can't stop the weird smell

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I’ve Come Second To Porn, A Philly Cheesesteak And A Football Game, But Never A Dog

In categorically uncategorized. on July 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

While cooking dinner with Mr. LA the other night, he casually mentioned that there was something he needed to talk to me about. I bristled, narrowed my eyes and started chopping broccoli with rapt precision. Any time Mr. LA wants to broach a subject he suspects I might have a bad reaction to, he always adopts an air of grand insouciance. Busying himself with a droopy chicken thigh he told me, “My ex-girlfriend was wondering if I would look after her dog while she’s away on vacation.”

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

I put the knife down on the counter (which wasn’t necessarily my first instinct).  I shot him a withering glare. He then proceeded to quickly ramble on that it-makes-sense-because-she-lives-close-by-and-well-she-only-has-two-friends-both-are-busy-and-can’t-take-care-of-it-and-well-a-kennel-you-know…

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

Let’s put aside the fact that ex-girlfriends animals make me asthmatic and break out into hives. Instead, let’s focus on the gall of this woman (which upon further reflection could be the one of the underlying reasons for her limited social circle[i]) of asking such a favour. I mean, seriously.  Even the chicken thigh looked aghast. Her intrepid boldness leads me to believe that she doesn’t quite understand the difference between a friend who is a friend and a friend who is an ex.

They’re not the same.

Looking after someone’s pet is an intensely personal favour. It’s a huge commitment for my boyfriend (not to mention a massive inconvenience for me). It’s a favour that should be reserved for close friends and/or current paramours. Not your ex-boyfriend. And definitely not the ex-boyfriend who is in a relationship. The fact that she elected to ask Mr. LA is completely and utterly disrespectful towards me. She is trying to stake a claim for a part of my boyfriend that she isn’t entitled to any more.  What’s next? Picking up her tampons? Driving her to the airport? Neck massages?

My boyfriend told her that he wouldn’t be able to do it. And just because I like to hammer a point until it’s dead, I told him that for future reference, I refuse to come second to an ex-girlfriend’s dog. He shot me an exasperated look and said that if he had done it, we would’ve found a “compromise. “

I don’t compromise with ex-girlfriends dogs.

But I would’ve been gracious enough to pop by his place to wish him and the dog a happy life together.

Then “accidentally” left the back door open.


[i] Is the dog included in her friend count?


My Definition Of Normal Could Include Sheep Droppings

In categorically uncategorized. on July 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Seven months of dating Mr. LA and it’s been relatively low drama. Needless to say, I’m suspicious. No one is this normal for this long. I expressed my concern over his normalcy to my friend over lunch. She shot me a bemused look and dryly commented, “He’s probably been using this time to ramp up his weirdness.”

Oh my god. I never even thought of that.

I started to fret (my friend rolled her eyes).

What if I come home one day and find him hiding in behind my shower curtain outfitted in an ass-less Little Bo’ Peep costume poised to beg for some discipline training because, like a bad boy, he lost all his sheep?

My dubiety is not unsubstantiated. It’s hard to recalibrate one’s normal compass when their past is littered with men who don’t come home at night because they prefer to sleep on a bench in an underground shopping concourse (eluding security by hiding in a faux forest next to Booster Juice), or they are maintaining a “long-distance” relationship with their ex-girlfriend (an alcoholic single mother of four) by posing as a world-traveling soldier (I was particularly interested in how he was going to send her a homemade bottle of wine from Portugal when the greatest distance I had ever seen him travel was from the bathroom to the couch).

Then there was the ex who revealed that while I was away auditioning for grad schools, he had gotten another woman pregnant (his ex-girlfriend, an endomorphic heap of impassivity).  When the shock subsided and I was able to sputter out the words “you asshole,” he shot me an apoplectic grimace before hissing, “Listen, I didn’t sleep with her because I enjoyed it. I slept with her for science! Clearly, you are too immature to understand the difference!” I may have only been 23,  but I was mature enough to identify a steaming pile shit of when I saw one.

Fortunately, the man I dated after him was less science and more romance. We dated for a year before he dumped me out of the blue (I later found out his mid-life crisis was taking him all over the internet in a desperate quest for group sex). He tried to woo me back into his arms by writing a three page Lord Byron-esque love letter that outlined how wonderful I was, how wrong he was and the glorious future we would have ahead of us – if I just took him back.  Two days later, he asked for the letter back, “I don’t think I feel that way anymore,” he said sheepishly.  “My mom made me write it.”

Whether Mr. LA is actively concocting a mind-blowing spectacle of weirdness to bowl me over or he just happens to be the sanest man I’ve ever met,   I’ve learned that it’s wise to keep an eye out for sheep droppings. Just in case.

Revised: Funky Skunky Sex Romps OR Am I The Only Person In The World Not Having Group Sex?

In categorically uncategorized. on July 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

There are few things I find more irritating than a man who is friends with his ex.

And invariably, they are always quite smug about it. As if it makes him better than those of us who want to melt our exes down into adhesive. As if him telling me that he’s “friends” with his ex will suddenly elevate his standing in the booboise.

Mr. Ripples[i] was friends with his ex. She was his “interior decorator.” With a key to his place.  She also happened to be a minister with the Church of the Universe; an order that considers pot a sacrament and promotes “nudity as a demonstration of human equality.”

Surprisingly, I found that only slightly less threatening than her being a former model.

However, he did make sure to tell me, quite emphatically, that they “hadn’t slept together in five years!”

Colour me dubious.

What guy isn’t tapping the stoned, skinny bitch running around naked in his apartment? Once I was the drunk, regular-sized bitch running around topless in a guy’s apartment and he definitely copped a feel.

Mr. LA is friends with his exes too. All of them. But it’s his most recent that really chafes my ass. She’s French and an artist (Oh, excuse-moi, I meant artiste).

“But she’s crazy!” was Mr. LA’s unhelpful reassurance[ii] (I don’t necessarily know if being French contributes to her “crazy,” but as a general cultural observation, I don’t think it helps).

While information on her and the particulars of their relationship is relatively spotty, it was over drinks with Mr. LA and a mutual friend of his and the cocotte that a most nettlesome piece of information was revealed:

She’s hip to group sex.

One can only speculate as to why this mutual friend felt it would behoove me to know that at a recent party, she instigated an orgy in the bedroom.

Following a cunning Gallic with a suspect degree of sanity is daunting enough. But sexually adventurous one?

When a guy tells you that he’s friends with his ex, the subtext isn’t, “See how sophisticated I am? I can break up amicably with a woman and still maintain a mature friendship.” The subtext is, “I’m keeping my options open just in case she wants to get back together.

Or she needs a spare for a ménage a trois.

[i] Remember Mr. Ripples? For those of you who don’t, he was a firefighter. And smelled farty.

[ii] Oh yeah. We all know how guys don’t care for “crazy” women. Especially in bed.

Deconstructing The Fantasy Boyfriend: The Musician

In categorically uncategorized. on July 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

Fantasy boyfriends. We all have them. The men we dream about dating: doctors, scientists, explorers, pilots, brilliant academics. Some are better than others. Let’s start with the worst: Musicians.

Musicians are not men. They are people who happen to be male. It’s not that they can’t do things that real men can do like change a light bulb, hold down a job, buy you dinner or discuss topical issues of the day, it’s just that they don’t really need to.

Light bulbs are unnecessary. Their talent can illuminates a room. There is no time for day jobs because they’re already performing three hours a week. And besides, “What if I get suddenly need to go on tour? Then I’m just going to have to quit, anyway.”

And dinner? No need to go out. He’s already eaten. By the way, you’re running low on potato chips. Would you mind picking up a few things for him at the grocery store? (He’s helpfully jotted them down for you on the notepad beside the fridge.)

Fortunately, the sparkling conversation always makes up for their oblivion to housewares, generating income and dining-out. You will often be bowled over by thought-provoking inquiries on topics such as aesthetics, sexual rites and current affairs: Are they more handsome on a Tuesday or Friday? How do you feel about giving him a blow job in ladies room at Starbucks? Didn’t you find his performance at [insert any dive bar] far superior than Michael Buble’s recently released DVD, “Live at Madison Square Gardens?”

Admittedly, before I started dating a musician, I didn’t fully understand what it took to be an artist of his caliber (I mean, do you know how hard it is to win a Juno?!). For example, as a Great Talent, you must spend hours a day cultivating your gift through technical exercises that foster introspective thought and creativity.  These, to the layperson, are known as video games.

One must dedicate at least nine hours a day to this activity as it gives the artistic mind a chance to weave through the creative process, somersaulting and churning out important cultural contributions to society. Time spent with great literature can also facilitate artistic growth. No one can dispute the creative benefit reaped from reading about the adventures of two men named Lorenzo and Florin who roam around Middle Earth pretending not to be gay.

When a musician takes a girlfriend, it’s because he needs an administrator, a cheerleader and somewhere to sleep (only the untalented pay rent). His career aspirations become your part-time job because he is simply too absorbed in Lorenzo and Florin to go out and hustle up some gigs, update his website, return his manager’s call or brush his teeth.

Eventually, the glamour of being musician’s girlfriend fades.  The evenings hanging around other musicians who have no discernible source of income, the babysitting of the men with no discernible income, but who always seem to have money for alcohol. (Theirs, not yours.) There is attending all the fancy performances in places that smell like feet and perfunctory sexual relations. (Is it possible your face has become permanently frozen in feigned admiration?)  Then there are the nights in the studio where he comes home at 3AM, drunk and wants to engage you in an earnest discussion about how his new album is going to change the world. And would you mind undoing his shoelaces because he can’t seem to find his feet.

When you break it off with them (and you will), they will be confused. But only momentarily. For it suddenly becomes clear that you never really understood their genius and how important their music is to Canada.

Or Middle Earth.

I Don’t Care What You Say, You CAN Get An STD From A Barstool. Not To Mention Lumpy Drooling Strangers

In categorically uncategorized. on June 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm

It was a hard invitation to turn down.

It came from my ex-boyfriend: a boorish, arrogant jackass with a penchant for dirty dames and seedy spots.

Once I managed to claw myself back from recoiling in horror, I mustered up the composure to reply, “Thank you for the invitation. Mr. LA and I would’ve been delighted to accompany you and your friend (a transgendered prostitute) to watch your current girlfriend (a Russian stripper) perform. Unfortunately, we have plans that evening.”

While there isn’t a doubt in my mind that an evening with Our Lady of Omsk et al would inspire tomes of literary output, the thought of subjecting myself to a) an evening with my ex, b) navigating through awkward conversation and much eye-diverting and c) worrying whether or not I could catch Chlamydia from a barstool filled me with repulsion. Not to mention the biggest issue of them all:

I hate strip clubs.

My jaundiced view towards strip clubs isn’t a moral objection. If you want to make a living taking your clothes off or fucking lumpy sweat-addled strangers, I applaud your dedication to Brazilian waxes every ten days (once a month is more than enough for most of us) and the buttressing of the sulfa drug industry.

I hate strip clubs because they make those of us who keep their clothes on in public feel bad about ourselves.  But only when your boyfriend decides to go visit one. The rest of the time we regard these establishments with haughty indifference.

Mr. LA recently found himself at a strip club. When I received the 2:31AM text six hours later informing me of this fact, I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. Suddenly I felt fat, ugly and incapable of providing him or any man with the excitement, arousal and frisson that strippers “clearly” deliver.

But, I remained calm and dispassionate. On the outside, that is. On the inside, my logic, intellect and female irrationality emotionalism were waging a rancorous war.

If you tell a man, “It hurts me when strange women shake their tits in your face,” men immediately interpret that as, “Why does my girlfriend always tell me what to do?” And when men think you’re telling them what to do, they start to resent you. And then it’s a short route from the strip club to another sympathetic boob ear.

But what truly vexes me is how did bunch of coked out, emotionally scarred, under-educated women destabilize the clout we have with our partners?

Fucked if I know. The mainstreaming of porn? Men trying to find ways to assert their masculinity in a society that emotionally equalizes the genders? Glitter body spray?

And it’s hard to articulate what you’re feeling to a man because there really isn’t a parallel comparison. Women generally aren’t sexually aroused by male strippers. They’re funny and kitschy, but not necessarily sexy. In fact, most men would not be threatened in the slightest at the thought of their girlfriend watching a miscellany of nude men parade down a catwalk deftly wagging their member for a throng of screaming women.

Men, consider the following scenario:

Girls night out. Several men of ordinary handsomeness park themselves at the table next to your girlfriend and her friends. Obviously successful, they are funny, well-built, affable and start sending over drinks. Your girlfriend starts talking to one of them. He’s funny. And attentive.  And interesting. He buys her another drink (Guys, are you piqued yet?).  He says something funny; she bursts into a peel of laughter. He gently puts his hand on her thigh. She takes a few moments before she slowly brushes it away.

Men have more physical contact with a stripper than just a hand on their thigh, and yet the above situation would be enough to trigger jealousy and suspicion.  How does $20 buy a boyfriend a privilege (touching a sticky naked woman) and yet it’s the barroom flirtation that calls into question the issue of fidelity. Namely, ours.

The ubiquitous double standard.

Almost as irritating as my ex.


Originally published February 2011

the rot is gone, but the smell lives on.

In categorically uncategorized. on June 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm

welcome back.

When Music And Muscles Collide: Mr. Ripples Goes To A Recital

In categorically uncategorized. on June 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Yes. The shock of seeing Mr. Ripples at my recital almost knocked the high A right out of me.

And while I loathe to give him credit for anything, I do have to give him teeny-tiny props for this one. Back when we were dating, he did say he was going to attend.  And despite being dickhead of astronomical proportions, there is one thing that Mr. Ripples always kept: his word (Probably because he doesn’t keep his “word” in his pants). And while his attendance last night didn’t necessary soften my vitriol, I was touched by the show of support. Very few out of my collection of “Men Who Have Seen Me Naked” have ever come to watch me sing.

“Wow, that was amazing” he exclaimed,”I had no idea opera was so interesting! I would love to see you in a fully-staged production.”

What a lovely compliment. As singers, we are always striving to bring more money people to the art form.

“Yes, of course. I’ll let you know the next time I sing.” I replied. Nonchalantly.

“Yeah. I had a hard-on for your entire performance.”

Then again, one less ticket sale isn’t going to make a difference.

Originally published November 2010


“The Man With Many Interests Is An Uninteresting Man” – Fesche Lola, Proverbs 5:14

In categorically uncategorized. on June 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm

“The Man With Many Interests.” He is the man who enthusiastically participates in numerous activities throughout the week. Mondays: flag football, Tuesdays: ultimate frisbee, Wednesdays: cooking class, Thursdays: softball, Fridays: euchre. In addition to his scheduled excursions, he also enjoys rollerblading, spin class, lifting weights, going to the movies, Wii, reading The Economist and People, cottaging, trying new restaurants and listening to public radio.

The Man With Many Interests is also very interested in dating. Dating gives him a weekly forum to discuss his wide repertoire of interests with a new and captive audience.

And captive you will be upon your first encounter.  Dazzled, in fact.  A man who can effortlessly recite facts about canoes, polenta and radio documentaries and who engages such a wide array of physical activity? (Do you know anyone whose athletic skillset encompasses both ultimate frisbee AND Guitar Hero?)  He might be The Most Interesting Man You Have Ever Met.

You can hardly believe that you’re out on a date with him.

Eager to unravel more, you forge deeper into the conversation. Suddenly, a startling discovery: His conversational repertoire is completely devoid of funny anecdotes and personal observations. Why? There are none. Facts consume him: Did you know there are fourteen players over 40 on his co-ed volleyball team? And that his flag football league has an 8-week season as opposed to three years ago when it used to be nine.  Oh, and did you know that Heineken is the only beer in a keg you can purchase from the liquor store? I know. Interesting.

What The Man With Many Interests is NOT interested in is you. But that’s okay. Because you lost interest in him 90 minutes ago somewhere between how to distill your own vodka and hypoallergenic yarn. You stifle a yawn. He senses the shift in dynamic and becomes aggrieved. But only for a moment. For then it hits him, if you are bored by all the interesting things he does, clearly it is you who is the uninteresting one, NOT him. Awkward pause. Very awkward. You try and move the conversation along by telling him about the time you were trapped in a Greek wildfire. He shoots you a look of pity because that story doesn’t even come close to his gripping Tonsillectomy of ’96.

The bill doesn’t come soon enough. And when it does, he finds it very interesting that gin and tonics are $3 cheaper here than his favourite bar in Etobicoke. And that once he was in Markham and paid $11 for one, but he thinks it might have been a double. And did you know that he can drink a gin and tonic AND a mojito and not throw up? I know. Interesting.

The Man With Many Interests: The Most Uninteresting Man You Have Ever Met.



An Open Letter To The Older Firefighter I Wish I Had Dumped Immediately After Discovering He Still Had a Hard-On For “Atlas Shrugged.”

In categorically uncategorized. on June 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for taking the time to dump me via text. Bold, courageous and tasteful are a few adjectives I can use to describe your thoughtful message:

“I know it’s perfectly cowardly to do this via text but I am feeling a moment of honest clarity and I feel I must tell you that I don’t think you should see me any more.”

A moment of honest clarity? I’m touched that you spent a “moment” to grapple with the issue. Didn’t we just speak five hours ago? Wasn’t that you prattling on about how you couldn’t wait to see me? And don’t get me started on all the texts. Proust wrote less than you. (This might be a good time to bring up the problem with your “remembrance of things past.” I didn’t mention it before because memory loss, especially for a man your age, can be a sensitive issue. Incidentally, what was it like having a Roman chariot as your first vehicle?)

Then again, perhaps I was mistaken. I might have been talking to someone else. I have been spending a lot of time in hot yoga. I’ve sweat out many things. The ability to read call display may have been one of them.

Nevertheless, you are absolutely correct. I should not see you any more. But not for the reason cited in your subsequent text:

“I’m very sorry. It has nothing to do with compatibility, communication, attraction, nor any of the other usual suspects. It has only to do with my inability to remain faithful to any one person.”

Oh. You’re a slut. Someone call CNN and have them update their news crawl: Firefighter admits to promiscuous proclivities! But, you are correct. That is a very good reason for why YOU think I should not see you anymore.

But MY reasons for not seeing YOU are much better:

1. You are a staunch self-proclaimed Objectivist who “practices” Tantra. (Did anyone else just hear Ayn Rand’s blood-curdling scream from the hereafter?) Just because you’ve read “over twenty books on tantric sex” doesn’t mean you are manifesting and channelling divine energy. It just means you’re a self-righteous capitalist who hides his horndog tendencies in an ancient body of beliefs you clearly do not understand.

2. Sometimes you smell strange. You know, like in a farty way? I don’t know how you can fix that. Fewer acidic beverages? Less farty activities? A bar of Irish Spring?

3. How many times are we going to talk about your “non-ejaculatory orgasms?” And when was I going to see one? For a guy who claimed to only have ejaculatory orgasms once every three months, you seemed to really…Um…Maybe there was some confusion over how many days are in a month.  Mine generally have 30-31 days. Yours appear only to have three.

4. You eat bananas. I fucking hate bananas.

5. The following items were always in your car: a bottle of mouthwash (useful), your old wedding ring (weird) and a feather attached to a stick (creepy). And you kept unwrapped pieces of gum in your ashtray (gross).

I would also feel remiss if I didn’t mention that for someone who has read at least “twenty books,” you didn’t know what “gossamer” meant nor did you understand any of the caption humour on (But thanks for the link to “cats that look like Hilter.” Oh yeah. That was hilarious. Or should I say, heil-arious).

I would however, like to extend my apologies for not giving you a dramatic finale to our relationship. I guess I could’ve made an effort to sprinkle a little psycho on our break-up by mailing you the severed head of something. Like the toothbrush you left at my place, perhaps? I guess I could’ve called you incessantly filling your voice mail with hang-ups and plaintive pleas.  I guess I could’ve demanded to see you in person, my cheeks stained with tears as I begged you to reconsider. But that really isn’t my style. I save my crazy for the guys with doctorates. Standards are important. Well, for some people, anyway.



Originally published Oct. 2010