Oh Me Oh My

Monday, November 28, 2005

Couples Need Not Apply

Relationships. It's normal to want to be in one and it's normal to feel a small pang of jealousy when someone close to you has found a good one. That said, it's also pretty great to be single, and it's next to impossible to have that recognized as a valid choice. If you think Valentine's Day is a well-fabricated gougefest, you're seen as as bitter. If you are of a certain age and not married or seriously attached, than the pressure to chain yourself to someone else becomes overwhelming. People who aren't ready or just plain not suited for relationships give in to the pressure, and then people are shocked that over half of marriages end in divorce and that infidelity has become so mundanely everyday.

Couplehood does not automatically equate to happiness. My sister was an abuse counselor and trust me when I say many, many people would be far happier on their own. I go absolutely apeshit when people I know dwell on their single status like it is some kind of deficit on their personal being. Solid relationships are great, sex is awesome, a companion that cares and listens to you is something everyone wants, but why the pressure to find all this in one person!? You have friends, you have family--embrace them, since they will most likely stay with you well after your current partner is another brick in your emotional baggage.

That being said I would like to propose an idea. When one of your single friends starts a new relationship, they get SIX'd (Self-Imposed eXile). Let's face it, when one of your friends starts seriously seeing someone the complaint is always the same: "When he/she started seeing him/her they just disappeared". Why not make this a reality? The new couple want to spend obscene amounts of time together and making time for friends becomes harder and harder. And from a buddy perspective, the pressure is on to create some kind of friendship with the new guy/girl, all while withholding judgment and vomit at their consistent and completely unnecessary PDA; not to mention the constant reminder that you are still single, and until we as a society accept that as okay, it bites.

The process of getting someone SIX'd would actually be rather pleasant. There would be some kind of Going-Away party where your single friends would gather and wish you the best, followed by the ceremonial "Deletion Event" (phone number, MSN contact, e-mail address etc...). After the party the newly-coupled friend would cease to exist to his or her old chums. Any contact while still coupled would result in a brutal admonishment and a punishment of equal severity.

Now before you go writing this off as overly-harsh, think about it for a second. The relationship can bloom now since the two have entered in a sort of conjugal banishment--needing to rely on eachother alone for companionship with no outside influence budding in with their two cents; what could forge a more powerful relationship than that? As for the PHUN (Pals Hapilly Unattached Network) friends they are made stronger since their dedication and time is more centrally allocated. The friendships will grow deeper and the lack of surrounding couples will relieve them of any unwanted pressure to pair-off.

If and when the exiled friend returns, it can be assumed that the relationship went sour and he/she will be re-integrated into the group as though nothing had occurred. The PHUN friends will not have to feign interest in the rise and fall of the couple since they were never involved to begin with. No more awkward "How is so-and-so doing" followed by the pained expression and explanation that "we're actually not seeing eachother anymore". This is not just beneficial to the members of PHUN but to the returnee as well. Not having to talk about the breakup and being surrounded by single friends who are more often available to go out, will help make whats-his/her-name a distant memory in no time.

On occasion a friend will not return to PHUN. In this case they have most definitely met "The One"; be happy for them and consider the wedding the re-evaluation period. Upon meeting the new spouse one of two decisions can be made. The friend and his/her significant other are introduced as FANs (Former Friends, Acquaintances Now), which is to say they can be present at very large functions or accessed as friends by new exiles from PHUN, but FANs are never ever to be used as a stand in for PHUN. Doing so will automatically result in being labeled a BITCH (Betraying Ingrate who Treated Chums Horribly). And you don't want to be labeled a BITCH, that kind of label will follow you to all PHUN groups and it's pretty much a one-way ticket to eating Swanson's alone at home for life.

The other decision is to graciously cut the ties that still bind you to the formerly PHUN friend. There would be some sort of understood sign: perhaps a small 'X' across the seal of the wedding card which requests that the newly hitched couple make no further contact with the giver of the gift; simple and sweet.

Since this whole re-structuring would obviously take place after certain couples have already formed they would be seen as exempt from the rules, since the times of awkward integration have already passed, but any future courtship would be seen as fair game.

I think it is win-win for all concerned.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Like Carnival in Your Nose

My absolute favorite word in Portuguese is cocai­na, pronounced (Coke-Eye-Een-Uh). It makes the drug sound like so much fun. Nobody wants to do blow and plain old coke sounds so tired, but a party's not a party without cocai­na. Every time I hear it I feel like I should snap my fingers and shout Arriba!

Let me put this in context. I was watching a Brazilian soap and the conversation was brilliant. It was a serious discussion but they said cocai­na so many times it was hilarious. The following has been translated from the original Portuguese:

Maria: Sofia's husband has been selling cocai­na to make ends meet!
Rosinha: Cocai­na! Dear God, does she know about the cocai­na yet?
Maria: Ricardo has kept his cocai­na dealing secret, but with something as big as selling cocai­na she will find out sooner than later.
Rosinha: Sofia is my sister and I feel that she should know about Ricardo's involvement in the cocai­na world.....cocai­na.
Maria: Why did you say cocai­na twice just there? cocai­na.
Rosinha: You just did it too...you said cocai­na, cocai­na...I mean Maria...I mean cocai­na.
Sofia (who has just walked in): What's this about cocai­na?
*worried expressions all around...Rosinha is about to speak, divulging the dark secret to her sister when suddenly...*
Announcer: **HEY EVERYBODY it's cocai­na time!!**
*The chiquita banana woman and a giant bag of smack come out of nowhere and start salsa dancing with the sisters*

Well that last part didn't happen but it would have made it a lot cooler.

P.S. I don't endorse the use of drugs, especially cocaine...mainly because Trainspotting scared the shit out of me.

_-_----**** The More You Know _-_-_---

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rogers vs. Bell: Clash of the Functionally Retarded Titans

Rogers and Bell are both Canadian communications monopolies. They're huge! Everytime you call someone, surf online, pick up a magazine, watch a program, they most likely have their hands in it. And much like anything that grows more than it should, it becomes too big to manage and pretty much goes to shit. My Communications Prof once said "As soon as you add a third person to an organization of 2, you get problems, add another and it gets worse". Imagine how bad it gets when the organization has thousands upon thousands of people to deal with.

To me the physical embodiment of this is those people who grow like 9 or 10 feet tall. You would think there would be advantages to being that big but instead of a powerful giant you get a hunchback with motor skill problems. It's like the organization is a cat and each new service or media outlet is another morsel of food and they keep cramming more and more down until the cat looks like Popcorn (My friend Crystal's cat, not the snack food) and then what do you have? A fat surly monster that doesn't move and puts you on hold for 24 minutes! Fuckin' Bell!

So in summary when organizations get too big they become grotesque, chunky, inefficient very tall cats.

I write all this because Bell fucked up my internet--completely their fault, and they can't even fix it until December. The alternate is Rogers which goes down more than an aspiring model waiting for her big break. ACK!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Embracing My Inner Jew

Plotz, Shmooze, Chutzpah, Klutz, Nosh, Maven...Am I the only one who didn't know these were all Jewish words? Sure 'Chutzpah' was obvious and maybe 'Plotz' but the others were a surprise to me. I was going through a dictionary of words and phrases and realized that linguistically i am more Jewish than Portuguese.

Aside from "Canadian" when someone guesses my cultural background they almost always guess Jewish. I went to a Jewish school and have dated my share of Jews. I don't look anything like my sister so the only conclusion I can draw is that my parents kidnapped me from Thornhill before my bris and have raised me as their own ever since.

Oy Veh!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Like a White Trash Gypsy

Showbiz parents as a rule tend to freak me out. It is one thing to like to watch your kids perform and maybe put them in the occasional talent competition; it's another thing entirely to quit your job and dedicate your life to their commercial success. The parents themselves are always really scary:

From Joe Simpson who watches Jessica's interviews and butts-in whenever he dislikes the questioning (cut the fuckin' cord dude), to Matthew Knowles who made Destiny's child practice their childhood away. In one of those VH1 shows Beyonce is talking about how they wanted to go swimming once against his wishes or something and as a result they got sick and Matthew went apeshit and made them practice harder and longer for weeks. I know it was supposed to show that he made them driven for success but it just made him seem kinda barbaric: I don't care about your fever--GET THE STEPS RIGHT!!!

The person I feel bad for is poor Lynne Spears. She invested everything she has in her daughter and now Britney's gotten too big to be kept under control. Every time I see Britney's white trash marrying, barefoot washroom going, faux-lezzie kissing, crap restaurant buying, vegas chapel using, chicken wings at her wedding serving ass I think, why the fuck doesn't Lynne step up and give her daughter the beat-down she deserves. But how can she? Britney is her living nest egg.

Unless you want to go the way of Aaron Carter's mom or Angelina Jolie's dad than you just have to shut up and stay on their good side 'til the cheque clears, her career disappears and you can write the tell-all biography. Until that happens you will happily go to your daughter's misguided wedding escorted by some guy in a track suit labeled "PIMPS". You will remark that hamburgers at the reception is such a wonderfully unique idea and when your guests have to pay for their own drinks at your multi-millionaire daughter's wedding you'll smile and try to laugh it off. Then as her marriage predictably falls apart (as is apparently happening now) you will console her, comforted in the knowledge this will make a killer end to chapter 9.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I Never Win Anything

Every time there is any kind of prize giveaway or lottery I will inevitably hear a few of the losers say, "I Never Win Anything". Apparently no one ever wins anything because everyone alive seems to have said this at one time or another...except for me. I never say this because in fact I have won stuff on several occasions and I would like to say that it's really not all it's cracked up to be.

For every 40 million dollar jackpot or new 12 bedroom house, there is millions of "free pedicures" won by Freds and Roccos, and almond treat gift baskets won by people with severe nut allergies. Most of the time you end up spending more money than you want to, at a store you normally don't shop at, because you won a gift certificate there. If you don't win big it's almost guaranteed you'll win stupid: Single Richard will win the Mary Kay gift set and vegetarian Anna will win the GrillMaster's Steak Guide. They will give away their prizes and will resent the bitch down the way who won the DVD player.

Case in point, today at a charity raffle where pretty much everyone wins there were prizes like a telescope, a cordless phone and paid vacation days. There were even lesser prizes that were pretty good like coffee baskets, gas certificates and calendars--myprize: a framed picture of boys playing hockey. Seriously? Boys playing hockey. Because if there are two things I love it's children and sports. The prize could literally not be suited less for anyone alive. But this is only one of a history of prize disasters:

STEREO: I know what you're thinking, how the fuck is a stereo bad? It isn't. The thing is, it was for my brother-in-law's stag party raffle so I bought an obscene number of tickets to support the cause. It's a nice stereo but I'm moving into a shoebox and have no idea where I could put it anyway, so I'll probably end up selling it for less than the raffle tickets cost. Awesome. Plus, I won one other prize that night: A DVD copy of National Lampoon's Gold Diggers starring the incomparable wife (ex-wife?) of Ian Ziering...Whats-her-face Ziering. I think that speaks for itself.

FABUTAN PACKAGE: I'm sitting at home and the phone rings, the conversation that follows is pretty much exactly what transpired:

Naomi: Hi, my name is Naomi from Fabutan SunTan Studios, I'm calling for a Jamie.
Me: Speaking
Naomi: Hi Jamie, I'm just calling to let you know you've won a 200 minute FabuTan tanning package.
Me: Oh Great *pregnant pause*...why?
Naomi: The ballot you filled out at our North location was chosen in a draw.
Me: I've never been to a tanning salon.
Naomi: Well the ballot you filled out was picked, so you can redeem it at any of our locations.
Me: I didn't fill ou...
Naomi: Have yourself a great day. *click*

I'm a pasty mother fucker and burn like kindling in the sun so this made no sense to me whatsoever. I was going to Portugal and wanted to get a base tan anyway so I decided to take the opportunity. I had to pay a base membership fee and had to buy some suntan shit but thought it was worth it since I had all these free minutes. I went to two sessions and stopped since it became clear lying in a tube baking under artificial light was not working for me...that and the dry skin it caused made me feel like an itchy leper, dry humping anything I could use to scratch every part of me at the same time.

The good news was the prize was transferable so I was going to sell my leftover 184 minutes to a friend. I went in a few months later and my account was empty. Turns out it was my sister who had filled out the ballot. She'd used everyone's name she knew when she was filling them out in case her ballot was drawn twice, and when she discovered I had won she used all the remaining minutes. I can't blame her since it was technically her prize but once again winning something actually ended up costing me money. Great.

JACK-O-LANTERN: My Grade 4 class spent the day before Halloween carving a pumpkin. At the end of the day the teacher put our names in a hat and the lucky person picked would get to take the masterpiece home. I wanted it so bad since my parents never got a jack-o-lantern I thought it would be such an awesome surprise and then Ms. Bristow called the name--Congratulations Jamie! I was so excited, it was the first time I'd ever won anything in my life. I was so excited in fact that on the way home I got on the wrong school bus. There were all these unfamiliar faces but I didn't really notice until there were very few people on the bus and the truth dawned on me. Out of embarrassment I got off at some random stop and waited until the bus drove away before I started randomly walking around.

Picture a scrawny little 8 year old boy, velcro shoes, unmatching buttoned shirt collar sticking out from under his sweater carrying a behemoth pumpkin around in a Loblaws bag whose handles had ripped off. What was originally a fun prize I couldn't wait to being home became an unbearably heavy burden. As I walked up the streets not recognizing anything (I was a 25 minute walk from home but I was new to the neighborhood) I began to think I would never get home and no one would ever see the jack-o-lantern and it was too heavy to carry anymore so I did what any intrepid young boy would do: I started crying; openly and without shame. Luckily some high school girls found me sobbing and walked me all the way to my house. By the time I got there I hated that overgrown squash and lamented ever winning it in the first place.

So you see next time you proclaim, "I never win anything" remember, winning really isn't everything--often it leaves you empty or broke or alone on Guildwood Way holding a giant gourd.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


At www.telvisionwithoutpity.com (my website de jour) they recap episodes of TV shows with enough sarcasm to keep you neck-deep in snark for days. This always works best on reality shows because as we all know these people are "characters" and have no feelings, so ripping into them is jolly good fun. I was reading a recap of the America's Next Top Model recap episode (still with me?) and fell in love with the author because she broke into a fantasy sequence which is something I do a lot while watching reality TV, to the point I am pretty sure I have some attention deficit issues.

In the episode a small, seemingly retarded bird gets into the house. They name him Mr. Bojangles and a way-too-long sequence ensues of the girls chasing it around yelping and laughing and shouting like they just found a unicorn or a pot of gold. At one point someone inquires, "Maybe it wants to be America's Next Top Model". the recapper then imagines what the competition would be like if a sparrow was allowed to be a contestant:

Tyra: There are two lovely top model contenders in front of me, but I only hold one photo in my hands. One of the girls standing before me has all the potential in the world. She's beautiful, she's tall, she has the best body here. She impresses the judges week after week in person, but she can't translate that into fierce photos. The other one standing before me really cares about her physique. She hops around and eats only seed. She gives 100% and she can turn it out in a photo, but the judges aren't sure if the world is ready for a blind model who stands a mere three inches tall. But Mr. Bojangles, you get another chance to prove us wrong. Thanks, Kyle.

I was dying after reading this because my friend Sean and I do the same thing all the time--especially with America's Next Top Model. One of my favourites is when Jayla steals Nik's secret and uses it in her commercial. When one of the other models notices, the conversation goes like this:

Kyle: Wasn't that your..?
Nik: Yeah, whatever. That's just the kind of person she is.
Kyle: That wasn't cool
Nik: It's fine, it'll come back to her--Karma's a bitch.
*enter previously unseen model looking catty and filled with sass*
Karma: Fuck you! You don't fuckin' know me!
Nik: No Karma I was talking about Jayla.
Karma: Don't give me that shit I heard my name you slut-ass liar.
Nik: I meant karma as in the cosmic...
Karma: Say my name again and I'll cut you bitch.
Nik: Karma, you don't underst...
*Karma shanks Nik with a shiv hidden in her afro*

Something both Sean and I are always laughing about it is how hard the judges are on things the girls have no control over like lighting or unforseen elements in the photo:

Tyra: Let's see your best picture.
*picture is displayed and there is a huge bee on the model's face*
Tyra: I don't like this shot, you look really scared.
Nigel: I really don't like that bee thing you're doing with your nose.
Model: I'm not doing anything, it was an actual bee...maybe a wasp.
Tyra: That's the problem. I feel like the bee is wearing you instead of the other way around.
Model: Um...I'm actually really allergic to bee stings.
Tyra: You can't place the blame on the photographer, or the outfit or the bee.
Model: Last time I was stung my face broke out in these painful blisters.
Tyra: As a model it is your job to make that look fierce.
Model: I don't follow
Tyra: Fierce!
Model: That didn't make any sense.
Tyra: You're welcome

For an extra treat watch the opening credits of the current season (cycle 5). It features the girls turning towards the camera as their name flashes on the screen. Most of the girls have the standard model face: half asleep, half angry, but check out Sarah, she looks like Nosferatu. I swear her mouth looks like she's ready to drink plasma. If you see her fingers slowly clasp a wall before she enters a room, RUN LIKE HELL! Plus her shoulder blades are really huge so I'm pretty sure she's hiding bat wings under there.

Man it's easy to criticize people I'll never meet.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Lethal Combination

On Thursday I took my friend Alan out for dinner for his birthday and decided to order the enchiladas. My history with Mexican food is not good. My friend Earl and I used to frequent "El Sombrero" relatively regularly. It was always tasty and the portions were huge but afterwards we each went our separate ways home. We knew better than to stray too far from a familiar facility that could *ahem* accommodate the aftermath. As a result we just didn't eat much Mexican anymore.

They say women forget the actual level of pain they experience during childbirth which enables them to want to give birth again, and I would say the same applies to me and Mexican food, but even more so, to me and uncooked baked goods. From the the tragic Pillsbury Cookie Dough incident of 2002 to the infamous Guelph "Brownie Batter Blizzard" debacle, I just don't learn my lesson. My body does not process these things well and the combination of stomach cramps and overwhelming desire to poo that lasts for hours is unpleasant to say the least. This Thursday I was introduced to Ben & Jerry's "Half-Baked" Ice Cream which has both cookie dough chunks and brownie pieces...and this was after having the enchiladas. Needless to say when all 3 of my food intolerances get together it's the frickin' chernobyl of the my gastrointestinal system.

I think Thursday's experience is best described as a comparative visual: Picture a long sturdy bridge stretching over a river. That bridge from one point to the other represents the journey of food through your system and the water is the chemicals involved in digestion. The cheese on the enchiladas turns the sturdy bridge into a rope bridge. The cookie dough makes that bridge swing and shake and slowly come undone at the edges and the enchiladas themselves turn that flowing river into raging rapids....of lava. Let's just say on Thursday the rope bridge did not hold and I was plunged into the river and each time I thought I could swim to shore I fell a little deeper and ohhhh... the burning.

So please, if you see me eating any of the aforementioned in the future, especially in combination, I am granting you permission to slap me or at the very least drive me to a Shopper's and mix me up a pepto smoothie because the call to go south of the border is my siren song and I am weak...so so weak.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

WATN: Judy Winslow

We all know the tragic tales of most child stars when we ask Where Are They Now? So and So checked into rehab when he was 13, whats-her-name got into a knife fight at a club and is now serving the last 2 of her 7 years. Though we occasionally hear about these cases, they for the most part end up becoming housewives, or taking everyday jobs or doing off-off Broadway productions and we never hear from them again. Then there are the unique cases of child stars who go and do something totally unexpected, or strange or just surprising, and those are the ones I will feature in my WATN blogs.

I was flipping through pages dedicated to sitcom stars from the 80's and early 90's and came across Jamiee Foxworth who played Judy Winslow on "Family Matters". I always wondered what happened to the character since it seemed she just disappeared or as IMDB.com puts it, "One day Judy went up the stairs and never returned". Apparently the show wanted to focus on her sister Laura and felt poor Jamiee was a distraction so she was unceremoniously excised from the show--no farewell, no goodbye, just a deletion.

As I scrolled through her other film and TV credits I noticed she was credited as "Crave" and not Jamiee Foxworth, and then I noticed the titles of some of her movies: "More Black Dirty Debutantes 32" and "Booty Talk 20: Superfine Sistas". That sucks. Not only did she end up resorting to porn but it's not even good high-budget stuff, it's one film in a series of many by the same name, so it's pretty much just skanky girls shkeezin' it up for the camera. She can't even deliver lines. Apparently she is retired now and has found Jesus or some shit but rumor has it she is still doing it on the side. I feel for you Jamiee and I'm not judging; if starring in the upcoming "Paradise Poon 23: Nubian Princess" gives you what you need, then I say Bravura!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hallowe'en: Scary for All the Wrong Reasons

This past Sunday was the first hallowe'en party I have been to since I think grade 10 or 11 and after that bucket of industrial-strength lame I kinda stopped doing stuff on hallowe'en, but I think the person who threw that party reads this blog, so it was awesome and I had a really good time. Sunday was a hoot and I was so happy to see that most people put boatloads of effort into their costumes and that everyone I knew who went dressed up. Though there were awards given I felt some catergories were overlooked:

Most Creepily Accurate:
Lou did an awesome job as Peewee Herman. He had the clothes, look and even the poses dead-on. It was more than a little spooky and I kind of expected Pterry the Pterodactyl to make an appearance and have Jambi grant some wishes. Mecka Lecka Hi Mecka Honny Ho!

Most Disturbing:
It wasn't that Earl was prancing around in a pink top and mini purse or that as you can see in this picture Dora the Explorer has a thing for Coors Light--it was the socks. Earl got the color right, but when he took off his shoes they were revealed to be Spongebob Squarepants toe socks...clearly manufactured for tiny feet. Earl wears like a size 14 shoe or something so Spongebob's face was stretched to the extreme...and did I mention they were toe socks. Earl's feet and his wiggling toes as Spongebob's terrified face looks like it's about to rip in half; that image will haunt my dreams.

Most Misunderstood:
I didn't catch his name but Sam's date (nice guy) had a cool costume he created by stitching together 2 looks: One was a business suit and tie, well groomed hair and nice shoe, the other was spiked hair a high school T-shirt and Jeans. I remarked that it was a very poignant costume that illustrated physically what the average twenty-something feels: torn between the safety and comfort of childhood and the fear and inevitability of our adult selves. He told me he was Jekyll & Hyde. My reaction: "Oh" and then I grabbed a Twix and walked away.

Best Couple:
I really couldn't pick. Rob and Mary (Rory?) were hilarious as Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod. You can't tell from the picture but they had the "Participaction" logo and "Body Break" all over their track suits. It was brilliant. Brennifer worked really hard on their costumes and poor Jen was bummed when she didn't win an award for her Listerine ensemble which I thought was pretty kick-ass. So instead of a Value Village trophy for Track & Field achievement in the 1977 regionals, you get a shout out in my blog. That and a quarter will get you a phone call.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

She is NOT Amused!

My mother saw me laughing hysterically while I was watching SNL Weekend Update and asked what was so funny. I repeated the joke (losing most of the humor in the translation):

"A new poll indicates 66% of Americans believe Bush is doing a poor job. It should be noted the other 34% believe Adam & Eve rode dinosaurs to church".

My mom just sorta grimaced and walked away and now I understand why. She's always criticizing me for losing my faith: "If you don't believe in God, you are just like the animals" and has always wondered where I went astray and now she knew. The enemy was a glasses-wearing jezabel named Tina Fey. She also noticed (but I don't think understood) the joke where Tina Fey says, "Pope Benedict will be attending the premiere of the miniseries Pope starring John Voight in the title roll...this is because John Voight's daughter is Angelina Jolie, and even the Pope wants to tap that".

Add my laughing at catholic jokes to my long list of indiscretions: I never ate enough veggies, I sat way too close to the TV and she now knows I drink to get drunk--i'm afraid she'll disown me soon. I was going to go as a priest for halloween. I could have taken tons of pictures with Louroz and Peter who both went as Boy Scouts.....and then I could have packed my bags and started looking for an apartment.