Monday, August 28, 2006

The Summer of Niagara. Both of them.

Our little clan is great at hosting BBQs, dinners, games nights, Bocce tournaments and the like. Yesterday we had a feather put in our summer caps thanks to Little Lord Fauntleroy!

He took it upon himself to organize a day at the Shaw festival in Niagara on the Lake with a pre-theatre picnic and then a trip to Niagara Falls. CFB has never had the chance to see ‘The’ Falls. An evite was sent asking for play preference along with a request for picnic contributions.

After a slight delay in our departure and driving through a few thunder showers, we arrived in an overcast Niagara on the Lake. We wrangled two picnic tables right at the waters edge and laid out a feast fit for kings. There were two scrummy salads (green leafy – with poppy seed dressing - and a tomato), pecan encrusted chicken, quiche, pie, a fruit platter the size of the Niagara escarpment itself, fried chicken, crusty Italian bread, champagne and white wine. We ate off real plates, with real cutlery and drank out of wine glasses. We were the talk of the park!

It was a tad humid but the rain held off for us as we stuffed our gullets. We then sauntered to the theatre. Good thing we had the walk too. After all that food, sitting in a darkened theatre would have meant sleepy time from a carb crash.

We had settled on the Crucible. Overall I have to say it was an enjoyable experience. It could have done with one less scene and a little less squealing from the wicked girls, but I didn’t fall asleep and I actually felt like giving a standing ovation (hate doing that) at the end. I did have flashbacks to Angela Bassett in “What’s Love Got To Do With It”? You know, the court scene where Tina finally leaves Ike, says she wants nothing “except my name, all I want is my name”. In his final scene, Proctor goes on a rant about signing his name to his confession and why the evil justice system wants that too. My mind works in strange ways and I pictured him in a white pant suit waving his finger at the judge. With attitude.

You would think that would be enough for one day. For mere mortals maybe, but for five queens, two lesbians and our special guest (who miraculously went the whole day in 5 inch stilettos – including Clifton Hill!) we wanted more! We hit Niagara Falls (after a frantic search for flip flops) just in time to catch the last Maid of the Mist (nearly empty, fabulous!) and then made a couple stops on Clifton Hill. The Boyfriend, CFB, The Ching Chang Chinaman and Fauntleroy went on some drop zone type ride. If it was a straight up and down thing, I would have done it but this went up, dropped you a bit, back up, down, up, down, up etc etc.

I did manage to make it through a haunted house slinking behind (sometimes crawling on the floor) Lord Fauntleroy and The Boyfriend. Good times. It was just the shot of adrenaline I needed for the drive home. That and a quick stop at Tim Hortons for tea and water.

What a GREAT day. Snaps to you my Lordship!

Friday, August 25, 2006


It’s Sinfully Delicious!

Oh my! This is just sooo good I had to share.

Went to my local Tim Horton’s this morning with my friend Shaniqua. I ordered my usual cuppa steeped tea with milk. On a whim I also purchased a raisin tea biscuit and had it heated up. No butter of course as that would be unhealthy. I looked down my nose at the lady next to me who asked for butter on her bagel.

I trotted back to my desk, unwrapped the wax paper and looked at my dull, dry tea biscuit. Kicking myself for not getting butter (after all Julie Child said she didn’t trust people who don’t eat butter. And who wants Julia looking at them with questioning eyes?) my mind jumped to the Ritter Sport chocolate bar in my desk – does it make the chocolate healthy just by putting the word “Sport” in the name? It is the super yummy soft one with praline in it. I broke off two little squares (miraculously I only ate half of it yesterday when I opened it) and put them inside.
In about 20 seconds I had a gorgeous Nutella like goo oozing out of the tea biscuit. It is a must do. Truly delicious.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sieg Beetle!

This is one for the “what the heck?” file. Being keen on keeping abreast of world events, I read the BBC News, 680 News and a variety of other news websites on a daily basis. I came across a bizarre article that stated the Anophtalmus hitleri is on the verge of extinction. It is a brown, blind beetle and not for the squeamish. You may know it (although I have no idea why) by its non-Latin name, the Hitler Beetle.

Discovered in caves in Germany in 1933 (are they sure it wasn’t Hitler himself? No no, that would have been 1943. I am so bad with dates.) it was named after the dictator who apparently was flattered by the dedication. Right. Okay and question for the people of Germany, was that not your first clue that there was something a little off about this guy?

Apparently people are snapping these things up and paying upwards of 1000 Euros!!!!! That is one cruel fate considering that no German parent in the last six decades has called their child Adolf.

Who am I to judge though when I spent $47 US on a taxidermy squirrel last October. But come on, that was for a Halloween costume and served a very important purpose. And let’s face it, there are more squirrels around than we know what to do with.

But, back to the beetle. Poor thing. Just because it was named after Hitler, Neo-Nazis are snapping them up. Zoologists warn that the beetle is facing extinction because so many have been removed from the wild.

I am here to offer a solution. Those from Toronto, are no doubt aware that the landmark formerly known as Skydome (for upwards of 20 years) is now called the Rogers Centre. The Pantages Theatre has been renamed The Canon Theatre. Additions to museums, art galleries and hospitals are “rededicated” to whoever has the biggest cheque. The list of places being renamed and revamped is endless.

So why not start renaming animals on the endangered species list through corporate sponsorship? Not ownership mind you (see the film The Future of Food), rather 20 year leases on those most prized animals.

Think about it, VW renaming the Hitler Beetle and saving it. What is up with Germans and beetles anyway? Exxon could sponsor rare sea birds. Ford Motor Company could set its sites on the cougar. I really think I am on to something.

And those species that are a little too populous for our liking could be marketed as “collector editions”. Like Dung Beetle Barbie in her Poo Poo poncho! What little girl wouldn’t love that? Most of the ones I know, but you get the idea.

There is one positive side to all this beetle naming nonsense. The tradition continues and last year a beetle that feeds on slime-mould was named Agathidium bushi in honour of President Bush.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Closing Time

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.

I found myself repeatedly quoting this line from “Closing Time” by the Goo Goo Dolls at this, the last of my yoga boot camp weekends. I refused to say “good bye” and opted instead for “see you later”.

Much like Cher, we have already planned a “last chance” reunion in November so we will soon be together again. That, plus I am apparently hosting a slumber party for 6 of the ladies after the rave review from Dallas about her stay with me. It is a very good thing that I shall soon have two bedrooms in which to host all these people.

There were tears a plenty (aside from Jan, Gayle and I, we were each others rock) Saturday night at our graduation. It was due, in part, to the actual event itself. But I think the drink also added to the abundance of salty discharge from people eyes. This was the first and only weekend where we brought a little something to celebrate with. It was also the first weekend where I saw people really let their guard down. I will never look at Ms. Roosevelt the same again after her rendition of “I Am One”. So much for the quiet, demure grandma type.

Glen had wonderful things to say about each person (yours truly included) and it was almost as each person went to get their certificate, a new wave of tears started. I truly enjoyed watching people go up and thinking back on the good times I had had with each individual. It was a time for some reflection.

Light and Flaky was born around the time my little yoga adventure started. Looking back I have to say, mission accomplished. I am now a certified (I was certifiable long ago) yoga instructor with two well attended classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Reading some of my past entries, I see the old adage “be careful what you wish for” is true. I wanted cool, fun, relaxed classes with no pretense. And I now have just that. Although I am now being challenged with cell phones, people coming to classes late and a few chit-chatters. I learned a lot this year and this is proof positive I will continue to learn.

I plan on starting some classes of my own this fall as well and am hoping for the best. And what else can I hope for when I am doing something I truly enjoy.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Wonder.........

Each day at work, when I had people reporting to me, I would send my peeps (Etobicoke is so ghetto) a daily update that included a quote of the day. Out of habit, I still visit the old quote website for my own daily inspiration. I have a Zen calendar but I often don’t understand it.

Yesterday’s quote was “A friend is someone who helps you move. A true friend is someone that helps you move a body.” After my initial Edward Gorey inspired giggle, I started to wonder who would help me move a body. You know, in case the situation called for it. I am big and strong now and could move one or two on my own, but one day I might need help. Did I say that out loud? Oh dear. Anyway, here is my list:

The Boyfriend: Probably would not help with the body. He doesn’t like bugs so I am thinking a corpse is off limits. That, plus that fact that if he breaks anything else or forgets to put the pillowcases in the wash again the body being moved will be his.

KitKat: Definitely would be game. Although I think, for some reason, it would be me helping him move a body. (And I would do it too darling)

Lord Fauntleroy: Tough call. He has a nice roomy car, so even if he turned a blind eye and gave me the keys that would be appreciated. Mind you, all his lab experience has numbed him to gore and he likes Twin Peaks, so I think I could count on him.

CJ: No choice. She is family. She has to help. She would cry from me yelling at her, but she would help.

The Girls in the Dollhouse: The Italian one for sure. It is second nature to those mafia types. The Pink Lady? I would have to say no. She wouldn’t want to get blood on her Fleuvogs. She is mighty good in the garden though, so maybe she could dig the hole.

CPB: He can barely carry himself around let alone another dead weight. He would be there in spirit though.

The Italian Stallion: I hate to paint all Italians with the same “mafia” brush, but I will. He also knows how to pour concrete so at the very least I could have him unwittingly cover the body over.

LSC: She didn’t like it when I used to grab her knees, so I think if I handed her one to carry, she would say no.

Momo: She let’s me call her Momo and she calls me Bobo. We’ve known each other since the 7th grade. If she said no, she would, at the very least, come visit me in jail.

I promise not to ever put any of you in this situation, but just in case, have your gloves and shovels ready.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

At Least I Have A Matching Set.

The polar ice caps are melting and receding at an unprecedented rate and so, apparently, are my gums. That was the news from my dentist this week. What fun! Perhaps my mouth is a barometer for the world environment. If only we could dispense with pollution as easily as I whisk the goop off my tongue with my scraper. If it were that easy to rid the world of its troubles, George Bush and Stephen Harper would be awash in a sea of Listerine as we speak. Alas no.

Currently, my teeth are the picture of health. White, straight, big and strong. My teeth could kick Poland's teeth ass anyday! I have Aryan teeth you know. But that was not always the case. I endured headgear for almost four years. And I don’t mean the regular one band around the back of the head kind either. It was headgear built for Hannibal Lecture. The kids that sat behind me in school would grab hold and say things like “giddy up” and “easy boy, easy”. No one would come near me when there was lightening around either.

That was followed by almost three years of braces. Not all bad as it turned me off gum for life and helped establish excellent oral hygiene habits that are in place to this day.

The reality however, is that hardly a visit to the dentist went by without a cavity. There are more holes in my teeth than in a 5lb block of Swiss cheese. Mr. and Mrs. Plaque take the young ones on summer vacation to my molars to see the microbial equivalent of the Grand Canyon. The veneer of my teeth is supposedly quite thin and in time will disappear all together (much like the ozone layer, hmmmmmmmmmmm?) and I have very acidic saliva that does nothing but compound the problem. Fun indeed.

The dentist took x-rays to “monitor the retreat” and if it gets bad, we will “talk about possible solutions”. What solutions? Does she mean skin grafting? From where, my butt? At least when I tell someone to kiss my ass, it would be a good thing, for I am a good kisser you see. Or does she mean dentures? Looking back at the old family history, this is a distinct possibility.

Grandpa Cosby took a bite of a burger once and when he looked down at the bun saw one of his teeth sticking out of it. He didn’t bite into anything hard, it didn’t hurt, the tooth just fell out. His dentist decided to ‘assist’ the rest and he soon found himself fitted with dentures. Which, by the way, he loved to drop down in his mouth in order to scare his Grandchildren. That is how my sister got stitches in the back of her head –backing away from him too fast and into the wall.

Not much I can do about it right now. No change in diet or brushing needed. I just got a bum deal in the old teeth department. Oh well, I can only hope my waist line recedes along with my gums and my hair.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Oh Waiter! There is a fly in my soup......

Last night The Boyfriend had a little BBQ in his backyard. It was one of those perfect summer nights. Warm, but not hot, with a light breeze, no mosquitoes and free flowing wine. The birds chirped in the tree that covers the deck and squirrels scampered hither and thither.

Diamond Don and CPB were there as were two female companions. We had just refreshed our glasses when there was the distinct ‘ping’ sound from rain hitting the metal table we were all gathered around. We looked up, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Then ‘ping’! And again ‘ping’ ‘ping’ ‘ping’ it was indeed starting to rain. Or so we thought. We felt the rain hitting us too. As it turns out though, it was just the rain ricocheting off the table and splattering us. These ‘raindrops’ however, were all concentrated in an area about the size of a CD. Baffled, we looked up just in time to see a squirrel scamper away and climb further up the tree.

That’s right; the squirrel had just given us a golden shower!

Two entries ago, I wrote about how some people are superstitious when it comes to a bird pooping on them. They say it is good luck and to go buy a lotto ticket. What do we do now that a squirrel has urinated on us? Go to the race track? Enter a beauty pageant?

We thought it was best to empty our glasses (down the sink, not drink), give them a good wash and start another bottle. This time though, we used those little cocktail umbrellas. I never knew they served such a practical purpose

Thursday, August 03, 2006

From the mouths of babes......

So yesterday I had to drive my friend Rose home from work as her car was not feeling so good. Her husband was going to come get her but he had the kids and she lives close by so I told her I could drop her off.

We pull up in front of her place and her kids come running out to meet her. Squeals of “mommy” and “look at what I made today” were soon replaced with the question “who is that”? Apparently, if any non-family member stops by, the kids get very curious very quickly.

My charm and my natural rapport with children soon won them over and Sebastian was chatting to me as I leaned out the car window. I asked him what he had done so far on his summer vacation and he proudly stated “I went to the vet”. It was odd, or so I thought, for an 8 year old to be that excited about a trip to the vet, but whatever. Maybe he wants to be one when he grows up. I played along.

“I didn’t know you had a pet.” I said. To which he replied “I don’t.” Now I must admit that I was stumped. Either he didn’t know what a vet was or there was a joke coming. It turns out to be the latter. “Then why did you go to the vet?” I queried.

Happy that I was a willing participant in his little joke, Sebastian jumped back from the car, flexed his arms a la Arnold and said “because these pythons are sick!” His little arms have a circumference less then my thumb, but whatever. Heavens. I’ve known the kid 5 minutes and he has my sense of humour pegged.