Tuesday 31 July 2012

Hooray! I'm Helping!

Last night I played my final hockey game of the summer at Moss Park arena. For those of you unfamiliar with the Moss Park area, let me give you some context:

Recent Moss Park events include:

  • Entering the parking lot after our game to discover bike cops, a bloody shirt, and that someone had been stabbed. 
  • Crack heads pumping their fists and telling me to kick ass...while smoking crack, naturally.
  • Drunks dancing and "singing" along to Pink Floyd.
  • A pimp telling a girl she was nothing but a "broke-down ho"...she responded by throwing a trash can at him.

Super classy, amiright?

So, I go into my game last night at 9:30pm, and pass a gentleman sprawled face-down in the park. I am fairly used to seeing passed out crackheads (so classy), but this guy looks practically comatose. Feet splayed, arms bent awkwardly, nose-in-the-dirt, etc. 

I think nothing of it and go into the arena, where we lose 2-0 and get bumped out of the playoffs. ...At this point our record is better than the Leafs for the last 9 years, seeing as we actually made it into the playoffs... deal with that knowledge Dion Phaneuf...

Look at the psychotic rage build over the seasons! :D

I exit the arena a full 2 hours after I went in...and I pass the same guy sprawled out in the park...in exactly the same way. Face-down, feet splayed, arms akimbo... suffice it to say that it was unnatural in the extreme.

I think to myself that there are 3 possible scenarios...

  1. He is passed out from drugs/alcohol/semla buns
  2. He has overdosed
  3. He is dead.
Now I think to myself, what do I do? I have never called the cops, an ambulance, or even Rob Ford (local hero manbearpig)... If he is dead, can I live with myself reading about it in the paper tomorrow, knowing that I did nothing...?


But I decide that I should call the Toronto Police Services and ask them to send someone to make sure he isn't dead... So I call them:

TPS: Hello, what is the situation?
Me: Um...so, I'm at Moss Park arena...and there's this guy who has been lying passed out for 2 hours...
TPS: Is he breathing?
Me: Um...I think so, I was looking at him and I couldn't tell, which is why I'm calling...
TPS: Okay, can you please go check on his breathing? We are sending the police and an ambulance, but we will need you to turn him over and I need you to tell me when he is breathing.

At this point I try to nicely, but firmly, explain that since:
a) I don't know him 
b) He is likely a crack head
c) I have no idea if he is dead or just strung out on crack 


I like my body sans shivs, kthxbye.

The TPS operator passes me over to the ambulance operator who immediately informs me it is NOT necessary for me to roll the may-or-may-not-be-awake crackhead over. I thank all the gods I do not believe in.

After the cops show up and tell me I can head out, I drive away feeling like I probably just ruined some homeless guy's evening. Feels bad man. But I guess I'd rather be the type of person who acts rather than stands by...even if that means killing a crackhead's buzz once in a while.

Friday 27 July 2012

Tough Mudder Update


Dafuq is that? Could it be...muscles? YES IT COULD! BWAARRRRRR!

It turns out that hitting the gym 4-5 days a week and adjusting your diet actually has an effect...who knew right?

There are even triceps invited to the arm party. Triceps that are crying from skullcrushers and wide-grip pullups (assisted, sadly). But triceps that are getting stronger, which is new and exciting.

I've also been exercising my game face, which has come along quite nicely:

To be totally honest, I have been avoiding running (naturally), because I hate it. It's not comfortable, it's hot, it's boring, and did I mention I hate it?

Accurate depiction.


Well. I've been working my way through a couch-to-5k iPhone app, and I AM improving, much to my dismay.

Yesterday I squatted 75lbs, or what I imagine a pudgy 9 year old (or fat 7 year old) would be. I'm pretty proud of that. Fat children, take note, I can carry you for 3 sets of 12 trips. ...but no farting on my neck.

Is this some life-changing physical & mental transformation?


But I am impressed with my willpower to get up early, to lift things, and to push through the pain. It's a nice feeling to raise the weights from 45 to 75lbs. And now, if you'l excuse me, I'll go tear apart a raw steak and run naked through the woods, howling.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

My Cat Does Not Appreciate 80s Children's Entertainers...

Walking back from drinks with friends with my husband at 1am. A fair amount of the conversation at dinner had focused on Reddit, the mensrights forum, and reverse gifs...I'll let you look those up, if you so desire...

As we're walking back, we get into a discussion about unwanted attention from random strangers, and the male gaze. As we ramble incoherently, I make a stand for all women who have recently emerged from the "funny looking/lack of style" stage of life and state:

"Hey, it's never ok, but when a 70 year old Portuguese man on College sees me ride past on my bike and declares "Mama Mia!!!", a small part of me says 'I still got it!'...So I guess what I'm saying is that he wants it, and he can't have it...so that's a kind of empowerment...?" *

*hand gestures, slurring edited out

At this point my husband is doubled over laughing at me, which in retrospect, was probably the best possible response.

-- 10 MIN LATER --

I am brushing my teeth when I am suddenly overcome with the need to listen to a very specific Raffi song... Cut to iPhone and my YouTube app...

I find myself singing to the cat, who stares with the incomprehension and disdain that only a cat can deliver...

My husband passes the door and shakes his head as I try to explain the significance of Raffi to a child growing up in Canada in the 80s... the cat does not understand the cultural significance. I try singing a different Raffi song to him...

Bay-bee bal-UUUU-gaaaaaaaaaaaa

The cat offers his cultural criticism by throwing up on the floor by my side of the bed the following morning...


Monday 23 July 2012

Ah...This is a Low Point...

I was invited to a party on Saturday night. A friend of mine had come into a large amount of Bud Light  Lime Mojito...

Although never entirely clear on the details, it went something like: beer promo girls + flattery + free coffee = coupons for 2 packs of Bud Light Lime Mojitos. Each coupon gave you one of these:

And, in the end, there were 206 cans...although only 126 made it into the fridge...

I arrived late to the party, around 12:30am, after spending the evening at the Waterfront Asian Night Market (omfg, everything is delicious...even the smelly tofu).

Takoyaki, tornado shrimp, curry fish balls, strawberry juice, and shui mai on a stick!
Making takoyaki! 
Pineapple drink!
Shaved ice...from a panda's butt

Shaved mango ice with popping boba!

Me gusta.

So, here I am, full of Asian street food, and I hop on a bike for a nice terrifying ride along Dundas St West where I am nearly hit by both a minivan and a tour bus in a 15min span.

Now, I came prepared, and brought 2 (drinkable) beers of my own...hoping planning that all the horrendous delicious Bud Light Lime Mojito would have been choked down enjoyed by the time I arrived...I was wrong...very wrong.

As soon as I walk in the door, someone warns me to avoid the host...as he is making every new arrival shotgun a Bud Light Lime Mojito...oh god...the horror, the horror... I try to hide, but I am spotted and whisked out to the balcony for my first shotgunned beer ever.

Of course, I failed horribly.

What the previous diagram doesn't quite capture is the searing pain of bubbles and artificial lime flavour-scrapings as they shoot up into your sinuses. It neglects to outline the symphony of burps, coughs, and splutterings. The beer on your feet, hands, and face. And, of course, the shame...What is the colour of shame?

It was as Bud Light Lime Mojito was shooting out of both my mouth and nose that I had an out-of-body experience had hovered above the travesty of myself on the balcony and thought...

"Ah yes...this is a low point."

Remember folks...Drink responsibly with class.

Friday 20 July 2012

What If I Become One of THOSE Assholes?!

My coworkers and I were talking about what we considered "classic must see movies", and it came to light that one of the guys HADN'T SEEN TRAINSPOTTING...

Seriously dude, I know you're from Vancouver, but they still have TVs out west!

Trainspotting was this incredible film that just grabbed me when I saw it...The soundtrack was incredible, the story was fantastic, I laughed, I recoiled, I cried, IT WAS GREAT.

It was one of the first films I saw that really stuck with me, following such fucking awesome films as Tank Girl, Evil Dead 2, and Akira.

So, one coworker suggests that we use the theatre in his building to have a movie night and show the other guy Trainspotting. I say yes, everybody else says yes...then he mentions that his 14 yr old son can join us...

Before I can even stop myself I say "Woah, are you sure that's appropriate for a 14 yr old?"


am immediately met with this face:

And quickly reflect on the fact that I saw the film at 13, and at 14 already owned the soundtrack and was listening on endless repeat...

Yes. I became (hopefully only briefly), at the ripe old age of 26, one of THOSE people. The "gee whillikers, that sure is a scary film! you betcha!" people...ugh.

OH. GOD. I don't want to be that person. The one who frets and fusses over whether something is appropriate for a 14 yr old or not. I LOATHED those people when I was 14, when I was 10, hell...I loathe them now!

Old Claire, 7 yr old Claire iz disappoint...

I listen to Skrillex, I get drunk, I eat nachos...I AM NOT OLD. Right? RIGHT? ...well, news flash Claire, the Backstreet Boys are 19yr old, which really compounds how much you don't like them seeing as they've now outlasted most of your favourite bands...

I'm going to take this as a warning sign, a boundary which I know I must never cross. If I ever have kids, I swear I will let them eat junk food and watch Trainspotting any day of the week...! (Dear future children, this does not actually fucking apply to your lives...life is full of lies & disappointments, that's your lesson for today)

In the meantime, I will eat my Sneaky Dee's nachos, nurse whatever hangover I may or may not have, and bask in the glory of the mid-90s awesomeness that was my childhood:

Thursday 19 July 2012

Mogget for Mayor!

You may have seen the news about the Cat Mayor in Alaska...(here ya go!)

Stubbs, the kitty Mayor.

And in light of our awful mayor, Rob Ford, I decided to nominate my cat Mogget for mayor of Toronto!


Why you ask? Well, I think it's pretty obvious...he is a beautiful prince, but whatever, I suppose I can make you a list:


Why Mogget Would be a Better Mayor than Rob Ford:

1) He is better looking. 

2) He would be at every council meeting (provided there was an open can of tuna)

3) Not only would he inspect Gypsy Moth attacks, he would eat them and thus, solve the problem.

4) Mogget loves Pride and the LGBT community, often showing his support with his favourite toy, Pink Mouse.

5) Works well with others, and promotes a positive cuddleplace workplace.

6) No sweat glands...and lord knows we are tired of watching the mayor poach in his own juices...

7) When he opens his mouth, neither bullshit nor vitriol spews forth...only cuteness!

8) Doesn't drive, or even OWN a car! (very environmentally friendly)

9) May not understand mass transit, but neither does the Mayor...

10) Who would you rather snuggle with?:

In short, when you find yourself at the ballot box in 2014, VOTE MOGGET, for a gentler/fluffier/more tuna-filled Toronto!

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Idiocy 'round the World! (pt 1)

You lucky lucky readers...

My new series is recounting stupid things I have done abroad. Not only is there a WEALTH of material, I have just given you the gift that keeps on giving...!

Let me take you back to November 2008...I have been travelling through Europe for about 1 month, and I have had my run ins with delayed trains, Australians, shoes being thrown out of windows, and floor poop (srsly, it's a disturbingly recurrent theme in my life...). Then I hopped a plane, a train, some buses, and a few more trains, and I found myself in the north of Sweden.

Now, when I say "north", I mean NORTH. Not 45min-north-of-Toronto-cottage-country...like here:

I arrived on November 1st to find -10C and 10cm of snow. No trees (we're well above the tree line), and that my definition of skates was somewhat different from the definition in Northern Sweden...

I play hockey. When someone asks me (in a lovely Swedish accent) "Would you like to go skating?" I think: "Fuck yea, hockey!"

Red socks ftw!

So, naturally, I say I would love to go skating...thinking this is an opportunity to impress my super sporty Swedish relatives with my mad skillz on ice...they hand me cross country ski boots.

"Maybe this is all a part of getting out the lake?" I tell myself...

NOPE. What. The. Hell. Are. Those?!!!

What followed was possibly the least graceful skating that I have done since I was 6 years old and complaining that my ankles hurt. (THOSE WHO LEARN TO SKATE KNOW) I tripped, I wobbled, I skittered, I fell. Outfitted with bright orange ice picks in the event that I fell through the ice, my relatives snapped a picture capturing the mad skillz I professed to have...

yes...that is me in mid-wobble. Also, please take note of my keen ankle strength.

And then, a few days later we went south to Luleå...and I did it again...only this time, I needed the ice picks...

Apparently Sweden celebrates father's day in November (eh, why not?), and so, one of my relatives decided that they would spend their holiday long distance skating. Of course I wanted to go. I was going to beat those damn skates...! HA...HAHHAHAHAHAHA! STUPID HUMAN, NO YOU WON'T! (ahem).

You may notice a large area of open water...it stretched across the entire inlet. My Canadian upbringing screamed: "OPEN WATER BAD. GO HOME NOW. DOUGHNUTS, EH?!" The Swedes did not feel the same way...

Now, you may notice that at the end of that video, the guy in the yellow suit attempts to jump across the 2 foot-wide stretch of open water, bordered by broken ice...and almost fails. About 10 secs after this video was taken I followed my relative's advice of "Just hop over. It's simple, just hop over!"...

And so, I ended up shoulder-deep in the Baltic.

There is a strange slowing down of time in a moment like this. My first thoughts as the ice broke out from under me were: "Well, shit... Huh, you know, this water is actually warmer than the air...!"

...followed quickly by "holyfuckingshitmyfuckingcamera!". At no point did my brain mention "Gee, you remember those ice picks around your neck? Now would be the time to start desperately trying to claw your way out of this freezing water...!!!!" Yea, thanks survival instinct.

Luckily my relative and his friend were there to pull me out, and, more importantly, to help me get the batteries out of the camera in my pocket. At this point, I'm horribly embarrassed, thinking that I have ruined the day, but they shrugged it off with "Oh we thought this might happen, we have a change of clothes in the car!"

...So we went back to the car, I changed, stuffed my soaking feet into plastic bags, and we hit the ice again...Traversing not 1, but 3 more spots of open water, over and back for 6 more moments of potential mortification. I fell a few times, but not through the ice. Huzzah?

Note the swapping of soaked jacket for slightly soggy gothic hoodie...!

That night, after an amazing dinner full of seafood stew and cake, I went to bed after cataloging my bruises war wounds for my fiancé back in Canada (gee thanks Photobooth!)

It was, hands down, one of the best days I've ever had, and remains one of the highlights of my adventures in Sweden. Sometimes scaring the shit out of yourself and failing horribly is just fun.

Oh, and the camera survived. ^_^

Luleå, sunset at 2:30pm.