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.