When putting your pants on doesn’t go as expected, you have a clothed encounter

One morning, my brain seemed to want to do two different things simultaneously. That is, to try get dressed AND leave the bedroom at the same time. Ever had that happen? Fortunately, I narrowly escaped what was sure to be a head-injury-in-the-making, and stopped moving until my pants were securely in the locked and upright position. Then, I let my imagination run through how that scene could have played out for me.

Brain VS Brain

It’s like the two hemispheres of my brain got divorced and it’s a nasty one. One part suddenly taking over muscle movement even as the other part is right in the middle of orchestrating a move.

While getting dressed, the full-on war began. I was putting my pants on. It was bad enough that I was doing this while standing up, carefully, or perhaps not so carefully, balancing on one foot while threading my other foot through the pant hole.

It was at this exact moment that I remembered I needed to bring a book to work. The part of my brain that suddenly remembered this task just decided to act on it immediately. It completely ignores the fact that I am in mid-balance while feeding my other foot through a bunch of material.

In a move that will certainly garner me the least-coveted award on the planet, Klutz-of-the-Month, I start to move quickly to get the book. The leg that is standing and balancing, and barely doing a good job of that, is now required to propel me forward at a sprint-like pace. The other leg that was in mid-pant entry, now is the James Bond of legs as it has to reach the light at the end of the pant at break-neck speed before it’s required to hit the floor and support all my weight.

This is the point where the word ‘break-neck’ takes on a very literal meaning and would probably be joined very soon by break leg, break arm, break nose, and break appendix. But, James Bond leg makes it! We are at Defcon 1 now. Arms are called into action to quickly pull the pant leg up to ensure the landing foot hits the ground free of any material entanglements.

What will my waring brain decide next?

Hop with one panted leg and one naked leg to retrieve the book? Hell no! That would be too easy and logical. Instead, as panted leg, a.k.a. James Bond leg, is negotiating the new, full weight of my body and is navigating the shift of weight due to the forward momentum, my brain decides, “naked leg goes in other pant leg.”

Quit Clowning Around

Naked leg, good unquestioning soldier that she is, starts to rise, arms pitch in by pulling the gaping pant hole towards the leg the same way those clowns in a circus run around with that tiny net that’s supposed to catch their friend when he swan-dives off a high platform.

A small voice somewhere in my head yells, “WE ARE NOT IN THE FUCKING CIRQUE DU SOLEIL HERE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE!”

-small voice in head

Panted leg is at the end of the forward push it had begun when it hit the ground, and basic biomechanics… physics? (whatever, I ain’t no scientist) dictates that the foot attached to naked-leg-descending-through-pant needs to be on the ground … and NOW! But, naked leg and arms are like two really drunk men trying to hold each other up in the street outside the pub, there’s a lot of swaying and pulling of material but not much progression happening.

Brain intercedes and sends message to the other leg, that is to say, the panted leg (aka James Bond leg), “You’ve got to go it alone.”  Bond leg screams back, “Dammit, Jim! I’m a panted leg, not a miracle worker!” But, even so, she begins to hop wildly, missing the bedroom door jam be millimeters. Half-naked leg, having just begun the descent into the pant leg, is dragged into motion like an unwilling toddler being pulled away from the toy store.

Arms are giving their all, pulling the material up as fast as they can. The extra motion from them causing my body to pitch every which way. James Bond leg is hopping madly now. The book is just in reach. The part of the brain that started this whole mess wants that book now. It orders the arms to stop fussing with the pants and to reach out (yes, both of them) and grab the book. But those arms weren’t quite finished with the whole dressing the bottom part of the body yet. In any case, they let go of the pants and reach out to grab the book.

James Bond leg is taking all the load — shaking, spent and with one baby toe caught mercilessly in the denim hem. Other leg kicks wildly, trying to make it to the end of the tubular jean tunnel. The foot pops out with considerable velocity. It hits the nearest wall, creating a force so great as to propel my body towards the ground.

At this point it would be great to have use of my hands, but remember, they are clutching the BOOK. The more logical part of my brain orders, “Drop the book and extend arms to break our fall!”

Hands say, “Nah.” Just like a petulant child.

Like all great falls, things slow to impossible speeds. So slow your divorced brain halves can argue with each other about how stupid they are. You can note on your way down that there is a lot of dust under your dining room table and you remember that you were supposed to be at work early today. Then, in a Hail Mary attempt, logical brain yells, “PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!” — just like Ross did in that Friends episode with the couch. And, what do you know? Torso pivots and I land on my back — breaking no wrists or face bits.

Triumph!

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The art of falling

Not everyone can fall. Strike that. Not everyone can fall in a mostly hurtless tumble like a rubber-boned child and recover with more strength than they started.

Photo by Craig Gary from Pexels

When I was 17, I got a job as a roller skating instructor for Stardust for six months after graduating high school. I didn’t work at one of their roller rinks, but was given a bunch of skates and assigned schools. I taught grades K-12 how to skate during their designated gym classes.

An orange VW bug was my chariot

My older brother had put a new engine in an old VW bug – orange with a painted black ‘bra’ across the lights – and capped it off with super cool dual exhaust pipes. The back seat came out fully and provided a huge storage space, perfect for loading up with stinky skates, in all sizes.

Car loaded to the hilt, I headed out to various schools to set up for a week of teaching. When I drove into the school lot, I could see the children running behind my car with unbridled excitement as they glimpsed the car stuffed with roller skates up to the ceiling. Then, right on time, the clunky old engine, with maybe too much fuel in the cylinders or dirty spark plugs, backfired like a son-of-a-bitch. A veritable shot gun sound that echoed off the concrete school walls. In the rear view mirror I could see the startled children scatter. But, the allure of roller skates got them back on their feet and chasing the car again. I drove aimlessly around the parking lot just to see how long I could hold their attention.

A reveal like no other

In one school, during a kindergarten class, the physical and metaphorical fall collided for me.

Each kindergarten child was buddied up with a grade seven student, whose job it was to help the little ones during the lessons. Some Ks couldn’t stand on their skates while others whizzed around like Tasmanian devils. I collected the kindergarteners all into a circle, so I could begin the lesson. With their beyond-excited eyes on me, and the slightly bored eyes of their grade 7 buddies who were hovering behind them, I taught the little tykes how to fall.

“Okay boys and girls, we fall hands and then knees. Let’s try.” We all fall down, hands touching first and then knees. Then I show them how to get up by using the stopper (toe stop) on their roller skates.

All the kids are down on all fours, looking at me. And, I am on all fours looking at them. A perfect semi-circle of excitement. Behind the wee bairns are their grade seven buddies — crouched down to support their charges. Focused entirely on me, waiting for the next instruction so they can help aid their young protégés. Such dedication. Such honour. Such focus. Like nothing I’ve seen before, especially from the boys in the class.

Later, during the free skate portion of the grade seven class’s roller skating lesson, one of the students announced, “My boyfriend is in love with you.” (Ah, I knew who she was talking about. He was the young student who skated beside me in another class, puppy-dogged, heart emoji eyes on my every move.)

She sighs and continues, “And, when your were teaching the kindergarten class how to fall? We could all see right down your shirt.” Well, this explained the almost-religious attention the young men were paying to my lesson.

Even when you fall, you can emerge a victor

When I was in my mid-20s my soccer team played a tough Italian women’s team. One of our newer teammates, who seemed very sweet, was really skilled at the art of falling. In soccer, if you don’t know how to fall after a hit, you are headed for a broken bone. Master the old “Tuck ‘n Roll’ and you can recover from most hits fairly unscathed.

Audrey (not real name) tumbled many times during this particularly highly-charged game, on a gravel pitch, no less. This Italian team was known for some questionable tackles and Audrey was about done with the shenanigans. The next hit she got was nasty, definitely a red-card play in our minds. It sent Audrey sailing through the air, but she executed a perfect tuck ‘n roll. And, as the momentum carried her out of the roll and was about to set her fully right on her feet, she casually scooped a handful of dirty gravel. Once she was mostly vertical, she flung the gravel at the perpetrator of the foul, slinging obscenities along with it.

Our shock at the unexpected behaviour of our sweet new player, shifted to admiration for her ability to survive the brutal tackle with such physical prowess. (I can’t lie. Pretty much all hell broke loose after this incident, but it would have gotten there regardless.)

Let Tuck ‘N Roll be your mantra

If you know how to roll with the fall, physical or not, you will come out of it with both feet on the ground, and maybe with a bit of ammo to boot. So, when that slightly jealous 12-year-old told me everyone could see down my top, I casually brushed it off with a flippant remark, like it was no big deal. I executed a perfect, metaphorical tuck ‘n roll.

Don’t hit the brakes on the way down, you’ll likely just skid way out of control. It’s much more fun to ride it out and see if you can come up with a handful of gravel.

Standing between you and social media ridicule is this orange wig

One synthetic orange wig

I stood second in a line of 20 women, all wearing identical short black dresses and bright orange wigs. The cold April wind sliced across our bare legs. Ripples of laughter travelled up and down the line like electricity.

In my head I practiced the hip-wiggle walk we’ll do as we enter the beer garden. I adjust my wig.

“Do I have lipstick on my teeth?” Gill says, parting her blood red lips, teeth clamped together.

I’m wearing the exact same colour. We all are.

For more than 10 years, we’ve graced the beer gardens of the annual Squamish Soccerfest tournament in costume. We have been superheroes, devils, pirates, cops (a fan favourite), roller derby players, Vikings and cowgirls. Always adding our club colour, orange, to the mix.

This year we are the women in Robert Palmer’s famous 1985 Addicted to Love video. Outfitted in little black dresses, those clone-like models sported dark eye makeup, bright red lipstick and dark hair slicked back. With stone-like expressions, they moved emotionlessly to the music.

This was probably one of our most striking costumes yet.

Bum Che, Bum Che. The first two drum beats. The metre we need to time our hip, wiggle-walk to. Mimicking the passionless moves of the models, we slowly sashay across the gritty gravel.

A whoosh of movement fills our ears and buffets against us like a backdraft. I hear the hoots and hollers and a clanging of feet as the players climb up on the metal stands to get a good look at us.

My breath stutters. A sea of cell phone cameras track our every move. The anonymity of previous years, the “what-happens-in-the-beer-garden-stays-in-the-beer-garden” mantra, evaporates before my eyes.

Gill, in front of me, a Kindergarten teacher, nervously tugs the hem of her dress down.

“Thank God for these orange wigs!” she whispers.

(This post was written in the style of the Significant Objects project. The project aimed to show the effect narrative has on an object: https://significantobjects.com/ )

Pocket rocket, drugs and a bad case of bees

“pollen huffer” by postbear is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The after-soccer practice banter began immediately with us all buzzing about knee replacements, back injuries and a bad case of bees.

Esmerelda said she figured now would be a good time to get one of her dodgy knees replaced since COVID was making teaching difficult. Unfortunately, her doctor didn’t agree.

“How did you tear your meniscus again?” Lu-Lu asked. “Slide tackle during your premier-level soccer career or a wipeout during your track days?”

“Nope, I was looking in the fridge for food and then turned suddenly and ‘ping’, torn meniscus.”

Then she confessed that she had another close call recently at the door of the fridge. While bent over and peering inside for a wee snack, her hubby sidled up behind her, grabbed her hips suggestively and asked, “Is now a good time?” (Reminds me of the song I got a rocket in my pocket. )

Back away from the pills

And then there’s Shirley. You probably have one in your life. That friend who gets herself into a lot of predicaments where they get injured, yet gets out of them without asking for help (when they should). The Monty Python Black Knight from The Holy Grail, “Tis just a flesh wound! I’ll bite your legs off!” type of routine. Here are two examples of her escapades.

Shirley VS the sea glass

She spent a day bent over looking for sea glass at the beach with her niece. Stood up and totally corked her back. She was in extreme pain and no drugs were working. We joked that she probably went to work (she did), drove all over the place and helped someone move.

Finally she got some relief with hydromorphone. She needed some more to help her on the long flight to England she had planned. She asked her doctor for a prescription for more. At that time she’d only had to take 1 or 2, so based on that info he wisely prescribed her 100 pills.

Rumour has it she passed out on the toilet on the flight and they had to take the doors off the bathroom. Two flight attendants were injured in the ordeal. (Okay, I started that rumour, just now.)

It’s a slippery slope, literally

Another time, she was driving up north in December in a rental car (probably a stinking Fiat) with no snow tires when she slid off the road and down the side of a very snowy mountain. The the car ended up on it’s side.

Casually she pushed the door open (against gravity) and clawed her way up the mountain to flag down a passing car. She managed to wrangle a ride in a furniture truck to the airport. There she explained to the rental car staff where she ‘parked’ the car. And, oops, by the way, she left the lights on and the key in the ignition. No request to see a doctor, just hopping a plane. Places to go, people to see, cars to roll.

Did someone order bees?

Not going to lie. I don’t recall how exactly the bees got in the story, but isn’t that always the way? I think we accused Shirley of losing control of the car because she was swatting a spider or something.

Then Lu-Lu said her daughter was driving on the highway and started swerving wildly before pulling off to the shoulder. All because a bee was in the car.

“Is she allergic to bees?” Esmerelda asked. ‘No!” said Lu-Lu. Might as well be, either way, that bee almost killed her on the highway.

Of course, this lead me to relay my favourite bee story. A work friend, driving off the grounds of Riverview Hospital, got an itch in his pants, and it wasn’t his rocket. At one point he realized he was getting stung. He stopped the car in the driveway, jumped out and dropped his pants. A bee had gotten into his pant leg and stung him several times.

We figured the staff didn’t want him to leave so they released the bees. Security staff were heard to say, “Someone is trying to leave the grounds. Send out the security bees!”

Remember, don’t do drugs, watch out for pocket rockets and watch out for those bees, the little fuckers!

Fraternal trouble – part 2

Read part 1 of this story

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I look up at Gunther. He’s got a look on his face that I’ve seen many times before.

“Oh, come on!” I say. “Seriously? You’re hungry aren’t you? And, you’re wondering if I’ll give you some snack out of my backpack, right?”

“You always could read my mind, sis.” He grabs my bag, rummages around for a minute and pulls out a bag of chips. “These will do nicely, thank you.”

“Uh, Gunther, what about the text?! Those guys want the stuff tomorrow and, if you can recall, I got nothing!”

“Dommph mpfh abhmmhf”, chip pieces spray out of his mouth as he tries to talk.

“Ugh, gross!”

He swallows and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand; washes the remnants down with a swig of beer. “I have an idea, thank you very much”, he says before stuffing another handful of chips in his face.

The mission

We pull up outside of Aunt Sybil’s house about half an hour later in a pick-up truck we’d borrowed from Gunther’s roommate, Stan. He doesn’t like to lend out his truck, but Gunther promised him a date with me, should I live to see tomorrow.

“Okay, let’s go over the plan again,” he says.

“We go in through the back door and then into the garage. We carry shitloads of toilet paper out of the house of our crazy, coupon-clipping, dooms-dayer and borderline hoarder Auntie Sybil.” I say sarcastically. “It’s really not a task so complicated that I’d call it a plan.”

“You sure know how to suck the fun out of everything, don’t you?” Gunther pushes the truck door open and starts to cross the lawn.

We open the back door and with mind-melding twin-to-twin powers, we immediately look at each other and in unison and say, “Shit, the fucking dogs!” I bolt for one of the sliding doors of the kitchen and he the other.

We hear the barks and guttural growls of the two Dobermans as we each slam the doors shut. “Man, I hate those fucking dogs,” I think. I look over at Gunther, “So, was that part of your ‘plan’,” I air-quote him because I know it drives him crazy.

“Shit!” he points out the window. Two heavy-set, Russian looking guys are heading across the lawn and to the garage door. We see them looking through the windows. Obviously, they’ve now seen Aunt Sybil’s stash. They talk for a minute and then one heads back to their car.

Three’s a crowd

“Well, well, if it isn’t the horse-killer, Talia,” Jules says as she lowers a large bowling trophy she had been holding up as a weapon. We both jump. Not gonna lie, I peed just a little bit.

“Shit!” Gunther and I say in unison. And then, “Where’d you come from, Jules?” We look at each other, pissed off, “Stop doing that!” we say again, in unison. I give up and throw a wet sponge from the kitchen sink at him. He bends into a C-shape to avoid getting hit by it.

“Fuck! They’re back and one’s got a crowbar,” my voice breaks a little on the last word.

“What’s going on?” Jules says in a stage whisper and sidles up close to Gunther, and clasps his arm. Ugh, I should have known she still had a crush on him. She was my friend first until I broke the leg on her toy horse and then I was persona non grata.

Gunther straightens up a bit and puts on an official air while he fills her in on the past day’s events and our current “plan”.

Jules shoots some eye darts my way and coos over Gunther. “Oh you poor man. I can’t believe what you’ve been through.” She strokes his chest.

The bad guys have broken the garage door lock and are sliding the door up. This was good and bad. They might leave me alone if they get their crapload of toilet paper and a bunch of other goodies, but my Aunt would freak out over the depletion of her “end-of-the-world” supplies.

And, what if they weren’t happy with their haul and they still wanted to take me, you know, maybe just for the fun of it? I must think quickly. I could throw something at them, like…. maybe one of the fucking dogs.

I hear Jules voice. She’s whispering into the phone, “Yes, police? Two men are breaking into my neighbour’s garage. They look very dangerous and I’m in the house with my neighbour’s nephew and niece. Please hurry, we’re scared.”

The police show up in record time and arrest the men without incident. I can’t help but think that it’s all just so, so, so… anti-climactic. I didn’t even get to throw anything at the bad men. My aunt has a super creepy collection of dolls in the garage that would have made awesome missiles.

“Hey Talia, you’ll have to find your own way home. I’m taking Jules out for some dinner.” Gunther puts his arm around her and starts to walk away. Over his shoulder he says, “Oh, and maybe don’t promise anyone any masks either, okay, Turdie?” Jules giggles.

I flip him the bird. “Masks?!” I yell in his direction, “Are you kidding? Everyone knows you need toilet paper when there’s a respiratory pandemic sweeping the world!”

 

 

Fraternal trouble

Thought I’d have some fun doing some creative writing. Here is part 1 of my story based on this writing prompt: You’re twin’s been missing for a day and you’ve been worried sick. They soon return the next day, unconscious. The note tied to their arm reads, “Grabbed the wrong twin”
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Ugh, first off, that is so like my twin brother. It’s always been about him. Drama, drama, drama! I will never hear the end of this. Secondly, I am a woman, and what kind of dufuses steal the wrong twin when that twin is a different gender and, incidentally, doesn’t really resemble the other twin that much?

So, what I know so far is that they are still after me and that they are not too bright. Oh, and, that my brother is pissed at me, again!

“Sis! Come on! What are you mixed up with?” Gunther says while he takes the Tylenol and the glass of water that I offer him. He rubs the back of his neck and squints up at me with one eye closed like he did when we were just little toddlers.

I pace back and forth in my office, where they had deposited him. That in and of itself was a concerning fact. They knew where I worked. And, they got in without anyone seeing them, all the while dragging or carrying an unconscious man! This was dismal on a scale of Dismal to Fucking Awesome!

“Well, erm, sorry about that ol’ chap”, I say with a mock British accent, even though we are Irish-Canadians. But, in my defense, I was stalling and wanting to make light of the situation, so going British was the best way. Because, as I see it, if you go Irish right out of the gate, then shit just got real.

Cushy contraband

“Okay, cut the bull, sis, what is going on?” he says, grumpy and groggy.

“Well, I kind of owe some bad dudes a lot and, well, they want me to pay now.” I extract my emergency ‘exit bag’ from behind the old radiator. The building is a 5-story walk-up down on Bute Street. And, the radiators are really more of a design feature than a functioning source of heat. The landlords left them in just to make the building look cool. Mostly, they’re just great places for storing your secret shit and for mice to live in.

“What kind of money do you owe them, and what is it for?” he asks warily. A heaviness has set in over him again as his body is fighting off whatever they drugged him with.

I walk over to the bar fridge I have under my desk and pull out a Guinness.

“Got a smoke to go with that?” He takes it from me and places the cold can on the back of his neck.

“No! You know I don’t smoke.” I fish around in my purse and find a joint. I hold it up questioningly. He nods yes, takes it and lights up.

Gunther lifts his chin up in quick, swift motion to indicate that I should get on with the explaining. The smoke he blows out curls up over his head.

“Well, it’s not so much money that I owe them …” I add some gluten-free crackers and nuts to my exit bag and glance around the room for my stash of chocolate.

Quietly, Gunther asks his question again, re-framed this time to ask what I do owe them. Patiently he waits, eyes half closed, possibly from the beer and the pot or just from the whole ordeal, I couldn’t be sure which.

“I told them I could get them a pallet of toilet paper,” I say sheepishly. Suddenly feeling like the little sister that I was. One of us had to be older, even if just by 45 minutes.

His eyebrows shoot up, his eyes wide, “Toilet paper! Are you fucking kidding me?!” He struggles to stand up. Teetering a little when he reaches his full height of 5 foot 10 inches. He’s taller than me, but I got a good 10 lbs or more on him. If it came to a twin-to-twin smackdown, I think I’d win.

“I know, I know, I got cocky! Who promises that during a pandemic?!” I fling my hands up in a “don’t’-shoot” action. “I had an ‘in’ at Costco. My guy there assured me he could get the goods, but he got laid off before he could deliver. When I tried to get out of the deal, they just refused to accept that.”

Gunther takes a toke, holds it and exhales slowly. “So I got abducted over toilet paper!” He takes a slightly more aggressive toke of the joint. “Fucking toilet paper!” he says through clenched teeth as smoke pushes its way out between his lips, from various sides of his mouth and through gaps in his teeth. He looks like a cartoon character who’s eaten something hot that’s smoking up their mouth. I do NOT mention this to him.

“Um, so ..” I say as I zip up my emergency exit bag and scan the room for any last items. “I’m glad you’re okay and now, I think I’m going to make myself scarce for a little while.” As soon as I stop talking, my phone pings. A new text message from an unknown number.

I read it out loud, “Drop the goods off at midnight tomorrow in the alley behind your office. We won’t make the same mistake again.”

Read part 2 of Fraternal Trouble

Baking a difference, one square at a time

cupcake

“Cupcake on Stripes” by Wendy Copley is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Our social committee held a holiday bake sale at work today. I measured, melted, poured and baked my little heart out last night. Not going to lie, things got pretty sticky. That sweetened condensed milk is a little can of gooey, crystal-meth-like goodness.

Like a Twinkie in a room full of profiteroles

Just before noon I dropped my baked goods off in a giant red Tupperware container – my treats clinging to the tinfoil inside it like any sane woman to a half-naked Chris Hemsworth. That’s when I saw the sea of perfectly symmetrical, beautifully decorated and fancily-wrapped cookies, cupcakes and more.

If the baking table were a cocktail party, and the treats were people, then all the other stuff there would be the “old money” crowd wearing Gucci, Armani, Vera Wang and such. My stuff would be a hot mess, a member of the “nouveau riche”. Think along the lines of Brittney Spears or Justin Bieber in their rebellious, acting out years, only they’d be wearing shiny (and slightly sticky) Value Village attire.

Shame and math class flashbacks

I truly felt baker’s shame. Hey, it’s a thing. It reminded me of my primary school years when we had to cover our text books in paper and mine were covered in brown paper that never stuck together properly. Everyone else had perfectly covered books. One of mine was so bad it prompted a grumpy grade 5 math teacher, pissed off at some caculatory-error in my notebook, to refer to it as “your world war II” book. This he said as he flung it across the room at me in front of the whole class. Do you wonder where my deep-seated hatred of math comes from? Whoa, maybe I have some half-baked, unrisen childhood issues to deal with. [Editor’s note: caculatory is totally made up, but sounds like it should be a word, doncha think?]

The baking organizer was so gracious, “Don’t be silly. Your treats are great. Now, you get to name your price.”

Me: “Uh, oh, maybe just a quarter?” [Hyperventilating-inducing math flashback begins….]

Her: “oh, no, that’s too little! And, remember, we’re trying to raise money here.”

Me: “Okay, 50 cents should do it.”

Don’t judge a treat based on rational criteria, like symmetry or pleasing colours

I ducked out of there as quick as I could, feeling bad, like I was undervaluing my baked goods. Casting them into the “past due” category.

Thing is, they’re delicious. Chocolate toffee bars is what I made. They look like cat vomit embedded in chia seed pudding, but taste like a kiss from an angel (or a devil, your choice). They taste amazing, especially if you are a lover of the sweet and chewy things in life. You can’t be in the mood for something healthy when contemplating these bars.

If I were to write marketing text for them, it’d be something like:

Best suited to those in the throes of raging PMS/Post-menopausal fucked-up-ed-ness. Serve with alcohol for best results.

Then in small print, or if a radio ad then spoken super-fast:

After consuming, do not operate heavy machinery; do not attempt to conduct high-powered business meetings or functions; do not contemplate the meaning of life; and most certainly, do not, under any circumstances, attempt to have a “we need to talk” talk with your partner.

I know you want to see a picture of them now, but I don’t have one. I ain’t no Instagram Queen. My photography is about as chaotic, blurry and oddly compelling as my baking.

Here is a photo of what they should look like:

choc-toffee-bar picture from blog post – https://www.greensnchocolate.com/chocolate-chip-toffee-bars/ 

Ah, holiday bake sales are the best! Do you have a best “worst baking” story? Do tell! Share in the comments.

Into the wild

wine bottles (2)

Camping, ah, packing everything you need into a truck and going into nature to reconnect with mother earth. Er, well, how about Glamping? You know, staying at a site that has RVs and trailers with full water and electric hookups and a building with flush toilets, sinks and showers.

Still, we were out in nature all the time. Dirt covering us, bugs biting us and cold lake water and hot, hot sun. This was Osoyoos.

While my friends stayed in their trailer … let’s call them Red (girl) and Mace (guy), I went old-school in my tiny, pop-up tent. The other couple, let’s call them Scarlett & Rock, also tented, but they had cots, a bedside table and an electric fan.

Tents lie about their size

Tents are like men on dating apps. They lie about how big they are. My “two-man” tent would no sooner fit two men than I could fit into an “A” cup. It would result in bulging flesh, material stretched to the max and escaping nipples.

I can barely fit in it with all my stuff. I only unzip it enough so that I can squeeze out of the tiny opening at the bottom. I do it partly because I don’t want tons of bugs in my tent and because I’m super lazy. This means that every time I try to get out, it’s like I’m being born. When I’ve had too much to drink, my friends have to get the forceps out to extract me from the tent.

The phrase that keeps on giving

There are times in life were one phrase captures the mood of an entire trip and becomes the go-to saying for whatever is transpiring. On this recent camping trip to Osoyoos, that phrase was, “Oh, for fuck’s sake!”

It made its first appearance on the trip, uttered by an irritated red head – is there any other kind? – when her husband was lamenting the fact that he was sick. He sprawled in a camping chair, looking like any dying character from Game of Thrones, and uttered these fateful words, “My throat hurts and I don’t feel very good.”

Red eyed him with contempt and said, “Oh, for fuck’s sake! Stop being such a baby.” This shocked the other female in the group, Scarlett. Scarlett had just said to her husband, Rock, “See what a lovely marriage Red and Mace have? They have been married for a long time and support each other.”

From then on that phrase was rolled out on any occasion that remotely warranted.

  • Grown-up children showed up starving as soon as we’d all just sat down to eat a hot meal?

    “Oh, for fuck’s sake!”
     
  • Someone put a bottle of wine in the freezer to chill and accidentally leaves it in overnight?
    “Oh, for fuck’s sake!”
  • We are camping and have a freezer to accidentally leave a bottle of wine in overnight?

    “Oh, for fuck’s sake!”

Camping: an excuse to eat, drink & giggle a lot

It was a great, lazy, hazy, summer camping trip. Several days of hot sun, dirt, wine tasting, wine drinking, and swimming.

Equally enjoyable was the walk in the hot sun ending at a heavily air conditioned ice cream shop for a cool treat. Me and Red giggling hysterically like school girls when I realized (about 10 good licks into my ice cream) that I had just walked away from the counter without paying. When I jumped up to go pay I saw, soft-spoken, demure Scarlett walking towards me.

“Don’t worry, I paid for your ice cream,” she said. Then, completely deadpan, “For fuck’s sake.”

One of the best things about camping is lounging around the campsite, watching people, chatting about nothing and spending time reading. And, doing all of that while trying not to get tangled up in the dog’s chain leash whenever she decided to suddenly lunge at random dogs, people, or blowup lake toys. More than once Mace was pulled out of his camping chair and dragged in the dirt.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake!”

 

Life not stressful enough? Try stand-up comedy! (Also a good laxative substitute)

Martina-2nd-standup-2019I did it once before, 5 years ago. I took a whirlwind stand-up comedy course and went on stage with my classmates. You can watch my first stand up comedy stint, if you like.

Last night, I did a showcase with my class mates from my recent six-class comedy course. We had an amazing audience of  mostly friends and families. It was a rush — both a jittery, heart in your throat kinda way and a, “wow, I can’t believe I’m standing here in the spotlight” kinda way.

So, here is my second stand-up comedy showcase.

If you think you are funny, I urge you to do a stand-up comedy course. Fun, terrifying and a way to connect with like-minded goofballs.

Top new year’s resolutions for pets

cat

Photo by Jae Park on Unsplash

It’s not well known but it’s a universal truth that domestic animals prescribe to the practice of setting new year’s resolutions.

Scientists have been doing some of that nifty data-collecting stuff using the best pet data sources on the planet – Gargle, Grazeazon and Facebeak. After scouring millions of posts, orders and searches, the white-coated, glasses-wearing dudes and dudettes have come up with some common resolutions for some of our pets.

See what is in store for your pet this year.

Cat resolutions

1. Irritate the dog
2. Sharpen claws on owner’s leg, preferable in the middle of the night
3. Stop chasing small red lights

Dog resolutions

1. Stand up to the cat
2. Be more cool when owner gets home
3. Catch tail

Bird resolutions

1. Poop anywhere but on newspaper in cage
2. Fly the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs
3. Kill the owner of Chick-fil-a … in under 12 parsecs

Hamster resolutions

1. Run fast on wheel late at night for optimum human sleep disruption
2. Run for US political office
3. Start keto diet

Spider resolutions

1. Sue the Web for trademark infringement
2. Improve popularity standing among humans above other arachnid family members
3. Increase production of silk for Spider-Man

Men’s resolutions

1. Eat Keto
2. Stand up to the cat
3. Become Spider-Man

Cheer on your domestic pets in their valiant efforts to maintain their New Year’s resolutions. What’s that, you ask? What are my resolutions? Hang out with more hamsters and mount a PR campaign for spiders using these popular hashtags whenever possible: #pets #influencer #funny

What are your resolutions?