Friday, March 26, 2010

6 Weeks

I quit smoking 6 weeks ago today.

(Cue Fanfare)

It truly pains me to mention the benefits I've noticed since my last puff...only because I am still mourning the loss of my old friend.  But here goes anyways...

I have loads more energy.  I can walk up a flight of stairs and not get winded.  So, you know, that's nice.  I'm not going to be running a marathon anytime soon, but I can enjoy a walk with Molly without wanting to die.  I am not as tired.  When I smoked, I yawned all the time and generally was just lethargic.  Since I've quit I don't need afternoon naps.  Go figure!  My skin is glowing.  Glowing!  I don't look a pale shade of grey anymore.  My skin is pink and rosy and my troublesome acne is GONE.  I've always wondered why I still get zits in my thirties.  Huh, now I know!

And then there's the obvious...I have more money, not spending $10.00 every two days on a pack of cigs.  And I don't smell like stale smoke.  My hands don't smell, my hair doesn't smell and my clothes don't smell.  I'm not I'm not ruled by the iron cigarette, the craving that is.

This time round, I haven't replaced my cravings for a cigarette with chocolate bars and candy and pastries and chocolate and more chocolate.  Instead I eat a carrot, or a handful of nuts or some dried fruit.  So....I haven't gained any weight this time around.  This is absolutely fabulous - because I still have to lose the 15lbs I gained the last time I quit.

And yet, every single time I see someone smoke I think, "Oh, they're soooooo lucky!"  When I walk by someone smoking, I breathe in extra deep and fondly remember my old friend.  I haven't gotten to the point yet where I loathe cigarettes.  This is the point to which every non-smoking smoker must reach.  I know that in order for me to remain a non-smoker I have to learn to hate everything about them...the smell, the hold it has on your life, the way it robs your bank account every two days, the obvious health ramifications.  I'm not quite there yet.  Of course, I realize the benefits of smoking, and I absolutely appreciate them.  I still really just miss my friend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

These Boots *Weren't* Made for Walking

I am a girl in a boys world.

It's always been that way, really.  And I'm not talking about a 'burn your bra' way, either. 

It's in a 'I can do what you do' sort of way.  Only...

I'm so good at what I do that I can get a man to do it for me without noticing that I haven't done it.  I know.  I'm brilliant.

No, I can't fly an airplane...but I can load it so it doesn't crash.  And no, I can't drive a forklift...but I can evaluate whether or not you can.

I'm good at what I do.  But the best part is this...I get to look cute doing it.

The *most* horrible thing about my job right now is that I have to wear steel toed boots.  I don't know if you've ever had the pleasure of wearing them, and if you have...bear with me for those who've not.  I would rather spend 16 hours in four inch stilettos than 8 hours in steel toed boots.  I mean, for starters...I'd look four inches taller, so that's a bonus right there.  And they're sexy.  So really, what else is there?

A good pair of shoes is a pair of shoes you can have a love affair with.  I still remember my first love.  They were a pair of patent leather baby blue high tops.  I think I was 10.  I still remember falling in love with them.  And a good many pairs of shoes have followed.  The black Franco Sarta wedges with the pointed toe.  The red crocodile boots. The black suede pumas with bling on the side....just to name a few.  Girls, who needs a man when you've got shoes?  

But I digress...steel toed boots don't let your feet breath, because...well...they're steel.  At the end of the day, my feet smell worse than any man's I've ever met.  My feet sweat in these horrid things.  No woman's feet should smell the way mine do.  Ever.  It's just wrong.  Also, the steel rubbing against your toes causes callouses, which are just ugly.  And please, don't even get me started on the pedicures.  There just isn't any point, because it's destroyed before the week is through.  I had resigned myself to a life of ugly boots and ugly toes. 


Oh yes.  They're pink.  PINK!!!  I cannot believe my fortune.  I almost cried with joy when I found them.  Imagine....ugly, ugly, ugly....turn the corner...PINK!  Tears of joy, my friends, tears of joy.  And you cannot even believe how many compliments I get on them.  I think I've begun a trend. 

Of course, they kill my feet.  They've been off for an hour and my big toes are still throbbing.  I have blisters on my next-to-baby toes on both feet.  And my feet still smell. 


Because they're PINK!

And who hasn't suffered a little for fashion?  I'm sure I'm not the first. 

Oh yes, just a girl.  In a boys world.  I ask you many men could pull that off?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Prodigy

On Sunday afternoons, when it is sunny we go for walks along the beach.  It's becoming somewhat of a tradition, or a ritual, or just something we do.  You know, like if someone asked what we do on Sunday afternoons, we'd say...'We go for a walk along the beach.'  Q with his bike, Mom with her Earl Grey Latte and me with my Hazelnut Latte.  We stroll arm in arm.  We sight see.  We people watch.  We try to guess how many people are on their very first date.  We glare at all the folks in love.  

Side note:  One day, my employee asked if I had any plans for the weekend, and I said, "well...I'm not sure.  I'll probably just spend some time with my mom." 

To which she responded..."Oh, that's so nice of you!  Do you take your mom out often?"

It sounded so funny to me - like my mom was in a home and I was taking her out for some fresh air.  So now every time we go out, I say really loud and slowly,  "DOES IT FEEL NICE TO GET OUT, MOM? THE SUN FEELS NICE, DOESN'T IT?"  People must think we're crazy, because we both dissolve into a fit of giggles and snorts at the thought of it.  Not to mention, I sound exactly like my aunt - who's like 63 and a Newfie...which just makes us laugh even harder.

This past Sunday, we noticed a small shop that had just opened by the beach.  It was a toy store.  No.  It was cooler than that.  It was a retro toy store.  It had all the toys that our grandparents probably played wooden pop guns.  And the toys our parents played with, like the original Twister.  It had retro Radio Flyers!!  We just couldn't resist the lure.  The shop owner welcomed us into the store and invited us to play games with her.  I think she just has the coolest job ever!! 

So, because I am the coolest mom ever, I gave in when Q came to me with a Harmonica.  I gave him the money, so he could pay himself and then grimaced at the thought of the horrid noise that would be coming out of that child for the foreseeable future.  I think the only thing that sounds worse than a harmonica is a recorder.  Just ask my brother.  When we were little, I took his recorder and hid it in my sock drawer...only to forget it there for over a year.  It was a peaceful year, let me tell ya.  Anyways, Q pulls it out of the retro little box it came in and I gotta say, this thing looks cool.  It's shiny.  It's royal blue.  It's awesome.  He brings it to his mouth.  I close my eyes (like that will make it not so shrill???  I don't know...) and he blows.

Now, I know I'm a little biased because he is my child.  Like I remember when I was pregnant with him and I thought, "Oh, what if I have an ugly baby?"  and then he was born and he was gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  Perfectly gorgeous.  So, I'm really lucky he wasn't ugly.  And no, I wasn't biased when he was born either.  Strangers would stop me on the street to tell me how beautiful my child was. 

Back to the harmonica.  My child is a prodigy.  That's the only explanation.  Because out of this harmonica came the most beautiful noise I have ever heard.  It was like angels singing from the heavens.  My mom and I looked at each other in shock (evidently she was bracing for the worst as well...) and then burst into laughter. 

We walked along the beach, Q playing his harmonica, my mom and I giggling at the perfect pitch, the perfect tone, the perfect sound.  As we walked by a grandmother with her grandchild, we heard her say, "Oh, isn't that wonderful?"  Then we walked past a man sitting on a park bench, with his dog close by, and he whispered to his dog, "What's that beautiful sound? Can you hear it, too?"

I can't imagine a more perfect ritual.

Not one thing was missing.

Except for Molly.

But she does this nervous/excited pee thing when she meets new people.  And it's really, really embarrassing. 

But other than that, it was perfect.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Public Service Announcement - You're Welcome

It is no secret I suffer from Angry Uterus.  You all know it, my co-workers know it, sometimes my employees know it too.  My best friends know it, my mom knows it, my brother knows it.  I'm sure if strangers on the skytrain would listen, I'd tell them too.  The last person to know was my doctor....

At my last visit to my doc, we discussed the options I have to make my uterus a little happier.  Two of them involve becoming infertile 1. hysterectomy - as in removing the angry uterus completely....interesting little fact....90% of hysterectomies are done in order to take away unhappy uteri...only 10% are done to remove cancer,or 2. cauterizing the inside of my uterus.  The rest of my options increase my chances of blood clots, stroke, depression, blindness, death and acne. 

While I'm pretty sure I don't want to have any more kids, I really, really don't want the decision to be taken away from me.  So, I don't want something as final as removing the culprit.  And while I'm really not crazy about blood clots either, it seemed to be the lesser of the two evils in my mind. 

I've been on Tri Cylcen before, like 10 years ago.  At first it was fabulous.  Every so often my boobs would get a little sore and grow a cup size.  I'm quite blessed in the boob department to begin with, but these things were stellar.  Until I hit the 32EE mark.  Then it became expensive.  I couldn't find shirts to fit me, and my bras had to be bought in a specialty store, flown in from Europe and costing well over $100 each.  My doctor said that if all women had the same results no one would ever need a boob job. 

This time my doctor suggested YAZ.  He had pretty good things to say about it (as I'm sure he would...never having taken it or any birth control in his life.)  He warned me that the risk of stroke increases - especially if you're over 35 or a smoker or both  (which we've ALL heard a million times before on every single commercial...blah, blah, blah, right?!?!!)  Plus, one of his patients already had a stroke while backpacking through, he said, the odds of me having a stroke were like, next to nil.  Oddly, this comforted me.  I think it should have scared me.

This will probably come as a bit of a surprise to you, but if I read the list of side effects a drug may cause, I tend to experience pseudo symptoms.  The mind is a powerful thing, my friends.  I don't really like suffering from fake insomnia and invisible rashes, so I just don't read the side effects.  As was the case with Yaz. Didn't read much about it beforehand.  Just trusted my doctor.

To make a long story short, after a week I had a week long of headaches, chest pains, emotional ups and downs like I have never experienced before and HUGE boobs.  We're talking massive. 

Two panic attacks later, I stopped taking it.  (oh, and I'm pretty sure that the panic attacks weren't from thinking about how much I was going to have to spend on a new bra...)

Coincidentally, also got a phone call from a girlfriend in Toronto who had been watching the news when they did a story about Yaz...and how there is a class action suit being filed by women who have had serious health issues because of it.  I thought it was time I should do some research of my own. 

Ummmm, ya....scary.  It appears I was a maniacal raging hormonal mess.  My emotions were worse than a low budget soap opera.   Two days off the pill and my headaches were gone, my mood swings were over, and I could breathe without my chest feeling like it was being crushed.

Bottom your research.  I decided that Yaz was not for me.  I'd like to stay alive, thank you very much.  Also, I'd like to not have blood clots 8 inches long found in my veins.  Tell your sisters, tell your daughters, tell your friends, tell your neighbours, tell strangers.  Us gals gotta stick together.

Looks like I'm stuck with an angry uterus.  Le Sigh.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Company of Women

I feel as though I am an expert on failed relationships with men.  Every romantic relationship I've had with a man has ended poorly.  Of course I truly believe it is all their fault.  Mostly because men are idiots, but also because, well...I'm just a little bit perfect.  And if you don't believe that, then it's because I've been known to put up with a whole lotta shite for the pure pleasure, the absolute honour of being in a relationship with a man.  (You'll find out why I keep clarifying 'with a man' in a mo....patience is a virtue, young grasshopper...)

As I believe myself to be an expert, I think it's my responsibility to educate others on the pitfalls of relationships.  That is to say, when to know it's time to jump ship.  Since I have never been married, I cannot consider myself an please keep in mind my advice is for those who've not yet promised their lives for the rest of all eternity to a man.  If your single, then read on sister, read on....

In my mind there are 2 obvious reasons to leave a man and so I will not go into detail.  I will, however, mention them just in case they're not as obvious to my adoring public.  If a man ever, ever hits you or if a man ever cheats on you, you should run and not walk to the nearest exit and never look back.  There are no buts, there are no ifs, you leave.  Period.  Next.

A man who puts you down more than he builds you up, well...he's most likely just trying to make himself feel better about his balding head, his beer belly, or his inadequate size (if you know what/where I mean...)  Whatever the reason, us women are pretty good at pointing out every single one of our flaws, we don't need a man to join in.  As far as I'm concerned, it is the mans job to build his woman up.  Songs like "Baby Got Back" were made to make us shake what our momma's gave us, so you shake that booty with pride, my friend.  Please note:  I am using my booty as an example.  And only because my bum is my least favourite thing about me. 

A man who is too busy to see you, or too busy to call you or just too busy is not too busy.  Let me say this again because it bears repeating...he is NOT TOO BUSY.  He just doesn't want to see you.  He has other things to do that are more important than you.  Don't get me wrong, I get that men have to work for a living.  I get that.  But if you find yourself calling him more than he calls you, if you're taking a back seat to that fascinating trip to the dump, or if your man keeps saying, "Oh baby, I'm just so busy..."  you need to make yourself a little more busy....with someone else.  I hate "The Rules" of dating, but this one is true.  Any man who wants to be with you will move heaven and earth in order to do so.  No obstacle will be insurmountable.  Remember that.  You are more fabulous than a trip to the dump (True story.  Mine.  I'm telling

The bad boy.  Le Sigh.  What to say about the bad boy...or rather, where do I start???  Okay, first of all the bad boy is not the bad boy because he thinks it's super cool to be one.  It's because he has issues.  Issues with his mother, issues with an absent father, abandonment issues, fear of intimacy issues, fear of failure issues, low self esteem you get where I'm going here?  They're F***ed up.  They're not going to change.  Well, they might change after years and years of expensive therapy.  Would you rather put your man through therapy or go on a trip to Mexico?  Ahhhh, I thought so.  Me too, I recommend Cancun.  Aaaaarrrrrriba!!!  They're not going to change for you.  You're not going to be so fabulous that they all of the sudden forget that every woman that has ever been in their life has either died, deserted them or treated them like garbage.  Don't miss the point here, you are fabulous.  Absolutely.  But fabulousness does not cure fears or emotional wounds years in the making.  Especially if they don't even acknowledge their existence.  Remember...speaking from experience.  Now, if you fall for a "bad boy" with a motorcycle, a leather jacket, and a healthy mental state then I say, "Score.  Go for it..."  Just don't forget your helmet

If you find yourself defending him or his actions to your friends more often than not, he is a loser.  If you're too embarrassed to introduce him to your best friend or your mother, dump him.  If your friends or family hate him, then they hate him for a reason.  This reason probably has to do with how he treats you.  Think of it this way, your parents and your friends....they love you.  They want you to find a prince who loves you.  If they despise the guy you're seeing, stop and listen to them.  Chances are huge that they're seeing something in him that you cannot see because you're blinded by love.  Just a note on that's not love,'s lust.  And it really, really sucks when the lust is gone and you realize they were right.  It really sucks.  I have about 10 close friends and family who could have said, "I told you so!!!!" when it didn't work out with my ex.  The absolutely fabulous thing is....not even one did.

Finally, I believe this with all my heart.  Surround yourself with a core of fabulous women.   I myself have 6 women in my life with whom I could not live without.  I find that I don't see them as often as I wish, but when I am fortunate enough to spend some time with them I feel renewed and full.  These are the women that keep me grounded, keep me laughing, keep me sane.  They are my protectors and I am theirs.  Not one is in any way like me, and yet we are all kindred spirits.  They have my back.  They catch me when I fall.  They build me up.  They're honest (sometime brutally).  They're loving.  They're the epitome of healthy relationships.  They (and Q, of course) are what make my life complete.  I know without a doubt they feel the same about me.  If you surround yourself with the company of women you absolutely will not need a man who tells you your ass is fat, or a man who has no time for you, or a man who cannot deal with his past.

If you do not have these women in your life, go and seek them out.  Find them before you find the man with the six pack abs and the rock hard ass.  You will need the following: 
  • An Older Mentor (motherly type...if you're lucky enough...your mother...)
  • A Younger Woman (whom you may experienced woman, you!)
  • The sister (a biological one, maybe...but not required) 
  • The Calming Presence (who can talk you down from any ledge)
  • The Outside-Your-Comfort-Zone (rock climbing, night life-ing, etc
  • The Kindred Spirit (She was you in a different life and vise versa)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Geez, this kid cracks me up...

After my mom read him the creation story from the bible, Q says...

"Nana.  That's not true."

To which my mom responds, "Oh really? Why do you say that?" 

"Because Nana.  It was that guy's dad that made everything!" 

"What guys dad?"

"You know, that guy?!?  It was his dad..."

"You mean Jesus?  His Father?  God?"

"Ya...." says Q.  "That's the one."

I wonder if that's the first time God has been referred to as "that guy's dad..."

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Problem With Vending Machines...

I have this totally irrational fear of vending machines.  To be honest with you all, I have two irrational fears when it comes to vending machines.

My first fear is that I will bend beneath the pressure and press the wrong letter and number combo and I will not get the Mars bar that I've been salivating over for the past hour.  I will get the stale fruit and nut bar that no one ever wants.  Every single time I use a vending machine I worry about this.  It's so final.  There is no cancel button, like an ATM.  Once you've pressed F7 you've committed to whatever is in F7.  And there can be confusion.  Is it the number/letter combo above or below the chocolate bar?  All I'm saying is there should be an "Are You Absolutely Sure You Pressed the Right Button" button.  Something as trivial as vending machines shouldn't be so absolute. 

But not only that.  What if at the last second you change your mind?  I mean, you had a Mars bar yesterday (just an FYI here...they're not chocolate bars.  They're energy bars.  It says so right on the packaging.)  Now, you've pressed F7 for the Mars bar, and you've decided you really, really want a Coffee Crisp.  What now?  Where is the "STOP! I've Changed My Mind!!" button.  I'd sleep a whole lot better knowing it was there and I could change my mind.  After all, I am a woman - it's my perogative.

My second fear is that as the coil rotates, it won't go far enough and my Mars bar won't fall through to the escape hatch.  There is this split second, and you all know what I'm talking about, where you (I) think, "Oh, no.  They didn't put it in right.  It's not going to come out.  Where's the flipping 1-800 number?  What a waste of $1.25.  Now, someone's going to get two."  And I get really mad.  It's like watching an accident, where all the actions and thoughts go super slow but you're powerless to stop them.  Next thing you know, you hear the familiar thud and all is right with the world again.  Until the next time.  Then it starts all over again.

You understand my fear, right?  It's not completely unreasonable, is it?  This is just one of the reasons why I play the lotto once every blue moon.  Do I pay the extra dollar for the extra?  Lucky numbers?  Are you kidding me?  There are sooooooo many to pick from.  How will I pick the right ones?  I mean, I really like the numbers 7 and 11.  But Q was born on the 13, so it's kind of a lucky *unlucky* number.  Then there's my birthday, which is the 17th.  So, that's 4 numbers.  Great.  But I think that 5 could potentially be lucky.  And I tend to like even numbers better than odd ones.  So now I start back at the beginning, because if you'll notice...the above numbers are all ODD numbers. 

It doesn't really matter anymore though.  My coworker won $25 Million this past weekend.  That is 25 million tax free dollars.  He is three months away from retirement.  He still comes to work every single day, half an hour early because he "loves" his job, and wants to keep some normalcy in his life.  His fear is that if he retires early, he'll suddenly become overwhelmed with the 25 mil sitting in his bank account.  Have you ever met someone who has that much money?  It's a little intimidating.  But...I'm not going to lie.  I am a little choked.  I would love to not work.  I would love to be able to afford to stay at home with my son and not have him calling me three times a night (while I'm working...) crying because he misses me.  

But all serious-ness aside...the dude has single-handedly ruined my chances of ever winning the lottery.  I mean, come on...what are the odds that two people in the same building, working for the same company would win?  The fact that I buy maybe one lottery ticket a year has nothing to do with it....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


How old were you when you realized you weren't 18 anymore?

I was 32.  As in...just the other day I looked in the mirror and realized I'm not 18 anymore.  Which is really weird, because I still think I'm 18.  I feel 18.  And when people ask me how old I am (which is fairly rare the older I get...) the first age that pops in my head is 18.  And then I remember that I'm not.  The second age that pops in my head is 23.  But 32?  That's like my 4th or 5th choice.

When did this happen?  I have crows feet (which I don't particularly mind...I think people with crows feet look kinder...)  And I'm pretty sure I have a few grey hair, but I tip my hairdresser extra nice when he tells me I don't.  It's like I went to bed 18 and woke up 32.  Where did the last 15 or 16 years go? I'm afraid if I blink, I'll miss the next 15 years as well.

It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that people trust me with adult-ish things.  Like raising a child - I still feel like a child, how can I raise one?  When did I get things like credit cards and cheques?  Can you believe they let me drive a car?  I have cable bills and utilities and a TFSA.  I have responsibilites.  Adults have those. 

I wonder if I should stop doing certain that I'm 32 (well, now that I realize I'm 32...I've been 32 for half a year already...)  Is sparkly pink eye shadow appropriate when you're 32, or only when you're 18?  Can I still call people 'Dude'?  Because I really like that word.  Dude.  Can I still pretend I'm a ballerina?  I've found that nothing cuts tension quite like pretending to be a ballerina while saying, "Look, I'm a ballerina!"  Can I wear dark, dark blue nail polish?  And keep it on even when it chips a bit?  Can I have flowers painted on my toe nails?  Can I accessorize with bling?  Can I still chew Hubba Bubba and blow bubbles and get it stuck in my hair?  Is it wrong that I identify with the lyrics in Taylor Swift's songs???  (Don't worry, I stopped wearing mini-skirts just before Q was born.)

This freaks me out: When I look at a guy, think, "wow, he's cute..." and then realize that he's probably 15 years younger than me.  Or when I walk past a group of girls in the mall and feel intimidated because they're, like, for sure the cool girls at school.  That's weird. 

Even 8 years I'll be 40.  And there is nothing I can do to stop it.  I drive myself insane just thinking that.  40.  I know it's not really old.  I know 32 isn't really old.  But when you still feel like you're 18 and you still think like you're 18....well, then 40 is old.   I've not heard it said that 32 is the new 18, but maybe I'll start saying it.  I mean, someone started the whole 40 is the new 30 or brown is the new black...and now look, we all believe it...

And I really hope this isn't a midlife crisis...because I'm really hoping to be here way past 64....