Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Skinny on the Skinny Jean

Whoever invented the skinny jean/pant should be shot.  No, not just shot.  But drawn and quartered.  Okay, perhaps that is a bit too much but with the torture those pants have put us women through that person deserves some payback.

I HATE SKINNY JEANS!  Most people (okay women)  hate skinny jeans.  I must admit that I look at those stick-legged girls who look oh so fashionable in the skinny pant and think, "hey, they are pretty nice".  Then make the mistake of trying on a pair for myself and quickly realize that putting skinny pants on my thighs is like putting casing on sausage.

I am not fat, I merely have curves.  And thighs.  My thighs do not like tight denim strangling them.  I look like a deranged hooker in skinny pants.  

The worst is men who wear skinny jeans.  Did we ever think that was sexy?  Even in the 80's?  Because it is not.  Men tend to have skinny chicken legs anyways (assholes) and they should not accentuate them in skinny pants.  It just looks dumb.  They look like girls, bobble head girls.  Boys need to learn that the best fit for them is boot cut, slightly slim but enough baggy to leave the rest up to our imagination.  But not too baggy that the pants hang off their asses like some drugged up hip hop star.  

Anyhoo, that is my rant on skinny pants.  No clothing should ever be called skinny - unless it promises to make you skinny like Spanx - that is okay.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rich Bride Poor Bride

If you are a faithful reader, you will know of my addiction to reality shows such as 'Trading Spouses' 'Swapping Wives' and my personal favorite, 'Rich Bride Poor Bride'. You will also know that I get insanely angry at said programs and try to call the network to tell them how stupid people are. The Engineer forbids me from watching these programs or at least from talking about them in his presence.

Well, things have changed.

Last weekend I was horribly, ridiculously, painfully ill. Like the double whammy ill - I will spare the pretty details. My lovely Engineer sacrificed his own long weekend (which happened to be hot and sunny) to stay with me so I could whine at him. After buying me Chef Boyardee (which I threw up), Kraft Dinner (which I threw up), and Vietnamese soup (you don't want to know), he kept my pitiful body company while watching television.

Saturday night is a fairly bleak TV night, except for SNL, but we had time to kill. So what did we watch? Rich Bride, Poor Bride!! God, I love that show. If you have never seen it, order cable with Slice NOW and promptly watch as women make themselves appear greedy and grotesque on national TV. I love it.

Anyhoo, as this bride was a particular doozy, demanding EVERYTHING no matter what cost, it was a highly entertaining episode. The Engineer was riveted; just like me. And just like me, he became unbelievably angry. The groom was definitely in the right, especially making the girl sell a diamond ring they won in a contest to put towards their $37 000 wedding. The Engineer was so angered by her spoiled princess act that he started to pace the room and yell at the flat screen. Suddenly he stopped and realized what he was doing. But it was too late, he was hooked. So now we bond together at good/bad reality TV and get angry; always grateful that we are not stupid like those people.

The same weekend I also had two wedding magazines (I bought them on the plane ride to NYC, just out of curiosity) that I would flip through when I could open my eyes. Every time I read something I threw up. I think this made the Engineer happy as that now when we plan our wedding I will be reminded of throwing up and therefore plan a small wedding. Hmmm, maybe a drug should be invented to induce vomiting when talking about weddings, disguised as some sort of penile stimulant so women don't know about it. Men would clear them off the shelves!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Secret Garden

Here is my secret about the garden:  I have no idea how to grow one!  I can barely grow my hair.  

I am fairly certain I have a black thumb.  It is such a shame.  My grandfather had a beautiful garden that he tended to with such precision.  Petunias in a row, red flowers here, yellow flowers there.  It was literally in rows, he was a Taurus so very exact. 

My great-auntie had the most wonderful hodge podge garden that she had continued from her mother.  I used to sit in the back while her and my grandmother drank coffee, picking yellow raspberries in the same spot my great-grandmother used to sit.  Auntie B would walk hunched through her garden, happily chirping about all her flowers, to which she knew the names.  I can remember petunia because that is what my mum calls me (and my dog.  that's right, I share the same pet name as my pet) but that is it.

My grandmother had a vegetable garden full of heavenly treats of fresh carrots, peas, onions and potatoes (that she would make into cream vegetables, totally taking away from any nutritional value but SO FREAKING GOOD!!!).

My mother has a garden with fresh herbs, vegetables and sunflowers. My dad is a farmer for crying out loud.  But me?  My cousin gave me a plant once that lasted about 2 months.  

I have a nice patio in the city and this year I feel the urge to grow things on it.  My own urban oasis.  I went to the garden store to select flowers and herbs.  I got a big orange cart and slyly followed an old lady around the aisles of greenery to get pointers.  All I got from her was a used kleenex she dropped in my cart.  

I noted that there are annuals and perennials.  I think annuals are flowers you grow once a year and perennials are seasonal?  But isn't summer the only time things grow?  I also noted that there are plants that have a full sun sign and others that have a half-sun sign.  I opted for half-sun.  I get lots of sunshine on my patio but then the sun moves in the afternoon - will my flowers die?  But what happens if it is rainy for a while, will the sun sign flowers die?  What if I let them use my S.A.D. lamp?

I picked up some varieties.  Petunias, of course.  A yellow flower.  A pink flower.  Some enticements.  Or something that started with an 'e' or was it impatience?  Anyhoo, I had a cart full.  Then I got some herbs:  chives, rosemary and sweet basil.  Time for the soil.  I picked out a bag of nicely fertilized black stuff (we have to pay for this even though I could go get it free from my farm?). Then I started to look for things to put this all in, like pots.  That is when the panic set in.  Oh god, ummm, how many do I need?  Can all the herbs go in one pot?  Do the sun sign ones need their own taller pot?  How often do I need to water things?  Where are the watering cans?  Is normal water okay?  Or do they need filtered water?  What about the soil?  I once heard you can put pennies in the soil, why do I have to do that?

I paused and looked around me.  Two Home Depot men were joking by the shrubs.  Oh god, should I get a shrub?  The old lady was being led to the cashier by her daughter who scolded her for picking too many things.  Do I have too many things?  Too little?  I couldn't handle this.  I am not Mary Mary quite contrary.  I slowly stepped away from the cart.  I pretended I was looking at seeds as the Home Depot men walked past my abandoned cart.  Then I took a step towards the fountain, the lone cart getting further and further away; blocking the small tree aisle.  Can I grow a small tree on my patio?

It was too much, I ran away.  Well, walked very quickly.  If there is a Home Depot man reading this, I apologize for making you return my discarded flowers but I had no choice.  I think I will just buy bouquets instead.  Or at least wait till my mum comes for a visit, she'll know what to do. 

Home Sweet Home

The best thing about traveling is coming home.  That is what my mother used to tell me, and as I get older I realize how true that is.  Don't get me wrong, I love traveling the world.  When I was 19, I spent a year abroad living in England and Australia.  Since then, I trotted around Asia and Europe truly believing that a vacation had to be longer than a month in order to count as an 'experience'.  I ridiculed those who traveled for only two weeks.  Now I can't wait to get home.

New York was oh so fun.  We laughed, we drank, we shopped for shoes.  It was a bittersweet moment watching the isle of Manhattan disappear from the rear window of the taxi.  The Empire State Building standing tall and proud. The Chrysler Building looking so darn pretty.  I love how the two went up at the same time in a competition to be New York's largest skyscraper.  But I digress.  As I let the warm breeze ruffle my hair, I turned back to the front with a smile on my face:  I was going home.

After a horrific and squished flight home, in which my legs became numb and the girl in the aisle seat polluted the air with her foul farts,  I was happy to arrive back on the Pacific coast.  I forced my eyes open to look at the sparkling lights of rainy city.  Ummm, there were none!  Rainy city is a teeny tiny village compared to New York!  That is okay, the near full moon looked lovely reflected in the ocean as we started our decent.  Nature is where it is at.  Nature and seeing the moon reflected in the sea.  Wow, I had no idea how freaking small this city is.

Stepping into the fresh air, K and I took in the cedar and pine scent, relishing in the beauty of the west coast.  Our cab ride downtown took hardly any time at all.  There was no traffic, no beeping horns, no pedestrians jaywalking.  Neighborhoods full of actual houses (there are no houses in Manhattan) were deep in slumber.  And as we crossed the bridge, we both turned to take in the sight of the glittering city of glass.  Except there was no glitter, a couple of lights dotted around, but no glitter. Oh god, are we really that small town?  Has the rainy city always been this quiet?  Yes.

Then there was my bed.  My soft, cushy, cloud of a bed. Heaven!  And the Engineer sleeping in it waiting for my return.  Before I crawled in next to him, I stared out my window to the mountains and smiled to myself.  The Big Apple may be the city that never sleeps but I was really happy to take a nap.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Broadway Tips

When in the Big Apple, one should take in a show.  We took in two.

Avenue Q - which is like a dirty Sesame Street.  Okay, maybe not dirty but definitely adult.  Be warned:  there is puppet sex!  And my favorite song "Everyone's a little bit racist" because it is true.  My only complaint was that I wish it was longer because it was so good.

Top Girls - a play written by Caryl Churchill in 1982 London.  I have always wanted to see this play.  I don't anymore.  I wish that it had been shorter.  

The audience was so different in each theatre.  At Avenue Q, K and I were surrounded by people much like ourselves. Young professionals who grew up with Bert, Ernie and Telly.  At Top Girls the audience were probably at the height of their careers in 1982.  There were many old men.  Old men who farted throughout the entire show.  Old grumpy men who pushed me out of the bathroom line so they could get by without saying 'excuse me' or 'sorry'!!!

Yes, I know that NYC is not known for its' politeness or chivalry but seriously, you are an old man!! Aren't old men supposed to have manners?  This is where I really don't fit in with this city; I am too polite.  Sue me for apologizing for stepping on your foot or pushing you out of the way.  Unfortunately, as our hotel was situated in toursity Times Square, I started to take on the New York rudeness.  I may or may not have hit gawking tourists with my big purse or told slow walkers to watch out as I plowed through them.  To be fair, if you are going to stop on a busy sidewalk and consult a map, you deserve to be pushed.  Move to the side you retard!!!

Wait, the whole purpose of this entry was not to talk about manners, rather to give you my Broadway tip.  When in NYC, you can go buy half price tickets at the TKTS booth which happened to be situated under our hotel.  Everyday, a three-hour line formed in order to save some money.  Okay fine, lots of money.  But if you are visiting the city for a few days, isn't your time worth more?  I thought so, therefore I was smart and googled 'cheap Broadway tickets' and discovered It was here that we got half price tickets - same as TKTS.  I punched in my credit card digits, glossed with my guilt-gloss, and walked past the three-hour line saying 'suckers' under my breath.  Don't people think to google??

Cheesecake in Bed

I am no longer nineteen.  I no longer can stay out all night dancing at clubs.  Who am I kidding?  I never could.  I realize that when going to the city that never sleeps, us lovely ladies should be hitting the town.  Meh.  We were too fat from eating to fit into our party dresses, our feet too swollen to fit in our shoes, and we were too lazy to put on our newly acquired guilt-gloss.

Instead, K and I spent one of our 'party' nights, walking to the corner of 6th and 53rd for street meat (the best Halal EVER), getting some New York cheesecake and eating our dinner in our beds while watching Juno on the big flat screen.  I don't think we have ever been happier.

Why do we feel guilty for staying in?  What does that say about society?  I like staying home, I always have.  I have wasted much time and money, forcing myself to go out to clubs that I don't really like that much.  I must face the facts, I truly like being home on a Saturday night because I really love SNL.

Now more about this halal.  I was recommended to go seek this place out.  It is across from the Hilton on 6th and 53rd and always has a line-up, that is how you know it is good.  K and I were the only women in line, and the only white tourists.  That is how you know it is really really good.  For $6 you get a plate of rice, lettuce, pita topped with lamb and chicken.  Then you pour over this yummy yogurt and hot sauce.  So freaking good!   Warning:  your hotel room is guaranteed to stink after eating.  And maybe you should share with a friend.

Ugly Shoes

I have decided that Sex and the City is entirely misleading.  How those girls stomp around NYC in high heels is completely beyond me.  Oh wait, I know.  They shoot for about two minutes, the director yells 'CUT!' and an assistant rolls in with a chair and slippers.  That is clearly the only way to walk in cute shoes in this city.

My feet hurt.  Ache.  Throb.   They are covered in blisters and are swollen.  Cute shoes my ass, give me some grandma Clarks.  I must admit that all the clothes I packed were cute and needed to be accompanied by cute shoes, my Haviana's do not go with my little black dress.  I have already bought two pairs of alternate flip flops, thinking some jewels on my flip flops will help my outfit.  But so far all they have helped with is forming two new blisters and severe back pain.

I had no idea just how much walking would be done in this fair city.  Stomp stomp stomp.  Up Fifth Ave, through Central park, from East to West Village.  And everyone walks fast. I can't keep up, MY FEET HURT!!!!!!  My girlfriend who moved here told me to put on my cute shoes and then keep my comfy flip flops in my purse.  I never took her advice, which was stupid.  Her feet are covered in perma-blisters and she uses the 'second pair of shoes' system.  Apparently, Band-aid makes this new blister block that is supposed to be amazing.  It's sold out in New York - well in Manhattan and Brooklyn  - but hey! - they hardly count as a measurement of popularity.

K and I have taken to cabs for every couple of blocks.  In fact, we have even taken to those rickshaw things.  $20 well spent . . . . 

Attack of the Boutique Salesperson

New York is clearly a city made for shoppers - it's a mecca of ridiculously expensive department stores, the famous designer outlet Century 21, and hundreds of adorable boutiques.  My friends and I were in heaven.

Boutiques are really where it's at.  Each has its own personality, its own flavour and its own crazy salesperson/owner.  Soho and the Village are literally covered in boutiques and thankfully I was able to visit them with K.  I am not sure I would have gone otherwise.  As much as I love teeny tiny store shopping, it also makes me nervous.

At least at Banana Republic, there are lots of other shoppers and many salespeople who generally let you do your own thing.  But at a boutique, I am often the only person.  Against the salesperson.  I know the salesperson is desperate for a sale, after all, they work in a teeny tiny store that often does teeny tiny business.  I am never relaxed on my own.  I feel their eyes boring into my head, sending me 'buy something' vibes.  Then I feel guilty when I leave without making  a purchase, as if I am a villain in a fairytale.  The evil shopper was just browsing, we'll get her my pretty.

Shopping with K, I felt pretty confident.  I had a comrade.  A browser in arms.  Not that we were browsing, we were going to spend money if we found something worthwhile.  But I didn't feel that pressure I usually feel when on my own. 

Until we were attacked by the whacko boutique owner.

One window caught our eye, it was full of cute purses. So of course we went in.  Immediately on entering I could tell this owner was on a hunt.  A hunt to sell his wares.  With every purse we slightly looked at, he would pounce on us.  "That's so cute isn't it?" to which we would nod obediantly.  "And such a deal at only $250", K and I pretended that we thought that was a deal, even though we bought our weight's worth in fake bags for an eighth of the price. He followed us around like a homeless man who doesn't listen to 'I really don't have change' and made a comment about EVERYTHING.  

I love how women have a way of talking to each other without actually talking to each other.  My sixth sense told me K wanted to leave as badly as I did, so we slowly made our way to the door.  Mr. Crazy stopped us just a foot away by pointing out a locally made chain-link clutch, we paused pretending we loved it.  And it was in that slight pause I was attacked.

Before I knew it, there was something on my lips.  He had come from behind with a stick and was slathering lip gloss on me.  I shrieked a little and he told me he wasn't going to hurt me.  He smothered my lips then moved on to K, talking a mile a minute about his own line of naturally made cosmetics.  Just as I was rubbing my lips together, he was on me again, spraying my face with some sort of toner thing.  No warning, just spraying my face so that I had to rub my eyes and spit liquid out of my mouth.  It was like being in some sort of battle, that kind that you are surprised at - what's it called again?  Oh yes, ambush.

Next we has dotting our faces with concealer and powder, telling us how wonderful it felt.  I was frozen.  Everytime his back was turned, K and I would lock eyes, trying not to break out entirely in giggles.  There was no escape from Mr. Crazy, except if we bought something.  And I have to grudgingly admit that the lip gloss was really nice, so I didn't feel too stupid.

Mr. Crazy went on about all the celebs who loved his stuff:  Reese, Cher, some Broadway lady.  He told us a story about doing Cher's make-up and not even realizing it was her.  Ahh, so he attacked her too.  He bragged about how much they bought.  Obviously, like us, the celebs bought stuff just to shut him up and leave the store.

Next time I boutique shop, I am taking bear spray.  

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Everything is Coming up Roses

Traveling with girls is pretty much the best damn thing EVER.  I love the Engineer with pretty much everything I have.  Traveling with him is great and wonderful in its own right, but there is something about traveling with girls that simply rocks.  Probably because we are all nuts and clap and scream over the excitement of cupcakes, cocktails and renting movies in our hotel room.  The Engineer doesn't squeal over anything - except maybe the Oilers winning the Stanley Cup.

I am in New York with two of my good friends and we had a perfect Manhattan date last night.  It started with Rose & Lemon-aid pedicures on the Upper East side complete with pink sparkling wine and pretty dresses and ended with a huge Italian meal where we may have had mini-orgasms over the chocolate souffle.  The owners must have liked us (perhaps because we took pictures of every dish and expressed quite loudly our appreciation) because they capped our evening off with ROSE ITALIAN SPARKLING WINE.  ROSE WINE!  AAAAAAAHH!  In case you want to know it was called:  Brachetto D'Aqui from Piemonte in Italy.  I am fairly certain that a rose sparkling drink from Italy may be the most girly drink on planet Earth.

The Engineer would have appreciated the meal for sure.  It's just eating with girls makes us a bit nutty.  We loved our waiter/the owner because of his adorable Italian accent and his adorable Italian butt.  We also loved that when we stuck our forks into the souffle, warm oozing chocolate poured out.  The dessert was devoured in no less than a minute and was accompanied by the closing of eyes and the small gasps of intense pleasure.  By the last bite it was 'every bitch for herself' with the forks - much to our cute-butted waiter/owners' amusement.

We were supposed to then go out to a lounge and drink fabulous cocktails in the fabulous city.  But we were too full and the appeal of the in-room movies won over our need to go drink more.  

And only with your girlfriends can you stomp down Broadway in your too-high-heels that now kill your newly pedicured feet, wearing pretty dresses and gushing over the deliciousness of melty chocolate and rose wine.  Boys don't do that.

Boys also don't go to lounges and think they see Mario Lopez  as girls do.  Well K did, except she wasn't wearing her glasses so Mario was in fact a geeky looking guy from China, or perhaps Hawaii.  Boys also don't attract free mojitos to the table or freak out that the entrance of a bar smells like orchids and lotus flowers.  And boys DEFINITELY don't spend a whole afternoon in the village searching out vintage scarfs or the perfect shoe.  But then again, boys are very lovely to hold hands with in the street and cozy up to in a carriage ride through Central Park.

The point is, I suppose if there is a point, is that as we get older, sometimes we tend to forget the glory of girl-time as we spend so much of our life with the significant other.  Our s.o.'s are awesome and adorable, and allow you to put your head on their lap on the plane.  But girlfriends make you see the world from rose-coloured glasses.

Big Apple, Little Seed

I grew up on a farm.  Sort of.  I was born in rural Alberta and my dad is a farmer so I feel strongly in being able to claim country roots.  I spent my educational time in a small, Canadian prairie city.  So small that when I moved to rainy city I thought for sure I had hit big time.  Then I travelled the world.  I discovered London, Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris . . . . and I realized that rainy city is a very tiny city in comparison.

There have been times living in my urban apartment where I felt as though I wanted more, needed more bustle and hustle.  So I came to the Big Apple - birth place of hustle and bustle.  And freaking honking cars and stupid slow-walking tourists!!

New York is easy to love, I think.  Here are some things I have learned during my time in the city that never sleeps:
1.  Honking is mean and stupid and really annoying.  YOU AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE DUMBASS!
2.  I look like a native because people ask me for directions - it must be my frowny face trying to get through the crowds.
3.  Times Square is full of overpriced horrible food and stupid people wearing matching sweatshirts.  OR wearing matching colours - tan pants/orange shirt, orange pants/tan shirt
4.  I am really good at hailing taxis
5.  The subway is faster than a taxi
6.  If I am going to jaywalk, don't do it in front of a honking cab and then scream like an old lady in front of a crowd of real New Yorkers (I heard one lady say "She ain't from New York")
7.  People I see in TV and movies do exist:  fat black chicks who hold their palms up and say 'Don't go there', women dressed head to toe in designer clothes on Park Ave that are clearly on some sort of mood enhancing drug, more plastic surgery than LA (I never thought that was possible)
8.  Three drinks will cost $50 and I shouldn't faint
9.  Room service breakfast for two costs $81 and I shouldn't have a heart attack
10.  I am a small seed in a big apple

I really am a small town girl.  And I really love the rainy city where no one honks at you and my feet don't hurt all day.  But before I go back to my smallish city, I think I should go have some more big city adventures . . . . .