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January 16, 2011

Deal-breakers. Everybody has ‘em. For some people it’s bad teeth, or a lack of bladder control. But mine are much more specific. I did some real soul searching, and came up with my top ten deal-breakers. Here they are:

  1. You don’t know the difference between you’re and your, or their, there, and they’re. OR you do know the difference but still use the wrong ones.
  2. You don’t know what a muggle is. Or, for that matter, what a puggle is.
  3. You always win. (I really like to win, and cannot be deprived of this 100% of the time).
  4. You hold your mom’s hand when you go for a walk together. And even worse, you want to hold mine at the same time.
  5. You take dating advice from this guy.
  6. You weigh less than me. This is a very strict rule, and must be obeyed throughout the duration of the relationship. Failure to comply will result in immediate termination of the relationship without notice.
  7. You ask me if I play basketball. No, I do not. Neither do most of the other tall people of this world.
  8. You can wiggle your ears. I just cannot handle the jealously. Side note: Neal, if you are reading this and thinking “Hey! I can wiggle my ears! What does this say about our relationship?” Well, I hate to break it to you, but you can’t wiggle your ears. You can move your cheeks. And anyone can do that. Sorry.
  9. You’re “not a dessert person”. (You have to wonder what is wrong with a person who claims not to like dessert. Everyone loves dessert. Even ferrets.)
  10. You like to watch me sleep. And then leave me notes on my pillow before you disappear in to the night.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I have also compiled a list of things that should be deal breakers but for some reason, are deal makers:

  1. Your neck hair joins in to your beard in a werewolf-like fashion.
  2. You don’t hate winter.
  3. Babies like you more than they like me.
  4. You hate massages.
  5. It would be possible to comb, style, and braid your leg hair.
  6. You shave your face with rum scented soap.
  7. You think mustaches are cool.
  8. The only thing you love more than beer is baking bread.
  9. You don’t believe in unicorns.
  10. You refuse to let me put makeup on you.

3 Ways to (Creepily) Open a Conversation With Women

December 8, 2010

Watch this: 3 Ways to Open a Conversation with a Woman

And then watch this: 3 Ways to Creepily Open a Conversation with a Woman

Man Time

November 19, 2010

This post is the result of some investigatory journalism. Today, on Peculiar Amusement, I reveal some of the long held secrets of the clandestine events that often take place during “Man Time”. I cannot disclose where I got such top secret information from, as it would likely result in attempts on my life.  Should you choose to read on, I would recommend scattering mirrors around and keeping a watchful eye. They may come for you.

1. Tickle Fights. This may be one of the best kept secrets of man time. But I am here to tell you, that once the women leave, tickle fighting ensues. To be fair, the tickle fight usually only occurs between two men who have had a man-ship (man relationship) for many years. Tickle fighting is akin to leaving the door open when you pee. It is only permitted once the relationship has reached a certain level of trust, and comfort. You may be asking yourself “but why? Why tickle fights?” To that, I can only say ‘I wish I knew.” Presumably, the answer to that question remains hidden deep in the rainforest somewhere, with the rest of life’s mysteries.

2. Beer. You may be thinking that beer and man time go together like unicorns and my yearly birthday wish. And you would be correct. So what’s the big revelation? The revelation, my friends, is the things they will do to obtain the beer. No moral boundary remains un-tested, when you combine beer and man time. If a four year old is on hand, he will certainly gain a full education in the art of beer-fetching. He may even earn his degree if he manages to succeed after being told “the beers might be up high in the fridge. You should get your stool from the bathroom.”

3. Secret Language. It took a lot of hard work and determination, but I have finally cracked the code, and deciphered the meanings to the majority of the words and phrases of the Manictionary. Here are the highlights:

Behhhhrsses: How many beers have we had?

Buuuhhr: More beer.

Fwarhhh: We should put a beer fridge up here.

Srrrahhhhpt: Sports are good.

4. Blueprints. Men often use their man time to work on the blue prints for their man cave. A man cave becomes necessary when a man lives amongst distractions, and cannot procure a suitable amount of peace and quiet to devote to his man time practice. The designs for a man cave take time to create, especially when the men creating the blueprints are under the influence of beers and sports. Often the man cave blueprints become so elaborate that a woman has to be called in to scale back the designs and restore a sense of reality.

5. Illicit sleeping. Occasionally a woman walks in on man time. Much awkwardness and confusion can often ensue, as the men exhibit slurred speech, their faces go pink with embarrassment, and they refuse to meet your gaze. Until now, women have never been able to identify the reason for the awkwardness. I can now tell you with a degree of certainty, that the men in question were likely partaking in illicit sleeping. This usually takes place on a couch, and involves an uncomfortable, seated posture. Many men have also been observed to sleep with one hand protectively wrapped around their beer. Walking in on illicit sleeping is ill-advised. Should you choose to do it, please proceed with caution. There is no telling what a startled man caught in man time sleep will do.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the results of my foray into investigatory journalism. Should you wish to contribute to the list of discoveries about man time, please feel free to do so in the comment section.

Life’s Little Pleasures

October 27, 2010

Lots of self-help books, and advice columns tell you to start enjoying the little things in life. But the problem is, they never really tell you what kinds of little things you can enjoy. And without that kind of guidance, people might think they are supposed to be enjoying hotel shampoos, toy poodles, and toothpicks. And while those are all mildly enjoyable things, I have compiled a much more comprehensive list of seven “little things” that I enjoy. Feel free to enjoy these things too.

1) Warm water in the bathroom taps. I take a strange amount of pleasure in washing my hands. And when the water in the automatic faucets at work comes out really warm, I stand there for an inappropriate amount of time, washing my hands. It’s like the joy that people get from a hot shower. A hand shower is almost as enjoyable, and also more acceptable to do in public.

2) Cookies. Enough said.

3) Feeding snacks to babies and puppies. This might expose me as being a bit creepy. But it’s pretty easy to win over both babies, and puppies, by feeding them snacks. And who doesn’t want to feel extra-loved by babies and puppies?? Tip: puppies like luncheon meats, and babies like Craisins and Bear Paws. Side note: I, also, now enjoy Bear Paws.

4) Drinking a lot of water and green tea and then peeing clear. I get a pretty large swelling of pride when I know that I am so hydrated that I’m pretty much just peeing straight up water. Disclaimer: if you do not enjoy peeing numerous times throughout the day, this small pleasure is NOT for you. But if you DO take pleasure in seeing how many bottles of water it takes for you to pee clear, then please proceed.

5) Making lists. Shocking, I know. I especially like making to-do lists, and putting little checkmark boxes beside each item. I also typically add in a few things that I have already done, so that I can check them off right away, and feel proud and accomplished.

6) Tickling people who hate to be tickled. This is really the only semi-violent/slightly sadistic little pleasure on my list. But I can’t help it. The more a person hates being tickled, the more enjoyable it is to tickle them. Forcing a person to laugh against their will is oddly satisfying. But beware of angering the ticklee. They can get violent. And you definitely do not want to choose a ticklee who is attempting #4.

7) Post-its. My love for post-its is part of a general love for office supplies (including pens, label makers, paperclips, etc). Back to school shopping was one of my very favourite excursions, as a child. But I digress. Post-its are like their own little organizational system. You’ve got standard sized post-its for larger notes, mini ones for smaller notes, you’ve got page markers, and flaggy things. The possibilities are endless!! My desk is covered in them.

*Note: Attempting all 7 of these in one day could result in extreme happiness and what is known as simple-pleasure-overload. Recommended dosage is one per day (maximum of two, if it’s a cold, dreary day, or if your goldfish just died).

Why You Should Never Date a Cowperson

October 15, 2010

If you read my blog about 5 things not to do on a first date, then you already know that dating a cowboy, or cowgirl is not a good idea. But I just got finished watching Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer, and I need to remind myself why I should not start having cowboy fantasies.

If you are anything like me (or the majority of people out there), you have probably entertained the idea of dating a cowboy/cowgirl (cowperson?). I believe the fantasy goes something along the lines of this: The cowperson rides up to you on their horse, wearing their charmingly attractive cowperson outfit (including chaps, a cowperson hat, boots, etc), and says to you in that sexy southern twang “would you like to go for a ride?” Then the two of you ride off into the sunset together (maybe the cowperson wrangles something along the way, just to prove they’re authentic). I can personally attest to having had this fantasy a time or two. But let me be your reality check. Going on a date with a real cowperson will be NOTHING like the fantasy.




<——-  THE FANTASY ——->








Here’s what happened to me:

A friend of mine was determined to set me up on a date with one of his friends. Through some made-up algorithm, he decided that the best person to set me up with was his friend, who we’ll call “Woody”, to protect the guilty. Upon first glance, you would immediately know that there was something different about Woody. His footwear was a bit muddier than the average person’s. He smelled faintly like horses (I would later come to realize that his breath was also rather horsey. It made me wonder…) And his jeans were impossibly tight. Yep, he was a cowboy. Not in the 1960s Western movie sense of the word. But in the 21st century, lives on a farm with cattle and horses but still goes to school and leads a seemingly regular life sense of the word.




So anyways, Woody and I agree to meet up for the first date at a little coffee shop that was closer to his neck of the woods, and outside the city. This seemed like good neutral territory. And in fact, the date went pretty well. We talked about friends, life ambitions, sports, food, and inevitably, our childhoods. This is where I got the first things that things might go sour. I mentioned something about my sister having had the cutest little pet bunny when we were kids, and Woody’s response was “oh ya, remember how when you were a kid, you would go out shooting bunnies? I miss being a kid!” I was stunned. Shooting bunnies!?! Why would you do that? And why would you assume that that is a normal part of childhood that everybody experiences?? Despite the fact that the topic changed pretty soon afterwards, I could not get the image of dead bunnies out of my mind for the rest of the date.

But, given that the first date had gone somewhat well up until the bunny disaster, I decided to give Woody a second chance. I was going out with friends a couple nights later, and invited him along. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I would come to gravely regret my decision to invite Woody out in to a public setting with my friends. The cowboy spent the night getting too excited about the prospect of being in a cab (and thus asking inappropriate questions like “were you a doctor in India? to the cab driver), drinking way more than his wiry country body could handle, putting two fingers in his mouth and whistling across the bar to get my attention (perhaps he had me confused with his farm animals?), and spending an inappropriate amount of time doing hitch kicks (and accidentally kicking people’s legs, ears, drinks, etc). This country boy did not know how to behave in the city.

Crotch Torture

October 5, 2010

I really don’t have any excuses for my recent blog hiatus. So let’s just get right on with it and take a look at the subject of the day: biking!

As some of you may know, I recently endeavored to do a bit of cycling in the south of France. I sort of stumbled in to this trip by a happy (for me) accident. My parents were supposed to do the trip together, but a work emergency came up, and my Dad wasn’t able to go anymore. Luckily I’m my mom’s favourite kid, so she naturally invited me (after checking to see if any of my other sisters could go first). After clearing it with work, I was in! I had one week to prepare myself.

I knew that my parents (and the friends that they were going to be cycling with) had been preparing and training for this trip all summer. They had all bought bikes and clip-in cycling shoes and had been biking all summer. Normally this would concern me, given that my only biking experience is riding my one speed cruiser bike with a banana seat and a basket for ten minutes to work every day. But the fact that I would be on a trip with the aged 50 and up crowd placated my fears. As a ripe 25 year old, I would be fine. Besides, we’d probably be spending most of our time eating cheese and drinking wine and carrying baguettes around in our bike baskets. I think I was basically picturing every French cliché I could think of, and then adding in a bike occasionally.

So when we arrived at our destination, and our host asked us to come down and get fitted on a bike, and told us that we would go for a quick little test ride, I wasn’t too worried. Sure, I had been up for 36 hours, but I am in the prime of my youth and can certainly handle a one-hour ride. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Apparently a road bike is extremely different from my purple one speed cruiser bike. First of all, you have to lean way down to get a hold of the handlebars. But when you do that, you begin to wobble. And wobbling on a road bike is not recommended as it often leads to falling.

Luckily, my balance only failed me for the first few minutes of the ride. Then my instincts took over and I was okay. In fact, I felt the need. The need… for speed! I had no idea how FAST you can go on a road bike! This bike had so many different gears! The harder I pedaled, the faster I went, and the more I could change gears. It was wonderful. For about five minutes. Then I started to realize how uncomfortable I was. Not only was I sitting on something that looked more like a seat for pygmy koalas than human beings, but I was also hunched over, crunching my neck, and putting enormous amounts of pressure on my (previously broken) wrists. I was in agony. But I could actually barely notice the neck and wrist pain because the blinding pain the seat was causing my crotch was taking up all my attention.

All I could think about was the fact that I would likely never have children. Surely this alleged “seat” was currently rendering that prospect impossible. I couldn’t imagine my crotch ever being useful again. Oh my god! What if I had to get a crotch-ectomy!? I knew it was a possibility if I didn’t get off this bike, and soon. But all the 50-somethings were still biking away! My pride and dignity simply would not let me stop and get off the bike.

Then I remembered something. Don’t some people bike standing up? I tried it. Sweet relief! As wind and fresh air flowed through my shorts, my crotch area felt like one of those foam earplugs. You know, you can mash it up and squish it, but then when you let it go, it slowly moves back in to its original form. It felt like heaven. But then my quad muscles started to burn, and I knew I couldn’t sustain my standing position for much longer. The realization that I would have to endure sitting felt like the times my dad would trick me into going down into our creepy, unfinished basement, then turn out the lights and shut the door (laughing like a maniac). I was terrified.

But again, my pride got the best of me. I subjected my crotch to torture for the next 45 minutes, while we continued our “test ride”. When we got back to our hotel, I raced up the stairs, closed the door to the bathroom, and proceeded to check myself. I’m not sure what I was looking for. Bruises maybe. I was sure there had to be evidence of the gross mistreatment my bike seat had given me. But as far as I could tell, I seemed to be unscathed. This was only slightly reassuring, as thoughts of the next day’s full-day ride bobbed around in my head.

When morning arrived, I filled my belly with lots of “pain chocolate” (aka chocolate croissants, aka the breakfast of champions) and mentally prepped myself for the day. I hummed eye of the tiger under my breath as I mounted my bike for the first time that morning. Instant pain. I checked to make sure I was actually on my seat, and that somebody hadn’t removed it and placed a jagged piece of scrap metal there as a cruel joke. But alas, it was my real seat. And nobody else seemed to be having any crotch-related problems, so I sucked it up, and started the ride.

Did you know that the French countryside is breathtakingly beautiful? Seriously, it really does feel like being in a French film. We cycled through vineyards and farms, on winding roads with the sun shining. I actually started to feel a bit silly because I realized I had a giant grin plastered on my face. And I mean the kind of grin that people only get when they are laughing, or opening a Christmas present. The kind that creeps people out if it stays on your face for longer than about 42 seconds. And mine just wouldn’t leave. I was a bit worried that passerbyers might actually think there was a crazy lady biking around their town, but those worries took a backseat to my enjoyment of the scenery and the fresh air that flew by me as I cycled.  Actually, I almost didn’t even notice the crotch-torture anymore. It started to feel more like a numbing ache that I could ignore, rather than an urgent situation requiring immediate attention.

And the rest of the story can be found in a video I am creating. It is still in progress, but when it is ready, I will post it in the comments section of this blog post.

Ten Years Ago vs Now

August 14, 2010

My friend Jenna suggested to me that I write a blog comparing my life 10 years ago, to my life now. I’m pretty sure she suggested the topic because she actually knew me 10 years ago, and as such knows exactly how awkward and embarrassing I was. My hypothesis is that not much has changed.

Ten Years Ago: I was 5’11, 120 lbs, had a uni-brow, thought that white eye shadow looked good as lipstick too, and wore a giant orange turtle-neck sweater most days. Now: I am one inch taller, 30 lbs heavier, don’t have a unibrow (but do get the occasional and extremely unsettling cheek hair), don’t own any white eye shadow OR lipstick, and wear the same sweater everyday because I leave it at my work as my “work sweater”. Conclusion: Not much has changed. Except that I am larger and own tweezers. And hopefully look less like a preying mantis.

Ten Years Ago: I wore a long khaki skirt on my first day of tenth grade, because long khaki skirts were really cool. I excitedly sat on the bleachers in the gym with all my friends, while a teacher let us know what to expect from the tenth grade. To show off my awesome athletic and daring side, I jumped off the bleachers and yelled “Hiiiiiiiya!”. And I ripped my long khaki skirt all the way up the side. Now: I went to the opening of the twirly slide in my new, “fun” office building on Monday. I (thankfully) didn’t win the raffle to be the first person down the slide, but I did get overcome by curiosity, and eventually took a turn. After being told to keep my feet up, I eased myself into the slide and began my journey. At the first twist of the slide, my lanky body flipped itself around so I was flying down the slide sideways, my legs thumping along painfully, and my foot scraping the side the whole way down. I came whizzing out the bottom at max speed and landed on my butt. The president of the company shook my hand and told me I should have gotten a speeding ticket for that. I am now missing a layer of skin on the top of my foot. Conclusion: I am still just as klutzy as ever.

Ten Years Ago: I watched Felicity and thought it was really cool that she recorded herself speaking on cassette tapes, and sent them to her aunt. I didn’t have an aunt who wanted to listen to cassette tapes of me talking. But I recorded them anyway, and kept them in a drawer. And then I invited friends over and made them listen to them. I talked mostly about life and occasionally sang Little Mermaid songs. Now: I write a blog and post the link on all my friends’ Facebooks, attempting to force them to read it. And if they still haven’t read it when they come to my apartment, I load it on my Mac, pass it to them, and make them read it while I watch (to be sure they are paying attention to the funny bits). And I still sing Little Mermaid songs but I try not to force people into listening as I get a bit repulsed when people’s ears bleed. Conclusion: Technology is pretty much the only thing that has changed. Actually, the content has changed too. It used to be along the lines of “I don’t have a boyfriend because I’m tall and look like a preying mantis”.  And now it’s more along the lines of “I’m so lucky, because Neal doesn’t judge me for saying that I would give up sex if I could have a dragon friend”.

Ten Years Ago: I frequently danced in my basement to loud music and sang along. Sometimes I made music videos. Today: I still dance around to loud music except that technically if I danced in my basement, I would be dancing in somebody else’s apartment, so I don’t do that. Conclusion: Dancing around to loud music will always be really fun. It will also always be really embarrassing when people walk in and catch you. (It used to be my dad, now it’s strangers and my realtor, showing my apartment).

Ten Years Ago: Alcohol scared me and I was really nervous I was going to accidentally drink some of it because of something called “peer pressure” (which always seemed like more of a mystical term to explain everything bad that might happen while you were a teenager, than an actual thing). I once called my parents from a pay phone outside a Superstore because my friends were trying to get some guy to buy us booze. I was feeling uneasy and uncomfortable with the situation and decided to tell my friends I had forgotten about a babysitting job and then I got my parents to pick me up. My parents were so excited that I called them to pick me up because I was uncomfortable with the underage drinking, that their trust in my decision making abilities grew ten-fold and I suddenly found myself with more freedom than ever before. How I used that freedom, is another story for another day. Today: Most Saturday nights I make myself a large mug of tea and settle in with a book or a movie. Sometimes I knit. I go out with my cousins and sometimes stay out as late as 11pm. And then I let them stay at my apartment, and I don’t even wake up when they come home at 4am. Then I make them breakfast. Conclusion: I always have been, and always will be 80 years old at heart.

I think it is safe to say that my initial hypothesis was correct. Cheers to another ten years of being awkward, embarrassing, and what polite people like to call “a free spirit”.