Friday, July 31, 2009

No, actually. But you can kiss my ass.

Can I pick your brain.

If there are 5 words I hate more than those I don't know what they are, except for maybe, 'The speculum may feel cold' or, 'Hi, this is Revenue Canada' or, 'It's not you, it's me'.

Funny how it only takes a few words to set the tone of the day. This very morning, the first five words out of Jack's mouth – before his crusty eyes were fully open – were, 'Can you take me golfing.'

I quickly followed with, "Go back to bed, asshole".

It's been a long summer, plagued by too much rain and not enough work. I don't do boredom well, so let's skip August and bring on September. Even Jack's lawn mowing enterprise has been derailed by Mother Nature. Yesterday, with threatening thunderclouds, I drove him to one of his jobs. While he got busy on the front lawn, I wandered around the back to move hockey nets and the occasional pile of dog shit out of his path. I peeked in the shed for a whipper snipper and eyed their lawn mower, so I cranked it up and started on the back.

I always mowed lawns as a kid. My hatred for small children pretty much ruled out babysitting and camp counseling, so mowing lawns was a dream job by comparison. I even worked in the local graveyard for several years, so consider myself to be somewhat of a lawn mowing aficionado. And I take pride in my work.

As I was happily working my way around the back yard, it dawned on me that Jack was making about $80 bucks an hour. Well, not continuously, but at $20 bucks a lawn, with an average of 15 minutes per cut, that's pretty good money. Plus, there's no tax man, it's cash in hand, no one ever asks for a deal, and people are generally very appreciative. Never once has someone called him to say, "Jack old boy, I have a very important meeting this afternoon and I was wondering if you could you drop everything, come over and walk around in circles in my back yard, pushing that machine with a whirling blade, keeping in mind, I have no intention of paying you, but I need to look good, plus everyone will see what an amazing job you have done for me and want to hire you, so you can thank me later".

Jack does mow a few pro-bono lawns out of the goodness of his heart (I make him), but no one ever calls him to say, "Jack, I hear you are the best lawn mower in town, and I was wondering if you could put aside all your paying jobs and come right over now, and mow your heart out for this incredibly good cause. Think of the exposure. You can thank me later".

So, I know it's late in the season, but I am going in to the lawn mowing business. Fuck Jack, he leaves slivers of grass uncut, and besides, I'll do it $5 bucks cheaper. And, the first five callers get a free hand job, because after all, it's how you market yourself, and I'm a genius with the hedge clippers.

You can thank me later.

For a free estimate call Kiss My Grass at 422-0712. If Jack answers, hang up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our lady of the par 4.

One eye shut, leaning on the counter, I found myself gazing at the pharmacy lady, saying, "Crystal meth?.... what?.... Crystal meth?"

"Yes dear," she said all wide eyed and church lady-crazy looking. "In the city they use Sudafed to make crystal meth. So we keep it behind the counter."

"Are you kidding me? Do I look like I cook... anything? And judging by those pin curls, you've been cranking up the bunsen burner a bit yourself back there. No. Right now, I just want something to dry up the cesspool of Cabernet Sauvignon and snot currently clogging up the front of my face, so I can drive back to the city."

We'd been at White Point on what turned into a full-on golf mini-break, instead of the sit-like-a-lump-reading-on-the-beach-with-a-Corona mini-break that I had envisioned. Of course, I had taken full advantage of my client's hospitality, and had the requisite White Point headache.

Always claiming to hate golf, I confess to actually getting a bit of a kick out of it now. It helps that I really don't get all worked up about my performance. My child, on the other hand, loves golf. A beginner – but apparently a natural – like most sports, he takes every shot to heart and is beyond frustrated when things don't quite go as planned.

His technique is to choose a club carefully, walk up to the plate or whatever it's called, take a few patient practice swings, lining things up in his head. He then steps up to the ball, his little face all serious and focused on the task at hand, and swings.

I play most balls with a 7 iron. I take a swig of my Schmirnoff Ice, walk up to the plate and let 'er fly. I must say when I make contact, this big girl can make that little ball dance, but I spend a fair amount of time replacing the big chunks of sod that usually land about 15 feet away. But who cares. I am walking by the ocean with my beautiful boy and life is, for those moments, very sweet.

Life hasn't been all that sweet lately, and I keep waiting for something good to happen. I recall some lesbian, Virginia Woolf I think it was, writing about wasting time waiting for the big, glorious light when actually life is about worshipping the daily candles that flicker in the dark, or some bullshit like that. Mind you, she killed herself, but never mind. I want the big light. A sign. The big break. The big Publisher's Clearing house cheque that Ed MacMahon was going to bring to my door before he went to everlasting golf with Johnny. And I want it now.

Teeing up for whatever hole we were on, Jack knocked his ball into the creek and was having a hissy fit. I miraculously lofted mine up and over the little hill, pissing him off even more. I must say it was a nice shot and although I couldn't see my ball, I knew it wasn't in the trees. We were on one of those lovely hilly holes by the ocean and feeling no pressure from a foursome of keeners behind us, I left Jack cursing and combing though the creek for his ball and wandered toward my ball.

Now, what I am about to write is the honest to God truth, no bullshit, Scout's honour, cross my heart and hope to die. I couldn't make up something this fucking awesome if I tried.

I crested the hill and saw my ball. What was so amazing wasn't that my ball was lying in a perfect position for the next shot. What was amazing was my ball was lying about 2 feet away from a bag of Cheesies.

No shit. My ball was sitting next to a bag of Cheesies.

I laughed, and then I started to cry. The significance of Cheesies in my world goes beyond the chemical-induced euphoria and greasy goodness. Cheesies haven't been the same for me since my friend Sheelagh died. Together, she and I embraced the value of a big bag of Cheesies and a bottle of wine on many a weeknight, while our boys belched and giggled and played road hockey out in front of the house. I haven't been able to whole heartedly enjoy a bag Cheesies since the day Sheelagh died.

But there it was. The sign. Sheelagh had left me a bag of Cheesies as a sign. She was telling me that life was precious and good, and these are the moments to be cherished, and not to worry so much. She was telling me that everything was going to be okay.

Jack caught up with me and we sat on the bench overlooking the sea, eating Cheesies. He was chatting happily about which clubs to use for this next hole, having left the anquish of his past shots well behind him. I was thinking about how much I loved him and how lucky I was to have him as my golf partner, even if he was an asshole when he missed a putt.

I guess that's what I like about golf. And life. There's always hope that the next shot you take won't suck as badly as the last one.

Hope. Golfer, Mike Weir is bringing this same hope to town with his Miracle Golf Day for Kids in support of the IWK Health Centre. It's a two-day fundraiser happening August 30 & 31st. There are lots of ways to get involved, so tuck a bag of Cheesies in your golf bag and start swinging that wallet around.

If you are looking to get involved or have sponsorship inquiries, please contact: 902.422.6277 or Or check out the website by clicking on the link to the right.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sisterhood of the diminishing light.

Friday night in Havenot, in a filthy rain that has smashed all previous Biblical box office records, found us once again at the video rental store. Didn't God promise Noah he wouldn't screw with the weather after the whole ark thing? Lying bastard.

There wasn't a parking spot between the store and our house, so I dropped Jack at the door and trolled around the block a few times, finally wedging myself in between two minivans loaded with proof that the whole birth control thing should have been mandatory.

Blockbuster was packed with moist, pale looking people who either couldn't afford a cottage, or figured it was too miserable to swat mosquitoes, even in paradise. We were all searching for an escape – something to look at other than each other.

Jack immediately beetled away from me like he normally does when I wear my XXL, faded red, knee-length raincoat in public places. The coat makes me look like an asylum escapee with a giant, postpartum hemorrhoid, but it was keeping me dry, and covering up the fact that I was already in my pj's and had gained a few, since I last saw the sun.

I wasn't going to rent anything, but figured what the hell, we have two TV's and he's likely to rent something stupid or violent, or something stupidly violent, in which case I'd be stuck staring at the other TV watching a Tori Spelling, made for TV movie like I was last Friday night.

I had just cruised into the Romantic Comedy, Colin Firth section when my eyes caught the image of Joaquin Phoenix's clean-shaven, pre-David Letterman face. Perfect. I grabbed the box to see what the movie was about, then stopped. Fuck. I didn't have my glasses. Without them, the only word I could make out was LOVERS. Everything below LOVERS was a 12-martini blur. And forget the back cover. Shit. Why do I leave the house without my glasses, mace, and those enviro-friendly shopping bags I have multiplying down in the basement. Last week, I had a shopping full cart of Hungry Man dinners, ice cream and Pogos before I remembered I was in the plastic bag-free Superstore. Refusing to buy another hemp bag or green box, I hauled everything out to the car using my big raincoat as a pouch. It took a few trips but I eventually headed home with a back seat full of groceries all rolling around like happy, free-range chickens.

Anyway, back to my predicament in Blockbuster. I reeled around to see two women who were, I might add, invading my personal space but nonetheless within reach. I made sisterly eye contact and said something to the effect of, "Christ, I have finally made it to the stage in life where I need a goddammed chain around my neck to hold my goddammed reading glasses because I am apparently one cataract away from needing a white fucking stick".

Dead silence.

I kept waiting for one of the women to step up and say, "Oh, here, borrow my glasses, isn't growing old a bitch". Or, "I rented that last week, it's good, even with Gwenyth Paltrow", Or, even a "Here, take a sip of this airplane size bottle of vodka I keep in my purse while I read it to you, because I feel your pain, sista."

But no.

They just stared at me with their Lululemons pants shoved up their asses, like they were from a brainwashed cult, or Mississauga or someplace – afraid I was going to whip a Colt 45 out of my enormous raincoat and blow their pasty white faces off. Make my fucking day.

One of the women maintained eye contact but slowly pulled her child in closer. I glanced at the other, and realized I was completely alone.

I stormed away with enormous strides, exhaling those Tourette's type swearing/spit combos all the way over to Drama.

I eventually found Jack hiding in the Gaming section. He pretended not to know me at first until I thrust the CD box in his face and said "Read the back and tell me what this is about".

His narrative started with a monotone, "Following a trauma..." whereupon I yanked the box from his hand and thrust in another one. He began, "While traveling in Umbria..." Perfect, I said, grabbing the box and heading for the checkout. Let's go.

Like a drowning man, Jack snatched whatever movie he could lay his hands on and we headed home. I was all settled on the couch with popcorn and my Maggie Smith movie when my neighbour called to say she was contemplating suicide if the rain didn't stop, to which I said, come on over, we may as well do it together. I have red wine. It'll be fun. Like Book Club, with brain splatter.

Then I told her about the women in the video store.

My neighbour didn't miss a beat, saying, "How did you come across?"

What do you mean, how did I come across?

"I mean, did you sound all crazy?"

What do you mean all crazy?

"Well", she said, "Maybe you came off as a little crazy. Were you wearing your raincoat over your pajamas?"

Well, ya, but do I really come off as crazy?

"Not to me, but I know you."

I offered to rewind the movie, but she decided she'd stay at home because I only had red wine and she preferred white, but I told her if I saw her legs swinging back and forth in the attic window I'd happily come over and cut her down. Because that's what real sisters do.

I wouldn't even wait for my movie to be over. I'd just pause it, grab my big raincoat and a glass of wine, and run right over.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Waiting for to go.

Flashback to 1984, studying Waiting for Godot at U of T. I must have been going through a faux-intellectual phase, or in lust with an English major, because I pretended to enjoy (and comprehend) the world's dumbest play, all the while looking around thinking, what the fuck, am I the only person in this lecture hall who thinks their dog could have penned this?

Now, much of my life is spent waiting – in my car – at times forgetful of who, or what I am waiting for. Now, I empathize with Beckett's buffoons, created on the back of a cocktail napkin right underneath the words "get a real job". Now, I feel the angst of taxi drivers forced to wait outside – meter not running – while someone checks their ass in the mirror, one last time, just to see if it shrank a bit since the last time they checked, five minutes ago.

Now, Beckett's joke on the literary world make sense.

Like the taxi driver, every minute I spend eating stale Timbits discovered between the seats, or checking for nose hairs in the rear view mirror, is time that could be spent doing something. Like making money. Or, in the case of the taxi guy – performing life-saving surgery – because back in his country, he is a well-respected Doctor. No wonder the man is so pissed off when you finally manoeuvre your two-sizes too-small skirt into the backseat of his cab. He's a Doctor for Christ's sake, he's supposed to keep you waiting.

As a result, had my body been found elegantly splayed on the floor of a seedy Las Vegas hotel room yesterday, or more likely, slumped over the wheel of my car in the arena parking lot – tracking my final hours would have been a CSI cakewalk, even for the slutty redhead.

Eating, while waiting in the car, had produced an art moderne masterpiece. My fashionable outfit of the day looked like a homeless Jackson Pollock painting. A blank canvas converted by an artfully launched coffee and a dab of cream cheese. A dribble of Diet Coke. A chocolate Popsicle. Lunch was in Bedford, where I accidentally dipped my left breast in the gravy at the Chickenburger, meaning I was either carrying the travel tray really high, or, I need to crank the bra up a notch or two.

Soon thereafter, to complement the warm, mocha tones of the morning came a quick dab of ketchup, followed by a splash of mustard-infused relish. My masterpiece was beginning to take shape, and according to the car radio it was only half-past one.

To this end, I have decided that the good folks at Proctor & Gamble should invent a Tide-to-Go stick that doubles as a vibrator you could plug in to the cigarette lighter in your car. Perhaps killing time in the parking lot would take on a whole new meaning if a gal could do a little stain prevention and honk her horn, simultaneously.

Then I'll write a play about it that ends with, "Yes! Yes! Let's go!" (she moves).

Alas, we no longer have to wait for the the Nova Scotia Designer Craft Council Summer Craft Market. It starts today and goes until the 26th in Downtown Halifax. I was particularly excited to see an artisan in attendance called Glowing Members, but I read the pamphlet wrong, it is actually Glowing Embers. Too bad. I was hoping they could fashion a handy, glowing, travel pouch for my Tide-to-Go joystick.

As craft fairs go, this one promises to be a particularly gauzy-skirt, hairy leg-infested affair, with lots of NSCAD types flogging acid flashback-inspired silver jewelry, earthenware, and organic clothing woven from virgin llama pubic hair.

I may drive by the show at Spring Garden and Queen, slowing down just enough to avoid a lethargic, Vitamin B-deprived potter and subsequently burn my crotch with a piping hot double-double.

No problem. I'll have time to kill.

The NSDCC Summer Craft Market starts Friday July 24th 10am to 8pm and runs Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh, Wilbur, I do believe I am blushing.

Imagine my panic and sheer delight when I saw the words: Equine Wedding Portrait Photography, all mashed together in the same sentence.

Giddy up.

I normally steer well clear of horses and weddings for a variety of oddly, similar reasons. Both scare the crap out of me. Both are a big, fat waste of money, and take you down a path you really aren't convinced you want to be on. Both horses and brides spend a great deal of time and energy getting Brazilian waxes, braided tails, and hooves trimmed, so they can trot around all happy and "look at me", just before being lead back to the barn. Forever. And, if one or the other gets spooked, someone ends up flat on their ass wondering what the hell just happened. Plus, trust me – once the blinders are off and the saddle bags start to slide, it's lipstick city.

Whoa, Nelly, get back on track.

Picture, if you can, my double delight to think I'd stumbled upon a freakier than Michael Jackson type scoop. Equine wedding. A true-to-life 'Girl Meets Stallion' beastiality romance. My mind was racing off to witness some sort of Mister Ed stud marrying the farmer's daughter, who incidentally dropped 60 pounds before the nuptials, then bounced back to looking like a Clydesdale before the honeymoon was over. Bloody brilliant fodder for creativity I say!

And, please tell me you are old enough to remember Mister Ed. If not, fuck off and go read Harry Potter or Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Okay, bear with me for a moment while I regain my composure. I just did a spell check for beastiality because my computer keeps questioning the spelling (or maybe it is asking me "why?"). Anyway, I am currently more disturbed than when I accidentally saw my grandmother's private parts (beaver) in the hospital once, when her nightie rolled up. While spell checking, I innocently (no longer) opened a beastiality website and now it is taking every fibre of my being not to go back to see if that young lady was really doing to the German Shepherd what I think she was doing. Jesus, I thought I loved my dogs but please make those images go away. They are burned into my corneas.

That dog was really happy to see her.

Anyway back to my incredible journalistic breakthrough with the equine wedding. Sadly, all my hopes for a title like, "Stud Trots Down Aisle with Cocktail Waitress" have been dashed. Instead, I bring you Christine Donavan, a talented, local photographer who captures boring old horses and stupid old weddings.


Yes, Christine Donavan is a wedding photographer. And, she is a horse and pet photographer. What really pisses me off, is the two lines never cross. The line never blurs, even a bit, although she does have the odd shot of people with their dogs but nothing even remotely close to what I saw just moments ago on that sick, sick, website.

Jesus. You'd think Christine, with her eye for capturing the moment, would offer up just one drunk bridesmaid out in the barn with Mister Ed's cousin from Baltimore. A Polaroid even.

Is that asking too much?

Find Christine Donavan's work online at: or email her at:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Plagued by gilt.

Jack arrived home from Camp Hypocrite yesterday, sprouting the usual symptoms like a pox – sloth, avarice, insolence – reaffirming my belief in mandatory isolation after potentially harmful exposure.

To relatives.

A string of late nights, cocktail party chit chat, theatre excursions, and dinners that begin roughly around his bedtime and end when the last head hits the table – had reduced my otherwise sweet boy to a cranky, possibly contagious asshole in the throws of serious butter and silver spoon withdrawal.

Exhausted, filthy, and quick to criticize, the little prick even attempted a sideways guilt trip within seconds of deportation. I let the "I see I'm back to nothing to eat" comment slide, but when it was quickly followed by a "thanks for not being here when I got home" and then a resounding, "can you take me golfing?" – I snapped.

I'm glad he had fun and a little escape. It's been stressful around here, and he doesn't see his paternal relations often. But within seconds of arrival home, his Stockholm Syndromed ass was showered and sent to bed for a nap, like a cranky, 6-foot toddler.

In a matter of days, my little Patty Hearst had fallen hard for Jet Skis, power boats, late nights, and million dollar ocean views. Who could blame him? Our single-parent existence and the shaky foundation on which he was raised, revolves around mundane things like; sleep, education, unglamourous arena benches, hard work, love, orthodontist bills, discipline, survival, laughter, hockey costs, respect for women, work ethics, responsibility, routine, a little cheap plonk for mommy, and putting a roof over our heads. Did I mention respect?

His worshipping at the altar of style over substance hit a big ugly nerve. My kid needed a reality forecheck.

So, while selfless love and round-the-clock devotion may not be thrill seeking or sexy, at least when my head hits the pillow at a decent hour, because my child has to be at the rink by 5:30am, I have nothing to feel guilty about.

Except for maybe wanting to spank the ass of a 13-year old suffering from a sadly genetic, but thankfully temporary case of assholeitis.

Note: Shortly after posting this I made Jack his usual pancakes. For the first time he asked me why I didn't make them from scratch and why I didn't have a special pancake griddle. He is currently in his room.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Followed by a cool, refreshing chink.

I just emailed a tennis friend to say I could indeed play later this afternoon, but first I was taking the dogs for a kike.

Of course, I meant hike and not kike, but I snorted with laughter all the same. And, even though it was a politically-incorrect typo/snort combination, it meant today is already, by far, way more promising than yesterday – the most boring day on record.

The term kike, while terribly derogatory, originates from the Yiddish word "keikl" which translates back to "circle" in English. Apparently, the whole kike thing hails back to Ellis Island. Jewish immigrants, who were either illiterate, or had trouble with Roman English lettering, or were just plain pissed off after being on a cruise ship full of Torah thumpers for weeks on end, had a problem marking their immigration documents with an "X" because they associated an "X" with the whole Christianity thing. So they put a "keikl", or a circle instead. And who could blame them.

In fact, some of the Jewish people were so fucking happy to be in pre-Bush administration America, they took things one step further by drawing two eyes and a great, big grin in the keikl and shouting, mazel tov!

And that, boys and girls, is how we ended up with the universal symbol of happiness – the smiley face.

Those crazy kikes kill me. I'll need an Advil after we get back.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Boredom reigns.

I'm checking highway cams to see how far I would have to travel to see the sun today. I am that bored.

Even the dogs are bored. Fitzy just said he wished I hadn't cut his balls off, so he'd at least have something to play with.

Instead of whining and wishing I'd get swine flu so at least I could be bored and have an excuse for assuming the fetal position midday, I'm supposed to be writing a few witty, upbeat, 15-second radio spots – but so far they wouldn't sell anything, except for maybe assisted suicide or a membership drive for the local chapter of Bored Alcoholics with Vitamin-D Deficiency Anonymous (or BAWVDDA).

I even emailed someone I haven't seen since I was about 7-years old and living in suburban Chicago. He must be bored shitless too, because he has about 60 vlogs on YouTube. A vlog, for the unenlightened, is a video blog for people who don't mind having their face distorted by a web cam, and are too bored, or possibly too medicated, to write. I think I had a sleepover at his house once, but faked a stomach ache so I could go home. He had an older sister, I wasn't a slut.

Back then.

Friday, July 17, 2009


So far this morning I have given blood, picked up dog shit, and tripped over the goalie pads I will be paying 24% interest on until I die, which may be soon after my imminent stroke from having to pull a balled-up sock out of the pool of 7-Up on the TV room floor and shortly thereafter pull the tail end of a crunchy rodent out of the dog's mouth.

Fuck. How's your day been so far.

I must say, waiting at the blood collection centre made me feel quite slim. Most of the health care system leeches in that particular cross section of society were at least 100 pounds overweight.

Needless to say when the receptionist asked me if I had been fasting, I was less than gracious. Fasting? If by fasting you mean sleeping then yes, I have been fasting. Fast asleep. I went on to say, of course looking around your waiting room I would say some of those people look like they could easily knock back a Big Mac while catching 40 winks, no problem. But me, no.

I think she was also in a caffeine withdrawal-enhanced foul mood, because once again she asked me if I had been fasting for at least 8 hours. Counting back it dawned on me that I had a glass (or three) of wine and a bag of fat-free Orville Redenbacher laced with multiple tablespoons of butter (half cup) at about 9:30 last evening. It was 7 am, so quickly doing the math, I figured I was good.

Yes. I have been fasting... bitch.

So, can I tell you how nice it was to have an actual grown-up invite from Innkeeper Suzi Fraser! Suzi invited me to come and stay at her Mecklenburgh Inn in Chester. As a treat! (Please note: not one, but TWO exclamation marks so far in this paragraph, that's how excited I am.) I can only imagine waking up late, in a cheery room with an ocean breeze and the aroma of Suzi's Cordon Bleu breakfast wafting up the stairs. Forget the stroke, I'd die and go to heaven just to roll over and not have Fitzy's rat infested dog breath fogging up my face.

Sadly, I had to decline Suzi's lovely offer as I have two dogs, and a child with filthy socks and a hockey-induced personal hygiene problem, plus daily trips to Centennial Arena where I sit surrounded by crack whores and poverty thinking I should just rent a government-subsidized apartment out there next to the rink, since that is where I spend most of my time anyway.

The lovely, relaxing Mecklenburgh Inn is stumbling distance up the hill from the harbour (and The Rope Loft Tavern) in the Village of Chester and has been around since 1902, which is kind of how I feel.

You should go. Send me a postcard c/o Centennial Arena.

The Mecklenburgh Inn is at 78 Queen Street in the Village of Chester. 1.866.838.4638.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Adults of the corns.

I often wake up Saturday morning, covered with Cheesie dust thinking how maybe that last trip to the box of wine in the fridge was unnecessary, and how nice it would be to have a warm blueberry scone from the Farmer's Market downtown. I also wake up Saturday morning thinking how nice it would be to have a warm millionaire on the brink of leaving me a sizeable estate, but the scone is actually within my grasp.

That is, if it weren't for the children of the corns.

You know who I am talking about, right? The people who wear sandals with socks, obviously because they have really sore feet or why else would you do that. The people who have nose hairs and carry reusable burlap grocery bags and stand around admiring turnips and making stupid comments like, ooh, Gerrard, would you look at how marvelous this cucumber is, and, oh my what a lovely looking pie, and Honey, don't look at the veal, don't look at the veal!

I approach the Farmer's Market like a terrorist. I know what I want, and I want to get out of there before some scent-free Birkenstock freak picks up on my aroma of soap and deodorant and shampoo and Oscar de la Renta. I don't want a politically correctiveness scene, I just want something to soak up the Niagara region bulk buy of Sauvignon Blanc currently sloshing around in my stomach.

But first I need a coffee, which in itself is a mission since no one else seems to be in caffeine withdrawal. The sea of corduroy blazers and hairy legs stand like cult zombies, all pale and patient, waiting for their organic, soya, justice-for-all, no foam, no Columbian drug lord owned and operated bean farm, lattes. I just want a large – not grande – LARGE, coffee so I can scarf back my scone and get the hell out of there.

Also standing in the way of doughy bliss are the morons who think it's a great idea to wake up their filthy, matted hair, cloth-diaper clad offspring so they can gnaw on an organic carrot while Mommy and her "partner" tenderly browse through the pesticide-free basil, instead of leaving them at home in front of the telly watching violent cartoons, happily plowing through a bowl of Fruit Loops with breast milk.

Get out of my way, I smell yeast of the non-gynecological kind.

When I finally push past the couple trying to decide between the virgin arugula or the wheat-free cabbage, I get to the bakery only to see I have taken one too many loops in the park. There's a fucking line up. Hundreds, no thousands of poorly groomed philosophy major, NDP types with backbacks and yoga mats and environmentally-friendly travel mugs marveling at what a beautiful morning it is, pointing at my warm, blueberry scone. I hate line ups more than I hate men in leather sandals with yellow toenails so I make a low, growling noise like a wild beast and stomp out, heading straight to the Tim's drive thru for a stale tea biscuit that I flip to the dogs and go home and make a stiff Bloody Mary and go back to bed.

Thank god someone told me there's an alternative Farmer's Market every Friday on the grassy area where people in wheelchairs with IV poles chain smoke in front of the VG Hospital's Centennial Building. For those of you who are as confused as I am as to which poorly-funded hospital that is, it's the one with the big parking lot off of Tower Road where pro-lifers protest before they go to the Farmer's Market.

With any luck this Market will be inhabited by people who have actually had a pedicure in their lifetime, and also have places to be – like, jobs – and don't have the time to stand around and fondle tomatoes. The shoppers at this outdoor market will have showered for work, may have to ask for a plastic bag, and don't mind exposing their skin to direct sunlight. Plus with any luck their little Riatlin addicts will be tucked away in daycare, where they belong.

The list of vendors include butchers and real farmers and local coffee bean floggers and Julien's Bakery, Blossom Shops, Evans Fresh Seafoods and a whole bunch of other edible and non-edible delights that you can grab and go home. Oh, and it's from 10 until 2, so you'll have plenty of time to groom yourself before you go.

And if you spot someone wearing sandals and socks you can direct their lethargic meat and gluten-free asses up to the podiatry wing of the VG to have their corns lopped off once and for all.

The Partners for Care (hey, I didn't think that up) Farmer's Market runs Fridays from June until October 9th. 10 until 2. They accept food bank donations if you are so inclined, but if you had food to donate why the hell go to a market?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So much for things looking brighter in the morning.

I confess to a full-blown chortle when I heard boxer, Arturo Gatti's wife had strangled him to death with her purse strap.

The news described her as his "sexy stripper" wife, which I guess made it even more chortle worthy. Being strangled by a beastly, whoa-has-she-ever-let-herself-go wife wouldn't have been half as fun. And Lorena Bobbitt kinda cornered the market on penis adjustments, so I guess strangling the punchy asshole in his sleep was the next best thing. His wife looked almost happy, and truly quite stripper sexy, as the police escorted her out – without a purse I might add.

I haven't chortled like that since the pharmacy student at the drug store asked me if I had ever used eye drops before, and I said no, and I wouldn't be anytime soon because Jack had an ear infection, then I chortled kind of like a crazy person, so badly I had to leave the pharmacy and let Jack pay for his own prescription.

Sadly, a good chortle is usually accompanied by a loosening of the urinary tract so I try to keep my chortles down to suppressed hysteria. Like the kind you get in church, especially at funerals, which is usually the only time I enter a building with a naked guy hanging openly on a cross. I always look around and try and make eye contact with the other sheep, signaling with my head over to the naked guy as if I am the only one there that thinks that's just fucking weird interior decorating. Why not a couple of deer heads and some real taxidermy action figures to get the full effect. Or a taxidermy of the last supper, only with groundhogs or something.

And why the last supper and not the last dinner. Maybe they were farmers.

Anyway back to the purse and how I am convinced Jack will likely, eventually, inevitably, snuff me out while I am sleeping (it off). I hope he uses a nice down pillow with a high thread count pillowcase, or maybe a life jacket when I am passed out in a deck chair on a Caribbean cruise after too many highballs at lunch. Then he can just flop me overboard and get on with his life. Poor bastard hasn't had an easy time with me as his mother. Actually he'd have to use a pillow or a life jacket because I don't own a real purse.

My grandmother used to hang on to her purse so tightly, like it was full of hundred dollar bills and crack, instead of old Kleenex, butterscotch Lifesavers, and a vinyl wallet with a library card and some red two-dollar bills. Once, my cousin Stephen undid my grandmother's bra in church to see if she would let go of her purse, which of course she did, and talk about chortle. Christ almost fell off his perch we were all laughing so hard.

Maritime Frame-it, now Frame-it (they dropped the Maritime bit) have (has?) a new line of purses that look like whoever designed them was a happy, creative, possibly high-on-drugs type person. Check them out.

I notice some of the purses have nice long straps, just in case you feel the need to strangle someone.

Frame-it has (have?) 3 locations: Spring Garden Road, Mic Mac Mall and Halifax Shopping Centre.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It used to be a loveseat. Now it's just a seat.

I never really pictured myself walking down the aisle in a crucifix museum, wearing a pouffy dress that would make me look like an even bigger asshole than I already am. Add to that, organ music and weird relatives staring, wondering if it's going to be a cash bar. Then finally being handed over to a man in a rented tux, who 13 hours prior was getting a lap dance from a pole dancer. This is the person you then publicly and soberly vow to honour and obey until death. Well, sort of sober.

I'd like to meet the moron who thought up that sick ritual.

How many people roll over the morning after their wedding all hungover and covered with wedding cake icing and look at their new 'til-death-do-us-part spouse and say, what the fuck have I done? And, hey, wait a minute, that's not icing.

In truth, I would be afraid to get married simply because I change my mind too often. Daily sometimes. My taste also changes. One day, I'd wake up and say, "You know what, this has been fun, but I don't think you match with where I think I'm going with this colour scheme I have in my head, so would you mind getting your hairy ass off of my sofa, because that is going too".

No one expects you to take a vow to stay married to the same sofa until death, so why another human being? Oh sure you can reupholster. Or slipcover. Or move it to the den. And you can pretend to tolerate it, for the sake of the children. But, when the honeymoon is truly over, sometimes you just have to face facts and move on.

God, I love starting the week with a fresh, shiny coat of bitterness.

So, thank heaven for a new business in Dartmouth. I love them because their tagline is "The newest thing in town is slightly used." That could be said for the middle-age dating scene as well, but this happens to be a furniture consignment business. Your Home Consignment Centre.

How many times have you donated a perfectly good lamp, or piece of furniture, not because you're hoping some needy crack addict will want it for their living room, but just because the kind charity people will come and pick it up. It's easy. And you get to feel like a do-gooder, ever so briefly.

Well, this is a recession and every bit counts, so now you can call Your Home Consignment Centre instead. Not only will they come and pick up your no-longer-wanted-on-the-voyage items – you'll get some money if it sells.

Wouldn't it be great if, instead of divorce, you could just arrange to have your gently worn spouse moved to a convenient consignment centre. The person you see as a useless fart machine, who doesn't help with the kids or make you feel special anymore, just may be the apple of someone else's eye.

And with any luck they may come with a matching, icing-resistant ottoman.

Your Home Consignment Centre have a great, informative website that explains everything: or call 407-HOME.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chips Ahoy.

The only thing I like about sailing is that someone usually has enough sense to bring along a few tubes of Pringles. Any other brand of chip would end up like everything else on board; soaked in a mixture of rum and vomit, and bruised from being tossed about like midgets at a bowling alley. Er, little people.

Walking in Point Pleasant Park yesterday it was almost funny to see billions of dollars worth of fibreglass turds, floating so close to Mayor Kelly's raw sewage boil. Marble Head. If ever a yachting race was more aptly named. You get one large asshole who managed to inherit enough money to buy a big boat, then stock it with a bunch of losers trying to escape reality by working as "crew" for beer. I can only imagine the headaches this morning after an evening of hearing themselves talk and record-breaking rum guzzling.

Even the grocery store is jam packed with miniature replicas of tall ships for next week's oncoming Tall Ships tourist-trapping flotilla. Like everyone else wishing Darrell Dexter would bring back food stamps, a plastic schooner is on the top of my grocery list.

Give me a power boat any day. A motor yacht. It goes where I says it goes (I's the skipper) and doesn't "come about" so fast your guests are ducking lest they get beheaded by a fucking swinging aluminum pole. And that's supposed to be relaxing? And just try and take a crap on a sailboat. You get so constipated after a few days you don't care if you get knocked overboard by a rogue wave. Death. Anything to loosen the bowels.

But I digress. The geniuses who work, so the lucky can play have brought us some life-enhancing accoutrements. Like the non-slip sole, designed so the really pissed sailor won't slip on the yacht club floor and subsequently sue the club's ass off. And the breathable, yet waterproof, hooded rain gear, so the sailor passed out in the parking lot won't suffocate but he will stay dry even though he is lying in a pool of his own Mount Gay vomit.

I bought the world's ugliest knee-length raincoat, er foul-weather gear, at The Binnacle on Purcell's Cove Road. Owner Chris Shaw said they couldn't give it away because of the colour but I didn't care – it had dog-walking coat written all over it. Oversized, even on me, with large pockets and a hood, I look like a overstuffed faded tomato, and I love it. In fact, so many people have stopped to ask me where I got that coat that at first I thought they were mocking me, but now, I know they are mocking me. And if I pass out in a puddle of my own vomit, I will stay dry.

The Binnacle, for those of us who don't own a boat, is a locally-owned Marine Chandlery that indeed has all the useless crap you'd need if you do own a boat, i.e. life saving saving equipment lest one of the crew accidentally fall overboard (drunk). BUT, they also have great bags and giftware and clothes and shoes and belts and stuff that you can wear until you die because they will never ever go out of style because they are "classic".

I think they do this because in all actuality sailors are so fucking cheap it isn't even funny.

After all, the beer fart, bullshit-laced wind is free, isn't it?

The Binnacle is online at 15 Purcells Cove Road in Halifax or online at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Looking for a lonely goat herd in all the wrong places.

I had an ECG this morning, which stands for "recession induced stress fucking heart attack" for those of you who are uninformed. I was also supposed to have blood work done but noticed on the form with all the little boxes ticked off that I had to fast for 6 hours beforehand which means unless I can find a vampire to draw blood at 3am in my kitchen, it ain't happening.

Fasting means no coffee, so unless they can come up with a blood test that skirts around caffiene, I'd rather die.

I had a lovely walk to the hospital though. Since I was going to the doctor, I put on the last pair of decent underpants our retriever (Free to a Good Home) hasn't chewed the crotch out of. I own a lot of crotchless panties now, which at least makes me feel like there's a glimmer of hope.

Walking toward the downtown core in the wee hours of the morning made me feel like I kind of had a normal life. I pretended I was a normal person, closing the door at home and walking to work at a real job where they hand out pay cheques and benefits and stuff, and where I'd be with real, adult people all day and take a lunch hour to work out, or scarf back fries at Bud the Spud, or have an nooner-laced affair with a wildly successful business man.

By the time I got to the cardiac arrest unit I was so depressed because I realized I don't really want a real job, I'd just like to make more money at the one I have. Plus, I realized walking downtown that whenever I put on decent underwear and get out in public all of a sudden I have to scratch my ass and when you work at home you can scratch your ass all day long and no one gives a shit.

So I get to the waiting room full of people that look a hell of a lot closer to a heart attack than I do and they call my name right way, only she said, "Cynthia Schwartz". I guess she didn't notice that I was 5' 10" and one pair of lederhosen away from herding goats in the Alps. Anyway I felt like saying to the fat guy next to me "you go first pal you're in worse shape than I am", but the nurse looked cranky so I didn't correct her for the Schwartz thing and went directly into the little dimly-lit cubicle with the comfy bed like I was told. She was all business because she wired me up and I wasn't even near that twitchy stage just before you start to drool and dream when she told me I could go.

Go? Fuck, I just got here. I didn't want to go home quite yet. I was comfy. This was an outing. At least give me a pap smear or something. I had good panties on.

So, after I got kicked to the curb, I was going to roam around the hospital gift shop for a while and pretend I had a sick relative upstairs or something, but I figured that was no fun so I just headed back up Jubilee Road in my skirt and good panties, looking like I was doing the middle-aged walk of shame after dancing at some cougar bar all night. I was going to side step over to Starbucks but figured for 6 bucks I could go home and scratch my ass and make my own coffee.

I hate being tired with a full day ahead of me, especially when I am tired for a stupid reason like having a baby, or watching Michael Jackson's last hurrah. While I was overjoyed to see Janet Jackson had major arm waddle while clapping, I couldn't help but think, what's with all the sunglasses inside and is it just me or is Smokey Robinson really Micheal Jackson's father? And did you notice that no one had any wrinkles? Smokey must be what... 97? Anyway, I kept watching just in case the King of Pop popped open the coffin and started moon walking like it was his big comeback or something. Then Brooke Shields made me cry so I turned it off, because I didn't want to look all puffy, just in case there was a handsome, yet desperate, cardiac arrest Doctor hanging around. I think Brooke must still have post-partum depression, but she looked good.

I wonder if Heidi's goats ever ate the crotch out of her panties.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Idle chit chat strongly discouraged, but a good rollicking beer fart is divine.

To say I never go out is by no means, a gross exaggeration. By going out, I mean out – no hockey auction, no child in tow. Going out means a bra from the archival section of my underwear drawer, and a babysitter. Jack is 13 now and I think he's had a babysitter maybe 12 times. In his life.

Fucking pathetic, I know. That bra cost more than my first car.

Friday night though, Jack was the babysitter. Left to fend for himself with 3 of his little cousins, two dogs, one friend of the little cousins and the 6-year old twins from next door – he was demanding danger pay even before we headed out the door.

We being Jack's cousin Sarah, and me.

Sarah's been in renovation hell for a long time, living in a construction zone, at times with no heat or roof (during last summer's rainy season), for well over a year. Add 3 little kids, a dog, a cat or two, a rabbit, way too many baby pet rats, and a husband whose job took a recession hit, and you've got someone who needed a night out even more than I did.

I told Sarah she could pick the restaurant because as long as it didn't have a dress code, a drive-thru or chicken nuggets, I really didn't give a shit. Actually, when I first asked her where she wanted to eat she said, "California".


It ended up a marriage of minds as we both wanted to try the newish Belgian restaurant, Brussels in Granville Mall. We also both hate eating outside on patios. We both wanted a comfy booth. And while I did not want to sit across from the man from the Bold and the Beautiful with the bright orange spray tan, Sarah was fascinated by him, so wanted the unobstructed view.

Told we'd have to wait 35 seconds for our table, we made a beeline for the bar. I am not a beer drinker but for one exception: Chimay. Brewed in Belgium by Trappist monks, Chimay in a chilled glass is better than even good sex. It comes in a really big bottle.

Hey, maybe more Catholic priests should place their divine energies elsewhere and start making stuff, like Blood of Christ Cabernet Sauvignon or mass-marketed Sacrificial Lamb Jerky or something. Just a thought.

Sucking back Chimay at the bar, like an (albeit immature) adult, was such a foreign concept, I realize, I may as well be a Trappist monk. I toil for little pay, isolated from the rest of society. Those robes look like one-size-fits -all, kinda comfy. And I have been hacking away at my bangs. Plus, it took me no time at all to convert Sarah over to worshipping at the altar of Chimay.

Anyway, I'll wrap this up because it was one of those you had to be there kind of evenings, and probably quite dull to those who leave the house more than once a year. Things took a slight turn for the silly when I asked the lady at the next table if I could borrow her glasses. I assured her I didn't have head lice and she was most cordial. Turns out her son-in-law is the head creative guy at a big ad agency in Toronto so I can scratch his name off my future job hit list. I don't think he found our exuberance for being out of the house as amusing as we did.

Sarah and I ended up sharing Congo (mango? I forget, we'd had a few) moules, fried cheese, a steak that was so delicious and tasted like it was dipped in butter, and frites with the mandatory mayo for dipping. For dessert, we skipped the waffles and had some sort of cakey thing that oozed warm, Belgian chocolate –and you didn't even have to stroke its ego first.

Needless to say this was not a heart-smart, low-cal meal for Canada's Next Top Model. We were a pair of Belgian plow horses escaped from the barn.

All of the kids were alive when we got home, so it was the perfect "date". No sexual tension. No forced witty banter or having to hold my stomach in. No skipping dessert lest he thinks me a pig. The only thing missing was a long, muscled arm in a nice suit, brushing my cheek tenderly as he reached for the cheque.

Monday is 2-for-1 Mussel Night at Brussels so I may have to head back and worship some more. Jack would love the frites, and maybe that bright orange guy will be there.

This monk needs to get out more.

Brussels Restaurant & Brasserie is at 1873 Granville Street in the Granville Mall. Reservations (you can make them online) are recommended, or you may have to wait at the bar chugging Chimay for a while. Wear elastic waist pants.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Read this only if you are between 12 and 96, have woken up with a headache and a stranger at least once, and have, on occasion used TV as a Nanny.

Dottie was hit by a car last night.

It's alright, I'll be okay once I jump start my heart. And she's fine. She chased a cat right under the wheels of a passing car. I heard a thump, and a cry I hope to never hear again. Fearing death and guts and an enormous vet bill, I died a little as well, but the next thing you know she came running toward me – a tad wobbly, and stunned as hell – but happy to be alive.

I think our angel was watching out for us both yesterday, if you believe in those things.

Even the stupid cat survived, although I am going to try and run it over today, even if it takes me an entire tank of gas. We'll see if that little fur ball has nine lives.

I only have one life, so no time for a website someone sent me a link to this week. They thought I'd get a kick out of it, but I wasn't worthy. Right in the middle of all the typos and self-absorption, the website claimed it was only for 29-to-44 year-old, clearly frustrated women who are busy, busy, busy working mothers with full-time, underpaid, overworked nannys, all searching for FUN, the perfect latte and a stimulating conversation about where to find the perfect latte. Oh, and you had to be a committed reader (or just committed) to appreciate or comprehend the depth with which some busy, busy moms will go to amuse their adorable children so mommy can shop and drink lattes that cost more money than their live-in nanny makes per hour.

So even though I am a busy, busy working mother, I don't have a nanny, a husband I list after the dog in my list of priorities, or a need to shop. Plus I am a tad over 44, so I am one life too old for that particular website. Thank fuck.

Here's a little free tip from a busy, busy mom: Nyquil. Cherry flavoured and it makes the little darlings drowsy and pliable as fresh Play-doh, so you can go about your busy, busy day.

Besides, I hear new studies have found that busy, busy mommys and daddys have been over stimulating their offspring. Apparently all the structure, organized playtime and hyper-parenting has made a whole new wave of kids who grow up and can't wipe their own asses.

Maybe Dottie was over stimulated and that's why she made the decision to run underneath the wheels of the car. Or maybe she was acting out her frustration because of her bad haircut, or because I threatened to put her in Sylvan Learning Centre if she didn't learn to roll over as well as the dog down the street.

Maybe I'll start a website strictly for 2-to-6 year old poodles who've made bad life decisions. Or a website for busy, busy 3-to-14 year olds who grew up thinking their loving mother was oddly, Filipino.

I just did a design job for a lovely, local, child psychologist, so if you know anyone who needs her number, click on the link on the top right.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'll trade you my beaver for your bald bird.

I just sat down on the can to take the Horrid's Canada Day Quiz when it donned on me. I really shouldn't eat Patak's Hot Lime Chili Pickle, and my god this is a boring place to live.

Having a 142nd birthday fall on a crappy, rainy Wednesday doesn't really help matters much. Why doesn't some over-paid bureaucrat wiggle the dates around, like May Two-Four weekend, so we can at least chug Canadian whiskey, wave the flag and throw up poutine on a crappy, rainy Friday night.

The good news is: unity. Thursday is guaranteed to be miserable, nationwide.

Yesterday, I heard the talk radio guy asking the obviously unemployed and under-educated listeners who their favourite Canadian was. The usual boring suspects rolled in: Wayne Gretzky. Don Cherry. Every other Canadian NHL player. Stompin' Tom. Shania (hold my hair back I am going to vomit) Twain. One loser said John A. Macdonald, like they were drinking buddies back in high school or something. Never mind that the so-called father of confederation was a Conservative, and a volatile drunk, he wasn't even Canadian. And he married his cousin.

My vote goes to the moron who decided a fucking beaver would be the proud emblem of our nation's heritage. A beaver.

So Happy Canada Day people. Looks like the guy holding the Bic lighter down by the harbour will get rained out again this year, but fireworks or no fireworks, we have big plans for this first of July. I am going to dump the dehumidifier. Twice. Do a little laundry. Scrub my proud emblem of our nation's heritage. Feed my other favourite Canadian some of our nation's pride – Kraft Dinner. And if the sun peeks out, I may even toss some burgers on the grill, because I have another craving for non-native Indian Patak's Hot Lime Chili Pickle.

Then I'll wrap up Canada Day, the way it began. On the can.