Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fashion trends I wish would go away

Clinton & Stacy, I am not. Though I have great envy admiration and respect for the hosts of TLC’s What Not To Wear, anyone who knows me will acknowledge that I could very easily be featured in one of their episodes. As in, I would be the ‘before’ person.

So I realize that I’m stepping out of bounds and really have no business in judging the fashion selections of other people, but I’ve held my tongue for too long and will be silenced no more.

I hate skinny jeans.

I hate them on women, and I especially hate them on men.

Ladies, if you want to show off your body with a skin-hugging garment, wear leggings.

And men, just don’t. Don’t wear anything skin-tight below the waist. Ever. Because if you’re trying to impress the chicks by showing off your scrawny, pre-pubescent-like body, well… just don’t. It’s often sexier to leave some things to the imagination rather than accentuating them for all to see.



This mini-rant was brought upon by my morning commute to work: every morning my husband drops me off at a nearby shopping mall’s bus terminal, and every morning I’m shocked and appalled amazed with the clothing selections made by many teens and university students alike.

But the thing that gets me the most is that these people are slim! The fashion world is their oyster, they can wear anything off the rack… and yet they still make bad choices.

I’m far more forgiving of those of us who weren’t blessed with society’s idea of a perfect body and therefore are limited in what we can wear and how it looks on us. But for people who are in great shape? There’s just no excuse.

Then again, maybe that’s it. Maybe they wear skinny jeans, not because they look good – because, trust me, they don’t – but simply because they can.   

So here’s to hoping the next “in” piece of clothing will instead showcase healthy proportions and steer away from emphasizing how cool it is to be thin.


[…crickets chirping…]


[…glaciers retreating…]


Okay, never mind. It is the fashion world, after all, and change can sometimes be painfully slow. 

Skinny jeans are here to stay.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The stork cometh, but not for us

My husband and I were one of seven couples in my family to get married in 2007. Add our seven to our good friends Bronwyn & Geoff who were married in January 2008, and that totals eight weddings in a 13-month span.

And of these eight couples still enraptured by wedded bliss, five are now parents with one more due later this fall.


Yes, that means only two of the eight couples are childless. And we're one of those two.

Does this bother us? Not in the least. We have a dog, and for now that's enough. (Sorry mom! And mom-in-law!)

The last couple of years have been hectic in terms of family gatherings: first it was bridal showers and weddings, now it's baby showers and baptisms.

Now we all know the first-born child is always a big deal, but what about the second? Well, we're about to find out.

Another set of good friends, Louise and Trevor --  who weren't part of our bridal bandwagon but have actually been married since 2002 -- announced last week that their little John will become a big brother some time in November. 

Knowing how badly they wanted to have children and how long it took for John to finally arrive, I was thrilled to hear this news. They're terrific parents, and I'm truly happy for them.

But is everyone?

In a recent episode of Scrubs, Turk and Carla announced they were pregnant with Baby #2, but  they didn't quite get the reaction they expected from their friends. (Read: nobody cared.)

So naturally Turk lied to the next person to come around and instead told her it was actually their first child. Hilarity ensued.

(Seriously, it's worth clicking here just to see Turk dance.)

So anyway, you tell me: how have you reacted when someone else told you they were expecting their second child?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You call THIS spring??

While in Barbados last year, we met a resident who had travelled the world from his native island home to the likes of New York City, Venice, and seemingly everywhere in between. And even though he was continually amazed at the wonders he discovered while travelling abroad, his treks also served to remind him of how beautiful Barbados is and how lucky he is to call it home. There is no better place to live, he reiterated again and again.


Now a cynic might suggest that all people feel this sense of loyalty toward their native home, and this may be true. How many times have you heard the following statement?


“__(fill in the blank)__ is a terrific place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to stay there forever. It’s not home.”


I would normally feel this way about Canada too, but, frankly, I’ve had enough. Winter sucks, and I want out.

I want out from the repeated dumps of snow that sometimes start in October and stay until April.

I want out from this Arctic weather that’s supposedly character-building but actually only serves to turn me into a hermit.



And I even want out from work, where the inaccurate thermostat has left me wishing I could bring my Snuggie with me and pull on a pair of gloves to warm my hands. (If I could get gloves on with my cast, that is. Stupid cast.)


Seriously, it really is that cold INDOORS right now that I’m wearing my jacket and watching my engagement ring turn and slide off my icicle-like fingers.


I want out!  


Now I realize Mother Nature has until midnight tonight to keep us in this miserable state of winter before spring is officially upon us, but I’m not very hopeful for a quick transition. In fact, it sounds like we’re actually going to regress deeper into winter this weekend, as the forecast is calling for blowing snow. (Stupid prairie wind.)  


Is it so wrong of me to wish that I could see this when I look out the window?






Sigh. In the meantime, I’m still missing Barbados.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Staying true to my inner geek, I tend to be a big fan of PBS television, which is where I first discovered Zonya Foco and her 30-minute wonder-program, Zonya’s Health Bites.


A Registered Dietician in the U.S., Zonya describes her series as the one-stop place for “…practical grocery tips, fun in the kitchen with delicious recipes, [and] everyday fitness.”


Now I know what you’re thinking – this sounds like the description for every other dime-a-dozen cooking show on television these days. But the difference is that when Zonya claims something is practical, she’s not messing around. As in, she actually pushes a cart down the aisle of a grocery store and picks up REAL FOOD that REAL PEOPLE eat on a weekly basis. (Or, conversely, might stop eating in favour of healthier-but-just-as-delicious alternatives she suggests in each episode.)


And what really makes the show a success is Zonya herself. She comes across as the type of woman that you wish lived next door – sort of a Rachael Ray / Paula Deen* personality that’s full of positive energy and just makes you want to get up off the couch and get healthy. (*Okay, so Paula’s shows aren’t exactly about healthy eating, but doesn’t she just make you happy to be alive? Like, especially when she laughs at herself? It’s contagious.)


Sadly, my local KSPS-feed out of Spokane stopped airing Zonya’s Health Bites a while back, but in continuing to stay true to my (not-so-)inner geek, I signed up for Zonya’s “Healthy Habits e-News” updates to be delivered straight to my inbox. And it’s there that Zonya recently posted this gem:


Staying hydrated WITHOUT the calories!

If you overdo drinkable calories, this alone can account for 5 to 50 pounds of the extra weight you may be carrying around. Think I’m exaggerating? You tell me…





8-oz glass of orange juice


2 cups coffee with cream & sugar






12-oz cappuccino






12-oz soda






12-oz fruit drink




Before Dinner


Glass of wine (5 oz) or Light Beer (12 oz)






Water (good for you!)




Evening Snack


12-oz soda




Total Liquid Calories in ONE Day

1180 calories!



Now I realize that no two calories are alike – as in, 1180 calories of fat-drenched fast food is not the same as 1180 calories of assorted liquids – but this is still pretty shocking given that someone of my stature should only be consuming 1200-1500 calories per day. As my friend Carla (who has a Zonya-type personality herself) often says, “DON’T DRINK AWAY ALL YOUR CALORIES!!”


There are plenty of other eye-opening tips on Zonya’s website, and she even features a sampling of recipes from her Lickety-Split Meals cookbooks. My personal favourite is Simple Baked Chicken & Rice, which I originally replicated after watching Zonya whip it up on her (*sniff*) no-longer-broadcast-in-my-area show.   


C’mon, KSPS-Spokane peeps. Try the chicken and rice. I guarantee it’ll make you want to bring back her show for the masses to enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

In need of some good news

It’s now been exactly six weeks since I broke my right wrist in two places and, quite frankly, six weeks since I last experienced happiness.

Ha, okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but this really has been a miserable six weeks for me and everyone who’s had the misfortunate of spending more than 30 minutes in my presence.


Tomorrow morning I have my third appointment with the surgeon, who will then break the news  tell me my fate for the next six months to a year. The first time I saw him, I was expecting the worst (read: "Ma'am, this is a lost cause, so we're just going to amputate the whole arm."). Obviously, no amputation was necessary after all, and what he had to tell me just didn’t seem as bad in comparison to that.

So when I went back to see him at the hospital a few weeks ago, I actually let down my guard and assumed it would be smooth sailing. I was hoping I’d soon see that light at the end of the tunnel, and I fully expected him to tell me things looked good and that I could soon start the ortho-physio.


But no. Instead I received some news I wasn’t expecting and really didn’t want to hear.


I just wanted to cry, but thankfully my inherent "stubborn Italian gene" over-ruled my inherent "emotional woman gene", and I didn't want to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing how devastated I was.


But, honestly, I can't do this anymore, and I just want my normal life back. This is no where near the worst thing I've ever been through -- far from it -- so I feel like a wuss for even being upset about it... but at the same time I just feel so defeated. I've done everything right and yet this setback still occurred.

I’m well aware that I should be grateful for the blessings I do have, but sometimes a person just needs to be reminded of this. Which is why I sent a long, excruciatingly-typed-with-one-hand message to a friend down south who never tires of telling me to toughen up.


To put things in perspective, when I first told him about the breaks, he replied with a, “The reason you haven’t heard from me in a while is because my appendix burst… but I tried to tough it out and didn’t do anything about it for five days… and then they hospitalized me.”


I swear, he does these things just to one-up me. (But I got the last laugh after all when he had to suffer through my inevitable You could have died, you know speech. That’ll learn him.)

So when I vented to him about how frustrating this entire ordeal has been, I already knew what he was going to say:


"Suck it up! At least you still have an arm!"
"He's a SURGEON. He's not there to be your friend!"    
"Do you know how many people he sees a day? Why would he remember you?"
"Damn emotional woman... always wanting to cry..."
"It could have been worse. YOUR APPENDIX COULD HAVE BURST!"

Turns out I did such a good job of predicting his responses that all he could do was laugh. (Which should be interpreted as a positive thing, right??) 

If I could turn back time, well, this never would have happened.... but aside from that, I wish I had at least taken a picture of my arm before they put me under to set it in place that first night. From my hand to my elbow, my arm looked like the letter S. It was wicked-cool in a grotesque sort of way, and I would have loved to whip out that photo every now and then, for at least then I'd have something to show for this. Instead all I'll have now is a gimpy arm.
As for tomorrow, I think I'll go in expecting the "amputation diagnosis" again, since that seemed to work the first time. Hopefully St. Paddy will also work his magic and bring me some long-overdue luck.