercise habits. Again. Seems all that weight I lost by running and not eating much is creeping back. Well, galloping back. I blame truck stop food, vacations, dogs barking and Vector. It is so disheartening to see those pounds returning, and so easily, after months of effort, miles and sacrifice. If you’re like 95% of dieters, you’ll know what I mean.
I don’t think I will ever get back to my lowest weight, and I’m not sure I should. I couldn’t sit in hardback chairs comfortably because my it hurt my spine that stuck out. It was creepy, but eff I looked great. I was a size 8 on my wedding day and looked great, if a bit bobbleheaded. I am no longer a size 8. Sigh. Not so much a bobblehead now as a weeble.
It was nice to be able to know that clothes were going to look great and fit. It was also very expensive. Because I have spent the VAST majority of my life unable to put pants in the dryer, the sudden ability to wear most things successfully was a bit of a crazy drug that ate away at my bank account like I used to eat cookies. If clothes were gold bricks, I’d be the safest bet on Wall Street right now. Sadly, most of those gold bricks no longer fit. I’m really hoping leggings stay in style a little longer.
I’ll be straight with you - it was really hard to lose that weight. I had to run 40 miles a week and eat no more than1800 calories a day - and when you’ve run 10 miles, that leaves you with about 700 calories to function with for the rest of the day. Not a routine easily maintained. It came off fairly quickly and steadily, to be sure, but I had to be vigilant. I’m not sure I can, or want to, go down that road again.
I am torn between two mindsets: One part of me is saying “You’re 45, you can relax a little, a few extra pounds is no big deal, you need a little extra in case you get sick which you will soon enough because you are 45 and things are only going to start breaking down, sister”, and; “You’re making excuses. Get off your fat duff and do something about your arse”. I like the nicey nice talking self better. Of course.
My husband belongs to the latter category. He is of the “pull up your socks and get ‘er done” school of thought on most things (other than making phone calls to repair companies). This is great for unpleasant situations and tasks, not so much for when I want to be coddled. So, I’m not going to get a lot of sympathy from him. My friends say “you look great, don’t worry” but who trusts their friends in these matters? 
So what’s a girl to do?
I’ll think about that while I eat Vector and bagels. Together. With cookies.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

More Random Crap

Oh Em Gee, I have to write a blog for tomorrow, but I’m going out tonight to a stitch and bitch and I have to walk Sam and finish cleaning up around here, and oh the humanity.
So what to write about? Nothing. I’m just going to leave you with some random crap because I’m far too busy doing absolutely nothing to write anything useful or amusing.
I apologize if I bore you.
When I was very young I was terrified of a character I saw on a Huckleberry Hound cartoon. 

I can’t remember the story line. I think it was a big potato or sausage or something. In my memory, it is bright red. I did have a nightmare about it, but I don’t think I got much sympathy when I went to my parents’ bedroom and said “Mommy, Daddy, I had a bad dream about a huge Sausage Monster who was trying to kill me”. 
I called with the same complaint as an adult and the awkward silence from my parents was almost as uncomfortable as the silence between myself and the guy lying next to me.
To this day, I’ve drawn this character over and over again as a representation of scary evil. 

My needlepointed nightmare

I can see that it’s not bright red. It’s bright yellow. Sometimes the truth is too scary.

I took Italian lessons from Berlitz for 3 months in 1995. I remember nothing. My teacher’s name was Nick and he wore a bugs bunny tie on several occasions. We would chat in painfully slow Italian back and forth, mostly about train stations, shopping and how much I loved bagels. I had pretensions of living in Italy. I still do. 

I get up to pee a minimum of 3 times at night. Between 10pm and 6am. Three times. Small bladder. When we were on our way to Cuba a couple weeks ago, I went to the bathroom on the plane 6 times. Everytime I went I counted it out for the flight attendant. She looked at me wide eyed and horrified each time, but eventually laughed. She touched her own hair pretty much compulsively, ate a red pepper like an apple (I do that, too, so you'd think she would have liked me better) and she was reading a TOTAL bodice ripper.  The other flight attendant did not find me funny at all and said things like “Too Much Information” and held up his hand as if that was going to stop me in any way. Don’t people realize that not finding me funny is only going to make me try harder and harder? It’s safest just to laugh politely and then I’ll be satisfied and the awkwardness can stop. 

But seriously, I peed 6 times in a three and a half hour period.

I believe that I have a nose that is made out of elastic bands. Elastic bands formed into the shape of a potato. On my face. It is extremely flexible, but that isn't necessarily a good thing.

And I can’t help but wonder why there is only ONE FARM in the entire United States that is habitable on the show Walking Dead. 

The only farm left on earth

Surely there’s a farm next door, or down the road a ways. If you don’t watch the show, I’m not going to explain. Just understand that there are a lot of questions that need answering about THAT particular post apocalyptic society.
Ok, I have to go walk the dog now and then get ready to go to my stitch and bitch. Thanks for taking the time to read. Have a nice day. Be careful. Have two pieces of fruit and don’t worry, you look fabulous!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Cuba 2012 - The New Traditions

So Cuba was great.
This was our third time, so we knew to expect awesomeness. The sun, the sand, the beach. All heavenly and blissful.
But this time around I learned some new things to love about our annual Cuba vacation. Things that will become repeat experiences. Things that need to be committed to the lore of holiday traditions.
First, let’s get the sun, sand, beach part out of the way. Here are some pictures of the sun, sand and beach. These are basics. The reasons we go to this place.

our sweet little backyard

There are the people at the resort who make us feel so welcome and remember us a full year later. Having a 6’1” husband with a shaved head and a bottomless pocket of tips doesn’t hurt, either. Tamara, who books spa treatments for people, is my favourite. She is kind, friendly and is potentially the most beautiful woman in the world.

 I should not have been photographed next to her. It sullied her, somehow, and it is not right.

I love the music. It is impossible to listen to Cuban music and not waggle your bum. I look like a fool waggling my bum, but I don't care. The resort has amazing musicians every night. It's like the Buena Vista Social Club is your dinner music. It must be pretty mind numbing for the musicians though.

This trio was amazing. The woman's expression never changed. Not once. 

These are the usual delights of our Cuban vacation. 
But there were, this time around, a few new things that will bring me back, yet again, to our favourite spot in the sun. I don’t have photos of some of these new things, so forgive my feeble attempts at artistic interpretation. You always do. You are so kind.


I call the bed things around the pool “bunwiches”. They are coveted lazing around real estate. You have to get up at the crack of senior citizen to claim one. There is a bunwich that is in the middle of the pool with a path to it, but it is very central, and close to the swim up bar. My friends call this the “Celebrity Bunwich”, because it is the most desirable and visible of all bunwiches. 

However, there is another bunwich that I call “The A-List Celebrity Bunwich” because it is up high and hidden from the prying eyes of the oiled up, sagged masses. We scored this bunwich on two occasions and we were totally better than everyone else because of it. We were the David and Victoria Beckham of Bunwiches. Tucked away behind lush foliage and at the top of a little waterfall thing. We. Were. The. Shit.
Look how exclusive.

Inaccesible except via awesome coolness.

One day, while my other traveling companions were ordering ice cream after lunch, I knew, in my heart of hearts, that what I really wanted was more french fries. So I ordered french fries for dessert. No word of a lie, this doubled up french fry experience was a highlight of my trip. People are STILL talking about it.


Last year, we stayed up late. There were 27 other people to be entertained by. Some nights we wouldn’t crawl back to our room until 1:30 am! Imagine. And we’re over 40! This trip, Brian and I were asleep before 10pm on more than one occasion. We said the words “Early Bedtime?” to each other like we were whispering a poem. Nothing happens at the resort after 10pm that we have any interest in seeing. We’re too young to be interested in the stage show, and too old to go for drunken skinny dips in the pool. So after eating to the point of extreme discomfort and shame, we’d weeble and wobble back to our rooms, remove the towel art from our beds, and sleep like big, fat, overfed, over-heated, middle aged people.

                                 STAR GAZE

Attached to early bedtime is Star Gaze. This activity involves Brian getting a mojito from the bar on our way back from dinner, maybe I get a tea, and then we sit in our back yard on the loungers and stare up at the stars. It’s amazing how many more stars you see when you are out of an urban centre. We saw Venus. 

And we looked for either of the dippers, but might have been too far south. We saw the Belt of Our Ryan. Mostly we just looked. 


Cats that live at resorts keep the rodent population down. They also provide entertainment for crazy cat ladies who miss their kittens back home. These cats are usually quite thin, likely flea ridden and look like... well, not your Mensa cats, let’s say.

 One of my traveling companions, Felicity,  would take ham from the buffet and feed them. I discovered this activity late in our trip and am already planning next years trip around Ham Cat Time. 

Cruise director Felicity also initiated the new Cuba traditions of "Drink and Float", which is what you think it is:

Eyes have been blocked out to protect identities.

And "Beer Walk" which means going to get a beer when you are not near a bar. 

I think that making new traditions is a great way to plan and look forward to a holiday. It's also a good way to be drunk and to plan to be drunk and to look forward to being drunk.

We are already scheming about Cuba 2013. What will happen? How many new running routes will Brian find? How many new adorable phrases for exercise will Felicity invent to make it sound like it's a fun thing to do? How many hard boiled eggs will Roger eat? How much ham will Ellen stuff into her beach bag to feed feral cats? There's only one way to find out.

Save your pesos, friends.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

First Wedding Anniversary

Today is our One Year Wedding Anniversary. As I am very busy getting ready to leave for Cuba, I’ll just leave you with a few pictures from a year ago today.
I’ve gained 10 pounds since then.
I’m not sure if I’ll be updating the blog from Cuba, so if not, I’ll return on Monday, February 20th with more Elpoo navel gazing and words of advice.
Mrs. Elpoo.

Ryan's got a flower beard. Megan is picking her nose. Totally.

Brian and Ryan laugh at the silly bitches.