Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Goblet! The Goblet! The Goblet's On Fire!

So I watched Harry Potter on IMAX, opening day. It was effing amazing.

I must question, though, the intelligence of some of the parents at this showing, and those who I'm sure dragged their young tots to other showings.

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is rated PG-13 for a reason. I understand it may be grossly inconvenient to go with your older kid(s) and leave the youngest at home. But don't bring your whole passel of rugrats, and then give a stuffed animal and a pillow to your adorable three-year-old daughter and say, "Now you sit with Daddy and remember to hide your face in the pillow during the scary parts, okay?"

No! NO! You don't pay $13 to bring a child along who won't understand the story (much less the concepts of raging hormones or of death), who maybe knows that, oooh, there's a dragon in the movie, and then tell her to hide her face during the scary parts, which is basically the whole last twenty minutes of the film. Scary!! Start acting like a 'parent' and provide some better 'guidance' than telling your kid to hide her face during the scary parts!


Okay, that being said, I really did enjoy the movie, despite all the nasty things I'm about to say about it. Being a typical Virgo, I am still compelled to nitpick.

The entire movie, especially Dan Radcliffe's performance as Harry, has become decidedly more English-feeling, no doubt due to director Newell's own Britisher origins, as Harry moves into the awkwardness of unexpected hormonal surges - *ah-Cho* (Bless me!) Dan's crying technique, as shown upon Harry's return from the graveyard where Voldemort was restored to his body, is much improved over the oft-lamented "He was their friend" scene from Prisoner of Azkaban. Also, his ability to show great pain, when the Dark Lord performs the Cruciatus curse on him, is better than his wincing in the first movie

More British-isms were found throught the film, notably Harry's confrontation with Ron before the first task, after Harry finds out that Ron heard about the dragons from his brother Charlie and didn't tell Harry directly (this is not exactly as it was in the book, BTW):

[Ron and Seamus are walking down the hall, talking trash about Harry]
Harry: Hey!
[Ron and Seamus stop walking]
Harry: You're a nasty old git, you know that?
Ron [looking downcast]: Yeah. Anything thing else?
Harry [sputters for a moment]: Yeah, stay away from me!

Somehow, the more liberal use of the word 'git' actually serves to reiterate the foreigness of the movie, and Ron's surly "Piss off" the night that Harry's name is drawn also demonstrates how the film is moving away from childhood into adolescence.

But we mustn't forget about Hermione! I've always thought that, unfortunately, Emma tends to overact just a smidge at times. Who can forget, "It's 'Le-vi-OH-sah, not Le-vi-oh-SAH!" (Philosopher's Stone) Now, I freely admit remembering exactly what I was like and how I reacted emotionally at fourteen is a bit difficult, but it seemed that Ron and Hermione's infamous spat after the Yule Ball was still melodramatic. But she looked great; I wish my prom dress had looked so nice.

However, Important Things have been cut out that are integral to maintaining the storyline in the next three movies. Unacceptable!!!

What about Fudge refusing to believe that Voldemort has risen anew? Important to the strong propaganda element in the fifth book.

What about Dumbledore making those cryptic remarks about Sirius staying with "the old crowd, hang low at Lupin's", etc, which are an important segue into introducing said old crowd who are featured in the near future?

What about Dobby? He shows Harry where the Room of Requirement is in the following book, and then tails Malfoy in the sixth. But how can he do any of these things when we don't even know he's at Hogwarts in the first place?

And do you know how many people who haven't read any of the books have come up to me (knowing I know everything written so far in the series) and asked, "So what was up with that big ball of light with the wands thing?" Clarity of key points relevant to future story is imperative, Mr. Kloves! (On a related note, I think Ollivander has either been kidnapped by the Dark Lord to create a wand that he can use against Harry, or hopefully was smart enough to go into hiding before this could happen [though unfortunately, I don't think this will be the case].)

Sadly, I found the last five minutes of the movie were weak, so weak as to not be able to flay the Dark Lord with a wet tagliatelle grande. I mean, Steve Kloves, what were you thinking? Did your wondrous imagination just desert you utterly right at the end of the script and you had to present the absolute final thing with five minutes to spare so you just put in that garbage? Did Her Holiness of Youth Fiction JKR even read what you wrote? Sooooo much potential with Hermione's famous statement: "Everything's going to change now, isn't it." And you blew it, Steve, you completely blew it.


What about Harry's emotional numbness following Cedric's death? Important to the transition into Rage Against The [Political] Machine he feels when no one believes him.

Well, here's hoping that Jo will slap Steve and say in her beautiful British-accented voice, "I get to help this time."

Saturday, November 26, 2005


As a new bride-to-be I can totally see
How one can become a wedding banshee.
Read ye this now, before it's too late,
And the chance of your becoming one may abate.

There's still almost a year before having the fear
Of forgetting my tissues to wipe a stray tear
Whilst at the altar, pledging my love,
Conveniently forgetting I've been less than a dove.

"Start with a place," all my married friends say,
So I look for one that is available on the day
That we want to be wed, and I call and and I state,
"I am planning ahead, can I visit [this date]?"

Then I have a bad day in an even worse week,
And I'm calling the groom (it's like Hide-and-go-seek).
I fuss and I wait and I pout and I call,
"I'm sorry, can't make it, the groom is AWOL."

I leave Him a mean message: "I'm glad you're not dead.
I've cancelled our meeting. I've gone home instead."
I slam down the phone and I try not to cry;
His legs I will break! His balls I will fry!

I make it home (barely) without flipping out,
But I throw myself down on the bed and I shout
In my head, "What a prick!" Then I sob for this day
Of horrendous occurrences, and nerves on the fray.

And then He arrives, tired, with no money,
Because snow in Ontario makes people funny.
They forget how to drive, or perhaps never knew
That in winter, IT SNOWS, and turns roads to goo.

"Traffic was horrible," says He, the soul of calm,
"And I tried my best to get here"; His voice, a soothing balm.
"I just spent all my money on a taxi, for us two,
So we could check this place out, and have time for me and you.
And then I get this message through the driver's borrowed phone
Telling me I'm a jerk and that tonight I'm all alone."

It really makes you wonder if the planning's worth the while
When it has a way of turning one into a shrieking, surly child.
We murmur our apologies, and go to bed and hope
That we'll have the strength to do this, and not to just elope.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Join the (Dance) Revolution

In the months since my last post, I have become a great fan of dancing video games, namely Playstation's "Dance Dance Revolution" series. It's insanely addictive, not to mention a fabulous workout for my ass and thighs.

The premise is simple: step on the arrows in time with the music. The arrows scroll upwards, and when they reach the top of the screen you step on the appropriate arrow on the dance mat, which is used instead of a hand-held controller. Some games have really catchy songs (like "Cartoon Heroes" by Aqua, and "Days go By" by Dirty Vegas), some have really crazy remixes (like "Speed Over Beethoven", which is a really fast, technified version of Beethoven's "Fur Elise", or an annoyingly slow version of "Oops, I Did It Again").

Five levels of play - Beginner, Light, Standard, Heavy, and Challenge. There is also a foot rating: the more feet, the higher the difficulty. I'm averaging about 5, 6 feet Standard, though I managed a Heavy level last week. I seem to do better with an audience. Really fun at parties.

I highly recommend this game to anyone who doesn't want to go to the gym. It's way more fun.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Fall from the wagon

I fell off the diet wagon hard yesterday... My boyfriend is gone sailing, and less than twelve hours after his departure I cave and buy a huuuuuge bag of chips, and eat almost the entire thing over the course of the afternoon. PMS finally reared its ugly head, in a really violent way.

Well, I feel good and sick to my stomach now, as well as having rubbed the roof of my mouth raw from the salt, and suffering from an insane case of cramps. The very thought of the word "junk food" turns my stomach. That'll show me to fall off the wagon. After I start eating again, it will be healthier food. Ow.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


I felt the need, very strongly, to write this as it happened. It goes on in some detail (and at length) about the very technical art of applying lipstick just... so. And for those who are going, ick, that's disgusting lipstick, I have since thrown it out.

She’d always known that she didn’t have a spectacular mouth. Cute, perhaps, but never glamorous and sensual. A moderately full lower lip, but not much upper lip to speak of. It would thin to the point of invisibility whenever she smiled, much to her chagrin, and so saved herself from grinning hugely unless she was with close friends or family, because face it, no one wants to see a lip disappear. To top it off, she frequently had dry lips, and as such, were always rather pale, unless she had just been eating (or kissing her boyfriend passionately, which, due to the unfortunate circumstance of living apart, didn’t happen very often). As a result, she never thought much about her mouth, except when she couldn’t find her lip balm.
One hot July day, she was lounging about in her apartment in a faded, thin, white undershirt of her father’s. It had stains from hair dye, and holes in the armpits: not exactly siren-esque clothing. Sitting at her computer, she turned in her chair to look at herself in the mirror only three feet away. Her short hair was messy, and greasy enough to be manageable and stylish as the same time. Bed head, they called it. It was perfect bed head. If it got too flat, she simply had to plow her fingers into her hair, at the nape, and comb up through to her forehead and voilà! Instant shabby chic ’do.
She gazed at her image for a long time, forgetting her computer utterly. She slouched in her chair and brought her left foot up to rest near her crotch, letting her right leg dangle. She turned the chair slightly, to bring herself into near-profile. She played with her belly, imagining the day when it would carry a child, and then pushed it out slightly. With her left hand under her breasts, and her right seeming to cup her belly, she determined that in this position, she could pass for five or six months pregnant.
She smiled to herself as she ran her hands again and again over her protruding tummy, examining it from different angles in the mirror, envisioning her body as that of an earth mother, when all of a sudden, she noticed that her smile looked—yes, radiant! Her cheeks plumped perfectly, and whether it was the evening light coming in through the window, or the sheer force of her maternal vision, she glowed. Her face was pleasantly flushed, not with exertion or heat, but with the simple suffusion of happiness into her features.
She was dumbstruck. Over and over, she relaxed her face, and then watched as she thought of being a mother and her mouth would just widen and look so…happy! It was incredible. It was as if a light had been switched on. She had a beautiful mouth! It simply took the right thought to trigger it! She smiled at her discovery, and for the first time in her twenty-two years, noticed a dimple. It wasn’t very deep, and barely noticeable, but it was there. She had a dimple in her right cheek, much higher and farther back than she’d thought a dimple might be found. It took a different sort of smile to get the dimple, a more squinty-eyed and amused smile. She knew that more often than not, when she really smiled, her eyes tended to close a bit, her right eye a bit more than her left, until she almost looked like she’d be winking. She supposed it was some sort of facial tic she had to think about to control, but she knew that when she did control it, her smile didn’t look genuine. It wasn’t like her to prepare her face for an appropriate expression. Like all true expression, it shouldn’t be controlled.
Suddenly eager to learn more about her mouth, she got up and then sat right in front of the mirror, examining her lips minutely. She licked her lips and watched for any cracks. There were none. For once, her lips weren’t dry and they even had some colour. But she wanted more. She got up and headed for the bathroom.
She owned exactly one tube of lipstick. It was nearly ten years old if it was a day, but a Merle Norman brand and thus still in fairly good condition. Mocha Cream semi-transparent lipstick. It had been her mother’s tube, one she had bought after getting her one and only makeover, and one lifted by her from the dresser on the way to a sleepover. Though mother and daughter looked much alike, the colour had a different effect on the daughter, who was much more pale. On her mother it simply looked like a natural enhancement of her lips, but on the daughter it was more dramatic, much darker.
She fiddled through her meagre kitbag, looking for the rosy tube and the lip liner (also lifted from the dresser those many years ago) meant to go with it, with the tempting name of Choice Chocolate. Seeing the lip liner dull with years of use—though only for special occasions like New Year’s Eve and graduation—she sharpened it with an ordinary pencil sharpener. It took a while, because the delicate wax kept breaking, but eventually, she got a nice tapered point. She then returned to the bathroom and rooted one more time for the coveted lip brush, a tiny thing in a silver case that ensured more precise and lighter application of the lipstick.
Starting with her lower lip, as she always did, she carefully drew from right to left, outlining her lip with the tip, then filling it in carefully with the pencil at an angle, so as not to lose the slightly sharper tip. This was the easy part. Her lower lip, she conceded, could indeed be very sensual. One uncomplicated curve.
She scrutinized her upper lip once more, wondering how to accentuate the bow that was barely there. Thinking of the Roaring Twenties, she remembered that flappers would put on their makeup—in public, no less—and emphasize their lips à la Clara Bow, the It Girl of the time. In other words, creating a bow that wasn’t there. When she had gone to her high school prom (God, was that five years ago already?) she had gotten a makeover from the mom of a friend of a friend, who had also tried to create a more pronounced mouth, much as she was doing tonight. That woman had failed miserably. The image in the mirror had horrified her (it looked like the Creature From the Collagen Doctor From Hell, lips all over the place) but she smiled politely, paid her five dollars, and wiped it all off when she got home. She wound up going to the prom au naturel, makeup-wise.
She held the pencil firmly as she traced the slighter, subtler curves of her upper lip, and then stopped. She looked and saw that her upper lip looked like a straight line. It frustrated her. She knew she had at least a bit of a bow. She neared the mirror until she was almost nose-to-nose with her reflection. She began by adding obviously fake and exaggerated curves to her lip, and then leaned back to examine her handiwork from afar. Hmm, she thought, a little too much on the left. Grabbing a square of toilet paper, she wiped with her nail under the tissue to ensure a straight erasure. A little better, and she fixed the line to meet the corner of her mouth a little more naturally. Almost done.
The cover of the lipstick came off with a satisfying muffled pop, and she deftly twisted the coloured tube up. The cover for the lip brush was a little harder to remove, as it hadn’t been used in many years, but it finally came off with an equally satisfying wrench. She pushed the cover of the lip brush onto the end, which in turn pushed up the brush and held it firmly in place. She carefully brushed the lipstick, and then began with broad strokes on her lower lip. Her upper lip required a little more concentration, and she filled in the slightly triangular peaks delicately. She then cleaned off the lip brush, covered the lipstick and the lip liner and the lip brush, and put them all away.
Going back to her room, she looked at her reflection, at the whole effect. It was hard in the bathroom, with that artificial light and neck-up image. But here it was different. She looked like she should be in a black-and-white film. The lipstick was darker, much darker on her than it had been on her mother. She looked and felt like she should be wearing a long dress and be swathed in diamonds. No, pearls. Something classy. And sexy. But at the same time, she didn’t want to be necessarily classy…but definitely sexy.
She drew the worn and holey shirt from her body and reached immediately for the black teddy she had bought at the second-hand store. She pulled it over her head and let it slither down her body. She hummed in pleasure, and moved her hips in time to the silent music that suddenly played in her mind. She opened a little white jewellery box and took out the some jewellery she had lost months ago and only found days before. A necklace, dark metal with black beads draping her collarbone in graduated lengths. Taking off the three slender gold hoops she normally wore, she put on matching earrings, four beads long, level with her chin and light enough to tickle her jaw when she shook her head. Finally, one single black stud for the second hole in her left ear.
She put on her black strappy heels, but then nixed them as she realized this teddy required bare feet. She stood in front of the mirror, and was stunned as she looked at herself.
Her lips were perfect.
They had never looked better to her in her entire life. She moved closer, and they still looked good. Again, she put herself nose-to-nose, and still, they looked amazing. She knelt, posing in what she felt was a sexy pose, and ever so slowly, she smiled. A temptress beckoning her lover with a slightly arched left brow.
An incurable romantic receiving a dozen roses.
A famous actress winning an Oscar.
A shameless hussy putting money in her brassiere.
A petulant and spoiled mistress.
A crazy comedienne hooting hugely at her own joke.
Back to the maternal smile.
And then the smile that went beyond it all, that entirely spontaneous cheek-plumping, dimple-making, eye-squinting grin that made her laugh with the sheer exuberance of her discovery. She could have a beautiful smile. And now she knew it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Blackmail, Etc.

I detest people who make unreasonable demands or threaten to take negative action before allowing you the chance to explain or make amends. Arg.

I suppose that's one of the hazards of being in a customer service call centre. Just fill in the Mad Lib.

"I had a [negative adjective] experience at one of your stores and I was told [unlikely story]. I'm going to tell [anyone customer has ever spoken to] about the [negative adjective] policy that you guys have and I think I deserve [some ridiculous compensation] for my troubles, because I live [number] kilometers away and it takes me [amount of time] to get there, but I take the time to go there because it's my favorite store and you [insulting name] have to make an exception just for me me me because I'm your best customer and if you don't do this I'm never going to shop at your store again."*

*this is a lie, we've checked

Honestly people, just come up with something a little more original. Or be proactive and try to sort things out with the store first. Or read the goddamned rules of the program before you bitch about why you couldn't get something for free. I freely admit it's not the easiest read, but we're not hiding anything from you: we truly want you to understand. Don't tell me you can't find it anywhere. It's right there.

Don't try to rationalize your frankly ridiculous demand. It won't work.

No, we are not going to send you a $200 gift card because we changed one of the rules of our program. We reserve the right to change the terms without notice.

No, we don't "have it all on computer". We aren't going to call a dozen stores for you to see if they have a limited quantity product available on the last day of the sale. Call them yourself.

No, we do not do exchanges or refunds without proof of purchase. Neither do most other retailers, so don't try and pull that "but Wal-Mart does" bullshit on us. (For the record, Wal-Mart's policy does require proof of purchase, too.)

No, we cannot re-send previous issues of our magazine. Change your address at least one month ahead of time. Besides, it's a free magazine so stop complaining that we're grossly inconveniencing you.

And so what if you leave? For every customer we lose we gain a few more. Let's be frank: if you've shopped with us for five years and you've only spent a few hundred dollars, that amounts to what...less than $100 a year? Which means you probably spend more on coffee in a year than you do in our stores. Reward your loyalty? What loyalty? Get real.

Then there are the calls that are actually bad. You were yelled at by the manager in front of other customers and/or staff. You were not told you could get almost $100 of free stuff and instead blew your points on a magazine. You slipped on shampoo on the floor and hit your head. The photolab lost the order of irreplaceable honeymoon pictures, or the pharmacist gave you eyedrops instead of eardrops.

We understand. We care. We want to make sure this doesn't happen again, and we genuinely want you to feel better about our company after this experience is over. We appreciate your patience while we look into the matter for you. Please give us a chance to rectify the situation before you go running off and telling everyone in creation what a horrendous experience you had.

Yes, it was bad, and we admit that. But think about how it makes you look if you run away from everything before giving it a chance to be resolved.

If you went to a restaurant and ordered a burger with no mayo, and when it arrived and had mayo on it, would you just leave the restaurant in a huff? Or worse, would you throw the burger at the poor waitress and scream, "I said, no whipped eggwhite on my beef patty!"? No, you'd say, "Excuse me" (if you were polite, anyway, maybe you'd just say "hey you"), "I ordered it without mayo." At which point she'd likely apologize and bring you a new burger.

Well, it's the same with us. If you notice something's wrong, let us know. If you don't tell us, we'll never know, and then we can't fix it. It may seem absurdly simple, but it's true. Take my word for it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Who, me? Diet? (Part Two)

Well, it's been nearly a month and I'm proud to say we're still sticking to our healthy-eating and exercising regime. I haven't eaten any chips in a month, I didn't throttle my boyfriend while I was PMSing (though I came close to tears a few times), I have a bit more endurance, and I truly think I've lost weight, though I have no idea how much.

(I actually found the scale under the bathroom sink. So much for getting rid of it. But I haven't stepped on it! Still no idea how much I weigh!)

I look better, too. My legs look leaner, overall, though I'm still not entirely pleased with my thighs. Oh, well, eternal struggle and all that. My pooch is disappearing, too. Pooch, y'know, that irritating little pocket of flab, women, between your navel and your pubic bone? "Pooch" sounds better than "sub-abdominal fat sack", anyway. (No, I don't know if that's the genuine medical term for it. Take it up with Gray's Anatomy.) And my hips are getting smaller knickers aren't as tight. It's fabulous!!! And he's lookin' fi-ine, if I do say so myself. Not that he didn't before... oh, you all know what I mean.

Don't get me wrong, I still totally miss chips. I don't eat pasta as often as I used to. Or A&W burgers and fries. I'm not saying «I weel nevah eet zees tings again». We're doing a slim-down phase right now, probably for another month, and to keep ourselves from going crazy Friday is designated "not-so-healthy food" night (Philly melts or pizza and beer for him, chicken fingers or burgers and fries for me, for example). We will gradually move into the 'maintenance' phase, where we slowly start re-introducing the junky foods (Wavy Lays and Doritos) that we miss into our diet, though still making sure we don't eat them too often. That's the trick. We both think our stomachs have shrunk as a result of the smaller portions, as we both get full faster than we used to, so that helps too.

My boyfriend and I compromised on one of my favorite foods: instead of deliciously fatty, salty nachos, I could eat whole wheat pitas, torn into strips, with my hot'n'spicy salsa. They're actually pretty good.

Exercise... well, I'll admit, it's been harder than the eating part. I do Tae Bo once (sometimes twice) a week, I take the stairs up to the apartment about every other day (it's only about five minutes, but it helps), there's my little sprints to catch the bus almost everyday... I hope it adds up.

We rollerbladed to Home Depot and back yesterday (about an hour total). I honestly thought my legs would be killing me today, as I distinctly felt muscles being used that hadn't been used like that since last summer, but I'm fine. I guess this whole exercise thing is actually working. Who'd have thunk it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The End of a "Star"-ry Era

Well, I've seen the (presumably) last Star Wars flick, and I must say, I was a bit disappointed. I mean, Natalie Portman did the best she could with the lines she was given, but George, come on.

This beautiful creature was forced to spout such drivel as, "Oh Anakin, I'm scared... Hold me!" and, "I can't believe what I'm hearing! I don't know you anymore!" (said as she shakes her head in disbelief and slowly backs away from Darth Vader)

Ewan McGregor's transition into an aggrieved, older Obi-Wan was very well done, though, complete with thoughtful beard stroking and touching dialogue ("I saw it myself on the security vids. I saw him slaughter Younglings..." he says to Padmé, his gaze sliding away from the skyline as the horrific images dance in his mind, his eyes bright).

Fortunately, Anakin moved away from being a whiny little bitch like he was in Attack of the Clones. Unfortunately, he morphed into a power-hungry, geminian creature who was at times violently self-assured, and then tenderly, heartbreakingly caring.

To sum up...
  • Anakin's dreams: jeez, talk about self-fulfilling prophecy. Who didn't see that coming.
  • Mace Windu's death was pretty lame, too.
  • Not enough Wookies and no mention of the subsequent enslavement of Keshyyyk.
  • Okay, what's up with 'Code 66' ? Who creates a 'kill all the Jedi' code?
  • I was sad when the hot green Jedi woman with the two tails on her head got killed.
  • Anyone wonder why no one asked Padmé who knocked her up?
  • As always, the lightsaber fights were dazzling and at times, incomprehensibly fast.

Well, who knows, in another 20 years, GL may decide to set the wheels a-turnin' to get #7 in the works. I hope he goes with the Timothy Zahn version of events. Much more adult and serious and twisty. Here's hoping...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who, me? Diet?

Wow, I never thought I'd be saying this but I'm on a diet. Or should I say, new health regime involving smaller portions, calorie-counting, exercising and no junk food. Who'd have thunk it.

It's supposed to be good for you, I hear, this whole "healthy lifestyle" thing. But permanently-petite little me, I honestly thought "fat" would never be something I'd have to worry about. Sounds conceited, I know, but when you make it to the age of 22 and still not tip 100 lbs, you think you've got it made.

(For a very long time after I moved away from Halifax, I conveniently forgot, of course, that my 22-year-old self's lifestyle included energetic dancing nearly every weekend with little alcohol consumption, living in a city built on hills that forced me to work those abs and thighs when walking, and working a job that required 4-8 hours of walking around pushing heavy carts, and carrying 10-pound loads in my arms everywhere, all quickly counteracting my gross intake of pasta, hamburgers, potato chip and nachos.)

Then, two and half years ago, I moved to Toronto, city of restaurants conveniently located every twenty yards. Oy.

Within three months of arriving in the T-Dot, I'd gained ten pounds. Just before this new health kick began, I weighed 126 pounds and I hated the way my clothes didn't fit, the way my butt jiggled, the stretch marks, how I'd be out of breath after running for less than a minute, and how I just didn't feel like a teensy little sexpot anymore. I finally joined the ranks of women who hate their bodies.

The women who weigh themselves daily to see if the spinning dial of numbers will stop on the magic number that makes them feel better about themselves. Who refuse to spend money on new clothes "just in case" they lose the weight, and wind up with a years-old wardrobe. Or worse, who refuse to buy something that does fit because some company put a number on the tag that's too embarrassingly high for them.

My boyfriend of many years swore up, down, and sideways that he loved the curves I had developed. Although having decent breasts was quite gratifying - I fill out shirts now, and I have actual cleavage! - I found I sorely missed my bitchin' arms, my taut abs, toned thighs and trim ankles. I would certainly do without bigger boobs to have all that back.

And so after hearing me rant, rave and whine about my bodily state for far too long, my boyfriend had enough. Over dinner, twelve days ago, he proposed that we begin a diet. We would eat better foods, and less food, and no junk, and less alcohol! We would begin our journey down the road of higher self esteem (with a possible detour through the boulevard of smaller clothing sizes)!

In a fit of madness I agreed. Great, he said, I have you for three months, calorie-counting and all, with an option to renew.

You may say, my god, it sounds horrible, outrageous, demeaning, etc, to hear that he tells you what you can't eat and when to exercise. But it's not as if he's standing there with a whip and a snarl (good lord, I'm not a masochist); he gives me options and helps me understand why I don't want to do certain things or avoid certain foods. I can do some Tae Bo, or some skipping and stair climbing (and since we live on the 18th floor there's a free service right there, ha-ha)

Besides, it's not like physical violence or withholding of sex occurs if I don't follow the diet. Corny as it sounds, the thought of his disappointment, and my own disppointment with my own lack of willpower, is my motivation right now. I know that motivation will change.

And the big thing that's helping me: he's doing this with me. He exercising too, and eating - proportionately - just as much (or as little, depending on your point of view) as I am. Plus, he got rid of the scale. That helps enormously. Today, I have no idea what I weigh.

It's been ten days. Believe it or not, I'm actually starting to think I look better. I certainly feel better, and I don't need to eat quite as much to feel full. I'm just dreading the day that PMS rears its ugly head and I threaten to throttle him if I can't have some chips.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I've been thinking more and more lately about the fact that I never e-mail or call any of my friends. I figure it's entirely due to the fact that I e-mail and call people all day, working in a call centre (ah, the staple job on the resumés of so many 20-somethings), and when I get home I don't want to talk to anyone... And when I do, I talk about work and how stupid/frustrating/insane/ridiculous (circle one) people were today. Oi.

I figured this would be a more effective way to communicate my life and my thoughts to those I care about (and who, I hope, care about me), and to any who may come across this blog. Though I feel I must apologize in advance, because it will still be most likely me ranting about work and the many morons who have crossed my earphone path on any given day.

Blog. What a strange word. My friends from junior high (you know who you are) and I had a very similar word in grade 8. We created the Bord Slog (Board's Log) of actors and musicians that we thought were hot. The Slog, for short. We traded men and looked for people to put on our lists. My list included people like Christian Bale when he was in Newsies, Leonardo DiCaprio (until I stupidly traded him for Cuba Gooding Jr), and Mandy Patinkin from The Princess Bride. Anyway, we had a similar word first.

You know what else is a strange word? Milk. Talk it out, slowly...MILK. It sounds so, I don't know, Swedish. Maybe because I don't say the word very often, except to say, "I can't, I'm allergic to milk." Except now I say "dairy products" because I guess it's a stretch for a lot of people to think that I can be allergic to milk but not to butter, cheese, ice cream, Cheetos, Doritos - anything in the Itos family - most cookies, cakes, pies and other baked goods, or yogurt. And then they have the nerve to nod knowingly and say, "Oh, you're lactose-intolerant." No, that's not what I said. Have you heard of being "shellfish-intolerant"? "Bee-sting-intolerant"? I have a severe dairy allergy. I could, in theory, die. In addition to being not lactose-intolerant, I am also moron-intolerant.

And eggs. What's up with eggs? People hear me say I'm allergic to dairy and then automatically assume I can't eat eggs either. I'm sorry, I've never seen an egg-laying cow before. Must be something new in the refrigerated section of the grocery.

Peanut-butter, too. If I hadn't been able to eat peanut butter as a child I would have starved to death. I vividly remember eating in the neighborhood of four to six peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches a day from the age of six until I was about fourteen. And people yet assume that if it has the word "butter" in it then it must be cow-derived.

I think all this misunderstanding stems back to schooling. Some people, unfortunately, did not study hard enough, or were simply bored with the "details" of verbal nuance, and just never learned to appreciate linguistic clarity.

For example (be warned, I'm going to talk about work*):

*For those who don't know me, or have forgotten because of my laxness of communication, I work in a call centre servicing a chain of stores across Canada, and we get calls for store locations, for our loyalty card, and for any issues in general that come up with stores or our promotions.

So I have been communicating with this customer, who starts off by writing, "Recently, I purchased some perfume from one of your stores."

Now let's think about this word, "Recently", for a moment. How recent is "recent"? I, personally, tend to think of it as anytime in the last month. I think that's a reasonable assumption, don't you? Give or take, of course, depending on the situation.

A subsequent missive from this customer states, "I purchased it last winter." Now, this is starting to stretch the boundaries of "recent" events. Given the context of Toronto's weather lately, perhaps winter may be stretched to as far as, say, March 2005.

But, after running a report on their loyalty card, I discover that this perfume was, in fact, purchased in June 2004.

Now perhaps you may say, "This is, no doubt, an older person, in their golden years, for whom time is passing far too quickly and whose definition of the word 'recent' has broadened, in light of their vast lifetime of experiences." That would be an acceptable explanation.

Unfortunately, I must say, this person is only 20 years old, and for me now, at 25, to think of a year ago as a "recent" period is beyond my comprehension. I would truly love to re-educate this person on time-quantifying adverbs and adjectives, including "recently", "a while ago", "a few" and "several", not to mention the word "winter".

Seemingly off-topic (though it really is not), I am an amateur astrologer, and through the course of my charting people's personalities I have seen - and had confirmed by these same clients - that some people are naturally gifted with words, and that some people, sadly, have to work at it. Some people make the effort, talented or not, while some can't be bothered, talented or not. This person, clearly, is either ungifted or cannot be bothered, as they cannot distinguish winter from summer, recent from a long freaking time ago, and is annoying, to boot.

I try very hard to make my communiqués as clear as possible. I hope that over the course of this blog, that everything I say can and will be understood by all. If you don't understand, especially as I may delve into French, Spanish, or the odd bit of Latin or Italian at any given time, which I have gleaned from the many, many, many books I have read, please let me know, and I can clarify.

Because this is what I strive to do.
I think.
I'll let you know if my position on that changes.