Secret Stalker, er, Santa

This year, like last year, Jen's Spin Cycle is a 'Secret Santa' edition. You pick a favorite blogger and write a post in their honor.

I have more than a few favorite bloggers. I sent Jen a list of over 10 (the assignment was 5. I suck at reading directions, okay?), and that wasn't even scratching the surface. She selected Tiptoeing Through The Tulips.

I've shouted hosannas for Cristin over here before, but it's certainly worth repeating. The woman is amazing. Her writing can make you laugh and it can make you cry. Or both. Sometimes several times within the same post. She's kind of manipulative, now that I think about it.

And what she shares about herself as a person shows how amazing she is, too. She works in a care home (some of my favorite posts). She's gone through hells most of us can't imagine and still considers herself lucky. She's a fierce Mama Bear to an awesome Deaf kid (and another one who's also unbearably cute). She's the kind of person who would move heaven & earth to make sure a co-worker can get home to his sick mom, and never take any credit for it.

Oh yeah, and she swears a lot. Holla.

So cheers, Cristin! Maybe one day we'll meet in the real world. You can tell me to fuck off, and I can punch you in the face for making me cry so much, and then we'll go get drunk.

Happy Holidays, you guys.

Baking history

The Spin Cycle over at Sprite's Keeper is all about your holiday baking recipe this week. I love to bake; I'm not a half-bad cook, either, but baking is my forte. I mean, really - would you rather have a greasy pork chop for your efforts, or a smooth chocolate cream pie?

Also, there's no real feasible way to make pastries healthy, so I don't even feel obliged to try.

These cookies are my 'go-to' recipe for holiday baking. I make lots of good things, but these ones get the most requests and disappear the fastest. I first made them in 1993, for my bestest bud in Vancouver. She requested them over and over; we would make them and boil cinnamon potpourri and listen to Sarah MacLachlan and pretend it was Christmas, even if it was just grey and pouring rain in February.

On her birthday one year, I was late to class because I was baking her a batch. I arrived triumphantly with them and sang "You Are My Sunshine" at the top of my lungs. When I left Vancouver, occasionally I would FedEx her a tupperware container full of cookies.

I know, right? I should have been someone's boyfriend. I even used to put little notes in Fashionista's shoes telling her what a fabulous person she was.


I don't just make them at Christmas - once I tried to make them on an Australian farmstead with some extremely ancient cream of tartar and they were rather flat - but in December I make them at least twice. If I don't get them out of the house immediately I just eat the whole damn plate. Last year, I inadvertently sparked an office 'bake-off' by taking them in to share. Yeah, that wasn't very good for my HASAY progress.

This year, I made them with my son. They're quick and easy enough to keep a 2-year-old's attention. Also, he was pretty thrilled with the resulting "nummies".

The copy I have of this recipe is from 2001, when I had a sudden brain fart and couldn't remember how to make them, and my Mom had to email me the recipe. She wrote: "I've copied it into the message 'cos I don't think hotmail does attachments very well". Heh.


2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon


1 c. butter/margarine
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mix 2 Tbsp of sugar and 2 Tbsp of cinnamon and set aside.
2. Cream butter, sugar, eggs
3. Add dry ingredients and mix well
4. Chill for at least an hour
5. Shape into balls approx the size of walnuts
6. Roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture
7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and press flat with a spoon
8. Bake at 375 for approx. 10 mins

There's a bit of a science to the time depending on your oven, altitude, and cream of tartar (it must lose its leavening ability over time or something). But once you have that sussed, you're golden.

And about 10 pounds heavier. I could do without that little historic reminder.

But at least we didn't have to master driving on the opposite side of the road

A few years ago - okay, like, SEVEN, good gawd I'm old - my friend Fashionista and I took a little tour of the South Pacific. And by 'little' I mean many months long, living out of a backpack and making money doing things like killing our souls picking oranges.

One of our first major stops was New Zealand. Having booked our flights through a travel agent, she also suggested a bus called the "Kiwi Experience". It wasn't a tour bus, she assured us, we could get on and off where we wanted. It was much cheaper and easier than having to navigate NZ Rail, and though it stopped in pre-determined locations, NZ isn't that big and hit all the ones we wanted to go to, anyway.

So, starry-eyed and refreshed after Singapore, we arrived in Auckland with only the lingering stench of German armpits to remind us of our flight.

(I have nothing against Germans. Just THOSE Germans. The ones that apparently had a personal vendetta against underarm deoderant, who insisted on reaching up to the overhead bins oh, at least 30 times in that flight, their overhead bins which were inconveniently located right next to ME)

We spent a few days in a cute little hostel, adjusting to the time zone and travel and spending 24-7 with one other person. There may have been some growling, and the realization that I left the fucking charger for my digital camera in Canada, but we survived. And when we were ready to go on, we called up Kiwi Experience and told them to send the bus. They'd pick us up at the hostel! How awesome is that!

We figured it was only, at most, a 2 hour drive to our next stop. The bus was arriving early in the morning, we could be there by lunch, and on Hot Water Beach by 2.

The bus pulled up and the driver hopped out. He was kind of...bleachy. With an orange tan, and one large earring. Fashionista and I glanced at each other. Was there a pirate theme we were unaware of?

"Hi girls!" he chirped. "Let me get your bags!" He fired our backpacks into the belly of the bus and ushered us up the steps. We glanced around. Everybody looked...well, youthful. And kind of hungover.

"One more stop!" the driver announced. We chose our seats, picked up a few more travellers, and we were on our way!

Um...weren't we?

Apparently not. The driver switched on the microphone and started narrating cheerily. In an "I'm still young and hip oh aren't I cool you guys can relate to me right?" kind of way. And then we stopped, to view Auckland's dormant volcano, which was interesting as a narrative but in practice was a grassy hill with some cows on it. Everybody piled out of the bus to take pictures except for us. I glanced at Fashionista. She had her eyes closed and was rubbing her forehead and chanting something. It sounded like, "It's not a tour bus it's not a tour bus it's not a tour bus".

But it was. The drive that should have taken us two hours at the most took ALL DAY. We stopped at every nook and cranny and lame point of interest between Auckland and Whitianga, all narrated in an irritatingly upbeat tone by the pirate bus driver, complete with tired jokes. When we finally arrived at our destination he announced, "And we'll be staying at the XYZ hostel downtown!" we won't. We'd already booked ourselves into a hostel that sounded FAR more appealing. I quickly looked up the XYZ hostel in our "Let's Go" travel guide, which confirmed that, OH HELL NO NO WAY were we staying there. And there, in black and white, something I'd totally missed: "The XYZ hostel is the usual stop of the infamous Kiwi Experience bus".


I dashed to the front and informed the driver that he had to drop us off at the hostel we'd chosen. He didn't seem thrilled, but apparently it was in his contract, and he silently piloted us (and one other person) to our hostel after dropping everybody else off. He didn't help us unload our bags. Like we'd somehow personally insulted him.

We stayed a few days in our hostel of choice, which was fantastic, and made friends with the other girl the bus had dropped off there. The hostel owners informed us that the Kiwi Experience bus was locally referred to as "the Fuck Bus". It's main function, it seemed, was ferrying 19 year olds from party to party.


Now, Fashionista and I weren't there for antiquing and shuffleboard, but we weren't intending to be unable to remember our travels, either. This little turn of events was casting a sour shadow over our original itinerary.

As it happened, a friend of ours was travelling NZ at the same time. Having intended to work, stay, and surf, he'd done the sensible thing and bought a used vehicle. He and his rattly, leaky sleeper van picked us up and we spent some time touring around the North Island.

We eventually hooked up with the Fuck Bus again, since our friend showed no signs of moving further south. It had a driver that was a clone of the first, and passengers that were mostly clones as well, but it wasn't ALL bad. We met some great people, and we did some things we wouldn't otherwise have done (like climbed a glacier, and went inner tubing in a cave).

We also went places we wouldn't otherwise have gone. Like a whitewater kayaking resort in the center of nowhere, which would have been fantastic if the country had not been in the middle of a drought. And a mining town where everything but the one hostel closed after 7pm. And a 'hostel' that was really a bunch of trailers by the side of the highway, with nothing for miles but a bar conveniently owned by the same people that owned the 'hostel'. And nowhere to eat but the steak dinner they offered (for $12). And nothing to do but sit in your trailer OR participate in the fun 'garbage bag costume' activities that the bus drivers made up.

Ahem. Anyway. Bygones.

We DID have fun despite ourselves. But we still got refunds on our tickets for the AUSSIE Experience bus.

(Totally claiming this as my Driving Spin Cycle for the week, too)

I remember when "Are you dissin' my man?" was something people actually SAID. Well, okay, no, just this one girl. (Part 2)

(continued from yesterday)

I glanced at Pilot Boy, confused. "Uh - what?"

"My girlfriend is going to kick your ass," the guy repeated. "Hey, Cheryl!" he yelled over his shoulder. "You coming?"

"Hang on, I have to get my shoes on!" a disembodied voice replied, from the general location of the semi truck. Momentarily a girl stumbled out of the darkness, carrying a beer and pulling on a shoe, with tall hair shellac'd into place. She looked around at the assembled company and then back at the dude for confirmation. He gestured at me.

"Are you dissin' my man?" she demanded, pointing a finger at me.

I stared at her, taken aback. Not because of the accusation, but because someone had actually used "are you dissin' my man" in conversation. I looked at FoN and Valentina, who were equally stunned. Pilot Boy was gazing back and forth between the guy and the girl like they were in a tennis match, a look of astonishment on his face.

"Wh-what?" I managed to reply.

"Are you dissin' my man?" she repeated. She looked a little put out that we weren't already trading punches. Apparently this wasn't how the script went.

FoN and I looked at each other. And then we burst out laughing.

"Am I - what??" I managed, through hysterical laughter. "Am I DISSING your MAN?"

She sneered. "You told him to fuck off!"

"He told me to shut up! You guys are setting off the air horn on a semi truck, and you're telling ME to shut up?"

The conversation (I use that term loosely) continued in that exasperating vein for a bit. Apparently my earlier rage wasn't as settled as one would hope, because eventually she goaded me somehow - I don't remember, but FoN says she called me a "fat bitch" - and suddenly I really DID want to kick her ass.

Or, y'know, try. Considering I'd never been in a fight in my LIFE.

FoN, who I've often thought was born a couple of decades too late, was trying to placate both of us by saying things like, "Hey, we're all happy here, it's all good, peace and love and groovyness, you guys!". Neither of us were responding well to that approach. Meanwhile, Cheryl the Ass-kicking Redneck's "man" was smirking at the sidelines, saying things to Pilot Boy like, "This is gonna be good," and "Do you think they'll end up rolling around in the mud? I hope so."

Class. Act.

Anyway, he was disappointed. At my core, I really didn't want to fight, so I let FoN and Valentina drag me away, leaving Cheryl and her Man standing around our tent with Pilot Boy. He claimed later that he offered to fight in my stead, but that really wasn't what the Yokel Couple was after. Eventually they wandered off and climbed back into their semi, which ran all night. FoN and Valentina talked me down and returned me to the tent.

In the morning, Pilot Boy and I were at each other's throats with renewed vigour as we realized the Datsun Z was lodged firmly in the mud. We had to track down some people we hadn't pissed off with our fighting to help push us out. I think there were maybe 3.

The semi truck was nowhere to be seen.

Kind of anti-climactic, I know. So I'll leave you with the moral of the story: Don't date conceited pilots.

Oh, and don't tell people in semi trucks to fuck off.

(I forgot to mention that this was all inspired by the topic over at the Spin Cycle this week)
(Also, Google Reader is not showing my last 3 posts for some reason. If ya'll are using the feed to keep track of me, you may have to res-subscribe?)

I remember when "Are you dissin' my man?" was something people actually SAID. Well, okay, no, just this one girl. (Part 1)

My BFF and platonic life partner FoN is posting the story of FoN vs. The Fucktard Sisters, in which SuperKeely plays a minor role, so I thought I'd take a stroll down Memory Lane too. I used to spend a lot of time drunk and my memory is not fabulous, so I asked her what SHE thought I should post about.

Do you guys have a friend with whom you share 20 years of history? It's awesome. And fucking terrifying, sometimes. She replied immediately with "Are You Dissin' My Man?".

Oh Dear Lord, I know I'm a heathen atheist, but please give me strength.

*deep breath*


This may be a shock to some of you, but I have not always made the best choices in life. I know! Me! I seem so rational!

Anyway, at the time of this incident I was dating a guy I shall dub Dickhead
Conceited Motherfucker I Wouldn't Cross The Road To Piss On If He Were On Fire Pilot Boy. Pilot Boy and I had plans to attend a weekend music festival in which FoN's husband's band was participating. Obviously, FoN and Valentina and a whole host of other friends were there too. None of them really liked Pilot Boy because he was a manipulative fucker who cheated on me constantly but they tolerated him for my sake.

Since the music festival was being held on a patch of turf that was normally used to grow wheat, we were all camping for the weekend. Some people were lucky or organized enough to bring an RV, but most of us were just pitching tents.


Anyway, Pilot Boy and I eschewed my sensible 4x4 Toyota truck for his vehicle, a Datsun Z, because clearly that is the rational choice while attempting to camp in a muddy field. We pulled into a spot that (unbeknownst to us) would be semi-permanent, and, rather than unpacking our gear and putting up our tent for later, we elected to begin partying post-haste.

Located somewhat close to us were some people who thought themselves above both tents AND Winnebagos. They had arrived in their semi truck. Which, okay, had a sleeper, but apparently no bedding or power or comforts of home whatsoever, because they left the thing running constantly. And they occasionally set off the horn, just to maintain good neighbourly relations. We rolled our eyes a bit, but assumed they would shut off the truck and stop honking the horn once all the music was done and people were ready to pass out.

You know what happens when you assume, right?

The evening pretty much progressed as most evenings did with Pilot Boy; that is to say we both got drunk, he got more asinine and I got more sensitive, we fought the whole time and overreacted and generally made each other miserable. And then, when they stopped serving booze, we realized that we had nowhere to sleep. So at 2am, still yelling at each other, we began a futile attempt to drunkenly and uncooperatively put up a tent. In the dark.

FoN and Valentina came to see what all the yelling was about, and I turned on them, too. I can't remember why but I'm sure I felt justified at the time. Then the evolutionary U-Turns in the semi truck honked their horn and I screamed at them as well. FoN, with typical humour, said something to nicely inform me that I was being an idiot, and defused the whole situation. She didn't do it to save Pilot Boy from my verbal tirade, she did it to save me from myself, because I was tired of yelling.

Also, there may have been people trying to sleep at that point.

So, in better spirits, we kept trying to get the tent set up. The idiots in the semi truck, in a somewhat delayed reaction, yelled "Shut the fuck up!".

Coming from someone that had set off a foghorn moments earlier, this seemed ridiculous, so I jovially hollered back, "Fuck you!", and Pilot Boy and I continued figuring out the tent in the dark, on speaking terms once again.

A few minutes later, a strange guy strolled up and stood next to us, a smirk on his face.

"My girlfriend is going to kick your ass," he informed me smugly.

(I know! I'm sorry for the two-parter. But it's getting really long and I need to confirm a few details with FoN)

Things you shouldn't do when your girlfriend or boyfriend says "I love you" for the first time

1. Wait 3 days before saying it back, "just to fuck with them".

2. Say "I know."

3. Reply with, "Elephant Shoes, too".

4. If it's over the phone, don't use the excuse "Um, yeah....I'm in a room full of other guys?" to not say it back.

5. Say "That's nice!"

6. Start looking at your watch and checking your (fictional) pager nervously.

7. Jump straight to, "Great! I want 8 kids, how about you?"

8. Whine, "If you really loved me you'd give me head."

(It's entirely possible that I've been the recipient of all or most of those responses at some point. Maybe. Not from hubby, which is one of the many reasons why HE WINS).

(Posted at the implied request of Sprite's Keeper, in conjunction with this week's Spin Cycle)

It's GRADapalooza, if you're Canadian

So I challenged everyone yesterday to ante up with their prom pics, as requested by Blissfully Caffeinated and the Stiletto Mom. And apparently Jen over at Sprite's Keeper also made it the Spin this week, so hey! you can't lose!

Other than the rest of us snickering at you, that is. We're snickering out of love, though, I swear.

As it turns out I don't have a lot of my prom pics floating around. I know I've seen better ones, but other people must have them. FoN?

This first pic is actually not from MY grad. Pretty much all my friends graduated the year before me.

It's because I am YOUNGER, you guys. Not dumber. Although the pics may say differently.

Anyway, I was my friend J's date to go to their grad, because that was the "real" party. I was a real prom slut that year, too, I went to THREE in total (and wore the same hideous dress each time. It may have been rather ripe by the end).

(I was showing off my black Lee press-on nails. Rawr!)

The next year (my lonely, lonely senior year), my actual grad, I pretty much just went to the ceremony and then wandered off. It was the first year the school did a 'dry' grad, and much to my chagrin, everybody went. Sheep.

My friend J accompanied me again, and as you can see I was rockin' the goth look (with a dress I found at a second-hand store):

(What you can't see is that I had to wear flat sandals instead of heels, because a couple of weeks earlier I'd broken my baby toe in the most spectacular fashion. So I was like...hippy goth. Or something. It bothered me more than it should have, considering I didn't have many friends in my own graduating class)

(Also what you can't really see is J's super long hair that he pulled back into a half-ponytail. We pretty much had the same hair there. He held on to that hair for WAY longer than he should have)

I know, my pics turned out to be kind of lame. I know you guys came here looking for some big hair, so here's a parting shot:

Oh yeah, baby.

Spin Cycle: Celebrity

The topic over at Jen's Spin Cycle this week is "Celebrity". I wish I had some fantastic story of fondling Simon Cowell's abs or telling George Clooney to fuck off, but I've come to believe that I possess an anti-celebrity aura.

I mean, I spent years living in Vancouver, "North Hollywood", during a time when they were constantly filming all kinds of exciting things like the X-Files and Jumanji. And the whole time I was working in theatre, no, living and breathing theatre, and drinking associating with theatre and film type people. And not once - ever - did I meet someone that I could casually say, "Oh, I met so-and-so", and you'd know who the hell I was talking about.

One time, I elected to not attend an opening night party (probably for some really sensible reason like "It's all the way downtown and the beer here is cheap and plentiful") and I discovered later that David Duchovny had showed up at said party and hobnobbed.*

I think I died a little that day.

I mean, I did drink a lot in those days so it's entirely possible I met a celebrity and don't remember. (It's also entirely possible that my behaviour resulted in a memo to all the other celebrities, which is why I now possess this anti-celebrity aura).

The closest I got to a real life star was going on two dates with a guy that had a bit part in the X-Files, as a lab nerd that was in love with Scully. He got shot.

In the show, I mean. I didn't SHOOT him. He just wasn't that attractive.

Also, he was short.

So I guess the moral of the story is, it's true - celebrities ARE shorter and less attractive in person!

*I don't even know what 'hobnobbed' means, but it sounds kinky. Fuck, I could have had hot kinky sex with David Duchovny. I think I just died a little more.

Poet Laureate, dontcha know?

The Spin Cycle assignment over at Sprite's Keeper this week is to write a poem. But I'm really more of a dirty limerick kind of girl.


There once was a girl from Regina
(which sadly DOES rhyme with vagina)
She had her a kid
Down the tubes her mind slid
So she packed up and moved 'way to China.

Hm. Hard to rhyme with Regina. Let's try:

There once was a girl from Saskatchewan
What the fuck rhymes with Saskatchewan?
Nothing, that's what
No gratuitous smut
Can't even think of a way to get 'snatches' in.


Spin Cycle: It's no secret

So this week Jen over at Sprite's Keeper mixed it up a bit for the Spin Cycle. She doesn't want us to talk about ourselves.

I know - what the hell?

Anyway, in the giving spirit of the season, she wanted us to be 'Secret Santa' to one of our favorite blogs, and sing their praises in a post dedicated just to them. From my list of favorite blogs she assigned me Get the Stink Off, because, as she said, "it should be a challenge".

I'm pretty sure she meant because it's just so awesome, I wouldn't know where to start.

I'm full of booze Christmas cheer so it seemed like a good time to wax poetic about Cameron's blog. Except that if you spend any time here, you'll know how poetic I'm NOT. I'll just say it's awesome. It sounds more believable anyway.

Cameron at Get the Stink Off is one of those semi-rare creatures, a "daddy blogger" running with the pack of the rest of us mommy bloggers. I love reading his posts, because you never know what you're going to get. I mean, it's always well-written and clever, but one day he can write a poignant and gut-wrenching post about the horrifying possibility that you accidentally harmed your own child, and the next day write something so hysterically, typically MALE. Like wanting hot lesbian sex for Christmas. Or an entire post about the pride of being a carnivore. He writes things that we're all thinking but would never say out loud. And - a total bonus around this joint - he regularly makes shit up.

Cameron was one of the first people to spot the genius that is my other blog, and he leaves witty and sarcastic comments there that make me laugh, and then make me want to lobotomize myself before my son gets to his kids' age. I don't comment on his blog as often as I should, usually because my scathing wit is not up to the task. I'm sarcastic - he's ACIDIC. If ya'll haven't visited his site, you should. Go on, git.

So, dude, this not-so-secret Santa's for you. It comes with a scotch on the rocks, but you have to come to Canada to get it. Merry merry!

The Spin Cycle: Origin Story

Jen over at Sprite's Keeper has a really interesting Spin Cycle going this week fortnight. She wants to know about our blogs' life story, it's inception, it's psyche. What made us start our blogs, and why did we name them what we did?

That's right, I'm blogging about blogging, AGAIN.

The Un Mom is pretty straight forward. I'd been writing A Letter to Xander for a little while when I realized that its format - a letter to my son - was somewhat restrictive. I mean, okay, I am someone's parent, but I didn't stop being all those other things when I gave birth. I needed somewhere to write about stuff that interested just ME, that didn't relate to parenting. Things that were un-mom-like. Therefore, The Un Mom.

But when I started thinking about a redesign, I kind of knew what look I wanted, and because I'm such a comic book nerd fan it involved comics. Rachel did such a fantastic job, it was like she was in my head (She may have been. Someone rearranged the furniture up there). And then, I started to think of the Un Mom as an actual character, like kind of a super hero.

(Except for the tiny voice that says that the Un Mom sounds more like a VILLAIN. We're just going to ignore that voice. We're pretty good at ignoring voices around here).

And every supervillainhero needs a good origin story, right? Right:

The Un Mom began as plain old SuperKeely, a superheroine with no known alter ego. In truth, she didn't need one; she was who she was (except when she wasn't, and then she had a really good PR team). Ageless, she protected the city for years, her exact powers undocumented but thought to include super strength, a pretty fast uppercut, and self deception. Occasionally she would vanish for periods of time, until her ratings went back up city needed her protection again, but the citizens always knew they could count on her.

Then she did what every good superheroine does at some point; she fell in love.

But she didn't fall in love with a villain and make him have a change of heart only to have him change his mind again and betray her, and she didn't fall in love with another superhero only to have him tragically defeated by his arch nemesis. No, SuperKeely fell in love with a regular guy. A guy who had been on her PR team for a very long time, and she felt like she'd always known him, but it never even occurred to her that they should date until her BSHF (Best SuperHero Friend) pointed it out to her. That guy had seen her knocked out cold by a C-List villain, and trip over her own cape, and he loved her the whole time anyway.

So they eloped to Vegas, and settled down, and SuperKeely fought a little less crime every day. Eventually she managed to get knocked up, and she took a year off from crime fighting altogether. Unsurprisingly, the city survived, and new heroes filled the void, which was for the best because spandex is NOT forgiving of post-pregnancy saddle bags.

But SuperKeely found that even though she loved her tiny son, and adored being his mother, she missed her work. So after some major boot camp she returned to fighting crime, at least part time. But a narrow escape with a common thug made her realize something: SHE HAD MOM-BRAIN. She couldn't focus. She couldn't pay attention to fighting crime and at the same time worry about her kid at daycare, or wonder if they should have pork chops for dinner, or muse on whether bottles with BPA in them were doing permanent damage. She was going to get herself killed.

In despair, she turned to the superhero psychologist. He advised her that while she was fighting crime, she couldn't BE a parent. She had to be SuperKeely, not somebody's mother.

SuperKeely protested that she couldn't possibly do that. The superhero psychologist, who was also a witch doctor (I know, a rare breed), told her he would hypnotize her and give her a trigger word that would grant her the power to forget her child; just long enough for a four-hour shift of fighting crime. The trigger word was "un-mom".

SuperKeely was back; but secretly, she was really the Un Mom.