Monday, March 26, 2012

Potty Training 101

"GEEZ," I thought.....not AGAIN!  How is it that twice in one week, I have been witness to men urinating in public?  Kid you not, twice!  I am not talking about some dude off in the shrubs next to a roadside, trying to conceal his activity.  NO, I am talking about just off the sidewalk, within perfect view of my driver's seat, relieving himself on a wall in one case and a tree in another. 

Did someone forget to send me the memo that this was the latest trend?  The first one had just stopped and whipped it out next to the sidewalk and was watering a maple tree, and the second one had stopped on the QEW, between Erin Mills Parkway and Mississauga Road in traffic that was literally crawling, so I actually was almost stopped beside him and he was not even trying to be discreet at all.  OK, fellas, just because you CAN, does not mean you SHOULD.  Seriously, if you are going to do it, at least have a modicum of modesty and hide "behind" the tree or your car or whatever is available to shield your act from the public eye.

Maybe it just annoys me that women do not have this luxury.  Our bladders can be bursting and there is no way we are stopping at the side of the highway, unless there is something really good we can hide behind, like a forest or thick brush.  Even then, it is would be a last resort.  Once when I was hitching through Europe, my travel buddy was desperate in the back seat of a car doing 100 MPH on the German Autobahn and she finally pulled a thick towel out from her backpack and stuffed it down her jeans and let it go.  It was better than trying to communicate her need to the driver who could not speak English and then what?  Stop at the side of that road? 

Then of course, even if we do have the occasional back to nature experience, there is the dreaded splash back to deal with, or the event takes way longer than you anticipated and your thighs are starting to shake having held them in the squat position for way too long, and you just slightly elevate your ass and inevitably, it is just a little too far and then your stream changes direction and your shoes or socks or both end up with wet spots.  There just is no way to do it in a dignified manner, no matter how hard you try. 

Hopefully my recent viewings were just a co-incidence, not a trend.  I think peeing in private is really the way it should be gentlemen.  And in case you were wondering, it is NOT sexy and it won't work as a chick magnet, in case you thought it might.  In fact, it will totally ruin any chance you might have had - so hold it buster.  Just like we do.  A little suffering might do you some good.  See what it's like for us.  And that's nothing compared to giving birth....don't even get me started down that road.

Toilets were invented for a reason.  As were urinals.  Shit - you even have two choices!  What more do you want?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The dreaded Hunt Begins......

Although it is officially still winter according to the calender, the temperatures here in Toronto are anything but seasonal.  There is a palpable early spring fever in the air with temps soaring in the high teens and there is even talk of 20 in a few days.  It seems I barely had a chance to wear my full length winter coat this year, let alone gloves and hats.  The clothing shops are bursting with spring fashions and so inevitably a girl's thoughts turn to that annual elusive wardrobe essential.....the perfect "white pant"!


Does it exist ladies?  I know for those of you with small asses and thin legs, it does exist.  It probably does not even phase you.  But for any woman with a bit of curvature, the white pant is akin to the perfect bathing suit.  Case in point.  A couple years ago, my BFF and I set off on a mission to find the perfect white jean.  In our minds, we saw ourselves slipping into said trend with the ease of kid gloves on a freshly manicured hand.  What we got instead was an afternoon of stuffing our butts and thighs into something more like ground meat into sausage casings.  A white jean can turn an already slightly heavy leg into something that looks like a candidate for The Biggest Loser's next season.  How is this possible? 

The obvious answer is the colour.  It's not black. Or even dark denim.  It is glaring, neon, bright, flashy, in your face WHITE! And it will emphasize the tiniest of flaws on any butt or thigh, even if you do think you look pretty good in your Lululemon yoga pants.  The truth is, you almost really need to be "underweight" to pull off a tight white jean.  Not to mention you need to be at LEAST 5' 6" or taller.  My unfortunate 5' 3" body has legs to match and even if I sport a really high heel, the white jean is just not doing me any favours.

So, a compromise is in order I figure.....the white pant.  This is NOT a jean, but a perfectly cut pair of dress pants that drape ever so softly past my hip and do NOT hug my thigh, or my calves and are barely off the floor with a pair of wedge sandals.  They may or may not be lined.  They could be linen, but then you have the wrinkle issues.  Ideally they are in a mid-weight soft drapey fabric, have a flat front, a side zip perhaps and make me feel elegant and almost wispy as I stroll through the world.  They feel cool, never hot, and they hug my bottom ever so slightly, but not too tight and the real key to them looking amazing is the right undergarment.  No VPL EVER!  This in itself is a challenge to pull off.  You can't wear a bikini pantie.  You can't wear a white pantie. It has to be beige so it sort of disappears.  The goal is to look as though you are wearing nothing underneath, yet your arse cheeks appear as though they are perfectly smooth and rounded just like nature intended.  (never mind that nature blew it - the perfect pantie will fix that). 

With all this early warm weather, the hunt is on.  That white pant is out there.  I know it is.  And that brings me to size.  Sometimes, as much as we hate to do it, sometimes we have to go UP a size for this perfect white pant.  What looks awesome in black in a size 6, somehow looks too tight in white.  This only adds to the angst of the hunt.  No woman wants to go up a size.  It is an admission of failure.  A defeat.  A "godammit, I did not work out this hard for this!"  Who among us does not have a variety of sizes in our closets?  Some are the fault of the manufacturers - some just fit smaller or larger.  But most as we know are the fault of that unsolicited bread basket on the bistro table, or the three birthday cakes at work in one week, or the forgotten promise to only drink on weekends....c'mon we all know the culprits. 

But the white pant - that's where all bets are off.  It requires weeks of stellar food control, no missed workouts and often going to bed feeling a little hungry and trying to ignore it.  That is if you want them to look great.  If you will settle for OK or good, then go ahead and misbehave.  I do have a little incentive this year though.  I was in my favourite shop a couple of weeks ago and I tried on a top that was part of the new spring collection.  I tried it on with jeans as well as with a black pant and it looked good.  The shop manager and style guru came over and said, "fabulous colour on you Deb, you should see how it looks with white".  That did it.  She brought a pair of white pants over and just held them against the top and I was sold.  Now the top would never look good with anything BUT white.

So, 5 more pounds to go before the intense hunt begins.  I have to now.

I have nothing to wear with the top!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ignite the Light and Let it Shine

I love views.   I also love vignettes.  Lately the views from my 16th floor have been so breathtaking, I am constantly on the balcony capturing it with my pathetic little camera when what I really need is to be hauling out my old Nikon FG that I got as a graduating present from my parents when I got my Journalism degree from Ryerson in 1985 and my plan was to travel the world and work as a photojournalist. 

That dream never came to fruition, but some of that spirit still lingers on inside me to this day.  The little Samsung digital camera I carry around everywhere with me in my purse is fine for taking shots of client's "before" pictures and candid party shots, but to be able to really take some great photos of nature and the moonlight over the lake, I need to step it up a few notches.  I may re-visit that one day, but for now I  just want to savour this view everyday from now until my lease expires in a few months.  I will miss this place more than I care to admit, but I cannot stay here.  It was only meant to be a temporary pit-stop from the get-go and it has been so great in so many ways, but the time to move on will be upon me soon.

As I sit writing this blog at my kitchen island, I can see the downtown skyline all lit up, the twinkling city lights in the distance, the full moon over the lake, its shimmering path along the water to the shoreline so mesmerizing and romantic - all of it such a visual feast that never grows tired.  Since I was only leasing, I never invested in window coverings of any sort and even if I owned it, I would not bother.  I have complete privacy here, no buildings for miles - a totally unobstructed view.  There are blinds in the bedrooms more for room darkening than anything else, but the rest of the space is open to the world.  I love that.  In this case, I can see out, but only the birds can see in.  The odd passing gull or on a really windy day, some debris might float by. Today, there was actually a plastic bag blowing around and it made me think of that line in that Katy Perry song ...."do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again". 

That is what these past eight months have been like for me in a way.  Initially I felt so ungrounded, my security blankets all snatched away from me, but as the months have passed, the security blankets are still MIA, but I am overcoming the fear that goes along with that somewhat.  Now, the other lines in that song seem more in line with how I am moving forward with my life. It is, afterall, a song of empowerment. "Baby, you're a firework, c'mon let your colours burst."  Yeah, that is more like it now.  Even my wardrobe reflects this change.  I find myself attracted to bold bright colours and when I put them on, I feel alive and powerful.  I like it. "Flamingo Red" - that's what the tag said on a jacket I bought.  "Volcanic" - a lipstick colour I purchased. "Lime Sorbet" - a slinky wrap I wear. 

I decorated my space with hits of raspberry pink and bright leafy green with ivory and black as the anchors.  Talk about letting my colours burst!  So, just a few more months to go before moving again.  Looking forward to that other line......"after a hurricane, comes a rainbow."

Less drifting in the wind and more colours - sounds good to me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Therapy in Motion

I cannot work-out without my Ipod.  Every now and again I run out of juice in the battery in the middle of my workout and that's it.  I can't go on.  The only thing that  keeps me moving is the music.  I try to conceal the fact that I am actually moving my legs and body on the treadmill to the beat of whatever song is playing in my ear buds, lest anyone think I am actually having fun.

Remember that scene in the movie Saturday Night Fever where John Travolta's character is walking down the street swinging his paint can and strutting to the sound of some Bee Gee's tune.  Yeah, that scene.  That is me working out.  Every move is choreographed in my head, even if I am just walking really fast uphill on the treadmill, it is to a beat.  If a song comes on that is too slow or I am not feeling it, I skip ahead or back. 

Some nights or days, depending on when I go to the gym in my building, I am sometimes alone in there and that is when I can really enjoy my workout.  When I start my free weight routine in front of the mirrored wall, I intersperse my reps with a few dance moves that I learned taking jazz classes in my youth.  I feel just like I did back then, 16, limber, strong and so in touch with my body, it's like a feeling of complete wholeness, physical synchronicity - nirvana -just me and the music and the energy, not unlike sex actually.  Good sex. Really good sex.

Sometimes I think I missed my calling.  I wish I would have taken dance more seriously growing up.  I really feel in my element when I am immersed in movement and music. I get a similar high watching some forms of dance as well.  Watching an incredibly toned and muscled body moving in ways I could only dream of now - in time with some perfectly chosen musical composition can bring tears to my eyes. I am transported in that moment of sheer perfection to a place where time stands still and nothing else matters.  Hmmmm. That is sounding like sex again.  Good sex.  Really good sex.

So back to the work-out.  I know this was going somewhere.  At least I think it was.  I have also become uninhibited in the gym.  By this I mean, if I am on the treadmill and some music motivates me to break out into some boxing moves, I just let er rip.  The people around me likely think I am completely wacko but I don't give a shit.  It really ramps up my heart rate to be walking uphill fast and punching the air at the same time.  It may look a bit crazy, but it feels good and there is one song that just cries out to me every time to break out in that move, so I do.  If there is someone who has pissed me off that day, I even imagine I am punching them in the face and that is particularly good for any stress I may have on any given day.  If you have any anger issues, I highly recommend this move - try it - it really works well.  Better than alcohol or any other stimulant you may turn to - food, drugs, whatever - it's a real physical release.  Almost like sex. Really good sex.

And here is a wee confession.  Ever since I have been living alone again, well not quite alone, but more alone than I used to be, I dance alone alot in my condo.  I crank up the music and just dance and dance and dance while I look out at the world from my perch.  Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes controlled, sometimes out of control, whatever mood strikes me, that's what I do.  It feels AWESOME.  I used to do a bit of it before in my house, but not nearly as often as I do it now.  Think Tom Cruise in Risky Business, but way more feminine and no pink shirt.  And speaking of feminine - I bet there are some exotic dancers out there that could take a lesson or two from me.  There, I said it.  I do that too.  Alone.  And look out if I have had a glass of wine - it gets really good.  (in my mind anyway!)  Kinda like sex.  Really good sex.

Self-expression. Take some time for it.  It's like sex.  Really good sex.

From what I remember anyway.