Friday, December 17, 2010

A nice finish, with hints of blackberry, and wait, is that urine?

"Hey, brother can you spare a dime" takes on a whole new meaning, after reading the headlines in this morning's National Post: Make booze cheap for homeless, costly for everyone else: study.

My first question after, what the fuck?, was naturally, who funded this study? – my guess being a bunch of clever homeless guys, or the government.

According to the new University of Victoria study, people in this small and vulnerable group are more apt to turn to non-beverage (debatable according to another study) sources, such as rubbing alcohol, Beaujolais Nouveau, and antifreeze, if real alcohol is too expensive. Having recently purchased a small can of BillyRock wine (Merlot) to pair with my pizza slice (meat lovers), I can attest to the difficulty one faces when that bottle of 2006 Stags' Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Napa Valley is simply out of reach, even when standing in my shopping cart.

The study also concludes that liquor should be "given free to homeless drunks to manage their consumption". To which I ask, why should the homeless drunks have all the fun? Effective immediately, well, this afternoon, okay, at lunch – I am personally funding a study that looks at single, self-employed moms and unlimited consumption management when handed pitcher after pitcher of Jose Cuervo Gold margaritas. Maybe Darrell Dexter and the NDP will fund my study because they certainly aren't throwing enough toward the issue of serious homelessness right here in the Ocean's Playground, where homeless individuals are stacked like Dolly Parton's relatives under the teeter-totter, right next to the million-dollar backyard rink some moron thought was a good idea to construct in a shit hole, where some winters you can golf in February, just after the blizzard clean up.

Right now, St. Matthew's Church on Barrington Street are in urgent need of blankets, warm clothes and Chivas Regal for their Out of the Cold Shelter. The shelter opened in November and will remain open until April 30th. Since December 4th, they have been at capacity every single night. Now that the mercury has dropped, clean out your closets (careful, your Cousin Tim is in there). Warm boots, socks, long johns and PJ pants in men's sizes are especially running low. For a full list of what items they need, please go to Out of the Cold.

Of course, I was kidding about the Chivas Regal. Drop that off at my house and I'll credit you in my research study.

Donations can be made online (click above) or mailed to Saint Matthew's United Church, 1479 Barrington Street. Please make cheques payable to "Saint Matthew's United Church" with a note that it is for the Shelter Fund. Charitable receipts provided.
For more info contact: or call (902) 225.0770
If you are holiday shopping for some hard-to-buy-for alcoholic with anger issues, consider a gift to the shelter in their name.

Friday, December 10, 2010


My "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" daily flip calendar is stuck on April 11. What the hell happened to August and bits of October? (And what happened to Linda Hamilton, she was looking a little rough in the made-for-TV movie, where she went from happy housewife-to living in her car, that I watched last night because I could relate, and because I was too tired to look for the flicker.) Please note: The "flicker" is not a euphemism for the "g-spot" if is there is such a thing. Please note: I am using those annoying quotation mark "hand signals" or "air quotes" that annoying people use because they think you are too stupid or too blind to notice they are trying to make an annoying point.

So, where was I? Oh, I should point out that I started this on Monday, and since it is now Friday, I can ask: where the hell did Monday go, that is, after the power eventually came back on? I know that I worked, and I wandered in a questioning stupor through the shops, and I got hung up on by one prick of a "customer service" guy at Graf skates, and I hung up on the 411 operator because he could not find the Hudson Bay Company, The fucking Bay, HBC, or just BAY under any listing in the Yellow Pages. I even screamed, "LOOK UNDER BEAVER PELTS, ASSHOLE" just before I hung up and went to Biscuit General Store.

Spare time, and a lack thereof, is the topic of the day, because while I was listening to the wind whip shingles off my house last night (Sunday night) shortly after the dog puked up bits of, I'm thinking a dead chipmunk, all over the floor and just after he wanted out for the 3rd time, I was thinking about my parents and what they did with all their spare time. I know my dad waxed his cars every Saturday, and worked "overtime" in Manhattan a great deal, although "work" was perhaps an unhappy childhood repressed euphemism for "philandering" and avoiding going home to two kids and a wife who was once va- va- va-voom sexy, but was reduced to an under-appreciated suburban housewife in a very real, Mad Men society.

I know my mom smoked a great deal, and sewed, and played bridge, and belonged to a gourmet cooking club, and the poor thing ironed "Don Draper's" shirts while he was likely downing his 3rd scotch during "lunch" with his "secretary". So I'm thinking they never had much spare time either, as I don't recall looking up and seeing them cheering wildly at any of my baseball games.

I do recall my mom dancing to my dad's Hitler-esque need for meticulous housekeeping and order – because shortly after he left us, her housekeeping skills went to hell in a laundry basket – which I guess was her way of saying "fuck you".

So here it is 19 (now 15) days before the birth of the original Little Bastard and I haven't baked, wrapped, mailed, or hung anything – although I did manage to avoid electrocution and plump up my already inflated Nova Scotia Power bill by adorning the outside of my "fixer upper" with good old-fashioned energy-sucking Xmas lights, in the pissing December rain. Screw the environment – those LED lights detach my retinas and suck the Christ right out of Christmas.

Which brings me straight to my Santa list and Amy Sedaris' new book: Simple Times: Crafting for Poor People – a sequel of sorts to her book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, a splendid coffee table tome with helpful hints for hosts, including steps on removing pesky vomit stains. Amy's latest book includes the chapter, Ten Commandments of Crafting – Number IX being: Remember to honor thy crafting and pastimes for they are a great way to get your mind off all the damage thy parents did.

Amy Sedaris, if you haven't had the pleasure, is the brother of the hysterically twisted author and NPR radio celebrity, David Sedaris (Naked, Holidays on Ice, etc) who somehow manged to sneak in and out of Havenot on a book tour recently – likely while I was sucking Zamboni fumes in search of an escape. Amy's television show, Strangers with Candy parodied, well, just about everything, and made me wish I grew up in the perfectly wonderful and dysfunctional Sedaris household.

Sniffing craft glue while intoxicated is an integral component to crafting, according to Sedaris, who claims, "Ugly people are crafting, pretty people are having sex." Chapters include: The Joy of Poverty: how being poor forces you into being creative and resourceful; oh, and Handicraftable: Crafting tips for the elderly, the weak and the mentally ill.

So, if you're stuck for something to give the ugly crafter on your list, or your "secretary", or me, pick up a copy of Amy's book, preferably at a local, independently-owned book store, like The Bookmark on Spring Garden Road. Who doesn't need to learn how to make crab-claw roach clips while sipping a gimlet? I can't wait to read her crafting tips for the bipolar. Those should come in especially handy in the boozy lull between Boxing Day and New Years.

Failing that, slide into Touch of Gold in Spring Garden Place and pick up something really bloody awesome. Like a classic pearl necklace (no, not that kind) or pearl earrings surrounded by diamonds. Or a Rolex that screams, "fuck you, my watch cost more than your car!". My dad always tried to sugar coat his infidelities by loading up my mom with jewelry. While it didn't work, it likely distracted her long enough to whip up something she learned at gourmet cooking club, like a shrimp and curry quiche sprinkled with Marlboro Lights and tears.

So, as we drift into the malls, and line ups, and debt associated with this joyous season, remember the Westin Nova Scotia make a complete turkey dinner for pickup (and $215+), while Street Connections mobile soup kitchen deliver meals to over 1200 people in HRM – and boy, could they ever use a "hand" which is a euphemism for "send a cheque, you selfish prick" because our Mayor is doing diddly squat.

The point is, according to myself and Amy Sedaris, "inebriation" (euphemism for "Christmas") will lead to many more "crafting accidents" (incidents involving family you cannot stand, but must tolerate in the spirit of Christmas) than sobriety will, but the upside is – these accidents will seem much more amusing.

And how would we ever get through the fucking holidays without a little "humour" (air quote for "egg nog, so spiked with rum, it curdles").

Ho, "ho," ho.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meltdown with matching pants.

The recent debacle over Havenot's proposed contention centre leaves us once again looking like a pack of blind and naked hillbillies in a shit storm.

I thought of this, as I jockeyed for position, for 23 minutes, in my pajamas and rain coat, in the freezing drizzle, waiting for the Little Bastard to emerge from a community based recreation centre that clearly gave no thought whatsoever to weather, traffic flow, or the concept of drop off and pick up.

By the time the Little Bastard sauntered out to the truck, I was frothing at the mouth. As the passenger door opened, I heard, "We're driving *Bruce home." (*Name has been changed to protect the innocent.)

Please note he said, "We're driving *Bruce home," not, "Hi Mom, sorry I'm late, Wow! that housecoat really accentuates the gray in your hair, is it okay if we drive *Bruce home?"

My head spun around and I said, "No! We are not driving anybody anywhere!" I went on. "*Bruce has two perfectly capable and sober parents with a minivan, and I already feel like a brainwashed fucking chauffeur listening to John Tesh and the windshield wipers going back and forth for over 23 minutes. Get in the goddamn car!!"

Just then, the back door opened and I heard *Bruce say, "Thanks for driving me home."

Bruce wasn't getting off that easy. I asked him if his Dad's cell phone was still working, and suggested maybe his parents could possibly call me when he needed a ride home, if for no other reason than to make me feel less of a worthless chump, placed on Earth to shuttle smelly teenagers from venue to venue, because I had nothing better to do. Nowhere else to be. No plans.

"Like my new track suit?" the Little Bastard said to break up the ice now forming on my moustache. "They couldn't get blue pants crested until Christmas, so the pants are black."

That's when I really lost it. "You mean, I just paid $120 dollars, that I don't have right now, for a hideous tracksuit, that you do not need.... and the pants don't even match!"

"It's really nice" he said, "It has our logo on it."

There are at least 15 hideous jackets and numerous nylon pants at our house with a variety of team logos on them. Many were awarded as trophies. Many, he had to have because the entire team had them, and as a stupid parent, you don't want your kid to be the only loser wearing last year's coat. So you buckle and break, and fork out another $120 bucks – never letting go of the reality that you have been wearing the same hideous, coffee-stained hillbilly rink coat for as many years as you can remember.

So, there I was, in the greasy darkness, having an invite-only pity party, driving like a maniac over the bridge and out of my way to drop off *Bruce. When we arrived at his house, it was all warmly lit with a minivan all snug in the driveway. There was likely a Rockwell roast in the self-cleaning oven, and a family curled up in front of the TV. I barely stopped long enough for him to grab his bag out of the back. I wanted out of there. Here. Anywhere.

I wanted out.

Bedtime rituals were a sombre event that night. I took my pity party to bed, mad at myself for being an emotional whack job; for being so bloody broke at this stage in my life; and for losing it in front of a kid who just needed a lift home. I was pissed off at spending $120 bucks, before Christmas, on a tracksuit that I needed more than he did. I'd look good walking the dogs in the filthy monsoons of March, sporting a $120 dollar tracksuit. I lay there thinking, I've never had a $120 dollar tracksuit. I've never even had a track suit. And to be perfectly honest, I've never wanted a stupid tracksuit. I just wanted someone to shelter me from the rain, tuck me in, or pick me up from just about anything – even a fall from grace.

The Adsum House Mystery Art Auction is happening tonight at the always playful house of Fred on Agricola. The concept is rather fun, and all proceeds go to support programs at Adsum House for Women and Children. Women and children who don't have jackshit, let alone a warm bed and a $120 tracksuit. The art, all valued at $100, will be auctioned off from 6 to 8:30pm this evening. The mystery? Everyone is in the dark as to who created each piece – the artist is revealed only after purchase.

With dawn came hints of blue, in a vomit coloured sky. As I dragged my morning frumpiness past the new tracksuit lying on the sofa, I saw something I hadn't noticed in the darkness of night. There – below the team logo he worked so hard to be a part of – was a band of black in the navy blue tracksuit.

In the light of a new day, there was hope, and heat, and coffee, and a happy boy. My life was good. And the pants did match.

Maybe I could squeeze my ass into his old pair.

Tickets $25 available from Adsum House by calling 423-5049.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brett Favre is a pussy.

Note: Contents of this blog recently offended a gentleman so proceed with caution.

Here we are, just past the 'glass is half empty' mark in November. I saw a house lit up like a Bethlehem whore last week, and my Movember moustache has reached the stage where I could easily apply to be a mall Santa. Only 38 more sleeps 'til Christmas.

Where am I going with this? Oh. I received an email the other day from a fellow blogger, although "fellow" seems like the wrong word, but let's go with it since it's 5am and I am out of coffee filters and toilet paper – the latter being a bit of an issue after consuming a grandiose tub of 7-bean salad from the Lebanese market on Agricola Street yesterday. Which is to say, the market is located on Agricola, I did not consume the delicious-but-deadly bean bomb on Agricola. I waited until I got home. emailed me, to ask if she could put a link to this blog on her blog, which was awfully nice, so I figured I should maybe check her out, just in case she was some crazy, cat-killing, menopausal soccer mom with a foul mouth and nothing nice to say. Suffice it to say, Noweretalkingwithjodi had me at "hello" as I launched into her article about walking while performing Kegel exercises. Noweretalkingwithjodi has apparently trademarked something she called The Kegel Pole-ka™ and before I lose any gentlemen here, the Kegel is an exercise women are supposed to perform, to prevent our beavers from turning into porridge and hitting the linoleum.

Or so I thought.

The Kegel, as it turns out, is something else we have to share with men. Designed by Dr. Arnold (you guessed it) Kegel – the exercise was designed to strengthen the pubococcygeus muscle which stretches from the pubic bone to the tail bone forming a "hammock-like floor" that supports the organs of the pelvis and contributes to the function of the sphincter.

Sphincter. Damn. I should have gone with the 5-bean salad. Is the sun up yet? I hate that word sphincter. Is there a Dr. Sphincter?

And raise your hand if you find it difficult to get in, or crawl out of a hammock. On the rare occasion that I have hammocked, once I finally get in, spilling my drink in the process, all I can think about are the marks the scratchy ropes are making on my fatty thighs currently poking though the hammock holes – and how the hell am I going to get out? So a hammock-like floor near my asshole seems like a road I don't want to go down this morning. But, being Movember and since we're supposed to be providing jock support and awareness of male cancers, and being the good sport that I am – I tried Noweretalkingwithjodi's trademarked Kegel Pole-ka™ in the park, but since there are no telephone poles in the park I tried hoisting up my beav between birch trees, but soon lost interest and figured if my beaver hit the linoleum no one would notice or care anyway.

But isn't it nice that women can sit down and blog about intimate things like beavers, where, if men sat down and poured out their guts there would be endless blogs about why Brett Favre is a pussy, and how they wouldn't need a little blue pill if she didn't make them drive a little silver minivan, and the 20-year old who smiled at you at the gym (because you reminded her of her dad, silly). That kind of thing.

If women ruled the world there would be more wine bars like Obladee on Barrington Street. Whine (not a typo) bars should be located everywhere there's a overzealous crossing guard and a playground. Perhaps women would feel less need to sit down in the dark and pound out tales of woe and woebegone beavers, if we could sit down every afternoon and shoot the shit watching Oprah while enjoying a Cabernet Sauvignon from an expensive glass that didn't have Winnie-the-Pooh on the side – before returning home to wade through piles of laundry and homework, while sweating like a pig with a moustache.

38 more sleeps until Christmas, and no more sleeps before I am officially on vacation. Well, not a lying on a beach in a hammock-type vacation. Not exactly a vacation at all. I am going to glorious downtown Moncton for a hockey tournament – but anywhere that's not here, and has toilet paper and a mini bar – is a vacation.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Obladee Wine Bar is at 1600 Barrington Street in the old Frozen Ocean location.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Turning back the clocks to a disco beat.

Well, the floodgates were certainly cranked open this weekend, as Havenot and surrounds were pounded with everything from a slight mist to a full-out deluge.

And I'm not talking about the weather.

I was a basket case from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon, when Night Fever by the Bee Gees came on the car radio and finally nudged me over the watery edge. Thank God there was a lineup in McDonald's or the Little Bastard would have witnessed an outpouring of emotion the likes of which haven't been seen since Erin's boyfriend, G.W. Haines was killed on The Waltons.

Night fever, night feeeeeeeevaaaaaa. We know how to show it.

What had me in that particular rubber room moment, was time. It's going way too fast. That song came out 33 fucking years ago.

This weekend's sad reality that time was whizzing by, first hit me when I arrived at the rink early on Saturday morning. The Little Bastard was coaching little goalies as part of Hockey Nova Scotia's Development Weekend. I sat in the stands and watched as my 6'3" baby offered words of encouragement to five and six year-old players who barely reached his knees. Wasn't it only yesterday that he skated out on his ankles, beginning a journey that would take us both on a path I wasn't prepared to go down? Come to think of it, I was crying then, too.

Ten years have flown by like a disco beat.

Over the weekend, I dropped him off, and picked him up – from Halifax to Fairview to Bedford's shiny new fourplex. I arrived early so I could watch him and the little kids, mindful of the tears streaming down my face, fearful I would look like a lunatic, or at least more of a lunatic than I normally do. To think, I silently prayed this whole hockey thing would go away so we could be free spirits and travel and ski on sunny winter days. To think, I used to grumble and bitch and moan (and still do) about the cost and the time and the whacked-out parents, and the endless fundraising. (Anyone want to buy tickets on a chance to see Sidney Crosby vs Montreal?)

To think, this sport I fought so vehemently against had actually shaped my little boy into a brave, kind young man. There he was – coaching – something I guess he picked up naturally after ten years of being coached by gentle, fun, selfless, incredible men who gave their precious time to my fatherless kid.

Well, I sat in the stands, or stood behind the glass and cried all fucking weekend. I was so happy. I was happy to think I'd get another precious hour Saturday night. I was happy it was rain and not snow. I was happy the Thornbloom gals opened a new shop-ette in Spring Garden Place called SHE is ME selling cozy hats and gloves and accessories, suitable for the fanciest of rinks.

Sure, I spent the weekend driving, or waiting in the car, or sitting in the rink blubbering – but I was happy. There's no other word for it – although maybe the dead Bee Gee said it better:

Here I am prayin' for this moment to last.

SHE is ME is located in the old Moneysworth & Best shoemaker's location in Spring Garden Place.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What to wear to a drive by shooting.

Would someone roll back the fucking clocks already. I just spent 15 minutes looking for dog shit in the rainy darkness of November.

Oh, sorry... Movember. Yes, it's that time of the month when men across Havenot and around the globe, are showing off unsightly facial hair in support of prostate cancer, or, because the poor, simple souls love the attention, or, have recently had the joy of bending over like Ned Beatty in front of a rubber-gloved Dr. Gus Grant.

The lads at Golf Central are participating, as is Jordi Morgan the new and downright listenable (new word) host of Maritime Morning on Talk 95.7. Hell, I'm growing a mo, just because I can.

I can also boast that I have plans for Friday night. Let me repeat that: I have plans for Friday night. No rink. No going to bed, crying into a box of Triscuits. This broad is stepping out. Fortunately, I took time from my hectic life of-late, to rotate my summer wardrobe into my fall wardrobe – so my good long sweats are all clean and pressed and ready for an evening at the Parkside Pub in Dartmouth. (You may have heard of the Parkside Pub, as there was a drive-by shooting there recently.) I can't wait. It's the Little Bastard's Major Midget hockey auction and, as anyone who's had the pleasure of attending one of these highbrow affairs can attest to – hockey auctions involve an abundance of boxed wine, fried pepperoni, strained conversation over the volunteer auctioneer's squealing microphone, and plenty of arm waddle flapping in the breeze when you accidentally bid on yet another corporate golf shirt someone kindly donated whilst ordering another box of Chateau Despair Blanc.

Anyone give me 10? 10? 8? 8? Do I hear 5? 2? Fuck.

My hair is good though, because I paid my hairdresser a visit the other day. Brenda Dillman. I can never remember her married name. I do remember losing a bet to Brenda once. I bet her there wasn't one nice man (who was good in bed) left on Earth, who wasn't gay, an alcoholic, divorced, a gay divorced alcoholic, or in love with his mother/sister/boss/cousin/Brett Favre. She won. She got married to whatshisname. Mike. Mitch. Mark.

Brenda Kennedy. That's it! Brenda Kennedy. The mind is a beautiful thing.

Brenda has left Spirit Spa to join Kim Grant in her lovely new salon, Flaunt, on Windsor Street. Kim Grant is, and I'm no lesbian (yet), the most beautiful woman in Havenot. Brenda Whatshername is no slouch either, plus Brenda's so fun, you almost get over the humiliation of staring at yourself in the mirror with wet hair and a moustache.

So off I go! Good sweats, good hair, bullet-proof bra, downy upper lip, and a hard on for some boxed wine.

Flaunt Salon is located at 2166 Windsor Street. Call 425.0020.

The Parkside Pub is at 14 Highfield Park Drive in Dartmouth. Come bid on some really great stuff in support of the Dartmouth Ice Dawgs (Subways). I gathered up goodies from Golf Central, Thornbloom, Empire Theatres, White Point, Core Essentials Gym ... it'll be fun. Really, it will.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cross walks.

Thump. Thump.

If you've never had the pleasure of running over a cat, you won't appreciate the satisfying rapid fire double thump as rubber makes contact with kitty litter-encrusted fur – not once but twice.

Thump. Thump.

The Little Bastard and I ran over the neighbour's pussy last week – and while he claims I accelerated – I confess to showing signs of weakness by toeing over to the brake at the very last second.

I don't know what got into me.

Nevertheless, the cat survived, as we both turned and watched it scurry away – hanging on to its entrails, and eight of its nine lives.

Same holds true for the emaciated runner who dashed into the crosswalk last week. (It was a good week.) While I did not hit him – or his balls flopping around in flimsy, too-short shorts – it was truly tempting. The bag of sinew and bones and Red Bull neither slowed his gait, nor jogged in place until it was safe to cross. When said runner saw that I had no intention of slamming on the brakes, he ran behind my car and subsequently flipped me the bird. Had the Little Bastard not already been late for hockey I would have gone around the block and hunted the indignant asshole down. Apparently he was absent in Kindergarten the day they taught: Stop. Look. And fucking Listen.

Thump. Thump.

However, I will slow down, if ever I see the Street Connection bus. Lucky me, I live in a neighborhood where children and students are over fed, and full of hope, and Budweiser, and opportunities. Not so much in neighbourhoods frequented by Street Connection's Mobile Soup Kitchen. Established in 1992, the Bus feeds thousands of needy children and adults across HRM. HRM! Funny to think some people don't eat by choice – so their thighs won't slap together when they're running – while others don't eat because choices have been made for them.

If you have anything left to give after covering your own asses, please consider a donation to Street Connections. Christmas sucks when you have nothing and an empty tummy – so let's flip hunger the bird. Your donation ensures that every child will also receive a gift bag – and a little hope – along with their turkey and pie. Mail cheques to: Street Connection 2 Fox Hollow, Tantallon, NS, B3Z 1E5 – or I'll swing by and pick it up. (Just don't leave your cat outside.)

Thump. Thump.

That's not me running over cats or needy children or Bible thumping, although the Street Connection Mobile Soup Kitchen is fueled by faith.

Thump. Thump.

That's my heart.

For more information: Click here: Street Connection.
(If you'd like to make a donation, please call Sandra Pattison at 826.1100 so she can plan for food and gift purchases.)

Friday, October 22, 2010


I've been trying to break up with this blog but I can't.

Both needy and co-dependent, our relationship has flat lined since the economy rebounded – resulting in more work than I can deal with, and not enough lucid hours in the day. (If you recall, we started courting when I was knee-deep in angst, and the bank was threatening to pull the rip cord on my life support.)

Then I spent the entire summer in a rink parking lot – and since this blog is internet based – I couldn't even bitch and moan between donut bites and swigs of canned Chardonnay.

But last week, something happened.

Last week, someone told me I'd lost my edge. My fucking edge. Who am I without my edge? Just another mommy blogger trying to help small businesses while boring people to death with tips on how to fish a cigarette butt out of pancake batter.

So here ya go.

And I am not sure what I am more upset about: the fact that Colonel Russell Williams gets to rot out the rest of his meaningless life in protective, tax-paid security – or, because that sick fuck looks better in a one-piece bathing suit than I do?

I say, as a mother: put the Colonel in lace panties and throw him in to the King Pen cafeteria on meatloaf night.

Because there aren't enough hours in the day to tell your kids you love them, over and over and over again.

It's not you, it's me. And I'm not going anywhere.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Surely they meant profound.

I've been trapped in the hockey/life/work equivalent of a Chilean mine.

Back soon, just catching my fucking breath.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Swipe this.

"Swipe towards me." she said with disdain.

I looked at the debit machine.

"How can I swipe it toward you, when you're standing right in front of me?" I asked. "The swiper thing goes up and down."

She looked up from investigating her chipped, black nail polish and repeated, "Swipe towards me."

I was in a place I hated more than church, on the brink of forking out $55 bucks for what would amount to one shitty, spice-free beige meal even the dogs wouldn't eat. I had no eco-friendly bags in a bag-free zone, no time, and no patience for this ignorant fucking teenager with so many facial piercings she looked like she'd survived the Challenger explosion.

"I can't swipe it toward you." I repeated, not willing to be out-bitched by this slip of a greasy-haired Avril Lavigne wannabe. "It's physically impossible. You are standing right in front of me."

Blank stare. Sigh. Clearly it was time for a little life lesson before Monday no-hockey home cooked meal night.

I began, "Listen, either move the fuck over to the left, in which case the stripe would indeed be facing toward you – or be more explicit." I advised. "Try being a little more creative with your insolence and disgust for authority, lemon gin hangovers and minimum wage". I continued. "Try, 'stripe goes back toward where we stock the Depends'." I suggested. "Or, how about 'stripe goes down and to the left, kind of like your sagging breasts, you miserable old bag'."

Blank stare. Clearly she was no Shamwow, willing to soak up my tips on how to survive in a cruel and graceless world.

Tired of messing with the checked-out girl, I swiped, then threw my groceries into the cart. I then threw them into the backseat of the truck, then into the frying pan, then on to a plate. Finally, I placed the brown and beige pile of slop lovingly in front of the Little Bastard, who looked at it with the same disdain as Avril back at the Superstore.

"Don't say one bloody word!" I said to him, as he looked at the gray strips of rainbow flecked beef, nestled on a bed of stiff rice. "It's a stir fry."

I sat down, took a bite, and made a declaration. Or a proclamation. Whatever.

I announced that this would be my third, and my final, Monday no-hockey home cooked meal night.

All I could hear was a murmur, through a mouthful of chewy horse meat, "Oh, thank God." I believe he said.

For $55 bucks we could have had 18 hot dogs at the Dawg Father, two delicious meals in a booth at the Greek Village on Quinpool, or takeout – twice – from The Armview. For $55 bucks I could stock up on frozen entrées from Jane's on the Common or the Italian Market. For $55 bucks I could have bought two bottles of wine, opened a bag of Cheesies and called Swiss Chalet. No mess, no fuss, no teenage 'tude, and everybody's happy.

Whipping up a home cooked meal after working all day – just to prove a motherly point – means I have to buy everything right down to the pan. Even that little chubbette Rachel Ray couldn't throw together a meal with ketchup, Five Alive, a jar of stuffed olives, and a muffin tin.

Fuck it. If the little bastard wants a home cooked meal he can marry a moron, learn how to cook, or go live with the neighbours.

It's October, and I'm hanging up my spatula. Just in time for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Valley of the Dolls meets Stephen King

Here's my "Pitch the Publisher" idea for this weekend's Word on the Street:

"Set in Maine, a once vibrant and downright saucy, middle-aged woman drops her little bastard off in the high school parking lot and has an epiphany that she's middle-aged and will never be able to afford to retire until about 25 fucking years after she's dead, so she mopes around all day in soiled L.L. Bean outlet store sweatpants wondering if she'll ever have coit... hey... wait...

That's my life.

Except for the Maine part. I made that up.

Never mind.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stubborn. Stain. Removal.

The little bastard came to me with a laundry complaint this morning, and I think he knew, just as the words came spilling out of his mouth, what a grave fucking error he was making.

He was holding up a hoodie and was just about to suggest another round of Spray 'n' Wash – when I blew.

It started with "If you think I was put on Earth to..." and ended with, "you can kiss my big fat ass."

Needless to say, it's been a bit busy around here, or maybe you haven't noticed, but hmmm... looks like September 2nd was the last time I sat down to vent and waste precious time. Since then, it's been a watery casserole of back-to-school, hockey, looking for pants that don't make me look like Jed Clampett, and cranking out last-minute ad campaigns for people who suddenly realized the heat wave was over.

Since September 2nd, the highlight of my life was giving myself a pedicure in my car, in the dark, in the New Glasgow rink parking lot. By pedicure, I mean scraping at my heels with a mill bastard from Canadian Tire. Actually it was a Dr. Scholls foot thingie, but mill bastard just sounded so much better. (For those who don't know what a mill bastard is, it is no relation to the little bastard and there's a picture of one over to the right.) Considering the shape of my feet, a mill bastard likely would have done a better job, but for some reason I had a Dr. Scholl thingie in my glove box – who doesn't – so I just went with that.

Since September 2nd, I have ignored some hilarious letters to my yet-to-be-launched advice column. I have also been 'call screening' someone from Toronto who wants to interview me, but I sounded so totally certifiable in my last interview I just keep ignoring her calls hoping she'll go away. I also turned down two (not one, but two) invitations to the film festival because I didn't have anything to wear, or the little bastard had hockey, or I hated movie musicals and crowds – so much for my autumn goal to run over the neighbour's cat and "get a life". Here it is halfway through September and I haven't accomplished anything other than a whack of work and some dead skin removal.

Since September 2nd, the annual Frame-it Custom Framing sale has been on and I've been too damn busy to do anything about it. So go frame something you cherish before September 30th.

Since well before September 2nd, women have been collecting bras for the annual Bras Across the Bridge breast cancer fundraiser. C100 FM are hosting the event and claim to have over 8000 bras so far. If you happen to be driving across the MacDonald bridge on Sunday and see one that's better than the one I have on at the moment, grab it for me. Anything without little escaped spirals of elastic will do.

Since September 2nd, my boy lost his stomach contents repeatedly one night, and it had absolutely nothing to do with alcohol or my cooking. And another sweet boy lost his Dad. A 47-year old single father of two. That kind of put everything into perspective for me, and I realized I have a truly wonderful life.

It's just a stain. With any luck it has a story to tell.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to cool.

It was the kid standing in my backyard chugging a Coke and eating a bag of gummies at 9 o'clock, who finally did me in last night.

"Go away" I said, before he could get any closer.

"Can Jack go..." he began.

"No," I interrupted sweetly, "Fuck off, summer's over."

"But someone's picking us up here..." he said, risking his life... "We're going swimming." he continued.

"I don't care where you are going. It's a school night. The little bastard's had all summer to swim, and now summer is over – so scoot, run along, go to bed." I said, sweating like a pig in pajamas.

"Can I just stand here until my ride picks me up?" he said, chugging back more Coke.

"No!" I screamed sweetly, "Fuck off! It's September! You – and dozens of others like you – have to get your sweaty asses off of my sofa and get a haircut, drink some milk, clip your homeless-looking toenails, read a book, clean your ears, find your parents, and get your individual shits together because I've HAD IT!" I took a deep breath of hot air. "Other mothers get to dress up and go to work and sit in air-conditioned offices and take paid summer vacations and stuff.... but oh no, not me. I get to sit in my frumpy elastic-waist shorts, and try to work, while dozens of puberty-blinded zit machines with no shirts on, scream at wrestlers and shoot each other on XBox, ten feet away from where I am trying to make a living... so, go bloody-well home." I said politely.

But I wasn't finished. And he wasn't moving.

"Do I have to send a text message to get through to you?" I said, perspiration flying off my dewy upper lip. "Go place empty chocolate milk containers in someone elses fridge. Don't flush your own toilet. Drop Twinkies behind the snot-encrusted furniture in your own home. Lose your own beach towels, swimming trunks, ice cream money... because we are OUT. In fact, we're out of chips, ten dollar bills, toilet paper, wine, Gatorade, KD and gas, because I've driven your sweat-covered asses to the mall, the movies, the lake, the rink, the gym, the Golden Arches, the emergency room, and the driving range. It may not feel like summer's over, but it is SO OVER – so get the hell out of here or Hurricane Earl will seem like a bad blow job compared to what's in store if you don't back up and get out of my yard." I went on, pointing. "Inside that filthy oven of a house, you won't find one school supply – not even a new backpack, and my kid will be going to school with a coffee filter and a golf pencil, but you know what? I don't care! Summer's over, and parents around the globe will have Schmirnoff in their orange juice in the morning – rejoicing because it's OVER! It's finally fucking over!"

"So, is it ok if I use your bathroom?" he said.

Thornbloom's annual furniture SALE is on! Toss your summer-worn sofa on the curb and get a new one.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Three dog night.

My philosophy has always been: go big or stay home – which may, or may not explain why I woke up spooning a golden retriever in a pup tent in my backyard.

Pup tent... get it? I need fries with gravy and a Diet Coke please.

The clock had all but run out on my deadline to blow $100 bucks in downtown Havenot while living to tell the tale – so I conned my neighbour into coming along for the Monday night ride. I normally would have asked my friend Larry to be my wingman but short of winding up in prison, downtowning it with Larry often ends in a tumble down pizza corner hill and/or standing on a chair singing along to a country and western song chugging whiskey out of a paper cup. In hindsight, Larry would have been safer than taking my neighbour along, as what was intended as a civilized culinary evening turned in to, well, did I mention I woke up in a tent?

First let me explain how I came to possess a Downtown Halifax Business Commission Visa card. The Coles Notes version is: some idiot at Extreme Communications, I'll blame Anthony Taafe*, decided it would be a good idea to hand $100 Visa card to 30 bloggers and set them loose on the downtown core – with hopes that the resulting social marketing frenzy would be a lift for the sagging bosom of downtown Havenot.

Could someone run and get me a milkshake and a Diet Coke?

I had several plans for blowing my wad, none of which came into fruition. Instead of a tub of wrinkle cream from Spirit Spa or taking a hungry hooker for a healthy lunch, I opted to leverage my $100 the worst way I knew how. Casino Nova Scotia. My plan was to win big, then spend big.

Having only forayed into the bowels of the Casino once – with Larry and a pair of Dionne Warwick tickets – I was horrified to see that we had apparently stumbled into that air-conditioned hell on Seniors night. It was also Tabi slacks night, toupee night, and cheap white wine night. Because my head hurts I'll just say, we were up $35 bucks on the slots at one point, but left there with a bit of a glow on and $40 bucks in the hole, because the Downtown Visa card wasn't accepted at the Casino. Just welfare cheques and old-age security.

The Halifax waterfront was hopping and hotter than shit. We passed on several restaurants that looked too busy and made it through the congregation of over-aged bikers who hang out by the ferry terminal. Heading uphill wasn't an appealing option so we hugged the coast and wound up at Bish of all places. I know, a little out of my comfort zone (wardrobe and budget wise) but what the hell, it wasn't my money.

Excuse me, could someone please go get me some egg rolls and a Diet Coke?

As it turns out, it was my money because after we plowed through the world's most expensive and delicious mussels, frites and wine we discovered the Visa card, once again, was a limp dick. The evening was slowly becoming hazy and expensive – but we were on a mission. Before plopping down at the neighbouring Il Mano (Italian for handjob) for a pizza to soak up the wine, I handed the so-far useless Visa to the waiter (who by the way gave French waiters a run for the money on the rudeness scale) to see if it would finally perform. It did. Too well. Champagne flowed and Havenot's best pizza followed, and before we knew it, we were heading home in a cab, covered with stupid grins and tiramisu – over-spent and over-served.

Oh! At one point I thought the man at the next table was winking at me, but he was falling asleep. But it's a start.

Okay, I am wrapping this up because my Big Day Downtown is nowhere near as exciting as the guy with the sex toys and the cocktails at and besides, I am tired and really fucking thirsty. To make a long boring story short – we arrived home to a house that was so hot it was like Backdraft 2. I walked through the screen door sending it crashing to the floor and I had a combination of the whirlies and hot flashes and needed to lie down, but my bedroom was like an crematorium. It was around that moment that I had a brilliant idea – I'd get the little bastard to pitch the tent in the backyard.

It took a while because it was dark and he wasn't overjoyed to be setting up a tent for his mother, at midnight, but perhaps sensing I wasn't in the mood for bargaining – he got it all organized and I crawled in, and the two dogs crawled in, and within seconds I was in a Big Downtown Day food and alcohol-induced coma, under the starry sky in my backyard.

Would a Baconator and a Diet Coke be too much to ask?

*Anthony Taafe isn't really an idiot, quite the opposite in fact.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Morning breath.

I just yawned and the dog stuck her tongue in my mouth, so technically that's sex, right?

Technically that's lesbian sex bordering on beastiality, so whoa, I should write in to my own advice column – but I already have my hands full sifting through some of your fucked-up, daytime drama-worthy dilemmas – some of which aren't really problems at all from my perspective – in fact – some of your so-called Harlequin moments look like a win-win to me but hey, who am I to judge.

I just necked with my dog.

FYI: "beastiality" keeps popping up on spell check so I spell checked it on Google and there's a website called but I was afraid to click on it in case there was a photo of me necking with my dog. Or worse.

FYI2: I have a host of experts (!) standing by ready to field (laugh at) your concerns so keep 'em coming.

FYI3: My dog just lit a cigarette. I feel cheap.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Abby...

I've had buckets of feedback from yesterday's pathetic recount of my weekend pity party, but let's get one thing straight: No, I am not having "man" troubles, unless you're talking about my increased quota of facial hair.

No man = no man troubles.

My heart is also fine. In fact, the flurry of emails and comforting responses drove home the realization that we are all basically the same – swimming with or against the tide, all the while dealing with similar bullshit – like sagging body parts, raising happy kids who don't fuck up, struggling with relationships and assholes, questioning our existence – all the while balancing the cheque book, staying alive and keeping out of prison.

So I have an idea.

I am going to write an advice column. Well, not a real column in the Dear Abby sense of a syndicated column where I'd actually get paid – but an advice column all the same.

Although, answers to life's difficult and often ridiculous questions could be brief because, "Have a glass of wine and tell them to go fuck themselves" is a pretty standard and acceptable response to any situation, don't you think?

Dear Halifax Broad,

I think my husband is cheating on me, but I am afraid to confront him.


What to do in New Waterford

My answer would be:

Dear What to do in New Waterford:

Men are pigs. Smash his big screen TV with his favourite golf club. If he doesn't get as angry as you think he normally would, he's a cheating bastard.

Then have a glass of wine and tell him to go fuck himself.


Dear Halifax Broad

This is going to be fun. So send in your questions about love, dating, upholstery, how to get cum stains out of a tennis skirt, unsightly nose veins, that red spot on your ass, how to make crack out of baby Aspirin, who gives the best lip wax in Havenot, etc. In return, I'll be as honest and forthright as humanly fucking possible.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Range of emotions.

What a fabulous weekend.

I had a massage, flew to the Hamptons for brunch, and had a tumultuous affair with my pool boy.

Actually, no. Truth is, I watched the late summer sun sink into the Golden Arches, just beyond the rink parking lot – twice. Saturday, I curled up on top of the laundry on top of my bed and cried because the tennis was rained out, or maybe because I stood by and supported my son as he made a decision he'll likely regret. Sunday, I witnessed a pathetic pissing match resulting in innocent casualties of a senseless war. And I spent $35 bucks on a plastic cone so my dog wouldn't chew his fucking tail off. Oh, and to round off the weekend, my faith in mankind was totally crushed. (I ate a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream to compensate for that last one.)

Bemoaning my fate at spending another loveless, soul-sucking year in sweatpants, in Havenot, I commented on how lucky my neighbour was to have a handsome, doting husband; a perfect house; carefree days; and a cleaning lady – to which the little bastard said, "Oh, boo hoo."

He was right of course – my weekend pity party was pathetic, and for some reason alcohol-free. I was desperately in need of anger management, and an attitude adjustment. Lacking the necessary funds to hop on a plane and go eat, pray, love – I hopped in my truck and headed to the nearest driving range where I could whack the shit out of a bucket of balls instead of lodging my new Nancy Lopez 9-iron up someone's ass.

Just being at a place called Goodwood, manhandling a potential weapon, made everything a little rosier. I sidled up to my little island of astro turf and sought solace – methodically knocking ball after ball either into therapeutic oblivion, or 4 feet from the tee.

I lofted one into the rhubarb for the broken soul I fought to protect, and lost. I smashed the shit out of a range ball that spewed charm and total bullshit. I swung, and missed, for the heartbroken and the lonely – only to re-focus and swing again – this time driving it exactly where I wanted it to go.

I forced my head down and my spirits up.

Golf is the perfect metaphor for life. You suck one minute, you shine the next – only, in golf – no one gets hurt, there's no one to blame but yourself, and if you're lucky, a drink cart girl will come along and offer up a nice, cold beverage you can knock back in peace, before picking up your ball and soldiering on.

Goodwood Family Golf Centre is located on Prospect Bay Road about 5 minutes from the rotary. The haddock from the fish & chip wagon in their parking lot is better than sex or revenge.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh, what a feeling.

The conversation went something like this:

TOYOTA: Toyota service, how can I help you?

ME: I received a recall notice on my Tacoma, so I'd like to deal with that.

TOYOTA: Certainly Ma'am, when would you like to come in?

ME: Well... never... but since it's a recall, and I don't want my car to careen uncontrollably into another Toyota, then I guess I have no choice. When do you have a loaner vehicle available?

TOYOTA: I'm sorry Ma'am, we don't have loaner vehicles, but you are welcome to hop on our convenient courtesy shuttle that comes by every 15 minutes.

ME: Gosh, that's such a fabulous option. I have a sinus infection that feels like a brain tumor, so I'd love nothing more than to pile into a minivan with 7 other pissed off Toyota owners and wait my turn to get dropped off like a challenged senior citizen in an Access-a-Bus. I don't think so. What are my other options? How about cab chits?

TOYOTA: Well, that depends.

ME: Depends on what?! How many innocent people I have the potential to kill on my way to Toyota to have my recall repaired. Three deaths = one cab chit?

TOYOTA: No ma'am, where we have the convenient courtesy shuttle we no longer need cab chits. So will you be waiting for your vehicle or will you be dropping it off?

ME: Well, what's the difference? If I sit and wait, will it get done faster than if I drop it off and catch the convenient courtesy shuttle, then crawl back on my hands and knees to pick it up?

TOYOTA: It'll take about an hour.

ME: Which would be approximately the length of time to get picked up and dropped off – then if I am lucky and time it perfectly – picked up again by your convenient courtesy shuttle.

TOYOTA: Yes, ma'am.

ME: Well, while it's in there for a recall, you may want to look at the front passenger side window. It has a mind of it's own.

TOYOTA: (Typing) That's the front passenger window... it does what?

ME: It does nothing. It doesn't go up or down sometimes.

TOYOTA: How often?

ME: Well, once would be enough don't you think, but actually it happens all the time.

TOYOTA: Like how often?

ME: Like about as often as that fucking convenient courtesy shuttle swings by to pick up the pissed off and inconvenienced.

TOYOTA: (Typing) So front passenger window gets stuck every 15 minutes?

ME: Good enough, hey, while I am in there, the radio also has a mind of its own. It goes off and on at will.

TOYOTA: How often?

ME: Fuck. I don't know. Again, I would think once was enough, but would it get me a cab chit if I said it happened quite frequently and not necessarily in harmony with the car window, although that would be some feat of Japanese engineering, wouldn't it? I'm no mechanic but I'd say there's a bit of an electrical short somewhere.

TOYOTA: (Typing) Okay Ma'am, we'll take a look at the radio, now, how many kilometres are on the vehicle?

ME: I don't know... I'm guessing 29,000-ish, give or take a 1000.

TOYOTA: Oh dear.

ME: Oh dear, what?

TOYOTA: Oh dear, you are way overdue for your oil change, you really should have been in around 26,000. It is very important to have routine...

ME: (interrupting) Are you lecturing me? Because if I wanted a fucking lecture I would have called my Aunt Dorothy.

TOYOTA: I didn't intend it to sound like a lecture Ma'am.

ME: Well, it did sound like a lecture, and considering you are TOY-fucking-OTA not to mention I had to sit through Pokemon: The Movie and the whole WWII thing, I would say you are hardly in any position to be pointing a finger at me for being negligent. In fact you should send Akio Toyoda over to kiss my fat ass and personally pick up my devalued, recalled bucket of shit – then deliver it back with a complimentary spit, polish and rim job good enough for Anne of fucking Green Gables.

TOYOTA: So (typing) 29,000.

ME: I heard that.

TOYOTA: Heard what, Ma'am?

ME: That little disapproving tsk-tsk noise you just made, and don't call me Ma'am. If you must know, the little sticker in the window says September or 26,000 kilometres so technically I am early, because I chose September.

TOYOTA: Ma'am it's not September OR 26,000 it's whatever comes first.

ME: Are you arguing with me, because if I wanted to argue with someone, I'd wake my kid up and ask him to empty the dishwasher.

TOYOTA: No Ma'am. So, would Tuesday the 17th at ten work? And will you be dropping off or waiting?

ME: That depends. Do you have a karaoke machine and a sushi bar?

TOYOTA: No Ma'am, we have a complimentary coffee shop.

ME: Complimentary, as in it'll tell me my ass looks great in these sweat pants, or complimentary, as in free?

TOYOTA: Complimentary, as in some items are free of charge.

ME: Some. Is that like, only some Toyotas accelerate uncontrollably? What about the karaoke machine?

TOYOTA: I am sorry Ma'am, no karaoke, but there is a television and convenient work stations.

ME: Oh boy. In that case, I'll bring the little bastard and his friends, so they can have breakfast, lunch and dinner while I am waiting. Did I mention he has Tourettes and all his friends have ADHD? He also juggles. They'll knock back a few dozen powder donuts and hot chocolates, then sit in the shiny new showroom cars and fart while making electrical engine explosion noises and get white donut stuff and boy sweat all over the interiors. So yes, we'll wait.

TOYOTA: Ma'am, I'll talk to the Manager and see about a cab chit.

ME: どうもありがとう

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wade in the water (and fetch me my golf ball, Toby).

Violating a sofa cushion was the closest my dog had been to romance – but he had a perpetual boner the moment we crossed the Canso Causeway into Cape Breton.

Perhaps the combination of natural beauty and inbreeding suited his erstwhile celibate nature – either that – or he is a descendant of the virile coyotes currently playing havoc with folk singers and campers from Broad Cove (no relation) to Meat Cove.

Whatever it is, or was, I confess to feeling a bit lovestruck myself, having spent a few days in the strong arms of the Highlands. I can think of nothing else besides the breathtaking water hazards and "Killiecrankie" – the aptly named 7th hole of the Highland Links – the legendary, randy Scot that devoured a dozen or so of my precious balls, and had me bending over in the bushes with every stroke.

I also lie awake at night thinking about the view from our cottage at Glenghorm Beach Resort, the friendly people, and the seafood chowder – rich with scallops and lobster – that reinforced the notion that size really does matter. It was the biggest and the best I've ever had.

Three days in Cape Breton wasn't enough, but it was long enough to reinforce my anger toward the dickheads who run this province – the elected oafs who overlook the commodity that is lying here unspoiled, underfunded, and under appreciated. Tourism. How anyone can walk on to the most spectacular golf course, mid-summer without a tee time, is a pleasure, and a pity. The attractions and accommodations of this postcard-pretty province should be overflowing with tourists horny for an experience they'll carry with them like happy herpes.

Instead, the icing on the shitcake: Nova Scotia has been crowned Canada's Mississippi of the North. Our neighbour, P.E.I. gets Regis and Kelly, and we get the sequel to "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Maybe that was the plan – take away the lifelines – the Maine ferry, direct European flights – and bring back the Underground fucking Railway.

Way to go, Canada's Ocean Playground.

Nevertheless, I remain a dog with a bone about getting back up to the Highlands. The deals are amazing from Dundee to Ingonish, and I even test drove a set of Nancy Lopez clubs at Golf Central in Bayer's Lake. (The golf courses of Cape Breton make you want to be a better woman.) Now, I lie awake at night, touching myself, thinking about Nancy Lopez's fat ass bending over to pick up a ball on #11, Bonnie Burn.

My dog, he lies next to my bed, dreaming coyote dreams and licking where his balls used to be.

Maybe he should run for Premier.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And next Saturday, we'll be getting in touch with our inner Yamahas.

What the hell?

Stuck in gridlock caused by one of this summer's numerous unavoidable and pathetic Bandaid solutions for a crumbling infrastructure, I couldn't help but read the sign posted outside the local synagogue. It said: "Reconnect with your minivan."

First of all, I don't know any Jews who drive minivans, and secondly, how does one fallout with their minivan? And let's just say you and the minivan aren't seeing things eye-to-eye, does that really require a rabbi to intervene and patch things up? What the fuck? Maybe little Moishe puked up his matzoh in the backseat one too many times and the Dodge Caravan simply refused to fire up – I dunno. Jews are a funny lot – all those weird holidays and mealtime rituals. Fish, no fish, fish with scales and a glass of milk. Oy. Maybe someone rubbed their minivan the wrong way and it set off a hailstorm of grabbing the unleavened bread and rushing to the Mercedes dealer. Again, I dunno.

Upon second glance I realized the sign said "Reconnect with your minyan" to which I thought, what the hell is a minyan?

This was going to be a long day.

A minyan, I now know, is some sort of gathering of ten boys old enough (13) to know better. Sounds like my TV room on a rainy day. I don't get why anyone would want to reconnect with a group of 13-year old boys, unless maybe you are a Catholic priest, in which case the sign was in the wrong location. Besides, the definition I was reading started leaning a little too much toward the Wailing Wall so I left it at that.

In a similar fashion, I recently misconstrued several emails from a person claiming to be Ivy Ho. The emails were lying unopened in my spam filter, as I figured Ivy was, well, a ho, and having no need for a ho at this time, I left her lying there with the widow from Nairobi who wanted me to send her my bank account information because I had recently won the lottery. I really should send the widow my bank account information because she'd get a real kick out of the fact that it currently has a balance of $1.71.

As it turns out, Ivy Ho is a real person who, god help her, works for the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, a group of do-gooders dedicated to breathing some life back into our post-menopausal downtown core, now that everything has dried up and moved to Bayer's Lake.

Poor Ivy was just trying to invite me to Big Day Downtown, a cheeky little event designed to get local Havenot writers reconnecting with the area of downtown normally frequented by business people in bad suits, alcoholics, cougars, alcoholic cougars, and cruise ship refugees. Apparently Ivy hasn't read my blog, as the deal is, we get $100 bucks to blow on slot machines, or crack, or mussels, or art, or whatever the hell we feel like doing with $100 bucks in the asshole, er, heartbeat of our beautiful city. In turn, we have to write nice things about how wonderful it is to live in a city where you can bob for turds in the harbour after a heavy rainfall.

I can't wait.

So, I now have $100 bucks to blow downtown, and considering the current state of my bank account my first reaction was to head down to Nova Scotia Power and throw it all on my power bill – but what fun would that be? – and besides Ivy Ho may get all pissy and start sending me more emails.

Instead, I am going to reconnect with my downturn and vomit all over pizza corner. Or, get a tattoo. Or a ho.

Oy, the probabilities are fendless.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Play through, goddammit.

It's official.

I am an embarrassment to my child, I have nose hairs, a poodle, a CAA Membership, 5 rose bushes, and now... wait for it... golf shoes.

I am old.

It's okay. I never thought I'd get here considering the life I've lead, so I am comfortable in this sagging skin. In fact, I rather like it.

Take the golf for instance. All these years I've been sweating my ass off chasing tennis balls, and has a drink cart ever pulled up once? And, what other so-called sport allows you to drive a clown car from physical movement to physical movement?

Plus, where else can you say "stiff shaft" without giggling or getting your hair messed up?

Golf clothes also seem to suit to my endomorphic frame, and have certainly come a long way from the old lesbian combat gear of Sandra Post days – although I still have to suppress my horror when I look at the price tag that accompanies anything with the word "golf" on it. Maybe they figure most golfers are so fucking old they can't see the price tag anyway.


Golf Central in Bayer's Lake is a local, independently-owned mecca for duffers and dreamers that has just about everything you need, or don't need, for a round of golf. Golf Central has been serving local golfers since 1985 and these gals and guys really know their stuff – so don't be totally sucked in by the shiny big-box competition across the septic pond.

The little bastard and I are off on a mini golf adventure today. Fact is, I started golfing so I could get him golfing. We both love it, although he swears less and makes contact with the ball far more often than I do. But I laugh more.

Dundee Golf Resort have such a great deal happening right now I had to call back and ask if the price was per person. It wasn't. $79 bucks gets you a room, a round of golf and a bloody clown car to get you from one patch of tall grass to the other. Christ, even I can afford to take my kid on a summer adventure with deals like that.

So off we go. Highland Links. Dundee. Bell Bay. Inbreeding has certainly worked wonders for the golf industry in Cape Breton.

Golf Central is at 201 Chain Lake Drive in Bayers Lake. 902.450-4653.
To make reservations at one of Cape Breton's charming resorts go to:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lost and found. Then lost again.

Dear, sweet Stephanie,

I am writing to let you know how thrilled I am that you have been reunited with your Blackberry. Finding it on the street gave me the opportunity to teach my child a valuable life lesson.

That's right Stephanie – may I call you Steph? I feel so close to you right now. Thanks to you, Steph, my child now understands that the world is indeed a cruel place full of ungrateful morons such as yourself – and that doing the right thing is sadly, sometimes, a big fucking waste of time and energy.

How can I ever repay you for teaching him, at the tender age of 14, that spontaneous acts of kindness toward strangers can get lost, when wasted on tactless people such as yourself and the delightfully clueless asshole you sent to retrieve your precious handheld device.

Why, just imagine the temptation, at 14, to be selfish and keep the coveted lost item valued at $549. The little bastard, as he is affectionately known, showed me how easy it was to replace his SIM card with yours and voila! a free upgrade to a fancy new phone. I had to remind him how wrong that would be and the shiny new Blackberry would have bad karma (if you believe in such things) and worse – some sweet soul such as yourself would be greatly inconvenienced and lose valuable information – perhaps contact with your closeted lesbian lover, or the orphaned child with the harelip you sponsor in Guatemala.

I also had to remind him how violated we felt when our iPhone was stolen by the juvenile delinquent down the road, and how replacing such expensive items can cause financial hardship and ill feelings toward said juvenile delinquent and the satanic pocket molesters at Rogers.

When I jokingly mentioned to the deliriously stupid young man you sent to fetch the Blackberry, how tempting it was to keep the found item, his response was "You should have." Apparently, we were told, where you work, Blackberrys are handed out as freely as condoms at a gay pride parade. Furthermore, imagine my delight to hear you work at a government-funded institution and my tax money is spent so freely, keeping up to date with the latest electronics you so carelessly drop on the sidewalk. I was giddy with happiness at your good fortune and had to drive to the NSLC for a pint of gin to drop in my tonic.

Steph, I think your parents wanted a boy and you were supposed to be Stephen, but let it go because it's a beautiful day and you have your Blackberry back, without so much as even a "thank you" – which, by the way, is a common courtesy taught to most children before they can pick their nose and eat it. And a small reward was out of the question, so it's a good thing you didn't offer up even a cheap bottle of wine because that would have been unnecessarily thoughtful, and we wouldn't have accepted it anyway. We were just doing what was right. So Steph, perhaps today while you are watching the clock with your Blackberry vibrating underneath you, all the while surfing the net at the taxpayer's expense, you should think outside the cubicle by checking out Matt Whitman's website:

Matt, unlike yourself, has devoted his life to doing what's right. His methods may be a tad more Bible thumpy than my own, but the concept of helping others get ahead in this shallow litterbox of a world is the same. Matt invented the business model, Reverse Networkingthe concept being the promotion of others rather than one's-self. Imagine how selfless that is, Steph! In Matt's words, "If I say I am the best whatever, you discount it because I am saying it. If someone else says something nice about me it is much more authentic….” Whitman continues, “The key is not just “who you know” anymore, it is who you know that is saying good things about you!”

And boy-oh-boy, could I ever say some terrific things about you today (note the sarcasm, Steph, you ignorant, ungrateful twat) but I won't, because it's Friday and my faith in humanity is alive and kicking, despite taking one up the ass when I bent over to pick up your Blackberry.

Yours truly,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

That's right pack your bags. I've swallowed my last cumulus.

I am now stalking the weatherman because he's a lying bastard. This is how boring my life is.

I'll get back to being my normal (!) self soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yes. And I'll be back in an hour for some pie, and maybe a honey dip, and hey, is that chocolate ice cream cake?

The following conversation went something like this (and remember, you can't make shit like this up):

Me: Could I have a medium coffee double cream, please.

Timmy: Medium coffee double cream. Did you want a hash brown with that?

Me: A hash brownie?

Timmy: No, ma'am. Would you like a hash brown with that?

Me: Hash brown? Who the fuck wants a hash brown with their coffee at 12:30 in the afternoon? A hash brownie makes more sense.

Timmy: So, that's no to the hash brown.

Me: Yes.

Timmy: That'll be $2.14 drive through please.

Me: Wait a minute, how can it be $2.14 for a medium coffee?

Timmy: You also ordered a hash brown, ma'am.

Me: No, I did not. I said yes in response to your question regarding the hash brown.

Timmy: So, no hash brown?

Me: Yes.

Timmy: Yes, to a hash brown, ma'am?

Me: No. No to the hash brown, but on second thought, I'll have the hash brownie – that is, if you have any left – and don't call me ma'am.

Timmy: So that's a medium coffee, double cream and a hash brown. $2.14. Drive through please.

Me: (Driving away empty handed, but with a Sunday tale to tell) Expletive, followed by another expletive.

Do yourself a favour and head to the drive through at Steve O'Reno's Cappuccino 2854 Robie Street (Piercey's parking lot).