Friday, May 28, 2010

In May

Taiko is sick because Boyfriend has been in Prague for the last two weeks and this dog is ultra dramatic about being left out. He's trying to get his revenge, and this involves getting ME up at all hours of the night to let him out, not eating his dinner, and groaning when I walk in the door after work. "You? Again?" He sighs loudly and walks away, shaking his enormous bobble head.

His piece de resistance this time is hidden vomit. Thrice has this love-scorned, bulimic, little ingrate surprised me with little pockets of dog barf: in a shoe, under a shopping bag, beside the toilet. What have I done to you, Taiko?? But I know that this has nothing to do with me. He knows once his best friend walks through the door I'm going to go on and on about the trials and tribulations of single parenting, and Boyfriend's chances of leaving for such an extended period of time will be slim to none in the future. Checkmate.

Last night I had to take him about once an hour, every hour. By around 1 am, after having been woken up 3 times already, I've stopped getting dressed to go outside. I leave the house in a nightgown, glasses, and dragon-breath.

Three houses down and I hear a gaggle of young women in their early twenties shriek, "OH MY GOD!! LOOK AT THAT DOG!!" They run over, in a flurry of high heels, miniskirts, and Bump-Its. I fold my arms over my chest and uncomfortably try to hide my lack of bra. I can't let go of the leash or Taiko will run like the Dickens and I can't unfold my arms or it's Nipple Town. The result is a very awkward scene where even my dog is embarrassed to be near me. He wants to go off with the cool girls. And their boyfriends. Who have just left the house and are trying to talk to me about Taiko.

Now I have to cover my boobs, handle the leash of a very excited dog, and breathe into my arm because what was once an average bout of bad breath has solidified and taken a life of its own. "A social life?" It scoffs. "Not a chance. MWAHAHAHAHAAHAH!!!!"

When I express my concerns that I am in no way prepared to be out of my house for than 2 minutes, one of the girls whispers conspiratorially, "Seriously, don't even worry about it. Your nightgown is cute!" She says this in a way that a mental ward worker would say to lure a patient back to their room. In a way that makes me want to exhale a thank you right into her face so she has to go back home to wash it. Their cabs arrive and I'm finally free.

This morning, drunk on his power of not allowing me to sleep all night, Taiko sleeps in peacefully, thinking there is no chance I will make him exercise. Well, wake the fuck up, Homeslice, we're going for eggs!

I find a cafe with a great shaded patio. Taiko secured on the sidewalk within view, breakfast ordered, I settle in with my book and coffee. In about 15 minutes, he vomits everywhere. I clean as much of it as I can and give him some water. While I go back to pay my bill and get my stuff, a couple walks by and gasps in horror at this disgusting dog, lying next to a pool of vomit. "Ewww! That's so gross!" They exclaim. They look at me and I have to decide whether or not to rush to his defense or deny any relationship to him. It's early and no one else is around.

"Oh that's disgusting!! He's basically lying in his own barf!"

Boom! JUDAS'ED!!! How ya like me now, Dawg?


The time came around for me to pick Boyfriend and his buddy from the airport. It's fairly straightforward, only about 4 turns from my house and 25 minutes away. I may as well have been driving to California.

I'm horrible at driving and all that goes with it, including directions. I couldn't find the GPS, and I don't have a printer, so was therefore forced to write the Google directions down by hand. I wrote every single detail down, not leaving out the km amount (even though I have no idea how to judge a kilometre), and the time allocated to each directive.

I'm very frustrating to drive with, because I'm always second guessing where we are. On my way to the airport, if there is not a sign with a little flying airplane every 1 minute, I'm sure I'm lost. If Google says it takes 4 minutes to get from A to B, and I've been driving for 5, I turn around and try again. I'm the kind of person that gets excited when the next checkpoint actually exists, even though the world wide web indisputably said it was going to be there.

So when I reach the airport on time, without getting lost, I get misty-eyed. I feel a sense of pride, like the mothers on those movies about small-town football stars.


Due to a work issue, I'm currently swamped with zero spare time. Unfortunately, this blog will have to take second stance and I'm going on hiatus til this ish gets sorted.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On The 6

I just got back from a mini girlfriend getaway to NYC. I'm not going to write about that, because I haven't fully been able to wrap my brain around it yet. Suffice to say, it was pretty different from the last time I went to NYC. I would say it was equally fun, but I was much younger, more of a risk-taker, and the words "concierge" and "edible gold" were not yet in my vocabulary. Try "hostel" and "leftover cheapest-thing-on-the-menu Chinese food".

My buddy Nat and I went over Spring Break, to escape the suburban mundane. We got a ride from his parents to Montreal and took the train from there, that's how much money we had. We stayed at a hostel in Columbus Circle managed by a Vietnamese man named Lee. He was about 30 years old and 5'0. I want to say he was missing an arm, but I may be making that part up.

One day, after a full day of walking, we were chilling in the common room in the basement. Lee was half-baked and sucking back on a water bong. He glances up lazily in half-hearted acknowledgement.

"I don't have any more weed or I'd offer you some." He says.

"All good, man. We're cool."

He doesn't turn out to be one of those stoners that sits and slowly eats 4 pizzas one after another. He's actually pretty talkative. He reveals that he was born in Vietnam, but travelled to Cambodia on his own when he was about 10 and moved to NY from there.

In my bright-eyed innocence, I squeal with delight. Adventure! "You went to Cambodia by yourself when you were 10?! Man, I want to go to Vietnam and Cambodia; they look amazing. My parents won't even let me leave the city by myself. What fun things are there to do there? How long was the flight in between?"

Lee looks at me with an incredulous look on his face, like he's not sure if I'm kidding. "The fuck you talkin' 'bout, plane? I walked that shit, motherfucker!"

He goes on about refugee life and I feel pretty stupid at this point so I stop talking (Nat probably told me to stop talking. It doesn't sound like something I would do voluntarily). At some time around midnight, he looks over at his empty bag of pot and announces he has to get more. "I'm heading out to the Bronx. China, WhiteBoy, you wanna come?"

I'm so excited about my new gang name I can't even contain myself. The Bronx?!?

I'm not even slightly concerned that a permanently grinning Chinese girl, a 6'5 blond/blue-eyed white boy, and a Vietnamese midget with one arm won't fit in in The Bronx. I've watched enough J-Lo "vids" to feel confident in my abilities to co-mingle with the locals. Look at me! I'm on The 6, too, giiiirrrrlfriend!

YAY ME AND NAT! (That's not Lee.) (But it could be.)

Once we get off the 6, The Bronx doesn't turn out to be like the movies where the girls play double dutch and I throw my head back in a hearty laugh while ruffling the hair of innocent young hoodlums beatboxing on the corner. You lied to me, J-Lo!

It's like a movie, all right, but more like a movie where a high school drop out sells the crack rock and then does hard time for murder in the first and then bounces back to become a functioning and respectable member of society. The beginning part of that movie. A guy tries to sell me one shoe and a 5-month-old issue of YM. No thank you, sir, I already read that one. I become very conscious of my own Nikes.

"Alright, you guys are going to have to stay like 10 steps behind me," Lee says. "I'm going to go into that building for a minute. Don't move." And then, more directly to me, "Stop talking to people."

Apparently, my over-excitement and eagerness to fit in by telling everyone I meet they are amazing is cramping his style. Either that, or my ebonics aren't what they used to be.

Nat and I pretend to be interested in the architectural designs of the 'hood, while Lee heads into an apartment. True to his word, he returns quickly, makes sure we haven't created a spectacle, and ushers us to the nearest subway.

We head back to Columbus Circle. I feel proud, like I've conquered NYC by being in the Bronx for a whole of 7 minutes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deep Fried Sunday

You're reading it right; there's no typo there. I don't mean the delicious deep fried scoops of ice cream smothered in corn flakes and chocolate and caramel sauces with various toppings such as crushed pecans and wildly coloured sprinkles (although that would more than make my day complete).

Like seriously, U.S. of A., what is UP?

Equally horrific, I mean this past Sunday, pretty much all I ate was deep fried foods, and now it's Wednesday and I still can't feel my heart pump properly.

Boyfriend and I woke up early as per usual, and decided to get our chores out of the way immediately and head out for brunch afterwards. I hate the breakfast part of brunch. Who wants eggs when you can have a burger? Not me! What is this, salad on my plate?? Fries, my good man, I said FRIIIIIIES!!! (I hope you imagine me roaring this when I write it like that, because that's how I felt.) And the burgers at Brad's (the brunch place. For any Torontonians reading, look no further than 325 Roncesvalles.) are not just any burgers.

They come topped with charred eggplant, avocado, bacon and cheese. Okay. They don't just come like that, Inspector Gadget. You have to ask the server for it. *Guilty silence*

So that brings us to about 11:30 AM. Well, as it was a stunning day out on Sunday, practically the first nice weekend day of the year, we opt to go patio hunting, nice and early so we can get a spot. After shopping around in Kensington Market, we find ourselves a nice little place called Waterfalls, an indian tapas restaurant with a patio perfect for people watching.

A couple of friends show up and before you know it, it's eatin' time again!

POW! Onion bhaji'ed!

BAM! Chicken tikka!

CRUNCH! Caesar salad with tandoori chicken!! (Not so bad, just wanted to post so you can see I am capable of making one healthy decision).

Late afternoon rolls around and friends are not ready to pack it in. It is just beautiful out. Well, why not hit up The Foggy Dew on King St.? No reason, as far as I can see! We make our way over there and secure another great spot on a large patio. Boyfriend is hungry again. He did not partake in our extensive "snacking" at Waterfalls.

He goes back and forth for a little while and then decides on "Chicken Fried Chicken Sliders". I can't even find a good enough picture. They sort of look like this:

Except they don't come with vegetables, there are THREE of them, they come on biscuits instead of buns, and a side of chicken gravy for dipping. Boyfriend immediately tosses the biscuit off of one, puts the fried chicken on another piece of chicken, and makes himself a double decker chicken fried chicken slider. Dipped in chicken gravy.

Side note, Boyfriend has stomach of a 6-year-old girl. So after a couple of bites of his Frankenburger, he invites the rest of us to help ourselves. I politely decline. These are the same people that have seen me demolish the above. But then one of them agrees and takes a bite and starts gushing about how delicious it is!! I can't let this go on. I can't. Must..have..taste.. GAHHHHH!!!! (*eats all the rest of burger. dipped in chicken gravy*).

Mmmmmm... I'm hungry.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

Whenever Marty and I go on long drives, he has to drive because I get bored and fall asleep at the wheel, and this is disrespectful towards other drivers trying to "get there alive".

His only other option is to let me drive after drinking 3 coffees, but since that entails singing Dixie Chicks at the top of my lungs (or rapping) for 5 hours straight, he tends to go with the former. I pretty much know all the words to every top 40 song for the last 15 years. It's a gift (...or is it a curse?) No, it's a gift.

We drove back to Ottawa recently to visit the fam, about a five hour drive.

For the first hour or two I'm pretty chatty, so this distracts from the unavoidable outward-bound traffic from Toronto, on a Friday evening. Then I start dozing off because Marty will only listen to old grendpa music, like Pink Floyd or Tupac. The kind of songs that no one under a 100 years old knows the words to, and when I get bored I sleep to pass the time.

Once I fall asleep, Marty will inevitably do something to wake me up: Indian sunburning (is that racist? Sorry, The Indians. I don’t know any other word for squeezing two hands on someone’s arm and rapidly moving back and forth in opposite directions in a painful manner.) or worse yet, filling his mouth up with one of those disgusting black licorice candies and breathing right in my face.

I. Hate. Black. Licorice.

Won’t let me sleep, ehhhhh? Nobody tells ME what to do! So now my new thing is whenever he pulls up beside a car, I start pretending like I’m running beside them. I’ll share this with you in case you are ever in my predicament. It’s not a happy, fun, “let’s-play-a-game run”. I mean like a balls-out race, pumping my arms as fast as I can and looking over my shoulder to see if they are gaining. Are they? Throw in a menacing look or snarl (but only for a second, keep your eyes on the prize)! Have a bottle of water or other drink handy? Chug it down like you’re dying of thirst (don’t stop pretend running with your other arm. If some rolls down your face, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT, stop and wipe it off. It adds to the intimidation.) Once in a while, make eye contact with your competitor, if you can. The key in Pretend Race is believability.

After two races, Marty will be begging me to go to sleep. But you know what? I’m PUMPED! I see you, The Girl in the Blue Hyundai. It’s on.

P.S. It has occurred to me that I should probably refer to Marty as something else, as he more than likely doesn't want any clients to know about his black licorice breath. Henceforth (don't mind me, I'm reading World Without End by Ken Follett right now, and also my friend is dating a prince, so I'm feeling very "days of yore" recently), Marty shall be known as The Boyfriend.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weather Patterns

Of course rain would ruin one of my favorite days to party out of the whole year: Cinco De Mayo.

The entire 25-degree work day was spent emailing mi amiga about the fun things we were going to do: walk around Kensington market and eat burritos, hit up a patio and order sangria in the sunshine, watch as the latino community came out and sell their wares in droves... It was a dream come true.

Anything that allows me to escape reality and pretend I'm somewhere spanish-speaking is a dream come true. Last weekend, I went to a communal Indian birthday party at the Liberty Grand, which looks like a resorty-palace. For a couple of hours, I pretended everyone was Mexican and I was in Cabos. ¡ARRIBA!¡ARRIBA!...and Namaste.

Pure bliss.

I'm pretty sure I just offended a huge percentage of the world but since I can't decide if its the Mexican population or the Indian population, I'm going to go with both, so they can cancel each other out. I'm very diplomatic, Méxindia.

Anyways, of course my arch-nemesis, The Rain, showed up the second I set foot out of the office and kept on for the rest of the evening, effectively destroying any chance of plan follow-through. We still went out for tapas, but it wasn't the same. In my mind, and I'm sure others will agree, "Down South" means endless sunny days, without a cloud in sight.

But that's total horseshit.

I lived Down South for about a year. Sunny days exist, that's for sure, but for a pretty good portion of it, at least in Honduras, rain ruined many a plan for me, and one time, my dear friends, it caused this unlucky girl to fall into a sewer.

Sewers in Puerto Cortés aren't the beautiful works of art you see here. There's no lid to cover the grossness that lies beneath, nor do the sewer contents run deep below the streets, hidden from view. They run about 3 feet below street level, under the sidewalks. And by sidewalks, I mean giant slabs of concrete strategically placed over the sewer drains. Some of the slabs are broken, or caved into the sewer, so the grossness can be clearly visible at times. And by grossness, I mean people use these holes as garbage cans, so on top of the crap that's already swimming through the drains, there's huge mounds of mushy decomposing garbage that never gets picked up. I hope I'm painting a vivid enough picture for you.

Moving on.

One day, there was so much rain that school was cancelled.

That's me in 2006!

We (being me and my friend/roommate Tamara) keep thinking it's going to stop, but it rains and rains and we are finally desperate enough to brave the waters and head to the grocery store to pick up emergency supplies.

We have to walk one block north because we live on a slope and no cab is foolish enough to drive on these roads.

We end up picking up our emergency supplies and getting in a cab back. This cab is foolish enough to drive on those flooded roads. He drops us off right beside our house, where that picture above was taken.

The car starts to fill up with water in the back and we toss him the money casually, pretending like his car is not going to need thousands of dollars worth of work.

In our haste to leave and pretend we have no idea what is going on, Tamara hops out and I start handing grocery bags to her over my head. One step out of the car and I'm in floodland, baby.

So I try to step out carefully, as close as possible to the house, because that's where the most leverage is. The cab drives away, and in trying to avoid being splashed by the cab, I lose my footing.

And fall into a sewer.

The entire ground was covered in water and it was impossible to see where the sidewalk started, ended, or had cracks. I can still feel the soft, decomposing garbage on my nightmare feet.

I shriek to high heavens, because I am literally submersed in raw sewage. Try to imagine this happening to you. Just try. Yeah.

Clambering to safety as quickly as possible, I run into the house, yanking off all sewage clothes and screaming non-stop. It's all very cartoonish, but really happening. I head for the shower.

It does not work.

It. does. not. work.

Not having water was typical in Puerto, but this was basically the most awful time possible. I use some of the drinking water, but in a flood, there was virtually no way to get any more, and I couldn't really use all our drinking water to take a bath....Or could I? (no, I couldn't).

My genius mother had packed about 1000 wetnaps in my bag for just this type of emergency. How might she know I was going to trip and fall into a sewer, you might ask? Well, I have had a pretty long history with falling into things. You wouldn't have to be that intuitive.

After being almost disinfected (or rather, almost running out of supplies) by 893 wetnaps, that antibacterial stuff you don't need water for that I can't remember the name of right now, and my tears' water, guess who decides to show up for a visit?

Why, running tap water, of course!

Not a good day, friends, not a good day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Train of Thoughts

People always think I'm either really crazy or really mad about something. Whether alone or not, I am constantly laughing to myself over some hilarious past happening, imagining some alternative reality where life is a musical, or a combination of the two.

If I'm not thinking about these things, then I have a Normal Face, much like yours, Reader. Because my general state-of-face looks like I'm about to barf laughter all over you, when I do have Normal Face, nearly every person I know asks me what's wrong.

How can I answer them? Nothing's wrong, this is just my face!

The worst is when people I don't really know ask me what's so funny when I'm biting my hand to stop laughing to myself.

Obviously, I don't have the time to go into major detail with people I don't know about how my life is littered with so many hilarious anecdotes, I can't even concentrate on any regular task at hand. I think about the most ridiculous things!

For example, this would be a typical train-o'-thoughts:

This morning, I had to walk by a construction site. I put my head phones on so I wouldn't have to deal with the hassles of gross old guys. This hasslin' business is a catch-22, because I shake my head in disdain at them if they do (I'm very fancy), and spend an hour in front of the mirror examining why I'm so hideous if they don't. And then I'll ask Marty like infinity times, which doesn't tend to make for good dinner conversation.

Well, while I was walking, my eyes were tearing up over the beautiful song "Hello", by Lionel Richie, that was playing. Except it was being sung by the Glee Cast, which makes it even more ridiculous, so right away I'm already a gaylord and it's like 8 AM. So then the guys start whistling at me, and my musical brain is like:

"Hello? Is it me you're looking for??

I can see it in your eyes.... I can see it in your smile. You're all I've ever wanted, (and) my arms are OPEN WIIIIDE...."

And then I can't stop thinking about how absurd this entire scenario is so I start cracking up.

And they have no idea! They think I'm giggling and blushing because they're whistling so they're high fiving each other, and I just want to bring my headphones to the tough guy leader so he can see he's not the one that made me laugh. It wasn't you, it was the Glee Cast, fool.

Then I'll imagine Marty singing the boy parts of this duet to me and this makes me laugh even more because Marty is trés serious.

Then this face that Marty makes will pop in out of nowhere. It kind of looks like this:

Which brings me then to the most hilarious skit on snl of all time

Please watch it. I think about this skit often, and make Debbie Downer or better yet, CLIFFORD (!!!!) faces to myself in passing mirrors, windows...anything with a reflective surface, really and that makes me laugh even harder.

Like I just watched those two videos right now and I'm going to pass out from laughing so much.

By this time, I've rolled into work laughing my head off and everyone thinks this is totally normal. It's a good day.