Monday, November 30, 2009


One of my co-workers called me prissy last week. be fair: she told me not to be such a priss. Is that the same thing?

The trigger? Boots.

You see I am determined to be all adorable and trendy and one of those people who can pull off things like scarves, and flamboyant earrings and skirts with tights and boots. So I bought a skirt. And black argyle tights. And I own boots. Boots that until now I tended to wear under pants. But now? Now I had to commit. I had all the pieces, I just had to put them together and go forth into the world.

And then I freaked out. The top? Was it too tight? It had little holes cut out of the sleeves - is that trampy? And the boots. Were the heels too high? Would I look like a whore? What about the skirt? Was it the right length? There are rules about what length of skirt is worn with certain kinds of boots. In The Devil Wears Prada they say that you're not supposed to wear over the calf boots with knee length skirts! And it's a red top! And the red boots don't match exactly! Is that OK? Is it even possible to match exactly?!?

So I just wore the top. With jeans. And the boots.
And then I got to work and explained the situation to the girls.
They clucked and sighed at me. (Not with me).

Apparently it's not possible to match colours 100% when the materials are different. How could leather look precisely the same as cotton? Oh.

And why the h*ll didn't I just wear the whole bloody outfit?! Wear the skirt tomorrow Princess. And your other boots. No, the heels won't be too high.

So the next day I wore the skirt, and tights, and black, zippy, high-heeled boots. And no one called me a whore, or a tramp or even the slightest bit unprofessional-looking. They told me to stop being so prissy.

OK. Now that I have boots tackled, and am solidly working my way through scarves-what's next? Should I become a hat person maybe?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


You know what day it is today?

November 26.

Since I am not American, that does not mean Thanksgiving to me. That means that it is ONE MONTH UNTIL BOXING DAY.

And that? Means that Christmas is less than a freakin' month away.

Within the next few weeks I must:
- Bake several dozen somethings for my Christmas baking exchange.
- Do my Christmas cards (PS If you've moved, or I don't have your address, email me - or no card for you!)
- WRAP! (Oh wait, that's a perk. Anyone in Winnipeg wanna stop by with their gifts? Wrapping is one of the few things that gives me true joy in life. They will be art when I'm done with them. Trust.)
- Shop. Ugh. I'm about halfway done.
- Decorate? In my world this means putting a bunch of ornaments in a big ass martini glass, with a few regular-sized ornamented glasses along side, and calling it a day. I don't put up a tree, so those ornaments gotta go somewhere, right?
- Rehearse with my carolling group, and pick days and neighbourhoods to visit.* (*Hahahahahahahaha! Does this actually happen in the real world, or just in Hollywood? Has anyone ever actually seen a caroller?)

Now I am excited about the Boxing Day part. Not so much because I want to put myself through that hellish shopping experience - but because I am again running out of clothes. At the moment, I have one pair of jeans and 2 pairs of work pants that actually fit properly. This is becoming problematic. I've actually started considering wearing sweats in public. And I don't have any cute Lululemon-type yoga pants - just old sweats that can be cinched at the waist.

Thank God I'm done work on December 18. That's a whole glorious week off before the BIG DAY. I do love working in education.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Someone Called Me a Name...

So tonight, I came home to find a note on my car window. Odd.

"Asshole, you parked in my spot. Do it again and I will have you towed."


So I looked.
Yes, I did indeed park in the spot next to mine when I got home last night.

It's not the first time I've done it. We're all in a row, and the numbers on each spot are pretty tiny. Every other time, I've noticed it right away and corrected myself. Last night I clearly wasn't paying attention.

My bad....

But does anyone else think the note was a bit unnecessarily harsh? I mean really, I've been living below, and parking next to this guy (who shall herafter be known as the Vampire Upstaires, or TVU for short) for 4 1/2 years.

I kind of feel like we're each other's tormentors in some ways.

Example 1: Once when backing out, I accidentally touched his car. I honestly couldn't tell if I scratched his paint, or just the dirt. Regardless, I left him a note and never heard anything about it.

Example 2: One day I found water leaking down through my smoke detector. From his washer. I ran into TVU in the stairway and requested that he look into that. He blinked at me and walked away. (To his credit, he walked away - into his suite, and the water stopped. But still an apology? A gasp of shock? Something?)

Example 3: I was being woken up from the occasional sound sleep by TVU doing...calisthenics? Something. I chose to ignore it. Though occasionally I would have guests over who would be both awed and annoyed with his...let's call it...stompiness. I've never complained. But I have whined to myself ALOT about this.

Example 4: There is a newly installed water pump outside, and when it rains it goes off and on with a loud thump. It seems that only my suite is effected by this. However, the sound carried in such a way, that it seemed like the noise was coming from above me. So I politely asked TVU if he was running some kind of machinery. Confused blinking. "No." OK then.

Example 5: see above- parking incident.

So, what I haven't quite decided is this:
Did he know that it was me that he left the note for - or did he think I was just random idiot who parked in his spot? I mean I've had this car for 2 1/2 years, so I would think that he'd recognize it...

But if so, I'm back to the original question - wasn't the reaction a bit disproportionate to the crime?
I admit, I'm a bit of a suck, and it hurt my little baby feelings to be called an asshole.

But, I decided that I can only control my own behaviour, so I decided to take the high road.

"My apologies for parking in your spot. I've been sick this week and clearly just wasn't paying attention. I do hope that you parked in my spot instead. It won't happen again."

Too sucky?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


A few months ago, my darling Ali asked me if I would be interested in doing pottery with her.

Now since I take any opportunity I can get to see Ali, I agreed - without actually having a clue as to what I was agreeing to.

When I hear "pottery" I think that sex scene with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost (which is of course also inextricably linked with Unchained Melody).

However, that? Is not precisely what she had in mind.

I think it was for the best. I mean she's married. And I don't even really like the Righteous Brothers.

Miscellaneous fact about me? I hate to get my hands dirty. So touching newspapers, eating ribs, and doing something like making pottery? Well they kind of stress me out. But for the love of Ali, I would do anything.

And...I am a dork.
Because pottery kilns? They didn't enter the picture at all.

What you CAN do at this pottery studio is paint pre-made pieces. Pieces that don't look all wobbly like they were made by children. Of course once you start painting, the child-like skill issue does come into the picture. Because I? Have not touched paint since high school art class.

So after we both strongly considered painting a plate with a skull and crossbones (and bow) on it, we each went with something different. I went with a pitcher, and she went with a curvy kind of bowl.

And then came the hard part. Stencils. And drawing. And choosing colours. And painting. Three coats.

Ali came up with the awesome idea to put fish all over her bowl. (To make a fishbowl. Get it?)

Love it.

For some reason, I went with a sort of nature theme. Ladybugs and butterflies and sunflowers etc.

Of course after I was done painting all things that can either sting me or give me allergies, my pitcher still looked bare. So I came up with the brilliant idea to put a border around the top and bottom, with little squares.

Little squares. In two symmetrical rows around the top and bottom.

Each one has to be painted 3 times. In the lines.

Oh, and why don't I do a black border around them all too. But don't touch the squares. And don't forget about the inside of the pitcher. Because taping around a semi-round pitcher will be easy.

See this photo? My squares? NOT in symmetrical rows. Not even remotely.
And the black border that I painstakingly painted around each square? Well, let's just say that those squares? Used to actually be square. And bigger.

So it took us roughly two trips and close to 10 hours to complete the project. Surprisingly we finished around the same time. Ali had to paint around fish. 3 times. And she painted the entire bowl blue (cause water's blue - get it?).

Needless to say, I am MUCH more impressed with her fish bowl than I am with my pitcher. But I still kind of love them both.

So, who in Winnipeg wants to come with us to do the skull and crossbones plate?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Betlgeuse, Donny Osmond and Vigilantes

So the uber fabulous Neil Kramer from Citizen of the Month came up with the brilliant interview experiment. Bloggers interview each other, and post the answers from the person they interviewed on their blog. Wanna read mine? The amazingly sweet and charming (AKA my new BFF) has posted it over at her place...

And I? Had the glorious pleasure of interviewing Tracy over at Tiny Mantras. Her blog, is absolutely fab, and manages to reach that glorious balance between being informative and entertaining.
Why don't you go check her out after reading what she had to say:

1. Can you tell me how exactly to find Betelgeuse? (I'm pretty sure I can find the big Dipper)

Most of what I know about Betelgeuse is that it’s a massive star, about 20 times bigger than our sun, because my son loves to watch videos on YouTube that compare all of the sizes of the planets, then the stars, then the galaxies. This is a great way to make a person feel extra teeny tiny. I also know that Betelgeuse may go supernova one day, and then become a black hole.

For some reason I know all of this (although I did not know it until I had a son who is nuts about space), and until your question, hadn’t thought about where to look for it in the sky. Now I find that I look at it all the time! It’s part of the constellation Orion the Hunter – after the big dipper, the three stars of Orion’s belt are usually among the easiest for me to find in the sky. Betelgeuse is Orion’s shoulder – technically his right shoulder (the bright star above the left of the belt as we look up). Thank you so much for asking this question! This info will give my son a huge thrill next time we’re out stargazing.

2. Your conscious eating post was really interesting - do you have any thoughts on vegetarianism vs veganism?

While I’m an animal lover, and I’ve lived with vegetarians and eaten as one for periods of my life, I don’t personally feel that animals shouldn’t be food for humans, or produce it. I respect anyone who has those beliefs, but I don’t necessarily share them. I go to a Tibetan Buddhist temple, so I do know a lot of people who have moral reasons they choose to live vegan, but there are lots of debates in the sangha (community) about whether or not a Buddhist has to be vegan.

My mantra in 2009 has been about holding the aspiration to live and eat more healthfully and responsibly instead of giving myself a diet ultimatum and thinking I can stick with it. If I went to what would be (for me) an extreme like veganism, I doubt that I would be able to sustain it. I’ve been trying to make different choices, though. I eat plant-based foods on my plate first, make more nutritionally complete vegetarian meals, have smaller portions of meat and dairy, buy local or at least try to buy foods from sources that have more ethical, humane and earth-sustaining practices. These smaller shifts have been quite manageable for me. My food life is different than it was a year ago in a lot of fundamental ways. Now my husband is reading Mark Bittman’s Food Matters and is starting to get on board with “less meatatarianism,” so hopefully, we’ll keep progressing.

3. You wrote a screenplay about a pregnant vigilante - what do you think ever came of the baby? Born in jail? Died with the mother in a rain of gunfire? Grew up to become a ninja?

Wow. I can’t believe you found that post in the archives! I did that for a contest where they gave you a genre and you had to write a screenplay in 24 hours. I wanted to see how I would do in the screenplay format and I find deadlines motivating. I had to write a thriller, so that character was developed in my head in one long afternoon, and never thought of again. Let’s just say that the baby lucked out with her adoptive parents and grew up to be an extremely well adjusted microbiologist who also makes cell-inspired fiber artwork.

4. Who do you love more: Josh Groban or Donny Osmond? Explain.

I’d have to say Donny Osmond, because his purple socks and “little bit rock and roll”-ness were part of my childhood. But I did have an epiphany at a Josh Groban concert, which is not someplace that I would have ever been by choice. I was reviewing the show for the local daily and no one I knew wanted to come with me. Somehow I had a blast being there all alone, taking in the absurd wholesomeness of the scene (he actually cracked jokes about eating Pixie Sticks) and coming up with lines in my notebook like “He is Donny Osmond Giovanni!” So naturally, they both have a special, vanilla wafer-sweet place in my heart.

5. How did you choose the name "Declan"?

My husband and I got started into parenthood a little later than our siblings and cousins, so most of the traditional family boy names had long been spoken for. My husband thought of it because it’s Irish (like my son and husband’s last name, which is different than mine) and not terribly common. We both liked the cadence of the way the two names sounded together. It means “full of goodness” and is also Elvis Costello’s real name - he was born Declan McManus. Because my husband and I have both worked in music (me as a music journalist, and him as the owner of an independent live music night club for many years), a lot of friends assume we named our son Declan for Elvis. It wasn’t the reason, but sharing a name with an illustrious songwriter certainly wasn’t a strike against it.

6. What is your favourite blog post? (link please in case I've missed it!)
I passed 500 posts not to long ago, so this is hard! I keep “The Story of My Son” on the top of my blog because it reminds me of some important things that it can be easy to forget in the day-to-day stuff of motherhood, like the importance of having some personal mythology, of infusing some magic into the way we consider our own possibilities and potential. I wrote it when my son was four months old:

I have written a lot of stuff that isn’t about motherhood, but the motherhood stuff probably is nearest and dearest to me. Declan turned four this year, and I love what I wrote him on his birthday:

If you want to see something non-mommy, maybe The Michael Jackson Memory Filter:

Thanks to both Abigail and Tracy for showing me such a great time!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On Catalogue Shopping...

The other night I was bored. In my world "bored" means I sign up on a random site to amuse myself with. I heard a rumour that people use those sites to actually meet people.

I don't get that.

I use them to see just how quirky I can make my profile, and to see what kind of cheesy come on lines the men in the "intimate" section will use on me. And then I'll blog about them.

There's the classic: "Wanna f*ck?"
The cliché: "you're soooo sexy."
The subtle: "How are you this evening?"
Rarely do I get clever or interesting.

I received a message within moments of signing up from "B." He was in the "Dating" section.
This was it:
How's it going? Any questions for me? Anything you think I'd like to know about you?

My response: (I won't go through all the messages - just establishing a bit...)
Can I make up a name for you starting with B? I think you should know that I think diamonds as gifts on the first date are just far too showy. I hate it when men do that. Shoes and cookies are perfectly acceptable though.

At this point, I really couldn't have cared less if he responded or not. I tend to attempt to be as shocking as possible in my messages to see if they a) have a sense of humour and b) are actually capable of running with it. I've done way worse in some messages. Diamonds and shoes? That's pretty tame.

Now I've had some of my friends argue that I'm doing myself a disservice, and that I'm not really giving them a chance when I do that to them. Oh well. I'm really only hurting myself, and I have to say, one of the main things I look for in a guy is wit.

I was actually impressed with his response:
What the f**k am I supposed to do with these diamonds now?

Hmm, not bad.

We exchanged a few more pleasantries and moved onto MSN.
He sent me a message to my email the next day asking me some random questions:
(My responses included)

Favourite book? The Fionavar Tapestry (3 books in one really)
Favourite ice-cream flavour? French Crisp - Laura Secord
Favourite sex act? Right now I'm going with making out. Perhaps it will change...
Favourite item of clothing? I have a beautiful velvet & lace scarf that I could wear every day...
Favourite thing about me thus far? The fact that you're giving me diamonds on our third date.

Now it does annoy me a bit when they ask to get a zillion photos (which he did) and focus on sex too much (which he also did). I mean where's the wooing? Sex comes soon enough if everything works out. And also? Why do men need such constant reassurance? For the most part, if you pay attention to people's responses, you know what's working for them.
(Cause I am of course the expert on dating and relationships. Whatev. Stop judging me.)

This was his response to mine (above): My favourite sex act is a good, old-fashioned philosophical debate.

And again, I attempted to be shocking and clever. And it all went downhill from there.

Princess: If you're not going to make out with me, then what the hell am I talking to you for?
Apparently that was much funnier in my head.
I said my favourite sex act was making out - you wanted a philosophical debate....?

He was still confused, so we went back to MSN and then he asked for my bra size.
Gentlemen: a word of advice 1. Bra size depends on the style of bra. So it's really impossible to answer that. 2. Why is it important? 3. Seriously? Seriously?

Anyhow, I clearly find myself clever and hilarious. But it may in fact all be in my head. At times it really does become apparent that I can be my own worst enemy.

It's a good thing that one the whole, I don't mind too much being little Miss Independent. Cause the whole online dating thing is never going to work for me. I find it to be too unnatural and just can't take it seriously.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

God Gave Rock n' Roll to You

Monday night I went to a KISS concert. With my brother. Because I am all kinds of cool like that.

Gene and Paul and two other guys who weren't Ace & Peter were there. In full make-up and platform boots.

It was fantastically awesome, and I found myself amused at the fact that while I found it completely unforgivable that Motley Crue seemed incapable of removing themselves from the 80's with their commentary, looks and moves, I found it positively charming that KISS seems to doing the same thing they've been doing since the 70's.

With KISS it's...classic. With Motley Crue, it's...dated. There's some subtle nuance there that I can't explain, and really I should probably be focusing on the fact that I have now admitted that I was (am?) in fact an 80's hair band junkie.

Let's review for a moment shall we?
Concerts the Princess has attended:

Bon Jovi x eleventy squillion (I've never missed a show in Winnipeg - they were my first concert when I was 14 in 1989, and I will in fact be seeing them in July when they return)
Skid Row
Guns N' Roses
Motely Crue
Poison & Vince Neil concert
and now...KISS

In my defense, I've also gone to some lovely events that don't revolve around men wearing lipstick and mousse:

Jesse Cook x 3
The Cranberries
Goo Goo Dolls
Great Big Sea x 4 or 5
Vance Gilbert
Amanda Marshall
Boston (or do they fit into the category above?)
Russell Crowe and Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts

Ok, this post seemed to segue in an odd direction. Back to the point: the KISS concert last night.

By the time we were done work yesterday, neither my brother nor I really felt like going. My Dad bought the ticket for my brother as an early Christmas present. (He offered to buy mine too, but I am still assessing my options, I think I'd prefer a pony or a new tiara...)

Anyhow, after much discussion over dinner, my brother's conscience allowed him to decide that we would try to sell the tickets outside the arena and we would simply give the money back to our Dad on the way home. And here we enter the lesson in non-scalping portion of the post:

1. Show up early. (Not say, 20 minutes before the opening act)
2. Even though you're proud of being all "legal" and intending to sell at face value, get over yourself.
3. Because people will offer you $20.00 for a $140.00 ticket.
4. Ignore the hecklers, because there will be LOTS.
5. Resign yourself to the fact that unless you want to take a massive loss, you are in fact going to the concert yourself.

A little note about KISS. I wanted to go because a) they're a zillion years old, and it'll probably be my only chance to see them in platform boots and full make-up. b) I've recently caught a few episodes of the Family Jewels and it is in fact hilarious. c) It seemed like a good bonding event with my brother. I used to hear KISS coming up through my floor from his basement room for years.

But as a child? KISS terrified me. I mean look at this album cover? Cartoony right? Even kind of funny. Now picture yourself looking at it as a four year old girl. I thought they were demons. I actually thought that Gene Simmons (not that I knew his name at the time, cause even at 4, I probably wouldn't have been scared of a guy named "Gene") was in fact the Devil.

But I will say about the show: It was awesome. They know how to entertain. They really seem to care about actually showing everyone a good time. It's not just a bunch of singing heads. I even bought a t-shirt. Because again? I'm cool.


Monday, November 09, 2009


So I went to Halifax this past week. If you follow me on facebook (and if you don't, why don't you?) you've kinda heard all about it.

The trip was for a work conference, and it was truly both educational (no pun intended) and exhausting. AND I will say that I learned a few things about myself and humanity in general on this trip, which I suppose should mean that I should look back on it as a success.

So, here are a few tidbits that I came back to Winnipeg knowing:

1. I know that life is supposed to be a journey and all, but when it comes to traveling - I'm ALL about the destination.
There is truly no part of traveling that I really enjoy. From sitting in airports for hours, to feeling cramped in airplane seats, to having my head feeling positively explosive from the pressure, to the 70 squillion dollars they charge for a pillow or bag of peanuts to the delays. I really do wish we could teleport everywhere.

2. People like to drink.
There was a lot of wine passed around at this conference, and aside from the fact that it's a lot of calories, I was not at all tempted. I've just never really been a drinker, especially not wine. I prefer it to be of the pink, ultra-sweet (translation: not at all classy) variety. But I saw most people taking a few glasses each of what was passed around. I would be reluctant to have more than a glass at a work function, since I have the alcohol tolerance of a field mouse, but no one else seemed to have those concerns. I was impressed with how many bottles and glasses I saw outside in the hotel room hallway too. Clearly, I am exceptional. (In sooo many ways).

3. Cliques exist your whole life.
Yes, it was work. Yes, it was my first conference so I couldn't be expected to know people. But wow, let's face it lovelies - even once you're out of high school, the cool crowd is still intact. Not to say that someone who was considered a "loser" in high school might not be part of the cool group once they hit the real world. Oh no, I have a lot of faith in that sort of transition. But the fact remains, not everyone is welcoming and friendly like you'd hope once you become adults. Just not realistic.

4. I need shinier shoes with higher heels.
I hate high heels. I know they make your legs look all sexy, but I am a spazz. I get whiny when my feet hurt, and my ankles just seem to like giving out in them. But women? Care about shoes. And I felt like an unprofessional fraud when surrounded by these goddesses who could strut around for hours in stilettos like it was nothing.

5. Conference Organizers don't seem too concerned about dietary issues.
I'm from the prairies. Seafood here is pretty expensive. I was overjoyed at the amount that was served this past week. But I could tell that a lot of others were not impressed with it. It's a risky thing to just assume everyone will be pleased with that option. It's not safe like chicken. Oh man did I ever eat bad/good this week. Red meat for the first time in 4 months. Cheese. Potatoes. Delish. And I'm pleased to report that I neither gained nor lost from last week. I'm OK with that.

Postcards will be coming soon for those who requested them!

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I've written a few posts about my mother on here, so I imagine a lot of you know that she passed away when I was 11, and I lived with my Dad and brother until I was 18. At 18 my dad re-married and we moved into a house with my step-mom and one step-sister. My brother bought my childhood home and got married himself.

I've written about how there was a question about whether I was abused as a child, and about how I'm scared to get married or have children because of how my mother treated both me and my father.

But on a fundamental level, being raised without a mother for the latter part of my childhood had its effects that come up at the oddest times. Especially in the sense that I feel the affects of her influence on me from the 11 years I had with her colouring everything I do. Every decision I make, to jobs, clothes and the words that come out of my mouth.

It's odd that someone who has been gone so much longer than I ever knew her can have such an impact on my psyche. Especially since I know that she was a troubled woman, I have to remember to not necessarily use her as the paragon of the ideal behaviour to emulate.

I think a problem with losing someone when I (and she for that matter) was so young, is that while I can attempt to analyze her through an adult lens now, I suspect it's still tainted by childish interpretations and memories. Because I never had a chance to speak with her as an equal, I know that there is so much that I can simply never know about why she made the decisions that she did.

It seems to ridiculous that I live in such conflict about romantic relationships because of her. While I am relatively independent, I still don't want to die alone. Yet, I am terrified to become the nagging, condescending and occasionally cruel person that I saw my mother be towards my father. Because I have it in me. I have an inherent coldness and judgmental side that only seems to come out towards the men in my life - D2, my brother, boyfriends. I think I would rather be alone than to be the cause of resentment from another person.

Sometimes I feel I live my entire life trying to do things contrary to what my Mother would have done. Yet at the same time, I desperately want to believe that she's somewhere out there, aware of what I'm doing, and isn't disappointed in me.

It would be so much easier if life adhered more closely to the black & white. My mother had a plethora of good qualities. I remember distinctly her telling me that I was going to be "spectacular" when I grew up. I remember her sitting for hours just talking to me.

But I also remember the fear. And anger. And helplessness. And the need to be perfect.
And even being a china doll.

And how unrealistic would it be if I viewed my mother through that black and white lens? If she were completely evil and messed me up, or if she were positively angelic and perfect? Neither are realistic either as memories nor aspirations (or anti-aspirations as the case may be).

I don't really know where I'm going with this post, but I've found myself thinking a lot about her lately, and find it both slightly sad, and more than a little frustrating at how much this woman that I can barely remember touches on so much of my being. I know that it seems logical since she's my mother and all - but still, she was such an ephemeral influence in my life, I just wish that I had a bit more choice as to what and whom created my foundations...

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