A sure sign it’s time to do the dishes…

November 26, 2010

“Can you get me a plate?” called hubby from the living room.

“Um… there are no plates,” I answered from the kitchen.

He didn’t skip a beat. “Or something plate-like then?”

With all due pomp and circumstance, I presented my man with a Tupperware lid.

In the years since the renegotiation of THE (infamous) DEAL – a politically charged, highly controversial, bit of newlywed legislation – we’ve held a long running Mexican Standoff over the dishes. And, much like the World War II era housewives who fashioned ball gowns out of mattress ticking, we weather each long siege (before the inevitable dish soap blitz) with resourcefulness and creativity. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but in our Calgary apartment, invention’s maternal grandparents go by the names ‘stubbornness’ and ‘procrastination’.


Burning The Ugly Pants: Join a 2010 personal style makeover (Update V)

November 18, 2010

Ok Mother Nature, you win this round

After all my highfalutin’ about spectrums and experimentation, ol’ Mother Nature has offered up a rather poignant reminder of how much influence our environment, be it cultural, political, or meteorological, has over our outward expression of self. However, we must not allow these restrictions to thwart us in our personal style journey – note jaunty angle of scarf. From hemmed school kilts to stylish hijabs, there is always room for personalization. Plus, fogged glasses grant a person total freedom from outside judgment – although it might be nice to bloody well see where I’m going!

Need to catch up on this Saving Cymbria blog serial?

Nothing says Canadian glam like socks over pants


Comforting the dreaded pedestrian ‘Walk of Shame’

November 12, 2010

“BE CAREFUL!” yelled an irate driver through his open passenger window, rolled down, I assume, for the express purpose of berating my curb-mate. The unlucky fellow had stepped into the crosswalk prematurely, trying to beat the light, and had nearly been mowed down at 7:50am on a Friday – what a way to start the weekend!

But the driver who balled him out was three cars behind the action. He had no reason to get involved, and I felt for the poor victim. Calgary drivers aren’t so careful themselves, and I’ve reamed out more than a few while hiking this concrete jungle. But while it’s easy to slink away unknown in your glassed-in Cavalier, it’s much harder to keep your head up when you have to walk down the street step-in-step with the witness to your humiliation.

He was a small man, with scuffed shoes and a shabby, beat-up briefcase. His shoulders slumped down further after the attack. He hung his head as we crossed the street together. My heart went out to him and I tried to think of something to say to ease his embarrassment. But, really, what can you say?

So instead, I did something. I gave him a knowing half-smile, then made a jaywalker’s mad dash across all four lanes of 7th Avenue.

There are many ways to let a man know that he is not alone.

(image source)


Concerning eyeglasses, mortality, and the miracles worked by a George Foreman Grill

November 9, 2010

George Foreman: boxer, spokesman, quiet champion for immortal truths

I answered the doorbell last Sunday wearing long johns and one of my husband’s giant sweaters. The dapper couple in the doorway looked past my fashion faux-pas and proceeded to expound on ‘why war happens’ and, if that wasn’t helpful enough, ‘where I’m going after I die’ – all with the help of a colourful brochure. The man looked like he’d just stepped off Ed Sullivan’s stage with a 60’s boy band, while his partner, a lovely earnest girl, was dressed in the prerequisite knee-length skirt and ‘sensible’ shoes.

But there was something about her that didn’t quite fit the cliché…

“Awesome glasses,” I said, “those have got to be the coolest frames I’ve ever seen.”

Her face lit up and her demeanor brightened right away. The moment served as further proof that however strong our faith, our souls are still driven to justify themselves within the social/material construct of our physical world. As I writer, I itch for validation and recognition as much as the next biped. My husband, on the other hand, has always been a rebel.

“So how do you deal with the pain of your mortality?” I asked the wise man sitting next to me on the couch.

“We live… we die.” He shrugged and turned back to the TV.

He was right, of course, and – philosophical crisis averted – my body relaxed into the warm beige faux-suede beside him. Though, I do think much of his Zen frame of mind could be attributed to the disturbingly huge slab of juicy grilled beef he’d just devoured. George Foreman may have been beaten by Mohammad Ali in 1974, but yesterday, in Calgary, Canada, the ex-boxer took on mortality itself – and knocked it flat.

(image source)


A 21st century pirate’s perfect pet

November 5, 2010

I went searching for the remote control last night and found it perched on my husband’s shoulder, the rubber buttons gripping the fabric of his T-shirt like tiny clawed toes.

“Awww cute,” I teased. “It’s like a pirate’s little parrot.”

However, the cuteness quickly faded when I discovered my pirate had shipwrecked us on Sportsnet.

Note: My apologies for the frightening composite. The cuteness of the idea faded quicker than Randy Moss’s 2010 contract with the Vikings…


Is it possible to embarrass yourself when no one is watching?

November 3, 2010

Proof: I was walking into the kitchen while mumbling to myself in a pretentious New England accent (don’t ask, I’m embarrassed already) “let us contemplate the inherent…” when my left big toe caught in the hem of the opposite polar bear pajama pant leg and I pitched headlong into the door frame. As I hauled myself up and rubbed my bruised shoulder, I could feel my cheeks getting red hot…

Conclusion A: Yes. Without a doubt!
Conclusion B: Those who cannot multitask should keep their pant legs rolled up!