Does anyone else love Judy Bloom the way I did growing up?
When we were little-ish, my mom used to read to the Gaffer and I before bed, and our favourite soon came to be Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Superfudge! (you have to type the exclamation). We loved it because it was so funny, and so much fun to get so wound up and silly before sleep. The Gaffer used to do this thing (up until quite recently, actually) where he would use the tips of his fingers to brush rapidly at his cheeks whilst grinning ear-to-ear when he was excited. Though we probably should have recognized it as a pre-homocidal nervous tick, we all thought it was cute, so we pretended not to notice. Now he’s channeled it into a rapid palm-on-palm rub, which is probably more suited to a man of his impressive stature.

The Gaffer makes me remember who I am, and where I come from. He’s a grounding force, and one of the few people in the world who really “get” me. We have the exact same sense of humour, and completely delight in making each other laugh. When he laughs at my jokes, I KNOW they are funny. We have the same taste in books and movies, and we both share a deep-seated love of Led Zepplin. Judy Bloom is something I’ll always associate with him, and likewise Richard Scary, Guns and Roses, Hulkamania, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A Team, blanket forts, snow forts, my early experiments with wigs, makeup, and my mom’s discarded 60’s baby doll lingerie from our tickle trunk (I think the Gaffer was the first Coquette!), and any and all good-old-fashioned butcher knife chases. Can you guess who was the knife wielding maniac?

*Let me pause for a moment to remark that there is a Silence-of-the-Lambs sized moth fluttering frantically around my apartment, and I can’t get rid of it because if I leave the patio door open, the raccoons who live in my wall will come in for a visit. I’m not killing the little bastard because it will make a horrific mess. One of the limitations of single hood is that there is nobody else around to deal with the really gross bugs. If it lands on me while I’m sleeping, this will be my last entry. It puts the lotion in the basket…*

Anyway, my point in all of this is to say “Chin Up Gaffer.” Life is all about the leap, and the often painful crash to the earth when you get too close to the sun. Remember, without this particular brand of heart ache, Axl would have never welcomed anyone to the jungle, Robert Plant wouldn’t know how to wail, there’d be no reason to say your prayers and eat your vitamins, B.A. wouldn’t have anyone to pity, and the thrill of narrowly escaping with your life as the the bathroom door slammed shut in my face wouldn’t taste so sweet.

Judy Bloom introduced me to menstruation, masturbation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and scoliosis, all of which have become a big part of my adult life. Imagine how different I would be if we had been hooked on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

Mama Say Mammasa Mama Cusa

Scientists say watermelon has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido.

Despite an extensive search, nothing on the Internet could tell me what the hell “Mama Say Mammasa Mama Cusa”means. My brother threw it out there as a phrase to summarize the collective happenings in our personal lives right now, and whatever it means, it felt exactly right. Especially with the world-weary intonation he used to dole that out. Now you’re going to be chanting it in the back of your head for the rest of the day.

The truth is, I don’t know if I wanna be startin’ somethin’. I feel like it makes more sense to concentrate on working off my travels, and setting up my home, but the universe keeps throwing me curve balls. The attractive, interesting kind, and in true Schnooie fashion, I feel remiss to resist. I could take the proffered phone number or email address, and politely explain that I’m taking a hiatus from dating, but where the hell is the fun in that? And how would that work anyway? When I decide that I’m fierce enough again to handle the perils of male/female relations, I dust off the business cards or slips of paper and make a “Hey, do you remember me” phone call?

How does one know when the time is right to get out in the dating world again? A friend of mine stoically opined “You’ll just know. It will just happen.”
Despite her Yoda-like wisdom, I was still left confused.
She also said “There are more important things to focus on than relationships.”

Really? There are? I’m the most ridiculous romantic that I know. I’m hard-pressed to think up what those other things might be. I mean, I have a clear focus on maintaining my friendships, and I’ve managed to gain back my work focus. Maybe she means the creation of art. That one could use a little work, for sure.

Perhaps rather than going out on dates, I will lock myself up in this garret and write and dream and create some sort of masterpiece. I’m not without inspiration, that’s for sure. I could pour myself into an idea I’ve had for some time, and see what it turns into. Or I could write the next great piece of Chick Lit. Hmm….maybe I should use my dating misadventures to write the next great piece (I think this is an oxymoron) of Chick Lit.

Listen, I think I just heard my business card being torn up.

You’re A Vegetable, You’re A Vegetable
Still They Hate You, You’re A Vegetable
You’re Just A Buffet, You’re A Vegetable
They Eat Off Of You, You’re A Vegetable

First Night

I declared last night my first official night as a single woman in the Fortress of Solitude.
During the afternoon yesterday I spent one entire hour cleaning my fridge, and ended up ruining the dress I was wearing in the process. That of course serves me right for wearing a dress to do house-work. I unpacked almost all of my summer clothes, and put them away in my front closet where they will hopefully be safe from drywall dust. Then I got overwhelmed by all of the cleaning and unpacking still remaining, and I decided to escape for a little bit.
I went for a stroll down Roncesvalles and popped into two local second-hand book stores in search of a good read. I was overwhelmed by choice and ended up going with a history of life among the Bohemians at the turn of the century in London. I shall use it as a guidebook for both how to live, and how not to live. (I’m going with the art and sensualism and avoiding the poverty and starvation, and hopefully consumption.) I hit the Freshwood patio and had huevos, then walked to the park to meet my lovely friend Sav (who dubbed me “Schnoo” by the way). We enjoyed some locally grown strawberries and commiserated about boys and jobs and books, and then I went back to the park to do a bit of writing before returning home.
I had a little lay-down on the grass at my aunt’s house across the street, and we searched for her missing cat, who turned up locked in the neigbours shed, pooping up a storm. My cousin and I went on a rescue operation. I distracted the drunk who lives in the basement, and my cousin hopped the fence, scooped up both kitty and ca-ca, and scrambled back to her own yard just as the neighbours were pulling into their yard.
We deposited the errant cat, jumped in the car, hooked up the ipod and headed to Burlington.
My uncle shares his birthday with Canada, and has started a tradition of hosting a patio party at his penthouse, where we all sit and watch various fireworks displays. My mom sounded very eager to see me, so I thought I would put in an appearance. It was pretty low-key, but nice, and worth the excursion just to see my uncle in a suede fringe coat and leather cowboy hat with khaki shorts and socks-and-sandals. Rock and roll. I’m still not sure why, but my mom spent the better part of the evening staring at me across the table. She always knows when something isn’t right with me, but fortunately she didn’t ask any questions.
Once home, I made up my bed on the couch. The real bed doesn’t arrive until next week. It wasn’t too bad. Quite cozy, actually. I tucked into my new book, which had me unconscious in minutes. Perhaps not a good sign. I slept really well until my phone rang at quarter to seven.
Then every dream I had vanished from my brain, and I woke up having no idea where I was.
I’m looking forward to night two. Tonight I will tackle the stove and kitchen cupboards, and if there’s time, perhaps I will even dust and mop. Oohhh the passion and excitement. Thankfully, another awesome friend is springing me for chicken wings and the opening night of the Fringe play that she worked on as costume designer.
I keep telling myself I’m laying the groundwork for what will be a really sensational single lifestyle. Right now, it just feels dusty and like the plumbing isn’t quite working.
Ya know?
Rule #3 for the Fortress of Solitude: Always leave the Fortress ready for guests to stop in.

Still Sorting Out those Marys

Jules Joseph Lefebvre’s “Mary Magdalene in the Cave” (1876)

I was raised Catholic, and within that faith, really only had two female role models – Mary the Virgin Mother of Christ, or Mary the Magdalene, who at the time, we were taught was a whore who repented her evil ways, to be accepted by Jesus and his posse.
Though I loved the idea of the nurturing mother figure with the first, I always thought the latter was kind of a bad ass, and her story really resonated with me. I especially like the mental picture of her washing Christ’s feet with her inky ribbons of hair. Yum.
I love sex. I have since my very first and inappropriately older boyfriend showed me the ropes. I love it, and crave it, but I won’t just have it for the sake of having it. I’m selective about my partners, and they are usually the types of people I feel really relaxed around. The types I can just cut loose with and be myself with, and not worry about the fact that I’m not in perfect shape, and am sometimes really goofy and clumsy. When I find someone like that, and we’re physically compatible (which I equate to great kissing, and a love of their personal scent, and that desire to be in close proximity) it’s on. It’s a safe assumption that if we’re together, that’s what I’m thinking about, and that’s where I’d like things to lead. I’m not subtle about that either.
Now, I feel like I’m constantly reading about how women don’t initiate sex enough, and men always feel like they have to fight, or beg, and it’s discouraging and frustrating and so I figure my enthusiastic approach is probably a welcome change of pace, but in discussing sex and sexuality with a friend, I discovered this can be off-putting.
Really. Really?
Do I have a seriously over-inflated ego? Perhaps a warped idea of the dynamic between men and women? Do I maybe have a problem that I’m in denial about?
Is it unrealistic for me to want to be devoured, and really have to fight off the enthusiasm of a lover? (And yes, I DO know this won’t happen every day.)
I was told that “sometimes a guy likes to work for it”.
As we know, my brain has been switched off, but now it appears to be in overdrive because I’ve been ruminating over that one all day long.
I can only guess it means that a man likes to feel like he’s inspired the desire for sex in a woman because of something he’s said or done, and that it took some effort to make that happen. I suppose it means that knowing a woman is ready to get into it more or less from the time she sees you isn’t as exciting.
It still takes work though. Just because I’d like to get naked and twisted up together doesn’t mean I don’t want to go through the motions of getting to “that place”.
Should we pretend shyness? Innocence? Indifference? Do you want to convince us that we should let you have at us? Do you want to coax us into relinquishing power? Do you want me to bat my eyelashes and smile up at you coyly?
Sometimes I really feel I need to own my sexuality and be proud to embrace it since so many women haven’t been able to throughout history.
Perhaps it’s a better idea to enjoy the physical, and be grateful for it. Perhaps it’s better to be glad that I’m grinning at you like the Cheshire cat because I’ve wanted to be alone with you all day long. If you want to work, you can work at getting to know me, getting into my heart and soul, because at this point, that’s going to be a hell of a lot harder I think.

Rule number 4 for the Fortress: Every corner will be awash in sensuality.

A Special Thanks to the Friends of Dorothy

Yesterday I was carried along on a sea of drunken, happy, sexy, reveling bodies to a Tiki party that turned out to be just what I needed. I had on my Hawaiian print dress, a little bit of sparkle, and some red lipstick, and off I went into the throng. It was delightful. People were dancing, kissing, singing, showing each other their breasts, and whole families were wandering through to witness the spectacle.
I felt incredibly happy, and proud that I live in a city where people are encouraged to celebrate their sexual orientation. Pride doesn’t seem to be just for the gays anymore. There were lots of hetero couples out holding hands and strolling along. In fact, I met one very tall, very beautiful couple on my way. He was leading her around on an elegant leash. She kissed me on the cheek and told me I looked like a movie star. Okay, maybe they were a little bit gay.
The leather and the painted bodies and the naked men and the ridiculous drag queens nearly brought a tear to my eye. It was so much good old-fashioned hedonism, that my tender pagan heart half-expected to see a huge bonfire in the centre of it all.
The gay teens really touched me. When I think of all the friends I had in high school who were so deeply closeted because of our soccer-loving, hard-core Euro alma matter, it makes me wonder how much better their lives might be now if they had spent their formative years in a more supportive environment.
Sometimes I think I’d be the perfect parent to a gay child. Universe, if you’ve got one you want to send this way when the timing is right, I’d be okay with that.
Of course, my gay son would probably end up being a super straight-laced investment banker. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.