Who says Vogue isn’t relevant!

March 31, 2009

“They were charming eccentrics with marvelous imaginations, and there is so little room these days for wonderful people like that.” – William Norwich, April Vogue 2009

Norwich may have been writing about East Hampton’s two reclusive Edith Beales, circa 1976, but his comment on our culture is remarkably shrewd. When did we stop valuing creativity? Imagination? When it stopped making money, that’s when. So… why did we decide to stop buying?


The Dorian Gray Snowman

March 30, 2009

I saw a perfect snowman on my walk home last Thursday. He had black button eyes, a carrot nose, and a jolly hollowed out smile. The snowman stood, proudly postured, with his well proportioned stick arms throwing a happy hug to the world.

This Monday morning on my way to work, I passed by the snowman again. He still stood on his frosty lawn, in front of the same ludicrously expensive, beautiful, home. But… Oh what horrors of debauchery that family must have gotten up to over the weekend!

Not only had the snowman had been stripped of his arms, but he had had his eyes plucked out and his nose torn away. His proud stance had melted into the awful droop of a being who has given up on the world, with his head lolling back on sloping shoulders and the rest of him sinking slowly into the earth. And his mouth, that was the most gruesome transformation. His jaw gaped and his bulging lower lip was sagging low, off to one side, halfway down to his chest. I could almost hear the wretched thing howling at me from its slushy maw as I trudged by on the sidewalk.

I must admit the scene cheered me, in a way.

So often we walk by large lovely houses and imagine large lovely families living large, and lovely, lives inside. What a relief it is then, to see how they might not be so perfect after all – that a single one of their weekends could leave a portrait, albeit in snow, so ruined. Of course, the weather did warm up a bit on Saturday, but that wouldn’t have anything to do with it ~wink.

Help – I’ve married a goldfish!

March 13, 2009

Let me set the scene…
The hubby and I were chatting in the kitchen late last night. You know, just hangin’ round the ol’ fridge shootin’ the breeze. I turned away briefly (couldn’t have been for more than three seconds), to grab something out of my backpack on the floor. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw George making a move for the fridge door.

When I looked back, I saw something no wife should ever witness. Sure, we all know it goes on, in your fridge, in your neighbour’s, but nobody talks about it. Yes, sometimes what we don’t know will only hurt us (microscopic pathogens aside) when it hits us right smack in the face.

To be fair, there was no split lip involved, but the impact of the horror I saw was just as strong. George had the Brita water pitcher in both hands and was doing his best to guzzle directly from the spout. I know, I know, he’s a guy, and I can deal with the occasional scruffy milk top or orange juice container… but a Brita? Doesn’t that bloody well defeat the whole purpose!! “Filtered” water anyone?

And the visual was just too awful. The man had somehow managed to get his lips wedged inside the spout and was sucking away like mad with a panicked look on his face. He’d been caught in the act, after all, and his eyes were bugged like a lidless goldfish. I could see his puckered mouth, bright fleshy pink, through the clear plastic – not a good look for any man, least of all for my Viking George. I’d stumbled onto a tragic Kafka-esque scene… Man wakes up as suffocating goldfish… makes mad dash for fridge… reaches with last strength ebbing…for …the…Brita?

Ya, so I married a goldfish. Well, at least that sounds better than “ya, so I married a guy who sticks his mouth all over the water filter.” Hmmm, t’is better to savour the irony? Or build on the surrealism? That is the question. Or maybe, just maybe, I should stop thinking like a writer and just tell the man to use a glass!

Clive Cussler loses control

March 12, 2009

“To the eye of a creative artist or designer, the mansions looked like monstrosities of architecture gone mad with ostentation.” – Clive Cussler, The Chase

Well, Clive, Daaaarling, “to the eye of a creative (writer)”, this sentence is a bit of a monstrosity. But how could we fault you, dear, for such a small touch of indulgence when the rest of your story is so very delicious. That’s right, Clive, this is your writer’s get outa’ jail free card. Hope you and your editor enjoy it : ) Don’t worry though, I’m workin’ my way through a whole stack of ’em over here on my own.

Sucking on chicken feet – good times?

March 1, 2009

Uncooked chicken feet...mmmmm

“Want to go out for Dim Sum?” my husband asked me. “They have chicken feet!”

I couldn’t believe how excited he was to try this rather bizarre sounding delicacy. He talked about it with the same breathless, bright eyed anticipation he normally reserves for the newest (and all too frequent, if you ask me) innovations in golf club technology. As for myself, I’m a gal as thrilled by novelty as the next, and chicken feet are about as novel a breakfast treat as you can get around Calgary.

Except of course, for the fabled monkey brains my hubby was also looking forward to trying. At least, until the two friends treating us to Dim Sum explained how they are traditionally served…The monkey is sedated, then its skull is sliced open and the brains exposed through a hole in the table while the poor animal dangles underneath. Thankfully, I didn’t find any suspicious holes in our table. Believe me, I checked! Just imagining my knee brushing against something soft and furry (and still warm!) under the table makes my skin crawl. Yep, I’m all for novelty, but playing footsie with my food (while I’m munching on it!) is where I draw the line.

Cart after cart of steaming, bamboo cradled, deliciousness was wheeled by our table. My husband waited eagerly for the chicken feet, tiding himself over with shrimp dumplings, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, beef balls (not the prairie oyster kind!), and all kinds of other goodies. Finally, the feet arrived.

All eyes were on the round bamboo steamer as my George lifted the lid. Inside was a glistening pile of what looked like thick spongy sprigs of red coral, smothered in a sticky sweet and sour sauce. Our friend Bill, at a huge advantage being Chinese, dug right in. Chicken feet were old news to him, and he happily started slucking off the skin and spitting out the bones.

“Oh,” I said, in an unbelievable moment of idiocy, “they have bones?”

After sticking my own foot in my mouth with that bit of genius, I figured sticking something else’s foot in there would be no great leap. I stared at the strange sticky toe thing in my fingers – too slippery for my chopsticks. All I can say is thank goodness they trimmed the nails! After a moment’s hesitation to get my courage up, I slipped the foot between my lips. “AAAGH!” The closest description I can give you is this: imagine a ‘Parisian’ kiss with your husband/wife gone terribly, terribly, wrong. I’m squirming just thinking about it. I tried biting down through the spongy, goose-bumped, tongue-like mass, but I had to spit it out as soon as my teeth touched bone. I will say, though, the rest of the table got quite a kick out of my full-body-spasm reaction.

What did George think of the chicken feet?

“They’re ok, I guess,” he told me after, “but really, they’re just skin and bones, so what’s the point?”

I smiled. Yes, any woman would be tickled pink to hear those words from her husband. But in terms of other toes to tickle, I think we’ll stick to our own, at least for a while : )

(Image Source)