Friday, November 30, 2007

here be lists


The Fall Reading Challenge is drawing to a close and even though I am one and a half books shy of my goal, I am pretty pleased with my accomplishments.

Here are the books I read this fall:

How to be an Accordion Player - Geoff Berner
the Speaker of Mandarin - Ruth Rendell
Summer of My Amazing Luck - Miriam Toews
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
and half of Please Kill Me: the Uncensored Oral History of Punk - Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain


And look at the lovely award (look up ^ way up) that Captain Karen gave all the participants.
And with the fall challenge ending at midnight tonight, that can only mean the start of a fresh new reading challenge.
So I would like to invite you to head over to the fresh as new-fallen snow Winter Reading Challenge blog, where I will be posting my winter list, plus a little background as to why I chose those particular books. I'm sure many of the other participants will be sharing their lists as well, so it will be List Junkie Nirvana over there. Please come visit.. Who knows, you may feel tempted to stay and read a few books of your own.


And this being Friday and all, it's Friday Random Playlist time. That Minnesotan Cool Cat, he of the arty parties and the giant pumpkins is collecting your Friday Random 10, so lay it on him.

Here's the hand of ten that my shuffle threw down:
1. When you come knockin' - John-Rae and the River
2. A rush and a push and the land is ours - the Smiths
3. This town - Hot Hot Heat
4. Burn 2 ash - Chad VanGaalen
5. Belgium or Peru - Cuff the Duke
6. A change is gonna come - Billy Bragg
7. White light / white heat - the Velvet Underground
8. I hate rock n roll - the Jesus and Mary Chain
9. Editions of you - Mudhoney
10. Blue angel - Squirrel Nut Zippers

It's going to be bloody damn cold here this weekend, so other than braving the elements to go see Control while it is still screening at the great old theatre in Kensington, I am going to curl up with a book, my fuzzy blanket and the fireplace. I hope I have enough tea in the house.

What are you doing to ring in December? Remember to pace yourself; it's a long month.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Am I lazy or just insane, it's hard to tell 'cause nothing every feels the same

Today I learned that in order to stop the windows from fogging over and freezing up in your car, you turn on the air conditioning. Yeah, I would never have guessed that one either.

But the last couple of days I have not been able to see out my side windows, even with the heat blasting. You should have seen me trying to back into the garage. And it's not like it was -40 or anything, maybe -11.

But, according to my trouble shooting manual (which I took into work with me today) if you turn on the A/C, it automatically shuts off the air recirculation in the car, which can cause fogging. Brilliant! Sure the exhaust fumes made me rather nauseous during the drive home, but at least I could see. And I would rather be nauseous than dead.

~*~
Today I told the powers that be at work that starting in February (possibly January) they would only require my services two days a week. My colleague, bless his heart, started desperately trying to find ways to get more funding so that I wouldn't need to cut my hours, until I pointed out that saving salary money was only a fortuitous byproduct of cutting my hours.

I couldn't understand a single word he said today. I have been away from the office for a week, but I don't see how his English could have deteriorated that quickly. More likely my ears are out of practice.

Still, a one day work week was pretty sweet and worth the trying to guess what was being said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

things I learned from my brother

Bruno went home today.

He sure is a lot of fun to have underfoot, and the week went by far far too quickly.

Being his little sister, I have always looked to him for direction in life, okay well that's a blatant lie, but perhaps I should have because he taught me a wealth of skills this past week. Such as:

1. how to choose appropriately manly birthday presents for my husband.

2. that we have a karaoke channel on our tv. Who knew? And Bruno and Eva could have been YouTube stars if only I had been thinking enough to capture them droning their way through Desperados. (Bruno, we told you ABBA, not Eagles!)

3. check to make sure that your sibling who has the same initials as you has not already used those initials on the Grey Cup football pool board before entering your own. Somehow it never ocurred to either of us that the other would use their own initials. And since BB cleaned up in 2 of the 4 categories, we had to split the winnings (although I maintain that it sure looked like my handwriting on those winning spots).

4. that the mighty Bow river begins near Lake Louise and ends at the Old Man river.

5. how to shop. Frightening, I know, but mon frere appears to be a shopper (although he claims to be a purchaser, rather than a shopper). I would ask though, what you would call someone who can spend 6.5 hours in IKEA? I did come home with a lovely set of comfortable and sassy kitchen chairs to replace those backbreaking and squeaky old church basement chairs we had been using lately. And no more sticking my fingers through that hole in the tip of the oven mitts. The bank account will just have to suffer for a while.

6. that there are all kinds of really cool birds around our place, including bald eagles, and he knows how to identify them.

7. that a week is not nearly long enough to talk about everything.

8. that the house became unbearably empty after I took him to the airport. I'm actually really glad to be going to work tomorrow.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION:
We spent a mere 4 hours in IKEA yesterday. The 6.5 hour mega-trip was made during a previous visit and without the presence of any zombies.

Bruno wishes to tell the world that he does not drink a lot of coffee. So there must be some other explanation for the four-fold increase in household coffee consumption during his stay.

And when Bruno drinks coffee, he finds that people don't listen fast enough.

~*~

But enough about me, how have you been? I am now coming to visit you all because I have so missed your pithy and pertinent observations during my blog hiatus.

Friday, November 23, 2007

leg lamp day


While my American friends were gorging on turkey, I spent many quality minutes at the airport waiting for them to let my big brother off the plane.

Now don't get me wrong, I actually think the Calgary airport is a pretty great facility. You could live there for a month without any ill effects. Hey, they should make a movie about somebody who is forced to live at the airport for an extended time... What do you think? Any financiers?

The washrooms alone at the Calgary airport are second to none. They are located every 10 metres or so, they each have about 50 stalls, they are impecably clean, and they are designed so that the only thing you ever have to touch is your own ass. Really, I could live there.

There is even an oxygen bar at the airport, except that I'm happy with the free stuff, thank you very much. And you can get just about any kind of food you would ever want at Calgary airport. By contrast, the London, Ontario airport, which I always thought was pretty decent, has gone through some renovations since I was last there, and not all of them are good.

For instance, as we poured off the plane in London, 90% of the female passengers immediately headed to the nearby washroom, which we found was equipped with two stalls. And one of them didn't have a hook to hang your coat and purse. Plus they have done away with the little restaurant which used to look over the runways. Now your only choice is a roped off area in front of the Tim Hortons stand, or a vending machine. No more pinball area either. Sad really.

So I was pacing the arrivals area yesterday, waiting for Bruno, and watching them let those Saskatoon bastards deplane first, when I got to watching the facial expressions of the arrivers. They all walked through the doors, rather blank-faced, slightly confused looking, and then of course you would see one of the waiting detach themselves from the herd and make their way toward them. I was really tempted to intercede, to walk up to one of the arrivers, smile on my face, arms outstretched, and give them a big hug, exclaiming, "you made it!" I figure the trick would be to walk up to them, not rush at them, because you would want to have time to savour the changing expression on their face as they realized you were targetting them.

Fortunately for us all, Bruno arrived before I followed through.

As he sipped his Timmy's, we lingered in front of the luggage carousel which had his flight number marked on it. Although the bags from the Saskatoon flights had started spinning around before the passengers even deplaned, curiously enough no bags were showing up from Bruno's flight. Then the carousel stopped and the flight number disappeared from the sign altogether. Fortunately my ever-vigilant brother spotted the WestJet crew near the exit surreptitiously loading his and a few other suitcases onto a trolley, presumably to sell downtown for beer money.

But we had the Leg Lamp Award ceremony to attend at the high school that evening, so we had to boot it out of there.

Actually, it turns out that the leg lamp that we were hoping that Eva was going to receive for her Film Studies academic award was just a measly certificate. It was nice and an honour and all that yadda yadda, but it sure as hell wasn't a leg lamp.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

things that inspire me: part 1


- one of my favourite artists at work -

- when I look at Stanley Donwood's work, it makes me think that it really might be possible for me to transfer those images from my head to paper. But it never is.

- so I look at his art instead -

- I've always loved this one. You may recognise it. It's actually a Donwood/Yorke piece


~*~
In other news, I wore a scarf today. And it didn't even feel like an affectation. I think it helped that there was snow on the ground this morning.
.
It was a very lovely grey, black and white wool tartan that I swiped from the resident offspring and it went very well with my black wool coat, but my actions do cause me some concern. Is this what happens when I buy a new pair of shoes? What if I turn into a fashionista?
.
What's next? Jewelry? A fake orange tan?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

them's fightin' words

I call bullshit on this.

Oh I don't dispute the fact that this Sunday's Grey Cup matchup between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Rough Riders will make for great football. Because it certainly will. An all-prairie Grey Cup game between two arch rivals who have never before in the history of the CFL had the opportunity to play each other in the big game is sure to make for great football.

I do, however, dispute the contention that this will not make for big tv numbers. Why, in our house alone, we plan to have two tvs showing the game. And I will pretend to watch.
.
We're going to need multiple tvs in order to accomodate, not only my brother (who is a veteran of one ill-fated Winnipeg Grey Cup - but that's a whole other sordid story that I will tell you sometime), but also all the Marthas plus the Martha-men. There will be much chomping of many hearty manly snacks, including my five-alarm chili. There will be a football pool, which we will put Grant in charge of. Except I won't let him write the game scores on my living room window with lipstick like he did at their house one year, unless he is willing to come over the next day to wash windows, but he can use Eva's old chalkboard set. I knew we saved that thing for some reason.
.
And I am going to make some green dip and some gold dip and see which one is more popular.
.
The Bombers (gold dip) are my hometown team, of course, and make me all nostalgic for my childhood. I have very vivid memories of my mom standing in front of the ironing board in the kitchen (the woman used to iron everything, I kid you not - pillowcases, underwear!) while listening to a Bomber game on the radio. This from a woman who finds hockey confusing.
.
But everybody loves the Riders (green dip) to some degree or other. They are Canada's team. With all the out-migration that Saskatchewan traditionally enjoyed, Rider pride has spread across the country, probably even the world. You have to love a team with such a rabid following.
.
And if you want to get yourself in a fighting mood for the big skull-cracking, manly displays of strength weekend, I would like to welcome you to head over to the Fall Reading Challenge, where I have finally posted a review of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club. No spoilers, either!

Monday, November 19, 2007

the more you try to erase me, the more that I appear

I was recently tagged by the Gifted Typist to share 7 random and/or weird facts about myself. Although I figure you probably already know more about me than is healthy for anybody except perhaps the most self-flagellating masochist, I just could not resist talking about myself some more.

Imagine that, bloggers wanting to talk about themselves! How bizarre.

So pour yourself a stiff one, kid, this could hurt:

1. I despise vanity plates and often, when stopped at a light behind "MA TAXI" or "IMLUVD", I am tempted to get out of the urban assault vehicle, rip open their driver's side door, and slap them silly.

2. I am a list junky. Not only do I have an obsessive need to make lists for everything, I love reading other people's lists, and consider the countdown to New Year's Eve with all the best-of lists, to be akin to nirvana.

3. I did not even touch a computer until I was in graduate school.

4. I'm a bit of a punctuation Nazi, quotation mark abuse being a pet peeve of mine. Just today in the resident offspring's report card, I read the following, precisely reproduced for your pleasure:
Be in the "KNOW"
Needless to say, this almost caused apoplexy.

5. I love being in the water, but get nervous while on water. I would far rather swim than boat.

6. I have only ever had three wisdom teeth. I therefore consider myself to be vastly more evolved than those with four wisdom teeth (who no doubt also have vestigial tails).

7. The only jewelry I ever wear is a watch and my plain gold wedding band, which I bought myself for $100.

Well, that may not have been particularly insightful or earth-shattering, but then again neither am I. And it's now your turn, according to the rules which, for some weird reason, I feel compelled to obey:

Link to your tagger and post the rules.
Share 7 facts about yourself, some random and some weird.
Tag 7 people at the end of the post and list their names.
Let them know they were tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs

So I tag thee:


Would you look at that? All girls. Boys, I'll do you next time. I mean, I will tag you next time; get your hands where I can see them. Sheesh.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Name is Rachel Corrie bestows honour upon her memory

If her name doesn't ring a bell, the story of her death probably does.

Rachel Corrie was a 23 year old American student and peace activist in March 2003, when she stood in the path of a bulldozer operated by the Israeli Defence Forces, which was bearing down upon the home of a Palestinian family. Although eyewitnesses claim she was in clear view of the bulldozer operator, the massive machine did not stop or veer from its path as it ran over her and crushed her to death.

The circumstances surrounding her death remain in dispute. The home was in the city of Rafah, an area the IDF had designated a security zone, which was thought to contain a number of tunnels built for the purposes of smuggling weapons from Egypt. The official response from the Israeli government was that the driver did not see her.

Others say she was deliberately killed, while trying to protect the home of a Palestinian family from destruction.

Rachel Corrie's death not only made headlines around the world and became a point of solidarity for peace activists, but also generated interest in the life and the writings of this passionate and sensitive soul. The play itself is a one-woman show whose script is an amalgam of snippets taken from her journals and from letters and emails home to her family in Olympia, Washington.

And the play itself has seen its share of controversy. After a highly acclaimed run in London, the show was scheduled to run in New York, when it was indefinitely postponed, with organizers citing fears that it would elicit criticism from Jewish groups. In this country as well, My Name is Rachel Corrie has not dodged controversy. Earlier this year, financial support for a Toronto production was also withdrawn for fear it could provoke a negative reaction for what is interpreted as its pro-Palestinian views.

It is only fitting then, that Sage Theatre, who have never been afraid of tackling controversial subjects, should stage the Canadian debut of this powerful production.
The Sage Theatre production of My Name is Rachel Corrie stars Adrienne Smook, an effervescent and engaging actor, who tackles the 90 minute one-act play with passion and a surprisingly playful sense of humour.

The play is staged in such a way as to distract us from the fact that it is one woman speaking for an hour and a half. The set itself is sparse and minimal; a series of sheer white curtains, upon which video images from Rachel Corrie's life are from time to time projected, flank the three-tiered rotating beam structure. The beam structure serves the purpose of allowing movement within the confines of what could too easily be a talking head production, it acts as a chalkboard or a graffiti wall upon which Rachel scrawls her thoughts, and it conjures up the sense of the supporting structure of a house, a house soon to be demolished by a military bulldozer.

The play takes us through Rachel's comfortable middle-class upbringing, where she
precociously demonstrated the vision and the sensitive soul of a writer and activist, through her rebellious teenage years, and into young adulthood where her budding awareness of the inequities of the world find a platform in her ill-fated trip to the Middle East.

There were a few minor hiccups in Friday night's performance, a few flubbed words here and there, but ultimately less than one would encounter during any 90 minute conversation in real life. Adrienne Smook does an admirable job of capturing the sense of playfulness of Rachel Corrie, which quite surprised and delighted me, in addition to the more expected traits of
determination and passion. She approaches this play as a conversation, and her irreverence and self-deprecation makes for a most compelling chat. When the conversation turns to the more painful and political, it is her personal pain that makes us uncomfortable and makes us question our own actions in this world, not any judgment on her part upon our inaction.

Sage Theatre has staged a very powerful and moving production of this difficult play. It was only fitting that there was a great deal of silence as we left the theatre after experiencing My Name is Rachel Corrie. There was nothing left to say.

Friday, November 16, 2007

disappointed people clinging on to bottles, and when it comes it's so so disappointing

I have had my heart broken by Nutella.

Oh it's delicious, alright, perhaps too delicious, and for a few minutes there I thought it was the holy grail.

There have been some mighty big hints dropped around the Zombie household lately about how great it would be to buy some Nutella. And whilst at the grocery store earlier this week, I just happened to find myself in the Nutella isle, so I thought I would investigate. I checked the fine print and saw hazelnuts, skim milk powder and cocoa, which was healthier than I expected, so I scooped up a jar.

I couldn't resist dipping into the jar once I got home and oh my word it is pure ambrosia. Have you ever had it? Wow, it's like eating hedgehog paste or something.

But sadly my ecstacy was short-lived, because I then read the finer print and saw that the second ingredient is:
modified palm oil

Correct me if I am wrong, but is that not death in a jar? That squirrel is slated for a coronory by-pass if he doesn't get his head out of there.

And apparently I have not been trying hard enough to protect Music World, the last wholy Canadian-owned record chain, from encroaching globalism. If I am mall-shopping I will always choose Music World over HMV, partly because HMV plays really shitty music, but also because I want to maintain the ability to have the choice where I buy my music. I guess I don't buy enough though, because Music World has filed for bankruptcy protection. The word is that they will be taken over by none other than HMV.


But it's not all transfat ookiness and rampant commercialism around here today. In fact, tonight we are going to see My Name is Rachel Corrie at Sage Theatre. It's the Canadian debut, by default, after sponsorship was pulled for the Toronto production earlier this year, because of the controversial nature of the play. I will tell you all about it tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, my little Shakespeares, I will bid you adieu with the Letdown edition of the Friday Random Playlist. Don't be sad, I kiss away your tears. It's the weekend!

Ether - Gang of Four
Hexen Definitive/Strife Knot - the Fall
Monochrome - Lush
Poor Places - Wilco
Some Velvet Morning (two lone soundsmen mix) - Primal Scream
Climbing Up the Walls - Radiohead
Conversations - the Posies
London Calling - the Clash
Angel from Montgomery - Bonnie Raitt/John Prine
Bring a Gun - James

Thursday, November 15, 2007

puppies (cute): old folks (weird)

After watching the mother jump straight up and down 4 feet into the air 8 times in quick succession, I am quite certain that I would not care to have Jack Russell terriers in the house. I do, however, have to admit that the puppies are pretty adorable.

A few hearts were broken by puppy breath and little snuggly bodies that day.
Even the birthday girl was charmed. Mind you that wasn't really all that surprising to anyone who has ever heard Jerry's mom pronounce her feelings on the cat/dog debate:

"I am not for cat; cat are scary. I am for dog."

In fact we had a standing assignment last weekend to see how many times we could get Lena to tell the story about the time she met our cat:

"He have my whole hand in his mouth! I think Jerry have to drive me to hospital!"



We proclaimed the aforementioned mission a success with a total of four recountings of the hand in the mouth story along with five actual physical demonstrations of the alleged hand swallowing.


For the record, our cat's jaw does not unhinge like a snake's.
The puppies were sure cute, though.

Some other notable Lena-isms from the weekend include:

"I am not for muffin. Too wet. I am for bread and I leave out a few days first so is nice and dry. Old people are like that, you know."


Damn cute puppies, though, eh?


And on the topic of getting old, here's a sample conversation:

Lena (in funeral director voice, designed to elicit sympathy): "You know, BarBEARa, I can't eat much anymore. I only eat 3 times now."

Barb (after pause): "Per day?"

Lena: "Yes, but you know sometimes I have some nuts. Or some chips."


We all agreed the puppies were awfully cute, though.
especially when they snuggled up into your neck and snuffled their way to sleep


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the return of the chirping power cord

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the ghost returns to the machine. I guess laptop power cords only have a six-month shelf life. In my hands anyway.

So I am once again laptopless. I mean I am without a laptop; I am fully clothed.

We are now sharing a computer around here. Wish us luck in making it through the next week without any untimely deaths.
Puppy and old folks pics tomorrow. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

oh the things you miss whilst 40,000 feet in the air

Things like Thom's head in a box. Plus Joy Division and Bjork covers.

Friday was a big night for Joy Division covers too, as the Plaza Theatre, where Control had its Calgary debut, hosted a Joy Division tribute night after the screening. Lots of local bands doing their patented Ian Curtis dances, I would imagine.

Meanwhile I ate those free little cranberry oatmeal cookies, which I chose over the free Bits and Bites. And I read Fight Club.

I am sorely tempted to circle all the clues in Fight Club that are so obvious once you know the ending. There are scads of them throughout the book. Do you think the library would get all bent out of shape if I did a little revisionism on one of their copies?

I also read the edition of Spin which celebrates the 30th anniversary of God Save the Queen. I have a great deal of admiration for John Lydon. I love smart men and he is not only whip-smart, but bloody snarky to boot. What a winning combination. Plus he bleats when he sings. He's been in great demand for hosting nature shows lately, swimming with great white sharks and the lot. Good combination, I say.

Did you know that he is Ari Up's (of the Slits) stepfather? She played the folk festival here a couple of years ago with Doublestanddart, an Austrian dub band. Because you know, when you think of Austria, you automatically think dub.

I'll leave you with Ari Up's stepdad's old band which isn't the Sex Pistols. It's the other one - Public Image Ltd.

Monday, November 12, 2007

worth the trip

It was actually a pretty great trip.
Yeah, sure we are jet-lagged like sonsabitches today after flying to Ontario and back in 48 hours, but it was actually the perfect length of time to visit.

And with a license plate like this on the rental car, we could not resist talking like Kevin from Bromwell High all weekend.
"ehhhhh, bebbbeeyyyy!"

We watched the sun set through the windows of an Ontario farmhouse.
We celebrated Jerry's mom's 85th birthday in the same farmhouse.

We marvelled at how cute and tiny our old house is. We stopped by Eva's old school.
And reminisced about how cool her Senior Kindergarten classroom was.
We dropped by the old library where we used to spend so much time, in the play area, at story time, in the crafts room, at music lessons. We did pretty much everything but read.

We couldn't resist the lure of the tacky sign at the local watering hole.
We took photos of the backs of each other's head.
Me, walking by Wortley Road Public School.

Jerry, walking through Wortley Village.

Eva, playing with one of the many village store cats.

We visited Jerry's dad.


We hung out with cousins and grandmas.
We caught up with old friends.

And we took many more pictures, so consider yourself warned.

Friday, November 09, 2007

there's something ticking in the overhead and inside your brain


Well children, we’re off to the airport, wearing our non-hobo shoes and unripped undies. And we are bearing some lovely and tasty hostess gifts, so we are bound to be a big hit in the Forest City.

Those of you who get Monday off work for Remembrance Day, enjoy your long weekend and please pause to remember those who made all this possible.

I will see you in a couple of days, and since I did not have time to buy you a nice hostess gift as well, I thought I would actually share my Friday Random Playlist with you this week. Just so you know I am not snubbing you.

I have to admit I found it quite serendipitous and a little freaky, frankly, that the list should lead off with A Hymn for Two Walks in Different Cities. How prophetic is that?

*
The Load Me Up Friday Random Playlist

1.
A hymn for 2 walks in different cities – Woodpigeon

2.
Tin soldiers - Stiff Little Fingers

3.
While we were hunting rabbits – Matthew Good

4.
Damaged goods – Gang of Four

5.
The fine art of falling apart – Matthew Good

6.
Une annee sans lumiere – Arcade Fire

7.
Asleep on a sunbeam – Belle and Sebastian

8.
I've got pictures of you in your underwear – Ballboy

9.
I just want to see the boy happy – Morrissey

10.
Signal and sign – Maximo Park

*
And because I will miss you so, here’s a bonus track:
.
11. I am part of a large family – Great Lake Swimmers
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Ciao, babies! Play nicely while I am gone. Matty's going to tell me if you didn't.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

All secrets sleep in winter clothes with one you loved so long ago, now he don't even know his name

Sadly, we do not pass by this store on our commute.

We do, however, snicker daily at Adventures in Scuba and Treasures of China and argue which is the more awesome name for a place of business. Adventures in Scuba sounds like the kind of place that you may never want to leave, but Treasures of China has the added bonus of having an intramural team at Eva's school named after it.

"Who are we playing against in basketball at noon?"
"Treasures of China."

"Oh man, they're brutal!"

Treasures of China (the intramural team) also had the added panache of having had Steven Yang play for them. Yes, that Steven Yang. Of Steven Yang fan club fame. He's a legend.

We also drive by the Shepherd King Lutheran church, which we always think of as the Stephen King Lutheran Church. It would make for a better sermon, I think.

And recently, to our delight, they have put a little marquee sign outside our neighbourhood mall advertising Bout of Elegance. Personally I am glad they cheaped out of the sign size and letter usage, because that is infinitely better than Boutique of Elegance. Makes it sound like you could catch something there that you would be ashamed of.

Do you have any favourite signs that you regularly pass by?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

This is likely the shallowest and most self-absorbed post you will read all day

For someone who hates shopping as much as I do, I can sure kick its ass around the block when I need to.

I took a vacation day today to prepare for our upcoming Ontario trip, ostensibly to make myself presentable to my mother-in-law. And because we are leaving on Friday, I was motivated.

Since my metabolism seems to be falling victim to the effects of aging recently, I put on my new shoes which don't make my feet look like duck feet (henceforth christened "Lucky") and headed over to the fat ladies' store.

One half hour, ladies and gentlemen. One half hour, and I emerged triumphant with two pairs of perfectly fitting pants, half a dozen unripped undies, and a sassy and stylish top (for which I was not even in the market). Plus it was scratch and sniff day, so I saved a whack of money as well.

I was feeling so on top of things that I thought I would risk a trip to the mall for some hostess gifts and also to reconnoiter the leather coat store at which Jerry had bought me a gift card. He has been after me for about two years to look for a new coat there. He is well aware how much I despise shopping, and he was so pleased with his shopping experience there and with the jacket he ended up buying (it really does look great on him), that he wanted to give me the same nirvana-inducing experience. He really can be a sweet guy.

Jerry had waxed on about the great sales staff and how helpful they were and how they kept bringing him progressively better and better-fitting jackets until he slipped on the perfect garment. And the entire store stood at attention and applauded and they carried him around on their shoulders up and down the mall singing hallelujah. At least
I think that's the way he told it.

I had a slightly different experience.

I think that perhaps the geriatric sales girls who work the Tuesday morning shift have an old school idea of truthiness in sales. I didn't really see anything that floored me, but I thought should try on a couple of coats to give me an idea of where to start. Each coat I tried on had my old sales girl sighing about how beautiful it was and how well it fit. Ahhh, no it's not and no it doesn't, I can barely get it closed over my girls and it feels like I'm wearing a straight-jacket.

I can in all honesty say I got much better and much more honest service at the fat ladies' store.

I will go back. I do have a gift card to use, but I think I will wait a couple of weeks for the new stock to arrive. And maybe I will go on a Friday.