10 Great Things About Fall (Besides Pumpkin Spice Lattes)

Fall is right around the corner, and you know what that means: crisp weather, colorful foliage, and a barrage of pumpkin-spice themed posts in your newsfeeed.

Source: http://www.someecards.com

I mean, don’t get me wrong- I love a good PSL myself, but there are so many other great things about fall that don’t get nearly the airtime they deserve. Like:

1. No more excessive sweating 

If, like me, you spent the entire summer rocking a solid 10 on the Whitney scale,

then you will undoubtedly be pumped about the cooler weather. No more sweltering subway rides, no more giant pit stains by the time you get to work, no more looking at your hairdryer with murderous intent .

Aaaah.

http://www.shemazing.net

2. Goodbye crop tops and jean shorts, hello layers

and, on a related note:

3. Swimsuit season is officially over

Celebrate with all the pumpkin flavored deliciousness you want because  you’ve got almost a full year before anyone has to see your ass in a bathing suit again.

4. Thigh chafing is a thing of the past

Put away the body glide, ladies and slip yourself into some nice, comfy leggings- because thigh chafing summer dress season is o-vaa.

5. You won’t have to listen to this song on the radio 24/7 anymore

(…..at least until next summer)

6. People will finally stop asking you to go camping

Source: giphy.com

7. Your Instagram feed will contain way less of this:

….not that I follow Justin Bieber or anything

8. Good TV is back

……goodbye outside world.

Source: indiepepper.com

 9. No more constant crowds

No more wading through intense crowds everywhere you go and trying in vain not to photobomb shots of the CN tower.

…and finally:

10.  Stay home guilt-free

No need to feel guilty about missing beautiful days outside anymore- feel free to binge-watching  Netflix and stay home alone to your heart’s content.

Question of the Day: What are you most looking forward to about fall?

Featured post

Confessions of an Urban Eavesdropper

I have a confession to make.

I, BreezyK, am a serial eavesdropper.

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While some might consider this behavior rude, sneaky, or generally unbecoming, I prefer to think of myself as suffering from a rare form of chronic, insatiable curiosity. Eavesdropping, as it happens, is the only known cure.

Fortunately for me, a big city like Toronto is an eavesdropper’s paradise. Every subway ride, every elevator journey, every meal at a shoebox-sized hipster restaurant is a new listening adventure. While most of what I overhear is banal – mundane recounts of traffic, gym sessions, and other hallmarks of everyday urban life-  every so often, I catch a moment of greatness. A bit of salacious gossip, a funny anecdote, or some downright bizarre sh*t that can  keep me going for days. (Or, let’s be honest- at least 20 minutes).

My eavesdropping habit is further magnified by the fact that I live in a high-rise condo building, filled with hundreds of other tenants from all walks of life. While it’s rare that I actually speak to any them, I spend a lot of time observing my neighbours in elevators, hallways and other communal areas; slowly piecing together my own running narratives about their respective lives.

Me, but more discreet.
Me, but more discreet.
  • There’s Mrs. Yang, the elderly Chinese lady who only ever wears three pairs of pajamas (all at once) and I’m convinced is actually a Russian Spy concealing weapons;
  • “Speedo Guy”, a portly, middle-aged Eastern European man who insists on blessing our building’s communal sauna with his commanding presence, spray-tan and perpetually hard-working piece of nylon;

…….and, of course

  • “Shortie Superman”- the muscled, 5’6, Dean-Cain looking dude from my condo gym who I’ve been waging a cold war with  for the past few months now. He never smiles, hogs the freestanding bench, and holds the  TV remote hostage, insisting on playing terrible, testosterone infused programs for the duration of my workout. (I mean, does he not KNOW 7pm is my Real Housewives of Atlanta hour??)
  • Needless to say, I’ve determined that he is a miserable, vengeful asshole who abstains from alcohol and eats only spinach.

Anyhow. While some of these characters I know I’ve got dead on (Speedo Guy for SURE loves European disco music), I worry I’ve rendered others too fanciful (I mean, maybe Mrs. Yang just likes layers?).

As you can see, some surreptitious eavesdropping is often necessary to fill in the gaps.

So, you can imagine my delight when recently, I hit the eavesdropping goldmine. It was around 9pm, and I had just returned  home from a work event. Exhausted and slightly woozy from the firm-sponsored chardonnay, I opened my balcony door to get some fresh air. I was putting together my compulsory two-advil and a tall glass of water nightcap when I heard the unmistakable sound of tortured, emotional voices coming from the balcony of the apartment down the hall.

I immediately rushed to the door to get a better listen:

I’m just, so confused said a frustrated male voice, “I thought you wanted to be in a relationship”

“I did! I mean, I thought I did” replied an apologetic  female voice. “I guess I’m just not ready.”

“But you said you were ready”, he responded “You said I was the one!”.

“I’m just trying to be real with you”, she replied “there are just so many things I want to accomplish”

“Like what?” he asked

“Like, I don’t know… travelling? And like, working on my music?”

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“Oh, you mean your laptop DJ gig?” he countered

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I stole a quick peek outside, and spotted a distressed-looking dude, holding an iphone at a distance.

This sh*t was going down on speakerphone??

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…But something about the compact, glossy haired figure looked familiar, so I edged out a little further,  and confirmed my suspicions. The dumpee was none other than…………. Shortie Superman himself!!!

Just kidding this is a pug. He was actually a man.
(Ok so he wasn’t actually a pug)

I realized that in all of our passive-agressive gym battles, I’d never actually spoken to the guy. But now here I was -listening to one of his most intimate and painful conversations. And I felt kind of bad about it.

…. but bad enough to stop?

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Plus, all those hours of Man vs. Food he made me endure? This dude had it coming.

As I listened to each argument and counterargument unfold (“But I took you to meet my parents!”/”I love you, I’m just not IN love with you”), I realized that every breakup sounds vaguely the same.

One party is all:

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While the other’s like:

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And in spite of myself, I started to feel a little bad for the guy. With every blow she delivered (“You’re gonna find someone great!/Let’s still be friends!”) he seemed less like the evil caricature I created, and more like a real-life human being.

Because let’s be honest- we’ve all been there. And that, my friends, is a deep dark place.

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So maybe next time I see him, I’ll take it easy on the cut-eye and let him watch Swamp People unperturbed. Because God knows, dude could use a break.

Question of the Day: Are you an eavesdropper? Overheard anything good lately?

 P.S.  I changed my blog name and layout. Figured The Ol’ Camel was due for an upgrade. Hope you dig it!

Featured post

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

What do a 10 lb box of condoms, a taxidermy owl and a life-size model of a human throat all have in common?

…………….No, not that, you filthy animals. 

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Well, maybe that. But also this: They are all the subject of hilarious essays in David Sedaris’ new book, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.

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In this, his 7th collection of autobiographical essays and short stories, America’s greatest humorist (IMHO) takes us on a journey from a suburban Costco, to his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, to feeding Kookaburas in the Australian bush- all with the cunning wit and sharp observations of a perpetual outsider.

owls2 A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Sedaris do a reading of this book here in Toronto. It was a bit of a surreal experience for me, because having read all of his books, I sort of felt like I knew him already. I could tell you intimate details about his family, his childhood, even about his days as a meth-addicted starving artist. I had the urge to blurt out “How’s Amy?” (his famous sister) at one point, but then I remembered that I don’t actually know her at all, and wisely refrained.   

Although I do think we could be besties.. don't you?
Although I do think we would be besties if given the chance.

He spoke for over an hour, reading several pieces from the book, as well as sharing anecdotes from his tour thus far. He was witty, sharp, and incredibly gracious and welcoming of his fans – except for the fact that he had a very strict no picture policy. Luckily, I am a master sweet-talker who no man (even a gay one) can say no to, so I was able to superimpose my head onto some random man’s body convince him to take this one with me:

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I think it’s a framer.

Anywhoo- back to the review.

Longtime fans of Sedaris might find Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls a bit of a departure from his earlier works. Whereas Naked and Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim focused primarily on his childhood and coming of age tales; this collection delves more into his current, adult life and day-to-day encounters. If you’re open to it, this can be a refreshing change. We learn a lot more about his relationship with his partner Hugh in this collection, as well as receive an unexpected glimpse into his writing process with an essay on the diary he has kept since 1977. He also shares hilarious, cutting observations of the people in line with him at the Airport and Starbucks that are laugh-out-loud funny, and make you wish he was your best friend in real life.

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Throughout it all, you get a sense of what makes him tick; a behind the scenes look at the grown-up David Sedaris. 

Interspersed throughout the book are several pieces of short fiction, which Sedaris explains were written to be recited by teenagers at forensics competitions. Some are comic monologues; others are biting satires of right-wing ideals. I have to admit, these pieces were not my favourite. I found them too far afield from his regular style, and a bit too political for my liking.

That being said, overall, I still thought this book was great- perfect for a plane ride, a Friday night in, or a weekend at the cottage.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh, and has felt like an outsider once or twice in their life.

On that note, the winner of my David Sedaris book giveaway IS: (drumroll please, assistant:)

owls6

Ross!  E-mail me at thecamellife@gmail.com with your address to claim your prize!

(And just to be clear, anyone else is free to e-mail me at that address too. You know, if you wanna like, talk about the new season of Arrested Development, or who Desiree should pick on The Bachelorette. Whatever really. I’m basically just very lonely. )

Question of the Day: Who, in your opinion, is the funniest writer? 

Review: The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich

Simon Rich is a pretty impressive dude. At 28, he’s already held the position of editor-in-chief of the Harvard Lampoon, been the second youngest writer ever hired on Saturday Night Live, had countless short stories published in The New Yorker, and penned five books.

simon

Yeah. You’re not alone if you’re feeling REALLY inadequate right now.

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The Last Girlfriend on Earth is Rich’s latest collection of short stories. Each one is about love and relationships- but with a twist:

lastgirlfriend

From  a story written from the perspective of a condom in a young boy’s wallet, to Dog Missed Connections, to a little girl’s imaginary goat who wants to become “more than just friends”, each story is delightfully charming, quirky, and undeniably hilarious.

I first discovered Simon Rich, and this book through an interview he did on The New Yorker Out Loud podcast. He read an excerpt from one of his short stories, and talked a lot about writing- particularly his time at SNL I thought he sounded funny, and since I’m a die-hard SNL fan (how awesome was JT this past weekend by the way?)

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I obviously had to go out and buy this book… and I’m really glad I did.

It was the very definition of short (took me 2-3 hours to read total) and sweet. Besides just making me LOL, the best part for me was that each story read like an SNL skit. I found myself picturing how each one would be played out on-screen, and which SNL cast members would portray each character. I’d love to see the story about a blind date with an actual troll turned into a Lonely Island digital short, for example:

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And I'll never go back... to my not having sex ways of the past
And I’ll never go back…  to my not having sex ways of the past

Given what he has done so far, I don’t think it will be long until Simon Rich is a household name. I can see him having his own TV show- sort of like the Mindy Project, but about Jewish New Yorkers and relationships. (Ok so that’s basically Seinfeld. Or Friends. But you catch my drift

I thought this book was fantastic, and you should definitely buy it if you enjoy Saturday Night Live, Woody Allen, The New Yorker, The Simpsons, Futurama, Dude Where’s My Car (for the sex aliens) or if you just straight up love to laugh.

I give it: 4.5 Intellectual Dachshunds

5dasch

Question of the Day: Do you like short story collections or novels better?

Throwback Thursday: Where Are They Now?

I’m a sucker for a good Friends re-run.  Anytime I hear an episode playing, or catch a glimpse of it on TV, I automatically feel compelled to watch it.

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It’s like I’m being pulled by some sort of centrifugal force. Kind of like how Kramer felt about Mary Hart…. only exactly the opposite.

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Anyway, the other day I found myself watching an episode;  and as the iconic theme song filled the room, and my heart with nostalgia, I got to thinking about The Rembrandts.

rembrandts

Remember them? They had a massive hit back in 1995 with the mind-numbingly awful yet unbelievably catchy ”I’ll Be There For You” , but what have they done since?

A quick Google search informed me that The Rembrandts (otherwise known as Phil Solem and Danny Wilde) had one other hit: the emo slow jam “That’s Just the Way it is (Baby”). Apparently, however, the stress of 2 hit songs was too much for them, and they split up shortly thereafter. Solem wanted to concentrate on his own band Thrush, while Wilde released his own solo album.

Both of these solo efforts met with about as much success as David Schwimmer’s movie career:

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So they eventually got back together in 2000, and have since released about 17 greatest hit(s?) albums. They also  write and produce music for other really current and relevant bands, like The Gin Blossoms. Other than that, I think they’re probably just busy hot oiling their hair, wearing round sunglasses, and cashing in on all their Friends royalties.

Syndication, baby! Ca-Ching! $$
Syndication, baby! Ca-Ching! $$

Incidentally, that episode also guest-starred Jennifer Grey as Barry’s fiance, Mindy. Obviously I needed a little refresher on what Baby was up to as well.

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Well, apparently that nose job wasn’t so “career ending” after all because home girl won Dancing with the Stars in 2010 and is now starring in lifetime movies! Holla!

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Take that, haters!

All of this got me thinking back to some other forgotten has-beens celebrities from my past.. like:

B4-4

Canadian ladies of my vintage will undoubtedly remember the hot mess of seashell necklaces, spiky hair and sub-par vocals that was B4-4.

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The band, which consisted of Toronto twins Ryan and Dan Kowarsky and their friend Ohad Einbinder,  hit it big in 2000 with their single “Get Down”:

WARNING: This video contains scenes some viewers might find disturbing. Like Orange and yellow parachute pants.. and Mank Tops.

I never heard much of them after this, but Wikipedia tells me that they went on to become a giant hit in Germany.

David Hasselhoff and B4-4? Germany, I may never understand you.

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They also used their fledgling celebrity status for a good cause by promoting an anti- frosted tips Smoking Campaign for the European Union alongside Moby.

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The band broke up shortly thereafter, and Ryan and Dan decided to branch out on their own and form the inventively named pop/opera duo “RyanDan” .

ryandan

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I just can’t even.

According to the RyanDan website, they are releasing a new album soon. Get ready ladies!!

And as for Also-ran (I mean, Ohad Einbinder), apparently he works in music production now and developed a pair of headphones that transform into a boombox. Watch out for the film adaptation in 2014 starring Shia Labeouf.

shiaf

Natalie Imbruglia

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The Australian sensation had a giant hit here in North America in 1997 with her song “Torn”, which I was legitimately obsessed with back in grade 6.

I made an entire mixtape of it just this song, and listened to it so much that my mom and dad tried to impose a two-times-a-day limit. I also got my hair cut just like hers; failing to consider that the effect might be slightly different on a prepubescent, mildly overweight 12-year-old than on an Australian pop star.

Once I had my haircut, I would put on my matching grey hoodie and Chinese print tee, set my mixtape to “play” and lip sync in front of the mirror for hours. I had all the moves from the video down pat.. which mostly involved flailing my arms around and looking distressed.

This was not a proud time in my life.

So what has she been up to since? Well, apparently she was a judge on Australian X-factor and was married to Daniel Johns from Silverchair, but is now divorced. Currently, she is an  unsigned artist.

I also stumbled across her Instagram the other day, which didn’t tell me much, except that she has long hair now, and really likes Koala Krisp:

natalieimbruglia

Damn, that b*tch looks good in anything. Off to buy my own box of cereal and mimic this pose.

Question of the Day: Any forgotten celebs you’re wondering about?

(I’ll save you the 30 seconds and Google them for you)

Ain’t Got No Love For the Ding Dong?

So I know you’ve probably had enough of me after that long-ass diatribe I wrote last night about my experience at Sleep No More, but shockingly, I’ve got a few more things left to say.
Let’s just call this the “Friday Roundup of Randomness” shall we? (Or don’t, because that’s awful. )

1. Can we talk about Jamie Foxx hosting SNL last weekend?

JamieFoxx

Nailed it. From his monologue featuring 2 Chainz, to his portrayal as host of the game show “B*ttch, What’s the answer?” to his performance as a disgruntled Hostess Ding Dong, 2 thumbs way up.

2. I have no time for impatient people (<;;— see what I did there?). Especially the ones in line behind you at the grocery store who load all their stuff onto the belt and then push their empty carts alongside the register and edge you out completely as you're trying to pay. God FORBID you want to go back and get that package of mentos you've been eyeing, because face it buddy, you're f*cked now. You have nowhere to go but OUT.

3. My new favourite person to Twitter-stalk is Judd Apatow. Not only does he tweet back all of his fans, he posted like 100 self-pics from the This is 40 premiere. I’m working on the perfect tweet to him as we speak. I’m thinking something short, sweet, and to the point. i.e.:

“@juddapatow: Who’s Leslie?”

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3. Instagram tells me that Lena Dunham and Aubrey Plaza are friends now.

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WHY AM I NOT IN THIS PICTURE

4. I tuned into Real Housewives of New York the other night after a brief one-season hiatus. Apparently, I missed a lot. Like who are all these new b*tches? Where’s crazy Jill Zarin? And wtf is “Yummy Tummy”? Someone fill me in.

5. (This one I’m really excited about): My dad is coming to Toronto this weekend! Frequent blog readers know him as the crazy, reindeer print making husband of the even crazier neat freak/religious zealot that is my mother.. but I just know him as dear old dad. He’s in town for the Buffalo Bills game in Tdot on Sunday and we’re gonna paint the town red. (And by that I mean visiting the hockey hall of fame, going to church and eating at diners).

6. I wrote this post on my iPhone with my WordPress app. #sotechy

And finally, who wants to hear track 2 from my highly anticipated year in review mixtape??

EVERYONE? Ok, here it is:

Question of the Day: What are you doing this weekend? or, any random things to complain about?

P.S. for all you techies out there : in the words of Drunk Uncle: twitter me! Twitter me! @thecamellife
Or, holla at my Instagram: @breezyk1

Aliens Come to Earth for Bieber, Stay for Stuffed Crust Pizza

Residents of South-western Ontario were stunned last Friday when an Unidentified Flying Object carrying over two dozen extraterrestrials from the Planet Zyrgon landed in a corn field just outside of Stratford.

“Yeah, it was sorta strange” said Red Tucker, the owner of the property. “I had just finished spraying the crops for billbugs when I looked up to see this big, blue thing coming outta the sky… and I thought to myself ‘Now what’s this all about.’”

Despite initial reservations, the Stratford residents soon came to embrace their Zyrgonian visitors, who, in turn, took an immediate shining to the small Ontario town.

“We love it here,” said Captain Zaphod Beeblebrox, head of the Zyrgonian forces. “Earth is awesome!”

Zyrgonians had limited knowledge of Earth until a few months ago, when their satellite systems began picking up an audio signal from a far off galaxy. “The signal was so high-pitched and unrelenting that it broke the intergalactic sound barrier!” exclaimed Beeblebrox.

While either inaudible or insufferable to male Zyrgonians, the sounds proved intoxicating to the planet’s females.

“It caused mass hysteria, and almost fever-like symptoms among our females,” explained Beeblebrox. “And since Zyrgon has been experiencing a population decline and chronically low birth rates for the past 10,000 years, we became eager to harness the power of this intense aphrodisiacal force and bring it back to our planet to ensure the procreation of our species”.

“We initially thought the sounds might be emanating from some sort of nuclear testing facility; or perhaps a large dying mammal;” continued Beeblebrox, “however, after setting up some intelligence in the way of sophisticated Earth-Rovers and several highly trained Zyrgonian forces disguised as Starbucks Baristas, we discovered that the sounds were actually coming from an 18-year-old homosapien man-child known as ‘Justin Bieber’.”

According to Beeblebrox, the Zyrgonian forces had been conducting reconnaissance and plotting Bieber’s capture for months. “When our intelligence informed us last week that Bieber had recently been discarded by his long-time girlfriend, Selena Gomez, we knew his defences would be down and it was time to make our move.”

And so the Zyrgonians boarded their spaceship to make the 10,000 light year trek to Earth in pursuit of Bieber.

“Originally, we wanted nothing of earth besides the Bieber Man-child,” explained Beeblebrox. “Our species has been in existence for over 7 million years, and our intelligence quotient is quadruple that of the average human being. We assumed we would have no use for Earthlings and their primitive ways. However, we soon discovered that humans have developed a number of remarkable technologies that Zyrgonians could not even begin to imagine.”

“Like this, for example,” said Captain Beeblebrox, holding up an open pizza box. “They call it ‘hot dog stuffed crust pizza’. It is the most glorious tasting thing ever created. The flavour profile is simply outstanding; and greatly supersedes our regular diet of Zyrgon Rocks, carbon dioxide and Tang.”

“We have also grown very fond of an Earthling child by the name of “Honey Boo Boo”, added Beeblebrox.”We would very much like to meet her and her guardian Miss Mama June in order to obtain their secret recipe for the “Go Go Juice”. We think this would be most useful fuel for our spaceship.”

When asked what else they liked about earth, the Zyrgonians rattled off an extensive list, including Snuggies, PajamaJeans, the SlapChop, and a myriad of other products largely sold on infomercials.

“And that song, “Call Me Maybe”, added Captain Beeblebrox. “I know I should hate it…. but I kind of love it.”

Despite their newfound love for Earth’s products, there are some things about our planet that still confuse the Zyrgonians.

“Initially, we had thought Mr. Bieber to be the supreme leader of your planet, given the rate at which he was praised and adored by Earthlings;” Explained Captain Beeblebrox. “However, we soon discovered that Earthlings seem to admire not one leader, but rather hundreds of false idols known as ‘Stars’”.

“Using our intelligence, we assembled this detailed constellation chart”. Captain Beeblebrox held up a large piece of paper with the names of hundreds of Celebrities in a complex web, all surrounding one name that had been starred in the middle. “As you can see, there are various tiers and rankings. We have yet to identify one supreme leader; however it all seems to come back to this one man in the centre; a ‘Kevin Bacon.’”

The Zyrgonians it seems, have no intention of leaving anytime soon, and have turned the corn fields where they landed into a makeshift home. “At least they’re keeping the damn crows away,” commented Mr. Tucker.

And as for their plot to kidnap the young Bieber? “He invited us to his Grandmother’s house for tea,” said Beeblebrox, “And after that, we just couldn’t go through with it. I mean, have you seen Never Say Never? How could you not love the kid?”

Indeed, the Zyrgonians and young Bieber have become unlikely pals, and are even in the process of recording a new single together. “We are working on a collaboration for his next album,” added Beeblebrox, enthusiastically “It’s called “ExtraTerrestrial Boyfriend” and it features at least 15 other names on our constellation chart. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Question of the Day: Do you believe in aliens? If so, what do you think they’re like?

Tales from the Altar

This week’s assignment for my writing class was to write a piece of dark, transgressive humor that pushes the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable. Our teacher provided us with some Sarah Silverman and George Carlin videos as inspiration, and encouraged us to be “outrageous” and really go for it.

I guess I’m a total prude, because I found this extremely difficult.  I worried everything I said was too offensive. Eventually, I just said f*&k it, and came up with the piece below.  Admittedly, I PG-ified it a bit for you – but in the event that I still offend anyone, I’m sorry. Breezy don’t mean no harm, y’all.

And Mom: Please, please do not disown me over this. I love you and I know you have done everything in your power to prevent me from turning out this way.

Enjoy!

**********************************************************************

Whenever anyone asks me about my religious proclivities (or, if I just want to make things really awkward at a dinner party), I tell them that I am a lapsed Catholic.

A lapsed Catholic, at least in my case, is someone who was raised Catholic, in a good Catholic family, was baptised, received First Holy Communion and was Confirmed, and despite all of this, has not stepped foot inside a church for the past five years. Why? Well, how long do you have?

It’s not the whole sexual abuse and rampant discrimination thing (although, that doesn’t help). Or the rigidly formalistic ceremony and all of that damn sitting, standing and kneeling. It’s not even the intense and unrelenting Catholic Guilt (which, of course, I am experiencing intensely as I write this.)No. The real reason behind my estrangement with the Catholic Church stems from my brief, albeit traumatizing, history as an altar girl.

*Not me or anyone I know. Poor bastards.

Serving on the altar was never a role I coveted. I was forced into it by my mother, who, as a young girl, wanted nothing more than to don that miniature white robe herself, but was not permitted, due to her pesky vagina.

But in 1992, in perhaps the only development the Catholic Church as made in the past 50 years (besides installing bulletproof glass on the Pope-Mobile), girls were finally allowed to sit on the altar.

Since my older sisters were already in high school at the time and had aged-out of the “target demographic” (if you know what I’m saying), I alone was left to carry the weight of my mother’s lifelong dreams on my shoulders.

I begged and pleaded not to have to do it, all the while cursing my mom for not having a better lifelong dream, like “being a fairy princess”, or “eating the world’s biggest hoagie”. But resistance was futile. The day after my 10th birthday, she marched me down to the Glebe House to sign up.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, at each Catholic mass, there are between 2-4 boys or girls who sit beside the altar and assist the priest with the running of the mass. They set up the altar, fetch items as necessary, hold the bible open on their heads for the priest to read, etc. In essence, they are basically glorified stage hands. Or towel racks. I remember for some reason always holding a stiff, white towel on my arm. It didn’t seem suspicious at the time….

Soon the time came for me to put on my unflattering, off-white robes (which I’m convinced were actually old curtains from an abandoned convent) and make my altarial debut. I was instantly anxious about being “on stage” in front of so many people. At the age of 10, I was, to put it mildly, at an “Awkward Stage”. I was prepubescent, mildly overweight, and extremely clumsy, and had no desire to call further attention to myself; especially in that get-up. Each Sunday, I would say a silent Novena that I would not spill any wine, trip over my own feet or generally make an ass of myself.

Well that, my friends, is when I learned that there is no God. Every week, without fail, I fucked up. I stumbled up the stairs. I dropped things left, right and centre. Once, I even knocked over a candle backstage and started a small fire. I had to use three spare altar robes and a bucket of holy water just to put it out.

Almost my church.

Another time I had an allergic reaction to the Easter Lilies while on stage. I began sneezing like crazy and clutching my throat in an attempt to breathe, while 2 Eucharistic Ministers rushed to my aid and escorted me offstage.

While the process for regular masses was bad enough, it was even worse during church Holidays. At Easter, we pulled out a massive crucifix that I’m pretty sure had to be air lifted in, and set it up on the altar for the entire congregation to come and kiss Jesus. My job was to stand there, with one of those stiff white cloths I always had, and wipe the lipstick and saliva droplets from Jesus’ emaciated nether regions after each churchgoer was done. (Which, incidentally, is also a form of torture used in many Siberian prisons.)

Another ceremony we had at Easter was what I call the “Fucked-Up Holy Water Parade”. This is how it worked: I carried around a bucket of holy water while the priest dipped a sceptre-like device into it and waved it all over the people in each pew. (I don’t know why he just didn’t just use a Supersoaker. It would’ve been so much easier.)

Like this, only the bucket was allll me

I inevitably got soaked every single time. Looking back, I guess I was just really blessed, but at the time, I only remember feeling damp.

I thought that it would at least be interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the priest; the “man behind the robes”, if you will. But I soon realized that he was just as boring in real life as he was during his homilies. He would breeze in 5 minutes before mass, put on his jazzy robes and get to business, speaking little, if at all, to us kids. Which I guess makes sense, because it’s probably hard to stifle deep-seeded urges and make small talk at the same time.

My career as an altar server was ultimately short-lived. Admittedly, my commitment was pretty lax. Due to my aforementioned childhood obesity, I would rather watch TV or eat Passion Flaikies than actually move my appendages. Eventually, I started doing everything I could to affect my own constructive dismissal. I wore jeans on the altar (a big-no-no) paired with a too-short robe. I skipped my shifts. I started salacious rumours about my fellow altar servers. And, need I remind you of the infamous backstage altar fire of 1997? Enough said.

Eventually, my name began appearing on the schedule less and less, until one month it was nowhere to be found at all. My mother was devastated; convinced that this was yet another sign of the Church’s developmental retardation. They didn’t really want girls on the Altar. It had all been just a sophisticated ploy to appease the masses. She hugged me and told me to not let it get me down; that despite that awful Priest, girls in this world could still do anything! She insisted that we say the rosary together and pray for guidance. And as I knelt down and began saying my “Hail Mary’s”, I stifled a smug grin of victory into my folded hands.

Question of the Day: How do you feel about dark humor? Do you push the boundaries, or stick to what’s PC?

You Googled What??

The world is a strange and mysterious place.

I am reminded of this almost every time I log into WordPress and peruse the list of search terms people have used to find my blog.

While many are unsurprising (“Camel”, “Breezyk”,  “unbelievably hot Sex Goddess”), others are pretty funny, and some just downright weird.

Regardless, they give me a good chuckle every time I read them, so I thought I would share a few of the best with you guys today.

Lord knows we could all use a good laugh, given that it’s now the second most miserable month of the year (after February), and the days are about as long as an episode of Breaking Amish ( not nearly long enough).

Not to mention the fact that I’ve heard the term “electoral college” way more times in the past 24 hours than I have enough booze for. In the words of the great Canadian treasure Avril Lavigne: Americans, why you gotta go and make things so complicated?

Hurts mah GD brain, y’all.

Here we go:

 The 10  15* Best Search Terms That Have Led People to My Blog Lately:

*I tried to narrow it down, but couldn’t. There were just too many gems.  My editorial notes can be found below.

1. “where to find lonely people”

– Ding ding!!

2. “nadya suleman creepy”

–  couldn’t agree more.

3. “i wish my voice was like Lil’ Wayne’s”

– I wish a lot of things of mine were like Lil’ Waynes. Most notably, my bank account.

4. “fat ginger women”

– this one is just perplexing. I don’t even know any fat ginger women. Besides maybe Ron Weasley’s mom from Harry Potter. And I don’t even really know her. I just read about her once in a book. Keep searchin’, buddy.

5. “hipster ukelele”

– awesome.

6. “funny pictures about snacks”

– there is nothing funny about snacks. Snacks are sacred.

7. “Nice things about living in Nova Scotia”

– answer: EVERYTHING.

Well, besides the chronically high unemployment. And the mixed precipitation. And the low number of Starbucks per capita. But besides that.. everything else.

8 “loneliness is highly overrated”

– is it? caaaause I thought I made it look pretty miserable…

9. “seth meyers hot”

– Preach, like-minded google searcher!

10. “How long does carb face last?”

– Well, if you’re like me (checks watch), about 27 years.

11. “drink in moderation”

– Haha. Ha.

12. الورد الاحمر.

– still working on this one.

13. “my dirty laundry”

– sorry, you’ll only find mine here I’m afraid.

14. “archery backpack”

– Sorry I couldn’t help you, person who searched this. Let me know when you find one though. I’ve also been looking for a more efficient means of transporting my archery supplies.

hook a homeboy up too, would ya?

15. “”God wants to talk to you but can’t”

– Oh, I’m sure he does…

So to recap: according to Google, I am a lonely, ukelele-playing ginger woman with a voice like Lil Wayne and a penchant for archery, who lives in Nova Scotia, is a moderate drinker, and has not yet found God.

Sounds about right.

To all the Googling weirdos, creepers and lonely souls out there: keep on searching. You’ll get it right eventually.

Question of the Day: Any good google searches to share?

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