Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Easy, Action...

"Hor-ORRR-ork!  Gaaaaaaag!  Pwaaaa!"

"You sound like you're doing "Cool" - the vomit version," says Rissa. *

I'm brushing my teeth.  Every morning, when I get to the brushing my tongue part, I can't seem to get past my gag reflex.

"Pwaaaaa!" I spit.    "We'd need some added percussion for it though.  It'd be like snap, snap, snap, snap... 'Haaaaaack!'  snap, snap, snap, snap... 'Hunnnng-ah!' and then the dude would be all, "Easy, Action" and rubbing the guy's back while offering him a bowl to puke into."

"Or it could be someone choking, virtually the same noises, but with a person Heimliching the dude..." Rissa chimes in.

Then, of course we need to reenact the entire song with barf/choking accompaniment, you know, 'cause that's what we do.

Once I make it big on The Great White Way, I'm totally going to do that for Forbidden Broadway - we'll have a revival show.  There will also be a chicken chorus singing Poulet-Vous.  

* One of the most memorable songs/dances from any musical.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Nostalgia has bitten me in the ass.  And Rissa's ass, because she was forced to watch four, count 'em, four 1980s movies with me.  Floundering after Bowie died - it got me thinking that we hadn't shared Bowie movies with Rissa.  She'd never seen Labyrinth, or Absolute Beginners.  And when I was ordering those movies from Amazon the "if you like that you might like this" algorithm came up with Xanadu and of course she had to see that too.

We started with Xanadu.  About 15 minutes in she turned to me.  "Is the whole movie like this?"

"I think it is."


I remembered the roller skating and the mash up number where they mix 1940s swing with 'modern' rock.  When the animated section came on I exclaimed,  "OH MY GOD - I totally forgot about this!"

Rissa looked at me in disbelief.  "Wait... now she's a... FISH?!?"

"Yes.  Yes, she is, and it's freaking brilliant!"

Upon reflection, Xanadu might be a little unpolished and poorly acted... and just one music video after another... and why oh WHY did they make Olivia Newton John attempt to roller skate?  She could NOT roller skate.  Was there no budget for a skating double?  Rissa is also adamant that Gene Kelly should be erased from the film so that it doesn't sully his reputation.

After Xanadu, Absolute Beginners, which, apart from its first steady-cam shot (that clearly inspired all the "walk & talk" shots in The West Wing) - was a made up of a nearly-incomprehensible plot, surrounded by even more weird-ass plot points, with a brief scene where Bowie plays an American ad exec who gets to chew the scenery and Sade sings a spectacular Killer Blow. Strange, after having listened to the cassette tape of the soundtrack for years, I had remembered the film as having much more substance.  Rissa fell asleep during the race riot scenes near the end - not quite the gripping action the producers hoped for, methinks.

Next... Labyrinth, where Bowie's spectacular codpiece was front and centre for most of the film.  Huzzah!!!  Unfortunately, the codpiece was not enough to distract Rissa from how much Jennifer Connelly's portrayal of Sarah annoyed her. 

"Why is she being such a douche?  He's just a baby!"

Rissa's favourite part of the movie?   The special features - where almost all the FX were practical and she got to see Jim Hensen in all his puppeteering/directing glory.

Although Rissa recognized that Fame was a far superior film - better acted, danced... hell... made, the depressing verisimilitude of  the film had her jonesing for a therapist and had me wishing that I'd broken her in gently by showing her the  TV series - especially the episode where Doris gets to re-enact The Wizard of Oz.

Crap - I thought it was only four movies.  It was five.  I showed her The Lost Boys too.  And although she did appreciate how pretty Jason Patrick was... the oiled up sax player at the boardwalk made her throw up a little in her mouth... I owe her.

It's time to remind her of other 80s films that she's seen already and actually likes.  The ones that I've watched in the intervening decades since the 80s, nay  WILL watch any time they're on, the fabulous and the cheesy, from the sublime to the ridiculous: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Footloose, The Blues Brothers, Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, Heathers, The Princess Bride, Tootsie,  Bladerunner, Ghostbusters, Stand by Me, The Neverending Story, E.T., Indiana Jones, Top Gun, The Karate Kid, Pretty in Pink, Working Girl and, and, and ... 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

And that's why menopause makes you crazy...

It's come to this: I am now answering Facebook quizzes in my own head. Without the computer.  And not the normal ones like:

Which Disney Princess are you? 
Which Shakespearean character would you be?
What breed of cat are you?

Nope, this mostly Pagan gal has this one pin-balling around her cranium:

Which Bible character is your alter-ego?

We've got to go to Judges 16 for that one.  Samson.  I am Samson.  Delilah cut Samson's hair and he lost his great strength - his power.  I cut my hair and lost my mind.

It's been a swift ride to Crazy-Town for Heather.  I got my hair cut 3.5 weeks ago and in that time all rational thought has departed.  I was getting ready for a wedding with the new 'do' on Saturday and I could actually feel my sanity abandoning me.  Rissa went to get David.

"Uh, Daddy?"


"Mummy's, uh..."  (I can only assume Rissa made the 'she's batshit crazy' gesture beside her own head here.)

David came upstairs and found me weeping; a curling iron clenched in one hand and sweat dripping down my spine.

"Oh love, what is it?"

"This HAIR!" I wailed.

"You're beautiful.  You're always beautiful."  He stood behind me, attempting to smooth my shoulders down and press a hug against my back.

I pulled away violently.  "NO!  I'm NOT!  I look like fucking BOZO the CLOWN!!!"

I could see it then.  I could see the look of concern in David's eyes - the wondering if this was it - if this was the moment I had finally given in to insanity.

"But love, you've been fine this past week.  You liked your new hair."

"I was LYING!!  I HATE it!  I HATE this hair!  I want to shave it off and start wearing wigs until I can put it in a pony tail again!!" You know when you really lose your shit and you have an out-of-body experience watching yourself do it?  That. 

 Dozens of people have complimented me on my hair.

"It makes you look 15 years younger!" 
"You look so sassy!" 
"It's adorable!" 

They are ALL - every single one them - LYING to me.  I try to be good and politely accept the compliment.  I really do.  I smile and nod, ready to move on and behave like a normal tamped down human being, but then they ask "Do you LOVE it?" and I can't keep my irrational mouth shut. Brutally honest, I spout colourful invectives, minutes-long vituperation which, naturally, takes people aback.  That, plus my wild-eyed cuckoo-banana-ness.  Because really?  What person actually says how they're truly feeling?  We're not supposed to do that.  Most of time, I can playact when a person asks a direct question.   But for some reason this hair thing has caused me to lose the ability to deliver bland social conversational norms with any believability.  My inner truth tap switched to ON when I lost 10 inches of hair.

But I didn't fucking LOSE the hair!  I am not on chemo, I do not have alopecia!  I ASKED for something shorter.  It's not like the stylist went rogue, tied me down, gagged me and madly began chopping - I'd been toying with going shorter for years.  The problem was that pretty much as soon as she started to take it off the top, I knew I'd made the wrong choice.  I left the salon thinking "Okay, in a year I can grow 6 inches of this back."  And no matter how many people love the 'do,' no matter how much my husband smiles and says he loves kissing the back of my neck - something was lost for me.

"I look like a MOM!"

"You are a Mom."

"But I LOOK like one.  I feel MA-A-A-AAAAAA-TRON-LY!!!!!"

And that's what it really comes down to.  I had long curly auburn hair that turned heads and now I don't turn heads - unless I'm walking with my 16 year old daughter who is always turning heads - which is somehow worse because at first you think they might be turning heads to look at you and then you realize Nope - this head-turning is not for me at all.  I cut my hair and I am now an invisible, middle-aged woman.  The male gaze slides over me - it's not that they're ignoring me - it's that they don't even recognize that I exist.

I tried on a dress for this aforementioned wedding a week ago - a purple, chiffony, deep V neck that swished and was lovely.  I asked David's opinion about the dress and he was underwhelmed.  "Oh, that's nice."  He didn't look like he wanted to lick his way from my collar bone to my navel.  He blandly smiled and part of me died inside.

As we were driving home from the mall he knew that something was up.  I was quiet, desperately rationalizing my crushing sadness.  We got home and I went upstairs and laid upon the bed, taking calming breaths.

"He just didn't like the dress.  It's not you.  The dress wasn't the best colour..."

And these are basically all the same things that he told me when he followed me upstairs and sat on the bed beside me.

"I know," I said.  "I know that.  You don't have to like everything that I put on.  I don't want you to lie and say something to appease my vanity.  It's just that there are these times that you look at me and I feel like I'm the most beautiful woman on the planet and this was NOT one of those times.  Seeing myself reflected in your eyes can make me feel desirable and... sexy and... POWERFUL and you didn't look at me that way this time.  And right now it's killing me, but I'll get over it."

The look on his face when I shared that shit?  Deflated.  I made him deflate.

"I'm not saying it to guilt you.  I'm being honest. And in a few minutes I will be able to move on, but right now my coping skills are at a minimum and I need to reboot."

My regularly programmed personality has been usurped by this short-tempered, weepy, bitch - whose behaviour is psychotic attention-seeking at its finest.  I am not this person.  This is NOT me.  I want me back.  I used to be the gal with a quick off-colour joke and burlesque posturing. My 'shoulders back, tits out' coping strategy got me through the day.  Bravado was my secret weapon.

Somewhere around Victoria Day I started having night sweats.  Two months folks.  That's all it takes.  Two months of disrupted sleep patterns and I have morphed into the stereo-typically irrational and moody menopausal woman who believes she had super sexy powers in her hair length.   This is why middle-aged women seem dissatisfied and bitchy all the time.  They're not crazy - they're fucking sleep-deprived.  Night sweats create an atmosphere very similar to early parenting exhaustion, except that in your late 40s you don't have the energy stores to power through the exhaustion, and when someone touches your naked body you want to strangle them.

Tonight I'm taking a sleeping pill.  It's time to reboot.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Post-childbirth trampolining...

The last time I went to Sky Zone Trampoline Park - for Rissa's 11th birthday - I was unprepared.   Even though I had 'emptied' my bladder twice before stepping onto the trampoline, my baby-stretched urethra gave up on the first bounce.  (Not to say that I gave birth through my urethra - childbirth doesn't work that way - contrary to what those who don't get proper sex education think - it's just all the pushing of large baby heads out that way messes with your pelvic floor muscles and your ability to hold your pee.)

I got to have one fucking bounce.  Then I pathetically watched from the sidelines as my daughter and spouse gleefully experienced what appeared to be Trampoline Nirvana.  David was like a fucking jackalope - bounding from tramp to tramp, bouncing off the walls - grinning manically the entire time.

I had done thousands of Kegels throughout my pregnancy (and long afterward) and I got one fucking bounce?

So, when Rissa decided that for her 16th birthday she wanted to go back to Sky Zone, I was all...

"Yay - that'll be so much... fun."  

Not that I should have even been concerned with fun, I mean, it wasn't my party, but David was already vibrating in  anticipation of all the bouncing, looking like Wallace about to get some Wensleydale.

But then? I had an epiphany.  (Cue epiphany music. Holst's Neptune the Mystic at about 4 1/2 minutes in will do.)  I went to the pharmacy.  I strode purposefully towards the incontinence aisle.

Many linear feet of incontinence care products met my gaze. Where did I start?  What absorbency?   Would a 2 be enough?  With a 6, would I feel a failure if I didn't fill all the available pad?  I settled for a level 4. This was good.  This was me being proactive.  This was me taking a stand against incontinence.  I sashayed my peri-menopausal ass towards the counter.  I slammed those puppies on the cashier's counter...  On the counter of the attractive, young male cashier, who'd been giving my sashay and my boobs the eye as I walked triumphantly towards him.  Yep, nothing says sexy like incontinence pads.  Still like the look of these boobs, my young lad?

We got to Sky Zone and I suited up for the main event.  I am pleased to report that in the intervening 5 years since my last trampoline adventure, I must have gained back some of my pelvic floor muscles.  I got three good bounces in before I peed.  I'll be honest, the first couple of times I peed, I experienced minor panic, but with a surreptitious glance down and accompanying hand brush over the groin to make sure I wasn't sporting a wet spot, I was good.  I didn't care because I was Poised.  Bum drop?  No problem!  Wall bounce?  More than doable.  Leaping from one tramp to another?  Yes I squirted a bit, but my miniature diaper totally caught it all.  I bounced for twenty minutes before my middle-aged body told me ENOUGH, but my yoga pants were still dry.  By the end of my bounce session I had not a care in the world.  I was sweaty, exhilarated and full of bouncy joy!  And my pad?  Room to spare!  Thank you Poise pads!

A wet-spot-free and very satisfied customer.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The horizontal bitch

"Is everything okay?" asks David, picking up on my funk.

"Yep.  All good." I give him a big thumbs up with a side of overly-enthusiastic smile.

He gives me a pointed look. I ignore him and lift my chin.

Rissa says "Mama do you need a hug?"

Yes, I do.  I do need a hug.  But I'm pretty sure that if I have physical contact I'm going to lose it. 

Rissa doesn't give me a choice and pulls me in.  I quickly morph into Shirley Maclaine a la Terms of Endearment, unwilling to let my daughter go.  I then burst into hiccuping sobs.

It has taken me three weeks to go from positive to psychotic.  Three weeks of sleeplessness and I'm no longer in control.  Fucking peri-menopause.

David calls me at work the next day.  "Hey love... just wanted to check to see how you're doing..."

"I'm fine," I say determinedly. I don't want to be that person.  I don't want to be that whiny, complaining, malcontent who can't keep her shit together.  He already heard my diatribe against feminine middle-age maladies over the long weekend - I'm not going to give it to him again - the comedy would be stale. "I'm working my head around it - it'll all be good.  I'll see you at home."

I might have spent WAY too much time designing her in www.heromachine.com

Waking once a night is normal.  Twice I can cope with... but six??  Six times in a night has taken me right back to early parenthood.  16 years on, I no longer have the stamina to withstand it.  Sweating vertically I can handle, it really only becomes unbearable when I'm horizontal. 

Hot - then quickly-cold, sweating, nauseated, heart racing - basically it's all the symptoms leading up to a bout of violent diarrhea.  And even though I know that I'm not technically ill, my body has been conditioned to recognize the feeling of cold sweats as something very, very bad.

I have to wear pajamas now.  I HATE wearing pajamas.  I commiserate with my mother over it...  Over the fact that my father didn't understand her just like David doesn't understand me.  "Why are you wearing more clothes to bed if you're having night sweats?"  Any woman suffering from these fuckers knows that you wear those pajamas so that when you throw the blankets off in the middle of the night you don't wind up shivering from the inevitable hypothermia when that slick of sweat cools your body.

"It's bedtime," says David.

"I don't think I can," I say - my bottom lip trembles pathetically.  "I'm afraid to go to bed now.  I hate failing at things. And now I suck at sleeping - something even babies can do!  I'm not drinking alcohol.  I'm not ingesting caffeine.  I've cut down on salt and sugar... I'm terrified of doing HRT on account of the does it or doesn't it cause CANCER with long-term use debate.  My Mom still gets hot flashes - and she's 71 - her Mom had them until she was 77.  I'm 47 - I'd have to be on HRT for 30 years!!" 

"Come on, we've got this," he says.  He takes my hand and leads me up the stairs.  "You are taking a sleeping pill tonight..."

"But I can't take sleeping pills every..." I begin.

"Just tonight before you brush your teeth - tomorrow we'll head to the health food store and stock up on every hot flash and night sweat remedy known to the world.  But tonight, tonight you're taking a sleeping pill and you're gonna put on your pj's and lie down and get thumped with the massager.  And then maybe you'll even enjoy a little "extra" massaging, for added relaxation."  He smiles and waggles his eyebrows.  "I'm turning the fan on to blow directly on your side of the bed, and if all that fails, we'll stand a couch on its side in here, I'll strap you in and you can sleep standing up, you know, like a vampire in a coffin.  We've got this."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jane Austen with SEX!!!

I've been mainlining Regency romances.  Which is weird, because even in my romance novel addiction years (late teens, early 20s), I was never really into books that had guys-in-very- high-count-linen-shirts-bending-over-corseted-virgins illustrated on their covers.  Contemporary romances with lots of "sex" and witty banter, that was my jam.  Decades before the proliferation of erotic novels - body parts were still euphemistic and female orgasms occurred the instant that "his throbbing member" entered her "tight passage." 

The problem with having expanded one's literary horizons is that reading utter shit is no longer an option.  I've tried, I really, really have, but as a mature woman, I am completely unwilling to waste my time. I don't want to have to red line a novel as I'm reading it.  I want to be lost in it - I want to revel.  When I read fiction - I read to escape. Now I've figured it out.  I no longer potluck it when I read.   I do research.  I read reviews. 4 stars or better and I'll read an excerpt. And if I like the excerpt, I hit the "add to cart" button on my e-reader and ZIP-BAM - instant reading gratification.  This methodology has allowed me to discover Loretta Chase's Jane Austen-esque romance novels... all the period social intrigue and witty banter of a BBC mini-series along with a healthy side-helping of allusions to cunnilingus!  

 Finding a new author who manages to combine wit AND sex?  Pure joy. As a relatively intellectual woman of the new millennium, I'm not supposed to admit that.  I'm supposed to read 'LITRA-CHAAAA' and non-fiction.  And I do - but it ain't my go-to.  My go-to is escapism pure and simple and frankly I like to escape with witty smut.  I like to have a chuckle AND get wet at the same time. 

And what's more?  I fucking love my E-reader.  The E-Reader offers me freedom from outward justification. It allows me to read whatever the hell I want with no patronizing smirk from onlookers as they spy a pulpy book cover, be it romance, fantasy, sci-fi or thriller.  Loretta Chase may well bankrupt me though.  I can read about 300 pages in a day.  In the last 30 days alone I've spent a couple of hundred bucks on witty smut.  I've got to start pacing myself.   Plus, these Regency romances are jam-packed with intrigue, and because I'm reading one every other day, often late into the night, I wake the next morning having run from Cairo to Derbyshire and back again, all the while having been set upon by ruffians that I have to outwit without placing the one I love in utter peril.  It's exhausting.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

How long have you been having sex with the octopus?

David asks.


"The octopus sex.  How long has it been going on?"

"Cupping.  It was cupping.  There was no octopus involved."

"Are you sure?  Evidence suggests otherwise."

"It was cupping."


"Suction cupping.  At the massage appointment."

"She put suction cups on you."  He is appalled by this explanation.

"May I remind you of Exhibit A my friend?"  I point enthusiastically at my back  "EXHIBIT A."

"This was done by  suction cups?"  David looks horrified.  "No."


"No.  We are going to say that you had sex with an octopus."

"Because why?"

"Because when you say suction cupping all I can think of is the Man in Black screaming in agony in the Pit of Despair."

"Fair enough.  So is it better to say sex with an octopus or sex with a giant squid?"


"Sex with an octopus it is then."