Tuesday, April 6, 2021

And that's why you don't become a gymnast

Today, I popped a rib by NOT making the bed. I calmly moved towards the bed to begin making it, but then figured, Nah, I'll do this AFTER I exercise. And then, I calmly walked away from the bed. No sudden movements, no being startled, no overly dramatic sneezing - I simply walked away. And then I was stabbed in the back. Repeatedly. By knives. Or ice picks. Or axes. Or by a gang of small pixies wielding knives or ice picks or axes. (I'm now imagining Terry Pratchett's Nac Mac Feegles beating the shit out of my back.)


Rob Anybody, a Nac Mac Feegle 
(art Paul Kidby)


The first time I popped a rib was when Rissa was still in a stroller and I was carting that stroller up and down our front steps in East York. So that means that this shit has been going on for the last 19.5 years. 

At my inaugural chiropractor appt. almost 2 decades ago, the doctor asked, "By any chance were you a gymnast?" as she gave me a sad, the-damage-is-done smile. Apparently I am now TOO flexible. Who knew that my eight years as a recreational gymnast would completely fuck me over in middle-age? Most physio therapists and chiropractors. 

Like most girls who saw Nadia Comaneci in the '76 Olympics, I fell in love with the idea of being a gymnast, but after nearly a decade in recreational gymnastics, my top skills amounted to a back walkover on the balance beam and a back handspring on floor. I couldn't kip on the bars for shit. I was by no means an elite athlete. I can't even imagine the chronic issues that Olympic level athletes deal with, if my hypermobility pulls this kinda crap. 

I pop ribs maybe 3 (or 4 or 5... the most is 6) times a year. By doing such taxing things as bending over to dry my hair, reaching for the shower gel, sneezing. My friend thinks that the gravitational pull of my breasts is the cause. According to her, I might not be moving quickly, but, because my breasts are in their own orbit, other intra-corporeal bodies (ie ribs and ligaments) are pulled out of alignment by my innate breastal gravity. I think that this sounds like a perfectly reasonable justification.

Because this delightful little trait has been kicking in more frequently over the past couple of years, I decided to be proactive and strengthen my back with yoga - you know, so that I can avoid this shit in the future. Apparently, my one month's worth of strength yoga hasn't afforded me its full benefits yet. This may be compounded by the fact that I haven't actually talked to any sort of medical professional about this issue, because... pandemic.  So I don't know whether my version of strengthening my back jibes with what someone who actually knows how bodies work, might think. 

And, as I've been reading today, in between popping muscle relaxants, it sounds like I probably have "Slipping Rib Syndrome." WAIT! WAIT!!! If I add this to my four other health idiosyncrasies (Hashimodo's Disease, Meniere's Disease, Hypoglycemia and Migraines),  I think I've got the Weird-Ass Medical Disorder Bingo!! Boo-freaking-yeah baby!  Bright side!


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Is it pore cleansing or waxing your nose?

WARNING: Pores and the things that come out of pores are featured in this post. There is a used Bioré strip pic... and links to videos. You've been warned.

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Those Bioré nose strips? Is that accent aigu real? I mean, is it actually French or is it like Hӓagen-Dazs where they decided to make it sound fancier and European for the cachet of it all? Do we inherently trust the French with our faces?? 

Okay, so I Googled it - it is, in fact, a Japanese company. Why isn't the Japanese-sounding company offering us beautifying facial products?? Is this really just North Americans believing that French-sounding products are better for our faces? Has it just been propaganda? Have we all been propaganda-ed? 

The top 10 cosmetics companies are:  L'Oréal, followed by Gilette, Nivea, Estée Lauder, and Clinique, which make up the top five. They are followed by Guerlain, Shiseido (which IS Japanese), Pantene, Dove, and Garnier. Only three of these companies are truly French: L'Oréal, Guerlain and Garnier. But eight of them fucking sound French, right?

I got sidetracked. The nose strips. The wet-your-nose-let-the-charcoal-coating-dry-peel-off-all-your-blackheads strips. The satisfying perusal of the strip after you've removed it when you see all your pore guck on it. And you feel fresh and clean and like nobody will be focusing on your blackhead laden nose - which they won't, because do you know how close you'd have to actually be to see whether or not they have embedded guck in their pores?  Even discounting our present COVID restrictions - people do NOT get that close to each other, unless they're intimate partners, and frankly, even then, I would hope that you'd be focused on other shit if that was the case. Unless that's your kink, and as long as it's consensual, fill your little boots.

With my middle-aged eyes, I'm unsure whether I'm actually removing clogged pores or if, in addition to aaaaaaaall the other body hair that I am now sprouting, I'm ripping out hair that just so happens to reside on top of my nose. Because why wouldn't that be another thing that happens to women in menopause? But please tell me it's not that. I mean, when I actually find the lone, minute, whiskery white hair on my nose I immediately pluck that fucker out. So it's not like an entire forest of nose hairs would spring forth overnight, right? Maybe I should 5X magnify my nose more regularly.

Or maybe I should just be happy that the gunk that's coming out of my pores is relatively small enough that I can mistake it for a very, very, fine wispy hairs. 

Could be pore guck, could be teeny tiny hairs.

And then of course I had to google comparatives.  My pore gunk (or nose hairs) look positively dainty compared to some of the crap that's coming out of other people's pores. Google it yourself - there are tonnes of make-you-dry-heave images out there.

And now I'm down that rabbit hole. It's the combined fascination / horror / nausea that keeps me clicking links.  I've now discovered these: 

BESTOPE Blackhead Remover Pimple Popper Tool Kit Acne Comedone Zit Blackhead Extractor Tool for Nose Face, Blemish Whitehead Extraction Popping, Stainless Steel with Metal Case

Surprisingly, even with the display of its accoutrement of tools (dry heave), it is relatively innocent and non-graphic. Plus its pseudo-porn-soundtrack is enjoyable.


And this: 

Blackhead Vacuum, AsperX 5.0 Megapixels Visible Blackhead Remover Facial Pore Vacuum, 20X Microscope Blackhead Suction Tool, Rechargeable Suction Facial Pore Cleaner with 6 Replaceable Tips (Upgraded)

It has an internal camera!! WITH 5.0 MEGA-FUCKING-PIXELS!!! So of course I had to find a video where they actually tried it. This is train wreck material. 
  
DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! DANGER! NO, WILL ROBINSON!!
 
Even for a great ape like me who gets off on this sort of crap, I say this: Watch at your peril.

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Depending on the size of the vacuum aperture (sucker) that you put on, they should maybe be marketing this as a different type of appliance.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Downward Braless Dog

With my head tucked, my oversized Aerie shirt slides up over my face. I feel the butter-soft skin of my tatas against my chin. My line of sight is drawn between my breasts and I can't help but note their ovular shape. I snort. But then I stop, because it takes me out of the 'moment' with my virtual yoga instructor. Where is my breath supposed to be? Is it in my heels? My shoulders??  

My breasts are really soft. I mean, how often does a straight, middle-aged woman get to feel naked breasts upon her face? Well, not my whole face. It's not like they're so woobly that I can feel them on my cheeks (I am, after all, only a D cup), but my chin is totally digging the whole breast experience. I can see why David sounds the way he does when his head rests upon my chest. 

Why did I decide to do yoga in my pajamas?

Shit. Am I INhaling or EXhaling? Feet! My feet are supposed to be between my hands. Folding. I am now folding. And sweeeeeeeeeping up and arching and folding again. And planking and cobra-ing and pushing back into... my breasts upon my chin. I look weird from this angle. I'm like the back end of a goat. But I don't need to be milked. If I were lactating, these breasts would be magnificently firm!!  I snort again.  Steve the cat comes to investigate. He winds his way back and forth under my downward facing dog and head butts my low-hanging fruit.

"Dude... Distracting." He chirps and rolls onto his back, doing his version of corpse pose beneath me. Fuck. I missed the folding. I nudge Steve with my foot as I come back to standing. Arching... folding... planking... But really? All I'm aiming for is to get back to downward dog to celebrate the majestic softness of my boobs. 

Oh yeah. They are so fucking soft.  I want to experience this on a regular basis. How long can I hold downward dog without passing out? My chin is so happy. I sigh. Focus would be an issue. I started yoga up again to center myself and deal with stress. Topless yoga would be counter-productive. But. SOOOOOOOO. Soft. My eyes close and I relax my shoulders. Find my inner...

EGYPTIAN COTTON!!!!

I barely manage to finish my yoga session before I run to my laptop and order Egyptian cotton sheets from Amazon.  They will be here tomorrow. I will be naked in them. And more than my chin will be happy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

I spent HOW much at No Frills??



"That will be $232.31 - would you like to use your $10 reward from your PC points?" says the teenager cashier at No Frills.

"I'm sorry it was HOW much?"

"$232.31." 

"Yes. Yes, I would like to use my $10 in reward points." I say as calmly as I can, while inside my head I am yelling at the top of my lungs:

"HOLY FUCKING SHIT! TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY-TWO FUCKING DOLLARS!?!"

(And just so we're all clear here - I am shopping for two, count 'em TWO people now.)

Last week I made the mistake of shopping at Walmart for groceries - which I don't usually do, because I always spend too much, on account of the fact that I don't know my way around the grocery part of the store and I always see shit that I don't need, but I suddenly desperately want. I had gone for the cheap cans of red and green Thai curry - but had ended up with a quick dry sports bra, a vintage Queen t-shirt, 3 types of gluten free bread products, 2 body washes (on sale), waffle fries (fucking waffle fries?!?), and rice and pasta alternatives, because I might as well stock up so that I didn't have to go back the next week.

While in Walmart, I could feel myself leaning into a panic attack. You know, because all of a sudden you look around and see that everyone in the store is wearing masks and you realize you're trapped in some weird-ass sort of sci-fi version of your life where you haven't been able to see your parents in forever because they're old and you might kill them from the pandemic that's been in Canada for almost a year? That kind of panic attack? The Musac playing over the speakers was All By Myself - not the Celine Dion version, but the original by Eric Carman. Instead of jamming out to it in a delightfully campy air drumming solo à la Bridget Jones's Diary, I found myself fighting the urge to lie in the middle of the vitamin aisle making floor angels while hysterically sobbing.

So this week? No shopping at Walmart. It is No Frills. I will be in and out in 20 minutes. I bring three bags in with me, which is overkill, because there are only eight items on my shopping list (milk, peppers, ground meat, apples, unsweetened chocolate, cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese) - and there is no way that I will have to use all three bags. But I approach the check out lane (63 minutes later) and see that there are WAY more than eights items in my cart - certainly more than three bags will hold, so I ask for a couple more. After paying the $222.31 for the food, I'm in some sort of fugue state as I pack up everything - unsure as to what the fuck I have purchased. I mean, as I'm seeing the items in my actual hands I have no idea what they are and what they've cost. 

On the drive home, all I say is "$222.31, $222.31, $222.31..." like some sort of weird fucking mantra. Even as  the groceries are unpacked on my kitchen counter, I still cannot comprehend what went wrong. Then I look at the receipt, particularly for the higher ticket items.

$7.97 Kitty Litter - wasn't on my list, but... on sale this week! We have three fucking cats, extra fucking kitty litter is a necessity. 

$10.00 Hot chocolate mix - because David loves his hot chocolate and although we are not out yet, by the end of the week we probably will be, depending on how cold the fucking weather is.

$9.47 Decadent Milk Chocolate Chips - see point above, but change "hot chocolate" to "fucking  chocolate chips."

$10.00 Smoked Salmon - but it was for three smaller packs that, yes, are a fucking luxury, but I really like smoked salmon and the per portion price is very fucking reasonable and $10.00 is much cheaper than buying a fucking new pair of shoes.

It goes on and on. And not just higher ticket items. Whipping cream? Why the fuck do I need whipping cream? Because I might make something that will require it. Maybe. Not sure what it will be, but I have read a bunch of fucking recipes this week and I'm sure that one of them had whipping cream in it. Two types of fucking ice cream - one for David and lactose free coconut ice cream for me. Because there is no ice cream in the house and can we not have something sweet as a fucking pick-me-up?!? Licorice tea - which is FUCKING soothing, even if we have six other fucking herbal teas in the cupboard already.

When I add up all the things that were not on my shopping list, but were either just good to have on hand for when I would need them, or sounded like something David might want as a treat or I might like to snack on right when I got home... (Dill Pickle Quaker Fucking Mini Rice Cakes) I realize that I have spent $195.07 more than I needed to today. 

"ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE DOLLARS AND SEVEN FUCKING CENTS!?!"

What the actual fuck? I mean, I know that we'll eat it all, but almost two hundred dollars more than I needed to spend? What the fuck went wrong? What was I doing? I can tell you what I wasn't fucking doing, I wasn't actually looking at my fucking shopping list while I was at fucking No Frills. And what I also wasn't doing? I wasn't purchasing ONLY the things that were on that fucking list. 

Oh Jesus... I went up and down all the aisles. ALL of them. You don't do that at the grocery store! You get in and you get the fuck out - that is your mission when you shop. It's not a fucking invitation to lose your mind and buy whatever the fuck you want!!  Give me just a second while I bang my head on the table.  (Deep breath. Shoulders back.)

The good news? Now I can whip some fucking cream (that isn't in ANY way lactose-free) to put on my lactose-fucking-free coconut milk ice cream which I can then cover in salted fucking caramel sauce. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

You put your snorkel where?!?

It's the cannabis fudge. That's why we're laughing. (Also, this may have been the first time in his life that David has ever truly been high, because I gave him just a titch more fudge than I ingested - you know, because he's taller and slightly heavier than I am.) We're laughing so hard that our abs are aching. ALL the obliques, ALL the rectuses ALL the intercostals.

"I can't breathe!! I can't breathe!!" I gasp.

David lets forth another guffaw of laughter. "You must be breathing!" He looks at me very seriously. "If you weren't breathing, you'd have passed out." Now, in a whisper, "You'd. be. un. conscious."

This sends me off into paroxysms one more. "STOP! STOP!!

"How ARE you breathing?" he asks.

"Through my vagina."

"Really?" He looks skeptically at my lap.

"I have a snorkel down there."

This confuses his eyebrows. "You have a snork-o-vag?"

"A...???"

"Snork-o... No... that doesn't sound right, does it? Snork-gina!!" He starts laughing madly once more.

"What? What?!?"

"I'm just imagining the cartoon version of that character. BWA-HA-HAAAAAAA!!! THE CLIT WOULD BE THE NOSE!!!!" Another thought hits him. "Wait... wait... VA-JORKEL!!!"

"Va-jorkel??"

"Vagina snorkel. You're welcome."

"VAAAAAAAAJORRRRRRKEL." I have the perfect song in which this word may be utilized most effectively.

♩♬ VA-JORKEL SONGS FOR VA-JORKEL CATS!! 
♬♩ VA-JORKEL SONGS FOR VA-JORKEL CATS!! 
♩♬ VA-JORKEL SONGS FOR VA-JORKEL CATS!! 
♬♩ VA-JORKEL SONGS FOR VA-JORKEL CATS!! 

David is amazed and is most certainly contemplating how he can have me canonized. And then, very quietly, he starts to sing.

♬♩ BE-CAUSE VA-JORKELS ARE AND VA-JORKELS DO 
♩♬ VA-JORKELS DO AND VA-JORKELS WOULD! 
♬♩ VA-JORKELS WOULD AND VA-JORKELS CAN! 
♩♬ VA-JORKELS CAN AND VA-JORKELS DO!!! 

Okay, number 1? David can sing - which always makes me happy, but even more so now because I am stoned and my ears are in ecstasy at the way the notes are leaving his throat. And B? After singing this particular refrain, he then recites for me the The Naming of Cats, in its entirety, in this deep, sonorous, over-the-top-sexy voice. Right beside my ear.

"How is it that I have never known you could do that?" I ask breathlessly.

David shrugs.

"In 22 and a half  years of marriage, how did I NEVER know that you were THAT kind of musical theatre geek?"

David looks chagrined.

"I'm not complaining," I assure him. "I mean, I wouldn't have a leg to stand on with my own musical theatre geekness... but all these years you could have been whispering T.S. Elliott poetry into my ears...?"

"It's not like I had a CATS costume in my closet or anything," he says.

"Anymore..." I snicker.

"I didn't!! I don't!!"

"But if you did??"

"Mr. Mistoffelees. Obviously. He can light up his own costume."



***

It's only now, reading this back, that the awkwardness of VA-JORKLE is evident. VA-JICLE would have scanned much better in the song's rhythm but is nowhere near as funny to say out loud. 







Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Humpback near the Cenotaph

I swear I was not being intentionally disrespectful. I just couldn't take it any more.

Earlier in the day:

"Hoorah! I have received my shipment of Humpback Posture Correctors!!" (There's a sentence every woman wants to utter.) It's been a process folks. After having purchased 6 different styles of posture correctors - each of which was either the wrong fit/size/comfort-level, I finally found these:





In addition to supporting my devolving posture, these babies give a nice added lift to the girls. 


It just may be possible that I'm not thinking logically when I don my Women Chest Brace Up yesterday. I recognize now, that wearing a garment that thrusts one's shoulders back might not be the best course of action when one has displaced an upper rib while drying her hair that morning. 

I am excited though. 
"THIS IS IT!! THIS IS THE DAY THAT I TAKE MY BACK...   BACK!!"
Months of terrible typing posture are going to be rectified. I strap that sucker on and revel in its mild armpit discomfort. By dinner, apart from the near-constant, minor back ache, I have forgotten that I 'm wearing it.

David and I go for our post-dinner perambulation, enjoying the crisp night air. My posture? Spec-fucking-tacular! My shoulder blades? Done. 

A half hour from our house, the comfort-seeking choreography begins. The wiggling of the shoulders, the walking pelvic tilt, the attempts to round out my back stymied by the persistent pull from the 85% Nylon and 15% polyester fibres yanking at my armpit region.

"You okay?" asks David.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm good. I think that..." (shoulder jiggle, breast shimmy) "maybe I should have taken off my Posture Corset before we left the house."

"Didn't you put a rib out this morning?"

"Yeah."

"Why are you wearing a Posture Corset then?!?"

"I thought it was a good idea at the time?" I say as tried to release my shoulders again.

"How long have you been wearing it."

"Like seven hours?" We are now approaching the cenotaph in our downtown park - lit with billions of lumens to ensure that local hoodlums will shy from it.

"You need to take that off ASAP."

We pass the cenotaph, and head up towards King Street. I get about 20 feet away and I go temporarily insane.

"Nope! Can't! CANNOT DO THIS!!!" I unzip my coat and begin to struggle with my zippered sweater (for extra winter warmth) underneath. The zipper sticks. "ARGH!!!"

"Whoa! Whoa!" says David.

"Can't!! Now I'm trapped! I'm TRAPPED in my sweater AND my Bra X Strap Vest!!! I'm going to DIE here!! I can't see anything!!!"

David fumbles for my zipper in the near-dark.

"Oh for the love of... There is a light source brighter than the sun right behind us!" I walk over into the cenotaph's light and manage to unzip my sweater and pull up the long sleeved shirt beneath it - revealing my bra and posture corrector to the world. I reach for the three massive hooks under my boobs and David quickly steps in front of me to offer some spousal shielding, though frankly at this point, I wouldn't care if our entire town saw me topless, I just need the sucker unhooked.

"Oh thank God. THANK GOD!" I say, ecstatic from the near-orgasmic release of tension in my shoulders. "Thank you, thank you, thank you..." I hug David. "So good. It feels so fucking good."

"Okay. Simmer down there..."

We have decided that the implementation of the Prevent Chest Hunchback should be done in baby steps. Or at least until my rib goes back to where its supposed to live.