Thursday, December 22, 2005

'Tis the Season to be Jolly

If, that is, by jolly you really mean fat.
Because really? 'Tis the season to be fat.

Here's how the Christmas carol should really go:

Deck the halls with bowls of Turtles,
Fat fat fat fat fat, fat fat fat fat.
'Tis the season to be fat.
Fat fat fat fat fat, fat fat fat fat.
Don we now our large apparel,
Fat fat fat, fat fat fat, fat fat fat.
Eat the entire box of Timbits,
Fat fat fat fat fat, fat fat fat fat.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good feast.

I'll see you on the treadmill in 2006. Much love and many calories,


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Sn… Ah Fuck Off.

It's not every year that we are blessed with a blanket of snow so early in December.

Hey! Maybe if we are really lucky, by the time Christmas rolls around, the whole city will be blanketed in a frothy white layer of crisp white magic. We can all get bundled up and run to the park to make snow angels and build forts.

We can brew up some sweet, milky hot chocolate and nuzzle it against our chests as we lounge by the fire and watch the flakes drift past the frosty picture window.

It'll be another Christmas miracle!

(I just threw up a little bit in my mouth and swallowed it again. How soon before I can permanently retire to Florida?)

Monday, December 12, 2005

We Were Never Being Boring

Ahem. My weekend in a nutshell:

Saturday Night: 8:30 pm: Beaches arrives at Bendy Girl's Annual Christmas Bird Party, bird in hand and ready to give'r.

Saturday Night: 9:04 pm: Beaches is on her second Pomegranate Martini, third bacon-wrapped date and cheese thingy, 30th Cadbury Christmas egg and fifth Benson & Hedges Special Mild

Saturday Night: 9:17 pm: Beaches officially drunk.

Saturday Night: 10:10 pm: Have by now laughed so much that face is sore and the need to pee is constant and annoying.

Saturday Night: 10:12 pm: Beaches and Guru compare ugly red splotches that have spread over faces/shoulders/thighs. A result of delicious Pomegranate Martinis. Neither of us care enough about obvious severe allergic reaction to actually stop drinking.

Sunday Morning: 1:57 am: Beaches informed that it is close to 2 am. Holy fack, what happened to the last four hours, where did the other eight girls go and how did one of us end up in her PJs?

Sunday Morning: 2:03 am: Beaches decides that she really must get home, but definitely will need to polish off the tall glass of Red Bull and have another couple ciggies first.

Sunday Morning: 3:54 am: Beaches makes it home and into bed. Is now lying wide awake, staring at ceiling and cursing Red Bull/Pomegranate Martini soup currently sloshing around in her belly.

Sunday Morning: 7:02 am: Beaches has just settled into comfortable, drunken slumber when DOG decides it's time to wake up for breakfast. Beaches walks into two door frames and stubs toe on stairs in attempt to feed and shut up dog asap.

Sunday Morning: 11:45 am: Beaches wakes up in panic, realizes that she needs to clean house before Moms and Scarbie arrive to go with her to the *gasp" Umbra Sale. Note: Worst place on earth to go with a hangover.

Sunday Afternoon: 4:45 pm: Beaches is in hell (aka Umbra sale) with two million other cheapskates who refuse to pay full price for things they don't need. Like four new toothbrush holders and a gazillion picture frames, even though already have a gazillion picture frames from last year's Umbra sale still in the boxes and taking precious closet space. Do not have enough wall space in tiny downtown condo for all these bloody fucking picture frames. Does anyone need a metallic blue push pin board? Because Beaches decided it would be smart to buy four of them. What?! Everything was two for one and Scarbie and I were on a shopping HIGH. Just changed mind, Umbra sale is actually heaven.

Now. Back to the Bird Party. It's an annual all-girls party, held by the incomparable host, Bendy Girl, each year at Christmas time. Girls only, and each Bird needs to bring a bird for the perfect, Martha-Stewart-didn't-even-think-this-up, all-bird decorated Christmas tree. We are all approaching 30, already 30 or in our 30's, and at some point, after the wilder half of us left to attend a second venue, we had a brief discussion about whether or not we were getting boring. It came up because those of us who stayed behind half-heartedly discussed going out to a bar but then nobody actually moved and it was quite obvious that we were much happier to stay planted on our asses eating chocolates, drinking Red Bull and Pomegranate Martinis and talking shit. Is that boring?

I think not and I've got the conversational quotes to prove it. All quotes were spoken out loud (none by me, just so you know) and recorded in my Pig Bhong cup and saucer shaped notepad, a gift to each of us from Guru. Suffice it to say that this note pad has the headline, "Wsenever you deeply troubed" (sic) on the front along with a picture of a cartoon pig wearing a hoodie, no pants and bleeding from the nose. It's the awesomest note pad ever and the fact that Guru found and purchased them for each of us definitely proves that she is SO NOT boring and also an excellent shopper.

Five Actual Quotes from the Bird Party: (Warning, this will likely not be funny to anyone that was not at said Bird Party - feel free to skip to witty "Lessons Learned" ending)

1. "If it don't fit, wiggle it a bit."
2. "My vagina just smoked a joint."
3. "Feeding the Horse." (This is an apparent sexual activity. I never really got what it means, but it has something to do with whiskers and a flat palm.)
4. "I don't care if you smack my ass, or pull my hair. Just do SOMETHING."
5. "I had my fingers up to here in marinara sauce!"

Now does that sound like a group of women who are boring? Does it? Does it? Okay. Maybe we're a tiny bit boring. But funny-boring! Definitely funny-boring.

Valuable Lessons Learned:

1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours immaculate, perfectly decorated, disgustingly amazing apartment that appears to be something that lept effortlessly from the pages of Canadian House & Home magazine and has been decorated to such a state in just over ONE month, even if thy own apartment has been in thyne possession for well over four months and still has a looooong way to go. (Bendy, I NEED the paint colour used in your living/dining room STAT.)

2. Thou shall learn to write shorter sentences.

3. Thou shalt not ever, ever buy another picture frame from the Umbra sale. Not if they are 2 for 1, or 20 for 1. No more frames, damn it. No more frames.

4. Thou shalt not refer to oneself in the first person ever again.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Walk the Line

So, it took me a while to come around.

Maybe it's because at the impressionable age of 11, I pledged an allegiance of eternal love to his (now tragically deceased) brother, or maybe I just shallowly couldn't get past the hair lip, but I have finally arrived at a firm decision.

Joaquin Phoenix is HOT.

Saw Walk the Line last night with Weirdo. Loved it. And not just because of aforementioned hotness, either. I really enjoyed watching the story of Johnny Cash's life, I thought the performances of both His Hotness Joaquin and Reese Witherspoon were fantastic, I was even blown away by their singing.

Seriously. They looked and sounded incredible together. I'm surprised she didn't dump Whatshisface Phillipe then and there and run away to the Grand Ole Opry to sing and live in harmony forever and ever with Leafy, for real.

There was another reason why I loved this movie so much, not quite as frivolous as the hotness of Mr. Phoenix, but an important one, I suppose. I have a rather tumultuous relationship with Johnny Cash and this style of music (if you can in fact catagorise it as a single style, which many would argue you really can't).

My father is a huge Johnny Cash fan. He loves (loved? I really don't know anymore)classic country, honky tonk and rhythm & blues. He used to play his guitar for my sister and I, and we'd sing along together to hits by Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and on and on. These are moments that I remember very fondly, but which also make me nauseous and dizzy with what my sister and I might have missed out on all these years without our dad. The thought that he actually knew something about something, and had this passion for music that we could have shared, well, it's all a bit too much at times.

As a kid, I wanted to think that my dad was a huge dork for liking that music, but secretly I loved it so much. The way the harmonies fit together, they way that we could belt it out because the pace was just right and the lyrics were simple and strong. Today, it just takes one bar of one song to set my stomach in knots and bring tears to my eyes; "Walk the Line," "Islands in the Stream," "The Gambler," and "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" are definitely on the stomach-churning list.

"Give My Love to Rose" is another one of these songs. Rose was my dad's nickname for my mom. She hated it with a fierce passion, and to this day will cringe at the reminder of that name. But I remember Dad singing this song with his guitar and his honky tonk voice, and to me I guess it represented how much he loved her. Even if that wasn't true, that's what I chose to believe and so that song is more that just a song. There are probably similar affiliations for all of these songs that tear at my heart, but I'm not sure I want to go there, and I'm damn sure none of you want me to. Eat that Dr. Freud.

I'm glad that they made this movie, and that it turned out to be really good. I think sitting in a dark theater, hearing all the songs together at one time, and focusing on the film, instead of on the memories that my mind wants to associate the songs with, might have been therapeutic. At the risk of jumping on the bandwagon, I think it's time to pick up a copy of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and get re-acquainted with this true and soulful legend of rock & roll.

Did I mention that Joaquin Phoenix is totally HOT? Trust me, see the flick.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Clowns to the Left of Me

There is just nothing better than really sharp satire and since I'm not creative enough these days to write my own, I'm turning to The Onion instead.

This is just too funny not to pass along.

I mean seriously, "funyunmentalist"? "Chiplomats"? It's pure genius.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Personal Jesus

I take it back. I take it ALL back.

I've been waiting patiently to sign back on and let you know that my original post about my beloved Depeche Mode and their newest album was all wrong. After a few more listens, as predicted, it grew on me and now when I hear it I smile. I was hasty, and a bit preoccupied I suppose, when I gave Playing the Angel it's first listen. By the fourth or fifth run through, I was singing along and feeling the love. It's not their best album, by any means, but it's a good solid record with some great tracks and just enough of the classic Dave Gahan gloomy good-stuff and willowy Martin Gore melodrama.

But I still wanted to wait and reserve final judgement until after I'd seen the live show. I waited for the night with anticipation and a little anxiety, a little voice in my head telling me not to expect too much. They are old, after all. It has been 25 years of magic and no band can be expected to truly rock for that long. I paced and pouted at the thought that the reserved and conservative "Toronto chin-scratchers" would ruin the show with their silence and their sitting down.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong again.

Now, I'm not a music reviewer, so I'll leave the professional review up to a profesional. I think Ben Rayner has done a great job with his review so give it a read if you're interested.

If you want my side of the story, here it is.

Let's just say that the entire evening not only renewed my faith, it actually allowed me to reach out and touch it. This was easily the second best concert that I've ever seen, and THE absolute best that I've seen in Toronto. Let me just explain that he first-best concert was when I saw Madonna's Drowned World tour in 2001 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. Hands down, best show ever, and the day that I see a show that can top it, will be the day that I can die happy. But I digress. It's not fair to compare, really.

Okay, last night.

I attended the show with my favourite guys: Crown, Mr. Rush and my own Personal Gsus (aka GParty). Any night is a good night when it's me and the guys, but there really are no guys better to see a show with than these ones. They have fun and they are not afraid to show themselves having it. It's why I've loved each of them since the moment I met them. Last night was no exception.

We screamed, we danced, we sweat. Gsus faked passing out and gave me a big belly laugh. Crown had on his dancing shoes and busted his phenomenal whistle (of which, by the way, I am insanely jealous). Mr. Rush bopped and bounced. I sang EVERY WORD TO EVERY SONG at the top of my lungs. The special part? So did everyone else. Hallelujah and praise the Lord. Toronto HAD FUN.

There was a moment, during "Personal Jesus", when the sold-out crowd at the ACC was reaching out to touch faith in synchronization and I swear I had a religious experience. If you know me, you know, I'm not religious. But there is nothing like being in a crowd of 20,000 people, all on their feet, all singing out loud to a song that you love and waving their hands in unison. It blows your mind. It blew mine.
Had God actually floated down from the rafters and landed on the stage, nobody would have even noticed him (her?) because ALL EYES were on Dave.

Dave. He is God. Remember when he died and came back to life? Yeah. Now I know. He actually did die, God took his body (who wouldn't? It's HOT) and came down to spend eternity singing "Personal Jesus", shirtless, to sold out crowds. That's right, his shirt was off in the first 15 minutes, and all was right with the world.

I cried. Not a shock, I'm sure. But seriously, when Martin Gore walked out alone on the stage for the encore, flooded in red light, and the first pulsing strains of "Somebody" filled the stadium, I may have had an orgasm. That song? It's all ravaged teenage emotions, unrequited passion, first loves, first dance, first broken heart, "first time," all rolled into one. You may wrongly think that I was having a "chick" moment, but nope. I think the guys felt it too. In fact, I'm pretty sure the entire stadium shared my ecstasy.

TWO encores. TWO ENCORES! The second one whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that I thought the roof was going to blow off the building. The roar was actually deafening and I noticed a few people around me screaming out loud and plugging their ears at the same time. I would never have guessed that they would actually come back out a second time, but Crown was defiant. "We're not leaving until they they sing that song I love. There is no way I'm leaving until that happens."

The song, he loves? "Never Let Me Down Again." Guess what? They didn't.

Picture it again. 20,000 people singing together and waving their arms in happy, sweaty unison. "See the stars they're shining bright, everything's alright tonight." Indeed it was.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sitting in the Morning Sun

There are two reasons why I'm posting this picture of the M-O-E-T-D-O-double-G today. First is the awesome cuteness of it. I can't get enough of my little man, hanging out on the people chair, enjoying the streaming morning sunlight and a steaming cup of java. He really is a person trapped in a small fuzzy body, I tell you.

Secondly, and possibly more importantly, is the fact that this pic was taken up at the cottage on a sunny spring morning. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, the three generations of us Danish women (and the Momes, of course) were working hard on the puzzle du jour. It was perfection.

Maybe it's because we didn't get up to the cottage this fall, for the last blast before a long winter, that I'm missing it so badly right now. Sometime I miss that place so much that it actually aches inside my heart. It's hard to explain in words what that place means to me, so I won't even try today. There's no way I'm feeling literate or poetic enough.

I guess I just wanted to share a little memory from cottage seasons past, something to reflect back on as the winter settles in. I suppose I could still go up for a weekend, anytime before heavy snowfall makes the 4 hour drive too torturous, but without a long weekend it's really just too far to make sense. Besides, waiting it out really does make that first spring visit so much sweeter.

Truth is, the cottage has been weighing heavily on my mind since The Nana had a tumble and fractured her pelvis this summer. She's all alone up there all year long and it increases my desire to go, to spend time with her and with the land itself. A place that may well not be ours to enjoy for much longer. The mere thought of losing it causes waves of panic and tides of grief, but I know there's not much that I can do. So, I'll cling to the millions of tiny moments I've had up there, and share as many as possible right here as time goes on.

When the cottage has been passed on to another family, who will grow up there for generations and cherish it as we have, I will still have these pictures, words and memories.

Somehow it will have to be enough.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cruisin' Together

Thirty two reasons:

1. He makes me laugh everyday, even when there’s not much to laugh about.
2. He has the most amazing green eyes and the longest, thickest eyelashes in the world.
3. Scorpios are hot.
4. He is incredibly talented. More so than he even knows.
5. He gave in against his better judgment when I wanted to bring a puppy into our lives and now he loves our little dog fiercely and without shame.
6. Tattoos. Are. Sexy.
7. The way he talks to the Momes when he thinks nobody is listening.
8. He loves his mother.
9. He loves my mother.
10. He may not always agree with me, but he always respects me.
11. Rough on the outside, soft and mushy on the inside.
12. The way he bounces his legs and shuffles around when he gets excited.
13. He loves my friends and I love his.
14. He’s passionate about food, and he cooks!
15. He is just as happy as I am to lie for hours in the sun and do nothing at all.
16. He truly enjoys the company of women. Something not so common among men.
17. His names, both first and last, are beautiful.
18. I cry a lot, he wipes away my tears.
19. He is the master at Trivial Pursuit. In fact at every game that he plays.
20. He is my best friend.
21. Did I mention that he is funny as hell?
22. I love it when we’re cruisin’ together.
23. Tricepts, shoulders, tiny bum.
24. Weekend mornings, staying in bed late, drinking coffee and reading the paper.
25. Bundling up for winter walks to the park. He stays outside with the Momes while I run in for hot chocolate.
26. We can speak to each other with nothing more than a quick glance in each other’s eyes.
27. He reads voraciously.
28. He loves music and art, but not in that icky pretentious way.
29. He’s not too cool to totally rock out.
30. He is kind, comforting and loving, not just to me, to everyone that he knows.
31. This list was easy, I could write a thousand more.
32. Just because.

Happy birthday Crown.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Answer is Blowin' In the Wind

On what is perhaps the assiest day of the year so far -- cold, windy, rainy and dark -- I decided to try and remember another cold, windy, rainy day that was perhaps a little more pleasant. I came up with this most amazing memory of the Momes' first walk on the beach at the cottage. It was a cold, windy, rainy day in fall, not unlike today. Only it was perhaps one of the cutest cold, windy, rainy days that I've ever had. The Momes lasted about one minute on the beach that day, but this memory will last forever.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Blonde Ambition

I am nothing if not loyal. It's a Virgo thing, I think.

Those of you who know me well, in fact those of you who know me at all, will already know that I have a healthy (and I'll explain why it is in a moment) obsession with blonde, female pop stars. This obsession is nothing new, in fact, I can trace it's humble beginnings way, way back to a school yard rumble when I was only 8-years-old.

There were two tire swings in my school yard. One that the girls played on, the other for the boys. The gender division was self-imposed and many of my first stumbling, feminist arguments began right there on those squeaky rubber swings. Who could swing the highest? Who could jump the farthest? How many girls could fit on one swing versus how many boys?

My favourite yelling match by far, still remains imprinted in my mind and in my ears. I can hear the high pitched kiddie voices yelling, feel the hot autumn sun on my face and remember the rush of frustration when the boys could yell louder and wouldn't back down no matter how hard I tried. The topic? Who was cooler: Michael Jackson or Madonna.

We fought all recess long. We yelled and sang, the whole while floating back and forth on those big rubber swings. The bell rang and we were forced to give up, although the debate was far from over. It didn't matter to me because in my mind, there was no question. Madonna ruled. I loved her. The boys were wrong.

It's not that I didn't like MJ. I really did. Lord knows it was his year to shine. There was just something about Madonna. Something about "Borderline" and "Lucky Star" and "Holiday," yes, I loved her music passionately from the start. But more that that, there was something about her. She was bold, she was brave, she was beautiful. And she was blond. I didn't realize it at that early age, but she would become a strong role model and a powerful influence for me as I morphed from child to teen to woman.

It could be that she arrived on the scene, and into my tiny world, at the exact same time that I was a) realizing what a powerful force music could be and b) creating an identity for myself other than just the quiet, shy kid who loved school, animals and my mom. I remember listening to music and absorbing it voraciously. Prince, Willie Nelson, Toto, Duran Duran and of course, Michael. A lot of Michael.

My mom, my sister and I would put on records and dance for hours in the living room. It was a feeling of freedom, of excitement and of pure joy.

There were other female artists that I fell in love with that year. Tina Turner, Pat Benetar, Chaka Khan and who could forget Cindi Lauper? I can't pin point why I didn't latch on to one of those artists, it's probably a good thing since none has had the staying power that Madonna has had, but in all honesty, to this day,
I believe it's because she was blonde. And I was blonde. And I was eight. And at that age, simply having the same coloured hair was reason enough.

But, hair colour aside, Madonna was always different. Right from the start I didn't just want to listen to her, I wanted to be her. There are many people who will argue that she was not the best role model for a young girl to adopt. I see why. I'm not blind to those arguments. But I do disagree. Long before I understood what it meant to be independent, strong, powerful and confident, I saw those traits in Madonna. As I grew older and heard people talk badly about her (she can't sing, she's too provocative, she's a whore, she's just using her body to get famous, she only cares about material things, she's too sexy, she's not sexy enough, she's blasphemous, she's the devil, she's a joke) I was always quick to defend. To me then, and to me now, she was and is brilliant.

There have been many blonde pop stars that I've supported and followed through out the years. All of which I feel a fondness for and all of which I've routed for and defended, even when I know the majority of popular criticisms against them are in many ways true. Dolly Parton, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson are a small sample of the blondes I love to love. Not always because of their talent, or their brains or their contributions to society. I am fully aware that they are not all contributing a whole heap to the women's movement, or to music, or in some cases to anything at all. None of them compare to Madonna. But all of them, in their own way, are using what they've got to achieve success. To reach the top of whatever game they happen to have chosen. And so, I route for them, quietly or loudly depending on the moment.

Tomorrow marks the release of what I think is Madonna's 17th full album. I have each one and still listen to them today. I will, of course, pick up the latest, Confessions on a Dance Floor, and I suspect that I'll love it just as much as all the rest. Even though she's become a little freaky with the Kabbalah-talk and the British accent, she brings me joy, plain and simple.

Because of her I won't go for second best, I know that beauty is where you find it, I express myself and take some time to celebrate. Madonna allows me to turn it up, let loose and celebrate my blondeness.

What more can I say? I'm hung up.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Puppy Love

Can you believe that once upon a time my chunky Momes looked like this? Wowsers.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

How Much is that Doggy in the Window?

Holy Mary Mother of all Things Cute. I just found this picture of The Momes from when he was around 8 months old and already able to slay me with his sulkiest sulk face.

It actually inspired me to try and learn how to put photos up onto this thingy. I hope it works.

Seriously though. I see this and I melt into a giant puddle of smoosh. Couldn't you just freakin' eat him up?

Also, look how nice the baseboards were in my old apartment. Missing those.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Smokin' in the Boys Room

I have not had a cigarette in eight days.

I'm only bringing this up because the smoking crew at work just got all bundled up and as they were heading out to the polluted, wet, grody smoking area downstairs they were talking about quitting and using all the same bullshit lines that smoker-me has said myself so many times:

"It's not about physical addiction, I just love it so much. I'm not ready to quit, that's all."
"It's really about learning WHY you smoke and then learning to avoid your own personal triggers."
"I don't really smoke that much anyway. Breathing the air outside is probably just as bad for me."

Now. I'm not saying that I'm quitting. Because to say that would probably send me hurtling downstairs to said grody smoking area to lick the nearest ashtray. Here's what I am saying. I got a little sick. The thought of smoking, even just my regular one a day, was absolutely revolting. So I just stopped smoking.

It's been ridiculously easy. Is this all there is to it? If so, yay! Last night, briefly I thought to myself, maybe I should smoke. Then I realized that Crown had taken the pack out with him and there were no butts in the house. Normally this would cause instant panic and end with me running out to the store in my pjs, swaering and moaning all the way and then smoking half a pack on the walk back home.

But no! Instead I was like, "Oh well." And I made tea and ate a few Halloween chocolate bars instead. Surely chocolate is better than rat poison, tar, cyonide and poo or whatever is in butts these days, right?

Anyway. Just want to share. Don't write to me and congratulate me on this, please, because as I said, I'm not quitting. Also, don't roll your eyes when you see me with a glass of red wine and butt on my roof next time you're over. Just take it for exactly what it is.

Eight smokeless days.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Who am I?

It's a tiny sentence with enormous weight. Three little words, one big ol' bag of worms. It's Halloween today, and thanks to Oprah, of all people, I'm sitting at home pondering what may just be the most difficult question in the world. Who am I?

Oprah challenged me again today (clearly I am someone who loves Oprah and is not afraid to admit it... just one facet of me, folks) by revealing that one of the themes of this season of The Oprah Show is to get people to think about that little huge question: Who am I?

Bare with me for a moment while I try to sort it out. Chances are, I'm not going to come up with an answer here and now, but it got me thinking, that's for sure. It got me thinking about Halloween and all the different costumes that I've worn throughout this life so far.

A clown? Yep. My very first Halloween costume, in fact. A big curly wig (sign of things to come?) and a puffy red nose that I refused to keep on. I am a clown still today, but only those closest to me get to see it. It's a silly little secret me that comes out from behind the seriousness and the dry humour every now and then and makes my nearest and dearest cringe because it's just so foolish. I can drive my sister crazy with my clownish behaviour, but truly she should be honoured because I love her enough to let her see it.

A baby. Well, aren't we all sometimes? I was an old baby and an old child. Serious and contemplative and wise beyond my years. I think that as I grow older, I also let myself be more babyish and childish. For me growing up means letting go of some of the restraint that I imposed on myself as a child and teen. Today I'm often blindsided by wonder and awe, the way that a child is when they begin to experience "firsts". I can only imagine that this childish behaviour will get stronger and more prevalent, particularly when I have children of my own, through whose eyes I can view the world all over again.

A witch. I sure can be. Cross me once and you'll sense her, lurking in the shadows. Cross me twice and you might catch a glimpse of the pointed hat and greenish pallor. Dare to cross me three times, something wicked your way comes. It's true I prefer to cast my spells from afar and I'm a docile, sensitive person by character. It takes a lot to set my inner witch flying off on her broomstick, but those very few souls that have summoned her out of me will take that haunting with them to the grave, I'm certain.

A cat. Outwardly, I'm a dog person. But I embrace my inner feline and revel in this side of myself. It's the side that allows me to stretch out long and proud in the sunlight and bask for hours without guilt. It's the fiercely independent side that knows that I can and will kill for my supper if I ever need to. My inner cat lets me see in the dark and ensures that no matter how far I fall, I'll always land firmly on my feet.

A candle. One of my stranger costumes, thought up by yours truly during one of my more creative childhood years. I'll always remember the look of panic on Mom's face when I told her that's what I wanted to be. Thank God for Commie who stepped up and helped us develop the biggest, bluest candle costume ever. Imagine two metal rings, a long tube of blue felt and a bright red toque with a giant red and orange cardboard flame stuck to it. I wore this to school people. TO SCHOOL. ME! Quiet, shy, reserved, me. Went to school dressed as a giant blue felt candle. I think this costume may well say more about who I really am than any of the others combined. There's a flame in there people, it's bright and it's hot. Sometimes it is so hot that is actually makes my outsides melt. I get so fired up with emotion that I cry big waxy blue tears at the simplest things. And I'm not afraid of that either. Those tears are what make me, well, me.

A fairy princess. I don't need to touch this one, do I? This has been my old stand-by costume for the last few years. It's a great way to release my inner girlie girl, throw on a tiara and wave my sparkly magic wand around at people. It's fun, it's frivolous, it's fancy. Enough said.

October 31, 2005. Possibly the first year ever that I've not done anything for Halloween. No costume (my black and white ghost pjs don't count). I'm 30 years old and sitting here, stripped of costumes. So where does that leave me now. Who am I?

I am a clown, a baby, a witch, a cat, a candle and a fairy princess. I am every costume that I have ever worn and every costume that I will wear from now on. If it seems convoluted, that's because it is.

Who am I? I am convoluted. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Waiting for the Night

Well, it may have finally happened. After 25 years, 19 albums, 14 world tours, Depeche Mode may have finally put out an album that (gasp, I can hardly write it)
I don't really... well... like.

That makes me so sad. Sad enough to sit in a dark room, blare "Never Let Me Down Again" and cry my eyes out. This is a band that has provided an ongoing soundtrack
to my entire life. I started out on album one, Speak and Spell, when I was probably around 8 years old and have never missed an album since, never mind not completely loved one.

In fact, I can hardly name any songs that I don't like. If I wanted to bother, I bet I could list the ones that I'm not fond of on my 10 fingers. Considering the amount of songs we're talking about, that's a pretty amazing thing.

Naturally, on October 17th when their latest album, Playing the Angel, hit the stands, I went out to buy it. Not loving it wasn't even an option. I'd already heard and loved the single, "Precious," so why wouldn't I love the whole album? But guess what? I don't.

Of course, I've only listened to it once all the way through, in the car, driving downtown in rush-hour traffic. I was distracted and not able to provide my full attention. Yet, there was no head-bopping, no turning it up at certain parts because of how beautiful it sounded, no skipping back to the beginning of a track because it was so good that I had to hear it again asap. None of it. None of the usual Depeche Mode reactions.

The fuck?

Could it be that they've gotten too old? Could it be that I have? I don't like either option. I'm going to give the album another try. Maybe it was my mood. Maybe it was the
SUV on my ass all the way through the city. Maybe it was the not-so-super speakers in the Mazda 3.

The real test will come on December 1, when me and the crew catch them live in the TDot. Full review to come after the fact. Until then I guess I'm just waiting for the night.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

You've Gotta Know When to Hold'em

Oh Kenny Rogers, you are so wise.

You really DO need to know when to walk away, people. And truth be told, I know. I do know. I just don't LISTEN TO MYSELF. Myself says, "Beaches, get up now and walk away." And then what do I do? NOTHING. I just sit there and I lose all my money. Because it's not really money at that point, is it? It's just chips, or credits, or funny numbers on a digital screen.

Regardless of my complete and utter lack of luck this time around, I had an absolutely magnificent trip to Las Vegas. Crown, Commie and Moms had a blast, too. I'm glad that the guys enjoyed it, because maybe that means that they'll come back with us again sometime. It was nice to have them there.

Not that I don't love the all-girl trip! Man, do I love that. And ladies, if you're reading, we're going to set another one of those up really soon, okay? We'll take Sin City by storm.

Anyway this time around, me and the fam had the "true" Vegas experiences. We saw the Hoover Dam. Damn.

We saw the new Cirque Du Soleil show at the MGM Grand. Incredible. You must see it before you die, seriously.

We saw all of the hotels, we visited the historic Fremont Street, we ate at a ridiculous buffet, we lounged in the sun and of course, we let the house win.

It was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday. Now if only I'd listened to my inner Kenny...

Holy crap ya'll. I'm thirty.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I Like to Move It, Move It

Another lie. I hate to move it, move it!

However, we did it. On Saturday. And I can honestly tell you that it wasn't at all the nightmarish experience I anticipated it to be.

Because I'm the most neurotic, anal retentive, o.c.d. freak alive, we were insanely organized in time for the big day.

Saturday morning arrived. The truck was out front. At 10 am just like we asked, our gaggle of super-heros showed up raring to go. All the players were there: The Wizard, Dynamus, DRock, Double D... we had that truck loaded in about an hour. Then we unloaded it because it was the worst truck-loading you could imagine (a small wrinkle in the plan - but I digress), we had it reloaded and ready to go all before noon. Then it was perfect.

Team Move set out for the new pad, where we were met by The Queen of Tarts (aptly named because she brought us a box of these delectable treats from the store with the same name), who was a tremendous help on the unloading side.

All in all, the entire move was done about about 3 pm. I can not thank our wonderful friends and family enough for their help, kindness and enthusiasm during what could have been a tremendously stressful and difficult week. They not only made it easy, they made it fun. They made it a time that Crown and I will remember fondly. They made us realize that we have the best friends anyone could ask for.

Here's a shout out to all who helped, because we love you and you deserve it:

G.Party: because he can carry records almost as well as he can play them.
Double D: because he could back a cube van through a straw without a scratch
DRock: because he understands that Tim Horton's heals all wounds
Dynamus: because, well, because he's always fun to have around no matter what the task at hand
The Wizard: because he didn't laugh at me too much when I vacuumed under each item as he lifted it up
The Queen of Tarts: because she's lovely and she brought two things that I love more than she probably even knows: baked goods and flowers
Weirdo: because he can fit boxes into his Hyundai Accent like clowns into a VW Bug
Moms and Commie: because of so many reasons, but caring for The Momes, a much too generous housewarming gift and genuine excitment for us would top the list
Crown Sr. and AJE:: because of Veuve Cliquot, brie and strawberries
The Vach's: because of their willingness to help out however and whenever we need them, and because they have been excited and eager for our move since the moment we bought that little red dot

I know that I'm a softie, but just thinking of all of you and how fabulous you are, makes me teary. Even if you don't realize it, you made one of the biggest and most exciting times of our lives that much more special just by being you.

Dudes, you rock.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Summertime and the livin' is easy.

Um. No it isn't.

This has been a crazy summer filled with "stuff to do" and "places to go" and "houses to move into."

Not just for me, either, but for everyone that I know. What this means for Beaches' Speeches is thrice-fold:

1. It's not getting written. I'm too busy and the weather is too awesome to spend time inside being thoughtful and, well, literate.

2. It's not being read anyway. Practically everyone that I know is either getting married, moving, traveling, having babies or bringing home new puppies. These busy friends are all I've got by way of readers. Hey you three, sorry for not writing.

3. Finally, it means that there is a lot of material being collected and a lot of stuff to fill you in on. Good things come to those who wait. There, how literary was that?

Okay. So give me just a little while longer. I have to pack, go to the cottage, pack some more, move, settle in... then I'll write. It seems like a lot, but it's all happening like right now, so really it's not that far away.

I just know your breath is baited. Peace out.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Behind the Wheel

Oh ya. I forgot to write about one major event that recently went down. Crown and I bought a car.

As my dear friend Mr. Rush so eloquently put it, "Congratulations guys, you just increased your ecological footprint."

Great. And yes, I do feel guilty about that. However, I'm going to turn THIRTY like any minute now and I've never owned my own car. So, I feel like that might let me off the hook a tiny bit. I mean, I could have been pumping harmful emissions into the universe for years now, but I haven't. At least they make'em a little cleaner these days?

Also, I don't drive to work. I take the smelly, germ infested TTC like the rest of the suckers. And that might not be good from my mental or physical health, but damn it, it's good for the air.

Anyway. Our first car is a Mazda 3 sedan and it's purple. They try to hide the fact that it's purple by calling it Indigo Blue but they aren't kidding anyone. It's freakin' purple. And I LOVE it. The freedom! The freedom! Even though we really hardly use it at all (there's this terrible fear of losing our parking spot) it's always there in the back of our minds. We can DRIVE there.

Want to go to the zoo? We can drive there.
Want to go grocery shopping? We can drive there.
Hey, maybe we should go to the cottage this weekend? YES! We can drive there.

It's truly amazing. And I promise, When hybrid cars that run on carrots or whatever are available and reasonably affordable, I'll be first in line. But for now, it's high gas prices and the open road for this chick.

So buckle up, baby, because I'm behind the wheel.

It's Getting Hot in Herr

Welcome to Nellyville ya'll. For about the seventh day in a row we're experiencing 30 + degree weather in the TDot.
And you know what? I fucking LOVE it!

It's sweaty. It's muggy. It's summer!

I just wrapped up my Saturday morning vacuuming and there's little beads of sweat dripping down my calves. That never happens to me. In fact, I can work out for an hour at full tilt and not get the leg sweat. But today, a couple squats to reach under the bed and a couple calf lifts to get the top shelves and I'm Sweaty Betty. It's great. I feel like I've been pumping iron.

The Momes is in repertory arrest, of course, but I can tell he loves it too. Like mother, like pugger.

Sorry to everyone who hates this kind of weather, but perhaps you can find it in you to be happy that at least one person in this city is sitting around, sweating from the legs, and smiling.

It's getting hot in herr, so take off all your clothes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I'll House You

It had to have been THE most expensive hole in the ground. But it was OUR hole in the ground. And now? It's our four walls, three floors, 1099 square feet (not including another 280 square feet of sunny, west facing, roof top terrace). It's our two bedrooms and TWO bathrooms.

Soon it will be our hardwood floors, our shiny new stainless steel appliances and our beige (to match the pug) berber (sp?) carpets.

For the last 13 months, it has also been our main source of excitement, anxiety, uncertainty and happiness. Our house. Our very first house.

Sure, it's not the Victorian Century home of my dreams. It won't be the slow and steady labour of love that we fix up bit-by-bit on weekends. I'm hoping it won't involve unexpected leaks that capture with buckets and laugh about a few months later ( I hope!).

It is, to be specific, an "urban town", a.k.a. stacked town house/condo. It's nestled in a little community of row after row of "urban towns" in a small area of downtown Toronto known as Liberty Village. It's an industrial area now, but one that is rapidly becoming developed and infused with young urban professionals (read: yuppies). A visit to the shiny new grocery store promises many SUV sightings. I'm sure that Starbucks will move in any minute (I hate to admit it but I sure do love a grande non-fat latte, you know?). It's going to be our community, yuppies, train tracks and all.

Yesterday, after 13 months and four separate notices of delay, we received our "confirmed occupancy closing date, which supersedes the tentative occupancy closing date." That confirmed-which-supersedes-the-tentative-date is August 23. Just a little over three months away.

We both laughed at that word--confirmed--and said, "yeah, sure, as if." When something that you've been waiting on for so long keeps getting pushed away, you start to think that it's not real. But this time, I think it is real. I think this thing, those four walls, hardwood floors, roof top terrace is really going to be ours on August 23.

Well, it'll sort of be the bank's, but let's not ruin the moment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Don't Take it Personal

I haven't written in a while and that's sad. Because truthfully, I really do enjoy it, even if nobody out there is actually reading it. It's a nice way to spend some time with myself, making myself laugh (or cry depending on the day). I feel like, even if I'm not evoking emotion in anyone else, at least I'm squeezing a little juice out of myself.

This has been one of those days that makes me lean on the "cry" side, quite frankly and here's why:

a) I had to wake up a 6:30 am. Never good. NEVER GOOD.

b) I had a kind of stressful appointment early on in the day and although I ended up enjoying myself and learning somethings about myself (I'm pretty incoherent and "off-the-ball" at 8:00am) I'm disappointed in what's sure to be the outcome.

c) The Momes. For those of you who have been reading, you'll know that he's my pride and joy. A little bundle of fur with, it turns out, special needs. Last night we had a scare that he may have had another seizure (he had one in late December - but has been seizure-free ever since). Today he wasn't himself and we had to once again rush him to the vet. GOOD NEWS: 99% sure that he DID NOT have another seizure. BAD NEWS: He seems to have sprained, or torn something, in his knee. Now we have a hyper-puppy who is not allowed to walk. Not fun. Very stressful.

d) Britney Spears announced that she's pregnant. I'm not sure why this makes me want to cry, but it just does, okay?

e) I caved and ate a Harvey's burger for lunch. MMmmmm was soooo good though.

f) I'm now in some state of semi-shock from all of the events of the day. I'm worn out, scared, anxious and a little overwhelmed.

What else can I say? It's just one of dem days.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I Need Love

Valentine's Day.


What do I think about Valentine's Day? I dunno. Seriously, I really don't.

I used to fancy myself a romantic but I'm not so sure anymore. And is Valentine's Day REALLY romantic anyway? Isn't it just a chance for people who aren't genuinely romantic to force themselves into it once a year?

What is romantic these days?

I love chocolate and flowers and diamonds. But I love those everyday and while on Valentine's Day I'm not going to turn any one of them down, I still think they'd mean more if they came on a totally random unexpected day.

I love long walks on the beach at sunset.

I'm a sucker for a public marriage proposal. Take me to a wedding? Forget about it, I'm a mess. I bring a whole package of tissues and I use them all. But I'm constantly telling people that I don't want that kind of wedding for myself. It's too public. Maybe I'm only privately romantic?

Write me a love poem? I'll laugh at you. Sorry if you're sensitive, but poetry? Not my thing.

Love songs? LOVE love songs. The title song of this blog, "I Need Love", by LL Cool J? My heart pounds when it comes up on the iPod. And most people laugh at the cheesiness of it. For me when it comes to love songs, the cheesier the better. I even love the final ballad on JT's solo album so much that I'll listen to it two or three times in a row. [Did I just really reveal that?]

Love stories? Awesome. I used to judge a movie's worth by how much it made me cry. Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding... all the Julia's. All of them. My favourite romantic movie? Terms of Endearment. TERMS OF ENDEARMENT people. Saddest, sappiest love story of all time.

I love puppies and teddy bears and babies... oh my!

But despite all the evidence I've listed here to the contrary, I just don't think I'm very romantic. Or maybe I'm just not good at forcing romance.

For me the most romantic moments happen when I'm least expecting it. It's found in a photo that someone took of me when I wasn't looking. A photo that shows how beautiful they think I am (even if I think I look chubby).

It's found in the quick kiss I get when I'm in the middle of a totally mundane sentence. "So, then we have to take the dog for a poo, then I'll put [INSERT KISS HERE] clean sheets on the bed, then we can watch the news and go to bed."

Now that's romantic.

Valentine's Day. You know what? Whether you love it, or whether you hate it. I hope you find a few stolen and unexpected moments of your favourite kind of romance tomorrow. A wink, a proposal, a loving slap on the bum. A quiet cuddle with your baby or your puppy. A romp in some new lacy lingerie.

I may not need conventional or contrived romance to be happy. But you know what I do need? I need love.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Manic Monday

So this past weekend pretty much blew.

Actually, wait, I take that back. The weather blew. I'm not a fan of winter.
Winter blows.

The weekend was ok. Minus 30 degrees and a significant snow storm forced weather-wimps like me to shack up indoors. The thing is, a few years ago I'd have seen that as a blessing.

An excuse! To stay in bed! All day! Yoohoo!

But now I'm old. And try as I might to relax and let go and sleep all day just because I can, I can't. 10 p.m. is the absolute latest I can sleep in. Then, if I really force it, I can lounge in bed with my book, or the paper for a while (I quite love this quiet ritual). But marathon-PJs-all-day-sleep-fest? Forget it.

Now something annoying in my grown-up brain says, "Get up. Get showered. Get out." It won't allow me to "waste" the day away. There must be a chore to complete, a store to hit, a movie...? A museum?

This weekend it was a trip to the grocery store one day, a trip to the mall another. Sounds measly, I know, but considering the storm and the absurd cold, it was actually quite a hardship. Yet I did it. I didn't take the excuse and stay in bed all day. I didn't take the gift that was handed to me by Mother Nature.

And now it's Monday. And what do you think my very first thought was this morning at 7 a.m.? It's an easy guess and I'm sure that all of you have already said it to yourself.

"What I wouldn't give to just be able to stay in bed all day and do nothing."

In other words: I wish it were Sunday, that's my fun day.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Straight Outta Compton

Ok. Not so I'm not quite straight outta Compton. Shit, I can't even claim to be straight outta Coxwell. Nope. I'm straight outta the lily-white, yuppy-infested, politically-correct, pseudo-liberal Beaches.

But I have a secret. I love gangsta rap. Specifically, I have a huge warm spot in my heart for the west-coast 80's bad-ass Compton crew NWA.

You're shocked, right? Hm. Well, that might just be why I like it so much. I've been listening since NWA came on the scene, and admittedly at first it probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was rebellious to be blaring this profanity in my feminist, socialist, non-racist, non-sexist, non-ageist, non-religious home. Yes, I can admit that.

However, rebellious or not, the funky beats from the "Straight Outta Compton" album and the cool, self-assured voices, tinged with teen angst and South Central style, of Eazy-E (RIP), DJ Yella, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube quickly settled into my soul.

Pretty soon this white yuppy-raised sweetheart was a little less girly and a little more gangsta. And guess what? I never grew out of it.

In fact, I think I grew INTO it. With every passing year as I listened, I developed a little more, I had a new outlook on life.

Early on it was definitely defiance. "Yeah, fuck tha police!" I thought.

A little later it was sexual. "Well, what do you want me to do with it? It don't matter, just don't bite it. She swallowed it! It's the worlds biggest dick."

But before long, as I grew and studied and expanded my mind, my understanding of the sociological meaning behind the music grew too. "I'm expressing with my full capabilities, and now I'm living in correctional facilities. 'Cause some don't agree with how I do this. I get straight and meditate like a Buddhist."

And saw the hypocrisy of the industry, "Some professionals cuss at home, too scared to use profanity when upon the microphone. Yeah, they want reality, but you will hear none, they'd rather exaggerate a little fiction. Some say no to drugs and take a stand, but after the show they go lookin' for the Dopeman."

I still remember quite vividly when Eazy-E died of AIDS. I'd known other people to succumb to the disease, but this one hit me in a different way. This was someone who, for reasons I still don't fully understand, I related to. He was from my generation. Hell, he was in my CD player! "I'm Eazy-E the one they're talking about. Ni**a tried to roll the dice and just crapped out." Looks like Eazy's the one who crapped out this time, huh?

One of my earliest, and dare I say strongest, celebrity crushes was on Ice Cube. Other girls I knew bought Teen Beat and pasted pin-ups of River Phoenix and Johnny Depp on thier walls. I searched the hiphop mags for shots of Cube. I watched Rap City religiously just waiting and hoping that they'd play one of his videos, not something that they did very often, mind you, until his solo album hit the charts. I admit it's a crush that lives on today. There's just something about him. He's in my Top 5.

You know, I don't know how to explain my passion for NWA. But I do know that despite the early corruption, I still grew up to be a feminist, socialist, non-racist, non-sexist, non-ageist, non-religious woman. I can listen to the music with a rebellious badass slant, but I can listen with a critical, sociological, intellectual understanding too. Do I agree with every message? Hell no. The point is, I still listen. And I still love it.

Shocking? Maybe. But when I'm dressed for work, grey wool coat and little black heels. Metallic pink iPod tucked dicsreetly into my black leather bag. I can't help but smile to know that on the other end of those earphones, unbeknownst to the subway full of commuters, I've got a head full of the NWA crew.

Hey, what can I say? If it ain't ruff, it ain't me.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Baby Love

Scarbie's in labour. Holy fucking shit.

It's early in the New Year, and as I mentioned last time, little Pecker decided to hold out for 2005. Good for you my little lovely. It's a mild, rainy day. The kind of day that makes you feel a little tired and a little sad. So why can't I wipe the smile off my face?

I spoke to The Dog about an hour ago. He called from the hospital (Thank GOD because I've been spazzing since about 10 a.m. when I called to check in with the 'rents-to-be only to get voicemail on home and cell). He assures me that they are all doing fine. Mommy has had her drugs and was chatting away in the background. That's my girl.

Long story short. Baby is on his way. Could be anywhere from 5 - 12 hours, but looks like Jan. 2 is going to be our newest bday to celebrate. A good day if you ask me. Our boy will always have a party to go to before his special day (on account of New Year's), plus the unique opportunity to start each new year of his life at the same time as a brand-new calendar year begins. Double reason to focus on making each successive year the best one ever.

Plus, Mommy and Daddy will still have New Year's Eve to themselves (well, as much as they will have any day to themselves now that there's a new person in the picture) and won't necessarily have to throw parties with clowns and pinatas on New Year's Day.

Hangovers + clowns = NIGHTMARE (or so I would imagine).

I'm not really able to concentrate on anything and so I'm off again to go and stare at the phone. I have a feeling that next time it rings, there will be news of a baby. A baby!

Now I'm crying again... it's out of pure joy, rest assured. Scarbie and Dog, my thoughts are with you. I hope everything is going perfectly. I'm so proud of you both and I can't wait to see you next... when two will have become three.