Resolution Schmesolution

It’s at this time of the year a person starts taking stock of their life and resolving to fix all the holes.  We all do it, every year, and by January 6th we’re all over it and back to our bad ways.   We get all gung ho about exercise and our health then in a few days realize “what’s life without chocolate?” and gasp at the error of our ways, cutting out one of the things that makes life that little bit nicer.  

I’m hoping 2011 will be a nice balanced year.   I’ll do the exercise and eat the salad but I’ll also have a nice piece of good chocolate or a cupcake now and then.  I’ll drink more water but I won’t beat myself up if the odd glass of wine or beer or soda creep in here and there.   I’ll take a language class or something to keep my brain ticking.  I’ll start drawing again. 

I also will try to stop growling at Olay commercials featuring 17 year old pouting girls, promising to make all my fine lines disappear and turn me into some sort of feral, smooth skinned, supermodel, because obviously once you hit 40 you’re an eyesore that must be corrected or no one will want you to go out in public.   Surely there are better ways to spend our time than worrying that we’re too fat, too wrinkled, too old or too late?    It’s not constructive at all.

I’ve also resolved to learn to cook more dishes.  I don’t have a great repertoire in the kitchen, if I’m perfectly honest.  The few dishes I can cook, I can cook pretty well but I need some expansion in my menu.  I have collected some fine sounding recipes and aim to start actually producing them for dinner in the new year.  El Cerebro, being a man, and “a man” being a synonym for “I am hungry 100% of the time”, is very encouraging in my intention to use him as a guinea pig for my new meal ideas.   He’s even offered to provide Gordon Ramsey type advice if I need a little support.   Like there isn’t enough swearing in a kitchen while I’m cooking without a copycat of a blonde mop top Englishman turning purple and screaming “Call that Risotto, you fat little cow!” in my face. 

First on my new experimental menu - a breakfast snack: Bacon and cheese cornbread muffins.  Yes please.  For weekends only.  The rest of the week will be Special K and growling at myself in the mirror.

2011 is going to be a year of change, there’s no doubt about that.   I’m going to be moving in the spring, for work.  I’m going to be doing new things.  It’s kind of scary.  And kind of exhilarating. 

Hope your new year is equally satisfactory.  Be healthy but don’t deprive yourself either.  What’s health without happiness now and then?

Christmas Cheer Is Code For “You Are Fat”

Well that was Christmas.  Another year’s culminating in an over-indulgence of confectionary and alcohol and zero exercise.  I’m absolutely certain that I managed to grow a muffin top in the last week that could shelter a family of orphans from a typhoon.  Either that or my jeans shrunk in the wash.  I prefer to think that’s the reason.  They do that, don’t they?  Denim just isn’t what it used to be and everyone knows if your jeans are too tight you get muffin spillage and that it’s absolutely not your fault.  It’s nothing to do with being FAT or anything. 


Things went well for El Cerebro and I.  Snacking, movie watching, more grazing, napping every few hours to keep up our eating stamina, then last night, happy and relaxed, we had to watch several ultra somber commercials reminding us that there are poor African orphans out there that have nothing more than sand to eat this Christmas.  We were so consumed by  guilt that I felt compelled to bake a chocolate cobbler and whip up some cream to soothe our conscience.  Because when we feel guilty we eat. And we needed comfort.  Seriously though, what’s with the guilt tripping on Christmas?  I feel beyond sad that there are people in the world with nothing to eat and severe circumstances, but part of me is a little peeved at being reminded of it while I’m shovelling pie into my face.

Like everyone else in this free world of excess, I’m determined that the second the clock strikes in 2011 I will be a changed person.  I will eat lettuce and other green things that aren’t candy.  I will drink more water.  I will buy a treadmill and run on it several times a week, clutching a fancy reusable water bottle and sporting a healthy ponytail. 

Naturally, when I say “the second the clock strikes in 2011”, I actually mean when I wake up hungover the next morning and definitely after the customary hang over breakfast of grilled cheese.   Just so we are clear.

Anyway, Santa was good to me.  He brought me a handmade voucher promising me a new laptop once I choose one (yay!) some excellent clothing articles, and a fun new toy that’s especially for ladies and requires ahem…batteries.  

I hope you all were as lucky.

Won't Someone Think Of The Workers?

We've all done shitty jobs in our time.  Years ago, just after college, I worked, for a period, in a novelty gift store.   I'm not talking about naughty adult novelties or anything remotely fun like that - although we did stock chunky chocolate penises at one point, which constantly made our elderly clientele cluck disapprovingly and our cheapskate teenage shoppers blush and giggle with joy as they fingered the chocolate shaft and nudged their companions.  

For the record, the chocolate was nasty.  I know because one afternoon, during the holiday season, after a hectic morning with no time for food breaks and shaking from lack of sustenance, I gobbled one up, remembering to pay for it first, in case our shrill harpy of a district manager showed up and caught me snarfing down penises from in-store stock.  You haven't really experienced life until you've stood at a cash register ringing up sales with one hand and wielding a half eaten chocolate penis in the other.  

As you can probably imagine, working in a store filled with cheap, plastic novelty gifts, you had a particularly busy period around Christmas, when everyone and his uncle would come in and buy some crappy plastic piece of trash that would probably break in two days.   This time of year was a chore that involved long painful 12 hour days on our feet and working seven days a week for minimum wage, all while pretending to be uber excited about flashlights that played the national anthem and cookie cutters shaped like giant bottoms or boobies.  We never got bonuses or two days off in a row.  We were the lowest of the low.

The best and worst parts of the job were the customers themselves.  There were some regulars who were wonderful lovely people.  Who'd brighten your entire day by coming in and being pleasant.  Then there were others who'd make life a living hell with their nastiness.  You learned to gauge them and handle them accordingly.   Last night, while trudging around The Superstore buying holiday snacks, I saw how harassed cashiers were, by customers demanding reductions and hurling accusations about broken packaging or prices.

Working my old retail job was the entire reason that I am as nice as possible to cashiers and store workers these days.  It's a thankless job for very little money where you have to pretend that some arrogant blowhard customer is always right when they are clearly not.  Where you work every holiday while others are relaxing and where you are constantly pulled in on days off to cover for someone else.  Everything is your fault and you take on the whole reputation of the company if someone has a complaint.

So if you're working in some godforsaken hell of a store this Christmas, dealing with sale shoppers and last minute gift buyers, bless you and your blisters.   You deserve some extra strong eggnog and maybe a chocolate penis.

Feliz Navidad

As I have no real family obligations this Christmas, I'm in a state of high anticipation.  I'm envisioning entire days spent in my flannel pajamas and a bathrobe with an enviable bedhead, watching "Diehard" movies with my boyfriend, El Cerebro.

Instead of spending all day cooking a giant traditional meal, I will eat festive buffet snacks and chocolate, while nursing a nice glass of red wine at all times, my feet propped up on an ottoman, poised like a beautiful lady villain from a James Bond movie, only with substantially less chance of being caught pouting sexily as I plant a bomb in a Russian embassy before bedding the suave 007.  And perhaps a bit less grace and beauty.

It's not that we have anything against family Christmases.  El Cerebro and I both are blessed with rather splendiferous families who all get along swimmingly and provide many hours of informal hilarity, however, as both of our families live far away, we delighted in opting out this year in order to indulge our own mean feast of awe inspiring selfishness right here at home.  The possibilities are endless. We could dance naked, except for chocolate body paint, around the Christmas tree, drinking eggnog if we so desired.  We could stay up all night playing video games then get up at noon and stay in pajamas all day long without anyone frowning at us.  We can eat chocolate.  For breakfast!

Our fantastic lazy Christmas will involve having a buffet table stacked with snacks and drinks and some desserts and of course, booze of varying types which we will dip into all day whenever the mood takes us.  Tonight we go shopping for some tasty cheeses, crackers, pickled items, cocktail sticks, maraschino cherries, variety of breads, condiments, dips and chips and some wine and spirits.  It's shaping up to be quite the holiday - a feast of food, drink, naps, debauchery and movie watching, while avoiding going out in the snow.

There will be devilled eggs and home made potato salad, stuffed olives, caramel shortcake, cheese balls and cocktail sticks loaded with sweet pickled onions with strong cheddar and pineapple chunks. There will be assorted chips and dips and carrot sticks and carmelized onion hummus.

There will be gluttony on high and much drooling.  And a wetbar!

Then on Sunday we will lie around groaning and holding our stomachs before tucking into leftovers and wine and complaining about our swollen bellies and starting diets.

May all your holidays be as jolly.

Out With The Old, In With The Shiny New

I'm currently in the market for a new laptop.  My current one, or "Old Faithful" as I like to call it, has been showing signs of dementia of late.  In her colossal eight year lifespan she's been upgraded, expanded and pushed to her very limits each and every day with my giant graphic and media demands, my music and video libraries, my photo folders and home videos and useless applications I've acquired gleefully, used once then never gotten around to removing.  She's charged my iPod, allowed me to make phone calls, send inane  instant messages to my boyfriend regarding the current state of his penis and to finally watch that infamous Pam Anderson/Tommy Lee video (seriously, what was all the fuss about?)

Sadly she's not long for this world.  I mean "Old Faithful" here, not Pam Anderson.  I believe she'll outlive the cockroaches in any apocalypse.

Christmas is no time to shop for a laptop.  If you're thinking about it, just don't.  There are laptops everywhere, advertised in shiny letters.  You read specs until your head is spinning, then, when you make a decision - this processor or that, this hard drive capacity or x amount more for the maximum, this screen or that - the computer you finally select is not available.  Anywhere.  Infuriation.

Much as I have a childlike excitement for my impending new companion, I'm sort of dreading saying goodbye to "Old Faithful" and the good times we have shared.  The time I Photoshopped my boss's head onto that of a jackass, for example.  A jackass that was in the midst of depositing the remains of his lunch, from his rear end.

The time I Photoshopped my boss's head onto a tranny prostitute and gave him ruby red lips.  I wasn't at all fond of that man, perhaps you can tell?

The time "Old Faithful" caught a nasty virus from some research I was doing into online fetish porn sites.  I'm not even kidding either, it was for an article I was writing, not personal interest.  That research was eye opening in its hideousness.  There are certain things you never want to see being done to a vagina.  "Old Faithful" will attest to it though. You can get diseases even from online whores.  I'll go back to being somewhat vanilla in my sexual tastes if I can go back to unseeing most of the stuff involving bodily fluids I witnessed during that article.

Then there was the time I dropped "Old Faithful" on my own foot during a foolish foray with some rum and some stairs.  She isn't exactly a slimline lightweight either.  She's like the girl in gym class who won every event - sturdy, stalky, freckled, athletic and built like a brick latrine.  Nice personality and accommodating but you wouldn't want her sitting on you for long.  I checked "Old Faithful" over thoroughly and anxiously but she was okay in her tank-like perfection.  I limped for three weeks and had to endure months of my colleagues calling me "Kaiser Soze".

Still I'm excited for a shiny new gadget to corrupt and fill with my fine files.   And maybe this time she'll actually be portable without a forklift and three sturdy men.

Or "he". I'm an equal opportunities tech buyer, you know.

Scare Me Gently

No one seems to make a good scary movie like they used to.  I don't know about you, but me, I enjoy being scared witless while watching a movie.  There has to be some psychological defect in humankind that makes this a pleasant activity, because on paper, it certainly doesn't seem like a party.

Thing is nowadays, "scary" seems to equate short, sharp, shocks and a large, demented man with many knives jumping out of a dark space and carving up a teenager in a disturbingly inappropriate and unnecessary manner, preferably in some deserted location that creaks a lot, complete with lots of blood spatter, totally gratuitous torture and all the usual cliches heaped on top like mustard.

And I will freely admit I enjoy some of that on occasion.  I mean come on, who hasn't wished someone would reek some sort of havoc on teens?   I'm kidding.  Sort of.  Ask me later...

Anyway, those movies usually bore me with their formulaic plots and overly bloodlusty villains who can only kill in uber violent and unlikely grotesque ways, while maintaining the ability to be at every exit at all times as the heroine runs around like a skittish cat, trying to escape.

What happened to suspense?  I miss suspense.  Horror movies nowadays are all gore and little suspense.  You know the scary psycho guy is going to bust out of certain places.  You know the chick's going to lose her brain and run in twenty different wrong directions right into his path.  NEVER GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE, IDIOT!   How many times can you see a woman check herself out in the bathroom mirror, bend to splash water on her face then stand up to see the killer's reflection behind her?

I like the movies in between horror and thriller, where the villain has one foot somewhere in the continent of reality.  Where he is plausible, you know?  Eerie or creepy rather than downright horrific.  Where things are implied rather than bludgeoned into you with a mallet.  Where you are terrified out of your head because the villain could actually exist.  He could be waiting in the parking lot after your night class, or in the basement of your apartment building.  Where the fear comes from sounds and silence and cunning camera work and paranoia and not from scenes of wanton bloody madness.  Where things build slowly and hit you at the end with a little jolt of "What the hell!" rather than, "Well, that was disturbing and they are never getting those bloodstains out of that carpet!"

I guess I like my horror gentle for the most part.  Isn't that sweet?

Dieharder (Just Slower)

I don’t know how old you are.  Nor do I really care.  I’m much more interested in you.  What you like, what you want, what makes you get up every day and continue to live. 

If you’re in your twenties you probably think I’m really old.  It’s okay.  I’m not offended.  When I was your age, I’d have thought the exact same thing.  I mean fuck, you’re 22 or whatever.  That’s young.  You know nothing yet but that’s okay too.

 You see, it’s the not knowing all that stuff that makes you the person you’re going to be.  It’s how you learn and build and move on from the things you learn and the mistakes you make, that makes you, you and not some drone.
Now I’m in my 40s I am somewhat surprised to find that I don’t feel all that different to when I was 25 in the ways that actually matter.  I have a few more lines around the eyes.  It takes less cake to add pounds to my waistline. But I like fart jokes and swear words and junk food and have a healthy disdain for authority when it hinders me.  I’ve made more mistakes than you.  Hell, if you’re in your 40s you should have made mistakes and unless you’ve been in a coma since 1988, you will have.

And I'm not just talking about haircuts.  Hell, I went to high school in the eighties, you don't get out of that unscathed.
My knees nowadays make little rustling noises when I do squats, and by God, if you hand me something and heaven forbid I lay it down someplace, the odds are fair that I’m going to totally forget where, within about five minutes.   But I still lie on the floor, in my pajamas, watching movies on the weekend, I still have cold beer in the fridge.  I still favor old Levi’s and slightly off beat fashion choices.  I like outrageous shoes and gadgets and cuddling with someone I love.  I still enjoy the myriad of exciting ways to utilize cheese.  I still say way too many bad words and I continue to like new technology.   And just sometimes, I still try to hide from my problems when it all seems too much.

I know it’s all bullshit. Today your forties are the youngest they’ve ever been.  People who say “forty is the new thirty” are not just in denial.  There’s some truth in that. Because we are not products of the “good old days” where people slammed out of high school and straight into the brick wall of heavy demands adulthood presents.  We weren’t slinging around a baby on our hip when we were 19 because that’s what society told us to do, or married to the first man who asked and who demanded dinner on the table, several offspring and a pristine house full of grown up things as soon as we graduated high school.  We didn’t become our parents or their parents when we reached twenty. 

We are products of modern times, of pop culture, of punk rock, of youth in revolt.  We grew up in a heady era of recreational drugs, of John Hughes movies, of social interaction, of serial killers, of dancing and bars, of independence and spiky hair, of ninjas and ludicrously inappropriate footwear and online chat rooms.

We use gaming consoles and watch independent movies and cook exotic foods and watch porn and drink too much vodka.  We travel and write and play music and paint and start businesses and listen to iPods and use Photoshop and break up with partners and Twitter and blog and try inventive new cocktails and watch movies about zombies.

We’re not that different to you, we just have more lines on our faces.  We are children of today and we never before had the opportunity to shine so brightly in our forties and beyond.

Now maybe you’ve reached forty and you still don’t realize entirely what you want, but I’ll bet you’ve learned a shitload about what you don’t want.   You’ve lived a little and you’ve loved, hopefully a lot.   You’ve loved good people and bad people and inappropriate people and people who’ve fucked you over and fucked you up, people who’ve made you appreciate mankind, cruel people, kind people, people who made you fearful, people who made you horny.  The right person, the wrong one, the one who got away, the one you can’t get rid of, the one who saved your life, the one who makes you want to be the best person you can be.
Perhaps you’ve even birthed a new generation from your own loins, maybe you’ve divorced or you’re still happily married after twenty years.  Maybe you are independently single with a cat, or you live with a partner, or you’re desperately unhappy with the person you’re with.
You’re still capable of indecision, of cowardice, of taking the wrong road.  You’ve made mistakes, you’ve learned from those mistakes, but you’re still making mistakes regardless.  Being human doesn’t have an age limit.  You don’t wake up one day and magically find that you’re perfect because your age has gotten larger.  You will fuck up whether you’re twenty or seventy, because when you’ve stopped fucking up, you know all there is to know and you might as well die.
The thing about reaching your forties is you are surrounded every day with media and news and websites and advertisements all trying to tell you that you’re washed up.  That you can no longer leave your house unless you have wrinkle creams and medications and insurance to pay for your funeral.  You’re no longer relevant.  You’re practically dead.  You shouldn’t dress a certain way.  You shouldn’t frequent certain places.  You should behave in a certain manner. You should have particular things.  You should have let go of particular things.
Nowhere does it say, “Hogwash!  You should do the things that bring you the most happiness and if that means wearing a mini skirt when you’re 42 and still have perfectly great legs, or shooting mutant survivors of an apocalypse on your Xbox 360 while lying on the floor eating pizza and drinking a beer with someone you love, even though you’re 44, or parachuting out of an airplane when you’re 47 because you’ve always wanted to try it and you’re fit and excited and eager for new experiences, then so be it.  If you’re 49 and like punk rock and Cuban cigars and dancing till dawn that’s okay.  If you’re 46 and you want to tattoo a dragon on your ass because that would make you happy, get that tattoo.  If you’re fifty three and you like skinny jeans and long hair then for fuck’s sake have those things or forever live in a bitter world of regret.”
Nowhere do they tell you to just be you, whatever age you are.  That it doesn’t matter a goddamn rat’s ass what year you were born, it shouldn’t prevent you from doing something you really long to do to make your life fuller, just because it might give society the wrong idea.

Just be happy. 

None of these people know you and if someone you do know tells you these things, maybe they don’t know you after all.  Do what makes you happy and brings you enjoyment and raise a gigantic middle digit to anyone who tells you that you can’t do it because you’re too old.
Because it must suck to be them.

Just do it.


Apparently you're no one till you write a blog.  That's what the kids keep telling me and if I learned anything in my time on Earth it's that the kids know their onions.  Except when their onions are Facebook.  Or that MySpace thing.  In these cases the kids managed to mistake their onions for a big, steaming heap of shit.  Fucking kids.

I'm ok with Twitter because the less characters the kids have to say the inane shit they spout daily, the better if you ask me.  I'm fully aware you didn't ask me but I'm telling you anyway.

So I caved in to the demands of electronic culture and decided to start my own blog.  I mean I've seen some blogs and if a lady in Edmonton can talk all day about matching her toilet paper to her wallpaper, I think I can come up with something to say.  I mean I don't mean to be rude lady, but fuck.  There's a lot of life out there, you might want to go grab some next time you're at Safeway or something.  Just toss it in there with your powder pink toilet paper and your jug of pomegranate juice.  Toilet paper is only important when it's absorbing liquid ca-ca from your bum hole.

Before I actually post a real entry I'd like to thank some guy I don't know called 'Bigbluetotoro' because that's his image I ripped off to make my header.  I just found it randomly on the web. I have two things to say to Bigbluetotoro.  Firstly I'd like to say WTF man?  And secondly I'd like to thank him for letting me steal his awesome photo even though he doesn't know and even though I'm slightly north of disturbed that there's a dude out there who likes dressing up as a dolphin.   And that such a creature lives among us and not in some maximum security insane penitentiary on like, some island in the middle of the godforsaken Arctic Ocean where he so obviously belongs.   You're good people Bigbluetotoro.   I pray your flippers can't hold a hunting knife.

And so hello.  I'm here, I'm not queer, but if I was queer, so what?