Bitches, Puhleeeeze….

I’m annoyed.  By feminists.  And I have a vagina.   I’m in the very low minority of people who calls bullshit on this sort of thing.  Mostly because many feminists these days are of the “you’re either with us or against us” mentality.   I’m a strong woman, who just happens to think that a lot of these women are full of shit.

Case in point:  This annoying AF meme hitting facebook:


The caption here is: “100 years later women’s bodies are still being controlled by men”.

Really?  Is that what feminists really think is going on here?  Then they are fucking stupid. Because this has very little to do with sexism (except that which we, as Westerners, perceive to be sexist by our standards) and everything to do with xenophobia and religious intolerance.   There were many women surrounding this particular woman on a French beach who did sweet fuck all to voice their disgust at what was going on.  They could have protested.  They could have shown their solidarity with her and put their clothes back on.  They could have said, “fuck this beach, we’re going to leave this beach with you, all of us clothed, because we are incensed that your dignity is being stripped.  Let’s go somewhere together and make you feel safe again.”

They did NOTHING.  Because it wasn’t about feminism.  It was about fear and it was about religious differences.  The only reason this turned into a meme about sexism is because those particular police officers had dicks.  And because they weren’t of the same beliefs as this lady, those women allowed, tolerated, probably even agreed with, this humiliation and violation of her religious beliefs and preference to dress modestly.

There’s a topless demonstration taking place in my city this Saturday.  The point of this stupidity is beyond me.  So you want to show your tatas off in public because men can show their nipples in the summer by going shirtless?  And that is ‘equality’?  So why aren’t all these liberated feminists showing their tatas off to grandpa during Thanksgiving dinner or at a friend’s bbq or New Year’s Eve party?  Not enough people to see them?  Is this just to make a statement and then pull their tops back on after the media go away?

Why not demonstrate against something more important, like female genital mutilation?  Or the honour killings that take place in countries like India and Pakistan?  Not to mention the violence against women here in North America?  Having the ‘right’ to show off your tatas is more important than that?   You can’t have it both ways, ladies – desexualization of female breasts by insisting on the right to go topless because men do it, but simultaneously making your breast erogeneous by wearing sexy bras and low cut tops and rubbing glitter on your cleavage.   On the one hand, they don’t want people to ogle them… on the other hand, they do clearly do.  Men also pee standing up, against trees… do we also want to do that?

Make up your mind already, ladies.  This is confusing, even to me… a woman… with breasts.


This song is dedicated to the policy makers in the South of France:






Muffin Butt

Despite antihistamines, my sinus cavities hurt like the Dickens this summer.   Not sure what’s going on, but I suspect there’s a correlation between them being constantly agitated and the inflamed blood vessels in my right eye.   So I’m boiling water to steam my head over hot water and a dab of VapoRub, that seems to help.
While I’m waiting for electricity to work its magic on the city’s water, let me just share the last thing I’m thinking about before I hit the hay tonight: that is, how sad/disgusted I was this morning when I realized that I no longer need a belt to keep up my pants… my loaf-top (’cause we’ve gone beyond muffins over here) has poached that job. And I really need to go knicker shopping because if I were to get into an accident, I would be mortified if a first responder had to see my loaf-top muffin-butt – see my definition below, which is COMPLETELY different from how younger people with perkier bodies define it.
muffin-butt: n. the spilled over excess of bodily tissue (a.k.a.: fat, flab, etc…) due to the compression of one’s size-too-small knickers on one’s size-too-big butt
With these petty thoughts disturbing my mind, I hear the click of the kettle going off – the water is ready.  I can only hope that tomorrow will be filled with happier sinus cavities and better dietary choices… or simple acceptance of how all this mid-40s body shit is going down, like a melted candle in the sun.  

Mama Mia

Two years ago this morning, Canada Day, July 1st, my mum said, ‘fuck this shite!’ and left this earthly plane for places unknown.  The day before, I had been told that she might only have a week left.  I got up early that morning, let the dogs out and was getting ready to dress and go to see her when I saw that there was a message on my voicemail.  I knew before I even listened.  

When I got to her residence about half an hour later, I was numb.  And when I opened the door to her room, I felt the stillness and loneliness of her body as she lay there in the early morning heat.  As I held on to the doorway, I could hear the nurse’s aides running to the room and quietly shut the door behind me to give me privacy.  

She looked so small in that bed.  And younger.  All the worry and/or pain that lined her face while her blood still coursed through her veins was gone.  Her skin was, there’s no other way to describe it, beautiful.  She was still warm, having died only about an hour before.  But her beautiful blue eyes, eyes that so many said were the bluest they’d ever seen, had turned a milky blue.  That’s what happens.  Nobody had thought to close them, or to close her mouth.  I wasn’t upset by it, it was real, it’s what happens, it’s natural.

I had brought my father’s rosaries with me and wrapped them around her hands, which were placed on her abdomen.  And I held her lifeless hand, so small in mine.  I didn’t have time to call a priest to give her her last rites – I regret not being able to do that for her.  For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the Our Father and Hail Mary, so the educator, a Jewish girl, printed them out for me so that I could recite them properly.  Over and over again.  For hours.  It’s amazing how your own personal beliefs can be set aside for the benefit of a loved one’s – it’s not about you, it’s about her, or him.

I sat with her body for six hours.  The cemetery she had pre-arranged her funeral with were apologetic, but, truth be told, I was glad of the extra time I had with her.  As rigor mortis set it, her hand tightened around mind, and it was comforting.  It was as if she were acknowledging me… even though I knew it was just a physical reaction.  Her skin became firm, her abdomen hard.  I joked with her – you finally have those firm abs you always wanted.  I also told my dad, who had died 23 years before, that he’d better stop chasing skirts in heaven because she was on her way and she would NOT be happy!  Those were meaningful hours.  Important hours. 

It was a humbling experience.  To see someone who raised you, who wiped the sick from your face when you had the flu, who dried your tears when your dog was put down… to see that person lifeless before you was surreal.   At the same time, I thought it was fitting that she ‘chose’ this day to die.  See, she never wanted to move to Canada.  She was a Scottish gal, Ayrshire born and bred.  And she was in love with a boy named Jackie Martin.  But her parents forced her to immigrate to Canada with them.  And realizing this, decades later, helped me to understand the pain she suffered, as well as the pain she suffered upon us. 

She died from complications from Alzheimer’s.  So many people describe Alzheimer’s as a horrible disease… I’m here to say that, for me, it was a gift.  My mother was a difficult woman.  She had demons.  She tried to drink them away.  It was painful – literally and figuratively.  But Alzheimer’s brought her back to how she was before life ruined her.  She was sweet and cheeky and swore like a sailor!  When she’d get upset, I’d tell her I would get her a sailor’s outfit to wear, and when she’d ask why, I’d say because she was swearing like one – and she’d laugh.  She laughed with me.  I loved her.  Despite the harsh, cruel memories, I loved her.  And I’m grateful for the last two years I had with her.  

There are so many things I remember about her, some bad, some good, some funny.  I’ll share with y’all the good and the funny and spare both you and myself the bad.

My mum’s family immigrated to Canada in the early ‘50s from Scotland. She didn’t want to move here – because of aforementioned young man.  But my grandparents were heartless assholes and forced her to come here anyway.

In the late ‘50s, they welcomed a visit from her father’s brother, Uncle John. He was tired from travelling so she told him to rest up, have a bite to eat, and that she would run him a bath. He wasn’t in the bathroom for more than a minute when he came out into the kitchen and told her father with a look of the utmost seriousness, “Hey, Barney, there’s something wrong with your water!” Turned out my mum put in some bubble bath soap and this was a completely new concept to him.

This very same Uncle came back to Canada to collect her father’s ashes in the 70s and bring them back ‘hame’. My Auntie Winnie and her husband were waiting for him at the airport – I think it was Gatwick. When the airplane pulled in, they saw someone start to sway down the steps of the staircase that was hooked up to the plane. And then they saw something fall out of his arms, bounce down the stairs, and then start to roll on the tarmac. He started to chase this rolling thing and two police officers were off in hot pursuit. When they got a hold of him, they asked him, “What is that?” And he replied, in a sobbing drunken stupor, “That’s ma brother!” To this day, nobody knows where my papa is buried. Sad, but simultaneously funny.

Anyone who knew my mum knew that she was quite uptight and ‘proper’. So the fact that she exposed herself to the neighbourhood sometime in the 70s is just funny to think about. My father was stationed in Colombia and the house we lived in was below street level so that you had to walk up stairs to get anywhere. One day, my primly attired mother was walking up those stairs when she felt something in her blouse. When she peeked inside, she saw a cockroach crawling on her – there were always creepy crawlies around there and, apparently, she put her blouse on so fast that she didn’t notice it. Well, half way up the stairs she starts screaming, running up and tearing her blouse and bra off, buttons flying everywhere… and when she got to the top, there were several locals laughing at the topless gringa…

My mum absolutely adored birds. She told me about how when she was a little girl, she sat on the curb of her street crying after reading a story about cock robin… “who killed cock robin? I, said the sparrow…” Great children’s literature. :/ Anyway, later on in life, what she started doing was cutting up little bits of yarn and tying them up with a little bow, also made of yarn. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was making the bundles for the little birds to make their nests. And the funny thing was, I would occasionally see these bundles far away from where she lived. They must’ve been too heavy to carry the whole way. So she made them lighter.

My dad got my mum a little canary when I was about 14. This bird had all the accoutrements of the Rich and Feathered. His cage had an en suite bath that you’d hook outside the door so he could splash around. He had all kinds of things. She even had a vinyl record of birds singing to Mexican music to get him to learn to sing. I don’t know WHERE she got it, but I wish I had it now because I would play that at the office. But then one day, she let Sunshine out to fly around the room… and didn’t remove the new puppy. And Teddy barked and pawed at this little thing fluttering around on the floor. He didn’t hit it, but he freaked it out. So much so that my dad got a call at work that afternoon – “is it normal for a bird to be at the bottom of the cage on its side?” My dad, hearing the distress in my mum’s voice, lied to her. “Marie, he’z just zleeping. Put ze cover over his cage and let him rest.” He didn’t want her to be alone, upset about her dead bird. As we drove home (I’d go to his work after school and we’d drive home together since it was kinda far with the bus), he said, “Nanzie.. don’t laugh… but your mother’s bird iz dead.” “WHY would I think that’s funny?” I asked. Apparently, my sister thought it was kinda funny. When we got home, my mother brought my dad to the cage, and then he told her the sad truth. Fortunately, this happened during warm weather, because he bought a yellow rose bush for my mum, and there was a mini-burial for Sunshine in the back yard, with the rose bush as his marker.

And now I’ll end with what I think is the funniest: picture it, June 1988, and I’m getting ready for prom. I got a run in my stockings (because we wore them back then for some reason). So my mum dashes off to the local pharmacy to fetch some new ones. She came back completely flushed and upset. We finally found out what happened. She was at the cash and started picking out some handwipe packages out of a glass jar and said to the woman behind her, “these’ll come in handy for my daughter tonight, it’s her prom.” And the woman behind her looked at her, horrified, and said, “and you CONDONE that sort of behaviour?!?!?” Confused, my mum said, “yes, I like my daughters to be clean.” Then the cashier pointed out they were condoms. I would have PAID to see that. She probably wanted to run home and take a long hot shower after handling those little packages. Of course, they would have come in handy for my date, though – as he apparently had sex with a girl I knew that night and then ruined the rest of my night by crying under a fire escape in an alley like baby. *Experiencing disappointments in boys since 1988*

There were so many stories.  I hope I remember them all.  If your mum or dad are telling you stories, listen to them.  When they’re gone, you’ll wish you had paid more attention.  The good, the bad, the ugly – all of these stories make us who we are today.  Flawed, vulnerable, insightful… embrace who you are and where and who you came from.  We are all imperfect souls trying to find our way in the world… if we can’t forgive those who have hurt us most in our life, we must try to at least forgive ourselves for not being able to let go.  At the very least, forgive yourself.  

The day of her cremation, I attended.  And I requested that certain things be included in her coffin.  I put a stone I had collected from a Scottish stone circle (something from her home), some of her favourite coffee, a cream and custard-filled mille feuille dessert (her favourite), a gold cross her mother had given me for my first communion, some stuffing from my first teddy bear that she and my father gave me for my first Christmas, a rampant lion flag.  And as if fate had led me to save this decades before, I laid her to rest in a beautiful blue outfit she wore in the late ’60s, as well as some nice underwear I bought for this occasion.  I wrote a few notes to her and added them as well.  To the cemetery’s credit, the funeral director complied with all of my requests.

And after a few minutes leaning on her coffin, tears flowing on the pine, I said my last good-byes before her coffin was led to the crematory oven.  And I stood there, watching her leave me, into the fire.  The sound of heat is palpable.  It roars.  When the door closed, I could see the sudden brightness as the fire caught the pine and set ablaze.  And try as I might, I couldn’t NOT imagine my mum, the woman who wiped the sick off of my chin, the woman who made me lunch, the woman who gave birth to me, disintegrate into ash.

It’s taken me two years to write this.  I was never ready.  I’m still not ready to talk about my father, who died almost 25 years ago.  If you have a good relationship with your parents,  tell them you love them.  But if you don’t, don’t feel badly.  I was lucky that Alzheimer’s redeemed the pain I grew up with.  I was able to erase the decades of pain and replace them with more sympathetic memories.  But if you don’t have this unfortunate luxury, let it go and live your life as you want it to be, as it should be.  I was lucky to have closure, but it’s not necessary.  We’re okay the way we are, warts and all.  We just have to forgive ourselves.  Whether it be for not being able to let go of the past, or for hating or being angry.

Wherever she is now, I hope she is at peace….




Dear Mother Nature:

WTF? It’s June. It’s 6:33 am and it’s 8 degrees celcius.  It was warmer on Christmas Eve. Today’s expected high of 14 celcius is STILL 2-3 degrees colder than what you gave us on Christmas Eve.

Maybe you’re distracted by the cool clothes, teased bangs, and dance moves of hit 1980’s band Bananarama’s song, but it’s called CRUEL Summer, not ‘COOL’ Summer…. Listen to it very carefully, and please change this temp situation asap.

Yours truly,


PS: thanks for the wicked cramps this month *bitch*


A Peony to Remember…

While I was walking the pups this evening, we came across beautiful bushes of fluffy peonies (or, as my dog Henry knows them: “PEE-ON-MEs”).  Magenta peonies, powder-pink peonies… and gorgeously fragrant white peonies.  

They reminded me of a childhood experiment involving a peony bud – I was alone a lot, but don’t feel sad… look how normal I turned out!   I clipped a peony bud from the bushes in my parents’ backyard, popped it in a bag, and put it in the basement freezer.  The answer to my question (“will it bloom when it thaws?”) would  provide me with first-hand, non-scientific data that would later make me go “pfft” when people started talking about cryonics.  

The bud did thaw.  It did actually bloom (and very quickly) in the glass of water.  But it also rotted at warp-speed.  So I’m thinking that if those cryonically frozen bodies/heads are ever thawed, they’ll be at room temperature just long enough for maggots to start reanimating them from within.  


RIP: This peony bud was clipped from my front yard before its time so that I could relive a childhood memory.

I’ve labelled my baggie ‘pivoine’ to give it some elegance, and dated it.  It’s now in the freezer.  I expect that, just as with my initial experiment approximately 35 years ago, I will forget about it.  So I’m going to put a reminder on my phone to reanimate my peony at the end of August and watch it rot before my very eyes – which will be very apropos how I feel about the end of summer and the prospect of another 8-9 months of shit weather to come….    

I will document this for you so that you, too, can participate in what I consider to be a good time.   I’m sure this has nothing to do with why I’m single.




A License to Pee

The other day, some crabby old bitch with too much time on her hands started banging on her bay  window because Henry lifted his leg on the tree on her front lawn.  I wanted to give her the international sign for “get a fucking life!”, commonly known as The Finger, but I realized that I hadn’t picked up the dogs’ licenses for this year yet, so I contained myself.  Instead, I pretended like I didn’t know where the noise was coming from.  The more she banged, the more I just looked around me and everywhere else but at her front window.  She was incensed.  

Now, before y’all get horrified and say that it’s her property and her tree and how my Henry’s urine was vandalizing her property,  let me clarify how property ownership works here:  you might own your house, you might be responsible for mowing every inch of your lawn right up to the sidewalk and picking up the leaves of the tree on that lawn… but that tree, and approximately four feet of the land from the sidewalk onto your lawn belongs to the city.    

license-4And that, dear reader, is the main reason I get an annual doggie license for my poopers. Although it’s also contributing to the upkeep of dog parks, my strongest incentive for getting them is that I am giving my dogs a License to Pee – and poop (which I dutifully pick up, I might add) on municipal land.   So when some crotchety old cunt gets all uppity with me, and I have the time and inclination, I can irritate the shit out of her by simply smiling, let her make an ass out of herself by yelling at me, and then calmly point out that, “my dogs are licensed and are within their rights to pee and poop on municipal property, which, incidentally, runs just past the huge tree.”  BOOM!  Nothing shuts a miserable cunt up like cold, hard facts.  

So today, I shall walk my  beasts past that petty woman’s house with their shiny new tags jingling from their collars and feel satisfied with my $50 investment – such a small price to pay for pees of mind.  

‘Cause you gotta fight for their right, to POTTY…


To Your Health…


To your left, what you see; to your right, what exists….

Eleven years ago, I was ‘officially’ diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that had probably started its insidious attack years prior.  Dermatomyofuckingsitis.  It started with little things, symptoms that doctors couldn’t quite peg.  Never feeling ‘well’.  Fatigue.  Stumbling and uncoordinated, as if I had just downed a few pints – but without the buzz.

The coughing and shortness of breath.  That’s how it really came to light.  Pneumonia!  Hurrah!  Ten days of antibiotics and all would be normal again.  Except that it wasn’t.  And suddenly things spiraled out of control.  Can’t sit, can’t stand, can’t walk – legs are disobedient.

Some pills make you larger and some pills make you small….

Strapped down and high on Ativan, I watched as the surgeon sliced open my bicep and took a piece of muscle tissue out of my arm.  Like in a movie , through a lens smeared with Vasoline – hazy and foggy and thoroughly surreal.

Reading the report as if it were someone else’s, googling the terms and wishing it were.  Denial.  Nothing would ever be the same again.  It could be worse, of course.  It can always be worse.  So you plough through it all and make the best of things.

Fast forward eleven years.  Where has all this time gone?  Every breath is both a gift and a constant reminder that you are limited.  But you’re still here. Lucky to be alive, but mourning what you didn’t know you could have had before you realized you lost it.  Acceptance.  The infinitesimal beauty in the most mundane of things.  Knowledge that life is fragile and time is limited.  That death is nothing to fear.  Gratitude for the most taken for granted of things: the sight of your eyelashes as you open your eyes every morning of your life….

Here’s to your health…