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).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Taking a kick stand.

The little bastard suggested I invest in air conditioning, shortly after he suggested I drive him, and 5 of his sweaty friends, either to Chocolate Lake or an air-conditioned movie theatre.

I suggested circumcision followed by a month or two at Camp Kadimah.

It's fucking hot in Havenot, and while I am not complaining, I do have skin folding over and greeting other skin – creating moisture pockets and the potential for mould spore harvesting. And, unless I were to hang myself upside down, this appears to be unavoidable.

What's worse is the Atlantic Jazz Festival has begun, and this steamy city is full of culture-seeking morons sitting around sweating into their imported beer, nodding their heads like Parkinson's victims, searching for a regular beat that isn't there – and hasn't been there since Dizzy Gillespie died.

Modern jazz makes about as much sense as Mayor Kelly putting the kibosh on bicycle paths.

Now, instead of peace and quiet and a special lane for the NDP voters and students who fly around on push bikes wearing gauzy skirts, sipping fair-trade lattés, with no consideration or knowledge of proper cycling signals and rules of the road – we are stuck wondering if the hungover Philosophy major on the ten-speed is making a left-hand turn or airing out his armpits because he ran out of Tom's Apricot deodorant.

Don't get me wrong – before both of our mountain bikes were stolen, we were enthusiasts, for lack of a better word. But as crazy as the little bastard is making me, there's no way I'd let him ride a bike to Chocolate Lake – even for a swim on a stinking hot day. How bloody sad is that Mayor poop in the harbour Kelly? And, I love seeing optimistic bike stores like Halifax Cycle Gallery popping up – but commuting by bike in this back-pedaling backwater is a death warrant signed by city counsel.

Plus, how many times have you wanted to turn right on a red, but found yourself stuck behind an indignant, iPod-deafened cyclist parked in the middle of the lane. God forbid you should honk (and if heard, get the finger), or nudge them gently into the intersection with your bumper, so you could go about your merry way. Cyclists in Havenot are like smokers looking for a place to fill their lungs – then getting all pissy when they get the stink eye from passers by. I'm not talking about the skilled, lycra-clad riders who wisely head out of the city and hit the open road. I am talking about the asshole with the big blue milk carton bungee-corded to the back of his CCM, circa 1972. Get the fuck off the road and take the bus.

My suggestion to the rest of you – keep cool, and safe pedaling.

Halifax Cycle Gallery is at 6299 Quinpool Road, just down from the Athens Restaurant.

Read the NS Government cycling rules of the road by clicking on the cycling women over on the right.

Give our silly wabbit Mayor the what fer, at

Customer feedback.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Shaving grace.

There is a cyclical nature to life that is comforting, yet simultaneously makes me want to stick my foot out and trip things up.

Another Williams Wimbledon. The return of the elusive South End sleep watcher. Another mortgage payment squeaking by.

Perhaps I am more aware of the enormous hamster wheel from writing this blog, as I make note (poke fun) at the same (boring) events rolling by day after (fucking) day.

Driving to Fredericton and back yesterday gave me ample time to think about life – a dangerous train to hop on at the best of times. Toss in a wicked rosé hangover, compliments of my neighbours and the freedom that comes with having one's child safely tucked away one province over – and the results are the philosophical equivalent of a Tori Spelling movie – with ponderings such as, "Why in the name of Christ would anyone live here?" and "How far to Buttfuck, NB and the next McDonalds so I can soak up some of the pink poison with a Sausage and Egg McMuffin?".


I thought about how recently, I was in line at the post office when I noted the youngish man in front of me had a dollop of shaving foam on the downy lobe of his ear. Freshly shaven, and, well, a man, I had a sudden urge wipe the foam off with my fingertip – an intimate gesture when not being performed by a matronly stranger in elastic waist shorts. I also had a sudden urge to spin him around and fling him to the floor, but maybe it's the heat, or the cyclical nature of my love life – as in, not having one, year after bloody year. Nevertheless, three days later, I am still thinking about the lobe, and the dollop, and the ritual of intimate gestures lost somewhere on the side of the road.

Money Sense magazine did a close shave on several charities across Canada recently, posting their astonishing results in the July issue. Pick one up at Atlantic News and note, despite Steve Murphy's clean-shaven cherubic mug as host of the dreary, annual IWK/Grace Telethon, our local Children's Hospital Foundation earned an impressive, overall A+. The little bastard is a regular at the IWK Emerge and it's nice to know he's the only one sucking the life out of the system with every x-ray and cherry popsicle.

While you're at it, pick up the latest Halifax magazine. When I mentioned to the little bastard that my picture was in it, he said, "please tell me you weren't wearing those hiking shoes." Well, I am. Local writer Skana Gee (her parents were hippies) did her best in piecing together my bug-on-the-windshield life, and photographer Mike Dembeck didn't have a lot to work with, as I showed up fresh from the park and told him I didn't want my face on anything but my passport. As a result, you get a nice shot of my back fat and Havenot's enormous biological clock.

For 14 bucks, gentlemen (and menopausal women) can get the full face monty at Veinot's Celebrity Barber Shop in Dartmouth. On Thursdays and Saturdays, Lydia will pamper you with a classic hot towel, straight razor shave that will leave your face baby-ass smooth, and vulnerable to a stranger's touch.

That's Thursdays and Saturdays. Thursdays and Saturdays.

Comforting, isn't it.

Call Veinot's at 463.5412 and book a hot shave with Lydia. They're located at 77 Prince Albert Road in Dartmouth.