Friday, December 29, 2006

If You Can Make It There, You Can Make It Anywhere

I guess I can make it anywhere, my friends.

Just arrived back in the TDot after spending a frenzied week in NYC. Thank you all for your amazing recommendations for sights to see and places to eat. We enjoyed as many of them as we possibly could, given the limited time that we had.

Wow. I don't know what else to say about New York City. Just wow.

When you grow up your entire life in Toronto like I did, you sort of fancy yourself to be an urbanite. Throughout my life here I, like all other Torontonians, have had to deal with this not always spoken but always underlying comparison with the Big Apple. We hear how huge it is, how hip it is, how great the shopping is.

"Oh, New York, so cultured, so beautiful, so grand and bustling and did I mention huge?" they say.

I, having great pride and love for my own fair city, always kind of thought in the back of my head that this lavish praise must be exaggerated. Even when trusted friends and family would tell me, "New York is just incredible, you MUST go and see it, it'll blow you away," I always kind of smiled and nodded and thought to myself, whatever, how great can it be? How different can it be? I mean, I've seen cities all over the world. World class cities. New York -- BAH.

Well ya'll, here's where Beaches eats her words. New York City is spectacular.

I was prepared for big and bustling, that I expected. I was prepared for the ultimate in capitalism and commercialism and it definitely hits the mark there. But what I was not quite prepared for was the breathtaking beauty of the place. I mean COME ON! How is it possible that with every turn of a corner, every glance back over my shoulder, every view out of every window there was a sight that took my breath away?

Like I said, everyone talks about the food, the culture, the shopping. Yes, New York has it all. But nobody mentioned how gorgeous it is?! How can you leave that out? For me it was the best part of the city. I could have wandered around for several more days exploring the neighbourhoods and just soaking it all in. Leaving out the sheer beauty of the city is like telling your BFF about your new boyfriend and how smart and funny he is without mentioning the fact that he looks like Adonis and is hung like a horse. You can't leave that out!

I was not that impressed with the shopping, there, I said it. Yes, there's a lot of stuff to buy, but nobody can possibly need that much stuff, and also, who's affording it?? I could have spent about 12 hours in Century 21 alone, this I admit. But I learned something about myself on this trip. I'm cheap as shit when it comes to clothes shopping. The boutiques were lovely, but $250 dollars for a t-shirt with some iron on of Michael Jackson? Nuh uh. I ain't buyin' it.

I was very impressed with the restaurants and food -- top notch if a bit overwhelming with all the choices available, how to choose? I didn't even scratch the surface with the galleries and I will definitely be going back just to see more of those. MoMA was amazing. We did not catch a show and I'm sad about that, but with the crowds that have flocked to the city for the holidays and New Years there wasn't a hope in hell at getting a ticket to anything last minute. Next time, for sure.

What we did for most of our trip was walk. We were blessed with perfect weather, sunny and warm, like spring, so we didn't have to battle the elements as we set out to explore the sights and streets. We walked for hours on end, despite sore feet and aching knees, we couldn't get enough. We walked throughout Midtown, the West Village, the Fashion district, Upper East Side and Central Park. We did finally ride the subway on our last day but only because we were headed straight downtown to see Ground Zero and the Financial District and planned to walk all the way back to our Midtown hotel later on. We walked through Greenwich, Soho, Little Italy and more on that day. I didn't want to go down to the subway because I knew I'd be missing so much just by being underground.

Returning home to my beloved Toronto today, I saw our city from the plane and I finally understood why those comparisons to New York have always irked me. Toronto is charming despite its obvious flaws. What we lack in size and spectacle, we make up for in character and spirit. We're the little city that could. But to compare us to New York? Not fair, not even close to fair. Apples to watermelons! Pigeons to peacocks! Take a newborn baby and try to compare her to her great grandmother. Baby is cute while Great Granny is handsome. Baby is innocent while Granny is wise. Baby can babble while Granny has so many stories to tell.

I'm so glad I finally made the decision to go and see for myself what all the fuss was about. It was well worth it and you can be sure, I'll be going back. And soon.

*ps - pictures from Beaches does big city to come.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

This week I donned my gay apparel and hit up my first Christmas party of the season. I'm now at 1 for 5 billion. Given that I'm still hung over two days later, I'm having serious doubts about my ability to survive until January.

This was my company party at the fancy pants Eglinton Grand and you know what? It was really fucking fun. As you can see below, I drank my way through my fair share of the open bar and hit up the dance floor, high-high heels and all. Apologies in advance to my co-workers who might not have wanted these pictures posted for all to see.


Friday, December 01, 2006


Dear Santa,

I realize that it's slightly embarrassing and tremendously immature for a 31-year-old woman to a) write a letter to Santa and b) specifically request that you please work closely with my friend Bendy Girl and help her secure a private box during the upcoming Justin Timberlake concert, but by now I assume you know that I have no pride when it comes to my love for all things "pop".

And yes Santa, when I say "all things pop" I specifically mean Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears (among many, many others, but I'm trying to stay on topic). So while you're at it (preparing my sleigh full of gifts that is) can you also please ensure that two of them are back together, in love, engaged and possibly even pregnant by say February 14th? Just in time for Valentine's Day? Appreciate it Dude, you rock.

Back to JT for a moment, please. My little N'Sync deserter is coming to the Tdot at the end of January and will presumably be bringing sexy along with him. I'd like a piece of that action. If you help a sister out on this one, I promise that I will not wear leggings and a mini-skirt to the concert. I will dress my age and possibly pretend to be someone's parent, at least until I am safely within the confines of our private box, at which time, all bets are off.

Oh, Santa, please add glow sticks, glow necklaces, Bristol board, sparkly markers, whistles and a package of Bic lighters to my list.

One last request, and this is really just a suggestion of something you should probably make note of on Britney's letter this year. In case she forgot to add it herself, as she's been very busy partying and sleeping in cars and oh yeah, being a mom, I always forget that part. My girl clearly could use a few new pairs of panties.

In conclusion, Santa, please bring me SexyBack. Oh, and lay off the cookies.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Start Spreadin' the News

OH yeah. One other thing. Crown and I are heading to NYC after Christmas for four days. I'm a Big Apple virgin. Crown's only been once, as a kid. I want to go everywhere and do everything that the fab foursome ever did on any given episode of Sex and the City.

Being the rational and logical Virgo that I am, I realize that achieving this lofty goal is as likely as running into Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte in the hotel lobby. So, I'm putting it out there to you all. What should we do? What are the must-sees? Restaurants? Museums? SHOPPING? Help.

Thank you.

Monster Mash

Been having some blogger-block lately. Maybe it's just because my life tends to get increasingly boring as the winter sets in. I don't know.

Here's what I do know. My dog? Is. A FREAK.

Remember Winston Wonderpug? I've mentioned this little green guy here before (see photo).

The Momes is so obsessed with this toy that he will literally have a major spaz attack if the thing goes missing, or when we put it in the washing machine, or when Momes chews off another limb and we have to hide it away until I can find the time to sew up the gaping wound where the arm/leg/ear used to be.

I so wish I could post a picture of Winston as he looks today (can't, camera broken). It's so pathetic it brings tears to my eyes. Missing apendages stitched up cruelly and quickly while Momes has a conniption at my feet, scratching and flailing and snorting all the while.

From now on I will refer to Winston the Wonderpug exclusively as Winston the Frankenpug.

Poor Winston. He's losing that last stub of his last arm as I type.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Never Enough

You know how when you’ve been dating someone for a while, people start asking you when you’re going to get serious? Then when you get serious people start asking you when you’re going to get married? Then you get married and well, I’m sure you can guess what they start asking you next. Can’t you? Can’t you guess? Maybe you’ve done it yourself. I’m sure that you’ve at least thought it yourself. I know I have.

Well, for those of you who have been thinking it about me, blushing newlywed that I am (heh), here’s the update. And don’t think that I haven’t noticed you staring at my tummy every time I overdo it with the carbs. I notice, and people? It’s JUST CARBS!

I have wanted to be a mother my entire life. From my earliest memories I have absolutely loved babies, even when I was just a baby myself. I like children of all ages, but especially babies. The newer, the smaller, the fresher, the better. I even love them when they are still in the belly. I loves me a pregnant belly. I love babies more than I love chocolate. More than I love puppies and I think you all know by now how much I love puppies. I LOVE PUPPIES A LOT.

Last night was Halloween and when a little 1 ½ year-old Nemo (of Finding Nemo fame) waddled up to my front door, all flush-faced and excited, looked up at me and said, “Tinkateeeenk,” I could barely get the candy into his overflowing pumpkin bag fast enough before closing the door and sitting down in my front hall in a flood of tears.

So with all this loving of babies, why no babies in our life yet? Well, the not-so-easy-to-answer answer comes in many parts. If you are really interested, please see reasons a) – g) below:

a) I’m an extremely cautious person. It’s a Virgo thing, I think. We don’t do anything without thinking it through and researching it to death. Preparedness is something that I take to the extreme. For example, before we even bought our home, I already knew exactly how I was going to pack up the apartment. What stuff would go in which box. Which room would need to be packed first in order to pack the others with the greatest level of efficiency. I’m totally serious. I think that every parent out there will say with certainty that you can never really be 100% prepared for children. It’s always a leap of faith to some degree. This is a problem for someone like me, who is always 100% prepared.

b) I have a dog. My dog hates children and tries to eat them. I haven't quite figured out how to "fix" this problem yet, despite renting all the seasons of The Dog Whisperer. Also, my dog has special needs. He is sick a lot and it seems like every time we get him healthy, after vet visits and sleepless nights, medications and nervous mornings at the animal emerge, we have a happy healthy dog for about two days and then it's something else. Regardless of how many times I tell myself, it's just a dog, stop stressing so much, I can't stop. I worry about him and every time he gets sick, I feel sick too. My God! How do you deal with that if it's your child? How? I'm not sure that I can live with the endless worry and fear. I'm not sure that I'm cut out to handle the panic that must rise up like a tsunami in your gut every time your baby is ill. How would I ever possibly with a child who had serious health problems? I'm just not sure I could do it. My heart stops beating at the mere suggestion.

c) My husband gets a say in this, too, believe it or not. And he’s not ready. He’s also into preparedness. Granted, it’s easier for the male part of the equation to wait it out because it’s not the male body that has to carry said child. It’s not the male body that has to have enough elasticity left in it that it can have a fighting chance of bouncing back to something ever so slightly resembling what it was before. Every time I tear up at a Pampers commercial and give him “the look” he says, “What? You want a baby right now?” with a slight tinge of unbridled panic in his voice.

d) So DO I want a baby right now? The fact of the matter is I love my life just as it is. I love sleeping in on Saturday mornings. I love having a tidy house. I love not cooking and not doing 10 loads laundry a day. I love traveling when and where we want. I love deciding at 10pm on a Friday that yes, I will hook up with some friends for tequila shots at the local hot spot. This is happening increasingly less and less, but it still CAN happen whenever I want it to. That’s hard to give up. Basically, I’m afraid of change. I do believe that a baby would fulfill us in so many other ways that these other child-free perks will simply not matter as much anymore.

e) But can I have a baby right now, even if we decided we wanted to? This is a big one—something I haven’t discussed with many people yet. I guess I wanted to come to terms with it and let it sink in myself first. This summer I was “sort of” diagnosed with a condition that could make it difficult, if not impossible for me to maintain a pregnancy, even when we decide to bite the bullet. I say “sort of” because without some very invasive tests, that could do more harm that good, I can not be entirely positive that I have this condition. I do not want to do the tests. The specialist that I saw said it makes more sense to wait and try to conceive naturally and “if it doesn’t work out the natural way” we would begin a treatment plan. The condition is called a Luteal Phase Defect. After doing my own research and discussing it with my regular doctor I’m fairly certain that I do have this condition. I won’t describe it here, but if you’re interested in the gory details, just google it. I have been assured that it’s one of the easiest forms of infertility to treat, remedies range from over-the-counter vitamins (B6) to prescription medications such as Clomid.

f) So here’s the thing though. I have always maintained that I want to have my children before I reach a certain age. I want to be young enough to relate to them through their teen years, I want MY parents to be young enough to enjoy my babies; I want my grandmother to be around to be a great-grandmother. And selfishly, I also want to be young pick up my child-free life once the kids have grown and gone. I ain’t no spring chicken over here. If I have to first try and fail at conceiving, then begin treatment and try again, it could take months or years before we get pregnant. Is my time running out?

f) Further to that is my own moral dilemma. I have always told myself that, God-forbid, if I had problems with fertility I would not put myself or my partner though the trials and tribulations of fertility treatments. There are so many children in this world, I said to myself, and at the risk of sounding too “Angelina” here, there are so many babies with no parents, no food, no future. Why go through the struggle and the heartache of trying and trying to have our own baby when there are so many babies that need us? It was easy to say this to myself before my “sort of” diagnosis because I really never believed that I’d have any trouble. I’m healthy, fit and (sort of) young. I’ve never had serious health issues before. But now, facing the possibility of never experiencing my own pregnancy and never seeing my own or my husband’s eyes reflected back at us through our baby, suddenly I feel selfish and scared.

So there’s the not-so-easy-to-answer answer. For now, no babies for us. And why did I cry when I saw that little Nemo on my doorstep? Because when I think carefully about all the reasons above, and I think about them often, I suddenly realize for the first time in my entire life that there is actually a small sliver of a possibility that I may never have a little Nemo of my own.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

White Wedding

Well, not quite white... but I think I may have already mentioned that it was perfect. Perfect for us, anyway.

And on this glorious fall morning [note: I did write this last Saturday, but am only getting to post now], as we get ready to celebrate the wedding of our lovely friends Double D and Queen of Tarts (so named not because she's a tart, far from it, but because she once brought us a box of scrumptious tarts from the famous Toronto bakery of the same name and I'll never ever forget her for it!), I'm already feeling a little nostalgic for our own wedding day. If I could wake up tomorrow and be in that hotel bed in Las Vegas, tired and groggy from a long night of gambling and drinks but jittery with excitement for the special day ahead, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

September 18, 2006:

Crown and I woke up early. Normal for me on vacation, very strange for him. The day was glorious, hot and sunny, the kind of day only the desert can deliver. I was itching to get to the pool. I had visions of spending the day lounging, soaking up rays, and chatting with my girls, and that is exactly what I did.

My sister Chops and my BFF Dings met me poolside. We lazed the morning away, laughing and snapping silly pictures of me in my "bride" baseball cap with the veil attached to the back. Yes, I wore it in public, but only because my mom's lovely lesbian neighbours made me promise I would. They gave it to me, a hand-me-down from their own wedding last summer.

I was not feeling nervous at all. In fact, quite the opposite, I was relaxed and I was ridiculously happy. The experience was not lost on me. I was doing what I love most in the world, laying poolside on a hot day and people watching, in what has to be the absolute best place on earth to watch people. I was in one of my favourite cities, with almost all of my favourite people, about to marry the man of my dreams.

Um? Wait a second. MARRY the man of my dreams? MARRY? HOLY FUCK. It hit me around 2 pm. My nervousness came in a wave, which I self-diagnosed as hunger.

"Dings? Dings? I think I need a hotdog. Can we go get a hotdog, please?"

We went to find a hotdog. Apparently, the poolside bar at the Flamingo no longer serves hotdogs.

"What kind of poolside bar doesn't serve fucking HOTDOGS? FISHBURGERS?! Nobody saunters up to a poolside bar in 110 degree heat and orders a fucking fishburger!"

Dings and Chops took control, got us out of the pool area and somewhere that sold hotdogs. We ate hotdogs. I calmed down again. Better. See, I was just hungry. After our lunch we decided we should hit the casino and burn off a little energy at the roulette wheel. We tried the new "rapid roulette" computerized version of the game and each lost $20 in about three minutes. This was not helping me relax.

"Why don't we take a walk. It's so beautiful outside. Dings, lets walk over to your hotel."

The three of us strolled down the strip to Paris. I was now checking my watch every 30 seconds. It was around 3:00pm. I had decided that I must be back in my room by 3:45pm so I could nap, shower and start getting ready. Dings would meet me back there at 4ish to do my hair and makeup.

We ran into Crown on the way to Paris, the first time I'd seen him all day. Chat for a minute or so, he was also feeling rushed. We shared a smooch and off he went. Next time I'd see him would be minutes before our ceremony.

We spent only enough time at Paris to lose another $20 each in the nickel machines, so clearly not long at all. At this point I was definitely feeling full-blown anxiety. My number one source of stress at that moment? What else? My hair.

Chops and I went back to our rooms at the Flamingo to rest and get ready. I wanted to lie down, but instead convinced myself that I should practice walking in my shoes. My number two source of stress at that moment? That's right. My shoes.

I was petrified of falling on my face in the middle of my short jaunt down the aisle. I teetered around my hotel room in nothing but panties and high heeled shoes for a good half an hour, stopping only to watch a beautiful wedding from my window, which overlooked the surprisingly beautiful grounds of the hotel. It made me cry.
My number three source of stress at that moment? Crying. I was determined that today I would not cry! I wanted to be composed and beautiful, not sobbing and covered in streaks of mascara.

Hopped in the shower and began the long of process of what Scarbie would call, Pimping My Hide. Shave, scrub, wash, condition, blow dry, moisturize, moisturize again (this was the desert people), pluck, powder, moisturize again. Dings showed up bearing vodka and gifts. Bless her heart. It was almost 4:30pm.

Dings did an amazing job on my hair. Using about 1000 bobby pins and some really pretty gold hair pins that she bought just for the occasion, she managed to get my unmanageable hair into the prettiest twisty updo that you could imagine. It was perfect! We both got a little teary as the reality of what was happening set in. I also welled up a little with relief -- hair, done! Stress number one, over!

Makeup came next and again Dings did a beautiful job. Pretty, natural, with just the perfect hint of colour to jazz things up. We pulled my dress on and fastened the gorgeous Swarovski crystal earrings (another perfect gift from Dings) just in the nick-of-time. Limo was arriving at 6pm, it was 5:59pm.

After a brief moment of anxiety -- we couldn't find the limo (wrong lobby -- big hotel) -- Chops, Dings and I piled in and we were off to the chapel, cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard as the evening desert sun streamed in through the windows and the Romanian driver told us over and over again how beautiful we looked. Nothing like getting hit on by the limo driver on the way to your wedding.

We pulled up to the Little Church of the West right on time. Crown was standing outside with all of our guests, watching as the car pulled up. He looked so handsome in his suit that my breath caught a little and I had to wave away tears. I was still determined not to cry.
I had decided to stay in the limo until it was time to walk down the aisle, and sprinkle just a little bit of tradition on our very non-traditional day. The family was lined up with cameras in hand and I have to admit, it was fun to watch from the privacy of my tinted windows as they chatted and waited to go into the church.

Finally it was time. They all disappeared into the church and Chops and I got out of the limo. She headed inside, the wedding planner dude handed me my flowers and gave me a quick run down of what I was supposed to do.

"Hold the flowers here. Walk when you are ready. Smile and don't forget to listen. A lot of people forget to listen."

Then he asked me if "this guy" was escorting me down the aisle. This guy? I looked beside me and there was my Romanian limo driver! He said, "I can do for you -- you are alone -- is no good."

"Um, no thanks. I'm cool. I wanted it this way."

The wedding planner dude waved away the driver and waved me into the doorway of the church. The first few notes of our song, Cruisin' Together by Smoky Robinson, played and I had two thoughts running through my mind.

Don't fall. Don't cry.
Don't fall. Don't cry.

I didn't fall and I didn't cry. Well, I didn't cry yet. I made it down the aisle (it's a very short aisle, maybe 10 steps in total). I paused for a picture and waved at Cairn's family, who I hadn't seen yet. I stood next to Crown, and the minister started his thing.

All I heard was that noise the Charlie Brown hears when his teacher is talking. "Mwawa Wawaam..." I managed to get out my "I dos" at the right moments, as did Crown. Then came the vows. Crown passed his with flying colours. Ring ended up on my finger and I stared at it for a few extra seconds. Pretty, I thought.

"Beaches, please repeat after me..."

I repeated the first line, the second... I repeated the third. The fourth was harder, it took a deep breath. Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry. The fifth line. I'm crying. I had to choke out the last two lines. Tears were stinging my eyes and sobs caught in the back of my throat, but I got them out
and after a few more minutes of "wawaawaawa..." I heard him say loud and clear, "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may seal your vows with a kiss."

Made out for a couple of seconds. GTs.

And we were done! Married. The entire ceremony lasted 6 minutes and 26 seconds. I know because I have the DVD to prove it. Pictures were taken and as Crown and I walked out of the Little Church, they rang the bells. It was a perfect moment, captured in the picture I posted last week.
We took a bunch of photos outside of the church (see my Flickr for more photos and I'll continue to add them as we sort through) and then "the kids" all piled into the limo together. After a quick stop at the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign, we cruised up and down The Strip, drinking champagne and laughing. It was perfect. I was ecstatic. We were hungry! Off to the restaurant to meet up with "the adults" and seal the day off with food and drink. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
Although I hadn't expected it, or asked, several people made beautiful speeches at dinner. My no crying rule was out the window. After several hours of amazing food and drink, we were ready to go, full and satisfied, back to the casino.
Dings, Chops and I spent hours playing roulette that night. It was some of the most fun I have had in my entire life. We laughed and drank and gambled. Perhaps not the most virtuous of wedding night celebrations, but we were in in Sin City after all. Dings got lucky and when I finally lost all my money and glanced at that time I realized that maybe it was time for me to go and do the same.


It was close to 4am. Our wedding day was over. Our life was just beginning.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Time of My Life

Done and done. Full details to follow, but can't type now. So tired. Just know this, really and truly one of the best days of my life. Who knew? There was a bride in there afterall!

Friday, September 15, 2006


Well, just a matter of hours before Crown and I are off to the city of sin to make it official. I probably won't post again until all is said and done.

Wish me luck?

With the gambling, I mean. I'm already lucky in love. The luckiest.

We'll chat in a few days, when I'm a Mrs.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Final Countdown

Still. Slightly. Hung. Over.

Saturday night I had the absolute pleasure to paint the town red with three of Toronto’s finest females, Scarbie, Ragdoll and The Suze. These generous and beautiful women took me out to celebrate the impending nuptuals, which, by the way are impending really freakin’ quickly. Five days and counting…

My memories of our Sex and the City style outing to a chic Queen West-West eatery and uber-trendy hotspot are still soggy from too much tequila, but from what I can recall:

a) We were all looking foxy and I have a picture to prove it but NO IDEA how to transfer it from my cell phone onto this magical glowing box.

b) Our meals were fantastic despite the fact that our waitress forgot to bring our plate of Moroccan spiced olives. Twice.

c) A banana walked by the restaurant while we were eating. A banana. This was before any tequila touched lips, I swear.

d) The Suze used her skillz to by pass the line at the club, but forgot that she was supposed to bring us with her! She did knock on the window and wave at us from the inside though, ever the thoughtful and loving friend.

e) Some guy came up to me and said, “Let me guess…. Jessica Simpson?” and then, not 30 minutes later another guy called me Jessica Simpson. I’d be developing a complex and blaming my new hair cut and her removal of extensions… but… fuck man, it’s Jessica Simpson. Who can complain?

f) Friends called me Jess for rest of the evening.

g) As if spending a whole night with my three favourite Tdot babes isn’t enough… my three favourite Tdot boys showed up later too. Weirdo rolled up around 1am, followed closely by Crown and GParty.

h) Crown was acting all badass and cocky because they wouldn’t let him pass the line, and in his words, “He could get into this motherfucker in three phone calls or less.” This is the behaviour that Scarbie and I dream of witnessing from him when we’re together. Cracks us up into fits. But also? Got to admit, HOT.

i) Weirdo danced on his speaker for about three solid hours. Also cracks us up. Also kinda hot.

j) GParty. What can I say about GParty? Who can have anything but the best time ever when GParty is in the house? Love him so much.

k) Also, Spiderman was at the club. I do not mean Toby Maguire the actor who plays Spiderman in the blockbuster Hollywood film adaptations about the famous comic book hero. I mean, some guy dressed as Spiderman. Full one piece spandex type suit completely with head sock and booties. Granted this maybe less random than the banana-guy (see above) but still, when’s the last time you saw a super-hero at a nightclub? I mean really.

l) Ran into some blasts from my past. One guy from university and one chick from high school. Both knew me in my “other life,” so my memories, especially of the guy, were fuzzy at best. It was kind of a worlds colliding moment. Luckily, from what I can recall, the past stayed firmly planted in the past. Was pretty jokes, actually.

m) Last call is extended until 4am in Toronto during the TIFF (film festival), so I’m sure you can imagine the amount of damage that was done. Enough said.

A huge and heartfelt thanks to my awesome girls who gave me a really special night, even though I said I didn’t need any fuss. You have made me vow that we do not need a bloody Las Vegas wedding to get us out together for a night of booty shaking!

Thank you. Love you. Never drinking again.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Name of the Game

Just 'cause I haven't showed him off in about, um, five minutes.

I give you:

Stinky Stinkerson.
Barky Barkerson.
Sulky Sulkerson.
Sheddy Shedderson.
Pukey Pukerson.
Itchy Itcherson.
Scratchy Scratcherson.
Poopy Pooperson.
Momey Momerson.
Sleepy Sleeperson.
Cutey Cuterson.
Puppy Pupperson.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

When I'm Sixty-Four

I have been spending an exorbitant amount of money on personal maintenance. Seriously my friends. Between the waxing, facials and mani-pedis, I’m headed for the poor house.

Here’s my theory. The more you start to indulge in these quick aesthetic tune-ups, the more you start to need them. I’m serious. When I was only getting one mani-pedi every two months or so, my feet were soft, toes lovely, hands like butter. Now? Scaly chipped, peeling and cracked after like five days. Sure, summer plays a role, but I think there’s a greater evil lurking in the shadows.

Age. There, I said it.

I get it now.

The older you get, the fatter, dryer, pastier, frizzier and wrinklier you get. It’s all true. Holy fuck.

Anyway, my point. With the pending nuptials bearing down on me, I’ve been feeling some added pressure to get the car into the shop, so to speak. Through out the summer I’ve been going for monthly facials, I’ve had purifying back treatments, hair cuts and colours. I’ve been springing for the “good” shampoo.

Naturally, summer requires waxing. I’ve been upping the ante and going full burn on the bikini in prep for poolside in Sin City. Also, have added eyebrows to the list, something that until this year, I’ve always tended to myself. Now there’s no going back! The brows need a professional! That arch, that perfectly “natural shape” that is SO NOT NATURAL AT ALL. I can’t do that. No way.

Then there's the ever present gym-membership. Plus I’ve been religious about weekly yoga. And this week I added a tanning package to the list. Tan lines won’t do, will they? NO THEY WILL NOT.

Add up all these services and it feels like springing for the full detailing at the car wash, you don’t really want to pay someone to shake out your mats, but do it yourself? As if.

So this fall, when I’m wearing last year’s boot cut jeans, instead of this year’s drainpipes; and if you see me in pointy-toed kitten heels, instead of round toed platforms; just know, underneath those out-of-date fashions lies smoothly waxed skin, soft, supple heels and a bloody expensive tan.

My one saving grace? Am off food. Saving a few bucks there. But trust me, once I’ve actually fit into my dress, I’ll be back on the burgers, and those few extra dollars will be flying out the window as well.

Will I give up my other services then, too? Somehow, I don’t see it happening. Like prune juice and comfortable shoes, looks like they are just an inevitable part of my future.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm a Hustler, Baby

So Scarb recently put in a request for my porn star stories.

I haven't pulled them out of the vault in a while, so bare with me if they are a little fuzzy. I'm going to try my best not to pull a James Frey, so I should add as my disclaimer that these were different times. Wilder times. Times where my memory has a few holes, we shall say, and we shall say no more.

You'll have to take my word for it that I do have photographic evidence of my short-lived aquaintance with Ron Jeremy. I would gladly post the pics for you here, but a) there are other people in them who may not want pictures of themselves hugging the Hedgehog posted on the internet and b) I don't know how to use the scanner.

The Background:
I did a brief stint in LA. The year was 1999. I went there for a few reasons but I guess the primary one was to get away from the insanity that was quickly enveloping me here in TO. I was partying. A lot. Betty Ford seemed a little excessive, yet I do question why I thought LA was the answer to finding healthy living and sobriety. Hm. Moving on...

My dear friend (and YES, ex-bf, but we really were just friends at this point) had recently moved his promotions and talent booking agency to LA. He was living and working out of a two bedroom apartment in West Hollywood and I went out there to help. Or, to go to the beach. Whatever.

The Clients:
While the client list for said talent booking agency had originally consisted of famous club and rave DJs, urban and electronic musicians, if you will, in LA the clients started to take a turn for the, well, weird. He started taking on celebrity clients who would get booked to make appearences at parties and other events. Corey Feldman (yes, I met him too, that's a story for another post, don't let me forget, it's a good one), Vern Shroyer... enter Ron Jeremy.

The Hedgehog:
I first met the Hedgehog when he came over to our apartment for a "meeting". It was around dinner time and we'd been preparing Shepherd's Pie, it was baking in the oven and smelling fantastic, but my appetite was low. I'd never met a famous porn star before, let alone one as notorious as The 'Hog. I didn't know what to expect... would he arrive naked? He didn't. I'm kind of sad about that now. Would he try to grope me? He did. It wasn't as bad as it sounds.

What can I say about RJ? He's kind of, well he's actually sort of, um, sweet? Kind? Likeable? Are the feminists going to come after me for that? I'm sorry. I'm a feminist, I swear, and I was prepared to dislike this guy, I truly was. But I LIKE HIM. I can't help it. He came in, sat down at the table, and shared our Shepherd's Pie. His manners are terrible. He talks with his mouthful and our dinner conversation DID involve the question about whether or not he could actually suck his own dick. I personally had never seen that movie. He offered to "prove it to me right here, right now." I regretfully declined. I'm kind of sad about that now too.

The Hustler Party:
That's right. I went to one. With The Hedgehog. Sorry, he wasn't naked for that either. Many of the women there were. I was incredibly, and embarrassingly, overdressed in my Snug jeans and a halter top. It was at the Hustler Store on Sunset Blvd. Joey Buttafuco was there, as was Corey Feldman. Did you know they are all buds? How's that for a posse? RJ was in fine form that night, ever the entertainer. He wants very badly to be a stand-up comic and he tells non-stop jokes. He also grabs a lot of asses. And the women? They love him. At least, the Hustler women do.

The Handshake:
Another night we all went out to see a show at the House of Blues, also on Sunset. I can't remember what the show was. That outta tell you how well the whole sobriety thing was working out for me. Heh. Anyway, I do remember this. We were backstage after the show. I was standing with RJ when two girls walked over to us and said to him, "We know you from somewhere... you're famous, right?" Ever the charmer, Ron held out his hand and said, "Yeah, you could say that." One of the girls grabbed his hand and started to shake is as he said, "I'm Ron Jeremy." Suddenly the girl's face become awash in recognition and she snatched her hand back as if she'd been burned. "UGH!" she exclaimed through her grimace and turned and walked away, disgusted and rubbing her hand up and down on her jeans.

I was mortified to watch Ron's face as this took place. I could see in his eyes that it wasn't the first time, and that it was crushing for him to have it happen again. He recovered with a joke very quickly, but he couldn't control that split second look and it spoke volumes for me. I'll admit I'm a softy and I hate to see people hurt. I cry when they cry, no matter who they are. But even I learned something in that moment -- you really can't judge a book by it's cover. And you can't judge a man by the number of gang bangs he's starred in.

The T.Dot:
The last time I saw The 'Hog was when he was in town for the premiere of his movie, Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy. My friend from LA was in town representing RJ and setting up various media appearances, etc. We were to pick Ron up at his hotel room and get him into the limo and over to the premiere on time. A few of us were going in the limo together, so we had a nice dinner and went together to get Ron from his room. We knocked on the door and heard some muffled noises from inside. After a few moments a stick thin, large breasted woman opened the door stark naked and stood there staring at us as we were the paper boy and she was in a robe and slippers handing us buck for the service. After she graciously explained that she was giving Ron his "rub down" before the show, she went back inside to coerce him into leaving with us.

We all piled into the limo together, naked woman now somewhat clothed, and drank champagne on the way to the theatre. My girlfriend who was with us got some choice photos on Ron's lap and sandwiched in between him and Ms. Naked. It was really fun. The premiere was a smashing success. If you've never seen the film, I highly recommend it. I think you'll be surprised to learn some of the things revealed about The 'Hog. And I suspect, that like me, you'll come away from it with a new perspective on what drives this furry, horny, strange little (yet LARGE) man.

There are many things that I loved about California. The weather, the beach, the shopping and the laid back vibe. But probably the best memories from my stay there were some of the characters that I had the pleasure of meeting. When in LA, you think you want to spot a celeb and you're constantly on the look-out, it's true. But for me, spending time with that aging porn star with a heart of gold was so much more fulfilling that a glimpse of an A-lister could ever have been.

Well, unless we're talking Brad Pitt...

These Boots Were Made for Walking

But these shoes were made for wedding!

Not exactly your average wedding shoe, but I guess I'm not exactly your average bride.

Besides, I had no choice. It was love at first buckle.

Viva Las Vegas.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stop! In the Name of Love

Hi people. Can we have a quick chat? About these:

These first came to my attention through a series of posts by, who else? Dooce, as she has been staging a public revolt against her husband and his very own cheery, lemon yellow pair.

Suddenly, however, I'm noticing that this particular brand of footware is spreading like SARS through the once hip, happening streets of Toronto. I'm serious, I think this footware might be airborn and am considering wearing a mask. The Beach should be bloody quarantined, but I almost expect to see them there. But Queen West? For sale in EVERY store? No. No no. People? No.

Now, while my own husband-to-be would sooner amputate his own feet at the ankles with a dull pen knife than put these atrocities on his feet, my opinion of them is somewhat softer. I would definitely require a very sharp pen knife.

I have tried these "shoes" on recently. Out of curiousity. And I'll give you this, they are comfortable. They are acceptable for gardeners to wear, in the comfort of their own private gardens. For cottagers and early morning strolls along a secluded, misty beach. For dog walkers who need to run outside in a torrential down pour to let the pup take a pee. Possibly, maybe even as indoor slippers but only when you do not have any guests.

But please listen to me. These "shoes" are not acceptable for the streets of Toronto. No, no. It doesn't matter that they come in trendy, fun colours like teal and orange sorbet and hot pink. The colour is not hiding the fact that these are hideous. The colour is amplifying the fact that these are hideous.

I'm no fashion expert. I don't talk about fashion here very often because what the fuck do I know? If I know one thing, my friends, it's this. These "shoes" are a fashion crime to the Nth degree. You should receive a life sentance in fashion-prison for even thinking about wearing these "shoes" in public. I actually feel sick with embarrasment for those unsuspecting criminals that I see wandering the streets cluelessly in alarming numbers, comfortable feet and all.

Friends? Stop! In the name of love.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Saw The Devil Wears Pradalast night with Weirdo.

Won’t critique it except to say that Meryl is an absolute bloody genius and she totally owned the show. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie but found the “chicklit” aspect of it (incredibly annoying "friends," and the predictably cute but boring boyfriend who gets threatened by the change in girlfriend and the girlfriend who realizes almost too late that she has changed only to change back and return to annoying boyfriend) that annoyed me. I seem to have lost my tolerance for the genre, as of late.

Having said that, after seeing the movie, I feel compelled to do five things with the utmost urgency:

1. Lose 15 lbs.

2. Throw out every single item of clothing that I own.

3. Replace entire wardrobe with one massive shopping spree (preferably in New York and/or Paris), relying heavily on newly acquired line of credit.

4. Read more fashion magazines.

5. Thank my lucky stars for my new boss, who is lovely, intelligent, funny, normal and did I mention NORMAL? I’d love to dwell on this one some more, but as we all know, and let’s all say it out loud together, "WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT OUR JOBS ON THE INTERNET." (Thank you Dooce for your words of wisdom.)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Always Be My Baby

I think we can consider this unequivocal proof that The Momes loves this year's birthday gift, Winston the Wonderpug.

And I'm glad, because I love The Momes, I really love The Momes. I love him enough to buy him a $14 demented looking squeeky toy from the poshest pet store on the block, just to watch him carry it around, drag it through the dirt and slobber all over it for hours.

Momo turned a whopping four years old on June 25, that's 28 in "doggie years" so he's catching up to me. But no matter how much Cesar Milan would disapprove, he'll always be my baby.

Happy birthday Lil'Boss!

Luv Mommy.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ring the Alarm

Because my wedding ring was a steal!

I love my ring. We bought it together a couple of weeks ago from Mark Lash, a very fancy place indeed.

Every year they have a 50% off sale at the Richmond Hill location, so my beautiful, sparkly, diamond studded band cost a lot, but it could have been twice as much! A steal, you see?

I wish that I could post a picture of it here for all off you to see. It's so pretty I can hardly contain myself. I sometimes wear it around the house and flash it at myself in the mirror or let it catch a sunbeam. I purposely have not had it sized yet, because I know if I do I will not be able to resist its magical charms.

Remember Gollum? Yeah, that's totally me. "My precioussss...."

But I am going to wait and unveil it only after our impending nuptuals.

God knows I didn't save anything else for marriage.


My Prerogative

Yet another reason why I think Dooce is cool.

Goin' To the Chapel

Okay, “chapel” might be a stretch but goin’ to the Little Church of the West doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

That’s right. After nearly seven years, five of which have been cohabitated (probably not the right use of the word, but whatever), one dog, one brand-new house and quite strong sense of, “well, I guess we’re in this for keeps, eh?” Crown and I have decided to make it official.

I think just about everyone who reads this already knows about our plans, and if not, I guess this will be a good way to identify lurkers! Come out, come out where ever you are. We did keep the news quiet for quite a while, this isn’t exactly a brand-new development or anything, but I especially wanted to keep it on the down low at work because, let’s just say, some people tend to get a little freaky about these things and I don’t want to deal. My goal is to avoid ending up in the boardroom with a sickly sweet Valumart cake and bows stuck to my head. (Not that I don’t love me a sickly sweet Valumart cake.) I have filled “the girls” at work now, and I’m kind of hoping that nobody else finds out until after the fact. We’ll see how that works out for me.

I never considered myself the marrying type, and I still don’t consider myself the wedding type. At all. We are doing this in the best way we know how, shrouded in Vegas kitsch, free drinks, showgirls and roulette. I am not wearing a wedding dress. Crown is wearing a Tuxedo T-shirt. After some debate, we have invited our nearest and dearest and left the option open to others to “come if they want.” We’re expecting around 15 people. How fun will that be?

I’m not wearing an engagement ring, not because I don’t love sparkles, but because a) I don’t want to have to talk about it with anyone and everyone, an engagement ring is a sure-fire way to let the cat out of the bag and b) because there is just something that bothers me about the whole concept of engagement rings. Why don’t men have to wear one? It’s fishy, right? Not that I would ever turn down that kind of gift… nu’uh... my principles are simply not that strong.

For those of you who are going to want the “engagement story,” it goes a little something like this. Crown and I went out for Sunday brunch at the Beaconsfield. On our way there we walked past the Drake, which had some kind of art display in the window featuring photographs of models of the Las Vegas strip. The addict in my flared up instantly, and forced me to turn my attention to thoughts of my annual Vegas excursion. My ‘rents had asked us to go in August, we had already discussed the possibility of going in September and getting hitched.

As we settled into our bacon and eggs I said, “You know, I think we should just go to Vegas in September and get married.”

Cairn thought about it for a moment, “Yeah? Sure, why not, let’s do it.” Then, as the waiter walked up with refills for our coffee, he followed it up with, “Could we get an extra order of sausage?”

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Not That Innocent

I just finished watching the Britney Spears interview on Dateline.

I've never made a secret out of the fact that I'm a Britney fan. In fact, I've written about it here. I've been fascinated, along with the rest of the world, with the rise and fall of this one time reigning pop-princess. I'm guilty of taking great pleasure in the tabloid coverage of her marriage to KFed, her pregnancies, her Oops I Did It Again mishaps with baby SPF. I love me a good trashy magazine more than the average Joe, I freely admit.

I have to say though, that from the day that BritBrit officially announced her first pregancy, I had a sad feeling. Things were not going to turn out well for America's bubblegum blonde. I felt sad that day, partially because it wasn't even her news to reveal. The mags had been all over that shit for months already with their speculations and inside scoops. I should know, I read every single word.

I know that this interview was staged, just like most of her public life, to have an affect on her audience. I'm savvy to the media machine, I really am. But you know what? It really worked this time because even though she was sitting there, boobies hanging out, mascara apparently applied in the dark, I didn't have the heart to make fun. In fact, I almost wanted to cry for her. I truly got the sense that she's fiercly protective of her baby, the same one that the stalkerazzi are trying to convince us isn't being protected at all.

She seemed very young, very unhappy and honestly lost in a world that is out to destroy her even more swiftly than it lifted her to superstardom. I got the sense that she doesn't even fully understand the extent to which she is being slammed.

I guess the reason that my heart goes out to her is because I feel conflicted by the fact that she did choose this career and to be in the public eye and has reaped great rewards as a result. But she's 24 years old and about to become a mother for the second time. She became a superstar at 17. There was no way that she could ever have had enough forsight at 17 years old to know that in only six year's time she'd be a wife and a mother. She couldn't have predicted then what it would feel like to try to protect a new life from the one that she created for herself when she was just a child.

I'm not about to put down my smut, believe me, but I think I am going to side with the Britster for a while. It's time to leave her alone and let her be a mom. Let her make mistakes (what mom hasn't dropped their baby once or twice, like seriously) without such harsh judgement and ridicule. She's not the sparkly groomed Britney of old, but we can be just as entertained by the messy baby-makin' Britney, without being so cruel, can't we?

And for God's sake, let a pregant popstar get her venti decaff cafe frappacino now and then without leaping up from behind the counter with a barista smock and a camera. Actually, I love those shots, keep doing that.

Monday, June 05, 2006


The subject of ovulation, and the powerful surging hormones that are often associated with it, keeps coming up these days. I wrote a post back in March called Panic Song where I describe a horrible panic attack that I'd recently suffered and conclude that it was somehow tied to my first ovulation after discontinuing the birth control pill.

It's no secret that I have my fair share of neuroses. There is my, by now, well documented fear of fire. I'm also nervous in cars and planes. I have, like every other woman that I have ever met, my fair share of body issues. Probably my best known neuroses is my compulsion to keep a clean house. It's seriously borderline OCD and I know it. Most people find it funny, a silly personality quirk, and most of the time I look at it that way too.

After all, if you can't laugh at yourself, what can you laugh it? But, there definitely times when I do not find this compulsion funny at all. I find it utterly overwhelming. I find it impossible to have a normal day, to enjoy a normal conversation or sometimes even sleep normally when I'm having what I consider to be an OCD "episode".

These episodes have always increased during PMS, but now that I'm post-pill, I'm realizing that they are at their worst during ovulation. I've been thinking for some time about how I can adequately describe what these episodes feel like for me, and I think I've come up with two scenerios that will do the trick. I chose two, because the way that the compulsion affects me is two-fold.

1) It affects the way that I view my home.
2) It affects the way that I feel when I'm in my home.

Scenerio #1
I'm sure you've often heard the stories of severe anorexics when they say that when they look at themselves in a mirror, they see a fat person staring back. We try and try to understand, but can't. How could they possibly think that they are in any way anything but bone thin?
When I am having an "OCD day", I look at my house and see dirt, dust, filth and germs. I see it everywhere. Anyone else that has ever been in my home can't understand it. "It's spotless," they'll say, they will eat off my floors. They laugh and shake their heads, just relax already! Drop the Swiffer! I know it's funny and ridiculous to others, but people, I'm telling you, I can't relax! I can't relax until I have vacuumed, changed sheets, washed floors, polished glass. Why can't I "just relax already?" See scenerio #2.

Scenerio #2
Here's how I can best describe what it feels like for me to be in my house when the house has not been cleaned, particularly during PMS or ovulation. Have ya'll see the movie Jarhead? You know the scene when the oil fields go up in flames and the Marines gets rained on with oil? They are dripping and filthy and covered in oil and sand.
Imagine that's you. Covered in oil and sand. Imagine how you feel. Now imagine walking into your living room and sitting on your couch. Are you relaxed? Can you imagine just sitting there sticky and sweating and having your friends say to you, "forget about showering, just forget it you freak, you look fine. Sit down, relax, have a glass of wine!"
Can you imagine growing tired and crawling up the stairs to your bed. No shower, no change of clothes, just snuggling up under the covers, oil and all? Are you relaxed? Can you just "forget about the oil" and enjoy the moment? I don't think that you can.

This is how I feel during one of these overwhelming obsessive compulsive moments. Logically I know the house is not so bad. But something filters the way that I see it and a house that yesterday looked spotless and tidy suddenly seems crawling with grime. I'm told time and time again that I should just leave it, it looks perfect, why don't I just let it go and relax. I want to scream during these particularly bad moments. "I'm dripping with oil and caked in sand! I can't relax, can't you see?"

Before you conclude that I have completely lost my shit and start calling around to have me committed, I'd like to reiterate that this is only when my episodes are at their most extreme. On "normal" (as if) days I might be annoyed by a mess or drag the Swiffer around a little more than the average soul, but I'm in control.

Hormones are an amazingly powerful thing. They can create miracles. Anything that can actually guide us through something as complex as reproduction is not to be fooled with. This is Mother Nature's way of reminding us that she was always meant to be in control. But let's not forget, as a society we have decided not to let Mother Nature rule. We have taken our lives and our destinies into our own hands and told her, "Thanks Moms, but we'll take it from here." Whether we agree with this direction of society or not is irrelevent, it is just how we exist today. So, sometimes, we need help to suppress or control what Mother Nature intended for us. Birth control pills, umbrellas, cars, pesticides, antibiotics.

I don't feel like I'm in a place where I need medication to control my compulsions, after all, being clean might annoy some people but it certainly isn't hurting anyone. (Okay maybe Crown's back after all the scrubbing and vacuuming. Sorry Babes.) But if ever it came a time where my panic attacks or my OCD were seriously interfering with my ability to live a healthy, happy life, I'd be the first in line. Sign me up and tell me when to swallow. Mother Nature is beautiful and should be admired and respected, but we can't count on her for help anymore. We've pushed her away too many times.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Let the Rain Fall Down

Confessions of a not-anywhere-close-to-a-teenage drama queen:

Hi, my name is Beaches, and I'm a Lagunaholic.

They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Consider this my official admission. I want my M(Crack)TV.

LC and Stephen 4 evah.

Confession number two: although I've been forced onto the wagon for an old destructive addiction for several years because my drug of choice was unavailable, 90210hibition has ended. Catch it weekdays at 3pm and weekends at 10am on TVtropolis (formerly Prime). If you happen to live in the west or have digital with time shifting you can also tune in at 6pm and 1pm on TVTropolis West. Today I caught the pilot episode. They say it only takes one taste.

Betty Ford here I come.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Burn Baby Burn


Those who read me, know about the fire issues. No need to go there yet again or I risk boring you all so badly that you're going to find me and torch my place for kicks. Even I'll admit, that would be one hell of a show.

I've been meaning to pop on and tell you a ridiculous story about something that happened at a party I had on Friday night.

First, Crown and I had a party Friday night. Celebrating the visit of Dings, in for the weekend for her mom's bday. Was GTs all around. Since she was available to us in the Tdot for one night only we decided we might as well make an effort to show her a good time.

I'll admit that I somewhat selfishly hoped that she'd have so much bloody fun that she'd fly home to Van City, pack up the hubbie and pup, and move back to us next weekend. She didn't quite have that much fun. BUT I think we reminded her how we do in the Big Smoke, seen? She'll be back... oh yes... she'll be back. Nobody can resist the late-night-gay-Matty-dance-off for long. It's simply not possible.

Anyway, back to the fire story. Early on in the evening, shortly after the life of the party showed up - I'm refering of course to the one and only Scarbinator - I was cleaning up (shocking, I know) and she was settling in for a chat with our visiting guest of honour. I'm wiping, they're chatting. Wiping, chatting.

Suddenly there's a sound. A sizzling, frying, smoking, BURNING sound. I automatically look across the room at a collection of candles, certain that the blinds are going up, or the plant, HOY FUCK something is going up!! Keep in mind we're talking in nano seconds, I'm already near panic... when I hear a voice peep up from beside me... "Yo. I think your hair's on fire, fo' real."

Thanks Dynamus. You saved a life.

He was so right, Scarb's freaking HAIR CAUGHT ON FIRE. IN MY HOUSE. ON FIRE. Right in front of my face. Luckily I already had a coupie vodka-sodas in me and I handled it like a champ. Dings and I took turns slapping out out the flames and reassuring our fashionable friend that the damage was minimal. I even tried to convince her that it was a great way to get rid of any stray split ends.

She handled it like the true party girl that she is. I can tell it's not the first time she's set herself on fire, and you know, it's probably not the last. Respect for rolling with the punches and continuing to entertain us all night long with your hilarious self, Scarb.

And me? Well, I think I handled myself pretty well too. I promptly blew out all the candles, turned on the kitchen fan to air the joint out, poured myself a stiff one and got back to the fun.

I'll admit this here for you all though, the old neurotic Beaches reared her ugly head in the a.m. when I had to wash the reminants of Scarbie's burnt up locks from my dining room chair and floor. An ever so slight panic attack at what could have been, then a slightly larger panic attack at the state of my floors. At least we all know what neurotic behaviour of mine would win in a fist fight.

Scarb, they say these things happen in threes. I believe when it comes to close calls with fire, you and me are now at TWO? Crap.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Because I always keep my word, and better late than never.

Here it is pre-cut. Wet, long, kinda nappy:

Here is is post cut. Also wet. Not sure why I prefer to take pictures while fresh from the shower? Perhaps that's a topic for another post:

From the back:

And, amazingly dry, but up to it's old familiar frizzy tricks:


Why Can't You Do It?
Why can't you set your monkey free?
Always giving in to it -
Do you love the monkey or do you love me?
Why can't you do it?
Why do I have to share my baby with a monkey?
Don't look now
There's a monkey on your back -
Don't look now
There's a monkey on your...

That's right. We strapped a stuffed monkey to our dog's back and laughed our fucking asses off for a good 5 - 10 minutes. Some may call it mean spirited. Around here, we call it "GTs."

I'm sure he came away from the whole experience more fulfilled for having given his people some seriously good belly laughs. I promise we made every effort to pretend that we were not laughing at him, but by the looks of his unfurled curly pug tail, I don't think he was buying our bluff. Bad people.

Also, I can't believe I remember the lyrics to this post's name sake. Seriously, this was my favourite song for at least a year. It got to the point where my mom had to knock on my door and ask me to, "Please play another song. Any song. Maybe some more of the gangster rap. You still like the gangster rap, don't you?"

Friday, May 05, 2006

We Don't Need No Water, Let the MotherF'er Burn

In what can only be considered a bizarre form of karmic punishment for an apparently horrific evil I performed in a past life, our fire-alarm system is on the fritz.

That’s right. I, deathly afraid of fire and fire alarms, am currently living in a home where the fire alarm goes off ALL THE TIME for no apparent reason. And yesterday it happened ALL NIGHT LONG. Beginning at about 6pm and not ending until approximately 5:30am, when Crown, finally at his wit’s end (mine ended somewhere around, oh, when the FIRST ALARM sounded) ripped the bloody thing out of the ceiling.

We’re assuming that there is some kind of electrical malfunction at the heart of this issue, rather than assuming that we’re living with some sort of noxious gas that is tasteless, odorless, yet deadly. But those of you who have read this blog before, or who know me at all, probably understand that while my brain says electrical malfunction, my body is strongly in favour of the noxious gas option.

Which means that my body didn’t sleep last night at all. Which means I’m extremely tired. Which is why I’m explaining things that don’t need to be explained to people who aren’t as tired as I am. Sorry.

Suffice it to say, somewhere around 3am I was silently lying in bed, heart pounding, palms sweating, clutching the snoring dog to my chest, waiting for the horrible drill to sound again and praying that our deaths would be swift and painless.

By 4:30am; however, I was just all, “Let this motherfucker burn to the ground already. Bring it! I want to feel the sting.”

Obviously we survived the night. But now I’m entirely terrified to be alone in my own home and have seriously entertained the option of sleeping on a bench outside in the courtyard. Good thing this didn’t happen in February.

I must have burned and pillaged some serious villages in the 1800s or something. I mean honestly.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Now, ya’ll gotta know I love Cyndi, and Lord knows how I loved this song when it came out in 1983. But, I was eight. It was true then -- eight year old girls did just want to have fun in 1983.

But now? Sorry Cyndi, but I have to disagree. These days girls may want to have some fun, yes, but not just fun. These days girls of all ages, want to have a whole lot of things that are preventing them from having much fun at all.

They want to have skinny thighs.
They want to have designer jeans.
They want to have perky boobs.
They want to have the “it” bag.
They want to have perfect hair.
They want to have boyfriends.
They want to have flawless skin.
They want to have sex.
They want to have a BFF.
They want to have protection.
They want to have no more cellulite.
They want to have great careers.
They want to have smarts.
They want to have muscles, but not too many muscles.
They want to have respect.
They want to have popularity.
They want to have celebrity status.
They want to have diamonds.
They want to have freedom.
They want to have cars.
They want to have husbands.
They want to have long legs.
They want to have equality.
They want to have plastic surgery.
They want to have clean closets.
They want to have clean floors.
They want to have a clean slate.
They want to have babies.
They want to have perfect bodies after having babies.
They want to have their MTV.
They want to have well-adjusted families.
They want to have time for themselves.
They want to have a voice.
They want to have role models, but they don’t have much choice these days, do they?

The messages for girls are invasive, all encompassing and everywhere. They tell us, from an increasingly young age, that we should not only want all these things, but that if we don’t have them, we are not good enough, that we are failing at simply being girls and women.

We should be working harder, we should be reading more, we should smile a lot, we should buy expensive skin cream, and we should wear very high heels. We should run, but not too much because we’ll get thin, but bulky. We should take pilates and yoga, to balance that out. We should be nice to boys and skeptical of girls. We should cook and clean and work and raise the kids and stay in shape and look after our parents and look after our skin and blow our hair straight every day. Then, after all these things, we should have fun, damn it. Because isn’t that just what girl’s want?

It’s time to end the cycle of manipulation and self-deprivation that is infiltrating our little girls and creating damaged teenagers and scarred women. Perhaps we can’t bring down the media machine that perpetuates these damaging messages for their own profit and gain. But we can put a stop to it in our own homes and in our own minds. The cycle can stop with you. No more out loud comments about how fat you look. Your children are listening. Every time a negative, self-depreciating comments wants to come out of your mouth, I challenge you to say something positive about yourself instead. Your children are listening to that, too.

Eight-year-old girls should just want to have fun. That is what will allow them to reach eighty years with a strong sense of self-worth, self-value and inner strength. Let’s help them get there.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hey Mister DJ, Put a Record On...

I haven’t written about my iPod troubles here yet, because quite frankly, they are boring. Long story short, my iPod Mini died. We had to send it back to Apple. After a few hassles and some red-tape (and $100) they sent me a brand-new one. Brand-new meaning all my songs are gone. Bye-bye songs.

At first I thought this was a pain in the ass, but I’ve learned to be happy about it, because quite frankly the old mix was getting stale. Comfortable but stale. Change is good.

But I am lazy. SO lazy. I spent some time thinking about what to put on it and searching for songs and adding songs and I’ve managed to put about 150 tracks back on, but I’ve now I’ve lost my energy for it. This morning I found myself wishing that I could just pick a few random people and pass over my iPod and say, “Put stuff on it now, please.”

So. Why not do just that? Thus, I give you Project Playlist.

Here’s how it works. You send me a list of 10 songs (you can just put them in comments) that you really like right now. I’ll make them into a Playlist on my iPod under your name. Fun!

Now, please don’t feel pressure to be cool about it. Anybody who knows me, knows I’m so NOT cool about music. In fact, if you send a really cool list, I’ll still put it on under your name, but I’ll totally skip through the songs until I end up with one that’s just cheesy and singable enough that it allows me to forget that I’m on the subway during morning rush-hour.

Just to take the pressure off and prove how NOT COOL I really am. Here’s a sample of 10 songs that are already on my iPod. Feel free to use them on your own as your “Beaches” Playlist. If you can handle it. Which you probably can’t. It’s that bad.

FYI – these all come from two existing Playlists on my iPod called Cheddar and Pop, and these are not the most embarrassing selections that I have on there, only the most selections embarrassing that I’m willing to admit to in this public forum.

1. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
2. Africa – Toto
3. Shake it Off – Mariah Carey
4. It’s Not Right, but It’s Okay – Whitney Houston
5. Country Grammar – Nelly
6. Because of You – Kelly Clarkson
7. Toxic – Britney Spears
8. I Ran – Flock of Seagulls
9. Milkshake – Kelis
10. Senorita – Justin Timberlake

Your turn. Let’s play Project Playlist!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Who Let the Dogs Out?

The Family took a little over-nighter in Beaverton this weekend at the summer home of some good friends, Mr. and Mrs. DRock. I call it a summer home, rather than a cottage, because although it does have rustic charm and a cosy feel and is nestled on the shores of Lake Simcoe, it's hardly a cottage.

The house can sleep about 20 people if need be, and comes fully equipped with three bathrooms, a large screen TV, a pool and a hot-tub. There's also boat house and a new boat who will take her maiden voyage as soon as the lake thaws. It's a great spot and at just over an hour drive from the Big Smoke, I'm anticipating many more weekends spent up there among great company.

Admittedly, I've been a bit nervous to go up with the entire family, given that our entire family includes one furry, four-legged bundle of love and the DRock's family consists of not one, not two, but THREE furry bundles of love. THREE! I was a little concerned that finding a moment's piece amongst all the legs and fur would be a little difficult.

Luckily I was wrong. The dogs were dogs, don't get me wrong, there was much running and barking and fetching and pooping, but instead of being overwhelmed and run ragged, we all found it entirely amusing and fun to watch.

As you can imagine, it's difficult to capture four dogs on film at one time and despite my best attempts, which included holding scraps of meat above my head, I couldn't work it out. I did manage to capture a few individual shots, however, and so, I give you, the dogs.

This is Billy. She's a little shy and skittish, but I'm quite fond of her, none-the-less. Shit, we all have our issues, right?

Here we have Buddy, aka P-Woop. He rarely stops moving and is also camera shy so capturing this moment of stillness was quite a coup:

Here's Roxy, the baby of the bunch. She's a pushy little vamp, who took quite a shine to the Momes. DRock liked to tease her for "presenting" herself to him any chance she got. My take is that like any hot bitch, she's just working with what her Mama gave her:

Last but certainly not least, The Momes. He was incredibly well-behaved and I'm rightfully proud; however, we all could have done with few less glances at the "pink lipstick." It seems he took quite a shine to Miss Foxy Roxy as well:

There were only a few dog-free moments, but I relished them when I could. Like when I snuck outside at sunset to look out at the lake and thank my lucky stars for all my best friends, both two-legged and four.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Smells Like Teen Spirit

I know I've promised a few people before and after shots of the hair. Chill. They are coming. Fact is, I'm a lazy bitch. 'Nuff said?

If not, then here's a hint. Hair definitely does not look like this:

Come to think of it, neither do legs.

And before all you eagle-eyed fashion police call me on the beer wear. YES. It's an oversized Molson Dry t-shirt, tucked into teal short-shorts and, YES, it was in my first string outfit rotation at the time.

And yes, I was cool.

But really the point of this post (aside from proving to everyone what a hot teen I was) is to give mad props and shout-outs to my lovely (and also not so hairy anymore) friend Bendy Girl for reaching her 30th birthday.

Jesus H. Christ. We actually made it? We?! Made it to THIRTY YEARS? We survived through all that HAIR? Incredible.

Happy Birthday Bendy. Seriously looking forward to the next thirty. Much love.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The First Cut is the Deepest

In the summer before my final year of university I cut off all my hair. I don't mean that I trimmed it up, or styled it differently, or went for a cute little bob. I mean I cut it ALL off.

Boys hair. Almost buzz. Very, very short.

I wore it this way for about six years after that and I absolutely loved it. It was very liberating, especially for me, because I had always been somewhat defined by my long, blonde, frizzy, curly head. To cut it all off in one sitting was like snapping my fingers and changing how everyone identified me. I was "the girl with the hair."

Sure enough, when I went back to school in the fall, many people had no idea who I was until I re-introduced myself. It felt great, like starting fresh.

My hair stylist, not the one responsible for the original cut, but the one who cut and coloured my hair for close to five years afterwards, passed away suddenly from complications due to Hepititas C in 2002. It was a tragedy and I still miss my quartery hair cut appointments with her. She was a wild spirit, kind, creative and lovely. She was a friend.

My short hair never looked or felt the same once she was gone and so, after a few months, I decided it was time to grow "the hair" back again. It was somewhat of a tribute to her, but also time to do it for myself.

Anyone who has chopped the way I did knows that the grow out stage is a nightmare. Mine was no exception. Luckily, it went quickly and now, just a few years later, my big old mane is back. You can guess where this is going, can't you?

That's right. I'm itching to chop it again. Dont' freak, I'm not going "boy cut" again. Oh no, that ship sailed away with my twenties. But I am considering an above the shoulders, but just long enough to still pull back, spring time bob. Something fun and fresh and different. I need a change.

I don't have any good example photos of myself to post, so instead I turn to my celebrity hair lookalike, Sarah Jessica Parker. She's the only one who has hair that even comes close to my own, and I've always loved to watch what she does with it, how she styles it, what works, what doesn't.

So here's Carrie Bradshaw, circa season 1, sporting hair that's close to how mine is today. Keeping in mind, of course, that she has a 24-hour stylist on board and I have, well, nothing of the sort.

And here's what I'm thinking of doing to my hair for spring. The Carrie Bradshaw, circa season 5. Focus on the curly versions (#5, 7, 8), I'm not much of a straightener. And again, remember, I'll have no stylist, so realistically will it look this cute? Hell no.

I've only got until Saturday to decide. I'm leaning towards cut, because I'm craving something different, I'm longing to get out from under all this weight and now that I've reached my long hair goal, I feel like, what's next?

SO? To cut or not to cut? That is the question.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Drugs Don't Work

Despite my battle with a really nasty cold, Crown and I ventured out into the core last night to take in the second night of the sold-out Coldplay show at the Air Canada Centre.


We originally got tickets via Ticketmaster auction several months ago (proceeds go to charity, so I felt better about the extravagent expense) and both really wanted to see Richard Ashcroft, who opened the show with an hour-long set. Mostly new stuff off his recently released album (so-so) but also a few "hits" from the Verve's last album: "The Drugs Don't Work", "Lucky Man" and of course "Bittersweet Symphony". The latter got the entire AAC up on their feet, and although Crown was disappointed that it took "that song" for people to stand up, I got my usual rush of adrenaline from a room of 30,000 singing together as one.

And what a rush that is. For me, it's as good as any drug I've ever done. I can't imagine what it must be like for whichever performer happens to be up on that stage at the time.

Richard may be down, but he ain't out. He sounded amazing and is as hot (in that skinny rocker way) as ever. I hope he'll find some well-deserved success and acclaim in the near future.

Chris Martin definitely got it right when he told the crowd that for them to play following Ashcroft, felt like Michael Bolton following the Beatles.

The Coldplay portion of the evening exceeded all my expectations with a beautiful show, some really fun effects (giant balloons filled with gold ticker tape dropped from the ceiling during "Yellow") and even a heart-felt tribute to the late, great Johnny Cash.

As with the recent Depeche Mode show, the normally reserved, quiet Toronto crowd out did themselves last night. It probably helped that Chris Martin stroked out egos by coming out on stage half an hour before showtime to tell us that they were filming the show for the concert DVD. He claimed this to be his favourite city to perform in. Truth is probably more along the lines of cheaper production costs, but I'm trying not to be cynical today.

Either way the sold-out crowd was on their feet and singing together for the entire show. I had goosebumps, especially during slower songs when instead waving burning hot Bic lighters, the enire stadium waved open cell phones. It sounds kind of sickning I know, but the result was honestly quite breathtaking. Glowing blue lights from nearly every person in the crowd. It may say something about the priorities in our city, but I was still thrilled that people were on their feet and feeling the moment.

I took a few minutes here and there to turn around and face the rest of the stadium (we were on centre floor, 13th row) and just take in the crowd. It's awesome in the truest sense of the word.

The night was, what I like to call, a GTM. Good Toronto Moment.

I love this city more than I let on and sometimes it takes a near-Spring evening in the downtown core with 30,000 singing Torontonians to remind me just how much.

Crown and I have been dealing with the expensiveness of living in this big old city a lot lately, but last night, holding hands a little buzzed from bass and beer, walking through the bustling streets with throngs of satisfied concert-goers and cabbies hunting for their next fat fare, I remembered what makes it all so worthwhile.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Panic Song

Ready for a cheap escape
On the brink of self destruction
Widespread panic


(Continued from previous post, The Roof is On Fire).

Here's the low-down:

Wednesday night I get my nails done after work. Am relaxed, happy, polished and looking forward to a hot bowl of soup and some serious catching up on blogs time.
Crown is going out to see a movie with GParty. The house is all mine.
I get in the door at approximately 7:30pm.
There's a "smell" in the air, possibly smoke, burnt food, exhaust, I can't place it.
Fear is triggered.
I am frozen for a few moments, glancing around the main floor, I check the oven and stove, both are turned off. I notice a pan in the sink and it registers.
Crown cooked something.
I do a sweep of the house, all floors, there's no smoke, no fire, everything appears to be fine.
I begin to relax a little, but my instinct to get out of the house is still strong.
I have not put down my bag, or removed my coat, gloves or scarf. I put the collar on the dog and go outside.
The first thought in my head once outside is, "maybe we'll just wait out here until Crown gets home."
I realize that is probably about 3 hours away.
After walking around with the dog for a few minutes, I force myself to go back in the house.
Once inside, I feel a little better.
I open the windows on the main floor to air out the smell. It works.
I realize that I still haven't taken off my coat, or let the dog off the leash and I laugh at myself because clearly I have lost my mind.
I go to take my coat off and for some reason happen to glance up at the main floor fire alarm.
Big mistake.
The red light the indicates "smoke" on the alarm is flickering. I've never seen it flicker before, except for the one and only time our fire alarm actually went off, when we cooked a chicken.
Fear comes flooding back, this time with a vengence.
I cannot remove my coat. I'm frozen in place. A thousand thoughts are racing through my head, most of them are logical, yet I can't control the physiological reaction.
"There's no smoke."
"Why is the light flashing? I must be missing something."
"It must be carbon monoxide."
"Maybe the neighbours are cooking something?"
"The alarm is not going off, surely flashing can't be a warning?"
I decide that the alarm is clearly picking up some toxin, fire or not, and I turn off my furnace.
Why? No clue. It made sense at the time.
I still have the dog on the leash and my coat on. It's after 8pm.
I leave a message for Crown, then call my best-friend Weirdo.
I want him to come over and I tell him I'm freaking out.
He's sick and can't come.
I get off the phone and sit, coat and all on the edge of the couch for about an hour, staring at the fire alarm and convincing myself to stay inside.
I don't make food. I barely drink the glass of water that I've forced myself to pour.
I'm shaking and my mouth is dry.
Finally, I have had enough and decided to "do something normal."
Laundry. I go upstairs and am folding some laundry and feeling a little better. Nothing like a little cleaning to relax this kid.
Until, that is, I glance up at the second floor fire alarm just in time to see the red light for smoke AND the white light for CO2 flash.
The alarm still does not make a sound.
Game over.
I'm out of the house in like 30 seconds. I take only enough time to open the rest of the windows in the house, grab my wallet, my keys and my cell phone.
Good thing I still had my coat on.
It's just after 9pm. I call Weirdo again. This time I'm outside, freezing, and I'm NOT going back in the house.
I'm in full panic.
I'm close to tears. I don't know what to do. I don't know who else to call.
My mind is blank.
Weirdo tells me he's going to call his sister, she and her husband are fire fighters.
I say okay and hang up. I try Crown again and he answers.
I tell him what's happening and beg him to come home right away.
He tells me to calm down, he's sure everything is fine, and asks me to please go back in the house.
I say I will, but I don't.
I walk around in the cold for another 10 minutes or so. I take the Momes down to the parking garage because it's warmer.
I actually pretend that I have garbage so people won't think I'm weird.
The thing is though? I AM WEIRD.
Finally, after about 25 minutes, I force myself to go back in the house.
It's really, really hard to do.
I take the dog off his leash. Even he knows I'm going crazy by now.
He is seriously looking at me like, "What is up with this bitch?"
I stand at the counter still in my coat and wait for Crown.
Weirdo calls back and is talking to me about what his brother-in-law has said to do.
I can barely listen, I only hear " 911 if you're that worried...ask for a check-call... only one truck will come..."
Crown walks in and asks why all the windows are open. It's freezing in the house.
I hang up with Weirdo and show Crown the flickering lights.
He says the alarms have always done that. It's normal function and is meant to show you that they are working correctly.
I don't believe him.
I still can't stop staring at the alarms. I ask him to find the manual and prove it to me.
He can't find the manual. I look up the company online. Many of my symptoms disappear as soon as Crown gets home. I feel safe for the first time all night.
I confirm what he said online.
They are functioning normally. Unlike, me.
Then I ball my eyes out.

I can honestly say it's one of the most frightening things I've ever been through. Worse even than the time in our old apartment, when our idiot of a downstairs neighbour set a fire in her wood stove "just to see if it worked" and then put it out with WATER and promptly left the house. Of course my entire house filled with smoke and I ended up banging on my landlords door at 11pm, dressed in my PJs a touque and Crown's running shoes.


So why this panic attack? Why now? It's not like there were any really strong triggers. No smoke, no alarm sounded, no nothing. Just sheer, irrational panic. Well, I hate to beat a dead horse, but I blame The Pill.

I told Crown that night that I thought I was extra anxious because of the detox and then today I read Scarb's post, Scrambled Eggs, about her panic attacks and how they began after she quit The Pill and are especially severe during ovulation.

Just guess what I was doing for the first time in 12 years on Wednesday? Go ahead, three guesses and the first two don't count.

Coincidence? I think not.

Insanity? I think so.

The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is on Fire

I’m afraid of fire. And this will be a long-ass post.

I’m not sure when or why it started, although I know that more crippling aspects of my fear started sometime in my late teens. I’ve often thought about what might have triggered this fear and have so far come up with three possibilities.

1. There was the time when my mom, my sister and I were hanging out in the living room together, I recall it as being around Christmas time, but that’s not definite. My mom was starting a fire in the fireplace so we could all snuggle in and enjoy. She had it going nice and strong and smoke was starting to billow into the room. She had opened the flue, but something was blocking it. She tugged and pulled and jiggled the handle, trying to get the flue to open completely. After a few seconds of struggle the handle came free and the flue snapped open. And a pigeon fell through the chimney, into the roaring fire and burnt up in a flash of feathers and agonized shrieks. I’m so not kidding.

2. There was the time when my parents took my sister and I to a fancy hotel to swim in the pool and enjoy the services and just have a fun night away from home. I’m pretty sure we were in the city, we used to stay in hotels a lot because Ron got free rooms while negotiating for the union (OPSEU). We could have been on route to Florida though, I don’t remember. Point is, my parents left my sis and I in bed, in our room on the 16th floor of the hotel and went downstairs to the lobby bar for a drink. I was young, maybe 10 or 11, but we were asleep and I was old enough to stay with Chops, who would have only been around 5. We were sound asleep when the fire alarm went off. It scared the SHIT out of me and I remember having the sense that I was responsible for making the decision to leave the room or stay put. I remember panicking about, “Do we change out of our jammies? Do we just leave in bare feet? Where were my shoes?” We ended up leaving the room, both afraid and crying, and thankfully a wonderful woman in a room down the hall came over to us and held on to us and told us not to cry. That it was just an alarm, but if we needed to leave, she’d go with us. That we were safe with her. I get teary just thinking about how kind she was. My mother ran full speed up 16 flights of stairs that night to get to us and found us in the hallway dressed in our PJs and bare feet, clinging to this extraordinarily kind woman. I think Mom was more distraught than we were.

3. There was the time when I was about 17 or 18 years old. It was crazy hot summer day and I was sitting with my mom and a friend on the front porch enjoying a cold drink and smoking ciggies. Suddenly we noticed that the house across the street, a detached home for lovely family with four young kids, had smoke coming from the back portion of the roof. Seconds later, chaos. The parents were screaming for all the kids to get out, kids were screaming for the family pets to get out. One kid ran back inside the burning house to save his cat. The mom, clearly in shock, brought the dog over to us so we could hold her while their home, quite literally, burnt up. It was extremely traumatic and sad and it turned out that one of the kids had actually set the fire while tossing burning paper airplanes out his bedroom window. I distinctly remember it striking me as extra horrifying that such a stupid, childish act could have such detrimental and dangerous affects.

So, maybe one of those three events triggered my fear. Maybe not. I found something somewhere that says:

Like all fears and phobias, fear of fire is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. At some point in your past, there was likely an event linking fire or flames and emotional trauma. Whilst the original catalyst may have been a real-life scare of some kind, the condition can also be triggered by myriad, benign events like movies, TV, or perhaps seeing someone else experience trauma.

But so long as the negative association is powerful enough, the unconscious mind thinks: "Ahh, this whole thing is very dangerous. How do I keep myself from getting in this kind of situation again? I know, I'll attach terrible feelings to fire or flames, that way I'll steer clear in future and so be safe." Just like that fear of fire is born. Attaching emotions to situations is one of the primary ways that humans learn. Sometimes we just get the wiring wrong.

The actual phobia manifests itself in different ways. Some sufferers experience it almost all the time, others just in response to direct stimuli. Everyone has their own unique formula for when and how to feel bad.

I don’t think that I have attached “fire of flames” to any other dangerous situation. I think I’m just honestly scared to death of burning the fuck up, of my loved ones burning the fuck up, and of all my stuff burning the fuck up. That would just so suck.

I respond directly to stimuli, that's for sure. Smell of smoke is the strongest trigger. Sight of smoke is another. Fire alarms and sirens are also triggers for me, but slightly milder than the smell of smoke.

I'm okay with flames, oddly enough, as long as they are controlled and where they are meant to be. I can sit next to a fireplace. Campfires I'm not so good with, too wild and unpredicable. I can light candles, although I'm starting to do that less and less lately and I often blow them out minutes after lighting them, "just in case." I'm still getting used to the gas stove in the new house. I don't like the open flame on the burners or in the oven. And, since getting the gas stove, smell of gas has become another trigger.

My reactions to any of the above stimuli are instant and physical. Increased heart rate, sweaty palms, dry mouth, flight instinct (get OUT of the house). One site I found describes it like this (and it's BANG ON):

Symptoms of Fear Of Fire:
breathlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality or a full blown anxiety attack.

Which brings me to the real reason for this post. Everything so far has just been providing the background leading up to what I really want to talk about. Feel free to quit now, if you like, but I swear, the next part is pretty good. Because while I've suffered from this fear of fire, arsonphobia, pyrophobia, whatever you want to call it, for a long time, this week I had my first full-blown panic attack.

See the next post, "Panic Song" for the complete low-down.