Showing posts from December, 2014

Canada 2014: The Year of the Bad Boy

While other nations were celebrating their achievements in 2014, Canada was being mocked as a country of drunkards, rapists and yahoos.

Rob Ford

Was it so long ago that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was being snapped on the Danforth, speaking in Jamaican patois, wobbling in his sister's basement threatening to punch the lights out of top coppers and smokin' the peace pipe with thugs?

Even though he has garnered sympathy for having a tumor, the size of a grapefruit, Rob Ford stands alone as a beacon of ridicule. He may be gone, but it will be centuries before Toronto lives him down.

View image |

Justin Bieber

The pride of Stratford, Ontario, young Biebs has been following in the footsteps of other great Canadians, like Kiefer Sutherland, by spending more time on the police blotter than in the public eye. Drunk, high, belligerent, the Biebs has been our number one export for bad news, getting such a bad rap that Americans actually started a petition to have him sent back…

Hey oldsters! Welcome to the Pre-Seen Years

View image |

At the end of February, my beloved Scott will turn 59.
He will tell you that he will be turning just short of 14, as he was born in Leap Year 1956 when his mother's doctor decided to induce her just so the doc could say he birthed a Leap baby.
Scott only gets a birthday every four years, which is good for me since I have time to save up, but also bad for me because he keeps reminding me that he is, on the record at least, just past the wet dream stage.
Fifty-nine is that magical year, the grey zone between having nothing and getting in on the Canada Pension Plan. You are also eligible for some discounts, not very good discounts, such as ten percent off at First Choice Hair Salons, but you don't get a senior's discount on the bus.
The good news is that, after 50, you've already qualified for Grey Power insurance, but are not yet eligible for a reversed mortgage which involves the slow sucking of all your money out of your house so that you…

Boxing Day Pukerama

Boxing Day is one of my favorite holidays.
It's not because of all the shopping. I only went out yesterday to get chips and dip with my last five bucks.
Nope, I like Boxing Day because we always have a barbecue, no matter the weather. There's nothing like a rack of ribs and a pile of homemade baked beans after a week of blond, bland food. They wake up the tastebuds like nobody's business.
Last night, we invited a couple of my old friends from high school, a couple I hadn't seen in 20 years. I was the maid of honor at Ed and Wendy's wedding 37 years ago. Thirty-seven years! That was over three husbands ago for me.
It was like old times. We talked about the old gang, reminisced about the good times at my mom's apartment jiving to the eight tracks. We even had a couple of spirited arguments with Ed who Wendy finally let out of the basement where he's been working as a mad scientist over the years.
All in all, it was a great time and I managed to score thre…

The Boxing Day Bounce

My adrenal glands were fully depleted by about 8 o'clock on Christmas night and I repaired to my bedroom, with a glass of fizzy water and my iPad.

I couldn't see straight, thanks to a toddler dose of Benadryl, which I took an hour earlier after my eyes got so itchy, I wanted to gouge them out.

I was stricken with a nasty allergy to something -- maybe all the cat fur the kids brought in, maybe a sudden bad reaction to date squares. In any event, I was knackered.

Scott had prepared a lovely Christmas dinner just for us last night which included an over-large ball of poultry, potatoes, corn and stuffing. All the Christmas food groups. I could barely eat it. I was clearly down a quart of oil and I needed my bed and my canine bedmates.

Sophie snuggled under the covers as I skimmed the latest offerings on Netflix. I was absolutely done with Christmas and looking for something to soothe my pain body which was a concept that Oprah Winfrey planted in my psyche so many years ago.


My Christmas hormones

View image |

We've all had them, those Christmas Eves that blew chunks, ones we would truly like to forget.

For some families, they involve drunken brawls or fist fights, for others they might feature stone-cold pending divorce silence. And of course, there are the Christmas Eves where people are really, truly, life-threateningly sick.

Like most folks, I've had my share of bad ones.

On Christmas Eve of my 12th birthday, I got my period.

Gave new meaning to doing the Christmas rag.

I tried to hide it from my mother, who had already given me the talk. Not the nice talk about becoming a woman. The talk about what happens when you go to Girl Guide camp and one of your two pairs of shorts gets ruined.

Vera was, after all, a glass half-empty type of 50s mom.

So I did what all girls who have complicated relationships with their mothers' do. I didn't tell her. Unfortunately,I hadn't thought through the fact my mom would notice that some of her pads were…

Merry Christmas from our hounds to yours

Whaddya mean there will be NO snow at Christmas?
Does this parka make me look fat?

Grandma's little boy Thirteen and still a baller 

Ghosts of Christmas Past

This is the way my family used to look.

There's my mom, my two brothers and their wives, my darling niece, Maya, Uncle "Jivin'" Ivan and my little cousin Marty. That was a long time ago. Even then, as you can see, I was the centre of attention. That's me with the red wine in my hand, which is another story.

I haven't been back to St. Catharines since Jivin' Ivan died a few years back. Even then, my appearance was only fleeting. Couldn't get out of there fast enough. (Some people know exactly what I'm talking about.)

I spent a lot of lonely Christmases since my marriage fell apart back in the early '90s and I had to raise my kids alone, in the townhouse in South Keys, the place where my son Stef and I found a needle as we were walking to the video store. The neighborhood where a fellow stabbed himself to death, the place where several folks were shot in gangland events. The place where Stef and I watched a kitten getting killed by an OC Transp…

Merry Christmas from Rose's Cantina, eh?

Top of the season!
Rather than blathering on about the meaning of Christmas, etc., I wanted to share something with you.
It's the Bernier Family Christmas and it puts Clark Griswald to shame.
Have a lovely holiday everyone.
Keep safe.
Don't drink and drive.
And may your Christmas be filled with the presence of loved ones, and not just presents from Target.

Does my physiotherapist make me look fat?

I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit, I really am.
But shit is going down and it's not pretty.
First, I got the flu, then I got pink eye.
Pink eye!
Sophie, get off my pillow!
Next, I gained back the 10 pounds I struggled to lose over the past year. That's because of my bunged up knee. Doctor Ben, that wizard of modern medicine, shrugged when I asked him about it.
Said it was arthritis.
Nothing he could
But I'm an Internet maven and I'm not about to take the word of a geriatric Belgian who even other doctors on RateMyMD are calling out, saying he needs retraining.
So I hooked up with a chiropractor -- because for the first time in a decade I have extended health insurance -- and she soothed and stroked my knee and applied all the latest methods of chiropractic, including something that looks like a carpenter's framing square.
What ever happened to old fashioned cracking?
Then the kinesiologist who sits right beside her gave me exercises and t…

First skates

#122946858 /

It was Saturday morning, the one before Christmas, and Jordan knew she'd left it late.
She wasn't afraid that the gift she was planning to give her eight-year-old daughter would be sold out.
It wasn't the latest iPhone or limited edition American girl doll, the gift ideas she saw in the screaming ads on her app.
She hadn't had to jostle with all the other moms to get her gift on Black Friday.
There would be no Fed Ex truck, no brown guy with dead eyes coming to the door.
This present had to be bought in person.
She knew that the item would be there, in aisle 36, of Canadian Tire. It was there, she could see it in her mind's eye, in the spot these kinds of gifts could always be found near the back of the cramped store with the tiny aisles in a place marked "sporting goods".
Jordan hadn't been to Canadian Tire since forever but a visit there was always like coming home, first with the assault to the senses only a…