Archive for April, 2014

The most fun you can have (when you don’t have a clue)

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Saturday night found me at Ricoh Coliseum, a venue I was hitherto unaware of, watching the realization of a legend of yore.  The Harlem Globetrotters were in town and while a ubiquitous presence in my cherished land of Saturday morning cartoons as a child a phenomenon I had never seen live.

It was a load of fun despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) that I had not the vaguest idea what was going on at any point in time.  I went with Kim who has seen them once in the golden era of “Curly”, “Meadowlark” and “Sweetwater” (names I recall easily even now).  We sat court side and watched it all unfold.  To my surprise they were not overwhelmingly tall – the tallest tapped out at about 6’4″ which I understand to be relatively short by NBA standards – but they had their schtick down.  The “MC” was a guy who looked rather like Cee Lo Green

and the game itself was punctuated by silly games, trick shots and audience challenges all rather loosely tied to the corporate sponsors.  (eg:  Several kids were invited on to the court for a race.  They had to run the length of the court, stopping to put on a jersey and a nightcap and tuck themselves into an inflatable bed, courtesy of Howard Johnson’s.).  The action was being narrated by a guy who sounded like he should be shilling Ginsu knives on late night television but he was SO distorted that while his enthusiasm was evident he was utterly unintelligible.

Kim and I represented perhaps the only two adults unescorted by children and we decided that keeping in the spirit of things we should act like kids ourselves.  We ate chicken fingers and fries and pulled pork poutine and topped it off later with cake because we are adults and we can.  We also felt slightly ill, but it passed.

The whole show was a bit of an anachronism – there were jokes that pushed the boundaries of political correctness that is the standard now.  There were fat jokes, short jokes, jokes about women, slightly racist  jokes.  It was like we were in 1972 all over again. One of the players was remarkable small – possibly shorter than me – and he bore the brunt of the ribbing.  (See below – the coach is in the foreground and was obviously a player himself in the past.  “Too Tall” is on the right, standing by a gentleman called “Hawk” who dances like a dream and was the object of some ogling on my part)

They also had a terrifying mascot named “Globie” who appeared in both traditional and inflatable versions, replete with an electric blue afro and the ability to haunt my nightmares for weeks to come.

The game itself was a mystery to me but there is no shock there as I have never seen a proper basketball game in my life, either in person on on TV.  My sports exposure (and interest) is severely limited.  I have been to one professional baseball game and I think I left early and I have never watched a televised one.  I have never attended or watched a football game either.  I have watched hockey because my brother is a good Canadian boy and was devoted and my parents took us to see the Marlies a few times but I doubt I have seen a game in decades and I STILL have not the foggiest idea of what certain terms means (Icing, off side etc).  This boggles Kim’s mind.  She was a cheerleader in high school and attended all the games of everything, plus was a gymnast and knew how to do all the awesome looking stuff that I lump under the general category of “Boingy things”.

I wish now I had learned to do “boingy things” but it was not the path of a cynical, large breasted shy girl.  Many things were not, but I am making up for it now.  Next up?  Perhaps the archery lessons?  Or the stunt driving class?  Or the jet fighter pilot simulation?  Being an adult is good.  I am going to eat popcorn for dinner and consider it in depth.

If I pay double can I get 20?

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

There is an adage for women as they age – you can save your ass, or your face.  Essentially you are going to have to throw a lot of time and money in to preserving one but the other will suffer.  For me it was a no brainer – the ass has been faithful but the face was never much to begin with.  I made peace decades ago with the fact that I was never  typically beautiful,  nor did I want to be.  I know many women who were The Pretty Girl at a young age who are devastated by the evil that time has wrought.  It is enormously freeing not to bank on your looks and I came to the conclusion that eventually it would be to my advantage just to back in to a room.  I have a face with “character” and as there has been a self imposed photo ban since my 13th birthday I am always somewhat unnerved when I see myself captured on film.  I am generally startled by the size of my nose, and the fact that the whole show is framed by a crown of hair that would look appropriate on the Rum Tum Tugger in the Pougkeepsie Playhouse’s amateur production of “Cats”.

That said when one receives a flyer from the local spa advertising a “10 Years Younger Facial”, one snaps to.  A title like that is not an offer – it’s a dare.  A dare that I was willing to take so I called them immediately and demanded an appointment.  The facial was a five step affair – cleansing, microdermabrasion, Red & Green LED therapy and a session with micro current  technology.  I am fairly confident I know what “cleansing” is but I suspect NASA should be consulted to disseminate the meaning of the others.

I am never faint of heart in these affairs.  (“Set my face on fire and start again?  Sure!” Inject enough neurotoxins to paralyze a village into my forehead?  Sign me up!”)  I can report that this, unlike the gentle rubbing and nurturing of facials past, hurt like a crazy #$^&$#^I(&$!!!.  My eyes were covered with padding the whole time (I think the Geneva convention would refer to this as being blindfolded, but I digress) so I could not see what was happening but for what seemed like an eternity my face as being passed over by a pair of wands equipped with a comb end that emitted electric, needle like zaps.  Hot needle zaps.  On my face.  For an hour. I wondered if I in fact had been abducted the Maori and was going to wind up with a fabulous face tattoo.

It seems unfair that women should suffer the most from the expectation of preservation, but it is not exclusively our burden to bear.  I was at dinner with a female peer of mine (Kim the Guest Blogger) recently and we were joined my a male friend some ten years our junior.  He commented on how men emerged from the whole aging process virtually unscathed, until Kim commented “Yeah, except for the Ball Drop”.  Our friend had not heard of this phenomenon so we gleefully informed him that his testicles would eventually wither and drop and he could look forward an uneasy sense of familiarity the next time he had the opportunity to visit the baboon exhibit at the zoo and cast an eye over the oldest patriarch.  He was aghast, and has since informed me he has been scrutinizing his scrotum with a ferocity not seen since puberty.

You may be asking “did the 10 Years Younger facial work”?  Hard to say.  My face feels tighter, although it is possible that the rictus of shock has not worn off.  The sad thing of course is that if I conclude it DID work, I will very likely do it again.  Or I will practice walking backwards everywhere which is more cost effective, less painful and does not require a tip.

A guest blogger! And a lesson in massexting, or texagging or something

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014


I have been trying to expand the horizons lately.  Stretch the boundaries, live on the edge and what have you, spurred on largely by my pal Kim who wanted to similarly find new experiences.  It is always better to do these things with a friend as you can compare notes, try things that may not normally occur to you and also have protection from potential serial killers.

When Kim and I decided to embark on this journey we decided not to limit ourselves to the things we knew would be an easy fun.  I have had plenty of good massages (I have an excellent therapist), eaten great meals, seen beautiful art.  But I believe that you need to live life on the edge sometimes.  Which brought us to a crazy bungalow in Mississauga, asking each other if we had seen “Silence Of The Lambs” recently …

Kim will take over now:

A salt cave?  What the hell is a salt cave, you ask.  Let me explain…

Jane and I have decided that we are going to try out as many Groupon adventures as we can.  So, when I got an email from her with the subject line: Salt Cave?, I quickly returned it with a big fat capitalized yelly YES!

We both had no idea what a salt cave was but the website for the Oasis Rehab Centre touts that a salt cave is fantastic for your respiratory system and good for whatever ails ya.  Including but not restricted to: insomnia, snoring, vegetative dystonia (what is that?) amongst many. many other conditions.  None of which Jane nor I have.  But it couldn’t hurt, right?

Early Saturday morning, we set out for the far away berg of Mississauga, arrived at the Centre and parked as close as we possibly could to the life size camel.  This is where things started to unravel.

The Oasis appeared to be a former family home that had been transformed into a creepy broken down “spa”.  And I’m using those quotes on purpose.  There was a huge ”for sale” sign on the front of building and I’m willing to bet that the neighbours are praying for a quick sale and an amazing flip that will tempt a nice normal family to move in.  We entered and were hit with a … hmmm… how can I best describe it .. well, I’ll just get right to it … a rotten egg odour.  Must have been the salt.  I hope.

We were separated for our massages and I was left standing in a wood paneled cold little room with a sad, intermittent space heater.

I disrobed, laid face down on the table and got under the “blanket”.  It was a bath towel and I am bigger than your average gal so it barely covered the bits that I needed it to.  My masseuse was a tiny Asian gal who quickly got to work.  She seemed to know what a massage should look like but didn’t seem to know what was inside the skin she was massaging.  About half way through, I heard what I thought was the sound of her rummaging through the pocket in her apron.  (If I’m being completely honest, I thought she was going through my purse and taking my wallet but I talked myself out of it.)  Once she retrieved whatever it was from her apron, the massage started getting inconsistent.  She would start off rubbing with both hands, slowly take one hand away and then gradually lose interest in the remaining hand until it came to a complete stand still.  Only then did it dawn on me. She couldn’t multi-task.  SHE WAS TEXTING.  DURING MY MASSAGE.  The highlight had to be when she bent over me, used both forearms to grind into my back while freeing up BOTH hands to text her buddies.  Awe.  Some.

Next was the salt cave.  We were led down into a serial killer hiding basement and shown into the “cave” which had that “she-puts-the-lotion-in-the-basket” kind of feel. The room was a sectioned off part of the dank basement and the walls and ceiling were covered with glued on salt crystals.  Large crystals, small crystals, brick crystals, crystals that looked like swans and mushrooms.  Yes.

There was a teensy window that let in just enough light to reveal a running water feature in the corner.  We sat down on the lawn chairs provided and waited.  And drank tea from Styrofoam cups.  For half an hour.  And breathed.  In and out.  And nothing happened.

We left feeling more stressed than we were when we arrived.  But we left alive and for that I am grateful.

Goodbye, Mr. Camel.  Good luck in your future endeavours.