Dec 27, 2010

The Sum of All Me.

I was inspired to write this post thanks to Strawberry Freckles. It's been a fantastic year of meeting other bloggers and really coming into my own with my writing. I thank you sincerely for those who have read anything I've posted. Thank you!! Will be wrapping up this year with my 100th post - whatta way to finish this year - stay tuned!

I’m going to be 33 at the end of January – but I often still feel like a kid. I often look at my children, husband, house and all the responsibilities that come with them and think, “Holy Shit, when did THAT happen?”

I live in Ontario and most of my family is here, so it’s where I will always call home, but I have left big pieces of my heart in Melbourne, AUS and Edinburgh, UK.

I love the Collingwood Magpies; and they finally won the AFL premiership this year, so all you haters can suck it!

My mother is my hero.

My father passed away 6 weeks before I was born - and I was born on his birthday.

I am a Creative Director; mainly I design websites and online marketing strategies. I have a Fine Art degree and was a high school art & design/photography teacher for a few years – turns out I hate other people’s children – especially adolescences. I wish I had more time to paint, but writing seems to be the more convenient outlet for my lifestyle at this present time.

I have 2 incredible boys – twins – born January 2009. They are exhausting but every time they smile and call me Mommy, my heart melts.

I have mild O.C.D; I prefer things in even numbers – 4, if possible. If not, 2 will suffice.

I'm known to quote movies in mid-conversation, like: 'No one at Westerberg is going to let you play their reindeer games.' (Heather Chandler, Heathers, 1989) I can remember a ridiculous amount of useless information but forget the important stuff.

My favorite band of all time will always be Pearl Jam, although I admit I don't listen to them a lot anymore.

My husband’s sex drive is about 1/10 of mine, but he knew what he was getting in to before he married me. He chooses not to read my blog, and I’m thankful for that. I did let him read the girl-on-girl post though – he thoroughly enjoyed that. I think that it briefly raised his sex drive up to about 4/10 of mine.

We have 2 dogs; a Boston Terrier x Pug (Bugg) who is completely insane; and a Pug x Pekingese (Puginese) that snorts and snores. They are both royal pains in my ass, but I love them so much!

I am very, very competitive; I like to win. I played rep basketball and softball all though elementary and high school. I played basketball in University as well, but I had bigger fish to fry by that point. I coached boys' basketball when I was teaching - I enjoyed that a lot - girls' basketball is so bitchy!

I love television; I watch way too much.

I’m a curvy size 18/20 and it drives me insane that the clothes that are available to me never truly reflect who I am on the inside. (My avatar on this site is how I feel on the inside:) My weight goes up and down constantly, but I do have a large frame and a size 16 is the smallest I’ve ever been at the height of fitness and health – so to me, size is always relative. I’m not one of those women that could get a gastric band and melt down to a size 4 – it’s not physically possible in my case.

I fall in love easily – I have a big heart and love being sentimental. In the past, many people have misconstrued this for going ‘over-board’ or being too ‘full-on’ but it’s just who I am. I usually end up getting hurt in the end, one way or another, but it’s not like I can learn from it – this is me.

I have a sweet tooth. As much as I'm a horny bitch, it's highly possible that I would chose a chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard over sex, given the option.

I started doing naughty things with boys when I was 5, and even naughtier when I was 12 - but miraculously didn't lose my virginity until I was 16.

I love dragonflies and turtles. I have a turtle collection from places around the world; I have at least 40 and counting but I have contained them to 1 curio cabinet – for the sake of my husband’s sanity; I met my husband online!

I miss my grandpa.

I have 2 tattoos and am currently planning a third that is a kickass version of my wedding bouquet; every flower represents someone or something. 

I met all the members of Powderfinger and had drinks with them; they all signed my copy of Internationalist. One of my other most prized possessions is a Dogma poster signed by Kevin Smith. I finally got to see him speak in person just this year. I've been working on a screen play for 4 years now; I could use his help :)

Oh yeah... and I’ve written 4 children’s books and have a little empire of fictional characters – 137 and counting. :)

Dec 23, 2010

Christmas Dummies

These are the top 5 dummest Christmas questions I got when I worked on the switchboard at Walmart (and the answers I wished I could give)

Happy Holidays! Thank you for calling your local Walmart; how may I direct your call?

1. I know all of Canada is sold out of them, but I was wondering if you had any stored in the back?
A: Actually, I have 2 stored up my ass; want one of those?

2. What do you have that would be good for a 9 year old girl?
A: I’m not your personal shopper, this is fucking Walmart. Get off your lazy ass and come in to the god damn store and look for yourself.

3. Is this Walmart? Do you sell toys?
A: Didn’t I just say ‘Thank you for calling Walmart?' And, have you been living in a fucking bubble for the past 20 years? It’s Walmart, of course we have toys.

4. Do you have extended holiday hours today?
A: Extended more than the usual 24hours? Yes, we actually create a vortex through time and space and stay open for an extra 2 hours. What the hell do you think?

5. Do you sell Christmas presents?
A: Unless you’re looking for a pony or a car, I would assume a big fat yes. It’s WALMART – toys, clothes, electronics, jewellery, perfume, small appliances, sporting goods... 

Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for reading :) xoxo

Dec 22, 2010

A very awkward Christmas

The most, ummm... interesting Christmas that I'd rather forget was the one I had when I was away from my family, when I was overseas for grade 11. It was an odd feeling; an empty feeling. I thought I would feel sad and homesick, but surprisingly, I didn’t feel either. I guess it didn’t help (or did help, depending on one’s perspective) that I was living with a family I completely despised (McFucks) – so it wasn’t like I was surrounded by references and reminders of love and gooey family togetherness. It was also bizarre that it was 32degrees outside and we were having a BBQ, so it didn't really 'feel' like Christmas either.

I did my duty and remained at their house for as long as was required of me. Astonishingly, this family actually had some friends and they came over. I had to remain for that visit to ‘keep up appearances’ or some bullshit logic like that. So yes, they got to show off their little pet project with uncomfortable small talk and boring conversation; I had to do a lot of fake smiling and lying – I would have hoped that they at least appreciated my acting abilities, but I doubt it.

Once their painfully dull friends left, I asked if I could be excused to go to my friend’s Christmas party. They were done with me, so the father gave me a grunt, which I understood as a reluctant ‘yes’. Friggin’ finally!

I got to the party a lot later than I originally thought, but they were all happy to see me – at last I was with some friendly faces; it was a relief. My boyfriend came in from the back porch and gave me a big groping hug and sloppy kiss that stunk of beer, but I really didn’t mind… that time.

After I had a chance to mingle and get a few drinks into me I was feeling much better and was getting more into a Christmas-y mood. Further into the night, the drinks kept coming and both myself and my boyfriend were getting ‘in the mood’.

We loaned his friend’s sister’s bedroom for the night, as the rest of his family were away at the beach for Christmas eve. My boyfriend brought in a couple bows to try and stick to my nipples, but it didn't work that great. He had suggested trying the 69 position earlier that evening, as he had done on numerous occasions before, but I wasn’t too sure. We did like trying new things together, but I don’t know – something about a guy’s chode in my face didn’t do much for me, nor if I was on top, I didn’t see how my ass in his face would be a particularly sexy angle for me – I didn’t have many of those to begin with, gimmie a break! Perhaps it was the generosity of the Christmas spirit flowing through me, but that night I finally said, “What the hell; let’s try it.”

I could tell straight away that he was super excited. After some initial fooling around he gave me a little whistle of approval and swung his leg over my head and started going down on me, upside down. OK, so that was feeling great, of course… but yep, there it was – his big harry chode (the area between nuts and asshole – watch Jackass and you’ll learn all about the chode), ass crack and all other bits waving in my face. It totally wasn’t sexy at all and I was so relieved it wasn’t me on top. It was really hard for me not to laugh… really, really hard. My previous thoughts on this position were bang on.

There was a definite tug-of-war with my thought processes and senses whilst in this position – I was surely enjoying the pleasure, but then I would have to snap out of it and perform head on him… upside down and in the reverse angle, so as not to bend it backwards and break the damn thing. I could see how having me on top would be a lot easier for me to perform my end of the deal, for sure. Upside down & backwards blow jobs are not an easy feat!

This sums up my first 69 in a nutshell:
Oh, pleasure. Ugh, annoying. Oh, pleasure. Ugh, annoying… and so on and so forth.

Finally, he had turned around, put a condom on and we finished the ‘traditional’ way. While we were lying on the bed afterwards, he looked over at me and proclaimed, “You know, I really love you.” That was the first time he said that, and continued by saying that being with me made it his best Christmas ever. Uh, ok… and I really like you a lot… too. Yikes! That was the best I could give him that night, or any other night after that. He was one of the VERY few that I actually DIDN’T fall in love with – just my luck! At least I can say Christmas that year was abundant in awkward moments… and positions.

Dec 20, 2010

David or Pierre? That is the question.

There weren’t many guys in Art School that were, how do I put it? "Of the dating sort". We were a fairly small group that became smaller and smaller as the years went on. By the time our 4th year came around, there were only 6 of us left. Now, upon saying that – there were 2 guys that I had taken a shining to, which both also lasted until the end with me, which therefore sky-rocketed my ‘hot Art school guy ratio’ from about 1 in 20 to 1 in 3. I would have liked to have thought that my chances would have dramatically improved with those odds, although here is how this story rolled out.

First there was Pierre; he was a couple years older than the rest of us. He has long wavy brown hair, chiselled features and a wonderfully loud personality. He sat beside me the first day of lectures and we were close ever since that day. He was a very unique soul and like a fine wine, he got better the older our friendship had become. He was a little misunderstood by many, but so was I - so our relationship was great.

Then there was David; I remember the moment he walked through the door to our workshop/classroom. He had blonde spiky hair that he had tried to dye the tips blue – and failed, but it was frickin’ adorable. He was very attractive in the more traditional ‘cute teddy bear’ way, but was still wonderfully approachable and entertaining. It was pretty much love at first sight – he practically had a golden glow around his face when he walked through those doors and I think I heard the angels signing ‘Hallelujah!” but then they stopped abruptly and the needle screeched across the record as I zoomed in on the signal most devastating thing I could have ever seen... a wedding ring. What the hell? We’re only 20 – what the frickity frack is MY future husband doing married already... to someone that’s obviously not me? He was way too young! It was gut-wrenchingly unfair.

About a semester later, the 3 of us had become as close as a bloody circus troop, and I had successfully managed to suppress my initial feelings for David to the deepest depths of my heart. Instead, I focused my affections towards Pierre and after a while, it had come to a volcanic head and one night while the two of us were working late together in the studio, I tearfully confessed my feelings. Of course, I got the “friendship” speech thrown back at me – how or why I expected anything less was beyond me. After a couple tough weeks and awkward moments, I got over it and things between us were OK again. In fact, during our last year, I had moved in with him.

Something else had happened during the summer before we began that final year – David and his wife had split up (big surprise) and when I heard the news, 3 years of buried feelings flooded back in a single moment. My heart was racing; I felt nauseous and light headed and above all else... ridiculously excited. I’d never been so happy to hear about a divorce in my life – and I don’t care how badly it sounded.

Now, how long do I wait before I make my move?
How soon is too soon?
Do I have to wait until he dates someone else first?
I don’t want to be the “rebound girl”.
Crap! Oh, the plethora of possible scenarios! I was making myself dizzy.

I went to sit outside on the porch to have my usual coffee avec la cigarette while I was processing all this juicy information; Pierre came out to join me. He could tell I was day-dreaming about something – like I had just won the lottery or something. Part of what made Pierre so appealing was the same reason why some actually thought he was possibly gay, which was that he was extraordinarily in tune with women and our thought processes – and had no qualms about sharing his wise insights with those around him.

We didn’t speak for a couple minutes and then he looked over at me like he had x-ray vision straight into my soul. After he exhaled a puff of smoke, he spoke to me very sincerely as he revealed his latest epiphany: “It has always been David, hasn’t it? All these years, it was never really me. It was always him.”

Even though I knew of Pierre’s gift of insight, it still took me by surprise that he said that straight up, and as I looked away my eyes welled. I closed my eyes to let the tears fall down my face and as I turned to look back at Pierre I gave him a nod to confirm his hypothesis. We both smiled and started to laugh at the insanity of it all.

Dec 16, 2010

Coincidental Fate

It was 5pm and I was insanely early for dinner with some old Rotary people, so I thought I would take the opportunity to drive around my old neighbourhood in Mitcham. It had been more like 13 years since I had been down those back streets; even when I lived there for Uni, I lived on the other side of Melbourne and never really had a reason to go there, nor did I have the use of a car back then.

My old school has long since been torn down (Snif, snif) and is now a block of houses. Nevertheless, it was still nice to drive around those streets. I vaguely remembered some of the turns and curves, including the one where I would have branched off to go 'home' when I lived with the McFucks. Surprisingly, I didn't turn to go see their house, especially since I didn't have a dozen eggs to hurl at their windows... oh ya, I guess I'm a grown woman now and not suppose to think like that... oops! What can I say; the thought of that festering family brings out the best in me.

So then I approached the street where Jason use to live. Yes, we had a catastrophic falling out and I hadn't spoken to him in 12 years, but at one point in my life I actually did believe that I was going to marry him. I flipped on my signal and turned down nostalgia lane; I remembered the house that he lived in with his parents... 15 years ago, anyway.

As I drove slowly there was a man walking down the street on the right side of the road. He was wearing a cricket hat and his face was not visible, but my stomach turned 3 times over. No way! It couldn't be! I rolled down my window quickly and yelled out, "Jason!"

He turned around instantly.

Holy shit. Mutha Fukka. Jesus Christ. My heart was racing, my hands were shaking and I seriously thought I was going to vomit. I turned the car around, drove past him again and pulled over; he was waiting in bewilderment. I was also the LAST person on the planet, literally, that he would ever have thought to be driving down his street! We were both suffering from shock... and I started with a very creative, "Hello there!"

He was polite and I even got a couple smiles out of him. I didn't get out of the car, but we spoke for about 10 minutes. Turns out, he moved 4 doors down from his parents and he was going from their house to his when I drove past. It was getting close to dinner, and he then had to leave. I gave him my card, although I won't be holding my breath for an email any day soon.

My hands were still shaking while I drove away.

Despite our falling out, it was sincerely nice to see him again. I don't know if I would call it closure, exactly, since I'm sure our 'closure' was quite clear 12 years ago when he got SOMEONE ELSE PREGNANT, but it was definitely something. Perhaps just to see for myself, in person, that he was doing well. He would have only been walking down that street for about 45 seconds and that is precisely when I drove past... and I'd like to think that there was some kind of cosmic reason why fate granted me one last visit with him; I am thankful for that.

I'm also thankful for Tide with bleach; because I'm sure he probably had a few skid marks to clean from his shorts after our encounter.

Dec 15, 2010

Semi-Charmed Life

Where ever I am; whatever I'm doing, when this song comes on the radio, I feel better. It's one of the cheekiest songs I know because it became SO mainstream but if you listen to the lyrics, it's all about sex and doing crystal meth - it's fantastically warped, I can't help but be amused by it.

It's also only 1 of 2 songs I've EVER performed at karaoke (the other being 'Let's Talk about Sex' by Salt-N-Pepa) - I have a singing voice like a dying cat, but everyone cheered because I did this entire song without missing a single word... and not once did I need to follow the prompter. I know... I'm a fuckin' dork.

All right, I want something else,
To get me through this,
Semi-charmed kind of life,
I want something else,
I'm not listening when you say,

This post is for Wicked Wednesday: What's your theme song?

Dec 13, 2010

A Promise to Keep

A young couple lay in bed together one night; nothing special about this night, just a regular week night; it’s Wednesday. The wife is 33 weeks pregnant and tired. She has to get up early for work in the morning. Her husband is resting his head on her round belly and talking to his unborn child. His wife wishes he would stop so she could go to sleep, but is equally touched by this tender moment, so she lets him continue.

He keeps his hands on her belly and looks up at her. “I know we think it’s going to be a boy, but just in case it’s a girl, promise me you’ll name her Stephanie.”

“It’s a boy.”

“But still, seriously, I mean it; promise me!”

“What is up with you? We can make these decisions together, so don’t stress!”

“I’ve always thought that Stephanie is a pretty name, so if it’s a girl, that’s what I want her name to be, OK?”

“OK! But it IS a boy.”

“Buuuuuuut, if it’s not?”

“Right, OK, geeze! Stephanie it is. I promise, cross my heart.”

“See! Was that so hard? Thank you!”

She smiled as he kissed her once on the lips and again on her belly and then they went to sleep.

In the middle of the night, he awoke and went into the kitchen. He was usually a sound sleeper so when he left, it woke up his wife. She rolled out of bed and found him in the kitchen making a giant sized sandwich.
“What are you doing up? It’s 2am!”

“I have no idea! I woke up absolutely starving. I feel like I’m going on a long journey and I need to stock up.”

“A journey? What the hell does that mean?”

“Again, I have no idea. All I know is that I wanna eat this wicked 'wich, and then I’ll come back to bed; don’t wait up.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t.” 
And she went back to bed.

The alarm clock screamed in their ears for the fifth time on snooze rotation; they had over-slept. They frantically got ready in their tiny apartment, trying to make up time and constantly fumbled around each other. As usual, she was ready first and dashed out the front door to catch her bus. She had hobbled half way down the hallway of their apartment building when her goofy husband burst out their door and into the middle of the hallway wearing nothing but his underwear and his toothbrush hanging from his mouth. He took it out and waved it in the air like a wand while proclaiming, “Baby! Have a good day! I love ya, sweet cheeks!”

She rolled her eyes and laughed in both admiration and embarrassment, “Love you too... now for God’s sake, go put some clothes on!” She turned back to leave and get into the elevator; she could still hear her husband’s pathetic singing voice muffled off in the distance, “Llllooveeeee yoouuu!”

She was able to catch the bus and even got a bit of sleep on the 1/2 hour commute. When she got off at her stop, her mother was waiting at the front steps. She wasn’t overly close with her mother and the sight of her waiting at the place where she worked gave her a sudden and overwhelmingly sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach.

“Sweetheart, I need you to be calm.”

“What’s going on? Tell me now! Why do I need to be calm?”

“It’s your husband. His dad went to pick him up for work and found him in the bathroom... on the floor. He tried everything to revive him but...”

“OK. Did he have a seizure? He hasn't had one in forever, but still...what's the big deal?”

“Honey, he’s at the hospital now; they are waiting for you... but... darling... he didn’t make it.”


This post is in memory of my father, who passed away 33 years ago this week. This is a true recollection of the night before and the morning of his passing, according to my mother. I was that baby girl and my mother kept her promise to him and named me Stephanie. I was born 6 weeks later, on what would have been his 25th birthday.

Dec 8, 2010

Santa’s a scary dude.

Every year one after another of unsuspecting toddlers line up to sit on Santa’s lap in the mall or at an office Christmas party, only to burst into hysterics and wriggling fits of terror. Why do parents put them through that? Because it’s Santa Claus, god dammit! He’s friggin’ jolly and all that other shit!

It mystifies me how so many people insist on placing their traumatized child on his lap, even though they really don’t even quite get the whole notion of Christmas anyway. Both of my sons enjoy reading about him and they have just learned to say his name, but at our first attempt at approaching him, they both were NOT cool with it – and that was fine! It's not worth the nightmares. We didn’t force the issue; they preferred to admire him from afar.

What would have been the point of trying to get them to sit with Santa anyway? So we could get a photo like this?

Classic. This is my little brother, circa 1988. The funniest part of this photo is that Santa is, in fact, our grandfather. He was the BEST Santa ever – every other Santa since him pales in comparison. It took my brother a few more years before he pieced the two together, despite incessant hint dropping.

Regardless of whether Santa is your grandpa or not, if you think about it… to a 3 year old, he is a very scary dude.

Dec 6, 2010

Bruised - Violence Against Women

Black, just like the sexy dress she wore out for dinner.

Blue, as deep as the sapphire that is encrusted with diamonds.

Purple, similar to the Gucci handbag that matches her shoes.

Red, like the lace on the card that reads “I love you! I'm sorry.”

Yellow, glowing like the gold earrings that dangle above her shoulders.

Green, a lighter shade than their private estate.

She will
                   leave him.

Dec 3, 2010

I f**ked Charlie Brown

This is a prime example of how sometimes, with the assistance of an obscene amount of alcohol that the 2 most unlikely people can and will end up together at the end of the night, even if they’re 5 inches shorter and about 50lbs lighter.

So there we all were at my friends party – the later they showed up, the more stoned or drunk they were. The party was packed, like something I would have only imagined from one of those teen movies; in reality they rarely were ever that crowded. Most teenaged parties were too elitist or clique-centred to have so many people invited, but apparently word had spread for this party across a few schools in the area and everyone and their cousin’s brother showed up. Not before too long it was bordering on out-of-control, and I was kind of glad it wasn’t my house!

Perhaps it was because there were so many people from other schools that the original few that we knew ended up gravitating towards each other. The skater boys from our school had showed up earlier in the night; these were the guys that on any normal day either ignored me or took an opportunity to make fun of me for one reason on another – usually my “funny” accent was their choice of attack – it got old fast, but you know what they say about small things amusing small minds.

There were about 6 guys in their group and none of them had girlfriends (shocker), even though they thought they were the coolest guys in the school. They just were a over-charged herd of testicles that festered and boiled. One of the ‘leaders’ of this skater clique was this odd little fellow that resembled Charlie Brown. He was about 5’1’ with a perfectly round head and his hair was so thin and pale that all he would have had to do to perfect the similarity was put on a yellow and black sweater. When I first saw him at school and they told me that he was ‘Charlie’ I thought it was funny that it was his name... but I guess it was one of my blonde moments because they laughed at what I thought was cool irony. “Ya! That’s why he’s got that nickname, genius, that’s not his REAL name, but everyone calls him that.” Ah, OK. Got it. Fair enough.

I was sitting on the couch, trying to take in the insanity of the party and working on a pretty good buzz. There was only a little space left on the couch, but Charlie was a little guy, and he squeezed in beside me. “Hi Stef-an-ieeee” he said, in his stupid failed attempt at an American accent. Must have been the booze because I laughed at him this time. He proceeded to make small talk with me... for the first time ever. It was strange but I was curious to see how it was going to play out.

After a short while I had to go the toilet and get another drink, so he said he’d come with me. Perhaps the little lost puppy had got separated from his testosterone posse, who knows. Usually, where there was one, the others followed not far behind... but there was Charlie, following ME around. As we walked around the house party, he put his hand on my waist as not to separate from me and it was then that I started to get a little more intrigued about his ulterior motive. My inhibitions had been tossed out the window about an hour before, so what the hell? With a new drink in my right hand, I pushed Charlie up against the nearest wall with my left, grabbing his midriff in a sexually charged kind-of-way. He gave me a little Charlie Brown grin that showed off his 3 forehead ripples very clearly, like they had been drawn on personally by Charles Schulz.

We started making out and the sneaky little kid had his hands up my shirt almost immediately, not that I minded. Not long had passed and we heard screams coming from outside. Someone had been stabbed! That’s right, stabbed! What the hell was going on? Everyone was scattering like an ant hill on fire. Charlie grabbed my hand and we escaped out the side door and went to hide in the garden of the neighbouring yard. Oddly, we weren’t even focused on the chaos that was happening, not even when the cop sirens and lights appeared. We just pulled each others’ jeans down around our ankles and started having sex right there in the garden, on the uncomfortable landing of a 4-stepped cobblestone path.

It was awful; absolutely, outrageously awful. He had the smallest penis I had ever seen! Size isn’t usually an issue...but to an extent. Christ! Then the logical part of me piped in, “What did I expect? It’s bloody Charlie Brown! He could fit in my pocket.” Maybe I hoped he was packing something awesomely disproportionate to the rest of his tiny body; I was wrong. Anyway, it was over fairly quickly as well, which was fine with me, since I couldn’t feel anything anyway.

There were many mornings after a substantial drinking session that I thought to myself through a throbbing hangover, “What did I do? And, why the hell did I do that?” This time was even more bizarre than others because that next morning I had to add to my myriad of embarrassing questions, “Did I just fuck Charlie Brown?” Yes; yes I did. Good grief!

Nov 30, 2010

A Goodbye Letter

Dear Jim,

It had been so long and here we are once again.

Your eyes are the same; they are kind and deeply soulful but are sad, tired and reflect an injured heart.
You have been through a lot and had not much luck in love over the years; I wish that could have been different for you.

Your lips are the same; they are reserved and elusive but remain hypnotic.
Your talk is small but still wonderfully comforting to hear. It’s been so long since I’ve heard it.

Your hands are the same; they are soft and caring but have matured.
You hold your daughter with love and unwavering affection that is both endearing and admirable.

Your life is different; it is complex and multifaceted, but I can find the simplicity through the chaos.
Looking towards the future and being hopeful for what is yet to come.

Our lives have gone in different directions but in a parallel universe, sporadically converging.
We are now worlds apart and have lived 2 lifetimes since the last we met.

Distracted conversation, a shared focaccia and a milkshake... and then goodbye.

Still, a shag would have been poetically superb.

Nov 25, 2010

My Journey Home

As I sit on the plane waiting to arrive in Sydney in a few short hours, I cannot help but have all the memories cycle through my mind; ones that I have spent the last year recounting in this blog. Of course I immediately think of my first love – the country itself, and then come all the other memories like a tidal wave, both good and bad, of friends and moments that I can remember as if I had just left yesterday.

I am listening to Powderfinger’s Wishing on the Same Moon on my iPod and it has all become too much and I’ve begun to tear up. Dammit! No tissues!

What people, especially my family, do not understand are all the little reasons why I love this place so much, and if I had been presented with different circumstances, in an alternate universe, I would never have left. They draw the conclusions that I just miss my mates, but I do have great mates in Canada as well – ones that I love very much; it’s all so much deeper than that.

My mother angrily remarked at one point years ago that I must have been an Australian in another life – and I think she was right. From the moment I stepped off the plane it was an indescribable feeling, like I was finally coming home – and that was even before I met anyone or fell in love.

Australia was the first place that I really felt like I belonged. Before then, I had been so wrapped up in competitive sports that I really didn’t have time to be a part of a solid ‘group’ of friends and I dreaded situations where having one would have come in handy. Although I know she thought I was a little crazy when she first met me, Kayla was the first person I met that went to my new school and still to this day is one of my best mates.

Now The Whitlams’ Melbourne has come on. Fantastic! Where are the God damn tissues, Quantas?!

It was also the first place that I really got to explore who I was as an individual and as a young woman. It was where I got into some serious situations – ones that I do not regret but definitely apologise for, with all sincerity. It annoys me when people say about themselves, “I was a different person back then.” I don't really see how that's possible. For me, I was the same person then as I am today – just a whole lot wiser and a little bit fatter. That young woman is a part of me – and she had a big role in helping me learn from my mistakes and grow up.

When I returned a couple years later, I rented my first flat in Melbourne and except for a little financial assistance, it was where I truly became responsible for every aspect of my life as a young adult. Before that, I had lived either at home or on campus in nice little protective bubbles.

Machine Gun Fellatio’s Unsent Letter has just started. Seriously? Who picked these songs? Oh yes, me. :)

That song brings me to my final point that it was here where I had lost my heart for the first time. I have never met anyone else that had quite the same intense experience that I had with Jim, and perhaps that is why it is forever etched on my heart like a treasured battle scar.

Maybe when people remain in the same place whilst growing up and having all these ‘coming of age’ experiences, geography doesn't usually play a factor – but for me, they were mostly all experienced in a separate location from where I lived; all these memories are all wrapped up with a perfect little bow, and is why I cannot separate the country from the experiences – they are one, and always will be.

Melbourne, baby, I’m coming home!

A Mother Life

Nov 23, 2010

Ode to Melbourne

I love your sun that shines upon my face;
Like a long-lost lover’s warm embrace.

I love your gum trees across the terrain;
Their scent is crisp after a cool winter’s rain.

I love your trams that glide down the road;
They rush towards Finders Street to unload.

I love the noisy birds that warble and chatter;
As I watch the tiny geckoes as they scatter.

I love the Bottle Brush that hangs from the trees;
Their silky red bristles dance in the breeze.

I love the rush from an exciting footy match;
The fans roar and cheer after a great catch.

I love the sea salt that blows in the air;
It makes my skin glisten and bleaches my hair.

I love my mates that I haven’t seen for a while;
Their sense of humour always makes me smile.

I love the Southern stars and your rabbit moon;
It won’t be long now ‘til I see you all soon.

Nov 19, 2010

My Man Catalogue (Part 2)

It had been just over a year that I had been using my ‘Man Catalogue’ as I grew to call it and I had had some good experiences and some bad ones. I had some short-term relationships that lasted a few dates, or even a couple months, and I had also managed to get some rompin’ one-night-stands from it as well; it was all good. I was finding myself logging on less and less and I came to the conclusion that it had served its purpose for a while, but it was close to the end of its natural course, and I had gotten out of it as much as I could. Since the website functioned a lot like real-life chivalry and it was usually the men that paid to contact the women, I hadn’t spent more than 15 bucks the entire year – pretty good, I’d say. I had about 5 credits left and I thought I would do one last ‘advanced search’ based on the criteria that I looked for in a guy and would spend it on 1 last contact request – after that, I would probably cancel my account.

I came across this one particular guy that fit my basic requirements: He didn’t live with his parents? Check. Has his own car? Check. Steady job? Check. OK... then for the physical part – he was like a teddy bear – which is the kind of guy that I have always liked. I hated when my boyfriends were wee men, so if it was cool out and I didn’t have a jacket, I couldn’t wear theirs. It’s a small thing, but it meant a lot to me. He also had a photo of himself in the UK – so he liked to travel; that was a big ‘Check’ on my list as well. Lastly, one of his photos that he posted was himself with his grandmother – awe, cute. So, he appeared to be a family man, which was another big ‘Check’.

We hit it off online and had some great back-and-forth emails, revealing more and more positive attributes about himself. After a few weeks, I agreed to meet up with him. Our emails took place over the time period that included my birthday, so when we met up a couple weeks later, the first thing he did (after our initial introductions) was he went to the counter of the café and as a belated birthday gesture, he bought me a giant cookie. It was adorable and right then, I knew he was a keeper. I did end up cancelling my account shortly after that day... and we got married 4 years later.

Nov 15, 2010

My Man Catalogue (Part 1)

Adventures in Online Dating

The wild and strange world of online dating was a daunting and intimidating thought at first. I toyed with the idea for a few weeks before I decided to take the cyber plunge. I realize that many girls can become self critical of themselves with this method of meeting guys, especially when it really can be superficial – at least to begin with. The services can all ‘claim’ to connect people on various levels of compatibility, blah, blah, blah... but at the end of the day it’s the photo that is the deal maker or breaker. It would be naive to think that it’s not – and if someone told me that it wasn’t important, I would guess they were lying – to me or to themselves.

I think we have all heard the horror stories of online dating when people basically pretend to be someone they are not and then when they meet for the first time, it’s a big shocking letdown. Because I am who I am, I wanted to insure that this wouldn’t happen with me and when I finally posted my profile, I was as honest as possible about who I was, and what I looked like. I posted about 6 photos – from all unflattering angles and candid party shots. There was even a drop-down selection for body-type and I had selected the “Queen Sized” option; I didn’t want to create any false representations whatsoever.

What I found the most frustrating, which was something I totally didn’t expect, was that I would constantly get contact proposals from guys that I knew wouldn’t like me. I would check out their profile and under their preferences they would have written “Skinny girls only”. I didn’t think less of them for that – you like what you like and that’s fine – but then don’t be sending someone like me invitations. When I would ignore their emails, some weirdoes would even get upset and email a second or third time asking why I wasn’t replying. Hello?! Have you seen all my photos? I’m not your type – and I just wanted to save both of us some time and effort.

After I had surpassed this odd twist and had made some good initial connections online, but even then some in-person meetings went well and some others I could tell they were disappointed with the ‘live’ version of me. It threw me the first time and my self esteem took a bit of a hit – but I surprisingly got over it after a couple more times. After the first dozen meetings, my new attitude was: Screw it! It’s not like I would see them ever again anyway. It was pretty fun and slightly addictive – like what social networking is like today – that’s what this site was like back then. I would log on at least 5 times a day to check out the latest ‘talent’. There was one guy I contacted that was my ultimate bad-boy dream; he was the lead singer in a punk band... Yum! Although we had a fabulous time together, once again, I knew early on that he didn’t have romantic feelings towards me after his initial 'once-over' and I wasn’t the least surprised when he never asked me out again. O well... everything happens for a reason.

To be continued...

Nov 11, 2010

Poppy Pride

My grandfather lived a full life and was always telling me incredible stories from his past; I’d like to think I get my love for story telling from him. Sometimes, I often wondered how one person could have done all the things he had done – but I guess you can accomplish a lot in 83 years, or at least we would like to think so. He loved hunting, fishing and yelling at the Montreal Canadiens – but as far as occupations went, (just to name a few) he had been a professional football player, a type-setter, Customs officer, and a soldier in World War II.

It was during this time period that he didn’t actually ever divulge too much information. Perhaps he didn’t want to scare me, or perhaps it was too painful for him to recount. He had only told me one story: After they arrived in enemy territory close to the end of the war, his battalion had come across some abandoned Nazi camps and found some of their weapons. He was excited to have found a rifle and for some reason he checked the barrel before sending off a shot in the air. The Nazis must have tried to sabotage these abandoned weapons because it was jammed with what looked to be a ring. If my grandfather hadn’t checked, it would have likely backfired in his face and probably not survived to return to Canada and marry my grandmother... and so on. Talk about a tiny pebble making big ripples!

That same day they found a Nazi base and overtook it. My grandfather ripped down one of the giant Nazi flags that hung out the front and kept it. He had shown it to me – and a few other remnants from the war that he kept safely in a beat-up old cylindrical tin, which also included a newspaper from June 6, 1944 (D-Day). When he took the flag out of the tin, I took in a big gasp – but it wasn’t of shock or horror of seeing that terrible red, white and black symbol – but rather it was my chest filling with pride. Pride for my grandfather, and I almost started to cry. It was at that moment that it all became real for me. He had risked his life with the belief that he was fighting to make the world a better place for... well... me.

I still have that flag, but I know there would be no way I could ever put it on display because of what that symbol represents to the rest of the world. I see far beyond the symbol and see it as an object of victory – my grandfather’s victory and my country’s victory, but I realize I have to appreciate that sentiment on my own and leave it inside the tin.

I think about my grandfather a lot and I miss him every day since he passed on February 14, 2004, but every year on November 11, I think about him as a Canadian soldier and what he risked for all of us. It is for him that I wear a poppy today.

Nov 8, 2010

PreSchool Passion

Whether it was because my babysitter had me second-hand watching soap operas from the time I could walk or perhaps because I was just born with an over-active libido – but either way I knew I had a special and early developed love for, well... love.

I remember taking Scotty behind the toy shed in the playground during PreSchool. I enjoyed re-enacting scenes from whatever soap I had seen the day before, and he was a willing participant – which I might add as a side note was extremely rare for a 5 year old boy to be up for. There was also another girl that insisted on coming with us for our secret activities. I wasn’t overly impressed about sharing Scotty, but I let it slide. She was cute with loosely curled red hair and a tiny cluster of freckles across her nose – and I knew that she had a crush on Scotty too. Why wouldn’t she? He was hot stuff – as far as 5 year olds go.

The 3 of us would sneak behind the shed and we girls would take turns kissing Scotty and I was in charge of directing the re-enactments as I remembered them from TV (from what a preschooler could grasp of the plot, anyway).

If you have ever experienced small children role playing to be like adults, you would know that they can be overly dramatic. Although it was close to 30 years ago, I know that our little ‘love scenes’ were completely ridiculous. I also know that it was during the fall, because I can remember Scotty and I rolling around in the leaves while switching our heads from side to side, doing what we thought was passionate kissing. I’m sure the gods were watching from above, shaking their heads thinking, ‘This girl’s going to be trouble!”

Nov 4, 2010

My Heavenly Essay

Most of O.A.C (which was essentially grade 13 in Ontario before they scrapped it) was a breeze and I didn’t overly assert my intellect even at the best of times. One needed 6 O.A.C. credits to get in to University – and that was basically the only 6 results they looked at; the average of these 6 results pretty much defined your tertiary schooling aspirations. I had already done 3 of these credits the year before, which meant I had only 3 to complete in an 8 subject timetable over 2 semesters. Needless to say, I had a lot of free time which was spent mostly in the coffee shop down the street smoking my brains out (ah, the good old days when smoking was allowed in coffee shops) or in the months where the weather was agreeable, we spent hours across the high school in the soccer field brewing bottle tokes and listening to someone playing guitar; not exactly the stressful year of a senior that I expected it to be when I was younger – not that I was complaining.

I decided to take Writer’s Craft for my last credit – Imagine that, me enjoying writing! We were given a choice of the 3 different writing genres for our major assignments (Narrative, Expository & Persuasive). Since I had just spent the majority of the last 4 years writing expository essays, I left that one for last. Even though I thought I would be dragging my heels though it, I decided on the topic “Heaven: Does It Exist?” It was deep and heavy and I’m still not sure why or how I came to that idea, but I got 100% enveloped in my research for this essay... like I said before, I had a lot of spare time. Maybe it was also because it was practically the last piece of written work I would be doing for high school, so I thought I should make this one count.

When I was done, I knew it was awesome.

I was so proud of it that I even got some of my friends to read it – I don’t think any of us read any of each others’ work – we usually didn’t give a shit, but I knew this piece rocked and I wanted to show it off. I estimated that it was at least at a 2nd year University level, if not higher.

I should also mention that since I was a passionate teenager, I had extreme hot and cold relationships with many of my teachers; I LOVED a lot of them and HATED others and most of the time the feelings were mutual. About a week had passed since I handed it in and my teacher asked to see me after class. I approached her desk, which always was buried underneath piles of books and the particular pile closest to her caught my eye because they looked familiar. Rightly so! It was the entire collection of books that I had mentioned in my bibliography. What the hell was going on?

“Stephanie, I can’t seem to find any proof of plagiarism but I cannot, with my conscious, award you the grade that this essay is worthy of; I just cannot believe that you wrote this essay on your own.”

I was stunned and utterly insulted. It wasn’t as if I was a D student that suddenly pulled a diamond out of my ass – I was an A student – low A’s, but still A’s nevertheless. I don’t know what came over me, but for the first and only time in my high school career, I swore at a teacher,

“Are you fucking serious? So what you’re really saying is that I’m not smart enough to have written this essay?!”

Up until that moment, this teacher was probably one of my favourite teachers – I had had her in grade 9 English as well. She was mild mannered, kind and easily approachable – until that day, anyway. Lucky for me, she let my potty mouth slide. I flustered her; it was not like it was my normal behaviour. She essentially replied,

“I don’t want to put it that way, exactly, but I’m sorry to say that I just cannot shake this feeling – so I’ll be taking off 15% from the original mark I gave it – it’s the best I can do.”

Well... I guess that meant I got a 100% because my final mark was 85%. See, I knew it was awesome! So, yes, I still got an A, but that really wasn’t the point. I was still hurt, annoyed and insulted that my teacher had appeared to have spent hours sifting through a dozen books to try and prove that I was a cheater. It was gross – and I had no choice but to strike her from my “Teachers I Loved” list and swap her over to my other list.

Nov 1, 2010

The Ecstasy & the Agony

I was watching Desperate Housewives last week, and although I watch it regularly, there is not a hell of a lot that I ever empathise with; it is usually for pure entertainment purposes only. When I want to watch something that I can relate to, it’s more along the lines of Location, Location, Location. Desperate Housewives is so ridiculous that I cannot help but love it, along with the other simulacrum worlds within Young & the Restless and Days of Our Lives. I can’t deny it – I’ve always been a sucker for this kind of fantasy story lines that ooze with clichés and hyper sexual characters.

Even my friends in high school would refer to my own personal life as the ‘Soap Opera of Stephanie’. It wasn’t because my personality was dramatic – because I wasn’t, by any means, but I somehow always managed to get myself into odd situations that vaguely followed some sort of plotline... so I’ve been told. In my head, I always thought my life was fairly boring – which is why I enjoyed the escapism that shows like Y&R and Housewives provide. Although my husband might argue this point, I actually am aware of the ridiculousness of these shows, honestly, I am.

Desperate Housewives, ABC Sundays
So, yes, I enjoy these shows and usually have zero going on in my own life that could even come close to compare with some of these outrageous storylines, but I caught myself relating to Bree Van De Kamp for probably the very first time in 7 seasons. She has recently hooked up with her handyman – a slight recycling of Gabrielle’s affair with the gardener, but nevertheless, at least this time around Bree is single. He is at least 20 years her junior, tattooed and smokin’ hot! (Green has sure come a long way since his geeky teens, that’s for damn sure.) Along with his tight youthful body, she is also enjoying the stamina that comes with it... for all of 1 day. After the second day, she is so sore that she has to walk around like a rodeo cowgirl. She had to invent exhausting tasks for him in the hope that he would be too tired to go for a 3rd straight night of a sexual marathon. Oh lord, I laughed so hard!

My experience wasn’t with someone 20 years my junior, but he was definitely the cool tattooed bad boy. I had met him online and he was the bass player in a Punk band. I had stars in my eyes for this guy, for sure – and I wasn’t an idiot not to notice that the feelings were a bit lopsided on my side. After a few dates he invited me back to his ‘bachelor apartment’ which literally consisted of a day-bed, bathroom, kitchenette and a small TV unit. There really wasn’t much else to do but have sex – for the majority of the evening. That went pretty well and I enjoyed holding on to his thick tattooed arms while my legs were spread high in the air.

A couple days after that, we arranged to spend the night in a hotel in the city. From the moment we arrived, it was a continuous screwfest. I couldn’t believe that he could last for so long – maybe now I think he might have taken a pretty blue pill, but who knows. I hadn’t really recovered from the last time we were together so my lady bits quickly became dry and sore; it felt like I was literally on fire – I guess friction will do that! We had to migrate to the shower to help things along – which it did with the heat, but not with the pain. A smarter (and less selfish) lover would have switched to a more oral activity for my pleasure and relief, but this guy was only interested in 1 singular motion.

I had to get up early for school the next morning – and he had to go to work – so luckily, no sunrise surprise for me. Thank god! I tried to walk and it was excruciating! I was walking exactly like how Bree walked after her sex-a-thon. I couldn’t even hide it or force myself to walk normally – it wasn’t possible – a wheelchair would have been a fantastic solution.

Of course, my friends at College noticed right away and proclaimed, “The Rockstar?” I responded with an injured “Yyyyes.” And they just proceeded to mock me for the rest of the day – and I couldn’t even laugh along with them, mainly because any sudden muscle movement from the waist down was almost unbearable. Even just sitting in class I could feel my thighs throbbing and I could have sworn they were emitting heat. I got 2 text messages from him that afternoon – and I ignored them both; I needed a break. Just like Bree, the next time I saw him I needed to say, “For heaven’s sake, put that thing away!” Thank you Desperate Housewives for reminding me of that memory that only now can I truly laugh at.

A Mother Life

Oct 29, 2010

Halloween Rollercoaster

It was the first Halloween that I celebrated in full teenage fashion, complete with a bottle of vodka and not one but two parties to which both I was expected to make an appearance. Previous years, after I was too old to trick-or-treat, I would stay home and help my mom give out candy – so this was definitely going to be a much better night. I had bought a black short cut dress for a semi-formal a few months prior and I thought I would take the opportunity to take it out for another night on the town. I have to admit that I felt absolutely sexy in that dress. It had a crisscross ribbon lace-up all the way up the back and tucked me in and pushed me out in all the right places – Yeowza! The first time I put it on was for Jim. Did he like it? We ended up having sex right there on the kitchen counter, so I took that as a big ‘YES!’

This time around I camped it up a bit by slicking my hair back, putting on an obscene amount of make-up, got some fishnet stockings and a cheap pentagram necklace and... Voila! I became a sexy witch, and I felt a whole new level of confidence that was new to me; I loved every second of it.

I showed up at the first party – I had met the host, Kevin, at my karate class and he lived close to where I was staying at the time. When he opened the door, he looked me up and down like he desired a piece of well-done meat – and I fuckin’ loved it; it definitely wasn’t attention that I was use to. It wasn’t a large party, but I enjoyed myself with him and his friends. There was a lot of drinking and flirting going on and one thing led to another and my sexy dress ended up around my waist and I was deflowering Kevin. I felt like an empowered seductress, especially with my ‘Halloween’ costume. I didn’t know that it was his first time before hand, but the congratulatory clapping and cheering when we emerged from his bedroom was an obvious giveaway.

We partied for a while afterwards and more beverages were passed around and each subsequent one went down smoother and smoother. I managed to catch the last train to my next party destination, where I was planning to finish the night, so I showed up with my remaining booze in one hand and my sleeping bag in the other. I was still amazed that I found my way there, in the state I was in by that point. This party consisted mostly of people from school, although not the usual group I hung out with and there were a few that I had never met before that night. I had a couple relatively close friends in this group, but not many.

I was already stumbling over both my words and my feet when I arrived. I had time to have some slurred jokes and socializations with a few people and then I had to find somewhere to collapse. I wasn’t completely passed out – I was vaguely aware of my surroundings – but my head and every limb felt like they each weighed a tonne and I felt glued to the couch and sunk deeply into it.

The next thing I remember was the hot, stinky breath that was heating up the right side of my face. I heard a sleazy moan into my ear telling me I was gorgeous, but I could barely turn my head away, let alone muster up enough consciousness to tell this guy to ‘Fuck Off’. I then felt his hand start at my chest and quickly moved down to go up and under my dress. He dug his thick fingers under my stockings and underwear like a slimy eel lurching through the reeds. I tried to push him away but I was paralyzed. The thought of this guys fingers thrusting in and out of me made me want to vomit – it still does to this day. I managed to figure out who it was, which made it worse because even earlier, while I was still vertical I thought he was creepy; Dwayne. Even the sound of that name makes my skin crawl.

Luckily, one of the few people I knew at the party caught Dwayne in act and yelled at him to get away from me. I was infinitely grateful, even if I couldn’t verbalize it at that moment. A couple hours had passed and I managed to prop myself up on the couch; it must have been about 4am. That same friend noticed and came over with a nice glass of water and sat next to me. I put my head on his shoulder and cried; I had never felt so dirty in my entire life. It was at that moment that I understood why some rape victims scrub themselves in the shower until they are raw – that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I needed to scrub the Dwayne off of me.

So needless to say, it was a substantially eventful Halloween, but not like how I could ever had foreseen it when I first put on that dress earlier that afternoon. It was a Halloween rollercoaster that I would never forget, for both good reasons and some bad reasons that I wish I actually could forget – but instead they are permanently seared into my brain. Kevin and I went through a lot together and he remains a life-long friend of mine, whereas even the mere mention of someone with the name of ‘Dwayne’ makes me gag a little and I cross my legs; I never wore that dress again.

Oct 26, 2010

Intellectual Dummies

Our generation is generally the first to have gone to some form of post-secondary schooling – on average. I know there are some families that are already on their 3rd generation of Harvard alumini – and to them, I say, “Piss Off” – this article isn’t about you – although my underlying point will likely apply to you as well, as you will see. For MOST of us, our parents completed maybe a year or two of Community College, if that, but it didn’t matter – these lucky baby-boomers still landed jobs that now pay in the upper regions of 75-100k per annum or more. My father is a prime example of this – his 2 years of College back in the early 70s landed him a sweet job for IBM, which, by today’s standards, one would need at least a Master’s Degree in Computer Science or Engineering before they even took a sniff at your résumé. Whether it is sheer progress or a case of supply & demand, it really has changed in the last 30 years.

Because of this shift, (and our parents being aware of this) they insisted that their children went to University to “have an opportunity that they didn’t have”. From a very early age, we were coached to understand that high school was just the beginning and that there was much more learning to do. Study, study, study! Even my school was on board – I’ll admit, it was a very middle-class-centric school that I attended and there were not many ‘practical’ classes to take. I think there was a Home Economics classroom somewhere... not that I ever entered it – it was not compulsory, not even in grade 9.

When my guidance counsellor suggested that with my interest in the Creative Arts, a good Art College could be an option for me (meaning NOT University). When my mother found this out, she went completely ballistic... OK, never mind... University it was.

So, we all went off to University – thousands of us – and after 4 years, what did we have to show for our $25,000-$60,000* education? I’ll tell you – poor eating habits, a stack of essays... and knowledge essentially good for nothing more than competing in Jeopardy. Yes, it nurtured our critical thinking, but if you didn’t have it to begin with, University doesn’t magically create it. Unless you were going to do more school in the form of Post-graduate certifications, Masters, PhD, etc, an Undergraduate Degree gets you sweet fuck all. The worst part, which is what I’m essentially observing these days, is that these thousands of University graduates cannot do ANYTHING that requires a practical everyday life skill.

We cannot fix anything, build anything or do anything that entails manual knowledge – we are fucking useless – and the guys back in high school that we stuck our noses up at because they were in the Wood Working class or other applied subjects are now the guys that are laughing their arses off – all the way to the bank. They are clearing $100k per annum because no one else knows how to do their job and they can charge extortionate prices for their services – knowing full well that we’d be screwed without them. Yes, my father was lucky and got a fantastic job back in the 70s, but even he can barely change a light bulb! The majority of us now are in high stress, under-paying jobs – most of which have little or nothing to do with what we originally went to University for. I am generally in the same field that I attended University for, but only with an additional 2 more years of Post-graduate studies and a lot of luck.

I don’t want to blame anyone – it’s just another one of many symptomatic back lashes from the baby boomer generation; I doubt anyone could have foreseen this. And of course, it’s not like as a 16 year old, we thought to ourselves, “Gee, when I’m 35, I sure would like to be able to sew and cook.” Of course we didn’t; if we had the gift of foresight at 16, we would all have done things differently, I’m sure of it. I also have to mention that there was also the strong feminist movement blowing through at that time and the idea of a young woman wanting to sew and cook instead of wanting to become an astronaut was like a crime against our sex.

Some people say, “Well, go back and learn that now!” OK, with what time, exactly? Between babies, mortgage & car payments, full-time job, laundry, groceries, hockey practice, swimming lessons, marriage and generally attempting to keep the house from falling apart, when is there time to do that, seriously? I’m happy when I get time to enjoy a coffee that is not served in a disposable cup! That is why we go to school when we are young – because it’s when we have time for it.

The sexiest man I have met in a very long time was the handyman that we hired to do some jobs around our house. He could lay flooring, install a tile back-splash and put up a railing – and it totally turned me on! I love my husband, but these are things I really wished he could do – or even myself – but we cannot; we are both intellectual dummies. I’m sure even that 3rd generation Harvard graduate wouldn’t know the difference between a drywall screw and a wood screw to save their life. The person they have to hire to do their manual labour is likely making more money than they are – so who’s laughing now?

So, of course, if my children know early on that they want to become doctors or teachers, or something of that capacity that genuinely requires a University education, they will be given that opportunity – no question. However, if they aren’t sure what they want to do, I would much prefer to see them go to College and learn a practical trade, rather than wasting 4 years getting a useless general arts degree – or worse, social science. What a joke.

(*based on Canadian tuition fees; the high end is including residence fees)

Oct 22, 2010


There has evolved a social symptom amongst the male population of Western society that I like to call Manchildism. Now, this isn’t a male bashing article, but merely a genuine observation and hypothesis. I began to notice this phenomenon a few years back when myself, along with 3 other women were dumped by guys that apparently ‘needed to find themselves’.

My experience was the least severe case, as I had only been dating the guy for a couple months, but the other women had been with their boyfriends/partners for years and in one instance, were living together. However, in all 4 cases it was totally out of the blue and completely bizarre. All these men were in their early 30s, had a good job, nice car and of course, each had a great lady. Then, out of nowhere, we all got a very similar speech that went something like this:

“I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I feel like I need to find myself and I don’t think I can take you with me on this journey; I have to take it on my own.”

WHEN YOU GROW UP? You are fucking 33! News flash: you grew up over a decade ago! The other women that this happened to – the similarity of their ‘dump speech’ was uncanny. These women were pretty much convinced that the men they were with were going to be their life partners/husbands and then... WHAM! It was hard enough for me to swallow, but I couldn’t even imagine what they went through.

At first, I thought it was the latest ‘go to’ dumping excuse, like the “Let’s be friends” or “It’s not you, it’s me” standard lines. I guess in a way, it’s an evolution of that later excuse, but with a soul searching twist. Then I started thinking about what has changed in the last generation – which is a biggie. Our fathers and their fathers before them and so on were given a strict road map of life to follow: School – Job (usually the same job as their father) – Wife – House – Kids – Work – Retire. Not many questioned it – it was just how it was done; they didn't have to think. Most of our fathers got a job straight out of high school or college and worked at that same job for 35 years and then retired. They didn’t necessarily all like their jobs, but it supported their families and that was good enough for them. They took pride in being the provider for their family, above all else.

After the baby-boomer generation had great personal success, they realized that their children could possibly have even more opportunities and success. They threw out their previous road map and told their sons that they could be anything they wanted to be – not even the sky was the limit! Now, their daughters got this speech as well, but women can usually process this easier and we can make our own life decisions fairly logically – we like having ‘a plan’. I’m not trying to be cruel, but even some men will admit that they are, in fact, simple creatures. By not telling all these boys exactly what they should be or what they need to do ‘when they grow up’ is making their heads explode. They are wandering aimlessly through their twenties waiting for that huge life-altering epiphany that is supposed to tell them what they have to do – and then they wake up one day and they are thirty.

At this point, even though they probably have a great life, some weird suppressed anxiety slaps them in the face and says, “But my mommy said I could be an astronaut, or a fireman, or a helicopter pilot, or anything I wanted – and I’m just another office flunky – Ahhhhhh!” POP! Their goes their head... along with their voice of reason. They have a little tantrum and question, "What about MEEEEEE?" They quit their jobs, dump their girlfriends (or wives) and go backpacking across Nepal. And there it is – Manchildism.

I don’t think there is anything that can be done for this generation – the damage was done a long time ago. Let’s hope the traditional mid-life crises that happen at around 55 aren’t too turbulent – which we won’t be able to see for another decade or two. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see what happens with their children, and if these men, as parents, will be able to learn from their unrealistic and aimless expectations and perhaps instil in their sons a sprinkle of realism; maybe somewhere that fits nicely between having their head in the clouds and their nose to the grindstone. Is there is such a place? I hope so.

Oct 18, 2010

Hoes Before Bros

There were only a handful of times that I had come close to throwing a punch in high school, but miraculously I never did – probably from fear more than anything else. There is only 1 time that I really wished I had though – and still to this day, I often think that in this rare instance, kicking the absolute crap out of this girl would have been entirely and fantastically therapeutic.

I’m sure every school has at least one – the tramp, skank, village bicycle or whatever choice description you might want to insert. Now I know I wasn’t a virginal kitten, but there was one huge difference and that was I never intentionally set out to hurt anyone, and to this day there was only 1 time that I accidentally hurt someone and I deeply regret it. Perhaps that is why I detested Jessie so much – it was that she would repeatedly sleep with other people’s boyfriends and not seem to show any remorse, nor did she ever reap any consequences. It wasn't like there were shallow pickings - there were MANY other guys she could have had instead. If she wanted to have random romps with countless unattached guys, then I would have said ‘Welcome to the Club’ but that wasn’t her style. She preferred guys that had been test driven already, or rather ones that were currently being driven by someone else.

She never ‘stole’ any boyfriend of mine, but there was a long list of relationship carnage that she created that involved most of my friends. Not only did she seem to have zero accountability for her hurtful actions, but most of my friends continued to be her friend! Did I miss something? How did that work? From my perspective, it was quite simple: You hurt me and I can’t trust you; therefore, we are not friends anymore. It's not even about the guy when it comes down to it - we all know they come and go - it's the TRUST that gets broken. Seemed simple enough to me – but there she was, everyday hanging out with us, like that nasty zit that keeps reappearing on your chin.

While recalling one of her many horizontal mishaps, I took a body count one day and she had had sex (or close enough to it) with SEVEN guys that had been with one of my friends – and I didn’t have a big circle of friends, so that covered almost every one of them (one girl she did 2 of her guys, once while she was passed out downstairs and the sound of Jessie screwing her boyfriend upstairs woke her up, classy!) But, they are still friends to this day – the world is going mad.

She finally had gone too far with unlucky number 6, in which after doing lord-knows-what with him, she accused him of sexual assault the next day. It was awful! This guy was gentle, dopey and harmless and his only fault was falling victim to the siren’s spell. His girlfriend was a tough chick, and frankly even I wouldn’t have wanted to cross her, but once again, she did nothing to Jessie, physically, verbally or anything of the sort. She just kicked the shit out of a garbage can instead. There was a whole dramatic scene in the parking lot (Jessie doing most of the flared-nose dramatics, as usual) and she came up to ME and challenged ME to a fight.

“Com’on Andrea! Hit me! I know you want to!”

She was damn right about that – and this triggered one of my ‘Ally McBeal’ moments to which the imaginary me grabbed her by her overly-coiffed Farah Fawcett hair and repetitively punch her in the face. Every fibre of my body was itching to take this girl on, but I coolly remained leaning on my friend’s truck. I gave out a huge forced grin and replied, “I would love to – but you’re not worth the effort.” She just stormed off like a deranged two year old having a tantrum. I guess I should be proud that I handled it that way, but the primal part of me would have loved to throw in one punch for every one of my friends’ hearts she broke.

The part that utterly bemuses me is that even after that horribly messy situation (there was a court case and everything, which of course got thrown out on character witnesses alone, but it was still unpleasant) she still managed to remain a part of our group. Ahhh! What did this girl have to do before people besides me would see her for who she really is? Apparently nothing. She even succeeded in hurting one more friend after that, my best friend... with her ex-boyfriend. She confronted Jessie and told her she was not cool with it and that she would have to choose between their friendship (of 8+ years) and the guy; Jessie looked her straight in the eye and said without hesitation, “Him”... It lasted 2 weeks. Awesome - I hope it was worth it.

Now that some time has passed and I have moved away, I really only have to see the people that I choose to see, but she still comes up in conversation and appears at some social events; the aggravating zit prevails! The ironic part is that out of all the people we went to high school with, she hates ME the most and I find that downright amusing. It must be because she knows I was the one person that always saw right through her and never bought in to her dramatic bullshit. I once told her with true sincerity that she needed to seek professional psychiatric help. Yes, it’s true that I was tripping on mushrooms at the time, but nevertheless I tried to be as sincere as much as possible. Regardless, I still wish I had hit her that day, just once.

Oct 14, 2010

Would you like fries with that?

Although I have tried so hard over the years to be comfortable with my body, I think it was my ‘shame’ that has ultimately helped me to control many of my over-eating impulses. I would often imagine what other people were thinking when I was chowing down on some giant meal that was filled with poly-saturated fats and all other sorts of yummy disgustingness. I’m sure they really didn’t think these things, but I imagined that they were. “Should that girl be eating that? She should have opted for the salad!” I really did care about what people thought, and particularly what they thought of me. While in public, I would always eat less than I would actually want to – and with daintier bites. Even at home, I knew my mother would passively observe my eating habits and comment every so often. I know that some people that were to read this would say “Don’t give a fuck what other people think – Be strong!” But I really believe that it was this obsession that I developed that prevented me from giving in to my insatiable appetite all the time – and I am hungry... all the time.

I have often seen the weeping obese women on talk shows confessing that would go to a drive thru burger joint and buy 6 hamburgers, or 3 combo meals – eat them all and still be hungry. Although I related to these stories and their need for copious amounts of food, I would NEVER have had the guts to buy that (I still don’t)! I would have been too embarrassed. I have never had more than 1 combo meal in any given restaurant, and even that, I ordered ‘medium’ and always declined the option to “super size” my meal because in the back of mind, I would imagine the cashier looking me up and down and thinking “Ya right, like SHE needs the super size.”

Even today, I don’t like going though the drive thru or even going inside to order take-out by myself – if I am ordering for more than just me. (I don’t have an issue if it’s just for me) I usually change my language when I am ordering – so they know that it’s not all just for me. For example, I will say ‘He’ll have....’ and then ‘I’ll have...’; or I will think out loud and pretend I’ve forgotten what the other person wanted (this performance is mostly effective when I’m there in person) mumbling just loud enough for the cashier to hear me say “What did he want again? Hummm, oh yes...” I do all this song and dance because the idea that this person would think that I am ordering all this food just for myself makes me anxious and extremely self-conscious. I’m much more comfortable when the other person come along with me – they are my physical proof that I’m not being a gluttonous pig.

Even in the privacy of my own home, I never had as much as I really wanted. My mother would rarely offer me seconds anyway, but even if she did, I would turn it down. I’d like to think I have those little angel and devil versions of myself on each shoulder when I eat. I only had as much as I know I should have been having, even though that little devil fucker was always screaming, “MORE! MORE! MORE!” Every once and a while I would give in to my urges and sneak a giant bowl of cereal later on that night, or something like that. I tried so hard not to do this very often, but I had my private binges – and I enjoyed every glorious mouthful.

I think if I didn’t develop this paranoia of mine, I would likely be twice the size that I am today. Although it isn’t an ideal technique and I am fully aware that it’s probably a bit ‘psychiatrist-worthy’, I’ve come to the conclusion that these imaginary comments from people that I conjure up are all actually my conscious talking – and she just happens to be a nagging, judgemental, annoying bitch – but she means well.

Oct 10, 2010

The Hammock & the Zippo

The summer between University and my post-graduate studies, I once again moved back home – which saved me cash, but lost some sanity and freedom – it was a necessary trade-off. I had landed a job bartending at the 4-star restaurant just around the corner from my house – great score! On my first night, I was out having a smoke on my break and one of the hottest guys I have ever met came to join me, and he was friendly. Right then, I really, really liked my new job! He was like a version of Ray Liotta with his piercing blue eyes, but with softer features, better skin and a whole lot of yummy goodness. Even my mother had a hard time sucking back her drool when she came into the restaurant one day and met him. Yes... he was THAT hot.

In my usual fashion, Carter and I hit it off right away and we even started to hang out outside of work. He was a couple years older than I was, so I took that into consideration when I dropped shameless hints about my true feelings and he didn’t respond. Carter must have known how I felt – he was a lot more worldly than most of the younger guys I had been interested in, so I concluded that he was indeed aware, but wasn’t interested. I still kept hanging out with him for a while though but it was difficult to not come off as ‘stalkerish’; he was like a drug and I constantly wanted a fix. Just being in his presence gave me this awesome high and I loved the feeling of it – even if it was only one-sided.

Surprisingly, this story isn’t actually about him, but I had to set the scene. We had been working together for about 3 months at this point, and there was a summer-end staff party at one of the employee’s farm. It wasn’t a huge gathering – maybe 20 people at the most – and the handful of us herbal enthusiasts easily found each other. There were about 4 of us and we gravitated to this fantastically quaint twin hammock set that were hung between 3 trees, away from the rest of the party. I had brought my lucky Zippo with me, as it had been everywhere else with me for the better part of a decade, but as we were smoking pipes, my Zippo was of no use so it got demoted to my back pocket. Carter and I cosily shared one of the hammocks like 2 stoned peas in a pod. Others came and went, but the two of us stayed there for a long while, together. In my fantasy universe, it was actually a pretty romantic setting and all it needed to be complete was for him to lean in and plant a big juicy one on me – but of course that didn’t happen.

When I got home I realized that my Zippo was gone. Shit! I really loved it. It had a magic mushroom on one side and my name engraved on the back. It must have fallen out of my back pocket when we were on the hammock. I quickly called the host of the party the next day and he was able to complete my sentences.

“Did you happen to find a Zippo by th...”

“By the hammocks? YES! And I’m afraid that I ran over it with my ride along lawnmower and gave me quite the fright!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry! By any chance did it happen to survive the lawn...”

“The lawnmower? Are you kidding? It’s in about 4 mangled pieces.”

“And just to make sure that it’s mine, can you make out what was on it?”

“Yes, it looks like it used to be a mushroom of some sort. Is that right?”

“Yes, that’s right. Thanks anyway. You can just throw it out if you haven’t already.”

I was dejected; it was one of the few objects of mine that I truly loved and felt a genuinely strong owner-to-object bond with it. I didn’t want to buy a new one; my Zippo days were done. I needed to quit smoking anyway.

About 6 months had past and I was going through my ‘junk drawer’. I rarely went through it – it was like all the crap that I didn’t use but still didn’t want to throw out just yet. I can’t even remember what I was doing in there to begin with, but while I was sifting through it I found an old blue bandana – I hadn’t worn it in a few years and it was tucked away in the back. Underneath the bandana was my Zippo – completely intact and as shiny as the day I bought it. I have absolutely no reasonable explanation as to what happened. It really freaked me out and even though I maintain to this day that it was truly my lucky Zippo, I never used it again.