Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh ya, well according to Betty, Archie was a real cartoon in the sack.

A man I loved once reminded me, "Men prefer blondes, but they marry brunettes". 

Yesterday, after 68 years of fence sitting, two-timing Lothario, Archie Andrews did just that. That limp-dicked redhead kicked Betty to the curb and proposed to heiress Veronica Lodge. A brunette.  

Personally, I always thought Archie was a bit of a mama's boy, but pickins were slim in Riverdale. I probably would have slept with Reggie Mantle, got burned, and left town for New York City long ago. I'd roll into town years later, having made a fortune in real estate. I'd be looking fabulous, and skinny, and I'd sleep with pussy-whipped Archie just out of spite. 

Poor Betty. Maybe she'll become a lesbian and start a dog walking business with Big Ethel.  

Maybe she'll screw Moose and become a bloated alcoholic. She's well past her perky prime. Not even pervy Pop Tate will want her now.

We poor blondes have it rough. My life would have been so different if I were a wealthy brunette. I would have nice kitchen countertops and trips to Tuscany and I'd be married to an asshole like Archie and ew, wait a minute... my kids would have red hair!  

Never mind. I'm calling Jughead before Betty does. I hear his nickname has nothing to do with his IQ.   

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm not buying into that soft as a baby's bottom crap.

I had a serious panic attack yesterday that had nothing to do with the cellulite that is now creeping down the front of my body.

I was asked to babysit. 

I know, I know, who in their right mind, aside from Clifford Olsen maybe, would ask me of all people to tend a small child. They were clearly desperate. 

Not last summer but the summer before, we were of course in Portland, Maine for a hockey tournament. The coach's wife was celebrating her 40th birthday and to make a long story short, there was a Mexican restaurant within stumbling distance and margaritas and of course Catherine and I somehow ended up hitch hiking downtown wearing sombreros... anyway.... we both felt frightful the following day but she felt really, really dreadful. Seems she was pregnant. How's that for a birthday surprise?

So that tequila-soaked fajita, now walking, was the little creature who needed someone to watch over his precious life for three hours. Three hours. That was the time I had to kill the child, between the boys leaving for Quebec and Catherine's nursing work shift to be over. 

I hated babysitting when I was a kid. I could never stay awake like you're supposed to, and I always found other people's houses really creepy after dark. The snacks were never like they were on TV, plus I hated small children. I baby sat for this family once and the Mom, in hindsight, was a bit of a boozer and she'd come home with that neon peach lipstick smeared, all pissed up on Gimlets, waving her cigarette holder with promises to pay me the next day. No wait, that was me, never mind. 

When Jack was born I knew nothing. I didn't attend any childbirth classes or go on any of those freak show tours to the hospital to see the birthing rooms. I was already lying awake at night wondering how I was ever going to get that massive watermelon out of what used to be a fairly small hole. Like shitting a rocking chair. No thanks, it felt safer being ignorant.  

I had also never dealt with diapers. Jack peed all over his tummy for the first few weeks because I didn't know you had to tuck the penis into the down position. And, back to babysitting, what if the Mexican had, vomit, cloth diapers! Those piss-soaked enviro-friendly poo catchers are apparently back, big time. In fact there's a really nice new store called Nutured on Robie Street that almost makes me want to be nice and buy something for one of Jack's new cousins that seem to be popping up like middle-aged zits at tampon time.  

So, needless to say not only was I afraid the little Mexican would fall down the stairs, or get electrocuted, or escape out into the street. What if he shit his pants? I can only hold my breath for so long, and without much practice my gag reflexes are not what they used to be. I told Steve to give him lots off cheese (to bung him up) then I'd bring some Nyquil so he get all drowsy and fall asleep. Never wake a sleeping baby... or is that a dog. 

Once, Jack and I were watching the Simpsons, and Homer had a flashback about his Dad skipping  pages at bed/storytime, then whipping out the Nyquil when Homer caught on. Jack said, "Mom, that's just like you!" 

Maybe it was the Nyquil threat, or me asking for a baby seat so I could at least drive to a local tavern to feed the kid, but they asked Catherine's mom to babysit.

I haven't been that thankful since the handsome businessman in the Frankfurt airport said something along the lines of "Christ you are beautiful for a big, old Canadian backpacking broad of Germanic descent", even though Jack said the man was merely clearing his throat and quite possibly choking. I could swear he wanted me. 

After it was clear I had dodged the babysitting bullet I bought Steve a case of beer and tucked it in among the hockey bags, then waved goodbye to my smelly, little bundle of joy. 
I hope I live long enough to kill my grandchildren.

April MacKinnon, the owner of Nurtured, won the Savvy Mom Entrepreneur of the Year award last year. Big bucks for the winner, so I signed myself up. You can vote for me (or not) at:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And then, it fell from the sky and I walked across the water to get it. Honestly.

I know when my child is lying. I can tell, even over the phone. He is terrible at it. His big eyes kind of glaze over and pop out like a cartoon cat. Then his voice goes up an octave. And he changes the subject immediately afterward, with curve balls like, "Mom, all that working out really seems to be working". As to throw me off my blood-splattered path with another lie.

Jack never, ever, gets away with lying. Even a small lie in response to "Did you brush you teeth?" falls flat. Afterward he always says, "damn you're good... why do I even bother?!" 


My friend Linda says her son Pete always tugged at his ear while fabricating even the tiniest tall tale.

And Brian Mulroney, well, never mind.

This past week, I have been more than a little preoccupied with a lie that involves my stolen iPhone. It's a long story, one that basically begins after the theft, with a lie of my own. You see, the morning I realized my iPhone had been stolen from my truck, I was on my way to Jack's 6am hockey. Sitting in the Cole Harbour rink parking lot, I used an old Pay-as-you-go phone we never use, and starting dialing my iPhone. I figured if nothing else, I'd wake the little asshole who stole my phone up. I dialed it several times and it rang and rang. Finally, after several calls, the little delinquent turned the phone off.

That spoiled my fun, so I did what most victims of petty crime would do. I lied. I went home and sent myself a bunch of emails. My emails all popped up on the iPhone without need for a password to retrieve them. My messages to my iPhone said, "Listen you dumb fuck, this phone has a built-in GPS and the cops are on their way." 

It was a bald-face lie. And it worked. The thief sent me a text message!  

I guess the dumb shit panicked, which set off a series of lies that continue to this day. His stories include; "finding" the cell phone; then selling the cell phone to a friend of a friend, and apparently coming down with amnesia as suddenly he didn't know who his friends were. Then he moved on to a tale about giving the cell phone to the rightful owner who had claimed it, then in gratitude gave him a $30 reward. But amnesia kicked in again, as he couldn't remember who that person was. Or where they met. 

All the while, the police and I are shaking our heads. But here's the kicker – his parents knew nothing about any of this. Once enlightened, they went from angry and wanting to make things right – to buying into his lies – practically saying their child's shit doesn't stink. 

If it weren't for the police telling me not to contact these gullible parents, I would most certainly be doing donuts on their south end lawn. Ya gotta love rear wheel drive.

Through it all, I have gone from patient and forgiving, telling them to replace the phone and it'll all be swept under the rug – to rabid. This is costing me time and money I do not have. As the guy at Rogers said, "M'am, it's easier to get out of a marriage than a Rogers contract". 

To be honest, I am most angry, aside from the financial loss, at the kid's parents and their total lack of responsibility. If Jack had been caught in possession of a so-called "found" object, I would march his ass up to the victim's house so fast his size 12's wouldn't touch the ground. There, he would be apologizing and offering to mow their lawn, or shovel their snow until the item was paid off. Then I would have him circumsized. 

I'm with Rodney on this one. I agree with his election blah blah, that parents should pay when their kids screw up.

These parents didn't do a damn thing. As a result, charges are being laid and this kid will have to face the music. Bad opera music.  

I know if Jack found an expensive iPhone, he would be so dumb with excitement and the hope he would actually be able to keep it, that he'd be dying to tell me about it. And, if Jack was trying to keep a secret about a found or stolen object, I would know. I would smell the omissions and lies on his breath. I would see it in his eyes. I would know the minute he said, "Mom, you deserve a pedicure, let me pay for it."   

Lying takes a great deal of energy. That kid, and his parents, must be exhausted.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Babe, that was great, now move that little tail of yours and grab me a beer will ya.

Can I gloat for a minute about my weekend. I haven't been this sore, and satisfied, with bliss carrying over to Monday morning, since well, I can't remember.  

Jack was away in Quebec, well out of earshot, and like the Leafs looking for the Cup, it was long overdue. To think, I had actually given up. Knowing it was inevitable, I didn't even shave my legs. I wanted it to be really, really dirty. 

I got on my hands and knees did it over and over and over. All weekend long. I pulled gout weed 'til I couldn't pull any longer.

That my friends, is how boring my life is.

Gout weed is the herpes of plant life. A miserable little prick of a ground cover that keeps coming back even after you've told it in plain English that you are "just not that into it". Aside from the hearty geranium it's about all I can grow.

When I Googled "gout weed" this morning, I kept getting links for Horny Goat Weed. Surely that plant must be invasive on a more interesting level, so I went there instead. True enough, those crazy Chinese have been sucking back the Epimedium species of perennials for over 2000 years. It's heralded as a natural aphrodisiac. To be scientific, Horny Goat Weed contains a variety of flavonoids, polysaccharides, sterols and an alkaloid called magnaflorine. And while the exact way horny goat weed works remains unknown – and, who gives a shit – the plant has long been employed to "restore sexual fire, boost erectile function, allay fatigue and alleviate menopausal discomfort".

Maybe it's just the position those Chinese people assume to pick the damn stuff. 

So, while my erectile function doesn't need any boosting, I could use a little allaying of my fatigue from time to time. Maybe I'll grow me some Horny Goat Weed. There's a big, backyard- size hole where all the gout weed used to be.

Which got me to thinking. Many pant sizes ago, when I worked for Butterfield & Robinson, I was researching a new itinerary for the Annapolis Royal to Wolfville extension of the 7-day Nova Scotia bike tour. This required countless, painstaking hours of drinking, er, planning with Patrick Redgrave, the owner of The Garrison House Inn on the main drag of Annapolis Royal. One particularly grueling day we drove up to the NSLC in Annapolis to research a suitable, local wine for the mostly Kosher crowd that would insist shellfish verboten, that is until the butter started melting. But I digress. 

As I was getting ready to reverse out of my spot in the NSLC parking lot, a beat up Chevy Vega pulled into the space next to me. I glanced over as the driver, a man, jumped out of the car and strolled into the liquor store. No big deal, it happens all the time in that neck of the woods. The only thing that separated this man from any other man was his co-pilot – a shy, lily of a woman who remained seated in the car waiting patiently for her man to come back. I did a double take, and being a Toronto city slicker at the time, I was a bit taken aback.

The woman in the passenger side of the Vega was a goat. 

Go have a yummy, organic meal and crash at Pat's lovely Inn if you don't believe me. He'll back me up! 

Which leads me to close with details from another story I found online early this morning after tucking Jack safely into his bed after his all-night road trip from Quebec. It's another true story about a man charged with animal cruelty after being caught making love to his goat. According to the police report, the man admitted "taking the goat to the back of the property to have sex with it, and before doing up his trousers, patting the goat and walking away".

Maybe it was the pat on the ass that ruined the moment for her. Or the fact that he didn't call like he said he would.

Men are like gout weed. You pull and you pull 'til your knees ache and all you get is a pat on the ass to wipe the dirt off and a post-coital ride to the liquor store.

The Garrison House is at 350 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal
Phone: 902-532-5750  Toll Free: 1-866-532-5750

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oh bla di, oh blah blah.

I knew when I was wiping my ass with a coffee filter that it was time to break down and go to the store. I hate shopping for so many reasons, but we were also out of Advil, and since I pop those gel caps like M&M's in tennis season, I knew it was time to shop.

I was in, and at the checkout in under a minute. Seconds after reaching the cashier, an ancient relic of a woman lined up behind me. The pint-size geriatric began to bug me as soon as I felt her frail little body invading my personal space. It appeared she had less patience than I do as I heard her death rattle sighs more than a few times. I kept glancing back and down at her, just to let her know that if she were any closer she could give me a rectal exam with her boney, geriatric finger. 

I paid for my double rolls of 2-ply and Advil, and as I was taking my bags off the counter, the little senior citizen hefted an industrial-size bag of Depends onto the counter. I caught her beady-eyed glance and thought, geezus, I may be well past my prime but at least I'm not there. Yet.   

I bet she was happy to hear the Liberals have included in their million dollar bullshit, a vow to cut back taxes on funerals.    

Maybe that's why Paul McCartney and Kiss are coming to Halifax. On the off chance the Liberals stop riding the pine and get elected, and the likelihood that one of the band members may act their age and have a stroke and die onstage – they'll get a nice Nova Scotian tax break.

Which brings me to the other night. Jack was watching the American Idol final, and who rolls out on stage but a withered up Rod Stewart. Jack snickered and said, "who is that!?" As Rod started to warble out Maggie May I said,  "That's Rod Stewart. He used to be good." Used to be. He is so skinny and old now Maggie May goes by Margaret and she's buying Depends down at the local Shoppers Drug Mart.

I wouldn't pay $125 to stand in a field and see Gene Simmon's nicotine-stained tongue or Sir Paul's paunch even if John Lennon were to rise from the grave to accompany them. Bad enough to be inundated with politicians in bad suits all spring, spare us the sweaty old men in leather pants. If I had their nest eggs, I'd be drinking Veuve Clicquot and playing wheelchair tennis down in Boca Raton. 

Maybe they've all lost a chunk in this financial downturn and they have to go back to work to pay for their adult diapers.

I know I'll be working 20 years after I'm in my incontinent, rock 'n' roll heaven.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And the winner is... yes! yes! yes!

Last night Marilla and I made a huge bowl of popcorn and curled up to watch the not-so-great debate. Okay, so Marilla wasn't there, but my dog Dottie was, and so was the popcorn. I just pretended there was someone like Marilla in the room, kicking off her Barbie-sized high heels and furiously taking notes, crafting an informed and intelligent opinion. No offense Dottie. 

Confession. At 7 most evenings, I am normally in the missionary position, with Dottie, awaiting the Coronation Street theme song. The fact that The Street was pre-empted for the debate had my hackles up prematurely.     

Right off the mark, I noticed both Dottie and myself looking at the TV and tilting our heads in that oh, so adorable, quisical dog look. It was Dexter's eyebrows! They were a perfectly pointed tandem of weirdness. Almost Spock-like in their painterly perfection. It gave him a deer in the headlights appearance throughout the entire hour, even when he wasn't babbling about how his government was going to ruin Nova Scotia much like Bob Rae's NDP pillage in Ontario. I couldn't move past those brows. That and the blue tie with the brown suit.

When I could steal my eyes away from Dexter's brows it was to get up closer to the TV screen to see if Stephen McNeil was indeed breathing. I was hoping someone would hold a mirror up to his mouth. The poor man looked like a lifeless preacher in an ill-fitting suit, hanging on to the pulpit for dear life. We really can't vote for 4 years of that animal magnetism can we people? He made Farrah Fawcett's recent return to television seem entertaining. 

I have to say it, if there was a winner, and it clearly wasn't Nova Scotians, but if I had to declare a winner last night, it was Rodney. He must have some Ian Thompson and Kevin Cameron rubbing off on him – a good suit, and his hair wasn't quite as Harper-esque as it normally is. The highland flinger spoke with the most passion (most to lose maybe), but he also made the most sense. Oh sure, he got us into this mess, but given the present global financial climate, I can't help but think if either of the other two Stooges were in charge, that things would be even worse. Rodney had enough brains to lure Ian Thompson back from Ottawa, so he gets my nodding-off nod.  

But hey, where was the young Green-in-so-many-ways candidate? 

To close this blonde, internal political debate, I admit difficulty when forming an intelligent, logical opinion. Ever. My opinions come by way of sudden Tourette's-like blurts from deep down in my bowels – or from my heart – seldom do they come my head. So let's juts roll with that and play a little game. If you had to have sex with one of the candidates after watching last night's election debate who would you pick? Come on, don't tell me this isn't how Obama, and Kennedy, and Trudeau got a few female votes!    

But if you really had to – life or death had to – pick one of those 3 fellas to rock your world for the next four years, who would you choose as your Mr. X?  

Or, would you simply abstain from voting, and self-govern?

I raise my eyebrows, tilt my head, and wonder.    

Monday, May 18, 2009

While he's there, maybe they can check for a pulse.

Horse feathers are finally flying on our dusty ol' campaign trail.  

'Seems Barney Rubble and the Friendly Giant have their Stanfields in a knot because Rodney got an invite to cut the cheese at the opening of the new Halifax Infirmary emergency. And they didn't.

It's about time. I was drifting off there for a while. This election beat has been so slow, the Horrid resorted to covering the opening of McNeil's lunch box. 

Smelled like bologna.    

I do see "Vote for Stupid" signs popping up like big, squeezable zits, all over the South End. Lots of big, ugly red ones. One stately household must be having a bit of a domestic dispute, with blue and red signs nestled among their highly-taxed tulips. Maybe I'll go talk to them.     

About Wednesday's party at the Emerge. I think Dexter's just mad because he wanted cake.    

But, hey... the good news is, with all the murders and gun slinging going on in HRM lately, maybe there'll be some real action at the ER opening ceremony. 

'Wonder how long they'll make everyone wait. For cake.          

Saturday, May 16, 2009

And while we're at it, let's make beaver and poutine our nation's appetizers. And can we do something about Shania Twain.

Grocery shopping is right up there with pelvic exams and organized religions as something I try to avoid. When we lived in San Francisco you could do all your grocery shopping online, at your leisure, then some young buck would bring it to your house, unpack it, and leave. Ah, my brief, civilized dot-com days.

Back to my have-not reality this week, where I found myself leaning on a grocery cart like some geriatric alcoholic on a walker, weaving my way through Sobey's trying to find something to feed my child. I cannot tell you how uninspiring it is to cook for someone who dips his fries in his milkshake.

I usually grab something healthyish to eat as I stagger around, otherwise everything looks tasty and I wind up with a cart full of Little Debbie cake wrappers and empty tubes of Pringles. Lately, I find myself grabbing packages of pepper flavoured, hot-smoked salmon. It cures my salt cravings in a sort of healthy way, but by the time I get to the check out my fingers are all greasy and I smell like I have some weird fishy yeast thing goin' on down south. Who cares, it gets me past the snack aisle without Cheesie dust build-up under my fingernails. 

Enlightenment presents itself in many forms, especially these days, so imagine my delight when I almost knocked over a display of Extreme Beans while cruising the grocery aisles. I fell to my knees and kissed the linoleum. Well, not really, but I felt like it. 

Extreme Beans, for the unenlightened, are the pickled, green bean stir sticks bartenders worth their salt, plop in a well-dressed Caesar. Not the salad. Crunchy and delicious, with or without the vodka, the mere sight of the spicy beans had me craving a bar stool under my ass.

Shortly thereafter, serendipity kicked in when I learned from Marketing magazine that Mott's is making a big fuss over this week being the 40th anniversary of the Caesar. They're going so far as to launch a petition to make the Caesar, Canada’s official cocktail. You mean is isn't already? For Lord's sake it matches our flag! Apparently, if there's enough consumer response, the company will ask Parliament Hill to make the “national drink” official. Maybe we can get them to deport Shania Twain at the same time. 

Hey... wait a minute, maybe that's a decent platform for one of our limp-celery wanna-bes! Finally something to vote for! Why not... no one's buying the anti-red tape brigade, or the latest Liberal bout of gas. Hell, according to Stats Canada we already guzzle 350 million Caesars annually. It would be a no-brainer for the first, quick-to-react no-brainer running in our 4-donkey race.   

According to the Mott's spin the first Caesar was concocted in Calgary of all places, and was inspired by Spaghetti Vongole (tomato and clams). This is where it gets too corny for me, but after naming the drink for the Roman commander-in-chief, legend has it a Caesar was served to some British idiot who, after tasting it, cried, "That's a good bloody Caesar!" Geesh you'd think they'd concoct a better story than that.     

In my opinion, the best bloody Caesar to be found in these parts is at White Point, and I'm not just saying that because they pay me. What puts big boy pants on the White Point Caesar is their specialty-of-the-house, infused vodka. That's right. The good folks at White Point soak their vodka in a mixture of really, really hot peppers, giving the vodka a bit of a peyote-esque Mexican kick (minus the fear of hallucinations and Montezuma's). Their bartenders will also happily run to the kitchen for a dab of horseradish, which in my opinion really separates the men from the boys.

All of this just makes me miss my friends, and the apres-ski bar at Georgian Peaks, where Caesars flowed like water. Above the music and ski boot shuffling, familiar voices would repeat a line, that wasn't as funny as the delivery: "Of course I sees her, whaddya think I am, drunk?" But, big sigh, since it's just past the crack of dawn, and I am a middle-aged hockey Mom in Halifax, with no vodka, Clamato, or horseradish, and I am not enough of an alcoholic to break into the neighbour's house and steal theirs – the spicy, patriotic goodness will just have to wait. 

Until then, I'll settle for the morning paper and an Extreme Bean.   

To sign the Caesar petition go to:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Extremely playful and lively, with an aroma that is inclined to leap out of the glass with the slightest provocation. And claw your eyes out.

One evening, at a friend's beautiful red brick farmhouse in Ontario, I found myself saying, "Tom, your cow just peed on the carpet in the living room." Not a sentence you hear everyday, but there was indeed a cow in the living room, and it was urinating. This is not a fabricated story.  
Similarly, yesterday I found myself in the NSLC forming the same kind of odd sentence. I asked the young girl at the checkout if they carried a wine that had cat pee in the name. "Oh", she chirped, "you mean, Cat Pee on a Gooseberry Bush". That's the one. I had caught the tail end (no pun intended) of a CNN news clip about this particular wine, and I wanted to see if it indeed existed. And it does. So I bought it. With a label like that, who wouldn't. Besides, they claim profits help support the SPCA. Maybe they can afford to have more cats put down.  

Imagine if all labeling and advertising was that honest. Think of the billions of dollars saved by consumers if a car was called "Piece of Lemon-Flavoured Japanese Shit". Or, if a $90 teaspoon of face cream was called, "Face It Lady You Are Old and Poly Filla Couldn't Smooth Out Those Wrinkles".

How about, "Extra Small Condoms Because Your Jack Russell Terrier Has a Bigger Penis". 

Or, "Yes, These Jeans Will Make Your Ass Look Fat."   

How about millions and millions worth of election promises with labels like "Free Tuition If You Sell Your Soul and Perform Rectal Exams in Ecum Secum for Five Years."  

Or, "17 More Parking Spaces That For Now, We'll Call Hospital Beds."

Or, here's a good one from the Green party. "                     ". 

Ronald, er, Rodney McDonald's label of the day is a real head scratcher. It's called, "Five Hundred Dollar Tax Credit To Get Out of Bed and Volunteer to Burn to Death Because I Just Noticed The HRM is So Darn Big the Fire Trucks Can't Afford the Gas To Get To Musquodoboit." 

Hey, maybe his $500 platform is doable compared to the $78.9 milllllllion dollar price tag on Darrell's bottle of rose-scented horse shit. And is Steve McKneel getting a student loan to pay for all that tuition? 

Fat Man. Tall Guy. Fiddler. Kid. You guys playing Have-Not Province Monopoly, or what? Who's the Banker? I am so confused. I thought everyone was pulling down Rodney's skirt because he was taking us into debt. Wait a minute... am I being mislead?!

For heaven's sake fellas, let's start calling a spade a spade, instead of a "Metal Object Designed to Lower Taxes and Fling Shit With Such Precision That it Lands in the Form of an X on a Ballot". 

I'm not buyin' any of it. Pass the Cat Pee.   

Monday, May 11, 2009

Don't forget to wash behind your tentacles!

"Mom, Let's go!" 

I ignored that one. 

It's was the second, "let's go" at 6:12 am on Mother's Day that turned me into a rabid dog. I had been chipper 'til that point, then I snapped. I had to remind my darling child that it was indeed Mother's Day, NOT Jack's Day, and to get his boney ass out in the car and wait, like I did, for 28 hours, for his arrival on Earth. I don't recall sticking my head up my ass, yelling, "Come on kid, let's go!"

By 11:00 am on Mother's Day, I had been to the Cole Harbour arena twice. And the Centennial arena twice. I went through 2 drive-thrus for 2 nourishing meals for the little darling. I picked up, and safely delivered 2 other smelly hockey players that did not pop out of my womb. Got gas (for the car). Picked up 2 steaming piles of dog shit. And made 2 beds.

What set of testicles invented Mother's Day? 

Then it dawned on me. Gone were the days of the homemade greeting card. And I should have saved those pipe cleaner and tissue paper flowers. For the first time on a Mother's Day, I was the mother of a teenager.

So far, I am lucky. There are no outward signs of teenage angst. Yet. Maybe that comes with the pimples. I am keeping the conversations open, and in fact, hearing more than I'd like. Jack and I went for wings with 2 other boys the night before, where we discussed what happens at parties these days. Open and honest. It was horrifying to hear what happens, already, when young teenagers are left to do, what they think they want to do, without adult supervision. I'll tell you right now, I am so happy I am the mother of a teenage boy, and not a girl. Even so, poor Jack will never be allowed to attend a party unless I am in the middle of it waving a big sign that says, "Been there, done that".    

Mother's Day got better. For dinner, we spread out newspaper and helped the local economy, eating lobsters the way they were intended – with a hammer, no utensils, and a shitload of butter. I am always a tad squeamish lowering the lobsters into the pot, thinking they could be someone's mother. But I do. By bedtime, we had watched 2.7 hockey games and consumed a half pound of butter. It was perfect.   

At tuck-in, Jack became overwhelmed with guilt, laced with fatigue, when he realized he hadn't really put much effort into Mother's Day. No card. No gift. I reminded him that he was the gift. That spending the day together, even if it meant sitting in a rink, was the best gift a Mother could ever get (short of liposuction).

Not to worry. I am double lucky. I get to celebrate Father's Day as well. Maybe that's when I'll get breakfast in bed and a homemade card. 

If not, I'll settle for a "Mom, let's go!" It beats the hell out of "see ya later", or "goodbye, cruel world."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gross National Happiness. Or just gross.

My face is all puffy and my eyes are swollen. No broken heart. I literally cried myself awake last night watching Michael J. Fox's documentary, "Adventures of an Incurable Optimist".

In the one-hour special which began way past my bedtime, Fox travels around the globe, from Bhutan, to Wrigley Field, to Lance Armstrong's house exploring the enduring strength of hope. I haven't had a steady stream of tears like that, well, since Obama's inauguration. Holy shit, is there a message here, aside from I am possibly pre-menstrual?  

Hope soon turned to my old friend angst when I opened this morning's Horrid. The headline mentions "hoping", only it's partnered with photo opps of Rodney bouncing on a backyard trampoline. Oddly enough, I've never seen Rodney look happier, or more normal. But, if he is hoping for the polls to swing in his favour, maybe he should stop bouncing and change his message. 

The election ads were popping up during the show last night. In a word: painful. Stephen has no lips, and nothing coming out of them that I am buying. Dexter's ads are always the same NDP blah blah and rubbing elbows with a stereotypical Ben's white bread-eating family. Vomit. And, I'm not bitter because no one is paying me to come up with clever ads. Okay, I'm a bit bitter. I was just struck by the juxtaposition of the bad, negative ads with Fox's message of hope. Rodney, who has the most to lose here, well, his ads are the worst. They flash words at a dizzying pace and talk about all the great things he has done since donning the Premier hat. Who the hell cares? I want to hear about what he has planned for the future, not the past.         

Michael J. Fox alone is inspiring. I can barely watch him smiling through the Parkinson tremors without blubbering. But he's not crying. He is happy! Maybe he wouldn't be if he saw lobster boats tied at the wharf, sick people waiting for days in the ER, and money flying out the door every time someone gets constipation relief by forcing out yet another smelly election.

Maybe Michael J. Fox would do something about it. One of the lines that had me jumping out of bed looking for a pen was, "Hope doesn't exist in a a vacuum". Exactly. This election is a giant, centuries-old Hoover sucking the life out of everyone in the province.        

I say, give Rodney, Stephen and Darrell a one-way ticket to Bhutan, where a development philosophy of 'Gross National Happiness', places holistic individual and social well-being above mere economic and material gain. Would they even get it?! The Bhutanese philosophy can include organized days for school kids to pick up garbage. Imagine the lawsuits and school board firings if someone made our little i-Pod wearing darlings pick up garbage! How about organized days for all Nova Scotian politicians to work side-by-side fishing, or filling pot holes, or babysitting while a single mom goes to her minimum-wage job? Instead of throwing bullshit off the back of the campaign wagon for 35 days. 

For this wonderful hour of television, Michael tries to get a feel for why some people have hope. And some don't. I loved it, and will try and get a copy so Jack can watch it. 

I hope. Or, I try to have hope.

I really hope to hell that the Three Stooges were watching something other then hockey, or their own bad ads last night.

Watch a clip at:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Platform shoes.

Two days into this election and I am so bloody bored I could scream. How does Marilla do this political beat, day after dreary day? I'm not hearing anything to make me want a sign on my over-assessed lawn, unless that sign says "shut the hell up".    

So fellas, here are a few changes I'd be promising. Maybe they'll inspire you to think outside the ballot box.  

First, my green platform. I'd place a ban on plastic tampon applicators – at least until we get Peter Kelly's billion dollar coffee filter up and running again. I walk on the beach at Point Pleasant Park every day, and Dottie loves to fetch little non-biodegradable objects. See where I am going? If a gal really needs a plastic, cake decorating tube to hit the spot, well, maybe a government health pamphlet is in order. For the love of the ocean, flip your selves the bird, ladies. 

Next, I'd designate one afternoon a week for Nova Scotia seniors. Say, Thursdays from 1 'til 3. For a few hours, one day a week, those deserving citizens receiving the old-age pension can shop, drive, or go to the bank. The rest of us will stay home. If I get stuck in a line up behind Gladys or Earl one more time, making chit chat with the teller because they are so lonely back home and the grandkids never visit, I will scream. You are old and slow. Stay home and drink sherry. You earned it.    

Next, I'd prosecute or persecute, every driver who doesn't understand when there is room for two cars, side by side, or two lanes, you pick one or the other. Left or right. You don't ride down the middle. And, while I am at it, if you're at a light and making a left turn... inch up for Christ's sake. If you inch up into the intersection, maybe we can both turn before the light changes to red. Yellow does not mean panic and do nothing. You may not be in a hurry to go nowhere fast,  but I am.

And here's my health platform. Higher taxes for runners. All those eventual hip, knee and nipple replacements are sucking our medical system dry. We trans-fat sucking boozers just die – you people live forever. Your pavement pounding is making all these potholes. Plus, all the drive-by shootings are aiming at you! And, unless you are 15 and physically flawless, you should not go public wearing short shorts made of tissue paper. Think of Richard Simmons before you set your heart monitor and head out into the streets. One sight of your fleshless, neon-white thighs while I am eating in my car makes me lose my appetite. Oh, and jogging in place at red lights to "keep the blood flowing" just makes me want to drive up over the curb and end your anorexic life. And, while I am frothing at the mouth, just because you've hit the wall and are in that freaky runner's "happy place", STOP, and look both ways before you JOG into the crosswalk wearing a bathing suit and Bandaids on your nipples. I promise I will not slow down. 

And another thing. 10 items or less means 10 items or less. I promise to police this.

Finally, I think there should be a mandate that states whatever minority government we elect this time, should pick up the tab for the election. You wanted the job, you pay for it. Not me.

As for your small business tax relief, someone stepped in bullshit. Check your shoes.      

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And they say clothes don't make the man.

It's amazing what a great photographer and a well-tailored suit can do for a man. Any man. 

We are weeks away from electing yet another monkey in a suit. Maybe the same monkey, same suit. The chosen will represent Nova Scotia across Canada, not just up in Pictou at the local cattle and bumbleberry pie auction. 

For the love of Anne Murray, could someone please get Stephen, Rodney, Darrell and even that Green newbie, into Duggers Menswear, and then maybe over to the House of Beauty for a nose hair trim.

Back in '03, I took it upon myself to transform a mild-mannered Cape Bretoner into a politician we could stick up there in Ottawa and make us all proud. Back then, the starry-eyed, do-gooder lawyer had a big brain, and a bigger vision, but a very limited wardrobe. This son of Friday fish & chip bastion StFX was cutting his own hair and didn't own a natural fibre tie without a stain on it.

Call in award-winning photographer James Ingram, a makeup person, a neighbour's tie, a professional haircut, a decent suit and voila! Ladies and Gentlemen of Nova Scotia, here, could have been, our next Prime Minister. 

Heck, he probably would have made it anyway, but if such makeover miracles can happen once, they can happen again. It's just smoke and mirrors baby, smoke and mirrors. 

Darrell, Rodney, Stephen, Ryan... call me. We have some work to do. 

Duggers is at 5476 Spring Garden
House of Beauty is at 2785 Windsor Street
Photographer James Ingram can be found in his studio or by emailing: 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Did you want lies with that?

Rarely do I have a legitimate reason to be in Bedford, Nova Scotia but I find myself drawn there, all too often. In fact, this past weekend I made about 8 trips to the Bedford arena, and I did choose an orthodontist for Jack, who just happened to have a Bedford address. Coincidence? 

C'mon, people! There's only one reason why anyone would willingly join one lane of above average income earners, sitting in traffic going absolutely nowhere, and that my friends, is The Chickenburger

That neon chicken draws me in like a fat chick on a drunk guy. Now that they have debit machines and a bigger parking lot, I say screw bathing suit season. Besides, I am in a recession, a depression, menopause and now an election. Let's eat.  

I can never decide what to have when I am standing at the altar of all things valve clogging. Chickenburger with cranberry? Cheeseburger with the works? Or, the ever so alluring hot dog, loaded with cheese and fried onions. This morning's headline in the Horrid got me thinking about those exact bad-for-you choices. Choices that are all inevitably designed to kill you, but are somehow irresistible – and now – unavoidable.

"Government falls." There hasn't been two words that loaded with Tip Top Tailor bullshit since, "Me, Tarzan".  Rodney's really bad Monday even shot Sidney's hat trick off the front page. But it got me back on the bottle, er the blog.

Let's put this all into some sort of perspective. We are now faced with three bona fide contenders. First up is the Chickenburger. Stephen MacNeil. More wholesome than the other two, and looks one hell of a lot better since some spin doctor advised him to lose the hillbilly beard. He's what, one of 23 kids for the love of Catholicism! I met the man when I worked on the Danny Graham Liberal campaign. (Oh, that's a whole other blog) Stephen MacNeil was very tall and very nice. Borderline boring white meat that needs a touch of cranberry to liven things up. 

Then there's the cheeseburger. Sizzling on the back burner turning from pink to gray just waiting for a warm bun to be tossed its way. That's got to be Darrell Dexter. The man looks like he's made the odd trip to Bedford himself over the years. Nice enough guy, wears too many of those short-sleeve plaid shits with the buttons pulling a bit. Looks a bit like Barney Rubble crossed with John Goodman. Not exactly Obama on the sex-appeal monitor. Somehow, I always feel fat and guilty after ordering the cheeseburger. 

Then there's the hot dog. Scraped up off the meat packers floor and poured into an ill-fitting suit. They don't call him RODney for nothing. You gotta love a man who rode the family values bus into the election, then stepped out on the Missus. Now back in the family home, and doing an okay job considering what he has to work with, it's time to see if Rodney has a set of kahunas under the kilt. I try not to think about what I'm eating when I am face-to-face with an adequately-dressed tube steak. Makes the swallowing easier.   

And last time I checked there wasn't a heart smart salad on the Chickenburger menu. I don't even know who the leader of the Nova Scotia Green Party is. Ooh, just checked. Some cute young buck named Ryan Watson. Well good luck to you, Ryan.     

Hey, I'm no Marilla Stephenson, but who can resist poking a little fun at what the next 35 days of stupidness will bring. Bad ads. Bad suits. Bad hair. Bad promises. Really bad timing. What the hell, all my shows are in re-runs, business sucks – I say bring on some reality-based comedy.

The Chickenburger, for the unenlightened, is at 1531 Bedford Highway.