Monthly Archives: March 2011

Wasted on the Young

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I pulled out an old picture from theatre school days, to show someone my favourite dress of all time.  It was my “lucky” dress.  I got lucky in that dress lottttsssss of times.  The 80s were pretty good to me.  That’s an awful lot of hairspray, though.  No open flames.  No sudden movements…

Wow.  We never think we’re pretty when we’re young – all we see is the flaws.  I WAS pretty – why didn’t I know it at the time?  I just wanted to look like everyone else, like the little fluffy pretty girls.  I didn’t appreciate what I had.  I had absolutely ZERO self-confidence in my teens and twenties, towering over everyone.  I always felt so…obvious and awkward.  Maybe that’s typical of most people.  I think that it is.  I have so much more now that I don’t care so desperately about what people think of me.  I wish I knew then what I know now!  Here’s some little gems of wisdom from over the years:

1.  You’re not that fat.  No one is as fat as society (read:  MEN – sorry guys, but it’s true) has led you to believe you are.  You are not Jerry Springer-cutoutthewalls-jawsoflife fat.  You’re just not.
2.  People are not looking at you.  Or if they are, they’re not always looking at you negatively.  Get over it!
3.  People really just don’t spend that much time thinking about you at all, most of them are busy thinking about themselves, just like you are.
4.  Get over it.  You are not the Homeliest Woman Alive.  You will not be Alone Forever. 
5.  The boys who said mean things from grade 6 to 8 don’t remember saying those things, so why should you remember hearing them?
6.  You can, in fact, date men who are shorter than you.  If you only go out with men who are taller than you, you miss out on an awful lot of nice people.  A lot of men are funny about this, it makes them feel insecure.  That’s their problem, not yours.  Everyone’s the same height in bed.

It’s so awful being young, sometimes.  We’re afraid of aging, but really, it’s so much more comfortable to be yourself and admit that you just – sometimes – like – Barry Manilow.  And it’s OKAY.

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I See…

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I’m completely digging my new glasses.  If you’ve ever wondered about getting your glasses from clearlycontacts.ca, wonder no more, my friend.  I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with everything except for the fact that they took a week and a half longer to deliver than they first estimated.  $300 frames for $58.  I got the frames, lenses, taxes, shipping and everything for – wait for it – $71.14.  And they have all kinds of frames, not just a couple, and not just safe and boring frames, my friends.  All kinds of totally wack stuff, designer stuff, high-end fashion stuff – totally on the cheap.  And you can upload a photo of yourself and superimpose them on your face, so you can see what they look like on you.

I love glasses, love, love, love them.  I’d like to have a whole wardrobe of different glasses, and if it were remotely practical, I would. 

Some famous people who totally rock eyeglasses and/or sunglasses:

Sally Jesse Raphael (Big. Red. Frames.)
John Lennon/Janis Joplin
JFK bodyguards
Elton John
Buddy Holly
Dame Edna
Leonard on the Big Bang Theory
Bono
Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys
Gandhi
Martin Luther King
John-Boy Walton
Ugly Betty
Audrey Hepburn (what’s sexier than Audrey Hepburn peeking over the top of a pair of big ol’ glam sunglasses?)
The Blues Brothers (who brought Ray Ban back?)
Stevie Wonder
Groucho Marx (with nose and mustache attached)
Drew Carey (who apparently had laser eye surgery and now just wears them cuz they’re FUN)
Jonny-freakin’-DEPP, people.  Honestly.

And pretty much everyone in my family, none of whom, for some reason, seem to take quite as much joy as I do in wearing glasses. 

For one thing, it’s a necessity for me.  I can’t read a thing without them.  I finally got prescription glasses several years ago, when I asked Thing One to read me the small print on a bottle of medication, and he said (jokingly) – “take the whole bottle, mummy”.  I don’t need the bifocals yet, though, so that’s good.  Old age hasn’t bitten me in the ass yet, but it’s right on my tail.  I think if it wasn’t a necessity, though, I’d have to become a hipster doofus and wear empty frames, posing ironically.  I love glasses THAT MUCH.

I love sunglasses, too, great, big bumble-bee ones.  Anything with rhinestones is a bonus.  

Plus, I’ve thought about wearing contacts, but that wouldn’t work because a) I only need them for reading and b) I can’t poke myself in the eye.  I’ve tried.  I flinch every time. 

Breakfast Time

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We used to like a cereal called “Crispy Critters” when we were kids. They don’t make it anymore. It gave us hives, but we ate it anyway. Hmm…maybe that’s why they don’t make it anymore…I even remember the TV jingle, “the one and only cereal that comes in shapes of animals”. And they were pink. Red dye #27 rules!

Interesting Wikipedia article – apparently it was tested in the 60’s (on me), withdrawn from the market, and tested again unsuccessfully in the late 80’s. I can tell you from the first time around, there was something seriously wrong with that s**t.

Some of the high-powered sugar giants have made it though to this century, though.  They’re always after me Lucky Charms, although now there are, like, 18 different marshmallows in them.  There used to be FOUR, kids.  Hearts, Moons, Stars and Clovers.  That’s it.  Call me a purist if you want to, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

I think I had a crush on Count Chocula, too.  You can keep Team Edward, I’m on Team Chocula.  Also, remember Sugar Bear?  He sounded like Barry White, man.  Little sexy for the breakfast table if you ask me.

Wash it all down with some Donald Duck orange juice (which was this GROSS canned orange juice we used to get), and Bob’s yer uncle, you’re good to go for another sugar-packed day.  Sometimes we had Rice Krispies, but they were only really any good if you put a whole bunch of sugar on top.

SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR RUUUUSSSSSHHHHH! No wonder I’m so messed up as a grownup!

Wanna Buy a Used Cat?

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Over the past week or so, spring has sprung in the Peterpatch.  With it, it has brought a tidal wave of feline insanity to my house.

Picture this blissful little domestic scene.  I’m curled up on the couch under an afghan, knitting and listening to the radio.  Muffy is up on the back of the wing chair.  Grace is on the pressback under the window, napping.

Suddenly, one of the many neighbour cats jumps up onto the windowsill outside.  Muff sees him and starts hissing, which wakes up Grace.

And what to they do?

They start a great big fight – with each other.  That doesn’t even make sense.  I get Mr. Broom and separate them, but they just chase each other somewhere else and keep going until they’re tired of it.

Last night, I was sound asleep, sleeping the neocitron sleep of a woman with a bad headcold, and they started in my room.  Have you ever been woken up by a cat fight in your own room?  What a pain.  Muffy is my regular bedroom cat.  She’s not a cuddler, she just likes to lie on the bed with me.  Sometimes Grace moves in for a cuddle when Elliot kicks her out.  Grace is just like a big old teddy bear, you can go to sleep cuddling her and wake up in the exact same position.  Generally, Muffy tolerates this, as it doesn’t happen very often, but not last night.

So, I chased Grace out into the hall with a pillow, and shut the door.  Muffy proceeded to sit at the end of the bed with her ears plastered back, glaring at me and growling.  I was going to kick her out too, but honestly, I was a little scared to pick her up.

If you know my cats at all, you know that this is like watching Care Bears or Teletubbies suddenly going over to the dark side.  It’s just not like them at all.

So, spring has sprung in the Peterpatch, and the cats are possessed.

Jinkies, Scoob.

The Fitness Report

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Just in case anyone thought I wouldn’t, I am pleased to say I have been going to the gym 3 – 4 times a week.  It is a reasonable assumption on your part to assume that I wouldn’t – lifetime, I have spent more time not going to the gym than going.  But I am, and it’s good.  Secret – bring the headphones to watch TV during cardio, which is otherwise deadly boring.  Honestly, I can see the value of going for a walk, what with the fresh air and scenery and whatnot.  But the treadmill is deathly dull without reruns of RuPaul’s Drag Race (best show ever).  The headphones are noise-canceling ones, so as a special added bonus, I can’t hear if someone says hello to me, so I can’t get distracted and go swooshing off the back of the thing.

What I don’t understand is their choice of channels.  There are several to choose from:  CMT (gack),  MuchMusic (ok), Bravo (ok), a few others and – wait for it – the Food Network.  Very hard not to want a big plate of eclairs after your workout when watching the Barefoot Contessa!  It’s probably smart on the club’s part, because if I keep going on in sabotaging circles, I’ll never achieve my goal and will be a lifetime member.  To be fair, I’ve already achieved one major goal, and have reduced my cholesterol from a scary 6.4 to a high-normal 3.5.  Yay me.  I’m normal.  The fax machine often tells me I’m successful, too.

You may be thinking, well, fitness should be a lifetime activity anyway.  You’re right, I guess.  I like to think that there’s an end to it.  I suspect it will at least get less painful as it goes.  I hope.  It had better.

I must say, I do like the sauna, as well.  No one else ever seems to use it, which is fine by me.  I’m afraid I’m not very social at the gym.  Hey, don’t look at me, and I won’t look at you.  Thanks.  I’m very self-conscious, not so much about my weight or fitness level, but about my scarring from lichen planus and my hysterectomy.  It’s that goddamn change room. Yes, I’m a very large woman.  No, I’m not a guy.  Yes, those are some pretty badass scars.  No, it’s not contagious.  Any questions?  Good.  Then put your fuckin’ eyes back in your head, sister, before I come over there and smack you.  Honestly, some people’s kids.  Not enough to join the women-only club;  looks like they need an “over 40 and not an asshole” clause thrown in there.  *sigh*  That would be my perfect gym.

What’s Up With You and That Knitting Thing, Anyhow?

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Yoinked from a letter to an old friend with whom I recently reconnected on Facebook:

I meet weekly with a group of knitters at the Local Yarn Enabler’s lovely shop, Needles in the Hay. It’s a wonderful thing and we are of all different ages and backgrounds. One common thread we do share is that we were almost all taught by a mother or grandmother. The rise of feminism started a decline in the “womanly arts”, I think, and made us feel that they were perhaps not “arts” at all, and because they were primarily done by women, were of lesser value. We became embarrassed to admit that we liked to knit, or sew, or embroider. I think that we’ve come to a more comfortable, valued place where art is equally as valid regardless of by whom it is produced, and regardless of the medium. Taking a length of string and forming it into a beautiful and/or useful object is magic. There is also a growing number of men turning (or returning) to the fibre arts. It’s relaxing, meditative – the act of counting out, the repetition. Umm…think rosary? You can knit either “mindfully”, i.e. concentrating purely on the task at hand and engrossing your whole being, or for sheer production. I can knit and read, knit and watch TV, knit and drink…

I knit semi-commercially for a while, selling yarn and accessories at a local craft market, but I didn’t like it. I also don’t like knitting commission items. Part of the value for me is the positive energy in thinking about the person for whom you’re making the item. It’s truly a “warm fuzzy”.

Spinning is much the same, only with Added Magical Powers.  It’s Making the Stuff that Stuff is Made Out Of!  It’s mesmerizing!  Gandhi advised the people of India to spin daily, both as a meditation and as a means of achieving economic independence from the British.  Rather than growing cotton and exporting it to Great Britain for processing, and having it sold back to them at exorbitant prices, Gandhi “brought homespun back”.  The medallion at the centre of Indian flag is the chakra, from the Sanskrit for “wheel”.  Early versions of the flag included the charkha, the type of spinning wheel Gandhi used. At one point, the Indian flag was only to be made of homespun cotton, but I think that may have changed.  I have a charkha at home, it’s very small and portable, about the size of a hardcover blockbuster novel (think Ken Follett).  I find it difficult to set up and use, but one day I’d like to learn to use it properly.

I have a very nice Louet wheel, which has spun many many miles of beautiful yarn for me, but I keep returning to the drop spindle.  So simple!  So ancient!  Slow, but infinitely satisfying on so many levels.

The Luckiest Goil in the Woild

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I just finished a letter to Peter, my little PLAN Canada buddy in the Philippines.  Awkward!  What do I have in common with a 10 year old boy in a tropical country?  Well, we’re both human, so I started with that.  Also, My Family, Pets, Hobbies and The Weather Here is Cold and Snowy. 

I just got Peter as a foster connection recently.  They were canvassing, and I was looking for something useful to do with my quit-smoking money.  So, now, if I start again, it’s money out of a poverty-stricken child’s pocket.  There’s an incentive!  Apparently it is more difficult to find sponsors for boys than it is for girls, so I thought I’d choose a boy, also in honour of my own boys.  It was between him and a cute little guy from Burkina Faso – Peter won, because I can pronounce and spell “Peter”.  Lazy on my part, but true.

I used to sponsor a child years ago, in India, but they left the community where the PLAN program was, because the father got a job.  That’s a happy ending –  they really didn’t need me any more.

Holy cow, terrible things are happening in the world lately, political unrest in Egypt and Libya, earthquakes and tsunamis in New Zealand and Japan.  They’re still clearing up New Orleans and Haiti.  Not to mention Charlie Sheen!  We are so fortunate to have been born in Canada.  My little lower-middle-class divorced woman gig, on the global scale, is lavish and glorious.  I am blessed.

We need to spread a big butter knife over the whole planet, and even things out a bit, I think.