If you’ve been paying attention you’d know that this challenge has affected me in other areas of my life that I didn’t necessarily expect. As last week’s clip showed, I’m no longer as dependent on cosmetics as I used to be. My overall commitment to my outward appearance has diminished to what I hope is the benefit of my emotional well-being. But life has a way of laughing at our plans, and just as I was relishing my minimalist future the universe threw my family a curveball in the form of an immigration snafu leaving my Mum in a housing lurch. Without getting into details, because we all know how much fun is to be had traversing the labyrinth that is federal bureaucracy, our household has now increased indefinitely by one.
This wasn’t really a surprise as Nick and I bought our house with this eventuality in mind, but it happened a little sooner than we had planned so we all agreed that the third floor would become Mum’s apartment. Until now the 300 square foot third floor was underused as my office, a cobweb collecting second living room, and a shrine to Jeff Bridges. In preparation for Mum’s arrival, Nick and I and a litter of dust-bunnies spent a full Sunday readying the space for her. The previous owners had done a beautiful job renovating the room and using the space to it’s maximum benefit, employing the eaves under the roof as long narrow storage compartments. Plenty of room, right? Read more
I entered the modeling world at the overripe age of 19, far beyond the typical expiry date. I was scouted at a mall and thought,”Why not?” I entered into it with eyes wide open and zero expectations. I was not a minor, nor was I pushed into it by a parent, I was just killing time until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life (for that momentous occasion I would have to wait about 7 more years). Having spent the previous 5 years working mostly in restaurants and nursing homes, I figured that modelling would be a pretty easy gig, and depending on the shoot, one that wouldn’t end with me being screamed at by a senile octogenarian or smelling of club sandwich. With those not-so-lofty ambitions, for about six months I was a model.
I had been surrounded by males all my life. My brothers and their friends saw me as another boy but with less hair (I didn’t even have enough for an anemic ponytail until I was 6). I was an outdoorsy girl, ‘au naturel’ according to Linda, my agent, with absolutely no idea how to apply makeup or walk a runway. When I met the other girls in the agency I was more than a little taken aback by how young they were despite the layers of makeup and teased ‘freshly-fucked’ hair. Most were in their early teens yet looked older than me. They sat in the makeup chairs chain-smoking and drinking coffee, perfunctorily tended to by their mothers. This is what creeped me out the most. Today we have shows like ‘ Toddlers & Tiaras’ to act as a cautionary tale. Back in ’92 I was unaware that such a casual evil existed and was secretly thankful that my mother loved me enough to say no when I had expressed an interest in modeling as a pre-teen. Read more
Another Canada Day is drawing to a close and I sit here at the kitchen table in the cottage and watch fireworks going off over the lake. I’m wearing runners with socks (my Tevas sit on the deck drying out after a vain attempt to teach my dog how to swim), Lululemon capris,and a MEC tanktop under a gorgeous multicoloured cardigan my Mum knit for me last fall. On the back of the sweater she appliqued a hand-stitched owl in flight over a forest. I’m probably wearing the most Canadian outfit I have.
Today in my city, the Nation’s Capital, thousands were proudly decked out in red and white, brandishing maple leaves of all sizes. Here at the cottage, the look was the same but in a much smaller scale. One thing I didn’t miss about being in the city today was seeing the drunken buffoon wearing our flag as a cape and letting it drag on the ground. If that indignity isn’t enough, approximately twenty minutes after the last firework is extinguished, said buffoon will more than likely be using the flag to wipe his vomit from his flipflops. Oh, Canada. Read more
So, how am I doing going into my second week of the challenge? So far so good considering I almost blew it on the first day. I was looking for a specific pair of black leggings, couldn’t find them and said to myself, “I’ll just pick some up when I go to the Rideau Centre.” It was a few moments before I realized this was not an option. Eventually I found the leggings and the challenge survived it’s first mini-crisis. I’m glad because it would have been embarrassing to have invited all those people to the launch party only to turn them away, with nary a loot-bag .
Unfortunately mini-crisis number two is around the corner. Read more
Tim tells me I’m at my best when I write angry (one of his nicknames for me is ‘Her Vagesty, Queen of Ascerbia’) and I know I can spew vitriol like co-eds spew Jagerbombs, but it doesn’t mean I’m angry all the time. I’m not. I’m a cynical person, yes, but my cynicism is born of hope. I have an inordinate, perhaps unreasonable amount of faith in humanity and when that faith is shaken I get angry.[twocol]
"I'm only working here til my band gets signed"
[/twocol]One of the things I’m not going to miss about shopping for a year, although I’m sure to encounter it in other stores, is how absolutely awful customer service has become. Used to be an anomaly when you would tell a friend,”I had the rudest salesperson today.” Now you brag when you receive good service. “You’ll never guess what happened to me today! I had great service! Yeah, really! The salesperson actually listened to my concerns and helped me make an informed decision about my purchase. And he/she seemed to like their job and the product they were selling.” So sad that it’s come to this.
I have worked with the public for nearly a quarter of a century, and I believe this makes me an expert on how humans behave in social settings. I have seen things. Things that would make a biker curl up in the fetal position and rock back and forth. Let’s just leave it at that. I will go out of my way for a customer, but I don’t believe they are always right. In fact, if a customer is unreasonable, or just a cheap asshole, I have absolutely no compunction about giving him or her a verbal bitch-slap. But I always start from a place of respect. I will respect someone until they give me a reason not to. Then, as the kids say, it’s on. Read more