Thursday, February 23, 2012

I May be Dated

It may have been a whole year ago, but once upon a time I was giving an adorable young man advice on what to do on a date with a girl. My idea was to take her to a fountain (the nicest one in your city, Boy) and give her a pretty little pouch with 50 pennies in it. Then – tell her to make wishes. A nice boy will bring 50 pennies for him to makes wishes with too. Then as they make wishes they basically tell each other about their hopes and dreams. And with 50 pennies – that’s a lot of wishes to make. I’d soon resort to admitting that I wanted a new hairdryer … or something like that. Anyway, I’d call it a romantic shortcut to foretelling compatibility. You’re going to know pretty quick if your lives mesh.

Anyway, then this guy turned to me and asked, ‘So, what do girls do to win over guys?’ I took a deep breath in … preparing for my rampage … when my husband cuts in and says, ‘She shows up.’ Which is hilarious and true, so I just let the conversation go, but I always wanted to answer him.

For starters, I would like to remind everyone that men are visually stimulated. I’ve read tons of advice recommending dressing immodestly to get a man’s attention. Don’t do that. In a survey conducted by the University of Alberta, they asked men if they thought that women were on the lookout for sex when they dressed provocatively. One out of every three men said yes. Not from the man she particularly liked – from anyone. Keep your clothes on. Basically, the only thing you have to do is dress in a way that is opposite to the way he dresses – so pink, or floral prints, or ruffles – whatever does it for you. The purpose is to get him to notice that you’re a woman. I find that skirts are a fast track since guys don’t wear them and black is slimming.

After that, it really depends on the guy you’re after. Most guys I knew when I was dating were not accustomed to a girl paying attention to them, so they got very excited when they got it. More experienced daters may be more interested in a girl who shuts them down because they never get shut down.

The best thing a girl can do for herself is to show her personality and not give a rip if Mr. Whatever likes her or not. Don’t necessarily give him what he wants. Most people admire spirit even if they don’t like the details. So, be a real breathing person and not a Barbie doll. Don’t fix your hair or put on makeup if he comes over before you’ve put them on. And don’t eat like a bird! I'll discuss why that's bad next time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Be my Valentine - EBay

I for one have had quite a few good experiences buying things on EBay. It’s quite possible that everyone has good experiences buying things off EBay and I’m the only one who heard that song Weird Al did parodying that Backstreet Boys song ‘I Want it that Way’ with ‘I Bought it on EBay’. Anywoo – Valentine’s Day! Here’s my love letter to EBay.

I know I’ve complained about this before, but I have an awkward body shape. Needless to say, bathing suit shopping has always been a complete nightmare. I’ve done everything in my power to avoid it since I turned 13. Yeah, don’t ask. So finally I had this brainy idea that it wouldn’t cost much to ship a bit of fabric as small as a bathing suit and typed my bra size into the search engine on EBay followed by the words ‘bathing suit’. Instant success! They had several ones to pick from. At first I didn’t buy one because I’d never bought anything on EBay before and I felt funny about it. I dead serious woke up in the middle of the night and went, ‘Well, dang. That one bathing suit was $7 plus $7 for shipping from Calgary and it was modest. Even if I got ripped off – it’s only $14 bucks.’ And I bought it. It arrived, and now I don’t feel like slitting my wrists every time I’m forced to wear a bathing suit. Does it get any better?

Oh, but it does. Do you have any idea what the markup is on jewelry that is sold in a mall? It’s obscene. This last summer I met a woman who was selling jewelry with some pyramid company like Mary Kay or Avon (I know they’re not actual pyramid schemes – sheesh!) and she showed me their catalog. It was disturbing … skin crawling. They were selling copper (yes – copper) jewelry that would have cost under $2 with free shipping on EBay for $15. When I was in Hawaii, street venders were selling jewelry I’d seen on EBay for $6 marked up to $30. That makes the markup in the hundredth percentile. Ew!

And lastly comes the reason Valentine’s baking was wonderful this year. I love sugar cookies with icing on them. It’s my thing. I make them all the time for no reason. But I absolutely hate those bag cake decorators. Keeping the pressure consistent in the bag makes my hand cramp after three cookies. And when I ice the cookies with a knife, the edges are uneven. So, finally I got ticked off and bought a cake decorator that looks like a syringe. Dude! Dreams really do come true. My cookies were super beautiful with zero hand cramping.

Let’s face it. I love EBay.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snow Globe Land

Imagine yourself standing in the middle of a snow globe. There are no mountains. There are no trees and there aren’t really any buildings. I know what you’re thinking – already this snow globe is more boring than any of the ones in your 45 piece collection. However, please put your prejudices aside, and work with me for a moment. You’re standing in the middle of this empty snow globe. What is there to see?

The sky.

I have never really thought of myself as claustrophobic, but lately when I go outside, I have begun to feel a brand of panic that is new to me. Outside my house in a city, I can never see the skyline. In the summer it isn’t so bad. In the winter, it’s oppressive. I also have problems seeing the moon. Have you ever seen a red moon? I have – quite a few times. When the moon is really low and its light is filtering through the densest part of the atmosphere – it appears red. It’s super creepy when it’s an enormous harvest moon and alien when it’s a sliver of a crescent.

I grew up in snow globe land. Out there, you can see the horizon on all sides. The land at your feet stretches out for so long, you can’t see the end. If you lie on the ground and look up, it’s as if you’re sitting at the base of a protractor with a 180 degree view of the heavens in all directions.

However, living in a place like that is a great deal more like living in a snow globe than anything I’ve mentioned so far. Life in my hometown was a fishbowl (not unlike a snow globe). Everyone knows where everyone else lives. They know what car your parents drive and what they do for a living. Everyone knows a little something about everyone else – usually the most scandalous thing that ever happened. Almost always it was something pathetic rather than vibrant.

For a long time, I wanted to write a novel that took place in my hometown, but it didn’t matter what idea went through my head, I knew I didn’t have enough material to write a whole novel. Do you know why? Because I could never even pretend that anything interesting would ever happen there. All I could imagine was snow falling and life gently unfolding as the universe meant it to, but nothing truly fascinating could ever happen beyond the whirling snow and wind outside my window.

Well, it happened a while ago, but I finally penned (typed) my story about my hometown. It’s called Blog Entries of the Brokenhearted and I’d like to invite anyone who’s interested to go take a look. Here’s the link. Please write a review on fictionpress if you have any special thoughts you people from my home town.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Get Grumpy

I was sick again these last two weeks and you all know what happens when I get sick … I read. Most things are really insufferable tosh, aren’t they?

Lately, everyone has been recommending that I read The Hunger Games series. Normally, I hate whatever’s popular just because it’s popular. It took major arm twisting on my husband’s part to get me to read Harry Potter. I read Twilight not knowing it was popular and thinking that it was about doing laundry, because at every section I turned to in my random flip test (it’s a test where you find a part of the book that has very little dialogue and usually contains a sex scene) Bella was doing laundry – so I naturally thought it was about finding missing socks at dusk. For the record, I do not do the random flip test to find sex scenes. I do it to stop myself and others from reading trashy books.

The thing about The Hunger Games series is that it looks totally uninspiring from my perspective. Meaning that I think that it’s probably respectable reading, but sounds boring to me. Whenever someone tells me that they like it, I ask them if they’ve watched a lot of anime. Everyone I have asked has said that they haven’t. That’s because anime is flipping twisted and after all the twisted anime I’ve watched – teenagers forced to hunt each other down sounds flat and old hat. I didn’t mean to rhyme that.

Anywoo – I know you’re all dying to know what I’ve been reading. I read Conrad’s Fate by Dianne Wynne Jones. It was fun. Next I’m going to read the rest of The Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. That one is about floating cities that eat each other. It’s for 9 – 12 year olds. Cool, eh? I heard a rumour that Peter Jackson is planning on making a movie adaptation of it after he’s done with The Hobbit.

I never made it through The Hobbit when I tried at age 13. It’s clearly because I never imagined Richard Armitage as a dwarf, but if I had, I probably could have got through it more than once. BTW – the reason I never made it through Lord of the Rings is because I never imagined Viggo Mortensen or Orlando Bloom either. What can I say? I was brainwashed by those cartoons with the awful singing and the ‘wearer of the ring, the bearer of the ring’. It was very oppressive … artistically. But at least there was a whip and a way! … probably not very many of you are going to think that’s funny.

Anyway, there’s at least one thing on the entertainment horizon that will definitely be worth the money to not pirate it. Just kidding – I wouldn’t pirate anything. I’d wait like a fox until it made it onto Netflix.