Loss Vegas.

Started the morning off right.  Making healthy choices from the moment I open my eyes, and still going strong an hour later.  Solid breakfast, supplements, loads of water.  Truth be told, my standard holiday mode can get a little loose, and I have been known to be a imbibe in promiscuous doses. Total food slut. In an attempt to redeem that quality, I am setting a positive tone for a holiday where good choices will be made.  Good thing that I’m headed to Las Vegas-the Thunderdome of bad choices.

Off to the land of liquid calories and I am on self imposed budget. I mean, I’m not under duress,  I walk this path willingly. Recently I had reached out to Beth McBride, owner of Kamloops’ Herbal One. Just to ask a couple casual questions about her services. No big deal. It all happened so fast. There I am, standing on the edge of a pool, looking to dip a toe, and Beth pulled me right on into the deep end. Just get in the water already! 

It’s kind of like learning to swim; splashing and gulping and sputtering, but with a life guard on-hand. I’ve agreed to document this flail fest, and share my journey into a smaller dress size. What a daunting task. How exposing.  It helps to police one’s self when you have to hand over your food journal to a fit and gorgeous blonde woman, who scrunches her face gently when asking whether the bun I documented eating was whole grain. There’s something to be said for having someone beside yourself to be accountable to.

At the airport in Calgary, feeling pretty empowered after declining the complimentary snacks on the way from Kamloops. High on said empowerment, there may have been a breakfast sandwich. It came with little potato sidekicks, glorious little greasy nuggets, made better when plunged into ketchup. I gave half to my husband and relished in my self-restraint. Not yet anywhere near the state of Nevada and already feeling like a real winner. Nor had I really felt the potential pressures of the many caloric delights that awaited me in the City of Sin.

In general, travel is a calorie land mine. Food has an essential, vital role in survival, while good food in my world is an absolute necessity. Benjamin and I remember meals like we remember landmarks and people. It’s connected to a memory. That white fish in Kalbarri, Australia–served with avocado and sweet potato, enjoyed with a gorgeous unoaked white wine; a meal so good that I kind of drunkenly wandered into the kitchen to thank the staff.

The cannelloni with rose sauce, a glass of red wine and the accordionist in New York’s Little Italy.   Ice cold apricot cider, frito pie and freshly made California rolls in Portland; two for one margaritas in Mexico–served on the rocks with all kinds of salt, served with warm chips and guacamole. Sitting on the beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea, right next to a wedding party.  Late night, freshly made donuts in San Francisco. Poutine in Quebec. Room service in Bali, noodles and ice cream sundaes eaten in bathrobes. Fluffy scones served with cream and raspberry jam in Otarahonga, New Zealand. I once had a mocha mousse with a dense dark chocolate foundation with whipped cream and the tartest raspberry coulis that it caused me to burst into fit of giggles. I don’t even remember where I was. The feast was a part of the adventure.

Carbohydrates, chocolates, ciders and cheeses aside, a well made latte is the crowning culinary jewel. Made creamiest on the Southern Hemisphere, there is few more joyous things than a proper latte in a cozy café in a foreign place. There is no glory greater, or luxury grander than a warm mug of espresso and frothy milk in hand.

Something about the memory of feasting makes me want to cry.  It does make me cry. When I think about these moments I am imagine myself being happy. Making yummy noises and eating with my hands.  On holiday and feeling no pain. Fostering that perfect buzz where alcohol makes you feel fuzzy as a kitten.

I have lots of other fond memories: swimming in beautiful bodies of water, walking in spectacular bits of natures, relaxing on beaches, watching the sun go down while standing on a mountain–and that moment when you want to absorb that moment. Drink it in fully. Take it with you when you go. That’s the lure of travel, that’s the high. That’s when the child inside of you who longed for these adventures beams with pride. Butterfly stroke in the Indian Ocean, in a little cove off the side of the road–sun kissed and in love, everything you really need tucked in a camper van.  Somewhere between where you always wanted to be and a place you never knew existed.

Still, life is always better when there’s food to pick at. When I think about eating–think of changing the calcified habits that surround that ritual…it is rather tough to swallow. It feels profoundly emotional. Vulnerable even. Food is everywhere. It is social. It is a comfort. It is a gesture. It’s part of the celebration. It also has a way of really sticking to your skeletal structure over time, like tectonic layers of some truly awesome meals.

Of course, not everyday is a holiday and not every meal is yummy noise-inducing. We’ve been on holidays when eating becomes ‘something to do’.  There was this time in Planet Hollywood (yes, Planet Hollywood–my husband’s choice, not mine) in New York and the “everything deep friend platter”. We didn’t need it, it wasn’t very good, and it was kind of expensive. The server, who had up to this point been quite pleasant, brings the billfold on the table, smiles sincerely before very seriously reminding us that we were in America, and in America you tip. Ewwww.  I tip well when the moment is merited, but telling me to do something makes me not want to do it.  I wrinkled my nose at that one. It was not a minty compliment to an otherwise fine meal.  The whole thing felt like a huge mistake.

I know ‘food envy’ is a commonly known sentiment, but to me, there’s nothing worse than food regret.  I wish I never knew you calories. They weren’t special like the rest.  When the feasting makes a rather seedy affair out of a once promising romance. And the day to day act of feeding one’s self can feel like such a chore. That’s why I was so thin when I was single and living alone; I was living off of restaurant food from waitressing jobs, fruit and spoonful’s of cottage cheese, eaten out of the tub over the sink. Having a husband has been a shock to the ole eating plan. Mainly that he cooks a solid 90% of the meals that we ate. During my busy periods, if it were up to me to feed him, all he’d get is two sugar packets and apology note. I think of myself as busy now, but I used to be much busier, going straight from work to a rehearsal/meeting/project, buying food on the go. Eating what my husband made, at nine o’clock at night. Time goes by and that adds up becoming another layer you one day wish to shed. Every day that desire to change is alive and well–but then I leave my house and face the outside world. Good intentions unravel, meals are skipped, blood sugars dip, more coffee than water, and go-go-go for ten to twelve hours straight and then eating a big meal on the couch–watching Netflix with bleary eyes. Sleep, wake, repeat. Tired and over-scheduled, there were so many moments where I had to wish to make a change, but feeling stunted as to how. The wishing would evaporate like fog on a glass.

So…Las Vegas, one week into a weight loss journey. There were some wins and losses. Ate too little on the first day (should have eaten all of those hash browns!) and then was befallen by a $20.00 Michael Jackson themed drink at a Cirque du Solei show.   It was like a shot gun blast of intoxication. One minute I am enjoying the plethora of glittery dancers on stage, the next minute I realize that if I close one eye, that there are significantly less dancers on stage.

I hate getting drunk like that.  I don’t have the stamina to reach that level of drunkness and continue on with my night a la The Hangover. I just want a grilled cheese sandwich and a pillow for my head.  Due to my death by MJ cocktail, I proceeded with caution with the booze henceforth. Probably for the best.  The adage of ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ does not apply here, as the weight scale is nothing but a dirty little snitch.

On the last night of the trip, before a glamorous showgirls performance, my travel companions and I went to The Buffet. Who needs a clever name when you have every food under the sun in one room? I loaded up half my plate with salad and wandered around the space judiciously before settling in with my choices. I took two very long and luxurious laps around the space instead of getting a second plate. My arm linked into my friend’s, ogling the feast as we wandered through the edible museum. Anything you could ever want to eat was right within reach. It didn’t belong to me, I didn’t feel a responsibility to consume it. No envy, no regrets. There may have still been dessert.

Images Courtesy of the Fine People of the Internet

Carbohydrate Brokeback Mountain

I call my husband “The Bear” and it’s a nickname that’s started to stick.  As with most nicknames, it spawns spin-off expressions.  He calls me “Goat”, or on occasion “Sheltland Goat”, with many variations.  Once in a silly mood, I called him ‘chunky bear‘ and the sound of it made me giggle. Obviously, he didn’t care for it, as it does imply that he is ‘chunky’.  It was not an often used name, but it does come out now and again.  Truth is; winter has come and so has the carbohydrates; we’re both feeling a little soft around the edges.

therightcarbs_heroStanding in the walk-in closet, attempting to pack for our last minute trip to Vancouver.  I catch an unflattering glimpse of myself.  Well..not like seeing an unflattering glimpse of myself is the equivalent of aurora borealis. It’s not rare to catch a glimpse in the mirror and feel varying degrees of dissatisfaction.  I’m not Victoria’s Secret, I’m not even her dirty little secret.  I’m not really their market audience.  I’ve got itty-bitties up top and then all the action is down below.  As I always say, my thighs are Godzilla and my calves Tokyo.  I lean into the mirror.  Oh crap.  Has my face gotten fat? Am I looking a little puffy?

Kim-Kardashian-instagram-selfie-2461622I implore my husband for some consolation. “Aww…” he says,chuckling a little and pinching my cheeks: “My chunky-goat-wife”.  I took this remark like an absolute champ.

Jenni-in-a-Calmer-Moment‘Chunky goat wife?’ Scientists couldn’t extract adorability from it and a public relations expert couldn’t spin it into a frothy confection.  At least ‘chunky bear’ sounded a bit like a yummy pastry.  “I’ll have an non fat cappuccino and two chunky bears please”;  at best ‘chunky goat wife’ could be a poorly translated name for a questionable looking hot dish served in the Mongolian mountains.  He really ran with that bit, which is fair I suppose, I did start it. But doesn’t he realize? It’s only funny when I am the one dishing it out. I’d like to keep my plate clean of comebacks thank you.  Needless to say, I spent the next hour pouting, glaring and poking my chin contemptuously.  Then ole Chunky Bear had the nerve to complain that I wasn’t being more helpful with the packing.  Uh, well here’s a tip, if you want your wife’s help, best check yourself before you wreck yourself with the pet names.

f5b7828531a537ab9eb7f44a4272d530I don’t want to be one of those wives that you have to lie to…but I wouldn’t mind being the kind of wife you bend the truth for.  Nod and smile and back away slowly.  That’s how you get it done.  I don’t want to be one of those women who are weight-obsessed.  I am who I am, and my body is shaped as it is.  If it were fifty years ago, my perception of my physical circumstances would be a different story.

ad1Of course, I’d be a fool to say I didn’t wish that I had legs that went on forever.  Truth is, I was curvy even as a little kid.  In my late elementary school days, someone started calling me “Chunky Soup“, saying that like the famous soup line, I too could be eaten with a fork or a spoon.  I didn’t know what that meant…but I was certain it was a nickname Audrey Hepburn never got pegged with.

largeChubby knees, stubby legs and dimply thighs are super cute when you’re a naked toddler running around the backyard.  As one gets older, and possibly more modest, such is best kept under leggings, trousers, pantyhose and A-frame skirts.

Fkowt Don’t get me wrong, I think Lena Dunham is awfully brave.  In her television series “Girls”, she is fearless when it comes to being vulnerable.  Sure, it’s her character Hannah being portrayed in those uncomfortable sex scenes and unflattering rompers, but Dunham is writing herself into these situations. She is deliberately exposing to the cast, crew, professional partners, advertisers and the audience.

Lena-Dunham-nude-topless-bush-sex-Girls-s2e5-2013-hd720p-15 It’s brave, bold, revolutionary, but I wouldn’t participate.  If I was director, writer, star and producer of my popular HBO program, I would have an iron clad nudity and romper policy.  The show would still be brilliant; it would be the new “Girls” which was the new “Sex and the City“.

66301_parker93_122_499loThe main theme on my show would focus on a love triangle between myself, Ryan Gosling and George Clooney; Clooney being a wealthy suitor, and Gosling a young man from the wrong side of the tracks.  They fight for my love and affection, (this will go on for years) and as we slip into old age, the winner gets to repeat the story to me over and over about how I dicked everyone around until I got dementia.  It’s a completely original idea, and it’s going to blow minds.  And never in the years of the beloved series ‘Love Sandwich’ would you see me scantily clad.  I would dress like Katherine Hepburn and in all my love scenes I’ll wear a scuba suit.

hepburnSometimes I think to myself…”I could stand to lose a few pounds”.  And I visualize a montage of myself doing sit ups, and jogging in the streets, and punching large slabs of meat.  I would be so fit.

44-sexy-fit-women-13My problem is…I love bread.  I love cheese, red wine and creamy lattes .  And bread.  I love bread so much that if I was on death row my last meal would just be various types of bread with things to spread, dip and place on top of it.

creepy girl stares at bread and jelly cello54aI used to go to this amazing restaurant when I lived in Victoria where they offered an all you could eat soup deal with the greatest bread ever.  Hot, buttery and pelted with chunks of rock salt.  I could have ordered the special and sent the soup back in the same way my friend Robin does with a wings and beer feature at the local pub.  She wants the cheap wings, but tells the waitress to give the beer to someone else cause she doesn’t want that cheap piss anywhere near her face.


Fair enough, life is short, take only the good stuff.  I don’t even know who this Franz character is but I wish that I were that duck so I could eat all his bread.  Alas, this is a world full of limitations, boundaries, rules and limits.  Bread is a dietary no no, and most would recommend cutting out yeast and flour based products.  My love for bread is like the love in Brokeback Mountain. I just don’t know how to quit you, carbohydrates.  I love you, I hate you, I want you inside my mouth.  (…too much?)

Brokeback Mountain I really can’t remember “Brokeback Mountain”…though I did wind up seeing it twice at the cinema.  But I do remember just sobbing my little heart out.  I meant to re-watch it recently, but got distracted on Netflix and watched “Bring it On” instead.  It was just too sad to watch again. Maybe that’s how I can justify comparing the film to carbohydrates and plump thighs.  It was devastating to me that you could just miss your whole life by not being true to yourself; and for Ennis that was Jack Twist, for me it’s twist bread.

tumblr_md3ixfsZKW1rbear9o1_500Okay, I’m sorry for you situation with the forbidden love and all, but this is my blog and I can say what I want.  I’m comparing your love to my love of bread–deal with it.  In reality, I’m perfectly average. Not Karen Carpenter, not Mama Cass, just somewhere in the middle.  When I look at old photos of myself I balk at how young and slender I looked.   Of course, when that picture was being taken, I had that same voice in my head that compared and criticized.  In a year’s time, I could look at a picture of myself today and think I looked perfectly lovely.  With this in mind, I try to do my future self a favor and look at myself in the present as she would do in hindsight.

fun-house-mirrorImages Courtesy of Google

Sentimental Whack-a-Mole

If you really want to push my buttons, reduce me to tears, make me cry a dozen times, you don’t have to say a word–just turn on “Forrest Gump” and back out of the room slowly; bake for approximately two and a half hours, and return and you will find the gooiest, flakiest, weepiest little pastry inside this cinematic oven.

Ben and I just finished watching “Forrest Gump”, the sentimental 1994 classic film.  And I know that there are some haters out there; I mean, people despise this movie–and people are entitled to their opinion, of course it’s sappy and melodramatic–but people are reviewing it today and accusing it of being cliched.  This movie invented it’s own cliches.

robin_wright_forrest_gumpTo me, this movie is rife with emotional landmines, a sentimental whac-a-mole, a never ending parade poignant moments popping up everywhere, complimented by the best music of it’s era.

Bubba dies–WHAM!


Jenny and Forrest meet in the water at the Washington Monument-WHAM!

water hug

Jenny giving Forrest the peace sign as the bus pulls away; while The Byrds “Turn, Turn, Turn” plays on–WHAM!

Robin Wright Penn
Lieutenant Dan makes peace with God–WHAM!

lt dan

Mama dies–WHAM!

mama fg

And then as the film winds down, the hits come harder and faster.  After the drug abuse, and abusive boyfriends, Jenny comes home! WHAM–happy tears!  And then Forrest asks her to marry him; she says ‘no’, makes love to him in the middle of the night, and then grabs a cab ASAP while ole Forrest is still sleeping, slicked in a post-coital glow.

Ben reckons that this is a “dick move” on Jenny’s part.

And this is where the internet explodes with Jenny-cide, that bitch ran out on him! She’s a tramp! She’s a whore! She’s an addict; a gold digger! Never mind the business with the endless child molestation that set her on this awesome path, she’s the devil, I tell you the devil!  I think Jenny is one of the most tragic cinematic characters; this girl gets a raw deal from the get-go.  Traumatized from years of sexual violence, in an era where one didn’t seek counsel for such things, she had no structure, no self-worth.  She is always running and there lies the symbolism of Forrest relieving his heartbreak by running repeatedly across the country.   Forrest loved her unconditionally, which is the kind of thing that a troubled person runs the hell away from.  So, while the e-naysayers are out there, smack talking this twenty year old classic, claiming that Jenny is a ruinous opportunist, using him for his fortune; I disagree.  She was a single mother, slinging coffee in a diner, she was hardly biding her time to pounce, when Forrest would have had her home all along.  She didn’t want to take advantage; she also told Forrest “You don’t want to marry me”.  She thinks of herself as damaged goods, doesn’t want to be his burden. Jenny reveals that she has some “early 80’s mystery incurable disease” —oh yeah, WHAM! And she dies, leaving Forrest with the kid soon to be in “The Sixth Sense”.

baby gump

And then, just when you can’t take another moment; there’s Forrest Gump’s gravestone monologue, where he expresses all his love and loneliness to his deceased wife.-WH-WH-WHAM!

Some critics are awfully concerned with the film’s message, what the ending means–what Forrest’s life means.  ‘How can he be happy?’  I don’t think the movie ends happily; I think Forrest would spend the rest of his life longing for Jenny; but his life would have purpose in being a parent.  This movie says that stupidity equals redemption–I don’t think this movie says anything about stupidity being good or bad, just that this one man had this life, and was in a sense, lucky.  Forrest Gump is a racist.  That’s my favorite.  This reasoning is that he was named after a KKK leader; but his mother’s rationale is that the name is to remind him that sometimes “people do things that just don’t make no sense”.  Which is a theme that continues throughout the picture.  And also, the fact that Bubba is a black man of limited intelligence; but it’s not questioned as much as Gump’s intelligence–“oh, so we are just assuming that’s he’s stupid because he’s black!” they cry.  No, I don’t think that’s the case at all; if they wanted to explore Bubba’s character, they would have made the movie and called it “Bubba”.  And also, it’s two and a half hours long, they can’t luxuriate over every single minor character–is that reasoning enough for you, those who felt the gay and lesbian community wasn’t properly represented?  Sheesh, what are we wanting from our movies besides engrossing stories and excellent soundtracks–laughter and catharsis.  Listen, I don’t want to force my cinematic agenda down anyone’s throats; but I will leave you with this thought–before Tom Hanks signed on to the film, the role was attached to Chevy Chase and Bill Murray before it was offered to John Travolta, and like Dave Chappelle, who turned down the role of Bubba, has since admitted regret for not being involved.  That’s the beauty of hindsight bitches!  But as it says in the film; we make our own destinies– sometimes by accident, and sometimes by choice, and there’s no way of knowing how it will all shake out, until it’s too late to turn back.

Everyone’s A Critic

Yesterday I was having coffee with my fabulous friend Vivi.  I blogged about him once, about a play he was in.  “Did you see the blog?” I asked him.  “I did…but I really wish it had been more about me…you mentioned me, but then you just made it about you”. (Of course I made it about me, you bitchy queen, it’s my blog). Well, what do you think of the rest of the site?  “Um…I didn’t hate it”.  “You didn’t hate it? That’s all you’ve got?”  “I mean I didn’t regret reading any of them”.


So what you are saying is I wore an adorable pink hat and a lovely brooch to the Olympics, and you don’t regret seeing me in them? Okay Vivi, maybe you are not used to the delicate feminine ego, but you’ve really got to work on your phrasings.  Here are some fun examples of how those words can cut like a knife.

Girl: “I love you”.

Guy: “Um, I don’t hate you”. 

Yea…that is not definitely not love, and it’s not really not like, it’s in this brutal purgatory, that  is the worst place ever–ambivalence.

Girl: “Last night was so amazing…did you enjoy yourself?”

Guy: “Yeah, I mean…I don’t regret sleeping with you”.

Again, in a different context, that too would be one heck of a blow–there’s a lot of things that I don’t regret having to do…but then again I do not enjoy doing it.  What I want from my readers is to enjoy each piece, and go on with their day, happy to have read the daily entry.  And maybe you just won’t be one of those people.

But this is good to know…not everyone is a fan, but everyone is a critic.

x critic

Vivi’s the kind of man that likes comic books, fantasy and fiction–surely the musings of a young woman finding pieces of herself in everything from plays, books and movies must not be his cup.  In fact, we’ve been in bookstores together and his interest in anime and “Walking Dead” comics was lost on me.


Being friends doesn’t mean you have to share interests…and you don’t have to like my blog to be my friend.  But it’s a lesson in having thicker skin…I suppose I’d rather muster up absolute loathing, rather than a disinterested shrug.  It’s that blasé vibe from an animated diva that makes me wonder what the writing is really worth.

ImageImages Courtesy of Google