Monday, July 31, 2006

The Men and the Boys: Sandy

You're a wild honey child
I'm out of control
Every time you are near me
I'm a wolf child baby
And I'm howling for you

Georgia still talked to Sandy, and dutifully reported back every time he talked about me, which was often. He was sorry. He felt bad. He was so stupid. He missed me. He wished he could take it all back. Bla bla bla. It wasn't that I didn't care, I just didn't want to be second to anyone. I really wanted Sandy to be my boyfriend, but a love triangle was a big, big veto. Not happening.

Wild flower
Star of my dreams
The most beautiful thing

A couple months after the Valentine disaster and going strong on my Sandy fast, he played in a battle of the bands. Georgia was their last minute tambourine girl and, true to the best friend code, spilled every bean. Imagine my shock, amazement, disbelief, etc. etc., when she told me that of their three song set, one had my name on it.

You're a perfect creation
You're an angel baby
And I'm crying for you
My heart beats faster
And I'm overpowered

"Wild Flower", by The Cult. Not just any song. A thrilling, sexy, provocative song that, right then, Sandy made about me.

Wild flower
I love you every hour
Wild flower
Burning down the night
Set the world alight

Do you know what this did to me?

Put yourself in my shoes for just a minute. I'd never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, never been on a date. Until very recently, I was always the tallest kid in the school, and my peers absolutely loved making fun of my hair. Outside of shy glances and a subtle, puppy love with Chris, no one had ever felt anything like this for me, or been up front about it. I stayed home on weekends, read a lot of books, and nothing exciting ever happened.

Along came Sandy. A package and a half, on a stage and singing his heart out in front of hundreds of people. He was singing about me. Overnight, I'd become desirable. How silly is that?

Be it a ploy, genuine regret, desperate measures or any other name you could think of, Sandy's song worked. I picked up the phone. I remember how happy he was that I'd called, and it felt so good to hear his voice again. He apologized right away for the dance, and said he never wanted to hurt me again.

We saw each other a few days later, when Sandy actually collected Georgia then drove halfway up my street, and sent her into the house to get me. It was freezing that night, but I was too excited to bother with a jacket. I ran down to the car and kneeled on the street beside his open window. Sandy's smile was ear to ear, and gave me a big hug. "I really missed you," he told me, and I believed him.

Not long after that, we were on a study date in the library. The library was my safe house, because I knew my parents would never think I'd defile a haven of knowledge by making it a place to meet boys. Oops. Naturally, Sandy and I did anything but study, and we passed the night away reconnecting with each other.

A bit after the library closed, we were outside doing some last minute talking before Oli arrived to pick me up. I said something, Sandy retorted back and totally burned me. I pretended to be shocked but wasn't; we always bantered like that. I feigned a sulk, pouted and said, "I'm hurt!" then turned around to walk away. Sandy grabbed my left hand and said, "Aww, I'll kiss your hand and make it better."

How cute, though. I happily obliged. Sandy kissed my left hand, then took my right. "Have to kiss both, just to make sure." Well in this case, I wasn't one to complain. Sandy kissed my right hand and then, instead of letting go, pulled me over to him, locked me in an embrace I couldn't get out of, and kissed me.

My first kiss. I was in a total daze when I said goodnight, and got into Oli's car. I stayed dazed for the whole ride home, until I got into my room, locked myself in, buried my face in a pillow and screamed my head off. Then I called Georgia to tell her the news, and she did some screaming of her own.

A couple of days later, I called Sandy and asked him to the prom.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Handling your Breakup, Day 4

Flee the city. Pack a bag, get into your cousin's Honda, and drive two hours south to your other cousin's house. Cousins cousins cousins are what you need right now. Family is good.

Arrive at said location, get jumped on by an almost six-year old cousin. You have this tradition where she hugs you as tightly as possible, and you pretend you're suffocating. Realize that the older she gets, the more she can actually choke you.

Greet your two-year old cousin with the electrified red hair, who is also your goddaughter. She's a little shy at first, but you've got the plan. "Who's the prettiest girl?" you ask her, to which she smiles cutely and says, "Me!"

Follow your older cousin and gracious hostess for this weekend into the garage for some girl time. Bless her soul for knowing exactly what you need, as she pulls cigarettes out of the freezer and hands you a vodka cooler. You smoke together, she lets you bitch, and ashes get emptied into a beer bottle.

Hike up your pants, pull a deck chair up to the pool and get lost your latest issue of In Style. Fawn over a pair of Christian Dior boots. Realize that the mothers around you are discussing savings for SUV's and college funds. Thank your lucky everything that you are single, fabulous, and contemplating Christian Dior boots.

Done with style, get out the new Martha Stewart Living. So you're a closeted Martha Stewart fan. Fuck off. Think how devastatingly sexy you'll look making Nectarine Shortcakes in an apron and Christian Dior boots.

Feel a tug on your arm and look down to see your goddaughter smiling at you. "Who's the prettiest girl?" you say, as she throws her hands up in the air and squeals, "ME!"

Cigarettes & hostess cousin places a two-litre glass of Rye & Coke in front of you. This is why your cousin is your hero. You down it, and realize there is way more rye than Coke. This is why your cousin is perfect.

Teeter up the deck stairs because that was some damn good rye. Trip, save yourself by grabbing onto the railing, hear your applause and then take a bow. That could've been a damn good fall, too.

Through your drunken haze, help your goddaughter open her birthday presents. Two is a very important age. Accept more applause for finding her that miniature Burberry outfit on sale. All hail the shopping diva. Watch another child make off with part of the gift. You are too tipsy to chase anyone.

Laugh your ass off watching the Comedy Network. Run upstairs to brush your teeth; get sidetracked by some muttering from your goddaughter's bedroom. It's midnight and she's still up when she shouldn't be.

Look into her crib and find her lying on her back, awake. Cutie pie. "Who's the prettiest girl?" you whisper. She touches your nose and whispers back, "You."

Little girls aren't supposed to be out of bed at this hour, but one hug won't hurt. Oh, baby love. Thank you.

The Men and the Boys: Sandy

A 16-year old knows everything. Everything. Life, love, politics, finances. This is how it is, and this is how it's going to be. End of story.

I'd chosen to stay and take my chances. Why did I do it? Because according to everyone, even him, he was in a miserable relationship. I really, really liked him. I knew he liked me, and he knew he liked me. If you put two and two together, it was obvious that he would eventually see how much better I was, break up with her, and be mine. Throw a horse into the equation, and we ride off into the sunset. Bonanza!

Over the next few weeks, I played my cards strategically. I was very talky. When I saw him, I was very pretty. I smiled, was touchy feely and super attentive to everything he had to say. Even if it was about her. I justified it this way: better to know everything about her and have it come from his mouth, then from someone else. Honesty is the best policy, right?

Totally jaded. But back then, I didn't think so.

Sandy's school was having a Valentine's Day dance that year. Georgia and a bunch of our other friends were going, so I tagged along. I'll admit I had my own agenda: Sandy was going, and so I knew she would be there. I wanted to get a look at the other girl.

I still remember what I wore and how I looked that night, because it took me hours to put it all together. Low rise, slightly baggy blue jeans, and a crazy sheer patterned blouse on top. Underneath the blouse was a black body suit, and on my feet were multicoloured stitch Docs. Georgia had helped with my hair and makeup.

Tragic for the new millenium, but back in 1992 I was smokin', and I knew it. Look out, Sandy. Look out, girly.

My parents drove us to the dance. How embarrassing, but that was the only way I was allowed to go. After I shooed them away, Georgia and I met up with our friends, and then made our way through the main entrance and into the huge school booming with dance music. Those doors opened up into a long hall, which right then was clustered with people. Matt was there with a bunch of the guys, and a bit further down was Sandy. He wasn't alone.

Georgia kicked me in the shins, but I didn't budge. No one knows me like Georgia, so she took my hand and dragged me on over. Halfway there Sandy caught sight of us, and smiled. He looked happy to see me, but she didn't. I guess she'd been hearing about me, too.

Here was the girl that wasn't just my competition, but the girl Sandy wouldn't part with. We looked each other right in the eye. I had assumed she would be a great beauty or have some feature, some trait that would make her irresistible enough for him to stick with her the way he did, but I couldn't find anything. She was pretty plain, in fact. Slim build, brown eyes, long straight brown hair. I won't pretend I wasn't just a bit gleeful to notice she had a few split ends.

Sandy introduced us all. I was gracious enough, but she just shot me a quick (kinda fake) smile, grabbed Sandy's hand and dragged him away. I didn't watch them leave. I hadn't expected much more than that anyway, so I followed Georgia, Matt and our friends inside the gym to get in some good dancing.

Not a few minutes later Sandy showed up, alone, with a sour look on his face. They'd argued, she'd insulted him and stormed off. I didn't press for questions. I was just happy he'd come along, by himself, and was apparently starting to realize he'd been with the wrong girl all along.

After that, he was the same old Sandy. Apparently happy to be there, and apparently happy to be with me. We talked, we walked, we jiggied on the dancefloor to a few fast ones, and only a couple of times did I catch a blank expression on his face that meant he was somewhere else. I told myself he was still reeling from the shock but that in a short while, we would be together.

Sandy and I were standing against the gym bleachers when a slow song started to play; I don't remember which one. I do remember standing very close to him and watching all the other lovey couples, hoping he would ask me to dance. I also remember watching his back as he walked away, weaving through all the people, and finally out the door. I knew where he was going, and I made sure I saw every step he took until I couldn't see him anymore.

I'm not going to do this, I thought, I won't. I'm not going to stick around forever waiting for him to change his mind, getting hurt all the while. I gathered up Georgia, and we left.

Having strict parents worked out to my advantage here, because boys weren't allowed to call me. This was pre-cell phone era too, so with Sandy I'd done all the calling. I knew he would have something to say about what had happened at the dance, but also knew he wouldn't risk getting me into trouble.

I didn't bother dialing his number. I didn't want to hear it anymore, and over the next few weeks did my best to forget about him and move on with my life.

Of course, he had to go and do something completely unexpected.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Handling your Breakup, Day 3

Don't cry. Really, you don't want to.

Weigh yourself after breakfast. You are three pounds lighter. Nothing like good, old fashioned rage for the waistline.

Rummage through your desk. Come across a picture of the two of you. There's a zit on his forehead, but you look good. Throw picture away.

Turn stereo on. Recoil in horror when your favourite station starts playing "Love Hurts". Curse the DJ and his firstborn.

Change station pronto. Stop at, "It's not right, but it's Okay." That's more like it. Sing at the top of your lungs.

Run errands with your mother. Ignore your mother trying to set you up with the butcher's son.

Sniff out a bargain. Buy bedsheets for next to nothing. New bedsheets are required in your life. You know why.

Back at home, dig into your emergency cigarette stash. It's alright, you're just a social smoker. Smoke one in the backyard. Smoke two. Spend the next 20 minutes freshening your breath. Smoking sucks.

Oblige to cuddle when your dog is being sucky. Look him in the eye and scratch his head, then ask, "Do you think we're going to be okay?"

Let him kiss you. You think so, too.

Go back out and buy yourself some flowers.

The Men and the Boys: Sandy

Sandy had a girlfriend. The one guy in the world I had a serious thing for was taken. He liked me, or thought he liked me, and had lied the entire time.

I wasn't too happy about any of this, and spent the weekend with the covers over my head nursing the same agonizing thoughts: there was another girl. He had another girl. He had a girl. He thought he liked me because there was someone else. If it wasn't for her, he'd like me for sure. He'd been holding back the entire time, because there had always been another.

That hurt like hell.

I also knew that I could think things to death, but it wouldn't change where I was now, or what I was going to do about it. What was I going to do about it?

When I was ready to face the world again, or at least the phone, I started making calls. Georgia first. Our analysis was late but lasted hours nevertheless; she too had just heard the girlfriend business and had given Matt hell about it. Then, she'd called Sandy, gave him more hell, and let him know that if he ever hurt me she'd skin him alive.

I love my Georgia. I loved her more for getting the other woman 411. A year older than me, student at an all girls school, also tall, also Eastern European and, according to Matt & Co., a real snot. She snubbed them, her nose was stuck in the air, she didn't even treat Sandy all that well either. He'd gone on and on, story after story, freely using the word B word.

How original.

I asked Georgia's opinion and here's what she told me: "I've seen you guys together. You have something. At least try."

What she meant was, try to win him for my very own.

The next call was to Matt. Apology accepted for stringing me along. Oh yeah, why had that happened again? I was floored by the answer I got: "Because we like you."

Last I checked, people who are liked don't get treated like this. He laughed. "No, you don't understand. We like YOU, not her. We want him to be with you."

Okay, you all like me. I'm flattered. What about him? "Aww, you know he does. He's just too bent over her."

If she's that bad, why does he stay? "No idea. But we'd rather he was with you."

Talk about a fan club.

I made one last call. Sandy picked up almost right away and, before I could even say hello, told me he was sorry. He'd never wanted to hurt me, he would rather die than hurt me, but he had to be honest. He'd been having such a good time, I was so easy to be with, it almost freaked him out he could feel so strongly about someone who wasn't his girlfriend.

If it made me feel better, he said, they hadn't gone all the way. You know, the sex thing. That made me laugh, but didn't change anything. "This isn't right, Sandy," I told him.

"It will be alright," he said. "I don't want to lose you."

I should have run. I should have taken off running without looking behind me, leaving this tangled mess to sort itself out, a mess I hadn't even knowingly been a part of. There were no excuses, really.

But I didn't want to lose him, either. I was 16, and in love. Young, foolish, unabashed love. Love always finds a way.

I made my decision. I was going to stay and fight for my man.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Handling your Breakup, Day 2

Eat a healthy breakfast. In that healthy breakfast is a boiled egg. Avoid smearing it all over dumbass' picture. You would rather eat the egg.

Speaking of his picture, realize you still have too much of his essence lying around. Perform The Great Purge. One big box, everything left of his thrown inside. That's right, thrown. Don't care if anything breaks.

Erase all his e-mail, delete all his contact info, and get rid of his messages you have saved on voicemail. Even the one where he blows you kisses. If this is hard to do, play background music for better distraction.

Listen to "So Much for my Happy Ending" by Avril Lavigne. Cry if you have to. Listen to "Ex-Girlfriend" by No Doubt. Ponder dyeing your hair pink and throwing him out a window.

Wish you had a punching bag. Settle for pushups. Should you still require violence, break an ugly dish.

Clean your bathroom. Use brute force. Admire clean bathroom.

Shower. Use the special expensive Australian shower gel you were saving. You were saving it to smell good for him. You smell good for yourself now. You smell like sorbet.

Watch another movie. Watch Must Love Dogs. Debate the chances of spending your life eating dinner standing over the sink. In the dark. Alone.

Wonder why the fuck you care so much about being alone. You don't need a man. You are Wonder Woman!

Listen to Diane's Lane character say, "He stopped loving me. I don't know what I did or didn't do. He just stopped."

This hits too close to home. Cry.

Watch the happy ending. It's corny. Hollywood is corny.

Daydream about first kisses.

The Men and the Boys: Sandy

Here in my hand, on a slip of paper, was a boy's phone number. A smart, older, seriously cute boy. And he had given me the number himself. Coercion free.

I'll never forget the first time I called him. I waited a few days on Georgia's advice; didn't want to come across as needy. When the time finally came, I sat cross-legged on the floor and had a staring contest with my dad's green Batman style phone. We got to know each other very well over the next half-hour, me and that phone. I didn't so much have butterflies in my stomach, as a twister of gigantic proportions. My hands were clammy, and I felt sick.

Convincing myself for the millionth time that I was being a reject, I finally picked up and dialed. He answered on the second ring and, to my surprise, recognized me right away. I could hear him smiling on the other end when he said, "I was hoping you'd call sometime soon."

I smiled back, and we spent a long while getting to know each other. Our likes, dislikes, friends, school, hopes, dreams. Several times I even made him laugh. What a laugh.

Be still, my beating heart. She's a simple one, and works like this: Yes or No. Right off. One phone conversation, that's all I needed with this boy. Oh, Sandy. Did you have any idea I'd fallen so hard?

Maybe he did have a clue. The next time we saw each other was at Georgia's house, my haven for meeting boys and having any form of a normal, high school social life. Matt was going to be there too, and so Georgia and I had spent the better part of the evening experimenting with tops and eye shadow. When the doorbell rang, we squealed with excitement and ran to answer the door, she through the kitchen and me through the living room.

Georgia got to the door first. I might have beaten her if at that moment, her 1972, gigantic 300lb wooden television set hadn't decided to take me on. It was positioned on an angle and I barreled right into it as she was opening the door, so the first thing Matt and Sandy saw was gorgeous, dolled up Georgia, and me behind her, flying through the air and falling flat on my face.

I laughed, so did he, and when he helped me up I noticed his sparkling eyes. Maybe, just maybe, this one liked me a little bit too.

We didn't see a lot of each other over the next few months, but we talked almost every night. I miss those conversations. It seemed that most of the time I called him, he was doing his calculus homework and welcomed the break. A few months later, he confessed there'd been times where he wanted me to call, and had flipped through his calculus book in hopes that the magic would work.

When he wasn't writing formulas or doing other homework, he would sit on the couch, phone on his shoulder, and play guitar. He had a Gibson and sometimes, I even got him to sing. Sandy knew I played piano, and suggested we team up and play "Imagine" one day.

When we were together, he was always the gentleman. Our progression was slow, snail's pace. He never tried anything and neither did I, though I badly wanted to. Once, he held my hand. For six seconds. Another time, he put his arm around me. I could feel him shaking slightly. Yet another time at a school dance, we spent a very long time by ourselves, outside, in a quiet corner near the baseball field. Never was there a better makeout time or location, but all he did was talk. Fast. He even paced slightly.

Part of me assumed he was shy with girls. Another part of me knew something was wrong.

I got my answer soon after Christmas. I'd spent the break vacationing in Cuba with my family, and had brought Sandy back a genuine Partagas cigar. We met, again, in Georgia's basement and even though he said he wanted to hear everything about my trip, he seemed distant. I asked what was wrong, and his reply was, "I need to tell you something."

Over two hours later, he still hadn't told me. I couldn't understand why, and was practically at breaking point. "You're going to hate me," he kept saying, "I don't want you to hate me." I assured him I wouldn't, could never hate him, and to please tell me what the matter was. He still couldn't do it.

Five minutes before my curfew, I asked Sandy if writing it down would be easier. He nodded, I flipped through my binder, tore out a half-written page and thrust it at him with a pen. He wrote something in it, but made me swear to not look until I got home.

I'd barely shut the bedroom door when I tore open my bag and unfolded that paper. One line was written on it, and here's what it said: "I think I like you."

Think? You think you like me? I was as head over heels in love as my 16-year old heart would permit, and he was still thinking? I didn't understand what I'd done wrong, or what I was doing wrong, or that if he was feeling even slightly what I was, why it hadn't gone further then just, "I think I like you"?

True to teenage girl form, I waited until my parents were asleep and then called Georgia to tell her what had happened. We had to analyze this to death. Instead, she gave me the second half of Sandy's message.

He had a girlfriend.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Handling your Breakup, Day 1


Hug your dog. Accept many licks. At least someone still wants to kiss you.

Follow a friend's advice to flush his picture back to the Underworld from whence it came. Realize the photo is on excellent quality paper and will cause a major clog. Burn it first. Laugh gleefully as the flames nip his heels as he stands on that mountain pass in Greece. You took that picture.

Sacrifice complete, flush mess away. He would call you a psycho for doing this, but then he's the psycho for making you feel this way.

Get dressed in a fabulous outfit. Make yourself pretty. Use lots of concealer. Benefit Lyin' Eyes hides tear streaks beautifully. You know this because you've hidden these tears before.

Shop. If possible, spend hundreds on shit you don't need. Realize this is not possible; spend hundreds on shit you do need. An office lamp, a living room lamp, a black leather magazine basket/case floor thing, and buckets of pina colada mix for your sister's tiki-themed bridal shower.

Realize no one will ever want to marry you, or give you a shower with bucket pina colada mix. Cry some more.

Eat chocolate to make it better. Dark, sugar free, guilt free chocolate. You haven't totally lost your mind.

Remember how mad you are at the world and blare "Du Hast" from the stereo. Put song on repeat.

Play with your dog in the backyard. Accidentally throw his favourite squeak toy into the neighbour's yard. Watch dog become frantic over loss of toy. Cry because you are a bad mother.

Watch War of the Worlds. At least breakups are easier than alien invasions.

Lie on your bed, stare at ceiling. Attempt with every fiber of your being to deflate all evil thoughts of dying alone.

Try to sleep. The worst is over.

The Men and the Boys: Sandy

I was Sweet 16, and about to fall in love. For the very first time.

Sandro wasn't a Sandro, he was a Sandy. My height, dimples, twinkling blue gray eyes. Sandy even had sandy blonde hair, thick and a little wavy on top. He was two years older than me, a student at a very elite all boys school, and the bass guitarist & lead singer of his own band. He liked to paint and wanted to be an architect. He reminded me of a young Eddie Vedder.

Before Sandy met me, he met my picture. That was Georgia's doing. Even though her and I now went to different schools, our friendship was stronger than ever. It was hard not to be taken by cute, bubbly Georgia, and I was fascinated at how she seemed to so easily handle boys. Georgia knew how to talk to them, stroke their egos, and flip her hair in all the right ways that kept them coming back for more. A far cry from shy, bookish me.

Georgia was going out with Sandy's friend, Matt. The three of them got together on a day where she just happened to have a pocketful of pictures from my 16th birthday, and that's how Sandy first saw me. I remember those pictures; they were a few weeks before my actual birthday, on the last day of the school year that June. Georgia and some other friends had surprised me with a giftwrapped locker and a bunch of colorful, helium-filled balloons weighted down with a bag of gumballs. I was very happy that day, and the pictures showed it.

When Georgia ecstatically reported back to me that a very nice, very good looking senior had gone on and on about a) how cute I was, b) how great my hair was and c) that he had tried to steal the picture, I thought she was teasing me.

Guys just didn't like me that way. I knew this, because none had ever been forward about it. And my hair? What was that all about? No one liked my hair, I got teased all the time because of it. Big head, bush queen, static cling and my personal favourite, chia pet. If you're born a Curly Q, you know very well that your hair goes one of two ways: you are either graced with perfection curls from birth that hold until the day you die, or your hair starts out straight and spirals itself one curl at a time, over the course of many years. Guess which formula I got?

And so, I refused to believe Georgia. I refused so much and so well, she actually had to trick me into meeting her after work on a Friday, when she had already planned to meet with Matt. He brought along Sandy.

Georgia worked part-time at a rotisserie chicken place in a strip mall; I must've reeked of the stuff by the time they got there. We were walking along the sidewalk just after she'd punched out when Matt pulled up to the curb. Sitting in the passenger seat with one hand hanging out of an open window, was Sandy.

She hadn't lied, he was cute. He was also very nice, and very easy to talk to. Sandy had this way about him, smiling, casually chatting and touching my arm every so often, that made me feel like I was the only person in the world.

Before they left, he gave me his phone number.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Once there was a boy named Jess. When he was good he was very very good, but when he was bad he was awful.

I'm not waiting around for very very good anymore. I've had enough with the awful.

It still hurts. Not like before, that was a bad unique unto itself. If that first experience did anything for me, it cushioned this blow.

A breakup is the gift that keeps on giving; the knife in your heart that keeps on twisting. Do do do do, rolling on the river. Can't say I wasn't warned, though. You all did your best to tell me like it was, and many others at that. That first time I was more than prepared to walk away without looking back, but there was something in his voice, a geniune caring that I hadn't heard in so long... I thought it would make all the difference. He won me over.

I really did want us to pull through. I really did. What will I do without my Jess, his beautiful green eyes, mischievous grin, creeping up behind me to slide his hands around my waist and kiss my neck? What will I do without my video games buddy on a lazy Sunday, the man who made the best blueberry pancakes in the world, or wrote out a list of 101 reasons why he loved me, as part of my Christmas present?

I will be lost.

Then again, what will I do without all the yelling, insults, guilt, blame, crying, headaches, and constant second guessing?


I could do even more with the hope that just maybe there is a man out there who will believe in me, and an Us, and wouldn't mind making me a part of his life. Very simply, because he would love me.

That sounds good, too.

Last February, I picked up It's Called a Breakup because it's Broken by Greg Behrendt and his wife, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. I read the whole thing cover to cover but, given present circumstances, took it back out for a spin. Once again, the same line caught my attention:

Anyone who assesses you or your relationship as disposable is not worthy of your time or tears.

It is one of my two new mantras. The other is courtesy of Raj: "Enough! Flush him already!"

The judge has spoken, my heart is broken, nooobody knows my sorrow.

I've had my heart broken before. We all have. As shitty as Jess treated me, this isn't the worst my heart has been hit. One before him did an even more thorough job.

I wasn't planning another Men and the Boys so soon, but it's time. Ironically enough, today is even his birthday.

I guess July 25th was never meant to be my lucky day.
It started innocently enough, just like always. We were talking about the dates I would going to Chicago, and I asked if he wanted to see me. He couldn't or wouldn't answer and instead, made a huge, half-hour long fuss about how I'll never change my ways.

Not a good sign.

This went into how no one else in his life is like this, especially at work. He is admired and respected and well thought of there. Goodie for you. I came back with, "They must not ask you heartfelt questions at work."

To which he replied, "Someone today said me she wants to leave her husband to be with me. Is that heartfelt enough for you?"


I don't remember what I said to that. I do remember thinking about it all weekend and wondering, but what did you tell her? And so I asked him that this morning. He hadn't misled her, he said, because office policy forbids dating.

Maybe so, but you were never one to heed the rules. What about your policies?

This is where shit hit the fan. He doesn't have to explain himself to me. My opinion doesn't matter. He is never angry like this and no one else makes him angry like this, just me. He's doing well, he's happy with his life and he's moved on. I just refuse to see that.

Well then darling, let me assure you that right now, it's crystal fucking clear.

Before I hung up, I told him to shove my plane ticket up his ass.
I don't know what song this is or where the lyrics are from, but Jess sent me this shortly after the emotional slaughter of February:

If you let me take your heart I will prove to you
We will never be apart if I'm part of you.
Open up your eyes now, tell me what you see
It is no surprise now, what you see is me

Big and black the clouds may be, time will pass away
If you put your trust in me, I'll make bright your day
Look into these eyes now, tell me what you see
Don't you realize now, what you see is me.

I did put my trust in you. I stopped running after you shattered me so badly, I slowed down and listened. Little by little, I started to believe again that just maybe, there was a tiny chance for a Return to Us.

I put my trust in you, and what did you do with it?

You hurt me again.
When I finally came upstairs this morning after spending an unusually long amount of time in my room, my mother asked if I wanted any breakfast. "Thanks, no."

"Why not?"


"Are you thirsty at least?"


If she noticed my red eyes, she didn't mention it. "Is there anything you need, honey? Can I get you anything?"

"Yes, mummy. You can get me a shot in the head."

She laughed, and I went back downstairs.

I wasn't kidding, though. I do need a shot in the head, because I fell for it. Again.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Miuccia, my love affair with you is a painful one. It looks so good but baby, it hurts so bad.

Whoever invented high heels was a genius. Heels are flattering, confidence boosting, and elevate women's legs to art form.

That same person was also a sadistic pig. Standing for hours in three, often four inches plus can really grate on your feet, knees, legs, back; absolutely everything, in fact. If you see a high-heeled woman doing a lot of standing or sitting still she isn't necessarily being a snob, she could be the victim of fashion torture. Not to mention the ridiculous styles that come from out of left field every few years that everyone just has to wear, like the pointed toe shoe. If I was meant to wear pointy shoes, I would either have V-shaped feet or fly a broom.

As I write this, I am wearing the Miu Mius that were a part of my super grand 30th birthday shopping ode to myself. My Mius are by far the most sublime footwear to ever grace my closet. 4.5 inches of heel on tanned, distressed buffalo hyde strappy sandals, two ropes criscrossing my arches and showing off just the right amount of toe cleavage. They are resplendent, they are dazzling, they transform my piggies into exotic, mysterious objets. If it is possible for a non-fetishist to become thoroughly perverted by her own feet, it happens to me with my Mius.

One small problem: I can't exactly walk in them.

Well I can *walk* in them, don't be silly, it's that I can't walk properly, normally, functionally in them. Miuccia Prada designed these shoes in the darndest of ways: absolutely no platform underneath the sole, not a scrap, and not a breadth of rubber or gription of any kind. Same for the bottom of the heel. While I can understand that such practicalities, um, indescribably *mar* great fashion, it also sends reality straight through the fucking window when you actually try to use what you've bought.

Take me, for instance. I do not have a billionaire sugar daddy with fast cars and door to door service at every establishment on earth. Unfortunately, and who would have thought I'd be wistful for this, I no longer have bleach blonde Salmon barking militant instruction while I trundle the runway. "That's right girls! Right! Left! Right! Less crotch please, we are maw-dells, not whores!"

All I have is myself, my feet and some great shoes that at present, stiffen me up like a hot dog. It's like trying to walk on your tiptoes with skinny bricks glued to your heels. The long way up. Being that I'm already vertically gifted, those 4.5 inchers mammoth-ize me so greatly that there's no room for error.

So, while it's all nice and cute to just sit here and swing my strappy sandalled feet around, admiring their fine form and lustre, I do actually want to wear these shoes in a few weeks and so, practice practice practice!

I think I've gotten better. The first time around, I made it around my room with the gait of a wounded sloth. Just today, I cleared the basement most gracefully while balancing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on my head. Small steps, that's the trick. Maybe in time I'll attempt a snap turn, but for now I'm just grateful I'm standing.

And in my Mius, stand tall I do. 6'2 1/2 to be exact. My goal for that day is to be the tallest in the room. I have a wedding to attend.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Me: Darling, the house is looking marvelous

Raj: Thank you, Kookoo. You know how it goes, a little here, a little there.

Me: How much little here and little there is left?

Raj: A lot of littles.

Me: That's okay princess, it will get done. All in good time.

Raj: What shall we do tonight? Dinner and a movie?

Me: Sounds fabulous.

Raj: James, we're hungry. Go and make us something.

James: Okay.

James meanders over to the kitchen.

Me: Really darling, you forgot to snap your fingers.

Raj: He loves doing this, trust me.

Fifteen minutes later, James emerges from the kitchen with three salads: baby greens mixed in homemade vinaigrette, topped with olives, cherry tomatoes, seedless grapes and Stilton cheese. Everything is arranged on rectangular white platters made from shells, paired with matching chopsticks.

Me: James, this is gorgeous. If you were straight I'd be all over you like a cheap rug.

James: This is just the starter.

Me: Then it's better you're not straight. If I ate like this all the time I'd be a beach ball.

Raj: Which movie shall we watch?

Me: What do you have?

Raj: Thriller? Drama? Romance?

James: How about Elvira, Mistress of the Dark?

Me: Ooo, Elvira! Bad eighties humour!

James: And gargantuan breasts!

Raj pops the movie in while James brings out the second course: roast pork arranged in a small mountain, and creamy pasta.

Me: James, this is intense. How do you do it?

Raj: Lots of good sex.

James: Shh. Elvira's about to shave the poodle.

Me: Dirty!

The Men and the Boys: Christopher

Chris and I clicked over a library book. Barely a month into high school and I was struck dumb by the only ninth grader who was a bigger nerd than me.

A book. It wasn't that we were psycho brainiacs, it was that this was the only book available for our first ever high school project. All four freshman history classes that year were required to present & debate a social issue and, even though I was in the first form and he was in second, we'd both managed to pick the same topic. The Senate: Keep or Abolish?

Go figure not everyone was completely dying to read about stuffy, overpaid men in wigs and so our suburbian school library stocked just the one book. I rounded the left corner of the shelf, tracked the book down and reached out to take it. Chris had come from around the right, and found it at the same time. We'd been too engrossed in ISBN codes to notice each other, but looked up in surprise when our hands simultaneously touched the spine.

It was love at first sight. We threw the book aside and made out passionately, right there in the Government & Politics section. Not quite. Realizing that I was about to lose the one source I needed for that stinking project brought out the fire in me, so to speak, and I turned into a grumpy hag. He, the awkward 14-year old, gentleman all over, acquiesced. This unbelievable boy photocopied most of the book so that I could have the actual one, just to make me happy. I'll assume I looked pretty scary then because before that, I'd never bent any male to my will.

That wasn't what did it, though. After I'd gotten what I came for and was on the way out, I noticed Chris sitting by himself, quietly doodling. He was in his own world and didn't notice me peeking over his shoulder to look at the cartoon he'd drawn of a girl in a telephone booth. He was very talented. And, past the glasses and Dippity Do hair that is the tragedy of most niner boys, he was very cute.

Flat on my face. That's how I went down.

Unfortunately, I was shy. More unfortunately, he was shyer. We moved at a snail's pace, months and months of nothing but hallway pass-bys and hopeful glances. I was happy, though. I was madly in love and had the patience of Methuselah that someday, somehow, we would be together and live happily ever after.

Ain't youth grand?

I spent the majority of ninth grade mooning over Chris and avoiding him whenever possible. So imagine my horror when Georgia, one of my best friends and, as luck would have it, acquaintance of Chris' got sick of my nagging questions and cow eyes, and randomly blurted out to him in the hallway one day, "Guess who likes you!"

Like all teenagers, I totally died. Like all teenagers, I got over it. And then I discovered for the umpteenth time that every cloud has a silver lining when he and I started to talk.

He stopped me one day to ask something about a class. Small. Insignificant. The world. Initial ice broken, the next question got easier, as did the next. Questions became conversations, which over time became longer, which over more time extended to the phone.

Chris was very nice. He kept mostly to himself, but was a joker once you got to know him. He was an artist, aced all his drafting classes, and was very patient that I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend, date, or even go out all that much.

I snuck out whenever I could though, and once, we came pretty close.

Georgia had a cat. The cat had kittens, and Chris and I went over together one day to play with the four little balls of fluff. There's nothing like adorable animal babies to bring people together and before I knew it, I was up against a wall, Chris' hand was on my shoulder and he was leaning in to kiss me. My first.

My heart was going a million miles an hour, my cheeks were flushed, and his lips were a few inches away from mine when Georgia ran loudly downstairs. His face bypassed mine and we snapped back to ourselves, like nothing had happened.

That was our moment. It didn't come again. Maybe we had gotten much further over all that time and gotten to know each other better, but we were still both so shy. We kept talking, had some friendly fights and made up, but never with a kiss. It's hard for two people to make things happen when both are trying to get over the boundaries in their heads.

I changed schools in the eleventh grade. From Catholic to Private, which meant that I couldn't be around my friends but still had to wear a uniform. I didn't want to go to a new school and put up one hell of a fight, but my parents were adamant. They were also the law.

The Tuesday after Labour Day, September 1991, I sat in the backseat of my dad's Seville, arms crossed and tears streaming down my cheeks, feeling very angry and very misunderstood. My new school wasn't too far away from the old one and we took the same main roads to get there, passing right by the bus stop I'd headed to every morning for two years. Here, I'd waited for the bus that used to take me to school.

Chris had waited here, too. The car stopped at the red light right beside that bus stop, and Chris was waiting there now.

The injustice. He didn't see me, and I didn't want him to. I was too upset, and didn't need to add to that with him realizing I was headed in the wrong direction, wearing a gray kilt instead of a green one. I didn't call him that night, either. I knew he'd found out when I didn't show up that morning.

Chris and I still talked every now and then, but the conversations became less and less. I had been determined to hate my new school but actually found it a great fit. I did well there. He and I were young, and situations when you're in high school are different from when you're all grown up. I suppose it's more forgivable that way.

Every now and then, I still think about him. Especially if I see a boy drawing, or notice a gaggle of teenage girls in plaid kilts. I think about the quiet boy in the glasses, handing over that library book.

If only just for a moment, I feel like a girl again.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dear Paint Manufacturers,

Could you do us all a favour and oh, make your colours a little more realistic? Better yet, could you please tell me that of all the whites on earth and the six paintbooks I own, why isn't there a white by the name of Milk?

I love milk. It is one of the most popular whites I know. I find it very hard to believe that there are whites called Mayonnaise, Bleach Bone and Natashquah - just what is a Natashquah? - and yet there is no white called Milk. While I hesitate to paint my walls Mayonnaise, favourite condiment of sandwiches everywhere, I would dearly love to pair the Cappucino colour with some milky white stripes. If I put real life milk in my cappucino, why can't I pair them on my walls?

Furthermore, if you don't have plain Milk, you could at least have Steamed Milk, or Froth. As you can see I've read a few directories, but my Cappucino remains untopped.

I must congratulate you on Van Deusen Blue, though. Imagine my pleasant surprise in finding that it is a perfect complement for my bathroom. I sincerely look forward to having my commode walls named after a constipated Austrian baron.

Incorrigibly yours,

Yet Another Interior Design Buff

Friday, July 21, 2006

This moment of inspiration and deeper thinking is brought to you by my blog. Take the weekend to read, ponder and comment on this:

If you could do something that made the world a better place, but knew you would have to die to make it happen.... would you still do it?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Going back to school inspired me so much, I went the extra step to knock another challenged off my list. I called another school: driving school.

Welcome to All $ave Driving School
Learn correctly the first time
Courteous Instructors
Easy Payment Plan
Coffee & Treats
Free Pick Up

Not exactly the place I had in mind, but the first three I called were booked for the summer. I'd be a liar if I said the coffee & treats part didn't freak me out just a little. The coffee part isn't so bad, but treats? I can see it now:

Instructor: Look how well you parallel parked! On the first try! GOOD GIRL!


The instructor flicks a biscuit; I catch it with my mouth.

It's not easy being a 30-something and admitting that I need driving school, especially because I already have my driver's license. Believe me, it's even more embarassing taking lessons when you're already certified. I've never been one to share my water bowl; sharing a brake is way beyond my scope of giving.

How did all this happen? After all, I started out good. I started out great. Got my license at 17, and was the only one in the family to pull it off the first time. Dad passed on his second try; Moms and Oli took the test three times.

I didn't do much driving for the rest of high school; my parents believed in studies, not a social life. But, when it was time for me to choose which university I'd be going to, Dad handed me one heck of a fat catalogue. To my raised eyebrows, he said, "Cars. Pick any one you like."

"On what condition?"

"Live at home."

It was very tempting, but not what I wanted at the time. I thanked my Dad, gave him back the catalogue and come September, moved away to school. I've never regretted my decision.

Didn't do much good for my driving, though. Years went by, and I didn't drive. Whenever I was home for the summer me and Oli did everything together, so we just took her car. Then when we worked together with Dad, we'd take her car again. More years went by. I lived in Europe without a car and, when I came back here, lived in the city. When you live five minutes from a subway and all major stops to everywhere, you really don't need a car.

I did save up many times for a downpayment but, once the money was in my hands, that insatiable little travel bug started buzzing in my ear. Oh, I gave in to some marvelous times. Call me irresponsible, but then I've never regretted any of my journeys, either.

So here I am, at the ripe old age of 11,335 days and counting, without a car and in need of, shall we say, "refresher" lessons. Mortifying. Last I remember, I swore like a truck driver and loved to speed. Here I come, All $ave.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Learn how to turn a manuscript into a book, a report, or other document. Editing, design, production, sales, marketing, printing - master all the skills involved in this complicated process through the Certificate in Publishing.

I am going back to school.

In my erratic path of self-discovery and in the hopes of crossing that pesky "Get a New Job" pixie off my list, I have enrolled in the Publishing program at my old university.

To the dear friend of mine who stated at this news, "What the hell, you're not educated enough?!", I have to admit that there are some provisos. Since I do have a life to make happen, I am going back part-time. I already have two degrees and at present, no desire for a third, even if it is a certificate. Unless I go completely bonkers and start foaming at the mouth for the love of publishing, I have no intention of finishing this certificate.

Why do it, then? Because I have to start getting serious. Even though I have good skills and great ideas, nothing I'm doing right now has any guarantee of a career. And because once enrolled in your first class of this eight course program, you're given access to the internships and jobs database available to students.

That sounds pretty juicy to me. I majored in Honours English for my first degree, which completed Journalism, my second degree. Words, man, all words. Publishing fits nicely in there.

I registered yesterday, at the main building I haven't set foot in for five years. The last time I was there was with my family and friends, wearing a blue cap and gown, all smiles, holding a degree bedecked with a big gold seal. I was very happy, and very finished.

I never thought I'd be back, not this way.

It was nice at the same time, though. I went in through the emergency exit I always used before to avoid student traffic, and it still stuck. You'd think it would have been fixed by now. The halls were still dark brown and tacky 70's orange, and the one escalator in the entire school was still rigged 10 speeds too fast. Lord forbid you were ever late and had to run up or down that thing; at the end it would cough you up like a breadcrumb and send you flying a extra few metres.

The official at the registration desk, a few years younger than me, asked about my history with the school since I'd checked off the, "Have you ever attended classes here before?" box on the form, right before assigning me a student number. Instead of giving me a new one, she tracked down my old number in .03 seconds flat: 992967638

I had to laugh. The last time someone gave me this number, I was convinced this would be the end of my educational road. I was a single girl about to meet her boyfriend, and a fat girl on her way to being thin. The last time I had this number, in this place, I knew I was on the path to something wonderful.

Here's to Version 2.0. Cheers.
I don't own the box set of Sex and the City although many times I've been seriously tempted to run out and get it; unfortunately other things take precedence right now, like furniture. Luckily I do have the last season, and in it, a truth that is clearer than crystal.

In "The Post-It Always Sticks Twice," Charlotte gets engaged, Carrie gets dumped via a sticky note, and the girls all go to a funky club. While getting dressed for the club, Miranda notices something poking out from her closet:

"And speaking of No Excuses, there they were. Her skinny jeans. The jeans every woman keeps in the vain hope that someday, she'll fit into them again."

Oh, yes. Yes yes, yes yes yes. If you are female and haven't enjoyed the perfect body every single day for your entire life, you know this all too well. Somewhere in your fashion haul is that pair of jeans from yesteryear that shaped your ass into perfect, perky cantaloupes, made you walk with a strut, and gave you all the power in the world.

My tale is a little more twisted. I did have this pair of skinny jeans I used to fit into, in fact they were in my closet for years. After losing that pile of weight awhile back I tried them on and was ecstatic when they fit again... but somewhat less thrilled when I saw just how seriously out of style they were. High waisted, acid wash, tapered at the cuffs, the works.

Out of my closet they went, and I haven't missed them. But then, I couldn't not have skinny jeans to look forward to, and so I bought a new pair. I've never worn them in real life, but in fantasy world, look out mama. I'm smokin', I'm hot, I'm unstoppable in my dark denim, low rise Rock & Republic jeans.

There's more.

Inspired by a fellow blogger that freeing myself of clutter would free my mind to concentrate on the more important things in life (thanks b!), I started a mass delousing of my basement suite that led me to a forgotten place.

On the top shelf of my closet, behind a dozen or so scarves - I have a scarf addiction - is a jumble of clothing and accessories that I have sworn off of until I'm thin. Unlike more normal people I didn't stop at skinny jeans. I gave myself an entire nook.

Some I can't fit into, and some are pieces I'd rather wear when in a "reduced" state of being. The Rock & Republics are there; a short leather poncho with an exotic stone and a couple of feathers on it; a Cora Kemperman sleek black coat with a leather tie around the waist that I picked up in Amsterdam. A handful of my favourite t-shirts: a fitted, baby blue long sleeved Theory with white bands around the upper arms, a Project E turqoise baby golf tee with two rhinestone X's, and a long sleeve white with a Breakfast at Tiffany's graphic on the front. Independent designer.

There's the gorgeous green and gold silk pashmina wrap a friend got me from Rajasthan, a totally outrageous Giselle Shepatin red and black ostrich feather boa that I picked up last year at a Cirque du Soleil show, black leather boots with a white stripe down the sides, a chain link Stella McCartney evening bag, and one of the cutest outfits ever: chocolate brown Capri pants with shells on the belt, and a white, short-sleeved wraparound blouse.

There's just one more thing in the nook that totally outdoes the skinny jeans: a white and green Burberry mini skirt. I absolutely love this skirt. I love the fabric, I love the print, I love holding it up, admiring it, and I love knowing I picked up at 65% off. I also love it because I know it'll be dazzling on me when the time comes.

When the time comes, when the time comes. Does that make me a hopeless dreamer? Maybe. But having my skinny things in my skinny nook doesn't make me feel bad, it makes me feel good. It gives me a future, and something to pull towards.

If anything, it shows I have fabulous taste.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

20Q is the new millenia's answer to 20 Questions in a colourful little tech ball. Think of something, anything, and at some point or another (usually another), 20Q is bound to guess what's on your mind.

I know what you're thinking! TRY ME! Think of something! Ready?


Is it an animal? Vegetable? Mineral? Other?

No. No. No. Yes.

Does it make sound?


Is it usually colourful?

No. Although that could be a sometimes.

Is it smaller than a loaf of bread?

Depends on the loaf, really. Yes.

Does it get wet?

Well definitely yes, but not in the way that you mean. No.

Hmmm.... Are you trying to confuse me?

Wouldn't dream of it.

Can you buy it at a store?

Interesting store that would be. Nope.

Would you use it daily?

Oh yes.

Is it usually visible?


Do you know any songs about it?

Scores. Yes.

Is it outside?

Absolutely not.

Can it fit in an envelope?


Is it something you bring along?

That can't really be helped. yes.

I'm gonna win!

I'm sure you are.

Does it come in different colours?

Well, wouldn't that be original. No.

Do you use it at work?

Yes but it's not a stapler. Therefore, sometimes.

Do you clean it regularly?

I would if I could, but no.

Is it man made?

And woman made. Sometimes.

Is it your heart?


That was easy!

No. It never is.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Today was a bad day.

It was hot, my leather messenger bag stained my white blouse, and it seems like every person I know in the world is engaged, pregnant, promoted, or being stupendously happy in general.

With my l'il black raincloud on top of my head, I took myself & my grumpy thoughts into a very air conditioned mall, where I settled onto a bench to regroup. I was alone for all of a minute when a powersuit settled in beside me, with her fresh cup of Starbucks.

God, I miss coffee. It's been months since I've had any. The aromas wafting over might as well have been the devil, and being so miffed at the injustice of my day, I actually wanted to rip the cup out of her hands and guzzle it down like a woman possessed.

Fortunately, my desire to not be thrown in a jail cell overrode my want of her coffee. Unfortunately, that made me even more grumpy, and I made do with one last, miserable glance at her coffee. She had it turned to the side in such a way so that I could read this:

The Way I See It: #71: The minute you decide to settle, you end up with less than you decided to settle for.

Inner drama. Questions. For one, how do you know when you've settled? Will you know when it's too late, or are there some kind of warning bells?

With that said, how do you even know if there's more out there for you, so you don't settle for what you're with?

And with that said, why do relationships make us so scared all the time?

Why do I even think of relationships when I read cup #71?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Calorie Chronicles: The Atkins Diet

Barely a year back from Prague, my size eight waist had reached an epic 16. I wanted it gone, and fast.

It was my cousin Maggie who introduced me to Atkins. Usually a super svelte size six, Maggie gained over 60 pounds when she was pregnant with Jinny, her firstborn. I'd never seen her like that before. Over the course of a few months though, she was back to her original size just like that.

I was beside myself and asked how she'd done it. "The Atkins Diet," Maggie replied, and showed me the book that had worked its magic.

The Atkins Diet theorizes that low carbs conquer all. There are four phases to the diet: Induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance. Each is special in its own way, and has certain characteristics and commands of you, the dieter, to understand and gain the necessary steps to stay thin and healthy for life.

The Induction Phase is the first, the full intent of it being to get your body into a quicker state of ketosis. This is the metabolic stage when your body is burning fat. During the induction, your intake is limited to 20 grams of protein per day, which can include several types of meats, some cheeses, and select vegetables. It is not unusual for dramatic weight loss to occur at this time.

Maggie suggested I try the induction for two weeks. This is what she had done, and during those couple of weeks, had lost 14 pounds. Her husband had lost 20. "It doesn't come off little by little though, at least it didn't for me, " she claimed, "but at the end of those two weeks, all of a sudden, I'd just dropped a bunch of weight. You have to see it to believe it."

I did want to see it, so I ran out to the grocery store to prepare myself for two weeks of Atkins induction. I bought all kinds of protein, and started the 14 day first phase with the dedication of a champ.

I didn't make it that far. On the morning of the fifth day, I woke up in such unbelievable pain, I couldn't even stand.

My kidneys were screaming. The pain was so intense that I was curled up in the fetal position, shaking and sobbing with the panic and urgency of it all. My usual, recurring pains were a dull, slow feeling, nothing as crazy as this. The last time I'd felt anything so bad was pre-surgery, when I was 11 years old.

I was living with Jess at the time, and as you can imagine, he was mighty freaked. I was too preoccupied with how badly I was feeling to make the connection, but he was clearheaded enough to put two and two together. He did some quick online research to confirm his suspicions, called my mother to ask her some questions, and then ran out to the corner store.

Jess came back home with a box of crackers. Not just any box of crackers, but the brand with the highest percentage of fiber content on the nutritional label. He brought the open box into the bedroom, sat me up in bed, and started feeding me crackers.

I didn't want them. I was on the Induction phase, and determined to lose weight. This was going to ruin everything, but Jess was insistent. "You'll feel better, I promise," he said, and practically forced the first one past my lips. After that was chewed and swallowed, he gave me another. And another. He kept persuading me to eat cracker after cracker, until most of the box was gone.

By then I was too full to continue, and Jess was satisfied with how much I'd eaten. That said, he thought a nap would be a good idea, and tucked me back in bed. I did manage to sleep for a bit, and when I woke up, lo and behold... I felt so much better.

When I was able to stand up again and slowly shuffle into the living room, Jess showed me some of the research he'd done. I would love to put here what he showed me, but I couldn't find that same info. I'll have to rely on the Skinny Bitch girls just one more time:

It is a complete myth that we need a massive amount of protein. Too much protein - especially animal protein - can impair our kidneys; leach calcium, zinc, vitamin B, iron, and magnesium from our bodies; and cause osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. In addition, high amounts of protein can damage our tissues, organs, and cells, contributing to faster aging. Yikes!

It was necessary to tell you my story, so you can understand the full implications of what dieting this way will do to you. While the Induction Phase is only temporary, and I'm sure the Atkins Diet doesn't condone eating like this over long periods of time, I'm more than positive there are scores of people out there who abuse this system just for the sake of losing weight.

Don't be one of them. Because my kidneys are weak, they can feel every little thing. Just because you have healthy kidneys and can't feel anything, let me assure you, that does not mean nothing bad is happening.

My red flags went up at day five. Imagine what's happening to you by day 14. Even worse, at day 28, or 42. Imagine what damage you could unknowingly be inflicting upon yourself, just because you want to be thinner.

You don't need it that badly.

I don't need it that badly. I have since been Atkins free, because the lesson I learned on this diet was the easiest lesson of all.

I learned to never do it again.
History was built on a loaf of bread. Here's what has to say about it:

Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods, dating back to the Neolithic era. The first breads produced were probably cooked versions of a grain-paste, made from ground cereal grans and water, and may have been developed by accidental cooking or deliberate experimentation with water and grain flour.

The Neolithic era was the last part of the Stone Age. Boy, that's old.

Bread has played a huge role in the structure of civilizations: warriors came home to it, travelers packed it in their satchels, farm animals were fed its scraps. And, we all have some form or another of bread that has fed us for centuries. South America has tortillas, the Middle East has pita, Europe has buns and loaves in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The Asians may not be as bready as the rest of us, but dumpling dough is its own form of bread. And, all that rice surely qualifies for something.

Enter the low carb, no carb phenomenon of the past five years or so, and the greatest, most basic sustenance of all time has become a pariah. We have been brainwashed into believing that we should abandon carbs of all kinds because it is better for us. Even worse, they've made it a dietary thing. Once these carbs are gone from our systems, we will lose weight.

This is a half truth. Yes, some carbs are bad for you, because even though "carbohydrates" is one word, it refers to two very different things. Or did you already know that? There are Simple Carbohydrates, and Complex Carbohydrates.

I am not a nutritionist, so I'll let some smarter people take over. Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin of the book Skinny Bitch give us these useful tidbits:

Simple carbohydrates such and are as nutritionally beneficial as toilet paper. They are mostly made up of sugar, which releases too quickly, almost voilently, into our bodies, causing "super highs" and then "crashes." This tends to leave us feeling hungry, so we eat more. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are comprised of starch and fiber and release graduatlly, providing a steady source of energy. They make us feel full and satisfied and are easily broken down to release their energy. Shitty simple carbohydrates include white flour, white pasta (durum semolina), white rice, and white sugar. These are the bad boys that give all carbs a bad reputation.

Fascinating, don'tcha think? It gets worse.

For some asinine reason, food manufacturers decided that we wouldn't buy their products unless they were white and soft. So they took natural grains, like brown rice and whole wheat, and stripped away all their nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to achieve the colour and texture change. This refining process totally compromises the nutritional integrity of the food - all for appearances. So companies then add these nutrients back into their refined, milled foods and use terms like "enriched" or "fortified." But there's no use trying to fool with Mother Nature. Our bodies cannot absorb these added-in minerals with the same ease. Tragically, most cereals, pastas, rice, bagels, breads, cookies, muffins, cakes, and pastries have been bastardized in this manner. Pay attention to how your body feels when you eat these foods. Chances are you'll notice moderate to severe mood swings and energy surges and losses.

Coporations have single handedly fucked up our carbs for us, which have helped to make us fat. And then, other corporations spent billions in advertising not only telling us this, but convincing us to eat their carb-free products instead.

Truth is, we need carbs. Also say the girls of Skinny Bitch:

Carbohydrates are compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and they are vital for providing energy for our bodies and brains. Without them, we would be comatose zombies. When we eat food, our bodies turn the carbohydrates into glucose for immediate energy and the rest is stored as glycogen for the reserves.

Did you hear that? Vital. One more source and I'll shut up with the quoting. If any of the above didn't sway you, then maybe will:

Mistakenly thought of as fattening, grain products can easily fit into a healty-eating plan without necessarily leading to weight gain. Excess calories are what lead to weight gain, not simply the carbohydrates found in grains or other foods. However, watch out for grain products laden with sugar or fat - such as pastries, dessert breads and croissants - as they're high in calories and provide few nutrients.

As children, we were handed out those food groups charts for a reason. Funny how kids seem to get it and adults don't.

In plain English, eat your damn carbs.

Here's a little list to help you: good carbs are potatoes, beans, vegetables, lentils, whole wheat breads and pasta. Bad, bad carbs are peanut butter cookies, butterscotch scones and angel food cake.

You need carbs, you should eat carbs and trust me, you will still lose weight when they are properly incorporated into your diet. If you're still not sold that you need carbs and fiber as part of your healthier lifestyle then by all means, keep reading.

I'm about to convince you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I was born with a defective bladder.

Before I go on, I want you to know that I do not like talking about my health. Not one bit. If it were up to me, I'd skip the whole subject altogether, but what I'm about to tell you over the next little while has everything to do with your better health.

To tell this story effectively, I have to include my own history. Here goes.

I was born with a defective bladder or, more specifically, a defective ureter. Here's your five cent anatomy lesson: your kidneys filter all the body's wastes and liquids, then release them into your bladder, where you pee them out. The tubes connecting your kidneys to your bladder are called ureters. Make sense?

Hospitals and doctors in the 70's didn't have the same levels of tolerance and understanding that they do today. Add to that equation frantic, immigrant parents with a poor English vocabulary, and it's no longer a mystery as to why it took years to diagnose me. According to Oli, I cried constantly when I was a baby, I was always sick, and I was always being taken to Emergency.

I can tell you exactly where my kidneys are located in my body, from all those years they were hurting. They still hurt sometimes, but nothing like back then. I remember days where I couldn't even stand up straight from the pain. Because of this, everyone assumed that my kidneys were the direct problem, that they weren't working properly, and so I was put through test after test after test.

If there had been more x-rays and less tests all those years, they would have found it much sooner. When I was 11 and taking roughly 27 prescription pills per day, my doctors ordered another x-ray, and were shocked to discover the size of my kidneys.

Normal kidneys are roughly the size of a five-year old's shoe. My left kidney was the size of a grown man's hand, and the right was the size of a bean.

In the plainest terms possible, here's what happened: the valve of my right ureter was being a broken two-way door, as opposed to a properly functioning one way. When everything is filtered out of your kidneys, goes through your ureters and to the bladder, it can't go back up. In my case, it did. The wastes burned my kidney again and again and, over time, shrunk it down to nearly nothing.

The left kidney saw that the right was in trouble, and could no longer handle its 50% load. Through the miracle of adaptation and the mechanism that is the human body, my left kidney grew to a mammoth size, and took on the extra work.

Your kidneys function half-half. From left to right, mine are at 85% and 15%, respectively.

Shortly after my 12th birthday I had surgery. The ureter was fixed, and I managed to avoid the worser things: dialysis, a transplant, death. I am very lucky.

The existing damage can't be undone though, and there's a long, long list of things I can't do: high risk, full contact sports; drinking obscene amounts of liquor, and having my own children is a big If. Remember my time at the Dead Sea? I'll never be able to swim there, for fear that osmosis will take in some of that insane salt content, and overwork my kidneys.

Every now and then, the pain comes back. About once a month, I'd say. It's okay though, it's a part of my life and I accept that, I just try to follow the rules and do what's best.

Now, why should my shotty kidneys have even the slightest impact on your life? What's it got to do with you?

Care to venture a guess?
Today's phone conversation with my sister:

Oli: Okay, I've gone ahead and booked that pedicure place for me, you, the other bridesmaids, the mothers and overseas girl cousins for the day before the wedding. We have the option of food at a small extra cost per person, per platter.

Me: Yeah, they had some pretty good sounding stuff for group parties, what were they again?

Oli: Vegetables and dip, fruit, apples and caramel sauce, mini quiche, spring rolls, hummus and pita, caprese salad skewers, and rosemary crispbread with hot artichoke parmesan dip.

Me: My vote is on the rosemary arti-parma bob.

Oli: Yeah, that sounds really good. Should I have two platters instead of just one?

Me: Variety is the spice of life, and they're not expensive.

Oli: Okay, so what would you like besides the rosemary crispbread then? Pick one, whatever you want.

Me: You can never go wrong with mini quiche.

Oli: Yeah, but I don't want to have two carby platters.

Me: But that's the only other one I really like. You said I could pick whatever I wanted.

Oli: Choose another and I promise we'll take that one.

Me: Okay, the spring rolls.

Oli: Oh not that one. I don't know if they'll be to everyone's taste, especially our European cousins.

Me: They're cultured girls, they'll be fine.

Oli: Still, we can't do the spring rolls.

Me: But you said...

Oli: Pick just one more and I promise we'll take it.

Me: The hummus!

Oli: Are you crazy? Do you want everyone to be gassy at the wedding?

Me: They won't be force fed bean puree for crying out loud, it's just a bit of hummus!

Oli: No hummus. I was thinking...

Me: What were you thinking, Oli...

Oli: The vegetable platter with dip.

Me: But that's so heinously boring.

Oli: EVERYONE likes vegetables, you can't go wrong.

Me: That's what I said about the mini quiche.

Oli: So do you like the vegetable platter then?

Me: Well I really wanted the quiche...

Oli: The vegetable platter it is! That's the perfect choice, sis, I'm so glad you came up with it! Now we have to pick some drinks. I'll read you the list and you pick two of whatever you want.

Me: How about you pick two of whatever YOU want.

Oli: Don't be silly, these choices are all about you! Okay, here's the list...

Me: (sigh)
Decor update: I was so happy about the coffee table, I just added the matching end table to my invoice.

It's coming along, kidlets, it's coming along.
Don't start your new life with diet. Start it with exercise.

I know that the word "diet" is practically a nazi term and should never, ever be used. Diets are failure, change of life is success. But let's be honest: to lose weight, we must change our eating ways. And changing our eating ways can be some pretty tough business.

It's so, so hard to be a good, healthy person when we are tempted all the time, every day. We have apples, oranges, vegetables and nuts, but we also have cake, cheetos, and hot fudge sundaes. Fruit salad is always nice, but nothing, nothing says hot summer days like ice cream.

Willpower is a hard thing to have, especially when you're starving after a long day and want something quick, or you're with friends and they're all digging into a pizza. Your new lifestyle gets put off one day, then two days, then a handful of years have gone by. If you'd only been good.

Yesterday always seems easier to correct than today, no?

Here's what I've discovered: I have absolutely crappy willpower when it comes to great food. However, once I've exercised, I don't want to eat.

Why is this? Because I don't want to undo the good I've just done.

I noticed this after a good rollerblade around the block. I've always loved inline skating, and it has become part of my slimmer me program. My snacking is the worst in the evenings, I can go without almost all day, but then fill up at night. The worst thing to do.

A few nights back I went for a half-hour skate around the neighbourhood, and came back complete with sweat stains on my shirt. It was a very, very good workout. My adrenaline levels were up, and the energy was coursing through my body. I felt very, very good.

I wanted to keep feeling that way. I didn't touch another morsel that night.

Point being, that when you can really feel the difference working in you, you really try your best to keep that difference going.

Exercise I must. While exercise itself is not hard for the most part, making it a habit is.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My darling readers,

You are the wind beneath my wings. I e-mailed Tosca Reno, ass genius, with The Butt Book entry I wrote not a few days before, and here is her reply:

So well done Fat Girl Who Is Not Going To Be Fat Anymore. The little book that could, The Butt Book, has gone into its third printing. Who would have thought? I know it works because my butt was definitely non-existent and definitely wouldn’t make anyone look twice. I was laughed at for being too skinny and then too fat. Now look who is laughing. Isn’t success sweet revenge? I’m having the time of my life. I hope you discover success with my book. Let me know how it’s going and you can use this message on your blog if you would like. I invite you and your readers to write me for advice at this email address.

I’m always listening,

Tosca Reno

Well, what are you waiting for? Start donkey kicking!
Friends, my decorating life has gotten a tiny inch easier. I have committed myself and made the purchase of the hour: a coffee table. It's a very nice coffee table, too, and best of all, I got it on SALE.

I have a sudden flurry to see my place all polished and pimped out, and here's the 411: Vicki, my friend, tenant and fellow bridesmaid, has gone off on African safari, and has returned the keys to my loft. It is empty, it is free, it is mine. Furthermore, we've just had news that a tiny slew of relatives will be coming down for Oli's wedding in September, and I am obliged to play hostess.

Do you know what this means? It means I have a rather truncated time schedule in which I must turn my little box into an eden. A spanking new contemporary loft, with just a touch of old world class.

Old world French class. First I wanted an Indian twist, a Buddha here or there. Then I thought, straight contemporary is the way to go. If anything, it's the easiest. Until I started watching the Home & Garden Network.

If you want to add some spice to your life or totally confuse yourself with a multitude of new ideas, watch some decorating shows. I guarantee your life will become all that much more complicated in the most beautiful way. I was perfectly happy doing what everyone else was doing before the Home & Garden Network came into my life: stainless steel appliances, brown everything else. And while I still have plenty of brown (can't help it, love the stuff), I want some heres and theres that will make my space come to life.

Interior design is such fire. If you're not an artist and can admit as such, decorating is your way to be one. Take me, for instance. The only way I can draw a hand is to trace my own on a piece of paper, then add some nails and knuckle creases. Even then, it always looks stupid. With decorating though, your home is your canvas. Pick a style, research some colours, and you may wind up pleasantly surprised.

For the most part, I've been pleasantly surprised. So far. I've done the "accent wall" thing and painted half my place a really, really deep chocolate brown by the name of Ebony Velvet. I'm in love with the colour. All not Ebony Velvet walls are Feather, a white with the teensiest dark orchid tinge. My bathroom has deep blue tile with white walls, about to be changed. and my den is a baby blue by the name of Blue Jacket.

At first I was enamoured with Blue Jacket, but I've decided that the jacket is out of season. I want the room pinstriped - stay tuned.

And here's the furniture I have so far - a gigantic, light brown ultrasuede sectional, and my bed. Espresso coloured wood with a chocolate brown ultrasuede headboard. I don't have a thing for ultrasuede, but then it does look nice. I promise, no more. My funky little antique armoire that I told you about awhile ago, and now add to that collection my pretty new coffee table: Back to my coffee table: two tier, meaning there's a level underneath to stack plenty of junk (books in my case), dark brown wood all, and the top overed in black leather. Less than half price for being a floor model, which I think is just swell.

My little vintagey French hotel touches? A white shag rug, a really old typewriter that I got at a garage sale years ago, a gorgeous astrolabe, a tiny little chandelier made of brushed brass and crystal beads, some old laundry signs to go on the bathroom door, and a handful of black and white photos I bought years ago on the Charles Bridge.

Charming. Thus far. It makes me nostalgic for Paris, minus the smell of cat pee.

I don't know how this will all work. It could be incredible, it could be recipe for disaster. I love uncertainty, don't you?

Monday, July 10, 2006


This was an ad I responded to a few days ago. I have a little marketing experience, even littler sales experience, but plenty of promotional, so I tried it out. Within an hour of hitting the "Send" button on the e-mail, I was called in for an interview. I bought me some nice brown heels, got all dolled up, then made the journey across town for the meeting.

Sign #1 that things were about to go terribly wrong: The weather. It was raining cats, dogs, monkeys and elephants. It was raining so hard that the entire left side of my body was completely soaked in the short walk from the train station to the building across the street.

Sign #2 that things were about to go terribly wrong: While I was in the lobby waiting for the elevator, a teenage girl dressed in pinstripe and glitter from head to toe says to me, "Ma'am, do you know which floor suite 462 is?"

That was where I was headed. I was tempted to ask her what summerschool class she was skipping and then read her the riot act for calling me ma'am but instead just told her, "I'm guessing it's on the fourth floor."

Sign #3 that things were about to go terribly wrong: The secretary at the reception desk was bopping to some very, very loud bhangra music.

Sign #4 that things were about to go terribly wrong: Being asked to fill out a form that asked if I'd had any prior convictions. While I can happily circle NO in such cases, these kinds of jobs usually don't have very exacting standards.

Sign #5 that things were about to go terribly wrong: Looking around the waiting room, and realizing that it is full of kids. Wearing jeans.

Sign #6 that things were about to go terribly wrong: The interviewer is also younger than I am. He leads me into his office, I have a seat, and he starts the 411 with, "So, where are you from?"

That's a first. I'd think it was pretty obvious. "I'm from here. Where are you from?"

He smiled. Lot of teeth, this boy had. "Salt Lake City, the office just transferred me a few months ago."

After hearing that, I was tempted to ask his views on polygamy and if he watched the show Big Love, but thought better of it. "I've heard Salt Lake City is very beautiful."

"Yes, it is." He flipped through my resume. "You're very well educated."

Damn straight. Probably better than you. "I find education such an integral, enriching part of life, especially in these times. My schooling was very important to me."

"Would you be able to start immediately?"

You wicked thing, we've just met! "Of course. I'm a quick learner and always eager to be hands on as soon as possible."

"Why are you looking to leave your current job?"

So the corporate underbelly that you are a part of can continue taunting and raping me. "Growth. I feel I've gone as far as I can go in my present job, and would like to really like to feel that I'm more on the path towards a career."

Salt Lake City cleared his throat and started taking notes with his shiny cross pen. "Well, that's certainly understandable. Do you consider yourself a people person?"

No, I'm a hermit. I had to be heavily drugged to even make it down here today. "Of course. I find it very easy to talk to people and they find it very easy to talk to me. As you can see, my journalism background would help enormously with this aspect, as I am experienced with interviewing people from all walks of life, and making them feel at ease in my presence."

"On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, where would you rate your people skills?"

A fucking 20, asshole! "Oh, definitely a 10. I'm very outgoing."

"Are you capable of working in a team environment?"

Once I'm severely beaten, hosed down and locked up in a straitjacket, I'm a heck of a lot of fun. "Definitely. I find it so refreshing to meet and work with others, not to mention build upon each others' ideas."

"What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?"

Was he serious? Taxidermy, food fights and naked trapeze. "Well, I do love to read. I've traveled a fair bit, photography, writing and of course, spending time with my dog."

"Have you checked out the company website?"

Oops. Bad girl. I hadn't done that. Think fast. "Under normal circumstances I would have, but my computer has been on the fritz for the past few days, so I had it taken in for repairs." A little white lie couldn't hurt.

Salt Lake City kicked back, and started his schpiel. "I'll tell you a bit about the company and the job, then. While it's not exactly what you would call telemarketing..."

Shit, lord, fuck. This is telemarketing. Things have now officially gone terribly wrong.

"... it is a very sales driven, people oriented workplace. We hold events across town that we always receive free tickets for, and promote these companies by finding customers and attendees. What you would do for us is meet with people and really drive sales pitches, convince them to be a part of things. Does that make sense?"

Yeah, I get it. Glorified telemarketing. "Yes, it's all very clear."

"So what we're looking for is energetic people, and team players eager to make a difference. Are you with us?"

Honey, I jumped ship a long time ago. "You betcha!"

"That's what I like to hear! Do you have a problem starting at entry level?"

YES. "No, not at all."

"Obviously you seem very mature, and are... more ahead... of our usual employees. Since you're looking for a career out of this, we would eventually be promoting you to team trainer, and then office manager, which is my current position."

Woohoo! I get to be just like you! "That sounds very promising."

"Our starting salary is two dollars more than minimum wage. Are you okay with that?"

I am so not okay with that. "As long as I have opportunity for corporate and career growth, I'm fine with that."

"The work hours here are from 10am to 8:30pm every day. Would that be a problem?"

No, I truly plan on quitting my current job to be your slave at half the money and double the hours. The smile that is plastered on my face is fake as all hell, and I'm nodding not out of excitement, but because I can't believe what a moron you really are. "I'm a quick learner and can adapt to any work environment, hours included. I'm flexible."

"Well, I have to say that I'm pleased with your enthusiasm and it's highly probable that you'll be getting a callback. I'm looking forward to having you join our team."

And I am looking forward to my next tetanus shot. "The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for the opportunity."

I might have left the office a little too fast. Hasta la vista, Salt Lake City.

What is the moral of this story?

Check the company website and, for pete's sake, take extra band aids when you're wearing new heels.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Words of Wisdom should be cherished.

Every here and there I read a really good kids book just to free my mind from the usual grownup litany, and the latest on the shelf is Kate DiCamillo's, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

Without giving away any of the plot, here are a few lines that tugged at me:

"Open your heart," she said gently. "Someone will come. Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart."

The door closed. The sunlight disappeared.

Someone will come.

Love is heartbreak. Life is heartbreak.

Why should this make any difference to me, any difference at all, if there wasn't a grain of truth to it? That somehow I could learn, that we could all learn, to open our hearts and invite love back in?

If only it wasn't the hardest thing in the world to do.

The Men and the Boys: Gabriel

Gabriel, Gabriel, wherefore art thou, Gabriel?
Deny all others and embrace our flame
Cherish me over all others above
And I'll be yours forever

It didn't quite work out like that, did it?

We grew up together, you and I, seeing each other almost every day from senior kindergarten until the last hour of eighth grade. For most of that time I thought nothing more than, "Hey, Gabriel, or, "Look, there's Gabriel." You were a boy and I was a girl, but for the most part, that's all we ever were to each other. Kids.

Then it happened. Complete and utter metamorphosis, at least on your behalf. You'd spent the summer in Italy and entered the seventh grade two hours late, walking through the door not the scrawny boy of months before, but something else. You were a head taller, all shaggy hair and pouty lips, bedecked in a bomber jacket and Doc Marten boots. You brushed a rogue lock of hair off your forehead, and 16 girls collectively stopped breathing.

So cute. So, so cute. I fell for you like a ton of bricks. Along with everyone else.

Of course you paid me no attention, as you liked your girls small. I believe 5'3 was your cutoff? I didn't stand a chance. Tell that to a 12 year old hopeful though, who knew more about love through books and television, then through experience. I thought that if I stuck to my guns and showed you how great a person I was, you'd slowly start to realize that I was the one for you, fall desperately in love with me, and make me your girlfriend.

I believed and I hoped and even prayed so hard, that something wonderful actually happened. I won the needy girl jackpot when our class seating arrangement was scrambled up, and you wound up next to me. I think the teacher thought I'd be a good influence on you and your lacking GPA.

I was elated, and positive that sooner or later, you'd like me. And indeed you did. Especially when I let you copy my homework, test answers, or do your assignments at the last minute.

"C'mon, " you would say to me, "I really need your help. Please."

"I don't know, Gabriel. I really shouldn't."

"Call me Gabe," you'd say, and flash me a brilliant smile, brushing aside that hair again, that perfect, shiny, "don't hate me because I'm beautiful" hair. And I did it. I did your assignments, your book reports, and even covered for you when you were late, because I liked you that much.

I was such a dumbass. But through it all, I held on to the steadfast hope that everything I was doing would put you on the path to a golden, happy us. True love conquers all.

We all have to have our fairytales shattered sometime, right? You were it, the harbinger of doom, smashing away at my flossy convictions when, after everything I'd done, you played such a cruel practical joke on me that I ended up crying.

It was a long time ago and I regret to say I don't remember what the joke was. But I do remember sitting next to you during math, hiding my face and the tears, wondering, why? How could you? While all you did was snicker.

Bastard. Cold, sly, heartless bastard with the face of an angel. Our relationship wasn't totally with its lessons, though, and here is what I learned with you:

1) Don't judge a book by its cover. Something that looks so good on the outside, isn't necessarily all beautiful on the inside.

2) Love by service isn't love at all.

3) Revenge is a dish best served cold. I still let you copy off my tests, but made sure you had all the wrong answers.

Sucked to be you.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Butt Book

Tosca Reno is a great piece of ass. She has a bum so perfect, so well proportioned and muscled in all the right areas, it makes me want to slide my hands up those cheeks and give a good squeeze.

It's not just an ass, it's art.

It's little wonder that after highly admiring Tosca's rear end, I purchased her masterpiece and offering to all us regular women in the hopes to achieve the same, brilliant posterior, The Butt Book.

Girls who want better butts buy The Butt Book. I want a better butt and its subtitle and claim, How to Build a Non-Cellulite and Fat-Free Butt in 9 Weeks, had me sprinting to the cash. Anything that can get me better buns in two months and some change has my attention. And, best of all, The Butt Book is basic. Eat right, exercise, and use these key moves for the behind of your dreams.

There are five plus one of these moves: kickbacks, hip thrusts, squats, walking lunges, mule kicks, and butt squeezes.

Butt Book: A Kickback, or leg raise, involves standing with your feet together, hands on hips, then lifting one leg behind you, squeezing your muscles until the leg is lowered. Repeat with the other leg. Within a couple of weeks you should be able to do three to four sets of 15 reps.

Me: Lord have Mercy, who would think something that sounded so simple could hurt so much? I got through a few of them okay, but by the time I got to ten I was teetering so badly I had to grab onto something to keep my balance. Must. Keep. Kicking.

Butt Book: With hip thrusts, lie down on the floor with your hands beside you. Draw your knees up and raise your bottom as high as you can, squeezing all the while.

Me: Once you get over the fact that you look like you're pelvicly thrusting in a Richard Simmons wet dream gone wrong, this is one of those exercises that you can't live without. Work it, girl!

Butt Book: To do squats, stand with your legs shoulder width apart, hands on hips, and sink slowly to the ground until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Back flat, head up and hold for a count of two, squeezing at all times and rising back up to your starting position.

Me: Ah yes, we all know these. Squats are evil incarnate. You look like an idiot, you feel like an idiot, you're sticking your ass out like a two-bit whore, and it burns like hell. When all is said and done, I'd better be able to bounce pennies off my cheeks after endless, accumulated hours of this.

Butt Book: To begin your lunges, stand with your legs together, hands on hips, keeping your knees soft and contracting your rear. Take a step forward with one leg, leaving that foot flat on the floor, bending the back knee of your other leg towards the floor. Return to your original position, and repeat with the other leg.

Me: If squats are evil incarnate, lunges are the minions of Lucifer. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. I need them. Ouch.

Butt Book: Let's do some Mule Kicks! Get on your hands and knees on the floor. Back flat, head up, elbows locked, feet and knees together. With one foot flexed and knee bent, lift your leg as high as you can, squeezing your behind. Hold for a couple of seconds, then draw the leg back down and under you. Do ten counts, then repeat with the other leg.

Me: I look like a friggin' donkey. I'm so embarrassed that I'm actually doing these in the basement with the curtains drawn. Did I mention that they hurt like a bitch?

Butt Book: Your mystery exercise is one that you can do anytime, and that is to give your buns a tight squeeze every time you take a step.

Me: This is all fine and dandy, and I did try these with the best of intentions, until my right cheek cramped up and I made a scene on the subway platform.

I feel great! My ass doesn't. It feels like saltwater taffy, pulled and abused in all the wrong ways. I know one day it will purr and say, "Thank you, Mommy," but right now all it can manage is a weak, pathetic, "Uncle".

Thank you, Tosca! Eight weeks and six days to go. Want. Tight. Buns. Must. Keep. On. It.