Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thank God I married Roger Rabbit.

Warning: descriptive female issues in this post.


"What is it?"

"Day Eight apparently."

"Are we in the playoffs?"

My baleful eyes could burn through steel.

"I am BLEEDING out.  I was done.  The Diva Cup was empty."

David winces in naive male sympathy/horrified visualization.  "And now the cup runneth over?"

"No the cup does not runneth over because I wasn't wearing the frickin' cup because my body is a lying liar pants and can't make its peri-menopausal mind up!  IT WAS EMPTY THIS MORNING!!!"   I raise my fist to the 2nd floor bathroom where the Diva Cup is now residing.  "YOU WERE EMPTY!!!"

I ease off the couch and look down - at least there's no blood on the upholstery.  I carefully glide my way to the bathroom, crossing my fingers that I'll only have to wash my panties, not the jeans as well.  I don't know why washing jeans seems to add insult to injury, but it does.

I stand before the toilet, Keigeling every muscle in my pelvis.  I take a deep breath before undoing my belt.  As soon as I sit to examine the undergarment damage, I feel another deluge.

"COME ON!!!"

"Love?  You okay?"

"They're the size of TOONIES!"

"What are?"

"The blood clots that just left my body."  A blinding cramp hits me.  I don't know if the blood loss is actually making me dizzy or if it's having witnessed most of my uterine lining leave my body.

David pipes up from the living room.  "It could be worse."


"They could be blood clots the size of tunas."

Thank God I married Roger Rabbit.  Without laughter my sanity would have abandoned me years ago.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The alarm cat





Oh, for the love of...

Meow... meow...meow...meeeeeeeeeeeowwwwwww.

I look over at the clock.  7:17.  What the?   CRAP!  I stagger out of bed, open the bedroom door and face Minuit - the most irritated cat in the galaxy.  She squints at me with her perpetually rheumy eyes.


We have one of those false dawn clocks.   It begins emitting a relaxed glowing light about 35 minutes before you actually have to wake up.  The glow eventually gets brighter and brighter and then the tweeting bird sounds go off.  (I'm not even kidding.)  This morning? No glowing light.  No tweeting birds.

"David."  I shake his shoulder.  "David. Love.  It's 7:17."

He sits bolt upright in bed, wild-eyed.  "What the?!?"

"You didn't set your alarm love."

"Hey I know, I didn't set my alarm."  He's blinking up at me - a dazed, bed-headed owlet.

"You have to thank Minuit, she was our alarm."

Minuit is standing in the doorway scowling at us.  David exits the bed.  "Thank you Min..."   Perpetually terrified by any motion in the household, Minuit tears across the upper landing before hiding under Rissa's bed. "...nuit."

Rissa is in the bathroom getting ready for school.

"Daddy didn't set his alarm," I say, yawning while wiping the sleep guck from my eyes.  I grab my toothbrush.  "Minuit's the hero - she woke us up."

"I wondered what she was complaining about," says Rissa.  She looks over at her bedroom doorway where Minuit is now skulking.  "Good job Alarm Cat."

David, clad in work wear, is doing the Frankenstein shamble to the bathroom.  Minuit immediately bolts back under Rissa's bed.

Standing in the bathroom doorway, David runs his hands through his hair.  His hair is slightly greasy and up in all directions. "Aw man!  I was supposed to have a shower this morning." 

I hand him the baby powder.  "You'll have to powder it up love."

"Right."  He dumps about 1/4 of a cup of lavender-scented baby powder into his hand and rubs them together before dragging his hands through his hair.  Rissa and I look at him and look at each other.  David appears to have tripped and fallen into a kilo of coke - powder on his collar, the front of his shirt, under his nose, on his forehead.  His hair is covered.

I head tilt, indicating the faux cocaine fallout zone. "Dude.  You're Bright Lights Big Citying it."

"Well I can't see in the mirror, you girls are taking up all the...  Sweet!  I look like Doc Brown."

He keeps rubbing the powder through his hair.  I grab a facecloth so that he wipe up the excess from his clothing and face.

"Nothing like Cocaine Thursday," David says, blending in the last of the power into his hair.

"It's perfect after Hump Day," Rissa agrees.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The reason for all those baby/kitten/puppy videos #2016Election

The stress of the 2016 Presidential election has my lower intestines in Stevedore Stopper knots.  I'm not even American.  The outcome of the election won't really affect me as someone north of the 42nd.  I mean, apart from all the anti-Hillary Republicans who are threatening to move to Canada should the Democrats win and the anti-Trump Democrats/Independents who are threatening to move to Canada should the Donald win.

If Trump wins and he builds a wall across the US/Mexican border - it won't affect me.  If Hillary wins and it turns out there are even MORE emails that she didn't safeguard appropriately -  it won't affect me.  If Trump wins and throws Hillary into jail - it won't affect me.  If Hillary wins and raises taxes on wealthy Americans - it won't affect me. If Trump wins and he repeals the Clean Air Act - it won't... wait a second...  If Hillary wins and there is a Second Revolutionary War - it won't... uh... I'm really close to that northern border.

It's the end of the world as we know it!! 
Deep cleansing breaths, deep cleansing breaths... 

Hey everyone look! Baby ostrich racing cars.

And these are ANIMALS jumping on TRAMPOLINES!

Kittens and puppies with babies!

Dogs meeting kittens for the first time.

It's a baby who laughs when you tear paper!

And then if you really start freaking out and you need to take control back - channel your inner Jesse Jane McParland.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

And that's why you shouldn't exercise.

Me - this morning.

It is before breakfast. It is before work. I am on the treadmill - watching Daredevil on Netflix.  Moving at 3.5 miles an hour on an incline of three.  'Cause if I don't do it before I go to work, it will not happen for the rest of day.  And if I don't move my ass, expending energy and calories, I will not sleep well - which, tomorrow morning, will result in a tired Heather sporting a fetching side of petulance.

Every morning I'm on that treadmill. At the 5:00 minute mark I start swinging my arms wildly forward for a minute.  At 6:00 minutes I do the arm equivalent of a deep lunge to the side - targeting (at least in my lay-person, inner trainer's mind) my back boobs.  I don't know if it's true, but I can kind of feel that area moving around when I try it, so I figure that something must be going on. I repeat these actions every 5 minutes until I hit 40:00.

YEAH!  Last one!  I whip those arms forward.  THIS.  IS.  GOOD.  I'm sweaty and I've burned up (I squint at the display in the half-light) 276 calories. Only 5 more minutes then I can cool down for 5 minutes.  YEAH! I AM AN EXERCISING GODDESS!!

I swing those arms a little higher.  As I'm swinging them back, my left arm somehow catches the wire from my ear buds, ripping my left ear bud from my ear.  Even before my arm has finished its swing, the right ear bud joins its partner in ferocious solidarity right before the tablet leaps off the treadmill ledge, landing on the belt.  I dodge the tablet, grabbing the arm rails for balance, but can't help but watch as the tablet is propelled off the treadmill into the piano behind me.  As I remain fixated on whether I've just killed the tablet, my feet leave the treadmill belt and I find myself parkouring to avoid crushing the tablet, while still clinging to the arm rails. 

On the upside, I got a real good stretch of my arms before letting go.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Snakes don't have legs

"So if they're asking do I have experience working with animals, does that mean REAL experience?   I mean, I have three cats," says Rissa.

"Yes, you do have three cats," I reply. "And don't discount the dogs that we've had."

"But do they mean experience like squeezing a gopher's anal glands?"


"Or like, I've seen a bunny... once?"

"I don't know..."

"Or is it please collect my horse's urine?"

"Where are you...?"

"Or can you spout general animal information like 'snakes don't have legs' ?"

Snort.  "I say put it all down.  You never know where you might be placed."

"Check.  Now onto the Code of Conduct.  O...kay...  O...kay...  O...kay...  WHOA!!!  What about lighting fires?  Why don't they specify lighting fires?  That seems like a no-no in addition to the no drugs, alcohol and serious behavioural problems."

"I think that pyromania might fall under the serious behavioural problems."

She's already moved on.  "Under gender I'm going to say 'squirrel' for you."

You can bet that whomever ends up with her for a summer exchange is going to be entertained at the very least.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Heart of Darkness Dance Party

"OH MY GOD!" Rissa exclaims.

"What?" I ask, glancing up from my e-reader.

"This," she says, indicating her book.  "THIS. STUPID. BOOK."

"What are you reading?"

"Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.  ARGH!"  The book has fallen from her hands and banged her on the head.

"Dude.  Careful."

"It's not me!  IT'S. THIS. STINKING. BOOK."  She holds it out to me.  "It's not weighted correctly. You see this?  This here?"  She's indicating the first 6th of the tome.  "This is the actual book. 77 pages.  You see this?" She indicates the other 350  pages.  "This is the part where it explains to you why those 77 pages are worth reading!!"


"You shouldn't have to have FIVE times as many pages explaining why the book should be read!!!"

"I have to concur."

"Right?!?   It's a 77 page monologue. GAH!  And I have to read 10 pages tonight. He just keeps talking and talking and talllllking.  I'm not going to make it."  She brightens for a moment.  "I'll   have to have a Heart of Darkness Dance break every 2 pages."

"That sounds like a plan."

"Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack should do it."

Never underestimate the power of a good soundtrack when played on your Crosley portable record player at 45rpm.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Gilmore Girls Meltdown

"IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!!" wails Rissa.  "WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT!!!" She is flailing, face-down, on the couch.

"Yes we will honey."  I smooth her back.  "We've got 77 days."

"And 95 episodes!!"  How are we going to watch 95 episodes in 77 days?!?"

"Easy.  One episode a day, with 18 days where we watch two."

"But then it'll be like work and we won't enjoy it.  We'll resent it! WE CAN'T RESENT THIS!!!"

"Some days we can binge watch - like 8 episodes."


She's panicking.  To her this is a seemingly unattainable goal. To me this is a perk, nay, a privilege.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa there chickadee...  Say, 5 weekends of the next 12, we watch 8 episodes each weekend - so that's 40 episodes of the 95 which means then we only have to watch another 55 episodes over the remaining...  69 days. That's only (insert mental gymnastics here) 3/4 of an episode a day on those days.  If we watch 12 episodes each of those 5 weekends, that's 60 episodes of the 95, leaving us with only 35 for the remaining 69 days - a mere 1/2 an episode each day.   Sooooooooo easy...."

To say that Rissa shoots me a 'baleful' eye would be an understatement.

David takes a different tack. "I'm sending you both a link to the must-see episodes - there are only 19."

Rissa immediately runs to grab her phone.  "We've already watched three of these!" she crows.  "No - five!!  No wait - SEVEN!!! WE'VE WATCHED SEVEN EPISODES!!!  We only have to watch 12 more and we'll have the gist of everything."  She reclines back on the couch, completely relaxed.

"See?" says David.  "Now you only have to watch 12 and you're good to go.  No stress at all."

"Oh, we're going to watch all 95," says Rissa.  "Those 12 are our backup."

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sticky thighs in the City of Lights

Our first day in Paris, we get a lay of the land from the massive seasonal Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde. We can see EVERYTHING from there!  Paris has turned us giddy.  "We can go there, and there... and THERE!"   Paris at our feet!  This is fantastic!!

Within  30 seconds of alighting from the ride we realize that  downtown Paris sports wide open spaces with concrete and cobblestones and palaces - all acting as the most stunningly architectured heat conductors/reflectors - I'm going to say it - in the world.  Wilting in the blinding sun, Rissa and I (in our fish-belly white glory), desperately seek out the tiniest scrap of shade that can be found in the lee of Parisian lamposts.

"DIBS!"  I yell - trying to morph my skeleton to the shape of the shadow.  Rissa stands in the lee of me, so she's good to go.

As a family we find ourselves ill-prepared.  Our plans for Paris had not been indoor plans.  We were going to head out each day in a different direction and just walk. We were going to explore - see the 'real' Paris - the Paris of the people.

As we walk back to our Air B&B flat in the 8th - I begin to rethink our Parisian plans.

"What are you doing?" asks David, watching me walk.

"I don't have a thigh gap," I explain, looking like I've just spent an afternoon riding the mechanical bull at the Rock 'n' Horse Saloon.


"Skirt. Thighs. Chafing. I under-powdered."  I am already anticipating macaron-sized heat rash on my inner thighs.  "I shouldn't have worn a skirt.  Or I should have packed the travel size baby powder in my bag."  I milk the physical comedy for a bit longer before I stagger and give up.  "Cover me!"


"Cover me!"  I heft my skirt and grab my slip, tying the front and the back together to create emergency bloomers.  I walk around a bit.  "Not bad.  I don't know if it'll get me 10 blocks back to the flat, but if it doesn't hold, I'll just pretend that I'm a bull-legged Charlie Chaplin."

Later, that evening, we arrive at the train station for our trip to Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte, and I realize we have forgotten the travel sized baby powder... again.   I just had to wear a chi-chi dress.   But we're going to a chi-chi Palace, a chi-chi dress is totally appropriate. Having liberally applied powder, I think I'm good to go, but given Paris's heat, it's still not enough. 

Luckily, there is a pharmacy still open at the station.  "Avez vous poudre pour bébé?" I inquire, after having spent a good five minutes searching the baby aisle looking for anything resembling baby powder.   Dude looks at me like I'm nuts. "Que désirez-vous?"  "Uh... poudre de... um... what is baby powder when it's not baby powder - talcum?"  "Ah!  Poudre de talc!"  "Oui!"  I give him a huge thumbs up.  He goes to the back section that houses all the heavy duty drugs and comes out with a box of talcum powder.

"Success?" asks David, upon my return.

"Success!  Now we just need to locate a salle de bain where I can powder these gams!"

An item of note: you have to pay .75 Euros to enter a bathroom in Paris. 
I hang my bag on the back of the door and open the box, which contains a plastic bag full of talcum powder. I look like I have about a 1/2 kilo of coke.  I examine the box again.  There are no perforations, no place that I can tear away to conveniently fold the remaining cardboard over which provides wee little holes so that when I open my 1/2 kilo of talc I can tap-tap-tap it without ending up looking like I've decided to do performance art in a Parisian bathroom.
I tear into the corner of the plastic bag with my teeth and dump a toonie-sized amount of talcum into my left hand.  1/4 of a cup of talcum lands on the floor.

Another item of note:  when I go into les toilettes I am wearing this:

Yes, there is a ginormous crinoline under the dress

I balance the bag precariously on the round toilet paper dispenser and lift my skirt, attempting to navigate through my crinoline to my naked thighs.  I don't succeed.  This is a two-hand job, so to speak.  But seeing as one hand is covered in talcum, and I'm wearing navy blue, that's not an option.  I try again.  I fail.  I am now stuck in a Parisian toilette, more than enough talcum at hand to solve my sticky thigh issue, but unable to powder.   I contemplate getting Rissa to pay .75 Euros to come in and hold my skirt up.  That's when I start giggling.  After another failed attempt, I lean my back against one wall of the stall, put my right foot on the opposite wall and fluff my crinoline and skirt up, holding them to my chest with my chin.  It appears that given the ferocious Parisian heat, the amount of powder that I have in one hand can only really do one thigh.    Still holding my garments under my chin, I manage to pour more powder into my hand and powder the other thigh.  I'm snorting to myself as I wash my hands.

"All good?" asks David as I step out.

"No problem.  From now on, when I say something is impossible?  Remind me of this."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Easy, Action...

"Hor-ORRR-ork!  Gaaaaaaag!  Pwaaaa!"

"You sound like you're doing "Cool" - the vomit version," says Rissa. *

I'm brushing my teeth.  Every morning, when I get to the brushing my tongue part, I can't seem to get past my gag reflex.

"Pwaaaaa!" I spit.    "We'd need some added percussion for it though.  It'd be like snap, snap, snap, snap... 'Haaaaaack!'  snap, snap, snap, snap... 'Hunnnng-ah!' and then the dude would be all, "Easy, Action" and rubbing the guy's back while offering him a bowl to puke into."

"Or it could be someone choking, virtually the same noises, but with a person Heimliching the dude..." Rissa chimes in.

Then, of course we need to reenact the entire song with barf/choking accompaniment, you know, 'cause that's what we do.

Once I make it big on The Great White Way, I'm totally going to do that for Forbidden Broadway - we'll have a revival show.  There will also be a chicken chorus singing Poulet-Vous.  

* One of the most memorable songs/dances from any musical.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Nostalgia has bitten me in the ass.  And Rissa's ass, because she was forced to watch four, count 'em, four 1980s movies with me.  Floundering after Bowie died - it got me thinking that we hadn't shared Bowie movies with Rissa.  She'd never seen Labyrinth, or Absolute Beginners.  And when I was ordering those movies from Amazon the "if you like that you might like this" algorithm came up with Xanadu and of course she had to see that too.

We started with Xanadu.  About 15 minutes in she turned to me.  "Is the whole movie like this?"

"I think it is."


I remembered the roller skating and the mash up number where they mix 1940s swing with 'modern' rock.  When the animated section came on I exclaimed,  "OH MY GOD - I totally forgot about this!"

Rissa looked at me in disbelief.  "Wait... now she's a... FISH?!?"

"Yes.  Yes, she is, and it's freaking brilliant!"

Upon reflection, Xanadu might be a little unpolished and poorly acted... and just one music video after another... and why oh WHY did they make Olivia Newton John attempt to roller skate?  She could NOT roller skate.  Was there no budget for a skating double?  Rissa is also adamant that Gene Kelly should be erased from the film so that it doesn't sully his reputation.

After Xanadu, Absolute Beginners, which, apart from its first steady-cam shot (that clearly inspired all the "walk & talk" shots in The West Wing) - was a made up of a nearly-incomprehensible plot, surrounded by even more weird-ass plot points, with a brief scene where Bowie plays an American ad exec who gets to chew the scenery and Sade sings a spectacular Killer Blow. Strange, after having listened to the cassette tape of the soundtrack for years, I had remembered the film as having much more substance.  Rissa fell asleep during the race riot scenes near the end - not quite the gripping action the producers hoped for, methinks.

Next... Labyrinth, where Bowie's spectacular codpiece was front and centre for most of the film.  Huzzah!!!  Unfortunately, the codpiece was not enough to distract Rissa from how much Jennifer Connelly's portrayal of Sarah annoyed her. 

"Why is she being such a douche?  He's just a baby!"

Rissa's favourite part of the movie?   The special features - where almost all the FX were practical and she got to see Jim Hensen in all his puppeteering/directing glory.

Although Rissa recognized that Fame was a far superior film - better acted, danced... hell... made, the depressing verisimilitude of  the film had her jonesing for a therapist and had me wishing that I'd broken her in gently by showing her the  TV series - especially the episode where Doris gets to re-enact The Wizard of Oz.

Crap - I thought it was only four movies.  It was five.  I showed her The Lost Boys too.  And although she did appreciate how pretty Jason Patrick was... the oiled up sax player at the boardwalk made her throw up a little in her mouth... I owe her.

It's time to remind her of other 80s films that she's seen already and actually likes.  The ones that I've watched in the intervening decades since the 80s, nay  WILL watch any time they're on, the fabulous and the cheesy, from the sublime to the ridiculous: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Footloose, The Blues Brothers, Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, Heathers, The Princess Bride, Tootsie,  Bladerunner, Ghostbusters, Stand by Me, The Neverending Story, E.T., Indiana Jones, Top Gun, The Karate Kid, Pretty in Pink, Working Girl and, and, and ... 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

And that's why menopause makes you crazy...

It's come to this: I am now answering Facebook quizzes in my own head. Without the computer.  And not the normal ones like:

Which Disney Princess are you? 
Which Shakespearean character would you be?
What breed of cat are you?

Nope, this mostly Pagan gal has this one pin-balling around her cranium:

Which Bible character is your alter-ego?

We've got to go to Judges 16 for that one.  Samson.  I am Samson.  Delilah cut Samson's hair and he lost his great strength - his power.  I cut my hair and lost my mind.

It's been a swift ride to Crazy-Town for Heather.  I got my hair cut 3.5 weeks ago and in that time all rational thought has departed.  I was getting ready for a wedding with the new 'do' on Saturday and I could actually feel my sanity abandoning me.  Rissa went to get David.

"Uh, Daddy?"


"Mummy's, uh..."  (I can only assume Rissa made the 'she's batshit crazy' gesture beside her own head here.)

David came upstairs and found me weeping; a curling iron clenched in one hand and sweat dripping down my spine.

"Oh love, what is it?"

"This HAIR!" I wailed.

"You're beautiful.  You're always beautiful."  He stood behind me, attempting to smooth my shoulders down and press a hug against my back.

I pulled away violently.  "NO!  I'm NOT!  I look like fucking BOZO the CLOWN!!!"

I could see it then.  I could see the look of concern in David's eyes - the wondering if this was it - if this was the moment I had finally given in to insanity.

"But love, you've been fine this past week.  You liked your new hair."

"I was LYING!!  I HATE it!  I HATE this hair!  I want to shave it off and start wearing wigs until I can put it in a pony tail again!!" You know when you really lose your shit and you have an out-of-body experience watching yourself do it?  That. 

 Dozens of people have complimented me on my hair.

"It makes you look 15 years younger!" 
"You look so sassy!" 
"It's adorable!" 

They are ALL - every single one them - LYING to me.  I try to be good and politely accept the compliment.  I really do.  I smile and nod, ready to move on and behave like a normal tamped down human being, but then they ask "Do you LOVE it?" and I can't keep my irrational mouth shut. Brutally honest, I spout colourful invectives, minutes-long vituperation which, naturally, takes people aback.  That, plus my wild-eyed cuckoo-banana-ness.  Because really?  What person actually says how they're truly feeling?  We're not supposed to do that.  Most of time, I can playact when a person asks a direct question.   But for some reason this hair thing has caused me to lose the ability to deliver bland social conversational norms with any believability.  My inner truth tap switched to ON when I lost 10 inches of hair.

But I didn't fucking LOSE the hair!  I am not on chemo, I do not have alopecia!  I ASKED for something shorter.  It's not like the stylist went rogue, tied me down, gagged me and madly began chopping - I'd been toying with going shorter for years.  The problem was that pretty much as soon as she started to take it off the top, I knew I'd made the wrong choice.  I left the salon thinking "Okay, in a year I can grow 6 inches of this back."  And no matter how many people love the 'do,' no matter how much my husband smiles and says he loves kissing the back of my neck - something was lost for me.

"I look like a MOM!"

"You are a Mom."

"But I LOOK like one.  I feel MA-A-A-AAAAAA-TRON-LY!!!!!"

And that's what it really comes down to.  I had long curly auburn hair that turned heads and now I don't turn heads - unless I'm walking with my 16 year old daughter who is always turning heads - which is somehow worse because at first you think they might be turning heads to look at you and then you realize Nope - this head-turning is not for me at all.  I cut my hair and I am now an invisible, middle-aged woman.  The male gaze slides over me - it's not that they're ignoring me - it's that they don't even recognize that I exist.

I tried on a dress for this aforementioned wedding a week ago - a purple, chiffony, deep V neck that swished and was lovely.  I asked David's opinion about the dress and he was underwhelmed.  "Oh, that's nice."  He didn't look like he wanted to lick his way from my collar bone to my navel.  He blandly smiled and part of me died inside.

As we were driving home from the mall he knew that something was up.  I was quiet, desperately rationalizing my crushing sadness.  We got home and I went upstairs and laid upon the bed, taking calming breaths.

"He just didn't like the dress.  It's not you.  The dress wasn't the best colour..."

And these are basically all the same things that he told me when he followed me upstairs and sat on the bed beside me.

"I know," I said.  "I know that.  You don't have to like everything that I put on.  I don't want you to lie and say something to appease my vanity.  It's just that there are these times that you look at me and I feel like I'm the most beautiful woman on the planet and this was NOT one of those times.  Seeing myself reflected in your eyes can make me feel desirable and... sexy and... POWERFUL and you didn't look at me that way this time.  And right now it's killing me, but I'll get over it."

The look on his face when I shared that shit?  Deflated.  I made him deflate.

"I'm not saying it to guilt you.  I'm being honest. And in a few minutes I will be able to move on, but right now my coping skills are at a minimum and I need to reboot."

My regularly programmed personality has been usurped by this short-tempered, weepy, bitch - whose behaviour is psychotic attention-seeking at its finest.  I am not this person.  This is NOT me.  I want me back.  I used to be the gal with a quick off-colour joke and burlesque posturing. My 'shoulders back, tits out' coping strategy got me through the day.  Bravado was my secret weapon.

Somewhere around Victoria Day I started having night sweats.  Two months folks.  That's all it takes.  Two months of disrupted sleep patterns and I have morphed into the stereo-typically irrational and moody menopausal woman who believes she had super sexy powers in her hair length.   This is why middle-aged women seem dissatisfied and bitchy all the time.  They're not crazy - they're fucking sleep-deprived.  Night sweats create an atmosphere very similar to early parenting exhaustion, except that in your late 40s you don't have the energy stores to power through the exhaustion, and when someone touches your naked body you want to strangle them.

Tonight I'm taking a sleeping pill.  It's time to reboot.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Post-childbirth trampolining...

The last time I went to Sky Zone Trampoline Park - for Rissa's 11th birthday - I was unprepared.   Even though I had 'emptied' my bladder twice before stepping onto the trampoline, my baby-stretched urethra gave up on the first bounce.  (Not to say that I gave birth through my urethra - childbirth doesn't work that way - contrary to what those who don't get proper sex education think - it's just all the pushing of large baby heads out that way messes with your pelvic floor muscles and your ability to hold your pee.)

I got to have one fucking bounce.  Then I pathetically watched from the sidelines as my daughter and spouse gleefully experienced what appeared to be Trampoline Nirvana.  David was like a fucking jackalope - bounding from tramp to tramp, bouncing off the walls - grinning manically the entire time.

I had done thousands of Kegels throughout my pregnancy (and long afterward) and I got one fucking bounce?

So, when Rissa decided that for her 16th birthday she wanted to go back to Sky Zone, I was all...

"Yay - that'll be so much... fun."  

Not that I should have even been concerned with fun, I mean, it wasn't my party, but David was already vibrating in  anticipation of all the bouncing, looking like Wallace about to get some Wensleydale.

But then? I had an epiphany.  (Cue epiphany music. Holst's Neptune the Mystic at about 4 1/2 minutes in will do.)  I went to the pharmacy.  I strode purposefully towards the incontinence aisle.

Many linear feet of incontinence care products met my gaze. Where did I start?  What absorbency?   Would a 2 be enough?  With a 6, would I feel a failure if I didn't fill all the available pad?  I settled for a level 4. This was good.  This was me being proactive.  This was me taking a stand against incontinence.  I sashayed my peri-menopausal ass towards the counter.  I slammed those puppies on the cashier's counter...  On the counter of the attractive, young male cashier, who'd been giving my sashay and my boobs the eye as I walked triumphantly towards him.  Yep, nothing says sexy like incontinence pads.  Still like the look of these boobs, my young lad?

We got to Sky Zone and I suited up for the main event.  I am pleased to report that in the intervening 5 years since my last trampoline adventure, I must have gained back some of my pelvic floor muscles.  I got three good bounces in before I peed.  I'll be honest, the first couple of times I peed, I experienced minor panic, but with a surreptitious glance down and accompanying hand brush over the groin to make sure I wasn't sporting a wet spot, I was good.  I didn't care because I was Poised.  Bum drop?  No problem!  Wall bounce?  More than doable.  Leaping from one tramp to another?  Yes I squirted a bit, but my miniature diaper totally caught it all.  I bounced for twenty minutes before my middle-aged body told me ENOUGH, but my yoga pants were still dry.  By the end of my bounce session I had not a care in the world.  I was sweaty, exhilarated and full of bouncy joy!  And my pad?  Room to spare!  Thank you Poise pads!

A wet-spot-free and very satisfied customer.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The horizontal bitch

"Is everything okay?" asks David, picking up on my funk.

"Yep.  All good." I give him a big thumbs up with a side of overly-enthusiastic smile.

He gives me a pointed look. I ignore him and lift my chin.

Rissa says "Mama do you need a hug?"

Yes, I do.  I do need a hug.  But I'm pretty sure that if I have physical contact I'm going to lose it. 

Rissa doesn't give me a choice and pulls me in.  I quickly morph into Shirley Maclaine a la Terms of Endearment, unwilling to let my daughter go.  I then burst into hiccuping sobs.

It has taken me three weeks to go from positive to psychotic.  Three weeks of sleeplessness and I'm no longer in control.  Fucking peri-menopause.

David calls me at work the next day.  "Hey love... just wanted to check to see how you're doing..."

"I'm fine," I say determinedly. I don't want to be that person.  I don't want to be that whiny, complaining, malcontent who can't keep her shit together.  He already heard my diatribe against feminine middle-age maladies over the long weekend - I'm not going to give it to him again - the comedy would be stale. "I'm working my head around it - it'll all be good.  I'll see you at home."

I might have spent WAY too much time designing her in

Waking once a night is normal.  Twice I can cope with... but six??  Six times in a night has taken me right back to early parenthood.  16 years on, I no longer have the stamina to withstand it.  Sweating vertically I can handle, it really only becomes unbearable when I'm horizontal. 

Hot - then quickly-cold, sweating, nauseated, heart racing - basically it's all the symptoms leading up to a bout of violent diarrhea.  And even though I know that I'm not technically ill, my body has been conditioned to recognize the feeling of cold sweats as something very, very bad.

I have to wear pajamas now.  I HATE wearing pajamas.  I commiserate with my mother over it...  Over the fact that my father didn't understand her just like David doesn't understand me.  "Why are you wearing more clothes to bed if you're having night sweats?"  Any woman suffering from these fuckers knows that you wear those pajamas so that when you throw the blankets off in the middle of the night you don't wind up shivering from the inevitable hypothermia when that slick of sweat cools your body.

"It's bedtime," says David.

"I don't think I can," I say - my bottom lip trembles pathetically.  "I'm afraid to go to bed now.  I hate failing at things. And now I suck at sleeping - something even babies can do!  I'm not drinking alcohol.  I'm not ingesting caffeine.  I've cut down on salt and sugar... I'm terrified of doing HRT on account of the does it or doesn't it cause CANCER with long-term use debate.  My Mom still gets hot flashes - and she's 71 - her Mom had them until she was 77.  I'm 47 - I'd have to be on HRT for 30 years!!" 

"Come on, we've got this," he says.  He takes my hand and leads me up the stairs.  "You are taking a sleeping pill tonight..."

"But I can't take sleeping pills every..." I begin.

"Just tonight before you brush your teeth - tomorrow we'll head to the health food store and stock up on every hot flash and night sweat remedy known to the world.  But tonight, tonight you're taking a sleeping pill and you're gonna put on your pj's and lie down and get thumped with the massager.  And then maybe you'll even enjoy a little "extra" massaging, for added relaxation."  He smiles and waggles his eyebrows.  "I'm turning the fan on to blow directly on your side of the bed, and if all that fails, we'll stand a couch on its side in here, I'll strap you in and you can sleep standing up, you know, like a vampire in a coffin.  We've got this."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jane Austen with SEX!!!

I've been mainlining Regency romances.  Which is weird, because even in my romance novel addiction years (late teens, early 20s), I was never really into books that had guys-in-very- high-count-linen-shirts-bending-over-corseted-virgins illustrated on their covers.  Contemporary romances with lots of "sex" and witty banter, that was my jam.  Decades before the proliferation of erotic novels - body parts were still euphemistic and female orgasms occurred the instant that "his throbbing member" entered her "tight passage." 

The problem with having expanded one's literary horizons is that reading utter shit is no longer an option.  I've tried, I really, really have, but as a mature woman, I am completely unwilling to waste my time. I don't want to have to red line a novel as I'm reading it.  I want to be lost in it - I want to revel.  When I read fiction - I read to escape. Now I've figured it out.  I no longer potluck it when I read.   I do research.  I read reviews. 4 stars or better and I'll read an excerpt. And if I like the excerpt, I hit the "add to cart" button on my e-reader and ZIP-BAM - instant reading gratification.  This methodology has allowed me to discover Loretta Chase's Jane Austen-esque romance novels... all the period social intrigue and witty banter of a BBC mini-series along with a healthy side-helping of allusions to cunnilingus!  

 Finding a new author who manages to combine wit AND sex?  Pure joy. As a relatively intellectual woman of the new millennium, I'm not supposed to admit that.  I'm supposed to read 'LITRA-CHAAAA' and non-fiction.  And I do - but it ain't my go-to.  My go-to is escapism pure and simple and frankly I like to escape with witty smut.  I like to have a chuckle AND get wet at the same time. 

And what's more?  I fucking love my E-reader.  The E-Reader offers me freedom from outward justification. It allows me to read whatever the hell I want with no patronizing smirk from onlookers as they spy a pulpy book cover, be it romance, fantasy, sci-fi or thriller.  Loretta Chase may well bankrupt me though.  I can read about 300 pages in a day.  In the last 30 days alone I've spent a couple of hundred bucks on witty smut.  I've got to start pacing myself.   Plus, these Regency romances are jam-packed with intrigue, and because I'm reading one every other day, often late into the night, I wake the next morning having run from Cairo to Derbyshire and back again, all the while having been set upon by ruffians that I have to outwit without placing the one I love in utter peril.  It's exhausting.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

How long have you been having sex with the octopus?

David asks.


"The octopus sex.  How long has it been going on?"

"Cupping.  It was cupping.  There was no octopus involved."

"Are you sure?  Evidence suggests otherwise."

"It was cupping."


"Suction cupping.  At the massage appointment."

"She put suction cups on you."  He is appalled by this explanation.

"May I remind you of Exhibit A my friend?"  I point enthusiastically at my back  "EXHIBIT A."

"This was done by  suction cups?"  David looks horrified.  "No."


"No.  We are going to say that you had sex with an octopus."

"Because why?"

"Because when you say suction cupping all I can think of is the Man in Black screaming in agony in the Pit of Despair."

"Fair enough.  So is it better to say sex with an octopus or sex with a giant squid?"


"Sex with an octopus it is then."

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Why my daughter won't play Scrabble with me.

"I hate this game more than anything in the world," says Rissa as we finish.

My heart sinks.  I've had such hopes.  She's an avid reader now - she knows so many words.  I only tried to guide her word choices a... uh... few... (okay 6) times.  She wanted to put down kinesis, but would have used up two s's and didn't get as many points as if she'd used her k in another place - which is where both Mor Mor and I (gently) suggested that she... ...  ... do.

And the Myopic Parent Award goes to...

I have obviously forgotten that Rissa plays most games ironically.  She doesn't care how many points there might be.  Mor Mor played a word and because Rissa could play the exact same word, she did, because it made her laugh, even though her placement of the word didn't get her as many points because Mor Mor had gone first and got a double word score.

"Why do you hate it?" I finally ask, realizing that my future may never include playing word games regularly with my daughter.

"Because you're like that Portuguese International student in first year university who says 'Hey, I know, let's all play Scrabble - it'll be so much fun!!'  And then he puts down all his letters making a 16 letter word joining three other small words, and he gets a GABAZILLION points and when you ask him what the word means he says, 'It's the act of grilling ducks under the Portuguese moonlight... in SPANISH.'  Mummy nobody likes that guy.  Nobody.  Asking me to play Scrabble with you is akin to me asking you to go out into the backyard and shoot all the bunnies."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How did the serpent get in the frother?!?

I flap the dish towel in my panic.

"What?  What is it?"  Rissa asks.

"Treacherous insect!!"


"Okay, so you know how when you said that there was a cobra in the kitty litter?"

"I didn't say there was a cobra in the kitty litter," Rissa says, peeking around the corner from the stairwell.   "I said that it was very AMMONIA-Y.  Though that would be much worse than just the ammonia smell."

"So I had cobra on the brain.  And then in my peripheral vision at the sink, I see this red slitted eye in the frother - which was obviously from a red-eyed serpent..."

"...Obviously..." She continues to scoop litter.

"...although why a serpent would choose to crawl into a frother is beyond me - so it made me jump..."

"...and scream..."  She sprinkles the baking soda.

"...and scream.  But on second glance it was a ladybug on the rim of the askew frother lid just peeking out."

"How could you confuse...?"

"Some serpents have red eyes."


I shrug.  "The tormenting serpents do."  I turn back to the sink to finish drying the--  "GAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!"

"Where is the ladybug now?"

"On the handle of the frother."


So, when I went hunting for a picture of a red eyed serpent to prove my hypothesis - this movie poster came up right away... and I would just like to draw everyone's attention to the RED eyes of the sea serpent...

Plus... The tag line at the top is worth the price of admission my friends!

The raw courage of women without men lost in a fantastic HELL-ON-EARTH!"

That there?  1950s pay dirt!


And there IS SO at least one type of snake that has red eyes - the Ruby-Eyed Viper.


Plus this one, which is pretty much the embodiment of the reason I was screaming in the first place.  And if there were more spots on its eye it could totally be mistaken for a ladybug. Or vice-versa.

Friday, March 4, 2016

How long has this been on my face?

It's a good morning.  I manage to wake up without whining about it.  David makes me delicious scrambled eggs.  I get dressed and throw a little makeup on, you know, just in case the really hot physiotherapist is at the clinic.  I even volunteer to move the cars around so that I can make it to my 7:30 appointment.

"Bye guys!  Love you!!"

And he's there - the Greek God (masquerading as a physiotherapist) rubbing shoulders with the plebes.   He shoots me a look with eyes clad in lashes so thick they probably distort his vision. My visceral reaction pinballs around my chest before it eventually centering in my groin.  And a GOOD MORNING to you too!  I smile winsomely at him, giving him the patented Heather dimple on my right side.  My own physiotherapist beckons me into the treatment room and we chit chat throughout my treatment.  For this early on a Friday, I am rocking the positivity and wakefulness.  I WIN at morning!

Appointment is done.  I have less limp and more saunter après treatment as I head back to the car.  Door opens, doesn't take me nearly as long to fold myself behind the wheel on account of the electrodes and ultrasound.  I start the car, Adele's Chasing Pavements is already playing on the sound system.  I ease my way into traffic.  There's a red light - this will be the most graceful braking - EVER.  Yep, totally landed that stop.  The judges give me 10s all around. 

I glance in the rear-view mirror and do a double take. I look like I have a cold sore the size of PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND on my top lip.  What the...?  Ketchup.  From this morning's breakfast.  That has been there for the past hour and 15 minutes.  Awesome.  My lovely lop-sided grin that I threw at the hot physiotherapist must have looked like a Syphilitic prostitute's come-on.  I scrub the ketchup off with my finger and then eat it, because... you know... ketchup.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Feline induced funk

"We need to kill all the cats."


I am lying on my side in bed, eyebrows so low that I can feel them on my upper lip.


"You don't mean that.  You love the cats."



"4 FUCKING 45 this morning Minuit with her fishy kibble cat breath and her petulant 'MEH' was in my face.  And then when I tried to ignore her she copped a feel and nipped at my nose."

"I'm sorry love."

"Why?  It's not your fault...  ...   ...  Wait, it IS your fault.  You closed the bedroom door last night and she was trapped inside with us which means that at 4 FUCKING 45 a.m. (because she is terrified of you) I was the only person she could wake up to let her out."  I open one glaring eye at David.  "And then... and THEN... fucking Lola comes in at 6:45 and breathes on me and fucking chirps at me."

"So this would have nothing to do with the fact that you didn't sleep well all weekend because you drank too much wine and it gave you hot flashes, and this just happened to be night three of poor sleep?"

"And what the fuck is THAT about?  All I want is to enjoy a good bottle of wine and by bottle, I don't even mean bottle, I mean two glasses.  Why am I being punished?"  I roll onto my stomach softly sobbing.  "I hate peri-menopause.  I hate cats."

"No, you don't.  You cross traffic to pet them."

"I hate cats this morning," I huff.   I think about what I've actually verbalized and reconsider my stance on cat euthanasia.    "We don't have to kill them all.  Minuit and Lola will be sent to Kitty Boarding School.  Steve can stay.  STEVE!  YOU CAN STAY, but your sisters are being shipped off to learn the error of their ways."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Knock knock. Who's there? DEATH.

In a parallel-dimension I must be Betazoid.  Holy fuck - my empathetic core is in hyper-drive tonight.

David's Dad died unexpectedly this past summer.  On our 17th wedding anniversary, as we made our way into Manhattan to make some dreams come true, we got a text from his brother telling us that his Dad, John, was on his way to Toronto General Hospital, in liver failure.  David flew back that night.  About 60 hours later, John was dead, the victim of accidental Tylenol poisoning.

While David was in Toronto with his brother, step-mother and step-siblings, I remained in Manhattan, prepping our show for a New York theatre festival.  The afternoon we got the news that John had fallen ill, we were heading into the city to start tech week.

A couple of times in my life I've experienced the "Show Must Go On" phenomenon.  In 1995, while on a Canadian National Fringe tour, one of my grandfathers died.  I was in the middle of the Prairies. On tour.  Unable to hold my Mom's hand.

This summer, when my husband needed me most in his life, I was a day's drive away, making sure the show would go on.  And John?  John would have been leading the "Show Must Go On" mantra.  He was a true theatre lover, with the heart of an impresario.  How he loved the stage.  He was so proud of the work that David did in theatre, the work that I did.  John would have been the first one to smack me upside the head if I'd abandoned our production... But still... my husband was holding his comatose father's hand in a sterile hospital room and I was...  in Manhattan, directing a vampire rock opera.

Tonight I'm thinking of my mother-in-law, John's widow.  Today, almost 6 months to the day since John died, she said goodbye to her own father who passed away from Alzheimer's. No, let's not sugar coat that.  He fucking died. Last summer, when John fell ill, they were in the midst of a basement renovation, so that her parents could have a suite where they'd have family close by.  Her father was only there about a month before his illness incapacitated him and he needed full-time care.  Today, he died.  So in the space of 6 months, she has had to say goodbye to two men in her life whom she loved unreservedly.

So I'm hear to say, DEATH - you suck.  Seriously.  You couldn't give her a break?  You couldn't have allowed her more time to breathe?  And here the rest of us are - offering bland platitudes - expressing our love and support and sorrow...  We will sign sympathy cards, make donations to his favourite charities, tamp down the true pain of it.  And it all fucking sucks.

And because I'm empathetic - when I stop to think of any of this, really THINK of it, I have chest pains.  Nausea churns in my stomach.  I didn't know her father all that well.  But I know her, and it fucking sucks that she has to deal with this shit.  Her husband died accidentally at the age of 68 and her father, who until recently had been in good health, had his mind and his life ripped from him by Alzheimer's.

And here I sit, scattering tissues beside the laptop, ineffectually wiping at tears.  And I don't have the right to this sorrow.  I didn't love those men the way that she did.   But I love her, and I want to vomit the pain of it out for her - so that she can move on.

So DEATH, if you've got any sense of balance, please cut her some slack.  Put your fucking scythe down and let her have a chance to regroup.  I can deal with the emotional shit for a bit.  Please.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Touchpad Rage



"What?  What is it?" David asks, his interest now piqued.

"This fucking touchpad!"

"Okay, steady on there, my love."


"O...KAY... It's time to take your hand off the touchpad."


"That's just because..."

"Don't you tell me that it's because I don't use one enough."

He pauses... opens his mouth and then closes it.

"I hate the double finger tip thingie..."

He quirks an eyebrow at me.

"Shut up."

"I didn't..."

"I hate that the default with everything I want to do with a fucking touchpad is opposite to what I would normally do.  I want to go DOWN the fucking page.  I shouldn't have to move my mother fucking fingers up!"

"Where's your wireless mouse?"

"It's broken.  It tried to commit suicide."  I spy a traditional mouse on the loveseat where all our audio visual equipment has been lying since we updated our TV and media player.  "That mouse.  Right there, with the long tail..."


"Shut up."

"Can I have it?"

"Love, I'd be willing to supply you with 50 mouses if your true personality would come back."

"You just don't get it.  I don't like having to use my thumb..."

He raises his other eyebrow.

"Not cute."

He shrugs.


"Ahhhhhh... that makes more sense.  I mean having the opposable thumb is a perk to being...  I'll shut up now."

The laser beams from my eyes  have silenced him.  That and my hefting the laptop in preparation for beating him to death.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bad puns and tea

"So I tried tea the other day," says Rissa.

"Really?  How was it?" asks David.


"How so?"

"Well it held promise - it was cherry something berry something and it smelled delicious, but then it was all BLAH..."

Reading a book, I'm fairly distracticated and don't hear David's response.

"See she didn't even hear that."

"What did I not hear? " I ask.

"We were talking about how I tried tea..."

"I heard the tea part."

"And how the tea tasted like butt..."

"You didn't say that the tea tasted like butt - I know that for sure."

"No, but I did say it was very bland and disappointing - given what it smelled like. And then Daddy said... "

David is grinning ridiculously.  "It was TEA-SING you."

"Oh Jesus," I say, groaning.

"TEA-SUS," says David.

I groan again.  "If you had a happy pun dance what would it look like?"

He barely pauses before doing a mashup of the Locomotion combined with the gopher dance from Caddyshack.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Willpower Reboot (or hide all the sugar in the universe)

Every January it's the same.  After a holiday season filled with my mother's impossible-to-resist butter tarts, whipped shortbread and banana-cherry slice;  after the boxes of Turtles, bars of Toblerone and Chicago Mix popcorn - I'm basically fucked. How is it that I make it through the first part of December relatively unscathed, only to then lose my mind in the safe-haven of my parents' home between December 24th and December 27th?

It just doesn't make sense.  I love being at my parents' house.  I don't have deep-seated anxiety when I visit.  Visiting my parents is something I actually choose to do.  So why, why, why, WHY for the love of stable blood sugar, am I unable to control myself when I'm home?  Why do I emotionally eat the moment the door opens?  It's not like I was raised on a diet of sugar and white flour - we weren't a dessert every night kind of family.

And now it's the New Year.  Now January is 3/4 over and I am still jonesing for sugar.  And I'm unable to stop myself if there is a box of chocolates just lying around.  I'm pretty much wired to eat like I might never eat again.  And I'm doing my best, I really am.  I'm doing my best to eat healthfully.  I have salads for lunch EVERY SINGLE FUCKING day at work.  I drink lots of water.  I'm hydrated, I take vitamins. 

I thought I'd had a breakthrough this week.  We'd had to drop off coffee and Timbits to a work crew.  A box full of Timbits, all coated in Liquid Heaven, just begging me to shove six to ten of them in my mouth all at once and then sink to the floor in a white flour and sugar coma.  I didn't do it.  Instead, all surreptitious-like, I leaned over the box and breathed in their deliciously demonic scent, because I knew... I knew that if I had just one of those Timbits, I'd be at the point of no return.  I'D HAD A GOOD DAY!!!  And then the other night, I blew that progress all to hell while at an after-rehearsal gathering.

How do I get back to eating only when I'm hungry?  I'm not talking about crash dieting, or starving myself, but shutting out that inner voice that tells me...


How do I shut out that binge-eating, verging-on-the-schizophrenic voice?  How do I shut out the 2:12 p.m. voice that tells me that I'm insane to think that a decaf Earl Grey tea with stevia is going to satisfy the sugar slut in my gullet?  I feel like shit when I give in.  I want to crawl into a Slanket and give up on the world as I weep pitifully and wait for my blood sugar to calm down.  I'm nothing.  I'm no one.  I have no willpower.  Except... I do have willpower.  I only smelled that box of Timbits on Tuesday.  I'm not 'nothing.'  I'm someone for fuckssake!

All right then.  Cold fucking turkey it is.  I will breathe.  I will square my shoulders and do my best to ignore Sugar Nips' sultry voice.  And if I fuck up, I fuck up.  I can start over.  I'll just start over.  I can do this.

Monday, January 11, 2016

One girl's Bowie.

In 1983 I thought David Bowie was Elton John.  Modern Love had just hit the airwaves with its pop-happy sound.  I glommed onto its vibe as something dancy and fun and cluelessly mistook his voice for the Rocket Man's. At 15, I wasn't familiar enough with Bowie's work to make the distinction.  I do know that I couldn't remember hearing Bowie singing happily.  It wasn't until two years later, when the lyrics of Changes appeared at the end of The Breakfast Club that I thought to learn more about him.  And in '85 you couldn't just do a YouTube search and mainline every video he'd made, like I've done today.  By the time Absolute Beginners, with all its kitsch, schmarm and ridiculousness, was released in 1986 - he had cemented himself into my still-evolving psyche - a British rock idol, chewing the scenery with a delicious American accent - my teenaged heart fluttered wildly.

Last week I saw a meme.  A grown up Jennifer Connelly standing with the Goblin King behind her, his hand resting upon her slim neck.  Return of the Goblin King - visual wishful thinking for the Generation Xers.   I did a quick search, hoping against hope that it wasn't a hoax, only to find myself disappointed.

Bowie's extensive personae provided enough visual stimuli to give people a smorgasbord of fashion and musical style.

From decade to decade, sometimes from year to year - he redefined his sound and his look: glam rock, plastic soul, rock & roll, industrial, experimental.  I didn't realize he had actual pipes until he did a cover of Nature Boy for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack - I had to look that up too.  Who was this man with power and vibrato killing the tune? The Bowie I knew spat words out - rapid fire -  held no notes, spoke/sung his way through songs.

I don't know another actor/singer who has imprinted so completely upon me.  I can as easily picture him as Ziggy Stardust singing The Jean Jeanie,

as I can visualize him 'dancing' with La La La Human Steps, 

or morphing into Tesla in The Prestige.

I shall miss the Thin White Duke terribly.  I was waiting for my teenage daughter to appreciate him on her own -  that process will now be jump-started.  A crash course in Bowie - she can pick and choose which persona to love most - if I know my kid, 80s Bowie will be her in, but 70s Bowie is going to steal her soul.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Passport Panic Attack

"Hey Love.... where's your passport?" asks David while I'm finishing up on the treadmill.

"It's up in our bedroom.  In the thing..."  I say patiently.  Boys.  They don't know where stuff is...

"Ummm... I looked in the thing...  Your passport isn't there."

Sighing, I turn off the treadmill.  If I get up those stairs and that passport is there...  I open the thing where all our passports are kept.  Only two passports.  Rissa's passport.  David's passport.  My passport is not there.

The "H" of HYSTERIA is born in the pit of my stomach.  When did I last use my passport?  When I went down to NY in September.  Okay good.  I know when it was out of the house last.

It's been stolen.

Shut up.  It is now January.  I remember that I'd had it with me when I came back, I know I did because they let me out of NY and back into Canada.  Where was it??  I had put it in my purse so that I didn't have to open my suitcase for it.  It was in my purse and I moved it someplace safe.  Unless I didn't actually move it someplace safe and it was stolen when my friend Jon met me at the airport and we went for coffee...

"Look, I'm sorry," says David.  "I shouldn't have even mentioned it.  I shouldn't have.  It'll turn up.  It's around here somewhere."

It was stolen.

Shut up. Did it fall out while I was getting my stupid pumpkin spice soy latte? (I look in the box on the piano.)  I ordered that ridiculous latte, feeling all autumny and now I'm fucked.  I am fucked because I wanted something sweet and ridiculous and some sketchy fucking hipster probably took it and hid it in his beard.  And why did I even have a latte?  That September day had been more like June, not September,  it was perfect - really I should have gotten a fucking iced latte - what was I thinking?  I remember aaaaaaaaaaaall that, but I don't remember where the passport is.

Because someone stole it while you were enjoying your ridiculous latte Heather.

Shut up.  It's not stolen, it's just missing.  (I look in the suitcase I took to NY.)  In this house somewhere.

It's been stolen.  Someone has now stolen your identity and you won't be able to get that car you thought you were going to get because another woman, probably in some eastern European mob, is out there pretending she's you. 

Shut up.   (I look in all the suitcases that I didn't take to NY.)  

"Really, love," says David.  "It'll be fine."

"No it's not!!  What if Endzela has now taken over my identity and she is ruining our credit rating right now?!?"

"Hey, hey, hey," he says in his calmest animal whisperer voice.  "Nothing has happened to our credit.  We're fine, we're good."


 "Why don't you go up and have a shower.  It's okay.  We can look again when we get back from the movie."  He is now patting me.  PATTING me.

"WE CAN'T GO TO A MOVIE!!"  I take a breath.  "Okay.  Okay.  I'll go upstairs..."  It'll all be fine.  It's all good.  A shower will help this...

I run down the stairs naked and look in my old purse that I didn't take to NY.  Fuck.  FUUUUUUCK!!  The stress-induced angina begins now.  I head back up into the shower.  I bang my head against the shower wall, sobbing.  Where did I put it??  I put it someplace safe.  I PUT IT SOMEPLACE SAFE!!!  Nope. Nope, I am not doing this.  I am stopping this panic attack now.

Naked and wet, I run back downstairs.  I go over to the butler's pantry and grab the Scotch.  I claw  ice from the adjacent freezer.  I take a deep swig, letting it warm my chest.  I square my shoulders.  I breathe deeply.

Then I walk over to the box on the piano, reach in and take out my passport which had been placed in the first section, next to the spare change bowl, with its back to the bowl, hiding its gold emblazoned front, all camouflaged-like.  I tilt back the rest of my Scotch and head back upstairs to finish my shower.

It just might be possible that I have disproportionate responses to stress.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Husky, deep... Barbara Stanwyck

Rissa and I are watching bingeing Gilmore Girls.  Cats blanket our already afghaned laps.

EMILY: Oh look -- Barbara Stanwyck. I just love Barbara Stanwyck.

LORELAI: Oh yeah, she's good. 

EMILY: She had that wonderful voice -- that husky, deep voice. I just love that voice.

LORELAI: You know Mom, you have kind of a Barbara Stanwycky voice.

EMILY: Oh I do not.

LORELAI: I mean it. You could have gotten Fred McMurray to off Dad if you'd really wanted to.  

EMILY: Oh you do enjoy teasing me, don't you?

(There is the tiniest of pauses before Rissa repeats the last line in a voice from The Exorcist.


"What are you doing?"


I snort loudly.  The cats startle.

LORELAI: I know. (pause)

EMILY: You did a lovely job.

LORELAI: Thank you. 


"Stop it. I'm going to wet my pants," I say.


I am now in emergency Kegel mode.  We both giggle madly as the show continues.

RORY: I don't know...having my boyfriend defend my honor. It's weird. 

DEAN: Uh, boyfriend? 

RORY: What? 

DEAN: You said 'boyfriend.' 

"BOYFRIEND,"  Says Rissa - convulsing with laughter.

"STOP IT," I say, snorting harder.

"I CAN'T."


The pair of us can no longer breathe.  That's when David looks up from his computer and pulls off his headphones.  "What are you doing?"

Both of us in unison intone "HUSKY, DEEP VOICE."