Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coyote ugly.

With temperatures hovering below brass monkey, and a reported coyote sighting in the park where I perform my morning ritual – today was less about fashion and more about dressing for survival in the urban wilderness.

By the time I was done rifling through the mitten bin in search of warm layers, I looked like a lesbian broomball champion from Parry Sound. The wardrobe pièce de résistance being a pair of black and red nylon hockey warmup pants leftover from PeeWee.

Pulling them on over my leggings, it didn't take long to figure out why they were designed for a hipless 12-year old boy. The thin, white nylon stripe that ran down the side, clung to my fleshy thighs in an exaggerated zig-zag, causing the embroidered Number #31 to pop out like a neon sign. Forcing the elastic waist up and over my hips made me crack a sweat for the first time since August. I don't recall them being this snug on any of the boys.

Having succeeded in finally getting them on, I realized the sheer pressure of nylon on flesh had flattened my ass straight down to the back of my knees, making it nearly impossible to bend over. When I attempted to lace up my shoes, I heard a slight tearing noise as seams broke free, waving frayed bits of expatriate nylon.

By the time I headed to the car – sneakers untied – not even a half-starved rabid coyote with a boner would have given me a second glance. My thighs were rubbing together making a high-pitched swishing noise that would scare away the Taliban.

"Please tell me you aren't wearing those." Pleaded the Little Bastard looking at his discarded pants.

"Don't fuck with me." I said sweetly. "You're late, and I'm sweating like an overdressed pig in a blanket."

Besides the rapidly accelerating annoyance of having to drive his tardy ass to likely fail his math exam, I couldn't find my whistle.

On Saturday night, I purchased a Fox 40 whistle and a bottle of wine. The whistle was intended to scare away a coyote, should I happen upon one – and the wine was for making me so hungover I wouldn't care. On Sunday morning, I walked through the park, aware of the new and ever-present danger, clutching my whistle like Sue Sylvester on Glee. Chances are, if I saw a coyote, I would shit my pants and freeze, just after gesturing for him to take the big stupid dog – sparing myself and the poodle. Nevertheless, the $4.95 whistle gave me a teensy-tiny sense of security.

A mere two days later – the whistle, along with my dignity – had all but disappeared, as I waddled through the park in my musical hockey snow pants.

Leggings are my trousers of choice lately, mainly because (my jeans are too tight) you can throw a sleeping bag over them and call it an outfit. For those who haven't noticed, Havenot's #1 leggings pusher has relocated to Spring Garden Place. Sock it to Ya has been a fixture on Spring Garden Road for decades, tucking out-of-control tummies into control-top pantyhose for as long as I can remember.

Bombshell owner, Rachel Budovitch says the bigger space will allow her to carry more lines, in addition to the much-loved Hue, Spanx and Calvin Klein. Sock it to Ya's new location is next to All Dressed Up on the lower-ish level – so pop in and tuck your fanny into something fantastic.

Me, I'm hoping the mercury rises along with my self-esteem, so I can leap though the park like a carefree cougar in Spanx – unencumbered by worry, or a weighty winter wardrobe.

Sock it to Ya is in the old Madrigal location. For hours or directions call 429-7625.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Come and knock on my door.

Suzanne Somers. Chrissy? Are you in there? I hear your "Sexy Forever" book tour message, and it seems like a reasonable and passionate hypothesis as we saddlebag into middle age: Tote fewer toxins, balanced hormones and all that. So why the ridiculous blowfish lips and Polyfilla face?

What gives Mrs. Hamel?

I confess to keeping the television on during the day. The noise is a link to the outside world, and unless I change the channel, the world is usually TSN Sports Center over and over until the Little Bastard comes home. Yesterday though, was a Suzanne Somers talk show marathon, and last week, on Oprah's channel, I caught a glimpse of Jane Fonda.

It's 1978, minus the leg warmers.

Unlike Suzanne Somers, the 74-year old Fonda appears to be aging rather gracefully. The happy grandmother could still crack open a beer with her ass, but missing are the fucked-up lips and wind tunnel visage, so popular with well-heeled women approaching that, "Oh my Jesus, I look like shit" stage of their lives.

The stage I'm at right now.

Suzanne rattled off symptoms of being hormonally imbalanced and overloaded with toxins: bloating, aching joints, dry everything, feeling like you need a box of chocolates and a nap midday. I sat there, nodding like a Parkinson's victim as she rhymed them off. The one symptom that cracked me up, was the thyroid-related absence of hair on the outside of your eyebrows. In Suzanne's case, it's because that part of her face is now tucked behind her ear. I rushed to the bathroom and checked out my brows, noting it had been a while since I'd had them shaped into something resembling two – so I figure my thyroid's okay.

Are there toxins in Cheesies?

I don't think Jack Tripper's old roommate taught me anything I didn't already know. Eat more organic whole foods, (spend a fortune on bad plastic surgery) cut out the booze, and exercise regularly – and you too can be 60+ something and wearing a leather dress. Suzanne never once mentioned inner beauty or happiness, perhaps because the poor bitch couldn't form a smile if she tried. And she is waving the controversial hormone replacement flag, loud and proud. While her messages seem a bit mixed, almost Chrissy-like, one simple point she did stress, was that most women get fewer than 5 hours of sleep per night. Our sagging souls require at least 8 for the wine to wear off, or for the insulin and hormones to do whatever it is they're supposed to do. I need closer to 10 hours, which is why my two tickets to Neptune Theatre are still sitting on my desk.

Blithe Spirit is a bubbly blonde. A beloved Noël Coward romp that makes one crave a gin and tonic. I was actually excited about stepping out for a little culture – that is, until 5 o'clock rolled around and I began hallucinating about slipping out of my leather dress, and in to my bathtub. The play was first produced in 1941, making it just slightly older than Suzanne Somers, and equally as timeless. It's basically a British Three's Company with comical ghosts. The only thing missing is the knock on the door – enter Mrs. Roper in her muumuu, looking for peri-menopausal love.

I Googled Chrissy and Jack's roommate "Janet" to see how Father Time had treated the perky brunette. Joyce DeWitt last made headlines in 2009, when she was arrested for drunk driving on a Saturday afternoon in sunny California. At 60, Joyce looked a little rough in her police mug shot, but then again, she appeared to have an expression, and lips capable of slurping from a martini glass, which is more than we can say for the Mistress of Thigh.

Joyce also had eyebrows. Full, and arched slightly – the way one does when pretending to be sober, and 22.

Blithe Spirit is running until February 13th at Neptune Theatre in downtown Halifax. Click here for tickets.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A bone of contentment.

My eyes went straight to his package. And he wasn't a Fed Ex guy.

Anything following a crackerjack opening sentence like that had better be good. I wish I could say that the situation ended in satin sheets, but it was nothing like that. The next time anyone sees me horizontal and naked, I'll be lying under white cotton with a tag on my toe. And, truth is – given a choice between sex and the sausage rolls at Pete's Frootique, let's say I'd be picking poppy seeds and pastry out of my teeth, content as a pig-in-a-shit-blanket.

The aforementioned package, belonged to an athletic young surfer wearing a wet suit, in a beautiful photograph sent by a client.

"I can see his wiener." I told the client.

"No way... shit, gotta get an iphone, didn't see that on Blackberry." Was her response.

I imagine by now, the photograph is the screen saver on my client's computer, and as to whether we use the photograph or not, has yet to be determined. It's a nice wiener. Likely nicer had it not been dipped in the icy Atlantic moments before. But there it remains, a conversation between two women, well past the years when the surfer boy may have pointed his long board our way.

People say once the Little Bastard has moved away, and I have my so-called life back, that my cougar instincts will shove my maternal instincts aside and I'll be out looking for Mr. Goodbar. I somehow doubt that, but I am willing to be proven wrong. Having spent last week alone, the only thing I truly desired (besides RRSPs) was what I already have – minus the freezer full of chicken nuggets, and the skid marks on the towels.

A friend recently commented on Facebook how she misses her kids, "driving them to hockey, music, dance, miss their loud voices, miss their belly laugh, even miss their messy rooms!" I offered to loan her mine, but only in semi-jest. I like where I am right now, as boring as that seems.

If and when the Little Bastard leaves the nest, I plan to burn all the furniture, the rugs, the balled up hockey socks, the stacks of Sports Illustrated – and I'll ignite it all with the shitty towels – if they haven't already self-combusted. My hot flashes of late could start a bonfire worthy of a really big weenie roast, but that's all part and parcel of being 40-something-ish (and holding).

In the meantime, I have 3 trips to a variety of rinks this weekend, piles of laundry, and thankfully a few more years before I started investing in the geriatric, bunion-friendly version of "fuck me" pumps. I also plan on attending Maritime Travel's Vacation Superstore because travel is my aphrodisiac, and I plan on filling out every goddamned trip-winning ballot at the WTCC. Who knows... I just may get lucky.

With middle age comes the confidence of knowing if you had the wiener, you'd know what to do with it. And the self-contentedness of settling for the sausage roll.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy new year, day three.

I've been under the weather.

Nothing serious. Just a never-ending flow of phlegm and feverish self-pity, washed down with a delicious rum-laced hot cider and Nyquil combo, with a side of androgynous gingerbread people. Not the energetic start to 2011 I'd been gearing up for.

As a result, I've been horizontal – watching a great deal of television: HGTV marathons, Junior Hockey, Senior Hockey, 13-episodes of Haven sprinkled with Anne of Green Gables (the war years, where Anne was all wrinkled and annoying, and not even close to being a kindred fucking spirit). I continued my Film Appreciation Class for Ignorant Teenagers with a viewing of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. And thanks to a neighbour, I devoured the boxed set of Californication like a bulimic at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

For fear of resorting to another lame metaphor, I am happy (and a slight bit disturbed) to announce that David Duchovny's Californication character, Hank Moody, is my new muse. My Beatrice. My saviour – warts and all.

I have a good feeling about regurgitation in 2011.