Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Red rum, red rum

I am writing this post in fear for my life.

It all started on Saturday when it was so freezing outside that Biff suggested we go to see a movie. The only one playing at the time was The Mist. I thought it was going to be some sappy girly movie. Like the Notebook, set in some seaside town with mist that makes everything romantic. Turns out it WAS set in some seaside town, only the MIST had some crazy monsters in it. And there was this scene where the people had to kill the monster and the only way to do it was with this fire axe...

Except they only hacked off a small bit of the monster's tentacle, which made him super mad and he came back, again and again.

And all I could keep thinking was, it's okay, it's just a movie, it's not going to happen to me. After all, I've never before in my life seen such a huge-ass fire axe in the city. They don't exist. They only exist in small seaside towns where you'd actually NEED such an enormous axe to defend yourself against monsters in the MIST. As long as I never go anywhere where there are these huge-ass axes there will be no monsters in the mist.

So I spent the rest of the weekend trying to NOT think about the movie and how there are no monsters in the mist and then, yesterday, I arrived at a hotel. In the MIDDLE of the WOODS in the MIDDLE of Quebec where everyone speaks French and there are no shops and really, no people for miles. It seemed very peaceful and lovely until...

I got to my room. And saw this...

...outside my door. It's on the wall outside my room, which is at the end of the hall all by itself in this little alcove. With no other people around. Just me. By myself.

I was so scared last night I could barely sleep. Especially because when you're half-blind without your glasses and you look out your window from your bed when it's snowing really hard it looks like MIST. And then, when you hear banging outside your door, all you can think is that it's the monster, coming to get you.

It turns out, there are just construction workers outside my door in the hall only every time I go out of my room they're just sitting around, eating their lunch (even at 7:30 in the morning and 3:30 in the afternoon) which is making me very suspicious that they're construction workers at all and not monsters, and that they just morph into ladders and rags and humans to trick me. And even though my door is locked and the chain is on it, all I can think is that all they'll have to do is grab the fire axe...

and hack through my door. Just like in The Shining.

Red rum. Red rum.

I'm doomed. If you don't hear from me again, you'll know what happened.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Can someone please explain boots to me?

The first snowfall happened the other day, and so the kerfuffle in my brain started up again, as it does every year at this time:
Do I need boots?

I've never been on Team Boot. I've always been on Team Shoe. Even when I was a young MC, I would sneak out of the house in the morning before my mom could rein me back in to put on my boots. I'd leave them at school, kick one off on the way home, put them on my snowmen -- anything to not have to wear them. Finally, in about the fourth grade, my mother gave up and stopped buying me boots. Until last winter I was boot free. Sure, my shoes would get salt stains and I'd have to get them reheeled weekly, but still I just felt like I'd rather have pretty footwear than sensible footwear. I've really never understood the whole changing-shoes-at-work ordeal. After all, the people at work know you and every outfit and every pair of shoes. They see you everyday. Isn't it the people on the street - the friends and colleagues you bump into randomly once every few months - that you'd rather see in your pretty heels than in sneakers, flip flops or fuzzy boots? Maybe it's just me, but also, I don't want to carry an extra bag with my indoor shoes as I walk to work. Also, what do you do if you have to go out after work to an event or to meet friends? Are you supposed to wear your big boots? What if you're having cocktails? Do you change back into your shoes at the bar? Does the bartender stash your boots? Or do you wear your shoes and then carry your boots? But what if the bag you carried your shoes to work in isn't big enough for boots? It just seems so confusing.

Anyway, last winter, something snapped. Maybe it was one too many winters of slipping along the streets and getting salt stains on the bottoms of my pants. I don't know but I decided perhaps it was time to try out for the other team. Give boots a chance and all that.

So I went with the big furry boot trend and bought a brown pair that matched my coat. They were so comfy and warm and cute - I really did love them, but only with skirts. With pants, I just looked like some sort of abominable snowman. I would tuck my pants into them but they'd billow out at the tops. It was completely ridiculous and I'd find myself taking back streets to and from work just to avoid running into anyone I knew.

So those boots are not going to work again this year. I need a new plan. I just don't know what it should be. I don't understand boots. I mean, most of them work when you're wearing skirts, but what are you supposed to do when you're wearing pants? If you get the skinny boots, how do you tuck your pants into them? Or are you only supposed to wear skinny pants with them? Or are you supposed to leave your pants outside the boots? If I'm going to get boots I'd rather just get flats that are super warm and comfy but then I'd have to tuck my pants in because all my pants are hemmed for heels so if I left them out they'd drag on the ground but is it totally weird to tuck them in? And what if they can't tuck in because the boots are too tight? I just don't get it. And if you get the pretty boots with the heel then isn't it just like trying to wear stilettos in the snow - so then what's the point of getting boots?

I don't think it should be this difficult. Is it just me that finds this all incredibly complicated?

At this point the only solution I can think of is to buy a pretty yet flat and comfy pair of boots and only wear them with skirts. So, save skirt days for snow days and wear pants and shoes when the sidewalks are clear. Does this make sense?

As I'm writing this, my friend just emailed me. She'd asked if I enjoyed the first snowfall last Thursday and I told her I'd had to take a cab to work because I was sliding on the sidewalk in my stilettos and I can't figure out what to do about boots. Then she said that was totally understandable and that just because it's snowy doesn't mean you have to resort to frumpy footwear! See? How am I supposed to overcome this dilemma when I've got friends reconfirming the way I originally felt? Is it really okay to just take cabs when it snows? Is this really a solution for winter?

Help! What do you do?


Bootless and befuzzled.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sometimes 90210 doesn't know EVERYTHING...

I know, it's totally hard to believe that Brandon and Kelly and especially Donna don't know everything, but here's proof: Yesterday, Mariah* was on Ellen and they were talking turkey and Ellen said that Portia was going to learn how to make a turkey and Mariah said that she's afraid to learn how to cook a turkey because one of her friends wanted to cook a turkey and was watching a rerun of 90210 where they cooked a turkey and they didn't take the bag of gunk out fron inside** and so neither did Mariah's friend...

Oh those crazy Walsh kids. Also, was this the episode where Kelly was totally mad at Dylan because he wanted to go to the Walshes for Thanksgiving and she totally did not and they got in a fight and Brenda suddenly turned into Brendy-two-shoes and was all like, "I'll have more potatoes. Thanks!" I can't remember who cooked the turkey that time.

*How fabulous is Mariah? She was wearing the shortest, skintightiest dress ever and she was taking the tiniest steps ever (so her skintightiest dress wouldn't ride up, duh). I think it may be time for a Glitter movie weekend.

**If you take the gunk*** out and you have a cat, you have to immediately throw it in the garbage and seal it or your cat will try to eat it. Which is totally disgusting.

***The gunk is actually the giblets, gizzard, neck, heart and liver. Or some variation. Double disgusting.

Gobble gobble.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Like chocolate chip cookies for breakfast...

I'm in this weird mood where I want things that don't make any sense to have. Like a bike. I really want a bike right now, only it's been raining for like a week straight (or maybe it just seems like it) but it's wet and cold and I don't even have gloves because last winter my favourite gloves got a hole in two of the fingers so I decided to put my sewing lessons to work and fix them. Which I did, but then by the end of the winter they were busted open again. It's like I had Incredible Hulk fingers.

Which would be totally useful if I wanted to dye my hair green because then I wouldn't care if I got dye all over my hands, but I don't so instead I'm gloveless. The other night we went to the movies and it was freeeeeezing and ....

Biff says to me: Where are your gloves?

And I say: Um... (because I didn't want to admit that I don't own gloves because my Hulk hands busted through them)... I left them at home. Where are YOUR gloves?

So Biff says: In my pockets, but if you're not wearing gloves, I'm not wearing gloves. I'm the man. I have to be tough.

Then we ran the rest of the way to the movies.

I can't make Biff suffer! I must buy new gloves.

But I want a bike. I had a bike. But it got stolen. And I had another bike before that, which was super cute with a basket and everything, only I left it locked up outside the mall one day because it was freezing rain and I didn't want to ride it home and I thought I'll come back for it, except every time it was nice weather I didn't have time and then it was winter and then when I went to get it the lock was totally rusted together and I couldn't get it off so then I had to wait for spring and when I went back my bike was gone. I was so sad.

Maybe I don't deserve another bike. I'm a bad bike mom. But before those two bikes I didn't ride a bike for like 15 years and in total I've only ever had four bikes and two of them have been hand-me-downs, so surely I haven't filled my bike quota? Don't normal kids have more bikes than FOUR? In fact, don't kids ask for bikes for Christmas from Santa? Which means maybe it's NOT weird to want a bike in the middle of November, or December.

I have to go to an event this morning that's downtown, which means that I'll be passing the mall on my way so I think I should pop in and use my Whisper 2000 and see if kids are asking for bikes from Santa. Because if they are, then maybe I should just get a bike. Or ask Santa for one. But in all likelihood, kids are probably not asking for bikes because their parents drive them everywhere now, and anyway, they don't want to go outside because all their games are inside, and they're probably asking for Xbox 360 Elite anyway. Which, wouldn't be that bad a gift to ask for. I don't really have the attention span for video games but I'm a kick-ass QBert queen, and I saw that the Xbox has a pink remote.

I could totally go for that.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Martha Stewart would kick me in the face...

This is what it is like to be me, in a kitchen:

Last night I decided to make a cheesecake. I don't actually like cheesecake but I have recipe for an amazing Autumn cheesecake and it's so good it doesn't even taste like cheesecake. And it's Autumn, and we're going to a friend's house for lunch and they like cheesecake and I don't watch Grey's Anatomy anymore so I decided to make the cheesecake.

I bought the ingredients. Only, I didn't check to see if I had all the ingredients, I just sort of did a mental scan of the kitchen in my head before going to the grocery store:

Graham cracker crumb box? Check.
Brown sugar container? Check.

Turns out, just because you have the box or the container in the cupboard, doesn't mean you actually have enough ingredients INSIDE it. Hmm.

I started with the crust. I needed 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. I had 3/4 cup. So I added more sugar and cinnamon. After all, who doesn't like sugar and cinnamon? And I added extra pecans that I chopped up so super finely it's like my knife was its own little Cuisinart. I thought perhaps if I made the pecans into crumbs, it would just be like having enough graham cracker crumbs. It wasn't quite enough. So I added coconut. Why not!?

Then I made the filling. Then I poured it on top. It looked very low. I shrugged. Moved on. I coated the apples with cinnamon sugar and placed them on top in a pretty circular pattern. Then I put some pecans on top of that and stuck it in the oven. It didn't look quite right. I had this vague memory that even though I placed the apples in a pretty pattern on top it never ended up mattering because you couldn't really see the apple pattern in the end, but I couldn't figure out WHY you wouldn't be able to see the pattern. Did I usually put something else on top of the apples? I couldn't remember.

While the cake was baking, I decided to read the online reviews to make sure the time was right on the recipe because I wanted to go to bed. Which is when I read that it took longer than the assigned time to bake. Which is a sucky thing to read when you're hoping it's going to take less time because you're tired. So I decided to keep reading the reviews. Which is when I read, OVER and OVER again how you should double the crust.

Which I didn't do.

And double the filling.

Which I also didn't do.

And put a layer of the apples in the middle of the cheesecake. After you microwave the apples so they're not rubbery when they bake.

Didn't do.

Didn't do.

And make a water bath.

Okay, I can do that, I thought, because I definitely had enough water in the tap.

Then, I read a review that reminded us Marthas to make a crumb topping and I thought, hmm... that seems a little familiar. And then I thought, if I make the crumb topping then maybe it will protect the apples (that I forgot to microwave) from becoming rubbery.

So I went to the cupboard. Only I didn't have any brown sugar. Just the container that said "Brown Sugar." It was empty.

So I made the topping with white sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter and sprinkled it on top.

Then, I thought: You know, there were a lot of things I didn't do with this cheesecake that will potentially cause it to be a disaster and I will have to start from scratch again tomorrow. Maybe I should make some notes on the recipe so that next time I won't have to read the reviews, I can just read my notes and start baking to success! Brilliant!, I thought. So I clicked on the little button that said "Add a note to your recipe" and a little window popped up. And what was in that little window?

A note. Written by me. That went like this:

Double the crust. Double the filling. Microwave apples for 2 minutes. Add half of filling, then layer of apples, then rest of apples and top with sugar/flour/cinnamon/butter topping. Bake longer than recipe calls for.

I made this note in May 2007. MAY! Six months ago and I couldn't remember a) how to make the recipe and b) that I'd even made NOTES about it?

I mean, if my brain is going to decide to go all grandma on me, then why can't I BAKE like a grandma?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Win it!

One of my favourite spa/beauty shops -- Pure + Simple -- has just opened another location in Toronto, this time on King West (the other two locations are Yonge&Eglinton and Bellair in Yorkville), and to celebrate, they've relaunched their website AND are giving away 10 copies of Stuck in Downward Dog! It really couldn't be a more perfect tie-in either, since one of my favourite treatments at Pure + Simple is the OM facial. Surely Mara would approve! After all, if you can't get to yoga class, why not just get a facial? And since most of the products at the shop are free of petroleum, chemicals and preservatives, it's like you're saving a tree AND your face from crap. It's like tree pose for your face!

Anyway, you don't need to a buy a single thing to enter the contest -- just follow the link here, and write a humorous anecdote (50-100 words) about your experience with yoga, spas or skincare.

You have to enter by November 30 to win!

Stumped about what to say? Just turn to page 99 of Stuck in Downward Dog and copy out the scene. Ha ha. Just joking. You have to make up your own story! Like for example, how I went back to the crazy hot yoga place that wasn't hot, only I was the only person in the class, which could be seen as a benefit to some yogis, who actually pay extra for private classes (so that they're not stuck with first-time yogis who talk on their cellphone during the session), but which is totally not my style because how can I blend into the background and take a break on the hard poses when I'm the only one in the room? So then I went back again determined to actually do a hot yoga class with other students that aren't talking on their cellphones only the owner forgot to open the studio so the instructor and the other students were all standing on the porch, contemplating whether to just do the yoga class on the sidewalk. in. the. rain. Come. on.

So then I walked to Spring Rolls and got Hot and Sour soup for dinner. And since I walked there, and then walked home, and ate something totally good for me, I called it a workout.

See how easy it is to tell your own anecdote? Good luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chanel basketballs, Tom Cruise's boyfriend and a week of soup.

I haven't had time to blog all week but I have got a lot to say. First, I got the flu, the day before the Oscars of the Hair World (as they're known in my office). It's this yearly event I have to go to where hairstylists (NOT hairDRESSERS, you're not allowed to call them hairDRESSERS, don't ask my why. I guess you DRESS a turkey and STYLE hair) come from all over Canada to possibly win an award for the crazy hairstyles they create. All in one night of fashion, runway, chicken dinner and all the drinks you can drink. I, however, got to drink tomato juice in the hope it would help me not throw up.

I think I got sick because I spent a whole week before I got the flu trying to have soup for dinner. Here's why: last week the NEW soup place opened! For weeks, every day on my way home from work I would see the sign in the window, counting down the days until it opened:

9 days until Chicken Gumbo!
5 days until French Onion!

I couldn't wait!

There's a super soup place in the mall but because I don't pass the mall on my way home, anytime I want this super soup I have to walk past my home to get it and then double back, and now that it's freezing outside, who has the strength to fight the elements just to get good soup? So when I saw that this new soup place was opening I thought it would be my compromise soup guy. Only, on the day it opened, I went, and they charged me $6.95 for a small cup of soup. It was pretty good soup, but it wasn't the same experience. Because there were no ACCESSORIES. It was like wearing a little black dress without strappy heels, a cute handbag and a pretty bangle. I mean, how could this new soup place open and not offer accessories when they must KNOW that their competition is the super soup place in the mall that gives you a little bun, a choice of apple, orange or banana AND a Lindor chocolate! The perfect accessories to complete the meal.

I was so disappointed, so then the next day the Hubs and I went to the super soup place to satisfy the craving, only by the time we got there the only choices were bad. Like Sardine Bisque and Brussels Sprouts Gumbo. Boo. So we didn't get any soup and then I went home and had to have canned soup, which isn't that bad now that they have pull-tabs and you don't have to mix them with water or milk. Still...there was no little bun. No green apple. No Lindor chocolate. Anyway, I firmly believe all these attempts to have the super soup from the mall affected my immune system and my body got so confused it thought I was sick, so then I got sick.

But there was no time to be sick, not with the Hair Oscars and then... the CHANEL Sample Sale! In my entire magazine career, I have dreamed of getting an invite to the Chanel Sample Sale. This is a sale that happens only once every FOUR years, and it's just for magazine editors. The first time the sale happened, I was just a lowly editorial assistant at ELLE, so I didn't get an invite, but my bosses did, and they got sexy shoes and frilly frocks and silky scarves.... sigh.

But then, this year, I got an invite!

Maybe you're thinking, what's so special about this sale? I'll tell you. Everything (everything!) at the sale is 90 PER CENT OFF.


For example, if a pair of boots is $2,000. You pay $200.
If a skirt is $1,500, you pay $150.

Now THIS is math I can do.

Sadly the sale wasn't as good as I'd hoped. I wanted a Chanel bag like the one Spenny gave Heidi last week on The Hills, which cost $3,500 US. Which, at the sale would've been a steal at $350 US, which is like FIVE DOLLARS Canadian.

Only the bag wasn't there. But you know what WAS there?

This Chanel basketball.

I just don't get it. I mean, boys like basketball and girls like Chanel. It doesn't make sense. It's so crazy that you almost want to buy it. But I didn't. Because five years ago, I got this same basketball as a gift from Chanel, when I was just a lowly editorial assistant at ELLE. So maybe what goes around comes around.

After the sale, I went to a lunch for a new nail polish line. It happens every year with the creator and you get to talk about nail colours and all things girly and then get a manicure. So you think what could get better than this? But it gets better, every year, because the LA publicist comes, and with him, he always brings the juiciest gossip. And this year... do you want to know just one of the things he happened to let slip?

That Crazy Cruise...

has a new boyfriend.

Want to know who?

Our boy Becks.

Do we believe it?

I think this kind information calls for a cup of soup.