Thursday, July 28, 2011

In Which The Boy and I Fall Off the Gender Binary

The Boy came into the kitchen tonight to prepare dinner with me.  He'd thrown his gray plaid hoodie on to shield him from the arctic chill in there (the kitchen window is the only viable place to put our air conditioner).  Underneath the hoodie, he wore the pink nightie I'd bought him back when we were first going out.  The juxtaposition of masculine and feminine garments amused me so I smirked and said "Nice ensemble."

"Right back atcha," The Boy replied...and only then did I realize I was wearing the top half of my pink penguin pajamas with a pair of men's boxer briefs.  I mean, I know what clothes I was wearing; I'd just forgotten that boxer briefs are technically for dudes.

There's not really a point to this anecdote.  I just enjoy how completely The Boy and I complement each other.  He's the ruffled pink yin to my enormous, throbbing yang. :D

Monday, July 25, 2011

Conversational Snippet #15: Confirmation of My Naivete

[This happened ages ago, when I was married.  I just remembered it and thought it would amuse you guys.  My ex - who was raised Catholic - was explaining their rituals to heathen ol' me.]

Ex: ...So the second of the seven sacraments is Confirmation.  It's a religious ceremony that happens in your early teens, and part of it entails picking a new name for yourself.  Nobody calls you by the name afterward or anything, though.  It's more like having a second middle name.

Me: That's cool that you got to pick your own name, though!  What was it?

Ex: Michael*.

Me: I'm impressed that you had the restraint to choose a name like that, at that age!  I bet most of the other kids went for something cool or funny, like Catwoman or Fartface McAwesomepants.

Ex [after staring at me incredulously for a full minute]: It's...generally expected that you'll go with something Biblical.

Me: Ah.  Well.  That makes sense.

*I think it was Michael.  But this conversation happened seriously ten years ago so I may be wrong.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shoutout Sunday: Monster Kookies

"Monster Kookies" is the perfect brand name for artist Kimberly Hart's wares.  Her wonderful polymer clay jewelry, magnets, and sculptures often take the form of baked goods, creepy creatures, or a hybrid of both!  I'd be remiss, though, if I didn't mention all the gorgeous steampunk-themed stuff as well! 

Venture into the Monster Kookies Etsy store and you'll find yourself in a magical land where mechanical animals roam the earth and fanged cupcakes eat you.  The detail on each piece is truly incredible - I myself am the proud owner of a custom-made Industrial Heart necklace, and although I saw perfectly accurate photos of the finished piece ahead of time, the real thing still blew me away! 

Lately I've been drooling over the incredibly realistic cake slices.  I'd wonder how she got that perfect crumbly cakey texture on the sides, but chances are Kim's actually provided the answer for me on her blog or Deviant Art site and I just haven't found it yet!  She's not shy at all about sharing trade secrets, and why should she be?  It's not like any random person who knows how to mix polymer clay "frosting" would be able to open their own store and compete.  To be on a level playing field with Monster Kookies you'd also need great ideas, lots of talent, an eye for detail, and stellar customer service skills - and those things can't be taught!

The Monster Cookies Etsy store is here.  You might also want to visit the Monster Kookies website, Deviant Art page, or blog, or show your support by "liking" Monster Kookies on Facebook!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Caturday: Guest post by Mizu-Hime!

It's helpful, but not necessary, to read the post by Mizu's adopted sister Lala before reading this one.
(Text by Mizu.  Illustrations by me.)
 You must comport yourself with grace and dignity at all times.

Overlook the occasional missteps of the peasants; they simply do not know any better.

But if the acts of disrespect continue beyond what you deem acceptable...

...make your revenge swift and merciless.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Personally, I'm Holding Out for Glitter Tampons.

I had yet another appointment with the ophthamologist yesterday.  My eyes have finally healed enough that I can get tested for a new glasses prescription*, yay!

While I was waiting for my turn with the eye doctor, I flipped through a fashion magazine.  I should mention that I rarely read magazines (or newspapers, or watch tv, or listen to the radio)...I guess in many ways I'm kind of sheltered from the world.  And I am continually reminded that this is a good thing.

The magazine had an ad for maxi pads.  With decorations on them.

They kind of look like sneaker soles with tabs on the sides.

I'm not against pointless decoration of an object per se (I guess technically all decoration is pointless...).  My dishes are yellow, for instance, and although plain white dishes would work just as well, the yellow makes me happy.  But printing a design on something I'll look at for two minutes and then shed chunks of uterine lining all over seems particularly ridiculous (even more so than bleaching tampons!**).  Plus I bet these "Kotex U"*** pads cost more than plain ones.  Plus I wonder how healthy it is to have coloured dye up against one's ladybits.

And even if I did have a demented preoccupation with my sanitary products looking "fun", I wouldn't want a pad with abstract swirls printed on it.  I'd want the Wikipedia entry for Hermann Rorschach.  Or a vampire at the dinner table, presiding over a strategically placed empty plate.  Or red bars at the top and bottom so the pad will end up looking sort of like a sideways Canadian flag.  

My heart will swell with patriotism every time I visit the ladies' room.
Tangent: Rorschach's Wikipedia entry has his picture on it and it turns out he was a stone cold fox.  He's what would happen if Cary Elwes from The Princess Bride had a baby with Brad Pitt and then sent it back in time to the 1800s!  Don't believe me?  I have constructed a visual aid:

This pic of Rorshach was taken in 1910.  He's probably less hot now.

*I actually found out about the damage during an optometrist appointment.  The doctor was all, "Do you have any concerns about your vision?" and I said it seems like my vision had gotten way worse in just the past few weeks, especially in my right eye.  That's when she examined me and found a bunch of scratches - which had irritated my eyes and caused them to fill with fluid, giving me temporary astigmatism.  Gross.

**Vagina-owners take note: tampons are bleached so they look more sanitary (I'm guessing their natural colour would be off-whitish?).  Rayon tampons that have been bleached with chlorine make a chemical residue that's been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer and infertility.  All this for something you're just gonna bleed on anyway.

***The next time I have my period, I'm going to tell people I'm a student at Kotex U.  And that I'm majoring in "Chocolate" and minoring in "Cranky".

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shoutout Sunday: Jane Duncan

Today I'll be talking about another artist whose work I saw at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition: Jane Duncan.

As soon as I walked into Duncan's booth I was mesmerized by her big paintings of trophies (check out the series yourself by clicking the "Trophy Lovers" link on her website!).  The trophy figures are depicted in ironic and sometimes hilarious configurations, but to be honest at the time I was too mesmerized by the technical prowess displayed in the paintings to fully perceive their content.

Duncan's trophy paintings put me into a full-on "OOOH SHINY" trance - even though they are not actually shiny.  Her painterly rendering of metal is just that good.  And I really want to know how she gets her colours to sizzle like that!  The paintings have a searing, radiant glow that I wouldn't have thought possible - and I say this as someone intimately familiar with fluorescent paint, metallic paint, and glitter. 

Now that I'm at home on my laptop and not distracted by OMG big bright shiny painting in the sun OMG, I'm able to appreciate the trophy paintings for their subject matter, too (two golden figurines doin' it missionary style!  A golden lady with her golden dog!).  I'm also able to tear myself away from the shiny and check out Duncan's other series, Foes and Follies.  These are beautifully rendered depictions of children's toys, set up in tableaux as though children had just finished (or started?) playing with them.  Why did these hypothetical children arrange the toys like that?  What kind of game were they playing, and why did they stop playing it?  That's up to the viewer to decide.

Jane Duncan's website is here if you'd like to see pictures of her work or find out where to see it in person...and if you like what you see but don't have the budget to buy an original painting, you can buy one of her art books here or here!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Since the Toronto Cat Rescue doesn't know my cat Birch's actual date of birth (they found him abandoned on the street), they randomly assigned him July 15th.  He's (probably, as far as a vet can figure out) four now.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIRCHY!

To celebrate, I'm giving him a pouch of fancy wet cat food.  Also, The Boy has just finished stuffing his flirty little nightie with fake boobs and serenading Birch with "Happy Birthday, Feline Resident" in a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice.

Yeah, I know odds are 364:1 that it's not Birch's actual birthday.  Also, I know that cats don't have any concept of birthdays and to him this is just "Hey, wet food!  Awesome!  Why is Daddy singing?".  But he's a cherished member of the family and this is as good a day as any to let him know how much we love him.

Life is too short to take people (or pets) for granted.  You should go tell someone how much you love them, too. 



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shoutout Sunday: Dorion Scott

This weekend, The Boy and I and another friend went to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, held in the park outside City Hall.  There were tons of amazing artists there, but my personal favourite had to be Dorion Scott.

Dorion Scott's work is clean and dramatic, and also big - I think the pieces at the exhibition were all around 36"x48".  While the style of the paintings is realistic, the content is surreal (black butterflies nailed to a wall; a raven in flight, holding the string of a little gold key in its beak) - making me think of a gothic Rene Magritte*.

If I had a) an income and b) any wall space whatsoever, I would so purchase an original Dorion Scott for my very own.  As it is, I'll have to content myself with ogling the beautiful work on Scott's website and blog...and making sure everyone I know is aware of this amazing artist!

*Magritte is one of the only artists I remember from high school art history class.  I remember him because his paintings totally rocked my world!  You may know him as "that guy with the apples".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sandals: the Great Equalizer

I have big feet for a chick.  They're also wider than average, so I've mostly given up on women's shoes and buy a men's size 10 instead.  Even a men's 10 will often fit awkwardly, though; I think my huge wide feet must also be kind of funny-shaped.

When I put on my Buick-sized men's oxfords and clomp outside, I can't help noticing that pretty much every woman I see is wearing distinctly feminine footwear - often something fancy and fashionable enough that it can't possibly come in unusual sizes*.  And I start believing that Mother Nature must have completely standardized the shape of the female foot...for everyone but me.

Then summer comes, everyone starts wearing sandals, and suddenly I have X-ray vision.  Shoes don't have tops on them anymore!  I can plainly see that almost nobody's foot is the same shape as the rubber sole it's resting on!  Women are walkin' around with a full inch of space between their toe-tips and the end of their sandal, or with their preturnaturally long second toes gripping the edges of the soles like fleshy pink talons.  Some women's toes are attached on such a steep diagonal that their big toes are near the edge of the sandal sole but their little toes are like three inches away.  Some women's toes go so straight across that their little toes are almost falling off the edge of their sandals because of the way the soles taper in.

There is no "standardized foot" - only (somewhat) standardized shoes.  Everyone is just buying whatever size doesn't actively maim them and then making do as best they can.

I feel better now. :)

*Note to small-footed people: for those of us who need a shoe bigger than a women's 10, the choices are generally very limited, very generic, and often very orthopedic-looking.  Unless we go to a store aimed at crossdressers, in which case we can buy all the enormous Lucite stripper-heels we could ever want.  Which in my case is "zero" but to each her own.