Monday, December 7, 2009

VW - Continued

For those who have been following Joe's Volkswagen escapades, there have been some "developments" - read: more uselessness.

Ladies and Gents, I give you Joe's ( most recent altercation with the "professionals" at VW:

Monday, December 7, 2009

VW response

I just got a callback from the Director of Service at Volkswagen Centre-Ville. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please read this. I must say, I was not prepared for the hilariously incoherent conversation that I was about to have.

Much like Adam, this gentleman has no professional telephone etiquette. He announced his name and did not wait for me to acknowledge him or that I was free to talk. He jumped right into a nonsensical proclamation that he fluently speaks 5 languages. Good for him. He then proceeded to tell me that he had spoken to Adam and that Adam concedes that he had not provided me with his best level of service. He then started mumbling incomprehensibly about not being able to undo anything. I sat back and tried to figure out what he was trying to say. At one point, we had the following exchange:

VW: 'When a child is a born it is either a boy or a girl.'
Me: 'What?'
VW: 'There is nothing you can do.'
Me: 'What?'

He then descended into more undecipherable nonsense that I did not care to decrypt. He did, however, make the extremely generous offer of fixing the Passat for the new owner. Effectively, he offered to repair something that he was already contractually obliged to fix. What a guy.

When he was finished speaking, I protested his total lack of offering a proper resolution. I told him that I did not think much of his attempt at a reconciliation and that he was not making me ease my stance against the dealership. Much like Adam, this gentleman was not a fan of letting anyone other than himself speak. I had to bully my way into the conversation only to to calmly mention that I was not willing to close the matter, especially not after this show of utter uselessness. When I told him that I was going to escalate this issue to the owner of the dealership, he confidently said: 'Go ahead. He can't do anything to me'. Wow.

He mentioned that he was not going to help me at at all and then ended the conversation.

Normally, I would not bother taking this matter further. Honestly, after sending out the letter and lodging a complaint with the service director, I would have felt comfortable knowing that I had done my part in trying to prevent another poor Volkswagen owner from experiencing the same frustrations. Now that I have gone through the first escalation without even a simple apology, I am going to spend even more time and effort publicising this. I urge anyone who is reading this story - and is in any way compelled by it - to please forward it to anyone who may remotely care. Feel free to link to it in your blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. Better yet, please give me ideas on how to pursue this.

All I wanted was a sincere apology. I hope that someone at Volkswagen has some sense to provide me with one. And soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh VW - What's Your Beef With Semantics?

I drive a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta. After what happened to my friend Joe, I am seriously considering getting rid of it.

If you will, Joe's most recent blog entry:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


There walks a little man among us (in the metaphoric sense). He works for Volkswagen. Below is a letter (written and registered) that I just sent to the head of customer care for Volkswagen Canada. I can't remember ever being this angry (at something other than iTunes, that is):

Note: names have been changed.

Mr. John Doe,

Unfortunately, I am writing this letter in response to a negative and generally unacceptable experience that befell me while dealing with a Volkswagen dealership recently. I do not often take the time to offer any praise or criticism of services that I receive; I am a very busy person (as I am sure you are as well), so I am usually able to shrug off sub-par customer service and usually chalk up any negative experience to anomalous behaviour. The same can be said for the occasional times that I receive exceptional service - I never take the time to acknowledge the efforts being expended on my behalf. This is something that I am trying to change about myself. It is with the former in mind that I am writing to you today. It would be remiss of me to allow the events of November 30, 2009 to go undocumented and I am hoping that my exposure of this problem will prevent any further Volkswagen customers from feeling as slighted and disgusted as I did after dealing with one of your representatives.

On November 30, 2009, I dropped my 2004 Passat GLS 1.8T off at Volkswagen Centre Ville, Montreal, Quebec for a routine 64,000km service. In addition to the check-up, I instructed the service representative that my passenger-side seat heater was no longer functional. (I should add that I had dropped my car off at this very dealership a few months earlier to have this very same problem repaired. Upon delivery, the service representative told me that it was repaired. It was not. And has not functioned since). I also alerted the service representative that the car made an unusual sound when the car turned to the extreme left. When asked to replicate this sound, I rapped my fist lightly on the counter and said that the front left of the car made a rhythmic clicking or banging sound. He assured me that he would have the mechanic investigate. He took my keys and told me he would call me. I never asked for his name.

At 3:52PM that afternoon, my cell phone rings and I answer. I hear a gentleman on the other end announce that 'Adam' is calling. I ask him to repeat himself. 'Adam', he blurts out, increasingly frustrated. Thinking that this is a wrong number, I ask him to further identify himself. He then tells me that he is calling from Volkswagen Centre Ville. Despite his unconventional phone etiquette, I am happy to hear from him. I ask if my car is ready. He says it is but there are a couple of issues. Firstly, he needs to order a part to repair the seat heater, which should arrive within 3-4 business days. No problem. He then mentions that his mechanic was unable to reproduce the clicking sound that the front of my car makes when turning to the extreme left. He claims that his mechanic performed a thorough road test and he did not experience anything abnormal. Strange, I thought to myself. The noise is persistent, loud and unmistakable, I proffer. Adam became defensive and told me that if I was unhappy with this, that I could come down to the service center and show him how to reproduce the sound. However, he continues, I would need to arrive before 4pm. It was now 3:58PM. This felt like an unreasonable and decidedly convenient deadline for him. When I told him this would be impossible given that I do not work less than 100 feet from the dealership, he said that there was nothing he could do. Fine.

I arrived at the service center at about 5:15PM. I approached the gentleman who had helped me in the morning. This was indeed the very same Adam with whom I had spoken on the telephone. He proceeded to explain the work that was performed and how it was invoiced. (I should mention that the warranty on my car is valid until December 28, 2009 - the car was purchased new from Volkswagen in December 2005. I assume that this is not insignificant). When I asked him again about the clicking sound, he again confirmed that the mechanic had not heard a clicking sound and that this was stated in the report. He then looked up and said that the mechanic had, however, heard a fairly loud knocking sound coming from the front of the car when turned to the extreme left. Yes, exactly! That is the sound that I was complaining about. He confirmed again that his mechanic heard a rhythmic knocking sound that emanated from the exact same area while performing the very same task that I was describing. When I asked him if he had fixed the issue, he looked at me like I had grown an arm out of my forehead. He said no. He told me that I had mentioned nothing about a knocking sound but rather had been explicit that the sound was of a clicking nature. I stared at him in stunned disbelief. I thought he was joking. I laughed and asked him again. Again, he stood firm. I then asked him if it was possible that the knocking sound that he was hearing was the very same sound that I was referring to. Impossible, he said. I told him that I had arbitrarily selected the word 'clicking' when pressed to describe the sound; I again pointed out that I had banged my knuckles on the counter to mimic the beat and volume of the sound. Not being an expert in phonetics or the seemingly invaluable role that they play in automotive mechanical diagnosis, I told him that it was strange to me that the inference of a rhythmic clicking sound could not be reconciled upon hearing a rhythmic knocking sound. Especially when the sounds emanate from the same place at the same time! He said that this was not possible. I protested his incredibly literal interpretation of the symptoms and told him that I was shocked that he could not admit that my description matched the symptom. He decided to talk over me.

I immediately realised that I was in the midst of an impossibly ridiculous conversation with this gentleman. I was trying to get him to accept that a click and a knock could be synonymous to a person who knows nothing of car mechanics. He refused to accept this notion, continuing on his escalating rant of 'a click is not a knock'. I realised that this conversation was going nowhere so I tried to change the tack. He refused to let me speak, continuing with his mantra. Flabbergasted by this childish behaviour, I tried to complete my transaction. Again, he would not let me speak by continuing to remind me that a clicking sound is not the same as a knocking sound. When he finally paused long enough to let me speak, I asked him what it would take to fix this so-called knocking sound. He said it would require the replacing of a ball bearing and would take a matter of minutes to complete and was fully covered by my warranty. When I asked him why he hadn't performed this upon hearing (and diagnosing) the knocking/clicking sound (seeing that my car is still under warranty and he is in the business of repairing cars, supposedly) he told me that I had not reported a knocking sound but rather had told him that I had heard a clicking sound. Again, I am stunned. When I asked him why he had not fixed the problem regardless of the hilarious inaccuracy of my complaint, he told me that he was not in the business of fixing all of my car's problems. Admittedly, I know nothing of cars but I know enough to understand that a service centre at a Volkswagen dealership is, in fact, very much in the business of fixing cars - especially those manufactured by Volkswagen.

Aghast, I calmly told him that he was not representing himself or Volkswagen Centre Ville very well. He now raised his voice to an interrupting level and had the attention of all the employees and clients in the service center. I told him that it appeared to me that he was providing me with sub-par customer service and this whole ‘click vs knock’ argument appeared to be a ruse to avoid fixing my car. With my warranty set to expire in 4 weeks, it seems a little convenient that he was unwilling to perform any work.

Suddenly and before he would allow me to finish my sentence, he told me to take my business elsewhere. Let me repeat: after he so rudely refused to assist me with repairs that he is contractually obligated to perform and after insulting me to my face and embarrassing me in front of a full room, he tells me to leave and to never come back again.

I have to admit that I was stunned. In all my years of being a functioning member of a consumer society, I have never been asked to take my business elsewhere. He threw down my report and turned his back to me. This silenced me permanently. I will not be told twice. I paid my bill and left the property. I waited for half an hour before calling back and asking to speak to the service manager. I was redirected to a voice mailbox and left a detailed message. I am still waiting for a callback.

It is very important to note that I informed Adam that morning of the pending sale of the Passat to a private buyer (this transaction will be completed on December 1, 2009). I can only assume that I received this poor level of service due to the fact that Adam perceived me as a departing client, a person who has ended his Volkswagen ownership career, as it were. I also believe that Adam was trying to deflect responsibility of fixing this issue by hoping that the new owner would service the car elsewhere. Or better yet, hoping that the new owner would return once the warranty had expired so that he could charge for the repair. I find this type of behavior inexcusable and deplorable.

A happy 4-year relationship with Volkswagen Canada was irrevocably poisoned by the behaviour of a single representative. After having spent in excess of $40,000 on my Passat over the last 4 years, I find it unacceptable to be told to take my business elsewhere by an incompetent and decidedly rude service representative. So yes, I will be taking my business elsewhere. And, hopefully, the business of all my friends will follow.

I would like to be kept informed as to how Volkswagen Canada intends to address this matter. I have been driven into a state of unbelievable irritation and total remorse at having to deal with such an individual. It reflects very poorly on both Centre Ville Volkswagen and Volkswagen Canada.

A disgusted, dissatisfied and wholly unimpressed former customer,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I've reached the point where some changes need to be made and I'm having a hard time disciplining myself. A few months ago I met a wonderful man who made me so happy that I no longer had the time or the desire to take care of myself properly. I felt too good! Fast forward a few months and I've come to realize that it's easy to lose sight of yourself when you're blinded Sounds too cliche but there's some truth to it. Last year I made some seriously positive changes in my life because I felt so awful that I needed to fix myself. How to maintain or motivate oneself when you already feel good?
Ultimately, what goes up must come down so here we are. Don't get me wrong, the only place I've come down to is reality, a reality where I need to exercise and eat well and keep my house tidy.
Allow me to air some grievances:
  • I haven't done any exercise in I don't know how long. The odd walk here and there doesn't add up to much.
  • I am now dating someone who loves to eat as much as I do. Neither of us is thin. The annoying part is, my pants are muuuuuuch tighter than his. Stupid man metabolism.
  • My job is unfulfilling and dull.
  • My house is filled with unopened mail. How did I let this happen? And I can't just recycle it because it's full of sensitive banking material. Who else has an unopened mail problem? I feel like I need to outsource a shredding company to take care of this one for me.
  • And what of my blogging?
Enough ranting! I'm notorious for empty promises - how many blogs have I written stating that I would write more? Too many! So....what's a monkey to do?
If the rain allows, today I'll go for a walk on the canal. I'll have a sensible lunch....I'll try really hard not to eat the coconut cream pie in my fridge....and tomorrow I'll let you know how the pie defeated me.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I've gone and done it again. What's that? You got all hammered. smoked 10000 cigarettes and lost your voice? Yes. How did you know?
My body is trying really, really hard to send me a message. 2 weeks ago I partied too hard and have had a sore throat ever since. Now I've got a sore throat AND no voice. What's next? An amputation - a lobotomy? A lobotomy might be a good idea, however. It might curb my need to abuse myself.
When I turned 30 last year I lost my voice for an entire week. So far I'm on day 2 of no voice - I wonder is this stint of shame manifesting itself in no voice has that kind of staying power.
In an effort to right my wrongs I spent all day yesterday lying down. I brought out the air mattress and the duvet. I took my pants off. I popped in "The Two Towers." I had a can of cola, a glass of Orangina, a bowl of popcorn, 2 remotes, 2 phones, 2 cats and my computer. And let me tell you - I had the BEST DAY EVER. Things got a little lame when I started watching "Jumanji" - I hear that's what you watch when you've hit rock bottom.
I've got room for 1 more in my nest - who's in?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Dudes. I have been the WORST blogger of late. I've been avoiding my blog like some scorned lover. I can't look it in the eye, I feel guilt when I think about it, I rationalize that it's probably better off without me, that someone else will give it the love it needs. Then out of nowhere I'll come up with some A-1 material (usually while smoking joints) and think to myself, "yes. yes that's good, that will be tomorrow's subject, tomorrow's post will be the one to catapult me into the blogger hall of fame." Lo and behold, tomorrow arrives and I repeat the same process. I make excuses, decide that watching 8 hours of 30 Rock is a decent alternative, that 10 hours of sleep a night is the bare minimum. So I apologize to all of you who have actually missed me and my thoughts - I am a bad, bad blogger.

So what's new? Here are some of the highlights:
  • a recent meal at a very fancy Cabane a Sucre - merci, M. Picard
  • a trip to Toronto where Charmaine and I learned that the best way to eat is usually the cheapest way
  • heartache and confusion re: a dear friend
  • an upcoming visit from a piece of my soul, Mlle. Smiley
  • dinner tonight at Liverpool House for Joe's birthday
  • embarrassing text messaging with a local gastronomic figure (like, embarrassing.)
  • realizing that hardcore partying ruins me for at least a week
  • blissful sleepovers with a new friend
I'll be better. I promise.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weighty Tombs

I've been reading "A Fine Balance" for quite some time now. I had mentioned to Justine a few months back that I was interested in reading it, so she filed away the info and happened to come across a copy of it at a used bookstore. It's a wonderful edition - hardcover, musty, covered in plastic, much like a library book. It's big and heavy and just the way a book should be, weighty, epic and worn. I love carrying it around with me - its immense presence makes a statement, emasculating all the 200 page paperbacks tucked into the bookshelf. It screams, "Look at me! I'm big! It will take you a really long time to get through me! Only the true of heart can hack it!"
As a side note, I recently had a party which, like any good party, got out of hand. Some random people I didn't know came to the party. I, of course, welcomed them into my home knowing nothing other than their first names. I gave them beer. I gave them a deck of cards, an ashtray and a seat at the table. I don't remember their names. Two of them started giving me shit for leaving my book out. They said I left it out to show people that I read big books, that I'm an intellectual show off who never reads big books but who wants people to believe I read big books.
I get where they're coming from because I know some people like that. But I'm not actually one of them. And I wasn't offended, either, namely because I was amused by their audacity and the fact that I had consumed about 3 bottles of Hungarias by that point.
But I digress.
I like savouring a story. When I was 16 I had to read "Gone with the Wind" during the summer and no one was more excited for my journey into Margaret Mitchell's world than my father. He dusted off his old copy - the same solid 5 kilo tomb I'm leafing through now. He told me to take my time, to get to know the characters, to take in the history, the suffering and the beauty. It took me just under 2 months of methodical reading and I just loved it. He was right.
I find myself going through the same process with AFB. These people, this time, the culture, have been part of my world and I am in hurry to breeze through my time with them.
I can see my father clearly with one of his library books. Pyjamas, bathrobe, slippers made from some sort of endangered animal, library book in hand. He would read in bed with his nightcap, usually something foul like Metaxa (to this day I believe my father is the only person on earth who ever drank that stuff) and slowly take in the story.
I think I'll do the same.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I had forgotten how much I adore Natalie Merchant so I've spent most of today listening to her. The is one by far my favourite. I've included the lyrics to really hammer home the emotional angst of this tune. Take a look at my body Look at my hands There's so much here That I don't understand Your face saving promises Whispered like prayers I don't need them I don't need them I've been treated so wrong I've been treated so long As if I'm becoming untouchable Contempt loves the silence It thrives in the dark With fine winding tendrils That strangle the heart They say that promises Sweeten the blow But I don't need them No, I don't need them I've been treated so wrong I've been treated so long As if I'm becoming untouchable I'm a slow dying flower Frost killing hour The sweet turning sour And untouchable O, I need The darkness The sweetness The sadness The weakness I need this I need A lullaby A kiss goodnight Angel sweet Love of my life O, I need this Do you remember the way That you touched me before All the trembling sweetness I loved and adored? Your face saving promises Whispered like prayers I don't need them No, I don't need them O, I need The darkness The sweetness The sadness The weakness I need this I need A lullaby A kiss goodnight The angel sweet Love of my life I need this Is it dark enough? Can you see me? Do you want me? Can you reach me? Or I'm leaving You better shut your mouth Hold your breath Kiss me now you'll catch my death O, I mean it

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hey Brother!

For my Jeffy, the REAL Buster Bluth.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I tell you. The United States has got the market cornered on garbage that passes for food. Bacon wrapped corn dogs with mayonnaise? Check. Sausage stuffed cornbread with gravy? Yessir. Deep fried lard with cracklins? You betcha.
The part of me that respects food and my body is repulsed by this America. The Hilary that worked in fine dining and takes pride in cooking balanced, local and sustainable nutrient-rich foods is better than these people.
There's another Hilary.
There's the Hilary who wants to drown herself in a vat of gravy - the same Hilary who wants to shoot down the interstate firing rounds out the window of her Suburban. Oh yes. That Hilary wants to go to Nascar this weekend, wants to bleach her hair, pack on 200 pounds and start breeding smell hounds.
I took that Hilary to lunch today. Foaming at the mouth while sweating, she and I pulled into the Sonic drive In this afternoon. I had some time to kill and after buying up some sausage and biscuits at the local Wal Mart, it was time to get to the real crux of the matter (i.e. how disgusting can I possibly be at one sitting?). For those of you who have never heard of Sonic, it is an American drive In reminiscent of the ones seen in movies like Dazed and Confused.
Check it out:
You park your car in a spot that has its own menu and intercom system and after staring at the bevy of choices offered up, you push a little button, holler out your order and wait until it is delivered by a pimply faced kid on roller blades. I wanted salad and poached fish - but Hilary was having none of it. So instead I ordered her a chili cheese wrap with Fritos. C'est quoi?, I'm sure you're wondering. Well. You start out with a flour tortilla, pour on some chili, pour on some cheese and finish the whole thing off with a handful of Fritos BBQ corn chips. Son of a dirty delicious bitch...I also threw in an order of jalapeno poppers with buttermilk ranch dressing for good measure.
Now she's all tired and dim witted and will only watch "Paul Blart, Mall Cop." I may need to get out of here.....she's pretty damn persuasive.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Levels of Lameness

Ever since my mother died I've made it a point to visit my aunt and uncle in Tennessee. Their only daughter Ashley died when she was 36 leaving them childless - the death of my parents left me an orphan. A bond was formed. The first year I came my aunt showed me how easy it was to quilt something, so we did. We also went to Wal-Mart and had a terribly American style white trash background photo taken just for kicks. The camp value was off the charts.
This year marks my fourth trip down. I think it's important to make this trip, to spend time with my family. The only thing is.....I'm super lame here. Like unreasonably lame. Take, for example, my day. After sleeping a hefty 10 hours I rose and retired to the couch where I played sudoku for a good half an hour. I then cut and sewed some material for this year's quilt - up until my back started to ache, at which point I sat down for more sudoku. I had lunch. Then more cutting and sewing. My back started hurting again so I took a nap. More sudoku. We listened to the radio all day - some easy listening station from Crossville. All the stars came out - Jewel, Celine, Hootie, Lionel, Phil. The works. But - the worst part....I enjoyed most of it. Fuck me. Maybe it was the cardigan I was wearing, maybe it was the material gliding through my fingers into the sewing machine, maybe it was the lack of anything foreign or illegal coursing through my veins. But something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
We left for dinner at the "restaurant" at 5:45. AJ and UB live in a retirement community in Pleasant Hill called Uplands. Understandably, everyone here is old. As we arrived, the road crew from Cocoon was finishing the early bird special. It wasn't even 6.
Tomorrow will be filled with more sewing. Then dinner at 5:30 at Jim Flynn's house. He promised me beer and whiskey. He and I are now BFF.
And on a hilarious note, I heard a commercial on the radio that went something like this:
"Get your Valentine something special this year. Come down to Crossville Pawn and Guns and show her you care."
Well. Personally, nothing says I love you like a used .45 - or perhaps a widow's wedding ring.
All I know is this: after all this "clean living" I'm going to have to take some drastic steps. Upon my return to Montreal I will require the following to undo all the good:
  • tickets to a heavy metal concert
  • 1 case of Jameson
  • a pile of cocaine
  • a carton of cigarettes
  • 1 ounce of weed
  • anonymous sex, preferably with someone diseased
Until then, think of me, living it up in the Bible Belt, uttering phrases such as "goodness gracious" and "my word". And doing so with a southern accent. I just can't help myself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A First

An extraordinary thing happened today. I got on an airplane, took off into the sky and was not afraid. Those of you who know me well can attest to the fact that I don't enjoy flying. In fact, I have been known to break out into anxiety attacks while on board. Not to be confused with the time I passed out and woke up with an oxygen mask on my face - but that's a whole other story. As I was drifting off into a fitful sleep last night, I was troubled by the moths of anxiety stirring in my guts. I was afraid to get on that plane, afraid to die in what would certainly be a fiery ball of death. Surely my plane would go down, I'd die alone, afraid and alone. crazy talk. And crazy I am not.
So I did a bunch of deep breathing and tried to push out my fear. I replaced it with a love of experiencing life rather than hiding from it. It's too touchy-feely to get into, the kind of stuff that makes most of my friends roll their eyes at me. But it worked. And as a result, I was able to actually enjoy the process. Instead of being afraid all the time I was able to see things as they were. Here's some fun stuff that happened today:
  • somewhere between Montreal and Washington I flew over a pack of trees shaped like the state of Texas
  • on my way to the airport at 6:45 this morning the last of the full moon was hanging off the edge of the city. full, bleeding amber into the quickly fading night.
  • while waiting in line for customs i overheard 2 men discussing their recent athletic shoe purchases. one wanted to know why the other insisted on shopping in the junior men's department. they were both around 35.
  • when I got off the plane in Knoxville it was 22 degrees.
  • i ate a dirty but amazingly delicious burrito 5 hours ago. I'm still full.
  • a framed picture of me and my uncle is sitting on the mantle. i didn't put it there :)
  • i'm piecing together a work of art for a dear one.
  • being here makes me feel like i'm part of a lineage, a history whose blood and story includes my own.
  • UB and I can sit for hours without speaking. he looks like my mom - sometimes it makes my heart stop.
I am looking forward to regaling you with more tales on this very, very PG adventure. Rest assured that my soul is being fed exactly what it needed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

31 is the new Son of a....

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 31. Hard to believe that I've been around for 3 decades now. Seems kind of silly when I think about it - silly in a "you just blew my freaking mind" kind of way. And I gotta tell you - this year's bday is bumming me out. I've been irritable and tense all week in the lead up to this year's joyous event, despite the awesome plans I made with my closest friends. I should be bouncing off the walls, foaming at the mouth and chomping at the bit to get this party started.
But I'm not.
I've been trying to pinpoint where I went wrong and why I feel so, well, fucking empty about the whole thing. I feel unremarkable. There's no wonder and excitement about it anymore. I feel like a kid who has just discovered that Santa doesn't exist, that the tooth fairy is a whore. I used to wake up with a feeling that anything was possible. That those who loved me would make it magical.
My father died on my birthday 4 years ago. I received a call from my father's wife while I was at work. "Hilary, please call me back." Knowing what she was going to tell me, I asked those in charge if I could make a long distance call. "I think my father just died. I have to make a call to confirm it." This was met with "Ohhh - do you have calling card?" The motherfuckers wouldn't even let me call to get the news that my father had died. How can you celebrate your birthday when those are the memories associated with it?
I don't mean to complain or whine because I've got it really, really good. And I am loved deeply and fully by so many. But Goddammit - some memories are too hard to gloss over.
So - what to do? I'll wake up, go to work and then revel in the merriment and good tidings that will be bestowed upon me. I'll eat a fabulous meal with those I love and drink far, far too much. There might be tears. There will, however, definitely be laughter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It's 10 minutes after 5 and the sun is still on the horizon. You have no idea how much this warms my heart. Sunlight after 5 pm is the Canadian Winter equivalent of Obama. Yes we can!

Speaking of optimism, some things to look forward to:
  • being this weekend's birthday girl
  • an upcoming trip to Tennessee to be loved by those I hold dear
  • my other half (eventually) making her way east
  • couch shopping with my Munkee
  • actually enjoying the gym (who knew?)
  • my new neighbour (despite declining property values due to ethnic-ness)
  • groundhog day
  • groundhog day
  • groundhog day

Friday, January 23, 2009


-You took me to baseball games at the Big O and told me that the race is won by the swift as we ran for the metro
-we took bike rides to the marina to feed the ducks.
-you were born 100 years too late
-you took me for muffins and juice at clement's every saturday morning
-you were the slowest eater
-you danced on tables
-your nose was always red
-your mother damaged you
-your vanity was a problem
-we didn't agree
-you wept openly and without apology
-you were unable to show me how much you loved me
-i could never shake the feeling that i had disappointed you
-you married someone who despised me
-you died on my birthday
-i loved you deeply

It's been 4 years and I am still grappling with forgiveness.

Friday, January 16, 2009


An ill-tempered squirrel has been eating my bbq cover. I saw him perched on top of it the other day, gnawing away at the plastic/cotton tarp. I was about to shoo him away when I realized how pathetic he was. His ears were clipped at the top as if he had been in some squirrel rumble that had cost him his ears. Like he and some other rival gang of squirrels had found a stash of nuts and had fought to the death for sole rights. He lost the nuts. He lost the tops of his ears, and now the only "food" he can find is my barbecue cover. Isn't that pathetic? It's not even real food like a plant or an old chicken bone - it's furniture.
So I let him gnaw - even though I know it's ridiculous to extend a kindness to a rodent. His constant presence is also driving the cats to the brink of insanity. I think they might want to get rid of the last bits of his ears. Those bitches. They're cute, though. I like to think they're not actually hunting but rather huddling together because they're in love. I know I am.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Musical Interlude

I woke up to this song this morning. How could today go wrong?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You're Cut.

I think I might take a break from complaining about how tight my pants are. I've also taken a break from stuffing my face and drinking all the booze in Montreal, so methinks those pants won't be tight for long.
I got a friend request on Facebook yesterday. After being on Facebook for nearly 2 years, I am always excited and curious when I receive a friend request. Oooooh, who could it be?? More often than not it ends in disappointment - some random I met once or twice, a total stranger cruising for new peeps or, as evidenced by yesterday's request, someone you don't want anywhere near your shit. I got a request from my old personal trainer at the Y, Veronica. Some of you may remember a post I made a few months back about my wildly inappropriate trainer and her penchant for regaling me with tales of her sexual hunger. Ouash. During my 23 month tenure on the old FB, I've become selective about those I add as "friends." Because you see, some of them are not really friends. They are acquaintances, people I once took a class with, have a friend in common with, used to live nearby, etc. Some of them I wouldn't be able to pick out of a crowd, wouldn't recognize on the street - some of them I plain don't like. So why should they have access to every photo of me ever taken, my likes and dislikes, the link to my highly readable yet humble blog?
The emergence of Facebook has meant the end of privacy, the end of "I wonder what ever happened to so and so...." I recently bumped into a guy I knew in high school and whom I hadn't seen in 10 years or so. Yet we were Facebook friends and as such I knew he had become a lawyer, gotten married, traveled to Cuba, bought a condo in the old port, etc. And I had seen pictures of everything he had done, who he had done it with. So when I ran into him, it barely registered in my mind that I hadn't seen him in 10 years because I was all caught up on his life. Our facebook friendship had robbed us of what should have been an exciting reunion.
I really do love Facebook - it keeps me in touch with those I love and lets me spy on those I don't know yet am unabashedly curious about. I think, however, that Veronica won't make the cut. As if I need the woman who made me do squats and lunges staring at photos of me drinking, eating, smoking and generally being unhealthy. It's bad enough that I have to look at them.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I'm down to one pair of pants. Respectable pants, that is. My pyjama, sweat and yoga pants are all hospitable items of clothing that don't bind or judge. Jeans are out of the question.
After yesterday's post on eating lettuce and going to the gym, I had a memorable meal at Liverpool house. It's a shame, really, that I can go on and on about how tight my pants are and then gorge myself on home made pate, ricotta gnocchi carbonara and braised short ribs with barley. This morning my pants were tighter than usual. I even tried a new pair, staggered around for a few minutes before defaulting to the old ones.
My brain can't seem to process that all the things I love putting in my mouth somehow wind up on my ass. And that the short, residual ecstasy that comes from eating doesn't outweigh (ha) the shame and discomfort that comes from being down to one pair of pants.
So what's a gourmande with tight pants to do?
I'm taking suggestions. Go.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to Normal?

I despise this time of year. December's merriment has long gone, replaced by January's monotonous cold, routine and darkness. I am glad, however, that the holidays are over, despite the lack of optimism and "christian" charity. All I seemed to do was eat, drink, cook, clean, eat, drink, cook, clean, clean, clean, etc. And while I am more than happy to entertain and consume my fair share of booze and food, all this excess has taken its toll. Cause and effect, right?
To say my pants are tight would be generous. To say that my jeans are no longer an option is more like it. If only I could wear sweat pants to work...Erika's got the right idea. There's nothing like coming home and taking your pants off after they've been choking you all day and night. The sweet, sweet relief that comes with that first button, ending is a crescendo of ecstasy and freedom once you finally manage to kick them into a corner. You know it's been a particularly rough day when a red band is embedded into your less than taut physique. Even worse is the mark of your buttons branded into your flesh. Yeah. That's good for my self esteem.
So I've gotten myself back to the gym, I've got a fridge full of vegetables and lettuce. No more baked goods, bechamel sauces or wine with every meal. I know. It's lame and boring and smacks of routine and "clean living." But let's be honest - I'll still be "that girl" at least once a week and regardless of my efforts, my effing pants will always hurt me.