Live From the Sick Bed

This evening I’m coming at you live from the sick-bed. I’ve had a recurring, ridiculously painful sore throat for nearly a month now, and yesterday it felt like I was swallowing knives, so finally I gave up and dragged my sorry ass to the walk in clinic for a ten-day dose of the evil, yet effective penicillin. I say evil, because it always wreaks havoc with my system, even while clearing up whichever problems I am having, so now I’m eating sauerkraut by the jar full and chugging kefir to stave off the yeast infection I will almost certainly get on day eleven. TMI? Sorry, but I need to vent. Thank god for modern science and drugs that help us, I’m not ungrateful, believe me.

I took a sick day today, even though all the kids were home from school. It was an almost proper sick day, where I spent a lot of time in bed, reading books and magazines and catching up on a bit of work. My favourite new job allows me to read the work of other writers, and I’m so enjoying the piece I’m working on now, but I haven’t had nearly enough time to get into it. It’s a modern-day noir caper with a darkly hilarious supernatural twist, and it’s got real laugh-out-loud moments. I put a huge dent in it, which was a highlight, and I also got to curl up for a midday nap with the baby, which is a rare treat, and something I miss from his infant days. Another highlight was the thoughtfulness and empathy from my two wonderful daughters who are blossoming in their emotional maturity in such a beautiful way.

Meanwhile, a small mountain of costumes awaits purging and selling. The members of my former cabaret troupe have raided the collection and taken the choicest pieces for themselves, as I hoped they would. I’ve decided that what remains isn’t really worth selling, at least not to the general public. The stress of a sale was making me panic, so I’m abandoning that plan.

This is something I’m learning – if an idea, a task, a plan isn’t sitting right, or making me plain uncomfortable, I do everything I can to shift it. My gut seems to be the wisest voice to listen to these days. When I pay heed to Ms. Gut, all the other voices in hear quiet down their clamor, and I can feel, and think, and breathe. Ms. Gut wants me to start exercising more, and I’m dreading that one a bit, but I know she’s right. Sigh.

How did your week get started? Residual ham coma? Chocolate stolen from you kids’ Easter basket? A screw the pooch kind of day at the office, where nobody is really ready to be there? I’ve always thought that long weekends might as well be four-day weekends, because nobody gets anything accomplished on the Friday or the Monday leading up to the holiday.

Unless that something is medical attention, one-on-one time with your son, quiet time to read, a luxurious nap, some catch-up on work, and some meaningful correspondence with friends. Hmm…maybe what we really need are more sick days?

Sex and the Single Parent, And ME!

When I was in my second year of college, studying theatre, I had a rock-star-level crush on this girl named Melissa Story who was in first year. Or maybe I was in third year, and she was in second year. It was theatre school, I partied a lot and some details are fuzzy. At any rate, I clearly remember her leggy gorgeousness, and the mane of wispy, wild, naturally blonde curls, and her huge and wise grey-blue eyes. Her sense of style was impeccable. She was like a fashion model, straight out of an issue of Harper’s Bazaar, circa 1970 something. The thing with this girl was that she was not only gorgeous, but incredibly talented too. So talented, in fact, that I had no idea why she was paying for school in the first place. Why wasn’t she in L.A. or New York, looking for work? She had that natural ability that just can’t be taught. She slipped in and out of characters so seamlessly; you forgot you were watching someone act. What’s more, she was funny as shit. Like incredibly quick-witted and shamelessly goofy funny. The best kind of funny, and the hardest kind too, particularly for women who are taught to behave like beautiful, leggy, natural blondes ‘ought to’ right from birth. I was so crushing on this girl, I think she thought I had some special needs because I could barely utter a word to her. Sigh.

So when your hottie hot former girl-crush ends up with her own awesome and successful podcast (because she continues to kick ass and take names as a fierce single mom comedy boss) and she asks you to be a guest, there is only one right answer. As a bonus, her host is another kick-ass, hilarious single mom, who if I may say so, is also easy on the eyes. If you like that sort of thing. Their show/comedy site is called Sex and the Single Parent, and I was delighted to be invited to talk about poly parenting and my life philosophies.

Never mind that my ex-crush had the flu and couldn’t make the recording. Never mind that an equally huge crush from high school, Mr. Phil Luzi ends up being the guest host (wtf Universe??). Never mind that the co-host of Melissa’s show is Precious Chong, the daughter of Tommy Chong, a detail I found out after the recording, thus saving me from acting like a blathering idiot. I was honored and proud to be a guest on Sex and the Single Parent, and I had an incredible time with my gracious hosts. They asked truly respectful and genuine questions. I’m sorry I couldn’t see you in real life Melissa. If you want to sit across the table from me and listen to more juicy details about my wonderful family, you’re going to have to come out for drinks with me and my partners. Just kidding. Not really. We won’t try to sleep with you. Much.

Please enjoy this wonderful interview, and keep listening to this super fun podcast for other great guests, and plenty of opportunities to snort commuter coffee out of your nostrils.

To Listen Click Here.

Magical Pest Control

Image Credit - 'Demons In My Head' by MissFried on Deviant Art

I was winding my way slowly through the still unfamiliar York campus the other day, extra alert for student pedestrians and enthusiastic protestors, when I found myself behind a white utility truck with a very unusual sign. Across the back it read: Magical Pest Control.

My first thought was “Ew, rats.” Then I paused to consider what made the service magical. Was the company run by wizards who would banish vermin into oblivion with the wave of a wand? Were they armed with potions wrought by a league of ancient hags? Better yet, what if the pests themselves were magical? The theatre department overrun by unicorns, again. Perhaps the Shulich business school was besieged by gryphons. All this time, we are convinced this company has made some silly branding choices when all the while they are exterminating a legion of demons doing the evil bidding of the devil himself right under our noses.

My spring transformation will be a failed exercise without my own brand of Magical Pest Control. I’ve got some real noisy demons in this head o’mine that can really wreak havoc. They bubble up all hungry and ugly and I get so dazzled by them, that I forget they aren’t really part of me at all. If I get diverted from my writing they say “Don’t bother getting back to that novel. It’s silly, nobody will want to read it, and you’re wasting your time.” When I have a bad moment with one of the children they say “You don’t deserve to be their mother. They would be happier without you.” When I disconnect from one of my partners they say “You are too messed up to be in a loving relationship, you should just be alone and that way you won’t hurt anyone.” See? Real asshole demons, right?

Maybe you have a few of those magical pests knocking around in there too? An infestation can be a real disaster, but we’ve all had to deal with unwanted guests of the nasty variety. The following extermination exercises have helped me immensely.

The Sensory Check In

Pause. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply. What do you hear around you? What can you smell? How does your body feel? As you focus on these elements, just recognize them, and breathe through each moment of awareness. Now open your eyes and look around, taking note of the things you see around you. Continue breathing. Feel what it’s like to be present in the moment.

Take a Look at the Beasts

What happens when you turn a blind eye to a pest situation? They run rampant, and multiply, until you are overrun. The same is true for those Magical Pests, those demons in your head. Don’t ignore them. Don’t try to distract yourself from them. Take a look at them. Sit with them in a quiet space and allow yourself to really feel them. Turn to your breathing again and just let the feelings come. Cry if you need to. Feel whatever you feel. Just face those pesky bastards and keep breathing. I’m usually surprised at how quickly this makes them go away.

Pamper Yourself

When the exterminator comes to visit, you usually get to check into a motel for a night or two. When your little demons start raging, treat yourself to something special, like an unexpected night away. It doesn’t have to be a hotel visit, of course. Even a quiet moment of leisure reading with a cup of tea will do the trick. When I neglect myself, or rush through my days, or get too bogged down with stress, it’s like little cracks start to appear in my psyche, allowing the nasty pests to creep in. I’ve started taking the arrival of the demons as a sign to slow down, take time out for me, or do something purely for joy or pleasure.

With the right ammo, and a healthy dose of determination, any pest can be vanquished without burning down the house. I’ll probably need to get rid of a few things, there’s always a casualty in these situations, but it’s usually a saggy couch, or a forgotten box in the basement somewhere that I don’t really need anyway.

Magical Pest Control – another hilarious message delivered by the Universe, exactly when I needed it. Thanks for that. xo

How Will You Be Reborn?

Those Muslims are really on to something. They celebrate their New Year with Navroz, which falls right around the Spring Equinox, a time of year that I find rejuvenating and inspiring. Forget the dead of winter, when any resolution you may make will be cast aside in favor of lethargy and residual holiday treat consumption. Even the Pagans got it wrong; in October, when everything is dying, they celebrate their New Year with Samhain. I suppose the idea of your own mortality can be motivating, but c’mon! Is there anything that says let’s clean out the cobwebs in our souls and start again, all shiny and new, like the return of sunshine and warmer weather? Not in my books, and not after the psychic shit show that was my winter.

So, here I am, feeling much shinier, and thick in the throes of purging and organizing, both inside and out. I’ve done some intense personal work with my trusty therapist, and now I’m working on a slew of personal projects that nearly all work-related. I’m ‘Choosing Myself’ as per the wise and wacky Mr. James Altucher, but more on him later.

One of my commitments this month is to post every single day. That’s right, every day. I’d really like to see your comments here on the blog too friends, so if you’re reading please leave a little something. Let’s turn this into a community of inspiring, like-minded passion-chasers, yes? Thank you in advance mom, for always adding comments.

I will borrow my New Year from my Muslim family, and start fresh this April. I’d like to be a more focused, more driven, more present me. I’d like to keep the momentum going with my personal growth and smote those inner demons once and for all. I want time for writing every single day. I want to finally publish the sex and relationship guide I wrote for average dudes in committed relationships. I want to inspire you, and help you, and share my love and ideas with you. I want to enjoy the miracle of Spring with my beautiful family.

Okay, now it’s your turn. Leave me a little note in the comments section and let me know how you will be reborn this Spring!

P.S. I’m pregnant again



P.S.S. April Fools!

Need Hope? Take a Walk

Something amazing happened yesterday. I didn’t feel that cloud that has been hanging over me for the last year. It was there, a little, in the morning but by the afternoon it was gone. I’ve got a few ideas about why this happened, and I’ll get into that later this week, but for now I want to focus on the healing nature of the thaw we’re experiencing.

Yesterday was heavy sweater and hat weather, and after a long commute home (working on Sunday, yikes!) I bundled up the kidlets who were all too happy for another opportunity to abandon chores and enjoy their rip sticks. We parents took the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely stroll down our secluded road, breathing in the fresh country air and I was amazed at how this brief, simple departure from our typical Sunday routine filled me with wonder and hope.


A mouse house, like the ones we found in the melting snow


Here’s a little list of some of the early spring wonder I witnessed through the eyes of my children, particularly our toddler who is two and a half and in love with everything:

Puddles for jumping and splashing in

Mud for squishing under rubber-booted feet

Slushy, crunchy snow

Bubbly streams

Red-winged black birds who have returned

Mouse houses! We discovered these perfect little spheres of dried grass revealed by the melted snow and deduced that they must be little houses woven together by the mice. They were little wonders of architecture

Lambs at the farm next door. We couldn’t see them because the dirt road is currently a small river, but we could hear them bleating away in the barn

The squishy wonder of our melted snow saturated lawn

The endless joy of throwing stones into puddles

Silly walking competitions

The moist, healing smell of fresh spring air

The healthy dinner time appetite and deep, blissful sleep after time outside

If you’ve had the winter blues, treat yourself to a walk outside, in whatever green space you can find. Try to take it all in through the eyes of a child, and keep open to any discoveries that await you. Even in the most sprawling urban centers, change is happening and we can look forward to the return of warmth. What are the signs of spring in your neck of the world?