Thursday, October 31, 2013

Netflix is making me emotionally unstable.

Netflix has made me healthier.  Well, Netflix and the tablet whereby I can view Netflix, has made me healthier.  I take my collapsible treadmill out of the closet in our study, pop on a TV show, hit the START button and go.  Minimum 30 minutes a day of guaranteed walking and that's on top of my walking back and forth to work.  My cardio capacity is fan-freaking-tastic.

My emotional stability, however, has been completely fucked by Netflix.  Way back when, before the advent of DVD sets, you used to be able to ramp up to an obsession.  Over the course of years you would become addicted and could develop a healthy relationship with a TV show.  The first clue for me should have been when David and I mainlined the first season of Kiefer Sutherland's 24 in a period of 48 hours when it showed up at Blockbuster video.  Blockbuster has since died, but Netflix's on-demand streaming of television series is sending me 'round the bend.

Watching television on Netflix is akin to starting a tumultuous love affair.  Scratch that.  Love affair is too tame.  Full-On Bacchanalian Orgy would be more accurate.  Netflix is following Alice down the Rabbit Hole. I watched the entire 3rd season of The United States of Tara by Wednesday of this week.

All this, after I get home from work.  Eight of those episodes were watched on Wednesday alone.  Why??  Because I could.  They were right there, Netflix lets you know that the next episode will load automatically in 15 seconds, you don't even have to touch the remote to get your next hit!  15 seconds!?!   I can't wait for those 15 seconds.  I had to know what was happening to Tara right now!!  I had to know what Dr. Hattarus was doing to help her.  I had to know if Marshall would be okay, if Kate would make it as a flight attendant, if Charmaine would gain some fucking perspective, if Max could take any more.

All that concentrated time has convinced me that I have an emotional connection to them.  I care so much.  And not in that patient wanting-to-see-what-happens-to-Daphne-and-Niles way.  With Netflix you don't allow yourself the time to process information over the course of a week.  Watching a series on Netflix is meeting, falling in love, and being cruelly dumped within a weekend.  If you choose to watch shows with the truly fucked up characters, your hold on reality becomes tenuous.  The realization that a particular show only had three seasons, or two seasons without some sort of satisfying conclusion, like say BBC's The Hour - can send you searching for consolation chocolate and a cocktail.  Escapism on this grand a scale has never been so attainable and potentially damaging.  Unless you're doing crack.

David watched the last two episodes of USOT with me last night after having previously viewed only the ender of Season 2.  He was horrified.  But for him it was a perspective shift.  "Whenever I think that you're crazy - I will remember this moment.  You are not that crazy."    That alone, makes today's emotional fallout worth bearing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frankenovaries strike again...


There are sooooooo many things to enjoy about peri-menopause - it's hard to pick a favourite.  But pretty high on that list would be how my peri-menopausal ovaries take over my higher brain functions when in the presence of young men.  My lady bits are apparently so desperate for that last stab at sure-fire insemination, that the most innocent of contact with a man in his prime, say between the ages of 19-22, will bring on L.U.S.T.  All-encompassing - choke you with its power - LUST.  

The good thing is, by and large, I'm not around young men most of the time. David's 40;  most of our friends are between the ages of 30 and 55.   I'm pretty sure that's what's kept me from getting arrested.  "Ma'am, put the boy down.  Put him down NOW."  Problem is? If this menopause thing doesn't happen in the next 5 years... Rissa will then be 18 1/2, and more than likely, she'll be bringing male friends home who will then be in that dreaded YOUNG MAN age bracket.  And no matter what your average cougar tries to tell you?  It is NEVER cool to hit on your daughter's friends.  NEVER.

I'm scared.  'Cause right now, when confronted with a young man full of youthful testosterone (the essence of stalwart sperm as it were), I pretty much lose my mind.  My failing ovaries do the Frankenstein walk.   

"Sperm.  Must have sperm."   

WAIT!!  Maybe my ovaries are actually ZOMBIE ovaries!  That is probably closer to the truth.  Maybe they've just come back to life and they are hungering for that young sperm because way back then, that's what they were supposed to be on the hunt for!  Somewhere in their little poor little zombie ovary brains they think  recognize virility and they want it.  The final gasp before the shop shuts down and puts the CLOSED FOR BUSINESS sign in the window.

And I mean, sure, I like sex... who doesn't? It's a lot of fun.  But until peri-menopause hit, it wasn't my every waking thought.  It was on the back burner and then right before my period, David would know that something was on the horizon because I was doing my best impersonation of a sailor on shore leave.  He actually said to me at one point, "Honey, I'm feeling a bit like I'm just the man attached to the penis."  I'm chagrined to say that, at that time, he probably was.  There were several years where those ovaries were convinced they needed attention - and a lot of it.  Lately, though, I though that it was all easing up, that the girls had calmed down.  I was wrong.

So this is basically a warning to all the young bucks out there.  Give me and my voracious ovaries a wide berth.  Don't come too close or you may be sucked into our orbit and who knows when, or even if, you'll escape.  I'd say we're like a black hole, but I'm a redhead... (ba-doom-ching) You get the gist, right?  Keep your distance.  It's for your own safety.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I am the dog?!? I am the dog?!?

"BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA!!!  Look at them!  LOOK AT THEM!!!"

"You're a dog!"  says Rissa.

"No, I'm not!"  says I.

"You're totally a dog.  You're all like...  talking, talking, talking, conversing while walking...

"You can't tell me that you weren't entertained watching those two squirrels chase each other around and around that pine tree.  And then when they went from the pine tree over to the maple tree and did it again? Classic squirrel."

"You are a dog."

"I'm totally NOT a dog.  It's just that squirrels are the kings of slapsti... HEY! ANOTHER SQUIRREL!!!"

"I told you!"

"But just look at him!  He's holding a nut between his little paws!"

I don't carry a cell phone with me to take my own pictures.
This is NOT my actual squirrel. 
Mine was in a tree, but it was even cuter than this one.


"Yes, but I'd do it with any cute animal.  Cats.  Bunnies.  Kangaroos..."

"Kangaroos?  If there were kangaroos chasing each other around the trunk of a tree I'd watch that."

"See?  You'd stop and notice them.  Basically your speciesist."


"You're speciesist.  If those squirrels were not run-of-the-mill squirrels, but kangaroos instead, you would pay attention, you'd get excited.  SQUIRREL RIGHTS!  SQUIRREL RIGHTS!!!"


This might be when the cars started slowing down to rubber-neck.

Monday, October 28, 2013

And that's why David needs to wear a cup at home....

WARNING: There are inferred epithets in this post.

"HOLY $*&!  MOTHER - &@%!%#  JESUS! "

After dinner, on the nights when we're not over-programmed to the nth degree - David likes to change into his pj pants and a nice warm sweater.  We'll snuggle in on the family room sofa and he'll either read or work on his laptop or we'll watch TV.

Our cats, it seems, have pre-cognition.  As soon as David's pajama'd lap becomes available - all three of them appear.  Never when he's in jeans.  It's like the sound of him sitting in the cotton jersey has special appeal.

Minuit is usually the first up.  She hefts herself on to the couch and starts kneading his leg.  David will absently pat her on the head.  This is when she either a) begins to feel a little amorous herself and wants to reciprocate or b) has a mean streak in her.  Her paws move to David's groinal region and she'll invariably locate his balls.  At 15 lbs, Minuit provides a fair amount of weight behind her palpation of his, uh... boys...


"I think, for accuracy's sake that should be #$*&-PRODDING feline, hon.  The other just goes way over the line into bestiality."

If he has patience, Minuit ends up thrust onto my lap where I have no external organs to be damaged.   If he doesn't have patience, she may wind up testing the "Do cats always land on their feet?" theory.   On a really good night, say after Minuit has conferred with her furry siblings, there will be a parade of pussy cats all wanting to enjoy the thrills of David's lap.  Maybe it's like their own version of A Night of Living Dangerously.

"I need a cup to watch TV."

"Maybe if you're good, you'll get one for Christmas." 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cat proofing the kitchen...

thump...  thump...  thump...

I didn't think they were that smart.  Minuit, in particular, seems like she doesn't have two synapses to rub together.  Steve will frequently roll off the ottoman by accident and Lola - well Lola is the sneakiest of the bunch - but it's not like she's doing cat calculus in her spare time.

Someone may have been slipping them some organic brain stimulant.  They are now remembering things.  Like where we keep the cat kibble.

thump...  thump...  thump...

I'm not saying that we have a CATS of NIMH case on our hands, but two days ago, they all looked at the kibble bag as if it was some master illusionist, magically appearing from NOWHERE, and then yesterday?

They started opening the cupboard door where it's kept.    It's not really like they can open the bag itself, because they don't have opposable thumbs (yet), but they can sure as shit bite through the side of the bag  guaranteeing that their food goes stale.  Although really, fresh cat kibble and stale cat kibble... I've tried them both and neither is particularly tasty to my palate.

So now we have the toddler locks on the cupboard.  And the sad sound that we hear from our starving felines is...

thump...  thump...  thump... they attempt to circumvent our security system.  I'll have to be on the watch to see if they mount a B&E into David's makeshift workshop in the basement.  If they learn how to use tools we're totally screwed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Period comfort foods...

There are the foods you should be eating...  You know, iron-fortified foods, brown rice, lentils, dairy products, fish... all supposed to help with PMS and all, frankly, bullshit. We don't want them, we don't eat them.  We find our own ways to get through the inconvenience of bleeding from our vaginas.

My Top Ten Period Comfort Foods:

Leftover tortilla chips all crunched together with salsa in a bowl, eaten like it's cereal.  (That way you know an appropriate portion size.)

Nutella on anything, especially something salty.

Smoked mussels or oysters.

Cream Cheese icing - out of the can.

Dill pickle chips.

Chocolate Raspberry Martinis - from my emergency freezer flask.

Cheez-Whiz on toast.  Or, if it's really bad, Easy Cheese sprayed from a can directly into your mouth.

Chocolate covered pretzels.

Ridiculously priced Ben & Jerry's or Hagen Daas from the tub.

Home made Turtles*: Chocolate chips, pecan pieces drizzled with caramel sauce into a bowl - eaten with a spoon.  Repeat as necessary.

*If you have the patience to make and then wait for the actual candies try this recipe.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm entering my second adolescence.

For the second time in my life I am catastrophically clumsy.  I didn't get the memo.  The one where it tells you that when you hit peri-menopause you enter your second adolescence.  I trip,slip, bump into things, drop dishes, stub my toes and fall up the stairs.  Not down, but up.  My dork factor is at 11.

In the space of two days, I gave myself a black eye with the chest freezer door and pinched a nerve in my neck rolling over in bed.  If they'd happened at the same time I could have done a great impression of a pirate with a health insurance claim.

This is NOT me sporting a jaunty cap,
I have a cold pack over one eye
Dorky McDorks a Lot
There's nothing quite like believing you've paralyzed yourself to push you directly into hysterical hyperventilation.  Still half-asleep, I realized that my chin was stuck looking over my left shoulder.  When I tried to move it at all, sharp stabbing pains shot through my neck and then stabbed down into my right shoulder blade.  David was awakened by the sounds of my panic.

"Wha...  what is it??"

"I can't move!  I can't move!"


"My head, it's stu... stu... stu..."  If I could have moved my head at all, I would have searched the room for a paper bag into which I could  hyperventilate/vomit in terror.

"It's okay, it's okay.  You need to breathe."

"Can't! I CAN'T!!!"

Now I would have slapped me at this point.  David didn't of course.  I was still trapped on my side, so he would have been slapping my head into the bed.  If I'd been sitting up, he might have been able to slap the neck loose if he hit me from the other side. There must have been lots of the whites of my eyes showing because David was starting to look pretty terrified himself.  He managed to get me sitting up - my head still trapped looking left.  I had those hiccuping sobs going - still half asleep and by no means rational.

"What if it stays like this?!?"

"It's not going to stay like this."

"You don't know that!!  YOU DON'T KNOW!!!  Did we write about this in our living wills?  I've changed my mind, don't pull the plug."

"You've pinched a nerve.  I'm going to get you some anti-inflammatories."


"I'll be right back.  I promise.  Just breathe."

It took David 33 seconds to come back with drugs.   "Now I'm just going to go downstairs and heat up the bean bag for you.  You need to stay calm."  He helped me lie back down.

I was awake enough then, that I tried to put on a brave face. I didn't claw at him, I didn't wail.  I wasn't going to be a baby about it.  The panic was still there, but fuck it!  I could pretend that it wasn't.  I counted while he was gone.  While counting to 197, I deliberately moved my head through the pain so that I could at least look straight up at the ceiling.  There were some crunching sounds, but as I was much less panicked with my head facing up, it was totally worth the pain.  David came back, armed wtih a cold pack, a heating pad and his lap top.  "Hey!  You're looking at the ceiling!  How did you do that?"


"It says that you need to alternate ice and heat.  Muscle relaxants are helpful.  You can have massage." 

If you are in desperate need of massage therapy or chiropractic adjustment, you will injure yourself at 4:00 a.m. on the Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend.  I was on my own until Tuesday.  Sure, we could have trundled down to the ER, but it was a pinched nerve; they would have pumped me full of drugs, but not much else.  

This injury also coincided with the beginning of tech week for my latest play.  I had to be in rehearsal that night - it was a slapstick comedy.  To ensure that I wouldn't move my head when I was at rehearsal, David took me to Shopper's Drug Mart to get me a neck brace.

"I'm going to look like a dork!"

"Yes, but you will be a dork who won't hurt herself more."

If you ever want attention?  Show up anywhere with a neck brace on.  Complete strangers will ask you what you've done.

Now, 10 days later, after two massages and a chiropractic adjustment I have almost full mobility and the complete certainty that I won't survive paralysis.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rissa's new career path

Last night at bedtime.

"New career path Mummy!  No longer will I be a chiropractor or massage therapist.  I will now be... a NINJA.  My catch phrase shall be "You will never see me coming!"  From her position lying in the bed, Rissa launches herself up at me, pulling me flat against her chest, her arms iron bars against my back.  "See? You didn't see me coming!"  Releasing me, she takes a deeply satisfied breath.   "I'll have a cool ninja name too.  Like Lotus Flower or Turtle Swan..."

"Turtle swan...?"

She mimes the action of a turtle retreating into its shell before morphing into a swan.  "Does this look like a turtle swan?  Or more like a frog elephant?"

"Hard to say."

"Or maybe I'd be more like Ninja who attacks at dusk because she has a curfew...  or Ninja who attacks before dawn so that her parents don't know what she's up to and she has time to change before going to school... "

She gets a crazed glint in her eye.  "You'll never see me coming!!!!"  She grabs me again, clutching me tightly to her torso once more.

Trapped in the crook of her neck, I manage a muffled, "I totally saw you coming!"

"No you didn't."

"I'm thinking that you might want to go with the catch phrase AFTER the attack."

Monday, October 21, 2013

And that's why I'm supposed to cut down on my alcohol...

Cause it gives me hot flashes.  And now, apparently... Night Terrors.  Not just regular nightmares, but crazy-ass, finding out that Nate Berkus, in addition to being an interior designer, is the leader of a boy band who has people eviscerated when you discover that they are 100% auto-tuned, full-on NIGHT FREAKING TERRORS.

I had two drinks.  Is my ability to handle my alcohol also being compromised by peri-menopause?  (That would be incredibly sad, given my Scandinavian heritage.)  Or is it because the second drink,  "Oh, don't worry, the ice is displacing the alcohol - it's really only a double," actually was a quadruple?   Plus?  Over Thanksgiving - to cope with the pinched nerve in my neck?  I may have imbibed a bit to take the edge off.  During the full course of the day, I might have had a couple of pina colada coolers and a couple of glasses of wine.  And again - the hot flashes were like rocket liftoffs.   One drink?  I'm fine.  More than one?  You can BBQ on my torso.

And then there's  caffeine.  Not only will it keep me up at night if I ingest it after noon, but waking up with the night sweats adds a certain - I was about to say je ne sais quoi, but I totally quoi - it's just that I don't have enough adjectives to adequately describe the sensations in a way that men will understand.  Other women of a certain age get it.  They know all about it.  But most dudes?  They have not one freaking clue as to how those hot flashes can turn you from rational wife and mother to slathering murderous wielder of words and weapons.  My middle name during one of these spells could truly be 'harangue' - not necessarily at other people, but towards the universe in general.  Men not in the know, pass it off as us being hormonal and 'tut-tut' us and give us patronizing little pats on the shoulder.  Experienced husbands and partners know the drill.  They duck and roll - find the safe spot in the house - don't make eye contact - stay under the radar - hand you a bag of frozen peas to put on the back of your neck.  They are the ones who know not to mock, at least not while you're in the room... Mostly, methinks, so that one's harangue doesn't devolve into a crying jag that could rival Biblically proportioned floods. 

So no caffeine or alcohol for me... not now.  Most doctors will agree on that point anyhow.   I'll be smart - it's for my own good.  I anticipate quite a bender though, when I've actually made it to menopause. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Canada: Back to the Dark Ages

Allow me to wax hyberbolic for a moment.  I love being Canadian.  It is the absolute best country in the galaxy!  I LOVE it.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!  I love living in Canada.  The people, the wildlife, the breadth and scope of our land, the change in seasons...  I am proud to be a Canadian and to live in our democratic, and yes, somewhat socialist state.  I revel in our beauty and spirit of bon amie.  Very little in the Canadian experience causes me true ire because the abundance of good that we have as Canadians is so vast, so spectacular, so unlike anything else in the world...  But Holy crap, do I DESPISE losing the sunlight in the winter! 

Every year, come October, the sun rises a little later - which means that when you get up in the morning you're staggering from your bed in the dark.  And not in that fun, because you've just had that drunken hookup with an ex and have to make it home before work, kind of staggering.  You're staggering because without your bedside light on, you literally can't see.  And, with due respect to our hardworking farming communities, unless you're a shift worker, waking up when it's still dark outside, just seems fucked up. 

They say that Daylight Savings Time helps, but really??  At 7:00 a.m. in November?  It's pitch black.   And then, by about 4:30 p.m.?  PITCH FREAKING BLACK.  Three words: Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I don't personally lose my mind (well not completely anyway) in the winter months, but my get-up-and-go gene tends to lay dormant, and I know plenty of folks who bring out their inner cave dweller for the duration of the winter... Monosyllabic, furrowed of brow and prone to beating things with sticks.

And those sunrise lamps for your bedroom?  Not sure if they actually work.  Over the course of 30 minutes, our light comes on very gradual-like to simulate the sunrise.  Now it might just be because right now we're still staying up too late because we've got shit we need to get done, but in the morning, even with that gradual increase in light in our room, when you step into the hall, you still trip over cat toys because it's so freaking dark.  WAIT!!  WAAAAIIIIIT!!!  Every home north of the 49th parallel could have an entire house that's set up on solar battery powered sunrise simulators!!  So that, no matter where you are in your house, it seems like it's actually day time.  You acclimatize yourself to that state for the the 1/2 hour 45 minutes before you leave for work and then... you step into darkness.  CRAP.  Suggestions?  Anyone?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Next time it'll be fire engine red!

I have been a redhead for more years now than I haven't.   There have been occasional comments on the colour now and again, but something about this newest shade is driving folks wild.

Recently, I was in Toronto for a public speaking engagement.  As I was walking to the venue, a very attractive, incredibly well dressed man in the Gay Village, stopped me on the street.


At the grocery store, two men, in separate aisles, stopped me.  I was standing next to the sauces and one guy said to me, "This sauce is SO hot, it'll turn that gorgeous red hair... BROWN."  Sometimes guys aren't quite on their game. 

This morning, in the kitchen, I marvelled that this shade was getting so much attention.

Rissa:  You know what you should do next time?

Me: What?

Rissa: Dye it FIRE ENGINE RED (she uses jazz hands to signify the colour's vibrance.)

Me: Huh?

Rissa:  Yep.  Like literally the colour of a fire engine.  AND,   ANNNNNND... you add a little siren in your hair too... so you'd be going "Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo..." with the light all rotating...

David: (piping in) And maybe have a little ladder at the back too.  THEN you'll get noticed.

Me:  Uh-huh...

Rissa:  OR!!!  WAIT!! WAIT!!! ORRRRRRRR.... you turn it into an Arctic scene - you put little penguins up there, maybe some polar bears...

Me:  What does that have to do with red hair?

Rissa:  Nothing, but it'd be cool, you have to admit...

David: Depends if you're clubbing seals...  

Me: DAVID!!!  (He shrugs)

Me:  So basically, you're saying that I should treat my hair as an ever-changing diorama?

Rissa & David: YES!!!

David:  Then when you go to a royal wedding you can kick everyone's asses with YOUR fascinator!

(The best part of ALL of this might just be that David knows what a fascinator is.)

From 2010 Fantasy Hair Competition
Manchester, NH
Rachel Bishop (model)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

M... M... M.... My Melasma

 This is the soundtrack for this post.

I have always been fish belly white.  Some smatterings of freckles on my face in the summer, but traditionally, my pale skin could be used as a signal point in the dark. Like you could line a bunch of me up on a runway and we'd be great markers for night flights arriving at Toronto's Pearson Airport.

A couple of years ago I started developing melasma (a tan or dark skin discoloration) upon my face.  Pregnant women occasionally get this - it's dubbed The Mask of Pregnancy - kind of like the Mask of Zorro, but you can't take this mask off.

I'm NOT pregnant and I never had it during pregnancy, but turns out other hormonal changes in women can bring it on too.  Like, say... peri-menopause.   And, I've just now read, thyroid disease.   ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?  What do I have? Peri-menopause AND thyroid disease.  So basically, I'm doubly screwed without any of the benefits.

I went to a skin clinic to see how much it would cost to treat.  For a mere $1000 they could give me laser treatments and accompanying cream that might help.  MIGHT?  For $1000, they should give you a freaking guarantee, I'm thinking.  I figured that using some BB Cream would be a lot cheaper and would mostly mask the mask.  Now it just looks like I'm new to this whole 'makeup' thing and have forgotten to smooth my foundation on my jawline.

"You know if you feather out the edges..."

"I HAVE feathered out the frickin' edges - my face is a whole different colour than the rest of me!!!  This colour?!?  It's doesn't come off!"

Every time I've mentioned it to David, he just shakes his head.  "You look beautiful.  You always look beautiful."

"To YOU!  I always look beautiful TO YOU!!"

"No, I think we can state empirically..."

"You have love juice in your system - you're not thinking rationally!!"  I hold up my arm to my face.  "See this?!?  THIS is the colour my face should be!"

"Yeah, but your face gets sun..."

"I wear SPF 30 EVERY day, I should have NO colour on my face, I should look like a freaking MIME!"

"A little colour is good - makes you look healthy.  When you don't have colour on your face, people usually ask you if you're okay."


Mentioned the melasma to my doctor at my yearly physical.  "Oh, that's hardly noticeable at all.  You just have a bit of colour in your face.  If it's hormonal you can't really do anything about it anyway."   He was facing away from me when I made to strangle him.

The good news is... after my body has decided its hormonal future, these particular delights should stop.  After I've truly made it through THE CHANGE I might get my skin back - possibly my rationality too.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

R'UH R'OH!! I'm behaving inappropriately... AGAIN.

I'm screwed.  My new crush is totally inappropriate on at least 2 levels (there might be more).

  1. He's an 18 year old boy.

    *face palm*

    (But really, if you think about it - this isn't as bad as when I had a crush on Taylor Hanson when he was 16, because at least this kid is technically LEGAL.)
  2. He bears more than a passing resemblance to my daughter's 13 year old boyfriend.  And that, my friends, makes me a perv AND a bad Mom.

    *face palm*

I recently heard him interviewed on a rebroadcast of yesterday's Q with Jian Ghomeshi.  This 18 year old was so freaking well-spoken that I actually got turned on listening to him. (Quick!  Hit the listen button on the Q page right now before you even scroll down - experience what I initially experienced while driving home last night .) The fact that's he's adorable and articulate??  I was already in the midst of indecent day dreams about the kid WHILE DRIVING HOME.  Eloquence is my crack.  That doesn't sound right.  Eloquence is like crack to me.  Someone who can turn a phrase with confidence?  sigh. 

But then I got home and Googled the kid  and he looks like this:

Jan Lisiecki.

I mean LOOK at him.  Just LOOK at him.  I want to pick him up and squidge him!  PLUS, in addition to being my latest skinny blonde boy crush (young Leonardo DiCaprio, young Taylor Hanson, young Ilia Kulik), he's this astoundingly fantastic pianist.  I listened to him play two Chopin Etudes and got positively light-headed.  Then I might have watched a video of him playing and of course had to extrapolate about how all that intensity and manual dexterity would make for some pretty spectacular fireworks in a more intimate arena... Hold on... wait a second... I just need another second here...


Bad Heather.  Very bad Heather.   But I mean, come on, LOOK AT HIM!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's a Thanksgiving Miracle!!


"What?" asks David.

"OH MY GOD!!!"

"What?!?  What is it?" David now sounds a bit panicked.

"Mummy, you're scaring him," says Rissa.

"IT'S A MIRACLE!!!  IT'S A THANKSGIVING MIRACLE!!!"  I'm standing in Rissa's doorway.  My shock is palpable.  I've never actually seen this - not while it was actually happening - not in my entire life.  I'm feeling a little swoony.


"OH MY GOD!!!!"

"I KNOW!!!!"

"You told me to make my bed last night," says Rissa rolling her eyes.

"Yes, but I tell you to make your bed EVERY NIGHT.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you."  I kneel in the doorway, looking up to the heavens to whichever deities made this possible, before rushing in and squeezing her in my proudest maternal hug.  "This means you actually LISTENED to me."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How long does it take to become ambidextrous?

It hurts when I brush my teeth.  My SUPER SPINATUS (Rotator Cuff) has betrayed me.  I'm not brushing my teeth particularly violently or anything.  I think it's just those wee little movements at that particular angle.  I start the day off wincing.  And what's really depressing is that it's not from having had twisty-bouncy sex the night before. 'Cause that kind of wincing is always accompanied by that satisfied smirk on your face.  You forgive the pain, because what went on before, was so freaking great.

I've decided that I need to stop using my right arm and become proficient with my left.  How long do you figure it will take?  Instinctively I high five people or reach for things or lean on that arm, so I need to abandon it, strap it down and begin using the other one.  I tried brushing my teeth with my left hand this morning and it didn't go well.  Water and toothpaste everywhere.  My spaz factor was at 11.  I wounded my gums.

I've got some great ambidextrous inspirations: Michelangelo, Einstein, Tesla, Leonardo da Vinci.  Very arty and sciency dudes.  And I'm not 100% sure, but if Escher wanted to his ability kept secret, he shouldn't have given us things like this:

M.C. Escher 1948

Plus?  I'm pretty sure that I could become a superhero if I were ambidextrous.  Less than 1% of the population is ambidextrous - which if we had accurate statistics on superheroes would probably reflect EXACTLY the same percentage!!  Or is that super models?  Me becoming a super model would take a bit more time and money I'm thinking.  The recuperation time alone from adding extra 3 inches to my torso and legs would be at least a couple of months.   Probably not as much fun as being a super hero either.  But step one is definitely the ambidextrous thing, regardless.  Which, seeing as I've already achieved mad touch typing skills, I'm well on my way!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Warming up before the bouncy-bouncy...

WARNING: This post is about sex

I never thought there would come a day where I would have to stretch before having sex.  Honest to God, it's not like we're particularly athletic about it.  I'm not doing a handstand against the wall or anything.  We're not suspended from a chandelier.  I'm just lying on my back with my legs in the air - you know propped open for... ahem... action. (bown-wown-chicka-wown-wown)

I think I'm in one position too long.  I remember those days when you'd get so het up that the barest of touches could set you off.  None of this 15 - 20 minutes before the big finale.  That's why my poor arthritic hips give me grief. The day after sex, I feel like I'm 70.  My frickin' joints are shot to hell - it's what comes of nearly a decade of gymnastics.

Thing is?  When the urge hits - you want to go with it, you want to let it happen.  Nothing ruins a good frisson of sexual tension like stopping to stretch out your quads and triceps (you gotta stretch the triceps too - you know for when you're holding onto the headboard too tight). 

"Do you want to... waggle of eyebrows... STRETCH?"

"Oh baby, I'll STRETCH with you.  You just get down here and we'll do that partner GROIN STRETCH..."

We'll strip seductively, NOT getting caught up in any of our clothing as it comes off, because my 'go-to' if I ever get stuck in my sweater, is to do a clown routine which generally shifts the mood from sex to slapstick.  No longer aroused, we are now amused, and crossing back over that particular divide takes work.  When you find yourself giggling madly after sex, it's incredibly therapeutic, but it really puts the kibosh on the kink in the early stages.

In the early stages, you can't get too distracticated.  "Oooooh, look, something shiny!!"  Gone are the days where it's Wham Bam Thank You (insert appropriate pronoun).  If you start to get tingly, you've got to jump onto that horse and ride it into Coitus Land, do not stop, do not wash that last plate in the sink - GO HAVE SEX!  You want to be in good shape, ALL THE TIME.  So that, at a moment's notice, if your partner gives you the come hither look, you can drop everything, take those stairs 2 at a time up to the bedroom, abandon civility and get down to it. 

Basically, Adult Yoga = Flexible Sex.  It's a win-win.  And not only will the sex be better, but you're going to be in better shape so you'll be able to do other activities.  Though let's face it, being an octagenarian who can do reverse cowgirl and survive?  Great incentive.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I don't remember buying this hairsuit.

WARNING:  Adult language in this post

I never used to be this hairy.  I mean sure, I had the pubes, I had the pits - I shaved - below the knee - because my mother had warned me against above the knee shaving as if it could end civilization as we know it. Taking my hands in hers, eyes so serious, "You don't want to have stubbly knees Heather." 

I noticed my first chin hair when I was in high school.  I remember being in typing class - in between time trials - and feeling the prickliness of that single hair, underneath my chin - embedded, it seemed, in my chin scar.  The scar was the result of a childhood injury with a springy horse at the playground when I was two, a good place to have one's first scar - conveniently obscured underneath the shelf of your jawbone.

I didn't even really notice the other hairy bits emerging until my Dad made primate noises when I appeared in my bathing suit in my late teens.    "OOOOH!  OOH!  OOH!"  Deep throaty noises to trumpet the arrival of longer and darker hair on the backs of my thighs.  Back of your thigh hair is impossible to really pay attention to unless you spend a lot of time feeling yourself up or trying to wrap your own legs around your head.  So I blithely went around for years, unaware of my Zorba-esque rear view.  I was befuddled.  I knew about the "if you shave it will come back darker and hairier" threat, but I hadn't shaved there!  Not since the first time when I was 11 and hadn't yet been advised against such insanity.  The lag time was incredible!  That back of my thigh hair was what prompted the  purchase of my first epilady to tear the offending colour and texture off those legs.

That epilady is now used to tear hair from the backs of my thighs, the fronts of my thighs, my inner thighs, my bikini line, the tops of my feet - HOLY FUCK!  I'VE BECOME A FREAKING HOBBIT!!! - the tops of my big toes.  It'd be used on my neck and my chin hairs if I weren't terrified that I might catch the not-quite-as-taut-as-it-used-to-be neck flesh in it's tweezing clutches.  The chicken skin behind my knees has suffered from that mistake and it hurts like fuck.

The denuding never happens as often as it should, usually before I know David and I will have sex or I'm having my physical or a massage.  Which is why it generally ends up being a rushed affair with imperfect results.  Days later, I'll be having that last nude before-bed-pee and look down and notice entire swaths of hair that I had missed.  The next quarter of an hour is spent with me shivering on the toilet, obsessively ripping the offending hairs from my person.

One day.  One day I shall have unlimited wealth and I shall have a team of strong young men (all ex-Olympic swimmers) to take care of my hair... scratch that.  They'd have to see me all hairy and orangutan-like.  Not going to happen.  Better to have the Eastern European Aesthetician wax me or - I'll save up the big bucks and have laser hair removal.  And then I will have that team of strong young men massage my smooth and hairless thighs - front and back and as far up the inside as I can, before it costs the extra bucks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Anyone else's kid do this?

"If you had a fake laugh what would it be?"  Rissa asks as we're walking to her dance studio. (We have one car, David takes it to school, if David's late at work, we have to figure transportation shit out.  Rissa opted for the walking option instead of biking.  This happened half way through our 15 minute walk.)

"Beg your pardon?"

"We all need a fake laugh!  You know, if you had to pretend that you thought something was funny, when you didn't really think it was funny - what kind of laugh would you have?  Would it be... you know...  (she trills) "Heee-heeee-heeee-heeee-heeee...  or... (she brays)  "AW-HAW-HAW-HAW-HAW-HAW..." or  (she snorts) "Giggle-giggle-snort-giggle..." or (she blarts) "Huh! HUUUUUUHH!  Huh-huh-huh..." or... (she machine guns) "Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh..."

I shoot her a look.

"My brain just thinks of these things. Sometimes I even confuse myself.   I'm saying this because so and so's brother laughed and I honestly thought it was a fake laugh.  I laughed because his laugh was so ridiculous. And that got me to thinking.  You have to have a fake laugh.  Just in case.  You know, for emergencies."

"I'd have to go for the Katharine Hepburn/Philadelphia Story  laugh."

She looked dumbfounded.  Dear GOD, she didn't know who Katharine Hepburn was.  I had failed her as a parent.  She'd never seen The Philadelphia Story.  She didn't understand the brilliance of casting Cary Grant, Jimmy Steward and Katharine Hepburn as the three corners in a near-perfect screwball comedy triangle.   It was then I made a solemn vow to educate her, as we should all educate our children in classic cinema - we shall batten down the hatches and make a weekend of it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm too old for this S*&t!


I get Detective Murtaugh now.  I couldn't before, but now that I'm 45, I completely understand him.  Plus, I think he must have been some kind of super human.  How could he possibly do all he did with Martin Riggs, a man a good 15 years his junior, and not DIE from it?   How did he not actually DIE?   I can't even pull an all-nighter - without teetering on death.  I used to have an amazing bounce back rate... when I was 22.  Cripes, last night I stayed up until 11:30 p.m. and when I dragged my sorry ass out of bed at 7:25 this morning, I thought I might die.  Stuck in the middle of a sleep cycle, my brain needed a major reboot.

Now, I'm looking for my quick fix.  The bag of real coffee in the cupboard is calling to me.  Its siren voice had me stumbling towards it, before I remembered that caffeine is terrible for peri-menopausal women and I don't want to fall into its deliciously invigorating trap.  'Cept it'd be so much easier than coming out of this on my own.

I'm rehearsing for a play.  I've had to beg the other production members to reschedule end times of rehearsals - that is how pathetic I am.   "I can barely function after 9:00 p.m. Please, I am begging you, can we start at 7:00 p.m. and just go to 10:00?!?  PLEASE?"  And even now, if you were to take pictures of me during the last 45 minutes of rehearsal, you would find me in various states of yawn.

I used to laugh at my Mom when she would try to read a book in her Lazy-Boy.  It seemed like all she had to do was lift the book and crack its spine  before she was zonko.

"Do you want me to just wave it over your head Mom?  Might accomplish the same thing."

"You watch it!  This'll come back to bite you!"

Last night?  As I was struggling to study my lines?  The seconds between blinks grew longer and longer until I dropped the play on my face. ON MY FREAKING FACE!!!  Yet another thing I can't do in bed like I used to!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Yellls Rissa as she flops down beside me in bed this morning.  She is VERY excited.

I stifle a yawn, wiping the sleep from my eyes.

"October 1st, huh?"


"And October is a good month?"

"It's the BEST month!!!  First off, there's TURKEY DAY (Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up in approx 12 days).  Then, there's the day AFTER Turkey Day where you get to make TURKEY SANDWICHES!!  Then the new book in the Divergent series - ALLEGIANT - comes out!!  Then there is the DANCE STUDIO HALLOWEEN PARTY and then... (she can barely contain herself) ...


She leaps out of bed, skipping and singing, continuing her morning.

I turn to David.  "October is VERY exciting!"