Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sucks and the City

I really should call it Mildly Disappointed and the City, but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. It had all the right pieces in the right order…but there was too much interference. The tight story, witty quips and good one-liners had too much junk in the way! You’d think we’d learn….Bewitched, Starsky and Hutch, The Flintstones, The Beverly Hillbillies and so goes the list. Good TV = Bad Movies.

There have been a few exceptions – Charlie’s Angels and The Addams Family – but it is a pretty safe bet that one should not get their hopes up when it comes to the TV to Movie leap.

Maybe that is what it was, our expectations were too high. I dusted off the cocktails glasses and stocked up on the fixin’s for cosmos. Costco sized cranberry juice and all. KitKat had been stocking his blog with clips from the series. And as I sat in traffic this week I actually tried to justify which characters my male friends would be. Fauntleroy = Miranda, Alberta Boy = Samantha, KitKat = Carrie and a bit’o Samantha, Kerouac = Charlotte and Carrie and myself = Charlotte.

The movie however did provide me another excuse to wear my “I shit my pants at mañana” t-shirt. After that scene though, it was really downhill. I mean, really, where can you go after that?

I was however happy to see, that the movie inspired so many groups of friends to get together, on a school night no less, dress up and go out together. I am all for the social element of the show, but save your money and avoid the disappointment. Have your friends over, make your own big batch of cosmos and watch the series on DVD.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Welcome Back

It is with open arms that I welcome back pie season! Of course you can make a pie at any point in the year. But they never taste as good as when the filling comes out of your own garden. Or your father's at the very least.

I was tickled pink when I went for a visit and found a bag FULL of rhubarb sitting on the table waiting for me! Fresh, pink, tart and right out of the garden.

The Desperate Housewives gang is in for a treat tonight!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

1962, your table is ready.

What better way to kick off the long weekend than with a trip down memory lane? Not my lane mind, but my mother’s. I was just along for the ride and I am glad I was. Friday morning found the parents, sister and I flying along the back roads of southwestern Ontario towards Lake Erie.

I use the word ‘flying’ as lead-foot Mitchell was at the wheel and managed to get stopped by the Old Piss Pots (aka the O.P.P.). He was 25km over but since he “seems to be such a nice guy” the rather cute officer of the law, dropped it to 10km over. No points, just the $40 fine. As we pulled back onto the road, we agreed that if we had no appetizer with lunch, the ticket would be covered. We made the best of it and headed for Port Dover.

Not far from there, at Turkey Point, is where my mother’s family had their summer cottage. Port Dover was one of the stops they used to make on the way. On a regular trip, it was for foot long hot dogs and orange soda. On a special trip, it was to stop at the Erie Beach Hotel for their “World Famous” perch and salads. All trips included a stop at the local bakery where my great-grandfather would take 20 minutes to buy a loaf of bread. Actually, the bread only took one minute. The other 19 were spent in the neighbouring bar having a drink or two before getting back behind the wheel. Ahhhhh, the good old days. My mom, sister and Nana sat in the car waiting for the bread.

Ticket aside, we managed to make our reservation. As I stepped into the Erie Beach Hotel’s “most formal dining room” a wave circa 1962 washed over me. The waitresses were all in starched, crisp white uniforms, the walls were a pastel pink/peach colour, faux vines climbed the walls and the chairs were covered with a pea green/yellow ultra-suede type material. Napkins were folded into little hats and vases of pink carnations with baby's breath adorned the tables.

Already on the table were their five “world famous” (they had a few such items on the menu) salads. There was cucumber salad with a dressing of sour cream AND Miracle Whip, coleslaw, bean salad, horseradish salad (yes, that's right) and a large plate of assorted pickled items (including a yummy pickled pumpkin). But the pièce de rèsistance was the Sunshine Salad; 4 cups of sour cream, 500g of tiny marshmellows, ½ C. shredded coconut, 1 tin of pineapple chunks and 2 tins of mandarin orages. Did I say 1962? I meant 1952.

How do I know the recipe? Well, I asked and they gave them to me – for all five salads! So much for secret recipes!

Of course with all those bad ingredients, it tasted incredibly good! It was just a well we agreed to no appetizers because the salads alone were a meal. The “world famous” celery bread certainly earned its reputation. SOOOOO GOOD! Hot, soft, crisp edges covered in butter – yummy!

Since we were on butter, miracle whip and sour cream, we didn’t hold back on the tartar sauce when our fried perch arrived. And we didn’t say no to pecan pie when it was offered. Suffice it to say, we could have walked home and still been stuffed! We managed a brief walk around the beach and out on the pier. The town was clearly gearing up for Friday, June 13th as we saw several shops selling Harley Davidson t-shirts proclaiming the big day. Apparently every Friday the 13th, the town is over run with biker gangs?

I tried to picture the Cove Room waitresses serving pickled pumpkin to leather clad bikers and have to say I am tempted to go back just to see that.

On the way home, mom pointed out this place and talked of fond memories. She pointed out that she was starting to sound like her mother. Reading the street signs to us to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Pointing out the hotdog stand were you could get a foot long – the sign proudly boasting of 85 seasons of being in business and many other childhood memories.

As she spoke, I remembered the lyrics from the sunscreen song “Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.”

Mom and Dad, thanks for sharing and letting me get to know you. Next time, we hit the hotdog stand and Julie’s buying!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Back To Beeton Basics

Since my “Seven Year Lie” entry, I have made more shocking discoveries. Grey nose hair, a grey chest hair (it all starts with one) and even a grey pubic hair. It’s all over. In a panic I turned to the ever faithful Mrs. Beeton for some help. The woman tells you how to make your own shoe polish for heaven’s sake. Surely she has a failsafe method for turning back the clock. But no.

She did however give me a few good laughs and that is always good for the spirit and therefore the body. For example, did you know that the “good race of servants has died out, at least in England.” Additionally, “domestics no longer know their place because the introduction of cheap silks and cotton has removed the landmarks between the mistress and her maid.” And I thought it was because the riding crop has fallen out of fashion.

Even if you can find a good footman, you have to be careful about how comfortable they get with you in front of guests. A game of cribbage between mistress and servant behind closed doors is one thing, but for them to say “Ma’am you forgot to count his nob” with company present is quite another. Mrs. Beeton, I have a question, what is your guest doing with his nob out in the first place?

And did you know that “breaking glass and china is about the most disagreeable thing that can happen in a family”. Forget theft, adultery, abuse, incest and the like, the destruction of a good platter trumps them all. I like my Denby and Royal Dolton as much as the next person, but come on now.

She also has sound advice for raising kids. Not having any experience on this front, her words seem wise. For example, when teaching a child to walk, you need to switch from one hand to the other to “avoid raising one shoulder higher than the other. This is the only way in which a child should be taught to walk; leading strings and other foolish inventions, which force an infant to make efforts, shoulders and head forward, before it knows how to use its limbs, will only render it feeble and retard its progress.”

There is also advice on identifying and curing ailments in children. Symptoms for worms, “the torment of some children” include “fetid breath, a livid circle under the eyes and picking the nose”. Ummmm, doesn’t that last one mean all kids have worms? One more check in the “reasons not to” column!

Adult patients receive advice from Beeton too. The sick room should be quiet. “No rustling of dresses, nor creaking shoes. The nurse should wear list shoes and her dress should be of soft material that does not rustle. Miss Nightengale denounces crinoline.” Lord Melbourne is also quoted as saying “I would rather have men about me, when ill, than women; it requires very strong health to put up with women.” Strong health and a gin martini Melbourne!

I swear I am not making this next one up. When looking for a wet nurse, “the best evidence of a sound state of health is found in the ruddy tone of skin, the full round and elastic state of the breasts, and especially in the erectile, firm condition of the nipple”. Good Lord, I think I just found every straight man’s dream job – interviewing wet nurses.

One that did NOT make me laugh though, but rather clutch at my throat, was the treatment for teething. If you are “satisfied that the tooth is fully formed, and is out of the socket and under the gum, we advocate lancing the gums. When assured of the above points, the gum should be cut lengthwise from the top of the gum downwards to the tooth.” And I thought going to the dentist was bad!

Friday, May 09, 2008

My Crack Addiction

Good point SFVF, I need to explain what face crack is.

I know where, what with my being a gay man and all, your mind probably goes when I say crack (hee hee). But no. It is not what you think. PV08 was very taxing on the body and you had to make sure you maintained proper moisture levels, water (gin, vodka, beer and clamato) for the inside and moisturizing sunscreen for the body. The face though, requires extra special attention. Along with your hands, nothing reveals ones true age like the face.

Being somewhat pale, and having experienced some bad sunburns in the past, I wanted to make sure I was well supplied with moisturizer. In with the firming body soother and anti-gravity firming lift mask went the Crème de la Mer Mist and Clinique moisture surge face spray.

These accompanied us to the beach each day and sat on our little table in and amongst the Corona bottles. At first, it was cute and fun to sprits your face but PV08SFVF and I soon found ourselves reaching for the bottle at the same time and with greater frequency.

It’s like being really thirsty and having a sweet drink. While it temporarily satisfies, you quickly find yourself needing more. I now have the La Mer with me in the car for a post work day stress reliever and the moisture surge on hand for those tough mornings.

Get yourselves ready for the summer my friends and stock up!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Seven Year Lie

Heads up, this one might have a faint smell of vanity. I don’t recall where or when I first heard it, but I know that I have. They say, and so does Google, that every seven years you get a new body. That is, every cell in your body is changed over a seven year period. The debate is still on about the personality, but I want to argue the body B.S.

I am not due for a change for 3 years. At 42 I was expecting to see a big changed in my carcass. But since my 39th birthday I have been falling apart! What gives? Hello cell changing people, would you ease off already? I need to write a letter to gravity.

Was it exposure to the sun in PV08? Is it lack of sleep? Is it, God forbid, the gin? The miracle of Crème de la Mer used to erase the fine lines around the eyes. Lately however, I feel like I have more crow’s feet on my face than Tippi Hedron did in the birds. And they won’t go away! Now I am not so deluded as to think I didn’t have them before, but now they are there at every turn! And my once perky cheeks (both sets) don’t shine with the youthful vitality they once did.

Maybe it is the face crack? Could that be doing it? PV08SFVF, is it happening to you too?

The other day doing a high lunge in yoga class, I noted an abundance of stretch marks on my hips and thighs too! Where is the justice? Where is the justice I ask! I look after myself, exercise daily, eat well and this is what I get?

And to top it all off, in preparation for Grapefruit this Friday, I pulled on my $5 jeans and had a muffin top! WHAT? I know. God. I swear in less than a week my train has jumped the rails.

Much like Blanche Dubois in Streetcar, I fear that I shall now have to retreat further into the shadows, install dimmers on more lights in my house and only go out at night. “I was young once. And now look at me! I am this short, bald, middle aged thing”. “I made you short?” That one is for Janet and The Pink Girl.

I have to go now. People my age need sleep. And lots of it.