Friday, December 31, 2004

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot...

New Year's day. Another year is over. Who can believe it?

I'm not going to get too reflective here. People do that at New Year's and I get why, I just find it all a bit contrived.

Instead, a few quick highlights from 2004. I'll restrain from philosophical musings about them, just give it to you straight. Tonight at your own various celebrations, I'm sure you'll get your fill of drunken waxing poetic, so Beaches is gonna play it cool.

1. Crown and I bought a house. Shit. That's nuts. Enough said, really.

2. Scarb and the Dog got knocked up and as a result are about to give birth at any moment. In fact, those crazy kids managed to conceive the SAME week that I bought my place, hence completely overshadowing my own exciting milestone by about, well, a thousand times. Not that I'm complaining. I can't possibly imagine a greater gift to come from this past year. The promise of a new little person. It's too cool for school and I can't wait to meet him outside of the womb. Looks like the arrival of little Pecker is going to be one of the highlights for the approaching New Year. Despite my gut feeling that the little tyke would show up early, he seems to be hangin' on for a 2005 debut instead. Little cutie -- already pulling the wool over Auntie Beaches' eyes. Got to love him.

3. Dings got hitched and moved all the way across the country. The first half is exciting and the second half sucks butt. I miss her. The holidays were not the same without her. But she's happy and so I'm happy for her! It's amazing that she could take so many leaps of faith in one short, action-packed year.

Seems 2004 kinda had that affect on all of us. Leaps of faith. Let's make that the theme for 2004.

4. Commie retired. Now him and Moms are both well on their way to settling in for a life of leisure. They deserve it.

5. Weirdo got a new job that he really likes. For those of you who don't know Weirdo, you might think, "so what?" Is that really worthy of making the 2004 milestone list? For those of you who do know Weirdo, you're nodding your head and going, "uh huh, that's a good one." His new hours are whack though and as a result I'm seeing very little of him. That sucks because he is a huge part of my life and a person that I really truly like a lot.

This conveniently brings me to my New Year's day wrap up. The resolution. Mine's simple this year. Simple but, I think, profound at the same time. Here it goes:

Spend more time with people who I really, really like.

Sounds obvious, right? Wrong. Think about it carefully for a moment. Consider the people in your life who you not only love, not only care about, but genuinely really enjoy spending time with. Now think of the people that you actually see most of the time. Do the two correlate positively? If they do then you're already there. If they don't, then maybe your efforts are in the wrong place? For me, it's not that I'm spending a lot of time with people I don't like, it's only that I'm not spending ENOUGH time with the people that I do. So there you have it.

I'm going to make more of an effort to see my loved ones. More of an effort to build relationships with people that I really enjoy, but don't currently make enough time for. And just learn to appreciate the people around me who have something great to offer, not just to my life, but to the world.

Happy New Year everyone. Much love.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

People Are Strange

The Doors got it right, folks, people are strange.

I for one really like strange people and for the most part find them entirely entertaining, if on occasion rather annoying. I'm the first to admit that I get annoyed by people quickly, but don't want anyone to mistake that for the fact that I'm not appreciating their utter bizarreness.

So to keep this short, I just had to get something down about this weirdo from my spinning class.

Just came back from class -- and there are a lot of odd fitness-weirdos at the gym, I could go on forever -- and this cycle-geek guy who is often in class with me was there.

He's always slightly annoying with his talk of bike races and off-roading and time trials and whole lot of other crap that I could care less about. This guy doesn't look like Lance Armstrong, either. Maybe I could let the super-cycle talk slide a bit if that were the case, but no.

Here's the weirdest part about Supercycle. He likes to SHOUT the name of the song that comes on (we spin to very loud music, which I assume is supposed to make you forget the fact that you are actually not doing something fun like dancing at a club with your friends) within 5 beats. I'm not just observing this fact, he has actually said to me, "I can name any song in the first five seconds that it plays."

So just imagine for a moment. You're tired, you're hot, you're sweaty and wondering why this damn class doesn't hurry up and end already. Now imagine that every time the song changes, lunatic bike-guy screams the name of the song out at the top of his lungs before it even starts.

"CRAZY IN LOVE - BEYONCE! HA!" he exclaims, clearly very proud of himself.

"LIKE A PRAYER - MADONNA! I love this one!" (He smiles and nods at you and hopes that you'll smile back and acknowledge that, yes, this is a great song.)

I love that song too. And often I'm compelled to sing along as I push myself through the class. Sure. But do I yell out in excitment in the first three seconds that it plays? Um. No.

So that's weird. But today his wacko behaviour really reached a new level. Today, not only did he yell out the song names. Not only did he nod and smile for approval. But he also decided to do the entire class... backwards.

That's right. No explanation. Just backwards cycling for an hour straight, all the while yelling and singing and nodding and smiling.

WEIRD. People are strange. But imagine for a moment how boring life would be without them?

Friday, December 03, 2004


I like big butts and I can not lie.

Ok, I'm lying. A little bit. Because I don't like huge butts that are all jiggly and cottage-cheesey and mishapen. Does anyone really? I mean other than those weirdos who are into fat-chick pornos? No.

But the fact of the matter is, I do like a round, firm-yet-voluptuous bum, particularly on women.

(Sorry all you gotta-great-butt-guys, but when it comes to men I'm an eye-girl first and foremost. Hmmm... and abs... but I digress.)

I'm sure that my recent appreciation for booty is considerably due to the recent emergance of it's popularity in the entertainment industy, fashion world and other forms of mainstream media. Let's face it, a flat ass is on the outs.

Like it or not, everything that we like or dislike is influenced to some degree by the millions of messages, conscious or unconcious, that we are bombarded with every day. I don't care how subversive or cynical or "underground" you think you are. The messages are playing tricks on you, my friend.

Butt implants! A popular plastic surgery proceedure. If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does.

I definitely have not always loved a big bum. In fact, I clearly remember the year that my own ample butt popped out of my twig-like pre-pubescent body. I was mortified.

Commie still likes to bring up the famous line that burst out of my 13-or-14-year-old mouth one day as I was checking myself out in the hallway mirror: "My ASS sticks out the fucking MOON!"

I probably weighed in at like a whopping 80 lbs or so at that time, so naturally he told me that I was being ridiculous, which of course I was. But my big ass had arrived and from that day forward my ass and I have been living the classic love/hate relationship.

Hate it when I'm trying on jeans, love it when it's adding some 'oomph' to a cute pair of lacy boy-cut panties.

What's the point of all this ass-talk you might ask? Basically I just think that when any woman -- short, tall, thin, fat, big-assed or small -- learns to love a part of their body, it's a big deal. It's a reason to celebrate. It's something we should talk about.

If you don't get that... then I'm sorry... but you ain't ready for this jelly.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Spin, Spin, Sugar

So, I've been doing the South Beach Diet.

Before you laugh or cough or huff... let me explain that my decision to try it came from two specific reasons.

1. I'd been experiencing some very troubling and uncomforable digestion problems.

2. I was getting fat.

Honest to Christ, reason number one was initially the most important factor, and I truly told myself over and over again, "No reason to really lose weight, but let's find out what foods are making you sick. Let's just try this out, do the cleanse, and see if we can't get to the bottom of this problem. And if we drop a couple pounds, super!"

So I did PHASE ONE. For those of you who don't already know, PHASE ONE is a grueling 14 days that involves cutting out all starches, fruits and sugars (natural or not). That means no pasta, bread of any kind, rice, alcohol (that's right NONE), candy, chocolate... you get the point. Don't eat anything that makes you happy.

Unless broccoli makes you happy -- then you're laughing on this phase. You're also a filthy, dirty liar.

PHASE ONE was hard. But not as hard as I thought. CrowN and I went at each other pretty hard on occasion. Apparently lack of carbs and sugar makes you grouchy. But I lasted 14 days and cheated very rarely (a glass of red wine here, a bag of popcorn there) and guess what? My stomach problems were completely GONE. I was a little tired and grouchy the first week, but felt like a million bucks during week two.

And, I lost 10 lbs.

10 lbs in two weeks you ask? That's right. And suddenly, my reasons for doing the diet and sticking to the diet kinda changed. "Holy crap," I thought, "I'm thinner. My belly isn't bulging over pants. My belts are too big. Old clothes I've given up for good suddenly FIT AGAIN. A MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED!"

That's right. Now I'm obsessed.

I should have prefaced all this by saying that I'm not a heifer or anything. I'm 5'9" tall and BSBD (before South Beach Diet) weighed 153 lbs. That was heavier than I'd ever been in my life, but clearly in the perfectly healthy, safe weight range for a woman of my height and age. But seriously ya'll, who doesn't want to shed a couple pounds? What's that... you don't? You lie.

After PHASE ONE you're meant to move onto PHASE TWO. PHASE TWO seems like a dream world after PHASE ONE. I could have cereal (bran flakes, but still) for breakfast, fruit for snacks. The occasional slice of multi-grain bread or whole wheat pita. These things used to seem boring to me, suddenly they were HEAVEN! You're supposed to introduce one starch and one fruit a day and slowly work your way up to three of each per day. I lasted maybe a week like that, and then pretty much dove head first into PHASE THREE.

In a nutshell, PHASE THREE = normal healthy eating. Stay away from sugar. Go easy on the booze (beer is out, red wine is in). Always avoid white stuff (bread, rice, pasta). Compared to my life BSBD, it's a diet pure and simple. But I'm easily keeping off the weight I lost, and I don't feel like I'm suffering that much. More importantly (politically correct thing to say) my digestion troubles are gone. Until, that is, I slip and eat something really sugary.

Seems sugar - my old best buddy, my confident, my drug of choice - was in fact what was making me sick. Just like any drug, I guess. Only this one is so sweet... so simple to get... so... so... I need chocolate right now.

That's my story. I'm sticking to the SBD in it's simplest phase for now. Considering another round of PHASE ONE after the holidays. I really enjoy it to be honest. It's not just a challenge but I also really feel better about myself... and about my ass.

Let's talk about my ass, or asses in general, next time. Check back in for Bootylicious, coming soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Cold November Rain

Today is ass.

And I swear, I had every intention of keeping these speeches positive and funny. But you know what? Fuck it. Grouchy and funny is going to have to do.

It's pouring rain outside, which was inevitable considering today is the first day in about four weeks that I left the house without an umbrella. Super. It's also cold, windy and dark. All my very favourite weather features.

It is so very November out there today that every time I catch a glimpse of outside (not easy from my vantage point of the hallway where I sit here at work - but if I strain to look out of the corner office in front of me, I can get a semi-glimpse at what appears to be outside)I'm immediately reminded of that screaming, dramatic guitar rift from the GnR song. They felt the cold November rain, man. They really felt it.

NO THEY DIDN'T. They live in LA. There is no cold freakin' rain in LA.

Anyhoo, other than right now, November's been ok. Kinda mild. Kinda fun with all of CrowN's b-day celebrations - 31nderful! But today is just ass, plain and simple. Ass enough that I had to break my diet and chow down on a warm, vegetable quiche and I ate the flakey, carb-filled crust and all! Ooooh what a rebel I can be when Mother Nature pushes my buttons.

[I can hear Mother Nature now: "Beaches, you're only hurting yourself, you silly crust-eating weakling."]

Speaking of diets: have ya'll ever been on one? Man, no wonder everyone always fails, they totally suck ass. I swore many times over to myself that I'd never diet. "Oh, I'll never diet," I said, "I'll just work out regularly so that I can eat whatever I want." Then my metabolism figured out my age. Damn that smart metabolism.
Anyway this is a whole other rant -- I'll give it to you in full next time in "Spin, Spin, Sugar."

Friday, November 12, 2004

These Are the People in My Neighbourhood

Seems customary to use fakie names on these blog-thingies. So here's my list of peeps' that you're likely to see pop up here and there in Beaches' speeches. In no particular order so don't call me up and bitch because you're name was farther down the list than someone elses. Don't make me come back here and alphebetize, because I will... I swear to you I WILL.

The love of my life. The wind beneath my wings. My partner, my best friend and a total babe, to boot. Funny, smart, extremely talented and pretty buff if you don't mind me saying so. Most importantly perhaps, he's the person who does my laundry and cooks my dinner. Heh. No, but seriously. He really does that.

This isn't the most creative nickname because, well, she's my mom. She's also the stongest, kindest, coolest, most incredible woman I have ever known. She's lovely and she's everything that I hope I will be one day.

My baby sister. Five years younger and almost my complete opposite--other than the fact that she's tall and blonde and funny and smart. Hm. Where to start? I think Chops deserves a blog all about her actually, so watch for it. I promise it'll make an interesting read.

My stepfather. Probably one of my biggest influences, this is the man who is responsible for my sarcastic side, my political side and quite possibly my incurable shopping addition. This guy is like an uber-genius and he uses his super powers for good. Recently retired, it seems like him and Moms are going to start spending a lot of time hanging out in trailer parks around the U.S., which may not seem like a very likely place for a radical left-wing political activist. But mark my words, Commie will try to infiltrate and organize those campers. Just give him time.

Dings rocks. She's my soul sista and we've known each other since Grade 9, although she kinda scared me in those early years. Over time I learned to look through the rough and tumble exterior (heh) and see the goofy mushy love-muffin that she actually is. We quickly became fast-friends and she's been number one by my side ever since. This summer Dings got hitched and I was her maid. Of honour, of course. Then she up and moved out of town with her hubbie and I miss her to death every minute. But, like I said, we're soul sistas and always will be. She's the yin to my yang. Plus she's one tough cookie and one hot mama. And funny? Don't even get me started.

Another of my true loves, Weirdo and I have also been friends for like, ever, and he's basically just me only a boy. And gay. So, if I were a gay boy, then we'd be exactly the same. Well, actually, I'd probably be much gayer than he is. Whatever Weirdo rocks, ok?

Scarbie is the Nicole Richie to my Paris Hilton. She'll get what that means, because she bascially came up with it, but for those of you who don't get it... I think it means that she's the shorter, tougher, fiestier one and I'm the taller, blonder, flakier one. Either way, Scarbie and I share a brain and I love everything about her. We can speak without speaking... cool, eh? I bet even Nicole and Paris can't do that shit.
Oh - side note - Scarbie is knocked up and going to actually give birth to a child. That's a REAL child, people. One that cries and poops and everything. I love him already.

The Dog:
Scarbie's hubbie. We call him the dog, not because he's a dog in bad way, but because he's a dog in the good cuddly, loyal, cute, loving and carefree way. I have a soft spot for all dogs, but a have a HUGE soft spot for THE dog. And he's going to be an amazing dad to his soon-to-be puppy.

The Momes:
Now, not to confuse you, but the Momes actually IS a dog. Like the real kind. He's our dog, he's gorgeous and he basically rules the household. CrowN will agree I'm sure. The Momes is the light at the end of my tunnel and I think it might be a little insane to love an animal as much as I love him, but I bet other dog owners can understand. The Momes has more nicknames than I'd like to admit, so if I accidentally refer to him as Momo, Punkus, Peanut, Pugster or anything other disgustingly cutesie name, you'll just have to figure out that I'm talking about him. Trust me it won't be too hard.

I guess G started out as CrowN's best bud, although I knew him too. Being with CrowN for five years means I've kinda been with G.Party for five years too. He was part of the package and man am I glad for it. You know the kind of people that bring a big smile to your face just by thinking about them? That's G.Party. Just a super, wicked dude, who I love to be around. Oh - plus the best damn D.J. in the whole city. G.Party can make you start dancing in five seconds.

Ok. I swear I do know more people than this, and there are certainly many, many more who are worth mentioning, but I'm getting tired and you're getting bored. So watch for installment 2 of These Are the People... coming soon.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Phone is Ringin'. Oh my God.

That's right. I'm afraid of the phone. Crazy right? Wrong. Mostly because for the last two weeks or so, everytime I pick one up there's bad news spitting out at me from the other end.

It kind of goes something like this:

Beaches: "Hello?"

Bearer of Bad News: "Something horrible has happened."

B: "Oh shit, not again."

BOBN: "That's right. Again. And it's worse than the bad news that you got last time you answered the phone."

B: "Crap. I can't believe I answered the phone."

BOBN: [insert some kind of horrible news/crying/swearing here]

B: "Man I wish that you were just a telemarketer."

That's obviously a loose interpretation, but it pretty much sums up what's been going on lately. Bad news. I hate to start Beaches' Speeches off on such a negative note, but I thought, why not get it out there front and centre? At least this way the only direction we can go is up.

Right? [This is where you just agree with me no matter what]. Right. Great.

So having said all that, welcome to my life. It's not the most exciting place to visit, but I assure you that it's not always so gloomy. Sometimes it's just a really nice place to be. Here's hoping we can have some laughs.

And here's hoping that the next phone call I get is someone trying to sell me a freakin' vacuum cleaner or something. Those who know me already will understand that vacuums constitute a warm safe place for Beaches.