Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thank You Very Much

Let the Halloween insanity begin!

Click here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I Can't Quit You

/>Keeping up with my long standing reputation as The Last To Know Anything and totally out of The Loop I finally saw Brokeback Mountain the other night. I liked it. It was good. More than that it was very surprising. After all the fuss, outrage, hate, and boycotting I was expecting a very racy movie. And you know what? It totally wasn’t.

Yeah, yeah so there was a couple kissing scenes and a love scene that was more suggested than explicit but nothing that I could see that would cause such a ruckus.

I often joke that Canada is a pinko commie country but in fact it really isn’t. In reality it can be pretty damned conservative. So much so that The Conservatives were elected in the last federal election. Same sex marriage is still a hot topic and many remain vehemently against it even though it has been allowed for several months now and, as far as I can tell, the country has not land slid into Hell. Everything is fine. No biggie. Fortunately the government so far has maintained the position that it is not appropriate for citizens to vote on whether other citizens are eligible for basic rights. Lord knows if it was up to the general public nobody would be allowed to do anything with everybody’s own personal agenda being foremost in their mind. If I had any say it would be against the law to wear size 0 clothes and there would be mandatory daily minimums of chocolate consumption. I got my priorities.

Although I believe that Canada on a whole is pretty conservative I am unaware of this movie being banned anywhere in the country when it was released. I remember no outrage. It was just one of those things where if somebody didn’t want to watch content of that nature they wouldn’t go see the movie. Pretty simple.

I believe I am very fortunate that I live in a city where it is not at all uncommon to see same sex couples walk in the streets holding hands. It always makes me warm and fuzzy to see this because how cool is that? That they feel safe and comfortable enough to do that rocks. Yet I know that is not the case in most of the rest of Canada.


I have been told by Pablo, my bestest buddy, that I am actually a gay man in a woman’s body. Having been like this my whole life I can neither confirm nor deny that observation. I can say that seeing those two cowboys kissing didn’t bother me in the slightest. As I was watching it didn’t even really occur to me that this was “unusual” in any way. It was such a non-issue and that is why I remain totally puzzled over the whole broo-haha revolving around this film.

In all honesty I don’t know why people are so upset about two cute guys kissing each other and not all up in arms over sick-ass movies like Saw III. Now that is disturbing and weird and perverted. That makes my stomach turn.

Maybe I should picket outside the theatre: GOD HATES GORE!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Table For One

So for six and a half years I lived in a tiny 385 square foot apartment featuring a 2 burner hotplate and a toaster oven in the kitchen. There being no dining room I ate at my coffee table in front of the TV. I bemoaned my situation to anybody who would listen and many who wouldn’t stating that if I only had a real kitchen I would make wonderful meals and invite all my friends and family over for scintillating dinners filled with witty conversation and mouth watering food. I pictured myself in a fabulous frock protected with a cute June Cleaver apron. I had visions of artistic appetizers and lip puckering martinis along with laughter and gushing compliments. Basically I was going to be the hostess with the mostest putting Martha to shame.


I come by these delusions honestly as my mom is an amazing gourmet cook and throws successful dinner parties often. She makes food one only sees on TV or in world class restaurants. She has all the correct serving spoons and platters and bowls. She has “good” dishes and crystal wine glasses. She even has two sets of fancy flatware complete with sugar tongs and fish forks. My mom spends days in the kitchen putting together one of her parties. It is a lot to live up to.

Needless to say I haven’t.

So I have been in my new “grown up” 600 square foot apartment for 4 months. Have I had a dinner party? No. Not a one. I have a real stove and oven (self cleaning no less!!!) along with a huge fridge and cupboard space and a pantry and EVERYTHING. Even a fucking dining room filled with a table and chairs. Something I didn’t have before.

I have used my oven one time. Once. And I bought a frozen pizza, special, so I could try it out. I have only used 2 burners on my stove. The back two are pristine and remain virginal. My fridge is mostly empty. I only use my toaster oven. I have never eaten in my dining room.

Am I a looser? Perhaps. I think that it is more a function of that I am single. Brutally and undeniably single. I cook single food. I make single portions. I eat in front of the TV. Why heat up a big oven when the little convection one works just fine. Not to mention Ol’ Faithful The Microwave. How would I ever need to use four burners at once for little old me? Just not going to happen. In all honesty I am a reluctant and uninspired chef. I don't really like cooking. I suck at it.

It is embarrassing. Bitching about my old apartment all that time and pretty much falling back on the exact set up in the new place. Ooops. I probably shouldn’t have told you... Being single and all nobody would have even known if I had just kept my big mouth shut.

But I want to know. If you are single what to you cook for yourself and if you are not single what was your favourite singledom meal?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-A Little Break

I am giving her a break this week as she has recently shown interest in helping with the laundry. Hopefully over time I can leave that job entirely up to her while I eat bonbons and watch Oprah.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

He Doesn't Know That He's My Saviour

A few weeks ago I posted about my genetic counseling appointment. I learned more about the genes I knew increased one’s risk of breast cancer as well as a gene I knew little about that not only related to breast cancer but stomach cancer as well. Stressful times, indeed.

What I didn’t tell you about is that I had a brutal panic attack during that appointment and I am truly amazed I managed to retain any information at all.

There are several things that can make me anxious and prone to having a panic attack and that day a whole bunch of them conspired against me. The main thing is that I stupidly forgot to take an Ativan before I left home. I was running late and fairly frazzled and just plain forgot. Bad move. Right there I thought I might be in trouble but ever the optimist I decided I’d be fine as I was feeling ok driving there. No sweat, I thought.

Then I got to the medical building where my appointment was held and realized I would be forced to ride up in a packed elevator. This is nerve wracking for me as I feel trapped and surrounded by potentially sick and germy people. It is a medical building filled with doctor’s offices, after all. I was saved at the last minute when a lady with a monstrous baby carriage budged in front of me thereby taking up the last bit of available space. Another elevator arrived seconds after and with some very swift and frantic pushing of the ‘close doors’ button I managed to have it all to myself.

Waiting in the waiting room wasn’t too bad and the lady who eventually came to get me was very nice. We walked back through a labyrinth of corridors to the very depths of the office which started my anxiety beacon beeping again. I tend to get anxious if I don’t have a clear and well marked exit. I do not like to feel trapped. We walked into a tiny closet like room where there was a small table and a couple chairs and she closed the door behind her.

Big mistake!

Right then my stress went though the roof and all my panic symptoms came on in a rush

-terrible nausea
-inability to keep still
-total brain function meltdown
-hot flashes
-the shakes
-compulsive swallowing due to the feelings of impeding pukage

Then to add to my agony there was no wastepaper basket to puke in. Sometimes I can calm myself down a little if I know there is a safe place to barf. I know that makes no sense but what can I say? Panic attacks are weird and wonderful things.

So picture me sitting there feeling like I am going to hurl ANY SECOND having to talk about stressful cancer type things stuffed in a little broom closet. I could hardly breathe.

After an hour and a half of this she asked me if I had any questions. I didn’t know what my name was at that point let alone being capable of forming a question. My lips were sealed shut with stress spit. All I wanted to do was GO GO GO!

I practically ran out of the office poking at the elevator button so I could get the hell out, run to my car and get home, my safe place, where there are such things like food, TV and my soft bed to distract me. Not to mention good drugs to chill me out.

The elevator arrived and, of course, it was packed full of people. I nearly waited for the next one but there were no guarantees that one would be any less full and at this point I was just desperate to get out. I took a deep breath and got on.

Anybody who has panic attacks knows that when you are freaking the fuck out there is a running dialogue in your brain that says all sorts of things like making deals with the devil, your god or your own body to just get through it. You promise yourself all sorts of things like new boots or chocolate or that you will never leave your house again if you can just get through it. You will say or do anything to just get through it. Basically you feel like you probably might die.

In my mental spasm I didn’t really pay any attention to the other occupants in the elevator and it was only when I had turned around to face the doors that I realized that somebody was singing at the back right behind me. A man. A full grown man. Singing out loud.

I looked over my shoulder to see a guy who was obviously mentally disabled singing a song AND doing hand actions to go along with it.

It went like this:

My mamma doesn’t wash me
‘Cause I can wash myself

Mamma doesn’t wash me
I can wash myself

My mamma will not wash me
‘Cause I can clean myself

This sweet man had one arm up in the air while he made washing motions in his armpits and chest with the other hand. And he had a big smile on his face because DAMMIT he was proud.

Oh my God.

My panic attack melted away and I calmly descended to the lobby and walked, not ran, to my car and went home. Singing the song out loud in my car the whole way.

Dude, thanks for saving my life.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-Her Luck Is Running Out

Yoshi has always loved sleeping under the covers and getting all snuggly with me. This little idiosyncrasy of hers has recently turned into a potentially dangerous habit. She has started weasling her way under the blankets on my bed, on the couch and other places where people plant their asses without too much thought. She is in grave danger of more than her head being crushed. I now have to check every time I sit down and I don't always remember.

Seemingly innocuous folded blanket on couch.

Actual gory crushing disaster waiting to happen.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Just Tell Me To Shut Up

It is that time of year when the holidays start cropping up and you get all those invitations for dinners and parties and other gatherings where food is offered and consumption is required.

I dread this.

The number one reason why is that with my ‘cancer journey enhanced’ anxiety problems any social interaction is terrible for me. Absolutely no fun and not to be attempted under any circumstances. I can do intimate family things with a couple Ativan under my belt but some loud and boisterous gathering is just impossible right now. It was doable in the past and I hope will be again in the future but just not right now.


But there is another major reason why this time of year is a royal pain in the ass. I am a very picky eater with all sort of opinions about how things should be, 'culinarily' speaking.

I can’t say that I am not an adventurous eater as I love sushi including the raw bits as well as curries and pad thais and other foods from far away lands. So I love those things. It is just that there are things I don’t like and I am pretty adamant about that. My reasons might not always be logical or even understandable but they are what they are:

-I hate squash. Any kind of squash. That includes pumpkin pie and other Halloween Era treats. I hate pumpkin scones, muffins, slices, Blizzards, cheesecake and lattes. That is fucking gross and that is all there is to it.

-I hate clams and mussels. They look ugly. Why would you want to put anything looking like that in your mouth? Seriously.

-I love stuffing but only if it is regular bread stuffing with celery and sage. Whatever you do don’t add any weird ass shit like figs or raisins or wild rice or truffles. God, just leave well enough alone.

-Meat. I don’t eat it. I love the smell of it cooking though. Except lamb. Didn’t even like lamb when I ate meat. Or duck. Or goose or any of those nasty greasy beasts.

-Pie. Ok. I LOVE apple pie. Just love it. Or apple strudel or crisp or whatever. I don’t like any other pie. I like all the fruit that goes into pies on their own but not in pie. Don’t know why.*

-I have a very strong opinion about nuts. They SUCK! Nuts should never be added to baked goods. Especially brownies. Sacrilege!!! ESPECIALLY walnuts. *gag* However, almonds or hazelnuts are ok in special circumstances. Like chocolate covered ones. It should be noted that I love peanut butter and any kind of chocolate bar with peanut butter. That is acceptable. Under no circumstances should nuts EVER be part of a salad or savory dish. I really mean that. Don’t mess with me.

-Most fish-just stinky. Tuna out of the can is ok and so is sushi. What can I say? I never said I would make sense.

-This saddens me a great deal and I hope that things will change in the future but I cannot stand the thought of mashed potatoes. I ate an indecent amount during my chemotherapy and it is not uncommon to develop a strong aversion to foods eaten during this time. That is what happened to me and it is a total tragedy. I love all other potatoes and can still eat them just fine. Except the mashed ones. *big sigh*

-I loathe cooked carrots. Love them raw but not soft and hot. Carrot cake is an abomination. Carrot soup is a travesty against nature. Don’t even talk to me about parsnips or turnips. The mere thought of cauliflower makes my sphincter shudder.

-Eggnog. Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

-Both my brother and I don’t like tomatoes but like tomato sauce on pasta. We were a united front against my parents about this and were never forced to eat tomatoes as kids. Woo!

-I figure a good general rule is not to mix sweet stuff into savory dishes and savory stuff into sweet dishes. None of that cranberry crap in gravy. Just say no to mincemeat pie. Just quit mixing that shit up.

-For the most part the desserts that make me happy have chocolate in them. Why waste those calories on lemon tart or fruit flan? If you are going to splurge just do it right. Don’t fuck up a good thing by adding something nutritious to it like fruit. People!!

-What in hell’s name is good about those blue and nasty stinky cheeses? You are eating mold and that is all there is to it. I believe a good rule to live by is that if it smells rotten don’t put it in your mouth. Goat cheese tastes like goats smell. Mmmmmm…appetizing. Why don’t we milk pigs while we are at it? Or dogs? Draw the line!!!

Now there is just a little taste of why I never get invited out anymore. In all honesty due to my vegetarianism and finicky palate my mom makes me my own special meal when we have a family dinner as I rarely can eat what everybody else is getting. Basically I am seriously annoying. Only because I am their child do I continue to be invited over. A parent's love overcomes a lot. Barely.

What makes you want to hurl?

*Poet moment!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Feeling Better

Well, here I am once again sitting at my computer on a Tuesday night listening to my boyfriend's streaming radio show. That would be Henry Rollins' '‘Harmony in My Head' on Indie 103.1 out of LA.

Man, I love this show. I love it for the music I hear that I have never heard before. Music from all regions of this planet. Rollins has the most diverse knowledge of music EVER. I have known a lot of music fetishists in my day and they didn'’t come close to the scope of music this guy knows. The sheer retention of this guy's brain for the interconnectedness of all things musical seriously fucks me up. I bow at his feet. Just wow. The way he talks about music makes you excited to hear it. His enthusiasm is so contagious.

Some weeks his playlist is all punk. Sometimes it is blues. Sometimes it is indie. Sometimes it is jazz. Mostly it is a mixture of all these categories plus a bunch more. While I imagine he might be considered a bit of a music elitist (a title with no negative implications because he has the knowledge 'goods' to back it up) he knows what he likes and is not embarrassed if it is maybe 'not so cool' to the mainstream. If he likes it he likes it whether it is The Buzzcocks or Vanilla Ice. Be it Bebop or Tribal.

Every single week he plays a track from The Fall. This always makes me tingly as this was a band I loved in the 80'’s and own some vinyl of. It has been stored in the basement for years and they simply slid off my mental radar screen. To have not only rediscovered them again though HR but to get to listen to them every week is so cool. Tingly, I say!

Every week he plays some song from the past that I love and haven'’t heard for YEARS and no matter if I am comfy on the couch with a cat draped over me or in the middle of my evening meal I am compelled to get up and shake my ass a little. I have already boogied once tonight and I expect I will shake it again within the next two hours. Gently, of course, so the noobies* are not traumatized. Or my neighbours if they catch a glimpse of my hokey ass through the blinds.

What am I saying? I don'’t dance. No, no, no... I sit at my computer and coolly nod my head to the beat. Yeah, that'’s what I do. I certainly don't revert back to the 80'’s two step a la Molly Ringwald in my living room.

No air guitars were smashed in the writing of this post.

*noobies is compliments of Jeanette-a fellow breast cancer survivor