Monday, January 30, 2006

The hip bone is connected to the.......

This Sunday in Toronto was dreary, drab and just plain blah! It was the perfect type of day for curling up with a good book in front of a roaring fire and sipping a fine port. Having just finished both the Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham I found myself with nothing to read. My apartment does not come with a fireplace and as tempted as I was to wheel in the BBQ I noticed the batteries in my carbon monoxide detector were dead so I thought better of it. As for the port, I checked under the bed, behind the radiators and in both of my flasks, alas, all were bare.

What was I to do? It hit me out of the blue - go look at dead bodies. Luckily, AC and Underpants Boy were both free and equally eager to go looking at cadavers. I had heard so much about “BodyWorks” and it was a perfect indoors sort of day so we piled in Lucy and headed off. From the moment we set foot in the Ontario Science Centre, things went awry. From an on-line ticket purchase that wouldn’t print at will-call to AC fainting at the sight of a dissected Achilles tendon (he snapped both of his last summer trying to re-live his gymnastic glory days) it was quite a trip.

I have to admit I was impressed with the detail and variety of specimens. Did you know there are three headed camels? That one was right out of Ripley’s. After a while however, all the muscles started to look the same, the fatty tissue made me want a bacon sandwich and even all the ‘organ’ jokes began to wear thin. The “male reproductive organs” display was not, as the army states, all it could be. I was a little disappointed - as I am sure was this guys wife. Although if they had put a Ron Jeremy type specimen in the case a few women (and men) would have felt, errrrr, a little short changed. Maybe plastination makes it shrink. Or maybe he was a grower, not a shower. Maybe that’s enough beating of this joke? Yeah, that’s enough. I was just talking about a penis and said beating – hee hee. Ok. That is REALLY it. No more.

And I think I can safely speak for all three of us when I say there is such a thing as too much female genitalia. Poor AC literally gasped, causing a couple of on-lookers to giggle, as he rounded the corner on the ‘ballet’ figure and got a face full of fanny. And I thought those cod pieces were silly looking.

In one case there was a severed leg with a number of signs pointing to this joint or that muscle. One sign read “the foot and toes are an important part of the walking process”. Important? Is essential not a little more appropriate? Did you not see Terminator 2 when he was frozen in the liquid nitrogen and tried to walk? Snapped his feet off and fell. Again, not important, essential.

We also saw healthy lungs (white) compared with those of a coal miner (black). Thinking myself witty, I turned to AC (who is Asian and completely non-PC) and said “if they had a yellow set in there, your people would be represented too.” He and I both had a good chuckle but the lady next to me told us to “get a life”. Hey lady, I paid my $25 and will crack a joke if I want!

One of the most interesting displays explained why people donated their bodies and the forms they had to sign. Just about anyone can do it and you can change your mind right up until the last minute. Having recently seen House of Wax though, I bet Gunther has a House of Plastination somewhere that he takes his “volunteers”.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Be very very quiet..........

Not sure exactly why this is funny, but it struck KitKat as such and he felt I should share. Let me preface this by stating that he thinks homosexuals and guns go together about as well as straight men and pink leotards. They can wear white ones on a football field, chase each other around, shower en mass while slapping each other’s butts, but heaven forbid pink comes into play. And I think KitKat must have meant gay men and not homosexuals in general. I mean you know those lesbians and their plaid lumber jackets. What better way to set off all those wonderful muted colours than with a lovely slate grey 12 Gauge?

Back to my story - KitKat and Lord Fauntleroy purchased the house I used to own with my sister and as thorough as I was, I did miss changing my address with the odd person/company/organization that sends me mail. As I just moved up the street they would drop off any wayward mail or packages or call me to come round and pick it up. That is how our friendship started, and two years on it is still going strong. Even without the mail.

Thanks to our bungling government and their idiotic gun registry, a piece of post turned up at my old stomping ground just the other day. (Having law-abiding citizens register hunting rifles is a silly public relations stunt that has ended up costing us taxpayers millions. But that’s not for here. This is Light and Flaky after all.) Having registered my shotgun years ago and never having heard anything more, I assumed I had fallen through some bureaucratic crack and was free to tote my gun around like some fashionable country-life accessory.

Much to my dismay, I now find out that every few years I have to pay $60 (that cost you my vote Mr. Martin. Oooops, there I go again) and supply a passport style photo in order to remain in “good standing”. It’s cheaper to register for my driver’s license. And that includes the photo! That does it! I am going to start hunting with Lucy - that’s the name of my car. Of course hitting those ducks might prove tricky. Lucy isn’t a very good swimmer you see and she doesn’t know how to fly. Maybe I can trade her in for Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang or something.

I think KitKat pictures me tromping through the woods in stilettos, cocktail in hand singing “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music” or some such thing. Don’t be silly dear, one doesn’t sing while hunting, it scares away the game. No music aside, I find the entire experience rather civilized really. Why just a couple weekends ago I was invited on a lovely hunting getaway. Saturday morning saw us up early and out after pheasants. We lunched down by the lake and then returned to the manor house for a dinner of pheasants with fig stuffing – delicious. We were supposes to hunt again the next morning but our host was stabbed in the back while sitting in his office that night. Tragic. Gosford Park used to be one of my favourite places but will never be the same again.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I wouldn't eat a baby as Jonathan Swift suggests, but.....

Yoga weekend #5 has come and gone. Rather than tell you what flatulence inducing food we were fed, suffice it to say Friday’s dinner theme was Mexican and there was guacamole and bean dip, I thought I would talk about our philosophy class.

At one point, it was stated that there is no such thing a right and wrong, good or evil there just is. This however does not mean that you can do anything to anyone anytime you want. You should be governed by a sense of what is just and guided by your natural instincts. “For example” said our instructor “if you were on a bridge with a rock, a plant, a kitten and a baby and were told to throw one over, we would all choose the rock.” I look around the room and everyone was nodding. I said, in my head of course, “Now hold on one darn minute. Don’t dismiss the rock so quickly.”

Is this a rock as in “wow did you see the size of that rock on Robert’s finger?” (Minimum 1 ct. diamond set in platinum just in case you are stumped for my birthday. Thanks for asking.) Even if it’s not, rocks can serve a multitude of purposes. From simple tasks such as door stop, paperweight and boat anchor for my nautically inclined friends, to being used in construction. Ummmm hello, where would the pyramids, the Coliseum or the Parthenon be without rocks? No no, I think the rock stays.

As for the plant, don’t we need them to survive? What about the whole oxygen, carbon dioxide exchange deal? I am seeing a check-mark in the ‘keep’ column for the plant.

Now it gets a bit tricky. I am not a big fan of pussy or babies. While CJ has been away though, I have been looking after her pussies – both of them. Who knew they were so self sufficient? I could just leave out some water and food and those things were good for a couple days. My sister also has two great spokespeople, spokespussies I guess, that make me not want to load the kitten in a burlap sack with some stones and toss it off the bridge. Stones are such a close relation to rocks and you know how I feel about them. Plus I would miss saying pussy with such reckless abandon.

Now for the baby. I don’t like dirty diapers. I don’t like being spit up on. I don’t like having my sleep disturbed at all hours of the night by incessant crying. Sorry baby, things aren’t looking good for you right now. But I think the real deal breaker is all those Anne Geddes calendars, cards, books, and poster that are torture to look at and will end up as landfill.

Of course, having just come from a yoga weekend, I am not the type of person to hurl a baby off a bridge. I would just leave the car seat perched on the edge while I walked away with my pussy, oxygen and piece of pyramid, hoping for a strong wind.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I do/I don't

People often say, and I have to agree, that I neither look nor act my age. At 36, I don’t feel the way I thought I would when I was say 25. There are moments though when I do feel my age, if not older. Here are my top 3 “I do feel my age” and top 3 “I don’t” from recent experiences.

I do/I don’t #1
Do - Last Friday, the girls in the doll house wanted to go to Grapefruit – a monthly dance of somewhat retro music with some ‘very now’ tunes thrown into the mix. I was all for it! So Alberta Boy, the Doll House Girls and I headed out at 9:30, apparently one must get there EARLY (not that early mind, but within an hour it was packed) and danced the night and early morning away. The next day at work however, my hips felt like I had given birth to twins. Even when I lay down for a power nap après work, there was a throbbing from my hips I did not care for one bit. I remember back in my raving days I used to get shin splints from bouncing around on my feet all weekend. This was right up there on the pain scale. My shoes at Grapefruit were fashionable but not practical. I will chalk the hip pain up to that and be back next month with better orthotics.

Don’t – When the invite went out I didn’t give it a second thought that I had to work the next day at 8:30 which meant getting up at 6:30. Even as we drove home at 3:00 I pushed for a stop at McDonalds for some booze soaking grease to settle my stomach. And, oh my God, it was good. I had a productive day at work and was out the next night.

I do/don’t #2
Do – Grapefruit was PACKED to the rafters and it was getting hot in there. So like the song says, I started taking off my clothes. Not all of them mind, just my shirt. Back in my day (again, this is the do column) when one person took off their top at a dance, others followed suit. Even Cousin Janet (absent in Egypt on said evening) joined in the fun after enough libations, but not this night. I was solo. I had made the commitment though and was not about to slink off to the bathroom and return avec my shirt – I was sans until we left. This made me feel old because the young un’s weren’t doing what my generation did.

Don’t – I got pinched, poked, touched and whistled at all night long.

I do/don’t #3 (none Grapefruit related)
Do – about two weeks ago I discovered a cut on the side of my forearm. I had been out grocery shopping and must have caught it on something. No big deal, a little band-aid for my arm and bleach on my shirt cuff and all was good. This morning as I was flossing I caught sight of the scratch in the mirror. It had healed and the scab was gone but there is still little red welt that is fading a bit more each day. At that moment it dawned on me that my dermis is just not what it used to be. The rate of repair for the wounds inflected upon my body seems to be slowed significantly. I feel a bit like Eva Peron – my little body is slowly breaking down.

Don’t – I go to the gym four days a week and do yoga the other three. Sore hips from dancing non-stop for 4 hours aside, I have no aches or pains and often get by on less than 6 hours of sleep.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Leftover Magic

It has been a while since I shared a recipe but this one, I assure you, is worth the wait. After a holiday dinner party I found myself with mounds of leftover mashed potatoes. As good as they are I could only eat so many in the following days. Being as thrifty as I am, I knew I would one day find a use for them so I froze the rest. And boy am I glad I did. Keep in mind that the mashed potatoes had butter, cream and a bit of sour cream it them.

In a soup pot melt 3 tbsp of butter or (my preference) 1 tbsp of butter and a ¼ c of chicken stock.

Add and cook, stirring until tender but not browned 6 leeks (white part only). Then stir in 5 c chicken stock and 4 c of the above mashed potatoes.

With regular leek and potato soup you have to cook it until the potatoes are cook. With the leftover mashed (I just put the lot in from frozen) give it about a good 10 minute simmer. Puree the soup and season with salt and white pepper. If you find it a bit thick, thin it with a bit more stock.

Now that the cold weather is back, get outside for a nice walk or cross-country ski and then enjoy this divine soup!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Prairie Doggin' It

My friend Fire Hydrant had me in stitches the other day. You need to be careful using the phrase “I dare you” with him as 99.9% of the time he will take you up on it. Like the vivacious hosts of Girls Behaving Badly (NOT Girls Gone Wild) he will do things just to get a reaction and the more outrageous, the better. He calls them societal experiments and I have to say they are good fun to witness.

The other day he deliberately stuck a trail of toilet paper in his shoe and walked down the street to see if anyone would point this out. Sadly, no one did. His ex was there to observe (even he wouldn’t walk with him) and enjoyed the laugh.

This got me to thinking about my own toilet paper mishap. Being an eager beaver (hee hee, I said beaver) I am always enrolled in one course or another trying to learn a little about this and that. Not so long ago I was taking an interior decorating course (shock) at my old Alma Mater (I’m an Upper Richmond boy you see, it’s really top drawer) when I had to urge to go to the lavatory.

If I have to sit, I much prefer to do it at home, but one must do what nature has called one to do when nature calls them to do it. Before sitting, as is my custom, I gave the seat a good wipe, lay two rows of TP down the sides and one across the back. Finishing what had to be done, I wiped, zipped, flushed and returned to class. We did some group work and these two girls kept drawing a little stick man with what looked like a tail and laughing. Silly girls I thought. Once class was over, I started up the street to meet the Pink Lady at a local watering hole for a night cap (or six). Upon entering the bar, which was packed just for the record, I scouted out a couple seats, dumped my satchel and removed my coat.

Just as I was about to park my keister and order a beer, the bartender, who thankfully was a friend of mine, scurried over and told me I needed “to go to the bathroom right away.” Apparently one piece of my seat protector had stuck to my butt and remained with me from the bathroom, back to class (apparently the stick man was me and the ‘tail’ was my TP), up the street and into the bar – great. Oh well, at least it was clean and people know I am hygienic.

This next TP story is modified with regards to the circumstances and the names changed to protect the innocent. My friend (and I really mean that, it is NOT me saying “I have this friend blah blah blah”) went to see his ‘doctor’ for his annual physical. The appointment was later in the afternoon and my friend has a VERY cute doctor and wanted to make sure he was clean for the turn-your-head-and-cough test. Going into the restroom at the office he found he had little choice for cleaning implements. Making do with what he had, he moistened a ball of TP in the sink and gave his undercarriage a good rub.

Test complete and clean bill of health issued, he gave the good doctor a wink and headed off to the gym. After a bit of exercise he hit the shower and was horrified, now armed with proper cleaning facilities, to discover several little clumps of toilet paper twisted up in his butt hair! Yuck. And people laugh at me for clipping.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

They're A Girls Best Friend Too.

After a recent visit with the golden girls in the doll house I have to share a couple stories. The Pink Lady’s bio mom was there with her jack russell terrier Alice, and Diamond Don was there with his shitzu Jasper. Naturally, our conversation turned to the topic of dogs and dog stories.

My brother, who is for the record, an animal loving person, was on duty one night and got a call about a barking dog. One of his officers responded and found a dog running around loose barking all sorts. He caught the dog, and after inquiring at nearby houses, found himself in possession of it. Due to recent cut backs, there is no pound open after 6:00 pm and they were not about to keep the mutt at the station. Being in the country, they felt the best thing for the dog would be some late night exercise, a 10 km run for example. Long story short, the dog was, ummmmm, let us say emancipated out on one county line or the other.

Unfortunately, the next day a lady called the station wondering where her dog was. It seems she had let her dog out, on purpose, as she was going away. Errrr, okay. Her neighbour informed her that the police had been out asking about the dog but they had failed to mention it was hers. Nice. Needless to say, several of the towns finest were soon on their way to the release site. After receiving a stern lecture about freeing animals in the country from an 80 something farmer’s wife, they got the pooch back from her.

Loofah, my beloved Doberman, was a big fan of food. Anything edible really. I had to ban her from the kitchen after a plate of raw chicken disappeared and more than one steak ended up down her greedy little gullet. Right off the counter! She also had the nasty habit of eating Jay-cloths - those blue dish-wipe things. Like I said, anything edible. No big deal really as they are cheap. The problem was on, shall we say, the back end. More than once I found myself in the backyard wearing latex gloves assisting one of these blue wonders out of her backside. Yuck!

But my favourite story is of one of the Pink Lady’s relations who can’t stand her neighbour. She has named her female dog ‘Kathy’ - this name is shared by said neighbour. Now whenever she wants to call the dog in she opens the backdoor and yells “Kathy you little bitch, get in here.” Too funny.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No more monkeys jumpin' on the bed

When I sold my house I thought I would splurge and buy myself a nice new king size bed to cram into my one bedroom apartment. I had to buy a new bed anyway and had always wanted a king (for me, the Queen) with a pillow top mattress. And let me tell you, it is heaven! Of course I didn’t count on having to buy all new bed linens for four different seasons, but the investment was well worth it.

Being the little Bree Van De Kamp that I am, I religiously flip the mattress as per the manufacturers instructions. Jul/Aug/Sept the mattress points one way, Oct/Nov/Dec another etc. The last two times it has been a simple matter of spinning the mattress with the same side up. With the start of 2006 however I found that I actually needed to flip the mattress.
The pillow top snapped off easily enough but then I found myself trapped in a small room with a rather large bed. If I had a second pair of hands, I am positive that things would have gone smoothly enough. As it happens, I was alone and being Aries was in no mood to wait, nor admit that I couldn’t do it myself. I had managed to get the damn thing in my apartment myself by flipping it end over end, so was confident I could flip it in the frame.

I conveniently forgot that the pieces make up the canopy of my bed were installed after the box spring and mattress were in place. I slide the mattress off the bed and got it on its side. All I needed to do was lift it up and catch the edge on the box spring and slide it over Oct/Nov/Dec side down. After banging my arms and head against the ceiling and bed frame repeatedly (I guess all that banging against the headboard has dulled my senses - ha ha ha) I decided to approach the problem from the other side.

I have a fairly good arm span being over 6 foot tall, but apparently not enough to stretch across a king, get a firm grip and lift. I soon found myself without a bedside lamp, a shattered water carafe (paired with a lovely gash on my foot), minus one lovely jadite bowl and a broken dresser mirror. Seven years bad luck here I come. At least the start date will be easy enough to remember - only 28 flips until the good luck comes back!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

And we're off......

Many thanks to Kit Kat and Little Lord Fauntleroy for ringing in 2006 with so much style and so many cocktails. There were white ladies (I mean the drink, not the men in attendance), chocolate martinis, lychee martinis and of course the obligatory champagne at midnight. Things went downhill from there at a fairly steady pace as there was a bottle of champers per person and they were all drained by 12:15. We didn’t quite get round to sharing our resolutions for 2006.

I have to admit that I usually don’t make resolutions, especially after drinking copious amounts of alcohol, as they usually centre round some perceived flaw. There are exceptions of course. Like the year I said I would learn how to play the violin. I had always wanted to be in band at school but couldn’t pass that damn recorder test so I ended up in choir instead. I did buy a violin and, if you count Mary Had A Little Lamb, have learned to play. I am just tickled that I actually learned how to read music – FACE and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Practice is all I need now.

There is the usual list of suspects like quit smoking, quit drinking and exercise more. I don’t smoke (I could try to make others quit, but that I have learned is an exercise in futility), usually stop drinking for a couple 30 day stretches during the year and already exercise on a daily basis. So no help there. I did find a few good suggestions on line, that I will give a go.

First, do something you love to do every day. Yoga. Done and done. This year however, I hope to share my passion for this with others through teaching.

Next, strive to learn something new everyday. I knew Martha Stewart was right! I already do this so I guess this is more of an on-going resolution.

Big one - help a needy heterosexual. No offense to our heterosexual counterparts, but let's face it- there are many straight men that could use a gay mentor. Be your own Queer Eye For The Straight Guy star and teach someone how to dress, shop, dance, or even treat a lady. Any volunteers?

And finally, do one thing everyday that scares you. I already had this done today – one of those hands to mouth scares too - so I am off to a solid start. My big scare for the year is skydiving. Rod at work goes a lot and is trying to get a group of us to go with him. I always come up with one reason or another not to go, but this year it is on the list!

Oh and one more, not to end up like a pancake after the jump. Here’s hoping the chute opens!