I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Holy moly

Given my uneven success with matters of employment, I’ve decided to branch out and look beyond my background into other fields. There are several that peak my interest, but there is one I think I'll try: becoming a member of the sacred cloth (and I'm not talking about cashmere).

Before anyone begins to roll their eyes, remember that if you’re a priest, you…

Get to live rent free.
Work close to home.
Have minions to do your menial tasks (and not complain about doing them).
Wear black all the time (it’s slimming and always in style).
Preach from an alter.
Perform on stage (with a band and background singers!).
Have an audience worship you and listen to your every word.
Get to judge others and make them work off their penance.

And, of course…

Have plenty of sex! SEX! SEX! SEX! Practically all the time.

This last statement isn't blasphemous in the least. I mean, you study in a place called a seminary! What the fuck is up with that? All you need is a condom and some lube and you're ready for anything. Sodom and Gomorrah? The priesthood practically re-enacts orgiastic scenes from Caligula, for chrissakes! What’s not to love?

I’m signing up right now.

Note: Happy 35th birthday, G.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Complimentary compliments

Whenever someone is about to throw a sucker punch, your body reacts in a manner that is reactive, especially if the hit is out of the blue. The eyes close, the mouth tightens, the head turns and the body pulls back.

My body reacts the same way when someone gives me a compliment. It makes me cringe on the inside and visibly wince on the outside.

I have never been one to take compliments well. I know what and when I do well. If someone tells me I didn’t fuck up, then I know I did a good job. Compliments about my appearance are even worse. I know when I look presentable, and when I don’t. I own a mirror, and my mirror doesn’t lie (unlike people).

Compliments are supposed to make you feel good, but they don’t have the same effect on me. It may sound twisted, but from my experience, it makes perfect sense because compliments always mean something else.

When I was young, I used to tell my mom she was pretty when I wanted something. It didn’t always work when she was walking around in her nightshirt with her bedhead, but it was worth a try. Unfortunately, my mother could always see through the crap and didn’t like the smell of it.

She knew there was another motive behind my words. And, in turn, she taught me the same thing. Plain and simple.

Now, I am aware and my crap-o-meter is always on high alert, verifying whether there’s a stench in the air. When I wince, I’ll know the reason why is because someone sucker-punched me with a compliment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Birthday babies

There are clothes everywhere I turn. They’re cute, well-made and reasonably inexpensive for something so seasonally dispensable. I don’t even need to look at the labels because I already know the designers: Dora, Winnie, and Mickey, are some of the names I recognize. Children weren’t as well dressed when I was a kid, that’s for sure.

My mother and I are perusing the aisles of the children’s section - looking for something for my new niece who’s only a few weeks old - because we didn’t have anything to do after I treated her to a birthday lunch.

After she picks out a couple of outfits, she starts up a conversation that I am not expecting.

“It seems I’m only going to buy clothes for little girls,” she begins with a sigh.

“That’s not bad.” In fact, I think little girls are easier to dress and they’re prettier, too.

“I guess I’m never going to have a grandson to get things for.”

“Why not?” I look at her with a quizzical expression. Just where is she going with this? I think.

“Well your sister already has two, and I don’t think she’s going to have any more.”

“She can have more.”

“I guess I have to find someone who can get me a grandson.”

“Well, for the right amount of money…” I lay out my hand, and rub my fingers together, as if they have bills between them.

“It’s up to you, then. Can you get me a grandson?”

For some reason, I don’t think she’s talking about adoption. But, since it’s her birthday, I go along with the conversation and play dumb, convincingly.

“I can get you one, but it won’t come cheap.”

“You can make me one.”

Great. She already knows my thoughts on marriage, and the reasons why I won’t take part in something that has a failure rate greater than 50 per cent, so she’s bypassing that and moving straight to grandchildren.

“I don’t know if you forgot, but you need two people to make a baby.” I don’t mention the fact that I don’t have a uterus because my mother hates words for reproductive parts of the anatomy.

“Go find someone.” She stretches out her arm, as if to say they’re everywhere.

“It’s not that easy, you know. You can’t just find someone to make a baby.” That’s a lie, of course. Babies can be made in several ways, but I don’t mention that, fearing she’ll start to plan the christening and its early childhood up until it’s a teenager (which then she’ll pass the surly kid off to me).

“Well, you better find someone because I want a grandson.”

“A can have another one,” I say, hoping she’ll forget about my reproductive prowess. “She’s still young.” Since when does being in your 30s constitute old age?

“No she’s not. Do you know that she’ll be almost 40 by the time this one,” she holds up a tiny, pink outfit, “turns three?” An interesting ageist comment from someone who claims to be 49 for almost 15 years.

“That’s still young.” I try to defer the conversation, not to mention conception, away from me.

“Well, she’s not getting any younger…” Her voice drifts off as she turns the corner.

It seems like my mother is going to will out a grandson out of one of her children. How that will happen, I don’t know. What I do know is that I already paid for lunch, so that’s her present. If she wants a grandson, she’s going to have to wait until her next birthday.

Note: Happy birthday to SB and E!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


There’s a twitch in my eye. My right eye. It’s bothering me. I’m having a hard time seeing out of it. The muscles of my eyelid are spasming. The lid flutters and quivers. It’s really bothering me.

With only one eye being focused, the balance is off. The right eye has to be closed in order to see anything, but the muscles still twitch. This is supposed to calm the muscle. It’s not working.

It has been said this is due to stress, or a lack of sleep. It’s possible. It’s also possible this is due to nerve damage. And, since the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, maybe that bump on my noggin' is a tumour.

It better go away soon, because the last thing I want is to wear a patch over my right eye and look like a pirate. And, I am not getting a bird to sit on my shoulder, either, because with my luck, it'll end up shitting all over my shirt.


Monday, August 27, 2007


A hug is one of the most telling signs of affection between two people. It brings a physical quality and connection between beings without the need for any sexual overtones (unless they're desired, of course).

For the past several months, I have noticed there are several kinds of hugs people give. The people who give them range in personalities and their intentions are always different.

There’s one between family members. They grab you, kiss you on the cheeks, and promptly let you go because they realize you’re going to have a long drive back home (and they don't want the Taupperware container full of food to spoil).

There’s one between you and a friend that’s nonchalant. They wrap their arms – loosely – around you, and pat you on the back as if they’re doing it out of pity... and they usually are.

There’s one between you and a friend that’s happy you’re there because they haven’t seen you in a long time. They hold you in, their arms crossed against your back, and they squeeze just a touch so as not to make it seem ‘uncomfortable’ between both parties involved.

There’s the one between you and someone who doesn’t like to hug. They wrap their arms around you, almost clumsily, and the feeling is almost awkward as you realize they more comfortable holding a prickly cactus.

There is one between you and someone who feel like they’re going to lose you. They hold you so tight, believing if they let go, they’ll never see you again. Their muscles start to tense and their body tremors. You feel empathy because of their impending loss. When you release, you’re still shaking.

Whatever the type of hug, just remember that each one is special in their own way.

Well… maybe the pity one I can live without.

Note: One hug goes out to a new couple in love, and another goes out to a friend who just received some not-so-good news.

Friday, August 24, 2007

You got me mowing in circles

It is advised to refrain from driving motorized vehicles after drinking alcohol because it will wreak havoc on the roads, thereby endangering others.

But, what if that vehicle is a lawnmower? Does that count?


It’s early morning and I’ve already had something to drink; coffee just doesn’t taste the same without Kahlúa. While I look out the window, I realize the grass needs to be mowed. After a couple of days of stagnation, it looks like it grew six inches overnight. Fuuuuuuck.

Going outside, I pull out the rusty mower and drag it to the yard. After turning the switch to ‘on’ and giving it a few pumps of the gas/oil mixture, the two-stroke motor has to be cranked to life. It doesn’t want to work when I yank on the cord. It could be that I’m a little tipsy, or it could be that the machine is over 20 years old and is more stubborn than a surly teenager with an attitude problem.

It’s finally working, and I begin to mow the lawn. For all I know, I'm going around in circles, or making figure-eights. It probably looks like shit. I have no idea if I’m doing a good job because a) the grass is so long, it flops over and the blades don’t cut it properly, and b) I’m buzzed enough not to give a flying fuck.

When it’s done, I place the mower back, take the clippers, do the trim work, as well as any weeding. My head feels like it’s under water. The booze in my blood isn’t helping and the heat and sun, beating down on my head, is making matters worse.

But, I get through it… eventually.

As I re-enter my place, I wash my hands and pour myself another drink; I deserve it after my hard work. I go back outside and lie down on the lounger on the patio.

If I wasn’t buzzed, the lawn would look terrible. But, with every sip, it looks better and better.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Crack in my head

Recently, I demonstrated my talent for having verbal diarrhea at the worst of times by asking someone where he got the scar on his face. Expecting an answer that entailed a bar fight and a broken beer bottle, I was embarrassed to find out he gets that “scar” after a night’s sleep.

I apologize profusely, not for the stupid question but for being the stupid person asking a stupid question.

What’s worse is that I, too, have a scar on my face and it also appears every morning (or afternoon, if I nap) when I wake up. It fades away after an hour, or so. Since it’s near my hairline, it isn’t very noticeable. But, if you press your finger against it, it sinks inwards. So, technically, it isn’t a scar, but a crack.

I have a crack in my head.

That explains so much about me, doesn’t it?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Falling asleep at inoppertune times

Sometimes I can’t be everything to everyone. There is only one body which can’t be divided. Making everyone happy is on the top of my list, but it can’t be done when I’m overextending myself. And when that happens, I get tired, and no one is happy in the end.


While I’m entertaining someone, I start to lose interest and can’t concentrate. Within a few seconds, I almost fall asleep at an inopportune time. Part of me wants to say speed things along before the snoring starts, and the other part of me wants to run out of there with a bag over my head, covering my shame and embarrassment.

My ego is deflated.

For the rest of the day, I feel dejected and rejected.

What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I falling asleep? Am I that tired? Shouldn’t I be ready for everything? Am I proof that no matter how hot someone is, I can still slip into slumber? What the hell is my energy? Fuck, where the hell is my testosterone?

For the rest of the day, I try to stay awake, but to no avail. I almost fall asleep while driving and have to pull the car over to close my eyes for a few minutes. I meet a friend for coffee only to yawn incessantly for what it seems like hours (and the litre of coffee plus a large iced tea only makes me want to urinate, not stay awake). I cancel plans I have with another friend for later on in the night (even though it’s supposed to be a lot of fun) shortly before I pick him up. To top it off, I pass by a friend's house because she won't talk to me if I pass on another of her invites.

Is there any way to stop the snoozing?

If it was possible, I’d split my body into four; one set of quadrants. That way I can be at four places at once, entertaining four different groups of people while only using up ¼ of my energy (and ¼ of sleep would be required to keep me awake).

Of course, wake me up when that happens... I’ll probably be asleep by then.

Note: This post is brought to you by WTF Wednesdays.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Christmas in August

The sky is overcast. The winds pick up speed as the minutes pass. There’s an occasional chill that slowly rolls down your spine. It’s getting colder. It feels like winter, yet summer has another month on its clock.

What the fuck is up with this weather?

For the first time in months, I threw on a sweater, jeans, and my leather jacket. It’s a good thing I left behind my scarf and wool cap, or else I’d look like I was waiting for winter.

What happened to the sun? What happened to the heat? Fuck, what happened to the humidity which I hate with a passion for what it does to my health and hair?

God, you better hear me out. Give me some decent weather or else I’m converting to some other religion, like Judaism (without the circumcision, of course).

Unconscious talent

For the past while, I have discovered a talent I have without realizing it. It’s nothing special, like being able to roll your tongue (which I can’t, even though approximately 50 % of the population can). Oddly enough, it’s done while I sleep.

The talent: I turn off my alarm unconsciously in the middle of the night.

That’s not the only part of the talent. The second part entails me waking up right before the alarm is supposed to go off. This happens all the time. Night after night. I never wake up late.

For those who are wondering, I do turn on the alarm every night before I go to bed. In fact, I check it by pushing the switch with my finger as far as it can go, making sure it’s on the ‘on’ position, and not stuck in-between cogs.

Is my brain trying to tell me something? Is it trying to make me remember something? Is it testing me, or my sleeping patterns? What the fuck is it? Why won’t my brain let me sleep?

I wish my brain wasn't talented when I'm asleep, instead of when I'm awake.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Clouds in my coffee

Every morning I have my coffee and sandwich for breakfast. Nothing special. It’s all timed accordingly, so as the coffee is brewing, the bread is toasting at the same time – there really isn’t a second to spare.

But, sometimes a wrench is thrown into the carefully oiled engine that’s supposed to run smoothly.

There are times when I pour the milk into the coffee, and it’s verging on being spoiled. Instead of the coffee turning from black to beige, it turns cloudy. And, there are chunks… and threads.

Because I have no time to make another cup of coffee (and I have to have a cup of coffee before I leave the house), I do what any resourceful person would do: I use a strainer.

Out of the cabinet comes another mug and I find the strainer in the second top drawer. I place the strainer on top of the clean mug and pour the cloudy coffee into it. For a quick taste test, I press my lips to the top of the mug and take a sip.

Not bad. You can barely taste the milk going bad.

Maybe it does taste bad, but I’m still half asleep to register indifference.

God forbid if the cold cuts were spoiling, too, because I wouldn't want to know what I would do with them...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Young at fart

After running around in circles, trying to catch my niece, I stop and take a breather. She’s tiring me out. As she pulls on my arm, pleading for me to chase her, I tell her that I need a little break.

While pausing for relief, I crouch down, bend my legs and accidentally fart. Like all of my farts, it’s a silent one that only dogs can hear.

In a matter of seconds, my niece looks at me, scrunches her face, pinches her nose and says, “Ewww… stinky.”

Forgetting that I passed gas, I ask her if she smells anything.

“Poo,” she says, still pinching her nose.

“You have to go poo?” I ask.

She doesn’t reply.

“You have to go poo?” I ask again, nodding my head in agreement.

She grabs my hand and leads me to the loo. I quickly run after her. When we get to the loo, I start to pull off her pants in a hurry. She stops me and pulls them back up.

“No, Uncle.”

“But, you can’t go poo in your underwear. Let Uncle help you take off your shorts.” I tug on her shorts, again.

“No, Uncle. You.” She points at me while still pinching her nose.

“Me? What about me? Don’t you have to go poo?” I’m a little agitated. She enjoys playing this game of poo vs. no poo, just like the game of pee vs. no pee.

“No, Uncle. You go poo!” She begins to tug at my shorts.

“Uncle doesn’t have to go poo.”

“Yes, Uncle. You have to go poo. You stink!”

Oh dear God, she must’ve smelled it, I think. What’s worse is she thought I was shitting myself just like she used to, not too long ago.

“No, Uncle doesn’t have to go poo. Uncle just farted.”

“Oh, ok.” She looks relieved and unplugs her nose.

We both run back to the spare room and begin to chase one another, again. Lucky for me, my niece is both understanding and young at fart.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Whack it off

My hair grows fairly quickly. It can be a positive, or a negative. If the haircut is a disaster, it will grow out in about a week, or so. If the haircut is pretty good, it still grows out in about a week, or so.

Since my hair is thick and curly, curls start to form after a month and a half. It’s not too bad when they turn inwards. But, when they grow outwards, they resemble wings - the Farrah Fawcett flip. There’s no way of making them disappear. Whether it’s product, styling, hats or paper bags over my head, nothing works.

So, I do what any other rational person does: I pull out a pair of scissors and start snipping away.

Whack it off. Whack it all off.

It's a good thing my hair isn't stick-straight. Imagine if I had bangs that swooped across my forehead? Do you know what happens when they're not cut properly? Exactly. You resemble one of those kids whose parents trimmed their hair at home because they were too cheap to take them to a professional. In the end, the kids were left with lopsided locks that the other school kids made fun of because they were just too easy a target for torment.

Thankfully, any mistakes I make are covered by the fact that the curls hide all forms of sin and if I made a really bad judgement of scissor placement, in about a week, it will grow back.

Of course, if/when I lose my hair, then there is no amount of whacking that will help with the problem.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Red, yellow, green

Traffic signals have three lights which represent three different actions: Red means stop, yellow means proceed with caution, and green means go.

Yet, some people have a bad habit of not being able to read signals, especially the ones they’re putting out there.

You wear underwear when they show up at the door and wonder why they’re surprised because they wanted to get a slice of pizza and a beer and aren’t interested in you that way. You send them photos of your gym-toned body and then are disappointed when all they want is sex and not willing to form a casual connection first to see how things will go.

Why do some people flash yellow lights?

I’m pretty clear with what I say. I have a hard time playing coy because I don’t have the time to play coy, or anything else for that matter.

If you want it, you say you want it. If you don’t want it, don’t say you don’t want it then act like you do, but you really don’t, and then get pissed because you’re saying two things at once and nothing at all while confusing the hell out of the other person.

Do you know what I mean? Or am I talking about yellow lights, again?

Note: This post is brought to you by WTF Wednesdays.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Couscous boo boo

Being someone who enjoys experimenting with culinary creations, I have decided to skip the pasta and potatoes and try something a little different as a side dish to my protein plate: couscous.

After searching for it in several supermarkets, I finally find a small package.

Doesn’t look like it will go far, by the size of it, I think. It better be worth it.

The two steps say I am supposed to add equal amounts of couscous to warm water and let it sit for five minutes. That’s it? I call my sister for directions because those on the package don’t make any sense. She tells me I have to boil the water and season it (salt, butter, etc.), add the couscous, then let it sit for five minutes, covered. When the five minutes are up, fluff it up with a fork.

Sounds easy enough.

When the water boils, I pour the couscous into a measuring cup. It doesn’t look like a lot. So, I add another cup of water to the pot to double the mixture, and correspond it with another cup of couscous.

What happens next shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The five minutes are up and I remove the lid off the pot. Ho. Lee. Fuck. It resembles a comical vision of a pot overflowing with couscous. There is enough to last me for six months. It may taste great (I do know my way around the kitchen), but no one ever told me this stuff multiples a zillion-fold.

What the fuck am I going to do with all this food? If I eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and with the occasional midday snack), give it to friends, donate it to food kitchens, throw it to the birds, and make a monument dedicated to semolina, I’ll still have enough for another five months.

Does anyone want some? Anyone? There’s plenty to go around…

Monday, August 13, 2007

The morning shower

Not too long ago, someone asked me whether or not I would enjoy taking a morning shower with someone else because it would be an intimate experience between two people.

Me, being the pragmatist that I am, answered with: “God, I hate morning showers. They scare the shit outta me.”

I don’t think that was the correct answer. They were expecting something else.

Personally, morning showers (whether alone, or with someone else) do scare the shit out of me. The water is never warm enough. In fact, it’s pretty damn cold. Also, because I only wake up approximately an hour after I wake up, having cold water pellets jab at your face and body for 10 minutes is not the way to start my day (or to ease my crankiness).

I take my showers at night, before I go to bed, so I feel clean and like I washed off the day so I have no ill feelings before I fall asleep. Also, I like to be in and out – five minutes tops – and not waste any time under the spray.

Of course, if I have someone to take a shower with me at night is another story altogether.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Seeing myself in his eyes

At the corner of Queen of Spadina, the cars zoom by and through the large intersection. There are several lanes of traffic that make it almost impossible to cross the street in the allotted time before the hand signal appears and flashes to remind pedestrians they only have 15 seconds before the light changes from green to red.

While I wait for the signal to cross, a man walks up to me. He’s scruffy, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, with a backpack slung on his back.

“Can I ask you a question?” he asks in a quizzical manner.

“Sure,” I reply. Great, I think, I hope he isn’t one of those crazies and starts talking to me about Jesus.

“Can you spare even a penny?” he looks at me, exasperated when he says penny.

“I don’t know if I can.” I scrunch up my face in confusion. I wasn’t chastising him for the misuse of the word can versus the word may - I really didn’t know if I had a penny to spare. My wallet was in my briefcase because I didn’t want to carry it in the pocket of my slacks due to the fact that it protrudes an inch outwards.

As I dig into my briefcase to search for my wallet, I wonder why I’m doing this. I don’t give money to anyone I know - whether family or friends - because I never see it again. I also never give money to panhandlers. The last time I did this, I said I would offer them a coffee. They declined and said they wanted money. They didn’t get anything; beggars can’t be choosers.

But, then I know why I’m doing this… I’m him.

True, I look nothing like him. He’s in need of a shave and some new clothing while I’m coiffed and wearing a tailored suit. He’s about 80 pounds heavier than I am and his features would only resemble mine in the dark.

So, why? It’s the way he asked for the penny.

For too long, I’ve been fighting for a chance for a chance at anything. Not many people know what’s been going on in my life for years (and I don’t want those who know to mention it to anyone). This struggle is ongoing and feels like it’s not going to end any time soon.

Why should others have things so easy while I have it so hard? Is it to prove my inner strength? I'm resiliant and have bounced back more times than a rubber ball. But, why should I prove it to myself when I have to prove it to others?

After a while, I get tired of these obstacles. I don’t want to fight. I get exhausted from fighting. The exhaustion becomes desperation, and both are reflected in my eyes. Give me a chance, they say. Just one chance, and let me prove to you that I can do it.

I find my wallet and look inside. There are quite a few TTC tokens, but they’re probably worthless to this guy. There are a few nickels and dimes, but I pull out a dollar that I was going to use to buy a coffee.

After I shut my briefcase, I look at his hand. He opens it and I put the dollar on the palm. He looks at me and I look back. I'm seeing myself in his eyes. It feels as if I'm helping myself because he's another version of me; different body, similar circumstances.

“Thank you,” he says.

“No problem.”

When the light changes from red to green, I walk across the street and don’t look back.

Hopefully things will change for the better, for both of us.

Note: Sorry for the depressing post before the weekend, but I felt like it best represents my current state of mind.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Stretch marks the spot

Pregnancy can be a bitch. Not only is there the issue with the weight gain, the nausea, the cravings, and the bloating, but after the child is born, there are stretch marks.

Sadly, you don’t need to give birth to a baby to have them.

Whether it was due to a growth spurt, or a fat period, I have stretch marks. Large ones. They line my lower back like cracks in the Grand Canyon. There are several that go from one side of my pelvic bone to the other, and there are also a few on my thighs, which is strange since I’ve never had skinny legs.

They don’t particularly bother me, but they’re really noticeable. Because of the colour of my skin, they stand out like a white bathing suit on an over-the-hill Miami matriarch who spends too much time by the pool without a stitch of sunscreen (or clothing). It’s times like these I wish I didn't have cocoa-tinged skin.

Stretch marks can’t be removed, no matter what cosmetics companies, cosmetic surgeons, and dermatologists tell you. They’re like constant reminders of a period in your life.

Maybe it’s a good thing the stretch marks (like the period in my life) are behind me. The wrinkles on my face, on the other hand, are a little harder to ignore.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

To the guy who stared at me in the subway


You don’t know me, but I know you. In fact, I think I know you very well. You may not recognize my face, but you should, since you were staring at it while I was sitting across from you and your woman while on the subway.

To be honest, I didn’t mind it at first. People can’t stop staring at me; I’m like a bloody car accident that killed several people. But, after a while, it began to bother me.

You would stare at me, then hug your woman, then stare at me, then kiss your woman, then stare at me, again. It’s as if you were holding onto her, afraid I was going to take her away from you. Your dirty looks said so much, yet, with your lack of basic English, said so little.

Now, let me say this to you, in a language I hope you understand… Pablo, no quiero tu mujer.

In fact, the only reason I would want Consuela is if she would come over and clean my house. Just to be fair, you could take care of any other household repairs and when those are done, you can take care of the gardening. There are lot of squirrels that need to be shot.

¿Entiendes? Espero que tu comprendes, porque yo no tengo tiempo para hablarte.

Now, stop staring at me because it’s really bothering me. Do something productive with your day and take a shower because you're filthy. I swear, with all that pomade in your hair, I’m surprised you’re not flammable when walking around in the sun. And tell Consuela to stay away from the fajitas, because she's packing an extra 20 pounds.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Here comes the host

Weddings are celebratory occasions where the love of one is dedicated to another. Typically, they include a bride, a groom, friends/family, guests, a gown, suits, food, and booze.

They also include a host for the reception. And, this is where I come in.


Since I don’t suffer from stage fright and am a ‘natural’ in front of an audience, my long-time friend K asks me if I want to be the host for her wedding. She doesn’t need to ask twice as I practically take the symbolic microphone from her hand as if I am ready to go on stage.

It's the host’s responsibility to inform guests about the night’s festivities while keeping the night moving at a brisk pace - sounds easy enough. Although, there’s a kink in the curl: the majority of wedding guests are not fluent in English. Knowing this, K, ever resourceful, asks another friend of hers to act as co-host and translator.

Being the planner that I am, I meet with K before the wedding, move some elements around in the schedule, write notes and introductions, and send the information to the co-host to review. I’m nothing if not prepared (and dictatorial).

After dehydrating from crying too much at the wedding ceremony, but before the reception, I meet my co-host and we go over a few notes. With some issues resolved (after talking to several members of the bridal party), we go on with the show.

There is the introduction of the bridal party, a traditional tea ceremony that requires spoken instructions to the guests, speeches, saves (the guests want the bride to sing a song in front of the groom, but since I know the bride is very shy and does not perform in front of large groups of people), games, advisories (“Please enjoy the delicious food. And, just as a reminder, there is an open bar…”), and the occasional PG-rated joke so as not to insult the old, the young, and the in-between.

Although the night entailed doing an endless series of squats from getting up and sitting down tentatively for four hours, mostly everything goes according to plan – just the way I like it.

Everyone has a wonderful time - from day to night. The bride was lovely, the ceremony was beautiful, the guests were entertained and well-fed, and I was about to take part of it all.

If there is anything I would add, it would be a few notes for the guests:


Tell the host he’s great.
Tell the host he's funny.
Tell the host he’s entertaining.
Tell the host he’s kinda hot (and not because he’s sweating in the heat).

Do not

Say “Why didn’t you do…?” after an introduction.
Say “Why didn’t you say…?” after a game.
Say he's slurring words after his fourth glass of wine.
Say how he should do his job.

If any guest decides to do any of the things on the second list, I’d advise them to keep quiet, or stay home for the next wedding on the schedule. Because weddings aren’t about them, they’re about the host.

Monday, August 06, 2007


It's a long, holiday weekend in Ontario.

So, I will be getting cancerized by the sun.

Come back tomorrow - I'll have more to say.

Friday, August 03, 2007


As B and I are sitting outdoors on the patio near the sidewalk, the conversation veers from work to age/aging when I mention that I have a lot of time to figure out what to do with my life because I consider myself to be young.

To paraphrase B, he makes a reference to my age and says that my twinkie years are almost over. To be honest, I’m not sure I am (or ever was) a twink.

According to the urban dictionary:

“The stereotypical twink is 18-22, slender with little or no body hair, often blonde, dresses in club wear even at 10:00 AM, and is not particularly intelligent…

There are two major theories about the origin of this word, both of which probably have elements of truth to them.

a) Twink comes from an acronym T.W.I.N.K. "Teenage, White, Into No Kink."

b) Twink is a shortening of the name for the famous "TWINKIE" snack cake: a tasty, cream-filled snack with no nutritional value. The phallic shape of the "TWINKIE" snack cake should not escape the reader's attention.”

For starters, I am not between the ages of 18-22. My body type is not slender, and it never was when I was 18-22. There is (a little) body hair and it isn’t blonde. I don’t ‘do’ club wear. But, the worst offender is that twinks are not particularly intelligent. If you call me stupid, you better hide ‘cause I’ll come looking for you, and when I find you, you better watch out.

Anyway, I never liked Twinkies because I always considered myself to a Hostess Cupcake: dark on the outside, with a creamy filling.

Mmmm… creamy filling.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Too darn hot

To quote the classic Cole Porter song from the musical, Kiss Me Kate, it's too darn hot. Don't get me wrong, I like warmth. Hot? Not so much.

With the temperatures over 30 degrees Celcius for the past several days, it's difficult to remain cool. The barometric pressure rises, the allergens are in the air, and smog alerts are advertised on the media. Those three elements are killers for someone with respiratory issues.

During the day, the sun blares down on me like a ray of fire. Every second I'm outside, I pray for shelter (or a rainstorm). I actually want to stay in an office until the sun sets. This is the reason why I like the fall and - to a lesser extent - winter climates.

At night, I have to sleep with the door of my bedroom closed and my windows shut because I can't stand any outside interference. The fan may be turned on, but my room still turns into an oven because of the lack of air conditioning.

Even though sweat is supposed to moderate body temperature down, to me, it's a constant reminder of how hot I am. I hate it when a drop rolls down my back and lands in the crack of my ass - too shocking. And for someone who doesn't normally sweat under most conditions, I've been sweating a lot. My hand is constantly swooping across my brow and my arm is a catchall to the wetness.

If I could stay naked, I would. But I can't, so I won't.

God, I hate this weather. It's just too darn hot.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bad head

The pain is excruciating. At first, it was a slight throb, like many of my headaches. This time is different. It’s not a regular headache, it’s a summer headache.

When the barometric pressure rises, it feels like an extra 50 pounds is pushing my head down. The pressure is also compounded by the fact that on humid days, my allergies act up. The experience is similar to having a sponge filled with water, slowing being squeezed.

After the initial throbbing subsides, the pain begins. It starts in my frontal lobes, then moves towards the back of my head. From there, the pain reaches my maxillary and mandible. My teeth begin to hurt. I want to bite down, but I can’t because the pain will only increase. I lose my appetite (which is difficult for a skinny white boy who likes to eat).

My hands form fists, my fingers turn inwards and begin to dig into my palms, leaving marks and breaking the skin. A stress ball won’t help because I would tear that thing apart.

The pain starts to move down the nerves on my neck, down my spine; it feels like they're being pulled and stretched. I never knew a headache could reach these proportions.

Tears well up in my eyes, which is odd because I don’t normally cry. I think the reason why I am is I want to yell or swear, but they require moving my mouth, and if I don't open my mouth to eat, I don't open it at all.

Even though I am not drunk, I feel woozy and like I will pass out at any second. Thankfully, I stand close to buildings to catch me on my - possible - impending fall. The brushes with nausea doesn't help, either.

I end up going home and write a couple of e-mails, telling my contacts that I can’t meet them today. One of those people affected didn’t respond, while the other (who I was trying to impress) wasn’t impressed in the least. I feel like I'm flaking on them, but I don't know if they understand what my body is going through. An explanation should be forthcoming, but my head isn't functioning.

Sometimes I wish I had someone else’s head on my shoulders instead of my own.

Bad head. Bad, bad head.