Saturday, October 31, 2009

Talking heads and single malt treats.

There are no skeletons in my closet, unless you count the size 6 Anne Klein skirt I refuse to surrender, oh, and the 6'3" man wearing baby doll pajamas clutching a scotch glass.

Come on out Dad, it's your day.

Halloween is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 76 today. His absence in our lives, is in part why I loathe this last day of October. That, and greedy little bastards hopped up on Smarties, who lack the common sense and decency to say 'thank you' after they've wormed their grubby little H1N1 snot-encrusted fists through my candy bowl.

I hate masks. I hate doorbells. I hate the pile of last night's mini Oh Henry! wrappers next to my bed. I also hate knowing, that if I turn off the lights and watch TV in the dark, that some little peckerhead with pimples will egg my house. And, I hate that my Dad isn't around to embarrass the hell out of my child, like he did to me.

When I was a kid, Halloween night found most children scouting out which houses had the best loot, or which streets to avoid because some miserable, menopausal old bitch has her lights turned off. I was busy keeping an eye out for my Dad and the accompanying cry of "Oh! Here comes Mr. Schultz again!", whereupon I would duck behind a bush or head off on my broom in the other direction.

Like most Dads placed on a wobbly pedestal – mine was larger than life. On Halloween, he was larger than life and he was wearing pastel-coloured, see-through baby doll pajamas that barely fit my mother. Every year, my dad wandered like a plus-size toddler from house to house with an empty scotch glass, that wasn't empty for long. With every "ding dong" he would disappear into a neighbour's living room to get his glass – and his merriment – topped up. Then, off he'd go to the next house. And the next. And the next.

What's worse, ours was a circular subdivision, and one could not avoid passing Fonzi, Mork, Daisy Duke or the cross-dressing XXL birthday boy, over and over again. I thought those nights would never end.

One November 1st, I recall waking up to singing. The streetlights were flickering off and my dad was weaving up the street in baby dolls ,singing Nat King Cole's "The Party's Over".

The party's over
It's time to call it a day
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend

I'd give anything to hear that song again.

The party may be over for some larger than life, local television celebrities as well. I may never have the opportunity to dress up us as Cindy Day, that overly-medicated weather girl with the bulgy eyes and suspiciously crazy wardrobe. There's a pissing match going on right now between local television programmers and big Cable companies. According to the lovely, Renée Fournier at CTV, "the satellite and cable companies take our signal and pay us nothing in return. Most consumers believe they are paying for our service because it’s packaged in basic cable, but in truth, nothing comes back to us. We’re asking to negotiate a fair value for that service, and we’re asking the distributors to pay for it out of the massive profits they already make on our back."

Sounds fair enough. Reneé's bored and armed for a fight now that all the letters from gentlemen across the Maritimes pleading CTV to bring back Nancy Regan, merely trickle in. If you care enough to keep Steve Murphy, Tom Murphy, all the Murphy's, and that annoying pain in the ass, puffy-eyed Paul Withers coming into your living room night after night, then hop on the online bandwagon quick and give the CRTC the 'what fer'. Speak out at and keep Cindy Day's eyes from popping out all over the unemployment line.

On second thought, Jack's not getting any younger. Things in life get taken away before we even realize how much we love them. This could be my last chance to honour thy father and humiliate my child on Halloween. Where's my scotch glass?

This party's not over until this fat lady sings.

There is only one way to be heard and make a difference. Egg a house, or submit YOUR comments directly to the CRTC before November 2, 2009. It's as simple as Cindy Day, and you can do it right now at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In lieu of a gift, please accept this apology.

Happy 50th Birthday to my much, much older brother. See how he has to stoop over to kiss me. He must be at least 15 or 16 in that picture. He's a midget, er, a little person. Never grew... it's the damnedest thing.

I think shortly after that photo was taken, I kicked him in the nuts and smashed his Lincoln Logs to smithereens.

Growing up in the shadow of "the dear wee man" was a nightmare. For him. He was the sweet one. The compassionate one. The one who would sit for hours holding the liver spotted hands of elderly relatives, while I rifled through their purses looking for smokes or a crumpled 2$ bill. I'd inevitably ruin everything, with an emergency trip to the hospital after falling from a tree, or getting smacked in the head with a baseball – stealing his thunder once again.

My big brother left home as quickly as he could – never looking back – lest I was chasing behind the bus on my Honda 50 armed with a handful of kitty litter as a weapon of mass destruction. I was the fucking bain of his existence.

Our lives eventually went in opposite directions. While I traveled the world, partied, changed jobs, schools, boyfriends and my mind – my brother worked in the IT department of the Bank. He walked into the world of computers long before anyone played PONG or knew what a Commodore 64 was. This new world, with a language of its own, fit him like a glove. He has the RRSP's and Bank stock to prove it.

To say my brother and I never got along was an understatement. I grew up convinced one of us had to be adopted, and he merely hoped it were true. Then, one day in 1995, everything changed.

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. All was forgiven.

My brother loves my child unconditionally. He put Jack though private school. He saves every report card and school photo. He follows Jack's hockey schedule and wants updates after every single game. Last summer, I watched my brother in the stands at a Toronto tournament. It was torture for him. He said he felt every shot and almost had a heart attack watching Jack in the net. He loves my child that much. Who would have thought, me having an illegitimate child, would make my brother the happiest guy on Earth. Had I known that was all it would take, I would have cranked out a nephew at 16.

So Paul Martin, dear wee man. Sorry I wrecked your stuff, and your life. I'm a little short of cash, otherwise I'd be there to throw up birthday cake all over the backseat of your spotless Mercedes.

And, I don't know if I ever told you this, but I am really proud of you. (Don't worry, you don't have to say it back.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Finally. Someone gets me.

Dear Halifax Broad,
This is
Shiela from
We stumbled on your blog while searching for substance abuse related information. I understand that your website is related to this topic. As a kind note, we have featured your site and we would be grateful if you could add the following details to your blog's main page.
Looking forward for your confirmation.
Substance-Abuse Counselor

Dear Shiela,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful email. You've made my day. It is such an honour to be recognized by a prestigious institution such as yours. Not since NASA called to ask if they could shoot my liver into space, have I been so humbled. I knocked back a fifth of vodka in my orange juice this morning just to celebrate – and plan to raise a glass, or two, after I drive the little soul-sucker to school. What a memorable day – hopefully I'll remember most of it. Ha ha. A little substance abuse humour for ya. Pretty good for first thing in the morning.

Shiela, I noted you "stumbled" across my blog so I figure you must like to toss back a few at your desk. Atta girl. We should really get together. Drinking, er, working alone can be such a drag. No benefits aside from taking the phone off the hook and catching a few winks after Oprah. I just jump up when the kids get home, and pretend I was folding the pile of laundry on the bed.

Again, thanks for the recognition. I work hard spreading the word about substances and the consequential abuse, and it's nice to know someone appreciates what I do. You can bet the little asshole searching for toe jam on my sofa wouldn't notice if I were slumped over my keyboard in a pool of my own filth, unless he needed food, money, or a ride to hockey.

Ungrateful. Like I was put on this Earth to walking around picking up shit-stained boxer shorts and socks that smell like road kill. Yesterday, I even made the little bastard Hamburger Helper which was a real test for my gag reflexes. It reminded me of why I never drink anything that ends in "colada", if you know what I mean, Shiela.

But of course you do.

What can I say Shirley. Your email has made my day. Did I tell you about the time I drove over my kid's foot. I didn't even know it happened until later when the school called to say he'd been standing outside and it was getting dark. Of course, I asked if he was limping to get out of mowing the lawn. Goddamned feet are so big, he's lucky I ran out of Bailey's and coffee.

I'd better go, Sandra. The sun is up and I just realized I left the dog and some groceries in the car last night. I hope the wine didn't freeze. I wondered what all that barking was about. No problem falling asleep though, if you know what I mean.

It's never ending. Today, I have to whip over to Jane's on the Common before Regis & Kelly. Jane's Next Door sell ready-to-eat meals you can scrape into Corning Ware and toss off as home cooking. Last week, I bought a Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust that was so delicious, and really soaked up the Donini. Jack picked out the big chicken chunks and made some pretty effective gagging noises when I tried to force sweet potato down his throat – but he loved the warm tea biscuits.

Jane's Next Door is open from 8 'til 8 which is really handy because you can just pull up, run in and leave the car idling out front. I just can't seem to get warm these days. My doctor says maybe it's my medication, but I think these new eco-friendly stainless steel travel mugs just make the drinks too damn cold. Is that possible, Sharon? I refuse to start drinking that filthy Tim's coffee like all the other hockey moms. 'Next thing you know I'll be sportin' a perm and a snowmobile jacket.

Talk soon. Maybe I'll give you a jingle after Judge Judy. God I love her. She puts the "I" in Bitch. I bet she'd be fun at Book Club. Book Club, snort. We both know Book Club is short for "mommy's little excuse to get the fuck out of the house."

Oh, look at the time.

Your new friend,

(That was a real honest to god email I got this morning.)

Jane's Next Door is at 2398 Robie Street, Halifax. Join her mailing list at:

Keep voting people.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meltdown in aisle eleven.

There's a game I've been playing in the darkness before dawn. Nothing weird – I am fully clothed. The game is kind of like horseshoes only it involves a bag of dog shit and the neighbour's renovation bin.

After walking the dogs, I stand at the end of the driveway – bag of warm shit in one hand – and face my target, a good pitcher's mound away. I toss the shit, underhand, into the black air. Loft is good, unless it's frightfully windy. The object is simple: If the bag of shit lands in the bin, it's going to be a good day. If it misses, landing with a plop on the driveway, my day will suck.

The good news is, this morning I hit the bin. But, if the poor bastard making minimum wage in the Huntin' and Fishin' department of Canadian Tire is on stress leave today, I take full responsibility. You see, I missed the bin on Friday.

It is no secret. I hate shopping more than George Bush. And Big Box store shopping is like George Bush when he smirks. My 7-minute window of tolerance was put to the test last Friday when the school closed its doors for PD day and I found myself in Canadian Tire.

I am trying to make this short and sweet because I am even boring myself. The boys wanted to paintball but they needed supplies. Since I "do not work" in the eyes of those who actually change out of their pyjamas to go drink the company Koolaid – I was naturally the chosen one. The driver. The picker upper.

When it comes to paintball, we normally head over to Banshee Paintball – a Nirvana of violence for teenage boys. Imagine weapons and fireworks and t-shirts that say things like "My Balls. Your Face." Add the staff of helpful men, all who refuse to grow up and love talking about paintball guns and airsoft guns and blowing things up – and you've got a reason other than Oxycontin for heading to Dartmouth.

But we were in a hurry.

The Recreational Killin' department at Crappy Tire is at the very back of the store. When we arrived, there was a Canada Post employee already waiting, but he wasn't in a hurry to deliver the sack of bills destined for my mailslot. There wasn't a Canadian Tire employee in sight, nor had I passed one in Seasonal, Electrical, Automotive or Paint. According to the postal worker, he'd been there for a while. Clearly, the act of "going postal" was a misnomer. That was going to be my job.

So, we waited. While the boys checked out fishin' stuff, I watched a child refuse to leave the hockey aisle, even after his mother asked him nicely about 15 times. I was just about to go beat the little fucker with a lacrosse stick, when I decided to take my frustrations out elsewhere.

I picked up the phone next to the cash register and started pushing buttons. The boys saw what I was doing and backed away. I didn't have my glasses on, but I was hoping to hit the loud speaker button that blasted messages throughout the store. Being a bad day, all I got was a "Hello".

I started with a "Could we get some fucking help down in redneck country."

"Isn't that you?", she said.

"No, this isn't whatever underpaid lacky is supposed to be here! This is ME! An unsatisfied customer currently having a hot flash in the fucking deer hunter section of this poorly-lit fucking cesspool of a inconvenience store!"

"I'll get someone down there right away" she said, hanging up.

"Right away" seemed like a breech birth. Enter the sweaty, minimum-wage underachiever who told us he had been trained to fill the C02 canisters but had forgotten how. He also lacked the authority, and the keys, to open the glass ammunition cage where the paintballs resided, so he'd have to call for backup – only his backup was on a smoke break.

By this time, I was only inhaling and was beginning to twitch. The boys were trying on bright orange hunting gear, trying not to notice I was seconds away from smashing through the glass cages with a toilet seat so I could grab a a hunting knife and hold the postal worker hostage – when the backup Canadian Tire associate returned – lungs full of nicotine, but at least retaining his knowledge of C02. Meanwhile, the other poor bastard, who didn't know his ass from a camping stove, stood perfectly still, trying to avoid eye contact.

By the time we were ready to go I was nearly fetal, with Jack rubbing my back saying, "It's okay Mom, calm down, we can go now." I had donned an inner straitjacket and surrendered to the almost 45-minutes of my life wasted in bowels of Canadian Tire. 45-minutes I will never get back. We could have driven to Banshee and back. The boys could have been romping through the woods. I could be at my desk staring at the computer going deeper and deeper into debt. Instead, I succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome and nearly asked for a job application. Why the hell not? I too could stand there, slack jawed for 8 hours – do absolutely nothing – and get paid.

When minimum wage boy announced he had to escort us to the check-out, I was like a twice-lobotomized Republican. He explained the escort procedure was protocol with ammunition, and just before we left, he asked if there would be anything else.

"Yes", I said, calmly. "Could you please hand me one of those rifles – loaded – so I can blow my fucking brains from here to Household Goods."

"Uh, he said, his eyes darting from Plumbing to Footwear. "Sorry Ma'am. I don't have keys to that cabinet."

(Ma'am. That's short for crazy, miserable old bitch.)

We finally headed for what I presumed would be one cashier with 14 people waiting. The boys were chatty and excited about their day. I trudged along like a medicated girl Osmond. My spirit was broken. Next stop would be Tabi for elastic-waist pants and matching holiday-theme vest.

Passing by Sporting Goods, I glanced over to see the mother of the boy who had refused to leave. She was sucking her thumb, rocking back and forth on the linoleum between street hockey pads and the glass cabinet of darts – to which there is no key, or no one to open it, should she decide to mutilate her wrists with a sharp object. I went over, placed a baseball mitt under her head, and walked away.

But that was last week. This morning, the shit hit the bin.

Banshee Paintball is upstairs at 122 Portland Street in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Call 902.469.BALL or check out

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pamlela, put the gun(s) down and walk away from the bucket of KFC.

Pamela, go back to LA, you are embarrassing us. Your presence makes me want to go club a baby seal to death, so scoot! Go back to the beach and hunt for your eyebrows.

Since the most embarrassing thing to happen to Canadian women since Kim Mitchell, er, Kim Campbell, is in Toronto today to help launch a new PETA ad campaign against the Canadian seal hunt – I propose we launch an anti-Pamela Anderson campaign.

Wasn't having Celine Dion on our ten dollar bill bad enough? Oh, wait, that's Sir John A. Macdonald. Same nose.

Surrender your Canadian passport Pam. Now that Sarah Palin is back at the rink in Alaska, America needs you.

That's all I have to say. It's Friday and a school PD day which means fuck-all is going to get done around here, so I may as well start now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is it just me or does the American woman bear a striking resemblance to Michael Jackson.

White milk. Black licorice. Playboy. Chocolate milk. Time.

If Atlantic News sold wine, tampons and dog food, I would never have to shop anywhere else. I was there to pick up my copy of Playboy with Marge Simpson on the cover. Encased in a plastic sheath, I couldn't wait to get home and rip open the bag like a Harlequin Romance stud would tear through the bodice of the buxom heiress escaped from the castle's dungeon.

'Not sure why I bought Time, but it triggered a flashback. I remembered my mother saying she used to buy Time and read it cover-to-cover before attending business cocktail functions in New York with my Father. I guess being a full-time, bridge-playing suburban housewife and mother didn't give her the confidence to hold her own in a room full of working stiffs. Cramming in Time gave her "something intelligent to talk about".

How ironic that this particular issue of Time was more of an exposé than Marge's disappointing bare-all as Miss November. In a nutshell, we may never know if Marge has a blue beaver because she kept it between her and Homer – but if Time's special report is indeed correct – women much like Marge and my mother were a lot happier before. Before women got what they think they wanted.

Fuuuuuuuuuck. Have I not always said that being a housewife back in the 50's and 60's looked way more fun than trying to talk the underpaid daycare teacher into taking your obviously sick kid for the day because you are so paranoid about missing another second of work at the shitty job you hate. June Cleaver never cracked a sweat. It wasn't until that annoyingly perky Mary Tyler Moore tossed her fucking hat into the ring, that women everywhere decided maybe having a career would be "fun".

So, save the $5.95, because after cramming Time cover-to-cover, so I could sound half-assed intelligent today, here's what I have to say:

Probiotic yogurt makes your poop all fluffy like marshmallows. That new Cougar Town show with Courtney Cox is actually kind of funny. Now that women and men are equal, it's not fun anymore. The only truly happy people are lesbians and divorce lawyers and real estate agents, because every family needs two homes. Skinny jeans suck. Women need more wine, less stress, and a man to rescue them from the dungeon, have great sex, then fuck off after leaving a nice diamond tennis bracelet on the night stand.

But hey, good news: The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia is bringing a "first ever for North America" Divorce Fair to town, January 15-16th, 2010. No shit. A two-day Divorce Fair at The Lord Nelson Hotel. The fair will apparently be a marriage of all the professionals that someone in the middle of, or thinking about, toying with, leaving the bitch/bastard, should/could be in contact with." Like lawyers. Bulk wine merchants. Hair colouring or replacement professionals. Weight loss clinics. Child psychologists. Sports car salesmen. Real Estate agents. Private Detectives. Plastic surgeons. Therapists. Pilate's instructors. Yoga instructors. Really, really, fucking big-screen TV salesmen. Really, really ugly La-Zy Boy salesmen. Oh, and there will be a Best Friend Booth with someone there to say, "Fuck, finally. I never liked her/him because they treated you like shit and hit on your cousin at your wedding."

Should be fun. The keynote speaker on both days will be Justice Harvey Brownstone. Harvey's written a real page turner titled, “Tug of War: A Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battle and Bitter Realities of Family Court”. Sounds like a good pick for Book Club.

I was thinking of getting a booth, but they've taken all the fun out of it with segregation. The first day is for men and the second day – a Saturday – is for women. I can hear it now: "Why does that son of a bitch get to go first? What am I going to do with three kids – on a Saturday – when they have hockey, dance, karate, therapy, basketball – and he's going skiing with the boys, and I was hoping to get away to see my mother and...".

Probiotic yogurt makes your poop all fluffy like marshmallows. Wine is nice. Love is all around, no need to waste it. You can have a town, why don't you take it. You're gonna make it after all.

For more information on the Divorce Fair go to Funny thing is I went to the site and it was blank. Totally blank. Maybe they are arguing over content.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shades of that scene from The Exorcist where her head spins around.

Dog shit is really hard to distinguish from fallen leaves in the dark.

And maybe that woman isn't just running, I thought as I was standing out front scratching my ass, looking for the newspaper and the dog shit. (Multi-tasking.) Maybe she is running away.

These are my morning thoughts so far. How does one spin a yarn from that, pray tell. Plus, my rudimentary coffee system works well, unless the cone thing topples off of the cup, like it just did, spraying hot, expensive Italian coffee grounds I can no longer afford, all over my hideous "temporary" laminate countertops that have been in place for five years.

And, it's not even 6am.

Here we fuckin' go. The sun isn't even up and another great day is on the horizon. Pull up a chair – wait – just toss all that laundry on the floor and sit down will ya. Welcome to my pity party. First, raise your hand if you did anything for yourself yesterday? Anybody go the spa, or yoga? Anyone have any real problems, like cancer, or sick kids? If so, fuck off, you are dis-invited to my pity party.

Let me start by asking, why are there so many goddamned wheelchair parking spaces? Those people have wheels – why do they need to be so goddamned close to the goddamned door when they have goddamned wheels? Every parking lot I spun into yesterday was full, except for the dozen or so empty, blue wheelchair spaces and the occasional white pram space for expectant mothers. (I use those pregnant parking spaces all the time by the way, and I defy anyone to challenge how many months I may be along.)

Yesterday, after driving in circles around the parking lot for what seemed like hours but at such a high speed was likely seconds, I finally pulled into a blue wheelchair space and jumped out, poised like a Ninja to challenge any motherfucker who dared tell me I couldn't park there. I would have brandished my car keys like a sword had I not just locked them in the car. "Come on asshole... I dare ya" I'd say frothing at the mouth, "I'm sweating like a perimenopausal pig in sweatpants from driving around backtracking from Sackville to Buttville - revisiting the skate store, the pet store, the grocery store, the furnace oil store, the gas station, the dry cleaner, then the bank – looking for my bank card I realised I had lost when I attempted to deposit my paltry "Baby Bonus" cheque. So, back away slowly and no one gets hurt!"

Baby Bonus. That's what my mother used to call the Child Tax Credit. I won't even bother telling you what my mother used to buy with our monthly Baby Bonus because it was illegal, and the mere thought of it would turn this pity party into a self-pity mosh pit.

Where was I?

Oh, frothing at the mouth in the Value Village parking lot. I always feel like I need a shower after I've been in those "used anything" stores full of dead skin cells and poverty, even though you can get some great stuff in there and I was on the hunt for some decent curtains for Dave. Dave is Jack's #1 fan. Dave is a challenged senior citizen who has just been evicted from the house he has lived in for over 60 years by his nephew who inherited Dave's family home, and who, instead of keeping Dave "in the manner to which he is accustomed" kicked Dave to the curb. I was looking for curtains to try and make Dave's new shithole of an filthy apartment look a little more like home.

Jack knows I want a nursing home with a view of the water and a mini bar. A tennis court would be nice, and a pool I could pee in while doing aquacize. But after seeing how Dave has been treated by his loving family, I'd settle for a warm bed with plastic sheets and a roof over my head. And a minibar.

My brother announced last week that he is looking forward to taking an early retirement in 2012. I figure I'll be working 26 years after I am splayed out in my coffin with my middle finger flipped into an eternal bird, compliments of rigor mortis and the undertaker.

The bright side is, the sun is coming up, and unless someone Ponzied your life savings which would suck more than not having any, some people can actually retire and golf until the grim reaper comes a caddying. That's because Diane MacDonald works like a dog for Dejardins Financial Security. Dejardins may have the worst television commercials on record, but Diane designs and sells awesome retirement savings plans to businesses for their employees. Things I have none of, like: Pensions, RRSP, DPSP, TFSA and Non-Registered Savings. Anyway, there are people out there who can retire, thanks to Diane and work-based retirement programs and wise financial planning.

My financial planning goes like this: Okay, I have $3586 worth of credit left on my credit card, and I may croak tomorrow and who needs granite countertops, so let's go to Italy!

Which brings this pathetic ramble to a purpose and that purpose is getting out of whatever shithole you're in, and escaping to Tuscany. Maritime Travel have handpicked villas in Tuscany where you can park yourself and say, "When in Rome!" and guzzle Chianti all day. I want THAT job. Handpicking Tuscan villas. Like La Tenuta di Corsano, the 17-Century Tuscan farmhouse, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, just 12 km from Siena where you can sip local wines by the pool from $157 bucks per day. Which is about how much I spent on gas yesterday driving around like a middle-aged maniac hopped up on cooking sherry.

Someday, Jack will look down at me flipping him the bird from my coffin and say, "Mom, you scarred me for life, but we hiked the Cinque Terre and drank Prosecco by the canal in Venice and backpacked through Tuscany, and you may have left me nothing but a stack of bills and some big girl incontinence underpants – but it was a wild ride."

Yesterday, my miserable wild ride ended as it normally does; in a rink, surrounded by really nice people, laughing, yes, laughing – and not even the crazy-eyed type of hysterical laughing – just plain, happy laughing, watching my healthy boy get a shutout in his team's season home opener.

Fuck, in hindsight, life is good. Let's pity party!

Click on the Italy photo over to the right and check out Maritime Travel's Italian villas for rent. Or go to

Get your hard working employees some retirement benefits by calling Diane at 902.466.2505 or emailing:

Get some really fine Italian coffee at The Italian Market on Young Ave. New owners, more about them later.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ms. November.

Three kids and a blue beaver (speculation) and you've still got the kahunas to park yourself on the cover of Playboy. I say, good for you Marge, I can't even bear to look at myself in a foggy hotel room mirror.

Targeted at a younger audience, with hopes to pull up limp magazine sales and a second-quarter, $9-million dollar loss, Playboy is placing the burden of hope on the shoulders of Springfield's most sainted housewife. Such pressure for Marge. Isn't it bad enough the poor bitch has Homer flopping around on her night after night?

Gracing the cover of Playboy magazine is the ultimate flipping off to the feminist movement. Or is it? Quoted recently, Gloria Steinem's advice to young women was, "to do whatever they fucking well please". This from the quintessential bra burner who once worked as a Playboy Bunny, then exposed Hef's operation in the 1985 made-for-TV movie, A Bunny's Tale, starring a pre-Krispy Kreme Kirstie Alley. Good to know, even in her 70's, Glo hasn't softened her stance or her delivery.

My grandfather kept stacks of Playboy magazines in his sliding bookshelf/headboard combo. When we would visit from the States, I spent hours sipping Bovril, flipping through glossy pages staring at the beautiful women with staples in their belly buttons. I never read any of the articles, but I loved the jokes I understood, and I always read the centerfold bios. I don't recall any shame – for myself or Miss July – and while painfully heterosexual, I remain in awe of the unabashed displays of well-trimmed "self-confidence".

Some will of course argue that posing for such a publication is degrading to women – but is it any more degrading than Hugh Hefner walking around in his pyjamas, looking like an old fool in his mansion full of dumb blondes with brunette pubic hairs. And exactly how dumb are they? I bet their bank accounts are a few cup sizes bigger than mine.

This week I received an email and a nice compliment from Brain, Child (note the comma) - a publication in the States. The woman who contacted me expressed an interest in my writing, stating I would 'fit in perfectly' with their audience, as theirs was "The Magazine for Thinking Mothers". It says so right there on the magazine cover. She went on to say, "Our writers explore the transformations that motherhood brings." I had to ask, "transformations?" Like from career woman with nice underwear - to a babbling, puke-encrusted zombie who hasn't slept through the night since shitting out a ten-pound rocking chair? Those kinds of transformations? I have said it before and I'll say it again: afterbirth is actually a portion of your brain – the lobe that prior to childbirth, would have prevented you from saying things like, "Did you go poopies?" and "Don't roll your fucking eyes at me because I was a teenager once too you know and it wasn't pretty, so back off, asshole".

I think I am better suited for a magazine aimed at people who don't have time to think. Or, the magazine for mothers who prefer not to think, because if they really sat down and thought about things, they'd head that minivan full of snot-nosed, unappreciative little bastards for the nearest cliff.

I stopped by Atlantic News on the weekend. I love everything about this newsstand. The owners are great, the staff are helpful, and their black licorice is the freshest in town. I could spend hours grazing through the rows of beautiful magazines, and it makes me sad to think I may never have a flat stomach again, (Self magazine) or know 75 Crazy Hot Sex Moves (Cosmo) or fulfill my dream of working for a big publication like Esquire, or even O. When Condé Nast announced Gourmet magazine would be closing its cover after nearly 60 years, I realized – not only does my career timing suck – but there may come a time when buying a stack of magazines and curling up with a glass of wine, will be as far fetched as ever looking good upside down again.

The November issue of Playboy is available on newsstands everywhere. Well, everywhere except for here and maybe Iran – but the good folks at Atlantic News are holding a copy for me when it finally arrives. I also didn't see a copy of Brain, Child but maybe all the thinking mothers snatched them up.

I figure Marge Simpson's debut as Playmate of the Month would be a good issue to leave lying around, just in case Jack wants to "read the articles" or see what a real woman looks like – blue beaver and all.

Atlantic News is located at the corner of Queen & Morris, 5560 Morris Street in Halifax. If they don't have what you're looking for, they'll do their damnedest to get it in.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The origin of the specimens.

"What do you mean how many drinks do I have in a week? You're holding half a cup of my urine – you tell me."

Had I known renewing my life insurance was going to be such a pain in the ass, I would have joined the Army. Apparently, now that I have a few gray hairs popping out in random places, joining our military is easier than leaving my child a small winfall, lest I throw myself under a bus.

But wait. According to the traveling nurse who dropped by, life insurance doesn't kick in if I throw myself under a bus, so my kid's stuck with me. In fact, one of the 1,468 stupid questions was: "Have you ever committed suicide?" Yes, dickwad, just after I found out I had an enlarged prostate, but I'm back. It's a miracle.

And so I ask, "Define drinks". It's been a bad week for drinks. My stepmother was in town and it was like an Irish wake everyday around here. Plus, we tucked into the spicy Caesars at White Point and we had lobster the night before the nurse came-a-callin'. My veins were a mixture of melted butter, Pinot Grigio, and vodka. Lord knows what would surface in my urine. Likely an olive. I was fucked.

So I continued, "Define glass". Are we talkin' the Winnie the Pooh juice glass I take to the bathtub, or the large, stemmed fishbowl that holds half a bottle of the House Red – because if that's the case – I only have two glasses a day. Unless of course it's been a bad day, in which case the box is up on the counter and I'm sucking plonk out of the spout.

I first bought life insurance the day after Swissair made a fatal pit-stop near Peggy's Cove. A nervous flyer, no amount of alcohol or drugs can calm my nerves, so instead, I take it out on the stewardess, er, flight attendant. I figure they hate me as much as I hate flying, so I spend my time messing with their perfectly-coiffed heads. It takes my mind off death, and I love it when they go all pinchy faced when I say things like, "So, I guess that whole Secretarial College thing didn't work out". The minute we touched down on that first post-disaster flight, I raced for an insurance office and stocked up on Term Life. At least if I went down in a spiraling Airbus clutching the throat of the bitter sky pig who ignored my request for a hot towel and a piccolo of champagne, Jack could throw a party.

But that was then. Now that I am in my 40's and apparently on death row, the list of medical conditions that send a red flare to head office include the trendy ones like cancer and heart disease. But cramps, homesickness, commitmentphobia, actually anything that ends with "phobia", fear of clowns, menopause, allergies, perimenopause, obesity, and fear of beating to death old people who decide to use all their thin Centennial dimes to pay for the jug of Metamucil in the grocery store line up, – are all considered a black mark on your chart. Add illegal drug use, all of the "phrenias", hatred of small children, French people, cheap people, and I may as well leave my teeth under the hospital pillow with a note that says, "That'll teach you for weighing ten pounds and ripping me a new one. Get an education. Love Mommy."

So, I sit and wait to hear if I have coverage. The good news is – now that I am considered old – I am also a CAA member. The two really have nothing in common, but I always assumed CAA was for gin-soaked old people going nowhere in their Buick because cataracts had them holding their TripTik upside down. Today, I have a CAA Membership that gives me discounts on travel, shoes, dining, automotive needs, Pete's Frootique, even insurance. Member Savings vary from province-to-province, state-to-state, and you don't even need that big CAA sticker on your bumper that says, "MY OTHER CAR IS A HEARSE."

With any luck, the good folks at the insurance company will look beyond my lab results, weight-to-height ratio and family history of just plain crazy, and consider only the good die young – and that this particular card-carrying asshole could be around for a very, very long time.

For insurance, cheaper shoes, a discount on Cow's Ice Cream, and more, check out:

For stewardess or nurses costumes try Boutilier's Costume Rentals, 211 Windmill Road in Dartmouth. 902.464.3536.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The missionary's position.

What else is a girl to do, in the wee hours just before dawn, in a motel room somewhere between Thanksgiving and the post-stuffing, pre-Christmas detoxification.

I spoke to God.

Actually, his name was David, and according to the infomercial I could have a free conversation with God compliments of a real, live missionary from the Mormon Church (the good folks who brought us the Osmonds). So I thought, what the hell, no one else seemed to be awake and besides, I had questions. For instance, "Marie Osmond – she seems depressed – can't you help her?" Donny seems fine. And, "Why can't I shake these last 40 pounds of baby weight?".

David, my missionary, was online alot faster than other so-called Help Desks I've contacted lately, and his English was an improvement over Mrigankasekhar's – the kind, Punjab gentleman who attempted to get my printer up and running from a hut over in New Delhi – with whom I lost my patience after having to repeat every word s-l-o-w-l-y like I was talking to my great-grandmother just after a stroke left her balling up Kleenex in the funeral parlour waiting line.

Packing the knowledge that men will say just about anything to make you stop talking, or simply to avoid the truth, I started my conversation with God by asking, "Who do you have for the Superbowl?"

Much to my surprise, seconds later, a simple "Steelers and Vikings" came flashing back, followed by a "You?".

Since I really know nothing about football and didn't want God to think I was just another dumb blonde morning person, I woke up Jack, who was until that very moment sound asleep in the next bed.

"Jack... wake up!", I said with a sense of whispered urgency so as not to disturb my stepmother in the adjoining room, "I'm talking to God, and he wants to know who I have for the Superbowl".

Well, you can imagine how that went over. The little asshole just mumbled something about calling Children's Services and rolled over, so I was on my own. Just me, and God, and an empty mini bar.

So I replied to God, "49ers. Like life, it's a long shot".

God then tried to steer me over to his team by asking if I had any "church" related questions, so I asked, "What's with the air quality in all of the churches I've been in. All that incense and those moldy Bibles can't be good for anyone and maybe it's the mold and second-hand smoke making all the priests crazy for kiddie porn and slutty, wayward sheep." I followed with a quick, "Kind of makes me think there is no God and it's all a big, fat showy farce".

David, the voice of God, replied with a swift and mildly defensive, "There is a God. People make bad choices."

To which I said, "No shit, like that time I almost threw up a $50 sirloin in the back seat of a New York cab. That last shot of Sambuca was a huge mistake".

David – proving he really was a man – seemed to lose interest in me after that, so when I finally asked him, "And, why do they call it the Missionary position?", God dropped me like a filthy habit.

Christ, even Mrigankasekhar stayed on the line and I got really pissy with him.

Having someone to answer questions is vital in this messed-up world. The good news is, effective immediately the Tourism and Hospitality sector will have a direct line to answers with the launch of Doug Fawthrop's new venture Turizm Inc. Fawthrop, the often outspoken advocate for Nova Scotia Tourism and long-time Manager of White Point Beach Resort will be the person on the end of the line, when public and private sectors need help with marketing and branding, property development and other challenges facing tourism today.

Having worked closely with Doug for almost 14 years, I can attest to the fact, while he may not have the patience of God, he has a similar wisdom, and I will have him on my speed dial for all eternity.

As for my brief dalliance with missionaries – while he may have felt some relief, I was left a little unsatisfied, lying in a motel room waiting for the sun to come up, wishing I had asked, "Why, oh why, does my fucking golf drive always hook to the left?"

Doug Fawthrop, Turizm Inc. can be contacted by email at: or by calling: 902.402.1441.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pubic outcry.

My mother knit me a Cowichan sweater once, and as much as I loved it, I knew it wasn't a real Cowichan sweater because unless I am adopted – which would explain a great deal – my mother isn't a Cowichan Indian, or native person, or whatever the hell we are supposed to call them. First Nations, I think is the current, politically correct term. She wasn't a First Nation. She was forth or fifth nation Irish/Scottish, so basically I had a hand-knit knock off.

First Nations is a nice way of saying 'fucked over' by the little French guy with the funny hat. 'First' means diddly when staring down the barrel of a musket, clutching your beaver pelt for dear life. The rest is all too familiar history, although not-so ancient past, with the latest 2010 Olympic costume fiasco brought to you by the good American folks at Hudson Bay Co.

It's come out in the wash that our Cowichan Indian First Nation aboriginal folks – the Coco Chanel behind the original hand-knit sweater – actually agreed to knit their little asses off to produce enough authentic sweaters for HBC's Olympic clothing line. But, the Cowichan knitters didn't get the job. As a result, HBC's pro-Canadiana Olympic sweater has been exposed as a big, fat manufactured rip-off, and the Cowichan tribe of knitters are rightfully pissed. Mad pissed, not drunk pissed, although who could blame them if they hit the photocopier after watching their original handiwork bastardized for all to see.

Speaking of Olympic rip offs, I suppose now with the 2016 Olympics being handed to a greased palm down in Rio De Janeiro, we'll see a sharp rise in the occurrence of fake Brazilian waxes. I hate to think what a knock-off Brazilian wax job would be – maybe only half your asshole hairs being yanked out by an unlicensed masochist in a back alley.

I had a bikini wax. Once. Nearly only half a bikini wax because after that first patch of my short and curlies were yanked out, I decided beauty was way too painful and perhaps the occasional Nair treatment or shaving would be the way to go. As fortune would have it, I am a natural blonde and my shingles match my porch, so this hasn't been a huge issue for me waltzing around at the rink in my thong. But, for some dark-haired women, I understand the ol' beaver pelt could be traded in for a multi-striped Hudson Bay point blanket, every few weeks or so.

I contacted Spirit Spa in Halifax to inquire about Brazilian waxing. The Spa assured me the Brazilian was very popular, even in Havenot, and for $55 bucks you could have a "Full Monty or a landing strip". In fact, they kindly offered me a complimentary Brazilian, which had me wincing and contracting my sphincter muscles just thinking about it. I'll stick with my occasional weed whacker routine because I avoid unnecessary pain down there, and the reality is, no one's been looking to land their plane – not even a drunken pilot – on my landing strip, for a very long time.

Tonight is actually BYOB Night at Spirit Spa, which doesn't mean Bring Your Own Beaver, silly, it means Bring Your Own Blow Dryer, for a fun, winey, cheesey night of styling and hair fluffing workshops and girl stuff. I won't be going, but call to reserve a spot because it's a popular event, especially on a rainy night.

If you'd like to experience an authentic Brazilian wax job, Maritime Travel has a dandy guided 16-day tour of South America that begins with 5 days in Rio, so you'll have plenty of time to transform your beaver from looking like Fidel Castro to a thong-worthy masterpiece. Plus, you'll get to see Rio before the Olympic committee move all of their First Nations people off of the streets and into a lovely compound in the mountains so as not to embarrass the world with their "authenticity".

As for Hudson Bay Company, they are about as Canadian as George Bush now, so I say let's boycott the scalping bastards. Or, better yet – save all your pubic hair clippings and mail 'em to to HBC Head Office so they can stop faking it and produce authentic, Canadian Olympic sweaters spun from 100% pure Canadian beaver.

Spirit Spa is at 5150 Salter Street in Halifax. To book BYOB night email: or call 431.8100. BYOB is from 7 til 9.

Book your South American waxing adventure at or call 1.800.593.3334.

Mail your unwanted pubes to HBC at: Box 223, Station "A" Scarborough, Ontario M1K5C1

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dating. Or, when Juicy Fruit doesn't necessarily mean gum.

The beautiful thing about life is, I just couldn't make some of this shit up. A Roman Catholic Bishop with kiddie porn. Elmer Fudd designs Canada's 2010 Olympic gear. NATO forces outsmarted by a man in a dress, hiding in a cave. Celine Dion. Life is simply laced with ridiculously fabulous fodder for the twisted mind.

Take for instance last week, when I caught up with a girlfriend who is recently single, and without exaggeration, one of the most flawlessly beautiful creatures on Earth. I'd honestly hate her if she wasn't so fucking fun.

Recently separated, and starting to venture out on a few coffee dates, or easy-escape type encounters, my friend told me about a recent date she'd been on. Her experience made me realize, that if things like this actually happen to a goddess, then what hope is there for me.

Chivalry may have been pissed away by the feminist movement, but common decency should prevail – at least until he gets you into loaded and into the sack, right? I ask, because not long into my friend's second date with a handsome, educated, successful, no-baggage type of guy – the gentleman proceeded to fart like my grandmother on Bingo night. (She was easily excitable). Her date farted out loud. He farted with glee. He farted with gusto. Uninhibited and repetitive breakage of wind came out of this man's otherwise, nice ass. What's so fabulous about this story is he started to name his farts: The first was Cheesy. Followed by Pop Tart. Bullfrog. Squeaky. And my personal favourite, M-16.

The sad part about all of this was, while my friend was horrified beyond belief, I found it quite funny. Almost, well... charming. They were outdoors, it was a beautiful day, and I probably would have been rolling around on the ground laughing – begging for a third, quite possibly a fourth date. Hey, why wait 'til you're married to find out the asshole actually has one.

But what do I know. I haven't been on a date in so long the Bishop of Nova Scotia's looking good to me. My advice to her was Surgically Clean Air. Yes, girlfriend, don't let a good man go for sake of a little foul air. An air purifier from Surgically Clean Air will not only clean up his act, it'll conquer things like mold, volatile organic compounds (VOC's), Sick Building Syndrome, even the probiotic yogurt and Buffalo wing/pitcher combo from Friday night.

Truth is, 30% of all doctor and hospital visits are respiratory related. (The other 70% are seeking a quick prescription for "mood elevators".) Once slated for dentist offices and funeral homes, quality air purifiers are popping up like water coolers in professional settings and living rooms. Lord knows I could use one back where my Silent But Deadly child hangs out.

Air purifiers from Surgically Clean Air come in a variety of sizes depending on your man, and they combine six stages of air sterilization and purification. There are four "capture" stages for particulate matter and two "kill" stages for volatile organic compounds, bacteria and viral infectious agents.

Capture and kill. Isn't that what dating's all about, Wet One?

Get your own purified air. Email For more information visit: or by calling 1.877.440.7770.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Try not to think of the plight of the people. And smile goddammit.

Curious as to why my Uncle George was the doodle of the day on Google's home page, I clicked to learn it is in fact, Gandhi's 140th birthday and nothing whatsoever to do with my Uncle George. I confess to being a tad disappointed, but it's Friday and maybe there will be cake, or enlightenment loot bags before the day is over.

To celebrate Gandhi's big day, some playground pal of Mahatma's is launching a massive four-volume (and I am accused of being verbose) tell-all biography on the life of a public figure the article described as "the little brown man".

Little brown man?

Now, despite walking around in Depends all day, "little brown man" seems to be a rather underwhelming description of the birthday boy. I personally would prefer to be remembered for all the great things I have done, or as the woman who shot George W. Bush, instead of the "big beige woman". Maybe these things kinds of things just rolled off Gandhi's malnourished, little brown back.

While no Bishop of Nova Scotia's Roman Catholic church, in stature, pomp and 'a real rapport with kids' – Gandhi did a fair bit for non-violence, and is hailed in some circles as the "spokesman of conscience of all mankind", whatever that means. And, not one to toot his own horn, few people know Gandhi actually started the whole organic cotton movement. If he were alive and not spouting his usual, "best wishes only" routine, I'd run down to Thornbloom and pick him up a few organic cotton towels that, in a pinch, could double as a pair of slacks for the little brown man.

Furthermore, while I am sure Gandhi's biography will be a real page turner, it's not likely to be on my bedside table covered with crusty, dried rings of E & J Gallo Red. A whopping, four-volumes high, I'd be reaching up in the air for my nightly glass of vino, so I'll just carry on admiring Gandhi for his striking resemblance to my Uncle George and his apparent high level of self-esteem. How else could a lawyer of all people, walk around in a diaper, posing humbly for photographers, despite not being overly photogenic if it weren't for self esteem, or really, really good, recent tantric sex.

I say this as I prepare to have my photo taken today for the first time since my license expired. I can honestly say I'd rather have a colonoscopy than strike a pose in front an instrument that does not lie. Having a garden hose shoved up my ass would be less painful than facing the grim reality that I have indeed seen better days, and even in better days I was about as photogenic as Gandhi's diaper. In fact, when a request came from Marketing magazine to send in a "head shot" this week, I asked if it had to be my head.

Since there's apparently no way of avoiding it, I called on a real professional: James Ingram at Jive Photographic. I figure, anyone who can make ex-Liberal leader Danny Graham look movie-star voteable is clearly the man for the job. I have less than an hour to drop one double chin, and 40-odd years of hard livin'. James has makeup artist, Amanda O'Leary lined up and I hope to hell she's packing a Gandhi-sized miracle because I've made the cut in Marketing magazine's Great Canadian Creative Faceoff. Standing amongst industry giants who "do lunch" and wear cool glasses and have professional haircuts and get out of the house more than once a year – I do not want to look like, well, myself. Even my old self.

I want to look like Mahatma Gandhi must have felt. Flat stomach, tanned, and totally at peace with who he was in this world. Failing that, could I please, please, at least not look like a cross between Burl Ives and Shelly Winters.

Happy Birthday, Uncle George. You don't look a day over 139.

Jive Photographic is at or by calling 423.9284