Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beauty is Pain

For all you sadists out there who enjoy physical pain and verbal abuse, I have got the spot for you.
It started out innocently enough.
"Do you have any openings after 3," I innocently inquired.
"How about 3:30?"
I was excited. I knew it wouldn't be a walk in the park, they never are, but I knew the end result would bring me great pleasure. I mean, have you ever had a facial?
I arrived a little early, eager to get the ball rolling, at the Worst Place On Earth, Westmount Square. Now, what makes the WPON so horrible is a combination of old lady stores, old ladies from Westmount and snobs. It's a breeding ground for jerks. I had a gift certificate I had lost and found and was anxious to take care of some less than awesome developments on my face.
Enter the Bringer of Pain (BOP). Otherwise known as Celina, the Russian esthetician who would be performing today's emotional rape.
We go into the treatment room. Our first exchange lets me in on what will soon become painfully clear - this woman has no soul or sense of humour. If you will:
(heavy Russian accent) BOP: take off clothes, jewellery, bra. get on bed.
(giggling nervously) me: my skirt too?
BOP: no. get on bed.
me: ok good. i was wondering what kind of facial this was!
(unable to process joke at hand in an effort to diffuse tension) BOP: will not know what kind of facial to give until I see skin.
Yes. Of course. How silly of me to joke at a time like this.
I am then asked when the last time was I received a facial. This line of questioning is akin to the "How many alcoholic drinks do you have in one week?" from your doctor and the "How often do you floss?" from your dentist. You will never answer correctly and as such there will be judging. I mumble something about 6 years ago and we proceed. I tell her I'm afraid I might have a touch of rosacea as I've always been a little pink. She pulls out her 5000 watt lightbulb/magnifying mirror and takes a look.
"Oh yes. You have rosacea. Big time." Heavy Russian accent.
I'm starting to feel bad about myself. Big time.
But before she can do anything, she needs to wax off half my eyebrow (searing pain) because it's "too big" and tells me I should get some electrolysis on my chin. I remind myself that I am paying this woman to make my feel bad about myself. Now I am amused.
Then with utter disgust, she says, "Your skin is dry and full of dead skin cells. And blackheads. I can't do anything until you get rid of the dead skin." Self-esteem plumetting. BOP suggests I try this "Microdermabrasion" that all the soccer moms and old battle axes are using to look nothing like their real age. BOP says it will get rid of my dead skin. Anything to get my sense of self-worth back on track. I agree. BOP has just upsold me on another $40 treatment, effectively scaring me into getting my face sanded off.
BOP then proceeds to run a sander/vacuum all over my face. I start thinking about how hilarious this whole situation really is. Great idea for blog starts flowing through head. BOP will become famous sadist, will have me to thank for all her life's success. She will then have no choice but to sand and vacuum my face for free.
BOP decides it's time to get the blackheads out. I'll spare you the details but will tell you this: Not only was it some of the most intense pain of my life, she had two alcohol soaked rags she used to perform the task. These rags were draped across my mouth and nose. A foggy image of ether soaked rags flickers through my now sluggish mind - is BOP part of some underground Russian mob that sands your face off and then knocks you out?
The whole thing took 2 hours. Some of it was nice - there was some rubbing and a nice facial mask (which didn't feel all that good as BOP left the room for something like 20 minutes and I really had to pee).
In BOPs defense, my skin actually looks pretty good now, and my self-esteem is back on track. I probably won't go back, unless my sense of self worth gets overly inflated, at which point I'll head on in for a reality check.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Talk talk talk

Waaay back in January I decided enough was enough, joined the Y, got myself a trainer and went to town on my "problem areas". Her name is Veronica. She's a tiny thing in great shape, one of those people who gets up at 6am without the help of coffee or dynamite. She has shoulder length blond hair, stands about 5 foot tall, is 55 years old and has a constant smear of coral coloured lipstick on her teeth. At first, I would tell her about the lipstick, but now that I dislike her more and more with every passing second, I let her leave it there. Ha. Take that, dignity. Before I delve into the meat of the matter, let me just say this: she is a kind and thoughtful person, energetic and motivating.
Oh yes, but. She never shuts up. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk TALK. And more talk. Not only does she talk talk talk to me, she is talk talk talking to everyone else in the gym. Now I'm all for community and open lines of communication - but not so much on my dime, and not on a constant basis. If you will:
It's early, I haven't had coffee, (coffee before gym makes me extra sweaty) I don't feel like working out, I'm pissed about something I can't put my finger on. Enter The Trainer. She's 5 minutes late. She is bubbly, talking to everyone, waving at me. She comes over, she wants to TALK. And talk she does, "Hi, how was your workout? How was your weekend? I went to a yoga retreat, my ear hurts, I saw a cool play last night, the traffic was bad." Teeth covered in lipstick. I shudder.
Now, when someone is really talking to me, I mean really, it feels like an assault. They are more talking at you than to you. What I tend to do in these situations is send them messages through my head without actually speaking. While she talks, I am thinking "Shut it. Shut it now. Stopping it and shutting it immediately. Talking - you, stop now. I will end you. Dear sweet Jesus, the talking must end. I will smash your face in to end this infernal talking." I am not listening to a word she is saying as I am concentrating all my efforts into making it stop. And throughout this verbal assault, lipstick on teeth. Ughhhhhh.
The relationship didn't start out this way, of course. We began as most do, with a series of polite exchanges, a few lame jokes here and there to break the tension. It didn't take too long for me to realize that something was amiss. The constant ass out hugs should have tipped me off, the 5 minutes late here and there should have sent me running, the talking. Shit. The TALKING. But, it's the inappropriateness that begs the final question: what am I still doing with her? Inappropriate you say? How so? A few months ago she had put a pull up into my routine. I had to lie on the ground in the squat cage and pull myself up, effectively touching my chest to the bar. No small feat. Well, in trying to explain to me how to do it, she could have said, "Touch your chest to the bar." You know, like a normal person. She says, "Kiss the bar with your nipples." Oh dear.
On another occasion she was making me do a particularly unpleasant exercise so she turned to some dude and said, "Oh, aren't I horrible to her?" To which I chirped in with, "Yeah you can practically see her horns" (because she's the Devil, right?). She then says, "I don't have horns but I am HORNY."
Wow. Ever throw up in your mouth before? Yeah...
So what's a girl to do? I want to keep working out but I can't see this woman anymore. She makes me psychotic with rage. I can't talk to her about this stuff and it would be weird to train with someone else, like cheating on your hairdresser. Dudsie says not to do anything out of guilt and to that I agree. And as much as she makes me crazy, she's good material. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Yesterday, in a wild burst of Domestic Goddess-ery, I decided to turn the rotting bananas on my counter into delicious banana bread. Having procured a loaf pan earlier that day, I decided to strike while the iron was hot. While sauteing onions and garlic for dinner, I managed to measure, scoop, mash and cream my ingredients together in my Kitchen-Aid, an indispensable tool if one wishes to make anything fabulous. I scraped everything into my buttered and floured loaf pan, threw it in the oven and ate my dinner with a sense of contentment generally reserved for more talented people.
After it had come out and cooled a little, I cut 2 slices and realized what I had done. Shit. The thing was raw in the middle. Pride deflated, sense of contentment tucked back into ante-chamber where it will lie in wait for other faux successes, disappointment. Now most people say it's ok to have baked goods that are a little raw and to that I agree. But this one wasn't just a little raw. It was unhealthily raw. Which brings me to the subject of today's post- (or rant or latest installment of What Grinds My Gears, take your pick) my culinary blunders of late.
I realized a few weeks ago that I do very little cooking anymore. Living alone makes dinner a rather sombre event as cooking a well balanced meal for one is just too pathetic for words. So I go out to eat, or I take in, or I assemble bread and cheese haphazardly into a dinner sandwich. I decided the other day to get back on the horse and roast a chicken. It was Sunday night, the house was clean, it needed to smell like roasting meat. I rubbed the chicken with olive oil, seasoned him up with salt and pepper, stuffed his cavity with lemons, garlic and onions and bade him a fond farewell as I tucked him into the oven. "Yes my friend. I will see you when you're golden and delicious. Oh Yes."
Again, I was more than pleased with myself. Here I was, cleaning, roasting, baking, setting the bar uncomfortably high for all women. 40 minutes in I decided to check on him. Something looked funny.
He was upside down. No wonder I couldn't truss him properly. Feeling I hadn't really ruined him, I turned him around and finished him on his back. In doing so he went from a nice juicy bird to a dried out, leathery carcass. I won't even get started on the "gravy" I made which was little more than cooked fat and flour. I even forgot to season it. Really? Really????
I'm pretty sure I went to cooking school. I'm pretty sure I worked in restaurants and have considered cooking and food related things to be not only my passion but in some cases, my actual raison d'etre.
As you can imagine, when one no longer identifies with the things that identify them, the very core of your being is rocked. The notion of me being a bad cook is more than upsetting, it makes me feel like I've been living some sort of lie.
What I've come to realize, however, is that cooking, like all craft, requires practice and in the absence of practice, skills will rust and tarnish. All is not lost, though. I've taken it upon myself to gloss over recent less than stellar performances and shoot for the stars once again.
So I extend to you a dinner invitation. Call me, email me, join me for dinner. I cannot guarantee success, but I can promise you this, there will be passion.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some Embarrassing Truths

I've recently been accused of being hip. Hip? Hardly. I'm actually quite nerdy and a little uncool. I've put together a short list of reasons as to why the above statement isn't true.

1) Computers confuse me. When asked about ram and gigs and such I feel like setting myself on fire to avoid the situation. The real kicker is that I worked at an internet company for a year and a half. I'm also really terrible at using the internet. I check my emails, facebook, I blog a little, check the weather and movie listings, read the Globe online. That's it. I tire of it after about an hour. Then there's Monia who has spent the better part of her adulthood glued to her computer. She's the only person I know who shops on ebay.
2) I went to see "The Bridges of Madison County" a few years ago with John and my mom and cried so hard during the damn thing that I was unrecognizable afterward. My face was all swollen and red.
3) I've never taken a physics class. To be honest, I'm not even sure what physics is. Atoms? Positively charged ions? Uhhhhhh. Wikipedia says physics is the study of matter and its motion as well as the study of space and time. That doesn't really clarify anything for me. In fact, it makes me feel stupider than when I set out to get some answers.
4) I'll use the same piece of Kleenex over and over again.
5) I cannot cook rice. What makes this one even worse is the fact that I went to cooking school and have worked in restaurants. Everyone can cook rice, it is the main food staple for half the world's population but is somehow a mystery to me.

Here's the worst one.

6) Up until very recently I didn't understand what ovulation was. I've been ovulating for years now, totally unaware of what was going on. I took biology in grade 9 and am pretty sure this was covered. So I told Dudsie I didn't understand and she explained it to me, right after she (and with good reason) judged me for not knowing in the first place. A few weeks later I was telling Emeline what happened so she asked me to tell her what I had learned. Pop quiz. Fuck. So I told her what I had learned.
A blank expression crossed her face. "Wow. Yeah....that's not what ovulation is." She then took out a piece of paper and drew me a little diagram of my ovaries and fallopian tubes and explained to me the journey a woman's egg takes when it doesn't get fertilized. I'm pretty sure I've got a handle on it now. I could be wrong. Please don't test me.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Has anyone ever noticed that Scott (aka the Sausage King) looks like Sam the Eagle from the Muppets?

Does anyone else see it?


I've turned into that person who brings their laptop everywhere.

So I'm sitting in the exact same spot I was in a few weeks ago. The spot where I was moved by a Celine Dion video. The spot where I discovered I'm an old lady masquerading as a 30 year old. You'll be happy to know that the Celine Dion video is playing once again and this time I feel nothing but annoyed. Talk about reclaiming ones youth. And dignity.

Be Patient.

Turns out I'm not much for waiting. After swearing I would wait until the new Macs came out, I went off to the Mac store and bought a macbook. I've never been good at waiting. I've also been accused of being impatient. Maybe. I'm not so sure anymore. I'd like to think I'm fairly patient, or wait, getting better. I suppose it all has to do with one's mood.
I volunteer at a school for blind kids 2 days a week. Before you get all, "Hilary, that is so kind and generous of you" on me, I'll let you in on a little secret. I call them the Blindies and I hate one of them. And yes, it's ok to hate someone even if they're blind and mentally delayed. Plus he's not blind, just highly visually impaired. Think Coke bottle bottom glasses. But thicker.
This kid tries my patience. With him I have almost none, to the point where I worry I might lash out and strike him. The thing is, he kind of repulses me, which makes me question my very humanity, but there you have it. He's always snotty and boogery and just wet looking. He also rubs up against me with his snotty hands. Ugh. Sick.
I have infinite patience when I've been drinking. I once spent the better part of an hour explaining and demonstrating to Michelle how to roll the perfect joint. Thankfully the night is hazy and I can't remember too much of it although I'm fairly certain I was bossy and overly confident.
There are certain things I will not wait for. Like something delicious to eat, the perfect coffee, time with my Duddy, etc. But there are other things I've been waiting my whole life for. And I've grown tired of it.
Maybe if I didn't hate the mentally delayed, visually impaired 13 year old karma would deliver.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Forced Sabbatical

As I'm sure you've surmised by now, something is amiss in my blogosphere. As karma is wont to do, it reared its ugly head and now I am computerless. The very same day I posted about my useless PC was the day it met its maker.  An impromptu night of heavy drinking and foolish decision making resulted in half a beer funnelling its way through my keyboard straight to the motherboard.  I now have no computer and am waiting for the new macs to be released in August or September.
I am missing the internet.  I am also, however, entirely more productive in its absence.  I no longer spend 5 hours a day poring over facebook and wondering why people aren't poking and/or messaging me.  It's quite liberating, really.  Sadly, though, I am unable to tend to Roo for Dummies - at least for the next few weeks.  
I wish you all happy days and love filled evenings.