Sunday, March 29, 2009

"I am a Deeply Superficial Person"

Today I went to see a showing of Andy Warhol's work in what could be one of the least expected places you could imagine--the Children's Museum in Kitchener, Ontario. It's been there for weeks now and I finally got around to going--and boy, am I glad I did!

I'll be honest--my expectations weren't very high. I mean really--Kitchener? How much Andy Warhol stuff could they possibly get?

As it turns out, quite a lot.

Marilyn was there in all her glory, and Mick. And of course the ubiquitous Campbell's soup can. But so was Venus. And Santa Claus. And stuff he did for kids that I'd never even heard of.

In addition to a surprisingly large and comprehensive collection of his work, there were black and white photographs taken of the goings on at his famous Factory featuring all the regulars and their shinannigans. The museum had also re-created the Factory for kids to make their own screenprinted Warhol-inspired works of "art."

So the moral of this story is this; great things can happen in K-W and if you find yourself in this backwater I strongly urge you to check this out. You'll be glad (and pleasantly surprised) you did.

P.S. The Children's Museum also has a fabulous organic cafe called eXhibit. I recommend the grilled cheese.

Friday, March 20, 2009

All Right, Mr DeMille, I'm Ready for My Close-up

I have had unhappy skin for the last week and a half. I ran out of my favourite facial moisturizer and I've had to use my backup moisturizer and while it is adequate, it just isn't nearly as wonderful as my usual stuff.

When I discovered this particular moisturizer it was as though a whole new world opened up to me. I don't mean to hyperbolize here, but you don't understand how much money I've wasted trying to find something that my sensitive skin would not only tolerate, but embrace like a long-lost relative. This stuff makes my skin soft as a baby's bottom and it evens and smooths my skin like nothing else I've tried (and I've tried a lot of stuff!)

For the last week and a half I've looked on helplessly as my skin began to betray me. I started noticing it's texture losing it's smoothness, variations in colour becoming more apparent and even a little (gasp!) acne showing up and it's not even my period!

This morning all that changed. Last night after work I visited the drug store to finally pick up a new bottle and lo and behold the stuff was on sale! Ten bucks off! So I lavished my poor face with attention, applying both last night before bed and this morning after my shower and it was like the last 10 days had never happened!

Well, to my face anyway.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Any Excuse to Celebrate!

Today marked the day I had my 3000th visitor to my blog! This anonymous individual arrived at my blog via Mindy's and lives somewhere in Canada and accesses the interwebs via Roger's. How do I know all this? I'm psychic!

Actually, that's not true. It's because I subscribe to a stat counter. See that little green icon at the very bottom left of my blog? Waaaaaay down, all the way down at the bottom? It says, "sitemeter." Click on that and you'll see how many visitors have been on my blog and if you click on the "recent visitors, by location" link on the left hand side you'll see where these visitors come from. It's pretty fucking cool!

I love my site counter--it's cool to see the strange Google searches that bring people to my blog (and I also like to know if My Honey has been to check it out recently--hellooo cyber stalking!) It also serves as a great ego boost when I get to feeling like nobody cares about what I have to say and I start to question my value as a human being in general. I like when I see new people coming along and spending 5 minutes browsing my posts, but I like even more that all you regulars (you know who you are) keep coming back to read me time after time even though most of my posts are rambling crap. Yes, I am fishing for compliments.

Anywhoo, I just wanted to share this little success with you and thank you all for your continued support of my self-indulgent dream of become famous on the interwebs. 3000 visitors can't be wrong!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Someone's Trying to Justify My Rent Increase

They're painting the unit doors in my apartment building this week (they being the ubiquitous "they" who are responsible for making decisions about these types of things.) Well, doors and "frs" to be exact. I was a little confused by the sign, partly because I didn't know what "frs" were and also because I couldn't understand why (assuming "frs" is a shortened form of something) the entire word wasn't spelled out as there was ample room on the sign for more than 3 letters.

So then I started thinking maybe "frs" was actually an extremely abbreviated version of a much longer word that wouldn't fit on the sign, like "furnitures" or "fornicators" or "forefathers." But none of these really made any sense so I assumed, probably like everyone else, that "frs" was "frames." Doors and frames.

Three days into the exercise someone finally cleared the whole thing up once and for all by writing in pen "floors" below "frs" on the sign in the elevator. Well there you go then.

So far I haven't seen any paint on the floors, but maybe they're just covering their bases in case they spill some.

Thank goodness they're not painting the fornicators! How would I explain coming into work covered in gray paint?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth!?

I'm finding the North American obsession with oral hygiene a bit unsettling. Obsessiveness in general is unsettling, but the part that really creeps me out is how my mouth is depicted as a cesspool of bacteria, germs and unsightly stains, not fit for exposure to other human beings. I'm often told I have a dirty mouth, but it's generally meant in a more figurative sense than a literal one.

I can't seem to sit though a commercial break in my favourite TV programs anymore without being beaten over the head with images of giant teeth dripping slimy purple-brown goo and magnified alien-like bacteria pulsating and wriggling like Jell-o. But thanks to the modern miracle of CGI, the "hero" in these epics is often just as creepy as the (alleged) bad guys.

Consider the mouthwash with the pink "liquid men" splashing around in your mouth--doesn't that just give you the willies? Or the other one that promises to "Stop gingivitis before it starts, " which makes gum disease sound more like an eventuality than a possibility. These scare tactics are meant to convince me I can't live a normal life without their products, but the thought of using them makes me want to scream with terror.

I guess what really offends me about these ads for fancy toothpaste, motorized toothbrushes, gingivitis-fighting mouthwash--and most importantly, teeth whiteners--is the insinuation that my mouth is naturally diseased and defective and without the intervention of these innovative and high-tech products I'm doomed to a life of pain and suffering, both physical and psychological. My $2.49 toothbrush and $3.79 toothpaste just aren't gonna cut it--in fact, it's irresponsible of me to even be using them!

I guess I'd better stock up before they're all recalled and taken off the store shelves. If they're that ineffective, one would assume a responsible company concerned with my oral health wouldn't want to taint their reputation by selling products that don't work. Right?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Adventures in Medical Malpractice

For those of you who have been following my "tweets" you'll have noticed a few panicky references to my Mom recently. She was diagnosed with stage 4 metastasized breast cancer in November 2006. Remarkably, and with a blatant disregard for logic and convention, she's still alive and living a relatively normal life despite more broken ribs than a rugby player and tumors in most of her major organs.

I wish I could say her amazing situation is a credit to the medical profession but I can't. In fact, it seems the medical profession has made it their mission to bring her down. Her family doctor ignored her complaints about shortness of breath and other symptoms for over a year despite knowing she is a breast cancer survivor and anything but a complainer. When the misogynistic bastard finally did get around to testing her blood, it was too late to cure the advanced progression of the cancer which had spread to her bones, lungs, liver and pancreas.

I must admit she has been receiving wonderful care since then, both from her new local doctors and her oncologist and the nurses at Sunnybrook Hospital. However the tale of medical mistakes isn't over yet.

Just over a week ago, Mom was kitted out with a fancy new morphine pump which replaced some of her oral morphine medications. Sadly, whoever programmed the pump misinterpreted the dosage and the pump was administering about twice the morphine it was supposed to. My Mom is already taking enough morphine to kill the average person, so this overage sent her into a pretty dramatic and rapid downhill slide that ended up with her being admitted to hospital on Friday night completely unable to walk or even sit up on her own. She was vomiting almost continuously and practically incoherent--I know, I tried talking to her on the phone.

At this point we had no idea what the problem was, only that she was desperately ill and getting worse. She spent Saturday in an ambulance going to and from a larger hospital over an hour away for an MRI and CT scan that could possibly confirm our worst fear--that cord compression was finally taking place and this was the beginning of a very painful end to her struggle with cancer. Sunday she drifted in and out of consciousness most of the day while we anxiously waited for answers.

Finally, early Monday it was discovered that her morphine dose was way too high and they started scaling it back. Immediately she began to improve, even managing to walk the hospital hallway on her own and taking a shower for the first time in days. By the time I talked to her at 9pm she was tired but lucid and looking forward to what would hopefully be her first decent night's sleep in almost a week--the high levels of morphine had turned her dreams into terrifying nightmares.

We still don't know who's responsible for the error in the dosage--we'll likely never know. We're also still waiting to hear the results of the CT scan, but my whole family is relieved beyond measure that she's steadily improving and seemingly back on track to keeping her status as a bona fide miracle.