Archive for October, 2009


Today is Tuesday, right?

I’ve been slowly but surely recovering from what some people have suggested might be the dreaded swine flu.  I’m not so convinced.

But it would make for a great T-Shirt, no?

“I went to Washington DC, and all I got was this lousy case of swine flu.”

Between the illness and the fact that I am now preparing at work for an event that will either make me a *star* or will seal my fate as the cutest illegal immigrant housekeeper Lilu and B ever have*, I have let a few things slide.

On Saturday, I decided that it was a good day to clean up the leper colony Shoebox.  You know, open the windows, do the laundry, take out the snotty tissues trash. 

Goal:  Find gloves that are undoubtedly lost somewhere in giant pile of sick-girl unwashed laundry.  Or under the bed.  Or somewhere. 

During the search, I come across the envelope (that I had been keeping in a safe, hidden location), containing my subscription tickets to the Canadian Opera Company.  What can I say, I like a little culture from time to time. 

I open the envelope.

“Madama Butterfly…two tickets for…Friday, October 23rd, 7:30 p.m.”

Last night.


Epic scheduling fail.

New Goal:  Organize calendar on blackberry/Outlook* to include important, expensive events like the Opera.

Opera tickets, meet shredder.

This is almost as bad as forgetting my PIN number while standing at the checkout line at the LCBO on Friday.   Nothing says “early onset of Alzheimer’s” quite as much as having a complete brain freeze while holding two bottles of wine in your hand.  

“Here’s a tip,” the cashier oh-so-helpfully supplied as the words “FINAL TRY” appeared on the card reader, “You may want to synchronize all of your PIN numbers so that you don’t forget.”

Really?  Thanks for that helpful fucking hint, Heloise.  Here’s one for you: You may want to consider keeping your “tips” to yourself before I breathe the swine flu onto you.

“Uhhhh,”  I stammered instead.  “Lemme give you cash.”



* Now, THAT’s a sitcom waiting to be written.

** If you have sent me an email or a Facebook message over the course of the past, oh say…month…I promise you are getting really close to getting a response.


I’ll retrieve my own soul, thanks

So it’s come to this, has it?

We live in an age where we officially have more money than sense.  We’ve gotten to the point where we must purchase life experiences.

Victims Participants paid $10,000 to  James Arthur Ray, “new age guru”, to engage in a 36-hour “vision quest”.  The vision quest required participants to fast alone in the desert.  This was followed up by a two-hour “rebirthing” experience, during which participants were sealed into a makeshift dry-cleaning bag sweat lodge.

Three people died.  A “channeler” (whatever the hell that is) was called in by Mr. Ray after the incident, and told participants (and presumably, their lawyers), that those who had died during the experience “had left their bodies in the sweat lodge and chosen not to come back because “they were having so much fun””.

I’m not making this up – it was in the New York Times.  Mr. Ray has appeared on Oprah.  This is not some backwater operation.

Leaving aside the legal issues of civil liability or whether or not this constitutes criminal negligence causing death, I think this brings up a number of other serious questions.

How spiritually and intellectually bereft is our society that some of us feel a need to purchase services such as “soul retrieval, vortex healing and dolphin energy healing“?

Can we manufacture life-altering change?  Can someone give it to me for $10,000? 

I suppose that in a world where we have turned love into a commodity, anything is possible.  Why bother having the journey, when you can purchase a ticket directly to the destination?

When I read articles like this, I fear that North American society’s spiritual account is officially overdrawn.


Calling in sick

I was going to write a great post about these articles.  A nice, medium-sized rant about how I prefer the title “Ms.” because I deserve the same marital anonymity as a man, but won’t get my panties all bunched up if someone happens to say “excuse me, miss” or even when the store clerk calls me…*shudder*…ma’am.

But I’m just too sick.

And one of the worst things about being single is being single and sick. 

No one will make me a hot drink, or rub my feet, or say “there, there, poor baby”, or pick up my snotty tissues*.  Even people who are attached to the worst louts and bitches in the world at least have that possibility.

Nope, it’s all me, all the time.  Pity party for one.  Unless, of course, you count my new boyfriends Neo (Citran) and Vick(s).

Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Now go buy some flowers for someone you know who isn’t feeling well.


* Picking up someone else’s snotty tissues is, by definition, true love.  Not that I throw them everywhere.  They have a habit of multiplying.


Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before

As you should have gathered by now, I don’t write about my current place of work.   However, since this story blurs the line between personal and professional,  and only happened to take place in my office, I feel obliged to share.

Maybe “blur” isn’t the correct term. Perhaps “obliterates” is more appropriate.


More than a few months ago, my boss walked into my office, and turned to close the office door.  For the uninitiated, this is the office signal for “important conversation”.*

“I have a proposition for you,” she says as the door clicks shut.

Please, please, please extend my contract.

She smiles.

“Would you like to go on a blind date?”

Damn.  What?


“I know, I know, blind dates are scary.”

“I’m not afraid of first dates, really. I think I make an excellent first date.”

Shut up, shut up! Now is not the time for bragging!

“Good, good! This fellow is a lawyer at XABC Bank.”

Great. A lawyer. I don’t know any of those.


“He’s a friend of my friend. He’s in his early forties.”

I must be sitting in what can only be described as shellshock, so she continues.

“He’s very nice, he’s just shy.”


I must still look unimpressed.

“His parents own a house in Rosedale.”

So does Conrad Black.

“And he really wants to have children.”

Is this an argument for or against?  Hello, have you met me?

“So, what do you say?”


“You can think about it if you like.”

“Uhhhhhh…well, I’m not against meeting new people, in principle.”

“Great! Normally I wouldn’t do this, but my friend was mentioning that she’s wanted to set this poor…uhhh…nice fellow up on a date since forever, and I said to her…

Wait for it…

“I know someone who could really use a date.”

Aaaaauuugh. Must. Not. Stab. Own. Eye. With. Pen.

I smile weakly.

“This is so perfect!  You’ll hear from him, I think, sometime this week.”


“Thanks for thinking of me.”

As she opens the door and dances away down the hallway, clearly thrilled with her work, she sing-songs:

“Just be sure to mention me at the wedding!”

Apparently, I have been deemed acceptable and have been recruited for blue-blooded breeding purposes.

And then a horrifying thought occurs to me.

Please, please, tell me that he does not live in that house in Rosedale with his parents.


*AKA “Shit is going down.”  “Please pack your Securities Act and go.”  “We’re firing Bob and giving you all of his files.”   Yeah, I think you get the idea. 


Random, random

On September 15, 2009, the temperature in Toronto was 24C.

This morning, one month later, it is 1C.

Walking to work wearing both a suit jacket and a winter coat, with scarf and gloves, this is how I feel:


I usually wear more than a just a scarf.

I usually wear more than a just a scarf.


I’d write more, except that I have to finish things up around here.   In exactly 24 hours, I will be leaving on a jet plane to go lick this woman’s face. 

Or, as I like to call it, “improving US-Canadian relations, one glass at a time.”

Follow the shenanigans here.


Anything is possible

“Heeeeeey, good looking!” he calls from the back of the shop in a thick accent.

“Hey, handsome!” I call out my usual reply.

His perpetually suffering wife, sitting at the sewing machine, rolls her eyes and shakes her head at me – the universally understood sign for “can you believe my crazy husband?”   She understands English, rarely speaks, but laughs constantly.  Her husband is the charming face of this operation, and she is the clearly the heart and soul.  He once told me that she calls me his “girlfriend”, and I adore her.

I lay out my clothes.   Two pants, one jacket, one sweater.   An ancient Jack Russell terrier on a rope hobbles out from behind the counter to sniff my shoes.

“This is quite the watchdog you have here,” I say, as I reach down to pat him gently on his wiry little head.   He looks up at me with brown eyes that have seen more active days of chasing squirrels and rolling in the grass.

“Ohhhh, he is old and wants to retire, like me!”

“You can’t retire, what would I do without you?”

He laughs.  “I been here thirty years, I need to retire.  Go lie down on a beach somewhere.”

“Me too.”  I hand him some money, knowing that he won’t take as much as he should. “I give you all of my money, so you should be able to retire tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” he exclaims.  “Wow, I’m so lucky!”  He hands me a ten dollar bill instead of a five, and I shake my head as I thank him, acknowledging his kindness.

“Tomorrow will be a good day to retire to the beach,”  I call out as I gather up my things and head out the door, “because it feels like it’s going to snow out there.  And it’s only October.”

“This is Canada,” he exclaims, waving his arms, “Anything is possible!”


Giving thanks

“But you’re happy, right?”  my step-brother asks, raising his voice above the clatter of diners in the restaurant.

“Of course I’m happy.”  A devillish grin creeps over my face.  “You know, except for those nights that I cry myself to sleep.”

He raises an eyebrow.

“That’s just a joke.  I don’t do that anymore.”  I laugh and wink.  “Only on Friday nights.”


And so, I give thanks.*

Thankful that there are as many paths through life as there are people.  Thankful for choice and courage and unexpected love and deep passion and strength of character. 

Thankful that our troubles truly do not amount to a hill of beans.  Thankful that I won the life lottery and that I am no man’s chattel.

Thankful for books and words and the people who write them, who bleed them, who love the craft and the pleasure and open their hearts and minds every day to the fans and critics alike.  Thankful for those who have indulged and encouraged my ramblings, and for those who inspire me with their talent.

Thankful for feelings bubbling up through the melting ice, for freedom and loneliness, desire and disappointment, joy and anger, sadness, frustration.  Thankful for the darkness that makes the light so much more illuminating.  The bitterness that enhances the sweet.

Thankful for being shown what love is, and what it is not.  Old friends, new friends.  Lost friends.  Lessons learned.  Forgotten, and relearned.  Promises kept and promises broken. 

All are part of the whole, and I am thankful.


* This being Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, of course.  Blame it on the Metric system.