Monday, March 31, 2008

An Ode to the Mini-Egg

In my mind, the most miraculous and wonderful thing about Easter season is not the blossoming of trees nor the birds singing outside my window on a sunny spring morning.  No.  It is the Cadbury Mini-Egg.

It makes me so happy that the marketing gurus at Cadbury are smart enough to put the blessed chocolate eggs on shelves in January -months before Easter - but it makes me terribly sad that they seem to whip them off those shelves on Good Freaking Monday.  Oh wait, that's just called Easter Monday right?

I kid you not that I spent part of Saturday night going into three drug stores and two grocery stores searching for just one freaking little bag of mini-eggs.  But to no avail!  So sad.  I went to three stores today and not one glimmer of hope.  I mean what's the deal?  Why are there left over Lindt bunnies or cream eggs (which I also love) but no mini-eggs???

I mean perhaps this is a good thing.  I have been known to get a 1kg bag at Superstore and eat it all while driving over the second narrows bridge.  When my girlfriend brought out a bag one night, three girls devoured it in no less than two minutes.  Including my one anorexic friend who is afraid to eat lettuce in front of me at times.  No one can resist their candy coated shell - that crunch of pastel with the sweetness of the chocolate in one irresistible bite of sheer joy and happiness.  AAAAAAAAAAA!!!!  I WANT A FREAKING MINI-EGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cadbury's were smart to bring them out at Christmas in red and green or at Halloween in black and orange - but they just don't taste the same.  WHY?  Why is it that they only taste remarkable in those pastel shades????

If anyone has a secret stash or knows of a store in which to purchase these amazing treats - please comment below.  I will be your bridesmaid with no complaining, just for one tiny morsel of goodness.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sign of the Times

Do you remember the days of being so excited to go to the bar for your birthday and drink your face off?

I do but it is a far and distant memory, and I was reminded of that memory last night.  Not because I was at a bar for a birthday, but because there was lack of bar at a birthday.

This year I am turning 29.  There.  I said it.  I will be 29.  That is one year closer to 30 and one year further away from 21. Four of my friends were born in the last year of the best decade known as the 70's,  so at least I have some company in turning 29 this year.

My girlfriend went first this week, brave soul.  She celebrated her 'First 29th Birthday Party' at a sukiyaki house in town, with plans to go dancing afterwards.  But when half the guests left to go home to sleep, she turned to us and said, "Do you want to come over and play games instead?"  YES!  Yes, we sure did.  

We went to her home, drank wine, played games and ate chocolate.  We talked and were able to hear each other, and unlike her other birthdays, she didn't moon anyone (don't ask).

I realize I have definitely hit an age where the loud noise and drunk idiocy of a bar is no longer my ideal Saturday night.  I am happy with pizza and some SNL action.  I am in fact happy to stay inside and read my book.  If with friends, then I am more happy to get some nice wine and cheese and talk the night away than do tequila shots.

I am quite happy that I have arrived at this place.  I enjoy my more peaceful weekend evenings.  The Engineer and I discussed if we were missing out on nights of debauchery; but really the only thing we miss is the 3am poutine action.  Perhaps we could just go out for poutine without the bar?  ummm, no, we are sleeping by midnight.

Oh god, maybe I am lame.  Maybe I am actually, dare I say it, older?
Thank god for dyed blonde hair, I suspect I might be grey.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Evil Passport Picture

I am presently renewing my passport - renewing it after five years of having a passport with a decent photo of myself in a nice light, SMILING! Smiling! I only look pretty when I smile (unlike Posh Spice who claims she looks ugly when she smiles) and now we are not allowed to smile!!! What's with that? So now I have a passport photo that looks as though I went on a shooting spree at my local 7-11.

Correction: I have a couple of passport photos of myself on I shooting spree. I am the proud owner of four of the most horrific photos of me.

I went for them at Costco - perhaps my first mistake? They have terrible lighting in general. Clearly they are going to have equally bad lighting for passport pics. I wore a nice colour, I did my hair, and I had mascara on. But no, the picture is hideous. Hideous.

Now I am sure you think that a passport photo doesn't matter. That everyone has crappy passport photos. Or that is what the Engineer said. But I think that is a lie. I am pretty sure Angelina Jolie looks amazing in her passport photo. Then again, she is Angelina Jolie.

The thing is, it looks like I may have a new job traveling around the world. If I am traveling around the world representing fabulous women everywhere, don't I have to look fabulous in my passport photo? It is the key to the world after all. Plus I have to look at this freaking photo for five years.

I decided I needed a re-do. I did my hair all nice, put MORE make-up on, a nice colour shirt again, and this time with my fake Van Cleef and Arpels necklace. I walked back to Costco, which was my first mistake because it was stupid windy outside. But whatever. So I went back to the counter, put down another $7 and sat for another photo. I made sure I had no mascara goo in the corners of my eye; I had some gloss, and some colour to my cheeks. And I even sneakily smiled for the photo - HA! And the man didn't notice!

Then I got the photo back. It's worse that the first one! GAH! What's worse? Having a horrible photo for five years or having a horrendous photo after making an effort to look your best?

I know that I am no model but I had no idea I could look as ugly as I do in those freaking photos. I am sad. I am going to go get a glass of wine now . . ..

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Threw Up at the Gym

Catchy title, hey?  But it's true.  I threw up at the gym.  Not during class of course, no, I made it to the washroom in time.  Half way through the 'gym stick' class when I was on my 1200th lunge, my tummy started to do funny things and I thought I was going to pass out. Nope.  Just be sick in the bathroom.  I blame the sort of heavy dinner I had beforehand and the crap I have been eating for a week straight (easter eggs anyone?).

I thought I was in shape.  Well, I am in shape, for the most part.  Just not after eating.  I also noticed that I am the ugliest person when I work out.  The Engineer commented on my red, blotchy face wondering if I was dying.  Nope, just worked out AN HOUR AGO.  

Today I looked at the girls around me - barely breaking a sweat, hair tied up all pretty, wearing make-up for crying out loud.  I mean full on blush and heavily mascara-ed eyes!  Yes, I admit to wearing make-up myself but that is left over from the night before.  And if I work out in the later afternoon I do in fact have my day make-up on. I learned my lesson last week when my mascara dripped into my eyes leaving me blinded and stuck on the elliptical trainer.  I now think make-up at the gym is dangerous.

I get sweaty.  I mean really really really sweaty. I never used to but now I sweat everywhere.  My hair plasters itself against my neck and scalp appearing greasy and gross.  My knees sweat and when we do mat work I slip.  My hands sweat so I can't grip that big ball thing very well.  Plus I get red and blotchy.  And I mean RED.  I am super pale naturally and my skin resembles a boiled lobster with patches of this sick looking white.  I am a disaster working out.

But these girls that work out next to me - they are like models!  Actually at my gym they probably are models.  I happen to go to that 'place to be seen' gym that everyone has in their city only because it is the best price and has awesome classes.  I have heard stories of people meeting their mates at the gym.  No man has ever even asked if I was nearly done on the bike or am I finished with my Financial Times.  

I think these girls who look pretty and don't sweat when they are working out are faking it.  I think that my ugliness shows I am working and moving my muscles.  I just wish I didn't look like that for three hours after the fact . . . . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Signs of Spring

I must admit that although rainy city gets me down 75% of the year, there is a glorious 25% that makes me not want to live anywhere else in the world.  And spring is that that 25%

I love spring.  How cliche is that?  Everyone loves freaking spring.  

It makes me walk a bit lighter, smile a bit more, and shop A LOT.  GAH!  I don't know what it is . . . . the smell in the air or the blossoming of cherry trees that inspires me and my VISA to take long walks down Robson investigating the dresses of the season.

Maybe it's the colour.  I happen to like wearing colour, unlike most people in rainy city who insist on black yoga pants as their daily wear.  I also happen to like wearing dresses.  And if you have seen any of the fashion mags this season, you will note that it is the season of colourful dresses.  I think I had a mini-O moment.  

Here's the thing - nothing beats a sunny spring day, cherry blossoms dotting the grey city, the new warmth in the air and stepping out of your downtown condo in a new dress and a pair of high heels.  

Wearing a dress for the first time is like being in your very own episode of 'Sex and the City' - you have this inner-confidence that shows in your wiggle strut.  Your feet are so happy to be out of the Uggs or rainboots, your toes shining with new polish.  The whole world is shiny again and so are you, in your new dress.  The thought of it makes me want to run screaming to Robson for MORE!!

It's like winter releases its shackles on you and you can once more be free!  Free to bare your beauty and your bare skin.  Oh god.  I need to shave my legs again don't I?  And perhaps put some fake tanner on those white puppies.  Also do some leg lifts to tone them.  Who am I kidding?  I'm not ready at all!!!!!!  GAH!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hop Hop Hop!

Happy Easter bunnies!  Easter is one of my most favorite holidays.  Well, until Halloween rolls around.  Which is also a favorite of mine.  And Thanksgiving.  And then of course Christmas.  Christmas pretty much rocks.

Easter is special though for several reasons:  it is alone and by itself (unlike those clump holidays I mentioned above), it happens in spring, it is pastel-y and pretty, and then of course the MAIN reason:  MINI EGGS!!!!!  Oh, did you think I was going to mention the resurrection of Christ?  No.  But that was good too, if you are into that sort of thing.  

Sidebar:  during one of my year's of faith searching, I found myself at a Good Friday service.  I was more than surprised to realize that it really was like a funeral - but that makes sense I guess.  The woman next to me was a basket case the whole service, sniffling away.  I so badly wanted to lean over and whisper in her ear, "Don't worry, he'll be back in three days" but I suspect that would have been in bad taste.

Back to my point:  MINI EGGS!  Actually, all forms of chocolate on this holiday work.  The Easter Bunny came to my house this morning in the form of the Engineer.  It was just like being a kid again.  Except I couldn't find the freaking eggs!  Unlike my own mother who hid eggs half hard but half easy - so that at least you could feel confident that you would uncover eggs (another sidebar:  you know when you are too old for easter egg hunts when your mother has to write down how many eggs she has hidden in the likely case she will forget where they are), the Engineer proved to be quite a skilled at hiding.  So good that we had to play the 'hot cold' game.  Tricky tricky. Maybe that is a sign one is too old for easter egg hunts.

I firmly believe calories don't count on holidays.  So I have already eaten two bags on mini-eggs, three peanut butter cup eggs, and a chocolate egg that was filled with more mini-eggs.  And a fatburger.  I now feel sick and have an upset tummy.  Back when I was five, my parents would have taken that chocolate away from me after one.  Okay, this is yet another sign that one might be too old for easter egg hunts.

Who am I kidding?  We are never too old for easter egg hunts!  Chocolate, a challenge, eating chocolate in bed?  THIS is why I love holidays.  Oooo, a cream egg!  I just found a cream egg!

ps.  I am going to Target on tuesday to buy a supply of more chocolate that is half price!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Ridiculous Generation of the new Mama's

I had a disturbing conversation last night about the things women are doing in the new millennium as mothers.

#1 (and the most horrific)  There are some women who live in the uber-rich areas of rainy city that breast-feed their babies by day.  But by night they hire a 'wet-nurse' to come in and feed the babes in the middle of the night so their precious sleep is not disturbed.  DID YOU HEAR ME?  There are women out there who hire themselves out as wet-nurses!!! And lazy ass rich women who hire them????  Did we not stop that sometime in the Victorian era??  So this poor, let's face it, immigrant woman gets her ass out of bed everyday to breast feed some rich woman's kid while her own baby is getting bottle-fed in her tiny east-side apartment.  What is wrong with this picture? I know it is hard getting up in the middle of the night but isn't that special bonding time with your baby?  They are only babies for so long?  And won't the babies get confused at the different boobs being shoved in their mouths?

#2  Women who are afraid of being left alone with their children so insist on an emergency nanny when their husband has to head to work for some unexpected reason.  Afraid of being alone with your own children?  Ummm, maybe you should not have had children in the first place????

#3 Women who go on national television and give birth to their babies.  WHY WHY WHY?  I feel embarrassed with my legs in stirrups at the gyn once a year.  Imagine if a camera was following me.  Now imagine a camera following me as I was sweaty and ugly and red pushing a tiny watermelon thing out of me.  WHY? 

 I was channel-surfing the other day when I happened on one of these shows.  It was her time to push, and her husband held her knees back to let the little sucker out.  Now, no offense to this woman, but she was not at her prettiest.  Nor was having her pudgy knees splayed out for the world her most flattering moment.  I once saw a home birth episode where when the crowning time came, the father-in-law got in the line of receiving to take a photo of the head and the ve-jay-jay with a disposable camera!  What's worse?  Your father-in-law looking at your hoo haa EVER or the fact he used a disposable camera?  Doesn't a time like this deem at least a digital??  

Minor point here:  who wants a photo of crowning?  that is a moment neither the child wants to see nor the poor mother wants to remember

#4 There is a new wave of women who believe in giving birth in their homes with NO ONE!  No one!  Okay, the father of the baby but NO ONE ELSE!  Why?  Why would anyone want to give birth to their baby without the aid of a midwife OR doctor?  I mean seriously, we have not come all this way in medical and female power to go back to giving birth to babies out in the field!!  For crying out loud, giving birth is actually dangerous.  Women DIE.  Millions of women died in past centuries giving birth and now with all our freaking technology some women have the gal to risk the lives of their babies and themselves by giving birth alone?  Please explain this dumb ass idea to me.  

#5 Crazy feminists eating placenta.  Gag me.  My earliest memory is my dad making me watch a cow give birth and all I can remember is being grossed out by the cow eating the afterbirth. I had no idea what it was but I knew it was slimy and gross.  Placenta has vitamins?  Is there something wrong with taking a supplement like Centrum??

I am going to go take a birth control pill now

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Delicate Art of Parallel Parking

So I am pretty much the bee’s knees when it comes to parallel parking. I would go as far as to say that if there were an award for the parking in parallel, I would be world champion. Ironic that I failed it on my driving test.

I love driving. I have loved driving my whole life. As a kid (on a farm) I drove anything I could: tractors, dirt bikes, the lawn mower. So when I turned 16, you can bet your boots I was at the DMV. You can also bet your boots that when he big, fat smelly mean man otherwise known as my tester handed me my fail slip, I ran to my dad crying.

I still think that parallel parking tests are sort of stupid as in some cities you never need it. Obviously, I was not a natural p. parker as I failed it – but can you blame me? Half my life was spent in rural Alberta driving in wheat fields and gravel roads and the other half in Winnipeg – a land of malls and big, wide-open parking lots. I don’t know many people who are forced to park that way in Winnipeg. I mean for heaven sakes, they took us across town just to learn how to drive on a hill. I learned how to pp between pylons.

But I did eventually pass (a week later with the neighbor’s borrowed hatchback) and when I moved to rainy city I was forced to learn how to pp fast and well. Which brings me to my earlier point, I freaking rock at pping!! I tell you this only because I did a bang up job earlier today that got thumbs up from an old guy in an SUV.

My pp expertise has not only gotten the thumb’s up from passer’s by, but applause from people eating on the sidewalk patio and cheers from my friends inside the car. I have even taken a photo of a pp job I did once, where I squeezed my little Golf into an itsy bitsy space in the West End where parking is virtually impossible. I am known not only for fitting in to tight spaces but my speed and agility. Seriously, I should go to the Olympics.

There is really no point in telling you this. I just rock at pp and had nothing else to say today.

And to all those brave souls who fail their driver’s test whilst pping: have faith young driver, have faith.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blame the Bride

The best thing about being a bridesmaid is that you can blame your own flightiness or the fact that you bought too many bridesmaid dresses on the bride. It's like having a naughty child that you can blame for always being late. Everyone knows that brides are crazy, albeit not my bride, and therefore you can tell someone the bride changed her mind, roll your eyes, and they totally understand.

Case in point:  I have three bridesmaid dresses for the same wedding.  My own fault I know - but can I help it if prettier dresses keep falling into my hands and making friends with my mastercard?  No.  

I lost a receipt for one of them, and I don't think they do returns anyway, BUT I told them my sob story about my crazy bride switching colours at the last minute.  They felt my pain and gave me a pink one instead!  So cute.  

I know I know, the karma police will get me.  I'm a Buddhist!  I know how it works.  

The funny (and bad) thing is, if you met my friend you would know this is so not her.  If I told her that all I could wear to her wedding was a paper skirt painted in sparkly paint with tinsel hanging off of it she would be totally okay with that.  Well maybe not totally but she would be really good at pretending.

So go ahead!  Blame the bride!  Tell yourself the stress is too much and get a massage.  Tell yourself she wants you to have perfect toes and get a pedicure!  Tell yourself that she wants purple coats now and go buy yourself that coat in the window at BeBe.  Who cares?  The bride demands it.

Too bad you can't write off wedding expenses, or can you?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dance Lessons

The Engineer gave me swing dance lessons for my birthday: the gift being one part the actual lesson, one part him agreeing to go. I thought it odd that my Engineer who loves to two-step and boogey on the dance floor would be so opposed to dance lessons. Then we went to the dance lessons and I now see why.

If a single gal thought a great place to meet a dance partner would be at a swing dance class - then she would be wrong. Not that the class was full of desperate women without partners, quite the contrary. Men outnumbered us! But not hot men with swivily (umm is that a word?) hips who could spin you around the dance floor. No, unfortunately the place was full of slightly unfortunate men. Men who had breath issues. Men who stare at the floor WHILE stepping on your toes. Men who wear tapered pants that tuck into their sneakers. Or men who stare at your boobs while counting out the steps (men staring at my boobs always unnerves me as I have a tiny rack upon which to stare).

How do I know all these details about the said men? Because we had to rotate partners! GAH! No no no no! I want to dance with the Engineer! That is the whole point of these lessons - so that we learn to dance together.

Not that I need to worry about the Engineer being turned on my any of the other women he is forced to dance with. They all have their own partners and are just as bitter at having to trade.

But the class was fun. I learned the Sugar Push - that just sounds cute. And I was surprised the dance class didn't start a fight between the Engineer and myself - something like that usually would. There was one minor detail that slightly pissed me off. The Engineer who claims to have no rhythm and did not want to attend this class got singled out by the teacher for being an excellent dancer! The teacher must have remembered I was standing there and was the partner, so patted me on my shoulder and said 'You were pretty good too'. Gee thanks.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Problem with Choice

We all love choice, obviously. What would life be without choice? We'd be plain old coffee drinkers - that's what. No more of this "tall skinny sugar free vanilla latte" (in case you were ever to buy me a coffee) crap. We wouldn't have exciting jobs. We wouldn't go on amazing vacations. We wouldn't buy three bridesmaid dresses for the same wedding.

Yup, that's right. I may or may not have purchased three possible dresses for my good friend's upcoming Cuban nuptials. I blame the bride. Not only did she give us the thumbs up for picking our own dresses for her beach wedding, but the brat went ahead and chose one of my favorite summer colours: pool/turquoise/surf - whatever you want to call it. That lovely aqua-marine colour that suits just about anyone.

Her wedding is five months away and I started to panic at my lack of dress. So when I came across a lovely, yet incredibly simple cotton number that I will in fact wear again, I threw down the Mastercard. I was happy. I had the dress. Then I went into a store on Robson and found this ultra-feminine, gorgeous chiffon number complete with pretty beading. My bladder told me NOT to try on this dress, but my Mastercard cooed in my ear and showed me the way to the fitting room.

I had hope of it looking like crap. Like you know how sometimes you see something so adorable but then when you try it on you resemble a hippo in stripes? I secretly like that. As if it somehow lets me off the hook from having to buy it - because I apparently have no self control. But it didn't. It looked great. And it flowed and swirled and was so freaking pretty I just had to buy it. But now I can't take the other one back! GAH!

AND THEN, I accidentally on purpose went into a store to check out their winter sale. The heartless assholes had the audacity to fill their store with adorable spring dresses. And yes, this pool/turquoise/surf colour is clearly the colour of spring. And yes, I tried on this adorable strapless number that screams: WEAR ME AT A CUBAN BEACH WEDDING! It is all frilly on the ends so it is CLEARLY a mambo/salsa type dress. Hello? I am going to Cuba! Clearly I need a mambo/salsa type dress.

I now have three dresses and yet no shoes. Oh, and perhaps the most integral part of this whole wedding: the plane ticket to Havana. Right. First thing in the morning, I promise . . . . . .